THE SCIENCE OF CORRESPONDENCES
THE ORIGIN OF CORRESPONDENCE, AND WHY THE SCRIPTURE
IS WRITTEN INAGREEMENT WITH IT. SOME PROOFS GIVEN.
REVELATION THE VOICE OFGOD SPEAKING TO MAN’S WILL
AND INTELLECT; THEREFORE OF PLENARY INSPIRATION OPINIONS
OF ANCIENT AND MODERN AUTHORS RESPECTINGCORRESPONDENCE.
THE PRAYER OF MOSES, ” LORD, I BESEECH THEE, SHOW ME THY
GLORY,” EXPLAINED THE TRI-UNITY OF GOD, AS CONSISTING
OF LOVE, WISDOM, POWER, EXHIBITED IN ALL CREATION.
CORRESPONDENCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS OF NATURE
WITH THE THREE DEGREES OF LIFE IN MAN.
BY REV. THOMAS GOYDER.
The Origin of Correspondence.
TO point out the origin of correspondence, and why the Word of God is written according to it, we must endeavor to show the orderly descent of Divine Truth from its beginning in the bosom of Deity, to its being embodied in the natural language of men on earth. This is, indeed, no very easy task ; but still some knowledge, however faint we may deem it, can be obtained by those who thirst for the truth that they may be freed from error and doubt. To obtain information upon this lofty and momentous subject, we must make a direct appeal to the Word itself; for that alone is the centre and source of knowledge. David says, ” Forever, O Lord, thy Word is settled in heaven.” (Ps. cxix. 89.) Now of this Word, which he here describes as being forever settled in heaven, he says in the 105th verse of the same psalm, ” It is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” This language evidently declares that the Word of God has its beginnings in heaven, where it is in everlasting bright ness, and from thence descending to the earth, becomes to the human race the lamp to their feet, and the light to guide them in their religious path or walk.
Some Proofs Given.
This descent of the Divine Truth from heaven to earth, so that it may be to man his true and steady light to guide him in all his ways, is beautifully described in Psalm xviii. 9, where we read : ” He (the Lord) bowed the heavens also, and came down, and darkness was under his feet.” To bow the heavens and come down, is a Scripture phrase signifying the Lord s presence, not only in the heavens, his more exalted dwelling-place, but in the earth, and in all parts of his wide and living creation. ” He bowed the heavens also, and came down.”
The mind of man when venturing to contemplate the Majesty of heaven, can readily conceive Him to be a Being whose essence is love, unbounded and pure, and that the proximate sphere thereof, being the brightness by which love is made known, is the most pure and perfect wisdom. Love and wisdom, then, are the essential properties which constitute, if we may so speak, ” our Father in the heavens.” These two dwell in everlasting union ; they cannot be separated in act, however man, through his prejudice and foolishness, may separate them in thought, and suppose them to be two distinct entities. Love, as the source of creation, is the essence of wisdom, the source and root of all being ; and as such, in Scripture, is called FATHER ; Divine Wisdom, as being the first and only sphere of Love, is the form of such Love, and is called SON, and the first and ONLY-BEGOTTEN. As love dwells within wisdom, and cannot be separated from it, so Divine Revelation, inasmuch as it is God s own Word declaring the truth, teaches that the Father is in the Son that the Son came forth from the bosom of the Father, and that the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ as the Truth, are ONE. ” I and the Father are one.” (John x. 30.)
The first emanating sphere of the Divine Majesty is termed the Wisdom of God, and an everlasting light. This is the only Truth ! it is the Word that was in the beginning with God, and was God, of which Jesus Christ was the manifested form. This is agreeable to the Divine declaration, ” the Word was made flesh.” (John i. 14.) This sphere of Divine Truth in the heavens, where the psalmist says it is forever settled, must exist in its highest degree of celestial bright ness, and partaking of all the qualities of angelic purity and wisdom, must faithfully describe them and bring them forth : but in its further descent through the heavens to men on earth, that is, in bowing the heavens and coming down, it is received in a lower degree of finite existence, and entering the minds of those persons, who were the prepared instruments to embody the Word of God in human language, must partake of those affections, thoughts and properties peculiar to man while existing in a world of nature. As such, the language of the written Word must be made up of those things which appear in this world ; all of which, by an immutable law of correspondence, are used to express the qualities and properties of mind, whether they be good or bad, true or false. While, then, it is a truth that the Word or Wisdom of God is in all the heavens forever settled there, and from whence angelic perfection is derived ; it is equally true that the same Word ” bowed the heavens and came down,” and thus became to man on earth his lamp of safety, his everlasting light, his sure and certain guide. Man, in reference to his existence in this world, is indeed made a little lower than the angels : but because the truth of God meets him here, supplying all his wants and leading him to the heaven of angels, he is therefore crowned with glory and honor.
Divine Truth, in bowing the heavens and coming down, is presented to men on earth, accommodated to their wants, to their states of affection and thought. It is therefore clothed in the garments of human language, and, in its literal sense, the Divine brightness within is clothed or covered ; thus it is the WORD in its most external form, in which the light or brightness of its internal spirit terminates in the shade or cloud of the letter. In Scripture, heaven is called the Lord’s throne, but the earth, his footstool. The idea presented to the mind by the throne of God, is that of Divine justice and judgment dwell ing together, from whence every one is to receive the just reward of his doings ; for it is an unquestionable law of Divine order, both in nature and in grace, that ” whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” In heaven, where the throne of God is, Truth is in its glory, in its brightness : but on the earth, which is the Lord s footstool, it is clothed in human language, and its literal sense, though a guard and defence to the glory within, is, when compared to its internal contents, as darkness to light. Hence it said, that in bowing .the heavens and coining down, “darkness was under his feet.” The Word of God is not darkness to the Christian : all its literal truths are to him the clouds of heaven, in which the spiritual man can always discern the presence of the Lord coming with power and glory. But to the wicked, to those who are in states of opposition, who love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil, to such the Word in its literal form is darkness ; for they can discern nothing of that light which shines through the letter from the Divine brightness within. Yet not withstanding their blindness and opposition, their contempt of all sacred things, the Lord’s presence in his Word is pre-eminently full and complete ; the Spirit of God pervades the whole, and his life sustains every jot and. tittle.
