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yet it

mitted to be written by Divine Providence ; because, although it is inconsistent with itself and with the true idea of the Divine Unity,

agrees with the truth with respect to the union of the Divinity and Humanity in the Person of Christ.” Moreover

“ All the contents of that Creed, even to the very words, are agreeable to the truth, provided a Trinity of Person be understood, instead of a Trinity of Persons.”

The doctrine of the union of the Divinity and Humanity, and of a Trinity of Person, is declared by Swedenborg to be rightly expressed in these words, “For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ." We may also further note, that the meaning of the term Person is open to the private interpretation of any and every individual who adopts the Creed, since the Church has never defined it.

Before dismissing this part of the subject it may be well to observe, that in speaking of a Trinity of Person as the true doctrine in contradistinction from a Trinity of Persons, we must not suppose that the difference between the two is but slight, as being represented only by the difference of a letter; otherwise, at the time of the Nicene Council, there would have been little difference between homoiousians and homoousians, and the difference would be only slight between a love of the Word and a love of the world. We have now stated in what respects the Athanasian Creed may

be said to furnish some example of Remains; but from the beginning we have been treating of Remains as those of a vastated Church. Is there anything in this Creed which has given rise to the vastation? We read in the Apocalypse Reveuled, that he who continues in the forms of worship in the Old Church, howsoever he may in his own thoughts make the Three Divine Persons in the Godhead to be but One God, yet he actually divides his idea into three Gods whensoever he so prays; and in the work on Divine Providence2 it is said, “Did not Socinianism and Arianism, which reign in the hearts of more people than you imagine, take their rise from thinking of God as of Three Persons ?” It was especially on this ground that at that day, namely, at the time when Swedenborg was writing, there was said to be no Church in the Christian world, neither among the Roman Catholics nor among the Reformed; hence the necessity of a New Church.

But how is this New Church to be formed ? It must be formed out of the Remains of the Old Church; it cannot be formed by any 1 Art. 537.

2 Art. 262.

act of separation from those Remains, or any exclusion of them arising from that separation. Something more is wanted to impart vitality to a New Church, and to ensure it from dying out like the Church of Sardis; for a true Christian Church is not, and cannot be, established by any act of man. The Church of the Lord, like the grain of mustard seed, groweth up man knoweth not how. Both in the New Church and in the Old, the seed that is sown is quite distinct from the ground into which it is cast: that ground is the individual character, the natural degree of the individual mind ; and it is quite as possible in the New Church as in the Old, that individual character may more or less prevail over Christian character, or, in other words, the natural man more or less prevail over the spiritual. Now the natural degree is the external; and in the Apocalypse Explained it is expressly stated, that at the time of the Last Judgment a New Church will commence, which in its beginning will be external. Although where there are Remains, the seed which is sown in the Old Church will be inferior to that which is sown in the New; yet the better quality of the ground may, in some instances, more than compensate for the deficiency; and hence it is possible, as already stated, that the Old Church may, in some instances, furnish higher types of Christian character than, in some instances, are to be found in the professedly New.

These considerations should tend to make us humble, and not allow us to judge of the vitality of the professedly New Church by the superiority of its doctrines, any more than we should judge in all cases of the vitality of the Old Church by the inferiority of its teaching; for as the doctrines of some are better than their lives, so the lives of some are better than their doctrines : in the one case, the true is turned interiorly into the false; in the other, the false is turned interiorly into the true : in the one case, the truths of faith have not yet formed the good of charity; in the other, the falses of faith have not interfered with the good of charity.

Now, as the New Church begins in the external or natural degree, so, in its progress, it is raised up out of the natural into the spiritual; but the spiritual is not the celestial. In the spiritual Church truth or faith or doctrine has the pre-eminence; and there is not such a union between charity, faith, and good works as there is in the celestial. Indeed, in the spiritual man of the New Church, notwithstanding he may have been rebaptized, the order of the Trinity in him is not yet conformable to the order of the Trinity as it is in the celestial Church and in the Divine Person of our Lord; for, in the spiritual Church, the order is that of faith, charity, and works ; in the celestial, it is that of love or charity, faith or truth, and life or works a Trinitarian order which corresponds to that of the Trinity in the Divine Person of our Lord. Accordingly, in the Old Church, among the pious but simple and ignorant, we may occasionally find even the celestial order prevailing; for, being in ignoranco as to truth, their piety consists in devout affections, their will is more active than their intellect, and they hunger and thirst after a higher knowledge than that which as yet they possess. If now a man of the spiritual Church, who places truth before charity, should meet with a case of this kind, he may make the mistake of trying to infuse into a mind of celestial order, the order which prevails in his own or spiritual mind; and so provide for a celestial mind a mere set of doctrines, the reception of which alone is to constitute him a member of the New Church. In all cases of this kind, care ought to be taken to preserve the original celestial order; and to show that the higher truths of the New Church are essentially only higher forms of love leading to a higher life.

