Gambar halaman

Christ, Son of God, the Saviour. The dolphin, which is noted for its velocity, and this world being often likened to a sea, was an early symbol of the intense desire and indefatigable advance of the Christian towards another and better world. It is often associated with the anchor of hope. The tree is constantly found as a symbol of Jesus Christ, the Tree of Life. It is also a symbol of man, because his works are either good or bad, as the tree bears either good or bad fruit. Trees decked in their foliage are a symbol of Paradise. Sometimes two trees are represented, one bare and the other covered with leaves. It has been interpreted to signify man's nakedness of good works-supernatural works--before baptism, and of his being clothed with righteousness after baptism. The palm was used even by the heathen as an emblem of victory, and was adopted in the same general sense into the body of Christian symbolism. It is also a general symbol of martyrdom. The vine with its tendrils and its fruit is represented in the mural paintings and on the bas-reliefs of the catacombs. It was the symbol of the Promised Land to the Jew; it is the symbol of Paradise to the Christian.

A curious thing is the sticking of shells on the outside of the mortar of early tombs while the mortar was soft. The species of shell almost always used by the Gauls was the Helix pomatia, which, when it retires within its cover at the approach of winter, has the faculty of closing the entrance by a peculiar kind of thin but impenetrable membrane called the epiphragm, which it bursts open to issue forth at the approach of spring. This hibernation was aptly chosen to symbolize the silence of the tomb, which will be broken when the dead shall rise again at the last day.

It need only be further mentioned that the sun and moon represented our Lord as the eternal Pastor. The star was a symbol of the divinity and dominion of Jesus Christ. In a few Christian monuments the Zodiac is represented as an emblem of Providence; and a hand issuing out of a cloud was always a symbol of the first Person of the blessed Trinity, God the Father, because the hand is naturally the emblem of work, and the making of all things from nothing is theologically ascribed to the Father.

MAN ABOVE NATURE. By Rev. LUCIUS CURTIS (The Andover Review).—By the term Nature we mean the established order of things instituted by the Creator, and carried forward by His immanent energy. This energy is revealed in different orders of phenomena that take the form of persistent and uniform laws. Doubtless, the domain of the natural may include many phenomena which we suppose to be supernatural, because they come under a law unknown to us. The “ Reign of Law" is doubtless universal ; but this may not be true of natural law, since there may be a kingdom in which neither the Divine energy nor impersonal forces are the sole factors. It is conceded not only that the lower kingdoms belong to the domain of nature, but that man, with his spiritual nature, is grounded in and conditioned by it. Many scientists, in seeking the broadest generalizations, have assumed the universality of nature, and excluded the supernatural not only from man but from the universe. It may, however, be shown that while the natural economy is repeated in man, a higher economy exalts him to the position of command over it, through higher functions that involve supernatural agency.

The world was not created at once, but through a long process of upbuilding or of evolutionary changes. According to Prof. Le Conte, there have been five grades of force at work. Gravitation lays the world's foundations. On this foundation as a platform chemical affinity builds the mineral kingdom. This prepares for and oonditions the kingdom of vegetable life, which again conditions and supports that of animal life. Last of all appears man, conditioned and supported by all the kingdoms below, and subordinating all to the ends of rational life under a higher law. There is not a mere succession of kingdoms in time, they rise in rank one above the other, so that, while the lower condition the higher, the higher subordinate and overrule the lower by their superior law. By the economy of nature the prerogative is passed over to man to rule the entire forces of his organism by the law of rational life, and for its superior ends. We have to inquire into the peculiar nature of this law, and the special functions required in its administration.

Man belongs to a distinct and superior kingdom. He has not merely attained a higher stage of development, but he possesses the principles of a higher nature qualifying him for a higher destiny. Dr. Mark Hopkins has formulated a law which clearly determines the succession and rank of the several kingdoms. He terms it the “ law of the conditioning and the conditioned.” The writer thus interprets it: “Where one form of energy conditioned by others is seen to subordinate and overrule them in instituting a new order of phenomena under a higher law, it proves itself to be the superior energy and the originator of a new kingdom.” “Man appropriates and subordinates both vegetable and animal life, for the end and under the law of rational life, and thereby originates whole classes of phenomena of a higher order which come under the law of a spiritual kingdom.” Some of these classes of phenomena may be given. (1) Those revealed in the functions of reason, not merely in finding the unity of general law in manifold phenomena, but in conceiving the methods and apprehending the rational value of the vast system of interacting forces. (2) The recognition of the spiritual in nature through the rational interpretation of its intellectual and asthetic order. (3) The consciousness of an internal law of duty, with the accompanying recognition of a supreme and righteous moral governor. (4) Conscious affinity for the Divine life revealed in Nature, in Providence, and in the Bible, involving moral relationship to God as made in His image. (5) The creation of ideals, intellectual, æsthetic, and moral, and the striving to realize them in a course of unlimited progress. Such phenomena reveal the capacities and functions for science, art, philosophy, and religion. They are phenomena of rational life that are strictly spiritual in their character, not merely as dealing with invisible realities, but as coming under spiritual laws.

