Page images
PDF
EPUB

reason that no mention is made of the progress of the church in the spiritual degree, or that in which Europeans are principled who receive their doctrine in an external manner, must principally arise from the danger of any one, foreknowing future events, as may appear from what is written in the Treatise on Conjugial Love, No.535, being required by certain to manifest and reveal things to come he replied “such manifestation and revelations are not given from heaven, since in proportion as man knoweth things to come, in the same proportion his reason and understanding, together with his wisdom and prudence, fall into an indolence of inexertion, grow torpid and decay.” The members of the church in this degree, though they have an affection for spiritual things, are nevertheless anxious and much concerned about worldly things, and not being principled in the affection of obédience, like those in the celestial degree, require more than others that every thing should appear to arise from their ingenuity, industry, and prudence, without which they would have no stimulus for exertion.

In the manuscript the letter G. is inserted on the western side of the tract, evidently for the purpose of making some remark respecting the inhabitants in that direction, but not the least allusion has been made concerning them.

From the cliscoveries now made respecting this part of Africa, it is clear that Europeans will use every exertion to establish a commercial intercourse with them. The probability of such an intercourse being formed, gives rise to the question, are not these Africans more of a spiritual genius, and thereby more capable of holding an intercourse with Europeans, who are stated to be of that genius; and may not a church be raised among them which will hold a middle station, which E. S. calls celestial. spiritual, which partakes of both characters. It is now known, that these Africans are much concerned about things of this world,

ilar to the Europeans, and partake of the character of Martha, while those who occupy the tract D. E. are of the character of Mary, who are less concerned about things of this world, and more about the Lord and heaven. The moral character of the Africans to the west of the great tract are equal if not superior to that of Europeans, and their piety is exemplary, as will be shewni in a future paper. These circumstances may render it probable, that the omission to take notice of G. the western side of the great tract, is of Divine Providence, that the spiritual mind might be in a greater state of liberty, to act according to the dictates of reason.

It does not appear that any of our travellers have penetrated

this tract D. E. Brown, who penetrated as far as Darfur, approached the nearest on the eastern side, he styles them Independent Negroes in his map. Our late travellers approached them on the western side, but were unable to penetrate that district, indeed they were unable to make the circuit of the lake Tchad, being obliged to leave its eastern shores unexplored. It was observed, in a former paper, on the general character of the Mandingoes, that the Africans known to Europeans may be divided into two classes; those who worship God, and those who do not; and that all the worshippers of God, as yet known to Europeans, among the interior nations, are, without exception, Mahometans; consequently whenever our travellers meet with any nations in the interior, who not only acknowledge a Divine Being, but perform external worship to Him, and are not at the same time Mahometans, those nations will be found to occupy a part of the tract above described. It must be expected that they will be found living in great simplicity, with very little of the arts of civilization among them, and travellers may expect to receive a favourable reception, more so than among any other African nations, provided they do not attempt to preach false doctrines.

The following conclusions of the Quarterly Review, on the general character of the nations, who occupy the country to the west of the great tract D. E. in the direction G. is deserving of notice. March, 1826, reviewing Messrs. Denham and Clapperton's account of their late expedition to central Africa, observes, “It will be seen from every part of these, narratives ; that the native black population of Bornou and Soudan is a peaceable, kindhearted, well-disposed, happy and contented race of men.”

Bornou and Souden, are situated and extend from the Lake Tchad to the lake Dibbie. The country from the lake Dibbie to the Gambia is occupied mostly by Mandingoes, or a people evidently descended from Mandingoes. From what has been said of the Mandingoes in a former number, it is evident that the conclusion of the Quarterly Review, respecting the nations to the east, is equally applicable to them ; consequently the whole extent of country between the Gambia marked 2 in the map, and the lake Tchad marked 6. is occupied by the above remarkable race of beings. This region cannot be estimated at less than 1500 miles in length and 500 in breadth, making the superficial extent 750,000 square miles ; being fifteen times the extent of England and Wales.

The importance of a commercial intercourse between the nations occupying this region and England, must be evident to the most superficial observer, and will be enlarged upon in a future number ; together with a circumstantial account of the gold mines, their richness and extent, and the practicability of working them and afterward of bringing the portion which may fall to the share of those Europeans who may be engaged in working them, in safety to the Gambia. A more particular account will likewise be given of the Mandingoes, and reasons why they should be selected for the purpose of opening a communication with the interior, in preference to the apparently more direct route by the nations in the vicinity of the Bight of Benin. When these statements are laid before your readers, it is hoped that mea.. sures will be taken by some individuals to avail themselves of the present favourable opportunity to extend their beneficial influence* among a people, happy and contented indeed, but who are, nevertheless, constantly exposed to the danger of being sent into slavery into a foreign country, at a moment's warning, and be torn from every thing they hold dear. Is it not the duty of every Englishman to use all reasonable methods placed within his reach, to give this amiable race of beings the same security for their persons and property which he enjoys himself, by diffusing that spiritual and political light, which would enable them to govern themselves by such laws, that every man may live under his own Tabba treet and none shall make them afraid : especially when by so doing, they would increase their own comforts and enjoyments, and that of their countrymen at home by opening new markets for British manufactures.

L.

Miscellanea.

EASTERN CURTAINS. Dr. Shaw says, in the East “it is usual in the summer season, and upon all occasions, when a large company is to be received, to have the court of the house (which is the middle of an open square) sheltered from the heat of the weather by an umbrella or veil, which, being expanded upon ropes from one side of the parapet-wall to the other, may be folded or unfolded at pleasure. May not the words of the Psalmist, in their literal import, allude to some covering of this kind in that beautiful expression of stretching out the heavens like a curtain.Travels p. 274. In the original it is not a curtain or separate or distinct

piece of stuff or cloth, forming a tabernacle or tent. Exod. xxvi. 1, 2, 7. Isa. liv. 2. Jer. iv. 20.

