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better to enter into life halt or maimed, or with one eye, rather than having two hands, feet or eyes, to be cast into hell-fire ; that means that it is better to be good and happy here and hereafter in simple truth and virtue, though we cannot know everything and have all power, rather than, by being wise in our own eyes, esteeming ourselves great, and worthy of great power and dominion, we still remain in the love of self, and cast ourselves, with all our boasted wisdom and power, into the fires of envy, jealousy, and malice, and all the attendant miseries of selfishness. The selfish man would think himself spiritually maimed, if his overbearing powers were curtailed. He would think himself halt, if his feet were restrained from their wonted paths of vice. And he would think himself half blind, if not allowed to reason falsely and deceive his neighbors. And the Lord would teach him, by this scripture, that it is better to be happy in what he imagines would be a cramped, mutilated, and imperfect condition, rather than be miserable, in the full possession and indulgence of all his selfish powers and wants. In another view, we may see, that we cannot enter heaven with two eyes, or rather, two understandings ; one dealing in falsities and the other in truths. We cannot go there double-minded, serving two masters. We must have an eye single to the Lord or the truth. Nor can we go there with two hands, or rather, opposite powers of the mind; one exercised in things evil and the other in things good : nor with two feet, or rather, external opposing natural principles of the mind, one indulging in vices and the other in virtues. We can only go there in singleness of heart, mind and action, led and governed by the Lord. But our spiritual bodies there will be perfect, with eyes, hands, and feet. The cutting of the material body to pieces does not touch the organic structure of the spiritual body. He who loses a limb or an eye, in this world, will not be destitute in the next.
Thus does the Law of Analogy render clear and beautiful, the darkest passages of the Holy Word, and also bring to view new and heavenly light in the most simple and plain portions. We might go on and fill volumes with these illustrations. In fact, I have but slightly touched the spiritual sense of the scripture cited ; hinting only at the simplest and plainest correspondences. Much deeper and more wonderful light may be drawn from every passage than we have attempted to evolve. For it is a fountain of infinite Wisdom, known in its fullness only to the most high God ; and yet so wisely adapted to men that they can rationally commence the study in the mere twilight of the science ; and pursue a path which will grow brighter and brighter to the perfect day. And how emphatically does all this prove to us that the LAW LIFE BETWEEN GOD, MAN, AND NATURE, is the sure law of analogy, in which God speaks to us in both His Word and His works! For we thereby receive His love and wisdom—the great elements of eternal life—through a rational knowledge and love of the Divine qualities, given in His language ; and which are, in themselves, the life of angels, men and things. Let us then carefully study the sacred Word, as God's first and highest gift to man, as the true medium of eternal light and life to the human soul.
THE CORRESPONDENCE OF BIRDS AND ANIMALS.
And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field. Assemble yourselves, and come ; gather yourselves on every side to niy sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord God." (Ezek. xxxix. 17–20.)
OUR present subject is the correspondence of animals and birds to things of the mind, and the use made of them in the Holy Word. And now, let any intelligent person, who has never thought upon the subject, be told that the visible universe corresponds to the human mind, that there is nothing in nature which does not, from its quality and use, denote some principle and quality of the soul of man, let him admit this, and then go rationally and carefully into the examination of nature, for the purpose of finding out what things there, most expressively symbolize human thoughts ; and after closely investigating the nature of the vast variety of mundane things, in comparison with human qualities, he will come, most deliberately and decidedly, to the conviction that the birds much more fully and emphatically express man's thoughts, than any other species of things. And for a symbol of human affections, he will select, with the most definite decision, the beast. And the more closely he studies the character and qualities of the various animals and birds, in connection with his own feelings and thoughts, the more strongly will he become confirmed in the belief that there must be some analogical law or connection between the human mind and these creatures. For he will find no quality of the human affections or thoughts which he does not see manifested, to the very life, in the beasts and birds.
Every variety of quality will be there seen, from the most gentle, peaceful, pure, innocent, harmless and affectionate, to the most treacherous, filthy, deceitful, subtle, revengeful, quarrelsome and barbarous. Every shade and tint of man's affections will be found in the beasts, and of his thoughts, in the birds. And he will then see, why the Lord in His Word, is so often bringing forward the beasts and birds to describe the states and qualities of men. He will understand why Herod was called a fox, Dan a lion's whelp or an adder in the path ; and also why the Lord says, “ The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid : and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed : their young ones shall lie down together : and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” (Is. xi. 6, 7.) He will see by all such language, a beautiful description of the state of the regenerate mind, when all the various feelings of the soul, denoted by the different beasts, are in harmony and love ; when the strong lion and leopard of the mind, are filled with the spirit of mercy and truth, and are faithfully protecting the lambs and kids of innocence and virtue, from all harm, and even lying down in their embrace.
He will understand what is meant, in the Word, by the beasts before the throne of God full of eyes before and behind. For as eyes denote the understanding, he will see that it is the affections of man filled with wisdom concerning things future and past. He will also see why it is written that the animals give glory and honor and thanksgiving to the Lord ; why the animals say, Amen; why, when the Lord opened the first seal it was a beast that said, “Come and see ; and also, why the beasts fell down and worshipped God, saying, “ Amen; Alleluia." He will see that the human heart--the soul's affections are what is meant by beasts; that it is men and not animals that do these things.
But the novitiate may ask why the birds do not also correspond to the affections, and the beasts to the thoughts, since they both think and feel ?
We answer, They do, to a certain extent ; because thought and affection in man cannot be separated. But to find the full specific difference between the correspond