THE SCIENCE OF CORRESPONDENCES
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CORRESPONDENCE
AND METAPHOR, FABLE, ETC., STATED.
CORRESPONDENCE DEFINED, WITH EXAMPLES OF ITS
APPLICATION IN EXPOUNDING THE HOLY WORD.
WE have already seen that the only science by which the Word of God can be spiritually unfolded, and clearly distinguished from all other compositions whatsoever, is the science of correspondences. Let us investigate and illustrate the nature and application of its first principles. The science of correspondences is capable of being established and confirmed by the strictest reasoning and deduction of philosophy. Indeed, the absolute principles of all philosophy must be sought and found within us, and this is true of the philosophy on which correspondence rests ; but, as Swedenborg states, “it may also be gathered from analogies, and even from geometry itself” (H. K. 41). This mode of reasoning, however, would lead us into a long train of meta physical inquiries and researches for which general readers have but little leisure, and still less inclination. In general, we may say of science, that it is a knowledge of the relation which exists between the divine ideas and divine works ; between what is infinite and what is finite ; between what is spiritual and what is natural ; and between what is mental and what is material. While fable has no higher aim than to inculcate moral maxims which have relation only to earthly existence ; while figures of speech are but adornments of discourse and ornaments of rhetoric; and while comparison merely likens one natural object in appearance to another for the capricious purpose of illustration; correspondence is the positive affinity or relation which natural objects bear to spiritual realities. It is precisely the relation of the producing cause to its resulting effect ; of the inward essence to the manifested form ; of the spiritual world to the natural world ; of the soul to the body ; of the various faculties of the mind and their spiritual uses, to the various organs and viscera of the body and their respective natural uses. Thus, as the whole of the natural world corresponds in all its multitudinous particulars to the spiritual world, and the visible objects in both worlds correspond to the world of mind, the affections and thoughts of men, spirits, and angels ; and these again, in their purest and holiest significance, to the Divine affections and thoughts of God, just so the literal sense of the Holy Word, which appears to treat of terrestrial objects and affairs, corresponds to its internal sense, which treats only of divine and “heavenly things”(John iii. 12), which are, so to speak, mirrors reflecting the image of the Great First Cause, the Creator and Sustainer of all. The figures of speech, and beauties of diction, in the literal sense, are but ” subsidiary ornaments of the casket” which contains purest gems of inestimable price. Such is the nature of that harmonious and indissoluble bond by which all things, spiritual as well as natural, are connected with their Supreme Original, and are preserved by the samelaw as that by which they were primarily created.
Imagery is usually divided, first, into Tropes or Figures, including Allegory, Metaphor, Metonymy, Parable, Prosopopo3ia, and Synecdoche ; and, secondly, including visible images and similitudes, as the Emblem, the Symbol, and the Type, all of which, however, are allied to, and have their essence or ground in, correspondences and representatives. Correspondence must not be confounded with metaphorical figures of speech. Hindmarsh strikingly explains the difference between metaphor and the language of correspondence. ” A mere figure or metaphor,” says he, ” is the resemblance in some certain way, which one thing bears to another, not according to the true nature and fitness of things, so much as by the arbitrary choice of a speaker or writer, who is desirous of illustrating his subject, and rendering it familiar to the comprehension. Consequently, there is no necessary union between the subject and the figure, nor is the one an effect of the other, or in any wise dependent on its existence and subsistence, as is the case in all correspondences. An example will illustrate the truth of my observation. Virgil, in his Aeneid, lib. ii., likens the destruction of Troy, with her lofty spires, to the fall of an aged oak on being hewn down by the woodman s hatchet. This is a simile, or figure, but not a correspondence; for there is no necessary connection between the city of Troy and a mountain oak, nor between her lofty spires and the wide extending branches of a tree. The one is not within the other, as its life and soul ; nor can the relationship subsist ing between them be considered like that of cause and effect, essence and form, prior and posterior, soul and body, which, nevertheless, is the case with all true correspondences. The difference between a mere figure and a correspondence may again appear from the following consideration. A mere figure or simile is the resemblance which one natural object or circumstance is supposed to bear to another natural object or circumstance; whereas, a correspondence is the actual relation subsisting between a natural object and a spiritual subject, or a natural form and a spiritual essence ; that is, between outer and inner, lower and higher, nature and spirit ; and not between nature and nature, or spirit and spirit. This distinction should be well attended to. The language of correspondences is the language of God himself, being that in which He always speaks, both in his Word and in his works : but figure and metaphor, together, with the language of fable, are the mere inventions of man, which took their rise when the divine science of correspondences began to be lost in the world.” Preface to Hindmarsh s translation of Swedenborg”s Hieroglyphic Key to Natural and Spiritual Mysteries, pp. 3-5.
