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in fact, invariably a spiritual cause, for its origin and whole procedure. Just the same as the body of man, in respect to its diseases and disturbances, and its whole outward contour and condition, is a production from a disordered spirit; and if no spiritual discord had ever existed, health, and harmony, and unimpaired beauty would have continued to characterize the human organism. So also the great body of nature. It has throes and violence, and calamitous outbreaks from the earth and atmosphere, and although we would not pretend that sin is the cause of the whole of it, for we honestly confess we can not see it so, yet we may see that it has had very

much more to do with it than is commonly imagined or allowed. The truth exists in the correspondence, which is nothing more than the relation of cause and effect,—spiritual causes and natural effects. And though it may be impossible to trace the correspondence in all its fullness, we may be sure that it exists, and operates most thoroughly. The idea of the old theology, that man sinned, and nature, “sighing, through all her works gave signs of woe that all was lost,” is not by any means destitute of truth. If we cannot see the whole truth, we can at least see a part, and it needs only that we consider how human spirits fell from their pristine state, and passed into the spiritual world in congregated hosts of wild humanity, creating the hells of direst confusion there, - of fiercest passion, most tumultuous rage, and all the secthing elements of hate, and violence, and dread disunity, to comprehend how from the close proximity of that spiritual world to this, the influx rushed back upon us, sweeping violently through the souls of a fallen humanity, infecting the electrical and more spiritual parts of the material atmosphere, and the very earth upon which we tread, and creating, by the ever-operative law of correspondence, confusion and uproar in the elements of physical nature.

First the storms and outbreaks of the spiritual creation, and then, as an ultimate, the material disorder of a broken and degenerate world. Here, then, without any further enlargement, we come to see

the providence of these physical calamities. They are only permissive; they pertain not to true order; and most of them, to say the least, originating in spiritual disorders, the same argument applies to them which applies to the sins of men. Storms, pestilence, famine, the destructive earthquake and devouring heat, blight and blast, and killing cold, and all the “fierce extremes” of physical nature; we cannot, I say, without a wider range of knowledge than we now have, see how they are all connected with moral evil as their origin, but we can see how very much of it; most perhaps that we now suffer with, is the effect and outbirth of deranged spiritual conditions in the wills of a sinning humanity. Buried up here in flesh and sense, with the spiritual world entirely shut out from our eyes, the mass of men have little idea of the stormy and violent seasons that rage beyond this visible sphere, nor of the correspondential calm and beauty which pervade the earths and atmospheres of the higher heavens. And we have the utmost reason to believe, that when our world is restored to moral and spiritual order, much more than the anticipation of the poets will be realized to the earth. It will then also be restored to physical order, by a law of correspondence as sure and certain in its operation as any law of the more familiar nature. Storms will not be necessary to purify the atmosphere when that atmosphere itself partakes of the qualities of a pure and regenerate world. What will become of all foul and pestiferous things in an age of cleanliness and sweetness ? The fierce cold of winter, the extreme heat of summer, will give way to a more mild and even temperature; tranquillity and pleasantness will be restored to the material globe in precise proportion as the Garden of Eden becomes fruitful in the souls of men, and the smile of God in all human affections is the sunshine and glory of the world.



Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter."

We have now taken a condensed view of the nature of the Divine Providence. Imperfect, I allow, and no doubt containing some minor errors which have escaped the notice of our own vision. We have seen how all true Providence is founded in the very necessity of the Divine Nature, that the freewill of man is no obstruction to the Divine Government, although it is an obstruction to his own advancement, when used, as in his power to do so, contrary to the designs of God. The origin of evil was not a necessity in the Divine Economy, although foreseen as a certainty, and provided for: but having entered the world, it is continually overruled for good, and will finally terminate in good to all who are involved in it, and in the end be utterly destroyed forever.

The Divine Sovereignty is absolute and entire. Not such as to violate in the least iota the will of man, but to control it perpetually, and keep the reins of government in the hands of the Almighty Ruler, who cannot suffer Himself in the least thing to be defeated. The connection of God with Nature is most perfect. The one only Substance secures and perpetuates all unities and relationships, not by simple continuity, but by discrete continuity, and establishes the Divine Essence in the inmosts and ultimates of all things. Hence we have a religion and philosophy which harmonize most perfectly. The mind may unloose itself for the most adventurous flight; it can discover nothing but what has proceeded from the infinite Rea

son; and while it returns with the riches of incomputable value from every quarter of the universe, its every fact and principle become consecrated as a free-will offering to Him who hath built the mighty Temple, and who only asks, and can only accept most fully from his creatures, the intelligent worship of a devout and philosophic mind. There are also what may be called general and special providences; but the chain is so unbroken which connects the universe of things and regulates all movements, that at last the great truth breaks upon us, that it is only with man that any thing is special, not by any means with God, who ever worketh all in all : but still, that our wants and circumstances are so minutely cared for, and seen and provided for from eternity, as to time, place, and particulars, that nothing could be more wise, more beneficent, or more admirable, and in effect more special and impressive to man. And while the upper world so closes in around us, and the angels of God, from a kindred and sympathetic nature, are so diligent in their ministry, to keep and to guard us from danger, and lead us to all safety and peace; while Providence, both mediately and immediately, directly and indirectly, is thus forever leading us on, from one degree of perfection to another; and both in its designs and permissions, is so all-embracing, beneficent, and kind, what have we to do but to place ourselves more readily and immediately under the Divine Protecting Hand, renounce forever our petty cares, anxieties, and harrowing solicitudes, and trust forever in the Lord Jehovah, in whom is everlasting strength? It is only thus that we can best honor the truth which beams so brightly from all points of the clear, high heavens which are over us, to which the ladder set upon the earth reaches and is lost in the great infinity, and upon every step of which, in degrees and orders of divine beauty and glory, the angels of God are descending and ascending forever and ever.



“O sacred Providence, who from end to end
Strongly and sweetly movest! shall I write,
And not of Thee, through whom my fingers bend
To hold my quill; shall they not do Thee right?

“Of all thy creatures both in sea and land,

Only to man thou hast made known thy wayes,
And put the penne alone into his hand,
And made him Secretarie of thy praise.” - George Herbert.

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