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The True Messiah; or, The Old and New Testaments, Examined According to the Principles of the Language of Nature

Boston: E.P. Peabody, 1842


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INTRODUCTION.

which sometimes reign upon earth, could your soul receive even the first germ of the ideas of hatred, perfidy, atrocity ? The thing really appears impossible.

Besides, the consideration of the necessity of indicating, by visible and tangible emblems, moral distinctions which would be otherwise imperceptible, alone explains those terrible phenomena, those monstrosities and those disgusting images, evidently unworthy of the Creator, which nature offers to the eyes of degraded man. The abyss of our being cannot be revealed, but by the appreciable phenomena of life. It is with us, in this respect, as with the Creator himself, in whose image we were created, and to the knowledge of whom we cannot rise but by means of his visible wonders. Nature is like a book in which we may read the perfections of God, or as a mirror in which we may see them reflected. The same must be said of' man, and of the different phenomena of his manner of living, of feeding and clothing himself. Matter furnishes us with steps by which to rise to pure substances; and we must have also emblematic substances and images, that we may dart into the moral and metaphysical world ; for which reason the Creator has been obliged to come himself to meet us, crossing the abyss which separates us from his first essence. As Cretor, God must have means of communication analogous to those which he has imparted to us, that we might observe him. We are created men, and God is uncreated man. It was at the immediate point between the infinite which is all, and the finite which is nothing, that God and man met. And this point is life, life manifested, life revealed by emblems. Before all languages of convention and of articulated sounds, when the Creator wished to manifest or reveal himself for the first time to man, how could he have done it but by showing himself to that man under the substantial form of a father, the natural emblem of God Creator ? In truth, the human mind could never find a different emblem, nor imagine any different means of communicating the first idea of the Creator to any secondary intelligence whatever. We shall learn, in another place, that, when men would not acknowledge for their Creator that ineffable Being who appeared to them as Father, that Being must employ, to defend his rights, the means which we call the Redemption of the human race, the divine means which he chose to show men that he was wiser, more powerful, and, above all, better than them all, that immense system, which, led down from the remotest times, to its entire execution, with an infinite knowledge, wisdom and goodness, at least overwhelms the mortal whose heart it cannot touch.

The indispensable necessity of what we call emblems of life, shows that' our future existence itself cannot be so metaphysical as is some-times imagined. There must still be, in our state of transformation, substantial images, appreciable forms, objects seen, felt, perceived, as in the material world. If not, any existence whatever, happy or unhappy, is but a real chimera. The future life is, evidently, Berkeley's world. That philosopher was wrong only in not making a clear distinction between the substance world and the matter world, or in not perceiving the shade which separates them ; for if it is true that ' matter exists, is also true that it has extension and impenetrability only as far as the Creator wills, and only for the beings whom he designs particularly for that purpose. If there were really the infinite



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