« ПретходнаНастави »
a rotten and putrid Nature, by Reason of the corrupt Source from which it was derived.
495. All Freedom which is from the Lord is true eflential Freedom, but that which is derived into Man from Hell is not Freedom, but Servitude; still however fpiritual Freedom must needs appear like Servitude to one who is under the Influence of infernal Freedom, because they are in Oppofition to each other; nevertheless all who are in the Enjoyment of fpiritual Freedom have not only a clear Knowledge, but also a clear Perception, that infernal Freedom is Servitude, on which Account the Angels hold it in the utmost Averfion, like the Stench arising from a putrid Carcase, whereas the infernal Spirts regale themselves with it as with an aromatic Perfume. It is an acknowledged Truth collected from the Word of the Lord, that Worship proceeding from a free Prin. ciple is true and acceptable Worship, and that the Lord is well pleased with whatever is spontaneous or voluntary, wherefore it is said in the Psalms, “ An Offering of a free Heart will I give thee,” liv. 6; and in another Place, " The Voluntary of the People are gathered together, the People of the God of Abraham, xlvii. 9. Hence amongst the Children of Israel spontaneous or Free-Will Sacrifices were instituted, and their facred Worship consisted principally in Sacrifices; for the fame Reason it was enjoined, “ İbat every one whose Heart firreth him up, and every one whom bis Spirit made willing, hould bring the Lord's Offering to the Work of the Tabernacle," Exod. xxxv. 5, 21, 29; and the Lord faith, “ If ye continue in my Word, then are ye my Disciples indeed, and ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free; if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed,” John viii. 31
496. The Reason why those Things remain which are received from a free Principle is, because the Will of Man adopteth and appropriateth such Things to itself, in Confe. quence whereof they gain Admission into the Love, and the Love acknowledgeth them as it's own, and formeth and fathjoneth itself thereby. This Circumstance may be illustrated by Comparisons taken from natural Things, fuppofing only that in the Place of Love we fiubstitute Heat. Now it is well
known, that by Means of Heat, and according to it's Degree, the Doors are opened in every Vegetable, and in Proportion as they are open, the Vegetable returns inwardly into the Form of it's proper Nature, and spontaneously receiveth it's Nutriment, retaining what is suitable and falutary to it, and thus growing to it's proper Perfection. The Case is the fame with Respect to the Brute Creation; whatever any of them choofeth, and eateth, by Virtue of the Love of Nutrition, which is called Appetite, that incorporates itself with them, and thereby remaineth and abideth ; and the Reason of such an Incorporation of suitable and falutary Substances - is, because all Things that enter into the Composition of the animal Body are in a perpetual State of Renovation; a Circumstance this, which is known only to a few. Heat also, in it's Action on the Brute Creation, openeth all Parts of their Bodies, and causeth their natural Love to act freely; and this is the Reason why in the Time of Spring and Summer they experience a Return of the Instinct of Prolification, and Education of their Young, which Functions they perform with the utmost Freedom, because they are Effects of that ruling Love implanted in them by Creation, for the sake of preserving the Universe in it's created State. The Reason why Freedom of Love may be illustrated by the Freedom occafioned by Heat, is, because Love produceth Heat, as is evident from it's Effects in caufing Man to take Fire, grow warm, and burst out into a Flame, when the Love is exalted into Zeal, or kindled into Wrath; this is the true and only Source of the Heat of the Blood, or the vital Heat of Man, and in general of all Animals; and it is owing to this Correspondence, that the bodily Organs, by Means of Heat, are adapted to receive such Things as the Love desires and seeks after. All the internal Parts of the human Body are in this fame Kind of Equilibrium, and consequent Freedom; the Heart in this State of Freedom impels it's Blood with an equal Force upwards and downwards, and the Mesentery it's Cycle ; in a like State of Freedom the Liver, the Kidneys, and the Glands perform their feveral Operations of separating, secreting, and purifying the Blood, &c. supposing this Equilibrium should be affected, each Member would be disordered thereby, and would suffer either a Paralysis, or an Ataxy. Equilibrium
and Freedom are here considered as one and the fame Thing;
dom of Determination ; but that a legal Restraint is laid on
497. Every Man may be convinced of the Freedom he enjoyeth in Regard to spiritual Things, by attending only to his own Power of Thinking; for who is not at Liberty to think about God, about a Trinity, about Charity and his Neighbour, about Faith and it's Operation, about the Word of God, and all Things thence derived, and about every particular Part of Theology with which he is acquainted? And who hath not the Power to think, to determine, to teach, and to write, either in Favour of such Subjects, or against them? Suppofing this Freedom to be removed from Man but for a Moment, must not his Thought instantly cease, his Tongue be dumb, and his Hands hang down motionless? Wherefore, my Friend, if you are fo disposed, you may, by attending only to your own Power of Thinking, reject and disavow that irreconcileable and damnable Heresy, which at this Day hath brought a Lethargy on Men's Minds, throughout all Christendom, in Regard to the heavenly Doctrine concerning Charity and Faith, Salvation and eternal Life. The follows ing Reasons may ferve to thew that this Freedom of Determi. nation refideth in Man's Will and Understanding. 1. Because those two Faculties ought first to be instructed and reformed, and by Means of them the two Faculties of the external Man, whereby he speaketh and acteth. 2. Because those two Faculties of the internal Man constitute his Spirit, which continueth to live after Death, and is subject to no other than the Divine Law, the first Priciple of which requireth that Man should consider the Law, thould practise and obey it, as of himself, and yet from the Lord. 3. Because Man with Ref. pect to his Spirit is in the Midst between Heaven and Hell,
TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION.
