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JOHN DOUGHTY. BY Rev.NeiD-Clmrch Popular Series. Author of "The #okld Feyond. . [No. 9." ' PHILADELPHIASWEDEXBORG PUBLISHING 900 ASSOCIATION. TKE GARDEJ^ of EDE]^: GIVING THE SPIRITUAL INTERPRETATION AND TRUE MEANING OF THE STORY. Chestnut Street.
PRINTER. G4FTOF iiancrott LIBRARY .* f r t ' f f c « c c • c COLLINS.
which has become so prevalent throughThis idea is.PREFACE. idea in regard to the Sacred Scripture and the bv which its true meaning is to be elicited. the Word has but one meaning. the questions. and no inconsiderable portion even in the churches themselves. [JJ^T the present day there is not much openly But vfe^ avowed '^^^^^ exists a vast infidelity in Christian lands. And is since it prevails among some of the most thoughtful and honest people. and to the natural under- meaning conveyed . the cause of it ? What and How is it to be effectually remedied? deserve the serious consideration of every friend of mankind. there are reasons for believing that there amount of it in a latent form. that the written that. out the bounds of Christendom. the mistaken The method chief cause undoubtedly is. and especially of every teacher of the Christian religion.
tree in the middle of Was n't there room outside of the garden to put his tree if He did n't want people to eat his apples ? If I did n't want a man to eat my fruit. therefore. any man or woman now who believes in the ? story [literally interpreted] Garden of Eden " " Does any human of dust.: iv standing- Preface. what . the Bible is reduced to the level of a human and composition." then. is robbed of it its Divine spirit life. by the natural or sensuous interpretation of the words of Scripture. the remedy ? We know of but and that to teach people the real nature and purpose of Holy Scripture wherein its —to is show them the law that divinity consists. one . is is. which Mr. being and a and put a now believe woman of a that rib. should arise in many thoughtful minds intelligent " Is there in the world. No wonder. that questions like the following". God made man it ? and put them in a garden. and much of sees to made to teach what every rational mind be very unreasonable — some of it unintelligible and even puerile. Ingersoll is reported to have asked in a recent lecture. By this false but prevalent^method. I would not put him in my orchard. What.
the of and true meaning of that old Garden Eden story. however unintentionally and unconof our to foster the growing skepticism volume is. The purpose reader's of this little to lift the and to mind above the sensuous plane of thought. the Christian ministers sure to see And who refuse or neg- lect to do so. denborg.Preface. All of which is so fully of clearly revealed in the writings Emanuel Sweand prayerit.— and will continue. that every one fully who carefully is examines these writings. sciously. show him. and what method therefore by which its true meaning and to be unfolded. by a method of interpretation all applicable alike to spiritual other parts of Scripture. times. 1* . are left without excuse. "^ governs the is in a truly divine composition.
94 The Expulsion YIII. 126 The Eestoration vu 141 . 61 The Forbidden Fruit VI. 110 The FLA3IING Savord IX. PAGE 9 The Two Trees III. The Garden n. 77 The Curse YII.CONTENTS. 26 The W03IAN lY. 44 The Serpent V. I.
ii. EdeiN^. sands of years clares that it earlier. of whatever color descendants of the one man. The Bible seems to teach that we are or conformation. And the tvard in whom he Lord God planted a garden castEden . inform us that the world was created about six thousand years fixes ago but science with its unanswerable logic of thouthe time of its creation some hundreds . tainty. life. which almost amounts to cer- Adam.— Gen. The letter of Genesis de- was spoken into existence by the fiat of an almighty God.. 8. but science casts a doubt upon this apparent teaching. and completed in seven days but science asserts that countless ages elapsed from the beginning of the earth to the period when it became fit for human all. THE GARDEN. and science are in conand the skeptical mind which is born to Hence religion 9 . and there he put the man had formed. JHE figures of the Bible put together by the rigid rules of arithmetic. flict . The Garden of I.
deny what is not condemns religion and sides itself to full dcnbt. of which their myriad children were all innocent.tesl scientifically prO'VeCi. dependent on a single act of two untutored individuals. Thus the narrative of the Garden of Eden becomes so confused and incredible. whole fate of the human race.10 27^6 Garden of Eden. It makes sorrow and toil and pain and death for all mankind. and floats Off.a. and bap f!(5u(. It presents to us a talking serpent with powers of apt persuasion. on the eating of the fruit of a single tree by one human pair. which they were not endued with strength to resist. even into the unknown ages. for countless ages. from its own standpoint. It seems to place our heavenl}^ Father in the posi* tion of having set a snare for the first created man and woman. or to confidence in throw to the winds But can true sciBible history. And common The Bible seems sense comes in to have to hinge the say. that common sense is either forced to give way to a childlike faith in all what is written. often honestly enough. ? ence and true religion ever part company Can . with scienbe. into the un- known seas of unbelief and the dark ocean of its infidelity. It affirms that the man and his wife were so blind that they could not even behold their own nakedness until the eating of the forbidden fruit brought it to their sight.
have given a religion which denies its plainest propositions and ignores its most unquestioned truths ? Or would He who endowed his creatures with Avhatever common sense they may possess. the theologian sci- denies the plainest propositions and facts of The is scientist wants to find material proofs for spiritual things. which above the realm of sense and the theologian would have spiritual evidence for that which is merely natural. have revealed a written Word which could not stand the test of common sense ? Skeptics and believers alike will answer. Astronomy and geology and cosmogony are taught in the volume of nature.The Garden. Be- cause he cannot find the name of God as the Maker written gent Creator. not in the written Word. Both these classes have a lesson to learn. 11 common sense and revelation be really at variance ? Would the God who made all science. Immortalitv and heaven and God are . No ! The trouble usuallv arises from a mistake on the part of both scientists and theologians. or proof from revelation of that which is plainly written on the rocks or disclosed by the movements of the stars before his eyes. literal statements of the Bible. the scientist doubts the existence of an intelli- And because he finds the conclu- sions of scientific research to be at variance with some ence. or sensuous evidence for that . plainly on the face of the stars.
who commended Timothy for his knowledge of the holy Scriptures. lest revelation. statements. it is and the genuine intent of purely spiritual. If. for correction. the theologian need not fear it the progress of science. and not in the rocks and stars. . then. and is profitable for doctrine. and added: ''All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. that the man of God may be perfect. scientific why does it profess to give us a account of the creation and a historic record of the earth's earliest events? The Bible Its object does not anywhere profess to teach science. spiritual teachings are in harmonj'' with all true science and philosophy but in all its itself. The scientist need not doubt the Scrip- ture. for instruction in right- eousness . its object. because its natural science is at variance with earthly knowledge .12 The Garden of Eden. revealed in the Bible. or reproof. But he can obtain spiritual truth only by revelation and that inner consciousness of the verity of spiritual things. because they were able to make him wdse unto salvation. should overturn Its The Bible . the Bible in its intent and meaning is purely spiritual. is purely spiritual. which intuitively grasps its teachings when they come before the mind in the form of revelation. Man can gain natural truth by the use of his eyes and his natural understanding. phil- osophy. or history as natural things. was well expressed by Paul.
thoroughly furnished unto
good works "
professes to teach
righteousness and salvation, and
If there is heaven and God that lead to these. more than this it is incidental. True, the Bible is replete with the history, But then how tradition and laws of the Jews.
asserted that these are types of spiritual
It recounts, for example, the
the building of the temple
but our Lord says
that the temple
a tjj3e of his humanity.
the wife of Lot looked back to burning
pillar of salt
Sodom, and became a
a type of the fate of those who,
having put their hand to the plough in religious It repeats life, look back to the world and self. the tale of Jonah but Jonah being three days
was a type, says Christ, of his own entombment and resurrection. It sets forth how Israel was fed in the wilderness by manna but the story of the manna, according to Jesus, shows forth the lesson how the Lord will, at all times, feed the spiritual Israel, his Church, with goodness and with The serpent was lifted up in the wildergrace. ness but this was a type of the elevation and glorification of the Son of Man. These things our Lord plainly says and posiand we thence learn that all tively sets forth
and nights in the belly of the
The Garden of Eden.
Biblical history is typical, symbolical, representative
or correspondential of
the Lord, of his
wavs with man, of his work for man's salvation, and of human regeneration. Paul also tells us much concerning these representations,
and gives many explanations of their
here, as leading
only refer to the fact
up to and pointing out the truth,
that whereinsoever the Scripture does not directly
language teach spiritual truth,
and narrations are given as types and
spiritual things, as parables or allespiritual
holiness of Scripture consists.
this purpose the history, the traditions, or the
natural science of the people to
these be strictly true or
not, is a
question in no wise pertinent to the
his family as set forth
in the Biblical narrative, is
an allegory (Gal. iv. 22-31), the question is not whether there is any historical error in the account, but whether it is
an allegory of spiritual
w^hen the same apostle declares that the tabernacle
most minute details of its construction, and the Levitical law with all its sacrifices, offerings, and curious commands, were shadows of heavenly
vii., viii., ix., x.), it is
not the ques-
tion whether anythinonarrative, or
out of the Mosaic
whether there were inconsistencies therein which modern ingenuity fails to harmonize, but whether they are perfectly expressed as typos and shadows of good things to come in a spiritual way, for men of a later and more
stand upon this
that the Scripture of
throughout as a parable of
types, sacred figures,
an allegorical code of spiritual instruction, in
in its historical details, but that,
was not given
to teach history or science,
any other objection which may be raised on the purely natural plane, no more mars its perfection as the inspired Word of God, than would it invalidate the spiritual authority
scientific inaccuracy, or
of the parable of the Prodigal Son, could
incontestably proven that no such individual ever
behaved riotously, fed swine, repented, or
In this view
proposed to take up the
tory of the Garden of Eden.
This narrative has
been given as a spiritual allegory.
tion, its peculiarities of diction,
and the which surround the assumption that
record of actual facts set
. but of the forfeiture of a spiritual is home. likened to a garden. reference to the It is a etymology of the word " Eden. 16 historical The Garden of Eden. first its inward moral the and The thought that suggests is in itself in consideration of this topic. point to it as a spec- imen of divine parable. or to that frame of mind in which he spiritual things. readily comprehends and accepts that this peculiar state of mind is alluded to as a garden. It is of no consequence how inconsistent or inaccurate a parable it may be as a historical record ." Hebrew expression signifying delight or happiness. For was it not said in reference to . perfect in its symmetry. locality. as it is perfect. seeks to teach not natural but spiritual history not the outward actions of races. Divine Mind here as in other parts of the The Word. beautiful in its simplicity. harmonious in its statements. but the inward workings of hearts. we have no trouble in arriving at the truth that the Garden of Eden was man's spiritually intelligent state of love and happiness in the early age of the world. of the narrative life is temporal and carnal spiritual. called a garden. It treats not of . man and woman. changes of not of the but of alterations of state loss of a natural abode. And often when we consider that the term garden is applied in the Scripture to man's state of spiritual intelligence. and that is enough. The outer husk .
the garden of God" (Ez. he had been. 13). and not as a and place. because. '* Ye shall be as an oak whose and as a garden that hath no water " (Isa. In reference to his first state the Lord . was it not said by the Lord. proclaimed himself a god. i. and its promised fertile and fruitful condition set forth in glowing figures. in his pride. in reference to a spiritual condition. through Ezekiel. spiritually speaking. and like a spring of water. in Eden. spiritually unfertile and dry as their religious state was. . But he had followed the Lord he had loved and worshiped Him he had feasted on spiritual in.The Garden. Thus the Lord. is also Iviii. having been once perfect. xxviii. '* Thou hast been in Eden. telligence . mentioned in other parts of Scrip- It is generally used. rebukes the prince of Tyre before for his arrogance. the garden of God. 2- Eden was his religious B . leaf fadeth. He him the perfectness of his walk with God until iniquity lay hold upon him and how much lower would be his fall. however. says. 17 the Jews. ? Eden ture. '' Thou shalt be like a watered garden. Avhose waters — fail not " (Isa. he has now. 11. as an intelligent mind not fertilized by any conception of spiritual truth ? And when the restoration of the Church was foretold. for his assumption holds up of the honors of divine worship. Now the prince of Tyre had never been in any literal garden called Eden. 8) ? that is.
estate.. men or minds who were in the love of the Lord and the garden of God in which they were planted. and much more too voluminous to The cedar tree is quote. the Assyrian man it or mind. with its peculiarly rational tone as was in its highest and best The trees of Eden are those religious state. is that state of spiritual intelligence in which are all who love the Lord. which he but as to mind and God used by the Lord in speaking of Assyria. by the multitude of his branches so that all the trees of Eden that were in the garden of God The whole envied him" (Ez. as a people. declares that the Lord '' will make . as again given in the prophet He extols the Assyrian for what he Ezekiel. xxxi. in the language his former high spiritual says: "Behold the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches and of high He stature. the garden of I God was fair have made him . it was. 8. the kingdom of once had dwelt— not locally. 18 state if . you please. his ways. description. the future spiritual condition of the Church. in proph- esying concerning. and his life. 3. his truths. This same figure is had been. The Garde7i of Eden. And therefore it is that Isaiah. heart. is purely symbolic. of correspondence. it was his state of love for God in . like Not any tree in unto him in beauty. Depicting. and condemns him for what he then was. 9).
but because they were in a state of love and innocence and joy and bliss that no tongue can express . and her desert like the garden of the Lord joy and gladness shall be found therein. melody " of (li. Eden. our early ancestors — no matter where they in the nor bv the side of what rivers. he w^ho can see spiritual truth is as clearly as he understands natural truth. The Garden. 19 her wilderness like Eden. with all is spiritual intelliits the joys that follow possession. How beautiful a description the wonderful change that shall transform wilderness of Judaism into the reli2.. And lived. with all the blessings that follow in its train a garden. of comprehension of the things of divine wisdom. Perhaps they were simple of all that pertains to eternal life in what we call worldly ways . not because they were here or there. love. 3). as a sacred symbol. clime or zone — were Garden of Eden . as a sacred symbol. nor in what meridian.'ious the Eden gence ! of Christianity —the desert of reli^-ious intelli- ignorance into the garden of spiritual He who love. is in attains this state of superabounding Eden . illiterate in what . of which none but dwellers in that garden can form the least idea. in is the Lord's garden. gence. thanksgiving and the voice of . because they were in a state of conscious- ness of the Lord's presence. and of conception and its joys.
we have learned to love and innocent of the very knowledge of evil good in all the Lord calls good. for is Adam word race. for that ." literally. 26). image of God created He . all that this world. and wise in the wisdom of holy life.20 The Garden of Eden. But it would not do to translate Adam as the name fish of an individual. for in the original noun. can imagine. the first chapter of Genesis. when it is said in the sense of the text. letters . beyond . we term without the luxuries which . or spoil Thus. i. his ov/n image. as it now is." etc. not male individual. the translators of the Bible. have sometimes were the name of an individual. in the "God created Adam. having imbibed the old tradition of progenitor of the translated it Adam as the sole human it race. And : the next " verse continues in the same strain So God in created man. is the Hebrew term for man . there. there another man a Hebrew mean but man collectively -as a class or It could not it is Adam means mankind. because the text : proceeds thus "And let them have dominion over the of the sea. after our likeness " (Gen. Let as though us make man in our image. But they have been compelled in other places to give the real meaning. ''And God said. a collective True. ? But was not Adam a single individual Care- ful consideration does not so read the Scripture. an individual. the original Hebrew word it is Adam.
Briefly let us glance at a few of the attributes of this wonderful garden. in allegorical form. of the spiritual condition of the early inhabitants of earth. where the Lord was planted eastIn sacred symbolism the east is It is. and replenish the earth and subdue it. because he was loving . Adam. Be fruitful. And God blessed them and God said unto them. Adam was created male and female ber of them. for and there were a numthe term them certainly means more than one. him . . and perceived and appreciated the heavenly intelligence with which their Maker seeks to endow them. 21 male and female created He them. the human race) would be in Eden today. not as a single man in a solitary garden. ward in Eden. an account. a garden." . then. but as a race of men originally broufrht into the kino'dom of God. (that is. therefore. we are looking . if all men loved the Lord supremely.The Garden. and a perfect one. the is Inconsistencies their spiritual in letter when meaning discerned. is a collective noun. condition was called His state or Eden. because he was and therefore happy Adam truly intelligent and spiritually wise. and multiply. Spiritually. The history of Eden is. Adam was the primitive race. He was placed in Eden. the Each word disappear in narrative is a symbol.
in the full consciousness of their possessing both from the — — their spiritual ''And out of the Lord and in his presence. likened It is another sacred the ground to the mind. their innocence. their joy Their love. When He likened himself to a sower sowing the seeds of Gospel truth. symbol. really means the mind's religious percep" Every tree that bringeth forth good fruit " of which our Lord spake. and gladness were recognized as from the Lord. The g^arden." Our Lord very often. The trees are the Sometimes this word is mind's perceptions. was the ground of the mind. the good ground was the fruitful mind. The garden in all therefore. eastward. their love and spiritual joy. means not only every man or every mind. said to be planted eastward Eden. because the religion of those people centered in the Lord. were rejoiced in as the Lord's. when on earth.22 The Garden of Eden. w^as. the shallow soil was the shallow mind. The ground here out of which the trees grew. but specifically every . therefore wisdom and intelligence was planted in Eden. but it tions. used for the man himself or the mind itself. ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. the stony ground w^as the callous mind impervious to spiritual ideas. eastward when we look to Him. were manifested as the Lord's life flowing through them.
The Garden. that is. Hence the river went forth from Eden wisdom springing from love and its dedelight in pursuing them. Eden and the river of the New Jerusalem are one. would be pleasant to trace this beautiful symbol through its many phases in the Word. or bears spiritual fruit. literalh^. and the Without a love for it and a delight in its pursuit. God. garden. Nat- it could not spiritually. for spiritual nourishment were given by the Lord to a people so loving and so true. Eden was the garden . The river is the symbol of wisdom considered as flow- ing into the mind from the fountain of wisdom. is a curious expression. 2:0 could the river if. which is could be pleasant to the sight (mental sight the understanding . its The river of fountain-head being the Lord. It Suffice it here to allude to the river of life. that which the mind goes forth into good life. Eden to water the ? literally. which sprang forth in the ground of the minds of those people. is agreeable good for food good. there is no wisdom of anv kind. urally. The spirit of wisdom. it could. So all perceptions of the true. water of which in the Revelation is described as pro- ceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb. pleasant to the sight. proceeds from the love of spiritual things within the mind. The river that went out of Eden to water the to the understanding) or — — garden. perception of true life 23 has. out of How. — .
because any rivers — countries are so applied. So geographers may give up sible lands their disputes in the effort to find impossible rivers w^atering impos- and flowing from an impossible Eden for Eden is in all places where man is of heavenly mould. went forth to water natural lands. These are the will. have parted into four And this river is said to heads. 24 light. of the minds and hearts of a people beloved of the Lord. and in that sense are elsewhere used in the Scriptures. but because the mind has four regions to be influenced by reason and to be guided by intelligence. and vigor to human intelligence. Even the gold of Haviiah they may cease to search for. and the names of those particular literal —not Ethiopia. . good desires and good deeds was the golden will of that land was good. as we . in ancient symbolism. because they afterwards became sacred symbols in accordance with the predominating genius of their people. Havilah. are told in the text that the gold For Havilah was the land of the will and goodness good thoughts. and to have watered four regions. And it or to give life went forth to water the garden. — — of those celestial people who lived in olden times. and its garden and trees and rivers are simply descriptive. They are spiritual lands lands of the mind and not of matter. the rationality and the memory. The Garden of Eden. the understanding.. Assyria and the land of the Euphrates.
may be. stands as a hope. may all once again be found. It was the Avorld's young morn of happy innocence. a promise. lost. in its eternal beauty. Greece been.The Garden. that sacred garden of the Lord I 3 . That which has once been be lived . and Rome. and what it may again become. all tradition points. Why is it set forth in Scripture ? To teach the Church what it has been. We may dwell in Eden and the narrative of the garden of spiritual joy. may And the life that man by man again. 2o To this era. That which has India. the oracles of the ancient chronicles tell us in glowing syllables of the Golden Age. From Egypt. has lived. a spiritual prophecy of what the may again be realized here on earth. where will not die delight shall be — with love that shall never weary and wisdom that —to dress and keep. May shall time speed on when Christianity the sole find its Eden once more.
pleasant tJie tree of life also in the midst of the garden. happiness and spiritual intelligence in gence in which they lived which the Lord placed the early fathers of the human race. is an allegory. 'HE very lies in first principle in our consideration of whatever relates to the the truth that it is Garden of Eden. And Adam in the Garden of Eden. THE TWO TREES.— Gen. ii. that the entire narrative literal history. and good for food. 9. mind. and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. but the spiritual condition of the most ancient Adam means not one individual. of the sphere of love and joy amid which they moved. and not a of Genesis The garden of the Eden is in the heart. The garden was a symbol of . in a particular earthly locality. This was the lesson we drew from the text in our last discourse. inference to be deduced from This is the plain elsewhere affirms of its what the Scripture own method of interpreta26 . but the all mankind. The second chapter not a natural occurrence describes which took place Church. a state and not a is place . intelli- Eden.II. And out of the ground made the Lord God to the to groiv every tret that is sight. is an allegory of the state of love.
