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Noble's 'Appeal'

Front Matter

AN APPEAL

IN BEHALF OF THE

VIEWS OF THE ETERNAL WORLD AND STATE,

AND THE

DOCTRINES OF FAITH AND LIFE

HELD BY THE BODY OF CHRISTIANS WHO BELIEVE THAT

A NEW CHURCH

IS SIGNIFIED (IN THE REVELATION, CHAP. XXI.) BY

THE NEW JERUSALEM:

EMBRACING

ANSWERS TO ALL PRINCIPAL OBJECTIONS.

by the rev. SAMUEL NOBLE,

Late Minister of the New Jerusalem Church, Cross Street, Hatton Garden, London.

" For we have not followed cunningly devised fables."—2 Peter i. 16.

"Beware, therefore, lest that come upon you which is spoken of in the prophets : Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you."—Acts xiii. 40, 41; Hab. i. 5.

THIRTEENTH EDITION.

LONDON:

Published for the Missionary and Tract Society of the New Church

by JAMES SPEIRS, 1 BLOOMSBURY STREET

1903.


ADVERTISEMENT

This edition of the "Appeal" has been printed at the express wish of numerous members of the New Church, as a memento of the Author and a testimony of their estimate of its excellence; and they have by their subscriptions enabled the Committee of the Cross Street Society to stereotype the work and issue it to the public at the present nominal price.

A brief Memoir of the Author, written by the Rev. William Bruce, has been prefixed to the work.

Memoir Of The Rev. Samuel Noble

Samuel Noble was born in London on the 4th day of March, 1779. His father, who was a bookseller, and the author of a work of great merit on the "Elements of Linear Perspective," died when the son was five years old. His mother, on whom the entire charge of a young family now devolved, united great prudence and tenderness in the management of her children. The son has dwelt feelingly on the admirable manner in which she discharged her maternal duties; and to her excellent instruction and training he attributes the happiest experience of his after-life. After receiving a good education, including a sound knowledge of the Latin language, he was apprenticed to an engraver. He subsequently attained to eminence in his art, and was engaged on many of the principal architectural works of his time. His tastes and talents were, however, still more literary than artistic; and some of his early productions do honour both to his head and his heart. He was, moreover, influenced by a strict religious principle, which rendered him exemplary in his conduct, and gained him the affection and confidence of those connected with him. It was while he was yet a young man that a circumstance occurred, which, though not very extraordinary in itself, had a powerful effect upon his mind; and which, no doubt, prepared the way for the great change which shortly afterwards took place in his religious views, and led him eventually to devote his talents, and indeed his whole life, to the service of the Lord and his neighbour, as a religious teacher and writer. He has himself recorded this circumstance and its results; and his statement is so interesting and instructive, and gives so clear an insight into the state and character of his mind, that it is here given in his own words.

"When I was about the age of sixteen," he writes, "I was present in a large company, composed chiefly of my relations, in which Paine's 'Age of Reason,' then lately published, was made a subject of conversation, and in which the book was produced, and portions of it were read; I am sorry to say to the great amusement, and apparent enjoyment of most of the assembly. The style of that extraordinary combination of arrogance and ignorance (for such it really is) is well calculated to make a strong impression on the young and uninformed; I can compare the effect of what I heard upon me, to nothing less than the striking of a dagger into my vitals. The agonising thoughts that took possession of my mind, and kept darting to and fro within me day and night, for the space of three weeks, are indescribable. The most distressing suggestion that was made to me, I well remember, was, that there was no such Being, and never had been, as the Lord Jesus Christ; under which idea I felt, even at that time, though I had never reflected much about Him, as if I could not bear to exist: a more direful sensation accompanied the thought than would be experienced by the untutored savage, to whom the world is everything, should he awake in darkness with the horrible conviction that the sun had been blotted out of the firmament. I had no one to whom I felt at liberty to speak of what I suffered; and the mere effect of time, and of my own rebellions, was to increase, and not to allay, the, perturbation of my mind. At length, on awaking one morning lo the load of anxiety, which always seemed to fall upon me as soon as I returned to consciousness, this inquiry darted into my thoughts :— 'What is the reason that so many are possessed by such a hatred to the Bible?' And the answer occurred as instantaneously:—'They wish to get rid of the belief of Revelation, that they may be free from its restraint: they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.' The characters of all those of my acquaintance who were most violent in their hostility to the Word of God in a moment passed before me; and I saw but too plainly the flaw in them all that they were anxious to conceal, by renouncing the authority that would condemn it. Never since have I seen more clearly the truth of that statement so often made in the doctrines of the New Church,—that evil is the prime root and origin of all false persuasions respecting religion, and especially of all positive enmity against the Word, of God. All my anxiety vanished in an instant, and was succeeded by confidence and peace. Not a shadow of doubt respecting the authority of the Scriptures, as being a Revelation from God, ever afterwards entered my mind; and I hope I shall ever be thankful to Divine mercy for thus awakening me to the importance of the subject, and so completely settling my convictions respecting it. After I had thus become so fully impressed with the truth and importance of the Word of God, I began to grow solicitous about its genuine doctrines, and desirous to acquire some positive assurance respecting the means of salvation which it offers. I began to be dissatisfied with the discourses on common morality, without touching upon any vital principle, or presenting anything either to affect the heart or to enlighten the understanding, which I was accustomed to hear. I betook myself, therefore, to the diligent reading of the Scriptures; and for about two years I never was without a small Bible or Testament in my pocket, which I read as I walked along the streets, and at every other opportunity; and this, I have often thought, laid the foundation, from which I was brought to the assurance I so much desired, as to what the real doctrines of the Scriptures are.

"My desire, at last, to obtain certain knowledge of the truth, and to be fully satisfied respecting the right way of salvation, grew so intense, as to fill me with constant anxiety. In seeking relief also from above, I began to be much disturbed with doubts as to the proper Object to whom prayer should be directed. I became conscious that my mind wandered from one Divine Being to another, and I sometimes felt exceedingly distressed with the apprehension, that, while I was looking to one, another might take umbrage; so that I well know by experience what the effect is, upon truly serious minds, of entertaining an idea of more Divine Persons than one; and that, call them as they may, a plurality of persons cannot, be distinguished in the mind from a plurality of gods. In this state of perplexity it was, that the doctrines of the New Church were sent to my relief. In a remarkable manner, some of the works containing them were brought to my hands; but I had heard some of the common calumnious reports, and began to read with much distrust and prejudice. The first book that I opened was the 'Treatise on Heaven and Hell.' I read some pages near the middle; but meeting with some things that greatly contradicted my prejudiced notions, I soon began to treat it with derision, and, at length, threw it down with contempt. Getting hold, however, of some of the doctrinal works, I speedily became very much interested. I saw, from the beginning, that every doctrine advanced must be the truth; but 1 had imbibed so much of the common erroneous sentiments, as to dread the thought of embracing now ones, lest, erring from the faith, the consequences should be fatal. At length, I heard that there was a place where these doctrines were preached, and I went to hear. Whether what I then heard was more suited to my state of apprehension than what I had read, or whether it be that truth spoken by the living voice has a more powerful influence than truth read in a book, I cannot say; but I went away with a full assurance, that the doctrines advanced as those of the New Jerusalem must be those of the New Jerusalem indeed. I felt perfectly convinced that there could be no danger in venturing my salvation on their truth. I solemnly and devotedly resolved to do so. I dismissed all my former obscure notions of three Divine Persons, and the doctrines which require three distinct divinities for their support, to the winds. I cast my idols to the moles and to the bats : arm all my anxieties and fears went with them. If I was convinced on the former occasion, that the Scriptures are assuredly the Word of God, I was now made as thoroughly certain that the doctrines of the New Jerusalem are the genuine doctrines of the Scriptures: and never since, from that hour to this, has a doubt upon that subject been able to intrude itself upon my mind."

No one can read this graphic account of his experience without being impressed with the depth of religious feeling in one so young. Yet he betrays no signs of religious enthusiasm. His distress arose, in the first instance, from the threatened negation of his simple, but sincere, belief in the divinity of the Scriptures and of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and, in the second instance, from the want which his reassurance created for a solid foundation of religious truth on which to rest his hope of salvation. His long-continued but unsuccessful efforts to obtain what he so much desired, either from the accredited teachers of religion, or immediately from the Scriptures themselves, show the very reverse of a heated imagination—they evince indeed a heart deeply anxious and distressed, but seeking relief by the patient exercise of the understanding. Full conviction and comfort seem to have come at once; but what was effected by the "living voice" of the preacher was no more than a happy confirmation of religious views and principles which he had slowly and cautiously received as the truth, but which his very fear of being deceived prevented him from embracing with all his heart.

From the time that Mr. Noble became fully convinced of the truth of the doctrines of the New Church, he became a delighted attendant on the ministry of the Rev. J. Proud, the eloquent preacher by whom his faith had been sealed; and cast his lot amongst the little band who formed the visible church of the New Jerusalem at that period in this country. His excellent qualities soon brought him into favourable notice among the members of the church, and his abilities enabled him to become highly useful. Among many other services rendered to the cause which he so heartily espoused, he assisted in establishing, in 1810, the society now existing in London, for printing and publishing the writings of Swedenborg; and, in 1812, the present periodical of the church, "The Intellectual Repository." His active zeal and useful labours materially contributed to the success of both. Of the magazine he was principal editor for twenty-eight years, and during all that period was by far the largest contributor to its pages. It is however, as a minister, and as the author of those works which have been published under his name, that he is best known.

An appreciation of his worth and talents had led to his being early pressed to render occasional service in the pulpit; and on the death of Dr. Hodson, which occurred in 1812, he preached a sermon on the occasion, which was so much approved, that it was printed, and formed the first of his published discourses. So early as 1801, three years after his entrance into the church, Mr. Proud warmly encouraged him to come forward as a preacher, with the view of his devoting himself to the service of the church, expressing his conviction that Providence designed him for the ministry, and declaring his belief that his "dear young friend" would yet become eminent in the church. Four years after, he was pressingly invited to become the staled minister of the congregation meeting for worship in Cross Street, the pulpit of which had become vacant, but he declined it on the ground of being too young; a determination which his maturer judgment entirely approved. At length, in 1819, when the same congregation, then meeting in Lisle Street, was deprived of the services of Dr. Churchill, whose delicate health compelled him to retire from the active duties of the ministry, he was unanimously invited to fill the vacant office. Mr. Noble was at this time successfully engaged in his secular profession, which yielded him a much larger income than he had any expectation of ever deriving from the work in which he was invited to engage. He, however, after mature deliberation, consented to leave all, and obediently follow where the Lord appeared so evidently to lead. On Whit-Sunday of the following year, he was ordained a minister of the New Church, and then commenced that career of usefulness as a religious teacher and writer which he so long and successfully pursued. The beneficial effects of his labours in his own congregation soon became manifest; and a few years afterwards, it had become so prosperous as to be able to purchase the church in Cross Street, the pulpit of which he occupied till the infirmity fell upon him which deprived the society of his services.

Not long after he had engaged in the ministry, his talents as a preacher became more extensively known in the church by means of a discourse he delivered at Dover, which was deservedly regarded as the production of a man to whom the church had reason to look forward with hope. The first part of that discourse, greatly enriched by copious notes, was subsequently published as a tract, and, under the title of "The True Object of Worship," has passed through many editions. The hopes which had been raised in the church by this lecture were more than realised by his subsequent performances; some of which are now to be noticed.

In the year 1824, Mr. Noble was engaged by the London New Church Missionary Society, to deliver a course of six lectures in vindication of the Scriptures from infidel objections. This object he sought to effect by showing, from internal evidence, that the sacred Scriptures are a Divine Revelation, Other Christian advocates have attempted, not without partial success, to prove the truth of the Scriptures from internal evidence. But the ground assumed by the lecturer was entirely new. He showed that the Scriptures, as being a revelation from God, must be an expression of His Divine Love and Wisdom; and that such a revelation, although uttered in natural language in the world, and accommodated to the apprehension and states of imperfect and fallen man, must contain within its rude and simple exterior stores of wisdom purely spiritual and Divine. As revelation and creation have the same Divine origin, and express and manifest the same infinite Love and Wisdom in different but kindred ways, there must be a perfect analogy or correspondence between them, and the works of God must be a means of illustrating His Word. The law of Analogy is, therefore, a law established by creation between spiritual and natural things; so that the natural or literal sense of the Word, which is taken from nature, answers by analogy to its spiritual sense, which is derived from God out of Heaven, and which, in descending into the world, assumed the literal sense as its necessary and appropriate covering. By the application of this law, the lecturer showed how all the obscurities, inconsistencies, and Contradictions in the literal sense, may be removed, and a sense clear, harmonious, and instructive, obtained. These, lectures were favourably received by a large audience; and, in compliance with urgent requests, the lecturer consented to their publication. But, in proceeding to prepare them for the press, the matter increased to three times its original amount. Yet, in the course of twelve months, appeared a work of extraordinary value ("The Plenary Inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures asserted") as a demonstration of the real divinity of the Scriptures, for its luminous expositions of numerous portions of their contents, and for the harmony and beauty in which it exhibits the whole of that Divine revelation which a perfect God has given to imperfect man.

The "Appeal" originated in a course of lectures delivered at Norwich, with the immediate view of answering objections and correcting misrepresentations which had been made respecting the church and her principles, by a dissenting minister of that place. These lectures were also deemed so excellent, that it was resolved to give them a wider circulation through the press. And here, again, the fertility of the author's mind, and the facility of his pen, were manifested ; for the work expanded under his hand as he prepared it for the press. When published, it exhibited, however, no marks of haste, but had all the qualities of a treatise on which years of labour had been bestowed. No vindication of the doctrines of the New Church could be more complete, It would be. a mistake, however, to suppose, from the occasion in which this work originated, that it is purely polemical. It is rather a Body of Divinity than a work of controversy; for while it removes difficulties and objections which may present themselves even to ingenuous minds on their entering on the study of the writings of the New Church, it gives a luminous exposition of the whole doctrines of Christianity. These two works may be regarded as the result, and almost as the history, of the author's experience. In them we have his mind, now enriched with knowledge and matured by experience, on those very subjects which in early life had so engaged his thoughts and distressed his heart. His luminous treatment of them, while it contrasts strongly with his former obscurity, is well calculated to convey to other minds, similarly conditioned, the blessings of light and consolation.

Two other works succeeded these. In 1846, a volume of "Lectures on Important Doctrines of the Christian Religion," was printed by the request, and at the expense, of the Manchester Printing Society; and, in 1848, the "Noble Society" published a volume of Sermons, in which the Divine Law of the Ten Commandments is explained, according to both its literal and its spiritual sense. In the first of these works, the author, with his characteristic force and clearness, explains the leading doctrines of the Christian religion. After having established from Scripture and reason the absolute unity of God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, he proceeds to show the true nature of the other doctrines of religion as resting upon, and existing in harmony with, that greatest truth of Revelation. As this work is designed to explain in its largest sense the doctrine of the Scriptures concerning the Lord, that on the Commandments is intended to explain their doctrine concerning the Christian life; and seven discourses are added to explain some passages of the Word that present some difficulties to the declaration of the Lord, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandments."

In the preface to this volume, the author says, "Whether it shall be followed by any others, may depend upon whether the Author shall be restored, through Divine mercy, from a visitation which threatens him with the total loss of sight." His fading sight proceeded from that disease of the eyes known by the name of cataract. For the removal he underwent several operations, but with no ultimately beneficial result. By this severe visitation, Mr. Noble was shut out from the two primary sources of usefulness and delight—his pulpit and his books. His library was still his daily resort, but there he sat in darkness, unable longer to hold intercourse with the great and good, through their works, except when his friends, several of whom regularly attended him, supplied, as far as they could, the sense he had lost. Yet even this was not a period of inactivity. It was during this time that he revised his translation of Swedenborg's work on Heaven and Hell, which he necessarily performed by the aid of his friendly amanuenses.

Amongst those who engaged in this labour of love were several ladies, who were members of his congregation, and who, with the characteristic warmth and tenderness of the female heart, ministered to their aged and helpless pastor, whom they loved and venerated as a father; and their attentions were the more necessary, as Mr. Noble had outlived his relations, and, from his retired habits, was averse to receiving the services of strangers. During the progress of the work on which he was engaged, they sat, like the daughters of Milton, writing to the dictation of their blind parent, and one of them at least reading to him Greek and Latin, which she did not understand. But he for whom they laboured had none of the severity of temper which the great poet is said to have manifested. It was always pleasant as well as profitable to be in his service, as it was to be in his company. Nor can that which his friends and casual visitors felt be called a melancholy pleasure. Sometimes, indeed, on first entering his apartment, a feeling of sadness fell upon the heart. But a few moments were sufficient to dispel the gloom. When conversation had fairly commenced, the idea of his condition passed almost entirely away. The serenity of his mind, the vigour of his understanding, and the playfulness of his fancy, made it evident that there was more occasion to envy than to pity him. Some of his periodical visitors and oldest friends have remarked, that they have often been deeply impressed with a feeling of something more than earthly in his presence, in witnessing his sweet tranquillity of spirit, after he had passed through weeks of intense suffering, arising from acute and severe inflammation which followed some of the repeated operations he underwent for the recovery of his sight. And yet the sight for which he endured so much he never recovered. But even when hope was gone, and his health was greatly impaired by the long confinement which the surgical treatment to which he had so repeatedly submitted rendered necessary, he exhibited the same calm fortitude in resignation that he previously manifested in endurance.

About two years after the completion of his translation, age and infirmity brought his days on earth to a close. After a period of rapidly increasing debility, and a short time of acute suffering, he gently breathed his last on the 27th of August, 1853.

Mr. Noble's reputation as a writer on the highest subjects that can engage the attention of man, has been sufficiently established by the popularity of the present work, which has obtained a wider circulation than any of his others, only because it supplies a want which is more generally felt.

The strong conviction in the church of its power of extensive usefulness is evinced by the circumstances which gave rise to the present edition. Highly esteemed as this work deservedly is, it is not improbable that some of his posthumous writings may find a still warmer reception—at least amongst the members of the church. His expository are perhaps still more excellent than his dogmatic writings; for he possessed an extraordinary faculty of opening up the spiritual sense of the Word. He has left a large number of manuscripts chiefly of this character; and it is much to be desired that they should, with as little delay as possible, be committed to the press.

As a man, Mr. Noble was highly esteemed without as well as within the church. His private life, according to the testimony of those who knew him longest and best, was that of a true Christian. His public life is before the church and the world, and may be read of all men. Amongst other traits of true excellence, he manifested in an eminent degree those characteristics of a great mind—a humble estimate of his own abilities and services, and a high appreciation of worth and talent in others. Of this we have instances in his excellent sermons on the death of two of his distinguished contemporaries and fellow-labourers. The first of these was the Rev. John Clowes, the. venerable Rector of St. John's Church, Manchester, who did so much, by his translations of the works of Swedenborg, by his own writings, and by his preaching, to disseminate the truths of the New Church, and whose saintly life was a beautiful commentary on the pure principles of Christianity he had adopted and so long consistently maintained. The second was the Rev. Robert Hindmarsh, the ardent and talented advocate of the Heavenly Doctrines; author of the Letters addressed to Dr. Priestly, the philosopher and Unitarian, in answer to his strictures on the New Church, and which effectually silenced that powerful polemic; and the originator of the first organisation having for its object the existence of the New Church as a separate religious body, an object which he lived to see realised beyond his most sanguine expectations. In speaking of these two eminent and excellent men, Mr. Noble pays them a tribute of high and just admiration, ascribing to them the merit of having been the devoted foster-fathers of the infant church, to whom future ages will look back as the human instruments of a singular Providence, operating for the establishment on earth of the promised Church of the New Jerusalem. Although in these discourses the author seems unconscious of having the slightest claim to rank with these great worthies of the church, his name is and will be associated with theirs, as the earliest and most successful promoters of the cause of that pure Christianity, which is identical with the spiritual coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven,—a coming, not in person, but in spirit and in power,—to commence a New Church, in which the Tabernacle of God shall be with men, and they shall be His people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

As a pastor, Mr. Noble was greatly beloved by his congregation, who testified their affection for him by special acts, on several occasions, while he was yet amongst them; and, after his removal, by erecting over his remains, in the Highgate Cemetery, a marble monument, in the form of a Greek tomb, bearing the following inscription :—

TO THE MEMORY OF

THE REV. SAMUEL NOBLE,

MINISTER OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH, CROSS STREET, HATTON GARDEN, LONDON,

AUTHOR

OF "AN APPEAL TO THE REFLECTING OF ALL DENOMINATIONS,"

"THE PLENARY INSPIRATION OF THE SACRED SCRIPTURES ASSERTED,"

AND OTHER WORKS IN ELUCIDATION AND DEFENCE OF

THE DOCTRINES OF THE NEW CHURCH,

SIGNIFIED IN THE REVELATION, BY THE NEW JERUSALEM, AS EXPLAINED IN THE WRITINGS OF THE LORD'S SERVANT,

EMANUEL SWEDENBORG,

THIS MONUMENT IS ERECTED BY HIS CONGREGATION AND OTHER FRIENDS,

AS A TRIBUTE OF GRATEFUL AFFECTION
FOR THE SPIRITUAL BENEFITS DERIVED FROM HIS FAITHFUL AND ABLE MINISTRY,

AND FOR HIS OTHER LABOURS,
IN THE CAUSE OF THE TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION,

died august 27th, 1853, in the 75th year of his age and the

34TH OF HIS MINISTRY.

On the other side of the monument is inscribed the epitaph in Latin, and on the end the citations from the Word and from the writings of Swedenborg.

God is not the God of the dead but of the living.—Matt. xxii. 32.

The spirit of man, (after death) appears in the other life in a human form altogether as in the world, ... he is a man in every respect except that he is not encompassed with that gross body which he had in the world ; this he leaves when he dies,—nor does he ever resume it. This continuation of life is meant by the Resurrection.—SWEDENBORG. Of the New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine, No. 225.

Preface To The Second Edition.

the occasion and design of the following work are sufficiently explained in the Introductory Section; it is therefore unnecessary to say anything on those subjects here.

In the former Edition, to save room, a large portion of the matter was thrown into the form of Notes; and a further portion was printed in very small type as an Appendix. Considerable inconvenience, however, resulted from this arrangement; and, when a new edition was called for, a very general wish was expressed that the Notes should be incorporated with the Text. This, therefore, with some exceptions, has now been done.

If, however, the arrangement adopted in the first Edition had its inconveniences, it perhaps had its conveniences also. As remarked in the Preface to that Edition, those who prefer small books to large, especially on theological subjects, might by that arrangement, gratify their taste, by confining their reading to the Text alone: if this should sufficiently interest them to raise a further appetite, they could then, if they pleased, read the Notes also. To retain, in the present Edition, an equivalent advantage, all the longer sections have been subdivided into distinct parts, each part discussing some principal branch of the general subject of the section. The whole work is thus divided into portions of moderate length, affording break at which the reader may conveniently pause. Readers, also, who would be alarmed at the idea of having to read so large a volume all through, may at first confine their perusal to those parts, in the subjects of which, as expressed by their titles, they feel most interest; and, if pleased with these, they can extend their reading further. But the Author hopes that none will conclude from the perusal of some parts alone, that he has failed to establish his points; since the subject and argument of each part of a section usually receives light and confirmation from the rest; and the sections themselves, also, are similarly connected with each other.

In the present Edition, as little as possible of the personal matter respecting the Rev. Mr. Beaumont, whose publication, intitled The Anti-Swedenborg, originally occasioned the composition of this work, has been retained. But the work being framed, as a principal object, to meet the common arguments and objections against the New Church, in the form in which those arguments and objections are stated in the Anti-Swedenborg, it was neither possible, nor desirable, to divest it of the form it had thus assumed, and its objections are therefore retained : but only as a convenient formulary for objectors and objections in general.

Beside the alteration of the form of this work in the present Edition by incorporating the Notes, large quantities of additional matter have been introduced. The Sections, in particular, on the Trinity, the Atonement, and the Christian Life, which, in the former Edition, to keep the whole within the prescribed limits, were greatly contracted, are now expanded to dimensions more in proportion to the other Sections, and less incommensurate with the importance of their subjects. Other large additions have also been interspersed throughout. By adopting a larger paper and a smaller type, nearly twice as much is contained in a page as in the text of the former edition; while the number of pages is nearly the same.

Of the appendix to the former Edition, there has only been retained the Article, No. I., Various particulars relating to a Mention of the Anti-Swedenborg Heaven and Hell, &c., Explained. The subjects of this Article are not sufficiently general to be introduced in the work itself; yet it will be found, on perusal, more completely to take away the ground of many common objections made against the writings of Swedenborg, and to evince that those writings contain no statements whatever which cannot be rationally vindicated. Most of the other portions of the former Appendix have been incorporated in the work itself. One additional Article has been introduced, on a charge often brought against the New Church,—that of Sabellianism. This would very properly have made a portion of the work itself but the part in which it might have come in was completed before its introduction was thought of. The subject being important, the reader is requested not to overlook it where it stands.

On the whole, this appeal, in this Edition, has, as stated in the Title, been entirely re-modelled, and greatly enlarged; it is hoped that it is proportionally improved. It has been brought out in compliance with a request of the Twenty-sixth General Conference of the New Church, a Resolution of which declares, "That this Conference is glad to have the opportunity afforded it of bearing testimony to the extensive uses that have been performed by the work in question, which has been fully proved, as stated at a former Conference, 'to afford valuable assistance to those who are desirous of vindicating their faith, and of opposing the influence of error and misrepresentation;' and is known to have been the means of introducing many to an acceptance of the doctrines of the New Church, and of settling the minds of others who were wavering as to their reception." The Author is truly thankful that his work has thus been owned of Him, from whom all pure Truth, and all that is really Good, proceeds ; and that it has also been so favourably accepted by his brethren. That the present Edition may be still further blessed in the same way,— may be instrumental in bringing many souls into, or of establishing them in, the true way of eternal life,—and that many may feel cause to be thankful in eternity that they had been led to peruse it; will be his continual prayer.


CONTENTS

Noble's 'Appeal'

I. Introduction.

II. The Second Coming Of The Lord

III. The Resurrection

A. The true Doctrine Proposed, and Texts cited in Opposition Considered

B. Other Texts, commonly regarded as adverse to the True Doctrine, considered.

C. The testimony of Reason, for, and against, the Resurrection of the Material Body.

D. Scripture Evidence of the True Doctrine.

IV. The Last Judgment.

A. The Last Judgment of the Scriptures was not to be accomplished in the Natural World.

B. The Spiritual World the Scene of it; as of all former General Judgments.

C. An Intermediate World and State the specific Scene of all General and Particular Judgments.

D. The Last Judgment actually accomplished.

V. A Human Instrument Necessary, And Therefore Raised Up

A. Swedenborg qualified to be such an Instrument, and not unlikely to be chosen for the purpose

B. Specific Evidences to the Qualifications of Swedenborg, and to the Truth of his Claims.

C. The Objection, That Swedenborg performed no Miracles, Considered.

D. The Charge against Swedenborg of Mental Derangement, Considered With some Minor Objections.

VI. Heaven And Hell; And The Appearances In Them, And In The Intermediate Region, Or World Of Spirits.

A. The Human Instrument for opening the Truths to be revealed at the Lord's Second Advent, should be enabled to remove the prevailing Darkness on these subjects.

B. The Inhabitants of Heaven and of Hell are all from the Human Race.

C. All Swedenborg's Statements respecting the Spiritual World are perfectly Reasonable and Scriptural, when certain Truths, relating to that World are known.

D. The Existence of the Marriage-Union in Heaven, and of an Opposite Connexion in Hell

E. Other Circumstances in Heaven, Hell, and the World of Spirits, differing from what is usually conceived.

F. Swedenborg's General Views respecting Heaven and Hell obviously agreeable to Reason and Scripture.

VII. The Trinity, As Centered In The Person Of The Lord Jesus Christ.

A. The General Doctrine stated, and established by Scripture.

B. All Objections to the Doctrine fall to the ground, when certain Truths are known relating to the Lord as the Son of God, and the Glorification of his Humanity.

C. Tritheism, the Alternative of the True Doctrine of the Trinity,

D. The True Doctrine confirmed from the Texts most relied on for the Proof of the contrary.

VIII. The Atonement, Sacrifice, And Mediation Of Jesus Christ:

A. Atonement in General, and Atonement by Sacrifices, especially by the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

B. Other Modes of Atonement, beside that by Sacrifices, mentioned in Scripture.

C. The Mediation of Jesus Christ.

IX. The Christian Life.

A. The New Church Doctrine of Life, a Doctrine of Genuine Holiness

B. Holiness, not Laxity, encouraged by the Sentiment, That it is not so Difficult to live the Life that leads to Heaven as some suppose.

C. Charity not infringed by Swedenborg's Exposure of the Errors of a Perverted Church.

X. Appendix

A. Section. VI.—part E. Various Particulars relating to Heaven and Hell, &c., Explained.

B. Section VII.—part D. The New-Church Doctrine of the Trinity, not a Revival of Sabellianism, or any other Ancient Heresy.


AN APPEAL, &c.

TO

THE REFLECTING OF ALL DENOMINATIONS.

I. Introduction.

men and brethren!

allow me, with respect and affection, to address you, as persons who assign their due value to serious things, on a subject of, as it appears to many, no inconsiderable importance.

The existence of a body of Christians who humbly trust that they belong to the New Church of the Lord, predicted in various parts of the Holy Scriptures, and called, in the twenty-first chapter of the Revelation, the New Jerusalem, has, for some time past, attracted a considerable degree of public attention. It is generally known that the Views of the Eternal World and State, and the Doctrines of Faith and Life, held by these persons, are those which are delivered, as deductions from the Word of God, in the Writings of the Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg; who is by them regarded as a distinguished servant of the Lord, raised up for this work by as express an interference of Divine Providence, as that by which a Luther was raised to effect the Reformation from the corruptions of the Church of Rome, or even as that by which a Paul was called forth to teach the great truths of Christianity itself, or a John the Baptist to announce the first advent of its Divine Author. But while it has thus been known that such a body of Christians exists, and that such is the origin of their views and doctrines, the greatest misapprehension in general prevails as to what those views and doctrines are, and the grounds on which they are embraced: for, unhappily, they have been heard of by the public at large, only, for the most part, through the misrepresentations and perversions of adversaries. We, who have embraced them, feel an entire but humble assurance, that, were they seen in their true colours, all the Reflecting, of all Denominations, would immediately admit, that they are worthy at least of deep consideration and serious attention; and we are assured further, that, were such consideration and attention bestowed on them, numbers would rise from the investigation with a conviction of their truth. If they are true, to have just or erroneous conceptions of them cannot be a matter of indifference: permit, then, one of those who have not hesitated to stake their salvation upon their certainty, to address a serious Appeal to you in their behalf. Great activity has been used, through a great variety of channels, to possess your minds with totally false and extremely injurious conceptions respecting the illustrious Swedenborg and his writings: allow, therefore, I intreat you, one who has maturely considered both, to disabuse you respecting them,—to disperse, by a fair statement, the clouds of misrepresentation in which the sentiments received by us have been involved,—and to bring to your acquaintance views of Divine Truth, which appear to us to be at once elevated and well-founded; views which, we venture to assure you, challenge the strictest scrutiny of Reason, and come supported by the plainest testimony of Scripture. Yes, ye who prize the inestimable gift of Reason! permit me to say, that never was a more gross deception practised on mankind, than when it has been attempted, by idle tales and false imputations, to make you believe, that Reason, and what is commonly, but improperly, termed Swedenborgianism, are uncombinable terms. And to you, ye sincere lovers of the Scriptures! allow me to declare, that to persuade you that writings and doctrines like those we espouse, which place the truths of Scripture in their own genuine light, are at variance with the truths of Scripture, and that they originate in delusion, is to impose on you an extravagant delusion indeed.

Were I left to my own choice in regard to the form which this Appeal should assume, it would be different from that which I am compelled by circumstances to adopt, Having a rich store from which to make my selection of the most luminous truths and most satisfactory doctrines, upon every subject that is interesting to a man, to an immortal, to a Christian, I naturally should give to the most important things the largest share of attention, bestowing a more cursory notice on matters of inferior moment. There are no sentiments entertained by us, or advanced in the writings of Swedenborg, which we are not satisfied are pure and genuine truths; but in every extended system of doctrine there are truths of higher and of lower importance; as in the system of the visible heavens "one star differeth from another star in glory;" and as the representative breast-plate of Aaron not only included the ruby and the diamond, but also the agate and the jasper. In making, then, an Appeal to you in behalf of our views, were I left to pursue the most natural course, I undoubtedly should place the richer gems, the rubies and the diamonds, in the more prominent light, and give to the inferior a subordinate station. The great truths respecting the Nature, Person, and Attributes, of the Lord God Almighty; the work of Human Redemption; the duties of Repentance and Reformation; the process of Regeneration; the entire Inspiration and exalted Spirituality of the Word of God; the certainty of a Future Retribution; the true Importance of the Present Stage of Existence as that in which man makes up the form and character of his spirit and internal life, and thus fixes his state, either for happiness or misery, to eternity; the pure Glories of Heaven and the real Terrors of Hell; the Wonders of the Divine Government or of Divine Providence, which extends to the minutest occurrences of human life, and in all that it either appoints or permits, primarily regards eternal ends:—these, and such as these, are the subjects which occupy the distinguished stations in the doctrines which we believe to be those of the Few Jerusalem, and in the writings in which those doctrines are delivered: on these they present views which are indisputably heavenly and exalted: on these then the pen of an Apologist would naturally dwell at the greatest length and with the most delight, secure that in all which he should offer respecting them the mind of the unprejudiced reader could scarcely fail of finding the most decided satisfaction. But they who have set themselves to crush, if it were possible, the rising New Church in its infancy,—as Herod sent to slay all the children in Bethlehem of two years old and under,— naturally take the opposite course. Some of them, indeed, as the late Dr. Priestley and a few others, have undertaken to oppose the leading doctrines of our church by argument; but the greater number have endeavoured to keep our real doctrines, as far as possible, out of sight, offering, and then combating, such a garbled statement of them, as can give their readers no just idea of what they are; while they have ransacked the pages of our valued Author in quest of every thing which, on being brought forward by itself, separated from its context, and from the explanations necessary to its right apprehension, might appear most repugnant to the ideas commonly entertained of religious truth, and might with most plausibility be made the ground of opprobrious animadversion; especially when heightened by exaggeration and misstatement, which have often been supplied accordingly; not to mention the many absolute fictions, void of all foundation either in truth or in probability, which have been propagated respecting Swedenborg, his writings, and their admirers. In appealing to you, then, in behalf of our sentiments, it is necessary to follow the course marked out by our opponents; and as they have endeavoured to raise prejudices by chiefly dwelling upon parts of our author's system and writings which are of very inferior importance, I shall be obliged to give to such subordinate points, a much larger proportion of attention than they otherwise would demand. I shall take, then, for my guide, as to the subjects necessary to be discussed and to be set in their true light, a publication by the Rev. G. Beaumont, of Norwich, which he denominates "The Anti-Swedenborg; or, a Declaration of the Principal Errors and Anti-Scriptural Doctrines contained in the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg." My chief reasons for giving my Appeal a particular reference to this publication, are, first, because it is a tolerably complete condensation of all the topics of objection ever raised against our views and doctrines; and secondly, because this work has been the occasion of many misrepresentations of our sentiments and of ourselves in the theological Reviews and Magazines, the editors of several of which, taking it for granted that Mr. Beaumont's reports and views are correct, have recommended his work, have repeated his statements, and thus have given a wide circulation to the injurious impression he has laboured to excite. As observed above, had I chosen my own ground in this Appeal, the form of it would have been different from that which, under the existing circumstances, it will assume: but the advocates of the New Church, though without any confidence in themselves, are at all times willing, conscious of the invulnerability, in every point, of their sacred cause, to leave the choice of the ground to their opponents, and to meet them in any line of attack they may think proper to adopt. To legitimate argument (though it is seldom, alas! that any thing of that kind is employed against us), we hope to be enabled to oppose legitimate argument from sounder premises; to misrepresentations of facts or sentiments, the statement of such facts or sentiments in their proper colours; to misapplications of Scripture, Scripture justly applied and fairly explained; and to the artifices of falsehood, the honesty of truth. But we will not return railing for railing; nor, because the most scandalous imputations have been fabricated to be affixed on us, will we retort with anything of the kind against our accusers. We commit the whole cause, with perfect composure as to the issue, into the hands of him whose cause we believe it to be; and while we are grateful that we have been enabled to behold the truth, on subjects of the deepest importance to human welfare, in, as we are satisfied, its own genuine light, we will not be offended with those who as yet see differently, nor cherish the smallest spark of personal ill-feeling towards the bitterest of our opponents. They, as well as we, are in the hands of a merciful God, who, as our doctrines assure us, does not visit with severity for involuntary, much less for well-intentioned error: and though we cannot but believe that our adversaries, especially when they misrepresent and malign us, are in error, we strive to cherish the hope, in every case where there is any possible ground for it, that the error is involuntary and well-intentioned.

Beside occasional notices of other assailants, I intend then in the following pages, for the reasons stated above, to answer all the objections raised in the work above mentioned. I do not propose, however, to follow the author's steps in a servile or captious manner, or to keep him or his objections constantly before the reader. My design rather is, to take occasion, from his strictures, to open, upon general principles, the subjects brought under discussion; so that this appeal may include a general exposition of the sentiments of the New Church upon the most important of her doctrines, and especially upon those subjects, even when of quite inferior moment in themselves, in regard to which the most common and plausible objections have been raised, and the most injurious misconceptions have gone abroad.

I entreat you, then, my serious friends, to whatever denomination, as regards the profession of religion, you may belong, to enter on the perusal of this Appeal with candid minds, and with a sincere desire to see the truth, wheresoever, and with whomsoever, it may be found. As the best preparation for thus seeing it, allow me to request you to raise your hearts, in prayer for right direction and illumination, to the Truth Itself Impersonated, the Lord Jesus Christ. "We are assured in his unerring Word, that He is "the true Light which lighteth every man, that cometh into the world;" * He declares, himself, that He is "the Truth," # and again, that He is "the Light of the world," and that "he that followeth Him shall not abide in darkness, but shall have the light of life:"$ whatsoever then may be your present opinions in regard to his nature and person, you cannot doubt, if you believe the Scriptures, that he has the power of imparting the light of truth to the mind that looks to him for it. Nor can you doubt, that, to the reception of any gift from him, faith in his power to confer it is a necessary preliminary. When the two blind men intreated his mercy, while on earth, He said unto them, "Believe ye that I am. able to do this ?" and on their answering in the affirmative, "then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And," the sacred record adds, "their eyes were opened." $ Who does not see the correspondence between the communication of the light of day to the eye and of the light of truth to the mind ? and that the one miracle was performed to represent the other ? Whatever then may be thought of the Lord Jesus Christ, evident it is that He is set forth to us in the Scriptures as the Being from whom the inestimable gift of the perception of divine truth is to be received; and that, in order to its reception, He is to be applied to with confidence in his power to bestow it. Be your ideas of Him then, in other respects, what they may, permit me to beg of you to believe, that He really has this power; to elevate your hearts towards Him with corresponding desires; and in this frame of mind to weigh the statements and considerations, which, in the following Sections of this Appeal, will be laid before you. Under this guidance, I cannot refrain from hoping, that you will be led to the conclusion, that what our opponents call "principal errors" are in reality momentous truths, and that what they denominate "anti-scriptural doctrines" are in fact the very doctrines of the Scriptures. But do not let the fear of being brought to this result, by the devout experiment which I have presumed to recommend, deter you from making it: do not refuse to put your minds, on this occasion, under the sole guidance of the Lord Jesus Christ, from an apprehension, that He who is the light and the truth, may by any possibility, guide you into error.

* John, i. 8. # Ch. xiv. 6. $ Ch. viii. 12. $ Matt. ix. 28, 29, 30.

II. The Second Coming Of The Lord

I will call your attention, my reflecting brethren, in the first place, to the important circumstance announced to us in the prophetic parts of the New Testament, and commonly known by the name of the Second Coming of the Lord; with the important consequence of such coming, or rather part of it, which is described in symbolic language as the descent from heaven of a New Jerusalem. For it is because we understand these great predictions in a different sense from that in which most persons at the present time apprehend them, and because we believe that, in their only true sense, they are at this day receiving their fulfilment, that so many attempts are made to hold up both us and our sentiments to derision. In this respect we are treated just as were the first converts to Christianity by the Jews. The Jews were looking for the coming of the Messiah, as the hope of Israel; yet were they almost unanimous in persecuting the small band of their brethren, who affirmed that their hope was fulfilled. Christians have ever been looking with hope for the second coming of Him whom the Jews rejected: yet are too many of them eager in the persecution of those, who affirm that this hope also is fulfilled. To our case then may be most exactly applied the noble apology of Paul when pleading before Agrippa. "I stand," says he, "and am judged, for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews." *

* Acts, xxvi. 6, 7.

I propose then, in this Section of my Appeal, to undertake the defence of those who stand in the same situation among their brethren, the professors of Christianity, as the Apostle Paul and the other first Christians did among their brethren, the professors of Judaism: and I earnestly entreat you, as believers of the Scriptures,—as holders of the Christian's hope, candidly to consider what I have to offer. There is nothing in the sentiments I shall present which ought to offend any one, but, on the contrary, much that every one may regard with delight. If by any means prejudices have been instilled into the minds of any of you, permit me to request you to lay them aside till you have fairly heard both sides of the question; and pray do not consider me as your enemy, because, with much respect and affection, and without intending the smallest offence to any one, I lay before you what, from the bottom of my soul, I believe to be the truth.

First, then, I propose to show, That the second coming of the Lord is not a coming in person (as most persons, in consequence of taking quite literally the symbolic language of prophecy, have hitherto supposed), but that it means the restoration of the true knowledge of divine subjects, or of the genuine doctrines of the Word of God, accompanied with their corresponding influence on the heart; in other words, that it is the revival of the true church of the Lord among mankind; in which mode of considering it, it is more particularly meant by the manifestation of the New Jerusalem. In the second place I will show, That there are many circumstances and signs in the situation of the world at this day, which plainly indicate that the time for the divine interference described in Scripture as the second coming of the Lord has arrived. In the third place I will point out, That there are circumstances in the state of the world at this day in regard to religion, which evince, that the restoration of true religion, promised under the figures of a second coming of the Lord and establishment of a New Jerusalem, cannot be much longer delayed, without the most serious injury to the best interests of the human race. And I will conclude with showing, That there is nothing in our views of this subject which can be justly charged with enthusiasm, but that, on the contrary, they furnish the best antidote to every species of fanaticism and spiritual delusion.

I. With regard to the first of these subjects then, it is first to be observed, that nothing is more true than a remark which has been made by almost every commentator that ever wrote upon the fulfilment of prophecy; namely, That the exact meaning of the prophecies is never understood, till the time of their accomplishment. This was strikingly experienced in regard to the prophecies which, announced the coming of the Lord in the flesh. Although the whole Jewish nation knew from those prophecies that a Messiah was to appear, and the more learned among them could even point out truly where he would be born, they were so much in the dark respecting every thing else that concerned him, looking only for a carnal and not a spiritual Saviour, that, when he did come, they rejected him and put him to death. And even the disciples who received him,—even the twelve Apostles whom he peculiarly selected,—so much partook of the common errors of their countrymen, that they disputed which of them should be the greatest, or have the highest post, in the temporal kingdom which they supposed he was about to set up.* Even at the moment of his ascension, they asked him whether ho would not restore the temporal kingdom of Israel;+ and it was not till they had received the gift of the Holy Spirit from their glorified Lord, that they had just ideas of the nature of that kingdom into which they had been admitted themselves, and which they were to preach to others.

Another remark of importance is also here necessary to be made; it is, That even when the Apostles had received the gift of the Holy Spirit, it did not communicate to them, at once, all the truths of the Christian dispensation. Thus they remained for a long time in the persuasion, that the gospel was to be preached only to the Jews. It was not till seven or eight years after the Lord's ascension, that Peter was convinced that it was allowable to communicate it to the Gentiles: it then required a vision and special revelation to induce him to do it;# and he was strictly questioned upon it afterwards by his brethren. $ It was not till ten years after this that they came to the conclusion, that the Gentile converts were not required to keep the law of Moses; || and they do not appear ever to have clearly seen, that the Jews themselves were exempted by the gospel from the observance of that law.

* Mark, x, 35—45. + Acts, i. 6. # Ch. x. $ Ch. xi. 2, 3. || Ch. xv.

If then it was only by degrees, and as occasion required, that the truths which were essential to the full knowledge of the Christian system were revealed even to the Apostles, and that they were enabled to understand the precepts and prophecies of the Old Testament as they applied to the doctrines and circumstances of Christianity, it is no wonder if it be found to be true, in the third place, That the prophecies of the Lord himself, and of the New-Testament-prophets, relating to his second coming at a future period then very distant, and to his revival, at such second coming, of pure Christianity, after it had suffered decline and perversion, were at that time hidden front the Church. Accordingly, it ia certain that the early Christians were so much mistaken respecting the purport of these prophecies, that they all expected that the second coming of the Lord was then immediately to take place; and even the Apostles appear to have supposed that they might live to see it. They knew that the Lord's coming was to be preceded by a corruption of his religion; and because they saw corruptors of it even then appear, they concluded that the last time was then arrived. Thus the Apostle John writes, "Little children, it is the last time; and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now there are many anti-Christs; whereby we know that it is the last time." * So Peter exhorts those to whom he writes, not to be disheartened by the seeming tardiness of the arrival of the expected day, telling them, "that scoffers should come in the last days, saying, where is the promise of his coming ? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." + But that even this Apostle supposed, that the expected coming, attended with a literal fulfilment of the prophecies which seem to speak of the passing away of heaven and earth, would happen during the life of persons then living, is evident from his exhorting them thus: "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for, and hasting unto, the coming of the day of God." # James speaks of it as near with equal confidence: he says, "Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain: be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.—Behold the Judge standeth at the door." $ As for the Apostle Paul, he speaks on the subject to the Thessalonians, as if both himself and they, or at least some of them, would certainly live to witness it: he says, "we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them that sleep;" and again: "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:" || which so disturbed those to whom the Apostle wrote, that he found it necessary, in a second epistle, to desire them "not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as though the day of Christ were at hand" (by which he means, were immediately to take place), because there must come "a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed," @ — in which he refers to a prophecy of Daniel: nevertheless he declares, that "the mystery of iniquity doth already work" ** and thus still intimates that the expected coming of the Lord was by no mean? very distant. Accordingly, as the nature of the second coming of the Lord was not in that day openly revealed; just as the nature of his first coming had not previously been openly discovered to the Jews; the Apostles never offer any explication of it, as they do of other prophetic declarations which then had their accomplishment, but always speak of it in the same symbolic language as had beers used respecting it by the Lord himself and by the ancient prophets. This language has in consequence been understood according to the literal sense only, by Christians in general, from that time to this: and thus, from age to age, mankind have lived in the expectation of beholding the Lord appear in the clouds of the firmament, and of being themselves caught up to meet him at his coming in the air.

* 1 John, ii. 18. + 2 Ep. iii. 3, 4. # 2 Ep. iii. 11, 12. $ Ep. v. 7, 8, 9. || 1 Thes. iv, 15, 17. @ 2 Thess. ii. 2, 3. ** Ver. 7.

This fact, that neither the time nor the nature of the Lord's second coming was explicitly revealed to the primitive Christian Church, nor even to the Apostles themselves, is of so great importance, that, though I think it conclusively established by what has been already advanced, yet, as strong prejudices prevail on this subject, it shall be further confirmed by unquestionable testimony.

Let me, then, remind the reflecting, that while the Lord Jesus Christ himself often speaks, in the gospels, of his second coming, he at times so expresses himself, that they who understand his words literally must suppose him to mean, that his coming to judgment was not to be protracted beyond the age in which he delivered the predictions. Thus one of the most full and explicit of his prophetic declarations is that in Matt. xxiv.—"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn; and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; "When his branch is yet tender and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily, I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" (Ver. 29—34). Now all the Apostles, except Paul, heard this or other similar prophecies delivered, and Paul, it is certain, had a knowledge of the circumstances of the Lord's life and discourses on earth communicated to him by revelation; * accordingly, these predictions were the foundation of the knowledge possessed by the Apostles respecting the Lord's second coming, and all that is said on that subject in their writings consists of applications of these predictions, with some of a similar kind in the Old Testament. Thus the celebrated passage in 1 Thess. iv. 15 to 17, from which an extract is given above, is simply a paraphrase of the Lord's words just cited, which had been miraculously made known to the Apostle, whence he justly introduces it with stating, "This we say unto you by the word of the Lord" Consequently, if the true meaning of the symbolic language in which the Lord delivered his predictions was not, with the predictions themselves, made known to the Apostles (and of this their writings afford no trace whatever), they would naturally expect, as it is certain all other Christians did, who could only have taken their ideas from the teaching of the Apostles, that those prophetic announcements were to be literally fulfilled; whereas, that their literal sense is not their true sense, is evinced by the fact, that they have remained unaccomplished for seventeen hundred years beyond the period, at which, according to that sense, their accomplishment should have taken place.

* Gal i. 16, 17.

Since the preceding remarks were first written, I have been much pleased at meeting with the same arguments strongly urged by so judicious and highly esteemed a writer as Dr. Watts: the only difference between us in regard to this question is, that he supposes the Apostles to have known the truth of the matter, but purposely to have concealed it. So long as it is acknowledged that what they have said upon the subject is not the naked truth, it makes little difference to the main argument, whether they withheld the naked truth through ignorance or design, and I willingly leave the reader to adopt which alternative he pleases. The passage alluded to of Dr. Watts, is in his "Essay towards the proof of a Separate State of Souls," prefixed to his "World to Come;" and is as follows: "As the patriarchs and the Jews of old, after the Messiah was promised, were constantly expecting his first coming almost in every generation, till he did appear, and many modes of prophetical expression in Scripture, which speak of things long to come as though they were present, or just at hand, gave them some occasion for this expectation; so the Christians of the first age did generally expect the second coming of Christ to judgment, and the resurrection of the dead, in that very age wherein it was foretold. St. Paul gives us a hint of it in 2 Thess. ii. 1, 2. They supposed the day of the Lord was just appearing. And many expressions of Christ concerning his return, or coming again after his departure, seem to represent his absence as a thing of no long continuance. It in true these words of his may partly refer to his coming to destroy Jerusalem, and the coming in of his kingdom among the Gentiles; or his coming by his messenger of death; yet they generally, in their supreme or final sense, point to his coming to raise the dead, and judge the world. And from the words of Christ, also, concerning John, 'If I will that he tarry till I come' (John xxi. 22), it is probable that the Apostles themselves at first, as well as other Christians, might derive this apprehension of his speedy coming.

"It is certain (Dr. W. proceeds) that when Christ speaks of his coming in general and promiscuous, and parabolical terms, whether with regard to the destruction of Jerusalem or the judgment of the world, he saith, 'Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled' (Matt. xxiv. 34). And the Apostles frequently told the world, the coming of the Lord was near: 'The Lord is at hand,' (Phil. iv. 5): 'Exhorting one another—so much the more, as you see the day approaching' (Heb. x. 25): and that this is the day of the coming of Christ, verse 37 assures us; 'For yet a little while, he that shall come will come, and will not tarry? 'Now it is high time to awake out of sleep: the night is far spent; the day is at hand' (Rom. xiii. 12). 'To him who is ready to judge the quick and the dead' (1 Pet. iv. 5). 'The end of all things is at hand' (ver. 7). 'The coming of the Lord draweth nigh; Behold, the judge standeth at the door' (James v. 8, 9). 'Seal not up the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand' (Rev. xxii. 10): 'And behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man as his work shall be' (ver. 12). And the sacred volume is closed with this assurance, 'Surely I come quickly:' and the echo and expectation of the Apostle, or the church, 'Amen' even so, come Lord Jesus.'

"It is granted (our author goes on) that in prophetical expressions, such as all these are, some obscurity is allowed: and it may be doubtful, perhaps, whether some of them may refer to Christ's coming by the destruction of Jerusalem, or his coming to call particular persons away by his messenger of death, or his appearance at the last judgment. It is granted, also, that it belongs to prophetical language to set things far distant, as it were before our eyes, and make them seem present, or very near at hand. But still these expressions had plainly such an influence on the primitive Christians, as that they imagined the day of resurrection and judgment was very near.—And though they [the Apostles] never asserted that Christ would come to raise the dead and judge the world in that age, yet when they knew themselves that he would not come so soon, they might not think it necessary to give every Christian, or every Church, an immediate account of the more distant time of this great event, that the uncertainty of it might keep them ever watchful; and even when St, Paul informs the Thessalonians, that the day if the Lord was not so very near as they imagined it, (2 Thes. ii. 2,) yet he does not put it off beyond that century by any express language."

Now has not Dr. Watts here fully proved, that, whether or not the Apostles themselves knew that the Lord's second coming was not to take place in that age, they often spoke of it in such terms as conveyed the immediate expectation of it to the minds of the primitive Christians ? But what this popular writer says respecting the allowed obscurity of prophetical expressions, though true in itself, is not here strictly applicable. For the passages which he cites from the Epistles are none of them original prophecies; thus, properly speaking, they are not prophecies at all: this character only belongs to the single passage he has quoted from Matthew, and to those from the Revelation; the others, being only repetitions by the Apostles, in their own language, of declarations made by the Lord Jesus Christ when on earth, are not prophecies, any more than the repetition by any teacher, in his own language, of a prophetic declaration, is a prophecy. Some of the original prophetical expressions are indeed retained; but when these are repeated at second hand, without explanation, every hearer supposes that he who repeats them means them to be literally understood. As then the Apostles did thus repeat them, and it thus is certain that they meant their hearers or readers to understand them according to the literal expression, it becomes next to impossible to Suppose, that they themselves understood them any otherwise: and if so, it is a certain fact, that the true meaning of the prophecies respecting the second coming of the Lord was entirely hidden from the Church founded at his first coming, even from the Apostles themselves; just as the true meaning of the prophecies relating to his first coming has been hidden from the Jews, and even from the prophets by whom they were delivered.

To be quite certain, however, that this is not merely a probable surmise, I have examined all the passages in the writings of the Apostles in which any reference is made to a future coming of the Lord; and I earnestly advise all the Candid and Reflecting to do the same. Some of the texts, I find, might be equally suited to the context, whether that event were meant to be represented as near or distant; but in many of them the introduction of the subject is destitute of all force, and even of applicability upon any other supposition, than that the writer understood the event as near; and whilst, as has already been seen, there are many passages which expressly affirm it to be near at hand in the age of the Apostles, there is not one which speaks of it as being then distant, or which affords an inference that it was regarded as distant by the writer.*

* To give every reader an opportunity of easily ascertaining this for himself, I here add all the texts I have been able to find in which any mention of it is made by the Apostles, only omitting those decisive ones which have been cited already. (I have marked by Italic characters the expressions which would particularly lead the first readers to expect the great event in their own life-time).

Paul exhorts the Corinthians of that day to be "waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall also confirm you unto the end, [compare Matt. xxiv. 13,] that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" [1 Cor. i. 7, 8], "For we write none other things unto you than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; as also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus" [2 Cor. i. 13, 14]. "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Ep. iv. 30: compare Luke xxi. 28]. "He which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it [or carry it on] until the day of Jesus Christ" [Phil. i. 6]. "And this I pray,—that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day.

Now let any one who had read the texts cited below, transfer himself in thought to the age in which such declarations were written, of Christ" [Ver. 9, 10]. "Our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Christ" [Ch. iii. 20]. "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory" [Col. iii. 4]. "Ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven" [1 Thes. i. 9, 10]. "What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing' are not even ye, in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, at his coming?" [Ch. ii. 19]. "The Lord make you to increase and abound in love, &c.—to the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord jesus Christ, with all his saints" [Ch. iii. 12, 13]. "Ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief" [Ch. v. 4]. "I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" [Ver. 23]. "Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you, and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels," &c. [2 Thes. i. 6, 7]. "The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ" [Ch. iii. 5]. "I give thee charge—that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ" [1 Tim. vi. 14]. "I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day" [2 Tim. i. 12]. "The Lord grant unto him that be may find mercy of the Lord in that day" [Ver. 18]. "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come: for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, &c.—from such turn away" [Ch. iii. 1—5; where, note, that the words being addressed to Timothy personally, imply that he should live to sec those last days]. "I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom" [Ch. iv. 1]. "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but to all them that love his appearing" [Ver. 8]. "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and unto them that look for him he shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation" [Heb. ix. 28]. "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time; wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations, that the trial of your faith, being more precious than of gold that perisheth, though if be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" [1 Peter, i. 5, 6, 7]. "Wherefore—hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" [Ver. 13]. "When the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away" [Ch. v. 4], "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" [1 John, iii. 2]. "For there are certain men crept in unawares, &c.—And Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, &c.— These are murmerers, complainers, walking after their own lusts, &c.—But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.—Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy; to the only wise God our Saviour," &c. [Jude ver. 4, 14—13, 24, 25], and then judge whether he would not have concluded, from the passages collected, in conjunction with those cited by Dr. Watts and in our previous observations, that they who thus spoke continually of the day of the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, who declared that it was to take place in the last days or times, and who affirmed that the last days or times were then begun, meant to affirm, that the appearing of the Lord was in that age to take place, and to be witnessed by some then living. The event has proved that the expectation was erroneous; yet not one expression occurs which could tend to correct the mistake. Accordingly, it is universally allowed that such was the opinion entertained on the subject by the first Christians; and it is equally certain, that the first Christians could have no opinion on the subject bat what they derived from the first teachers of Christianity, the Apostles.

Yet most of the Commentators, unwilling to admit that any mystery whatever was kept hidden from the Apostles, have supposed with Dr. Watts, that notwithstanding they always spoke as if the second coming of the Lord was to be expected in that age, they well knew to the contrary. Thus, for example, the pious Doddridge, in his note on the words of Paul (1 Thes. iv. 15), "We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord"—notwithstanding he translates the original, still more strongly, "we who remain alive at the coming of the Lord"—appears much displeased with those who conclude, from the plain sense of the words, that the Apostle himself expected to be one of those who should then "remain alive." He begins his note with this statement: "This hath been interpreted by many, as an intimation, that the apostle expected to be found alive at the day of judgment: and, on that interpretation, some have urged it as an instance of his entertaining, at least for a while, mistaken notions on that head, as if the day of the Lord were nearly approaching:" to this Dr. D. objects, that "this is contrary to his own explication of the matter, 2 Thes. ii. 1, &c."—though, as Dr. Watts remarks, when the Apostle there "informs the Thessalonians that the day of the Lord was not so very near as they imagined it, he does not put it off beyond that century by any express language." Dr. Doddridge has only to object further, that it is contrary "to other passages in which he expresses his own expectation of death;" but this only proves, that when he says "we who remain alive," he does not mean to affirm positively that he should be one who should thus remain, but only that he thought it not impossible. Had he meant to affirm that the coming of the Lord would take place in that age, but certainly not till after his own death, he would not have said, "we who remain alive," but "you who remain alive:" but had he meant to exclude all that generation from the possibility of witnessing the event, he would neither have said "we," nor "you, who remain alive," but "they who shall be alive." It seems the more extraordinary that the worthy Expositor should here attempt to clear the Apostle from the imputation of imperfect knowledge, and by such weak arguments, when he had just before admitted a lower degree of the charge to be probably true; for in his note on verse 13, after quoting the remark of Saurin, that the Apostle "did not then exactly know whether Christ's appearance would be in that age, or at some much more remote distance of time," he very judiciously observes, "And this ignorance was certainly consistent with the knowledge of all that was necessary to the preaching of the Gospel;" referring to Mark xiii. 32.

But surely, the supposition that the Apostles knew that the Lord's coming would not take place in that age, and yet spoke so as naturally to beget that belief in their readers, lays them open to much worse imputations than follow from that of mere ignorance or mistake. Thus, as Doddridge himself notices, the Jew Orobio affirms, that Paul expressed himself as he did to the Thessalonians through artifice, to serve a present purpose, holding out the expectation of being taken up alive into heaven in a very little time, as a bait to invite people to Christianity. So the author of a deistical publication, insidiously denominated "Not Paul but Jesus," * draws one of his reasons for regarding that Apostle as a self-interested impostor, from this occurrence, which he describes as a bait of another order. According to the representation of this subtle writer, Paul wished to produce a persuasion that the end of all things was at hand, to render people indifferent to their worldly property, in order that they might be more ready to give him a good share of it; but the measures he took for this purpose with the Thessalonians operated so much more strongly than he intended, that many were thrown into such a panic as to neglect all business entirely (which, the objector urges, is stated in 2 Thes. iii. 11); wherefore he found it necessary, in a second Epistle, (ch. ii. 1, &c.) to put the expected end of all things a little further off, and to endeavour to allay, in some measure, the terrors he had raised.

* This work was published under the name of "Gamaliel Smith," but the real author was the celebrated Jeremy Bentham.

Is there then any view of this affair which will clear the Apostles from the imputation either of disgraceful ignorance or of wilful misrepresentation, and thus will at once take away the ground of the cavils of Jewish and infidel objectors, and obviate the necessity for such weak excuses as are usually resorted to fry Christian defenders ? Do we not obtain such a view, when we see that, while every thing relating to the doctrines of the primitive Christian Church, and to the interpretation of the prophecies of the Old Testament relating to the Lord's first advent, was clearly revealed to the Apostles, after having been kept hidden till the time of their accomplishment had come, the prophecies of the New Testament relating to his second advent were in like manner kept hidden till the time for their fulfilment should arrive ? Does not this evince, that ignorance upon this single subject,—the time and manner of the fulfilment of the prophecies of the New Testament,—no more forms a flaw in the character of the Apostles, than ignorance respecting the time and manner of the Lord's first coming constitutes a blemish in the character of the Jewish patriarchs and worthies? The two advents of the Lord belong to two different dispensations: according to the order always observed in the Divine Economy, the things peculiar to a later dispensation are never openly revealed under a former: consequently, It would have been inconsistent with the order always observed in the Divine Economy, had the Apostles, whose province it was to proclaim the Lord's first advent, with the discoveries proper to it, been equally well informed respecting the circumstances of his second.

But satisfactorily, as it appears to me, as this view of the subject reconciles the Apostles' imperfect knowledge on this one point,—on what was beyond their commission,—with their full knowledge on others,—on all that was within it; and fully as it relieves them from the imputation either of disgraceful ignorance or wilful misrepresentation; I do not expect that it will meet the approbation of those advocates for common opinions, not belonging to the class of the Candid and Reflecting, who had rather deliver the sacred writers, gagged and bound, into the hands of their enemies, to be dealt with as they see fit, than vindicate them by an explanation which detects deficiencies in the system of their interpreters. But should any such undertake the refutation of what has here been advanced, let them recollect, that, to succeed in that attempt two things are necessary: first, they must show that some of the passages quoted above, and in the note, from the writings of the Apostles, do explicitly state, that the second coming of the Lord was not to be expected in that age nor for seventeen centuries after it; and secondly, that none of the above cited texts do affirm that it was then at hand. Unless these points be proved,—that is, unless the Apostles' language can be made to affirm the contrary of what it does affirm,—all that may be alleged against the view here offered will be entirely beside the question.; and it will be difficult to deny, that the time and manner of the Lord's second coming, and the meaning of the prophetic language in which that event is predicted in the Gospels and the Apocalypse, were not revealed to the Apostles, because that time had not then arrived.

But surely, whoever should reflect a little upon the subject, might easily see, that the manner in which the Lord's second coining is always described in Scripture, such as his appearing in the clouds, attended by angels blowing trumpets, &c., is purely figurative and symbolic; that it is couched in the purely prophetic style of writing; and all expositors admit that there is a distinct prophetic style used in the Scriptures, in which the ideas intended are representatively shadowed out by the images used for expressing them. Only look at the subject with some degree of elevation of mind, and you will see, that for the Lord Jesus Christ to appear in the clouds which float about the earth, at a height never exceeding a very few miles from its surface, in a form visible to the natural eyes of the inhabitants of the earth, is really an absolute impossibility. At his first advent, indeed, the Lord was beheld by men in the natural world, and even dwelt for a considerable time among thorn: but the reason was, because he was then in a natural body, not yet glorified, assumed from the mother, Mary: but, as I propose to show in a future Section of this Appeal, during his abode on earth, and at his resurrection, he made his human nature completely divine, and it was in a glorified or deified form, no longer partaking of the gross properties of matter, that he ascended to heaven: Hence he never was visible to any after he rose again, except when, he expressly manifested himself to them, which was done by opening the sight of their spirits. Had he still been visible to the natural eye, how came it to pass that he never was seen by the Jews after his resurrection ? Had he still been in a body that was obvious to the natural senses, how did he appear suddenly in the midst of his disciples, when they were assembled secretly, for fear of the Jews, and the door was fastened to secure them from interruption ? Our natural sight will not penetrate through walls and doors; how then, to such sight, can that divine form bo visible, which Avails and doors could not exclude? Thus the Lord's glorified person can now only be made visible to man by opening the sight of his spirit, as was done in all the cases of spiritual appearance recorded in the Scriptures; and the Lord can only thus be manifested to those who are in the acknowledgment of him: for this reason he never made himself visible, after his resurrection, to the gainsaying Jews; and for the same reason he never will make himself visible to the inhabitants of the world at large: consequently, it is not in a natural sense that he will appear in the clouds of the sky, showing himself to all the dwellers upon the earth.

But that the Lord is not literally to make his second advent in this manner, is evident from another consideration, the force of which every one may appreciate, whether he sees the strength of the last argument or not: and that other circumstance is, that in other passages of Scripture his coming is described in a different fashion. In the nineteenth chapter of the Revelation, he is represented as coming riding on a white horse, with all the armies of heaven following him upon white horses. Now, who ever understood that this description was to be taken literally ? No person ever conceived that He would come to judgment riding on horseback, followed by innumerable troops of angels, all likewise mounted on horseback: yet there is no reason for rejecting the expectation of his coming in this manner, and regarding the language as entirely figurative, than there is for adopting that of his coming in the clouds, and regarding this as a literal representation of the fact. The truth is, that both are entirely figurative, and of nearly the same signification; since his coming on a white horse denotes his restoring the right understanding of the Word, and illuminating thereby the intellectual faculties of man; and his coming in the clouds with power and great glory denotes the unfolding of the literal sense of the Word, and his presence in the bright glory of its spiritual and genuine signification. I have endeavoured to prove this at length in another publication; in which it is attempted to be shown, that the Lord is called the Son of man, in Scripture, in reference to his character as the Word or Divine Truth;* and it is always by his title of Son of man that the Lord himself speaks of his second coming; So, the passage just referred to in the Revelation expressly states, that he who is to come riding on the white horse, is the Word of God. Evidently then, the promised coming of the Lord as the Son of man and the Word of God, must denote a new discovery of the divine truth of his Word,—a restoration of the genuine doctrines of the church,—a revival of a just knowledge of the Lord and of his worship, and an opening of the sacred contents of his Holy Word.

* Plenary Inspiration, &c., p. 333, &c. + Ver. 1, 2, 3.

But that this is, in general, what is meant by the second coming of the Lord,—by the appearing of the Son of man in the clouds with power and great glory, and by his riding in heaven, as the Word of God, on a white horse,—is further evident from the fact, that it is to be accompanied or followed by the descent from heaven of a New Jerusalem. We read in Rev. xxi, "I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God."+ Now what can this, with any degree of consistency, be understood to signify, but a renewal of the true church of God among mankind ? Many, I know, apply it to the state of the saints in heaven: but in this they do the most palpable violence to the words: for how can that be pretended to be in heaven, which is expressly said to come down out of heaven? how can that describe the state of saints in heaven, which is expressly said to be the tabernacle, or abiding place, of God, with men? Accordingly the best interpreters apply it to a new state of the church on earth. Thus Dr. Hammond, a celebrated writer of the Church of England, comments upon it thus: "That it signifies not the state of glorified saints in heaven, appears by its descending from heaven in both places [where it is mentioned]; and that, according to the use of the phrase, ch. x. 1 and xviii. 1, is an expression of some eminent benefit to the church: and being here set down, with the glory of God upon it, it will signify the pure Christian Church, joining Christian practice with the profession thereof, and that in a flourishing condition, expressed by the new heaven and new earth. In this sense," he adds, "we have the supernal Jerusalem (Gal. iv. 26), and the New Jerusalem (Rev. iii. 12), where, to the constant professor is promised, that God will write on him the name of God, and the name of the city of God, the New Jerusalem; which there is the pure Catholic Christian Church." As to its being first said, that John saw a new heaven and a new earth, because the former heaven and earth had passed away, all commentators admit, that that is a phrase constantly used in the prophetic style to denote a complete renovation of the thing treated of,—the putting of an entire end to one order of things, and the commencement of a new one, either with respect to particular or to general churches; in which sense it occurs in numerous passages of the Old Testament, where a new heaven and earth cannot literally be meant.

The common reader of the Scriptures naturally supposes, when he comes to a prophecy respecting the passing away of heaven and earth, that the phrase refers to the end of the world; though the most simple reader must be somewhat puzzled to understand how the new heaven and new earth, spoken of as to succeed the former, can relate to the state of saints in heaven, which is the only state that our natural apprehensions lead us to look for after the end of the world. The learned, however, have long been so fully convinced, that these phrases do not in general relate to the end of the world, and to the state of the saints expected to succeed that event, that it is wonderful how they can. still retain the opinion, that the end of the world is, nevertheless, predicted by any of them. To show how the learned in general understand these prophetic phrases, I will here subjoin a few quotations.

Sir Isaac Newton, whose scheme of symbolical language has been adopted, with some variations, by all succeeding commentators, states his general principle, and his application of it to the phrase, "heaven, and earth," thus: "The figurative language of the prophets is taken from the analogy between the world natural, and an empire or kingdom considered as a world politic. Accordingly, the whole world, natural, consisting of heaven and earth, signifies the whole world politic, consisting of thrones and people.—The creating of a new heaven and earth, and the passing of an old one, or the beginning and end of a world, are put for the rise and ruin of a body politic." A little extending this idea, the Rev. Mr. Faber, in his "Dissertation on the Prophecies," states his view of these symbols thus: "The symbolical heaven, when interpreted temporally, signifies the whole body politic. On the other hand, the symbolical heaven, when interpreted spiritually, signifies the whole body of the church militant.The earth, when taken in a temporal sense, imports, in the abstract, the territorial dominions of any Pagan or irreligious empire.—In a spiritual sense, the earth denotes a state of paganism or apostacy." So Dr. Doddridge, in his paraphrase of the Lord's words, "The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken," says, "That is, according to the sublimity of prophetic language, the whole civil and ecclesiastical constitution of the nation shall not only be shocked, but totally dissolved." To the same purport, Beausobre and L'Enfant, in their note on the words, "the sun shall be darkened," observe, "The prophet Isaiah uses the same expression when foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem: it is a prophetic style, which must not be literally understood. Jesus Christ gives in these words a description of the total overthrow of the Jewish state, that was closely to follow the destruction of Jerusalem." Whether the expositions given in these examples have any truth in them or not, they are sufficient to evince that the learned have found it necessary to relinquish the literal interpretation of those passages of Scripture which speak of the passing away of heaven and earth, or of such convulsions in the heavenly bodies, as, if actual, would involve the destruction of the world. I will subjoin a few passages of Scripture, which must convince every one that such phrases are not to be literally understood.

