There, he offered, he had read a thousand and forty-six books.
We stayed in touch, and, in the course of several dinners and many bottles of sulfurous mineral water from Brighton Beach, Genis filled in more details. Some visitors imbibed so heavily that the following morning they woke in the tub; a plastered Dovlatov once presented a five-year-old Daniel Genis with an air pistol.
Genis fils sported a suit and earned allowance from his father in exchange for completing difficult books and translations in Russian. By junior year, other books inspired him to dabble in drugs, and surround himself with those who took them. In college, Genis began to buy cocaine from street dealers he knew in Washington Heights and resell it to fellow N. The profits paid for more books, a semester in Copenhagen, travel around Europe, and a large rental on the corner of Second Street and Second Avenue, where, in , he sold an ounce of cocaine to an undercover police officer.
While in college, Genis interned with the publisher Applause Books, where he wrangled an editing credit on a film encyclopedia, and after graduating from N. He handled contracts and the slush pile. By the time he lost that job, two years later, a girlfriend had introduced him to injecting heroin. He discovered that he had become addicted while visiting Latvia with an uncle; he copped at the Riga train station, where the dealer offered to let him use a communal Soviet-era syringe that he carried in his coat. Back in New York, Genis married a Hungarian party promoter named Petra Szabo; for nearly a year after the wedding he managed to keep his habit a secret from her.
He underwent detox and rehab, and even tried methadone, without success. The habit was costing him more than a hundred dollars a day and he was constantly broke. In , while earning twenty-five dollars an hour as an S. Rather, Paul continued to provide infallible revelations of truth during this time, and continued to apply that truth to the church through his letters. He did not pine away or despair that his incarceration hindered his ministry. Rather, he knew that God had provided prison to him as an opportunity spread the gospel and to provide an example for the saints.
And inspired with this knowledge, he conducted a robust ministry of preaching, praying, suffering and writing, through which he faithfully discharged all his duties as an apostle of Jesus Christ. Most basically, they all affirm the same gospel. But beyond that, they all share a common way of presenting that gospel, and they tend to emphasize the same aspects of that gospel.
This is not to say that they are identical to one another. But there is a big picture that unites them, a common foundation on which all of them depend. And that common foundation is the fact that Jesus Christ is the conqueror and ruler of all creation. Our discussion of the theological unity of the prison epistles will emphasize three main doctrines. First, we will look at the doctrine that Jesus Christ is king of Creation. And third, we will concentrate on the requirements of ethical living that the first two doctrines imply.
When we say that Christ is sovereign, we mean that he has the strength and power to accomplish his will, and that he has the legal authority and right to do so. In the ancient world, kings and emperors commanded the military forces of their countries, giving them the power to accomplish what they desired. The laws of their countries also acknowledged their right to rule and to govern, meaning that they also had the authority to accomplish what they desired.
Many modern governments have similar power and authority. According to Paul, when Jesus ascended into heaven, God the Father vested him with this type of sovereignty over all creation. Jesus is so powerful and so authoritative now, that his sovereignty extends over all other kings and rulers as well, whether they are on earth or in the spiritual realm.
In Ephesians chapter 1 verses 20 through 22, Paul described the sovereignty that the Father granted to Christ in this way:. Right now, Jesus Christ rules over the entire creation with absolute power. And his sovereignty is not simply limited to the heavenly realms. He rules over earth as well. Jesus Christ, our lord and savior, rules over all creation, from the furthest galaxy to the tiniest spot of earth. He rules over earthly governments and nations, and over every angel and demon. Clearly, not everything in creation obeys him as it should. But even so, Jesus has the right to command its obedience, and the power to make it obey.
And he has the power and right infinitely to bless those he approves, and utterly to destroy his enemies. Christ is honored because he is perfect, holy and righteous. And he is honored because he holds a position of highest authority, and because he executes that authority justly and righteously. He is also honored because he himself is the most valuable being in all of creation, the one whom God values more highly than any other.
And he is honored because he is the creator and sustainer of the universe. We could easily list hundreds of reasons that Jesus is worthy of honor.
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But perhaps the greatest reason that Jesus deserves honor and praise is that he is divine; Jesus is God, and God is worthy of the highest honor imaginable. Apparently, false teachers had introduced the veneration of angels and spirits into the church, and had suggested that Jesus was just one of these many similar beings.
Listen to the way he contrasted Christ with other spiritual beings in Colossians chapter 1 verses 16 and Jesus is unique because he is the creator of everything that is - even of the angels and spirits that the false teachers revered. Jesus is not just the greatest ruler in the universe. He is also the one who established all the lower offices that other rulers hold, both in the spiritual realm and on earth.
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And he is the one who created the other rulers, including both human beings who rule on earth and beings such as angels and demons who have authority in the spiritual realm. Before Christ came, the world was in the present age, which was characterized by sin, death and corruption. This present age was to be followed by the age to come, which the Bible also refers to as the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven.
This replacement was to happen all at once when the messiah or Christ came. But according to Paul and the other New Testament authors, Jesus revealed that this traditional Jewish conception was not entirely accurate. The age to come would replace the present age, but not all at once. In between the inauguration and consummation is the period we will call the continuation of the kingdom of God. This was an important concept for Paul to describe to his audiences because it explained so many of their problems.
