“Be ye holy, for I am holy. ” Lev. xi. 44.
Happiness can be attained by the creature only as he is in harmony with his Creator. This is an inevitable law of all created life.
”For the law was given by Moses ; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” John i. 17.
Life in its natural forms presents only its sterner outlines, and the world of nature shows many traits that border on the cruel ; but life in its spiritual forms is sweet though powerful, graceful though strong, gentle though firm.
“Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shall thou make them. ” Numb. x. 2.
All revelation is of Divine Truth and of a twofold nature, for it is adapted to man’s will and understanding. And all revelation coheres as a unit. Its various parts make a living one, even as the various organs of the body make a living one.
”And whosoever will save his life shall lose it.”‘ Mark viii. 35.
The attainment of spiritual life involves the setting aside of natural life.
” Thou shall break them with a rod of iron. ” Psalm ii. 9.
Nothing removes falsity from its resting places in the mind save the swift straightforwardness of the Divine Truth in its most natural form.
” Whatever the unclean touches shall be unclean.'” Numb. xix. 22.
If the mind be pure and clean the world in which it lives will be pure and clean. But whatever an unclean mind touches becomes unclean by the very contact.
“Render to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and to God the things which are God’s.'” Mark xii. 17.
Natural things are governed by natural laws, spiritual things by spiritual law.
“The stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.” Numb, xviii. 7.
In the building of souls the Divine Architect can use only that material which is germain to the character. All foreign matter He will remove. The process of removal may be an easy one, as of simply forgetting what was once learned (then are “the ashes carried northward from the altar”) ; or it may be a simple correction of error by ridding thought of extraneous elements (and then “hands and feet and body are washed at the laver of water,”) but again it may be the painful process of eradicating a foreign volitional element. Then the Divine Life sets all its force against this undesirable thing, and as a splinter festers out from under the skin in a healthy body so will the undesirable strange things be thrown violently out of the soul. Men call these times “temptation-combats ;” angels speak of them as ” the wrestlings of Jacob ;” but the Lord says that “the stranger must die. “
”And Moses did as Jehovah commanded him” Numb, xxvii. 22.
All law is but an expression and a manifestation of the Divine Love.
“Sell what thou hast and give to the poor. ” Mark x. 21.
So use the faculties of the natural mind that they may be helpful to the growth of the spiritual mind.
”And Moses brought their case before the Lord” Numb, xxvii. 5.
It is only according to the law that man can be conjoined with the Lord. Every violation or over-stepping of the law immediately breaks the links of consociation.
”And these shall be unto the sons of Israel a statute of judgment. ” Numb. xxvii. 11 .
To the spiritual man certain laws are not laws in the same sense in which they apply to the natural man. The commandment, “Thou shalt not steal,” sounds very differently in the ears of a thief and in the ears of an honest man. To the spiritually-minded many of the laws which point out to the naturally-minded a condition to be attained indicate a position already attained, and the law changes to a simple statement of fact.
”Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.” Matthew ix. 6.
Lift the mind into a higher state of receptivity, take up the doctrines you have formulated and apply them along the lines of your character.
“If any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. ” Matthew v. 40.
If to any man in search of the law thou give a spiritual truth give him the natural truth also upon which it rests. (A spiritual truth without a natural basis is an evanescent thing.)
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength : this is the first commandment.” Mark xii. 30.
It is a well-known fact that the mind of man is subject to degrees. These degrees have been called by different names in different systems of philosophy. We call them celestial, spiritual, and natural ; and as we think of them we conceive of the two degrees called celestial and spiritual as though they rested side by side upon the natural, thus placing the latter under the influence of both the former. And if the matter be regarded in the light of things concrete it is evident that the activities of the natural mind are divisible into sets, one predominantly volitional and the other predominantly intellectual. Hence the trinal arrangement of the first idea changes into the quadruple conception, requiring, in the technical phraseology of the New Church, the terms, celestial-natural and spiritual-natural. Into all of these parts and activities of the mind does the life and love of the Lord flow.
Author: A. Roeder (1900)