This it will be shewn, will be best effected by colonizing a certain district, which will be pointed out in a future paper. + A large tree near every village, under which the villagers spend a considerable portion of

their time.

1

WARWICK MEETING. We are authorised by the President of the last Warwick Meeting to deny most distinctly the interpretation which has been put upon the opening remarks of his address, on which some observations have appeared in the last number of the Intellectual Repository. He desires us to state, that he never meant“ to decry the use of all external worship, or all forms of worship,” but that on the contrary, he holds them to be highly useful, (although in themselves they are not the esentials of a true Religion) and more especially useful, when those Forms are in agreement with the Truth.

EDINBURGH. THE Edinburgh Observer of September 22nd, 1826, contains the following Article:

The Swedenborgians.-A Correspondent informs us, that the Edinburgh Swedenborgians do not now meet, as stated in our last, in Skinner's Close, but in a school-room some where about No. 10, Elder Street. Their number, be adds, and we are glad to hear it, is not more than three or at the most four dozen, and there is no person of any note among them. A fortnight ago, one of their London brethren preached to them three sermons in the Free Mason's Hall, but the collection did not defray the expense of the hall. There is not much to be apprehended, therefore, in the Modern Athens from the spread of Swedenborgianism. But we are sorry to remark that this deluded enthasiast has found votaries elsewhere, as will be seen by the followiug curious extract.”

[Then follows an Extract from the Report of the last Warwick Meeting, which, as our readers are acquainted with, there is no need of inserting here.]

We are at a loss to know what the Editor of the Edinburgh Observer proposed to himself by the insertion of this article. Was it to bring the Swedenborgians into contempt ? if so, we beg to apprize this Editor and his intelligent correspondent, that mere declamation can never bring any persons adopting peculiar religious opinions into contempt. You, Mr. Editor, or your correspondent, should have undertaken to prove that the doctrines of Swedenborg are utterly destitute of truth and unworthy the acceptance of mankind, and then the public would have been bound to attend to your remarks, but unless this be done, you cannot expect to make any impression upon the public mind. You say, Mr. Editor, you are glad to hear that the number of the Swedenborgians is small; but why are you glad ? you give no reason. It is true the number at present is indeed small, but surely, sir, this is not to their discredit, especially when it is considered that, narrow is the way that leadeth to life, and few there are who find it while broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Your correspondent is, or you are, mistaken, by supposing that the Swedenborgians have no men of note

What do you mean by men of note? do you mean men of property ? if you do, then they have many of these. If, by men of note, you mean men of intellectual attainments and moral worth; then, sir, they have their share of these. We

agree No. 11.--Vol. I.

Y

among them.

with you, Mr. Editor, that "there is not much to be apprehended in the Modern Athens from the spread of Swedenborgianism;" there is nothing to fear from this : but we give it as our opinion that the people of Modern Athens have much to fear from a blind attachment to the fooleries of Calvinism. The Calvinistic system, with various modifications, is, with some few exceptions, the religion of Modern Athens, and we hesitate not to say, and also at any time to prove, that it is destitute of every principle of sound sense and Scriptural truth, and those of Modern Athens who are weak enough to swallow its dogmata, write upon their altars, as did the Athenians of old-TO THE UNKNOWN GOD!" Acts. xvii. 23. But why, Mr. Editor, did you so suddenly pass from Edinburgh to Warwick ? you might have found very many Swedenborgians (as you call them) in Scotland. Do you not know that in Glasgow and Dundee there are also societies of the New Church-that these regularly assemble for public worship, and that many admirers of the theology of Swedenborg are to be found in Paisley, Hamilton, Arbroath, Montrose, Inverness, and other places :—that in England about 50 societies or congregations exist, and regularly assemble for divine worship every sabbath day, besides thousands of individuals living remotely from each other in different parts of the kingdom who know the doctrines of Swedenborg to be the pure doctrines of Christianity? If you are not acquainted with these facts, it is necessary that you should be, in order that you may be able to give, at any future period if you should think proper, a faithful and honest account of those you call Swedenborgians. You have called Swedenborg an enthusiast, and with weak minds assertions without proof may pass, but the more enlightened part of mankind will treat them as empty nothings! Swedenborg's enthusiasm consists in detecting the gross absurdities of Trinitarians and Unitarians, by declaring and proving that there is one God of heaven and earth in One Divine Person, whose high and holy name is Jesus Christ, in whom, according to the Apostle's testimony. “ dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily," Col. ii. 9. Think of this, Mr, Editor-it is the fundamental doctrine of the Christian Religion; and let the inhabitants of Modern Athens know, that so long as they continue to worship three divine persons in the Godhead, they perform a corrupt worship, which is as absurd and enthusiastic as it is unscriptural. This worship has caused the glory to depart from Israel; and by it “thy silver is become dross, and thy wine mixed with water, Isa. i. 22,

SLANDEROUS ATTACK ON SWEDENBORG. • The Literary Gazette, a weekly journal of Literature, and Review of new publications, a few weeks ago pretended to review the well known EULOGIUM, pronounced by M. Sandel, to the memory of the illustrious Swedenborg; but, instead of bringing even a single sentence from the Work it professed to review, it merely gave utterance to vituperative remarks and contemptuous observations, some of which were copied iato various prints. The Morn

« PreviousContinue »