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it deserves, inasmuch as it supplies the desideratum of a truly rational interpretation of physical science, capable of harmonising with spiritual truth.
Prof. Müller's theory of language is, that it was neither specially revealed to, nor artificially invented by man; but that it results from the spontaneous activity of a faculty inherent in man by creation,—the faculty of speech, namely,—just as the powers of seeing or hearing, spontaneously flow from the sense (or faculty) of sight, or scund.
“ The 400 or 500 roots which remain as the constituent elements in different families of language, are not interjections, nor are they imitations. They are phonetic types produced by a power inherent in human nature. They exist, as Plato would say, by nature, though with Plato we should add that, when we say by nature, we mean by the hand of God. There is a law that runs through nearly the whole of nature, that everything which is struck rings. Each substance bas its peculiar ring.
It was the same with man, the most highly organised of nature's works. Man, in his primitive and perfect state, was endowed not only, like the brute, with the power of expressing his sensations by interjections, and his perceptions by onomatopoieia, he possessed likewise the faculty of giving more articulate expression to the rational conceptions of his own mind. That faculty was not of his own making. It was an instinct, an instinct of the mind, as irresistible as any other instinct. So far as language is the production of that instinct, it belongs to the realm of nature. Man loses his instincts as he ceases to want them. His senses become fainter when, as in the case of scent, they become useless. Thus the creative faculty which gave to each con. ception, as it thrilled for the first time through the brain, a phonetic expression, became extinct when its object was fulfilled." (pp. 369, 370, 371.)
Passing by for the moment the question of the extinction of this faculty, we have here a perfectly rational and luminous theory of the origin of language. Each new object and conception as it flashed upon the mind struck out a responsive echo from the thought, as the touch of the finger strikes out musical sounds from the chords of an instrument,—the soul of man being a conscious instrument played on by the Divine Contriver through all the various channels of soul and sense ; and this vocal response of the thought, is speech; the word being, as Prof. Müller elsewhere observes, “the thought incarnate," or embodied, not indeed in flesh, but in sound.
One link in the chain alone remains unsupplied; and though Prof. Müller calls our attention to this in the following questions, he leaves the difficulty unsolved :
“How did roots become the signs of general ideas? How was the abstract idea of measuring, expressed by ma, the idea of thinking by man! How did gà come to mean going, sthâ standing, sad sitting, då giving, mar dying, char walking, kar doing?” (p. 369.)
A general answer, indeed, the theory above stated affords ; but not such an answer as affords any reason why gâ should not as well have been applied to dying, and sthâ to going,—why, in fact, each specific root-sound should have been applied to just the idea to which it was originally linked, and to no other; and such an answer the Law of Correspondence, and that alone, can give. Here, then, we find that the Science of Language has reached that rational stage of development at which spiritual truth can step in to complete and vivify natural truth; the law of correspondence being a law of spiritual science, and spiritual Jaws alone affording the clue to the real cause or origin of natural phenomena. For, strictly investigated, the above theory is only a theory of the mode in which the faculty of speech was developed. The inherent faculty is not the cause of language; it is, to use a scholastic phrase, language itself in posse. The cause or origin of language lies deeper; a fact glanced at by Prof. Müller when he observes
“ Language is the outward sign and realisation of that inward faculty which is called the faculty of abstraction, but which is better known to us by the homely name of Reason.” (p. 342.)
This spiritual faculty is in truth the cause of the natural faculty of speech ; but still we can gain no clue to the instinctive application of specific vocal sounds to specific ideas and impressions, without resort to that law of correspondence which governs the spiritual and the natural worlds alike. This great law of correspondence teaches that all natural objects, and events which are changes in the relations of those objects, are embodiments, in the plane of sensuous perception, of objects in the spiritual world, or plane of spiritual perception; animals, plants, &c., being embodiments to man's senses of the different spheres of affection and thought, both good and evil, which in their marvellous organic combinations and interaction constitute his spiritual world. Now sounds, like all other natural phenomena, are such embodiments, or representative effects, of spiritual causes; and, possessed, as has been beautifully observed, of five different external worlds marvellously blended and yet marvellously distinct—the worlds of sight, sound, touch, taste, and odour,-Man, the centre for and through whom all these different external representatives of his internal world are evolved, possesses, as their centre, the instinctive perception of their unity. Totally distinct in themselves, according to natural science, yet in man they blend and are perceived as one, so that he resents, as an insult to common sense, the suggestion that the tree before him is a congeries of sensations, of light, colour, hardness, roughness, and so on; although it is by such a combination of distinct sensations only that the tree
becomes sensuously present to him. But he stoutly maintains that it is a tree, a substantive, material object, and no congeries of sensations, that he perceives ; and he is thus far in the right, that the spiritual correlative of a tree thus variously represented to the various senses, is one distinct spiritual object; and each sensation is but its fragmentary manifestation to one sense. To the man in whom all the senses co-exist, the tree, or sum of all the separate sensations, alone is, or can be, a distinct, definite existence.
