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[John iii. 11, 12.) We speak that we do know, and tessify that we have seen ; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things ?
1191. [Heb. xi. 1.] If the Scriptures were set in a clear light, real faith would simply consist in believing such evidence as amounts to demonstration, respecting things which have been seen, and are recorded as sufficiently attested; and that would infallibly make people reject their groundless imaginations with the utmost contempt.
See Hutchinson's Nat. Ilist. of the
Bible, p. 262.
1195. [lleb. xi. 6.] No divine revelation concerning God and his attributes, the mysteries of christianity, and all things supernatural and spiritual, reaches any farther than as to their existence only, and that lively symbol and analogy under which they are represented to the mind of man ; which is as plain, and obvious, and intelligible as any thing in nature and common life. -The very idea of existence, which is the most direct and immediate one we have with respect lo immaterial beings, is from the senses ; in the knowledge of which the intellect proceeds thus : As from the existence of one thing material actually perceived, I inser the possible and even probable existence of other things material which were never the objects of any of my seuses; so from the known existence of things material I draw this consequence, that other things may and must exist which are not matter. Were it not for our actual sensible perception of bodily substance, we should not know what it were to have a being, nor could we be conscious of even our own existence.
Ibid. pp. 276, 387.
1192. [IIeb. xi. 6.] The establishing one in a rational and well grounded belief of the Christian Religion, does more real service to that cause, than the enlisting legions under that devomination whose iminoveable faith proceeds only from their ignorance ; that is, who believing without any reason, can possibly have no reason for doubting.
JENYNS' IVorks, vol. iji.
1196. (Rom. i. 20.] There is a mutual sympathy and fast connexion between the truths of Nature, and those of Religion; they fall in together, and close whenever they meet, so as to communicate light and strength to each other. When, therefore, we stoop in our Analogies as low as the Earth, it is that from thence we may with more vigor take our flight even to Heaven itself, for the contemplation of all the glorious objects of another World.
Ibid. p. 57.
1193. (1 Pet. iii. 15.) Many innocent and harmless people have so much intellectual cowardice, that they dare not reason about those things, which they are directed by their priests to believe.
Darwin's Temple of Nature,
Curlo iv. I. 87.
1197. (1 Cor. xiii. 12.) As by the help of a looking-glass we see the resemblance only or similitude of a man, but nothing of the substance or reality of human nature ; so God in his revelations gives us a vicw of himself, and of all other divine things which have any relation to us, in the mirror of this world: which, though it can afford us no direct or immediate idea of the real true nature and substance of those divine objects as they are in themselves ; yet exhibits to as such a semblance and representation of them as serves all the ends of morality and religion in this life. These images are what we now can directly discern and give our assent to; they are the immediate objects of our knowledge, and of that faith which is built upon it.
Bp. Browne's Divine Analogy, p. 58.
1194. [John vi. 30.) The evidence of facts related in Scripture, either sensitive or rational, is not properly faith, but knowledge ; and the rational knowledge of such facts men either have, or may have if they please, after the same manner they now come by the knowledge of other transactions related in profane history. And as for those revealed truths which are deduced from them, and which are properly the objects of our faith, such as Christ's being the son of God and true Messiah, his having almighty power, and being truly our Lord and our God; it is plain they are of such a nature as not to admit of any immediate sensitive evidence. Had these mysterious doctrines and truths been in themselves capable of immediate sensitive evidence either to the Jews or us, they would then become knowledge, as was that of the facts and miracles; and such evident knowledge as would necessarily exclude all faith. So that though our modern unbelievers had actually seen all the miracles wronght by our Saviour, yet still on their principles they must lave continued void of all faith in those mysterious doctrines to which the miracles were designed to procure our assent.
Bp. Browne's Procedure of the Under
standing, p. 219.
Now, in this life, we see by means of a mirror reflecting the images of heavenly and spiritual things, en ainigmati (Grk.), in an enigmatical manner, invisible things being represented by visible; spiritual, by natural; eternal, by temporal : but then, in the eternal world, face to face; every thing being seen in itself, and not by means of a representative or similitude.
