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How grateful, then, should we be to the Lord, who, in times of doubt and difficulty, has revealed the UNIVERSAL LAW according to which the Word is written, and by the application of which its Divine Wisdom may be seen and applied to the purification of our lives. This rule is "the correspondence existing between things spiritual and things natural, by virtue whereof things natural, as being the types and images of things spiritual, are used to express them."
It ought not to be difficult for Christian men to recognize the great truth that the natural universe derives its life from God, and, therefore, that every particular thing in the various kingdoms of nature-from the humblest flower to the Cedar of Lebanon-from the meanest insect to the highest created intelligence-must bear some relationship to the Creator. It is a fragment of ancient wisdom, "that there is nothing on earth which is not in the heavens in a heavenly form, and nothing in the heavens which is not on the earth in an earthly form." They correspond to each other. Milton has placed the same truth before us in a poetical form—
"What surmounts the reach
When our Lord says: "Consider the lilies how they grow;" or when He addresses His disciples as the salt of the earth; or when, as the Good Shepherd, He says, "My sheep hear My voice," He speaks of the "lilies," the "salt," and the "sheep," in their relation to Himself as the Source of their life, and therefore as embodying some spiritual principle to which they correspond.
This law of correspondence is as fixed and immutable as any in the universe. It is its own ample evidence. Large portions of Scripture, hitherto regarded as obscure and unmeaning, are by its aid seen to be luminous with Divine Wisdom. The local and temporary character of historical events, ritual observances-burnt-offerings, sacrifices, and meat-offerings-pass from view, and their underlying spirit is brought home to us in lessons of imperishable wisdom, bearing upon our life here as a preparation for the life hereafter.
The one great theme of the Bible being the salvation of the human soul, every part of it must be Divinely adapted to this end. The first chapter of Genesis does not therefore describe the creation of a world out of mán, by the creation of a world in man- the NEW CREATION.
Its six days are the successive states through which the soul passes on its journey from an unregenerate condition to a state of Sabbatic rest and peace, when temptations cease, and the Lord, who is the Captain of our salvation, rests from His labours.
Why is the "Law" not Universally Received ?—In this, as in other matters of everyday life, it is necessary to deny ourselves. We require to put away the pride of our own intelligence; we must lay aside the swelling boast that by our own skill and ingenuity we can fathom the Divine Word. Through obedience and humility we must learn to sing the "new song," saying, "THOU art worthy to take the book and OPEN the seals thereof."
I have dwelt at some length upon the inspiration of Scripture, because I believe it is destined soon to become the primary question in Christian theology. The tendency at present appears to be towards a denial of its plenary inspiration. It is the peculiar mission of the New Church to proclaim the sanctity of the Divine Word, to uphold its divinity, to disseminate its priceless treasures; and so hasten that day when the Church Universal shall be enabled to obey the Divine command: "Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."
Individually, we should strive to embody in our lives the pure principles of our faith-uniting precept and practice, faith and life, for "all religion has relation to life, and the life of religion is to do good."
As a Church, the Lord commands us, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature." And what a Gospel! The Gospel of Divine love! The "glad tidings" of Divine forgiveness to all who will accept it! Hitherto it has been supposed that there is some great difficulty-some unwillingness in the Lord to forgive the sinner. Hence the familiar question, "How can a holy God. pardon the sinner?" It is our unspeakable privilege to vindicate the ways of God to man. All causes of estrangement and separation between the Lord and His creatures exist in man. "Your iniquities," saith the Lord, "have separated between you and your God, and your sins have HID His face from you." Behold, I STAND at the door and KNOCK." God is love; and LOVE ever stands with outstretched arms, saying, "Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." "And him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out."
May we all labour more earnestly and lovingly than we have yet
done to realize that happy state, when "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."
Permit me to convey to you the earnest desire of the Conference, that in your various Societies you may be examples of brotherly love, aiding cheerfully in every good work, strengthening and encouraging each other by regular and punctual attendance at the ordinances of worship.