The present age of sin, death and corruption had not been abolished, which is why the believers continued to suffer. Nevertheless, some day Jesus would return to bring final blessings to all believers. In the meantime, Christians must trust that Jesus really will return. And we may have great hope that this will happen because Christ is determined to finish what he started. Right now, Jesus reigns as king from heaven.
But he is not satisfied with that. He wants and plans to rule over every inch of creation as fully and gloriously as he now reigns in heaven. He will not be satisfied until he has finally and completely destroyed and punished all his enemies and ultimately blessed all his faithful believers. And he plans to do this by spreading his kingdom across the entire earth. Paul insisted that our future inheritance is guaranteed - God has promised and will not change his mind.
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As a result, Jesus must return in order to deliver our inheritance in the consummated kingdom. When Christ returns to consummate his kingdom on earth, our inheritance will include new, glorified bodies. Paul could speak of this inheritance with great confidence because he knew that Jesus had promised to return, and that Jesus was determined to fulfill that promise.
According to Paul, when we believe in Jesus, we are united to him in a mysterious, spiritual way. And because we are united to Jesus, we are counted as if we were Jesus. For example, Jesus is blameless before God, and because we are united to him, we are also counted as blameless before God, with all our sins being forgiven.
And we are united to Christ in his resurrection and life, so that we are also raised with him. We are also united to Christ in his ascension and kingship, so that when he returns in glory, we will rule with him. According to Paul, even now we are seated with Christ in the heavenly places, being united to him in his present kingship over all creation. As a result, we share his honor and his blessings in a spiritual way right now, even though our earthly circumstances may not reflect it.
And when Jesus returns our spiritual blessings will be increased, and we will receive earthly blessings as well. But Paul also appealed to our union with Christ in his kingship to speak of things that are less pleasant, like suffering. He spoke of our union with Christ in order to encourage believers that they did not suffer alone, and that they did not suffer in vain. But Paul also wrote that it was true in the lives of his readers. Although our king reigns in heaven, he has not yet abolished all his enemies, and those enemies often turn their forces against us.
But Paul took comfort in the fact that when we suffer for the gospel, our union with Christ ensures that Christ suffers and sympathizes with us. For Paul, our union with the King of Creation was the source of great confidence in our salvation, great encouragement in times of trouble, and great hope in the future. In fact, nearly every time he introduced a doctrinal subject, he went on to explain how believers should apply that doctrine to their lives.
And this application was not limited to correct thinking and proper doctrine. Paul even went so far as to say that unless doctrine is applied to our lives in ways that change our emotions and behavior, it is worthless to us. In other words, we have perfect doctrine.
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But having good doctrine - even perfect doctrine - is not enough. If that doctrine does not change our lives - if it is not joined with love, and if it does not result in the ethical treatment of others and respectful obedience to Christ - it is worthless to us. On the one hand, that fact that Christ is king obligates us to obey him. On the other hand, the fact that we are united to Christ obligates us to live in accordance with his character. As we have already said, because Christ is king, he is sovereign.
That means that he has the legal right to command our obedience. This, in turn, means that we have a legal obligation to obey him. And as we have also said, Christ is a perfectly righteous and just king.
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And this means that his judgments and commands are perfectly ethical, so that we also have an ethical obligation to obey him. Because Christ is both sovereign and just, we are legally and ethically obligated to obey everything that he commands. This is the type of argument that Paul made in Philippians chapter 2 verses 9 through 12, where he wrote these words:.
Jesus is ruler and Lord over everything in heaven, on earth and under the earth. In other words, he is the king of creation. For one thing, obeying Christ preserves his reputation. For another, because Christ is holy and righteous and honorable, he deserves to be obeyed. Besides teaching that Christians should live ethically because Christ is king, Paul explained that because we are united to Christ, we are both obligated and enabled to live in accordance with his character and commands. Our union with Christ obligates and enables us to live ethically for at least three reasons.
First, Christ indwells us by his Spirit, giving us a new nature and compelling us to do good works. As a result, we are transformed and motivated to obey Christ. Our union with Christ consists partly of our being indwelled by the Spirit of God. And the Holy Spirit moves our wills and compels us to act in obedience to God, so that we live rightly and ethically. Because we are united to Christ, we have new natures. And because God has given us new natures, we have not only the obligation, but we are enabled to make use of them by doing good works and by resisting the temptation to sin.
Second, God has commanded that all who are united to his Son must live holy lives. In fact, God has not merely commanded this. He has actually predestined good works for us to do. And part of the reason he has done this is because he has appointed good works for us to do. Third, because we are all united to Christ, we are also united to one another through Christ. This obligates us to treat one another as we would treat Christ himself, and as we ourselves want to be treated.
The phrase "we are all members of one body" might be more literally translated "we are members of one another. But the idea that ties most of these common themes together is the doctrine that Jesus Christ is the King of Creation. In future lessons, we will look more closely at these letters. And as we do so, we will keep in mind the background that we have studied in this lesson.
Paul's Prison Epistles. Apply as Student. Student Handbook. Birmingham Theological Seminary. We read his prophetic words in Acts chapter 20 verses 22 through "Compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.
