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examine the validity of reasons. This therefore is the only way left to man, during the life of his soul in the body, whereby he can attain to the discovery and relish of truths. For allow mo to ask, is it possible for any one to describe from synthesis, or a priori, before he has taken a view of the viscera, and examined well the entrails, what are the interior contents of the animal body? Would he be enabled to say, that those contents consist of the liver, the mesentery, the kidneys, the heart, the arteries, and an infinity of other particulars ? and would he be enabled further to explain the reason why these contents were in one way and manner, and not in another? Would he not, like a blind man, whose sight is obstructed by a cataract and suffusion of humours, [hypochyma], represent to himself ludicrous figures, and as it were dream dreams, which afterwards, when he examined them, he himself would either blush or laugh at? But alas! we are become in imagination so aspiring and lofty, that we seem to ourselves to stand, not in outermost things, but in inmost, not on earth, but aloft on high ; thus not in an uncertain or doubtful, but in the brightest light, and in heaven itself, whence we descend before we have ascended, yea, we build judgment-halls from whence to issue our decrees; not aware that, the higher we climb, the greater is the danger attendant on a fall. From this cause, as was said above, spring the wildest fancies that infest human minds. So much for synthesis; let us now proceed to the consideration of analysis.
(To be continued.)
THOUGHTS ON REDEMPTION.
For the Intellectual Repository. It appears to be an establishment of Divine Order, that however long the period may be in which a church continues in its rising and meridian state, still, having once passed that meridian, or having begun in the least to decline from the purity to which it bas once been elevated, its restoration is impossible. It seems pecessary for it to continue declining, till it be fully consummated, and instead of that church being restored, that a new one of different essentials and principles, should be raised up by the Lord in its place. If this were not the order of Divine Pro
No. V.- Vol. I.
vidence, it would appear a matter of surprise that Adam, or the Adamic church, did not recover from its fall on its first conviction thereof;-that, after the man's eyes were opened, and he saw that he was naked, he did not immediately apply for, and attempt a restoration of his paradisiacal state! This, according to our weak conceptions, would have been the most rational proceeding. Instead of which we read of no acknowledgment or imploration on the part of man;-no promise in case of repentance on the part of God; but instead thereof, the total destruction of that church was immediately foretold! No promises or efforts were made for a speedy restoration; but a dark parabolical prophecy delivered, that although the church would then decline into an infernal state, yet at some future, but very distant period, the paradisiacal state would be restored upon earth. No means whaterer, according to the Mosaic account, appear to have been afforded, whereby this Most Ancient Church could recover its purity, but the flood was suffered utterly to destroy it, and, instead of its restoration, a new church was raised up on different principles,--a separation was effected between man's will and his understanding, whereby the church called Noal was prerented, not from falling at all, but only from falling to so low a state as the former church had done. And thus church succeeded church, till it was reduced to a mere name, ma representative of a church only being left upon the earth, before there was any external appearance of the prophecy being fulfilled." He (that is, the Lord) shall tread upon thy head." Yet all this was the effect of infinite wisdom and infinite love: So true is it, that dark and intricate are the ways of Providence; and we cannot (as Job observes) “ by searching find out God, neither can we find out the Almighty to perfection."
Notwithstanding this impenetrable veil which separates us from the Holy of Holies, it should particularly be remembered, that this prophecy,—this solemn promise of the Lord Himself, being once made, it has never been lost sight of from its first annunciation even until now, the appointed time of its full accomplishment. For in the rise and fall of churches, whether real or representative,-through succeeding ages of ignorance, idolatry and superstition,-amidst the wreck of ages, and the various revolutions of kingdoms, states, and nations,- during the uncertain reigns of justice, tyranny or ambition; not only has the pious
mind looked forward with hope to the fulfilment of that gracious promise, that“ in the seed of the woman should all the nations of the earth be blessed:” but wherever any thing like the appearance of religion existed throughout the whole earth, dirme wisdom has ordained, that the expectation of a universal Saviour, a Restorer of all things to divine order, should in all ages prevail. So true it is, that “ God is not a man that he should lie, neither the son of man that he should repent;” but “ what he hath said he will do; and that which he hath promised, shall surely come to pass."
