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plane. Such are still prone to call for the reason for Animal Nature, has been produced by a parand philosophy of the truth. Hence it has hap- entage of the same kind, that is, has not had any pened, that the works of certain expounders of natural parentage, except on one side, which Swedenborg, such as “ Noble’s Lectures,” “No- makes the case still more analogous to the birth ble's Appeal,” “Noble's Plenary Inspiration of the of Christ. For instance, the first animal (and for Scriptures,” “ Des Guay's True System of Reli- distinction's sake, we may as well speak of one gious Philosophy, in Letters to a Man of the World,” first as many first) had no animal father, but was “ Hindmarsh's Lamb Slain from the Foundation of a development from the vegetable kingdom. The the World,” “ Hindmarsh's Seal upon the Lips of all-pervading Divine Essence, God, was the faTrinitarians and Unitarians,” Parson's “ Essays,” ther, which took effect in the advanced stages of Bush's “ Letters to a Trinitarian,” Rendell's “An- the vegetable kingdom as the mother, and so the tediluvian History,” (showing the interior sense first animal production was born. Be it observed, of the first eleven chapters of Genesis,) Rendell's that although we use the term “development,” yet “Peculiarities of the Bible," and Hayden's “Sci- we do not mean to convey, for it is not true, that ence and Revelation ;” it has happened, we say, the vegetable developed the animal by any power that such works as these have produced conviction inherent in the vegetable kingdoin as vegetable. at first, when the original writings of Swedenborg, We must adopt the theory of “spiritual causes which forin the basis of the above-named authors, for all that exists. The Divine Essence was what have at first failed cf that result. The reason is, wrought in vegetable nature and through it, to Swedenborg occupies 100 high a plane for the produce or develop the animal creation. And it merely natural mind. Such writers, expounders is certain, that neither the animal kingdom as a of him, bring the matter down to the natural plane, whole, nor any part of it, not even the firsts, had or to the spiritual-natural, and exhibit it more in any animal father or cause. For no animal existaccordance with the reason and philosophy of na-ed before the first. The Divine Spirit, then, was ture. We should recommend, therefore, the above the Father, which took conceptive effect and form works, as helps to those who would otherwise in the suitably advanced stages of vegetable nastumble at Swedenborg.
ture, and produced the first animal existence. For similar reasons, we feel ourself called upon It is useless to try to evade this, by saying that to say a few words in defence of that central doc- the line of division is so indistinct between the trine of the System of Truth proclaimed by our highest vegetables and the lowest animals, and author, and also of the Divine Word. First, the the two kingdoms run so gradually and impercepDOCTRINE OF THE LORD. The remarks which tibly, one into another, that it is impossible to tell we now have to offer, are mainly addressed to that where one ends and the other commences. It is large and increasing class of minds, whose tenden-true, this is the appearance. But notwithstanding cies are determinedly natural — who are contin-all this, every one must acknowledge the truth of ually asking for the philosophy of Divine Truths spiritual causes, and also the doctrine of discrete
whose reason is the predominant faculty of degrees. See, under head of "Discrete and Contheir nature, and who, unless supported by a tinuous Degrees,” COMPENDIUM, Nos. 1795-1814. strong basis of philosophics and scientifics, are apt | The simple truth is, mere vegetable nature had no to verge, and finally merge, into a Naturalism va- power in itself, as vegetable, to grow into animal ried and distinguished by the different degrees of nature; but the indwelling Divinity, or that degrec pantheistic and spiritual philosophy. We wish of the divine vitalizing Essence which correspondwe had room for a more extended and thorough ed to animal life, took conceptive effect and form unfolding. As it is, being limited to a few pages, in the suitably advanced stages of the vegetable we must necessarily be brief and imperfect. world, and produced a discrete creation, viz., ani