I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. Listen to the way he described his position on these matters in 1 Corinthians chapter 9 verses 20 and To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law though I myself am not under the law , so as to win those under the law.
As we read in Acts chapter 23 verses 6 through 8: Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, "My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Acts Paul claimed that the Sadducees opposed him because he was a Pharisee, and that the gospel he preached agreed with the teachings of the Pharisees on many points.
Acts Now, Paul was not a lawyer, but his response to his accusers was compelling. His defense had four main points: First, he pointed out that there were no witnesses against him for any of the alleged crimes. In Acts chapter 24 verse 26, Luke explained, [Felix] was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.
As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome. Imprisonment in Rome Because Paul was a prisoner of Rome, he had to be transported under Roman guard. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ. Awareness of Suffering In Acts chapters 19 through 28, Luke described Paul as well informed about his coming hardships. For instance, listen to these ominous words from his speech to the Ephesian elders in Acts chapter 20 verses 22 through Compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.
Acts And he later told the believers in Caesarea in Acts chapter 21 verse 13, I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts Paul was acutely aware of the difficulties that awaited him in his service to Christ and his gospel, and was willing even to be martyred. Awareness of Purpose In the second place, Paul was well aware of the purpose of his suffering. He knew that if God planned to let him suffer, the Lord also planned to use this suffering to promote the gospel Paul believed that God would use his hardships to spread the Christian gospel.
Acts Paul was convinced that his ministry in prison would include testifying to the gospel, and that it was part of his task as an apostle to undergo these hardships. Acts Paul suffered to spread the good news of Christ from Jerusalem to Rome. Preaching As we have seen, Paul endured prison mainly to gain new opportunities to proclaim the gospel. For instance, listen to his request in Ephesians chapter 6 verses 19 through Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.
Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians Paul knew that, even in prison, his primary responsibility was to proclaim the gospel. Similarly, in Colossians chapter 4 verses 3 and 4 he wrote: And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Colossians Paul wanted prayer so that he would have the opportunity to preach the gospel, so that he could take good advantage of the opportunities before him. Praying Second, Paul was in constant prayer for the churches.
Ephesians Paul regularly and consistently prayed for the Ephesians. In much the same way, in Philippians chapter 1 verses 3 through 9, he explained that he regularly prayed for the church in Philippi: I thank my God every time I remember you. Philippians And in Colossians chapter 1 verse 9, we read of his commitment to the church in Colosse: We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Colossians He also prayed for specific individuals, such as Philemon, Apphia and Archippus in the Colossian church. For example, in Philemon verse 6 he wrote: I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 6 In all these passages, we see that Paul committed himself to praying for his fellow believers, seeking many blessings from God on their behalf. Philippians In addition to this, it is right to think of suffering as a ministry because it secures benefits for others.
As the apostle John wrote in 1 John chapter 3 verse This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. The reference to God Ormazd, i. Ahura Mazda expelling the Evil Spirit Ariman, i. Anghra Mainyu is in the Avesta , Yasna It is elaborated in the less ancient Pahlavi text Bundahishn in chapter 1. In order to be reconciled he must become self-abased, and resist the false allurements which only serve to steep him in the mire of the elements, and he must seek, by prayer, to obtain the more exalted blessings of benevolent influences, without which he cannot draw a pure breath.
In this reconciliation he must gradually overcome everything, and put away everything from him that will cloud his inner nature and separate him from the great source of his being; because he can never enjoy peace within himself and with nature around him until he has thus overcome everything opposed to his own nature, and gained the victory over all his enemies.
Overcoming one obstacle after another, he must dispel the dark vapors that intervene between himself and the true sun, so that in the end the pure rays of light may reach him without interruption. God has appointed higher agents to lead him back to Him from the error of his ways. But he can only be fully restored through the Savior of the world, who finished and perfected all that these agents had accomplished only in part at different times. Through Him all power became animated: and exalted; through Him he approaches the first and only true light, a knowledge of all things, and especially, a knowledge of himself.
If the man is willing to accept this offered help, he will surely arrive at the desired goal, and he will be so firmly established in faith, that no future doubts can ever cause him to waver. If he elevates his will, so as to bring it in unison with the divine will, he may spiritualize his being already in this world, so that the higher spiritual kingdom may become visible to his eyes, and feel God nearer to him than he ever thought it possible; that all things may become possible to him, because he adds all power to his own, and in this union and harmony, with a fullness of a higher vitality, the divine agents, Moses, Elias, yea, even Christ himself, may become visible to him, when, living amid thought, he requires books no longer.
In short, man can attain to such a degree of perfection, even in this life, that death will have nothing more to do than to disrobe him of his coarse covering in order to reveal his spiritual temple, because he then lives and moves within the eternal. Only when he arrives at the end of this vale of darkness, will he receive, at each stage of his journey, more extended life, greater inward power, purer air, and a wider range of vision.