We read in Isaiah, ch. xxxiv.: "All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll; and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off the vine, and as the falling fig from the fig-tree." This is stated as a consequence of a judgment to be performed in the land of Idumea, or Edom; for it is added. "For my sword shall be bathed in heaven; behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment." And the reason is given for it a little further on: "For it is the Lord's day of vengeance, and the year of recompenses, for the controversy of Zion;"— that is, because the Lord will plead the cause of his Church, signified by Zion, against those who would destroy her, signified by Idumea. But whatever judgments may at any time have visited the land of Idumea, they certainly were not accompanied by the dissolution of the heavens. Similar statements are made in Ezekiel xxxii., on occasion of predicting the conquest of Egypt; and in Isa. xiii., in connection with the announced destruction of Babylon: yet though it is certain that Babylon was captured by Cyrus, and Egypt subdued by Cambyses, we do not find that the heavenly bodies quaked in sympathy with those events, and fell into convulsions or dissolution. The prophet Joel also announces similar disorders in the heavens as to happen at the time of the Lord's advent in the flesh, almost in the same terms as are used by the Lord himself in reference to his second coming: "I will show wonders in the heavens above, and signs in the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke; the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come;" which prophecy is quoted by Peter (Acts ii. 16) as being then fulfilled. As then no destruction of heaven and earth, and no such convulsions as would include their destruction, took place at that time, so, we may conclude, neither will such things happen when the Lord's predictions respecting his second coming are fulfilled, or when that great change takes place which the revelator foretells under the figure of the removal of heaven and earth. In like manner, the establishing of new heavens and a new earth is announced in prophecies which have received their fulfilment. Thus the whole 65th chapter of Isaiah treats of the calling of the Gentiles and rejection of the Jews at the Lord's coming into the world, and establishing the Christian Church: which last event is figuratively predicted by the Lord's saying, "Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind:" that the church under a new dispensation, or in a new and improved state, is what is here treated of, is evident from its being immediately added, "Behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy:" and all that follows shows, that it is not a state in the other world that is spoken of, but in this. That this is the purport of the phrase, is further evident from a passage in the 51st chapter; where speaking of the restoration of the church, the Lord says, "I have put my words into thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people."

Thus then we also find, that, in the Old Testament as well as in the Revelation the formation of new heavens and earth is mentioned in connection with the restoration and re-establishment of Zion or Jerusalem: the reason is, because Zion and Jerusalem are constantly mentioned in prophecy as types of the church itself. In the Old testament, when their restoration is spoken of, they are evident types of the church which was to be raised in consequence of the Lord's coming into the world, and called the Christian Church, to distinguish it from the Israelitish or Jewish; consequently, in the Revelation, a new Jerusalem, can mean nothing else than a New Church,—a restoration of pure Christianity to more than its primitive glory. And both these events are said to he accompanied with the formation of a new heaven and new earth, to denote the entire newness of the respective churches as to their inward life and outward conversation, internal principles and external practice; all the corrupt persuasions and evils which had perverted the former churches being wholly removed.

Surely then it must be allowed to be evident, that the circumstance of the manifestation of the New Jerusalem being fixed by the prophet after the passing away of the former heaven and earth, and the formation of a new heaven and earth in their place, so far from sanctioning the opinion that it is a figure used to describe the state of the saints in heaven, only proves, more conclusively, that it is intended to denote an entirely new state of the church on earth; for it is palpably evident, that in every other instance throughout the Scriptures in which the passing away of heaven and earth, or convulsions in the heavenly bodies equivalent to their dissolution, are mentioned, such catastrophes in outward nature are not meant, but that they are prophetic phrases solely intended to express an entire change and renewal in the thing which is the subject of the prophecy.

II. Here, then, I trust you will admit, we have a clear and, at least, highly probable view of the signification of the prophecies which announce a Second Coming of the Lord, and the manifestation of a New Jerusalem: the next consideration is, Are there any circumstances and signs observable at the present day, which lead to the conclusion, that the time for the great divine interference thus prophetically delineated has arrived ? Permit me, before I proceed to offer an answer to this question, to observe, that an affirmative reply does not, as too many are inconsiderately apt to suppose, necessarily involve an absurdity. All who acknowledge the authority of the Scriptures, must allow, that the Second Coming of the Lord most assuredly will take place at some period or other; and if, as I trust has been conclusively shown, the commonly imagined mode of his appearance cannot be the true one, it is the more probable that it will take place, as is also plainly predicted, in an unexpected time and manner;—"in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh."* It is to be expected then, that, come when it may, multitudes—perhaps the majority—of the Christian world will be unwilling to credit the tidings, and will deride those who believe them as silly enthusiasts:— As the Lord declares again, "When the son of man cometh, shall he find faith in the earth?" + When therefore we announce to the world our belief, that this consummation of divine prophecy is now taking place, we are aware that we shall draw upon ourselves tile contempt and ridicule of the superficial and the frivolous: but we are at the same time sure, that all the sober and the reflecting,—all who will candidly examine the reasons which have brought us to this conviction, must become sensible of their strength, and will find it no easy matter to put them aside. Certain it is, that all divine prediction must one day be fulfilled: if then what is advanced in proof of such fulfilment having taken place be not altogether unworthy of the subject, they who urge it are at least entitled to be listened to with candour, and to have their arguments fairly considered. If, on the contrary, the mere asserting that the time has arrived for the accomplishment of a great Scripture-prophecy, is sufficient to authorise the treatment of those who advance it with derision and contempt, then it was right in the Scribes and Pharisees to treat with contempt the testimony of the Baptist; and it will be difficult to prove them wrong when they crucified the Saviour himself.

* Matt. xxiv. 44. + Luke, xvii. 8.

If then the view of the nature of the promised Second Advent of the Lord, and descent of the New Jerusalem which has now been imperfectly sketched, should be deemed probable and satisfactory, I might urge, that the publication, in the present day, of a system of Christian doctrine in which such a view is afforded, alone gives reason to apprehend, upon the principle that the prophecies of Scripture are never exactly understood till the time of their accomplishment, that the time for the accomplishment of these great prophecies has arrived, or, at least, must be near at hand. It is indeed true, as has been shown, that many have before concluded, from the known signification of Jerusalem, in prophetic language, as denoting the church (a signification explicitly assigned it by the Apostles *), that the New Jerusalem of the Apocalypse must signify a new and greatly improved state of Christianity in the world: our explication then of this sublime prophecy is not new, except in regard to the greater precision with which the particulars of its signification are unfolded: but the explication of the prophecy of the coming of the Lord in the clouds of heaven, as denoting his presence in the literal sense of his Word and the unfolding of the bright glory of its spiritual or internal sense, was never known in the church, till delivered in the doctrines which we believe to be those of the "New Jerusalem:" if then this is the true explication (and that it is so is capable of being proved with a weight of evidence that makes negation difficult +), this circumstance alone affords a sign, that the time for the accomplishment of these predictions, in their true sense, which is their spiritual sense, has arrived. The mere statement of this argument here may not appear to carry much weight: but when it is connected with a knowledge of what the doctrines which we believe to be those of "the New Jerusalem" are; when these doctrines are seen to exhibit all the great truths of pure Christianity in a clearer light than ever they were placed in before, and to discover with demonstrative evidence the errors of the sentiments by which their genuine lustre has been long obscured; when, together with the doctrines of pure Christianity, the spiritual sense of the Scriptures is seen to be truly unfolded, its existence demonstrated, and the Word of God proved in consequence to be the Word of God indeed:—when, I say, these truths are seen, as they may be seen, in the writings of the Author we so highly esteem; every mind which duly appreciates them will be apt to conclude, that such discoveries could never have been made by any unassisted human intellect, and that the only probable way of assigning them an origin, is, to regard them as a consequence of that Second Coming of the Lord which they announce. I do not however insist upon this argument at present; but I trust that some of the considerations which give it weight, will appear in the progress of this Appeal.

* Gal. iv. 26; Heb. xii. 22.
+ See some of this evidence in "The Plenary Inspiration," &c., in the passage referred to in a former note, and in the Appendix to that work, No. 4

But beside such evidences that the present is the era of the Second Coming of the Lord as require examination to discern them, are there none which may be obvious even to the superficial observer? It is said, that "every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him;" * words which imply, that his coming must be attended with signs perceptible to every understanding, even to those who do not, and will not, acknowledge him, how palpably soever the signs may declare his advent. Are there then any such signs as these exhibited before the world at this day? I answer without hesitation, Such signs are abundant and obvious; so much so, that there is not one person in this country, possessing a share of information and observation sufficient to raise him above the most stupid of the vulgar, who has not remarked them with astonishment,—who does not behold them making continually fresh calls upon his attention. It is true, that, though the signs are obvious, the true cause from which they proceed is not generally adverted to. Because the manner of the Lord's second coming, like that of his first coming, differs from the common expectation, his presence is not generally discerned now, any more than it was then: But this only strengthens the parallelism of the case; since the Lord rebuked that generation also, because they could not "discern the signs of the times." + But whether discerned, —rightly weighed and discriminated,—or not, the signs have been such as to force themselves on the notice of all. Does not every voice confess that we are living in a most extraordinary era of the world?

* Rev. i. 7. + Matt. xvi. 3; Luke, xii. 56.

Is not every mind impressed with the conviction that there is something almost preternatural in the character of the present times ? Has not the change which has taken place during the last forty or fifty years, the seeds of which had been fermenting for twenty or thirty years previously, in the whole aspect of Europe, of Christendom of the world, been such as has filled with amazement every one who has witnessed it, every one who contemplates it ? After every section of the great family of mankind has been seen struggling through convulsions which seemed to threaten the dissolution of all human society, does not order,—a new and improved order,—appear again to be emerging out of chaos ? Are not extraordinary improvements, in every thing connected with the comforts of human life, and the advancement of the species in civilisation, in knowledge, and, ultimately, in virtue, continually springing up ? and are they not continually calling forth, from every quarter, exclamations of surprise, and expanding every bosom with the hope, that the opening of a new and happier day than the world has ever before seen is now dawning on mankind ? But I forbear to enter more particularly into this delightful part of my argument at present, as it will be necessary to turn to it again when I come, in the next Section but one, to treat of the Last Judgment, —a subject intimately connected with that of the Second Coming of the Lord. Meanwhile, this slight hint may suffice, perhaps, to open new ideas in the minds of the Reflecting, when they turn their attention to these striking facts. At present I will only say, that in the wonderful visitations of Providence, both in the way of judgment and of mercy, which the present generation has witnessed and is witnessing still, we behold plain signs of the times of the Second Advent. They are such, unquestionably, as are commensurate with the grandest cause which can be assigned for their production: and how can they so worthily be considered, as by beholding in them the results of the fulfilment of the last great predictions of Holy Writ,— as by viewing them as harbingers of the Second Coming of the Lord ?

Ultima Cumsei venit jam carmlnis getas: Magnus ab integro sseclorum nascitur ordo: Jam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna.

III. But, in the third place, while there are many circumstances and signs in the political and social aspect of the world at this day, which indicate that the time for the divine interference described in Scripture as the Second Coming of the Lord has arrived; are there not also circumstances in the situation of the world in regard to religion, which evince, that the restoration of true religion, promised under the figures of a Second Coming of the Lord and establishment of a New Jerusalem, cannot be much longer delayed without the most serious injury to the human race ? It may at first perhaps appear paradoxical, that I should, on the one hand, advert to signs of the times which promise to the human race a new career of improvement and happiness, and draw thence an argument for the present being the era of the long-expected Second Coming of the Lord; and, on the other hand, that I should point to signs which threaten to the human race most serious injury, to deduce thence also an argument in proof of the same position. But when the matter is accurately inspected, it will be found that there is, in this, no inconsistency, and that the two arguments, instead of neutralising, do in reality strongly support each other. For all the pleasing circumstances that have been alluded to only refer to man as a rational being and an inhabitant of this world; his state in regard to religion refers to him as a spiritual being also, and the destined inhabitant of eternity: an improvement of his condition in the former respect evinces an increased action of the divine influences in his behalf, the ultimate aim of which is, to effect an improvement of his condition in the latter: but could the designs of Providence in this latter respect be frustrated, no improvement of the lower kind could bring real blessings, or could possibly be permanent. When a piece of new land is to be brought into cultivation, the first thing to be done is, to clear the surface of its useless products, and to prepare the soil: the next is, to sow the seeds from which is to be produced the desired harvest. All improvements in the general condition of the human race, and in the natural powers and attainments of the human mind, answer to the process of the preparation of the soil; but when it is thus prepared, unless the seeds of genuine Divine Truth be sown in it, the rankest weeds will spring up in abundance, and all the pains of the preparation be made abortive.

Here then let us ask a few questions. Do the views of religion generally entertained afford these seeds ? Are the seeds which they do afford such as the soil of the human mind, in its present improved state of preparation, finds congenial to itself, and which it will willingly admit into its bosom ? If not, is there not a manifest necessity, if man continues to be an object of regard to his Maker, that a new dispensation of Divine Truth, adapted to the present state and wants of the human mind, should be communicated from its Divine Source;—a dispensation by which the veil of error, in which the doctrines of genuine Christianity have been too long involved, should be torn away, and the face of pure Religion, in all the glory of her native beauty, should be again discovered to mankind? And should such a dispensation be too long withheld;—in other words, should the Second Coming of the Lord be too long delayed: is there not reason to apprehend that the rank weeds of Infidelity, which have already, in copious abundance, begun to appear, would overspread the whole field of the human mind, and blast all hopes of any real improvement, in wisdom and happiness, for the human race?

To consider each of these questions with the attention which its importance demands, would require more space than can consistently be allowed to this portion of our Appeal: I shall therefore answer them very briefly, and leave you, to whoso reflections my Appeal is addressed, more maturely to weigh them for yourselves.

The first of them,—Do the views of religion now generally entertained afford the pure seeds of Divine Truth?—will perhaps receive a conclusive answer in some of the future Sections of this Appeal: for if it shall then appear that the Doctrines of Genuine Truth on the most momentous subjects of faith and life are different from those commonly maintained, it is evident, that pure divine truth is not in these to be found: and I had rather this should thus appear by inference, than enter into a harsh exposure of what we esteem the errors of the prevailing views on religion.

The second question,—Are the seeds which the prevailing views of religion do afford, such as the soil of the human mind, in its present improved state of preparation, finds congenial to itself, and which it will willingly admit into its bosom?—may perhaps be answered without offence to any one; for it is a simple question of fact; and the fact, as obvious to every one, decidedly answers it in the negative. Is it not a fact which every one has observed, that the great bulk of mankind, at the present day, hold their religious sentiments much more loosely than was formerly the case ? They, even, who are most decidedly convinced of the truth of the Christian religion in general, are, for the most part, much less tenacious than their fathers used to be of the truth of any particular scheme of it: indeed, were I to say, that few feel any considerable confidence in the truth of the doctrines held by their respective sects as the very doctrines of Christianity, I believe I should only state the sum of all individual experience on the subject. Among the evident signs of a great change which has taken place in the human mind, or in men's modes of thinking, this is one; that men are universally become more disposed than formerly to inquire into the truth of the doctrines which they are required to believe, and are becoming daily less and less capable of acquiescing in implicit faith without the exercise of their own reason and understanding: how then is it possible that doctrines, the chief of which nave always been acknowledged by their advocates to be incomprehensible,—to be matters of such a faith as rejects all interference of the understanding, because, if the understanding were allowed its exercise, it would reject them;—how is it possible that such doctrines can retain their influence over the human mind in its present altered state ? Most unquestionably true is the remark of a late celebrated Christian orator,—a remark made by him long before he diverged into his peculiarities,—that the forms under which, religion is usually presented, though sufficient to feed with spiritual sustenance the minds of men in past ages, are no longer suited to the necessities of the present, but are become as "lifeless and bare trunks containing in them neither sap nor nourishment." * Unsatisfying dogmas, if they led the well-disposed mind to the acknowledgment of his God and Saviour and to the life of religion, might answer the main ends of true religion, so long as the human mind could simply acquiesce in them without inquiry: but when the human mind has come into such a state as to be satisfied with a blind faith no longer;—when it also is prepared, by the improved culture of its rational powers, for the reception of the seeds of the pure and genuine truth;—it no longer finds such unsatisfying dogmas congenial to itself; it no longer can draw from them its needed stores of spiritual nourishment; and it refuses therefore to admit their seeds into its bosom. That this is, most extensively, the state of the human mind at this day in regard to the views of religion commonly prevailing, is too evident for the most determined advocate of those views to deny.

Then, assuredly, our next question must be answered at once in the affirmative; and it must be admitted. That there is a manifest necessity, if man continues to be an object of regard to his Maker, that a new dispensation of Divine Truth, adapted to the present state and wants of the human mind, should be communicated from its Divine Source:—in other words, that the long expected Second Coming of the Lord should in these times be revealed. This dispensation must be such, as to remove the clouds of error in which the beauty of pure Christianity has been long involved; to restore the right understanding of the Word of God, and conclusively to demonstrate its divine origin; to exhibit, in a rational as well as Scriptural light, the divinity of the Christian Redeemer, without the just acknowledgment of which no Church truly called Christian can exist; and to display in a satisfactory manner the nature of man's immortality and of his life hereafter, at the same time that it re-discovers the true nature of the means by which that immortality may be made an immortality of happiness. In short, it must be a dispensation which shall effect the union of reason with religion, without divesting the latter of its spirituality, as merely rational (as they are called) schemes of religion invariably have done; but which shall add spirituality to reason, and exalt it with both. Whether the system of religion embraced by those who humbly trust that they belong to the New Church of the Lord, which they believe to be predicted in the Revelation under the figure of a New Jerusalem, answers to this character, may in some measure appear as we proceed: but, without reference to any specific system, it seems difficult to deny, that the communication of such a dispensation of Divine Truth as we have here slightly sketched an idea of, is essentially important to the present state and spiritual necessities of mankind.

* Rev. E. Irving in his Farewell Sermon at Glasgow on his first coming to London.

For should such a dispensation be too long withheld, must we not answer our last question also in the affirmative, and conclude, That there is reason to apprehend that the yank weeds of Infidelity, which have already, in copious abundance, begun to appear, would overspread the whole field of the human mind, and blast all hopes of any real improvement, in wisdom and happiness, for the human race? The strong hold of Infidelity is, the irrationality of the doctrines commonly affirmed to be those of the "Word of God. These are such. as reason, when once it ventures to look at them, must reject: and when such doctrines are supposed to be those of the Scriptures, and the true nature of the Scriptures themselves is also totally misunderstood, the inevitable consequence is, that the Scriptures are rejected with them. Set then the Scriptures in their proper light; especially, prove that they are written by the laws of that invariable correspondence or analogy which exists by creation between natural things-and spiritual, whence, while merely natural things are for the most part treated of in their literal sense, they are only used as types of purely spiritual ideas;—thus, prove that the Scriptures have in them a spiritual sense in which the wisdom of God in all its glory shines: then show what their doctrines really are, and evince that the genuine dictates of Scripture invariably harmonise with the genuine dictates of Reason,—that though they contain truths far beyond the reach of unassisted Reason to discover, they always are such as Reason, thus enlightened, accepts, approves, and can by numerous arguments confirm: thus, exhibit the main topics of religion in their proper light; and you immediately deprive Infidelity of its power over the unsophisticated mind, that retains its unbiased love of truth, and desire of knowing it. But certainly, nothing like this is done in the views of religion commonly prevailing; and we see the awful consequence: we see, not only deism, but atheism, unblushingly avowed by numbers even in this favoured land; while on the continent of Europe it is too well known that they are far more universal, both among the Roman Catholic and the Protestant States. The fashionable school of divinity, even, through a great part of Christendom, led by the late Drs. Semler and Eichhorn, allows nothing of the proper nature of inspiration to the New Testament, and denies it to the Old testament altogether, insomuch that the Consistory of Wurtemberg have gone to the length of forbidding the clergy to take from the Old Testament the subjects of their sermons.* Here are plain symptoms indeed of a growing tendency to infidelity: Is there anything in the views of the Scriptures, and the doctrines of Christianity, commonly entertained, which is capable of stemming the torrent? Is there not then reason to apprehend the most disastrous consequences to the human race, should the proper antidote be much longer withheld,— should the Second Coming of the Lord, in the sense explained above, be much longer delayed ?

* See the Intellectual Repository for the New Church, Second Series, vol. i. p. 608.

IV. To come to the conclusion of the present subject.

What has been offered, may, I would fain hope, have been sufficient to satisfy all who consider the important subject with due reflection, that our pretensions are not very extravagant when we affirm our belief, that a new dispensation of Divine Truth is in reality in this day communicated, and that we are actually living in the age of the Second Coming of the Lord. But some of you, perhaps, may be afraid to give ear to the arguments presented by the signs we have considered, and to admit the belief, that the light by which they are discovered, and the doctrines with which they are connected, are really those of the New Jerusalem, for fear of incurring the reproach of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the charge with which the world is ever ready to stigmatise all who sincerely believe that God exercises a providence in human affairs, especially in whatever relates to his Church, and who practically admit the acknowledgment, that the predictions of Scripture are not to remain a dead letter for ever, but that it really is possible, that what Divine Truth has foretold, may one day come to pass. Indeed, none can consistently ridicule others for believing that a prediction of Scripture has come to pass, but they who in their hearts do not believe in the Scriptures at all, nor even in the Omniscience and foreknowledge of the Deity. It is true that there have been wild enthusiasts enow, who have grounded their idle fancies on the prophecies of Scripture. But how have such enthusiasts usually acted ? By expecting some great thing to take place in outward nature, and themselves to be exalted to high honour and worldly dignity;—by fancying that Jesus Christ would come in person to reign on the earth, and that they that have faith to believe this would be made his vicegerents in the government of mankind: with other extravagances of a similar kind, originating in a misconception of the true nature of divine prediction, and of the manner in which it is to be fulfilled. Look at the pretensions of the false Christs and false prophets that have arisen in different ages; and you will find notions of this kind to pervade them all. All such flights of enthusiasm find a complete antidote in the doctrine, which we are satisfied is as true now as at the Lord's first coming in the flesh, that his kingdom is not of this world. If we were to hold out, as enthusiasts have done, peculiar privileges on this side of the grave, we perhaps might, like some of them, soon find many more disciples; but they would be such as would not he worth having, because such as, like unconverted Peter, savour not the things of God, but the things that be of men.* We have no worldly dignities to offer,— no, nor any short path to heaven. The only path to the blissful seats, with which we are acquainted, is the path of repentance and regeneration; and these operations, we believe, cannot be radically performed, but by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, believed in as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, received in humility, and combined with hearty obedience on the part of man. The law that regulates admission into the New Church or New Jerusalem, is, that "there shall in no wise enter therein any thing that is unclean, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie;"+ by which we understand, that whosoever would be benefited by the new dispensation of the everlasting gospel, must regulate his life, from his inmost thoughts to his outmost deeds, by the immutable laws of order contained in the divine commandments; especially labouring to remove from his affections whatsoever is inconsistent with the love and purity of the heavenly kingdom, and from his thoughts or opinions whatever is disowned by the Divine Truth, which constitutes the law of that kingdom: and this he must do in humble dependence upon, and devout elevation of his mind to, the Lord Jesus Christ, as Him who ever reigns in that kingdom, the King of kings and Lord of lords. We do not believe then that a new dispensation of the everlasting gospel is offered to man, to contradict, in the slightest degree, former dispensations, but to fulfil them, by introducing into them their proper spirit and life. We are convinced, that they who embrace the new dispensation should walk in newness of the spirit, not in oldness of the letter; that as all former dispensations have required men to love God and keep his commandments, so in this they must do so from a deeper ground in the heart, and with more entire conformity in their practice. Thus we believe that the distinguishing superiority of the new dispensation will consist solely in these things;—the superior clearness with which the person and nature of the God who is therein to be worshipped will be seen, with a more plain discovery of the way in which an acceptable service can be offered to him; combined with the more powerful communication of a divine influence from him, enabling those who acknowledge him to fight successfully against their own corruptions, and so to render to him this acceptable service. Whilst then we point out to mankind the signs which demonstrate that the Second Coming of the Lord is arrived, we do not mean to fill their heads with idle fancies of no one knows what; but to enforce upon them the fact, that now are they called, more unequivocally than at any former period, to acknowledge the only true God, and to be assured that the first of all the commandments is, to love the Lord our God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, and that the second is like unto it—to love our neighbour as ourselves We only wish to urge upon them the necessity of becoming such servants of God and such friends of mankind, by the assurance that every divine aid is offered that will enable them to do so. If this be enthusiasm, it is an enthusiasm, allow me to say, which every sincerely well disposed mind ought by all means to foster: it is an enthusiasm which every friend of humanity ought to desire should become universal: for it is an enthusiasm which, if once made universal, would speedily banish evil and misery from the earth, and bring on halcyon days of Universal contentment and peace.

* Matt. xvi. 23. + Rev. xxi. 27.

III. The Resurrection

A. The true Doctrine Proposed, and Texts cited in Opposition Considered

The next subject which seems most naturally to demand our attention, after having considered that of the Second Coming of the Lord, is that of the Last Judgment; for that the execution of the Last Judgment must accompany the arrival of the Second Advent, is universally believed by Christians, and is most plainly announced in the Word of God. But here a question of great importance arises;— Where is to be the scene of the last judgment ?—is it to be accomplished in the natural or in the spiritual world ? As the common opinion is, not only, as the apostle declares, that man is to be judged "for the things done in the body," but also, beyond what either the Apostle or any other divine authority has declared, that he is to be judged in the body, the general expectation is, that the body is to be called out of the tomb for this purpose; and, consequently, that the scene of the last judgment is to be in this world of nature. The Scriptures have conducted us to a quite different conclusion. We are satisfied, upon their authority, which here assuredly coincides with the plainest dictates of reason, that when the body is laid aside by death, we have done with it for ever; that man then becomes a living inhabitant of a spiritual world, in which he is to continue his existence for ever: and that, consequently, the Last Judgment can only be accomplished in the world in which all the human race are collected together,—that is, in the spiritual world, and not in the natural world, to which they who have once quitted it will return no more. Before then you can decide upon the subject of the Last Judgment, it is necessary that I should appeal to you upon that of the Resurrection.

Allow me then to state, in a few words, the sum of our views-upon this subject; they being such as we think are peculiarly adapted to recommend themselves, independently of all argument, to the Serious and the Reflecting.

We believe 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 visible to 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.*

* See this statement, and other parts of this Section, explained and vindicated. in. "Strictures" upon a pamphlet by a Mr. T. Spencer, inserted by me in the Intellectual Repository and New Jerusalem Magazine, vol. iii., for 1834 and 1835, pp. 422—432, 582—594, and 656—663.

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. Virtually, this 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 our opponents, 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 one I have now chiefly in my eye, + 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, "even Moses"—Moses, who never openly treats of the subject,—but "even Moses showed 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 them by Moses,—that they were not then slumbering in their graves ? Most truly does an accuser say, "that the doctrine of the resurrection may justly be called the key-stone of the gospel dispensation:" but to say, that the doctrine of the resurrection of the body is so, is grossly to pervert the plain meaning of the gospel-teaching. This writer, in his zeal for his body of clay, goes so far as to affirm, that to deny, not the resurrection, observe, but the resurrection of the body, if it is not the sin against the Holy Ghost, is, in his serious opinion, something very near it! and then, as if determined to cut us off from all hope of salvation, he adds, "to hear Christ say, 'I will raise him up at the last day,' and then tacitly [as he means to say we do] to give Christ the lie" (such is his shocking expression!) "must be a crime of no common description."$ But who that knows the use of language, would call the material body, him? The Lord is not here speaking of the body, but of the man; "I will raise him up at the last day;" not, "I will send his soul from heaven to gather up the ashes of his body." The words at length are, "This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."||— Is it the body which thus seeth and believeth ?

* Acts xxiii. 8.
+ I allude to the Rev. Mr. Beaumont, whose "Anti-Swedenborg" called forth the first edition of this "Appeal;" and where I make any adverse quotations, without specifically naming the author, it is from that publication that they are taken. I notice none, however, but what, in substance, are common to most of our adversaries.
# Luke xx. 37, 38. See this subject fully examined in Strictures,
&c, Intellectual Repository for 1835, pp. 428—431.
$ Anti-Swedenborg, p. 50.
|| John vi. 40. See Strictures,
&c., ibid. pp. 583—589.

That man is not to slumber in a state of insensibility till the last day of the world, but that it is the last day with every man when he dies, is evident from the manner in which the Lord corrects Martha's mistaken notion respecting it. "Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day"* Here Jesus perceives that she had in her mind only the notion of a distant resurrection: wherefore he replies, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and he that liveth and believeth in me, shall never die." + Here, because, in the divine idea, no life but spiritual life is worthy of the name, the privilege of enjoying it is confined to believers; but of these the divine Saviour declares, that their life shall never be perceptibly interrupted. They have begun to live here, and they shall live on to eternity,—"they shall never die." To affirm, then, that there is no real resurrection but the resurrection of the body, and to apply all that is said upon the subject in Scripture to this imaginary resurrection; to affirm, particularly, that it is the resurrection of the body which the Lord means, when he says, "I will raise him up at the last day; "—I will not adopt the coarse and profane language employed against us, by saying it is giving Christ the lie,—but I must say, it is not only directly contradicting him, but it is making him contradict himself. Jesus Christ affirms, that he who believeth in him shall never die; and to prevent men from wondering how this can be, when men do die, to all appearance, at the close of their life in the world, he assures them, that at the last day of this life they shall be transplanted into life eternal:— "Every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, shall have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day." That would be a strange sort of everlasting life, which was to be interrupted by an interval of no one knows how many thousands of years. Even supposing that the body were to live again, it is quite evident that it is not the life of the body of which the Lord is speaking, when he speaks of everlasting life, since the life of the body is not, upon any hypothesis, an everlasting life: consequently, it is not the body of which he speaks when he says, "I will raise him up at the last day." The whole declaration is only applicable to the spirit, which is the man himself, to which the body is only an instrument of service while he remains in a world and state where its services are required: "The flesh," as the Lord says in the same discourse, "profiteth nothing." # The spirit only is the real man: it is of the spirit only that life everlasting can be predicated: it is this only that can he raised to the eternal world: and this resurrection, the Lord assures us, the spirit shall experience, not after a sleep of ages, or at hest a state for ages of half conscious existence, but in all the vigour of true life, as soon as it is emancipated from the shell of clay.

* John xi. 23, 24. See this text largely illustrated as above, pp. 589—591, and the Scripture meaning of the last day, pp. 591—594. + Ver. 28. # John vi. 63.

Some, however, applying to the flesh all that is said in the Scriptures of the true resurrection, hesitate not to add reviling to their anathemas against those who can find in the Scriptures no such sentiment. "A doctrine," says one, "so glorious—so awfully sublime, so clearly taught in the sacred records [where it is not once mentioned]—so universally believed from the beginning of the Christian era [he might have said,—before the beginning of the Christian era, —for it is a purely Jewish doctrine, and from the Jews those Christians who did believe it received it]—so commonly believed by all sects and denominations of Christians even in our day, with the exception of Swedenborgians, who, as many will think, deserve not the name of Christians; this blessed doctrine, I say, is not to be given up at the ipse dixit of a madman," &c.* I make no remark upon the liberality and Christian candour of such observations, but appeal to you, my reflecting readers, to judge of them as they may deserve. But why is it that most Christians at this day hold the doctrine of the resurrection of the body? I answer, Because they have not searched the Scriptures for themselves, but finding much said in the Scriptures respecting a resurrection, and having been told from their childhood that the body is to rise again, they conclude, with our accuser, that the resurrection spoken of is the resurrection of the body. And as we, for denying it, are to be put out of the pale of Christianity; and because our accusers find it convenient to call the intelligent Swedenborg, who proves its falsehood, a madman;— (though the present writer admits that a man who could write as he did could not have been very mad, though he thinks he must have been a little mad +;) as, for these reasons, nothing that we can allege against it from Scripture or reason is to be listened to for a moment, we will call another witness. It will not be said, I suppose, that the great reasoner Locke,—the author of a work on the Reasonableness of Christianity, was not a Christian, or that he was a madman: and this great man has left on record a testimony of the conclusion to which every rational man, and every unprejudiced Christian, must come, who candidly examines the subject for himself. In his Third Letter to the Bishop of Worcester, cited also

in the note at the end of the chapter on Identity and Diversity, in his Essay on the Human Understanding, he says, "The resurrection of the dead I acknowledge to be an article of the Christian faith: but that the resurrection of the same body, in your Lordship's sense of the same body, is an article of the Christian faith, is what, I confess, I do not yet know. In the New Testament (wherein I think, are contained all the articles of the Christian faith,) I find our Saviour and the apostles to preach the resurrection of the dead, and the resurrection from the dead, in many places: but I do not remember any place whore the resurrection of the same body is so much as mentioned; nay, which is very remarkable in the case, I do not remember, in any place of the New Testament, (where the general resurrection of the last day is spoken of,) any such expression as the resurrection of the body, much less of the same body" At the conclusion of a long series of powerful remarks, some more of which I shall have occasion to quote, Mr. L. adds, what many would find a useful caution against a too great facility in taking for granted, that all that is usually delivered as the doctrine of Scripture really is such. "I must not part with this article of the resurrection," says he, "without returning my thanks to your Lordship for making me take notice of a fault in my Essay. When I wrote that book, I took it for granted, as I doubt not but many others have done, that the Scriptures had mentioned, in express terms, the resurrection of the body:—but upon the occasion your Lordship has given me, in your last letter, to look a little more narrowly into what revelation has declared concerning the resurrection, and finding no such express words in Scripture as that 'the body shall rise, or be raised, or the resurrection of the body,' I shall, in the next edition of it, change these words of my book, 'the dead bodies of men shall rise,'—into those of Scripture, 'the dead shall rise.' "Afterwards, in strict agreement with our sentiments, which affirm that man rises with a real substantial body, though not with a material body, Mr. Locke adds, "Not that I question that the dead shall be raised with bodies; but in matters of revelation I think it not only safest, but our duty, as far as any one delivers it for revelation, to keep close to the words of the Scripture; unless he will assume to himself the authority of one inspired, or make himself wiser than the Holy Spirit himself."

* Anti-Swedenborg, p. 49.
+ "It does appear to many, that either much learning, or something else unknown, had made Baron Swedenborg mad, if not in the highest, yet in a lower degree."
Anti-S. p. 6. And in pp. 7 and 8 some important doctrines of Swedenborg's are admitted to be excellent.

In these few sentences, it must, I think, be generally felt, that Mr. Locke has fully anticipated all the arguments of our accusers as professed to be drawn from Scripture, and has shown that the passages adduced by them as proving their favourite notion, in reality prove no such thing. Whether Mr. Locke's own views on the subject were in all respects correct, is unimportant; he has sufficiently evinced, that the doctrine of the resurrection of the body cannot be proved by Scripture. We will, however, run over the texts most frequently brought against us, to demonstrate that Mr. Locke is right in his assertion,—that not one of them speaks of any resurrection of the body.

The first three of the texts so commonly adduced are taken from a class of testimony which Mr. Locke would not admit in this case,— the books of the Old Testament; for certainly, whenever the writers of the Old Testament speak of a resurrection, they speak of it in a manner so evidently figurative, that no judicious person would rely much upon an argument drawn from the literal sense of their expressions. It is true that the Lord Jesus Christ draws thence an argument against the Sadducees, which we receive as most conclusive evidence of the reality of a resurrection, and that it takes place immediately after death: but here we have the Old Testament expounded by an infallible Interpreter, and we receive the important truth upon the authority of the Interpreter, rather than because it is plain, to ordinary apprehensions, in the text from which he deduces it. Indeed, we are authoritatively assured by the writers of the New Testament, that the doctrine of the resurrection is not, in the books of the Old Testament, openly revealed. The Apostle's assertion, that "life and immortality were brought to light through the gospel," would not be true, if life and immortality had been brought to light under the law. In defiance, however, of the authority of the Apostles, many would fain have us believe, not only that the doctrine of the resurrection, but that of the resurrection of the body, may be clearly proved from the Old Testament.

How often is the array of texts on this subject opened with the celebrated passage of Job! "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though, after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me." (Job xix. 25, 26, 27). This text, however, which is commonly understood to teach the resurrection of the body, affords a remarkable instance of the mistakes into which it is easy to run, when we read Scripture with pre-conceived opinions in our minds. For who does not see, whose eyes are not closed by his pre-conceived opinions, that this text has nothing at all to do with the subject ? Job is here speaking of the wretched state of affliction to which he was then reduced, and declaring his confidence that God would interpose to deliver him before his death,— not at the end of the world. We read in chap, ii., that Satan, after having grievously afflicted Job in his property and family, demanded "permission to touch his bone and his flesh," and that "he smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown." Accordingly, Job complains, a few verses before those just quoted, of being wasted away to mere skin and bone; which he expresses by saying, "My bone cleaveth to my skin, as to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth." (Ch. xix. 20.) Because his friends reproached him, imputing his misfortunes to his wickedness, he adds, "Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O my friends, for the hand of God hath touched me. Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh ?" (Ver. 21, 22.) —that is, why still treat him as though he had not been sufficiently punished, though his flesh was all wasted away. Wherefore he proceeds to express his confidence, that, notwithstanding their uncharitable judgment of him, he may still rely on God as his Vindicator, Redeemer, or Deliverer, and that God will at last appear in his behalf; not at the last day of the world, (neither does the word day occur in the original,) but at the conclusion of his, state of trial. When he adds, "and though, after my skin, worms destroy this body, [where, likewise, neither worms nor body are mentioned in the original,] yet in my flesh shall I see God;" he does not mean to comfort himself with the thought, that though his body must now die, it will rise again, and he shall see God in his flesh, perhaps ten thousand years afterwards: but he expresses his confidence that, though wasted to a shadow, he shall not die, but shall see God interpose in his behalf while he still is living in the flesh and has not put it off by death. Therefore he adds, that he shall see God for himself, and his own eyes shall behold him and not another's; meaning, that God will not put oil' the vindication of his innocence till after his death, in which case, though another might see justice done him, it would be no benefit to himself, but that he himself shall experience the deliverance: and this notwithstanding his anguish, mental and bodily, was aggravated to such a degree, that, as he adds, "his reins are consumed within him." Accordingly, all this pious confidence of his was justified by the event, and his hopes were completely fulfilled. At the end of the book God himself is represented as interposing. In the passage we have been considering; Job says. "In my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold and not another." In the last chapter he says, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee." (Chap. xlii. 5.) In the passage we have been considering, Job declares his reliance that he should see God interfere as his Redeemer or Deliverer: in the last chapter, God does interfere in this character; "and the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends; also, the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before." "And after this lived Job a hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his son's sons, even four generations. So Job died, being old and full of days." (Ver. 10, 16, 17.) Can the parallelism between the expectation and the accomplishment be more complete ? What violence then is done to the text, when the conclusion of the history is disregarded, and Job's hopes are referred to an imaginary resurrection of his body! Surely, to put this text in the front, to prove the resurrection of the body, when it has no relation to a resurrection of any sort, is equivalent to an acknowledgment that the resurrection of the body is not a doctrine of the Scriptures.

So plain, indeed, is it, that this text of Job has nothing to do with the subject, that this acknowledgment has forced itself on the most eminent of those who contend for the resurrection of the body. This admission, for instance, is made by the learned Dr. Hody, the author of the celebrated work, De Bibliorum Textibus Originalibus, in his work entitled, The Resurrection of the Same Body Asserted: and he cites, to the same purport, the following remarks of Grotius, which I translate as closely as possible: "Not a few Christians have used this text to prove the resurrection: but to do this, they are compelled in their versions to depart much from the Hebrew, as has been observed by Mercer and others. The Hebrew," adds Grotius, "is to this effect: 'I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he at last will stand in the field (that is, will be victor). Although they (his distempers) should not only consume my skin, but also this, (namely, the fat which is under the skin,) nevertheless in my flesh I shall see God (that is, shall experience his favour): I, I say, with these my eyes, I, not another for me. My reins have failed within me, (that is, my inmost parts are devoured with indignation at your reproaches.)'"—Dr. Hody, having observed "that Bishop Pearson calls this exposition 'a very new one,' " adds, "But in that he is mistaken, for 'tis no more than what St. Chrysostom long ago thought on, and did not dislike." The fact is, that this passage was only known, to the early Christians, through the medium of very inaccurate translations; and having been once applied to the doctrine of the Resurrection, and prescriptively regarded as belonging to that subject, it afterwards required no small share of learning to discover, and of resolution, as well as of candour, to acknowledge, the impropriety of the application. Hence, though the discovery of its inapplicability has long since been made, few are willing to confess it; and it still continues to be cited as pertinent to the question, though it now yields an argument only to the ignorant. +"

+ See this text of Job, and other passages from the same took, examined at large in the Intellectual Repository for 1825, pp. 649—651; and for 1826, pp. 148-156.

The next citation presented for notice is the following: "Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope; for thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption." * This, however, is so palpably beside the question, that it is needless to waste words in exposing its inapplicability. The declaration is made respecting a Holy Being, whose body was not to see corruption; but the bodies of all men do see corruption: consequently, this declaration does not relate to the bodies of men in general. Probably, then, most readers will prefer, to the application of the words adopted by our adversaries, the application of them by the Apostle Peter: "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he, seeing this before, spake of the Resurrection of christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption" + Such was the force of this reasoning, that three thousand souls were converted by it: but the argument was a mere sophism, and they who yielded to it were not converted but entrapped, if, as some would pretend, the words are as true of David, and of every other mortal, as of the Lord Jesus Christ.

* Ps. xvi. 9, 10. + Acts ii. 29, 30, 31.

A text more plausibly applied to this question is cited from Daniel; where also, though it is not so obviously remote from the subject, a little reflection may convince any one, that the prophet is not speaking of the resurrection of the body. He says, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." (Ch. xii. 2.) Now most people believe, that, whether the body rises again or not, the resurrection extends to all whose bodies are deposited in the dust: yet this passage only says, that many of them that sleep in the dust shall awake: and this difficulty is so insurmountable, that the more candid of the advocates for the resurrection of the body acknowledge that this passage cannot relate to the subject. If we are to abide strictly by the letter in the words sleeping in the dust, we must abide by the letter in the word many: hence, if we make the passage say, that many of the bodies which lie in the dust shall be raised, we make it say as positively, that some of them shall not be raised: and thus we involve the whole in contradiction. Dr. Hody, who was so anxious to find evidence for the resurrection of the body that he often adduces such as is extremely equivocal, nevertheless considers that this passage of Daniel is best referred to the restoration of the Jews, or of the church, being excluded from reference to a general resurrection, by the introduction of the word many: and his arguments are well worth notice. "I most freely acknowledge," he says, "that the word many makes this text extremely difficult. I know what expositors say; but I am not satisfied with any thing that I have hitherto met with. Some tell us that many is sometimes used in the Scriptures to signify all:—but this does not clear the difficulty. For there is a great difference between many, and many of. All they that sleep in the dust are many; but many of them that sleep in the dust cannot be said to be all they that sleep in the dust.—Many of does plainly except some."—Being still, however, reluctant to give up this passage as a proof of his favourite sentiment, Dr. Hody acknowledges, that as the text could not be accommodated to the doctrine, he was once disposed to accommodate the doctrine to the text. "I was once," says he, "inclined to believe, and the fancy was grounded upon this text, that there may be some who shall not be raised up at all at the last day: and who were they, think you, who I fancied were not to rise? Such heathens as lived morally well, and according to the light that is given them. I was loth to rank them among the miserable; and I could not see how they could be saved. I was willing therefore to believe that there might be some middle way contrived by Providence; and that was annihilation." An admirable expedient, indeed! which at once relieves the mind from the pain attending the horrid notion so generally prevalent, that nothing but eternal fire is reserved even for the best of that immense portion of mankind who have not been visited by the light of the gospel, and converts this text of Daniel into good proof of the resurrection of the body! Dr. Hody, however, was too honest to be satisfied with such a subterfuge; wherefore we will leave it to those who are not so candid, or so scrupulous.

To sleep, and to sleep in the dust, are phrases belonging to that peculiar style of language in which the Scriptures are written, and which is framed from the correspondence, analogy, or mutual relation, established by the Creator between natural things and spiritual; which is such, that the former regularly answer to the latter, and afford exact images for giving them expression; as I have endeavoured to explain in a distinct work on that subject. In this style of language, to sleep, and to sleep in the dust, mean, to be in a merely natural and sensual state of life; and to awake from this state to everlasting life, is to arise to a state of truly spiritual life, accompanied with eternal happiness; while to awake to shame and everlasting contempt, is to pass indeed into a spiritual state, but such a one as belongs to infernal spirits, accompanied with eternal misery. Thus to sleep in the dust, and to awake thence, have no reference whatever to the unconscious dead body, but to the man, of whom the dead body no longer forms any part. Hence we read, both of the wise and the foolish virgins, that while the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept; and surely no one ever referred the expressions, in this instance, to the body in the grave. So when the Apostle, paraphrasing the prophet, says, "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light;" * he certainly does not allude to the sleep of the grave, or address the dead bodies there, but calls those who are slumbering in a merely natural state, and who are spiritually dead, to arise to a state of spiritual light and life. Thus also, when Isaiah exclaims, "Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem; "+ none understand the call to be addressed to the dead bodies of the Jewish people mouldering in the dust of the grave. Equally unfounded is the application of this prophecy of Daniel, respecting them that sleep in the dust, to dead carcases in the tomb.

In the preceding paragraph I have explained the above text of Daniel according to its spiritual sense, because I am of opinion that it really does relate, as they who apply it to the resurrection of the body suppose, to the last judgment; and it is only in its spiritual sense that it refers to that event. But they who apply it to the resurrection of the body take it in its merest literal sense. That it has also, subordinately, a literal or natural sense, I readily admit: but in that sense it certainly relates neither to the resurrection of the body nor to the last judgment. Let any one examine the context, and then decide whether, in the literal sense, it can possibly refer to the last judgment; if not, neither can it, even in that sense, refer to the resurrection of the body. The preceding chapter is occupied with an account of the wars between the king of the south and the king of the north; and these were understood, by all the ancient commentators, to be the Greek kings of Egypt and of Syria: indeed, so well do the predictions apply to the affairs of those princes and times, that the celebrated philosopher and opposer of Christianity, Porphyry, made the very exactness of the prophecy an argument against its truth, pretending that it must have been written after the events had come to pass. Thus, according to the ancient interpreters, as may be seen in Prideaux and others, the eleventh chapter ends with the death of Antiochus Epiphanes, whom most of them regarded as a type of Antichrist. The death of Antiochus took place in the 164th year before the Christian Era; and in the year preceding, Judas Maccabaeus, having delivered his country from the power of her oppressors, purified and repaired the temple, and founded the feast of the Dedication; which I mention, because the observance of this feast by the Saviour himself (John x. 22) seems to include a recognition of the importance, and indeed of the divine origin, of the

* Eph. 11. + Isa. Hi. 2.

reform and restoration effected by Judas. Now the eleventh chapter of Daniel having ended with the death of Antiochus, the twelfth chapter begins with declaring, that the Jews should experience a deliverance at the same time: "And at that time" it reads, "shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth up for the children of thy [Daniel's] people [the Jews]: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." This certainly appears very suitable, in its literal sense, to the deliverance which the Jews obtained, after the dreadful oppressions they had previously undergone, by the instrumentality of Judas Maccabaeus, co-incident as this was with the end of the reign of Antiochus: accordingly, this part of the prophecy, also, is thus applied by the ancient interpreters. Well then; in the outward sense, the passage respecting them that sleep in the dust must be a figurative description of some of the circumstances which then took place; for it immediately follows the words last cited. In this application, doubtless, they that slept in the dust, were they who had submitted to their heathen masters and conformed to the manners and worship of their oppressors, as the latter rigorously required; they who awoke to everlasting life, were they who sincerely returned to, and assisted in re-establishing, the worship of the true God, and thus obtained everlasting honour in this world and happiness in the next: and they who awoke to shame and everlasting contempt, were they who, having become heathens in heart as well as in manners, opposed the efforts of their countrymen to obtain emancipation, and thus incurred everlasting disgrace both here and hereafter. But certainly, no bodies of Jews deceased then arose, either to promote or oppose the noble labours of Judas.

In just conformity then with the ancient scheme of literal interpretation, this passage can have nothing to do with the doctrine of the resurrection of the body.

Nor do the schemes of literal interpretation which many recent expositors have substituted for the ancient one, make this text at all more applicable to that doctrine. It has become the fashion to explain the latter part of the eleventh chapter in reference to events of modern times, and to read, in the first verse of the twelfth, the promise of a restoration of the Jews which is yet future, but which many believe to be immediately at hand; and the prediction respecting them that sleep in the dust, is then necessarily understood as figuratively describing the state of the Jews, and their conduct, at the period of this expected restoration. It is expressly so applied by Mr. Faber and others. But certainly, though the Jews themselves suppose that, when they return to Canaan, the bodies of all their deceased countrymen will arise and go with them, no Christian! concurs in so extravagant an expectation.

Thus, upon no consistent scheme of interpretation whatever, can this verse be made to relate to an actual revival of dead bodies.

We now pass, for the present, from the evidence of the Old Testament to that of the New: and though we shall here find explicit documents on the subject of the resurrection, we shall find Mr. Locke's assertion to be true, that it, likewise, never speaks of the resurrection of the same [or the material] body.

The first passage to be hence noticed, is one which has been much relied on by the advocates of the resurrection of the body; and yet it is attended with particulars, in itself and in its context, which make it utterly irreconcilable with that doctrine. "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation." (John v. 28.) The specific reference of these words we shall probably see when we come to consider the subject of the Last Judgment; but that they do not relate to any resurrection of deceased bodies, to take place many hundreds, probably many thousands of years after the words were uttered, is evident from this circumstance; that the great event referred to, whatever may be its true nature, is spoken of in the present tense,—the hour is coming,— indicating that the event was immediately about to take place. This is the usual import of the verb to come when used in the present tense, both in common language and in the language of Scripture. If the Divine Speaker had been referring to an event so distant as experience has now proved that the resurrection of the body, if ever it takes place, must then have been, he would not have said, "the hour is coming" but, "the hour will come;" as when he says, in Luke, "The days will come when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man:"—when he says, "the hour cometh, or is coming," he certainly means, is presently at hand. (See, for instance, John iv. 21 and 23.) But if the mode of expression be not itself deemed sufficient to put this beyond all doubt, all doubt must vanish when the parallel passage, three verses previous, is consulted, of which this is only a more detailed repetition. The Lord there says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." (Ver. 25.) Certainly, "the dead," "all that are in the graves,"—cannot mean, literally, corpses in the tomb; for all these have never yet heard the voice of the Son of God, lived, and come forth; although the Lord declares that the hour of which he was speaking, when this should take place, then was. Whatever then may be intended by these divine declarations, we here have conclusive proof, that they do not announce the resurrection of the body. The language of the Divine Speaker must be figurative; in fact, it is that of analogy or correspondence. This is further evident from the next verse preceding, which introduces the subject: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life." (Ver. 24.) Here, those who are in a merely natural state, are spoken of as being in a state of death, notwithstanding they are living by natural life in the world. This evinces, that it is not of natural death that the Divine Teacher is speaking; consequently, "the dead," mentioned directly afterwards, are not they who are naturally dead, and "all that are in the graves" are not the dead bodies in the tomb. +

+ See the above explanation of this text, and of the use in Scripture of the expression cometh, or is coming, fully established in "Strictures," &c.. Int. Rep. for 1835, pp. 658—663,

But it not only is evident, upon comparing the context, that "all that are in the graves," cannot mean all dead bodies, but it is shown by Mr. Locke, in the place cited above, that the words themselves, could they be separated from the context, cannot, without the greatest inconsistencies, be applied to such a resurrection. It is to be observed that his antagonist, Stillingfleet, bishop of Worcester, though contending for the resurrection of the same body, had found it necessary, with all other advocates of that opinion, to define the same body not to be the same individual particles of matter as were united at the point of death, but the same individual particles of matter as were sometime or other, during man's life here, vitally united to his soul. To prove the resurrection of the same body, he quotes the above text. "From whence," says Mr. Locke, "your Lordship argues, That these words, 'all that are in the graves,' relate to no other substance than what was united to the soul in life; because a different substance cannot be said to be in the graves and to come out of them. Which words of your Lordship's, if they prove any thing, prove that the soul too is lodged in the grave, and raised out of it the last day. For your Lordship says, Can a different substance be said to be in the graves and to come out of them? So that, according to this interpretation of these words of our Saviour; No other substance being raised but what hears his voice; and no other substance hearing his voice but what, being called, comes out of the grave i and no other substance coming out of the grave but what was in the grave; any one must conclude, that the soul, unless it be in the grave, will make no part of the person that is raised;unless, as your Lordship argues against me, you can make it out, that a substance which never was in the grave may come out of it: or that the soul is no substance. But," adds Mr. L., "setting aside the substance of the soul, another thing that will make any one doubt whether this your interpretation of our Saviour's words be necessary to be received as their true sense, is, That it will not be very easily reconciled to your saying, you do not mean, by the same body, the same individual particles which were united at the point of death. And yet, by this interpretation of our Saviour's words, you can mean no other particles but such as were united at the point of death, because you mean no other substance but what comes out of the grave, and no substance, no particles, come out, you say, but what were in the grave; and I think your Lordship will not say, that the particles that were separated from the body by perspiration, before the point of death, were laid up in the grave. But," Mr. L. adds further, "your Lordship, I find, has an answer to this; viz. That by comparing this with other places, you find that the words [of our Saviour above quoted] are to be understood of the substance of the body to which the soul was united, and not of those individual particles that are in the grave at the resurrection.—But methinks this last sense of our Saviour's words given by your Lordship, wholly overturns the sense which you have given of them above, where from these words you press the belief of the resurrection of the same body by this strong argument; that a substance could not, upon hearing the voice of Christ, come out of the grave, which was never in the grave. There (as far as I can understand your words) your Lordship argues, that our Saviour's words must be understood of the particles in the grave, unless, as your Lordship says, one can make it out, that a substance which never was in the grave, can come out of it. And here your Lordship expressly says, That our Saviour's words are to be understood of the substance of that body to which the soul was [at any time] united, and not of those individual particles that are in the grave. Which, put together, seems to me to say, That our Saviour's words are to be understood of those particles only that are in the grave, and not of those particles only that are in the grave, but of others also which have at any time been vitally united to the soul, but never were in the grave." Mr. Locke has certainly here involved his eminent opponent in inextricable inconsistencies: nor can such inconsistencies be escaped by any one, who applies the above text to the resurrection of the same, or material body.

The next quotation formally brought forward is the Lord's discourse with Martha (John xi. 23—26) briefly noticed above: but how directly this contradicts the notion of a future resurrection of the body, instead of confirming it, we have already seen. It is true that to strain it to this purpose, an accuser would translate the last clause, "shall not die for ever," instead of "shall never die;" but every one who is acquainted with the idiom of the New Testament, knows that the words which, literally translated, are "shall not die for ever," mean precisely the same as the English phrase, shall never die. By this phrase, therefore, our translators have honestly rendered them, notwithstanding they, also, had a predilection for the notion, that everlasting life is to have a great chasm in it. As Dr. Doddridge justly observes, in his note upon this passage, "To render the words, —shall not die for ever, or eternally, is both obscuring and enervating their sense, and (as I have elsewhere shown, notes on John iv. 14, and John viii. 51, 52) is grounded on a criticism which cannot agree with the use of the phrase in parallel passages." The words expressly declare, that he who liveth and believeth in the Lord shall never die. Thus by this divine declaration, the change in the state of existence made by putting oft the body is treated as unworthy of any regard; it is represented as not even making a break in the course of existence; and we may be satisfied that the Divine Giver of everlasting life does not mock us with empty words, and call that everlasting life, or living for ever, which is presently to be discontinued, and, after a lapse of thousands of years, is to begin again!

Next we are presented with these words: "And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captains of the people, and the Sadducees, came upon them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead." (Acts iv. 1, 2.) No allusion, here, we see, to any general resurrection of dead bodies: Indeed, this passage only refers to the resurrection of Jesus himself; for according to the original it is,—"and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead; "—that is, that in the person of Jesus a resurrection from the dead had taken place; in other words, that Jesus had risen from the dead: which certainly constituted the main burthen of the first preaching of the apostles.—Again: "Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans and of the Stoics encountered him (Paul). And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection."! Still nothing about the resurrection of the body: indeed, this text also seems only to refer to the resurrection of Jesus."And have hope towards God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. ÒExcept it be for this one voice, that I (Paul) cried standing among them, touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question among you this day." (Ch. xxiv. 15, 21.) Still not a word about dead bodies.—"Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection." (Heb. xi. 35.) Here the dead whom the women received again certainly were restored in their bodies; they not only rose again in their bodies, but, as the necessary consequence of such a resurrection, they also died again in their bodies: but they hoped for a better resurrection, that is, better than the resurrection of the body.—"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus-Christ, which, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." Here, again, no resurrection is spoken of, but that of Jesus Christ.

"But the rest of the dead lived not again till the thousand years were finished: this is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection." (Rev. xx. 5. 6.) This passage refers to events that were to take place in the spiritual world, not in the natural, at the time of the last judgment, wherefore I shall consider it when I come to treat of that subject. At present I will only cite a little more of it, which the refuter who quotes it has judiciously suppressed, because, if suffered to appear, it would take the whole passage completely out of his list of proofs, and add it to ours. The preceding verse says: "I saw the souls" (mind this—the souls, not the bodies;—"I saw the souls) of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands; and they (not the bodies, mind, but they, the pronoun referring to the souls before mentioned as its antecedent,) lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead," &c. Here then we find that these souls are called the dead, as having passed by death out of the natural world; as well as for another reason that will be mentioned hereafter: and as, while souls are mentioned, not a syllable is said of any bodies, or of the resurrection of the body, it surely is a palpable violation of the sacred text to apply this part of it to confirm such a notion.

The last passage which our present adversary adduces against us is this. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first." I wonder he did not add the next verse, which appears still stronger: for the Apostle goes on to say . "Then we which are alive, and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:" (1 Thes. iv. 16, 17.) But I suppose the reason why this quotation is declined was, because the language is so evidently figurative, that scarcely any can suppose that it is meant to be literally understood: and because, also, the Apostle here undeniably speaks according to certain mistaken notions, which prevailed in the first ages. The fact is, that this text does not so properly belong to the subject of the Resurrection, as to that of the Second Coming of the Lord; and as, according to what has been shown in the preceding Section, the true nature of the Second Coming of the Lord was not at that time plainly revealed, therefore the Apostles never speak of it but in that prophetical style in which it had been predicted by the Lord himself, and which cannot be understood till spiritually deciphered.* Thus we have seen, that all the primitive Christians, and the Apostles themselves, believed that it was to take place in that first age; and the language which Paul here twice uses,—"we that are alive and remain,"—evinces, that he, at the time of his so writing, entertained the expectation of living to see it. This, experience has proved, was a mistaken opinion altogether; yet with a reference to this mistaken opinion, asumed as true, all the Apostle's remarks are here framed. The Thessalonian Christians expected to live to witness the Lord's second coming, and then to be admitted into a kingdom of superlative glory, in a new heaven and earth to be created for the purpose after the destruction of the former: and they grieved for their deceased friends, fearing that none could enjoy the happiness of the Lord's new kingdom, but they who lived to behold its establishment. Assuming then this expectation of the Lord's appearing, in this manner, and in the life-time of that generation, to be true, the Apostle applies himself to remove their gloomy apprehensions respecting their departed friends. He opens the subject with saying, "But I would not have ye to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them, which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope: for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." (Ver. 13, 14.) Then he proceeds, "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord" [meaning that he here repeats what the Lord himself had declared, Matt. xxiv. 30, 31], "that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent [be beforehand with, or have any advantage over] them which are asleep." (Ver. 15.) The two verses cited above next follow; and they are purely a paraphrase of the Lord's own statement respecting his second coming, with the introduction of a clause respecting those who should be deceased, in regard to whom the Thessalonians were uneasy. The Lord had said, "They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matt. xxiv. 30. 31.) The Apostle says, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first" [or "shall rise before," or "previously;" as is the sense of the word proton in Matt. v. 24, xii. 29, Mark ix. 11, 12, John xv. 18, xix. 39, 2 Thes. ii. 3, 1 Tim. iii. 10, &c.]: then we which are alive and remain shall he caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air." Here, observe, that no raising of dead bodies is mentioned or alluded to. "Them that sleep in Jesus," it is said, "will God bring with him," not, "will raise, them from the grave to meet him." As is well observed on this text by the celebrated Dr. Dwight: "Who are those whom God will bring with Christ at this time ? Certainly, not the bodies of the saints." Dr. Dwight indeed adds, "They [the bodies] will be raised from the grave, and cannot be brought with Christ." But he only takes for granted that the bodies will be raised, from his preconceived notions: the Apostle says no such thing. But he comes to the right conclusion: "The only answer therefore is, he will bring with him 'the spirits of just men made perfect.' " (Serm. 164.)

* See above, p. 7—17; and I beg the reader to bear in mind what was there advanced, as the subject is of great importance,
and what is here stated was there, I trust I may say, incontrovertibly proved.

Thus nothing can with certainty be here gathered from the Apostle's language, but that, as has been shown before, neither the manner nor the time of the Lord's second coming were then revealed ? Hence, with respect to the manner of it, we find the Apostle repeating, without explanation, the symbolic language in which the Lord had foretold it; and with respect to the time of it, we find him countenancing a most palpable error. Can any doctrine, then, with safety be drawn from his statement, beyond this; that they who "sleep in Jesus," actually are "with him,"—that is, that they are awake or alive towards him, though they are asleep towards us; or "that the dead in Christ were to rise" before his second coming, even though this was then daily expected,—in other words, that they rise in and with Christ as soon as they die here ? And even if we understand as literally as we can the Apostle's words respecting the dead in Christ rising first, and we (which must now he changed into they) which are alive and remain being caught up into the air, still it will not follow that dead material bodies are thus to rise, or that living material bodies are to be thus transported; for, when speaking in a similar manner in another place, to be considered presently, he says, that "we shall be changed" —shall change our material bodies for spiritual ones,— "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye;" evidently teaching that, happen how it may, we are to be dispossessed of that "flesh and blood," which, he affirms in the same place, "cannot inherit the kingdom of God," and which are so little suited for flying in the air.

B. Other Texts, commonly regarded as adverse to the True Doctrine, considered.

in the First Part of this Section I have considered all the texts,. cited as opposed to the View of the Resurrection which we receive as the truth of Scripture, in the work which I have taken as my guide in the composition of this Appeal. In making this remark, however, I except the famous fifteenth chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians; which, regarding it as strongly affirming our view of the subject, I reserve till I enter on the consideration of texts by which that view is established. But first I will request the attention, of the candid and reflecting, while I make the present branch of the subject more complete, by noticing all the remaining texts, both of the Old Testament and the New, which are commonly referred to the. Doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body.

In the preceding Part of this Section, among other texts from the Old Testament, I have examined the passage of Daniel, ch. xii. 2, which says, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt:" and it has been shown, that "upon no consistent scheme of interpretation whatever, can this verse be made to relate to an actual revival of dead bodies."

This image of a revival from the grave, is also used, by other prophets, to express the restoration of the Jews from a state of depression to a state of prosperity; and as such passages are sometimes improperly cited, by the advocates of the resurrection of the body, in proof of that doctrine, we will here briefly pass them under review.

"We will first notice Ezekiel's vision of dry bones, because, though, inattentive readers are apt to suppose that it relates to a general resurrection of dead bodies, and some who ought to know better frequently apply it to that doctrine, it nevertheless explains itself so clearly, that it may serve as a key to all other passages in which similar images are used. Ezekiel was one of those, who, with Jehoiachin the king and a great body of the people, were carried captives to Babylon at the first capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. So long, however, as Jerusalem remained standing, and under the government of Jehoiachin's successor, Zedekiah, the captives in Babylon entertained hopes of a return, and of the restoration of the Jewish state to its pristine glory; but when Jerusalem was utterly destroyed, and the principal part of the people who remained was likewise carried into captivity, at the second invasion by Nebuchadnezzar, they abandoned themselves to despair, and regarded all prospect of a restoration as utterly hopeless: which they expressed, in the figurative language to which they were accustomed, by saying, "Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off, for our parts." To counteract this despair, Ezekiel is favoured with the vision of dry bones. "The hand of the Lord," says he, "was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones;—and behold there were very many in the open valley; and lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest." The bones accordingly are clothed with flesh and skin, "and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceeding great army." (chap. xxxvii. 1—10.) If the reader goes no further, he may conclude that this vision is intended to teach the doctrine of the resurrection of the body; but the prophet, or rather the Lord by the prophet, immediately declares, that, the bones were symbols, not of actually deceased men, but of the Israelites in their then state of extreme affliction and depression, when they were held captive in the country of their enemies as dead bones in the grave; and that the revivification of the dry bones is a symbol of the certain revival of the Jewish state, by the restoration of the people to their own land; which, as is well known, took place accordingly, after their captivity had lasted seventy years. For thus the prophet continues: "Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off, for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and. bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my spirit within you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord" (ver. 11—14). In no other part of Scripture is so much said respecting the opening of graves, and bringing up out of graves out, most evidently, this language does not here mean that there shall be any resurrection of actually dead bodies: consequently it does not necessarily (perhaps I might say, it necessarily does not) mean such a resurrection, when it is used elsewhere.

Having thus obtained so distinct a clew to the signification of these images, we may easily understand them when they occur in other places.

Isa. xxvi. 19, as it stands in the common translation, appears more in favour of the resurrection of the body than any other text either of the Old or New Testament. "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out her dead." But for the main strength of this passage in reference to this argument,—its seeming mention of the dead body of Jesus Christ, as that together with which the other dead are to arise,— which would destroy its reference to any restoration of the Jews,—it is entirely indebted to the ingenuity of the translators; which they in fact acknowledge, by printing the words together with in Italic characters, to indicate that nothing answering to them is to be found in the original. Indeed, they have herein departed likewise from all the ancient versions. The chapter consists of a song of praise for the delivery of the church and people of God, and the destruction of the enemies which had tyrannised over them: and, as in the preceding examples, to rise from the dead, and awake from the dust, are used as images to express their restoration from the extreme of depression. Of their enemies it is said in ver. 14; "They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish:" so that if the 19th verse did relate to the resurrection of the body, and could prove that the bodies of the people of God are to rise from the grave, the 14th verse would prove that their enemies are never to rise again at all, but that, when they die, they perish altogether: which alone evinces that the resurrection, either with the body or without it, is not the subject treated of. It is to be observed also, that the word (rephaim) translated deceased, in ver. 14, always refers to such as exercise a tyrannical power, and is the same as that translated the dead at the end of ver. 19: which proves that the dead whom the earth shall cast out, mentioned at the end of that verse, are not the same as the dead who shall live, mentioned in the beginning of it: thus for the earth to cast out her dead, does not mean the resurrection of the dead, but the utter and final dispersion of their dust; so that, if the resurrection were the subject treated of, here also would be mention of some who are never to rise again at all. The true sense of the verse is given by Bishop Lowth, and is as follows:—

" Thy dead shall live; my deceased, they shall arise: Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust! For thy dew is as the dew of the dawn; But the earth shall cast forth, as an abortion, the deceased tyrants."

And the bishop gives this note upon it: "The deliverance of the people of God from a state of the lowest depression, is explained by images plainly taken from the resurrection of the dead. [As an example, he here refers to the passage of Ezekiel considered above. He then adds] And this deliverance is expressed with a manifest opposition to what is said above, ver. 14, of the great lords and tyrants under whom they had groaned:—

' They are dead, they shall not live; They are deceased tyrants, they shall not rise:'

that they should be destroyed utterly, and should never be restored to their former power and glory."

Plain enough, then, I apprehend it is, that this passage does not, cannot, teach the doctrine of the resurrection of the body. Yet Bishop Lowth, after having so candidly and clearly given its true sense, would fain infer the resurrection of the body from it! To put the reader in possession of the whole of his sentiments, and as an extraordinary example of the power of prejudice over even the clearest understandings, I subjoin the remark with which he concludes his note. "It appears from hence, that the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead [meaning, it would seem, of the body] was at that time a popular and common doctrine: for an image which is assumed in order to express or represent any tiling in the way of allegory or metaphor, whether poetical or prophetical, must be an image commonly known and understood; otherwise it will not answer the purpose for which it is assumed." Is not this saying, that nothing must be used as an image in poetical or prophetical language, which is not at the same time a matter of fact in common language ? Might he not as well have said, because the Lord declares to him that overcometh, in the Revelation, "I will give him the morning star,"— "It appears from hence, that the belief that the saints will be presented with stars was at that time a common and popular belief? "— or, because John says that he saw a woman clothed with the sun,— "It appears from hence, that to suppose that a woman might be clothed with the sun was at that time a common and popular supposition?" &c. The cases are exactly parallel, and one inference is as just as the other.

There are two other passages commonly cited from the Old Testament in proof of the resurrection of the body; but they are of precisely the same character as the above, and need not therefore detain us. The first is in Hosea vi. 2: "After two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up; and we shall live in his sight."

But here no mention is made of the body or the grave; and the preceding verse shows that it does not relate in any way to the literally dead: "Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up." Now it would be ridiculous to exhort dead bodies to return unto the Lord. The other passage is in the same prophet, ch. xiii. 14. "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes." This is spoken of Ephraim; and an examination of the context will show that it can have no reference to the return of dead bodies from the tomb. Thus, in the words of Dr. Faber, "to express the political revivification of the house of Israel, Hosea, like Isaiah and Ezekiel, uses the allegory of a resurrection."

I have confined myself, in my remarks on the above passages, to their external or literal sense only; because if they do not refer to the resurrection of the body in that sense, they evidently cannot in any other: but we are satisfied, that unless the prophecies contained a spiritual sense also, treating of matters far more important than the affairs of the Israelites and other nations, they could form no part of the Word of God. As, in their external sense, such passages as the above treat of a political, so, in their spiritual sense, they must treat of a spiritual resurrection.

To pass to another subject. The translation of Enoch and Elijah is often referred to as supporting the notion of the final resurrection of the material body; for they are supposed to have been taken into heaven with their natural bodies, not having passed, in the ordinary manner, through the gate of death.