Finally, in the words of the Apostle Paul, "Be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you."—I am, dear friends, affectionately yours, PETER RAMAGE.
STONECLOUGH, NEAR MANCHESTER.
HUSH! soul that grievest, sore distress'd
While hope and love withdraw their beaming;
Though darkness end thy twilight dreaming,
With clearer gaze when dawns the morrow,
If love, when flames his beacon bright,
And from the maiden hide her lover:
Nor e'en the hope be thine to cherish,
To grandeur in the grove, that perish.
Then, dost thou feel a life-long smart,
Which time avails not for removing?
Shall soothe the lesser wound of others,
And learn from pain to find relief,
In service to assuage a brother's.
MATERNITY IN THE NEW CHURCH.
DEAR daughters and young sisters in Christ Jesus, to be called upon to exercise the duties and to enjoy the delights of maternity is a high privilege. But maternity has its duties as well as its delights. Our Heavenly Father desires that the dear ones who are your offspring— and in caressing and tending whom you find such pleasure—should, by your tender care and motherly instruction and example, be brought innocently to His feet, and to a child-like knowledge and love of Him. Have you never reflected that if, as mothers, you do not discharge your duties to the Lord in regard to your children, your husbands, as fathers, can never afterwards perform their's with due effect, nor ministers of the gospel either? You have not been educated in doctrines that teach that either children or grown-up people can be prepared for heaven in a day. The heavenly doctrines of the New Church teach that every moment of our lives is required by our Heavenly Father to prepare us for the fulness of joy which is in His presence, and the pleasures that are at His right hand for evermore. And all the steps or stages of our life follow each other in such an orderly succession, that if we miss the first, it will require a double effort to reach the next; and the more of those steps we miss at the right time, the less firmly shall we stand upon any to which, by an extraordinary effort, we may afterwards attain.
Now, does it ever occur to you, or does it strongly impress you, that your dear babes would never have been given into your bosoms but for the purpose of rearing them for the kingdom of heaven; and that the best efforts of both parents are needed to promote this great end? During their earliest years the children are principally under the mother's care. The father has to wait patiently and trustfully while the mother nourishes and nurses them in their tender years, before he
can do much in the way of instructing them. It sometimes happens that the mother dies or is indisposed while children are very young, and the father is called upon to do, in his imperfect way, what the mother would have done in her more perfect manner; yet, however well the want may be thus supplied, children must suffer for want of their mother's love, care, and training. So that you see, just as the Virgin Mary was the first handmaid to the Lord in tending the Infant Saviour whom she bore, you likewise are thus privileged, in your capacity of mothers, in being the first ministers to your little innocents, who are to be the future fathers and mothers in the Lord's New Church upon earth, and also the future ministers in all things belonging to His Divine work of propagating the Christian religion amongst mankind! How important then it is that you should be called upon, in the Lord's Name, not to neglect "the trust committed to your charge !"
Now, there are two things essential to the good and lasting effect of a mother's teachings which, it is very lamentable to see, are sometimes neglected, even by mothers who profess the New Church doctrines. The first is, private kneeling with the little innocents while teaching them to lisp their infant prayers, thus helping and leading their devotions. True piety in the mother, and a regard to the immortal wellbeing of her child, as above all outward beauty and cleverness, would remedy this. The other is, due and prompt but loving obedience, which children ought to yield to their parents. How few mothers have the command of their children! And it generally happens that over indulgence on the mother's part produces over severity on the part of the father, who is sometimes required to preserve or restore order by inspiring terror, which makes him to his children more an object of fear than of love.
Pray let these hints have due consideration. Unless obedience be secured, no good seed can take root in the infant mind. Let mothers remember this.
In the "Treatise on Conjugial Love" we read on this subject as follows:-"The primary duties which confederate, consociate, and gather into one the souls and lives of two conjugal partners, have respect to the common educating of their children; in relation to which care, the duties of the husband and the duties of the wife are distinct, and yet join themselves together; they are distinct, inasmuch as the care of giving suck and of nursing the infants of each sex, and also the care and instruction of the girls till they become