BODILY MOVEMENTS AND CONDITIONS
While singing is a form of speaking, it has its own marked characteristics, which plainly distinguish it from ordinary speaking. Singing unites with speaking a new element, of melody, or tune. And while ordinary speaking addresses a man's intellect, especially, and suggests thoughts, singing especially addresses the heart, and arouses afifections. The primary purpose of singing is to express gladness of heart, a jay which expresses itself in metrical harmony and melody.
And, therefore, singing corresponds to joy of heart, and its expression. "My servant shall sing for joy of heart." (Isa. Ixv. 14.) Proper singing, because it arouses and expresses good affections, exalts the mind, and impels the affections to come out in corresponding sounds.
In worship, singing is used for the purpose of elevating the mind, and of expressing devotional affection, and thus of drawing all the worshippers into a general affection, and thus uniting their hearts in one bond of fellowship, while all are singing the same hymns and chants. And, in the church, this union of hearts is a much more important element of worship, than any merely intellectual agreement as to doctrine: for, in the formation of the spiritual church among brethren, the union of affections is fundamental and spiritual. The chief purpose of devotional singing is to glorify the Lord, in gladness of heart, acknowledging the Lord, and seeking closer union of heart with Him. "Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands : sing forth the honor of His name : make His praise glorious." (Ps. lxvi. 1, 2.)
In the Ancient Church, as well as in the Jewish representative of a church, there were songs used in worship, which were prophetic, representing that the Lord would come upon the earth, and would redeem men from evil, and would save them, in regeneration. And especially in the Ancient Church, when they sang these songs, angels were interiorly present with them, giving to men, from the Lord, through the angelic spheres, greater gladness of heart.
Singing is practiced more or less by all races of men. And it is used by each race for the characteristic purposes of that race, on its level of intelligence, and in its degree of affection. Thus the singing of every race is like the race, itself, wrhose affections it expresses. For this reason, the exile from home longs for the songs of his fatherland. Every mother, of every race, soothes her loved babe with her gentle lullaby, which is peculiarly her own, of her individuality, and of her race. The gladness of heart in proper singing is represented, in nature, by the singing of the song-birds, especially at dawn, when they welcome the return of the sun.
The singing of the spiritual world is far more beautiful and perfect than that on earth ; and it reaches its greatest fulness and perfection in the highest heaven. And, in the spiritual world, and to some extent even in this natural world, the sounds which flow forth from a person, in singing, reveal the quality of his affection. As the angels are closely united in their affections, and all their desires and thoughts are open, and known to all, and shared by all, their speech is often in concert, many speaking together, as one. And this speech, flowing from affection, often takes the form of singing.
While the songs of heaven express high and holy affection for the Lord, and for the fellow-men, each hearer of the songs understands them according to the quality of his affection. "Sing, O heavens ; and be joyful, O earth ; and break forth into singing, O mountains : for Jehovah hath comforted His people, and He will have mercy upon His afflicted." (Isa. xlix. 13.) "Let the nations be glad, and sing for joy; for Thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon the earth." (Ps. Ixvii. 4.) "Let the saints be joyful in glory : let them sing aloud upon their beds." (Ps. cxlix. 5.) Let regenerate men rejoice in the glorious doctrines of truth, on which they rest, mentally. "It is a good thing to give thanks unto Jehovah, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High." (Ps. xcii. i.) "Jehovah will command His loving-kindness in the day-time, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." (Ps. xlii. 8.)
A NEW SONG.
In the Apocalyptic vision and prophecy, it is said that the redeemed "sang as it were a new song, before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no man could learn that song but the hundred and fort)' and four thousand which were redeemed from the earth." (Rev. xiv. 3.) This new song is the acknowledgment and glorification of the Lord, in His Divine Humanity; which none could understand except those whom the Lord led into the new heaven of the Christian church.
Among the ancients, singing in public worship was by choirs, singing in antiphonal chants, and then in concert; thus representing the church on earth and the church in heaven, joining in the glorification of the Lord. These things are suggested in Numbers xxi. 17, "Then Israel sang the song. Spring up, O well ; sing ye unto it." The well represents the letter of the Divine Word, on earth, to which a response comes from the heavens, when the spiritual sense is opened. Similar things are represented in Ps. lxxxv. II ; "Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven." The Psalms of David, are songs, originally set to music, and sung in worship.
In Rev. XV. 3, we read, "And they sing the song of Moses,, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying. Great and marvellous are Thy works. Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints." To sing the song of Moses is to confess and acknowledge the Lord, from the letter of the Divine Word, and to live a life according to the commandments of the Decalogue. But to sing the song of the Lamb is the acknowledgment of the Lord from spiritual faith in the Divine Humanity, seen from the spiritual sense of the Word. And where these two states come together, one in the natural mind, and the other in the spiritual mind, there is a response from the mental heaven to the song sung on the mental earth. In Exodus xv, there is a grand song of Moses, and of the children of Israel, to Jehovah: "I will sing unto Jehovah, for He hath triumphed gloriously : the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea. Jehovah is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation ... . , And Miriam answered them. Sing ye to Jehovah, for He hath triumphed gloriously." (verses i, 2, 21.) This song is a glorification of God, for His deliverance of Israel from the Egyptians, or, spiritually, from the sensuousness of natural life. "Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage." (Ps. cxix. 54.)
The temptations of the natural man, through false notions; and evil tendencies, are pathetically and correspondentially described in Ps. cxxxvii. 1-4, concerning the captive Israelites, in bondage in Babylon: "By the rivers of Babylon there we sat down, yea we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows, in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. HiOw shall we sing Jehovah's song in a strange land ?" How can the heart of man sing gladly in peace and love, while he is held down in servitude by liis natural lusts and false notions? But, "When Jehovah turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with song." (Ps. cxxvi. i, 2.) "Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for Jehovah hath comforted His people. He hath redeemed Jerusalem." (Isa. lii. 9.)
Spiritual worship of the Lord is represented in the words, "They have seen Thy goings, O God ; the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary. The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after ; among them were the damsels playing on timbrels." (Ps.- Ixviii. 24, 25.) That the singers went before the players means that the affections take the lead, in worship, while the thought follows.
But when men sink into evil they turn away from the Lord, and from His saving and happy influence; and hence they lose their joy of heart. "I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease ; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard." (Ezek. xxvi. 13.) "I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation." (Amos viii. lo.)' Even evil persons may delight in music, and in singing; but either they make their music like themselves, or they enjoy it superficially, only. As their hearts are unregenerate, they do not express the spiritual joy of goodness. But those who are in a good and orderly life, even if natural-minded, have some interior appreciation of spiritual singing. "From the uttermost part of the earth we have heard songs, even glory to the righteous." (Isa. xxiv. 16.) "The uttermost part of the earth" is the external natural mind. In a bad sense, singing expresses the evil affections of bad men, joined with false thoughts. Prophesying the destruction of Ninevah, Zephaniah said, "The cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it ; their voice shall sing in the windows ; desolation shall be in the thresholds." (Zeph. ii. 14.) In the self-destroyed church there will be false reasonings from fantasies. Speaking of evil men, who jeered him, Jeremiah, the prophet, said, "Behold their sittingdown and their rising-up ; I am their music." (Lam. iii. 63.) Such are those who ridicule the letter of the Divine Word, and who thus jeer the Lord, Himself, as the Jews did, in their coarse jests and songs. "They that sit in the gate speak against me, and I was the song of the drunkards." (Ps. Ixix. 12.)
The movements of the body are its activities in the performance of its uses. And as the body represents the mind, so the activities of the body correspond to the activities of the mind. The state of the body is of two kinds, passive and active. In standing, sitting, lying down, and so forth, the body assumes a comparatively passive state, at least temporarily ; but in walking, running, jumping, dancing, swimming, and so forth, the body is in more or less activity. The movements of the body, in its progressions and journeyings, represent the man's states of life, that is, of affection and thought. The life of the body depends on the continued involuntary motions of the vital organs, the heart and the lungs, as vifell as the brain. But the man's own efforts, in his active daily life, are represented by his voluntary motions. Our bodily movements are the effects of our changes of state, in our affections and thoughts, which are our motives, things which move us.
When a man thinks and wills, his external parts are moved in sympathy, and in correspondence, with his mental states. The muscles of the skin, and also the organs of the senses, receive nervous fibres from the brain, mostly from the cerebellum, which is the seat of the will. And hence a man has a sense of things; and hence he makes motions according to his will. And when the activity of the affection ceases, the motion ceases. Hence, the successive bodily motions of a man represent the successive activities of his mind. The effort, or endeavor, is from his will, and the bodily motion is the external correspondent. Bodily, a man is a machine, moved from the spirit, within. And, therefore, the moral character, or quality, of an action, is the quality of the affection which originates the action. We recognize this principle, when we excuse an objectionable action which was an accident, and not intentional.
In man, the heart is the centre of life in the body, but the will is the centre of life in the mind. And the will is kept in its life through its correspondence and connection with the heart of the angelic heavens, and thus with the heart of the Lord, the Divine Love. The term "moved" is often used in the Bible, to mean influenced, or moved in the will. "The chief priests moved the people, that he [Pilate,] should rather release .Barabbas unto them." (Mk. xv. 11.)
''Cast thy burden upon Jehovah, and He shall sustain thee : He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved ;" (Ps. Iv. 22) that is, to be moved aside from his good purposes. ' "O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of His praise to be heard : which holdeth our soul in' life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.'' (Ps. lxvi. 8, 9.) (See Ps. cxxi. 3; Ex. xx. 18.) But in external motion, - mental action is represented. "When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbor, then thou mayest pluck the ears ; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbor's standing corn." (Deut. xxiii. 25.) When you consider your neighbor's conduct, as to its practical goodness, you should judge of him from the standpoint of his religious principles, from which he thinks and acts ; but you must not carry his principles home to your mind and life, and act from them ; but you must act on your own principles.
