22 The Key of Knowledge


Edward Madeley



Woe unto you, lawyers ! for ye have taken
away the Key of Knowledge.
LUKE xi. 52.




THE Bible is universally admitted by the Christian world to be a Divine Revelation from God to man, and considered the standard and test of all religious truth. No Christian can be indifferent to its precepts or regardless of its reproofs. It is believed to contain the very riches of heaven, which, if received in the human understanding and life, will make man mentally rich, wise and happy. Any work which opens up its sacred contents, or reveals some uniform method of interpretation whereby its heavenly and true meaning may with certainty be obtained, must be considered a desideratum of the highest value, and would tend much to the throwing down of the boasted strongholds of infidelity, as well as to the furtherance of the interests of vital Christianity.

The Christian religion undoubtedly surpasses all other systems of Theology in the known world. It is purely of a spiritual cast, relating to the mind of man, and to all those varied changes and progressions of his will and understanding in love and wisdom, which successively follow in the course of his progress in the Divine life. These states or changes are, in general, treated of in Scripture in a variety of pleasing ways, in the parables, miracles and narratives ; and are also more particularly shadowed forth in the literal history of the Israelitish journey from Egypt to Canaan. It is, therefore, hoped that the following pages may be found useful in assisting the pious Christian in his spiritual contemplations, so that while his eyes are opened to a clear perception of Divine Truth, in his bosom may be enkindled a more ardent and pure love to Him who is the Author and Giver of every real blessing.

No contemplative man who carefully studies the harmonies of nature, can fail of knowing that every object in the created universe is an effect springing from a prior cause ; and that such cause must owe its birth to some end which the Creator had in view in the wonderful productions of his plastic hand. The end, which is the good intended by the Creator to the forms He proposes to bring into existence, is the Divine Love ; the cause is the Divine Wisdom which the love of Deity uses as a means to accomplish the designs purposed ; and the effects are the results of the Divine Operative Energy in all the outward forms of which the created universe is composed. Time is a real connection between the end and its cause, and also between the cause and its effect. No effect can possibly exist independent of its cause, neither can there be any cause in which the end is not inwardly concealed.

Here, then, we learn a most cheering truth : that creation is sale while Wisdom, the Divine cause of its existence, remains, and that it must continue everlastingly fresh and imperishable while the Love of God, as the end, shall fill it with life and vigor. When God s love shall be no more, his wisdom as the first-begotten will die, the Divine Spirit will cease to operate, and then the heavens and the earth shall perish. Outward creation can no more exist independent of the perpetual operation of God therein, than can the organized body of man without the soul or spirit. ” God is love,” and as that love, He is the Father of all. God is wisdom, the ” True Light” which, as the first emanating sphere of the Divine love, is in Scripture called ” the only-begotten Son,.” From the union of these two proceeds the Divine operative energy or Spirit, which, in giving existence to heaven and earth, imparts life to the wide creation. The true law by which all human and angelic existences are sustained, is, as expressed by the only Wisdom, or ” Word incarnate,” ” I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in One.” (John xvii. 23.)

Creation of the World.

In laying before the reader the system which, in all cases, will give a faithful and correct interpretation of Holy Scripture, we propose to commence with the creation of the world, and to show that this great work, in its beginning, progression and completion, shadowed forth the love, wisdom and power of the Creator ; and that all the objects in Nature are so formed, as to be either remotely or proximately connected with God, the supreme First Cause. This connection necessarily renders the Lord s presence in the created universe, full, perfect and complete ; and hence arise the attributes ascribed to the Divine Being, of omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence. By love, as the end or intention of creation, God is present in all ; by wisdom, He knoweth all ; and by his operative influence, He is powerful in all. Without his goodness, wisdom and power, nothing could exist. God is, undoubtedly, the ALL in all.

If, then, God be present in his works as their actual existence evidently proves, it follows that there must be some close resemblance, affinity and correspondence between Him and them, and that a Divine influx of life, flowing momentarily from Him into them, supports and sustains the whole. This affinity not only exists between God and his works generally, but there is also a correspondence between all parts of his works from the highest to the lowest. All creation is one grand chain harmoniously fitted and linked together by the wisdom of Him who cannot err. Who, then, can apprehend danger, while reason, enlightened by revelation, declares the first link of that chain to be in the hand of God ?

Assuming, for the present, this theory to be correct, we must see that a right understanding of this corresponding connection is essentially necessary to a just knowledge of the works of God ; and that which opens to the mind true views of his works, must correctly explain the wonders of His WORD.

With respect to the creation of the world, we may truly say, it is so vast and profound a subject that the mind seems lost in wonder, and trembles at the thought of entering upon an inquiry into that which, by an almost , impenetrable veil of mystery, seems to be hid from human ken. We cannot suppose that man, whose faculties and intellectual powers are finite, and consequently limited, can, how ever ardent he may be in search of truth, arrive at a full and perfect knowledge of all the minutiae, those singulars and particulars which enter into and make up the fulness of creation s mighty work : a kind of general knowledge concerning it, is all we can expect.

