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allow the Saviour but a little glory, but permit him to retain it. Here he has divine honours conferred upon him for a season, as it were, to cause him to be faithful in interceding; but, as soon as he has rescued sinners from all danger, and secured their eternal happiness, by bestowing on them the merits of his sufferings, he is not only neglected by them, but stripped of all his glory.” Page 35.
She concludes her remarks on Jones as follows:
“ Thus, sir, I view the doctrine of the author you sent me. These are the reflections which occurred to my mind, while I was reading his book. I am no critic, nor do I aspire after that character. The Truth is what I, in the greatest sincerity and simplicity, seek after, and strive to support. The observations which I have taken notice of, appear to me to be such plain contradictions, that a child might perceive them.” Page 39.
The following discovers the true spirit of charity, which she exercised towards her opponents.
“ Yet I do not feel towards you, as you say you do towards me; for as a Christian, I esteem you as much as I ever did, and feel nothing to hinder my being in fellowship with you all ; for although I do not believe your faith to be genuine, I do not doubt your love, and it is love, certainly, that effects unity, and not light. Although you declare that you can have no fellowship with me, yet, I affirm, if you love the Lord, I am bound to love you; and where there is fellowship, let your faith be what it may, if it does but lead you to worship Jehovah, and keep his commandments, though in the innocence of error you should multiply your persons to fifteen, my obligation is still the same.” Page 40.
The letter closes with a request, that if she should be excommunicated from the church, the causes of her dismission might be particularly specified in writing. The Session, after considering her letter, and holding a conversation with her, in which she avowed her full belief in the doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church, agreed unanimously in her excommunication.
We are aware of the imperfect manner in which our extracts have been made, and have already acknowledged the difficulties attending the task. Sufficient, however, has been selected, to discover in the author extraordinary powers of understanding and reasoning, united with charity, meekness, and bumility. We would again recommend an examination of the work itself, which, even without any reference to the doctrines it defends, or those it opposes, must be regarded as one of the greatest literary curiosities which the present age has produced. We see, on one side, a clergyman and Session, with every aid from numbers, power, and
learning; and on the other, an insulated female, with all the diffidence of her sex, under every disadvantage of defective instruction and limited information. Yet no one will pretend to question in whose favour the controversy has resulted. The conduct of the church, on this occasion, naturally reminds us of that of the Pharisees to the man born blind : “ Dost thou teach us ? And they cast him out.”
The progress of the New Jerusalem Church, within the last thirty years, has been such as to afford sufficient evidence that its doctrines are not to be overthrown by those methods of opposition which its enemies have hitherto adopted. Although, in every country, public opinion is against it; though learning despises, and ignorance fears it; though its members are branded with opprobrious epithets, still its evidence convinces, when examined, every class and every gradation of mind. The philosopher finds the treasures of nature and of intellect laid open to his view; and the way-faring man, though a fool, does not err therein.'
Should any question or deride us for the high claim we have made, that we live under a new dispensation of divine truth, we would only reply, that till they examine they cannot refute, and that we can hardly be expected to yield our deepest and most solemn convictions to declamation, dogmatism, or ridicule. Till we are demonstrated to be wrong, we shall not be deterred from bearing our testimony to the truth we believe. It is to no pur. pose for levity to trifle, if indolence refuses to examine. But to the candid and ingenuous, who have been led, from ignorance and prejudice, to inquire with Nathanael, “ Can any good thing come out of Nazareth p” we would repeat the invitation of Philip, 6 COME AND SEE.”
The following letter from the late Rev. John Wesley to one of his preachers, is one of the finest specimens of reproof which I have ever seen. For neatness, closeness, and ingenuity, I know not where we could find its equal. As it will no doubt afford pleasure to many readers, the editors of the New Jerusalem Church Repository are requested to insert it.
S “ You know I love you : ever since I knew you, I have neglect. ed no way of showing it, that was in my power. And you know I esteem you for your zeal and activity, for your love of discipline, and for your gifts which God has given you : particularly quickness of apprehension, and readiness of utterance, especially in preaching and prayer.
“ Therefore I am jealous over you, lest you should lose any of the things you have gained, and not receive a full reward: and the more so, because I fear you are wanting in other respects, and wbo will venture to tell you so ? You will scarce know how to bear it from me, unless you lift up your heart to God. If you do this, I may venture to tell you what I fear, without any further preface. I fear you think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. Do you not think too highly of your own understanding, of your gifts, particularly in preaching, as if you were the very best preacher in the connexion ? of your own importance, as if the work of God, here and there, depended wholly or mainly on you ? and of your popularity, which I have found, to my surprise, far less, even in L- , than I' expected. May not this be much owing to your want of brotherly love? With what measure you mete, men will measure to you again. I fear there is something unloving in your spirit: something not only of roughness, but of harshness, yea of sourness! Are you not likewise extremely open to prejudice, and not easy to be cured of it? so that whenever you are prejudiced, you commence bitter, implacable, unmerciful : If so, that people are prejudiced against you, is both the natural and judicial consequence.
