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and ornate as Mr. Porteous's, such acknowledgment of indebtedness is by no means derogatory, and literary candour certainly requires it. We might also suggest the omission of the passage as to the Divine femininity and masculinity, p. 16, in another edition. With these exceptional blemishes, we can pronounce the lecture very able and admirable, and cordially recommend for it an extensive circulation. We subjoin one of its most eloquent passages:—
"The insight which Swedenborg had into the laws of nature and the secrets of spirit, was mainly acquired through intense sympathy in his soul with God. In this respect he is differenced intellectually from the philosophers and theologians of all ages. He venerates a presiding Mind in the universe, and has a clear, logical, and satisfactory conception of the Being he adores. Confessedly, on the nature of God the theologies of ages have taught nothing affirmative and personal, nor the philosophies of the schools anything tangible, spiritual, or inspiring. It has of late been said by distinguished thinkers, that a science and knowledge of God are impossible. Of the elaborate and recondite reasonings on which this bold negation is founded, it is of course impossible for me to dwell. But, as it is a doctrine which interests our highest being and destiny, I shall indulge for a moment or two in offering a few observations on this point. If God is the Fountain of all goodness, the Inspirer of true affection, the Source of all intelligence, there is nothing of so great moment to the race as the conception of His existence; and a true apprehension of His relations to man must constitute the turning point in the progress of the world. The thought of Divine Unity, or an absolute Cause, . was familiar to antiquity; but the unanimous verdict of history shows that it took no hold on the popular affections. Philosophers had conceived this Divine Essence and Unity as purest action, unmixed with substance, form, or personality; as Fate, holding the world in its invincible grasp; as Reason, going forth to the work of creation; as the Primal Source of all the ideal archetypes according to which the world was fashioned; as Boundless Power, careless of boundless existence; as the Infinite One, slumbering unconsciously in the Infinite All. He was held as a mere metaphysical abstraction, loveless, lifeless, inane, of whom nothing could be
affirmed personally. Nothing of this could take hold of the common mind, or make—
or throw down the altars of superstition. The heart cannot feed on sublimities and abstractions; it cannot make a home of cold magnificence; it cannot take immensity by the hand.
"For the regeneration of man and the redemption of the world, it was requisite that the Divine Being should be known not only as an abstract Cause, but as the infinitely Divine Personality—the Essence and Form of all excellence and beauty; not as a distant Providence of boundless power, and of uncertain and inactive will, but as God, the 'Divine Man,' personally related to the race and the universes. The theologies and philosophies of the age prior to Swedenborg were utterly incapacitated to respond to the longing in men's hearts for a personal God. From the third century, when theology committed suicide on the question of Deity, philosophy ever since has been its unhappy ghost, disturbing the hopes and souls of men. Swedenborg gives royal testimony to the nature and perfection of God. He alone, of all theologians, reveals the true and personal conception of God, and in such a form as refutes the mighty systems of Spinoza, Naturalism, Fetishism, Pantheism, Fatalism, Optimism, and Tritheism. His doctrine is substantially this:—That God is perfect Love and perfect Wisdom, and the sole, universal, and Divine Substance; that God is infinite Divine Love and Wisdom in an infinitely Divine human Form or Personality."
DISTRESS IN LANCASHIRE.
London Relief Committee. To the Editor.
Dear Sir,—It may be considered a favourable sign that there is nothing particular to record with respect to the doings of this Committee.
The usual monthly meeting took place on the 17th inst., but in consequence of there being no applications for aid, and the weather being so genial, the Committee deemed it prudent to retain the fuuds in hand, in case the distress should assume a more severe form in the ensuing winter. An adjournment till the 17th July was, therefore, determined upon. The Treasurer's statement is appended.
I am, &<s. Feed. Pitman, Sec.
Thomas Watson, Treasurer, in account with the Relief Committee. Dr. Pawn Fund. £. s. d.
To Balance in hand 2 16 0
New Church Families. £. s. d.
To Balance in hand 61 0 0
"Smyth J. K., Esq., Paris. .10 0
"Dodd Mr., Newcastle 0 10 0
"Islington Society 0 12 6
"Cross-street Society 2 2 4
£65 4 10
To Balance, as before £12 11 0
Dr. Summary. £. a. d.