Standing is a temporary position, watching things, or results, or orders. One who is standing is in an attitude of attention, and is alert. Thus standing corresponds to a state of the intellect, or understanding, alert to receive knowledge and truth. And it includes the intention of the will, from which the man seeks light. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock." (Rev. iii. 20.) The Lord, in His Divine Truth, stands at the door of our mind. "Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem." (Ps. cxxii. 2.) Our life shall be. according to the truths of the church. To "stand still and see the salvation of God," (Ex. xiv. 13) is to have faith in the Divine Providence. 284 Scripture Symbolism.
Sitting refers to a more permanent position than standing. Sitting refers to a state of the will, or heart, when it is fixed in its principles. In some of the oriental languages, the same word is used to mean "sitting," "dwelling" and "remaining," thus showing the idea of some permanence in sitting. The Lord is said to "sit upon His throne." (Rev. iv. 8.) And the Son of Man sat on a white cloud, (Rev. xiv. 14) to represent the presence of the Lord, in His Divine Humanity, in the letter of the Divine Word. And similar things are represented by the Lord sitting on a white horse. (Rev. xix. 2.) "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me, in My throne;" (Rev. iii; 21,) representing conjunction of heart and life with the Lord, in heaven, by regeneration. "Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon." (Isa. xlvii. 1.) Falsity settles upon the natural affections, when sunk in sensuous life. Similar things are meant by the Israelites, who "sat by the flesh-pots" of Egypt. (Ex. xvi. 3.)
Lying down, which is a somewhat permanent position, represents a state of the will, and of the conjunction of the will ancl its affections with things present. Lying down to rest on a bed corresponds to a state of mind in which we rest in confidence in our doctrine, in which we have faith, and in which we find mental rest, when tired by the struggles of daily life. To lie down, in rest, represents, also, a state of tranquility, resulting from trust in the Lord, and knowledge of truth. "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for Thou, Jehovah, only, makest me dwell in safety." (Ps. iv. 8.) Lying down is often connected with sickness, as "Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever." (Mk. i. 30.) In such cases, to lie down is to be prostrated by the influence of falsity and evil in the mind.
Walking is an active state of the body, in which the man changes his place continuously. Hence to walk mentally, spiritually, is to live, to progress in action in daily life. Walking refers especially to the life of thought, from intention, and carried into action and conduct. And so a man is said to "walk in the law, or "in the statutes," or "in the truth." Walking refers to a way or path, on which the man walks. The mental way, or path, is the truth, on which the mind walks. The distinctions between walking, standing and sitting are illustrated in the First Psalm : "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly ; nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." (Verse i.) The three mental states refer to those of the conduct, the understanding, and the will. "He hath showed thee, O man, who is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." (Micah vi. 8.) To "arise, take up thy bed, and walk," (Mk. ii. g) is to elevate your mind, and to take up the doctrines of the church, into your affections, and to live according to them, in your practical conduct.
Running, which requires much effort, represents an eager state of mind, from affection. A man may run towards anything in which he is greatly interested ; or he may run away from that which he greatly dislikes. "I will run the way of Thy commandments." (Ps. cxix. 32.) "They that wait upon Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings, as eagles ; they shall run, and not be weary ; they shall walk and not faint." (Isa. xl. 31.) To run relates to the affections of the will, and to walk refers to the thoughts of the understanding. Speaking of the evil,. it is said, "Their feet run to evil, . . their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity." (Isa. lix. 7.) "If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses?" (Jer. xii. 5.) If you have not kept up with the plain walk of life, according to the literal commandments of the Lord, how can you expect to understand and practice the higher truths of spiritual life?
To leap, jump, or spring, represents eager mental action, in the progress of life. "Jehovah, my God, will enlighten my darkness. For by Thee I have run through a troop ; and by my God I have leaped over a wall." (Ps. xviii. 28, 29.) When regeneration gives a man new life, "Then shall the lame leap as a hart." (Isa. XXXV, 6.) "Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great, in heaven." (Lk. vi. ,23.) "When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish ; it is that they shall be destroyed together." (Ps. xcii. 7.)
Dancing, also, is an active movement, representing eager action of the mind, and corresponding to affection for spiritual good. "Jehovah, be Thou my helper. Thou hast turned, for me, my mourning into dancing." (Ps. XXX. 11.) But when men relapsed into evil, they bewailed, "The joy of our heart is ceased: our dance is turned into mourning." (Lam. v. 15.) In ancient times, the dance was a religious exercise. "Let them praise His name in the dance." (Ps. cxlix. 3.) "Praise Him with the timbrel and dance." (Ps. cl. 4.)
Swimming, also, is a vigorous movement, often needed when water is too deep to wade through. Swimming corresponds to doing, making eager efforts to bear up the mind in the highest truths, for the progress of spiritual life. The waters which flowed out "under the threshold of the house" of the Lord, increased in volume, until they became "a river that I could not pass over," "waters to swim in." (Ezek. xlvii. ,1, 5.) These were celestial truths, above the height of natural truth. But when the man falls to lower states, the Lord says to him, "I will also water with thy blood the land wherein thou swimmest,even to the mountains." (Ezek. xxxii. 6.)
Progress on land, in walking, running, and so forth, is much less dangerous than swimming, because, in swimming, the deep water adds another element of peril. And thus swimming corresponds to progress in making our way in the pursuance of great truths, which, if we abuse them, will be falsified in our mind and life. And then we shall be drowned, spiritually, that 'is, overcome by falsities, and led into the death of evil. These things are illustrated in the history of Israel: "Pharoah's chariots and his host hath He [Jehovah] cast into the sea: his chosen captains are drowned in the Red Sea." (Ex. xv. 4.) False principles, both general and particular, are banished to the hells.
ARISE, RISE, RISE-UP.
To arise is to elevate the body, from a sitting or lying position. And it corresponds to elevating the mind to a higher level of thought and of life, either from natural to " spiritual, or to celestial, or from evil and falsity to goodness and truth. When the prodigal son recognized his folly, he said, "I will arise, and go to my father;" (Lk. xv. 18,) representing the convicted sinner returning to the Lord. "O Jehovah, Thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my down-sitting and mine up-rising." (Ps. cxxxix. I, 2.) To rise up early is to perceive clearly, as by morning light. In some cases, with those who are unregenerate, and who are superficial, and who have no opening of their spiritual mind, to arise does not mean to be elevated, but to be excited, aroused, in their natural senses, as when it is said that "Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and slew him." (Gen. iv. 8.)
Falling, while generally not a voluntary act, is a movement, and a condition, representing a mental condition. In general, falling represents sinking into a lower state of mind, as one who falls down from a spiritual state of mind to a natural-minded state, or as one who falls into evil-doing. In the Apocalypse there is a forcible description of tlie fall of Babylon, representing the fall of the church into evils, when its leaders sought to take to themselves the power of God over human destiny. The "fall of man," representatively pictured in Genesis, was a gradual lowering of the spiritual character of the human race, which fell into the darkness of falsity, by relying on the supposed evidence of the natural senses, represented by the serpent, and by lapsing into all kinds of evils, in heart and in conduct; and thus losing the former states of innocence and enlightenment. A man falls, spiritually, when he' yields, in temptation, and does evil. But, if he resists, his tempters fall. "I will sing praises to Thy name, O Thou Most High. When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at Thy presence." (Ps. ix. 2, 3.) A man may "fall into error," by mistake, and may be led back into the right way. "The people that doth not understand, shall fall." (Hosea, iv. 14.) "Remember, therefore, whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works." (Rev. ii. 5.) As far as men are willing to co-operate, "Jehovah upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all that be bowed down." (Ps. cxlv. 14.) To fall prostrate before the Lord, represents submission and humility, and an acknowledgment of the Lord. In this sense there is no evil in the falling, but good. "And all the angels stood round about the throne, . . . and fell before the throne, on their faces, and worshipped God." (Rev. vii. 11.)
Kneeling also represents a state of humility, and of submission to the Lord ; and also worship. "O come, let us worship, and bow down ; let us kneel before Jehovah, our Maker." (Ps. xcv. 6.) (See I Kings viii. 54 ; xix. i8 ; Isa. xlv. 23 ; Dan. vi. 10 ; Matt. xvii. 14; Mk. i. 40; X. 17; Lk. V. 8.)
Gestures indicate states of mind. They are actions of the will. Every affection has its characteristic and corresponding gesture of the body, suiting the action to the feeling and the thought. And so, different emotions produce different gestures, each appropriate in its place. The gesture merely gives corresponding form of motion. And so, often, you can tell the state of a man's mind by his gestures. The "sign language" used by the North American Indians, is full of gestures, not difficult to interpret by an intelligent natural man. It is a universal language, known to all American Indian tribes, and furnishing a means of general communication between tribes speaking different languages. Probably this general "sign language" is the remains of a very ancient system, and originally formed from correspondences, but corrupted and obscured since, by sensuous men.
The opposites to movements are the conditions in which movement is impaired, or prevented. Some of these conditions have already been considered as "wounded," and so forth, under the head of "disorder." Lameness represents a state of mind in which the man is not in the knowledge, love and practice of genuine goodness, because he is ignorant of genuine truth. He has not the power to walk well. Such were the Gentiles, who had not the Divine Word. But, at the coming of the Lord, well-disposed persons among the Gentiles received the truth, and were regenerated. Among the proofs of His Divine authority, Jesus sent word to John that "the lame walk." (Matt. xi. 5.)