This method of calling certain conditions of life or states of mind by. to be province or town in which all young It is descriptive. and has been fol- lowed by the poets of all time as peculiarly beautiful and expressive. this. that of a condition all of perfect love to the Lord.The Two tion fies . One hour of a passion so sacred. on the contrary. with and innocence with which that state is so closely bound. local names." How the force of this passage would be destroyed to imagine were we a particular Elysium as used here. "There 's a bliss beyond all that the minstrel has told. A verse in Moore's Lalla Rookh. illustrates this poetic peculiarity. And. tie. borrowed from the age of symbolism. When two. is a characteristic of all Scripture. Love on through all ills and love on till they die. bliss. lovers dwelt. is worth Whole ages of heartless and wandering bliss . oh ! if there he an Elysium on earth. peace of a state of love and sion between But should we sub- stitute. as it were. sentimental pasthe joy. Trees. . that are linked in one heav'nly With heart never changing and brow never cold. it is It is this. and close a couplet poetically descriptive thereof with the exclamation. in place of the idea of a two young hearts. 27 elsewhere testiits from what the Lord's Word concerning Eden and the garden that bore name.
" Eden on earth. as Eden is not a place nor the garden a locality. tliis. be further descriptive Their very names indicate this. in this it Now view Eden is a phrase indicative of the state of the first Church on earth. to find some mental attributes of which these trees in the higher spiritual . "And. To suppose any natural nourish our souls meaning of that term. in some way. the two trees which play so important a part in the narrative must be something other than their If the Garden of literal import would indicate. A tree of life a natural tree that would bear fruit. of that state.28 The Garden of Eden. oh It is ! if there be an this. But as this garden is of the mind. it is we would This is get the precise idea of the is manner in which Eden to be understood that in Scripture. So thinking and so intuitively a conception grasping the clusion. these trees must. if we would read this portion of the Bible aright. fruit could life. the eating whereof would render our exis a istence on earth one of endless duration people of the Lord's — — thing that that to eternal we cannot comprehend. spirit of the narrative. its details we are pre- pared to follow to their legitimate con- becomes evident that. would tax our credulity still more largely. must be thoroughly imbedded in our minds and naturalized to our thoughts.
'Certainly all references to it in the Bible disagree with the literal idea and sustain the figurative. life was used in a figurative sense. What He says. 13. again. The wise man. . while it has a mental and moral. or to which they correspond. We have no warrant for believing that the term in olden times was ever thought of except as a symbol. Hope deferred maketh the heart it is sick but when 12). a* . 18). his in accordance with the usage of day derived from a higher antiquity. heart. The whole Word of has also a spiritual import. were not so very difficult. Thus he says in his Proverbs. 29 are symbolic. A tree of life Avas that. But this use of the term. . And . ''Happy is the man that findeth wisdom she is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her and happy is every That in ancient times the tree of . applied this term to anything that gave new life or vigor to understanding. xiii. thought or desire. is evident from the manner in which it was employed by Solomon. . one that retaineth her " " (iii. .The Two Trees. announces spiritual what lower plane than that truths. was on a somein which the Lord uses it in the books He has given in his own name. from which mental or moral life refreshed or renewed itself. the desire cometh. God in its inward meanings. a tree of life " (lb. whatever it might be. as seen in the quotations from Solomon.
the flesh Overcome and the world. in desire. Here the tree of life clearly indicates something high and holy.30 The Garden of Eden. but gives color . We does it use this term love a great deal. sensuality. . He who does this. And Revelation. not only tinges the whole character. t). give to eat of the tree of which " is midst of the paradise of God (Rev. a living embodiment of that it is He knows he who hath the Lord's commandments and doeth them. This meaning of may be gathered from the book Here it is our Lord who commands John to write. is he that has overcome. which impedes the perfect life sin — in act. What mean ? It means that the love or affec- tion from which a person does his daily work. what ? Why. Lord who lives in . self and . pride and passion who has. And He has and does. that loveth Him. Such an one God's law and love. is he who lives in love of the . and who dictates what he shall write and the words convey strictly divine meanings in all their forms of expression. in thought. Ephesus : " To him that overcometh will I life. He that is entitled to partake of this tree. He commands of this to be written to the Church in the ii. and therefore loves. of whatever nature or description. the life Lord and from the Lord is who has the Lord's inscribed on the very nerves and tissues of his spirit. in fact. trodden under foot everything.
The Two and quality expresses it. Trees. keep my commandments . so or from Now a good act far as the man is concerned. They are instinct with honesty. sincerity. exalt They ignore base and low motives they They do that which is noble and lovely. . but they place sense and self under the absolute con- trol of the spiritual faculties. and be honest in business. He may do many good may do a things from the love of approbation. life. is spurious. and gave the expression its true definition. He may live an outvrardly good life from inwardly bad motives. and say many prayers. generosity. 31 to the entire As Swedenborg of "Love is the life man. He may be gentle and kind and give freely to charitable purposes." and "he that hath it is my com- mandments and keepeth them. stamps the character of the or deed. But when our Lord If ye love me. or from the love of money. or from the love of advancement. because he seeks honor and praise from men. rendering it word to the good or bad according said '' : quality of the love. The love from w^hich he speaks or acts. not debar us from all sensual gratification. done from an unworthy love. any other selfish love." One good act from a bad love. Love to the Lord . truthfulness. he that loveth me. The Lord's commandments teach the pure and perfect life." He told the whole story of love to God. purity. unselfishness. spirituality.
is this . would be living on the fruit of the tree For Eden. it it is comparatively- worthless. buys and sells. loves God —loves Him who men had the soul with their spirit. state of love but the tree of life. and do good works from the love of good. Love to the Lord is good as a sentimental emotion . If we love to have. we love If his we love Him. something that lives in the life. all love of things good and true.32 is The Garden of Eden. to keep them. If all this spirit. ciple When love to the Lord is the prin- from which we live and work. renders the muscles vigorous. "We live righteously because from the love of right.is that love as . energizes the faculties. imparts truthfulness to prayer and sincerity to worship. works in the hands. we love Him. for their infills own sake. It is In truth is a very practical thing. world would again be an Eden. because these constitute his very Self. of life He taught us this kind thousand precepts. then life is genuine. them we love commandments and in our daily lives. as we have learned. we love Him. gives tone to the character. his spirit in the heart as a prompting motive in all we speak and do. but if it is nothing more. in a we If love practice Him. his character and example. the and of all life. God is righteousness itself goodness itself and he who loves the right and the good — . and commanded us If we love the Lord's teachings.
Let us underLove to God The tree of life Is not the Lord as a sun to the stand this fully. we recognize the un- seen Divinity as the fountain whence pour. spiritual wisdom into the under- C . Eden the state of and joy with which the soul is suffused. in all its duties and amusements. the Lord." we cling to the sentiment in no merely metaphorical sense . in a manner similar to that in which the natural sun operates upon the Do we not speak earth with his light and heat ? of the light of truth and the warmth of love as peace. and which it carries with it in all the circumstances and vicissitudes of life. Then when . spirit ? Does not the Scripture tell us this disFlows He not in with an influence on tinctlv ? mind and heart. innocence I ! real things Yea. the very life 33 is of the heart. it is said. with the spirit of understanding and the warmth of love. But the tree of life is that love as the fountain within the heart whence spring the spirit of goodness and purity of motive which give the life this state and tone. flows in with his light into the understanding and with his ? love into the will. the grace of love into the heart and the glory of standing. in all its labors and burdens. as the central Sun of the world of spirit and mind. as real things. '' The Lord God is a sun and shield the Lord will give grace and glory.The Two Trees.
Eden has gone life into oblivion forever . that the tree of life and its opposite spring forth. made the Lord God to grow these trees and out of the ground of man's spirit is it. the Eden of . and of which it is declared that he who overcometh shall eat. heart that overcometh . is not spoken of here as a as a thing of six thou- matter of the past sand years ago —but — not is predicated of the present and time. and the exists Eden. For ''out of the ground. is said to be ''in the midst of In Paradise is Eden. was prom- to-dny and forever. It is noteworthy that this tree of life whereof the Apostle John wrote to the Ephesian Church. it is in the center of the Observe. growls in vigor and expands in strength. until the whole life feeds upon its fruit and nourishes itself with its invigorating juices. and he that overcometh. I mean what a glorious tree of life it is as it takes root in the ground of the spirit." it is said. future. then. Literally viewed.— . Paradise. The Garden of Eden. no Ephesian could ever have been there. no more. it is obliterated from the face of the tree of earth . love spirit is an implantation of the Lord's own within the heart — true love. or the tree of life in its Eden is in every ised to an Asiatic Church. The Ephesians were after Christ's Had Eden been a locality of earliest geog- raphy. But midst. is in Paradise. the Paradise of God." w^e see the midst of heart. 34 If.
hard. iron logic. nor in that of merely sensuous thought. and the Word of God which life reveals them. the sweetness. cold. Trees. that he will have no other fruit to appropriate to the life of his soul.• The Two God. but it is in Eden. and . The purity. life 35 nutriment And he eats of the tree of — or in other words. are so grateful to his obedient heart and receptive thought and willing hand. that he truly lives not in the garden of w^orldliness or selfishness or mere sen. he interested. that he gathers the nutri- ment of for his spirit's life . suous pleasure that he dwells intelligence . the garden of love. with ishes his and joy. mind and invigorates and its from such sources he gathers the food of doubt or denial of religion God. his dis- the love of the Lord planted mind. but it is from the love God and goodness. not in the garden of doubt. his soll that in the midst of the garden of his It is not from Paine or Yoltaire or Ingerhis heart he draws the nourishment which feeds . heavenly draws life — from his spiritual. the in- nocence. nor noursoul with the fruit. its the Paradise of God. And he eats not. nor in that of denial. It is not from the world and its mean morality or sensuous pleasure not from self with its soul-seducing conclusions. the unselfishness of the which the Lord commands and gives. of any tree that teaches or produces or strengthens a denial of the . it is That is to say.
So we know that the tree of life is love that when it is said it grows in the midst of the Paradise of God. . Thus ate the Eden dwellers of old. and eating lives forever. that so did they who . Not that his material body will live for ages unending on this earthly ball but his soul. as the source and holy joy and serene peace It is of of all truth. it means in the center of the soul. that we eat of it by appropriating it in will and thought and act or in other words. He declares: "Blessed are they that do his commandments. lived in the first earth. that they may have right to the tree of life " (Rev. Lord. wisdom. is known as eternal life. Church which the Lord planted on and called by the name Adam and that . vouchsafes to man. xxii. wherever it works. the Lord's commands .— 36 TJie Garden of Eden. For at almost the very close of the holy Word. 14). can never be taken away. whether in this world or the world to come. the fruit of this tree that he eats. and thus had and all they life. by obeying . or rather it there. life . will possess that divine gift which true life . and which. in the lan- guage of the Lord. with well-nigh the last written utterance our Lord . Thus may we eat and live mankind may dwell again in Eden if they will. or an unwise or unholy permits the Lord to plant of all but he sets up the love of the Lord within his heart. and intelligence.
concerninii' this? is Whatever the opposite. are you not mistaken in your criticism ? Is not this which I have briefly set forth. because this narrative in Genesis is inconsistent as literal history. the real meaning of Eden and its tree. shall dwell in Eden too. the tree of knowledge filled the soul with 4 . so far as we love the Lord and live and from Him. To eat of the forbidden tree. one if the other evidently its And for we have dwelt long and critically upon the it is nature of the one.The Two Trees. can we doubt is. 37 we in like them. tree love true grew heavenly fruit the of knowledge infernal fruit. to behold that of the knowledge of good and evil. not time wasted . we have but to turn our backs upon the tree of life and look the other wav. was to live from the Lord and heavenly love. was to live from rived. To eat of the tree of life. And now. and was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There is no mention of this by name in any other portion of the Scripture. The tree of gave clear perception of what was good and tree of life The . viewed in the light of other portions of the sacred But there Volume ? was another it tree which grew in this wonderful garden. But when we come to understand the nature of the tree of life. self-love and the self-intellio-ence thence de. ye who honestly doubt the Bible as the Word of God.
observed in the former discourse that trees symbolize perceptions of the mind. to use more definite phrase. and thought and spoke. Under this Spir- perception there could be but one result. and were wise and intelligent. tree of life tion of was then love as a conscious percepthe Lord in their own lives. the tree of knowledge was the path to spiritual death. really from the Lord. embodied the idea of a keen perception. so. false. warmth that thence the tree of . the life of absolute trust in Him. The tree of life was the way to eternal life. As it is sufficient to say that hon- esty for is right and truthfulness to be it is one to see intuitively that commended. they lived and loved. therefore. his goodness. of the fact that the Lord constantly flows into them its life with his love. The different kinds of trees are symbolic of the different phases of perception. with them an}^ truth of a spiritual nature. his mercy. itual truth would be as clear to them as the sun in its shining. a We The tree of life.38 the evil and The Garden of Eden. The . such as the im- mortality of the soul. therefore. the all belief that all his ways are right —these and' other true spir- . was It love perceived as the very life of the soul. his eternal providence. the existence of God. on the part of the Eden dwellers. as the sun flows to earth with sprung up in their inmost hearts as the governing principle of their existence and that.
When man loves ours God above all things.The Two Trees. no further. Now the tree of knowledge It would be the exact to opposite of this. and perceived as implanted by the Lord for that purpose. life separates from God's then claims the merit of goodness and understand- ing . We know because we love. The desire to feel that one is one's own and not the Lord's. With this planted in the soul. itual enunciations 39 would be received without a doubt or question. would begin grow vigor- ously just so far as intelligence. the vanitv that would is say. God and makes self the center. This truth I reasoned out myself. the pride that my would claim that the integrity I possess OAvn. This is the highest faith known. Lord as the its It loses its perception of love to the controllino: element of nature : it loses sight of . Love wisdom of life. sending its down deep its VNithin the spirit. roots its life is the tree of what he is knowledge It it . this faith is his. all perceived as the argument is ended. the self-sufficiency that asserts one's self as the origin and center of and first feels and acquires. and all in all of its own little world. It is so far as we are in Eden. is we desired to be in our own self- The pride of one's own intelligence a terrible thing. and perceived intuitively. is the tree of life. and that the merit of my good deeds belongs to me . then it denies circumference. It is the only testimonv which admits of no discussion.
strange that the Lord should commend the one and forbid the The one in his eyes was life. the evidence of which it has lost the capacity to weigh confirm. because in eating of . humanity in its loving arms.40 the Lord . The one was wisdom. departs from his spiritual . The one was love. branches ever upward to heaven. as the tree of life was the Lord who is love. the other centered The one shot its the entire universe in self. or understand. Now. in all of and sensuous evidence and natural science the Is it arbiter of spiritual things. knovvledge was self spiritual wisdom in its broadest sense intuitively perceived. . the other pride. that which is above the realm of sense and science consequently it learns to deny that. the other passion. the tree of and the consequent all self- derived intelligence perceived as the life. the other lust. save only this. and as a consequence. perceived as the life principle of the soul. the other other ? The one was purity. • The Garden of Eden. the other insanity. The one was huThe one grasped all mility. death. eating of all the trees of the garden was commended. it is The reason why edge of good and called the tree of is knowl- evil. it wisdom of it which it has lost the inward evidence tries to by sensuous evidence and natural science. the other sent That was why the its roots down deep into hell.
Good was no -longer evil was no longer an trees unknown in quantity. the tree of knowledge was disobedience to its divine behests. if there no power to disobey ? Do the locks and bolts and bars of our prisons indicate purity of heart ? Is not he rather the good man who. why did Lord plant the two Eden ? Why not the tree of life onlv ? Why was man placed in the way of temptation ? The whole lesson is the doctrine of human free- dom. walking free his way on earth. as things to be talked over and compared. jN'ow what is intrinsic good is there in obedience. chooses the good and refrains from evil ? Would divine bars be any better ? Had He said to man. to ancient Church. but an experience. The good w^as more a life than knowledge the evil was neither — was . a life. nothino-. *' You shall not sin I will 4* . a something of which he had no experimental knowledge. To love the Lord was life. but a remembrance the . of evil. dience. he lived the good. depart from that love was spiritual death. taught in allegory and applied to the most To put the lesson in other words. the tree of life was obedience to the law of love. And now. then both the his experience as a good and the But tastinsr evil came into knowledge. 41 knowledge Previously man comes into a practical of the distinction between the two. a Evil to him was only disobe- mere name for an unknown quantity.The Two this tree Trees. .
the power to disobey was clearly involved in it and He had either to plant both trees in the ground of his mind. and gave him the power to obey. He had either justify our courts . when true purity is the vol- untary choice of good ? The ox. with an angel's destiny and denied him that which lifts him above the brute and makes him man. the punishment of crime would be itself a crime. the greatest happi- ness and the gTandest good the Lord can give. It is for him to love not to center his . power to disobey. man wisely to use this gift of freedom. or none. take from you the power of sin. brute. Freedom to obey. is a confession of our belief in the moral freedom of man. and none tlie to make him man It is for or make him and live. power of obedience implies the disobedience. therefore. Man is man by virtue of his freedom. the lamb and the dove have their gentle natures. but they are beasts and birds. If we had it not. When. involves the Freedom of determination is and it the highest gift to created intelligence. — Therefore power of can deny the fact. We have it." would that have made a perfect man. That we and penitentiaries. implies the noblest qualities. He is no brute to live and die without choice or reason. the Lord commanded man to obey his law of love.42 The Garden of Eden. — and God could not have made his noblest creature man. the noble gift of freedom.
The Two Trees.
soul on self
and die. We are inheritors of this Let us heed the lesson well, ponder its
great privileges, appreciate
tribute to our heaven-born
cling to the tree of
and win the Eden which open, receptive and obedient souls.