This universal presence of the Lord in his Word, which gives life and spirit to the whole, is finely described by the psalmist in these words, ” He rode upon a cherub and did fly ; yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place ; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.” (Ps. xviii. 10, 11.) These expressions, the dark waters and thick clouds which form the Divine pavilion, are expressive of those appearances of truth in the literal sense, by which the Divine brightness is AS it were obscured by those perversions of the natural and carnal mind, which are here called dark waters and thick clouds. The truth of these remarks is experienced in every-day life and abundantly borne out by the madness of those atheistical comments upon Scripture, which are daily issuing from the school of materialism and infidelity. They are made by persons whose only object is to throw obloquy and contempt upon a Book, the contents of which they do not understand. They act as if they had neither eyes to see its glory, nor hearts to feel its power. They would fain have us believe that the Bible is a worthless and even immoral book, invented in the darlr ages by ignorance and priestcraft. But to these gratuitous and unproved charges, we reply that the sight of the owl is not sufficiently strong to enable it to look upon the sun in its brightness. Surely these dark waters and thick clouds which rise up from their perverted minds, obscure the genuine light of truth. They follow their own will-with-a-wisp, and are led into innumerable doubts and errors, because they have no wish to know the Scriptures nor the power of God.
The Divine brightness within the letter of the Word, when fully received, accomplishes in man full and perfect regeneration. It is therefore said that “At the brightness that was before him, his thick clouds passed, hailstones and coals of fire.” (Ps. xviii. 12.) It will be seen at once that these thick clouds, hailstones and coals of fire cannot stand before the Divine brightness they passed away ! These words show the order which the divine truth, as the brightness of Jehovah, pursues in freeing man from all falsity and evil and saving the soul alive. This brightness is the spiritual truth of God infilled with the warmth of celestial love. Wherever this goes forth, into whatever mind it enters, the first things to be dispersed are the thick clouds, then the hailstones, and lastly the coals of fire. The thick clouds are here put to denote those false and perverted notions which rise up as mists from the carnal mind, and which obscure the light of heaven ; but these will certainly pass away when the man, with a true energy of soul, begins to contemplate the truth of heaven. The spiritual brightness of Revelation will penetrate his thick clouds, and open to his mind a new and glorious scene. This brightness will also cause the hailstones to pass away. Hailstones, literally, are frozen drops of rain congealed into hard lumps, in consequence of the absence of heat. They descend to the earth in a destructive, not in a productive capacity. As hailstones they are of no use whatever in fertilizing the land ; before they can be rendered beneficial to the soil they must, by the application of heat, be turned into a liquid ; then, and not till then, are they made useful.
So in a spiritual sense, all those doctrines of religion which are professed by the lips, which exist in the understanding as so many cold and frozen speculations, but which regard not the life, are not animated by the fire of heaven, and in which the celestial warmth of love and devotion is not these are the hailstones which, in religion, are destructive and worthless. But no sooner does the Divine brightness appear than the hailstones pass away. When the warmth of love and purity of life is found to mingle with the doctrines we profess when every doctrine is seen to regard the life, and that the life of religion is to do good, then our hailstones pass away ; our frozen drops of speculation are melted and changed to the fertilizing waters of life. Then, too, though last, yet greatest in importance, will the coals of fire pass away. These are the true emblems of all those lusts, concupiscences, and depraved desires which, if suffered to remain in the natural mind, will, like coals of unhallowed fire, burn up and destroy every vestige of the heavenly state in the soul of man. But these, at the Divine brightness, will retire, and leave the man in full possession of light and peace and every joy.
In further explanation of the nature of correspondence as well as of its use as a key to unlock the sacred cabinet of Divine Revelation, we may observe that in this material world the forms of things only meet our corporeal vision. By our bodily sight we can look upon and examine minutely the form, construction, and organization of all bodies, whether mineral, vegetable or animal ; but the essence or spirit which gave them birth and keeps them in existence, this we cannot see ; it is no object of bodily sight, but of mental vision of deep intellectual reflection and thought ; hence it belongs more especially to the soul or mind. All outward forms are coverings of the secret operations and wonders of the Creator, and are expressive of the qualities of the spirit or life within.
As it is with the material world and its objects, so is it with the world of mind and its intellectual objects and affections. The ancients, who were in the habit of calling man a microcosm or little world, were accustomed to delineate his mental condition by the outward appearances in the macrocosm or great world of nature. Thus they described a good and wise man by the appearance of the earth dressed in beauty, fertility and fruitfulness by gardens, groves and paradises ; while evil and ignorant men they compared to rude and barren deserts, to wildernesses and solitary places, where nothing but sterility appeared, or where thorns and noxious weeds grew. They saw, almost at a glance, the relationship or correspondence between barren earth and the barren mind, and they described the latter by such appropriate terms as expressed correctly the appearance of the former. This method of speaking they derived from the ancient church in the time of Noah, whose members were grounded in the knowledge of correspondence ; a science according to the principles of which the Word of God is written, and by which it can alone be correctly explained.
The language of Scripture, when speaking of the descent of Divine love and wisdom from God into the human mind, by which, when affectionately received, the life of man is made heavenly and fruitful, is : ” The wilderness and solitary place shall be glad for them ; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon ; they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God/ (Isa. xxxv. 1, 2.) Here the wilderness and solitary place are said to rejoice with joy and singing, because they see the glory of Jehovah and the excellency of God. This, in the language of correspondence, is a beautiful description of the altered condition of man upon his warm reception of the Divine influences. The once barren soul then begins to bear fruit, the fruits of a pure enlightened wisdom. It is thus that the desert rejoices and blossoms as the rose. In man there are three degrees of knowledge, the one, as it were, within the. other; namely, religious, philosophical and scientific. Religions truth is the first and highest in order; it is a sacred statement of positive facts, and consists of an interior acknowledgment of God, the ardent worship of Him, and the reduction of all truth to practical life : this is the kernel, spirit or essence which gives vigor and animation to the other two. Philosophical knowledge is only religious truth perceived in the rational mind, and there clearly and intellectually discerned. Scientific truth is but the same Divine original brought down to the lowest region of the understanding, and there carefully wrought out by experimental proof. Each recognizes the other as a part of the harmonious whole, and they act unitedly together. True science leads us to philosophy; philosophy to religion, and religion to God. True and undefiled religion is nothing more nor less than a man bringing to his Maker the fruits of his heart. If religion declares a fact, philosophy makes it to be intellectually discerned, and science experimentally proves it.