All that is recorded of Enoch, is this: "And Enoch lived, sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: and Enoch walked with God, after he begat Methuselah, three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And Enoch walked with God: and he was not, for God took him" (Gen. v. 21—24). This mode of relating the occurrence is so general and indistinct, that it is impossible to determine from it, even supposing that the history is to be literally understood, whether Enoch took his natural body into heaven or not. But the translation of Elijah is more particularly related: if then it shall appear, that from the translation of Elijah no inference can be drawn in favour of the resurrection of the material body, it will hardly be affirmed, that any such inference can be drawn from the less distinctly recorded translation of Enoch.

Quite evident, then, it is, that, whatever became of Elijah's material body, it was not carried up into heaven: for quite evident it is, though the circumstance is generally overlooked, that the translation of Elijah was not seen by Elisha with the eyes of his body, but with those of his spirit: on which mode of vision, customary with the prophets, we shall have to offer some remarks in a subsequent Section. Elisha had asked, that a double portion of his master's spirit might be upon him; to which Elijah answered, "Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so" (2 Kings, ii. 10). Elijah knew that the miraculous event about to take place would be imperceptible to any man in his natural state, and could not be beheld by Elisha, unless, by special divine favour, the sight of his spirit were opened to behold it: the granting then to Elisha of the favour of the opening of his spiritual sight, was to be to him the earnest of the granting to him likewise of the other favour which he had requested. This therefore was done, and is distinctly recorded. "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (ver. 11). Certain it is that this chariot and horses of fire did not belong to the natural world, but that they were a spiritual appearance, and, consequently, not visible to the sight of a man, unless he were put into a spiritual state proper for beholding it. That Elisha then, was put into such a state, is intimated by its being immediately added, "And Elisha saw it;"—that is, saw the whole transaction,—both the fiery chariot and horses and the transit of Elijah;—"and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof." This vision having been granted him, his return into a natural state, in which objects belonging to the spiritual world vanished from his sight, is also marked, by its being further added, "And he saw him no more" (ver. 12). As then it is evident that Elisha beheld the whole transaction, not with the eyes of his body but with the eyes of his spirit, it follows, that it was the spirit only of Elijah, and not his body, which in that state he saw. Had he beheld the ascension of Elijah with his natural sight, as we behold an aeronaut ascend in a balloon, there could have been no room for the intimation, that it was by special divine favour that he was enabled to see the vision: but as there is such an intimation; as, likewise, it is certain that the chariot and horses of fire, could not, like a balloon, be behold with the natural sight, it becomes certain that the person who was thus seen to ascend was a spiritual, not a material aeronaut,—was not the body of Elijah, but his spirit.

But is it asked, What then became of his body ? Suppose we ask in return, If he soared through the air to heaven, considered, as this supposition requires, as a place beyond the region of the stars, what became of the life of his body ? We know, from the experience of those who have climbed lofty mountains or ascended in balloons, that the air becomes so rare at the height of but a very few miles from the earth's surface as to make respiration difficult, and that, on continuing to ascend, an animated body would soon come into the state of an animal in an exhausted receiver, and must inevitably expire; and we know also, that the temperature at the same time becomes so cold, that the fluids of the body would speedily be arrested, and the animal frame become a solid mass of ice. If then it is not immediately evident what became of Elijah's body, it is sufficiently evident what became of the life of it; and if we still suppose that it went to heaven by this route, we must suppose that it accomplished the voyage, not as an animated body, but as a corpse. But does not the Sacred Record itself indicate what became of the body, when it informs us, that the immediate agent in Elijah's removal was a whirlwind, or, according to the more extensive signification of the original expression, a violent storm ? We read in Ps. lxxxiii. 14, 15; "As the fire burneth the wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on, fire; so persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm;" where the word in the original for storm is the same as is here rendered a whirlwind; and where an action is ascribed to it like that of fire and flame: Are we not then to infer, that it includes the action of lightning as well as of wind,—the extreme of commotion or agitation (which is the radical idea of the word) in all the elements,—all, in short, to which we usually apply the word storm? Place then any man in the very centre of such a commotion of the elements as we sometimes behold; thus expose him to the action of the electric or galvanic fluid in its utmost energy;—and any philosopher will inform us, not only that his body would be instantly deprived of its life, or that it would be torn to atoms,—for this would be the result of a comparatively slight action of that mighty solvent,—but that it would be completely decomposed and resolved into its elements. When therefore the Scripture informs us, (ver. 1), that "the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind or storm;" and afterwards (ver. 11) that he did so; it tells us, by a euphuism, that Elijah died; as Aaron and Moses, also by divine appointment, each went up into a mountain to die (Num. xx. 25, &c.; Deut. xxxii. 49, &e.): and it sufficiently explains why his body could not afterwards be found.

It appears then that the Sacred Record itself, when attended to, answers the question respecting what became of Elijah's body. But were it otherwise: that his body was not transported into heaven would still be certain, not only from what has before been urged,— from in the impossibility of the thing in itself, as being contrary to the order of the universe, which does not admit a grosser thing to enter into a purer,—and from the contrariety of the supposition to the explicit declarations. that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption; but also, from the authentic testimony we have of the state of Elijah in the other world. Moses, we know, certainly, was not translated, with his body, into heaven; for of him we read, that he was "buried in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor" (Deut. xxxiv. 6). But when Jesus was transfigured, (before, as might easily be shown, the spiritual sight of his disciples,) it is said, "And behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias; who appeared in, glory" (Luke ix. 30, 31). Here, both are called men,—Moses, as well as Elias; both, too, appeared in glory,—Elias as well as Moses: then wherein did Moses differ from Elias ? Does not this relation prove, that the spirit is the man; that this spirit has a spiritual body of its own; that Moses had this, notwithstanding his natural body had been buried and had never been resuscitated; and that Elias had no more, notwithstanding the Scripture does not so explicitly relate how he was divested of his natural body ? Here is clear proof that Moses, without his natural body, was a man in glory and exactly in the same state as Elijah: how then can it be supposed that Elijah took into heaven with him, what, it is certain, Moses did not ? Thus, instead of proving the resurrection of the body, the history of Elijah completely disproves it, and demonstrates that man is a perfect man without it.

Having now examined such texts of the Old Testament as are usually cited in proof of the resurrection of the body, I will here also take from Dr. Hody, and briefly notice, those texts of the New Testament, commonly relied on by the advocates of that doctrine, which have not been considered in the preceding Part of this Section.

Matt. v. 29, 30. "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." If the body here literally means the body, of necessity the right eye literally means the right eye, and the right hand the right hand. But who ever dreamed that entrance into heaven could be facilitated by plucking out an eye or cutting off a hand ? And do they who gather from it, that all who go to hell go thither with their whole material body entire, gather from it also the inseparable counterpart of such a notion,— that many who go to heaven go thither one-eyed and maimed (for so the parallel passage, Mark ix. 43, 45, 47, gives it: "It is better for thee to enter into life maimed,—halt,—and with one eye, than having two hands,—feet,—and eyes, to be cast into hell-fire")? Every one sees that this part of the statement is not to be literally understood; —how then can they run into such an inconsistency as to abide literally by the other ? Evidently, the offending eye and hand are mentioned to denote certain perverse propensities of the mind or spirit, from which alone all the organs of the body act: and as certain organs of the body are thus put for certain disorderly functions of the mind or spirit, which is the real man, to carry on the figure, and to avoid the incongruity of a mixed metaphor, the whole body is naturally, and according to the strict laws of composition, put for the whole mind or spirit, and thus for the whole man as he exists after death.

Matt. x. 28. "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather feai him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." If there were no text which explained "how the dead are raised, and with what bodies they do come," it might perhaps from this single text, be inferred, though it could not be proved, that the material body would be raised again; but when the nature of the resurrection-body is, as we shall see presently, so explicitly defined; when we are so positively assured "that flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom of God," nor, by consequence, into the eternal world at all, but that "that which is raised is a spiritual body;" there cannot be a doubt but that it is the spiritual body which is here intended. If it be objected, that this makes the body last mentioned, as liable to be destroyed in hell, different from the body first mentioned, as liable to be killed here: I answer; that it is a universal rule of the logicians, often resorted to by the commentators on Scripture, that every predicate is so to be understood as to be in agreement with its subject: but to be killed on earth can only be predicated of the natural body; so, to be destroyed in hell can only be predicated of the spiritual body. Thus it was common with the Lord to use the same word in different senses, though both properly belonging to it, in the same sentence; as when he says, "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it:" where, obviously, the life lost and the life saved are not the same life.

If it be still insisted that we must take the term body in the same sense in the last place as in the first, and understand that which is to be destroyed in hell to be the natural body: I answer; that then we must here take the term hell to mean such a place as is fitted for the destroying of natural bodies. And this will compel us to take the original term here translated hell, in its literal, and not in its figurative sense. The original term is Gehenna, which all the lexicographers and commentators tell us is the same in the Syriac language as Gia-Hinnom in the Hebrew, that is, the valley of Hinnom; which, having formerly been the place where the idolatrous Jews made their Children "pass through the fire to Moloch," (See 2 Kings xxiii. 10.) was afterwards used as a receptacle for every thing filthy and abominable, into which the bodies of the worst of malefactors were cast, and consumed by the fires which were kept continually burning, to prevent infection from being generated by the impurities of the place. This idea being presented to every Jew by the use of the word Gehenna, Doddridge introduces-both ideas into his paraphrase of the Lord's words, Matt v. 22— "shall be in danger of hell-fire;" which he amplifies thus: "shall be obnoxious to the fire of hell, or to a future punishment more dreadful even than that of being burnt alive in the valley of Hinnom, from whence you borrow the name of those infernal regions." (See also his note.) If then it be contended that the body to be destroyed in Gehenna is the natural body, the Gehenna in which it is to be destroyed must be taken in its natural sense also; it will then be merely the valley of Hinnom. They who will not acquiesce in this interpretation, must give up the notion, that the passage relates to the material body. To combine the natural sense of body with the spiritual sense of the valley of Hinnom, is inconsistency indeed.

But if there is some difficulty in regard to the literal sense of this passage, there is none respecting its spiritual sense; which, for its simplicity, beauty, and perfect consistency, I will here briefly state. The soul and the body, in the spiritual sense, are the internal and external man. The life of the external man, by birth, is in opposition to heavenly life, and consists in mere lusts or concupiscences; wherefore this life is to be relinquished or extinguished; which is effected by means of temptations. They who kill the body, then, are the temptations, and the tempting powers, by whose agency the life of the external man, or the life of man's lusts, is extinguished: and he who hath power to cast soul and body into hell, is the love of evil, which is opposition to the Lord, pertinaciously cherished, and which causes the Lord himself to appear as in opposition to man; the consequence of which is, the destruction both of the internal and the external man, and immersion in endless misery.

Matt. xxvii. 52, 53. When Jesus died on the cross, we read, "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." It has always appeared to me surprising that any should quote this narration in proof of the common doctrine of the resurrection of the body; when it is attended with such difficulties, if taken literally, as strongly lead to the opinion that the bodies which arose were not natural or material bodies; and by consequence, that there is no reference to the natural or material body in any of the passages which treat of the resurrection.

In the first place, if the bodies of all who have lived from the creation of the world are to be raised together at a certain last day (as the texts on which the doctrine rests, if they teach any such doctrine at all, must be understood to affirm), is it not very extraordinary that "many" of these same bodies actually rose without waiting for this last day? The matter would be not quite so surprising were there to be two general resurrections,—one at the time of the Lord's resurrection, of all who had lived previously, and a final one of all who should live afterwards; but in the case before us, the bodies of all who had previously lived did not rise, but only of many of them.

Is it not then, secondly, very extraordinary, if there was a resurrection of material bodies at all, that it should be merely a partial one ? Upon what principle could the selection be made ? How, with justice to the countless millions who were left slumbering still in their graves, to wait for their resurrection thousands of years afterwards, could a termination be thus put to the long sleep of some ? and who could those be supposed to be who were thus favoured ? Mr. Fleming conjectures, and certainly with great plausibility, taking the premises for granted, that they were some of the most eminent saints of the Old Testament. Certainly, very superior eminence was necessary, to make the distinction not invidious. But, as others observe, no saint of the Old Testament was more eminent than David: it would therefore be very improbable that David should be excluded from such a resurrection: and yet we learn, from Acts ii. 34, that David's body then remained still in its grave. The learned are obliged, therefore, to conclude, that these were not eminent, but merely common saints; and some, to avoid other difficulties, suppose that they were such as had not been long dead, and whose bodies, as yet, were not much the worse for their sojourn in the tomb.

But, thirdly, is it not very extraordinary, that so public a miracle, as well as so stupendous a one, as this must have been, if the circumstances were literally as related, was never appealed to by the Apostles, either in their preaching, as recorded in the Acts, or in their Epistles; and is never anywhere alluded to but in this single place? When speaking of the resurrection of Jesus, how came they never to advert to the multitude who rose with him, and who had appeared to so many ? The graves were opened at the Lord's crucifixion; their tenants came forth after his resurrection; "consequently," in the words of Doddridge, "the tombs stood open all the sabbath, when the law would not allow any attempt to close them, What an astonishing spectacle! especially if their resurrection was not instantaneously accomplished, but by such slow degrees as that represented in Ezekiel's vision." Astonishing, indeed! And how did the Jews evade the force of such a prodigy? The sepulchre of Jesus was certainly found unclosed and empty; wherefore the chief priests bribed the soldiers to say, that his disciples stole the body while they slept. But to what purpose was this fiction, if a multitude of other graves were also thrown open, and the bodies which tenanted them lay disclosed, subject to the inspection of the crowds who would eagerly watch the progress of their revivification, from Friday afternoon till Sunday morning, when they came forth and marched into the holy city ? How could this be concealed ? Was it pretended that the small band of disciples stole all these bodies likewise ? We do not find that any such fiction was in this case resorted to: and, indeed, in this case, no one could have believed it; since these things were not done in a corner, but all that was passing in the graves was visible to every observer for more than thirty-six hours. How then did the Jews evade it ? We do not find that they had any occasion to try to evade it; for we do not find, from any other part of the gospel-records, that either the friends of Christianity, or its enemies, or a single inhabitant of this world, knew anything about the matter.

Fourthly, is it not very extraordinary, that this resurrection of dead bodies should take place, and yet there should be no intimation as to what became of them afterwards ? Did they, after having shown themselves, go and lie down again in their graves, to wait for the final "resurrection at the last day?" This, as the pious Doddridge observes, "one can hardly imagine." Did they, then, like Lazarus and the others raised by the Lord when in the world, continue to live on earth, in due time to die again ? This also, with Doddridge, "one can hardly imagine,—because it is only said, they appeared to them." Most, therefore, conclude, with the same writer, that" they ascended to heaven with, or after our Lord:" for it would be impossible to suppose that they ascended before him. But what was done with them in the meantime ? If they remained on earth for forty days, how could they escape observation ? how is it that all Jerusalem was not in commotion on account of the presence of such extraordinary visitors ? Dr. Doddridge supposes, that "they were directed to retire to some solitude during the intermediate days, and to wait in devout exercises for their change; for surely," as he justly observes, "had they ascended in the view of others, the memory of such a fact could not have been lost." Indeed, the affair of their ascension was conducted with such secrecy that it was not even witnessed by those who were admitted to witness the ascension of the Lord; and, to make it a greater secret, Matthew himself does not inform us that it ever took place.

Now can any one suppose that a transaction which requires such improbable conjectures to make it possible, ever literally occurred at all ? And whither could they ascend ? What region was there in existence suited for the residence of resuscitated material bodies ?

They who contend for a general resurrection of material bodies, find ut necessary to provide a material world for their abode. Thus Dr. Hody says, "Perhaps, after all, our heaven will be nothing but a heaven upon earth, or some glorious solid orb created on purpose for us in those immense regions which we call heaven. It seems more natural to suppose, that since we are to have solid and material bodies, we may be placed as we are in this life, on some solid and material orb.—That, after the resurrection, we are to live for ever in a new earth, was, as Maximus tells us, the opinion of many in his time: and the same was asserted, in the third century, by St. Methodius, bishop of Tyre, in his treatise concerning the resurrection." What then was to become of these resuscitated bodies of saints before this new earth was provided for them? for they who thus believe the Scriptures literally, when they speak of a new heaven [or sky] and a new earth, must believe them literally also when they say, that this new heaven and new earth are not to be produced till the former heaven and the former earth have passed away. Prior to that event then, at least, a resuscitated material body would be in the situation either of a fish in the air, or of a bird under water: it could find no element suited to its state.

Other difficulties, in regard to the literal acceptation of this narrative, present themselves as I write; but I forbear to proceed further. From what has been suggested, and from the circumstance, that of these risen bodies the remarkable expression is used, that they appeared unto many, the natural inference is, that they were not visible to all, as material bodies must have been, but only to those to whom they appeared; in other words, that they were seen in vision, not with the natural sight. Hence it will follow, that the bodies which thus appeared in vision were not natural but spiritual bodies, and that the whole transaction belongs more to the spiritual than to the natural world. I shall have occasion to advert to it again, in the Section on the Last Judgment; when, I trust, its true nature will readily appear.

Phil. iii. 21. "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself." This text is so similar in substance to 1 Cor. xv. 49 and 53, to be considered in the sequel, that it scarcely needs a separate notice: only this passage, combined with its context, evinces (what might be well worthy of particular investigation,) how much the idea of an inward and spiritual resurrection was associated with the subject in the Apostle's mind. Thus, having said that he had suffered the loss of all things, that he might win Christ, he adds, "That I might know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto Ms death, if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead: not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after," &c. (Ver. 10, 11, 12.) Here what could he mean by the power of the Lord's resurrection, but & power of conforming him into the image of his risen Lord ? What by the fellowship of his sufferings, but a submission to such states of affliction and trial as were necessary as means to this end ? What, by being made conformable to his death, but the complete mortification of the life of his own old or natural man ? And what by attaining to the resurrection of the dead, which he evidently speaks of as something attainable in this life,—otherwise his modest notice, "not as though I had already attained," would be nonsense;—what can he thus mean by attaining unto the resurrection of the dead, but a state of complete regeneration, when all that previously was spiritually dead,—all that is the seat of man's inborn corruptions,—is quickened with spiritual life, and formed anew by the Lord ? Thus-his whole argument is consistent: whereas to make him talk of striving, to attain unto the resurrection of the dead, meaning by the resurrection of the dead the resurrection of dead bodies, which all (if any). are to experience whether they strive for it or not, and which, strive as they will, they cannot bring on any sooner; is to make him talk-in a strange manner indeed. And as, as will be shown in the last Part of this Section, in our remarks on 2 Cor. v. 1—4, he always viewed this spiritual resurrection in connexion with the formation of the heavenly spiritual body within our outward frame, first to come into open manifestation when the latter is put off, which is thus exchanged for it, and, as far as the person's own perceptions are concerned, appears as if it were changed into it; and as, as might easily be shown, he seldom uses the term body or flesh in reference to the body of clay alone, but means by it all that belongs to what is called in theology the external or natural man; (as when he says, "I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing;" "I delight in the law of God, after the inward man, but I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind;" "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be the spirit of Christ be in you;" "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead, because of sin;" "He that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his spirit that dwelleth in you," &c.)—having, I say, these ideas in his mind, he at present closes the subject with saying, that "the Lord Jesus Christ shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body; according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself:"—meaning, that we shall have a spiritual body, the image of the Lord's Divine Body; and which is even now being so fashioned within us by the regenerating energy of the Lord.

2 Tim. ii. 17, 18. "Of whom is Hymeneus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying, That the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some." This text has been quoted against us, from "good old John Bunyan," in this form "Have you not heard of them that were made to err, by hearkening to Hymeneus and Philetus, as concerning the faith of the resurrection of the body" It seems to be meant to be insinuated, by this false quotation, that we have adopted the opinion of those primitive heretics. How convenient the advocates of error find it, continually to be speaking, as here, of the resurrection of the body, as if such were the language of Scripture; when, in Scripture, no such language is anywhere to be found. As to the error of Hymeneus and Philetus, the Apostle states that it consisted in saying, "that the resurrection is past already." Whatever idea then they attached to the term resurrection, it evidently was totally different from ours. When the Apostle affirms that they believed the resurrection to be then past, he must mean, that they disbelieved any resurrection which was then future, and consequently denied any future life: whereas, according to our idea of it, the resurrection is never past, but always future, at every instant of time, to all the inhabitants of the globe, all of whom will experience a resurrection to life without end.

Rev. xx. 13. "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works." Nothing is here said about dead bodies: and that the whole transaction is not to be literally understood, is plain from the evidently symbolic language in which it is couched. Why is the sea said to give up the dead which are in it, which comparatively are few, while no notice is taken of the dead which are in the earth! What is meant by death and hell delivering up the dead which are in them ? What kind of dead they are which are in death, does not appear; but certainly they which are already in hell are not dead bodies. And what is meant when it is said in the next verse, "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire?" Are death and hell persons, or places? Or is Death a person, and hell a place ? But the previous verse seems to speak of them both as places, and how death and hell, a& places, could be cast into the lake of fire, it is very difficult to conceive. Certainly, nothing like a plausible interpretation of the passage can be given by those, who quote it as evidence for the resurrection of the body. The whole belongs to the subject of the Last Judgment; wherefore I will reserve our explanation of it till the next Section.

We have now passed under review all the texts which, as far as I am aware, are usually cited by the advocates of the resurrection of the body in proof of that doctrine; and it has, I trust, abundantly appeared, that none of them prove any such thing.

As, however, the Scriptures so totally refuse to afford evidence for the resurrection of the body, an opponent judiciously ekes out their testimony by that of a prophet who pretended to correct them. "The Swedenborgian," says he, "will esteem it no very high compliment to be told, that the Mahometans are in more respects than one more orthodox than themselves. I have this moment a book before me entitled 'Mahometanism fully explained,' and from the sixth article of their faith, which is on the Future Resurrection, I make the following extract:—"We are obliged cordially to believe, and to hold for certain, that the first before all others, whom God shall revive in heaven, shall be the Angel of Death, and that he will at that time recall all the souls in general, and re-unite them to the respective bodies to which each belonged; some of which shall be destined to glory, and others to torment. But upon earth the first whom God shall raise, shall be our blessed prophet Mahomet,' " &c. Here, certainly, the doctrine is advanced explicitly enough, and with some very suitable adjuncts; but our opponents are heartily welcome to all the support they can derive from such authority, which, we trust, will have its due influence on the reader. "The Swedenborgians," we assure them, esteem it no ill compliment, that they are fain to intrench themselves against them in the orthodoxy of Mahometans.

From the terms themselves,—resurrection,to rise again,—it is sometimes contended, that that which is to rise is something that has lived before, but the life of which has been interrupted, whence it rises or lives again: and this, it is affirmed, is only predicable of the body; whereas the spirit, as it never ceases to live, though it may be said at death to rise, cannot be said to rise again. But this is, in every respect, a very shallow criticism; it affords an argument only for the ignorant, and which no man of information can seriously urge. This will be fully shown in the last Part of this Section. At present I will only observe, that even supposing the proper idea of the original words to be, to rise again: it would not follow that he who rises again enters a second time into his material body, and so rises again, any more than that he who is born again enters a second time into his mother's womb, and so is born again. If to be born again (and, in the original, again is here expressed by a separate adverb,) is to enter into a new state in which the man has never been before, to rise again must also be, to enter into a new state in which the man has never been before. The particle again, then, does not, in this use, imply a returning back to the same state as has been previously experienced, but an advancing forward to a new state, bearing a certain analogy to one which has been previously experienced; and we cannot suppose that the resurrection is a repetition of bodily life, without concluding, with Nicodemus, that regeneration is a repetition of bodily birth. How much is it to be lamented, that Nicodemus should have so many disciples; that many should be so prone, like him, to turn their minds from spirit to matter, and to carnalise the instructions of the Lord Jesus Christ! For certainly, if it may be said without offence, the idea that, in order to our rising again, we are to return again to the body of flesh, is the exact counterpart of the notion, that, in order to our being born again, we are to return again to the mother's womb. The one is just as good. an interpretation of the Lord's instructions as the other. Our existence as embryos in the womb is necessary to prepare us for birth into the world, and birth into the world is necessary to prepare us for birth into eternity: and to suppose that the spirit, after having dwelt for ages in its own world, is to return again to the body which it left in this, is just as consonant with the Lord's instructions, as it would be to suppose, that the man is to be reinvested with the integuments of the foetus, and to, return to his mother's womb, not even for the purpose of being born again, but of living the life of a foetus for ever.

With this general remark, I close the examination of the texts and arguments commonly adduced from Scripture in proof of the resurrection of the body. I have gone into them thus fully, because I have observed, that, on this subject, the most convincing evidence of the truth often fails to make its due impression, while the mind reverts to the texts and arguments which it has been accustomed to regard as establishing the contrary doctrine, and while it is not furnished with a solution of the opposing confirmations which it has thus imbibed. A sufficient solution has now, I trust, been offered; and that, by the blessing of Him who is the resurrection and the life, it will be seen, that there is not a single text of Scripture, or argument that can be drawn from that source, which affords any real countenance to the doctrine of the resurrection of the material body.

C. The testimony of Reason, for, and against, the Resurrection of the Material Body.

we have now examined most of the texts of Scripture generally referred to as supporting the notion of the resurrection of the body; and have ascertained that, in reality, they afford that doctrine no countenance whatever. But the evidence of Reason, also, is here peculiarly worthy of being considered: for this subject includes particulars, the decision of which falls within the province of Reason: and we may be certain that the genuine decisions of Reason can never be at variance with the genuine meaning of Scripture. Before, then, we proceed to the testimony of Scripture in behalf of man's immediate Resurrection, and his non-resumption of the material body, I will show, both by original remarks and the testimony of distinguished writers, that the arguments commonly urged, as from Reason, in favour of the Resurrection of the material body, are destitute of all solidity, and that in fact, such a resurrection is nothing short of impossible.

In favour of the doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body, only two general arguments, wearing any air of speciousness, have been urged from Reason. These then we will first briefly consider; after which we will inquire what Reason has to say on the other side of the question.

The two arguments to which I allude have constantly been brought forward from the first beginning of the controversies on this subject: but I have no where seen them stated with more subtilty, by mixing fallacies with acknowledged truths so ingeniously, that an inattentive reader might not see how to disentangle them, and thus might accept the one for the sake of the other, than is done by Dr. O. Gregory, in his elegant and popular "Letters on the Evidences, Doctrines, and Duties, of the Christian Religion." We will consider them, therefore, as they are offered by this writer.

He opens his chapter on the subject in this imposing manner:— "If a being, which was constituted by the union of two substances essentially different, were appointed to continue, it must continue a mixed being, or it would be no longer the same being; so that if man is to exist in a future state, the doctrine of the resurrection of the body is a necessary consequence of his nature: those who admit the immortality of the soul and deny the resurrection of the body, therefore, forget the man, and, in effect, deprive him of existence beyond the grave." The fallacy here lies in the premises,—"If a being which was constituted by the union of two substances essentially different were appointed to continue;"—that is, the author means, were appointed to continue a being constituted of two substances; but this is the very point in dispute, and is gratuitously Assumed by Dr. G., without any proof of it being attempted. Were it true, it would involve the continuance of our existence for ever here: for what sort of continuing is that, which, after having been broken off, as, in the case of our first parents (according to the common supposition), for many thousands of years, is, after the lapse of, probably, many thousands of years more, to begin again ? Its truth then may be unhesitatingly denied; and there is an end of the inference built upon it. Besides, if all the substances with which the man has been at any time united were intended to form part of him for ever, the coverings within which his body advanced to its complete formation in the embryo-state must be raised again also. Not only, in that state, is the infant inclosed in the coats called the amnion and corion, but it is vitally united to the compages of vessels called the placenta; but as, when the infant is born into the world, these extrinsic appendages, in which the embryo had been nurtured to a sufficient degree of maturity, are cast away as refuse, so, when the man is born into eternity, the body, in which his spirit had been nurtured to a sufficient degree of maturity, is also cast away as refuse: the one, then, forms a part of the real man, no more than does the other; and it is no more reasonable to expect the resurrection of the one than of the other. It is a mere play upon a word then to say, that without the continuance of the union of the soul and body, future existence is denied to the man. This may also be illustrated by a still more familiar example. In a walnut, the kernel and the shell begin their existence together; but it evidently is solely for the sake of the kernel,—in order that the kernel may be developed and formed,—that the shell is produced at all: and after the kernel is formed, were it to continue for ever in union with its shell, the end of its creation would be frustrated. Hence, who denies the kernel of the walnut to be the essential walnut ? While it remains in the shell, we indeed apply the term to the whole; that is, we admit the shell to a slight (and but a slight) share of the honour that belongs to its contents: but when they are separated, while we never think of giving the name of a walnut to the empty shell, we never hesitate at applying it to the kernel: the kernel, only, is the walnut now, as it was the essential walnut always. All this answers by a most exact analogy, to the case of man, his body and his soul; and demonstrates how mere a quibble it is to affirm, that if the soul and body do not continue in union, there is an end of the man.

By the other argument alluded to, it is endeavoured to interest the Divine Justice in the resurrection of the body. Dr. Gregory states it, thus: "God is a wise and just governor of the world: such a governor must reward the good and punish the wicked: but in the present state, we often see good men under suffering, bad men following and enjoying pleasure, through the greater part of life: the character of the governor, therefore, requires that there should be a future state, in which this great anomaly shall be adjusted; [so far the argument is solid; and the whole of the conclusion which the premises sanction is already brought out: but here comes the deceptive appendage, built upon the fallacy which we have already exposed] "and of course, a state of existence not for the body alone, nor for the soul alone, but for the man in his mixed nature, constituted of soul and body. It is the man, and not a part of him merely, which, this simple train of reasoning requires us to expect shall be rewarded and punished." The futility of this reasoning, however, even the author himself acknowledges in a note: "I am aware," says he, "it may be said, and indeed it has often been said, that since consciousness and feeling exist in the soul, the future existence of the soul is all that can fairly be inferred from this argument. But," he adds, "we have at least as good reasons for affirming as any can have for denying, that in all probability the capacity of the soul for feeling the highest degree of pleasure or pain depends upon its union with an organised body." So then his grand argument is allowed to be good for nothing, if the soul without the body can be proved to have sensations of pain or pleasure sufficiently acute: to which an ample answer is given in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.

But this argument is allowed to be invalid by many even of the advocates for the resurrection of the body. I might quote the decided opinion to this effect of Dr. Watts: but I will be content with the ingenuous and solid observations of the learned Hody. After citing the statement of this argument by several of the fathers, as they are called, he says, (in his work, "The Resurrection of the Same Body Asserted," &c.) "I desire as much as any man to pay a just deference and regard to the judgment of the ancient fathers: but it must be confessed, that though their authority be great in matters of tradition, yet the reasons and arguments which they produce to confirm their doctrines are not always convincing. If we seriously and impartially consider this assertion, [that God is obliged in justice to reward or punish the body together with the soul,] we shall find it not to be true. My reasons briefly are these. First: to speak properly, the body is not capable either of sinning or doing well. It is only the instrument of the soul: and the arm that stabs, sins no more than the sword; 'tis the soul only that is the murderer. Neither, secondly, is the body capable of any reward or punishment. 'Tis the soul only that is sensible; and nothing but what is sensible can be capable of rewards and punishments. Thirdly: If it be injustice in God to punish the soul alone without the body in conjunction with which she committed the sin, then all the matter which constituted the body when the several sins were committed, must be raised again, and be re-united to the soul. For if some, why not all ? But what monsters of men should we be In the resurrection, if all the substance of which our bodies consisted, from our childhood to our death, should be gathered together and formed into a body!"—To these three reasons of this honest writer's, can anything bearing the semblance to a reason be opposed?

Dr. Gregory, however; considers it to be so necessary, to vindicate the Divine Justice, that the body should be rewarded or punished as well as the soul, that he affirms, "that the conclusion cannot be fairly resisted, unless it can be shown, that the resurrection of the body is impossible." Though we have already seen that his reasoning is destitute of all validity independently of such impossibility, yet probably it may not be difficult to comply even with this unreasonable demand.

But perhaps it may be necessary first to state in what sense I affirm the resurrection of the material body to be impossible: I mean, that it is as impossible as any thing whatever that can be conceived. If we were to pronounce it to be absolutely impossible, its advocates, I know, would eagerly exclaim, that we deny the omnipotence of God. Little honour, to be sure, is done to God, when his omnipotence is supposed to be employed in effecting things trifling, unnecessary, or ridiculous: but without saying, absolutely, that God cannot do it; from what we see of the nature of his divine works, and of the manner in which he produces them, we may with certainty conclude that he will not: and what God will not do, or wills not to do, is, to all practical purposes, impossible.

It is utterly foreign to the argument to appeal, as is done by Dr. G., to the cases of the restoration of life to the bodies of certain dead persons recorded in the Scriptures; for in those instances the bodies had not undergone even the commencement of decomposition, nor had the spirit been entirely extricated from them: even in the case of Lazarus, who had been dead four days, there can be no doubt, notwithstanding the conclusion of his sister, that the natural tendency to corruption had been miraculously suspended by that Divine Hand, whose purpose from the beginning had been to restore him to life. Besides, all these were restored, not to an immortal, but only to a lengthened period of mortal life, and, after a while, they all died again.

Not at all more to the purpose are the examples which Dr. G. relates of the transformations undergone by insects, and the growth from seed of the vegetable creation. Many of these illustrate, by beautiful analogies, the emerging at death of man's spiritual form from the shell of clay; but in no respect whatever do they answer to the fancied revival of the material body. For instance: respecting the Libellula, or dragon-fly, he relates this pretty history: "Naturalists tell us, that the worm repairs to the margin of its pond in quest of a convenient place of abode during its insensible state. It attaches itself to a plant or piece of dry wood; and the skin, which gradually becomes parched and brittle, at last splits opposite to the upper part of the thorax. Through this aperture, the insect, now become winged, quickly pushes its way, and being thus extricated from confinement, begins to expand its wings, to flutter, and finally to launch into the air with that gracefulness and ease which are peculiar to this majestic tribe. Now, who, that saw for the first time the little pendant coffin in which the inanimate insect lay entombed, and was ignorant of the transformations of which we are speaking, would ever predict that in a few weeks, perhaps in a few hours, it would become one of the most elegant and active of winged insects?" To this he adds: "And who that contemplates with the mind of a philosopher this curious transformation, and who knows that two years before the insect mounts into air, even while it is living in the water, it has the rudiments of wings, can deny that the body of a dead man may at some future period be again invested with vigour and activity, and soar to regions for which some latent organisation may peculiarly fit it?" Is this indeed the conclusion which he "that contemplates" the phenomenon "with the mind of a philosopher" should draw ? Should not such a mind perceive, that "the body of a dead man" answers in reality to "the little pendant coffin" of the insect, not to the winged creature that springs from it ? Liken the body itself to the winged creature, and where do you find "the little pendant coffin?" The "coffin" of the insect does not answer to the coffin in which man's earthly remains are deposited in the dust, since this never formed, as in the case of the insect, any part of him. But admit that there is indeed a spiritual "organisation,"— a spiritual body, "latent" within the body of matter, and which is "extricated from confinement" in it at death, when it "soars to the regions for which a spiritual organisation peculiarly fits it;" and you have, in all its parts, the analogy complete. Such analogies then in no degree tend to prove that the resurrection of the body is not impossible: they only tend to prove that man may have, within his material body, a "latent organisation," which, if "latent," that is, undiscoverable to the senses, must be a spiritual one, which may emerge from the "coffin" it once animated, and live when this lies mouldering in the dust.

But the argument most relied on for proving the possibility of the resurrection of the body, is, that it could not require a greater exertion of Omnipotence to restore life to the dead bodies of all mankind, than it required to create them at first; wherefore, it is asked, As God did the one, why should not he do the other ? To this it may he answered, That whether, or not, the raising again of all dead bodies to life require a greater exertion of Omnipotence than their original creation, of this we are certain, that the one work is within, and according to, the laws of nature, or the laws of order, which every thing demonstrates that God has laid down for the conduct of his own operations; whereas the other is without, and entirely contrary to, those laws. We know that all the divine works proceed from an imperceptible beginning to their fulness and maturity, by successive steps, through the most beautiful progression, regulated by a most certain and most admirable order; and that this progression and order are particularly conspicuous in the formation of the human body. We know that, for the formation of a human body, a crude mass of the materials furnished by the lower parts of nature is not at once brought together and then suddenly informed with a human soul, as Prometheus is feigned to have modelled into human shape a mass of clay, and then to have quickened it with fire brought down from heaven; but that the soul, or the rudiments of the soul or spiritual form, being from the beginning present, and being, doubtless, the immediate agent in procuring for itself a body, the latter commences from the most delicate and highly refined materials which nature can furnish, which are arranged in an organised form from the beginning. We know that the rudiments of the brain are produced first, that being the primary organ in and by which the soul descends into the body; then the rudiments of the heart; and that from these two then proceeds the whole system of the nerves and of the arteries and veins, by the medium of which the other viscera of the body are successively formed, and afterwards are inclosed within the muscular and bony frame constituting the cavities of the cranium, the thorax, and the abdomen; whilst the limbs and exterior members are also gradually formed, and finally the whole is inclosed in the integument of the skin. We know, also, what wonderful care is exercised by the Creator for the safety of the embryo-man; all these wonderful works taking place, not in a cold sepulchre of uncongenial earth, but within the living body of its parent: and, what perhaps is still more striking, and makes a more impassable difference between the mode of the formation of the human body at first and that of its expected resurrection from the grave, we know that not a single atom of the materials from which the soul forms to itself a body, is taken in its crude state from inanimate nature, or is transferred into the human body in the same state as when it previously existed in the inanimate parts of nature, but that every particle is first elaborated into a proper state for the purpose, by the most wonderful of all chemical agents, a previously living human body, and is not presented to the infant soul to be by it adopted into the composition of its body, till it has been refined to the proper degree by that living alembic, the body of its parent. And when, by these truly wonderful means, throughout the whole of which shines so conspicuous the infinite Wisdom of the Creator as well as his infinite Power, the incipient human body is brought to such a degree of maturity as to be able to exist in a state of separation from its mother, its further growth, and the continued preservation of its existence, are still provided for in a similar manner. No addition is ever made to its substance by the accession of matter taken immediately and crudely from outward nature, but the substances of nature capable of contributing to this purpose, are elaborated into the proper state by the wonderful chemistry exercised upon them by the digestive organs and minute absorbents: thus, in no instance whatever, is a single particles of dead matter united to a living body, without having its intractibility and incapacity for the reception of animal life first overcome by the action upon it of a living digester,—by that amazing chemistry which no art can imitate, and which nature herself cannot exercise in any other laboratory than that of a living body. It is thus that the bodies of the whole mass of mankind, except the first created pair, have been formed and nourished; and who can suppose, that, in regard even to these, the order was essentially different ? Can any seriously believe that Adam was, in fact, a mere Promethean image, —a mass of potter's clay, afterwards endued with a soul ? Who can doubt that the creative energy, when, having completed the world through all its lower kingdoms, it bade nature teem with man, produced, either by the medium of the vegetable kingdom or otherwise, some tender envelope, some artificial matrix, within which the human form might first begin to expand, and which might perform for it the functions of the maternal parent ? Who can doubt, that however the first rudimental form of the first man was produced, he was nourished to his full stature, as his descendants have been ever since,—by aliments incorporated, by the same process, into his frame ?

Now is it any derogation from the Omnipotence of the Adorable Creator to say, that matter cannot be compacted into a human body by any other process, than that which we see the Creator himself has provided, and always employs for the purpose ? Are not the laws by which all the changes of matter are governed, the laws of the Creator himself ? When he created matter, did not he also assign to it its proper nature ? May we not then be certain, that in all his operations upon matter,—in all the use which he makes of it in taking from it the materials for the higher species of his omnipotent works,—he will regard the nature which he himself has given to matter, and follow the laws which he himself has appointed for the transmutation of dead matter into living and human substance ? Is it possible to change that nature and to reverse those laws, without abolishing matter, as actually existing altogether, and producing a new species of matter, possessing a quite different nature, and subject to quite different laws ? May we not then affirm decidedly, that the resurrection of the body, composed as the body is of the matter actually now existing, and with the general laws for the transmutation of which into living substance we are in some measure acquainted, is an absolute impossibility? Really, it appears, that there is no conclusion within the powers of reason to arrive at more certain than this. And thus, to affirm that the resurrection of the body is impossible, no more includes a negation of the Divine Omnipotence, than to affirm that it is impossible for the same thing to be and not to be at the same time. On the other hand, they why maintain such resurrection to be possible, in reality affirm it to be possible for the same thing to be and not to be at the same time: for we see that matter must both continue to be matter, and cease to be matter, to admit of the resurrection of the material body. God is omnipotent because, whatever he sees fit to be done, he can, by his Infinite Wisdom, contrive the means proper for doing it. In creation, we are enabled to trace, in innumerable instances, some of the means which he employs to arrive at his ends; and we never discover any of them without being filled with admiration at the wondrous wisdom which they display: but how misplaced is this admiration if it be true, that the same ends might be attained in a more summary manner, without the employment of any means whatever! This is supposed by those who affirm, that, though it is by the use of such wonderful means, developed in such gradual progression, that the human body is formed at first, yet, after the particles which composed it have again degenerated into crude matter, and have been undistinguishably mixed with the earth and the other elements of nature, they can again be collected together in a moment, and compaginated into the same body as before: and this without any action upon them of the soul, which was continually present in the formation of the body at first, but which can have no agency in its resurrection, unless we suppose a particle of it to remain attached to every particle of the dust and gases into which the body is resolved, Surely, if this be exalting the Divine Omnipotence, it, is libelling the Divine Wisdom: and there certainly is no presumption in affirming, that a measure which reverses the plans of Infinite Wisdom, cannot be included in the operations of Infinite Power.

If, then, there does appear such solid reason for concluding the resurrection of the body to be impossible, there surely is no impropriety in pointing out the absurdities which it involves, and by which its impossibility becomes more obvious. Accordingly this has been done, not only by Swedenborg, but by many other wise and good men, and cordial believers of the Word of God. In that Author's illustration of the proposition, "That the Coming of the Lord is not a Coming to destroy the visible heaven and the habitable earth, and to create a new heaven and a new earth, according to the opinion which many, from not understanding the spiritual sense of the Word, have hitherto entertained," he has occasion to mention the common opinions respecting the resurrection; in the course of which he makes some striking observations, on which it has been sneeringly said, that they "show that the Baron, with all his faith and charity, could almost copy the language of Infidels." Now the observations thus stigmatised are precisely the same, in substance, as those which are more fully drawn out by the celebrated Dr. T. Burnet, in his work "On the State of the Dead," &c. (De Statu Mortuorum, &c.) part of which, for the clearness with which they exhibit the deductions of genuine reason. on the subject, I will here translate from the Latin original.

Speaking on the question, ""Whether we are to rise with the same bodies we lie down with in the grave," Dr. Burnet says, "It is not of any great consequence to any of us, whether we shall have the same particles, or others of equal dignity and value, or what shall become of our cast-off carcases, when we shall live in light with angels:" and he quotes this passage of Seneca: "But as we neglect the hairs cut off from our beards, so, when the divine spirit goes out from a man, what becomes of its former receptacle,—whether fire shall burn it, or beasts tear it in pieces, or the earth cover it,—is of no more concern to him, than is the fate of the secundines or after-birth to a new-born child."

He afterwards asks, What are the consequences of taking the texts of Scripture, which seem to speak of the resurrection of the body, in the common sense ? which he answers thus: "Let us see what inconsistencies, conveniences, and inconveniences, this opinion of the identity of the terrestrial and celestial body carries with it. We have before observed, that our body in this life is various, under a continual state of renovation and decay, and that, after some years, it passes through an entire change: therefore, in the course of human life, we may have six or seven different bodies, or more. This brings to my mind the question, impertinently enough urged by the Sadducees, concerning the woman who had seven husbands; whom she should have at the resurrection. Let us put the soul for the woman: Having had seven bodies, married partners, in a manner, to that soul, which shall have it at the resurrection ? for it had all. Perhaps you will say, The last. But it was possible the soul was more wicked, or more good, in the first body, than in the last; and therefore the first ought to be taken as a partner in the glory or misery. Moreover; an old and battered body, or a young and infantile one, are no ornaments to a heavenly court; and of these the greatest part of departed human nature consists. But if you would raise infants to adult age, and bring back the body worn out by age to juvenility; here are so many additions and interpolations, that like the ship Argo a hundred times repaired, it has only the name, and none of the particles, of the original vessel. For my part, I had rather have a new house from heaven, than the old patched-up one, mended and botched in this manner.

"We shall consider next," he says again, "In what manner the scattered particles of dust are to be brought together again. The ashes are carried into distant parts over the earth and seas, and from thence into the region of the air, raised by the solar heat, and scattered into a thousand places of the heavens. Moreover, they are not only sowed and dispersed through all the elements, but they are inserted in the bodies of animals, trees, fossils, and other things; and by their transmigrations through different bodies, they assume new natures and qualities, new shapes and figures. These things being granted, we may ask, In what manner this re-collection, from infinite distances, of latent parts and particles, is made ? Nature is too weak to perform all this: and the Divine Power must never be called forth except on Just and necessary occasions: As then it is perfectly unnecessary that we should have the same numerical parts in the immortal body, as we had in the mortal one, we must not call in the Divine Power for its performance. To take great pains to accomplish trifling objects, is folly in man; and in God it is not to be thought of. To re-collect the particles of all the human carcases deceased from the beginning of the world to the end; to separate this mass and parcel it out into little heaps; and then to re-form these and reduce them to their ancient figures; would be an operose miracle indeed: and the performance of this multifarious miracle would be as unnecessary, as anything like it is unexampled. But it is impossible, also. For the same piece of matter cannot be in two places at the same time. They say that some nations are Anthropophagi,—eaters of men: and it is impossible for the same individual flesh to belong to two bodies. But why do I speak of a few nations ? "We are all Allelophagi,—eaters of each other: for, if not immediately, yet after the lapse of some time, we all devour our progenitors. Their flesh having first passed into the substance of herbs and animals, some parts of it must at length pass into ours. If indeed the ashes of the dead, from the beginning of the world, had been preserved in imperishable urns and coffins; or rather, had they all been embalmed like mummies; we might hope to prevent this confounding of bodies: but as most carcases are dissolved and dissipated, some of their substance returns to its mother earth, and the rest is exhaled into the air, and falling down in the dew and rain, is imbibed by the roots of plants, and forms the nourishment of grass, corn, and fruits; and thence it circulates back into the bodies of another generation. According to the poet:

" Jam seges est ubi Troja fait, resecandaque falce, Luxuriat Phrygio sanguine pinguis humus." *

* "Rich harvests wave where mighty Troy once stood, Birth of a soil made fat with Phrygian blood."

By this revolution the same particle of matter may have suffered several metensomatoses, and have gone through more bodies than the soul of Pythagoras. This being the case, how can every body have its own share of the common matter at the resurrection ? If the first possessor has his due, the latter will come short: and if the last keeps his right, what will become of the pretensions of the first? Thus if the first posterity of Adam take their material frames complete, and their successors only as much of them as had not been previously occupied, what imperfect bodies will be left for the last generation!"

At length, this learned writer thus concludes: "From what has been said, it appears that it is unnecessary, troublesome, if not impossible, for us to have the same bodies in this life and in a future state, after we have weighed all the consequences of this identity." And this, I apprehend, will be found to be the conclusion of genuine reason,—of reason illuminated at once by the light of science and by that of revelation.

Now, will they who affirm, that Swedenborg, when proving the groundlessness of the doctrine of the resurrection of the same or material body, "almost copies the language of infidels," say the same of this pious writer, and the many others whose sincere religious feeling and sound judgment were never questioned, who have exposed its absurdities in not less powerful language ? They who defend it often seem conscious, that, upon any principle of true reason the doctrine is wholly indefensible; whence they would fain set a brand upon reason, as something exclusively belonging to unbelievers. The truth is, it is impossible even for scoffers and unbelievers to make the doctrine appear more ridiculous than is often done by those who mean to recommend it. For instance: Is not Dr. Burnet's exposure, just recited, of the inconveniences of the resurrection of the body, which he gives as reasons for regarding it as incredible, more than paralleled in the following intended eulogy upon it, in Dr. Young's celebrated poem of "The Last Day;" in which, in most harmonious numbers, he only and most gravely aims at extolling its wonders ?

" Now monuments prove faithful to their trust, And render back their long committed dust: Now charnels rattle; scattered limbs, and all The various bones, obsequious to the call, Self-moved, advance; the neck, perhaps, to mest The distant head; the distant legs, the feet. Dreadful to view, see through the dusky sky Fragments of bodies in confusion fly, To distant regions journeying, there to claim Deserted members, and complete the frame."

Again, speaking of Pompey, whose head was carried to Caesar, the poet says,

" This sever'd head and trunk shall join once more, Tho' realms now rise between, and oceans roar."

Again:

" The trumpet's sound each, fragrant (!) mote shall hear, Or fixt in earth, or if afloat in air, Obey the signal wafted in the wind, And not one sleeping atom lag behind."

Again:

" No spot on earth but has supplied a grave, And human skulls the spacious ocean pave. All's full of man; (!) and at this dreadful turn, The swarm shall issue, and the hive shall burn."

If the body is to rise again, all this is sober fact. But how monstrous does the scene appear, when thus faithfully depicted. Had the description been intended for burlesque, how could its ridicule have been made more poignant ?

Indeed so irreconcileable to reason appears the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, that many of the advocates for it in sober prose, have thence been driven to make such concessions to their opponents, as amount to an acknowledgment of the utter untenableness of the notion. Take, for example, the following statements of the truly respectable Dr. Watts: "It is granted," says he, "that it cannot be the very same body, in all the particles or atoms of it which were united to the soul in this world, that shall be raised and united to it in the resurrection. (1.) Because all the atoms that ever belonged to the animal body of Methuselah in nine hundred and sixty-nine years, would make a most bulky and disproportionate figure at the resurrection. And, for the same reason, all the Antediluvians, who lived so many hundred years, would be raised as giants in comparison of us in later days. And on the same account also, every man, at the resurrection, would be so much larger than his contemporaries and neighbours, as he lived longer on earth: which is a vain and groundless conceit. (2.) All the same particles, even, of the body when it died and was buried, can hardly be raised again and united to the soul of any man; because several of the particles that made one man's body at the time of his death are very probably turned to grass or plants, and so become food for cattle, or other men, and are become part of the bodies of other men several times over. And thus there might be great confusion, because the self-same particles would belong to the bodies of different men. Besides, here is one pious man perhaps died of a dropsy, or excessive fat and unwieldy; must he be raised in that unwieldy bulk and those extravagant dimensions ? Another was worn out to a mere skeleton by a consumption; must his body be of this slender and withered shape or size ? Others, it may be, from their very birth, were in some part defective, or redundant; and in these cases must not some particles be left out, or added, in the resurrection, to form a proper body for the glorified soul? All these considerations prove, that all the precise number of atoms that ever made up a man's body here on earth, or even those that belonged to it at the hour of death, are not necessary to be summoned together to form the same man at the resurrection." (Philosophical Essays, Es. viii.)

This is unquestionably true: but do not these considerations prove, further, that there can be no resurrection of the material body at all? How does this estimable writer, who so clearly saw, and so honestly states, these difficulties, endeavour to surmount them ? By resorting to the gratuitous supposition, that there are "some original, essential, and constituent tubes, fibres, or staminal particles, which remain the same and unchanged through all the stages and changes of life, and are of such a nature as not to join and unite with other animal or human bodies;" and that these will be "raised in the formation of the new body, and be united to the same soul." But what mere begging the question, against all evidence and all reason, is this! It is exactly on a par with the fiction of the Rabbins, that there is in the back of every Israelite an indestructible bone called luz, and in whatever part of the world a Jew may be buried, this aforesaid bone makes its way through the bowels of the earth, and will at last emerge, and expand into the perfect Jew again, in the land of Canaan. Which rabbinical doctrine, by the way, extravagant as it is, is yet less inconsistent than the common notion of Christians; for if the Jew is to have a material body again, it is that he may live again in the material world; not, as the Christian expects, to soar in it to heaven.

Archbishop Tillotson, however, evades the difficulty arising from the fact, that the same particles of matter may pass into different bodies, in a quite contrary manner. Instead of supposing that there are certain staminal particles which will not pass into other bodies, he maintains, that if the whole of the matter composing a man's body at any one time were to pass into other bodies, there still would be plenty of materials rightly belonging to him, out of which a good and proper body might be manufactured for him at the resurrection. He reasons thus:

"1. The body of man is not a constant and permanent thing, always continuing in the same state, and consisting of the same matter; but a successive thing, which is continually spending and continually renewing itself, every day losing some of the matter which it had before and gaining new; so that most men have new bodies as they have new clothes; only with this difference, that we change cur clothes commonly at once, but our bodies by degrees. And this is undeniably certain from experience. For, so much as our bodies grow, so much new matter is added to them, over and besides the repairing of what is continually spent; and after a man be come to his full growth, so much of his food as every day turns into nourishment, so much of his yesterday's body is usually wasted, and carried off by insensible perspiration, that is, breathed out at the pores of his body; which, according to the static experiment of Sane-torius, a learned physician, who, for several years together, weighed himself exactly every day, is (as I remember) according to the proportion of five to eight of all that a man eats and drinks. Now, according to this proportion [which is now, however, considered too great,] a man must change his body several times in a year. It is true, indeed, the more solid parts of the body, as the bones, do not change so often as the fluid and fleshy; but that they also do change is certain, because they grow; and whatever grows is nourished and spends, because otherwise it would not need to be repaired.

" 2. The body which a man hath at any time of his life, is as much his own body, as that which he hath at his death; so that if the very matter of his body, which a man had at any time of his life, be raised, it is as much his own and the same body, as that which he had at his death; and commonly much more perfect; because they who die of lingering sickness, or old age, are usually mere skeletons when they die; so that there is no reason to suppose (or, at least, not to insist) that the very matter of which our bodies consist at the time of our death shall be that which shall be raised, that being commonly the worst and most imperfect body of all the rest.

" These two things being premised, the answer to this objection cannot be difficult. For as to the more solid and firm parts of the body, as the skull and bones, it is not, I think, pretended that the cannibals eat them; and if they did, so much of the matter, even of these solid parts, wastes away in a few years, as, being collected together, would supply them many times over. And as for the fleshy and fluid parts, these are so very often changed and renewed, that we can allow the cannibals to eat them all up, and to turn them all into nourishment; and yet no man need contend for want of a body of his own at the resurrection, viz. any of those bodies which he had ten or twenty years before, and which, are every whit as good, and as much his own, as that which was eaten." (Sermon 194).

Really, if the good Archbishop had written this specimen of grave philosophical reasoning in the way of irony, with the intention of throwing ridicule on the doctrine it pretends to defend, I do not see how he could have succeeded better. It seems, according to this statement, that, at the resurrection, all men of moderate age will have at least a hundred bodies a-piece! and as the soul is to wear but one, the difficulty will be, to choose which one, out of the hundred, shall be made immortal. But, in Dr. Hody's very pertinent language, cited above, if one, why not all ? And if, after all, at least ninety-nine parts out of a hundred of the precious matter, about which so much anxiety is displayed, is at last to be thrown away as refuse and if, as is likewise argued, it makes no difference which single part out of the hundred is selected for preservation, each being "every whit as good" as the rest, and not a whit better; thus if, in plain language, in. their intrinsic nature, all the hundred parts are mere refuse alike: why are they not all rejected as mere refuse alike; and why, when ninety-nine of them are discarded, is one to be arbitrarily preserved ? Besides, how does this notable argument provide for the poor infant that dies as soon as born ? As it had never changed its body at all, how is it to get a more proper-sized one at the resurrection ? According to the hypothesis, though it does not signify how much of the matter which once belonged to the body is thrown away, yet no matter can be taken to form it which had not at one time or other belonged to it: is, then, the babe that quits this world as soon as it comes into it, to be still an infant of a span at the resurrection, and to remain such for ever ? To meet this case, I suppose it will be affirmed, that the body of the infant will be miraculously augmented to the stature of the adult. Thus, on the one hand it is insisted, that it is of no consequence if ninety-nine parts out of a hundred of the matter composing the original body be rejected; and on the other hand it is admitted, that it is of no consequence if ninety-nine parts out of a hundred of the matter composing the resurrection-body be a new addition: whence again it is evident, that to contend for the resurrection of the same body, is only to assert in words, what is found, upon every theory, to be false in fact.

But Mr. Locke is the man for pouring upon such notions the genuine light of reason. His opponent, Stillingfleet, Bishop of Worcester, also deemed it essential to justice that the sinner's body should be raised for punishment as well as his soul; indeed, he thought that, of right, the very same body in which every crime was committed should share in its punishment: but as this would make the bulk of the resurrection-body enormous, he had recourse to the same mode of surmounting this difficulty, as, we have just seen, was adopted by lillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury. He affirmed, that "it suffices, to make the same body, to have, not all, but no other, particles of matter, but such as were, some time or other, vitally united to the soul before." On which, among other conclusive remarks, Mr. Locke writes thus:

"Your lordship says, 'That you do not say the same individual particles [shall make up the body at the resurrection] which were united at the point of death; for there must be a great alteration in them in a lingering disease: as if a fat man falls into a consumption.' Because, it is likely, your lordship thinks, these particles of a decrepit, wasted, withered body, would be too few, or unfit, to make such a plump, strong, vigorous, well-sized body, as it has pleased your lordship to proportion out in your thoughts to men at the resurrection; and, therefore, some small portion of the particles formerly united vitally to that man's soul, shall be re-assumed, to make up his body to the bulk your lordship judges convenient; but the greatest part of them shall be left out, to avoid making his body more vast than your lordship thinks will be fit; as appears by these your lordship's words immediately following, viz. 'That you do not say, the same particles the sinner had at the very time of the commission of his sins; for then a long sinner must have a vast body.'

"But then, pray, my lord, what must an embryo do, who, dying within a few hours after his body was vitally united to his soul, has no particles of matter, which were formerly united to it, to make up his body to that size and proportion, which your lordship seems to require in bodies at the resurrection ? Or, must we believe he shall remain content with that small pittance of matter, and that yet imperfect body, to eternity, because it is an article of faith to believe the resurrection of the very same body, i. e. made up of only such particles as have been vitally united to the soul ? For if it be true, as your lordship says, 'That life is the result of the union of soul and body,' it will follow, that the body of an embryo dying in the womb may be very little, not the thousandth part of any ordinary man. For, since from the first conception and beginning of formation it has life, and 'life is the result of the union of the soul with the body,' an embryo that shall die, either by the untimely death of the mother, or by any other accident, presently after it has life, must, according to your lordship's doctrine, remain a man not an inch long to eternity; because there are not particles of matter, formerly united to his soul, to make him bigger, and no other can be made use of for that purpose: though what greater contiguity the soul hath with any particles of matter which were once vitally united to it, but are now so no longer, than it hath with particles of matter which it was never united to, it would be hard to determine, if that should be demanded.

"By these [most justly adds Mr. Locke], and not a few other the like consequences, one may see what service they do to religion and (he Christian doctrine, who raise questions, and make articles of faith, about the resurrection of the same body, where the Scripture says nothing of the same body, or if it does, it is with no small reprimand to those who make such an inquiry. 'But some men will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come ? Thou fool! that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain. But God giveth it a body, as it hath pleased him.' "

It would scarcely be right to close this branch of the discussion without adverting to the most extensive and laborious work upon this subject which has appeared in modern times. I allude to "An Essay on the Identity and General Resurrection of the Human Body," by the late Rev. S. Drew. This respectable writer first appeared before the public in the character of a metaphysician; and he always regarded metaphysics as his forte. He, therefore, enters but slightly into the Scripture proof of the subject: but assuming that the Scriptures assert the resurrection of the body, he labours, by a long chain of fine-spun metaphysical reasoning, to evince how it must be. I apprehend, however, that none can read his very ingenious work, without feeling that it is more calculated to raise doubts than to allay them. His theory is substantially the same with that of Dr. Watts and the Rabbins: indeed, Dr. A. Clarke supplies him, as corroboratory testimony, with the story about the bone luz. He supposes that no part whatever of the natural body will be raised again, except some very minute invisible particles, which, he conceives, lie somewhere hidden in the interiors of the frame, are incapable either of addition or diminution from the hour of birth to that of death, and remain indestructible to eternity. He finds it utterly impossible that any other part of the present body can be taken to form the resurrection-body, than these invisible particles; and these, it is easy to see, he gratuitously assumes, or creates himself, for the purpose. He shows clearly, that all the particles which had ever been united, through life, to the corporeal mass, cannot be taken to form the body at the resurrection, because these would, in many cases, form bodies so vast as to outrage all probability: beside which, the size of the body would then be in exact proportion to the time that the person had lived on earth; whence, while a child that died as soon as born would still be a diminutive infant at the resurrection, the body of an antediluvian would be as big as a mountain. In addition to which, as he shows further, it is incontestable that many of the particles of some bodies have formed parts of more bodies than one. This difficulty, he demonstrates, is not at all removed by the theory of some theologians, that not all the particles which have ever belonged to our bodies will be raised at the resurrection, but only those which belonged to it at the time of death; for some of the particles belonging, at death, to persons slain and eaten by cannibals, are certainly incorporated with the bodies of their devourers. Every other theory which can be constructed respecting the formation of the resurrection-body out of any number of the particles belonging to the present body, either during life or at the time of death, Mr. Drew also shows to include insurmountable difficulties. As, therefore, none of the common and fluctuating particles which have belonged to the body of clay, will serve for the composition of the resurrection-body, he at last adopts, as the only possible alternative, the gratuitous supposition I have already mentioned, and which he now states in these words: "That some radical particles must be fixed within us, which constitute our sameness through all the mutations of life; and which, remaining in a state of incorruptibility, shall put forth a germinating power beyond the grave, und be the germ of our future bodies."

Now may we not ask, was there ever a more extravagant assumption ? Incorruptible particles fixed within us, and incapable, as he also asserts, of either increase or diminution from birth to death;— so fine and subtle that no microscope can detect them, no chemistry decompose them;—and, while all the other particles of the frame become undistinguishably mixed with the elements, preserved snugly by themselves from the death even of Adam to the end of the world, through all the changes and catastrophes of the world and of nature; then suddenly to rush into union with the returning soul, and to expand into the full dimensions of a proper-sized body! * Is it not surprising, that when a man of abilities saw the resurrection of the body to be untenable upon every hypothesis but this, he did not perceive that this was as untenable as any, and admit it to be impossible to maintain any resurrection of the body at all ? Is it not astonishing that philosophers and divines should go so far out of the way to provide for man a resurrection-body, as to dream of unconscious, incorruptible, corporeal substance,—of fixed, unalterable, yet invisible matter;—when the obvious truth lay so much nearer at hand ? Yes, Mr. Drew! Man has an incorruptible germ within him, which will form the proper body of his soul hereafter. But this is not matter: it is no part of the material body, though contained within it. It is the proper substance of the soul itself, the form in which the soul lives when separated from its material covering: it is the spiritual body, to which, while we remain here, the natural body, in its every fibre, is a case or sheath. This does not lie useless and insensible, as Mr. Drew supposes his particles of incorruptible matter to do, from death till thousands of years afterwards. It comes at once into its full and proper life and activity; and man lives, though a spirit, still a man, and in a really substantial though spiritual body, from the day of his mortal dissolution to all eternity.

* All this is asserted, p. 181, &c,

D. Scripture Evidence of the True Doctrine.

passing, at length, from the negative proofs of the non-resurrection of the material body,—having seen that there is nothing in Scripture, nor yet in the conclusions of sound reason, which sanctions the notion of such a resurrection, but that, at least from the last source of evidence, there is much that conclusively disproves it;— I will now adduce some of the direct evidence of Scripture in favour of that view of the Resurrection, which we accept as the genuine doctrine of the Word of God; viz.: That man rises 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: and that, consequently, the dead material body will never be re-assumed.

I will commence with considering the celebrated fifteenth chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians. I begin with this, because, some having referred to it as favouring the opposite doctrine, it is important to settle its true design, before proceeding to texts of which the meaning is quite unequivocal.

I will first notice the parts of the chapter which have been cited in proof of the doctrine of our opponents, "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward, they that are Christ's at his coming." (Ver. 20—23.) It has hence been contended, very truly, that "his [Christ's] resurrection is set forth as a sure pledge of ours." But the meaning of those who advance this is, that our resurrection is to be exactly or the same kind as our Divine Prototype's: thus it is argued, from the term "first-fruits;" "The word first indicates a subsequent or successive number, more or less. If Christ were the only one to rise from the dead, bodily; then it might with equal propriety have been laid,—Christ the last-fruits, &c." The author of this objection seems to have forgotten, that the Lord Jesus Christ actually does say of himself, "I am the First and the Last" (Rev. i. 17): and we shall perhaps find that this is perfectly true, even with respect to his resurrection.

It is necessary here to be borne in mind, that throughout this chapter, and generally elsewhere,* the Apostle never separates in his thoughts the idea of resurrection from that of regeneration and it is impossible to apply what he says of the resurrection to any but the regenerate. As remarked by Doddridge, it is "of the resurrection of [true] Christians alone, and not of that of the wicked, that he evidently speaks in this whole chapter." Having the idea of the spiritual resurrection thus combined in his mind with that of resuscitation from natural death, and the former idea being generally uppermost in his thoughts, his language is often more strictly applicable to the former resurrection than to the latter. His meaning here is rendered evident by his language elsewhere. "Know ye not," says he, "that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death ? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism unto death; that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." + Thus the Apostle, by our dying in Adam, means, chiefly, death as regards spiritual life; by our dying after the likeness of the death of Christ, he means a death to the former death, or a being "freed from [the power of] sin," "the body of sin being destroyed," or the life of the merely external man being extinguished; and by our experiencing "the likeness of Christ's resurrection," he means our "walking in newness of life." Nothing can be more explicit. Evidently, it is in this sense, mainly, that he speaks to the Corinthians of Christ as our "first-fruits," of "the resurrection of the dead" as coming by Him, and of being "made alive" in Him. Hence he excludes the wicked from having any share in the resurrection he is here treating of: he confines it to "them that are Christ's." None, however, deny that the wicked are to partake of the general resurrection as well as the good: his excluding the wicked, therefore, proves, that he is here treating, primarily, of a purely spiritual resurrection; and as this is accompanied with a new formation of our spiritual frame, which emerges from the natural body at natural death, therefore he regards this resurrection as a mere necessary consequence from the former.

* See the remarks above on Phil. iii. 21. (p. 65.) + Rom. vi. 3—11.

That the phrase, "Christ the first-fruits," does also relate to the resuscitation of the good man from natural death, in his spiritual body as formed anew by regeneration, I therefore readily admit. But that, in this application, it does not literally mean that he was the first that ever rose from the dead, is evident from the fact, that, literally, he was not the first. Do we not read of several who were raised from the dead by the prophets in the Old Testament ? Did not the Lord Jesus Christ raise several from the dead before he died himself, and thus before he rose again ? But perhaps our opponents, as these facts cannot be denied, will shift their ground, and say, that they do not mean that he was the first that rose, but that he was the first who ascended with his body to heaven. But how does this agree with what the same parties believe, that Enoch and Elijah ascended to heaven with their natural bodies long before. We, indeed, are convinced, that neither Enoch nor Elijah ascended to heaven in their bodies, just as we are convinced that the phrase, "Christ the first-fruits," does not mean that Christ was literally the first who ever rose: but our opponents affirm both, though by maintaining the one they negative the other.

If, then, in application to the subject of the resuscitation from the dead, the expression, "Christ the first-fruits," does not mean that he was first in point of time, what does the Apostle intend by the expression ? The same, doubtless, as when he calls Jesus Christ, in reference to another subject, the Author (and Finisher) of our faith.* The words, also, used in the original, are very similar: both are compounds of arche, the beginning, and, as applied to the Lord, the origin or source. That translated first-fruits (aparche) is literally, from the beginning; and that translated author (archegos) is properly, he who precedes another, as leader. If then it is right, as it certainly is, to translate the latter word, when applied to the Lord, the Author, and to understand that the Apostle means, by his use of it, to direct us to him as the Author of the Christian faith; it would fee equally right to translate the former word also, when applied to the Lord, the Author, and to understand that the Apostle means to direct us to him as the Author of the Christian's resurrection. Thus the Lord applies to himself the more universal term (arche), which is the root of both these, to indicate that he is the Author of all things to his Church: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning (arche) and the end, the first and the last" (Rev. xxii. 13); — "These things saith the Amen, the faithful and. true witness, the beginning (arche) of the creation of God" (Ch. iii. 14).

* Heb. xii. 2.

It is certain then that Jesus Christ is our First-fruits, according to this spiritual idea,—our Aparche,—both in respect to the true Christian's resurrection from natural death and his resurrection from the death of sin,—that he is the Author both of the one and of the other: but does it thence follow, that because he rose with his natural body glorified, we are to rise with our natural bodies also ? The Apostle's language certainly does not imply this, but the contrary. For he says, "But every man in his own order; Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's;" where the words order and afterward do not refer to order and sequence of time, but of rank; indeed, the word translated order might properly be translated rank; it being the term (tagma, whence our tactics] appropriated to the marshalling of an army. It is also shown by the lexicographers, that aparche means what is first, or primary, with respect to dignity or excellence, as well as with respect to time.* Thus the Apostle explicitly informs us, that our resurrection is not to be of the same order, or rank, as that of the Lord, but that as his was a resurrection suited to his nature, so will ours be a resurrection suited to ours. He therefore rose with his whole body complete, though it was now no longer a material but a "glorious" or divine body, and thus he lives and reigns as a Divine Man: if otherwise, his saving influences could not extend to man in his natural state in the world, who thus would be left where he was before, and would derive no benefit from the Lord's assumption of, and resurrection with, the human nature. For the sake of men in the world, and that he might be eternally present with men in the world, the Lord rose to glory with all that belongs to a man in the world, that he might thence immediately act upon and influence him: but as, when man leaves the world, he has done with it for ever, it is quite unnecessary that he should take with him I hat body which was the medium by which his soul communicated immediately with the world; and therefore, though he rises with his spiritual body, to be the medium of his communicating with the spiritual world, he does not, like his Divine Prototype, take with him his natural body in addition, because he does not, like Him, continue to communicate immediately with the natural world also. In this respect then, most truly, in the quaint language of the objector, the Lord is the last-fruits as well as the first; or, in his own divine language, he is the First and the Last,—the only Being who is at onice in last principles and in first;—who is the Originator of all things,—the First; — and the Sustainer of all things,—the Last.

* See Schleusner.

Thus we see that it was not without reason that the Apostle introduces the remark, "But every one (not every man, but every owe, or each, ekastos) in his own order;"—that he meant to apprise us, that the resurrection of the Lord was of a different order from that of man.

