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STATE OF THE DEPARTED BETWEEN DEATH AND THE
By Dr. Payne.
The great body of evangelical Chris-, rassed by certain philosophical difficultiang -- with scarcely any exceptions ties, but the testimony of Scripture aphave maintained the doctrine of the con- peared to them so explicit that they were scious and happy existence of the soul, constrained to give it their confidence, during the period which is to elapse be- though their philosophy might have contween death and the resurrection. Some, ducted them to a different decision. In indeed, have conceived it to be embar- | doing this they have, it appears to me, acled wisely and rightly, “Thus saith, struck me, that some of the generallythe Scripture,” is the proper basis for accepted doctrines of mental science may faith. What God testifies should be re- be advantageously employed for this purceived, because he testifies it. Philosophy pose. Against the theological doctrine may, in certain cases, step forward and of the conscious and happy existence of explain how a revealed declaration may the soul, during the interval between be true; but it is the Divine testimony death and the resurrection, the conceived that challenges our th in it. On the dependence of the mind or soul upon the other hand, apparent philosophical ob- body has been supposed to present a jections against what is affirmed to be a difficulty. How can the soul think, or fact by the Bible, can, at most, only feel, without the body? Although the affect the quo modo of the fact. They dissolution of the material frame should merely leave us in the dark as to its not, say the objectors, involve the deexplanation; but they ought not to be struction of the soul, must it not, of suffered to overthrow-having no proper necessity, put an end to all its actings force to overthrow-the fact itself. The and operations? so that, what has been philosophy is, in this case, to be sus- called the sleep of the soul between pected; for the Bible is true philosophy. death and the resurrection would seem That which contradicts the unequivocal to be the necessary doctrine of philotestimony of the Bible is false philosophy. sophy. It is wrong in its principles, or wrong in Now, in the case of those who hold its deductions; and, though we may not certain views of the nature and operabe able to detect the error, we should tions of the mind, this doctrine of the confidently expect the arrival of the time sleep of the soul—though its continued when the error will be detected, and existence may be admitted—seems to be when the doctrines of philosophy will be the nearest approach which their philobrought into entire harmony with in- sophy will enable them to make to the spired testimony-the infallible standard scriptural doctrine upon the subject. A of truth.
very few remarks will show this very It is, however, to be regretted, when distinctly. what appear to be correct philosophical There is, then-as all writers on mental principles are seemingly at variance with science allow-a large class of feelings the explicit testimony of the Bible; for, of which the mind becomes subject by though an occurrence of this kind ought virtue of the action of something external only to shake our confidence in the con- upon the organs of sense,—as of the flicting philosophical principle, it is in action of light upon the eye, and of that danger of disturbing our faith in the of air upon the ear. They constitute our Divine testimony, even when there can sensations—as we call them—of vision, be no doubt about the meaning of the hearing, smell, &c. None of these can testimony.
exist without the peculiar action referred To attempt, then, to show, in any case, to upon the organ. We cannot experience the harmony between philosophy and a smell, or a taste, unless the air come the Bible, must be considered a work of into contact with the nerves of hearing, considerable importance, inasmuch as, if and the sapid body with those of tasting. we succeed,—though we cannot add any- We may recollect a sensation; we may thing to the claims of Divine testimony form a lively conception of a sensation : upon our faith, (the simple reason for but we cannot have one, nothing can give believing anything that God testifies, us one, without the requisite action upon being that “He testifies it,"')—yet we the bodily organ. When the hand is may remove stumbling-blocks out of the cold we cannot make it warm by thinking way of faith.
of the sensation we had when we last It has, of late, somewhat powerfully held it to the fire. We must actually hold it to the fire, and then we renew the of the resurrection; the reply is obvious, sensation.
that this is a mere hypothesis, unsupThis class of affections has been called ported either by science or revelation; by the late Dr. Brown, "external affec- and further, that, as this temporary tions,"—the phraseology being, of course, clothing cannot be the proper body of intended to intimate, not that the affec- | the individual who is invested with it, tions have not their proper seat in the for that lies sleeping in the grave,—it is mind, but that their proximate cause is hard to see how, in connection with this external to the mind, - that it is an opinion, we can maintain the personal affection of an organ of sense. It would identity of the individual. seem, then, to be a necessary consequence From this phrenological difficulty, and, of these statements, that no feelings of indeed, from all perplexity upon the this class can exist without a body, and subject, the distinction brought into withont the body, because the proximate prominent view by Dr. Brown, between cause—the affection of the organ--cannot, the external and the internal affections, of course, exist when the body is no more. is adapted to relieve us. Many, it is Without eyes, and ears, and noses, &c., quite possible, may disapprove of the how can we have sights, and sounds, and nomenclature of this writer, against smells, &c.? Their existence would seem which, it must be confessed, there exist to be impossible.
