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tive form - might not after all be a more perfect adaptation to thought concerning spiritual things, than one of our more highly cultivated modern tongues. As, for instance, should one wish to describe the mode in which the peculiar receptivity of each mind influenced the form of Truth it received, how would he do it more clearly than by using its natural symbol — water? Whoso looks therein finds though it be of the clearest — his own image. For so we get Truth — with our own interpretation of it. And how beautifully Plato uses the language of things, when he says, " Truth is the Body of God, and Light His shadow !” Perhaps the farther progress of the human mind may be to cast aside more and more the merely abstract — as a living tree casts off its dead leaves, to put forth new verdure, so soon as "the flush of May” returns again or as a blossom cleaves through, with green leaves, the dry and colorless bulb, when the time of its seed-regeneration approaches.
This language of things is the language of Nature, the only dialect by which we can read her hieroglyphic inscriptions. In our slight and fragmentary knowledge of it now, we are as little children, calling, perhaps, one or two letters of the great Alphabet, but wholly unable to band them into words or phrases. But these silent woods, that in winter lift themselves up in a dream-like veil of snow, mist, and spray, and in summer spread out glad boughs, that toss and murmur in every wind; these fields, overrun with daisies; these shining rivers ; these bights and bays, and far-off seas - are all parts of one grand Language, and contain a Poem, a History, an Apocalypse, Epic, or Idyllic, a Science, or a Revelation, as may be the breadth and height of the soul that reads therein.
Or, as I once heard it expressed by a child, " Geography is only the Grammar of the world” — the continents, its nouns; the seas, its verbs; lake, and mountain, and river, the descriptive parts of speech; and the straits and gulfs, its prepositions and conjunctions.
This language of things, rather than abstractions, is the
language of poetry. As, for instance, in Mrs. Browning's exquisite and most spiritual poems, the profoundest truths are expressed again and again through the medium of the simplest natural imagery. Thus, in the sonnet on Exaggeration :
We walk upon
And pant like climbers."
"God overblows an ugly grave
With violets that blossom in the Spring.".
I can but stand and think,
What perfect counterpart might be in sight!” It is also the spontaneous expression of thought, the first form of speech, both in the infancy of the nation and the individual; and a profound philosophy may sometimes be evolved from these spontaneous forms into which the unconscious mind falls. For instance, the frequency with which the child persists in using " me," rather than the self-existent "I.” He feels dimly that he is acted upon ; inner desires and outer sensations come alike without his own volition, or reflection ; he is receptive of life, not a life itself; and thus unconsciously avoids the use of the pronominal name of Deity, the " I am,” which, in our blinder and more developed self hood, we more nearly approach to. Neither the child nor the savage deals with ideas as distinct. If they are expressed, it is by the aid of visible objects.
Like the swan and shadow, so float thought and symbol through the untroubled waters of the mind.” Nor are such expressions of thought and feeling deficient in clearness and warmth. Even natural facts sometimes win a vividness from such a presentation, that philosophical language must often, of necessity, fail to give. Compare, for example, the scientific definition of ice, as " a liquid substance congealed,” to that of the Central African, " Water fast asleep," and which gives the more lifelike idea of the silence and unbroken repose of a frozen stream? It is indeed a " spoken picture.”
Neither can it be forgotten that the Word, the Divine Revelation of the most solemn, the most momentous, the most profound Truths that the human mind could receive, is written in this same language of things, of persons, of human lives. The stages through which the soul of man is regenerated are told of in a series of grandly unfolding and symbolic pictures of creation. The noise of the waves, the outgoings of morning and evening, the harvest-field, the pools of water in the desert, the shadow of a great rock in a weary land — all are symbolic expressions of interior and spiritual truths. But not only thus did He teach His children through all things heard and seen by them, but also * The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us."
