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their work. We are not rewarded in an arbitrary way
for what we do, but the reward is in the doing. We
are rewarded in the heavenly affections called into play,
in the heavenly characters formed, in cherishing the
unselfish affections, in thinking truly and acting kindly.
The daily duties which we perform with our hands minis-
ter to our spiritual and eternal good, because we put a
spiritual and heavenly motive into them.

Finally, the doctrines of the New Church give us a
true conception of the nature of this world and of the
purpose of the Lord in regard to it. It is a grand and
beautiful world, and perfectly adapted to man's nature in
the first stages of his existence. It is our home for a
few years, and our Heavenly Father has furnished it in
the greatest variety and abundance with all the means
necessary for our support, our instruction, our comfort,
and our delight. How lovely it is ! How varied and
beautiful its forms ! How glorious the colors in which He
has painted it ! How delicious the substances He has
provided for the nourishment of the body ! How nicely
adapted its forms and forces to call into play the latent
possibilities of our affections, our intellectual and spiritual
faculties, and all those powers and qualities which will fit
us for our eternal home in the spiritual world !

You know how much is said against the world. It is
generally regarded in the churches, at least by the doc-
trine of the churches, as hostile to man. Religious
devotees flee from the world, or try to do it, by shutting
themselves up in cloisters, by denying themselves its



356 PROGRESS IN SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE.

pleasures, and despising its beauty and manifold uses.
But this is a great mistake. The Lord probably knew
what He was about when He made the world. It is not
the world that is wrong. It was created to supply our
needs and minister to our delights. It is not the love of
the world that is wrong. The Lord made it to be loved,
and He gave man the capacity for loving it. It was
necessary that it should be lovely and charming to attract
our attention and call our natural and spiritual faculties
into play by its delights. It is not the love itself of the
world that is wrong and deadly in its influence, it is the
supreme love of it. It is when the world becomes the
end, instead of the means of gaining a higher end ; it is
when we make it our god and the object of our worship
that it becomes a deadly curse.

This distinction the doctrines of the New Church
clearly teach. While they show the danger and the
fatal consequences of making the world and its posses-
sions and delights the object of supreme affection, more
clearly and forcibly than any other doctrines have ever
done, at the same time they teach us that its good ought
not to be despised. The Lord created the world for our
instruction and delight, and it is as ungrateful and wicked
to despise and reject His natural, as it is His spiritual,
blessings. Innocent amusements and social pleasures
and natural delights are good and useful in their place ;
the enjoyments of the earth are as harmless and useful
in their place as the enjoyments of heaven. We can eat
and drink to the glory of God.

From this point of view, and in the light of these prin-
ciples, this world has a new meaning, a new use, and a



HOH^ TO GET THE MOST GOOD OUT OF LABOR. 357

new glory. Everything which ministers to our comfort,
instruction, and deUght is a form and token of the
Divine love. The power to see the beauty and enjoy
the good which the Lord provides is also a provision
of the Lord's love. In the light of this truth we can
appreciate His blessings more fully. It gives a keener
relish to our food ; it fills our social and domestic life
with a more interior delight. It gives a new beauty to
the flowers, and a new glory to the heavens. We are
the children of our Heavenly Father. It is His love
which creates, His wisdom which forms, His hand which
brings us these tokens of His love, His loving thought
and tender care which provide them for us to-day.
These doctrines bring the Lord near to us ; they tend to
call forth our affections and our gratitude, our trust and
confidence, and a sense of security from harm while we
remain under the shadow of His wings. They show us
the deadly evils of the supreme love of self and the
world ; they give us power to resist temptation, patience
and hope in trial and suffering ; they make our labor an
honor and a delight ; they give us a just estimate of the
value of this life and a foretaste of the life to come.

Suppose, when you go to your work to-morrow, you
say to yourself, " I am going on an errand for the Lord ;
I am going to do a work which He has commissioned me
to perform ; I am going to render a service to one of His
children ; I am His agent ; I am employed in His oflice ;
I am commissioned to assist Him in His work." Would
not such thoughts and the consciousness of such a pur-
pose fill your heart with delight? It is of but litde
consequence what your mission is, so it is a useful one.