very obvious, if not insuperable, objecNow, if all the thoughts and feelings tions. I do not think it worth while, at of which the mind is susceptible, were as present at least, to seek to defend it; necessarily dependent upon the body for but, even those who may disapprove the their existence as those of the class of nomenclature must admit that the diswhich we have just spoken, it would | tinction it seeks to embody in words is a seem to follow, that we must relinquish correct one. To illustrate this, it may the hope of the conscious existence of the be observed, that the appetite of hunger soul between death and the resurrection; presents, after our mental analysis, two or that, if we hold fast the theological elements a painful feeling, and a dedoctrine, we must do it with the con- sire of relief from that feeling. Both the viction, that it is in painful and puzzling pain and the desire are mental states; opposition to the doctrine of philosophy. they are in the mind; they can have I have always felt that this single cir- their domicile nowhere else. But the cumstance should cause the earnest be- proximate cause of the former feelingliever in Divine revelation to stand in the pain, is out of the mind; the proxidoubt of phrenology. That doctrine-mate cause of the latter feeling—the descience I will not call it-virtually re- sire of relief, is in the mind. In the presents all our affections as external first case, it is, probably, the action of affections—as depending upon a certain the gastric juice upon the coats of the state of the body. The mind, indeed, stomach; that is, an action of matter might, in harmony with this system, upon matter. In the second case-the continue to exist, and all its capacities case of the desire—it is the pain of might remain unimpaired, but any de- hunger produced in the mind by the velopment of them would be impossible. action of the gastric juice upon the Though capable of thought and feeling, stomach. Thus, the second element of the mind could have no actual thought hunger has for its immediate cause the and feeling without the body.
first element, or the pain—that is a state Should it be said, that, after death, the of mind; and this first element has for soul may not remain altogether destitute its immediate cause the action upon the of a material habitation,--that it may be stomach—that is a state of the body. invested with a temporary body, destined I have referred to this case as constituting to give place to the more spiritual body one example among many of the difference
which exists between our external and purpose. I am neither obliged, nor disinternal affections; or, if any dislike that posed, now at least, to show that philophraseology, between our sensations and sophy can furnish positive proof of the Pour other affections. I am not sure that immortality of the soul, and that it will I have selected the most fortunate illus- be uninjured by death. Let the burden tration. The reader may take the fol of doing this be thrown upon Divine lowing as an additional one. A concep- revelation. I am not even obliged to tion, or an act of memory, may awaken prove that philosophy can show the proan emotion. The thought of guilt may | bability that the soul will not be injured kindle remorse. It is an internal affec- | by death. This has, indeed, been done, tion, and requires to have nothing out of ex concessut, to the infidel and the doubtthe mind as its proximate cause; the fal Christian. All I have to do, is to thought will originate it. But no act of prove, not the certainty, not the proba. memory or conception can give us a bility, but the possibility that the soul taste, or a smell, or a sound. They are will be uninjured by death. The proof external affections. The body, and the of this is sufficient for the point I now bodily organs-and, I may add, such wish tờ establish, viz., that mental science organs as we have at present, are ne- does not, indeed, prove the theological cessary to the existence of the latter class doctrine of the conscious and happy of feelings. On the contrary, no organ, existence of the soul during the interval and, indeed, no body, is essential to the between death and the resurrection, but existence of the former. On the one shows us how that doctrine may be true hand, we cannot even conceive of seeing the full amount of assistance that philowithout eyes, or of hearing without ears, sophy cán render to the support of any or of tasting without a palate; so, on the doctrine that is supposed to rest on direct other, we can as little conceive of remorse Divine testimony. or self-approbation being by means of The mind is always found in some these organs, or, indeed, by means of any state of thought or feeling, it is never other.