To Total Amount received on
account of Pawn Fund. 92 16 0
"New Church Families 100 4 10
"General Fund 12 11 0
£205 11 10
Paid from Pawn Fund £90 0 0
By New Church Families ... 35 0 0 "Balance 80 11 10
£205 11 10
To the Editor.
I beg leave to report on behalf of our Belief Committee as follows :— Balance previously announced £10 0 C. T. Hooke, Esq. (don.).... 1 0 0
of the following additional subscriptions for the distressed New Church friends in Blackburn, up to the 15th April, viz.: £. s. d. The Operatives in Messrs. Hodson's employ (4th and
5th donations) 1 0 0
From the London Committee,
per Mr. Pitman 5 0 0
Snodland Soc., per Mr. Hook 10 0 "Monadelphia" 0. 4 0
£7 4 0 For the above and previous liberal aid from distant friends, I return the sincere thanks of our Committee, and remain yours very truly,
Thos. Pemrerton, Treasurer.
£2 0 0 Expendedinrelieving families
in cash £1 2 4
Ditto in repairing shoes .... 016 4
Balance on hand 0 1 4
£2 0 0 I have also much pleasure in supplying an omission made in our last report. Previous to the appointment of our Belief Committee, a large amount of bedding and clothing was brought over and distributed, in the most distressed cases, among our New Church families, by some of our warm-hearted friends from Manchester, to whom we return our sincerest thanks for their seasonable assistance. E. Holt, Treasurer.
Blackburn. To the Editor.
Sir,—Permit me through the medium of your pages to acknowledge the receipt
"In affectionate remembrance of Mary Emma Williams, who departed this life January 28tb, 1863, aged 37 years, sincerely loved and deeply lamented." Such is the brief memorial in which a mourning but not disconsolate brother seeks, to enshrine in the hearts of sympathising friends, what he so tenderly cherishes in his own, the memory of the wife of his bosom and the mother of his children. Far be it from me to force into publicity, or eulogise unjustly, the virtues of one who sought her highest sphere of usefulness, as the means of giving and receiving happiness, in the privacy of domestic life. But home is the charmed circle of our sweetest joys, and the virtues that shine with their mild lustre there may, for the common benefit, be profitably, when notobtrusively, touched upon. In the character of our departed sister were combined many of those twin graces that make up the higher qualities of the Christian wife and mother. She was devout and intelligent, meek and energetic, gentle and firm. It is enough to say that a character thus formed endeared her most to those who knew her best, and has made her loss more deeply felt. But the loss of those we love is but apparent, and their separation from us is but sensible and temporary. Separation in the flesh may be more intimate presence in the spirit, and a seeming loss may be great gain. Providence designs it should be so, and that design will be accomplished if we are willing to have it so.
London, April 16th. Frateh.
Cave & Sever, Printers by Steam Power, Hunt's Bank, Manchester.
NEW JERUSALEM MAGAZINE.
No. 114. JUNE, 1868. Vol. X.
FROM EDEN TO THE WILDERNESS.
The acceptance, as the arbiter in matters spiritual, of that outward reason which bases its judgments upon sensuous perceptions, has led to conclusions largely subversive of those teachings which the Word inculcates as to the original condition and gradual deterioration of humanity. The pride of reason is unwilling to admit that the outer faculties, even in their highest development, are powerless to scale the heights of spiritual intelligence. Conscious of its power in its own sphere, revelling in the wealth of its acquisitions in the fields of mundane knowledge, glorying in the conquests it has achieved in its struggle with the complex facts of nature,—the scientific faculty forgets that there are limits to its exercise, and that it is gifted with no power to penetrate into the region of spiritual laws and truths. It may determine the density of a planet, measure its distance, give the exact curve of its orbit at every point, accurately ascertain the rate of its progress, and indicate its place at any given moment; but, great as these achievements are, it has no such power of discovery in those heavens whose suns and systems are the great truths which tell of God and Heaven, Love and Wisdom, and the high purpose of human life. When such truths are revealed, the outward reason can, indeed, apprehend and confirm them, and it may convert the facts of science into illustrations of their beauty and consistency; but the light and guidance of faith, the reward of obedience to truth, must first be received before the lower reason can become the ally and minister of spiritual intelligence.