E. F. M.
THE SABBATH, SINCE THE LORD'S ADVENT. The day which the Jews were commanded to keep holy by the law of Moses, in the Ten Commandments, and which they have, until this day, continued to observe, was the seventh day of the week, which we call Saturday. And as no divine command to change the day has been since given, it is thought by some that that day ought still to be kept as a day of rest and worship by Christians. But since it has been permitted that the Christian Church, from the very beginning, should have adopted Sunday, the first day of the week (as the Jews reckoned it), for the day of worship, it seems not only proper, but desirable, to examine the subject, and see whether there may not have been some good reason for this permission, grounded in the nature of the difference between the Jewish and Christian dispensations, and between the state of those ages or churches in which representative worship prevailed, and the age following the Lord's advent, when representative worship was abrogated; up thy
and whether we may not, with some justice, infer that the change was not only permitted, but approved, though not directly commanded, by God.
What the Sabbath was in the Representative Church, and what it was to be afterwards, Swedenborg explains in the True Christian Religion, No 301 :
“The Sabbath, among the Sons of Israel, was the sanctity of sanctities, because it represented the Lord; the six days, His labors and combats with the hells, and the seventh, His victory over them, and thus rest; and because that day was representative of the close of the whole redemption of the Lord, therefore it was holiness itself. But when the Lord came into the world, and thence the representations of Him ceased, that day became a day of instruction in divine things, and thus also a day of rest from labors, and a day of meditation on such things as are of salvation and eternal life, as also a day of love towards the neighbor. That it became a day of instruction in divine things, is manifest from this, that the Lord on that day taught in the temple and synagogues (Mark vi. 2; Luke iv. 16, 31, 32; xiii. 10), and that He said to the man that was healed, Take bed and walk; and to the Pharisees, That it was lawful for the disciples, on the Sabbath day, to gather the ears of corn and to eat (Matt. xii. 1-9; Mark ii. 23 to the end ; Luke vi. 1-6; John v. 9–19); by which particulars, in the spiritual sense, is signified to be instructed in doctrinals. That that day became also a day of love towards the neighbor, is evident from those things which the Lord did and taught on the day of the Sabbath (Matt xii. 10–14; Mark jü. 7-9; etc., etc.).”
It is remarkable that Swedenborg makes no allusion here, nor elsewhere, when speaking of the Sabbath, to the fact that the day which is observed as a sacred day in the Christian Church, is not the same day which the Jews were commanded to keep, under the law of Moses. It may not be
easy to explain this silence in a satisfactory manner; but it seems that we must infer one of these two things : either that he meant to ignore the change of the day as an unwarrantable and unauthorized innovation, and therefore said that that day, meaning the identical, original Sabbath of the seventh day, became a day of instruction, rest, etc. (in which case we might expect that he would have given some hint of his disapproval of the change), or else, which seems more probable, that he considered the day which had been consecrated by long usage in the Christian Church to be fully equivalent to the Mosaic Sabbath, and therefore tacitly assented to the substitution of the first for the seventh duy as a day of rest and worship. Otherwise, how could he say that day became a day of instruction, rest, and neighborly love, when, in fact, the original Jewish Sabbath had never any cause to become so in the Christian Church, but instead of it, another day, even from the begin ning?
But in the Apocalypse Explained, he says, in treating of the words, "I was in the spirit on the Lord's day” (Rev. i. 10): "The Lord's day is the day of the Sabbath, and the Sabbath, in the ancient churches, which were representative churches, was the most holy day of worship, by reason that it signified the union of the Divine and Human in the Lord, and hence also the conjunction of His Divine Humanity with heaven.” "But after that the Lord united His Divinity with His Humanity, then that holy representative ceased, and that day was made a day of instruction.” – No 54.
Now I suppose nothing is more indisputably certain, as a matter of history, than these facts :
1. That the Lord's resurrection took place on Sunday morning, the day after the Jewish Sabbath, and consequently the first day of the week, according to the Jewish reckoning
2. That the Lord's disciples, from the very first, in commemoration of that event, devoted this day to divine worship, and joyful celebration of their risen Lord.
3. That on this account they called that day the Lord's day.
And taking Swedenborg's assertion, in the above quotation, in connection with these facts, which he, of course, was fully aware of, I think we can only consistently infer that he meant to have us understand that Sunday, which is called the Lord's day, is the proper Sabbath, and