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of in a preceding age,-yet the changes which it mainly contemplates are of an internal and spiritual nature. A new state of intellectual liberty has been opened out upon the world, and men are enabled to think with greater freedom upon the theological things of faith and life, and thus to raise a stronger barrier against the seductions of evil and its deceptions than that which had previously existed. This is the real source of that beneficent upheaving which society experiences. It is through the presence of this new liberty that the New Church is effect. ing its manifestation. Its influences are inducing changes in the interiors of men, and thus providing mental channels for the more effectual descent of heavenly things among them. The multitude may not recognise those interior changes. They do not reflect upon them; and the subjects of spiritual liberty and heavenly influence may not have engaged their attention. Those changes have advanced silently and slowly; they have come upon them without recognition -- the kingdom of God cometh not with observation; still there is a certainty about those changes having taken place which no reasoning can gainsay,--they have left their impress upon society in forms unnumbered, and they are invoking attention and acknowledged at
The Lord's New Dispensation is manifesting itself in the world, not by any sudden interference with the political, civil, or religious affairs of men, but by the exercise of a pure, a rational, and holy influence upon receptive minds-by those minds being attracted towards each other, with a view to interchange their sentiments and hopes, to devise measures for the spread of those knowledges of truth, and the exercise of those affections of love, which they have found so enlightening and beneficial to themselves. It is a genial and modifying influence from heaven, introducing goodness and truth to the world's attention and acceptance. It is not a “ sensational effort to obtain for itself a name, but the gentle inflowings of divine principles to awaken thought about spiritual things,--to purify the affections, and to fix in the world a religious faith on which the highest intellect may dilate with satisfaction,--and establish a charity performing uses having their pedigree in God. It does not obtrude itself upon the popular gaze, nor does it force its way into the minds of any who are not disposed to receive its teachings; but even these it surrounds with benefits and blessings. It does not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax: it will bring forth judgment into truth,—it will feed the flock like a shepherd, it will gather the lambs and carry them in its bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
There is no reason to expect that the world will be in any haste to acknowledge its presence,-still, it is in the world manifesting its life, and exercising an influence in the intellectual affairs of men, whether the multitude believe it or not. All the genuine things of God, intended for a permanent existence among mankind, are comparatively of slow growth: it is thus that they acquire solidity and strength. The gourd may spring up in a night, but the oak requires a century for its maturity. The experienced Christian knows that all his most valuable states of mind have been progressive attainments, and even slow in their progressions. He knows that states which have been suddenly insinuated have as frequently been evanescent, and pass away. The light of the lightning is but for a moment that of the sun is always shining. And so will it be with that Divine dispensation in the world which has the Sun of Righteousness for its centre.
It will never cease to send forth its rays of love and wisdom to influence the world, notwithstanding the obstructions with which the world may oppose them; and their perpetual effort will be to teach men how to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and to induce them to let their light so shine before men that they may see their good works, and glorify their Father which is in heaven.
R. * * *
BY THE REV. JOHN HYDE. Every human being is born with inclinations peculiar to himself, with individual idiosyncracies, with a specific character. He is best adapted to follow some particular pursuit,—to perform some special use,--and is biased to the commission of some particular sin. This mental and moral character he inherits from his ancestors, and is, in a sense far beyond physical descent, the child of his parents. That such is a fact, very slight experience will demonstrate. That such a fact is a necessity, very little consideration will shew. That such necessary fact is full of important consequences, may also be clearly seen.
Such is the fact. There exists in every tribe family character, just as there exists a family face," -a mental and moral resemblance, as well as a physical likeness, between progenitors and their offspring. The existence of physical likeness must be universally admitted. A walk through any gallery of family portraits, in any of the old mansions of England, will satisfy any observer of this. Among royal houses, the members of which practise intermarriage, and thus transmit more unmixedly any hereditary peculiarity, a specific feature may, as it has, become a family feature of the race. Thus one royal family has per:
petuated a short upper lip, disclosing the front teeth. Thus another reigning family has transmitted a flattened nose. Thus another family has been remarkably improved in personal appearance by the marriage of their head, several generations since, with a woman of surpassing beauty. Thus the Napoleon face is conspicuously visible in all his tribe. Thus another family is distinguished by the stately height of its members; and among others may
the tenth possessor of a foolish face."
From the fact of family likenesses grow the more strongly-marked national types. Nations are families on a broader plan. It is no difficult task to distinguish, in the natives of England, the descendants from Saxon, and Norman, and Danish ancestry. Still less difficult is it to distinguish between English and Scotch, Scotch and Irish, or any of these and the Welsh.. And equally easy is it to discern the differences between our islander brothers and our continental cousins, or between all of these and the Americans. We all carry our family stamp upon our faces and persons, and no amount of travelled intercourse, or of careful cultivation, can efface the distinguishing physical characteristics.