His spiritual being will taste nobler fruits, and at the end of his race nothing can separate him from the exalted harmonies of those spheres, of which mortal sense can draw but a faint picture. Without distinction of sex, he will begin to live the life of angels, and will possess all their powers, of which he had but a faint sign here; he will then again enjoy the incense of the eternal temple, the source of all power, from which he was exiled, and Christ will be his great High Priest Heb. And here, too, the views of Zoroaster are in accord with the foregoing, for he also speaks of a heavenly meeting, and the participation of every follower of Ormuzd in the sacrifices and prayers of all, etc.
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In placing this prominent treatise so plainly before the reader I felt no hesitation, because it was so clear and true, and because it seemed so proper for this work here, and to show why only pure and truly Christian men can perform great wonders and see visions of which the worldly-minded have not even a conception. I will now relate a few instances of magnetic appearances and occurrences, many of which are recorded in the Bible. The first and most striking one we find in connection with Adam.
Moses writes Gen. The answer is, it was a deep sleep. If it was a trance, then that inward second-sight may be regarded the more probable. The seventy-two translators of the Bible actually regard this sleep as a trance, and Tertullian says, in direct reference to it, "The power of the prophecies of the Holy Ghost fell upon him. De Anima On the Soul Another remarkable vision is that which Noah had of the ark long before the deluge occurred. Abraham had many visions, or was the conversation of the Lord with him, recorded in the Bible really only than a figurative expression of intuition?
Through these visions or conversations, as you will, he was taught that he would be greatly blessed, and that he should be the father of a great nation, etc. As he came into the sacred grove of Moreh, the Lord again appeared unto Abraham and said: "This land will I give unto thy seed. EE: Moria. The innocent life of the shepherds, and their frequent abode in sacred groves, very naturally brought such intuition to the very highest point of perfection, and this was especially the case, when their minds were occupied with God and godly things.
And this is particularly shown in the history of the shepherd-life of the pious Israelites, not only by the ancient fathers, but subsequently, in the time of the kings and judges. Isaac and Jacob had visions similar to those of Abraham. We notice especially the vision of Jacob while journeying into Mesopotamia, in which he saw a ladder reaching from earth to heaven. It is written Gen. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set: and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
And he dreamed, and behold, a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord, etc. The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed, etc. And in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And Jacob awake out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. This is none ether but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
The promised land became the possession of the Jews; through his seed, namely, through Christ the Savior, who is the heavenly ladder upon which the angels of God ascended and descended, all the nations of the earth have been or will be blessed. We find another remarkable instance of the magnetic influence in changing the nature and complexion of living objects, in the history of Jacob. It is as follows: Jacob agreed with Laban that he would still guard his sheep, provided, that Laban would give him as a reward for his service, all spotted lambs and goats that should in the future be added to his flecks.
When Jacob would no longer watch over the sheep and desired to go away with his wives and children, Laban said unto him, Genesis "I pray thee, if I have found favor in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake. And he said Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it. And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee and how thy cattle was with me. And he said, What shall I give thee?
And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me anything: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock: I will pass through all thy flock to-day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire. So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me.
And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word. And he removed that day the he-goats that were ring-streaked and speckled, and all the she-goats that were speckled and spotted and every one that had some white in it, and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hands of his sons. And he set three days' journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flocks. And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chestnut-tree: and pilled white streaks in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods.
And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering-troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink. And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ring-streaked, speckled, and spotted. And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ring-streaked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban's cattle.
And it came to pass whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods. But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in; so the feeble were Laban's and the stronger Jacob's.
And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses. The fact that the sheep and the goats, upon seeing the objects which Jacob so skillfully placed before them, brought forth their young differing in appearance from themselves, has a very deep significance. Either Jacob knew what the result of this stratagem would be from experience, or it was revealed to him in a dream, for we read, Genesis "And it came to pass at the time the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ring-streaked, speckled, and grizzled.
The great army of Materialists, who represent the spirit of the scriptures and of life as an ordinary earthly matter, so as to make it appear that nothing is hidden in the sanctuary that they cannot comprehend by their intellect, will never be converted, and those who rely upon the benign influences of a higher light in the temple, which will exist beyond the life of this world, will never need conversion. Moses himself, the great man of God, had many remarkable visions. These visions consisted in part of dreams and partly in ecstasies, and for this reason was he educated in all the mysteries of the Egyptians and in all their magical arts, in which he excelled all others.
On account of his extraordinary piety and wisdom he has made the savior of his people from the thralldom of Pharaoh. His ability to lead and govern the people was the direct result of a deep intuition. If we regard this ability as mere inward sight, then we must admit that it was a purely magical gift; if as the result of direct command of the voice of God for according to the scriptures God often spoke personally with Moses , we find in it a confirmation of the truth, that a pious mind, open to divine influences, can also perform divine acts.
The first important vision of Moses occurred at Mount Horeb, while he was yet engaged in watching over the flocks of Jethro, his father-in-law Exod. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the burning bush, and said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet; for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. In such ecstasies Moses could tarry long on the mountains and separate himself from the people on the journey in the wilderness, and would yet be venerated as a man of wonders. And when the Egyptians pursued them, Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it, and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea, so there remained not so much as one of them.
With his rod he smote the rock in Rephidim, and the water gushed forth to quench the thirst of the murmuring people Exod. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. And Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered together the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them around about the tabernacle. And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit tested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them: and they were of them that were written, but went not out into the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? The various conditions of clairvoyance are clearly described by Moses.
Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian whom he had married, and they said Num. Hath he not also spoken by us? And the Lord heard it. And the Lord came down in a pillar of the cloud and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house.
With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently and not in dark speeches, and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold. For the Lord speaks through revelation and by means of the light, and not by word of mouth, neither can God be seen by mortal eyes, for He says in another place, "No man can behold me and live.
The language of God is the influence of a higher light through which the spirit which he pervades becomes electrified. It is not less significant that the bite of the fiery serpents was healed by gazing upon the brazen serpent. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against thee: pray unto the Lord that he take away the serpents from us.
And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, make thee a fiery serpent and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. The visions and prophecies of Balaam, son of Beor, to whom Balak sent Messengers, that he might curse Israel, are also of a remarkable character.
In Numbers , 15, 16, 17, 19, we have an account of the visions of the heathen seer, in which was announced the advent of Christ: "And the spirit of the Lord came upon him and he took up his parable and said: And the man whose eyes are open hath said : He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High, which saw the visions of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open, I shall see him, but not now; I shall beheld him, but not nigh; there shall come a Star out of Jacob and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel.
Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion. Balak, king of the Moabites, being afraid of the Israelites, desired to form a league with the Midianites. But since neither the Moabites nor the Midianites felt like engaging in hostilities with the Israelites, they resorted to magic, and since they had no magician among themselves, they sent for Balaam, who was celebrated for his powers of charming and divining. Balaam invited them to tarry over night; in the morning he arose and made known to the messengers that God neither permitted him to curse the Israelites, nor allowed him to accompany them to their country, for "that people was favored of God.
Balaam, a mixture of faith and fickleness, of truth and avarice, of true prophecy and magic, said to the servants of Balak: "If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. Here follows the history of Balaam's perfect somnambulism. Being a visionary, he was divided within himself, because he tried to serve God and Mammon. His conscience upbraided him. The ass, with characteristic obduracy, preferred the fields to the uneven paths in the vineyards, and when force was employed to turn her in the way, she thrust herself against the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall, for which he smote her with his staff; and since there was no path to turn aside either to the right or to the left, the ass fell down under Balaam, and he smote her again.
Finally the ass spoke to Balaam and pointed out to him his unreasonable conduct, and when he came unto himself he again saw the angel instead of the ass; but his conscience smote him ; he confessed his sin and promised to go back again. But the angel permitted him to proceed upon condition that he should speak only what the Lord had commanded him to say, which condition he fulfilled in spite of every temptation that Balak could offer; and he went not at other times to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.
This spurious prophet had no truly divine inspirations, but he prophesied in the same manner as do our mesmeric clairvoyants. For, first, he always went into retirement, when he was about to prophesy, to avoid outward disturbance, which no true prophet ever did. Second, His inward perceptions were opened by closing his outward senses. According to the Arabic, Balaam was called "the man with the closed eye," and this induces Tholuck to compare his condition to a state of magnetic ecstasy.
Fourth, Balaam made use of certain external means to throw himself into an ecstatic state, which true prophets never did. He was led from place to place in order to obtain visions, differing in their nature, so as to make them conform with the pleasure of Balak. He even employed magic, for it is written: "And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness. In the days of the judges and kings, dreams and prophetic visions signified the same thing. In 1 Samuel , we read: "In olden times in Israel, when men inquired of the Lord, they said: Come let us go to the seer, for they were called seers who are now called prophets.
And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the Lord," etc. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. We read in Deuteronomy "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or wonder, and the sign or wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying Let us go, after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them: Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
It would be tedious as well as superfluous to recite all the visions of the prophets. In the meantime we will not pass over the most remarkable in silence. In 1 Samuel 16, we find the history of Saul, who, after the spirit of God had departed from him, became gloomy and ill, and whose condition could only be ameliorated by the sweet sounds of music. And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on the harp: and it shall come to pass when the evil spirit of God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well: and Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me, etc.
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. If there arise among you prophets, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth a sign, etc. Saul was a seeker after signs and wonders, for he at one time inquired of Samuel about his missing asses; at another time he inquired of the witch of Endor, and at another time he depended upon deceptive dreams.
The witch said to Saul: "Wherefore dost thou ask of me, seeing that the Lord is departed from thee, and thy kingdom is gone out of thy hand. The most remarkable of these visions were those of Samuel and David. The history of the aged king David, who could no more obtain warmth of body, even though he was covered with clothing, we have already related. Among all the prophets of the old dispensation there was none more exalted than Elias, whose very name was a synonym for a higher grade of being. We find in him an example of great significance in magnetic transactions.
And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord, my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. And the Lord heard the voice of Elias; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.
And Elias took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him to his mother. Of a similar kind a still more remarkable instance of the striking and powerful magnetic influence is given in the history of the Shunammite's son who was restored to life by the prophet Elisha. And he said unto his father, My head, my head! And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.
And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door and went out. And she called unto her husband and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again. And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him today? And she said It shall be well. So she went, and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder that Shunammite: Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee?
And she answered, It is well. And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take thy staff in thy hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child.
