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account only the more real. The region of the spirit is the region of the eternal, therefore of the sublimest realities," p. 356. In fact, the city of God, as Dr. Fairbairn conceives it, is not greatly removed from that New Jerusalem which we believe is now descending from God out of heaven. It is a city of truth built up in the minds and hearts of men. "The eternal truths as to God and His Christ, the Divine energies and influences active in man, working in and through the Churches, the benevolent and beneficent forces which act in society, in politics, in commerce, in art, in civilisation as a whole, are of the city, and work for it. Without these it could never be. They are the builders of the city, the agencies God uses to prepare and lay the living stones of the temple He designed, and inhabits, and glorifies," p. 359.

1. Deafness.

WE can never think of the typical meaning attached to bodily suffering and deprivation, and realize what the cure of such suffering involves, without feeling as if our mental sight was strangely lengthened, and as if a wide vista was suddenly opened before us—a vista stretching far away into the distance, of valleys and plains again and again reduplicated, and ending in the "higher sunlit slopes of that mountain which has no summit, or whose summit is in heaven only."

This may seem to be high-flown language; but if any one considers carefully a single example of the many spiritual infirmities that afflict us, and the boundless extent of the sorrow and sin implied in spiritual disease, the glorious happiness and extended possibilities implied in its cure will be realized. Deafness, which is the form of disease we propose to consider, is regarded in the New Church as symbolical "of a defect of good in the will." As dumbness closes the channels of efflux, silences the praise proceeding from the understanding to God, so deafness closes the channels of influx, and destroys man's power of receiving the holy truths of love and goodness by means of his affections.

The subject of spiritual deafness is a very wide one; and this we shall see to be the case when we bear in mind that

deafness has as many degrees in its spiritual quality as it has in its material existence, from the want of ear, which is often scarcely thought of as a loss, to the stone deafness, which shuts the soul away from all the joyous sympathetic sounds of life, in everlasting silence and solitude. The want of appreciation of those harmonies which make others enjoy a fuller and deeper happiness than could be obtained in any other way, has its counterpart, for example, in the dulness of comprehension which cannot understand the harmony of goodness and truth, the disharmony of falsehood and vice. Music is analogous to trueness of life, and falseness of tone is as quickly discovered by the spiritual as by the natural ear. Sin corresponds to discord in music; and while a bad man cannot perceive the dissonance of evil, the ear of a good man suffers as much from a deviation in the beautiful accords of morality as a musician suffers from the striking of a false note in music. This form of deafness is, however, very far removed from utter deafness, and it has also its degrees. A man may not take pleasure in a royal symphony, but he may still enjoy the humbler music heard perhaps in the song of a bird, or in the voices of his children. In the same way, a soul may not be keenly alive to the higher harmonies of spiritual life, and yet may be quick to hear homely everyday sounds. We may not be spiritually heroic, but that does not debar us from being humble, purehearted, and honest, or prevent us from listening intently to those things that are within our scope, to the letter of the Word, if not to the voice of its spirit. Want of ear stands in something the same relation to deafness as colour-blindness stands to actual blindness.

We have said that deafness corresponds to "a defect of good in the will," a defect in man's love, and consequently in his power of receiving truths of goodness; and this want of love is the leading feature in every kind of spiritual deafness. If we do not desire, or will, to receive heavenly truths, we shall not receive them, and consequently are spiritually deaf. Children make themselves deaf when they refuse to listen to their parents and teachers; and in the same way deafness is produced when the affections are closed against the approach of Divine Goodness. The Lord desires man's eternal happiness, and in order that this happiness may be brought about stands for ever at the door of

our hearts waiting for admission, and speaking to us in the tones of Divine Love. God is never silent. If He appears to be silent for a time, it is through our own fault, and because we have wilfully shut our ears against His holy voice, by allowing our affections to become cold and unresponsive. In deafness of this kind the hearing has been deadened by the clamour of earthly cares, and the ears made heavy by an indulgence in bodily pleasures, until at length there is such separation from spiritual influences that no capacity remains for hearing the manifold voices speaking from heaven and earth. The power of receiving the love and wisdom flowing from the Supreme Being is destroyed. Nature is nature and nothing more.

The universe "void of life, of purpose, even of hostility," is regarded with superstitious fear or stupid indifference, and it is not even dimly perceived that instead of this universe being dumb, as supposed, it has a wonderful and glorious voice for all who have ears to hear, and that it is indeed the symbolical articulation of Divine Speech. It is not understood that in the colours, and forms, and sounds of the earth may be traced the workings of an Omnipotent and Supreme Being; that the whole history of the world, of mankind, and of religion is a mighty voice speaking for man's instruction, and clothing the Divine Thought in a visible garment that part at least of its majesty may be comprehended. The Divine Reason, the expression of the Divine Will, is a voiceless mystery, and the plainest and most simple utterances of spiritual revelation cannot be heard.

