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THE NEW JERUSALEM MAGAZINE is issued monthly. Terms, three dollar. per annum, in advance. All business letters should be directed to RICHALI WARD, Agent, No. 2 Hamilton Place, Boston, Mass. Contributions to the pages of the Magazine are solicited from all friends of the New Church. They should be addressed to " The Editor of the New Jerusalem Magazine, No. 2 Hamilton Place, Boston, Mass.”
THE NEW JERUSALEM MESSENGER.
NEW CHURCH NEWSPAPER.
Published by the General Convention of the New Jerusalem Church in the United States, at the Publishing House, No. 20 Cooper Union, New York.
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NEW JERUSALEM MAGAZINE.
VOL. XLIV. - AUGUST, 1871.- No. 2.
THE LORD'S PROVIDENCE.
"He giveth to the beast his food, to the young ravens which cry."
THESE words are a declaration of the Lord's universal and particular providence. They show that His providence is particular, for if He feeds the beasts and the birds, it is by providing the things on which they live, and these include everything in the animal and vegetable kingdoms ; and it is universal, for it is thus made up of all the particulars in the universe.
But there are many persons who, looking around upon the world, and seeing the numberless evils, physical, natural, social, civil, political, moral, and spiritual, with which it is filled, find themselves unable to believe in the Divine providence. They know that God is all-good, all-loving, allwise, and all-powerful; and they think that where such a Being reigns, where His providence presides, nothing but goodness and truth, perfect love and perfect rectitude, can ever find admission. That such opinions are entertained, and with great prevalence, at the present day, is so well known that it is unnecessary to go into an enumeration of the grounds on which they are founded.
There are some who are willing to acknowledge a general providence, but not a particular one — who are ready to admit that the Lord exercises a general superintendence of human and mundane affairs, but cannot recognize it as ex
tending to particulars. It would be easy to show that this is impossible — that the only way in which the Divine Being can maintain a general superintendence of the affairs of the world is by exercising it in the most minute particulars, and thus universally — but perhaps this is not the place to speak of this.
These views show that the persons who entertain them look upon these subjects naturally, and not spiritually. Nor is this strange. We are born natural, and we can become spiritual only by being reborn. Still, we are capable of seeing things in spiritual light, even though we may not be regenerated into the life of that light. Indeed, it is by this merciful provision of the Lord's providence that we can be regenerated at all. We are regenerated from natural life to spiritual life solely by learning and seeing spiritual truths, and by conforming our natural life to them.
Those who entertain the views above described, show by them how little knowledge they have of spiritual things – how little knowledge they have of God, of His true character, of His Divine order, of His work of creation, of His end in creating man ; of the nature of the spiritual constitution which He gave him, and of the order of its operation; of the nature of life; of the nature of the Divine operation, . and of the manner in which the Lord perpetually acts; and of many other kindred topics. They not only show that they have little knowledge on these subjects, but that the views which they entertain upon them are erroneous. They look upon all these things from below, and not from above; and they can form no better ideas upon them than we can of the starry heavens when looking up to a clouded sky. They view these things from without, and not from within ; and can come to no better understanding of them than we can of the nature of life merely by looking at its external manifestations in the body. They look at these things from themselves, and not from the Lord ; and of most men at the present day it can hardly be said that they have the means of looking at them otherwise. This knowledge cer