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they were actuated with moral dispositions and affections very different from those which many of them now display. For, not only rancour and malice, but even coldness and indifference to the welfare of others, would prevent happiness from being enjoyed in any region of the material uni
All who believe in the reality of a future world, indulge in anxious wishes to be made happy when they pass from this mortal scene to the world of spirits, even wicked men, indulge the hope that God will ultimately be merciful to them, and admit them then to the joys of heaven. But this is impossible, in the very nature of thiugs, unless they be “ renewed in the spirit of their minds," and endowed with those holy dispositions which alone can qualify them for relishing substantial happiness, and for participating in “ the inheritance of the saints in light. How could malignity associate with benevolence, contention with friendship, or war with peace? How could the sons of discord dwell in unity, in an assembly where all is harmony and love? How could the malicious and revengeful spirit find delight in the employments of kindness and pure benignity? The thing is impossible, unless the moral order of all worlds were completely subverted. Such characters will be banished from the abodes of bliss; not by any arbitrary decree of the Almighty, but in virtue of the moral constitution of the intelligent universe. It is, therefore, evident, that the happiness of heaven must be founded upon the exercise of love, affection, harmony, perfect good-will to others, and the infinite variety of ramifications into which such principles may diverge; combined with profound views and affections in relation to the Deity. When these and similar dispositions are uniformly exercised, without the least mixture of any one ingredient of moral evil, it is easy to conceive with what transports of delight the inhabitants of heaven will contemplate the displays of Divine Power, Wisdom, and Goodness. From the preceding illustrations we may learn something of the nature and essence of future punishments. If the exercise of love, in all its diversified modifications, constitutes the essence of happiness, the unrestrained operations of malevolence must be the source and the sum of misery. We cannot form a more dreadful picture of future punishment, than by conceiving the principles of deceit, and malignity, and the passions of pride, batred, malace and revenge, raging with uncontroled and perpetual violence. We need represent to ourselves nothing more horrible in the place of punishment, than by supposing the Almighty simply to permit wicked men to give full scope to their malevolent dispositions, leaving them “ to eat of the fruit of their own ways, and to be filled with their own devices.” The effeets produced by the uncontrolled operations of such principles and passions would be such, as may be fitly represented by the emblems of "the worm that never dies," of " devouring fire,” and of their concomitants, “weeping and wailing and goashing of teeth.”
We intend to notice this work again in a future number.
REMARKABLE JEWISH SECT. The New Baptist Magazine for April contains a letter from M. Mayers, at Vienna, giving an account of a most remarkable sect of Jewish believers in Poland, called Sabbathians, from their founder, Sabbathia Zewy, and also. Soharites, on account of their veneration for the book of Sohar, the pricipal cabbalistical work, and which they receive as the highest authority and word of revelation, to the prejudice of the Holy Scriptures, which are considered subordinate to the Cabbala, by many of which they are to be explained.
On their settlement in Poland they declared their total rejection of the Talmud, and published the following confessiou of faith. They are distinguisbed for their strict morality and integrity, and only marry among themselves.
Ist. “Wo believe all things commanded by God at all times, as well by positive doctrines as traditions; and we do not only consider ourselves in duty bound to obey all precepts and omit all prohibitions contained in this law, but also to enter minutely into the examination of theso doctrines in order to comprehend the mysteries hidden under the letter. To this end God said to Abraham, 'I am the Almighty God, walk before me and be thou perfect,' Gen. xvii. 1; and to Moses, “And now Israel what doth the Lord thy God require of thee,' &c. Deut. x. 12, 13. This proves, that it is our duty to obey the Lord and his precepts and statutes, and to seek to comprehend the truth of his doctrines without any error. Next to this, it becomes us to fear and honour the Lord, according to the words of the Psalmist, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,' Ps. cxi, 10. Yet this alone, the fear and love of the Lord, is not sufficient; we must also acknowledge the power and greatness of God by his works. Therefore David said on his death-bed to his son, ' Know thou the God of thy father and serve him,' 1 Chron. xxviii. 9. Upon these words ip Samuel, (1 Sam. ii. 30,) "Them that honour me, I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed;' the Sohar comments, that it were better for that man not to bave been created, who does not comprehend to magnify the name of the Lord, for we are created and put into this world, for no other purpose than to seek to understand the mysteries comprehended in the Divine name.' David says, "The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him in truth, Ps. cxlv. 18; upon which the Sohar asks, 'Can we then call upon God in untruth?' answer, yes: all those who call upou God without knowing bim, call upon him in untruth. From the preceding, it is therefore plainly to be seen, that each man is in duty bound to believe in God, and in law, to acknowledge Him, as well as bis statutes and justice, and to search deeply into the mysteries of the Thorah 1791n. Those whose belief is conformable to this, fulfil the will and commands of God which He has promulged by Moses, and these only, deserve the name of true Israelites.
