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ANSWERS. the flesh is flesh, and that which is
born of the Spirit is spirit.” 29. What class of beings did that 29. Already asked, and already person belong to, who amidst the answered. agonies of expiring nature prayed, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” Luke xxiii. 34 ?
30. Did the real and very Christ 30. No! for the Very Cbrist, in his himself, and in his proper person, proper person, is Divine. See anactually die on the cross?
swer 13. 31. If we should say “no,” to the 31. Certainly not. We deny the preceding question, do we not deny Scriptures by denying the Divinity the reality of Christ's death, and of Christ. thus deny the scriptures ? 32. If the real and very Christ
32. Leanness of soul forces a man himself, and in his proper person? to put the same question over and died, was it a man, a superangelic over again. being, or God himself that" died, was laid in the sepulchre, and on the third day was restored to life? 33. Did the Jews in reality crucify
33. No! no ! no ! God Almighty? Was the Creator and upholder of all things put to death by his own creatures ? and did the God of the universe actually expire ?
34. If the God of nature bad ceased 34. To the first question in this to live, who then could have lived ? number, we answer, No one. To Would not all nature in that instant the other-yes. have been blotted out of existence and have become a blank?
35. If it was only a man that died, 35. Yes ; but as the earthly body, and if the real and very Christ himself or Son of Mary only, died, and that and in his proper person actually Christ himself in his divine and pro- . died, does not the conclusion neces- per person did not, nor could not sarily and unavoidably follow, that die, the conclusion necessarily and the real and very Christ himself and unavoidably follows that the very in his proper person was only a man! Christ himself was truly God, the
Lord of Life and Glory; and may the grace of Jesus Christ be. with us all. Amen.
TRIPERSONAL VIEWS OF THE DEITY. The language used by those who believe that there are three persons in the Deity, is often so uns
nscriptural, as to excite astonishment; and there can be no doubt, that were those who profess to believe in three persons, to examine closely the expressions in which their views are conveyed, they would soon discover, that the Scriptures are not in accordance with their creeds. Too many rely implicitly on the views of the party or sect to which they be. long, and possibly never ask themselves this important question,“ What think ye of Christ, whose Son is he ?” Matt. xxii. 42; or, “Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am ?” Matt. xvi. 13. It is the bounden duty of every christian, to ascertain on what
principles his faith is founded ; and he who will compare the tripersonal views of God, with the letter of the divine Word, will perceive at once how much opposed they are to the Sacred Scriptures. A few examples from the Hymns of the celebrated Dr. Watts, which are most extensively used in this kingdom, and in the United States of America, will serve to illustrate the preceding remarks :
“Strangely my Soul art thou arrayed,
Hymn 20. Book 1.
With loud hosannas, night and day,
Measure their blest eternity.”
“ The Lamb that fills the middle throne.” Thus we find in one hymn these incongruous views, "the Almighty throne, and the middle throne !! The language of Scripture is very different from this, Rev. v. 6. “ In the midst of the throne, stood a Lamb:” and in the 7th chapter, and 17th verse, “ For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne, &c.” What the worthy Doctor means by the middle throne, does not appear obvious, unless he intends to insinuate that there are three thrones for the three persons, if so, he is obviously wrong, because there is no mentiou of the SPIRIT being placed on a throne, and because from the Lord alone the SPIRIT proceeds. These strange representations of the God of heaven perpetually occur in the hymns, and consequently they are revitted to the memories of those who use them; the Divine Being is thus placed before their view as three Gods, and no sophistry can remove this appearance.
“When we engage ourselves to THEE,
And seal our covenant with the Lord ;
RETROSPECTIVE DISCRIMINATIONS, Or Remnants of Truth and Fragments of common Perception, extracted from various Authors, with illustrative remarks.
THE END OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP. Those who are in the habit of perusing various authors in their extended circle of reading, cannot but remark the many remnants of truth which are scattered in different works, and which lucidly sparkle from the mass of error or incongruity in which they are placed, like diamonds from a heap of rubbish. Men of strong minds when under the influence of common perception, have in all ages uttered truths of distinguished degree and beauty, and though these very men, when under the influence of peculiar doctrines, prejudices or practices, have currently given way to the most insipid thoughts and erroneous opinions; yet, those remnants of truth or fragments of common perception which they have respectively avowed, ought neither to be despised nor undervalued because they have emanated from a quarter where a few principles of truth were surrounded with the shades of obscurity, ignorance
Agreeably to this train of ideas, I may here introduce what a noted French Catholic writer says concerning the end of religious worship.
