Spiritualize is to interpret and apply historical or other parts of the Bible in what is called a spiritual manner. The sense thus brought out is termed the spiritual sense; and those preachers or expositors who are most ready and extravagant in eliciting it are the most highly esteemed by the unlearned and persons of an uncultivated taste. It is impossible adequately to describe the excesses and absurdities which have been committed by such teachers. From the time of Origen, who spiritualized the account of the creation of the world, the creation and fall of man, and numerous other simple facts related in the Bible, down to the Jesuit who made the greater light to mean the pope, and the lesser light and the stars to mean the subjection of kings and princes to the pope, there have been multitudes in and out of the Catholic Church who have pursued the same path. A noted preacher in the metropolis, when expounding the history of Joseph, made out Pharaoh to mean God the Father, and Joseph the Son. As Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dreams, so Christ interpreted the will of the Father. Potiphar's wife signified the sinful humanity which, according to the preacher our Lord assumed. The prison signified the prison of hell, to which Christ went after his death. The chief butler, who was restored, typified a number of damned spirits whom Christ then liberated; and the chief baker was a type of the rest who were left cut off from their head, Christ. Such a mode of interpretation may astound persons of weak minds, but it is most irreverent and dangerous. It is one thing to explain a passage literally and then deduce from it spiritual and practical reflections, and another to represent it as directly and positively teaching certain spiritual truths, or apply it to subjects with which it has no manner of connection whatever. Jacob Boehm, Miguel de Molinos, Madame Guyon, and Madame de Bourignon are representatives of the somewhat numerous class of religionists, particularly of the 17th century, to whose teaching and practice the appellation of spiritualism has been applied. SEE INTERPRETATION.

Bible concordance for SPIRITUALISM.

Definition of spiritualize

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

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