Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

mature New Jerusalem,” (p. 248]. Mr. HINDMARSH is denominated, “ The modern Balaam,” (p. 170];-" The angelic philosopher," [p. 183] ;—“ The industrious' whitewasher," (p. 141];

_" The bustling Vindicator of the Baron,” [p. 178];—“The polite and educated Adam of Manchester,” (p. 139];—" The fictitious Goliah in armour of buckram," [p. 118];--and the masterly Vindication of this gentleman, is styled, “A DISGRAC.FUL ADVỢCACY OF FALSE HOOD”!! (p. 103].

The LANGUAGE of the work, in many places, is as low and vulgar, as it is seurrilous. We read of "the gutting knife of Swedenborg," [p. 68]; the Swedenborgian screw-press,” [p. 67];-of Mr. Hindmarsh " floundering prodigiously,(p. 160];—that he bolsters up the absurdity,(p. 95];-of his clencher text," [p. 248]; -of“ a smoky comment and a lame proof,” (p. 251];--of an anecdote that “sits awkwardly on the Vindicator's stomach,(p. 41);that Mr. H.'s vindication of a particular text, recoils

upon

him to the breaking of his own head instead of his opponents," [p. 94];-that" a choice morsel of Swedenborgian infidelity is presented to the swallow,” (p. 143] ;-that “the exposition in Matt. xxii. v. 44, will do his business effectually,(p. 99];-of a net being thrown“ to bring in fish to the muddy pond of Swedenborgianism,” (p. 113];—of the Bible being unintelligible to Mr. H. without putting on his spectacles, and his master's conjuring cap,” [p. 113];-and of Mr. H. proceeding" by a touch of his master's black rod, to transmute Paul's sterling gold into Swedenborgian dross,” (p. 159 and 160.] We shall not waste further time by multiplying similar extracts, feeling assured, our readers will, ere this, have become satisfied that our idea of what the title-page should have been to be agreeable to truth, is accurate.

In concluding our present remarks, we have shall lay before our readers a few other extracts, that make a kind of an apology for the ministers of the Established Religion not having written upon the doctrines of the New Church, and which also disclose the writer's reason for engaging in “ The Trial of the Spirits.”' We have printed the extracts as they are in the original, in order that the reader's attention may be drawn to those parts which the writer desired, by his baving had some words printed in Italics and capital letters.

The Reverend writer observes, “ The opposition that the Doctrines of Swedenborg met with, at the No. VII. VOL. I.

4 I

[ocr errors]

first broaching of them, from JOHN WESLEY, DR. PRIESTLEY, and others, does not seem to have alarmed the Christian World to any adequate idea of the misshapen and hideous forms of Apostacy and Infidelity, which were then, (A. D. 1757) rising out of the Abyss : and owing to such a general apathy, (A. D. 622) was the similar progress of Mohammed and others facilitated, who thus brought in damnable doctrin es, even denying the Lord that bought them. Thus has Swedenborgianism been silently, and in darkness, working its way amongst the ignorant and fanatical, (where there are more geese than swans) chiefly by the recommendation of its mysticism and unintelligibility; which like the heathen oracles of old, still impress such "internals" with a conceit of an heavenly derivation and indisputable divinity. By the perpetual cant of The Heavenly Jerusalem, this dance of death is kept up; and by the ostentatious exaltation of the Dignity of Christ, in a way, which is in effect a real degradation, and a most diabolical affront to his own Revelation of the Divine Nature, are the ignorant deluded into infidelity of the darkest character. Just such a cordiality of friendship was expressed to the Lord in person, by Judas Iscariot; and it received that reproof which is equally due to another apostate and betrayer, better informed, and of deeper designs than his, “Judas! betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?"" [p. 274.] . “ The little acquaintance with the gross darkness and sinking tendency of this Heresy, which educated minds, and in particular the clergy of the establishment, seem to possess, ought not to be (as it is by this vindicator) attributed to any supineness on their parts, but rather to the excessive absurdity of the little that was accurately known about it, and which exhibited the Heavenly Doctrine as a mere temporary extravagance of wild fanaticism, on which any serious attention to be bestowed would only be time and pains thrown away.” (p. 273.]. “ Heretofore the crudities of the Baron have been beheld by the generality of men of education only at a distance, as a Mass of Mystical Darkness, like other kindred productions of the teeming abyss of mental aberrations; but now it is held up to public admiration, with ostentation and loud boasts of its heavenly origin and tendency,” p. 3. Hosts of VINDICATORS, APOLOGISTS, EXPOSITORS, LECTURERS, and PREACHERS, now stand conspicuously forward in its behalf. By this obtrusive viclence by which the kingdom of heaven is now taken, the true character of the fallen throne of the old Lady of Babylon, may be much better understood." [p. 275). “That they are SABELLIANS the vindicator denies, alledging in proof some frivolous distinctions, by which they differ from the tenets of that ancient Heresy, while avowedly they profess in its characteristic,the confounding of the persons of the Divine Nature. And that they are Socinians he also denies, because they highly elevate, according to their idea, the character and dignity of Christ, which the Socinians as much depress. Yet they agree with them in rejecting the Atonement, and other assential Doctrines of Christianity, and far exceed them in their prunings,

