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enable the will to have dominion over the passions; and this is regeneration. When experience shows the difficulty with which this dominion is maintained, and realizes that a more perfect adjustment is desirable, then, in answer to prayer, an increase of the power of love and of the conscience may be granted, so as to give them easy and peaceful ascendency over the adverse passions; and this is entire sanctification. This being wrought in the heart, there only remains to be accomplished a maturity of all the sentiments favorable to virtue, and an enlargement of the understanding to apprehend all the relations and obligations belonging to our sphere, to render the soul angelic in moral excellence, and to entitle it to the removal of every test of obedience; which being done, the soul is secured in eternal holiness and happiness. If to any one this looks like salvation by works, let him remember, that it is by grace that man has this new probation, together with all the moral power to meet its conditions, and therefore, if we attain to any merit, that merit is itself the fruitage and glory of grace.
Taking this view, we see that the evangelical system is the same in principle with that which reason deduces from the facts and phenomena of our moral nature; and that salvation, so far as our agency under Christ is concerned, though it is not by the works of the law, which would be impossible after a single transgression, is nevertheless on the principle of the law, inasınuch as it requires that every one should do right as far as he has capacity; and the law was in the beginning founded on no other principle. “In every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted of him."
How much better is this interpretation of revelation than those unevangelical, rationalistic theories, which have sprung from the reaction of Augustinianism, rejecting the distinctions and phraseology of St. Paul as if they were not inspired, and substituting philosophy for the deeper revelations of Scripture. Such theorists can never attain to a profound experience of holiness, because they are unconscious of the degeneracy of their nature, and know not how to repair it. On the other hand, how unspeakably better is this view of man's moral condition, than that old divinity which makes out of the legal construction of it a frightful predicament of total depravity, subject to unlimited responsibility, and dooms the soul to perdition, as a just punishment for being related to a guilty progenitor; or, what is worse, as a display of Divine sovereignty, decreeing and making a depraved nature, capable of no virtuous action, and fit only for destruction; or that paradoxical modification of it, which allows to man natural ability to obey the law, but denies him moral ability; or, in other words, allows man a free will, but not of sufficient energy to resist the perpetual violence of passion at war with conscience. Or that recent modification of it, called new divinity, which, without making any different adjustment of passion in relation to conscience, decides that this disorder in the sensibilities is not depravity, and therefore, though the result is, that all men do choose wrong and “ sin in all the appropriate circumstances of their being," it is no reflection on the justice of the Creator for having given them such a moral constitution and placed them in a state of probation; a doctrine which, while it is right in supposing that blame can only be attached to voluntary action, and has had a happy influence on the popular mind, and saved it from a radical reaction from evangelical religion, has, nevertheless, in its main positions, neither Scripture nor philosophy to support it; for the Scriptures do say that man is inherently depraved, and has no natural ability to keep the law; and philosophy declares that a will invariably governed by evil motives is proved, a posteriori, to be either without liberty, or subjected to such impulses as to unfit it for a state of probation; and, furthermore, that such a moral malformation is depravity.
The doctrine of general redemption relieves every difficulty, and the conflict of ages ceases. Instead of shuddering at the moral order of our world as instituted by God since the fall, we admire it. It is just such a world as God could wisely and justly create by an act of power, without the intervention of a fallen progenitor, and without the necessity of a divine Mediator; albeit, in such a case, the law given for its government would not be a law of absolute perfection, but adapted to the capacity of its subject. The presence of the perfect Adamic law in our fallen state is all that creates our moral difficulty. Why it was not set aside as a standard of duty when man was preserved in a deteriorated nature to pass through a new probation, we may not be able to say. Some great and good men take this view, and consider the Gospel as a law of liberty substituted in its place. But this is not Scriptural. Christ declares: “I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill.” Standing no longer as a condition of life and salvation, but as a rule of life, it answers as a perfect ideal of moral excellence, and presents at once a monument of the original greatness of our nature and an index of its future glory; it reveals the evil of sin in its nature and consequences ; makes a grand lever of reform in the individual and in society; shows the glory of Christ as a Mediator, whose cross is seen in bold and brilliant relief upon its dark and lurid background, and impels us to him by all the power of an awakened conscience and of adoring gratitude.
ART. IV.-RELIGIOUS CATALEPSY.
CERTAIN mysterious phenomena have been occasionally witnessed in connection with religious emotions and exercises, consisting in suspended motion and consciousness. These phenomena have either been held as completely inscrutable, or accounted for as differently as were the mental culture and moral character of those who have passed judgment upon their nature and cause. If the person witnessing such examples, and who attempts to solve the difficult problem, is himself truly pious, embracing in his own mental constitution a strong element of the mystical and the superstitious, he will probably resolve the whole matter into the immediate power of God. This to him is an ultimate truth, admitting of no explanation. He will therefore neither seek nor desire any thing further.
But should he be of an incredulous temper, one whose views of experimental religion have been hastily and crudely formed, and which are consequently without much scope or analysis, he will resolve the whole thing into blank delusion, feigned impositions, or mere excitement growing out of surrounding circumstances. Or, from a mingled feeling of prejudice and repugnance, persons of this stamp may be ready to construe this mere accompaniment of religious exercise, but constituting no part of its essential character, into a formidable objection to all experimental religion, as if glad to meet with such examples of total or partial paralysis, and make them the occasion of downright mockery and scorn of Christianity itself; thus bringing the whole system into contempt and ridicule.
