« AnteriorContinuar »
Wait, only wait, not idly, nor with pain;—
With sadness if thou wilt,—but only wait
A little longer; and thy rest shall come.
0 look! so small the years that lie between
The pain thou bearest and the end of pain,—
Thou dost not heed them. Yes,—I know that thou
Wilt often lose the prospect, and be lost
'Mid barren rocks that only echo back
The voice of thy despair. Also, I know
That thou wilt stray, not caring for the path.
Full well I know thou wilt have shame and pain
And a great weariness. But only wait
A little longer;—for He is so good
That loveth thee—so tender in His love,
He will not let thee feel one useless pain,
But He will lead thee gently on, until
Strange light shall flood thine eyes, and thou shalt hear
The first sweet strains of other notes than ours.
So till He wholly take thee to thy rest,
Then wait, not idly, nor with pain,—but wait
Only a little longer—patiently. J. H. N.
• THE GENESIS OF MAN:
A PARAPHRASE AND A COMMENT.
The devolopment of the soul, from a condition of vacuity and emptiness up to the beginning of a celestial state, was the first part of the Genesis of man. It comprised six great completed stages, or general states, and terminated in the attainment of the seventh, the Sabbath. The allegorical description of the process is given in Genesis i., and the first three verses of chap. ii., which ought to have been added to the first chapter. The rest of chap. ii., down to verse 17, relates, in allegory, the further development of the souls of man in the celestial state. The attainment of the sabbatic state does not imply the cessation of all progress: it does imply the cessation of all conflict. The "rest" is not inaction; but action in which there is perfect peace, because there is perfect order. The attainment of "rest" enabled the souls of men more freely and more fully to receive the Divine influx of love and wisdom. All resistance ceased. But the fuller, and the orderly, reception of inflowing life from the Lord would, of necessity, render man's powers more active, and the development of man's soul more rapid, and more truly complete. The plane of his reception of the Divine gifts would remain unchanged, because his state would then have attained the condition of true order; but, on that plane, his progress in love, wisdom, and ability would, and must, for ever go on increasing; unless, as was the case, checked by a fall, and altogether prevented by a continued declension in state.
The difference between a spiritual and a celestial man may be profitably marked.
There are three states in which men may exist—a merely natural (or spiritually dead) state; a spiritual state, and a celestial state. The merely natural man acknowledges nothing to be good or true but what belongs to this world, and this he loves and believes in. All his ends and purposes have regard to worldly and corporeal things. Nature is his God; pleasure and the satisfactions of his worldly desires are his good. He is purely selfish in all that he does. The restraints which act upon him are merely external, corporeal, or societary, and they act upon him solely from the fear of loss, or the hope of gain.
The spiritual man perceives and acknowledges spiritual and celestial truth and good; but from a principle of faith, from which, and because of which, he acts. He seeks to know the will of God, in whom he believes, in order that he may do it. He knows God and therefore loves Him. He desires to understand the nature and the laws of eternal life that so he may realize its blessings. The doing of what he sees to be true and right he delights in. In temptation combats he is victorious by means of his knowledge and love of the truth. The restraints which act upon him are the dictates of his conscience, and these he obeys from the love of man, and from the desire of doing what he sees to be right.
The celestial man perceives, and believes spiritual and celestial good and truth, from a principle of love, which forms the ground of all his actions. In him love is the first. He loves God and therefore knows Him. His actions have regard to the Lord, and thereby to eternal life. He has ascended above the region of conflicts and combats. If assaulted by evil and falsity, he instantly discerns their quality, and contemns them. He is apparently influenced by no restraints, but is free; his love of goodness enables him to perceive what is good, and to have satisfaction in nothing else.
To this high celestial state of love did God raise man's nature, and, in this high state, did Jehovah God proceed to develop the power which He had implanted in man. Leading man by truths to goodness, by wisdom to love, the Creator has hitherto revealed Himself as God ; now, developing man in goodness, or love, the new Divine operation manifests the Creator in a new character, or under a new aspect, which is fittingly indicated by the new name, Jehovah God. The name Jehovah signifies the Lord as to His Divine Love. These things being premised we may resume our paraphrase, and consider the second grand epoch in the Genesis of man.
I. These are the nativities of the internal and external minds of the celestial man when they were formed, in the state that Jehovah God made an external and internal in him. But the external was not yet in all things fully subject to the internal, so as to obey and serve it; for rational and scientific principles, from a celestial-spiritual origin, had not yet been completely acquired by man, because the full state of tranquillity and peace between the internal and the external was not yet realized. This state of tranquillity and peace deepened in man until his external understanding was filled by it. Then Jehovah God formed the external will of man, and breathed into his perception and consciousness, the life of faith and of love, so that all his external mind was made alive. The external now submitted in all things to the internal, complying with its dictates, and serving it. Men were now, both as to their internal and their external minds, celestial men.