6 I am afraid lest your want of love to your neighbour should spring from your want of love to God; from want of thankfulness. I have sometimes heard you speak, in a manner that made me tremble : indeed, in terms that not only a weak Christian, but even a serious Deist would scruple to use.
“ I fear you greatly want evenness of temper. Are you not generally too high, or too low? Are not all your passions too lively, your anger in particular? Is it not too soon raised ? and is it not often too impetuous, causing you to be too violent, boisterous, bearing down all before you ?
“ Now, lift up your heart to God, or you will be angry at me. But I must go a little further. I fear you are greatly wanting
in the government of your tongue. You are not exact in relating facts. I have observed it myself. You are apt to amplify: to enlarge a little beyond the truth. You cannot imagine, if others observe this, how it will affect your reputation.
“ But I fear you are more wanting in another respect; that you give a loose to your tongue when you are angry; that your language then is not only sharp, but coarse and ill-bred : if this be so, the people will not bear it. They will not take it, either from you or me,” &c.
To Query in page 420. The first advent of Him by whom all things were made, His miraculous assumption of a human nature, His whole life in this lower world, His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, are mysteries to the comprehension of which reason is inadequate.
The extent of redeeming love is such as angelic beings desire to look into, but can never perfectly understand. His second coming, in the power and glory of his Holy Word, so long ago predicted, will be not less mysterious, and even incredible to the bulk of mankind. The natural man, and still more the sensual, cannot discern the things of the Spirit of God. They are a stumbling-block to some, accounted foolishness by others. They can only be discovered by such as have their spiritual eyes opened to the light which enlightens every man that cometh into the world, and unto Him in whom the treasures of all wisdom and knowledge are hid. Wonderful indeed as the fact is, that God was made manifest in the flesh, and was in all things like to ourselves, sin excepted, what reason have we to be grateful for His adorable condescension, in having humbled himself so far as to behold the things in earth as well as heaven, thereby rendering Himself forever visible, knowable, and approachable by his creatures, who otherwise would have inevitably perished. Prior to his complete glorification, His divinity was, as it were, overshadowed for a time ; but, as he advanced in years, His states became progressively changed and exalted, until at last His humanity was fully glorified, or became divine in last as well as in first principles. Every state of His life upon earth was conducive to, and a figure
of, the great work which he came to accomplish, viz. the bringing of all things to order, and the salvation of the human race, by the perfect and reciprocal union of the divine and human principles. Then indeed the work was gloriously and triumphantly finished!
The flight of Joseph, with the young child, into Egypt, apparently for the purpose of avoiding the malice with which Herod, the representative of the Jews, was instigated, designates the instruction of His childhood : for by Egypt, in which a church had existed before the representative church of the Jews was instituted, not only is meant science in general, for which that country was long famed, but, in respect to the Lord, the science of knowledges from the Word. Hence the prophecy, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.” This science of knowledges serves for vessels recipient of things celestial and spiritual, as the literal sense of the Word may be said to form the vessels recipient of its heavenly interior wisdom and knowledge. The several states, through which the Lord passed, in his progress to perfection purely divine in the human principle, are described in the Sacred Scriptures throughout, but more particularly in the history of Abraham and the patriarchs, who, in different degrees, were representatives of Him. With a view to illustrate the relation of his baptism by John, I have been induced to request the publication of a few extracts from the work entitled “ Heavenly Mysteries,” which, being voluminous, is not in possession of all the readers of the Repository. The extracts will be interspersed with some observations which occurred to the writer, on his examination of the subject, in consequence of the Question in the last Repository, p. 420.
We shall here only observe, (from No. 2795, A. C.) that every human being passes through various states from infancy, is confirmed by experience. Every change is under the direction of the Divine Providence, towards eternal ends, which he alone, by virtue of His omniscience can foresee. Those changes must therefore, in regard to his creatures, be acknowledged to be of His operation, and when devoutly seen by them, will be so acknowledged. But with the Lord Himself, during his personal abode in the world, the changes were effected by and from Himself, because He was divine, and the very esse of ilis life was Jehovah. He was called, indeed, the Son of the Highest, the Son