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therein discerning what was truly good, and delighting in doing from the love of the truth whatever the Divine truth dictated. This was man's new state; and this state was altogether of and from God. 'very good,” because in this state the things of faith became one with the things of love: there was a heavenly marriage of goodness and truth in man. The end of the prior state and the beginning of this new state were the sixth complete state or stage of the spiritual Genesis of man.
VII. Thus far there had been a conflict, not between good and evil, -for evil, which is the perversion of the good, was not yet known to man,—but between a lower degree and quality of goodness and the next higher; not between truth and falsity,—for falsity, which is the perversion of the truth, had never yet been practised by man,—but between a lower state of knowledge, or of relative ignorance, and the clearer and higher light which was continually revealed to man. Thi conflict was not the active antagonism of contradictory principles, but it arose from the passive resistance of ignorance to truth, and of inferior states of good to superior states. When man became spiritual, all resistance ceased. The heavenly marriage between goodness and truth supplied, without opposition, all increase in love and in wisdom.
God's work in man was then completed. The internal and the external were finished, and both were made full with all the creations of God. Man, who had been external and natural, and who had become spiritual, God now made celestial. This was the end of God's work in man, in whom the fulness of divine order now reigned, who was full of wisdom and of love, and, in consequence, full of divine peace and rest. This completed and finished state of goodness, of faith, of knowledge, of tranquillity, of joy, and of peace, was a happy and holy state, and blessed of God; from whom alone had proceeded all the increase and development of those powers and faculties which He had formed and placed in the constitution of His creature man.
The seventh in Hebrew also signifies rest, and through the six days, the various complete stages of the spiritual Genesis, God had led His human creatures, up to the beauty, blessedness, perfect peace, and perfected holiness of the divine SABBATH.
Through similar states or stages doth the Lord now propose to lead man, in the process and pilgrimage of re-generation, which is the second GENESIS, and of which the Genesis of the first men is the eternal, abiding, and divine type and allegory. A new element, however, is now imported into the stages of the process, by reason of the introduction and present existence of hereditary evil and of actual evil in man. In the successive steps of the regenerate life, there is now felt the active antagonism of direct opposites, good and evil, truth and falsity. Yet the stages remain the same; a state of regeneration began and completed, as to man's consciousness, in the external mind by the means of the acquired knowledge of divine truth ; a higher state,
. wherein takes place the opening of the internal mind, and the implanting therein of internal love, faith and knowledge; a still higher state, wherein man's external understanding is filled from the internal with living knowledge and perceptions of Divine truth, which it seems to bring forth, as of and from itself, yet knowing that the work is of God in the soul; a still higher state, wherein the external will, desiring to do, and delighting in the doing of all that is good, brings forth, as of and from itself, good affections; and in which there takes place a union between the dual principles and faculties in man, having a power of eternal increase in goodness and truth from the Lord, and sustained and nourished by all truths and all faith; and, finally, the highest state of all, wherein all is peace, the heavenly, the celestial sabbath, when God and man are made one, by man's becoming an unresisting recipient of love and wisdom from the Lord, and a full co-operator with the operation in the soul of the Divine Author and Giver of every good. How far has this sublime process advanced in each of us?
UPON the path of duty shines a light,
Far brighter than the sun;
As that of duty done.
The blue sky o'er me hung:
My heart to nature clung.
Till rapt tears filled my eyes :
Gilded those lovely skies.
And yet, amid my fancy's dreamy joys,
My deepest heart was sad :
Inspired an inward dread.
To cheer man's darkling mind.
At once I broke away, and backward turned,
At Duty's faithful call :
0. P. H.
PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS ARISING FROM THE AUTHORITY OF SWEDENBORG IN THE NEW CHURCH.
In my paper “On the Authority of Swedenborg,"* the ground of that authority was considered, together with its nature and extent. If the view there presented is correct, the practical considerations arising out of it are of no ordinary magnitude. The position which he claims to have held is of such a nature as to impart a force to his statements not easily overestimated ; and it might have been expected on the part of those who profess a full acceptance of his mission, that they would not only defer to his teachings, but endeavour to acquire a clear understanding of all those points which have a practical bearing on their conduct. Such, however, is not the case so generally as might have been anticipated. There are some who question some of the obligations generally accepted as devolving on New Churchmen, and others who, as it appears to the writer, practically disregard duties plainly involved in what Swedenborg has taught. A few thoughts on the practical phase of the subject may therefore form a not inappropriate sequel to the former paper.
