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More numerous, those fewer who beneath
The torment lay, but louder in their grief.
O'er all the sand fell, slowly wafting down,
Dilated flakes of fire, as flakes of snow
Ou Alpine summit, when the wind is hushed.
As, in the torrid Indian clime, the son
Of Ammon saw, upon his warrior band
Descending, solid flames, that to the ground
Came down.".

'-c. 14.

The first appearance of Molebolge, the worst place of punishment in hell, is thus described :

“ There is a place within the depths of hell
Called Malebolge, all of rock dark stained
With hue ferruginous, e'en as the steep
That round it circling winds. Right in the midst
Of that abominable region yawns
A spacious gulf profound, whereof the frame
Due time shall tell. The circle that remains,
Throughout its round, between the gulf and base
Of the high, craggy banks, successive forms
Ten bastions, in its hollow bottom raised."-C. 18.

This is the outward appearance of the worst domain of hell; here the worst punishment may be expected. It had many frightful abysses. Next follows his description of the first :

“ To the summit reaching, stood

To view another gap, within the round
Of Malebolge, other bootless pangs.
Marvellous darkness shadow'd o'er the place.
In the Venetians' arsenal as boils
Through wintry months tenacious pitch, to smear
Their unsound vessels in the wintry clime ;

So, not by force of fire but art divine,
Boil'd here a glutinous mass, that round
Lined all the shore beneath. I that beheld,
But therein not distinguish'd, save the bubbles
Raised by the boiling, and one mighty swell
Heave, and by turns subsiding, fall.

Behind me I beheld a devil black,
That running up, advanced along the rock.
Ah ! what fierce cruelty his look bespake.
In act how bitter did he seem.

With wings
Buoyant outstretch'd, and feet of nimblest tread,
His shoulder, proudly eminent and sharp,
Was with a sinner charged ; by either baunch
He held him, the foot's sinew griping fast.

Him dashing down, o'er the rough rock he turned
Nor ever after thief a mastiff loosed
Sped with like eager haste. The other sank,
And forthwith writhing to the surface rose.

But those dark demons, shrouded by the bridge,
Cried-Here the hallow'd visage saves not; here
Is other swimming than in Serchio's wave;
Wherefore, if thou desire, we rend thee not.
Take heed thou mount not o'er the pitch. This said,
They grappled him with more than hundred hooks,
And shouted-Cover'd thou must sport thee here;
So if thou canst, in secret must thou filch."

-Cary's Dante, c. 21. At such images of horror in endless variety we sicken; and since they are not found in the Book of books, the Bible, but only in Dante's Inferno and in the writings of his copyists, and those who have adopted Pagan, Mohammedan, or Roman Catholic views of hell, we may neither believe nor advocate such views. Clear light is shining upon the subject of man's nature and destiny, for which we ought to be thankful. Eminent and devout men are beginning to see that such nightmare views are not taught in the Bible, but only in an imaginary Inferno of the dark ages; and are the product of dense darkness and not of the light. Reading, as I have done, the pages of Dante's “Divina Commedia,” you will understand where certain orthodox preachers get their ideas and definite knowJedge of the infernal regions, where sinners of every grade and class are compelled to go, when they die, through the gateways of volcanoes ! But enough of this !

C. P. D.


JHE THRONE.-There is no personal likeness or resemblance of

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stone—the Alpha and the Omega, the Aleph and Taut of the Hebrew alphabet. And thus it is manifest that the object of the vision, as far as the occupant of the throne is concerned, is to fasten the attention of the Seer, and of the reader, upon the fact, that He is the God of Israel -the whole symbolism being borrowed from circumstances connected with the Jewish Tabernacle. The throne indeed is encircled with a rainbow, to show that the God of Israel is also the God of nature and the God of Providence ; the throne of Him who made the unconditional covenant with Noah and all the creatures. The emerald colour, which is a combination of yellow and blue, represents His condescension, (for the emerald is the colour of the grass, earth's carpet,) and His moral glory and excellency, as we have shown more largely, when treating of the colours of the Tabernacle. The twenty-four thrones occupied by the Elders are seen to be on a par with the throne of God, and this is perfectly intelligible when we remember that they symbolize the perfect knowledge and wisdom of Christ.

