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Heathen philosopher had no aid from “stumbling-block” to the Greeks. the light of revelațion. Accordingly, This was his defence before Felix: we find it a favourite speculation of “After the way which they call heresy, the Oriental philosophers, and of the so worship I the God of my fathers; “Wise Men'i of Greece and Rome. and have hope towards God that there Indeed it is probable, that the doc- shall be a resurrection both of the trine of Immateriality owed its early just and the unjust ; and herein do I origin to the natural and proud desire exercise myself to have always a conof a future state, so inherent in man, science void of offence towards God and was the only theory on which, and men.” So also before King with their limited physical and meta- Agrippa : “And now I stand and am physical knowledge, they could found judged for the hope of the promise its belief. To enumerate or examine made of God unto our fathers, for the several opinions of the Heathen which hope's sake, King Agrippa, I philosophers on immortality and cau- am accused of the Jews. Why should sation, is inconsistent with our limits; it be thought a thing incredible with and we will take the liberty of refer- you that God should raise the dead ?” ring our readers to a very interesting Now to every reflecting and critical work on that subject, by Mr. Scott, reader of the New Testament, it is Aberdeen Professor of Moral Philo- notorious that the very few particusophy. The philosophical inquirer lars communicated as to a future state, also is familiar with the “intellectual indeed it may almost be asserted, that system” of the learned and laborious the bare promise and the title to it, Cudworth, who, in his refutation of constitute the whole revelation. On Atheism, has amply explored the laby- some future occasion we shall enlarge rinths of ancient metaphysics. Neither on this interesting topic. The scantishall we here enter into the contro- ness of the divine communication has versies concerning the belief of the been often lamented, even by Chris. ancients in a future state, or the sin- tians themselves, and, we believe, is a gular silence of the Old Testament on cause of great anxiety with many very the subject. Both have occupied a pious believers ; but this limited knowdistinguished rank in British litera- ledge appears to us perfectly consistent ture, and engaged the learning and with the economy of the Divine goresearch of many celebrated names. vernment, and the silence of the sacred Suffice it to observe, in processu, with writers on this subject, a very remarkrespect to the hope and theories of the able testimony of their integrity. We Heathens, that the faint and anxious shall, however, at present, only obexpectation indulged by some few, serve, that these metaphysical obliquiand the bold denial of all possibility of ties, now under censure, are in themfuturity by others, constitute an un- selves a fair proof how little the limited answerable argument for the necessity power of the huinan mind can comor rather for the utility of revelation : prehend on such a subject; and, conand as to the question of the Jewish sequently, that unless man was difScriptures, which engaged the pens ferently endowed than by his present of Warburton and Middleton, the constitution, such particulars could very fact of the controversy is a plain not be the objects of revelation, beproof that the doctrine of a future cause he could not have comprehended state and the immateriality of the hu- them. Our future existence, calcuman mind was not revealed; or, at all lated for immortal duration, can be events, most imperfectly, and could not conceived by no analogical knowledge have been a principal object of the of our present mortal senses ; for if old covenant : and, indeed, the exist- man's understanding could compreence of the sect of the Sadducees hend the secrets and powers of Divine would of itself have afforded a strong Omnipotency, it would of necessity be proof. It was reserved for the glori- equal to it: sufficient that we are ous distinction of Christianity to bring assured of our mental identity; and as "life and immortality to light,” and to the mode of our resuming. that, Christ became “the first-fruits of them what could the knowledge of it add which slept.” It was this glorious to the sense or influence of our moand invaluable privilege which Paul ral responsibility, or to our grateful preached to the men of Athens, that anticipation of future happiness? We are ignorant whether there be not pas- to, the “sleep of the soul,” or this sions in the human mind which, in temporary .suspension of existence, this world, remain dormant and undis- was denounced as incompatible with covered, for want of objects to excite any rational hope of futurity. Surely them; and with respect to the manner nothing could be more unphilosophiof our resurrection, we are described