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to Jail
%ipon Adam, and he ulept; and he tool- one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead
thereof. And the rib, vhich the Lord God had taken from nvm, made he a yeoman, and brought her unto the man. Gen. ii.
courses at certain
based upon reason and proved by Scripture.
these are the conclusion that the
narrative of the Garden of
history but an allegory
of an individual, but a
fying man, or mankind in general, including both
that the Garden of
Eden was not a
lawns and flowers, but the state of love, innocence, spiritual intelligence and delight in which the people of the world's young morning dwelt that the tree of life was not a
dise of visible groves,
vegetable production planted in the geometrical
center of a literal garden from
his natural support, with ability to exist
love or the
Lord as the
ling element of the mind, with a perception that
that the tree of
was not a natural
which bore material
the eating whereof brought
death into the world, but was self-intelligent and sensuous life, with a perception of self as the only
source of existence and the only thing to live for
that the eating from one or the other of these,
was not the act of partaking was the drawing of the soul's
from love of God or love of
of natural fruit, l3ut
and that the
in relation to the fruit of these
a precept concerning
man ought or ought not to have
eaten as healthful
natural food, but taught, in the language of cor-
respondence, a lesson setting forth that law of
freedom which was planted from the
the power of choosing to
from the Lord and inherit eternal life, or to from sense and self in disobedience of God's
History furnishes no account of the man of this Golden Age. The traditions, however, of many
races as well as sacred books unerringly point to
mythology throws a glowing radiance of arcadian beauty around its life of simple tastes and quiet happiness; and revelation depicts its loves and joys in divine types and correspondences. And
so w^e are taught that the
of this early age
was the very embodiment
of innocence and purity,
with a meekness and humility truly angelic, baskHo ins: in the verv sunshine of the Lord's love.
. unskilled in all the cunning of to-day. tiful. His life hidden mysteries of of spiritual offices to those about was a round his him were reared as heirs. but un- which the world prizes and pursues now. Earth was sparsely peopled. angelic. but of spiritual It was inriches and the approval of the Lord. as the world now would deem. Ignorant. 46 could never. learning and skill. and furnished food for all. beautiful. and art. ent world. Godlike. Without doubt nature was beausoil and the bounteous with its spontaneous It products supplied his simple wants. innochildren . have coped with the world To place such a man in our prestrue. fruitful nature But ignorant as he was in worldly things. it is to-day. not of the world's wealth and applause. luxury and gance. as they permeate all Science extra\^a- present life. nor to repulsive fields of labor under the spur of want. cent. in a God and godly conversaof heaven and heavenly life. the now tion. were to him unknown. We know that mankind did not remain in that learned in the follies . deed the childhood of the race and those people of the past were very children of the Lord. would be almost like placing a lamb in the midst of wolves. as it is The Garden of Eden. made him wise wisdom far above that of to-day. he unquestionably was. of duty was not work in necessary for him to be lashed to his daily round by the whip of necessity. guileless.
Great and rapid moral changes are contrary to all exNations decay by successive steps perience. sunk to effeminacy. There was a first step. It was the departure from rectitude of a race. crime and final destruction. a second. given place to selfishness and sensuality. There were also general steps measured by marked peculiarities of retrogression. decadence progress. that the most ancient peo- So we read the allegory as set forth in the second and third chapters of Genesis. each so small that it was difficult to mark its separate existence and their decline was so slow . occurred in This prehistoric left times. of the past — so far back as human chronicles extend is little more and the struggles of the than a record of crime present are but efforts to rise from the moral mire into — which the world is plunged. cannot tell. by gradual departures. That Church of innocence and peace may have lasted many centuries how many w^e — . 47 The history . as to make their complete decadence the work of a hundred or a thousand vears. and a thousandth. Innocent state. indolence. So was ple fell. From that blissful state to its declen- . Celestial So there ha^ innocence has been a great change. Sparta. and not that of an individual. No its earthly chronicler has It could not us the record of have been sudden. Egypt. Kome. which run through centuries. Athens.The Woman. probably. it.
state of love. represented in the corre- By them we determine the character of the people whom they describe. Up to this time the description it is that of the Garden of Eden as the Lord. the tree of the Lord . the small . It is plain to perceive the nature of mistake of these primitive children of it is God it is plain. sion and final probably was a period of many centuries more. beginning that leads to the forger's cell the first fruit surreptitiously obtained from the mother's pantry. the trivial offense that may end in highway robbery. boyish cheat at marbles. the life Eden symbolizes man's garden his intelligence. is was originally created by All that from a spiritual point of view is lovely and lofty. have been very are. The ways first departure from perfect innocence must slight. The . But something new is introduced into Eden now spondences employed. but because the symbols by which so related make it so. woman If is introduced upon the scene.48 « The Garden of Eden. Such first departures al- They begin evil in in things so small that we do not see the grave the first them. —a feature which was not there when that garden was first planted which was not there when man was put into the garden thus divinely formed. The first slight in- clination is the preliminary step to a drunkard's . the first . not because literal on the face of the narrative. fall.
it was alw^ays under the form that the world 5 of woman. and the gold. acter. The woman. Now. or sculptured. are all of the mind. therefore. or Church. in of Word In all God ? Clearly she the embodiment of that principle of the soul denominated affection. the rivers. w^hat is woman as a representative chartradition. devotion.The Woman. What was her spiritual meaning". the woman mast be symbolic also. or in the is whether in the world. She must be some principle or attribute which man had not posthe tree of knowledge. mythologically embodied. As Eden. could not have been the wife of Adam as a man masculine. and what the part she bore in this history of a celestial state and its final loss ? For we must remember that Adam w^as a people. in the traditions of the ages. mythology. Adam w^as male and female. delineated. the garden. We know now is pretty well upside . in all all the symbolic poetry of the older times. after they had for indefinite ages enjoyed this state of love and innocence. the of self sessed before. but must signify something that was adjoined or added to a w^hole people. race. so must the woman be also. and his love perceived as the soul's life 49 inmost life. and sense forbidden and as yet unknown. painted. when love. religion —any tender senti- ment of heart or grace of spirit which was born of gentle affections — w^as D symbolized.
virgins Thus that ture.50 The Garden of Eden." and "the The woman is virgin daughter of Jerusalem. in older Scripthe Lord. is." the embodiment and representative of the principle of affection. The pas- were represented by women. Lamb's wife " and . Hatred and pride are feminine. But there sions. . the its it is so called. and that nothing remains just as to be . because of the love it is supposed to bear to the Lord as it hus- band. ought but the true woman is still devotion. But these in the are aflTection They it are woman opposite of her genuine character. it down. attributes of soul. It was called. in the parable. . distinctive mark. she loses her sublimest feminine quality and tion. was likened. spoken of in reference to called affection for the Lord. "the virgin daughter of Zion. although men and women. is is The woman symits bolizes When whatever the Church characteristically feminine. love. it is composed of both "the Bride. too. Of the various noble all. to ten who went forth to meet the Bridegroom. affec- That is her distinguishing characterand when she loses istic as compared with man that. is also a dark side to this. not originally create them So is it also in the Bible. but God did so. nature as displays They are the feminine itself when demoralized. that is the noblest of masculine women There may be and feminine men. inverted.
could it have been. appears that after men were made. It was an affection that did not originally belong there. an affection for the Lord for the first time embodied in those people's lives. that he should be alone. but still the first step on the downward path. and not known as such. But woman placed in the garden of the Lord. anything added to must have been slight indeed. 51 had existed in Eden preIn the first vious to this period of the narrative. and love was alreadv inscribed on their inmost hearts. male and female created he them. So it was not a wife that was now presented to man. to It is man is. that God or. into the Eden state. male and female. We tliat read. evidently. this being alone did not seem to be a good thing. as a symbol. it is said that " God created Adam in his own image in the image of God created he him." according to a closer '' rendering of the original Hebrew. they were elevated. where the creation of Adam is spoken of." And For it this was before man was placed in Eden. at the planting of As all was made perfect it Eden. It was something added to the Eden state.. " It is not good not good implica- man should be alone. He began to want something that as yet he did not . The men Nor. They had eaten of the tree of life. said. of that Church had already each his own." The tion that to man. in his then condition.The Woman. chapter of Genesis. and as a sex . indeed.
And tben added tint tbe Jjord said. It was a igkrioiss life ! Yeu tae restk^ spirit . tbat was to thesis as a spirtbe Lord's minence and life penme- aied heart. in bis higb Eden siare. 52 bave..** Tbe prosper it reoderiDr of tbe irbole passage. as it w«e Th^ Ad». He w^is somewlttt discDntemte^i. £raAi tbe heart to the nV mo^st exireiiiities. God said. deseefi^ding into eaeb and every act. tbat tber bad a distinct pcfteptkm^ a realization firow actual experience and knowledge. Pc is GtiJrdem «f Hicn.^ helps tisnm* in teoB? the . '" I wiH . h as it wer>^ himself^ befoie idm. He Lad no tbe eontnol ol' his Spirit. ''I wHl make a he-^HDeel for Imii. shall be. septus to "And the Jjord. It is not more certain to i£S^ as a p^Tskal &et^ that the hlood is cooT^ng tbrongh omr veins and giving: life to tbe whole body. s^:* higt and bolr were tbe peofile ci that age so ek>se were tber to tbe Lord . tbat tieT wer? simplr firing out <m earth the Lord's inward inflneiBce. bimsdC. so receptive of tbe Lord's iii^ and inJLaenee : so compleleir nnder Lord's.^ But Alios Mcmtanus^ one oi the best authorities in Hefatew idioiiiatie dttnilties. gives as tbe exaet translatioii. than it itual fact.make OEte. It seemeth not sood to man that he shooM be alone I will make tm him (me which lie this : . so«l and mind.l«ih»ls««. had been allo^^tib^ the conscioo^-lrred selflbood. before him. to pat in idio- matie EnrlisK.
but a willingness to recognize that truth as a matter of faith. It was an abiding in Him alone as the only stay and rest in all the thino-s of life." The phrase. notwithstanding the sensation that I think and do as of myself. and in a desire to good. / desire. truth within me. that in all this goodness and intelligence it is God's good and think. began to feel that he would a little rather not experience quite so great a dependence on the Lord. better to carry the consciousness that how much /am loving. goodness and intelligence. how I would like to experience ! this thing called it life. The first deviation consisted. was used to denote the most intimate union with the Lord. I feel now. in view of the fact that freedom of choice was his. and wise. / act. that in all this love it is God's love in me. as it were. in a slight discontent with that position." in most ancient times. it seems. '' Oh. as my / own How pleasant would be to feel that I will.The Woman. 53 of man. intelligent /am /am mingle self-consciousness in this respect with the higher consciousness. It was a consciousness of Him alone as the source of life. "to be alone. 1 speak. w^hile the feeling 5* . and not to be always so strongly conscious that it is a hiaher influence to which I am yielding. It would be no desire to deny the Lord as the Creator of life and the Giver of all good gifts. He said. It was a rendering to Him alone the meed of all good gifts.
and the discoverer of the truths which constituted his own intelligence. but he wanted himself or his selfhood to be more consciously before himself. man began. and acts. to be understood that He per- mitted man. this affection for self when it is was represented by the woman. It did not seem to him good to be alone in the Lord. And said that the Lord brought the woman it is unto the man. as woman throughout the Word is em- Now ployed as the symbol of affection in its many vary- ing phases. . as desires were. to have himself before him. and as this divinely inspired narrative is in the language of pure symbolism. It was enterIt ing into an affection for himself and the things of his selfhood. quite unconscious of is it There- fore in this divine parable written seemeth not good to alone I will make him one that shall be. : disinter- ested that he was. in his meditations. said. instead of* having the Lord and his neighbor con- Lord God . ward the love of was a leaning toself-consciousness. those of his own personality. that is. would be that the man himself was the author of his own good. created as he was a free being. Not but that he had an individuality or a selfhood life it before.'' And from this time. but that his was so pure all and self. as it were himself. before him. as the first beginning of his fall. to have his selfhood as a constantly conscious thing before his mind. It "And the man to be stantly before him.54 The Garden of Edeyi.
fully express the
The term selfhood does not
English word at hand.
'prium, or the French
idea intended to be conveyed, but
The Latin word jwo^wopre, would exactly
has an individu-
ality of his
the Lord's in
Then he has him. Somewhat
as the earth has a
and rock and sand. earth with its light and
The earth has
the sun cease to
atmospheres, waters, and
were a mere dead thing.
So the soul of man own personality but let the Lord and cease to flow in, and there would be no
flowers of intelligence or fruits of use to
beautiful the garden of his mind.
the earth blossoms as a rose
without the sun
the Lord, man's
Garden of Eden
sensuality and sin.
lived in the sunlight of
the conscious presence of the Lord;
was a sad
when he descended
into his selfhood or pro-
Eden life when the woman, by his was brought to the man, it was a step
This state of decline
represented by the deep
The Garden of Eden.
upon Adam. To believe that a man called Adam actually went into a deep natural sleep wherein a rib was taken from him which was built into a woman, requires extraordinary credulity. But to think of the sleep into which the early Church fell, as a growing* obliviousness to the higher life and the Lord as its center and
an idea entirely consonant with the style
which the Scripture is written, and the purpose for which it was given. To this day when we see an individual or a Church manifesting indifference to religious things, we say it has fallen asleep. So the entrance of mankind into the state of the proprium, was, in comparison with the spiritually wakeful life of the higher state, denominated a
The rib or bone which the Lord took, has somewhat the same meaning as the woman, for it was builded into a woman. It will be seen from the
marginal reference, that the proper rendering
not, of the rib "
made he a woman," but builded woman." To build, in the Scripture sense,
up that which
comparatively dead things
flesh is a living thing.
Bones signify what is what is spiritually alive.
hood, in itself a dead thing
means the selfbut by closing up
the flesh instead thereof, and building
meant the selfhood
with somewhat of spiritual
endowed with say, the Lord was
man was determined
a state in which self should be the conscious ele-
of his existence, to leave his selfhood dry
and hard and lifeless. If man was determined. to depart from the primal order of his life, He would
give him in that departure as
builded his self-con-
sciousness, selfhood, or proprium, into a form of
The dead proprium symbolized
a spiritualized affection
was builded into
adjoined to this self-conscious
woman. Thus was
in this divine parable of
Lord took the
not said that
out of or
away from Adam
— and closed up
the flesh in the place thereof, and built
woman whom He brought to the man. Since that day man has been more or less under the dominion of the proprium. He has thought and
loved to think of
surroundings as his
own. If at any time he has risen above this state and prostrated himself before the throne of God, be may oft and again have been ready to acknowledge the Lord's position as the center and fountain
has walked, in some sense, with
himself forever before his eyes.
sciousness of personal identity
Not that was then
the conor ever,
. genius from that of our remote progenitors given to rise above the proprium. in is it. power of his and of the Lord's influence as life thrilling his entire existence. that his was raised in all things above the selfhood. and that he did not recognize this last as a motive or element at entering into the joy of living. this truth Happy they who I can see and live in the light of it It is true that this portion of the parable is less easy of comprehension than some others . We may but to — under of the all it is different conditions. But it must be remembered that. of his own iden. Indeed for the fall human race has rendered us of a different . as the history of Eden is purely symbolic. the sleep and the rib and the woman must denote inThe law of correternal and mental conditions. As it is a history of minds and states. on the principle of the Hindu Nirvana. he had so life God but that. to attain the else There nothing worth living or striving for. it must be so in all its parts. at the tity with a clear perception and freedom as a finite being. that its meaning does not lie quite so close to the surface. is the true object of religion or relig- ious teaching.58 The Garden of Eden. full a consciousness of the Lord as the soul. To some the explanation may seem abstruse. is To aid us in this. truly Christian To succeed life. swallowed up in the all-engulfing infinitude of first. all Would we could return to that state! .
symbolic character. was the serpent the . life would were it elevated above the its realm of self? How far its soon cankering cares shadows sent away. will appear again. first to listen to the seductive voice of the first the to eat of the forbidden tree. is consistent. whether applied to Genesis. The woman. 59 spondence according to which the Scripture is written. yet pour us ? it ever forth into the hearts of those around Could we not walk the earth in joy. Isaiah or John. yet live for others ? were gone. shall find In tracing these not mistaken her events we we have is. step is the mother of a thing Have we ever thought how grand be. yet know that all our joys were resting in the blessHow far inirs we had shed over others' lives ? How long the the world is from this to-day path to return to the point from whence the down! . and first to receive the curse. She in her relation to Adam.The Woman. how dried of tears its weeping eyes. The in lesson of the text that evil had its origin first human selfhood. how soothed to smiles its face of sorrow. how sciously receive the beautiful life of the Lord. were it only freed from Could we not be this constant sense of self! Could we not conourselves. and that the sin. that we are treading on safe we may be sure ground. law is alike applicable to the unfolding of the true meaning of Genesis and all this As other portions of sacred Writ.
great salvation from the over- mastering love of step led from will lead to Let us pray for it. of the race began . after will all.60 The Garden of Eden. Eden again. we become a part of for it. the only true religion and we never see ourselves this world a Christian world. the first retracing step . until its self. I ward journey it is But. for as the first Eden away. work gather what fruits we can .
have thus far followed the story of ^H/|vM Eden from its original planting to the period of man's first departure from the state of his primitive innocence. but an allegory con- structed in accordance with the rules of sacred have seen that it relates to no one individual. Adam was a people. We Garden of Eden was their state of love. or the first Church on earth. and have taken particular notice of how supreme in their hearts was the principle of love not a person . but the Lord and his love central in the mind as its only faith and that eating from the tree was living from this principle and nourishing the whole nature with the midst of the garden . We have found ^^^ i ^'*^^E it to be. and the wise innocence of their condition. We have dwelt upon the spiritual beauty of the life of those people. 1. We have learned that symbolism. 6 61 . any had made. that the to the Lord. iii. We have seen that the tree of life in was no natural tree. and not a particular place. but to the primitive race. intelligence and happiness.IV. not a literal history.—Gen. Now the serpent was more subtle than beast of the field which the Lord God. THE SERPENT.
this. ta have his own way if he did not. The rib life . doing so he would die. elevated. These principles man was as the tree of But commanded not soul . good. this spiritually invigorating food of the soul. thoughts and actions. For a long time man experienced the perfect life of Eden. dry. But he at last began to incline to for in the selfhood.— 62 The Garden of Eden. His building it into a woman. or of man. And the woman became the symbol of the selfhood vivified. to appropriate as the food of his of this tree he was commanded not to eat. This permission of the Lord in reference to the earliest Church. so joy- giving. so redolent of eternal life. there would be no human freedom. He wanted more self-consciousness. in moral affairs. and thus endowing it with the higher life or making it a living thing. is represented by his taking the rib and building it into a woman. spiritualized. ception of the Lord's hard. represents his build- ing of this selfhood into a thing of spiritual affection. He began to desire an independent life. man had been commanded life to eat and was love of the Lord and heavenly things. self-consciousness. bony. so Of live. When man inclined to come into . He had enjoyed the constant per- and influence controlling his affections. in itself dead— symbolizes proprium the self-hood. The Lord always permits man. the tree of knowledge was love of self and the world.
ings and sculpture of people were still Romans and Greeks. and kept his finger. in with love to God and So man was not yet lost. is version of the very marked in the . self-reliance while it does not appear in the authorized English Bible. But here there is a change of ex]3ression. was so given to the man. " And they were both naked. It is a symbol as classic as it is ancient. and were not ashamed.— The Serpent. and pervades the paintever attaching to this language. Thus far the allegory of Eden. the Lord in his love so arranged the change. Those innocent —so runs the allegory and in their lives of comparative purity. as being one of great innocence. is by the words. on the balance-wheel of his nature. so as to render the selfhood itself capable of being vivified. which. as we have up heavenly to this point studied its meaning. this state of 63 more intense it self-consciousness. as were. The rib which svmbolized the self-consciousness vitalized with spiritual afi"ection." There is no gross meaning whatfiguratively described Nakedness is a Scripture expression for innocence. elevated order that all it might be afi'ections. filled and regenerated. notwith- standing they had come into a state of greater and larger self-consciousness. the man and his wife. had naught whereof to be ashamed. It is now to be observed that the state of the still Church.
