BY JOHN WORCESTER
MASSACHUSETTS NEW-CHURCH UNION
CARTILAGES are really the receptacles of the earthy materials of which bones are made. All bones begin as cartilages, and gradually become hardened by receiving earthy deposits. Their use, therefore, would be performed in the heavens by spirits who are more simple and pliable in their stupidity than those who represent the bones -- by those who know a few general truths, while the bones are those who hold their own particular experiences. Such would much more readily enter into easy relations with others than those who must intrude their small experiences. Hence the bones are capped with cartilage at the joints.
The breast-bone also terminates in a cartilage, for the sake of greater flexibility in accommodation to the motions of the chest. The angels who belong to this province in the Greatest Man, [p. 225] Swedenborg says, are from our moon; and he describes their dwarfish appearance, but says nothing about their character. (E. U. 111.)
In speaking of the various qualities in the Greatest Man, he says,--
"It has been provided by the Lord that those whom the Gospel has not been able to reach, but a religion only, should also be able to have a place in that Divine Man, that is, in heaven, by constituting the parts that are called skins, membranes, cartilages, and bones; and that they like others should be in heavenly joy; for it is not a matter of concern whether they are in such joy as the angels of the highest heaven have, or in such as the angels of the lowest heaven have; for every one who comes into heaven, comes into the highest joy of his heart; he does not bear a higher joy, for he would be suffocated in it." (D. P. 254.)