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of heart. The conjunction consequent upon a fuller measure of the Divine life being received, removing the straitness of the proprium, gives the reassurance signified by “Fear not;" and the spiritual strength which thus results from true humiliation of heart.* · But adoration, which is the worship of the Lord in this state, is measured by the degree in which the lips have kissed the hands ; or the degree in which the doctrines professed by the mouth, and confessed in the understanding, have been joined to the rational life of the man, in the ultimate acts of devout usefulness, in the several avocations of life,
The Oriental practice of kissing the hand of a superior is evidently an acknowledgment of the power of the one whose hand is kissed over the one who kisses it; or is a mark of respect and submission. And the Eastern custom of falling prostrate before the feet of kings and
rsons of high dignity, is clearly derived from the heartfelt humiliation described above ; though, like most ritualistic things amongst Christians, it has become only a tinkling symbol. But from what has been adduced, it would seem that the origin of the essential mode, as well as of worship itself, is in the law of correspondences, thus in the Divine order of the universe,
The first mention we have of worship in the Word is the case of Abel and Cain. And from reading what several commentators have written, it appears to be a common and somewhat general idea that Abel's offering was a sacrifice; that is, the slaying of an animal, and either boiling or roasting its flesh, as an act of worship. Even Professor Bush, in his notes on Genesis, holds out this idea ; though, it should be remembered, those notes were written previous to his reception of the New Church doctrines. He writes : “No action is just or good otherwise than as it is conformable to the will of God either revealed or established in the nature of things. But that such an action as this was conformable to the Divine will could only be known. by Revelation, i.e. by being commanded ; therefore the rectitude of it could only arise from obedience, and obedience (alone) could justify it.” These words, I perceive, are those of Daleney, but the Professor, has adopted them, by adding the following as a conclusion: “Thus the Divine institution of sacrifices would seem to be unquestionable."
But the truth is, we have no account of there being any command to offer given. And what is more, the Bible does not say that Abel's offering was a sacrifice. The word “sacrifice” is not in the passage, And though it is said that he brought." of the fat," Professor Bush
* That which is here meant by the term “proprium " is the vivified proprium, or new will and understanding given to the regenerate man from the Lord.
says the Hebrew is “fatness of them." This does not necessarily mean the fat taken out of them; but the fattest of the “firstlings." God had not at that time ordained flesh as a food for man. He had created him in His own image, according to His likeness, and told him that his meat was to be the herb bearing seed, and the fruit of the tree yielding seed. It was only after the Flood that the eating of flesh was permitted.
Noah, it is said, builded an altar, and took of every clean beast and offered burnt-offerings, and the Lord smelled a sweet savour, and said in His heart, “I will not any more curse the ground for man's sake ; for that the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.” It was, therefore, because of the greatly altered condition of the hereditary nature of man that the Lord permitted the eating of animal food after the Flood, as well as the slaying of animals.
It is, I conclude, quite unwarrantable to teach that Abel offered a sacrifice, when he brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fatnesses thereof, an offering unto the Lord.
But from the time of Cain and Abel to the age immediately before the Flood a great change evidently came over the state of the human
The earth was corrupt before God, and was filled with violence. Probably the slaying of animals, and the eating of their flesh had begun before the Flood, not by the command of God, but in direct violation of the Divine law that man should eat bread by the sweat of his face and of the herb of the field.
And though, after the change signified by the Flood took place, the Lord ordained that “every moving thing that liveth " should be meat
even as the green herb," yet He did not command sacrificial worship. It is said that Noah built an altar and offered burnt-offerings thereon, and the Lord smelled a sweet savour; but this is written like the rest of these early chapters of Genesis, in the form of history, but not as recording literal and individual facts. And hence the same law explains Noah's offering that explains Abel's; namely, that because, when our Word was given, sacrifices had begun to be offered, and worship, which before had been of an interior nature, had become ritualistic and representative, therefore into those early chapters were introduced these historical statements, that by them, as correspondences, the facts of worship might be taught, though the actual slaying of animals, and offering their flesh in burnt-offerings and sacrifices upon altars, only originated at a much later period.
Both from profane history, and from the testimony of the Word and the teaching of Swedenborg, we learn that the Most Ancient people performed their worship upon high mountains, because these
Correspond to the most interior or elevated states of the human spirit. In A.C. 795 it is written: “Mountains, with the Most Ancient people, signified the Lord, because they enjoyed and exercised His worship on mountains, because mountains are the highest parts of the earth, and are, as it were, nearer to heaven.” And in the prophetic Word we find it written : “In Mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve Me" (Ezekiel xx. 40). And in Isaiah ii. 2: “ It shall come to pass in the last days, that the moun. tain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills ; and all nations shall flow unto it."