cal than such an inference. We well as the “workmanship of the Creator;" know the flattering prospect which and all Deists have conceded, that the the dying Christian sees, of an immeCreator who first made us could re- diate junction with those friends who make us after dissolution. The sculp- have gone before him to their long tor can mould his plaister into various home; but how vulgar is the prejushapes, can again confound it into a dice against the heterodox belief in general mass, and again fashion them the temporary suspension of existence from the same; shall we deny the between the days of death and judge same power to the Great Sculptor of ment, and an interregnum perhaps nature? Lord Herbert, in bis cele- ordained by the superior wisdom of brated Dialogues, p. 169, has the fol- the Deity! This is purely a speculalowing admission : "His restoring the tive subject, and we by no means dead to life seems miraculous, because assert a confident opinion against an it is rare and unusual; though yet, if intermediate state ; but from the conwe consider things aright, the birth of sideration we have hitherto given it, a child would be the greater wonder : we do conceive that the doctrine of it not being so strange, that any Materialism is here consistent with which once was, should be again, as reason and scripture, and would argue that which never was, should be at against it. We shall make use of all.” Mr. Paine, also, in the 2nd part some very remarkable arguments of of his Age of Reason, makes the same Alexander, selected from pp. 46, 47. confession, expressing his hope and “ The time which passes between death expectation of futurity. We, as Chris- and the resurrection may be very short. tians, are no more bound to explain And though it should be some ages longer how this hope will be realized than than we apprehend, yet to them that the sceptic is. If God raise the dead, sleep, and are unconscious of what passes, whether they have the same bodies it will appear less than a moment; and they had formerly, or whether some
the very same instant which separates other particles of matter be in the them from this mortal life, must, to their composition of them, or whether they unites them for ever to their Saviour and
thought and apprehension, be that which will not have something added to coun- their God. I do not mention it with any teract their former mortality, does he considerable stress, that there seems a not do what he promised? The ques. sort of equality, which is not unpleasing tion is certainly a very immaterial to the human mind, in such a constituone ; and Alexander, in his Paraphrasetion as we are speaking of, where no on Corinthians, very pertinently re- person is distinguished from another, marks, that it is not the most inter- either to his advantage or loss, on ac esting that can be imagined, since it count of a difference in the time of his may be reduced to this point-Whether birth, which is wholly arbitrary, and conour houses from heaven, as the apostle but each man appearing in his own order,
stitutes no part of his character or desert : calls them, will be entirely new, both and receiving at the hand of Providence for matter and forin, or fitted up in the materials of his future character and part out of the old materials. Nor hope, having filled up the station assigned do we consider that tbis physiological him either to his honour or disgrace, or metaphysical controversy at all in- retires at the appointed time, and waits volves the question of an intermediate till a general day of retribution ; to restate; and we were, some months ceive, in common with all who have since, greatly surprised to hear the borne any part in the concerns of human horror expressed by a venerable and life, that sentence which his conduct has learned ornament of the Dissenting
deserved, from the universal Judge and
Parent. And one person has no more Church, on the accidental introduction, by Mr. Belsham, of his (Mr. has not been inade into his character and
reason to complain, that an examination Belsham's) disbelief of an intermedi- couduct before this time, than another ate state preceding a day of general that he was not brought into the scene judgment. On the occasion alluded sooner.'
And to examine the justice of ano- subject : they will, however, shew, that ther imputed imperfection of revela- the Materialist may have a most contion, namely, the indefinite period of sistent belief in revelation, and that the day of judgment, we shall further “ Materialism and Atheism” do not quote the observations of the same 'go hand in hand.” We considered it ingenious commentator, from pp. 89, highly important to prove, that Chris90. Many “probable reasons” may tianity is not endangered in these disbe mentioned, why the precise time putes on the vital principle; and we of this event was left so undetermined, shall, afterwards, shew from the orthoor rather entirely unknown.”
