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Gentlemen, The following maxims are collected from conversations I had with the venerable and reverend J. Clowes; and as they bear a characteristic mark of his piety and intelligence, and all tend to the perfection of good and of happiness, I beg leave to offer them for insertion in your valuable Repository. Your obliged and humble servant,
J. F. E.
The best time is now; and the best place is here.
To serve from love is not only to be free, but to be happy ; He who serves every one in the universe is the Lord himself.
All uses, even the lowest, are from the LORD, and He is present at their performance.
The Lord provides most wonderfully for all our comforts. Can man make a single grain to grow ? or a blade of grass ?
Jesus was recognized by his disciples in the breaking of bread; so spiritual good can only be received by breaking it, or by viewing it distinct in the understanding.
Every one, though by means of regeneration be has a heaven within, carries also his hell along with him ; and the Lord provides that from this evil even a good is derived ; for the evil, when it does not mix nor join with the good, brings it more forward, aids its growth, and fixes it more steadfastly ;-the evil will be looked upon with due aversion and detestation.
The love of wisdom which we have is selfish, but the love of growing wise is heavenly; what we possess is always infinitely little, compared with what we have to obtain.
Patience is endurance of evil without falling into violence: or more properly speaking, patience is protection from the Lord, by ministration of his angels of tranquillity and peace, proceeding from Him when we look up to Him. When evil spirits approach us and we fret, this is their delight, and becomes their abode ; but by looking up for assistance to the Lord, we open the door for heavenly light to enter, and this removes the evil spirits, for they cannot endure it. In the spiritual state, evil and false are subdued by truth, and in the celestial state by good.
To make an estimate of our possessions or our fortune, we may ask, how much we would take to part with one of our fingers ? or, if we rightly value the Sacred Scriptures, how much would content us to lose one of the hundred and fifty psalms ?--and so of the rest.
In speaking of property, what man is in the habit of July estimating his spiritual property, or the extent thereof, when he can say, The Lord is my portion ? And with the LORD we further possess all His kingdoms in the heavens.
Even the common actions of use may convey a spiritual lesson to a reflecting mind; as, when we wash our hands with water and soap in the morning, we find a representation that natural truth, to which water corresponds, must be joined with the principle of good, to which the oil or fat in the soap corresponds; but we further find that oil and water will not conjoin themselves, without the medium of salt in the soap, which corresponds to the desire of conjunction of good with truth; (A. C. 10300) but when in this manner natural truth is conjoined with spiritual good, it cleanseth the interior body, as water and soap will the exterior.
Adversity or crosses in life are of use to preserve the equilibrium or balance, when we have become possessed of spiritual treasure, particularly to those who press forward in a sanguine temper, and are liable to exultation.
To stand still under any present attainment, whether of goodness or wisdom, is to change its character from progressive to stagnant.
Rivers represent living waters from their fountain or from the LORD; stagnant waters, those that are separated and become putrid.
Pray daily to the Lord to be placed or preserved into the sphere of innocence, of conjugial love, and of the love of performing uses.
НОРЕ. What is hope ? All agree that it remains with us to the last moment of earthly existence. It bears us up, in the midst of the greatest and most complicated troubles. It sees a brighter prospect in the future, when Reason is enveloped in total darkness. What is it then: Is it a human principle ? No: it is in fact The Divine LIFE IN THE Soul. It is immortal, and not to be extinguished by the storms or clouds of this inferior atmosphere. Let all strive then to entertain it, as the most exalted and most blessed of visiters.
6. Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness."
Luke xvi. 9. Mammon, in a natural sense, is the riches of this world, as is well known to all. In a spiritual sense, it is the riches of the eternal world, and these are the knowledges of the truths of the Lord's kingdom, of the divine laws which teach us to regulăte our spiritual life, and prepare us for the heavens. But how are we to make friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, and what are these ? They are the knowledges, with the evil, of the truths which relate to the spiritual life; for the evil, even the evil spirits of hell, have these knowledges, or rather appear to have them. It is by these they accuse and bring the spirit of man into straitness, distress, and condemnation : for the evil spirits never accuse us of doing good. When the Lord, by his divine presence and illumination, labours to form in us a conscience, with the life of truth and good, they are present, and perpetually aggravate, by showing our deficiencies and perpetual short-comings of the divine law, that we may be brought into condemnation and despair, and be discouraged from travelling the road to Ca. naan, suggesting that the Anakim are there, and that it is a land which eateth up the inhabitants thereof. They are said to be the mammon of unrighteousness, because the evil have them for the purpose of doing mischief to others, and employ them to injure and destroy. But how shall we make them friends ? These words relate especially to the states of accusation by evil spirits, when the Lord is about to form the spiritual life within us. We are to make them friends, 1. By reflecting that they can exist only by divine permission, which is from the infinite mercy of the Lord, and that he would permit it only for good ; 2. That we could not be accused, unless a conscience was beginning to be formed; for, before this, we are indifferent whether our actions are spiri. tually good or evil, or we should not have given occasion for such accusations ; 3. That we are in reality evil, and that the accus. ing spirits are but instruments, in the hands of the Divine Provi. VOL. I.