2nd. “We believe, that the writings of Moses, the prophets, and all earlier teachers, are not to be taken literally, but figuratively; and as containing a secret sense hid under the mere letter. These writings are to be compared to a beautiful woman, who hides her charms under a veil, and expects her admirers to take the trouble of lifting it; which is also the case with the Word of God, being hidden under the veil of a figurative sense, which cannot be lifted even with the highest human ingenuity, and greatest degree of wisdom, without the assistance of divine grace. In other words, the things spoken of in the Thorah, must not be taken literally, according to the mere phraseology, but we must pray for the teaching of the Divine Spirit, to be enabled to discern the kernel which lies hid
under the mere shell or husk of the letter. We therefore believe, that it is not sufficient merely to read the words of the prophets, to know the literal meaning, but that it requires Divine aid, in order to understand, in many places the fundamental of the letter; and thus we find David prays, 'Open thou mine eyes, that I may bebold wondrous things out of thy law,' Ps. cxix. 18. If king David had been able to understand the Word of God by his own enquiries, he woald not have thus prayed; but his supplication was to comprehend the secret and bidden mysteries of the Thorah. To this effect are also the words of the Sohar: "Woe to the man who asserts that the Thorah is a mere record of historical facts of ancient times, and contains bat a narrative of common things; If this were the case, it might also be composed in the present time. But the narratives and subjects contained in the holy writings, are only used as figures for the mysteries deeply bidden under the letter. And whoever considers the primary sense as the principal object of the Scriptures, is guilty of death, and forfeits all claim to a future state. Therefore, says the Psalmist, 'lighten mine eyes,' Ps. xiii. 3; (that is to say that I might discern the secrets hidden under the letter of the law,).. lest I sleep the sleep of death.' In another passage, it is remarked by the Sohar, ' If the Thorah were only to be taken in a literal
sense, why should' David say, 'The law of the Lord is perfect, more to be desired than gold, yea, than mucb fine gold,' Ps. xix. It is therefore undeniable, that great and many mysteries are hidden under the letter of the Thorah, to enquire into which, it is the duty of every one who wishes to become orthodox.
3d. “We believe, the best and only true interpretation of the Thorah, of all others, to be the Sohar, but that the Rabbis, in the Talmud, have in many places, falsely explained the Holy Scriptures, by many wrong views they have given of the Divine attributes, and contradicting the fundamental doctrine of love to our neighbour. [Here follow numerous quotations from the Talmud to prove this, which I have omitted translating on account of their prolixity. ]
4th. “We believe in one God, eternal, without beginning or end, the only creator of the universe and all it contains, both visible and invisible; according to the words in the Thorah, 'Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord,” Deut. vi. 4; and in the Psalms, Thou art great, and doest wondrous things, thou art God alone,' Psalm lxxxvi. 10, that is to say, not like earthly kings who cannot have their commands executed without human means; but God created heaven and earth without the co-operation of any other being, and his Providence alone directs and governs all.
