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INSPIRATION

the contraction and dilation of the blood-vessels. In sleep the vessels in the brain automatically contract, but when the brain is working actively a plentiful supply of blood is required, and the vessels are dilated. If the activity is carried to great excess the vessels become engorged, the mechanism does not act and sleep is banished. In insomnia this condition has become fixed. When a breakdown has happened or is pending the only treatment is complete rest, combined, if possible, with change of air and scene; but if the mischief has gone far it will take' very long to repair, and may never be repaired at all. In no matter of health is the importance of “ taking it early ” more pronounced. Delay is the worst economy. A few days' holiday at the commencement of trouble may save months or years of enforced idleness. Sea-air sometimes acts like a charm. But if it is impossible to give up work and leave worry behind, even for a short time, sleep should be carefully wooed by every possible means. In the first place, plenty of time should be devoted to it, and no chance should be missed. That is to say, the night should not be curtailed at either end, and if sleepiness approaches in the daytime, as it often does, it should be encouraged. It is better to lie still at night and try to sleep than to give way to restlessness, and a few minutes snatched in the daytime, when somnolence offers the opportunity, has a restorative effect out of all proportion to the time occupied. Then all accidental causes of disturbance should be avoided. Lightsfand sounds should be excluded, comfort studied and digestion attended to. Fresh air is a great help. As much time should be spent out of doors as possible, and exercise, even to the point of fatigue, may be found helpful. But this requires watching: in some cases bodily exhaustion aggravates the malady. A little food (e.g. a glass of hot milk) immediately before going to bed is useful in inducing sleep, and persons who are apt to wake in the night and lie awake for hours may obtain relief by the same means. Hypnotic drugs, which have greatly multiplied of late years, should only be taken under medical advice. The real end to aim at is the restoration of the natural function, and the substitution of artificial sleep, which differs in character and effect; tends rather to prevent than to promote that end. It is often possible to induce sleep by rhythmic breathing.


INSPIRATION (Lat. iuspirare, breathe upon or into), strictly the act of drawing physical breath into the lungs as opposed to “ expiration.” Metaphorically the term is used generally of analogous mental phenomena; thus we speak of a sudden spontaneous idea as an “ inspiration.” The term is specially used in theology for the condition of being directly under divine influence, as the equivalent of the Greek 0eo1r1/evoria (the adjective 0eo1r1/evo-ros is used of the Holy Scriptures in 2 Timothy iii. 16). Similar in meaning is él/9ouoLa<rp.6s, enthusiasm (from évdovrmifw from gl/0605). Possession by the divine spirit (vrveiina) was regarded as necessarily accompanied by intense stimulation of the emotions. The possibility of a human being becoming the habitation and organ of a divinity is generally assumed in the lower religions. In the popular religion of China some of the priests, the Wu, claim to be able to take up into their body a god or a spirit, and thereby to give bracles. In wild frenzy they rush about half naked with hair hanging loose, wounding themselves with swords, knives, daggers, and uttering all kinds of sounds, which are then interpreted by people who claim to be able to understand such divine speech. The Maoris at the initiation of the young men into the tribal mysteries sing a song, called “ breath, ” to the mystic wind by which they believe their god makes his presence known. An Australian woman claimed to have heard the descent of the god as a rushing wind. In some savage tribes blood is drunk to induce the frenzy of inspiration; music and dancing are widely employed for the same purpose. Dionysus, the god of wine in Greece, was also the god of inspiration; and in their orgies the worshippers believed themselves to enter into real union with the deity. In Dephi the Pythia, the priestess who delivered the oracles, was intoxicated by the vapour which rose from a Well, through n small hole in the ground. As the oracles were often enigmatic, they were interpreted by a pi'0f7/I(.'f. In Rome the inspiration of Numa 645

was derived from the nymph Egeria; and great value was attached to the books of the Cumaean Sibyl. In Arabia the kahin (priest) was recognized as the channel of divine communication. Inspiration may mean only possession by the deity, or it may mean further that the person so possessed becomes the channel through which the deity reveals his word and will. (See ]. A. Macculloch's Comparative Theology, chap. xv., 1902). Prophecy in the Old Testament in its beginnings is similar to the phenomenon in other religions. Saul and his servant came to Samuel, the man of God, the seer, with a gift in their hands to inquire their way (1 Sam. ix. 8). The companies of prophets who went about the country in Samuel's time were enthusiasts for Yahweh and for Israel. When Saul found himself among them he was possessed by the same spirit (1 Sam. x. ro, 11.) The prophesying in which he took part probably included violent movements of the body, inarticulate cries, a state of ecstasy or even frenzy. The phrase “ holy spirit ” in Acts, as applied to the Apostolic Church, probably indicates a similar state 'of religious exaltation; it was accompanied by speaking with tongues, inarticulate utterances, which needed interpretation (1 Corinthians xiv. 27). In every religious revival, when the emotions are deeply stirred, similar phenomena are met with. Such a movement was Montanism in the 3rd century. At the Reformation, while Luther was at the Wartburg, fanaticism broke out, and spread from Wittenberg; prophets went about declaring the revelations which they had received. The Evangelical Revival in the 18th century also had its abnormal religious features. The Revival in Scotland in 186O was marked by one curious feature—the Gospel dance-when in their excitement men and women got up and spun round and round till they were exhausted. Spontaneous praise and prayer marked the revival in Wales in 1905-1906.

Prophecy, as represented by the writings of the prophets, arose out of this state of religious exaltation, but left behind many of its features. Yahweh was believed to guide and guard the history of His chosen people Israel; He controlled the action of the nations that came in contact with His people, so that, using them as His instruments, He might accomplish His purpose. The function of the prophets was to interpret the course of history

so as to communicate God's Word and will in judgment or in mercy. They were divinely endowed for this function by their inspiration. While these prophets seem to have continued in the exercise of all their normal faculties, which were stimulated and not suppressed, yet they do claim a distinctive divine activity in their consciousness, and distinguish with confidence their own thoughts from the revealed word. That abnormal psychic states, such as visions and voices, were sometimes experienced is not improbable; but the usual prophetic state seems to have been one of withdrawal of attention from the outer world, absorption of interest in the inner life, devout communion and intercession with God, and the divine response in a moral or a spiritual intuition rather than an intellectual ratiocination. Possession by the Spirit in its external manifestations is ascribed to Gideon, Iephthah, Samson, Saul, Elijah; but even when the same language is used of the later prophets, it is probably such an inward state as has just been described which is to be assumed. A feature inseparable from this later phase of prophecy is prediction. For the warning or the encouragement of the people the prophet as ]el1ovah's messenger declares what He is about to do. Thus the fall of Samaria in 722 B.c., the deliverance of Jerusalem in 7o1, the overthrow of the kingdom of Tudah in 586, the return from exile in 537 were all heralded by prophecy. This prediction was no shrewd political conjecture, but an application to existing conditions of the permanent laws of God's government. The abnormal phenomena of inspiration, the presence and operation of the Holy Spirit, in the Apostolic Church, have already been noticed. While Paul does not deny nor depreciate these charisms, as tongues, miracles, &c., he represents as the more excellent way the Christian life in faith, hope and love (1 Cor. xii. 31). The New Testament represents the Christian life as an inspired life. It is living communion with Christ. and therefore constant possession of the Holy Spirit.