by

NATHANIEL DANDRIDGE PENDLETON

Late Bishop of the General Church of the New Jerusalem and President of the Academy of the New Church

Academy Book Room

Bryn Athyn, Pa. 19009

1941

Copyright, 1941

by

The Academy of the New Church

CONTENTS

Part I - The Ancient Truth

I. The Wells of Abraham       1
II. The First and the Last       2
III. The Divine Proceeding       3
IV. The Spirit of Prophecy       4
V. The Virgin Birth and the Sun Dial of Ahaz

5

Part II - The Divine Nativity

I. The Generation of Jesus Christ       6
II. Mary's Betrothal to Joseph       7
III. The Nativity       8
IV. The State of the Lord at Birth       9

Part III - The Glorification of the Rational

I. The Wilderness Temptation       10
II. The Human       11
III. The Lord's Divine Rational       12

Part IV - The Last Journey

I. Lazarus of Bethany       13
II. The Anointment       14
III. The Mount of Olives       15
IV. The Entry into Jerusalem       16
V. "Jesus Wept"       17
VI. The Temple       18
VII. The Barren Fig Tree       19
VIII. Purging the Temple       20

Part V - The Last States

I. Innocence       21
II. Intercession and Reciprocal Union       22
III. The Bread of Life       23
IV. The Betrayal       24
V. Gethsemane       25
VI. The Agony in Gethsemane       26
VII. The Passion of the Cross       27

Part VI - The Resurrection

I. The Lord's Resurrection Body       28
II. Unity with the Father       29
III. The Risen Lord and the Communion       30
IV. The New Doctrine Concerning the Lord.       31

PREFACE

It is generally agreed that Bishop N. D. Pendleton's most outstanding contribution to the thought of the Church is to be found in his studies of the Divine Human. Certainly his work in this field of doctrinal endeavor marks a distinct advance in the understanding of what the Writings teach concerning the glorification. It is, therefore, with the hope that the Church will continue to benefit from his labors that we present a collect of his most important considerations on this subject.

In the organization of this volume we have attempted to arrange the material in a sequence which will provide continuity of thought. Bear in mind that Bishop Pendleton never anticipated the publication of this work. With certain exceptions, the sermons and papers which comprise the volume were not written in series. Hence we have disregarded the date of composition and have arranged the material according to subject matter. However, it is our belief that this arrangement presents and orderly and comprehensive study of the glorification.

We realize that this book is not complete. In view of the subject under consideration we should have included those earlier papers entitled "Messianic Prophecies," "The Divine Human," "Organic and Visible," and "Humanizing the Divine." In that these have been published in the recent memorial volume, Selected Papers and Addresses, we have excluded them here. We merely wish to suggest to the more thorough student that these earlier papers should serve as a general introduction to the more detailed considerations of this volume.

It is of interest to note that this publication consists of twenty-nine sermons and two papers. Of these, nineteen have been published in New Church journals and twelve have been taken from the original manuscripts. Also, we wish to call the reader's attention to the fact that Bishop Pendleton seldom ave a title to a sermon. In the case of the unpublished manuscripts it was necessary to supply the titles, and in a few instances we changed the title found in the journal in which a sermon had been published.

W. D. Pendleton

September 20, 1941




1



GLORIFICATION p. 2        THE WELLS OF ABRAHAM

And Isaac returned and digged again the wells of water which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them up, after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names which his father had called them. (Genesis 26: 18.)

The reason for the Lord's Coming into the world is found in the need of man. This need first arose with the beginning of the decline of the race. When the fall was complete, His Advent became imperative. Yet its actuality was delayed for many ages by the power of prophecy. The point involved in the necessity of His Coming was that the fall of man was so complete that restoration could be effected only by the personal presence of God in the world. This was true of the fall in its utmost finality, that is, after the power of prophecy ceased to be effective, which occurred at the end of the Jewish Church.

The consummation of the Most Ancient Church marked the first period. There followed a series of temporary restorals, brought about, in the first instance, by a radical alteration of state, both mental and physical. These restorals were signalized by a succession of Churches, whose spiritual power was derived from successive promises of the Lord's birth into the world. These Ancient Churches were therefore Messianic, in that they worshipped the Lord Who was yet to come. Prophecy was their reliance, and therein they found the power of salvation. Yet with each Church of this character, there was a lowering of the capacity to respond to this spiritual influence, until finally there was no response.

Then it was that a Man was born into the world, the Seed of woman, Who by His presence brought the Divine face to face with the world of men. This resulted in a fundamental change in the relation of God to man. Externally, it was more powerful.

The added power was needed because the old relation had failed. The time had come when prophecy could no longer serve in place of actuality-the actuality of personal presence and contact, even as of man with man. Prophecy was not actuality; it was a representation thereof. This characterized all the pre-Christian Churches. Representation was given by angelic intermediation. Even the Most Ancient Church belongs to the series of representative Churches. Its representations were, however, of the highest order, almost purely spiritual, and they were celestially perceived and not yet turned into external rituals. These representations, while of heavenly derivation, yet fell into natural forms, but into those that were purely natural, not artificial. Hence the spiritual regeneration of the men of that first Church was figured in the bold outline of the creation of the world, and this in a series representing the sevenfold ascent in the regeneration of man. It is said of this Church that its members spoke with God, face to face; but this was a converse with the angelic God Jehovah, by angelic mediation or representation. It was not face to face with the God-Man in the world of nature. Their eyes were opened when they saw Him. Hence this first and inmost of the Ancient series of Churches must be classed as a representative Church. It was not so in a ritualistic sense; but ritual had its origin thence.

The tendency existed to make their representations ever more formal. This tendency increased with the decline. Their high perceptions were collected and formulated, not in rational statements, but in symbolic expressions. These were inherited by succeeding Churches, and by them diversified and added to, the complex of which, at length, found final and authentic concentration in the Jewish law and ceremonials. Yet at the new thing, condemned by the upright Ancients and altogether unknown to the men of the Most Ancient Church, namely, the sacrificial altar. This altar, in its historic significance, stood for the appeasement of God through the shedding of blood.

While the Coming of the Lord into the world was the only means whereby the decline of man could be reversed; yet the pre-Christian promises of His Advent, in the service of delay, fulfilled the history of the racial development and gave to the world the sacred Scripture. That Scripture embodied the promises of His Advent and made possible His Coming in the fullness of time; it enabled Him to comprise in the Human assumed the effects of all the past ages. Each of these ages was a definite step in this preparation, and all of them, in the wisdom of Providence, were called for. When at the last He came, it was as the outcome of human history. In Him the whole of it was embodied. In Him life's full promise was fulfilled, and in Him the life, as of the race, was glorified.

The past ages, in their varied and rich development, produced a vast accumulation of ancient truth like unto angelic wisdom in its nature, all of which was His inheritance, even as it was embodied in the Jewish ritual. This ancient truth, once open and free, i.e. transparent, was now closed in a code and a ritual, in part quite alien to that truth. This truth, while gradually closed, was yet inclosed in forms of forgotten meaning, of a lost spiritual significance, which called for a reopening in order that a living contact might be established between the series of the ages. Thus a binding of those ages together might be effected livingly in Himself, whereby alone could the ground be given for the full effect of His glorification. This body of ancient truth, bound up In words and in rituals of lower quality, became meaningless; but In Him it comes forth in light. Thus He became the Divine Isaac who opened the ancient wells of Abraham which the Philistines had closed.

He was a man born of woman, and the things that went forward in Him have their likeness in others of the race of men. Human values come out of the past and give color and richness to life. A thing in its beginning is as an untold story. It must unfold until the seed of its beginning is woven into a full form of life. Then the beginning and the end meet and join; then the beginning flows into the end, and the end reacts in fullness to its beginning. When the end is reached the past becomes a storehouse of gathered riches. The wisdom of the ages lies therein. Ancient truth is garnered and a feast proclaimed.

The Lord, after His resurrection, expounded to two of His disciples, "in all the Scripture the things concerning Himself"; and all things of the Scripture were written concerning Him. That writing, the focus of the truth of the Ancient Churches, was formed, of Providence, to be all inclusive, and so ordered that a full representation of the Divine mysteries was presented to the eyes of the angels. Yet it was expressed in words which recounted the outward religious history of the race, from the time when there was inmost communion with God and a perfect perception of His will, down to the period of blind representations-so blind, indeed, that while the Divine mysteries were signified to the angels, they were concealed from the apperception of men.

This concealment easily came to pass through racial forgetfulness. The rituals concerned, without any change, concealed that which, in origin, they manifestly revealed. Yet rituals themselves underwent change, for it was needful that all that had gone before in the history of the race should be recorded and represented in them; that is, it was provided that not only the purely Divine mysteries and the high perceptions of the Most Ancient Church should be contained in them, but all of the strange history of man, from his first celestial state and through his entire decline and fall, down to the revitalizing point of the Lord's Advent and redemption.

This ancient truth, like unto the wisdom of the angels, concealed in many and sometimes trivial rites and codes of traditional law, was, at the Coming of the Lord, opened by Him. This He could do because it was embodied in Him as His racial inheritance, derived from the song and story, the law and prophecy of His people.

Life's treasures ever come out of the past, and the deeper the past, the greater the treasure. An especial sanctity pertains to the early store of life's impressions, and also a high degree of power. Childhood memories are the man's holy of holies. The worst fate that can befall arises from the destruction of man's first born affections. If they cannot be recalled to later service the loss is a grievous one; but if they can, the mind, in certain states of recollection, is flooded with a peculiar tenderness and a vivifying influence. This stream of life the Lord released in Himself, from the sacred memories of His childhood-memories of the rites and symbols of the Church into which He was born. The man whose past is cut off is denied this vital humanizing influence upon which depends his living contact with the days of his innocence, -days given to every man born into the world even though he be born in sin and surrounded by iniquity. These days the Lord provides despite all evil. They represent and indeed embody man's hope of eternal life. They are days of peace and delight, of tender affections, of gratitude and happiness with little-days before life is touched by the poison of self consciousness, and before the greed of self has become calculating.

It is in these early days that the wells of Abraham are dug, which later are closed by the Philistines-by the pessimism of manhood; and yet these wells of water may and must be reopened. It was so done by the Lord, for Himself and the whole human race, when He opened the wisdom of the Ancients concealed in His childhood learning from the Scriptures. He passed through and recalled the states of His childhood, and in so doing, repeated in Himself the life history of the race from its beginning, and so glorified it in Himself. With us His birth has become the most sacred of all memories. Around the story of the Nativity and its repeated memorials are gathered affections which, if not impugned by later destructive influences, go with us through life and become in us sources from which inmost spiritual blessings spring. These memories bring to us something that is immortal from our age of innocence. They are our wells of Abraham, containing deep and sweet water which flood the parched areas of our life.

The saying is true that "truth lies in a well," so deeply is it hidden. The reference is to that tender truth of childhood which springs up into everlasting life, the ultimate source of which lies hidden in the past, whether of the race or of the individual-whether in the rituals of ancient religions or in the symbolism of childhood. No truth is so sacred or more in touch with the Divine-none so yielding of highest loves in later life. But this only in case the ancient rites and the childhood symbols are touched and awakened by the divining power of the rational mind. Then only does that ancient truth reveal its mysteries and childhood symbols yield their inmost content of love.

"Isaac returned and digged again the wells of water which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them up, after the death of Abraham: and he called them after the names which his father had called them." This also is revealing-that he called them after the names which his father had called them. The rational mind must interpret the representatives of the Ancients and the dreams of childhood, but not in the hard light of natural reason. This would be to destroy them. The spiritual rational interprets them perceptively, sympathetically, and with reverence, maintaining their integrity and their sanctity. Only so will they yield their content of ancient truth and their wisdom of life's beginnings; only so will they become wells of living water in man, as they were in the Lord when He expounded to His disciples "in all the Scripture the things concerning Himself." For the Scripture, as a record of history, was written concerning Him. He was its outcome and it was bound up in HIM. He repeated its course in Himself from its beginning, and fulfilled it, and in the end by His glorification He transcended it. And yet it remained, even as the bush in the wilderness which burned with fire and was not consumed. The letter of Scripture remains in full sanctity after its internal sense is revealed. The vessels of ancient wisdom are not destroyed when their spiritual meaning is made manifest. Infancy and childhood retain their sacred symbols after the rational mind has extracted their spiritual content. Isaac reopened the wells of Abraham and be called them after the names which his father had called them.



2



GLORIFICATION p. 3        THE FIRST AND THE LAST

"I am the First, and I am the Last: yea, my hand hath founded the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens. I call them together; they stand together." (Isaiah 48: 12, 13.)

The doctrine of the text is that the first, by lasts, builds intermediates and holds them in form, connection, and order; that the Lord above the heavens, by means of the church on earth, establishes angelic societies in mutual connection and in celestial ordination; that the inmost Divine by means of the letter of the Word, orders and evolves the spiritual sense thereof in a heavenly series; that the Supreme Father, by the glorifying Human in the world, overcame the hells, reordered the heavens, and thereby effected an enduring redemption of the human race.

These wide-reaching operations are all signified by the text, in which the Lord speaks of Himself as the First and the Last, and of His two hands, by one of which He founded the earth, and by the other spanned the heavens. Thus, by the one with the other, all things were made and sustained from within and from without, from the First by the Last. Hence the teaching of the Writings that two only are given which signify all, namely, the "First" and the "Last" - the highest and the lowest, the inmost and the outmost. The highest or inmost signifies the whole, because all sequents are derived therefrom. The outmost also signifies all, because it is the ultimate containant which receives and encloses the entire series from the First. Upon the order and perfection of this outward investing bond depends the integrity and the working power of the entire series. Moreover, the fullness and perfection of the ultimate depends upon two conditions: First, that as a containant it should be competent to present in itself a full representation of the higher grades which enter into it. And second, that there should be an unbroken connection between the several grades, to the end that the series may close in the ultimate and there be contained in a simultaneous order; that is to say, the ultimate should hold within itself an impress receptive of the total series in order, and this from the center to the circumference. Such a representation is required of the ultimate; otherwise there would be no adequate reaction, and the series descending would not be effectively contained and enclosed.

If the descending and the reactive series be regarded as comprising the total of creation, then the Lord Himself is seen as the Highest and the Inmost. If creation be conceived of as in the perfection of its order, as it was in the beginning before any degree was impaired, then not only would the connection and order from above be entire, but also a full representation of the First in the Last would be given, just this was the case in the beginning when the Lord saw that His creative acts, one following after the other, were "good." The Lord was then present in His creation by a full representation of Himself therein. When, however, sin entered the world, the pristine sequence was broken, and the representation of the Lord in ultimates was so impaired that the integrity of the whole was threatened. A restoral became imperative. This could be effected only by the advent of the Lord in the flesh. Provision was first made for this by a representation of His coming, namely, by a prophetic forecast of it. By this means the Lord became as if present in the world, that is, in the minds of the angels, and, by anticipation of the event, in the minds of men. Yet it was only by His actual coming as a Man born of woman that He could in ultimate fact become incarnate, and so enter the world; and it was only by the glorification of the Human thus put on that the evil of sin could be overcome and the break in the create series be for all time healed. After His coming in the flesh there was indeed a full presence of the Divine in ultimates, but this only in the Lord's Person as a Man. Not as yet was the ordered sequence in men restored. This called for time -perhaps ages.

While in the beginning the Lord was fully present in creation as the First in the Last, and this by a perfect representation thereof in the ultimates of creation, yet, by His assumption of the flesh He entered the world by a new way, and so became the Last in the perfection of His ultimate Human, wherein He restored the primal order of creation, in Himself; but this did not carry with it an elimination of evil with men or their individual salvation. Fallen man could not have sustained, in any degree of human freedom, such an overpowering miracle. Yet that which the Lord accomplished in Himself as a Man-even this became a full and perfect counterpoise to evil in men, whereby a restoral of equilibrium was brought about. Men thereby became free, as of themselves, to shun the evils which had so long prevailed, and at the end, overpoweringly. That which the Lord did in and with Himself, as a Man,-even this became man's redemption, a word which signifies an enablement of man to overcome his evils, in the Lord's name, if the man so willed. The Lord's accomplishment in Himself, through the temptations which He sustained, gave, therefore, a new and a more personal significance to the ancient saying, "I am the First, and I am the Last."

Truly He was from the beginning the First and the Last, but He was now become the Last in an additional way, namely, by the way of Man borne becoming God, and yet retaining His Manhood. He therefore took to Himself and retained a power not before exercised, by the Divine,-a power unique and more ultimate, which enabled men, by a direct approach to Him, to receive from Him the needed power against evil. This approach, in its directness, was represented in the fact that when He was on earth men could stand before Him and speak with Him face to face, and no longer as formerly, through Moses and the prophets only; nor yet through heaven as the sole medium. This new communication by direct approach distinguished Christianity from every other religion.

Even so, this immediate touch with the Lord, after a brief period, began to fail. Through an error of doctrine, men began to turn aside from Him and look to the Father as the supreme source of their salvation. Thus they began to pass by their Lord. Indeed, the race was so far fallen that it could not at once be raised to a full realization of its surpassing opportunity. This being foreseen, the full truth concerning the entirety and immediacy of the Divine presence in the Lord was not openly revealed at that time. The truth was blocked by a theological division in the Godhead. Therefore the Lord must of need make a second coming. When He was in the world He indeed glorified the Human assumed by birth; but only by His Second Coming did He reveal Himself as the Word of Scripture so glorified that it made manifest His Supreme and Sole Divinity. To understand this distinction between His first and second coming is of surpassing importance, for its fulfillment is now at hand.

To say that in the beginning the Lord was the First and the Last, and that creation was as if interposed between Him as the First and as the Last-this, in spacial imagery, may seem to mark a division in the Godhead; but, even as the thought of three persons must not be entertained, so neither must a divided image of Him into two be impressed upon the mind. The text guards against this. By it He is seen as the one God with two hands, with one of which He founded the earth, and by the other He spanned the heavens. Herein also He appears as God in Human Form. He appeared in that form from the beginning, for not otherwise could the angels see Him. It was with both hands that He wrought creation; with the one from firsts, and with the other by lasts. And then both parts of His dual creation He "called together," so that they "stand together."

The hand is significant of power, and the hand of the Lord is His omnipotence. By this power He founded the earth as the ultimate of His creation, and over against this He spanned the heavens. By the ultimate is meant the lowest in any series,-as the world, the letter of Scripture, the body of man, the church in the world, and the Human assumed. All these were established by the Lord as an enclosure which holds the totality of each series. From the enclosure, by reaction, a return was given. This return follows up and embodies from below the line of primal descent. In creation the planes of the heavens were demarked as the creative process descended; yet the earth was founded before a heaven of angels could be given. So also the church on earth was established as the living basis of supply for the human heavens. The body of man must come into existence before his mind can be formed. The mind is a joint composition. The Human of the Lord was born into the world before it could be glorified.

Man at birth is composed of body and soul. The mind, as intermediate, is later developed. The mind coincides with the angelic heaven. The mind is slowly formed as an intermediate between soul and body by living experiences in the world, as the conscious life of the individual develops. But the power which forms the mind is an influx from the Lord through the soul, against which the bodily senses of man react. The law, in this respect, is that the inmost, by the outmost, upbuilds the intermediate. When this is accomplished, they stand together. In other words, after intermediates are formed by reaction, an inseparable joining of the whole is effected, and this by the first from the last, through the ascending intermediates. Herein it is that immortality is conferred upon the human form, in which the soul is the supreme, the body the ultimate, and the mind the upbuilt reactive intermediate.

In like manner, through the human race as a whole, everlasting durability is provided for creation. Above and as central to this creation stands the spiritual sun, from which, as first in time, the natural sun and its earth were derived. The intermediate subsequently raised from men on earth is the angelic heaven.

It is the same with reference to the letter of the Word and its intermediating spiritual sense. The First and Inmost of the Word is the Divine. Its ultimate is the letter of Scripture. Its spiritual interiors are the internal sense, which, to the apperception of men and angels, is updrawn out of the letter of Scripture. This internal sense coordinates with the rational mind of man; and this mind, with the regenerate, concords with the angelic heavens. While the internal sense, in itself considered, descends from the Lord into the letter, yet, as seen by men and angels, it ascends out of the letter. Therefore the angels possess a letter of the Word, suited to their state; yet they rest in the bond of the letter as it is in the world-as it is with men there. To this end the letter of the Word is given in a fixed and permanent form with men.

Moreover, in order that the letter of the Word might find the lowest possible ultimation, it was given on this earth as a special gift to the men of this world, who, more than the inhabitants of other earths, were and are corporeal. It was for this reason also that the Lord was born on this earth, and not on another, for here the lowest reach of His Human could be provided. It is doubtless because of this that we have in the Writings the strange record that the Lord loved the men of this earth more than others (S. D. 1531.). On our part, we can clearly see that the men of this earth stood in greatest need of His love. We may also understand that He gives His love most intimately and insistently where there is greatest need of it.

It is obvious, also, that the giving of the letter of Scripture, and the consequent advent of Man in the flesh, were impelling sequents; that is, the one followed the other, even as the fulfillment followed its promise. This promise is the soul of every prophecy given, from the beginning to the end;-the final and complete answer to which was His coming in the flesh on this earth, and not on another. Both the promise and the fulfillment of His advent were a manifestation of the Divine reaching down into touch with the lowest and most bodily men of all worlds, that He might take to Himself the ultimate of all power.

The Divine descending and forming for Itself a letter of Scripture in this world was for a like reason, namely, that the Divine sought for itself the greatest possible ultimation. Hence letters were provided, in order that the most ancient Word might be inscribed. This and every subsequent Word were so written that, like the Urim, made of stone, they would serve as a means for gathering the rays of Divine Light and reflecting them in answering response to the inquiries of men even as the earth-formed stones of the Urim became translucent when questioned. just so the letter of Scripture was so ordered that its words and sentences, in their sacred series, gave forth answering lights to all receptive minds. To this end the words and sentences of Scripture were formed into correspondences with the order and series of the angelic societies. Thereby the written Word became a medium of communion between men and angels, and, in the highest degree, with the Lord Himself.

This Scripture, Urim, successively formed through the several ancient ages, served as a preliminary Human of God on earth. It lacked, however, the finality of the living ultimate of man. The Word as Scripture, however, served until the Man came, and thereafter the former Scripture continued to serve, but with a new intent and purpose. It was then uplifted in confirmation of the actual advent. By His coming, the Lord Himself in Person became the Light of the world. By His glorification He became also the Light of heaven, in that He ascended through the heavens and into the spiritual sun, which thereafter shone with sevenfold radiance. That sun, in its ultimate, is now the Divine Urim, from whence comes the light of heaven to enlighten the angels-even from that sun where and whence finition begins; even there where the Divine Light is first flexed to reception by finite minds.

We may understand that herein there came to pass an increase in the matter of angelic reception, namely, after the Lord's glorification and ascension. Truly, reception of the Light by the angels then increased; but this was not primarily the result of an angelic change of state. The change in the angels arose from a change in the Lord's address to them, that is, from the added accommodation which the Lord took to Himself when He descended into the world and glorified His Human. This resulted in a greater enablement and further extension of His love both with angels and men. And it was this enablement and extension which discovered itself in fullness by His Second Advent, on which occasion the Lord revealed His glory in the clouds of heaven as never before. This means that the power of the spiritual sun, provided at the time of the Lord's First Advent, became effective in the world through and by means of His Second Coming.



3



GLORIFICATION p. 4        THE DIVINE PROCEEDING

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not." (John 1: 4-5.)

The Light of Life is called in the Writings the Divine Proceeding. The doctrine is that there is but one Life, which is from God alone, and that angels, spirits, and men are only recipients of that Life. Moreover, that one Life, in its proceeding from God, is not called God, but Divine. The distinction here made notes an apparent difference between God in His Person and the Divine which goes forth from Him. This Divine, in its proceeding, is creative, but it is not creation; yet it enters into all create forms- composes and sustains them. The distinction made between God in His Person and the Divine proceeding from Him is therefore an appearance; while the difference between the Proceeding and creation is as that between the Infinite and the finite.

God in His Person does not enter into any create form to dwell therein. If He did so, that form or person would become God. That He did this on one supreme occasion but proves the rule. That He, in His Person, enters into men was, however, a phantasy of the Ancients. Yet the creative Proceeding is purely Divine. As such it is an attribute of God. It carries in fullness His Divinity, and in itself is Infinite and Eternal. Yet, in its proceeding to create, it becomes inbound within the entities which it has produced by the process of finition and therein becomes operative.

While the Proceeding Divine is distinguished from the Person of God, this distinction is quite unlike that between the Proceeding Divine and the finite forms of creation. These forms are definitive vessels into which the Proceeding inflows. Of these forms, the universe, in all its parts, from highest to lowest, was composed. They are limited vessels, so made that they become receptive of, and reactive to, the inflowing Divine. The Divine Proceeding is therefore the creative' Divine. By the process of finition it inscribed areas, set limits, and composed entities, which in turn became not only receptive of, but also reactive to, the influx, and this while, in and of themselves, these forms are passive, or relatively dead. As such, they are set over against the inflowing Divine.

The Divine created by an enclosing and composing movement, whereby it produced innumerable forms of high and low degree. The primary of these forms were the firsts of finition. They were finited out of the immediate Divine, that is, out of the Life and Light of God. These primary forms, when so made, stood over against, and as outside of, the immediate Divine; and, as receptive vessels of intimate contact, they served as the primary nexus between the Infinite and the finite. The bridging of this gap was effective by the will of God to create. The intent thereto was the cause of the Divine extension, which was expressed by a mode incomprehensible to man, save as it may be seen that the Divine in its proceeding could end no otherwise than in formed finites into which the Divine might enter and sustain by ceaseless renewals.

The supreme end in this primary finition was the form called human, to which immortality was imparted, in nearest image of the Divine. So near was this semblance that in time an illusion began to prevail with men. In their selfestimate they became as gods. They assumed the predicates of Divinity. The Divine indeed inflows into create forms, but it is never, save in phantasy, mingled therewith, being sharply distinguished from its receptive vessels, even as the finite is distinguished from the Infinite. This distinction is contrary to the sense appearance which, with men, insists upon the seeming fact of life as in some degree a predicate of the create human form; yet the truth is that life, though it inflows into man, is no part of man as a vessel.

The distinction between life and its receiving vessel is such that there is no ratio between them. That is so entirely the case that, death or decomposition is the portion of every create form-high as well as low. The highest forms are characterized as immortal; this because of their ceaseless renewals. The forms so renewed never remain quite the same as before. While the continuance of their individuality is maintained, the states of their life, and even of their forms, are ever being reborn or renewed by the ceaseless inflowing of the creative Divine proceeding from God. Thus all human beings enjoy a never- ending progression from one state of reactive life to another. Hence the teaching that death is the gate of life.

Even that death which of itself is but a void of darkness serves in opening to the way of life. It was so with our Lord, who, by coming into the world, took upon Himself ' by virgin birth, the outward limitations of finite men. Yet He, from within, unlike any other man born of woman, was Life and the Light thereof, and this though He was encumbered by a body of death which insisted that He, in common with all other men, should pass through the gate of death. This is the meaning of the text: "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men, and the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not."

II

This darkness was His mortal veiling. He, in and of Himself, was the Lord God who became incarnate to the end that He might stand in the presence of men. In and of Himself He was the Divine Proceeding from God the Father-even that Proceeding which from the beginning infilled the universe with His presence, but which now, by virtue of His assumption and glorification, refilled the universe by a more powerful presence. Also, by virtue of His glorification, He ascended and sat upon the right hand of God the Father, which signifies not only His reunion with the Father, but also an increased power which on the occasion refilled the heavens, and thereby extended salvation to many who otherwise would have been lost.

The statement that His Proceeding Divine is not called God, but Divine, marks a distinction which, however, does not imply a difference, since the Proceeding is ever purely and entirely Divine. The all-prevailing law is that that which proceeds is his from whom it proceeds and not another's. And, as well, that in proceeding it produces. Also, that in and by the thing produced a reactive power is generated. If the thing produced is characterized as a living form, it is not only receptive of, but is also reactive to, the influx of life. By this reactive the Divine power creates an ascending series of forms. In its ascent from ultimates it produces ever higher formations, as if out of the lower. Hence the appearance of an ascending evolution of living forms. In other words, the primary descent of finite forms outlines grades or degrees which are subsequently encompassed by an ascending embodiment.

The degrees which characterize descending creation, and, as well, the subsequent ascent, represent the Divinity which is inmostly within them from God. This representation indeed characterizes creation in all its parts and portions, both high and low. It pictures to our minds the mode of creation under a limited image. We see the Proceeding as if it were a movement from place to place, or, more interiorly, from state to state; yet the Proceeding, in itself, is prior to all placing, and indeed to all states. We, however, can think of it only as veiled, and ultimately as a movement from place to place. In other words, the Divine seen as Proceeding is but an appearance. In highest truth this Divine is omnipresent, both within and without the create realm. Only within creation does it appear to proceed.

The human mind, whether in heaven or on earth, can see only under adjusted veilings. Yet of these, some convey the light, and others darken; some are true, and others false. The true are seen through veilings which accommodate and transmit the light. If these veilings are dense to the point of darkness, then the light shineth in the darkness, but the darkness comprehendeth it not. The Lord said, "I am the Light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8: 12.) Of no other may this be said. His Light alone is Divine Truth, since He alone was begotten of God the Father. As such He was born into the world-born as man, and by fulfillment of the primal Divine Proceeding in Himself He was enabled to reach and redeem those who could by no other means be saved. This was effected by a concentration of the Divine Proceeding by conception and birth, which enabled the light passing through the ancient heavens to conform to the needs of men, and with saving power.

Therefore the Lord said concerning Himself, "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world. Again I leave the world, and go to the Father." (John 16: 28.) In this was the fulfillment of the primal Proceeding in its descent to find an increase of power equal to the needs of men. The disciples answered Him, saying, "Now speakest Thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that Thou knowest all things. . . . By this we believe that Thou camest forth from God." (John 16: 29-30.)

He came forth from, and returned to, God. Only for a brief time did He stand in the sight of men, but that time sufficed. His disciples acknowledged His Divinity. Their belief opened to a beginning comprehension, by means of which they, and many after them, were saved. Because of His doctrine and His miracles their acknowledgment became a conviction. They said, "By this we believe." Their belief was enabled by the light of His teaching, and their hearts were moved by the love He inspired into them. To this end He came, that men might both see and love Him. Only by this love of Him could the ancient commandment, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," be fulfilled. For this He came out of, and returned to, God.



4



GLORIFICATION p. 5        THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY

I

THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY

And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us. Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye." (11 Kings 6: 1, 2.)

The proposed enlargement of the dwelling of the prophets was significant of an increase of the power and place of prophecy in Israel which was greater and less as resistance to, or acceptance of, the prophets' teaching prevailed. Israel was moulded by the spirit of prophecy through successive reformations. It was so wrought upon by the Divine Spirit that it might become a representation of the kingdom of heaven. So long as the prophets prophesied, this representative form was -in the making. When they finally ceased to speak, the form became fixed. Then followed a period (five centuries) as of brooding silence. At length the truth involved in the representation was complete. The, Messiah was born from Mary, but the Israelitish Kingdom as a whole was the greater matrix.

As Israel was moulded into a representative of the Kingdom of God, so the prophets, in the exercise of their function, represented the Lord of that kingdom. Their inspiration and guidance came from the Lord through heaven, and when under that influence, they, by word and deed, spoke and acted the will of God in their representation of the things concerning Him. They not only foretold the Advent of the Savior, but in their character as prophets they represented some aspect of Him as He was to be when He should come. Also by living words they moulded, and ever remoulded, Israel into varying representations of the Lord's Kingdom, until the whole was complete, thereby presenting in form and symbol a church on earth.

This making of a merely representative church with the descendants of Jacob was not accomplished save by many adversities. As a people they ever inclined to break the holy representation imposed upon them. Spiritual truth, as such, was concealed lest they should profane it. They were guarded from profanation by a veil of ignorance. To this end they were made to undergo the discipline of a wandering life in the wilderness, whereby they were let down to an ever lower level of knowledge with reference to spiritual things. This ignorance made them passive to receive the impress of an external image of the heavenly order.

Of such material the representation of a church having no spiritual internal could be organized. Thus we see the Jewish people unknowingly play a part in a Divine undertaking, and in periodic rebellion against this their destiny. While the high spiritual significance involved in their institutions and enactments was concealed, yet on the external plane of human emotions and passions touching this world's affairs they both knew and understood and were therein as free actors. In the matter of genius they were gifted beyond the ordinary. Their life as a nation has endured through many centuries, and as a people through as yet uncounted ages. Their service as a representative medium filled an ecclesiastical age, during which they were moved by the prophesying of the prophets to fulfill their Divine appointment. In this service by a notable provision they became, in fact, a medium of exchange between heaven and earth; and this, for a time, so efficiently that by an illusion of righteousness they served as an actual medium of connection with the lower reaches of the heavens. Nevertheless, the Divine will, in working through the prophets, encountered many adversities. At times the prophets were supreme in the land; again they lived as outcasts; while by defying Jehovah and turning to other gods, they threatened a total subversion of their sacred representation. Thus the prophetic power advanced and receded. Nevertheless the Divine representation was secured by an overruling Providence. The sacred record of this Divine work, as we have it, tells outwardly the history of a wayward people, their passions and achievements; yet that record from first to last contains an inner account of man's redemption, by means of truths Divine.

The prophets at all times contended with the people for the will of Jehovah, and in this, the days of Elijah were not unlike those of Moses. In both ages alien influences invaded and threatened the Divine image. Moses went up into the mountain to receive the Word of God, and came down to chastise a rebelling people. After his contest with the priests of Baal, Elijah fled in fear to Sinai, there to find safety and to receive a renewed inspiration. He returned to Israel re-commissioned and empowered anew.

When Elijah began his work, prophetic power in Israel was at its lowest ebb. As a consequence he was long in hiding. He feared the civil power for the priests of Baal were then in favor. They conspired with the wicked Jezebel. Famine came upon the land, and a lack of water. Ahab the king, being hard pressed by the famine, sought Elijah. Opportunity was renewed. Elijah measured strength with the priests of Baal and prevailed. The power of Jehovah was restored. After this, fear again took hold of the prophet. He fled from the face of Jezebel, the evil wife of Ahab. Elijah went to Horeb, the original place of Israel's inspiration. There his spirit revived. But the fulfillment of his time was near. On his return to Samaria he appointed his successor, and prepared for his own ascension in the chariot of fire. His mantle fell upon Elisha. With the advent of Elisha the power of prophecy increased. The healing of Naaman the Syrian marked a wider extension of prophetic influence, even beyond the borders of Israel. It was after this deed of power that the sons of the prophets enlarged their dwellings. "The sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us. Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye."