"The people which have a bad conception of God," Hegel once wrote, "have also a bad state, a bad government, and bad laws;" and surely in all things it must be the same when there is spiritual deafness, when instead of being among those noble minds who find tongues in trees, sermons in stones, and good in everything, men are found in company with the unimaginative sensualists of the world, to whom nature, art, and religion are alike a blank. Such men can have no true conception of spiritual things, and a "bad conception of God" follows necessarily when the heart is wilfully closed against His voice. There seems to be an utter and terrible hopelessness of cure involved in this form of spiritual infirmity. But everything is possible to Divine Omnipotence; and in the


2 B

miracle performed by Christ on a deaf man (Mark vii. 33), one of the means used by the Great Physician of souls for our spiritual recovery is beautifully prefigured. Christ, it is stated, took the deaf man aside privately; and when our deafness appears incurable, and evil affections have gathered about the will until we cease to listen to the voice of truth, we are also taken aside. As it has been said very truly, "apart from the din, and tumult, and interruption of the crowd, in solitude and silence, the soul is better able to receive deep and lasting impressions;" and as the man was taken literally from the disturbing influences of the crowd, "so now the same Lord does oftentimes lead a soul apart, sets it in the solitude of a sick chamber, or in loneliness of spirit, or takes away from it earthly companions and friends, when He would speak with it and heal it." 1 The multitude or crowd is typical of disturbed and disorderly principles and persuasions, and these must first be removed before the dull and heavy ear can be approached. When Christ leads the deaf man aside, it symbolizes our separation from our former evil affections. The will is led from earthly to heavenly aspirations, and in the Divine touch that follows our spiritual cure is consummated.

By "touch" is signified communication; and as this Divine communication is established, a glorious influx of Divine Love fills the heart, our ears are opened, and we again hear the voice of God speaking in our souls. A wonderful Divine Providence is then revealed in the history of the world, and is seen to rule it in all things, even in those that have appeared most strange and unjust. Its voice is heard in the trials and deprivations of life, in our troubles and adversities whensoever they oppress us, in even the death of those we love. The Divine Speech unfolds itself, and touches of Divine Goodness and evidences of Divine Rule are discovered everywhere, a knowledge of God coming to us under those forms which are merely the outward expression, but which agree by Divine analogy with the Divine Nature and Essence. A new world is opened, a world full of indefinite glory and promise, and, as Wordsworth has said, speaking of a child listening to the murmur of a shell

"Even such a shell, the universe itself

Is to the ear of Faith; and there are times,

1 Archbishop Trench.

I doubt not, when to you it doth impart
Authentic tidings of invisible things;
Of ebb and flow, and ever-enduring power;
And central peace, subsisting at the heart
Of endless agitation."

The wonderful and liberating Ephphatha has been spoken, and the universe has indeed become a living and heaven-sent voice, giving to the "ear of Faith" authentic tidings of invisible things. Conscience is again heard guiding and admonishing, and teaching us heavenly truths through our purified and sanctified wills, and there is wonder now at the past deafness. Every day through all my life Thou hast stood at the door of my heart, and how often, alas! have I refused to hearken," we cry, as many have cried before us, while we add in deep humility and thankfulness, "but at last, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, and all Thy manifold glories have come to me, for Thou hast uttered Thy Ephphatha." "What is true in the sense of hearing is that therein which is called harmonious, and what is good therein is what is called sweet and pleasant. Spiritual truth is nothing else but the beauty and harmony of spiritual things and objects, and spiritual good the delight and pleasure arising from a perception of their beauty and harmony."1

C. H.


THE purpose of the first part of this work," the God Man," is to show that the consciousness of His Divine nature and Messiahship was gradually developed in Jesus; and it is contended that this affords a rational explanation of many passages of His life about which theologians have always differed, and which, it may be added, in some cases have been made use of to disprove the Lord's divinity.

"This work," says the anonymous but learned author, "is speculative, not dogmatic." He considers that faith, in the sense understood in the early Church, has been lost,-that it is now identical with belief proportioned to the degree of evidence, whereas it used to mean loyalty to the person of the

1 Swedenborg.

The God Man: An Inquiry into the Character and Evidence of the Christian Incarnation. Elliot Stock.

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