excisions, emendations, and corruptings of the Holy Seriptures. But the additions they have made to Revelation, by a real or feigned intercourse with Spirits from the invisible world, are so demonstratively infernal, and offer such outrage to the reason and conscience of all Christians, that after an intelligible statement of their meaning and tendency, they deserve no other answer than that of Michael, the archangel, to the author and suggester of them, The Lord rebuke thee!' [p. 276.].... “From a thousand presses we are now assured, that in consequence of the radically erroneous nature of what has been deemed orthodowy from the primitive times, and the little good done by the boasted Reformation in the sixteenth century, a charter has been given to Swedenborg to construct a Philosophico-theological magic lanthorn, which should illuminate the whole world; and a most extraordinary one it is.” (p. 171] ... “Having myself had the glare of this paper lanthorn thrust into my own face quite unexpectedly, I am thus prepared, by. this application of it, to hold it up, and enlighten my brethren, who are still groping in the darkness I was in.” (p. 168.]

From our future remarks, our readers will be able to judge, how far this Reverend Controvertist is able to become the enlightener of his brethren upon the subjects he stands forward to lay before them; and we doubt not of being able to shew, that he is a blind guide, and consequently, that if his brethren permit themselves to be led by him, they will, with him, fall into the ditch. Before we conclude this article, it may be necessary to apologize to our readers for the length of the extracts we have laid before them, which we are aware are only calculated to inspire-we do not say disgust and contempt, but pity, as a more Christian feeling for the writer of such unchristian like and angentlemanly language. But we judged it necessary to the future course of our argument: although it has been a matter of regret that their length has prevented our entering more fully, in this article, into the examination of the evidence, if such it may be calłed, brought forward on this singular Trial.

K. We had prepared a review of Mr. Clowes?s new work on " the

Human Soul ;" and also a review of a Reviewer of Mr. Noble's late work on The Plenary Inspiration of the Scriptures :" but owing to the length of the above article, and of that on the Prea servation of the Word in its Integrity, which we were anxious to finish in our present Number, we are obliged to reserve these till our next.

MISCELLANEOUS INTELLIGENCE.

