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property. He might thus tell him careful and humble-minded reader at one time, what sort of establish- of the sacred volume, cannot but ment it would enable him to main- convey the idea of a continuance tain: at another, whether it would of consciousness after death. In be safe for him, with such a revenue, the first place, in our Saviour's arguto live in a certain degree of in- ment for a resurrection, an intermedulgence, to travel abroad, or to diate state of consciousness seems introduce useful institutions among to enter into the premises from his poorer neighbours at home: at which the doctrine of a resurrection another he might mention, whether is deduced. “God," said he, “ is a supposed enlargement of his ex- not a God of the dead, but of the penditure would render the dis- living ; for all live unto him” (Luke covery of some new source of in- xx. 38). What do we understand come necessary: and from these by this ? That Abraham, Isaac, and scattered hints he might expect Jacob are dead, and yet living; that the young man would collect dead to us, but living unto God; a more just estimate of his probable nay, that all others who are removed condition, than could be commu- from this earthly scene live unto nicated to him by a mere direct him likewise: for, as Dr. Whately exposition of the amount of his remarks in stating this side of the income. And may it not be, though hypothesis, “ If they were spoken of we would not press such a com- as still living in another state, the parison to its details, that many like might be inferred of all men.” things which are not revealed in Indeed, the Scriptures elsewhere Scripture are yet so clearly inti- shew us that other individuals who mated there, that an attentive and are departed, besides those three humble student of the word of God patriarchs, are still living; Enoch, may learn from these varied notices for example, and Elijah. Moses what, although by careless readers also is living : for he appeared on passed over, is really equivalent to a the Mount of Transfiguration, and direct revelation? And this is perfect- conversed with Jesus. The saints ly analogous to the works of God in who rose from the grave at his crucreation; which convey every where, cifixion or resurrection are living. to those who will observe them, Can we believe, with these undeni. but to none others, the clearest able facts before us, that they are indications of his power, wisdom, the only living persons of all the goodness, and moral government : generations that are past? or can and in both cases it is a course of we doubt that others also are parproceeding calculated to
takers with them of life and action? rage, and perhaps designed to re- The remark of Saint Paul, when he ward, a diligent and continued said, “ To me, to depart and to be patience of investigation : for, as with Christ is far better than to Dr. Whately elsewhere justly ob- abide in the flesh" (Phil. i. 23, 24), serves “the general rule of Provi. cannot convey, to an unprejudiced dence evidently is, that man should inquirer, any other idea than that, in be left to supply his own wants, his instance at least (and there is no and seek knowledge by the aid of hint of any peculiar privilege in his those faculties which have been case), absence from the body would originally bestowed on him; a di. be instantly succeeded by presence rect revelation being extraordinary with the Lord: and the promise of and miraculous; not the rule, but our Lord to his fellow-sufferer on the exception, and bestowed only the cross, " To-day shalt thou be where specially needed.”
with me in paradise,” (Luke xxiii. Now to us it appears demon. 43), confirms the same conclusion. strable, that there are various inti. Then, with respect to the parable of mations in Scripture which, to a the Rich Man and Lazarus.it clearly
intimates an immediate entrance The considerations by which into a state of reward or punish- these reasonings are met are, chiefly, ment, suitable to our previous cha- that some parts of them admit of a racter. It is true, indeed, that it is different explanation—not, that they a parable; but let the parables of are in themselves unscriptural or our Saviour be examined, and it untrue. One positive argument, inwill be found, that, even though the deed, is urged against them from the incidents should be conceded to be phrase of “ sleep," as applied to
tictitious" (for that is Dr. Wbately's death in Scripture; whereby a state epithet), they are all possible. They of insensibility is said to be directly are adapted to a state of things implied: whereas it would be just as actually existing, and do not refer possible that the figure was adopted to either places or conditions that by the sacred writers in reference to are merely imaginary. The scene another peculiarity of sleep-nameof the good deed of the Samaritan ly, that it is a temporary condition, traveller is delineated with scrupu- which speedily passes away, as that lous exactness: the circumstances of death will in the morning of the connected with the marriage of the resurrection. But we do not think nobleman's son,- and the departure that the expression bears on the subof the chief to another country to ject either way; the word sleeping receive the royal dignity from a being used, like "departing" and foreign court, and return, are all “dissolving," to shew the tranquil borrowed from known practices. and blessed dismissal of the believer And, if such was our Saviour's habit; to the heavenly world. if, when he is said to have invented On the whole, however, the epiincidents, he