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Memoir respecting the Waldenses.

personal observation or the information of others has made me acquainted, I forbear to mention in so brief a Memoir, and therefore pass on to a hint or two as to the means of promoting the welfare of this valuable class of our fellow-christians. They are clearly in want of pecuniary aid; and such is the benevolent disposition of British Christians, that to mention this fact is quite enough. Yet, however anxious that they should not be overlooked in this age of beneficence, I am fully aware, that, since there are magnificent institutions in the country which have a much higher claim upon Christian liberality, donations are chiefly to be hoped for from persons whose affluence enables them, after subscribing to larger societies, to spare something for others of an inferior description. Very many such persons are to be found; and one cannot for a moment suppose that they will permit this interesting people, so eminently protected by the English in the eighteenth, to be neglected in the nineteenth century. There was a time when the Waldenses did not so much receive as impart benefits. Their college of Angrogne sent forth zealous missionaries to convey pure religious knowledge to several parts of Europe, then involved in ignorance and superstition. They were, indeed, according to the import of their ar. morial bearings, a light shining amidst thick darkness. If, in these latter days, something of the ancient splendour of their piety should, through divine grace, re-appear, those Christians will have reason to esteem them selves very happy, who, by their generous efforts, may be in some degree honoured as instruments of the revival. It is unquestionably the duty of believers to endeavour to promote and to pray for such a revival of vital piety in churches once renowned, as well as the diffusion of divine truth among the heathen.

I am sensible that this appeal in behalf of the Waldenses is in no respect worthy of the cause it undertakes to advocate; yet since, however unadorned, it has at least the simplicity of truth, and the importance of the subject to recommend it, I could willingly cherish the hope that it will secure for this excellent

"Lux in tenebris;" the arms of the town of Luzerne, which once belonged to them.

VOL. XI.

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people a warm interest in the best affections of their fellow-christians. Of this I am very sure, that if, instead of seeing their condition through the medium of an imperfect memoir, they found themselves actually in the valleys, and, holding a history of the Vaudois in their hands, cast the eye around spots consecrated by the sufferings of so many disciples of the Lord Jesus, they would be filled with esteem for the people, and a desire to promote their happiness. The evening before I quitted them, a solitary walk afforded me full scope to indulge such a train of feelings ::-a sacred luxury it may well be termed, since the sensations of delight were really such as neither the treasures of art deposited in the Louvre, nor the stupendous views of nature unfolded in the cantons of Switzerland, had possessed in an equal degree the magic to impart. All around seemed to have a tendency to foster the disposition; a torrent rushed by on the left; the evening was so mild that the leaves scarcely stirred; and the summits of the mountains, behind which the sun had just set, appeared literally above the clouds. The emotions produced by the scenery and recollections associated with it, will not be soon effaced: it might be the last time I should see those mountains, which had been so often the refuge of the oppressed-those churches, where the doctrines of the gospel had been so long and so faithfully maintainedand those friends, from whom a stranger from a distant land had received so many proofs of affectionate regard! Full of such thoughts as I walked along, I arrived at length at the house of one of the pastors, to pass the night. The next day he accompanied me to the limits of his parish, on the Col de Croix, which separates Piedmont from Dauphine. The walk being long and tedious, he had brought bread and a flagon of wine, and observed, as he gave me the refreshment, it was "une espèce de communion"-might be almost considered a sort of communion. We then parted with expressions of Christian esteem; and, descending the other side of the mountain, I soon lost sight of the lands belonging to the Vaudois-descendants of a class of men who were, for a series of ages, "destitute, afflicted, tormented, but "of whom the world was not worthy!"

( 138 )

MISCELLANEOUS COMMUNICATIONS.

Difficulties on the Subject of the

SIR,

THO

Resurrection.
Maidstone, Feb. 12, 1815.