“Indeed my brethren all exterior worship relates to the renewing of the heart as its principal end. Every action of piety which does not tend to establish the kingdom of God within us is vain. Every religious performance, which subsists always with our passions, which leaves always in our hearts the love of the world, and its criminal pleasures; which does not touch our hatreds, our jealousies, our ambitions, our worldly attachments, our indolences, is rather a semblance of virtue, than virtue itself. We are only before God, what we are in heart and affection. He respects nothing in us but our love: he wills to be the object of all our desires, the principle of all our affections; the end of all our actions; the governing power of our whole souls. All that does not flow from these dispositions—all that does not either conduct us to, or establish us in these, however shining before men, is nothing but a sounding brass, and a tinkling cymbal.
“ All religion in this sense is in the heart. God only manifested himself to men, he only formed a visible church upon earth; he only established majestic ceremonies, efficacious sacraments, magnificient altars, various duties, the whole exterior of his worship, to conduct men to the inward duties of Love and praise; and to form to himself a people pure and holy, innocent and spiritual, who might glorify him for ever and ever.” Massillon on true worship.
A celebrated and noble author also observes on this subject; “That internal worship, which is grounded in love and charity, is real essential worship, and that external worship, without this internal, is no worship. The religion of those who separate faith from charity is of such a sort, viz. that they give a preference to the things of faith above the things of charity, or to the things
which respect the knowledges of faith, above the things which respect life; thus they prefer formalities to essentials.
All external worship is a formality of internal worship ; for the internal is the very essential, and to constitute worship out of that which is formal without that which is essential, is to make the internal, external; as for example, supposing a person to live where there is no church, no preaching, no sacraments, no priesthood; if it be asserted, that such a person cannot be saved, or that he cannot be principled in any worship, when nevertheless he may worship the Lord from what is internal, this is to mistake the essential of true worship. It doth not, however, hence follow, that there should be no external worship. For they who make it an essential of worship, that it proceed from a principle of love and charity, are nevertheless careful to observe the ceremonies of external worship, in frequenting the church, in partaking of Sacraments, in hearing sermons, in repeating prayers, in observing festivals, and other things of a like nature, which they do with much diligence and attention, but still they do not make the essential of worship to consist in such things; in the external worship of such persons, by reason that it is influenced by what is internal, there is a holy and living principle, whereas in the external worship of those above-mentioned, there is no such principle; for it is the very essential itself which sanctifies and vivifies what is formal or ceremonial, but faith separate from charity cannot sanctify and vivify worship, because it is destitute of essence and life.” A. C. 1175.
It is then evident that man is in true worship, when he is in genuine love to the Lord and charity towards the human race. All worship then ought to lead to this heavenly end, to establish the minds of men in principles of goodness; religious forms and ceremonies may be different, but if the spirit of heavenly love and good-will reign in the heart and affections, the end of religious worship is accomplished. Massillon thought so, and a greater than Massillon has inculcated the same indubitable truth. All our ceremonies, rites and observances, then, ought to direct our hearts to God, that by the guidance of his divine Truth, and the influence of his Holy Spirit, we may ultimately be led to experience the reality of the Lord's words, when he says; “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you ? Luke xvii. 21.
ENQUIRIES CONCERNING THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMITTEES APPOINTED BY THE GENERAL CONFERENCE, IN REFERENCE TO THE LITURGY,
CLASS BOOK AND SPELLING BOOK. To the Editors of the New Jerusalem Magazine. I have, with considerable expectation, been long looking for the appearance of the General Liturgy which has now been in hand for the
space of half a dozen years or more; and at the close of our last conference was publicly notified to be published in six mouths from that time. Twelve months will soon have elapsed, yet no liturgy has appeared. Various inquiries have been made, and continue to be made amongst friends and societies, but no one seems to know much more about the business, than that a liturgy has been long talked of, long in process, and long in making its appearance.
At the instigation of the Rev. T. Pilkington, we find from the Minutes of 1825, that a New Jerusalem Church Spelling Book, and Class Book, were ordered to be drawn up; and when the drafts of the Spelling Book and of the Class Book were completed, the Committee were to transmit them to Mr. Pilkington, for his suggestions thereon : who, we understand, has often been interrogated respecting the same, but his reply is that he has yet heard nothing of them.
It is presumed that a standard Class Book, and Spelling Book, are much wanted in our Sunday Schools, hence the necessity of dispatch of business on the part of those friends, (principally in London) amongst whom these Committee appointments are usually made. I wish more particularly to enforce the idea of prompt dispatch of business, lest our country friends should mistakenly conceive the idea, that to put work into the hands of a committee is but another word for procrastination or delay.
Wishing soon to hear of, or see, the fruit of their labours, through the medium of one or other of our periodicals, or by actual publication. I remain, your and their well wisher and sincere friend,
EXTRACTS FROM SWEDENBORG. That the Lord cannot act against the Laws of the Divine Providence, because to act against them, would be to act against his Divine Love and his Divine Wisdom, consequently against Himself.
In the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, it is shewn, that the Lord is Divine Love and Divine