First, then, as to the “Miraculous Conception” mal nature. Notwithstanding, then, the impercepof the Lord Jesus Christ in the womb of the Vir-tible gradations by which the kingdoms of nature gin. We hold that this is strictly in accordance are distinguished, in their higher and lower points with the laws and analogies of nature. It is quite of contact, yet every one allows, at least true phicommon, however, especially among certain Uni- losophy must allow, that they are distinguished, tarians and professed “Spiritualists” of this day, even in their beginnings and endings, by a very to deny the scriptural account of the conception decided degree of the divine vitalizing principle. of Jesus Christ, as inconsistent with the “Con- Their running, then, one into another, imperceptistitution and Course of Nature.” When will bly to our powers of observation, has nothing to do men cease to prate of the non-existence of things, with the truth in hand. The great truth is, the simply because they fall not within the scope of Divine Spirit was the Father, or Cause, of each: their knowledge? Let us see how the Kingdoms successive development, and not any vitalizing of Nature rise up before us, every one of them power in the kingdoms of nature themselves. confirmatory, by the full strength of a divine anal- It is to be distinctly observed, for further illusogy, of the declared birth of Jesus Christ. Nei- tration, that the Divine Principle existed in the ther of the three Kingdoms of Mineral, Vegetable, primitive gaseous and electrical materials of this
globe, in different degrees of the creative Essence. this birth recognized. Even the language of There must be, in the Divinity, those degrees of Scripture confirms this view of the subject. So his vitalizing Essence, which correspond to, and far as the correspondential language of Genesis cause, the different kingdoms of nature:- thus can be applied to the natural creation, the followthe divine, but yet unmanifested, mineral essence; ing language is significant. “ And the earth was the divine vegetable essence; the divine animal without form and void ; and darkness was upon the essence; the divine human essence; and the Di- face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved, (or vine itself, or very Divine. And now, precisely as brooded) upon the face of the waters." Gen. i. 2. worlds were produced at first, that is, by the great | It is a word borrowed from the process of the hen Spiritual Sun impregnating the great material sun, in hatching her eggs, or fostering her young. so has each successive degree of the divine es- We need not multiply evidence. The great sence operated upon the plane of material nature fact is conspicuous. “The creation of the uninext beneath it, and thus, with a spiritual Father verse, or world, (says Oken) is itself nothing but and a natural mother, produced a new and discrete an act of impregnation. The sex is prognosticreation. Thus, that degree of the Divine Spirit cated from the beginning, and pursues its course which may be called the divine unmanifested min- like a holy and conservative bond, throughout the
took conceptive effect and form in whole of nature. He therefore who so much as the previously existing gaseous and electrical for- questions the sex in the organic world, compremations, and produced the first manifest mineral hends not the riddle or problem of the universe.” nature. That degree of the Divine Essence which Behold now again, how this truth applies to the corresponded to the yet unmanifested vegetable further elucidation of our subject. When the dinature, took effect in the matrixes of the mineral vine unmanifested vegetable essence (or that deworld, and the first vegetables were born into ex-gree of the divine vitalizing principle which coristence. Again, after sufficient continuity of the responds to vegetable nature,) impregnated the vegetable kingdom, the same discrete operation mineral kingdom, it was the female departments of was repeated. The next higher degree of the Di- it. It was the matrix or matrixes of the mineral vine Life came down, or out, to meet the prepared world — the great womb of the earth, which rereceptacles of vegetable nature, and animal exist- ceived the divine influx in established order, and ence was the product and birth.