In looking at creation as a whole, we behold beauty, regularity, and order ; we see how each part performs its appointed use, and that the whole, by the action of its several parts, is maintained entire, free from any appearance of dissolution, and exhibiting to the beholder not the slightest symptoms of decay. The same sun which ” in the beginning ” warmed and enlightened our earth, shines still upon it with unabated vigor and power ; the moon which then shone with its borrowed light, still rides majestically in the blue-arched sky ; the rain still descends to water our thirsty plains, to fertilize our fields, to make the earth yield her increase, for the purpose of affording to man in all generations, ” seed to the sower and bread to the eater.”

Heaven’ s breezes still continue to kiss the mountains, and to impart health, vigor and proliferation to animal and vegetable life. Every animal is furnished with an organized body exactly adapted to the element in which it lives. In fact, all creation seems to be constantly singing one universal song of praise, that “God is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.” These phenomena, with ten thousand others that might be named if necessary, but which the reader is left to supply for himself, are among the strongest evidences of contrivance and design. These again lead unquestionably to the acknowledgment of a Designer whom we call the Great First Cause, the omnipresent, omniscient, and immutable God.

No wise man can find the least difficulty in attributing the creation of the material world to an Almighty Hand to that hand which received (if we may so speak) its impetus from the purest love, and was directed by infinite wisdom ; and as we must consider the Divine Being to be a God of the most perfect order, it follows that creation, springing from Him, must be viewed as an orderly, progressive and gradual work. We have no hesitation in saying, that if creation shall ever admit of a rational and satisfactory explanation, it must be in agreement with the strictest principles of true philosophical and scientific knowledge.

Although upon the creation of the world much has been written by divines, philosophers and poets, yet but little that has yet appeared, has been satisfactory. The subject, strictly speaking, is not theological, but purely one of philosophical and scientific research. It is now pretty generally acknowledged by the most able and learned divines, that the first chapters of Genesis are an allegory, and that they contain not literal history, but spiritual and divine subjects reduced to a historical form. Literal history, in which, nevertheless, are contained spiritual truths relating to the church of God, heaven and the soul of man, commences at the twelfth chapter of Genesis, with the call of Abraham. It was not only the opinion of many of the ancient fathers of the church, that the first chapters of Genesis were written in an allegorical style, but that the whole Word of God, comprehending the Law, the Prophets, the Psalms, the Gospels and Apocalypse, were so written as to contain within the literal and historical sense, those divine and spiritual subjects which relate to the church of the Lord, and to the progressive states of affection, thought and life of man ; and that they were to be interpreted, not after a carnal, but after a spiritual manner. This view of these ancient fathers has been kept alive in the church by the ablest and best theological writers in every age down to the present. This we shall prove by a few extracts from their writings as we proceed.

Contradictory Views of Chronologers.

In Genesis i. 1, we read, ” In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” From this passage, viewing it in the most literal sense possible, we learn not when God created the world, but that He did create it in the beginning. From what particular date we are to reckon the beginning of its existence, or what is its real age, the Word of God gives no information whatever, and science will never be able to discover. The putting of dates to the Bible in respect to the era of creation, reckoning from the year one, and thus making the present age of our globe about six thousand years, is altogether gratuitous and arbitrary : it endeavors unwisely to mix religious with physical truth, and by mingling together what should be kept separate, the mind becomes bewildered in its contemplation of both. By giving to the world an arbitrary age of about six thousand years, many have supposed the science of Geology to be opposed to Revelation, and that it altogether contradicts the Mosaic account of creation. If it were not that many pious and intelligent Christians have felt their minds disturbed at this supposition, we should have passed it by unnoticed, smiling at the weakness that could generate the idea.

Chronologers enumerate 132 contrary opinions concerning the age of the world (a proof this, that they know nothing about it), but in all these, there are none who reckon more than 7,000, or less than 3,700 years from the creation to the birth of Christ, making a difference in these calculations of no less a period than 3,300 years. The general opinion, however, fixes the birth of Christ in the four thousandth year of the world, and reckoning nearly 2,000 from that event, makes its present age about 6,000 years ; but the reasons on which these opin ions are founded, are exceedingly various, all arbitrary, and grounded in conjecture.