Events followed significant of the increased power of prophecy, and its wider extension. The ultimate objective in Samaria was the clearance of Israel from the worship of Baal. In fulfillment of a prophetic announcement, Hadad, king of Damascus, was slain, and a usurper was seated in his place. A like revolution was foretold, and soon came to pass in Samaria. The son of Ahab, having become king, was despoiled of his kingdom by Jehu, who ruled in his place. This Jehu, with brutal thoroughness, completed the purification of Israel from alien influences. He slew all the priests of Baal when they were gathered in the temple of their god. Thereafter the prophet of the Lord stood near to the person of the king. This marked the high point of the reformation. The subsequent decadence tells of another cycle.

Elijah and Elisha were outstanding representatives of the Lord. The story of their deeds was a forecast of the things which should come to pass when the Lord came into the world. They pictured the marvel of His saving power. This was indeed represented in the lives of all the appointed prophets, but to an outstanding degree in the case of Elijah and Elisha.

A striking representation of the Lord in His glorified body was given at the end with both of these prophets. Note the ascension of Elijah into heaven in a chariot of fire. There was no record of his death. His body could not be found. This was a clear forecast of the Lord's ascension with His whole body. This miracle came at the end with Elijah. We note also that the most highly significant of all the miracles recorded concerning Elisha came after his death. While the ascension of Elijah in a chariot of fire was a prophetic representation of the Lord's entire glorification, so also the final miracle recorded of Elisha represents the subsequent extension of the Lord's power from His Human glorified, by means of which men were to be spiritually vivified.

The account of the final miracle as touching Elisha is as follows: "Elisha died and they buried him.' And bands of Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass as they were burying a man, that behold, they spied a band, and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha, and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood upon his feet." (11 Kings 13: 20, 21.)

In the Apocalypse Explained, number 659, we read as follows: "The Lord's death signifies the glorification of His Human . . . for He made Divine His entire Human, consequently on the third day He rose again with the Human glorified. . . . Unless this had been so done, no man could have risen again to life; for man's resurrection unto life is solely from the Lord, and indeed from His having united the Divine with His Human, and from this union man has salvation. . . . This was represented by 'the man that was cast into the sepulchre of Elisha who revived when he touched his bones.' (AE 659.)

In his prophetic days Elisha represented the Lord. After death even his bones became a medium for the transference of life in representation of the Divine power which resided in the Body of the Lord. This body and its power, are now one with the Divine Truth which inwardly constitutes the heavens. This high and holy Truth, in its saving power, is effective on all planes of human life; so much so that it could, in the pre-Christian period, be represented as passing through and from the bones of Elisha, and by contact revive the dead Moabite.

The point of stress here is that the Lord came into the world to save the lowly Moabites-those aliens from heaven who had lost their way, and could not find it, save in and by contact with the Lord as a Man of flesh and bones. These are they who must see and touch Him in order that they may believe, and through belief, by touch, be converted. It was to these that the Lord spoke when He said, "Behold, my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." (Luke 24: 39.) This means that the Lord's glorification reached the lowest possible degree, in that it extended to, and included, His flesh and bones, by virtue of which He entered into the power of saving all men, however external, provided they do not willfully reject Him. Because of this, this final power, we have the doctrine that He rose from the grave with His whole body, which could be present and effective in the ultimates of creation, and there enter into touch with the lowest phases of human life. This ultimate presence and power is therefore that which was represented by the life-giving bones of the dead prophet.

It is known that the Lord came into the world to save those who would otherwise be lost, and who, unless they had given a living touch with His body, could not have been saved. They would have been lost because the semblance of religious good with them was so penetrated by impurities that they could be saved only by the extreme power of the Lord through His body made Divine. Those who could be saved by this means only, are the spiritual Moabites, who were, and are, very many. That in the last day and final issue they were to be brought to the Lord is manifest not only from the revival of the dead Moabite, but also from the words of Jeremiah: "Woe unto thee, Moab . . . for thy sons are taken into captivity, and thy daughters. Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the end of days." The "end of days "is the day of the Lord's coming to take upon Himself, in mercy, the finality of His power, which was thereafter to be and become sufficient throughout the endless ages. This was His redemption, a word which signifies that all might be saved who would take upon themselves His cross, and endure temptations in His name as of their own will. Not otherwise can man be saved. Touch with the Lord is imperative. To this end He gave His Body, and now the Body of His Truth Divine in the heavens, and to the church on earth a sacred symbol of His Body in the Holy Supper-competent to revive the dead.



5



GLORIFICATION p. 6        VIRGIN BIRTH AND SUN DIAL OF AHAZ

"The Lord spake unto Ahaz, saying, The Lord shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name God With Us." (Isaiah 7: 10, 14.)

"Then came the word of the Lord to Isaiah, saying Go, and say to Hezekiah, . . . This shall be a sign unto thee from the Lord. . . . Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of 4haz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which it was gone down." (Isaiah 38: 4, 5, 7, 8)

The birth of the Lord into the world was the supreme miracle of all time, and essential to the redemption of the human race. It was given as if in living forecast by the sign of the virgin birth during the reign of Ahaz, King of Judah, and later confirmed by the reversal of the sun's course, or the going down of the shadow on the dial, during the following reign of King Hezekiah. The contrast between these two miracles is obvious, the one being human in its manifestation, and the other cosmic. Both were quite beyond the established laws of nature. They stand as a Divine intervention. Though widely different in outer aspect, yet there is an intimate relation between them. This relation is indicated by the fact that the sun's reversal during Hezekiah's reign was recorded on the dial of Ahaz.

The prophecy of the virgin birth was an open forecast of the Lord's actual Advent, and was accepted by Ahaz as of immediate fulfillment, while the sun's going back on its course in Hezekiah's days signified the providential retarding of the states of the church until the Advent was at hand.

We note with interest the fact that while the virgin birth actually came to pass in its ordained time, the dial mystery of later date, or the sun's recession, presented a cosmic impossibility. Yet both stand as representations of that which in the fulness of time would surely come to pass. Both foretold the future by realistic signs which involved mysteries of things that were, and were yet to be.

The virgin birth of prophecy in Ahaz's day was taken by that king as a sign of his own times-as a sign that his enemies should not prevail. Syria and Israel had joined in a coalition against Judah. This threat was conceived with intent to destroy Jerusalem and dethrone its king. Israel, to the north, was then largely gentile. Its inhabitants were not bound by the sacred traditions which prevailed in Judah or in the Holy City, and with its king, who was of the royal line of David, whose throne represented, in the highest sense, the rule of the Lord over His church. Of Providence it was imperative that the house of David should be maintained. A break in the royal line would have signalized the end of the representative church. If we may conceive of this break as taking place in Ahaz's time, the actual coming of the Lord would then have been a necessity, and the virgin birth a fact. Certainly the Advent was then as if pending, so near was the evil state of the church to that which subsequently prevailed when the Lord came-so near, indeed, that an open representation of His Advent was the only means by which the final consummation could be stayed, and His coming delayed until the appointed time.

Though Ahaz was evil as if beyond measure, his Divine representation was maintained, and so to him an open vision of the virgin birth was granted; yet he, as a man, could not see beyond that which is called the "sign of the times," which sign was at all times an immediate and powerful influence in the day of its giving.

While there was, in fact, no virgin birth in Ahaz's day, yet the Scriptural manifestation concerning that event was in effect sufficient to moderate the evil of the times, and to make effective in both worlds the required delay. The like may be said of every prophecy and its sign recorded in the Word of God. As understood by the angels of heaven, a prophecy, its sign, and as well its fulfillment, are one, since in the world to come time plays no real part.

The entire Scripture is infilled from within by that which is known as its internal sense. This sense may now be seen in some part by every believing man. To the end that the Word may be so interpreted, it was allowed that evil men might, in the highest degree and equally with the good, represent the Lord. It was so with the wicked Ahaz, and this for the obvious reason that he was the lawful King of Judah, and of the royal line of David. To him the vision was given and the sign made manifest; yet his mind was altogether fixed on the sign, and he was afraid. "His heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved by the wind." (Isaiah 7: 2.) A choice was allowed. "Jehovah said unto him, Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above." If he should ask from the depth, the answer would be from hell; but if from the height, the response would come from heaven. The choice appalled the king. Taking refuge in evasion, he said, "I will not ask." And the Lord rebuked him, saying, "Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name God With Us. . . . Before the child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings." (Isaiah 7: 10-16.)

This was the prophecy, and this the sign. Ahaz refused to inquire either from heaven or hell. Therefore the Lord Himself foretold the virgin birth, and gave the sign of victory, signifying the conquest of the one so born over all evil, and this even in His childhood, by virtue of the Divine power resident in His soul, which, though but obscurely realized, was not the less Divinely effective.

It may here be noted that these early conquests of the Lord prepared the way for His entrance into Jerusalem; for there He must go, leave, and return. There He must encounter the death that opened to life. Only in Jerusalem could the central features of the Divine drama be enacted. Also, it may be noted that the alternations between good and evil states involved in His temptations were, in the historic days of Judah and Jerusalem, represented by the change from good to evil kings and from evil to good. In the text, the evil Ahaz was followed by the good King Hezekiah. It was in the reign of this king that the sign of the sun going back was recorded on the dial, and this as a companion miracle to the sign of the virgin birth.

Near the end of Hezekiah's reign, a threat of danger from Assyria arose on Judah's horizon. At the time, Hezekiah was near death. Word came from the prophet Isaiah, saying, "Set thine house in order; for thou shalt surely die." Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, protesting that he had "walked in truth and with a perfect heart."The Lord answered him, saying, "I have heard thy prayer; . . . behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years, and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the King of Assyria. . . . And this shall be a sign unto thee from the Lord, Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees which is gone down on the dial of Ahaz. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which it was gone down." (Isaiah 38: 1-8)

This text stands over against the miracle of the virgin birth of Ahaz's day. It is not contrary to the order of creation, if understood as having reference to the spiritual sun. It may then be seen that the retarding of states signified by the sun's going back has a like spiritual origin. While the virgin birth was not impossible to God, and was a world event, the retreat of the sun was a spiritual event, and the record of it was apocalyptic, in that as a phenomenon it was significant- of an ordered delay of the judgment which was to take place in the spiritual world, and this while Hezekiah saw in it only an extension of the years of his life and the deliverance of Jerusalem.

While the virgin birth was a natural event, and a world necessity, and the source of the Christian religion, it is of interest to note that the Jews were strict in their disbelief. Despite the Jewish origin of the text concerning the virgin birth, they denied that their Messiah was to be born of a virgin. They pointed to the fact that no such birth is to be found in their list of Messianic prophecies. Christians, however, have always appealed to the text from Isaiah as sustaining the New Testament's account of the Lord's birth. But, so far as known, Christians have not closely associated the Virgin birth, recorded as if in Ahaz's day, with the after miracle of the dial. However, we may point to the crucial fact that the sun's recession in Hezekiah's day was recorded on Ahaz's dial, thus establishing a fundamental and overruling link between the two miracles.

The Writings affirm that the mystery of the dial was given in Hezekiah's day because he was a good king, and we may note that only the angels of heaven may see the spiritual sun. They also see its twilight recession. To the evil it is ever veiled in darkness.

The ancients, lacking a knowledge of discrete degrees, could hardly distinguish between the natural and the spiritual sun. They invested the sun of this world with godlike powers. Certainly they saw it as a living thing, and as if having a volition of its own.

Taken together, the two representations complete the Divine significance in joining the human with the cosmic. They invest the virgin-born Child with the Sun of heaven. This may be seen confirmed in the New Testament by the inspired words of Zacharias, who characterized the Child born of Mary as the "dayspring from on high." By this the heart of all ancient prophecies was fulfilled. The Child born of Mary, as His glorification advanced, was successively reborn of God. His birth from Mary was given when the light of heaven was darkened-when the hearts of men were cold, when the sun was low on the horizon, and human need was greatest, just then He was born, and soon thereafter began His ascent upon the steps of the celestial dial, passing through and above the heavens into an eternal union with the Father.



6



GLORIFICATION p. 7        II THE DIVINE NATIVITY

THE GENERATION OF JESUS CHRIST

"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of dbraham." (Matthew 1: 1)

The Writings tell us that the Lord was born a King. And indeed He was born of the royal line of David. He was born a King of the everlasting kingdom of Truth; yet, as this Truth, He was born, not of Mary, but of God. Therefore He was Truth Divine at birth, and during His life in the world He made His Human ever more to be that Truth; yet this Truth was not separated from Divine Good, but the two were joined in Him from nativity. (A. E. 449.) Therefore it is said in the text, not only that Jesus was the son of David, but also that David was the son of Abraham. These two, Divine Truth conjoined with the Divine Good, were the essentials in the Lord's Divine generation.

In the second verse of this chapter, Abraham is again mentioned, but there as having begot Isaac, and Isaac, Jacob, and so on down in succession to Joseph. This sequence of procreative names stands as an enlarged representation of the Lord's Divine generation, and as such it may be called His genealogy. We note with interest that this genealogy does not mention Mary, but ends with Joseph. Yet the Lord was born of Mary. In this chapter it is recorded that "the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit." In view of this, why does the Lord's genealogy end with Joseph? But if it be regarded as the genealogy of Joseph, how then may it be taken as the book of the generation of Jesus Christ? This question has been asked since the beginning of the Christian Church, and many answers have been given by the fathers of the church and the pious learned.

The difficulty becomes even more perplexing by a comparison with the genealogy given in Luke. There also the table stands as a list of the Lord's progenitors, but in a reverse order, and with many differences. Also, we there find the name of Joseph instead of Mary. Luke, however, begins with Joseph, and goes back, not only to Abraham, but to Noah, and Adam, and to God. Here, then, the same question arises. How may this be a genealogy of the Lord, since it is traced back from Joseph? Of the many efforts at reconciliation we shall mention only one which has found wide acceptance. This explanation is, that in both genealogies the name of Joseph has been substituted for that of Mary because the Jews would not allow a woman's name to be inserted in their genealogical tables. Also, that the difference in names between Matthew and Luke arises from the fact that one is given according to natural generation and the other in accord with legal requirements, as when a man died childless, his brother was obliged to take his wife and credit the issue to his deceased brother. But neither this nor any other theory has solved the many perplexing difficulties.

As the two genealogies stand, both seem intended to be taken according to the flesh and at the same, time as the genealogy of the Lord. However, as noted, the one ends and the other begins, not with Mary, but with Joseph, her betrothed, who "knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born Son."

It is a happy circumstance that the English version of our text reads, "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ," and not His genealogy. The word generation is not only more fitting, but it enlarges the meaning and releases a spiritual idea, enabling us to perceive the truth that the book of the generation of Jesus Christ is, in verity, the book of His Divine generation. The Writings give us no direct statement to this effect; yet the teachings concerning other genealogies in the Word provide ample warrant for this conclusion.

In treating of the succession of the descendants of Adam, we are told that "it was customary with the most ancient people to give names, and by them to signify things, and thus to frame a genealogy. For the things of the church are related to each other in this way, one being born from another, as in generation." (AC 399, 400.)

In like manner, in treating of the succession of descendants from Esau, it is shown that the succession represents the derivations of the Divine Good Natural in the Lord's Divine Human, and it is said of these derivations, which are contained in the names mentioned, that they are represented to the angels in a general way, and that by an influx of Divine Love from the Lord the angels are profoundly affected thereby. In other words, while the angels may not be given a clearly defined idea of the verities of this Divine Good, but only a "faint outline "thereof (A. C. 4644), yet they are profoundly affected by an influx of love when the names in that chapter are recited. If this be so in the case of the names of the descendants of Esau, what may be said of the sacred table in Matthew? May there not be a like, if not a more intimate, effect upon the angels? And from what is said of the signification of Esau's descendants, may we not gain some idea of the meaning of the genealogy in Matthew? May we not realize that the table of names in Matthew, in a most exalted sense, is a record of the Divine generation of the Lord, and this the more so, since just that is the direct claim made for it in the text?

It is clear, therefore, that this book of the generation of Jesus Christ should not, by any adroit interpretation, be turned into a genealogy of Mary, as by the claim that Joseph's name was inserted in place of hers. The Word of the Lord is right as it stands, and an enforced interpretation, a strained reconciliation based on a false natural premise, cannot but impose an injurious violence on the sacred letter. Spiritual interpretation alone will join together that which appears as if disunited and contradictory in the letter. The table of names in Matthew is therefore not a genealogy of Mary, but in truth of Joseph, and yet it is also, in supreme verity, the book of the generation of Jesus Christ, and for this reason it begins with Abraham and ends with Joseph.

In spiritual fact, and of Divine reason, the name of the protective Joseph, with all the other names in the list, stands for an angel, or an angelic society; that is, for all the departments of heaven, and yet not for the angels themselves, but for the Divine in them.

It should be noted that this Divine generation of Jesus Christ was threefold. It was effected by the Supreme Divine, by the Divine in and with the angels, and by birth into the world. The sacred record of names in Matthew stands for the second of these; that is, it stands for the Lord's heavenly generation which was prior to His earthly birth. Therefore, in Matthew, the record of His heavenly generation comes before the account of His actual birth into the world, the point being that all the societies of heaven, and every angel, unconsciously mediated in this sacred service, and that they did so by protective and moderative accommodations of the Divine transflowing on the occasion. Let us, however, recall that His passing through heaven was clear; that is, nothing was taken from the angels, nothing proprial to them, but only, as it were, a moulding or an apparent finition, an accommodation whereby His conception and is

birth into the world were made possible. It was in this way that the Lord bowed the heavens to obeisance in His coming down. May we not, then, understand that the record of births in Matthew, from Abraham to Joseph, is in utmost reality and highest verity the book of the heavenly generation of Jesus Christ, that is, His generation prior to the Mary conception and birth? In fact, this heavenly generation took place from eternity, and its first product was the Divine Man in the heavens, and its second was that Man in the world.

In the Matthew record, therefore, Abraham is the first named and Joseph the last. It is a spiritual law that both the first and the last stand for the whole-here the whole of heaven, and all the angels, in this their gift of an unconscious service, a service which was ordained from the beginning and effected through infinite heavenly mediations until the event could no longer be delayed. If so, then may we conclude, in sympathy with the teaching in .Arcana Coelestia 4642, that while this Divine transflux transcends the understanding of men, and while its procedure is but "faintly outlined" to the angels, yet, when the sacred list of names significant of it is recited, the angels are affected by an influx of love which profoundly moves them. And knowing this, even we may be moved.

If, then, it is the Divine and heavenly generation of Jesus Christ which is recorded in Matthew, and not the genealogy of Mary, what may be said of that other like record in Luke? Is it also the book of the generation of Jesus Christ?

In the first place, it is not so called in the text. Besides, in Luke the record runs in a reverse order, and in an ascending instead of a descending series. Luke begins his genealogy with Joseph, and goes back to Abraham, and to Noah and Adam, and finally to God. Also, in the section between Joseph and Abraham, in many cases quite other names are given. We note also that Matthew treats definitively of the subject of generation. His record is called the "book of the generation," and it records the fact that Abraham begat Isaac, and that Isaac begat Jacob, and so on down to Joseph. The vital generative word in its continuity,

is lacking in Luke. After noting that Jesus was supposed to be the son of Joseph, Luke's record runs as follows: "Joseph of Heli, and Heli of Matthat, and that of Levi," and so on back to Abraham, Noah, Adam, and God.

Moreover, in Matthew the story of the Lord's birth from Mary follows after the recorded generation of Jesus Christ. It is very different in this respect in Luke. The Lord had arrived at His maturity; He was baptized, -'and had entered upon His mission, before the reputed genealogy in Luke is recorded. This important fact as to the time and place of the record, with reference to the Lord's life, taken in connection with that other fact that Luke's genealogy is given in an ascending series from Joseph to God, suggests the thought that Luke's record is not a generative sequence representing the Lord's descent through heaven into the world, but that it is a Divine regenerative series significant of His ascent through heaven to the Divine. If this be so, then the names in this list stand as a record in forecast of the series and degrees of the heavenly societies which responded to the Lord's ascent; and more interiorly it is significant of the successive states of the Lord's ascending glorification. As He came down through heaven by a Divine generation, so also He ascended through heaven by a Divine regeneration, beginning with the heavenly Joseph, and passing through all the states signified by the sacred names in their order, ending with God.

By the way in which the Lord came down, so He went up, but with a difference. In His ascent He made new heavens and also, in a greater or less degree, He changed the states of the fore-established heavens. For instance, we know that in the process of His glorification He, at will, called to Himself certain heavenly societies and instructed them as to the imperative need of abandoning their former attempt to worship the invisible Divine, and of the need of their entering into the worship of God as Man. The fulfillment of this need could not but change the entire state of heaven. Also, we know that on the occasion of His ascent He raised many from the world of spirits and the lower earth and formed them into new angelic societies. May it not be that all this is briefly represented by the new and the changed names discovered in Luke's genealogy?

Let us, then, take the Divine Word as it stands in the sacred letter, in both these series, the one ending and the other beginning with Joseph; and let us note again that the name of Mary occurs in neither. Her sacred function was other than that implied by the angelic intermediation; yet she was of ultimate service to the whole, the entire transflux. Her part was that of a woman in the world, a virgin betrothed to heaven; and her contribution was a material body, stamped with the heredity of her race.

Finally, it is clear why the generative list of names in Matthew should begin with Abraham. He stands not only as an inclusive representative of the Divine, but specifically for the Divine in the heavens, sometimes called the Divine from eternity, and also the Divine Human from eternity, and the Divine Man in the heavens. Thus Abraham stands for just that which was taking place, when by the Divine transflux the Lord came down by a generative descent. Because Abraham represents this heavenly generation of the Lord in its eternal beginning, his name follows through to the end, even to the ultimate fulfillment, and so it comes to pass that Abraham represents the infancy and childhood of the Lord, and in general the state of the Lord at birth, which state is said, in the Writings, to have been most arcane; for in the child at birth was involved, not only the Divine, but a heavenly accommodation thereof. Hence the teaching that the Lord alone of all men was born of heavenly seed, and that in this He was unlike any man. All other men are born of a seed with the stain of evil which engenders an infernal proprium. The evil that tempted the Lord during His life on earth came from without, through the door of His natural inheritance.

Because the Lord alone was born of heavenly seed, therefore, in His infancy and childhood, He entered into the celestial things of love. Because of this, the opening of His mind as a child to the light of truth was quick beyond the measure of any man; for His love, even in the beginning, was celestial. The doctrine is, that while all men are born natural, He alone was born a spiritual celestial Man, by which is signified His Divine and heavenly inheritance. Because He was born of heavenly seed, He was holy at birth, and this even as to His body, in so far as His body was derived from His soul. In touching upon this derivation the Writings teach that the bodies of men are from their souls. There was with Him at birth, as with all men, not only a mother vestment, but also a derivation from the Father; and this derivation so profoundly qualified Him, so wrought from within the very fibres of His body, that it was holy. Moreover, and because of this, at a later date He was empowered to walk upon the waters, and still later to rise from death, leaving nothing in the sepulchre. This miracle of His resurrection was a fulfillment of all that was in Him by virtue of His Divine generation, which also was signified by the signs and wonders which accompanied His birth. The coming of the wise men, bringing gifts, signifies that all the wisdom of the East was in Him; and the story of the shepherds tells of the child then born to be the Divine Shepherd of Israel. Wisdom was in Him at birth, and the guardian love of the human race.



7



GLORIFICATION p. 8        MARY'S BETROTHAL TO JOSEPH

"The generation of Jesus Christ." (Matthew 1:1, 18)

The "generation of Jesus Christ" is twice mentioned in the first chapter of Matthew,-in the first and eighteenth verses. In the first verse it is said, "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham." Then follows a list of the births from Abraham through David to Joseph. This generation, as representing a heavenly series, or the Divine of the Lord in the heavens, was treated of in a former discourse.

The second mention of the Lord's generation in this chapter is found in the eighteenth verse. It is there as a part of the account of His birth into the world. This second generation begins where the first generation ends, and the two are joined together by the espousal of Mary the mother to Joseph. With this second account we are concerned today. It reads as follows:

"Now the generation of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being just, and not willing to make her an example, was minded to put her away secretly. - 'But while he thought on these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, fear not to draw near unto Mary thy wife, for the one begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit. She shall bear a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins. Now all this has come to pass that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and she shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." (Matt. 1: 18-23.)

It is evident that the two generations are parts of one whole, the first carrying from Abraham to Joseph, and the other from Joseph to Mary. Thus it pleased the Lord to represent His Divine condescension on the occasion of His coming into the world in the way of all men, namely, by conception and birth, and yet, not as other men, since He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin.

The several features of this second account are so many Divine factors, each of which was imperative in effecting the Lord's Personal Advent. That is to say, each of these recorded factors, in its sequence and implication, was Divinely ordained, even as we read in the True Christian Religion, "That God assumed the Human according to His own Divine order." (T. C. R. 89.)

The first mentioned factor stated in the text refers to the betrothal of Mary to Joseph,-to that Joseph who was the last mentioned in the sacred line of the preliminary heavenly generation, the point being that Mary was joined to this sacred line by her betrothal to Joseph.

Our immediate concern is not with the Lord's infirm inheritance from Mary, but with the purity of her virginal betrothal to the heavenly Joseph. Virginity is and ever was the immemorial sign of purity.

We may note that at the time of the Divine conception the betrothal was an accomplished fact. The Child of God born into the world through Mary was conceived after, and, spiritually speaking, through this betrothal. The Lord, however, was born before the betrothal in its merely human implication was consummated.

Much is revealed in the Writings concerning the generation and birth of the Lord, but today our thought is addressed to the betrothal of Mary to Joseph, as the first given factor in the second account. The meaning of that betrothal is clearly dependent upon the spiritual or Divine representation of Joseph. Nothing is directly said of this representation in the Writings. Nor is it explained why it preceded the conception, nor why the formal betrothal continued until the Child of God was born. The only statement in the Writings which is a direct reference to this relation of Mary to Joseph is as follows: "It was of need for Him (the Lord) to be born of a virgin in legitimate marriage with Joseph." (See the little script, "Concerning the Savior Jesus Christ.") This statement is brief but imperative. That it was "of need" means that it was of Divine order-that it must so be. Even as it was of need that the Lord should be conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, so also was it a need of Divine order that this virgin should, at the time, be in "legal marriage" to Joseph; and it was of need also that this marriage should be legal only.

Clearly this relation of Joseph to Mary represents some unknown Divine sanctity. Clearly also the arcana involved lies concealed both in the name of Joseph and in his relation to Mary, or in that which Joseph, in this relation, represents. As said before, nothing is definitely stated in the Writings concerning the representation of Joseph. Only the need of his betrothal to Mary is insisted upon, and this as a prior requisite to the Lord's conception and birth.

We know that all names in the Scriptures signify spiritual and Divine things. We may conclude that the name "Joseph" has a fundamental meaning in keeping with his relation to Mary. Fortunately for our quest, there is another and more ancient Joseph of Scripture record, having a Divine significance,-a significance which lies, in the first instance, in the meaning of his name. This meaning, we may note, prevails in all the varying statements in the Writings concerning the representation of the more ancient Joseph, in the many events of his life, as they are recorded in the Scriptures.

We have ample precedence in the Writings for an informative reference of New Testament names to their Old Testament counterparts, where a more extended exposition of the significance of the name is given. The earlier Joseph, from the day of his birth to the end of his life, is treated of at great length in the Writings, and, as noted, the meaning of the name given him at birth prevails in the celestial and Divine significance of the many representative phases of his life. When this earlier Joseph was born, it is of record that "God remembered Rachel. . . . and opened her womb; and she conceived, and bare a son, and said, God hath gathered my reproach; and she called his name Joseph, saying, Let Jehovah add to me another son." (Genesis 30:22-24.) The verbal meaning of the name "Joseph" is, therefore, that of "gathering" and "adding," and this in the sense of a connecting link or medium. (See AC 3969.)

In the Arcana explanations the fundamental idea of a connecting link or spiritual medium everywhere persists. The varied definitions may be summed under the idea of heaven as an intermediate between the Divine above the heavens and the church on earth. It is a lawful assumption, therefore, that both Josephs represent this heavenly medium, and so also the Divine accommodated to the heaven of angels. It is in this that we may perceive the significance of the betrothal of Mary to Joseph. We know from the Writings that Mary represents the church on earth as to the affection of truth, and we may conclude from the significance of Joseph that Mary would not have been competent to the Divine conception unless she had first been betrothed to Joseph. Hence the imperative need of that betrothal.

Moreover, we know that in the descent to conception the Divine of necessity passed through the heavens ("bowed the heavens and came down"), even those heavens concerned in the generation of Jesus Christ and listed under the sacred names from Abraham to Joseph. Also, it may well be that this betrothal or "legal marriage," in being legal only, was significant of the fact that in descending through the heavens the Divine (even as in its ascension), took nothing from the angels, save only the accommodation which enabled the transflowing Divine to pass and to reach a still further accommodation in the world of nature, which was necessary to the conception and birth of the Lord into the world, and this by a virgin of the Jewish race.

However, in point of reality, though the angels were not proprially concerned in this transflux, yet heaven was engaged therein as a necessary conveying medium. Hence the presence in the Lord at birth of that heavenly Divine medium which is sometimes called His "internal man. This "internal "was therefore present in the seed of His conception; and so the Lord, when born, was indeed a heavenly man,-a celestial spiritual man. This "internal "is described in the Writings as "Human," and as being heavenly. It is said to have been the "only Human in which He could be," that is, in which the essential Divine could reside. It was a Human most near to the Divine Itself. This Human was, in fact, the complex of all celestial good and truth from the Lord with the angels. In the after process of His glorification, this (internal) was put off or displaced. This means that, in the final stage of the Lord's glorification, He put off all that which was assumed in His passing down through the heavens. (See .A. C. 5331, 5417, 5459, 5510.) This was, in truth, none other than the prior Divine Human in the heavens which had become unequal to the task of man's redemption. It was because of this heavenly Human which the Lord possessed at birth that He is said to have been, alone of all men, born a celestial man, and also that this celestial was the nearest covering of the Divine Itself in Him. (See AC 5689.)

It is clear that this celestial is that which was represented by Joseph, and also that it was involved in the very seed of the Lord's conception, and that it was there as the nearest covering or containing enclosure of the Infinite Divine Itself. Hence the notation in the Writings of the fact that the seed itself in Him was celestial. It was celestial because He was conceived of Jehovah by way of the heavens. In contrast with this, His celestial seed, it is said that in the seed of every other man there is something infernal. (See AC 1438.)

This seed, as to its celestial content, was therefore the Joseph covering which constituted that which is called the "internal man," which was in the Lord from birth. It was in Him as an intermediate, but was undeveloped at birth. It was opened successively by His life as a man in the world, and was that heavenly man known to men as Jesus Christ, in whom alone the Divine of the Father could be. But in the end, and as He glorified His entire Human, as He passed from the world and ascended through the heavens, this "internal man" was transcended to make clear the way for the Lord's entire union with the Father. He therefore, by His glorification, put off not only all that which was from Mary, but also all that was from and of the heavenly Joseph. Herein there must be the sharpest distinction between the man Joseph and his Divine representation. But there is no greater difficulty in this than in the case of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, each of whom represented the Lord under some Divine aspect.

It may now be clear why the betrothal of Mary to Joseph was an imperative requisite to the end that the heavenly veiling in the Divine seed might be represented. The Divine, in its passing through the heavens, was that which enabled the conception and ultimate birth, and this to the end that by a Divine recurrence from ultimates, or by the successive unfolding of the Lord's essential Divinity through the process of glorification, He, even as He came down, so also ascended through the heavens.

In the way of this ascent He was, as we know, tempted even to the inmost degree. But in this His final temptations were such as we may never know by any parallel with our human experiences. These inmost temptations and hindrances did not arise directly from the hells acting through the evil adhering to the Mary human, but from something proprial to the angels, and from their finite limitations. It was because of this that the Lord fought against "the whole angelic heaven"; and in so doing, He not only repelled the proprial angelic temptations, but also broke through every angelic limitation, and in finality dis. placed the former Divine Human in the heavens, and thereby caused His glorified Human to take its place. Let us quote the doctrine touching this point, as follows:

"Heaven is not pure in the eyes of God. This being the case, in order that the Lord might reduce the universal heaven into heavenly order, He admitted into Himself temptations from the angels also, who, in so far as they were in their proprium, were so far not in good and truth. These temptations are the inmost of all, for they act solely into the ends, and with such subtlety as cannot possibly be noticed. But in so far as they (the angels) are not in their proprium, so far they are in good and truth, and so far cannot tempt. Moreover, the angels are continually being perfected by the Lord, and yet they can never to eternity be so far perfected that their wisdom and intelligence can be compared to the Divine Wisdom and Intelligence of the Lord, for they are finite, and the Lord is Infinite." (A. C. 4295:3.)

In overcoming the temptations from the angels and in putting aside every angelic limitation the Lord ascended clear of the heavens, and into unqualified unity with the Father. This was the Sabbath of His rest. It was the outcome of His birth into the world through the medium of that which was represented by Mary's betrothal to Joseph, who, though a man in the world, nonetheless represented in this betrothal the Spirit of Holiness which filled the heavens, and which descended as the Holy Spirit. This Spirit could descend only upon the betrothed of Joseph. In this, Mary was the bride of heaven, and as such she answered the angel, saying, "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy Word." (Luke 1: 38.)



8



GLORIFICATION p. 9        THE NATIVITY

"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." (Luke 2: 9-12.)

Each of the four Gospels opens with different yet interrelated accounts of the Nativity. By the spiritual sense their concordance is revealed.

Matthew begins with the generation of Jesus Christ, from Abraham to Joseph. This "generation," in its sequence, represents the Divine passing down through the heavens to conception and birth in the world. In this descent Joseph was the ultimate link. It was imperative that a man bearing that name should be betrothed to Mary. At the completion of this lineal record, Joseph so stood in relation to Mary; but immediately the representation of the Divine in the heavens was taken on by the angel who appears to Joseph in a dream, giving assurance that the one to be born of Mary was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and that the power of salvation would reside in Him, in fulfillment of the prophecy: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God With Us."

Of Joseph it is recorded that "he took unto him his wife," but that "he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son"; this, of Joseph the man. In compliance with the angel's command, he called the one so born, Jesus. This account in Matthew of the Divine descent to conception and birth is paralleled in the first chapter of John by the Word which became flesh-even the Word which, in the beginning was with God, and was God.

The Divine Nativity in its ascending series is given in Mark and Luke. Mark gives no account of the virgin birth. Instead, his opening chapter tells of the Lord's baptism. This sacred ceremony was, however, significant of the rebirth of the Lord into His essential Divinity. Therefore, on the occasion, the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descended upon Him, and a voice was heard from heaven saying, "Thou art my beloved Son."