beze.erin consequently between Good and Evil, and thereby in Equilibrium, which is the Cause and Source of the Free-Will he enjoyeth in spiritual Things, as was fhewn above, No. 475; so long however as he liveth in this World, he is with Refpect to his Spirit in Equilibrium between this world and Heaven, and in this state is little aware, that in Proportion as he withdraweth his Affections from Heaven, and fixeth them on the World, in the fame Proportion he draweth nigh towards Hell; this Circumstance is partly known to him, and partly unknown, to the End that in this, as in other Cafes, he may be left to his own Freedom, and thereby be in a Capacity of being reformed. 4. Because these two Things, the Will and the Understanding, are two Recipients of the Lord, the Will a Recipient of Love and Charity, the Understanding a Recipient of Wisdom and Faith, and the Lord operateth and produceth each of those Graces, whilft Man is in the fullest enjoyment of Freedom, in order that a mutual and reciprocal Conjunction may be effected, and thereby Salvation be accomplished.O 5. Because all the Judgment which a Man possesseth after Death, dependeth on the Use and Application of his Free-Will in spiritual Things. H
498. It follows as a Consequence from these Confiderations, that effential Free-Will hath it's Refidence in the human Soul in a State of the fullest Perfection, and thence, as from a Fountain-Spring, floweth into the Mind, into the two Parts
thereof, the Will and the Undrstanding, and through these i into the bodily Senses, the Words and Actions. For there
are three Degrees of Life in Man, the Soul, the Mind, and the Sensual Body, and whatever is in one of the superior Degrees, is in a State of Perfection above what is in an inferior Degree. It is this Freedom belonging to Man, by which, in which, and with which, the Lord is present in him, and.is continually urgent to be received, but itill without ever affecting or removing Man's Freedom, since as was faid above, Nothing remaineth with Man but what is received from a free Principle, so that it may truly be affirmed, that it is this Freedom belonging to Man in which the Lord dwelleth with him in his Soul. But that the outward Commission of Evil is reftrained by Laws, both in the spiritual and in the natural Worlds, in Order to the Well-being of Society, which
otherwise could not possibly subfift, is a Truth which requireth no Explication. It may be expedient however to thew, in the Way of Illustration, that without those external Reftraints, Society would not only not fubfift, but the whole Race of Mankind would also inevitably perish. Man is under the evil Influence of two kinds of Love, the Love of ruling over all, and the Love of poffefsing the Wealth and Property of all; these two kinds of Love, in Cafe they are not subjected to Controul, are unlimited in their Tendencies; all the hereditary Evils, in which Man is naturally born, take their Rise chiefly from these two kinds of Love; Adam finned only in this, that he wished to become as God, which evil Inclination was infused into him by the Serpent, wherefore in the Curse pronounced against him it is said, “ That the Earth mould bring forth to him Thorns and Thistles," Gen. iii. 5, 18; by which is signified every Kind of Evil, and it's attendant Falses. All such as are enslaved to those two kinds of Love regard themselves alone, as a Sort of single central Point, in which, and for which, all other Things and Perfons were created; they are therefore void of Compassion, void of the Fear of God, and void of Neighbourly Lore, and in Consequence thereof, are full of Unmercifulness, Savageness, and Cruelty, attended with an infernal Covetousness; and greedy Desire of robbing and plundering other People, to effect which Purposes they stop at no Sort of Craft, Deceit, and Treachery. Such evil Propensities are not innate in the Beasts of the Earth, for they never kill and devour one another, unless when impelled by Hunger, or in order to defend themselves; wherefore an evil Man, regarded as under the Influence of those evil kinds of Love, is more favage, fierce, and abominable than
Bealt. That this is a true Description of Man, as to his internal Part, is plain from what is observable in Cases of any public Disturbance, when a lawless Mob throw off all Restraints of Obedience to civil Authority;' it is plain also from the horrid Barbarities and Rapines which ensue in a besieged Ciiy, when the Conquerors are permitted the free Exercise of their Refentment against their Enemies, in which Case it is very rare for any one to moderate his Rage and Covetousness, until á Signal is given for a Cellation .from Plunder. Hence it is evident, that unless Men were kept in Awe by the Fear of Punishment which the Law in. VOL. II.