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sky, or like the higher and serener atmosphere above our lower and turbid air, yet inseparably united to it and the source of its life. Such is the nature of this "life within our life."
"There appertains to every man an internal man, a rational man (or intermediate), and an external man. The internal man is that which forms his inmost, by virtue of which he is a man, and by which he is distinguished from brute animals, which have no such inmost; and it is, as it were, the gate or entrance to man of the Lord, that is of the Lord's celestial and spiritual influences" (A. C. 1940). Regeneration is, then, the full and perfected coming or progression of Christ in the flesh or individual humanity of man-a pervading of his entire nature with the life of the Divine Word of which he has the inception-a going forth of the sunshine in the cloud, until the grosser particles are dispersed, and the finer and more receptive being permeated, the whole becomes a 66 sun-bright glory"- -an access of "sweet influences" from the higher into the lower atmosphere, until the latter partakes in a greater or lesser degree of the quiescence and salubrity of the ethereal fields. In fine, and more specifically, it is the transit of the celestial and spiritual influences from the internal man into the rational or mediate, and thence into the external man, until the two latter are successively brought into accordance with the first.
"What is done and transacted in the internal man cannot be comprehended by man, because it is above his rational from which he thinks. Beneath the inmost or internal man is placed the rational, which appears as man's own. Into this, through the internal man, the celestial things of love and faith flow from the Lord, and through this rational into the scientifics or knowledges appertaining to the external man; but the things which flow are received by each according to its state. Unless the rational submit itself to the influences of the Lord's goodness and truth, it either suffocates or rejects or perverts these influences; especially when they flow into the sensual scientifics of the memory: this is signified by the seed falling on the way or on the stony ground, or amongst thorns, as the Lord teaches (Matt. xiii. 3-7; Mark iv. 3-7): but when the rational submits itself and believes in the Lord that is in his Word, then it is in good ground, into which the seed falling, bears much fruit" (Ibid. 1940).
"In proportion as man is in evil, whether actual or hereditary, he is, as it were, separate from the internal which belongs to the Lord, and is with the Lord, consequently, in the same proportion, he is separate
from the Lord: for although this internal be adjoined to man and inseparable from him, still, as man recedes from the Lord, in the same proportion he, as it were, separates himself from it. This separation, however, is not an evulsion or plucking asunder from it, for man would then be no longer capable of living after death; but it consists in a dissent and disagreement of those faculties of man which are beneath it, that is of the rational and external man. In proportion to this dissent and disagreement there is disjunction; but in proportion as there is no dissent and disagreement man is conjoined by the internal to the Lord; and this is effected in proportion as he is principled in love and charity, for love and charity are what conjoin" (Ibid. 1999).
This conjunction of the internal with the rational and external is the heavenly birth; and the next and the great question is, how is it effected? which is the same as saying, how shall love and charity be acquired, in which this conjunction essentially consists? The apostle's words answer the question, "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God;" and in one of the extracts just made, we read that the good ground for the heavenly seed which the internal is, as it were, ever sowing in the rational, is formed by the latter submitting itself and believing in the Lord, that is, in his Word; and our author elsewhere beautifully and forcibly compares faith to the leaf of the tree, which draws in the vital principle whereby the fruit is formed. But sometimes the leaf is wanting in this marvellous property, as in the case of the barren fig tree; and we read of a faith, which is "dead, being alone" (James ii. 17); and which, lacking charity, leaves its possessor as "a sounding brass and tinkling cymbal," yea as "nothing" (1 Cor. xiii. 1, 2.)