The doctrine is clear that the Lord was not only conceived by the Divine descending through the heavens, but also that by His ascent He was reborn into unity with the Father.

His purely Divine rebirth was representatively recorded in the third chapter of Luke. Like Matthew, Luke also gives the parental lineage of Joseph, but he speaks of Jesus as the "supposed" (or presumed) son of Joseph, which is significant of the fact that the heavenly Joseph, or the heavens, was the medium of the Divine descent to conception, but here in Luke the medium of the Lord's ascension through heaven is also pictured. While the Matthew lineage goes down from Abraham to Joseph, that of Luke passes up from Joseph to God. We note that in Luke the ascending lineage of Jesus Christ from Joseph to God follows immediately after the Lord's baptism, and in fulfillment thereof. Yet, unlike Mark, Luke records the virgin birth, even in greater detail than Matthew. He begins with the account of John the Baptist, who was born of Zacharias and Elisabeth,-born to be a prophet of the Most High. Then follows the account of the coming of the angel to Mary and the Annunciation; of the meeting between Mary and Elisabeth; of Mary's salutation; and of the going of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, where the Child was born and laid in a manger, because there was no room in the inn. This last was given in forecast of the rejection of the Lord by His own people.

Lowly indeed was this manger; yet it was not chosen because of its humility. Its service was significant of the after growth of the Lord and His rational development as His Divinity was successively opened.

Following the account of the Child's placement in the manger, Luke tells of the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night. This story of the shepherds is in striking contrast with the corresponding account in Matthew, which tells of the birth of the Lord in Bethlehem, followed by the story of the Wise Men and the Star. Matthew's account of the Wise Men is a clear sequence of his record concerning the descending generation of Jesus Christ; for that the Lord should be born into the world was known of old. It was a part of the ancient wisdom, still lingering in the East, which enabled the Wise Men from Syria to see and follow the Star to Jerusalem, and from thence to Bethlehem.

The Matthew record covers a broader region. It tells not only of the Wise Men from the East, but also of the carrying of the Child down into Egypt, and the return thence to Nazareth, in avoidance of Judea; while in Luke there is no departure from Israel. Luke's record is, that the Child, soon after birth, was carried to Jerusalem, and there presented to the Lord in the temple, where He was recognized and confessed by Simeon and Anna the prophetess.

In place of the Matthew account of the coming of the Wise Men, we have in Luke the story of the shepherds of Israel. The difference is striking and of spiritual import. The Wise Men from the East, because of their ancient wisdom, were enabled to follow the Star. They could see the guiding light, while the nearby shepherds watched their flock by night. Unlike the East there was darkness over Judea. The untutored shepherds were Israel's remnant. Their minds were veiled in ignorance; yet of mercy a light was at the time given to them. The glory of the Lord shone round about them, and the angel of the Lord told them of the birth of the Savior, and gave them a sign by which they should know Him. The angel said, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

Two notable things are here recorded, both having reference to the state of the Lord at birth. First, that He was born in the "city of David," and second, that He might be known to the shepherds by the sign given them. The Lord's state at birth, signified by Bethlehem, and by the sign, was most arcane. It was not like that of any other man ever born, and this because the Divine was in Him from conception; that is, His soul was Divine. Only His infantile body was taken from the virgin mother. This was as the body of other men. Yet even His body differed from that of other men, since it was formed interiorly from His soul. His body and blood were vivified by the immediate presence of His soul. He was, as to His body, like other men only in that He was born of woman. Being so born, He drew from her blood the inheritance of her race, with all its involvements. The result of this, His Divine conception and virgin birth, was that He was like, yet unlike, other men.

Hence the teaching that He was born a spiritual-celestial man. While in this He was highly born, above all men, yet He was born into the ignorance of infancy. Being at birth neither rational nor merely natural, His state was intermediate between the two, called spiritual-celestial. One quotation will suffice: "The Lord was born a spiritual-celestial man, . . . for this is intermediate between the rational or internal man and the natural or external man; thus below it was the natural, and above it the rational. He who cannot apprehend these things cannot possibly by any revelation comprehend why the Lord was born in Bethlehem." (A.C. 4594.)

Because of this, His unique state at birth, He was born in Bethlehem. The angel said to the shepherds, "Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." The city of David was Bethlehem, and Bethlehem was originally called Ephratah. Ephratah was ordained from the beginning to be the place of the Lord's birth, and it signified the spiritual-celestial. Not elsewhere could the Lord be born.

"I will not come into the tabernacle of my house. . . . nor give sleep to mine eyes. . . . until I find a place for the Lord. . . . Lo, we heard of Him in Ephratah; we found Him in the fields of the forest." (Psalm 132: 3, 4, 5.)

"Thou Bethlehem Ephratah, it is little thou be among the thousands of Juda; out of thee one cometh forth unto me who shall be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from the days of eternity." (Matthew 2: 6.)

Because David was born in Bethlehem, and was there anointed king, that place, in the time of our Lord, was called "the city of David." (Luke 2: 4, 11. John 7: 42.) Its prior significance from the beginning was, however, retained until its primitive meaning was fulfilled. As a spiritual-celestial man at birth, the Lord was born, as noted above, into a state intermediate between the rational and the natural. The quality of this state, though most arcane, may now come to view in some degree from the sign given the shepherds, by which they were to know Him, namely, that they would find the babe "wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

While the Divine conception and virgin birth surpassed all miracles, yet the sign of it here given was not, in itself, a miracle. His being wrapped in swaddling clothes was customary, and His lying in a manger a fact. Every miracle recorded in the Word was indeed a sign, but every sign was not a miracle; yet the meaning of this sign was beyond all miracles, since it signified the profound qualification of the state of the babe of Bethlehem. This qualification is called in the Writings" spiritual- celestial," and its sign was a testification to the shepherds that they might believe that the babe of Bethlehem was to be the Savior of the world.

The manger in which He was placed signifies truth from the Word, now become flesh. And the horses there fed signify the understanding of the Word. The Child was placed in a manger because there was no room in the inn. An inn is a place where men lodge and are supplied with food; in this case the men of Israel. Eating signifies instruction, and, in the highest sense, instruction in Divine things. But because the Jews were then in falsities through adulterations of the Word, the Israelitish inn, as such, was an impossible place for the Lord to be born. Because of this it is said, "there was no room in the inn."

The Lord "might have been born, "we are told, "in a palace, and laid in a bed adorned with precious stones," but if born in a Jewish inn, He would have been environed by those who were not in the doctrine of truth, and this would have broken the heavenly representation. But this representation was provided for by His exclusion from the inn and His placement in a manger. He was born, therefore, not among the Jews, but in a refuge significant of the lowly who could receive Him.

This was one part of the sign. The other was that He was wrapped in swaddling clothes. This sign is even more revealing as to the Lord's state at birth. Swaddling clothes signify the primary truths of innocence, and also the truths of Divine Love. Into these the Lord was interiorly born because of His Divine soul, and by virtue of His spiritualcelestial accommodation. He was born into the primary truths of innocence because He descended into the world as the Truth-or the Truths of Divine Love in innocency. Yet, by His so descending, He did not separate the Divine Love. Since in Him at birth there was an inmost union of Divine Truth with Divine Love, therefore throughout His life in the world this prevailed increasingly from inmosts to outmosts. This progressive union was His true Divine Nativity. It was His ascending rebirth into God.

When this came to pass, He was no longer a spiritualcelestial man as at first, but a purely Divine Man and Only God. He was born spiritual-celestial by virtue of His transit through heaven to conception. By His ascending glorification this spiritual-celestial was put off, even as the heavens were put aside by His ascent through and above the heavens. In so doing He became more one with the Divine above the heavens than was the case with the former Divine in the heavens. In this we may perceive the distinction between the Divine descending to conception and birth, and the Divine in its ascent to unity with God.

Since by virtue of His descent through the heavens He was born a spiritual-celestial man, His Divine thus humanized is said to be the only Human in which the Divine could be. It was therefore His Heavenly Human which mediated between His supreme Divinity and the human taken from the mother. But as to this human from the mother He was born, like other men, into a state of entire ignorance, so that He must of need advance in the acquirement of knowledge, to the end that He might attain, through successive Divine rebirths, entire unity with God. The intent, therefore, was that He might come into the world, and go therefrom, by the way of men. Therefore He followed in the way of man's birth and regeneration, and this to the end that, by humanizing His Divine, He might take to Himself the finality of power to enable those who otherwise could not be saved.



9



GLORIFICATION p. 10        THE STATE OF THE LORD AT BIRTH

The state of the Lord at birth was most arcane. It was like, and yet unlike, that of another man, and therefore can with difficulty be explained. While born of woman, He was conceived of God. He drew infirmities from His mother, and Divinity from His Father. The infirmities were of the body, the Divinity of the soul; that is, as to the soul He was God, and as to the body infirm man. But these infirmities of the body did not remain. He removed Himself from them by degrees, and at length completely, so that in the end there was established between His soul and body an infinitely perfect correspondence. When this was effected, He became perfect Man, as He was sole God. This was after His glorification. It was not so at the time of His birth. Then He was as yet imperfect man, having a Divine soul. He was imperfect man, not only because He derived from the mother corporeal infirmities, but also because of the undeveloped states of His body and of His mind as well.

Development cannot be predicated of the soul; even with mortal man the soul is as wise in infancy as in old age. Yet, despite the imperfection of His body and the undeveloped state of His mind, the Babe was holy, with a holiness indescribable. "The angel said, . . . That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." That holy thing I The Divine Soul penetrated, and infilled by impletion, the whole and every part of the Infant body. It emanated from that body, profoundly affecting all who could be touched by it. It was even as an infantile Holy Spirit, which increased in power and scope as He increased in wisdom and stature, and which at length filled heaven and earth. But this holiness was present even in the Infant. Wise men, on approaching, fell down and worshipped the Babe. Holiness was there present, despite the infirm body and undeveloped mind. It was there as palpable evidence of His Divinity, and yet not in a way to convince overpoweringly the unbelieving, or compel rejectors to faith. At no time during His life in the world, not even on the cross, was His Divinity manifested to this extent. For then, as always, it was necessary that man should be free to believe or disbelieve. Therefore, at no time did He live in the "splendor of God." On the contrary, the record is that He "lived in so humble a way as scarcely to be distinguished from an ordinary man." He refused to give a sign from heaven, lest He convert those who were better not converted. Therefore He, "the Possessor of all things," was "pleased to seem poor." Having all power, He yet restrained its manifestations; and so, when condemned, He went upon the cross to the suffering of death.

That men might be somewhat constrained to faith, and yet not utterly compelled, He performed miracles. For the most part, they were like the miracles of the men of God, as the miracles of Moses and Elias. And yet with a difference. In their miracles, the prophets of old wielded the power from God by virtue of their office and commission. But He wielded that power as in Himself and as His own. As the Possessor and Giver of all things, He fed the five thousand and the four with miraculous bread. He offered the water as wine at Cana. He paid tribute by a miracle from the mouth of a fish. Doing these things, He, the Possessor of all, "was pleased to seem poor." Such was the apparent contradiction in His life, that men might believe and yet not believe. They might believe if capable of perceiving His Divinity, and this for internal reasons, as the Writings say; but He gave occasion for the unbelievers and rejectors, as when they said, "If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross." (Matt. 27: 40.)

The arcane state of the Lord at birth arose from the two contrasting factors,-His birth from a woman and His Divine conception; the one imparting infirmity, and the other Divinity. The infirmity of the body, however, was only partial, that is, only as to those things which carried the maternal inheritance, the malforms of the ancestral heredity. These fixed in Him a plane of influx of all past human evils, and afforded an opportunity for His overcoming the hells, and thus of redeeming mankind. On the other hand, the Body as organized by His Soul was an ultimate form of the Divine Truth. It was the "Word made flesh." And as such, it was "that holy thing," in appearance born of Mary, but in truth born of God.

The body apart from the constructing soul is one thing, and the body enlivened by the presence of this soul is quite another. It is as the difference between a dead and a living body, and it is a difference so great as to appall one unaccustomed who looks in the face of the dead.

The body of the Infant Lord was living as no other. It was alive from the immanent presence of the Divine-the Divine interpenetrating it organically as to every part and particle, sustaining even the malforms of His maternal heredity, sustaining them even until the time when they were dispersed by eradication. This happened to them all, from the first to the last, from the highest to the lowest, from the inmost vesicles to the outmost cuticles. And this finally and fully when the body taken from the cross was "dissipated" in the tomb.

But death did not come to that living form organized by the Soul, that ultimated form of the Divine Truth, the "Word made flesh." This, by the process of glorification, entered into an absolute union with the soul from which it was derived. This was the Divine Human, of which the Writings so often speak as purely Divine, as a derivation from the Soul, and not in the least a product of the parts and particles' of the material body. With this He ascended even as to the flesh and bones thereof. That this living Body, this ultimated form of the Divine Truth, was by glorification made one with the Divine Soul, implies a distinction between the two-a distinction that was especially marked prior to completed glorification. And such a distinction was a reality. It is involved in the statement of doctrine that He descended as the Divine Truth and that while in the world He was the Divine Truth, becoming at length Divine Good by the union of His Soul and Body. A like distinction is indicated by what is said of His Nativity, in Luke 1: 35: "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee." The Holy Spirit is the Divine Truth, and the power of the Highest is the Divine Good. The signification is that He was conceived from the power of the Highest through the Holy Spirit, that is, from the Divine Good by or through the Divine Truth. This is the ground for the saying that there were two degrees in the seed of His conception and that He descended as the Divine Truth, but did not separate the Divine Good. Furthermore, that though He did not separate the Divine Good, yet the whole process of glorification consisted in uniting the Divine Truth with the Divine Good, as if in the process of descent it had become separate.

The true explanation of this apparent contradiction is that while there was no interior separation, yet there was a different kind of union after glorification; that is, the union was then outward as well as inward, external as well as internal. The Divine Truth which He was in the world, the Divine Truth forming His Human Body, always had inmostly within it the Divine Good from which it was; but by glorification, or in the degree that glorification was effected, the Divine Good also descended and became ultimate in the Body, even until that Body became the Divine Good itself.

Thus of the two degrees of the Seed of His conception the Truth descended and formed the Body, so that the Body became a form of this Truth. Subsequently the Good also descended by degrees. Thus while in the world He was the Divine Truth, and in so far as He was glorified, He was also the Divine Good; but He was never fully glorified until the final dissipation in the tomb.

In general, this is the key to the arcane state of the Human-a state which persisted with infinite variations from the day of His birth until the third day of His taking down from the cross. It was a state of temporary combination in His Person of finite limitations and infirm mortal derivatives with the Divine Truth of the seed of His conception forming and organizing them. A temporary combination could be struck between these limitations and infirmities, and the Truth, but not with the Good. As the Good descended, and ultimately infilled the Truth, all limitations were cast off, and all infirmities were eradicated. This is what is meant by glorification, and this is why it is said that on the third day He rose with His whole Human thoroughly and clearly glorified. This also is why it is said that He "took to Himself the Human successively while in the world" (Ath. Cr., p. 12); for the Human is the Divine Truth united with the Divine Good in Him, and not that which was cast off or eradicated.

The life-forms then of the body of the Infant were forms of the Divine Truth. In this the Babe lying in the manger at Bethlehem was unlike any other ever born into the world, and doubtless there was at times a radiance from this source perceived, and a potency felt, which in after times gave birth to stories of miracles and wonder lights shining about the Child. Even ancient fables foretell the conspiracy of the forces of evil against the Babe while in the cradle, and of the Divine power latent within Him as the Son of God.

"The angel said. . . . That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Holiness throughout the Word signifies truth, and the term was therefore used by the angel to signify more than is ordinarily carried in the thought concerning sanctity. The Babe was holy, not only because its soul was Divine, but specifically because the body formed by the soul was Divine Truth in physical form. It was the Divine Truth forthstanding in and by means of a temporary adjunction with particles drawn from the world's materia. In this, therefore, it was Divine from the first. If we may so say, it was Divine though not yet glorified, even as Truth is Divine before it has been infilled with Good. But this may be misunderstood, since the term Divine in this connection is used to describe the state after glorification. That is, the Human made Divine is the glorified Human-is the Divine Truth united with the Divine Good. Yet the Divine Truth prior to such unition is also Divine, and its state, interiorly considered, is a state of Divinity, and this because the Truth descending did not separate (interiorly) from the Good, though there was an apparent or seeming separation. Besides, the state of the Truth's Divinity was as it were compromised by the adjunction of the finite limitations insisted on by the Mary vestment-the parts and particles drawn from the world's materia. This caused Him to appear in all respects as another man, even as every man borne of woman; and indeed, even as every man, He was from without subject to the laws and forces of nature, which He could overrule only as the Divine power within gathered and manifested itself in miracle. This came to pass increasingly until the end.

His Body in the world must therefore be regarded under a dual aspect, namely, as to that of it which was from the mother and that of it which was from the Father. The latter alone was holy with a holiness indescribable. That the Body in the world must be doubly seen is clear from many teachings, as from this, that the body from the mother could not have become invisible. (Ath. Cr., p. 46.) Yet He not only became invisible, but He also reappeared, and this as to the Body which He had in the world; in this, unlike the angels who appeared to men with the bodies belonging to their spirits. (Ath. Cr., p. 50.) In other words, while in the world, the Lord derived from the Father a living Body of Divine Truth which became ever more united with the Divine Good. This Body was in the world and on the ultimate plane of nature, and capable of appearing and disappearing before the eyes of men.

Is it possible that we may have some ground for understanding this great mystery? It is known that He made His Human Divine below the plane of the spirit of man, that is, as to the bodily parts. But how can the body be made Divine, since transmutation is not allowed, and, as a process, is doctrinally forbidden? There is but one He had a natural Body Divine, which, while non-material, was neither the spirit nor yet the soul as such, but was derivative therefrom on the plane of nature.

It is of interest to note that man has something in a finite, mortal way analogous to this; that is, it is now known that man has a body-life as it were independent of his spirit or soul. But as to this, man's is never regenerated, never resurrected. This body-life with man remains long after the separation of his spirit. It departs very slowly, and as it departs, the body disperses. This departure of the body-life, which takes so long a time with man, came to pass with the Lord within three days after His death; for with Him alone of all men it was resurrected, and therefore, in His case, dispersion took place within three days.

It was this, His Body-life, the Divine Truth in Human form and shape, which stood forth from the grave, a Man before the eyes of the disciples, and a Man when He became invisible. It was Man in the ultimates, and the ultimates came into living and perfect correspondence with the Infinite Soul-Man in ultimates as to every part and particle of flesh and bone, that is, the very life thereof, cupped to the likeness of the material parts and particles. Conceive a living Divine Body, flesh and bone, formed not of matter, but of life thereof, not spirit, not soul, but the life of matter as such, and in the plane thereof, below the plane of the soul, below the plane of the spirit or the body of the spirit, on and in the plane of nature itself. This Divine Natural Body-life of our Lord was, with Him alone of all men, resurrected. It is at once above the heavens and also present, competent, everywhere in nature, and is that which is present in the Holy Supper.

When first born, the body of the Christ Child was instinct with life from the Soul by which it was formed and organized. The material was taken from the mother along with the obscure life of the material; but this all gave place more and more, gave place in the Body to another, a Divine presence and power which was destined to rule the world and the heavens from Itself. "That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." "And His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace."




10



GLORIFICATION p. 11 III THE GLORIFICATION OF THE RATIONAL

THE WILDERNESS TEMPTATION

On returning from His baptism in the Jordan, the Lord was led aside into the wilderness, and there tempted of the devil forty days, during which time He ate nothing. At the end of the period He hungered, and the devil tempted Him, saying, "If Thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread." (Luke 4: 3.) The Lord answered him, saying, "It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." (Luke 4: 4.)

A world of doubt was involved in this wilderness temptation. It was one of three recorded in the New Testament which covered all. In effect it implied a repudiation of the Lord's Divinity and of His power to save. The Lord's reply to the tempting spirit was instant and convicting. He met the evil challenge not by compliance with the request, but by raising the issue to a higher level, or by an interior repudiation. In place of a miraculous conversion of the, stone into bread, He answered the evil spirit by saying, "Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." The truth here represented is that while material bread sustains natural life, it is the Word of God, which sustains spiritual life. Herein the Lord was tempted. He felt, in a degree incomprehensible to man, the weight of doubt which struck not only at His realization of His Divinity, but also it was an assault upon His power to save mankind.

In a like though lesser degree this temptation afflicts men. It is an assault upon their faith in the Lord. If, and when, this faith falls into doubt, the ensuing temptation is crucial, and the man, as if by his own volition, turns either to, or away from, the Lord. Doubt opens to this turning and to its fateful consequence. Every man must pass through this uncertainty in order that his decision may be made and confirmed for good or evil. It is of concern how, or by what means, this crisis may be met; with what argument, or by what proving, may man's choice be made. The appearance to man is that his choice is primarily intellectual, but the reality is otherwise. Decision in either direction is reached and determined through his affections more than by his reasoning. The loves of man's life are the underlying factors which move and determine his choice. By comparison, man's conscious reasoning is superficial, and indeed futile, if not sustained by his affections. Reason, by itself, yields to negation, and in the end confirms denial. Love is that which conjoins. It is the essential influence which takes to itself the things which are agreeable and confirms them. By love is here meant the affections which man has inherited, or acquired and confirmed, as self-benefits. These are his own. They determine the quality of his spirit. As to them the man is tempted, and it is with reference to them that his decision is made for good or evil.

With the Lord, when He was a Man in the world, this plane of human life was composed of His maternal inheritances. Through them alone could He be tempted. When the devil said to Him: "If Thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread," His temptation was most grievous, since there was that in Him from the world and the mother which could be profoundly affected by the devil's insinuation. But there was also that within Him from His soul to which no evil influence could reach. From this, His Divine inheritance, He was interiorly empowered to answer the devil, and His reply, though not an outstanding miracle, was such that the tempting spirit was silenced. The Lord answered by a literal quotation from the Scripture, when He said Man doth not live by bread alone." (Deut. 8: 3-4.)

It is not of record that the Lord performed an outstanding miracle to convince the devil. The spirit of evil is beyond conversion. Instead, a Divine affirmation sufficed. In the truth of Scripture lies the power of total resistance and competence to repel every evil insinuation. By this appeal the Lord set an example for men, that they should do likewise. When He said, "Man doth not live by bread alone," the devil departed, from Him. We note, therefore, that the power of the Lord with man lies in the Scripture which is all comprehensive. To the Divinely revealed formulas seeking strength to the Scripture is there contained man must appeal in resist when in temptation, for to quote to affirm the eternal truth of God. By so doing the mind of man is opened and power from above inflows and resistance is sustained. Spiritual security, therefore, lies not so much in a reasoned argument as in an instant affirmation of revealed truth. Only so may man receive and maintain spiritual states of life which are interior gifts, and which enable him to join in that which is signified by the feast at Cana, where the Lord turned the water into wine. There He did that which, indeed, He could not do when in the wilderness.

At Cana His Messianic powers were fully demonstrated, not to convince the devil, but to confirm the good in faith. The Lord was there in a state of power. He was environed by believing men. It was as if He were empowered by the presence of faith in the minds of others; but in truth it was He who empowered the faithful. Even as He turned the water into wine, so also at Cana He could have made bread of the stone. The difference was one of place and circumstance, or rather of state. While He could do no outstanding miracle in the wilderness, yet He could there answer the devil effectively by quoting the Scripture. This involved an interior repudiation which inaugurated a change of state by a dispersion of all that was represented by the wilderness, and which opened the way to that which was signified by His deed at Cana.

The Divine significance of the Cana miracle was that the Lord, when in the world, and in the power of His Divinity, converted the faith of the Jewish Church into Christian truth; or, what is the same, He turned the Jewish water into Christian wine, and this to the end that an internal church might be raised up in place of the former Jewish ritualism. This the Lord did by virtue of His power as the Son of God, and it was this, concerning which the unbelieving devil tempted Him by producing a wellnigh overwhelming appearance that men could not be saved. This appearance was the stone of the Lord's temptation, which pertained to the wilderness, wherein power departed from Him. Also the wilderness represented that of the Jewish faith which could not be redeemed, namely, their traditions-regarded by them as sacred. Yet there was no limit to the Lord's power when He was in a state of exaltation. Equally with the turning of the water into wine, He could, then and there, have made of the stone, bread. Indeed, it was of need that He should so do, and this, in effect, He did at a later date when He joined the bread and wine in instituting that which is known as the Holy Supper. From this it appears that the devil demanded that of the Lord which indeed He must do, but not in the wilderness-not when in a state of temptation.

There was more than a seeming likeness between the miracle requested in the wilderness, but there with-held, and the state of the Jews in their rejection of Christianity. Their heart of stone could not be converted, but has remained firmly resistant to internal truth throughout the ages. Only the water of their Scripture could be turned into the spirit of wine.

The first three evangelists record the wilderness temptation. They place it immediately after the Lord's baptism. The apostle John makes no mention of that temptation, but in the place where we may look to find it, there is, instead, the miracle of turning the water into wine. While in the first three evangelists the Lord, immediately after His baptism, passes to the forty days' temptation, in John the anticipated account of the wilderness temptation 'is not recorded. In place of it John tells of the Lord's going to Galilee and there attending the marriage feast. This notable difference marks a wide distinction, the cause of which is revealed by the internal sense only. When that sense is seen, reconciliation becomes manifest, and the two divergent accounts are joined; the one is a sequence of the other. Also the statement of the Writings that that which the letter divides the spiritual sense unites, is thereby demonstrated. Yet we may readily understand that those whose faith is dependent upon the letter only, can not but question so marked a difference which implies a seeming contradiction. No satisfactory answer can be found save that which the internal sense implies.

The Lord's state, as represented by John, could have no part in the wilderness, but only in the feast at Cana, by which a state of regeneration was signified. The love represented by John is known only to the angels, or to the regenerate, and to them but in part. For this love, in itself, is Divine. In the highest sense the beloved disciple stands for the Lord glorified, or a state of His glorification. For this reason no record of the wilderness temptation is given by John; instead, the miracle of the water and the wine, or the raising of the ancient Scripture into a New Testament, and in the end, the conversion of that Testament into its high spiritual significance. Because John represented the Lord in this, it is recorded of that apostle that he should live to see the Second Advent. This was not said of John the man, but of the Lord and of His love for mankind, which carried through to the end of the first Christian era to His Second Advent. The truth herein could not be openly told at the time, but only represented. It has ever been so with the Scripture record. Its Divine meaning could only be represented; and this, because it is not given man to foresee future actualities, but only their containing representations. Of these the Word of God is outwardly composed to the end that both men and angels may, as if of themselves, find their way in life; confessing the supreme truth which lies beyond their strictly human vision, namely, that they are led by the Lord alone; and in case they wilfully persist in evil, even then they are guided by the law of His merciful allowance, and this in preservation of their human freedom.

Interior confession of the Lord's unceasing guidance can, however, be made by the religious only; with them it is a requirement of saving faith and is called for because it is the supreme truth of life, which of itself lies quite beyond the realm of human apperception save as man is guided by revelation. Confession, when so guided, opens to interior appearances of truth in ever higher degree, since beyond these appearances no man or angel may ever pass. To live in and under appearances of truth is therefore man's portion, both here and hereafter, and it is well so, since only thereby may man be guarded from the self-assumption of life. While man may know that the Divine is in him, yet he must be saved from the presumption that this Divine is his own. That he may not so do, he was first born into the world of nature-there to receive and ever retain a graft which carries with it an impress of death. This is man's proprium. It is an enduring possession which distinguishes between man and his Maker. Yet even so it may be moved to receive a semblance of life, not unlike the sands of the sea when blown upon and lifted by the four winds of heaven.



11



GLORIFICATION p. 12        THE HUMAN

"And Abraham called the name of his son that was born to him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac." (Genesis 21: 3.)

When the promise was given Abraham that Sarah should bear him a son, he laughed. When this was told to Sarah, she also laughed. When, therefore, the son was born, he was named "laughter "(Isaac), to signify the outstanding affection on the occasion. And the affection signifies the essential quality of that which Isaac represents, namely, the rational mind; in this case, the Divine rational which was born with the Lord after the purification of the maternal human-after the first rational, signified by Ishmael, had come to birth and some maturity of development-after the first rational had come to birth in the way of men, that is, by an influx from the internal into the affection of the sciences. This was represented by the fact that Ishmael was born of Abraham by the Egyptian handmaid Hagar, who represented the affection of the sciences-the love of learning, which is instinctive in man, and which is the means whereby man in time develops the powers of his rational mind. It is obvious that without knowledges derived through the senses and without the love thereof no rational of any kind can be developed; moreover, that the kind and quality of the rational subsequently formed is determined in a marked degree by the nature of the knowledges so obtained.

It is so with every man, and it was the same with the Lord, since He was born according to the order of nature and in the way of all men. With Him, therefore, this first or Ishmael mind was formed by and on the basis of the knowledges which He loved and learned,-a mind which derived its inmost essence and its power of being by an influx from above, or from the Divine within, called the internal man, although this influx was first mothered by knowledges coming from without through the senses, that is, by the Egyptian handmaid.

This first rational, with its characteristic powers and peculiar temper, is of a passing or temporary nature with the regenerating man, and it was especially so with the Lord in the process of His glorification. In other words this first rational mind is due to give place to another and superior rational, formed also by the inspiring influx from within and above, though not, as with the first rational, mothered by the love of external knowledges-the Egyptian handmaid-but by the genuine love of truth, that is, by Sarah, the true wife of Abraham.

Here, then, we have the difference between these two rational formations. The influx from above-the father-was in both cases the same, but the mother in each case was different-different in kind, quality, and also in degree. The love of truth is by no means the same as the affection of the sciences, though they are generally regarded as identical. We may distinguish them by saying that what the Writings mean by the affection of the sciences is fundamentally an innate curiosity directed to the things of the outer world which come to the mind through the senses of the body, while the love of truth is a part of good, that is, it is concerned with those eternal verities which belong to the kingdom of the soul, which are of heaven, and are from above heaven, and which, in man, are the concern of all that is orderly, right, and good in human life. This is the love of truth for its own sake, or rather, for the sake of good; and good is that which is of right, and of eternal order, whether with reference to the things which are of heaven or of earth. This kind of love of truth is the true wife. It is that which mothers the influx from the Divine and produces in man what is called the spiritual rational mind, and in the Lord His Divine rational. And that which is so born is called "laughter," to signify the joy at the birth.

When this true rational is born, there is laughter in the soul, for it is the fulfilment of the soul's inner purpose, the life of which goes forth into this formation and suitably ultimates itself on a lower, subjoined plane of existence, which with man constitutes him a self-conscious individual, which is above the plane of nature and above its dominance, although it is below that more universal plane which is purely the dwelling-place of the Divine. In a word, this subjoined. rational is what constitutes man a man, and yet an angel man. With the Lord the birth of this rational was the true beginning of that which was afterwards to be and become the Divine or glorified Human. Therefore, there was laughter when Isaac was born, to signify this beginning, which in its end was to lead to the union of the Human with the Divine, and thus also to the redemption of all men.

This significance of laughter-the outstanding affection manifest on the occasion of Isaac's birth-does not appear from the letter. What does appear is that this laughter signified a kind of incredulity, even of unbelief that a child should be born to Abraham and Sarah, they being old and long past the period of childbearing. "And Abraham (when he heard the promise of God concerning the birth of Isaac) fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall there be born to a son of a hundred years? And shall Sarah, that is a daughter of ninety years, bear! "(Genesis 17: 17.) So also, when the promise was later repeated and Sarah, standing in the tent door, heard it, she laughed within herself, saying, "After I am old, shall I have pleasure, and my lord old also? And Jehovah said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh? Shall anything be wonderful for Jehovah? And Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And He said, Nay; but thou didst laugh." (IS: 12-15.)

Here indeed was incredulity, but the incredulity was of the outer mind. It is always so with the Divine miracles. The inner perception of their truth is met by an outer incredulity; and Isaac was a miracle- child. This is the point of the story, and in this Isaac fittingly represented the last-born rational, which is not dependent for its formation upon the normal acquisition of knowledge, but is the result of an inner marriage of good with truth. There must indeed be a preceding rational, formed in the usual way as a base or ground (signified by Ishmael), but the spiritual rational is none the less a distinct inner structure. It is a product of regeneration. Its birth may never take place, and when-given, it is in the nature of a miracle. And while the first premonitions of its birth excite incredulity, the laughter is in reality of the soul, because of the coming of the late-born child.

Of all the words of human language none more fittingly expresses the fundamental, and therefore the inmost, quality of the human rational than laughter. For laughter and articulate speech are the signal marks of the human mind, or of the reasonable soul. And the two are companions; one is not given without the other. As articulate speech expresses in form every definite thought, so laughter expresses every phase of human emotion as it conjoins itself with thought. A laughing animal is the height of mockery; there is nothing so unnatural, unreasonable, or shocking as the sound as of laughter in which there is no soul, no definite thought, no human affection.

Consider the affections that may be unmistakably expressed by laughter, sometimes the affection of joy, and then of sadness. Sometimes there is indignation, or may be incredulity. Most often, perhaps, we laugh because of something which strikes the rational mind as ridiculous, which amusingly distorts its sense of proportion or relation-a play upon words or ideas that leads to an unexpected conclusion, a double meaning, one of which is as not intended, but in the end is clearly revealed as the real intent. It is always something which challenges a rational, if not always serious, interpretation.

Of all man's external traits, save that of speech, laughter indicates the presence of a reasonable soul, and is therefore significative of that rational mind which is formed in man below the plane of the soul itself, and yet above the body, and which intermediates between the two; a mind which, in its totality, constitutes the man an individual, and makes the spiritual being that lives after death a person distinguished from every other person. The souls of men are also distinguished, one from another, different and separate, even as are their bodies; but personality lies in this intermediate plane-in the rational mind-and is a gradual development, qualified and modified by influx through the soul above, and also by afflux from the outer world through the body.

It is for this reason that the Writings say that the "human begins in the inmost of the rational," as if the soul above' was something not human. But the meaning is that the human personality of the individual man begins there-the man, for instance, whom we are and know ourselves to be, and also who is known to others. The soul above this is indeed the very human itself, and a pure gift of God, but to us as individuals it is as a super-human, as that which imparts humanity, or rather, which imparts the faculty of becoming human. This soul above the mind is separated from the mind itself by a discrete degree. The soul lives incorruptible in a higher aura, but constantly descends into the lower, intermediate mind by influx, and so acts upon that mind by correspondence, imparting to it life and immortality, as well as the power to be and become rational; and this, as the vessels of truth derived from knowledge are updrawn by a process of unfolding. The intermediate plane, or the human mind so formed, is at first Ishmael-like; in it that which is from below dominates. Later Isaac is born. In this later mind formation-this spiritual rational-that which is from the soul rules; and as it does so, Ishmael is expelled.

