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conduct. It is not a mere dream of enthusiasts, it is not confined to spiritual meditation and exercises, it flees rather than courts cloisters and concealment, and it seeks to manifest itself in the open markets of the world and in the daily transactions of the duties of life. “I pray not," says the Saviour of His disciples, "that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil." Whatever, therefore, relates to external life and duty is to be brought under the control of religious thought and feeling. The Lord by His truth and goodness, is to reign universally in everything pertaining to man from highest to lowest. His will is to be done in the earth of the natural mind, even as it is done in the heaven of the spiritual mind. There is to be at His second advent, and under the New Jerusalem dispensation, a new earth of external life and order and beauty, as well as a new heaven of internal peace and purity and good. And just as earthly fertility and beauty is the result of heavenly influences, the influences of heat and light, of rain and dew, so the external mind and life attain their true order and beauty, and manifest their fertility and usefulness when subject to the influences of the spiritual man. In other words, all external duty in the new age on which the Church has entered is to be performed from internal, i.e. spiritual, motives. Let us briefly trace this feature of the Church in some prominent examples.
And first in regard to worldly duty. It is a distinct teaching of the New Church that all religion has relation to life, and that the life of religion is to do good; but it is an equally distinct teaching that the channels in which this good is to flow are our several occupations in life. The quality of all external conduct is the motive in which it originates. If it spring from selfish affections it is internally selfish, if from benevolent love, it is internally benevolent and good. Now the moral qualities of the external man are selfish and worldly, of the internal man benevolent and wise. The will of the natural man is the love of self and of the world, and his understanding the science which is in harmony with these affections. The will of the internal man is the love of God and the neighbour, and his understanding the truths which are in harmony with these affections. To love the neighbour is to do good to the neighbour; and our several occupations in life are providentially arranged to furnish the means and opportunities of doing good. The minister of religion who uprightly instructs his people in the way of salvation, and patiently leads them in the path of everlasting life, is performing the highest use to his fellow-creatures, and if he act from the motives of Christian charity (love for his neighbour
springing from the still higher and holier love of God) he is building up a spiritual character in and by the labours in which he is engaged. The same remark applies to every other worldly occupation-to medicine and law; to manufactures and commerce; to arts and handicrafts -to all orderly labour, to all worldly occupation and employment.
Now, as members of the New Church, this is to us a doctrine of life. Work is in a certain sense worship. It is one form of dedication to God; of service rendered to Him in the upright discharge of the duties we owe to His children. This to us is not a matter of intellectual speculation, but of realized Christian faith and doctrine. It is a religious duty to be upright and honorable in trade, and to make our several occupations the means of blessing and benefiting our fellow
And let me observe, there is no feature of religion of greater importance at the present time than this. Worldly duty is too often discharged from the most selfish motives. The man who would hesitate to steal his neighbour's goods, has no misgiving in defrauding him in his labour, or over-reaching him in his bargaining. The disclosures of commercial life show a want of commercial morality; the revelations of trade and labour show a want of conscience, and an entire disregard of the obligations of charity and neighbourly love. And this sad spectacle extends to professedly Christian men and women, as well as to those who care for none of these things. Christian men not unfrequently sail as near the wind in their bargaining as other classes. Nor, I fear, do we as New Churchmen give sufficient attention to these things. On their observance, however, depends the success of all efforts to build up the Church in ourselves, and to aid its extension in the world around us. It will not be by abstract doctrine that the world will be converted to God, but by sound doctrine embodied in the practices of genuine piety and a life of charity, uprightness, and good will. And we are in an eminent sense, the witnesses of this truth. Let us bear a faithful testimony, and let us be especially mindful to exemplify our testimony in our conduct and conversation.
THE WONDERS OF HUMANITY.
THAT we are fearfully and wonderfully made is a truth of which every child of Adam is a witness. To show forth the wonders of our natural and external formation would be to explore the entire domain of
physiology. Our corporeal frame, a world of wonders in itself, epitomizing the universe-our various senses connecting consciousness and creation, whether catching the eternal harmonies of nature in the "magic shell" of the ear—or inhaling with "the breath of our nostrils" the ethereal spirit of the flowers-or painting on the tiny sphere of the eye the wide and ever-varying landscape, with its infinities of light and shade, and form and colour. And as we explore this palace of marvels more inwardly still, "at each step do higher wonders rise.” First, we have "active fancy" which "travels beyond sense and pictures things unseen "—and then memory storing and preserving the pictures both of sense and fancy, and ever ready to bring them from her vast repository for future use-next the rational faculty abstracting and, as it were, sublimating the knowledges acquired by the foregoing faculties and elevating them to general truths-and proceeding still more interiorly, we come to the region of universal truths, of ideas properly so called, the intuitions of the infinite and the eternal, the good, the true, the beautiful, where thought unites with affection. Here the torch of philosophy goes out, and our further exploration must be made by the light of the Day-star. But ere we advance, let us pause for a moment, and see what cause have we for admiring the Divine goodness as displayed in these very outworks of our being. A retrospect of the portion of our field of contemplation already gone over is calculated to fill us with the deepest gratitude to the great Author of our existence, mingled with "reverence and godly fear," for His signal mercies in so constructing us that our mere corporeal life, if properly regulated, is a delight; and our senses are the inlets of most exquisite and refined pleasures, which, touched from above, may be exalted even to heavenly joys. A thoughtful survey of our natural faculties, both exterior and interior, and their relation to the universe (on the details of which many excellent and suggestive volumes have been written, and should be attentively read), may well kindle our devotion to the "God of our life and Author of our days." How appropriate are the words of the poet,
With every food of life to nourish man,
Thou makest all nature beauty to his eye
And music to his ear."
