Earth and Waters

Edwards frequently expounded the analogous relationship between nature and spiritual reality and in “Image” no. 82 he highlighted the three-storied structure of the created order:

82. There are three sorts of inhabitants of this world inhabiting its three regions, viz. the inhabitants of the earth, and the animals that inhabit the waters under the earth, and the fowls of heaven that inhabit the air or firmament of heaven. In these is some faint shadow of the three different sorts of inhabitants of the three worlds, viz. earth, heaven and hell. The birds represent the inhabitants of heaven. These appear beautiful above the beasts and fishes; many of them are decked with glorious [plumage]. Whereas others do but go on the earth or move in the waters, these fly with wings and are above all kinds of animals; employ themselves in music, many of them as it were sweetly praising their Creator. The fishes in the waters under the earth represent the inhabitants of hell. The waters in Scripture is represented as the place of the dead, the Rephaim, the destroyers; and whales and sea monsters that swim in the great deep are used in Scripture as emblems of devils and the wrath of God. And the miseries of death and God’s wrath are there compared to the sea, to the deeps, to floods and billows, and the like. (WJE 11:84-85)