And the mother of the child said. As the Lord liveth, I will not leave thee. And he arose, and followed her. And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice nor hearing. Wherefore, he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked.
And when Elisha had come into the house, behold the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the Lord. And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child, and the flesh of the child waxed warm.
Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. And he called Gehazi, and said. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, take up thy son. First, that one must be a man of God as Elisha was. Second, Elisha must have been well acquainted with the transferring of this power by means of a conductor, or he would not have sent his servant before him with the staff, by simply laying the same upon the face of the dead child, and thereby restore him to life.
Third, the command that he gave unto his servant, to salute no one by the way, has a deep significance. A proof that is highly necessary and important that a magnetic physician should be free from all diversions in order to concentrate all his energies upon the one object, — the patient. Fourth, the very management in this case, is incomparable. Fifth, it is a proof that perseverance and continuance is a chief requisite in a magnetic operation: you cannot fell a tree with one stroke, so Elisha, after the first effort, arose and walked to and fro in the house, and only upon the second effort did the dead lad begin to breathe.
That they knew the method of healing by laying on of hands, and that they practiced it, is proven in the passage 2 Kings Naaman, the Syrian captain, expected Elisha to move his hand over the leprous part, and thus put away his leprosy. We often read that the remains of saints worked marvelous wonders and healed the sick long after their decease.
This was the case with Elisha, for we read 2 Kings : "And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass as they were burying a man, that behold they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulcher of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood upon his feet. Let us once more take a retrospective glance upon the people of Israel, according to the history of the Old Testament, and upon the ancient days of the Orientals, and compare the magic among them to that of later years and we shall find many and essential differences.
In the first place, I have remarked before, how that the people of Israel stood single and alone before all the heathen nations, and how the magic among them assumed an essential and diversified form. As for instance, in Egypt Athor, according to the Theogony of Hesiod, the darkness of night was worshipped as the great unknown, through profound silence; but to the Israelites the light appeared in the unity of God, whom they worshipped with loud hymns.
In the entire old world of Heathendom the power of the principle of nature governed, and brought down the spiritual vibration to the level of the terrestrial or earthly. The light shown in the darkness, but the darkness comprehended it not. The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people to Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. Madam Schlegel says: "A longing or love is the root and beginning of every higher and divine knowledge.
The necessary epoch for preparation to this gradual process may not be overturned nor set aside by the noblest strivings of man. The whole existence of this people was built only upon hope, and the highest centre of their inner life was placed at a great distance in the future. Upon this also rests the chief difference in the method of the holy deliverance of the Hebrews, as is exhibited by other old Asiatic nations. In the old records of these nations their glance in the proper historic parts is directed more toward the glorious past, with a regretful feeling in consequence of that which man has since lost.
Molitor 5 says further: — "The leading of the Israelites furnishes the most apparent proof of the divine nature of religion. Meantime these oracles do not appear to be positive leaders of the people. They simply reply to inquiries made. Not in a single heathen religion, therefore, do we observe a really positive, sensitive and divine guidance. But man stands here, solely in his own power. Where is there a nation to be found that had such an ethical guidance? Nowhere, therefore, do we find merit or praise for baseness or lowness.
When, for instance, it was said of Moses: "He was an humble man," it was a compliment which was never bestowed upon a heathen hero. Franz Josef Molitor The Hebrew prophets and the heathen seers present an essential difference. They are as follows: 1. The Magician, the Indian Brahmin, the mystical Priest, etc. The Magician elevates himself by his own innate strength to a higher state and condition than the world by whom he is surrounded; he isolates himself intentionally and his isolation becomes imperative, and through it follow the various castes and grades in life, as, for example, the Indian and Egyptian castes, which produces a special influence upon the diversified conditions of earthly life and intellect; Moses and the prophets are more casual, and in the passive dread of deep solitude, they suddenly hear the call and follow in humility, with veiled countenances.
To the Brahmin, for example, the earth is a hell, a place of torment; to the prophet it is a school, through which, in the performance of duty, the peace of true happiness may be found. The magician is a lawgiver, the prophets are obedient disciples, who preach and explain the revelations of God. There we have the means of falling into a state of ecstasy, self-denial and unnatural mortification of the body. Here the world is adapted to the most judicious enjoyment of life. The prophet does not require extraordinary means to fall into a state of ecstasy ; he utters the immediate word of God without preparation and without mortifying the body, presents it, and lives among his kind.
Therefore, the numerous antagonistic figures of truth and deception, of sensational emotions and phantasmagoria in broken and jarring forms, of convulsions and contortions of the body and the soul, which we find among our mesmeric subjects. The index of their visions relates to the general concerns of life in respect to religion and citizenship; the prophet speaks and his words are true doctrines, uttered clearly for the benefit of all men and ages, and comprehended by all.
He seeks happiness yet finds it not in penance, but in his calling, in spreading abroad the word of God, not in secret contemplations, but by imparting it to his fellow-beings through active cooperation. Finally, 7. Since the motives and proceedings differ essentially among inspired races, so their aims and results also differ. The Indian magician mourns on account of the gradual lowering of the spiritual from its original luster, following the rapidly succeeding eras of the world into perishing nature and into the kingdom of death, and deprecates the misery connected therewith, namely, discontent, the confusion and laceration of the spirit, all of which we may find among the different heathen nations.