1199. [Heb. xi, 1.] Those things which appertain to the sequent to that knowledge and founded upon it. The assent thought and will of the mind, do usually so lieam forth from of the intellect, or judgment of the mind, must be first fixed the face as to manifest themselves in its countenance; espe- or determined, in relation to any proposition whatever in cially the affections, such as are of an interior nature dis- religion; the proposition must be perfectly intelligible, and covering themselves from and in the eyes. When the things the truth of it must appear from a moral evidence, sufficient appertaining to the face act in unity with those which apper- for a full conviction of the strictest reason : So that it must tain to the mind, they are said to correspond, and are cor- be a point of knowledge, before that full consent of the will respondencies; as the looks of the face represent, and are and closiug of the heart with that point of kuowledge, which representations. Thus, the things which appertain to the renders it both faith and knowledge at the same tiine, nor mind being spiritual, while those which appertain to the body can there be an immediate assent of the intellect, or conare natural; it is evident, there exists a correspondency be- currence of the will to any proposition containing what is tween things spiritual and things natural; and that there is a inconceivable or incomprehensible; whatever is so, cannot representation of things spiritual in things natural. (SWE- be a direct and immediate object either of knowledge or DENBORG's Arcana, nn. 2988,—9.) —hi this way of Cor- | faith. respondency is that Faith formed, which is the Evidence of
Ibid. p. 254. things not seen.
1204. [Heb. xi. 1.] Faith and the twilight seem to agree 1200. [John iji. 11, 12.) When the mind perceives any in this property, that a mixture of darkness is requisite to idea, not immediately, it must be by the means of some other both : with too refulgent a light, the one vanishes into knowidea, which is itself perceived: Thus, we often see shame || ledge, as the other into day. or fear in the looks of a man, by perceiving the changes of
Boyle, on the Style of the H. Scriphis countenance to red or pale; bnt if we do not perceive
tures, p. 99. such redness or paleness themselves, it is impossible we should perceive by them the passions which are in his mind.
BERKELEY's Theory of Vision, 1205. [Rom. i. 17.) Faith, in the strict propriety of the $ $ 9, 10. p. 226.
word, is as necessary in natural religion, as in revealed ; for though we have the utmost proof and moral evidence
for the existence of a Deity, which is so far knowledge 1201. [Rom. i. 20. The invisible things of Him only: yet still because the intrinsic nature of God and his clearly seen]
essential attributes are utterly incomprehensible and ineffaBut not alike to every mortal eye
ble, and can be no immediate objects of our understanding ; Is the great scene unveil’d: some in finer mould men must indirectly, and by the mediation of their substiAre wrought, and temper’d with a purer flame.
tutes, give the assent of the intellect here, as well as the To these the Sire omnipotent unfolds
consent of the will, to the truth of things as mysterious as The world's harmonious volume, there to read
any in all revealed religion; and which they are obliged to The transcript of Himself.
AKENSIDE. conceive and apprehend by the same analogy we do all the inysteries of christianity.
Bp. Browne's Procedure of the Under1202. [Matt. viii. 10.] Faith necessarily includes an
standing, p. 247. assent of the mind to the truth and reality of things incom. prehensible, and of the nature whereof we can have no conception or idea, otherwise than by seinblance and analogy 1206. [Matt. xvi. 17.] It is that faith alone, which is with the things of this world; whether we come to the the operation of God's spirit, that is capable of crediting knowledge of their existence by reason or revelation. --So supernatural things. far is faith from being confined to the mysteries of the
Dr. A. CLARKE. Gospel, that it was of the very essence of religion from the days of Abel; and the most noble acts of faith (See Heb. xi.) were exerted by him, and by Enoch, and Noah, 1207. [Acts xvii. 27.] The devout man does not only beand Abraham, and the succeeding Patriarchs, and Moses lieve but feels there is a Deity. He has actual sensations before any of the inspired Writings appeared in the world. of liiin; his experience concurs with bis reason; he sees him
Bp. BROWNE's Procedure of the Under- more and more in all his intercourses with him, and even in
1203. (John vi. 69.] Belief, or faith, should be well distinguished, into that assent of the mind which is properly knowledge; and the concurrence of the heart and will which completes and improves it into a religious faith, con
1208. [Matt. xviii. 6.] The true scriptural meaning of the word, Faith, seems nothing more than a docility or promptitude to receive truth; and of Christian faith, to believe the divine
authority of that religion, and to obey its precepts; in this them, so far it is elevated; for it is one thing to understand, sense surely too much inerit can never be imputed to it : but and another thing to will, or one thing to say, and another since this denomination has been so undermined, that no two
