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tions, those are represented who are in heaven, and who are here called Israel; for the habitation was in the tent.

Verses 6, 7. "As the valleys are they spread forth," Sfc. By these words is represented a new creation, or the creation of a new paradise. They are called valleys, because being low, they represent the humble, for every thing heavenly is planted in states of humility; hence they are called "gardens by the river side;" by a river is understood all holy truth, as by fountains, by dew, by early rain, by waters, &c. "As the trees of lign aloes which Jehovah hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters;" the lign aloes are mentioned on account of their fragrance, and the cedars on account of their magnitude; hence, these things are named in order to denote the heavenly paradise, consisting of every thing fragrant, delightful, and beautiful, representing sweet heavenly affections, and delightful states of innocence and peace which prevail in heaven; for, as stated above, the arrangement of the sons of Jacob into tribes, and in the order in which Balaam beheld them, represented the heavenly paradise, &c. "He shall pour the water out of his buckets." Buckets were vessels to which sanctity was imputed, on account of their being used in sacred ceremonies; thus they represented those persons and things, through which the Lord revealed and communicated his divine truth, such as angels, prophets, &c., but especially the Word. "And his seed in many waters." Seed is the first principle of the tree, fruit, &c.; hence it denotes the truth implanted by the Lord as the first principle of heavenly good; hence also the comparison between an earthly and a heavenly paradise is carried on, &c. "And his king shall be higher than Agag," Sfc. Here it is explained, that the garden signifies the Lord's kingdom: on this account its exaltation is now treated of.

Verse 8. "God brought him forth out of Egypt,'' Sfc. Concerning the deliverance from Egypt we have treated before, and also concerning the strength of a unicorn (see chap. 23, ver. 22). The power of those who constitute the Lord's church and kingdom is described in this verse, in which we are taught, that the kingdom of the devil, or of evil spirits, will be subdued; thus Balaam is here prophesying against Balak.

Verse 9. "He couched, he lay down as a lion," Sfc. Concerning the things here mentioned, see Gen. chap. 49, respecting Judah, also respecting what has been said above concerning blessing and cursing. •Here, however, let it be observed respecting the prophetic speech, viz., that it is of that nature that all things are referred to the Lord, who is all in all; therefore the prophetic speech commences in the plural and terminates in the singular, as " they who bless thee, he is blessed*; for the Lord alone is blessed, and he is the blessing in all things; wherefore, it is he only who can bless, &c. In like manner, all things which are contrary to blessing, or curses, terminate in the devil; for the devil denotes evil in the aggregate, or in its own complex.

Verses 10—13. "And Balak's anger was kindled" Sfc. Now the devil, represented by Balak, rages with anger, which is denoted by his "smiting his hands together," which was a gesture of anger, which is the case when his nefarious stratagems do not succeed. In the mean time, Balak had kept the mind of Balaam in the hope of gain, in order that he might, at length, infuse into him his deadly poison; wherefore he says, "/ thought to promote thee unto great honour; but lo! Jehovah hath kept thee back from honour:" he thus desired to excite Balaam to anger against Jehovah, that is, the Lord. Concerning Balaam's reply, see above; viz., "that he could not do either good or evil of his own heart;" by the hearty is here understood his own strength: it does not, however, appear whether Balaam was entirely depraved; but still it is evident that he was then in that state in which he desired to mix holy things with profane things, that is genuine sacrifices with the sacrifices of Balak." But Balak now expels Balaam, saying, "Flee thou to thy place."

Verses 13—16. Concerning these words see above; it is here, however, added, "Who knew the knowledge of the Most High." Balaam here describes God, who had spoken to him; for he "who knows the knowledge of the Most High," is the Lord alone, and the Holy Spirit; for the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Lord: "that the Holy Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep, or hidden things of God, and revealeth them unto us";" See Paul (1 Cor. 2, 10.) Now after Balak had driven Balaam away, he prophecies still more openly in the following verses concerning the Lord.

Verse 17. "/ shall see him, but not now" &c. This prophecy is manifestly concerning the coming of the Lord, and his nativity of Jacob; for he says, "/ see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near;" that is, that he would come; but there would still be a time, which is plainly stated, but by prophetic words, which are derived from time and space. The angel who spoke by Balaam saw him, but in a celestial manner, as " the star out of Jacob and the sceptre out of Israel." These prophetic declarations could not be presented by any* other representation; for celestial representations are of such a nature * See Hebrew text. t See Hebrew text.

that they cannot be fully described. It was not Jacob, or the people of Jacob, in whom was the star; nor was it the "not now" and the "not near" in relation to space and to time that was meant; but these representations are predicated of the subject, or thing itself, which falls into such a form when the representation is to be expressed.

The star of Jacob, therefore, signifies the Messiah, who is called a star from many causes, which cannot here be enumerated or described. It was also a star which appeared to the wise men from the East (see the Evangelists). The sceptre out of Israel, that is, the kingdom, which is every where signified by a sceptre. That the sceptre should depart from Judah, see Gen.49, ver. 10, where the Lord is called Shiloh; (see the notes on that passage.) "And shall smite the corners of Moab," which signifies, that the Messiah, or the Lord, when he should come, would smite all the corners of Moab; that is, the whole land of Moab; for by Moab, as by Balak, is understood the devil, or evil spirits in the aggregate. "And shall destroy all the sons of Sheth;" by which is meant, that all the powers of hell, both as to what is evil and false would be destroyed.

Verse 18. "And Edom shall be a possession." Edom in the proximate sense was Esau; in an interior sense all those who were the brethren of Jacob, and whom Jacob persecuted with hatred; thus in a universal sense, all the gentiles or nations were signified; and in the purely internal sense the Lord's church, such as it is among the gentiles. This church is called the sister, or the brother, of the representative church; but this latter, which was amongst the posterity of Jacob, persecuted its sister or brother church with the most intense hatred. Thus Edom in the inmost sense, signifies all those, who, whereever they may be on the habitable globe, are in states of reformation and regeneration; hence they are the Lord's "possession." See, however, what has been said in the notes on Esau in Gen. 27, verses 19— 21. Concerning the nations here mentioned, we have written above (see notes on the places where they are named). What moreover is said -in respect to Balaam, we read, that by his counsel he caused the children of Israel " to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, when there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord" (see chap. 31, ver. 16); for being captivated with the love of gain, he counselled the Moabites and the Midianites to seduce the people to contract marriages with their daughters; and thus they were persuaded to worship Baal-peor. For Balaam well knew, that if the Israelites, who were idolatrous at heart, could be persuaded to do these things, they would certainly be destroyed, since they would then cease to represent heaven; and the angels, by whom they had communication with heaven through representatives, would depart from them, and hell would break in; hence the plague. Balaam on account of his perversity was also slain (see chap. 31, ver. 8).

REMARKS ON THE EMINENT USES OF PRIVATE AND FAMILY PRAYER.

Private and family prayer is one of the great and delightful features of the Christian life. Without it the mind and character, notwithstanding the general sobriety, uprightness, and virtue which may characterize our conduct, sink into a cold philosophical stoicism, unworthy of the pure enlightened fervour which is the peculiar characteristic and charm of the Christian life. By the New Church doctrines we are taught that man stands in a peculiar relation to heaven, its angelic inhabitants, and its happiness; and that he also sustains a peculiar relation to hell, its infernal inhabitants, and its miseries. These important relations are fully opened and explained to the members of the New Jerusalem. We are also further instructed, that prayer is a kind of communication with heaven, and a kind of revelation to the interiors of the mind of the delightful states of innocence and peace which reign in heaven. Prayer is the principal means of access to the heavenly world, and the principal channel through which heavenly influences are conveyed to the soul. "Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall he opened unto you." If we do not ask, or seek, or knock, we have no reason to hope that we shall receive, or find, or that the door of heavenly communication will be opened unto us. Our obligations, therefore, to pray are exceedingly numerous as well as exceedingly important. The Lord is the only source of all good; and we are absolutely dependent upon him for all the good we can receive, possess, and enjoy. To know and to realize this great truth is of immense importance in giving the mind a right direction, and in supporting it in the path of rectitude, holiness, and peace. The Lord is infinitely great, and wise, and good; and we are bound to delight in cultivating and realizing a spirit of entire dependence on him from day to day, and from moment to moment. But this dependence cannot be cherished and maintained without the spirit of prayer; for the spirit and habitual exercise of prayer awakens, cherishes, and confirms this sense and feeling of dependence more than any other means. This feeling of dependence is the ground-work in the soul of all virtue and holiness, and of every thing good, amiable, and excellent, that the mind can receive. It is, moreover, the greatest safeguard against the vile and impure suggestions of evil spirits. To cultivate it, therefore, is the greatest duty, as well as the supreme interest of man.

The Lord when upon earth was our model and pattern in all things. He requires us to follow him. But in numerous cases we find, that he retired "apart to pray." This example we know is a pattern, which, as his disciples, we are bound, by a divine authority, to imitate; if neglected, one important feature in the Christian life is obliterated, and one essential means of opening heaven to the soul unemployed. To those who omit this duty, even the blessings bestowed by the Lord, in the ordinary course of his providence, cease to be blessings; for they are not blessings, but in proportion as they are received with acknowledgment and gratitude; and prayer is the spirit of acknowledgment and gratitude, as well as the means, in one of its forms, of making our gratitude known, and of bringing it into an ultimate form. These obligations, be it remembered, are equally applicable, but with still greater force, to the public worship of the Lord.

But if our obligations to private prayer are so numerous and important, and commanded by the divine precepts, and exhibited in the divine example of the Lord himself, it may readily be seen, that the uses of private and family prayer are eminently conducive to our eternal and temporal happiness. In private prayer, " when we have entered into our closet and shut the door" we come more directly into the Lord's presence; and we know, from the doctrines of the New Church, that he is the only source of all pure, useful, and solemn thoughts and affections to his intelligent creatures, and the great and supreme object in which such thoughts and affections should ultimately terminate. Every thing here conspires to drive out every trifling thought, and to banish every improper and unworthy emotion. Here the recesses of the heart are laid open, and its inmost qualities, its governing affections exposed, voluntarily exposed, to the light o{ "God's countenance." Such a position of self-exinanition, of selfabasement, of self-humiliation, is most conducive to the replenishing of the mind with every thing good, heavenly, and happy. "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." This selfacknowledgement, that we are poor in spirit, destitute, in and of ourselves, of every thing good, true, heavenly, and happy, is the first and indispensable step towards heaven; and consequently it is that cha

N. s. No. 28.—Vol. 3. s

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