The calculation of the age of the world made by the Hindoos in their religious belief, is ponderous when compared with this. Their religion teaches them to recognize the existence of one supreme invisi ble Creator, the Ruler of the universe, whom they call BRAHMA. They likewise acknowledge two other deities, one of whom is VISHNU, the Preserver, and the other SIVA, the Destroyer. The deity Vishnu, as preserver, is declared to have made many appearances in the world, and the great ends of Providence are said to have been accomplished by the incarnations of this deity. According to this religion, there have been nine incarnations of Vishnu, and one more yet to come, all of which make up the period of 4,320,000 years, making a difference between their age of the world and ours of only 4,314,000 years. Allowing the Hindoo theology with its idle ceremonies to be false and fabulous, yet these superstitious people have, perhaps, as much ground for their long date as we have for our short one. Revelation is silent about the age of the world ; and when that is silent, it is a mark of wisdom in us to be silent too, and not aim to be wise above what is written. These statements, differing widely as they do, prove the fact, that any attempt to fix the era of creation originates in folly and conjecture.

Geology in Harmony with Scripture.

Professor Sedgwick, in his ” Discourse on the Studies of the University” (p. 149), tells us, the geologist proves by incontrovertible evidence of physical phenomena, that ” there were former conditions of our planet separated from each other by vast intervals of time, during which man and the other creatures of his own date had not been called into being. Periods such as these belong not, therefore, to the moral history of our race ; and come neither within the letter nor the spirit of Revelation. Between the first creation of the earth and that day in which it pleased God to place man upon it, who shall dare to define the interval ? On this question Scripture is silent ; but that silence destroys not the meaning of those physical monuments of his power that God has put before our eyes, giving us at the same time faculties whereby we may interpret them and comprehend their meaning.” This extract contains so much of truth that it cannot, we think, be disproved.

But some may ask : Is geology, then, to be allowed to contradict the Mosaic account of creation, and to disprove the date revealed to Moses ? We answer, that geology can neither contradict nor disprove what the Scripture never states. The most literal account of creation given by Moses is, ” In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth ; ” this is all, without fixing any time. Geology does not contradict this, but maintains it, and by laborious and praise worthy examinations of physical phenomena, proves the existence of a Divine Architect, and ascribes to Him the work “in the beginning. “Revelation gives no date : WE have made this, and having so done, we find fault with geology because it has sought out and exposed our errors. The poet Cowper was deceived in this; for he, supposing that God had revealed to Moses creation s date, aims a blow at Geology. In his poem entitled ” The Task,” he says” Some drill and bore the solid earth, and from the strata there extract a register, by which we learn that He who made it, and reveal d its date To Moses, was mistaken in its age.”

Here the worthy poet was certainly mistaken in his conclusions ; for where in Revelation do we find the date revealed to Moses? Nothing of the kind is given in any part of the sacred Volume. He was, in this instance, led astray by his muse the license of poets is proverbial ; but still truth is not to be sacrificed at the shrine of poetical license. The laborious and incontrovertible proofs of the earth s great antiquity given by the science of geology, are not to be swept away by a single dash of a poet s pen. From our divinity authors, nothing has yet appeared on the creation that is worth notice. They simply state that God created the world out of nothing : but, unfortunately for them, of this creation out of nothing the Scriptures never speak. They offer no remarks tending rationally to illustrate the orderly progression of creation’s work. Bishop Hall, in commenting on Gen. i. 1, ” In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” says :” In the beginning of time, God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost made, of nothing, the whole great and goodly frame of the world, both the heaven and the earth, and the other elements, with all the furniture and inhabitants of them all.” Certainly tjie good bishop, in this comment, has not overloaded our minds with information, with subjects too high for us. Had he said nothing, we should have been quite as wise.

To form just views of the creation of this world, it is essentially expedient to keep the mind fixed upon one supreme Being, without whose love, wisdom, and power, nothing could be or exist. We must also view the Almighty as a single Divine Being, as a God of the most perfect order, producing every thing progressively, according to the laws of Divine Wisdom. God, in his providence, to encourage us in the pursuit of truth, has not, in so many words, revealed in the Book of inspiration how the world was created ; but in placing us upon the globe on which we live, and surrounding us with all the beauties and wonders of creation, He has richly endowed us with reason, with capacious powers and faculties of mind, by the exercise of which (the great book of creation being always present) we may, by patient study and careful examination, tracing up ultimate effects through a long chain of instrumental causes, finally arrive at some degree of knowledge as to the origin and progressive work of creation ; so that we may be able to prove to demonstration that, ” In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” By attributing to the Almighty the glory of this mighty work, we can take up the language of the Psalmist and say :” He hath laid the foundations of the earth, that it shall not be removed for ever “(Ps. civ. 5).

” The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy work” (Ps. xix. 1). If in this investigation we exercise our reason, God s best and noblest gift (for without it even immortality would be a blank), we shall be able to see clearly where the worldling but gropes in the dark. Our reason must be sacrificed to God, that is, not destroyed, but dedicated and consecrated to his service, which is the meaning of “to sacrifice.” If this be done faithfully, we shall walk in the true light we shall enjoy a morning without clouds, and our sun shall never go down.

