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have been led also to place its progress literally as the enemy of Israel, and spiritually as the antagonist of the Lord's Church, in its oppositions respectively, its conquests, and its own degradation, overthrow, and devastation. And we have also taken a summary glance at Babylon, as the successor of Assyria, its ambition, domination, and downfall. So far as we have been able to investigate these things, we have not only recognised the relation between certain spiritual principles and certain nations or kingdoms, but seen likewise that the condition of the nations, through the progress of their history, bears analogy to the successive influences and operation of the spiritual principles. So much has this shewn itself to be the case, that we are warranted, I think, in regarding the spiritual things and processes represented as the causes of the representatives and their successive conditions, especially as we know that nothing can transpire in the natural world but as the effect of some spiritual cause. When, in reference to any subject, we are in a position to see to some extent the spiritual causes in their connexion with the natural effects, we are qualified by our knowledge of the spiritual, to extend our judgment in respect to the natural, and also on the other hand, by what we know of the natural, are able to arrive at some further conclusions respecting the spiritual.

On the subject of Assyria we have been enabled to gather information of both kinds, and have experienced the aid that each has afforded for a better understanding of the other; and we are now, by observing what has happened to Assyria, able to elicit further truths belonging to the spiritual part of our subject. Not only did Assyria, like many other kingdoms, fall and perish after having sustained a long-continued distinction in the earth for power and magnificence, but the remaining ruins of its cities, shunned by all but the wild beasts and birds of desolation, hid themselves from the eye of man beneath the soil of the desert, as if to bury in oblivion all remembrance of their vanished pride and glory; and even on the pages of history there was scarcely written an epitaph to tell the world that this once mighty nation had ever been. It is true, that its name was to be found frequently repeated in the sacred books of divine inspiration. Some small portion of its history was related, and abundance of prophecies testified to its importance as a representative of some principle in close affinity with the church of the Lord, but otherwise it was almost blotted out from the memory of man. And now, after twenty-five centuries have rolled by, and disbelievers in Holy Writ were about to class Assyria with the fabulous imaginations of mythical lore, we see its self-told history sculptured by its own artists, and written by its own chroniclers on its own



marbles, that have been liberated from their long seclusion, and brought to us and placed in our national depository for all men to read.

To what spiritual cause must these things be attributed ? If Assyria in its prosperity, and opposed to Israel, represented the rational principle in a perverted condition, the influent life of those peculiarities, in their character which rendered them such a representative must have come from this represented principle, as it then existed in reference to the church, either in the natural or the spiritual world. Similar must the case have been in reference to Assyria's downfall. The perverted rationality becoming altogether insane and powerless as to all matters of religion, would be the spiritual cause, the operation of which, among representative things, would find its termination or basis in Assyria's downfall. And thus, again, would it be in reference to the long disappearance of the Assyrian cities. The exercise of the rational principle even in its perverted condition having ceased in respect to religious truth, passive obedience to priestly domination having taken its place, and such a state of things continuing long, would result in the long disappearance of those cities. And still, again, the renewal in religion of rationality of a new character, not resembling the former, yet having an affinity to it, would, among its other representative manifestations in the natural world, occasion the discovery of the long lost remains of the ancient representative cities, not to build them up again, but as instructive mementoes of past perversions to be for ever avoided.

It may, perhaps, be objected to this idea of the spiritual causes, that we have not evidence that the supposed states of the church existed as appear to be required in these cases. It certainly is not very obvious that they did so in the natural world; yet we cannot easily judge of this matter, for notwithstanding Israel was not in the exercise of the rational principle, being only the representation of the spiritual church, we are not certain that no branch of the fallen ancient church was in existence by whom the perverted rationality was exercised about its doctrines. If, however, the whole of the ancient church had fallen into a state too grovelling and sensual even for exercising a perverted rationality, those in the world of spirits inmediately in connexion with the Assyrians, might be in such a perverted use of their reasoning powers as would find its analogy and basis in the Assyrian character. So, again, in the world of spirits; there might have been in the lowest degree of spiritual life and worship such as would be brought into bondage by false reasoners there. The corresponding natural state to theirs would be that of the Israelites in bondage to Nineveh. The long disappearance of the Assyrian cities, therefore, may have its spiritual correlative in those

[Enl. Series.- No. 71, vol. vi.]

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regions of the world of spirits that are immediately connected with the church on earth, in that utter destitution of all rationality which there prevailed for so long a period, as is evident from that complete rejection of all rational thinking about the doctrines of truth which spread itself like a veil of blackness for so many ages over the world, and which, though broken in upon by the few early glimmerings of gospel light, soon closed in again, enveloping again the world in darkness. So intense was this darkness that men feared to exercise their reasoning faculty about religion,-submitting to be led in their way to another world blindfolded, -yielling to whatever authority circumstances had placed them nearest to. It was thus throughout the heathen nations ; it soon became so through Christendom, and the Musselman's faith rests solely on authority. In reference, therefore, to those higher things for the sake of which, principally, it was given to men, the reasoning faculty had been long buried and forgotten. Learned doctors imagining themselves to be teaching Christianity,-a dispensation, really, of light from heaven, -held a doctrine to be a proper subject for Christian faith in proportion as it was contrary to all rational perception. The understanding was kept bound in obedience to such faith. Consistently, therefore, with such a universal and long-pro, racted absence of rationality, the very remains of the ruins of Assyria lay buried and forgotten beneath the earth's soil.

