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came to deliver us from the law of Moses (which law is the very life of the Scriptures of the Old Testament). Basilides logically rejected the authority of the Old Testament; modern orthodoxy will not recognise its laws as binding, but hesitates to avow the entire rejection of the old canon containing the old covenant.
The "two-soul” theory attributed to Basilides may have been the same doctrine as that taught by the Apostle Paul concerning the old inan and the new, the law of the members warring against the law of the spirit, the external man in opposition to the internal.
The heresy of Saturninus of Antioch was similar in many respects to that of Basilides. Saturninus, however, had a strong belief in dualism, i.e. in the existence of good and evil principles in God, in angels, and in men. He taught his followers to practise asceticism by abstinence from marriage and animal food.
FERMENTATION AND ITS CORRESPONDENCE. Having heard what our correspondents have thought it necessary to say on the subject of fermentation and its respondence, we think it incumbent on us to offer a few remarks in conclusion. We would not have offered a single remark on the subject had not our correspondent brought us personally into connection with it. He remarked in his first
paper that the Editor had taught the readers of the Repository to believe that Swedenborg's science was not necessarily in all cases to be relied on.
On this point we have seen no reason to change our opinion. But we see no ground for questioning the soundness of Swedenborg's statement respecting either fermentation or its correspondence. His teaching on this subject is so clear and decided that there is no room for doubt, and it is due to him to hear what he has
it. “The purification of truth from falsity in man can never take place without leavening or fermentation, so to speak, that is, without the combat of falsity with truth, and of truth with falsity; but after the combat has taken place, and the truth has conquered, falsity falls down like dregs, and truth becomes purified, like wine, which becomes clear after fermentation, the dregs falling to the botton, Spiritual combats or temptations are fermentations in the spiritual sense, for falsities then desire to join themselves to truths; but truths reject them, and at length cast them down as it were to the bottom, consequently refine. In this sense is to be understood what the Lord teaches respecting leaven in Matthew : “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of ineal, till the whole was leavened," where meal denotes the truth which gives birth to good. Because such combats as are signified by leavenings or fermentations have place with man in the state which precedes newness of life, therefore it was appointed that when "the
new meat-offering at the feast of the first-fruits, the wave-bread, was brought, it should be baked leavened, and should be the first-fruits to the Lord” (Lev. xxiii. 16, 17).
If, notwithstanding this, it could be proved that, from beginning to end, in its cause and in its effects, fermentation is only evil, it could not correspond to any spiritual process that results in purification ; and Swedenborg must have made two very serious mistakes—a mistake in science, and a mistake in its correspondence. It is true that Swedenborg did know the cause of fermentation as it is known now. The torula or fungus plant has been discovered since his time. But he knew all that was essentially necessary to know about fermentation to see its correspondence. He knew that fermentation was an internal commotion, and that after fermentation wine becomes clear, the dregs falling to the bottom. He knew, therefore, that fermentation corresponds to temptation; that “temptations are fermentations in the spiritual sense, for falsitie then desire to join themselves to truths ; but truths reject them, and cast them down as it were to the bottom, and thus refine."