To "halt" is to be somewhat impaired in ability to walk. Spiritually, to halt is to be in the knowledge and practice of natural good, but without spiritual good; for then the mind is ignorant of spiritual truth, and confused by the fallacies of the natural senses. The man has not sufficient good to enable him to walk well. "If thy hand, or thy foot, offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee : it is better for thee to enter into life halt, or maimed, rather than, having two hands, or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire." (Matt, xviii. 8.) It is spiritually better for a man to be in simple good, even natural good, than to have more spiritual openness, and yet to abuse it. "Go out quickly, into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind." (Lk. xiv. 21.) In a bad sense, to halt is to remain in sensuous fallacies, because the man does not desire genuine truths. But, in such a state, the truth calls tis to decide which we love, the Lord or evil. If we profess to believe in the Lord, our proof of this belief is in living according to the Lord's commandments. "How long halt ye between two opinions? If Jehovah be God, follow Him: but if Baal, follow him." (I Kings xviii. 21.)
The external size of a thing represents the spiritual quality, or character, of some human trait. We speak of a large-hearted man, or of one who is of small mind, or narrow, or broad-minded. In the Scriptures, men are called large, or great, or giants ; or small, or little, or dwarfs, and so forth.
Large, powerful men represent large mental powers, large spiritual qualities. And, as the opposite, verysmall men represent a smaller mental capacity, and less spiritual life. These terms are symbolic and representative, but they are not scientifically true, as to the qualities of men, as men are, today, in this world; for physical largeness and smallness are hereditary conditions, which a man can not change, to any important extent, but he can change his spiritual largeness or smallness of character, by regeneration, or by relapsing into evil. "Praise our God, all ye. His servants, both small and great." (Rev. xix. 5.) The "small" are those who love the Lord to a smaller degree, as good natural men, for instance; and the "great" are those who love the Lord to a greater degree, on a higher plane, as, for instance, spiritual men. "And He smote the men of the city, both small and great." (I Sam. v. 9.)
In Gen. vi. 4, it is said, "There were giants in the earth in those days." Giants, if good, are powerful for good, and for usefulness. And so they represent great spiritual capacities and power. But if they are evil men, they represent the enormous self-assertion and conceit of unregenerate men, which impel such men to regard themselves as very great and worthy, and to despise others, as of no importance. "Hear, O Israel : Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thy self ... a people great and tall, the children of the Anakim." (Deut. ix. i, 2.) The land of Ammon "was accounted a land of giants : giants dwelt there in old time . . a people great and many, and tall, as the Anakim." (Deut. ii. 20, 21.) "The ancients, who couched everything under fables, represented such persons [of the Most Ancient Church, who, while they lived in the world, were evil, and who believed themselves to be as God,] by the giants who assaulted the camp of the gods^ and were cast down by the thunder-bolts of Jupiter, and thrust under the burning mountain of Aetna, and called cyclops." (Cor. T. C. R. 38.) These things were representative and correspondential.
As largeness corresponds to goodness and fulness of life, so smallness corresponds to a lack of goodness, and a lack of knowledge of truths, and, hence, to a lack of usefulness. Speaking to the Israelites, through the prophet, Isaiah, Jehovah said, "Now I have brought it to pass that thou shouldest be to lay waste fenced cities into ruinous heaps. Therefore their inhabitants were of small power; they were dismayedand confounded." (II Kings xix. 25, 26.) These "fenced cities" are the false doctrines in "our natural minds, in favor of which we have built up arguments, which we imagine to be unanswerable. But when our spiritual mind, at the command of our Lord, attacks our selfish strong-hold, our natural mind finds that it has "small power."
In one sense, a little person means the same as one who is small, that is, representatively, one who has little goodness and power. But it does not follow that, either physically or mentally, a small man, or a man of small mind, recognizes his deficiency. On the contrary, the evil love of dominion over others, and the love of possessing what belongs to others, often exist as strongly in small-minded men as in men of naturally large capacities.
In a good sense, "a little one," meaning a little child, who has not yet developed his natural tendencies to self-exaltation, represents a state of innocence, which feels its own smallness in the presence of the Lord, as the only Great One. Such a little one, because hedoes not depend on his own power, but looks to the Lord to lead him, and to care for him, exercises real power, from the spirit. Of such it is said, "A little one shall become a thousand, and a- small one a strong nation.'' (Isa. Ix. 22.) "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself, as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child, in My name, receiveth Me . . . It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." (Matt, xviii. 3-5, 14.) These are the things of the new birth, the little ones of the regenerate life, who are, spiritually, in the care of the highest angels.
In a bad sense, the little ones of the mind are the beginnings of self-love and of self-exalting falsities, which we should recognize and put down, in the light of the Divine Word. "O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed, happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." (Ps. cxxxvii. 8, 9.) To dash these little ones against the stones, is to confront them with the literal truths of the Divine Word. And Jehovah said, concerning the evil man, "I will turn My hand upon his little ones."(Zech. xiii. 7.)
Naturally, a dwarf is deficient in vigor, and in usefulness. And he represents a mind that is cramped, deficient in vigor, and having less strength of goodness and of wisdom. In Israel, in appointing men as priests, Jehovah ordered that no one with any blemish should serve at the altar, including "a dwarf." (Lev. xxi. 20.) Dwarfs and pygmies were called locusts, or grass-hoppers, as being insignificant. And all men are nothing, compared with God. "It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grass-hoppers." (Isa. xl. 22.)
Fat is the oily substance which is a considerable part of the body, mingling with the other tissues. From its oily nature, and its use in keeping the body warm, fat corresponds to the celestial principle of love. In Israel, the fat of beasts was burned upon the altar, to represent that the goodness of love was ascribed to Jehovah, and acknowledged as His. And, because the Israelites were merely external and sensuous men, without any understanding of celestial principles, as such, they were forbidden to eat the fat of animals used for food. "It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood." (Lev. iii. 17.) The Israelites lived in a representative dispensation: and there was no correspondence between their sensuous, carnal life and the quality of celestial love, represented by fat.
"And Jehovah shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones." (Isa. lviii. 11.) Interior love and wisdom are promised
to regenerate men. When Abel, who represented charity, or love to the neighbor, sacrificed to Jehovah, he ''brought of the firstlings of the flock, and of the fat thereof. And Jehovah had respect unto Abel, and to his oflfering." (Gen. iv. 4.) The Lord accepted man's worship ofifered in innocence and love. Fat in the body helps to round out the fulness of the form, and make a comfortable condition. And this use of fat corresponds to a similar mental use of love, in giving fulness to the spiritual character. A proper amount of fat is evidence of bodily prosperity. "The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree they shall be fat and flourishing." (Ps. xcii. 12, 14.) Their minds shall grow and flourish, in the knowledge, love and practice of goodness and wisdom. In the beautiful Psalm xxiii, the expression, "Thou anointest my head with oil," means, literally, "Thou makest fat my head with oil," that is, the Lord endows man with celestial good. "My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness." (Ps. Ixiii. 5.) Regenerate life shall be filled with celestial loves.
Fat is good, and necessary for warmth and life. But, if fat becomes extreme, even to grossness, it becomes a disease, and is abused. And so we find that the term "fat" sometimes represents an indolent, gross condition of mind, seeing good in the external things of the senses, only, and giving no heed to spiritual principles. It is said of the evil, "They are enclosed in their own fat." (Ps. xvii. 10.) They wrap themselves in their own evil, and despise the goodness of regenerate life. "The proud have forged a lie against me . . .Their heart is as fat as grease." (Ps. cxix. 69, 70.)
Thinness, which does not allow fullness, corresponds to a lack of goodness, a condition in which the man does not perform a full use. Thus, to be thin, or lean in flesh, representatively, is to be lacking in love and charity. "My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me." (Isa. xxiv. 16.) "In that day, it shall come to pass that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean." (Isa. xvii. 4.) "Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, send among His fat ones leanness." (Isa. x. 16.) "They lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And He gave them their request ; but sent leanness into their soul." (Ps. cvi. 14, 15.) Those who prefer the things of sensuous life are permitted to live in the low plane of their choice. But they do so at the loss of their higher and spiritual life.
That which is full is complete and sufficient. Human life is complete when the interior principles of affection and thought are ultimated, carried out, in the acts of the natural life. In a bodily way, a man is full, and has enough food, when he has actually eaten the food. And mentally he is full, when he has actually lived according to his interior loves, and in agreement with his cherished thoughts. Then his mind is full, complete, from internal to external. And no man regards his life as complete and successful, until he has carried out his desires and thoughts.
Each mind seeks the fullness of its kind and degree of life. "Jehovah is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works. . . The eyes of all wait upon Thee; and Thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing." (Ps. cxlv. 9, 15, 16.) "That Thou givest them, they gather; Thou openest Thine hand, they are filled with good." (Ps. civ. 28.) To the natural-minded man, this would mean natural good ; but to the spiritual man, it means spiritual good, good principles in the heart, and filling the life. But each man will take such things as he thinks will fill up his life to its greatest fullness.
"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." (Matt. v. 6.) And they shall be filled with the exact quality of mental food for which they hunger and thirst. But when men forget the Lord, and allow worldly prosperity to take all their attention and affection, they lose their spiritual prosperity. When the Israelites failed to appreciate the manna which the Lord provided for them in the wilderness, and they lusted for the flesh-pots of Egypt, it is said, "He sent them meat to the full. ... So they did eat, and were well filled." (Ps. Ixxviii. 25, 29.) "He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul." (Ps. cvi. 15.) "When thou hast eaten, and art full, then thou shalt bless Jehovah, thy God, for the good land which He hath given thee." (Deut. xi. 15.) But of those who lapse into evil, it is said, "They that were full have hired themselves out for bread." (I Sam. ii. 5.) Those who fell from goodness into evil, lost their spiritual life.
