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Shame and Fear

SHAME AND FEAR.
Sec. IIL

That men, after they had fallen, were ashamed of their nakedness, and on account of their nakedness were afraid in the presence of God,—these are certainly indications that they had not become absolutely satanic; but Scripture relates them to us as the evil consequences of their fall.

In the position of innocence they were not ashamed of their nakedness. They were naked, but yet they were not so. Their bodies were the clothing of their internal glory, and their internal glory was the clothing of their nakedness.1 Their bodies were not yet spiritual, but they were of the Spirit; not yet penetrated, but illumined by its light; not yet glorified, but

1 It is this which Ph. Nicolai (see die Mittheilungen Rocholls, in Luth. Zeitschrift, I860, p. 201) simply describes when he says: Men before the fall were invested and clothed, and as it were shadowed, with an external glitter and shining as of the moon, instead of clothes. Comp. my Commentary on Genesis, ed. 3, p. 163.

surrounded by the power of glorification.1 The earthly, animal element of their bodies retreated, as if vanishing away towards the celestial, God-resembling element of the spirit, which by means of the soul controlled them.

But when the divine efficiency of the central spirit upon the soul, and outwardly from this upon the body, yielded to the satanic influence proceeding from the surrounding body upon the soul, and from this upon the spirit, and the spirit had fallen away from the love of God, and thus from the truth of its nature, the likeness of God in the spirit, and consequently the likeness of God in the soul, and consequently the corporeity conformed to both for glorification, became a distortion. The bodies of men had now forfeited the glory which proceeded from the spirit and the soul upon them, which had hitherto clothed them. Thus the Scripture says, that after the transgression the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. The longer these words are pondered, the harder, but also the more weighty and important, they will be found. It cannot be said from these words that they now for the first time became aware of their nakedness; such blindness contradicts the assumed selfknowledge of the first created man. The meaning of the words is, that as well in respect of their nakedness in itself, as of their subjective relation to it, a great change occurred in the instant of their fall. In respect of their nakedness in itself: for the nakedness, although it was not of another nature, was still an essentially different thing. Hitherto placed under the influence of the spirit in God's image, it had now become disfigured: it had become a nakedness of itself; and thus, because deprived of spirit, it had become, from a material thing, a coarse materialistic thing: from a aapKivrj, it had become a aapKtidj. In respect of men's subjective relation to their nakedness: for the sight of sense had till now been in the service of the spirit,

1 Jo. Scotus Erigena, when he says, de div. nat. iv. 12, "Illud corpus, quod in constitutione hominis primitus est factum, spirituale et imtnortale crediderim esse ac tale aut ipsum, quale post resurrectionem habituri sumus," goes, like the later theosophy, too far. The resurrection body is the perfect completion of the beginning constituted in the original body, and our present fleshly body is the reversed operation of the advancement for which the beginning was designed.

which in God ruled over itself and the outer world; but now, 'when the spirit had become the slave of sense, and that which was natural had escaped from its authority, the sight of sense for the first time began its special existence, insomuch as it had now become its own, and the spirit was slavishly surrendered to the impressions which it transmitted. In other words, sen^ sible sight had until then been a sight effected by sense ev irvevfiari; now it had become a sight absolutely sensual—immersed in itself, hurrying away the spirit with itself, and ^ reflecting upon it its own ruin. And now, when, with the eyes / of their sense opened, men perceived their degraded corporeity, and in it as in a mirror the degradation of their spirit and their soul, they felt for the first time the experience hitherto unknown to them of twann. When anything that degrades us in the judgment of others, not without our own guilt, becomes 1 public, or when we are apprehensive that it may become public, we are ashamed.1 The first result is, that we recoil ^ before that which brings or may bring us shame (Ps. xxxv. 4, cxxix. 5, etc.); the second, that the retreating blood accumulates upon the heart, and thus it falls into strong and stormy contractions, the result of which is, that the blood streams forth to all those parts which by their demeanour can betray our sense of guilt, especially to the countenance and its immediate vicinity (comp. e.g. Ps. xliv. 16). Thence arises the blush of shame, "iSn (from the root "iS, doubled in iropcpvpeo<;, purpureus); and if the blood, when terror rises high on account of the impossibility of concealment, recedes, the paleness of shame, t?ia (akin to pa, comp. Aram. }*}>a, Y?V., I*?*?, tin, and as a verb, Ps. xxxiv. 5, Targ. to be ashamed). That "iSn and Ena originally indicate these several colours of shame, is plainly seen from Isa.xxiv. 23, comp. xxix. 22. Moreover, these hues are now the most external manifestation of the events that transpire within the spiritual-psychical-somatic nature. Scripture does not analyze for us the shame of fallen men; but when it tells us that they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons, it gives us in a few words the profoundest disclosure on the way in which shame came into existence. It is the region below the hip that is veiled by men: complete nudity, without covering this region of the body, is confessedly regarded even among 1 F. W. Hagen, Psychologische Untcrsuchungen, p. 41, etc.