The personal human, therefore, begins in the inmost of the rational. There is the beginning of the conscious individual, the man or spirit, whom we are. It was the same with the Lord. He was born into the world under all the conditions of human life, save that that finite formation with men, called the human internal, was with Him purely Divine. His rational mind and His bodily organism were of like formation to that of other men. In the inmost of His rational was therefore the beginning of His Human personality-the man Jesus. Here also His glorification began, that is, the making Divine of the assumed human; for here it was that the Divine Ipse came into immediate and first contact with the highest forms of human thought-of truth ascending. What happened at this point is treated of in the following chapter. It is involved in the story of Abraham's vision of the three men at his tent door. It here only remains to be said that the concern of His rational mind was with the relation to be established between ascending human truth and descending Divine Good. The doctrine is that the Good of His rational, even as His Soul, was purely Divine. That Good was indeed the Soul descending; and the need was that rational truth ascending should be or become so highly developed, and so clearly purified, that it could conjoin or unite itself with the descending Good. This came to pass with Him by means of certain media, and as it came to pass His Divine Rational, signified by Isaac, was born.

The Divine Rational was born, conceived of the pure Divine descending, and mothered as by human truth ascending, but not at once did it come into the full flower of its glory. Its first birth, in the inmost of the rational, was followed by successive phases of development; as from a spark the Divine flame spread, until the field of the whole rational mind was filled; or, to make the figure of speech more human, and more in accord with Scripture, the Divine rational passed through its periods as the miracle-Child Isaac grew to man's estate and fulfilled in representative drama the mind-story of the Christ on earth.



12



GLORIFICATION p. 13        THE LORD'S DIVINE RATIONAL

"And God said unto Abraham,... in Isaac shall thy seed be called." (Genesis 21: 12.)

The text records the law of legitimacy, which calls for the rule of love in the life of man. This rule prevailed during the celestial age, when men, like children, were innocent of evil. In its pre-eminent sense the text is significant of the state into which the Lord was born. His life was then ruled from within by the Divine Love descending into His earth-born human. This love was His inheritance from the Father, which, in its descent out of the Divine above the heavens, enabled Him as man-born to become Divine on the planes of His mind and body.

The point of present interest is that a representative forecast of this Divine process is given in the Genesis account of the lives of the patriarchs, the central feature of which is expressed by the words of the text, namely, the calling of the seed of Abraham by the name of Isaac. The story of the birth of Isaac tells of Jehovah's visiting Sarah and of her bearing a son to Abraham. At the time Abraham was a hundred years old, and Sarah his wife had "ceased from the manner of women." Apart from this visit of Jehovah to Sarah no conception could have taken place, for that visit was significant of a Divine conception which made of Isaac a miracle child, born under conditions impossible save for a Divine influx into the mortal human. The account of Isaac's conception and birth, as recorded in Genesis, was a forecast of the actual conception and birth of the Lord as the Child of God. As so born, the Lord was the Divine Isaac-the Man-God of ancient prophecy, who was of Infinite derivation, though born into the world under mental and bodily limitations.

With reference to the interrelation of the several characters in the Old Testament account it should be noted that a Divine aspect is represented by all who were of the house of Abraham. In this supreme sense Abraham stands as one with Jehovah who visited Sarah. That one was the Divine Love descending through the medium of Divine Truth. This mediating Truth was represented by Sarah. The relation of Abraham to Sarah was therefore significant of the Divine Love in its conceptual relation to Divine Truth. As stated in the Arcana, this relation was that the Divine Celestial was present in the Divine Spiritual. The inner presence of celestial love in its own truth is characterized as a Divine marriage. From this marriage the Child of God was born into the world a Man veiled by bodily limitations and the outward restrictions of a finite rational mind. This mind was the Lord's highest finite degree and the first to be made Divine by the process of glorification. The subsequent glorification of His sensuous mind and material body followed in order thereafter. In the Old Testament account, Isaac represented the Lord's rational as to the inmost of it, where, as noted in the Writings, the human begins. (A. C. 2666.) This Isaac rational was therefore the first and highest finite fruit derived from the marriage of Love and Wisdom in the Lord, and because of the joy therein Isaac was named "laughter." His was indeed the golden laughter of celestial love. With men, laughter, by its tone, indicates in some degree their states of affection and thought; and it may indicate whether the man is of sound or unsound mind- whether sane or insane, as the case may be. Of all creatures born into the world, man only is gifted with the power of laughter, for he alone possesses a rational mind. His power of reasoning is fundamentally based upon his inborn ability to laugh. It may here be noted in passing that laughter was formerly regarded as a genial habit of the gods.

In the Divine series before us, both Jehovah and Abraham stand as the Father of Isaac; the distinction between them is as that between the invisible Divine and the Divine Human. However, they do not appear in the Old Testament account together. Jehovah is mentioned at the beginning, but not again until the close. The opening record is that Jehovah visited Sarah and did unto her as He had spoken. Then follows the account of Sarah's bearing a son to Abraham in his old age, and thereafter the Scripture story concerning Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Hagar, and Ishmael. This group composed the sacred family of the house of Abraham. Near the close of the account Jehovah reappears, which is not only significant of the conclusion, but also implies an altered relation of the several Divine factors.

In this connection, the Arcana notes that, in the supreme sense, God and Abraham have a like significance, and that the internal sense unites that which the letter divides. This union, therefore, joins Jehovah and Abraham as one, both signifying the Divine Love in its relation to Divine Truth. Sarah was that Truth. Her representation was not unlike that of Mary, but with the difference that Sarah was an earlier representative, while Mary was the actual medium of the birth of the God- Man into the world. It may here be noted that the birth of the Lord, and also of Isaac, were miraculous, in that the Lord was Virgin-born, while Isaac was born under conditions normally impossible to finite man.

All the characters in the account of Isaac's birth stand, in the supreme sense, for some aspect of the Divine. All forecast in some degree the process of the Lord's glorification.

In the Old Testament, Abraham stands at the head. He is the Father of the Divine Love in its relation to Divine Truth. From the marriage of Sarah to Abraham, as noted, the Lord's finite rational was born-born in potency as an infant, and in adult fullness as His mind advanced by successive stages to its glorification. In this development the Lord's rational was in outer appearance not unlike that of other men, in that, like every regenerating man, He was under the necessity of rejecting from His mind its outward fallible appearances. This process, in its continuity, was represented by the subsequent events, namely, by Isaac's circumcision, and the banishment of Abraham's first-born child, Ishmael, who was not the legitimate heir and who represented the outmost aspect of the Lord's rational. For though he was born to Abraham as the Divine Father, it was by means of Hagar, the Egyptian bondwoman.

Between this outward fallible mind and the Lord's glorifying rational a conflict was inevitable, as was first indicated by Ishmael's mocking when Isaac was weaned. This first-formed mind of the Lord could not stand in the dawning presence of the Divine Rational. A preliminary purification of this outer vestment was signified by the circumcision of Isaac. Ishmael's mocking, on the occasion, was a signal of the coming conflict and the resulting banishment, as the Divine descended into the human by means of increasing revelations, by which it became manifest that all mere appearances of truth must of need be put aside. This rejection was first insisted upon by Sarah's saying to Abraham, "Cast out this bondwoman and her son, for the son of this bondwoman shall not inherit with my son Isaac."

While seeing the necessity of this banishment, the Lord perceived that Ishmael nonetheless represented that which must in the end be saved. This far-seeing perception was, however, quite above the Sarah Truth; it came directly from the Lord's Divine Love. Therefore it is said that the words of Sarah, insisting on Ishmael's banishment, were "evil" in the eyes of Abraham. By this it became manifest that that which Truth would reject, Love would save; or that all men would be saved with whom some degree of love could be conjoined; for Love perceived that the child of Hagar, though not the heir, was not the less Abraham's son. (A. C. 2658.)

The Lord's first rational mind, while outwardly formed of seeming truths, was in its origin conceived from within by Divine Love; and while Ishmael's alienation was inevitable, yet Divine Love could not but follow after the banished child. When, however, Abraham (or the Lord) perceived the pressing necessity of the Ishmael banishment, it is said that He "grieved," for in that first state, it appeared that those of the human race (called in the Writings "the spiritual" as distinguished from the celestial) would, because of their banishment, pass beyond the saving power of the Lord's Love. It should be noted, however, that it was just those who are here signified by Ishmael whom the Lord came into the world to save, and not the celestial; for the high-born celestial were from the beginning made secure by the bond of love, while the later spiritual were inbound in states of life like unto the Lord's first-formed rational, which was, of need, rejected; yet at first it appeared as if this alienation would permanently separate those known as "the spiritual" from the possibility of salvation. This was why the words of Sarah, calling for Ishmael's banishment, were "evil in the eyes of Abraham." The "eyes of Abraham" signified the Lord's inmost perception from love, which saw beyond the dictate of the Sarah Truth and exposed the final outcome, namely, that the spiritual, as distinguished from the celestial, would not be lost, but that their temporary banishment would in the end lead to their restoral.

With reference to the realization of this final outcome, it is said in the Writings that the Lord was thereby "consoled beyond measure." Therefore God said unto Abraham, "Let it not be evil in thine eyes because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah said unto thee, hearken unto her voice." While the Lord's perception from the Sarah Truth affirmed the need of casting off His first-born rational mind, yet His Divine Love revealed the final truth that Ishmael's rejection would in the end prove to be the means of his salvation, which was indeed .imperative, since otherwise the Lord's mission on earth would have failed. Therefore God said unto Abraham, "The son of thy handmaid also will I make into a nation." Herein there is a likeness, in that both Isaac and Ishmael were sons of Abraham, and a contrast, in that Ishmael, the son of the bondwoman, must of need be separated, and this while Isaac remained in the house of Abraham. Therefore, of Ishmael it is said, "I will make him a nation, because he is also thy seed."

This "nation" was composed of the spiritual, as distinguished from the celestial. The difference between them was, as indicated, one of legitimacy,-a difference which at first was not clearly defined, and indeed could not be, so long as Ishmael remained in the house of Abraham. While, therefore, the spiritual as distinguished from the celestial were to be separated, yet this was to the end that they might later be formed into a lower heaven, which would then be a heaven as if in its own right. The state of that lower heaven is indicated by Ishmael's not being the legitimate "heir," and this because that heaven was not primarily under the rule of love. To the Lord, at the time, this alienation could not be other than a most grievous temptation, for it was His will that all men should be saved, even to the highest degree. Yet, because of the racial, failure, this could not be. Therefore it was revealed, and the Lord was consoled by the revelation, that a fitting placement of the spiritual within His kingdom would be effected.

While the spiritual were inbound within the sphere of the Lord's first-formed rational, which was to be put aside, yet it was provided that their banishment would be temporary, and that their restoration would enable them freely to live their lives in its prescribed order.

Coincident with the formation of a lower heaven composed of the spiritual, men in the world were enabled to derive therefrom a new freedom in spiritual things and to attain a secondary degree of heavenly life. This newly-formed heaven was the source from which the first Christian Church was derived, and therefore regenerating Christians of that period were, for the most part, enabled to ascend to the second heaven only. It was not until the Lord's final coming that the way was opened for a beginning foundation having the future possibility of a spiritual-celestial development, and therewith a gradual return of the rule of love in the lives of men.



13



GLORIFICATION p. 14        IV

THE LAST JOURNEY

LAZARUS OF BETHANY

"Then Jesus said unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead." (John 11: 14.)

The so-called synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, give in historic sequence, with varying details, an account of the Lord's last journey. They tell of His passing through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem. The incidents of this journey were significant of the states through which the Lord passed as He advanced to the crisis of His death and resurrection. Each incident recorded was an outer representation of some Divine transaction within Him. The same may be said of all the events of His life from the beginning; but at this time the end was near, and it was therefore more clearly indicated and so more definitely represented. While on this journey the Lord openly revealed to His disciples the near approach of His death, and they were deeply moved. Feeling that His kingdom was nigh, some of them pleaded for preferment. His disciples were at all times as a part of Himself and significant of inner verities in Him and also of the states of His church to be. Of this they, as men, had no knowledge, and could have none. These verities are but now, at His Second Coming, revealed.

The disciples knew that He was going to His death, and that in some way His kingdom was at hand. The incidents at Jericho, though seemingly irrelevant and casual, yet as to their inner meaning bespoke both the shadow of the cross and the Divine resurrection. From Jericho He led His disciples to Bethphage, near Bethany, in close proximity to Jerusalem. Bethany was the focal point from which the triumphal entry to Jerusalem was undertaken. All the Gospels agree on this, even that of John, which so often disregards the external historical sequences given in the other Gospels. All of them tell of His riding in royal state from Bethany to Jerusalem with the waving of palms and hosannas.

The journey to Bethany, as described in the synoptic Gospels was, as said, by way of Jericho. John does not mention Jericho. His account of the Lord's coming to Bethany is given in the eleventh chapter. It was undertaken in response to the call of Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, who was sick. At the time Jesus was abiding beyond Jordan, in the place where John first baptized. In answering this call He came to Bethany, which was the home of Lazarus. After raising Lazarus from the grave, and because of danger from the Jews, He went thence into a country near to the wilderness, of which little but the fact is recorded. Returning to Bethany some six days before the passover, they there made Him a supper, and Lazarus was one of them that sat at table with Him. On the following day He made His royal entry into Jerusalem. John, with the other Gospel writers, describes this entry, but in that which precedes, his account is notably different. Yet there is an internal unity in all the Gospels. They tell of the successive phases of His glorification by differing accounts and varying events. But it is only the external accounts and the outer events that differ. The inner verities of the process unit. We have in the four of His Divine life is an entire Gospels, as it were, four outer aspects of the one Divine series, each aspect complete in itself but differing from the others as so many sides of a circle. With this in view the apparent historic inconsistencies in the outer representations suggest no invalidation.

In John the approach to Bethany, the point of departure for Jerusalem and the cross, was, spiritually speaking, made not by the opening of the eyes of the blind as at Jericho, but through the raising of Lazarus. Deeply viewed, the two incidents are of like significance. The miracle of Lazarus' resurrection was, however, more direct in its reference and more comprehensive. It looked through to the end of the last journey and pointed more obviously to the Lord's death and resurrection, and this in a unique way, as we shall see. To the Lord the raising of Lazarus was as a fore-enactment of the end of His life as a Man in the world.

This fore-representation was now possible because that end was near. At this time, therefore, His raising the dead Lazarus was of deep meaning and fundamental signification. By it the fullness of the Lord's power, not only to raise the dead but also Himself from death, became manifest. Because of this He said to Martha, on the occasion, "I am the resurrection and the life." (John 11: 25.)

We have the direct authority of the Writings for the statement that the raising of Lazarus was significant of the raising of a new church among the Gentiles. This new church was predicated of the Gentiles because of the spiritual necessity of freeing the Christian Church from the limiting environment of Jewish traditions and the Jewish materialistic temperament. That church was enlarged when it passed to other nations, and by that event it was set upon its way of world conquest. This conquest was effected primarily by the word concerning the Lord's resurrection. Nothing other could touch men so vitally. No other evangel could gain a more ready reception. It was the word of His resurrection that gave Christianity its power over the minds and hearts of men. To the afflicted and those of broken heart, to those who were failing in the struggle with life in this world His resurrection imparted a glorious anticipation. In raising Lazarus the Lord prefigured His own resurrection. Also by it He signified the founding of an eternal church in the living faith of life's renewal. These three, the raising of Lazarus, the Lord's resurrection and the founding of a new church unite in one-even as prophecy, its fulfillment and its result.

There is a comparison between this story of Lazarus and the fable concerning that other Lazarus, a poor beggar in the world who died and was carried into Abraham's bosom. It is shown in the Writings that there is an inner bond between the two stories, that they are identical in more than the name Lazarus. In both there is a resurrection, yet with a notable difference. Lazarus of Bethany was revived to bodily life in the world. The Lazarus of the fable was resurrected as to the spirit, to life in heaven. Both were significant of the raising up of a new church, the one in the world and the other in heaven. Also, both were significant of the Lord's resurrection; the one of His resurrection as to the body, and the other as to the spirit. For the Lord, unlike any man, rose with the whole body from death. This is the fundamental fact of the Scriptural record, and it is a fact reaffirmed by the Writings. His resurrection as to the body could only be represented in finite human type by a revival of life with one seemingly dead.

The teaching concerning the resurrection of the Lord's body is most arcane. It can be understood only by a perceptive reconciliation of an apparent contradiction. The body which He had in the world was resurrected, and yet it was that body glorified. His Mary inheritance, as to its last residue, with all its implications, was dissipated in the tomb.

While no man save the Lord alone was ever raised from death as to the body, yet there is the record concerning Lazarus, and in it there is an apparent contradiction, in the Lord's own words. When He received the call from the sisters He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." (John 11: 4.) And also, "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth, but I go that I may awake him out of his sleep. Then His disciples said, Lord, if he sleeps, he shall do well. Howbeit, Jesus spake of his death, but they thought that He had spoken of rest in sleep. Then Jesus said to them plainly, Lazarus is dead." (John 11:11-14.)

Lazarus as a man was no exception to the rule of life and death, and herein his sickness was not unto death. But in the Divine representation he was dead, even as the Lord died on the cross, and he was restored to natural life to signify the Lord's resurrection as to the body. Yet the Mary body died on the cross, nor was it restored. The Lord's resurrection body was not material or spacial, but was of the very Divine Substance, not suddenly given at the resurrection, but continuously derived throughout His life in the world. This, His Divine body, was born of God. Thus, while He was in the world, He was possessed of a body of outer material and a human inheritance from the mother stamped with the image of her race. This was also inwrought from within by the Divine Soul, so that more and more the mother-inheritance yielded as He was glorified. It cannot be so with any finite man whose soul is limited. Hence the bodies of men never rise from death.

Man's resurrection is only as to the spirit, while the Lord raised Himself into the life both of the world and of heaven and at the same time above the heavens into unity with the Father. His Divine Human thus became all-encompassing. It is spoken of as Divine Natural, Spiritual, and Celestial, and so, inclusive of all the degrees of human life. He is now the Divine Human, which term also presents a seeming contradiction. But it is only through a seeming contradiction that the entire living activity of the Lord can be expressed, and the planes of His presence and power be indicated. As to the lowest of these planes, He was the Divine Lazarus. His death on the cross was actual, but of Himself death was not a predicate. Yet all was put off which stood in the way of the ultimation of His Divine life. It was this Divine ultimate which made Him entire Man, and in this unlike any spirit. Therefore, we may not think of Him as raised only as to the spirit and as abiding on or above the spiritual plane of life only. Such a conception will not hold our thought centered upon the true Divine Human-the God-Man. It would lead to an abstract acknowledgment of the Infinite, in which case in our apprehension of Him we would be where men were before He came. His coming would be to us but a matter of historic significance, as a Divine happening which, having come to pass, has long since passed away, leaving man's relation to God as it was before. The Lord is still the Divine Man to us, and in Human He is present with men more ultimately than His of old. His Divine Human is now omnipresent. It is within and without, above and round about on every plane. Yet He can be seen only with the mind; that is, spiritually. He is present in the Holy Supper, yet there He is the subject of a spiritual eating only. For His Divine body is neither material nor spacial nor yet is it finitely spiritual, but totally Divine. If these words imply a contradiction, it is in order that the full truth may find expression and so be adapted to our limited comprehension. Through contrary statements' a higher truth may be conveyed; yet the truth is one. Seeming contraries are given to express Infinity. Only so may the Infinite be received and be acknowledged by finite minds. Celestial perception alone may reconcile where human words fail and natural ideas are inadequate.

We say that the Lord rose with the entire body which He had in the world, and yet to that body nothing material, nothing of matter pertained. His Divine ultimate began its derivation into the human frame even before birth. With His resurrection that ultimate became entire. This is called the body which He had in the world. Yet this, His resurrection body, is not visible to the material eyes of man. It is visible to man's spiritual eyes, but then always in accord with man's apperception of it. His Divine body in itself is beyond the vision of the angels; yet it is perceived by them through a veiling. Such is the teaching. This veiling accords with their state .of reception.

When His immediate disciples saw Him after His resurrection, they saw Him as He was wounded on the cross. In His Second Coming the wounds of the cross are no longer visible. Spiritual sight is quite in accord with the state of the mind, and the state of men's minds has greatly changed since the time of the first Advent. The greatest change came with the Second Coming, when the thought of a Son of God from eternity as a separate person vanished, and the unity of the Divine became supreme. Then also came a change with reference to the thought concerning the resurrection body. That body is now divested of all material. It is seen to be purely Divine and clearly glorified. It is apperceived as ultimate and over against all nature, and as the last, it is the lowest Divine boundary, enclosing all material. Spiritually we see His body as Truth, the Truth of all revelation, the Truth which as a body contains the Esse of life. This Truth our Lord was and ever more made Himself to be when He stood forth from the Father as the Son of God in the world. In uniting this Truth with the Divine Good, He made His body Divine Love in form. Thus we are commanded to think of it. For thus it is now revealed with the wounds of the cross and the injurious falsities which they signified removed from it. We think of His body as Divine Love in a Human form and of this Love as Life. Therefore we see all living things conspiring to a form which is at once Human and Divine.



14



GLORIFICATION p. 15        THE ANOINTMENT

"Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith . . . Judas Iscariot. . . . Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? . . . Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always." (John 12: 3-8.)

The miracle of Christian faith and its regenerative power lies in the fact that the Lord who was born a Man in the world was conceived of the Most High God through the Holy Spirit descending upon a virgin. In consequence of this miracle men were redeemed, and by faith therein the way was opened for their salvation. There could be no redemption, nor could any man be saved by other than a Divine miracle, and indeed, by no other-than the miracle of incarnation. This, and this alone, was equal to the emergency. For God, by becoming Man in the world, put Himself in the place of man and did that which man, because of his failing power, could not do.

Man's salvation before the incarnation came through heaven and the guidance of the angels. But the burden of sin had become too heavy. Its weight had broken the connection with heaven. Infernal spirits took possession of the minds and bodies of men. The only hope lay in the immediate exercise of Divine power in favor of man. This could be brought about in one way only. Incarnation brought the Divine into touch with evil through the instrumentality of a body put on in the world of nature-a body which carried all racial tendencies to evil. The Lord's human assumed, opened the door of contact, and so of conflict with and victory over, evil. This resulted in the eradication of evil in the Lord's assumed body and the subjugation of the abnormal power of evil over man. In this way freedom and the power of its exercise were restored. This may be likened to a restoral of sanity or mental equilibrium.

The miracle of the Lord's Divine conception is told in the following words: The angel said to Mary, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee." (Luke I: 3 5.) These words do not signify, the joint action of two distinct or separate Divines, for the Holy Spirit was none other than the Spirit of the Most High God in its presence in the heaven of angels, or in its transit through these heavens, whereby it was accommodated to human needs and service. It was necessary that the Divine should be thus humanly accommodated, and by virtue of this, at the chosen time it could be shaped and directed by the will of God to a virgin conception and birth.

It is important to know this in order to understand why the Lord received the Holy oil of His anointing at the hand of Mary, and also why she anointed His feet and wiped them with her hair. He was anointed by Mary even as He was baptized by John. For His coming was to and into a church which was composed entirely of representatives, of symbols which signified Him and the progressive states of His glorification; which states, while involving Divinity, were for the time qualified in and by His human assumed. It was of order, therefore, that these successive states should be representatively enacted by and through the events of His outer life in the world. For this reason He was anointed by the hand of Mary and in all other respects lived an outwardly representative life in the world.

At the time of our text His journey's end was near. He had come by way of the East, and had arrived at the Mount of Olives, the holy mountain overlooking Jerusalem. Upon this mountain, according to ancient prophecy, the feet Of Jehovah would stand in the day of judgment; and that day was at hand. The Lord was now at Bethany, a village on the Mount of Olives. There He raised Lazarus from the dead as a sign of His own near death and resurrection. Subsequently they made Him a supper, and Lazarus sat with Him at table, and Martha served; but Mary, her sister, "Took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair."

His arrival at the Mount of Olives signified a state of Divine Good which involved and initiated the culmination of His glorification. The holy oil of His anointing had a like significance; namely, the Divine Good infilling the forms of Divine Truth with Him. As He said, this oil was kept for His burial, that is, for His resurrection, which marked His total Divinity. His true anointing was, however, not by the hand of Mary. He was anointed from conception, and Divinity was His birthright. From the womb He was the Christ and the Messiah, that is, the Anointed of Jehovah. The ointment which Mary put upon Him was a symbol of that Divine which, by degrees, wrought His glorification. But at the time of the Mary anointing it was a sign that His glorification had progressed even to the ultimates of His body. Mary "anointed His feet, and wiped them with her hair." Besides, the time had come for His entrance into Jerusalem, and He must needs enter the Holy City as a King-as an anointed King, bearing the outward sign of His royalty.

From ancient times kings were anointed with holy oil, not, indeed, in sign of their Divinity, but as a token that they were hedged by Divinity and protected thereby. Because of this it was not lawful for anyone to touch (with violence) the king who was called the Lord's anointed. The oil of anointing conferred upon kings the power of representing the Lord. For a like cause priests and prophets were anointed and thereby set apart for their sacred service and its Divine representation.

The Lord alone of all men was truly born a King, a Priest, and a Prophet. The Divine which other men were chosen to represent was in Him an actuality. For He was conceived of the Most High God through the Holy Spirit descending; and more, for as His glorification progressed, He was successively born again of God alone. So that in His resurrection there was nothing of Mary, the mother, in Him. Yet, as long as He was a Man in the world, His Divinity was constrained by an outer body taken from na. ture, and to this extent He was like another man. Therefore, while a Man in the world, He was also able to represent and to enact representative things. Thus He put on, in His person, all the states of the church. As He hung upon the cross He represented the death of the church; and so throughout His life all things round about Him in which He took part were representative; on the one hand of the states of the church, and more interiorly the Divine transactions which took place within Him. Hence He suffered baptism at the hand of John, even as other men were baptized; and so now, in sign of His royalty, just before He entered Jerusalem, there was placed upon Him the outer sign of Kingship. In doing this, Mary represented the cooperative service of heaven. For the Lord, in His glorification as well as in His descent into the world, took nothing from the angels. Yet, in all stages of His descent into the world and of His ascent therefrom, the heavens served Him. He called angels and spirits to Himself at will and sent them away. They came to Him with all their states of life, bringing appearances of truth in an endless succession. He sent them away re-instructed and reformed. This was of Divine service to Him. As with the angels, so also it was with the men about Him in the world; and so now with Mary when she laid the holy oil upon His feet. Not only angels, but good men in the world served His purpose in this way, and also evil spirits and evil men in another way. For His work was not only to glorify His Human and re-order the heavens and re- establish the church, but as well, to subdue the hells by overcoming evil.

The church to which He was come was in its last stages. Its judgment was at hand, and the evils overwhelming the race were at the point of final defeat; His complete victory was not yet, for as soon as Mary had laid the sacred oil upon Him, there occurred a resurgence of evil, accompanied by a denial of His Divinity. The voice of this denial spoke through Judas Iscariot, who said, "Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? "In these words the Lord's Divinity was offered for sale at a price, and the price was to be given to the poor. An evil charity, this; a more false one could not be found. This ointment signified His Divinity, and the poor to whom the price of it was to be given signified those who knew not the Lord, and who in their blindness rejected Him. Judas represented the church, even the church which crucified Him. The denial of His Divinity was His spiritual crucifixion. This Judas later betrayed Him for pieces of silver, even as he now would sell the sacred ointment of His anointing. But the Lord answered him, saying, "Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor ye always have with you; but me ye have not always."

The Judas church could not see beyond the grave. The Lord spoke in accord with its state when He said that the oil of His anointing was kept for His burial, as if death was the conclusion. His burial was, indeed, the end of that church, and in His death He put on the representation of its condemnation.

In the eyes of the angels there is no death. Burial to them signifies resurrection, for the Lord and for all men. Even as the Lord rose from the grave, so His resurrection carried with it the upraising of a new and living church. His concluding words in the text apply to this new church as well as to the old, which passed away. He said, "The poor always ye have with you," that is to say, those who know not the Lord, and who in their spiritual blindness reject Him, would continue and would again rise to place and power in the revived church. This result was inevitable. Therefore He said, "Me ye have not always," which signifies that the Lord would, in time, depart from the revived church because it also would sell the oil of His anointing for a price, that is, would reject His Divinity- the Divinity by which He was conceived, and into which He was successively born, until He, in mind and body as well as in soul, became in actuality the Born of God. This last, however, was not at that time openly revealed. It was reserved because it could not be borne, could not be received.

The miracle of the first Christian faith and its saving power consisted in belief in His Divine conception and virgin birth. In this there was a primitive adequacy, and it served the church until credal perversions and additions arose. The entire cycle of the truth was reserved for the Lord's Second Coming. Then was it revealed that our Lord was not only conceived of the Most High God through the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, but that as His life in the world advanced He was successively born again of God alone; and that in this He followed in the way of man's regeneration, and in so doing opened that way as never before. The revelation of this way constitutes His Second Coming, and until that revelation was given the way could not in clearness and with certainty be seen and followed. The special offering of the Church of the New Jerusalem is an open way for man's spiritual regeneration.



15



GLORIFICATION p. 16        THE MOUNT OF OLIVES

They drew nigh unto Jerusalem and were come to Bethphage, unto the Mount of Olives." (Matt. 21: 1.)

Passing through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem, the Lord with His disciples came to the Mount of Olives. Their formal entrance into the city was not immediate. The mountain was a "Sabbath Day's journey "to the East of Jerusalem, separated from it by the Valley of Jehoshaphat, through which ran the brook of Kidron. The sacred mountain overlooked the city. It dominated it, even as in life states of love dominate thought and doctrine. At the time of the Lord's presence upon it, the mountain represented the state of life at which He, in the progress of His glorification, had arrived; namely, the good of love. With Him this good was Divine. His presence on the mountain therefore signified His reception of that love in fullness, and so His preparation for entrance into the Divine doctrine, signified by the Holy City. By the acquirement of this love He was prepared also for entrance into the city of the Jews, there to sustain the things which were to come to pass as a result of His final encounter with a corrupt church. His presence on the mountain therefore at this time, in its supreme meaning, betokened the near climax of His glorification; so near, indeed, that He then was Divine Good, but with a notable qualification.

After His ascension all the degrees of His life were fulfilled and united. He was then the Divine Good of the Divine Love without any qualification. But when He stood on Olivet, this Good, though dominantly present in Him and near its entire fulfillment, was still qualified by its presence in a natural human body, in some part mortal and capable of death. He was still a Man among men. It is fortunate that we may so think of Him when He came to the mountain and for a short time thereafter. The Divine, apart from some accommodation, is quite invisible to human eyes and unknowable to human thought. It can be seen only under finite appearances. For this He was born, lived, and died. So we now see Him as He comes to us through the images laid in our minds by His life on earth. He there provided a succession of such images in an unbroken series, and even thereafter to the point of His ascension. Then indeed He departed from the world, but the vision of Him remains unbroken even by His death, and it is now again renewed by a final revealing. It is fortunate, however, that we may still see Him as a Man on earth and as He stood upon the Mount of Olives, fulfilling in His person every Divine prophecy of bygone ages. "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" (Isaiah 52: 7.) Thus He stood upon the Mount of Olives, looking to Jerusalem, the city of desolation and of hope, the place of His death and of His resurrection; the city over which He wept, and which in its spiritual significance He raised to a new life.

His state upon the mountain, expressed in the relative words of human language, was a surpassing love for the human race. Of this love we may have some comprehension. From our limited love of a few we may conceive of a love that embraces many, even all. His love, though Divine, was at this time also a human state of love, for He was still a Man in the world. States are predicates of the human mind, whether they be states of love and light or of cold and shade. They are spiritual qualities, and their changes are the means of man's Providential government-the means of his regeneration. The constant fact about them is that they change. In this lies the possibility of man's betterment, or otherwise.

As long as the Lord was a Man in the world, He underwent changes of state. His mind, even as His body, was human; that is, it was human Divine; and since states and their changes are mental predicates or spiritual qualities, they are ascribed to the Lord at all points of His life on earth. They are spoken of as Divine (A.E. 4237); but their Divinity was, as said, qualified.

The world of nature is under the all-present rule of time and space. The world of the mind and the spiritual world know only states. The Divine in Itself is qualified by neither. The Lord in the world conformed to both time and space, and He partook of all human states of good. Thus the Divine which was inmostly in Him was conditioned by His mind and body, neither of which was life, but vessels receptive thereof. In the words of the Writings, "The Lord's internal Human, before it was fully glorified, was a receptacle of the Divine. (A. C. 5417.) Thus we see Him on the mountain as God humanly veiled. Because of this veiling He comes to our vision. Because of this the message of His love reaches us. He was then a messenger of love and peace, and also of judgment.

Peace can come only through a judgment; not otherwise. This is so of the peace called regenerate. No other is here meant save that which comes after trials and afflictions. This is a hard lesson to learn. We speak of spiritual temptations and their theoretical suffering; yet we know them not, even when they are upon us. When the mind is clouded and depressed we miss the true issue, for we are then in prison to false conclusions. Every temptation leads to a judgment, and only after the judgment is peace given. We seek peace, yet our troubles multiply, and also the restlessness which comes of unattainable desires. The proprium of man is incurable. Attempts to subdue it fail unless Divine aid is given. If we seek such aid, we must look to the mountains, "from whence cometh our help," that is, to the Lord upon the mountain. We see Him on the Mount of Olives, on His way to Jerusalem, a Messenger of peace but also of judgment. He Himself was come to meet the judgment to be passed upon Him by men, but the penalty of this judgment was, in truth, theirs. Their judgment upon Him became His judgment upon them; that is, upon all those who could not, with Him, be raised to new life. The consummation of this judgment was at hand, and an old and fallen church was giving place to a new one.

The Mount of Olives upon which the Lord stood was not only deeply significant,-it was rich with many sacred memories. From it the Lord went to Jerusalem, riding in triumph as a King, and during the last days of His intercourse in the sacred city He returned to the Mount of Olives to pass the night. On one such occasion, returning from the temple after prophesying its destruction, He sat with Peter, James, and John, and Andrew on that mountain and spoke of the things to come; of wars and rumors of war, of nations arising against nations, of earthquakes and famine, of troubles and sorrow, of trials and the preaching of the Gospel, of betrayals and of the abomination of desolation. And even as He spoke the judgment was come. Its spiritual manifestation was unseen by worldly eyes, yet it was taking place in the spiritual world, even as described in the forecast of it by the prophet Zechariah: "Then shall Jehovah go forth to fight against the nations . . . and His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem, on the cast, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east, and toward, the west, and there shall be a great valley, and half the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south." (Zechariah 14: 3-4.) This description pictures the judgment upon the ancient congregation gathered in the spiritual world and there awaiting the Lord's coming. It was a judgment upon the Ancient Churches, and basically upon the Jewish Church. It was accompanied by manifestations such as the prophet describes. This judgment in the spiritual world, in its sequences, parallelled the events of the Lord's life in the natural world, even as effects follow from their causes.

