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up the Israelitish Church, wherein he might restore the primitive types, which were celestial ; such types were all the tabernacles, feasts, sacrifices, priesthoods, the garments of Aaron and his sons, unctions and statutes, wbich are published in a long series by Moses...
How the representative Church with them was turned into an idolatrous Church, I will explain in a few words. All the spiritual things, relating to heaven and the Church, were presented before them in visible and tangible forms, as was mentioned just above; those forms were taken from the subjects of the three kingdoms of nature, the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral, by which were represented such things as appertain to the heavenly kingdom; these forms they placed in their sanctuaries, in the interior recesses of their houses, and in the public places and streets, arranging them according to their respective significations. But the succeeding age, after that the science of correspondencies was obliterated, and when in consequence thereof the knowledge of their signification was lost, began to regard and consider those objects as so many divine and holy objects; and then to some they bowed the knee, some they kissed with their hips, and some they ornamented and decorated with wreaths, flowers, and bandages, just as children do their dolls, and as Papists do their images ; yea, of some they made household gods, of some tutelar demigods, and of some Pythons, (or familiar spirits) some again of smaller sizes they carried in their hands, some they hugged in their bosoms, caressed them, and whispered petitions to them, and so on; thus they converted heavenly types into infernal types, and the divine things of heaven and the Church into idols. On account of this transfiguration and defiguration of heavenly things, a new representative Church was raised up amongst the sons of Israel, in which real representations, as was said above, were instituted, and which was prohibited from celebrating divine worship by any others, as is evident from these words in the first precept of the decalogue, “ Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven image, nor any figure, which is in the heavens from above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor worship them.” VOL. I..
• LETTER FROM MISS LAVINIA R. MURDOCH, . On her Reception of the Doctrines of the New Church.
The following letter was found amongst the papers of the writer, after her death. The affectionate regard, which the recollection of this amiable young lady has excited in the minds of all who had the happiness of being made acquainted with her, during her late visit to this city, and the interesting particulars of her last illness, which are recorded in the Obituary, at the end of the present number, render this production of her pen particuJarly valuable to the members of the New Church. We would remind those, who, in the obscurity of natural affection, lament her removal, that she has received from the Master that blessed invitation, “ Friend, go up higher,” and, that, as she has been removed to a station more elevated, her usefulness will be the more extensive and important.
.. . Cumberland, Md. June 9th, 1817. My dear H; There are but few persons who, on so short an acquaintance, have more interested me, or for whom I have a more sincere affection, than yourself; though it has never been manifested in the usual way; for we have had no communication siņce we separated, and I have seen you only once, in a long interval of time :but, though there is nothing externally to remind me, that our acquaintance was any thing more than a pleasant dream, strong impressions are not easily erased ; and I must ever entertain the warmest friendship for you, and will never cease to feel the liveliest interest in all that concerns you.
You will perhaps be surprised that I address you at this late period, and that this testimonial of my regard has been so long delayed ; to which I can only say, that, like all procrastinators, I have deferred from time to time that which ought to have been done at first, and, by so doing, bave rendered a beginning awkward and difficult, which would otherwise have been the ease of spontaneous feeling. Besides, being so long separated, we know so little at present of each other's situations, views and employments, that I had not a subject, till now, that I thought would equally interest us.
I do not know whether you have fully embraced the religion of your father ; but I am sure you have sufficient respect for its holy tenets, and adequate knowledge of its heavenly tendency, as to be rejoiced to hear that your friend has become acquainted with doctrines so highly calculated for her everlasting benefit; and you will be no less happy to learn, that to your respected father she is indebted, in a great measure, for such important knowledge.
Like a great many unthinking beings, I had hardly formed any religious opinions,-partly from a want of proper reflection on the subject, and partly from inability to discriminate between the true and the false, in the variety of sentiments which were every day disseminated by each new sect. I had, however, began to be anxious to know whether there was not some system which combined all religious truth, when I was so fortunate as to meet with your father, in Bedford, last summer, who, observing me reading a novel, recommended Baron Swedenborg's treatise
on Heaven and Hell, being a work that he assured me I would 'find no less surprisingly novel than beautifully instructive.