This long night was, however, to have its termination. The time was to come when this mental darkness was to be broken by the dawn of day,—when the second coming of the Sun of Righteousness should commence an endless day of spiritual light that shall never again decline,-a day the brightness of which shall awaken into activity the

mental eyesight, and call forth into healthy exercise the long-slumbering faculty of rationality,-a day the light of which shall be real and lasting, because accompanying the vivifying heat of sacred love that will be for ever emanating from this living Sun. This coming radiance has already brightened the horizon with its cheering tokens. The dark and evil barriers between man and heaven have been removed from the mid-world. The eye of truth is penetrating the long-established falsities and abominations that the night had engendered. The early movements of its reforming power are producing simultaneously useful discoveries and inventions, ameliorations of social evils and destructions and desolations, detections of error, and rejections of truth, disturbing the peace of slavery and exciting liberty to arms, dispelling ignorance and superstition, and giving to thought and rationality a freedom that gets used for opening the door to licentiousness. The powers of heaven are

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now contending with the powers of hell for the human heart and under, standing; nor will the warfare cease until heaven has conquered, and the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our God.

It is in the commencement of this new energy to bring up out of the dust, where it has been so long sleeping, the human mind and God's rational creation, and set it among princes, that man is beginning to remember his original endowment of a rational faculty, and to lament, the perversion, debasement, and oblivion to which it had become subject; and consistently with this remembrance or spiritual discovery, the long-concealed and forgotten ruins of Assyria are found and dug from their hiding-place to shew us, in the condition of these representatives in their latter day, what that rational principle had become to warn us of the danger of perverting so important a faculty that is now being resuscitated for the purpose of our becoming spiritual in our understandings and heavenly in our hearts. The mercy and wisdom of the Lord, by the operations of life in the spiritual world flowing into the region of natural life, occasion the wonderful analogies that may often be seen between the spiritual states of men and outward occurrences in the natural world. That such things should be is not difficult to understand when the proximity and connection of the two worlds are known.

That the new dispensation requires the resuscitation of the rational faculty, is clear to everyone who reflects upon the intellectual character of its doctrines and revelations. It is not by any blind assent to. dogmas uttered by authority that a New Church faith can be formed; the understanding is to be enlightened, that it may see and inquire on, and learn perpetually. The principles of truth are to be seen, their consistency discerned, and their harmony felt. The laws of righteousness are not to be looked at and observed as a set of rules prescribed by authority, and enforced by penalties; they are to be understood as wisdom's description of goodness,—indeed, as infinite wisdom's account of infinite goodness,----so that the righteous man may be recognised as the image of the Lord our righteousness. The infinite Jehovah's manifestations of himself are to make him really known ;—the harmony of his glorious attributes is to be seen ;-the developments of his love and wisdom in the operations of his power are to be investigated ;-the constitution of humanity, as natural, spiritual, and heavenly ;-the order of the natural universe as the outward type of all things human, heavenly, and divine;—the written Word, as full of divine wisdom in every expression, and as an entire form of divine truth, describing in its spiritual sense the whole works of redemption and regeneration ;-the spiri



tual world, its nature and laws ;—the Divine Providence, ever operating, and in all, even the minutest things and circumstances, among the evil consequences of man's degeneracy, to bring out of evil the greatest possible amount of good. All these things are for the exercise of the rational faculty, and its endless developments in the Lord's New Church. But although all this, yea, all wisdom, is provided for the development and elevation of the rational principle, it is all for a still further purpose, it is that the life of man may become heavenly,—that love of a heavenly character may be the motive power in all that his heart cherishes or his hands perform,—that he may wisely love and wisely do,—that the influent life that supplies all his desires and impulses, may be received and used according to pure wisdom,—that he may learn to discern between the evil and the good, and between the different degrees and kinds of these, and how to regulate in reference to them his various affections, propensities, partialities, attentions, and gratifications. The supplies afforded to his awakening rationality are also to be received and used with a due regard to a well-ordered development of this faculty, otherwise it will miss of realizing the intended good. It has likewise to be preserved in its proper relation to other faculties and principles of the mind, that it be neither neglected nor too exclusively attended to. Without the rational faculty man would be no better than a beast, but rationality alone is not a man. It holds an important place in the spiritual constitution, but it has its proper place. Let those who are treating it as their pet faculty beware lest, by their unwise favouritism, they spoil it, and so turn the intended blessing of so distinguishing a gift into a curse. It was rationality gloried in and exercised for its own sake that Assyria, as the enemy of Israel, represented;—it was rationality turned insane and puerile that Assyria in its downfall represented ;-it was rationality lost and forgotten that the ruins of Assyria, buried in the desert, represented ;-it is the new rationality just awakening into life, and called forth to the light, the existing ruins of a debased and destroyed rationality, that is represented by the leading nations of Europe discovering and bringing home for review the remains of Assyria ;—it is the new rationality restored to orderly conjunction, both with lower and higher principles in the Lord's Church, that is represented by the prophecies that appear to foretell the restoration of Assyria. In Isaiah xix. we read-“In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shail come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land; whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed

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