The lightnings, thunders, and voices proceeding from the throne, and the seven lamps burning before the throne, indicate the Divine rule over a world which is still in revolt against the Divine authority. Much of the imagery of this verse is borrowed from the circumstances attendant upon the giving of the law on Sinai. The Apocalyptic Seer now sees in the inner circle, between the throne and the Elders, four living creatures, representing the executive action of God-four being the number of executive completeness. Such, then, is the glorious vision presented to the Apostle :--the Occupant of the throne, glowing with the effulgence of the jasper and the sardine stone -the arching rainbow of emerald, flinging its softened beauty round the throne-the living creatures, in their majesty and force, waiting to carry out the Divine mandates—and the four-and-twenty Elders, in their pure white robes and crowns of gold, communicating to John, and, through John, to the Church, the secret activities and purposes of the Divine government.“ The Closing Days of Christendom.” Burlington B. Wale.

THE KEY.–We have in the second page of the earliest of books, (Gen. iii. 15) the germ of all istory, sacred and profane. Here we have the Key to all events in the history of true religion in the world to the end of time, all through the ages. Here we have, moreover, in the first portion of all authentic history, the key which will unlock the wonderful history of the Bible. The unity, variety, and harmony of the history which we have in the Bible is one of its greatest charms, as well as the most convincing proof of its Divine origin. Our familiarity with the Bible sometimes blinds us to the grandeur of this conception of a history of the whole human race through millions of generations on to the last syllable of recorded time. The scene of the history changes from the Garden of Eden to the tent of the Patriarchs, to the palace of Pharaoh, to the wilderness of Sinai, to the mountains of Moab, to the temple of Jerusalem, to the court of Ahab, to the chamber of Babylon. The historians are kings and lawgivers, shepherds and husbandmen, fishermen and publicans, physicians and tentmakers-all looking backward to this fructifying, world-embracing germ of faith and hope, and joyously anticipating its perfect fulfilment in the consummated victory of the woman's seed. The smallest event, the most trifling incident, the most insignificant person is singled out from all that would have interested other chroniclers or seemed worthy of being transmitted to future generations, and placed in the fullest light of history as the only transactions worthy of being remembered, because on them was to depend the whole future destiny of the world. It matters not whether the words of the Old Testament were copied from earlier records or written down by immediate inspiration of God. The miracle is not in the words of Scripture, but in the superhuman insight of selection, in the harmony between the earliest record and the latest fulfilment, in the answers which the earliest of books has given to the latest of questions, not only in reference to the origin of the world and the origin of man, but also in regard to the origin of religion, and, what is still more wonderful, in regard to the humanity of Christ, and the victory of Christ over sin and suffering and death.-" The Latest of Questions Answered in the Earliest of Books."— William Anderson, M.A.

THE END OF Evil.—We have in this—almost the last chapter in the

Bible—the final issue of that struggle with evil in its two forms of sin and suffering, the beginning of which is described in the third chapter of Genesis. The beginning and the end of the Bible has been placed side by side, like two consecutive leaves of the same book. The imagery of the latter book has been borrowed from the earlier, but between the two chapters lies the whole history of mankind in its progress from the untried innocence of the garden through long ages of suffering and trial to the countless multitude in the Eternal City, who have been purified by trial and who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Knowledge is there, but without its attendant danger, for it will be the knowledge of Christ, whom to know is life eternal. There is no evil to be known, for evil is banished, and death has been destroyed. The edict forbidding approach to the tree of life has been cancelled, for sin has been taken away.