All natural things exist from a spiritual origin, and all things spiritual from a divine origin, or the Lord. The human body, with all its parts and functions, is elaborated from the soul, its faculties and powers, and therefore corresponds to it in every particular of its structure, form, and use. So the whole Universe is not the product of an immediate and direct fiat of Omnipotence, but is the result of a series of spiritual causes and divine ends. Hence all things therein, even to the most minute atoms, are correspondences ; the language of which is intelligible to angels, from the realities with which they are surrounded corresponding to their own states of mind, and suggests to the enlightened mind spiritual ideas. Thus correspondence origi nates in the very nature of angels and of God.
” Heaven, in the Word, in the internal sense, does not signify the heaven or sky which is apparent to the eyes of the body, but the kingdom of the Lord universally and particularly. He who looks at things internal from those that are external, when he views the heavens or sky, does not think at all of the starry heaven, but of the angelic heaven ; when he beholds the sun, he does not think of the sun, but of the Lord, as being the sun of heaven ; and so when he sees the moon, and the stars also ; yea, when he beholds the immensity of the heavens, he does not think of material immensity, but of the immense and infinite power of the Lord ; so also in other in stances, since there is nothing but what is representative. He like wise regards earthly objects in the same view ; thus, when he beholds the first dawn of the morning light, he does not think of the day dawn, but of the rise of all things from the Lord, and their progression to the full day of wisdom ; in like manner, when he looks on gardens, shrubberies, and beds of flowers, his eye is not confined to any particular tree, its blossom, leaf, or fruit, but he is led to a con temptation of the celestial things represented by them, neither does he behold only the flowers, their beauties and elegancies, but is led to regard also the things which they represent in the other life ; for there is not a single object existing in the sky or in the earth, which is beautiful and agreeable, but what is in some way representative of the Lord s kingdom. The ground and reason why all things in the heavens or sky, and on the earth, both collectively and individually, are representative, is because they originally existed, and do contin ually exist, that is, subsist from an influx of the Lord through heaven. The case in this respect is like that of the human body, which exists and subsists by its soul; wherefore all things in the body, both collectively and individually, are representative of its soul : the soul is in the uses and ends regarded, but the body is in the execution of such uses and ends. In like manner all effects whatsoever are representative of the uses which are their causes ; and the uses are representative of the ends which are their first principles. They who are in divine ideas never confine their sight to mere external objects, but continually, from them and in them, behold things internal ; and internal things are, most essentially, those of the Lord s kingdom ; consequently, these are in the veriest end of all. The case is similar in regard to the Word of the Lord : they who are in divine ideas never regard the Word of the Lord from the letter, but con sider the letter and the literal sense, as representative and significative of the celestial and spiritual things appertaining to the Church and to the Lord s kingdom. With them the literal sense is only an instrumental medium of leading the thoughts to such objects.” A. C. 1 807.
” Everything in the vegetable kingdom which is beautiful and ornamental derives its origin through heaven from the Lord ; and that, when the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord flow into nature, such objects of beauty and ornament are actually exhibited, and that thence proceeds the vegetative soul or life. Hence, also, come representatives.” A. C. 1632.
The invisible, or, as many philosophers prefer calling it, the subjective world, acts within or upon the visible or objective world ; for everything in the natural universe, as we have shown, continually subsists as an effect terminating in some use by means of influx from what corresponds therewith in the spiritual world as its efficient cause ; it is thus the plane or resting-place of something spiritual. All this admits of easy illustration, and may be abundantly confirmed. For instance, there is a constant influent life momentarily derived from the Lord, and descending from the soul into all the particular mem bers, viscera, and forms of structure, however minute, belonging to the body, without which the material organization would soon be deranged, and the elements composing them would speedily fall to pieces, and be dispersed. Thus there is an exact correspondence established by creation between all the various parts and functions of the body, and the manifold principles and faculties of the soul which gave them existing forms and activities in the natural world, and may be said for a time to inhabit them. There is, for example, an exact correspondence between the organ of vision the eye, its structure, and its use and the men tal eye or the understanding and its powers. The brilliancy and earnest gaze of the eye will often search and reveal the quality of inward thought without the utterance of a word, or where the speech would be ambiguous (1 Sam. xvi. 7 ; Luke xxii. 61).