Others may feel as if the key to those undeniable facts which they have frequently witnessed, could it only be obtained, is a most important desideratum. Distinguished more perhaps for sincerity than deep and earnest reflection, being better Christians than philosophers, they ardently desire to experience “the power,” as it is often termed, simply to satisfy their own curiosity as to its mysterious nature. These constitute, probably, the leading views which have currency in the community on this subject, and on which, as such, very little within our knowledge has ever been written. Hence, unless we misjudge, it is a subject worthy of more consideration than it has hitherto received.
But that any attempt which may be made at a philosophical analysis of those peculiar affections, will not be open to objection to some minds, is perhaps more than there is reason to expect. Cherishing the tenderest and most sacred regard for the cause, some will be ready to look upon any such attempt as a sort of profane intrusion into the “holy of holies,” fearing it will be construed to the prejudice of existing confidence in the presence of that Divine influence in the Church on which they justly regard its vitality and success to depend. All such fears are wholly groundless. True philosophy and true divinity cannot be antagonisms. They are so regarded only by those who mistake the true character of one or the other, or of both. All truth flows from the same eternal source; it must, therefore, be in harmony with itself. To all enlightened Protestant minds a greater heresy cannot be promulgated or cherished, than that "ignorance is the mother of devotion.” Hence, to an intelligent, 80ber, inquiring mind, the grand question on this subject is, “What is truth?" On what hypothesis should those cases of suspended consciousness and motion occasionally witnessed under religious emotions and exercises be resolved? To this question any intelligent solution, which shall be candidly proposed, should be heard and weighed with at least equal candor, whether it prove satisfactory or otherwise. This is all we ask for the views which follow.
We have entitled the marvelous phenomena, into whose nature we propose to inquire, religious catalepsy. The term catalepsy is used by medical writers to express a peculiar form of disease, consisting in a suppression of sensation, motion, and consciousness, when the subject is senseless, speechless, and remains fixed in the position in which he was when the affection seized him. The ety. mology of the term sheds some light upon its radical import, whether applied to a form of disease, or, with the prefix religious, to designate the peculiar affection under consideration, when it is assumed nothing morbid is involved. It is derived from kata intensive, and haubarvo, to seize, grasp, lay hold of. This is strictly true of the subjects of religious catalepsy, who in ordinary are suddenly seized with a partial or total suppression of consciousness and motion, which state continues with little or no variation while they are under what in common parlance is termed “the power. But we repeat the remark that nothing morbid or in the slightest degree prejudicial to physical health is assumed to attend or result from this sort of paralysis.
By way of anticipation we might here observe that we assume the cause to be, not simple, but mixed, consisting remotely, and perhaps in the largest degree, in the peculiar physical temperament of the subject. Its immediate cause in most cases, not in all, doubtless is the agency of the Holy Spirit producing the given result through the peculiar physical temperament just named, in connection with sympathy and strong mental impressions; so that the cause may be summed up thus: remotely the physical temperament, together with the moral, intellectual, and sympathetic elements combined. In most cases, where the work of grace is deep and genuine, the moral element is doubtless immediate and paramount, touching all the responsive and yielding, though latent, susceptibilities in the mental and physical constitution of the subject, which, as so many constituent elements in the cause, combine to produce the result witnessed.
As the cause is of a mixed character, the result, partaking of the nature of the cause, is also mixed, though doubtless, in some cases, the physical and the sympathetic greatly predominate over the intellectual and the moral. For who can doubt that the physical effect of the Holy Spirit upon a congregation is contagious through mere sympathy, while conscience remains but slightly awakened ? This is said discarding all design to disparage the gracious and powerful influence of the Spirit, which, like " the wind, bloweth where it listeth.” It is said in allusion to the philosophy of the phenomenon in question, as we may judge from results which follow, especially upon the unconverted; of which more hereafter. So much as to the general character of the hypothesis on which we suppose the phenomena under consideration to be resolvable. Let us next inquire into its basis, together with some of the facts and circumstances which usually concur in actual examples of religious catalepsy.
That man is not only a compound, but a complex being, is a mero truism to every one who has duly reflected upon his own mental and physical constitution. The recondite link which connects the immaterial actuating spirit with the material organism, is too subtile to be a matter of intelligent speculation to the profoundest metaphysician or physiologist. Those who have penetrated the farthest into the secrets of nature are and should be content with a recognition of this inscrutable fact, without attempting an exposé of its nature. Nor is it strange if, based upon this vital union of the material and immaterial constituents in man's compound nature, we should meet with vast complexity in the action of mind upon body, and vice versa. So much at least as will tend to foil our most earnest attempts at strict analysis, and our greatest efforts to distinguish between the mental and physical in the phenomena witnessed in the affection under consideration ; enough, indeed, to exclude from any hypothesis which may be chosen as furnishing a solution of the mystery involved, everything which savors in the slightest degree of dogmatism.
From the conceded fact no longer called in question that the brain is the organ of mind, as a firm stand-point, or perhaps it were