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baffled the wisdom of the wise. Then may be brought to pass that saying of our Savior, "What thou knowest not now, thou shalt know hereafter." Then, too, will the cavils of the skeptic, and the objections of the unbeliever, be instantly consumed, like flax in the flame, at the first flash of his immortal vision.
3. It remains to speak of some additional advantages which the spiritual and immortal body will possess over the mortal and earthly.
1. In the communication of thought.
The power of the orator is everywhere confessed. In every tribe he is found, and thousands there hang enraptured upon his lips. Could they but endure the excitement, and did no stern necessity forbid, they would pray him never to stop. Such is the rapture of eloquence. But this is Earth's eloquence, not that of Heaven. The power of the orator on carth, must be indefinitely small, compared with that of the immortal state. Even a Cicero was but a tyro in the art. His time for acquiring power over mind was very brief. His voice was a gross instrument, keyed for earth. He had to struggle with a cumbrous language in communicating his thoughts. His range of thought, and imagery, and illustration, was narrow indeed, His power of emotion was weak and inconstant. His hearers, too, were dull of hearing-slow to perceive, and slower still to feel. Yet, with all these disadvantages, thousands of hearts were thrilled, melted, and moulded by his power. But give him the experience of a thousand years in heaven-give him the range of God's most celestial empire to gather metaphors and similitudes, analogies, illustrations, and arguments, in boundless profusion-give him an incorruptible body, with its powers of expression-give him a voice keyed for heaven and immortality—give him hearers all perfect, and a transparent language-give him a power of emotion vastly beyond what he now possesses, and which shall never tire-give him an auditory of beings quick to perceive, and keen in their perception of the nicest shades of thought, and one which shall never tire!—and then we shall think we never heard eloquence before-never knew its rapture till then. We admit, this is only conjecture. But is it not reasonable? Has it not, in the premises which have been established, a natural basis. Nay, may we not advance still further, and infer that in the immortal state, there will often be occasions of public interest, when millions shall assemble-perhaps to
listen to the ambassador of some distant realm, to hear what God is doing in his native clime. Would it be strange, if an auditory of more beings than ever the earth contained, should listen to that single voice, and catch its softest notes, and hang, perhaps for days, with an interest far above cur present comprehension, upon those holy and cloquent lips?
2. Another advantage which the immortal body may possess over the mortal, relates to the creation and enjoyment of
The power of the terrestrial musician is great. A single voice will often enchain for hours the attention of thousands. Who ever went with the vast concourses which have crowded our largest halls and churches, to enjoy a concert of the Hutchinsons, and returned feeling that music was a trifling art? We have seen a whole audience melted by it into tears, and a strong man actually faint and fall under its power. But man's period for acquiring musical power has been brief and often interrupted. His vocal organs have partaken of the coarse texture and gross nature of a corruptible body. On the other hand, give him an immortal body, keyed for heaven's harmonies, rather than the discords of earth-give him the experience of ten thousand yearsgive him the help of instruments which shall befit the harmony of heaven-give him the experience and discoveries
every part of God's creation-in short, give him powers of music which shall qualify him to stand and sing before cherubim and seraphim, and even before the throne of God! -and we may be sure that he will then be a musician indeed. Then will his performances be as much superior to the highest development of the art here, as these are above the worst discords ever heard.
With a moments consideration of the condition of the impenitent in the immortal state, we close this article.
1. They too will possess an immortal body. For there is to be "a resurrection both of the just and of the unjust."
2. Yet that immortal body will not avail to mitigate their woe. Being clothed they will still be found naked." It will rather aggravate their sufferings. That immortal body can suffer the most excruciating torments without being destroyed.
3. They, like the holy, may possess vast physical power. But this will but make their confinement more intolerable. Weakness will lie quiet in his chains, while gigantic strength writhes and struggles with restless rage. The possession,
too, of such vast power, may be the occasion of conflicts too terrible to be described in the language of mortals. Compared with the collisions of wicked spirits in hell, the most horrid wars of earth may be but the merest child's play, and imperfect mimicry.
From what we know of the nature of sin, we have reason to believe its progress will engender an intensity of selfishness, hate and war, such as will make the abode of the wicked an eternal battle field. Under its influence, this earth has been scarcely less.
