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ple : when peace shall rest in every bosom, joy beam from every face, and plenty crown every board. And then, in view of the future life, the departure from this world will be cheerfully welcomed by every individual, whenever it shall please the Lord to say to that individual, Come. Come, my child. Come home to your Father's house of many mansions. “Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things : enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matt. xxv. 21.)
THE CORRESPONDENCE OF TREES.
6 The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife.” (2 Kings xiv. 9.)
WE speak this evening upon the spiritual meaning of trees, and their relation to the human mind by correspondences. A person who has never examined the Holy Word with regard to the signification of the trees and their use in the divine language, would be much surprised and benefited by a candid and sincere investigation of this subject. How few persons there are, even of those who read the sacred volume, who are really aware that the trees are treated of as though they were rational beings, having understandings and wills and muscular powers, so that they walk and talk and laugh and sing and worship and rejoice and clap their hands; are sometimes in great happiness, and at others, in great misery ; now strong, and now weak even to fainting ; one day in an Eden of glory, and the next going down to hell.
To those who look not beyond the literal sense of the Word, such things are little noticed when read. The meaning not being seen, no impression is left on the mind ; and the reader is hardly sensible that the Word contains any such ideas. Thus a great portion of the Holy Word is of but little use to such minds. For where no rational and practical meaning is seen in the letter, the deeper and more glorious spirit, the inner beauty and excellence, must be brought out to view, or the mind will be left uninterested and uninstructed : and the sacred Word will lose much of its value and influence. What can the literalist learn from our text ?
He will say, it is figurative. And there he must stop if he sees not the law of analogy. He may guess, and guess again; but he cannot certainly know why the Lord said, “ The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife;" for, to know this, he must know what principles in the mind are meant by the natural things mentioned.
And so David says in prayer, “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean ;" and we, in our worship repeat the same prayer. But we are privileged to know, by the spiritual light of the word, that by hyssop is meant external truth, which is a means of purification. And when we say, “Purge me with hyssop,” we mean, Cleanse me with truth. But, without the science of correspondences, whose eye beholds this passage and attaches any positive or certain signification to hyssop ? Yet how interesting it must be, to one who is thirsting for the pure water of life, to know definitely what the Lord means when He speaks. But. how can we know that hyssop denotes natural truth ? If we were far enough advanced to see the relation between natural things and mental, we should know at once. But not having that knowledge, we must look to the Holy Word and to the revealed science of correspondences for it. In the first place we know, by the general law, that as God is Love and Wisdom ; and that Love and Wisdom are composed of goods and truths in infinite variety, forming a perfect whole ; and as all natural things were created by, or sprang from that infinite goodness and truth, so each natural thing must correspond to some truth or some good either in true or in inverted order. And as we further know, that purging or cleansing of the mind, must be done by truths ; we may therefore see that as hyssop is always used in the Word for cleansing, it must denote natural truth in its cleansing properties. For the various loves of self, from which we are to be purified, cannot be known but by the light of natural truth, and therefore cannot be otherwise removed. For truths cannot be used for cleansing until they are known : because cleansing is a work which cannot be done in the dark. We may therefore see, from the general light before us, that to purge with hyssop must mean to cleanse with truths. Therefore hyssop is always used, wherever it occurs in the Word, for cleansing.
Cedar wood and hyssop are sometimes mentioned in connection, for cleansing, where cedar means internal or spiritual truths, and hyssop external or natural truths. That hyssop denotes lower truth and cedar higher, is evident from 1 Kings iv. 33, where it speaks of
trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall :” thus embracing the whole range of truths, from spiritual to natural.
Trees in general, in a good sense, signify the members of the church, or the church in them, as to intelligence from its doctrines, and from the truths of the Word. Sometimes they denote the good desires men feel, and the works they perform. In a bad sense, they signify the opposites of these.
The natural forest has long been admired as an emblem of the human family. For in the woods, as among men, are all ages, from the great-great-grandfather down to infancy; and the prior generations lie scattered on the ground. We behold the beautiful tree and the ugly, the wholesome and the poisonous, the perfect and the injured, the fruitful and the barren, the free and the cross-grained, the smooth and the thorny, the crooked and the straight, the healthy and the sick, the living and the dead ; the black, white, red, brown and yellow; some dying of good old age, others swept away by the tornado in the bloom of youth, and others crushed in infancy and childhood. Thus the forest, in a natural point of view, is a beautiful emblem of the human family.
But the scene becomes doubly interesting and important when we perceive that there is a perfect and eternal law of analogy between mankind and the trees, both cultivated and uncultivated. When we understand that the varieties and qualities of the trees are the result of the varieties and qualities of the spiritual