must be shed, their souls under the altar must cry, “How long! O Lord, how long !” The Lord has his reasons. It is not to be expected we should he able to comprehend them all. Perhaps it was fit, since men have transgressed, that sin should be allowed to show somewhat of its fruits. Perhaps it was best that men should behold not only the goodness but the severity of the Lord. Perhaps it was well to let the world see what meaning there is in the curse pronounced in consequence of transgression. There may be other, wiser, and deeper reasons, which we are not yet able to fathom, or even to conceive. But of these we may be sure, that the Lord is not slack as men count slackness, but that in his vast and perfect purposes one day is with him as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

To us the Gospel seems to have made slow progress since the Saviour left the earth. But few of the nations are as yet even nominally Christian. Of these, a large part is under the power of a corrupt Christianity, which seems as serious an obstacle to the kingdom of Christ as paganism itself. Many people in lands called Christian, are utterly disobedient to the truth; or they give heed to schemes of faith which are any thing rather than the gospel of Christ. Of the remainder, who hold fast the form of sound words, and profession of godliness, how few are in all respects worthy examples of a pure and living Christianity ? Need we therefore be discouraged? We may indeed find arguments enough in these to evince the exceeding sinfulness of man. The unfaithfulness and wickedness of Christ's people may be sufficient to account for this slow progress of the cause of salvation. It may not appear best to the Lord to work the mightiest triumphs of his cause by people whose hands are so unholy, and whose faith and zeal are so low. It may be better to suffer grievous errors to prevail, and fierce conflicts and terrible disasters or persecutions to take place, such as are to be precursors of the battle of the last day. Perhaps God's people must be so sifted, chastened, and purified. Then, at last, Zion may arise and shine, her light being come, and the glory of the Lord being risen upon her. Therefore, will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. It may be best that these corruptions and conflicts should be suffered for a time among God's people, that they, and all men, may understand by these the desperate wickedness of the human heart; the exceeding sinfulness of sin ; and the just necessity for its severe condemnation on the part of a righteous and holy God. Certainly it will at length be gathered from these, that the reformation of a lost world is to be not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord. In some manner there will be made to appear the best reasons for this seeming delay. We have seen the slow preparation, when what we would have had done at once required a thousand years. Perhaps, when all things are ready, and the people of God duly prepared, the Lord will amaze us still more by the counterpart; and one day shall accomplish the work of a thousand years. Observe the Lord's husbandry : “ There shall be a handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon.” Nor is there any reason to suppose that the Lord's sovereignty is so dissevered from the responsibility of his people, that their unfaithfulness is no hinderance, or that their zeal and labor have not the most assured encouragement. We are not called to pray without faith, nor to labor without hope. There is no need of being disheartened by seeming adverse occurrences, or by seeming delays. Christ's kingdom is sure to prevail. The decree is declared. It is established by covenant, and by oath. Only let us be careful that none of the hinderances be found in us, and that our love and zeal may be approved ; and then we may “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” Amid the darkness that veils his designs, we shall ever find enough to try our faith ; so amid the brightest glories of his redemption we shall find mysteries still. But they are mysteries which, to the true child of God, need cause neither perplexity nor fear; but as his spiritual perception is enlarged, and new glories burst forth from these clouds of mystery, he may cry out with Paul: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord ? Or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall

be recompensed to him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen."

Art. II.--Pantheism as a Phase in Philosophy and Theory

of History


As Providence maintains a positive theism in history, and a course of orderly events against all atheistic and naturalistic speculations, so against Pantheism and Polytheism it asserts with equal distinctness the infinite personality of the one true God. As a philosophy, Pantheism is more life-like and attractive to the cultivated, and has always been far more prevalent than Atheism.

The one finds no proof in nature or history of a Creator and Ruler of the universe. This blindness is so repugnant to the common sense of men, that few, even in speculation, venture upon it. The other, finding the evidence so abundant, wildly rushes into an extravagance of theism, and infers that every thing is God.