To sinful man eternal life would be eternal misery. The Lamb, as it had been slain, is in the midst of the Throne, as the pledge of pardon, reconciliation, and holiness. When the body of sin has been destroyed, pain and suffering, which are the lengthening shadows of the twilight of the moral world, will no longer darken into death. There will be no more night, for weary limbs have ceased to crave repose. Sinless men no longer fear to meet God, and need no shelter from His presence. God is the light of the Eternal City, communion with Him is the delight of its inhabitants, and He dries up the fountain of tears which sin had caused to flow.-Idem.


THE GREAT DESIGN.— In the Bible we have the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega of the wondrous system of Divine love and mercy, wisdom and power. In Gen. i. 1 we read, “ In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” and in Rev. xxi. 6, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth ; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away. . . . Behold I make all things new.” The wonderful Book opens with the creation of the world and closes with the promise of another and a new world. The present and past ages, with the coming days of human existence, span the gap between the present and the coming cosmos. The present life is the true intermediate state of

He lives under a provisional, not a permanent government ; the organization of the heaven and earth in which we live, with all its physical, civil, and social elements, forms a means to an end yet future. The world and its inhabitants await new decrees of Divine destiny. When these are executed the design of the Great Architect in the creation of man and his dwelling-place will have been accomplished, and will be read and known of all men. His wisdom, power, and love will be vindicated and declared, and the grand jubilee of earth's redemption shall be announced in the royal proclamation, “ There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. The former things have passed away.” Every curse shall be removed, and “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people; and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.”—“Reply to Ingersoll.” A. B. Magruder.

The WORD IMMORTAL.—The Apostle Paul is the only writer in the whole Bible who makes use of the word immortal or immortality. He never applies it to sinners. He never applies it to either righteous or wicked in this world. He never applies it to man's soul at all, either before or after death. He speaks of it as an attribute of the King Eternal (1 Tim. i. 17). He declares that He is the only possessor of it (1 Tim. vi. 16). He presents it as an ohject which men are to seek after by patient continuance in well doing (Rom. ii. 7). He speaks of it as revealed or brought to light (not in heathen philosophy, but) in the Gospel of the Son of God (2 Tim. i. 10). He defines the period when it shall be “put on" by the saints of God, and fixes it at the resurrection, when Christ, who is our life, shall appear (1 Cor. xv. 52-54). Therefore he never taught the immortality of the soul as it is now taught; and hence, when he declared that sinners should be destroyed, or perish or die, or be burned or devoured by fire, he did so without any “mental reservations” or “theological definitions." In other words, he said what he meant, and meant what he said.--" Pauline Theology." H. L. Hastings.

He was

THE CONSUMMATION.—The “glorious body" of the Divine Saviour is the prototype of the spiritual body, in which every one of His own shall be immortalized at His return in glory. When the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, His body had not undergone any kind of change ; and it must needs have been so, for otherwise His disciples could not have identified Him, and consequently could not have been the witnesses of His resurrection. But when He ascended, and they could not any longer behold Him, His body of humiliation was changed into “His glorious body."

“received up (en doxee) in glory.” At His return the bodies of His saints shall be changed and fashioned like unto His glorious body. Yea, moreover, the redeemed and saved and regenerate shall be wholly conformed to the likeness of their immortal and glorified Head; for they are predestinated of God,“ to be conformed to the likeness of His Son that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren." All the fulness of the Godhead dwells in Him, and that fulness shall permeate the whole multitude of His brethren, in everlasting union and communion with Himself, THE FIRSTBORN. They all shall be one, in God the Father and in the Son; the Holy Spirit being the Bond of that immortal oneness. Dwelling in God, and God dwelling in them, all shall be “ filled with all the fulness of God."-" What is Truth ?” W. Morris, M.D.

MAN'S ONLY HOPE OF IMMORTALITY. An Exposition of Christ's Argument against the Sadducees. BY WILLIAM GLEN MONCRIEFF.

No. VIII. 23.

TASY it is to understand the soulical existence,—the natural body,

or mode of being,—for in that condition we are now. Its life depends on the breathing process; and when respiration terminates, the soul, or man a soul, the man himself, who had exhibited such wonderful

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