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And if we pass from the animal to the plant kingdom we find the same inexorable law of limitation. In nature each plant retains its own distinct individuality. It may be modified, but it is never changed, and those modifications are not the result of any inherent tendency, but from the force of outward circumstances to which it passively yields. Some plants indeed show some signs and imitate some of the functions of animal life, as the sensitive and carnivorous plants; and naturalists say that the vegetable kingdom glides so insensibly into the animal kingdom that we cannot tell where the one ends and the other begins. But in this supposed transition of the one kingdom into the other, the highest of the vegetable kingdom does not pass into the lowest of the animal kingdom, but the transition and junction take place at the bottom of the scale, where the lowest form of vegetable life passes into and unites with the lowest form of animal life. They meet at the base, and each increases in perfection as they rise above it.
If men read the book of Nature aright, which they can only do by reading it in connection with the book of Revelation, they would be able to see that the three kingdoms of Nature are so distinct that they can never be confounded, that the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms do not run into each other by imperceptible but by perceptible degrees, degrees that touch but do not mingle, and yet by degrees that are connected not at one point, but at all points, because they are connected not physically but analogically. The mineral kingdom exists for the sake of the vegetable, the vegetable for the sake of the animal, and all for the sake of man. They are united by correspond
There is something in one that answers to something in the others; and all things of the three kingdoms answer to all things in him in whom they find the fulfilment of their promise and the completion of their design. Without man creation would have no final cause worthy of a Divine Author, whether He be believed to work by successive creations or by successive developments.
Whether one thing was evolved from another or one thing was created after another, we may see that there is not only a gradation, but a relation between everything that precedes and everything that follows. And this relation is not only between the particular parts, but also between the general divisions. Each higher kingdom is a repetition on a higher scale of that which is below it. Each higher kingdom has therefore its analogue, both general and particular, in that on which it rests, and all find their analogue in man. Each kingdom consists of numerous
individuals differenced from each other by an extended scale of orderly gradation. Man is one. Supreme and alone in creation, he forms a kingdom in and by himself. He is as far above the animal as the animal is above the vegetable. He is immortal, and is potentially an angel. Whether he actually becomes one depends upon himself. He is placed in this world to be educated and prepared for heaven. The book of Nature and the book of Revelation are given to instruct and guide him to the heaven for which he was created. The beauties, harmonies, and productions of nature—its sights and sounds, savours and odours, and tactile impressions are so many educators, not only of the senses, but of the mind, not because they enter through the senses into the mind, but because the mind through the senses perceives and extracts from them the lessons they were intended to teach. Animals never reflect upon their sensations, nor therefore upon the objects that produce them. With man every sensation is the subject of a subtle analysis, and every object that strikes the senses awakens a train of ideas. The mental operation may be as rapid as an electric current, but it is no less certain. Nor does this operation begin and end in material or mere sense ideas. The mind translates sensations into its own language, which is that of immaterial ideas, and lays up the results in the storehouse of its own imperishable memory.
These are among the tithes that are brought into the storehouse (Mal. iii. 10), the treasures that are laid up in heaven (Matt. vi. 20), the “remains” of what is good and true that are treasured up in the mind, especially during the age of childhood and youth, when the faculties are plastic and readily yield to impressions made upon them, when the simple desire to know all things is equalled by the simple faith that believes all things. But these are not the only treasures that are stored up in the mind during the golden age of innocent and confiding childhood. The intelligence and wisdom that are thus acquired are not the lessons that are learned from one book only, the book of Nature.
Still deeper and more precious lessons are to be learned from the book of Revelation. Here the mind learns respecting the Author and Governor of Nature, respecting the soul, and heaven, and the Divine authority for obedience to the laws of truth and rightness. The teaching which combines the lessons of these two books is the most perfect, and is best adapted to meet the requirements of the human mind and promote the best interests of the human being. In these days this combined teaching is not sufficiently pursued. Nor is the desirableness or even the propriety of it always recognised. In some minds there is a jealousy and even an antagonism between them. Not only have we science without religion and religion without science, but we have science opposed to religion and even religion opposed to science—so far at least as science is supposed to be out of harmony with the teaching of the Bible. It is of great consequence that science should be religious, and that religion should be scientific, and that the book of Nature and the book of Revelation should be employed to assist each other in the work of our common education, as the means of securing for us the double benefit which their Divine Author designed for us in placing us here as a place of preparation for a hereafter.