The judgment upon the Jewish Church in this world was also represented by the violent division of the Mount of Olives. That division is said in the Writings to signify the passing of the Christian Church to the Gentiles. This is the historic meaning of Zechariah's prophecy. In the Arcana Coelestia 9780, it is said of the prophecy that it treats of the coming of the Lord, and that by the Mount of Olives is meant the Good of Love and of Charity, thus the church. That the church would recede from the Jewish nation and would be set up among the Gentiles is signified by the mountain being cleft asunder, toward the east and toward the sea, and toward the north and the south. Also, in a universal sense, by Jehovah going forth to fight against the nations, and by His feet standing upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem, is meant that the Lord from Divine Love would fight against the hells, for the "nations" are evils from hell, and the Mount of Olives on which He stood is the Divine Love. (See also A. E. 405:23.)

With reference to the church and the judgment the mountain signifies one thing, and with reference to the Lord and His glorification, another; yet the two are intimately related. The mountain disrupted and divided in every direction, obviously bespeaks the fate of the church, and in this respect also the fate of the Lord as a Prophet Who put on representatively all the states of the church, and in so doing, suffered. His Human crucified was significant of the death of the church; but His Human glorified carried with it the resurrection of a new church. We see, therefore, in the Mount of Olives, a double signification. With reference to the Lord's glorification it was, indeed, the Mountain of His Holiness; but with reference to the church, as it then existed, it was the mountain of judgment and of condemnation. Therefore, in the prophecy of Zechariah, it was destroyed by division and separation. This also was that which happened to His worldly Human. It was put off in likeness to the church which was passed away, to make place for a new one. In this sense the mountain may be called a mountain of corruption. It was so called in the days of Solomon when that kind defiled it by false worship established on its heights. At that time the Mount of Olives was joined with the old Jerusalem in an evil significance. Yet supremely, and with reference to the Lord's glorification, it was indeed the Mountain of His Holiness, signifying the Good of His Divine Love from which He performed His every judgment, and from which He also, in the supreme moment, united His Human with His Divine. Therefore it was that from this holy mountain He was seen ascending to heaven. This was a sign to men that the gates of heaven were open, and that the Lord was passing though. This was the sign of redemption, for men were free to follow Him in the way. The gates of heaven were opened, and men were redeemed to God-because the Lord, by His ascension, entered into full union with His Father.

The Lord said, "For their sakes I sanctify myself, as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in Thee, that they may be one in us. And the glory which Thou gave me I have given them, that they may be one, I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in One. (John 17: 17-22.)



16



GLORIFICATION p. 17        THE ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM

"And when they came nigh to Jerusalem . . . at the Mount of Olives, He sendeth forth two of His disciples, and saith unto them, Go your way into the village . . . and. . . ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. . . . And they went . . . and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met;. . . . And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and He sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches . . . and strewed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Mark 11:1-10.)

The Writings 'note that "The Lord went from the Mount of Olives, and suffered, and that by this was signified that in all things He acted from Divine Love." Since all that He did was representative, and all that He spake was significative, it was of order that His environment at any given time should correspondently accord with and outwardly represent His inner states; and also that the successive mutations of His internal states should be represented in the progressive changes in His environment. To attain this He came into the world, where alone were given those ultimates which are the final basis of reactive power, by means of which Divine power could be fundamentally exercised. He came in order to be and live in these ultimates to the end that He might, from firsts through lasts, bring all the intermediates of human life in both worlds into order. Only so could men be redeemed and the heaven of angels be maintained in a state of integrity. Only so could that connecting link between earth and heaven, the intermediate world of spirits, be so cleansed as to restore its vital function as a transferring medium. This restoration was effected in Himself while He was a Man in the world. This He could there do because as a Man in the world He included in Himself not only the firsts of pure Divinity and the lasts of ultimate creation, but also all celestial and spiritual intermediates, and this in Himself in Person, in the type and form pertaining to men who of themselves had failed to sustain even the analogue of a spiritual regeneration.

The Mount of Olives overlooked Jerusalem, which city was to be the scene of His death and His resurrection into life-into that Divine life which was inmostly His from birth, but which, owing to His incarnation, He could bring forth into ultimates only by degrees as the maternal inclinations in His bodily human were eradicated by successive temptations. Only at the last was this, His ordained labur, fully accomplished. At the time of which we write He was entering upon this final state. His arrival at the Mount of Olives initiated this reception of the Divine Love to a degree not before attained. It also opened an inner communion with His Soul, more intimate than in any former state. Indeed, this intimacy was now so near to unity as to call for the pouring of the oil of anointing upon His feet, which signified the descent of His Divine Love to the lowest ultimates. Or what is the same, the glorification of His natural, the natural of His body, which in consequence was now in process of being put off from without and put on anew from the Divine within, whereby His very body was to become altogether Divine. But this was effected in its finality only at the close of His life on earth; yet the nearness of this end was making itself increasingly felt as He advanced from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem.

The Divine Love, signified by His anointing, was now descending into and filling all the forms of Truth which His Human had become. This process is presented to our minds by His riding into Jerusalem as an anointed King, seated upon the foal of an ass, which event symbolizes the successive subordination of the lower planes of His man-life in the world to the Divine Love inflowing, whereby those lower faculties, in sequence, became Divine Love in form. It was because of this that He entered into Jerusalem as a Divine King, or as the Born of God. For this reason His entrance into the Holy City was not undertaken in a state of humiliation suggested by the word "lowly" in the ancient prophecy concerning that event. Instead, it was accomplished in a state of exaltation, accompanied by all the signs and symbols of royal magnificence. For to ride into Jerusalem on the foal of an ass was the special sign of a king.

The details of the account are significant. The Lord sent two of His disciples, saying, Go . . . into the village . . . and ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat." This colt, as the foal of an ass, signified the rational from the natural in the Lord's Human, which was to be reduced to that order and subordination apart from which His glorification could not advance to its ordained climax. The like, in a minor sense, may be said of man's regeneration. But the rational from the natural, with the Lord, differed from that pertaining to any other man. It was like that of another only in so far as it was, in part, conditioned by the Lord's maternal heredity. It was unlike the natural rational of mortal man in that from the beginning, and increasingly, it received and appropriated the Divine inflowing, which was at first but obscurely felt by Him and was then but obscurely effective. Yet, as His life advanced, this influx became increasingly clear and compelling. The difference in structure and composition between the Lord's first rational and that of another man is indicated by the fact that no man had ever sat upon the colt, the foal of an ass, which, on this occasion, was found and brought to the Lord.

It is recorded that when the disciples entered the village they found the colt "tied by the door without in a place where two ways met." This tells of the double influx to which He was subject as long as He was in the world; that is, He received an influx of the Divine from within through the door of the rational mind, and a converse apparent influx from the world without through His external senses into His natural, and thence into His derived rational. The rational was the place of contact of these two influxes. Therefore it was that the colt was found "tied by the door.... in a place where two ways met."

The Lord was now as never before subject to the Divine Love inflowing from His Soul. This Love, as said, was represented by the sacred mountain upon which He stood, and its influx by the oil of His anointing, which was poured upon His feet. The result was the ordination and subordination of all His lower human faculties with a view to a full reception and inclusion of the Divine. This is signified by what follows concerning the preparation for His ride into Jerusalem as a King. It is said the ordination and subordination of His human faculties because He was, as yet, a Man in the world, and His Divine was still inbound in human states, still conditioned outwardly by the order of the- external world, and still receptive of and affected by, the ultimate images thence arising in correspondence with His inner states of mind. Because of this it was of His good pleasure to fulfill these outward symbols, and now especially those which were a sign of His Divine royalty. This He did by riding into Jerusalem seated upon a colt, the foal of an ass.

It is recounted that on the occasion the disciples cast their garments upon the colt, and that He sat upon them, to signify the subordination of all truth to the inflowing Divine Good. It is further recorded that some spread their garments in the way before Him, while others cut down branches and strewed them in the way. The whole picture represents the successive subordination of lower things. The Writings tell us that this was to the end that the natural should serve the rational, and this the spiritual, and the spiritual the celestial, and that this last should serve the Lord Himself. (A. C. 2791.) This was the successive sub-ordering which now took place in the Lord in preparation for His final and full glorification, when all planes of His life, the lower as well as the higher, should become purely Divine. The representation therefore pictures the complex of truths of every series, which, when He was in the world, became subject to Him as the highest judge and King; but which, after His glorification, flowed forth from Him, from His Human glorified, and filled the universal heavens with a new Divinity.

When the subordination of truth was accomplished it is further recorded that they who went before Him cried, saying, "Hosanna; Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." This cry was a shout of joy, an exclamation of rejoicing; it was an "acknowledgment," a "glorification," and a "thanksgiving," because of that which was now come to pass, and which was yet to be by virtue of the passion of the cross, namely, that He would, by that passion, fully unite His Human with His Divine, subjugate the hells, and restore the order of heaven. All this to the end that mankind might have the possibility of salvation, a possibility made permanent by the eternal procession of the Divine Good and Truth into and through the heavens and thence to men on earth. (See A. E. 365:10.)

These Divine mysteries were involved in, and therefore, signified by the hosannas of those who went before and those who followed Him. Not that the multitude, nor even the disciples, so understood these events, or that they were gifted with any foreknowledge of the future. Much less did they perceive the truth of that deep revealing of His glorification which now, in some part, is given us to understand. John states that, "These things understood not His disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things unto Him." (John 12: 6.) It is always so. Every Divine enactment is accomplished above the knowledge of men and angels, though it may early take form in some unconscious prophecy. Nevertheless the revelation of the Divinities involved may be long delayed. To the Lord alone the realization of the inexpressible truth was given. The cry of joy was His. The outward circumstance, the shouting of His disciples, was but an ultimate respondence to His inner state of Divine perception and the joy thereof.

These outward events were afterwards recognized as a literal fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy. That ancient prophecy varies from the New Testament record of the event. It was given in the form of an invitation to the daughter of Zion and of Jerusalem to rejoice at the coming of the Lord. It reads, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon 'an ass, and upon a colt, a foal of an ass, . . . And He shall speak peace unto the heathen: and His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river, even to the ends of the earth." (Zechariah 9: 9-10.)

Of this peace as the gift of the Lord to the heavens in consequence of His glorification, Luke wrote as follows: "And when He was come nigh, even to the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of His disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest." (Luke 19: 37-38.)

The Lesson from the Writings for today (See A. C. 8493:4, 5) presents in broad outline the significance of this peace to the Lord Himself, and its meaning to the angels of heaven and also to men on earth. It is that Sabbath of rest which is given after the labors of temptation are over. It is the promise which leads man in his contest with the adversities arising from his proprial life. It is the hope that is held before us as the reward to be given of the Lord, in mercy, for our faithfulness, if so be our hearts are set to receive it."




17



GLORIFICATION p. 18        JESUS WEPT

"And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side. And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." (Luke 19: 41-44.)

It is twice recorded that Jesus wept. The first occasion was when He went with Mary to the grave of Lazarus. He saw her weeping, and the Jews also which came with her; then "He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and see: Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him. And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? "Then the Lord called Lazarus from the grave.

Here, as in all events touching the Lord's life in the world, the representation has reference to the state of the church and also to the Lord's glorification. In the first, the raising of Lazarus represented the resuscitation of the church, or the emergence of the Christian Church out of the shell of Judaism and its passing to the Gentiles. The second, which was more intimate, referred to the Lord's resurrection. The restoral of Lazarus to natural life in the world livingly marked the distinction between the Lord's resurrection and that of any other man, in that the Lord rose with His whole body which He had in the world, while man, at death, is raised only as to his spirit. The resurrection of the Lord, however, points directly to that other, the spiritual revival of the church, since it was the cause and power which converted men to Christianity. The fact of His resurrection was the great appeal. It touched the immemorial hope of men and gave renewed strength to a faith. The human heart longs for a life beyond the grave, and any testimony which encouraged that longing found a ready hearing; and so it came to pass that men opened their minds and hearts to the new faith. They said, "Never before has such light been shed upon the dark mystery of the future."

The story of the resurrection of Lazarus is usually taken simply as a demonstration of the Lord's power to do that which no other man could do, but throughout it is significant of spiritual and Divine things in a series not outwardly obvious in the letter. The story stands, indeed, as typical of every form of resurrection, including man's regeneration, the church's reformation, and the Lord's glorification.

The Lord's weeping with Mary and the Jews at the grave of Lazarus was, in its most literal implication, an appropriate ceremonial in the presence of death. So to do was an ancient ritual, become by custom of binding force. It was the accepted, and became ever more the formal sign of grief at parting with the dead. It was regarded an appropriate evidence of love for the departed. Hence the remark of the Jews concerning Jesus when they saw Him also weeping. They said, "Behold how He loved him." The Lord's weeping was indeed an evidence of His grief arising from love. As an outward sign it betokened the extremity of grief, its uncontrolled expression. It was a breaking forth of deepest emotion, with such power as to discard all normal limits. It therefore signified a love utterly bereaved and at the point of despair. In this it represents the most profound temptation of which the human mind is capable. It is the sign that love has encountered the despair of death, the death from which there then seems no recall, no revival; yet it is Lord's mercy manifests itself as the temptation of death.

At the Divine call, Lazarus come forth from the tomb. This is the answer, in some form, to every death and every phase of it. This is the answer to every temptation, which is but an interior phase of death. In this Lazarus stands as the type of every unfailing resurrection, and the power of the Lord's mercy therein. Death is shown to be but an apparent failure, a seeming that passes in the presence of life's renewal; yet the former life cannot be recalled where death is an actual dissolution. The victory in this case lies in a spiritual restoration. We call it another life, but it is the real life that was present all the while, present though veiled by increments subject to death, which alone are laid aside. These last were represented by the grave clothes with which Lazarus was bound, and of which Jesus said, Loose him, and let him go."

When the Christian Church began, there was, at first, only man's memory of the Lord to sustain it. Then the inspired Gospels were given to confirm these memories-given also as an enduring Scripture, sacred and Divine. At first the church was uncertain as to the placing of these Scriptures, but in time they were accepted as the Holy Word, and were taken to the heart of Christendom. Yet the church did not depart from the fundamental law of the older Scriptures, the books of which were at first regarded as the only Word of God and as such as more sacred than the Gospels. Yet the Gospels superseded. They were the living record of the Lord's Divinity. This was the foundation-strength of Christianity, and the source of its vivification, the spiritual which imparted to the church the power of salvation. The church, however, did leave behind the vast accumulation of Jewish traditions as a useless impediment to its growth. They were as grave clothes, to be cast then and therein that the powerful to overcome even aside. They signified the bonds of death, from which it was imperative that the church should be released.

The Christian Church could not have fulfilled its destiny, could not have served the needs of a new and more internal faith, unless these traditions had been left behind. They were the Jews' interpretations of their Scriptures, the doctrines of their devising, which held the mind bound in sensual ideas and opinions and which as a body were adverse to the spiritual fulfillment of the Scriptures given by the Lord, who referred to them as making the Word of God of none-effect. The rejection of these traditions was the first great temptation of the Christian Church, and it was epochal. Thereafter, the church passed to the Gentiles, whose ignorance in this respect made them fitter subjects for a new spiritual development. Thus the way was opened for Christianity to become a world religion, adapted to the needs of many races.

Jesus came weeping to the grave of Lazarus. The grave was a cave, "and a stone lay upon it." He said, "take ye away the stone." "They took away the stone where the dead was laid." Then having prayed to the Father, "He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go." (John 11: 38-44.) The inhibitions being removed, the ensuing temptation partook of that unceasing contest of life with death, which is the very essence of every interior human conflict. The weeping of Jesus on the occasion marks the depth of temptation, in that it was crucial. It betokened His own approaching death and, derivatively, the death of the past civilization and a moribund ecclesiasticism. His resurrection, in its consequences, broke the spirit of the Jewish traditions, and yet it revived the Word of God. Such a revival ever means a new church, new in spirit and new in form. Yet there is that which is retained and that which is cast aside. It was so with the Christian Church; it was so with the body of the Lord. There was that which was raised and that which was dissipated, and this even to the last, when His body lay in the tomb.

The second occasion upon which it is recorded that Jesus wept was when He beheld the city. He then also saw a representation of a death and a resurrection, a foreshadowing of the cross for Himself and His resurrection, and the passing of a dead remnant of the ancient churches, and the revival of a new and internal church. Therefore it is recorded that "When He was come near, He beheld the city and wept over it."

He pronounced the judgment that was to fall upon it. He lamented the ignorance of the city. It did not know the things which belonged to its peace. He spoke of the coming of its enemies and its destruction. He predicated that destruction as a result of its not knowing the time of its visitation. This He saw in vision as He beheld the city, and because of the doom foreshadowed, He wept over it. His grief was an expression of His love for mankind, of whom the city was typical.

More than any congregation of men on earth, Jerusalem typified the fallen state of the race. Spiritual life was at its lowest ebb. Men were withdrawn quite beyond the reach of heaven. Spiritual ignorance was profound. This city, the symbol of highest spiritual meaning, was now lowest in the scale of human folly. Its inhabitants knew not the things that belonged to their peace. They were given over to the passions of the day. Their dreams were confined to the world and its rewards. There was no vision, and nothing of heavenly peace; only a striving of envious desires and natural passions soon to be excited to the point of madness. The sphere of this sensuous life was like a dark overshadowing cloud.

He came as a King to enter into His kingdom, but the shadow of doom fell upon His mind like a beckoning of death, and so He wept over the city because it knew not the time of its visitation. Its ignorance made His coming more like that of a thief in the night, so hidden was it and yet so open, if the city had only known. Spiritual blindness devised His death but in so doing made way for His resurrection. Jerusalem fell, yet its spirit was immortal. The outworn remnant of the ancient series of churches passed with the temple at Jerusalem, but its inspired ritual held the secrets of heaven. And so, even while the Lord beheld the city and perceived its doom; and as He wept over it for grief, yet His love held the inner vision of the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, the mysteries of which would receive an endless unfolding throughout the ages to come. But not as yet in an unbroken succession-not until the Lord should open the way for His final coming-by a revealing of His Divinity through a Divine unfolding of the wisdom of God stored in the rituals and history of the ancient churches and drawn thence by the Divinely appointed hand of one who was, at the time and for that purpose, instructed in the secrets of heaven.

These secrets, as revealed, were identical with the enclosed mysteries contained in the ancient Scriptures. Hence, their coming down from heaven and their exposition from the Word was one and the same, though apparently derived by a different process and from a different source. Both as one are given in the final revelation, and together they made possible a continuous unfolding of the wisdom of God.




18



GLORIFICATION p. 19        THE TEMPLE

"And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when He had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, He went out unto Bethany with the twelve." (Mark 11:11.)

The transfiguration marked the beginning of the last series of events leading to the Lord's full glorification. It was the sign of the end, and more than a sign. By that Divine vision the glorified Human was manifested to Peter, James, and John. Their eyes being opened, they saw Him transfigured before them." "His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow." "A cloud overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son." (Mark 9: 2-7.) By this vision the end was revealed. Peter, James, and John then saw Him in the glory of His Divinity, and they were thereby prepared to follow Him on His last journey-a journey leading from the mount of transfiguration to the hill at Jerusalem whereon His cross was fixed. Yet they were only in part prepared. By this vision their eyes were opened, but they were to be further instructed by the sequence of events. "As they came down from the mountain He charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of Man were risen from the dead. And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another, what the rising from the dead should mean." (Mark 9: 9, 10.)

Passing through Galilee on the way, He spoke to them again, this time of His death at the hands of men, and of His resurrection. Still they were uncertain and afraid. Entering the coasts of Judea, by the farther side of Jordan, it became clear to them that they were on the way to Jerusalem, and it is recorded they were amazed and fearful. But Jesus went before them, and taking the twelve, He said, "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him unto the Gentiles, and they shall mock Him, and shall scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him, and the third day He shall rise again." (Matt. 20: 18-19.)

Thus by degrees and with increasing fullness He prepared them for the final event. First He spake of His rising from the dead; then of His death, that it was to be at the hands of men, and finally, of the indignities which He would suffer, and of His rising on the third day. At first He spoke only with Peter, James, and John; but on the third occasion He spoke to the twelve. This sequence represents in each stage a fuller preparation, and in consequence, a marked change of state as a result of more particular instruction-a change which enabled the disciples to face the future and see through the intervening temptations to final victory-through death itself to the resurrection into life. So from a state of amazement, fear, and a holding back, they joined Him in the courageous and triumphal advance.

At the conclusion of His journey He entered Jerusalem as a King, riding in royal state. The "city was moved" at His coming, saying, "Who is this?" (Matt. 21: 10.) On entering the city He advanced to the heart of it, and into the temple. Here there was a pause in the great forward movement. The journey was ended. He stood in the temple, the house of God, the residence of His Divinity.

Many thought that He was come to make Himself the King of the Jews, and to sit upon the throne of David. The twelve, being instructed, looked not for so literal a fulfillment; yet they understood not the deep significance of this event-that is, of His entrance into the temple on this occasion, when to every appearance nothing was done. It is simply recorded of this most impressive moment that "He looked round about upon all things." He, the Lord of all being, stood in the temple at Jerusalem and looked round about upon all things-upon the temple from within, and upon the things that were in it. This temple, in its manifest significance, symbolized the Jewish Church, the history of which was inwrought in every feature of that representative structure, and, like the representative Jewish Church, it was also an embodiment of Himself. So, on the following day, when the temple was cleansed by Him of its defilement, it represented the church restored, and, by the same token, His Human glorified. When, therefore, He looked round about upon all things of the temple, a Divine survey on His part was signified-a survey both of the history and the present state of the church. Also, His "looking" on this occasion was as an introspection into His Human, about to be glorified.

The status of the temple at the time was reflexed upon Him as He stood within it. He saw Himself therein as in a mirror. It was as if His body were inclosed in a luminous correspondent of lower ultimation. He was, in fact, now standing in the sacred house which was built to conform to, and so to express everything of His own human structure, and in so doing to represent all the several planes of human life, whether earthly or heavenly.

In its widest meaning, the temple, as He stood within it, presented a picture of the Divine in its own creation. The things that He saw by this introspection as He looked round about told in fullness of the states of His Humanstates resulting from the presence of the Divine in an infirm body and of that Divine as it progressively glorified the body. These things, in detail, can never be entirely explained in human language; yet they are all involved in the statement of the text. In their spiritual wisdom, which is Infinite, they engage the thoughts of the angels with an everlasting delight therein. Well may we marvel as to what He saw when His eyes rested, in human fashion, upon the temple from within, upon its divisions, and upon its vessels of Divine service; upon those that belonged there, of use and order, and so were of sacred significance; and also upon those that were not of order, but which had found place there by some corrupt custom or perverted usage, and which were therefore of profane significance. Certainly we may know that all the sacred vessels were, of Providence, in their appointed place, and in their order, made ready for the moment of this Divine survey; and yet we also know that there were other things therein which stood for another service, and which were of evil import, as, for instance, the tables of the money changers.

As He looked upon the vessels of Divine service and upon those of evil significance, He saw more than can ever be told of the glories of the church yet to be, and, as well, of that broken and crumbling church now in process of passing away. He saw more than can ever be revealed to men or angels of the state of His infirm human, of its impending death, and so also of the stage of His preparation for, and advancement to, complete glorification. Even so, what He saw is in general revealed. It is revealed in every page of Scripture, to those whose eyes are open, and in the degree that they are open. All the Writings tell of these, His inner visions, as He surveyed the state of the church, and of His Infinite introspection into the state of His Human. All this is revealed in the first place in the ancient Scriptures, there enclosed in remote symbols, and veiled in dark sayings; but now exposed to rational view by the doctrines contained in the Writings of the church, which are openly comprehensible to men and more so to the angels.

The text from the New Testament gives simply the inclusive statement that He looked round about upon all things, and this means that He perceived the significance and sustaining power of the temple and of its sacred vessels in their order. He also perceived the destructive significance and the evil influence which was reflexed upon Him by the presence in the temple of other things that were not of order, but were of profane import. It was because of these last that a shadow overcast His mind. It is recorded that as He looked round about, the eventide fell; the night was at hand. This eventide was a symbolic forecast of that spiritual night in which the church went down. For Himself it foretold the darkness which supervened at His crucifixion.

He now stood in the temple and looked round about upon all things, of both good and evil import. A total revelation was given Him. He saw the desperate condition of men pictured by the status of the temple, and this also He felt as a grief in His body and mind. He perceived the only way of redemption, the way which led through the fall of the church and through His death. No other way was possible. No, nor can be, save through death; for that is the way of life. Death is the certain end of all things. But a resurrection is given. This is the rule of life. The spirit rises in a new embodiment. The question of death comes whenever the eventide falls, and with it a tempting doubt. Only the morning can dispel it. It is so in all things, minor and great. This alternation of night with day, of uncertainty with that which is sure, is the ground of human variability, both with the children of nature and with the life of the spirit.

Nothing is constant save the Divine. The Lord, by His human put on from nature, partook of nature's inconstancy. This He derived from man-from man's variability; his alternation of states, his light and shade. Herein is the marvel of the Lord's Advent, that by means of this human variability He might draw near to man. In this, He suffered changes of state, even as men. Through our imperfections, put on by Him, He made Himself comprehensible to us. The incompletions of His mind and body, in any given state, were predicates of His Humanity while He was in the world. Else for Him there could have been no shadow, no twilight, and nothing to call Him away from the temple to pass the night on the Mount of Olives, which signified a withdrawal into his inner Divine, while temptation endured- while the night lasted; there to await the morrow when He would return to the temple and to the work of its cleansing.

The temple was as His body in lower extension and more ultimate correspondence. As His body assumed was ever more wrought into a likeness with His Divine, so of need must the temple be correspondently cleansed of its defilement. His body and the temple were one. So when He spake of the temple, of its destruction, and the raising of it in three days, the disciples perceived that He spake of the temple of His body. Between these two there was the unity of correspondence. This was a spiritual unity. The temple made of stone followed in the way of His material body. It was destroyed in sequence with the fall of the church, and as a result of His death. After Jesus was glorified, the temple at Jerusalem cumbered the ground. One of His disciples, speaking of it, said, "Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are these. And Jesus, answering, said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? There shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down." (Mark 12: 1-2.) After His death and resurrection there was no longer a need or service for that structure. One greater than the temple was come, who spake to men of the temple of His body, and who substituted His body glorified, for those "great buildings," and offered it as the sole object for the worship of men.




19



GLORIFICATION p. 20        THE BARREN FIG TREE

And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, He was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came, if haply He might find anything thereon: and when He came to it He found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And His disciples heard it." (Mark 11: 12-14.) "And in the morning (of the next day) as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up front the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto Him, Master, behold, the fig tree Thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering said unto them, Have faith in God." (Mark 11: 20-22.)

The significance of the closing phrase, "Have faith in God," and in what sense it was an answer to Peter's words concerning the withered fig tree, is indicated by what is said in Matthew where the same subject is treated of. According to Matthew, when the Lord saw the fig tree, and "found nothing thereon, but leaves only," He said unto it, "Let no fruit-grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away I Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, yet shall not only do this to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (Matthew 2 1: 21-22.)

After the text from Mark concerning the barren fig tree, the same teaching concerning the casting of the mountain into the sea by faith in God and the power of prayer is given; but the connection is not so obvious as that made by Matthew, where three miracles of faith in God are linked together as one, namely, the withering of the fig tree, the casting of the mountain into the sea, and the receiving of whatsoever is prayed for.

Faith in God, sometimes called also the faith of God, is the faith by which miracles were accomplished, that is, by which the Divine power was expressed in ultimates with marvelous results. This peculiar manifestation of the Divine power is called in the Word, 'the finger of God.' By it the Lord performed all those miracles which were not purely spiritual manifestations, but were the result of an influx producing in nature unusual results visible to the natural eyes of men. By the 'finger of God,' Jehovah in ancient days caused the manna to fall upon the camp, as veritable food for the sons of Israel. By it the Lord, through a Divine illation, multiplied the loaves and fishes in the disciples' baskets, and fed a multitude. By it He instilled the wine of heaven into the water in the pots at the wedding feast. So also by this unusual exercise of power He cut off the life of the non-bearing fig tree, by causing the influx of the spirit of life into its roots, to cease. This was done, not because there was any offence in the tree, but because that tree, bearing leaves only, when He sought to find fruit thereon, stood as a type of all fruitless things, which instead of bearing fruit, fail, and in failing bring on their own discontinuance, this negation being the seed of death.

By Christian believers, the fig tree which the Lord cursed is regarded as emblematical of the Jewish Church. The miracle of its death by a deed of Divine power was apparently so uncalled for that no other reasonable conclusion concerning its real meaning can be made. All believing men will agree with the statement in the Writings, that the Lord was not moved with so great an indignation against the tree as to destroy its life simply because it bore no fruit to meet the need of His hunger. And this especially, as it is said that "the time of figs was not yet." The tree was guilty of no offence that it should suffer a sudden death; but because of that which it represented, its life was cut off by a miracle of power. The Lord's deed,, therefore, was significant of the fact that the church, at the time, was spiritually barren, and that its restoration as a medium of salvation was impossible. Its spiritual destruction was therefore at hand. Its good, through which alone salvation is given, was purely natural, and even as natural good it was not genuine. This state of the church was signified by the fig tree which was non-bearing. Even so, the church was in possession of some truths from the letter of the Word, signified by the leaves of the tree, but these were not sufficient to preserve even the semblance of spiritual life. Therefore, the tree of that church was at the point of death. It could no longer sustain itself. It could not even maintain the formal representation of what is spiritual. Its end, its breaking up, was at hand; and so in pronouncing its doom, the Lord said of it, "No man (shall) eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever."

From the beginning the essential virtue of this church consisted in a meticulous performance of sacred representative rites by means of which there was produced an outward seeming of holiness which veiled its real inner state from- the eyes of men and of all simple good spirits. This deception for a time served a definite use, but such service could not endure. The bonds of external order alone are never quite sufficient-never long lasting. Seeming holiness rapidly degenerates into idolatry. Yet the church with that nation was possessed of a remarkable durance, and this because it was the medium of giving the Word-because it possessed that Word in its ultimate form and held it to be holy, and also because it did draw from its sacred letter certain external Divine truths. But the early perversion of these truths quickly destroyed any possibility of an internal development. This church, signified by the fig tree, was from the beginning barren, and now was the time of its judgment.

In the days when the earth was like an Eden, the olive was chief among the trees. Its oil was a blessing from on high, which ran down to the hem of the garment. But when the first Paradise was lost, and the hearts of men were chilled with foreboding of non-redeemable evil, then the vine was given, and wine to make glad the hearts of men; after the vine, the fig, and at last the non-bearing fig tree which was withered by the curse of the Lord. "No man (shall) eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever." But there was now no need for the fig, nor the vine, nor yet the olive, that men might live. The day of symbolic churches was past, and while their representations remained in the form of sacred Scriptures-ancient revelations, to cover and include the past history of the spiritual states of the race, and to afford an ordered basis of subsequent Divine revelations, yet the churches themselves, as spiritual powers on earth, had vanished. The last of them now stood to view as little more than an empty form. The need and service of these ancient churches were no longer called for, since now the very Bread of Heaven, in the person of the Lord, was come down to give life to the world-to offer His Divine body as the Bread of Life. The barren fig tree, therefore, could not but wither at His presence, for that tree, which for long had stood in His place, was now in His way.

It is of record that as He came down from the mountain on His way to Jerusalem, He hungered; and in coming to the fig tree He failed to find any fruit thereon. He hungered. This was a part of His life as a man. He was in need of food, both for body and mind, but the tree gave Him no fruit, and the church was equally barren of the fruit fit for His spiritual eating. His need, on this occasion signified by His hunger, was for souls to save. It was an expression of His love seeking and not finding-His love for the salvation of all men. This then was His temptation, His anguish, His hunger. It seemed as if man, despite the Lord's love and the power thereof, could not be saved. He perceived the desperate state of the church. It gave Him no hope, and this to such an extent that He seemed on the way to a hopeless death. Even when He met with death on the cross, vinegar only was offered Him. This was the offering of that church when He said, "I thirst." The offering was significant of the then existing state, and also it was prophetic of the great apostasy to come.

The universal significance of the fig tree is natural good-third in the degree of descent from the original celestial good-third in degree of the trees of life. The fig stands in Scripture with this constant signification. But churches are not other than men. The fig tree represented a man. When the Lord came down from the mountain and saw the tree, the impression on His mind was intimate. He saw-Himself therein even as a barren fig tree; that is, He saw therein His human-that part of Himself which He had put on from man, and its state. This is the deepest significance of the tree. He saw in the tree, and therefore in the church, the race from which His human was taken. His mortal human was in itself barren and fit only for death-. It was a body condemned by its nature, which, like a shell containing a Divine seed, must needs fall to the ground and die.

Nature's resurrection is ever a living representation of the Divine process of life. Not otherwise than through death may life renew itself. The realization of this, in its universality, enables us to see the underlying factor in the story of the Lord's life on earth. He, like all men, was, as to the human of His assumption, marked for death; and this from the beginning-marked for many deaths, for a continual death. This is the significance of those states of His mind and body called temptations, which were continual. In the series of these temptations, the death of the fig tree was an incident significant, however, of completion. It represented the total rejection from His Human of any and all apparent natural good, even that which might deceive the angels. With Him no fallacy could be disguised. His condemnation of it was entire,-"No man (shall) eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever."

In the letter there is an appearance of resentment in His words, difficult to understand, especially because of the statement that the time of figs was not yet. The time of figs, here mentioned, refers to the fact that the coming church, which also would be largely natural, belonged to the future. Many apologies have been written to mollify the Lord's curse of an obviously innocent tree. Nevertheless the spiritual meaning is that the good represented by that tree was not only evil at heart, but because of its appearance of good was profoundly deceptive. Few there are who have not been swayed by such seeming good. In every non-spiritual state or age it has passed, current not only as, the best, but often as the only good. It is that good which is outwardly obvious. It stands as the affection which provides benefactions of charity. It serves the uses of human life; yet it may, and often does, house the essence of self-love, whereby it furthers the ends of selfish ambition. In this it is the good of self-love, and the source of all hypocrisy. Its peculiar danger lies in the fact that it can hardly be distinguished from natural good of a spiritual origin. Its danger is not that it deceives others, but that it is self-deceiving. It is like a fruit tree abundant in foliage only.

This is the tree which the Lord condemned, and from which He cut off all life at the root.