Thus religion, philosophy and science mutually strengthen each other. The life from God the Creator descends first into the human mind ; from thence it passes to fill all creation with those living forms which, in the world of nature, truly represent and shadow forth all those qualities of affection and thought belonging to man, the world of mind ; and returning through him to the great Giver of all good, not void, but scented by his breath of praise, holds all things in one beautiful and unbroken chain of connection ; from whence arises the science of correspondence, or the relationship existing between essence and form, spirit and matter. As it is with the material and moral worlds, so it is with the Word of Revelation ; for as this opens to our view the eternal world, it cannot be the production of man ; but is, as the Apostle expresses it, ” God-breathed,” or ” given by inspiration of God.” In consequence of its plenary inspiration, it is the light of the world, and the sacred glory of the Israel of God. Now ” upon all the glory there is a covering and a defence.” Its literal and mere historical records form its covering, which acts as a protection to that spirit and life within, which make up its interior brightness, its real imperishable glory. Many read the sacred volume in the same spirit and temper of mind as they read other books ; the consequence is that they see nothing but the mere history of past events, in which they do not observe themselves to be personally interested. They abide in the letter which, without the spirit, killeth. Were they to contemplate its spiritual sense, they would find themselves minutely described as to all their states of affection, thought and action ; thus as to their growth in love and wisdom, or their decline into evil and error. In this study every good man would find that it is indeed ” the Spirit that quickens,” and makes him alive to his everlasting interests. Too many, however, act like the idle gazers in the world, who content themselves with looking upon the forms of things ; they never examine the beauty of their interior organization, much less contemplate the Essence or Spirit whence they spring. Their hearts deceive them, and their heads, directed by prejudice, lead them astray.
God speaking to Man’s Will and Intellect.
In carrying correspondence out to its legitimate use in unfolding the great truths of Revelation, the first thing to be acknowledged is, that the Word of God is the medium through which the Lord speaks to every man. It is the voice of God speaking most powerfully to the will and intellect to the heart and understanding. Man is therefore addressed as the microcosm or little world, and all objects in the great world of nature are mentioned in Scripture, in reference to the varied affections, thoughts, perceptions and powers of mind which collectively make up the perfection of man as the moral world. We read in Scripture, ” the mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.” (Ps. cxiv. 4.) Mountains and hills are called upon to praise the Lord, as well as ” fruitful trees, beasts, cattle and creeping things.” (Ps. cxlviii.) In reading such passages as these, many pass them over with a simple acknowledgment of their being highly figurative, and in this way leave us quite as much in the dark as if nothing had been written : but the rule of interpretation for which we are contending, makes them as clear as daylight. Man is the world in miniature, and as such, he has his mountains, hills, seas, lakes, rivers, beasts, birds, cattle and creeping things. A mountain, in nature, is the most elevated portion of the earth ; and what is highest in the material world, corresponds to what is supreme in the mental. Thus in man the most elevated affection, whether it be good or bad, is his mountain. Love to God is the supreme or highest affection of the soul. The affections of brotherly love and charity, whence spring joy, peace and union, are his hills. The pleasure arising from these, with the true delight they bring to the mind when in lively exercise, are here described by the mountains and hills skip ping like rams and lambs.
The mountains are called upon to praise the Lord, to instruct us that the supreme affections of the soul, signified by mountains, should breathe a constant song of adoration to Him who is the Author and Giver of all good. Not only these supreme affections, but all the lower ones ; all our perceptions and thoughts from the highest to the lowest, should render the need of praise : thus not only mountains and hills, but fruitful trees, beasts, cattle and creeping things. By this spiritual signification of a mountain, as denoting the supreme love of the soul, all passages in Scripture where this term occurs, are of easy interpretation. If the supreme love be fixed on the Lord, such love is truly celestial, and in Scripture is called the mountain of the Lord, the Mount Zion, beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, and the mountain that brings peace to the people. By this rule of interpretation we see, almost instantly, the meaning of these words : ” Touch the mountains and they shall smoke !”(Ps. cxliv. 5.) The Lord’s touch is the Divine communication and presence; the mountains, the supreme affections ; while the phrase ” they shall smoke,” denotes that the effect of such communication will certainly follow ; namely, the evils of self-love and the falsities thence arising as smoke, will be destroyed.
It is to man, with respect to all his affections and thoughts from the highest to the lowest, that the Word makes a constant and powerful appeal, and with the knowledge of correspondence before us, we discover the meaning of this passage : ” Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains and to the hills, to the rivers and to the valleys ; behold I, even I will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places.” (Ezek. vi. 3.) Here the supreme affections signified by mountains, are evil, and all in subordination take their quality from the supreme. Hence it is said I will bring a sword upon you and destroy your high places. With this key of interpretation we see the reason why Jesus went up into a mountain to pray. He did so to instruct us that all true prayer springs from the highest or supreme affection. We see also why the Lord s transfiguration was made before Peter, James and John; and why it took place upon a mountain apart, with many other interesting particulars. The Lord, who is the Judge of all hearts, can alone know the actual quality of our supreme affections. He it is who examines and estimates these, and this is described in Isaiah, by Jehovah ” weighing the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance” (xl. 12). If the supreme affection should be evil instead of good ; placed upon self instead of upon the Lord, it is still denoted by a mountain ; but it is then called a destroying mountain. ” Behold I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the Lord.” (Jer. li. 25.) This also shows the meaning of the Lord s words in the Gospel, where speaking of this evil mountain of self-love, He says : ” If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove ; and nothing shall be impossible to you.” (Matt. xvii. 20.) The science of correspondence shows also, that all beasts, birds of wing, creeping things of the ground, together with all the subjects of the vegetable and mineral kingdoms, are mentioned in Scripture in reference to man as the little world, and that they denote his affections and thoughts from the highest to the lowest. All the clean, gentle and useful animals signifying the heavenly and pure affections ; while the fierce, treacherous and cruel denote the impure, defiled and hurtful. It is in agreement with this instructive law of correspondence, that the Lord, in sending forth his disciples to preach the Gospel of his kingdom, said : ” Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves ; be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matt. x. 16.)
Man being the object of Divine care, is constantly attended by the great Shepherd of Israel, and Revelation as constantly makes its appeals to him. Before the work of regeneration is commenced in him, he is called earth without form, and void, while darkness is upon the face of the deep. In this state he is, prophetically, thus described, ” I beheld the earth, and lo ! it was without form and void : and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and lo ! they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and lo ! there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.” (Jer. iv. 23-25.) Here the earth, by correspondence, is the external mind ; without form and void, shows that there w:as no heavenly beauty therein, but that it was void of all good, and a spiritual blank as it respects wisdom or truth. The heavens having no light, shows that there were no spiritual truths to enlighten the internal mind ; the consequence was that the mountains and hills trembled and moved lightly no fixed stability in the affections ; there was no man ; for a man, truly and spiritually such, is a regenerate person, an image and likeness of God ; and hence all the birds of the heavens were fled, which teaches that there were no celestial thoughts occupying his soul. In this state of mental darkness and desolation, man is thus addressed: “O earth, earth, earth, hear the Word of the Lord.” (Jer. xxii. 21).) That the clods of the ground are not called upon to hear the Word of God, is at once apparent to every one. But after the process of regeneration is passed through, and man comes into a happy celestial state, how different is the description, how changed is the scene ! then the language of Scripture is, “Sing, O heavens ; and be joyful, O earth ; break forth into singing, O mountains ; for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.” (Isa. xlix. 13.)
