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also may appear from the miracles wrought afterwards in the land of Canaan, notwithstanding which the people so often departed from the worship that was commanded ; and from the miracles which the Lord wrought before them when he was in the world, notwithstanding which they crucified him. The reason why miracles were wronght among the Jews and Israelites was, because they were altogether external men, and were introduced into the land of Canaan merely that they might represent a church and its internal principles by the external things of worship; and a wicked man may be representative, as well as a good man. The external things of worship among them were rituals, all which signified spiritual and celestial things. Even Aaron, although he made the golden calf, and conducted the worship of it, could, nevertheless, represent the Lord and his work of salvation. And as they could not, by the internal principles of worship, be led to represent these things, therefore they were led, yea forced aud compelled, to do it by miracles. The reason why they could not be brought to such representation by the internal principles of worship was, because they did not acknowledge the Lord, although the whole Word, which was among them, treats of Him only ; and he who does pot acknowledge the Lord, cannot receive any internal worship. But after the Lord manifested himself, and was received and acknowledged in the churches as the eternal God, miracles ceased.

“ The effect of miracles upon the good, however, is different from what it is upon the wicked. The good do not desire miracles, but they believe the miracles which are recorded in the Word ; and if they hear anything of a miracle, they attend no otherwise to it than as a light argument which confirms their faith ; for they think from the Word, consequently from the Lord, and not from a miracle. It is otherwise with the wicked : they indeed may be driven and forced into faith, and even into worship and piety, but only for a short time; for their evils being shut in, the inclinations thereto, and the delights thence derived, continually act against the external of their worship and piety; and in order that these evils may escape from confinement and break out, they think about the miracle, and at length call it a delusion, or an artifice, or an operation of nature, and so return into their evils; and who returns into his evils after worship, profanes the truths and goods of worship, and the lot of profaners after death is the worst of all. Besides, if miracles were to be wrought before those who do not believe in consequence of the miracles recorded in the Word, they must be continually performed, and constantly presented to their view. From these considerations, the reason may appear why miracles are not performed at this day.”

It is thus seen that the Lord will not force a man to lead a good life, because, in forcing him, his humanity would be destroyed, and all that makes life worthy and manly would be lost, seeing that the exercise of rationality and liberty would be annihilated.

It is a law of the Divine Providence, that a man should be led and taught from the Lord out of heaven by the Word, and by doctrine and preaching from the Word, and this in all appearance as from himself. The Lord, as we have before seen, is the Word ; and when man reads the Word, he brings his thought into contact with the Divine Wisdom, and when he obeys its teachings he is in very truth led by the Lord. Yet we all see that this teaching and leading of the Lord is effected without any violation of man's freedom, for he is led and taught in externals to all appearance as of himself.

It is a law of the Divine Providence that a man should not perceive and feel anything of the operation of the Divine Providence, but yet should know and acknowledge it. If a nan perceived and felt the operation of the Divine Providence, he would not act from liberty according to reason, nor wonld anything appear to him as his own. It would also be the same if he foreknew events. “The reason why it is not granted man to forekuow events, is, that he may be able to act from liberty according to reason ; also, that there is nothing that a man revolves in his reason which is not from a desire that it may come into effect by thought. If, therefore, he knew the effect or event from divine prediction, reason would become quiescent, and with reason love ; for love, with reason, terminates in the effect, and from that begins anew. It is the very delight of reason, that from love in the thought it inay see the effect, -not in the effect, but before it, or not in the present, but in the future. Hence a man has what is called Hope, which in reason increases and decreases, as it sees or expects the event. This delight is fulfilled in the event, but afterwards is obliterated with the thought concerning the event; and it would be the same with an event foreknown.” The whole zest of life would be dissipated could mau foreknow the future.

Wbile the operation of the Divine Providence is thus veiled from man's eyes, and it appears to him that he is alone in the world, and that on his small prudence hangs all things,-if he would be wise he must not be led by appearances, but rising above them, acknowledge the truth “ that self-derived prudence is nothing, and only appears as if it were something, (and ought so to appear ;] but that the Divine Providence from things the most singular is universal.” And this, becanse our life and intelligence being momentarily derived from the Lord, it follows as a necessary consequence, that all that we do that is orderly and effective, is done by the Lord, through our yielding ourselves to Him as His instruments.

It is often urged as a reason against believing in an over-ruling and universal Divine Providence, that the world is full of evil and wickedness, and wrong; and if there be an omnipotent God, he would surely never suffer such things to exist. Swedenborg enters very fully into this question. The reasons why Adam was permitted to fall, and Cain to slay A bel ; Solomon to establish idolatrous worship, and many kings after him to profane the holy things of the church; the Jews to crucify the Lord; why impiety is allowed to exist, and the impious and profligate to be promoted to riches and honours, while the worshipers of God and the doers of righteousness remain in contempt and poverty ; why wars are permitted, men slaughtered, the property of the innocent destroyed, and victories go with force and not with justice; why the earth is permitted to remain covered with idolatries, and the Christian religion to occupy so small a place, and even there to be deeply corrupted and devastated with heresies, -are stated at length and most satisfactorily. It is very evidently shown, that were the Lord to interfere and prevent such evils by force, it would defeat the end for which He created man, namely, salvation and eternal life in heaven. Now as man can only be regenerated and enter heaven through the free exercise of his understanding and free choice of his will, any external interference of the Divine Providence with outward circumstances would suspend the action of man's faculties, would, in short, dehumanise the race, and leave only animals to be dealt with. It is not of the Lord's will, indeed, that any evil should exist, and His Providence is unceasingly exerted to modify and miti. gate it, alike in its origin and in its effect; but, as absolutely to prevent its manifestation would be to take from man all that makes him man, its permission is a necessity.