. affection. . whether physical or mental. is not strong in argument. with- Hebrew. Hebrew. 64 original The Garden of Eden. Man's intuitions are unre- strong. graceful and affectionate. as in most of the ancient languages. will be urged forward by man but it will . and the other Ish. The strong work life of the world. or mankind. in The world's and the learning and its progress science mechanic arts and in the intellectual part of religion. man as distinguished from woman when symbolically used. Ish an individual line principle of the mind. become good and great in the higher sense. while in English we have but one. and intellectual. rugged but his reasoning powers are peculiarly vigorous. typifies that principle which renders his a masculine mind. all is woman in is is man is As woman. One is Adam. While Adam represents the Church at large. in sacred allegory these. as intellect. In this sense. two terms are used for different purposes. that the true order. Now. man embodiment of all that Woman keen in liable. will always be done by the refinements of man and its gentler ministra- tions will ever belons. to woman. through the sweet and gentle influence of woman. is the embodiment of is beautiful. That is to say. We Adam signifies man have seen that the word in general. But male person. but she is perception. Ish signifies the mascuis mankind. two words for man. Adam is man or there are in out relation to sex.
by the very law of his creation. But the excep. all else ceptions. not be in- tellectual and man is affectionate but that in the while in the one. and his affec- So also in each mind. it is 65 and Avoman affec- man is intellect not meant that woman may . but if endowed with great inshe be a true woman. to any large extent. And we find that a sudden change is made in the latter 6E . But in him. has been recognized in the civilization of and man stands. affection is whole nature the predominant . tions do not overturn or disprove the rule nor has even the degeneracy of these latter days suc- ceeded in reversing'. Nor is it meant that we do not sometimes see all this reversed. the tone. and gives tone and brings neath its all to the other. the welldefined distinction between the sexes. whether of man or woman. The man has his intellectual faculties. and woman as that of affection. all This ages . the other faculties of the mind be- sway. there is the masculine and feminine element. as the type of intellect. sentiments vigor and character to within her. tional or sentimental nature. and give to all else within him. In saying that tion. intellect the predominant characteristic. the perand affections will give tone. and character also be The woman may telligence .The Serpent. vigor first are in control. characteristic. if he be a true man. In inspired writings these types are more pronounced than in fable or tradition.
this time Up to Adam term This ages is Ish. As a historical narrative. now the or man as distinguished from woman. Having enlarged upon this point w^hich will be found to have a strong bearing upon what follows. because the two elements of the mind of that time — elements common to the mind in all — are here distinctively brought into view. are brought prominently into view. but to call But let us be sure that we fully understand the manner in which we use this term. each of vrhich per- formed its part in bringing about the fall of man. pertaining to the indulgence of the appetite. let us next consider wiiat this serpent was. part of the second chapter of Genesis.. or to luxurious and carnal pleasures. which was the cause of so great disaster to the Church in Eden. is had been spoken of. 66 The Garden of Eden. this would be a contra- no possible reason could be given bat as an allegory in which the two distinctive diction for which elements of human nature. that in using it . and to be necessary to a fall understanding of it. The word sensuality is so commonly mixed in the mind with ideas so. it is a necessity. to compare the sensual principle of human nature it to the serpent. In ancient times those were called serpents who had more confidence in sensual things than in revealed truth and it was not only customary then .
subjects of sensuous evidence He and will lieve things he has not seen. being neither visible nor tangible. He deny things supernatural. is one who believes onlv on the evidence of his senses. only a limited application of the is term. natural eyes or touch it with his natural fingers. The sensual man. because has not been made manifest to his bodily senses. nor probed by the instruments of deny even a God. Properly. will He preservation according to his ception.The Serpent the first 67 thought This is is apt to revert to things of this nature. such as chemistry. they cannot be chemically analyzed. He knows about them the things of earth because he sees —because even be- they are palpable to his senses. He has no spiritual grasp. sensual that per- tains to the One may be exceedingly and yet not given to luxuriousness. so far as they are . will accept the testimony of other people when their reasonings are based upon natural science. gluttony or wine-bibbing. spiritual own sensuous con- The sensual man has never allowed the plane of his mind to be opened. . everything senses. because. He cannot comprehend a spir- itual idea when presented to him. in the broader view. it He will will deny the all life after death. because He is not visible to the natural eve. and cannot be seen working out his problems of creation and the surgeon. He will deny the existence of spirit because he cannot see it with his sensual.
denies the supernatural simply because natural. It may keep him at the point to which he has been educated. without permitting him to go beyond it. and he super. mechanics or mathematics. . or to live for the great Hereafter. It has innumerable modifications. The sensual principle is good so far as it is . because this only he sees To him it is the extremest folly to atspiritual part of our nature. his side. The sensual principle It various degrees. indifferent. apostleship had its sensuous-minded Thomas. It may bind him with the chains and forbid him from soaring into the realms of genuine truth. and lay his finger upon them. who would not believe in the risen Saviour unless he could see in his hands the print of the nails. The picture thus drawn is that of the extreme sensual man. may make him without rendering him a conscious skeptic. tempt to cultivate the world only. without bringing him to the point of absolute denial. or on sensuous miracles. and thrust his hand into of religious tradition. or only to a slight may exercise control in may control the man largely extent. It may make him It doubtful of spiritual things. Christians even may be sensual men and rest their faith on hisEven torical evidence. He is immersed in sensual things he lives for this and feels.68 The Garden uf Eden. But not a ray of it is spir- itual light penetrates his understanding.
the cattle or beasts. fish of the sea. the lowest forms or principles the serpent. the fish of the sea. 69 but it is bad when it sets up for itself. The serpent trailed its way through the Eden state of the most ancient Church. the in the of things gathered memory the fowls of the air. love and care. Adam was and over and over given dominion over the the fowl of the all air. affections of various kinds . the The earth symbolized knowledges . In the order of creation as related in the allegory of Genesis. mind . the creepof ing the things.The Serpent. sensual principle. then it was a very bad thing. wiser than man. Everything was good while man had it. and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. until it became wiser than woman. . under the control of the spiritual. wiser than God and then Eden became a desolation^ and man lost the impress of his Maker. including sensual principle. provide for himself food. clothing and habitation. instead of being under the dominion of the higher and properly human. its mind. . and study the things of earth as representatives of heavenly things. and over the the earth. cattle. the thoughts that sweep like winged creatures across the mental firmament. and proofs of But when the the Lord's mercy. assumed dominion over it. dominion over of his being led Even the sensual element him to interest himself in his natural wants.
of all cunning arts. of all sophistry and sophistical pent said to be . xii. Our Lord called the Pharisees. because as serpents live close to the earth. the sen- >1 The most ancient people denominated sual nature the serpent. reasoning. those employed by the sensual nature and by sensuous men are the most sweet. are in Scripture the poison of the serpent (Ps. ye generation of vipers. and things of sense. Yet the Lord made it. And these reasonings. He put it in its place. He placed it under the . 9). of all promises that are sweet to the ear and destructive to the soul. The serpent of the soul the sensuous principle is the most false and subtle — — of all the beasts of the field. cunning and sophistical. 3-6).70 The Garden of Eden. and serpents to seduce him by specious and sensuous reasonings." in relation to their having made religion a mere thing of sensuous ceremony. Ye '' . influences of the sensual nature. of all the affections of the mind. The symbol is maintained throuo-hout the Scripture. arguments and seductive denominated Iviii. to nature. The devil is called a serpent (Rev. so does the sensual principle cling" closely to the world. yet false and soul destroying. because of his desire to overthrow the dominion of the spiritual and celestial in man. Therefore in this allegory of Eden. the seris more subtle than any beast of the field w^hich the Lord God had made because. But He made it good.
For every name to in olden times expressed the character or quality of the object named . and assign to each. could recognize their comparative value and quality. and every fowl of the air. its proper sphere. 71 For Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field. means mind that Adam. soever Adam name called every living creature. with quick intuition.The Serpent. and name a thing was to designate its character For S3'mbolism was founded on the verv nature of thin2:s. But by Adam's giving them names. and brought them unto Adam to see what he v^^ould call them and whatit when is said that. different beasts of the field." a very suggestive truth It is couched under the svmbolism. fied or primitive man. and man recognized this. and or determine its quality. " . was aware of the exsigni- istence of the various affections of the by the air. and the man of that time was able to analyze the attributes of his soul. that was the thereof. and of the various forms of thought signified by every fowl of the By the Lord's bringing the beasts is and birds to him. is signified that he could call them all bv their riaht names. . and to name each correctly. of meant that in the providence God his various forms of affection and thought were permitted to arrange themselves before his mind as matters of conscious knowledge and reflection. that is. dominion of man.
the Lord as their guide. to permit them ing earth as a representative of heaven. to give the serpent its name was to estimate sensuous things at their true value. and to his nature. to understand their office as being simply to enable man to perform his duties to testify concern- in this world. and peace. after the inclination to the pro- and innocence. such a thought could not be even entertained.— . He went his way quietly on his destined earthly round of to desire to be guided duty. breathing through all the fields of Eden. True. cut But that sensuous reasonings should close up the spiritual off the power of spiritual thought. darken the pathway to immortality and heaven. the serpent could have nothing to say on spiritual subjects. love and care. Thus the lamb and the dove element the innocence of the soul would be elevated value. But when man began to incline to his selfhood. more by himself and less by the Lord. prium. and to use them as testimonies to the existence of the Lord. there was . its relative and assign to it its proper rank. still in a modified form. So among the other beasts of the field. then the power of the serpent began While men were conscious of to assert itself. or deny their Creator and Lord. 72 estimate The Garden of Eden. But self-love or the pt'^^oprium love. plane of the mind. — but the serpent — element — the sensual nature would be used as a servant and not as a master.
.The Serpent in its best form. " Yea. began to be used in place of the celestial perceptions which once had sway and they went direct to the proprium as the intellectual nature. meaning not mankind sciousness. 7 . but if it looks any- where else it Lord except above And does not look to the is in the case when man wholly its influence. In other words. The woman became a symbol of this affection for the selfhood. and inclined to the selfhood. Yoltaires. We have found. . but this man term as for distinguished from woman. Perhaps there were in those days Tom Paines. it is looks to the Lord indeed. A new title is used for man. that with his greater self-con- endowed with a principle of goodness and innocence. is 73 If it an unsafe guide. safe it . We have followed the allegory as it We described the fact. the sensuous principle of the mind began its work upon the selfhood. Sensual and sophistical reasonings about spiritual things. he still was as Adam did. have seen how man departed fi'om his first estate'. also. . is lost. And man is a symbol of So the serpent first applied himself to the woman. hath God said ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden." to insinuate a doubt whether the words of the Lord were true whether the love-life was the best life whether the Lord or self was the real the easiest thing to seduce. and Ingersolls to say to the proprium.
and so . ness and pride. . he listened to the delu- sive whisperings of sense he let go his and his sensual nature hold on God and his love. perhaps. Hie Garden of Eden. its That is. but ous appearances. probably. f was not the work of a year. Man was He inclined to self. goes direct to the man. . It was the working of the leaven of sensuousnessin the human family for thousands of years. but in self-love yielding to arguments founded on sensucreated upright. . of a serpent who beguiled a single woman. . and then of satisfactorily answering to inflated self-conscious. touched with the ar- gument. brought evil into the world. . nor of a hundred years. doubtless. being beguiled. whether these so-called perceptions were not delusions whether the best evidence was not the evidence of the senses whether this beingled by self was not a pleasant experience whether whether these old it was reallv death to the soul ideas of their forefathers were not mere superstiand tions having no foundation in common sense a hundred other similar doubts which the sensual principle is capable of insinuating. find the true history of the origin Evil originated. it down to the lower And in this we of evil. .74 guide . free. that the serpent talked to woman and the Avoman. not in the machinations. So was the it. dragging levels of life. in This. self-love turn beguiles the intellect.
The origin of evil every soul. all activities. pleasure or greed. it immortality. all life. for the story of the serpent is yet but half of one thing is still we may in all be conscious. that it has the sanction of religion. This ser- the deluding principle of the universe. most people If their Our to sensuous things drags us levels. and that anything pent is else is superstition. is hesitate or doubt. in many ways. and It bends causes all things to revolve around it. pation or overwhelms it in pleasures it elates it with ambition it makes it in dreams a dcmi-god. it is And through all our denials sense that hinders. and doubts. to the light that . It . very Self-consciousness life. And what is is worse than all. is spiritual thoughts. It puts self in the center of its little universe. to serve one's personal ends. the delusion of sense. the whispering love of of the serpent to the is to woman. If we cannot open our understandings comes only from on high. down the lowest it the it we deny God and If we delusion of sense. it is sense and its delusions that rule It comes to us in many forms. is we cannot grasp because we are deluded If by sense. all beings. but it comes always in hatred of It drowns the soul in dissithat which is holy. whether of ambition. it persuades the soul that this the only right and proper thing to do. . deceives the soul.— The Serpent 75 it We But leave the subject here to resume again told.
and its poison pervade^ the world. . world worth living We can — we must. . could we but believe in and follow the Lord with half the zeal we is listen to and energy with which and serve the serpent. fireside it . it bides itself in every social gatbering conceals itself in work- and holds high carnival on change its voice is beard it does our buying and selling in every passing conversation it governs wherever rulers congregate and it is insidiously coiled in the very aisles and pews of our churches. this were a in. ! of sense. itself warms by every . It trails its slimy way in highways and byways. 76 The Garden of Eden. homes and hearts. Ah could we rise above these delusions shop and store. . .. It the only true salvation.
. that is. 6. eating of the tree of life in the midst of the garden. she took of the fruit thereof. living from the Lord as the inmost principle of thought and love that they began to desire to feel the spiritual life as more their own and less the Lord's in them that they inclined more and . The difterent events begin to group themselves naturally around the central truth. and gave also unto her husband with her. that the tree rvas And when the woman saw ^ *S good for food.V. minds with the idea that this narrative of the Garden of Eden is purely allegorical. We learn from the allegory that these people lived in the Garden of Eden. .—GQn. and in satisfactorily applying the laws of symbolism to familiarize our its we interpretation. and that it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree to be desired to make one wise. in innocence and peace. 7* 77 . iii. and he did eat. that is. and not a single individual. and did eat. that Adam was the whole Church of the early age of the world. THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT. we experience less and less difficulty in grasping its real meaning. in the very presence of the Lord and under that they rehis holy and immediate influence mained in this state for a long period.
that faith is based upon what w^e || ]. or under the impetus * away from Christianity. . and rejffcts. and of the miraculous evidence by which his character was proven. Sensuousness to limit one's I have defined as the disposition to the small area of existence life which comes within the purview of the natural The principle is broad in its scope. the supernatural. If. yet he It is a harsh term.78 The Garden of Eden. for I know nothing about Him yet I do . it forbids us to recognize God because natural sense has never seen Him. ceeded in reaching Tyndall. we are hurried by its advice. under the influ- ence of this principle w^e are apt to be very or very indifferent ones. If in weak we seem to be earnest our faith.' conceive to be a correct historical record of the coming of Christ. If we are Christians. however. it . as a thing undesirable or unknowable. or to believe in another of its insinuations. it invests life with the merely natural. to self-consciousness or the selfhood. because natural law has been unable to prove or even to soul. acknowiedge the existence of the because no dissecting knife has ever sucits seat. scientist as perhaps. to apply to so is eminent a a strong type of the sensuous : man. when he asserts in substance I do not deny God. more and then the sensual principle the serpent began to assume control of the mind and to become a con- — — spicuous figure in this Garden. life. but senses.
but I scientifically my faith Yery moral men may. I what sense and natural only in what effect of science prove. man from moral degrada- But when you efface from the mind spiritual or intelligence. is the world's ruin. he advised them to their fall. Then the man of weak mind. The Forbidden Fruit. So the serpent type of the sensual nature as monitor and guide. believe only felt Him or touched Him. is blotted from his firmament. for these senses of mine have never seen Him. . vine Sun. manner. be Pride Bat the such sensuous reason- ing is demoralizing in the extreme. bevond the grave there is naught for him but darkness to make the most of this world is his supreme purpose. There I rest may be plenty of undiscovered truths. sinks into dissipa. may keep the strong sensual tion. 79 not believe in God. when he once gained the ear of those who dwelt in Subtle he Eden. and substitute natural reason when you darken those spiritual lights. and debauchery this world becomes his all in all its money. his only hope and joy himself and his own gratification the The Lord. or he tion who . after this know. vou take awav that which gives this world its only life and hope. then. — — What wonder. that in olden times. fame or pleasure. which . the dionly things worth living for. are the trating stars of its higher all consciousness pene- dark places with spiritual discernment. sensualists.. has no stay of pride. .
bol of affection in general. of enjoyments so palpable and abounding. in the vain pursuit of that phantom called eternal life. is made to represent specifically the afi'ection for the selfhood.80 The Gardeii of Eden." Is not the sensual nature the most crafty of all the affections of the mind ? What argument so specious as that which insinuates questions like these Who but a fool would believe in that which is not evident to the senses? Why should you deny yourselves the delights of self. purity genuine . subtle than : was and bold More that folly of superstitious follies called unselfish- ness ? So to the Eden people of old. in view of the manner in which her name is used in the allegory. therefore. of pleasures so exquisite and close at hand. " . any wild beast of the field. Ye shall not eat of the tree of the garden " Was it really true that life God had counseled them in such a place as ? not to draw spiritual from any perception of the mind which could grow all Eden ? Were and not its trees good Were not all the perceptions which grew love. " Yea. that the serpent applied itself. The woman. It was to her. it was the sen- suous thought entering into the mind trailing his tortuous —the serpent as the way into life — which did the svm- mischief that was done. to the selfhood ever ready to listen to any suggestion which increased its power or pleasure. hath God ? said. in the soil of innocence. here.
" It was evident that of the trees of the garden they might eat. is in the midst of the garden. and whatsoever intelligence sprang from them all these F — — . of love. in its higher state. how could any perception of the mind be false ? Follow this new dictate. the Without mentioning the tree of terated form. knowledge. God hath all Ye neither shall ye touch lest ye die. with this single exception. was not so easily convinced. All perceptions of the mind . . So the woman's answer to the serpent's delusive insinuation was: We mav eat of the fruit of the . how could any of its trees be bad ? The Eden state was all purity. It had been endowed by the Lord with spiritual life it had been elevated into spiritual atmospheres and even the self-consciousness. but of the fruit of the tree which said. But the selfhood was not immediately satisfied. because it was one of the trees of Eden. '' trees of the garden . in its most unadultr}^.The Forbidden Fruit 81 and true ? Why forbid themselves anything that came from so divine a source ? This was sophisserpent's cunning. of good. shall not eat of it. Eden was all good. of God. was the insinuation it is of Eden in the heart. it. therefore right. this reasoning included insinuating that it it —evidently must be good. were from the Lord all that belonged to the Eden state and was rooted in its soil perceptions of truth. and it is also .