There are some who understand and speak the ages, nations, or sects, have affixed to it the same ideas; truths of wisdom, yet do not will and do them. Thus when and so abused, that under it every absurdity that knavery the love does the truths of light which it understands and could cram down, or ignorance swallow, have been compre- speaks, it is theu elevated. hended; since it is still capable of being so explained, as to
SWEDENBORG's Div. Love, n. 422. mean any thing that an artful preacher pleases to impose on an illiterate audience; the laying too great stress upou it inust be highly dangerous to the religion and liberties of mankind : but the proposing it as a composition for moral daties is of all others the most mischievous doctrine; as it
unhinges all our notions of divine justice, and establishes 1212. [John xiii. 35.] By this shall all men know that · wickedness upon a principle ; and it is the more mischievous, ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. as it cannot fail of being popular, because, as it is usually
Charity consists in such an amiable disinculcated, it is, in fact, nothing inore than offering to the position of mind as exercises itself every hour in acts of people a licence to be profligate, at the easy price of being kinduess, patience, complacency, and benevolence to all absurd ; a bargain, which they will ever readily agree to. around us; and which alone is able to promote happiness in JENYNS' Works, vol. i. p. 29. the present life, or render us capable of receiving it in
JENYNS' Works, vol. iv. p. 48. 1209. [Jas. ii. 14.] Man has two faculties, called understanding and will; and they, who admit truths not further than into the memory, and thence in some slight degree into the 1213. [1 Cor. xiii. 1.] Charity is every work of duty, understanding, but not into the life, that is into the will; as which a man does sincerely, uprightly, justly and faithfully they cannot be in any illustration or interior sight from the from the Lord; and he then acts from the Lord, when he shuns Lord, say that things are to be believed, or that a man ought evils as sins. to have faith. Such also reason concerning things whether
SWEDENBORG's Divine Love, nn. 253, 431. they be true or not; being unwilling they should be perceived by any interior sight or understanding. They say thus, because truths with them are without light from heaven; 1214. [Coloss. iii. 14.] A statuary, in the forming of a and to those who see without light from heaven, falses may human figure, first carves one liinb, and then another ; but appear as truths, and truths as falses. Hence so great a in the works of nature it is otherwise; a plant or animal is blindness has seized several at this day, that, though a man always formed at once, in the first rudiments of them, as apdo not the truths of faith or live vot according to them, still pears from the seed; so in virtue, the miud is best formed they say he may be saved by faith alone.
to it, by learning such a principle, as will give an aptitude, SWEDENBORG's Arcana, n. 10,786.
not to any particular virtue, but in general to all virtue. He that learns temperance, does not thereby learn fortitude : But
he that has once impressed upon bim that true principle of all 1210. (Rom. i. 25.] Such as is any one's life, such is
virtue, is thereby equally disposed to do all kinds of virtuous his faith, and such his doctrine; because a life forms to
actions, as he has opportunity. This the Apostle does effecitself a doctrine, and a faith.
tually, by inculcating Charity on the minds and hearts of SWEDENBORG's Divine Prov, n. 101.
men ; which is here very properly called the bond of perfec. tion, because it collects and fastens all virtues together.
Lord VERULAM. 1211. [Acts xxvi. 18.) Man is born natural ; but in proportion as his understanding is elevated into the light, and his love into the heat of heaven, he becomes spiritual and celes- 1215. [Rom. xjii. 9.] “ If our selfish principles were so tial : in this case he becomes like a garden of Eden, which much predominant above our social, as is asserted by some is in vernal light, and at the same time in vernal heat. The philosophers, we ought, undoubtedly, to entertain a contempunderstanding is not made spiritual and celestial, but the tible notion of human nature. —'That species of self-love, love ; and when the love is so, it makes the understanding which displays itself in kindness to others, you must allow spiritual and celestial. The love becomes spiritual and celes- to have great influence over human actions, and even greater, tial from a life according to those truths of wisdom, which on many occasions, than that which remains in its original the understanding teaches and shews. The love imbibes them | shape and form. through its understanding, and not separately of itself; for For how few are there, who, having a family, children, the love cannot elevate itself, unless it know truths, and and relations, do not spend more on the maintenance and eduthese it cannot know but through an understanding clevated cation of these than on their own pleasures ? This, indeed, and illastrated. Then so far as it loves truths by doing you justly observe, may proceed from self-love, since the
well of you.
