« السابقةمتابعة »
losophy by miracles. Revelation therefore being in a great measure merely the confirmation of uncertain philosophy or dubious truth by miracles, and much of the former, which does not come within the latter's reach, being yet confirmed by it, it will be readily seen of what use the one must be in the illustration of the other. As reason is a gift of God, the refusal of which brought upon the Jews the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, so Revelation can never contradict philosophy; and what philosophy has determined, that must necessarily be found in Revelation. The creation is so closely connected with the Author of it, that in shewing the meaning of the Apocalytic symbols of the universe, as well as for the manifestation of other truths of revealed philosophy, we are obligated to lay down our conceptions of what God is, so as to reconcile the general sentiments of real philosophers, ancient and modern, and the present state of science, with revealed truth.
1. Two substances cannot occupy the same space.
2. Space is not a substance, because it is not removed by substance.
3. Space is therefore a quality, and being infinite, proves the existence of an infinite substance. This infinite substance excludes the existence of a nonentity.
4. Since two substances, however rare the one, and however porous the other, cannot occupy the same space, to affirm that there is an infinite substance, and matter is not a part of that substance, is to affirm that the infinite substance is infinite, and yet not infinite at the same time. All forms of matter therefore are parts of the infinite substance.
5. Whatever is infinite cannot admit of increase, or diminution. Therefore something cannot come out of nothing. Ex nihilo nihil fit. Whatsoever is, has ever
been in some form or other; and whatever is, is indestructible : this ancient philosophy has affirmed, and the modern science of Chemistry has proved—this Scripture does not contradict. It no where declares the world was created out of nothing. The word which we translate create, at Gen. i. 1. means no more than to hew out, as though, of pre-existing substance; and the assertion of St. Paul, who says, that things visible were made out of things invisible, besides being but a mere quotation of the Septuagint version, does not imply that the worlds were created out of nothing.
6. Whatever is infinite and passive, must, if there be no Prime Mover, be every where the same : the different forms of the infinite substance therefore prove the existence of a Prime Mover ; aud this Prime Mover, since what is passive cannot cause Him, must necessarily exist, and necessarily existing, must be infinite, and eternal.
7. There is therefore one infinite mind and one infinite substance, both necessarily eternal; out of the former of which, all minds, and out of the latter of which, all substances are formed. For out of him, and through him, and into him, are all things. Rom. xi. 36; 1 Cor. viii. 6. For we are also his offspring. Acts, xvii. 28.
8. The eterual Mind is the First Cause, called in Scripture, the WORD, or JAHOH (1977.) é, e. the IT-SHALL-BE, or LET-IT-BE, the old 3d pers. sing. fut. of the Hebrew verb To Be, being probably disused after its appropriation to God.
9. The eternal Mind or Word in the infinite substance is the Father. For to us there is one God, the Father, out of whom are all things, and we into him. 1 Cor. viii. 6. The eternal Mind or Word in flesh is the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by
him. The eternal Mind or Word in the church is the Holy Ghost, the fulness of him that filleth all in all,, Eph. i. 23; iii. 19; iv. 13. The Infinite Mind dwells in three Pleromas of himself at once. See Word.
10. All the forms of the infinite substance may be derived from the law of subtraction and compensation, the condensation or rarefaction of the infinite substance : and as substance may be infinitely dense or infinitely rare, the infinite substance may undergo, by the agency of Jahon, an infinite variety of changes.
11. The highest condensation of the infinite substance may be earth ; water and air the medium ; and light the highest rarefaction. Newton puts a query, Whether light and common matter are not convertible into each other ? Experiment proves that they are. Common matter may be reduced to air, air to water, and air and water to light. Light may be the highest rarefaction of substance, produced by the trituration together of the molecules of substance in motion; and heat may be the trituration of these molecules felt. One simple unmixed substance therefore, may be the origin of all things; and all the forms of nature may owe their existence to mere mechanical action, upon a simple unmixed essence, exerted by a Prime Mover, who is himself the life and soul of that essence.
If all this be true, it may easily be perceived, why the WORD (JAHOH) who sitteth upon the throne, or LORD (Jahon) who created all things, Rev. iv.ll, is represented as like a jasper, which is a pellucid watery gem, and a sardine stone, which is of a fiery glow, and with a circling rainbow of the green lustre of the emerald. For as color represented by the rainbow, light by the jasper, and heat by the sardine stone, are phenomena which more particularly manifest the immediate agency of the WORD, so he is very appropriately designated by them.
And again, since light and heat may be disengaged in any part of the universe by mere motion, propagated by the Great IT-SHALL-BE, it will easily be perceived, why the four living creatures are in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne. For the throne being a symbol of infinite space, and the creatures, the symbols of the different modes of the infinite substance in that infinite space, wherever the different modes of the infinite substance are, there also must light and heat, the jasper and the sardine stone, be inherent; and wherever light and heat are, there must the Great First Cause, be inherent also, as in the midst of the throne does He sit, as well as the Cherubim, or four living Creatures, since he must occupy the whole throne. And, to begin with the last, the eagle representing the air (Ps. xviii. 10.); the man, the earth or solids; the calf, fire (for under an animal of that species, the ox or bull, the Egyptians worshipped fire); and the lion, necessarily the remaining element, the roaring gurging waters; we have all, into which the infinite substance has been distributed, of which God is the life and soul. And that this is the true meaning of the four animals, is evident from the office in which each is employed at the opening of one or other of the first four seals. Thus when Christianity starts forth in the first seal, the lion calls to see, as though employed in "sanctifying and cleansing the church with the washing of water by the word.” When war, or fire and sword, go forth in the second seal, then the calf as fire employed in it, calls to see. When fumine goes forth in the third seal, then the man, as symbolising the earth producing it, calls to see. When pestilence goes forth in the fourth seal, then the eagle, as symbolising the air wbich conveys it, calls to see. And this is the order in which they are given at Rev. iv. 7. But this is not all. The lion represents the wild beasts; the calf, the cattle; the
man, the human race; the eagle, the birds. Again, the lion represents active power; the calf, strength; the man, wisdom; the eagle, swiftness; and, lastly, the number four represents the four winds, the four cardinal points, universality. And thus, as St. Paul told the Romans, i. 20, The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead. And that he is all Nature cries aloud ! But they instead of adoring the Creator of these things, Rom.i.23, 25, changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and, creeping things—changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more that the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. Whereas here those creatures themselves are represented as performers of divine service to their Author, and they cry, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. For (Ps. xix. 1, 2, 3, 4,) the heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handy work. Day unto dlay uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. Ps. cxlv. 10. All thy works shall praise thee O Lord. They represent themselves as being redeemed too, by the Lamb, Rev.'v. 9; for, as St. Paul says, Romans, viii. 22, 23: we know that the whole CREATION groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not ONLY THEY, but ourselves also-groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the REDEMPTION of our body. They are full of eyes, before and behind, denoting the intelligence, displayed in all the works of God and his particular providence and vigilance over them. See Matth. vi. 26-34.