The True Meaning of the 7 Days of Creation: Spiritual Rebirth
THE FIRST DAY OF CREATION
Heaven and earth are used in the Bible as symbols - heaven as the symbol of the spiritual mind, and earth as the symbol of the natural mind. Regeneration, which is the subject treated of in this story of creation, is the orderly formation and development of the distinct planes of life that are involved in the structure of these two minds. The spiritual mind is formed of three distinct degrees, the celestial, spiritual and natural. The natural mind is also constituted of three degrees, the rational, scientific and sensual. These two minds, with their degrees of life, constitute the difference between man and the mere animal for the mere animal possesses only the sensual degree, with something that makes an approach to the scientific, but is wholly without the rational and the three degrees constituent of the spiritual mind.
This is why it is said: "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth." Regeneration begins with these two minds. It consists in the opening of the spiritual mind by which the natural mind is reformed and brought into order and completely subordinated to the spiritual mind. In the beginning of man's regeneration the natural mind (the earth) is mere vacuity and emptiness. It is not in the form of heaven and is empty of all genuine good. It is on a level with the world, and is the seat of hereditary evil, its life consisting in the love of self and the world. It must, therefore, be reformed and filled with new affections and thoughts.
The natural mind is also in darkness. It has no comprehension of spiritual things. It is of the earth, earthly. It is a great abyss; and over the face of this abyss, darkness broods. What a darkness it is! God, the Divine Word, the life after death, in fact, all the great truths of religion, are in total darkness to the natural mind. It knows only the natural world, and sees only the things that minister to its depraved loves.
If in the beginning, a spiritual mind had not been formed in man, above his natural mind, he never could have been raised above the animal plane of life. But "in the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth." By heaven is meant man's spiritual mind formed not of nature nor of the deposits of the world through the bodily senses, but of the substance of the inner spiritual world, with deposits from heaven, through the ministry of angels. These heavenly deposits are called, in the church writings, "Remains."
These deposits are stored up in all children, whether they were born in the church or out of it; whether they were born of pious parents or of impious parents. They are spiritual things - states of good, of innocence, formed in all, during childlife, while the mind which is on a level with heaven, is open, tender and plastic.
Our Blessed Saviour announced this truth of the Father's provision of these good states for child-life, when He said: "See that ye offend not one of these little ones; for verily I say unto you, that in heaven, their angels do always behold the face of my Father." The implantation and storing of these remains make a spiritual life possible to all men. They are really man's heredity from his heavenly Father.
Salvation, regeneration and the consequent subordination of all life to the Divine motive of living, become possible to all men because of this work done by the Lord through the angels during childhood.
Here lies the ground of hope for the salvation of the human race. It is the means by which the All-Good Father shall realize His end in the creation of man - a heaven of angels from the human race.
But these remains must be awakened. They are the Lord's own in man; and He alone knows how and when to find them. Thus it is said: "And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." The Divine mercy of the Lord broods over these remains in man. It awakens them. The things that the Lord has hidden and treasured up in man, how precious they are! "More to be desired are they than gold, yea than much fine gold." They are what make every human being sacred. The sins which grow up and disfigure and mar human life - truly they are ugly, and sometimes men seem so hopelessly involved in them, yet such human beings have these sacred treasures stored up in them by the Lord. And the time comes when the spirit of our common Lord moves upon the face of these waters. These hidden treasures are the Lord's in man. They are not anything he has acquired by his conscious efforts. How beautifully does all this shine through Dr. Watt's lullaby:
Yes, these are the face of the waters in this story of the first day of creation. And gently does the Father's spirit move upon them. In ways recognized and in ways unrecognized, the Lord's Holy Spirit is moving - brooding over these things of heaven stored in man's spiritual mind. And the time comes to all, who hear His voice, when they are awakened. It may not always come in this life; but in the intermediate world of spirits, if not on earth, all in whom the way to their remains is not effectually closed by intellectual confirmation in evil, will hear the Divine voice and open the door; will feel the Divine brooding and yield to the Father's tender love.
What a need there is for parents to know this blessed teaching of the church! For knowing it, they can intelligently co-operate with the Lord and the angels. These remains are "the living creatures" to which the gospel is to be preached. Will the church ever learn this lesson? Conscious of our great intellectual stores of doctrines, we vainly imagine that our mission is to intellectually convince men that what we are offering them is the truth. Let it be said, for it is true, our failure to call the remnant into the church is not due to our failure to convince men of the rationality of the church's teaching, but to our not reaching, by a loving and gentle spirit, their remains - "the living creatures" in their hearts. Our efforts to convert men are intellectual and cold. We neglect the heart. I am not deprecating the teaching of doctrine. Far from it. But doctrine must be drawn from the Lord's Word, confirmed by it, and come to men with all the warmth of the Divine Heart, in an appeal to what is of the Lord in them.
This will reach and uncover the golden side of their life. "Deep will answer unto deep." A great light will dawn upon man through such an appeal. It will be the light of their heavenly Father's face; and in His light they will see light. Ah! this awakening of a human soul - what a momentous event it is! It is the dawning of a light in which one sees the Lord Jesus as one's God and Saviour; in which one sees oneself as a spiritual being; in which one sees the spiritual possibilities of life - the beginning of the great creation within. "And God said let there be light, and there was light."
from Thomas King, Allegories of Genesis, 1922