In the Psalms it is written, ” How sweet are thy words unto my taste ! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth ” (cxix. 3). The Word of Revelation must indeed contain something wonderful and vast, of great moment to our present and future peace, if all its words are sweet to our taste, and sweeter than honey to our mouth. What makes them thus sweet to our taste, and like honey to our lips ? Surely not the mere words, not the literal sense of the Divine records ; for this sense seems to treat of little else but the troubles of the Jews ; of their bondage and deliverance, of their wars with the idolatrous nations, of their repeated promises of obedience, and of their constant breach of those promises ; of their backslidings, wanderings and deviations from the laws of truth and rectitude ; of their religious rites and ceremonies ; of their burnt-offerings and sacrifices. These, liter ally, do not concern us in any other way than as matters of history. We are not personally affected by them. We gain nothing by the obedience of the Jews to their ceremonial laws; neither can we lose anything by their neglect.
The great truth remains to be again and again enforced, which is, that the righteousness of Christians must exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees, or else they will likewise perish in the way. What was the righteousness of the Jewish Scribes and Pharisees, but a rigid and slavish exactness in the performance of ceremonies, in which the heart felt no warmth of love, and by which the life was not improved ? It is a known thing that they neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice, judgment and mercy. Every man will see that his right eousness must exceed this, or he can have no claim to be a disciple of Christ. Without this, his religion is destitute of spirituality ; the fire of love glows not in his bosom, nor does the light of wisdom irradiate his path.
The words of Divine Truth, to be sweet to a man s taste, must contain something of spirituality in them ; they must describe the heavenly state with its happiness and purity, together with the order pursued in the formation of it in the soul of man, without which there can be neither true enjoyment nor solid peace. The best commentators upon Scripture, both among the ancients and moderns, have maintained that there is some spiritual instruction contained in the sacred text, which is guarded by the literal covering from the rude gaze of every licentious eye, as well as from the unhallowed sphere of each polluted mind. Those who would find these treasures of wisdom must lose their sins their inward pollutions of life and practice ; for it is a law of Divine Truth, that holy things are not to be given to dogs, nor pearls to be cast to swine. (Matt. vii. 6.) The spiritual things of God and heaven, together with the states and intellectual properties of mind, are in Scripture throughout represented and shadowed forth by all the objects in nature, these being mentioned therein to denote such affections, thoughts, and states of life. If this view were seen and attended to in our private meditations, there would be little difficulty in obtaining a correct interpretation of the Word of God A few examples by way of illustration will prove this assertion, and show how sweet the Lord s words are to our taste.
In reading Scripture to advantage, we should believe that the great world of nature with all its parts and objects, both animate and inanimate, are mentioned therein in reference to man as the world of mind ; and that they are all outward emblems which shadow forth his various mental properties. Thus where the Scriptures speak of gardens, groves, fertile fields, rich fruits, and paradises watered by gentle rains, or through which flowing streams wind their course, as is stated of the garden of Eden, through which a river flowed, parting into four heads that it might water the whole, such descriptions are written for the purpose of showing that man, the moral world, is represented in a high state of spiritual regeneration ; when his cultivated mind produces the rich fruits of love and charity, when his state of wisdom is bright and cheering, and when his mind blooms with every virtue and mental excellence. On the other hand, when in Scripture we read of barrenness, of sandy deserts, of parched-up herbage, dry places, wildernesses, the growing of thorns, thistles, briers and the like ; all these are so many descriptions of man in a mentally rude and unregenerate condition, in which the heart or will, being evil, is the bad ground, producing nothing in outward life but falsities and injurious thoughts, which are denoted by thorns, thistles and worthless weeds. There is no passage of Scripture, when viewed in this light, but what is of easy interpretation.
Opinions of Ancient and Modern Authors.
Profound commentators were perfectly aware that Scripture was not to be confined to a mere literal explanation, but that it was to be expounded after a spiritual manner ; they saw a glory within the letter a light that could not be hid. Origen, one of the most celebrated writers in the third century, says : ” Unless thou ascend the mountain of God, and there meet with Moses ; unless thou ascend the lofty sense of the law ; unless thou reach the height of spiritual intelligence, thy mouth is not opened by God. If thou abide in the low plain of the letter, and do no more than make Jewish narratives of the historical text, thou hast not met Moses on the mount of God, neither hath God opened thy mouth, nor taught thee what thou oughtest to say.” The same author, speaking of the transfiguration of the Lord upon the mount, observes, ” Moses and Elias appeared in glory when they talked with Jesus, and in this fact the Law and the Prophets are shown to agree with the Gospels, and to be resplendent with the same glory, when spiritually understood.” Another ancient writer, John of Jerusalem, says, ” Do not suppose that it was only in former times Christ was betrayed by the priests, condemned by them, and by them delivered over to be crucified ; but even now He is betrayed and condemned to death ; for Christ is the Word of Truth, and they who falsely interpret the Word of Truth betray Him to be mocked and crucified.” This, then, was the mode of spiritual interpretation pursued by these two primitive fathers, and a similar one was adopted by Clemens of Alexandria, Jerome, St. Augustin, Ignatius, Theophilus of Antioch, Chrysostom, and many others.
If we turn our thoughts to the theological writers of modern times, we find amongst the most profound of them the same doctrine recognized, namely, that there is a spiritual sense contained within the letter of the sacred text. The Rev. John Parkhurst, who was the author of a Hebrew Lexicon, and must have been acquainted with every word in the Hebrew Bible, as well as have possessed a critical knowledge of that language, makes a long comment on Gen. ii. 8, “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden.” Upon these words he says : “Surely not for the purposes of a mere Mahometan paradise, but as a school of religious instruction to our first parents. Many arguments might be adduced in confirmation of this truth. Such a method of teaching, by the emblems of paradise, was suited to the nature of man, who is capable of information concerning spiritual things, by analogy, from outward and sensible objects. It was also agreeable to the ensuing dispensations of God who, in that religion which commenced on the fall and was in substance re-instituted by Moses, did instruct the people in spiritual truths, or the good things to come, by sensible and visible objects, rites and ceremonies ; by the cherubim, by sacrifices, by the distinction of clean and unclean animals, by abstinence from blood, by the institution of priests, altars, burnt-offerings, drink-offerings, holy washings, etc. “And even under the Christian state, much of our religious knowledge is communicated to us partly by the Scriptures referring us for ideas of spiritual and heavenly things to the visible wrorks of God’s creation, to the emblems of Paradise, and to the types of the patriarchal and Mosaic dispensations ; partly by the ordinance of the Sabbath-day ; and partly by the two sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual benefits.