It is not ceasing to think. It is not the decease of the body. that is. the sensual element replied to the doubts of the better selfhood. Ye shall not surely die for God doth know that in the day ye . He always speaks naturally. and make^us satisfied to rest in mere appearances. For the consequence All of so doing would be that they would die. but they must not touch it. i were from the Lord. It is the death of good —the death of genuine to dis. They still saw this it was not entirely obliterated from their consciousness. And God had said that not only should they not eat of it.82 I'he Garden of Eden. But the serpent seemed to speak of natural death. But the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the idea of self as the origin of spiritual life. . and God is as its giver. and that certainly was not from the Lord. appreciate. interested love . | | % relapsing into self is spiritual death. . they must not for a moment come in contact with such an experience. This die in the spiritual =' sense. will and act. And it is of the na- | ture of the sensual principle to lead us away from the true meaning of things. the lapsing into evil and falsity to power even comprehend the the loss of all know. not only ought they not to conceive of the soul's life as a thing of self. or spiritual side of life. they must not even dream of such a thing. nor the annihilation of the soul. So the serpent said '' to the woman. . live.
" standings would be enlightened. and in the light of his own intelligence.The Forbidden Fruit eat thereof. commends serpent. not because of anv natural act of disobedience. as it w^ere. When human reason decides as to what truth . itself to reason and common Ye shall not surely die. . knowing good and evil. w^hat was good and what was evil. shall be as gods. deciding for himself and from himself. devoid of '' rationality the other sense. ate of the fruit of a natural tree. that it is generally believed that natural death came into the world because two individuals. we is see enough in the world's present condition. but because they became selfish. means that their power to distinguish between good and evil would be seen or thought of as a faculty originating in themselves and that thus each one would be." That their eyes would be opened. nor because of anything heedlessly done on the natural plane. plainly the effect of such an idea as this. a god unto himself. and ye shall be as gods. Now. so inclined are the large mass of people to take sensuous views of things. Adam and Eve. 83 and ye knowing good and evil. . Instead thereof." Now it is a fact that. means that their underThat they would be as gods knowing good and evil. to this day. then your eyes shall be opened. It is not seen that mankind fell. worldly and sensual." said the Your eyes shall be opened. is The all first idea so generally accepted.
.84 The Garden of Eden. The food. have considered the tree of life as the Lord and his love. And the body lives and grows and strengthens by means of the food ivhereof it partakes and the condition of the body. Its many parts. profit and aggrandizement of one's self. good becomes whatever panders to the pleasure. the flesh. or the life- giving elements of the food. the arbiter of good and evil. the nervous all the cuticle. the muscle. and what is falsity. fluid. whether . are conveyed by the blood to the various organs of the system. Each man is a god unto himself. the brain. under the same conditions. And when human reason is. and the tree of knowledge. and evil whatever is in opposition thereto. each man decides for himself. We know that natural eating is for the sustenance and invigora- tion of the natural body. spiritual truth has no chance of acceptance. with the serpent as chief pleader and the selfhood as umpire. as self and science. This was the tendency with our early progenitors. was then exerting his most seductive influence. Eating of the one or the other symbolizes appropriating the one or the other of these principles to the life We of the soul. each and partake of the blessings and the benefits. and distributed according to the needs of this or that portion of the body. carnival in The serpent that now holds high the world. each man is self- glorified. the bone.
he shall live forever" ( John vi. when on earth. '' Labor not for the meat which perisheth. eat we of the fruit " (John vi. " He that eatcth me. even he shall live by came down from heaven . "Eat your soul delight itself in fatness" (Isa. It is for this reason that our Lord says by the mouth of his prophet. again. of that divine tree. an unsound one. when assert that the Lord is the veritable tree of Draw life which grows in the midst of Eden ? we then our food from Him. recognize we his his influence within our souls. The 8 . The Word of God everywhere reco2:nizes this. well or ill.The Forbidden Fruit healthy or diseased. obey their true spirit we all commands in and intent. Good food makes a sound body insufiQcieut or improper food. love we the higher life proceeding from the Lord who is in the midst of our mental garden. then truly do we live. The correspondence of the natural with the It is spiritual system and its economy is exact. and that He said. 2). a matter of the greatest consequence whether we partake of nourishing spiritual diet or of that which is injurious. " I am the living bread which ye what is good. then. its food. 57). 27). if me we Say we not well. 51). Again. and let any man eat of this And bread. but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting " life. which the Son of man shall give unto you (John vi. 85 depends very much on the character of . Iv.
We read no more the commandments of God. Its fruit is error and falsity. we relegate those precepts to the realm . and build up the spiritual man into a glorious image and likeness of God.of the mind and we say. They give to the light to the understanding. and the joy of invigorate.— 86 fruit of The Garden of Eden. Let us consider self-preservation. as the things most near at hand and of most immediate need. of the impracticable . . and the wealth. sweetness to the affections. The voice of the Lord as fain . purity to the desire. they go down into the labors and works of the hands. We throw aside revelation we deny its truth we tree of . honors and pleasures of the world. Eat we of the fruit of that tree. wisdom thought . sustain existence a thing unutterable ! knowledge is self and science. and life. and its life-giving principles flow down into every least thing of the spirit. . spiritualize every least act of They nourish. Life becomes love in its highest sense. we grow it indifferent to the would speak to us in the garden . Then we eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree. wisdom and we say. evil and crime. But the divorce our understanding from its fountain of Let us rely on science or the senses. the tree of life is all the goodness and wisdom which we receive from the Lord — humbly acknowledging that it is his and not our own and appropriate to the upbuilding and sustenance of the soul.
He did not utter an arbitrary edict for the sake of enjoying man's servile obedi- . the fruit of the tree of knowledge was evil and error.. Therefore was it that the Lord commanded man not bidden fruit. crime and insanity. shrivel his faculties. For as the fruit of the tree of life was coodness and wisdom. He would not have him wallow in the filthy mire of sensuous delights. when by doing so he loses the higher wisdom and fails to attain the higher and purer life. for his services . He would not have him wide expansion he is . He would not have him a mere animal. when they were made for nor invert the law of life when its capable of enjoying unspeakable blessings nor become a creature of disorder and selfishness. the for- God is not possessed of the human passion of pride. when He had created him to be an angel. to eat of this. He would not have him confine his aims and ends to the bodv and this sci- world. nor study only his interest in this world. when there are sweet fields of heavenly joy wherein to live and take pleasure. The Forbidden Fruit 87 Lord did not desire man's spiritual death. nor his reasoning faculties to natural ence. when he was for created in the grandest order and the highest use. is when there an eternal world for which he was placed here to prepare. He would not have him rest in mere worldly joys when there is a higher life nor live merely self when the well-being of his kind demands .
What He commanded was solely for man's own happiness and good. w^hieh is so largely our lot to-day. it his affections . The Garden of Eden. of those words of divine beautv. but Xq self. life. into that seething cauldron of misery. It With this he nourished all his . It is only sensuous thought that so drags the Lord down to the level of human frailty. unrest. . the source of all our woe. not to place his life in mere knowledge because. as its . This food he ate. war and And so will the world remain until we cease to eat of the forbidden fruit. not to draw his mental food from sensuous science. his spiritual nature would die. final outcome. rendered him incapable of spiritual perception it capacitated him for crime and it flung the world. went through his whole system permeated his whole character it poisoned faculties. by me " and he made a god and recognized no other source . But man ate. and return to Eden and the Lord. for the food of his soul. or appropriated as the %] of his soul. cruelties and revenges it . . He no longer looked to the Lord . if he did. even he shall of life live of himself instead. it nour- ished hatreds.88 ence. He lost sight " He that eateth me. There is an expression introduced into the third chapter of Genesis. which seems contradictory of . it darkened his understanding . He did not make life and happiness to de- pend on refraining from a certain natural fruit. He commanded man not to live from self.
and the central source of the mind's intelligence. they will laugh at you and if you attempt to show them that i^is. Scripture. many. Bat after they began to listen to the serpent. The explanation condition of is simply this of : In the first primitive the people the Church. If you tell them it is a spiritual allegory. just as they were placed in the Eden state. of which there are It is one of those points infidel writers. they will understand you no more than if you spoke in an unknown tongue. hold up to prove the inconsistency and foolishness of They reason from the standpoint of the letter. was in the midst of the garden . we find 8* inmost of the soul. . But in the spiritual sense of these and all similar passages. the apparent inconsistency vanishes. the second. Their spiritual understanding is closed to the higher light. his love. or the Lord and . but the tree of knowledge took in the place and self assumed the position which the Lord had previously held. in order to bring out their meaning in bold relief. the tree of life occupied no more its the center. the tree of life. love occupied the central place in the soul for it was in the very inmost of the heart. .The Forbidden Fruit. which reasoning from the serpent's point of view. The the midst of the garden. But in explaining these symbols. to be in 89 ously it knowledge is here said the midst of the garden whereas previwas asserted that the tree of life was in tree of .
The serpent's grew strong as time rolled on. Yielding to this. agreeable to the understanding." in other words. The world at that is early age did not change in a day. became more fixed and their incliobey more strong as listening became a Constant dallying with the subject on the part of man." or began to consider sense and science as things in themselves good. — was The woman first —the affection for the selfhood approached. " that is. the attention of the race nation to habit. they became also '' pleas- ant to the eyes. a thing that comes gradually. It was only by slow de- grees she began to see that this fruit of the tree of knowledge was ''good for food. ourselves sometimes painting the principles represented in their extremest colors. and made the man eminently wise eyes. feeble at first. nor in a year. in his own the And thus —so runs the narrative '' — when w^oman saw these things she took of the fruit . and becomes a habit only by a slow process. voice.90 The Garden of Eden. that they were really desirable. Eating of the tree of knowledge. gradually made the serpent more bold. like all other spiritual habits. Listened to at the beginning but feebly. And finally they were seen by the selfhood to be things '' to be desired to make one wise . perhaps not in a hundred years. because they gratified the pride of self-intelligence.
soon yield. and gave also unto her hus- band with Man lect. are very apt to persuade ourselves Into the arms of itself. extending perhaps through fall was hundreds or even thousands of vears. with many. be acknowledged but and evil would would become. we have described the symbols in their more extreme meanings. served in a former discourse. its the intellect soon yielded the experience of all concurrence. inclined to self life more and more." as distinguished from woman. The gradual. time. But as before observed. . The fruit of the tree of knowledge changed its quality The first aberration from the as time went on. as one generation succeeded another. And then she in When the love of It is appropriated as food the delusions of sense. From the true generation Adamic Church Still it .The Forbidden Fruit 91 thereof and did eat. faith of experience. was in to generation the life. and they and every man and woman begins and ends in a similar way. more and more a matter of mere faith. When we are on the downward whatever path. as was obhei'. symbolizes the intel- Thus it was the woman who ate first —the love of self or the proprium. intellect evil the heart throws and reason are called upon for their assent. The fall of each primal condition. tarn persuaded the self man to its eat. and less and less a matter Then gradually. and he did eat. what we love we is right.
It is that prin- ciple of love. because love . and they nourish the soul from its centers of affection and thought to its and work. in the fall of a race. Other trees there are in the garden which contribute to life other perceptions of the soul which are suggested from within and without but this tree is Life Itself. of its possessor delight. Its . so all-embracing. is true basis. follow the lesson in our all and contemplate its admonitions as given to make us wiser in our generation. self It is the Lord him- enthroned within the heart. 1 92 itself The Garden of Eden. extremities of active life . so large. that the mind and . its the fruit of the forbidden tree w^as faith as the basis of religion. . while perhaps with others it would be longer retained. . The eating by the woman was a work of centuries the offering to the man and his eating a work of centuries more. Then its fruit became error and at last positive falsity. the definite work of a period of in- and unknown length. would begin to yield. in the fall of a man. so divine. Let us ask nothing of sense and science. is an Eden of are all intelligence branches are far its fruits reaching its roots strike deep goodness and wisdom. the work of a day the spirit makes it.. is There only one tree whose fruit is life. Thus at first This also would be forbidden. The letter makes it. so let us still And hearts.. for us as well as for our early progenitors.
that v/ill magnify Spiritual life and self and degrade the Lord. and love. spiritual death are before us. life Let us live eat of the fruit of the tree of and truly . according to the kind of fruit our souls eat or appropriate.! The Forbidden Fruit. 93 except that they be willing servants of the Lord Let us eat of no fruit that will exalt sense and drag down the soul.
Is it would deal damnation the offending party. and hast eaten of the tree of which "^I commanded thee. he speaks under the prompting influence of is hell. cursed is the ground for thy sake. or revenge. Kesentment in it is not strange that men ? will persistently attribute to God that which all condemn it in a professed servant of God Is not amazing that they will clothe the Divine Being with hu- man passions. or resentment. Thou shalt not eat of it. is ? when the whole end and aim of Christianity to lead man to curb and subdue the ? same passions Who would justify resentments. 17. wounded pride or defeated purpose. Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife. When man. maledictions or curses in a Christian And how 94 . unto Adam he said. under the influence of a feeling that sin. iHE curses expressed in the Bible are pecu- They bear no similarity to those evoked by human passion. It anger. liar. THE And CURSE. that and ruin to any form is as far from the Lord's nature as possible for anything to be. invoking maledictions on his head. saying.VI. — Gen. iii. is born of bursts forth into profane ravings against the neighbor.
In the literal sense. shall 95 we ascribe those attributes to spirit alone it is tion of whose ? Him. lower the sense it The lower the thought. A . spiritual sense it is that of reality. spirituality . But if he is spiritual. If he is man sensual. And that meaning is generally attributed to it by man. the words . his mind instinctively turns the purest words into expressions of beastly sentiment. all things with purity. brutal. To all expressions. If he is essentiall}^ im- modest. the recepthat makes one a Christian How then are we to understand the Scripture which seems to attribute cursings to God ? The answer is simple. there is an element of brutality entering into his conception of every word that is addressed to him. there is to him an element of sensuality which enters into every expression that he hears. This last assertion If a is is true of our every-day conversation. and the conception of the meaning which convey. there is a higher import and a lower. will attach to the higher the thought. the language of the Bible is that of appearance in the . the more exalted expressions its more elevated the idea. therefore. pagan age has invested its terms with pagan meanings a sensuous age with sensuous . to him all things are clothed with if pure. which accords with his own instincts.The Curse. are designed to And this has caused the world's trouble in construing holy Writ.
therefore. Him as capable of expressing When the poet says. And men the of evil passions instinctively ascribe to the Lord. under the influence all withers attempts at herbage. and our . Now in this matter of cursings. We know that it is the same sun which shines prolific land. literally attribute to the sun a peculiar anger with the desert of Sahara above of which dries it all other lands. charity and mercy for we themselves. same of passion which they feel within But the Lord is a Being of infinite love. A curse. charitv and mercv. as human utter- ances they are evil in themselves. and spring from evil in the heart of him who utters them. to America that he does to Sahara. But our position. cannot think of thing *' else. . own He sends forth the same and the same amount and kind." we do not. the natural mind with gross natural con- ceptions. must be an expression of that love. We know that it is but a poetical method of expressing a fact resulting from the atmospheric and climatic conditions of that arid region.96 ideas . and up ruthlessly each bubbling fount or stream. in our poetic ardor. when they read fire expressions of this kind. The Garden of Eden. blasting nature with its presence. all any- Tlie angry sun on waste Sahara's plain Shone down. when attributed in the Scripture to Him. so beneficently on our heat.
How his we receive they receive these beams. back to .The Curse. while Sahara receives them in sterile sands. sends forth his beams of truth and love with equal force. " the but the same divine gift blessing of the Lord received in a selfish nature." its Creator in perfect images. whether as a selves. But as the same sun blasts in some climes and beautifies Yet the light in others. its very power of gift of its giving It is life life is turned into a means of death. So with human minds. are the same for all. ''the curse of the Lord. if it is received in order and in answering love. in the is. on this principle that the divine reflected in the received in innocence and joy. depends upon them- and heat as thev come from their divine source. to the grossest sensualist and the most exalted Christian. This sun of everlasting light. that beams in luxuriant forms of verdure. reflects the " 9 human G . but if received in disorder and hate. dition of the rea-ion renders beautiful the soul of its recipient . sterile desert or as a fertile garden. 97 atmospheric and climatic conditions are such. and reflected back in hideous distortions. the Word of God. language of holy writ." How perfectly a mirror without any flaw or irregularit}^ in its surface. lived in perverted form. lived in own spirit and is. so the same law of love that gives existence and life to all. accordina* to the characteristics or con- which receives it. language of holy writ.
perhaps. or original every feature of the The perfect enough is it is the reflection: w^hich is right or wrong. pure and upright. of The divine original in It is the soul man. a curse to him who makes of them the mere instru- . thinks of the curse of the Lord as the angels think of it as the divine mercy resting with man amid the verv ruins of his nature. figure face. upside down. those which distort is human . and rendering him as happy as possible in the dreary In other region of life he has sought and found. and the natural mind so views it. It really is of man and the spiritual . and a curse to him who perverts it. but Divinity still working amid those ruins to save him from — — a worse desolation even on his chosen plane. manner mind reads nature.— 98 countenance mirrors ! The Garden of Eden. Each one reads according to his But he who follows the Word of God in its spirit. This is the blessing and the curse. as the poet reads of the angry sun. Life given of the Lord. of God's curse. Riches are a blessing to him who uses them aright. the use the we make in of our God-given faculties which the soul receives and reflects the influent life. But you have turn the seen. God's curse is the divine law of life a ruin and a wreck through man's perversity. is a blessing to him who uses it aright. words. It seems as if the latter were of God. which renders it beautiful or monstrous in its proportion and form.
The primitive church called Adam. trended . When. Having thus enlarged upon the nature curse.The Curse. 99 ments of self-gratification. Health is a blessing to him who nobly works in its strength for life's elevation. but when we read of his curses. are understand his good freely received and Tighteously applied or divinely lived. but a curse to him who inverts its heavenly purpose and makes it a means of mischief to the world. gifts of therefore. a curse to him who uses it for the larger gratification of his love of sensual pleasure. and of which it is a fair exponent oftener than matter-of-fact prose. of the Lord's blessings. a curse to him who employs it to render himself a greater adept in crime. we are to understand his good gifts misapplied and wickedly perverted It is this ^iyXe to evil purposes and selfish ends. The great gift of life is a blessing to him who lives in true order according to the Divine intent. we read in Vi^e the to Word of God. of Scripture from which poetry has borrowed its character. let us take a rapid of the review of the spiritual meaning of that portion of the parable at which we have now arrived. having inclined to the selfhood or prium. having been seduced by the serpent to eat of the tree of sense and science. having departed from its pristine j^'^o- innocence. Education is a blessing to him who develops by its means an enlarged capacity for usefulness.
" they heard the voice of the Lord going . In that innocent was nothing whereof they needed to be ashamed. in a manner in which their forefathers by no means understood them. as the vine is the oft-repeated symbol of spiritual good. so the fig-tree is that of natural good. they became aware that they w^ere unclothed with spiritual principles. Now. And this clothing the life with merely external or moral virtues. in the spiritual sense. a description of their innocence. and they knew that they were naked. that " they were both naked and not ashamed.100 rapidly The Garden of Eden. had regarded spiritual attain- ments as the grand purpose of life. before the temptation. in the wise inno- cence of their hearts. eyes were opened to see that they regarded self and the world as the chief thini>'s in life. Then it is said that the eyes of them both were opened." state there it was. '' downward. and self and the world as merely instrumental means toward this great end. So they saw" their nakedness that is. however. while their progenitors. their eyes were opened but to what ? Why. and spiritual things as matters of secondar}^ impor- tance." When it had been said. they sought to invest themselves with merely . Their . is correspondentially described in the statement that '' they sewed fig leaves together and Then '' made themselves aprons. to the things of self and sense. and. For. natural good. therefore.