The Sun the Instrumental Cause of Creation. Reason teaches that the globe upon which we live is entirely dependent for all its nourishment and support upon the central sun in the system. If the sun were removed, our globe would instantly cease to be, animal and vegetable life would perish, and all would be reduced to a nonenity. The earth would be deprived of all heat and light, it would instantly lose its motion, and destruction would follow ; for it only lives while it moves. In the bounded space of this universe large bodies revolve, which, performing their circuits round the sun as a common centre, grow to their respective ages. The sun, like an anxious parent, regards these revolving globes no otherwise than as his own offspring which have attained to a considerable maturity ; for he continually consults their general and particular interests ; and although they are distant, he never fails to exercise over them his care and parental protection, since by his rays he is, as it were, present in his provisions for them ; he cherishes them with the warmth issuing from his immense bosom ; he adorns their bodies and members every year with a most beautiful clothing ; he nourishes their inhabitants with a perpetual supply of food ; he promotes the life of all things, and enlightens them with his luminous radiance. Since the sun thus executes all the functions of parental duty, it follows from the connection and tenor of causes, that if we are desirous to unfold the history of the earth from her earliest infancy, and to examine her from her origin, we must have recourse to the sun himself; for every effect is a continuity of causes from the first cause ; and the cause by which anything subsists is continued to the cause by which it exists ; subsistence being a kind of perpetual existence.

From the above train of reasoning, we now come at this conclusion: that as the earth receives all its nourishment from the sun as a parent, and requires his perpetual presence to keep it in being, it is manifest that it must have burst forth from him as from a fruitful womb ; and that the sun, being a created instrument in the hand of the Divine Creator, is therefore to be regarded as the instrumental cause, origin and parent of this our world. We must, then, view the sun as the instrumental cause of the creation of this world. Here the materialist stops his inquiry, attributing everything to what he calls Nature, and worships this as God. But Christians must make no halting in their way ; they must carefully trace effects up to their cause. The sun could no more create itself than could the earth. We must ascertain the origin of the natural sun ; and to do this, we must look through it to the spiritual world of causes, and finally to the Lord himself as the Fountain of life and being. In this stage of the inquiry, Revelation alone can afford us the required assistance.

In the Sacred Scripture, God himself is called a Sun, and the Sun of righteousness a Sun which never goes down or becomes dim, but is truly ” an everlasting light ” (Isa. Ix. 19). It is a truth that Jehovah God is the great First Cause and common Centre of all things. His love is the fount of life, and his wisdom, as the first emanating sphere or brightness of that love, may be considered as the Divine Sun of the eternal world, whose creative rays of heat and light, or love and wisdom in union, fill the heavens with glory, and the angels with joy and gladness. Now to connect the created universe with God as the First Cause (for without this connection creation would expire), we must view the sun of this natural world as a created receptacle, formed by the Divine Wisdom, and adapted to receive and concentrate the creative rays of the Sun of righteousness. By this concentration, is produced an intensity of heat, which may be termed a body of PURE FIRE, or the sun of our solar system. This reception and concentration of the creative rays of the Divine Sun, produces the rotatory motion of the natural sun upon its own axis, by which light and heat are widely dispensed around. This, again, gives all the motion to the planetary orbs in our system, producing the changes and vicissitudes in the diurnal motion of morning, meridian, evening and night, as well as those of the annual motion round the sun, of the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Thus we may see that the sun of our world derives its heat and light from being perpetually operated upon by the Sun of the eternal world ; and that if the connection subsisting between them were to be broken or interrupted, the sun would instantly lose all its vigorous principles of heat and light, and the consequence would be, the total destruction of that planetary system of which the sun is the centre. We may safely subscribe to the statement already made, that, however long the chain of causes and effects may be, the first link of that chain is in the hand of God. Stability, firmness and duration are given to everything, because God is the ALL in all. There is, then, no doubt but that this our globe is an outbirth or offspring of the sun, and that it performed thousands of revolutions round its parent before it became fit for the habitation of animals and lastly of man.

Sir Humphry Davy’s View.

Sir Humphry Davy, a philosopher to whom the world is greatly indebted, says : ” The globe in the first state in which the imagination can venture to consider it, appears to have been a. fluid mass, with an immense atmosphere revolving in space round the sun. By its cooling, a portion of its atmosphere was probably condensed into water, which occupied a part of its surface. In this state, no forms of life such as now belong to our world, could have inhabited it. The crystalline rocks, called by geologists primary rocks, and which contain no vestiges of a former order of things, were the result of the first consolidation on its surface. Upon the further cooling, the water which more or less had covered it, contracted, depositions took place ; shell-fish and coral insects were created, and began their labors ; islands appeared in the midst of the ocean, raised from the deep by the productive energies of millions of zoophytes. These islands became covered with vegetables fitted to bear a high temperature. The submarine rocks of these new formations of land became covered with aquatic vegetables, on which various species of shell-fish and common fishes found their nourishment. As the temperature of the globe became lower, species of the oviparous reptiles appear to have been created to inhabit it ; and the turtle, crocodile, and various gigantic animals seem to have haunted the bays and waters of the primitive lands.