To be satisfied is to have enough, all that we earnestly desire. But, spiritually, to be satisfied is to be filled with goodness and truth, and thus to be full of blessings. "And the Levite . . . shall come, and shall eat, and be satisfied." (Deut. xiv. 29.) The natural mind shall give, to the spiritual understanding, every opportunity to sustain its life by means of practical things. "Jehovah knoweth the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time ; and in the days of famine, they shall be satisfied. But the wicked shall perish." (Ps. xxxvii. 18-20.) "He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." (Ps. cvii. 9.) But the evil man will not be satisfied, because he desires the things of evil, which cannot mal<e anyone satisfied, because they are without spiritual life. "They shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity." (Ezek. vii. 19.)
Physically, a man is empty when he is needing food. Spiritually, a man is empty when he is without truth and goodness in his mind. "He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent empty away." (Lk. i. 53.) The Lord gives good to those who long for it ; but those who feel rich in themselves do not desire the kind of spiritual food which the Lord gives.
Hunger is a bodily state in which we lack food,, but we desire it, and seek it. And spiritually, to hunger is to be without enough goodness, and to be conscious of our lack, and to long for goodness, and to seek it. A man is conscious of spiritual hunger, when he sees that he has not the right quality of love, and yet desires to obtain regenerate love. And if his spiritual hunger is anything more than a sentiment, he will be ready to give up all his unregenerate affections and thoughts, in order to receive new affections, of a regenerate quality. And the more he loves goodness, the more he will hunger for it, in his own character, and in his daily life.
At times, when our effort for spiritual growth seems very hard and constant, we feel discouraged ; and we wonder if it is worth while to make so much effort to do right. There is a representative picture of this state of mind, in Jeremiah xlii. 14-16; "We will gointo the land of Egypt, where we will see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread ; and there will we dwell. And now, therefore, hear the Word of Jehovah. . . . Then it shallcome to pass that the sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you there, in the land of Egypt ; and the famine, whereof ye were afraid, shall follow close after you, there in Egypt: and there shall ye die." "Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life : he that cometh to Me shall never hunger ; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst." (John vi. 35.) Their spiritual hunger for goodness, and thirst for truth, shall not go unsatisfied. "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; ... for the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters." (Rev. vii. 16,17.)
Thirst, or the desire for water, corresponds to the desire of the mind for truth. For, in the mind, truth fills a purpose corresponding to that which water serves in the body. If we have enough food, but no water, we are in distress. And so, in the mind, if there is no truth, to instruct our affections, we are in distress of spirit. This spiritual thirst can be satisfied by the Lord, alone, through His Divine Word. "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying. If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." (John vii. 37.) He who is spiritually thirsty, is without sufficient truth to enable him to perform the uses of life. Especially when a man is in temptation, he longs for more truth, that he may see clearly how he should feel, and think, and act. The discipline of regeneration is represented by the trials of the Israelites, during their journey from Egypt to Canaan. "Jehovah, thy God, . . . led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint." (Deut. viii. 15.) "As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God." (Ps. xlii. I, 2.) "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh f the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst: but the water that I shall give him shall be, in him, a well of water, springing up into everlasting life." (John iv. 13, 14.) Jesus referred to the spiritual water of truth, which He would give to men, and which would quench the thirst of their souls.
Fire corresponds to love, which is the spiritual fire of human life. In regenerate men, this is the fire of heaven, the unselfish love of goodness ; but in evil men it is the fire of hell, the evil love of self, and the love of the world, for self. Love is Divine in God, and finite in man, from God. The Divine Love is the fire of the universe, and its life : it is the inmost life of all things. Every living creature is a form of some kind of love, which it derives from the Lord, and which it displays in its activitites. Every form of lovfe comes from the Lord in a state of purity, but it is received by the creature, and used by him, in goodness, or abused, in evil. No other creature than man knows how to make a fire. But all human races, even those in the lowest conditions of culture, make fires.
In the physical body, heat is life, and cold is death. And to be warm is to be alive. To be warm is to have enough fire within our bodies to keep us in comfort, and to keep our bodily powers in proper activity. And, spiritually, to be warm is to have sufficient love in our spirit, to enable us to live our chosen life. The warmth of love gives the body its energy, power and endurance. And the more we are interested in anything, by our love, the more effort we put into our work. Regenerate spiritual love is warm and genial, and interested in all good things. But our merely natural-minded feelings are comparatively cold and indifferent towards other persons; and they need to be aroused, by means of our spiritual loves. "John answered, saying unto them all, I, indeed, baptize you with water; but One mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose. He shall baptize you with, the Holy Spirit and with fire." (Luke iii. 16.) The baptism by John, the Baptist, represented instruction and introduction into the Church through the letter of the Divine Word, and by literal truth. But Jesus came as the Word, itself, and He regenerated men by spiritual truth, which arouses the spiritual fire of regenerate love.
In regard to the representative ceremonies of Israel, it is said, "The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out." (Lev. vi. 13.) This perpetual fire represented the ever-present love and mercy of the Lord. And man's acknowledgment of this perpetual love is represented by his doing his part in keeping up the fire. Similar perpetual fires were kept by the ancient Greeks and Romans, as part of their religious ceremonies. Such fires were tended by the vestal virgins, who represented devout human affections. This custom of maintaining perpetual fires was a remnant of the representative worship of the Ancient Church, descended to later ages.
Infernal fire is the burning of all the evil passions of self-love, such as anger, envy, hatred, revenge, and so forth. It is said to the evil, "Your breath as fire shall devour you." (Isa. xxxiii. 11.) The lusts of self-love are evil fires, destroying the spiritual life. Those who are tempted by evil and false influences, but who resist such things, and who are saved from them, exclaim, "We went through fire and through water ; but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place." (Ps. Ixvi. 12.) But, if men will not resist evil, the fires of the hells burn within such men. "They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto Me." (Hosea vii. 7.) Evil and falsity destroy a man's rational perception and judgment, and turn him against the Lord.
In the spiritual world, such as a man's love is, in quality, such is the warmth which he experiences, and in which he lives. The warmth of the heavens is genial, and full of prospering life. The fires of hell are in the man, himself, in the fierce burning passions of self-love : and these form his outward environment to their likeness. In the heavens, the heat is from the Divine Love of the Lord, and the light is from the Divine Truth. And each individual angel is in warmth, and in light, according to the quality and degree of his love and of his wisdom. As every living thing gives forth its characteristic quality, as a plant gives out its odor, so the heavens exhale the living sweetness of heavenly love, while the hells exhale the foul and deadly miasma of evil passions. When men on earth inwardly receive -the heat of heaven, this heat infills their souls, and their spiritual bodies, also, and even their natural bodies; and it sustains their vital heat, as spiritual heat sustains their souls. But when the heat of the hells flows into the hearts of men, it arouses their evil tendencies, and it throws them into bodily fevers, and even into physical death. As the heat of heaven is celestial love, which is adapted to celestial and spiritual qualities in men, no unregenerate person can live in heavenly heat.
Heat is the medium of life. But when the heat goes out, the body dies. A person who is dying, physically grows cold in body; and no amount of physical heat can overcome the death-cold. So, in the mind, heat is love, and love is life. And the warmth of our love develops the life of all things in our mind.
The opposite of fire and heat is cold, which corresponds to lack of love, and thus to lack of life. Cold benumbs the body, and impairs its activities. Speaking of the temptations which would come upon the people, at the end of the Jewish representative dispensation, Jesus said, "Many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." (Matt. xxiv. 11, 12.) To be cold, spiritually, is to be in a natural-minded state, and not open to the distinctively spiritual degrees of human life. If a man is not in a state of mind to grow warm in spiritual life, it would be better for him to remain merely natural-minded, than to have some spiritual openness, and yet to be indifferent to spiritual life. This is meant by the words in Rev. iii. 15, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou were cold or hot." Lukewarm hearts may know of the Lord, and of His Divine Humanity ; and yet heavenly truth does laot arouse in them the fire of heavenly love. Men sometimes sink into a life that is almost dead, spiritually, because it is almost without heavenly warmth. If a man believes that he is to be "saved" merely by the arbitrary will of God, without any regard to his character, and without any serious effort on his own part to resist evil, and to do good, he does not exert himself to put down his tendencies to evil, but he becomes inwardly cold towards all spiritual truths.
To be clean is to be in a state of order, and free from damage by useless and injurious things. Spiritually, injurious things are evils. And so, to be clean is to be free from evils, and to be in the reception of good. The heart is cleansed by the removal of evils. Therefore, our prayer to our Lord, "Create in me a clean heart, O God" (Ps. li. lo), is a prayer for goodness, asking our Lord to reform us, as to the quality of our love, so that good loves shall compose our heart's life. Outward cleanliness represents inward cleanliness. We recognize the appropriateness of cleanliness of person, for those who are clean in character. Such persons desire to be clean : and they keep themselves clean, as far as their work and their circumstances permit. But those who seem to love filth, and to have no desire to escape from it, are such as are unclean in mind, in character, and in life. There is truth in the old saying, "Cleanliness is next to godliness." For external cleanliness in favorable circumstances, indicates the desire to rise above the sensuous tendency to indolence, indifference and filth.
Speaking of good men, we say they are "cleanminded," and of others that they are "unclean," meaning polluted with impurities. For such conditions often advertise themselves in the spheres of men's minds, as well as in the conditions of their bodies. And, in the spiritual world, these things are more observable.