dox wranglers themselves, how little “ For as the gospel has fised the time they are, in fact, interested in estaof judgment to the coming of Christ, and blishing the separate existence of the
soul. gives men no promise or expectation of a retribution before that period, to have
The really interesting question, determined this coming to any particular therefore, arises, How was this spuriæra, would have been attended with two
ous doctrine foisted into the fundamanifest inconveniences. First, the more mentals of the Christian faith, and at *remote any ages of men were from the what period was the simplicity of period foretold, they would consider them. Christianity destroyed by its introducselves as so much the less interested in tion? It was the gift of Paganism to its approach; and, therefore, the expec- Revelation in that early defection of tation of it would have a proportionably the Eastern and Western churches smaller iufluence upon their apprehen- from the simple tenets taught by our sions and practice. Secondly, the nearer Saviour and his primitive disciples ; the world drew to its conclusion, men
and the doctrine of Immateriality was would be more strongly affected, and at last thrown into the utmost confusion. the axis on which the doctrines of The springs of human action would by Purgatory, Transubstantiation and the degrecs lose their force, the business of " Hypostatic Union” revolved, and the world come to a stand, while all were without which these ecclesiastical intent upon the approaching revolution. mints could not have been worked These inconveniences are sufficiently pro- to any pecuniary advantage. On this vided against by the wisdom of heaven. was founded the institution of masses For as we are cautioned to beware of and saintly shrines ; and was, indeed, false prophets, who should pretend to tell the soul of that funding system of us that Christ is in this or that place, priestcraft, which ultimately saddled and immediately to appear; so we are warned against another abuse, proceeding tive labour on the industry of the
such a grinding weight of unproducfrom a contrary cause, namely, a presumption of its delay, by which too many
people. In this subtle fluid was the would be led to set at defiance an event credulity of the people steeped, and which they thought afar off, and long in their whole faith was pinned on that coming. Matt. xxiv. 48. And further, crafty motto of monastic art—"Piu the suddenness with which it will také ci metti, piu meriti”—the more you place is intended to prevent that disorder give, the more's the merit! Dr. Priestin human affairs which the apprehension ley's able pedigree of this natural child of its near but slow approach would at of Heathenism is well known, and any time occasion.—The uncertainty of here we shall leave it; for no one, tothis event bears a near resemblauce to the natural uncertainty of human life, how much more this doctrine owes its
tolerably read in history, is ignorant and seems calculated to produce the saine effect. He who tells me that I am mor
birth and existence to Plato and Eneas tal, tells me that death is near, that life than to Christ or his apostles. is short and the days few, that I may die
This controversy, both in its physoon or suddenly, that I should be con- siological and metaphysical relations, tinually expecting the end of life, and has been often agitated in Europe. not be surprised if it should take place Our limits will not, however, allow to-morrow. And he is equally a true us to sketch any particular outline of prophet, whether I die the next day or the systems which have successively live beyond fourscore. Is not this the supplanted each other. This will be language of Scripture, with respect to found to have been performed in a the coming of Christ ?”
very full and able manner by Dr. These remarks may, perhaps, be Barclay, in the 3rd and 4th chapters thought out of place, or foreign to the of his volume (the last article in our
notice). The third chapter details the objects, as they are called, are not ex. opinions of those who, since the revival ternal to the mind, but exist in it, and of learning in Europe, have treated of are nothing more than impressions or the causes of organization, and ascrib- shadows made upon it by the immeed the principal phenomena of life to diate act of the Deity.' To reason organic structure. These comprise with any of these visionists would be the distinguished names of Paracel- to fall to a level with them in absursus, Fray, Darwin, Leibnitz, Priest- dity. The pens and ink with which ley, Haller, Buffon, Needham, Mau- they wrote their paradoxes, were their pertuis, Robinet, Blumenbach, Gas- refutation ; as the works of those ultrasendi, Cuvier, Lawrence, Cabanis, Des orthodox which contend against the Cartes, &c. The 4th chapter parti- use of reason in matters of religion, cularizes the opinions of those who by their very arguing disprove the posuppose a living internal principle dis- sition. We shall confine ourselves, tinct from the body, and likewise the therefore, to the question at issue, as cause of organization; comprehend- relating to the principle of vitality in ing the celebrated names of Harvey, man considered as matter and a body. Willis, Hunter, Abernethy, Deleure And, to arrive at a simple definition, and Grew.
we shall borrow the definitions of an To enter into any separate examina. author whose work, though on a detion of these various theories is impos. partment of Natural History of consible: they compose a Babel of hypo- fined interest, we have lately read with theses; and, as Dr. Barclay remarks in great admiration of his power of abhis summary view, all physiological stract reasoning, and of the truly philo writers, both ancient and modern, sophical liberality with which, though seem to be agreed, that the causes of an Immaterialist, he states the argulife and organization are utterly invi- ments of Materialism. * sible, whether they pass under the
“ Particles of matter when collected name of animating principles, vital together in a mass of any degree of size principles, indivisible atoms, sperma- or compactness form a body. An organic tic powers, organic particles, organic body is a mass of matter of which the germs, formative appetencies, forma- component molecules are or have been tive propensities, formative forces, for- in motion on being collected together by mative minuses, pre-existing monads, intussusception. Such a body is said to semina rerum, plastic natures, occult live or to have lived. By the term life qualities, or certain unknown chemical we would express that faculty which ceraffinities!