On the other hand, how greatly has universal brotherhood and companionship increased, step by step, through the agency of the true prophet, and how has the spiritual been glorified! The spirit that waved over the Jewish religion in the west spread its peaceful influences farther and wider, and while in the former instance everything is lost in weakness and darkness, in the latter mountains are removed by active faith, and trees are planted by mutual help and counsel, whose fruit will only ripen for enjoyment in another world, toward which we should turn our faces and our exertions.
Historians and philosophers of modern times have declared that the ecstatic visions of the prophets of Israel and those of the apostles were identical with magnetic appearances. They are called seers, men of God, servants and messengers of the Lord, angels and watchmen. The marks of the true prophets of the Old Testament were: 1st. That their prophecies agreed with the doctrines of Moses and the patriarchs Deut.
That they agreed with other prophets Isa. That they led a blameless life Jer. That they exhibited a holy zeal in the work of God Jer. Their office consisted in this, 1st, That they instructed the people, when the priests, whose duty it was, became indifferent. That they restored the slack and decayed worship of God 2 Kings ; Ezek.
That they foretold future events, and to this end asked counsel of God 1 Kings , 3; Ezek. The same may be said of the apostles and the preachers of the living word. They were called ministers because Christ had himself chosen them and sent them to the ends of the earth to proclaim the atonement and gather His elect.
They did not force themselves in to his service, but Christ called them in a direct manner, and taught them personally to proclaim the advent of the Messiah, and with these credentials, to perform wonders through the divine word. Their lives proved that they were true followers in the footsteps of their Lord and Master, in word and deed, in works and in suffering. For if their superficial appearance at first sight seems the same, their difference will soon become apparent when we examine them in a threefold point of view, namely, of cause, content or form and intention.
An abnormal condition of health always precedes it, and the somnolent state of the outward senses is the first condition of it. Prophetic inspiration is not a procreation of nature or of man but it is an emanation of the Holy Spirit and a divine decree. The divine call comes unexpectedly, and the physical condition has no connection with it whatever. The physical powers can never become the determinate powers, but they remain dependent upon the spirit, which makes it a means to spiritual aims.
A mesmeric life with changed functions of the senses and a physical crisis does not take place here. Secondly, according to form, magnetic second-sight depends directly upon the health and on the life of the seer, or rather, it predominates in the relative modes of earthly life. The true prophet, according to form, has no diversity of visions, but an unchanging index of scriptural work — the annunciation of Him, who is the Beginning and the End, and by whom all things were created.
A prophet is not only a seer, but he is the organ of the divine will. That which is worldly or changeable — bigotry or sensuality, health, riches and honor in the world, and dominion over his fellow-men, is not his affair. Through prayer, and in word and deed, the prophet continues in a living relation with God and his fellow-beings. True prophets do not isolate themselves, neither do they sink into the absorbing depths of their own visions, feelings and relations. Their prophecies do not refer to personalities, but to the fate of nations and the world, therefore, are they able in their works to exhibit supernatural powers, strengthened by the omnipotent power of their faith and will, and this power they exercise over their own bodies as well as over the bodies of others and over all nature in its wide and temporal boundaries.
The sudden conversions and changes of opinion, the instantaneous healing of severe and lingering diseases, the warnings against threatening dangers, and help for the needy from a distance, giving consolation and strength in trouble and suffering, etc. Self-aggrandizement and the personal advantage of these organs of the Deity were not thought of. To these obvious variations the children of Israel bear special witness. That there is a still more exalted spiritual region which takes a positive hold upon the reason and offers revelations which are not of a natural order, and which cannot exist in these lower regions, and which are not merely phantasies, illusions or hallucinations of an abnormal condition of the brain.
The ignoring, or rather, the denial of sophistical rationalism, especially by the Israelites is also represented superficially, just as the pantheistical philosophy of nature is, which distils everything into a common mass, and which represents the prophets and the saints only as somnambulistic sects, upon a somewhat higher plane than is ascribed to them in the partial Tellurian dark ages.
We often find among the prophets also, that they secluded themselves in solitary places, and that they fasted and gave themselves up to quiet contemplation. They, like the clairvoyants, speak of an inward higher light, of a light that enlightens them, and they admit this higher illumination to be the spirit of the Eternal, whose hand came upon them and transfigured them, and they walked, as the Psalmist says, in the light of His countenance, "For in Thy light, we shall see light; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
Thou art the living fountain and in thy light we see the light. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: Yet I heard the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
And behold, a hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. And behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength, for how can the servant of this my lord, talk with this my lord? And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I came unto thee? The created spirit does not generally exist for itself, nor by itself, but only in reference to absolute being.
The more perfect the creature, the more inward and free is the communion between the creature and the Creator — the more is man a free agent and a co-worker with God. If taken in this connection, the power of the divine seer is not to be regarded separately from other spiritual powers by which he can overcome anything foreign to his nature, but rather as a fixed form, a normal and regenerated soul-power. The spirit of man, the image of God, may become the mirror in which the divine type is reflected just in proportion to the purity of this image.