It is allowed by Cbristians of every denomination, that the prophecy contained in the 15th verse of the 3rd chap. of Genesis; viz. “ He shall tread upon thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel”-is the first prophecy relative to the Lord's coming upon this earth; and although the language may appear dark and almost unintelligible in these times, yet it doubtless was perfectly understood in that church when it was originally announced. The next promise concerning a Messiah was to Abraham, who knew not the name of Jehovah when the Lord first appeared to him, but was an idolatrous worshipper of the god Shaddai; for so the Lord declares to Moses; “ I am JEHOVAH: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by (or as their) god Shaddai; (for so it is in the original, and properly translated signifies a thunderer, or one almighty;) but by my name Jehovah was I not known unto them.” Yet to Abraham was the promise further made, that " in his seed should all the nations of the earth be blessed!” But to the Israelitish and Jewish churches the manifestation of an Almighty Saviour was repeatedly foretold in a variety of plain, as well as obscure, prophecies: yet it was not till the Jews bad totally “ forgot God their Saviour;"'--the “ Athenians sacrificed to the unknown God;"—and the world in general “ worshipped they knew not what;"- that the Messenger of the covenant, the promised seed of the woman, the longexpected Messiab, even the Mighty God Himself, was manifested to the world in human flesh, in order to fulfil this obscure prophecy!
And what was the manner of its fulfilment? His birth-place was only a stable, and his worldly attendants shepherds; though his nativity was announced from the starry heavens, and angelic choirs sung anthems at his birth! “ The morning stars sung together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.”
The Scriptures, however, being written in the language of correspondences,-a science, then, as now, altogether lost; and the prophecies respecting the Messiah being delivered in terms apparently obscure and equivocal; various ideas were formed as to the true character of this long expected personage. The Jews, to whom the prophecies were particularly delivered, expected a Messiah to restore them to their cities and kingdom, and, in fact, to make them rulers over the whole globe; and few, very few indeed, had a proper conception of that redemption wbich was to be wrought in the heart, the wills, the lives of mankind; that subjection of the hells and conquest over the powers of darkness, which alone could bruise the serpent's head, enable the church to regain its paradisiacal state, and restore man to the image and likeness of his Creator. So that the Lord literally came to his own, and his own received him not." They were “divided in their opinion concerning Him, some saying He is a good man, and others, Nay, but he deceiveth the people.” -Thus, as the Lord himself observed, he then “ came not to send peace on earth but a sword;” and after a life of thirty years spent without any attempt to obtain power or gain dominion, without
any efforts to restore an external kingdom unto Israel; _after being branded as an impostor, exposed to contempt and ridicule, seized by the powers of this world, accused of blasphemy, buffeted, spit upon, mocked, tried, cast, condemned, and, at length, brought to an ignominous death ;_" as a lamb brought to the slaughter so he opened not his mouth,” but yielded up his life on the cross without resistance: and all this, for what? For what did Jesus Christ suffer all this ignominy and even death itself? To conquer death, to subdue the hells, and, as every Christian may say,
“ To save the world and me!” “ I will ransom them from death, I will redeem them from the power of the grave. O death I will be thy plague: O grave, I will be thy destruction.”
These particulars are rather minutely related, in order to point out the advantage and necessity of tracing the order of Providence in the fulfilment of those prophecies which have been uttered by the voice of Divine Truth itself; as such attention will serve to confirm that establishment of order by which all the operations of the Infinite are directed and effected.
Wben, however, all the occurrences just related are considered, may we not well exclaim with the prophet, “ Who bath believed our report, and to whom hath this arm of the Lord been revealed ?” -On the one hand who shall dare to arraign the Divine Wisdom; and on the other hand how shall a weak mortal attempt to
“ Justify the ways of God to man !" Yet the time is now fully come, when we are permitted to enquire into this "great mystery,” and to investigate the divine plan of Redemption. The Lord's New Church, his “ New Jerusalem,” is now blessed with a fulfilling view of the prophecy related above, (Genesis iii. 15,) and is enabled to understand its true spiritual import, as applying to those principles in man, and in the church, that originally fell and consequently required redemption.
“I will put enmity,” says the Lord to the serpent, “betwixt thee and the woman, and between thy secd and her seed: he shall tread upon thy bead, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” And by the serpent is here meant all evil in general, but particularly the principle of self-love in man, which is directly opposite to the love of the Lord; by the woman is signified the church, which would be alienated from the Lord, and ever at variance in itself, in consequence of the love of self gaining dominion therein; by the seed of the serpent is signified all infidelity; but by the seed of the woman, faith in the Lord. By hem" He shall tread upon thy head,” is signified the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who, it is thus predicted, should subdue all the powers of hell, and overthrow the usurpation of evil, both in the church, and in the human heart. But by the head of the serpent which the Lord should tread upon, is signified that dominion of evil in general, and of self-love in particular, which should prevail, and which indeed does prevail, at this time, in all those parts of the globe where the Christian Church is thought to be established; by treading upon this head, is meant the total depression or putting down of evil, by producing in the members of the Lord's true church an obedience of life and practice, as well as an acknowledgment of faith in the Law and Word of God; and by the heel which the serpent is permitted to bruise, is meant man's lowest natural or corporeal principle,-that Judas, or son of perdition, which is hereditary in every one since the fall. Now as the seed of the woman was to tread upon