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calling from a distance, in the ears of the dying, we use terribly direct and simple words. And if we really grasp in our imagination all the anguish and horror of the Cross, we can never think our Lord spoke otherwise to the writhing sinner at His side. Nor can, nor will we endure that the true and gentle meaning of Christ's last words should be so miserably vaporised away into the thin mists of a halfdeceptive abstraction.
But some may brokenly ask, “Shall we know one another there, and receive back again our beloved ?' To such sorrowing hearts are not these words of Jesus like a glory of sudden sunshine
upon the bier when it is laden with its sacred burden, and the sun-gleam is falling there through the leaden clouds that are parted only for a moment, almost as if to open for a bright reflection from the light that is beyond the great mystery of pain and death to fall upon the hearts that sorrow, and so to bring a momentary token of consolation ? Hear the words of Jesus, and then let us adore Him as even in death the true Christus Consolator. Separate for a moment these three most Divine words from the rest, ' Thou with Me,' and what can the bereaved heart ask more? It is not, let us remember, of His Divine presence that the Voice from the Cross speaks, but of the gentle presence of His separated human soul—the Soul of God-in its disembodied state, which entered Paradise that night with the soul of the converted thief. Are not these, then, the words of an ample recognition ? Do they not necessarily imply the certain reunion of love among the souls in Paradise, where Christ is still with the blessed dead, though, being risen and ascended, He is there after another manner of presence ? Then, the Soul of God, unclosed of the blessed body, which remained equally and personally united with that human soul to the Deity in the mystery of the Hypostatic Union, went into the unseen world, called Hades, and was present with the dead as one of themselves. * Now, although since the resurrection on the third day the glorified Humanity is present locally and only in heaven as the Intercessor with God, yet we believe the Apostolic words with Christ' (Phil. i. 23) refer in some undefined manner to the human presence of our Divine Lord with the holy dead, for the perpetual intercession cannot be imagined, without crude and unworthy conceptions of His glorified life, to chain the Manhood of our Lord to one fixed place or posture. He may walk in Paradise, the garden around the heavenly city, where is the Beatific Vision and the Throne of God, and fulfil, while present with the white flock of the blessed dead, His advocacy uninterrupted. The welcome to Stephen the Martyr, when He came and stood, as it were, at the gate of Paradise, His very posture indicating His strengtheningť presence of love, did not intermit His perpetual intercession.
It would seem almost probable that the soul, entering upon its separated life, is made to possess a kind of contour or shape, by which its own proper identity is preserved. Its personality cannot be lost in a vaporous mist, nor etherealized into a luminous haze, nor contracted and diminished into an indivisible point, but doubtless must still present some features that would be easily recognisable to the spiritualised sight of those who were once familiar with its bodily environment in this mortal life, by which features it may
* In a sublime and dramatic fragment, preserved in Mai, vol. ix. 645, from St. Hippolytus (Bishop of Portus, circa A.D. 220), are the words : “When they saw Him, the warders of Hades trembled, and the gates of brass and the bolts of iron were broken. For, lo ! the Only Begotten entered-a Soul among souls-God the Word with a human soul. For His body lay in the tomb, not emptied of divinity, but as, while in Hades, He was in Essential Being with the Father, so was He also in the body and in Hades.'
+ Cf. Adam of St. Victor, ‘De S. Stephano,' and Archbishop Trench's note, p. 215.
therefore be instantly and individually known in the world of spirits.*
That the separated soul in the disembodied life must have some spiritual contour, form, or outline of its own has been the opinion of many orthodox writers from the earliest times.
Bishop Ellicott has said, in a deeply interesting fragment, ‘On the Philosophy of Death':t 'In the first place, the more we prosecute physical investigations, the more we seem forced to recognise in all things around us active principles and ultimate essences, which, so to speak, are the souls and partes optime -- entelechies, to borrow a term from old philosophy-of the objects and substances around us.