The supreme law of human life is that which is regulative and sovereign over all the principles of human action. As conscience is the regulative principle, the law of conscience is this supreme law. It is the law prescribing right action in conditions where wrong action is at the same time possible. Hence it carries with it the principle of duty. It is ethical. The principle of subordination is the same in all kingdoms, but the energy and the functions for its administration as law are very different. In Nature the energy is Divine, and the effective functions are those of the natural forces. In man's rational life the energy is human, and the functions are those of rational judgment and choice. This brings to view the distinction between natural and ethical law, between Nature and man. “ Natural law represents the methods and functions of impersonal forces which are uniform and sure in their operation. Ethical law is addressed only to intelligent, rational beings, and it is operative in them not of necessity, but only as it is accepted and voluntarily enforced.” For reasons not explainable altogether by hereditary depravity, the principles of action in man are not balanced and set in an established order of movement, as in the animal, so as to be naturally in harmony with the great principle that rules the regime of nature. Indeed, if his two natures were so balanced that his activities conformed to this principle by natural law, there would be no scope for ethical law. His individuality would be wholly swallowed up by nature. Man is called a microcosm because the forces of nature are so represented and organized in him that he seems to be a miniature representation of the great nature-world. But he is so only up to the plane where his lower nature is taken up into union with his rational manhood. The cosmic order breaks just where nature culminates in man. The break consists in the violation by man of the principle of order that rules in nature; and the break gives a shock especially to the moral nature of man. In such conditions man is inevitably brought face to face with himself as a responsible agent, a personal power, who cannot charge the violation of duty upon his nature, but upon himself, as bound to control it under ethical law.

To the rational and ethical nature there belong certain functions whose definite work should be the enforcement of ethical law, and in putting forth these functions man exerts a supernatural agency. (1) Every man should accept the principle of duty as sovereign over all other principles of action. (2) He should apply this principle by moral judgments to the claims of all conflicting principles, giving verdict for the higher as representing the righteous claim. (3) He should choose his ultimate ends in accordance with such judgments. (4) He should carry such choice into effect, when possible, by volitional execution. The determining act is his choice of ultimate ends. This is essentially free, because the law of truth and right according to which he judges and chooses is committed to his keeping, and if applied at all is self-applied under no compulsory power. There are, however, limitations of freedom on every side.

It is plain, therefore, that rational life differs from all lower life in respect to its characteristic energy, its law of action, and its functions of administration.

6. The law is spiritual, carrying authority from above, but not a compelling force. The energy is that of the rational person as a unitary power. The functions are selfdirected, according to the person's own standard." The conclusion of the article briefly summarizes the points which have been argued. “We have now seen that the economy of nature, which gives to the highest order of force on a given plane the prerogative to rule all the forces of that plane by its own law, assigns to man, as having rational energy, the prerogative to rule all the forces of his organism by the law of rational life. We have seen also that this is not the law of any natural force, but a spiritual law for the direction of natural forces, and that it has sway only as it is freely accepted and administered by a personal power through functions that transcend those of nature and are spiritual in their character. And the same endow. ments that qualify man to rule his organism by spiritual law qualify him also to recognize the spiritual source and authority of that law, and the presence and dominion of God in His own world."

THE SUPPOSED OBSCURITY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT TREATMENT OF DEATH AND RESURRECTION. By L. W. HAYHURST (The Baptist Quarterly Review). — The doctrine of the Intermediate State is generally assumed to be but hinted at in the Old Testament, and the resurrection of the dead is by some declared to be unknown in the ancient books of the Bible. These ideas will seriously affect a student until he honestly presses the inquiry, "What can be found in the Word of God ?” rather than the unscientific and irreligious one,“ What may be expected to be discovered there?"

Sheol stands at the head of the list of synonyms upon this theme occurrent in the Old Testament, and it includes in some sense all the rest. But in the German Bible of Luther, and of our Bible Societies, that word is rendered Hölle in sixty two out of the sixty-five cases of its occurrence. Luther sends saint and sinner and




Saviour to hell. The Authorized Version creates great confusion by putting hell in the text and grave in the margin, or vice versa. The revisers have not felt able to remove the confusion by any consistent rule of translation. The word Shakabh

" to lie down," never in itself" to sleep"; for this another word, Yashen, is used. The Hebrew text does not make it necessary to explain how complete dissolu. tion can be identical with mere slumber, or how the intense activity of the soul, emancipated from the flesh, can be the same with dreamy or dreamless sleep. Nor is the Old Testament obscure on the question of society in the under-world. It has no confounding of “gathered to one's fathers," "gathered to one's people," "dying,” “burial.” The earliest books of Revelation, like the latest, gather to their fathers in Sheol the dying without discrimination ; but to their own people with discrimination, in Paradise or Tartarus, in Dumah or Bor, as the case may be.

The most striking thing in this article is its treatment of the story of Jonah. “What is possible in Sheol in the way of repentance and reform for the servant of God is vividly portrayed in Jonah's account of himself alive and dead, and brought up again out of Sheol. In life he disobeyed, not realizing the eternal results of Ninevitish sin. In death (in Sheol) he was brought face to face with the awful fact that idolaters, 'observing lying vanities, forsake their own mercy,' and the disclosures of the pit (Shachath), ‘from whence he was brought up,' made him glad to preach even in Nineveh. Brought up out of Sheol and resuming the body of the flesh,' he with Pentecostal power proclaimed to those idolaters' repentance toward God and faith in His mercy.”

