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For mutual meditation and enlightenment, I am again moved to solicit your attention to an inconsistence. Inconsistences or contradictions should be studiously avoided as evils that injure the tone and health of the understanding. I allude to the strange idea that fallible texts, or imperfect rendering of texts, can be found to exist in a book which is recommended, and dogmatically forced upon us, as an infallible revelation. I must repeat, and pray for an answer to, these questions : If the Bible is the perfect word of God, how came the above text to be imperfectly translated. Or, if it be admitted that Dr. Bushnell rendered the passage for the first time correctly, then, I ask, how can we place our faith, our hopes, and eternal destiny upon the statements of a book which is proved thus to have been giving mankind wrong impressions for eighteen centuries ?

The alteration of meaning is very important. The positire or imperative tense, “shall,” is removed by a single sweep of the pen, and the mere word “may” is substituted,

, which so exceedingly weakens the possibility of man's final redemption from sin, that hundreds of human souls--who have been long sustained by the supposed positive promise of God that sin shall be ultimately subdued and destroyed—have now nothing left to think of but disappointment and moral despair! Again, I ask, can a fallible translation of a text be consistent with an infallible Word ?

By way of criticism, I am compelled by truth to pronounce Dr. B-'s last discourse a splendid tirade against, and a learned defamation or vilification of the human character. It portrayed the supposed iniquities of the heart of the creature-man; and emitted, at several junctions, multitudes of dark, dismal, and denunciatory thoughts. The Lecturer is truly a bold advocate of theological horrors and dogmatism. He thinks man is endowed with the will-power to be an eternal enemy, (if he so desires and determines,) to the living God, and to his moral government. Man, he affirms, is supernatural, because he can overcome mechanical force, and act outside of, or superior to, the natural system of cause and effect. From the mythologic eminence of supernaturalism, he vociferated the church cries against those who dare openly prefer the authoritative promptings of NATURE to the dicta of dogmatic creeds. It is now manifest what description of conservatism this modern Luther is at present destined to generate, and possibly to establish. It is composed of the following ingredients : Calvinism and Arminianism in equal parts; a small portion of the conciliatory system of Richard Baxter, who had the celebrated Drs. Watts and DODDRIDGE for disciples; a very little originality of thought; a slight proportion of Swedenborgianism; and about the same quantity of Rationalism, which, being literally interpreted, signifies an understanding of things as they are.

The paradoxical character of this compound renders some explanation necessary. Although it is truly believed, that when the various forms and shades of human credulity, in supernatural mysteries, are carefully weighed, contrasted, and compared, the existing differences between popular creeds will greatly recede from view; the principal troubles and disputes among the clergy, concerning what creed, or particular shade of faith, is the most orthodox and infallible, will then appear as confounding and astounding only to those who can not readily comprehend the undeviating action of psychological principles upon human beings.* The resemblance of Dr. B's philosophico-supernaturalism to the chief doctrines of Calvinism and Arminianism, is visible only in the original modification of the old church formulas, which is occasionally attempted at various points of the discussion.

* The subject here alluded to, receives very particular attention in the Great Ilarmonia, Vol. III., entitled “The Seer,” soon to succeed this work. See the chapters, showing the action of psychological laws among religious chieftains.