Evil, at times, may from genuine charity be condoned to allow repentance, but the spurious good of the fig tree kind, with its deceit, can only be utterly condemned. No other thing is so preventative of genuine repentance and of that humility of heart which alone opens the way to spiritual life. Therefore the fruitless fig tree, with its deceiving foliage, which stood in His way as He went down from the mountain to the temple, withered at the presence of Him, Who by His glorification and His ascent through the heavens, was tempted by the angels. Even angelic good was put aside by Him and reformed, and herein lay the secret of the new salvation which He offered to men. It was not as the old salvation. It was not dependent upon the angels. Yet it was little understood by men, and scarcely accepted. Only through-long ages did it become manifest, and at first obscurely. The new salvation lay in Him alone-in His person as the Divine Man, and in the Divine supremacy of that Man-in the Shiloh of ancient prophecy, who was to come and take to Himself the rule of the heavens; yet in the passing of that rule to Him, the power of the heavens increased, and with men on earth it was forever secured; and this because in destroying the false fig tree He made Himself the very and only Tree of Life.



20



GLORIFICATION p. 21        PURGING THE TEMPLE

And they came to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves; and would not suffer that any man should carry a vessel through the temple. And He taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves." (Mark 11: 15-17.)

This record, given in Mark, follows immediately after the Lord's encounter with the fig tree, the destruction of which signified the passing of a dead church, and more intimately the elimination from His Human of that form of natural good which carried evil at its heart. The withering of the fig tree, in that it represented the spiritual judgment upon the church, fulfilled in general the import of the premonitory warning of the day before, when the eventide fell as the Lord stood in the temple. But a still further fulfillment of that premonition was now to follow as He re-entered the temple. The events of this, His second entrance, represented certain inevitable sequences, significant of a more definite transaction which came to pass within the temple of His body, whereby His human was purified of the evils signified by "them that sold and bought in the temple," and by "tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves."

The first warning of the presence and near activity of these evils was given the evening before when He stood in the temple and "looked round about upon all things." His survey on that occasion, which signified not only His observation of the condition of the temple, but also His introspection into the state of His human, could not but reveal the evils signified by the traders, and also by the "tables" and "seats." And His sight of these disorders could not but warn of the combat to come.

Yet on that evening nothing was done. The time for direct action had not arrived. It was to come, indeed, but not until the "morrow." Before the time of the actual call upon His power it was necessary that He should withdraw and enter into a state of retirement; that is, into close communion with His soul. This was signified by His withdrawal to the Mount of Olives, where He passed the night. It was necessary that He should withdraw into the state represented by that holy mountain, in order that He might derive sufficient power against the temptation to come.

As through the night a man's strength is restored, so it was with Him as He rested in Bethany upon the mountain. Thence he gathered strength to meet the spiritual labors of the coming day. It was by virtue of this renewal that He, on the morning after, put forth the power that withered the tree of evil omen,- the deceiving fig of a barren church. And now, after this temptation of His disappointed hunger, He again entered the temple and engaged the forces of evil therein. As He looked upon the temple from within on this second occasion, His obscure premonition of the evening before became a clear revealing light, calling for immediate action. The temple must be cleansed of its profanation. Then there was born within Him, from His Divine, a compelling impulse so great that it could not be denied or resisted.

Here, as elsewhere in the story of the Lord's life when combat with evil was imminent, there was no sign of failing, and, indeed, no outward visible resistance. If ever in seeming He avoided an encounter with evil, it was because the time of engagement was not at hand, nor the state of victory prepared. The order of life calls for each event in its own time, for each state after mature preparation. It was especially so with the marked stages of His glorification; and so also it is with the successive states of man's regeneration. Nothing is of graver importance than holding back from premature action, lest the state intended should be still-born-a lifeless form, incapable of development.

On this occasion, the direction of the Lord's action was unusual. His power went forth with apparent personal violence. He drove from the temple those "that sold and bought." There was no withstanding Him. He "overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves." Besides, His control was marvelously demonstrated. "He would not suffer that any man should carry a vessel through the temple."

Those who sold and bought profaned the house of God. The tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, were to Him vessels of corruption arising from an evil inheritance-a racial evil of material greed which had increased for an age. These tables and seats were doubtless established originally to serve the need of the sacrificial worship of the temple. But this service was now perverted. An evil spirit of selfish gain had entered into and profaned the representative sanctity of the temple worship. It was because of this abuse that the Lord's house, "called of all nations the house of prayer," had become "a den of thieves."

This mal-usage, and all that it signified, increasingly stamped its impress upon the race of which our Lord was born, and from which He derived His human nature. It was against this racial inheritance in Himself that the Divine power which came upon Him was inwardly directed. The outer combat in the temple was but a symbol. Yet both within and without the drive of His power was irresistible. The loves of selfish gain, which so greatly profaned the holy things of worship, did also, by inheritance, profane the temple of His body. These, on this occasion, were exterminated. The evil traders were driven out of the temple, and their tables of exchange and the seats for the sale of doves were overthrown. No resistance is recorded. The tide of His power was utterly compelling, and, as well, constraining. For not only did He "cast out" and "overthrow," but He also would not "suffer any man should carry a vessel through the temple."

After the temple was cleared and a fitting response of its orderliness to His presence therein was given-after His own body was inwardly purified in correspondence with the rejection of the temple abuses- there came upon Him from above, in larger measure and more ultimate fullness, the glorifying presence of the Divine. In this presence it was not fitting that an intrusion of anything that was alien should be allowed-anything that could interrupt the descent of the Divine in its new fullness. Such an interruption would have occurred if any man, at that time, had carried a strange vessel through the temple. Such a vessel would have represented an open way for an evil influx, in which case the heritage of His infirm human would have been stirred to activity. This could not be allowed in the moment of His triumph, in the newly achieved state of His glorification; for in this, as in His every conquest, there was a presentation of His glorification, in the presence of which no evil could abide.

At other times, and in other states, it was allowed that strange vessels should be borne through the house of His mind, to the end that He should be tempted, even as are all men-strange vessels bearing a false invitation and significant of an evil end,-vessels which would have opened the way for an evil influx and would have stirred to activity the inherited tendencies of His maternal human, and so induce states which would have clouded His mind, in which case He would have entered forthwith into temptation and the supremacy of evil would have manifested itself. But now His glorification presented the supremacy of His Divinity, and this alone. Not until a recession of His Divine power occurred could He again enter into temptation, which state could arise only with a reversal of form and a recession of His power.

As the periods of His glorification were recurrent, so also the states of His temptation were intermittent. And as, in His glorification, the Divine was manifestly present, so in His temptations, which are described as a pouring out of His soul unto death, the Divine was quite as if absent, and His mind was possessed by that image of death which lies at the heart of every temptation. That He might undergo successive temptations from the beginning, many strange vessels,-vessels significant of death,- were carried through the house of His mind. Like vagrant thoughts, born as of evil emotions, they were so many invitations to the hells to enter with malign power. At such times the supremacy of evil could not but seem overwhelming. Unless it had so seemed, no real temptation could have arisen.

Of all things, states of man's mind are most possessive. They take complete control for the time, and if evil, then that evil is felt as dominant. There is no temptation unless this is the case, that is, not in the deep sense which the Writings impart to that word.

The difference between our temptations and those of the Lord is indicated by the fact that these internal disturbances are, in every case, measured as to their strength by the love which resists them. His love included all men, and His contention was with the totality of human evil. Man's case presents but a faint semblance of His. It is strange to think, and yet it is true, that in His case the severity of His temptation was measured by His love, and that at such times He was possessed by the appearance that He could hardly prevail against the vast accumulation of evil which had fastened upon the race. Yet He prevailed over it by means of the never ceasing recurrence of His Divine power.

The apparent supremacy of evil was never so strongly manifested as when, in the garden, He prayed that the "cup" might pass from Him. Yet all His temptations were essentially of this character, even in childhood. The crisis in them all was the same, in varying degrees. Temptation is a conflict between life and death; and in them all is the sign of the cross. This sign is the image of death which then stands at the door and threatens man's salvation. Man feels this. Therefore, there is no such thing as complacency in the face of them, but instead, the distress of gravest uncertainty. Fears are stirred that are as deep as human life. This issue is hidden within man; it is unknown to others, and is not always realized by the man himself. Only occasionally is the deeper issue involved revealed in clear light to the man's conscious thought. A vague hopelessness, a sense of utter helplessness, is usual. Healing comes slowly, with patient waiting. At length a change becomes manifest, arising from the secret sources of life within, accompanied by a revival of hope, a brightening of life's prospect.

Man is for the time a creature of his state of mind. As he feels, so does he seem to be; so does he feel he will continue to be. But in this he is mistaken. His state will surely change. These states and their changes do not originate from external circumstances. That they do so is a deceiving fallacy. There is a guiding force within and a control enabling a free determination which qualifies all that comes through the outer senses and which directs the current both of thought and feeling. This power of inner determination is the essential human. Its exercise is sometimes conscious, but most often it is superconscious, and in this it comes under the guidance of God. This power is the human gift; it is the image of God in man, and is that alone by which guidance is given in all the shifting states through which the spirit of man passes on its way.

The marvel to us, and the source of our religious inspiration, is the fact that the Lord, as a Man among men, passed through these human changes. This He did in order that we might depend upon Him and find victory in His example. To do this, we must keep in close touch with the Divine record of His life, and see therein, by an inward revealing, His leading and guiding.

Thus His deeds in the temple must be our inspiration. They were given for our imitation, since we have within us the "seats" of much corruption. Many strange vessels pass through our minds, inviting an evil influx and stirring evil emotions. His expulsion of the thieves is our grant of power. For the sake of our salvation we may do likewise, but not from our own strength. If we pray willingly, He will give of His power; but not unless we draw near to Him with love and with obedience. Then indeed will He give, in our human measure, of the power which descended upon Him on the day of the temple's cleansing.

This, in our terms, is but the power of Christian faith-a faith not only confiding, but also living. It is an essence and not a formula, a good and not a truth, save as a truth is but an appearing of good, and as a formula is but the statement of an essence. If the Lord be approached from living good in our hearts, then will our faith in Him be an inspiration, and the grant of His power will be sufficient to overcome in the temptation which His Providence allows.

Temptations to the man who can be regenerated are allowed to the end that man may call upon the Lord. Hence the teaching that man is never tempted beyond the measure of the good of his life and the truth of his faith. Through such temptations, when permitted, and if the man is victorious therein, the truth of his faith is more deeply confirmed, and the good of his life is increased.



21



GLORIFICATION p. 22 V THE LAST STATES

INNOCENCE

"And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased. And said unto Him, Hearest Thou, what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye not read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?" (Matthew 21: 15-16.)

The text reveals the essential state of the Lord's Human after the cleansing of the temple; after He had driven out the money changers, and overturned the seats of them that sold doves. After this purification it is recorded that He would not "suffer that any man should carry a vessel through the temple," by which was signified that during the state which followed the temptation, no disturbing influx was permitted. Having entered into a state of peace, the period of its duration was to be fulfilled in order that the state of His glorification attained, should be made secure, which would not have been the case if, at that time, an idea receptive of an evil influx had passed through His mind. Such a disturbing influx would have introduced a state of temptation in the midst of the peace which He had achieved. Instead, there was a full allowance of all that was involved in His triumph. This is represented, in part, and indeed as to the inmost part, by the words of our text. That inmost was a state of innocence, signified by the voices of the children in the temple, crying, "Hosanna to the Son of David." Herein was fulfilled the doctrine that as to His Human Essence, the Lord became innocence itself.

The quality of life here expressed by the term, innocence, is Divine, and was that which was inmostly imparted to the Divine Child at and before birth; yet, because of the veiling of hereditary evil, it could be rationally appropriated in like manner as in man's regeneration only after temptations; and, indeed, near the last when the temple of His body was so far purified that Divine innocence could flow down into fitting vessels without falling into strange forms of hereditary perversion. For this reason the voices of the children were not raised in the temple until after the money changers, and especially the seats of them that sold doves, were cast out, for these seats for the selling of doves signified the things in His Human assumed which, of themselves, were destructive of innocence. With their clearance from the temple of His body, He was prepared for the reception, and as well the living perception of the innocence here signified by the voices of the children raised in the temple. That innocence was a supreme manifestation of the high increase of His Divinity which was now imparted to Him immediately as the supreme gift of the Father to the Son.

With all men innocence is the first and immediate gift of the Lord. It is, therefore, of all blessings, the most enduring and of greatest spiritual value, and therefore, also it is the inmost and soul of every subjoined good. This is why man is first born in a state of entire innocence, which characterizes the child both before birth and for a time thereafter. It is said, for a time thereafter, because the mind of man, as it develops, enters into and is qualified by the sphere of hereditary and acquired evils which are destructive of the first born state, and yet the marvel remains that the inmost soul of man forever abides in this prenatal innocence. Otherwise, the individual would be consumed by evil. His life could not continue. However, only the mind falls away from this primal state; but such a fall is entire, so far as the man is concerned; and this because the mind is the human spirit, or the man himself.

As man is first born in innocence, and as his soul is inmostly sustained therein throughout his life, it is ever possible for his soul to vivify the lower qualities of his mind.

This is the Divine intent, and this would come to pass were it not for man's love of his evils, hereditary and acquired.

By His glorification the Lord opened the way for the descending influx of innocence. He opened this way in Himself as a man born of woman when He cleared the temple of the seats of them that sold doves.

Innocence being the Lord's immediate gift to man, it is clear why the doctrines teach that apart from this primal gift man would not be man. It is therefore the essential human quality, and may, in its true significance, be ascribed only to man. The appearance of it in the lower forms of life-animal life-is superficial and lacking that essential which constitutes man a man, and immortal.

The companion of this innocence is spiritual peace, which also is described as an immediate gift of the Lord, and with it, as well, a certain deep wisdom of life-a wisdom which pertains to life. Moreover, innocence, as the inmost quality, more than anything, carries in itself the image and likeness of God. In innocence, therefore, the Lord may be seen as in an image. Hence the teaching that the Lord can appear only to one who is possessed of this gift, and also that the praise of innocent minds alone is accepted by the Lord. It is by this, therefore, that man returns to God. And so by it the Lord returned to His Father, and specifically by the temptation involved in His clearance of the temple. Therefore it was that after that temptation He heard the voices of children in the temple. This gives warrant for the doctrine that innocence is appropriated to man through temptations; but this appropriation refers to that regenerate innocence which, while appearing as a new thing, yet at heart is one with the primal innocence in which man is born. It is raised, indeed, through temptations, from natural to spiritual or from the first born ignorance to the innocence of wisdom. This last is involved in the first born ignorance, but it is not drawn out thence and appropriated by the mind until knowledges have been acquired, and after man has undergone the discipline of temptations. This appropriation, therefore, is effected by a coming out from the first born ignorance into the light of intelligence, and from the cunning of evil into true spiritual life. In other words, the ignorance of infancy and childhood is but a veil spread over the high wisdom and its innocence which is contained in the original gift of life, and which subsequently comes forth into the mind, as the mind is successively opened by knowledges and discipline.

We say that the mind is opened by knowledges, but this is an appearance. The real power which opens the interiors of the human mind is this primal gift of life in its innocency. This vivifies all good of lower degree, and, like a soul, it empowers every human faculty. This is expressed in the definite doctrine that by a transflux from the Lord, innocence forms the interiors of infants. It does so readily in the beginning of life because of the tenderness of the receiving vessels, which yield to every heavenly impress and easily receive that which is designed to become the ground of a rational faith and the basis of celestial perception. It is in this that infancy bears a likeness to the Golden Age-an age when the soul's guidance was the only mode of life. Then, indeed, man was truly human, and his mind was the seat of heaven into which Divine gifts could inflow and meet with no resistance. He that is sensitive to any touch of this primal influx is so affected thereby as not to seem in any part his own master, but becomes, by virtue of that touch, a vessel of entire obedience. In this case no solicitude for things to come, or for those that are past, afflicts him. Instead, there is an inmost content, and a peaceful realization that the Lord, by His presence, brings all that is profitable and of true service to man. This ascription to the Lord, the Father of love and mercy, can be made only by the innocent, and one who makes it in innocency, cares not to understand, but only to will and do under Divine guidance. This is wisdom in its height. It is love acting in its own light.

Clearly, nothing of evil can enter where innocence dwells; nor can temptation afflict, for it is secure in itself, and where it is, no harm can befall. By its presence evils are removed, and the man is lifted up and out of his instinctive self-care and self-concern into the living sphere of the Lord's Kingdom-into that sphere called conjugial, wherein every good mates with its respondent truth. This sphere is the embodiment of the Lord's Providence for man. It is the spring of all fertility, spiritual and natural.

How deep then, and wide, is that primal innocence which flows forth from the Lord, and which we first see in children as ignorance. But this ignorance of children, in itself, is not that innocence, but is only a clouding of it. The true innocence of childhood is something besides and other. It is the inner content which shines out through the ignorance, and in so doing gives promise of a wisdom which is beyond all knowledge. Ignorance is but the first, and for a time the only possible veil of that innocent wisdom which is a manifestation of the living presence of the Lord in a man. Because of this the child, in the language of Scriptural correspondence, represents the innocence of wisdom. For this reason it was that after the Lord's temptation, after His purification of the temple and the glorification of the temple of His body, He heard the voices of children crying in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David," in sign that He, as to His Human, was now one with the Divine, and was become Innocence itself.

Following the acquisition of this state, the Lord again recognized the presence of a tempting suggestion. According to the text, the chief priests and the scribes were "sore displeased" because of the song of the children, and they said unto Him, "Hearest Thou, what these say? And Jesus said unto them, Yea; have ye not read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?" Concerning this we have the following from the Writings: "By praise being perfected out of the mouth of babes and sucklings, is signified that praise cannot come to the Lord by any other way than by innocence, since by this alone is effected all communication and all influx, consequently, all access. Hence it is that the Lord saith, 'Except ye be converted, and become as children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of the heavens.'" (A. C. 5236.) And again, this: "Unless charity from affection of the heart be in (works) they are not the works of charity. Hence it is that innocence must interiorly appertain to all who are in heaven." (A. C. 5608.) Innocence is, indeed, the inmost of all things, and as such, the regenerate quality of it with an angel determines his situation in heaven. It is also the supreme good with men, and as such it affords the highest ideal of the Lord and His Divinity. Therefore, it is only in and through innocent things that the Lord reveals Himself to man, and in these alone is man seen by the Lord, and through them alone may praise ascend from man to Him. As such praise ascends, it is heard by the Lord as the voice of a child. This is, indeed, perfected praise. It cannot in any way be feigned. It is, of all things, most genuine. There is no self-consciousness in it. It is childlike in its spontaneity; yet it is the product of spiritual experience. It comes from a rounding of life and a return to primitive beginnings, but with no loss of the fruits of a life that has been lived in the fear and worship of the Lord.





22



GLORIFICATION p. 23        INTERCESSION AND RECIPROCAL UNION


"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee." (John 17: 1.)


The text is the beginning of the Lord's intercession, as recorded by John. He prayed for Himself to the Father, even as He prayed for the human race. His prayer was for mercy. He perceived the all but unforgivable sins of men and the exceeding difficulty of human salvation. He felt the racial evil as sensitively influent into Himself, and as if He Himself were under condemnation. This was His temptation. He saw men as non-redeemable, save through the Divine power resident in Him. He saw this in Himself. The accumulated racial evil was His inheritance as a man. It was this that stood in the way of His glorification. While Divine power was resident in His Soul, the totality of human evil was enrooted in His mortal human. The conflict between the two brought Him to the cross and effected His glorification.

At the time of this intercession the Lord was in the world and in His infirm human; yet He was far advanced in glorification. Hence the opening words of His intercession told of the immediacy of His glorification. He was becoming, in mind and body, even as He was in His Soul, that mercy for which He prayed; and He was now entering into the power of extending that mercy to all repentant souls who might receive of it through faith in Him, to each according to the measure of his faith,-the measure of the life of faith. In this way, and to this degree, that for which in His humiliation He prayed, and which in His glorification He became, was by Him extended to men; so that, souls who might receive of it through faith in even as He was glorified, and because thereof, so might men become regenerate, and this as if by their own power.

But this power of regeneration with men was His gift,-the gift of His presence and Person as a Man. For this He was born, and to this end He contended victoriously with the evil influent into His mortal frame. He was born in fulfillment of ancient prophecy, which told in veiled symbols of His coming and in cryptic words the inner life-story of His contest with the evil which by birth He was to put on, and of His continuous and final victory, through which He Himself, in mind and in body, became Divine, and one with the Father, even as in the beginning and from conception He was, as to His Soul, one with God.

This unity of His mind and body with the Father was now near completion. The hour was come. The realization of this on His part appears as the opening feature of the intercession recorded in John: "Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee." Something of incomparable import is here revealed. Not only was He entering into full and final union with the Father, but it is made manifest that that union was reciprocal; that is, accomplished by a mutual and reciprocal interaction between the Father and the Son. "Glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee."

This deepest of Divine mysteries is central to all heavenly arcana bearing upon the Lord's glorification. The Writings describe it to rational thought by saying that His glorification was reciprocal; that is, it was effected by a mutual action and reaction between the Father and the Son, or, what is the same, as between the Lord's Soul of Divine conception and His body of human birth. In this process His mind partook, in a varying and changing degree, of His Soul, on the one part, and His body on the other. This intermediate mind was interiorly an output from His Soul, while outwardly it was as of bodily derivation; in this, like the mind of every man. With all men the mind is distinct from the soul, on the one hand, and from the body on the other. This distinction connoted a certain independence, as well as interdependence of the one plane upon the other. The independence was so marked, and of such a nature, that it may be said of the Lord that His glorification was and could be brought about only by a reciprocal interaction between the Divine and the Human, that is, between the Father and the Son, -between the Infinite Soul of the Lord and His seemingly finite mind and His obviously finite body.

Reciprocality expresses a relation between two separate entities, the one distinct from the other; or between two separate planes in one and the same individual. This last was the case in point with our Lord, though the appearance was of two separate Persons. The Lord in the world was, to all appearances, quite a distinct Person from the Father; and this appearance was so confirmed in the minds of men that, while acknowledging His Divinity, they separated the Divine into two and even three individuals, and maintained this separation as an eternal distinction.

The human which the Lord put on in the world was in ultimates a material vessel, not in itself Divine; but it became so by virtue of the mutual and alternate interaction between the human and the Divine Soul of His conception. A marvel is here involved, of surpassing import, which should be seen. The reciprocation of His Human with His Divine implies the non-destruction of His Human by the process of glorification; and if so, then, even after His full glorification, His Human, though made Divine, was withheld from entire evanishment in the abstract Infinite. This Human was therefore secured in its ultimation to eternity as God-Man, and as God with man. Thus it stood forth everlastingly as the object of human worship-above the heavens, indeed, but also in the heavens, and in all worshipful minds,-an object and a subject eternally Divine and in the Human form of Truth, clothed with the power of contact with men. As such, His Human was retained and maintained in the power of conveying saving mercy to all repentant souls.

If, in thought, we predicate a total resolution and evanishment of His Human through the process of glorification, we cannot see it as forthstanding to human and angelic view, which is so necessary to our hold upon our Lord. We must, therefore, believe that by His ascension He is nearer, not farther removed from man.

While in the world, He interceded with the Father as if He were a separate individual. Our doctrine teaches that, while His glorification led to a perfect union, yet His intercession continued thereafter; and that it also became eternal, though changed from the mode employed in the world. The teaching is that His intercession for the human race when He was in the world was made when He was in a state of humiliation. (See A. C. 2250:2.) But after His glorification He no longer interceded as a Son with His Father, but as the Lord of the universe with Himself. When He was in the world, and before He was fully glorified, He became Divine Truth. As this Truth He mediated and interceded. But after His full glorification He was still called the Mediator and Intercessor, because no one can conceive the Divine in itself, save through some idea of a Divine Man. Still less can anyone be conjoined with Supreme Divinity except through such an idea. Hence it is that the Lord, as to the Divine Human, and after His glorification, is called the Mediator and Intercessor; but, as said, He mediates and intercedes with Himself. (See A. C. 8705.) It is to be understood that this mediation with Himself was the eternal and infinite interaction between the Divine Truth and Divine Good, looking to the salvation of mankind.

It is further taught that in all love there is intercession. It is love pleading, and this involves on the part of the Lord a continual extension of mercy. We are further informed that the Divine Truth which now proceeds from the Lord intercedes continually in its going forth from Divine Love, and that when the Lord was in the world He first became this Truth; that is, before He became Divine Good also. (See A. C. 8575.)

When in the world, the Lord prayed as a man prays for human salvation. This was His very life, namely, the love of the human race which He had come to save, and which, through His intercession, He excused and forgave. (See A. C. 8573.) And this, even as in Himself He overcame the evils of mankind, and in so doing extended to men the power to become regenerate in His name. It is to this end that men, and the church composed of men, must take a vital hold upon the Lord as a Divine Man, through faith in Him-through faith in Him as the Truth. When in the world He was that Truth; and in and by the Truth He in turn glorified the Father; for His relation to the Father was that of Truth to Good; and of this relation it is said that Truth lives from Good, and that Good is qualified by Truth. As the Truth, therefore, He qualified the Father, or the Divine Good. He qualified that Good in Himself, and so to man. By this qualification the Son glorified the Father even as by the descent of the Divine Good into the form of Truth in the Lord, the Father glorified the Son.

The qualifying of good by truth is also the prime mode in man's regeneration. Only thereby can man be saved; and only thereby could the Lord become united with the Father. By this qualification, therefore, the Son glorified the Father.

Note that the conjunction of man with God the Father, or with the Divine Good, is not possible save through some qualification of that Good; and this qualification is and can be effected only by some mode of accommodation. Indeed, qualification and accommodation are one and the same. This opens to a further realization of the great truth enunciated in the True Christian Religion, that "accommodation on the part of God was brought about when He became Man." By this accommodation the Supreme Divine was so qualified that man could see and know his God.

The Scriptures teach, and reason sees, that God the Father has never been and cannot be seen. He was brought forth to view in the Person of our Lord, but not, in truth, as another and separate Person. For it was Jehovah Himself who descended; but in His descent He was veiled by degrees of human finition; that is, by the humanity of man. This was His accommodation, and His needed qualification; and herein it was, that by the reciprocal action of the human with the Divine, the Son was not only glorified of the Father, but He glorified the Father. This occurred in the "hour" mentioned in the text; and by that "hour" is signified every state of Divine exaltation which the Lord experienced as a Man in the world. In every such state the Lord was uplifted; and as He was uplifted, by the same token Jehovah descended; and this is the same as to say that glorification was effected by reciprocation. This is why the angels were seen ascending and descending upon Jacob's ladder.



23



GLORIFICATION p. 24        THE BREAD OF LIFE

"Jesus . . . said unto His disciples, Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill Him. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people." (Matthew 26: 1-5.)

This conspiracy against the Lord came forth from the deepest origin of evil, that is, the primal perversion of the gift of life to ends other than the love of God. Men antagonize each other when their loves clash, but hatred of the Lord, in His Divinity' is normally concealed from view-so much so that its existence is denied save in madmen.

Yet this hatred lies at the heart of evils of every kind.

Men were prompted to slay Him as if they could do no otherwise. They followed a seeming instinctive emotion. Self-seeking love ever strives to kill that which stands in its way. It has been so since the day when Cain slew Abel. The Lord came to subdue this evil love. This was the bearing of His every word and deed. It could not be but that He would encounter assaults from those who represented the established order of life in His day. This order was moulded to serve the selfish ambitions of the priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people. He stood to them as a reformer, and while reformation is the only way of life's renewal, its penalty is death. His reformation reached to the heart of evil and stirred an animosity that was radical. Superficially, He was to the authorities a disturber of the peace who endangered their sacred traditions. His following might threaten the state and the institutions of the prevailing religion. This gave ultimate warrant for that persistent opposition and that ever present conspiracy which followed Him from the first to last.

While He was hated beyond the measure of any man, yet there was an appeal in His presence which carried fear to the hearts of His enemies, and caused them to take counsel with prudence. After each, encounter they withdrew and consulted in secret. His death was the only answer to their fears-the only freedom from an intolerable constraint upon their lives; and this, while His doctrine and life profoundly moved and lifted up every remnant of good, whether in the simple hearts of His disciples, or in the hearts of publicans and sinners. He was accused because of His association with these, and this was made an excuse for a resentment which proved its evil origin.

This hatred of men was surpassed by that of the spirits of evil who were gathered in the other life from past ages. There was the origin of the conspiracy which swayed the minds of men. These spirits acted into and through men, by an unconscious influence. They also were of clearer sight. They perceived in the Lord's life as a man in the world the end of their dominion. In their totality, and acting as one, they composed that devil who tempted the Lord with a threefold temptation. Their impulse against Him was beyond their control. They could not but conspire. Their life was a continual conspiracy. Their ambitious self-elation knew no limit; what they resisted was the imposition of limits upon their evils. Gradually they had, by action from below, constrained the heaven of angels. They aspired to the throne of God. This ambition is inherent in evil. It seeks to cast down the God of heaven. Evil spirits conspired against the Son of God, in the world, since He was come to make secure the throne of God in the hearts of men. Evil spirits, therefore, were the master conspirators; and men in the world of an evil temper were their subjects. By influx they moved the congregations of men and guided their hands against Him. How could it be otherwise? Death is ever the fate of one who stands in the way. It was so with the Lord. An evil will is pitiless. This is the reason why between good and evil there is life against life, with death at the end.

He came into the world to die, as of human necessity. If not, there would have been no call for His coming; yet herein the Divine miracle is involved in an apparent contradiction-as His death drew nigh, His life increased. By means of death, His life was raised to its everlasting supremacy. This fact was the means, thereafter, of man's salvation. In His every approach to glorification, He beheld not His own lifting up, but its effect in drawing men to Himself. In His resurrection, He, in finality, confirmed the power of man's regeneration.

The conspirators thought and willed, by His death, to save themselves and the things they loved. This is the constant delusion of evil. Yet even upon the evil an unwilling gain was imposed. Their assault upon His life imposed permanent bonds upon themselves; and this, in despite of themselves, was for them a gain of security-the security of a prison, which had to be provided or universal destruction would have been the inevitable result. Herein was His mercy shown to the evil and the good alike, but with a difference.

It was fitting that this final conspiracy against Him should meet with apparent success; that it should fulfill the impulse of the former like attempts. It was also of order that this final effort should combine, in its undertaking, all the forces of evil into one head; that it should represent each and every evil, and bring them all to the supreme delusion of a conclusive victory. For the sake of this summation, it was fitting that the conspiracy should be devised in an assembly of the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people. This was a representation of the fact that every evil had its part in His death. It was fitting also that the conspirators should assemble in the palace of the high priest. There the conspiracy was centrally located, and thence it derived its authority. This placing of it was evidence that the will to His death had gained such headway that it could no longer be stayed, and that it could not but succeed. Yet, even on this occasion, there was fear and the counsel of prudence. They said, "Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar."

At the time of this palace conspiracy, it was but two days to the feast of the passover, a memorial of the exodus, the coming out of Egypt, and the redemption of Israel from slavery. At this feast the people rejoiced for seven days. The feast, itself, was held on the first of the seven days. The conspirators decided against His taking on that day, lest their design should be interfered with by some popular demonstration. This was to be guarded against on grounds of prudence, since that day was most holy and not to be disturbed. Yet, this passover was the time appointed, of Providence, and this because of its spiritual significancebecause of its intimate reference to Him. Therefore, the seven days of the passover saw not only the fulfillment of the conspiracy-His capture, trial, and death, but also its sequence, which was not contemplated; namely, His resurrection, which was the final sign given of His glorification.

There never was before, nor thereafter, such a passover as this. There was on this occasion a Divine fulfillment of all that that ancient ceremony signified; namely, the marvel of His resurrection, which was first represented in national symbol on that far-off day when the children of Israel held themselves ready to go forth out of Egypt; when in haste they ate of unleavened bread, with their loins girded, with staff in hand, and shoes on their feet. The mystery of the unleavened bread, of which they ate, is deeper than words can express. But this much is known-He was that Bread. The journey which followed also told, in its least details, of Him. In its events, though remote in time, His life story was foretold. Like His people, He also was called out of Egypt, and freed from bondage. His maternal ancestors were of those who made this journey. Their life story was His inheritance, and He was its product.

The events of that journey prefigured the successive occurrences in His life. They foreshadowed not only the outer events, but also the inward transactions of His spirit, the trials and temptations through which He passed as He successively united in Himself the Human with the Divine. How fitting, therefore, that the conclusion of His life as a Man in the world should occur at the memorial of the passover, whereby the beginning and the end came together, and the end came forth from the beginning. Unless this be seen, the true story- of His life cannot be understood. Unless this be seen, the true significance of the Scripture cannot be known-nor yet the mystery of the unleavened bread, which Israel ate in yearly festival, in remembrance of the exodus; and which He, at the time of the passover, sanctified anew.

The Writings tell us that the passover signified the Lord's glorification and His conjunction with the human race, through love. (See J. C. 2342.) They also say that the feast of unleavened bread signifies the worship of the Lord and thanksgiving on account of liberation from evil; but they add that that feast "properly signifies the Lord's glorification, and its remembrance, and this because by His glorification and the consequent subjugation of the hells, man is liberated from his evils." Moreover," that the passion of the cross was His full glorification, by which event the Prince of this world was cast out, for by that passion He was glorified, whence comes salvation." For this He came into the world, and therefore it is further stated that this was the "primary cause of the institution of that feast" in the beginning, and also of its re-stablishment by Him, in the Holy Supper. The same teaching closes with the statement that "at that feast He rose again." (See A. C. 10655.)

This feast, then, was the appointed time. At another, the letter of the Scripture would not have been fulfilled. In this, Providence overruled both the progression, and also the conclusion, of the conspiracy, to the end that the final events might take place during the week of this most holy of Jewish festivals. The conspirators said, "Not on the feast day." The feast, itself, was held on the first day. On that day He instituted the Holy Supper. The custom was that if the first day was not convenient, then it was observed on the last day. The whole week, however, was a continuous festival, and for the seven days they ate unleavened bread only. He was that Bread. It was necessary that Israel should represent Him in this, even while they killed Him. They were of His Human, and as the flesh of His body. That church was His body, and death was in it. This was the cup of which He would that it might pass from Him; but of which He drank, at the will of His Father. That church was His body, and Life was in it, and a remnant for re-embodiment, and a new representation of Him-a new church, even as the old feast of the passover became the new Holy Supper at His hands. Hence the significant words of the Writings, that "at that feast He rose again."



24



GLORIFICATION p. 25        THE BETRAYAL

"Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him." (Matthew 26: 14-16.)