Our correspondent states correctly that Swedenborg says the ferment itself corresponds to falsity. But he calls in question the soundness of Swedenborg's doctrine, by demanding how that which is false can be a means of purification. On this subject the author is his own best interpreter. In explaining Joseph's words to his brethren, when speaking to them of their wicked deed in selling him into slavery, he says to them, “ As for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass as it is this day, to save, or make, much people alive.” On this the author says: “These words contain a heavenly mystery. The mystery is this. The Lord permits infernals
. in the other life to lead the good into temptation, consequently to infuse evils and falsities, which they use every effort to do, for when they do so they are in the delight of their life; but on such occasions the Lord, Himself immediately and mediately by the angels, is present with those who are in temptation, by refuting the falsities of evil spirits, and by dissipating their evil, whence come refreshment, hope, and victory ; thus the truths of faith and the goods of charity, with those who are in the truths of good, are more inwardly implanted and more strongly confirmed. This is the means by which spiritual life is bestowed. From these considerations it may be manifest what is signified in the internal sense by the words of this verse, that those who are alienated from truth and good, as are the spirits who induce temptations, intend nothing but evil, but that the Divine Being turns it into good, and this according to eternal order, whence there is life to those who are in the truths of good. For it is to be observed that infernal spirits, to whom it is thus permitted to teaze the good, intend nothing but evil, for they will with all their might to withdraw them from heaven and plunge them into hell, it being the very delight of their life to destroy any one as to the soul, thus eternally ; but the smallest permission is not given them by the Lord, except for the
end that good may thence come forth, namely, that truth and good may be formed and corroborated with those who are in temptation. Throughout the universal spiritual world reigns the end which proceeds from the Lord, and which is, that nothing whatever, not even the smallest circumstance, shall arise, but that good may come forth from it. Hence the Lord's kingdom is called a kingdom of ends and uses.”
The Lord's universal kingdom in the natural world, as well as His universal kingdom in the spiritual world, is a kingdom of ends and uses; and the evil things of this world, like the evil spirits in the other, are compelled to perform some use, and not even the smallest thing exists or the smallest circumstance arises but that some good may come forth from it. If this were not the case the correspondence between the whole spiritual world and the whole natural world would
For as evil things originally derived their existence from the spiritual world and continually subsist by influx from it, so must their uses be determined by, and correspond to, the uses which the inhabitants of the spiritual world perform either from choice or compulsion. The uses which evil things perform our author calls evil uses.
But by evil uses he means uses which would not have been necessary if evil had not existed, therefore uses that, though evil in their origin and instrumentality, are not necessarily evil in their results. The tendency of evil things, like the intention of evil spirits, is evil and destructive, but as the end or final cause is with Him who is infinite love and wisdom, their activity is made to bring forth some beneficial result. To borrow a term from our correspondent, that which evil things and evil spirits perform is dirty work, but it is not such useless work as putting “ dirt” in only that they may take it out again.
Our correspondent asserts that the juice of the grape needs no purification, and that the ferment plant—fungus or parasite-does nothing but soil and injure it, that it takes no dirt out that it has not itself put in. This idea of fermentation, considered as a process of Nature, is not consistent with the doctrine of ends and uses, nor with the analogy it must bear to the operation of evil spirits. An evil spirit does not and cannot put impurity into a clean mind, nor does he take out of a mind only the impurity which he has put into it. The operation of evil spirits and the use they perform are different from these. From their own evil they act upon the evil which they find in the human mind; their evil acting upon man's evil excites it into activity, and the person's good which is brought thereby into action enters into conflict with the excited evil. This is the conflict of temptation; and the successful result of temptation is, that the good conquers and expels both the evil through which, and the evil from which, the temptation came; thus it expels the combined evils of the man and of the spirit. This is spiritual fermentation. Does natural fermentation answer to it? It ought, and we have no doubt it does. The “ dirt” of the fungus fastens upon and combines with the congenial “ dirt” which it finds in the grape-juice; and as it refuses to relinquish its hold, the pure separates itself from the impure, or the true rejects the false, and casts it down, and thus out of the mind. It is stated in the Penny Cyclopedia, under the article Wine, that "the juices of grapes, or vegetable juices in general, become turbid when in contact with air, before fermentation commences, and this turbidity is owing to the formation of an insoluble precipitate of the same nature as ferment.” If this is the case, the analogy of fermentation with temptation, as being induced by an evil from without meeting and combining with an evil of the same nature within, is perceivable from the natural fact itself.
