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male adorning as the funeral pomp of the soul; and especially denounces the wearing the hair of others, “the slough, perhaps, of some guilty wretch now in hell.”'
His apology for the Christians is rather a baughty defiance of paganism. He returns scorn for scorn, and fiery invective for reproach. But it is especially in controversy with heretics, whose pernicious doctrines, he asserts, destroy the soul as fever the body, that his fierce intolerance is exhibited. In later days he would have been a Torquemada or St. Dominic. He can find no language intense enough to brand the heretic Marcian, agaiust whoin his largest treatise is written—“ a man,” he says, “more savage than the Scythian, more inhuman than the Massagetæ, fiercer than the whirlwind, more gloomy than the thunder-cloud, colder than winter, more rugged than Caucasus.” * “Tertullian,” says Pressensé, "is like a turbid mountain torrent, Origen like a full, majestic river. The words of the latter flash like lightning, those of the former roll like thunder. The one discourses like a philosopher, the other harangues like a popular tribune."
The character of Cyprian, the martyr Bishop of Carthage, seems cold and colorless beside that of Tertullian. Calm, mild, prudent, led by judgment rather than by feeling, he is the very antithesis of the latter. During the Decian persecution he retired to a place of safety, that he might by his counsels guide the persecuted flock of Christ. That fidelity, not fear, was his motive, he showed by his heroic martyrdom when he felt that God's time had come. “The Emperors command thee to sacrifice," said the prefect. “I shall not obey,” he replied: "fulfill your orders ; in such a cause there needs no deliberation;" and he went rejoicing to his death.
We can only briefly notice the closing section of the booka comprehensive survey of the attack and defense of Christianity in the domain of controversy. Our author sees not merely the picturesque aspect of things; he looks beneath the surface, and discovers their secret causes. His analysis of the spirit of the age, and of the reasons of the opposition to Christianity, exhibit a depth of Christian philosophy that puts to shame the shallow sophistries of Gibbon on the same subject. The various schools of philosophy—“Impious Epicureanism,
+ ddv. Marc. 1.
proud Platonism, Oriental philosophy, and the subtle and mystical Pantheism of Alexandria, each in turn battered on the breach." All the conservative elements of society feared those subversive principles which threatened to undermine the worm-eaten fabric of ancient superstition. The haughty pagans resented the attempt of Christianity to solve the mysteries which so long had foiled the wisest of men. They met with sneering contempt or mocking laugh, like the Greeks on the Areopagus, the doctrine of the resurrection.
The delineation of these attacks on Christianity proves our author no less familiar with pagan than with Christian literature. The space given to Lucian, the scoffing atheist who mocked alike at Jove and Jesus, seems disproportioned to his relative importance; yet we would not have it less. The analysis of his character is masterly. “Lucian, like all his class,” says Pressensé,“ was not satisfied with rooting out the seeds from the field; he carried away with them the fruitful soil. He destroyed not superstition only, but the very faculty of faith. The human soul, when he has breathed upon it, resembles a desolate region sown with salt. True, no more weeds appear, but utter barrenness reigns in their stead. There is one thing inore deplorable than believing in error, and that is to believe in nothing; this is the essential error, the fundamental aberration of the soul, the invincible obstacle to truth." Although he assailed paganism, he was not the ally of Christianity. “The voice that prepares the way of the Lord,” Pressensé impressively remarks, “comes from the desert of conflict, not from the festal halls where wine-bibbers hold their impious revelry.”
In these attacks on Christianity the keen dialectical skill of the Greek intellect employed the very weapons which modern skepticism has refurbished for the same purpose. Most of the argaments of Baur, Strauss, Renan, and Colenso are to be found in Porphyry and Celsus. Of the latter Pressensé remarks, “He collected in his quiver all the objections possible to be made, and there is scarcely one missing of all the arrows which in subsequent times have been aimed against the natural in Christianity.” Then, as now, the fiercest battle waged around the great central truth of Christianity—the essential divinity of our Lord, who was held up to scorn by the heathen as a "crucified impostor.” The philosophic thelosophy of the East, appealing to the syncretism of the age, sought to substitute for the divine evangel of Christ the motley gospel of Apollonius of Tyana, a mere plagiarism of the character and work of Jesus. The Church itself was rent by numerous factions, schisms, and heresies
The clashing of creeds, and the strife
till, in the Homoousion controversy, all Christendom was divided about a single diphthong.