It is to be observed, however, that theoretical "faith alone" has nothing to do here; for the object of that faith is very different from the great truth briefly described in the beginning of this little essay; indeed it is diametrically opposed to it in almost every principle: from that root we expect nothing; though we must admire the benign overruling Power, which has kept so many of its professors above the tendencies of their doctrine. But there is a possibility, and a perilous one it is, of holding purer and sounder doctrine without being influenced by it, and of making a faith alone out of the firm and zealous belief in the indispensable necessity of good works to salvation. How is this spiritual lethargy to be avoided? Whence does it arise? I believe it arises mainly from want of concentration in our faith; our
faith is, in general, too vague and indefinite. Faith, in its largest acceptation, implies a belief in all that God has revealed, and amongst the rest, that he who leads a good life shall be saved. This is most true; but the point is, how shall we acquire the elements of this good life, or what a certain writer calls the Dynamics of obedience-how shall we be like the band of men who went with Saul to Gibeah "whose hearts the Lord touched?" (1 Sam. x. 26). The answer isBy concentrating our belief on the one great truth of the Divine humanity, which, unlike the object of faith alone, is calculated to attract the heart and "set our affections on things above." The man who hid his talent in the earth thought his Lord to be a hard and austere man, which thought, we cannot help thinking, was connected with the hiding of his talent, for had he kept it before his view, it is impossible to suppose that he could think otherwise than kindly of that master who had given him what may be termed the inception of wealth. The want of increase in spiritual wealth may also be traced to our hiding the talent given us, the inception of life in the Divine humanity so beautifully described in the preceding extracts (I speak according to the internal sense), by not keeping it more constantly in mind. If this was more the object of contemplation, we would find, that "while we were musing, the fire burned"—the hallowed flame would be kindled on the long deserted altar-the heart would be touched and so the sacred gate would be unlocked and the treasures of Joseph would be opened, i.e., communication with the internal man. The affirmative principle would be found receptive of the good continually flowing in from that internal, "that so it is" (the shortest and simplest and most perfect definition of faith), and this would be followed by delight, first, that so it is, which is the same as the apostolic saying, "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. v. 1); and then the delight of willing and doing it, which is the same as "faith working by love" (Gal. v.); love or charity (as the original implies) being the actual living and motive principle. This simple and beautiful faith, like the foliage of the tree would be, at once, the first sign of life, and ever taking in fresh vitality would bring forth its fruit in due season (Psa. iii. 1-3); even the fruit of the Spirit, which (let us never tire of repeating this golden text), "is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against which there is no law," for they are, in their fontanal principles, the law and the order of the universe.
* Gen. xli. 56.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.
WE inserted in our last number the principal portions of a letter from a member of this Assembly on the important subject of the proper Object of Christian worship. It is seldom that the doctrine of the New Church on this subject has received so able and interesting an exposition and defence from one outside her pale as in the second letter, which we insert almost entire. The argument indeed will scarcely admit of contraction, and our readers will be glad to see so able an exposition from so unexpected a source. After a courteous reply to the portion of Dr. Crawford's letter which related to the order of business, the writer proceeds:— The second part of Dr. Crawford's letter, "about which' he is much less concerned," he says, is the only one which has to me, or to the Church at large, the least interest-the grounds on which I protest against the Assembly's decision. In his opinion, it is a somewhat shadowy distinction, or mere verbal difference, which may be settled, it would seem, by the authority of the Larger Catechism" (Q. 180), or of "the English Liturgy," in addition to this, and of John Knox's Book of Common Order," viz., whether to pray to God for the sake of Christ, or in the name of Christ, is the more appropriate form of wordswhether, in fact, the two are not synonymous. Why, sir, the very complaint of my letter was, that by reviving with the sanction of the Church these old and selfcontradictory forms of prayer, as in the English Liturgy and elsewhere, which savour more of the Nicene and Athanasian creeds than of Scriptural teaching or forms of devotion, when we are publishing forms of praise in hymns by dozens that contain direct prayer to Jesus Christ, and are therefore in direct opposition to the forms in "Aids to Devotion," we are confusing and bewildering the minds of our people in all their approaches to God; we are making our worship in certain parts irrational, as well as unscriptural and perplexing to the conscience, and making the name of God, which is the revelation of the Old and New Testament equally, especially His unity and personality, a dark and unfathomable mystery. In my deliberate opinion, as expressed and explained in my letter, to which I adhere still, the distinction of which Dr. Crawford makes so light is one which neither the Church nor the world, here or in heathen lands, will consider either shadowy or unimportant, and which both can comprehend at a glance, since it will be no less in the eyes of many than this, whether our people are, in their prayers to worship three Gods or one God; whether we are to pray to one Divine Being, eternal and infinite, for the sake of another to whom the same attributes belong, or pray to God incarnate in Christ Jesus, "in whom," as St. Paul testifies, "dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily," whether, as in the one case, we are to make the unity of God a thing to most incomprehensible or questionable, and the Trinity and Personality of the Godhead a mere unintelligible mystery, or, as in the other case, to maintain the unity of God, as clearly as it is declared everywhere in Scripture, while we neither call in question the Trinity that is in Jesus Christ, nor make a mystery of either the one or the other of these, and as little of His Personality in the glorified One, to whom, and in whose name, we bow the knee, with all in earth and heaven who behold His glory. If we hold the faith which Peter preached on the day of Pentecost (Acts ii. 38), we are all baptized in the name of Jesus, that we may receive from Him, when we believe in His name, remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost; for He it is, plainly, there and elsewhere, that forgiveth sins and baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. When we are thus baptized in the name of Jesus, not surely for the sake of Jesus, we are baptized, as Peter indirectly teaches there, into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that is, into the name of the One living and true God. For Peter, on the day of Pentecost, when he commanded those who believed in Jesus to be baptized in his name, was but fulfilling his apostolical commission (Matthew xxviii. 18-20), and proclaiming to the world his sense or nterpretation of the meaning of the charge which he received from his risen Lord, before His ascension to glory, to baptize all His disciples, of all nations, into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Peter on the day of
Pentecost most unquestionably believed, and wished the world to believe, that he was baptizing the 3000 who became disciples of Jesus, into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, when he baptized them in the name of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, we must conclude (and who can admit such a thought?) -that Peter altered the express and peremptory terms of his divine commission (Matt. xxviii. 18-20) in a way which no Pope in the height of his impiety has ever dared to do, on whatever pretence, with any part of God's commandments, or Christ's sacraments. Peter, in fact, believed, and plainly taught, by this form of prescribing the sacrament of baptism, that the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is a Trinity that is in Jesus Christ the Lord, and is in Him because in Him, as his brother apostle Paul expresses the same glorious truth, "dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Indeed, this is, it appears to me, the undoubted meaning of our blessed Lord's own words in the commission which he gives (Matt. xxviii. 18-20) to Peter and the other disciples, to baptize into His name. For it is of Himself that He is speaking from the beginning to the end of the passage, Mat. xxviii. 18-20, and His own name that He bids them proclaim to the world in all their preaching to be one with the name of the Father and of the Holy Ghost, as He Himself taught everywhere-that He was one with the Father, and that the Spirit was His Spirit. On the truth of this interpretation of our Lord's own words, as confirmed by Peter's words in obeying the commandment of our Lord, let the controversy be decided and the forms of our worship be determined. So Paul baptized also (see Acts xix. 5). So baptism, then, proclaims wherever it was administered by the Apostles, for the mode of Pentecost is uniform throughout the Acts of the Apostles, always, so far as I remember, in the name of the Lord, or of Jesus Christ. Nor is the same truth of truths taught less clearly in the other sacrament of the New Testament--the Lord's Supper-if this is to be interpreted in the light of our Lord's own words-John vi. Him we are to worship in that sacrament directly, as the immediate Giver of eternal life, and as the immediate Forgiver of sin, to all who discern His body, and come to His blood for the cleansing of their consciences. To Him directly we come, and bow the knee in His name, as often as we eat His flesh and drink His blood. With Him immediately we renew our covenant to be the Lord's, confessing Him, with Thomas, to be "Our Lord and our God," in whom we have eternal life. Is it, in this light, a distinction at all shadowy or unimportant to a baptized Christian whether we are to receive forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost from Jesus Christ immediately and directly, as Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, and all the Apostles afterwards preached, or from another person altogether, as these prayers bid us believe, and express our faith before God in such terms as these, for the sake of Jesus,' *for the merits of Jesus,' 'beseeching God" (p. 14) that He would cause us to be assured of His willingness to be, for His sake, our reconciled Father;" praying thus to God (p. 32), "May Thy Spirit assure our consciences that Thou art in Him our reconciled Father, who so lovest us as Thy children, for His sake, that nothing is able to remove Thy heavenly grace and favour from us;" praying Almighty God" (p. 18) that he would "accept the merit of His death in satisfaction for all our offences, that by His atonement we may become well pleasing in Thy sight?" So throughout the book. This, sir, is a question not of authority in any catechism, or liturgy, or other standard of any Church, but of biblical criticism and scriptural interpretation, to the test of which surely, without the least irreverence, all catechisms and standards may be brought and must be brought, when, as in this case, the meaning of express Scripture passages is to be ascertained. So far from accepting the Larger Catechism, or the English Liturgy, or John Knox, as an ultimate and infallible authority in regard to the interpretation of a Scriptural expression such as "in the name of Jesus," "in my name," which occurs in innumerable passages, I submit, sir, with the utmost deference, that the translators of our Bible, for whom I have not less reverence, have departed unwarrantably from the plain meaning of Scripture by intruding this theory of forgiveness of sins, for the sake of Christ, into a passage where it is certainly not taught by the apostle Paul, and that passage, so far as I remember, the only one in the New or Old Testament which seems to give sanction directly to this frequent form of prayer in “Aids to Devotion." In Ephesians iv.