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in the nearest relation to Gon, of any part of the creation. It was at this time that he was more particularly made sensible of his duty to God. He came home rejoicing, and endeavoured to put in practice what he appre. hended was required of him," &c.
“ These Indians made a second visit to the Quakers in the next following summer, on the same account, and behaved in the same regular and becoming manner as before. They maintained an orderly public worship, in their way, at stated times ; at some of which they were visited by several of the friends. Papunehung, their chief preacher, in his discourses, at such times, principally advised and exhorted them to circumspection, and brotherly love, in their conduct; that it might be manifest they retained a true sense of their creator's goodness and favour continued to them; and in his public prayers and addresses to his maker, he acknowledged, and returned thanks for his mercy, in still affording them a sense of his compassion and loving kindness, requesting a continuance and increase thereof; that they might jointly know, in the end, a place of rest, where love would prevail and have the dominion. When they were not dispersed, as in their hunting seasons, it appears they constantly met in this manner, in the morning before sunrise, and in the evening after sun-set.
“The purport of more of Papunehung's expressions was, “That it was an affair of much sorrow to him, that men should make so bad use of the breath of life, which God had breathed into them, and which ought continually to be improved to his honour, and the mutual benefit of mankind; that it was not well to speak of things, which related to the Almighty, only from the root of the tongue; (meaning in a superficial, or insensible manner) but, in order that such words should be good, they must proceed from the good principle in the heart; that he had, for many years, felt the good spirit in his heart; but, wanting to try and prove it, in order to come to some certainty, he remained in an unsettled statę, till about four years ago, when he received an assurance, that this love was good, and then he needed no further inquiry about it; and being past all doubts that this was the right way, he had endeavoured to walk steadily therein since that time; this spirit was a spirit of love; and that it was his daily prayer that it might continually abide with him ; that when he felt it prevalent in his heart, he was so directed, as to speak what was right, and prevented from saying any wrong thing; that by reason of men not keeping 10 this love, which their maker hath given them in their hearts, the evil spirits get possession there, and destroy all that is good in them; and this is the cause why men dislike one another, grow angry with, and endeavour to kill, one another; but when we follow the leadings of the good spirit, it causes our hearts to be tender, to love one another, to look upon all mankind as one, and so to become as one family," &c.
6 I have ouly room to remark that Papounan renewed his visit in 1761, and said the revelation was made to him four years before, consequently in 1757-MARK THAT!"
LETTER On the Reception of the Doctrines of the New Church, written
by a lady to a friend, who presented her with a sheet of paper, and requested her to fill it with an account of the Religious Principles she had embraced.
20th March, 1810. My unconscionable friend, I really, till this moment, was not sensible of the enormous size of the task you have assigned me; but there is one consideration which pacifies my indignation, by gratifying my revenge,-you will have the trouble of reading whatever I may write; and, as there are various ways of filling paper, and you have, fortunately for me, not exacted a promise that I should adhere to the straightest and most direct road, I will give my pen fulf liberty to stray uncontrouled, and make ample demands on your justice, as well as candour, to countenance its wanderings. Joking apart, I wish, . my beloved friend, that I were able fully to gratify your expectations from me, and to lay open my mind in such a manner as that you might read there whatever you wish to be acquainted with, for my own sake, as well as yours; for, as “ the countenance of one friend sharpeneth that of another,” I might receive back my own opinions, refined and improved by your participation. For this reason, I will be solicitous only, as I just now expressed myself, to lay my mind open to you, and trust implicitly to your well-tried affection, either to adopt the ideas that flow from my pen, or to bury in oblivion whatever may appear to you to be an exposure of weakness and incredulity; which, nevertheless, proceeds from a mind inclined to integrity, and which, whatever may be the result of this communication, will ever be replete with love to you.
When I first read the writings of Swedenborg, it was my fervent wish to impart whatever knowledge I attained, with the exquisite pleasure attached to it, to all who possessed an interest in my affections, as it is, I believe, the common effort of an overflowing heart, to impart its possessions, of whatever nature, to those in contact with it; but disappointment pressed invariably on the footsteps of hope ; and, repulsed in every attempt to communicate what to me was life and health, I could only follow the example of the blessed Mary, and “ ponder all these things in my
heart.” Every year's experience contributed to convince me of the propriety of this determination, not only as it regarded the reception of these doctrines into the minds of others, but from a persuasion that much was to be done in my own mind, before the seed, the plant, and the fruit, could be brought to perfection. The shallow stream presents its surface to the casual glance of the traveller; but if it hopes for durability through a course of ages, its channel must be deepened, and its waters, though less conspicuous, will become more profound.