It is further manifest that two of the trees of Paradise, that of life and that of the knowledge of good and evil, were of a typical or emblematic nature ; the one, the sacrament of life (Gen. ii. 9 ; iii. 22) ; the other, of death. (Gen. ii. 17 ; iii. 17-19.) And so after the fall, the rough leaves of the fig-tree were used by our first parents as a symbol of contrition. And since in that sacred garden was also every tree that was pleasant to the sight or good for food, surely of the soul of man as well as of his body, it may safely be inferred, that the whole garden was so contrived by infinite Wisdom, as to represent and inculcate on the minds of our first parents a plan or system of religious truths revealed to them by their Creator; especially since the paradisiacal emblems of trees, plants, waters, and the like, are frequently applied by the succeeding inspired writers to represent spiritual objects, and convey spiritual lessons ; and that with a simplicity and beauty not to be paralleled from any human writer.” In this extract the intelligent writer speaks of man being instructed in spiritual truths by ” sensible and visible objects.” This is indisputable evidence that he considered a spiritual sense to be contained within the letter ; and if we were to withdraw our minds but a little from these merely sensible objects, we should discover a lesson of the purest wisdom taught us in these emblems of Paradise and its joys.
In showing what these spiritual things are, which are represented by outward objects, we observe, first, that the word Adam signifies mankind in general, both male and female. This is evident from Gen. v. 1, 2 ” This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him ; male and female created He them, and blessed them, and called THEIR NAME Adam, in the day when they were created.” The most ancient church and people named Adam or Man, were in a high state of wisdom and intelligence, which state was denoted by the garden in which they dwelt. Man is not the creator of his own state of wisdom and intelligence, but it is the Lord’s work in him, and is effected while he submits to the Divine control. Hence it is said that ” the Lord God planted the garden eastward in Eden ; and there He put the man whom He had formed.” (Gen. ii. 8.) But when, through inclining to sensual pursuits, these people lost that high state of spiritual intelligence, they lost their garden. This was represented by the expulsion from Paradise, and their being sent forth to till the ground.
If the garden of Eden, with all its joys, was a true emblem of the high state of mental cultivation in which the most ancient people dwelt, what shall we say of its two distinguished trees? the tree of life in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, of which latter they were not to touch or eat ? The Tree of Life! what an important name is this! a tree which, to man, imparts life ! is not this a true emblem of the Lord himself? He is the sacred Tree of Life, who is still in the midst of man s spiritual garden, and whence all his joys and pleasures spring. What, then, are the fruits of this tree, but all the love, purity, goodness, wisdom and knowledge which yield spiritual nourishment to the wide creation ? To eat of this tree is to derive, from the Lord alone, all that we stand in need of for our growth in the Divine life, to feel a confidence and settled tranquility under Divine Providence, and to have no anxious cares about the morrow ; but to eat our daily bread with thankfulness and joy. Let every one eat of the fruits of this tree ; he will find them to be like the Lord s words, sweet to his taste and as honey in the mouth. What, again, is that river which went forth to water the garden, but a true emblem of the great abundance of Divine Truth, which, like a sacred stream, forever flows through the spiritually cultivated soul, to enrich and water the mental garden to increase the wisdom and beauty of the mind ?
But what shall we say of the other tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil ? To eat of this tree we must turn away from the Tree of Life. It is, therefore, an emblem of man s own self, to which he turns when he supposes himself to be the author and producer of all that he enjoys. He then attributes all to himself, and nothing to the Lord. He inclines to sensual things ; in Scripture language, he listens to the seductive reasonings of the serpent, and admits a spurious knowledge into his mind, a kind of profane mixture of good and evil. If we turn from the Lord as the Tree of Life, and pluck and eat of the forbidden fruit, the celestial state will decay in us ; we shall lose the garden, be deprived of Eden and its joys, and like Adam be sent forth to till the ground to cultivate low, sensual and earthly desires.
Many very curious and even fanciful theories have been entertained respecting the locality of the garden of Eden, and much of the mid night oil has been consumed in endeavoring to furnish an account of the precise spot of ground where this garden flourished. ” Paradise has, by some romantic writers, been fixed in Hindostan, in that spot called by the Orientals the Paradisiacal regions of Hindostan. Josephus seems to countenance this opinion, since he describes the Ganges as one of the four rivers which watered it. But Becanus contends that the site of Paradise was the more northern region, watered by the Acesines, and that the forbidden fruit was that of the Ficus Indica, or Indian fig-tree. Hence this fig was called by the Mohammedans, Adam’s fig. The island of Ceylon, situated near the equinoctial, has been declared to be Paradise, from a famous mountain called Pico d Adama, the name being taken from the supposed print of Adam s foot, still visible. Others, again, declare that Paradise was not situated in any region of the present earth, but fix it in some happy ethereal sublunary region, and declare that at the fall Adam was precipitated upon Ceylon, where, according to Herbelot, his sepulchre at this day remains, guarded by lions.” (Herbelot, Biblioth. Orient, p. 52. Edit. Maastricht, 1776.) Tertullian places Paradise beyond the equinoctial, in the southern hemisphere, amidst regions of eternal verdure, serenity and beauty, in some happy and secluded spot now immersed in the ocean ; and thinks that the flaming sword which turned every way to guard the Tree of Life, was the torrid zone, or burning girdle which surrounds the globe. All these theories respecting the locality of Paradise, more curious than profitable, will vanish like mists before the rising sun of Revelation, which teaches that the garden of Eden denotes that celestial state of wisdom and intelligence in which the people of the most ancient church called man or Adam, lived.
When we reflect on the important lessons of true wisdom taught us in the words of Revelation, and when these are relished by our affections so as to produce real delight ; when the lips express pleasure by the acknowledgment of the Lord, and of those doctrines which lead to life and peace, then may each one exclaim in the language of David, ” How sweet are thy words unto my taste ; yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” (Ps. cxix. 103.)
Again, Mr. Parkhurst, in his remarks on the word Testimony, says : “The various types and appointments of the law are called by this same, as witnessing somewhat beyond themselves, namely spiritual things, or the good things to come. Thus the cherubim with the ark are called the testimony. (Ex. xvi. 34.) So the two tables of stone are called the testimony, or the tables of the testimony, because they were to be a perpetual witness or testimony of wrhat the Israelites were to do and forbear. And thus the whole tabernacle is called the tabernacle of testimony, as attesting or bearing witness to spiritual truths, or the good things to come, and to the duty of men in dependence on them.” 10 (Ex. xxxviii. 21.)
