7. Further on, we find, in the Pastoral referred to, these words: “As long as this intimate union of soul and body lasts.” Does there come, then, a moment when this union exists no longer? But this admission contradicts the declaration of the Lateran Council that this union is the “essential destination” of the soul.
The Prelate, summing up the views of the Christian Church, asserts, still further: “Ideas reach the soul through the senses, by the comparison of external objects.” This is a philosophic doctrine that is true to a certain extent, but not absolutely. According to the eminent theologian, it is a condition inherent in the nature of the soul not to receive any ideas otherwise than through the senses; he forgets the innate ideas, the faculties in some cases so transcendently developed, the intuitive knowledge of certain things, which some children bring with them at birth, and which they manifest without having received any instruction in regard to them. By which of the senses is it that children, who have exhibited the ability of natural arithmeticians and algebraists, and who have excited the wonder of the learned world, acquired the ideas necessary for the almost instantaneous solution of the most complicated problems? The same query has to be answered in regard to the various youthful musicians, painters, and linguists.
“The knowledge possessed by the angels,” says the Pastoral in question, “is not the result of induction and reasoning;” they know because they are angels, without having had any need of learning; God created them like this: the human soul, on the contrary, has to learn. If the soul receives ideas only through the bodily organs, what ideas can be possessed by the soul of an infant who died after a few days of life, if we suppose, with the Church, that he or she will not be born again into the earthly life?