savage nations as disgrace. And this has its reason—that there are situated the outlets of excretion for the food that has been used, but especially that there are placed the organs of propagation, which in biblical language, and generally in the common speech of men, are called shameful parts (pudenda). These are called at once nny [e.g. Gen. ix. 22) and "i^a (e.g. Lev. xv. 2, comp. Ex. xxviii. 42), because nakedness and flesh, which men are required by shame to hide, culminate in them. Even without supposing that a physical change passed upon these parts by reason of the fall, yet it is plain in what way the bodily results of the fall must just in this place be evident. After man had been distinguished into man and woman, he resembled (in respect of propagation, and looking to the physiologic-anatomical externality of its apparatus and accomplishment) the brutes. But in reference to its spiritual-psychical background, and to the ethical character stamped upon it beforehand by the spontaneous power and sanctity of the spirit, he was even in this matter also elevated above the brutes. But when men succumbed to a temptation of Satan effected by means of a brute, and the power of glorification had been changed into the operation of a materiality absolutely become selfish, the contrast between the former time and now, forced itself nowhere so sadly upon the perception as in the members of propagation, where converged all the rays of the naked naturalness, now divested of the glory of the spirit, as into their centre. The opposition, now without unity of the spiritual and natural, was here at the coarsest, and the likeness to the brutes of the human corporeity appeared here as the most brutal: therefore men were ashamed, and covered themselves, in order to hide from themselves, and from every beholding eye, the sight of their honour converted into shame.

A second feeling which seized the fallen ones was fear. That they were ashamed, was an advantage which they possessed over Satan; but that they were afraid, was common to them with him. We mean the conscious fear before God with which they were possessed, when they were aware of the sound of Jehovah-Elohim, as He walked in the garden in the cool of the evening, and they hid themselves in the midst of the trees of the garden (iii. 8-10). Fear in the presence of God, as distinct from the fear of God—and the manifold gradations of apprehension and anxiety, comprehending terror and anguish, fright and dismay — is the consequence of the sense of the wrath of God, which is inseparable from the feeling of guilt \ and shame. But the wrath of God, as Scripture teaches us t to recognise it, is (1) self-provocation of His holy personality in the presence of sin; (2) the excitement of the lower strict potentialities of His glorious splendour, or, as we may also say, , of His nature, in itself producing cloudless light; (3) sending forth powers of destruction operative in the world from the . judicially aroused doxa; (4) kindling of the powers of nature of the created personality itself, that has become opposed to God. In other words: The wrath of God has a personal aspect, and a natural aspect: it is anger, the correlative of Eehthra on the side of the creature; and vengeance, the correlative of the Turba on the side of the creature (Div. IV. Sec. VI.). God is angry, in that His personal holiness repels sin, and in that He stirs up the flaming aspect of His glory. Wrath, as such a stirring up, is called ^K, Djft, f)jft, Mi, 6pyr j (dvfib<;, Apoc. xix. 15, from dveiv, synon. of Jeetv, to seethe); and as such a setting on fire, it is called ti"in or n»n. And man is afraid, in that feeling, consciousness, experience, of this divine excitement places him in fear and quaking; for the characteristic behaviour of this fear, to the fundamental idea of which almost all appellations revert (KV = jTV, inS, yyf mvb, etc.), is trembling. This trembling, in its highest degree, resembles the convulsion that follows electrial shocks; for instance, as the Scripture says, the lightning of God's wrath (Ps. xviii. 15, cxliv. 6). Fear in this sense, and love, exclude one another ($o/3o? Ovk eoriv ev rfi ar/airy, 1 John iv. 18).

That men were ashamed, was the essential consequence of the fact that their glory, that clothing of honour of their body, had been perverted into the shame of nakedness (Apoc. iii. 18); and that they were afraid, was the essential consequence of the fact that they had retrograded from God's love, and had therefore incurred God's wrath. Doubtless it was better that they should have been so ashamed and afraid, than that they should not. It is true this shame and fear were not anything positively good—they were only the arbitrary reflection of lost good; but in this, that men allowed themselves to be mastered by their feelings, without crushing them by forcible resistance, is shown that their fall, deep though it was, yet did not approach in depth to that of Satan. They had sinned against their conscience; but after they had sinned, they did not put to death their conscience, which testified against them. For as well shame as fear operated by means of the conscience; so that men now caught a glimpse of themselves out of God, not without a knowledge of what they ought to be, and what they had been, in God.