"Who shall ascend into the hill of Jehovah ? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart." (Ps. xxiv. 3, 4.) To have "clean hands" is to be good in action, in conduct, in whatever we turn our hands to, in practical life. And to have a "pure heart" is to be clean and goodin the ruling love of the heart, or will. "The fear of Jehovah is clean, enduring forever." (Ps. xix. 9.) The spiritual "fear" of the Lord is love to the Lord, which is accompanied by a natural fear that we may not prove ourselves obedient to the Lord, and appreciative of His goodness.
Spiritual cleanness comes to us in the degree and measure in which we apply the Divine truth to our motives, thoughts and actions, and thus wash them. "Jehovah rewarded me, according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath He recompensed me . . according to my cleanness in His sight." (II Sam. xxii. 21, 25.) The natural unregenerate heart of man is not clean. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for
ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful, outward, but are, within, full of dead rhen's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." (Matt, xxiii. 27, 28.) It is right and -necessary for a man to do his part in keeping his conduct clean ; but if he does this from selfish policy, the Lord can not cleanse the inward heart of such a man. And the Lord alone has power to do this interior cleansing.
Jesus cleansed lepers and others by His will, or by His touch. (Luke v. 13.) And when John sent to inquire of Jesus, whether He was the Messiah, one of the proofs of His Divine character which Jesus sent to John, was that "the lepers are cleansed." (Luke vii. 22.) (See Isa. iv. 4.) Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. (John xiii. 4-10.) And when Peter did not understand the matter, Jesus said to him, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me. . . .He that is washed, needeth not, save to wash his feet, but is clean, every whit." (Verses 8, lo.) He who has been spiritually washed in heart, by the Lord, still needs to do his part, by keeping his walk of life clean. We acknowledge our Lord's work within us, when we ask Him to cleanse us. "Wash me from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin." (Ps. li. 2.) "Cleanse Thou me from secret faults." (Ps. xix. 12.) It is said of Jesus that He "loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood." (Rev. i. 5.) Spiritually, the blood of Christ is His Divine Truth, which is the circulating life in the mind, as the blood is in the body. Our part of the work of cleansing our life is shown in these words, "The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot, even unto the head, there is no soundness in it ; but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores. . . . Wash you, make you clean : put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes ; cease to do evil ; learn to do well." (Isa. i. 5, 6, 16, 17.)
Among the Jews there were many forms of ceremonial washing, which represented cleansing and purifying the mind and the life. But when Jesus came on
earth. He brought to an end the merely representative dispensation of Israel, and He tstablished a real church, instead of the mere representative of a church, which existed with the Jews. And, in order to cover all the uses of representative rites and ceremonies, Jesus retained baptism, and instituted the holy supper. Baptism represents the cleansing of the natural mind, and of the conduct, by the literal truths of the Divine Word, especially the Ten Commandments, which are a summary of the laws of conduct. And the holy supper represents the reception of spiritual life from the Lord, in the regenerate mind.
But literal baptism is not of any spiritual use in salvation, unless it is accompanied, or followed, by the spiritual baptism of regeneration. Washing the head and hands represented the cleansing of the spiritual mind and its action ; and washing the feet represented the purification of the natural mind and the practical conduct.
As cleanness represents goodness, so to be unclean, spiritually, is to be impure, evil. In Israel, certain persons, who were diseased, or who had touched unclean things, were said to be unclean ; and they were excluded from the camp, or from contact with clean persons, for a certain time, or until they had washed, and had become clean, again. All these things represented mental conditions. Unclean persons were forbidden to eat anything esteemed to be especially holy. And clean persons were forbidden to eat unclean things, which represented the unclean lusts of the natural senses. This was especially the case with any flesh of the hog. Jehovah said of degenerate Israel, "Her priests have violated My law, and have profaned Mine holy things : they have put no difference between the holy and the profane, neither have they shown difference between the unclean and clean." (Ezek. xxii. 26.) But, speaking of good priests, Jehovah said, "They shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean." (Ezek. xliv. 23.) "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness." (Zech. xiii. 1.) This fountain is the Divine Word, by whose living truths men are regenerated. And when we see
that our feelings and thoughts have not been such as they should be, our Lord says to us, "Depart ye, go ye out from thence : touch no unclean thing." (Isa. lii. ii.) Evil spirits were often called unclean spirits, because of their corrupt character. (Matt. x. i.) Because evil men can not go into heaven, it is said, "And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth." (Rev. xxi. 27.) For, in the spiritual world, men's internal states and their external states must correspond. And it is often so, in this natural world. Everything unclean, filthy, foul and dirty belongs to evil. The love of self is unclean.
Misers, idlers, and mere pleasure-seekers, who perform no service for their fellow-men, are most apt to be filled with unclean thoughts, even about the church. (A. C. 6310.)
Grapes correspond to the good works of charity, which is the love of the neighbor. And the juice of the grape, which is the "spirit" of the grape, represents the Divine Truth, which is the inward life of our love for our neighbor. Thus wine represents the Divine Truth. Fresh grape juice, or "new wine," represents the Divine Truth as it is known in the natural mind. But the fresh new wine contains some elements which become impurities, and which produce a ferment in the wine. But gradually, the impurities are separated and cast down, and the pure wine stands above the dregs. The impurities in the fresh wine correspond to the impurities of self-love, which, at first, linger in our new love for our neighbor ; certain feelings and thoughts of self-interest, and of worldly policy, which creep into our early charity. But when we go through trials and temptations, we rise above these selfish impurities, and cast them down ; and our charity becomes purified. And then our charity is no longer merely natural, but it has become spiritual. And then it is represented by the pure wine, which has gone through its fermentation, and has cast down its impurities. Natural-minded charity, like new wine, will not keep its original condition : it must either spoil, or go through fermentation. But spiritual charity, like pure old wine, is permanent ; and, in the gradual course of our regeneration, it becomes increasingly purer and stronger.
Baptism with water represents the cleansing of the natural mind and life by the application of literal truth, especially truth as in the Ten Commandments. And the fermented and purified wine is used in the holy supper, because it represents an advanced state of charity, in which there is inward and spiritual communication with the Lord. In the Ancient Church wine represented all spiritual things, even the Lord, Himself, as the Divine Truth. And it has the same signification in the holy supper, in which the use of wine represents the exercise of charity towards the neighbor, in love to the Lord. Drinking represents receiving instruction, in natural truth, if drinking water, and in spiritual truth, if properly drinking wine.
SOBER AND DRUNKEN.
But wine, like fire, is "a good servant, but a bad master." Used properly it gives life; but abused, it occasions terrible distress. And it is so with spiritual truth : it is full of life and strength to those who are in a state to use it; but the abuse of it will bring far greater trouble than would be possible with natural truth. For truth, known in the intellect, but opposed in the heart, and falsified in the life, becomes falsity in the mind which abuses it. Sobriety is in the rational and orderly use of the gifts of God. Intemperance is in the abuse of such gifts, and in their corruption.
Spiritually, a drunkard is one who abuses the Lord's truths, perverts them, and applies them to evil purposes. When a natural-minded man knows the doctrines of truth, but interprets them according to the notions of his natural senses, he makes them seem to teach the opposite of the good which they actually teach; and he makes them seem to favor his evil desires. Thus, the trouble with the spiritually-drunken man is that his mind becomes confused, and irrational, because there is confusion between the truths in his memory and the falsity and the evil in his natural mind.
Spiritual principles belong on their own level, distinctively above the level of the natural senses. And the attempt to mix spiritual and natural things produces confusion of mind, which is spiritual drunkenness. As physical drunkenness does not result from a proper use of wine, but from its abuse, so spiritual drunkenness does not result from knowing too much, nor from using our knowledge of truth, but from abusing it. Drunkenness does not come fro'm drinking vinegar, which is soured wine, representing falsity, but from the abuse of wine, which represents truth. Falses of ignorance will not spiritually intoxicate, but such a state comes from the falses of evil, as when a man tries to twist a true principle until it seems to justify his evils ; as, for instance, the leaders of the church justifying their cruel persecution of heretics by quoting Jehovah's command to Israel to drive out the Canaanites.
When the Scriptures mention drunkenness, the spiritual meaning refers to the abuse of the Divine Truth. "They are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink." (Isa. xxix. 9.) The mental states of such men were referred to, even in the literal sense of the Scripture. They were corrupt men, who were doing evil, and yet pretending to be doing right. That such are in mental trouble is seen in the expression, "Their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end." (Ps. cvii. 27.) "Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!" (Isa. xxviii. i.) These are such as falsify truths by reasoning from their selfderived intelligence. 'Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that putteth thy bottle to him, and maketh him drunken, also." (Hab. ii. 15.) Such are those who teach falsities to others, especially to take advantage of them. The idea of drunkenness, as spiritual insanity, is shown in Jer. li. 7, where it is said that Babylon "made all the earth drunken : the nations have drunken her wine : therefore all the nations are mad."
When we see the correspondence of drunkenness, and its enormous perils to the minds of men, we can understand that intemperance is a serious sin against God, and a serious crime against the community. For, when a man becomes drunken, he surrenders his human rationality, and he becomes insane, and capable of committing many dreadful crimes, which he might not do when sober. He reduces himself even below the level of a beast, because the beast is protected by instinct, in the absence of rationality ; but the man has no such instinct to depend upon, when he is abusing his higher power. Regeneration is the only permanent cure for drunkenness. For the interior cause of physical drunkenness is spiritual drunkenness, the abuse of known truths. And, to rise above this condition, a man must recognize his state, and repent of his evils, and reform his practical life, in the name of the Lord. The Lamb stands upon the mental Mount Zion, and says to the church, "See that thou hurt not the oil and the wine." (Rev. vi. 6.)
