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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.

closed and sealed in a thousand ways; and that, only by the aid of that dictionary, it will be possible to find the immense riches which the hand of the Eternal has concealed in it. He who has the least idea of the emblems of nature and their signification, reads the Bible as if with a microscope; he sees in it what he had never seen in it before; it seems to him like another book. It is like Egyptian hieroglyphics read by means of Champollion's system. Jesus Christ says, " Man lives by the word of God, as he lives by bread." The grain of which bread is made is that divine word. Bread is the substance of God, which man ought to appropriate to himself, because God is goodness and truth, and the moral man should be nothing else. Therefore the body and flesh of Jesus Christ are also that bread; because Jesus Christ is nothing but the Word or Divine Truth, incarnated through love for man.-The daily bread recalls a daily appropriation of goodness and truth, which are God. The miraculous multiplications of bread, wrought by Jesus Christ, signify the abundance of the examples of virtue provided for men by infinite mercy. I have bread to eat that you know not of, said the Lord to the apostles ; my food is to do the will of my Father: He who eats of the bread that I give him, shall not die, but he shall live forever. And this bread is my own flesh; you must eat me, or you can have no life in you. Inconceivable and repulsive expressions in the sense of the conventional language, but, in the language of nature, equally rich and true! I am, says Jesus Christ again, the bread of life come down from Heaven, grossly figured by the manna which your fathers ate in the desert : my flesh is consequently a true nourishment, as my blood is a true drink. And that, adds he, ought not to offend you; for these words are spirit and life; the flesh, inasmuch as it is flesh; profiteth nothing. Take and eat this bread in remembrance of me, says he, the evening before his death; it is the body which will be delivered for you to-morrow; and that means—Appropriate to yourself constantly more and more truth and love, which are God, by remembering unceasingly my examples. See, I stand at the door and knock; if any man will open to me, I will enter, and eat with him, and he with me. Who does not see that the eating here spoken of, is entirely spiritual? and that .these last words especially must be translated thus: If any man will open to me his heart, I will love him and he will love me. God cannot eat with us in any other way than by love, nor, consequently, we with him. That other passage of Saint John, where Jesus Christ says, Even as I live by the Father, so shall he who will eat with me live by me, makes this truth so clear, that the most marked folly alone could doubt it.

But this is not all. The comparison of material manducation, with the appropriation of love and truth which constitute the happiness of immortal man, is carried still farther in the Gospel. The sower, it is there said, is God; the field in which he sows, is the heart of man, in which that seed is to germinate; it is a whole church which is to bear fruit in the time of harvest. The wheat represents men loving God; the light straws, chaff,—souls without moral worth. The granary contains the riches of heaven; the fire of hell consumes the tares. The fan is - the judgment upon the good and the bad. Three measures of flour or dough represents the kingdom of the heavens; the leaven of the Pharisees, false -doctrines, hateful disputes. Even the mill-pre-



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