entirely quiescent. And, as every one When death takes place there is no knows, there is a constant trait of reason to supposé-as Butler has proved | thought going on in the mind, one beyond all doubt that it affects anything thought originating another thought, and but the body. It breaks up, indeed, as that, again, a third; so that, if the entire we well know, the matchless organization multitude of thoughts which pass through of the material frame, and even destroys any mind in the course of a day were in the organs, but in doing this it exhausts distinct view before us, there would be its powers. To affirm that it touches the found a link of connection binding each immaterial part, is to affirm what is not separate thought to the one before and merely unsustained by the evidence, but the one after it. How the train may be directly contradicted by it. Up to the varied, and whether the mind, by a kind very moment of death, the mind, in of creative power, can throw in others many cases, obviously retains all its ac- which the laws of suggestion would not tive powers. We should have a right, have originated, it is not necessary for me then, to assume that it retains them to say. An that is incumbent upon me through đeath, and after death. I am to prove and which has been already content, for the present, to say, that, for proved — is this, that one thought or aught we know to the contrary, it may state of mind can originate another retain them. I admit, indeed, that phi- thought or state of mind, without the losophy cannot absolutely assure us that aid of any other cause whatever, as the it will not lose them in the moment of action of anything external upon the body. death, but neither can it assure us that ! Now, as the mind or soul is always in it will, and that is enough for my present some state of thought or feeling, and as
we have no proof whaterer-but pre- the organs must prove to sensations in sumption of the contrary — that death general. The memory of sensations may touches the immaterial part, it follows live in the separate state-though the that the state of thought in which the sensations themselves cannot existmas mind exists when death assails the body | the memory of all that he has seen may will continue to exist - modified, of live in the mind of the man whose eyes course, by the altered circumstances in have been extirpated ; though, vision which the mind is placed-when death being for ever lost to him, he is forced to has done its work upon the body. There exclaim with Samson, “Total eclipse; will be no stoppage of the machinery no sun, no moon; all dark amidst the of the mind, no closing of its act- / blaze of noon." And, since the memory ings, no break in the chain of asso of sensations may exist, all that endless ciation. The thought which the mind train of thoughts and feelings, which by carries into the separate state may, in | the very constitution of the mind that accordance with what takes place in this memory is fitted to originate, may pass world, originate other thoughts. It will through the mind in its incorporeal state, form the link which binds the mind to and perhaps with incomparably greater time and connects it with eternity ease and rapidity than when encumbered the first in an endless train of thoughts with this body of flesh and blood. and feelings, related to one another as i have said nothing of the creative antecedents and consequents, and re power of the mind. The object I have quiring nothing whatever extraneous to had in view in this paper has led me to the mind for their existence.
a different course of inquiry and remark; The whole of the preceding statements yet it would be wrong to abstain altoassumë, that, of all that class of feelings gether from observing, that, though the which we term external affections, or | mind in its present position acquires sensations, the loss of the body will de- | ideas by observations directed to itself, prive us. This is my settled opinion. and to the world without, it has the power It is equally in harmony with mental of fortning new ideas. The operations of science and with Divine revelation. The this power seem to depend upon the cirdissolution of the body is never repre- cumstances in which the mind is placed. sented as a gain to the Christian, but as What are the extent and actings of this a loss, a great and severe loss. No one power, and what the new ideas which who understands anything at all about are the result of its operation, can be the matter, desires to be simply unclothed, ascertained — let the transcendentalists but clothed upon. The resurrection of say what they will to the contrary-by the body is uniformly represented by the induction alone. In other and untried writers of the New Testainent as con- circumstances, the powers of the mind stituting one of the most fondly-cherished with which we are but partially achopes of the people of God. It must, quainted-may be developed in a new, indeed, be šo; for it will leave them and to us, now, inconceivable manner. nothing to desire-nothing to enjoy. This The mind, in its changed condition, accords well with the supposition that in the separate state, may, for aught we sensations cannot exist after the body know to the contrary, develop altogether crumbles into the dust. Yet why should new powers and new operations of old it be thought that the memory of them powers. All conjecture must be at fault perishes? This is not the case in this here. We must wait for the teaching of world when an organ of sense is entirely experience. Induction, in the incorporeal fost, when the ears are closed, and the state of the mind, will be as necessary to eyes sealed up. Yet the loss of these the full knowledge of its powers and two organs must be to the sensations of operations, as induction is absolutely sight and of hearing, what the loss of all essential now.