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Spirit. The religious sentiment being innate and universal, immediately puts men upon “adoration;" and as the true God is at first unknown, it worships such stuff as it can find,-crickets, snakes, thunder, the sun, and all the tribe of manufactured idols ; (p. 14.) which, however, was very well, we are told, because they could be “benefited only by gross forms of religion, and such as powerfully strike the senses”! (p. 16.) Ignorant of forms and ceremonies also, they took to cutting up one another and their children, and mutilating their own bodies, which our author thinks must have been very salutary, (p.35.) and wbich too, they doubtless did in the way of “sentiment,” as violations of obligation are out of the case. Whether this sort of worship, which we understand him to regard as virtuous, is paid as to a “malevolent being delighted with the misery of his creatures,” he is uncertain; (p. 77.) but it is all the same. When the brain is more cultivated, better things may be expected, but not till then. (p. 301.) In process of time arose the Jewish system, which he seems to think more creditable as a “wise medical police" established by Dr. Moses, (p. 315.) than as a revelation of God; for the God of the new testament is entirely a different being. (p. 17, 18.) The religion of Christ is entirely without form or ceremony; the Lord's supper and baptism being founded only on mistaken commentary ; it is therefore purely a spiritual religion. (p. 18, and cap. 4.) And now what is included in this spiritual religion?-what is the “ sentiment" to do? It is to exercise no particular “ feelings or emotions.” (p. 320.) It is not obliged to the “hearing of sermons.” (p. 316.) It is not to sing, for the “psalm-singer” is a word of contempt. (p. 328.) It is not 10 pray, and especially not to adore, for “fatteries and compliments, despised even by wise men, are much less capable of pleasing the Deity.” (p. 321.) In fact it comes to this: there is no worship of God, inward or outward, which is obligatory ; but “men (we give his own words) should be taught to venerate the virtues inculcated by our Savior, to worship, if I may so express myself, truth, love, charity, selfdenial, etc., virtues of which he was the living personification”! (p. 321.) Shall we carry out the doctrine to a result wbich, though legitimate, he omitted to state? According to his own doctrine and even bis words, (p. 13.) truth, love, charity, self-denial, etc., are all innate in the bumps ; let then every man worship his own brains! That this sort of worship might in some cases be carried to an “unreasonable extent," (p. 331.) we most certainly agree.
This, our readers will understand, is the highest development of the "sentiment;" this is cbristianity in its complete spiritual form! Of course the calabash philosophy was necessary to ripen it to this perfection; it has “ yielded now to the spirit of the age and become philosophical ;" it has met the “increased intelligence of the times”! (p. 325.) If the reader will try, whether this be caricature or sober exposition, let him refer to the pages which we have carefully cited. Farther we have nothing to say, except that is this be an astonishing example of shallow and conceited infidelity, it is precisely what a phrenologized religion should be.