uniformly refrained tome which Dr. Whately has given from inventing scenes, manners, of the arguments on each side of the and conditions of being likewise; question, is, as might be expected why should we fancy that he de- from him, ingenious, and we do not parted from that habit in the single say otherwise than candid ; but he instance of the parable to which does not allow force enough to those we are now alluding? All worlds positive intimations of an intermewere alike under his eye; and, diate state of consciousness which whether he chose to lay the scene he cites from Scripture. Indeed, of his parable in this world, or in when he sums up his opposite arparadise, or in heaven, or in hell, guments on the intermediate state the state of all these, and of all by the remark that other parts of creation, were equally The notion of the soul, when sepafamiliar to him; and the imagined rated from the body, entering immedidistance of the scene affords not the ately on a state of enjoyment or suffering,
which is to last till the resurrection, has slightest cause for supposing that he
at least as many reasons against it, as for did not adhere in this, as he did in it, in Scripture” (p. 74), all other cases, to actual realities. we must reply in his own words, We therefore conclude, that here that “this arithmetical mode of also, even allowing the incidents ascertaining a writer's sentiments to have been imaginary, the scene by combining the passages on oppoand its circumstances are all accord- site sides" had never occurred to us. ing to truth; so true, that no clearer The learned writer does not need idea could be conveyed to our limit- our suggestion, that arguments reed understandings of the condition quire to be weighed, not numbered; of souls after death. We need not and that, in weighing them, one that add, that, if this be in any degree rests upon positive evidence is coma correct representation of the monly worth many that depend on case, it establishes the separate negative testimony. state to be one of consciousness We find Dr. Whately on many and activity
occasions resorting to the plea, that
certain transactions were peculiar, though they may not amount to a and thus dismissing the matter, as direct declaration, convey at least if these peculiarities were recorded strong intimations of the state of the in Holy Writ as peculiarities only, departed. and not intended to impart to us The argument which is implied some specific instruction. Are we in the observation of Dr. Whately, to conceive, that, because the trans- that lation of Enoch and Elisha were “ If the paradise,' into which he was events out of the common course
promised immediate admittance, be the of things, therefore we have nothing will, after the day of judgment, dwell for
place in which just men made perfect,' to learn from such extraordinary ever with the Lord,' — or if it be the place dispensations ? Yet Dr. Whately or state into which good Christians pass argues thus concerning them: immediately after death,-it is remarkable
that the word paradise is not the one com“ Nothing generally decisive can be concluded from any case which is manifestly of those meanings ” (View, p. 60),
monly used in Scripture to convey either an exception to general rules." View, p. 57. is encountered by the general ana
“ The prophet Elijah (or Elias), we know, did not die at all; but was visibly, logy of Scriptural revelation. The in his bodily state, taken from the earth; first promise of a Saviour was exand in the case of Moses also, a prophet pressed by the phrase, " the Seed still more highly favoured of God, there of the woman, who should bruise appears to have been something peculiar as to his departure ; for we are told in- the serpent's head.” He was afterdeed that he died, and was buried in the wards announced as the Shiloh, the land of Moab," but that no man knew Lord's Angel, a Prophet like unto of bis sepulchre. Whether he also, like Moses, the Messiah, the Messenger Elijab, and like Enoch, was permitted to forestall the general resurrection, we can
of the Covenant, and under various not tell; but it seems clear (as I lately other descriptions ; each successive observed to you) that the soul separate appellation adding something to the from the body is not an object of sight; information imparted by the pre(since, at a man's death, all that was formerly visible of him remains before our ceding. In like manner, if the doceyes in the corpse,) so that nothing can be trine of intermediate consciousness inferred respecting a separate state of the between death and judgment is at soul from the visible appearance of Moses all intimated in Scripture, it is first and Elias, which the eyes of the Apostles witnessed.
spoken of under the name, Hades. “ The promise of our Lord to the thief Afterwards, the condition of those on the cross, · This day thou shalt be who depart in the faith and fear of with me in paradise,' has been urged with the Lord is separated from that of more reason, in favour of the opinion that the others, and connected with a man passes at once from death into a state of enjoyment or of suffering. But this place called Paradise ; and when also was a very peculiar case, and there- once that phrase is introduced, it is fore can hardly be regarded as decisive as adopted into the vocabulary of the to what shall be the lot of other men. mean, supposing the promise to be under Bible, as part of its general storestood in the literal sense of the word to. house of information on this subject: day; which, as I shall shew hereafter, is as in Rev, ii. 7, 66 To him that not absolutely necessary.” pp. 57–59.