Such a recognition, at any rate, prepares the way for the idea of a real Ego, wearing awhile the garments of the body, coordinating the forces that build up its structure, looking out of the windows of its eyes, hearing through its ears, feeling by its nerves-its active principle, its true and probably not wholly incorporeal essence.' There does not, he would believe, seemanything unreasonable in the opinion of many modern psychologists that the indwelling Ego, or soul, may have form, and even some kind of subtle corporeity,' (only that the word is an unhappy one, being so intimately associated in our thoughts with substance, weight, and quality), so that, when the soul leaves the body and becomes unclothed, it may still preserve some distinct objective existence.' “The spiritual powers of every emancipated soul must' (he concludes) ‘be adjusted to its new conditions.'
We may append to these striking words the testimony of an ancient Father, Irenæus, the disciple of Polycarp (Bishop of Lyons, A.D. 177), who distinctly says, in his second book * Against Heresies' (chap. xxxiv.), that, by the parable of Dives and Lazarus, 'the Lord has taught with very great fulness that souls not only continue to exist, but that they preserve the same form (in the separate state) as the body had to which they were adapted, and that they remember the deeds which they did in this state of existence, from which they have now ceased. By these things, then, it is plainly declared that souls continue to exist, that they possess the form of a man, so that they may be recognised, and retain the memory of things in this world ; and that each class of soul receives a habitation, such as it has deserved, even before the Judgment.'
* Cf. Lactantius, ‘Divin. Inst.,' vii. 20, though the quotation from the 'Æneid’almost bespeaks an approval of the Virgilian purgatory.
+ Contemporary Review, August, 1871, pp. 64, 65.
Tertullian very definitely asserts a yet more materialistic view of the soul's quality and nature, saying in his book ' De Animâ':* 'Why is the name of Lazarus in this narrative, if the relation were not of a real occurrence ? But even if it is imaginary, it will still be a testimony to the truth and reality. For, unless the soul possessed corporeality, the image of a soul could not possibly contain a figure of a bodily substance, nor would the Scriptures feign a statement about the limbs of a body (Luke xvi. 24) if these had no existence. But what is that which is removed to Hades after the separation of the body, which is there detained, which is reserved to the day of doom, to which also Christ, on dying, descended? I should suppose it is the souls of the patriarchs. But wherefore all this, if the soul is nothing in its subterranean abode ? For whatever is incorporeal is incapable of being kept and guarded in any way, and is exempt from either punishment or refreshment. That must be corporeal by which punishment or refreshment is to be experienced.' This is indeed too materialistic a conception of the
Chap. vii. (“Ante-Nicene Fathers,' xv., p. 424).
immaterial soul, and scarcely to be deduced from what is a professed parable, or at least is so in that part which deals with the unknown, and in which ‘Abraham's bosom' is a true metaphor. Tertullian might have urged with greater reason the raising of Samuel by the witch, for in that weird and tragical story the prophet comes up in the shadowy semblance of his former self as 'an old
May we diffidently suggest that in the distinction of the nature of man into three parts, body, soul, and spirit,-a distinction and partition of inspired as well as of philosophic psychology,--some confirmation of this theory may be dimly discerned, and that the objective form which we attribute to the separate state may perhaps be located in the intermediary soul, which seems to unite the higher and deathlessť principle of the spirit or personality with the grosser and the material qualities of the corporeal nature. With this conception the words of Justin Martyr would seem to agree in his treatise ‘On the Resurrection': 'The body is the house of the soul, and the soul is the house of the spirit. (Cf. also Methodius, De Resurrectione,' c. 19.)
In our total ignorance of the precise nature of that which we call the soul in man, and as we cannot by any possibility of fancy conceive of it as acting purely or apart from the instrumental medium of the bodily organs, we must allow that it cannot be imagined by us as otherwise conditioned in the unknown life, though those organs may be almost infinitely-less material and more subtle. Now, the adapta
* Cf. Justin Martyr, ‘Dial. c. Tryph.,' cv., and, on the contrary, a fragment of Hippolytus from a Vatican MS. 330.
† We use this term as asserting man's natural immortality, which the doctrine of the second death cannot impugn, for that, in the awful patristic language, is ' mors non moriens.'