Here the tacit operation of the intellect in and through the eye proves that there exists the closest correspondence and connection. Thus, also, what light is to the natural eye, truth is to the under standing ; what vision is to the eye, perception is to the soul. And it is common in all languages, for those who know nothing of the divine science of which we are treating, whence such forms of expression were originally derived, to speak of insight, of seeing and not seeing; of seeing in some particular light, or with various degrees of illumination ; of blindness, darkness, shade, and brilliancy in reference to intellectual energy and rational discernment.
As a further most striking elucidation, there exists a correspond ence between the heart, a vital organ of the body, its physiological structure and its multifarious uses and the human will, as a vital organ of the soul, with its complex affections and its complicated spiritual uses, for the will is the more immediate seat of all spiritual life ; while the varied forms and functions of the heart as to every particular correspond, again, to the spiritual forms, activities, and offices of love. As the heart is the centre of all motion to the vital fluid in the body, so the will is the centre of circulation to the soul of all inward life. As the heart may be said to reign through out the bodily organs by its proceeding arteries and veins, and holds them all in harmony, so the will by its ruling desire or love, and its proceeding derivative vessels of affection and thought, rules within and throughout the mind, and holds all mental principles in unity there. There is also a continuous influence flowing from the will into the bodily heart which proves the existence of a correspondence.
Excitements of the passions always disturb, more or less, the movements of the heart, and thence influence the whole body ; and just so the affections of the mind produce changes in the will, and thence in the life. As the blood is perfected in the heart, and there acquires its heat and vitality, and is rendered fit for its important purposes in sustaining the whole economy of the body, and is thence by the successive expansion and contraction of its muscular walls, impelled in continual and health-restoring streams to the most remote extremities of the human frame, so it is in regard to the will. In that receptacle of life within the mind, the living affections of goodness and truth are formed in the regenerating mind, and there receive heavenly qualities ; and thence by action and reaction, streams of divine life can flow perpetually forth to vivify the whole spiritual system.
That the will-principle is always signified by the heart in the Word, sometimes in a good sense and sometimes in an opposite sense, must be evident to every intelligent reader of those numerous passages where the heart is mentioned. The Lord, who alone judgeth righteously because He knoweth the secrets of the will, says, ” I am He who searcheth the reins [or kidneys] and hearts ; and I will give unto every one of you according to your works” (Rev. ii. 23). The Psalm ist prays, ” Search me and know my heart” (Ps. cxxxix. 23). We read of an “honest heart” and an “evil heart;” a “double heart” and “singleness of heart;” a “fearful heart” and a “strong heart;” of a ” hardened heart ” and a ” liberal heart ;” of a ” broken heart ” and a “glad, joyful heart ;” of an ” impure heart” and a ” clean heart ;” a ” heart of stone ” and a ” heart of flesh ;” of a “willing heart,” of an “understanding heart,” a “proud heart” and a “lowly heart,” expressions Avhich can only relate to various and opposite states of the will, and to the affections and thoughts thence derived.
To refer again to common forms of expression, what is more common than to attribute to an affectionate friend a warm heart, and to give him a cordial salutation. This mode of speaking in the language of correspondence, derived from the spiritual signification of the bodily organs, in reference to faculties and states of the mind, is universal, and has existed in all ages. To a sagacious man is ascribed a sharp nose ; to an acute perception, a keen eye. This important doctrine is still further exemplified in the human countenance, in speech, and in gesture. How frequently is it observed, and how easy is it to prove, that the face is the index of the mind ; for it changes its features according to the variations of inward feeling ; and the speech and gesture, when spontaneous, are always outward indications of mental states ; for the mind, except where dissimulation is practised, always flows into and exhibits itself in the lineaments of the countenance, which is pleasing or displeasing, gentle or fierce, tranquil or agitated, bold or timid, as the mind within is more or less in fluenced by prevailing passions ; while speech is the form of active thought, which by correspondence flows into its tones of utterance, which are manifestations of the feelings and gestures which are expressive of the desires and determinations of the will. Swedenborg treats this subject with his usual clearness and felicity of expression, where he writes as follows :” All things pertaining to man, whether internal or external, correspond to heaven; the universal heaven, being in the sight of the Lord as one man, all things therein, even to the most minute particular, being so arranged as to correspond to whatever belongs to man ” (Ps. xlv. 9 ; Rev. xxi. 9).