RECEPTION OF THE DOCTRINES OF THE NEW CHURCH IN A THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY ON THÉ CONTINENT. For some time past the information received in this country respecting the progress which the Doctrines of the New Church may be making, either on the Continent of Europe or in America, has not been so copious as has foriperly been experienced; but of late the cloud has begun to disperse, and we have been cheered with some highly important pieces of intelligence. Thus, not only has the New Church in England been taught, by the admirable and profoundly learned Specimen of a projected edition and translation of the Word, with illustrations of its literal sense drawn from the best sources, and discoveries of its spiritual sense from the revelation given in these last times by the instrumentality of Swedenborg, which was printed in our two last numbers, that the cause of truth has a most able friend at the very fountain head of learning in Sweden; but, by the affecting and truly gratifying letter of which extracts were given with the last portion of the specimen, we also were taught, that many young men, in that seat of science over a distinguished part of which our learned friend presides, are beginning to listen, with favourable ears, to the interpretations of the Word thus made known. We are now enabled, through the kindness of a friend, to lay before our readers some extracts of letters, containing information not less gratifying, and breathing sentiments of not less ardent devotedness to the sacred cause of truth, from a very different part of the continent of Europe. Not knowing how far the disclosure of the theo logical sentiments of our newly discovered friend might affect his future prospects and his opportunities of usefulness, we forbear to mention his name or the place of his residence ; but we can assure our readers that there is no mistake in the matter, as we have the original letters, while we write this, lying before us. Suffice it to say that the writer is a student in an important theological seminary; that, as will be seen by the letters, he is in communication with Dr. Tafel of Tubingen, with whose noble sacrifices, and zealous exertions, in the cause of truth, our readers have before been made acquainted; and that the letters theinselves are addressed to a well known English friend of our heavenly doctrines at present residing on the continent, and to whom the writer is personally known. With these preparatory remarks, the letters will sufficiently explain themselves.

The first letter, dated Nov. 29, 1823, contains a rather curious notice respecting the letters written to Swedenborg by the celebrated Lavater, and printed in the New Jerusalem Magazine. Inquiry respecting the genuineness of one of these letters having been made of the person now in possession of Lavater's papers, with the hope of ascertaining whether any letters of Swedenborg to Lavater in return were extant, the answer at length is given. It states that no copy of a letter from Larater to Swedenborg, nor any from Swedenborg in return, could be found; but that in Lavater's journal, of the same date as the letter, was found a memorandum of his having written to Swedenborg, but without any mention of the contents : and the possessor of the papers adds, “The letter which you communi. cated to me contains things which could scarcely have been written by any body else but Lavater:" but he is terribly alaried lest there should be any thoughts of publishing the letter in German, because “ it would induce our present age to stigmatize him as a fanatic, or having had communication with spirits, which I avow was never the case. The remainder of our friend's letter speaks of the state of his mind in regard to the truths of the New Church at this time, and the discouragements from without which he then experienced.

The next letter, dated 1st of Jan. 1825, communicates the extraordinary anecdote respecting the merchant of Elberfeld's application to Swedenborg, desiring, that he might be fully satisfied respecting Swedenborg's power of communicating with the spiritual world, that he would learn from a deceased friend what the discourse was which took place between the inquirer and him a short time before his death; when Swedenborg, a few days afterwards, repeated to him the whole, word for word. It is related in Dr. Stilling's work, “ Die Theory der Geister-Kunde,” (Theory of the Knowledge of Spirits,) and was given thence in the last volume of our former series, p. 116. The writer then proceeds to express the following excellent sentiments, and to communicate some satisfactory information. “As I have the opportunity of studying the writings of the New Church systematically, and at the saine time to become acquainted with the different systems of theology now prevalent in the Christian church, I am enabled to form that comparison, which sets the heavenly doctrines in their splendid light, and proves to a luminous demonstration their unspeakable superiority over those, so called, orthodoxical writings, which leave the sincere lover of truth in a labyrinth of error, and disenable him from approaching, in a continually more rapid progressy. that source of divine love and wisdom, of which he is destinated to be the happy recipient. In these heavenly writings I find that system of. religion unfolded, which is contained in the Divine Word, and which constitutes its subject, object, and end: A system which is not only worthy of God, but which, at the same time, puts man into a knowledge of himself, into a knowledge of his relation to God, and into a knowledge of his high destination. Blessed be the hour when I first entered upon the study of these celestial writings! After due meditation and prayer, I found a new world develope itself at my feet: I found those doubts and. scruples, which are so tormenting to a mind searching after truth, dispersed by the divine rays of heavenly wisdom proceeding from the Word properly explained: and after applying those truths to life I experienced

« ForrigeFortsæt »