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and wonld not? and would not this be to call the Lord unmerciful ? moreover in the warmth of his faith he may ask, why can the Lord see so many damned in hell, when nevertheless, he is able to save all in a moment from a principle of pure mercy ? not to mention other suggestions of a like nature, which can be called nothing else but impious impeachments of the divinity. Hence then it may appear, that faith in momentaneous salvation from pure mercy, is the fiery flying serpent in the Church.
OBSERVATIONS ON INDIA MAXIMS.
Malabar Maxims. In a previous paper on one of these maxims some observations were made on the daily obligation of prayer as a christian duty, together with some remarks on its nature and form, I would now call your attention to another subject of some importance, because it relates to the Word of the living God, and every thing relating to that Word is of much consequence to our well-being as christians and heirs of the kingdom of heaven. The brief sentence which has given rise to the following observations is this :—"Contemn not the divinely inspired pages.” And surely this sentence can never be too strictly regarded; for to contemn the inspired pages is to contemn the divine wisdom of the Lord, and thus to impeach our Creator at the puny and contemptible bar of human intellect, which is like arraigning the sun before a lighted candle.
They who are ignorantly or foolishly led to condemn the Divine Word, look upon it as a mere external production, devoid of any higher degree or class of principles than those appertaining to this world. But if we take a view of what a divine Word'must, in its nature be, we surely shall conclude, that it must contain divine principles, those principles must be derived from a divine source, that source st be the omnipotent Lord d, from whom divine truth must emanate, and flowing through the heavens, must fall into such forms and modes of speech as are common amongst men on earth. This being the case, if we would understand that Word, we must analize these modes and forms of speech according to the spiritual idea or rule by which they are framed, viewing all natural expressions as symbols or signs of spiritual things. If this very brief view of the Word be perceived and acknowledged, we may thence discern how heinous a crime it is, to contemn the divinely inspired pages, for it is at once to contemn the Lord their divine fountain, and to withdraw ourselves from his guidance; it is at the same time to exalt our own blind and presumptive opinions above the divine wisdom of God.
To despise the Holy Word is pregnant with innumerable evils and mischievous consequences. It debases the mind, perverts the human judgment, loosens the ties and obligations of domestic, social, religious and spiritual duties: the mind becomes vicious, and regardless of virtue or goodness. Man thus plunges into corruption, unfits his understanding for truth, or his affections for the reception of what is good.
We can not be too watchful over youthful minds, as it respects reverence for the sacred Word. Let them be impressed with an idea of its sanctity; that it is the genuine source of religious knowledge; that it is in close connexion with its divine source the Lord, the alone fountain of genuine intelligence. He is the Father and Saviour of all men, and the shepherd of the sheep of Israel; he ratches over them in his wisdom, and has communicated to the children of men his Word that he may guide them thereby to eternal happiness. But if men despise its pages, they sink into dark
Error thus overruns the mental faculties, stupifies the intellectual energies of the soul, and benumbs the perception of spiritual things.
Hence vain pride and boasting of self; nothing higher than his own understanding (however limited) will man acknowledge to be of much amount. The scale of his own comprehension, however defectively graduated it may be, he exalts as the criterion of truth. To the question of spiritual existence, to the immortality of the soul, to the existence of heaven, or any state hereafter, he applies this contemptible scale of his own perverted powers, and draws his conclusions concerning them as if they were articles of mere weight or measure.
To deny the Word is to run headlong to destruction, but to receive and obey its truths from affection of heart, conducts to the everlasting mansions of rest.
Review of Books.
An Appeal in behalf of the Doctrines of the New Church, sig
nified (in the Revelation, chap. xxi.) by the New Jerusalem : including answers to Objections, particularly those raised by the Rev. G. Beaumont, of Norwich, in his work entitled “ The Anti-Swedenborg :” with occasional notices of other Assailants. Addressed to the reflecting of all Denominations.
By s. Noble, Minister of Hanover Street Chapel, London. Price 68. boards.