vegetable nature was thus brought into being. Before we come to the origin of man, we must So also, it was the female departments, or departnow invite attention to another peculiarity in this ment, of the vegetable kingdom, which received creating process; and that is, that creation is a the influx of the divine animal essence, as yet unserual process throughout. It is, in these great incarnated in animal nature, and the first living discreted divisions of it, a begetting by the Divin- animal breathed the breath of life. In each inity, and a bringing forth of Nature. For in all stance, God was the Father, and nature in her feNature, there are now recognized by science and male departments was the mother, of each disphilosophy, the male and female departments. In cretely distinctive kingdom. Botany, especially, the sexes, and loves, and im- If now, we should consider the origin of the first pregnations, and fecundations of the plants, are a human pair, which, for want of room, we cannot subject of peculiar truth and interest. When they here treat so fully as we might, we should find a have acquired the property of reproduction, they precisely similar process. We do not wish to become adults, and exhibit the sexual parts, both dogmatize, or speculate unworthily; but the analin the male and the female. And the science of ogy would seem to require that the first pair, or Botany is replete with facts, showing the clear pairs, which could be distinctively called man, truth of the sexual propagation of the vegetable though of course very low in the scale of human exkingdom. But can it be a characteristic of one istence, should be born proximately of the animal kingdom and not of another? Is not nature uni- kingdom as a mother, but by no means of animal naform? Such a well-known truth in one depart- ture as the father, or by any process of natural dement of nature, and that inanimate, is sufficient to velopment, such as denies spiritual or divine causes, establish it for all. And it is now a truth well or such as the atheistical and pantheistical systems recognized, that in all animate and inanimate na- sometimes set forth. There may have been an ture, these principles prevail. The Divine Love animal mother, (though when we speak thus, we and the Divine Wisdom, which give in humanity must not fix too rudely in mere forms, and such the male and female distinctions, have also con- forms too as we are apt to consider when we do ferred them upon all other nature; and in positive not sufficiently reflect upon the gradual perfection and negative, in impregnation and production, in and high ascent of the animal kingdom; but we all the generative processes of creation, we are must consider well the essence and principle of the obliged to recognize, though we cannot always feminine nature, and such forms as are compatible discern it, the sexual operation. Creation is a with their highest ascent and approximation to the conception and a birth; and especially in the great human:) there may have been, we say, an animal discrete divisions of the kingdoms of nature, is mother, in which, as a matrix, the divine unmanifested human essence took conceptive effect and by an interior way, and taking conceptive effect form, precisely as it did in each previous kingdom. and form in the human kingdom, and in the feThere is nothing contrary to this theory of the ori- male department of it, and thus again, God was gin of man, either in the Scriptures, or in the rev- the Father, and Mary was the mother, of the Dielations of science. And the analogies of nature vine Man, Christ Jesus! seem absolutely to require it. All objections, The simple truth is, there has been a whole sucthen, against this view of the subject, may only be cession of “miraculous births,” which are capable the effect of human prejudice, in ignorance of the of being rationalized. And this is the order in great laws by which the Creator has wrought. which they stand. Mineral, Vegetable, Animal, But if our views are correct, then we have man at Human, Divine. Every one of them conceived of first, without any human father, yet with feminine God the Father, in the wombs of nature, and born nature in the kingdom next beneath him as the into the world. Creation has been from the first, mother, as in all previous instances. Indeed, in a continual effort to put forth the human form, whatever view we take of the first man, we are as- because God is in that form; and this effort is sured he had no human father, for there could be manifest even in the fins of the fish, where the five none before the first. And recognizing as we fingers of a man are rudimentally shadowed forth. must plainly, a whole discrete degree between the In the higher animals, we see more distinctly the animal and the human, we must, unless we take approach to the human form. Then man appears, the theory that he was made miraculously out of and lastly God himself has developed himself, the dust of the earth, or in some other way incon- rather, ultimated himself in nature, at the summit sistent with nature, recognize his birth from the of all created existence, and above it, inasmuch as animal kingdom in some such way as we have the soul of the Man Christ Jesus was the pure Didesignated. Whether it is not best to preserve vine Essence itself. He had a human nature dethe analogy between the origination of the human, rived from the mother, and so was subject to tempand the origination of the animal and vegetable tation. But this last and unprecedented birth kingdoms, we leave for the reader to decide. For “ Immanuel, God with us” — this completed the ourselves, we make no question of the truth of circle. As a seed stops not till it produces a seed, these general principles.
