« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
11 And God said, Let the external man bring forth the tender growths of goodness and truth; after this, what is more mature and useful; and after this, something of good which makes itself fruitful. And it was so.
12 And the external man brought forth accordingly, (viz., things without life, for he cannot as yet believe that goodness and truth are from the Lord.) And God saw that this ordination of things was good.
13 And in the progress from the darkness of the external man to the light of the internal, this was the third state, (viz., a state of repentance.)
14 And God said, Let there be luminaries in the internal man, that there may be distinctions of states of love and light, corresponding to changes of spring, summer, autumn, and winter; also to changes from morning to mid-day, thence to evening, and through night to morning; also to full periods in general.
15 And they shall serve as luminaries in the internal man to give light to the external. And it was so.
16 And God made two great luminaries, Love and Faith; the greater luminary in the will, (or love,) to rule in states of light and heat; the lesser luminary in the understanding, (or faith,) to rule in states of darkness. He also provided knowledges in general..
17 And God set them in the internal man to give light to the external.
18 And to rule over states of good and evil, and to distinguish between light and darkness. And God saw that this ordination of things was good.
19 And in the progress from the darkness of the external man to the light of the internal, this was the fourth state.
20 And God said, Let scientifics from the memory of the external man bring forth abundantly that which hath life, (i, e., let scientifics be vivified by influx from things rational, and things rational by influx from things intellectual; which influx is from above into the internal man, and thence into the external.)
21 And God created for the understanding scientifics in general and in particular, in which there was life by influx from things rational; also things rational, in which there was life by influx from above, all after their kind. And God saw this ordination of things that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, and said, Let good fructify and truth multiply, and fill with scientifics the external memory; and let rational truth be multiplied in the external man.
23 And in the progress from the darkness of the external man to the light of the internal, this was the fifth state.
- 24 And God said, Let the external man (which is a recipient) bring forth in the will that which hath life after its kind, viz., the affections of rational good and truth of the internal man, and the inferior lusts and pleasures of the external man in connection with the body, each after his kind. And it was so.
25 And God made the inferior or corporeal lusts and pleasures of the external man after his kind; also the superior or sensuous affections of the same, and every other affection in general of the external man in which there is life, after his kind. And God saw that this state had its own proper good.
26 And God said, Let us make the internal and external into our image after our likeness thus into Man, and let him have dominion over scientifics, and over things rational, and over the things of the will, and over every thought and feeling of the natural and corporeal degree.
27 And God created man with an understanding and will. Male and female created he them, (viz., the understanding as male, and the will as female.)
28 And God blessed them. And God said unto them, Let good fructify and let truth multiply, and replenish the external man and subdue it, and have dominion over every scientific of the external man, and over all things rational, and over all things of his will in which there is life.
29 And God said, Behold, I give unto the spiritual man every truth which regards use, and every good of faith, and every truth producing good. To the spiritual man, it shall be for spiritual meat.
30 And (with respect to the natural degree of the same person) to every affection of the natural man, and to every natural reasoning, and to everything of this sensuous principle in which there is life from regeneration, I have provided natural meat, (viz., the meat of tranquility and peace, with their joys and delights,) especially after temptations in the natural degree.
31 And God saw everything that he had made; and, behold, the things which relate to faith made one with the things which relate to love, and a marriage was effected between things spiritual and celestial.
no (with respect to man, and to every there is life
(To be continued.)
“ THE TERM VISIONARY;"
Or a Conversation between an Old Church Minister and a Member of his
Flock who had received the Doctrines of the New Church.
0. C. M.-Well, Mr. B., so you have adopted, I understand, the doctrines of Swedenborg, and as I have missed you several Sundays from your place of worship, you have been, I presume, to the so-called church of the New Jerusalem ?
B.—Yes, Sir, I have, as you know, been reading the books of Swedenborg for some time past, and I am astonished that they are not more extensively read by people of any serious turn of mind, or of any religious tendency. It is, I think, not so great a wonder that so much clear light and knowledge respecting all the great doctrines of Christianity, as well as the true nature of the Word of God, should, in these latter times, have been mercifully vouchsafed, as that so few will condescend to read and examine the writings which contain this wonderful knowledge. And I am the more astonished when I reflect, that the ministers of religion are less disposed to read the works of Swedenborg, than the members of their churches, although one might suppose, that the ministers and pastors should feel great interest in studying and becoming acquainted with doctrines which are being gradually read and adopted as the true doctrines of the Gospel by many of their people.
0. C. M.-What you say, Mr. B., I believe to be quite true, for we have only to become pretty well acquainted with the Periodical literature of the day, to see that Swedenborg is gradually gaining ground in the estimation of the people at large, and especially of young and thinking minds; and I really do think that it behoves the clergy and ministers of religion generally to look more than they do to this fact, and to examine the claims of Swedenborg upon our attention, and to read his principal works.