” But in this state of things, there appears to have been no order of events similar to the present. Immense volcanic explosions seem to have taken place, accompanied by elevations and depressions of the earth s surface, producing mountains, hills and valleys, and causing new and extensive depositions from the primitive ocean. The remains of living beings, plants, fishes, birds and reptiles, are found in the strata of rocks which are the monumental evidences of these changes. When these revolutions became less frequent, and the globe became still more cooled, and inequalities of temperature were established by means of the mountain chains, more perfect animals became its inhab itants, some of which have now become extinct. Five successive races of plants and four of animals, appear to have been created and swept away by the physical revolutions of the globe, before the system of things became so permanent as to fit the world for man. In none of these formations, whether called secondary, tertiary or diluvial, have the fossil remains of man or any of his works been discovered. At last man was created ; and since that period there has been little alteration in the physical circumstances of our globe.”

Connection between the Creator and his Works.

In the orderly progression of creation, everything appears to be the impress of a Divine hand. Every stage in creation’s work seems to lead on to the end in view the creation of man, the image and likeness of his Maker, who by the gift of reason could contemplate the living scene of beauties around him, could examine the qualities and properties of the physical phenomena which met his wondering eyes ; and, looking through these, could open his grateful heart, and send forth his breath of praise to Him who is the Author and Supporter of the whole. He could observe that the Divine love and wisdom, which dispensed life and blessing around, radiate eternally from the Divine presence. Feeling an increase of pleasure in such elevated contemplations, he might take up the language of the psalmist and say, “As the hart ptuiteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirst eth for God, for the living God.” (Ps. xlii. 1, 2.)

No person can contemplate creation, with all its wonders and beauties, without acknowledging that the power, wisdom and goodness of God are eminently displayed therein. What power short of omnipotent, could fill the blue ethereal space with myriads of suns, stars and planets, appearing more brilliant than polished spheres of gold and silver? What wisdom, not perfect and infinite, could arrange these at immense distances from each other, could order and direct their respective courses, and yet so adapt them by a corresponding connection, as to form one grand whole ; all the parts of which are in rapid motion, yet calm, regular and harmonious ; invariably keeping the paths prescribed to them : these planetary orbs, again, being worlds peopled with myriads of intelligent beings formed for endless progression in perfection and felicity ? Who can think of these things, and not acknowledge that infinite wisdom is displayed therein? And who can doubt of God s goodness in creation, when he sees that every living thing is gifted with an organic structure, exactly adapted to the situation in which it lives, to the means of obtaining food, to the method of defending itself from danger, and to the enjoyment of its existence ? The wants of animal life are abundantly supplied to the numerous families of living creatures, and with as much regularity and certainty as if God had but one to attend to. These things can speak no other language than that of inspiration, which, with a power no rational mind can or would wish to disprove, proclaims that ” God is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works ! ” That man must be more than blind, who, if he reflect on creation at all, cannot discover the power, wisdom, and goodness of God displayed therein.

Viewing creation s mighty work in this way, we at once discover an indissoluble connection existing between the Creator and the created ; the latter requiring the perpetual presence and operation of the former to perpetuate its existence. Creation is not only an outbirth from Deity, but it at the same time exhibits, in all its multifarious forms, a faithful image of Him, the connection being so strong and certain- between God and his works, that all outward objects, as effects, are to be viewed as so many types, representations and symbolic emblems, which constantly exhibit and shadow forth the attributes, the goodness, the perfections and wisdom of the great First Cause. There is, throughout all nature, a close connection between the essence of a thing and its form ; the essence being the spirit, soul or life, and the form the external manifestation; hence the forms of things exhibit to the intellectual eye of man the true quality of the essences which respectively gave them birth ; and to produce precision and exactness, both of distinction and description, names were also anciently given to mark and express the respective qualities of the things named.

If, then, the life or operative Spirit of God must constantly flow into all creation, that it may be kept in existence, in activity and growth, by which it can alone perform the uses it was evidently designed ; it follows, that, as it is animated by the Spirit of God, and upheld by his power, it must reflect back an image of Him, and show forth in all its successive productions, the universality of his power and goodness. The created universe may very properly be termed a living temple, in which the living God delights to dwell, filling every part thereof with the breath of life ; while each object, in the enjoyment of individual existence, seems to sing for joy, and bask in the sunshine of pleasure. It is certain that we ” cannot go where universal love smiles not around !