II. Then did Jehovah God impart from Himself heavenly intelligence unto men, which He planted in and conjoined with their love of Himself; and in this state men continued to dwell. Every perception of truth and every perception of good Jehovah God caused to spring up in the external mind of the celestial man. In the will of man's internal mind, the Lord planted the perceptions of love, and of faith derived from love, thus enabling man to have a continual perception of His existence and mercy, and that from Him alone all love and faith and life proceed. The Lord likewise implanted in man's external mind the power to perceive external things, and to believe according to the appearances which external things present.
III. Wisdom flowing from love was given to man in order to cause his perceptions to increase and fructify, and to communicate to him all manner of heavenly intelligence. One of these forms of intelligence was the intelligence of faith which originates in love; which encompassed the whole of man's will; the love of which intelligence was altogether good, being of and from the Lord; and the truth of which was twofold, being the truth of love, and the truth of faith from love. Another of these forms of intelligence was the knowledge of all things which are of goodness and of truth, or of love and faith; which encompassed the whole of man's understanding. Clearness of reason, so as to distinguish between various genera and species of goods and of truths, was another form of the heavenly intelligence imparted to man. This came from the Lord through man's internal will into his rational mind. And a further gift of intelligence unto man was the communication of all science.
IV. To man, thus variously endowed, was entrusted the duty of guarding, preserving, and of employing these gifts. Always acknowledging that they were the Lord's gifts to him, and the Lord's possessions in him, he was yet permitted to enjoy and use these gifts, as though they were his own. Jehovah God commanded man, who at that time openly conversed with the Lord, and with angels, and who had visions and dreams, to partake of, and to use every perception which had been given to him, so as to gain a personal knowledge of what is good and true. The Lord also enjoined upon him that he should not believe according to the mere outward appearances of things, nor reason upon the mysteries of faith, and the deep and hidden things of eternal life, according to any knowledge acquired by means of his sense merely, or from science; for by so doing, he would abolish his conscious acknowledgment that his life was from the Lord alone, thus disjoin himself from the Lord, and destroy within himself all celestial life, which primarily consists in man's continual perception and acknowledgment that his life, together with all his possessions, capacities and powers are of and from the Lord alone.
This was man's celestial state. Here ended the Genesis of the human race. The remaining portion of the chapter, and of the Divine allegory, treats of the first, and subsequent steps of man's declension in state, and, finally, of the total perversion of the celestial state, until it was altogether closed, by the mercy of the Lord, so that a lower plane of life might be opened, in which man could be eternally saved. This declension, fall, and destruction spread through periods, no one can tell how lengthy.
But we may be encouraged by the thought, that like as God, in the beginning, developed man from a merely natural state to the^spiritual, and from the spiritual to the celestial condition of life; and that like as Jehovah God developed man's affections, perceptions, capacities and powers in that celestial state; so the Lord, Jehovah Jesus, will work, until He leads the erring feet of His children altogether back; and develops their powers, capacities, perceptions and affections to the full height of His original purpose; and makes them perfect men, according to the measure of the stature of His own fulness. The regenesis will equal the first Genesis. The men that will-be shall equal man primeval. Perhaps the cultivation of the external scientific plane, so pursued in the fall, may result in a regenerated development, which shall be deeper than that of man primeval, while it may attain to heights as glorious. Measured by Him to whom a thousandyears are but as one day, it may be that the long twilight of our fallen state is but as a morning darkened by clouds, and the day that shall break will be brighter than any before. It may be that His wondrous work of incarnation, and the glorification of His humanity, may effect consequences as marvellous in the development of man; and that in raising the fallen to states of celestial exaltation and ultimate use, not attainable save through the sharp discipline of suffering and darkness, "He shall see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied" (Isa. liii. 11). However this may be, although fettered about by our senses, beguiled by the appearances of things, and dungeoned in a very low state, we may yet be glad to know that we can be "prisoners of hope." If the "innocence of infancy," which was that of the early and the celestial men, is no longer possible, the fuller "innocence of wisdom" is yet to be attained; and they, to whom the "much" has been forgiven by the Lord, may yet realize the higher state of loving Him the more.
ARCHBISHOP TRENCH ON THE MIRACLES OF OUR
If the second Christian dispensation be all that the first was, and something more, it is incumbent on us, who possess the great gift of the spiritual sense, to cultivate a knowledge of the natural sense also. And in fact, if the spiritual sense rests on the literal, how can we know