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such thing is meant, bnt it is here meant, that preaching should not be considered as the only or chief mode of instruction in the New-Church, as it has been in the former Church, which there is reason to apprehend is one cause of that barrenness of genuine religion, in knowledge and practice, so justly complained of at this day; for thereby in general is only produced that natural or persuasive faith, treated of in the small tract of E. S. intituled The Doctrine of Faith for the New Jerusalem.
The sense of seeing corresponds with intelligence; that of hearing with obedience, hence they who receive instruction more immediately by the eye, are called intelligences; they who receive it more by the ear, are called obediences in the other world. Intelligence is in a higher degree spiritual, obedience in a lower degree; or the intelligent obey the truth because they see it, the obedient because they are told or hear it; the latter are comparatively external men, the former comparatively internal : There are both kinds in the Church, and therefore both kinds of instruction are to be attended to with care. But if we go on to read the Word under the divine influence of the Lord, we shall be by him introduced into the temple of wisdom, that is, to see the Lord or his truth, in the genuine sense of his Word, in his works and providence, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," Matt. v. 8. And by every person reading for himself, with care and
attention, the writings of E. S. for the sake of his salvation, the Lord will become his light and guide into all heavenly order and peace. For it is written, “The city (New Jerusalem) had no need of the sun or of the moon, to shine in it, for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof," Rev. xxi. 23. And also, "This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their minds, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people; and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord, for all shall know me from the least to the greatest," Heb. viii. 10, 11.
TO THE EDITORS.
MANY of the illustrations of Scripture passages, given by P. A. in your Aurora, are no doubt correct and useful but I observe, that in your last number for January, page 306, a sense has been attached to the word host, which is neither justified by the true meaning thereof in the English language, nor by it's internal signification. The writer has erroneously supposed it to be synonimous with army, and has accordingly given a spiritual interpretation to the passage, which (though
(though useful in other respects) does not appear to be properly applied. The word host it is true, does signify army, but not in the passage in question, viz. Luke x. 35; for there it means the master of the inn, one who receives and entertains guests or strangers. The two words in the original are widely different, and bear different significations. In the spiritual sense by the host, who receives guests, is meant the faculty of reception in man; by the two-pence given to him, good and truth in the lowest degree, which if rightly used, by application to the purposes of spiritual life, will be repaid, that is, will be abundantly increased and multiplied. It is a prominent doctrine of the New-Church, that all influx is according to efflux; in other words, that in proportion as we exercise the faculties already given, by communicating to others whatever of good and truth we may have received, in the same proportion our faculties of reception are enlarged, and we our selves enriched with further supplies of spiritual good from the Lord. This appears to be the true internal signification of the words in the text. If, Gentlemen, you are of the same opinion, I trust your insertion of the above observations will be kindly received by P. A. as I assure you they are well meant by
P. S. In the note page 322, it is stated, that the late Mr. Leicester was formerly a member of St. John's College, Cambridge; but this, I believe is a mistake;
for it was Peter-House, and not St. John's College, where he received his education. See memoirs of his life in the Magazine of Knowledge, vol. ii. p. 8.
"Let the praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand." Psalm cxlix. 6.
THESE words describe the character of a true christian -The praise of the glory of God, operating in a continual acknowledgment of his infinite mercy, both in spirituals and temporals; both in grace and nature; both in soul and body; and that he is all and through all, and alone worthy to be praised, should be always uppermost in every christian's heart and mouth,-whilst the two-edged sword of the divine Word, fighting against sin and selfishness, and all the evil lusts of the natural or inferior man, which come from below, should be in his hand: Thus to be avenged of the heathen, and to rebuke the people; to bind their kings in chains, and their nobles in links of iron,"-by which words are signified the entire reduction of the natural man, and the natural understanding, under obedience to the superior powers of the love, the mercy, and the truth of God in the soul.
"Fret not thyself because of the ungodly, &c."Psalm xxxvii. 1. The Psalm from which these words
are taken, is most admirable to teach us patience, and trust in God, as the best and only remedies to remove the sins and corruptions of our own hearts and lives.— By the ungodly in this verse we may understand allthose evil desires, tempers, and habits, which we observe either in our internal or external man, that are not according to the divine order, or the laws of the love of God: It is in these our evil desires, tempers, and habits, that the spirits of darkness and devils have their strong holds and habitations; and when they perceive an inclination in the soul towards God and goodness, and that it wanteth thereby to dislodge them of their castle and abode, they do not fail to make violent opposition, and cause a long and tedious warfare to the soul before they will give ground and surrender their fortress; in this warfare the soul is exposed to a variety of dangers and delusions, arising from the malice and artifice of those diabolical spirits. It often fancieth that it hath gained a complete victory, and that it shall see it's enemies no more at all, when, perhaps on a sudden they all return again with double violence, and bring with them reinforcements of other spirits, to renew the attack; the soul hereby, impatient of victory, and desirous of attaining to peace and rest, is apt to fret and discompose itself, at seeing that it hath in appearance gained so little ground against it's adversaries, and that so much still remaineth to be done and suffered; but it is not aware that this very fretfulness, impatience, and discomposure,