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Could I have had my wish in the affair of Carlisle, I would have opened a book shop as near as possible to his; even the very next door if it could have been accomplished. There I would have published small cheap tracts, well printed, containing extracts from Bishop Watson's Apology for the Bibleauthentic accounts of the deaths of Infidels, &c. Plenty of matter already extant might have been found, besides original essays and new efforts of genius in defence of the christian religion. Had this plan been followed, Carlisle would soon have had few friends; his principles would have had many enemies ; and, I believe his infidel cause would soon have dwindled, and ultimately perished.
Respecting this publication, The AntiSwedenborg: I can aver before God and man, that I have no personal animosity against, nor even dislike of any Swedenborgian in the world; but am solely actuated by a clear conviction of the evil tendency of the whole Swedenborgian system. That system appears to me to be nothing less, in the de
sign of it, than an entire revolution in the christian dispensation. By it we have a new construction of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
-the atonement, according to the old notion, is done away with the mediatorship is new modelled-the doctrine of the resurrection of the body is scouted as impossible, and the believers of it pitied for their imbecility.The day of judgment is past already, even though nobody remembers it, but Baron Swedenborg: it took place in the year 1757. Heaven is made so like this world that we hardly know which is which—and, as to hell it is so much mended by the benevolent Baron, that our paupers at least might go there with a very fair prospect of comfort. Besides all these wonderful changes which the Baron has made in the popular scheme of theology, we are to resign our antiquated notion of a last day, or the end of the world, and to believe that the world will endure for ever; and that mankind, as they die and leave the earth, immediately, at least after a short process of vastation, &c. become either
angels or devils, and so continue to all eternity!
In the month of July, 1823, the Rev. S. Noble came from London to Norwich to deliver "A course of Lectures explanatory of the doctrines of the New Church of the Lord, called the NEW JERUSALEM on the following subjects:-On the doctrine of faith and charity-The plenary inspiration of the word of God-The divine unity and trinity— The state of the humiliation of the Lord Jesus Christ-The manner in which the infinite God communicates himself to finite man-The just idea of redemption-The nature of the atonement-The true import of sacrifices-and On the nature of the life hereafter."
In the above lectures was embraced all or most of the peculiarities in the Swedenborgian system. I had not opportunity to hear more than one of them; but I had narrated to me the substance of many of the rest. There were nine lectures.
Now, if those Swedenborgian lectures,
delivered by Mr. Noble, were true, then all the gospel ministers in the City of Norwichin England-in Europe, and in America, yea, in every part of the world, except Swedenborgian ministers, are absolutely either fools or knaves!
After the delivery of these lectures, I paused, and looked to see, and hearkened to hear, whether any minister in Norwich were disposed to take the Pen, and set up a defence against this implied slander. I knew there were many well instructed men both of the Ministry and Laity fully equal to the task, if they would but bestow the pains. But after pausing and listening several weeks, without discovering any movement towards such an undertaking, I resolved to deliver a lecture myself, in my own chapel, on the Anti-Swedenborgian side. This I did, on the 24th of August, 1823, to a crowded congregation. On descending the pulpit stairs at the close of my lecture, I was met at the bottom by a gentleman of the Swedenborgian persuasion, and addressed in substance
as follows:-" Mr. B. I take the liberty to ask you whether it be your intention to pub lish what you have just now delivered from the pulpit; because if you will publish your discourse, I pledge myself for it that it shall be answered, and every thing that you have advanced shall be overturned. I don't say that I will do it myself, but I say that it shall be done!" My reply to this gentleman was, "I have not at the present any settled purpose to print what I have now delivered, though I don't say that I will not do it, I shall think about it, and therefore for the present can say nothing positively."
After this I was frequently entreated to print my lecture, and almost as frequently promised support, if I would do it. I have done it with large additions; and the pledge of the gentleman who challenged me to it, has not been without its share as a stimulus to the undertaking. He is now at full liberty to redeem his pledge. I am aware that the publisher's plea of being "entreated by friends," is esteemed by critics and reviewers