so God ceased not in his divine sexual operations But, let what has been said of the origin of the till He unfolded and produced himself in a confirst man be passed over as something which the centrated form of all the Divine qualities, in a reader is not prepared to admit. All must see the perfect God-Man: for as the human being has truth with regard to God being the Father, and two natures, spiritual and animal, so Christ had Nature the mother, somehow, of the respective two natures, divine and hunan. kingdoms, and somehow sexually; for the term It must not, however, be considered that Christ father suggests mother, and it is an undeniable was produced as a mere natural development, withfact that there was nothing of power, spirit, or in-out regard to use, personal will and agency, but fluence, in mineral, vegetable, or animal nature, as for stupendous purposes of human redemption, nature, capable of producing the kingdoms above such as are set forth in this book. And if any are each respectively. But the Divine Essence still disposed to view God's highest incarnation in wrought in and through them.
man, we would remind them that this is to acNow then, what more was ever claimed for knowledge no fully incarnated Divinity at all, but Christ? He had no human father, it is said. And only humanity; for man himself is not divine, not what of it? This is an objection, if it be an ob- even in his inmost, but God simply dwells in man's jection, that lies equally against every kingdom of inmost. Man's nature is human nature only ; nature! The fact is, admitting Christ's birth so, whereas, God's nature is both human and divine. it is not an exceptional case, except in its individ- To speak of the Divinity of human nature is thereuality ; not at all in its principle; it is not some- fore an absurdity; it is God resident in man, not thing contrary to all analogy, and all known laws that man himself is a little divinity. But the Lord of nature. And if it were, it would perhaps be Jesus Christ was God himself, humanized in napresumptuous in man to pretend that there was ture, as He had been from eternity in Himself. not some law adequate to this event, of which he Thus we have endeavored to show the rationale had no knowledge. But it is not so. And al- of the “miraculous conception.” The Scriptures though he had no human father, yet it is an inter- teach nothing here but what is amply supported esting truth that both the male and female princi- by the analogies of nature, and the Word of God ples actively concurred in his production. All and the Works of God are seen fully to harmonize. nature is in eract analogy to this sacredly declared Now, here is the strongest proof, apart from the fact. Here is, in fact, the next ascension of the direct testimony of the divine Word, of the DivinDivine Principle. (Naturally speaking, it is as- ity of Jesus Christ. For as sure as the next discension ; spiritually speaking, it is descension.) crete degree above the mineral world is vegetable, It is the Divine Itself, or very Divine, as yet un- and the next above the vegetable is animal, and manifested in nature, except in man, coming out the next above the animal is human, so sure is the
next above the human Divine. For there is noth-| in Zion “a stone of stumbling and a rock of ofing above the human but divine; all angels being fence.” (Isaiah viii. 14.) But this is in reality no once of human nature, and even now but glorified objection at all. It is founded upon space and men and women. The “miraculous conception,” time, which are purely natural ideas. But to meet then, being granted, the Divinity of Christ follows it on its own ground, it is only necessary to imagine necessarily. He is "the First and the Last," as the universe no bigger than an orrery. What is the Scriptures positively testify. Rev. i. 11. xxii. 13. true on a small scale, can be equally true on a
And how immensely important is this subject ! large. Suppose, then, our solar system were the Sometimes it is said by those who are indifferent entire universe. This is only to accommodate about theological truths, that it is no matter how the idea to our finite capacity, leaving the same Christ was conceived and born, if we only imbibe principles in full operation. If now, God should his spirit. And without controversy, it is most see fit to incarnate himself any where, surely some important that we have his moral likeness in our one planet out of all the rest must be selected. hearts; but the truth is, we cannot have that like- Why not our earth as well as any other ? But ness, we cannot be so spiritually elevated, we Swedenborg assigns the special reason why our cannot have that love towards Him, nor towards earth was made the theatre of this vast transacthe Father whose personation He was and is, tion. It is, among others, because the inhabitants without this view of Him. If this was the manner of our earth are among the most external, sensuof his conception and birth, this proves Him di- ous, and even corporeal, of all the human inhabitvine, and this makes Him another character to us, ants of the universe. Surely, there must be some with an immensely higher office in the affairs of one world which is the most, or one of the most, the universe, with far higher and different influ- corporeal and sensual, and liable to greatest corences upon us, nay, the whole centre and spirit of ruptions and evils. And I leave it to the reader Theology is changed to us. And in short, without to imagine, if possible, a world more superficial this, redemption is impossible. Let none, there- and sensual, or more degraded to a level with the fore, think of imbibing his spirit, as a mere hu- brute creation, or which has more sinfully and manitarian influence.
