Therefore, what will answer the true end of man will be furnished but that is not cabbage. It is holiness and love, i . e., God himself. See Martineau, Study, 2:370-381.
The argument, however, is valuable only in its application to the righteous. God will not treat the righteous as the tyrant of Florence treated Michael Angelo, when he bade him carve out of ice a statue, which would melt under the first rays of the sun. In the case of the wicked, the other law of retribution comes in ? the taking away of ?even that which he hath? ( <402529>Matthew 25:29). Since we are all wicked, the argument is not satisfactory, unless we take into account the further facts of atonement and justification ? facts of which we learn from revelation alone.
But while, taken by itself, this rational argument might be called defective and could never prove that man may not attain his end in the continued existence of the race, rather than in that of the individual, the argument appears more valuable as a rational supplement to the facts already mentioned. It seems to render certain at least the immortality of those upon whom God has set his love and in whom he has wrought the beginnings of righteousness.
Lord Erskine: ?Inferior animals have no instincts or faculties which are not subservient to the ends and purposes of their being. Man?s reason and faculties endowed with power to reach the most distant worlds would be useless if his existence were to terminate in the grave.? There would be wastefulness in the extinction of great minds. See Jackson, James Martineau, 439. As water is implied by the organization of the fish, and air by that of the bird, so ?the existence of spiritual power within us is likewise presumption that some fitting environment awaits the spirit when it shall be set free and perfected and sex and death can be dispensed with? (Newman Smyth, A Place of Death in Evolution, 106). Nageli, the German botanist, says that Nature tends to perfection. Yet the mind hardly begins to awake, ere the bodily powers decline (George, Progress and Poverty, 505). ?Character grows firmer and solider as the body ages and grows weaker. Can character be vitally implicated in the act of physical dissolution?? (Upton, Hibbert Lectures, 353). If a rational and moral Deity has caused the gradual evolution in humanity of the ideas of right and wrong and has added to it the faculty of creating ethical ideals, must he not have provided some satisfaction for the ethical needs which this development has thus called into existence? (Balfour, Foundations of Belief, 351).
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