” The whole face, where the sensories of the sight, the smell, the hearing, and the taste are situated, corresponds to the affections and thoughts thence derived in general ; the eyes correspond to the understanding (Isa. xxxiii. 17, 30) ; the nostrils to perception (Gen. ii. 7) ; the ears to hearing and obedience (Matt. xi. 15) ; and the taste, to the desire of knowing and becoming wise (Ps. cxix. 103) ; but the forehead corresponds to the good of love, whence all the others are derived, for it constitutes the supreme part of the face ; and immediately includes the front and primary part of the brain, whence are the intellectual things of man ” (Ezek. ix. 4). From these considerations, it is evident what is signified by the servants of God being sealed in their foreheads (Rev. vii. 3), namely, that “it is to be in the good of love to the Lord from the Lord, and thereby to be distinguished and separated from those who are not in that love “(A. E. 427).
Thus the invisible mind is visibly and distinctly portrayed and emblemized in the forms and activities of the body, both singly and collectively, because there exists between the soul and its material frame the strictest correspondence. Now, all that we have thus endeavored to express is called correspondence; for the abstract principles of man’s mind contained in his will and understanding and which constitute his inner world or life” being conspicuously represented in the organs of the body, their motive powers, and their active uses which constitute his outer world, there is a mutual correspondence and intercourse between them us between causes and their effects; the soul is exhibited in the body as its true image, and they operate as one.
But what correspondence is, and what influx, shall be illustrated by examples. The variations of the face, which are called the countenance or features, correspond to the affections of the mind, wherefore the face is varied as to its features as the affections of the mind are as to their states : those variations in the face are correspondences, consequently also the face itself, and the action of the mind into it, in order that the correspondences may be exhibited, is called influx. The sight of man s thought, which is called the understanding, corresponds to the sight of the eyes, wherefore also from the light and flame of the eyes appears the quality of the thought from the understanding ; the sight of the eye is correspondence, consequently also the eye itself and the action of the understanding into the eye whereby the correspondence is exhibited, is influx. The active thought which is of the understanding corresponds to the speech which is of the mouth ; the speech is correspondence as likewise is the mouth and everything belonging to it, and the action of thought into speech, and into the organs of speech, is influx. The perception of the mind corresponds to the smell of the nostrils; the smell and the nostrils are correspondences and the action is influx ; hence it is that a man who has interior perception is said to be of an acute nostril, or of quickscent, and the perception of a thing is expressed by scenting or smelling it out. Hearkening, which denotes obedience, corresponds to the hearing of the ears, wherefore both the hearing and the ears are correspondences, and the action of obedience into the hearing, in order that man may raise the ears, or listen and attend, is influx ; hence it is that hearkening and hearing are both significative to hearken and to give ear to any one denoting to obey, and to hearken and hear any one denoting to hear with the ears.
The action of the body corresponds to the will ; the action of the heart corresponds to the life of the love ; and the action of the lungs, which is called respiration, corresponds to the life of the faith ; and the whole body as to all its members, viscera, and organs, corresponds to the soul as to all the functions and power of its life. From these few observations it may be seen what is meant by correspondence and by influx, and that whilst the spiritual principle, which is the life of man s will and understanding, flows into the acts which are of his body, and exhibits itself in a natural effigy, there is correspondence ; and that thus the spiritual and natural by correspondences act as one, like interior and exterior, or like prior and posterior, or like the efficient cause and the effect, or like the principal cause which is of man s thought and will, and the instrumental cause which is of his speech and action. Such a correspondence of natural things and spiritual exists not only in all and singular the things of man, but also in all and singular the things of the world, and the correspondences are exhibited by the influx” of the spiritual world, and all things appertaining to that world, into the natural world, and all things appertaining to it. Thus all the countless organs and forms of the body with their numberless uses typify, signify, or correspond to the endless distinct faculties or powers constituting the soul and mind with their diversified uses.