prosperity of their family and friends is one, or the chief of 1218. [1 Cor. xiii. 1, &c.] Though I speak with the their pleasures, as well as their chief honor. Be you also tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am one of those selfish men, and you are sure of every one's become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal: and good opinion and good will; or, not to shock your nice ears though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all with these expressions, the self-love of every one, and mine mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all among the rest, will then incline us to serve you and speak faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not
charity, I am nothing : And though I bestow all my “In my opinion, there are two things which have led astray goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be those philosophers that have insisted so much on the selfish- burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing, ness of man. In the first place, they found that every act that is, in regard to my attainment of the kingdom of heaven; of virtue or friendship was attended with a secret pleasure ; because there neither eloquence, nor prophecy, uor theolowhence they concluded, that friendship and virtue could not gical knowledge, nor faith, nor martyrdom, nor bounty to be disinterested. But the fallacy of this is obvious. The the poor, are wanted; but only such a meek, humble, patient, virtuous sentiinent and passion produces the pleasure, and peaceable, forgiving and benevolent temper and behaviour, as does not arise from it. I feel a pleasure in doing good to my is bere specified under the denomination of charity, which friend, because I love him ; but do not love him for the alone can enable us to communicate and participate happiness, sake of that pleasure.
either in the present or a future state. “ In the second, it has always been found, that the virtu
JENYNS' Works, vol. iv. p. 267. ous are far from being indifferent to praise; and therefore they have been represented as a set of vain-glorious men, who had nothing in view but the applauses of others. But this also 1219. [1 Cor. xij. 8.] Your heart shall live for ever. is a fallacy. It is very unjust in the world, when they fiud Ps. xxii. 26. -The Christian doctrine inculcates love and any tincture of vanity in a laudable action, to depreciate it charity above any other doctrine in the whole earth ; but on that account, or ascribe it entirely to that motive. The there are few who live according to it. case is not the same with vanity as with other passions.
SwedenBORG's Arcana, n. 2596. Where avarice, or revenge, enter into any seemingly virtuous action, it is difficult for us to determine how far it enters; and it is natural to suppose it the sole actuating principle. 1220. [Matt. xxü. 39.] The famous sentence of Solon But vanity is so closely allied to virtue, and to love the fame “ Know thyself,” so celebrated by writers of antiqnity and of laudable actions approaches so near the love of laudable said by them to have descended from Heaven, however wise actions for their own sake, that the passions are more capa
it may be, seems to be rather of a selfish nature; and the ble of mixture than any other kinds of affection; and it is author of it might have added "Know also other people.” almost impossible to have the latter without some degree of But the sacred maxims of the author of Christianity, “ Do the former. Accordingly we find, that this passion for glory as you would be done by,” and “ Love your neighbour as is always warped and varied according to the particular taste yourself," include all our duties of benevolence and morality; or sentiment of the mind on which it falls. Nero had the and, if sincerely obeyed by all nations, would a thousandsame vanity in driving a chariot that Trajan had in governing fold multiply the present happiness of mankind. the empire with justice and ability. To love the glory of
Darwin's Temple of Nature, virtuous actions is a sure proof of the love of virtuous
canto iii. l. 483. actions."
1221. [2 Pet. i. 6.] The whole of human virtue may be reduced to speaking the truth always, and doing good to others.
See ÆLIAN, xii, 59. 1216. Matt. xxii. 37, 38.) Love towards God is the supreme and niost exalted of all loves : Oh! that every individual possessed it! How would their souls and minds be conjoined ! Then of a truth should we have a transcript of
1222. [Jas. ii. 10.] It is erroneous to state that virtue
consists in the medium between two vices. Virtue and vice heaven upon earth, and the kingdom of God would appear!
differ not from each other in degrees, but in principle. Virtue is the principle of acting conformably to duty, and vice the principle of acting contrary to duty.
