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all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.' In other respects the descriptions of the Christian heaven are no doubt figurative. They are intended for Christians of all ages of the world, and have hardly any reference to the material conditions of life in a future state. These could not be apprehended by believers 1800 years ago, inasmuch as we can hardly be said to grasp them now. Nevertheless there is one direction in which we do think we are able to obtain a glimpse into the conditions of this future life.

256. One of the most prominent characteristics of even the well-directed human mind is its insatiable curiosity. How intensely anxious we all are to realise the conditions of the life of our forefathers in the ruder and earlier times; how interested in every scrap of intelligence which reaches us from the dead old world! How interested too in any light thrown upon the civilisation which preceded these old times! What would not any man give for half an hour with Socrates or Plato? what would he not give, be he Christian or unbeliever, to have pictured out vividly and truly before him some episode in the life of Christ? In a tedious, toilsome, tantalising, roundabout way we do indeed get some passing glimpses into these ancient historical ages.

The earth is not unlike the human brain, in that it contains in itself certain memories of the past: and, just as we rummage out and hunt up in our brains old memories, so do the historian and the antiquary search about in the earth for that memory which it

retains of those distant but glorious ages. But the universe, no less than the individual, has another memory besides the material one, and we have endeavoured (Art. 196) to convince our readers that nothing is really lost, the past being always present in the universe. If this be the case, it may readily be conceived that this universal memory may by some process of exaltation and intensification, or as it were by some relay battery of the universe, be occasionally quickened into such a life that the individual in the future and glorified state may be enabled (through the power of the Lord) to realise scenes that happened in the far distant past. For if so much can be accomplished with a thing so little plastic as the material memory of the earth, what may not be done with that infinitely more plastic form of existence which we term the world to come?

257. Again, if in this present world we have great difficulty in realising our own past, we have even greater difficulty in realising what is at this very moment taking place in remote parts of the present visible universe. Astronomers and Physicists agree that life is possible in the planet Mars, and it is quite likely that intelligent beings analogous to ourselves exist at the present moment on the surface of that planet, but we shall never in this life know for certain anything about them. There is an insurmountable barrier to physical inquiry as great as if Mars belonged to the unseen universe, instead of being, what he is in reality, our next-door neighbour in the present. Now, may not this barrier be removed in the future state? This has been a favourite topic with scientific theologians, and we believe that all who have

speculated on the conditions of a future life have unanimously agreed that we shall have much greater freedom of motion in the world to come. There can be no doubt that our relations to time and space will then be greatly altered and enlarged. Men shall run to and fro in the universe, and knowledge shall be increased.

258. But yet the picture is not altogether one of intellectual brightness and beauty. It wears also a moral aspect, and upon this almost exclusively the Christian records dwell. We are told in these records that nothing is forgotten. Christ tells us (St. Luke viii. 17), 'Nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither anything hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.' And again St. John tells us (Rev. xx. 12), 'I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.' This thought has been developed by the Rev. Alexander Macleod, D.D., in a work entitled Our own Lives the Books of Fudgment. This author points out that in many cases it may not be even necessary to appeal to the universe for the record which is therein written, for this is sufficiently stamped upon the body itself, and he then draws a vivid and lurid picture of the sensual man in whom the mortal body is like a parchment written within and without-a truly mournful and terrible record of the deeds done in the body.

But if all this is possible with an organism possessing so little plasticity as the natural body, and where the wish of the individual is to preserve a respectable

exterior, what must be the case in the soul1 of such a man?—If they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?' What a hideous and horrible likeness must not that foul thing have that issues forth from the 'grave and gate of Death' into the presence of the Unseen and Eternal?

259. It is extremely striking to read in this connection the following extract from Plato's Gorgias. We quote from Jowett's translation. Socrates is the

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"This is a tale, Callicles, which I have heard and believe, and from which I draw the following inferences : Death, if I am right, is in the first place the separation from one another of two things, soul and body;-this, and nothing else. And after they are separated they retain their several characteristics, which are much the same as in life; the body has the same nature and ways and affections, all clearly discernible; for example, he who by nature or training, or both, was a tall man while he was alive, will remain as he was after he is dead; and the fat man will remain fat; and so on: and the dead man, who in life had a fancy to have flowing hair, will have flowing hair. And if he was marked with the whip and had the prints of the scourge, or of wounds in him while he was alive, you might see the same in the dead body; and if his limbs were broken or misshapen while he was alive, the same appearance would be visible in the dead. And, in a word, whatever was the habit of the body during life would be distinguishable after death, either perfectly or in a great measure and for a time. And I should infer that this is equally true of the soul, Callicles;


1 [Those who believe that the New Testament asserts the annihilation of the wicked in Gehenna, of course hold that only the just obtain the spiritual body. But we have no definite term for the body as it shall be (in the Hades of the New Testament) between death and the resurrection. It is probable that the want of such a term is due to the fact that the authors of our recognised version have unfortunately rendered both Hades and Gehenna indifferently by the word Hell, itself a term from Scandinavian mythology.]

when the man is stripped of the body all the natural or acquired affections of the soul are laid open to view. And when they come to the judge, as those from Asia came to Rhadamanthus, he places them near him and inspects them quite impartially, not knowing whose the soul is: perhaps he may lay hands on the soul of the great king, or of some other king or potentate, who has no soundness in him, but his soul is marked with the whip, and is full of the prints and scars of perjuries, and of wrongs which have been plastered into him by each action, and he is all crooked with falsehood and imposture, because he has lived without truth. Him Rhadamanthus beholds, full of all deformity and disproportion, which is caused by licence and luxury and insolence and incontinence, and despatches him ignominiously to his prison, and there he undergoes the punishment which he deserves.'

260. As, in Eastern monarchies, a veil was sometimes cast over the face of the guilty;1 so in the New Testament the veil of darkness is drawn over the fate of the lost soul who falls into the hands of the living God. 'And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding-garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having a weddinggarment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 2


1 'As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.'-Esther vii. 8.

however, also Luke xiii. 28, while ye are being cast out.'

2 St. Matthew xxii. 11-13. [See, where the true meaning obviously is There are other obvious mistranslations in our version; such as for instance that of Mark ix. 43, where for 'the fire that cannot be put out' we have 'the fire that never shall be quenched.' It is to be hoped that the revised version will be such as to give readers ignorant of Greek a thoroughly correct idea of the meaning of the original, most especially on points of such awful importance as this.]

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