The Book of Nature

Theclassics Us, 2013 - 320 páginas
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1837 edition. Excerpt: ... While such, however, were the philosophical traditions, the popular tradition appears to have been of a different kind, and as much more ancient as it was more extensive. It taught that the disimbodied spirit becomes a ghost as soon as it is separated from the corporeal frame; a thin, misty, or aerial form, somewhat larger than life, with a feeble voice, shadowy limbs; knowledge superior to what was possessed while in the flesh; capable, under particular circumstances, of rendering itself visible; and retaining so much of its former features as to be recognised upon its apparition; in a few instances wandering about for a certain period of time after death, but for the most part conveyed to a common receptacle situated in the interior of the earth, and denominated scheol ( DEGREESlXi?), hades {aim), hell, or the world of shades. Such was the general belief of the multitude in almost all countries from a very early period of time; with this difference, that the hades of various nations was supposed to exist in some remote situation on the surface of the earth, and that of others in the clouds. The first of these modifications of the general tradition is still to be traced among many of the African tribes, and perhaps all the aboriginal tribes of North America. That most excellent man, William Penn, who appears, with some singularities, to have united in his character as much moral goodness, natural eloquence, and legislative wisdom, as ever fell to the lot of any one, has sufficiently noticed this fact, in regard to the American tribes, in his valuable account of the country, addressed to " The Free Society of Traders of Pennsylvania," drawn up from an extensive and actual survey, and constituting, so far as it goes, one of the most important...

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