" any inward " Going" '* dictate Lord is which emanates from Him. the^ voice of the Lord. among the trees of the garden. — — himself by the delusive sophistry of his telligence. self-in- So did the people of the most ancient they seriously sought to shut times. they averted themselves from the Lord or his dictates by withdrawing into the perceptions of their own self-intelligence. the inward voice of the Lord forbids yet he turns from it. going. they hid themselves that is. It is the usual story. when he wants to gorge himself with worldly pleasure. So thev " hid themselves from the face of the Lord " that is. when he wants to be selfish.forth in the garden of the intelligence of which they were yet possessed. shuts out the voice that would counsel and correct the voice of divine wisdom and virtue and justifies garden. they shut out the divine dictate and the divine countenance from their minds and . The forth " is the not It walkino: " as the authorized version h«\s was not the Lord walking it a^nii^MiH gard^n^ and speaking face to face with a raan and wcraan. calling them to account for the wretched mistake they had made. . which those people experienced.Tlic Curse. And when 9* out the suggestions which the Lord would fain . it. voice of the correct translation. When man wants to do . 101 forth in the garden. first enacted in the ancient wrong. It was an inward dictate of conscience.
Nothing of it transpired as a literal conversation of the Lord with man. — " — Th^ aensnal principle of my nature has been it th^ st rerig-fo'-r-me/anvi i have yielded to I could not resist its because excuse. of departing from the true order of decree of God. was the consequence life. the serpent. who. what the man now does every day.102 The Garden of Eden. persists in saying. It and not an was the inherent demoralization caused by yielding to the projyrium. arbitrary —the It fault of man entirely." The however. is but a lame one. And then as an excuse for this." So the curse followed and not of the Lord. woman. from the position into which they far better had been than a mere excuse for their degradation. and not an edict of divine wrath. ''And th3 Lord God Because thou hast done said unto this. " It for is not possible any one to keep the divine commandments. while acknowledging the abstract holiness of the Lord's instructions. however. It was simply. and helps nothing. " The . to .S(prpent beguikd" :ne and I did eat " meaning-." all cattle and above every beast of the Let us constantly bear in mind that this whole narrative is an allegory. influence. thou art cursed above field. When it reads . or serpent. An had effort to rise fallen. to make mind and heart they brought the curse upon themselves. the reply was made by the proprium the woman ' the conscience or the Lord's voice.
or the degrada- tion of the sensual nature. the most groveling. another result of the curse. or in the light of divine truth. Thus. Each . " Upon thy belly shalt thou go " —a significant statement of the gross. in the Lord's view. It ate or lived upon the mere dust and ashes of life. '' was expressed in the I will put enmity between thee and the . the sensual principle or the serpent this had become cursed . as a servant doin^r the biddino* of the hio:her nature latter in its earthly —an agent of the work. the most depraved. and above all symbolized by the other affections of the mind. that thus and so is it in the light of divine truth. Therefore is said. j^'othinor it is lower than sen- suality. And words.The Curse. It had been a good thing and spiritually erect when in its proper place. in becoming the lowest. earthly." it is meant that thus and so the Lord viewed the matter or. the expression. fed upon corporeal and terrestrial ideas and enjoyments. erect no more it groveled on lowest earthly plane. corporeal and bestial character of the sensual principle under the conditions to which it had brought itself. But the the when it assumed to be master and seduced mind and heart. " Above all cattle and above every beast of the field. of all portions of human nature." It had so come to be cursed. that "the 103 Lord God said. expression is the statement of a truth couched in correspondcntial language.
the heel of Christ. fidelity. " Unto the woman he said. And the seed of the woman victory. was Christ and Christianity. as enmity between her and the serpent. and between thy seed and her seed. both in the crucifixion of his body. and as she was the predestined symbol of the Church there in its aifectional or emotional aspect. was The seed of the woman. or the wonderful issue which was to be born of the future Church. truth.104 The Garden of Eden. or modern in respect to Christ and his religion. has bruised the serpent's head in every and on the arena of every heart where true Christianity has gained a triumph over the crafty seductions of infidelity. represents the afFectional is nature. and in- sensualism in all forms. pagan. in sorrow thou shalt bring forth . and in his crucifixion in every heart which has burned with hatred towards the religion Him and He taught. woman. The seed of the serpent. In this connection." The woman. was a prophecy of the war to be inaugurated by infidelity whether Jewish. — — Thus the seed that is. as we have before shown. or the final fruit of sensuality. of the serpent has bruised his heel. I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception . it was a simple statement of the things its that henceforth there would be Avar between the genuine affection for spiritual in the Church. The enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman.
in permitting itself to be degraded." etc. Those consequences nature. allusion is here births. These have no relation to the conceptions and births of natural children. The woman the is here. '' It is a statement of the I will multiply. The allusion those things which are born of spiritual affection." i^r . to all new conceptions of truth.The Curse. They are the new It is conceptions of spiritual truth. desires and promptis ings. it is said. children shall . she is the affec- tion for truth and goodness in the minds of the No members of the Church. the former is woman of prophecy she the true Church in its affectional aspect. as in . to the serpent or sensuous The consequences to the woman or the affectional nature. feelings and promptings. 105 and thy obedience (the true rendering) be to thy husband. ''I thy sorrow and thy concep- tion . and the of these children of the soul that will greatly multiply new births of good desires. of the Lord. sym- correspondent of the spirit. or is to . and he shall rule over thee. made to natural conceptions or the letter bol." verse. are here described. of heaven. we have seen. although it is said. in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children. Again the prophecy not of w^hat the Lord does. to all good feelings. of salvation. inevitable consequence of human degradation and of the unavoidable condition which the human race takes on. and the letter is That is only the basis.
before the heart will love Him the . retrace our steps. naturally. pain or sorrow. was and believe it. reason about it." The man lect. clear . without struggle. quick. or husband is is is the s3'mbol of the intel- as woman of the will or affection.106 The Garden of Eden. Then truth came to the and unmisto grasp it in lightning flashes. through dark temptations. have to wrestle with it. It is added. '' weary work indeed. In true It is order the intellect subordinate to the will. It is the love of the neighbor which result teaches all life's is. love for the Lord which renders the truths of the Lord clear. through severe inward combats. it. are conceived in sorrow and brought forth through much affliction. And now in we must . Now we emerge from natural states into spiritual. But another of the curse that the will yields obedience to spiritual things intellect the intellect. takable to hear spiritual truth. proper duties. through and tears. and he a shall rule over thee. Now the must acknowl- edge the Lord. . of the curse. sometimes almost to agonize over Now we These children of the spiritual affections. all In the Eden state the faculties developed into good. It easy to descend is but to reascend the mountain of the Lord. through much conflict. Thy obedience shall be to thy husband. is It is the result of a fallen state. It is part in order to its reception. through painful losses of things many mind sighs we had set our hearts upon.
" This is the author- ized version. life sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy " that is. evils and falsities shall '' . with trouble and affliction. sin and sorrow shalt thou pursue thy way. Be- cause thou hast hearkened unto thv wife: " because thou. reason must admit an act to be a duty." that hast drawn the nourishment of thy soul from self and sense and science ''cursed is the ground for thy sake" miserable and wretched and degraded is thy mind — ** in . thou eat bread. as the legitimate result of thy selfish " thorns and life. said. before are willing.— The airse. so long as that state endures . but a mistranslation. be the fruits of thy mental conshalt eat of the herb of the dition field.ir_ . . with disgust and loathing shalt thou receive the true bread of life offered thee by the Lord." and thou —the smallest and least consequential of s])iritual conception shall be thy mental food ''in the till sweat of thy face shalt . hast listened to the suggestions of the j)ropriu7n. the once God-like intellect.to do it. thou return to the ground " that is. It should read. vexation and disappointment. thistles shall it bring forth to thee . . 107 we to It is the only way back Eden. until finally thou shalt fall back completely into thine earthly nature . Thou shalt not eat of it. " that is. Unto the man (^Ish —the man male) he commanded is. . *'And unto '' Adam he said. " and hast eaten of the tree of which I thee saying.
The woman and the man and the serpent are all in us. race. it was. they are under the curse. and it abides in every nature over which these twin deceivers hold sway.— 108 The Garden of Eden. and it rests upon the hearts of and sense. until our God-inChrist came to earth to raise him up again. self-condemned. the man and Yet it . for art. these are under the Divine influence in a fallen or perverted state. In the Eden state. on the part of the human will." in mere and spiritual dross turn. care or pain. All that human (if degradation is self-imposed . " I did was not the it. the intellect and the sensual nature passed under the curse. Now the lesson here taught comes home to all of us. earthly- in — out of the nature the Lord thee when He placed thee Eden dust thou — and of thyself " for out of it thou wast taken. But the Lord comes into the midst of down there. the affection. Each one has his emotional. They are of every mind. down. the serpent And all so the woman. therefore. " art. an act of self-degradation." — and to dust thou shalt reby thine own act hast thou abased thyself. . all who cherish evil. and breathes his mercy The good Samaritan of the soul. He pours . It is self . The curse is evil and sin. but his broken law that did And mankind went down. The " but it Lord seems Lord's so to say." lifted '' . we will permit Him) every sorrow. his intellectual and his sensual nature. each curse falls is self-originated.
. not take comfort. each pain into a cure for our And we if we accept his mercy and his love. that even so low as the human race has fallen. for our healing. We have looked down 10 let us . He turns. or constantly endeavors to turn.The his oil of love into Cicrse. each sorrow into a balm hurts. then. we rise and walk erect once more. so high may it also rise. 109 every wound. amid the sadpictures ? Shall dest of life's Shall we not receive solace fallen even when contemplating the ruins of man ? now look up and rejoice in the thought.
— — The declared conditions he obeys he shall severe test. to till the ground from u'hence he rvas taken. The child is informed without a why or a wherefore. and eat. It is a and the punishment altogether dispro110 . and take also of the tree of life. the garden of Eden. the man is us. consequences act. if or consequences are : if not he shall die. 23. appears to its mere surface the Lord. Lord God said. the And become as one of ^HE expulsion from" Eden. and live forever : therefore tlie Lord God sent him forth from. but on the impulse of a mere whim and as a test of his implicit obedience that he may eat of the one kind of fruit and not of the other.VII. THE EXPULSION. Its cause its have been a very arbitrary proceeding on the part of seems to have been wholly not legitimately inadequate. 22. A father places his child in a garden where there are two kinds of fruit. Let us take a supposed case. live. iii. growing out of the of all and the punishment out proportion to the crime. So he drove out the ma7i. toknoiv good and evil: and now lest he put forth his iKmd. viewed in sense.— Gen. each of them tempting to the eye and giving outward evidence of being luscious to the taste. Behold.
to get his education and his living as best he may. portionate to the offence to which it is Ill annexed. ignorance and error. no sign or him who too severely tested him.The Expulsion. from the way the letter of Genesis appears to teach in the tender ? How could He who. weak and ig-norant. What would we think of such a father ? Would we not consider him unjust. curi- The child. inhuman. and who was bound by every human consideration to lead him with a loving. instead of casting him off in his weakness. but banishes him from his presence forever. is led to believe that his father did not really mean what is he said.hand into wiser ways. Would infinitely more kind. Then the parent. no more sympathy. heartless ? Even the law which is supposed to be devoid of sympathy and untempered by mercy. would compel the parent to step in and take his child in But the Lord is better than man. charore ao-ain. does not cause the child to die. He is to receive no more love. long-suffering and plenteous in mercy and truth. sion is language of the full described as "a God of compas- and gracious. overcome by osity and overpersuaded by foolish advisers. and eats of the tree of which he forbid- den to eat. Psalmist." who is represented in the T^ . it be possible for Him to act toward his child in shadow of mercy. tender and loving. entirely forgetful of the penalty he had imposed for disobedience.
therefore. and in so doing elevate our reading the written nearer the truth own minds. Gospel as being " kind even unto the unthankful and the evil " — how could He be unjust. arbitrary. we have been mistaken . treated this itual truth. killeth. We must not is false. For to all utterances of divine inspiration. in our interpretation that our education or under- standing has been at fault and let us seek for an interpretation that will justify the character of God. In Word we shall always come by rejecting the natural and seeking the spiritual meaning. " The letter but the spirit giveth life. life. Eden history as an allegory of spir- We have looked beyond the letter we have not impaired the beauty or force of the narrative by literal interpretations. v/e so read or interpret this accepting the apparent for the real we make let a terrible mistake. In previous discourses we have ." We have come now to a point where we can clearly see this. truth." they are spirit and they are And the apostlo spoke in harmony with the Master's words.112 The Garden of Eden. the flesh profit- eth nothing the words that I speak unto you. devoid of love of mercy ? toward even the most rebellious of his children When. but have tried to . *' It is the spirit that quickeneth . narrative. conclude with the infidel that God's Word Rather us conclude that . our Lord's words apply. . when he said with reference to Scripture. or forgetful or cruel.
drawm from it as a An all-wise He Father has created an earth upon which of man. but have endeavored to quicken it with that spirit with which the Lord gave it forth. He has made them beings of love. reproduce its 113 inward spirit and fill it with vigorous life. I am the source Draw your nourishment. place before you heavenly food of every variety. they should pass from this world. may be . Contrast the spiritual truth thus taught in this history viewed as a parable. and existence shall be to you exceeding human because you are free . I cannot take away your freedom without reducing you to Now. places the family He has made these children of his. therefore. and capable of indefinite degrees of spiritual wisdom. with the most unnatural ideas which have been literal historic narrative.The Expulsion. for heart and mind. infinitely. I the grade of the beasts which perish. and live in the highest happiness forever. from me the great Tree of Life. considered as : speaking to mankind after this manner You are and you are free moral agents because you are human. on a finite scale. the wisdom of a good life and the goodness of and partaking of the fruit of eternal wisdom these. It is his desire that innocence and goodness. an image and likeness of what He is That is. He. 10* H . prepared for angelic habitations. We have not looked upon it as literal history. you will have eternal life. your food of all good.
" This is the peculiar is told. and in no ambiguous manner. and unfits you for heaven. and life is an Eden. But it is said " Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden " and. trary or inhuman. He is tenderness exemplified. a garden also the fact. that of joy to you. who tvrannical. it is added " So he drove out the man. degradais tion and spiritual death. own willfulness. Do this. but beevil and insanity and there is no good I commend the heavenly fruit to you. And we have seen. Eden is the bliss of heavenly But life I place before you is the of self and sense misery. . not because I would de- prive you in it. makes you heirs of spiritual death. because it hinders your spiritual growth. The Garden of Eden. but man shutting himself out by his all this. life because it nourishes the eternal of your souls and places you in heaven forever. in the symbolic language of this ancient parable. : . of is cause this any true good or pleasure. All is consonant with what our deepest readings of the Bible show is his character to be. tree. This the forbidden It is forbidden. and life. It is not the Lord ful .: 114 blissful. and the other which is its The Father is no longer arbiletter. The contrast between this view of the narrative which is its spirit. I forbid the fruit of self and sense. is marked. but not the Lord in anger man who is willshutting man out from as happiness.
with a full conception of the true doctrine which lies . Some of the common expressions of our day are similarly fashioned and for the same purpose. through educaof appearance tion. using themselves the same ex- pressions. come at last to connect only the real truth . accepted the apparent for the genuine truth. because they explained to if But the educated are in no wise deceived or misled thereby. style of all divine writings. it.The Expulsion. : not the reality. remains unchallenged. That is the appearance. Children and ignorant people are permitted to use it with a mistaken idea attaching to could not understand the truth them. but it is ." are familiar illustrations. slowly and unconsciously. and turns us in away from the sun." and "The sun goes down. movement toward and Yet this language of apits pearance. revolves upon We its all now know axis in that the earth own the twenty-four hours. The old sayings " The sun rises. and who believed that the sun literally moved around the earth in twenty-four hours that at the end of each day it sunk below the horizon and that at the end of each night it rose again on the eastern side. in this and many other instances that might be mentioned. It is so given 115 with a purpose. These phrases have come down to us from a people whose system of astronomy was all false. as children. within or behind this language and the same children who.
only the apparent form realities. The appearance of truth in regard to God. The language is of ap- pearance.116 The Gayxlen of Eden. An . The Lord. We ascend to the temple of wisdom by steps and Him. the superstitious. will forever be read It is and has been and by countless generations of children. that He drives the disobedient out of Eden. them to that He is angry with us when we do wrong. the spiritually uneducated and children. . shall abide in the appearance until they It is better for can accept the reality. believe that the Lord chastises. of is. and adults. follows what is sometimes termed the methods of nature. so large an element in the formulated adapted to children It is the be. to the ignorant and wise. It is intended that the natural minded. And what are the methods of nature but the Lord's own methods ? The Bible was given to the Jews who were merely natural men incapable It is read to-day by millions of spiritual ideas. He sends us to that He deprives us of heaven. that hell. better than a denial acknowledgment of Him in an erroneous way. expressions of conversation. is better than no acknowledgment. with the same language. fallacious as infantile innocence may yet it and ignorance to manhood and which clothes education. highest conception. it . of merely natural men. in his dealings with men. than that they should not recognize of Him at is all.
'^ God punishes me if I am wicked the natural man may think that the Lord drives men out of Eden for their disobe- may . ex- The Lord drove out the man. by the very act of departure. nor the peculiar happiness which constituted Eden. then That is to say. say. as Eden is a state he left Eden. love and true happiness. as being in man's own . and not a place. the great law of the fall. The natural sense reveals the Lord to natural men as the punisher of disobedience. Its seeming is natural Its real spirit is for men and spiritual men and The women. children. to those who think spiritually. . The spirit- ual sense manifests. '' dience " . pression of the consequences which inhere in his own Eden was . but the higher thought sees in the phrase. he was out of Eden he was no longer innocent. he was no longer in when he did not enjoy the love of the Lord. Our Lord recognizes this. the lowest step. Therefore the Bible is a series of parables replete for with spiritual wisdom." simply an act. When man when Eden ceased to love. and those child desiring to be spiritual. nor the purity of purpose. put him outside of the garden. innocence. be it 117 never so rugged or soiled by earthly dust. his departure from that state. is a foothold by means of which we mount to the higher. and of which the term itself was a svnonvm.The Expulsion.
and take also of the tree of life. a state But they fell or went more and more sensual and to into a lower state. '* lest he put forth his hand. a garden. that Adam or the world's first Church. and which could not in any proper sense be called Eden and . just where they state. and in so doing goes forth from Eden. in that state they remained. same sense that the sun sends darkness on the world. and Eve or the selfhood to which that Church had become wedded. as to natural locality. and live forever. Therefore the departure from the true and good. They went were. to no other natural place. were driven from the garden. they re- mained. a state of . a selfish which nothing celestial adhered.118 The Garden of Eden. Let us now glance at another law of Providence which is set forth under the correspondences in the parable. For as the earth rolls itself away from the sunlight and plunges us into darkness. Eden is a state of love . and in the Lord drove out the man thus only." Was it not the very purpose of the Lord that he should eat of this sacred tree ? Why then send him from the garden lest he should eat of it ? The answer is found in the symbols already so often explained. It seems strange to natural thought. and eat. so the mind turns itself away from the Lord and his influence. that the reason given for man's being sent forth from the Garden of Eden was. Thus was it.
that his Garden of Eden was a spiritual intelligence evolved from his intense love of God. to acknowledge truth. 119 The expression. is profanation. however. vea. it is. So his Garden of Eden would now be an intelligence concerning spiritual things based upon what had been handed down from his forefathers. used with a modified meaning- according to the position in the parable in which The primitive state of man was such. For we must remember that we fall are tracing the spiritual of a race through its centuries of decadence. The edsi'e present generation had much more ' of an intellectual assent than of an experimental knowl- of the wisdom of Eden. a tradition concerning the love state. It is more soul-destroying a formal assent to than any other spiritual truth To give without an inward acknowledg- ment. But as we learn from various other portions of the Word. spiritual intelligence. love with self and the things of sense. acknowledir- ment of spiritual things. and became in occurs. he still re- tained much of his knowledcre. But when he fell from this high state. Garden of Eden. to have a parrot-like memory of phrases without an adequate conception of their meaning. is comparatively pardonable : no one can live up to what he mmmm . and in neither case to live by them. state. but not an experience of it.The Exindsion. and not to be in the effort to live in the light of the truth acknowl- edged.
here means to exert the intellectual powers of the mind. and di- the Lord as To mentally to gest and confirm And to live forever. than an intelligent conception of its behests and a willful violation of them. but the deliberate sinning from the pure love of sin. it. slips By a willful violation. rather than acknowl- edge and profane them that he should not only go forth from Eden. The hand is a symbol of power. But to receive it does not intelligently comprehend. was according to the Lord's provi- dence that man should entirely lose his intelligence concerning spiritual things. ignorance. is to acknowledg-e the doctrine of love. bring is it and make no Better effort to forth into life demoralizes the soul and spiritually ruinous. is I do not mean the which the carnal man always liable to make. better anything that sins in blindness and perverts the Lord's law with no knowledge of its existence. and deliberately break — to accept in the understanding the law of love. its source. but that he should also be driven out from . better utter darkness. or the love state. since so he would. and without an effort to overcome. is to . as man's chief agent in performing the behests of his will. To put forth the hand. God's law intelligently.— 120 The Garden of Eden. the garden — the spiritually intelligent it is state. To eat is take of the tree of life. while the man interiorly acknowledges the true nature of the higher Therefore it life.