It is this unity in man of all the different worlds of sense without him, which procured for him from the ancients the designation of a microcosm, or little universe; and to the unity of perception thence flowing alone, can we trace up, as to its cause, the instinctive application of specific sounds to specific objects and ideas, which we find established as a fact in the theory of Language before us. because the sensuous object without man corresponded to that spiritual object of which the specific root-sound was only another natural embodiment, that this latter, and no other, was applied to designate the former; and since, in the original integrity of the race, this correspondential connection between things spiritual and things natural was patent to the perception of all, therefore was larguage spontaneously understood by the hearer as it was spontaneously uttered by the speaker; and thus, to use
rof. Müller's concluding words :“The Science of Language leads us up to that highest summit from whence we see into the very dawn of man's life on earth; and where the words which we have heard so often from the days of our childhood — And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech'-assume a meaning more natural, more intelligible, more convincing, than they ever had before.” (p. 377.)
But it is this perception of the relations between the spiritual and the natural, and no creative faculty, that man has lost in these latter times, in which language has consequently degenerated into a Babel of tongues. No God-given faculty ever becomes extinct, though man's transgressions may suspend its activities for a season; and in that better world, where regenerate souls regain the full enjoyment of their spiritual inheritance, this lost gift, too, shall be found again; and all shall utter, and all understand alike, the living “ thought incarnate" in that universal language, which sanguine philosophers vainly sigh to re-inaugurate on earth.
M. C. H.
ON THE REPRESENTATIVE CHARACTER OF ABRAHAM,
The better we are acquainted with the Word of God, the more our astonishment is excited by the vast means the Divine Being makes use of for the preservation of the church. When man had fallen to such a degree that there was nothing left in him capable of receiving the influx of heaven, then it was that those things which were without him were made use of as means by which the connection betwixt his Creator and himself might be maintained, and the church preserved. The laws of Representation are but imperfectly known at the present day, therefore the churches are unacquainted with the spiritual things of the Word. In representatives the thing represented is the essential; he who represents is not necessarily regarded as to his personal character, so that the wicked as well as the good can represent. All representatives from the Divine correspond, and, because they correspond, they signify; and that which they signify and represent is threefold—the work of the Lord's glorification, the states of the church, and the regeneration of man. When these things exist among men only as representatives, they may be compared to the skeleton of the body, a frame-work of bones; but when the representations are fulfilled in corresponding mental states, then that skeleton of dry bones begins to have sinews, nerves, flesh, blood, and the breath of life imparted to it, like the “dry bones in the valley" which the Prophet was commanded to prophesy upon, and which through the Divine operation eventually became a great army, called the House of Israel, or the spiritual church of the Lord.
It is marvellous how the representative was perceived by the lowest order of good angelic spirits, and conveyed by them in suitable forms to the angels and to the Lord; yet this was the case, and by this process the human race was preserved. We may now perceive how important to the Divine ends was the Hebrew nation, for such operations could only be performed by a merely external people : had they possessed any internal perception in their low states, they would have been annihilated; but being gross and externally-minded, they were the only nation that could be made by miracles and afflictions to perpetuate the representative of a church, and thus miraculously preserve the human race. This then was the reason that Jehovah called them to the work; not that they were better than other nations, for they were worse as to personal qualifications, being a stiff-necked and rebellious people. If the churches at the present day were acquainted with these facts, we should have less written upon the restoration of the Jews as God's chosen people. A glance at a few of the representative acts in those states of the church will make manifest the extraordinary powers annexed to them.
When Moses lifted up his rod and stretched his arm over the Red Sea, the waters parted and Israel went over; when he waved it again, the sea came back and all the army of Egypt was drowned. The strong walls of Jericho fell to the ground when the priests had carried the ark seven times around it. The mind experiences a difficulty in separating the historical facts from the thing represented, and yet this must be accomplished before the mental meaning can be developed. To study the life of Abraham, and remain at that point, would be reducing the Word of God to a level with any other history; the fact of Abraham leaving his country and going into Canaan, could be of no importance in the Christian's experience as an historical relation, no more than any other fact of history; but when the Christian sees and feels that he, in the present day, has to progress through every mental state analogous to Abraham's, then the divine history of Abraham's proceedings becomes his actual experience. This alters the case; and the history, instead of being a dead letter, is not only seen, but felt, to have spirit and life. If the divine command to Abraham was—“Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land I will shew thee," so the same command is in force with every one who is beginning regeneration. We are at first selfish and worldly-minded; that of which we are citizens is a far-off country, where we waste our substance in riotous living—the inhabitants are all kinds of natural cupidities; we have thoughts and desires that tend to no real use; all may be said to be vanity. It needs the Lord to speak to us by His Word, and arouse us from the lethargy that oppresses us, and bid us leave the wicked companionship of worldly-minded things, and by repentance be elevated from mere sensual gratifications ;-leave the country of our hereditary tendencies, and enter into a state of reformation by which we shall be enabled to see the importance of becoming heavenly-minded, and being born again. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God; except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That is the land that God meant His church to see, when He bade Abraham get out of his country, and get to a land that He would show him. Before we experience the changes belonging to the Christian life, we are too apt to consider it as a thing soon done; but how different our ideas are, after we have advanced somewhat on the journey! A few words on the nature of these states will be of service. The spirit, before regeneration, is actually in the hells, surrounded by those that are in agreement with his disposition, and from this terrible country he can only be delivered by Divine means.