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nine thousand years Ormazd was to assume the supreme power and subdue all things to himself. There was yet another doctrine held by a heterodox sect, the Zervanites, connected with Zervana and the Chaldean Astrology. According to this opinion the whole duration of the world was to be divided into twelve periods of one thousand years each, and each chiliad governed by one of the signs of the zodiac.79
The account which we shall now give of the last times is from the Boundehesh, and as far as practicable in the very words of that book. Near the end of the nine thousand years three important personages are to appear, Oshedarbami, Oshedar-mah, and Sosyans or Sosiosh. Of these Sosiosh, the Parsee Messiah, is the greatest, and has power over the resurrection. The other two are but his forerunners, and correspond to the Isaiah and Jeremiah of the fourth book of Ezra, the Moses and Elias of the talmudic tracts Debarim Rabba and Midrash Tanchuma, or the Elias and Messiah, son of Joseph, of the Pesikta Sotarta.80 In either case it is but a rough copy of a Jewish doctrine. The three are represented as sons of Zoroaster, yet not to be born until near the end of the world, and then to be born of three virgins. It is foreign to our purpose to examine minutely the circumstances and physiological doctrines which reconcile these seeming inconsistencies. Oshedarbami is to appear during the last millennium and make the sun stand still ten days and nights; and in his days the second-quarter of the human race will be converted to the Law. Oshedar-mah will come four hundred years later, and will stop the sun twenty days and nights. The third-fourth of the world will be converted, and mankind will cease to eat of ordinary food, but will live on the spontaneous fruits of the earth and on milk. They will next abandon these and only drink water. Sosiash will make his appearance in the last year of the world, during which people will neither eat nor die. The sun will be arrested thirty days, and the rest of mankind converted. "After that Sosiosh will cause the
the Jewish authorities collected in Gfrörer's Geschichte des Urchristenthums II. 225 and following.
79 Spiegel's Avesta ii. 218. 80 Id ii. 229 &c., Ghillany's Mesnchenopfer 553, Malachi iv. 5, Matt. xi. 14, xvii. 10, Mark vii. 15, ix. 12, Luke i. 17, John i, 21, 25.
dead to live, as it is said; Zoroaster asked Ormazd, saying: The wind scattereth the body, the water carrieth it away, how then shall it be restored? how shall the dead arise? Ormazd made answer: I am he who hath established the starry heaven in celestial space, whose office is to reveal its light from afar. It is by me that the earth is established the earth whereon walketh the Lord of the world. I make the light of sun, moon and stars shine through the clouds. I have created the seed corn, which, falling into the earth, groweth anew, multiplying abundantly.I have created man whose eye seeth, whose life is in his breath; when he ariseth none can overcome him by force. Let the Wicked One appear and try to effect a resurrection. In vain would be his efforts. He could reanimate nothing. Yet surely shall thine eye see all things live anew. And when the resurrection shall have once taken place, there will be no need of a second; for then shall the glorified earth bring forth the trees, the fire, the water, the blood, the bones, the skin, the life, as at the Creation.'
"Kaiomorts shall arise first, then Meshia and Meshiane, and after them, the rest of mankind. In fifty-seven years shall all the dead arise and re-appear upon the earth. The faithful and the unbeliever, each shall arise in the same manner; their souls first, then their bodies, scattered through the whole world, in the same order as they had been created. Then one will recognize another and say: This is my father, this is my mother, my brother, my wife — lo these are my neighbors, those my friends.' Then shall appear upon the earth the assembly of all the creatures of the world together with man. In that assembly each one will see the good or evil he may have done, and be consoled or ashamed accordingly. The unbeliever will appeal to the just man, and say: When I was in the world, why did you not teach me to act with uprightness? It is because you did not instruct me that I am excluded from the company of the blest.'
"Then the faithful will be separated from the unbelievers. The just shall be conducted to heaven, the unbelievers, cast again into hell. Three days and nights they will be tormented in body and soul, while the righteous in heaven partake of all the joys of the blest." But Persian saints
81 1 Cor. xv. 37.
82 Ibid, verse 23.
when beatified, have still some feelings of humanity; and so the faithful will weep over the unbelievers, and these for themselves; for the believing father will have an unbelieving son, and of two sisters the one will be faithful and the other infidel. Then a comet will strike the earth, and by its heat the ores in the mountain mines will be melted and flow down like a river. All the race of man will pass through that fiery stream. On the righteous it will have no effect, but will purify the wicked from their sins; and all will be alike pure and excellent. The dark stream will roll on, washing out hell itself, and making it a fruitful land. Ahriman and his deevs will be regenerated, and men, angels, and converted devils will unite in hymns of common adoration. Ormazd, having brought all things to perfection, will create no more. There will be no more evil or pain, the blest will do no more servile labor, but continue in holiness and peace and happiness forever more. And with this sublime scene the curtain falls, and the vision of the eternal world is closed.
