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world; between the spiritual body and the natural body; be. tween the spiritual senses and the natural senses; and between spiritual employments and natural employments: and that as he then has a body, which is adapted to the world in which he lives, and to the uses which he has to perform, therefore his material body will never be resumed.
We learn that if we are internally and spiritually united to any person while here, the union is not severed by death: that, although he is then invisible to us, and we are invisible to him, yet his influence still continues to operate upon us, and that our influence continues to operate upon him : that we are still spiritually near together: that his affection for us still contributes to our happiness, and that our affection for him still contributes to his happiness. We thus learn not to mourn at the death of our friends, as if they had ceased to exist, nor as if they had ceased to be what they were, nor as if we were entirely separated from them: but at the same time, we learn to mourn on account of those habits of thinking and feeling which bind our spirits to the earth, and make us unmindful of the world to which our friends have gone, and to which we are going. We learn to mourn, not because our friends are dead, but because we ourselves have so little of spiritual life.
With regard to those who die in infancy and childhood, we learn from the doctrines of the New Church, that they are, through the mercy of the Lord, all of them saved. For until a man arrives at maturity, he does not become confirmed in his opposition to the government and laws of God, nor fixed in the determination and habit of acting according to the dictates of his own will and understanding. We learn that those, who leave this world during infancy, enter the spiritual world as infants; and that those, who leave here in childhood, enter that world as children : that as soon as they leave the material body, and are thus born into the spiritual world, the angels receive them with the greatest joy, watch over them with the tenderest affection, and instruct them step after step in the wisdom of heavenly life, until they grow to maturity; until they are prepared to engage in angelic employments, and do themselves become angels.
Under the light of the New Jerusalem, the terrors of death are not destroyed, but they are converted into instructers. In the minds of those who see by this light, the idea of death is transformed into that of resurrection. They do not think
about the end of temporal existence, but about the commencement of eternal existence. Instead of the darkness of the grave, they think about the light of the spiritual world : for the light of the New Jerusalem is heavenly light: it is the light by which angels see: and when we are in it, we cannot think about the cold inanimate body, which is left in the tomb; but about the living man, who is rising into the spiritual world. We cannot sympathize with the matter which is cast off, but with the spirit which is delivered from it. We do nót, in our thoughts, go through the gloom of funereal ceremonies to the gates of darkness and oblivion ; but we rise, as he rises; we leave these things behind us; and in our affections and thoughts go with him into the abodes of eternal life and heavenly joy.
When we are under the light of the New Jerusalem, we see in death an image representing the regeneration of man. As death is the passage from the natural world into the spiritual, so regeneration is the change from a natural to a spiritual state of mind. While we are suffering ourselves to be regenerated, all our corporeal and worldly views and feelings are brought into subjection. In following the Lord, we are obliged to forsake our houses and lands, our brethren and sisters, our father and mother, our wife and children, for his sake. From love to him, we are to renounce our natural selfish affections for our relatives and property. And when we have thus put away our natural affections, we shall be prepared to have spiritual ones; and shall thus receive an hundred fold. We thus pass from a worldly into a heavenly state of mind. We then look down upon the world as they do who have left it. We look upon it only in relation to its spiritual design and uses. We regard it and we value it, only as a place of preparation for heaven.
At death we also leave a world from which the Lord is apparently absent, and come into one where he is manifestly present. So when we suffer ouselves to be regenerated, we pass out of a state of mind from which the Lord is apparently absent, into one in which he is constantly present: out of a state in which we imagine that we have power of ourselves to will, to think and to act, into one in which we perceive and acknowledge that without him we can do nothing. We come into this state, by following him, and putting ourselves under his government: by denying ourselves, and learning to acknowledge him. For he is as 'really present with us while
we are in this world, as he will be when we go into the spiritual world. It is because our affections and thoughts are far from him, that he appears to be far from us. It is our selflove and self-confidence, that prevents us from perceiving his presence, and feeling his influence. These things must therefore be overcome; they must die in us, before our minds can be opened to receive him.
Jesus saith, He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father; and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me: and he that taketh not his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He, that findeth his life, shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it.
[Then shall be repeated the Lord's Prayer.)
Our Father, who art in the heavens; Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so also upon the earth. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Then a portion of the Word may be sung, if convenient.)
BENEDICTION. THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
ARTICLES OF FAITH,
Of the New Church signified by the New Jerusalem in
ITo be read, when deemed proper, after the Second Portion from the Word in Public
Worship, or on other occasions: the people sitting.)
1. THAT JEHOVAH GOD, the Creator and Preserver of heaven and earth, is Love Itself and Wisdom Itself, or Good Itself and Truth Itself: That he is One both in Essence and in Person, in whom, nevertheless, is the Divine Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which are the Essential Divinity, the Divine Humanity, and the Divine Proceeding, answering to the soul, the body, and the operative energy in man: And that the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is that God.
2. That JEHOVAH God himself descended from heaven, as Divine Truth, which is the Word, and took upon him Human Nature for the purpose of removing from man the powers of hell, and restoring to order all things in the spiritual world, and all things in the church : That he removed from man the powers of hell, by combats against and victories over them ; in which consisted the great work of Redemption: That by the same acts, which were his temptations, the last of which was the passion of the cross, he united, in his. Humanity, Divine Truth to Divine Good, or Divine Wisdom to Divine Love, and so returned into his Divinity in which he was from eternity, together with, and in, his Glorified Humanity; whence he for ever keeps the infernal powers in subjection to himself: And that all who believe in him, with the understanding, from the heart, and live accordingly, will be saved.
3. That the Sacred Scripture, or Word of God, is Divine Truth Itself; containing a Spiritual Sense heretofore unknown, whence it is divinely inspired and holy in every syl
lable; as well as a Literal Sense, which is the basis of its Spiritual Sense, and in which Divine Truth is in its fulness, its sanctity, and its power: thus that it is accommodated to the apprehension both of angels and men: That the spiritual and natural senses are united, by correspondences, like soul and body, every natural expression and image answering to, and including, a spiritual and divine idea : And thus that the Word is the niedium of communication with heaven, and of conjunction with the Lord.
4. That the government of the Lord's Divine Love and Wisdom is the Divine Providence; which is universal, exercised according to certain fixed laws of Order, and extending to the minutest particulars of the life of all men, both of the good and of the evil: That in all its operations it has respect to what is infinite and eternal, and makes no account of things transitory but as they are subservient to eternal ends; thus, that it mainly consists, with man, in the connection of things temporal with things eternal; for that the continual aim of the Lord, by his Divine Providence, is to join man to himself and himself to man, that he may be able to give him the felicities of eternal life: And that the laws of permission are also laws of the Divine Providence; since evil cannot be prevented without destroying the nature of man as an accountable agent; and because, also, it cannot be removed unless it be known, and cannot be known unless it appear: Thus, that no evil is permitted but to prevent a greater; and all is overruled, by the Lord's Divine Providence, for the greatest possible good.
5. That man is not life, but is only a recipient of life from the Lord, who, as he is Love Itself and Wisdom Itself, is also Life Itself; which life is communicated by influx to all in the spiritual world, whether belonging to heaven or to hell, and to all in the natural world; but is received differently by every one, according to his quality and consequent state of reception.
6. That man, during his abode in the world, is, as to his spirit, in the midst between heaven and hell, acted upon by influences from both, and thus is kept in a state of spiritual equilibrium between good and evil; in consequence of which he enjoys free-will, or freedom of choice, in spiritual things as well as in natural, and possesses the capacity of either turning himself to the Lord and his kingdom, or turning himself away from the Lord, and connecting himself with the kingdom of darkness : And that, unless man had such free