chapter I. The Spiritual and the Natural.

< PART I. The Regeneration of Man.


THE whole natural universe is but a vast series of effects, produced under God from the whole spiritual world as a world of causes, each thing from its own cause. The natural body is formed by the spirit and is subordinate to it. The spirit is superior to the body and rests upon it as a house on its foundation. This successive order from above downward is the order of the original creation of the universe and of the subsequent formation of things from created substances, and is universal. To indicate this order, one degree is placed above another, in these diagrams. The spiritual is drawn above because it is first in order, purer and more perfect than the natural, and produces the natural from itself.

The natural sense of the Word is represented by clouds, its spiritual sense by the light of the sun. Accordingly C representing the natural body and the natural world, is here drawn in dark, and B representing the spiritual body and the spiritual world, in light. B may also represent the spiritual sense of the Word, and C its natural sense.

There is another order, the order of subsistence and preservation, in which things created exist simultaneously and one within another; this is simultaneous order. This order results from successive order, and like successive order is universal. When lower things have been produced from higher, the higher are in the lower, remain in them, and perpetuate their existence.

To indicate this order some of the diagrams are drawn as all might be: one degree within another: -In this order the spirit is within the body, is of the same human form as the body, is present in every part of it, imparting life, maintaining its form and order, and thus preserving it. So the whole spiritual world is within the whole natural world, maintaining its form and order and imparting life, force and motion. And while the higher and highest are in the outmost, perpetuating it, the outmost holds the interior and inmost in form and order and thus sustains and preserves them; as the rind, the interior and inmost parts of the fruit, or as the skin, the interior and inmost of the body. Hence in simultaneous order all parts-first, middle and last, are mutually preserved and perpetuated.

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