YOUNG AND OLD.
In one sense, a youth represents the intelligence of truth, as distinguished from an old man, who represents perception and wisdom. Young persons love to learn truths, and to understand them, that they may obey such truths. But the young have not the clear perception and wisdom which will come to them as their minds mature. In another sense, youth represenls the natural mind, in the beginning of regeneration, and old age represents the spiritual mind, in the completion of regeneration.
In heaven there is no decrepitude from old age, but all who die as children, on earth, grow up to young manhood and womanhood, in heaven. And all who live on earth until old age, and then go to heaven, return vo a state of early maturity, and so remain. No one ever grows old, in heaven, because time has no influence in the spiritual world, but, there, everything is arranged according to quality, or state of character. "And it .shall come to pass, afterward, that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh ; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." (Joel ii. 28.) Young- men represent intelligence, and young women denote affection for truth; and old men represent wisdom. Spiritually, sons and daughters prophesy, when intelligence and affection forsee the effects of spiritual truths. And "old men dream," when our mature minds receive revelations of spiritual truth. "Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together : for I will turn their mourning into joy." (Jer. xxxi. 13.) After Jacob had served Laban seven years, for his daughter, Rachel,' Laban said to him, "It must not be so done, in our country,
to give the younger before the first-born." (Gen. xxix. 26.) And so Jacob was given Leah, first; and he had to work seven years more, for Rachel. These things represent the course of progress in the regenerating mind, which is looking for good. It must first attain a natural affection for truth, and afterwards a spiritual affection, which is of later growth.
In some cases, persons of different ages are spoken of as injured, to represent the injury done to intelligence and to affection, by indulgence in evil. "Death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets." (Jer. ix. 21.) "They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under the wood. The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music." (Lam. v. 13, 14.) "The )'oung men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine." (Jer. xi. 22.)
Children are in the use of their senses, learning the facts of their environment. And, naturally, they see in the light of their senses, and they depend on their senses. But, as they grow and develop they learn and understand. And so, in the Divine Word, there are many historical narratives which interest children. But when the children grow up, they see that these historical narratives convey spiritual truths, intended for the use of all men, each as he becomes able to see and to use the truth. In infancy and childhood, we have not any rational and spiritual perception and understanding of the truth, but only some knowledge of the truth in. the form of laws of conduct. But, by living according to the law, it opens, and shows us the principle within the rule.
But a child is innocent because he is not intentionally evil. He is not spiritually responsible, because he does not understand principles. But childhood corresponds to innocence, which, in the child, is the innocence of ignorance ; but, in the regenerated man, it is the innocence of wisdom. But there is a correspondence between these two states of innocence, because they are both innocent in action. And so, in the Scriptures, when a child is mentioned, in a good sense, innocence is represented. "At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying. Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said. Verily, I say unto you. Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself, as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt, xviii. 1-4.) "Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Luke xviii. 16.)
In the mercy of the Lord, children are kept in an affirmative state of mind, so that they can receive such truths as they can comprehend. A prosperous state of the church, and of the individual regenerate mind, is thus representatively pictured : "There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls, playing in the streets thereof." (Zech. viii. 4, 5.)
In a bad sense, children are the outbirths of evil states of mind. "Ah ! sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken Jehovah." (Isa. i. 4.) "This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of Jehovah." (Isa. xxx. 9.) Old men, mature and wise, represent also confirmed truth, fixed in the mind. "Thou shalt honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God." (Lev. xix. 32.)
CLOTHED AND UNCLOTHED.
In the Scriptures, very much is said about human clothing, in general, as clothes, garments, raiment, vestures, vestments, apparel, attire, dress, covering, and so forth. And many individual articles of clothing are mentioned, such as swaddling clothes, robes, mantles, cloaks, coats, tunics, aprons, stomachers, hats, caps, turbans, bonnets, hoods, kerchiefs, girdles, shoes, and ornaments of many kinds, and so forth. And many things are said about persons being clothed, clad, attired, arrayed, and so forth ; and of clothing that is fine and beautiful, or ragged and shabby. And, to the careful observer, it is very evident that all these things must have some important symbolic significance, because the matter of clothing is almost universal among human beings, and it is very important to all nations. Considering the relations between the body and its clothing, it is evident that the body is the important substance, and that the clothing is for the sake of the body, and thus for the man. In correspondences, the body represents goodness, or love in the will, which is the important substance of human life. And the things which clothe the body, correspond to truths, which clothe goodness, and make it presentable, and array it so that it can be understood and accepted by the intellect, and thus can be brought into the practical life.
That which you love, in your will, or heart, you feel, as delightful ; but you do not understand it, and think about it, until it is dressed in truths, which your understanding can recognize. For instance, you love the Lord and His goodness. But, in order to understand why you should love Him, He must be presented before your mind in some truths, which show what He is, and what relations you hold to Him. And figuratively, this arraying goodness in truths is represented by clothing the body in garments. To understand this subject of clothing, we must know its history, from its beginning. In the earliest ages of human life on this earth, men were all innocent and pure-minded. And they had no clothing, and needed none. They were in great simplicity of mind and of life, comparatively as infants, who have no sense of shame, when without clothes, because they have no consciousness of any feeling or thought for which they should be ashamed. In that early state of human life, men did not discuss truths, as truths, but they perceived goodness, and enjoyed it. Things did not come to their minds as intellectual propositions, to be thought out, but as things to be loved, in the heart. They did not need to reason, or argue, about anything, because they had an intuitive perception of such things as came into association with them.
To represent this early state of childlike men, we have the allegory of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, which is not literal history, but a symbolic history, to be understood in the spiritual meaning, applying to all men, in their spiritual birth, progress and destiny. At first, Adam and Eve were without clothing, and they needed none. The record is thus : "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed." (Gen. ii. 25.) And it is still true, that in the highest and holiest relation of human life, that of true marriage, there is no sense of shame between husband and wife. This is a remnant of man's original purity and innocence, which has survived all the changes and falls of human history, and has maintained its integrity in the midst of human degradation, with living proof of the truth of the apostle's statement, "To the pure, all things are pure."
And the record in Genesis shows how Adam and Eve discovered that they were not clothed. It was after Eve had talked with the serpent, and both Eve
and Adam had eaten of the forbidden fruit. "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked : and they sewed fig-leaves together and made themselves aprons. . . . And Jehovah God called unto Adam, and said unto him. Where art thou ? And he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked ; and I hid myself. And He said. Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat?" (Gen. iii.7, 9, II.) Thus, their consciousness of nakedness was the direct result of their fall into evil. And then, as they had come into a different state of mind, different conditions were necessary for them. And so, "Unto Adam, also, and to his wife, did Jehovah God make coats of skins, and clothed them." (Verse 21.) Thus is pictured, in an allegory, the fall of the human race into evil, and their consequent loss of innocence. And, with the loss of goodness, there came also a loss of perception of goodness. And then men needed to be taught what is good, by means of truths, in which men had to be instructed. And these facts give us the symbolic meaning of clothing, as representing the truths with which the good in the mind must be clothed, that men may understand that good. In the celestial heaven, the highest state of heavenly life, all are in a state of innocence, and hence, they are often without clothing, like infants. But, in the spiritual and natural heavens, all are clothed, each according to his state of. mind, and the uses which he performs. And when a person should be clothed, but is not clothed, he is in a disorderly condition, to him, because it is not suited to his state of mind. And thus, while, in the highest sense, nakedness means innocence, yet, in the lower senses, nakedness represents that the mind is without suitable truths. As a naturalminded man, without truths, is in ignorance of good, so he must be in evil. And it is a significant fact that, in some oriental languages, the same word means both "naked" and "dissolute." (A. C. 10, 479.)
COVERING THE NAKED.
"Is not this the fast that I have chosen? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him?" (Isa. Iviii. 6, 7.) And, spiritually, to cover the naked means to instruct those who are without truth, but who are desirous to receive the truth. And when Jesus spoke of those whom He called His '"sheep," He said, "I was . . . naked, and ye clothed Me." And when the righteous asked, "When saw we Thee naked, and clothed Thee?" Jesus replied, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, My brethren, ye have done it unto Me." (Matt. XXV. 35, 36, 38, 40.) For when a man lives by the truth, towards his fellow men, he lives so towards the Lord. And we can see why, in one of the parables of our Lord, a man who came in to the wedding-feast, without being clothed with a wedding-garment, was cast out. (Matt. xxii. ti-13.) This man represented one who expects to attain and enjoy the heavenly delights of regenerate life, by "faith alone," without waiting to clothe his mind in the truths of heaven, spiritually married to a heavenly love of good. We observe that many details concerning the garments of the priests of Israel, were revealed to Moses, and commanded by Jehovah, Himself : and these things were so because of their correspondence, and their representation of mental conditions.
We can see the difference between naked spiritual truths and spiritual truths clothed in literal and representative language. Celestial truths are for celestial men. But natural-minded men cannot receive celestial truths, as such; but such truths must be brought down to the level of thought in the natural mind. For instance, in the letter of the Commandments, it is said, "Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which Jehovah, thy God, giveth thee." (Ex. xx. 12.) From these words the naturalminded man thinks that, if he respects his parents, and is kind to them, especially in supporting them in their old age, he may be rewarded with a long life, on earth. Now, this is a kind of reward which the natural-minded man can understand and appreciate. But his ideas are merely the clothing which covers the spiritual truth, which is within the same words, and which clothing is necessary to adapt the law to the natural man's level. But the spiritual man understands that the Lord is his spiritual Father, and that the church is his spiritual mother ; and that, if he honors, spiritually, that is, if he loves and obeys, the Lord and the church, his life will be "long" spiritually, that is, his mind will be extended, enlarged, matured in character, in the good which the Lord gives him. Now, if this interior truth was taught plainly in the letter of the Scriptures, it would be a- naked truth, acceptable to those who are pure and innocent. But, as it exists in the letter of the Commandments, it is a truth clothed, dressed, to bring it down to natural men.
All truths which a man must know, to be regenerated, are given in the letter of the Scriptures as naked truths, sUch as the one-ness of God, the goodness of God, the holiness of the Scriptures, and the laws of conduct. But many profound and spiritual truths, in the letter of the Divine Word, are clothed in symbolic and representative language. And, in His public teachings, Jesus clothed His truths in parables, whose literal sense was adapted to the masses of His hearers. But, after giving one of His parables. He would say,. "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matt. xiii.. 9.) And in the Apocalypse, it is said, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Rev. ii. 29.)
From the correspondence of clothing, we can see why the clothing of Jesus appeared very bright and shining, at His transfiguration. "And His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow." (Mk. ix. 3.) For the transfiguration of Jesus was not any change made in Him, but it was a temporary opening of the spiritual senses of the disciples, so that they saw Him from a spiritual standpoint, and as He was in the spiritual world, in His Divine glory and brilliance, such as they could not see from an earthly standpoint. The brightness of His garments represented the glory of the Divine Truth, spiritually seen. A certain sick woman approached Jesus, saying, "If I may touch but His clothes, I shall be whole" (Mark v. 28), meaning, spiritually, that, if we can come into contact with the Divine Truth, we shall receive new life from it. It is said of the regenerate man, "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment." (Rev. iii, 5.) This white raiment represents the truth in its purity, adopted as the rule of life. "And He spake a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old ; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old." (Luke v. 36.) No man, having outgrown old phases -of truth, can rationally expect to make those old ideas serve him in his new conditions of mind, by merely patching them with a few new ideas.
Garments are sometimes mentioned in a bad sense, representing truth perverted by abuse, or falsified by evil. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Matt. vii. 15.) Hypocrisy puts on a false appearance of goodness and truth, by a soft manner, but hiding a vicious purpose, pretending to act from charity. Others are mentioned as in filthy garments, representing falsity.Garments are often mentioned figuratively, as "the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness," and "garments of salvation." (Isa. Ixi. 3, 10.) "And was clad with zeal, as with a cloak." (Isa. xlix. 17.) "Violence covereth them as with a garment" (Ps. Ixxiii. 6) ; "But now they have no cloak for their sin." (John XV. 22.) In the Rev. (xix. 13) it is said of the Lord, "And He was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood," meaning the literal sense of the Divine Word, which clothes the spiritual meaning.
A robe, as our outer garment, represents truth of a general kind ; while a coat, as an inward garment, represents truth in more particular form, and more interior. Joseph had "a coat of many colors" (Gen. xxxvii. 3), representing the many varieties of truth. Shoes represent the lowest and most external truths, which belong to the natural senses. When Jehovah appeared to Moses, and called him to the work of a prophet, Jehovah said, "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." (Ex. iii. 5.) To remove his shoes, spiritually, means to remove from his thought the mere ideas of the senses, and thus to prepare the mind to rise to the recognition and understanding of spiritual truth. In one sense, the shoe is the most literal sense of the Scriptures.
Ornaments of all kinds represent the good and true things which beautify the natural life. "Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire ?" ( Jer. ii. 32.) A maid represents affection for truth, and a bride represents a mind in which affection for truth has been united with the knowledge and understanding of truth. And such minds love to attire themselves in beautiful things, which correspond to their affections and thoughts. Thus, a good woman's constant desire to ornament and adorn herself, is from a good cause, her affection for truth and for goodness. And this natural taste for adornment should not be crushed as a vice, but it should be understood and properly trained, as a virtue, which may be made a help in forming a beautiful character. Of course, when this taste is perverted, it represents selfish love of falsifying truths.
To tear, or rend, one's garments, represents injury done to truth, by the action of false and evil things ; or violence done to one's affections. "Tidings came to David, saying Absalom hath slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left. Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth ; and all his servants stood by, with- their clothes rent.'' (II Sam. xiii. 31.) The rending of their clothes represented their feeling that true principles had been violated, rent asunder, in the circumstances. Such was the case when anyone blasphemed holy things, and the priest rent his garment, to represent the violence done to the holy things of God.
FREE AND CAPTIVE.
Every one can appreciate the great difference between the condition of a free man, moving about at his own will, without bonds or restraints from others, and a captive, ot prisoner, bound and restrained. And, as our natural life is an external representative of our spiritual life, so the conditions of our natural life symbolize the conditions of our spiritual life. The human will, often symbolically called the heart, is the centre of human life ; and so, in its fundamental sense, freedom is a condition of the will, a state in which the man is able to exercise his love as he desires to do, without hindrance from others. But such a condition can exist, in fulness, only in a regenerate man, who is in .a state of goodness. To evil men, it appears to be freedotn" to be allowed to love evil, as they prefer to do; but, in fact, it is not genuine freedom, because the love of evil is not an orderly human condition, but a state induced by disorder. Nothing can be in full freedom while it is in disorder, and thus in conditions for which it is not organized. A fish is not in freedom, when lying on dry ground, nor a bird when held under water, because neither is then in conditions adapted to its form of life. It may have jumped into that condition voluntarily, but it is not in freedom.
And God created men for goodness, wisdom and righteousness. The spiritual machinery of their minds is adapted to a good and orderly life. But when men fall into evil, falsity and sin, they plunge into things for which they were not organized, and to which they are not adapted, and in which they can not be in full freedom, because they are operating in ways which are against the organic laws of their own being. When men are regenerate, they are in the reception of life from the Lord, which flows' into the human organism, and keeps it in harmonious and orderly operation; and which is, at the same time, enjoyable. Thus everything is in its true' freedom when it is doing that for which God created it, and for which He organized it, in its peculiar form.
Good men are constantly helped by guardian angels, who carefully protect human freedom, and who assist each man to develop his organism in its intended form. And then the man is free, because he is operating his spiritual organism in harmony with all the Divine laws and influences. In this state, the man comes into spiritual sympathy and co-operation with all good influences; and he has no interference from evil. But when a man is in evil, he is in association with all evil influences from the hells. And they do not respect and guard his spiritual freedom ; but, on the contrary, they hate and despise him, and would persecute him ; and they plot to destroy his spiritual freedom, and to push him and drag him, down to their own level of character. And so it is not possible for an evil man to be in genuine freedom, either in this world, or in the next world; For, to be in the freedom of self-love, and of the love of the worldj is to be in the false freedom of the hells, a freedom in which the man gives up his true manhood, to become a slave to infernal spirits. "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mk. viii. 36.) And yet this loss is precisely the condition for which the evil man is striving.
Spiritual freedom is in the love of spiritual and eternal life, from the Lord. But, everywhere, "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." (John viii. 34.) In his disorder of will, understanding and conduct, he is in bonds, which hold him down in inhuman conditions, conditions in which his humanity is perverted and destroyed. Therefore, the primary principle of freedom is that genuine freedom in a condition possible only in regeneration, and in the degree and measure of our regeneration.
VARIETIES OF FREEDOM.
Aside from this broad general statement, there are degrees and phases of human freedom, in which men are comparatively free, in certain ways. For instance, every spiritually responsible man is kept, by the Lord, in freedom of choice between good and evil, so that he may act without compulsion. In the present state of the world, every man is born with hereditary natural tendencies to evil. And our Lord, in His universal providence, brings about circumstances by means of which we are taught truths, and led to goodness, in the measure of our willingness to obey Him. He provides that we shall recognize our natural tendencies to evil, and that we shall see that they are evil. And then we become responsible, and able to set ourselves against our wrong tendencies ; and to set our spiritual mind against the disorders of our natural mind.
And thus we recognize another very important fact, namely, that we are in spiritual freedom when we compel our lower nature to reform itself to the pattern of our spiritual nature. For a man cannot remove evil from his mind and life, until he recognizes that it is evil. And he cannot be regenerated, except in freedom. And if some one else should compel him, he would not be in freedom, nor would the good be his, because he would not do it in freedom, from love. Guardian angels surround a man, and gently lead him to all the good which he 'vvill take. But they never interfere with the man's freedom. But the evil spirits, who are drawn to a man by his natural tendencies to the evils which the evil spirits love, delight to force a man into all kinds of evils. And they would do so, if allowed. But the Lord never allows any evil spirit to interfere with a man's spiritual liberty. But every man is kept in a nice balance between good and evil influences, so that he may remain free to choose between good and evil, at every step in his career, on earth ; or until he has voluntarily fixed his mind in the love of evil. And because of this freedom, he is responsible for his choice ; and by his choice, he fixes his own destiny. And this condition of things insures, to every man, an opportunity to be regenerated, in spite of his hereditary tendencies to evil.