But the Apostle adds the words, "at his coming;"—"afterward, they that are Christ's at his coming:" whence some infer, that he postpones the resurrection that he speaks of to the end of the world. We have already conclusively seen, that the nature and time of the-Lord's second coming were not in that age revealed, even to the Apostles. This Apostle, therefore, entertaining the opinion that the Lord's second coming would be witnessed by that generation, might naturally refer their great change (to be treated of presently) to the time of that event. But, certainly, the resuscitation of the regenerate, —of them that are Christ's,—in their spiritual body, takes place at their death; and it is admitted by all, that the hour of death is often referred to in the Scriptures, as a coming of the Lord,—"his coming," as Dr. Watts expresses it, "by his messenger of death." In a purely spiritual sense, it is certainly a coming of the Lord to the soul, when a man, in the Apostle's language before quoted, "lives with him," or when, being "dead unto sin," he becomes "alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord:" assuredly, then, when the spiritual body which is formed anew by regeneration, in lieu of the "body of sin," emerges from its shell of clay and appears before the Lord in the eternal world, it is, to the man, the coming of the Lord.

At the close of the Chapter, the Apostle speaks more particularly of the manner and time of our exchanging our natural body for the spiritual one. He refers it, indeed, as to those then living, to a period which has proved very distant, and which most believe to be yet unarrived: but he only does so, because he expected, as we have fully seen already, the Lord's second coming to occur in the life-time of that generation, and probably of himself. Thus no valid inference can hence be drawn as to a future resurrection of the material body. All who should be deceased previously to the Lord's second coming, he considers as having, also, previously experienced their resurrection; all who should then be living in the world, as passing through a change, the same as death had effected in the others. With these facts in the mind, there will be no difficulty in reconciling what he here says, with his doctrine in the preceding part of the chapter and elsewhere, which, as we shall find, is the clear New-Church doctrine of the resurrection.

Addressing the Corinthians of that generation, he says, "Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible; and we shall be changed." * It is generally supposed, that the Apostle here refers to a coming of the Lord to put an end to the world; and it is sufficiently probable, that if he did not expect the world to be absolutely destroyed at the Lord's second coming, he expected a great change to be made in the state of it. When, therefore, he says, "We shall not all sleep," he certainly appears to mean, that all that generation would not previously die, but some would be living to witness the occurrence. "When he adds, "but we shall all be changed," he means that some then living would previously have undergone the change made by death, and the rest, who should still be alive, would undergo a similar change then. When he says that this will be effected "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump," the seems to mean that the change will be sudden with all, both with those who would previously have died and those who should then be alive: but we shall find abundant proof, presently, that he cannot mean that the previously deceased would not undergo their change, till those who, he expects, would be living, should experience theirs: he only means that the change would be sudden with all, though not occurring at the same time. So when he says, "and the dead shall be raised incorruptible," he does not mean to say, that there would be no resurrection of the dead till that period: for, as we have already noticed, and shall further evince presently, his Divine Master taught, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,—consequently all who had departed out of the world,—were already enjoying the "resurrection from the dead;" and the doctrine of the Apostle, as we shall also soon see, was the very same. That this, in fact, is the Apostle's meaning in this very passage, is perfectly clear from the exactly parallel passage which we have already considered from his first Epistle to the Thessalonians;+ where he says, "Them also which sleep in Jesus shall God bring with him;"# plainly evincing, that when he afterwards says, "And the dead in Christ shall rise first" $ he means, that they would have risen before, otherwise Jesus could not bring them with him. The same is the only true meaning, and that which, alone, the Apostle, to be consistent with himself, could intend, when he here says to the Corinthians, "and the dead shall be raised incorruptible."

* Ver. 51, 52. + See above, pp. 50, 51, 52. # Ch. iv. 14. $ Ver. 16.

The truth is, that this passage to the Corinthians is, in all important particulars, parallel to the passage to the Thessalonians, and is to be understood in exactly the same manner. It is another varied recital of the Lord's words in Matt. xxiv. 30, 31: and they do not relate to the resurrection, or the passing out of this world into the other, at all: and, like the quotation to the Thessalonians of the same portion of the Lord's prophetic discourse, it evinces, that the Lord did not see fit that the true nature and time of his second coming should then be openly revealed; whence even the Apostles were permitted to entertain, upon this one subject, obscure, and in some respects, erroneous ideas, expecting it to take place literally, as described figuratively, in the life-time of that generation, and probably in their own. Thus Paul, mistakingly including himself, here says, "We shall not all sleep;" just as, when writing to the Thessalonians, he said, "We feat are alive, and remain." The second coming of the Lord, being, as we have seen at large in the preceding Section, only to take place, in this world, in a spiritual manner, though accompanied, in the spiritual world, with representative appearances, has no immediate connexion with the subject of the resurrection: but the Apostle, expecting it then soon to take place, illustrates and enforces his doctrine of the resurrection, both to the Thessalonians and to the Corinthians, by assuring them, that even they who should be living at the time would not pass into the state of future blessedness with their material bodies, but would experience the same transition out of the natural body into the spiritual body which others experience at death; that they should then meet their faithful brethren who were gone before, and, together with them, "be ever with the Lord." (1 Thess. iv. 13, 14, 17).

This, I repeat, is plainly the import of the words now before us, "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." Though, it appears, the words, "We shall not all sleep," must be admitted to convey the erroneous expectation, that the Apostle and others would be found living at the time of the Lord's second coming, not having passed through natural death; yet he connects this harmless error with the grand universal truth, "we shall all be changed;" plainly affirming that all, whether dying in the ordinary way or not, will pass from a natural state to a spiritual one before they can enter their eternal abode, being divested of the natural body and appearing in the spiritual body; agreeably to his previous declarations, to be considered presently, that "there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body;" and "that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom; of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." This interpretation is indeed so obvious, that it has forced itself on other theological writers. The Rev. Mr. Drew has these judicious remarks: "Though" (taking the prophecy literally) "the last generation of the human race shall be exempted from the stroke of death, yet the change itself which death produces shall not be dispensed with. For though 'all shall not sleep,' yet 'all shall be changed.' The change seems absolutely necessary, by what means soever it may be produced, to the production of that spiritual body which we have already considered. The change, therefore, through which these last individuals of mankind shall pass, must be, in its nature, equivalent to that which death, by a much slower and more gradual process, shall produce upon the great mass of the human race."* Again: "As flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,' 'nor corruption inherit incorruption,' those corruptible and visible parts, which we behold, must disappear, either through the process of the grave, or of that change which shall supersede its necessity. The real body, which shall be hereafter, must therefore at present be concealed beneath those exuviae which shall be done away in death. It seems reserved for a future state of existence; while those parts which will appear us appendages, when, from eternity, we look back on time, seem destined to perform the functions of the present life."+ Nothing can bee more clear and satisfactory,—can more obviously result from the unstrained words of the Apostle.

Thus this famous passage, so commonly referred to as a proof-text for the resurrection, or the passing into heaven of the material body, turns out (when allowance is made for the Apostle's quoting the symbolic language of the Lord's prophecies, and seeming to take that symbolic language in its literal sense) not in the least to favour any such doctrine, but yields strong support, our enemies themselves being judges, to the great truths, that there is no passing out of time into eternity but in a spiritual body—that man exists in such a body immediately after death,—and that if any case can exist (as with Elijah) in which ordinary death is not experienced, the very same change as ordinary death produces is nevertheless undergone.

I have adopted the above view of the text in question, somewhat differing from the slighter explanation given in the first edition of this work, because, on mature consideration, I believe it to be the sense intended by the Apostle. It precludes the necessity of having recourse to any spiritual interpretation of his words. For although this were not unallowable, when, as here, he speaks "by the word of the Lord," # that is, from the word spoken by the Lord and recorded in the gospels, which regularly includes a spiritual sense in every part; yet, the spiritual and genuine sense of everything relating to the Lord's second coming having intentionally been kept hidden from the preachers of the truths belonging to his first, that spiritual meaning could not be the meaning intended by them. "When, therefore, they quote or refer to such passages according to their literal sense, they doubtless understood them in that sense; and, as has been fully shown above,$ their ignorance of things beyond their commission, detracts nothing from their adequate and inspired knowledge of the things which came within it.

* Essay, p. 470. + Ibid. pp. 477. 478. # 1 Thess. iv. 15. $ Pp. 8—17..

But if there are a few expressions in this chapter, which, when the allusions are not understood, may appear to some to favour the notion of a future resurrection of the material body, let them take a view of the whole chapter together, and every such appearance must vanish.

Let us, then, look at the general scope of the Apostle's argument,— at the design with which the whole chapter was composed. "Was it written to prove the doctrine of a resurrection, or of a future state, in general: or to prove the resurrection of the material body ?

"Now if Christ be preached, that he arose from the dead," says the Apostle when he commences the subject, "how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?" (Ver. 12.) Does this mean, no resurrection of dead bodies; or, no rising in eternal life of those who have left this world by death? A few verses below we find an answer to this inquiry. The Apostle says, "If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable." (Ver. 16—19.) Here the plain scope of the Apostle's argument is explicitly declared. He is reasoning against those who confine their hopes of happiness to this life only. He is disproving the monstrous error of supposing that the Christian's hope terminates here: and surely this awful mistake is guarded against, quite as effectually, by the doctrine which teaches that we shall rise again, and appear before our Judge, immediately after death, in bodies adapted for the fullest sense either of happiness or misery, as by the doctrine which teaches that we are not to be judged at all, nor even to have any distinct consciousness of existence, till the end of the world. Evident then it is, that the Apostle is writing against those who deny a resurrection altogether; not against those who do not expect a resurrection of the body. Accordingly, he says presently, "What shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all?" (Ver. 29.) Now whatever this baptizing for the dead might be, the Apostle clearly affirms that the use of it would be frustrated, not if the dead body never rises, but if the dead rise not at all. So he proceeds, still arguing against the idea, not that there is no resurrection of the body, but that there is no future life, "And why stand we in jeopardy every hour ? I protest by the rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily [meaning, that he was constantly exposing himself to the danger of dying; and was also mortifying in himself the life of the merely natural man]. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not ? Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." * Here the Apostle puts us still more clearly in possession of the whole scope of his argument. Nothing can be plainer than that he is solely contending for a future life,—a state of retribution,—against the monstrous grossness of those who imagined that there is no resurrection whatever, and that when we die here we are extinct for ever. The resurrection of the body, then, has nothing to do with the grand design of his argument.

The Apostle, having thus settled so conclusively the main question, proceeds to answer those who objected to the doctrine of man's immortality, in consequence of observing, that the natural body was cast at death into the ground, and was there decomposed, without anything of the man anywhere remaining visible.

"But some will say," he observes, "How are the dead raised up ? and with what body do they come? Thou fool," he replies, "that which thou sowest [alluding to the operations of the husbandman] is not quickened except it die. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body which shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat or some other grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body." f Here we have the most unequivocal assertion, that man does not rise again with the same body as he had in the world. And to show that man may have a different body suited to the different state on which he enters after death, he proceeds to illustrate it by similitudes from various natural objects. "All flesh," says he, "is not the same flesh: there is one kind of flesh of men, another of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory [or form, or nature, as the original word here signifies] of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory [form, or nature"] of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory." # Was it possible to prepare the mind more naturally for the admission of the idea, that though the natural body rises no more, man is not therefore left destitute of a body, but has a better in its place ? To what purpose could this enumeration of different species of bodies serve, but to answer the objections of those who concluded, that because the body which was laid in the grave remains there, therefore there is no resurrection of the man ?

He proceeds: "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power." $ Now he comes to the full, clear, New-Jerusalem doctrine: "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body;" or, as the words might more exactly, and without any ambiguity, be translated, "A natural body is sown; a spiritual body is raised."

* Ver. 30, 31, 32. + Ver. 35—38. # Ver. 39, 40, 41. $ Ver. 42, 43.

It is well worthy of note, "that the word sown does not relate to the body's being laid in the earth, but rather to its production in the world: for when it is interred, it is no more an animal body, but a body void of life: it is not only weak, but wholly destitute of power. The Apostle does indeed (ver. 36, 37) speak of seed sown in the earth; but then he speaks of it as still alive, and having its seminal virtue, or animal-spirit, in it, and afterwards dying there; whereas our bodies first die, and then are cast in the earth:" * It is when we come into this world, then, that a "natural body is sown:" when we depart out of it, "a spiritual body is raised." To confirm this grand idea, the Apostle solemnly repeats it as a general truth: "There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body:" (Ver. 44.) —a most certain fact, on which rests the whole doctrine of the New Jerusalem respecting the life after death. "There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body!" and the latter is not less real, nor less truly substantial, than the former.

* Whitby's Commentary.

In the next verse he illustrates this great truth by the example of Adam, though the reference is quite lost in our translation; in which it is given, "And so it is written, The first Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [not, was made, but] is a quickening spirit." (Ver. 45.) How does this illustrate the case of the natural and spiritual body ? Because the word here used for soul [psyche] is that always applied by the Apostle to signify the natural or animal soul; or, the life of the natural or animal man: it is the substantive from which the adjective always translated natural (psychicos) in the New Testament, is formed. Thus, to introduce the word natural, answering to what had gone before, we might read it, "the first Adam was made a living natural principle, but the last Adam is a life-giving spiritual principle;" in other words, "The first Adam was endued with natural life, and the last Adam is the communicator of spiritual life:" with which idea in our minds, we see the propriety of the verse which follows: "Howbeit, that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterwards that which is spiritual." (Ver. 46.) Thus the Apostle means to state this most accurately discriminated and beautiful truth; That there is just such a difference between our natural and spiritual body, as there is between the nature which we receive by birth from Adam, and that which we receive by regeneration from the Lord. This he further illustrates by adding, "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from, heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as. is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." * Here he shows, that, with the good, of whom alone he is speaking, the resurrection-body is the proper form and image of the regenerate mind. Then he makes this general statement; "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." + What can be clearer ? How is this to he evaded ? This is precisely what we believe. The Apostle is arguing as strongly as possible against the notion of the resurrection of the natural body, as being of such substance as cannot enter heaven; and in proof that such resurrection is unnecessary to our future conscious existence, he demonstrates that there is a spiritual body, independent of the former, and which emerges out of the shell of flesh and blood when this is laid aside by death.

What follows, about being changed at the Lord's coming, we have already noticed. And when to this the Apostle adds, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on. immortality,"# he certainly cannot mean to say this of the natural body, "the flesh and blood," which he had just before declared, "cannot inherit the kingdom of God; "—nor of that "corruption" which he had said, as explicitly, "doth not inherit incorruption," or cannot be made incorruptible. To be consistent with himself, then, he must mean, speaking in a strongly figurative style, that this corruptible state and body shall be exchanged for the incorruptible, this mortal for immortal: and thus he comes to the sublime conclusion: "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."

Once more I will call in the powerful aid of that great master of lucid argument whom I have several times cited already.

The Bishop of Worcester had quoted various parts of this chapter as favouring his doctrine of the resurrection of the same body; and Mr. Locke replies to him in such a manner as to make his arguments appear extravagantly absurd, and proves the doctrine of the Apostle to be directly the contrary. See, especially, his remarks on the seed sown, which the bishop had laboured to explain into agreement with his doctrine of the resurrection of the same body. But I will only here cite from Mr L. some important remarks on the distinction between the dead (oi necroi), in the masculine gender, and the bodies of the dead (somata), in the neuter gender; which distinction of genders cannot be expressed in our tongue; whence it is not so clear in English as in the original, that the dead are not the dead bodies. "He who reads," says Mr. Locke, "with attention this discourse of St. Paul, where he discourses of the resurrection, will see, that he plainly distinguishes between the dead that shall be raised, and the bodies of the dead. For it is necroi [the dead], pantes [all], oi [they,] are the nominative cases (ver. 15, 22, 23, 29, 32, 35, 52) to egeirontai [rise], zoopoiethesontai [shall be made alive], egerthesontai [shall be raised], all along, and not somata, bodies; which one may with reason think would somewhere or other have been expressed, if all this Lad been said to propose it as an article of faith, that the very same bodies should be raised. The same manner of speaking the Spirit of God observes through all the Few Testament; where it is said, 'raise the dead,' 'quicken or make alive the dead,' 'the resurrection of the dead,' (Matt. xxii. 31, Mark xii. 26; John v. 21; Acts xxvi. 23; Rom. iv. 17; 2 Cor. i. 9; 1 Thess. iv. 14, 16.) Nay, those very words of our Saviour, urged by your lordship for the resurrection of the same body, run thus: Pantes oi, &c. (all [in the masculine gender] that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation.) "Would not a well-meaning searcher of the Scriptures be apt to think, that if the thing here intended by our Saviour were to teach, and propose it as an article of faith necessary to be believed by every one, that the very same bodies of the dead should be raised; would not, I say, any one be apt to think, that if our Saviour meant so, the words should rather have been panta ta somata, &c.—all the bodies that are in the graves,' rather than 'all who are in the graves;' which must denote persons, and not precisely bodies?—Another evidence," Mr. L. continues, "that St. Paul makes a distinction between the dead and the bodies of the dead, so that the dead cannot be taken in this chapter to stand precisely for the bodies of the dead, are these words of the Apostle: But some men will say, How are the dead raised? and with what bodies do they come ? "Which words, dead and they, if supposed to stand precisely for the bodies of the dead, the question will run thus: How are the dead bodies raised? and with what bodies do the dead bodies come ? Which seems to have no very agreeable sense." On the whole, therefore, he concludes, that "If a man shall think himself bound to determine concerning the identity of the bodies of the dead raised at the last day, he will not, by the remainder of St. Paul's answer, find the determination of the Apostle to be much in favour of the very same body; unless the being told, that the body sown is not the body that shall be; that the body raised is as different from that which was laid down, as the flesh of man is from the flesh of beasts, fishes, and birds,—or, as the sun, moon, and stars are different from each other,—or, as different as a corruptible, weak, natural, mortal body is from an incorruptible, powerful, spiritual, immortal body; and lastly, as different as a body that is flesh and blood is from a body that is not flesh and blood:'for flesh and blood cannot,' says St. Paul in this very place, 'inherit the kingdom of God:' unless, I say, all this can be supposed to be the way to deliver this as an article of faith, which is required to be believed by every one, viz. That the dead should be raised with the very same bodies that they had before in this life."

* Ver. 47, 48, 49. + Ver. 50. # Ver. 53.

From this review, I think it may be seen to be undeniable, that the whole of this chapter harmonises with, and a great portion directly teaches, the New-Church doctrine of the resurrection. Beside what has already been remarked, it is plain that the Apostle does not allow of an intermediate reservation of the soul somewhere by itself, unclothed with any spiritual body, till the natural body is raised and joined again to it; a doctrine that has been invented to make the passages which only speak of the immediate resurrection, of the soul seem to be combinable with the doctrine of the resurrection of the body: he speaks of the raising of the spiritual body as the only resurrection, and never hints at the soul as existing separately from the spiritual body. It is necessary then to understand the whole of an immediate resurrection, upon the death, or other equivalent change, or mode of putting off, of the body.

And we must so understand it, unless we would place the Apostle in contradiction to himself; since it is plain from other passages, that he expected such an immediate resurrection, and that in a real but spiritual body, as soon as he should be removed from the world by death, This, therefore, we will now proceed to show.

We find him speaking to the Philippians in these decided terms, "For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."* He adds, "For I am in a strait between two; having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better." + This is one of the passages, from which an intelligent orthodox theologian concludes, that "at death the soul quits the body, to return to it no more." # "When," he observes, "the Apostle says, 'for me to live is Christ,' he declares that the present life was to him a source of high enjoyment. But if he did not exist in a separate state his death would put an end to all his enjoyment, being an absolute termination of consciousness. If then he had the least degree of enjoyment while living, his death, destroying this enjoyment, and supplying no other in its place, would, with mathematical certainty, be a loss to him. How much greater must this loss be, when, as he informs us, it was Christ, to him, to live! Can any sober man believe, that St. Paul meant to declare death, which, according to the opposite scheme, is a mere temporary annihilation, to be a greater good than the happiness indicated by this expressive phraseology ? But the Apostle himself has determined this point. He has told us, that the gain of his departure consisted in being with Christ, in a state of happiness totally superior to any thing he found in this present world." Surely we must admit this to be conclusive reasoning. Paul was convinced that he was going to dwell in the immediate presence and enjoyment of his Saviour God. This he expected immediately on his being separated from his material body. Now can it be imagined, that to re-unite him, at some period, with his material body, could have the effect of bringing him nearer to his Saviour, and thus of increasing his enjoyment? The Apostle knew that the putting off of his material frame would bring him nearer to his Saviour than he could be while he was in it: can it be conceived that the putting of it on again would improve the effect of the putting of it off, and bring him nearer still ? The idea is preposterous in the extreme. If the putting off of the body brings a good man nearer to his God, it is quite evident that the resuming of it must have the effect of taking him farther off again,—of shutting him again more out from his God, and from the enjoyments which are only to be found in nearness to Him, "in whose presence is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Even supposing the material body, when resumed, to be ever so much subtilised and refined; this could only in some degree diminish its weighing down—its distancing quality, but could not possibly remove it altogether; much less could it impart to it an opposite quality, and bring the man, on putting it on again, nearer to the Lord than he had reached in consequence of putting it off. All this, doubtless, the Apostle well knew; and would, in consequence, have been filled with horror at the thought of a re-union with his fleshly covering.

* Phil. i, 21. + Ver. 23. # Dwight's Theology, Serm. 164.

But that he fully expected to enter upon his eternal inheritance immediately on death, and then to be clothed with his immortal body, is indisputable, when we attend to what he says to the Corinthians in his second epistle. After having remarked that our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory:* he goes on to show that this is to be entered upon as soon as our earthly body dies, saying, "For we know that if our earthly tabernacle were dissolved," (no person, I suppose, will dispute, that our earthly tabernacle is the body in which we live on earth:—so soon then as this is dissolved) "we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heaven:"+—consequently, by this house in the heavens, as opposed to the earthly tabernacle of the natural body, he means the spiritual body, in which dwells the soul of the faithful after death.

* 2 Cor. iv. 17. + Chap. v. 1.

"For this," he adds, "we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that, being clothed, we shall not be found naked."* Here by being clothed upon, by the house from heaven, he must mean, to appear in such a body as is enjoyed by the angels, which is the image of the divine graces that adorn their minds, and which is formed such while man lives in the world, according as those graces find in him an abiding place: and by being found naked, he means, to be, indeed, in a spiritual body, as being stripped of the natural body, but in such a one as cannot appear in heaven, being the form and image of all our natural corruptions, of which nakedness and shame are constantly predicated in the language of inspiration.

He subjoins, "For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burthened: not for that we would be unclothed,"—that is, not frowardly desiring to die,—"but clothed upon,"—invested with a truly heavenly as well as spiritual form,—"that mortality might be swallowed up of life." + It is plain, then, that he expected such a glorious investment to take place, with the faithful, immediately after death; accordingly, he adds presently, "Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord; we are confident, I say, willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord"# Here then we find, indisputably, that, with the faithful, when the earthly tabernacle is put off, the heavenly one is put on, and that as soon as they are absent from the body they are present with the Lord,—that is, immediately after death.

* Ver. 2, 3. + Ver. 4. # Ver. 6, 7, 8.

Carrying on therefore the same ideas, he proceeds to show, that every one in particular is judged, also, immediately after death, without coming back to take the material body for the purpose: thus he immediately adds, "Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in the body," (mind that,—done in the body, though that is now put off,)" according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." Who can read these words and suppose that the Apostle had any idea of returning to resume his dead body, before he was thus to "appear before the judgment-seat of Christ?" Or who can imagine, that after having had his doom decided "before the judgment-seat of Christ," he expected to be sent back again to re-animate his body of dust ? Evidently then the Apostle believed, that when once he had laid this down he had done with it for ever; and was well satisfied with the expectation of entering, instead of it, into the sensible possession of his spiritual body,—of his "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." In the same manner, he intimately connects together death and judgment elsewhere: "It is appointed unto all men once to die, but after this the judgment:"* on which the pious "Watts judiciously remarks, "whether immediate or more distant is not here expressly declared; though the immediate connexion of the words hardly gives room for seventeen hundred years to intervene." + Accordingly, Dr. Dwight, after having proved, as already noticed, "1. That at death the soul quits the body, to return to it no more" demonstrates from Scripture, "2. That the soul after death returns immediately to God, to give an account of its conduct in the present life." "3. That the sentence of God will be pronounced in perfect righteousness on all that it has done:" and, "4. That in consequence of this sentence, the soul will immediately enter upon a state of reward."

We have before seen,# that the passages in the writings of the Apostle Paul which are commonly cited in proof of the resurrection of the material body, in reality prove no such doctrine, but the contrary; and that the few expressions which might be understood as applying to a resurrection at some distant period, by no means require such an interpretation: We have now seen, that to put such an interpretation upon them is to make the Apostle contradict himself; for that his doctrine unequivocally is, that man rises again immediately after death;—that as soon as his "earthly house," or material body, is dissolved, the good man is clothed with a spiritual body of celestial origin, "a house from heaven;" while the wicked man is "found naked," having a spiritual body indeed, but not of heavenly origin, and all the deformity and shame of which is discovered when divested of its outer clothing of clay;—that a particular judgment is then immediately passed on all, for all then "appear before the judgment-seat of Christ;"—and that the good, being then "absent from the body" and "present with the Lord," immediately have their "light affliction, which is but for a moment," recompensed with "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." Thus, when the whole of his testimony is brought together, is not this Apostle a most decided preacher of the doctrine, upon this subject, which we offer as that of the New Jerusalem ?

As these are the sentiments of the Apostle Paul, so also are they those of his Divine Master. In opening the subject above, $ I adduced one or two of the explicit declarations in which the Lord. Jesus Christ propounds the doctrine of an immediate resurrection: I will here add one or two more of his statements to that effect.

* Heb. ix. 27. + Works, Leeds Edit. vol. vii. p. 7. # In Parts I. and II., and also in this fourth Part, of this Section. $ Part I of this Section.

What then can be more decisive than the Lord's declaration from the cross to the penitent thief; "Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise?" * Paradise is here usually explained to be, not heaven, or the final state of blessedness, but merely a happy part of the intermediate region called Hades, in which, it is supposed, the soul is to wait for its re-union with the body. Certain, however, it is, that in the only other place in which the word paradise occurs, (where also, as here, it comes from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ,) it is employed to express man's final and highest state of bliss; for it is said, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."+ Can any suppose, that the reward here promised to the victor in spiritual conflicts is only a comfortable situation in the intermediate state called Hades? Does it not evidently refer to his final happiness in heaven ? The probability, then, certainly is, that when the Lord Jesus Christ says to the penitent, "To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise," he promises him an immediate admission into his final state of happiness: consequently, as he did not, then, take his material body thither, it is inconsistent with this promise to suppose, that the final state of happiness is not to be enjoyed without the resumption of the material body. But upon any supposition the passage proves an immediate resuscitation to conscious happiness; and it will abundantly appear in the next Section, that even they who tarry longest in the intermediate state, do not terminate their sojourn there by resuming their material bodies.

But the parable of the rich man and Lazarus is so positive, that it, alone, is amply sufficient to establish the fact of man's resurrection, in a spiritual but substantial body, with capacities for the fullest sense of either happiness or misery, either delight or punishment, immediately after death. "The beggar died, and was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom: The rich man also died and was buried. And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. And Abraham said," &c.# Here all parties are spoken of as being still men, and as having the members and functions of men. Notice is taken of Abraham's bosom, of the rich man's tongue, and of Lazarus's finger. Abraham and the rich man hold a conversation. The rich man is represented as suffering the extreme of torment, and Abraham and Lazarus as enjoying

* Luke xxiii. 43. + Rev. ii. 7. # Luke, xvi. 22, to the end.

perfect happiness. And all this is described as occurring immediately on the death of the rich man and Lazarus; to place which beyond all doubt,—to prevent the possibility of supposing that the narrative relates to a state which they were to experience after resuming their bodies,—the rich man is made to speak of his brethren still living in the natural world.* No one, I suppose, will have the hardihood to say, that as the whole is a parable, and the rich man and Lazarus are fictitious characters, we must not apply what is said of them to real persons deceased: for it is evident, though the rich man and Lazarus are imaginary persons, that they are representatives of whole classes of real persons, and that what is said of them is intended to make us acquainted with the real state of multitudes. As Dr. Dwight observes, "Should an objector say, that this representation is parabolical; he will say it, only to escape from an argument which he cannot face."+ It is obvious, that the main design of the parable is, to communicate information respecting the real state of certain classes of good and wicked persons after death. The information it communicates is, that man no sooner leaves this world by death, than he finds himself living as a man complete in another, with capacities for the most acute sensibility either to delight or misery; and further, that a particular judgment takes place upon man immediately after death. And, were it true that the material body is to have its resurrection also, it is impossible to conceive that the Divine Speaker would deliver a parable from which every one would infer such resurrection to be needless, without introducing some precautionary words to prevent the mistake. No such precautionary words occur. While the immediate resuscitation of all that makes man a man is decisively asserted, no allusion is made to any resuscitation of that extrinsic adjunct to the man, his material body. Who, then, but must conclude, from this divine relation, that his material body is never to be attached to him again ?

To refer to a similar example. The Apostle John, when caught up to heaven,# "beheld a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palms in their hands,"$ uniting with the angels in their everlasting song of praise. The Apostle asked who these persons were. The interpreting angel informed him, that they were "those who came out of great tribulation, and had washed their robes, and made them white, in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore," the angel adds, "they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell amongst them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more;

* Ver. 28. + Theol. Serm. 164. # Rev. ir. 1, 2. $ Ch. vii. 9

neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." * None can question that these were men departed out of the natural world; nor that the time referred to is long antecedent to the expected resurrection of the material body. Yet we find them existing as men, consequently in a body—necessarily a spiritual one,—and in the enjoyment of angelic bliss as exquisite as can be conceived. Can it be imagined that the resumption of their bodies of clay could make any improvement in the enjoyments of these happy beings ? Does not such a thought immediately bring a cloud over the delightful scene, and shut the glorious vision from our view ? Can we conceive it possible that these blessed spirits, who have their residence, it is declared, immediately before the throne of God, whilst He that sitteth on the throne dwelleth among them, can at any future period withdraw from this exalted station, for the sake of re-collecting the particles of that "dust," which, as Solomon well knew, must permanently "return to the earth as it was," when "the spirit shall return to God who gave it?" +

Indeed, as the candid theologian last quoted observes, "The manner in which God has exhibited his views concerning our bodies is in no measure calculated to raise them in our estimation. He formed them out of the earth. He made them so frail, as to be subject to accident, pain, and disease, in ten thousand forms. At death, he returns them to earth again. This is their final end. 'Flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of God.' "

Another example, consisting in as plain, unparabolic a fact as is anywhere recorded in Scripture, is this: "Two men, which were Moses and Elias, who appeared in glory," $ conversed with the Lord at his transfiguration. It has been proved above, that neither of them had taken his body with him to heaven; nor did they now come to resume it: yet here they were, the well known men, Moses and Elias.

I will here add another observation on a passage slightly noticed above, || the Lord's answer to the Sadducees; the precise force of which seems generally to have been overlooked. He finishes the debate with them by saying, "Have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob ? God is not the God of the dead but of the living." (Matt. xxii. 31, 32). As the learned Hody, whose "Resurrection of the Same Body Asserted" I have often quoted, and whose candour I have before had occasion to commend, here remarks, "The most that this argument proves, is, the immortality of the soul—that the souls of

* Vers. 14—17. + Eccl. xii. 7. # Dwight, ubi supra. $ Luke ix. 30, 31. || Part I. of this Section, p. 35.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, did not die with their bodies, as the-Sadducees believe." But let it be well observed, that the question in debate between the Lord Jesus Christ and the Sadducees, was the resurrection. It is introduced by the statement, "The same day name to him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection." * They conclude their inquiry respecting the woman who had had peven husbands, by asking, "Therefore in the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of the seven "+ As the question had thus been put respecting the resurrection, it is respecting the resurrection that Jesus shapes his answers: "In the resurrection," he says, "they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." # And finally, to make his answer as full and decisive as possible, and to clear his meaning from all ambiguity, he applies his argument respecting the continued existence of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to prove, not, simply, the resurrection, but explicitly, the resurrection of the dead: for thus he introduces it; "But as touching the resurrection of the dead; have ye not read," &c.$ How is this to be evaded ? Jesus proves the resurrection of the dead, by proving, that the spirits of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were then living: Is not this completely demonstrative, that, in the idea of its Divine Author, the phrase, the resurrection of the dead, has no< reference whatever to a resuscitation of dead bodies,—that the only resurrection of the dead ever to be experienced by man, is that of which Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, have long since been the subjects ? And must we not everywhere understand the phrase in the same sense as is here undeniably given it by the Lord Jesus Christ himself ?

The Greek word for resurrection, in the foregoing passage, as in every other instance but one, is anastasis; on which, subject I will here introduce, from my Strictures on an adversary's pamphlet, in the Intellectual Repository, the following observations, especially as they include a valuable quotation on the text just considered.

"It is to be remembered that the New Testament was neither written in English nor in Latin, but in Greek; whence the common meaning of a word in the English or Latin translations is not always precisely that of the original. The word in the Greek, rendered 'resurrection,' is anastasis, and the two words, rendered to 'rise again,' to 'raise,' and to 'rise' are anistemi and egeiro. Egeirois the only verb employed on the subject in the famous chapter xv. 1 Cor., and none can pretend that this signifies, to rise again. Its meaning: is precisely the same as that of the Latin word surgo, which is formed from it. Anastasis and anistemi are compounded of the particle ana with stasis and istemi. Ana, in composition, according to the learned Schleusner, denotes, 1. upwards; 2. again; 3. separation; 4. only

* Ver. 23. + Ver. 28. # Ver. 30. $ Ver. 34

renders the word to which it is joined more emphatic; 5. adds no meaning at all. Istemi simply means to stand; and stasis is it? corresponding substantive. This alone is sufficient to demonstrate, that the compounds, ana-istemi and ana-stasis, cannot mean to rise again, and a rising again. If the particle ana, in those words had the meaning of again, the meaning of the words so compounded would be, to stand again, and a standing again; but the particle ana having its meaning of upwards, the words properly mean to stand up, and a standing up,—that is, to rise, and a rising. He who, from being in a recumbent posture, stands up, rises; and hence, in its secondary sense, the word means, simply, to rise; the same as egeiro, which is used indifferently with it, in reference to what is called in English the resurrection. Anistemi is the word used in Matt. xxii. 24, where our translation gives it, 'and raise up seed unto his brother;' in ch. ix. 9; 'And he arose and followed him;' in Mark. iii. 26: 'And if Satan rise up against himself;' in ch. x. 1: 'And he arose from thence;' in Acts vii. 18: 'Till another king arose.' It is quite clear, in all these places, and in numerous others that might be cited, that no meaning of again is included. Anastasis, being the noun corresponding to the verb anistemi, has, as a noun, the same meanings, and thus does not properly mean a rising again: but as it is never used in the New Testament but to denote the state after death, and entrance into it, this could only be proved by an examination of those passages. Take, however, the explanation of it, as given by one who had carefully made that examination, the celebrated orthodox American Professor of Divinity, Dr. Dwight, connected with his observations on the text respecting Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. "In his Sermon on the Resurrection, after observing that the subject treated of by Paul in 1 Cor. xv. is the Anastasis, or future existence of man, Dr. Dwight proceeds thus: 'This word is commonly, but often erroneously, rendered resurrection. So far as I have observed, it usually denotes our existence beyond the grave. Its origin and literal meaning is, to stand up, or stand again.* As standing is the appropriate posture of life, consciousness, and activity, and lying down the appropriate posture of the dead, the unconscious, and the inactive, this word is not unnaturally employed to denote the future state of spirits, who are living, conscious, and active beings. Many passages of Scripture would have been rendered more intelligible, and the thoughts contained in them more just and impressive, had this word been translated agreeably to its real meaning. This observation will be sufficiently illustrated by a recurrence to that remarkable passage which contains the dispute between our Saviour and the Sadduceos. 'Then came unto him,' says the evangelist, 'the

* We have just seen that its strictly literal meaning is to stand up, but not so stand again; which, in fact, is nonsense.

Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection,'—me einai anastasin,— that there is no future state, or no future existence of mankind.— They declare seven brothers to have married successively one wife, who survived them all. They then ask, 'whose wife shall she be in the resurrection,'—en te anastasei,—in the future state ?——Our Saviour answers, 'In the resurrection,' or as it should be rendered, 'In the future state, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God,'—or, as it ought to be rendered, 'Have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God concerning the future existence of those who are dead, saying, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead but of the living.' This passage [continues Dr. Dwight], were we at any loss concerning the meaning of the word anastasis, determines it beyond dispute. The proof that there is an anastasis of the dead alleged by our Saviour, is the declaration of God to Moses, 'I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob;' and the irresistible truth, that 'God is not the God of the dead but of the living.' The consequence, as every one who reads the Bible knows, is that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were living at the time when this declaration was made. Those who die, therefore, live after they are dead; and this future life is the anastasis; which is proved by our Saviour in this passage, and which is universally denoted by this term throughout the New Testament. Nothing is more evident than that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had not risen from the dead [as to their material bodies], and that the declaration concerning them is no proof of the resurrection [of the body]. But it is certain they are living beings; and therefore this passage is a complete proof that mankind live after death.'

"That the word anastasis cannot possibly mean, in Scripture, the resurrection of the body, Dr. Dwight has here most conclusively proved. He also regards the English or Latin word, resurrection, as only suitable to the resurrection of the body; and this was a doctrine which he was not altogether willing to give up. Is there any word, expressive of resurrection in this sense, to be found in the Scriptures ? Yes, says Dr. Dwight: the proper word for resurrection is egersis* We should have no objection if this could be proved; for it would then be proved also, that no one ever experienced a resurrection,— that is, a resurrection of the body,—but the Lord Jesus Christ. For this word occurs but once in all the New Testament; and that is in Matt. xxvii. 53, where the resurrection spoken of is that of the Lord; and most true it is that none ever experienced, or will experience, a resurrection to eternal life of the body, but he alone. However, this word literally means no more than rising,—not resurrection, or rising again. It is the noun corresponding to, and formed from,, the verb egeiro, the meaning of which, as denoting simply to rise, has been already shown. Dr. Dwight's endeavour to attach the notion of rising again to the noun egersis, is a singular example of, the inconsistencies into which learned men may be led by attachment to a pre-conceived system. Egersis, he says, means rising again, or that of the body. But this word, being merely the verb egeiro formed, us a noun, cannot mean any more than that does. Now egeiro, as noticed above, is the only verb used by the Apostle, when treating so largely of the resurrection, in the fifteenth of 1st Cors. But Dr. Dwight, as already noticed, had just before been showing, that the subject of that chapter is not the resurrection, or rising again of the body, but the anastasis, or the future existence of man!

"The truth is, that it has fared with the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, as with that of the destruction of the world at the Lord's second coming, and many other long-cherished tenets. Learned men are continually discovering, first that one, and then that another, of the passages on which those doctrines have been built, have nothing to do with the subject: and yet, from habit and prejudice, men continue to cleave to the notions, long after their supports have all been found rotten."

I may now, I humbly hope, appeal to all the Reflecting, and ask, "Whether the doctrine which they who humbly trust that they belong to the New Church of the Lord, signified in the Revelation, by the New Jerusalem, hold upon the subject of the Resurrection, is not that of the whole Bible ? We have found, upon an extensive review of the passages commonly relied on for the proof of the resurrection of the body, that not one of them affords any real countenance to such a notion, but that many of them prove decidedly the reverse: we have found that the passages which assert man's immediate resurrection, and which assign to him, in the resurrection, a spiritual body, in which he exists as a real substantial man, and becomes a subject either of final happiness or misery, are numerous, unequivocal, and perfectly conclusive: and, finally, we have ascertained, that the phrase, the resurrection of the dead, means such a resurrection as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, experienced immediately after death. Thus the doctrine of the Scriptures upon this momentous subject is clearly that which we have embraced, as the doctrine of the New Jerusalem: if then the Scriptures are to decide the question, it appears to us, that our doctrine upon this subject is impregnably established.

Let us now ask, by way of conclusion, which doctrine has most moral advantages,—which is most likely to have a beneficial effect on the life and practice;—that which defers man's final happiness or misery to an indefinite distance, and represents Mm as without capacities for the complete sense of either, till he again becomes a man by the resumption of his dust, after a lapse of still, probably, many, many ages, whilst, during the intermediate period, he is a mere breath or vapour, or something still less substantial, differing but little from a non-entity;—or that which regards him as rising again, a perfect man, as soon as he quits his clay, possessing far keener powers of perceiving either happiness or misery than he had while shrouded over with flesh, and going to meet his final doom at once ? No one, I should think, can hesitate a moment about the answer: but lest I, in giving it, should be suspected of being under the influence of prejudice, the amiable Watts shall be the respondent.

"So corrupt and perverse," says this esteemed theologian, "are the inclinations of men in this fallen and degenerate world, and theil passions are so much impressed and moved by things that are present, or just at hand, that the joys of heaven, and the sorrows of hell, when set far beyond death and the grave, at some vast and unknown distance of time, would have but too little influence on their hearts and lives. And although these solemn and important events are never so certain in themselves, yet being looked on as things a great way off, they make too feeble an impression on the conscience, and their distance is much abused to give an indulgence to present sensualities. For this we have the testimony of our blessed Saviour himself (Matt. xxiv. 48): 'The evil servant says, My Lord delayeth his coming; then he begins to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken.' And Solomon teaches the same truth (Eccl. viii. 11): 'Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.' And even the good servants, in this imperfect state, the sons of virtue and piety, may be too much allured to indulge sinful negligence, and yield to temptations too easily, when the terrors of another world are set so far off, and their hope of happiness is delayed so long. "Whereas, if it can be made to appear from the Word of God, that, at the moment of death, the soul enters into an unchangeable state, according to its character and conduct here on earth, and that the recompenses of vice and virtue are to begin immediately upon the end of our state of trial; *—then all those little subterfuges are precluded, which mankind would form, to themselves from the unknown distance of the day of recompense. Virtue will have a nearer and stronger guard placed about it, and piety will be attended with superior

* Dr. Watts, to adapt his doctrine to the common notions, here very awkwardly introduces a few words respecting what may further follow at the resurrection of the body, as a consideration to be added to the above, but which in reality greatly subtracts from its weight. To make his argument either consistent or efficacious, it must be kept in its simple form, as here.

motives, if its rewards are near at hand, and shall commence as soon as this life expires; and the vicious and profane will be more effectually affrighted, if the hour of death must immediately consign them to a state of perpetual sorrows and bitter anguish." He then notices the argument, that the dead will awake out of their graves utterly ignorant of the long time that has passed since their death, wherefore men should be as careful to prepare for judgment as if they were immediately to undergo it: to which he replies, "I grant, men should ho so in all reason and justice. But such is the weakness and folly of our natures, that men will not be so much influenced, and alarmed, by distant prospects, nor so solicitous to prepare for an event which they suppose to be so very far off, as they would for the same event, if it commences as soon as ever this mortal life expires. The vicious man will indulge his sensualities, and lie down to sleep in death, with this comfort: 'I shall take my rest here for a hundred or a thousand years [or no one knows how much longer]; and, perhaps, in all that space, my offences may be forgotten; or something may happen that I may escape; or, let the worst come that can come, I shall have a long sweet nap before my sorrows begin.' Thus the force of divine terrors is greatly enervated by this delay of punishment." * Who can be insensible to the power of these weighty considerations ? And if they could be so strongly felt by a writer, who believed, nevertheless, that the body is at last to be raised again, and that all that is to be enjoyed or suffered in the meantime is but a faint foretaste of what is to be experienced afterwards; how truly cogent do the arguments become when relieved from this neutralising drawback,—when it is seen that the spirit of man is truly the man himself, possessing sensations immensely more acute than any that can be imparted to flesh and blood,—and when it thus is known that all the fulness, either of joy or sorrow, which is commonly supposed to follow only upon the resurrection of the body, awaits the man as soon as he enters the eternal world by death! Then the arguments of the heavenly-minded Watts become powerful indeed. It is only in connection with our view of the resurrection that they possess their proper weight. May we not then say, that whoever wishes to see the practice of virtue enforced, and that of vice discouraged, by the strongest of all possible sanctions, must wish to see the truth of the New-Jerusalem-doctrine of the Resurrection cordially acknowledged by all mankind ?

* Works, Ed. Leeds, vol. vii. pp. 5, 6, 7.

IV. The Last Judgment.

A. The Last Judgment of the Scriptures was not to be accomplished in the Natural World.

I now have to appeal to you, my Reflecting Readers, upon the subject of the Last Judgment. The views which we believe to be those of the New Jerusalem of the Apocalypse in regard to this great consummation, differ considerably, it is true, from those commonly entertained: and they also are such as, when first propounded, universally excite no small degree of surprise: yet their truth appears to be by no means difficult of proof; and I trust that it has already, in some degree, become apparent.

Respecting the General Judgment our distinguishing opinions are these two: first, That, according to the Scriptures, the scene of the last judgment was to be, not in the natural world, as commonly believed, but in the spiritual: and, secondly, That it has there been accomplished accordingly. Of these two propositions, the first may already have been sufficiently proved: for if it has been proved, as attempted in the last Section, that man rises from the dead, in a spiritual body, immediately on the death of the material body, and that no resurrection of the material body will ever take place, it necessarily follows, that the spiritual world, into which death introduces him, can alone be the scene of the judgment he is to experience. But, as what passes in the spiritual world cannot be known to the inhabitants of the natural world in general; if the judgment is performed there, the inhabitants of the natural world would not have any consciousness of what was passing. Hence our second proposition, that it has there been accomplished accordingly,—affirms nothing that is at all improbable in itself, and nothing which can, by any possibility, be proved to be false. In this and two subsequent parts of this section we will give further evidence in proof of our first proposition; after which we shall see, in part D., that independently of the assertions of Swedenborg, there are various considerations tending to evince, that our second, also, is certainly true.

But as great misrepresentations of our sentiments on the Last Judgment have been diligently circulated, some notice of these must be premised.

Among the arts too often resorted to by polemic writers, it has been observed that this is one. The controvertist selects some doctrine of great importance which no one ever thought of denying; he proves with great display of authorities the certainty of such doctrine; he insinuates that its truth is denied by those whose sentiments it is wished to render odious; and then, because he has clearly proved what nobody doubts, he triumphs as if he had completely defeated the object of his attack. This is the course frequently adopted by the assailants of the New Church. As if we denied the last judgment altogether, a writer introduces the subject with these remarks: "The doctrine of the Last Judgment is of high import, and is most clearly revealed in the Word of God. Nor has there ever been much controversy in the Christian world on this subject; which is a clear proof, if more than Scripture proof were wanting, that the doctrine has met with the acquiescence of all men throughout the Christian world, with the exception, now of late, of the Swedenborgians, who, I suppose, wish to be called Christians." Accordingly, to put down these wicked "Swedenborgians," a great display of texts is made in which a judgment is asserted; including some from the "Mahometan's Creed." The ancient heathens, also, are brought in to condemn us. "Many," it is gravely observed, "of the wiser heathens believed in a general judgment in some form; though their form might differ from that recorded in the Scripture, yet the thing they believed. For they could in no wise reconcile themselves to the prosperity of the vicious, and the adversity of the virtuous, which was every day before their eyes, but on the supposition of a future reckoning day, and an hereafter of rewards and punishments."* Now to what purpose is all this, when it never entered into the thoughts of one of those persons whom they call" Swedenborgians," to have any shadow of doubt about the reality of "a future reckoning day, and a hereafter of rewards and punishments?" If the heathens are to be commended, because they "believed in a general judgment in some form, though their form might differ from that recorded in the Scriptures," are we to be censured, because we believe in a general judgment in the form recorded in the Scriptures, though our form may differ from that preferred by our censurers ? And because the form of the general judgment believed in by us, and taken by us from the Scriptures, differs from that preferred by our censurers, are the heathens to be called in to condemn us, as if, worse than they, we denied both the form and the thing ? Indeed, scarcely any thing that has been advanced against us on this subject applies to our views in any degree whatever. Our doctrines affirm, that a particular judgment takes place, on every individual, at death: he then who wishes to overthrow them, ought to prove from Scripture, that no one undergoes any particular judgment after death whatever.

* Anti-Swedenborg, p. 54.

Our doctrines affirm, that the general judgment mentioned in Scripture was to take place in the spiritual world and not in the natural, and that, agreeably to divine prediction, it has there been performed accordingly; he then who would overthrow them should prove, that the general judgment was not to take place in the spiritual world, but in. the natural, and that it will not be performed till the total end and destruction of the world. None of these points has our opponent attempted to establish. All that he has advanced respecting it we fully admit, except his Mahometan proof, and his misrepresentation of our views. I will, however, notice the few sentences in which this writer makes any attempt to encounter our sentiments.

After the paragraph respecting the acknowledgment by the heathens of "a future reckoning day and a hereafter of rewards and punishments." he adds, "But I must not wrong the Swedenborgians, for they allow of a judgment; but it is a judgment on every individual soon after leaving the material body, and takes place in the spiritual world!" In connection with what had gone before, and marked as it is, by the note of exclamation, this must be intended to treat such a mode of "allowing of a judgment" as nugatory and evasive,—as if it were no judgment at all: What man, however, of sound mind but must feel, that, "a judgment on every individual soon after leaving the material body," is, to every individual, an incomparably more serious affair, than a judgment to take place many hundreds or thousands of years hence ? The gentleman proceeds: "If it be true, as some learned men say, that, in the whole world, more than sixty persons die every minute, one minute with another; then there can be no cessation to the work of judgment!" Another eloquent note of admiration, to call upon the reader to supply by his imagination the objection, which, the author saw, would appear utterly futile if plainly stated. For what can be the design of this sentence, with its note of admiration, but to hint, that the Divine Judge would find such a mode of judgment too troublesome and difficult ? The objector insinuates, that to judge of the eases of sixty persons in a minute, is too hard for Omniscience; wherefore, to simplify the matter, he would have all who died from the beginning of the world to the end of it judged at once. He goes on: "And if, according to their doctrine, the world will never be at an end, but will last for ever, then there must be an everlasting propagation of mankind." This is sad aggravation of the difficulty, indeed. If the human race is thus to continue, and the ratio of its increase goes on as at present, instead of only sixty dying in a minute, there will at length be six hundred, or six thousand; and then how can they be judged ? The mind of the objector is overwhelmed at the thought; and he apprehends that the Almighty must sink under the task, as he does under the idea. Can he really mean to suggest, that "the everlasting propagation of mankind" is too much for Infinity ? Can he in fact suppose, that Infinity can be satisfied with less ? Can he behold the countless multitudes of suns which the telescope discovers to us, each accompanied, as reason necessarily concludes, with its dependent worlds; can he admit that all these are replenished with inhabitants, and with an endless variety of natural productions, like the world in which we live; can he believe that the minutest and the greatest of all things are alike the workmanship of the Creator; and that his providence, throughout all worlds, is as universal as the Lord teaches when he says, that not a sparrow falls to the ground without our heavenly Father, and that the very hairs of our head are all numbered ? Can his mind embrace all this, and then shrink from the congenial idea, that he who has produced and who governs these mighty works, did not create them for the sake of uncreating them again, but, as they are boundless in extent, so are they intended to be in duration, and their Creator will continue to draft off from them inhabitants for his heavenly kingdom, in continually increasing numbers, without end ? Alas, this thought seems to distress our poor friend most of all; for he adds, as something transcendently monstrous, "And then again, according to this New-Jerusalem doctrine, all mankind after death become either angels in heaven or devils in hell; wherefore, it clearly follows that this world, their doctrine being admitted, is nothing but a manufactory of angels and devils!" Most truly, it does so follow: and if the inference thus sagaciously brought out is sufficient to condemn the "New-Jerusalem doctrine," we have not a syllable to offer in extenuation. If our opponents will have it so, "this world is nothing but a manufactory of angels and devils." And pray, for what "manufactory," more worthy of its Creator than that of angels, do they think it can be designed ? (as for devils, according to our doctrine, they are not manufactured such by the Creator, but by themselves.) Do they mean to deny the fact, and affirm that mankind do not become either angels or devils ? It really is not easy to tell what they mean: further than this; that they are determined, at any rate, to contradict the doctrines of the New Jerusalem, but cannot find anything plausible to urge against them. The plain English of such objections is this,—that those sublime and heavenly doctrines make God too wise, too good, and too great.

Without further notice of such futile objections, I proceed to deliver our sentiments on the subject.

The first proposition then that I am to endeavour to establish, is, That the General Judgment announced in Scripture, as to be performed at the Second Coming of the Lord, was not to take place in the natural world, as commonly supposed, but in the spiritual.

In this part A of the present section, we will consider, chiefly, the proofs of the fact, That the Last Judgment of the Scriptures was not to be accomplished in the natural world; only deducing thence as a corollary, That the spiritual world must be the Scene of it: in the next part, more direct evidence shall be offered of this second branch of the Proposition.

That the Last Judgment of the Scriptures was not to take place in the natural world, is evident from this consideration: that the circumstances announced in prophecy as being to attend it, are such as cannot be designed to be literally understood, and, some of them, such as are impossible in the nature of things.

For what is the nature of the Last Judgment, according to the common apprehensions of it; and how is it to be performed ? I have noticed some of the supposed attendant circumstances in the preceding Section, and will now draw them out a little more at length.

We have all been told from our childhood, that angels are to appear with trumpets, the sound of which shall be so loud, as not only to rouse to a sense of the great event at hand the whole race of mankind then living upon the globe, but also to wake the dead: for then

" ——a mighty trump, one-half concealed In clouds, one-half to mortal eye revealed, Shall pour a dreadful note; the piercing call Shall rattle in the centre of the ball, The extended circuit of creation shake; The living die with fear, the dead awake."*

Or, as another authority describes it,

" Celestial guards the topmost height attend, And crowds of angels down from heaven descend; With their big cheeks the deafening clarions wind, Whose dreadful clangours startle all mankind:— Ten thousand worlds revive to better skies, And from their tombs the thronging corpses rise." +

* Young. + Amhurst's translation of Addison's celebrated Latin poem on the Alterpiece of Magdalen College, Oxford.

No matter how long since they may have lain mouldering in the dust, nor how widely their particles may have been scattered asunder; no matter into what other substances they may have passed; nor even though, by being devoured by cannibals, or by passing into the substances of vegetables and animals, and being thence again taken into the human system, they may have formed parts of human bodies many times over; no matter for these and a thousand difficulties more, all shall revive:

" And now from every corner of the earth, The scattered dust is called to second birth; Whether in mines it formed the ripening mass, Or humbly mixed and flourished in the grass, [Or holds the station that it held before, In human forms incorporate o'er and o'er] , The severed body now unites again, And kindred atoms rally into men.— Here an imperfect form returns to light, Not half renewed, dishonest to the sight; Maimed of his nose appears his blotted face, And scarce the image of a man we trace: Here, by degrees infused, the vital ray Gives the first motion to the panting clay: Slow, to new life the thawing fluids creep, And the stiff joints wake heavily from sleep." *

This description, to be sure, exposes a little of the inconveniences of the operation; however, all shall be made complete,

" ——not the least atom Embezzled or mislaid of the whole tale. Each soul shall have a body ready furnished; And each shall have his own."+

Well may the poet add,

" Ask not how this shall be."—

And well may both poet and dogmatist seek to silence inquiry with the magic word "Omnipotence." Omnipotence shall surmount all difficulties. The whole terraqueous globe, it seems, like one huge mine, is suddenly to explode, and every spot, both of earth and sea, is to shoot out a human body:

" So when famed Cadmus sowed the fruitful field, With pregnant throes the quickened furrow swell'd, From the warm soil sprung up a warlike train, And human harvests covered all the plain." #

These, however, though they appear as men complete, are as yet only men's bodies; the souls, therefore, which formerly animated them and which have been reserved in some unknown region, are to be called from their obscure and not very comfortable retreat, and united with them again:

" The body thus renewed, the conscious soul, Which has perhaps been fluttering near the pole, Or midst the burning planets wondering strayed, Or hovered o'er where her pale corpse was laid; Or rather coasted on her final state, And feared, or wished, for her appointed fate; This soul, returning with a constant flame, Now weds for ever her immortal frame." $

Amhurst's Addison. + Blair. # Amhurst's Addison. $ Young.

And notwithstanding the multitude of spirits and bodies thus seeking for each other, none shall be mismatched,

" Nor shall the conscious soul Mistake its partner; but amidst the crowd,
Singling its other half, into its arms
Shall rush, with all the impatience of a man
That's new come home, who having long been absent,
With haste runs over every different room,
In pain to see the whole."*

These then are all to join those who may then be living, and forming with them an innumerable great army, are to await the decision of their lot. To complete the description:

" Ten thousand trumpets now at once advance: Now deepest silence lulls the vast expanse: So deep the silence, and so loud the blast, As Nature died when she had groaned her last. Nor man nor angel moves. The Judge on high Looks round, and with his glory fills the sky: Then on the fatal book his hand he lays, Which high to view supporting seraphs raise: In solemn form the rituals are prepared, The seal is broken, and a groan is heard.— Aloft, the seats of bliss their pomp display, Brighter than brightness, this distinguished day;— Horrors beneath, darkness in darkness, hell Of hell, where torments behind torments dwell; A furnace formidable, deep, and wide, O'erboiling with a mad sulphureous tide, Expands its jaws, most dreadful to survey, And roars outrageous for the destined prey. Such is the scene; and one short moment's space Concludes the hopes and fears of human race." +

While this is proceeding, all the elements sympathise: the world takes fire; the stars fall to the earth; and at length all creation perishes in one universal conflagration:

" Reverse all Nature's web shall run,
And spotless Misrule, all around,
Order, his flying foe confound,
While backward all the threads shall haste to be unspun."
"The sun, by sympathy concerned.
At these convulsions, pangs, and agonies,
Which on the whole creation seize,
Is to substantial darkness turned.
The neighbouring moon, as if a purple flood
O'erflowed her tottering orb, appears
Like a huge mass of black corrupting blood;
For she herself a dissolution fears."
"No more the stars, with paler beams,
Shall tremble o'er the midnight streams,
But travel downward, to behold

* Blair. See a striking delineation of this monstrous idea in Cromeck's edition of Blair's "Grave" with Blake's Illustrations; in which is a print representing the Soul as a slender female darting down from the sky, and the Body as a robust male springing out of the earth, clasping each other in their arms. + Young.

When mimics them so twinkling there: And, like Narcissus, as they gain more near. For the loved image straight expire. And agonise in warm desire, Or slake their heat as in the stream they roll. Whilst the world burns, and all the orbs below In their expiring ruins glow, They sink, and unsupported leave the skies, Which fall abrupt, and tell their torment in their noise."

"This globe, alone, would but defraud the fire, Starve its devouring rage: the flakes aspire And catch the clouds, and make the heavens their prey: The sun, the moon, the stars, all melt away: All, all is lost: no monument, no sign, Where once so proudly blazed the gay machine. So bubbles on the foaming stream expire; So sparks that scatter from the kindling fire. The devastations of one dreadful hour The great Creator's six-days' work devour, +

* Pomfret. + Young.

It is thus that the Last Judgment is usually described. I have taken my delineation of it from the poets, because it is to poetry that such ideas properly appertain: I have been careful, however, not to borrow from them any circumstances of their own invention, but only such as, whether related in poetry or in prose, are generally believed to belong to the subject; and it would be easy to repeat all their statements from almost every prose-writer who has handled the theme. Of the poets, also, whom I have cited, three were clergymen, whose orthodoxy has never been disputed; and the fourth (Addison) is an author, whose authority, on such a subject, few of the clergy would reject. But who can weigh, in the balance of a cool deliberate judgment, such representations as the above, without concluding, that the facts affirmed in them are as purely poetical as the language ?— in other words, that the facts are pure figures, bearing, indeed, a distinct signification,—relating to circumstances which were infallibly to come to pass,—but the true nature of which must be totally mistaken while the figurative language in which they are described is literally understood ? The facts are all taken from the prophetic language of Scripture: they are the figures of inspired prophecy transferred into the works of uninspired writers: and who can seriously consider them, and advert to the manifold inconsistencies which the literal adherence to them includes, as unconsciously drawn out and dwelt upon by the writers of the above quotations, without acceding to the assertion of the illustrious Swedenborg, That men have formed such notions respecting the Last Judgment, merely because the genuine spiritual sense of the Holy Word has not heretofore been known, and the language in which it is written, which is that of the perpetual analogy or correspondence established by the Creator between spiritual things and natural, has not been understood.* But why abide by the letter here, when many things are affirmed in prophecy, in connection with the above, which never are literally interpreted ? No one, for instance, ever yet dreamed, that, at the time of the Last Judgment, or preparatory to it, a dragon would be seen falling from heaven, a woman in labour clothed with the sun, and a beast with seven heads and ten horns ascending out of the sea, while another with two lamb's horns rises out of the earth. as described in chs. xii. and xiii. of the Revelation: and yet it were just as reasonable to expect these phenomena then to take place, as to expect all dead carcases to leave their graves; the Divine Judge to appear visibly in the clouds, seated on a throne there placed, with books open before him; the sun and moon to be extinguished, and the stars to fall from heaven; and the earth and visible heavens, thus the whole visible universe, to be consumed with fire. The latter are all symbolical images as well as the former, and are only to be understood by the same rule of interpretation. In the spiritual world, indeed, where, as we shall see in the sequel, the natural objects that are seen are not real natural objects, but appearances of them, corresponding to the internal state and circumstances of the spirits and angels, and conveying to the minds of the beholders the ideas of which they are expressive;—in that world, such appearances as are described in the prophetic language of Scripture, are doubtless seen on the occasions in connection with which they are mentioned: but in the natural world the case is quite different; and hence the circumstances mentioned respecting the Last Judgment are not in the natural world literally to take place, and some of them are such as cannot possibly be there exhibited. It will hence follow, that it is in the spiritual world, and not in the natural, that, according to the Scriptures, the Last Judgment was to be performed. The effects of it, indeed, must, doubtless, be felt in the natural world also, and much that is described as accompanying it must have, in the natural world, a spiritual fulfilment: but it is in the spiritual world only that the judgment itself could be performed; and in the spiritual world only that any of the circumstances predicated respecting it could literally occur.

* See the masterly and profound manner in which this subject is treated by Swedenborg himself, in the first five sections of his work On the Last Judgment.

We will, however, consider the common ideas of the Last Judgment a little further. The principal circumstances expected to attend it, besides the elevation of the good into heaven and the casting of the wicked into hell, are these: 1. The resurrection of all dead bodies. 2. The appearance of the Lord in the clouds: 3. The conflagration of the world, and the whole material universe. These three things are essential to the performance of the Last Judgment in the manner commonly looked for: if then it can be proved that all, or any of them, will not take place, the error of the common idea of the Last Judgment is demonstrated, and it becomes certain that the natural world is not to be the scene of its performance.

1. The first of these circumstances, The resurrection of all dead bodies, is the great foundation, the essential basis, of the received doctrine of the Last Judgment. If the bodies of the dead be not to rise again, it is perfectly evident, that the judgment upon the deceased cannot be performed in the natural world. If then it has been proved in the last Section (as, I trust, is the fact), that there is not a single passage of Scripture which predicts any such thing as the resurrection of the body; if it has been proved that the resurrection of the Scripture is a rising in a spiritual body, into a spiritual world, immediately after death; if it has been proved that it is a mistake to understand the Scripture-phrase, "the resurrection of the dead," as if it meant the resurrection of the body, since Jesus Christ himself explains it to mean no other resurrection than Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, have already experienced: then, as observed above, the common mode of expecting the Last Judgment has already been proved to be unfounded. The materials of such a judgment are gone: and, to make our ideas of the subject consistent with this fact, we must transfer our expectations of the judgment to that world, into which they who are to be judged are transferred by the resurrection.

2. The second circumstance, The appearance of the Divine Judge in the clouds, is also essential to the received doctrine of the Last Judgment: for the presence, in the natural world, of the Judge, is indispensable, if the parties to be judged are there assembled. If then it has been proved in our second Section * (as, I trust, was accomplished), that such a personal coming of the Lord in the elementary clouds is a thing impossible; if it has been proved, that if we understand, from the literal sense of some prophecies, that he will make his advent in the clouds, we must understand, from the literal sense of another, that he will come riding on horseback, which idea every mind at once rejects as absurd; if it has been proved that such symbolic language is intended to announce, not his coming into this world in person, but his presence in his Word of Divine Truth, imparting to the intellectual faculties of man the power of rightly understanding it, opening the clouds of the letter, and revealing the glories of its spiritual signification: then, also, the common mode of expecting the Last Judgment has already heen proved to be founded in misconception. The means of executing such a judgment are taken away; and to make our ideas of the subject consistent with this fact, we must look for its performance in that world, where such a personal appearance of the Lord, and the symbolic representations which are described as attending it, are not only not impossible, but are perfectly agreeable to the laws of nature,—the nature, that is, of a spiritual world, and of spiritual existences.

* See above pp. 16, 17, 18. For the reasons why the nature of the Lord's Second Coming, and of the Last Judgment then to be performed, has not hitherto been understood, see also above, pp. 7—16.

In addition to the inconsistencies noticed in Section II., in the place just referred to, as attendant on the doctrine of the appearance of the Lord in the clouds to judge all who ever lived on the earth, others might easily be mentioned. Thus, if all dead bodies are to rise, they must, as observed above, be exploded from all parts of the earth and sea. But this world is in the form of a globe, and the clouds are never more than a very few miles above its surface: Hence, the remotest star can only be visible to half the globe at a time; and the highest cloud can never be seen from more than a very small segment of the convex earth. In what part of the clouds, then, is the Judge to appear, so as to be visible to all the inhabitants of the globe, previously living, and resurrected, at once ? Where, also, is the tribunal to be placed, so as to be above all those who are to be judged ? What is above to us, is below to the New Zealanders; and all the inhabitants of the globe have in like manner their antipodes. If then all are to be judged together, instead of rising, the great majority must fall to the place. Is a notion like that of the rabbins to be adopted, when they affirm, that, let a Jew die where he will, he will return to life in the land of Canaan, his remains making their way thither by rolling and wriggling through certain passages provided for the purpose in the bowels of the earth ? These and similar inconsistencies seem alone sufficient to convince any one who reflects on them, that the natural world was not to be the scene of the Last Judgment.

The Lord's making his Second Coming, in a spiritual manner, among the inhabitants of this world, by restoring the right apprehension of his Divine Truth, together with the life of it, and thus effecting the renovation of his church universal among men, according to the view offered in Section II., is a consequence of his accomplishing the Last Judgment in the spiritual world; and this also he accomplishes by means of his Divine Truth,—by pouring forth the influences of his Spirit of Truth in such a manner as the wicked cannot bear. Hence, as it is more particularly in his character as the Divine Truth Itself that the Lord executes judgment, he is always called, on that occasion, the Son of man;—as when he says, that the Father "hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man" (John v. 27); for, as is mentioned above, p. 19, and is shown at large in my work on "the Plenary Inspiration of the scriptures," the Son of man is a title assumed by the Lord in reference to his character as the Divine Truth: and that it is to his Word, which is the same thing as the Divine Truth, that judgment belongs, he himself teaches when he says, "If any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John xii. 47, 48). Hence we see the harmony between the spiritual fulfilment of the predictions relating to his Second Coming to the inhabitants of this world, and the spiritual conjoined (in some respects) with the literal fulfilment of the same to the inhabitants of the spiritual world. That which is manifested is, in both worlds, the Divine Truth: but in the spiritual world the Divine Truth appears in person, for the performance of the judgment; and in the natural world the Divine Truth is revealed in the Word for the restoration of the church. These two things we understand to form a one, as do the sun and its light: for the inmost essence of the Divine Truth in the Word, and thus of the Word itself even in its literal sense, is the Divine Truth in person, that is, the Lord Himself; just as the sun is the inmost essence of all the light of day; and thus plenarily, it is, according to our ideas, that the written Word is divinely inspired. Now any one may conceive that the Divine Truth in person can only be visible to the sight of angels and spirits, and not to the natural sight of men; though men may receive in their understandings some apprehension of the Divine Truth contained in the Word, of which the Divine Truth in person is the only Source.

According to this view it will be seen, that although our doctrines deny the possibility of the Lord's visible appearance, in his Glorified Person, to men on earth, they by no means deny that his visible appearance would attend the performance of the Last Judgment. It is this appearance which is spoken of in Acts i. 10, 11; which passage at once teaches, what it is often cited to prove, that at the Lord's coming to judgment he would visibly appear, and, what is as generally overlooked, that his appearance would not be visible to the inhabitants of the world in general. After relating the Lord's ascension in the presence of the apostles, and saying that "a cloud received him out of their sight," it is added, "And while they looked steadfastly towards heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Te men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven ? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Now if the coming of the Lord to judgment is to be in like manner as his ascension, it cannot be visible to the inhabitants of the natural world; for none of the inhabitants of the natural world beheld his ascension, except the eleven apostles; and these did not see it with the eye of their body, but by that of their spirit; in the manner that, according to what was shown above, the ascension. of Elijah was seen by Elisha; hence, as Elisha beheld, together with his ascending master, a chariot and horses of fire, so did the apostles,. when viewing the ascension of their Lord, behold also two angels; just as, at his transfiguration, they had seen with him Moses and Elias; all which were spiritual beings and existences, that could not possibly be beholden with the eyes of the body. "In like manner," then, the coming of the Lord in person to judgment, could not be seen by any inhabitant of the earth, unless the eyes of his spirit were miraculously opened for that purpose: thus the declaration that he should "so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven," can only relate, in its literal sense, to his appearance to the inhabitants of the spiritual world: and thus it was them only that he was to come again to judge. For the distinct apprehension of this, it may be necessary to add, that the Lord, when his Humanity was fully glorified, ascended above all the heavens, into the highest or inmost of all things; that the scene of the judgment, as will be seen presently, is an intermediate region of the spiritual world, between heaven and hell, appropriated to the first reception of departed spirits; and that the judgment is effected by his exhibiting himself present, in a peculiar manner, in the lowest parts of heaven; in doing which he is said to descend, though he is not the less present in his supreme residence than before. For space in the spiritual world, which is not formed of matter, is not fixed, but is an appearance depending upon the states of those who are there: and in no degree can space limit the presence of the Omnipresent God.

Again then, I trust, it is evident, that the Lord's coming in the clouds, to the inhabitants of the natural world, is only possible in a spiritual manner; and that in the spiritual world only could the appearance of his doing so literally take place; consequently, that it was in the spiritual world, and not in the natural, that the Last, Judgment was to be performed.