As I was entirely unacquainted with the nature of that excellent author's writings, my curiosity never having led me to look into them, although they were ever before my eyes, on the shelves of Mr. Espy's library, I now commenced reading, rather to please your father than with any other view ; but, as I read, a stronger inducement urged me to proceed ; and I became very soon convinced that they were writings of no common import. With the advantage of Mr. Espy's conversation, I was, in a short time, fully acquainted with their nature and evidence; and was irresistibly compelled to give my full assent to the great truths there presented to my view.
I continue to read with increasing interest and delight, and am more and more impressed with a sense of their vast importance; and it shall be my sincere endeavour, in future, to make them the guide of all my actions, as well as the study of my life. All things which before appeared confused and dark to my mind, are now clearly comprehended ; and I seem just to have emerged from the shade of night into the broad light of day.
How would happiness be increased, both generally and indivi. dually, were these excellent writings more known and received ! Men would better understand the end and object of their crea, tion, and would better pursue their true interests.
I need not tell you what pleasure it would give me to bear from you ; but I do not know whether I ought to expect it, at this important period, when every thought must be absorbed in one interesting contemplation ; for, if report be correct, you are about to form the most sacred of all engagements, and to commit your future happiness to another.
May he be worthy of the precious trust; and may you, my dear H- , enjoy all the felicity your new state is so calculated to bestow, is the sincere prayer of
Your affectionate friend,
LAVINIA R. MURDOCH.
ON COMPELLING OURSELVES.
“ Humble thyself beneath her hands." . “ That these words signify, that man ought to force himself to be under the power of interior truth, appears without explication. To humble oneself is expressed in the original tongue by a word which signifies to afflict; that for a person to afflict himself in an internal sense means to compel himself, may appear from very many passages in the Word, concerning which its signification more will be said elsewhere. That man ought to compel himself to do good, to obey the things which the Lord hath commanded, and to speak truths, which is to humble himself beneath the Lord's hands, or to submit bimself under the power of divine good and truth, implies and involves more arcana than it is possible to unfold in a few words. There are certain spirits, who laid it down as a principle, during their abode in the world, that, because they heard that all good was from the Lord, and that man could do no good of himself, therefore they should not compel themselves on any occasion, but should cease from their own exertions, from a supposal that every such endeavour would be fruitless, and therefore they should wait for an immediate influx into the tendency of their will-principle, nor compel themselves to do any sort of good; nay, so far did they carry this principle, that when any evil secretly insinuated itself, they left themselves a prey there. to, imagining it to be permitted, because they were not sensible of any resistance to it from within ; but these spirits are such, that they are as it were without propriety, so as to have no principle of determination, in consequence whereof they are amongst the unprofitable, for they suffer themselves to be led alike by the wicked and by the good, and endure much from the wicked; but such as have compelled themselves in opposing evil and the false, although at first they thought that their exertion was from themselves, or from their own power, yet, being afterwards enlightened to see that it was from the Lord, even as to the smallest tendencies thereof, these in another life cannot be seduced by evil spirits, but are amongst the happy: hence it may appear, that man ought to compel himself to do good, and to speak truth : the arcanum herein concealed is this, that man is hereby gifted of the Lord with a celestial propriety or self-hood ; man's celestial propriety is formed in the tendency of bis thought, which, if he doth not obtain by compelling himself, as it appears, he never obtains by not compelling himself; for the better understanding how this is, it may be expedient to observe, that in all compulsion to good there is a kind of freedom, which is not so plainly perceivable, during the act of compulsion, but still it is therein; as in the case of a person, who willingly subjects himself to the hazard of losing life with a view to some end, or who willingly suffers bodily pains for the sake of health, there is a principle of willingness, and consequently of liberty, in so doing, by virtue whereof he acteth, although the hazards and the pains, whilst he is in them, take away the perception of such a principle of willingness or freedom; the case is the same with those who compel themselves to good ; there is within them a principle of willingness, consequente. ly of freedom, by virtue of which, and for the sake of which, they compel themselves, viz. for the sake of obedience to those things which the Lord hath commanded, and for the sake of the salvation of their souls after death, in which there is a still more in. ward principle, which man is ignorant of, viz. of regard to the Lord's kingdom, yea, to the Lord himself; this is more especially the case in temptations, in which, whilst man compelleth himself in opposition to evil and the false, which is infused and suggest, ed by wicked spirits, there is more of freedom than ever exists in any state out of temptations, although man cannot conceive it at the time, it being an interior freedom, by virtue whereof he