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To the Editors of the New Jerusalem Magazine. GENTLEMEN,
The work entitled “WISDOM's DICTATES,” contains many very concise, valuable, and pithy things, but being altogether promiscuously set down, without regard to connexion of subject, it is conceived, that, were the matter in the work arranged under appropriate heads, with some slight variations, the utility thereof would be much increased. Agreeably to this idea, I propose, (if the plan meets your approbation)* to favour you with portions so arranged for insertion in your impartial and esteemed pablication, not doubting but it will prove of use to your readers. I remain, Gentlemen, yours, &c.
I. On the One First Cause, or Creator of all things. 1. There is One First Cause, THE CREATOR, whom men call God.
2. The whole world (sin excepted) is a grand display of effects produced from that First Cause and Being, who must of consequence have existed prior to those effects.
3. Whatever is created must infer the existence of a First Cause and Creator.
4. As all created subjects are manifest displays of the most * We like the plan much, and feel greatly obliged to Inspector for the trouble he has already taken in the arrangement. If he could throw in a little original matter in the explanation of the several sections, we think it would improve the work, and be generally acceptable to our readers. Edts.
Vol. I. No. I.
profound wisdom, so the nature of the life and wisdom, proper to the Creator, is in some measure evident in them.
5. Manifested wisdom infers design. The design of the Creator in the creation of the world and universe, must have been as great as the work itself.
6. The Alpha, or Creator, must have existed in the most perfect state of Wisdom and Order before the first emotion to the creation of this world, or of the universe, took place.
7. All created principles are only so many particular displays of the infinite Principles which exist in the Creator; each shows a degree of love and wisdom in Him, and proper to Him.
8. Nothing but Divine Love and Divine Wisdom can proceed from God the centre of all beings.
9. The LORD is the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all clean created subjects in the world. He counsels and teaches all men in all things profitable, and gives them the desires by which they act, and also supports them in the action, and with the means. As He is the First and Total, so is He also the Last and Least of all order, and of all things which are done according to it.
10. All of ordinate creation in heaven, the church, in man and nature, from the first impulse to that of its final completion and perfection in all estates, is the work of the Lord. He is the prime and first mover of all their Alphas and successives, and his only are all in all of their Omegas. He alone is the Creator and mover of all in all of, and in them, from all their first (beginnings and states] down to all their last [states and effects). All ordinate Principles are thus Hus, in all of heaven and of earth every where.
II. The Manifestation of the Divine Being. 1. That the Being who created the world and man, can manifest to man the nature of Himself, and of his designs in man's creation, and of the duty he requires bim to fulfil, is most reasonable to suppose and admit; and that man who will not admit it, must be irrational and perverse in his life and conversation.
2. The first manifestation of the Godhead is the Divine Esse, which is, in itself, eternal and incomprehensible to men :—the second is the Word or manifested Form of the Love, which is spoken of so much in Scripture as the Son of God which existed before all worlds, and by whom they were made :—the third is the Divine Emanation proceeding from the Father and Son.
3. Scripture asserts that this WORD was, or existed, in the Beginning with God, and was God. JOHN i. 1, 2, 3.
4. The Son is the Divine Existence, and is to be conside.sed as of one substance with the Father, which is the unknowable Esse of the Deity.
5. God has manifestations of Himself, and of his kingdom in
To truly love Him, is to love Him in others; and this more than in ourselves : this is done when we admire and love the good in others, (independent of their evils and imperfections) and have a low opinion of our own states and acquirements.
6. God, as to his own pure nature, is unknowable: in that of Jesus Christ, He is apprehensible, and visible to the eyes of our spirits; and in the Word, comprehensible as to all that is required of us, and that is necessary for us to know.
II. The Creation of the Universe. 1. The universe must have been created by a descent of the Creator's order therein, and so also this world ; and in all their existences they must manifest the nature of it, sin excepted.
2. External creation is the manifestation of the nature and properties of Divine Order.
3. The whole world was created as a theatre, to fulfil divine purposes, and one grand use of it appears to be that of the creation of man.
4. All natural truths, which respect the works of God in creation, are not only real natural truths, but the glasses and containing principles of spiritual ones.
5. All the laws and principles of outward creation are true figures of the order and laws of the spiritual, as found in man, in the Lord's spiritual church, and as existing in the spiritual world.
6. The whole world, as to all its being, revolutions, seasons, elements, principles, &c. is but an effect from a cause existing in the spiritual world ; and a figure of states of divine order therein, proper to this globe.