The idea that Jonah really died, and was actually raised to life again, is so novel that it is necessary to examine carefully the grounds on which this writer bases his views. He says that between the evasion of duty and the fulfilment of it Jonah “miserably died.” So he himself tells us, He was cast out of the ship into the storming sea, and afterwards “within the bowels of the fish,” “prayed unto Jehovah.” In that prayer he recites to Jehovah the experiences through which he had been passing, not those through which he was then going. The past tenses assert experience and actions prior to this recital. Sheol was not the grave, nor the bowels of the fish, in which the recital of the past was made. For Sheol is the place of spirits who have passed through death-never that of even dead bodies, much less, if possible, of living ones. The cry, moreover, was out of the pit (Shachath) of Sheol, from which he says, using again a past tense, “Thou hast brought up my life"-an expression impossible if Sheol and Shachath were synonyms of the “bowels of the fish.” Out of the “womb of Sheol” he had already come (as if newly born) to resume his dead body in the bowels of the fish and to thus quicken it into life. To go to the pit, and to have “his life brought up out of it," Jonah must have died. According to his own testimony (as this writer understands it), Jonah was a drowned man when the fish picked him up, and he was persuaded that he had reached the experiences of eternity. “Unquestionably, in the case of Jonah, there was a real death—a real burial, in the bowels of the fish for three entire days; a real residence of his spirit in Sheol; a real resurrection therefrom; a real preservation of his flesh from corruption ; a real reanimation of his dead body by his spirit which came into it again ; a real resumption of his prophetical work in the flesh.”

From this writer's point of view, the appearance of Samuel to Saul, at Endor, is regarded as a veritable resurrection. In Samuel's death Saul's conscious communications with Jehovah ceased. In order to make good this loss in some measure, he desired to summon back Samuel from the realm of the dead. He sought the



intervention of a necromancer, and said to her “Bring me up Samuel." The Hebrew word involves the bringing up out of Sheol of no mere shadow, no counterfeit presentment, but an actual personality answering to the desire and expectation of Saul. The alarm of the woman clearly proves that the appearance was not the usual result of her incantations; and it is significantly said that “Saul perceived that it was Samuel himself.The Hebrew terms carefully guard against the error of supposing that an appearance and counterfeit was presented to Saul, instead of the actual personality asked for and expected with confidence. “ Thus in two august and notorious instances does the Old Testament illustrate its doctrine of resurrection from the dead so unequivocally announced by Hannah in 1 Sam. ii. 6, .Jehovah bringeth down into Sheol, and bringeth up.'”

In conclusion the writer says, “It needs only that one should give their real and acknowledged meaning to Old Testament words and phrases and propositions on these matters to find its statements clear and unambiguous. It needs only to accept the historic statement of facts which it narrates, without refinement of philosophic speculation, and without reducing to metaphor and imaginative poetry the grand simplicity and directness of the record, whose minuteness of detail leaves nothing to be asked, to enable the reader to stand before the resurrection of the Old Testament in the attitude which that of the New demands."

It may be questioned whether this author takes into due account the figurative, poetical, and often extravagant way in which Easterns, both of old and now, speak and write.

THE OBJECT AND SCOPE OF WRITTEN REVELATION. By J. B. SHEARER, D.D., LL.D. (The Presbyterian Quarterly).—The writer assumes that the Bible is as distinctly Divine as if it all were actually revealed, while it is distinctly human as if it all were of human origin. It is the analogue of the Incarnate Word, in whom perfect Divinity and inerrant humanity meet in one person—the God-Man. It is now popular to say that the Scriptures are a growth, a development from a few germinal truths into a complete system of doctrine and morals, keeping pace with the exigencies of the race in passing from infancy, so-called, to full maturity. Another theory finds blemishes and incongruities, and misapprehensions of truth, and barbaric and semi-barbaric codes, the crude products of a still crude humanity, to be superseded, as the race advances and light increases, by sounder doctrines and purer morals, down to the close of the canon. Both these theories assumes a continuity of doctrinal development. But the former is far more coherent with our notions of the Divine Teacher and Revealer; while the latter, if true, might be cited to prove the same stages in the development of Divinity as are argued for humanity.

Is there any such doctrinal development in the Scriptures as would justify either theory? No one will deny the historic development of the race into families, peoples, and nations, for the Scriptures exhibit this fully. Nor will any one dispute the growth of the volume of the Scriptures from century to century. It remains, however, to discover the law of that growth by a careful reference to the facts they furnish, before we can set up the “historic continuity of doctrinal development” as the law of that growth. Another hypothesis may be stated in the following propositions, and this the facts may be found most fully to support. (1) The whole body of truth was known to the ancients as a concrete unity prior to our present written revelation. (2) Apparent modifications and additions are but the practical adaptation and application of old truth to new and varying conditions. (3) In the earlier Scriptures those things were written and emphasized which were

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »