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4. That true love wishes to dwell in others, and in itself from others.
5. That the divine love, which is love itself, and God himself, wishes that it may be in a subject which is his image and likeness ; consequently he wishes to be in man, and that man should be in him.
6. In order that this may be effected, it follows from the very essence of love, which is in God, and hence from an urgent cause, that the universe must needs be created by God, in which are earths, and upon them men, and in men minds and souls, with which the divine love can be conjoined.
7. That therefore all things which are created regard man as the end.
8. Since the angelic heaven is formed from men, that is, from their spirits and souls, all things which are created regard the angelic heaven as an end.
9. That the angelic heaven is the very habitation of God with men, and of men with God.
10. That eternal beatitudes, felicities, and delights together, are the ends of creation, because they are of love.
11. That this end is the inmost; thus as it were the life and soul, and as force and endeavour in every created thing.
12. That that end is God in them.
13. That this end implanted in created things in general and in particular, preserves the universe in a created state, so much as opposite ends of love do not prevent and destroy.
14. That God, from his divine omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience, continually provides, lest opposite ends, from opposite loves, should prevail, and the work of creation be ruined and destroyed,
15. That preservation is perpetual creation, as subsistence is perpetual existence.
LETTER TO A FRIEND, IN ANSWER TO THE OBJECTIONS OF A CLERGYMAN TO THE
DOCTRINES OF THE NEW CHURCH.
MY DEAR MADAM, MRs. T. having placed in my hands a manuscript, entitled, “a few answers to Mr. Goyder's Key of Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, hy a clergyman of the Established Church,” I feel disposed to submit to your consideration a few thoughts thereon, being as fully convinced, as my objector can be, that“ if you search the Scriptures with the
a mode and and magnifica can 8,
desire to learn of Christ, you will see the truth,” and the truth will make you free.
First, then, I cannot help observing with what care the "clergyman” passes by the prominent doctrines of the New Church, such as the Godhead, the Trinity in the Lord Jesus Christ, Redemption, Salvation, Resurrection, &c., &c., in order to find fault with what he calls the allegorising of Scripture as pursued by the New Church, in the interpretations of Holy Writ. By this method he succeeds in drawing away the attention of his reader from weighty matters to those that are comparatively of less importance; indulging himself, perhaps, in the hope, that if he can shew but a small crack or flaw in the outer gate of a magnificent temple, therefore the whole temple is built on sand and the edifice unsound. I have no doubt but that such a mode of argument will prevent some few from entering the temple and examining for themselves.
The “clergyman” says,—“Those portions of Scripture which are allegorical, are the descriptive and prophetic portions,-not the historical.” Here allow me to say that the New Church explains Scripture not by the loose and unchristian method of allegory and metaphor, but by the fixed law of correspondence, a law that is at once the universal law of creation, and from which the “invisible things of Him (God) from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (Rom. ch. 1, ver.20.) What visible object in nature is there to explain the “ clergyman's” doctrine of three Divine Persons being in one God? I know of none; neither does he. Is there any passage in Revelation that states it ? No, not one. All nature agrees with the New Church, that God is one, in Essence and Person,—that he is the Creator, Redeemer, and Saviour, and that the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all fulness dwells, is that God. “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut. ch. 4, ver. 4), is the solemn truth of revelation. But let us see how far the“ clergyman’s” views of the historical Word are correct. History, with him, is plain matter of fact, and contains nothing spiritual as descriptive of man's regeneration ; or, as he expresses it, "of the passions and feelings.” The New Church admits, with the “ clergyman,” that the historical Word contains a relation of real matters of fact, but that within these are contained a spiritual sense, which treats of the Lord, His Church, the states of human affection and thought, and a spiritual history of the regenerate life, and of man's spiritual goings in the life of religion, and that real history begins with the call of Abraham (in N. S. No. 36.- VOL. 3.
Gen. ch. 12.) But this is objected to by the “clergyman.” Now suppose, for the sake of argument, we admit with Clericus, that Scripture history is plain matter of fact, and nothing else; in this case our knowledge will indeed become dim and sadly perplexing.
In the account of creation, if considered literally, many things appear contradictory: God is said to have created light on the first day, but the same history states that it was not until the fourth day that God created two great lights, the sun and moon; and the sun is the source of all light, for there is no light without it. If it was the fourth day when the sun (the only light) was created, how does it agree with the statement that light was created on the first ? Are they both matters of fact? Are both to be believed ? Again, with respect to ADAM—this is a word which, as every Hebrew scholar knows, does not mean a single individual of the male kind, but man in the complex, or mankind, both male and female : this is evident from Gen. ch. 1, ver. 26 : “ And God said, Let us make man in our image, &c., and let THEM have dominion,” &c. Here, in the original, the word man is Adam, signifying mankind, male and female. If it were not so, it would be nonsense to say, Let us make a single individual, and let them have dominion. But this comment is placed beyond all doubt by a passage in Gen. ch. 5, ver. 1, 2, where it is said, “ This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him ; male and female created He them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.” So that the. Hebrew name for mankind, male and female, is ADAM.