It was said that the Providence of the Lord is unceasingly exerted to modify and mitigate evil, alike in its origin and in its effects. Swedenborg very beautifully and amply illustrates this truth, and shows that the Divine Providence is equally with the wicked and the good. The wicked man, from himself, continually plunges himself more deeply into his evils ; because as he wills and does evil, he introduces himself more and more deeply into infernal societies. But the Lord, by a thousand unseen means, continually withdraws him from evil, and where a cure or complete prevention is impossible, mitigates his fearful fate by providing circumstances and situations in life which serve to lead the evil into less hurtful developments. The operation of the Divine Providence in saving man begins at his birth, and continues to the end of his life. The Lord sees what a man is, and what he desires to be, consequently what he will be, therefore the Lord foresees his state after death, and provides for it from his birth to the end of his

with the wicked he provides by permitting and continually withdrawing them from evils ; with the good he provides by leading them to good. Thus the Divine Providence is continually in the operation of saving men; but more cannot be saved than desire to be saved. Those who acknowledge God and are led by him, desire to be saved ; and those who do not acknowledge God, but guide themselves, do not desire to be saved : for the latter do not think of eternal life and sal

life ;

vation, but the former do. This the Lord sees, but still He leads them according to the laws of His Divine Providence, against which He cannot act, for to act against them would be to act against Himself. Now, as the Lord foresees the state of all after death, and knows the places of those who are not willing to be saved, in hell, He, as far as is consistent with human freedom, labours to soften man's evil tempers, and if he cannot be led to heaven, still preserves him from sinking to the lowest hell.

From this it follows that every man may be reformed, that there is no such thing as predestination, and that it is a man's own fault if he is not saved. All are created for heaven, and none for hell, and if man sink into perdition, he does so through his own obstinacy, and through the deliberate choice of a life of confirmed evil. As says, the Apostle, “ The Lord is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all shonld come to repentance. 2 Peter 3. 9; and the Lord himself says, “Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.Luke 12. 32.

Such, in brief, are a few of the principles in the treatise on the Divine Providence. Nothing but a perusal of the work can give an adequate idea of its multiplicity of details, from the laws which regulate the affairs of kingdoms, to those which govern games of chance; and all expounded with a lucidity of thought which finds few parallels in works on such recondite themes. No book in the whole circle of literature more satisfactorily disposes of the objections against religion, current among Secularists and worldlings. The inward temptations and doubts of the devout heart, and the weariness, cares, and fret of life, are in its pages manifested to be all ordered and permitted by that Divine Love which letteth not a sparrow fall unheeded ; and the minutest incidents of life are seen to be for ever encircled by that Omniscience which knows how most effectually to guard us from evil and draw us into the holy courts of heaven.

Any view which we take of the Divine Providence that does not recognize this life as a beginning, a progress, and not a consummation, is necessarily erroneous. Life here is but a discipline, an apprenticeship; it is a school wherein we are scholars, learning such lessons as will fit us for uses in a higher and eternal sphere. Were life consummated by what men call death, we might perhaps have some cause to complain that the comforts and pleasures of existence were so unequally distributed, and the natural man might exclaim with the Psalmist, “ I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Their eyes stand out with fatness : they have more than heart could wish. Behold, these are the ungodly who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.” But when we look at the matter from higher ground, and in the light of the Divine wisdom, or as the Psalmist did when he said, “I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end : how are they brought into desolation as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors :" -“the evil doers shall be cut off; but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth : for yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be; yea thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be: for the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints ; --then we obtain a right view of the matter, and find an all-sufficient reason for being patient and not fretting ourselves. Hard though our lot in life may seem, let us remember that

“ The vain and fleeting things of earth,
(Though counted vain, alas ! by few,)
In his esteem are nothing worth,

Who keeps eternal ends in view.
Or, as Cowper says,

“The path of sorrow, and that path alone,
Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown.
No traveler ever reached that blest abode
Who found not thorns and briars in his road."

CHAPTER 19.

Life in Amsterdam. Character of the Dutch. Meets Dr Beyer. Republishes his New Method of finding the

Longitudes." The Apocalypse Explained. It is very trying to the biographer of Swedenborg that he can find so little to narrate of his outward life. Of his life in Amsterdam we have no particulars whatever. No Boswell was there to note down his sayings, describe his doings, his company, and conduct.

But we are afraid that had even a Boswell been there, he would have found but little to note. Quiet days in his study ; calm reserve to all around; musing, solitary rambles in the streets, would supply but few incidents for the descriptive pen of the biographer. We must be content to know that from out his quiet study in Amsterdam proceeded books destined to be centres and suns of spiritual light to the church and to the world.

Swedenborg liked the Dutch, and with good reason, for he was favoured to know them in that land where the secrets of all hearts are unveiled. le reports that the Dutch, above all other people, are under the influence of the spiritual love of trade, valuing it for its uses, and regarding money only as a means to these uses, and not,

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