For life while to live refers to heavenly the subject treated the soul is of. that when the human mind falls into spiritual degradation. neither did according to his will. to know good and evil " that is. Thus when the Lord said. it when that is means infernal life." For the merciful Lord. and prepared not himself. perceived that mankind had eaten of the forbidden fruit. is comparatively pardonable. live hereafter 121 propicillin. That provision is. then came into play one of the eternal provisions of Provi- dence. it shall lose its power of seeing or understanding spiritual truth. in his infinite knowledge. when He. shall be beaten with few stripes. that the supreme love of self shall be attended by loss of the capacity to recognize the love 11 .The Expulsion. which savs : " That servant which knew his Lord's will. yet had retained their acknowledgment of the laws of heavenly life approved of the Lord and held by his angels (it is plural. ''one of us"). when driven forth from Eden. and to all eternity the life of the which is that of spiritual death. and did commit things worthy of stripes. To profane is to sink into the lowest depths of evil . But he that knew not. has so ordered the laws of mind. to sin without profanation of the truth. " Behold the man is become as one of us. This is in consonance with that teaching of our Lord. rather than have willful disobedience. shall be beaten with many stripes. and .
In our present low condition we may fail to live in all respects as the truth requires. the light of spiritual intelligence flickered in its departing struggle. Then the garden state was gone. as the Eden of love faded from the hearts of men. and that a purely sensuous shall incapacitate one to perceive the light of heaven. none are permitted to see the light except those who will endeavor to live by the light. heart into which it There is no if state of the will per- may not enter man . but from which untainted as yet by hereditary evil. and at last went out. the Lord had raised them into Eden. And now that man has gone forth from Eden. see the operations of this law all the world We over. vate the lowest part of their nature '' to till the ground from whence they were taken. knowledge is given us adapted to our states and the wanting and seeking is a sign that at some . life God.122 of The Garden of Eden. So. '' till the ground ''—to culti. and to rise above our evils. But the Spirit of the Lord is ever operating for the salvation of man. If But this is not the unpardonable sin. we want to get into the sunlight of the Lord. And forth from the garden of Eden— forth from love and even knowledge They went forth to spiritual —our early progenitors went." to cultivate the sensuous plane on which the race was originally born. time we shall gain what we desire.
But the full comprehension of divine truths. well We as have hearts and underthey of old. standings We have as our Eden. too. even in symbols. life. on earth. our reason to history of all his seductive is allurements. The serpent comes to us. the lig-ht again comes. As we grow proclivity older is we incline to self. and we listen to his subtle aro-uments. pure and It is a different condition . our tree of well as they. mit it. incline to self and are is tempted infancy. our Then the us. the become his intelligence. We. to our Our Eden. The more he looks to the Lord. however. from that of the most ancient Church still it is our Eden. and we are guileless. lies in the love and life of them. The hereditary and we lean to our corrupt inheritance. and vield strong. 123 To him who looks to the Lord. it We as lose the best part of unless we take all home. fall. best of the Lord's angels are around and near innocent. dwellers than a historical description of the first it. our forbidden fruit. We incline to be wedded more and more to the j)roprium or selfhood. the living perception which renders them certain and gives us an larger will unquestioning possession of them. . The hearts substantially the same. for us to think of this portion of its It is well Scripture as something more.The Expulsion. and take to ourselves some Eve of selfish affection in a thousand different ways.
that so long as we on earth we are privileged to return. and in its every utterance try — as we are trying of Eden — history of the planting and in this to read . its fill we have caught us take it heavenly spirit. or Manhood there is womanhood finds us infatuated with the serpent. let to our souls with loss its delights. but they are of that. our hearts are also laid bare for our own inspection. When we read them for spiritual instruction. in their most hopeful states. tell valueless to us in the degree they in these chapters. dreamed of. that these parables are valuable. Yet live this to console us. . angels quicken us to love them. . It is for the purpose of reading our own heart- histories. it. let let us not imagine that we may safely be If we reverence one glimpse of our hearts and indifferent to its higher purpose. We are driven out of Eden. as we better comprehend its spirit and meaning. Thus we come into communion with angelic minds we breathe in some degree the atmosphere of heaven we fall in some measure under the influence thus infused we grow better and wiser we gain more light and life and this divine Word shall do more for us. . They wrong and do the right. fail whatever they may of the olden times. us not be content with If its lower or sensuous meaning. the past have. that. For For they are of inestimable worth . . than men in infuse the desire to shun the . If we love this Word.124 The Garden of Eden.
and to own changes and gain therein the help of the Lord and his angels. soul's true home 11 —the garden of . to arise like the prodigal and return to the the Lord. therein of our 125 chances.The Ezpulsion.
too much of the feeling that we have been singled out to receive a peculiar token of his favor. in proportions too nearly equal.VIII. he placed at the east of the garden sivord which turned every way. especially when they have been mysteriously saved from sudden disaster. iii. People are not indisposed. we limit its operations. to keep the way of the tree of life. of And Eden cherubim. from that resulting from a nition of his protecting hand. humble recogThat we believe 126 . 24. on great and extraordinary occasions. Awe and egoism are mingled type of spirituality. to admit the existence of a supreme Power turning away evil from their path. THE FLAMING SWORD. to render the sentiment one of the highest It is not always easy to sep- arate the feeling of pride in being specially favored of God. lies in its univer- When we think of it as special in the sense of being uncommon. The granis ^HERE deur of the Lord's providence sality. and a flaming no grander subject of contemplation than that of the providence of God. Under such circumstances there is always mingled with our acknowledgment of the Lord's goodness.— Gen. But that is a very limited view of an illimitable subject.
may deem itself humble when the Lord knows it is proud . is universe narrow this is as broad as the The first brings within its pur. Herein lies the danger of a belief in special providences of which we imagine that we have been the favored recipients more than others. that the heart may be proud of its own humility. view the self-conscious principle this loses sight of one's self. verse. because of the fact which too few recognize. is no less watchful over the goings of each individual among the countless myriads of the uni- The mercy which hovers over me. and this. In this thought there is genuine humility. The care that I The eye that was watching my way in saving me from disaster. 127 ourselves to be humble does not alter the case. everyAvhere alike tender and lovino". except as a mere drop in the ocean of humanity. is immanent in all the wide domain of human life. I thus become only one of a vast brotherhood. But when we contemplate the Lord's providence as universal in its character. every one receives. receive. .: The Flaming Sword. The first view itself. this danger ceases. everywhere operative. Xo matter what happens to me. I am neither a pecu- . The mind under the control of human weakness. Under its influence the mind says The infinite Father loves the whole universe of men as well as He does me.
which is able while in the flesh.128 linrly The Garden of Eden. whether on the earth or on one of the other planets. guided and guarded by the omnipresent AllFather. Therefore. Yet we can truth . of the Lord can embrace things far. in the other world. to see the why of many things which. as We are una man. we are all momentarily watched over. whether in this solar system or in any other of the myriads which dot the starry heavens. we cannot fully comprehend how the knowledge True. Supreme Mind. he sees quickly and clearly. whether we live on this side of the great ocean or the other. only as our spiritual understanding develops and our If we never come into it be because we are not gods. we can know its we can . One of the great delights of men who become angels. or his presence extend so jects This is one of the sub- beyond our mental grasp. it will affairs. so minute. favored nor neglected one. will be the constant broadening of their mental horizon. and none infinite but the Divine can fully comprehend the operations of the feel its influence . . We shall get nearer to this question of how the Lord can supervise the most minute experiences multiply. The child fails to comprehend many things which. fully. we cannot comprehend infinity that is. and the ever-enlarging power of their mental grasp. will be simple and plain to us.
sees us all. when on earth. re'' iterated the same truth in the declaration Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings. one of the most positively announced teach- ings of Scripture. the words. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the utter- most parts of the sea. fully infinite grasp the idea of the possibility of the operations of his providence. 129 and we can grow beneath their invigorating presence. and have no knowledge of how his beams are conveyed to us through such immense space. and not : I . And our Lord. " Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him ? saith the Lord. So the Lord loves us all. 8. FlcDiiimj Sword. 9). with our finite minds. thou art there. and is present in ever}^ least act of our lives. thou art there if I make my bed in hell. even there shall thy hand lead me and thy right hand shall hold me " (Ps. although we may not be able to analyze his substance. Jeremiah proclaims it in the divine interrogation. Do not I fill heaven and earth ? saith the Lord " (xxiii. vii. although we cannot. 7.Th. 24). recognize the laws of Providence . The sun shines upon us and warms and enlightens us none the less. Little as is the universality of the Lord's presence and providence recognized it is among men. ? If I ascend up into heaven. behold. " or whither shall I The Psalmist declares it in Whither shall I go from thy Spirit ? flee from thy presence .
And the Christian does not recognize this divine care in each least affair of each and every life. Yet the are birds are and the is lilies beautifully all. *7). bv Him who and bird. who shall say that the least of men. in the Father of Since little each lily each moment of its life. pointed to the lilies of the field. Fear not. And the Christian is who does not know that this doctrine universally recognized in Scripture as first a central truth. in life. This was a doctrine that no follower of Christ must denv. is the least act or event of his forgotten by Him who ? Such is the divine truth. which neither bountifully clothed. ye are of more value than man}^ sparrows " (Luke xii. . are very small things for the Lord if to remember. The five the very hairs of our head are sparrows worth only two farthings. surely man must be.130 one of them The Garden of Eden. neither reap nor gather into barns. is and every human not penetrated by the philosophy of Jesus. therefore. which sow not. G. is forgotten before God ? all But even numbered. his But even these are under immediate observation. So He referred them to the birds of the air. has scarcely taken his lesson in the teachings of Christ or his religion. The hairs of the head are very small things to be counted by God. He fed. is watched so carefully by the Lord's providence. toil nor spin.
ever merthe same providence which makciful and loving eth his sun to rise on the evil and on the good alike. ministries are ineffably tender and of In Eden sweet. is as to man to be as good as he willing to be. This providence of the Lord is represented by . cumstances. and sendeth his rain equally on the just and on the unjust. called the state of purity. is not only in heaven . not lead will so modify and control cir- infrino-inir human freedom. followed them out of Eden and into . its Out Eden they do not seem it so. and happiness. and for their greatest good and happiness. 131 Now when the early race of mankind. Providence hell. In Eden or out. and to withhold him as far as possible from sinking into lower depths of iniquity. even there. only because they flow into perverted hearts and minds. it will do for each one that It has which is will possible make him the best and happiest man it for him to be on his own chosen plane. it is also in it It not only gives good to the good. no human passion. Yet. intelligence . Adam. denominated the Garden of Eden when. but restrains the evil from evil. It works for all men. by becoming sensual and selfish they had lost or been driven out of that glorious state of which Eden was the symbol and synonym then the providence of God. had departed from love.The Flaming Sicord. — banishment. no wounded pride. no resentments.
the tabernacle and temple themselves. that He watched over them continually that in all the wanderings and wars of Israel. the curtains. mere forms signify that the . and bodies either animal or human. are nowhere specificall}^ described in Scripis ture. It was commanded that cherubim should be placed on the mercy seat over the ark. The cherubim are frequently mentioned in holy Writ. over the vail and also in the temple. however. at least. — . as has sometimes been imagined. that they were perfect though mingled figures and . as tradition w^ould make them. the cherubim. were figures known in ancient with human faces. The cherubim. They lation. From what is there said. over the curtains of the tabernacle. But all these things the ark which contained the Ten Commandments. the vail. outas spread wings. — that so far from being ludicrous.V 132 The Garden of Eden. as a race of supernatural beings. symbolism. so that their exact ' form matter of specu- But the figures exhibited for cherubim in faces w'ith the pictures of the old masters —infant wings attached find no w^arrant in the Bible. we know. To mention but a single instance. but always as symbols. his unwearied charge over them never relaxed. the mercy seat upon which the cherubim stood. wherever they w^ent and wherever they stayed. ne^er. to Lord had them all in his keeping. they were sublime in conception and beautiful in form.
young. we have an account of things actually made and once historically existent. The cherubim were beautifully carved figures placed in the positions to which they v\^ere assigned by divine ouly. of his having them. As. gentleness and love. it were. But Christian worship in its highest sense is Christian life. with beaming countenance and watchful eyes and outstretched human life and heart. the outstretched wings. . over every worship. ence . under his overshadowing and tender care its standing on the mercy seat. of outward worwere symbolic of the various things of inship ternal and spiritual worship yet to be developed — in the Christian Church. as they were. In the description of the tabernacle and temple with their furniture and worship. command 12 as representative of spiritual things. as wings. Thus the sublime truth was'figured forth in these as representatives. of his power and pres. the constant presall ence of the Lord in human affairs with infinite compassion.The Flaming Sword. that the provi- dence of the Lord broods. The face of the cherub was representative of the Lord's love and circumspection the body. the cherubim are referred to in all other portions of the Word as symbolic forms and not as supernatural beings. after the beautiful similitude of the birds with their . 133 and containants. in all its ways and wanderings. so must it have been in Genesis. therefore.
. they should profane them. with any historical basis of literal Yet the cherubim here have the same meaning. Their insertion into the divine allegory was for the purpose of shadowing forth the doctrine of an immediate and universal Providence. the intensely selfish do . . not believe in disinterestedness the grossly im- pure contend that purity of heart does not exist . And the cherubim relish for heavenly joy . and thereby seal for themselves a yet more bitter doom. the sensual. like the picket guards of an army. ill But fact. to protect the natural spot where stood the sacred tree of life. But it convey the lesson of an everwatchful Providence. appreciating and knowing. understanding. It kept the way of the tree of life by preventing the vicious. from understanding the doctrine of guard the tree of life. It was not intended to indicate that any particular race of supernatural beings were detailed. It teaches it on the same principle and after the same manner as did the outspread wings and heavenly countenance which covered over and looked down upon the ark of the to was designed covenant. love. and so will always be. The profane cannot see God the earthly have no still . and the selfish from appreciating the wisdom of a holy life. It is the same to-day. and from knowing the exquisite nature of Eden's happiness lest. the narrative of little if Eden we have pure alle- gory. 134 The Garden of Eden.
and Christians' more spiritual views of our enter into religion. guarded from profanation for men's own benefit. until they can safelv take of it. or nominal receivers of the higher views of Christian truth. what spiritualit}' means . if they make pretence of being converted. The heathen will be converted to Chriswill accept tianity. tries.The Flaming Sword. We wonder at the slow progress of the nations . from the cherubim We Wonder again that so few accept the higher views of Christianity revealed by the Lord through Swedenborg it is . Lord's providence allows no man to receive The more or higher truth than he is prepared to live. the sensual admit not for a that lifts 135 moment any wisdom senses. as they are seen in the least. one's view above the . the cherubim guarding the way of the tree of life. The materialist is chained to matter . it is heathenism to Christianity guarding the way of the tree of life. But the cherubim. at its spirit and life. lip-service is not The . And though we may be nominal Christians. but do not get the real thing. to try to Lord's providence to be ready. they accept the name of Chris- tianity only. the heathen ac- knowledges no Christ the idolater is joined to Brutalism and barbarism have no idea his idols. and eat of its fruit without danger of profanation. w^ill or Providence and its minis- hasten slowly in spite of the unrest of tree of life will be man.
136 necessarily The Garden of Eden. The in the east is spiritually near to the Lord. So the Lord made cherubim from the east. it A high authority renders thus And he [the Lord] made cherubim from Garden ing of itself to the east to dwell at the Eden. faces the Lord . And with lips overflowing with creeds. that is. between them and this sacred tree. in correspondential . with mercy and love. thus of the Lord himself What is from the east is from the Lord what is east is the . outward profession always accompanied by inward perception." symbol of the peculiar dwellingplace of the Lord. lest really partaking of its fruit. a For the purpose literal more is strictly rendering of the of Hebrew '' : text preferable to that the authorized version. they should profane. heart-service. or be perpetually operative. and the flame of a sword turnkeep the way of the tree of life. a providence which is peculiarly his own or from Himself. men may still imagine themis nor selves to he eating of the tree of life. at the entrance of the tree of Eden life. that is. He who faces the east. in his heart he looks to the Lord. of the heart. to keep the way of the and preserve expressed it from profanation. and memories stored with formulated statements of the highest truths. to dwell. of the allegory. the But there was another provision of Providence to this end. while the cherubim stand.
language of the text. But in its opposite sense it is the symbol of falsity warring 12- . is used to denote the divine truth. one would imagine that its obliteration literal from the ' earth were sufficient literal without sword. *' the flame of a sword turning itself. edged and polished the knows how error to wield hands of him who cuts its way through in its victorious and delusion.The Flaming Sword. flames of hell are but the blazinc: fires of passion and pride. Everywhere in the Word of the Lord. Whatever is of self or self-derived inicliigence. The sword. spiritual provision is needed to keep from its sacred precincts the sensual and profane until they are prepared to partake of its fruit without profaning. 137 There was. The of self-love. flames up as from a furnace of lust within the heart. which. keenin it. and destroys. the burning lusts of unfire regenerate hearts are likened to and flame." sacred tree a literal tree. and the tree of life. to keep the way of the tree Had this been a literal garden and its of life. whenever it is stirred into activitv. guards or the flame of a But as Eden is the state of celestial love and intelligence. in the symbolism of the Word. the sophistries of sensuous reason and the armies of infernal persuasions. whatever burns in infernal breasts. to use the more exact version above gh^en. gluttony and debauchery. the Lord as their source and supply. progress. enmity and envy.
is. Now^ self-love flaming w^ith false persuasions. to confirm the man in his chosen position. The sin is unpardonable. No .138 The Garden of Eden. The flame ing every of a sword turning its false itself. . This is for tw^o reasons One. evils when self-love with its attending of every kind. not sin. and turn- way for strength and confirmation. that to interiorly comprehend and yet to live in : willful disobedience. falsity is too false for its no turning from truth can turn too far to accomplish its end and no rankling lust of self-love can flame too high or burn too brightly to gratify its passion. is used by Providence as one of the most efficient guards to keep the way of the tree of life. right. spirit measure of who has sunk beyond recovery. The object sought is. The other is. as we have shown. that wicked minds shall not interiorly comprehend the life and love of God. is self-love blazing forth with persuasions. to the happiness lost. For satellites. . is profanation —the one un- pardonable ever. be everlasting misery. once finds permanent lodging w^ithin the heart. with a knowledge of the would. meaning here. that a confirmed love full of evil. through so searing the soul as to leave spiritual ruin. soon persuades that heart that all is It turns in every direction or to every it method purpose of reasoning. howbut in it through lack of mercy its in the Lord. This is its against truth and good.
m^^wms . keeps man back from reaching for the tree of life and profaning its fruit and this. the happiness of heaven is a thing impossible to be known and if approached it is felt as something repulsive and painful. devil is Where a devil because he has lost his apprecia- tion of love. self-love and sensualism flaming with false persuasions. when conscience is lost and evil is become the rooted love of the soul. spects infinitely superior to It is only as self- and that the love of God and good takes its place. would be unceasing pain. . of heaven because his and of heavenly bliss conscience is blasted through willful . 139 Now edness itself. So no devil could seek to enter the Eden of the love ceases to be itself. God is mercy not into hell with inverted is and He descends there no reform there is no endless torture. and continual sin. because self-love does not appreciate the tree of life. So the flame of the sword turnino: itself in the heart. A nature. having a constant and realizing conviction of its loss. But after death.— The Flaming Sword. . hell exists because is yet there men have chosen wick-* mercy there. A conscience forever torturing itself over what might have been. that the joy of Eden and heaven is seen and sought. . would be unremitting agony. deeming the fruit of the forbidden tree in all reit. But an appreciation of heavenly joy and an eternal knowledge of an everlastingloss of bliss like this.
v/hich he was created. He will hold us there forever. If we throw ourselves into his we rise lovino' arms. The cherubim spread their broad protecting wings over all. He tries to turn our errors into wise and useful lessons. He follows us with If healing balms for every wound. we sink fall. Such is the lesson of the text. stinctively . and even the flame of the turning sword has its lesson of love. He is infinite mercy and love in all his appointments and doings. because self-love turns him away. So the flame of the sword which turns itself. He sympathizes with every noble aspiration and heroic struggle. He is happier elsewhere. . He is tender with the meanest human being that forfeits the sublime destiny for He is always with us all. So Providence protects man's Eden everywhere. and the very best is done for all. and the merciful Lord would keep all as happy as He can. from a heavenly point of view. He bears us up with tender hands. a wretched kind of happiness nevertheless it is his. If we sink into self. is made to keep the way of the tree of life. It teaches a doctrine that justifies the ways of God with man.140 The Garden of Eden. beyond If recall. It is. He softens even the saddest toward heaven. its other world either to disturb inhabitants or in- profane its life. He goes with us everywhere.