Cain, again, when he had killed his brother Abel, said to the Lord that his punishment was greater than he could bear; and (said he) it shall come to pass that every one that findeth me shall slay me. (Gen. ch. 4, ver. 14.) Here the plain matter of fact is, that Cain was fearful that every one who met him would slay him ; when at the same time there were but three persons in the world, viz., Adam, Eve, and Cain. Who then were to slay him ?-besides every one could not slay him. But notwithstanding, according to the literal history, there were but three persons living at that time, yet Cain goes out from the presence of the Lord, dwells in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden; takes to himself a wife, and builds a city, and calls the name of it Enoch, after the name of his son.
All these things will be very difficult of explanation upon the “clergyman’s” plan of plain matter of fact history; but upon the New Church plan of Scripture interpretation, which it is impossible for me
to enter on in the compass of a letter,—the subjects are clear, beautiful, and grand beyond any description. The “ clergyman” has quoted 1 Tim. chap. 3, verses 13, 14: “For Adam was first formed, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived; but the woman, being deceived, was in the transgression." Upon this he says: “Here the allusion is made a matter of fact, not an allegorical description of one sex over the other.” Well, then, dear friend, what is this matter of fact? Why, that Adam was not deceived ; that he was not in the transgression,- but the woman was, and the woman only! If then, in agreement with this matter of fact statement, Adam was not deceived, was not in the transgression, with what propriety can he urge, as he does in another part of his paper, that Adam (who was neither deceived, nor in the transgression) was the cause of eternal wrath to all as their DESERT? What! is Adam, who was not in the transgression, is he the cause of eternal wrath ? Yes, says the “clergyman;" and to support it, he produces another matter of fact,—“As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.” The woman, who was in the transgression, was named Eve, “because she was the mother of all LIVING ;" but the man, who was not in the transgression, was the cause of eternal wrath, and the father of all the dead—"in Adam all die.” Such are the difficulties those persons involve themselves in, who are unwilling to open their eyes to the spiritual life of revelation, but who confine their thoughts to what they call mere literal matters of fact. But inasmuch as the woman only was in the transgression, and not the man, how is she to be saved ? The apostle Paul tells us how; for in 1 Tim. chap. 2, ver. 15, he says, “SHE shall be saved in CHILD-BEARING, if they continue in faith, and charity, and holiness, with sobriety.” If you will consult my Key of Knowledge, under the article Children, in the Appendix, p. 228, you will find something to illustrate the being saved by child-bearing ; and it will, when the true meaning is known, lead every Christian to exclaim with Rachel, “Give me children, or else I die!” (Gen. ch. 30, ver. 1.) The “clergyman” also, in proof of his opinion, directs our attention to Matt. chap. 23, ver. 34, 35, where the Lord, speaking of the wickedness of the Jews, says, “ Wherefore, behold I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify, &c., that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.” Upon this our objector remarks: “ The divine interpretation of the Old Testament here mentions the death of Abel as a MATTER OF FACT, and not as an allegorical allusion.” To this it is replied, first, that the New Church knows nothing about allegorical allusions. It is admitted, that the Lord speaks of shedding the blood of Abel as a matter of fact, and just such a matter of fact as is recorded in Genesis. It is said that all the blood shed from Abel to Zacharias was to be required of the Jewish people. Now, if these words are to be understood literally, will not this matter of fact flatly contradict another? Is not this an attempt to establish as true this false proverb in Israel: “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth have been set on edge ?” Does not the Lord of heaven condemn this proverb as false and dreadfully delusive ? Does he not say that the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; but that the soul that sinneth shall die? Read Ezekiel, chap. 18, and you will find how fallacious is the argument urged by our objector. Whatever the Jews had to do with shedding the blood of Zacharias, they certainly were innocent of shedding Abel's, for that was shed long before the Jews, as a Church and people, came into being. How slow of heart are men to believe that the words spoken by Jesus Christ, are spirit and life. The “clergyman” introduces the passage in Luke, chap. 17, verses 26–30, and says,—“Our Lord, speaking of the heedless state of the world when the day of judgment shall arise, says: “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man,' &c. Likewise also, as it was in the days of Lot, &c., it rained fire and brimstone, and destroyed them all, even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man shall be revealed.” Here the writer contends that all things connected with the histories, both of Noah and Lot, are, literally, matters of fact, and not allegorical descriptions. Granting this, it then follows, that at the second coming of the Lord to judgment, the very same matters of fact are to be acted over again ; for our Lord distinctly states in this passage, that as it was in the days of Noah and Lot, “even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed." So that according to this interpretation, there will be, at the second coming of the Lord to judgment, another ark, another deluge, and another raining down of fire and brimstone from heaven. If I mistake not, I think that this is beyond even the belief of the “clergyman” himself. These things are dark and mysterious to the Old Church, but to the New they are bright and clear. “ Those portions of Scripture which are allegorical (says the clergyman) are the descriptive and prophetic, not the historical.” This is an assertion which, in the absence of