Works written in defence of the New Jerusalem Dispensation, have an immediate claim on our attention; and this is particularly the case with the Work now before us. In our present number we have only time to say, that with the contents of the “ APPEAL," generally, we have been highly gratified. We subjoin the following from page 63.
“We believe then the true doctrine of the Scriptures upon the important question of the Resurrection, to be this: That man rises from the grave,not merely from the grave in the earth, but from the grave of his dead material body, immediately after death; that he then finds himself in a world not of mere shadows, but of substantial existences, himself being a real and substantial man, in perfect human form, possessing all the senses and powers proper to a man, though he is no longer capable of being seen by men in this world, whose senses and capacities of perception are comparatively dull and gross, owing to their being still shrouded over with a gross body of unapprehensive clay.
The latter part of this assertion, that the spirit of a man is a real substance, though not a material substance, and thus is the man himself, is capable of being proved, as may perhaps appear in the sequel, by most conclusive arguments, both from reason and Scripture: but, I will here confine myself to the former part of the doctrine ;-that man rises from the dead immediately after death ; and this virtually includes the other.
Permit me then here to give vent to my own feelings by saying, that this is indeed a “most glorious and heart-cheering doctrine :" whereas to suppose,
with the writer of the Anti-Swedenborg, that there is no real resurrection except the resurrection of the body, is to open the door to the most dark and gloomy apprehensions. What is become of the first inhabitants of this globe, and all who lived before the flood? Can any one seriously suppose that they are out of existence, or at best, have only a very imperfect and uncomfortable existence, because destitute of that body which has been undistinguishably, mixed with the elements for five thousand years ? and that they are still to pine for no one knows how many thousand years longer, before they will be themselves again, or can enjoy the happiness which Scripture everywhere promises to the Saints, without anywhere hinting at the immeasurably long, dreary interyal of suspense, which they are to languish through before they can enjoy it? How does such a notion comport with the answer of the Lord Jesus Christ to the carnal-minded Sadducees, half whose doctrine, at least, has been translated into the creed of the opposers of the New Church: for the Sadducees affirmed, “ that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit :'* and the opposers of the New Church, such at least as the author of the Anti-Swedenborg, affirm, that there is no real resurrection but that of the body. But is not the answer of the Lord Jesus Christ to the ancient Sadducees, an answer to these modern ones likewise? “Now that the dead are raised,” saith He, “ Moses”—Moses who never openly treats of the subject, but “even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob : for he is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.”p Is not this affirming that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were living at the very time that this was written of
Luke xx, 37, 38,
Acts xxiïi, 8.
them by Moses,--that they were not then slumbering in their graves ? Most truly does our Accuser say, that the doctrine of the resurrection may justly be called the key-stone of the gospel dispensation *;" but to say, as this author does, that the doctrine of the resurrection of the body is so, is grossly to pervert the plain meaning of the gospel-teaching. This writer, in his zeal for his body of clay, goes so far as to affirm, that to deny, not the resurrection, observe, but the resurrection of the body, if it is not the sin against the Holy Ghost, is, in his serious opinion, something very near it! + and then, as if determined to cut us off from all hope of salvation, he adds, “to hear Christ say, 'I will raise him up at the last day, and then tacitly (as he means to say we do] to give Christ the lie,”-such is his shocking language !"must be a crime of no common description."# But who that knows the use of language, would call the material body him ? The Lord is not here speaking of the body, but of the man; “I will raise him up at the last day|l;” not, “ I will send his soul from heaven to gather up the asbes of his body.” And that man is not to slumber in a state of insensibility till the last day of the world, but that it is the last day with every man when he dies, is evident from the manner in which the Lord corrects Martha's mistaken notion respecting it. “ Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.8" Here Jesus perceives that she had in her mind only the notion of a distant resurrection : wherefore He replies, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and he that liveth and believeth in me, shall never die.”'T Here, because in the divine idea, no life but spiritual life is worthy of the name, the privilege of enjoying it is confined to believers; but of these the divine Saviour declares, that their life shall never be perceptibly interrupted. They have begun to live here, and they shall live on to eternity,