These extracts are sufficient to prove that this writer considered all the rituals of the Jewish church to be emblematical, and that all the visible things in nature are types of spiritual things. Although he does not give any certain rule by which these symbols are to be explained, yet the fact of his belief in an inward spiritual sense is fully expressed. The rule, infallible and true, will be found in the law of correspondence. Thus according to this law, the ark, as containing the Decalogue, signifies the Lord with respect to the Divine Truth which, when received, gives a true testimony of the interior states of all, according to each one s reception thereof, with its reduction to practical life.
Bishop Lowth, in his translation of Isaiah, frequently speaks of a spiritual or allegorical sense in the Scriptures. The following is this prelate s version of chap, xxvii. 1. ” In that day shall Jehovah punish with his sword His well-tempered, and great, and strong sword Leviathan the rigid serpent, And Leviathan the winding serpent : And shall slay the monster, that is in the sea.” Upon this verse his lordship. observes: “The animals here mentioned seem to be the crocodile, rigid by the stiffness of the backbone, so that he cannot readily turn himself when he pursues his prey ; hence the easiest way of escaping from him is by making frequent and short turnings : the serpent or dragon, flexible and winding, which coils himself up in a circular form : the sea monster or whale. These are used allegorically, without doubt, for great potentates, enemies and persecutors of the people of God : but to specify the particular persons or states designated by the prophet under these images, is a matter of great difficulty.” Now this difficulty, by the law of correspondence, is entirely removed ; for it shows that the sword of Jehovah is the Divine Truth proceeding from his love, which wages a righteous war against all that is false and merely sensual in the understanding, as denoted by the Leviathan, serpent and monster of the sea. The truth proceeding from Divine Love is called ” the rod of Jehovah s mouth” (Isa. xi. 4), and also “the sword with two edges proceeding out of the mouth of the Son of Man.” (Rev. i. 6.)
Bishop Home also, in his commentaries on the Psalms, frequently alludes to this allegorical or spiritual sense. In his commentary on Psalm viii. he says : ” Nor is it a speculation unpleasing or unprofitable, to consider that He who rules over the material world, is Lord also of the intellectual or spiritual creation represented thereby.” In the preface to his commentaries, he observes : ” The visible works of God are formed to lead us, under the direction of his Word, to a knowledge of those which are invisible : they give us ideas by analogy, of a new creation rising gradually, like the old one, out of darkness and deformity, until at length it arrives at the perfection of glory and beauty. The sun, that fountain of life and heart of the world, that bright leader of the armies of heaven, enthroned in glorious majesty ; the moon shining with a lustre borrowed from his beams ; the stars glittering by night in the clear firmament ; the air giving breath to all things that live and move ; the interchanges of light and darkness ; the course of the year, and the sweet vicissitudes of seasons ; the rain and the dew descending from above, and the fruitfulness of the earth caused by them ; the bow bent by the hands of the Most High, which compasseth the heaven about with a glorious circle ; the awful voice of thunder, and the piercing power of lightning ; the instincts of animals, and the qualities of vegetables and minerals ; the great and wide sea, with its unnumbered inhabitants; all these are ready to instruct us in the mysteries of faith and the duties of morality : They speak their Maker as they can, But want and ask the tongue of man. ” Purnell.
The excellent Mr. Pascal, as cited by Home, says: “Under the Jewish economy truth appeared but in a figure : in heaven it is open,and without a veil ; in the church militant it is so veiled as to be yet discerned by its correspondence to the figure. As the figure was first built upon the truth, so the truth is now distinguishable by the figure.” I would suggest an alteration in this last clause, and say As the figure was first produced by the Truth, so the truth is now seen by the figure.
The mode of representing qualities of mind by the objects of nature, is recognized in a little work published by the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, entitled, ” The Book of Nature ; or, the true sense of things explained and made easy to the capacities of children.” The work contains a number of questions put to children, with their answers. The following are selected :
Q. What are wicked men, who hurt and cheat others ?
A. They are wolves and foxes, and blood-thirsty men.
Q. What are ill-natured people, who trouble their neighbors, and rail at them ?
A. They are dogs who bark at everybody.
Q. But what are good and peaceable people ?
A. They are harmless sheep ; and little children, under the grace of God, are innocent lambs.
Q. But what are liars ?
A. They are snakes and vipers, with double tongues, and poison under their lips (page 2). In the same work, after describing the difference between the life of the eel that grovels in the mud, with that of the lark which ” mounts towards heaven, and delights itself with sweet music,” the child is thus questioned :
Q. How do the lives of worldly men differ from the lives of Christians ?
A. As the life of the eel differs from the life of the lark.
The Rev. William Jones who held the perpetual curacy of Nayland, has also given his testimony to the great utility of correspondence or analogy in the interpretation of Scripture. He says : ” The world cannot show us a more exalted character than that of a truly religious philosopher, who delights to turn all things to the glory of God ; who, in the objects of his sight, derives improvement to his mind, and in the glass of things temporal, sees the image of things spiritual.”
In one of the volumes of Dr. Lardner’s Cyclopaedia, entitled, ” A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural History, by William Swainson, Esq.,” there is a whole chapter ” On the importance of Analogy,” in which it is said that it is, in all subjects, the life and soul of illustration (197). ” Such are the general effects and advantages produced by analogy in the elucidation of truth. Things which in their essential nature are totally opposite, are found, on closer investigation, to possess mutual relations, and to be governed by the same law. Hence we discover three sorts of analogies pervading the system of nature, in the widest and most exalted application of the term : the first regards the spiritual truths of Revelation; the second, those which belong only to the moral system ; while the third are drawn from the phenomena of the material world” (201). The following section (202) cited from another author, contains some valuable remarks : ” The facts of nature and the doctrines of Scripture are generally analogous to each other. Divine Wisdom thus descends from its ethereal seat, as the accessor of the throne of the Eternal, and communicates with us face to face and hand to hand.” ” What, if earth Be but the shadow of heaven, and things therein Each to other like, more than on earth is thought ? ” Extracts from very many other authors might be produced to show in what high estimation the science of correspondence, called by most of them analogy, was held as a safe and sacred rule of Scripture interpretation.