HOUGH I by no means wish
to interrupt your correspondent
Credo [p. 25,] in his purpose of ob-
viating the difficulties alleged by your
Cambridge correspondent, in what
he conceives to be a more satisfactory
manner than I was enabled to do;
yet justice to myself, and the cause
I have espoused, requires that I should
correct a palpable mis-statement which
occurs at the commencement of his
letter, and which appears and influ-
ences his remarks throughout. He
sets out with the phrase "physiolo-
gical correspondence" as descriptive
of the Letter of Cantabrigiensis, and
consequently of the subject for our
mutual consideration. He also states,
that the leading difficulty to be con-
sidered was, whether if a man dies
wholly, a resurrection is within the
bounds of probability. The difficulty
which he has not very judiciously
severed, is thus ingenuously and suc-
cinctly stated by Cantabrigiensis him-
self: "If I die wholly a resurrection
appears scarcely within the bounds
of possibility. There may be a new
creation, but can the regenerated be
ing be myself? If there be nothing to
constitute my individuality but the
will and power of the Creator, I seem
reduced to the absurdity of thinking
that my consciousness may be confer-
red on any number of created forms."
Thus it clearly appears that he felt
doubts concerning the possibility of a
resurrection by the energy of the
Creator alone, independent of some
secondary means, such as the "pre-
servation of consciousness" in the in-
terval between death and the resur-
rection. He suspected that a com-
plete resurrection or restoration of vi-
tal existence after it had wholly ceased
to be, involved some absurdity, and
consequently was not an object even
of infinite power. To this difficulty
I undertook to reply, by shewing that
it is equally in the power of the Cre-
ator to restore life and consciousness
as it was originally to impart, preserve
and withdraw those blessings: and
that it is sufficiently agreeable to the

analogy of his actual proceedings both
in the ordinary course of nature and
by miracle; and further, that he can
receive no assistance whatever, from
secondary means, all created exist-
ence, whether material, mental or
otherwise, existing only as the pure
effect of his power; and consequently
being entirely at his disposal either to
preserve, remove or restore at his
pleasure. This was the leading sub-
ject of our discussion, or at least
which I undertook to discuss; as I
perfectly coincided with him in opin
"an indestructible germ
ion, that the hypothesis of Dr. Watts,
concerning
of matter, being the nucleus of the
regenerated man, is altogether a gra-
tuitous supposition."

The question between us, therefore, instead of being of a physiological nature, and relating to the probability of a resurrection, by any such secondary means as Credo appears to have in contemplation, was wholly theological, or relative to what was possible as the pure result of the divine ener gies.

Whatever Credo may be about to do in his next letter by way of more effectually clearing up the difficulties of Cantabrigiensis, he has hitherto done very little except misrepresenting and distorting his expressions, and making heavy complaints against me, for not answering him by such arguments as he deems most cogent. In No. 1, of his remarks, he twice repeats his misrepresention of the leading difficulty; and then complains of me for replying directly to it, instead of wandering into other topics. He is displeased with the length of my argument, and that it is metaphysical. The first of these inconveniences he has himself sufficiently remedied, though so much. at the expense of perspicuity and sense, particularly at the closing sentence of his abridgment (1), that I should much rather he had left it to speak for itself in its original, The reason uninviting condition.* why it could not be physical has been explained; it necessarily relates whol

▾ Excited in the second paragraph, Vol. viii. p. 734, should have been exerted.

Difficulties on the Subject of the Resurrection.

ly to the Creator and the human mind; yet I had hoped that the illustrations derived from the familiar phænomena of sleep and dormancy, would have rendered it sufficiently intelligible. The affirmative of the question with which it concludes is the point which was to be determined, being the answer to Cantabrigiensis's chief difficulty, and Credo, though with rather an ill grace, appears to admit that it is perfectly easy.

159

even going to prove any one of his accusations. He complains that my answer is vague; yet according to his own account, it constantly applies to the point in view; viz. a resurrection by the power and will of the Creator alone.

Credo makes various complaints of my observations in proof that the resurrection of Christ is adapted to con firm and establish the doctrine of the resurrection of our race to a state of immortality; and particularly that some of my quotations are irrelevant, and others want evidence of my having justly applied them. Now the principal question here is, whether Christ, notwithstanding his various appearances in his former body, which surely was the most satisfactory, if not the only mode in which he could manifest himself to men remaining in the flesh, did not in reality come out of his sepulchre, and usually continue after his resurrection in a state of invisibility; or in which he could not when present be discerned by our eyes or any of our senses. For if Je sus rose to a state of invisibility, it is evident that his body must suddenly have sustained a greater and more inexplicable change than any to which our bodies are subjected in the course of nature, by the circumstance of his sudden invisibility alone; and if in this state he received life and consciousness in great perfection, the single event of his resurrection must have been more extraordinary, as being compounded of more miracles than will attend the similar resurrection of mankind after their bodies have been dissipated and rendered invisible by a process of nature.-I observe then 1st. That if he had come visibly out of the sepulchre his appearance would have been the chief object to attract the attention of the watchmen who were stationed at its entrance for the express purpose of securing his body. But though the appearance of an angel from heaven, a sight of which they could have no expectation, and his rolling away the stone from the sepulchre were distinctly observed by them, yet no intimation whatever is given of their seeing Jesus. must therefore have been miraculously concealed from their view; for had they seen him, the mention of this sight would have formed the prominent feature in their narrative." 2.