It is on account of this correspondence that the various members and viscera of the human frame with their respective operations and uses are so frequently mentioned in the Holy Word, both in regard to God and the soul of man, in reference to the laws of worship and the precepts of life, and are often applied to inanimate things, where it is evident that mere bodily organs cannot possibly be meant. Such expressions, when predicated of the Lord, not only refer to Him as in Himself an all-glorious and Divine Man, but also signify some distinct qualities of the divine mind, and operations of the divine energy which would otherwise be totally incomprehensible. Of the Lord it is said in Isa. xi. 5, “Righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” Here the prophet is speaking of the Lord’s manifested form, or his glorified Human Nature, as the very divine goodness itself and truth itself, self-derived and sole-subsisting, and from which the church in heaven and on earth is perpetually supplied with all degrees of love and wisdom, and preserved therein. And in Zech. iv. 10, to signify his omnipresence and all-pervading Providence, by virtue of his wisdom and understanding, it is stated that ” the eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the whole earth.” In the same sense it is written in Psalm xi. 4 that ” His eyes behold and his eyelids try the children of men,” where the Lord s eyes and his eyelids denote his Divine Providence and omniscience and intelligence, and the mediums by which they operate, namely, the internal and external truths and doctrines of his Word. Elsewhere we have frequent mention made of the arm or hand of the Lord, to signify his divine omnipotence, as in the following passage: “He had horns coming out of his hand, and there was the hiding of his power ” (Hab. iii. 4) ; and speaking of his eternal victories over death and hell, for the accomplishment of human redemption, obtained by the inherent omnipotence of his own Divine Human Nature, it is said in the Psalms that ” He hath done marvellous things; his right hand and his holy arm hath gotten Him the victory ” (xcviii. 1).
It was from this signification of the hand as denoting power, and of the sense of touch as representing communication, translation, and reception of power and virtue, that the Lord laid his hands upon the sick and they recovered ; and that to accomplish special uses in relation to ministerial functions, inaugurations into the priesthood of the Jewish dispensation (Numb. viii. 9-12), and also into the ministry of the Christian church, from its very first commencement (Acts iv. 3 ; viii. 19; xiii. 3; 1 Tim. v. 22), were effected as divine order requires by the imposition of hands. This act bears the same signification elsewhere in the Word, as in the act of blessing, and on other occasions (Numb, xxvii. 18-23 ; Matt. xvii. 7 ; Mark v. 23 ; Kev. i. 17).
When Moses, Aaron, and the elders of Israel have a representative vision of the Lord to signify that He manifests himself to the perceptions of his true church by means of his Holy Word, it is said that “they saw the God of Israel, and there was under his feet, as it were, a paved work of a sapphire-stone, and as it were the body of heaven in its clearness ” (Exod. xxiv. 9-11). We read also of the Lord s heart to denote his divine will, purpose, or love (Isa. Ixiii. 4 ; Matt. xi. 29) ; of his head, to signify his infinite wisdom and intelligence, by which He governs all worlds ; and of the hair of his head, to denote the ultimate energies of his Divine Providence, by which the lowest and vilest of the human family may be saved (Rev. i. 14). To represent the omnipotence of truth from the Lord, in its ultimate or lowest activity, destroying and dissipating all the false persuasions of that self-righteousness which disclaims the need of purity or circumcision of heart, we are supplied with the historical relation of Samson, the Nazarite, whose prodigious strength is said to have resided in his hair, slaying the Philistines, emphatically called the uncircumcised (Judges xvi. 17). In the life of real religion, which revealed truth teaches and enjoins, and which is exemplified in the ordinary duties of the Christian life, lies this only real spiritual strength and security. This alone conjoins man to the infinite source of all power. On the preservation of his hair, according to his vows, his strength is said to rest. Shorn of this disjointed from omnipotence his vows broken, and he is but wreak and defenceless, like any other unregenerate man. In the highest sense Samson was a type of the Lord as the great Redeemer or Deliverer of the human race from death and hell, and his hair will represent the manifestation of the power of truth in the life and conduct of his professing church. That power is feeble or strong to accomplish the divine purposes in proportion as men live in obedience to the truths of his Word. Hence, too, we see the reason why calling the prophet Elisha, who represented the Lord and his Word, ” bald head ” was blasphemy of the deepest dye, while the spiritual punishment of such impiety which the daring blasphemer thus induces upon himself, though it appears to his disordered imagination as the infliction of divine vengeance, is exactly represented in the destruction of the “forty and two children “by the ” two she-bears out of the wood “(2 Kings ii. 23). How interesting and instructive do these narratives become when they are expounded in every divine particular related !