,“they shall NEVER die.” To affirm, then, that there is no real resurrection but the resurrection of the body, and to apply all that is said upon the subject in Scripture to this imaginary resurrection; to affirm particularly, that it is the resurrection of the body which the Lord means when he says, “I will raise him up at the last day :"I will not adopt the coarse and profane language of our adversary, by saying it is giving Christ the lie-but I must say, it is not only directly contradicting him, but it is making him contradict himself. Jesus Christ affirms, that he who believeth in bim shall never die ; and to prevent men from wondering how this can be, when men do die, to all appearance, at the close of their life in the world, he assures them, that at the last day of this life they shall be trans• planted into life eternal :-Every one that seeth the Son and believeth on him, shall have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” That would be a strange sort of everlasting life, which was to be interrupted by an interval of no one knows how many thousand years. Even supposing that the body were to live again, it is quite evident that it is not the life of the body of which the Lord is speaking, when he speaks of everlasting life, since the life of the body, is not, upon any hypothesis an everlasting life : consequently, it is not the body of which he speaks when he says, “I will
• Anti-Swedenborg, p. 48. Anti-Swedenborg, p. 50. # The words at length are,
“ This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life : and I will raise him up at the last day."-(John vi, 404) Is it the body which thus
seeth and believeth? John xi, 23. 24.
+ P. 49, 50.
raise him up at the last day.” The whole declaration is only applicable to the spirit, which is the man himself, to which the body is only an instrument of service while he remains in a world and state where its services are required: “The flesh,” as the Lord says in the same discourse, "profiteth nothing.”* The spirit only is the real man : it is of the spirit only that life everlasting can be predicated: it is this only that can be raised to the eternal world : and this resurrection, the Lord assures us, the spirit shall experience, not after a sleep of ages, or at best a state for ages of half conscious existence, but, in all vigour of true life, as soon as it is emancipated from the shell of clay.”
We intend to give other extracts from this Work on future occasions, and to offer some general remarks on the publication.
WARWICK MEETING. We noticed in our last, that the Warwick Meeting was held on the 4th of July. We have seen the printed Report of that meeting. Charles Augustus Tulk, Esq., the President, delivered an appropriate address. After noticing the objects of the Meeting, he states,
“ It has been our custom at this meeting to draw up for publication in the journals of the day, a short statement of one or other of the New Doctrines, that the reader might be able to contrast them with the errors which unhappily prevail throughout the Christian world ; but in doing this we have always endeavoured to express ourselves in the spirit of gentleness and of charity-speaking ill of no individual man, or classes of men, for holding this or that opinion, but addressing them as we should address brothers and companions, who being weary, faint and thirsty, we should invite to a fountain of Living Waters, at wbich we know by experience they would find refreshment and consolation for their souls. In the same spirit, and with the same end, have the Resolutions, which I am about to read to you, been drawn up ; and I have to request your earnest attention to the momentous subject which they embrace, and to pray that the result of our deliberations may be ballowed by the Divine blessing.
What subject is more important, and what has been more distorted by sensual views, until scarcely a vestage of the truth remains, than the Doctrine of the Resurrection and the Life after death ? I will not dwell upon the gross opinions which prevail every where on this subject; which are taught every where in our pulpits, and enlarged upon in works professing to give the tenets of the Christian Religion. They are painful to think upon, because they shew a resistance to the Divine Influx, which, when suffered occasionally to operate, leads the mind, as it were, spontaneously to a widely different conclusion. To that right conclusion, unfolded as to its particulars, do the Doctrines 'of the New Church conduct us. The WORD OF God interpreted after a spiritual, and not a sensual manner, stamps it with the seal of truth, and reason instantly assents to it, and claims it as its own.
* John vi. 63.