Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Now, then, have we, indeed, the distinct territories well marked out, for the display of motives and actions. That motives, however, should be evident to Sense, and exhibited in the blue field of our Diagram, is quite impossible, for then they would be of a material nature, which they are not. There is, ther, no alternative but that they must be of a spiritual nature, and at the present instant inmates of the celestial kingdom of divine light. How, then, can man take cognizance of these ethereal scintillations ? He certainly cannot; the utmost stretch of his limited wisdom is to observe the action of matter upon matter, and to communicate and record the result - which constitutes the proper “ HISTORY” of mundane affairs, while the ministering angel, ever-vigilant, and watching the purity of the motives, from those that raise and depress empires in our material world, down to the most unobserved and unobtrusive motives in the inmost recesses of the heart, such as those which prompt the cherishing assistance secretly afforded to the necessitous, and the dire vengeance levelled against an offending foe— faithfully records these motives, as the earthly historian records the action, and sometimes ventures, with his contracted insight, to guess the motive.

It is evident, therefore, that motives can only occur in our yellow sphere, and never be inhabitants of the denser blue. So, then, is man for ever shut out from deciding on the motives of his fellow-creatures, and left only with the distinguishing privilege of noting, and, according to mundane wisdom, deciding on, the utility of the action. Man, with his double nature, is a member of both hemispheres, and, while his body is subject to human legislation, which decides merely according to the utility of the action, as far as regards his earthly welfare, his soul is subject to the purity of Divine legislation. In the former case, man rewards or punishes man according to the WORD OF MAN, always in reference to the utility or injury of the action with relation to mundane affairs. In the latter, where the soul communes with its Maker, which is wholly beyond the ken of humanity, it is judged only in relation to the purity of the motive, which alone entitles it to its station among the blessed, and can only be ascertained by the WORD OF God! The silent converse that man holds with his Maker is well expressed by the term sentiment, and may be called a moral discourse. But, when the action of matter upon matter, which produces sensation in man — such as being forcibly struck with a sledge-hammer-is related by him to his fellow-man, this is surely a physical dis

[blocks in formation]

Reason is the faculty of the soul, which separates man from all the other beings of nature; nay, it actually carries us into the regions of ETERNITY, thus lifting us out of nature. It acts quite independently of the laws of matter, and by this freedom it originates the MORAL LAW, and shows man what he ought to do, to make himself acceptable in the sight of the Lord. Accordingly, it is the only power that shows the distinction between good and evil; and, by its invisible string of syllogisms, is the only criterion by which we can decide between truth and falsehood, and thus ultimately arrive at the most complete of all certainty, Conviction, which St.Paul calls faith, or the “evidence of things not seen.” Since the Moral Law is generated by PRACTICAL REASON, and is wholly distinct from all the operations of mutter, by what means can we show our obedience to its commandments ? Certainly not by any operation of matter on matter. It must, then, of necessity be by the influence of spirit upon spirit. This cannot take place in the blue field of our Diagram, which is appropriated exclusively to matter ; but can only occur in the endless yellow sphere of ETERNITY. Obedience to the Moral Law, therefore, can only be evinced mentally, and is always an affair of man with himself, in reference to his Maker. This is usually expressed by the word motive. Whatever is implied, in the physical world, by the term action, is indicated, in the Moral World, by the word motive. These spiritual essences influence our reason, and prove the value of the Rational being. Moral beings are, therefore, amenable to the Moral Law, with regard to the purity of their motives, as physical beings are accountable to the Judicial Law for the quality of their actions. Christ expounds this chief moral law, by saying :-Do unto others as you would they should do unto you ;and every rational creature is bound to obey this commandment, or forfeit his claim to Rationality. CONSCIENCE determines at once where we may venture to place ourselves on the scale of moral worthiness. This is the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, which, Christ says, “I have

left with you ;” this is the comforter, for, when a man has satisfied his conscience, that law of God revealed to us by Jesus Christ, he may well be comforted. For there is nothing more to be done, in order to be acceptable in the sight of the Lord. Can this discourse, which Reason holds with itself and with its Maker, be any thing but moral, that is, spiritual — and all its essence, being wholly invisible, must be mere matter of faith and reliance on the goodness and mercy of that perfect and Eternal Spirit who first gave us birth. Is not this, then, the Word of God ?

SENSE is a passive faculty, which receives impressions through the hand, the eye, the ear, and so on, which raise sensations in the individual, that are either extended or successive, and are the true generators of the facts that occur on earth, and which can only be known because they address the SENSES. These palpable and substantial things, which constitute physical nature, and on which common sense places so much reliance, as if they alone contained the ground of all certainty, merely because they are sensible, can in no way pretend to furnish evidence that can vie with the result of syllogism. No approximation even to the certainty obtained by SENSE can in any way compare with that

« ElőzőTovább »