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SUMMARY OF THE SPIRITUAL SENSE OF THE BOOKS
OF GENESIS AND EXODUS, AS DERIVED FROM THE ARCANA CELESTIA.
(Continued from page 176.)
THE BOOK OF GENESIS.
Chap. V. CONTENTS.—On the Propagation of the Most Ancient Church throughout
successive generations, almost to the Flood. 1. The following is the account of those who were of the Most Ancient Church, which God created at first spiritual, and then made celestial.
2. The understanding as male and the will as female, were at first created into a spiritual state, in which the marriage between the two is not perfected : they were afterwards made one by the celestial marriage between the two, in which state the church was one Man.
3. And this church, which was celestial, after passing through various states, gave rise to a New Church called Seth, which was not very unlike to the former (for it was a church which had its origin from faith, but faith in which charity was implanted).
4. And after the origin of the church of Seth, the celestial church continued to pass through various states both general and particular, and to give rise to various perceptions of truth and goodness (according to the differences of genius or temper in its members, hereditary and acquired).
5. And after passing through various states, the perception of this church called Adam, ceased.
6. And the church of Seth (which was less celestial than the church of Adam), passed through various states, and then gave rise to the church of Enos.
7. And after begetting the church of Enos, the church of Seth (which was second in the order of declension), passed through various states, and gave rise to various perceptions of good and truth.
8. And after passing through its several states, the church of Seth ceased.
9. And the church of Enos (which was the third in order of declension, and less celestial, consequently less perceptive than that of Seth), passed through various states, and gave rise to the church of Cainan (Adam, Seth, and Enos being the three principal and Most Ancient Churches, or the three constituents of the one Most Ancient Church, [Enl. Series.—No. 17, vol. ii.]
which was a nucleus, as in the case of fruits and seeds, to the succeeding ones; while the succeeding churches respectively represented the membranaceous coverings surrounding the nucleus). Thus, in the church of Cainan, perception, which in the previous churches was distinct, now began to be common.
10, And after producing the church of Cainan, the church of Enos passed through various states, and gave rise to various truths and goodnesses (or common perceptions of truth and good).
11. And after passing through its various states, the church of Enos ceased.
12. And the church of Cainan passed through its various states, and gave rise to the church of Mahaleel.
13. And after producing the church of Mahaleel, the church of Cainan passed through various states, and originated various truths and goodnesses (whereof the church had a perception, but in a degree more common and obscure).
14. And the church of Cainan (which was fourth in the order of declension), after passing through its various states, ceased.
15. And the church of Mahaleel passed through various states, and gave rise to that of Jared. (And here it may be noted, that the life of those who constituted the church of Mahaleel was such, that they preferred the delight arising from truth, to the joy arising from uses. Hence its perceptive faculty was respectively common or obscure.)
16. And after producing the church of Jared, the church of Mahaleel passed through various states, and originated various truths and goods.
17. And after passing through its various states, the church of Mahaleel (which was fifth in order of declension), ceased.
18. And the church of Jared passed through various states, and produced the church of Enoch. (Nothing particular is related of the church of Jared ; but its nature and quality may appear from that of Mahaleel, which preceded it, and from the church of Enoch which succeeded, between which it was intermediate.)
19. And after giving rise to the church of Enoch, the church of Jared passed through various states, and originated various truths and goods.
20. And after passing through its various states, the church of Jared (which was sixth in the order of declension), ceased.
21. And the church of Enoch passed through various states, and produced the church of Methusaleh.
22. And the church of Enoch taught and lived according to doctrine concerning faith, collecting together doctrinals concerning truths and goodnesses (for there were some at that time who framed doctrines out of the things that had been objects of perception in the Most Ancient and the following churches, with the design that such doctrine should serve as a rule by which to know what was good and true : such persons were called Enoch. Moreover, these doctrinals consisted solely in significative, and thus, as it were, enigmatical terms, viz., what was signified by things on earth, as by mountains, that they signified things celestial, and the Lord ; by morning and the east, that they signified things celestial and the Lord ; by trees of different kinds, and their fruits, that they signified man; and so in other instances).
23. But this church did not continue long;
24. For at that time doctrine of this kind was not allowable (for it is a very different thing to know what is good and true by perception, and to learn what is good and true by means of doctrine. They who know by perception have no need of the knowledge acquired in the way of systematized doctrines. And whereas it was foreseen that the perceptive faculty of the Most Ancient Church would perish, and that afterwards mankind would learn by doctrine what is true and good, or would come by darkness to light, therefore it is here said that “God took him," i.e., preserved the doctrine for the use of posterity. The church of Enoch, being in doctrinals, was in consequence in a state only of general obscure perception, without any distinctness; for in such a case the mind determines its intuition out of or without itself into doctrinals).