Second edition, p. Johann Carl Passavant , German physician. I have not located an English edition, but his Untersuchungen: uber den Lebensmagnetismus und das Hellsehen originally appeared in , and was substantially rewritten in 2. The way from Ur in Chaldea to Canaan, which was taken by the patriarch Abraham, how far it stretched through its lengths and breadths across to Egypt, and from thence through the wilderness to the promised land of which they were to take possession!
If Israel then is, as it is represented, the favored people of God, then it can be nothing less than the pearl of perfection, and consequently the mirror of perverseness, which always strives after outward forms and ceremonies, and seeks happiness in nature and the dissipations of the present, a happiness which cannot be found on earth. In order to teach the children of Israel humble obedience to the laws, they were exposed to the severest trials and subjected to the meanest slavery.
To this people and to no other, the commandments were communicated in thunder tones by divinely appointed leaders, in order that it might heed with the inner depths of the mind and not merely superficially with the outward senses. Sacrifices and feasts were not to serve as temporal occasions of rejoicing, but they were to serve as a typical covering through which might be seen the true light of the coming Messiah, as the flower-bud turns toward the approaching light of the sun.
The Mercy-seat, the Cherubim, the Holy of Holies, the Pillar of Fire, and Solomon's Temple, are all symbolical manifestations originating in magical visions and point to the coming of Christ. That the entire Mosaic regulation was symbolical and hieroglyphical is admitted by every expert, and the following words express this fact clearly: "and look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount. The forms and ceremonies of the law were only now strictly enforced in order to impress men with the importance of the revealed word.
But how long a period, intervened between the wanderings and sufferings of the Israelites, the wonders by which they were surrounded, the death of the firstborn in Egypt, the lightning which flashed from the heights of Mount Sinai, and the time of King David, with whom commenced the third period. His obedience toward God, and his unwavering faith not only caused it to be said of him, "that he was a man after God's own heart," but as the root of Judah, born in Bethlehem, he also became the type of Christ. He was both king and prophet, and had to bear many troubles and trials.
As a servant of God he sought to lead the children of Israel to God at Jerusalem, the mountain of peace, where finally, the mild, illuminating light of the divine Prince of Peace appeared to the world out of the dark, transitory night, on the cross. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the World. The coming of Christ on earth was not an accidental occurrence as other natural events were. His coming was a revelation ordained by God from the foundation of the world. I have already shown in my anthropological views, that Christ, if he actually was the Son of God, would necessarily have to appear at a fixed time and place, and that his appearance would constitute the beginning of the second period of human power, and that this event would take place on the western coast of Asia.
Having brought forward many of the most extraordinary events of the old covenant which have reference to magic and magnetism, it seems important in more than one sense, also to speak of the new covenant, in order to extract from it that which concerns us so directly, because in the new covenant the magical healing of diseases was effected in so many instances without visible means, as well by Christ himself as by the apostles, from which it would appear that all these miracles and healings were the result of nothing else than magic or magnetism.
There are a few extremes here which have been maintained by both the advocates and opponents of these miracles, which we will notice more particularly in this place. In concluding this section we will glance at the existence and signification of Christianity in a general sense, as well as the relation which it bears to magic.
The men of God under the old covenant, who performed such great wonders, and accomplished such wonderful works, were always rather more on the side of humanity than that of the divine, that is, they always evinced only single powers and perfections. The universal expression of full perfection became an absolute reality only through Christ.
He it was who first unbarred the new door — severed the chains of slavery, and pointed out the true image of perfection and wisdom in all their fullness to man. Christ again restored to humanity the assurance of immortality. He elevated the spiritual being to a temple of holy fire, and made it a living altar and incense to an eternal peace. Since God alone is superior to man, this agent or Savior could be nothing less than the essential idea of divine powers. In order to awaken a consciousness in the soul of man of what God really was, he had to bear the Divine character in himself.
Even the various judgments of men regarding Christ, show conclusively that all power, all gifts and perfections were united in him. See above. There are beings for whom the Redeemer has already come, others for whom he comes now, and still others for whom he is yet to come. He entered the Holy of Holies as the true High Priest, and restored to the elect, through his spirit, not only the lost words of the old book, but gave them a new one, richer in content for the healing of all evil, and for making them invulnerable. In addition he gave to them the holy incense of prayer, and showed them, that without it they would be unable, except through Him alone, to obtain every principle of life.
He performed on earth what is found above. He was constantly active, as the highest embodiment of wisdom, in spiritual and temporal acts of charity, and united both in one. But this could only be when He himself was joined in this unity on earth in which he was joined from all eternity. In the end he crowned his work by conferring a spirit which created a knowledge and vitality that were never experience before. He chose an object of sense as a channel through which to communicate the highest powers of life. Even man may transfer his weak powers on any object: how much more must the mysteries baptism by water, the communion through bread and wine , instituted by Himself, have possessed a power which man could never possess.
The action of the Holy Communion is at the same time corporeal, spiritual and divine, and all things therein contained must become spirit and life, because He himself, who instituted it, was the spirit and the life. Each true Christian is a living expression of this doctrine and an image of its author.