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of the Divine Mind, what would be condemned in the mind of corrupt man. We therefore totally reject froin our creed, all idea of punishment and pain in the future life, as vindictive, or as in. flicted in the nature of retribution. That there are eternal pun-; ishments, we most fully believe; but they are the necessary and inseparable concomitants of that evil state, in which the sufferers are confirmed, and which, during their abode in this, life, they have embraced and rooted deeply in their wills and understand. ings." Misery is the certain attendant of vice; and hence man is. the author of his own punishment, by choosing the evil instead of the good. The doctrine, therefore, of Universal Restoration, we consider as an erroneous and dangerous one, because it supposes: punishment to be vindictive on God's part, when, nevertheless, the divine love of the Deity could never permit Him to inflict pain upon his children, in the way of vengeance or of anger; and if he could, consistently with the lavos of His own order, (which require, that man, to be capable of happiness in heaven, must be qualified for the life of heaven, by repentance and regeneration here on earth, 'not a soul would ever be allowed to enter the regions of despair. To suppose, therefore, that the Deity could experience any satisfaction or glory, from beholding the torments of the condemned, for a long period of years or ages, is so dis. cordant with our views of the divine character, that we ugliesitatingly condemn it; because, to admit it, is to make God the author of misery.
Dr. Clarke seems to consider all future punishment as vindictively inflicted by the wrath and displeasure of God, and will not allow of its possessing an emendatory quality. If we could reason from things visible to things invisible, the argument would be against him ; for' we dø know that temporal punishments are emendatory, and whenever they are permitted, by the dispensations of Providence, Christians acknowledge them to be so intended. Why may we not suppose, then, that the same divine mercy, wbich accompanies us here, will continue with us hereafter'? And that the punishment of the future state is to prevent and restrain those diabolical deeds, which the infernals must be ever plotting, for the injury and destruction of each other ,
In attacking the scheme of salvation, founded upon the system of Pythagoras, our author has no difficulty to contend with ; but we were really astonished at an attempt made, with perfect seri
ousness, by the doctor, to prove that “The Pharisees among the Jews,” held the doctrine of transmigration as an article of faith.. This is, indeed, the first time we have heard this position advanced, and, as it rests upon such slender support, we think it willbe the last that any profound theologian will hazard it. Although the doctor says, this doctrine is 5 hinted at” in the Bible, yet he quotes but a solitary passage in confirmation of it, which is the question of the disciples to our Lord. John, ix. 2.“ Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind 2", When we know that amongst the Jews, a proverb prevailed, that “ the fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the cliildren's teeth are set on edge," and that the belief was strongly rooted in their minds, that the children were punished for the sins of their pa. rents, it is truly wonderful, that the palpable sense, presented upon the very face of the question, should have been rejected, to! make room for a far-fetched surmise, by no means inferable, ifrom the passage adduced.. ii .,..,it '
The doctor, lastly, proceeds to combat the fifth opinion, which is, salvation by the mere benevolence of God. Had the author simply stated, that God, of his mere benevolence, could not be expected to confer eternal happiness, unless man would co-operate and assist in working out his own salvation, we should have readily coincided with him. But, alas! he pursues the strain of his former reasoning, which is solely directed to the establishment of the Solifidian belief, and asserts that even 5 u sincere penitent” has nothing to expect from God's benevolence. He then adverts to the objection sometimes urged, that the king possesses the royal prerogative of pardoning those who are condemned by the law," and endeavours to shew, that the sovereign is never supposed to pardon from his mere clemency, but always from some reasons and considerations, thereunto him inducing." To support this fact, he brings forward some parliamentary history, intermixed with a number of law Latin quotations, but, nevertheless, is obliged to confess, that, in 'an act of pardon, the exprèssion, of our special grace and mere motion," is sometimes used, although he says it is not meant. He denies too, that God can have any motive to forgive a transgressor, inasmuch as he is infinitely independent, and, in describing the Almighty, represents His attribute of Justice in so terrific a point of view, that one would suppose his object was to excite, upon the minds of his readers, an awful dread of the object of their worship, rather than a love and'filial affection for their Merciful Father who is in Hea-. ven. How different these sentiments from those blessed truths which are taught in the doctrines of the New Jerusalem! We are there instructed, that “the Lord is good to all, and his tender mer. cies are over all his works ;" that those who have preferred the life of Hell to the life of Heaven, and are now suffering the misery which they have brought upon themselves, by their choosing the evil in preference to the good, are objects of His mercy, and that there are no limits to the Divine benevolence, but what are set up by man himself.
Dr. Clarke having, in his own opinion, completely proved the inefficiency of the five schemes of salvation, stated by him to be invented by man, next proceeds to shew the orthodox tenets of his own Church, upon the subject of the atonement. A review of this part of his discourse will form the subject of a future article, in which, we think, we can prove, that the doctor was guilty of a grievous omission, in not placing this, his favourite doctrine, amongst the schemes invented by man. 1!. .' , '
4.,11 mil . ' S: Y. T..
