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24 Reciprocal Obligations of the Church and the Civil Power.
taken from the human body, showing that each member is unlike every other member, because each has an office which no other member can fulfil; and that this diversity is the strongest bond of unity, because it renders co-operation mutual, and reciprocal help from each other indispensable. “And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you” (1 Cor. xii. 21). And, in like manner, diversities of mental character, by which the many-sided forms of truth may be brought out more strikingly, impress the truth upon minds of all the various classes of which society consists—some forms of the truth taking hold of one class of men-other forms on a different constitution of mind; and, where these differences are maintained in charity, truth is advanced thereby.
Our Church has recently passed through a very severe ordeal, which at one time gave reason to apprehend the most disastrous schisms. By the secession, however, of some of the farthest gone in error, and by the awakening of others to the natural
consequences of these errors, and the wholesome reaction in the rest, we may now regard the danger as subsiding, and may hope that its permanent effects will be rousing some to increased earnestness and diligence, and producing greater circumspection and vigilance in all. We reckon it as not the least omen for good that the Bishop of Chester should have been raised to the metropolitan dignity; who, in the diligent discharge of the duties of the episcopate, had won the admiration of all in the diocese; and, by the uniform kindness and urbanity of his deportment, gained the affections of all who had the privilege of approach either as clergy or laity. The elevation of such a man to the archiepiscopate has given universal satisfaction; and the few incidents which have since occurred tend to encourage the hope that it is a circumstance which will operate in no small degree to allay and calm down the remaining acerbity, and pour oil into the wounds which the recent controversies have occasioned. We quote with satisfaction that portion of the address to her Majesty recently presented by the convocation which makes reference to this subject :-“ If on any occasion it should be your Majesty's pleasure, as we earnestly pray it may be, to require the advice of this synod, in devising means for increasing the efficiency of its Church, it will be our humble endeavour to conduct our deliberations with moderation and prudence, with a becoming zeal for the truth of our holy religion, tempered by a constant regard for peace and charity.” These words indicate a just apprehension of the dangers to which we are adverting, at the same time that they afford evidence that they are continually lessening in the wider diffusion of the healing principles of Christian meekness and charity. If it can ever become safe to allow the Church of England to meet in convocation for the dispatch of business, we think that it will be so under our present metropolitan; but it is a step which cannot be hastily resolved upon, nor without the fullest consideration of the range of subjects which may legitimately be brought under deliberation, and what steps are to follow in any possible contingency; and the longer it is delayed, to allow full time for examining the question in all its bearings, the more hope will there be of men becoming fully prepared, both in spirit and understanding, for fulfilling the expectations, held out in the address, of moderation and prudence; and of tempering, by a constant regard for peace and charity, that real which is becoming every Christian for the truth of our holy religion.
ART. II.-The Ministry of the Body. By the Rev. ROBERT
Wilson Evans, B.D., Vicar of Heversham, Westmoreland, and late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Author of “ The Rectory of Valehead,” &c. London : 1847.
THE only credible account of the origin and formation of man is to be found in one of the earliest extant literary records :“ The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Genesis ii. 7). The prima facie evidence that this descriptive account is authoritative seems to us to be irresistible, as no competent reader of the Mosaic records will believe that they were composed under the lights of human science. Indeed, the attacks made upon their author by infidels, on the ground of his ignorance of physical science, saves us the trouble of endeavouring to establish this point: and yet we offer the alternative that this account of the origin of man must have been discovered either by a divine revelation or by scientific investigations; for we cannot persuade ourselves to regard it as possible that any superficial examination of the human body, before the dawn of formal science, could have suggested the fact that all its parts were composed of the same materials as the surrounding earthly objects. The discovery that the body is a part of the great system of external nature
the same mechanically and chemically, living and decaying like all other living things—must surely be assigned to revelation or higher science. The mere observation of a dead body, which had been left to the action of the elements, would conduct to the discovery that its bones would ere long moulder away, and become hardly distinguishable from the surrounding portions of earth. But that all the component parts of a huinan body -flesh, nerves, bones, blood, &c. --should, according to proved natural laws, become decomposed into terrestrial elements, could not, it seems self-evident, be so determined by an unscientific observer in the primitive ages of the world as to lead to such a confident affirmation of its elementary composition as that formally put forth by Moses. Chemical analysis could alone prove that the human body in all its parts is made up of the materials of which our globe is constituted. Unless, therefore, the writer of the book of Genesis can be supposed to have been master of such a chemical analysis as has enabled subsequent physiologists to prove that this is the actual constitution of the human body, it must be granted that he was taught it in some other way: and, as we deem it quite incredible that there was any depositary of higher earthly knowledge of his times than the writer of this book, we conclude confidently that the authority which made the discovery and emboldened him to put it forth--not as an hypothesis, but as a certain truth-that man's body is made of the “dust of the ground," was God.