The points I propose to pass under review in this and two subsequent brief articles relate : (1.) To the practice of withdrawing from the services of New Church worship, and attending those of other religious communities ; (2.) To the claims of the Sacraments on the
In the September number of last year.
members of the New Church; and (3.) To the question of the ordination of the ministry. And whilst the importance of the subjects to the welfare of the Church, both individually and collectively, will furnish a sufficient apology for the fullest candour in treating them, I hope to avoid whatever may wear the appearance of a want of charity.
As regards the first point--that relating to the practice of attending the services of other religious bodies to the neglect of those of the New Church, there was in the early period of our history a somewhat numerous class, who, with the late Mr. Clowes at their head, held nonseparation from the Established Church as a principle, regarding an ecclesiasticism formed outside of her pale as disorderly. They also indulged a strong hope of the New Church doctrines becoming those of the Establishment. In their practice, therefore, they were perfectly consistent. The distinction between separatists and non-separatists, however, died out with that generation; at all events it has become practically extinct now, and, moreover, does not touch the case of those to whom these remarks apply. Neither can they plead the expectation, entertained by Mr. Clowes and his friends in their day, of the New Church becoming the established religion of the land. Should it be urged that great and rapid changes are in progress, which indicate a general approximation towards our views, I reply, this may be; but such a consummation has not yet arrived, nor is it likely to do so at present. Whether the necessity for our present separate organization may ever be superseded, rests on pure conjecture, and, to say the least, is highly problematical. It is quite certain that an internal church is an absolute necessity; and, for anything that can be shown to the contrary, it seems reasonable to expect that an organization will be preserved, whose specific mission will be to maintain and enforce the great fundamental truths of the New Church in their purity and in their entirety. But we are not so much concerned with the future as with the actual. And as concerns the. Established Church, her services are as decidedly tripersonal as ever, and likely to remain so at present. A mighty revolution of thought must take place ere her present forms of faith and worship give place to those based on pure New Church principles. The visible organization founded on the recognition of, and embodying the truths of the New Dispensation, though numbering comparatively few, is, nevertheless, performing an important use. It is a living, visible witness of the Second Advent and its latter-day glories, and a •standing protest against the errors and darkness of a
fallen, consummated church. As such it demands all the support its members can give to strengthen and invigorate its agencies. It becomes, then, a matter for serious consideration, how far, in transferring our attendance from her services to those of other bodies, we may be betraying the trust we have accepted in adopting her teachings.
But the chief object of this article is to bring the anthority of Swedenborg to bear on the subject under consideration. In doing so, I would premise that the character of any course of action we may adopt is to be judged solely by its effect on our spiritual state, and that a regard to our spiritual interests should determine the line of conduct we pursue. What, in the estimation of Swedenborg, is the result of mixing the old with the new will be plain from the subjoined extract:
“ The Faith and Imputation of the New Church cannot be together with the Faith and Imputation of the former Church; and in case they were together, such a collision and conflict would ensue as to prove fatal to every principle of the Church in man.
“ The faith and imputation of the New Church cannot be together with the faith and imputation of the former or present church, because they do not agree in one-third, no, nor one-tenth part of their doctrines ; for the faith of the former church teaches that there have been three Divine Persons from eternity, each of whom singly, or by himself, is God, as so many Creators; but the faith of the New Church teaches that there is only one Divine Person, consequently only one God from eternity, and that beside Him there is no other God. The faith of the former church has therefore maintained that the Divine Trinity is divided into three persons, but the faith of the New Church maintains that the Divine Trinity is united in one person.
The faith of the former church was directed towards a God invisible, unapproachable, with whom there could be no conjunction, and the idea formed of whom was as of a spirit, which was supposed to be like ether or wind; but the faith of the New Church is directed towards a God visible, approachable, and with whom there is a possibility of conjunction, in whom is the invisible and unapproachable God, as the soul in the body, and the idea formed of whom is that of a Man, because the one God, who was from eternity, was made man in time. The faith of the former church attributes all power to the invisible God, and denies it to the visible; for it holds that God the Father imputes faith, and thereby confers eternal life, but that the visible God only intercedes, and that they both give, or, according to the Greek Church, God the Father alone gives, to the Holy Ghost (who is also a God by himself, the third in order), all power of operating the effects of that faith; but the faith of the New Church attributes to the visible God, in whom is the invisible, all power of imputing, and also of operating the effects of salvation. The faith of the former church is directed principally towards God as Creator, and not at the same time towards Him as Redeemer and Saviour; but the faith of the New Church is directed towards one God, who is at once Creator, Redeemer, and Saviour. The faith of the former church insists that when faith is once given and imputed, repentance, remission of sins, renovation, regeneration, sanctification, and salvation follow of themselves, without anything of man being mixed or conjoined with them ; but the