· TO THE EDITORS OF THE REPOSITORY. Gentlemen, i,', a,'
sing. I In the last number of the Repository, it is asserted, that the book of Job was written in the time of “ the Ancient Church,”. prior to the Jewish Churchi) .. .
.' It would gratify an inquirer to receive an explanation of this assertion.“ Direi to
What Ancient Church is meant? when did it commencer where did it flourish ? and how long did it continue ?
The Septuagint translation has an addition, for which it is believed there is no other authority, that Job was the fifth in descent from Abraham. Hins . . .
, From intrinsic evidence, a higher antiquity has been assigned to bim. But the object of this inquiry is not the reality of the personage in the date of the composition, but to obtain-such information as the learned editors of the Repository 'may be able and think proper to communicate, relative to the Ancient Church to which they allude. ..
AN INQUIRER. . Philadelphia, July 18, 1817. .
* We believe the most satisfactory answer, which can be given to the preceding inquiry, will be found in the following extracts from the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. It will be observed, that the New Church does not profess to give the year or precise date, at which the Ancient Church commenced; it is sufficient to state, that it originated in a very remote age, and that its remains are still to be found amongst the Gentiles, where its principles and its symbols have been perverted into the various idolatrous modes of worship, still extant in the numerous families of nations spread throughout Asia and Africa. i' .. A. C. 1403. From the first to the twelfth chapter of Genesis, or rather to the account of Eber, the historical things related are not historical truths, but things reduced to an historical form, which, in an internal sense, signify things celestial and spiritual; in the twelfth and subsequent chapters are contained historical things, not factitious, but true, which in like manner, in an internal sense, signify things celestial and spiritual, as may appear to every one from this single consideration, that it is the Word of the Lord.
A. C. 1238. With respect to Eber, signifying also a nation whose father was Eber, so called by name, the case is this; they who have been named hitherto were nations, amongst whom the Ancient Church was planted, all which were called the sons of Shem, Ham, Japheth and Canaan, because by Shem, Ham, Japheth and Canaan, are signified different kinds of worship prevailing in the Church. There never existed such persons as Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth and Canaay ; but whereas the state of the Ancient Church in particular was such, and the state of every Church in general is such, that it may be internally true, or internally corrupt, externally true, or externally corrupt, therefore these names are here adopted, in order that all these differences in general may be referred to them and their sons, as to their heads or sources. The nations here named were also originally principled in such worship, and were therefore called the sons of one of the sons of Noah, and it is for this reason likewise that the several kinds of worship themselves are also signified in the Word by the names of these nations. This first Ancient Church, signified by Noah and his sons, was not confined to a few, but was extended over several kingdoms, viz. over Assyria, Mesopotamia, Syria, Ethiopia, Arabia, Lybia, Egypt, Philisthea, even to Tyre and Sidon, through the whole land of Canaan, on each side of Jordan, as appears from the nations here named. But afterwards a certain kind of external worship began to prevail in Syria, which in process of time spread itself far and wide, and this through several countries, particularly through the land of Canaan, which worship was different from that of the Ancient Church; and whereas there thus arose somewhat of a Church, which was sepa. rate from the Ancient Church, it may be considered as the establishment of a sort of New Church, and may therefore be called another Ancient Church : Eber was the first institutor of this Church, and therefore it was called Eber, from him. All, at that time, were distinguished into houses, families and nations, as was shewn above, one nation acknowledging one father, from which also it took its name, as appears throughout the Word ; thus the nation which acknowledged Eber as their father was called the Hebrew nation. • Coronis, 39, 42, 43. Moreover, this Noahtic or Ancient Church was spread abroad through all Asia, especially into Syria, Mesopotamia, Assyria, Chaldea, the land of Canaan, and parts adjacent thereto, Philisthea, Egypt, Tyre, Sidon, Nineveh, and also into Arabia and Ethiopia, and in course of time into Great Tar. tary, and from thence downwards, as far as the Euxine sea, and from this latter, into all the countries of Africa.
That the nations, in every part of the earth, have been in the habits of worship, derived from some kind of religion, is a thing well known; and religion cannot exist, except by means of some Revelation, and the propagation thereof from nation to nation.
Certain it is, that the above Ancient Church was a representative Church, which by types and visible and natural signs, figured forth the invisible and spiritual things of the Church which was at length to come, when Jehovah himself should manifest himself in a natural human form, and by means thereof should procure to himself an entrance to men, and to men access to himself, and thus should divest himself of types and found a Church with precepts which should lead by a compendious way to Heaven, the habitation of His Divinity, all who believe on Him as a Man, and who keep his commandments.
But as this Ancient Church, typical of that which was to come, converted the representative correspondences into things magical and idolatrous, and thus into things infernal, Jehovah raised