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There is evidence, from the Scriptures, that a revealed Word, now lost, was given by Jehovah to his church, previous to that penned by Moses. An extract of that ancient Word is found in Numbers, xxi. 14: "Wherefore it is said in the books of the wars of Jehovah, what he did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon." Also, in Joshua, x. 13, 14: "Is not this written in the book Jasher? so the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a day." Without reference to other extracts of the ancient Word noticed in the Scriptures, to demonstrate that there was a written Word prior to the Mosaic dispensation, it is to be observed Jehovah never left his church destitute of a revelation of himself, either immediate, or through the medium of a written Word. Even from the letter of Scripture, it is more than probable Moses brought with him out of Egypt the first eleven chapters of Genesis, down to Eber, remains, or relicks of the Word of the ancient church. In Genesis, v. 1, we read "This is the book of the generations of Adam ;" and as Adam represents the state of the most ancient church, this book has relation to the spiritual changes of that church, from its commencement to its state of purity, and to its final consummation, represented in its generations. Previous to the fall, there is undoubted evidence, fom the letter of the Word, that the first church, denominated Adamic, had immediate intercourse with Jehovah ;-man conversed with God face to face. After the integrity of that church was forfeited, immediate communication of Jehovah ceased with that church, when the Word was given.

The apparent contradictions and incongruities seen in the literal sense of parts of the Word, have led the infidel to violate its truths, to represent it in a contemptuous light, and reject the Scriptures as the sacred oracles of God. The first eleven chapters, to Eber, are written in accommodation to the spiritual sense communicated; not to convey literal facts. The spiritual sense flowing into nature, it assumes a form corresponding to the life and spirit within; wherefore the first eleven chapters of Genesis, to Eber, are denominated historica facta; natural things and events made historical corresponding to spiritual. The spiritual sense of the Word is found to be connected in a consistent series, although it does not so appear in all parts of the letter. Upon these chapters, Moses engrafted the history of the Jewish church, denominated historica vera, a true history of natural things and events, as related; in which, also, there is a spiritual sense, as there is in every part of the Word.

Commentators, with all their science, have failed to reconcile some of the apparent inconsistences of the letter of the word they have not, with all their philosophy, demonstrated what that light was, which was spoken into existence, previous to the creation of the two great luminaries, when "God said let there be


light, and there was light." Nor have they satisfactorily explained, how there could have been three distinct days, each having morning and evening, previous to the creation of the natural sun, which took place according to the letter, on the fourth day. Again, we read in Genesis, i. 27: "So God created man, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them;" to whom was given dominion over all which had been created. After this, we read in Genesis, ii. 7, “And there was not a man to till the ground." These apparent contrarieties have not, as yet, been satisfactorily explained by old commentators. The second chapter of Genesis cannot be a recapitulation of the first, as conjectured by some; for the order of the series of creation in the second chapter, differs somewhat from the first. These apparent difficulties can be removed only by the spiritual sense of the Word.

The first chapter of Genesis is apparently a history of the creation of the natural world, and productions thereto appertaining. It is most evident, to every reflecting mind, that it is not a correct history of natural events, which followed each other in the order therein related. This circumstance, however, does not diminish the high importance of this portion of the Word, in a spiritual point of light. The Word of God, in the letter, is designed to bring down to man spiritual things. As "all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness," these attributes are found in the spiritual sense of the Word; in which the Lord Jesus Christ, in his glorified humanity is seen; and of which he is the spirit and life. "My words they are spirit, and they are life." Does a history of natural events, however true, bring man to the knowledge of one supreme God, a future state of existence, and acknowledgment of his own degenerate state, and necessity of regeneration in order to obtain salvation?.

The infidel, who rejects the Word of God, because he sees nothing in the literal sense, more than in the writings of man, may be led, by its spiritual sense, to perceive it contains divine truth, which opening his understanding will induce him to shun evils, as sins against God, by presenting to his rational faculties important considerations, not seen in the literal sense; when he will keep the commandments, from a love of the divine precepts they teach; not, as heretofore, keep them as merely the laws of man, through fear of civil punishment for disobedience.

The first chapter of Genesis, in its spiritual sense, relates to the process of man's regeneration. Here is perceived a spiritual creation, a new birth, ("man must be born again," &c.) a growth and progression in goodness and truth, under the figure of natural creation, growth, and productions of the natural world. The first appertains to the mind's increasing from science of natural things

to the knowledge of spiritual. The last belongs to the productions of this world. No one will hesitate to acknowledge, that of these two senses, the spiritual is the most important to man.

The second chapter of Genesis treats of a celestial man, as the first treated of a spiritual man, regenerated from a state of nature; it opens the manner of man's progress in a celestial state, which state is represented by the garden of Eden; the inmost mind, or will and understanding in accordance with love and wisdom flowing in from Jehovah, who is the tree of life, the fruit of which, as the fruits of all celestial and spiritual things, proceeding from Jehovah, man may freely eat. To eat, in the spiritual sense, signifies, to appropriate to one's self. But the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which appertains to the sensual, or natural principle, man may not eat, nor appropriate to himself. "Whereas it is unknown, at this day, what is meant by a celestial man, what by a spiritual man, and what by a man in a state of nature, called in the Word dead, it may be expedient briefly to point out their respective natures and qualities. First, a dead man, or a man before regeneration, acknowledges nothing to be truth and goodness, but what regards the body and the world, which he adores. A spiritual man acknowledges spiritual and celestial truth and goodness, but then he acknowledges them from a principle of faith, which is the ground of his actions, and not so much from a principle of love. A celestial man believes and perceives spiritual and celestial truth and goodness, nor does he acknowledge any other faith, but what has its ground in love, which love is the principle of his actions.