That sacrificial worship was unknown to the Most Ancient people Emanuel Swedenborg testifies in various places
“ As to what concerns sacrifices in general, they were commanded indeed by Moses to the children of Israel ; but the Most Ancient Church, which was before the Flood, were altogether unacquainted with sacrifices, nor did it ever enter into their minds to worship the Lord by the slaying of animals ; the Ancient Church, which was after the Flood, was likewise unacquainted with sacrifices; it was, indeed, principled in representatives, but sacrifices were first instituted in the succeeding Church, which was called the Hebrew Church, and thence this mode of worship was propagated amongst the Gentiles, and descended to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and thus to their posterity.”
The Lord in the Word does not prescribe forms of worship, but accepts such forms as man presents for reception; man brings the vessels, and the Lord fills them. It would occupy far too much space even to enumerate, were the writer qualified, all the diversified ritualistic forms of worship, ancient and modern, Christian and pagan, with which the world teems, and would not aid in the object of this paper ; but if it be shown what part is from man, and what from the Lord, the end in view will be attained.
Swedenborg tells us that all true worship is of the Lord ; nothing of it from man. He says the same about good and truth, love and faith. Then he tells us that every man is his own good and his own truth ; and that in every act of man the whole man is there. Thus that all external acts of worship are such as is the love and faith—the good and truth-of the life of the man which is in, and constitutes the soul of them.
Our Lord, when upon the earth, at twelve years of age stayed behind Joseph and Mary, when going from the feast, and they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions. And when His mother asked Him why He had dealt thus with them, He answered, " Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?" And after this we are informed that He increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man. Now, was not this act of our Lord of staying in the temple as much a preparatory act of worship as the feast at which they had all been gathered ? After that, He underwent the rite of baptism by John, and said to John, “Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” Then after this He underwent the temptations in the wilderness, and resisted the devil, who asked Him (for a proffered reward) to fall down and worship him; and in resisting He cited in combat the Divine truth of the Old Testament, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” After this, He began His ministry; He departed in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. Then He began His miraculous healing, as well as His preaching and teaching, and His casting out of devils also. And when He had so excited the wrath of the Pharisees, “ that they were filled with madness, He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” What was His posture in body in this prayer, so long continued, we are not informed. But we are informed that, when He underwent that agony of spirit which preceded His crucifixion, He, in the garden of Gethsemane, " fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” This prayer, slightly modified, He repeated three times. In Mark we are told He “ fell to the ground,” but in Luke it is said He “knelt down," and no mention is made of His falling on His face, .while in the Gospel of John no mention is made of this prayer at all; but, lifting up His eyes to heaven, He poured forth that remarkable intercessory prayer to the Father for His disciples, and for all who should believe on Him through their word, just before He went with them into the garden.
We have, however, no grounds for concluding that His disciples heard any of these prayers, except it be the last mentioned. In another place we have it recorded that when Jesus was about to call Lazarus from the sepulchre He lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me. And I knew that Thou hearest Me always : but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me." : I
may here just say that before our Lord and His disciples went into the Mount of Olives, after supper they sang a hymn or psalm together,
I have mentioned all these particulars concerning our Saviour's conduct from His childhood to His suffering in Gethsemane, to show that though from ancient history and from the testimony of Scripture it may not appear clear what was the origin of the diversified modes of worship which obtained in the manners and customs of the various nations of the East, prior to the calling of Abraham, and the instituting of sacrificial worship amongst his descendants, yet we are not wanting in clear and positive evidence of the origin of Christian forms of worship, having it in the accounts of the conduct of Christ · Himself. But in it all-there is nothing new to be found as to forms and modes; there is only a filling full of various forms before in use, while many are by Him positively rejected, as indeed they had before been in the Prophets and Psalms of the Old Testament,
Jehovah called Abram out of a land of idolaters, who were accustomed to sacrifice not only animals, but their children also to their idols; hence the reason why Abram was tried as to his fidelity by the command to offer up his son Isaac.
In Jeremiah it is written, “I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings or sacrifices : but this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be My people" (chap. vii. 22, 23). And in Psalm li, it is said, “ Thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it : Thou delightest not in burnt-offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” And again, in Psalm l., “ Offer unto God thanksgiving ; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: and call upon Me in the day of trouble : I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me."
There is, I think, no need to cite more to show that diversified modes of worship originated with men; but worship itself, as to its essential principles and modes also, as I stated at the outset, originate in the very constitution of man, as a recipient of life from God. And the more that man becomes conscious of this recipiency, and of his momentary dependence upon God, the more interior and full will be his state of worship and devout adoration of the Lord.
The most interior state of humiliation, we have seen, produces prostration upon the face to the ground, this being the effect of the sudden suspension of the reactive life of man. Humiliation of a middle kind produces a state of collapse of the bodily powers, which is manifested in the bending and bowing of the head, Humiliation of the external man is productive of the bending of the knees and lower extremities, while the higher part of the body is raised in a suppliant manner.