358 PROGRESS IN SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE.

Would not the thought throw a splendor over the day ?
Would it not give you a supreme motive to do your
work well ? Would you not be happy in it ? Would
you not feel it an honor and a joy to help the Lord and
to add to the comfort or alleviate the suffering or minister
to the wants of a human being ? Try it, and you will see
and know by blessed experience how such a purpose
will lighten the burden of labor, how it will raise it from
a drudgery and a curse to the high level of an honor-
able service for the Lord and the neighbor. And in
doing it you will find that the Lord is working for you,
and rewarding you with enlarged affections, with keener
perceptions of His goodness and mercy. You will find
all your spiritual faculties expanding and growing into
the beauty and harmony of the Divine order, because
you are doing a heavenly work ; for every work is meas-
ured by the love we put into it.

All the doctrines and principles of the New Church
tend to raise us up to this high plane of action. They
teach us the principles of this life of heaven upon the
earth, and they show us how to put them in practice.
They reveal the Lord as a Being who loves us with an
infinitive love, and who has no thought or purpose with
reeard to us but to save us from sin and sorrow and bestow
upon us eternal life. A knowledge of these doctrines
and a life according to them will help every one in every
condition to get a higher good out of daily duty, and
will prepare him for greater happiness through eternity.



PEACE IN THE LORD.

* ' Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you : not as the
world giveth, give I unto you.'' '' — ^John xiv. 27.

\1 7HAT is this peace which the Lord promised to the
disciples in His farewell words, — promised as His
most precious gift, and as the fruit of His finished labors ?
We have some knowledge of peace on the material and
natural planes of life. Natural forces are at peace
though these bright worlds are moving with inconceiva-
ble velocity, because each one keeps in its orbit and flies
on its shining way in the path ordained for it. Natural
forces give us most beautiful and impressive types of
peace when they act in harmony : a river gliding along
in a smooth and silent current ; the wind bending the
waving corn, playing with the dancing leaves, rippling
the smooth surface of the lake which sleeps among the
hills, and bringing coolness and refreshment on its wings.
A spring morning when new life is beating in the heart
of nature and quickening every vegetable form into new
activity is a most impressive exhibition of immense forces
moving in orderly ways to accomplish the Divine pur-
poses. How silently the tender leaf emerges from the
coarse bud ! How gently the blossom opens its prison
doors and smiles in beauty upon the world ! There is no
noise, no confusion, no struggle with opposing obstacles.
The murmuring winds, the vernal warmth, the opening

359



36o PROGRESS IN SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE.

flower, the growing harvests, with united voice say,
Peace. Invisible influences melt into the soul with the
benedictions of peace. Such is the voice of the Lord in
His works ; such are the hints of the nature of peace,
which He gives us on the lowest plane of the creation,
and from them we may get a suggestion of the origin and
nature and blessedness of the peace which He desires to
give us in the higher realms of the spirit. Let us look
up then from nature to the Lord's direct teachings con-
cerning the origin and nature of His peace. " My
peace I give unto you."

*'By peace," says Swedenborg, " are signified all the
things in the complex which are from the Lord, and
thence all the things of heaven and the church, and the
blessedness of life in them. These are of peace in the
highest or inmost sense. It follows from this, that
charity, spiritual security, and internal re&t are peace ; for,
when a man is in the Lord, he is in peace with his neigh-
bor, which is charity ; in protection against the hells,
which is spiritual security ; and when he is in peace with
his neighbor, and in protection against the hells, he is in
internal rest from evils and falsities." ("Apocalypse
Revealed," No. 306.)

Let us consider this instruction in regard to the essen-
tial nature of peace.