In Ezekiel’s prophecy we read,” I, the LORD God, will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh ” (xxxvi. 26), where a stony heart signifies a hardened will, insensible to good impressions ; for flesh, in this and many other passages, signifies goodness, which is the reason why the Lord says He gives us his flesh to eat that we may have eternal life (John vi. 54) ; and the heart, being the centre of vitality, corresponds to the inmost and central affections of the will. In the Psalms it is said, ” I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel ; my reins also instruct [correct] me in the night seasons” (xvi. 7), where the reins, or kidneys, of which chastisement is here predicated, signify the things which relate to faith and the intellect, or faculty of receiving them. For, as the reins in the animal economy serve the important office of purifying the vital fluids, so the truths of faith, or truths internally believed, when practically applied in the great work of man’s regeneration, search and explore, correct and purify, all things of his mind and life, insomuch that without them the mind and life cannot be examined, corrected, and purified aright. This process of casting out evil affections and unclean thoughts takes place in the night of trial and temptation, and appears as a punishment till the morning of a new state of deliverance and joy arises upon the grateful soul, as it is written : ” Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom “(Ps. li. 8) ; and again :” Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just ; for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins ” (Ps. vii. 9). The Lord also thus reproves his people by the prophet Jeremiah, for the mere external or lip profession of the truth of religion or of faith, without allowing it to search out and correct the inward evils and impurities of their hearts and thoughts : ” Thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins ” (xii. 2). Again : in the gospel of Matthew we read that the Lord said to his disciples, ” Wherefore, if thy hand or foot offend thee [literally, from the Greek, cause thee to offend], cut them off* and cast them from thee : it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire, And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee : itis better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire” (xviii. 8, 9).
In this extraordinary passage, which the science of correspondences can alone unfold, the hands, as the chief instruments of physical energy and the ultimate of action, denote ability ; the feet, as the organs of locomotion and the support for the whole frame, denote the natural or lowest proper ties of the mind ; and the eyes, or organs of vision, signify the intellectual powers. Now we are elsewhere exhorted to have ” a single eye and a single heart,” and the reason is plain, because, as with the body, if the sight be not directed to the object before the eyes with singleness of energy, two objects appear where there should be only one, and the view is consequently bewildered : so with the mind ; if its purpose be not direct and single, it is distracted with the two discordant views of seeking human applause and of trying to appear well with God. And singleness of heart is of necessity connected with single ness of sight, inasmuch as a single and direct view of subjects is the result of singleness of affection, just as surely as a double and indirect view follows from discordant feelings. When, therefore, any evil or fake principles in the natural mind are, by the presence of truth, made manifest as the cause of our offending against the holy principles of the Word, we are to renounce them and cast them from us, for how much better is it for us to enter into eternal life ” halt or maimed,” that is, imperfectly instructed and struggling under the effects of ignorance, rather than, after being well instructed, having the form of godliness, but, as the Apostle says, “denying the power” (2 Tim. iii. 5), a hand, a foot, an eye devoted to the world and self, while the other is ostensibly in the service of religion. Such doubleminded conduct assuredly renders man a miserable hypocrite here, and obnoxious, hereafter, to the self-inflicted punishments of “hell-fire,” or the burning torments of evil affections thus rendered more furious for having been smothered in this world.
Again : in Jeremiah it is said, ” Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken” (vi. 10), to signify that unwillingness to learn and obey the principles of divine truth, which arises from im purity of heart. Hearkening denotes readiness to obey, even in the ordinary language of men ; therefore many of the statutes of Israel had especial reference to the ear, and the Lord also frequently and solemnly said at the commencement or conclusion of his divine instructions, ” Who hath ears to hear, let him hear “(Matt. xiii. 9) ; and again, ” Let these sayings sink down into your ears ” (Luke ix. 44).
An unwillingness to be instructed in the divine truth, and a disinclination to obedience, arising from evil lusts cherished in the will, i? thus described in the language of correspondence by the prophet: ” To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear ? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken ; behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach ; they have no delight in it”(Jer. vi. 10). ” They hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck : they did worse than their fathers ” (Ib., vii. 26). But turn to the Psalms, where the exultation of the heart is described, where divine blessings are received and acknowledged, and where the life and joy which animate the mind, internally and externally, when it becomes receptive of faith and charity, are the subjects treated of, and where every term has its peculiar and distinct meaning, we read, ” Let the floods clap their hands ; let the hills be joyful together before the Lord ” (xcviii. 8, 9) ; ” The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs” (cxiv. 6) ; “The voice of the Lord maketh the cedars to skip like a calf ; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn ” (xxix. 6). Who can interpret these, and a multitude of similar passages in the Sacred Word, in their merely literal sense ? What enlightened mind does not see that the various parts and motions of the human body are in these instances employed as significant figures, because, when viewed in connection with their uses, they precisely correspond with properties and states of the mind ? To affirm, as some have done, that these and similar expressions are mere ornamental types and oriental figures, is to re gard them as designed only to amuse the imagination, and is almost equivalent to a denial of their inspiration and solemn verity.