Secondly: The ends which influence a dead man, or a man in a state of nature, regard only the bodily and worldly life; nor does he know what eternal life is, or what the Lord is, and in case he does know he does not believe. The ends which influence a spiritual man regard eternal life, and thereby the Lord. The ends which influence a celestial man regard the Lord, and thereby his kingdom and eternal life. Thirdly, a dead man, or a man in a state of nature, when he is engaged in spiritual combats, most commonly yields therein; and when in no combats, evils and falses have dominion over him, and he is a slave; the restraints by which he is tied are merely external, as the fear of the law, the loss of life, of wealth, of gain and of reputation in consequence thereof. The spiritual man is engaged in spiritual combats, but is always victorious; the restraints, by which he is tied are internal, and are called ties of conscience. The celestial man is engaged in no combats, and in case he is assaulted by evils and falses, he despises them, and is therefore called a conqueror: he has no apparent restraints, by which he is tied, but is free; the restraints which operate upon him and are not apparent, are the perceptions of goodness and truth." A. C. no. 81.

The third chapter of Genesis, in the spiritual sense, relates to the declension of man, or the Adamic church, from a state of purity, represented by the serpent enticing the woman to disobey the commands of Jehovah God; the instrumental cause of the fall; and the consequences which ensued. The fall of man commenced by "eating the forbidden fruit." It may with propriety be said, in this place, that man continues to eat, daily, of the same "forbidden fruit." "Serpent," signifies, the sinful principle, or sensuality; immersed in this, man persuades himself, that all his life and faculties originate within himself; thereby he refuses to acknowledge Jehovah, who is the Lord Jesus Christ, as the giver of every good and perfect gift. "He that believeth on me, hath everlasting life." "He who denieth me, him will I deny before my Father, who is in heaven." This self-sufficiency and consequent appropriation of evil in his life, is the principal obstacle of man's turning from his wickedness to the Lord, acknowledging his power and goodness, and following him in the regeneration. Man of the most ancient church, after the first lapse, continued to decline from goodness and truth, through succeeding generations, until there was a destitution of all goodness and truth, and its end was consummated.

In Genesis, vi. 3, 5, 6, 7, we read, "And Jehovah said my spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh.' "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart only evil continually." "And it repented Jehovah that he had made man on the earth."—It appears necessary to remark on some of the above literal expressions. "It repented Jehovah." To every rational mind, having knowledge of the attributes of God, it is evident that repentance cannot be predicated of Jehovah;" a being unchangeable, the same yesterday, to day, and forever, in whom there is no variableness nor shadow of turning," cannot repent. "The strength of Israel is not a man, that he should repent." Saml. xv. 29. "I am Jehovah, I change not." Mal. iii. 6. Again: "it grieves me to the heart." Can it be believed Jehovah possesses the natural affections and infirmities of man, and in like manner be a subject of grief? These, and similar apparent contradictions and inconsistences, in the letter of the Word, require a more interior explication than can be found in the literal sense. These, with innumerable other passages, shew that there must be a sense in the Word, not seen in the letter, to reconcile the apparent incoherences therein.

To proceed, the end of the Adamic church is described in Genesis, vii. under the figure of a flood of waters; a vastation of all goodness and truth in the will and understanding, by deep immersions in evils and falses. A spiritual flood was so universal, that this church, once celestial, could no longer exist as such, in 24


consequence of extreme wickedness. But Jehovah, in infinite mercy to man, provided that his church should not become extinct on earth. A second church, denominated Noetic, was established by a new dispensation of divine truth, adapted to the degenerate state of the fallen race. It was formed of those who had remains of goodness in the interior mind, and were in a capacity to be regenerated. These remains are represented by Noah and his family: "and Noah found grace in the sight of Jehovah." The postdiluvians, imbued with hereditary evils, were not in a state to become celestial, from which the Adamic church had fallen; but were to be formed by regeneration into a spiritual church. Those unacquainted with the doctrines of the New Jerusalem, may, by reading the writings of Swedenborg, obtain satisfactory knowledge, why the Noetic church had not the means provided, to be restored to the state of the primitive Adamic church, previous to its lapse.

The Noetic church, in process of its changing states, represented by its spiritual generations, also degenerated; and being divested of all goodness and truth, eventually lost the knowledge of Jehovah, the one God, and instituted, of their corrupt imaginations, idolatrous worship, bending the knee to idols engraved on wood and stone, the workmanship of their hands. A few passages, in the letter of the Word, previous to the liberation of the Israelites from bondage, shew that idolatrous worship prevailed among the nations of the earth. At the period Jehovah manifested his divine presence in a special manner to Moses, it is well known, as an historical fact, that all nations were in a state of idolatry, especially the Egyptians, the most scientific; of whom the Hebrews had obtained idolatrous worship. The habitual propensity of this people to idolatry was such that they could not be restrained from it, notwithstanding the repeated miracles exhibited by the hand of Moses, under divine direction to enforce and confirm on their minds the belief of one supreme God. Here we see a remarkable instance of the force of education, that even the awful display of Almighty powers, in the thunders of Mount Sinai, made no lasting impression on their perverted minds. At a time, during the absence of Moses, receiving instructions on the mount of Jehovah, the nation became dissatisfied and rebelled against their leaders. To appease their clamours, and gratify their perverse inclinations, Aaron formed a golden calf, the idol of their worship; seeing which, they exclaimed, "these are thy Gods, O Israel, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt." This nation, by the Word of God communicated through the medium of Moses, was constituted the representative of a church, and became the repository of the sacred oracles; which, in their charge, under divine Providence, have been preserved in its letter inviolate, for the use and benefit of succeeding churches. Hence, the Word of the Old Testament, instead of being a dead letter, as be

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