overcometh will I give to eat of the “ Whether the immediate admission into paradise of the penitent thief, sup
tree of life, which is in the midst of posing this to be understood literally, is the paradise of God." to be regarded as one of the miraculous On the other hand, if our Lord's and extraordinary circumstances of that declaration, “ To-day thou shalt be awful period, and consequently different from what takes place in other cases, or
with me in paradise," and St. Paul's whether the same will be the lot of all statement (for it is inaccurate to call Christ's faithful servants immediately on it, as Dr. Whately does, merely his their departing this life ; we are not, I
“ wish ") that to be absent from the think, authorized by that portion of the sacred history positively to pronounce,”
body is to be with Christ, may be
construed to inean that the dying Surely these remarkable facts, penitent should in a remote age, though singular and peculiar, and after our Lord's death, resurrection, CHRIST. Observ. No. 352.
ascension, and return to judgment, without comment: for thus shall we be taken up to heaven; and that the most gratify our readers ; most ho
A postle should also, after a previous nour the writer, whose own pages are state of insensibility, be admitted to his best eulogium; and most graphithe same privilege; whatever other cally exhibit that remarkable man, objections may lie against this in- the subject of his narrative, who terpretation, we must say that so deserves to be known in the South, loose a construction of specific terms as he was in the North, by far other seems to us, in Dr. Whately's own characteristics than those which are words elsewhere," a use of language currently associated with his name which destroys the purpose for which in the Bible Society controversy. language was designed-namely, to The following are some of the princonvey a meaning.”
cipal passages of Dr. Chalmers's We must suspend the argument powerful description. for the present; but we purpose re- “ I need not say, to this assembly of suming it in our next Number, when mourners, in what more striking and imwe intend also to notice some other pressive form the lesson has been given to of Dr. Whately's “ peculiarities
It is just as if death had wanted to
make the highest demonstration of his and “ difficulties," and especially sovereignty, and for this purpose had sehis very dangerous, and we are per. lected as his mark, him who stood the suaded unscriptural and unfounded, foremost, and the most conspicuous in the views relative to the Christian Sab.
view of his countrymen. I speak not at
present of any of the relations in which he bath.
stood to the living society immediately (To be continued.)
around him to the thousands in church whom his well-known voice reached upon the Sabbath-to the tens of thousands in the city, whom through the week, in the
varied rounds and meetings of Christian A Sermon, preached in St. George's philanthropy, he either guided by his
Church, Edinburgh, on Occasion counsel, or stimulated by his eloquence. of the Death of the Rev. Dr. An
You know, over and above, how far the drew Thomson. By the Rev. T. benevolence of his nature carried him;
wide, and the wakeful, and the untired CHALMERS, D.D. Glasgow. 1831. and that, in the Jabours, and the loco
motions connected with these, he may The name of Dr. Thomson having be said to have become the personal
acquaintance of the people of Scotland. hitherto appeared in our volumes
Insomuch, that there is not a village in chiefly in reference to an unhappy the land, where the tidings of his death controversy, in which he bore a con- have not conveyed the intimation, that spicuous part, it is truly grateful to
a master in Israei has fallen ; and I may
also add, that such was the charm of his our feelings—more especially now
companionship, such the cordiality lighted that he has quitted
world of tur- up by his presence in every household, moil and controversy, and entered that, connected with this death, there is, upon that blessed state where all at this moment, an oppressive sadness in is peace--to sketch those bright most distant Scottish families. And so, a
the hearts of many thousands even of our features of his portrait which will national lesson has been given forth by abundantly relieve any shades which this event, even as a national loss has in some instances hung around it. been incurred by it. It is a public death This pleasing office we are enabled when one thinks of the vital energy by
in the view of many spectators. And to discharge by means of the funeral which every deed and every utterance were discourse now before us, which is one pervaded — of that prodigious strength of those striking, splendid, and thril- which but gamboled with the difficulties
that would have so depressed and overling compositions, which Dr. Chal
borne other men-of that prowess in conmers is able, apparently almost with flict, and that promptitude in counsel with out effort or premeditation, to throw his fellows--of thut elastic buoyancy which off, for the mingled delight, instruc
ever rose with the occasion, and bore him tion, and edification of his readers. mination of his cause-of the weight and
onward and upward to the successful terOur only task shall be transcription, mulciplicity of his engagement; and yet,
as if nothing could overwork that colossal panionships of life, is found to mingle, mind, and that robust framework, the with kindred warmth, in all the cares and perfect lightness and facility wherewith the sympathies of his fellow-men. Such, all was executed,- when one thinks, in I am sure, is the touching recollection of the midst of these powers and these per- very many who now hear me, and who formances, how intensely he laboured, I can tell, in their own experience, that bad almost said, how intensely he lived, the vigour of his pulpit, was only equalled in the midst of us, we cannot but acknow- by the fidelity and ihe tenderness of his ledge, that death, in seizing upon him, household ministrations. They understand hath made full proof of a mastery that sets the whole force and significancy of the all the might and all the promise of hu- contrast I have now been speaking of manity at defiance.