3. The third circumstance, The conflagration of the world and the whole material universe, belongs, in itself, less essentially than the two former, to the performance of the Last Judgment in the natural world; yet it is equally necessary to the received doctrine on the subject; because the received doctrine is drawn from the prophetic language of Scripture taken in its literal sense only; and, in the literal sense of those prophecies, the passing away of heaven and earth, the burning of the day of the Lord as an oven, the extinction of the sun and moon and the falling from heaven of the stars, are repeatedly announced. But if it has been proved (as was likewise, I trust, accomplished) in our second Section, that by these phrases, accompanied also, as they frequently are, by the promise of a new heaven and a new earth, is constantly meant the dissolution or termination of one dispensation and the founding of a new one,—or "the putting of an entire end to one order of things, and the commencement of a new one, either with respect to particular or to general churches;" if it has been proved that some of the occasions in regard to which such convulsions of nature are announced, have undeniably passed by, without any such outward catastrophe resulting; if it has thus been proved that the destruction of the world and the material universe cannot, with any degree of probability, be inferred from the use of such images in the prophetic style of Scripture: then, again, has it already been proved to be at least in the highest degree probable, that the common mode of expecting the Last Judgment is altogether erroneous. The expected consequences of such a judgment will not, we see, ensue: the world will not, so far as can be gathered from the Scripture, "be consumed; still less will the whole visible creation,—the countless stars, which we know to be other suns, each the centre to a system of earths,—be hurled into ruin, (monstrous idea!) to punish the iniquity of this little globe. Yet such must be the fact, if the judgment is to be performed, as expected, within the precincts of nature.

We have seen above,+ that one of the sagacious refuters of our views is quite appalled at the idea of the endless duration of the world, and its shocking consequence, that "there must be an everlasting propagation of mankind." Few besides, I apprehend, will think the idea shocking, but most, on the contrary, must regard it as grand and glorious; yet many, perhaps, may feel surprised at its novelty; for the belief that the world is to be destroyed is one of the earliest prejudices with which the mind is imbued; and few ever think of afterwards calling it under the scrutiny of maturer judgment. Yet the future perpetual duration of the world appears to admit of proof from reason and Scripture, that falls little short of demonstration.

It has been shown above, that the passages of Scripture which seem to speak of the destruction of the world cannot have any such signification; and that this is now, with respect to most of them, admitted by the learned in general. But the single circumstance, that the destruction of the world should be attended, as affirmed in most of the prophecies which appear to speak of it, with the falling of the stars from heaven, seems alone sufficient to convince the reader, that the dissolution of nature is not the thing intended. This idea evidently treats the stars as if they were in reality, what they appear to the unassisted senses, mere subordinate appendages to this globe of ours, performing no other use in the creation than that which they perform to us. The Scriptures assume this idea, not for the purpose of affirming it to be the fact, but because this affords a sufficient basis for that spiritual instruction which alone the Scriptures have for their object; and because, when they mention the stars, the stars of the firmament are never really meant: but when we rise from the seeming to the real nature of the stars of the firmament, we clearly see that it cannot be of them that the Scripture speaks, when it says, the stars shall fall from heaven. They cannot fall from heaven but by coming down to the earth, as described in the verses cited above from Pomfret, Any other mode of falling might as well be called rising, since it would only be a motion from one part of the visible heavens to another, which, if it caused them to set to one hemisphere of the globe, would cause them to rise to the opposite hemisphere: accordingly, that they are to fall to the ground, is the idea always attached to the expression by the simple, according to whose ideas of natural things the Word of God, in its letter, is uniformly written. While the world was believed to be the largest body in the universe, round which, as their centre, the sun and all the stars moved, the practicability of such a falling of the heavenly bodies might easily be imagined. But since the advancement of science has dispelled this illusion; since it is known that the earth is but a mere speck in comparison with the sun, whilst the millions of stars which the telescope discovers are other suns, all thousands of times larger than the earth; it becomes impossible to imagine for a moment, that these enormous bodies can ever come tumbling from the sky, and drop upon the surface of this atom of a globe. Certainly, then, it is impossible, when the Scripture speaks of the falling of the stars, that the stars of the firmament can be intended: consequently, the mention of such convulsions cannot be intended to affirm the destruction of the world and the universe.

The common reader of the Scriptures takes his expectation of the world's coming to an end, in great part, from the disciples' request of the Lord, "Tell us when shall these things be ? and what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?" (Matt. xxiv. 3.) The word, however, here translated "the world," is literally "the age," and is a term applied to express the whole continuance of any order of things. But the Lord, in his answer, uses expressions which decidedly demonstrate, that his coming to judgment was not to be accompanied with the end of the world, but that, after the judgment, the world was to remain as stable as ever, and replenished with inhabitants. For he says, to illustrate the discrimination which would be used in the execution of the judgment, "Then two shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left." (Ver. 40, 41.) But if the world were to perish under their feet, how could any be left ? When he speaks of some who, after the judgment, should be left in the world; and left too, it would appear, at their usual occupations; how can it be supposed that the world is to be destroyed ? How unmeaning would it be to speak of persons being left, labouring in the field or grinding at the mill, if the world, with all its mills and fields, were to be sunk in annihilation! Nor can this proof be evaded by saying, that it only relates to those who were captured or who escaped at the siege of Jerusalem: for though some parts of the prophecy had an imperfect and typical fulfilment at the siege of Jerusalem, it is fully evident, and is generally acknowledged, that its main and final reference is to the Second Coming of the Lord and the Last Judgment: if then some of the things which had a typical fulfilment at the siege of Jerusalem were to have their final fulfilment at the time of the Last Judgment, how arbitrary and palpably forced is the interpretation, which would limit others of the same series of circumstances to the siege of Jerusalem only!

But that the biblical texts which seem to speak of the destruction of the world cannot mean any such thing, is also evident from this circumstance: that there are many others which affirm the direct contrary. Some of these I will here subjoin, with remarks.

" 'One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth for ever' (Eccl. i. 4). 'He that buildeth his sanctuary like high places, like the earth which he hath established for ever' (Ps. lxxviii. 69). 'Once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David: his seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me; it shall be established for ever as the moon' (Ps. lxxxix. 35, 36, 37). 'Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever' (Ps. civ. 5). 'They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever' (Ps. cxxv. 1). And in Ps. cxlviii., after calling on all created things, and the sun and moon among the rest, to praise the Lord, the inspired writer adds (ver. 6), 'He hath also established them for ever and ever; he hath made a decree which cannot pass.'—The eternal duration of the world is as expressly asserted in these passages, as its destruction is in any others: thus the Scripture, in its literal sense, proves both sides of the question; consequently, it does not prove either. One of the classes of passages must be intended to be understood otherwise than the letter expresses; which, must be decided by other considerations. "We are at liberty therefore either to believe one proposition or the other, as appears most consonant to reason.

* From an article furnished by me, many years ago, to "The Intellectual Repository for the New Church," vol. i. (first series) p. 414, &c.

"The reasons then which induce me to believe that the world will not be destroyed, but will continue to supply new inhabitants to the eternal world for ever, are principally derived from considering the true nature and attributes of the Lord our God. The very essence of the Creator is pure Divine Love.(1 John iv. 8, 16.) What was the cause from which we were created ? Divine Love. What was the cause from which we were redeemed ? Divine Love. When from his Divine Love the Lord created the universe, the end he proposed was, the production of a race of rational beings capable of enjoying his divine mercies, out o£ whom he might form an angelic heaven, in the midst of which he might himself eternally reside, and communicate an eternally increasing felicity to an eternally increasing multitude of free recipient spirits: nor docs the perdition of a part, by their own fault, afford any argument against the design. If then these were the ends intended by our Omnipotent Maker in the creation of the world, what sort of ends could he intend in its destruction ? None but such as are as opposite to Divine Love, as destruction is opposite to creation, as death is opposite to life. To commence destroyer,—to become Apollyon,—he must change his nature, and cease to be Jehovah. He must cease to take pleasure in seeing happy subjects added to his kingdom. The streams of his goodness must suddenly stop in their course. His life-giving energies must suddenly be exhausted. He must cease to be infinite in power,—he must cease to be infinite in love. Judge then which sentiment does most honour to God; that which represents him as a fickle destroyer, or that which regards him as an immutable preserver. A case may indeed be imagined, in which the world would inevitably perish, without the catastrophe being at all imputable to the divine will or agency: but this could only happen by the total extinction of all remains of a church, and the extirpation of every principle of goodness from the hearts of men; which rendering it impossible for the heavenly influences to find admission any longer, and wholly intercepting the connexion between the creature and the life-giving Creator, would cause the polluted race to sink in death, and the orb they inhabited to fall to nothing. But though, so long as man continues to enjoy free-will and to be able to abuse it, such a catastrophe must be admitted to be possible, yet it never can be probable, so long as all the energies of Providence are on the alert to prevent its occurrence: and, if we may give credit to the Divine Foreknowledge, we may rest assured that, in this globe, it will never take place; much less, in the whole visible universe. For it is abundantly declared in the Word, that a glorious church shall here be finally raised up, which shall never come to an end: consequently, the globe which is to afford to this church its ultimate seat and basis, must be of equal duration.—'In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not he left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.' " *

To this popular statement of arguments against the expected destruction of the world, I will add an extract from Swedenborg, in which he opens the deep philosophical grounds of the necessity for the world's continuance in existence, in so clear a manner, as must, I should think, to every one who loves to look beyond the mere surface of things, afford both conviction and delight. To prove that the procreations of the human race will never cease, he lays down and illustrates these six propositions. "I. That the human race is the basis upon which heaven is founded. II. That the human race is the seminary of heaven. III. That the extent of heaven designed for angels is so immense, that it cannot be filled to eternity. IV. That they of whom heaven consists, are, as yet, respectively, but few. V. That the perfection of heaven increases according to the number of its inhabitants. VI. That every divine work has respect to what is infinite and eternal." —In illustrating the first proposition he makes these remarks:—

"That the human race is the basis upon which heaven is founded,, follows from this circumstance: that man was the last object created; and that which is created last, is the basis of all that precede it. Creation began from things supreme or inmost, because from the Divine Being, and proceeded to things ultimate or extreme, and then it first came into subsistence. The ultimate, that is, the last or lowest part of the creation, is the natural universe, in which is the terraqueous globe with all its contents. When these works were produced, then man was created, and into him were collated all things, of Divine Order from first to last; into his inmost parts were collated those things which are in the first principles of that order, and into his last or ultimate parts those which are in the last or ultimate principles of that order. Thus man was made divine order in a substantial form. Hence all things that are in or with man, are either from heaven or from the world; from heaven are all things belonging to his mind, and from the world all things belonging to his body: for the things of heaven flow into his thoughts and affections, and produce them, according as themselves are received by his spirit; and the things of the world flow into his sensations and corporeal pleasures, and produce them, according as themselves are received by his body, but in an accommodated manner, according to their agreement with the thoughts and affections of his spirit.—Such being the order of creation, it may be evident, that there is such an inseparable connexion of all things belonging to that order, from the first to the last, that, viewed together, they constitute a one, in which that which is prior cannot be separated from that which is posterior, as the cause cannot be separated from its effect: consequently, the spiritual world cannot be separated from the natural world, nor this from that; and thus the angelic heaven cannot be separated from the human race, nor the human race from the angelic heaven; wherefore it is provided by the Lord, that they should be mutually useful to each other, the angelic heaven to the human race, and the human race to the angelic heaven. Hence the angelic abodes are indeed in heaven, separate, as to sight, from the abodes of men, but still they are with man, in his affections of goodness and truth." This the author confirms by several texts of Scripture, and by various remarks; after which he proceeds to say, "Hence it is evident, that there is such a connexion between the angelic heaven and the human race, that the one subsists from the other; aud that the angelic heaven without the human race would be in the situation of a house without a foundation, for heaven terminates in the human race, and reposes on it. The case in this respect resembles that of a man individually: his spiritual things, which are those of his thought and will, flow into his natural things, which are those of his sensations and actions, and there terminate and subsist. Did not man possess the latter also; or were he destitute of these bounds or ultimates, his spiritual things, which are those of the thoughts or affections of his spirit, would now off, as things without a termination or without a bottom. The case is similar when man passes out of the natural world into the spiritual, which takes place when he dies: being then a spirit, he no longer subsists upon his own individual basis, but upon the common basis, which is the human race.—Hence it may appear, that the human race and the angelic heaven form a one, and owe their subsistence, mutually and reciprocally, to each other; wherefore the one cannot be taken away from the other." (Last Judgment. n. 9.)

I know not how the above extract may recommend itself to the reader; but to me it appears to contain more solid knowledge respecting the nature of man and the economy of the universe than is to be found in any other writer; and to be quite irrefutable. If so, the notion of the conflagration of the world and of the universe must be utterly chimerical; as also, I think, appears conclusively from our preceding observations.

Thus, the accompaniments expected to attend the Last Judgment, if performed in the natural world, all utterly failing, again are we driven out of nature to look for it, and compelled to acknowledge, that the destined scene of its performance was not the natural but the spiritual world.

B. The Spiritual World the Scene of it; as of all former General Judgments.

that branch of our first Proposition which affirms, "That the General Judgment announced in Scripture as to be performed at the Second Coming of the Lord, was not to take place in the natural world" may now, it is hoped, hare been proved to the satisfaction of the reflecting mind; for we have seen, as proposed, "That the circumstances announced in prophecy as being to attend it, are such as cannot be intended to be literally understood, and, some of them, such as are impossible in the nature of things." Other texts also, we have seen, as explicitly affirm the contrary; while Reason has much to offer in support of their testimony. The other part of the Proposition,—"That the last Judgment was to be performed in the spiritual world,"—follows then of course, as also has been seen. This, however, may be confirmed by other considerations.

What then if it should be true, that although the General Judgment predicted in the New Testament is properly called the Last Judgment, because it is the last General Judgment ever to be per formed on the natives of this earth, it is not the first such judgment ever accomplished (as, indeed, its very name seems to imply); but, on the contrary, two or three general judgments have taken place before ? If the Last Judgment was not to be performed at the end of the world, but, as shown above, at the end of the age; and if "the age," as shown also, denotes the whole duration of a certain order of things as regards the dispensations of God to man; then, as it is certain that there have been, since the beginning of the world, several such ages and dispensations, it will be reasonable to conclude, that the end of each of the former of them, like the end of the last, was attended with a General Judgment upon those who lived under it. Accordingly, the Scripture clearly teaches, how much soever its testimony upon this subject may generally have been overlooked, that such is the fact. As it prophetically announces that the last age and dispensation ever to come to its end or consummation would then be attended with a General Judgment, so does it historically record, that each of the former of such ages and dispensations was attended at its end by a General Judgment. Its testimony to this effect, therefore, we will briefly notice.

That, from the beginning of the world, the specific connexion of its inhabitants with their Divine Parent has been regulated by four different dispensations, and they have been bound to him by four distinct covenants, the human subjects of which may be regarded as composing four general churches, is universally known. Adam and his posterity to the flood, lived under one dispensation: God then "established his covenant with Noah and his seed after him:"* another covenant was made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their descendants,+ of which the laws were given by Moses: and finally, "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." # It is also known, that the three first of these dispensations were entirely corrupted, and the covenants broken, by those to whom they were given, among whom the churches thus formed in consequence perished: and that the case would be the same with the fourth dispensation and covenant, is predicted through a great part of the Apocalypse, and by the Lord in person in Matt. xxiv., and, summarily, in that question of his which supposes a negative answer, "Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth ?" $

The language in which the judgment upon the three former of these churches is described, being of the same symbolic kind as that in which the judgment upon the last is predicted, it has not been generally understood to relate to any transaction in the spiritual world, but has been confined to the calamities with which, in the natural world, the apostate members of those churches were at length overtaken; and yet, that the descriptions refer to judgments in the spiritual world also, may easily be inferred. Thus, as has already been seen, the passing away of heaven and earth, and convulsions in the heavenly bodies equivalent thereto, are constantly predicated in reference to the Last Judgment, and to the coming of the Lord for its performance: and these are predicated, not only in reference to the judgment which the Christian world is still expecting, but to the judgments on each of the former churches. The Apostle Peter, for Instance, informs us, that the same sort of catastrophe as is described, by the prophets under the figure of the conflagration of heaven and earth, is described by Moses under the figure of a flood: he says, "By the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth, standing out of the water, and in the water; whereby the world that then was, being overflowed by water, perished: but the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word, are kept in store, reserved unto fire, against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." || We find then, that as the destruction of heaven and earth by fire is one of the forms by which the Last General Judgment is described,

* Gen. ix. 9. + Gen. xvii. 7, 19. # John i. 18. $ Luke xviii. 8. || 2 Peter iii. 5, 6, 7.

so the destruction of the world that then was hy a flood is the form by which the General Judgment upon the Adamic Church is described if then the Last General Judgment was not to consist solely, nor at all, in the conflagration of the visible universe, but in a judgment upon those who had passed out of the natural into the spiritual world, the judgment upon the members of the Adamic Church did not consist solely, and probably not at all, * in a flood of material waters, but in a judgment upon those who had passed from the material into the spiritual world.

The Noetic Church did not long continue as one: "in the days of Peleg was the earth divided;"+ and, being scattered at Babel, they no longer continued to be "of one language and of one speech, "$— that is, they split into different forms of worship and doctrine; and all the ancient nations mentioned in the Old Testament were various branches of this church. Hence it does not appear that there was any General Judgment upon the whole together, till the Lord came into the world, and performed the judgment on the Jewish Church; which itself sprung out of the Noetic Church, and most of the constitutions of which, as is well known, were selected from those which bad previously been in use; but specific judgments upon various branches of it are mentioned in several parts of the Old Testament. Thus Sodom was destroyed by fire from heaven; and under this fact, performed in the natural world, was doubtless represented a judgment in the spiritual world, upon all of the same character who had passed into that world by death.

But, not to dwell upon the judgments of those more ancient churches; it will be sufficient for our present argument if it can be shown, that the Lord himself performed a Judgment, while in the world, of the same nature as the Last Judgment, which he then also prophetically declared that he would, at his Second Coming, accomplish. To such a judgment, many of the prophets of the Old Testament clearly refer. Their predictions respecting the Coming of the Lord into the world, are frequently connected with the announcement of a judgment then to be performed by him. They even represent the execution of such a judgment as inseparable from that work of redemption which all acknowledge that he came to accomplish; for without the removal thereby of evil spirits from the immediate influence which they then exercised upon the world, there could have been no salvation for the human race. Not to make an important assertion without proving it, I offer the following as a few samples of the predictions, in the Old Testament, of a judgment to he performed by the Lord at his advent in the flesh.

* That the first eleven chapters of Genesis do not contain an exact detail of natural events, but a history of the spiritual state of mankind in those ages, couched in the language of allegory, being the only style in use among the people whose history it describes; and that literally true history begins with the account of Abraham; may be seen fully established in "The Plenary Inspiration," &c., pp. 555—576.

+ Gen. x. 25. # Gen. ix. 1.

To what else can these words of Isaiah he worthily referred ? "Behold the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger." * Now though this, in its literal sense, refers to the destruction of Babylon, who can doubt that it refers also to the destruction, at the judgment to he performed by the Lord at his coming into the world, of those who are spiritually meant by Babylon throughout the Word of God,—that is, of those who profane religion by applying its sanctities to the purpose of self-exaltation? Hence it is said of Babylon personified under the name of Lucifer, in the next chapter, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning I how art thou cast down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" +—words which, as the whole context shows, are not spoken of any casting down of Lucifer then past, but of an event then to come, and of which the ruin of the Babylonian empire, which also did not happen till two hundred years after the delivery of this prophecy, was a type.—"Behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you." # Here the judgment to be performed by the Lord when in the world is spoken of, as necessary to the salvation of the human race.—"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because the Lord hath sent me to preach good tidings unto the meek, &c., to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God." $ In these words, the day of salvation is announced as accompanied by the day of judgment: and of this prophecy the Lord himself said while in the world, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."||—"For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help, and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation to

* Isa. xiii. 9—13. + Ch. xiv. 12. # Ch. xxxv. 4. $ Ch. lii. 1, 2. || Luke iv. 21.

me, and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury; and I will bring down their strength to the earth."* Here again is the salvation to be wrought by the Lord's coming into the world connected with a judgment to be performed at the same time.—"Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he-goats."+ This whole chapter treats of the salvation to be procured by the Lord when he should appear in the world in the character of the good shepherd; and the judgment then to be performed is in these words briefly described under the same image of separating between the sheep and the goats, as is so beautifully amplified in the description of the Last Judgment in Matt. xxv.—"Wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent." # Here is a plain prediction of a General Judgment, described with the symbolic accompaniment of the burning of the earth, as immediately to precede the establishment of the Christian religion.—"I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come."$ Here is a description of the day of judgment with the usual adjuncts; and this prophecy is declared by Peter (Acts ii. 16) to have been at that time fulfilled. "But who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth ? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap.—And I will come near to you to judgment.—For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it leave them neither root nor branch. Behold I send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord."||—Here is a sufficiently plain announcement of a day of judgment, in predictions applied by the evangelists, and by the Lord Jesus Christ, to himself while in the world.—"For he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.— Clouds and darkness are round about him; righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne: his lightnings enlightened the world; the earth saw and trembled: the hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole

* Ch lxiii. 4, 5, 6. + Ezek. xxxiv. 17. # Zeph, iii. 8. $ Joel ii. 30, 31. || Mal. iii. 2—5; iv. 1—5.

earth: the heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.—For he coineth to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity."* A work of judgment is here clearly announced, and depicted with abundance of the appropriate figures; and these three Psalms plainly treat of the Lord's coming into the world, and of the salvation which, by his works of judgment, he would procure for mankind.

Many similar passages might be adduced; but these may suffice to show, that, according to the prophecies of the Old Testament, the advent of the Lord in the flesh was to be accompanied with the performance of a General Judgment. But do we find, in the New Testament, any plain intimation that such a judgment was performed accordingly ? This question may be most decidedly answered in the affirmative. The New Testament repeatedly notices, as just remarked, the fulfilment of predictions in which the coming of the Lord to redeem mankind is connected with the execution of a judgment: and it presents, besides, other independent testimonies to the same truth. Thus when John the Baptist announces that he was the forerunner of one who was greater than himself, he speaks also of him whom he preceded as coming in the character of a judge: "He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."+ What plainer description of a General Judgment can there be than this ? It is in fact described under nearly the same images as the Lord uses, in several of his parables, for delineating the Last Judgment generally looked for by Christians. Thus, he concludes the parable of the wheat and the tares with this declaration: "In the time of the harvest, I will say unto the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." # This the Divine Speaker himself explains to be a figurative description of the Last Judgment still generally expected: "The good seed," he says, "are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one:—the harvest is the consummation of the age:—as therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be at the consummation of the age. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth

* Psalm xcvi. 13; xcvii. 2—6; xcviii. 9. + Matt. iii. 11, 12. # Ch. xiii 80.

as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." * Now the only difference between this parable and the saying above quoted of John, is, that, in the parable, the wicked are compared to tares, and by the Baptist to chaff: in other respects, the figures used are the same. In both, the good are compared to wheat: in both, the taking of the good into heaven is called the gathering of the wheat into the Lord's garner or barn: in both, the casting of the wicked into hell is called burning the chaff, or tares, with fire. Jesus says that this work should be performed at the consummation of the age, or at the close of the dispensation of divine things then commencing: accordingly, all allow that the parable relates to the Last Judgment: but John says that Jesus, of whom he was speaking, had his fan in his hand, to make the requisite separation, then: Is it not then demonstrably evident, that such a judgment as the Scripture predicts at what is commonly called the end of the world, or at the consummation of the dispensation then commencing, is affirmed by the Scripture to have been actually wrought while the Lord was in the world;—that time being also the end of the world, or the consummation of the age, to the Jewish Church, and to the whole remains of the Noetic Church likewise ? If the Scripture affirms that a General Judgment was to be performed by the Lord at his second coming in the spirit, it affirms with equal positiveness, that a General Judgment was performed at his first coming in the flesh. The one rests upon the same authority as the other, and if we deny one we must deny both.

But not only does John the Baptist announce, that He before whom he was sent was coming to perform a work of judgment; but the Lord Jesus Christ repeatedly declares the same thing: "The Father," saith he, "judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:—And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man." + Is this supposed only to mean, that a sort of judgment was then to be passed upon the Jews in this world, the destruction of whom, as a nation, did speedily follow ? This interpretation of the words is guarded against by its being added, "Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation." # These words relate, not to any resurrection of the body, $ but to certain operations, attendant upon the judgment, in the spiritual world, which he was then about to perform, while, as to his natural body, he was yet in the natural world: hence he speaks of it as being just about to take place—"the hour is coming;"—and to prevent any from imagining, nevertheless,

* Ver. 38—43. + John v.. 22—27. # Ver. 28, 29. $ As has been shown above, pp. 45—47.

that it was a distant judgment of which, he was speaking, he makes the declaration more explicit still two or three verses previously; for he there says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God." * Plainly enough, then, the whole passage relates to a judgment he was then about performing: and it is here described, in such figures as are often used when this subject is treated of, as a resurrection of the good to life eternal, and of the wicked to damnation.+

But if we were to dwell particularly on all the passages in which the Lord himself speaks of the judgment which he was engaged in performing, in the spiritual world, at the same time that, as to his natural humanity, he appeared in the world of nature, this discussion would be protracted to a great length: I will therefore only mention, very briefly, one or two more. We find him, then, in another place, saying, "For judgment am I come into this world." # And again, most explicitly, "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out." $ It is acknowledged by all, that by the prince of this world is in Scripture meant the devil. Now, it is very remarkable, that a casting out of Satan is elsewhere spoken of when the subject is respecting a General Judgment. Thus, in reference to this very judgment performed by the Lord while in the world, the Prophet speaks of the falling of Lucifer from heaven. || To the same effect, in reference to the Last Judgment generally believed to be yet future, John the Revelator declares, that he saw a great dragon cast out of heaven; and he explains this dragon to be that old serpent, called the devil and Satan. @ Just in the same manner the Lord says in Luke, when the disciples returned and told him that even the devils were subject unto them through his name, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." ** Evidently then, the circumstance described as the falling of Satan from heaven, is a thing essentially belonging to the performance of a General Judgment. Then put these facts together. John the Revelator says that such an occurrence would take place at the last judgment of all: Isaiah announced that it would take place at the judgment to be performed by the Lord while in the world: and Jesus himself twice declares, that it did then actually happen: how then is it possible to retain any doubt, that the Lord Jesus Christ was actually engaged in performing a judgment in the spiritual world, while, as to his assumed human, nature, he was personally present in this ?

* Ver. 25. + See this view of the above texts fully substantiated in my "Strictures," Ac., Int. Repository for Nov. 1835, pp. 658—663. # Ch. ix. 39. $ Ch. xii. 31. || Isa. xiv. 12. See above, p. 136. @ Rev. xii. 9. ** Luke x. 18.

Both parts—the latter as well as the former,—of our first proposition, may now, I trust, appear sufficiently established;—namely, That the General Judgment announced in Scripture as to be performed at the Second Coming of the Lord, was not to take place in the natural world, as commonly supposed, but in the spiritual. If the Last Judgment announced in the New Testament be not the only General Judgment ever accomplished on the natives of this earth, but on the contrary, there have been two or three such before; then, doubtless, this would be executed in the same manner as those. It is certain that, at former judgments, particularly at the most indisputable of them, that performed by the Lord while in the world, there was no gathering together, in this world, of all who had previously died, no appearing of the Judge in the clouds, and no destruction of the globe and of the visible universe: consequently, neither were such events to occur at the Last Judgment of all. All former General Judgments were executed in the spiritual world: consequently, that world must be the scene of the Last Judgment also.

C. An Intermediate World and State the specific Scene of all General and Particular Judgments.

the specific argument of the preceding part of this section,— That the Last Judgment was to be performed in the spiritual world, because there is evidence that, though the last, it is not the first General Judgment on the natives of this globe, and that all former General Judgments have been performed in that world,—will be strongly corroborated if it can be shown, in what specific region of the spiritual world such an operation could be performed; and that the existence of such a region, and of the execution in it of at least one former General Judgment, is no new invention, but, though of late lost sight of, was well known, and generally acknowledged, through all Christian antiquity. Into this subject, then, we will enter here; which will afford an opportunity fully to explain the views of the New Church, both with respect to the judgment performed on resuscitated men collectively at the close of the dispensations under which they had lived, and on resuscitated men individually at the close of this mortal life.

We will first notice the necessity for such an intermediate world and state, and the Scripture-proof of its existence, and we will then advert to the knowledge anciently possessed on the subject, with various particulars respecting it.

I. We are, first, to notice the necessity for such an intermediate world and state, and the Scripture-proof of its existence.

Where, then, could any General Judgment be performed, but in some common receptacle, open to every spirit the moment he quits the body, and which, without being, itself, either heaven or hell, constitutes a world between both, and may serve as an introduction to either ? Where, indeed, can any individual of the human race receive his judgment, either to heaven or to hell, but in some intermediate region, distinct both from the one and from the other ?

The Roman Catholics, it is well known, hold a kind of intermediate state, which they call purgatory. This they feign to be a place of severe torment, designed for purifying the souls of the good from the defilements adhering to the fleshly nature; and in which, it is pretended, they are liable to remain for thousands of years, unless delivered through the efficacy of the prayers of the saints and the papal indulgences, which are purchased by the credulous for that purpose. Upon a certain fact has thus been founded an extravagant fiction: hence Protestants have, for the most part, rejected the doctrine of an intermediate state altogether, discarding the truth along with the perversion. As observed by the accomplished Dr. T. Burnet, in his work, quoted in Sect. III., On the State of the Dead, "the reformed divines, to avoid the terrors of purgatory, have entirely taken away the intermediate state; as we are too apt, in avoiding one folly, to run into another." "It is very well known," he continues, "that the Roman purgatory is adapted to the humours of the people and the gains of the priest: but why should these phantasms fright us away from the search of truth, and the opinions of the ancients, concerning the hitherto unfulfilled state of misery and happiness, before the day of judgment?" Why, indeed! when it is an unquestionable fact, that the belief of an intermediate state of departed spirits, and of a world appropriated to their reception, was universal among Christians, as shall be shown presently, long before the Romish purgatory was ever thought of. Is it not then the extreme of rashness to abolish the belief of an intermediate state, because, under the reign of Romish corruption, it had been changed into purgatory? And is it not the extreme of injustice to charge the illustrious Swedenborg, as some of his opponents have done with reviving the Romish purgatory, because he restores the older Christian and Scriptural doctrine of an intermediate state ?

To avoid confusion it may here be necessary to observe, that most Christians admit the doctrine of an intermediate state in one sense, meaning by it the state of the soul, after death, before it is reunited to the body; whence they also call it the separate state; But, not looking for any resurrection of the body, we mean by the phrase, the state of man after death, before he is received into heaven or plunged into hell: consequently, our idea of it supposes an intermediate spiritual world, or region of the spiritual world at large, as being, in that state, the scene of his existence; which also results from our idea, that the spirit, separate from the body of clay, is not a mere vapour or puff of breath, but has a substantial body of its own, though, as consisting of spiritual and not of material substance, it is not perceptible to the senses of men in this world.

Our idea of this intermediate world is, that it is situated in the middle between heaven and hell. To those who are in it, heaven appears above, over their heads, and hell beneath, under their feet. Hence the common forms of speaking of heaven and hell as being respectively above and below, which are completely void of meaning in reference to the natural world, are perfectly true in regard to the appearances of things in the spiritual world; and from knowledge respecting this, either intuitively perceived or traditionally retained, all such forms of speech derive their origin. Into this intermediate world, then, every one, we conceive, first enters after death, and makes a longer or a shorter stay in it, according to the conformity between his internal and his external state; though, from the moment of his leaving the body, his final doom is fixed irreversibly. Since the Last Judgment, this stay in the intermediate world is in no case very extensively protracted: but prior thereto, the case was different, and many even remained there during the whole period that intervened between one General Judgment and another. Thus a General Judgment consists in the removal of the wicked from the stations they had there acquired to their abodes in hell; and in the elevation to heaven of certain of the good, who had been reserved, in the mean time, in places of safety, but who could not be taken up into heaven, till the wicked, who occupied the intermediate sphere, had been thence removed.

These three propositions then,—1. That there is such an intermediate region of the spiritual world; 2. That at the time of the Judgment the wicked are removed from the stations they had there usurped; and, 3. That the good, having been previously reserved in places of safety, are then elevated into heaven;—may be clearly proved by the testimony of the Scriptures.

That such an intermediate state and world are supposed through the whole of the Old Testament, is generally acknowledged by men of learning; though, forgetting that the writers of those books were guided by inspiration, it is but too common to imagine that they herein only followed their prejudices, and wrote in compliance with the vulgar belief of the Jewish nation. However, explain it away as they may, learned men are constrained to acknowledge, that the Hebrew word Sheol does not properly mean hell (in the common sense of that word), as it is translated in some passages of the English Bible, nor yet merely the grave, as it is translated in others, hut that it means the place and state of the dead, or the abode and state of departed spirits, on their first leaving the body, and prior to their receiving their final judgment.

The same idea, also, it is universally known, was attached (with some varieties) by the ancients in general, whether Jews, Christians, or heathens, to the Greek word Hades, the proper meaning of which is, the unseen world. This term often occurs in the New Testament, where it is always translated hell: but as, according to the observation of the ancient father called St. Augustine, it there appears to be commonly used to signify the abode and state hereafter of the wicked, I do not mention this as a proof of an intermediate world and state. In the New-Testament use of the word, it seems usually to signify what we now call hell; but in its common use among the Greek writers in general, it certainly signified the state and abode of departed spirits in general, and, among Jews and Christians, their state prior to the Last Judgment, in a region distinct both from hell and heaven.

But if the New-Testament use of the word Hades does not prove the existence of an intermediate state, that part of Scripture contains many other statements which place it beyond dispute. For instance: We find John speaking (Rev. vi. 9, 10, 11.) of certain "souls" that he "saw under the altar" importuning the Lord to accomplish the judgment; which is a plain allusion to a state which was neither hell nor heaven, and out of which those who were in it, though good, could not be taken, and elevated into heaven, till the judgment was performed, which, therefore, they were desirous should be effected; thus we here have positive proof of the first and third of our propositions just above stated. And the same book (which treats, nearly throughout, either of the Last Judgment itself or of the preparations for it, and not of natural and historical events, a continued series of which the commentators have vainly, each in his own way, endeavoured to find in it; this book) supplies us with proof of our second proposition equally decisive. We read in ch. xii. of war being seen in heaven, and a great dragon being thence cast out into the earth; and in ch. xx. we are informed, that an angel came down from heaven, and laid hold of the dragon, and cast him from the earth into the bottomless pit. Now, where could this heaven and earth be, but in the intermediate region of the spiritual world? Can we suppose that the dragon could have intruded into the heaven inhabited by angels, so as to make a war necessary to expel him? Even if we admit the common notion to be true,—that the present inhabitants of the infernal regions were once inmates of heaven, and were thence ejected after a battle waged within the blissful seats; yet the wildest fancy that ever revelled in such themes never dreamed of any more such wars and fallings of angels than one; and that one is believed to have occurred before the beginning of the world, not, as this is described, at the time of the Last Judgment, and forming, in fact, a part of it. Here then we have plain evidence of the truth of our first and second propositions: we have a clear notice of an intermediate state and world, and of the removal of the wicked from the station they there occupied at the time of the Last Judgment.

Many other testimonies to the same effect might be brought from the Apocalypse: for though that book is written throughout in language evidently symbolic, it represents events which occurred at, and preparatory to, the last judgment; and the scene of most of those events is evidently neither in heaven nor in hell, but in a world between both. But it is not from the Apocalypse alone that these truths may be confirmed; for though it is in this book only that we find a circumstantial account of the judgment attending the Lord's second advent, other books of the New Testament afford, as is shown above, plain notices respecting the judgment performed by the Lord at his first advent: and some of the circumstances attending this former judgment,—such as prove clearly all our three propositions,— are distinctly described. For example: It is an article of the Apostles' Creed, that the Lord Jesus Christ, after his crucifixion, "descended into hell;" where that the term hell, which in Greek is hades, does not mean the place of punishment, but the intermediate state, is generally admitted; though how he so descended, with what he did there, is so little understood, that many of the moderns would be glad to get rid of the article altogether.

A brief examination of this seemingly mysterious circumstance will throw considerable light on our present subject.

The passages of the New Testament most relied upon by the ancients for the proof of the doctrine of the Lord's descent into hades are three. "Now that he ascended," says the Apostle, (Eph. iv. 9.) "what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?"— where the phrase, to descend into the lower parts of the earth, is the same as is sometimes used in the Old Testament (See Ps. lxiii. 9.) to describe the state of the spirit after death. Though this text, I have little doubt, was rightly applied by the ancients, the next is generally thought to be more conclusive. It is the application by Peter of a passage in the Psalms: David, he says, "seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption." * But though these passages speak of the Lord's descent to hades, or the intermediate state and world, they do not disclose what he did there; this deficiency, however, is supplied by the third, which also, I have no doubt, was rightly applied by the ancients to this subject, though some of the moderns have had recourse to the most far-fetched glosses to explain its evident meaning away. "Christ," says the Apostle Peter,+ "being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the spirit; by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison:"—"where," says Bishop Pearson, # "the Spirit seems to be the soul of Christ, and the spirits in prison the souls of them that were in hell." And what spirits, specifically, these were, the Apostle explicitly states; for he adds, $ "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water." In these seemingly mysterious words we certainly have an explicit notice of two great judgments,—both of that performed by the Lord Jesus Christ, and of that accomplished at the period of the flood; which, we are at the same time informed, was not entirely a final one, but consisted in placing those upon whom it was executed in a separate region of the spiritual world, here called being in prison, to be finally disposed of at the Lord's coming into the world. This final disposal of them was accomplished, we are instructed, by the Lord's going to preach to them; by which we are not to understand such a preaching as that which he orally practised on earth, but the outpouring of the sphere of his Divine Truth, which, we have already seen, is the medium by which all his works of judgment are accomplished, and which could not be given in such power as to effect the complete separation between the wicked and the good in the spiritual world, and thus to execute the final judgment on them, till the glorification of the Lord's Human Nature was effected. The descent of the sphere of the Lord's Divine Truth into the lower parts of the spiritual world, in sufficient power to accomplish these mighty works, is then what in reality is meant by his descent into hell, or hades.

* Acts ii. 31. + 1 Pet. iii. 18, 19. # In his learned and laborious Exposition of the Creed. $ Ver. 20.

It may tend to elucidate this subject if we remark, that when Peter thus speaks of the Lord's going and preaching to the spirits in prison, he evidently means to apply and interpret those passages in the Prophets, in which, among the redeeming acts of the Lord at his coming into the world, the deliverance of prisoners is mentioned. There can indeed be no doubt that the Apostle had particularly in view these words of Isaiah,* which are applied to himself by the Lord: + "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound: to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God." Now though this passage, which explicitly speaks of preaching and proclaiming to them that are in prison, refers, in its spiritual sense, to the spiritual deliverance from the bondage of error which was introduced by the gospel, it is obviously applied by the Apostle, in its literal sense, to the liberation of those in the spiritual world who were reserved in the lower parts of that world till the coming of the Lord. The same prophet speaks elsewhere of the Lord as coming "to bring out the prisoners from prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house." # So he affirms again, that he shall "say unto the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves."$ All which, and various similar passages in the Prophets and Psalms, the Apostle evidently had in his eye, when he spoke of the Lord as going to preach to the spirits in prison.

* Ch. lx. 1, 2. + Luke iv. 18. # Ch. xlii. 7. $ xlix. 9.

Here we have further proof from the New Testament of all our three propositions,—1. of the existence of an intermediate state and world, and 2. of the removal of the wicked from the stations they had obtained there, with, 3. the consequent elevation into heaven of the good, who had been in the mean time reserved in a place of safety.

II. We will now, in the second place, advert, as proposed, to the knowledge anciently possessed on the subject of an intermediate world and state; with various particulars respecting it.

First, then, I will here offer evidence to prove, That the doctrine of the New Church respecting an intermediate world and state, which is the first receptacle of man after death, and out of a certain region of which the good were taken and elevated to heaven by the Lord at the time of his first advent, is in agreement with the doctrine of primitive Christianity. I will, Secondly, endeavour to evince, That the deliverance of the good who were thus reserved at the time of the Lord's coming, or in consequence of the Lord's then going and preaching to the spirits in prison, with the final dismissal to hell of the wicked, is what is specifically meant by those texts which speak of the dead as coming out of their graves, and which are erroneously applied in favour of the doctrine of the resurrection of the body. In the Third place, I will endeavour to show, That the Last Judgment predicted in the Gospels and in the Revelation was to be attended with similar circumstances. And, Lastly, I will conclude with a summary statement of the views of the New Church respecting the judgment that takes place upon man, individually after death.

1. We are, in the first place, to prove, That the doctrine of the New Church in regard to the existence of an intermediate region and world, which is the first receptacle of man after death, and out of a certain region of which the good were taken and elevated to heaven by the Lord at the time of his first advent, is in agreement with the doctrine of primitive Christianity.

That the early Christians entertained views to this effect, though mixed with some obscurity and error, is abundantly evident from the following passages from the Greek and Latin Fathers; which I translate from the copious store of extracts from their writings adduced by the learned Bishop Pearson in the notes to his "Exposition of the Creed," under the article "He descended into hell."

It will be necessary to recollect, as intimated above, that by the place called hades, which is commonly translated hell, the ancients did not mean the place of eternal punishment, but the common receptacle of departed spirits, not including heaven, or the proper mansions of the blest; nor, strictly speaking, hell, considered as the place of punishment; though sometimes, rather inconsistently with their own views, they used the term with such latitude as to include the latter.

Irenseus says, "As the Lord went into the midst of the shadow of death, where the souls of the dead were,—it is manifest that the souls of his disciples also, for whose sakes the Lord wrought these works, will go into an invisible place provided for them by God." * "Clemens Alexandrinus," says Pearson, "was so clearly of that opinion, that he thought the soul of Christ preached salvation to the souls in hell [hades].+ And Tertullian proves that the Inferi [a Latin name for hades] are a cavity in the earth, where the souls of dead men are, because the soul of Christ went thither:" he says, "that Christ our God did not ascend to the higher parts of heaven until he had first descended to the lower parts of the earth, and communicated himself to the patriarchs and prophets, who were there reserved."$ —"His body being laid in the grave, his Divinity, with his human soul, descended to hell, and called forth from their places there the souls of the saints."$ "Chrysostom," says Pearson, "in his Tractate proving that Christ is God, makes this exposition of Isaiah xlv. 2, 'I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron, and I will open the treasures of darkness, the hidden riches of secret places will I shew thee.' It is hades," says Chrysostom, "that he so calls: for hades held holy souls, and possessed rich furniture, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob being there; wherefore he

* 1. v. 26. + Strom. 1. vi. 6. # De Anima, c. 55. $ Gaudentius Brix. Tr. 10.

calls them its treasures."—"For the salvation of the souls in hades, who had been waiting many ages for the opening of it, he went thither."* — "He went to the lower parts of the earth, that he might redeem the righteous from thence" + As the Godhead was to consummate all things according to the mystery of the passion, he went with his soul to the lower parts of the earth, to accomplish the salvation of those that had before fallen asleep, that is, of the holy patriarchs."—"Although the body of Moses did not appear on earth, we-no where read of his being in heavenly glory, till after the Lord, as a pledge of his own resurrection, had loosed the bonds of hell, and raised from thence the souls of the pious."#—"The saints who were kept in that place hoped for the loosing of their bonds at the coming of Christ. After his death, therefore, Christ descended thither. As the angel descended into the Babylonian furnace, to deliver the three children, so Christ descended to the furnace of hell, where the souls of the just were kept shut up. He broke open the prisons of the inferi, he wasted and spoiled them, delivering out of them the souls that were bound." $

Here then it is evident, as Pearson observes, that some of the ancient fathers "thought that Christ descended to that place of hades where the souls of all the faithful, from the death of the righteous Abel to the death of Christ, were detained; and there dissolving all the power by which they were detained below, translated them into a far more glorious place, and estated them in a condition far more happy in the heavens above."

Pearson however adds, that "others understood no translation of place, or alteration of condition there, conceiving that the souls of all men are detained below still, and shall not enter heaven till the general resurrection." To establish this assertion he quotes Justin. Martyr, Ireneeus, Tertullian, Hilary, and Gregory of Nyssa; but the passages cited do not clearly prove that those fathers believed none to have been taken out of hades at the Lord's descent thither, but only, that all who should die afterwards were to be reserved there till the final judgment.

* Euseb. Dem. lx. 8. + Cyril. Cat. iv. 8. # Amb. 1. iv. de Fide. $ Hieron. in Eccl. || Ep. ad Euod. 99, al. 164, $ 8.

But there were some who thought that the place in which the patriarchs and principal saints resided could not properly be called hell, nor was ever so named in the Scriptures: Thus Augustine says, "I do not see what benefit was conferred, by the Lord's descent into hell, on those righteous persons who were in Abraham's bosom; for they had never ceased to enjoy the beatific presence of his Divinity."|| These were of opinion, that the end of the Lord's descent into hell, was, to deliver "less purified souls," and "to translate them to a place of happiness and a glorious condition." Thus Augustine says again, "Let us hold fast the belief confirmed by the most sure authority, that Christ died according to the Scriptures, and was buried, and the third day rose again; and the other things which are written concerning him with most certainly attested truth. Among which is this: that he was present with those below, loosing for them those pains by which it was impossible for himself to be held; whence we rightly understand, that he loosed and delivered whom he would."* Again: "This that is written, Having loosed the pains of hell,+ it is not to be understood of all, but of some, whom he deemed worthy of such deliverance; that it may neither be thought, that he descended thither in vain, conferring no benefit on any who were kept there; nor that it follows thence that what the divine mercy and justiof granted to some, was bestowed on all."#: So Capreolus: "He, in his Humanity, deigned to visit the hidden depths of the inferi, terrifying those that had the power of death by the presence of his invincible majesty; and, to deliver whom he would, he commanded the gates of hell to be unlocked." $ — And Ambrose: "He, being free among the dead, having loosed the law of death, gave remission to those who were in hell." || But Cyril carries the matter very far indeed: "He spoiled all hades," says he, "and, opening the inevitable gates to the spirits of them that slept, he rose again, leaving hades desert, with none in it but the devil." @

Pearson informs us, further, that it was "the general opinion of the fathers," that "the preaching of the gospel to the dead," the proper idea of which we have seen above, "was the means by which that good was wrought for the souls below which was effected by his "death." Thus Irenaeus: "Therefore the Lord descended to the parts under the earth, preaching the good tidings of his coming to them also, and becoming remission of sins to those who believed on him. But all those believed on him who had hoped in him; that is, they who had foretold his coming and obeyed his requirements,the righteous men, the prophets, and the patriarchs; whose sins he remitted, as he does ours."** Pearson gives extracts to the same effect from Clement of Alexandria, Cyril of Alexandria, and Jobius.

Here, certainly, though mixed with some misconceptions, we have the plain testimony of the early Christians to the great facts for which we are contending. Important truths, though variously apprehended, were evidently at the bottom of all the above ideas. If, on the one hand, it is not true, as many supposed, that all the good who had died from the beginning of the world remained in hades till taken thence by the Lord Jesus Christ, but, as Augustine judiciously

* Ep. 99, al. 164, 14. + Acts ii. 24, according to some copies. # Ibid. $ 5. $ Ep. ad Hisp. p. 49. || De Incarn. c. 5. @ Hom. Pasch. 7, t. v. par. 2, p. 91. ** Adv. Hoer.; iv. 45.

concludes, they who are described as being in Abraham's bosom were actually enjoying the beatific presence of God, or, in other words, were in heaven; and if, on the other hand, it is not true, as many likewise supposed, that all who were in hades, without exception, were taken into heaven by the Lord Jesus Christ; the genuine truth, of which these are exaggerations, nevertheless shines through them, and, adopting the sentiment which lies between the two extremes, we may safely conclude, that some, who could not be elevated to heaven before, were taken out of hades by the Lord at his first advent. And even the assertion of Cyril, that all were then delivered except the devil, is perfectly true, if we understand the word "devil" in its spiritual sense, as denoting, not a single fallen angel, but all, considered in one great aggregate, who are inwardly wicked. All such, at a general judgment, are not only not taken into heaven, but are plunged irrevocably into hell; but all who are not inwardly wicked, thus all who are inwardly good, are then taken out of the places in the spiritual world where they had in the mean time been reserved, and are elevated into heaven. Such a work was performed by the Lord at the judgment he executed at his first advent; and hence the fathers of the first ages so positively, and so unanimously, affirm, that he delivered from Hades whom he would,—that is, as we have seen it explained by Irenseus, all who were capable of believing on him, in consequence of having, while in the world, lived in faith and obedience.

I cannot help regarding this testimony of the ancient fathers as extremely valuable; for it surely must have a strong tendency to satisfy every candid mind, that the doctrine of the New Church upon this curious and important subject, is the doctrine of the Scriptures and of the true Christian religion. It is true, that modern divines reject these views of the primitive Christian writers, and strain to different meanings the texts upon which they are founded: but it is pf no small importance that we are able to show, that the views which modern Christians are so unwilling to receive, respecting the operations performed in the spiritual world—in fact, the accomplishment there of a general judgment—by the Lord at his first advent, are completely in agreement with the sentiments of the early Christians; and that, when our views are compared with those of the primitive times, even what in the latter was erroneous is seen only to have originated in the partial and too literal apprehension of certain general truths. (It might also be easy to show, and, in fact, it already in part appears from the above extracts, that the sentiments of the early Christians on the subject of Redemption were completely in agreement with ours. Instead of that unscriptural and artificial "scheme of redemption" so much in vogue at the present day, they viewed redemption as consisting in the subjugation, by the Lord, of hell, and the consequent deliverance of man from the power of the devil and though on this subject also they fell into some misconceptions, these, likewise, were only such as originated in the partial and too literal apprehension of general truths.)

2. We are, in the second place, to endeavour to evince, That the deliverance of the good who were thus reserved at the time of the Lord's coming, or in consequence of the Lord's going and preaching to the spirits in prison, with the final dismissal to hell of the wicked, is what is specifically meant by those texts, which speak of the dead as coming out of their graves, and which are erroneously applied in favour of the doctrine of the resurrection of the body. I particularly mean John v. 28: "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation:" And Matt, xxvii. 52, 53: "And the graves were opened, and many bodies of saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."

The fathers, we have seen, following the language of Scripture, affirm, that the place out of which the Lord took the spirits that were bound, was under the earth, and in the lower parts of the earth. This phrase, though obviously untrue if used of the material earth, is taken from the arrangement of things in the spiritual world, and is agreeable to the appearances which there take place when a judgment is performed; for the intermediate place in which the spirit first appears after death, is spoken of in Scripture as the earth of that world; and under this are the places of security for those who are to be taken up to heaven at the judgment. This is evident from the remarkable passage, Rev. vi. 9, 10, 11, slightly noticed above. John the Revelator there says, "I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth ? And white robes were given unto every one of them, and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also, and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." These souls are evidently those who are reserved in places of safety during the interval preceding the time of the judgment. They are described as being under the altar, which is the same thing as saying that they were under the earth, only the term altar, which of course is supposed to stand on the earth, is used as a symbol of the Lord's divine love, under the protection of which they were. These places of reservation being thus, to appearance, under the earth, they are called, in other passages of Scripture, graves. Indeed, the idea attached to the word graves in Scripture, in the literal sense, is not so much, as with us, from our mode of burial, that of a place to which the body is committed to be out of the way, or of a place of rejection, as of a place of preservation: thus the Jews had chambers hewn out of the rock for depositing their dead, the mouths of which were closed with a great stone; as in the case of the grave of Lazarus, and that of Joseph of Arimathea, in which the body of the Lord was laid. Such graves for the preservation of the dead body, afforded a suitable image of the places provided in the spiritual world, for the preservation of those who were to be transferred to their final homes at the time of judgment; wherefore, in the symbolic language of Scripture, these are called by the same name. Thus when the Lord says, "The hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation;" * the specific reference of the divine declaration is to the bringing out of the places of reservation in the spiritual world, at the judgment he was then about accomplishing of those who, like the souls under the altar, could not previously be elevated to heaven; and also of those who, from the former preparatory judgment in the days of Noah, were "reserved in chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day:" thus of those whom Peter calls "the spirits in prison," by whom he means spirits of both kinds. The voice of the Lord is evidently his Divine Truth; and as all his works of judgment are performed by the pouring forth, with increased power, of the sphere of his Divine Truth, therefore it is said, that this coming forth from these spiritual graves should be in consequence of hearing his voice.

The same thing is signified when it is said that "the graves were opened" when the Lord expired on the cross, and "many bodies of saints that slept came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many;" the meaning of which, it was observed above,+ we should be able to see, when we come to treat of the Last Judgment. The graves here are the places in the spiritual world, where such of the good as could not be elevated into heaven except by virtue of the power proceeding from the Lord's glorified Humanity, were previously reserved. These are called, not saints, but the bodies of saints, to carry on the figure of the opening of graves. Another reason why they are so called, is because while the greater part of the intermediate world is full of wicked spirits, as was the case at that time, the good, in comparison of these, who appear to themselves as the prevailing party, are regarded as dead; notwithstanding their "life is hid with Christ in God." In this deliverance, also, of those who were thus reserved in the lower parts of the spiritual world till the coming of the Lord—in this opening of spiritual graves—the prophecy of Daniel * respecting the awaking of those that slept in the dust of the earth, and other similar declarations of the Old Testament, had, doubtless, their most specific fulfilment.

3. From what has been shown in the two preceding articles, we may safely conclude, as we are in the third place to endeavour to show, That the Last Judgment of all predicted in the Gospels and in the Revelation, was to be attended with similar circumstances. Of these we will now offer a brief view, from Rev. xx., where they are summarily described.

From the former part of this prophetical book we find that those who were reserved in the lower parts of the spiritual world, and who are called+ the souls under the altar, were not the only servants of the Lord whose fidelity was approved: there was a superior class still of those who had passed into the spiritual world by death; who were taken, in fact, immediately to heaven. These are described # by the hundred and forty-four thousand seen standing with the Lamb on mount Sion; of whom it is said, "These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth: these were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits to God and the Lamb." They belong to the same class as those who are said by the Lord to be carried by angels, like Lazarus, to "Abraham's bosom," and of whom Augustine justly says, in the passage cited above, $ that "they had never ceased to enjoy the beatific presence of God." Those who were inwardly most deeply principled in wickedness and in the arts of delusion, though outwardly they had made profession of religion and lived in appearance like Christians (for none who are both inwardly and outwardly wicked and profane are tolerated out of hell for a moment), are represented || by the dragon and his angels who were seen as if in heaven, whence they were cast to the earth. Persons who were inwardly good, but not so strong in their faith and virtue as to bear to be exposed, without injury, to the sphere and arts of the wicked, and who therefore could not be taken up to heaven, till the wicked were removed from the intermediate region, are described as the souls under the altar; who, therefore, were desirous that the judgment should be performed. Accordingly, the twentieth chapter begins with stating, that "an angel came down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand:" which angel is a representative of the Lord as to the power he exercises by his Divine Truth; and by his descent from heaven is meant precisely the same kind of occurrence as we have

* Ch. xii. 2. + Ch. vi. 9. # Ch. xiv. $ P. 149. || Ch. xiii.

before seen is meant by the Lord's descent into hell or hades. For * be binds the devil and Satan, and casts him into the bottomless pit, for a thousand years; by which is meant, the removal of the worst class of wicked spirits who then ranged at large in the spiritual world, to allow the good who had been reserved in the lower parts of that world to be brought out and raised to heaven. This the Revelator proceeds to describe, by saying, + "And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded (smitten with the axe, or axed) for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection." It is evident, from comparing the description of these with that of those before-mentioned as reserved under the altar, that they are the same persons. It is certain, then, that they did not now begin to live, for they were living before, though in a different state: but on their emerging from the places in which they were reserved, and coming into the full enjoyment of heavenly life and its delights, and into the perceptible sense of the Lord's presence and of their conjunction with him, they are said to live and reign with Christ. They are represented as slain and smitten with the axe, for the word of God and for the testimony which they held, or for the witness of Jesus, because they had been rejected and persecuted by the dragon and his crew, and because during the presence of the latter in the intermediate part of the spiritual world, they could not be taken up into heaven.

Many have been the conjectures which have been made respecting the thousand years here mentioned; and wild indeed have been the opinions which have sometimes been founded on them. In fact, even the most sober of the expositors have found it impossible to adapt this number to their received method of computing prophetic dates. Reckoning, as they do, in regard to all the other notices of time occurring in this book, a year for every day that is mentioned, they ought, in order to be consistent with themselves, to reckon three hundred and sixty thousand years for the period here described: but as this would be a most preposterous duration to assign to any state short of the final one, they generally abide by the exact number, and understand a thousand years to mean a thousand years, neither more nor less. But this, also, is a monstrous duration for a merely intermediate state of things, as the present is evidently described; especially when it is considered that these thousand years occur just in the middle of the day of judgment: for that the judgment had

* Ver. 2, 3. + Ver. 4, 5.

now commenced, and that the elevation to heaven of these holy saints formed a part of it, is certain, from the words with which the verse-begins: "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them." Whether the usual mode of interpreting, prophetic dates, by allowing a year for a day, may or may not be-true in regard to those prophecies which refer, in their literal sense, to events to take place in the natural world, we will not stop to inquire; though it may be remarked that in the chief of these— Daniel's prophecy of the seventy weeks—as there is no mention either of days or years, weeks of years may be as well understood as weeks of days: but in a prophecy like this before us, which, even in its literal sense, refers to a transaction in the spiritual world, it is impossible to suppose that natural years can be intended. Natural years can belong only to the natural world: in the spiritual world, neither years, nor time at all, are known. Instead of time then, which belongs to the natural world, must be understood that which, in the spiritual world, answers thereto; and this is state; and instead of numbers, which also belong to natural things, must be understood that which answers to them in regard to spiritual things; and this is quality or nature. By the round number, a thousand years, then, is merely signified, the quality of the state which intervened between the elevation into heaven of those who were reserved in the lower parts of the spiritual world, or under the earth there, and the remaining stages of the last judgment; as also, the complete opposition and separation of state between those who thus lived and reigned with Christ, and those called the devil and Satan, who were bound in the abyss, or restrained from exercising any influence., during the same interval: and if we cannot separate the idea of time altogether from our natural conceptions, it may also mean, not any determinate portion of time, but, the interval, whether long or short, that was necessary for the performance of these transactions.

Next follows * an account of the loosing again of the devil, and the commotions excited in consequence: which represent the opening of the interiors of those who live as merely natural men, and form the most external class of the professing members of the church; upon which, they discover their before-concealed hatred against the true Church of the Lord and its sacred principles. Then,+ "the devil," it is said, "was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone;" which describes the final state of misery experienced in hell by the worst class of the wicked. Afterwards follows a solemn description of the judgment upon those who had not before been disposed of; that is, of those who neither belonged to the saints who were reserved in places of safety, nor to those called the devil and Satan. "I saw a

* Ver. 7, 8, 9. + Ver. 10.

great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them."* This describes the total change of state in the spiritual world in consequence of the removal of all who had been collected in the different parts of the intervening region from the stations which they previously occupied. "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." + The dead, small and great, are the rest of those who had passed by death from the natural to the spiritual world, of all classes. By the books are signified the interiors of every one's mind and memory, in which all his actions and thoughts, notwithstanding they may have vanished from the exteriors of his mind, or may seem to be forgotten, remain as distinctly recorded, as if written in a book: the book of life is the interiors of the minds of the good, whose life is formed by the commandments of the Word of God. "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged, every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire." # By the sea which gave up its dead, is not meant the ocean which surrounds the land, but the state of those who live as merely natural men: for the sea, as being, according to appearance, the extreme boundary of the earth, is constantly mentioned in Scripture to denote what is merely natural and most external. By death and hell which gave up their dead, are meant the states of those who are inwardly wicked, and immersed in infernal lusts and false persuasions,—such as constitute spiritual death, and are the essence of hell; and by their being cast into the lake of fire, is meant the immersion of all in whom those states prevail in hell, and its torments. That death and hell cannot here signify either persons or places, must be obvious to every one.

As for the exposition adopted by those who apply this passage to the notion of the resurrection of the body, who pretend that the casting of death and hell into the lake of fire is only a symbolic way of saying that there shall no longer be any natural death nor any intermediate state of the soul; it is really too far-fetched, and destitute of all support whatever, to be worthy of a moment's consideration. Does not the lake of fire evidently denote a place and state of punishment ? But how could Death and Hades—mere ideal abstractions be subjects of punishment? If it be said, as they who maintain

* Ver. 11. + Ver. 12. # Ver. 13, 14, 15.

this opinion do say, that the casting of death and hell into the lake of fire only means, simply, their ceasing to exist; then the casting there of those who are not found written in the hook of life can only mean their ceasing to exist: and thus we shall be driven to the conclusion, that the wicked are annihilated. Indeed, there are many who affirm that this is all that is meant hy the phrase in this case also: and though this idea is unfounded, and almost obviously absurd, yet it is not incumbered with the inconsistency incurred by those who maintain, that to be cast into the lake of fire, in the case of Death and Hell, means an end to all existence; and in the case of those who are not found written in the book of life, an endless existence in a state of misery.

4. We are to conclude this branch of our inquiries with a summary statement of the views of the New Church respecting the judgment upon man, individually, after death.

The case in regard to this important subject, as we understand it, is this. Before the Last Judgment, all who were both inwardly and outwardly good, were either raised immediately, or after a short stay in the intermediate world, to heaven, like Lazarus in the parable; or were reserved in places of safety, with the souls under the altar, where they were in a happy state, and all who were both inwardly and outwardly profane and wicked, were immediately plunged into hell, like the rich man at whose gate Lazarus sat. Upon these then, certainly, an individual judgment was immediately performed. But they who, though inwardly wicked, had outwardly lived in the observance of morality and in the profession of religion, though not from spiritual but merely natural motives, were allowed to remain till the time of the general judgment, in the intermediate region: as were also many simple good spirits, who were externally connected with the others, being imposed upon by their specious appearance and professions. This continuance of bad and good in the intermediate region of the spiritual world till the time of the judgment, is expressly affirmed by the Lord in his parable of the wheat and the tares. Yet in these cases also, an individual judgment was virtually performed on every one at his first entrance into the spiritual world; for from that moment every one was bound, as to his interiors, to his final abode either in heaven or hell: and into this he came as soon as his exterior state was put off and his internal state laid open by the process of the judgment: thus from the moment of the entrance of every one into the spiritual world, his lot was decided: it was no longer in his power to make any change in his interior state; and with this, finally, his exterior state would be made to agree; when he would actually enter into heaven or into hell. But now, as we believe, the Last Judgment has been accomplished: no other general judgment is ever to take place: in consequence, then, of the new arrangement which has thus been effected in the spiritual world, the individual judgment which is passed on every one, immediately on his entering the spiritual world, is now, in every case, speedily executed; and while numbers, as before, pass immediately, or nearly so, to heaven or hell, in no case is the stay in the intermediate state protracted to any very considerable extent. In the majority of cases, indeed, some stay in the intermediate world is absolutely necessary: and hence we see the necessity that such a world should exist. For who can look at the mixed characters which constitute the great bulk of mankind; who can observe how few of the worst are destitute of every thing that is good, and how few of the best are in any very considerable degree free from the frailties of degenerate nature; and can suppose that all of the one class are fit for no society but that of devils, and all of the other are completely prepared for the society of angels the moment they quit the body ? Do not the greatest part of mankind leave this world in a sort of intermediate state, neither entirely good nor utterly bad ? Where then can they resuscitate in the other life but in an intermediate world ? But though most who depart out of the world are in this mixed state, they nevertheless all belong to one or other of two entirely different classes. All are either inwardly good, though they have some imperfections not entirely surmounted in their external man; or are inwardly wicked, though they have in the external some appearances of good induced by habit and profession in society. In both cases, then, every thing in the external which does not agree with the love and faith, or no-faith, of the internal, is to be put off. This is effected by divine means provided for the purpose, in the intermediate state and world. But, as already observed, no one is now permitted to tarry there very long; and either heaven itself, or hell itself, is now speedily the portion of all.

I introduced the discussion in the present part of this section, on the necessity for an intermediate world and state, and on the Scripture-proof of its existence, with a quotation from the learned and intelligent Dr. T. Burnet, on the folly of Protestants in rejecting such a state, to avoid the Roman Catholic folly of purgatory. I will close the evidences now given, that the doctrine of the New Church on this subject, is in agreement with the doctrine of primitive Christianity, with an extract from a more recent author, whose works have but lately been introduced to the British public.

"The universal Christian world," says Dr. Jung-Stilling, in his Theory of Pneumatology, "from the very commencement, believed generally in an invisible world of spirits, which was divided into three different regions: heaven, or the place of blessedness—hell, or the place of torment—and then a third place, which the Bible calls hades, or the receptacle of the dead; in which, those souls which were not ripe for either destination, are fully made meet for that, to which they have most adapted themselves in this life."

After a statement of the ancient theory of the material universe, the author proceeds, "The Bible has nothing to ohject to the views adopted by the universal Christian Church; and the Aristotelian and Platonic philosophy of the schools, which then universally governed the reason of the learned, was also perfectly contented with them. And if here and there a clear-sighted individual, who thought for himself, found this or that point impossible, or some fervent Gnostic, on the other side, introduced still more impossibilities into this system of the universe and of spirits, it occasioned a paper war and a charge of heresy; but the principal ideas still continued to stand firmly and canouically in both churches—the eastern Greek, and the western Latin.——

"But ere long, particularly after the age of Constantine the Great, the clergy gradually forgot Christ's golden precept, 'Let the greatest among you be as the least, and him that will bear rule, let him be as a servant.' In opposition to this, they assumed increasing honours, and even strove for the universal government of the world. But having no worldly weapons, or at least very feeble ones, they forged themselves spiritual arms; and the invisible world presented them an inexhaustible armoury.—Hades, which had been hitherto, in itself, an abode devoid of suffering, unless the individual brought anguish and torment in his own bosom into it, was now transformed into a fiery furnace, in which every departed soul that had not rendered itself worthy of canonisation, must of necessity be purified, like gold and silver. Now this was a particularly potent means of bringing even the mightiest monarchs, with all their hosts, and every Christian nation, into obedience to the clergy: for the latter asserted, and it was universally believed, that they really had the keys of purgatory, and that by prayers and masses for the dead, for which they took care to be well paid, they were able to deliver the poor soul from it, and to assist it in the attainment of the bliss of heaven.—

"Here we arrive at the principal source of the most senseless and revolting superstition, which certainly deserves to be rooted out. But this is not to be accomplished by refusing to give credence to undeniable facts, but by stating the sacred truth in its genuine purity.

"The Christian system of the spiritual and material world, described above, stood for fifteen hundred years unshaken. [Copernicus, it is noticed, overturned the old system of the material world, and] Luther and his confederates accomplished a mighty revolution in religion. The Holy Scriptures again became the sole criterion of faith and conduct, and the clergy of the Protestant Church renounced all claim to the government of the invisible world: they extinguished the flames of purgatory, and enlarged the bounds of hell by adding hades to it. No middle state, or place of purification, was any longer believed in, but every departed soul entered immediately on its placa of destination, either heaven or hell. They carried this point too far: it was wrong to make a purgatory of hades; but it was also GOING TOO FAR TO DO AWAY WITH HADES TOGETHER WITH PURGATORY." *

* Translation by Jackson, 1834, pp. 11—18.

D. The Last Judgment actually accomplished.

having, in the previous parts of this section, given, I venture to hope, sufficient evidence of the truth of our first general proposition,That, according to the Scriptures, the scene of the Last Judgment was to be, not in the natural world, as commonly believed, but in the spiritual;—having shown, in connexion with this truth, that there is strong proof of the fact, that more than one General Judgment has already in that world been accomplished; and that there is, in that world, an intermediate region which is the specific scene of all General and Particular Judgments:—We are now to proceed to the confirmation of our second general proposition; That the Last Judgment has, in the spiritual world, been executed accordingly.

Here I am to endeavour to show, that, independently of the assertions of Swedenborg, there are various considerations tending to evince, that the Judgment has been accomplished.

First, be it observed, that according to our views, there always exists, how little so ever men in general may be aware of it, the closest communication between the spiritual and the natural worlds. Man, as to the interiors of his mind, is a spiritual being, and in constant connexion with his like in the spiritual world; though of this he cannot, except in very extraordinary cases, be sensible, while his spiritual part is invested with a natural covering, which is the seat of his conscious perceptions while he lives on earth. This is, in fact, only a different way of stating the doctrine generally received among Christians, that man receives influences both from heaven and hell: and how can it be otherwise, if the Apostolic declarations are true, that angels "are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation;" and that "the devil," or the infernal powers in the aggregate, "goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he shall devour." But though the springs of all man' thoughts and actions are thus either in heaven or in hell, his most immediate unearthly associates are spirits in the intermediate state or region between heaven and hell; all of whom belong, indeed, either to the heavenly or to the infernal kingdom, and are, as to their interiors, either angels or devils, though, not having yet entirely put off their external state, they have not entered into their final abode. Man himself, as to the interiors of his mind, is a spirit of this kind; with this difference, that although he is every moment of his life in connexion, according to the nature of his ruling inclinations, with heaven or with hell, he is not yet irrevocably bound either to the one or to the other: so long as he remains here his ruling love may be changed: and thus he is associated as to his internal part with spirits of both classes, and is not, as they are, incapable of altering his inward state.

If then this view of the subject be correct (and that it is so, will probably further appear in the sequel of this Appeal; and surely i( is a view that is highly agreeable to reason); if man be thus so closely connected with the inhabitants of the spiritual world, particularly with those of the intermediate region; it necessarily follows, that any great change in the state of that world, particularly of the intermediate region, must make also an extraordinary change in the state of man as to the interiors of his mind, and induce great alterations in his modes of thinking. It may also be expected, that the effect of such an operation in the spiritual world as that of the General Judgment, must be felt in the natural world also, and that judgments answering to it in importance would take place in the civil affairs of the world, particularly among the nations belonging to the professing church. If it be true, as would follow from the above statement, that the interior causes of all things are in the spiritual world, it will follow, that the performance of such a work as the Last Judgment there, must, sooner or later, be marked in the natural world also with corresponding effects.

In the second place, I would observe, that the conclusion respecting the effects, in the natural world, of the judgment in the spiritual, thus arrived at theoretically, has been practically confirmed in all former instances. As far as the annals of mankind enable us to determine, never was a judgment performed in the spiritual world, hut corresponding effects resulted in the natural world also. If it be true, as generally believed, that the last posterity of the Adamic church was swallowed up by a flood, here was a catastrophe in the natural world indeed: and if, as noticed above, there is reason to conclude, that by the history of the flood is not meant that a flood of waters really overwhelmed the world, there still cannot be a doubt that great calamities, of which, in a figurative natural sense, a flood of waters is an expressive emblem, did overtake the abandoned nations. So, at the consummation of the Noetic and establishment of the Israelitish church, when a representative coming of the Lord was exhibited by his presence in the cloudy pillar, great judgments were literally executed on the Egyptians and the Canaanites, at that time the principal nations of the consummated Noetic church; as had previously been executed, soon after the calling of Abraham, on Sodom and Gomorrah. But here again we find our most unequivocal example in the judgments that fell upon the Jews. We have seen that a judgment was certainly executed by the Lord in the spiritual world while he abode personally here: and we know that, some time afterwards, the most dreadful calamities overtook the whole Jewish nation; indeed, the whole face of the world was soon afterwards entirely changed. "We may conclude the judgment in the spiritual world to have been finished at the Lord's ascension: and thirty years after this event, the troubles broke out in Judaea, which issued in the destruction of Jerusalem, the desolation of the whole country, and the end of the national existence of the Jews. It is to be expected, that the changes in the natural world, which is the world of effects, must be some time subsequent to the changes from which they proceed in the spiritual world, which is the world of causes: and from this example it would appear as if about thirty years were the period, in which a judgment in the spiritual world begins to give rise to corresponding judgments in the world of nature.

