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The Spiritual Body

The Spiritual Body

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Published by glennpease



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Published by: glennpease on Jul 11, 2013
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THE SPIRITUAL BODYTHE SPIRITUAL BODYBY C. E. ROLTSOCIETY FOR PROMOTIGCHRISTIA KOWLEDGEEDITOR'S ITRODUCTIOTHE MS. of this Essay on the Spiritual Bodywas sent after its author's death to theSociety for Promoting Christian Know-ledge. The Society decided that it should bepubhshed, and entrusted me with the task of editing it. It will of course be understood thatthe Society in no way commits itself to thetheories here propounded, which are in fact of a highly speculative chaj-acter. The Essay isto be regarded simply as a thesis for discussion,the reflections of an independent thinker of unusual philosophic power, on one of thedifficult problems of Christian eschatology.It will be evident to any reader, whateverestimate he may form of its arguments, thatthis is an Essay upon which its author spentgreat pains. The subject had been in his mindfor years. It was indeed in process of revisionwhen he passed from speculation on the naturePage 1
THE SPIRITUAL BODYof the spiritual body to an experimental know-ledge of the same.Twa opposite tendencies will be noticed asiv EDITOR'S ITRODUCTIOthe reader proceeds. The writer's venerationfor the traditional Faith makes him in somerespects distinctly conservative : yet at timeshis deviations from the accepted view, as forinstance in regarding Lazarus as being not deadbut only in a trance, are startlingly conspicuous.But if the Essay is taken as a whole the con-servative tendency predominates over the liberal.Of the author's work as a student I havebeen permitted to speak elsewhere in an intro-duction to his translation of St. Dionysius theAreopagite (S.P.C.K. 1920). The present Essayshows that philosophic speculation was hisstrength, and that he excelled in this directionmore than in biblical exposition. He was inwarm sympathy with the spiritualist move-ments of the day, anxious to recognize trueelements contained in them, and desirous of pre-senting the doctrine of the Resurrection Bodyin a form likely to win the assent of the modernmind. His discussion is pervaded throughoutby a deeply devout and reverential spirit.Page 2
THE SPIRITUAL BODYThe reader will remember that the Essaylabours under the disadvantages which are in-evitable in works published without the author'ssupervision. o introduction had been written.o headings were assigned to the chapters.EDITOR'S ITRODUCTIO vo title had been selected for the book. TheEditor has been obliged therefore to do thebest he could to supply these variousomissions.Quite briefly, the Essay is designed to showthat the natural body and the spiritual bodyare intimately related ; that the human spiritwill never be bodiless ; and that body willexist in three successive states, the body of this. present life on earth, the body of the inter-mediate condition before the Resurrection, andthe body as the perfect expression of spirit inthe life of Heaven. It is maintained that thegerms of the intermediate body and of thespiritual body are already contained within thenatural body. But these three successive stagesare not so entirely successive that they cannotbe in part simultaneous. Thus it is argued inChapter I. that St, Paul's conception of theResurrection Body was partly derived from hisown experience of a period when he could notaccurately define whether he was in the bodyPage 3

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