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Universalism is pronounced to be wrong, for it thrusts eternal life and blessedness on those who have undergone no previous preparation for it. It makes that state of purity a mechanical result of the simple passage into another world. It " supposes an efficacy in death which we have no right to as
p. 391. Restorationism also, is wrong, for it finds, says the Doctor, a medicinal virtue in the atinosphere of hell, that is, " lest the theological term should mislead, in the future transmundane penalties of sin, which may possibly belong to them, but of which we know nothing." p. 393. Partialism is opposed to the infinite love of Heaven, whether it be held on the ground (a) that God creates men to damn them ; which notion we conjecture must be some eccentricity of a German school of pessimism; or, (b) that God makes men so that some certainly will damn themselves. These theories, in just such hard terms as these, are laid at the door of " partialism” as being a part of its plan of moral government. It is hardly needful to say that neither expresses the catholic doctrine of the perdition of lost souls. We stand with Christ himself, when he said to some on whom the "wrath of God” should abide forever: "Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.”
The final result of this eschatological inquiry is—that many of the unprepared to die will be recovered to purity and God by future remedial influences, of not apparent character : that the utterly irrecoverable will be annihilated. "The soul, as a moral agent and a conscious individuality, is extinct : as a monad it still survives. No longer a person, but a thing, its condition thenceforth is not a question of psychology, but of ontology."
This disposal of the utterly reprobate is sufficiently cool. A soul reduced to the monad-state, we take to be a skeleton-soul merely, denuded of its nerves, and its bones wired up in some "transmundane" collection of ontological specimens for the study of the curious. We dislike to write thus about so serious a matter, but the idea is not worthy of a rebutting argument. It is not an idea in any rational sense. One might understand what Mr. Hudson means by the gradual extinguishment of a lost spirit, like a spent candle. But the transmigration of a reasonable soul into a " thing,” insults all philosophy and human sensibility. It might be amiable in these writers thus to prepare a house of refuge, hereafter, for these profane Esaus, who for the morsel of sinful pleasure thus sell their birth-right; unless it shall result in blinding their eyes to the eternal truth of God's threatenings against just this rebellion under his jurisdiction. If there be an everlasting hell (and its necessity of late has been more generally felt than usual) we should not dare to attempt to quench it out with such enginery as this.
The Christian Examiner, in an article which has fallen under our eye since making this digest, characterizes this production of one of its own choragi as blemished by "irresolution and inconsistency.” Certainly the criticism is just. It is easy to find the cause of this weakness. It obviously comes of a desire to hold back the rushing car of unbelief from bearing its liberal passengers into utter infidelity. Hence the effort to work a brake, here and there, in a way which moves the chagrin of the more adventurous Reviewer. Thus, says Dr. Hedge : "We need the sign-external, supreme authority. We need the ultimate appeal of a given word to make our Christianity something more than a system of philosophy.” p. 456. Doubtless we do. Strange that the author does not see that, by his system, this is absolutely impossible. He knocks away all the foundations of that temple of faith. He can not stand on the sharp hill-side where he is clinging to the bushes. The Examiner is both consistent and resolute in announcing the upshot of all such sceptical rationalizing. It winds the whole into one credo: I believe " in the human soul as the reflex of God, and obedience to the laws which the soul reveals." This is the end of Unitarianism-self-faith, self-worship, man deified, the apotheosis of dust and ashes !
LITERATURE, ITS PLACE AND USES. Literature in the true use and generic acceptance of the word treats of the elementary human emotions, and the common, never changing interests of man. It is not that which is written for any class of men as such, but for each and for all. It is not that which is written for any specific purpose as a book of metaphysics or medicine. It does not address men as learners needing a knowledge of the rudiments, in order to a comprehension of the higher truths. It has no first principles for the child, and its higher generalizations for the man. It has no arithmetic for children, and its fluxions and calendars for mature minds. Like the truths of the kingdom of heaven it appeals at once to what is deepest in man; not to the intellect, not to the imagination, but to the spirit itself.