In the midst of the street of it. xxii.— Rev. It is the alpha and the omega. and not to this which itual history of — 141 . 14. THE RESTORATION. and the leaves of Vie tree were for the healing of the nations. he was driven. all things wise and true. all things innocent and pure. Blessed are they that do his commandments. which hare twelve manner of fruits. the beginning and the end. But as the Lord looks especially to man's eternal good and not to his temporal success to that other world w4iich is spiritual and whose joys are unending. and on either side of tiie river. proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. he showed me a pure river of water clear as crystal. Eden is the first blessing and the last promise which the Lord offers to man. in recording the spir- man. It embraces all things delightful and pleasant.IX. (^ S the Word of God. so it ends by restoring him to that beautiful dwelling-place from whence. all things loving and good. begins by placing him in the Garden of Eden. of life. and yielded her fruit every month. 1. 2. . was there tlie tree of life. . through sin. that they may have nght to the tree of Ife. And . of the divine alphabet of human holiness. aiid may enter in through the gates into the city.
and also Beulah. although it is referred to or spoken of In Isaiah it in Scripture under many names. Adonai or Immanuel. Zion . that Eden is a state of the soul and not a natural locality. voluptuous music. This realm is no Mohammedan paradise natural and — of beautiful houris. the married land. delicious perfumes.142 is The Garden of Eden. In many places it is called Jerusalem. AVe fully understand. and yet is called by many names. whose pleasures are transient it is evident that the blessings which Eden comprises must be of a spiritual and not of a v/orldly character. now. pure It is that gen- and holy state of the soul which rests in the Lord. True. Jehovah. the Lord's delight. the holy city. descending out of heaven from God. But it is introduced in the early chapters of Genesis as the Garden of Eden Now all these expressions are typical of a spir- itual state of the Church or of man. sometimes Zion Jesus preached John described it as it as the kingdom of heaven . we could not approach the closing chapter of Scripture with any just appreciation of its meaning. which takes home to the heart the spiritual life that He has taught. . AM in a large sense. and other sensual delights. Christ or Lord. there is only one spiritual for home man. erous. is called Hcphzibah. New Jerusalem. Jesus. Like the great I who is the only God. Were it not so. so. and which JSnds its chief pleasure and delight in doing good.
then was the whole prophecy fulfilled. And. "Neither. New Jerusalem. was only Eden again under another name. the kingdom restored to Israel. and the literal Zion razed to its foundations. though the children of Israel rebuilt the spirit. "shall ye ! say. there is for behold. wisdom and love." this Charts could not it. the king- dom place of it God within you. given .The Bcstoratlon. The restoration of Zion and Jerusalem so often described under glowing imao'erv. is but the restoration of Eden under another name. the glory to Zion. Jesus preached. whatever descends from thence must . according to the flesh. the natural Jerusalem a heap of ruins. It was a thing of the heart. nor geographies describe for it was of kingdom of heaven full}'. .established in the minds and hearts of men. It is not natural cities in their pride of numbers and outward glory concerning vvhich the Lord is solicitous." said He. so much as it is a spiritual state The kingdom of heaven which of his Church. It is »• even so with the Holy City. and He so distinctly stated. here ! or Lo. Lo. were dispersed to the utter- most parts of the earth. and Jerusalem and this. 143 and Jerusalem were literal localities but they are used as the symbols of interior states of purity. which was to descend out of heaven from God. As heaven in the Scriptural view is a spiritual realm. and into whose courts He invited his followers.
Natural rivers do not proceed from visible thrones they well up from hidden fountains in the earth. And the is but another term for Eden. which went forth in Eden. be spiritual in character. It water of which our Lord spake when the Samaritan the same He said to woman . New Jeru- up. he saw a pure river of water of clear as crystal. would be a well of spiritual wisdom that would so turn the current of the thoughts. Eden reappear in the When John in vision looked life. It is not visible to comes to us within. This. 144 The Garden of Eden. Such was the water that flowed Swch is that which in the New . as to prove a fount of everlasting life to whomsoever should drink it. therefore. is the same river under a different is name. It is the doctrine of Eden retaught and the life of Eden restored.. It is spiritual from Eden. outward sight New Jerusalem peculiarities of salem. at Jacob's well: ''Whoso- ever shall drink of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst shall be in but the water that I shall give him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. there is one fact which shows it clearlv it is that the it . inwardly received. pro- ceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. affections and desires. If we cannot see this by intuition. It is a new dispensation of light and love." That was the new truth of the Gospel which. truth. him Such is the water that comes from above. its .
Without or music. But in the Holy City was to be reproduced another feature of the Garden of Eden. This living water is is ''clear as crystal. flows always from the water of life.of the understanding and its quickening of the Him. 145 Jerusalem descends out of heaven from God. than the apprehension of divine truth by the spiritually awakened intellect. so must it be with truths of spiritual wisdom. and to perform the duties of existence not only in a rational way.Tlte liestoration. It flows to mind gives to him who receives it life. . except from Him? life. these truths will remain obscure or altogether . or poetry. in its refreshing. 13 K lUSi^ . is fountaiu-head the throne of God and . they will be pellucid as the mountain spring clear as transparent crystal. the proper quickening of the spiritual faculties. and a . w^hose the It is the river of Eden. but in the spirit and faith of Him in whose name it is done. But as the faculties suited to the apprehension of mathematics." There nothing so clear to the receptive mind as spiritual truth. The natural mind does not think so but that does not alter the fact. must be aroused before their higher truths become clear or cognizable. Can we have any truth which is not his ? Can we have any enlightenment The river of spiritual wisdom. and heart and it the power to live an intelligently holy Lamb. The sun is not clearer in its shining-. unseen with it.
. ii. they think Paradise it But the profane cannot see it. was I give the literal rendering of life fixes the original Greek. Eden or the New Jerusalem. kingdom of heaven. fruit the sustenance of every hungry not . It grew in the midst of the ancient garden. overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God " (Rev. The gates of paradise are perpetually open for the always entrance of laden all. " In the midst of the street of it and of the river. the tree of life grows in the midst of it and without that tree. it is not paradise at all. . of it life is of perennial growth." on this side and on that. as we have often said is . There is but one tree of life. nor which will be there. For them it does wise and intelligent the it for the does. V). It grows ever ready for the acceptance of man. This tree of the New Jerusalem as Eden restored. And the To him that promise had already been recorded. not only in the midst of the street of the its river New Jerusalem. The tree is . and does not exist. It is not which teas in the midst of paradise. the tree of life. Call it by what name the Scripture may. For the tree of life. and it will grow again. and the sacred tree forever stands for with soul. It always was it always will be. as preferable to the authorized version. The Garden of Eden.146 central one. but which is. but in the midst of '' and on this side and on that.
in its goodness and wisdom. in a specific sense. especially as prophetic of different ages of the Church.'rfte Restoration. Eden refers. but developed under different circumstances. which is past and gone and which can never on earth be The New Jerusalem is more exactly reproduced. have a broader basis of natural knowledge. It will. for the This truth is alluded to fact.a different expressions are used in Scripture similar idea. art and luxury. to that state of innocent perfection most ancient Church. in a strict sense. w4iich was characteristic of the properly that state of heavenly perfection in the Church evil in at large. have a somewhat of life different meaning. of that peculiarly infantile or tender genius. It will be compatible with the knowledge and possession of natural science. though they mean the same . It was. therefore. purpose of taking note of the that when for. in the Xew Jerusalem. The two are similar states. as the central love and 147 life and shown. though s^monymous in a general sense. which has been attained through severe conflict Avith emerging from the baptism of hell. having this and partaking of this tree. no matter or what the age of the world where his dwelling may be. Yet these expressions. of the soul. or in the individual heart. in the king- dom place of heaven. to which those primitive people were strangers. man is in Eden. is the Lord the fruit of Now.
very midst of his path. because all Scripture is applicable to all ages and composed yAW be of a different character. the The street. New by Jerusalem. This tree of love life — the Lord with his matchless —grows of in the midst of the street of the use a more life. Jerusalem translated its therefore. they The Garden of Eden. his steps tend. mean it under different phases. or any other Scripture term for the state implied by it. because the people of to be though of. or to common way or path of is the truth means '' which we walk. I will show thee the path of life. . desires it all his and af- It is never out of his sight. street of the New path. New Jerusalem. Yet it is not improper to use the term Eden. equal perfection." He means show us The tree that He will point out to us the heavenly truths which shall constitute our daily walk. to its street. Thus while the it New Jerusalem is a restoration whom it of Eden. The may just as well be of life is said. will be of a different genius from the ancient is Eden. to all hearts. in the . or how to live. because the is grow in the midst of Lord as love (or the love principle of life of the Lord) the central to whomsoever comes to dwell All his life-Avalk turns to fections look to It is before in the it. him whithersoever and • . When our Lord says.148 thing. phrase. to describe the state of hearts and lives to-day that have attained to it.
It is throne of God. is the wisdom of life made manifest to the mind as it flows and God into the understanding from the Lord wisdom. All principles. all glorified Christ it all Him ." left . in all its meditations. and the — are the comes from the Lord —the Divine Humanity looks to Lamb —the invisible Divinity and the It . is not only the central principle in the mind. *' Guiding. tree of life was in the midst of the river This is a curious expression from a natural point of view. of the dwellers New Jerusalem. as it life proceeds from the forever stands. ." w:suii.-- . but that He all is the central point (in the midst or center) of their spiritual The river of water of life. for it indicates that the Lord all as love. center of it. . in states of light and in those of all cir- at church and at work. and bear superscription. the tree of And it is '' on this side and on that. his image and The mind which. to the right and the in heavenly considerations and earthly obscurity . but a beautiful one spiritually considered . Under cumstances the tree of life is before the eyes. it regards Him in every turning all of the thought. forming a part of every thought. is the one in the midst of whose river of water of life. truths. never loses sight of the Lord as its central light and warmth.The Restoration. 149 The also. and consequently in the path of in the life. entering into every motive. guiding in every 13^ act. are Sowings forth from Him.
kind. And how " Blessed beautifully comes in the declaration.150 The Garden of Eden. the entire works of whose life are the fruits of love of that love whose center and source is the Lord of love which is all-embracing in its character of love which is holy. it bare twelve manner Twelve is a symbol employed when it is intended that the expression shall be Twelve manner of fruits is every kind of fruit which the tree of life is capable of producing. we "in every act. bearing its twelve manner of fruits." healing the Leaves signify . or the thoughts of those in whom the love of the Lord is the ruling prinall ciple. — . It is he. Such a its fruit when planted in the heart." because of fruits. say. . pure. are they that do his commandments. are all good and all for the good of man- kind — for the healing of the spiritual diseases of themselves and the world. . produces in every works that are genuinely good " changing the And of the leaves of the tree are for the nations. and all whose deeds are good. overflowing with benevolence to all manall-embracing. unselfish. is he who in all his works bears heavenly fruit. yields every month . thoughts or rational intuitions of man and the leaves of the tree of life. He in whose heart the tree of life is planted." because the Lord's love. tree '' when it state. The fruits are good works. is the soul's animating principle.
. that they 151 life. That is Eden. He that hath it is my commandments is that loveth me. hope and charity. Beulah. and our right to it is re-established. protects by rendering it unappreciated and unknown." Is not wonderful how many different ways have been held as essential to the obtaining of salvation ? Yet we have it here in its perfection. by the persistent effort to of sensualism TT . Avas lost mandments it will The cherubim guard the tree of the profane. or the it man himself. the New Jerusalem. The flame self-love of by breaking the combe regained by keeping them." Eden . and that. " Love them. Who obtain it ? They who do brief. of life from the hands from the touch of the sword. the Lord's comclear I mandments. he and keepeth Paul had grasped the fulfilling of the law. ments." the truth when he said. Zion. the kingdom of heaven. doing the Lord^s commandto salvation. may have right to the tree. faith alone is the way But the tree of life is the Lord our love. That is what we need that is what we must receive. of and may it enter in through the gates into the city. But it is gained again. and ments . bliss the sum of all faith. has been said Yet it that no one can keep the commandSimple. That is salvation and eternal life. And the way to it is. therefore.— The Restoration. purity. That is innocence. This '' is only a repetition of the Lord's words.
. and then the Lord flows for in with invigorating power. But it is ours to make the effort. will to do the right as of himself. strength is . make no exertion. the power is always sure to be supplied. if we seek the all we Lord's for He is the fullness of strength. spiritual and happiness.: 152 obey the Is it The Garden of Eden. purity. keep them of ourselves. The Lord flows always into the active. or to that He has taught us in his Word. Man is like the flowers. We can keep the com- mandments have none. . we cannot keep never into passive agencies. as viewed in its true spirit and interpreted by the science of correspondences When raised the Lord created man at the first. I^ord's live commands. sum up what has been said in these discourses about the Garden of Eden. If we lift no hand. yet not in our But we can own strength. no strength comes. so must he look up. or in our own strength. As they hold up their modest cups to receive the refreshing dew and the light of the morning sun. intelligence innocence. true that the life commandments ? We cannot. If we make the effort in earnest. and it is the Lord's to furnish the power. raise no prayer. indeed. open his heart to the sweet influence of heaven. He him up into a condition of love. and ever ready and waiting to give us Briefly to we ask or really need.
in darkness. 158 This state of life is called in his holy Word. To eat of this tree was to live in love But he also endowed to Him derived from Him. all oblivious of things spiritual and divine. But men's eyes were closed to its heavenly effulgence. He placed in the midst of this — in the inmost of man's soul — the tree of which was Himself as the only love and life of man. but the darkness comprehended it not. It w^as the sensual principle. . of which the Lord had bidden him not to eat. or living from a principle. In his freedom. Then man lost his blissful Eden. the Garden of Eden. not to be free was not to be man. man with the gift of freedom because. The Word was a light shining upon closed and darkened minds that did " The light shone not comprehend its meaning. after a long period of happiness. the lamp was lighted and kept blazing in the inspired Word. . and even the conception that it could be. because he had departed from the Eden state and losing that." Our Lord came upon earth to show^ man . he lost the spiritual wisdom w^hich belonged to it. under the symbol of the serpent.TliC Restoration. and began to live for self and from the love of self. and finally all knowledge that it ever was. So the race for long centuries groped in darkness. True. man. garden life. turned from the Lord and his love. and thus of his own motion. This was eating of a tree. which seduced him.
let him take the water of life freely. the tree of with its healing leaves and heavenly fruit. shall be his again. whom He illumined with his wisdom. will he but keep the Lord's commandments. to reveal the mysterv of Eden." water of of the life is the truth of God's holy Word . of the kingdom of heaven. 154 the The Garden of Eden. ''Whosoever The will. love. not in the obscurity . yet bis teachings were but partial!}" comprehended and dimly discerned. wisdom and life happiness. He was received by a few. to be but paradise restored. state wherein he could receive the divine words in their true spiritual meaning. So we find the New Jerusalem of divine Word for the restoration of promise. all the blessings that man ever enjoyed. of The rivers Eden break out life afresh in its golden streets its the tree of is growing by all river of living- water .. Emanuel Swedenborg. The invitation is full and free. and encourage and assist him to return to his lost Eden. way — . of the New Jerusalem back. to unfold in greater fulhiess the true nature of that wondrous spiritual life set forth in the divine man. Then He raised up a messenger. and to make plain the true spirit of all He had hitherto taught. the river pure as crystal that flows from the throne of God. purity.— Word as apprehended. innocence. He has waited with mercy and long suffering for man waited for him to develop into a.
of the letter, but in the clear-shining of the spirit.
were truth only, mere knowledge and docBut there, in the midst trine, it were not much. There is the Tree of Life, of it, is the life itself. the Lord our love there are its fruits of every hue there are its leaves for the whole world's And they are all parts of a heavenly healing. They are all divine. We can spare no whole.
portion of them.
becomes our conIt
in the light of
only by living or doing as the truth requires,
that our hearts are opened to the reception of the
fruit of that
immortal tree Avhich
forever in the
midst of the paradise of God.
a condition of
The New^ Jerusalem is a state of and wisdom. It is Eden restored.
are for both worlds, the present and the world be-
Its universal attainment will banish v/rong,
sorrow and sighing, from the earth. Its attainment by each heart, will banish them from thence. And when we ask, Lord, who shall have it ? the answer comes echoing through
the corridors of the soul, "
If there is a blessino: that
a peace worth striving
for, it is this.
The Garden of Eden,
not take the lesson to our hearts, and make
theme of deep and solemn
cere and earnest prayer
less of that
which is of so than any mere w^orldly things ? or indifferent to that which the Lord regards as worthy our supreme effort ? Let us reflect. Let us do more, lift up our hearts to the throne of grace, and pray that we may be more earnest, more humble, more devoted more believing, loving and obedient.
we be thoughtmuch higher import
jj 1 33 .14 DAY USE DEPT. REC'D LP 0EC31'64-8/ M ^' m t4^ REC'D LD -J!JN 5 '65 -10 AM MAR 21987 <7 — id. orr. or on the date to which renewed. RETURN TO DESK FROM WHICH BORROWED LOAN This book is due on the last date stamped below. Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. avw JS'o QJ-w 31334 g ft filB .
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