We come to a point more serious. Great allowance should evidently be made for fault of understanding; but there are still too many things in the book, which can be accounted for only on the ground of great obliquity. Why is it, ibat in writing such a book, nothing favorable to religion is noticed? Are not the medical books known to be full on the subject ? Do not the physicians of lunatic hospitals affirm, that patients religiously affected are more likely to get well than others ?* How often is the physician told by his suffering patient, that he could not live bui for the ministrations of heavenly support? And when the physician bas done his utmost, and finding all his skill baffled, despairs, how often does be see a spirit of supernatural health and vigor rejoicing still in the poor, rent tenement, and if not absolutely restoring it to soundness, yet holding it together long after his art has become useless? Why is there vio allusion to such facts, but only a catalogue given of extravagances and insanities; and since these were not enough, a manifest effort to associate religion with human sacrifices and all the beastly excesses of idolatry? Even the Lord's supper and the baptism of infants, as practiced among us, are injurious to liealth! an opinion, the folly of which a moral infatuation only could have prompted one to express. The sabbath, it is agreed, is salutary as a day of rest to man, though no longer of obligation since the days of Christ. Having expressed this opinion, and thus dispatched the day, he no sooner remembers that some go to church on that day, in which case it is convenient to use their horses, than he discovers that there is an “express command to let the caule rest ;" and then again, when he remembers, that so many keep the day closely, as a day of rest, he vents bis impatience, that men little the subject" so far as to think it an offense against God, to ride or visit friends on that day”! Now these are indiscretions wbich no man, however simple, falls into, except by instigation of moral obliquity. Must we go further? Had the author of this book never heard, that the true philosopher is of a pure mind? Had he never heard that his favorite doctrine is suspected to be of a gross and sensual tendency? By what fatality then is it,---unless that truth will verify her promises, that he has condescended to be himself an example so unhappily distinguished ? The note wbich he has seen fit to add, on the 63d paye, as it bad nothing to do with the subject, must be taken for gratuitous obscenity. On the 276th page, be quotes with approbation the words of a French writer, who says in the true spirit of phrenology, that “the singular union of religion with the amorous passions excites ecstatic love of God, the virgin, or some saint”! What a stye this !
* The late Dr. Todd of Hartford used to say, that there seemed to be some ground-work left in such patients,-something to which sober thoughts would fasten as they came.
We begin to feel, that we compromit our dignity by prosecuting this development longer. The main labor of this book, we have already binied, is to discredit the doctrine of the special influences of the Holy Spirit. "This subject," as he tells us in a tone of high promise, “is eminently philosophical ;" if so, it needs to be much more philosophically discussed. We cannot follow him ; his list of extravagances has been discussed a thousand times,they are familiar to every intelligent christian. It would be a complete and irrefutable answer to all he has advanced on this subject, to say, that if the extravagances in question do not come supernaturally, they come naturally,—if not of the Holy Spirit, then of the brain itself, in which case they have nothing to do in any way with the doctrine of the Spirit. But it is not our business to refute, and we wish it to be distinctly noted, that we do not descend to reason with this author. We use him rather,--we hold him up as a symbol of what the popular mind might not so easily see without an example. This we say is the crudity, the conceit, the infidelity, the sensuality of the phrenologic doctrine, when it finds a mind and heart which it can fully subject or mold to itsell,which it can fill, and leave no room unoccupied. The moment it becomes the real philosophy of religion, it becomes just what we have seen. Without great and radical modifications, without introducing at least the element of moral liberty, it can be nothing else; and what the doctrine is, the spirit must be.
We know not whether any thing we may say can be of any benefit to the author ; but we assure bim, and if we know our own hearts, with great sincerity, that his talents have not much to hope for in the way of philosophy, or his heart in the way of religion. But if be cannot abstain, and if his doctrine of man absolutely forbids any better ceremony of faith or way of moral purification, we advise, that in some way he beyin ablution of his thirty-five, that he open and air their chainber, and wait, though it be, a Roman Justrum for pure thoughts. And yet we show him a more excellent way. Let him learn to moderate his conceit ; let him retire within the limits of his noble profession, and there as a humble and penitent disciple, let him copy the celestial spirit of the great Physician and follow his benignant example, ministering of his art to the bodies, and of love to the souls of men. He will
then have a better sort of self-approving than he now understands ; be will be a happier, and, by all whose opinions are of any value, will be deemed a wiser man.
Are we wrong in suspecting the rise of a general boldness among the enemies of Christ at this tine, against the doctrine of the special agency of the Holy Spirit and revivals of religion ? The unhappy extravagances which have been acted in some parts, and especially the present state of religious declension, hardly allow it to be otherwise. Indeed we fear that evil thoughts may bave contaminated, to some extent, the body of orthodoxy itselr. And it is in this view, that we now propose to take up, at some length, the vindication of spiritual agency as a doctrine, and as seen in revivals of religion. We do it in this connection, that we may not seem to shun examination and discussion of the subject, in wbich the author we have in hand evidently expects to make bis chief impression ; but as he has scarcely touched the merits of the subject, we prefer to have no particular reference to what he has said in our discussion.