But none the less the lower reason endeavours to subject the high things of heaven to its methods, and claims to fix the truth of things for heaven as well as for the world. Thus the state in which men are,
250 FEOM EDEN TO THE WILDEEKESS.
and that in which they appear to have been during all historic times, have led it to be doubted whether man ever existed at all in that condition of innocence, purity, and wisdom, to which the traditions of the most ancient nations point as the Golden Age of humanity. Judging, according to the ordinary method, of the unknown from the known, it is argued that the course of our race has been a gradual emergence from the dense ignorance and low animalism of savage life, and that the present state of humanity is the highest it has yet attained;—that from wild wandering in forests, dwelling in caves, a Fetish worship of inanimate objects and forces, man has gradually proceeded by the innate force of his own nature to civilization and a solution of the problems of existence;—that from the gradual development of our human nature have been evolved all spiritual ideas. Thus, in the pride of a vaulting intellectual ambition, the creature makes haste to shut out the Creator from His own world, and desires to make himself the artificer not only of his outward fortunes, but of the spiritual edifice within him.
But with what consistency can such theories be held by any who profess to believe that a Being of Infinite Love and Wisdom made the world that man might be capable of finite love and wisdom like His own? Can any believe that the Divine Love, from whose desire to bless indefinitely creatures gifted with the highest finite nature the universe had being, could leave them under the control of that selfish and sensual nature from which issue all evil and disorder? While the universe everywhere exhibited the most perfect adaptation to the wants of man, and was distinguished alike in the insect of a day, as in a planetary system, by order and beauty, is it to be accepted that man, the crown and capital of the work, was the only anomaly and contradiction? Could He who is Love Itself leave man in ignorance of Himself, heaven, goodness, wisdom, to blunder through the ages with no prompter but a narrow self-love, and no guide but the cunning that forms its intelligence? Why, this would be to create a world that all the founts of woe the race has known or will know might be opened in it; for out of the uncontrolled selfish instincts spring all the progeny of hate, revenge, malice, war, and murder. It has yet to be shewn, then, how mankind could be left by Him who is Order Itself, under the control of the very principles which in their unchecked action are the source of all confusion. The paradox has yet to be explained, by the theorists to whom we have referred, how order and beauty were everywhere but in that being on account of whom all lower things were made such as they are.
It is worth while to inquire, however, whether this theory of the evolution of all spiritual ideas by the unaided and gradual development
FROM EDEN TO THE WILDERNESS. 251
of our race has any warranty in the nature of man himself. What, then, is man ignorant of all that God reveals, separate from all that Revelation has taught him, from all that Divine Power operating through that Revelation developes within him? What is the distinctive characteristic of man "without God in the world"? We should be able to give an answer in the concrete, by digging out specimens from the lowest strata of society, where barbarism is realised in the midst of civilization ;—by presenting individuals of the class against whom society needs to protect itself by chains and stone walls, and by following the savage on the track of his enemy. But we may proceed by the method of exhaustion, and abstracting from man all that he has received from Divine instruction, and every attribute not universally characteristic of the race, leave only those features of character which it is found to exhibit always and everywhere. Observe, that it is of man wholly uninfluenced by any higher nature than his own that we are speaking— an impossible condition truly—but still one that must be supposed in this connection. If, then, we exhaust humanity of all those spiritual and moral truths that have come to it directly or indirectly, by the written Word, or oral tradition, from Divine teaching—of all the influences of culture and civilization, and bare it down to its natural instincts and tendencies, what shall we find? We shall find that sense of selfhood which lies at the base of human individuality—that love of self which is the spring of all its activities. Not only do we find it in human nature thus denuded of all that religion and civilization give—it is, also, the underlying basis of that nature everywhere and in every stage of progress. It may exist subordinated as in the good, or dominant as in the wicked, mitigated and restrained by culture as in the civilized man, or rushing wildly outward to its gratification as in the savage. Man, then, without God and Revelation, is wholly such as the love of self makes him. All other feelings subordinate themselves to this dominant love, and the thoughts are but its emissaries. Now the cause must always be adequate to the effects attributed to it; and if the development of this leading principle in human character, when that is wholly uninfluenced by the Divine, can account for the great things we know of humanity, then, indeed, may this theory of gradual development be more than a baseless theory.
What, then, will the love of self, and the love of persons and things as ministers and slaves of self, produce in their development? Without foreign admixture or influence, what are their natural and legitimate fruits? Dominating over all the affections of the will, whether these relate to the domestic or social sphere, self-love commands also all our