7. As was in the beginning, is now, and ever will be; that is, ORDER always was the same as to essence and form : before the creation of all worlds it was one perfect form, and that divinely angelic. The intentions in the creation of the universe, were but an effect of the ardour of Its Love to impart of Itself to others, and bless them in the highest degree; and the intent of Redemption the same, by restoring that which was lost by sin.
8. The representatives of all the heavenly societies, proper to our world, are to be found in outward creation.
9. The natural mind of man answers to the outward world ; and all that is predicable of the outward world, is also of the natural mind; and vice versa.
10. All of the outward world is therefore a figure of the creation of the principles of the Divine order in man, in his regeneration; and also shows the very nature of them.
11. The whole of outward creation, with every particular and movement, is but a theatre and scene of effects, brought forth into existence, and moved by interior and spiritual causes, proper to the spiritual world.
12. The whole universe of worlds is derived from the Alpha, and but a birth from Him. In that His nature is most conspicuously seen; for therein he is seen best; yet still but imperfectly.
any ask what Eternity is, let him look to the universal creation; yea, and also to the universe of worlds, and behold the correspondence of its states. He who made the whole, has num. bered all the stars, (as grand societies) and calls them all by their proper names.
14. To shew the purity and wisdom of God, even in a butterfly, worm, flower, or shell, is to laud and honour him; and men never need be afraid of praising him too much.
15. What the world is in its complex state, and view, that is man as an individual. All that is created, is a subject in and by which the nature of life is evident.
16. All the works of natural creation, are exhibited to us to the intent, that we may know the nature of the spiritual and eternal. All things speak, and are a language.
(To be continned.)
ON THE MIRACLE OF RAISING LAZARUS FROM
DEATH. The miracles of the LORD, in consequence of their being divine, spiritually involve and represent the states of the Church. Such is the declaration of Swedenborg, when, upon briefly noticing the miracle of raising Lazarus from death, he states, that it signifies the resuscitation of a New Church among the Gentiles. But that which is true when considered in its application to a Church generally, is necessarily true of every individual in whom the Church is formed, or who is spiritually raised from death. Considered therefore, in a spiritual point of view, the miracle comes home to every bosom, in which there is the sincere desire that the LORD should manisest Himself as “ the Resurrection and the Life,” as well as “the Light of men. Even the literal narrative, beautiful and affecting in every part, and written with a tenderness peculiar to that Evangelist who was the beloved disciple of the LORD, owes its chief power of penetrating every humble, and believing heart, to the heaven which is contained within it, urgently pressing upon the plane of the natural mind, that a still more astonishing miracle may be unfolded to its interior vision, than that which fixes its attention in the literal sense. Permit me, then, as Swedenborg as no where, I believe, given a summary explication of this miracle, but only briefly touched upon a few of its parts, to call the attention of the reader to its literal sense, and afterwards to its spiritual sense ; and also to offer a few general observations on the spiritual interpretation of the Holy Scripture.
There cannot be a mistake more prejudicial, as it appears to : me, to a right development of the internal sense of the Holy Scripture, than the neglect of its natural, or external sense. This latter is said to be the basis, the continent, and the firmament of the former, and if it be this, it surely requires to be carefully studied, and its sense clearly seen before the spiritual structure can be reared on its foundation. If this be true, no receiver of the New Doctrines should be careless of that sense, on which alone rests his rational perception of its superior signification; and still less should he be indifferent as to whether any sense be given it, or not; since, as it appears to me, it will be in vain to think of seeing and understanding the spiritual cause, when the natural effect, or the literal sense of the Word, like a mirror broken in ten thousand pieces, can present no distinct, nor determinate object to the beholder. The Word of God is as the book of nature; they both equally have their natural and their spiritual senses, and they both equally require to have their numberless natural relations investigated, in order that their spiritual causes may be rationally perceived and known. If we take any branch of natural science, and apply it to its proper use, by making it the handmaid of spiritual truth, we shall find invariably, that we have a more perfect conception of the correspondences which are involved in it, the more accurately we have investigated, the more fully we have comprehended, and the more distinctly we have arranged the facts on which those correspondences are founded. In this respect I know of no difference between the Holy Scripture in its natural sense, and any natural science whatever. They have this in common, that they present the relations of time and place, natural quantity and quality, in indefinite variety, and involve in these the relations of states to one another, and of all to the LORD, in Whom they originate. To suppose that there is any part of the Word of God which has actually no sense, or which he who was inspired to write it, did not understand, because it may be that we are at present unable to discover its meaning, appears altogether as wrong as it would be to deny the existence of a law for a certain condition of natural bodies, because at the moment it may not happen to be discovered. It is