Nor would it be strange, if the vocal powers of the immortal body should only serve to render more dismal still, the bottomless pit, by keeping up an eternal din of discordant wailings, imprecations, oaths, yells and blasphemies.
The enlarged sphere of intellectual power, (the consequence of a more perfect organization,) would only quicken their progress toward the lower regions of desperate guilt. It would invent blasphemies against Jehovah, and concertions of malice against all the holy, such as would horrify the boldest blasphemer of earth, and make him shudder at the thought of uttering them. The more guilty men become here, the more intensive become their blasphemies. Will this process cease, when hope is succeeded by despair, and the restraints of probation are all withdrawn?
› Indeed, the powers of the immortal body will only enable the lost the more rapidly to work out the dark problem of s'n. And should the Father of all, occasionally permit the holy to look into the kingdom of darkness, the sight of the nature of sin would give impressions inconceivably strong and vivid of the importance of God's law, and forever annihilate all disposition to trifle with the least of all his commandments. It would confirm the holy beyond all fear of fall. The developments of heaven and hell would thus alike consolidate the strength of the divine government in the hearts of the holy, forever and ever.
The Book of Ecclesiastes,
BY PRES. A. MAHAN,
OUR notice of this book in the preceding article, as the reader will recollect, terminated with the third chapter. In resuming our remarks, it may be well to recur to the state of mind in which the author was, when he gave utterance to the mass of the sentiments which the book contains. In a state of alienation from God and purity, and of embittered disappointment consequent on the pursuit of the finite and temporary as the supreme good, his mind had come under the influence of feelings of dissatisfaction at the arrangements of universal providence in respect to man. Every thing, consequently, whether in itself right or wrong, whether wisely or unwisely ordered, became to him a source of deep agony and vexation of spirit. All things however located, were to his mind, out of place, because he had got, without being himself distinctly sensible of the fact, into a false position relatively to God and the universe. Every thing found in the book, with the exceptions hereafter to be noticed, proceeds upon this one principle, dissatisfaction with things as they are. If the object of thought happens to be out of place, the sentiment to which he gives utterance in respect to it, will in many instances, be found to be in itself true. The truth is uttered, however, not from regard to the truth itself; but from the feeling of dissatisfaction under consideration. If, on the other hand, the object of contemplation is as it should be, this same feeling prompts to the utterance of sentiments in themselves false, and in instances not a few, darkly sceptical, not to say impious. To an individual in the state of mind in which Solomon was, at this time, the maxim holds universally, that whatever is, is wrong. We will give an example or two in illustration. The first is found in chapter 10: 5—7.
"There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler: Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place. I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth."
What great evil is there in the fact, that servants sometimes enjoy the pleasure of a ride, and that princes should be ne
cessitated for a time to tread the earth, as other men. this to Solomon, was at the time a great evil, a source of grevious vexation, not because the thing was in itself wrong, but because, that in the state of mind in which he then was, he could not but be dissatisfied with every thing in the condition in which he actually found it. Individuals not unfrequently come into precisely similar states of mind. They are dissatisfied, with all things as they are, and would be equally dissatisfied if they were different. The necessary tendency of doubt and scepticism in respect to the great truths of religion, is to bring the mind into precisely a similar state in respect to all things actual and conceivable.
We will now give an example or two, where the author, under the influence of feelings of dissatisfaction with things as they are was led to give utterance to sentiments in themselves true and important, as his thoughts were turned upon facts which were not as they should be. In the assemblies for public worship, he had no doubt seen individuals more forward than they should be to express their thoughts. Such occurrences were of course, (and in his state of mind, he would have been equally displeased had the case been otherwise) sources of perfect vexation to him. Hence the sentiment, true and important in itself which we find in chapter 5: 1, 2, 3.
"Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God; for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fools voice is known by multitude of words."
In the assemblies referred to also our author often witnessed the utterance of the most solemn vows of perpetual fealty to God, with a subsequent disregard of them. This to him, like every thing else, was a "sore evil." Hence the sentiments which follow, sentiments in themselves true and important; their utterance however proceeding, not at all from regard to what is in itself true, but from the feeling under consideration, a feeling of dissatisfaction with things as they are, whatever their state may be.
"When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldst not vow, than that thou shouldst vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error; wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities; but fear thou God.”