The second head of his remarks commences with a sad distortion of sense contained in the concluding sentence of the above quotation from Cautabrigiensis. It by no means follows, that because the whole creation is the entire production of Jehovah, the pure effect of his power, therefore it must be a part of his substance. His attributes are all resolvable into infinite power, wisdom and goodness; and creation is the effect, not a part of those attributes. They are the cause, this in all its parts and modifications, whether material or discernible by our senses or not, is the effect. They constitute the one indivisible Jehovah, or self-subsisting God, who is necessarily from everlasting to everlasting, without variableness, or shadow of a turning. This subsists only as the result of his energies, and may therefore be altered, withdrawn or renewed at his pleasure. Though Credo terms this the next difficulty of Cantabrigiensis, it is in reality only an illustration of the preceding affirmation; shewing his reasons for suspecting that a resurrection in case of total death" is scarcely within the bounds of possibility;" viz. that the supposition appears to lead to absurd consequences. Here again I am complained of for referring to the creative power of God, instead of alleging proofs from nature. Now had I merely referred to creative power, with out shewing that there was no absurdity in the doctrine of a complete resurrection of the same individuals in number, as in every other respect, by its sole energies, there would have been just ground for complaint. But though Credo has charged me with an argument going to prove an impossibility, and also with " cutting the knot," and yet "labouring," which two last accusations are not very compatible with each other ;--he has not himself advanced a single argument

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Difficulties on the Subject of the Resurrection.

The next direct proof of his change into a state of invisibility was presented to the two disciples, with whom he joined company in their way from Jerusalem to Emmaus; from whose sight at supper, after an interesting intercourse for a considerable time, he disappeared. 3. The same evening "the doors being shut," he was found standing in the midst of the apostles, after such an inexplicable manner, that though they were previously convinced that he was alive, they now imagined that they saw only the spirit or apparition of a dead man. 4. He again appeared to them in precisely the same manner seven days afterwards, Thomas being present, and afforded him exactly those proofs of the reality of his person, which he had required in his apparent absence. 5. It is evident that he was not usually visible to his disciples during the interval between his resurrection and ascension, but that he occasionally resumed his former corporeal state, for the purpose of manifesting himself to them. To these occasional appearances the apostles constantly appealed as the evidences that he was really risen, and their narratives uniformly imply that though he was occasionally, he was notfuniformly nor generally present in a visible form. Yet his appearing at the most suitable junctures, and dis covering an acquaintance with what passed in his apparent absence, proved that he must have been invisibly or mentally present. 6. His ascension may justly be considered as a gradual representation of the change from this mortal state to a state of immortality; his body which had just been repre. sented to his disciples, in its usual state previous to his resurrection, diminishing in specific gravity as it ascended, till at length, probably both from its height and its tenuity, it disappeared from their view. 7. From this time forward he has remained in a state of invisibility, with only two recorded exceptions; viz. his appearance to Stephen to encourage this first Christian martyr in his dying moments, and to Saul in effecting his conversion to the Christian faith. 8. That there was a very great change effected in the body of Christ at his resurrection, from a corruptible to an incorruptible, from an animal to a spiritual state, as there will be of all