are innumerable. Now E. S. in this case, has used the Latin accusative, to express the same idea, according to the rule to a place in the accusative, and although it would seem that the rule generally applies to the names of towns, yet the preposition is sometimes omitted in other instances. As Virgil, “ Lavinaque venit Litora.” And there can be no doubt, upon mature reflection, that E. S. meant to express the force of the preposition by the Latin accusative. For we find in No. 4347, p. 111. in commenting on the words under examination, he makes no reflection on the strangeness of the expression in the letter similar to that in the note at the foot of page 103, as he does in No. 5653, where he truly observes, that the preposition is omitted in the original of Gen. xliii. 19. “ door,” not " at the door.”
In Gen. xxxvii. 10, a similar mistake is made in the English translation. Here again local 67 He, is added to yox, and the translation should be, “ Shall I and thy mother, and thy brethren coming, come to bow ourselves to thee to the earth.” The translator here has omitted the preposition “to” which is expressed in the original Hebrew, and rendered by E. S. by the Latin accusative, of the place towards which the bow was to be directed, with the dative of the person to whom the honour was to be rendered : tibi terram.
In Gen. xxxvii. 35, p. 342, 6 vol. a similar error is made. The English translation is, “ I will go down to my son mourning the sepulchre.” It should be, “ I will go down to my son mourning to the grave:" for local 7 He, is again here added to buy. It is obxe, and E. S. again expresses the force of the preposition " to" by the Latin accusative.
These remarks are not intended to detract from the merit of the accurate and learned translator of the Arcana Cælestia. In so large a work, with so constant an occupation of the mind, it is impossible that every minute matter should be executed with sinless perfection. The fresh eye too, to use the painter's phrase, will often upon a close and critical investigation, discover in every work something to be retouched and improved. Nor can we be too jealous for the accuracy of our great Scribe, and by closely re-examining all the translated works, we shall finally bring them to a state of exactness. Whilst these critical emendations will tend to excite the talents of the learned in the church, their combined diligence will deprive adversaries of all opportunity for censure.
NOTICE Of a Sermon of the Rev. J. Hargrove. The following notice, in a Baltimore gazette, of a sermon of our veteran friend and minister of the New Church, gave us much pleasure in the perusal. It would have given more, if it had been presented in a style less gay and airy.
“The readers of the gazette may recollect to have seen in a late paper, a modest little card, respectfully inviting us all to the New Jerusalem Temple, then and there to hear a lecture on “ The sin against the Holy Ghost."
“Though my mind had long been made up on this subject, I still could not help feeling a strong curiosity to hear a little more on it, especially as the promised orator was one who, according to report, always gives his hearers something new with the old. On getting to the church I had the satisfaction to find that I was not the only person of curiosity in the town. The house was crowded ; and many for want of room were compelled to go away disappointed. Kindly recollecting that some respect is due to a large congregation, especially in warm weather, the preacher did not, as some do, keep us long waiting ; but presently got up to his sacred duties, which lie commenced with a prayer, full of devotion and good sense, without repetition, and right comfortably short-all which, though of high injunction, is not by the bye, quite so duly attended to by some of the cloth as might be. The effect however, shewed very clearly that he who prescribed short praying, knew well what is in man; for the congregation listened to it with that profound silence which is ever promissory of some good. After an appropriate hymn, and a selection chiefly from the Psalms, well calculated to inspire gratitude and love, the preacher came to the point, and called on the gospel according to St. Matthew, xii. 31, 32, for his text. Even before I had heard the words my attention was struck. “What, a text from the Gospel!” (thought I to myself)-Well, this is a charming novelty ; I have before now, heard a hundred sermons hand running, but without the compli. ment paid to Christ of a single text from his Gospel. Paul, Peter, Nehe. miah, no matter who, all are preferred to the Saviour. Though he spake as never man did, or will, yet his divine words have, some how or other, experienced the extreme mortification to be overlooked by his preachers, who, if we may judge from their too general practice, had much rather speak on any subject, no matter what, than on the blessed parables or precepts of Christ. But to return to our text :-" All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto man; Inut the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosocver speaketh a word against the son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” After making a very proper apology to his hearers for selecting these awful words
an apology coming home to every mau's feelings, and naturally growing out of the dread concern, even with the best of men, that they may have VOL. I.
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