The betrayal of the Lord by Judas Iscariot stands as the supreme type of the most repellant form of evil. A world of contempt finds expression in the name of the unfaithful disciple. One who betrays a friend, and therein seeks material gain, is, in customary thought and feeling, beyond the pale. Yet, the evil in question, in some phase, is a common failing. The Lord gave warning of this when He said, "The foes of a man are they of his own household." (Matt. 10: 36.)

In the betrayal of the Lord, this weakness of humanity was summed in all its appalling implications. To Judas, as one of the twelve, one of the Lord's own household, fell this portion-this representation of an underlying, racial evil which may hardly be forgiven. To this end, it is recorded that Satan entered into him, just after he had put his hand into the dish with his Lord. Then it was that he went out into the night and covenanted with the high priest. His approach to the conspirators appears as voluntary, for the palace conspiracy was one thing, and the betrayal another. The two stand as if from separate origins; yet they came together, to one end. It was through the betrayal that the conspiracy entered the Lord's household and became effective., It was so, of need. No evil can reach man destructively save through some traitorous weakness in the man, through some favoring inclination which advances to meet, and opens itself to receive the influx from the hells. As it is with man in the affairs of his own household, in his own mental states, so it was with the Son of man, who had taken upon Himself, and into Himself, through His racial inheritance, the totality of human heredity. His body, of maternal derivation, enclosed within itself all that was represented by Judas, even to the act of betrayal. "The hand of him that betrayeth Me is with Me on the table." (Luke 22: 21.)

The disciples who partook of the passover with the Lord were intimately His own. Judas was no exception. The disciples represented the Lord, and the things that were in Him. They were of His body. They signified the church He was establishing, and its goods and truths, in one complex. These were His, and therefore of Divine origin, as well as of human conditionment. The disciples also represented the things of His human derivation, which were in process of glorification. In this respect, also, Judas was not an exception. Because of this, the disciples, at the time, represented, or were capable of representing, the derived perversions of His human heredity, which in the end betrayed Him to His death. This last was notably Judas' portion. Hence the record that "Satan entered into him." But in this evil significance Judas does not stand alone among the disciples. The Lord said to Peter, "Get thee behind me, Satan; thou art an offence to me." Through Peter, or through that which, on the occasion, he represented, an evil temptation came upon the Lord, and this also, touching the matter of His death and resurrection. "He began to show unto His disciples how He must go unto I Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders, and chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again on the third day. Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, be it far from Thee, Lord; this shall not be unto Thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me; for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." (Matt. 16: 21-23.)

In this temptation, Peter stands for the faith which failed to the point of perversion,-and in the crisis which came later Peter denied Him thrice. But it was through Judas that the actual betrayal was accomplished. It is only in connection with the betrayal that the words and deeds of Judas are recorded. This would appear to give him no other than an evil significance; yet the Writings tell us that some form of truth from good is represented by each of the apostles (A. R 348:2), and therefore also some essential of the church. (E. 430:14.) It is also noted in the Writings that the disciples are now angels (T. C. R. 4), and that at the time of the Second Coming they were sent throughout the spiritual world on a Divine mission of evangelization. (T. C. R. 4.) Their place of abode is given as one of the interior heavens. (S. D. 1330.)

Furthermore, it is of record that the twelve apostles have a like significance as that of the twelve tribes of Israel, and that each disciple represents that which was represented by a corresponding tribe. But concerning the disciples, the statement is made that those were chosen who were like the things represented. (S.D. 12.7.) It appears that in their case, representation was something more than a mere symbol. In the matter of this representation, the Writings, in part, identify the signification of some of the disciples with that of certain of the sons of Jacob, who gave their names to the several tribes. It may be difficult to draw a strict parallel in each case, but the mutual significance of one of the disciples with a corresponding tribe is at times made clear; as, for instance, in the case of Judas and Judah. In this case the names are the same, Judas being but the Greek form of the Hebrew word, Judah. Moreover, it is notable that in the ancient forecast of the conspiracy against the Lord, given by the sons of Jacob in their conspiracy against Joseph, it was Judah who proposed the sale of Joseph for twenty pieces of silver. The Writings note this in the following words: "By him, (Judas), in that he sold the Lord, the like was represented as here by Judah, who said, "Come, let us sell Joseph." (A. C. 4751.) Moreover, the frequent teaching of the Writings is that Judas, in his relation to the Lord, represented the Jewish nation. This points directly to the likeness between Judas and Judah, since the latter was not only the father of his tribe of that name, but that tribe became the kingdom of Judah, and so derivatively, the Jewish nation as it was at the time of the Lord.

Since all the sons of Jacob, and their tribes, represent like things with reference to the Lord's life, as those signified by the twelve disciples, and as Judas stands as a later counterpart of Judah, of which tribe the Lord was born, we may, with propriety, at least in general, transfer the things revealed concerning the representation of Judah to that of Judas. These things are both good and evil. But as to the noble predicates of Judah, nothing of a like nature is specifically stated concerning Judas, this doubtless for the reason that Judas outstandingly represented the Jewish nation. This representation was immediate and pressing, and the church, with that nation, was at the time doomed. Yet there can be little doubt but that Judas, as a disciple of the Lord, and one of the twelve, carried over in general that which is said in the Arcana of the high, celestial signification of Judah.

That Judas was acknowledged as one of the twelve is not only certain from the Gospel record, but it was later testified to by Peter, after the Lord's betrayal and death. We read in the first chapter of the Acts, that "Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said. . . . Men and brethren, this Scripture must needs be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of David, spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry (Acts 1: 15-17.) That which the Holy Spirit spake by the mouth of David, to which Peter referred, is as follows: "Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me." (Psalm 41: 9.)

If, then, we may interpret the representation of Judas in the light of what is said in the Arcana concerning the significance of Judah, we may note in the first place that the word, Judah, signifies confession of the Lord. Confession is just the opposite of betrayal. In the supreme sense, Judah signifies the Lord as to Divine Love, and therefore, the Lord's celestial kingdom. Of Judah, with this meaning, it is said that his brethren praised him, and that his father's sons should bow down unto him. (A. C. 3881.) Those who are in this celestial love are most closely conjoined with the Lord. They are in the inmost heaven, and are there in a state of innocence, like little children. Others are not able to go near them, and when they are sent to others, they are surrounded by intermediate angels, in order that the sphere of their love may be tempered. Their sphere is inmostly penetrating; so much so that if it is not mediated, it causes others to swoon.

On the other hand, by Judah is also signified the depraved of the church, and that kind of depravity which results from a fall from celestial love. This is, indeed, the depravity of betrayal. It arises from an intensified love of self, which burns with hatred, but which is guided in its manifestation by a cunning which looks to gain. "Judah said to his brethren, What gain is it if we slay our brother, and cover up; Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites." (A. C. 4750.)

Note this quotation from A. C. 4751 The Lord said of the Jews, Ye are of your father, the devil, and the desires of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning." And of Judas Iscariot He said, "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil."

The question arises as to whether there is anything recorded of the life of Judas which may be taken as representing that higher good which his name, like that of Judah, should signify. It appears that his repentance after the betrayal, looks in that direction. When he saw that the Lord was condemned, "he repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. . . . And he cast down the silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself." (Matt. 27: 3-5.) Here is pictured the anguish of remorse so great as to lead to a self-imposed death. If, like the other disciples, he represented some quality of good and truth in the Lord's Human, then his repentance, even unto voluntary death, would signify not only a spiritual resurrection of that good, but also its glorification.

From the beginning of the church the thought of the traitor's repentance has challenged attention. Some have held that he died by his own hand with intent to meet the Lord in the after life, and seek His forgiveness. Our interest is that his repentance and death signified something high and holy-something in the Lord, of earliest glorification, which stands at the other extreme from the debased and traitorous evil with which the name of Judas is most commonly associated; something which would, indeed, "sit to eternity" in accord with the prophecy concerning Judah; something which would fulfill the words, "mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted;" something which would impart a deep meaning to the fact that Judas betrayed his Lord with a kiss. A kiss signifies an interior conjunction or union. This expresses the high significance of Judah, and also of Judas, in his relation to the Lord, namely, that celestial which is the supreme gift of God to man, but which, if it falls, becomes utterly debased. The inter-play between these two states was enacted within the Lord in the process of His glorification, and in this there were two Judas's the one was glorified, and the other eternally condemned; the one was a high and holy state, which by glorification was early raised to Divinity, and the other condemned to the lowest hells.

There is no evil which may not be reconverted by repentance, save only the sin of non-repentance, which is the sin against the Holy Spirit, which consists in the total denial of the Lord's saving Divinity. This sin can not be forgiven, because the man will not allow of it. Concerning Judas, the record stands that he "repented himself."



25



GLORIFICATION p. 26        GETHSEMANE

"And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou." (Matthew 26: 37-39.)

Jesus said to the sons of Zebedee, "Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of?" (Matt. 20: 22; Mark 10: 38.) Also He said to Peter, "The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" (John 18: 11.)

A cup, for its meaning, depends upon its content. This may be living water, or a death draught; the wine of a marriage feast, or a mockery. In the text, it signifies a state of temptation-the Lord's temptation at Gethsemane, which, according to the Writings, was "from inmosts." More could hardly be said to indicate its vital character. It was an issue with death. According to the text, He was 41 sorrowful and very heavy." His soul was "sorrowful, even unto death." Every temptation is a death temptation; but that at Gethsemane was far advanced. It involved all that had gone before. It was the summation of His every past suffering, and more than this, in that it pointed to the end as immediate. In its process, it was from inmosts to ultimates. His body became "very heavy," in sign of an unequal contest between life and death. As life lessens its hold, the weight of the body increases, and it leans to its fall. Death was near, and He prayed that the temptation might pass from Him.

Many have pondered the meaning of the temptation at Gethsemane. All know that it looked to the cross; that it foreshadowed His death, as imminent. But why should He pray for its removal? His fear and His dread must have been more than the ordinary human fear of death. This fear is peculiar to man-to all men; yet this will hardly account for His state. Many of His followers, in after days, and in His name, advanced joyfully to meet their death, so great was their confidence, and their desire for a martyr's crown. Their state was beyond normal. The fear of death is implanted in life. It cannot be otherwise. The higher the life, the more sensitive is its fear, since death is an extinction of life-of life as it was circumstanced before death overtook it.

The Lord, as a man, was susceptible to this more than any other. The extremity of His temptation at Gethsemane is known from the fact that it was premonitory. Its inner quality may be divined from the Lord's last words on the cross, when He said, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" This is the point-He was forsaken of God, and this in the extreme, at the last moment of His life as a man in the world. No Christian questions this; but an understanding of it depends upon the underlying doctrine, in the light of which the words are understood, namely, the doctrine as to what was accomplished by His death. If His death was a sacrifice to the vindictive justice of God, then, in His suffering on the cross, He indeed drank of the wrath of Mighty God; then also, at Gethsemane He encountered the "frown of God;" and if so, then may He well have prayed that the cup might pass from Him, for the "frown of God" could only foretell His abandonment to the curse that rested upon all men for their disobedience.

All temptations, in general, are alike. There is death in them all. His temptations, from the first, carried the sign of the cross. While they exceeded our measure, yet we have the likeness of His suffering in our human experiences; and from these we may gain a comparative idea, sufficient for our understanding and our faith. We may understand and have faith in that which was accomplished in Him.

The old Christian doctrine tells of His vicarious suffering-His suffering the wrath of God. The new doctrine reveals the ordeal of His death as brought on by a unified assault of evil, seeking supremacy in His death. Both doctrines agree that in the final crisis He seemed to Himself to be forsaken of God the Father; but they do not agree as to the cause of this. The older doctrine teaches that by His sacrifice the wrath of God was diverted from men and centered upon Himself; a wrath which could find no appeasement until its indignation discovered a victim in the Only-begotten Son; a willing victim, offered by mutual Divine consent, to the end that men might be forgiven. The new doctrine shows His death- temptation as a conclusive victory over evil whereby man was liberated from a self-imposed evil bondage. The new doctrine shows the result of His final temptation as the completion of the Lord's glorification for the sake of man's liberation. The new doctrine sees His glorification as progressive, and, in this, not unlike man's regeneration. It could not be otherwise, for He was born a man, and the subject of human frailties, the afflictions of the flesh, and every evil temptation. Unless He had been reborn into God, He could not, in the end, have presented Himself as the glorified Man-God, the Savior of the race. To this end, and in this sense, He bore our iniquities.

But why was it that, at the point of His final victory over evil, He should be, or appear to be, forsaken of God? The answer is, that in some degree this is the illusion of every temptation. But this illusion was most profound in the last, the final, crisis. In every temptation man seems to himself to be forsaken, and this for a most weighty purpose. The vital need is that man should resist as of himself, as if there was no aid save in himself. This is vital to man, for in it lies his freedom-his freedom of action, and his freedom of life. Only so can spiritual freedom be appropriated by man. It is in action, as of self, that man draws down and appropriates that high freedom which is the inner gift of God. This is why man is said to be in greater freedom in temptations than at other times. Then is his great opportunity. He seems to himself to have little or no freedom when he is beset by evils, but if he will only resist, as of himself, then true freedom is born in his natural And there confirmed.

The teaching is that in temptations man's freedom is more interior. It is there held in reserve and increased, pending its descent, in case the man resists as of himself. Man resists as of self when he acknowledges that the power of his resistance is God-given. Then he exercises the God-given power as his own. He acknowledges that his resistance does not, in truth, arise from his proprial life, although it so appears. The phrase, "as of self," is a clear definition. While pointing to the true origin of power, yet it implies the confession that man must not await a miraculous strength apart from any effort of his own.

The Lord's temptations were in kind, in aspect, not unlike those of every regenerating man. But they differed in two ways. In their severity, His temptations were incomparably more intense. This was so because of the need that He should eradicate all inherited evil from His maternal human. No man is capable of this; even with the help of the Lord. The other difference lies in the fact that the Lord never resisted any evil as of Himself. Such resistance would neither have eradicated evil nor glorified His Human.

He alone, of all men, resisted evil of and from Himself, that is, from the Divine in Himself; and moreover, not directly from His Divine Soul, in its high and separate degree, but from this Divine in its derivations. His resistance to, and eradication of, evil was therefore not by an immediate action of His Soul, which, from the beginning, was one with the Father, but it was from the Truth Divine inbound in His Human Manhood. He resisted and overcame evil from the Divine made His Own, as a man in the world, and through successive temptation combats which resulted in His glorification. This being so, what may be said of His suffering at Gethsemane and of His final words on the cross: "Why hast Thou forsaken me?"

With every man, the Divine appears to be removed in states of temptation, and this, as we have seen, in order that the man may be induced to resist, as of himself. Of the Lord it may be said that, in His last temptation, He was forsaken of the Father, in order that His resistance to the final assault of evil might be from Himself in His Human, but also that it might be there in its Divine totality, to the end that there might no longer be the appearance as of a God above Him, as apart from Him, but Himself as one Sole and Supreme God. To say, therefore, that the Father forsook Him, is to say that the Father entered into union with Him in all its fullness. It is only by an apparent contradiction of terms that the truth here involved may be expressed. In other words, by His death, which was impending at Gethsemane and which was accomplished on the cross, He must needs, on the occasion, exercise all power in and from Himself; and this He did, as if in response to the abandonment of Him by His Father above.

By this exercise of Divine power, the Mary human forever passed away, and as a result of this deepest and most inclusive of all temptations. That which passed away was never to be resumed, never restored. The state in question was granted no resurrection, namely, the apparent state of separation between the Father and the Son. This was, indeed, forsaken, but not without a temptation so grave that the Lord, as yet in some part born of Mary, and because of the deep illusion pertaining to that state, prayed that the temptation might pass from Him. That temptation was, indeed, fundamentally grounded in the fear of death, in the and forever, of His life as a man born of woman. His words gave voice to the last cry of the Mary human. Therefore also He said, "It is finished."



26



GLORIFICATION p. 27        THE AGONY IN GETHSEMANE

"And when He was at the place, He said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down and prayed, saying, Father, If Thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but Thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." (Luke 22: 40-44.)

The representation of the temptation at Gethsemane, given by Luke, differs from that of Matthew and Mark. The three agree in giving the prayer of the Lord that the cup "might pass from Him, which sufficiently indicates its desperate nature. In describing His suffering, Matthew and Mark speak of His being very heavy, and sorrowful, even unto death; while in Luke, in place of this it is said that "being in agony, He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

It has always been a question as to whether the "drops of blood" are to be taken as a literal description of an actual experience, or as a figure of speech. In either case, a spiritual interpretation of the significance of His blood, in connection with the this temptation, must be given. However, it is of interest to know that the Writings determine the question for us by the statement that at Gethsemane "He was in anguish from inmosts, even to the sweating of blood." (A. C. 1787.)

This, then, was His "agony," which was so great that His whole human, from inmosts to outmosts, underwent a commotion-a strain of inconceivable violence. The word "agony" is found only here in Luke and nowhere else in the Gospels. It expresses the highest degree of suffering to which the human frame can be subjected. The word in the original Greek, in its outstanding meaning, indicates a combat or struggle, and especially bodily resistance to the last degree of strength. This accords with the teaching concerning the severity of those temptations in which natural and spiritual forces are together involved, and in which there is a supreme degree of resistance to that which is seemingly overwhelming.

If the account of His temptation at Gethsemane, as given by Matthew and Mark, points to the cross, how much more do Luke's words concerning His sweat falling as blood to the ground I However, our concern now is not with the words of the text as a fore-representation of the cross as a natural event. Instead, we seek the spiritual meaning of His falling blood, and why, in this gravest of all His temptations preceding the cross, His blood fell to the ground.

Men say that they are redeemed by the blood of Christ shed on the cross; and if so, then we have a notable representation of His redemption in Luke's account of His agony. It is known that He came into the world to redeem men and that He gave His blood a ransom for many. But just what His redemption was, and how it was effected, is not so well known. The doctrine on this subject, given in the Writings, is that He came into the world to redeem mankind, and that in so doing He glorified the human which He had put on by birth. These two, the redemption of man and making Divine the human, while distinct one from the other, yet make one with respect to man's salvation. In redeeming man He glorified His Human, and through this glorification He maintained the gift of His redemption. Both of these were accomplished by His reception into Himself of every possible influx of evil and its entire expulsion, whereby evil was subdued and the hells put down to that level wherein human freedom was restored, as a result of the equal balance between good and evil.

This restoration of spiritual freedom was man's redemption. The effect of the Lord's victorious resistance to evil upon Himself resulted in His glorification. This glorification, in itself considered, was an intimate union of His Human, His Manhood in the world, with the Divinity of His soul, which, from its first conception, was one with the Father. This union was not effected at one time or suddenly, but successively and by degrees as He underwent and overcame a comprehensive series of assaults by the hells. These assaults were so many blinding temptations, which, while they endured, so clouded His mind that He seemed to Himself to be abandoned of God; and this to the end that He might resist the evil inflowing, with all His power as a man, and in so doing draw down into His mind and body increasingly the Divinity resident in His soul; and this until He became entirely Divine, both in mind and body.

It was because of this dual work of redemption and glorification that in Luke's account of the temptation at Gethsemane there is given a representation which tells of the one and the other; that is, not only of the redemption of man by His blood falling down to the ground, but also of His union with the Father by the descent of the Divine into Him. The descent of the Divine was signified by the angel which appeared unto Him and strengthened Him. Of all the angels, only the angel of Jehovah could impart strength to Him; or, what is the same, the Divine in the heavens, through which, in the first instance, His conception took place. This angel was therefore one with His own soul, which, in its descent into His mind and body, carried with it the Divine empowerment.

On the other hand, the consequent falling of His sweat as blood to the ground presented in a living image the mode of His actual redemption; for the blood of His agony, like the wine of His Supper, was a material correspondent of that living truth which emanated from Him,-the truth proceeding from His glorifying Human, which was represented by His falling blood penetrating to the ultimates of creation.

The sweat of man is that which pertains to the man. It signifies his natural proprium. And it was the same with the Lord. His human proprium was signified by the sweat of His body. And it was this which, by a Divine miracle, became His living blood, His redeeming truth, in the degree that His self-life as a man in the world became Divine through glorification. Because of this, the sweat of His body, at Gethsemane, was turned into blood.

Men say they are redeemed by the blood of Christ shed on the cross; but this redemption came not through an appeasement of the Father's wrath, nor because the Father was excited to pity by the sight of the suffering of His innocent Son. Redemption came through the blood of the Lord, because His blood is His redeeming truth. It is the Divine proceeding from His Human glorified, even as the sweat of His body was turned to blood by the angel who appeared unto Him and strengthened Him. And when, on the occasion, His blood fell to the ground, it carried to fruition the purpose of His coming into the world.

The ground is the basis of all life forms, and from this basis there is the all-reactive power. The Lord came into the world in order to reach and take on Himself this power. For no other cause was He born, since by this power alone could that additional force be exercised to save those men who otherwise would be lost. To take to Himself this ultimate of power, He stood upon the earth as a man stands. He put on the body of man to have and to hold within His body, not only the hereditary evils of His race, but also the extreme ultimates of creation, to the end that the Divine power might be exercised, not only through the firsts of heavenly forms, but also through the ultimates of nature, so that men could be reached by His saving grace, from without as well as from within.

Man, withdrawn from heaven, as he was at the time, and from the saving presence of the angels, could be redeemed only by the Man-God in the world, and by the new power which He took to Himself as His Own there, and which He applied to men as a saving miracle. It was this power of a new redemption which He gave in holy sign and symbol in the wine of His Supper, and which He gave also in living symbol as the blood of His agony, even as on the cross, when His blood was shed for the remission of sins.

Moreover, let us note that the power thus attained by His presence in the world as a man was not lost through His death, but was retained after His resurrection, and after His ascension-retained to be forever exercised in the bondage of the hells, and in continuance of His redemption; and also, let it be noted, as a means of His coming again,-His Second Coming,-not indeed by a repetition of His natural birth, but of His coming again through a man in the world.

His retention of the ultimate power of His Divine Manhood was therefore that which made possible a subsequent spiritual unfolding of the Scripture, whereby the Scripture was moved from within to release its secrets concerning Him, hidden from the beginning. This unfolding was that which constituted His Second Coming, and it was a Divine token of His power in and over ultimates, whereby an immediate passing of the Spirit was given through an immediate revelation. Also, He provided that His Second Coming might be continued through an enlightened perception of the truth of His immediate revelation. The individual enlightenment is signified by the sending of the Holy Spirit with power to pass, not only through angels to men, but also through man to man.

This, then, was that Holy Spirit of ultimate power, of which it is said that it "was not until Jesus was glorified;" and yet it was, in the degree and in so far as He was glorified. Therefore it was represented in and by each and every degree of the successive stages of His glorification, as in the text here by His sweat falling as blood to the ground. The Holy Spirit is the Divine Proceeding from His Human made Divine, and we are warranted in concluding that it was represented by His sweat falling as blood at Gethsemane, because of what is said of a parallel incident on the cross. When He was pierced, blood and water came out of His side, which signifies Divine Truth proceeding from Him. The "blood" is that Truth for the spiritual man, and the "water" the same Truth for the natural man. The same elements of blood and water are given in both cases.

This Divine Proceeding from His Human glorified was the ultimate of Divine power achieved by His Advent into the world and eternally retained. In the Gospels, as indicated, it is called the "Holy Spirit;" and the understanding of this Spirit as a new Divine power, with new capacities for man's salvation, is necessary to an understanding of the varied statements of the Writings concerning the Holy Spirit, one of which is of particular interest at this moment, namely, the fact, as stated, that the Holy Spirit is the Word such as it is in the spiritual sense. (A. E. 778:3.) The Writings are therefore the direct product of this Spirit. This is the ground for the statement, before made, that His retention of the ultimate power of His Divine Manhood in the world is that which made possible a spiritual unfolding of the Scriptures, such as was not and could not be given before, whereby He came again into the world, and effected a new redemption, and also thereafter made possible a continuation of His redemption through an unceasing increase of spiritual enlightenment.



27



GLORIFICATION p. 28        THE PASSION OF THE CROSS

"And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. . . And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said, Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit; and having said thus He gave up the spirit." (Luke 23: 44-46.)

The rending of the veil of the temple was immediately significant of the Lord's death through which He entered into the Divine of the Father by dispersing all appearances, including those of the highest heavens. At the same time He opened passage to the Divine Itself by His Human made Divine. (See A. C. 2576:5.) In opening that passage the Lord also underwent His final temptation by which His racial inheritance was cleared of its hold upon Him. Nothing thereafter stood in the way of His full glorification, whereby in mind and body He became Divine, even as His Soul was Divine from birth. Also by His death He entered into the full power of extending mercy to all repentant sinners. This transfer of power enabled men to become regenerate in His name. For this He was born, and to this end He was ever victorious in overcoming the racial evils as they entered by way of His mortal frame.

The Lord was born into the world in fulfillment of the Scripture prophecy concerning the seed of woman. On the cross He fulfilled that part of the prophecy which told of the serpent's bruising His heel, by which was signified the death of the infirm human born of woman, which resulted in the unition of His mind and resurrection Body with His Soul. As to His death, something of incomparable import should be noted. Not only did He, by way of death, enter into full and final union with His Soul, called the Father; 185 but it is now revealed that that union was to become and be a reciprocal union of the primordial Divine and the ultimate Human Glorified; since by virtue of that reciprocal not only did the Father glorify the Son, but the Son also glorified the Father. This mystery is central to all the arcana bearing upon the Lord's temptations and His consequent glorification.*

* See sermon on Intercession and Reciprocal Union, number 22.

The fear of death is as if inborn with every man, while the love of life is instinctive. Life and its love are implanted in the very body of man. As a man born of woman the Lord could not but sense the fear of death in its deepest implications, and so it was, that as His death drew nigh, He cried, saying, "My God, my God, Why hast Thou forsaken me?"

Natural death is a withdrawal of life from the body-of life as circumstanced in the body. No longer was the Lord to be a Man among men-no longer to be clothed with a body subject to death. Death ever accompanies this world's life and is basic to every change of state, every temptation. The Lord's temptations, from the first, all carried the sign of the cross and the fear of death. While He prayed that the cup of death might pass from Him, yet He added, "Not my will, but Thine be done."

On the cross He encountered the final and unified assault of evil which sought supremacy through His death, but just therein evil met its total failure. The death of His maternal body made way for His Divine Supremacy. It was His conclusive victory, whereby His glorification became entire. Through the power of His supremacy men were released from the overweight imposed upon them by their self-bondage to evil.

It could not be but that He, as a Man in the world, should experience successive temptations, for like all other men borne of woman He was subject to the afflictions of the flesh. Unless He had been continuously reborn from God, He could not, in bearing our iniquities, have become the Savior of the race.

But why on the cross was He forsaken of God? This may be taken as His most profound and final illusion, even as it was His last temptation. Some illusion pertains to every temptation. It is that which rouses man to active resistance. It was the same with the Lord, with this difference-that He, from Himself, in perceiving His abandonment overcame the illusion of this deepest of all temptations, and with it all evil in one complex. Resistance to evil as of self is the ground of human freedom. Only so may spiritual freedom be appropriated by man as an inner gift from God. This is why man is interiorly in greater freedom when in temptations. The appearance is otherwise, for temptations constrain; but it is only through constraint that a higher freedom can be attained.

The Lord's temptations, in their outer aspect, were not unlike man's, but they differed incomparably in severity, for the Lord must of need eradicate evil. No man can do this, not even with the help of God. Man can only put down his evils in the name of the Lord. The Lord never at any time resisted evil as of Himself, but always from Himself-from the Divine in Himself, and this not directly from His Divine Soul, but from its derivations in His mind and body; that is, He overcame evil through the Truth Divine inbound in His Manhood.

The need on the cross was that His resistance to evil should be total, and this to the end that the Divine might be in fullness on all planes of His Human, so that there should be no longer an appearance of a God above Him, as in any degree distinguished from Him; but that He, in being forsaken of God, might become in Himself the Sole and Supreme God. To say, therefore, that the Father forsook Him, is to say that the Father was not otherwhere than in Him. His being forsaken, while in outer aspect it was a most profound illusion, and a temptation beyond measure; yet if inwardly viewed it may be seen as nonetheless a fact, that on the occasion of "His Passion, His Human was left to Itself." (See T. C. R. 126 and A. C. 10252.) And this to the end that His very body might be glorified, and He thereby might retain an ultimate sensuous life, deeper in its reach than is possible to the spirit of many mortal man.

His last breath on earth opened the way to His full unition with the Father, which carried with it a retention of His Divine Substantial Body within the sphere of nature. Yet there was a death on the cross, entire and conclusive. The Mary human passed away never to be resumed, and this though it lingered in the faith of the church-in the minds of those who founded their faith upon Him as He hung upon the cross and who thought of Him in Person as ever to be distinguished from God the Father and who confirmed this view of Him by Scripture appearances, all of which were, however, in inner truth dispersed by means of His last temptation-His death, which carried with it a quick dissipation of the remnant of His maternal body.

His last breath as a Man among men was, therefore, the signal for His entrance into the aditum of His Holiness. This aditum bespeaks an interval between His death and His resurrection; but before this sacred mystery, we can only bow the head in humility of faith, and give praise to God who now may be spiritually seen in the glory of His resurrection Body.



28



GLORIFICATION p. 29        VI THE RESURRECTION

THE LORD'S RESURRECTION BODY

When Mary Magdalene spoke to the angels, the one standing at the head and the other at the feet "where the body of Jesus had lain," saying, "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him," she was looking for the body taken down from the cross. She supposed that it had been removed from the sepulchre. After giving utterance to her complaint, she "turned herself back and saw Jesus standing," but she knew Him not. He spoke to her, but she supposed Him to be the gardener; "and again she said, Tell me where thou hast laid Him. . . . Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni." (John 20: 11-16.) After this, He stood in the midst of His disciples and showed them His hands and His feet. And later, at Bethany, He "lifted up His hands, and blessed them," and in so doing "He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven." (Luke 24: 50, 51.)

The echo of Mary Magdalene's complaint remained in the hearts of the Lord's followers. They saw Him no more. Where was He? Where was His Body, which appeared to them living after His crucifixion? For it was His Body which they saw and not a spirit. Two things they knew from their own experience, and later they were known from the Scripture:-When He vanished from their sight, He was "carried up into heaven," and also He (His Body) was still present with them in the world in the Holy Supper. For had He not pronounced the bread of that Supper to be His Body, and the wine His Blood? His Body, then, was in heaven, and yet it was also in the world.

These two ideas presented a certain difficulty, and led to many divergent views. Some held that His presence in the world in the bread of the Supper was an actual bodily presence there; others, that it was a symbol of His spiritual presence, representative of Him as He was in heaven. In the Revelation given to the New Church, the two ideas remain fundamental to all thought on the subject, and the series of doctrinal statements based on them reflect a certain apparent divergence. The reconciliation lies deep in the revealed arcana.

On the one hand, the Writings insist on His personal, His bodily presence in the midst of the spiritual sun above the angelic heavens, and on the other, on the full and real presence of His Human in the Holy Supper. Again, while insisting on His personal presence in the sun of heaven, they reiterate the fact that He rose with the whole Body which He had in the world, in this unlike any other man; and that by the whole body is meant that body, not only as to its ultimate senses, but also as to their recipient organs; and, as if to provide for no escape, it is added that He rose with that of the Body which decays in the grave. This would seem to be determinative. It would appear that that which decays in the tomb is none other than the material with which He was invested by birth. Therefore He must be present in the midst of the spiritual sun above the angelic heaven in that very material body. But this leads to an impossible conclusion; for that which is material cannot penetrate into the heavens, much less above them. Besides, the doctrine is delivered with iterated emphasis that His Body, after glorification, was no longer a form receptive of life, but became Life itself; that is, it was no longer material. For matter is not life, but death; it is a recipient of life, and should it become life, it would cease to be matter, under any definition of the term which will stand.

That this teaching leads in the right direction, is clear from the two sweeping statements in the Doctrine of the Lord, n. 35; the one positive, and the other negative; the one stating what the Body of the Lord was after glorification, and the other stating what it is not. And when two statements of universal import are given together- the one positive and the other negative, having reference to the same thing, the subject becomes sharply defined, and doubt is eliminated. The positive statement in the number referred to is, that the Body of the Lord after glorification was substantial; the negative statement is that His Body after glorification was not material. This must indeed be conclusive, and we must therefore insist that the phrase "whole body which He had in the world," and with which He rose, must be interpreted in terms of the Divine Substantial, and hold that it will not allow of the material as being included in His Body-certainly not the material as such-not as matter, that lifeless product of the natural sun. If He rose as to this, we can only conceive of it as so changed, so resolved, that nothing of it remained as matter. But it will be well to recall that the true primitive of matter is not matter. In other words, that out of which matter was originally made-by the natural sun process-was the spiritual, or what is the same, the substantial. Resolve matter into its true primitive, then, and we have the substantial,-a word applied as descriptive of the Lord's Body after glorification. And we may therefore conclude that decay in the tomb is the process of separating the substantial from the material.

It was important that the disciples should think of the risen Body which appeared to them, not as a spirit, but even as the very body which they had before known. For they were "affrighted" -at a spirit; nor could they understand that spirit which, in truth, He was. They could not perceive the spirit as substantial, because of their ignorance and their superstition. To them it was the same Body; and indeed it was so, with the exception of its material clothing. It was the identical Body which appeared to them at the transfiguration. It was "that whole Body" which He had in the world, parted from its material or Mary vestment. Thus they saw Him after the resurrection, when they identified Him by sight and touch, even as matter touches matter. And yet they noted a marvel indicative of a difference. They saw, as with amazement, His Body come to them passing through closed doors. With a material body such as He formerly possessed, this would have been impossible; and so the Writings observe that "as His Body was no longer material, but Divine substantial, He came unto His disciples when the doors were shut." (Doct. of Lord 35.)

It is important at this point to remember that the substantial is not a refined material-not a material so fine as to penetrate and thus pass through a closed door. The solution does not lie in that direction. We may be disposed to follow this mistaken line of thought, because of the statement that the substantial is the primitive of the material, and being such a primitive, stands as the smallest units of spacial matter, and as such may penetrate all gross matter. But it is not so. The substantial stands, as it were, over against the material-in a realm as if apart-yet everywhere related to the material by the intimacy of correspondence. This substantial is not a spacial quality-but is a form of life-a form of love and wisdom in use. Its conversion into material by the solar process deprives it of life, of love and wisdom, leaving as the result of the process a dead mass, capable only of external or local motion, and having three fixed dimensions.

While, then, the substantial is indeed the true primitive of matter, it is not a primitive to be conceived of as a small spacial unit, or even the smallest of spacial units. These smallest of matter are the natural sun entities, from which the life of love and wisdom has been expressed. These, in all their degrees of formation and composition, were eliminated from the Body of the Lord by glorification. Besides, that there was no penetration of the door as by a subtly constructed body of material properties, comes clearly to view when it is known that, on this occasion of His appearing to His disciples and seeming to pass through the door, what really happened was that their spiritual eyes were opened, with which eyes alone could they see the Divine substantial Body of the Lord.