First, observe what is said of its origin. It is from the
Lord. All its constituents in their aggregate are from
Him. What are we to understand by their being from the
Lord ? All life, all power, all capacity to love, to know,
to act, to sufler, are from Him, but the order may be dis-
turbed, their nature chaaged, in coming to us. Peace



PEACE IN THE LORD. 361

results when these constituents of life are received by us
in the same form, order, and harmonies in which they
exist in the Lord. Love and truth are united and become
one in act. They go forth in the form of use to others.
Truth does not remain a cold and separate thing in the
understanding ; love is not an aimless and helpless im-
pulse in the will. They become one. Each gives itself
to the other, and hand in hand they go forth to serve and
bless. They move in the paths of the Divine order, and
in the harmonies of the Divine life. There is no struggle
with obstacles, no conflict with hostile forces, no resistance,
no doubt, no fear ; there are no clashing and distracting
influences. All the faculties are lifted up and borne on-
ward to attainment by the gentle attractions of the
Divine love. The will and the understanding are in the
Lord, — that is, they are in the sphere of His love, they
are in the harmonies of His order. The will is vivified
with His life, the understanding is illuminated with His
truth, and all the faculties move in accord with His
creating and sustaining energies. This is the condition
into which the Lord created us, and these are the
relations which the Lord desires us to sustain to Him.
In such a state of the soul there can be no jar, no discord
in the harmony of life, no failure in the attainment of the
highest good. " In me," says our Lord, "ye shall have
peace." Such is peace in its aggregate. Let us con-
sider its three essential constituents.

The first is charity ; " for, when a man is in the Lord,
he is in peace with his neighbor, which is charity."
Charity consists essentially in loving the neighbor as our-
selves. It consists in putting his interests on a level with
Q 31



362 PROGRESS IN SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE.

our own, and in doing to others and thinking of others
and in regarding them in all respects as we desire to have
them think of us and do to us. When we are in this
state we are at peace in ourselves with others. They
may think evil of us, but we do not think evil of them ;
they may try to injure us, but we do not try to injure
them ; they may hate us, but we do not hate them. We
do not make others an excuse or an example for our-
selves. Our minds are serene whatever storms of passion
may be raging in the minds of others. The Lord gives
us His peace when we abide in His love.

Suppose every member of a family to act from this
principle of charity. Would there not be peace in that
house? Each member of the family is looking to the
good of all. Each one is trying to contribute to the
comfort and happiness of all. Consequently all the
members are serving each one. This is the heavenly
order. To every family living in this order the Lord
comes with the Divine benediction, "Peace be to this
house."

When the members of social, civil, or religious societies
think and speak and act from this principle of heavenly
life the kingdom of God will come to them. They will
be societies of heaven upon the earth. Suppose every
member of the various societies that are founded for
social, civil, industrial, or religious purposes should regard
every other member as he or she wished to be regarded ;
suppose we all thought of others with the same kindness,
consideration, and good feeling with which we desire
others to think of us ; suppose we all spoke of others
with the same tenderness, the same scrupulous regard



PEACE IN THE LORD. 363

for the truth, the same desire to do them no harm, the
same desire to help them, with which we wish others
to speak of us ; suppose we were in the constant effort,
according to our abiHty, to give strength to the weak,
courage to the timid, hght to the ignorant, and in all
kind, wise, gentle, and useful ways to help the needy, as
we, who are all needy in some respects, desire to be
helped by others, would not such societies be heaven
upon the earth? The Lord's peace would reign in
them. There would be union, harmony, activity, strength,
help for each and all, peace and happiness beyond our
present conception of the possibility of attainment in this
life.

Another constituent of the peace which the Lord gives
us is " spiritual security' ' from the assaults of all the
influences which tend to disturb the harmony of life.
This is an essential factor of perfect peace. However
deep and full and exquisite might be our peace, it would
still be imperfect if its harmonies could be disturbed by
any corruption from evil desires or assaults from false
principles. The Lord gives us His peace according to
the immutable laws of His Divine order. The soul
stands in them, is lifted up by their attractions. It is
borne onward in the currents of the Divine forces. They
environ it on all sides ; they flow into it from within ;
they encompass it from without. It takes refuge under
the wings of the Almighty. There is no possibility that
any disturbing influence can gain access to it. The love
of self and the world has become quiescent, and we yield
ourselves without any reservation or reluctance to be led
by infinite love and guided by infinite wisdom. The



364 PROGRESS IN- SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE.

promise is fulfilled : ' ' Thou wilt keep him in perfect
peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth
in thee."