Very many Protestants will find their condition typified by the mental exhibitions of the mind under present review. He indicates a strange independence. Socinus, himself, never attempted the reformation of church dogmas with more ardor, or never so conspicuously failed to accomplish a reconciliation of differences among his own people. He evidently has tasted of the fruit of the knowledge-tree, and feels disposed to reject the cardinal mysteries of the Christian faith, as held by other denominations; but he places new incomprehensibilities before the people, in his rationalistic effort to manifest the doctrine, that the mission of Christ was designed only to introduce a new moral law, distinguished from all preceding laws by its superior sanctity and perfection. There is all the time a manifest proclivity to trace out some hypothetical coincidence between the dictations of Reason and the dogmas of supernaturalism. Now the mind, thus striving to act natural and unnatural at the same time, one moment affirms its determination to subject all religious doctrines to the test of Nature and judgment; but, even before the sentence, containing this affirmation, is concluded, there comes forth the confounding ideal statement, that in Jesus dwelt the fullness of the Father-enjoying universal power of the church in heaven and in earth; that, with logical propriety, the Incarnation being thus perfect, may be termed “God in Christ;" and yet, a mental reaction succeeds this, and a peculiar combination of words changes all the foregoing into something like the doctrines of Unitarianism—implying, that Jesus was a certain modified impersonation of the divine spirit of love and energywhich considers a similitude or assimilation of the human character to that unfolded by Jesus as equivalent to the all-important Salvation, which other denominations hold to, but with far more startling interpretations attached to the term.

The desire to develop a reasonable basis for the everlasting support of supernaturalistic doctrines, urged Dr. B-. somewhat unconsciously, I think, into the Swedenborgian method of interpreting the Word. The spiritual relations of Christ to God and to man, appear also slightly tinged by the New Church Doctrines. On this point the New Jerusalem creed, article second, is explicit. It states that—" Jehovah God himself descended from Heaven, as Divine Truth, which is the Word, and took upon him Human Nature for the purpose of removing from man the powers of hell, and restoring to order all things in the spiritual world, and all things in the church: that he removed from man the powers of hell, by combats against and victories over them; in which consisted the great work of Redemption : that by the same acts, which were his temptations, the last of which was the passion of the cross, he united, in his Humanity, Divine Truth to Divine Good, or Divine Wisdom to Divine Love, and so returned into his Divinity in which he was from eternity, together with, and in, his Glorified Humanity; whence he forever keeps the infernal powers in subjection to himself: and that all who believe in him, with the understanding, from the heart, and live accordingly, will be saved.”

The affirmations of the Lecturer concerning the possibility of evil, as incident to the creation of man, and as beyond the power of God to prevent in a realm of free moral powers, may be found, differently stated, in the following Swedenborgian article of faith : “That the government of the Lord's Divine Love and Wisdom is the Divine Providence; which is universal, exercised according to certain fixed laws of Order, and extending to the minutest particulars of the life of all men, both of the good and of the evil: that in all its operations it has respect to what is infinite and eternal, and makes no account of things transitory, but as they are subservient to eternal ends; thus that it mainly consists, with man, in the connection of things temporal with things eter

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nal; for that the continual aim of the Lord, by his Divine Providence, is to join man to himself and himself to man, that he may be able to give him the felicities of eternal life : and that the laws of permission are also laws of the Divine Providence; since evil can not be prevented without destroying the nature of man as an accountable agent; and because, also, it can not be removed unless it be known, and can not be known unless it appear : thus that no evil is permitted but to prevent a greater; and all is overruled, by the Lord's Divine Providence, for the greatest possible good.”

The resemblance of Dr. B-'s assertions, respecting the visitation of good and evil spirits to man, is very well established in Swedenborg's affirmations, “ that man, during his abode in the world, is, as to his spirit, in the midst between heaven and hell, acted upon by influences from both; and thus is kept in a state of spiritual equilibrium between good and evil; in consequence of which he enjoys free will, or freedom of choice, in spiritual things as well as in natural, and possesses the capacity of either turning himself to the Lord and his kingdom, or turning himself away from the Lord, and connecting himself with the kingdom of darkness ; and that, unless man had such freedom of choice, the Word would be of no use, the church would be a mere name, man would

possess nothing by virtue of which he could be enjoined to the Lord, and the cause of evil would be chargeable on God himself.”

Nor does the similitude cease here. Swedenborg also generalized the evils of the world—all the sins against God and all infernal spirits; which, when combined and estimated in the aggregate, he termed "the devil.” This, as we have seen, is Dr. B-'s latest improvement in this oriental myth, But the doctrine is capable of still further amendment.

On another head, as to the future good and evil consequences of the character, which men establish for themselves

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