It is thus related in the T. C. R. 793: "The Lord Himself showed, by touch and by eating, that He was a man, and yet became invisible to the eyes of His disciples. Who is insane as not to acknowledge that, although invisible, He was just as much a man? He was seen because the eyes of the spirit were opened with them who saw Him; and when these are opened, the things that are in the spiritual world appear as clearly as those which are in the natural world."

When, therefore, the disciples saw Him come through the closed door, when He showed them His hands and his feet, when Thomas thrust his hand into His side, their spiritual eyes were open, and the Body seen was not the material but the Divine substantial Body. Clearly this must have been that "whole Body "which was His when in the world. And yet, what of the statement, "a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have?" Evidently the "flesh and bones" were not material but substantial-and as certainly a spirit, such as the disciples thought of, had not flesh and bones. But the subject is not to be so readily disposed of. The Writings say that the Lord intended by these words to announce to the disciples, and to all the world, that He was no longer in a Divine Angelic form only, but was now a Divine Man having a proprium of His own; that while other men are resurrected only as to the spirit, He arose with the Body. And by this we understand the lower degrees of life-even with that degree of bodily life which with man is dispersed in the grave, and which is not a part of the spirit-man proper. In other words, while all spirits have a substantial body in the other life, the Divine substantial Body of the Lord is of lower extension and deeper reach than that of the substantial bodies of spirits, extending indeed to, and including in itself, the life of the body materia which with men is dispersed.

A difficulty has arisen, perhaps, from not distinguishing between the substantial bodies of spirits and that material formation called the limbus, which continues to live after death; and as well from the conclusion that, as the limbus is the spirit's material ultimate, therefore the Lord must have had a limbus of material formation of even deeper reach into nature than that pertaining to spirits. Here, it may be, there is a wrong turning of thought. If we grant to the Lord a more ultimate material limbus than that pertaining to spirits, we shall inevitably be under the necessity of conceiving a Divine material Body for Him, and this is forbidden. His body is spoken of as Divine Natural, but never as material. The difference is fundamental.

The limbus of spirits, taken as it is from the purests of sub-solar material in the bloods of the human organism for the purpose of fixing-rendering stable-the finite spirit, is by virtue of its need and function material. We perceive this necessity in the case of the individual spirits of finite man, for they need such a border of matter to give their finite forms fixation and permanence. It is true that a certain sort of parallel may here be drawn between the limbus of spirits and the totality of creation in its relation to the Lord, whereby the Infinite receives as it were a certain fixation within the fields of creation. But the totality of creation, while in a sense it embodies Him, is rather to Him as a garment. Certainly creation is neither in the whole or part that Divine substantial Body of His resurrection. This, as said, was not material, and in ascending it passed out of the world and up through the heavens to the plane of the spiritual sun, and that sun is now but a derivative from His resurrection Body.

That sun, the first of creation's initiament, where and whence is the first of finition, is now a sphere of life and light, of love and wisdom, emanating from His resurrection Body. That sun, the topmost pinnacle of all that which may be regarded as creation, emanates as a sphere from His Body; and yet His Body, and with it the spiritual sun sphere, parallels the whole of creation from its heights to its depths. His Body is the final buttress of all things in heaven above and in earth below. It is the First and the Last, and as such, the inmost and most ultimate-not ultimate in the way of the lifeless forms of nature, but ultimate in the sense that those forms are sustained by it, not only inmostly from within, but also supported by it externally, or from without-by comparison, even as the units of the physical body of man are supported by the pressure of the ether round about them, or as the mass of man's body is supported by the pressure of the air about it. In this respect the air is more ultimate than man's body, and even so are all things sustained from within and supported from without by the Divine substantial, the resurrection Body of the Lord. As it stands in the midst of the spiritual sun, giving forth from itself the substance of that sun, we may see it as having extension down and along the line with all the descending forms of creation to the last, and as the very life of them all. Seen from the bottom of the scale and seen as a form of life co-acting with the ultimates of nature, the Divine substantial is far more ultimated than the primes of the Spiritual sun for instance; but even in the lowest nature that substantial is life, and nothing but life. And as life, it is one with-purely continuous with-the life in the heights of creation's scale.

In a most universal sense we must perceive three degrees of things: 1. The Infinite Divine-Substance in Itself-The Lord-His resurrection Body. 2. The spiritual sun-the first of finition and its direct derivatives, of which the heavens are made, called spiritual substance, having in it from the Lord a derivation of His life, of His love, and of His Wisdom. But this spiritual substance is not the Lord, for it has not life in itself. 3. Matter-spacial-dead, possessing only local motion; of this the earths are made. The Lord's resurrection Body is neither of the matter of the earths nor yet of that derivative substance called spiritual. In no sense is it create.

A thousand times we are told that the spiritual sun is the Lord, and then we are solemnly warned not to regard it as the Lord. The spiritual sun is the Lord in that it is a manifestation of Him, and of Him alone. But the composition substance of that sun is not His own very substance. It is a derivative-the first, but none the less a derivative-and as such, a reception vessel of finite formation. It is full of love and wisdom, but of love and wisdom derived, in finite forms-a proximate vestment of His Body-a sphere of love and wisdom in use issuing from His Body-separated therefrom. Such is the spiritual sun in its substance. Considered as such, it stands apart from the flesh and bone of His Divine Body. How much more removed is that third-that dead matter-from which all life of love and wisdom has departed!

So then, His resurrection Body is not material, nor is it even of the spiritual sun substance. It is the Divine Substantial,-Life, Love and Wisdom in Itself. As such, it is inmostly present everywhere; as such, it is received by man in the Holy Supper.

Can that which is above, within the spiritual sun, be seen? Is this, His resurrection Body, visible? Aye, when the angels look, they behold that sun, and on occasions the brightness of its rays are turned aside and the Man in the midst of it is seen. Many who knew Him on earth, seeing Him, confessed that it was the Lord Himself. It was so the disciples saw Him at the transfiguration. This Divine Vision has been defined as an appearance seen according to the state of the beholders; and so it was. But everything seen in heaven or on earth is an appearance according to state. That is, every such thing is seen by a sense reaction, and this reaction is at all times and everywhere according to the state of the sensing organ. But none the less the things are seen. Even so the Lord was seen by the most interior and true sight possible to man or angel; and when so seen, He was there present a Man, and He was the same Man when not seen. Unless He himself had been there, they could not have seen Him. With His blessing and calling by name, as He called Mary Magdalene on that Easter morn, all may see Him. But it is not with the eyes of the body, for they are dead, but with the eyes of the spirit. Eyes made of the substance of the spiritual sun alone can see that which is in the midst of that sun-the eyes of love and wisdom.



29



GLORIFICATION p. 30        UNITY WITH THE FATHER

Jesus said unto Mary Magdalene: "Go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father." (John 20: 17.)

When the Lord was on earth, He was as one among many-a companion of men; and He called them "brethren," but not one of them spoke of Him as their brother. He was not so characterized until a later age, and then only because the thought of men was increasingly fixed upon His human as being like that of other men. Even those who confessed His Divinity did so with a reservation, making a distinction between the Divine and the Human-a distinction which involved serious consequences, grave doctrinal errors, leading to the papal power on the one hand, and the vicarious atonement on the other.

Not comprehending the effect of the Divine process of glorification and believing in His bodily resurrection, men thought of Him as being in the after life much as He was on earth, that is, as a man, and as one among many, as still invested with a material body and possessing a human rational mind, not unlike that of other men, and so, on His human side, serving as a kind of intermediate between men and God the Father, whereby He became an intercessor for all time.

The doctrine delivered to the New Church is, that the Lord's Human is not like that of another man. It was indeed so when He was on earth; but after His glorification He became Divine even as to the Human, and then, as to this Divine Human, He could not be regarded as the brother of men, but instead, as God over all. When on earth, by virtue of the investing body taken from the mother by birth, He was as one and individual in His relation to men, on the same plane with them, and of the like or the same formation and structure. In this respect, it may be said that He was as their brother,-their companion in all the afflictions of the flesh, and in the infirmities and temptations thence arising. This temporal earth-body of His was also like that of other men, in that it was mortal; and in the Divine process which supervened, it went the way of all mortality. It was gradually eliminated; for another Body was forming in its place,-a Divine Substantial Body. This Divine Body had its initiaments from the first beginning of His life as a man in the world. It more and more displaced the infirm material body as glorification progressed, and this until His Divinity became total on all planes, so that it is said that He rose with the whole body become Divine, even the whole body which He had in the world, down to the ultimates thereof, which with men corrupt in the tomb. This whole body, then, in its resurrection, was not the material, the infirm, but the Divine Substantial Body, taken on by degrees during His whole life in the world, by due process; taken on, not from without, from the mother or from nature, but from the Father within. Thus that material part, which might be called a "brother" to man, gave place to that which was of and from the Father purely and solely, and this absolutely and forever, when He had ascended to full union with the Father.

This is the meaning of that mystic saying of our Lord to Mary Magdalene, when she came early to the sepulchre, while it was yet dark. Standing without the sepulchre weeping, "she stooped down and looked in, and seeth two angels in white, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, of the place where the body of Jesus had lain." The angels said unto her, "Why weepest thou?" She answered, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him." Then she turned herself back, and saw Jesus, but knew Him not, supposing Him to be the gardener. "Jesus said unto her, Mary. She saith unto Him, Rabboni!" Jesus saith unto her, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father!"

Thus is told the story of the Magdalene Church, and its attitude to the Lord, and the warning given to it. Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father I Touch is communication, translation, and conjunction, and with reference to the Lord it involves salvation to men. That Church looked to the human of the Lord, and desired to be conjoined therewith, even to the human as it was in the world, the Mary-human or the Son of Mary, as well as the Son of God. But this was that which the Lord forbade when He said, "Touch me not!" This saying of His was both mystic and potent with Divine meaning. It was mystic in that its true significance was not understood-is hardly yet understood. It was potent with Divine meaning because of the fact that, while He was indeed risen from the dead, He was not yet ascended to the Father. Not until He ascended was there complete union with the Father. (A.E. 899e.)

Here, then, was an interval of deepest significance,-an interval between His resurrection and His final ascension which marked a distinction of radical import to the Church -the Church which sought conjunction with its Lord. "Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father!" Not yet was His glorification entire, though almost so. There was yet something to be done, some veiling to be removed, some sphere of the mortal Mary-human clinging, through which Mary Magdalene saw Him, and by which she sought, with her burning love, to be joined to Him; but He forbade her. All this deeply significant story was fulfilled in later days; for the Magdalene Church, while confessing His Divinity, even looked to the Mary-human, and desired conjunction therewith, and even salvation therefrom. But the warning that this could not be had been given, though it was not understood.

The Church could be saved only by conjunction with the Human of the Lord fully and clearly glorified, with that Human in which or about which there lingered nothing of, or from, the Mary- body. The Church could only be saved by conjunction with the Human of the Lord after He had ascended to the Father, and become fully united with Him. In this it was as if the Lord had said to the Magdalene: "Touch me not; for I have not yet ascended to my Father," and implying that, when He was ascended, all men might then be saved by touch with Him. "And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me." Here again the Magdalene Church has interpreted these words as having reference to His being lifted up upon the cross, whereas more truly and directly they refer to His ascension to the Father. Herein lies the specific difference between the Churches, the New and the Old. The latter could never free itself from the thought of Him as qualified by the Mary-body, could only think of His Human as like unto that of another man, and so of Him as a brother to men. And with the passing ages this thought increased, at first hedging His Divinity, obscuring it, and at length causing it to vanish altogether. But to the New Church is revealed a vision of Him thoroughly and clearly glorified, ascended and united, one with the Father, and not in any sense man's brother, but even God over all.

When the Lord called men His "brethren," was He then speaking from the maternal human?- thereby recognizing through that human His companionship with His fellow men? Many have so thought, and many continue so to think. But the Writings deny this. They say that there is a high sense in which the Lord may call men His brethren, but that there is no sense in which man may call the Lord his brother, no sense in which it is right or proper to do so; and this especially may they not do after His ascension and full union with the Father. For that union made Him God entire. As such, He alone is to be worshipped by men, by the Church. The essential of the Church is the worship of the union between the Father and the Son. The Church is even commanded to be in continual thought concerning that union, since it is the most sacred of all things, and makes the very life of the Church, from which comes its salvation. This worship, this continual thought of the Divine union, is that which was signified in the old, the former, days by keeping the Sabbath, for from that union came the true sabbath of rest.

How, then, may any man call the glorified, the ascended Lord "brother"? His title can only be that of Father. Yet, as noted, there is a high sense in which the Lord may call men "brethren," but we are informed that on such occasions the Lord addressed that in men which is of Himself with them, namely, the Divine in the men of the Church. This Divine was and is as if His brother. Truly speaking, it was and is Himself; yet, because it is of Himself in and with men, there is given an apparent difference, an apparent separation, so that, in accord with the appearance, He speaks to that Divine in men as if objectively, as if to another, and calls it his brother. "Then one said unto Him, Behold Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak unto Thee. But He answered and said unto him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren I For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." (Matt. 12: 47-5O.) In so far as any man does the will of the Father in the heavens, he has the Divine of the Lord in him, for that Divine alone is capable of doing the will of the Father, and of enabling man to do it as if of himself. It was that Divine, of which the Lord spoke, when He was told of His mother and brethren, standing without, He, "stretching forth His hand to His disciples, said, Behold my mother and my brethren!"

It is of interest to observe that the Lord here spoke of those doing the will of the Father in the heavens, and to note the fact that the Writings speak of the Father above the heavens as being far removed from both men and angels, and giving this as the reason why men were instructed to pray to the Father in the heavens; this in the Lord's Prayer. It is the Father in the heavens who hears and answers prayers. In the same connection it is said that the Father in the heavens is the Lord,-the Lord as to the Divine Human,-which is indeed the infinite Divine, but accommodated to reception by angels and men,-accommodated by putting on the flesh, but not permanently so, because, by the process of glorification, He returned to complete union with the Father, from whom there was for a time an apparent separation. But the point is, that His return was complete. He carried with Him into and above the heavens no relict from the mother, no veiling of purely human structure, though men have ever vainly thought that He did, and have sought to find that veil. For men, even like Mary Magdalene, have desired to touch Him, under the illusion of a human veiling, under the thought that His Human was like that of other men. But His answer to this desire was given to Mary Magdalene in the mystic words, "Touch me not," -words, however, which are no longer mystery now that the Lord's sole Divinity is revealed.

It has been noted that Christians have directed their principal thought to the cross, and that their central worship embraces the passion thereon. Yet this carried over to the resurrection, for without the resurrection the. passion would have no Divine meaning, no redeeming power. By belief in the Lord's resurrection the Church was established. For that was the word of power that went throughout the world, giving substance to the hope of a life after death for all men. But the thought of His passion and belief in His resurrection was not enough. What of it? He suffered death, indeed, and truly rose on the third day. But when seen in His resurrection body by Mary Magdalene and the disciples, He appeared to them as if in the former material body, and this even as to the wounds in His hands and His side; this, to confirm the conviction that it was indeed Himself. Yet He so appeared to them under their insistent idea of Him; and He could so appear because He was not yet ascended to the Father. After the ascension He never so appeared again. In this interval-appearing to His disciples, there was yet some veiling as of the material body. The Church, the state of mind of His followers, demanded this, and it was granted. "Thomas said, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe." This was the voice of the Church speaking. It was the same Magdalene Church, but now called Thomas,-Doubting Thomas.        

The demand was for sensual touch, physical contact, with His material human, His earth-body. And the demand was such that it must needs be as if granted, for not otherwise could faith be established. Here note a most instructive contradiction. While the Lord said to Mary Magdalene, "Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father," signifying that the Church should be conjoined with the Human only after complete unity with the Father, yet, owing to the state of the Church at that time, this was impossible. And so, when, after some days had passed, Jesus came among His disciples, the doors being shut, and said, "Peace be unto you. Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands, and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side, and be not faith less but believing." (John 20: 26, 27.)

And so also it came to pass in after days. Not heeding the warning given to Mary Magdalene, the Church insisted on conjoining itself with its Lord not clearly and fully glorified, not yet ascended to entire union with the Father. The Church also thrust its hand into His side to feel the wound of His death as evidence of His Life. While this was permitted, yet a Divine rebuke followed: "Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed." Here the meaning is the same. The Church insisted on a material resurrection, in order that it might believe. It insisted on a junction with its Lord not yet ascended, not yet in complete unity with the Father. But such a faith, so established, was impermanent. A spiritual Church can only be founded with those who see not and yet believe, that is, who regard not the Resurrection Body of the Lord save as purely Divine and in unity with the Father.

Inwardly, the rebuke to Thomas bears the same meaning as the warning given to Mary Magdalene; for Thomas did just that which was forbidden to Mary. And so also it was with the Church. The Church worshipped, and in its heart conjoined itself with, the Human, risen indeed, but not ascended, not clearly glorified. This forbidden, yet permitted, thing dominated the doctrine and worship of the Church to the end, that is, until the time of the Second Coming, when a New Church was established whose cardinal doctrine opened the way for the conjunction of that Church with its ascended Lord.



30



GLORIFICATION p. 31        THE RISEN LORD AND THE COMMUNION

"And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the (mother) of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him. And very early in the morning the first (day) of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

"And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away; for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: He is risen; He is not here: behold the place where they laid him." (Mark 16: 1-6.)

When Jesus rose from the grave, a dying age revived, a new church came into being. The news of His resurrection spread far and wide. Men question, saying, What think ye? Do we rise from the grave to new life? This question is at the heart of all men in every age. Their hope, their faith, their doubt, their denial rises and falls. They never quite give up all hope. They are never altogether free from doubt and its temptation. The veil between the two worlds varies in density; sometimes little or no light passes through; and again, it becomes all but transparent. This with the varying influence of religion, the decrease or increase of faith.

A fallen religion encourages doubt and increases pessimism. A new church brightens the light from heaven, and faith strengthens until it imparts a realizing sense of certainty and security. In the beginning of a new church heaven draws near, and men become spiritually minded. Their hearts turn to the life beyond as to a future home. Their interest is engaged with the new truth that is revealed. A new revelation and church are companion parts; one is not given without the other. A new church is a new religion which brings with it a new age. A new church is not a mere reformation nor a schismatic development. This last divides the church, and at last brings it to an end.

The Lord came to establish a new church. The old had fallen through successive ages, until it became a denial of that which brought it into being. The circle of its life was completed. Its morning had passed into a lasting night, a Sadducean night, in which there is denial of a resurrection -no hope of a new spiritual day. In this night our Lord was buried; yet He came forth from the darkness of death in the early morning, at the rising of the sun to signify the commencing of a new church-the dawning of a new spiritual age and the rising of a new spiritual sun.

He, after His resurrection, was the Sun of heaven renewed, with an increase of glory. Yet He was a Man Divine, and the same with Himself as He was a man in the world, and known to His disciples.* As such, He was seen by them for a period after His resurrection and prior to His ascension. He was seen by them, not with their natural, but their spiritual eyes; but they knew not the difference. His Resurrection Body could not be seen in the light of the natural sun; yet it was as if they so saw Him, as if He stood before them in a material body. It was thus that they witnessed His resurrection; and their witness was accepted by those who were ready to believe, not by others. This witness was called for. It was a spiritual requirement, and it became a natural ground of faith.

* Believe this should read "The same within Himself as when He was a man in the world."

Yet this witness was not in itself sufficient for the unbelieving, to compel their faith. A miracle, if at first accepted, is soon discredited. The simple in heart were convinced by this witness of the disciples. Their trusting minds were perceptive. Their confidence was of the spirit. Their proof came from an inner light. In this they transcended the witness of the eyes and overcame the doubt of natural reason. Their faith was based upon the heart's necessity and its sense of immortality. This is more certain in its convictions than any outward proving. Its discernment is derived from the self- evidencing reason of love, which is unerring in its divining. It perceives truth and senses realities, not knowing how. Its apperceptions go deeper into spiritual causes than the reasoning mind can see. This is the sight of true faith; not of faith as a formula or a persuasive dogma, but of faith as an inner state of life. This is the faith of love. It is also called the faith of God. It is the faith of the God-fearing and God-loving mind, in which there is nothing of self with its conceit in its powers of reasoning-which turns the back to God and the thought away from heaven. This self of man can perceive no spiritual truth, cannot see God as the pure in heart do. It is engaged with its self-concern and its relation to the world. To such a mind, no spiritual vision is given.

There were many in Jerusalem-a multitude-to whom the Lord's resurrection passed as a thing unknown, or as at once discredited. Only a chosen few saw Him, and of these there was one who doubted. Yet the fact, the truth of His resurrection ruled the world for ages thereafter. This is the high proving of Providence. It is a fact of history, incomprehensible on any other ground than that of truth.

The angel said to the women who came to the sepulchre early in the morning. "Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: He is risen: He is not here: behold the place where they laid Him." The stone was rolled away, and the body was not here. This meant that He was raised, even as to the body- His body made Divine. There was a difference between this and the body that was carried to the tomb. Something happened in the sepulchre-a miracle, which time cannot explain to the carnal mind, but which is affirmed by revelation. There was a dissipation of the residue of the maternal human. This happened in the tomb. (Ath. Cr. 161, 162.) His Resurrection Body was there clearly glorified. It was in this Glorified Body that He appeared to His disciples, their eyes being opened. They beheld Him in spiritual vision, not in the fancy of their imagination. In spiritual vision realities are seen-spiritual realities. He appeared to them in His own Divine Body on the plane of their spiritual sensual sight, on the plane of that outward spiritual vision of which the disciples were capable, and which brought Him before them even as they had known Him on earth. It was this that enabled them to testify in truth that He had risen.

A more interior vision of the Divine Human was later given, but that pertained to another age, to the time of His Second Coming, when He, in His Divine Human, presented Himself as the Divine Truth, as the Truth of Divine Revelation. The two Advents are distinguished, the one from the other, in this, that at His First Coming He appeared in the world, in His Second He appeared in the Word. At His First Coming He appeared in person, as a man; at His Second Coming He appeared in the truth of the Word revealed. And the reason given, why His Second Coming was effected in and by this truth, and not in person, was that, after His ascension, He was in His Glorified Human, which cannot come again into the world, cannot appear in person before the natural eyes of men, but can become visible to their spiritual sight only. And therefore it is recorded that, when He showed Himself to His disciples after His resurrection, it was not to their bodily, but to their spiritual, eyes. This also is that which happened to them on the occasion of His transfiguration. (T. C. R. 777.)

While the vision of the Divine Human as the Divine Truth united with the Divine Good, given at the time of His Second Advent, is a more interior revealing than that of His Human Body Form which was given to His disciples immediately after His resurrection, yet His appearing to His disciples in His ultimate Human Form was of order, and it was a true vision of His Human Glorified. This is clear from the teaching that while He appeared to them, and presently did not appear, yet He was a Man when seen and when not seen-that is, He did not put on an appearing body for the occasion and then put it off again. (C. L. 31.) His so appearing was therefore not imaginary. It was a real presence and a real appearing of Him as He was.

The disciples' witness to this fact was vital to beginning Christianity, and it is vital to the Church at this day as the ground of the Second Advent faith, which faith, however, calls for and receives an interior manifestation of the Divine Human adapted to a later and more rational age. While it should be noted and emphasized that the faith of the New Church is interiorly and essentially dependent upon its own revelation, yet that revelation supports by rational interpretation the original inspired account. In this way the two Advents and the truths thereof make a complete unity.

On the occasion of His ascension, it is recorded that "while they beheld, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:9-10.)

"In like manner." What is the meaning of this? Men have concluded that, in the last day, they would behold Him descending from the starry heaven to the earth, even as they thought they saw Him ascend. But it is manifest that, on this occasion also, their eyes were opened. His ascent was seen in spiritual vision, and His Body then seen was the Resurrection Body, which cannot become visible to natural eyes. That which made Him visible in the world of nature was put off in the sepulchre. It follows that His Resurrection Body would become manifest at His Second Coming, not to the natural, but to spiritual sight. And indeed He was so seen by the Seer, whose eyes were opened, and also by the very many gathered for judgment in the spiritual world. But the higher revealing of Himself at the Second Coming was through and by means of that which is signified by the "cloud" which received Him on the occasion of His ascension, namely, the Word in its letter, which was the ultimate means of an internal manifestation of Him glorified, of Him manifest in the Body of His Divine Truth, which Truth alone is also one in Essence and Identity with His first seen Resurrection Body, the only difference being the planes of Manifestation-the plane of external spiritual sight and that of rational spiritual perception.

The Resurrection Body, clearly and fully glorified, and one in Essence with the Divine Human of the Second Advent revelation, is the sole object of our worship. And this it is which is representatively administered in the Holy Communion of the New Church. And it is in this specifically that that Communion is new. This is a matter of no little importance-the significance of the Communion before and after the Second Coming. The Writings tell us that the doctrine of the Church enters into the Communion, that that which is administered is qualified by the doctrine concerning it. Clearly, in the New Church, it is the Divine Human which is administered; for this is nowhere else known or acknowledged. This is that which is represented to us by the bread and the wine. Truly then, the Communion in the New Church is a new thing-distinctly so, even as the doctrine of the Divine Human is a new doctrine.

The Holy Supper was first administered by the Lord Himself, and this prior to His death. It was then administered in the evening, signifying the last time of the Church, -the night in which the Church went down, and also the darkness of the grave into which He was to enter. Many have felt that the evening was the fitting, the significant, time for the administration of the Supper. As a historical memorial this is so. But note again that, in the New Church, that which is administered is not the body as it went down into the grave, but the Human ascended and glorified. This Human first stood forth in the fulness and completion of its glory early in the morning of the resurrection day, at the rising of the sun, which symbolized His Human Glorified as the Source of all light in heaven, and as well the true light of the world.

The Lord's last Supper with His disciples indeed involved all this, and interiorly looked to it, but the occasion of that Communion obviously pointed to the night in which the Church went down- pointed to the death and the grave for Himself. For of that evening Supper He said, "With desire I have desired to eat of this passover with you before I suffer." (Luke 22: 15.) In this the Sacrament was a memorial of His death. But we worship Him not as He hung upon the cross nor as He lay in the grave. In the new Communion there is no symbol of death, but all is Life Divine, Life ascending, even as the Sun in its continual rising. It follows from this that the new Communion is a morning Communion-the resurrection Communion. Of this the Lord spoke when He said, "I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God." (Luke 22: 16.)

The Communion as a death memorial called for its fulfillment in and after the resurrection. This was involved in His saying that He would drink no more of the fruit of the vine until He drank it "new" in the kingdom of God (Mark 14: 25), or until He should drink it new with them in the kingdom of God. The significance of this is clear. There was to be another and a new Communion after His resurrection, and indeed, in consequence thereof, such a Communion as could not be given before, because it was only after His resurrection that "all Divine Truth in heaven and the Church proceeded from His Divine Human," ascended and glorified. And it was because of this that He said that He would drink of the fruit of the vine new with them in His Father's kingdom. For only after His resurrection did all the Divine proceed from Him,-that is, then only did the Divine proceed from His Human in fullness. (See A. E. 376:26.) The mortal human-the maternal with its infirmities-was always more or less an inhibiting medium; but with the resurrection the last of this human was put off, so that He in Body was totally Divine. It is this total Divinity, therefore, which is signified in and by the new wine of the heavenly Communion, and it is this which is signified by and represented in the new Communion of the New Church.



31



GLORIFICATION p. 32        THE NEW DOCTRINE

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants the things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John: Who bare record of the Word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they which hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand." (Revelation 1:1-3.)

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him to shew unto His servants the things which must shortly come to pass, signifies Divine predictions concerning the state of the church, both in heaven and on earth, and this near the end, or at the time of the last judgment. These predictions follow in order. They comprise the Book of Revelation, which was given at the beginning of the Christian era, to foreshadow by spiritual representations the actual events which marked the end of the church. They describe the events leading to that judgment, introducing it, and those which followed immediately thereafter, which last had reference to the formation of a new heaven and the establishment of a new church.

The means of this post-judgment formation and establishment of a new heaven and church was the giving of a new doctrine, here called the doctrine of heaven, bearing upon the Lord and His Divinity, the nature of which was veiled in obscurity. This new doctrine was a revelation of the Lord's entire Divinity. It was to the effect that He was Divine even as to His Human nature. In other words, the new doctrine taught that Jesus Christ is the only God, and therefore inseparably one with the Father, and this by virtue of His Divine conception and subsequent Glorification. His Divine conception caused Him to be, in a unique sense, the Son of God at birth. His subsequent Glorification was that Divine process by which He successively returned into entire unity with the Father,' and in so doing caused His status as a temporarily separate individual to cease. This conception was vaguely shadowed forth in the beginning of the church, but never openly revealed. It found a partial expression in the several historic creeds, but was never therein given a clear or unqualified statement. It was also involved in the text of Scripture, and it labored to come forth into rational credal form, but its emergence was ever partial and confused by notable contradictions.

This new doctrine concerning the Lord is the inner burden of the Book of Revelation. It was ordained that it should come forth in fulness at the time of the last judgment. This coming forth was identical with the Lord's Second Coming. It was of order that the doctrine should be delivered at that time and not before, and indeed as the internal meaning of the Scripture, and especially of the Book of Revelation. Therefore, that book opens with the words, The Revelation of Jesus Christ."

The Scriptural appearance of God as one, and of Christ as another, is manifest, and it is a fact that when in the world He was the Son of God. This so influenced His followers that it persisted to the end, dividing the thought of men. Yet it was needful that the idea of His Human and His Divine should be united to preserve the fundamental truth of the unity of God. This unity was first creedally expressed by the doctrine of three persons in one God; yet His unity in one Divine Person being the truth could not but prevail in the end. This, in its finality, was that which was brought forth through the instrumentality of the last judgment revelation. The appearance of two being thus overcome, the mind of the man of the church could be spiritually enlightened, and this while admitting the fact that a seeming distinction existed so long as the Lord was in a material body derived from the mother. Yet this appearance of the distinction was carried over into the Apocalypse. Hence we have the record of the text, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him to shew unto His servants," as if God were quite another from Christ. Yet, as we know, Jesus then was glorified with the glory of the Father.

How then was this unity accomplished? By no process of increasing likeness may a human son become one in person with his father. The soul of each man is a separate entity. But just this was not the case with the Lord. His soul, from conception, was one and the same with the indivisible Divine. His body was from the mother. This was finite, and therefore separable. His maternally derived body was therefore that which was put off by His Glorification, and in finality, by death. It then could not be otherwise than that He, after the death of the body, should be raised into entire unity with His own soul.

The Scriptural appearance of a distinction between the Father and the Son, while the Lord was, in the world, was therefore a fact; yet it was a temporary status. However, His Glorification was completed at the time when the Apocalypse was given, but for reasons of Providence the truth was yet veiled in compliance with the common thought of His followers. Therefore it is said, "which God gave unto Him to shew unto His servants." Here His servants are the faithful who pass through the judgment. To these at that time He revealed Himself anew in the glory of His unity with the Father. To them it was given to know not only the things "which must shortly come to pass," but also to know Him through whom they came to pass. These, His servants, were such that they would neither reject nor profane the new Divine doctrine.

The things "which must shortly come to pass" were those pertaining to the last judgment. These, when they came to pass, cleared the spiritual atmosphere, and opened the minds of men to the truth. The truth was pressing to be received. It was certain to come forth because of its great need. Moreover, the time was, at hand. Wherefore it is said that "He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John." John here stands for those who from charity hearken and obey. To them the Lord, at His Second Coming, revealed the truth concerning Himself out of heaven. This is meant by His sending an angel,-that is to say, the revelation of the doctrine came by way of heaven. The heavens were involved in its giving; yet there was no self-conscious mediation by the angels, but there was an inflowing of the Divine through them. Thus ever the Word was given. The angels spoke, but not from their own minds or memories; yet an accommodation was effected through them. As it was with the angels in this, so also it was with the prophets through whom the angels in turn spoke. The Word so given was Divine. John, in this case, was the prophet, and of Him it is said that he "bare witness to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus." The Word of God is the Divine Truth, and the testimony of Jesus is the new Divine doctrine given for the revival of the church. The virtue in this doctrine is that it brings the Lord anew to man in His true Divinity.

Of John it is said, that he "bare record of the Word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus." A witness testifies to the truth of a thing. No one can bear witness save he who acknowledges and confesses the truth in his heart. Otherwise the witness is false. This is especially true of the witness of spiritual things. To witness concerning things in the world is to speak from knowledge, from memory and its thought, because man has so seen or heard. On the other hand, spiritual things are inner perceptions of truth. They fill the whole man from within. Of these the heart speaks, the love testifies. Because of this the testimony of the heart is the only true witness. Indeed, such testimony arises from an inner God-given perception. This perception alone has inner knowledge of the truth. It both sees and feels. Such testimony is beyond the proof of argument. It is above logic, and transcends natural reason. It is a vision purely spiritual, and a sense that is celestial. It is a gift Divine to the celestial regenerate. Science demonstrates to the senses; an argument may prove of reason, but perception alone guides the soul of man. This high faculty is a heaven-born instinct. It knows without knowing. It is the ultimate goal of human life. It was with man in the beginning, and it will again be his. It is the high quest of every regenerate soul and is often achieved, but in part only. To many of the reborn a substitute is given, a conscience which becomes a standard of spiritual life. There may be some who gain superior perceptive power. In the end there will be more of these, as the Divine doctrine is received livingly, and accredited with the testimony of the heart. That doctrine is the inner light of all religions and the source of all celestial perception. It is at once the newest and the oldest of doctrines. It was in the beginning, and in the-end it stands supreme. It was in the beginning, in the Word, which was with God. It stood forth in ultimation when the Word was "made flesh." It was revealed in glory at the Second Coming.

This doctrine, the source of all celestial perception and every true testimony, is the doctrine of the God-Man. It was known to Adam by inner revealing when he heard the voice of Jehovah God walking among the ancient trees. Yet, at that time, there was fear in Adam's heart, for the Divine faculty was failing. A judgment was impending which would cloud the inner light throughout the coming ages-a cloud not to be entirely removed until the coming of the Lord in glory, and then only by slow stages, as the human mind, in mercy and of Providence, should be opened ever more fully to the testimony of Jesus Christ.

"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." Only those are blessed whose spirits abide in heaven. These have heaven in themselves. They have a living perception of truth. This is signified by hearing the words of the prophecy. Prophecy is that which comes forth from heaven. This is called the doctrine of heaven or the Divine doctrine. It is the Lord appearing by His Word concerning Himself. His Word is prophecy of which He, Himself, is the life and soul. This is that which came forth from Him at the time of the last judgment to bless all those who received of it.

32