5th. “We believe, that though there is but one God, yet that there are three persons Dybim in the Deity, which without any separation or distinction from each other, from a perfect unity. This truth is not only contained in the books of Moses, but also in all the writings of the prophets and other parts of the holy Scriptures. It is said in the Šobar, That the Thorah begins with the letter > Beth, which is formed by two horizontal lines and one vertical, that point to the unity of the Three. This belief in a Trinity in unity is founded upon the holy Scriptures, where the doctrine is plaînly taught in innumerable instances; as a proof of this, we shall quote a few passages here. It is said by Moses, Gen. i. 2, the Spirit ning of Elohim, in the plural, moved upon the face of the waters ;' were there but one person in the Deity, Moses would have expressed himself thus, the Spirit of Jehovah or El, 58 moved; from this it plainly appears, that it was his object at the outset of his writings, to inculcate the doctrine of a Trinity of Parzufim, Persons, in the Deity. He says further, 'God said, let US make man in OUR image after OUR likeness,' Gen. i. 26, upon which the Sobar comments, ' Two there are and One, which makes Three, and these Three are One. Again it is said, Gen. iii. 22, Jehovah Elohim spoke, behold the man is like one of US. If there were not three Parzufim (Persons) in the Deity, why does it say Jehovah Elohim, in the plural, Jehovah alone would have sufficed; it was unquestionably thus put to prove the Trinity. It being said 'the Lord came down to see the city and the tower ;' and further, 'Go, let US go down and there confound their language,' Gon. xi. 5, 7; question naturally occurs, to whom did Jehovah speak this? He would not have thus familiarly spoken to the angels, who are his ministering servants, to whom he would have addressed himself in the language of command, and not in a way of request ; we conclude therefore, that God spoke to his co-equals, the other Parzufim, of the same authority and dignity with himself. We find it further recorded, that three men appeared unto Abraham, Gen. xviii. 2, and yet on seeing them, he said, 'My Lord,' xviii. 3. How can it otherwise be explained, that he should have seen three and only addressed one, if these three were
Moses commands the Israelites 'to take the blood of the paschal lamb, and strike it on the two side posts, and on the upper door post, Exod. xiii. 7; upon which the Sobar asks, 'why is this to be done just upon three places ?' 'In order,' it is answered, “that we should behold on these three places, our perfect faith in the Triune and holy name of God; which is another proof of the three Parzufim (Persons) in the Deity.' 'It is said by Moses, Deut. iv. 7,What pation is there so great who hath Elohim so nigb (0431p) unto them as Jehovah our God?' If there were not
a plurality of Parzufim (Persons) in the Deity, he would have put instead of Elohim and 1377 in the plural, El bx and 31p in the singular. Again, it is said by Moses, Gen. xix. 24, And Jehovah rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah, which is another proof of a plurality of persons in Jehovah. On one occasion God said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord,' Exod. xxiv. 1; if there were not a plurality of Parzufim in the Deity, God would have said, come up unto me.' On the passage, ' Hear, 0 Israel, Jehovah our God is one Lord, Deut. vi. 4, the Sohar comments on the following words: three are one,' (annon). It is written, Exod. iii. 6, 'The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob ;' this repetition of the Word of God before each name of the three patriarchs, points at the Trinity; otherwise it would have been sufficient to have said, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is mentioned by Joshua, chap. xxiv. 19, Ye cannot serve the Lord, because he is holy, Elohim (Dw7p Dnbe nin) here Jehovah is first put and then Elohim, and holy in the plural, which is another proof of the plurality in the Divine Being, a Trinity in Unity.
6th. “We believe, that God appears incarnate upon earth ; that he eats, and drinks, and performs other human functions, but that he is perfectly free from all sins. The proof of this is contained in these words, 'For that he also is flesh,' (Gen. vi. 3,) which the Sohar thus explains: God appears in the flesh and adapts himself to the body, that is to say, at the creation, God was incarnate in Adam, but after his fall, he withdrew himself again, and remained thus divested of the body, until he again was incarnate in this body. The Sohar further remarks upon the four elements of fire, water, air and earth, that God clothed himself in these, and was incarnate. Where Moses says, (Exod. xx. 18.) «The people saw the voice,' he ought, properly speaking, to have said, the people heard, instead of saw; but God shewed himself at that time to the Israelites in a human form, and taught them by it, that at the advent of the Messiah he would come again in a human form. Upon the words of Jehovah, (Lev. xxvi. 12.) I will walk among you,' the book Yalkut observes, this may be compared to an earthly king, who walks about his garden, from which the gardener is about retiring out of respect to his Lord, in order not to intrude himself upon his privacy, but the king addresses his servant in a condescending tone, saying, "Be not alarmed at my presence my friend, I am but a man like thyself, and will walk by tho side of thee. In the same manner God has promised to clothe himself in the flesh, and appear among men, to teach and instruct them in divine things; it is therefore said by the prophet, (Is. xxv. 20,) "Thine eyes shall see thy teachers.' When God said, Deut. xxxii. 40.) I lift up mine hand to heaven,' he would not have thus expressed himself at any other time, except when he walked upon earth in human form. [Here are many other passages of Scripture quoted, from which similar conclusions are drawn.]
