Imágenes de páginas

applied to ourselves, but only denotes some distinction which may be regarded as best expressed by this word. Our idea of person or individual is derived solely from our experience in the position which we occupy in the universe.

The first Person in this Trinity, God the Father, is represented as the unapproachable Creator-the Being in virtue of whom all things exist.

Thus it is said (John i. 18), 'No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.'

Again, Paul tells us (Rom. xi. 36), 'For of him and through him and to him are all things.' Also (1 Cor. viii. 6), 'But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we to him (eis avτóv); and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.'

Also (Eph. iv. 6), 'One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all.' Also (1 Timothy vi. 16), 'Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see.'

223. Again, of the second Person of the Trinity we are told, in addition to what we gather from the expressions just quoted (John i. 1), ' In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.'

Again (2 Cor. v. 10): 'For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.'


Again (Col. i. 15): 'Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature: for in him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers.'

Again (Heb. i. 1): 'God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.'

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224. It is, we believe, a prevalent idea among theologians that these passages indicate, in the first place, the existence of an unapproachable Creator— the unconditioned One who is spoken of as God the Father; and that they also indicate the existence of another Being of the same substance as the Father, but different in person, who has agreed to develop the will of the Father, and thus in some mysterious sense to submit to conditions and to enter into the universe.1 The relation of this Being to the Father is expressed in Hebrews2 in the words of the Psalmist, Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.' In fine, such a Being would represent that conditioned, yet infinitely powerful developing agent, to which the universe,

1 We are not here opposing the theological doctrine that the Universe is in the Son of God. In fact, when we contemplate any past phase of the Universe, we are driven to look upon this as having been previously developed by the Son of God, who doubtless also sustains it. This therefore represents the theological doctrine, nevertheless it will at once be acknowledged that we may speak of Christ as being in the Universe. • Heb. x. 7.

objectively considered, appears to lead up. His work is twofold, for, in the first place, he develops the various universes or orders of being; and secondly, in some mysterious way He becomes Himself the type and pattern of each order, the representative of Deity, so far as the beings of that order can comprehend, especially manifesting such divine qualities as could not otherwise be intelligibly presented to their minds.

Such a being is therefore, in virtue of His office, the King of angels and ruler of the invisible universe, and to him the term Lord in the poem of Job is supposed to apply (Job i. 6): 'Now there was a day when the Sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.'

225. It would thus appear that what may be termed the Christian theory of development has a twofold aspect, a descent and an ascent; the descent of the Son of God through the various grades of existence, and the consequent ascent of the intelligences of each led up by him to a higher level,-a stooping on the part of the developing Being, in order that there may be a mounting up on the part of the developed. Thus it is said (John iii. 16), 'And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.' Again (Eph. iv. 9): 'Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.'

226. It is naturally in accordance with these views that the Angelic Host should be represented as taking

an intelligent interest, even if they did not, as the Gnostics thought, take an active part, in the creation of the visible universe. Thus the Lord is represented as asking Job (Job xxxviii. 4), 'Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner-stone thereof, when the morning-stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?'

227. It is also in accordance with these views that the same hierarchy should take an intelligent interest in the life of Christ. Thus we read (Luke ii. 13), ' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will toward men.' And again (1 Timothy iii. 16): ‘And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.'

228. It will be remarked that the views which we have now put before our readers have been developed more especially from the objective point of view, and that our reasoning has been founded on the principle of Continuity as applied to the outward universe. In truth we seem to get a much firmer and more tangible hold on the objective element of the universe, that is to say, on energy (Art. 103), than we can on intelligence and life. For if we approach our individual consciousness it is very manifest that we have no wellfounded principle wherewith to guide our speculations

similar to the principle of Continuity; for this, if we had it, would at once inform us whether the doctrine of immortality is true or false.

We know very well that the universe will remain after we are laid in the grave, but some of us1 are not equally certain whether we ourselves shall then continue to exist.

Thus there appears to be a difficulty which we see at present no means of surmounting in dealing with individual consciousness. But while the continuance of individual life is enveloped in mystery, it is believed that we have obtained hold of a general principle regarding the distribution of life not greatly inferior in breadth and generality to the law of Continuity. We mean the principle that life proceeds from life, or, to speak more accurately, that a conditioned living thing proceeds only from a conditioned living thing. That dead matter cannot produce a living organism is the universal experience of the most eminent physiologists. In fact, the law of Biogenesis is justly regarded by Professor Huxley and others as the great principle underlying all the phenomena of organised existence

Professor Roscoe, again, approaching the subject from the chemical point of view, says, speaking of red blood corpuscles, 'We have not been able, and the evidence at present rather goes to show that there is not much hope of our being able, to construct these granules artificially; and the question is in this position, that so far as science has progressed at present 1 Some, no doubt very worthy, people take this word to mean the authors themselves!!

2 See a specially interesting and exhaustive paper by Lister (Trans. R. S. E., 1874-5). A very clear analysis of it is given by Crum Brown (Proc. R. S. E., 1875).

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