If the view we have thus taken of creation be correct, (of which a rational doubt can hardly be supposed) if the goodness, wisdom and power of God are felt and seen in his works if the whole, as a type, reflects a faint image of the Divine perfections ; and if all outward objects are corresponding emblems of the affections, thoughts and powers of the human mind, thereby connecting the material world with man, and by and through man with the Creator, then we must clearly observe an unbroken connection, a relationship and correspondence between all creation and the omnipotent One who produced and still supports the whole. This view will lead us to a right understanding of the reasoning of St. Paul, who, in addressing the Romans, says : ” The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead ; so that they are without excuse.” (Rom. i. 20.) The invisible things of God are certainly the operations of his creative power and goodness. These are as the essences which give birth and being to all external forms, while the forms in their order, quality and appearance, make the invisible essences to be intellectually seen and understood. If those properties which relate to the eternal power and Godhead are to be understood by the things that are made, then it follows that creation is a representative image of the Divine Being, and that his unity, goodness, power and wisdom are exhibited in all its parts.

As Nature is the orderly production of God, and as a connection exists between the Lord and his works, so it is reasonable to conclude that a similar law of corresponding relationship must be observed between Him and his Word of Revelation. The wisdom of God must be contained in those sacred writings which are emphatically denominated the WORD, and as such, must treat primarily of the spiritual creation of man ; that is, of the renovation of his mind, by which he is prepared for an eternal state of existence, and not merely of the outward things of nature, only so far as they are mentioned as corresponding emblems to represent those affections, thoughts and states of life, with their successive variations and changes which take place in man, while in him the regenerating process is going on.

Plenary Inspiration of the Word of God.

The Bible is generally acknowledged by Christians to be the Word of God ; but this acknowledgment is grounded more in authority than in any internal conviction of the fact. What appears to be wanting is proof; but how is this to be given? Not by an appeal to the opinions of those who lived in ancient times not by producing a long list of venerable names of men who lived in the days of other years, with their sentiments attached ; for such a list could prove nothing but the opinions of those whose names it contained. If the Bible be the Word of God, it must contain within itself the certain evidences of that fact ; and that it does contain these, we hope clearly to demonstrate by many examples. Any book acknowledged to be the Word of God, must be written by his immediate dictation ; for what is the dictation of any being, but his word, will and command ? And as every human writing contains, upon the subject treated of, the mind and spirit of the writer, so those Scriptures which bear the high title of the ” Word of God,” must contain the Divine mind, spirit and will. They must have been dictated by the Spirit of God to the persons who were appointed to write them, and of course written by a plenary inspiration. The subjects, therefore, of such a written Word must be lofty, such as are worthy a Divine Being, and adapted to guide man in all his journey through the vicissitudes of this transitory scene of things, and to bring him in safety to the haven of his appointed rest.

The Word of God, like his works in outward creation, must be one perfect harmonious whole ; a regularly connected chain of end, cause and effect must be observed to pervade each. As creation was produced by regular laws according to the Divine will and pleasure, in which God himself is constantly present to sustain and uphold, preventing thereby any of its parts from dilapidation or disuse ; so his Word, which is a revelation of his will to his sentient creatures, must also be produced in a similar regular order, and must contain, within its literal sense, the stores of Divine wisdom, goodness and power, in which the Lord himself is so essentially present by his Spirit, that not ” one jot or tittle ” of the Divine law can ever fail. It is hence certain that those Scriptures which are the WORD, are of plenary inspiration, because written by Divine dictation throughout : if not so written, they are not the Word of God.

St. Paul, in his epistle to Timothy, says : “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness : that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim. iii. 10, 17.) These expressions clearly state that the whole of the perfectly inspired Scripture, is given to insure the growth and perfection of the human character to enlighten the understanding and purify the will ; thus, by making man wiser and better, to fit him for the enjoyment of angelic perfection. The Greek single word here rendered by five,” given by inspiration of God,” is, respecting the plenary inspiration of Scripture, exceedingly strong and expressive. The word is eeoTrvewrof ( Theopneustos) ; and being compounded of Geof, God, and TTVCW, to breathe, literally means God-breathed. “All Scripture God-breathed,” is therefore profitable for doctrine, reproof and correction.

The phrase ” all Scripture,” comprehends all those books called the Law and the Prophets, including the Psalms. These are also styled the Law and the Testimony, to which the Lord alluded when, after his resurrection, He said to his disciples : “All things must be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning me.” (Luke xxiv. 44.) Among ten thousand privileges enjoyed in the true spiritual church of Christ, is one which may truly be termed the introductory means of obtaining all the rest ; without which, a correct knowledge of the Word of God throughout cannot be fully obtained. Nothing surely can contribute more to the furtherance of the interests of vital religion, or to the wide extension of theological truth, than to point out a method by which the Word of God can be faithfully and harmoniously interpreted by which the sacred cabinet can be unlocked and its heavenly treasures explored. It is surely reasonable to suppose: that, as there is a certain orderly and progressive method to be carefully pursued in obtaining correct scientific and philosophical knowledge, and that any deviation from the general rule must involve us in doubt and error ; so there must be one general and uniform system to be pursued in the search of spiritual or religious truth, a deviation from which must equally involve us in ignorance, doubt and error.