When the Lord gives His peace unto us we come into
the clear and steadfast light of Divine truth. The dark-
ness of error cannot cast a shadow over us. Darkness
cannot approach light. Darkness comes by the absence
of light. Fill a room with light and you cannot get any
darkness into it. Illuminate a mind with genuine truth
and error can find no place in it, a falsity cannot approach
it. Cold cannot exist in the presence of heat. The
most delicate plant is perfectly secure against frost in a
warm and genial atmosphere. So the love of self and
the world cannot approach the love of the Lord and the
neighbor. They are opposites and cannot dwell together.
When the heart is full of heavenly love there is no room
for hatred. The conditions on which we gain heavenly
peace secure us against its disturbance and loss. The
reason why our peace is so often disturbed and destroyed
now is because we live so much in the world, under the
influence of selfish and worldly desires. We have not
gained the peace which the Lord gives to all who will
receive it. We have not yet gained the heavenly man-
sions ; we are in the border-land between heaven and
hell, and we are the subjects of contention between the
heavenly and the infernal hosts. We are troubled, dis-
tracted, drawn in opposite directions. But the Lord
bids us be of good cheer, because He has overcome the
world and has gained a position in which He can help
us to overcome it. When by His Divine aid this is
accomplished, we shall be where no falsity can find us



PEACE IN THE LORD. 365

and no evil disturb the serenity of our peace. We shall
gain ' ' spiritual security. ' '

The third essential of peace is ' ' internal rest. ' ' While
we live in the world, — that is, in the love of it and in the
thought of it, — we shall look to it for peace. This is the
condition of the mass of humanity, and we are all more
or less in this state. We are looking without for peace,
to our external and natural relations for rest. If we can
gain sufficient wealth to satisfy our wants and gratify our
desires, then we vainly think we shall be contented and
happy. But we forget that our wants increase with our
means of supplying them. Our desires grow faster than
our means of gratifying them. Then, too, there is no
security against the loss of any possession. It has be-
come a maxim of worldly wisdom that it is more difficult
to keep wealth than it is to gain it. The consequence is
that those who possess it and set their hearts upon it must
be disturbed with anxieties and fears for its safety. Those
who look for happiness in domestic and social relations
and who are the most delightfully situated in these re-
spects have no security for the permanence of these
possessions. The relation of husband and wife, on which
more than on any other depends our happiness in this
world, is liable at any time to be severed by death.
Parents and children must part ; the most intimate friends
must separate ; families are broken up and dispersed ;
homes are forsaken and become desolate. There is no
worldly, no natural possession that is permanent. There
is no place on the earth where we can lay up a treasure
of any kind in which it will be secure. There is no
natural relation or possession, no knowledge, no affection,

31^



366 PROGRESS IN SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE.

no honor, no power, no personal tie that is safe from
harm and loss. Consequently every state and condition
of the natural mind is subject to doubts and fears and
anxieties and disappointments. " In the world ye shall
have tribulation." This is a truth to which there are
and can be no exceptions. But by the world is not
meant the material world, but the world of the natural
mind, the world of thought and affection that relates to
this life alone. So long as we limit our thoughts and
affections to a purely natural life, and in the degree that
we do so, our hearts will be troubled with fears and cares
and anxieties. We shall be subject to disappointment
and sorrow. It lies in the nature of things that it should
be so. There is nothing substantial and permanent and
fully satisfying in a worldly life or in worldly knowledge,
in worldly thoughts and possessions of any amount or
kind. They are useful in their time and place ; they are
as the husk to the corn, the chaff to the wheat. They
are instrumental to a permanent and substantial good,
and when they are regarded as instrumental means to
the attainment of something better than themselves
they are estimated at their true value and do not disap-
point us.