B.- I am very glad you think so, for it has long been my opinion; and I consider that all the teachers of religion who neglect this duty, stand very much in their own light, and debar themselves and their flocks from very much spiritual instruction which would be of the greatest benefit to them.
0. C.M.-To show you how little the subject of Swedenborg's doctrines and writings is known generally amongst the ministers, I will merely tell you what happened the other day. You are aware that we ministers have, in this populous neighbourhood, a quarterly meeting
amongst ourselves, assembling at different places in this locality, for mutual improvement, and for brotherly association. At these meetings there are sometimes between forty and fifty ministers assembled from the Independents, the Baptists, and the Methodists, especially of the New Connexion, and I have known, during the summer season, as many as seventy present. At our last meeting I was determined, as some of my flock were adopting Swedenborg's doctrines, to inquire whether any of my brethren in the ministry, could give me some information as to the principal views of Swedenborg, and his system in general. I told them the reason why I wished to consult them on this subject; and why I desired to have their counsel as to the treatment of those who adopted the doctrines of the so-called New Church. After I had made this inquiry there was a profound silence, and at length some of the leading ministers were appealed to, and asked whether they had read Swedenborg or not. They said they had not; nor was there a single minister in the meeting who had ever read even a single book of that strange author, and all that they seemed to know of him was from some biographical account, or from what they had heard say respecting him and his doctrines. They said, moreover, that as his doctrines were visionary, they had always refused to look into any of his books.
B.—This ignorance concerning an author who has written on theology and on spiritual things in general more than any other author, even from the most ancient times, is much to be lamented, especially in those whose office and duty it is to know and to teach these things.
0. C. M.-But you know, Mr. B., how much prejudice an ill-name excites in the public mind against an author.
B.-You mean, I presume, the name of visionary?
0. C. M.-Yes. I have never heard anything against the moral character of Swedenborg; on the contrary, all admit that he was a great philosopher and a good man.
B.—I am well aware how much prejudice an ill-name excites against a man, however well-founded his claims upon public attention may be. I am aware, also, that the Scribes and Pharisees endeavoured to excite much prejudice against the Divine Author of Christianity himself, when they called him a “wine bibber,” and “a friend of publicans, harlots, and sinners,” and when they said that “He cast out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.” But “wisdom is justified of her children," and the Divine Truth of Christianity prevailed, nevertheless. But I presume, Sir, that you also think that Swedenborg's doctrines are visionary, and therefore you refuse to take them into consideration ?
0.C. M.-Yes, indeed, I have thought them visionary, and I have
at ancient Higs in general, an author
been surprised that a man like yourself should be led away by such visionary doctrines.
B.–Well, Sir, permit me to have a little conversation with you on this subject, as to the reason why you and others refuse to read the works of Swedenborg.
0. C. M.-Certainly I cannot refuse to converse with you for a short time on the subject; and as I know you have diligently read those writings, and have conversed with those who have adopted these doctrines, I doubt not that I shall soon acquire some accurate information on the peculiar views and ideas of Swedenborg.
B.-I am glad that you are thus willing to converse with me on this subject. And first, permit me to ask you what you mean by the term visionary; for this appears to be the chief ground upon which you refuse even to open one of Swedenborg's books.
0. C. M.-By the term visionary, I mean that which has no ground, either of reason or Scripture, to stand upon, but that what the visionary writes rests only upon the mere whims and vagaries of his own imagination.
B.-I accept this definition as being what I consider to be generally understood by the term visionary. Now, let us test Swedenborg's doctrines, and also the doctrines of your own church, by this definition of the term. And first, you are perfectly aware that the fundamental idea of all theology is the idea of God. Your doctrine of God, and of the Divine Trinity, is declared in the Athanasian Creed, which, as you know, is adopted by all the established churches of Christianity; and that, also, the Nonconformists and Dissenters, with the exception of the Socinians, acknowledge the Athanasian Creed as teaching their doctrine of God, and of the Divine Trinity.
0. C. M.-I believe the Athanasian Creed is never read in any of the dissenting places of Worship, except, probably, on some occasions among the Wesleyan Methodists.
B.—True, but they acknowledge three Persons in the Trinity, and pray to one for the sake of another; that is, they adopt the teaching of the Creed, although they do not read it, as is the case in the Church of England, in their places of worship.
0.C.M.-Admitted; and by very many, this old creed is thought of with such veneration, that no one, it is imagined, can, without impiety and profanity, call it into question and dispute its authority.
B.-Well, then, are you ready to maintain this doctrine of three separate and divine Persons according to these words of the Creed:“For as we are obliged by the Christian verity to acknowledge every