Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

xxi. 1, he is called “ Achimelech." And in the Greek version, 66 Abimelech."

A similar disagreement with both texts occurs, 1 Cor. x. 8, where the Apostle says, “ And there fell in one day twenty-three thousand ;" but Num. xxv. 9, where that slaughter is described, “ twenty-four thousandare enumerated, as well in the Hebrew text as in the Greek version. See more similar examples in Capellus in Crit. Sac. lib. 2. c. 2. Leusd. Phil. Heb. Græc. Dis. IX.

READING OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES BY THE LAITY,

At the commencement of the reformation, in the reign of Henry VIII, it was considered as a wonderful privilege that the laity were permitted to read the Scriptures in the vulgar tongue. The number of copies however was so small that few could receive the benefit of the privilege. To accommodate as great a number as possible, Bibles were placed at certain positions in the public streets fastened by a chain. Here the people resorted in crowds, and were inconceivably happy if one of their number knew how to read, and was generous enough to exert the talent for the gratification of the surrounding multitude. Sometimes this assemblage of inquirers was agitated by discussions on the meaning of the words they heard, which circumstance leading to investigations not agreeable to the king, severe regulations were adopted to prevent too free an examination into the foundations of their faith. If with this limited, inconvenient and restrained use of the Holy Word be compared the present state of England and America, what reason have we to be thankful in both countries. The Bible, then in chains, correctly represented the more enchained state of the minds of the people, both internally and externally restrained from a full enjoyment of the invaluable blessing. Now, not only can the common Jabourer procure, by his earnings, the Word of Life, but societies are established which bring these living waters to the very doors of the most destitute. How justly does this profusion of copies of the Sacred Word correspond to that blaze of light which the revelation of the Truths of the New Jerusalem conveys to the eyes of every one who is willing to see and to receive. Surely such a universal spread of the letter of the Word most fully confirms the message of the herald of the New Dispensation, by which we are enabled to comprehend its spiritual contents.

EXTRACTS FROM THE WRITINGS OF EMANUEL SWEDENBORG.

“ Something shall now be said concerning the life of animals, and afterwards concerning the soul of vegetables. The universal world, with all and every thing therein contained, have existed and still subsist from the Lord the creator of the universe. There are two suns, the sun of the spiritual world, and the sun of the natural world : the sun of the spiritual world is the divine love of the Lord, the sun of the natural world is pure fire: from the şun, which is divine love, commenceth every work of creation, and by the sun which is fire, every such work is perforined. All which proceedeth from the sun which is divine love is called spiritual, and all which proceedeth from the sun which is fire is called natural. What is spiritual from its origin hath life in itself, but what is natural from its origin hath nothing of life in itself : and whereas from these two fountains of the universe all things have existed, and still subsist, which are in both worlds, it follows that there is a spiritual and a natural principle in every created thing in this world, the spiritual being as a soul and the natural as the body, or the spiritual as the internal and the natural as the external ; or the spiritual as the cause and the natural as the effect. That these two principles cannot be separated, in any one thing, is well known to every wise

for if

you separate the cause from the effect, the effect perisheth ; or if you se. parate the internal from the external, the latter perisheth, in like manner as when the soul is separated from the body. That there is such a conjunction in singular things, yea, even in the most singular things of nature, hath not yet been known: the reason why it hath not been known, arises. from the ignorance which prevails concerning the spiritual world, concerning the sun there, and its heat and its light; and also from the infatuated reasonings of sen. sual men, in ascribing all things to nature, and rarely any thing to God, except creation in general, when, notwithstanding, not the least thing in nature existeth, nor can exist, in which there is not a spiritual (principle]. That this spiritual (principle] is in all and singular the things of the three kingdoms of nature, and in what manner it is therein, will be explained in the following part of this work.

