THE King Nebuchadnezzar is mystically identical with king Assuerus, in that each alike denotes the spirit of the latter age, that, namely, of mere Intellectualism, as distinguished from and opposed to Intuitionalism. And both narratives, as well also as that of the Deluge and of the book of Esther, are prophecies which now are beginning to have their accomplishment on a scale greater than ever before. For, the image shown to the king in his dream represents the various systems of thought and belief which find favour with the world. Of these the intellectual philosophy which rests upon the basis of a science merely physical is the head, and is symbolised by the gold. And this rightly, so far as concerns the intellect; for it is indeed king of kings, and all the children of men, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the air, are given into its hands. This is to say, all the activities of society, its learning, its industry, and its art, are made subordinate to the intellect. The breast and arms of the image are of silver. This is the domain of morality and sentiment, which under the reign of the mere intellect hold a subordinate place. Belonging to the region of the heart, it is feminine; and implying the intuition, which is of the woman, and her assigned inferiority, it is of silver. The thighs and the belly are of brass, and this kingdom is said to rule over the whole world. By this is meant the universality under a regime wholly
animal and non-moral, of falsehood, cruelty, impurity, blasphemy, and all those deprivations of the true humanity, which characterise an age of materialism. The iron, of which the legs are made, represents force, and denotes the negation of love, and the consequent prevalence of might over right, and the universal rule of selfishness. By the mingling of iron and clay in the feet is implied the weakness and instability of the whole structure, the clay representing matter, which is made the foundation of the system instead of spirit, which alone is stable and enduring.
The Stone cut out without hands, which destroys this image, and becomes a great mountain filling the whole earth, is that "Stone of the Philosophers," a perfected spirit, and the true gospel of the inner knowledge which appertains thereto. This it is which smites the age upon its feet, or fundamental basis, its materialistic hypothesis. And with the demonstration of the falseness of its doctrine, now being made to the world, shall fall the whole fabric of society, with its empire of force, its exaltation of the masculine mode of the mind, its subjection of women, its torture of animals, and its oppression of the poor. With its clay, its iron, its brass, its silver, and its gold, all swept away as chaff by the wind, the true knowledge and spirit of understanding, which are of the intuition, shall usher in the kingdom of God, and the "stone," become a mountain, shall fill the whole earth.
22:2 London, February 22, 1881. Received in sleep.