Now as we evidently see, that sooner or later, such judgments in the spiritual world, have, in all former instances, been followed with great troubles in the natural world, we may reasonably conclude, that the performance in the spiritual world of the last judgment of all, would, in due time, be followed by the usual visitations in this scene of existence.

Have then any visitations that may probably be supposed, by their magnitude and extraordinary character, to have had such an origin, been experienced, within the last half century, by the nations of Christendom ? for to them, more particularly, as forming the professing church, must such judgments belong. Do not the recollections of every person who has lived so long immediately rush forward with an affirmative answer ? In the wars, and other dreadful calamities, which began with, and rose out of, the French revolution, has not every serious observer of passing events noted features very different from those which attended the wars and convulsions of former times, —of all times later than the first full establishment of Christianity ? Will he not allow them to have been such as are fully commensurate with the ideas suggested by the "distress of nations and perplexity, causing men's hearts to fail them for fear," announced by the Lord as among the signs of his Second Coming ? which coming, we have seen, in the natural world, is a consequence of the judgment performed in the spiritual. There was one feature in those contests so entirely peculiar, that it well deserves to be particularly noted; and that is, that the war at last raged in every nation on the whole face of tha globe that bears the Christian name; a circumstance which never occurred before since Christianity began. Not only did Europe, from west to east, from north to south,—from France to .Russia, and from Naples to Sweden,—heave the billows of her population against each other in more enormous masses than were ever before assembled for the purpose of mutual destruction; but the American world, where the religion of Europe had been transplanted, was equally seized with the destroying mania; till from one extremity to the other of that vast continent,—from Canada to Chili,—the flames of war raged with as great violence, in proportion to the number of the people, as in the western hemisphere. In Asia and Africa too, wherever Christians had planted colonies, the demons of carnage were let loose, whilst, likewise, the waters of every sea were swelled with human blood, poured into it with a profusion beyond all that had ever, in former ages, discoloured its waves. Never before, since the Christian religion was vouchsafed from heaven to be a blessing to mankind, was the whole mass of its professors thus raised by a simultaneous impulse, and arrayed against one another; as if they had all agreed as one man, while disagreeing in every tiling else, to disown the empire of the Prince of Peace: never indeed before, since the world began, was any war excited, which deluged the surface of the globe with such wide-spread desolation. Posterity will read of the events which the elder portion of the present generation have witnessed, with greater wonder, than that with which we in our childhood used to read of the innumerable hosts of Xerxes and the exploits of the Greek and Roman conquerors: all the surprising histories of antiquity will appear but records of insignificancy, when compared with the history of our times. There have, it is true, been wars in all former ages; and if the late tremendous series of conflicts had been of a common description, I should not think of urging them as an argument on this occasion: but if all must allow them to be of a totally unprecedented character, my readers cannot think that I press them too far in calling upon them to refer such events to an adequate interior cause. What adequate cause of such wonders can be assigned, but some great convulsion in the moral and spiritual world, displaying itself in corresponding events in the world of nature ? what, in fact, but the performance of a judgment there, whence flow, as a necessary consequence, natural judgments here ?

And if the war was of so astonishing a character, what have been its effects upon the states of Christendom ? During its continuance, repeatedly, several were swept from the map of Europe in a single campaign: and though the most considerable were restored at the peace, it was with such great alterations, both in their internal polity and external relations, that it is strictly correct to say, that the entire face of the European, yea, of the whole Christian commonwealth, has been completely changed. To apply the prophetic phrase in the sense which commentators usually assign to it;—the former heaven and earth of every state of Christendom have passed away; and they have been, with scarce an exception, so entirely new-modelled, that they have received, politically, a new heaven and earth in their place.

Now it may be observed as at least a remarkable coincidence, that the troubles which have had so extraordinary a career. and termination, broke out at exactly the same distance of time after the date assigned by Swedenborg for the performance of the Last Judgment in the spiritual world, and of which he published his account in the year 1758, as that which intervened between the conclusion of the judgment performed by the Lord while in the world and the troubles which led to the destruction of Jerusalem.

But if the political changes experienced by Christendom have been so great, how has it fared with her ecclesiastical constitutions ? Are we not here particularly struck with the change which has been effected, almost before our eyes, in the state of the Papal Power, once, so terrific and irresistible ? It is a fact acknowledged by the Protestant interpreters of Scripture (and indeed the features of the portrait are so plain, that nothing but strong prejudice can close the mental eye against a recognition of the original,) that the great harlot,, whose name is mystical Babylon (Rev. xvii.), is a personification of the Roman Catholic religion: consequently, the judgment denounced upon her (chaps. xvii. and xviii.) must denote, primarily, according to our view of the nature of the Last Judgment, the removal from the intermediate region of the spiritual world to the regions of despair, of those who were confirmed in the evils of that religion: that is, of those who made religion a pretext for establishing their own dominion over the minds and bodies of men. Now the consequence of such a judgment in the spiritual world must be, the diminution of the power of such persons in this world, and the loosening of the influence of that religion over men's minds. Do we not then behold manifest proofs, which multiply around us continually, that Babylon, even in this world, has received her judgment; and, consequently, that the Last Judgment in the spiritual world, which is the cause from which the other is an effect, has been performed ? The Roman Catholic religion, so far as it consists in the holding of certain doctrines and practising of certain forms of worship, may probably continue for ages; just as the Jewish religion, though the Jewish church has long since undergone its judgment both in the spiritual and the natural worlds, continues to this day; but the Romish religion as to that essential part of it which procures for it in the divine Word the name of Babylon,—that is, considered as a system for tyrannising over men's minds by the prostitution of sacred things for that purpose,*—has received its final judgment, and never can become formidable any more. We have not, indeed, heard for ages,—in fact, not since the Protestants succeeded in fully establishing their independence,—of any attempt on the part of the Popes to exercise the power, which they formerly claimed, of dethroning princes and transferring at pleasure their dominions to others: still, such a dissolution of their power as is included in the denunciation, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen," was an event reserved for our times. The influence of the Romish hierarchy remained very great, in all the countries which continued to profess that religion, till within a recent period. We have seen the Pope himself dragged from his throne, and degraded into a mere tool of the ambition of Napoleon: and though he was afterwards restored by the allied sovereigns from motives of policy, yet is he shorn of his beams: his influence is annihilated; and he now sits in St. Peter's Chair (as they call it) more as a puppet than a prince. His desires may perhaps be as capacious as ever; and to promote their aims he has restored the order of the Jesuits, formerly the right hand of the papal power; but never can he restore the causes from which that order derived its efficiency. The spirit and soul of Jesuitism are gone, in the removal from their immediate connexion with the human race of those who constituted Babylon in the spiritual world; and hence, however good may be the will of the Pope's new myrmidons, being no longer supported by the same influence from the world of causes, they never can revive touch more of the old Jesuits than the name. Thus the restoration of the Pope to his throne is by no means synonymous with the restoration of his power. The spell which bound the minds of men to his sway, has been broken, and can never be renewed. We are continually hearing of new circumstances which demonstrate, that his authority is no longer much respected, even by nations which continue to profess his religion. The events of the last few years in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, evince that, by great numbers, in those countries, once the chief seats of his influence, it is now entirely despised: and the new States of South America, the inhabitants of which were so long among the most devoted slaves of the Roman see, have shown a disposition, though since temporarily checked, to follow up their rejection of civil with the abolition of ecclesiastical tyranny, and, by allowing freedom of worship, to give the fatal blow to priestly domination. Who would have expected ever to behold an accredited envoy from Mexico making a speech at a Bible Society's meeting,* avowing it to be the general wish of his countrymen to read the Scriptures in their own language, and their joint conviction, that civil and religious liberty are as essential to the welfare of a people, as are, to the support of life, the two gases which compose the air we breathe ? Even the priests of those countries seem resolved to be popish priests no longer; for, in contradiction to a main characteristic of that hierarchy, many of them have distinguished themselves amongst the most active promoters of information and general improvement. Here are new moral phenomena indeed. Evident tokens are everywhere springing up, evincing, that the pretension on the part of any fallible man to the power of opening and shutting heaven at pleasure, which has been the grand engine by the use of which the Roman pontiffs attained such extraordinary influence, will soon be scouted as ridiculous through every country of Christendom, and that men will soon everywhere wonder by what strange infatuation their fathers could have submitted to such palpable arrogance and blasphemy. The cause of that infatuation, according to our views, was, that multitudes of those who, in this world, had promoted the Romish ecclesiastical corruptions,—of priests and monks and their adherents,—had established themselves in the intermediate region of the spiritual world, acting as clouds by which the light that is ever in the effort of flowing from heaven into the human mind was in great part intercepted, and instead of it were substituted such influences as tended to uphold the domination which such spirits, and their like in this world, affect: and the reason why such infatuation prevails no longer, is, as we are convinced, because, by the Last Judgment, those spirits are removed, and light from heaven, thus gaining new access to the minds of men, exposes, as one of its first effects, the absurdity of such pretensions. Can any one look at the wonderful change, in this respect, which is everywhere experienced, and not acknowledge the cause which we assign for it to be the most worthy, yea, the only adequate one, that can be conceived ? Can any one, on its being suggested to him, fail to recognise, in these surprising events, plain signs that the Last Judgment is accomplished ?

* The annual meeting at Norwich, Sept., 1825.

Here also, it may be observed, we have a clue that would guide to a sound decision of the famous Catholic question. The opponents of Catholic emancipation consist of those who draw their opinion on the subject from theology and ecclesiastical history; who thence know what are the tenets of that religion, which a church that professes to be infallible cannot explicitly revoke, and what are the enormities to which those tenets have lent their sanction. These resist the Catholic claims under the apprehension that the moment Protestants cease to tread the Catholics under their feet, they will mount over their heads, and will, sooner or later, relume the fires of Smithfield. Nor do those who take this view of the question merit the ridicule which is sometimes thrown upon them. If they are practically wrong, they are not wrong without a reason. Their opinion is founded on the ample experience of former times. It would unquestionably have been the right opinion much less than a hundred years ago: and as they know nothing of the great spiritual cause which has intervened to invalidate the deductions from ancient experience, it is not to bo wondered at if, dwelling as their thoughts do upon positive facts, they fear to trust to the altered state of feeling which is everywhere apparent. On the other hand, the advocates of Catholic emancipation consist of those who allow themselves to be carried along by the spirit of the present times. Though unacquainted with the true cause, they feel that the facts on which their opponents' arguments are grounded, are grown obsolete. They perceive that the state of the human mind, among Catholics as well as Protestants, has undergone a great change; and that were the Romish priesthood again to urge the pretensions to unlimited dominion, which made them once so formidable, and which lay at the source of all the wicked deeds which they perpetrated in the name of religion, it would only deprive them of the share of influence which they yet retain, and make them universally, among Catholics as well as Protestants, objects of execration. Practically, as we conceive, these are right, though they know not the reason. They see so plainly one of the consequences of the Last Judgment, as to be willing to legislate upon it, though not aware of its true cause. And is not the extent to which this acknowledgment of one effect of the Last Judgment is forcing itself upon the minds of men, another effect of that judgment, and an additional argument that it has been performed ? *

* The above paragraph, was in the first edition of this work: the legislature has since acted in conformity with what it suggests.

But not only do the effects in the natural world of the accomplishment of the Judgment in the spiritual display themselves in the way of visitations, but also in direct dispensations of mercy; for the sake A which, indeed, all divine judgments are performed. The calamities with which they are accompanied, are only designed to remove obstructions out of the way, and to make room for the reception of the benefits which the Divine Judge ever has in view. If the wicked who occupied the intermediate region of the spiritual World, were, by the judgment there, cast into hell, it was, that the good who were mixed with them, or reserved in the lower parts of the spiritual world on account of them, might be raised into heaven; and also, that the divine efflux of spiritual life and light, which they intercepted in its passage to men on earth, might have free course: in like manner, if Christendom has been visited with tremendous troubles, as a first consequence of the performance of the judgment in the spiritual world, it is that a second consequence may follow, and that the divine outpouring of spiritual life and light may product the blessings for which it is bestowed. If then we see in the world around us marks, in this way, of the activity of this divine efflux, they are sure signs that the judgment in the spiritual world has been performed. In what we have already noticed, even such marks are palpable. But how evident is the change, and that a change for the better, which, in many other respects likewise, has passed upon the state of mankind;—a change so obvious to all, that we can scarcely take up a magazine or newspaper, or any new publication whatever, without finding it adverted to with admiration. How constantly are some of the features of this mighty alteration dwelt upon, in almost every public meeting, political or religious I 1 had asked above,* "Does not every voice confess that we are living in a most extraordinary era of the world ? Is not every mind impressed with the conviction that there is something almost preternatural in the character of the present times ?" And I had asked further, respecting the improvements everywhere springing up, whether they are not "continually calling forth from every quarter exclamations of surprise, and expanding every bosom with the hope, that the opening of a new and happier day than the world has ever before seen, is now dawning on mankind?" Every reader who is at all acquainted with the modern press, or who has made any observation on passing events for himself, will be ready to give these questions an affirmative answer. Multitudes of extracts from periodical and other publications, returning such an answer, might be easily adduced; but their frequency makes it unnecessary to cite them: I will only take, as a sample, a short passage from the prospectus of a new literary undertaking, + which came into my hands while writing this section, and which is, in part, a perfect echo of my above-cited questions: "The most unthinking, as well as the most prejudiced," says the well-informed writer of this paper, "must be struck with the fact, that the period in which we live is extraordinary and momentous. Amongst the great body of the people an unparalleled revolution is at work: they have awoke from that ignorance in which they had slept for ages, and have sprung up in their new character of thinking beings, qualified to inquire and to discuss; and despising both the despotism and the bigotry that would prohibit or impede their improvement.—The intellectual spirit is moving upon the chaos of minds, which ignorance and necessity have thrown into collision and confusion; and the result will be, a new creation. Nature (to use the nervous language of an old writer) 'will be melted down and re-coined;' and all will be bright and beautiful." It is thus that every attentive observer is impressed by the character of the present times. Consider then, my reflecting readers, whether so great an effect can be without a cause! And to what cause can it, with any degree of reason be assigned, but to that mighty change in the interior sphere of human minds effected by the performance of the Last Judgment in the spiritual world, and to the pouring thence of new energies from heaven into the awakening faculties of man ?

* P. 26. + The London Encyclopaedia.

Let us here ask, How might such a pouring of energies from heaven, and of light thence into the minds of men in general, be expected, in the first instance, to operate ? What the writer of the above quotation calls "the intellectual spirit moving upon the chaos of minds," is what the Scripture calls "the Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters." The ultimate object of the divine movement is, that man may be made in the image and likeness of God; in other words, that man should rise to the full dignity of his nature, as the recipient, without perverting them, of love and wisdom from God; for it is only such a being as this—a being in whom the spiritual faculties as well as the natural endowments belonging to human nature are properly developed—that the Word of God emphatically denominates a man. Nevertheless, though it is as a spiritual being that man is last perfected, it is as a natural being that he first comes into existence; and his natural faculties, from the lowest to the highest of them, are successively unfolded before his spiritual ones are opened. Hence the operations of the Divine Spirit, in Genesis, consisted in calling into birth all the lower parts of the creation, beginning from the lowest of all and advancing to the higher, before man himself was produced; all which inferior objects are exact images of the various faculties that belong to the natural part of the human constitution; while that which is called man— the image and likeness of God—is man considered as to his spiritual part—a receptacle of love and wisdom from God;—to which it is given to reign over the lower powers. Such was the order in which the Divine Spirit proceeded at first: such then is the order in which the new out-pouring of divine influences might be expected to operate now:—and accordingly, such is the order in which it is now working its wonders anew among mankind.

Hence, then it is that we see in every direction, such astonishing improvements in whatever has for its object the well-being of man as to the natural part of his constitution. Look at the extraordinary manner in which the science and practice of agriculture have, during the last thirty or forty years, been advanced; which has boon such, that although the population of the globe, especially of the Christian part of it, has increased in a ratio beyond all that was ever known before (a circumstance which itself is a most striking result of the increased energy with which life, from the first Source of life, is flowing into nature), the earth has not proved incapable of supplying food for the increasing multitude, but has poured forth her productions with corresponding profusion; proclaiming the fact, that the divine command requiring her to bring forth her increase, —in other words, the divine energy producing it—has gone forth anew. Behold, again, the wonderful manner in which manufacturing skill and power have been augmented;—the astonishing perfection given to machinery; which is such, that wood and metal appear to be informed with human intelligence, whilst they are actuated by a force imparted by inanimate agents immensely beyond any that could be yielded by animal strength. Hereby every production of human ingenuity required for the necessities, comforts, or convenience of man, has been multiplied to an extent which not long since would have been deemed impossible; and so reduced at the same time in price as to be made attainable by all: in which, again, we behold a new outpouring of divine energies, rendering, in an unprecedented manner, the hands of men productive. Look, also, at the amazing improvements, in many other things; such as the banishment of night from our streets by the introduction of gas-lights, and the splendour added by the same invention to our saloons and public edifices; or the amelioration in ways and roads, and in the facilities for conveying goods and travellers by land and by water; which are such that, in a great degree, as to its separating power, space is annihilated, and the remotest parts of the globe are brought into vicinity. Here, again, who can fail to see some extraordinary agency at work, giving an unwonted impulse to human energies, and exhibiting in its extreme or lowest effects, the increased action of the world of life and activity.

But if we proceed to a slight view of some of the moral phenomena of the times, greater wonders, if possible, will demand our admiration. Observe, then, the surprising advance, on the one hand, of science; and, on the other, the universal increase of the desire for knowledge, combined with the extraordinary multiplication of the means for its diffusion. Since the time at which we believe the Last Judgment, in the spiritual world, to have taken place, every branch of Science has been improved to a most unexpected extent, whilst many new ones have been added, and others have assumed a form which makes them virtually new: thus Geology, whose discoveries are so highly interesting, whose conclusions are so momentous, and whose practical uses are so eminent, is entirely the offspring of modern times: whilst Chemistry, which is so continually astonishing us with fresh wonders, has undergone, in our times, a change equivalent to a new creation.*

* Speaking in company, in the year 1825, of the great modern improvements in Science as one of the effects of the light flowing from the spiritual world in consequence of the accomplishment of the Last Judgment, a scientific friend, who was struck with the idea, was so kind as to send me, soon afterwards, the following list of "Improvements in Natural Science made about or subsequently to the era, of the Last Judgment, 1757.

"The distinct classification of natural beings and substances of all kinds,— the determinate recognition of their respective specific identity, and denotation of that identity by names,—which have effected so many subordinate improvements in science, were not made until about the above era.—The Linnssan system of natural history, which was materially concerned in the improvement just noticed, was promulgated from about 1735 to 1778, and came into full reception about the latter period, or perhaps somewhat before.—The doctrine of the regular succession of the stratified masses constituting the crust of the globe, forming the foundation of the modern science of Geology, was first delivered distinctly, and to a considerable degree demonstrated, by Lehman in 1756, and by Mitchell in 1760.'—Five primary planets, and eight or ten secondary planets or satellites, have been discovered since 1757. No addition to the former class of heavenly bodies had been made from time immemorial; and none, I think, to the latter, for a century before; but of this I am not certain.—Many departments of mathematical and physical science which had scarcely any existence before, and some which were absolutely unknown, have risen to great importance since 1757. Among the former are several branches of mathematical analysis, which, in the investigation of problems in physics, have nearly superseded the old and tedious geometrical methods. The sciences of mineralogy, chemistry (see below), and electricity, have assumed a form since 1757, altogether distinct from that which they bore in the previous period. It would seem indeed that a new discrete degree was developed in the sciences at that era; a marked character of which was the improvement first noticed in this list. A great variety of truths, merely suspected in the latter part of the seventeenth century and former part of the eighteenth, were seen in the clearest light after the above era. The entire science of Galvanism, or Voltaic electricity, which has exerted so great an influence on that of chemistry, as well in theory as in practice, and given rise to so many discoveries in it, has arisen since the era of the last judgment: it was absolutely unknown before. The true nature of thunder and lightning was discovered about 1750, by Dr. Franklin. Is it in correspondence (thunder and lightning being used as figures, in Scripture, of the revelation from heaven of Divine Truth) that this discovery should have been made at the same time that the spiritual sense of the Scriptures was being revealed to mankind ? [The first volume of Swedenborg's theological works was printed in 1749.]

"The steam engine was invented (as a machine for use) about 1700, or a year or two before: but it received its grand improvements about 1764. The application of iron as a principal article in civil and naval architecture, did not take place until after 1757. It was employed in arms and machinery for ages-before.

"The following are a few of the particular discoveries in chemistry since the year 1757:—The constitution of the atmosphere.—The composition of water. —The existence of latent or combined heat (that is, of certain phenomena referred by philosophers to such an origin: great fallacies, no doubt, are involved in the prevailing doctrines on the subject; but these phenomena were unknown, in the science of heat, before).—The radiation of terrestrial heat; that is, the passage into space in right lines of the heat obtained from artificial sources, independently of the solar beams; as well as of the heat any substance has previously imbibed from the sun. By this property every substance in nature emulates the sun, as to his diffusion of heat.—The doctrine of the mutual relations of the regular geometrical forms assumed by almost every substance, or the science of crystallography.—The doctrine of the definite proportions in which bodies mutually combine; by which every substance in nature, whether simple or compound, is shown to combine in a quantity represented by a certain number, which number represents the substance in all its relations; called the atomic theory. —There is some difference of opinion amongst chemists, as to what truly constitutes the metallic nature; but there are probably about thirty-nine metals, of which twenty-four have been discovered since 1757. How immense an addition to the science this is, is evinced by the facts, that not one new metal was discovered between 1541 and 1732, and only four between 1732 and 1757.—The polarisation of light, discovered within these few years, forms a more important addition to the science of optics, than any single improvement it ever received.

"It is of course to be understood that most of the new doctrines in science to which a date has been here assigned, did not come into full reception in the .minds of philosophers until a few years subsequent to their date."

Nor is the progress that has been made by elegant literature of all kinds less rapid and extraordinary; whilst of late, particularly, a great proportion of the new works which appear have a moral aim in view, and are adapted to assist in promoting the best interests of mankind.*

* I cannot here refrain from citing the following just and striking remarks, on this subject, from the Literary Gazette, of Nov. 12, 1825, which met my eye almost while writing the above (for the first edition). "—Even the cheapest little sheet that issues from the press is good of its kind. Fifteen years ago— ten years ago, it was hardly possible to lift up a periodical paper without pollution. The press teemed with what was desperate in politics, destructive in morals, ruinous in social relations, and horrible in religion: the ignorant were deluded, the irresolute perverted, the firm shaken, by almost every act of this tremendous engine."—This however, like the political convulsions which have shaken the world, was equally a consequence of the increased influence poured from the spiritual world, and from the Lord himself, into the world of nature, which is received by every one according to his state, and at the presence, therefore, of which, the evil bring forth without reserve what they before strove to conceal; and it was thus that, in the spiritual world itself, the evil were constrained to discover themselves at the period of the judgment. This effect of the wonderful operation appears now, however, in a great measure, to be passing away. To continue our quotation: "The change, now, is as delightful as it is extraordinary. Except in the newspapers, there is not one among fifty periodical publications which is not well disposed, and useful to every rank in life—not one in hundreds of an injurious tendency to the best interests of mankind. And we do not speak of works in extensive circulation, and of course well known; but of multitudes which fill their narrow circle only, but fill it in a way which half a century ago would have attracted general applause. In excepting the newspapers, too, we would be understood as not undervaluing those powerful, and, when rightly conducted, admirable productions. The extent and variety of their information is astonishing; the style in which their original remarks are written, and the character they display, are such as challenge almost unmixed admiration, when we consider the circumstances under which they are brought forth."—'Consider," says the divine prophet, in reference to the present times, — "Consider the fig-tree: when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that the summer is nigh."

Whence can such an increase of natural light result, but from a new outpouring of light from heaven, of which, when received in the natural faculties of the human mind, improvements in science are the natural offspring? And while every kind of mental food is thus provided in such abundance, the appetite for its appropriation is not less remarkable: and institutions which have for their object to produce this appetite, and to supply it with the means of obtaining satisfaction, are everywhere springing up. The discovery of the systems of Bell and Lancaster, followed, as it has been, by various other improvements, has formed a new era in the science of education; the advantages of which are now imparted to multitudes at a less expense than was formerly incurred in bestowing them on a few; and, by establishments having this for their obj ect, those advantages are being diffused, not only throughout this favoured country, but nearly through the whole globe. To these laudable establishments, the new and admirable institution of Infant Schools is becoming a powerful auxiliary; which, by commencing the culture of the human mind at its first dawn, withdraws it from the consequences of parental neglect and the contagion of parental depravity, and must effectually prevent ignorance and barbarism from being much longer the necessary inheritance of the poor. Nor is the love of knowledge and of diffusing it, which in the present age is so conspicuous, satisfied with providing for the instruction of the young. The man desires to perfect what the child began; and thus Mechanics' Institutions, and Literary Societies of various kinds have been founded, and are spreading through the land: whilst by publications containing the elements of science in a cheap and popular form, and by cheap editions of literary works of established reputation, intellectual cultivation of every species is made accessible to all. To all, from the infant to the man, and from the peasant to the prince, the flood-gates of knowledge are set open: and the nations rush eagerly to imbibe the mind-informing streams. Can we behold such truly astonishing changes in the intellectual condition of mankind, without referring them to a spiritual cause ? Can we fail to see in them the effect of a new outpouring of light and life from heaven, preparing the way, by raising and cultivating the rational faculties of man for his spiritual improvement ?

Allow me here to add a passage from a high-church publication, which fell under my observation while this was going through the press (in the first edition), and which evinces, that those effects of the Last Judgment that we are here noticing, have powerfully forced themselves upon the attention even, of those whose natural prejudices and interests (I do not say this invidiously) most indispose them for admitting their reality, and even incline to regard them as an evil. The following strong statement is from the Quarterly Theological Review:* "It is now too late to press objections, be they strong or weak, against universal education—against that (if we may speak chemically) hyperoxygenated passion for imparting knowledge, which is so prevalent in our times. "We are not left to argue and debate upon what might have been better or worse; we must act upon what we find in operation. The fountains of the great deep have been broken up, and a deluge of informationtheological, scientific, and civilis carrying all before it, filling up the valleys, and scaling the mountain-tops. A spirit of inquiry has gone forth, and sits brooding on the mind of man. The effect may be good or it may be bad; much will depend on right regulation and direction."— Wherefore, the writer presently adds, "Let the objectors to general education tell us it is a fierce forerunner of anarchy, insubordination, and infidelity, a whirlwind whose desolating effects we shall live to rue. In reply we would say: Be it what they please; it is for the Clergy of the National Church to ride that whirlwind, and direct the storm; to moderate and guide its force, that like every other apparent evil permitted by Providence, it may conduce to some good end."—Can anything stronger than this half-reluctant but most decided testimony to the truths we are advocating, be conceived ? They who view the event with trembling, nevertheless acknowledge, that "the fountains of the great deep have been broken up!" who can doubt, that it has been effected by a similar divine interference to that which was exerted in the days of Noah ?—It was, we may also add, exactly in the spirit of these remarks, that the Bishop of London,+ in his famous Charge, some years since, warned his clergy, that if they wish, in these days of rapidly increasing knowledge, to retain the consideration they enjoyed in former times, they must allow the current, since it cannot be resisted, to carry them along with it, and be careful, by their increased attainments, still to keep in advance of the general knowledge of the age. This is excellent advice: but it will not be sufficient, unless the clergy allow the improvements to he extended to their Articles and Liturgy. The advancing intelligence of the age must renovate the doctrines they preach as well as embellish their mode of preaching them: they must permit the energies which are now operating from heaven for the enlightening of the human mind, to enlighten it in the most important points of all: and then they will retain their ancient consideration unimpaired, and will be respected by all as the heaven-commissioned ministers of heaven-born truths. Thus only will they be qualified "to ride that whirlwind, and direct the storm."

* No. IV. p. 399. This work is since incorporated with the British Critic. + Dr. Howley, late Archbishop of Canterbury.

Nor is it only of natural knowledge that the streams are thus set flowing: by that truly extraordinary, that greatest of modern benevolent establishments, the British and Foreign Bible Society, we also behold dispensed, with a copiousness unknown to former ages, the streams of salvation. The formation of such a society is itself a phenomenon; and its operations have been a series of wonders. When we behold men of all Christian sects, abandoning their particular differences, unite to distribute the Scriptures free from the glosses and corrupt expositions which most sects have appended to them; who can fail to discern in the work the mighty finger of God ? When we see, by the exertions of this society, not only all Christendom supplied with the inestimable treasure, but almost all the nations of the earth, the multitudes of a thousand tongues, who never knew before that God had given such a revelation of his will, enabled to read the Word of God in their own languages, and presented, in their own languages, with the Word of God to read; who can help exclaiming, "This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?" Who can fail to discover in it the effects of a new divine influence, providing, more extensively than ever, the means of human salvation ? Nor are the efforts which are making by Missionary Societies, and the success which, in some instances, has attended them, unworthy of being noticed in this sketch of the signs of the present times. If the theology which the Missionaries teach is not such as we can regard as pure, its effects upon the degraded idolater are highly beneficial: and who can fail to recognise the divine energies which are now pouring forth for the improvement of the human race, when he beholds, among their results, the Hottentot reclaimed from his filth, and the Otaheitan from his impurity,—the barbarian brought within the circle of civilised humanity,—the savage elevated to the man!

Here, I think, I may close this Section. Were I to attempt to enumerate all the symptoms of the mighty change that has taken place in the state of mankind, I might write a volume on this subject alone. Allow me then, ye Candid and Reflecting, to request your serious attention to the instances which have been adduced, the number of which your own recollections will readily augment. Is not every one of them, taken singly, of sufficient magnitude to excite surprise, and to awaken serious meditation on the subject of its cause ? But when such hosts of them press on our notice together, are we not compelled to refer the cause to something of a very extraordinary nature indeed ? Here are multitudes of phenomena which every observer sees and owns; and every one who observes them owns likewise, that "the most unthinking, as well as the most prejudiced, must he struck with the fact, that the period in which we live is extraordinary and momentous;" and not only, that "amongst the great body of the people an unparalleled revolution is at work,"—that "the fountains of the great deep have been broken up,"—but that the main seat of the revolution is in the mental part of man,—"that the intellectual spirit is moving upon the chaos of minds,"—that "it sits brooding on the mind of man,"—and this with such energy as to authorise the expectation, that "nature will be melted down and re-coined." Where, I repeat, can the cause of such a simultaneous alteration in human minds be looked for, but in the world of minds itself,—in other terms, in the spiritual world, with which man, as to his mind, is most intimately connected ? And what change there could be adequate to the production of so great a change as we are witnessing here, but the performance of the Last Judgment,—the entirely new state which is thence induced on the intermediate region of the spiritual world, the seat of man's most immediate spiritual association,—and the consequent outpouring from heaven of new streams of light and life into the world of nature ? The illustrious Swedenborg, so long ago as the year 1758, declared * that, by the Last Judgment, then just accomplished, spiritual liberty was restored, and the state of servitude and captivity in which men's minds were previously held, in regard to spiritual subjects, was removed; and in the year 1763 he added,+ that the efflux of divine energies from heaven into the world, which had been in a great degree intercepted by the presence of those called the dragon and his angels in the intermediate part of the spiritual world, was, by their ejection, restored. These assertions were made, when no remarkable effects of the change had yet begun to manifest themselves in the world, and when, consequently, they could not be corroborated by acknowledged facts: but how wonderfully have they thus been corroborated since, and what striking confirmations of them does every day's experience now bring with it! Am I then doing any more than anticipating the suffrage of many of my readers, when I conclude, that our Second Proposition is sufficiently established;—that, independently of the assertions of Swedenborg, there are various considerations tending to evince, that the Last Judgment has, in the spiritual world, been performed ? Will not all acknowledge, that the spiritual cause thus assigned for the astonishing change in the state of mankind, is, at least, likely to be the true one ? and since no other can be conceived that is adequate to the effect, will not the Candid admit it to be at least highly probable, that the Last Judgment, so long looked for and so much misunderstood, has, at length, actually been accomplished ?

* In his work on the Last Judgment. + In his continuation of the former work.

V. A Human Instrument Necessary, And Therefore Raised Up

A. Swedenborg qualified to be such an Instrument, and not unlikely to be chosen for the purpose

I may now appeal to you, I apprehend, with, confidence, my Reflecting and Candid readers, respecting the means by which the great events, considered in our preceding and second Sections, must be communicated to mankind. If it be true that the long-expected Last Judgment has at length been performed,—that the long looked-for time of the Lord's second coming has at last arrived,—in what manner would it be reasonable to conclude that the important tidings should be conveyed ? Are we to behold a multitude of angels in the air, sounding great trumpets, and vocally calling the attention of the world to the crisis which has arrived ? In their spiritual, which as regards this subject, is their only true sense, the prophecies which speak of such an announcement doubtless must be (and we trust have been) accomplished:—from heaven,—that is, from the Lord through heaven,—the divine truths of the Holy Word must be (and we trust have been) discovered anew; for of the revelation, or communication, of Divine Truth, the sounding of trumpets is, in the Word, the expressive symbol:—but if, as I hope has been sufficiently proved, the second advent of the Lord was not to be of a personal nature; if the scene of the last judgment was not to be in this lower world, any otherwise than as to its effects; it follows, that it was not by a visible exhibition of angels with trumpets that the annunciation was here to be made. Yet, most unquestionably, some annunciation was necessary. The events which have passed in our times, and which are transacting still, upon the theatre of the globe, are indeed such as proclaim, with a voice of thunder, that some most extraordinary operation from the spiritual world upon the world of nature is in action; they are indeed such as demonstrate, when looked at under the proper aspect, that the last judgment has been performed, and that the second coming of the Lord is taking place: thus, when the truth is distinctly proclaimed, they bear witness to it in the most decisive manner: but they require a Human Announcer to give their loud voice a distinctly speaking tongue. The second coming of the Lord, also, as we have seen, is mainly effected by the re-discovery of the momentous and saving truths contained in his holy Word: among the signs of the times which we have noticed, are the loosening of the hold which erroneous sentiments had taken on the minds of men, a general change in men's modes of thinking, and such an alteration in the state of the human mind as indicates a preparation for the reception of juster views of divine truth than have heretofore prevailed: but still it is obviously requisite that the truth itself should be explicitly announced, and, of consequence, that a Human Instrument should be raised up for that purpose.

This appears to be the evident dictate both of reason and of necessity: and to these is added the confirming suffrage of experience. Never did a similar crisis in the history of the divine economy occur before, but human agency was employed to make it known. Prior to the flood, the divine purpose was communicated to Noah; who, as tradition reports, warned, though in vain, his abandoned contemporaries; whence he is called by an Apostle "a preacher of righteousness." (2 Pet. ii. 5.) When the time had arrived in which Jehovah proposed to verify to the Israelites the promise made to their fathers of putting them in possession of Canaan, a band of angels was not sent to announce the fact to the whole nation, but God revealed himself to Moses, and commissioned him to bear the tidings to his brethren. Even when the Lord Jesus Christ appeared personally on earth, and when, if ever, it might be supposed that merely human agency might have been dispensed with, he did not show himself to the people, till John the Baptist had announced his approach, and had proclaimed the kingdom of heaven to be at hand. Surely then, at his second coming, which was not to be a personal one, a Human Herald must be altogether indispensable. Had it occurred in the first ages, when Christians were looking daily, though mistakenly, for the second coming of their Lord, and when they had not yet learned to regard such an interposition as impossible, the appearance of such a herald would have been hailed with joy: and it surely ought not now to be scouted as ridiculous, by any but those, who, because mankind have lived so long under an economy different from that which prevailed before the introduction of Christianity,—under an economy in which continually repeated missions of divine messengers were not required, —have forgotten that such missions ever existed at all, and that, without them, Christianity itself could not have been established. It is however, an unquestionable truth, that how long soever the suspension may have lasted, one more example of them must be afforded;—one case more must inevitably arise, in which, without the employment again of one more such messenger, the last great purpose in the divine economy must fail to take effect,—the last great predictions of holy writ must remain unfulfilled for ever. I cannot, then, think that any of you to whom this Appeal is addressed,—any of the Reflecting of any Denomination whatsoever,—can treat such an occurrence either as impossible or as ridiculous: I am sure you will all acknowledge, that, at the era of the second coming of the Lord, some Human Instrument or other must be divinely enlightened to declare it, and to communicate the important truths, which at that advent are, as we have seen, to be unfolded to mankind.

Of this branch, then, of the inquiry to be pursued in our present Section, it must be quite unnecessary to go into any further discussion. That at the crisis which we are supposing, and which, as was attempted to be shown in our second and last Sections, there is reason to believe has arrived, a Human Instrument must be necessary, will, I am persuaded, be generally acknowledged: the only question, then, which we have now to consider, is, whether such an Instrument was raised up in the person of the every-way respectable and truly illustrious philosopher and theologian, the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg.

An intelligent person once asked our author, How he, from a philosopher, became a theologian; to which he answered, "In the same manner as, on being called by the Lord, fishermen became apostles." He added, "That he had himself been a spiritual fisherman from his youth;" which he confirmed by showing, that in the spiritual language, formed of natural images, in which the Scriptures are written, a fisherman means a person who investigates and teaches natural truths, and afterwards spiritual truths, in a rational manner; whence the Lord, when he called his first disciples from their nets, said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men"* obviously meaning, instructors of men in the truths which relate to salvation. His interrogator expressed his satisfaction at this answer by the remark, "That the Lord alone knows of whom to make choice for communicating to mankind the truths to be discovered at Ms second advent, and whether the suitable Instrument is to be found in the person of a mitred prelate, or of one of his footmen." + This, certainly, was the judgment both of piety and of good sense. In the case before us, however, even human reason must concur in the fitness of the choice made by Divine Wisdom. All that is known of the illustrious Swedenborg, points him out as a man in whom was centred every thing that could qualify a human being for such an office.

* Matt. iv. 19. Mark i. 17. + See Swedenborg's little treatise On the Intercourse between the Soul and the Body, n. 20.

In his external circumstances, there is nothing that can be objected against the probability of his being made the subject of a selection which must fall on some one, except that he was not a priest, or a minister of religion by profession: but if this objection may with any appear to bear some shadow of reason, a little reflection must convince every one that it carries none of the reality. On what former occasion did the Divine Being first publish a new dispensation of his grace and truth, by the instrumentality of any who had been ministers of the former ? Though Moses was the son-in-law of a Gentile priest, and, from the necessity of the case, acted as a priest himself in the inauguration of Aaron into the holy office, he did not previously, nor ever professionally, belong to the order. In like manner, it was not from the priests of the Jewish Church that the Lord selected his apostles. The Baptist, indeed, was the son of a priest, and intitled, by the Levitical constitutions, to exercise the office himself; but when he arrived at the age fixed for that purpose by law, instead of taking up the function by ministering in the temple, he began in the wilderness to proclaim the advent of the Messiah: and the circumstance of his origin, instead of depriving his character of parallelism with that of Swedenborg, really, if a coincidence so unimportant be worth remarking, makes it more perfect; since Swedenborg also was the son of a priest, the excellence of whose character is the subject of encomium with all who have had occasion to mention him,—of a modern Zacharias, who, with Elizabeth his wife, "walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless,"—the good Bishop Swedberg.

But Swedenborg's intrinsic qualifications, moral and intellectual, for the discharge of such an office, were such as all must allow to be appropriate in the highest degree. In him were united the utmost integrity, piety, and innocence of manners, with the most comprehensive understanding and most extensive attainments in knowledge. The former excellences, it will generally be admitted, were necessary to prepare him for his office at all; and without the latter, it will easily be seen, he could not have discharged it with effect. He stands not in the character of a new prophet, in the sense usually applied to that term, and as he has sometimes been denominated in derision; nor in that of a writer of additions to the Word of God, as he has also been maliciously represented. The Lord engages, at his second coming, to appear "in the clouds of heaven,"—or in the outward covering of his Word, which is its literal sense,—"with power and great glory,"—with the full evidence and clear brilliancy of the genuine truth of his Word, to which the letter is the covering. This could not have been accomplished by sending a prophet, again to speak in the enigmatical, and never, without special illumination, clearly-understood language of prophecy; but only by raising up a teacher, who, under the influence of divine guidance and illumination, should be able to see in the Scriptures, and to comprehend in his own mind, the sublime truths he was to teach, and to communicate them in a manner suited to their depth and importance. Hence the necessity that the Human Instrument made choice of on this occasion should be a man of learning. Something similar occurred at the first promulgation of Christianity: for the apostles were not all ignorant men. To diffuse the knowledge of the gospel among the Jews, persons possessing nothing beyond common Jewish attainments, but guided by the Spirit of God, were competent: but when "a chosen "vessel" was required "to bear the Lord's name before the Gentiles, and kings, and to the children of Israel" (Acts ix. 15.) scattered among the Gentiles,—to carry the gospel to the learned and polished nations of those times,—a man was miraculously called to the work, who, having been born and long resident at Tarsus, a polite Grecian city, was as much skilled in the learning of the Greeks, as, by having been brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, he was versed in the doctrines of the Jews. Much more was it necessary that, in this age of the general diffusion of natural knowledge, the Human Instrument for first communicating the truths to be made known at the Lord's second coming, should stand upon a par with the first of his contemporaries in scientific attainment; especially as, while all the general doctrines he was to unfold were to be far more clear, and more easily intelligible, than those commonly received at present as the doctrines of Christianity, some of the truths to be discovered were to be of the most profound kind, requiring for their full development the highest talent for abstruse investigation, and for their perfect comprehension the most exalted powers of the best cultivated mind.

In Swedenborg, every requisite gift was centred. Well imbued, first under the tuition of his learned father, and then at the University of Upsala, with all the usual elements of a learned education, he for a time cultivated classical literature with diligence and success. He then applied himself to the most solid and certain of the natural sciences, and, not only by domestic study and by correspondence with foreign literati, but by repeated travels in all the scientifically enlightened parts of Europe,—in Germany, Italy, France, Holland, and England,—he made himself thoroughly acquainted with all the knowledge of his time, and was admitted, by general consent, to a station among the first philosophers of the age. As, in the midst of the distinctions with which he was honoured by his compeers in learning and by sovereign princes,+ he never forgot for a moment

+ Beside the favours he received from several kings and queens of Sweden, he was honoured with the friendship of the Duke of Brunswick, at whose court he abode for some time, and who, as a mark of his consideration, defrayed the expense of printing his great philosophical work, the Regnum Minerale; which accounts for the elegant form in which it appeared, so superior to the usual productions of the German press. He also received marks of favour from other German princes.

his original piety and modesty,—his scientific writings constantly breathing the humble and devotional spirit of a true Christian philosopher,—the acquisitions he made in natural science must be acknowledged to have formed an admirable preparation, and a most suitable basis, for the apprehension and explication of the spiritual truths which he was to be the Instrument for unfolding. Between the book of nature, read by the eye of humble intelligence, and the Word of God, every one intuitively perceives there must be an exact agreement; and spiritual views can never be so little likely to partake of delusion, as when they take for their foundation a copious store of Hound natural science. An extensive acquaintance with the knowledge of God in his works, must be the best preparation for a superior perception of the knowledge of God in his Word: and by the former was Swedenborg eminently distinguished.*

* I have drawn the above account of Swedenborg and his character from the best sources, and shall presently, for the reader's satisfaction, present him with some of my authorities for what I have advanced: but as they occasionally intersperse their notice of the author with remarks on his writings, I reserve them for the next part of this section.

Admitting then,—what, we have seen, none will deny,—that, at the era of the Lord's second coming, a Human Instrument, to communicate the truths then to be made known, would be necessary; and assuming,—what, also, it is hoped, has at least been shown to he probable,—that that long-expected era has at length arrived; sure I am that all the Candid and Reflecting will confess, that no man more likely to be made that Instrument could be found in Christendom, than the man whose qualifications for the office I have here briefly described. A priori, there is all the probability which such a case admits, that the pretensions of the eminent and honourable Emanuel Swedenborg to be received in this character, are well founded.

But to raise this probability into certainty, an examination of the views he has communicated in sustaining the character he claims, would be necessary. To go into this with fulness, would require an extensive survey of his writings; which would demand a work of much greater magnitude than this is intended to be. As noticed in the Introductory Section, I am here compelled to shape my course in the direction marked out by opponents, and am, consequently, Confined to the particular explanation and defence of those points, which, in the opinion of our adversaries, it is most difficult to maintain: if then I should succeed in showing reason to believe, that the views and doctrines most objected to are nevertheless true, it surely will be difficult to doubt, that the light by which the illustrious

Swedenborg was enabled to discover them, must have had a higher origin than his own mind. I am indeed satisfied, that a most convincing work might be written on the Internal Evidence which the writings of Swedenborg bear to their own truth; and this, not only in the great and leading doctrines which they deliver, and which they so scripturally and rationally establish, but in innumerable more minute points, in which they speak to the heart, and experience, and best intelligence, of man. There is no subject of which they treat that they do not lay open in a deeper ground than is done by any other author: in particular, they discover so profoundly and distinctly the inward operations, the interior workings, of the human heart and mind, and unveil man so fully to himself, that no person of reflection can attentively peruse them, without feeling a monitor in his own breast continually responding to their truth. Will it not follow, that a writer who can thus penetrate into the most secret things, and place them in a light which is at once seen to be the true one, must have been the subject of a superior illumination, and must, as he avows, have been admitted to a conscious perception of the things of that world, in which the essences of things lie open ? But I am content, for the present, to rest the truth of Swedenborg's pretensions to the divine illumination he professes to have received, in addition to the support they derive from his personal character, upon the evidence of those sentiments of his which are advocated in the various Sections of this Appeal. May I not recur to the view which has been given, in our second Section, of the true nature of the Second Coming of the Lord, as resting on the strongest basis of Scripture and reason ? But that view, so different from the hitherto received notions, yet so obviously true, was first advanced by Swedenborg, and was attained by him, because the time for the fulfilment of the prophecies relating to it had arrived. May I not advert to the view of the Resurrection, supported in our third Section, as presenting the only scriptural and rational conceptions on the subject ? Yet this view, though partially seen by many, was, in like manner, first conclusively established by Swedenborg, who learned it, he reasonably declares, from the experience granted him to enable him to discharge his commission. But may I not, especially, appeal to the view of the Last Judgment delivered in the last Section, and to the evidence there adduced of its having been accomplished, as being as plain as it is new ? Yet the performance of that great event was announced by Swedenborg, from, as he averred, his own experimental knowledge, while, as yet, nothing had been experienced in the world to support his assertion. But by what clouds of evidence has it been supported since! Here is, it really appears, a proof equivalent to the greatest miracle, of Swedenborg's having been the Human Instrument requisite to announce the Second Coming of the Lord and the execution of the Last Judgment: he did announce them; and we see, by palpable facts, that they must have taken place. He neither performed direct miracles, nor delivered predictions: but, by declaring the accomplishment of a great event in the spiritual world, which was inevitably to be soon followed by great effects in the natural world, which effects we have so unquestionably witnessed, he has given his testimony all the authority it could derive either from miracles or prophecy, without making it injuriously compulsive. In our subsequent Sections and in the sequel of this, we shall, I trust, meet other important points that are indubitably true, and capable of the most conclusive proof, but to discover which, in the first instance, must have either required knowledge absolutely supernatural, or a perception of truth in the Scriptures beyond the reach of any unassisted human intellect. They are fully equal in interest and moment to the most magnificent ideas which can be formed of the truths to be communicated at the second coming of the Lord: do they not then as fully accredit him whose writings convey them, as the Herald of the second advent, as the preaching of John the Baptist, owned by the Saviour himself, accredited him as the Herald of the first?

B. Specific Evidences to the Qualifications of Swedenborg, and to the Truth of his Claims.

in the preceding part of this section I have offered a general view of Swedenborg's qualifications for the holy office to which, as we are satisfied, he was called: we will here support what was there advanced by some testimonies of persons of learning and rank as to his character and attainments, and as to certain uncommon powers which were conferred upon him as necessary for the discharge of his commission.

It will perhaps be most proper to begin with the account which Swedenborg gives of himself, as contained in a letter to his friend, the Rev. T. Hartley; and then to see how it is corroborated by what others have testified respecting him. The letter is as follows: *

"I take pleasure in the friendship you express for me in your letter, and return you sincere thanks for the same: but as to the praises which you bestow upon me, I only receive them as tokens of your love of the truths contained in my writings, and so refer them to the Lord our Saviour, from whom is all truth, because he is the truth. (John xiv. 6.) It is the concluding part of your letter thai chiefly engages my attention, where you say as follows: 'As after your departure from England disputes may arise on the subject of your writings, and so give occasion of defending their author against such false reports and aspersions as they who are no friends to truth may invent to the prejudice of his character, may it not be of use, in order to refute any calumnies of that kind, that you leave in my hands some short account of yourself; as concerning, for example, your degrees in the university, the offices you have borne, your family and connexions, the honours which I am told have been conferred upon you, and such other particulars as may serve to the vindication of your character, if attacked; that so any ill-grounded prejudice may be obviated or removed ? For where the honour and interest of truth are concerned, it certainly behoves us to employ all lawful means in its defence and support.'—After reflecting on the foregoing passage, I was induced to comply with your friendly advice, by briefly communicating the following circumstances of my life.

"I was born at Stockholm, in the year 1689,+ Jan. 29th. My father's name was Jesper Swedberg, who was Bishop of West-Grothland, and a man of celebrity in his time. He was also elected a member of the [English] Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts; for he had been appointed by King Charles XII. as bishop over the Swedish churches in Pennsylvania and London. In the year 1710 I began my travels, first going to England, and thence to Holland, France, and Germany; whence I returned home in 1714. In the year 1716, and afterwards, I had many conversations with Charles XII. king of Sweden, who was pleased to bestow on me a large share of his favour, and in that year appointed me to the office of Assessor of the Metallic College; in which I continued till the year 1747, when I resigned it; but I still retain the salary annexed to it, as an appointment for life. My sole view in this resignation was, that I might be more at liberty to devote myself to that new function to which the Lord hath called me. On my resigning my office, a higher degree of rank was offered me: but this I utterly declined, lest it should be the occasion of inspiring me with pride. In 1719, I was ennobled by Queen Ulrica Eleonora, and named Swedenborg: from which time I have taken my seat with the Nobles of the Equestrian Order in the Triennial Assemblies of the Slates of the Realm. I am a Fellow, by invitation, of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Stockholm: but I have never sought admission into any other literary society, as I belong to an angelic society, wherein things relating to heaven and the soul are the only subjects of discourse and entertainment; whereas the things which occupy the attention of our literary societies are such as relate to the world and the body. In the year 1734, I published at Leipsic the Regnum Minerals, in three vols. folio; and in 1738, I took a journey into Italy, and stayed a year at Venice and Rome.

"With respect to my family connexions: I had four sisters. One of them was married to Eric Benzelius, afterwards promoted to the Archbishoprick of Upsala: and thus I became related to the two succeeding archbishops of that see, both named Benzelius, and younger brothers of the former. My second sister was married to Lars Benzelstierna, who was promoted to a provincial government. But all these are dead: however, two bishops who are related to me are still living: one of them, named Filenius, is Bishop of East Gothland, and now officiates as President of the Ecclesiastical Order in the Diet at Stockholm in the room of the archbishop, who is infirm; he married my sister's daughter: the other, named Benzelstierna, is Bishop of Westermania and Dalecarlia; he is the son of my second sister. Not to mention others of my relations who enjoy stations of dignity. Hive, besides, on terms of familiarity and friendship with all the bishops of my country, who are ten in number; as also with the sixteen Senators, and the rest of the Nobility; for they know that I am in fellowship with angels. The King and Queen, also, and the three princes their sons, show me much favour: I was once invited by the Eing and Queen to dine at their table,—an honour which is in general granted only to the Nobility of the highest rank; and likewise, since, with the Hereditary Prince. They all wish for my return home; so far am I from being in any danger of persecution in my own country, as you seem to apprehend, and so kindly wish to provide against; and should anything of the kind befal me elsewhere, it cannot hurt me.

"But I regard all that I have mentioned as matters of respectively little moment; for, what far exceeds them, I have been called to a holy office by the Lord himself, who most graciously manifested himself in person to me, his servant, in the year 1743; when he opened my sight to the view of the spiritual world, and granted me the privilege of conversing with spirits and angels, which I enjoy to this day. From that time I began to print and publish various arcana that have been seen by me or revealed to me; as respecting heaven and hell, the state of man after death, the true worship of God, the spiritual sense of the Word; with many other most important matters conducive to salvation and true wisdom. The only reason of my latter journeys to foreign countries, has been the desire of being useful, by making known the arcana entrusted to me.

"As to this world's wealth, I have what is sufficient: and more I neither seek nor wish for. #

"Your letter has drawn the mention of these things from me,, with the view, as you suggest, that any ill-grounded prejudices may be removed.—Farewell; and from my heart I wish you all felicity both in this world and the next; which I make no doubt of your attaining, if you look and pray to our Lord.

"EMAN. SWEDENBORG."

* The original Latin may be seen in a former periodical publication called the Aurora, vol. ii. p. 224, &c., from which I have in some places corrected Mr. Hartley's version of it. The date of it is 1769. The letter was first published by Mr. Hartley in the preface to his translation of the work "On the Intercourse between the Soul and the Body," called by him "A Treatise on Influx," printed in Swedenborg's life-time.

+ It has been ascertained that this should be 1688.

# This remark is an answer to an offer by Mr. Hartley to supply him with money, should he have occasion for it.

Now if the writer of this letter really was invested with the character he assumes, could anything be more suited to that character than the whole of its contents ? Does not every sentence and expression in it bespeak the truly humble, pious, and heavenly-minded man? Could any one who falsely pretended to what the Author professes, write of himself in a manner so perfectly in accord with the pretensions assumed, ? Would it be possible for an impostor, whether hypocritical or self-deluded, to assume that air of genuine simplicity, inward composure, and unfeigned contentedness, which reigns throughout the whole ?

The information here delivered by the Author divides itself into two general parts: first, the account of his life and general character; secondly, his call by the Lord to a holy office, and the consequent opening of the sight of his spirit, and endowment with the privilege of conversing with spirits and angels. We will see how both are supported by the testimony of others.

I. A confirmation of all the statements contained in the first part of the above letter, is given by the Rev. Nicholas Collin, of Philadelphia. This gentleman does not profess the sentiments of Swedenborg: but in the year 1801, when, in consequence of the adoption of those sentiments by many in America, the character and life of Swedenborg had there become the subject, as he states, of "frequent and sedulous inquiries," he published the above letter of his illustrious countryman, with a comment of his own, in "the Philadelphia Gazette" of Aug. 5th, 8th, and 10th. It was reprinted in "the New Jerusalem Church Repository," published at Philadelphia in 1817, at which time Mr. C. was still performing the duties of Pastor of the Swedish Church in that city. His testimony therefore is probably that of a still living witness.* Mr. Collin was well qualified to give authentic information, having, when a very young man, lived three years at Stockholm, when "Swedenhorg was a great object of public attention in that metropolis, and his extraordinary character was a frequent topic of discussion.—Not seldom he appeared in public, and mixed in private societies; therefore sufficient opportunities were given to make observations on him." I extract the sentences containing the heads of Mr. C.'s comment, in confirmation of some of which he goes into several details.

"His family-connexions were such as he relates, and well known in Sweden; some of them by myself personally. The mention of his father being, though honourable, modestly short, I shall enlarge upon it. This Jesper Swedberg was well qualified for one of the principal bishopricks in Sweden, by his piety, learning, integrity, benevolence, and all other virtues."—"Swedenborg is silent on the merits of his youth, which were great."—"The office of Counsellor in the Metallic College was conferred on him by King Charles as a reward for knowledge acquired by the labours of youth, and a means of making it very beneficial to the nation: that Board having inspection over the mines and metallic works, so important in that country; and being a constitutional department of the government." —"Swedenborg asserts with truth, that he was in favour with the royal family, and generally respected by the first classes. This was due to his learning and excellence of character."—"Swedenborg states properly his rank of nobility. He had the common degree, and was not, as many style him, a Baron; which title denotes the second class of noblemen; the first among the three classes being counts." +

* When the first edition of this work was published.

+ This is unquestionably a just account of his rank: but it may be observed, that, though he had not a title, his degree was the same as in England carries the title of Baron, or Lord; for it gave him a seat in the House of Nobles, or of Peers, in the Diet or Parliament of his country. The higher rank, which, he states, in his letter, was offered him on his retirement from office, was, no doubt, that of Baron; which in Sweden is equivalent to our Earl.

Mr. Collin adds an account of an interview which he once had with Swedenborg: it contains nothing very remarkable, but enough to evince that his behaviour on intimacy by no means tended to diminish the respect which his reputation had excited. "In the summer of 1766," says Mr. C., "I waited on him at his house; introducing myself with an apology for the freedom I took.—He received me very kindly.—We conversed for near three hours; principally on the nature of human souls, and their states in the invisible world; discussing the principal theories of psychology, by various authors; among them the celebrated Dr. Wallerius, late Professor of Natural Theology at Upsala. He asserted positively, as he often does in his works, that he had intercourse with spirits of deceased persons." — "We parted," says Mr. C., "with mutual satisfaction."

The next testimony that I shall offer is from a public document of the greatest authority. It is no other than an oration delivered in the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, on occasion of Swedenborg's death, by the Chevalier de Sandel, Superintendent of the Mines, and Knight of the Order of the Polar Star, at a Meeting of the Academy held in the Great Hall of the House of Nobles, Oct. 7th, 1772. The circumstance of the delivery of such a discourse, is alone a conclusive proof of the high estimation in which the subject of it was held. As Asmus of Wandsbeek, referring to this production, says of the most erudite of his censurers, "They would have suspended their opinion concerning him, had they known that Swedenborg possessed all their learning in his cradle."* But I must content myself with only extracting a few passages.

* See the Aurora, vol. ii. p. 220.

"Permit me," says the Orator to the noblemen and gentlemen around him, "to entertain you, this day, upon a subject which is not of an abstract or remote nature, but is intended to revive the agreeable remembrance of a man celebrated for his virtues and his knowledge, one of the oldest members of this Academy, and one whom we all knew and loved.

"The sentiments of esteem and friendship with which we all regarded the late M. Emanuel Swedenborg, assure me of the pleasure with which you will listen to me while he is the subject of my discourse: happy should I be, could I answer your expectations, and draw his eulogium in the manner it deserves! But if there are some countenances, of which, as the painters assure us, it is extremely difficult to give an exact likeness; how difficult then must it be to delineate that of a vast and sublime genius, who never knew either repose or fatigue; who, occupied with the sciences the most profound, was long engaged with researches into the secrets of nature, and who, in his latter years, applied all his efforts to unveil the greatest mysteries; who, to arrive at certain branches of knowledge, opened for himself a way of his own, without ever straying from sound morals and true piety; who, being endowed with a strength of faculties truly extraordinary, in the decline of his age, boldly elevated his thoughts still further, and soared to the greatest heights to which the intellectual faculty can rise; and who, finally, has given occasion to form respecting him a multitude of opinions, differing as much from each other as do the minds of the different men by whom they are formed!——

"But we have to follow him in longer and more numerous travels, in diversified occupations and undertakings, and through routes often attended with difficulty. And in order that no reserve or apprehension may afterwards invade us, and make us hesitate at accompanying him any farther, as often happens when we have not had time to make ourselves sufficiently acquainted with a travelling companion beforehand; represent to yourselves in Swedenborg the happy union of a strong memory, a quick conception, and a sound judgment; represent to yourselves these excellent qualities united to an ardent desire and encouraging hope of acquiring the most profound attainments in Philosophy, in all the branches of Mathematics, in Natural History, in Mechanics, in Anatomy, and even in Theology: let us not forget his skill in the Oriental and European languages: let us recollect the force of habit, acting in him in concert with the use of reason, especially in respect to the order in which he arranged his thoughts; without a regard to which, when they are too much occupied upon abstruse meditations, they are apt to give themselves up, without distinction of objects, to the fire of a too lively imagination: add to all this an excellent heart, as proved and formed by the rules which he had prescribed for his conduct, and which I have found noted down in several of his manuscripts; which are these: 1. Often to read and meditate on the Word of God: 2. To submit everything to the will of Divine Providence: 3. To observe in everything a propriety of behaviour, and always to keep the conscience clear: 4. To discharge with fidelity the functions of his employment and the duties of his office, and to render himself in all things useful to society. Such were the characteristic traits of Swedenborg's mind: and whoever thinks there is the least exaggeration in the delineation of them, must, in some shape or other, be the victim of prejudice.

"He finished, in 1733, his great work entitled, Opera Philosophica et Mineralia, which was printed in 1734, at Dresden and Leipsic. The Consistory of the University, and the Academy of Sciences, of Upsala, did themselves the honour of being the first to acknowledge the merit of their illustrious countryman, and to show him marks of their esteem. The Consistory, in 1724, had invited him to accept the situation of Professor of the Pure Mathematics, vacant by the death of Nils Celsius; and this, because, as they expressed themselves, his acceptance of the office would be to the advantage of the students and the ornament of the University. But he declined the honour. The Academy of Sciences admitted him into the number of its members in 1729.

"But the learned abroad now hastened to give him marks of their consideration. The Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg appointed him a Corresponding Member, by a diploma dated Dec. 17th, 1734. Christian Wolff, and other foreign literati, were eager to establish with him a literary correspondence, and consulted him on many intricate subjects. The Editors of the Acta Eruditorum of Leipsic, which gives an account of the works of men of science and literature, found in those of Swedenborg a rich harvest with which to ornament their collection. Nor has time yet deprived his Opera Philosophica et Mineralia of any of their value. The authors of the magnificent Description des Arts et Metiers, now publishing at Paris, have thought so highly of the second part, which treats of Iron and Steel, that they have translated it, and inserted it entire in their collection."

His character as a theologian, was, of course, not a subject for examination in this Eulogium, and yet it could not be passed without notice. M. de Sandel adverts to it, as a natural philosopher might be expected to do when addressing natural philosophers, but without at all treating it as matter of ridicule.

"I have as yet," he says, "only spoken of one part of the works of Swedenborg; he afterwards entered on another route."——

Having given a list of his theological works, he says, "The titles of these works announce matters of great importance: and though the subjects of them are different, they are all founded on Anatomy, on Physics, on Philosophy, on explications of Holy Scripture, on certain revelations and visions; and they all conduct us, according to his manner of treating them, to serious meditations respecting the Supreme Being, the soul, things invisible and spiritual, and the life hereafter. We thus now find, soaring above the clouds, the same man whom we have just been following in the mines, in furnaces and workshops; and we find him everywhere equally diligent, zealous, and fertile in emblematical illustrations.——

"I have probably dwelt too long on Swedenborg's theological works: these are not matters to be discussed in an Academy of Sciences. Suffice it then to say, that his merit and excellent qualities shine with brillancy, even where we are endeavouring to discover in him the weaknesses inseparable from human nature. I do not come here to defend errors or unintelligible principles: but I will venture to assert,—and I reckon, gentlemen, on meeting your approbation in the assertion,—that where others would have discovered a deficiency of intelligence and a confusion of ideas, Swedenborg has displayed an astonishing assemblage of knowledge; which he has arranged, according to his system, in such order, that the elements themselves would have striven in vain to turn him out of his course."

I only add two or three other notices from this Eulogium.

"Never did he allow himself to have recourse to dissimulation.— He was the sincere friend of mankind.—In society, he was cheerful and agreeable. By way of relaxation from his important labours, he sought and frequented the company of persons of information, by whom he was always well received.—As a public functionary, he was upright and just: while he discharged his duties with great exactness, he neglected nothing but his own advancement. Having been called, without solicitation on his part, to a distinguished post, he never sought any further promotion. When his private occupations began to encroach upon the time required for the functions of his office, he resigned it, and remained content with the title which he had borne while exercising it for one-and-thirty years.—As a member of the Equestrian Order of the House of Nobles he took his seat in several of the Diets of the Realm; in which his conduct was such as to secure him both from the reproaches of his own conscience and from those of others.—He enjoyed excellent health, having scarcely ever experienced the slightest indisposition. Content within himself, and with his situation, his life was, in all respects, one of the happiest that ever fell to the lot of man, till the very moment of its close."

The above is translated from the version from the original Swedish prefixed to a French translation of Swedenborg's True Christian Religion, published at Paris in 1802. More unexceptionable testimony to his high character as a man of learning and virtue, cannot certainly be desired.

The next that I shall offer is that of a man whose exalted rank and great attainments give the utmost weight to his testimony and opinions. This is Count Andrew John Von Hopken. He was one of the institutors of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, which, being a man of eminent learning, he served for a considerable period in the quality of Secretary. He afterwards was, for many years, prime minister of the kingdom; which station, in addition to his post as one of the sixteen Senators, with whom, prior to the revolution in 1772, the royal power in fact was vested, the king being merely the president of that body, made him the second person in the kingdom. He died on the 9th of March, 1790. In "the New Jerusalem Magazine," published in 1790 and 1791, are five letters of this nobleman's to General Tuxen, in answer to some inquiries respecting Swedenborg made by the latter. Count H6pken's letters exhibit much of the wariness of an old politician; yet while he even seems to censure some parts of Swedenborg's writings, his anxiety to apologise for them clearly discovers what was his real opinion. The dates of the letters are May 11, 1772; May 21, 1773; August 1, 1773; January 13, 1774, and July 6, 1781. I give some sentences, chiefly from the first and longest; the whole of which I only abstain from quoting from a regard to brevity.—"All I could say," states the Count, "by way of preliminary on this subject, regards the person of the late Assessor Swedenborg. I have not only known him these two and forty years, but also some time since, daily frequented his company. A man who, like me, has lived long in the world, and even in an extensive career of life, must have had numerous opportunities of knowing men as to their virtues and vices: but I do not recollect ever to have known a man of more uniformly virtuous character than Swedenborg. He was always contented, and never fretful and morose, although throughout his life his soul was occupied with sublime thoughts and speculations. He was a true philosopher, and lived like one.—He was gifted with a most happy genius, and a fitness for every science; which made him shine in all that he pursued. In his youth he was a great poet: I have in my possession some fragments of his Latin poetry, which Ovid would not have been ashamed to own. The style of his Latin prose, in his middle age, was easy, elegant, and ornamental: in his latter years it was equally clear, but less elegant after he turned his thoughts to spiritual subjects, He was well acquainted with the Hebrew and Greek; an able and profound mathematician; and a skilful engineer."—"He detested metaphysics [as usually taught] as founded on fallacious ideas, because they transcend our sphere; by means of which Theology has been drawn from its simplicity and corrupted. He was perfectly conversant with mineralogy."—"In Holland he began to apply himself to anatomy; in which he made some remarkable discoveries, which are preserved somewhere in the Acta Literaria" —"He possessed a sound judgment upon all occasions: he saw every thing clearly, and expressed himself well on every subject. The most solid memorials, and the best penned, at the Diet of 1761, on matters of finance, were presented by him. In one of these, he refuted a large work in quarto on the same subject, quoting all the corresponding passages in it; and all this in less than one sheet." —"He might, with or without reason (which I do not venture to determine), be accused of having given a warm imagination too free play in his revelations: but, for my part, I have nothing on which I could found this conclusion. Whether or no our Lord, in our times, may grant to particular persons particular revelations; what is the nature of such revelations; and by what criterion we are to distinguish the genuine from the false: of all this I have no solid grounds for judging. But if, according to human notions, we were to compare the revelations in the Apocalypse with those of Swedenborg, I know not to which of the two the preference would be given.— I once represented to this venerable man, in rather a serious manner, that he would do better not to mix his beautiful writings with so many revelations, which ignorance makes a jest of, and turns into ridicule. But he answered, 'that this did not depend on himself that he was too old to trifle with spiritual things, and too much concerned for his eternal happiness to give into such notions, were they unfounded:' and he assured me, on his hopes of salvation, 'that no imagination produced in him his revelations, which were true, and from what he had heard and seen.' It may be so: the church cannot judge of mysteries; nor can I.—When the generality are speaking of the theology of Swedenborg, they always dwell on his revelations, and think that every thing consists in these. In regard to what he relates of the spiritual world, and the other progressions in the angelic heaven, there appears, I think, an analogy with, and resemblance of, the gradations which God has established in this world, and in which no variations or exceptions are admitted; insomuch that Swedenborg has taken the same road by which we proceed from the visible to the invisible; from things known to things unknown; from several collected facts to one fundamental truth before unknown to us; in like manner as, in arithmetic, we are led from known numbers to those we seek. We have no other way of obtaining knowledge. Few persons have judiciously read his works, which everywhere sparkle with genius. If I meet with any thing unusual, extravagant, or which might be thought to indicate a disordered understanding, I do not judge of it. We read Plato with admiration: but there is nothing to be met with in his works, which, if related by another person, might not be deemed extravagant, inconceivable, and absurd."—"The late Swedenborg, certainly was a pattern of sincerity, of virtue, and of piety; and at the same time, in my opinion, the most learned man in this kingdom."—"The Sweden-borgian system is more comprehensible to our reason, and less complicated, than other systems; and while it forms virtuous men and good citizens, it prevents all kinds of enthusiasm and superstition, both of which occasion so many and such cruel vexations, or ridiculous singularities, in the world. From the present state of religion, as more or less every where conspicuous according to the more or loss free form of government, I am perfectly convinced, that the interpolations which men have confusedly inserted into it have nearly effected its total corruption or revolution: and when this is seen, the Swedenborgian system will become more general, more acceptable, and better understood, than at present. 'Opinionum commenta delet dies, naturae judicia confirmat,' says Cicero."

The above testimony must surely be allowed to carry the greatest weight, both as it refers to the character of Swedenborg himself and of his writings. On the former subject, the assertions of a person of such rank and knowledge of the world, and founded on a forty-two years' intimacy, are beyond all exception; and on the latter, the opinion of a man of such intelligence, and such evident prudence and caution, is entitled to the highest respect.

