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Niagara Index



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No 1


tion of being, and this is found in the Creator Him-

self, the source of all perfection.
(J. T. L.)

Man then, excelling as he does all beings of the
Far into past but not forgotten years,

mineral, vegetable, and brute kingdoms must possess
Again amid the dreams of youth to ghide,

some principle, some powers or faculties which they
Thought hurries on, caught up by Mem'ry's tide.

can never attain.
Hope glimmers faintly thro' a mist of tears ;

In every corporeal being there are two incomplete
Each heart long still, illumin'd as it nears

substances united to make one complete substance.
Responsive heart, grows dull again, and wide

These two incomplete substances are matter and form.
Love stretcheth forth its hands; it cannot bide

Matter considered in itself, is called “prima materia”
Another separation, and it fears

or first matter and is defined as "something which by
Night's closing in, when Grief sad vigil keeps.

itself is free from every essence or property, but is
Delay, young dreams! delay your swift return!

capable of receiving in itself any essence or property.
Reply not yet to one who knows and weeps ;

This enters into the composition of man in common
Yet linger ere you deck the funeral urn,-

with all terrestrial beings.
Come softly back, and whisper that he sleeps

Form is the first act of matter; it is the essence or
Mid friends of God, where Life's own planets burn !

that which constitutes a thing in its species. Hence
-G there are as many different forms as there are different

classes of beings. But in the living world this form con-
THE HUMAN FORM DIVINE. stitutes the soul, and as there are three different species

of being in the living kingdom, namely, the vegetable,

the brute and man, so there are three different forms
ONDERFUL are the works of nature. The or souls corresponding to the three classes of beings.

various kinds of being, the striving of each In the vegetable kingdom we perceive operations
for its own special end, the order and which exeeed the powers of matter in so far as they

harmony by which all tend to a common proceed from a principle intrinsic in the subject in
end, the causes and reasons for so manifold yet con- which they are manifested, yet these operations are
vergent operations, furnish to the student of philo- dependent on matter and its qualities, and such
sophy a vast and varied field for deep research. operations belong to the vegetable soul. In the brute,

Guided by the light of reason he must penetrate besides this life-giving principle, we perceive opera-
the depths that lie hidden from the naked eye, he tions which are exercised by means of bodily organs,
must closely investigate every class of objects and yet the source of such operations must be sought not
their relations one to another. The operations of in matter, for as such it is wholly devoid of action,
every class must be carefully scrutinized and ex- but in some intrinsic principle which is the brute or
perience must serve him in the solution of many sensitive soul.

But in man, the masterpiece of the great Creator,
When the student has done all this : when every we perceive operations which surpass all corporeal
being in the vast sphere has been most earnestly con- nature; operations which are independent of matter
sidered, then surely is the most sceptical forced to or corporeal organs and such are the operations of the
exclaim, indeed there is a God and man is His most intellect and will which are faculties of the human
wonderful, most noble work.

When we reflect that the smallest grain of sand on Now all the vital acts of a being flow from one vital
the sea shore; the most insignificant flower of the principle in that being. So in man the human soul is

the very worm of the earth are not without the principle whence flow all the operations proper to
their purpose ; what then must we conclude concern-

But since all the functions of life are subordi-
ing the importance and destiny of man whom God has nate to one another and cooperate harmoniously to
placed as master over all these things? St. Thomas one common end, there must be unity in the cause :
the Angelic Doctor and patron of schools tells us ; and as the soul is the cause of all operations it must
that every corporeal creature tends as far as possible be the one vital principle in man and by consequence
to assimilation to the intellectual creature and thus it must be different from the matter of the body, else,
the “ forma humana” namely, the rational soul is any body would live as long as it would be a body.
said to be the ultimate end for which the lower nature The union of body and soul in man constitutes one
was designed. But since every bodily creature is in- nature and one person : and since this union is a sub-
clined to become similar to the intellectual creature, stantial one the soul must be the substantial form of
man, in turn, must tend towards some higher perfec- the body. But since the union of body and soul in



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