Against these manifold attacks on the faith the primitive Fathers and Apologists valiantly contended. They solved for all time the many doubts and difficulties which audacious paganism in its last throes propounded. They followed heretical errors through all the dialectical windings of controversy, employing, for the most part, the flexible and copious Greek language, which was the only existing vehicle adequate for the expression of the vast and complex ideas of Christianity. Thus the new wine of the Gospel flowed from that classic chalice which so long had poured libations to the gods. . Yet, with rare exceptions, the fathers defended the faith against the heathen and heretics in the spirit of meekness and of love. They sought rather to persuade men by the Orphic melodies of truth, and to convince the erring judgment by argument, than, as in after evil days, to coerce by external authority, or to hurl anathemas against recusant heretics. Even the impetuous Tertullian reverences the inviolable dignity of the human conscience, and asserts the broad and noble principle of toleration, which the heart of Christendom is so slow to learn. “It is,” he says, “a fundamental human right that every man should worship according to his own convictions. It is no part of religion, he adds, “ to compel religion." * The saintly Origen, as gentle as Fénelon or Fletcher, was an illustrious example of a magnanimous Christian controversialist. Of a deceased heretic, whose works he felt it a duty to confute, he says, “I love him, because he is dead.” We rise from the study of the subject which this book so
* De Testimonio Animce ii.
admirably treats with profounder conceptions than ever of the
ART. II.-WHAT IS THE FUTURE CONDITION OF THE
THE question implies that the wicked have a future; its terms
The question submitted is mainly one of consistent biblical
holds good in respect to every such important, yea, fundamental, matter as the destiny of souls hereafter.
In any discussion of our subject claiming to be exhaustive, philosophical arguments, drawn from our moral constitution, the tendencies of virtue and vice as they are manifested around us, the principles which must be assumed to enter into a divine government, if there be any, and the almost uniform testimony of religions reported to us in history, would properly have a place. Their chief use, however, is in confirming the truth of God as it addresses us in his word, in showing that there is harmony between the two divine revelations—the written and unwritten--and in meeting objections which themselves originate in the field of philosophical speculation, thus helping a class of thinkers who are honest in seeking truth, but who seein to need an extraordinary accumulation of evidence, who fail to see that, where a thing is fairly proved, objections which spring out of what we do not know can have no weight against it. Arguments of this kind are purposely omitted from this discussion, the limited space at command forbidding their introduction. Our aim will be merely to present the subject in some of its great outlines as the Bible seems to present it; in a word, to answer the question as the New Testament answers it.
It may be pronounced unnecessary, we think, in maintaining the orthodox doctrine respecting the final condition of the wicked, to lay any great stress upon the words Gehenna, Sheoi, and Hades, certainly upon the last two. The examinations of modern scholarship leave it an open question, to say the least, whether Hades or Sheol can be relied on as descriptive of the final state of the wicked. “ It is undoubtedly true," says Dr. Dwight in his Theology, “that the Hebrew Sheol and the Greek Hudes, commonly rendered hell, or the grave, in our translation, do not properly signify either, but always the world of departed spirits. As these words have so extensive a signification, and must be interpreted by every passage of Scripture referring to that world, there must be room for considerable difference of opinion.” Dr. Campbell, an eminent biblical critic, says: “In my judgment it (Hades) ought never in Scripture to be rendered hell, at least in the sense wherein that word is now universally understood by Christians.” Alford, commenting on Luke xvi, 23, says: “Hades (bism) is the abode