effectually quenched the better and more spiritual As to his being a separate person from the part which allies it to heaven, than this same planet. Father, this is only an apparent truth. The sim- Here, then, the Son of God — the Divine Truth ple truth is, He is the Father manifested in the of the Divine Good (called the Truth, when Christ flesh, and afterwards, to the mental eye, imperson- is spoken of, because of manifestation, for good ated forever in the heavens. Abstractly, (and it alone without truth cannot appear) here the etermust be remembered that there are no real ab- nal and infinite Jehovah incarnated himself in stractions, Divine Goodness and Truth being a ver- human flesh — took on all and the lowest of humanitable substance and form) abstractly speaking, ity's corruptions in his external nature, that He Divine Good is the Father, and Divine Truth is might triumph over all, and thus, by processes exthe Son. There is no eternal Son of God but the plained in this book, redeem the worst and most Divine Truth, which is the form of the Divine fallen of all the creation of God! Here He came Good. Any Unitarian would admit this. Now, to the very outskirts and superficies of the that eternal Divine Good and Truth were simply human universe, that He might cover the whole concreted in Christ – brought out or down from the ground unite highest Divinity with lowest hudepths of infinity and eternity, where no mortal, manity, and make redemption possible, once for since the fall, could ever see or conceive of it, so all, in all other worlds which might need it, as to have it a personal reality before him, and throughout the extent of His infinite dominions. made manifest, clear, and appreciable, in Jesus Transaction worthy of a God — Philosophy worthy Christ. How simple and beautiful the truth! of such a Theology ! Here is a common ground for Unitarians and We presuine it will not be at all felt as a diffiTrinitarians. We have the strict and supreme culty, after the foregoing explanation, that God Divinity of Jesus Christ, and the strict unity of could thus be impersonated in Christ, and still be the Divine Person. The scriptural language we at the centre and throne of the universe. These cannot of course here revert to, passages are so objections are all outbirths of the purely natural numerous: but here is the philosophy of the the- mind, and grow out of spaces, times, and such ology, and the following pages will assist the sensuous appearances as do not at all apply to reader to the true meaning of the Scripture. divine and spiritual subjects. It can certainly be
But we must notice briefly that commonest of all comprehended how the Infinite God could put objections, that the Great God of infinity should forth a ray, or sphere, even to a personal presenso contract himself as to appear in human form on tation of Himself in incarnation, without regard to this mote of his creation! The God of innumera- space, to the remotest part of the universe. And bie worlds and systems, each of them infinite to to illustrate so high a subject by so common an our conception, born of a woman on this grain of occurrence, how often is it that the psychical phesand! Surely, to the natural man, God hath set / nomenon occurs, of a person making himself mani
fest at the distance of a thousand miles, in full form, this excite to further inquiry? And let us recomface and feature, without his removal from the bodily mend the Apocalypse Revealed, as the first work, and personal locality where he is! It must be after this, for the reader to get a full and clear remembered, too, that spiritual qualities do not example of what is meant by the interior sense of diminish by impartation, and are not, like matter, the Word. Let him, after suitable preparation, divisible. I can give to another all my knowledge, and not till then, read that work in course ; it may and impart as much as possible of my virtue; in be had in one volume; and then let him, and not other words, I can put forth to any extent, of my till then, pronounce upon the interior sense. Не goodness and truth, and still have as much for my- is utterly incompetent until he has at least read self as though I had put forth nothing. Nay, the that work in course. It cannot be judged of by more I give, the more I receive. Spiritual quali- fragments. See what is said of the Arcana Colesties are not diminished, or removed from their tia and the Apocalypse Revealed, in the “Life and centre, by putting them forth, as it were, to Wriings” prefixed