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which we fell, and by the same reverse steps, till gradually again the glory-smitten summits appear to our eyes, we are uplifted into heavenly ethers, and feel the play of warmer and more joyful affections. “Out of the depthswe cried unto the Lord, for it was there alone that we could be made to cry. Such is the Divine Providence in all such cases. It is only through such vicissitudes that we gain at last the heavenly rest. At each wave of the advancing process we gain somewhat upon the previous state; "we sink to rise to higher heights," are humiliated to be exalted.

One truth in this experience it is of the utmost importance to know. Always, in temptations, when the moments of despair come, then ic is that the Lord is nearest.

For it is this very sense and realization of our own evils that causes the despair. And this is caused by an influx of the Divine Goodness and Truth. We fall, at such times, into the extreme of conviction. By the light of truth and the operations of the Holy Spirit, our sins have become intolerable. The work has penetrated more to the interiors. Then it is that we feel most miserable of all. But then it is that the Lord is nearest. Even so it was with Christ. It was the last temptation, on the cross, that caused Him to cry out—“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?” The reason was, it was the inmost and the severest of all, as touching the very vitals of the humanity itself. But so far from being forsaken of God at that time, the unition of the Divine with the Human was then about being completed. So also it was in Gethsemane ; but the face of a strengthening angel then became present at the scene; and so it is with every

It is in these most trying and crushing scenes that the power of sin is most effectually broken with us. The old life is expiring amid groans and pains. But we must not deceive ourselves in this matter; we must not think that because we suffer so much, that this is always an evidence of the death of self. The truth is, it is the life of self that suffers. Were there not so much of the old life remaining, we should not so


feel the dying. It is the throbbing heart-strings and nervous susceptibility of the “old man " that now shrinks from the

separating process. When perfect death is effected, there is no more pain, nor sorrow, nor anguish.

But I am aware that I am describing an experience that will not be appreciated by many a nominal Christian ; they will say that they have never experienced any thing so hard; and it may be that they will never need to. But O God, how many do! It is not for all to pass through these heaviest trials. The trials are great in proportion to the evils in the hereditary to be exterminated, and the height of angelic accomplishment to be attained. Some that do not go so high, do not suffer so much. But here another truth should be known. There are some even of those who finally come into heaven and enjoy exalted stations there, who are yet permitted to pass through all this life, not much disturbed or troubled by its fluctuating fortunes. They are comparatively exempted from the common lot of necessary trial. The reason is, many times, that they are so stated and circumstanced in this world that they cannot, in temptations, be sufficiently protected by angels. They would sink under them. Therefore they are spared till their entrance into another life. There they can be properly defended, and there they must drink their cup of the common suffering. (A. C. 270.) There is no heavenly perfectness without it, and whether here or there, there is only one thing to do when it comes; welcome it and drink it, saying — "Not my will, but thine, O God, be done!”

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We not only have fluctuations of state.

ups and downs of spiritual experience, but irregularity in the course of natural life. There is probably no one characteristic of human life more marked and observed, than its frequent labyrinthic course through every possible variety of experience, from change to change, in the shifting fortunes of the world. What a picture or map of one life might be drawn, if it could only be seen in all its bearings, as it has reference to the states of the soul! For let us not think that this mere surface experience - this seeming maze without a plan, has no complete and systematic connection with our inner life, for it must have; it is, either individually or collectively, or both, an outbirth from it and a ministration to it. It is necessarily so, from the sure operation of the law of correspondence between all things inward and all things outward. The whole material world is the result and ultimate of the Divine creative Essence through the spiritual world. Spiritual causes and material effects, – this is the law of the universe. And so in human society. Should we have all this external, in the way and fashion which we do have it, were it not for the internal? Has not confusion proceeded from interiors to exteriors, and not vice versa? And order also ? and beauty ? What were the surface without the soul? Here, then, we find ourselves fixed in a system of divine

and inevitable, but not arbitrary, appointment. Do we ask the reason for the crooked way? Behold it in the deviations from the straight and narrow path of the soul. We are told, and not without reason, that ways actually appear in the spiritual world, according to the thoughts and intentions of the mind; for the spiritual projections of a multitude of minds there take shape and


before them; and a spirit is known as to his quality by the path he there walks in, or those which he most loves to frequent. Hence it is that to travel in the way, and to keep in the right way, are so frequently spoken of in the Word. Hence also the “ broad way” and the “narrow way," which derive a more tremendous significance from the throngs of travellers seen in the precincts of the world beyond. It is the same in this world, when observed by the invisible witnesses. And it may therefore rationally be said, that all the ways and paths in which the multitude of the men of this world are travelling, are as distinctly seen, in the light of heaven which shines around every man, as though they were mapped out on the great chart of the world ; and they are actually journeying, some in one way and some in another, to that eternal home of the soul which is every man's free choice and destiny.

But it is because of the wilderness of sin through which we travel, that the paths of our life are so crooked, both in a spiritual and in a natural sense. Thus it was with the forty years' journey of the Israelites. It is most significantly said of them

“ And it came to pass when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: but God led the people about through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. (Ecod. 13: 17, 18.) Reference is here made to those spiritual combats which all who make this journey are called to experience, and which, if they are led too hastily, by mere truth in the understanding, without sufficient experience in the will, they will neither be prepared nor able

to endure the conflicts which will come upon them, and will manifest a disposition to repent and turn back to Egypt; that is, to the delights of the natural man. Therefore, God leads them about a more circuitous way through the wilderness of the Red Sea;- spiritually typical of those long-abiding evils and falsities which lie in the region of the road to heaven. And what a route it was which these ever-memorable people travelled! It has sometimes appeared to me, that a true and impressive idea of our spiritual pilgrimage cannot in any way be obtained without this external, natural correspondence of it. For so long as we have senses, and the things of the spirit will take form, how can it be otherwise than that some correct ultimate or imagery shall be found absolutely necessary to present the great reality in all its fulness and power? Herein is one great value of the correspondential style. Herein is the philosophy of all picturing and symbolism. We are forever children. We need the picture books of the soul -- the images of eternity. In God's Word we have them.

There is nothing so significant in all history as this most wonderful, miraculous, and imposing chart of the Israelitish journey. And let it ever be remembered by those who are inclined to doubt it, that the spiritual sense which is discoverable in this history is not the same in character which may be found in any other history. In all history there is indeed an interior meaning - a spiritual cause for its natural existence; for it is but the outbirth of spiritual transactions. But in the case of the Israelites, it is somewhat different. Their affairs were not left to the ordinary flow of natural occurrence, but were expressly ordered, many times, by a supernatural power, and varied from the course which they otherwise would have taken, for the sake of the interior sense. Had they not been, the Scripture of their history would not be capable of that systematic and particular internal meaning which is now evolved from them. This is just the difference between their history and common history. We make this remark once for all, for a

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