It matters but little whether it be in the garb of an ancient or a modern language, since it is conversant with the same primal interests of man. It matters little whether it be Greek or English, whether it be Tacitus or Clarendon, Livy's pictorial page, or Gibbon’s stateliness and pomp; whether it be the Peloponesian war of Thucydides, or the thirty years' war of Schiller; whether it be the Gallic campaigns of Cæsar, or the Peninsular war of Napier ; whether it be Plutarch’s masterpieces, or Izaak Walton's modern biographies; whether it be Marathon, the Straits of Dover, or Hampton Roads ; whether it be the Persian fleet, the Armada, or the Merrimac. These themes, these histories, these biographies relate to the few simple vital and fundamental interests of all time, and make their appeal to the same human and eternal sentiments and passions. No matter when it was written, it can not see corruption. Though it be buried in the grave of languages long dead, it pushes aside the stone at the grave's mouth; it breaks the seal and speaks to all who with affection and reverence can say, "My Master.” Forgotten past all recovery may be the pronunciation of the syllables and the rhythm and accent of the periods where those universal thoughts are enshrined, yet all who will may hear them speak in the tongue in which they
were born. Individuals and nations may grow old, decay and die ; but as the race is immortal in its youth, so its thoughts have a like youthful nature, imperishable in their freshness and perpetual in their power. Chaucer will always be as full of life and spring-verdure as when on that April of 1300, his nine and twenty pilgrims te toward Canterbury woulden ride.” Shakespeare, "nature's darling,” will never know decrepitude and age, but will " warble his native woodnotes wild,” when the seventeenth century shall seem as far back in the past as does the times of Herodotus and Sophocles. Literature in its essential idea has a total independence of time and place. As these are the conditions of matter and of physical forces, they can have no connection with, and can place no limit to, that which is spiritual and human, and yet divine. Springing not from the understanding, but from the spirit itself, it is a spiritual power. Seeking to make its impressions on what is most divine in man, its aim is far higher than that of imparting instruction. To touch any or all of the countless sympathies of the heart, is nobler than to communicate a scientific fact. You can not place a Homer in the same category with an Aristotle. You can not compare the Ballad of Chevy Chace with a Newton's Principia. It may impart new knowledge, but it does it only indirectly, and through the materials it uses for another object. While it does not aim at developing the muscle and sinew of an athletic intellect, it is far removed from all tendency to produce an enervation of mind. We know very well the etiolating effect of its abuse, when the whole occupation of the man or woman is that of seeking for sensations, when the aim of life is solely to receive impressions from works of power, without an effort at transmission or reproduction. We know well that the habitual devotion of the indolent mind to what is called light literature is sure to be followed by mental imbecility. We know well that the continual surrender of the whole being to sensuous poetry and to emasculated prose, is worse than opium eating on its enfeebled victim. We know that in every community, there are those who were born to better things, but who have grown to be monsters in selfishness and mental feebleness, through their guilty surrender to this mode of intoxication. Yet this is no argument against a deep and familiar acquaintance with true
literature ; yea, the admiration of what God has wrought by the free instrument of human genius. Literature is not to receive the first place in the life of any
We have other objects for living than passively to receive impressions. We are to glorify God by being of use in the world, gaining our bread by the sweat of our brow in aiming to susply some of the great wants of men. From the divine arrangement, we must rigidly retain all literature in a subordinate position.
In our country, it is very evident that no one has a right to live a life of Sybaritic enjoyment, whether, it be animal, social, or intellectual. They who live merely to feel refined emotions, are to be classed with those who live for sensual pleasure, although the foul disfigurement may not be so plainly discernible. The past four years' sad history, with its ensanguined pages, has made this revelation, if nothing more, that men must throw the energies of their being into something of positive benefit to mankind; that we must rally to the world's help, and go out of ourselves to be of use to others. Many have been awakened from their selfish dreams of culture, by the piercing calls of some brother man. Sympathies that were wont to waste themselves on books, have had full vent on the battle-field, in the hospitals, or at home, in ministering to the necessities of the wounded hero, or in soothing the sorrow of those who have made the dearest sacrifice to their country. The very rebellion itself teaches that there can be no one class in our land living for itself; each must live for all, none were born to be lilies of the field, destined neither to toil nor spin. The highest literature must be cast aside when it begins to hedge us up in the circle of beauty and of æsthetic culture, so that the beckoning hands of our fellow-men can not meet our eye.
Such culture is as false as it is destructive. Mere literary men and women, with nothing developed but the taste, the critics of sermons, of style, of language, the admirers of grace and elegance, and nothing more, are worse than the drones of a hive; while they are nonproducers, they all can sting. The influence of that great heathen poet, Goethe, has been an injury to the world, so far as any have adopted his chief end of life, and made intellectual and ästhetic culture the sole object of their being; choosing