to this volume. (243, 244, 320.) another place. So the infinite God could put The truth is, if there is any Word of God at forth a sphere or concentration of Himself in ulti- all, worthy to be called His especial Word, in mates, on this planet, and still not vacate the distinction from all mere human or angelic inspithrone and centre of the universe; and if any rations, and all such confused notions of divine cannot at first receive this idea, it is because of inspiration as prevail in the theories of the old fixing too crudely and sensuously in the ideas of church, it ought to be just as different from man's persons, without regard to the interiors of the word or man's writings, as God's works are differspirit, which, even with two or more persons, to ent from man's works. Now the most striking appearance, may still be one in interior reality. peculiarity of God's works, in which they differ In short, it is a sensuous mode of thought alto- from all the works of man, is their interior strucgether, and the fallacies of the natural mind, ture. In a statue, or painting, or piece of machinery, which realize any difficulty in this respect; and when we have seen the surface, we have seen after the foregoing observations on the unity of all
. Even the interior of the most complicated the divine Good and Truth, as the only true, eter- piece of machinery, in each of its separate parts, nal Father and Son, we now dismiss the subject depends upon its surface alone. And, from a to the contemplation of all interior minds.
statue, or painting, or piece of human mechanism, We must now pass to a brief notice of the break off a piece of the surface, and all is muddy nature of the Divine Word. Let us ask, simply, sup- confusion. Not so in God's works. Not only the posing the reader to have read the selections given whole, but every part, has an orderly interior from our author in the following pages, Is it not structure. The nerves, sinews, and organic apwonderful that there should be such an account of paratus of the animal, or even the fibrous and a Word, so artless, so masterly? How impossible crystalline structure of the vegetable and mineral, to be invented! Suppose, even, that there may all proclaim the supereminent value of the intebe some slight mistakes, or imperfections, or rior, and the dependence of the exterior upon it. errors in translation ; yet what a whole! What Such are God's works. Now, his Word, if he has man could do it? And let it be observed here, any in particular, must be analogous to his works. for reasons before stated, that we could give but the mark of the Divinity must not only be upon very small portions of Swedenborg's connected the face of it, but most conspicuously in its interiexpositions of the Sacred Scripture. Yet in what ors. And in fact, it must be interminable to us, we have given of his teachings on the Divine in its depths of interior wisdom. The Word of Word, the principles of its composition, its force God should be a Work, as strikingly declarative and virtue in the heavens and on earth, and its of a divine hand, as any work of nature in diswonderful consistency and persistency, how is it tinction from a work of human art. Now, is such possible to gainsay the main drift of the teaching ? the case with the Christian Scriptures ? On the But yet the natural mind will find it hard to mas- principles and by the interpretations given through ter; and only little by little, with greater or less Emanuel Swedenborg, such is the case; but on recipiency, will this divine secret find admission no other theory of inspiration whatever. to the soul.
In short, if any Word at all, why not precisely It shouid be observed here, that, necessarily such a Word as is here represented ? Why should limited as we have been in connected expositions not God's writing be threefold, a sense within a of Scripture, yet a great proportion of the matter sense, and a sense within that, corresponding to we have given is professedly derived from the the trinity in every perfect divine work ? Let the Word, and could not be elicited from any other reader consider deeply; also upon the necessity source. How wonderful that matter! How man- of such a Word if it could be given; and with ifestly lucid, important, and divine, much of it is, prayer and study may his eyes be opened to beeven at first sight! What must be the nature of hold wondrous things out of the Holy Scriptures. a Word which affords such wisdom? Should not But the truth is, the naturalists and so called