To love the Lord, is to love the precepts which are from Him; or, to live from love ac. cording to them. --To love the neighbour, is to will and do 1223.
He who elevates his mind to the Lord, good to a fellow-citizen, to a man's country, to the Church, is totally elevated to Him; and he who debases his mind to to the Lord's kingdom; not, on account of self, to be seen or bell, is totally debased to it: wherefore the whole man, acto merit; but from the affection of what is good.
cording to his life's love, goes either to heaven or to hell. SWEDENBORG's Arcana, 1, 10,787.
Swedenborg's Divine Lové, n. 359.
1224. [Acts xxiii. 1.] And Paul, earnestly beholding
1229. [John vi 40.] Ye will not come to me, the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all might have life. good conscience before God until this day.
If it were possible for man to be reformed Conscience is twofold, interior and exte
by compulsion, there would not be a single man in the uni: spiritual good
; would be true influences ; exterior conscience is that id justice and easy to the Lord than to compel a man to fear Him, to wore equity. The latter is at this day given with a considerable ship Him, and, as it were, to love Him, the means of doing number of persons; but the interior, with few. Never. so being innumerable. Yet, as what is done in a state of theless they who enjoy exterior conscience, are saved in the compulsion, is not conjoined with, consequently is not apother life.
propriated to man, therefore nothing can be further from the SWEDENBORG's Arcana, n. 6207.
Lord than to compel any one.
SWEDENBORG's Arcana, n. 2881.
1225. [Ephes. iv. 30.] There is a Holy Spirit within us, that treats us as we treat him.
To force a man, is not to insinuate into his interior will; it being the will of another, from which, in that case, he must act. When, therefore, he returns to his own state of willing, what had been forced is extirpated.
Ibid. n. 5854.
1226. [John iii. 3.) They who are regenerated of the Lord, admit truths (from above) instantly into the life, and come into interior perception couceruing them. But they who receive truths (from below, progressively upwards) first in the memory, next in the understanding, and lastly in the will; are they who are in faith, acting from a faith, which in such case is called conscience.
SWEDENBORG's Arcana, n. 10,787. —Com
pare 2 Tim. iv. 7. with Acts xxiv. 16.
“The principle of all action lies in the will of a free being; we can go no further in search of its
It is not the word liberty that has no signification; it is that of necessity. To soppose any act or effcct which is not derived from an active principle, is, indeed, to suppose effects without a cause. Either there is no first impulse, or every first impulse can have no prior cause; nor there be any such thing as will without liberty. Man is there fore a free agent.”
1227. [1 Cor. viii. 10, 12.] What I believe to be right, and practice accordingly, constitutes faith; what I believe to be wrong, and avoid accordingly, constitutes conscience.
Good-will: is more powerful than any other mode of constraint to which men can be subjected ; for by, ineans of it every one becomes a law to himself.
PLUTARCH's Life of Lycurgus.
1228. [Rom. ii. 6-11.) “In all modes of religion which subsist among mankind, however subversive of virtue they may be in theory, there is some salvo for good morals; so that, in fact, they enforce the more essential parts, at least, of that conduct which the good order of society requires. When, under the pretence of conscience, men disturb the peace of society, and are guilty of a breach of the laws, they ought to be restrained by the civil magistrate. If a man commit murder, let him be punished as a murderer, and let no regard be paid to the plea of conscience for coinmitting the act; but let not the opinion wbich led to the act be meddled with.”
1233. [John v. 19.] A man is led to believe that he has no freedom, chiefly from this consideration that he knows he has no power of himself to do what is good, or think what is true. Let him, however, believe that no one has or ever had any freedoup of thinking what is true, or of doing what is good, of himself ; not even the Man who, in consequence of the integrity in which he was principled, was called (Gen. i. 26.) a likeness and image of God. But all the freedom of thinking the truth which is of faith, and of doing the good which is of charity, flows in from the LORD; He being the essential good and the essential truth, consequently the fountain of what is good and of what is true.
SWEDENBORG's Arcana, n. 2882.