when the pastor of the church becomes “But while in no possible way could the pastor of the family; and he who, in general society have, through means of the crowded assembly, held imperial sway but one individual example, been more over every understanding, entered some impressively told of the power of death parent's lowly dwelling, and prayed and -to you, in particular, it is a lesson of wept along with them over their infant's deepest pathos. The world at large can dying bed. It is on occasions like these form no estimate of the tenderness which when the minister carries to its highest belongs to the spiritual relationship, pitch the moral ascendency which belongs though I trust that on this topic, mys- to his station. It is this which furnishes terious to them, yet familiar, I hope and him with a key to every heart, -and when believe, to many of you, I now speak to a the triumphs of charity are superadded to goodly number who can own him as their the triumphs of argument, then it is that spiritual father.” pp. 5–7.
he sits enthroned over the affections of a “ The lesson is prodigiouly enhanced, willing people. when we pass from his pulpit to his house- “But I dare not venture any further on hold ministrations. I perhaps do him this track of observation. While yet standwrong, in supposing that any large pro- ing aghast at a death which has come upon portion of his hearers did not know him us all with the rapidity of a whirlwind, it personally-for such was his matchless might be easy, by means of few touching superiority to fatigue, such the unconquer- and graphic recollections, to raise a temable strength and activity of his nature, pest of emotion in the midst of you. It that he may almost be said to have ac- might be easy to awaken, in vivid decomplished a sort of personal ubiquity lineation to the view of your mind, him among his people. But ere you can ap- who but a few days ago trod upon the preciate the whole effect of this, let me streets of our city with the footsteps of advert to a principle of very extensive firm manhood; and took part, with all operation in nature. Painters know it well. his accustomed earnestness and vigour, They are aware, how much it adds to the in the busy concerns of living men. We force and beauty of any representation of could image forth the intense vitality theirs, when made strikingly and properly which beamed in every look, and kept up, to contrast with the back-ground on which to the last moment, the incessant play of it is projected. And the same is as true a mind, that was the fertile and everof direct nature, set forth in one of our eddying fountain of just and solid thoughts. own immediate scenes, as of reflex nature, We could ask you to think of that masterset forth by the imagination and pencil of spirit, with what presiding efficacy, yet an artist. This is often exemplified in with what perfect lightness and ease, those Alpine wilds, where beauty may, he moved among his fellow-men; and, at times, be seen embosomed in the lap whether in the hall of debate, or in the of grandeur,—as when, at the base of a circles of private conviviality, subordinated lofty precipice, some spot of verdure, or all to bis purposes and views. We could peaceful cottage-home, seems to smile in fasten your regards on that dread enmore intense loveliness, because of the counter, when Death inet this most powtowering strength and magnificence which erful and resolute of men upon his way, are behind it. Apply this to character, and, laying instant arrest upon his moveand think how precisely analogous the ments, held hiin forth, in view of the effect is—when, from the ground-work of citizens, as the proudest, while the most a character that, mainly, in its texture and appalling of his triumphs. We could bid general aspect, is masculine, there do efflo- you weep at the thought of his agonized resce the forth-puttings of a softer na family-or rather, hurrying away from this ture, and those gentler charities of the big and insupportable distress-we would heart, which come out irradiated in ten- tell of the public grief and the public confold beauty, when they arise from a sub- sternation,-how the tidings of some great stratum of moral strength and grandeur disaster flew from household to household, underneath. It is thus, when the man of till, under the feeling of one common and strength shows himself the man of ten- overwhelming bereavement, the whole derness; and he who, sturdy and impreg. city became a city of mourners--we could nable in every righteous cause, makes his recall to you that day when the earth was graceful descent to the ordinary com. committed to the earth from which it