Pantheism is thus a profound theism against atheism; a broad positive against a narrow negative. It is, also, monotheistic against all the forms of polytheisın. It includes, in a sense, those other doctrines of a natural theology --omnipotence, omnipresence, and a will-less divine sovereignty. The atheist is often a mocker and a blasphemer. The pantheist is neither ; but meditative and reverent. The

; former is generally gross and sacrilegious; the latter, in these days of intelligence, is refined and philosophic. He lives in a state of dreamy, blissful nebulosity; of imperturbable placidity and contentment; in a gratulatory admiration of himself and of every thing else as divine. “Whosoever sees me," he says, “sees the divine, and whatever I see is divine.”

The idea of all as God sprang originally from the notion of many gods. Multiplicity of divine beings in nature, by a natural transition, ran into the all-comprehending unity as the sole and the all of nature. But, in this passage from the concrete to the abstract, the cardinal idea of personality was lost on the way; so that while polytheism stands with monotheism on the question of personality, pantheism, in its denial of a personal infinite being, goes over from both these to atheism.

The four fundamental principles of pantheism, as a phase in philosophy and theory of history, are the following:

1st. God is an infinite and impersonal substance.

2d. God and the universe are one and the only substance, essence, or being.

3d. The universe, material and intellectual, is an expansion, emanation, or series of individuations of the one Infinite into the many finites.

4th. The tendency of all individuations of the primal unity is first, to consciousness and freedom in man, and then back to absorption in the impersonal One and All. The character. istic averment of the pantheistic scheme is, and has been in all ages, what is called the one-substance doctrine. This is its ,

. key-note, its corner-stone.

Here are the rudiments of a philosophy of the universe, physical, psychological, and ethical, which it is claimed solves all the problems of the finite and the infinite. It contains the seeds of a comprehensive realism, or of a fascinating idealism; of an absolute mathematical unity, or a mere metaphysical identity; according as its advocate is materialistic or spiritualistic. On the idealistic side, history is only a series of everadvancing and receding shadows. On the realistic, it is an endless process of expansion and contraction—the individuation and reintegration of the One and All.

Since Providence, in its claim to a satisfactory rendering of the course of the world has this phase of philosophy to meet and dispose of, and as no system has had expended upon it more constructive skill, or contains such a combination of attractive and obstructive elements, a glance at its history is indispensable to a clear view of its true place and uses in the providential plan.

It first appeared as Brahminism-a philosophic system which has held in its strong grasp, for three thousand years, the teeming millions of India. Brahm is the central, imper



sonal, unconscious snbstance and unity. According to the Vedas, Brahm is God, and God is one. “His oneness is so absolute, that it not only excludes the possibility of any other God, but likewise the possibility of aught else, either human or angelic, naterial or immaterial.” It is not an object of worship or scarcely of thought-a something which makes the nearest possible approach to nothing, so near that modern refinements hold them as identical. Yet all things, sun, stars, earths, animals, and the souls of men, are individuated parts of this one, and alike infinite and eternal. The chief emanations into personal consciousness are Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Siva the Destroyer. These are the main forces of history.

The soul, in its circumlocution from the emanating point, passes down into the forın of beasts, birds, and sometimes eren vegetables and minerals, and back again after almost interminable transmigrations, to be merged and lost in the infinite abstraction. This return process is a kind of regeneration, or a second birth, of which the emanation was the first,—the whole cycle constituting the soul's history.

“ The Indian view of things,” says Hegel," is a universal pantheism—a pantheism, however, of the imagination and not of thought.” The central and all-comprehending abstraction he defines as, "the nothingness of being.” From this nothingness every thing goes out blindly, and blindly returns. This process is universal history,-nothing at the beginning, nothing at the end, and, by a logical necessity nothing in the middle. This central infinite passivity or abstraction is the acme of blessedness; and to obtain it by stagnating thought, the repression of every thing human was the ruling idea with that tropical lethargic mass.

Among the Greeks, this pantheistic philosophy hardly existed as a self-consistent form of thought. The Eleatics pitted some phases of it against the prevalent polytheism. Zenophanes affirmed God to be one, and that one the round world. Hence his dogma, “God is a sphere.” It is ever unmoved and immovable, for there is nothing to move it; and never self-moved, for that would require it to become external to itself. It is not infinite, since that only is infinite which has

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