But the crowning wonders are in the inner chambers of the palace. Here, as already observed, we meet with what are properly termed ideas-thoughts of a more universal compass combined with affection, united radiance and geniality, like the light of spring-intuitions, as we
have said, of the infinite and the eternal, of the good, the true, and the beautiful; and we may add, above all, of innocence-present to all souls, but at best dimly perceived, and perceived only at certain times— seasons of calm weather," as the poet sings, when the outward senses are quiescent, the "thoughts called home," and even "imagination's airy wing repressed," we may catch a transient glimpse of our higher and better nature, and hear, like "the whispering of a gentle air," its still small voice
"Murmur of Being's wave that still,
In the world's noise makes music only
But the light of nature, although paling in recognition of these superior lights, cannot shew us their origin. Revelation must henceforth be our guide; and traces them to a higher spiritual and Divine life bestowed on man at creation-forfeited by sin, and restored by redemption, which constitutes at once the ideal and the reality of his humanity. And this is no distant ideal: it is in fallen humanity, yet perfectly distinct from it. To bring it into humanity in its lapsed condition consisted the work of atonement. In the eternal Word was life, and the life was the light of man, and the Word was made flesh and dwelt in us; thus His life and light dwelt and dwells in us, for His work regards all time. Hence, as by our natural life, we are connected with earth, so by this higher and spiritual life, we are connected with Heaven. But inasmuch as our flesh into which this life has been brought is altogether opposed to it, another wonder arises, for the Lord forms in the inmost of our being a region where this life remains pure and uncontaminated. This is what is termed the Kingdom of God and of Heaven come upon us and within us (Luke x. 9, 11, xvii. 21). This is our real humanity, and is hence called the inner or internal man (Rom. vii. 22; 2 Cor. iv. 16). Here we have arrived at the summit of being at the plain or meadow of truth in the dialect of primeval wisdom, or to vary the similitude, at the very presence chamber of Deity. It is (in man) the very first form by virtue of which he becomes, and is, a man. By this internal the Lord is united to man. The Heaven nearest to the Lord consists of these human internals; this, however, is above the inmost angelic heaven; wherefore these internals are the habitations of the Lord Himself. The whole human race is thus most intimately present under the eyes of the Lord" (A. C. 1999). What a magnificent enunciation! and what a universe of ideas is comprised in these few simple words!
Surely, if in our external structure so marvellously connecting us with the outward universe, we are "fearfully and wonderfully made," how much more have we reason to join in the exclamation of the Psalmist in reference to our internal and spiritual structure, so mysteriously connecting us with the highest heavens. It is to be feared that this blessed truth is too much lost sight of, or rather not sufficiently kept in view. If it were more dwelt on, not merely as a general truth, but having a special and individual bearing, we should experience a practical and happy result-we should learn, according to the admirable counsel of the excellent Clowes, to regard all good thoughts, affections, and works, as just the extension of the Heavenly kingdom within us. We should be filled with joy and sacred awe akin to joy-joy at the discovery of life among the extinguished embers, and awe at its high and heaven-born nature-we should like the disciples of old be “walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost." And, in conclusion, we should, agreeably to the advice of the apostle, which is most apposite to the words of the psalmist, and indeed naturally arises out of them, "work out our salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God that worketh in us to will and to do" (Philip. ii. 13).
Among the multifarious questions debated on the polemical arena in the seventeenth century, it was maintained by the Legalists, on the one hand, that the Christian works for life, and by the Puritans, on the other, that he works not for life but from life. The real truth embraces both views. The Christian works at once from life and for life. He works not to get a life which he has not, but to preserve and develop a life which he already has. And so in the text, "work out your salvation," it refers to the working out or working up of a material already supplied, as gold or silver, into various forms of use and beauty. "For it is God that worketh in you." The great encouragement and stimulus to work is the sense of God continually operating in us by His influent life. This is at once a subject of joy and wonder; and here we see how we are fearfully and wonderfully made, which is just what is meant by "fear and trembling." The greatest joy experienced by Newton was, when the demonstration of the truth of his hypothesis began to dawn on his mind; and yet he was seized with such a trembling that he was unable to finish his calculations, for he found himself coming in contact with the world of causes. And so the Christian "rejoices with trembling" at finding himself face to face with the region of spiritual causes of the Divine ideas. In the following verses