There is as wide a diversity in the mental characters of families, of races, and of nations, as in physical traits. Each group possesses general resemblances; and within the limit of such general resemblance, each member of the group possesses an individual specialty, into which he was born, and from which he cannot escape. He is human, and hence shares resemblances common to all men. member of a race, and inherits its traits. He belongs to a nation, and shares national peculiarities. He is one of a family, and hence partakes in the family likeness. He is an individual, and therefore possesses a character special to himself. His organic structure, the conformation of his person, the texture of his cutaneous envelope, the configuration of his features, and the developments of his head, are all in harmony; and, at the same time, they mark and indicate his mental character. Indeed, it can only be from his mental character that these physical characteristics have their particularity. The causes of all things are spiritual ; and the soul is, at once, the forerunner of the body and its life. The body and its peculiarities are only the concrete expressions of the mind. In like manner as a language is only the genius of the people who use the language done into words, so all physical traits are mental characteristics brought out into the natural plane. They are signs and indices of the mental contents of the human book. These signs are at once evidences of man's individuality, and their indicators ; when we can collate a sufficient number of such signs, embracing a
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sufficiently wide diversity of men, and sufficiently accurate in their revelations of the mind, a dictionary of physical traits could be formed, and man's character be judged thereby.
Physiognomy and phrenology attempt to accomplish this object, to read mental character as inscribed in physical peculiarities. These peculiarities form the alphabet by which they decipher character. Of the radical correctness of these and similar sciences, there can be no question. The only question respecting their accuracy must refer to instances of individual application. So far as they assign mental peculiarities as the causes of physical characteristics, so far their science must be correct. Exception can only be taken to their allotments of specific mental causes to particular physical phenomena. The general correspondence is undoubtable,-the particular correspondence is yet to be satisfactorily shewn. These sciences are yet too young to have allowed the collation of sufficiently universal data,-and data must be more nearly universal to give soundness to their inductions : cases must be more unmistakeably exact, and facts less exceptional. But both these sciences have wrought good service for truth; in that they have shewn and enforced the broad, general principle that physical characteristics are the results of mental characteristics ; and that general physical resemblances can only arise from general mental similarities.
Upon the question of fact as to the transmission of mental and moral character from parents to children, Swedenborg is an explicit and an unexceptionable witness. He instructs us that “there are two hereditary principles connate in (born with) man,—one derived from his father, and the other from his mother. The infirm part or principle which man derives hereditarily from his mother is somewhat corporeal, which is dispersed during regeneration ; but what man derives from his father remains to eternity.” (A.C. 1414.) And again, "Hereditary evil from the father is interior, and hereditary evil from the mother is exterior, the former cannot easily be eradicated, the latter may.” (A.C. 4317.) And further, not only may offspring be born into hereditary evil, but also into hereditary good. “ The good into which a man is born he derives from his parents, either father or mother; for whatever parents have contracted by frequent use and habit, or have imbibed by actual life, till it has become so familiar to them as to appear natural, they transmit to their children, and it becomes hereditary. Where parents have lived in the good of the love of good, and have felt their delight and blessedness in their children, conceived in such a state of life, receive an inclination to similar good. Where also parents have lived, and have felt their delight in living, in the good of the love of truth, their children receive an inclination to similar good. The same is the case with those who have inherited the good of the love of evil, and the good of the love of what is false. These are called goods from their outwardly appearing as such to those who are in them, although they are anything but goods. Such good is that possessed by many who appear to be in natural good. They who are in the natural good of the love of evil are flexible and prone to evils of every kind, suffering themselves, from the compliant nature of that good, to be easily drawn aside, especially to filthy pleasures, to adulteries, and likewise to acts of cruelty; and they who are in the natural good of what is false have a proclivity to falsities of every kind, from that good being so open to persuasion, especially by the hypocritical and the cunning. Into these so-called goods of what is evil and false many are born at this day, in the Christian world, by reason that their parents have contracted the delight of evil and of what is false by actual life, and thus have implanted it in their children, and thereby in their posterity.” (A.C. 3469.)
Very much more to the same purport might be cited, but one clear and explicit quotation is as definite and decisive as a hundred. There can be no doubt as to the fact. Such being the fact, it is a necessity. Parents must transmit to their offspring their mental states, as well as their physical condition. This must be, both in general and in particular. Man must not only transmit to his children the general character of his species, but each individual man must transmit his individual character. And it is only a logical and consistent sequent to these two truths, that the individual must also transmit what at the time is his particular predominating state. Perhaps in these three principles might be found an explanation of and a reason for many singular discrepancies and diversities of character frequently exhibited in the same family. The latter of the three I only suggest unauthoritatively, save only with the authority it may carry as a rational sequence of the two foregoing principles, which are incontrovertibly established by the testimonies of experience and the declarations of Swedenborg.
If there be difficulty in tracing out the connection between the character of the child and that of the parents' particular state, it arises, not from the absence of such a connection, but from our defective perception. The cause of the difficulty lies in the fact that we know so little of the spiritual condition of any other person except ourselves ; and, indeed, we know so little more of our own states. There is a veil thrown over and around our own mental st and conditions that the lack of self-examination prevents our lifting, and that our slightlypractised habits of self-search have not enabled us to penetrate. The