zung b 7th. “We believe that Jerusalem will never be rebuilt; because it is written, Dan. ix. 26, And the people of the prince, that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, and the end thereof shall be with a flood, perfectly; and the prophet Jeremiah declares that the sin of the city of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom, destroyed of a sudden.' If, then, Sodom is no more to be rebuilt, how much less Jerusalem, as the prophet declares the sin of that city to be greater than that of the former.
sth. “We believe that the Jews in vain expect the arrival (or advent) of a human Messiah, who, according to their opinion, is to redeem them from their temporal captivity, exalt them above all other nations, and load them with riches and honours. But we believe that God himself will become incarnate, and appear in human form, to redeem us from those sins attached to all the human race since the fall of Adam. And not only the Jews are to be redeemed by him, but all who believe on him; those, however, that remain unbelieving will be consigned to eternal damnation. If the Jews believe that they can be redeemed in any other way than by the Lord himself, they deceive themselves, and do not obey the Holy Scriptures, but the Talmud, which is false, and which we reject. To maintain our opinion and belief, we appeal to numerous passages of the Holy Scriptures; but especially to the prophet Isaiah, who says in one place, ‘God will come and save you,' Isa. xxxv. 4; and in another, 'I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no Saviour,' sh. xliii. 11; again, 'Alí flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob'ch, xlix. 26 ; . As for our Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel, ch. xlvii. 4. The prophet Jeremiah says, (Jer. 1. 34,) 'Their Redeemer is strong, the Lord of Hosts is his name.' Job declares, (Job xix. 25,) 'I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon earth. Who else except the Lord can be this Redeemer, who existed at the time of Job, and will be upon earth at the latter day? It cannot be any other than God, who, by the mouth of the prophet, says, 'I am the first and the last, and besides me there is no other.' Nay, the Tulmud admits the truth, that God is the Messiah and only Redeemer: we find it written in Section Sanhedrin. Rabbi Hillel said, the Israelites bave not to expect any Messiah. But as this contradicts the Scriptures, Rashi comments on this passage in the following words: Rabbi H. means to say, the Jews have not to expect a human Messiah, as God himself is their Redeemer.
“These are the principal articles of confession of this remarkable sect of Jews, who are very promising to go over en masse to the Christian church: one of them lately pablished a letter by way of appeal to his brethren, to embrace Christianity.”
SUNDAY SOHOOLS. Forty years have not passed away since the first establishment of these noble Institutions, and the results have far surpassed the expectations of their first patrons. Reading and writing a few centuries ago, were attainments which none but the higher classes of society possessed; and even in the highest ranks there were often found persons intirely ignorant of these arts which every poor child may now possess. In Manchester the Sunday Schools belonging to the established church walk in procession to the collegiate church annually on Whit-Monday, on the 14th May last 7000 scholars, preceded by a band of music, the municipal officers of the town, &c. walked as usual, and heard a sermon delivered on the occasion. Whit. sun week being holiday time in Manchester and its neighbourhood, those who have the management of Sunday Sehools very laudably endeavour to amuse the children by various means in order to keep them from the horse races which are attended here by a greater concourse of people, than any other place in the kingdom. Various classes of Dissenters for instance, on one of the holidays brought together near 8000 children who were Sunday scholars. The societies of the New Church assembled on the Wednesday, (the 17th May) and walked in procession with their Sunday scholars to a spacious green, a short distance out of the town, and there after singing a hymn, the children were regaled with spiced bread and lemonade, and allowed to pursue all the harmless sports suited to their youthful minds. The children and friends assembled were about 500 in number; the day being fine, added very much to the pleasure of the occasion, the children shewed their gratitude by their good conduct, their ready obedience, and correct demeanour, and their friends were delighted with the opportunity of giving them a taste for more rational pleasures than those to which this season is usually devoted. To some of our distant friends a coppy of order of procession may not be uninteresting.
The band, Sixteen Musicians.
Ladies of both Societies.
Girls belonging to both Schools.