his disciples, is the express doctrine of the Apostle Paul. (See Cor. xv. 31-53, particularly verses 42, 44 and 50.) Now the change from a dead, animal, corruptible body, to a living, spiritual, incorruptible one, being far greater and more inconceivable than any changes which can happen to material bodies in the course of nature, it is evident that the sameness of the renewed being could not depend on any sameness of materials in the composition of his body. It must depend wholly on the restoration of life and consciousness by that power from which all created existence originates. If therefore from the dead body of Jesus, an invisible, immortal person was produced, possessing the essentials of the same intelligent being who had previously lived in the common state of humanity; we may safely confide in his assurance that our race in general will be restored to life in like manner, by the same power alone, after that the materials of which our present bodies are com posed have been wholly dissipated and lost. The bodies of mankind in general are rendered invisible by the gradual dispersion of their particles; and we may conceive of the possibility of the same identical particles being collected together, so as to form a body composed of the very same materials. But how the material body could be suddenly rendered wholly invisible, and at the same time, the same life and consciousness imparted, which before were so intimately united with that body, are two most extraordinary facts of which we can find no analogy in nature. They are presented to us in evidence and illustration only of one of these events as applicable to our race in general; viz. that after their material bodies have been lost by a process with which we are well acquainted, renewed life and consciousness shall be in like manner imparted. In proportion therefore as we are satisfied, that a man like ourselves is now existing in a state so entirely different from this in which we remain, as an earnest of our common destination, we may regard it not only as a direct proof, but a case in point strikingly illustrative of that event.

It is true, indeed, that according to the received ideas, concerning matter and spirit, these things must ap

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On the Resurrection

pear extremely mysterious; and the phrase spiritual body, may seem to express a contradiction. The disquisitions of Dr. Priestley have, however, thrown great light upon this subject; but as I conceive he has not carried his principles in their application to the doctrine of a resurrection to their full extent, I may on a future occasion be induced to trouble you with some additional remarks.

Yours very respectfully,

T. P. P. S. In your copy of my former letter there is a typographical error (T. B. instead of T. P.) in the signature, which, however, I perceive, has not misled your correspondent Credo.

SIR,

AVING before [p. 25,] stated

letter of T. P. not to be an answer to the objections of Cantabrigiensis to the Christian's hope of a resurrection from the dead, according to my promise I now resume the subject with an intention of proving that the doctrine of the Resurrection can be so explained, as to be understood and believed.

Founded on his objections C. puts this question, "If the immortality of the soul wants support from scripture and the restoration of the same body involves in it a physical contradiction, how is the preservation of individual consciousness and the resurrection of the same man to be explained, understood or believed?" Now the difficulty appears to me, not to be in the doctrine itself, but in the manner in which Cantabrigiensis considers the doctrine to be taught, for he "laments that the scripture evidence is in favour of a system which holds man to be one and indivisible and wholly mortal;" and it is on this ground that is put his first objection, "That if man wholly dies a resurrection does not appear to be within the bounds of probability."

But scripture does not represent "Man to be one and indivisible :" for Jesus says, "Fear not them who kill the (soma, the fleshly, organized) body, but are not able to kill the (psuxan, the desire, sensual) mind, but rather fear him who is able to destroy both mind and body in the grave." Matt. x. 28. Peter speaks (2 Pet. i. 14,) of knowing that he must

141

shortly" put off" his tabernacle; and Paul, that himself and all Christians knew that if their "earthly house of this tabernacle was dissolved," they had a building of God; hence, on this principle of consciousness, that their mind was inhabiting a tabernacle of clay, Christians were anxiously "desiring to be clothed upon" with their spiritual covering; for they well knew that whilst they were at home in the body, they were absent from the Lord. Corresponding with this view of the subject he writes, 1 Cor. xv. 37, "Thou sowest not that body that shall be;" 38," But God giveth it a body as pleaseth him, and to every seed its own body." The scripture therefore does not hold man to be one and indivisible as regards the body and mind; but holds the mind

his house, his tabernacle, his clothing. If therefore the whole body die, till it can be shewn that the mind also dies, a resurrection cannot be said to be improbable, but to such as know not the power of God, and have not heard of his promises, nor exercise their minds to discern his wonders in creation, and the reviviscence of all nature.

2. The next objection made by Cantabrigiensis is, that a creation is not a resurrection; and that if a new creation is made from myself, many such may be made. But if the mind is the man, the new clothing of that mind is only a new creation of the clothing, but a resurrection of the man. And should that mind be divided, then the man would not be raised.

3. C. next objects to the resurrection of Jesus, that it is not any evidence to us, because his body was not corrupted or destroyed, as ours will be; but this, like his former objection, falls to the ground, as it regards the resurrection of the dead taught by the apostles; for they no where teach the resurrection of the body as it now is, but expressly assert, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;" that the living body at the coming of Christ shall be changed, that this "corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." We know that Jesus that was raised from the dead was the same Jesus as was crucified; not only he was con

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