In addition to those already named, we have the concurrence of Bishop Butler, Bishop Warburton, Dean Sherlock, Dr. Jortin, Soame Jenyns, with a long list of other venerable names, celebrated alike for piety and profound thinking. But after all these high authorities, the great point is for each one to see the truth for himself. If we are to arrive at a rational knowledge of the subjects of Revelation, we must, in our own minds, see and know them ; for, as Mr. Locke justly observes, ” we may as rationally hope to see with other men s eyes, as to know by other men s understanding.” Holy Scripture becomes a delightful book of heavenly instruction when its sacred contents are brought to view by this master Key of Divine knowledge, the science of correspondence. It is then that the man, in his studies, enjoys ” the feast of reason and the flow of soul,” and perhaps no violence will be done to truth, if we assert that the sweetest moments of human life are those which glide away in contemplating the Sacred Word. Here in sweet retirement from the busy scenes of worldly pursuits, we may within the sphere of the Divine presence, when the mind is in states of calm tranquillity, and as it were in company with angels eat of living bread, and partake of that hidden manna which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.
The Prayer of Moses Explained.
Moses, in the ardor of his soul, prayed to God and said : ” I beseech thee show me thy glory ! ” This prayer was graciously answered and granted ; for the Lord said in reply, ” I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of Jehovah before thee.” (Ex. xxxiii. 18, 19.) Now although the goodness and the glory of God are always passing before the eyes of human beings, although they are ever present with us, and vividly apparent both in his works and Word, yet none but those who pray this prayer will ever behold them in their real connection. It is the true prayer of the soul and not merely that of the lips, that can bring down to human perception both the glory and goodness of God. It is only under the cheering influence of this prayer that we can hope to see the truth, and feel the goodness of our beneficent Creator.
In order to see how the Divine glory and goodness are made to pass before us, and how these proclaim to the wondering world the name of Jehovah, we must mentally view the God of heaven and earth as a single Divine Being. This must be the starting-point of all true theology : if this be denied or explained away by a corrupt and vain philosophy, we shall not behold a single ray of the Divine glory, nor shall we have a true perception of either God s goodness or his power. Every rational man will acknowledge that the glory of God is seen in the works of creation. ” The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy work.” (Ps. xix. 1.) But this glory to the reflecting of our race, is seen as strikingly portrayed in all the varied objects of this our world from man, the highest created intelligence, down to the smallest pebbles upon the sea-shore as it is in those brighter shining objects, the sun, the moon, and the star-bespangled sky ! ” All proclaim the Divine presence ; in each we cannot fail to discern ” the finger of God.” To show how this goodness and glory are ever present, and passing before our eyes, we must view creation itself as a proceeding or going forth from God. The Divine Operative Energy, or Holy Spirit of God, produces in creation an innumerable number of forms receptive of life, all of which are filled and animated by the life going forth from Him who is the life in all. This is the Scriptural view of creation, and the only rational one that can be offered :” By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath [spirit] of his mouth.” (Ps. xxxiii. 6.) There must, then, be an internal harmony, a relationship or correspondence between all parts of creation, while the whole, as being the work of God, must proclaim his name, or his quality which is signified by his name ; and thus, as a magnificent mirror, must show forth his unity, his love, wisdom, power, goodness and glory ! Thus all creation is a representative image of the perfections of Him who first produced and still sustains the whole.
When the human mind ventures to -contemplate the Divine Majesty, it can conceive no otherwise than that LOVE, WISDOM and POWER are the three constituent principles which make up and form (so to speak) the very essence and being of Deity. These three form the fulness and perfection of the Divine One. To these, Scripture awards appropriate names as expressive of the Divine qualities. Thus Love, being the origin and parent of all existence, is called Father ; Wisdom, which is the form of love and the first and only proximate sphere thereof, is named the Son, and the only-begotten ; while the Divine Power, consisting in the perfect union of love and wisdom going forth in creative energy and life-imparting influence, is the Holy Spirit, the breath of Jehovah s mouth, giving life and being to creation s wide domain. Those who think that the names Father, Son and Spirit imply distinct personal entities, deceive themselves by vain carnal reasonings. While they thus think, they can never understand the Scriptures nor the power of God. They can know nothing of the Lord s teaching ; for He speaks of the Father as being in the Son ; and when He breathed upon his disciples, He said, ” receive ye the Holy Ghost,” thus designating his living breath or influence, the Divine Spirit or Power they ought to receive. These three, Love, Wisdom, Po\ver, named Father, Son, Spirit, are the sacred trine which form the fulness of the Godhead ; and because these centre and meet in the Lord Jesus Christ, the manifested God, it is declared that ” in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Col. ii. 9.) ” Of his fulness (then) have all we received, and grace for grace.” (John i. 10.) These three Divine Essentials which form the perfection of one God, make up the Divine Tri-unity or Trinity.
The Tri-unity of God exhibited in Creation.
Now it is easy to see that all creation, by the infallible law of correspondence, exhibits, as in a mighty mirror, the Love, Wisdom and Power of Deity ; and thus that the Divine Glory is constantly present, passing before our eyes and proclaiming the name of Jehovah, his quality, providence and care. A little reflection will prove this fact. The sun in nature, the first and brightest object which meets our eyes, may be considered as the instrumental cause, in the Divine hand, of the creation of all those worlds which revolve within our system, and is therefore a bright representative image of the Divine Sun of righteousness. The constituent principles of the sun are heat, light and proceeding influence. The proceeding rays, in their going forth, impart life and vigor to all in the system. The sun is one body of pure fire ; the Lord, as the Divine Sun, is one form of pure Love. Fire, then, in Scripture, corresponds to love. Strange fire, which may be deemed unhallowed, is an evil or impure love which ought not to mingle with our spiritual devotions ; hence we find that the offering of strange fire upon the altar in the Jewish representative wrorship was the cause of the death of Aaron s two sons, Nadab and Abihu. (Lev. x. 1 .) The light of the sun corresponds to the Wisdom of God, which isa Divine Light ; so that, in Scripture, light, brightness, effulgence, whiteness and purity are terms expressive of Truth, this being as much a light to the soul as solar light is to the body. The proceeding rays of the sun which give vigor to the whole system by which the solar power and influence are felt in the material world, thereby refreshing, renewing, rendering it prolific and dressing it up in the richest beauty, so that food and clothing are provided for all that live ; these correspond to the power, Spirit or influence of Jehovah, which goes forth for the spiritual refreshment and renovation of the mental system of man, the moral world.
We must surely acknowledge that the essence of God is Love, his form, Wisdom, and his influence, Life ; so to show this by correspondence, the essence of the sun is fire, its form light, its proceeding rays, refreshment and life. We may observe this corresponding relationship throughout all creation; by this we may distinctly know how the eternal power and Godhead are seen in the things that are made. The globe on which we live is called terraqueous, because composed of earth and water. But earth and water, separately considered, will not sustain animal life ; and in this case the world would have been a useless thing. In God, Love and Wisdom, are united ; and from this union proceeds his Spirit, influence or power. In the sun of nature, heat and light are united ; whence proceed the rays of invigorating life to vivify the earth, making it both ” a bright and a breathing world.” So (as is the case in creation) by the proper union of earth and water, under the influence of the sun s heat and light, and these again being filled by Jehovah s creative power, the world is made to teem with plenty, and to produce a rich abundance for the support of animal life.