This is a difficult lesson for us to learn. How hard,
almost impossible, it was for the disciples to believe that
the Lord would be more fully present with them, and in
a position to do more for them after His ascension than
while He was with them in the material body ! And yet
it was so. How difficult it is for us to beheve that those
to whom we are bound by the most intimate and tender
ties, ties which can never be severed, are nearer to us



PEACE IN THE LORD. 367

and dearer to us, and we to them, and can render us a
more precious service now that they have awakened to
the spiritual Hfe than when they dwelt with us in the
world ! And yet it is true beyond all possibility of mis-
take. How difficult it is to get out of the world in our
thoughts and affections and regard ourselves as spiritual
beings, as citizens of the spiritual world, and all our per-
manent possessions and relations to others as spiritual !
But only in the degree that we do this shall we come
into ' ' the peace of God which passeth all understand-
ing."

Internal rest is peace of the soul. It is the harmony
and orderly activity of the inmost and purest faculties of
our nature. It lies beyond the reach of all the changes
of time and space. Its home is in the serene heaven
above the clouds and storms, the doubts and fears, the
disappointments and sorrows of a natural, worldly life.
Internal rest ! Quiet, peaceful, trusting, satisfied affec-
tions ! Clear, distinct, tranquil thoughts ! Secure from
every disturbing influence ; secure from harm and loss ;
every treasure of the heart safe and assured ; no more
severed ties ; no more partings. ' ' There the wicked cease
from troubling ; and there the weary are at rest." This
is what the Lord promises us.

But this is not all, and consequently it is not enough.
There is no assignable limit to the Lord's peace. It is
more than rest ; it is more than security from any dis-
turbing force ; it is more than possession of any present
attainment ; it is more than home and life with loved
ones ; it is more than we possess or can ask at any as-
signable point in our progress.



368 PROGRESS IN SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE.

Peace is not a quiescent, passive state. It is a most
active one. It is caused by the inflowing of the Divine
love into the inmost affections, vivifying them with hfe
and awaking them to harmonious and deHghtful activi-
ties. This love comes by means of the Divine truth, the
truth of peace, which affects universally all in heaven,
and makes heaven to be heaven. For peace contains in
it a confidence that the Lord governs all things and pro-
vides all things and that He leads to a good end. When
a man is in the faith of these things he is in peace, for
then he fears nothing, and has no solicitude about things
to come to make him unquiet. A man comes into this
state in proportion as he comes inio love to the Lord.
"The state of peace which prevails in heaven," says
Swedenborg, "is such as cannot be described in any
words, neither can it come into the thought and percep-
tion of man, so long as he is in the world, by any idea
derived from the world ; for it is then above every sense.
Tranquillity of mind, content, and gladness on account
of success are respectively as nothing, for these affect
only externals, whereas peace affects the inmosts of all
. . . and thus makes the mind of man a heaven."
("Heavenly Arcana," No. 8455.)

Such is the peace, so sweet with inmost blessedness,
so full of every possible delight from the centre to the
circumference of our being, which the Lord promises to
leave with us and to give unto us. Such is the peace
He offers to each one of us to-day. Such is the peace
He will give unto us as fast and in as full measure as we
are able to receive it. It is indeed the result of the
awakened activities of the deepest and purest affections



PEACE IN THE LORD. 369

of our nature going forth to the attainment of their end ;
it is the glow and glory of the highest intellectual facul-
ties, acting in harmony with our affections, conjoined
with them, married to them, and working with them for
the attainment of our highest good. It is rest in action ;
it is certainty in the attainment of the highest good we
can conceive ; it is the fruition of our highest hopes ; it
is possession without the possibility of loss. It is more
than these ; it is elevation into clearer light and into a
finer and larger power ; it is the opening of the doors of
every intellectual faculty to be illuminated with the light
of Divine truth, and of every affection to be thrilled with
the Divine love.



BOOKS BY THE REV. CHAUNCEY GILES.



The Nature of Spirit luiil of Man as €i Spiritual Being.

Eighth Ejdition, Revised. Pp. 232. Cloth, 50 cents; paper, 20 cents.
Old" Children in the Other Life, i.imp cloth, 10 cents.
The Spiritual World and our Children There. ("The

Nature of Spirit" and " Our Children in the Other Life.") Pp. 250. Limp

cloth, 30 cents.
Heavenly Blessedness. Handsomely bound, illuminated cover. Pp.


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