When we take a view of the present state of the Christian world, and observe that doctrines as opposite to each other as light and darkness are taught as Christian verities that all are pronounced to be truly Christian, though widely different and opposite; we must think that something is wrong somewhere, or opposite views could not be taught as springing from one and the same source. This fact is before the eyes of every one who reflects at all, and if there be any truth to be drawn from it, it is this: that all our errors arise from not ” know ing the Scriptures nor the power of God.”

One system says, with the lips of its professors, that there is but one God ; that in the Godhead, nevertheless, are three Persons of one substance, each of whom is distinctly and by himself God and Lord ; but that in some mysterious way or other these three are but one God. This explanation, if it must be so called, is generally guarded from any further inquiry, by ” ask not how this can be ; ” be silent and have faith ! The same system, in its further mysterious teaching, says that God is ” without body, parts, or passions ; ” and if we ask, How can a being without either body, parts, or passions, be three persons of one substance ? we are answered, and told that it is a very great mystery, impious to inquire into, and that the human understanding ought to be bound under obedience to faith. Thus the truth, the grand truth of the Divine Unity, is, by unmeaning creeds, hid from our eyes, and the human race left to wander in the mys terious labyrinths of universal doubt.

Another system, peculiar to itself, teaches that God has elected a certain number of the human race to heaven and happiness, without any foresight of faith, good works, or any conditions performed by the creature ; and designedly consigned the rest to everlasting wrath and perdition for their sins. This appears to be the very dregs of heathen fatalism and necessity, which the reformer of Geneva gathered together and tried to refine into the constituent principles of Christianity, but which he made worse in the process. This gloomy theory is most decidedly opposed by the Arminian scheme, which says of it, that it is altogether false and anti-Christian, and in opposition to it, maintains that God wills, and has provided means for, the happiness of all ; that by these He has made salvation attain able by all ; thus that man and not God is the author of all his misery.

Another system teaches that faith alone, without works, is all that is necessary to salvation ; while another, opposed to this, says, that faith without works, or a holy life, is dead and of no use, and that charity, holiness and purity are essential to the attainment of life everlasting. Another system denies the divinity of the Christian Redeemer, and teaches that Jesus Christ is nothing more than a human creature, in all respects like unto other men, fallible and peccable, and therefore not an object of religious worship. This system is, by the Trinitarian scheme, loaded with all kinds of obloquy, and called the half-way house to infidelity. It may be such half-way house leading to infidelity perhaps it is : but if it be, popular Trinitarianism will, in this respect, always be found to be its next-door neighbor. We might still go on describing the great differences in the doctrines now taught, each of which claims for itself the character of orthodoxy all are right and true, though different and opposite, while the advocates of each system respectively, say, ” The temple of the Lord are we.” Our object, however, is not to dwell upon these differences, but to point out that RULE or heavenly SCIENCE, by which the Word of God throughout can with certainty and correctness be explained. Nothing more strikingly shows the total absence of such rule or method than the vastly different and opposite doctrines which are now zealously taught. Amidst all this mental confusion these ” wars and rumors of wars ” it must be acknowledged that a sure rule of Scripture interpretation, would indeed be a light in the hands of private Christians, as well as a help to those whose business it is, on the Sabbath, to dispense, the Word of Life to their fellow men.

Correspondence, the sure Rule of Scripture Interpretation. The Rule, then, which is here recommended as the only sure one by which the sacred records of Divine Truth can be elucidated, is that immutable relationship or correspondence existing between all the objects of the world of nature, whether animal, vegetable or mineral, and the affections, thoughts, and intellectual properties of man, as the world of mind. This Rule, which is named the Science of Correspondences, from the universality and certainty of its application when faithfully studied and correctly applied, will be found to be, as expressed in the title-page of this work, ” The key of knowledge” to the Holy Scriptures, by the use of which a true system of Theology will be restored, and the Word of God with clearness and certainty explained. This science grows out of and is exhibited in universal creation. It can therefore never err in itself, because it is the order of the Creator, and exhibited throughout his works. A man, it is true, may commit some errors in explaining it, but these are to be attributed to the explainer and not to the science ; for that, in itself, is infallible and certain.