person,

“ The existence of a spiritual and natural principle in all and every thing of the world united in like manner as the soul is in all and every thing of the body, or as the efficient cause in all and every thing of the effect, or as the internal producing [principle] in all and every thing of its product, may be illustrated and confirmed from the subjects and objects of the three kingdoms of nature, which are all things of the world. That such a union of things spiritual and things natural exists in all and singular the subjects and objects of the animal kingdom is evident from the many wonderful things therein discovered by learned men and societies, for the observation and scrutiny of those who love to investigate causes. It is generally known that animals of all kinds, both great and small, as well those which walk and creep on the earth as those which fly in the air and which swim in the waters, know from an innate and implanted (principle], which is called instinct, and also nature, how their species is to be propagated, how after the birth the young are to be brought up, how they are to be nourished, and from what aliments, they also know their proper food from the sight, smell, and taste, only, and where to seek and gather it ; they know also their own habitations, and places of resort, likewise where their like and consociates are, from hearing the tone of their voice, and they know also from the variations of the tone what their wants are: the science of such things, viewed in itself, is spiritual, as likewise the affection from which it is derived, but their clothing is from nature, and also their production is by nature. Moreover, an animal is altogether like a man as to the organs, members, and viscera of the body, and as to their uses ; an animal, like a man, hath eyes and thence sight, ears and thence hearing, nostrils and thencé smelling, a mouth and tongue and thence taste, also the cuticular sense, with all its variations, in every part of the body: and as to the interior parts of the body, they have like viscera, as two brains, a heart and lungs, a stomach, liver, pancreas, spleen, mesentery, intestines, with the other organs of chylification, sanguification, and repurgation, besides the organs of separation and generation ; they are also alike as to the nerves, blood vessels, muscles, skins, cartilages, and bones: the likeness is such, that man as to those things is an animal : that all those things in man have a correspondence with the societies of heaven, has been shown in many places in the Arcana Celestia : consequently also the same is the case with animals; from which correspondence it is evident, that the spiritual principle acts into the natural and thereby produceth its effects, as the principal cause by its instrumental cause. But these are only general signs which testify the conjunction of those principles in that kingdom.

“ The particular signs bearing a similar testimony are still more numerous and more distinguished, which with some species of animals are of such a sort, that the sensual man, whose thoughts originate in matter, compares the things appertaining to beasts with those which appertain to man, and from infatuated intelligence concludes that the states of life are alike, even after death, insisting, that if man lives after death, they live after death, or if they die wholly, man also dies wholly. The signs testifying, and still leading the sensual man into infatuation, are these ; that with certain animals there appears similar prudence and cunning, similar connubial love, similar friendship, and as it were charity, similar probity and benevolence, in a word, similar morality to what exists with men; as, for example, in the case of certain dogs, which from a genius innate in them, as from a sort of ingenuity, know how to act as faithful guards, from the transpiration of the affection of their master know as it were his will, search him out from perceiving the habit of his footsteps and clothes, know the quarters of the globe, and thereby speedily find their way home, even through devious ways and thick forests, with other things of a like nature, from which the sensual man judgeth the dog also to be knowing, intelligent, and wise: nor is this to be wondered at, whilst he ascribeth all such things in the dog, and also in himself, to nature : but it is otherwise with the spiritual man; he seeth that there is some spiritual (principle] which leadeth in all such cases, and that this is united to the natural (principle.] Particular signs also are visible from birds, in that they know how to build their nests, to lay therein their eggs, to sit upon them, to hatch their young, and afterwards, from the love which is called storge, to provide for them warmth under their wings, and food out of their mouths, until such time as they become clothed and are furnished with wings, when they also of themselves come into all the sciences of their parents, by virtue of the spiritual (principle] which is to them a soul, and from which they provide for themselves. Particular signs also are all things relating to the egg, in which lies deeply

concealed the rudiment of a new bird, encompassed with every element necessary to the formation of the fætus, from its begin. nings in the head to the full formation of all things of the body: is it possible that such provision can be made by nature ? for this is not only to be produced, but also to be created, and nature doth not create : what also hath nature in common with life, unless that life may be clothed by nature, and may put forth itself and appear in form as an animal ? Amongst the particular signs testifying the same thing, are also those exhibited by worms which feed on herbs, which, when they are to undergo a metamorphosis, encompass themselves as with a womb, that they may be born again, being therein changed into nymphs and chrysallisses, and presently into beautiful butterflies, when they fly into the air as into their heaven, where the female sports with her male companion, as one conjugial partner with another, and they nourish themselves from odoriferous flowers, and lay their eggs, thus providing that their species may live after them: the spiritual man seeth that this is emulous of the re-birth of man and representative of his resurrection, consequently that there is an influencing spiritual (principle.] Still more manifest are the signs exhibited by bees, which have a government analogous to the forms of government with men : they build for themselves houses of wax according to the rules of art in a regular series, with commodious passages through which they come and go; they fill the cells with honey collected from flowers ; appoint over themselves a mistress or queen, to be the common parent of a future race, who dwelleth as it were in a palace above them, in the midst of her guards, and these, when the time cometh that she should become a mother, follow her, with a promiscuous multitude after them, as she goeth from cell to cell and layeth an egg in each, and so continually until the matrix is emptied, when she returneth home; this is several times repeated : her guards, who are called drones, because they perform no other use than as so many domestics to one mistress, and possibly inspire her with something of amatory desire, are afterwards judged useless, and therefore, lest they should invade and consume the produce of others' labours, are brought out, and deprived of their wings; thus the community is purged of its slothful and idle members : moreover when the new progeny is grown up, they are commanded with a general voice, which is heard as a murmur, to depart and to seek a

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »