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end that good may thence come forth, namely, that truth and good may be formed and corroborated with those who are in temptation. Throughout the universal spiritual world reigns the end which proceeds from the Lord, and which is, that nothing whatever, not even the smallest circumstance, shall arise, but that good may come forth from it. Hence the Lord's kingdom is called a kingdom of ends and uses."
The Lord's universal kingdom in the natural world, as well as His universal kingdom in the spiritual world, is a kingdom of ends and uses; and the evil things of this world, like the evil spirits in the other, are compelled to perform some use, and not even the smallest thing exists or the smallest circumstance arises but that some good may come forth from it. If this were not the case the correspondence between the whole spiritual world and the whole natural world would cease. For as evil things originally derived their existence from the spiritual world and continually subsist by influx from it, so must their uses be determined by, and correspond to, the uses which the inhabitants of the spiritual world perform either from choice or compulsion. The uses which evil things perform our author calls evil uses. But by evil uses he means uses which would not have been necessary if evil had not existed, therefore uses that, though evil in their origin and instrumentality, are not necessarily evil in their results. The tendency of evil things, like the intention of evil spirits, is evil and destructive, but as the end or final cause is with Him who is infinite love and wisdom, their activity is made to bring forth some beneficial result. To borrow a term from our correspondent, that which evil things and evil spirits perform is dirty work, but it is not such useless work as putting "dirt" in only that they may take it out again. Our correspondent asserts that the juice of the grape needs no purification, and that the ferment plant-fungus or parasite-does nothing but soil and injure it, that it takes no dirt out that it has not itself put in. This idea of fermentation, considered as a process of Nature, is not consistent with the doctrine of ends and uses, nor with the analogy it must bear to the operation of evil spirits. An evil spirit does not and cannot put impurity into a clean mind, nor does he take out of a mind only the impurity which he has put into it. The operation of evil spirits and the use they perform are different from these. From their own evil they act upon the evil which they find in the human mind; their evil acting upon man's evil excites it into activity, and the person's good which is brought thereby into action enters into conflict with the excited evil. This is the conflict of temptation; and the successful result of temptation is, that the good conquers and expels both the evil through which, and the evil from which, the temptation came; thus it expels the combined evils of the man and of the spirit. This is spiritual fermentation. Does natural fermentation answer to it? It ought, and we have no doubt it does. The "dirt" of the fungus fastens upon and combines with the congenial “dirt” which it finds in the grape-juice; and as it refuses to relinquish its hold, the pure
separates itself from the impure, or the true rejects the false, and casts it down, and thus out of the mind. It is stated in the Penny Cyclopedia, under the article Wine, that "the juices of grapes, or vegetable juices in general, become turbid when in contact with air, before fermentation commences, and this turbidity is owing to the formation of an insoluble precipitate of the same nature as ferment." If this is the case, the analogy of fermentation with temptation, as being induced by an evil from without meeting and combining with an evil of the same nature within, is perceivable from the natural fact itself.
The great movement against intemperance had not begun in Swedenborg's time. Had he lived to see it, we have no doubt he would have highly approved the effort to make all men temperate. Would he have gone in for total abstinence? In practice he was almost a teetotaller. He never, we believe, in his later years used wine as a part of his diet. But as he took wine, though sparingly, when in company, he was not in principle opposed to the use of alcoholic liquor. In practice he was also almost or altogether a vegetarian. But neither was he a vegetarian on principle. He never insists on the necessity of abstaining either from animal food or fermented drink. We do say that those who adopt his theological teaching are wrong in abstaining from both, and in trying to persuade others to do the same, if they think total abstinence either a duty or a useful or necessary example. All we say is, that neither Swedenborg's teaching nor his example furnishes any ground for New Churchmen insisting on teetotalism as a principle.
But supposing the argument from fermentation given up, is the demand for total abstinence to be given up likewise? Total abstinence was adopted and advocated long before the argument about fermentation was thought of, and of course may still be advocated without it. Let it be advocated on right principles, or for sufficient reasons, and not injured by employing in support of it an argument based on a false assumption. The men who first entered into conflict with the monster evil of intemperance only advocated temperance. But it was found, or believed, that half measures would not do, and that there was no way of meeting the evil but by insisting on total abstinence from all intoxicating drinks. Whatever may be the merits of the temperance principle, there can be no doubt that for purposes of reformation total abstinence is the only course. Drunkards cannot
be cured, if cured at all, but by ceasing to taste strong drink. teetotallers desire prevention as well as cure; and to prevent drunkenness they wish all persons, young and old, entirely to abstain from the use of alcoholic drinks. By all means let them advocate this, if they are convinced of its necessity or utility, and think it the best or the only way to ensure success. So gigantic and brutalizing an evil as our national drunkenness must be capable of being opposed, and so great and humanizing a good as national sobriety must be capable of being urged, by abundant and cogent arguments, without
having recourse to a false one. We should be glad to see the Conference Magazine employed in the cause of temperance. But the Magazine must not, it seems, say a word in favour of temperance as distinguished from teetotalism, or recommend pure fermented wine for the Lord's Supper instead of the artificially alcoholized and doubtful stuff that is generally used, without calling up our teetotal friends to complain of the Conference Magazine being used for party purposes, and for recommending the use of a poisoned and intoxicating drink at the Lord's Table.
We wish not to be misunderstood. We highly respect our brethren who are engaged in the cause of temperance, even though it takes the form of teetotalism. And the eloquent appeal with which our correspondent concluded his last paper, whether it draw any or many from the use of fermented wine, or of alcohol in any shape, is true, and ought to be effective, writing.
It seems to us that the argument, based upon the assumed uselessness and even pernicious effect of fermentation, is little calculated to benefit the cause of total abstinence. The argument we believe to be unsound, and being so, it is, like all unsound arguments, calculated to injure rather than to benefit the cause it is intended to serve. There is no question that fermentation is a process of nature, and as such, it must, according to Swedenborg's principle, be overruled for good, or made to serve a useful purpose-to purify that which is impure, or at least to clarify that which is turbid and preserve what would otherwise go to corruption. But if this be admitted, it would be lawful. and perhaps beneficial to use fermented liquor. We think this conclusion would follow of course. But are we to deny a fact in order to avoid a conclusion, because both the fact and the conclusion seem to us to be unfavourable to a theory which we have thought proper to adopt? If fermentation is a natural and useful process, temperance can only be understood to mean the temperate use of the fermented fluid, and the advocacy of the cause of temperance could not, as a principle, justly go beyond this. But it has been considered necessary to go farther than this and insist on total abstinence. We venture to think that teetotallers would never have objected to fermentation if it had only clarified the grape-juice, or the juice of the palm-tree or any other fruit, and had not generated alcohol. Swedenborg was not so poor a chemist as not to know that this was the result of fermentation, but he does not take it as any ground of objection in the use of fermented wine. If we remember rightly, the Rev. Dawson Burns admits that the Lord Himself drank fermented wine; but that He did not drink it for the sake of the alcohol which it contained. But may not this be said of others? Is it not, at least, a rather dangerous doctrine to condemn as wrong in principle what the Perfect One did, and countenanced others doing, in practice?
ON THE NATURE AND IMMORTALITY OF THE
THERE can be no subject so important and interesting to man as the Nature and Immortality of his own soul, unless it be, indeed, the highest subject of all thought, namely, the knowledge and contemplation of the Most High. Nor can one step be taken in tracking our own depths without a feeling of the presence of our great Creator. Without His light in the unveiling of law all is profound darkness. And he who hopes to find out by any steps or process the secrets of law and life without God will only find confusion and darkness for his pains. It is amazing how learned and philosophic men of our time hide their mental darkness on such subjects as this by terminology that has neither sense nor significance. Imagine phraseology like the following given as a definition of animal intelligence and instinct. It is said to be the "intelligent adjustment which gradually grew by repetition into unintelligent and instinctive adjustment." How much then ought men to hail with thankfulness the day when, by the light of life, the laws and truths of their own existence can be revealed.
Now it is important to consider well, and remember often, in these considerations, that that which is without attributes is not anything. Without attributes identity and individuality are impossible. This seems to be true, and if it be so, then also it is certain that attributes are what distinguish or mark off one thing from another. Now there is an attribute found in human language called "eternal." This is an attribute with which the Atheist cannot dispense. He is driven to talk about the "eternity of matter." "Eternity," the devout, the pious, and the truly wise ascribe to God the Creator and Redeemer alone. It is an attribute of God alone. And if that be so, it marks Him off in His Identity and in His Individuality of Existence, and distinguishes Him from His Creation. And whatever may be His attributes, they alone distinguish Him, and enable man to think of Him separately from all recognised subjects, substances, and forms. But a difficulty awaits the Sceptic here. And that difficulty is this, that we can learn from sensuous contact and experience what the attributes of material subjects are; but the attributes of God can be known only from revelation. But revelation demands belief. Yes, and what knowledge does not make this demand? Capability to believe is as much a power of man as is his power to see, nay more, it is man's prerogative. It is nothing but the power to believe that incites him to search. Let him only use this power for its fullest purpose, and he may seek, and shall surely find. Now what does revelation tell us of the attributes of God? Again and again the Eternity" which the Atheist is compelled to admit of in some sense is here ascribed to the Creator. "To whom then will ye liken Me, 1 This article is the substance of a Lecture delivered at the New Jerusalem Church, Bolton, in February last, by the Rev. Thomas Mackereth, F.R.A.S., Minister of the Church.
or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth. Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord [i.e. Jehovah, which name means self-existent, eternal, i.e. never was made, or never began to exist], the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary there is no searching of His understanding" (Isa. xl. 25-28). Again, "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men (John i. 3, 4). The Apostle James says, "Every good and every perfect gift cometh down from the Father of lights, in whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James i. 17). And the Apostle Paul said to the Athenians, "As I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To the Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. That they should seek the Lord, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: for in Him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts xvii. 23-28). All these revelations declare that God is self-existent and uncreated, and that He is the Creator and Momentary Sustainer of all things that we can recognise as existing, and that all things are thus sustained by that which is not His individuality, but by the life which proceeds therefrom. His peculiar attributes cannot be given to another without extinguishing His own existence, and that is impossible, for He is eternal; and they cannot be participated in by another, for this would be to make two Eternals, which also is impossible.
În the next step it is important to remember throughout these considerations that attributes are predicable of subjects, only, that is, of substances and forms known as things. Therefore, wherever attributes are found or acknowledged, there also a subject, a substance and form must be found or acknowledged. A subject which is not a substance and form is nothing, or rather is an unthinkable subject, which is really nothing. What the eternal God sustains, He created. And Creation consists of all recognised subjects, substances, and forms that are, or have been. These, as has been said, are momentarily sustained by the Eternal or Infinite, and yet they are not the Infinite, for that would be to make them God. Hence they are created and sustained by what proceeds from the Infinite, and that which proceeds from the Infinite is simply Power to exist, and that power is named by the familiar term "Life." Life, therefore, proceeding from the Infinite as heat and light proceed from the sun, produced or created, and sustains all the subjects, substances, and forms that we recognise.