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you are promoting your regeneration,—but also on the feelings with which you do it. And religious truths make these feelings right.
I think you can now understand the difference between what I call religious truths, and other truths. Other truths are useful, in teaching you how to perform all the various duties of your life. Religious truths are useful in teaching you how to perform these duties with a right disposition and affection; that is, with such dispositions and such affections, as are proper to a human being who is endeavouring to work with God in overcoming his love of evil and confirming his love of good.
If you have understood this, you will easily see that religious truths are those which are most proper for instruction on the Sabbath. As these truths are the chief and most essential in the work of regeneration, and as the Sabbath signifies this work, and was ordained among men, to promote it,-it is plain that the instructions most proper to this day, must be instructions in these truths.
This lesson is already long, but I have one thing more to say of the Sabbath. Worship, and
religious instruction, belong to this day; and also charity. Charity is the sign of regeneration, and its effect. We shall speak more of this hereafter. Now I will only tell you, charity is doing good from good affections. Because regeneration leads to this, and the Sabbath signifies regeneration, therefore charity is one of the appropriate duties of the Sabbath. The
The way in which you may best perform this duty, is, perhaps, to cultivate in yourself, watchfully and carefully, kind, gentle and affectionate feelings. And though you
should do this always, let us hope that you will, in an especial manner, examine yourself, and endeavor to improve in this respect, on the day of the Sabbath.
In my last lesson I spoke of religious truths, for the purpose of showing you in a general way what they are, and why they are most proper for instruction on the Sabbath. I will now speak of these truths more particularly.
The first great instructer in these truths is the Bible. This is the Word of God; and all its words are His words. He has spoken them through the prophets; how He thus spoke them, you will be able to understand better at some future time than now; but I can tell you now why He spoke them. He spoke them to assist man in his regeneration. It is for this reason that the Bible is wholly full, from its beginning to its end, of truths which
may lead man to God by the way regeneration; which is the only way of going to Him. Therefore the Bible, which is used for your instruction every day, is more especially used on the Sabbath.
The Bible stands alone among books; no other
is like it; no other can be compared with it; and every other book is of use to our regeneration exactly in proportion as it conforms to the Bible, and helps us to understand our Bible.
Of these books, the first and chief are those which were written by Emanuel Swedenborg. He was a very good and learned man, to whom many truths of great importance were revealed by the Lord, for the good of mankind. And he wrote many books to declare these truths, and to explain the Bible, and make us sensible of its unspeakable and immeasurable value. Some of the books which Swedenborg wrote you are now somewhat acquainted with; others you will know presently, as you are better able to understand them, and as you have more time to read them. And you will be able to notice hereafter, that as you become better acquainted with the works of Swedenborg, and understand them more, you will find that you understand the Bible better and better, and reverence and love it more and more, and obey it more and more, you would obey the words and commands of God.
Because the works of Swedenborg are of this character, they are used in your Sunday School.
But there are also books, which are prepared from time to time, to assist those who would instruct you in religious truths. There may be a very great variety of these books, because there is a very great variety of subjects which such books may treat of. I am trying to make such a book for you now, and I believe you will now understand what I mean by calling it SUNDAY LESSONS. In my former lessons, I have been telling you of regeneration, of the signification and purpose of the Sabbath, and of the best way of observing it and keeping it holy. All these are religious subjects; and I spoke of them first, because something should be known of them before any other subject can be studied in your Sunday School, in the best way. But I intend, in the rest of my lessons, to speak principally of another subject, which may be very useful to you. This subject is
In what remains of this lesson, I shall try to