tain combinations of material particles The theological part of this contro. under a determinate form, and of draw
possess, of existing for a certain time versy, as connected with our own ing while in this state into their compocountry, forms no part of the present sition, and assimilating to their own nareview; and, indeed, a most impartial ture, a part of the substances which may history of it has been compiled by surround them, and of restoring the same Archdeacon Blackburne, in his “His- again under various forms.” torical View of the Controversy con- Mr. Macleay goes on to observe: cerning an Intermediate State, and the Separate Existence of the Soul; 2nd its immediate cause, or, in other words,
“ How this faculty is acquired, what is ed., 1772.” We pass over altogether the many ate causes between it and the Primary
whether there may not be several mediabsurd theories which might annuse
Cause, are questions to the solution of our readers, though not instruct them; which we are totally incompetent. It is and which have abounded in the last
to the organic body what the expansion century, from the opinions of Bishop of steel is to a watch, or that of steam is Berkley to animal magnetism, inclu- to the engine ; but if we ask what is exsive, and not forgetting the hypothesis pansion ? what is life ? we can get no of the celebrated modern French che- answer but a recital of their effects." mist, Delametherie, who affirms that We have thus borrowed this clear the Deity is nothing more than a crys- description of man as the most contallization! Bishop B. pretended to disbelieve the evidence of his senses, • Horæ Entomologicæ: or, Essays on and to doubt the existence of matter : the Aunulose Animals; by W. S. Macleay, he contended, that sensible, material Esq., A. M, F. L. S.
cise in its language and idea we ever world exists will afford matter for dismet with. The distinctive character putation. Previous to the days of of man, and the superiority of his sen- Lord Bacon, the object of philosophitient principle to that of all organized cal inquiry was directed, not to the beings, is too evident to need any actual state of the creation as it apillustration: nor can it, we think, be pears to be formed, but to the means denied by any species of sceptic, that by which it has arrived at its present this world is particularly designed for state. The vast progress of science his developement. God made man since the inemorable introduction of after his own image, endowed him with Lord Bacon's principles of induction, reason, that distinctive prerogative of has occupied the pen of Mr. Dugald our nature, and delegated to him cer- Stewart in a dissertation which, for tain limited powers.
« Let then, have real knowledge and eloquent language, dominion over the fish of the sea, and eclipses the works of all modern his over the fowl of the air, and over the torians. cattle, and over the earth, and over We have thus distinguished the opinievery creeping thing that creepeth ons of metaphysicians into Materialism upon the earth.”
and Immaterialism. We have shewn “ Far as Creation's ample range extends, the unpopularity of the former theory The scale of sensual mental powers to arise very much from its contradic ascends :
tion of the popular religion of the Mark how it mounts to man's imperial world, both Pagan and Roman Cathorace,
lic, wherever they have been “ the law From the green myriads in the peopled of the land ;” and in later times, it grass."
owes much of its obnoxious character We might give endless quotations, were to being the basis of the celebrated it necessary, from sceptical writers system of Spinoza, and the doctrine of and comparative anatomists, in proof many of the sceptics of the last cenof the vast superiority of our nature, tury. A refutation of Spinonism and sentient and organic, over the whole Atheism cannot be needed in our pages. organized creation. Lord Monboddo Atheism, were it cultivated as a syshas, indeed, endeavoured to assimilate tem, might indeed merit the notice of us to baboons, with amputated tails ; a legislature, since every tie of society and Lord Kames has described the is destroyed and all the motives of Giages (an African nation) as a species virtue buried in “ annihilation, the totally distinct from mankind, because sanctuary of sin." But the works they killed their own children, and of Boyle, Bently, Cudworth, Clarke, robbed the nurseries of their enemies: Tucker and Paley, are barriers against two instances among many, that writers the inroad of this black infidelity, and against Revelation have nevertheless have demonstrated the material world, a credulity equal, if not superior, to
one stupendous whole, that of any Christian fanatic.
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul.” It is the study of our intellectual nature which we term metaphysical The advocates of Materialism may science; the study of our organic na- be subdivided into two parties; viz. ture, physiology. The great physiolo- those who believe in the authority of gical question at issue is, respecting revealed religion, and those who do the cause of the vital phenomena, not. The Christian Materialist usually whether the effect of a certain organ- believes in the immateriality of the ism of the materials which compose Deity, but contends that the sentient, the visible structure, or a principle cogitative principle in man is not distotally distinct: the metaphysical tinct from the body, but the result of question, whether the sentient princi- its organization. The Deistical Mateple, or faculty of thinking, can be rialists appear to verge closely on Spiproduced out of the powers and vari- nonism, and argue, that, as the powers ous modifications of matter, or is of perception and thought have never a something superadded to matter. been found but in conjunction with a Hence arose, among the ancients, those certain organized system of matter, subtle, scholastic questions relative to therefore those powers usually exist in final causes, which have continued to and depend on such a system. They the present times, and as long as this have been nearly all unbelievers in a