The natural-minded man thinks that freedom is in doing as he desires, without any regard to principles, or laws ; and that all restraint is slavery. But the spiritual man sees that freedom is in doing what the Lord pleases, and in restraining every natural inclination that is against the Lord's laws. Spiritually, a free man is one who knows, understands and obeys the Divine laws, intelligently applied to practical life. A regenerate and free man loves to be free, inwardly and outwardly ; and he loves to have others enjoy similar freedom. But an evil man loves to domineer over others, and to compel them to do his way, for his benefit. A man comes into spiritual freedom in the degree in which the Lord is present in the man; for the Lord brings heaven and freedom. But the more the Lord is shut out of a man's mind, the more the man is in slavery to evil. The Lord leads the regenerating man in freedom, by means of conscience, which is formed in the mind, by means of truths, received and loved. But the man is left in liberty to love and to act, without feeling any manifest sense of the practical leading of the Lord, from day to day. For, if a man should recognize the details of the Lord's leading, he might feel that his liberty was interfered with ; and he might resist the Divine leading. And so the man learns, thinks, loves and acts, as of himself, and in freedom, while yet he knows in a general way, that the Lord is helping him. And thus the man "works, as if everything depends on himself, and yet trusts, as if everything depends on the Lord."
A picture of genuine freedom is found in a genuine marriage between a regenerate man and a regenerate woman, in which marriage there is the greatest freedom, because there is sincere and unselfish love. But, when love fails, the bonds of marriage become hard to bear. Whatever principle a responsible man carries out, in freedom, according to his reason, becomes a part of his character ; and it remains in him. And this character can not be changed, except in freedom, when the man repents of his evils, and amends his conduct, and hates his former evils, and would not do them, now, if he had an opportunity, without detection ; because, now, he does not love such evils. "Ye shall know the truth, and the trut^i shall make you free." (John viii. 32.)
Opposite to a state of freedom is one of captivity, or bondage. As a free man, spiritually, is one who knows the truth, and who has loved the truth, and lived by it, until it has set him free from evil influences ; so, spiritually, a state of captivity, or bondage, represents a condition of mind in which the man is deprived of truth, and is held captive in false ideas, bound down by notions which are not true, and which prevent his mind from entering into spiritual freedom, because they prevent his regeneration. Such a condition is representatively expressed in Luke xxi. 23, 24 : "There shall be great distress in the land. . . . And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations." The various captivities of Israel and Judah, when conquered by other nations, represent the enslavement of man's mind, and thus of the church; by various relaspses into falsities and evils. And the return of the "chosen people" to their own country, at the end of their various captivities, represented the return of the men of the church to more rational ideas, and to better ways of life. "And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof ; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them." (Amos ix. 14.) And so, in the Lord's Prayer, we ask our Lord, daily, to "deliver us from €vil," being conscious that evil would make us captives in the miserable bonds of falsity. But the free man exclaims, "I will walk at liberty; for I seek Thy precepts." (Ps. cxix. 45.)
Any intelligent person, who knows the Lord's precepts, as rules of human life, can see that a man walks in liberty, as long as he walks by the laws of the Lord. We walk, in order to reach some place, to which we desire to go. And we feel free and sure, when we know the road. And, spiritually, to walk is to make progress towards a state of mind which we desire to reach. And, if we know that we are taking the right way to attain that state, we feel free, in desire, in thought, and in action. For every truth is a practical truth, a rule of life, to him who understands it, and sees its relation to the Lord, and to human life.
Of course, when a man walks by the Lord's precepts, while he enjoys spiritual freedom, he has to hold his evil tendencies in check, and to discourage them. And his lower nature will clamor for its kind of freedom. But, where there are opposites, one must come under control of the other. If our Lord should leave all men in what they would naturally regard as freedom, they would all destroy their spiritual life, in evil, falsity andsin. And so, in one sense, the Lord must rule all men by bonds. He must rule good men by the inward bonds of love and intelligence, which good men recognize, desire and voluntarily adopt. And He must rule evil men by the bonds of fear, which restrain evil. In our human associations on earth, while good men seek what is right to all, yet laws are necessary, to teach good men what things are good, and what are evil, and thus to help them in their efforts to do good and to shun evil. And the same laws are necessary to keep evil men in check, and under control. And the restraint of the law upon evil men insures the freedom of good men, because it prevents evil men from persecuting good men. All the Divine laws are acceptable to the good man, because he sees that they restrain evil. "All the paths of Jehovah are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies." (Ps. XXV. 10.) "The steps of a good man are ordered by Jehovah, and he delighteth in his way." (Ps. xxxvii. 23.) And, therefore, the good man loves to keep within the bounds of the Divine precepts, which give him intelligence, direction and protection. They are not hard to him, because his affections agree with them. But the love of evil makes all the Divine precepts irksome, because they demand goodness. And so the evil man becomes spiritually insane, and breaks the bonds of the Divine laws. And, in so doing, he destroys what little liberty he had left : and he plunges into the hard bondage of falsity. And when a man becomes evil, so that he does not recognize any inward bonds of good principles, he must be governed by outward bonds of fear, lest he should plunge into far worse evils ; and lest he should persecute others. And so the hells are governed by bonds and restraints and fears, as a prison is governed, and kept in external order. The Lord is always operating with men, to loosen their evil bonds, and to release them from slavery to the hells. But whenever men do evil, intentionally, they fasten these bonds.
In times of temptation a man feels that his spiritual liberty is in danger, because evil influences are drawing his mind away. But, as a fact, the man is then in freedom, because the Lord is ministering to him, through guardian angels, who keep him in the knowledge of truth, and in freedom of action, and who prevent the evil spirits from going too far, in tempting the man. For the temptation is allowed, because thus the man can recognize the existence of evils, in himself, and can set his will against such evils ; and thus the temptation becomes a reforrnatory process. "Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried : and ye shall have tribulation ten days ; be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." (Rev. ii. 10.) Among the proofs of regeneration, our Lord, in His parable, said, "I was in prison, and ye came unto Me." (Matt. XXV. 36.) The Lord is in prison, in our mind, whenever we allow some wrong feeling, or some false thought, to obscure our knowledge of the Divine Truth, or to cool our love for the Divine Goodness. "O Jehovah, . . I am brought very low : deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring out my soul, out of prison." (Ps. cxlii. 5-7.) Truths are the means by which a man subdues his tendencies to evil. The Divine Truth is the "Son of God." "If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John. viii. 36.) "He hath sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." (Isa. lxi. i.)
GOODNESS AND TRUTH.
Some persons have remarked that, according to this science of correspondences, everything seems to correspond either to goodness, or to truth, or to their corruptions, evil and falsity. And it is thus implied that there is a lack of variety in such correspondences. But, consider the facts of the case. What is there, in all your human life, which is not some form of goodness, or of truth, or of their perverted forms, evil and falsity? Mentally, you live in your will, with its loves, and in your understanding, with its thoughts. And everything that comes to you, comes to your will, or heart, in the form of love, or affection; or it comes to your understanding, or intellect, in the form of thought, or of truth. All things in your mental experience are included in the activities of your will and your understanding. That which you love, in your will, you call good; and that which you believe, in your understanding, you call true. And either as something good, or as something true, everything reaches 3'ou, except such things as are perverted to their opposites, evil and falsity.
And now, if this is so in your mental life, you should expect to find that all the objects in outward nature correspond to some form of goodness, or to some form of truth; for these two general classes cover all your experiences. AVe do not always reflect upon these things, to see their fundamental forms and conditions. As an illustration, observe that, in all the various races of men, past and present, there have been, and are, two sexes, only, male and female: and all the various kinds of human affections, thoughts and experiences, are either masculine or feminine. Observe, also, that, in all the intricate conditions of mathematics, there are only two fundamental operations, adding and subtracting, that is, increasing and decreasing. Multiplication is only a short way of adding, and division is only a short way of subtracting.
And so, in man, all his mental operations come within the two general classes of affectional and intellectual experiences. And so, everything outside of man, and made for him, and reflecting and representing him in various images, naturally corresponds to one or the other of the two sides of his nature.
As the science of correspondences is the greatest of all sciences, connecting the Divine Spirit with the external forms of nature, we must expect to find it a profound study. We would not expect to secure a competent knowledge of chemistry in a few easy lessons. And the great science of correspondences is far more comprehensive than chemistry, because it deals with the two worlds, the spiritual and the natural, and with their relations. And the truths of correspondences commend themselves to those whose hearts are seeking heavenly light and life. But this is not a science which the infidel should expect to acquire profoundly, because he lacks the mental equipment for its rational comprehension, and a loving sympathy for its principles. It is pre-eminently the science which proves, to the open spiritual mind, the very things which the infidel irrationally denies. The confirmed infidel, studying correspondences, is like a color-blind man studying the rain-bow ; or a person devoid of any sense of tune or time, investigating harmony and melody in music.
If the science of correspondences required very little study, there would be very little to learn from it. Your human body is much more intricate than the body of a worm. The anatomy of a worm is easily studied, because, comparatively, there is not very much in it, to study. But the human body is much better and nobler than the body of a worm. And the intricacy of our bodily machinery is what gives us so many, and such varied, bodily powers. If we had the simplicity of the worm, we should have only the powers of the worm. But, while we are thankful for the difference, we need more study than the worm does, properly to itse our abilities. It will be observed that the science of correspondences does not discourage the study of outward nature, but that on the contrary, it encourages that study, and applies it to the greatest use. For, the more we know of this bodily world, and its operations, the more we can trace up the line of thought, by the law of correspondences, until we see the corresponding counterparts, in the life of the soul. Correspondences, showing us the relation between spirit and matter, teach us how to read not only the book of God's Word, but also the book of God's works, the book of nature. Man begins his life as the most helpless of all animals, and he needs the most struggle and study to develop his powers ; but, with all these, he stands at the head of creation, the nearest to his Maker. So is it with our studies : those things which fully engage our powers, yield us the fullest returns of life, and the greatest capacity for usefulness, and, therefore, the greatest measure of happiness. "O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit." (Isa. xxxviii. i6.)
Author: Edward Craig Mitchell From Scripture Symbolism, 1904