1 Art. 403.

There is a remarkable passage in the Arcana having relation to this subject, from which, as members of the New Church, we may all still continue to receive instruction? :

“They who are of the spiritual Church, inasmuch as they have no perception, like those who are of the celestial Church, of what is good and true, but acknowledge for truths what they have learned from others, are therefore in continual dispute about truths, reasoning whether they be so or not; and each abides in that doctrine and calls it true which is taught in his own particular Church: hence it is that they have so many differences ; besides that several form conclusions concerning things good and true from appearances and fallacies, one in one manner and another in another; but none from any internal perception-yea, they know not what perception is; and whereas their intellect is so obscured as to the goods and truths of faith, it is not to be wondered at that they are disagreed about that most essential of all truths, viz. the Lord's Divine Human and Holy Proceeding. The celestial perceive that they are not Three but One, whereas the spiritual abide in the idea of Three, yet are willing to think that they are One. Since, therefore, there are dissensions about this most essential point of all, it may appear that the varieties and differences of doctrinals are innumerable ... but notwithstanding there being so many varieties and differences of doctrinals, or so many derivations, still they form together one Church when all acknowledge charity as the essential of the Church ; or, what is the same thing, when they have respect to life as the end of doctrine, that is, when they enquire how a man of the Church lives, and not so much what are his sentiments; for every one in another life is gifted with a lot from the Lord according to the good of his life, not according to truth of doctrine separate from good of life.”

1 Art. 3241.

We have spoken of the simple-minded who are in good and yet in ignorance; as also of those who are in good and yet in falses, which yet, in virtue of good, are acccepted as truths, because the falses are not confirmed; it remains to say a few words with regard to those who are in good, and yet in whose minds the falses of doctrine are absolutely confirmed.

We are told that in the spiritual world, the respiration of spirits is determined by their idea of God; and hence that if a spirit has in his mind the idea of Three Gods, and should seek to enter into heaven, where there is the idea of only One God, he could not respire, and would experience all the sufferings arising from suffocation. This is the case more especially with those who in this world are so far confirmed in the doctrine of the Tripersonality as to declare they would die for it, and that he who does not believe in it cannot be saved. In this case, the conscience of the New Churchman is actuated by the love of God and of the neighbour when he warns the Tripersonalist, in whom there are Remains, not that he cannot be saved, but that he can be saved only by passing through a process of purification involving grievous suffering,—" In the world of spirits they undergo grievous sufferings who have confirmed themselves in falses, and yet led a good life; because when falses are confirmed, they inhere most tenaciously, and truths can neither be seen nor received until they are dispersed” (Heaven and Hell, art. 513).

A. C.

(To be continued.)

THE SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.

No one can look at the manifestations of the present age without foeling that intellect is supreme. Morality, domestic virtue, charity, piety, religion, all appealing to the heart of man, are approved by

many only so far as they will bear a scientific test. The reign of experience foreshadowed by Bacon was never so powerful as now. The flight of fancy is restrained, the aspiration of the soul to higher thought and feeling is characterized as only an emotion, and the future destiny of the world is supposed to be wrapped up in the possibilities of science. The consequence is that men are staggered by the tendencies of modern philosophy. That inorganic nature is but the aspect derived from the effects of force which is correlative in its qualities, conservative in its power, and continuous in its quantity; that organic life is but a development from a simple form without any perceptible boundary between its ordinary divisions, and that the growth of this life into varieties, classes, species, and kingdoms is but the result of natural selection and the struggle for existence; that the operations of the human mind are so closely connected with the human body, as to be considerably, if not wholly, controlled by its influence, and subject to the same law of evolution, making life a mechanical process through all ages;

these are views of existence which seem to assail the bul. warks of religion and make credulity tremble. Why should religion be afraid? Science can only explore the book of nature, and if that be God's book, whatever science may read therein will ultimately tend to His glory. Science can only explain the varied manifestations of nature in proportion to her capabilities of investigation, and those capabilities are limited. What is it that science can do?

The sphere of science is to examine nature, to note her changes, to estimate her forces, to unravel her secrets, and to analyze her conditions, associating them as far as possible to the operation of law. But as all external nature is matter variously modified, it is evident that it is of primary importance to understand what matter signifies. If it be accepted as a universal name for whatever exists, then materialism is triumphant, and every effect of unknown power would be the result of the operation of matter in her highest forms, as existence is necessary to the unknown power producing an effect. But this application of the term matter is evidently vague, and so general that it is impossible to determine what matter is. A thought has existence, but not the embodied existence of a stone; and the difference is so great that the laws which control the one are accepted as distinct from the laws which control the other. The laws of the one are external, of the other internal; and this leads us to the definition of matter, viz whatever is perceptible by sensation. It is assumed that it has form or quality and substance, because although perceptible only through form

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