25. And the church of Methusaleh passed through various states, and produced the church of Lamech. (And the church of Methusaleh was in a state of common or obscure perception, for integrity had decreased, and with integrity wisdom and intelligence.)
26. And after producing the church of Methusaleh the church of Lamech passed through various states, and originated various truths and goodnesses.
27. And after passing through its various states, this church also ceased (being the eighth in the order of declension).
28. And in the church of Lamech the perception of truth and goodness was now become so common and obscure, that it was next to none, and thus the church was vastated. (For when the Most Ancient Church began to decline, then perception or communication with heaven began to perish, and in sensible objects men no longer perceived what was celestial, but what was worldly; and this in a greater degree in proportion as they had less of perception remaining ; till at length, in the last posterity, which was next before the flood, they apprehended
nothing in sensible objects but what was worldly, corporeal, and terrestrial. Thus heaven was separated from man, and he had none but very remote communication therewith ; at the same time communication was opened with hell, and from this it was that he had his general idea from which his particular ideas were derived. In this state, when any celestial idea presented itself, it was as nothing to him; so that at length men were even unwilling to allow that any spiritual and celestial principle existed. Thus the state of man was changed and become inverted, and thus also was the church vastated;) but from the church thus vastated there arose another, or a New Church. (It is here to be noted that by Methusael and Methaselah, is signified somewhat about to die; by Lamech, somewhat destroyed.)
29. This church was the Ancient Church called Noah (the parent of the three churches after the flood), and by the doctrine of which that which had been perverted was now to be restored (for the few things which remained from the Most Ancient Church were reserved amongst those who constituted the church of Noah : these things, however, were not remnants of perception but of integrity, and also of doctrine, derived from the objects of perception in the Most Ancient Churches ; for men could now no longer perceive what was true and good except with labour and difficulty, nor could they do any thing good; for the state of the church was such that men were impelled to inquire what is true, and to do what is good from themselves, or from proprium.)
30. And the vastated church called Lamech passed through its various states, during which it taught its own doctrines concerning good and truth.
31. And then came its consummation, when it finally expired.
32. And the church of Noah succeeded, and after passing through various states, gave rise to three other churches, entitled Shem, Ham, and Japhet.
(To be continued.)
ON THE SCRIPTURAL USE OF THE WORDS BLESS,
Most readers of the Scripture, probably, have been struck with the use of the word bless in two senses, apparently opposite to each other. It is used to express both giving and receiving,—to express the Lord's various gifts to man from His infinite fulness, and also the grateful acknowledgment of those gifts on the part of man, who has nothing to give. The subject has been partially discussed already; but it is thought that some further particulars may be acceptable to the readers of the Intellectual Repository. Many of them are aware that one use of the word has been strongly objected to by a gentleman well known in the church, who properly remarks that “praises ascend, blessings descend." He attributes the apparent incongruity in question to a mistranslation in the authorized English version of the Bible; and, primâ facie, there may appear to be some reason for the charge. It is therefore expedient, not only to inquire what are the original Greek and Hebrew words from which our word bless is translated, but also to examine in what connexion they occur,—thus making Scripture its own interpreter. *
In the New Testament, there are two Greek verbs, from which are derived those terms which, in our language, are translated bless, blessing, &c. They are eulogeo and makareo. Respecting the translation of the latter there appears to be no question. Makarizo occurs only twice, and in one case is translated blessed ; in the other, happy: makarismos occurs but three times, and is translated blessedness: and fifty times occurs makarios (Lat. beatus), which in forty-four instances is translated blessed ; as in Matt. v. 3—“Blessed are the poor in spirit:" and in the other six instances is translated happy; as in John xiii. 17—“If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
The other Greek verb, eulogeo, generally signifying I praise, or extol, is that from which our words eulogize and eulogium, bearing the same meaning, are obviously taken; and that the corresponding Latin word benedico has also the same meaning, is evident from that of the two words bene and dico, of which it is compounded. Yet this verb eulogeo (Lat. benedico) is in our authorized English version translated bless. One of its senses, indeed, given in the Greek and Latin dictionaries, is bless; but, as Mr. Riddle observes, “this use prevails only in ecclesiastical writers."
It is this verb eulogeo, translated bless, which is employed by the Evangelists in relating the Lord's institution of His Holy Supper, and His miracle of feeding the multitude with five loaves and two fishes. But in all these cases eulogeo ought to be translated praise, and not bless, according to some persons, who also maintain that the Lord does not bless inanimate things. Indeed, there is nothing in the original expressly affirming that the Lord blessed the bread, &c., but only that He blessed, except in one instance; (Luke ix. 16.) and there the pronoun autous certainly requires to be translated them, as follows :-" Then He
* For the sake of convenience, the Greek and Hebrew words are not printed in their own proper characters, but in the ordinary Italic ones.