It is now nearly fourteen years since I first became a disciple of Swedenborg. In all that length of time, I can trace the gradual change of my mind, as influenced by his doctrines; the first reception of a new truth always appearing to produce an important change, but close application necessary to render it effectual. , I must at this time, no doubt, be pretty well versed in a knowledge of the system of the author ; and, as far as my life has been conformable to his doctrines, they must in a manner be appropriated to me as my own, and form the basis of whatever principles, sentiments, affections, or tastes, I may be in the habit of indulging. Such I flatter myself to be the case ; yet I cannot so far disengage myself from my author, as to take a comprehensive view of the whole of his plan, so as to transcribe it summarily on paper, perhaps for this very cause, that it has become so absorbed in me, that I cannot separate it from my individuality. I could, during the first years of my progression, have recapitulated the most striking objects of a coup d'oeil ; and when I shall have completely yielded my mind to the subordination which is necessary to form an entire disciple, I may so develope within myself the complete chart of a perfect system, as to describe, with clearness and precision, the whole length of the way; but, in the mean while, I may possibly give you a more satisfactory account, by describing the various states of my mind, for a short time before, and after, my reception of the writings: and here I must renewedly claim your indulgence, and for whatever may appear incomprehensible, or repugnant to common sense, I throw myself on your charity.
Early in life, my mind was strongly tinctured with religions and when, at the age of eighteen, I joined the church, I experienced all those powerful emotions of hope and fear, that exquisite remorse for early follies, and ardent aspiration after holiness of
life, to which, I believe, every young person of devotional sensi. bility is subject. At this time, mine was altogether the religion of the heart; without any definite ideas on doctrinal subjects, I approached the altar as a repentant sinner, willing to receive salvation on any terms, and particularly encouraged by this test, “ Come unto me, all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Having taken this step, and my mind being of course often filled with religious reflections, I began to form my opinion on religious tenets ; to which I was in some measure impelled by a number of deistical works, which at this time fell in my way, and were strongly recommended by some persons whose judg. ment I too highly appreciated. By the exercise of my understanding, my belief in the Christian revelation was more firmly established, but an investigation of the subject produced doubts, which for a wbile harassed and perplexed me. It was essential to my peace to form such ideas of the object of my worship, as my reason could approve. I was aware that a finite mind could never comprehend an infinite being, but at least I hoped that it was not obligatory to adopt a belief which was utterly repugnant to human reason. To acknowledge three beings as one God, appeared to be absurd; and to pay equal homage to three persons, seemed to be taking from the first, what was necessarily his due; since to love him with all the powers of the mind, was the first commandment. This led to Arianism ; and here for a while my mind rested with awe, but not with satisfaction. I adored the Almighty in his terrors! I trembled before him, at the foot of mount Sinai! I worshipped him, as a creature whom his justice might annihilate! But I was not long under this servile fear this cruel depression of spirit; a ray of comfort glanced into my mind, while I thought on the Saviour. I had been reading the Old Testament; I now turned to the Gospel. A variety of texts presented themselves, in which I was called to confide entirely on him. I learnt that those who rejected him, rejected the father also; and that those who applied to him, he would assuredly save. Immediately I prostrated myself at his feet. Now then I had an object of worship, whom I could in some measure comprehend ; the human nature, glorified and perfect. I sheltered myself from the terrors of omnipotence, under the mildness of his humanity; and penitent, for having in a manner, through ignorance, rebelled in my former thoughts, against his supremacy, I bowed the willing knee, and rejoiced in his easy yoke. At this time I read through the New Testament, with a delight more resembling the anticipation of heavenly enjoyment, than any thing which this world can bestow; stealing away from company, or work, to peruse a chapter in my chamber. It was the first Sunday in June, 1796, that I happened to be at Dr. Thatcher's meeting, and it was communion-day; it was but a few weeks since I had enjoyed my new views on the subject of a Redeemer, and I had not yet solemnized them at the Supper. I partook on this occasion, and with a heart deeply impressed with penitence, confidence, and gratitude, I adored the blessed Jesus! resolving never to deviate from the object of my worship, and at the same time imploring to be farther illuminated on the subject. I had never before prayed with so much sincerity. I had never felt more the power of religion, for in some circumstances that related to worldly things, I was greatly afflicted, but all worldly considerations vanished before this delightful manifestation. My heart was opened to heavenly influence, and I felt a consciousness that my prayers were heard and accepted. I would not, my dear friend, impress you with a belief that I have ever thought there was any thing remarkable in the various states of my mind; I suppose whatever has happened to me, has been in the ordinary course of Divine Providence; and if Christians were more in the habit of communing intimately with each other, they would have much to say on the presence and influence of the Deity. What I now relate to you, I would in the same manner relate on my death-bed. You may rely on my sincerity, for why should I attempt to deceive you ? The next day I was sitting at work in Mrs. Andrews's chamber, conversing with her on religious subjects, and particularly on my reverence for our Saviour, and determination to address all my prayers to him. She made an. swer, “ You express the sentiments of Swedenborg, you will certainly become a Swedenborgian.” “Oh, no, never, for Swedenborg does not believe in our Saviour.” Mrs. A. assured me I was mistaken, and immediately produced some of the writings, in which I discovered, to my unspeakable satisfaction, my own ideas taken up and carried to a point which I had not attempted to reach. In short, I discovered the union of the divine and human nature. With my eyes still fixed on the blessed Jesus, as the object of worship, I realized the incarnation of the Father,