In Scripture, then, the earth, by correspondence, is an emblem of the mind or heart, which is the ground into which the spiritual seeds of Divine knowledge are sown. Water signifies truth as to its cleansing and nutritious properties; while the fruits of the earth, with all their varieties, denote all the works of charity and love, which appear in the general conduct and outward life. It is by these that the mental plain is richly adorned with fruits of love and flowers of wisdom. Correspondence of the Three Kingdoms of Nature.
Again, the world is divided into three portions called kingdoms, namely, the animal, vegetable and mineral. Neither of these could exist separately or alone ; they must all be united and form a one. The mineral is the lowest in order, and the foundation of the other two. Without this there could be no vegetable, and without the vegetable, the animal could not exist. It may, perhaps, be said that the mineral could exist without, and independent of the other two ; but in reply it is urged that, in this case, it would be quite useless ; and it surely would be no mark of wisdom to suppose that God ever created a useless thing. The animal kingdom, because it possesses the greatest portion of life, is the highest in order ; the vegetable is the next, and the mineral the lowest.
In Scripture, then, according to the law of correspondence, all the objects of the animal kingdom, as beasts, birds and creeping things, are mentioned in reference to the affections in man, both good and bad ; the good are denoted by the clean, gentle and useful animals, and the bad by the wild, ferocious and cruel. With this view we at once discover the reason why the disciples are called sheep and lambs, and the Lord himself the Lamb without spot ; why He is also called a Shepherd who leads his flock into green pastures beside the still waters, and why those who follow the Divine guidance are said to ” grow as calves of the stall.” We also learn why none but clean animals were to be offered in sacrifice, instructing us by this ritual, that no unclean or polluted affection was to intrude in the solemnities of worship. We see, too, why the wicked are described by bears, wolves, foxes, dogs, and the like, and why in spiritual things the obtuseness of their intellectual faculties arising from the impurity of their affections, is described in Scripture by owls, bats and birds of night.
The objects of the vegetable kingdom, as trees, plants and shrubs of all kinds, are mentioned in reference to the growing thoughts and perceptions of the mind, with all their vast varieties, both true and false. Thus an evil heart produces, spiritually, a barren intellect ; the former is aptly shadowed forth by dry and worthless ground, the latter by thorns and thistles, the legitimate but wretched productions of a barren soil. On the other hand, a purified heart produces a luminous intellect ; the former is represented by the richly cultivated and fertile ground, and the latter by luxuriant fruitbearing trees, by the useful plants and odoriferous flowers. Here again we see the reason why the Scriptures so frequently speak of gardens, groves and paradises ; of cultivated fields waving with corn “ripe already to the harvest ; ” of all kinds of luxuriance, beauty and fertility ; and why they as frequently speak of deserts, stony places and barren land, with their worthless productions. The one is descriptive of man in a state of spiritual cultivation, and the other of his mentally barren condition, his misery and desolation.
While, then, these spiritual conditions of mind as to affection and thought, are described by the objects of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, those of the mineral shadow forth the outward actions of the life, as being fixed and rendered permanent. The good are denoted by gold, silver and precious stones ; the indifferent and bad by the baser minerals, as tin, lead, common pebbles and the dust of the balance. Here we may see the meaning of the passage, ” I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin ” (Isa. i. 25) ; also of these words, ” For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron.” (Isa. lx. 17.)
The Creator, in his wisdom, has made all things to speak of his goodness and to declare his power. All creation, by the law of correspondence, shadows forth the glory of Jehovah, exhibiting beauty and symmetry in the perfection of his works. In the bright light of Revelation, the wisdom of Jehovah shines pre-eminently grand ; and to behold this, to have a clear perception of those glories which beam therefrom, is a privilege so exalted that with it nothing can be compared. Man, whom the Scripture declares to have been created in the image and likeness of God, does, both by his bodily and mental constitution, shadow forth the glory and beauty of Jehovah. In God we discern, because revealed in his Word, three essential properties which make up the fulness of Godhead Love, Wisdom, and proceeding Life. In created man, as the image and likeness, this trine or three-fold order exists both in soul and body. The soul of man consists of two faculties, will and understanding the former receptive of love from God, and therefore the seat of his affections and passions ; the latter receptive of wisdom, and thus the seat of all his thoughts and intellectual powrers. The union of these two produces his spirit of operative power, which is shown forth in all his words, actions and general life. In the organized body, which is the instrument in and by which the soul, as the living man, shows forth intelligence and power, we observe the same harmonious order. The two principal organs of the body, as a whole, and upon which the activity of all others depend, are the heart and lungs ; the one purifies and sends forth living blood for the renovation and health of the system, and the other inhales and breathes the vital air. These two, again, acting unitedly in a healthy state, produce the third principle or effect, which is exhibited in all the pleasures and phenomena of life. The heart, therefore, is mentioned in Scripture to signify something relating to love, desire or affection both good and bad, pure and impure , and the organs of respiration, or soul, spirit and breath, something relating to truth, wisdom or knowledge. This tri-une order which originates in God, is exhibited in all creation ; and hence arises that law of mutual relationship or correspondence between the whole. Thus pure Christianity, which diffuses love, wisdom, health and life throughout the whole spiritual creation, may properly be termed the heart and lungs of the world.
In the globe upon which we live, the same order is apparent : it consists of hard substances, as rocks and metals ; of soft, as vegetable earth ; and of fluids, as waters : so the human body is made up of its bones, corresponding to rocks ; its flesh, to vegetable earth ; and the blood, as the circulating fluid, answering to the waters which circulate through the earth for the refreshment of all its parts. In the material world, nothing is more unsightly than bare rocks without any vegetable production of grass, flowers or fruits ; in respect to man, nothing is more frightful than a mere skeleton without any flesh, sinews and skin ; and in religion, nothing presents so barren a view as faith alone, without any of the fruits of holiness, purity and life. This state, in Scripture, is represented by the dry bones, to which the voice of Revelation speaks and says: “O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord.” (Ezek. xxxvii. 4.)
Now all this perfect order, both in the material and moral worlds, shows the infinite wisdom of the great Designer who, by an immutable law of creation, has done all things well ; so that the goodness, wisdom and beauty of Jehovah are everywhere seen both in his “works and Word. Who, then, can behold these things unmoved ? Who can restrain the fulness of his heart from bursting forth in the lan guage of David and saying : ” Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men ! ” (Ps. cvii. 8.)