The great movement against intemperance had not begun in Swedenborg's time. Had he lived to see it, we have no doubt he would have highly approved the effort to make all men temperate. Would he have gone in for total abstinence? In practice he was almost a teetotaller. He never, we believe, in his later years used wine as a part of his diet. But as he took wine, though sparingly, when in company, he was not in principle opposed to the use of alcoholic liquor. In practice he was also almost or altogether a vegetarian. But neither was he a vegetarian on principle. He never insists on the necessity of abstaining either from animal food or fermented drink. We do say that those who adopt his theological teaching are wrong in abstaining from both, and in trying to persuade others to do the same, if they think total abstinence either a duty or a useful or necessary example. All we say is, that neither Swedenborg's teaching nor his example furnishes any ground for New Churchmen insisting on teetotalism as a principle.
But supposing the argument from fermentation given up, is the demand for total abstinence to be given up likewise ? Total abstinence was adopted and advocated long before the argument about fermentation was thought of, and of course may still be advocated without it. Let it be advocated on right principles, or for sufficient reasons, and not injured by employing in support of it an argument based on a false assumption. The men who first entered into conflict with the monster evil of intemperance only advocated temperance. But it was found, or believed, that half measures would not do, and that there was no way of meeting the evil but by insisting on total abstinence from all intoxicating drinks. Whatever may be the merits of the temperance principle, there can be no doubt that for purposes of reformation total abstinence is the only course. Drunkards cannot be cured, if cured at all, but by ceasing to taste strong drink. But teetotallers desire prevention as well as cure; and to prevent drunkenness they wish all persons, young and old, entirely to abstain from the use of alcoholic drinks. By all means let them advocate this, if they are convinced of its necessity or utility, and think it the best or the only way to ensure success.
So gigantic and brutalizing an evil as our national drunkenness must be capable of being opposed, and so great and humanizing a good as national sobriety must be capable of being urged, by abundant and cogent arguments, without
having recourse to a false one. We should be glad to see the Conference Magazine employed in the cause of temperance. But the Magazine must not, it seems, say a word in favour of temperance as distinguished from teetotalism, or recommend pure fermented wine for the Lord's Supper instead of the artificially alcoholized and doubtful stuff that is generally used, without calling up our teetotal friends to complain of the Conference Magazine being used for party purposes, and for recommending the use of a poisoned and intoxicating drink at the Lord's Table.
We wish not to be misunderstood. We highly respect our brethren who are engaged in the cause of temperance, even though it takes the form of teetotalism. And the eloquent appeal with which our correspondent concluded his last paper, whether it draw any or many from the use of fermented wine, or of alcohol in any shape, is true, and ought to be effective, writing.
It seems to us that the argument, based upon the assumed uselessness and even pernicious effect of fermentation, is little calculated to benefit the cause of total abstinence. The argument we believe to be unsound, and being so, it is, like all unsound arguments, calculated to injure rather than to benefit the cause it is intended to serve. There is no question that fermentation is a process of nature, and as such, it must, according to Swedenborg's principle, be overruled for good, or made to serve a useful purpose-to purify that which is impure, or at least to clarify that which is turbid and preserve what would otherwise go to corruption. But if this be admitted, it would be lawful and perhaps beneficial to use fermented liquor. We think this conclusion would follow of course. But are we to deny a fact in order to avoid a conclusion, because both the fact and the conclusion seen to us to be unfavourable to a theory which we have thought proper to adopt ? If fermentation is a natural and useful process, temperance can only be understood to mean the temperate use of the fermented fluid, and the advocacy of the cause of temperance could not, as a principle, justly go beyond this. But it has been considered necessary to go farther than this and insist on total abstinence. We venture to think that teetotallers would never have objected to fermentation if it had only clarified the grape-juice, or the juice of the palm-tree or any other fruit, and had not generated alcohol. Swedenborg was not so poor a chemist as not to know that this was the result of fermentation, but he does not take it as any ground of objection in the use of fermented wine. If we remember rightly, the Rev. Dawson Burns admits that the Lord Himself drank fermented wine; but that He did not drink it for the sake of the alcohol which it contained.
not this be said of others ? Is it not, at least, a rather dangerous doctrine to condemn as wrong in principle what the Perfect One did, and countenanced others doing, in practice ?