Correspondence, then, may be termed a universal language, in which the Divine Being speaks to his creatures, both in his works and in his Word. The first voice which is heard, or the first truth made apparent in universal creation, is, that there is a God, and that there is but One, who, from the harmony, regularity and beauty of his works, is infinite in wisdom and goodness. To this voice or truth, human reason at once assents without the least difficulty or hesitation. As it is in the works of God, so is it in his Word ; for Revelation throughout, invariably points to one God, in essence and Person ONE, who is at once the Creator, Redeemer, and Saviour ; God manifest in the flesh, whom the apostle styles the ” True God and Eternal Life.” If Revelation be deprived of this self-evident truth the perfect unity of God, as a single Divine Being no clear light can enter the mind upon any theological subject whatever. All the bright truths of the Word will become obscured the selfhood and selfderived intelligence of man will come in between him and the Sun of righteousness to him the Divine Luminary will become eclipsed, and, in respect to religious truth, nothing but darkness and gross darkness can cover his moral land.

In stating, first, what the science of Correspondence is, we cannot, perhaps, define it better than by saying that it treats of the relationship which exists between the essence of a thing and its form or outward appearance, and that the form points out the nature and quality of the essence within. Correspondence, according to its etymology it being compounded of two Latin words, con, with, and rexpondere, to answer, to answer with or together, to fit, to suit, or match ; thus denoting the reciprocal relation of one thing to another is a science which treats of the harmony, agreement and concord existing between cause and effect, essence and form, spirit and matter, soul and body, heaven and earth. We may here observe, that correspondence can only be applied to those things which proceed from God in the orderly course of creation ; it cannot be mixed up with, or applied to, any object or thing manufactured or made by man.

By this universal science, all outward nature (including the vast varieties of its objects), is seen as a whole to be a representative image of man, while the objects thereof correspond to his various affections and thoughts, both good and bad. Man again is seen to be created, as the Scriptures declare him to be, in the image and likeness of God ; all the powers and principles of his mental constitution when in order, shadow forth, by the law of correspondence, the infinite perfections of his adorable Creator. Thus, a regular chain of connection is established between the Lord and his works God is the supporter of the whole, the All in all.

Correspondence was a subject familiar to the men of the most ancient times, who esteemed it the science of sciences, and cultivated it so universally that all their books were written in agreement with it. The hieroglyphics of the Egyptians, and the fabulous stories of antiquity, were founded upon it. All the ancient churches were representative ; their ceremonies, and even their statutes, which were rules for the institution of their worship, shadowed forth, by correspondence, the spiritual things of worship and of heaven ; in like manner, everything in the Israelitish church, the burnt offerings, sacrifices, meat offerings and drink offerings, with all the particulars belonging to each, were of this spiritually representative character ; they were all types and shadows of good things to come. The science of faithfully representing, by outward objects, the spiritual states and conditions of the mind and life, was not only known, but also cultivated in many kingdoms of Asia, particularly in the land of Canaan, Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Syria, Arabia, in Tyre, JSidon, and Nineveh ; from thence it was conveyed into Greece, where, as appears from the works of the most ancient Grecian writers, it was changed into fable.

All things that appear on the face of the earth, being objects which compose the macrocosm or great world, are corresponding emblems of all the various affections, thoughts, intellectual faculties and power* of man, whom the ancients called the microcosm or little world ; consequently, not only trees and vegetables, but also beasts, birds, fishes of every kind, with all other animals, down to the worm and creeping things of the ground. These are all mentioned in Scripture in reference to the mental properties of man. Hence the Lord says by the prophet, ” In that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground.” (Hosea ii. 18.) This covenant is certainly not made with unthinking animals, but with reflecting man, who is here described as to his affections and thoughts, from the highest to the lowest, by beasts, birds and creeping things.

In agreement with the universal principles of correspondence, the ancients, who were versed therein, made themselves images to represent things celestial, and were, no doubt, greatly delighted therewith. By reason of their spiritual signification, they could, and did, discern in them what related to heaven and the church. Hence they placed those images both in their temples and houses, not with any intention to worship them, but to serve as means of recollecting the celestial things signified by them. In Egypt and in other places, they made images of calves, oxen, serpents, and also of children, old men and virgins. Why they did this, correspondence alone can show. Calves and oxen signify the affections and powers -of the natural mind ; serpents, the prudence and cunning of the sensual man ; children, innocence and charity ; old men, wisdom ; and virgins, the affections of truth. Succeeding ages, when the knowledge of correspondence became obliterated, because they found these pictures and images set up by their forefathers in and about their temples, began to worship them as deities ; and from this, idolatrous worship took its rise. The ancients performed their worship in gardens and groves, and also on mountains and hills ; by the language of correspondence, gardens and groves signify wisdom and intelligence, and every particular tree something relating thereto: a mountain denotes the highest principle of celestial love to the Lord ; and hills, brotherly love arid charity. It is from this their spiritual signification, that we read in Scripture, ” The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” (Isaiah Iv. 12.) This true science not only lucidly explains all Scripture, but also the manners and customs of those who lived in the primitive times ; and if ever the ancient Grecian fables, or the Egyptian hieroglyphics, shall be truly deciphered, it must be by this means. No other method will ever correctly unfold their meaning.