Connected with, the last testimony is that of General Christian Tuxen, to whom Count Hopken's letters were addressed. This gentleman, being the king of Denmark's Commissioner of war at Elsineur, at which port the vessels in which Swedenborg was proceeding on his voyages frequently stopped in their passage through the Sound, repeatedly obtained the company of the illustrious stranger at his house. In a letter to Mr. Nordenskjold,* he details many particulars of these interviews: and the result was, that he was so completely satisfied with his "valuable guest," that he calls him, at the close of his letter, "our late benefactor, and in truth not only ours, but that of all mankind, if they are seriously solicitous about their state after death. For my part," he adds, "I thank our Lord the God of heaven, that I have been acquainted with this great man and his writings. I esteem this as the greatest blessing I ever experienced in this life, and hope I shall profit by them in working out my salvation."

Dr. Gabriel Andrew Beyer, Professor of Greek Literature and Assessor in the Consistory of Gottenburg, became one of Swedenborg's most intimate friends, and one of the most active promoters of his sentiments. This drew upon him a severe persecution from the Consistory. The matter was carried before the supreme Government, when, in compliance with an order from the king, Dr. Beyer presented to his majesty, Jan. 2nd, 1770, a Declaration of his sentiments in regard to the doctrines of Swedenborg.+ Towards the close, the amiable and learned author expresses himself thus: "In obedience to your Majesty's most gracious command, that I should deliver a full and positive declaration respecting the writings of Swedenborg, I do acknowledge it to be my duty to declare, in all humble confidence, that so far as I have proceeded in the study of them, and according to such gifts for investigation and judgment as I possess, I have found in them nothing but what closely coincides with the words of the Lord himself; and that they shine with a light truly divine."

* Dated from Elsineur, May 4th, 1790, and printed in "the New Jerusalem Magazine."

+ It may be seen in "the Intellectual Repository," vol. i. (first series,) p. 113, &c.: it has also been since published in the form of a small tract: for it contains a most masterly vindication of the sentiments selected by the Consistory for condemnation.

Mr. Robsam, Director of the Bank of Stockholm, was another intimate friend of Swedenborg's; and he has testified his opinion of him by publishing several anecdotes, tending to recommend him to acceptance as an extraordinarily gifted man. "We shall have occasion to advert to Mr. R. again.

Mr. Springer, a Swedish gentleman who had filled several important offices, and was, during many years, the Swedish Consul at the port of London, was the intimate friend of Swedenborg, both in Sweden and in England. He was known to many of the early readers of Swedenborg's works in this country, and has left the strongest testimony to the worth and extraordinary character of his friend. But to him, also, we shall have occasion to advert again.

But beside his own contrymen and other foreigners, some who knew him in this country have added their most decided suffrage to his excellent qualities.

Of these the principal is the Rev. Thomas Hartley, M.A., Rector of Winwick in Northamptonshire; who, having met with some of Swedenborg's works, sought an acquaintance with their author, and was admitted by him to his intimate friendship. Mr. Hartley has left his testimony respecting him on record in the prefaces to the English editions of the works "On the Intercourse between the Soul and the Body," and "On Heaven and Hell," and in a Letter to the translator of "The True Christian Religion," inserted in the preface to that work. In the first of these prefaces, Mr. H. says, respecting his author, "I have conversed with him at different times, and in company with a gentleman of a learned profession and of extensive intellectual abilities: we have had confirmation of these things from his own mouth, and have received his testimony, and do both of us consider this our acquaintance with the author and his writings among the greatest blessings of our lives."—"The extensive learning displayed in his writings evinces him to be the scholar and the philosopher; and his polite behaviour and address bespeak him the gentleman. He affects no honour, but declines it; pursues no worldly interest, but spends his substance in travelling and printing, in order to communicate instruction and benefit to mankind: and he is so far from the ambition of heading a sect, that wherever he resides on his travels he is a mere solitary, and almost inaccessible, though in his own country of a free and open behaviour. He has nothing of the precisian in his manner, nothing of melancholy in his temper, and nothing in the least bordering on the enthusiast in his conversation and writings." Mr. H. makes similar remarks in his Letter to the translator of "The True Christian Religion:" "The great Swedenborg was a man of uncommon humility."—"He was of a catholic spirit, and loved all good men of every church, making at the same time all candid allowance for the innocence of involuntary error."—"However self-denying in his own person, as to gratifications and indulgences, even within the bounds of moderation; yet nothing severe, nothing of the precisian, appeared in him, but, on the contrary, an inward serenity and complacency of mind were manifest in the sweetness of his looks and outward demeanor."—"It may reasonably be supposed, that I have weighed the character of our illustrious author in the scale of my best judgment, from the personal knowledge I had of him from the best information I could procure respecting him, and from a diligent perusal of his writings: and according thereto, I have found him to be the sound divine, the good man, the deep philosopher, the universal scholar, and the polite gentleman: and I further believe, that he had a high degree of illumination from the Spirit of God; was commissioned by him as an extraordinary messenger to the world; and had communication with angels and the spiritual worlds far beyond any since the time of the apostles. As such I offer his character to the world, solemnly declaring, that, to the best of my knowledge, I am not herein led by any partiality or private views whatever, being much dead to every worldly interest, and accounting myself as unworthy of any higher character than that of a penitent sinner."—What Mr. Hartley here says of himself is unquestionably true: for he was well known to many of the religious characters of that day as a man of the deepest piety, and he was, at this time (in 1781), very far advanced in years, and near the end of his earthly career: to the testimony of such a man to the character of Swedenborg, what exception can be made ?

The "gentleman of a learned profession and of extensive intellectual abilities," mentioned by Mr. Hartley above, was the late Dr. Messiter, an eminent physician of that time. What his opinion of Swedenborg, the result of personal acquaintance, was, appears from his correspondence with the Professors of Divinity at Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen; * to which Universities, by desire of Swedenborg, he, in 1769, presented some of his works. In his letter to Dr. Hamilton at Edinburgh, Dr. M. says, "As I have had the honour of being frequently admitted to the author's company when he was in London, and to converse with him on various points of learning, I will venture to affirm, that there are no parts of mathematical, philosophical, or medical knowledge, nay, I believe I might justly say, of human literature, to which he is in the least a stranger; yet so totally insensible is he of his own merit, that I am confident he does not know that he has any; and, as himself somewhere says of the angels, he always turns his head away on the slightest encomium." (Dr. Hamilton, in his answer, candidly says, "I have seen enough to convince me that the Honourable Author is a very learned and pious man; qualities that shall ever command my respect.") So, in his letter to Dr. Grerard at Aberdeen, Dr. Messiter, speaking of Swedenborg's works, says, "They are the productions of a man whose good qualities, resulting from his natural and acquired abilities, I can with much truth, from my frequent converse with him, assert, are a high ornament to human nature. Credulity, prejudice, or partiality, seem to have no share in his composition or character; nor is he in the least influenced by any avaricious or interested views. A proof of this last assertion was afforded me, by his refusing an offer of any money he might have occasion for while in England; which was made him on a supposal, that his want of connexions in a place where he was a stranger might prove an obstacle to his divine pursuits."

* See Intellectual Repository, vol.iii. (first series) p. 449, &c.

With the Englishmen whose approbation of Swedenborg's sentiments was strengthened by a personal acquaintance with himself, must be reckoned the late Mr. Wm. Cookworthy; a man of most superior character, the friend of the first Lord Camelford, and of Captain Jervis, afterwards Earl St. Vincent, and the associate of many of the literati of his day. This gentleman testified his satisfaction with Swedenborg and his writings, by joining with Mr. Hartley in translating the treatise on Heaven and Hell, and defraying the whole expense of the printing and publication. *

To the above may be added the testimony of Mr. and Mrs. Shear-smith, in whose house Swedenborg died. To rebut a malicious report pretended to be founded on their authority, that Swedenborg, in his last hours, had recanted his statements, they made an affidavit, dated Nov. 2, 1785, deposing to the circumstances of his last illness and death; in which they aver, "that he enjoyed a sound mind, memory, and understanding, to the last hour of his life." Many are now living, of whom I am one, who can bear witness to the strong terms of respect in which they always spoke of their noble lodger.+

* See a Memoir of him in "the Intellectual Repository," new series, vol. i. p. 439, &c.
+ See the affidavitat length in the "New Magazine of Knowledge," for 1791.

In the testimony to Swedenborg's virtues and attainments, thus borne by so many most unexceptionable witnesses who knew him well, and against which no opposing testimony whatever, from persons acquainted with him, can be adduced, we surely have the most satisfactory confirmation, not only of his own account of his life and character, but of all that is advanced above, as to his qualifications for the office to which he declares he was appointed, and as to the antecedent probability, that he might be the Human Instrument selected to communicate the truths connected with the second advent of the Lord, on the supposition that the time for that event has arrived. We also see that many men of the very first respectability, intelligence, and learning, who formed their opinion from a knowledge of the man as well as of his writings, believed, during his life-time, that he actually was such an Instrument.

II. But, secondly, it may perhaps be thought, that if, in consequence of having been called by the Lord to a holy office, he really had the privilege of conversing with angels and spirits, some plain proofs of it, beyond his own assertions, might occasionally occur. Now that such proofs did occur, is a certain fact. He indeed never appeals to them in support of his mission: he shows, in various parts of his writings, that where the mind is not receptive of truth by its own evidence, no external testimony will force it in: he therefore affirms, what we shall presently advert to, that it would have been incompatible with the nature of the truly spiritual dispensation to be opened by the second coming of the Lord to prove it by miracles. To the performance of miracles, therefore, he made no claim: yet as Providence permitted him, on some occasions, to give full demonstration of his supernatural knowledge, we must conclude that it was granted for some useful end. That end may be, to afford satisfaction to those, who, though favourably inclined towards the doctrines of the New Church in general, would yet feel more assured by some external tokens. On those who are decidedly opposed to the truths contained in our author's writings, no external tokens whatever, we are quite certain, would induce reception: but to others, those which follow may be useful as confirmations: in which light, only, they are offered.

Two of the most extraordinary instances of Swedenborg's access to the spiritual world, are those respecting the Countess de Marteville, whose husband was ambassador at the Swedish court from Holland, and the Queen of Sweden, Louisa Ulrica, wife of King Adolphus Frederic, and sister of the celebrated Frederic of Prussia. Many editions of these anecdotes in different works, resting on the authority of different relaters, have appeared; but all agreeing in substance. Both of them are given by M. Pernetti, in the preface to his French translation of the treatise on Heaven and Hell, upon the authority of Count Hopken. Both are mentioned, also, by Mr. Springer; and that relating to the Queen is given in the Letter of General Tuxen's cited above; who states, that, having heard of it from various persons, he inquired the exact particulars from Swedenborg himself. But we will give it in the Queen's own words; as recorded, together with the anecdote of the Countess de Marteville, by an author who cannot be suspected of any partiality in favour of Swedenborg; I mean M. Dieudonne Thiebault, a French savant of the school of Voltaire, and Professor of Belles Lettres in the Royal Academy of Berlin. He was the author of a work translated into English, and printed at London, in 1805, under the title of "Original Anecdotes of Frederic the Great, King of Prussia." He represents Queen Louisa Ulrica as being, like her brother, a professed esprit fort, carrying it even to the avowal of atheism; which I mention as necessary to account for the contradictory remarks with which she concludes her narration; and because it makes her a more unexceptional witness to the fact she relates. It occurred in 1759.

M. Thiebault says, "I know not on what occasion it was, that, conversing one day with the Queen on the subject of the celebrated visionary, Swedenborg, we (the members of the academy) expressed a desire, particularly M. Merian and myself, to know what opinion was entertained of him in Sweden. I on my part related what had been told me respecting him by Chamberlain d'Hamon, who was still alive, and who had been Ambassador from Prussia both to Holland and France. It was 'that his brother-in-law (the Count de Marteville), Ambassador from Holland to Stockholm, having died suddenly, a shopkeeper demanded of his widow the payment of a bill for some articles of drapery, which she remembered had been paid in her husband's life-time: that the widow not being able to find the shopkeeper's receipt, had been advised to consult with Swedenborg, who, she was told, could converse with the dead whenever he pleased; that she accordingly adopted this advice, though she did so less from credulity than curiosity; and at the end of a few days Swedenborg informed her, that her deceased husband had taken the shopkeeper's receipt for the money on such a day, at such an hour, as he was reading such an article in Bayle's Dictionary in his cabinet; and that his attention being called immediately afterwards to some other concern, he put the receipt into the book to mark the place at which he left off; where in fact it was found, at the page described.' The Queen replied, that though she was but little disposed to believe in such seeming miracles, she nevertheless had been willing to put the power of M. Swedenborg, with whom she was acquainted, to the proof: that she was previously acquainted with the anecdote I had related, and it was one of those that mostly had excited her astonishment, though she had never taken the pains to ascertain the truth of it; but that M. Swedenborg haying come one evening to her court, she had taken him aside, and begged him. to inform himself of her deceased brother, the Prince Royal of Prussia, what he said to her at the moment of her taking leave of him for the court of Stockholm. She added, that what she had said was of a nature to render it impossible that the Prince could have repeated it to any one, nor had it ever escaped her own lips: that, some days after, Swedenborg returned, when she was seated at cards, and requested she would grant him a private audience; to which she replied, he might communicate what he had to say before the company; but Swedenborg assured her he could not disclose his errand in the presence of witnesses: that in consequence of this intimation the Queen became agitated, gave her cards to another lady, and requested M. de Schwerin (who also was present when she related the story to us) to accompany her: that they accordingly went together into another apartment, where she posted M. de Schwerin at the door, and advanced towards the farthest extremity of it with Swedenborg; who said to her,—'You took, madam, your last leave of the Prince of Prussia, your late august brother, at Charlottenburg, on such a day, and at such an hour of the afternoon; as you were passing afterwards through the long gallery, in the castle of Charlottenburg, you met him again; he then took you by the hand, and led you to such a window, where you could not be overheard, and then said to you these words: ———.' The Queen did not repeat the words, but she protested to us they were the very same her brother had pronounced, and that she retained the most perfect recollection of them. She added, that she nearly fainted at the shock she experienced: and she called on M. de Schwerin to answer for the truth of what she had said; who, in his laconic style, contented himself with saying, 'All you have said, madam, is perfectly true—at least as far as I am concerned.' I ought to add," M. Thiebault continues, "that though the Queen laid great stress on the truth of her recital, she professed herself at the same time incredulous to Swedenborg's supposed conferences with the dead. 'A thousand events,' said she, 'appear inexplicable and supernatural to us, who know only the immediate consequences of them; and men of quick parts, who are never so well pleased as when they exhibit something wonderful, take an advantage of this to gain an extraordinary reputation. M. Swedenborg was a man of learning, and of some talent in this way; but I cannot imagine by what means he obtained the knowledge of what had been communicated to no one. However, I have no faith in his having had a conference with my brother.' "

These philosophical remarks of the Queen's would deserve introduction in a work which I have often, thought might be written, and be equally amusing and instructive, under the title of "The Credulity of Unbelievers." Here is an accomplished princess, who finds another person in possession of a secret which she is quite sure was only known to herself and her deceased brother: she knows that he did not obtain it from herself, yet rather than believe that he obtained it from her brother, she imagines the existence of a "talent" incomparably more inexplicable!

The same observation applies to several other relaters of the story. One of these is Baron de Grimm. He allows Swedenborg to have been "a man distinguished not only by his probity, but also by his knowledge and his intelligence." [Un homme distingue non seulement par sa probite, mais encore par ses connaissances et ses lumieres.] Yet he, after giving the above anecdote, gives this contradic-tion-in-terms as his judgment on it: "This fact is confirmed by authorities so respectable, that it is impossible to deny it; but the question is, how to believe it!" [Ce fait est confirme par des autorites si respectables qu'il est impossible de le nier; mais le moyen d'y croire!] * But Baron de Grimm was professedly a determined atheist, and therefore could not believe any fact, however evidenced, which supposes, as real, the existence of man after death.

* See Memoires Hist. Lit. et Anecdotiques, tires de la Correspondence addresse au Due de Saxe Gotha par le Baron de Grimm. Tom. iii. p. 56. Ed. Lond. 1813.

Another relater of the anecdote is not much less inconsistent. This is Captain Charles Leonard de Stahlhammer, Knight of the Royal Order of the Sword. Some editions of the story affirm, that what Swedenborg repeated to the Queen were the contents of a letter which she had received from her brother: and as the main facts were undeniable, some of Swedenborg's enemies, so late as 1788, endeavoured to account for them by the improbable tale, that Count Hopken had intercepted and opened the letter before the Queen received it, and that he and another Senator communicated the contents of it to Swedenborg, paying him for that purpose a mysterious visit in the night. To this, Captain Stahlhammer replied, in a letter dated May 13th, 1788, and printed in some of the Gazettes. He declares that his account "can be attested by many persons of distinction, who were present, and are still alive." On Swedenborg's delivering his communication, he says, "The Queen, struck with astonishment, was taken ill, and did not recover herself for some time. After she was come to herself, she said to those about her, 'There is only God and my brother who can know what he has just told me.' She owned that he had spoken of her last correspondence with the prince, the subject of which was known to themselves alone." Captain S. then gives the highest character of Count Hopken; who, he says, "was a declared enemy to secret intrigue and underhand devices." Of Swedenborg, he says, "I cannot explain how he came to the knowledge of this secret.—The only weakness of this truly honest man was his belief in the apparition of spirits: but I knew him a very long time, and I can declare, that he was as fully persuaded that he conversed with spirits as I am that I am writing at this moment. As a citizen and as a friend he was a man of the greatest integrity, abhorring all imposture, and leading an exemplary life." Here then is a man affirming the reality of a supernatural fact, most strongly maintaining Swedenborg's abhorrence of imposture, and insisting that he fully believed that he conversed with spirits, and thus that he received the information in question from the deceased prince himself; yet treating, in the same breath, such belief as a weakness, and making the fact resulting from it altogether inexplicable! *

* The whole of Captain Stahlhammer's letter may be seen in a French work intitled "Abrege des Ouvrages d'Emanuel Swedenborg," and in "The Intellectual Eepository," (first series) vol. i. p. 370, &c., in the review of "The Beauties of Emanuel Swedenborg," &c.; which is a translation from the aforesaid "Abrege."

I will take this opportunity to observe, respecting this work, which has been sedulously thrust before the eye of the public, that it ought rather to be called The Deformities, not indeed of Swedenborg, but of the Abridger and Translator. The Translator, being entirely ignorant of his subject, very often misrepresents the Abridger, and the Abridger is very far from justly exhibiting his Original. Indeed, the whole plan of the work is adapted to give a completely false idea of the works of Swedenborg. Each chapter is followed by what the editor calls a vision, which is frequently much longer than the chapter to which it is annexed; thus the reader is led to conclude that half of Swedenborg's writings is made up of visions; which is a more than ten-fold exaggeration. These visions too are much longer than anything of the kind in Swedenborg; for, to compose them, several of his "Memorable Relations" are frequently tacked together, making as confused a jumble as can be conceived.

The next anecdote that I shall adduce is similar in its nature to the last; but, the subject of it being a private person, it has not been so much known. It is to be regretted, also, that the relater of it has withheld his informer's name: he however answers himself for its truth, and is a man who, for his learning and respectable rank, is fully entitled to be believed. The relater is Dr. Stilling, Counsellor at the court of the Duke of Baden, in a work entitled "Die Theory der Geister-Kunde" printed at Nuremberg in 1808.* The following is an abridgment of his narrative:

* From a late English translation of which, under the title of a "Theory of Pneumatology," an extract is given above, pp. 159—161.

"About the year 1770, there was a merchant in Elberfeld, with whom I lived seven years in the most intimate friendship. He was much attached to mystical writings; but was a man of good sense, and one who would not tell a wilful untruth for all the world. He travelled on business to Amsterdam, where, at that time, Swedenborg was. Having heard and read a great deal of this extraordinary man, he went to see him. He found a very venerable and friendly-looking old gentleman, who received him politely: when the following dialogue took place." After some preparatory remarks, the Merchant said, " 'I think you will not be displeased with a sincere friend of the truth, if he desires an irrefutable proof, that you really have communication with the spiritual world.' Swedenborg. 'It would indeed be very wrong, if I were displeased: but I believe I have given already proofs enough, which cannot be refuted.' M. 'Do you mean those respecting the Queen, the fire at Stockholm, and the mislaid receipt?' S. 'Yes, I do; and they are true.' M. 'May I be so free as to ask for a proof of the same kind?' S. 'Why not ? with all my heart.' M. 'I had a friend, a student of Divinity, at Duysburg: a little before his decease we had an important conversation together: now could you learn from him what was the subject of it?' S. 'We will see: Come to me again in a day or two: I will see if I can find your friend.' The merchant returned accordingly; when Swedenborg met him with a smile, and said, 'I have spoken with your friend: the subject of your discourse was, the final restoration of all things.' Swedenborg then repeated to the merchant, word for word, what he and his deceased friend had maintained. My friend," says Dr. Stilling, "turned pale; for this proof was irresistible.—Perfectly convinced, my friend left the extraordinary man, and travelled back again to Elberfeld."

The anecdote here alluded to respecting the fire at Stockholm has had many relaters: I give the brief account furnished by Mr. Springer, mentioned above, in a letter to M. Pernetti, prefixed to the translation by the latter of the treatise on Heaven and Hell. "I asked him," says Mr. S., "whether it was true, as I had heard related, that when he was at Gottenburg [on landing from England], a city sixty Swedish miles from Stockholm, he had told his friends, three days before the arrival of the post, the exact time of the great fire which happened at Stockholm [and consumed all the southern suburbs, in 1759]: to which he replied, that what I had heard was perfectly true." M. Pernetti states, from other information, that Swedenborg was afterwards told, that his own house had been the prey of the flames: to which he replied, "No: my house is not burnt: the fire only reached to such and such places." This was found to be the case.

Mr. Springer also relates, from his own knowledge, the following remarkable instance of the same kind. "Fifteen years ago [dating from 1782] Swedenborg was leaving London for Sweden, and begged of me [as Swedish Consul] to engage his passage with a good captain. I agreed with one named Dixon. When the captain came to fetch him on board, I took leave of him and wished him a good voyage: then turning to the captain, I asked if he had laid in a stock of good provisions; to which he answered, that he had, as much as was necessary. On this Swedenborg interposed, and said, 'My friend, we shall not have occasion for much; for, by the help of God, on this day week, at two o'clock, we shall enter the harbour of Stockholm.' Which assertion, Captain Dixon informed me on his return, was exactly fulfilled."

Another instance of similar knowledge is related by Mr. Robsam, and repeated in Pernetti's preface. "I met him," says Mr. R., "in his carriage, as he was setting off on his journey to London the last time but one. I asked him how he could venture on such a voyage at the age of eighty years: 'Do you think,' I added, 'I shall see you any more?' 'Do not make yourself uneasy, my friend,' he replied: 'if you live we shall see one another again: for I have another of these journeys to make after the present.' He returned accordingly. The last time of his leaving Sweden he came to see me the day he was setting off. I again asked him if we should see one another any more. He answered, with a tender and affecting air, 'I do not know whether I shall return: but I am assured that I shall not die till I have finished the printing of my work entitled The True Christian Religion, which is the object of my journey. But if we do not see each other any more in this lower world, we shall meet in the presence of the Lord, if we have kept his commandments." He did, accordingly, finish the printing of his last work, here mentioned, at Amsterdam; and he died at London not very long afterwards.

In the affidavit of the Shearsmiths, also, it is declared, that he told them on what day he should die a month before it happened: and we shall see, in the sequel, that he made the same communication to another person.

Respecting the certainty of Swedenborg's communication with the spiritual world, Mr. Springer, in his letter to Pernetti, makes the following statement. "All that he has related to me respecting my deceased acquaintances, both friends and enemies, and the secrets that were between us, almost surpasses belief. He explained to me in what manner the peace was concluded between Sweden and the King of Prussia; and he praised my conduct on that occasion: he even told me who were the three great personages of whom I made use in that affair; which, nevertheless, was an entire secret between them and me. I asked him how he could be informed of such particulars, and who had discovered them to him. He answered, 'Who informed me of your affair with Count Ekelblad ? You cannot deny the truth of what I have told you. Continue,' he added, 'to deserve his reproaches: turn not aside, either for riches or honours, from the path of rectitude, but, on the contrary, keep steadily in it, as you have done; and you will prosper.' "

To the above anecdotes, I will add the following, which has not before been published, and which I take from a memorandum of the late Mr. Provo, a medical gentleman of the most respectable character as many now living, beside myself, can testify.* Swedenborg's Arcana Coelestia was printed, between the years 1748 and 1756, at the office of Mr. Hart, in Poppin's Court, Fleet Street; to whom, from the acquaintance thus commenced, Swedenborg became considerably attached, insomuch that, when in London, he often went to spend the evening at his house. Mr. Hart, the son of the former, told Mr. Provo, about the year 1779, that he looked upon Swedenborg as an extraordinary man, for the following reason. Mr. Hart, the father, died in London, while Swedenborg was abroad: who, on his return, went to Mr. Hart's house. After being let in at the street-door, he was told that his old friend was dead: to which he instantly replied, "I know that very well; for I saw him in the spiritual world while I was in Holland, at such a time [near the time of his death, or soon after]; also, whilst coming over in the packet to England. He is not now in heaven," he continued, "but is coming round, and in a good way to do well." This much surprised the widow and son; for they knew that he was just come over; and, as they assured Mr. Provo, that "he was of such a nature, that he could impose on no one; that he always spoke the truth in every little matter, and would not have made any evasion though his life had been at stake."—The inference from this anecdote may indeed be evaded by pretending, that Swedenborg took advantage of the information he received on entering the house, and turned it to his purpose: but what a ready as well as abandoned liar does this suppose him! None but the most ignorant, as well as most malignant, of his enemies can resort to such a supposition: others must conclude, as did Mrs. Hart and her son, who had the best means of forming the right conclusion, that he was indeed "a remarkable man."—The extent to which he carried his principle of speaking the truth in every little matter, may be judged of from the following fact. In 1769 he went to Paris with the intention of printing there his "True Christian Religion." The Censor of the Press, M. Chevreuil, informed him on application, that a tacit permission would be granted, but that the title must say, Printed at London, or at Amsterdam. But he refused to concur in this evasion; and the work was, bona fide, printed at Amsterdam. This anecdote was received from M. Chevreuil himself.+

I could add to the above instances of Swedenborg's supernatural knowledge, one which concerned the celebrated Mr. Wesley, and which convinced him, for a time, of the reality of Swedenborg's claims to be regarded as a divinely illuminated herald: but this I reserve to illustrate the next part of this section.

It may here be mentioned as a curious fact, though not as an addition of actual evidence, that among Swedenborg's contemporaries who were convinced of the reality of his spiritual intercourse and extraordinary illumination, was the celebrated Lavater. In "the New Jerusalem Magazine," so often quoted, are two letters from Lavater to Swedenborg, the genuineness of which has been recently ascertained. In the first, dated Aug. 24, 1768, which begins, "Most reverend and excellent man," Lavater says, "Knowing that so great a man was my contemporary, I could not help inquiring of him a few things which seemed to me to be of the greatest importance; as I know no person in the world but yourself, who have given proofs of an extraordinary and almost divine knowledge, capable of resolving my questions." Some of his questions, however, are such as Swedenborg neither could nor would resolve; as, for instance, whether Lavater's deceased friend, Felix Hess, would ever appear to him, and make him certain communications;—whether Henry Hess would become a convert to his doctrine of the power of faith and prayer;— which of the inhabitants of Zurich would be convinced of the said doctrine; &c. Under date of Sep. 24, 1769, Lavater wrote again, a little varying his requests. He now addresses Swedenborg as "Most noble, venerable, and beloved, in Christ our Lord;" calls him "a divinely inspired man;" and says, "I revere the wonderful gift? thou hast received of our God: I revere the wisdom that shines forth from thy writings; and therefore cannot but seek the friendship of so great and excellent a man, now living." It does not appear that Swedenborg ever wrote in reply; probably, because he did not like such compliments, and because he did not find in the letters the marks of a solid judgment.

* All the anecdotes collected by Mr. Provo have since been printed in "the Intellectual Repository" for Jan. 1836, p. 27.
+ See Intellectual Repository, first series, vol. ii. p. 309.

Among the latter believers of Swedenborg's spiritual intercourse, if not of the whole of his doctrine, is certainly to be reckoned the celebrated and eminently pious Vicar of Madeley, the Rev. Mr. Fletcher: but opportunity of setting this fact in its true light will occur in the next part of this section.

This collection of evidences to the truth of Swedenborg's assertion, that the sight of his spirit had been opened by the Lord, to qualify him for the holy office to which he was called, might still be enlarged; and many instances, no doubt, have sunk into oblivion for want of a recorder. But the above must be amply sufficient to satisfy those whose minds are not closed against all evidence, by a decided rejection of Swedenborg's doctrinal sentiments, or by a confirmed denial of the possibility of any communication between the other world and this. Many, no doubt, will say, with Baron De Grimm: "The facts are attested by authorities so respectable, that it is impossible to deny them: but the question is, how to believe them!" It is best for such persons, that they should reject them: but the humble will judge otherwise, and will not fall into the absurdity of asserting, that that which is incontestable may yet be incredible.

Since the first edition of this work was published, a very important additional testimony in favour of the truth of some of the preceding instances of the spiritual intercourse enjoyed by our Author, has been published in this country, being no other than the declared conviction of their reality, after careful investigation, by the celebrated philosopher, Emanuel Kant. His opinion having been asked by a literary lady of quality, Madame de Knoblock, afterwards widow of Lieut. Gen. Klingsporn, Kant replied in the following letter, dated 10th Aug., 1758.

"I would not have deprived myself so long of the honour and pleasure of obeying the request of a lady, who is the ornament of her sex, in communicating the desired information, if I had not deemed it necessary previously to inform myself thoroughly concerning the subject of your request. Permit me, gracious lady, to justify my proceedings in this matter, inasmuch as it might appear that an erroneous opinion had induced me to credit the various relations concerning it without careful examination. I am not aware that anybody has ever perceived in me an inclination to the marvellous, or a weakness approaching to credulity. So much is certain, that, notwithstanding all the narrations of apparitions and visions concerning the spiritual world, of which a great number of the most probable are known to me, I have always considered it to be most in agreement with the rule of sound reason to incline to the negative side; not as if I had imagined such a case to be impossible, although we know but very little concerning the nature of a spirit, but because the instances are not in general sufficiently proved. There arise, moreover, from the incomprehensibility and inutility of this sort of phenomena, too many difficulties; and there are, on the other hand, so many proofs of deception, that I have never considered it necessary to suffer fear or dread to come upon me, either in the cemeteries of the dead, or in the darkness of night. This is the position in which my mind stood for a long time, until the accounts of Swedenborg came to my notice.

"These accounts I received from a Danish officer, who was formerly my friend, and attended my lectures; and who, at the table of the Austrian ambassador, Dictrichstein, at Copenhagen, together with several other guests, read a letter which the ambassador had lately received from Baron de Lutzow, the Mecklenburgh ambassador at Stockholm; in which he says, that he, in company with the Dutch ambassador, was present, at the Queen of Sweden's residence, at the extraordinary transaction respecting M. de Swedenborg, which your ladyship will undoubtedly have heard. The authenticity thus given to the account surprised me. For it can scarcely be believed, that one ambassador should communicate a piece of information to another for public use, which related to the Queen of the court where he resided, and which he himself, together with a splendid company, had the opportunity of witnessing, if it were not true. Now in order not to reject blindfold the prejudice against apparitions and visions by a new prejudice, I found it desirable to inform myself as to the particulars of this surprising transaction. I accordingly wrote to the officer I have mentioned at Copenhagen, and made various inquiries respecting it. He answered that he had again had an interview concerning it with the Count Dietrichstein; that the affair had really taken place in the manner described; and that Professor Schlegel, also, had declared to him, that it could by no means be doubted. He advised me, as he was then going to the army under General St. Germain, to write to Swedenborg himself, in order to ascertain the particular circumstances of the extraordinary case. I then wrote to this singular man, and the letter was delivered to him, at Stockholm, by an English merchant. I was informed that Swedenborg politely received the letter, and promised to answer it. But the answer was omitted. In the mean time I made the acquaintance of an English gentleman who spent the last summer at this place, whom, relying on the friendship we had formed, I commissioned, as he was going to Stockholm, to make particular inquiries respecting the miraculous gift which M. de Swedenborg is said to possess. In his first letter, he states, that the most respectable people in Stockholm declare, that the singular transaction alluded to had happened in the manner you have heard described. He had not then had an interview with Swedenborg, but hoped soon to embrace the opportunity; although he found it difficult to persuade himself that all could be true which the most reasonable persons of the city asserted, respecting his communication with the spiritual world. But his succeeding letters were quite of a different purport. He had not only spoken with Swedenborg, but had also visited him at his house; and he is now in the greatest astonishment respecting such a remarkable case. Swedenborg is a reasonable, polite, and open-hearted man: he also is a man of learning; and my friend has promised to send me some of his writings in a short time. He told this gentleman, without reserve, that God had accorded to him the remarkable gift of communicating with departed souls at his pleasure. In proof of this he appealed to certain known facts. As he was reminded of my letter, he said that he was aware he had received it, and that he would already have answered it, had he not intended to make the whole of this singular affair public to the eyes of the world. He should proceed to London in the month of May this year, where he would publish a book, in which the answer to my letter, as to every point, might be met with.

"In order, gracious lady, to give you two proofs, of which the present existing public is a witness, and the person who related them to me had the opportunity of investigating them at the very place where they occurred, I will narrate to you the two following occurrences.

[The first of these occurrences is that respecting Madame de Marteville (printed in the German work, Harteville), only differing from the relation of it given above from Thiebault, by representing the receipt to have been found, by direction from the deceased M. de Marteville, in a secret drawer of a bureau, which bureau, ignorant of the secret drawer, Mad. de M. had previously searched in vain. The other affair is the fire at Stockholm; and the particulars are given more minutely by Kant than in any account before known in England, He proceeds thus:]

"But the following occurrence appears to me to have the greatest weight of proof, and to set the assertion respecting Swedenborg's extraordinary gift out of all possibility of doubt. In the year 1756, when M. de Swedenborg, towards the end of September, on Saturday, at four o'clock, p.m., arrived at Gothenburg from England, Mr. William Castel invited him to his house, together with a party of fifteen persons. About six o'clock M. de Swedenborg went out, and, after a short interval, returned to the company, quite pale and alarmed. He said that a dangerous fire had just broken out in Stockholm, at the Sudermalm, (Gothenburg is about fifty miles * from Stockholm), and that it was spreading very fast. He was restless, and went out often. He said that the house of one of his friends, whom he named, was already in ashes, and that his own was in danger. At eight o'clock, after he had been out again, he joyfully exclaimed, 'Thank God! the fire is extinguished, the third door from my house.' This news occasioned great commotion through the whole city, and particularly amongst the company in which he was. It was announced to the governor the same evening. On the Sunday morning, Swedenborg was sent for by the governor, who questioned him concerning the disaster. Swedenborg described the fire precisely, how it had begun, in what manner it had ceased, and how long it had continued. On the same day the news was spread through the city, and, as the governor had thought it worthy of attention, the consternation was considerably increased; because many were in trouble on account of their friends and property, which might have been involved in the disaster. On the Monday evening a messenger arrived at Gothenburg, who was despatched during the time of the fire. In the letters brought by him, the fire was described precisely in the manner stated by Swedenborg. On the Tuesday morning the royal courier arrived at the governor's with the melancholy intelligence of the fire, of the loss which it had occasioned, and of the houses it had damaged and ruined, not in the least differing from that which Swedenborg had given immediately it had ceased; for the fire was extinguished at eight o'clock.

"What can be brought forward against the authenticity of this occurrence ? My friend who wrote this to me has not only examined the circumstances of this extraordinary case at Stockholm, but also, about two months ago, at Gothenburg, where he is acquainted with the most respectable houses, and where he could obtain the most authentic and complete information; as the greatest part of the inhabitants, who are still alive, were witnesses to the memorable occurrence.

"I am, with profound reverence, &c. &c.,

"emanuel KANT."

* German miles; near 300 English.

+ The above letter is taken from a work intitled Darstellung des Lebens und Characters Immanuel Kant's, von Ludwig Ernst Borowski, von Kant selbst genau rividirt und berichtigt. Koenigsberg, 1804.

Swedenborg's omitting to answer by letter professor Kant's inquiries relating to the above affairs may appear extraordinary. But it is to be remembered, that he never, himself, laid any stress upon these supernatural proofs of the truth of his pretensions; and never does he appeal to them, or so much as mention them, in his works. How strong an evidence is this of his elevation of mind; and of his perfect conviction of the truth of the views he was made an instrument for unfolding, with his own divine appointment to that purpose, as standing in no need of such evidence for its support! Could it be possible for any of the merely fanatical pretenders to divine communications to appeal to such testimonies of supernatural endowment, how eagerly would they seek to silence objectors by referring to the Queens, Counts, Ambassadors, Governors, and University Professors, that had been witnesses of their power! But it is precisely on account of the silencing nature of such evidence that Swedenborg declines to appeal to it.—Doubtless, however, it was of Divine Providence that occasions arose which constrained him to give such demonstrations, and that they were recorded by others: because such things serve for confirmations of the truth, though they are not the proper grounds of its original reception. When presented also upon testimony, and at a distance of time, they lose that compulsive character which they possess when they take place, or nearly so, before our eyes: and thus they may then become useful to draw the attention of receptive minds to the truth, which, when known, may convince by its own evidence.

That supernatural evidences, at a distance of time, lose that compulsive character which they possess when they take place, or nearly so, before our eyes; and that minds not receptive of the truth, will then throw off the attention to it that was only compulsively induced; are facts of which Kant himself afforded a melancholy example; for he afterwards wrote a pamphlet in which he depreciates Swedenborg and his writings. But, as observed by the editors, when his letter was first published in English in "the Intellectual Repository." *

"On the whole, this letter of Kant must certainly be deemed a very valuable document, and ought to have great weight with all unprejudiced minds. He here, it must be allowed, exhibits the true spirit of a philosopher. Prejudiced, at first, like most men of science, against all belief in spiritual intercourse, he consents, on finding a primae facie case made out in favour of that of Swedenborg, to investigate the matter thoroughly: he does so; and comes at last to

* For January 1830, from which some of the preceding remarks are abridged. See all that is there said upon Kant and his system, pp. 57—62. For what he afterwards wrote against Swedenborg, with an exposure of its utter futility, see pp. 197, 198, 199, of the No. for July, 1834; being part of an article, bearing the signature of AEgiochus, in which I examined the objections raised against Swedenborg's "inspiration," in the American Christian Examiner, by Dr. Hedge, of Harvard University.

the conclusion, that some of the cases are so well established, as 'to set the assertion respecting Swedenborg's extraordinary gift out of all possibility of doubt.' Admit this, and as we have already seen, the truth of his having received such a divine commission as he affirms he had, follows of course. To allow the reality of his 'extraordinary gift,' and to reject his account of the way and purpose in and for which he received it, is to make a fact unintelligible, and even incredible, though admitted to be indubitable. Nor will the attempted solution of some of the German writers, followed by some in England, at all meet the difficulty. "When they tell us, that his alleged spiritual experience was nothing else than the vivid embodying of the conceptions of his own mind, they tell us what, so far as concerns the relations in his writings, though not easy to believe, it were also not easy to disprove. But how does it explain the cases mentioned by Kant ? Supposing Swedenborg able to form so vivid a conception of the deceased M. de Marteville as to fancy he heard him speak; yet that a piece of information respecting a fact in the natural world, thus heard only in imagination, should be verified by the event, were indeed an extraordinary coincidence. How lively soever the idea that he might be able to conjure up in imagination of the Prince ot Prussia; yet that he should succeed in extracting from this phantom, the mere creation of his own mind, the knowledge of the secrets between the Prince and the Queen, never told to any other person, were also a miracle, such as only the credulity of sceptics could be capacious enough to take in. And with whatever force of colouring he might manage to picture to his fancy a fire three hundred miles off, till at last, believing it real, he becomes alarmed for his own house; yet that every thing thus imagined should prove true in every particular, if nothing but the activity of his own conceptions had given it birth, were a phenomenon to puzzle much wiser philosophers than either Germany, or any other country, ever beheld. In declaring, then, that some of the examples are such as 'to set the assertion of Swedenborg's extraordinary gift out of all possibility of doubt,' Kant has fixed the brand of folly on those of his own disciples, who sagely resolve the whole into vividness of conception. Nor is this testimony of Kant at all weakened by his own defective consistency, in afterwards slandering Swedenborg's works. An adequate cause here operated: and belief, solely founded on the basis of miracle, is never permanent. When he came to the conviction of the reality of Swedenborg's spiritual intercourse, he viewed this merely as an extraordinary fact, and did not connect it with any particular views of truth. When he afterwards found that the views of truth with. which it was connected by Swedenborg, either militated against his own, or would deprive him of the praise of the best of them, the pride of self-intelligence interfered; and upon the altar of this demon is to be immolated the adversary or the rival. Then he labours to depreciate, whom, in his letter to Madame de Knoblock, he had taken pleasure to honour. That letter remains, still honourable to Swedenborg; and the writer's departure from the candid spirit which dictated it, reflects disgrace only upon himself."

Upon a review of the whole that has "been advanced in this part of this section, I expect to have the suffrages of the Candid and Reflecting when I say, that there is no possibility of explaining the character of Swedenborg, the works he has produced, and the instances of supernatural power recorded of him, upon any other hypothesis than that which admits the truth of his claims. I verily believe, that this admission would force itself upon all who would go through with the examination. Certain it is, that the fact has been tacitly acknowledged by some. The Monthly Review, for instance, though it has sometimes indulged in ill-placed levity in regard to Swedenborg's writings, yet on the first publication, in English, of his treatise on Heaven and Hell, which is precisely the work of his which may most easily be distorted into matter of ridicule, spoke of the Author in the following tone of moderation:—"Count Swedenborg (so it styles him) is certainly to be ranked among the wonders of the age: for though enthusiasts and visionaries have arisen at all times, it is very rare to meet with one who so calmly, yet confidently, and with so much simplicity and cool reasoning, relates the frequent interviews he has had with the world of spirits." The Reviewers then give an extract from the book; after which they say, "In whatever light we regard this author, there is something truly astonishing in him and his writings. He was a man of eminence and distinction in his country," &c., continuing to relate much that was honourable in his character, and concluding with an extract from the translator's preface, exhorting to the perusal of his works,* In their account of the work intitled "The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine," after a sort of abstract of its contents, they say, "Possibly, when the doctrine here taught is stripped of its peculiar garb, it will be found to mean nothing more than that real piety, integrity, and goodness of heart, which all good men must plead for, and earnestly wish to see universally prevail.—"We will only add, that while we cannot but consider the late Count Swedenborg as an enthusiast of the first order, we must also regard him as a most extraordinary, and, indeed, a most wonderful man!"+ We here see precisely the same feeling as the force of truth, by another of its distinguished proclaimers, excited in one of old, whose previous habits had in like manner dis­qualified him for receiving it, but who, while under its influence for a moment, could not refrain from exclaiming, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." The previous habits of the Monthly Reviewers, together with the character they had to maintain, constrained them to speak of Swedenborg as an enthusiast; while the force of truth compelled them to admit, that he was such an enthusiast as the world had never before seen. What could have made them say, "In whatever light we view this author, there is something truly astonishing in him and his writings?" what, but an inward consciousness, though not acknowledged to themselves, that no other hypothesis could explain the phenomena of his case but that which the author himself assigns ? without which his character and writings must ever remain an inexplicable riddle, calculated to generate all that astonishment which attends the combination of contradictions? What more extraordinary contradiction than to talk of a calm and coolly reasoning enthusiast! whose doctrine, too, is such as all good men must earnestly wish should become universal,—that is, is the Essence Of Reason And Excellence?

* M. R. Nov. 1778. + M. R. Vol. lxiii. App.

When the recognition of part of Swedenborg's claims to attention, and the denial of the rest, involves men of rationality in such palpable inconsistency, what is the proper conclusion, but that sound reason requires the admission of the whole ?

C. The Objection, That Swedenborg performed no Miracles, Considered.

that, whenever the time for the Lord's making his Second Advent should arrive, a Human Instrument, to communicate the truths then to be made known, would be necessary, and that no man more likely to be chosen for that purpose than the illustrious Swedenborg could easily be found; that his qualifications for such an office, and his claims to be received as invested with it, are supported by abundance of most unexceptionable testimony; are propositions which, I trust, my candid readers will allow to have been sufficiently established. Against him, then, as standing in this character, what objections are raised ? None that would demand any notice, were they not continually re-iterated, and did they not sway the minds of those who are destitute of the information requisite for forming a correct judgment on the case. One of the principal, and one that has been most pertinaciously insisted on by his opponents of all classes, is, that he performed no miracles. This, therefore, shall be considered in the present part of this section.

The objection made against the authority of Swedenborg, that he performed no miracles, has been replied to by his advocates with the most convincing arguments.* Among other considerations it has been urged, that if no human instrument who has a divine commission is to be accepted in that character till he has performed some miracles, then were the Jews fully justified in rejecting the Baptist: for it is expressly said, "John did no miracle." + But it has been endeavoured to evade this argument by a strange misrepresentation. "As Baron Swedenborg," it has been urged, with equal wit and elegance, "took upon himself to act the part of a mighty man of valour in revolutionising heaven, earth, and hell, he ought in any wise to have certified his credentials for such a mighty undertaking by a few notable miracles. Moses, who headed a new dispensation, wrought many in the name of the Lord. Jesus Christ, in his own name, wrought numberless miracles, signs, and wonders. "Whilst the Baron, proclaiming himself to be at the head of a dispensation which shall last for ever, does not justify his heavenly mission by even a single miracle! The Baron's friends excuse their leader by saying, that John the Baptist wrought no miracles. This plea is weak and futile. John was not at the head of a new dispensation; he was the harbinger, not the author of the Christian religion—the author was the Son of God, 'the author and finisher of our faith!' " # So then it is allowed, that if the Lord Jesus Christ, and not Swedenborg, is at the head of the New Jerusalem Dispensation of Christianity, as he was of the Dispensation of it announced by the Baptist, the performance of miracles is not to be demanded of the harbinger; and what a monstrous perversion of truth is it to pretend any otherwise,—to represent Swedenborg as guilty of the blasphemy of "proclaiming himself to be at the head of the dispensation" which he announces, in the same manner as Jesus Christ was at the head of the dispensation then commenced! or even to claim any thing similar for Moses!

* See, in particular, Hindmarsh's Letters to Priestley, Let. i. + John x. 41. # Anti-Swedenborg, Preface, pp. xi. xii.

But supposing the only reason why John the Baptist did not perform miracles, to have been, because he pointed to another person who did; what could be the reason that the ancient prophets did not perform them ? for of all the sixteen prophets, with the Psalmist in addition, there is not one, except Isaiah, of whom any miracle is recorded. $ To say that it was necessary for Moses to do miracles because he "headed a new dispensation," but was not requisite in those who, under the same dispensation, came with divine messages after him, is a "plea weak and futile" indeed. How did the miracles of Moses authenticate the testimony of all who succeeded him? Did their acknowledging his miracles, and living under the dispensation which he was the Human Instrument for introducing, evince that what they delivered was equally true ? As well might we say, that because the Pope acknowledges the miracles of Jesus Christ, and lives under the dispensation which he was the Divine Agent in introducing, he possesses the infallibility to which he pretends, and all his bulls are to be received for what they claim to be, the dictates of divine inspiration. Would the Jews have been justified in refusing to admit into their canon more than half the books which we at present find there, because the writers of them did not work miracles ? If not, there must be something in the character of every divine communication which carries its own evidence with it; and it must be upon this evidence, and not for outward signs and tokens, that He from whom it comes requires that it should be received. But it will perhaps be urged, that the fulfilment of prophecy, without miracles wrought by the prophet, sufficiently evidences its origin. To a certain extent, this is true: but of what use is this ex post facto evidence to those to whom the divine message was first delivered, and whose most important interests frequently depended on their immediately believing it ? Besides, though many things contained in the prophetic writings have since been fulfilled, so obscure are they, frequently, in their literal sense, that the learned dispute whether some of them, yea, whether any part of whole books, have been fulfilled yet: and so far from compulsive is even the evidence afforded by the fulfilment of any of them, that infidels, we know, reject the whole together. As, then, it is incontrovertible, that, even under the Jewish dispensation,—the only dispensation to which miracles properly belonged —it was not usually that the Divine Being authenticated the writings even of his most distinguished prophets by any immediate external token; much less, surely, was it to be expected, that the deliverer of such communications as Swedenborg's, if true, purport to be, should appear with a wonder-working rod, and bring in a new age of prodigies and signs. And, in regard to the evidence which prophecies derive from their fulfilment, we have seen that the testimony of Swedenborg has received an authentication which is fully equivalent and of an exactly similar kind: for that the visible effects of the Last Judgment, which he announced, speak as plainly in his behalf, as any fulfilled prophecy whatever.

$ Jeremiah predicted the death, within a year, of Hananiah; Shadrach, shach, and Abed-nego were delivered from the furnace, and afterwards

Daniel from the lions' den: and Jonah was saved by and from the fish: but none of these were miracles wrought by themselves, or of a nature to insure their credit as prophets.

But let us look a little more particularly at the circumstances attending the introduction of the Mosaic, the Christian, and the Renewed Christian or New Jerusalem Dispensations; and see if we cannot discern satisfactory reason why miracles accompanied the two former, but cannot form proper accompaniments of the last.

By what means, then, other than miracles, was it possible for Moses to have accomplished the external mission on which he was sent ? The Israelites were slaves in Egypt, and in no condition to emancipate themselves by force: by what means then but miraculous ones was it possible to compel the stubborn will of Pharaoh to let them go ? All the miracles wrought by Moses, or rather by Jehovah through his almost passive instrumentality (for not one was attempted by Moses but in compliance with a positive injunction), had for their object the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, their preservation in the wilderness, and their introduction into Canaan, as the subjects of a species of political government which has been properly called a theocracy, in which Jehovah himself filled the station of a temporal king: and not one was performed which was not obviously necessary to these purposes. As far as concerned the Jews, external objects alone were in view: and by the miracles wrought, external objects alone were attained: the one were exactly adapted to the other; and, as external performances, to nothing else. That they all represented spiritual things, and are recorded in the Divine Word for our continual instruction, which is the second and higher end designed in them, does not alter their nature as external performances. Having once been wrought and recorded by inspiration, they teach their spiritual lesson for ever; and, to convey this benefit, it is totally unnecessary that they should be wrought again.

Now who does not see, that between Moses, the Human Instrument in delivering a people from temporal slavery,—their conductor through a series of temporal wanderings, amid the destitution of a wilderness, to colonise a temporal country,—and the necessary Human Instrument for announcing the truths connected with the second and purely spiritual advent of the Lord; no regular parallel can exist. All that was done by Moses, was, in his situation, and for the immediate natural and remote spiritual objects to be obtained, indispensable; but to require the same works as were done by him of the herald of the Second Advent, would be like requiring of the present inhabitants of England the tasks of the back-woodsmen of America; tasks which were necessary when England too was a forest, but which are equally unnecessary and impracticable now that the forest is no more, but meadows and corn-fields occupy its place. For the Jews, indeed, who hope again to be gathered from among the nations and re-conducted to the land of Canaan, it is perfectly natural to expect the great prophet who is to deliver them to bear a rod more powerful than that of Moses, and to smooth the road by a series of miracles: having only a natural kingdom in view, they are consistent in looking for its establishment, by supernatural means, indeed, but productive of none but natural effects: but for Christians,—for spiritual masters in Israel, who know that their Lord's kingdom is avowedly not of this world, to expect that, at his Second Coming more truly to establish it, he will again send prophets such as Moses to astonish with external prodigies, is to betray conceptions as gross as those of Nicodemus; it is to loathe the manna in comparison of the garlic and leeks, and to sigh again for the carnalities of Egypt.

"When, however, God himself appeared on earth Incarnate, he was preceded, his coming loudly proclaimed, and the duty of repentance as necessary to prepare for him authoritatively preached, by a "Harbinger" who "did no miracle;" but of whom, nevertheless, it is stated, that "all things which he spake of this man [Jesus] were true;"* plainly enough instructing us, that miracles are by no means necessary to authenticate the most important communications and doctrines; and that a teacher divinely commissioned may point to the Lord, and prepare men to receive him, who does not bring outward signs to prove whence he comes. Nor is the force of this instance; at all evaded by saying, that "John was not at the head of a new dispensation;" that "he was the harbinger, not the author, of the Christian religion;" and that "the author was the Son of God," who "wrought numberless miracles, signs, and wonders." This argument would be very good, and would make strong against Swedenborg, were it meant to prove, and could it prove with truth, what alone it tends to prove, that the design of the miracles, signs, and wonders, wrought by Jesus, was to induce men to believe the simple preaching of John! But when the fact is the reverse; when, before Jesus had begun to show himself, there "went out unto John Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins;"+ and when, without a previous belief in the simple preaching of John, men could not, notwithstanding the "miracles, signs, and wonders," be brought to believe in Jesus;# the conclusion is indefeasible, that miracles are not necessary to the authentication of truth: and it will not be easy to deny, that, when they were performed, it was, as to the outward performance, for a very different purpose.

* John x. 41. + Matt. iii. 5, 6.
# "And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John:
but the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him." Luke vii. 29, 30.

But Jesus Christ himself, the great teacher of all, "in his own name wrought numberless miracles, signs, and wonders." Assuredly he did; for how could God Incarnate do otherwise? When God appeared in a natural body on earth, it was reasonable to expect that his power would be exerted, and his beneficence displayed, in. operations extending even to the bodies of his creatures,—that from the person in which he dwelt virtue must go out,* adapted to operate upon the persons of those, who, by faith in him, were capable of admitting it. But it hence follows, by parity of reason, that at his coming again, not in the flesh but in the spirit, his power would be exerted, and his beneficence displayed, in operations upon the spirits of his creatures,—that the virtue which would then go out from him would be the proper operation of his Holy Spirit, affecting and enlightening the minds of those, who, by their acknowledgment of him, should be capable of admitting it. Of what kind, also, were the external miracles which he performed while in the flesh ? They consisted almost entirely of cures wrought upon the sick and possessed, and of the sudden production, to support or refresh his creatures, of bread, or of wine. "The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them." + Who does not see in these operations, something shadowed out of far more importance than the relief of the body ? Who does not behold, in him who wrought them, the Physician of the soul, the Dispenser of spiritual health and life ? Who then can doubt that the miracles to be looked for at his spiritual coming, are such, and such only, as those which he performed while in the flesh represented? that they will consist in the opening of the spiritual eye, or the illustration of the understanding, and the straightening of the spiritual limb, or the restoration to order of the natural mind and life; in the cleansing of the spiritual leper, or of those who through ignorance, falsify the truth, and the opening of the spiritual ear, or the bringing into obedience of the disobedient will; in the raising up of the spiritually dead, or of those who are dead in trespasses and sins, and the preaching of the gospel to the poor, or the communication to the ignorant of the instructions of the life-giving Word ? Thus the miracles wrought by the Lord at his coming in the flesh, by no means lead to the conclusion, that similar miracles must be performed at his coming in the spirit: they in fact prove such an expectation to be unfounded: but they intimate that divine works may then be looked for, as far superior to the former in importance, as the soul is superior to the body.

* Luke vi. 19. + Matt. xi. 5.

Still then we find that there was nothing, in the circumstances attending the introduction of former dispensations, that authorises the expectation of miracles to be performed by the Human Instrument who should announce the last. If, as we see, the external miracles performed by the Lord at his first coming, do not lead to the inference, that he would perform miracles of the same kind at his second; in no degree whatever can they lead to the inference, that such would be performed by his "harbinger." Who will be so mad as to run a parallel between the Lord himself and any Human Instrument whatever? Who then will advance the monstrous false inference; that because the Incarnate God wrought miracles in person, the Human Announcer of his second coming should do the same ?

But in answer to this it will probably be urged, that the Lord not only wrought miracles himself, but empowered his apostles to do so too. He did so, most certainly; and, in both cases, for the same reason. "The Word was made flesh," * and showed himself to men; and, as the natural consequence, he wrought miracles that affected men's bodies. To extend the knowledge of this fact, he sent forth Apostles; and by them, for the same reason, he wrought similar miracles. To evince "that Jesus Christ was come in the flesh,"+ was the main point of their testimony: the burthen of their preaching, was, "repentance towards God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ;"# that is, faith that he, who was known on earth by the name of Jesus Christ, was the Word made flesh, was God Incarnate It was to this that they were to "bear witness." $ There was, then, precisely the same reason that "the Word made flesh" should work miracles affecting the bodies of men, by the witnesses of the great truth, that the Word was made flesh, as that he should do them by his own immediate agency. It still was not the Apostles, but the Incarnate God, who was the sole operator: and the operations in both cases were effects from the same cause, and were but parts of the same whole. To argue, then, from what was done in this way by the preachers of the Lord's advent in the flesh, to what ought to be done by the Human Instrument for announcing his advent in the spirit, is again to draw a complete false inference. The legitimate conclusion is directly the reverse. We have seen that there must be the same difference between the operations produced at the Lord's second coming and at the first, as there is between the whole nature of the second advent and of the first. We have seen that, as it was agreeable to order that the Lord at his coming in a human body should perform cures on the human bodies of men, it would be contrary to order that he should do the same at his coming in the spirit and power of his Word, but that then the internal operations should take place of which the external were figures. We now see that it was agreeable to order that the preachers of his coming in the flesh should do similar miracles to those which he performed himself.

* John i. 14. + John iv. 3. # Acts xx. 21. $ John xv. 27; Acts i. 8, 22; iv. 33.

Would it not then be a palpable violation of all order, that the announcer of his spiritual coming should do such miracles as were performed by those "who companied with the apostles all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among them;"—and were "ordained to be witnesses with them of his resurrection?"* Is it not a most clear requirement of order and consistency, that the miracles to be performed by the announcer of the Lord's coming in the spirit and power of his Word, should be such, as the Lord Himself will alone then perform ? miracles relating solely to the illumination of the understanding and the rectification of the heart, and. which, cannot appear as miracles before the outward eye ? These are only to be performed by instruction in genuine truths drawn from the Holy Word; and of such instruction, by such truths, there is ample store in the writings of Swedenborg. These are found, by the humble and sincere, efficacious to the performance of genuine miracles. The restoration of sight to the naturally blind is productive of less delight, than many have experienced in the enjoyment of that clear light of truth, which, through the instrumentality of those writings, has burst on their mental sight. Through their means, the spiritually lame has leaped as a hart, and the tongue of the spiritually dumb has burst out into singing; for through their means, notwithstanding the state of desolation into which the professing church of the day has declined, in the wilderness waters have broken out, and streams in the desert. +

* Acts i. 21. 22. + Isa. xxxv. 6.

Again, then, we see, from all the circumstances attending the introduction of former dispensations, that there is no reason whatever for supposing that the Human Instrument appointed to announce the last, should accompany his announcement by the performance of natural miracles: on the contrary, they afford the most conclusive grounds for presuming, that the time is completely gone by in which the performance of miracles could form any part of the divine economy.

But, further: who that frees himself for a moment from tha shackles of prejudice, and allows himself to think from judgment, and from a regard to the present state of mankind, does not see herein the wisdom of the Almighty ? Who is there that seriously believes, that a dispensation ushered in by miracles would be at all suited to the present state of the world ? Does any one actually think, that a man who should appear working miracles, would at this day obtain any serious attention ? When miracles were literally performed, it was among a people to whose habits of thinking they were congenial. The Jews scarcely looked upon miracles as things, extraordinary. Among a people then of such a turn of mind, it is reasonable to suppose that some of the messengers of Jehovah would be authorised to gratify the popular expectation by miracles. But if, as is certain, to the performance of miracles, a disposition to acknowledge their reality is necessary in the persons among whom they are wrought; if, as is certain, the incredulity of his countrymen was capable of restraining the wonder-working energies of the Saviour in person;* who can imagine that, in these times, in this age of incredulity, Divine Wisdom would rest its communications on such a basis ? Would not, in these days, a man working miracles be treated as a mountebank ? And would he be respected much more, even by those who believed his miracles to be real ? Would not the cures he might perform be resolved into collusion, or, where this was proved to be impossible, be imputed to the agency of unknown natural causes, or of that power which modern infidelity has invested with omnipotence,—the more than magic power of imagination ? It may be affirmed, that a repetition of the miracles of the Saviour himself would at this day, and in Christian countries, obtain but little attention: they were all such as might either be denied altogether or imputed to one of the above causes: and if he did not choose to silence his numerous gainsayers by the more terrible prodigies of Moses, we cannot suppose that he would cause such interruptions of the course of nature to be produced by the herald of his second advent. Indeed, it may be doubted whether even the prodigies exhibited by Moses would now command belief. Were a modern teacher to conduct an army from Calais to Dover, few, probably, would be convinced, by any testimony, that they had marched through the sea. Many, in fact, who would be loth to be thought infidels, confess as much. Even they who are loudest in demanding miraculous evidence, often, almost in the same breath, admit its inefficacy in altering the principles of a man's religious belief: while they object to Swedenborg that he did no miracles, they inform us, that they would not have believed him if he had. Thus the celebrated Dr. Priestley, after having said a good deal on the indispensable necessity of miracles to authenticate a divine commission, at last overturns his whole argument by this ebullition of Unitarian firmness: "Should any being, in the complete form of an angel, tell me that God hath the form of a man, and that this God was Jesus Christ, I should tell him that he was a lying spirit!"+ And the Rev. W. Roby, relying on the stability of the decrees which Calvin has framed for the Almighty, affirms, that "even miracles themselves could not confirm the truth of Swedenborgian doctrines."# What inconsistency! to call upon us to authenticate our doctrines by miracles; and then to acknowledge that they agree with us in thinking that miracles are not proper evidences of doctrinal truth!

* "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands on a few sick folk, and healed them." (Mark vi. 5.)
+ Letters to the Members of the New Jerusalem Church,
p. 60. # Anti-Swedenborgianism, &c., p. 27.

This sentiment,—that miracles are not the proper evidences of doctrinal truth, is, assuredly, the decision of the Truth itself; as is obvious from many passages of Scripture. We have seen that the design of the miracles of Moses, as external performances, was, not to instruct the Israelites in spiritual subjects, but to make them obedient subjects of a peculiar species of political state. And though the miracles of Jesus Christ served collaterally as testimonies to his character, he repeatedly intimates that this was not their main design, and that they were only granted, in this respect, in accommodation to the hardness of Jewish hearts: and he condemns and laments the gross state of the people that could require them. He even says to a disciple, in reference to his own manifestation of himself After his resurrection, "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed:"* clearly teaching, how superior is the state of mind which can see truth without external evidences, above that which demands them. So when the nobleman of Capernaum besought Jesus to heal his son, though he complied, he answered, in terms expressive of displeasure at such requirements, "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." + At another time, more plainly still, he says, that it is "a wicked and adulterous generation (that) seeketh after a sign;" # on which occasion, according to Mark, "he sighed deeply in his spirit."$ How characteristic is that touch of the Apostle, "The Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom!"|| (where by wisdom he means the elegance and refinement of Grecian literature): may we not say, that, generally speaking, these Jews and Greeks are well represented by the religionists, and persons indifferent to religion, of the present day ? Even, then, while performing miracles, it is evident that the Divine Energist did not regard them as the proper evidences of spiritual truth, and conceded them, thus far, with reluctance. Hence, likewise, he so often commanded those on whom his miracles were wrought to keep them secret;@ a proceeding which would be unaccountable indeed, if he meant them as proofs of the truth! For the evidence of truth he taught men to look at the truth itself, and to the witness it finds to itself in the duly prepared heart. He does not say, "If any man see a miracle, he will know that the doctrine taught by the operator is of God;" but, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God."**

* John xx. 29. + John iv. 48. # Matt. xvi. 4; xii. 39; Luke xi. 29. $ Ch. viii. 12.
|| 1 Cor. i. 22. @
Matt. viii. 4; ix. 30; xii. 16; xvii. 9; Mark v. 43; Luke v. 12. ** John vii. 17.

But Truth itself carries still farther its disownment of miracles as its proper evidences. Although the Lord, at his advent in the flesh, did signs and wonders in condescension to the hard-heartedness of the Jews among whom he appeared, he never intimates that either he or his messengers shall repeat such signs at his second coming; on the contrary, what is quite conclusive, he seems thenceforth to relinquish them to the powers of darkness. Thus, in reference to the time of his second coming, he says, "There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."* So Paul, illustrating a prophecy of Daniel, notices a wicked one to be revealed, "whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders."+ So the Apocalyptic Divine, speaking of the second beast, says, that "he doeth great wonders,— and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do."+ And in another place he mentions "the spirits of devils" as "working miracles"$ Is it not then evident, that after the time of the Lord's advent in the flesh, no miracles were to be expected, but such as might be wrought, or pretended-to, in attestation of error ? It is probable, indeed, that by the miracles here predicted, we are not to understand outward miracles, but a certain power of fascinating the mind as if by inchantment, exercised on those who yield to its influence, which always accompanies deeply infernal delusions: yet very extraordinary outward occurrences also, very strongly testified, are recorded in the annals, not only of Catholicism, where they are most abundant, but of many Protestant sects: however, be the nature of the predicted diabolical miracles what it may, miracles they are called: is it not then certain, that, had Swedenborg wrought any, all the texts just adduced would have been cited by his adversaries, and his performance of the signs which are now demanded, would then have been urged as infallible tokens that his mission was from Satan ? Has not then the Spirit of God "done all things well," in that, after having predicted no future miracles but infernal ones, it has omitted to decorate the Human Instrument for communicating its last discoveries with those questionable insignia ?

* Matt. xxiv. 24. + 2 Thess. ii. 9. # Rev. xiii. 13, 14. $ Chap. xvi. 14.

Let us illustrate this by an example or two.

That Swedenborg's claims have, however, been supported by every species of testimony short of that of direct miracles, has been fully shown in the first and second parts of this section: and that, had he been authorised to perform absolute miracles, they would, if denial of their reality was found impossible, have been attributed to the agency of Satan, may be concluded from the fact, that this has actually been done in regard to the extraordinary instances of the reality of his communication with the spiritual world which have been given in the preceding part of this section, The author of a volume of considerable magnitude, full of the most amazing misrepresentations and direct falsehoods, called "The Trial of the Spirits," &c., allows, that the evidences to their reality are such as cannot be set aside. He calls them "instances of supernatural knowledge, and proofs of a power of command in the world of spirits, which are not a little surprising;" and adds, "there seems to be no possibility of denying their truth as facts." What then is his inference? No other than this: "That a power of working apparent miracles, or prodigies, may, on some occasions, be permitted to evil spirits, and their wicked instruments." *

The same opponent has given another example of the candid admission of undeniable facts, accompanied with the most uncandid denial of them as testimonies to the truth.

In the section on the last judgment, and in the first and present parts of this section, it has been shown that Swedenborg's announcement that the Last Judgment has been accomplished, connected with the extraordinary occurrences, plain consequences of that event, which have since astonished the world, affords as conclusive a proof of the truth of his claims to be received as a divinely appointed Herald of the Second Advent, as could result from the plainest prophecy and its fulfilment. In addition, to what has been shown to this effect above, I will here give another exemplification.

Swedenborg states, in his account of the Last Judgment, that when the interiors of those who were inwardly wicked, who had established themselves in the intermediate region of the spiritual world, were laid open, by the nearer presence of the Divine Judge, "they no longer appeared, as before, like moral Christians, but like demons: they raised riots, and wrangled with each other about God, the Lord, the Word, faith, and the church; and, as their concupiscences of evil were at the same time loosed from restraint, they rejected all belief in such matters with contempt and mockery, and rushed into enormities of all kinds.—As the opening of their interiors advanced, so the order established in societies was changed and inverted. They who displayed most power in their reasonings against the sanctities of the church, rushed into the centre and seized the government: and the rest, whose power by reasonings was less, gave place to those in the centre, and acknowledged them as a sort of guardian angels. Thus things began to assume the form of hell." Now if this had, been delivered as a prophecy of what took place at the French revolution, could it have been described more faithfully ? In the transactions which then occurred, was there not exhibited, in the natural world, a perfect image of what this extract states had been performed in the spiritual ? In France, after works full of reasonings against the sanctities of religion had long been eagerly read, did not they who were strongest in the same principles assume the government ? were not enormities of every kind practised, and religion actually abolished by law ? Who then may not behold, in the one course of transactions, effects resulting from the other, and which, without divine instruction, Swedenborg could not have known ?

I could hope that those who in future may be disposed to write against the New Church would give this matter,—of the evidence which Swedenborg's statements respecting the Last Judgment and its accomplishment, as substantiated by subsequent events, yield to the truth of his testimony in general,—their serious attention. The only writer by whom it has yet been noticed, is the author of "the Trial of the Spirits," already cited; and he is embarrassed by it not a little. "We will notice his attempts to surmount it, and expose their futility.

"The only circumstance," says he, "in the Baron's revelations which makes any approach to prophecy,—is the intimation he is said to have given, that a great revolution had taken place, in the year seventeen hundred and fifty-seven, in the spiritual world: and that a similar change in the opinions of mankind would shortly ensue. From whence he obtained this prophetic idea and presentiment of the French Revolution, and of the liberal opinions and revolutionary spirit about to arise, which has since pervaded all countries, it is not difficult to conceive. The Indians at Mexico had similar intimations and forebodings of the coming of the Spaniards, before Ferdinando Cortez appeared; and Lord Chesterfield, and other experienced men of political sagacity, had a presentiment of a great political storm, fifty years before it happened, and certainly without any familiar converse with angels and ghosts. If it was by the strength of intellect and natural means alone that he foresaw the spirit of innovation, and the advance of real science and the march of evangelicism on the one hand, as of scepticism and infidelity on the other, this does him credit, as a man of acute observation, but as a prophet, very little indeed."* But if the Mexicans, as historians do affirm, had distinct expectations of the coming of the Spaniards, they could, only have obtained them by supernatural means: this example then, if true, makes nothing against Swedenborg, but the contrary; unless, we admit, what the writer would insinuate, that the knowledge of distant future events can come from the devil; whereas theologians in general (founding upon Deut. xviii. 22, and Jer. xxviii. 9,) have with the utmost reason, considered the knowledge of futurity as one of the peculiar attributes of Divine Omniscience. It is true that some politicians, as they reasonably might, looked for a change of affairs in France (not, however, fifty years before it happened): but which of them had any foresight of the immense change in the state of the human mind which has pervaded the whole of the civilised world ? which of them saw a change preparing of such magnitude and universality, as would have led them, had they wished to act as religious impostors, to resort, as the cause of it, to such magnificent machinery, as the accomplishment, in the spiritual world, of the general judgment? To ascribe this assertion then in Swedenborg to his foresight of events in this world which would not commence till thirty years afterwards, and the prodigious extent of which could be anticipated by none, is to make him "a man of acute observation" indeed!