A work recently published entitled “Two Worlds are Ours,” is a very successful attempt to combine the teaching of science with that of religion. The author, Hugh Macmillan, D.D., LL.D., F.R.S.E., had already written several works of a similar character. Some of the views which this book contains might induce is to believe that the author is not unacquainted with the spiritual sense of the Word, as made known in the Writings of the New Church. Take the following :
“ In the Holy Land every object was as typical of spiritual things as every article in the tabernacle and temple. The one embodied the typical dispensation of Nature, the other the typical dispensation of grace. In fact the Holy Land was the tabernacle of the earth, the chamber of imagery of the whole world, in which everything pointed to God, and was significant of the soul's relations to Him and to itself. The truths of the Bible were moulded and coloured by the natural characteristics of the country in which it was written. The land was the picture which illustrated the book; the revelation of natural things explained the revelation of spiritual things. The heights and depths of the landscapes signified the heights and depths of the soul. The hills represented the high places of faith and righteousness which men ought to reach; the valleys and defiles represented the deep places of moral degradation into which men fall. The heights of Jerusalem, on which stood the temple of God, with its pure, free air, and its wide commanding prospects, typified the highest attainments of holiness and happiness; the profound abyss in which lay the Dead Sea, whose waters had closed over the guilty cities of the plain, with its hot stagnant air, and rank vegetation, and memories of gigantic sin and terrible doom, typified the lowest depths of wickedness and misery. There, before the eyes of men, were visible types of heaven and hell. The people went up to the Holy Hill to worship God and practise righteousness; they went down to the dark defile to sin and suffer. Thus two opposite scenes of nature helped them to understand their own experience and history, and taught them that to be up in the moral nature of man is to be pure and blessed, while to be down is to be sinful and unhappy. Each Jew was thus led to see in nature a reflection of his own-condition, a picture of his own soul.
“According to this law of correspondence, the peace which the mountains give by righteousness is a peace of elevation. It is on the heights of the soul alone that we can get true and lasting peace. Like the man in the parable who went down to Jericho, and who was stripped and wounded by the evils of life, and impoverished by its circumstances, we have left behind us in our natural state the lofty city of holiness in which we were born, and have gone down to the low polluted city of the curse, as the traveller descended from Jerusalem to Jericho. Our moral career has run parallel with our physical. Mankind descended from the cradle of the race on the lofty mountain ranges of Central Asia to the level plains of Assyria and Egypt; and so has the race spiritually descended from the eternal hills of God to the mean levels of worldly conformity and carnal indulgence. We have
gone down from a state of elevated purity and blessedness to one of degraded sinfulness and misery; and in the cities of the plain we are lovers of pleasure and pursue many objects of interest, and surround ourselves with many comforts and possessions, and say • Peace, peace. But there is no real peace for immortal souls that settle down contentedly into the low, dead, carnal uniformity into which our natural life so readily falls. Cares and temptations assail
We become dissatisfied with our circumstances, and most of all with ourselves. Whether we succeed or fail in our objects, we are alike disappointed; and a profound feeling of weariness and vanity oppresses us. The mysteries and troubles of life perplex and bewilder us, and the current of our days flows sluggishly and despairingly through them, as an African river creeps through its tangled thicket of reeds, in which the traveller is so hopelessly involved that he imagines all the world to be an endless reedy marsh. It is only when we ascend to the lost heights of our purity by the successive stages of a life of faith in the Son of God, that we regain the true peace of our souls. The ascent is indeed difficult; the path straight, narrow, and steep. But every new achievement will be a vantage-ground for fresh effort. On stepping-stones of our dead selves, on mortified lusts and sanctified affections, and trials turned to heavenly uses, we mount to higher things, and every step upward brings us to purer air, and to a grander and freer horizon. To go up physically is to alter climate and natural productions, to pass vertically through the zones of the globe; to go up spiritually is to inhabit a new world of joys and hopes. And if our sweat of soul be great, our peace of soul will keep pace with it."
We can hardly say that this is a fair sample of the book as a spiritual explanation of natural objects, for there is no other passage which so directly teaches a spiritual sense elicited by the law of correspondence. But there is much excellent teaching, both natural and spiritual, throughout the book. Along with this we have the old dogmatic theology-three Divine Persons, the atonement, and even the resurrection of the material body. But no prominence is given to these, and the many beautiful lessons of the book can be taken while these may be left.
WHAT WOMEN HAVE DONE FOR THE WORLD.
THERE was a profound sense of what was required of him in his ministerial capacity when the good vicar, in the well-known anecdote, announced to his astonished congregation that on the following Sunday he was going to preach to the “heathen.” It did not occur to them till the time arrived, that the heathen intended were those who sat in their own pews, the truth being that no country in the world stands more in need of the work of the Christian missionary, truly so called, than that one which seeks to illuminate the mind of the barbarians-old England itself. It is fortunate for Christianity that its claims and merits are not to be judged of by the daily conduct of the bulk of those who call themselves “ Christians," and who would be indignant if any doubt were cast upon their title to the appellation. A visitor from some distant planet, told first what Christianity is, and then shown, on every hand, fraud, falsehood, theft, cruelty, intemperance, “envy, hatred, and malice,” with their innumerable progenynot forgetting much that is considered legitimate, even honourable (!), when the better word would be “ deceitful,” in trade and commerce, though injury and ruin fall upon thousands,-shown these, we say, he would be rather at a loss to discover where was the national obedience