Hence, then, as scientific investigations have proved that the first part—the only one within the limits of science of this description of humanity-viz., that man's entire body is substantially made of the dust of the ground” is true, and could not," in those early times, have been a scientific discovery; therefore, we conclude that the latter part of this descriptionwhich, being beyond the limits of science, must have been revealed-is also true—namely, that the invisible ens which vitalizes this compound of earthly materials is what is called the soul, or spirit: so that the highest generalization of man is still that put forth by Moses, and has not been advanced by any subsequent investigations. The achievements of science have proved that these words of an unscientific writer concerning the human body express a perfect truth; and the most careful experiences of all subsequent generations—the only mode of testing its truth-confirm the latter. This simple division of man into body and soul seems in the best manner to serve all those practical views which regard the past, present, and future of individual history. It regards him as consisting of the
perishable (popularly speaking) substance, body, and of the imperishable ens, soul; each being considered as a whole, divisible into its elementary functions, and to be dealt with, in the contemplation of certain revealed final issues, as separate wholes. The deductions from these facts supply the only reasonable solution of some of the most interesting problems of human life.
For our own immediate purpose, we think this simple division less encumbered with difficulties than the one adopted by Mr. Evans and others, as if St. Paul intended to give a perfect definition of man in the terms “spirit, soul, and body" (1 Thess. v. 2, 3.) This, as is well known, was the doctrine of the Pythagoreans, Platonists, and Stoics, and may find respectable support from metaphysics and word-criticism. Macknight's solution, however, of this kind of phraseology is so frequently used in defence of similar modes of speaking in the sacred writers that it may be quoted in defence of the popular view:-" The apostle's design was to teach mankind religion and not philosophy: he might use the popular language to which the Thessalonians were accustomed, without adopting the philosophy on which that language was founded ; consequently, that his prayer means no more but that they might be thoroughly sanctified, of how many coustituent parts howsoever their nature consisted.” It is no part, however, of our purpose to discuss the question whether men and animals alike consist of body and soul, the highest difference being constituted by the addition to the former of spirit. We remark only, that we do not lay much stress upon
the criticism which extracts definitions from Gen. i. 26, and ii. 7, as it might tend to the conclusion that, for however brief a period, man was created without spirit—that is, he was merely an animal. We fear, moreover, that it would require much profitless trouble to attempt to make clear to our people this elementary piece of metaphysics as explained by Mr. Evans, and still more to purge our best theology of the old nomenclature. For our own practical purposes, of putting forth some remarks upon the relative importance of the component parts of man, the old division, therefore, seems sufficient. Moreover, we shall thus escape the inconvenient enquiry as to whether the soul and spirit are of the same nature or not.
When looking upon a human skeleton, we see the fate of one of these three component parts--the body. Of another, we only know by revelation that the spirit is gone to God that gave it. But what has become to the mit was, the yuxn, the soul ? How shall we explain the doctrine of this verse: “Who knoweth the spirit (717) of a man that goeth upward, and the spirit (???) of the : beast that goeth downward to the earth ?" (Eccles. iii. 21.) This 797 must be of the nature either of the body or the spirit. If it belongs to the former, it must perish with it; and if it belongs to the latter, it still survives; and then does not that of animalculæ, &c., also ? We would, therefore, still retain the old division, in endeavouring to assign the relative positions of the bodily and the spiritual during their earthly probation, though we are very far from regarding the question as unimportant, or from insinuating that Mr. Evans has not written ably upon it.
In examining the ulterior grounds of the necessity for the sanctification of the body, it seems requisite, in limine, to allude to the popular difficulties presented by the doctrine of its future resurrection. It must be acknowledged that there seems to be a degree of impertinence, so to speak, in demanding the literalities of this doctrine, which conscious ignorance usually foregoes in speaking of the future destinies of the soul. Fools, to be sure, rush in where angels fear to tread; but whilst it is useless to notice their exceptions, the rule is to believe that after death the soul exists somewhere separately from the body, waiting the arrival of the period appointed for their re-union, by what is called the resurrection of the latter. But the impertinent enquiry now, as of old, is," How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come ?” It is not long since a difficulty was suggested to us, from no unfriendly quarter, as to the impossibility of any popular or reasonable interpretation of the term resurrection, by pointing out the fact that human bodies are imported from foreign graveyards into England to be ground into bone-dust for agricultural purposes. We were told that this difficulty presses heavily upon the minds of some thinking serious persons who have observed this fact, and drawn their own conclusions from it. For how, it is asked, can any distinction be made under such circumstances? Indeed, our churchyards and cemeteries seem not unnaturally to suggest the idea of ownership; and we ourselves knew a pious lady, of family rank, who expressed a desire that her coffin might be deposited in the grave with its lid unscrewed, that no impediment might exist in the way of her instant obedience to the summons of the archangel's trump! If this marks a state of ignorance not unmixed with irreverence, yet does it also exhibit that popular notion of ownership at the resurrection, which, we fear, makes many secret doubters or unbelievers. To the friend who suggested to us the above popular difficulty, we replied at the time by pointing out the gross absurdity of predicating the limits of time and space of Him who fabricated those rolling orbs over