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The Key of David

By Warder Cresson (Michael Boaz Israel ben Abraham).

Literal First, and Then the Spiritual

The whole foundation of the Christian religion depends upon satisfactorily solving one of these two Questions, whether the Spiritual is first and precedes the Literal; or whether the Literal is first, and precedes the Spiritual.*

*We all know that God is a pure incorporeal Spirit, and as a disembodied Spirit, is the first; but not so with Man, because we always see him constructed and organized in a mere material being, and although he has a recipient, he becomes not a Spiritual Being until a long time afterward.

It will at once be seen, that upon this most important decision, depend, the truth of Judaism, or the truth of Christianity.

Christians assert that about 1820 years since, the "Kingdom of God", or the 5th Kingdom of the "Stone" mentioned in the 2nd chapter of Daniel, 34th verse, was set up; and that this Kingdom is the Spiritual Kingdom of Christ, only consisting of "Righteousness, and Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost," Rom. xiv. 17.

The Jews, on the contrary, assert that this is impossible, as everything proves and bears evidence that the Spiritual cannot precede the Literal, but that the Literal must first take place, and until it does the literal predictions of all the Prophets can never be fulfilled.

The Christians again assert that Jesus set up and fulfilled the Spiritual part 1800 years and more ago, and that he will fulfill the literal part at his second coming; (this the Jews declare to be contrary to the truth of Scripture;) hence the Christians accuse the Jews of being "carnal" and "outward" in believing and looking for an outward, visible Kingdom first; and that they are "blind and stiff-necked" in not believing in their spiritual abstract Kingdom set up many hundred years since.

Now any person can clearly discern, that if the first system be founded in truth, Judaism must fall and Christianity must prevail; but if the last position be true, Christianity must fall and Judaism must eventually prevail.

We will decide this matter by first taking Christians' own testimony, Paul, whom they all acknowledge. He testifies--"Howbeit that was not first which is Spiritual, but that which is natural; (i.e. Literal), and afterward that which is Spiritual. 1. Cor. xv. 46.

And we know that in the creation of Man*, God first created, or "formed, the Body of man of the dust of the ground, and afterward breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Gen. ii. 7.

*Just so with Creation itself, God first, that is, "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth," and afterward "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." see Gen. i. 1 and 2; and we see this truth in the face, that first the Body of man comes into this world, and afterward, and not until afterward, his mind and understanding that is known to us, first a body is formed and organized--then a correspondent spirit is begotten, entirely dependent and in accordance with that form or organization--for instance, if we form properly and correctly the body of a Whistle, it will whistle and be a Whistle, so with a Rattle, so with an Organ, so with a Piano, so with a Galvanic Battery, and so with a Man. The attendant Motion, Sound, and Spirit are always dependent upon the form and construction, and not the form and construction upon motion, sound, and spirit.

These most important Truths cannot possibly be Spiritualized or evaded, for Paul again declares "That the invisible things of God, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made," &c. See Rom. i. 20. Now mark, here it is declared, that even the seeing of the Invisible is predicated upon the "things that are made," and not vice versa; the visible "things that are made" must be first, and the spiritual, or invisible things not until afterward.

This is very important, (let me repeat it), for upon this spiritual system being first, rests the whole strength of the system of Christianity.

Hence we see in everything that which is first is Literal, or natural, and afterward that which is Spiritual.

Were it not that a Steam Engine, when properly constructed and arranged in all its parts, would afterward receive all the spirit and power of Steam, the formation and organization of its material parts would ever have been in vain. Just so with the coming invisible Kingdom of God.

No sooner will God have created the material Body of creation perfect, and arranged it in all its parts, than immediately afterward, and not before, will there enter that harmonious, holy and perfect spirit, as is declared by all the prophets of God, to the utter confusion and confounding of all the Priests* and Enthusiasts, who have ever been putting the Spiritual before the Literal, and the "Cart before the Horse" thousands of years before ever the literal appeared, or was so organized, so as to make it possible for the right spiritual or spirit to be retained and continued in the literal.

*This is the reason that the prophet Jeremiah says, that "the Gentiles shall come to thee (Israel) from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit." See Jer. xvi. 19.

How can the right and redeemed, or perfect spiritual, be retained in a wrong and corrupt literal? This cannot be done, and hence the great conflict between the pure Spirit of God, and our present material corrupt bodies.

A near relation of mine, who had been educated with me, a Quaker, became much taken up and exercised in the great importance of Spiritual abstract truths, and that all outward Forms and ceremonies were but the "Dead Letter." I once immediately dropped a conversation upon this subject apparently, but after a little while said to him, he being an apothecary, "Please give a quarter of a pound of Camphor, three ounces of Cream of Tartar, one pound of Magnesia, and one ounce of Calomel, but mark, I do not want the outward form, or body, or substance of these articles, I only want the Principle*, the Life, the Spirit of them. He looked at me perfectly astonished and then laughed. I laughed also, for we both understood each other. He went and joined the Episcopal Church, as the right outward form and body, than contained the true Life and Spirit of God, as he thought, but I joined the Jewish Church.

*How clearly is here set forth and exposed the spiritual abstract Religion of the Friends, or Quakers, who reject all forms, or ceremonies, and only hold to a Spiritual Worship. Whereas, right Forms or Ceremonies, when they are of God's appointment, are just as necessary as mediums to convey the Divine Life, or Spirit, through to us, while we are in these material bodies, as our words are necessary to convey our Ideas of Principles, or Spiritual Truths.

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