It is much to be regretted, both as unjust to the law of the Spirit, and as breeding confusion in this whole subject, that sonje who seem to be pillars, bare so lastily conceded, that modern revivals are fundamentally distinguished from the pentecostal work, and others which followed in the apostolic age. It operates so obviously to discredit revivals and einbolilen all that numerous class who are ready to reject every form of spiritual agency, that they could not, we are persuaded, give up ground so important, unless constrained by something like a misconception of the history of spiritual agency in the apostolic age.
İn all the spiritual operations and effects of that age, there are two classes of incidents, to wit: the inward, moral, and invisible; and again, the outward and sensible. The former class embraces conviction of sin, repentance, joy in God, and a joyful fellowship with his people, as on the day of Pentecost. The latter class embraces the sound as of a rushing wind, flames of fire fitting round the assembly, speaking of tongues, the power of miracles, and the diversified incidents called “gists of the Spirit,” in the noted chapter of Paul on this subject. The former class is seen at the present day, just as it was seen in the apostolic age; the latter we see no more. Now what is the explanation of this? It is, that the latter, which many so unthinkingly stare at and call miraculous, by way of eminence, were, after all, no substantive part of the spiritual work, but only certain outward accidents or signs superadded, in order to bring out and substantiate the idea of a supernatural agency concerned in the moral renovation of men. The miraculous gifts were doubtless of use, in spreading and verifying And now,
the gospel ; but principally as external indications of the indvelling power of God. If, for example, the gift of tongues was imparted to aid the disciples in teaching other nations, as is often insisted, why did Paul declare, that he had rather speak five words with the understanding, that he might teach others, ihan ten thousand words in an unknown tongue? and why, that be who speaketh with an uoknown tongue, speaketh not unto men; but unto God?
Let us refer to the scene of the Pentecost. Christ had promised the Comforter ; not to impart wonderful gifts, but to convince of sin, of righteousness, and of a judgment to come. as the disciples were praying together, - probably for the Spirit,though they did not yet well understand what was meant by the gift, there came a sound, as of a rushing mighty wind. Why this wind-like sound? To indicate the Spirit, that is, the wind, the breath, or invisible power, which was to convince of sin, etc. Had no such outward sign been given, to indicate the presence of a supernatural power, the three thousand might bave been converted, and without so much as knowing whether there be any Holy Ghost ; as were the disciples at Ephesus, until the gift of tongues made them conversant with such an agent. It was a like necessity which led the Savior to breathe on the disciples, when be said, receive ye the Holy Ghost; it was an act explanatory of what they were too little qualified, as yet, to apprehend. But flames of fire also appeared Hitting over the assembly. This may have been to excite a fuller conviction of supernatural agency, and prevent the suspicion that the sound they heard was only the sound of a real wind. It had been prophesied, that Christ would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire ; either to aid the development of spiritual agency simply, in the manner suggested, or perhaps in allusion to bis retributions as Judge of the world. The disciples too, began to speak with tongues ; probably to indicate that the Spirit was not come to work outward signs, but to seize upon the mind itself; which certainly could not be shown more beautifully or aptly than by calling out a mental product from their lips,-language, living and intelligent, though but a moment before, as much above their command as the language of heaven.
These sounds, sights, and wonderful gists, then, we regard only as exponents of the great inoral work, wbich were necessary in that age, as every one must see, to bring out into history, 10 identify and realize ihe unseen agency of the Spirit. They were, if we may so speak, the smoke only, and not the substance of his work. What followed was precisely of a character with modern revivals in every particular,-an unseen power agitating a vast assembly with awful convictions of sin, leading them to repentance and joyful hope and fellowship. Here is the great work, the mystery, the grand miracle of all,- a work which is unique and identical in