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by Dr. John Thomas
If this be true, then it follows that it was adapted to man as God had formed him.
Hence, the institutions of religion, if it be of God, will always be found in harmony with his constitution and not at variance with it.
They are devised as a remedy, for certain irregularities which have invaded his intellectual and moral nature; by which, phenomena have been superinduced which are destructive of his being.
Now the exact adaptation of the Bible religion to the curative indications suggested by the intellectual, moral, and physical infirmities of human nature, which everyone who understands it cannot fail to perceive, proves that the mind which framed it is divine; and that the religion of the scriptures, and the constitution of man, are the work of one and the same Creator.
God is truly the only wise physician, whose practice is based upon perfect knowledge; for He alone (and they to whom He hath revealed it) knows "what is in man".
Hence, no incongruities are discoverable in "His way" when His method of cure is understood.
In medicine, a scientific practice is directed, and founded, upon a knowledge of the structure or mechanism of the body, the motive power thereof, and of the functions which are manifested by the working of this power on its several parts.
The absence of this knowledge in a professional, constitutes empiricism; and is one cause of such vast multitudes "dying," as it is said, "of the doctor".
Being ignorant of the motive power of the living creature, they are as unsuccessful in correcting its irregularities as a watchmaker, who was ignorant of the principles and laws by which a timepiece was moved, would be in rectifying its errors.
Now this may be taken in illustration of the predicament of others who undertake the "cure of souls".
To treat these as "a work-man that needeth not to be ashamed," a man should be acquainted with "souls" as God hath formed and constituted them.
He should know what "a living soul" is; what its condition in a healthy state; what the peculiar morbid affection under which it languishes; what the nature of the cure indicated; and what the divinely appointed means by which the indications may be infallibly fulfilled.
An attempt to "cure souls" without understanding the constitution of man as revealed by Him who created him, is mere theological experimentalism; and as bootless, and more fatally destructive than the empiricism of the most ignorant pretenders to the healing art.
men undertake to "cure souls" and not to know what a soul is; or to imagine it a something, which it is admitted cannot be demonstrated by "the testimony of God".
This is like pretending to repair a timepiece without knowing what constitutes a watch or clock, or while imagining it to be a musical box, or any other conceivable thing.
Speculation has assumed that the soul is something in the human body capable of living out of the body, and of eating, drinking, feeling, tasting, smelling, thinking, singing, and so forth; and of the same essence as God Himself.
In times past some have busied themselves in calculating how many such souls could stand on the point of a needle; a problem, however, which still remains unsolved.
A vast deal is said in "sermons" and systems about this idea; about its supposed nature, its wonderful capacity, its infinite value, its immortality, and its destiny.
I shall not, however, trouble the reader with it.
We have to do with "the law and the testimony"; and as they are altogether silent about such a supposed existence, we shall not occupy our pages in superadding to the obsolete print concerning its attributes, which has already merged into the oblivion of the past.
I allude to so much as this, because it is made the foundation corner-stone, as it were, of those experimental systems of spiritual cure, which are so popular with the world, and so utterly exclusive and proscriptive of the divine method.
Upon the supposition of the existence of this kind of a soul in the human body are based the current notions of heaven, hell, immortality, infant salvation, purgatory, saint-worship, Mariolatry, spiritual millenniumism, metempsychosis, etc., etc. Its existence both in the body and out of the body being assumed, it is assumed also to be immortal.