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becomes angelic, which is unutterable; that this in angels increases to eternity, was said above: Who may not comprehend, if he will, that what is perfected to eternity, cannot possibly be perfect in an instant.
Hence then it is evident, that all who think from life concerning salvation, do not thing of any momentaneous salvation from immediate mercy, but of the means of salvation, on which and by which the Lord opperates according to the laws of his Divine Providence, therefore by which man is led out of pure mercy by the Lord. But they who do not think from life concerning salvation, imagine there is something momentaneous in salvation, and something immediate in mercy; as they do also, who separate faith from charity; charity is life, and they suppose there is something momentaneous in faith, at the hour of death, if not before; they also do the same, who believe remission of sins without repentance to be absolution from sins, and consequently salvation, and who with this idea receive the Lord's Supper; likewise they, who have faith in the indulgences of monks; and in their prayers for the dead; and in their dispensations grounded in the power they claim over the souls of men.
That momentaneous salvation from immediate mercy is the fiery flying serpent in the Church: By a fiery flying serpent is meant evil shining from infernal fire, the same as is meant by the fiery flying serpent in Isaiah," Rejoice not thou whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken; for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent," xiv. 29. Such an evil flyeth in the church, when there is faith in momentaneous salvation from immediate mercy; for thereby, 1. Religion is abolished. 2. Security is induced. 3. Damnation is imputed to the Lord. As to what concerns the first, That thereby religion is abolished; there are two essentials, and at the same time universals of religion, an acknowledgement of a God, and repentance; these two essentials are useless to those who think to be saved barely from mercy, without regard to their lives; for what need have they of any thing more, than to say, God have mercy upon me? as to every thing else appertaining to religion, they are in the dark, yea they love darkness: of the first essential of the church, which is an acknowledgment of God, they only think, what is God? who ever saw hlm? if it is affirmed that there is a God, and that he is one, they assent that he is one; if it is affirmed that they are three, they also say that there are three, but that these three are to be called one: this is their acknowledgment of God. Of the other essential of the church, which is repentance, they think nothing at all, consequently
neither any thing of sin, and at length do not know that there is such a thing as sin; and then they hear and imbibe with pleasure, that the law doth not condem, because a christian is not under its yoke; if you only say, God have mercy upon me for thy son's sake, you will be saved; this is repentance of life with them. But remove repentance, or what amounts to the same, separate life from religion, and what remains but the words, have mercy upon me? hence it is, that they could not conceive otherwise, but that salvation is effected in a moment by the means of those words, if not before, yet at the hour of death: in such case, what is the word to them, but like an obscure and enigmatical voice, uttered from a tripod in a cave? or like an unintelligible response from the oracle of an idol? in a word, if you remove repentance, that is, separate life from religion, what else is man, in this case, but evil shining from infernal fire, or a fiery flying serpent in the church? for without repentance man is in evil, and evil is hell. SECONDLY : That by faith in momentaneous salvation, from pure mercy alone, security of life is induced. Security of life arises either from the belief of the impious that there is no life after death, or from the belief of those who separate life from salvation; a person of the latter description, although he were to believe in eternal life, still thinks, whether I live well, or live ill, I can be saved, because salvation is pure mercy, and the mercy of God is universal, inasmuch as he willeth not the death of any one; and if happily a thought occurs that mercy is to be implored by a form of words agreeable to the commonly received faith, he may think that this if not before, can be done at the hour of death; every man, who is in such a state of security, makes light of adulteries, frauds, injustice, violence, blasphemies and revenge; and gives a loose to his flesh and his spirit in the committing of all these evils; neither doth he know what spiritual evil is, and its concupiscences; if he hear any thing thereof out of the Word, it is comparatively like somewhat falling upon Ebony and rebounding, or like somewhat which falls into a ditch, and is swallowed up. THIRDLY: That by such a faith damnation is imputed to the Lord. Who but must conclude that it is not the fault of man, but of the Lord, if he is not saved, when every one can be saved from pure mercy? If it be affirmed that faith is the means of salvation, he will urge, what man is there to whom such faith may not be given, inasmuch as it only consists in thought, which can be infused in every state of the spirit abstracted from worldly things, even with confidence? and he may further urge, I cannot take it of myself; if therefore it is not given, and man is damned, what else can the damned think, than it is the Lord's fault, who could save him, VOL 1.-No. 9.
and would 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.
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 must be the omnipotent Lord God, 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 watches 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 darkness. 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, signified (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 interval 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, 66 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."+ Is not this affirming that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were living at the very time that this was written of