Limitations of Human Nature as an Authority
OUR confidence in the stability of essential Universalism is never stronger than when we reflect on its unequivocal appeal in behalf of human nature. Whatever theoretical difficulties may be involved in its defence, (and every human interpretation of Christianity must be conceded to involve difficulties of some sort or other) it is to us a real satisfaction, that its defenders are never driven to the necessity of vilifying God's image in man. Grant that it may be a difficult question (and we presume that no one will deny that in some respects the question is difficult) to determine with completeness what human nature is; grant that it is a perplexing task to discriminate between what is the essenVOL. Xviii. 3
tial soul, and what its incidental accompaniments; grant that the genuine affirmations of the soul on the one hand, and its utterances under perversion and the influence of tradition on the other hand, are not always clearly distinguishable; still, it gives us great comfort to know, that in all particulars in which the essential nature of the soul is unquestionable, Universalism is never forced to dispute, evade, or modify its averments.
With orthodoxy, we hardly need say the case is different. Its whole literary history is a dogmatic crusade, direct or indirect, upon the nature of man. The instincts of the soul have been traduced persistently and systematically from the very advent of the theology which enunciates the dogma of endless sin and suffering. We need not say that every cause naturally strives to break down the witnesses who testify most strongly against it. No fact of history is more palpable than that orthodoxy and human nature are irreconcilable foes. Mr. Mansel's masterly and learned sophistry in proof of the incompetency of reason to testify aught on the subject of Christian doctrine (a sophistry which, in its lauddable aim to shield Christianity from the assaults of infidelity, has, in effect, conceded everything to the infidel) would never have been written, had not the despairing call of Calvinistic theology, to invalidate the testimony of reason, been imperative. In Mr. Mansel's Limits of Religious Thought, we reach a land-mark in the career of the self-styled evangelical creed; and the fact stands confessed: If human nature stands, the creed of orthodoxy falls. Regarding human nature as the work of God, and so deeming its genuine testimony as the voice of God, we can harbor no doubt as to the issue. And we repeat, it is to us a source of profound satisfaction, that Universalist interpretations of the Gospel have never involved the necessity of resisting or even modifying the testimony of the human soul in things sacred. And we think the time has fully come when we may rest in the proposition: If human nature stands, essential Universalism has an indestructible basis, and cannot be overthrown.
But while we gladly and unequivocally acknowledge the authority of human nature in religious matters, we must be careful to remember that much room remains for discrimination. We are not to assume that because the spiritual na
ture of man is a legitimate witness in matters of Christian doctrine, its authority is therefore unrestricted. Possibly the sphere within which it gives testimony is limited. Possibly it is but one out of many witnesses, having coördinate, but not paramount authority. In the more complicated cases tried before judicial bodies, it seldom happens that any one witness has knowledge of all the points on which evidence is demanded. One witness, it may be, testifies on a matter of locality; another settles a question of date or identity; another recollects important particulars in a conversation to which he was accidentally an ear witness; and other persons give various items of information bearing more or less directly on the great question at issue. It is frequently the case, that no one of the many persons brought on to the witness-stand, if considered alone, could give the requisite evidence to determine the whole question. The final agreement is built upon an aggregate of testimony-an aggregate in which all the particulars so blend one with another, so converge upon a single point as to induce conviction and secure the true verdict. May it not be similar in the matter of Christian theology? May not this rest upon the conjoined and blending testimony of many witnesses, each one testifying within a limited sphere, and no one, if considered by itself alone, sufficient to justify rational conviction? May it not be that Christian theology is a system, that its constituent elements come from divers sources; one of which sources is the rational, moral and religious nature of man?
Assuming, as we shall do, the authority of the soul in matters of religion, we may still consider such questions as these: Is the testimony of this soul negative, by virtue of which we may be assured of the falsity of certain theological dogmas? or, is it positive, by virtue of which certain points are specifically determined to be truths? or, is its testimony both negative and positive? Is the negative authority of the soul so complete that every false notion may be tested by it? or, is this power of repudiation limited to a class of errors? In its positive testimony does it originate theological ideas, or only confirm ideas originating else where? or, does it originate in some particulars and simply confirm in others? It will be seen that these are legitimate and important questions; and we trust that they sufficiently