Our author stumbles still more in the following sentence: "Had it," says he, "been the Baron's lot to have survived to our times, and to have witnessed the horrors of the French Revolution, in the long and frightful course of which there were many very magnificent prophecies fulfilled,—and among them the famous Session of Judgment (Dan. vii. 9, 11, 22, 26) upon the delinquencies of the beast, there might have been more ground for his confident asseveration, that the day of judgment is passed." Again: "Had Swedenborg lived till 1789, and then fixed his day of judgment in the stormy season of the French Revolution, there had not been more truth, but much more appearance of it, in such an arrangement. For then undoubtedly began the accomplishment of many prophecies, and particularly the session of judgment upon the reigning great Roman beast." So then, this author considers, that the judgment predicted in Dan. vii., and which is there spoken of as attending the second coming of the Lord, has been accomplished in the troubles consequent upon the French Revolution: but which exhibits most spiritual discernment; to recognise in those effects the accomplishment of the prophecy upon the subject, after they had taken place: or to announce the performance in the spiritual world of the judgment itself, from which such effects were naturally to be expected, long before the effects began to appear ? The one lay open to every common observer: the other could be seen only by a man, the eyes of whose spirit had been opened by the Lord, as Swedenborg declares of himself.

The same writer, in another place, makes this admission: "That within forty or fifty years back, a change in the characteristics of the age, and in the tone of the opinions and n orals of mankind, has really taken place, to whatever secondary causes attributable, is easily granted. The remaining traces of its march ever since, are too strongly impressed upon memory, and have been too much revived perpetually by fresh and alarming proofs of its continued existence, to be denied." If this is granted, and is allowed to be too plain to be denied, we have all that we contend for; since it also-cannot be denied that the cause for it assigned by Swedenborg, before the effects began to appear, is a cause, and the only conceivable one, adequate to the mighty results. "When this is acknowledged, the whole mystery is solved; while it is unknown or denied, we are left to wonder at most prodigious effects for which no cause can be imagined,—to recognise a universal impulse simultaneously operating upon the whole human race, but having no source whatever!

It is no answer to say, respecting the acknowledged change in the characteristics of the age and its effects, as this writer proceeds to do, "But these are not 'the spots of God's children,' nor proofs of the real existence on earth of the city of peace, whose 'walls are salvation and her gates praise:' the proof rather tends the contrary way, and shows that this is the accomplishment of the predicted 'third woe' which is to precede and introduce the Millennium."— In this remark, he differs but little from the view we take of the subject. It was shown in our last section, that the first outward effect on the earth of the accomplishment of the last judgment in the spiritual world, was to be expected to consist of works of judgment here: of these, this antagonist allows there has been already an ample display: he seems, however to anticipate more: and we, though we are willing to hope the best, and see the commencement of many encouraging symptoms, would by no means presume to affirm that he is here mistaken. The greatest weight of chastisement has fallen on the Roman Catholic nations; whether the Protestant nations have yet had their full allotment, may perhaps be doubted. And, though we consider that the dispensation which has commenced is that of the New Jerusalem, we do not conceive that the state of the church which is strictly represented by the establishment upon earth of "the holy city" itself, has yet arrived. We consider that, as yet, the woman is in the wilderness; (Rev. xii. 14) by which symbol, according to Swedenborg, is represented the state of the New Church at its commencement, while it is yet confined to a few, and surrounded by a general spiritual desolation: and certainly, the dragon is yet easting out of his mouth the waters of false accusation as a flood, by the instrumentality of such writers as the author of "The Trial of the Spirits," Mr. Beaumont, Mr. Pike, Mr. Lane, Mr. Roebuck, and many more (not to mention writers innumerable in Reviews and Magazines), to cause her, though in vain, to be carried away of the flood. Thus the very arguments brought against Swedenborg's testimony respecting the performance of the last judgment, as evidenced by the late and present state of the world, only tend to confirm it.

The writer of "The Trial" again repeats his admission, and his conclusion from it, thus: "That we are entered upon a new era, and a very important one, is true. The altered spirit and atrocious demoralisation of the times show it, as well as the advancement of our age in the science of good and evil. But all this is no proof of the existence of St. John's and Isaiah's holy citythe New Jerusalem, or its being already upon earth; but it agrees well enough with Swedenborg's." Very true. It does agree with Swedenborg's: for Swedenborg never said that the New Jerusalem, strictly speaking, was "already upon earth," but only, that it was preparing to descend. But he affirmed that the Lord's second advent was commencing, and that the last judgment, as connected with it, had in the spiritual world been performed: and this adversary acknowledges the change of state in the natural world, discernible by all, to be so great, as obviously to announce a new and very important era. How extraordinary does it appear, that, seeing this, he cannot acknowledge the only adequate cause! But the Scripture must be fulfilled: "Every eye shall see him; and they also which pierced him." (Rev. i. 7.) They see, indeed, what cannot be regarded as anything less than the effects of the Lord's second coming: but they refuse to acknowledge him in them: spiritually they pierce him still; or deny him, by falsifying his truth."

But, before closing this part of this section, we must notice another subject.

Wishing, as far as possible, to avoid, in this Appeal, repeating what has been said by others, I have not yet, in stating the reasons why no direct miracles were performed by Swedenborg, dwelt much upon those offered by Swedenborg himself, and which have been most urged by his vindicators. I thus have not urged the most important of all,—their tendency to close the rational mind. This, however, ought not to be passed by: and to treat a subject which has been handled by such writers as Hindmarsh and Clowes with as much originality as possible, I will do it by subjoining an extract from an address drawn up by me for a certain occasion (but not used) in the year 1799; at which time I had not read anything on the question but what is contained in our author's own writings, with which I had become acquainted the preceding year. There is more warmth in the manner than I should use now; but this the reader will excuse in a youthful production; written too at a time when the delight accompanying the perception of new truths was in all its freshness, and when I literally was filled with astonishment that what appeared to me clearer than the light of the meridian sun should not be seen by others.

"Some, probably, will say, 'What argument can induce us to believe a man in a concern of this nature who gives no visible credentials to his authority ? A teacher commissioned from on high ought to have the power of working miracles. Had we seen him raise a dead corpse to life, or jump unhurt from the Monument, we might have believed him; but without such proofs as these we cannot.' But let us ask in return, Is it worthy of a being wearing the figure of a man to require such proofs as these to determine his judgment ? Are we not endowed with rationality ? Is it not by virtue of this celestial spark that man boasts himself a man, and claims superiority over every other rank of animated nature ? The lower orders of creation have bodily senses as well as we: they can see, hear, feel, taste, and smell: and if we, refusing to exercise those faculties which we possess in common with angels, receive only such evidence as our external senses can grasp, do we not degrade the dignity of our nature, deny our heavenly origin, and reduce ourselves to a level with the beasts that grovel on the ground ? The beasts act from the impulse of their bodily senses, but are utterly incapable of seeing from reason why they should so act: and it might easily be shown, that while a man thinks and acts tinder the influence of a miracle, he is as much incapable of perceiving, from any rational ground, why he should thus think and act, as a beast is.

" 'What!' our opponents will perhaps reply, 'Dare any one speak thus disrespectfully of miracles, when they are sanctioned by the testimony of the Bible ? Was it not entirely by miracles that the Jewish Church was established ? Was it not by miracles that the Israelites were induced to believe Moses ? Was it not by miracles that they were governed in the wilderness ? And was it not by miracles that the prophets sometimes testified their authority? Do you not believe these facts ?'—Yes, my friends, I do most entirely believe them: and at the same time I most ardently hope that none of us are such people as the Jews were; because the most stupendous miracles would then do us no more good than they did them. For can we have a more conclusive evidence of the inadequacy of miracles to convince a man to his real benefit, than in the conduct of that people; who, notwithstanding the wonderful things which they daily saw, were continually rebellious, insomuch that, we are informed, they were stiff-necked above all the people on the face of the earth ?—' If then the Jews were not amended by those means, what end did they answer ?'—Let us consider what end was answered in their being introduced into the land of Canaan; for how can we suppose that a people of this character ever constituted a real spiritual church? And how can we imagine that they could ever be, in a peculiar manner, the express favourites of God ?—'But if not, why did he interpose in so wonderful a manner to deliver them from Egypt ?'—We answer; They were delivered from Egypt, which was a type of the natural state of man, and introduced into Canaan, which was a type of his spiritual state, that they might represent all that belongs to a real spiritual church by their ceremonial worship and particular transactions; and that, by their means, a revelation might be given to the world, which, in its literal sense, should treat of their affairs and of those of the neighbouring nations, their wars, rites, and customs; all which spiritually signified such things as relate to the real spiritual church; and because they could not be brought even to represent such a church by superior inducements, they were driven and forced to it by miracles; which, likewise, were all representative of spiritual subjects.

"But it may be objected, 'That supposing the Jews were a gross external people who did little more than represent a spiritual church, the Christian was an interior dispensation; and yet miracles were wrought at its establishment, both by Christ and his Apostles.'—But let us remember, that the Lord passed his whole life upon earth among the Jews, who, being such a people as has just been described, required testifications of this sort; which here also, as well as in the case of the miracles wrought by Moses, had a spiritual signification. Besides, the Word of the New Testament, wherein they are recorded, was yet to be written: and every sickness and infirmity therein described to have been healed, was representative of some evil or false principle which only the divine power of the Lord is able to remove. If this were not the reason, why is not this power continued to the dignitaries of the church till this day ? We see that it is not: we find that, as soon as the Christians were entirely separated from the Jews, miracles ceased.

"But now, at the opening of a more interior dispensation than either of the former,—of a more spiritual form of the everlasting gospel,—no miracles are performed at all. Is not the reason yet. evident ? Let me ask any person whatever, whether he can be forced to think what he does not think, or to love what he does not love ? It is true that, by the civil laws of a state, or anything which occasions fear, a man may be forced to say what he does not think, and to do what he does not love: yet, notwithstanding this, he does not think and love what he thus says and does; and, were the constraint removed, he would immediately speak and act otherwise. Now, though such conduct as this may indeed answer the purpose of the civil life, do we not see that, with respect to the spiritual life, it is nothing ? A man may, by civil and ecclesiastical enactments, be restrained from speaking against the truths of religion and outwardly transgressing its laws; yea, he may be, and in some countries is, forced to acknowledge and obey them: yet if his knowledge and obedience proceed only from such a cause, what is his religion ? It is evident, that unless a man really thinks what he speaks, and loves what he acts, there is nothing of the man in such speech and action. Hence it may appear, that the essential human principle, or that by virtue of which man is man, consists in the liberty of thinking and willing; and that if this liberty were taken from him, which would be the case were he constantly tinder the influence of a miracle, he would no longer, properly speaking, be a man at all. If we see a beast of prey destroying another animal, do we reprobate him as guilty of moral evil ? No, we do not: we are sensible that he is gratifying a natural appetite, which he has no liberty of will to resist. But if we see a man commit an act of cruelty or injustice, we do reprobate him as guilty of moral evil: we are sensible that reason might have taught him it was wrong, and that he was at liberty, had he pleased, to obey her dictates. If, then, we thus confess it to be these faculties which raise us from mere animals to men, how ought we to disdain to seek an influence, which, by depriving us of them, would reduce us from men to mere animals! And such is the influence of miracles. For if, when we have rejected a truth, the operation of a miracle force us to acknowledge it; is there any thing of true faith in such acknowledgment? True faith must reside in the rational mind: but the miracle, acting only on the external senses, actually shuts up the rational mind; so that, astounded in a stupid amaze, we become utterly incapable of looking at what is thus forced upon us in any light of reason, or of receiving it in any affection. Wherefore the miracle becomes quite useless: for finding ourselves, while its impression remains, deprived of our freedom,—bereaved of the faculties which constitute us men,—we willingly suffer it to wear off: and thus being restored to our liberty, we confirm anew what our reason dictates; we return to our former belief, because it is what we think, and what we like to think. But that we may see this as clearly is possible, let us take an example. Suppose a man, having no affection for goodness, to be forced by a miracle to acknowledge a truth which he otherwise would reject: will he behold this truth with pleasure, even though it teach the way to happiness ? Assuredly not. And why ? Because he wishes to find happiness some ether way. For this (inasmuch as it is a truth) teaches, that, to be truly happy, we must be good, and renounce the pursuit of such enjoyments as are grounded in the love of evil: but he, being devoted to the pursuit of such enjoyments, which he feels as his very life, will regard as an enemy whatsoever opposes it. Finding himself therefore under an irksome restraint in the prosecution of his favourite pleasures, from the monitory voice of the truth he has acknowledged, he will shortly reject it as founded in error; and he will deny the miracle which induced his belief, by persuading himself that it was the accidental effect of some natural cause with which he is unacquainted; or, perhaps, that it proceeded from the agency of powers which delight in deceiving mankind.

"Let us, then, not wish to have our minds closed by miracles, but let us open them by rational investigation. If we are desirous to know whether the doctrines now promulgated are consistent with truth, let us search for them in Moses and the prophets; for these are they which testify of them; and if we believe not Moses and the prophets, neither should we be persuaded though one rose from the dead. These are the Lord's own words; which I remind you of, to evince, that the reasons I have offered to demonstrate the inutility of miracles as evidences of spiritual truth, are derived from Him who cannot err. Let us remember that he also assures us, that it is an evil and adulterous generation which seeketh after a sign. Let us remember likewise, and tremble lest we resemble them, that the Jews, who were such a generation, were not convinced by the signs when they beheld them. Of this, what an awful instance they gave when they crucified the Lord! 'Come down from the cross,' they cried out, 'and we will believe thee.' Did he not perform the miracle they demanded as the condition of their faith ? Nay, did he not perform a much greater miracle ? He raised his glorified body from the grave: the Jews knew it:—and they bribed the guard to say it had been stolen by his disciples!

"No, my friends, believe me! it is not by miracles that disciples are to be gained for the New Jerusalem. The real inhabitants of this 'holy city,' are to be interiorly principled in wisdom and goodness: and it is not in the power of a thousand miracles to affect the interiors of the mind, or to remove one evil which is rooted there. Let us, then, remember we are men, and look for such evidences as become the capacities of men; which are, truths that recommend themselves to an enlightened reason: and of these rational evidences there is no lack to accredit the testimony of Baron Swedenborg." *

* See also some remarks upon the unsatisfying nature of the evidence from miracles in the preface to "The Plenary Inspiration," &c. I had there said, in reference to those defences of Christianity which build chiefly on that evidence, that they "are more adapted to silence than to satisfy even art ingenuous inquirer." The observation has been cavilled at by some of the Reviewers; but I have since had the satisfaction of finding precisely the same idea, in nearly the same phraseology, expressed by Mr. T. Erskine, in his very popular work, "Remarks on the Internal Evidence for the truth of the Christian Religion."—"We generally find," says that amiable writer, "that the objections which are urged by sceptics against the inspiration of the Bible, are founded on some apparent improbability in the detached parts of the system. These objections are often repelled by the defenders of Christianity as irrelevant; and the objectors are referred to the unbroken and well-supported line of testimony in confirmation of its miraculous history. This may be a silencing argument, but it is not a convincing one." (P. 200, Ed. 1823.) * Deut. xiii. 1, 2, 3. + Ch. viii. 20. # Luke xvi. 29, 31.

Upon the whole, I trust, that all the Candid and Reflecting will agree with me in the conviction, that Swedenborg, by the non-performance of miracles, has in no degree weakened his claims to attention, but that he would have weakened them much more had he wrought the most "notable" ones. Even under the Mosaic law, abounding, us that dispensation did, with outward wonders, the performance of them is never laid down as among the credentials of a prophet; while, on the other hand, their exhibition by false prophets is spoken of as possible and probable: "If there arise among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods which we have not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the voice of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams."* Thus the knowledge of God, as revealed, of course, in his Word, is spoken of as the only infallible touchstone. So in Isaiah: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because they have no light in them."+ To the same purpose is the wise answer of Abraham in the parable: "They have Moses and the prophets: let them hear them.—If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."# And the Lord himself: "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.—Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me." (John v. 39, 46.) It is to this testimony that Swedenborg appeals. As the "harbinger" of the Lord at his first advent preached of, and pointed to, the Word made flesh, and they who thence were led to Jesus acknowledged, that, though "John did no miracle, all things that he said of this man were true;" so does the Herald of the second advent point to the Lord in his Word; and they who, guided by his directions, seek him there, will assuredly find, that, though Swedenborg did no miracle, all that he has said of the presence of the Lord therein, in the power and glory of its spiritual sense, is true also. And the one is as great a divine discovery as the other. As it was impossible for John, without illumination from above, to have known in his true character the Word in person; so was it impossible for Swedenborg, without illumination from above, to have known the true character of the written Word of God,—to have seen how it makes a one with the living Word himself; being a derivation from him in the inmost of which he is, and by the opening of the internal sense of which he is bringing himself nearer than ever to mankind, and granting to them a nearer access to him. It would be idle, I admit, to talk in this manner, if the views of Scripture given in the writings of Swedenborg differed not from those of commentators in general,—if they contained nothing beyond what learning and study and piety might discover: but if they exhibit far more than this; if they present the Word in a light completely new and transcendently glorious; if they prove that it includes throughout a regular spiritual sense, which, without superseding that of the letter, immensely exalts and dignifies the whole, displaying it to the enchanted eye of reason as well as of faith as the very Divine Truth and Wisdom,—as, without a figure, the Word of God indeed; then surely it will be conceded, that flesh and blood could not have revealed this unto him, but he must have received it by special illumination from the living Word himself. No miracle can rival, in the clearness of the conviction produced, the revelation and rational apprehension of previously hidden truth: and he who enjoys this interior conviction of truth would not feel it more strongly, were he to behold the most stupendous miracles performed by the Human Instrument of conveying it. Many superior minds have seen, that miracles have no tendency to enlighten the understanding; and the remark of that extraordinary genius, Rousseau, was not less profound than it was brilliant, when he said, that he believed the gospel itself, not on account of its miracles, but in spite of them.

D. The Charge against Swedenborg of Mental Derangement, Considered With some Minor Objections.

we now come to the grand objection of all against the illustrious Swedenborg, and his claims to be accepted in the character he assumes. The common cry, re-echoed from mouth to mouth, and retailed from pen to pen, is, that he was mad; an aspersion which, notwithstanding some totally false and merely calumnious tales have from time to time been fabricated to support it, literally rests upon no foundation whatever, but that on which the same imputation was thrown against an infinitely greater character. He hath a devil and is mad: why hear ye him?"* Such was the salutation with which the Divine Truth, in person, was assailed, when "he came unto his own, and his own received him not." The Lord Jesus himself was reproached as insane by the leaders of the professing church of that day: and even his own kindred according to the flesh had so little conception of his true character, that when he began to display it by mighty words and works, "they said, He is beside himself. And they went forth to lay hold on him,"+ for the purpose of putting him under restraint, as a person of disordered mind. So little capable, when in the darkness of its sensual perceptions, is the human mind, of distinguishing the most exalted wisdom from insanity! No wonder then that the proclaimer of genuine truth now should be derided with similar reproaches. "The disciple is not above his Master, nor the servant above his Lord: if they call the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household!"# Such were the prophetic warnings by which the Lord prepared his disciples for the treatment they were to expect: and the experience of distant ages has proved their truth. When the Apostle pleaded the cause of Christianity before Agrippa and Festus, the Roman governor replied with the exclamation, "Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad:"$ and so, in our times, a man who has been favoured with a degree of illumination as much superior to that of modern Christians in general as was the divine knowledge of Paul to the darkness which then overspread both Jews and Gentiles, is assailed with the same cry, and, while his attainments in science are admitted, it is pretended that his studies had ruined his faculties. By the Candid and Reflecting, a sufficient answer to this charge will be found in his writings, which, though a period of twenty-two years intervened between the publication of the first of his theological works and the last, exhibit the most perfect consistency of sentiment throughout, while they are all written with a regard to the most orderly and methodical arrangement, and display in their author the most acute powers of reason and extraordinary strength of memory; which last faculty is evinced by the numerous references to other parts of his works which abound in them all. These, certainly, are qualities which do not usually attend the ebullitions of insanity. Indeed, it is impossible to pretend to find in the composition and manner of Swedenborg's writings any tokens of derangement: even adversaries admit that they exhibit plain marks of a very superior mind: and they only pronounce him mad, became his works contain such statements as they might naturally be expected to contain, should his claims to acceptance, as a heaven-commissioned teacher, be true.||

* John x. 20. + Mark iii. 21. # Matt. x. 24, 25. $ Acts xxvi. 24.

|| I had here, however, almost forgotten the Author of the Anti-Sweden-borg; for he, willing to be thought a more profound critic than any who had gone before him, objects to the manner, as well as the matter, of Swedenborg's writings. He complains that there is in them "an almost endless tautology and repetition either of expression or meaning," which, he adds, "is to me another plain indication of the author's disordered intellects." (P. 7). But his proof of the charge is not a little curious. "Lest," he says, "I should be charged with misrepresentation respecting those repetitions and tautologies, I will give one instance. No. 332, Memorable Relation, True Christian Religion. —No. 331, Memorable Relation, Conjugial Love. These two memorable relations, which I find in two different works, are word for word." Now repetition or tautology consists in repeating the same thing, in the same work, over again, in the same or in different words. To do this unconsciously, or without necessity, is certainly a mark of a weak head; but to indicate disordered intellects, it must be done in such a manner as to produce, not prolix exactness, but confusion. Not the least trace of tautologies and repetitions of either of these kinds, is to be found in the writings of Swedenborg. But in an extensive work it frequently becomes necessary to repeat something which has been said before, when it is to form the premises to further conclusions: and in different works on similar subjects this is still more unavoidable. Such repetitions as these certainly exist in the writings of Swedenborg; and they evince, not the disorder, but the exactness, of his intellect. But to give, in. Appendixes to different works, the same relation or discussion, not as forming; part of the series of the work, but because the author deems it illustrative or important,—though it is a repetition, it hardly comes under the description of what is critically so denominated: it is rather a second edition of an isolated, tract; and he who possesses both editions, seeing at once that they contain the same thing, will not read it again unless he wishes to do so. Now the example on which the writer rests his charge of tautology and repetition is one of this sort. It is an isolated relation given in the Appendixes to the chapters of two different works, because, in the last of them, the author wished to collect together all that he had written of the kind. Thus this objector, when endeavouring to avert from himself the charge of misrepresentation, completely establishes it..

If Swedenborg really had the senses of his spirit so opened, as to be present with angels and spirits as one of themselves, in the same manner as is experienced by all men when they have finally quitted the terrestrial body, it is abundantly certain that, if he should relate what he witnessed, he must relate much which, to common apprehensions, must appear extraordinary,—perhaps incredible. Now his adversaries in general only look into his works for such things as may serve to give a wrong impression. These they set forth as specimens of the whole, for the purpose of deterring others from examining for themselves: carefully suppressing those excellent and truly sublime and heavenly sentiments, upon numerous subjects of the first importance, which even they cannot help feeling, and half-acknowledging, that those writings contain. Thus respecting some sentiments of our author, which an adversary cannot deny to be excellent, he has these remarks: "What the Baron says respecting truth and good, and especially what he says respecting faith and charity [these are fundamental things, by the by], as also his opinion respecting man's free-will and predestination, accords in general with my sentiments, and may perhaps be read with some advantage."* We here have, to be sure, an admirable specimen of what Pope calls to "damn with faint praise;" yet we may be satisfied that there must be something truly striking in what Swedenborg delivers on these subjects, to extort even such praise from a person determined, when looking at his excellences, to apply the wrong end. of the telescope, while for discovering what might be distorted into blemishes, he uses the strongest magnifier he could find. Accordingly, he immediately adds, "But on these subjects the Bible may always be consulted with infinitely more success; therefore quitting the Bible for Baron Swedenborg's works, is something like leaving good wine for mere water." Can any thing be more futile ? Must not an adversary be sadly at a loss for an objection to offer such a one as this ? All that has ever been written in illustration of the Bible, is, it seems, mere waste paper! The Bible not only contains all things necessary to salvation, but all so plainly stated, that every reader, learned or unlearned, may comprehend the whole without assistance!+ He adds, "If we will read uninspired books upon these subjects, there are plenty to be found more compact and consolidated than the Baron's writings, which are frequently both diffuse and incoherent." This last imputation I utterly deny. I defy any man to produce a fair example of incoherence from any part of our author's numerous volumes. If there be, occasionally, some diffuseness in his style, it arose from his desire to avoid ambiguity; he doubtless would rather seem prolix than obscure. But prolixity is by no means the general characteristic of his composition: it in fact seldom appears but in the uniform and formal mode in which he introduces his comments on each, clause of the subject in his expositions of the Scriptures. Besides, who can judge of his style, that only knows it through the very disadvantageous medium of a literal translation ? In the original, it is often so condensed, that it is difficult fully to render the sense in English without greatly weakening it by dilution. I appeal as an example to the Latin of the work "On the New Jerusalem, and its Heavenly Doctrine;" which is a production truly admirable for the consolidated weight of its matter, and the correspondingly brief and sententious character of its style. But in respect to works like his, in which the matter is every thing, it only displays a previous determination to be displeased, when an opponent descends to cavils about the manner; and a man who wishes to be regarded as a friend of religion in general, ought, before he resorts to such cavils, to consider whom they will hit besides. It is long ago since Jerome noticed the solecisms of Paul; and it is well-known that none of the writers of the New Testament possessed a good Greek style: but who that pretends to a grain of candour regards this as derogating from the importance of their writings ? Who will say that, because, as to the composition, their Epistles are not faultless, there is reason to impute "disordered intellects" to the Apostles ? Let Swedenborg's writings be looked at for their sentiments, and be judged of by them: and we fear not to assert, that they will be found to contain a system of theology, which, instead of being, like that of his opponents, at open variance with half the Bible and really at variance with all the rest, is in perfect harmony with the whole; and, what is no less important, a system which, differently from all others, harmonises all the Bible with itself.

* Anti-Swedenborg, pp. 7, 8.

+ This brings to my recollection the following anecdote:— Mr. Samuel Warren, the father of the Dr. Warren who has made such a schism in the Methodist body, and who was himself attached to that body for fifty years, had, several years before his decease, which happened in 1833, embraced the views of the New Church. "When it was known among the Methodists that he had received the new doctrine, they deputed the Rev. J. Wood, one of their most influential ministers, to wait on him, and dissuade him from reading the writings of E. S. When the reverend gentleman entered, the following dialogue took place: 'Well, brother Warren, I hope you read your Bible?' 'Yes, bless the Lord, I do read it, and understand it too, more than ever.' 'But (says Mr. Wood) I hope you do not read any foolish books: the Bible, the Bible only, is the book for you: read nothing but your Bible.' 'Surely (replied the other) there can be no harm in my reading a little in the Methodist Magazine, or Wesley's Sermons?' 'Well, no (said Mr. Wood); but do not read foolish and visionary books.' 'I suppose you mean Swedenborg's (added Mr. Warren): but I tell you I shall not cease to read them unless they are proved to be false: till then, sir, neither brass, nor silver, nor iron, nor even Wood, shall hinder me from reading those works from which I derive good. If you approve of Wesley, I approve of Swedenborg.'" (See Int. Rep. for May, 1833, p. 436.) What says the Warrenite to this, who has recently disgraced himself by recompounding a farrago of oft-refuted slanders,—Mr. Roebuck?

Most unjust, then, in every respect, is the representation which many of our opponents have given of the writings of Swedenborg. It is fabled of the cruel Medea, that to stop her incensed father in his pursuit, she tore her tender brother Absyrtes limb from limb, and strewed the way with his mangled remains: thus, also, has Swedenborg been treated by his adversaries, to turn the sincere seeker from the pursuit of truth. Several of them, probably, exult in the dexterity with which they have performed this feat. Cheered by the plaudits of sectarian magazines, more than one mutilator probably says in his heart, something like what the notorious T. Paine has said in his "Age of Reason," on completing a not dissimilar exploit: "I have now gone through the Bible, as a man would go through a wood, with an axe on his shoulder, and fell trees. Here they lie, and the priests, if they can, may replant them. They may perhaps stick them in the ground again, but they will never grow." So easy is it, by overlooking the design of the whole together, and taking detached passages out of their connexion, to hold up to ridicule any thing whatsoever, even the eternal Word of truth itself; and so easy is it likewise for men, when they have done this, to persuade themselves that the objects of their scorn deserve it. This is just what several adversaries have done with the illustrious Swedenborg and his writings: they create deformities, and then call upon their readers to bestow on them their contempt.

"Trunca sed ostendens disjectis corpora membris, A spice ait."

One of them denominates his specimens, "Sundry Extracts from the "Writings of Baron Swedenborg." If "Sundry," means sundered, the title is truly descriptive. A scrap is taken from one place, and a scrap from another, while all the explanations necessary for the understanding of them are omitted: and the reader is solicited to condemn the Author on account of the grotesque dress in which his antagonist presents him. Suppose a man were to steal into the wardrobe of a prince, and cutting off a snip from one elegant garment, and a snip from another, were to patch them together in the form of a fool's coat: what should we think of him if he were to exhibit his motley compound, his thing of shreds and patches, as a dress of the prince's, instead of acknowledging that it was merely his own ? Just as good an idea would such a piece of patch-work present of a royal robe, as do the extracts furnished by our adversaries, in general, of the writings of Swedenborg. They endeavour by garbled quotations to make him appear ridiculous or unintelligible, and then they call upon the public to pronounce him mad. Return, however, the fragments to their proper places, and read them in their proper order; and the reason of the whole will appear; and then his writings, instead of lending any countenance to the imputation of insanity, completely refute it, and evince his heaven-born intelligence.*

* This shall be illustrated, in the sequel, in the case of the specially Sundered Extracts above adverted to.

II. As then there is really no ground in the works of Swedenborg themselves, viewed as the productions of a man specially called to discharge a divine commission, on which to found the imputation of mental derangement; and as this will more conclusively appear when we come, in the next Section, to consider the statements in his works most relied on for supporting such an imputation; we will proceed to examine the principal of the alleged facts, out of which the calumnious report has been constructed.

It has given much pain to the receivers of the doctrines communicated in the writings of Swedenborg, that the circulation of the report of his insanity should have been materially promoted by a man so much intitled to respect as the late Rev. Mr. Wesley. It is however certain, that in the part which that respectable person took in the affair, he was completely imposed upon by the minister of the Swedish Chapel in London, Mr. Mathesius, who was Swedenborg's personal and violent enemy. Mr. Wesley, indeed, professes to give his statement on the authority of a Mr. Brockmer, as well as of Mathesius: this, however, was only because Mathesius told him that he derived his information from Brockmer, but this Brockmer totally denied.

The substance of the account published from Mathesius by Mr. Wesley, is, that while lodging at the house of Mr. Brockmer, in the year 1743, Swedenborg was seized with a violent fever, attended with delirium; and the inference drawn from it is, that though he recovered from the fever, he never recovered from the delirium. But how completely unauthorised is such a conclusion! Is it usual with that common malady,—a fever attended with delirium,—to leave the faculties deranged after the patient's recovery ? The story itself, also, refutes the inference which the relators draw from it. For to prove that he once was actually delirious, or "mad," they" tell us (though nobody pretends to have seen it) that he played the mad trick of running naked into the street, exclaiming that he was the Messiah, and rolling himself in the mire. Now as it is abundantly certain that his conduct through all his after life was the most decorous possible,— as he completely left off playing mad tricks (supposing he ever had played any),—the proper inference is, that he ceased to be mad. In the judicious words of Mr. Hartley, "He was seized with a fever, attended with a delirium, common in that case, about twenty years before he died, and was under the care of a physician; and they have gone about to pick up what he said and did, and how he looked at the time, and have propagated this both in private and in print; a proceeding so contrary to common humanity, that one cannot think of it without offence, nay, even horror: but there is not the least occasion for a particular answer to so malignant a charge, as it receives its full confutation from the consistency and wisdom of his numerous publications before and since that time." The justice of these remarks is indisputable, supposing the story of the fever and delirium to be true: but what shall we think, if the whole story was merely fabricated to give a colour to the charge ? This, there is actually the strongest reason for believing. There is no trace of any allusion to the tale in any authentic source of information; and the Chevalier de Sandel, we have seen above,+ not only declares, that Swedenborg, "being endowed with a strength, of faculties truly extraordinary, in the decline of his age, soared to the greatest heights to which the intellectual faculty can rise,"—for this might be the case notwithstanding his having had a fever and delirium,—but he asserts, further,* that "he enjoyed such excellent health, that he scarcely ever experienced the slightest indisposition." Could this general assertion have been made, if so terrible an exception to it had ever happened ? In short, what with the inherent inconsistencies in the story itself, and the virtual refutation of it by Sandel, there is enough to evince its utter falsehood, could no direct contradiction of it be given. But such direct contradiction of it, taken from the lips of Mr. Brockmer, does exist, testified by the Rev. R. Hindmarsh, who was still living to confirm it when this Appeal was first published.+ Thus the whole origin of the story was evidently no more than this; Swedenborg mentioned freely to Brockmer the commencement of his spiritual intercourse: Brockmer talked of it: and from the idle reports which thus got abroad, Mathesius, nearly forty years afterwards, fabricated the tale with which he imposed on Mr. Wesley. This fact is alone sufficient to fix the brand of imposture on the whole story. The charge against Swedenborg of mental derangement, is built upon circumstances alleged to have occurred forty years before the charge was brought forward, and which had never been heard of in the whole of the intermediate period! What more palpable mark of fabrication could exist ?

+ See his excellent work intitled, "A Vindication of the Character and Writings of the Hon. Eman. Swedenborg," &c., pp. 19, 20. See, also, the New Magazine of Knowledge for 1791, which not only contains a refutation, by the late Mr. Robert Beatson, of the above story, but of the principal of the strange misrepresentations of Swedenborg's sentiments published by Mr. Wesley in the Arminian Magazine.

But if from the story of the fever and delirium, assumed as true, any should continue to argue that Swedenborg remained insane ever after; with much more plausibility might it he argued, that a man who became positively insane, and continued the remainder of his life in that state, might have been partially deranged long before it was suspected: and if so, we could easily account for Mathesius's imagining the tale he propagated; for that he went mad, is a well-authenticated fact. We are by no means prone to assume the distribution of divine judgments; but it really is difficult to avoid thinking that we behold one here. All must allow it to be a remarkable coincidence, that the man who first imputed insanity to Swedenborg, and was the chief cause of its being believed by others, should himself have experienced the deplorable visitation; which happened, also, soon after he gave the information to Mr. Wesley. The Abrege des Ouvrages d'Em. Swedenborg, which was published at Stockholm in 1788, states in the preface, that Mathesius had become insane, and was then living in that state in that city. The same is affirmed in "The New Jerusalem Magazine;" one of the editors of which was Mr. C. B. Wadstrom, a Swedish gentleman of great respectability, well known for his efforts in the cause of the abolition of the slave-trade, and who must have had ample means of knowing the fact. In a MS. minute, also in my possession,* of a conversation held by Mr. Provo, May 2nd, 1787, with Mr. Bergstrom, master of the King's Arms (Swedish) Hotel in Wellclose Square, the latter says as follows: "Mr. Mathesius was an opponent of Swedenborg, and said that he was lunatic, &c.; but it is remarkable that he went lunatic himself; which happened one day when he was in the Swedish church and about to preach: I was there and saw it: he has been so ever since, and sent back to Sweden, where he now is: this was about four years ago." All the accoiints agree: and thus evident it is, that into the pit which this unhappy man digged for another, did he fall himself. (Mr. Bergstrom also said of Swedenborg, with much more that is creditable to him, "He frequently called on me, and once lived ten weeks together with me in this house; during which time I observed nothing in him but what was very reasonable, and bespoke the gentleman.—Some of his friends here spoke against him, and some were for him: for my own part, I think he was a reasonable, sensible, and good man; he was very kind to all, and generous to me.")

* Since printed at length in the Intellectual Repository for January, 1830.

But, further: I am providentially enabled, by some documents which have come into my hands, to trace the progress of Mr. Wesley's mind in regard to Swedenborg, in such a manner, as completely to neutralise his authority in the unfavourable conclusion which he, at last, adopted: for I am enabled to show, that, in that conclusion, Mr. Wesley stands in direct opposition to Mr. Wesley himself; and that his first judgment was formed upon far better evidence than his last. It appears certain, that Mr. Wesley was at one time inclined to receive Swedenborg's testimony in the fullest manner: and this because he had had indubitable experience of his supernatural knowledge.

Among Mr. Wesley's preachers, in the year 1772, was the late Mr. Samuel Smith, a man of great piety and integrity, who afterwards became one of the first ministers in our church. Having heard a curious anecdote, said to rest on his authority, I wrote to Mr. .J. I. Hawkins, the well-known engineer, who had been intimately acquainted with Mr. Smith, to request an exact account of it. The following (a little abbreviated) is his answer: it is dated February 8th, 1826.

"Dear Sir, — In answer to your inquiries, I am able to state that I have a clear recollection of having repeatedly heard the Rev. Samuel Smith say, about the year 1787 or 1788, that in the latter end of February, 1772, he, with some other preachers, was in attend­ance upon the Rev. John Wesley, taking instructions and assisting him in the preparations for his great circuit, which Mr. Wesley was about to commence: that while thus in attendance, a letter came to Mr. Wesley, which he perused with evident astonishment: that after a pause, he read the letter to the company; and that it was couched in nearly the following words: *

' Great Bath Street, Cold Bath Fields, Feb. — 1772. 'Sir, — I have been informed in the world of spirits that you have a strong desire to converse with me; I shall be happy to see you if you will favour me with a visit.

' I am, Sir, your humble Servant,

EMAN. SWEDENBORG.'

* The letter was most probably in Latin; but Mr. Wesley, no doubt, would read it in English.

"Mr. Wesley frankly acknowledged to the company, that he had been very strongly impressed with a desire to see and converse with Swedenborg, and that he had never mentioned that desire to any one.

"Mr. Wesley wrote for answer, that he was then closely occupied in preparing for a six months' journey, but would do himself the pleasure of waiting upon Mr. Swedenborg soon after his return to London.

"Mr. Smith further informed me, that he afterwards learned that Swedenborg wrote in reply, that the visit proposed by Mr. Wesley would be too late, as he, Swedenborg, should go into the world of spirits on the 29th day of the next month, never more to return.

"Mr. Wesley went the circuit, and on his return to London, [if not, as is most probable, before,] was informed of the fact, that Swedenborg had departed this life on the 29th of March preceding.

"This extraordinary correspondence induced Mr. Smith to examine the writings of Swedenborg; and the result was, a firm conviction of the rationality and truth of the heavenly doctrines promulgated in those invaluable writings, which doctrines he zealously laboured to disseminate during the remainder of his natural life.

"That Mr. Smith was a man of undoubted veracity, can be testified by several persons now living, besides myself; the fact therefore that such a correspondence did take place between the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg and the Rev. John Wesley, is established upon the best authority.

"On referring to Mr. Wesley's printed journal it may be seen, that he left London on the 1st of March in the year 1772; reached Bristol on the 3rd, Worcester on the 14th, and Chester on the 29th, which was the day of Swedenborg's final departure from this world. Mr. Wesley, in continuing his circuit, visited Liverpool, and various towns in the north of England, and in Scotland, returning through Northumberland and Durham to Yorkshire, and thence through Derbyshire, Staffordshire, and Shropshire, to Wales; thence to Bristol, Salisbury, Winchester, and Portsmouth, to London, where he arrived on the 10th of October in the same year, having been absent rather more than six months.

"I feel it my duty to accede to your request, and allow my name to appear as your immediate voucher.

"I remain, Dear Sir, yours very sincerely,

" john isaac hawkins."

To this I can add, that the Rev M. Sibly has assured me, that he has heard Mr. Smith relate the above anecdote; and that he could mention, if necessary, several other persons still living who must have heard it too. He fully, also, supports Mr. Hawkins's statement in regard to Mr. Smith's veracity. Thus it is impossible to doubt that Mr. Smith affirmed it; and it is difficult to suppose that he could either wilfully or unintentionally misrepresent an incident which must have impressed him so strongly, and of which his consequent adoption of his sentiments formed a collateral evidence.

It may here be proper to observe, that the Translation of Swedenborg's little work on the Intercourse between the Soul and the Body had been published not long previously (in 1770), with a Preface by the translator, addressed to the Universities, urging the author's claims to attention. This Mr. Wesley had probably seen, and had thence conceived the desire he acknowledges to see the author. The discovery that this deeire, though it had remained a secret in his own breast, was known to Swedenborg, must have affected him very strongly: it must have convinced him that Swedenborg's assertion, that he possessed the privilege of conversing with angels and spirits, was true: and it is natural to suppose that he would conclude from it, that the cause assigned by Swedenborg of his having received this privilege, namely, that he might be qualified for a holy office to which he had been called, was true also. There is, further, the strongest evidence that Mr. Wesley's conviction went as far as this. I had heard an anecdote demonstrating it related in conversation by the Reverend and venerable Mr. Clowes, Rector of St. John's, Manchester, whose high character for every quality that can adorn a Minister of the Gospel, and of course for veracity among the rest, is acknowledged by all who knew him (and few were known through a wider circle)— by those who differed from him as well as by those who agreed with him in theological sentiment; I therefore wrote to him to request a written statement of the particulars, with leave to publish it with his name; with which request he kindly complied. The part of his letter (dated January 19, 1826) which relates immediately to this subject, is as follows:

" My very dear Sir,—In full and free compliance with your wishes, as expressed in your kind favour of the 16th, I send you the following Memoir of the late Mr. Wesley, as communicated to me by my late pious and learned friend, Richard Houghton, Esq., of Liverpool, who was also intimately acquainted with Mr. Wesley, insomuch that the latter gentleman never visited Liverpool without passing some timc with Mr. Houghton. As near as I can recollect, it was in the spring of the year 1773 that I received the communication, one morning, when I called on Mr. Houghton at his house, and at a time, too, when the writings of the Hon. E. S. began to excite public attention. These writings were at that time unknown to myself, but not so to my friend Mr. Houghton, who was in the habit of correspondence with the Rev. T. Hartley on the subject, and was very eager to make me acquainted with them. Accordingly, in the course of our conversation, my friend took occasion to mention the name of Mr. Wesley, and the manner in which he, on a late visit to Liverpool, had expressed his sentiments on those writings. 'We may now (said Mr. Wesley) burn all our books of Theology. God has sent us a teacher from heaven, and in the doctrines of Swedenborg we may learn all that it is necessary for us to know.' "

The manner in which Mr. Wesley here expressed himself was strong indeed: so much so, that were it not certain that his mind must have been at that time under a very powerful influence in Swedenborg's favour, he might be suspected to have spoken ironically. This I observed in my letter to Mr. Clowes; to which he replies, "I can hardly conceive, from the manner in which it was expressed by Mr. Houghton, that irony had anything to do with it:" and Mr. Houghton must have known with certainty whether it had or not. His repeating Mr. Wesley's observation to Mr. Clowes, as an inducement to him to peruse the writings of Swedenborg, is a complete proof that Mr. H. believed it to mean what it expresses. But an examination of dates will show, that Mr. Wesley's statement to that gentleman was made while the impression from Swedenborg's supernatural communication was acting in all its force. Mr. Clowes's interview with Mr. Houghton was in the spring of 1773. Mr. Wesley does not appear to have been at Liverpool between that time and the 10th. of the preceding October, when he returned from his last great circuit. In that circuit he did visit Liverpool, and was there early in April, 1772. This then must be the "late visit" mentioned by Mr. Houghton; and this was within six weeks after he had received the extraordinary communication from Swedenborg. This is certain: and it is also highly probable, that, at the time of his visiting Liverpool, the effect of that communication was greatly strengthened by the verification of the announcement, which, we have seen, Swedenborg had made to him, of the day of his own death. He died, as he had announced, on the 29th of March: there can be little doubt that a notice of it appeared in the papers: it would, thence, it is highly probable, be known to Mr. Wesley when he was at Liverpool, about a fortnight afterwards: and the words he then uttered to Mr. Houghton will not appear stronger than he might be expected to use, when two such recent and completely incontrovertible proofs of the truth of Swedenborg's claims were operating on his mind.

Yet Mr. Wesley, thus miraculously convinced of the truth of Swedenborg's claims (as far, at least, as relates to his intercourse with the spiritual world), afterwards exerted himself to check the extension of the same conviction to others! in which, however, he only afforded a proof of Swedenborg's constant assertion that miraculous evidence is inefficacious for producing any real or permanent change in a man's confirmed religious sentiments. When Mr. Wesley uttered the strong declaration respecting Swedenborg and his writings, he spoke of the latter, rather from what he expected to find them, than from what he actually knew them to be. The probability is, that he at this time knew little more of them than he had learned from the tract "On the Intercourse:" which contains, probably, nothing that he would except against; especially as it is certain, as will be seen presently, that even the treatise on Heaven and Hell, which gives the main result of Swedenborg's spiritual experience, was not condemned by him. But when, he came to find that Swedenborg's writings militated against some of the sentiments that he had strongly confirmed in his own mind; these, which were his interior convictions, gradually threw off the exterior conviction arising from merely outward though miraculous evidence: hence he afterwards accepted the false report of Mathesius, and promoted its circulation. Indeed, there can be no doubt that, then, such a statement as that of Mathesius would operate as a relief to him; for though be could not receive the whole of Swedenborg's doctrines, the positive proof he possessed of the author's supernatural knowledge must often have disturbed him in his rejection of them: he must therefore have been glad to meet with anything which could make him, in regard to that rejection, better satisfied with himself. Finally, perhaps, other causes assisted to strengthen his opposition. When first he published the slanderous report (in 1781), he still seems to have had some misgivings; hence he prefaced it with the acknowledgment, that Swedenborg was "a very great man," and that in his writings "there are many excellent things:" when he afterwards seemed less inclined to admit so much, although no doubt he still spoke sincerely, a little human frailty, perhaps, influenced his judgment. It is well known that Mr. W. was always prompt in taking measures to put down anything like rebellion among his disciples,—any thing that tended to the diminution of his authority over their minds. Now it is a certain fact, that Mr. Smith was not the only one of his pupils who began to think the doctrines of the New Church superior to those of Methodism: among his other preachers who came to the same conclusion, were Mr. James Hindmarsh, Mr. Isaac Hawkins, and Mr. E. Jackson, deceased, with Mr. J. W. Salmon and Mr. T. Parker, still living;* all of whom became active promoters of those doctrines: it therefore is not to be wondered at, if Mr. "Wesley at last took the most decisive steps to check their further extension among his flock.

* When the first edition of this work was published.

The above appears to me to be a fair and highly probable account of the progress, on this subject, of Mr. Wesley's mind. It is not, however, here offered with the view of casting any imputation on his memory. I have little doubt, that, though some erroneous sentiments confirmed in his understanding prevented him from accepting, in this world, the doctrines of the New Church, his intentions were upright, and there was a principle of real good in his heart, which, in the other life would throw off the errors that obscured it, and enable him to receive the truth. This, it is probable, was seen by Swedenborg, and was the reason of his inviting him to an interview: and thus, I trust, though Mr. Wesley acted chiefly as an opponent to him while on earth, he may now be associated with him in heaven. Let it, also, be remembered, that for the alleged facts published by Mr. Wesley, Mr. Wesley himself is not responsible: he was herein imposed upon by Mathesius. Let not, then, his followers still confirm themselves against Swedenborg's testimony by what Mr. Wesley published against him: let them rather weigh, without Mr. Wesley's prejudices, the reasons he had, and might have had, for coming to finally favourable conclusion; and let them accept the sentiments which, we may hope, Mr. Wesley now holds, instead of adhering to those which he, in all probability, has rejected.

Closely connected with the name of Mr. Wesley, is that of Mr, Fletcher; and as considerable pains have been taken to represent this distinguished character as participating in Mr. Wesley's mistaken opinions respecting Swedenborg, it may be satisfactory to some if I here enter into a little digression to correct this misrepresentation, and to establish the assertion advanced above,* that "among the believers of Swedenborg's spiritual intercourse, if not of the whole of his doctrine, is certainly to be reckoned the celebrated and eminently pious Vicar of Madeley, the Rev. Mr. Fletcher:"—consequently, he did not regard what Swedenborg has communicated on that subject as the result of mental derangement. It is also certain that, at one period, Mrs. Fletcher, scarcely less celebrated among the Methodist body than her husband, approved, at least, of much of Swedenborg's writings; clear proof of which will appear in the next section.

In this lady's journal, as edited after her death by the Rev. H. Moore, there is a passage of a contradictory description. But there really are circumstances which make it difficult to believe that the paragraph, as it stands, ever proceeded from her pen. It professes to relate a conversation between Mr. Fletcher and herself, not minuted down at the time, but inserted under the date of March 5, 1806, more than twenty years after Mr. Fletcher's decease. It begins thus: "A thought has struck my mind, That from some things mentioned in the notes subjoined to the Portrait of St. Paul, edited by Mr. Gilpin, after my dear husband's death, he might be thought to favour the opinions of Baron Swedenborg; I therefore think it my duty to bear my witness to the contrary."—What Mr. Gilpin had said on this subject, I have not ascertained, not having been able to obtain a sight of the first edition of the work; and the less honest editors of the subsequent editions have so carefully erased it, that not a syllable respecting Swedenborg is in them to be found. Mrs. F. proceeds: "The first book which he saw contained but little amiss: and Mr. Wesley having observed concerning it, 'I think it will neither do good nor harm,'—Mr. Fletcher, soon after, writing to his brother, who had mentioned it, observed, that it was a book which he did not condemn."—Now this book, which Mr. Fletcher did not condemn, which Mrs. Fletcher allows to contain but little amiss, and which Mr. Wesley did not think capable of doing any harm, was the Treatise on Heaven and Hell: and that is a work of no neutral character; for its details being constantly given as the results of the Author's personal knowledge and experience, not to condemn them is to acknowledge it to be at least highly probable that he wrote from divine illumination. And that work not only contains the Author's views respecting Heaven, Hell, and the Life after Death in general, but it touches, either directly or incidentally, upon the whole of his doctrines; in particular, it devotes two chapters to the explanation of the correspondence between spiritual things and natural, and advances throughout the great doctrine on which all the others hinge,—that of the Sole Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. If, then, Mr. Fletcher did not strongly favour the whole, would he have encouraged his brother, for whose spiritual welfare he felt the most tender solicitude, to study such a work, by telling him "it was a hook which, he did not condemn?"—Mrs. F.'s journal adds, "But when he had seen a little more of the Baron's works, he said to me one day, Polly, I believe Mr.—— will be a Swedenborger, and I am very sorry for it.' I said, 'Well, if he can believe there are wax candles and feasts in heaven, he must have strange ideas.' Mr. F replied, 'My dear, thou dost not perceive the snake in the grass. These books deny the atonement, and so strike at the root of all true religion.' In the same mind he continued to the last." It is here very strange that Mrs. F. should have made the remark about wax candles in heaven; for no such statement is anywhere made by Swedenborg. That Swedenborg's works do not deny the atonement as represented in the Scriptures, will be seen in a subsequent Section: and it seems scarcely possible that Mr. F. should have thought so. And that he esteemed Swedenborg's works injurious, and continued in that mind to the last, is utterly irreconcileable with the certain fact, that one of the last acts of his life was, to introduce those works to a beloved friend, who is living at this day, and blesses his memory, for having been brought by him to a knowledge of those invaluable writings.

The following is from a letter of Mrs. M. Walker, of Bath, to a lady in London, dated May 10, 1820. The original is before me. "I do not remember ever to have read any passage put forth by a public religious character with feelings of more surprise and astonishment, than one lately put into my hand by a friend, who is a lover of truth. The passage alluded to is in Mr. H. Moore's Life of that late very dear and venerable mother in Israel, Mrs. Fletcher, and is relative to Mr. Fletcher's opinion and sentiments on the invaluable writings of Emanuel Swedenborg; for which, I have from undoubted and united testimonies been convinced, that both Mr. and Mrs. F. entertained much respect, if they did not fully appreciate their worth. When young, I was honoured by intimate acquaintance with both those distinguished and pious characters; and I for some years corresponded with the above lady, both as Miss Bosanquet and Mrs. Fletcher. The last time I had the pleasure of addressing her, my letter was conveyed to her hands by W. Gilbert, Esq., a native of Antigua; in which I informed her that I had embraced the doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church, requesting her sentiments thereon. On this gentleman's return to Bristol, I naturally and ardently expected her reply: but to my great disappointment Mr. Q. informed me, that Mrs. F. had requested her kind love, and hoped I would excuse her not writing, as the weak state of her eyes prohibited her doing it. I then inquired if she had made no remark relative to E. S. Mr. Gr. replied, that she had conversed freely with him on that subject, and said, that she could always see a great difference in his writings according to the station he described himself as standing in, or receiving his instructions from:—for instance, when he wrote from the east, she could perceive more of the spirit of the Lord to be in it than when from any other quarter, when she considered what he wrote as coming from some spirit or angel, and sometimes from himself.* I remember that this gentlemen specified some parts of his writings, but cannot recollect which, as a proof of her assertion, mentioned as such by herself. Now as this dear lady always, from my earliest years, expressed a strong affection for me, and, had my father been willing, would have taken me home as her own daughter (being then in Bath, I think about the year 1766 or 67), it is most probable that a woman, of her sweet heavenly spirit would have warned me against reading: or receiving doctrines which she considered dangerous, had she seen, them in such light: which she might have done verbally, if unable to write, by Mr. Gilbert.—Again: I do not recollect the year, but at the time the Rev. Melville Home went to Sierra Leone, leaving Mrs. Home behind on account of her advanced state of pregnacy, Mrs. H. spent about ten days with me: and I experienced great delight in her conversation and communications of spiritual sentiments, not without surprise at finding them so congenial with my own. One day, on her making some spiritual remark which I knew did not grow in the old church, I said, 'My dear Mrs. Home, you can say, Shibboleth!— where did you gather your last sentiment from?' 'From Madeley,' she replied, 'from dear Mr. Salmon.' I then inquired if she had ever conversed with Mr. Fletcher on those doctrines: to which she replied in the affirmative, and that he appeared to esteem them so highly,, that she inquired why he did not preach them in his church. His reply she gave me in the following remarkable words: 'Because my congregation is not in fit states to receive them.' "

* It is to be observed, that Swedenborg never describes himself as standing in, or receiving what he wrote from, different quarters: this then is only Mrs. Fletcher's mode of describing the difference she thought she perceived in, his writings; but she herein adopts as true what he states respecting the difference of the quarters in the spiritual world, and the arrangement of its inhabitants therein according to their states; according to which representation, the east is where the Lord himself appears, and those are stationed towards the east who are eminently principled in love to him. But Mrs. P. here fully acknowledges her belief, that Swedenborg really did receive communications from the spiritual world, and frequently, even, from the Lord, though she falls into the inconsistency of supposing, that he who was thus the channel of divine and heavenly communications, was equally the channel of very inferior influences, and was himself unable to distinguish the one from the other! The fact is, she saw that the reality of his spiritual intercourse could not be denied, nor the exalted excellence of many of his views; but cherishing, herself, some erroneous sentiments, she made these the standard of her judgment, and so ascribed to an imperfect source whatever in his writings was inconsistent with her own opinions.

Mrs. Walker then relates what she had heard respecting Mr. Fletcher from J. W. Salmon, Esq., of Namptwich; but having myself been favoured with a letter from that gentleman detailing the particulars more fully, with leave to publish them, I give them on his immediate authority. His letter to me is dated July 2, 1825: and in it he says as follows:

"In answer to your inquiry, I state the following particulars for certain, which took place betwixt Mr. Fletcher and myself the last time I had the pleasure of passing a couple of days with him at Madeley, which was but a few months before his death. After receiving me with open arms into his house, he thus addressed me: 'My dear brother (which he always called me), I am glad to see you, and hope we are once more met to enjoy a heavenly feast together.' After this he went into his study, and brought the Baron's treatise on Heaven and Hell, and laid it on the table before me, saying, 'There, my dear brother, is a book, the contents of which will just suit your taste; and as I am particularly engaged for two or three hours every day, about this time, in finishing a controversial work of some importance, you will excuse my leaving you so hastily, and amuse yourself with reading a little in the book I have brought you, which I believe will be agreeable to your present state of mind.' He then left me: and being greatly impressed with the manner of his introducing the book to me, I fell upon my knees, and devoutly prayed, that if the truths contained in the book before me were likely to make me more holy and heavenly-minded, I might be prepared to receive them, and live accordingly. Then rising from my knees, I opened the book and, passing over the preface, I read about 30 pages, and was deeply impressed with the whole of them, but more than words can express with the declaration, that the Lord Jesus is the only God of heaven and earth, and the only Object of true Christian worship. Just after being thus divinely impressed, Mr. Fletcher came into the room, and thus addressed me: 'Let me now ask you, my dear brother, how you like the Baron?' To which I replied, 'Who can do otherwise than like him ? I never met with such a book in my life. He discards a trinity of persons in the Godhead, and makes the Lord himself to be the only God of heaven and earth. I should be glad to peruse the whole book, if you can conveniently lend it me.' To which he replied, 'I will lend it you with great pleasure, and desire you will make any marginal notes on it you think proper.' He further said, that he regarded the Baron's writings as a magnificent feast, set out with many dainties, but that he had not an appetite for every dish. He not only declared this to me, but I have frequently been informed he said the same to others. What books of Swedenborg's he was acquainted with besides the treatise on Heaven and Hell, I cannot say; but I should think he was well acquainted with the contents of that; as he told me that he intended to write a treatise on the science of correspondences; and from that book, I have often thought he gained the knowledge of that long lost and most important science." —Here then we see whence he acquired that extraordinary talent for opening the spiritual sense of the Scriptures, by which, Mr. Gilpin assures us, he was so distinguished.—Mr. Salmon then mentions how he was struck by Mr. F.'s manner of praying. He always began with "Dear Lord Jesus;" from which, and from a passage in his Pastoral Letters, p. 103, Mr. S. concludes, "that our Incarnate God and. Saviour was the grand Object of Mr. Fletcher's faith and worship." Mr. S. adds, "Let me not forgot to acknowledge, that Mrs. Fletcher sent to me for the book, saying, that as her dear husband was gone into the other world, she wished to see the account of that world given by the Baron.—What her sentiments were respecting the Baron's writings, I cannot say, as she never was present in the few conversations I had (respecting them) with her husband."

The fact then must surely now be admitted to be amply established, —that Mr. Fletcher is to be reckoned among the believers of Swedenborg's spiritual intercourse, if not of the whole of his doctrine; and, however the strange passage came into her journal, the same fact appears to be true in respect to Mrs. Fletcher also, though, probably, to a less extent. Would such a man as Mr. Fletcher have introduced writings to his friend, with the anticipation that that friend would approve them, if himself thought them the offspring of delusion ? Would he have permitted his friend to express his high approbation of the leading doctrine of those writings without checking his ardour, if himself deemed that doctrine untrue ? The thing is impossible: and the similar reflection which Mrs. Walker makes respecting Mrs. Fletcher's conduct to her, is equally well-founded. To Mr. F.'s remark, "that he regarded Swedenborg's writings as a magnificent feast, set out with many dainties, but that he had not an appetite for every dish," the same observation is applicable as to Mrs. Fletcher's notion, that our Author wrote at times from the Spirit of the Lord, and at other times from inferior spirits or from himself: only Mr. F. does not ascribe what he less approved to any fault in the thingz themselves,—for he compares the whole of those writings to a feast, and all their contents to dainties,—but to the state of his own appetite: modified, as this necessarily was, by the views of doctrine which he had imbibed in early life, and through the fallacy of some of which he was only beginning to penetrate when he was taken away.

But to return from this digression.

III. We have seen that the only specific ground upon which it has ever been attempted to found the imputation against Swedenborg of insanity, proves in every respect to be a foundation of sand: but as the charge continues to be vaguely reiterated by multitudes, they know not why, we will add some considerations upon it in general, taken from a correspondence in which I was formerly engaged. My opponent, on that occasion, was a young gentleman of very respectable attainments belonging to the medical profession; who, while repeating the old calumny, made more show of supporting it by argument than has been usual with our assailants. I was thus led to go more particularly into the examination of the imputation than had, 1 believe, been done before. The controversy embraced other subjects; but I shall only extract the part that relates to the present question. I will give as much of my adversary's letters, as, with my answers, is necessary to place the case fairly before the reader.

His first letter, being an attack on a lecture delivered by me, appeared in "the Colchester Gazette" of December 28, 1822. In this, my opponent, who writes under the signature of Gulielmus, had merely thrown out the charge in a declamatory manner; which I notice, in the following extract from my answer, inserted in the same paper, January 4, 1823. "You charge the truly illustrious Swedenborg with insanity; only supporting the charge with the gratuitous assertion, that 'it is a fact well known to those versed in his biography:' and you ask, 'Who would deem it wise to stake his faith, his hope, his terrestrial happiness and eternal felicity, upon the wild, and visionary, and mystical, and baleful,—if bright, and beauteous, and ingenious reveries of a Madman?' Allow me, Sir, to say, that I presume that I am, at least, as well 'versed in his biography' as you can be: and I know, what perhaps you do not, that he has found two classes of biographers; one who, without any personal acquaintance with him, or intimate knowledge of his works, have, from mere hearsay, the idle fictions of enemies, represented him as you describe; while the other class, who were personally acquainted with him, and who had fairly examined his writings, agree in representing him as retaining 'a sound mind, memory, and under standing, to the last hour of his life:' as was deposed on oath by Mr. and Mrs. Shearsmith, at whose house he had repeatedly lodged, and in which he died, in an affidavit sworn before the Lord Mayor, Nov. 24, 1785 [to rebut the charge of his having, when dying, retracted his former sentiments]. I might here quote the highly honourable testimony on this subject borne by the Rev. T. Hartley, M.A., Rector of Winwick in Northamptonshire, who was intimately acquainted with Swedenborg for several years before his death;—of Mr. Springer, formerly Swedish Consul at the port of London; of Dr. Beyer, Member of the Ecclesiastical Consistory at Gottenburg; of Dr. Messiter, an eminent English Physician; of Mr. Robsam, Director of the Bank of Stockholm; and of Count Hopken, many years Prime Minister of Sweden, and one of the most illustrious statesmen that Sweden ever produced. All these were Swedenborg's intimate acquaintances, besides being persons, as their rank and stations demonstrate, well qualified to form a judgment, and well entitled to be believed: how ought then all the hearsay reports,—the idle fictions of prejudice or of ignorance,—to fade away before testimony so unimpeachable!

"But, Sir, we care not for extraneous evidence. It is satisfactory, indeed, that we can produce incomparably more in his favour, even of this kind, than can be produced against him; but we are content to rest the cause, ultimately, upon the evidence which his writings bear to themselves. 'By their fruits ye shall know them,' saith infallible "Wisdom; 'do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?' Can he then be a 'madman' in whose writings we find the most coherent system of theology, the most satisfactory proof of all the great doctrines of Christianity, the most conclusive evidence of the divinity of the Holy Word, that modern ages have beheld; and all this deduced in the most orderly method, with the most logical arrangement of the branches of his argument, the most perfect consistency of system and of sentiment, though conveyed in volumes written (some of them) at the distance of more than twenty years from each other?"

In reply, Gulielmus addressed to me a second letter, which appeared in the same paper, Jan. 25th. The following sentences contain all the strength of his arguments. "You cite the affidavits of several persons who deposed as to the Baron's sanity; and you quote the opinions of others to the same effect.—But, Sir, admitting these affidavits to have been conscientiously made, and these opinions impartially given; still, I submit, they cannot prove, beyond all doubt and controversy, the sanity of the Baron.—I do not seek to impeach their veracity; but, in a case of this nature, I may be allowed to question their competency to decide. Does not every day show us instances, in which the rich, the noble, the powerful, the talented, and the educated, have given testimony, which subsequent events have proved erroneous ? I cannot fail to notice, Sir, you carefully conceal the countless many who have borne different evidence; but you most conveniently content yourself with the gratuitous assertion, that it is satisfactory, indeed, that we can produce more in his (the Baron's) favour, even of this kind (viz. extraneous evidence) than can be produced against him.' Sir, I recognise the possibility, that a man may be 'a Swedish Consul at the port of London;' or a 'Member of the Ecclesiastical Consistory at Gottenburg;' or 'a Director of the Bank of Stockholm;' or 'an eminent English Physician;' or 'a Count, and many years Prime Minister of Sweden;' or even an enlightened visionary Divine; and yet not competent to decide, unerringly, upon alienation of mind, or that peculiar species of it with which the Baron was affected, denominated idoloinania, in which the lunatic fancies he sees and holds converse with imaginary beings.

Sir, the merest tyro in medical knowledge would have informed you, that in eases of insanity like the Baron's, a man will often appear perfectly sane, and will stand the test of the most scrutinising examination till the subject is touched upon in which all his fond and delusive systems are concentrated; and then his aberration of mind bursts forth terrifically. I remember a case recorded of a gentleman whom his friends deemed insane: he was examined by several physicians of the greatest celebrity, experience, and talent, without their being able to find the smallest trace of insanity: Dr. Haslam, however, was consulted, who, after a long and ingenious investigation, touched the chord which vibrated to his infatuated fancy. See the opinions * of Mead, Cullen, Ferrisa, Haslam, Monro, Esquirol, "Willes, Burrows, and Pritchard. Sir, are we to be told that the depositions of two persons, and the opinions of a few more, are to be deemed infallible, upon a subject in which the most experienced talent is liable to "be mistaken ? Let no individual, Sir, form his opinion of the Baron from our newspaper-report on the subject;—no, out of his own mouth let the Baron be justified or condemned.—Can he be a sane man who records the subsequent reverie as matter of fact ? The Baron informs us, 'that on a certain night a man appeared to him in the midst of a strong shining light, and said, I am God the Lord, the Creator and Redeemer; I have chosen thee to explain to men the interior and spiritual sense of the sacred writings: I will dictate to thee what thou oughtest to write.' From this period, the Baron relates, he was so illumined as to behold, in the clearest manner, what passed in the spiritual world, and that he could converse with angels and spirits as with men, &c. I ask, does the Baron deserve any more credit than we give to the pretended visions of Mahomet, whom most denominate, by way of illustrious infamy, the False Prophet; or than the asserted inspiration of one Lodowick Muggleton, who, with his Companion, Reeve, set up for great prophets about the year 1657, and promulgated that their mission was entirely spiritual, &c.—Seriously, Sir, there seems to have been method in the Baron's madness, which enabled him so exactly to tread in the steps of Muggleton and Reeve, not abating an atom of their fanaticism and delusion.—Sir, in another part of your reply, with the ingenuity of sophistry, you imposingly ask, 'Can he be a madman in whose writings we find the most coherent system of theology,' &c.—Sir, I am willing to leave the decision of this point to the efficient decision of every unsophisticated and enlightened enquirer after divine truth, when he has perused the Baron's works; yes, let the subject be decided 'by the evidence which his writings bear to themselves.'—

* Not respecting Swedenborg.

"I conclude, Sir, by thanking you for the effort you have made to instruct me in the mysteries of the Baron's reveries: but I am so well satisfied with the good old way, that I am by no means desirous of an accession of any extraordinary new light."—

This second letter of Gulielmus drew a second from me, which the Editor of the Colchester Gazette inserted in his papers of Feb. 22, and March 1, 8, and 29. I extract the following paragraphs, here and there slightly altered:—

"I must first observe, that you have here only given an additional illustration of the fact, which we must know little of human nature in its present state of degeneracy not to expect, that such truly profound views of divine things as are developed by Swedenborg, and the means by which he obtained them, must needs 'seem incongruous,' as one of your authorities [Dr. Gray, quoted by Gulielmus on the subject of the patriarchal history] well expresses it, 'to those who cannot raise their minds to a contemplation of any economy which they have not experienced, and who proudly question every event not consistent with their notions of propriety.' This, Sir, is the sole ground of the assertion that Swedenborg was 'a madman.'—

"Allow me to state the general facts, with your conclusion from them.

"Scripture has abundantly predicted, that a great change in the state of the church would, at some future period, take place: All history testifies, that whenever such changes have taken place in former ages, they have always been attended, sooner or later, with great alterations in the political aspect of the world. The alterations of this kind which the last fifty years have produced, are such as the world has not seen since those which attended the first establishment of Christianity: Swedenborg, more than fifty years ago, announced the arrival of the time for the fulfilment of the Scripture-prophecies alluded to: 'Flesh and blood could not have revealed this' to him, but only our Father which is in heaven: But, say you, for him to affirm this is an unquestionable proof of insanity; though the truth of his testimony receives corroboration from the events of every passing year, yet because he asserts that he obtained his knowledge in the only way in which it was possible to attain it, he was a Madman. Such, Sir, when put in a tangible form, is the chain of reasoning which terminates in what you denominate your incontrovertible statement. Happily, however, we have a statement far more incontrovertible, even that of God Himself; which is, 'Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets:' (Amos iii. 7.) and never yet did he suffer the period to arrive for the execution of any of his magnificent works of mercy and judgment, without enlightening some faithful servant to communicate the important tidings. This, as you allow the truth of Scripture-history, you cannot deny; so that the plain jet of your argument, taking this into the premises, is simply this:—Scripture demonstrates, that to invest men, on the requisite occasion, with divine commissions? has always formed a part of the divine economy as exercised towards man: numerous false pretenders to such communications appeared in former ages, without the circumstance being considered as derogating from the authority of the true ones: but there have also been false pretenders in modern times: Therefore, it is impossible there can again be any true ones. A most legitimate conclusion! Do you seriously mean to affirm, that although God, in former times, confessedly interposed occasionally in an extraordinary way for the benefit of his church, he either cannot, or will not, do so any more ? Reflect how awful is the state to which you represent the church as having arrived, when its members deny either the power, or the right, or the willingness, of God to interfere, when necessary, for her guidance! Remember, that when once a wall of separation is built up between heaven and the world, and God is shut out from his church, a door is open for the admission, from the opposite quarter, of every corruption, both of doctrine and practice. We can, then, no longer wonder at anything that 'the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery;. for they say the Lord seeth us not, the Lord hath forsaken the earth." (Ez. viii. 12.)

"You draw your arguments in support of your charge from three sources: from Testimony: from the Principles of Medical Jurisprudence; and from Theological Considerations.

"On the question of Testimony; In reference to the deposition of the Shearsmiths, and the opinions of the learned and noble persons mentioned by me, you say, 'Admitting these affidavits to have been conscientiously made, and these opinions impartially given, still I submit they cannot prove beyond all doubt and controversy the sanity of the Baron.' Sir, I brought them forward, not as absolutely decisive proof, but as strong presumptive evidence; as affording a more than adequate set-off against the calumnies of the 'countless many,' who, you assure us, 'have borne different evidence.' Who these 'countless many' are, you, Sir, wisely, as well as 'carefully, conceal:' wherefore I will tell our readers. They consist of such persons as Gulielmus, who, without knowing anything of the matter themselves, are ever ready to echo a scandalous tale that they have heard from others, and who, when it has been thus circulated through a nation, cry out, 'See! they who repeat it are a countless many; and what everybody says must be true.' But, Sir, you must know little of the rules of evidence, which are those of common sense, if you are not aware, that a report does not gain, from the multitude who retail it at second hand, one jot of additional credibility; for this, it depends entirely upon the number, character, and means of knowledge, of those with whom it originated: on which account, I did not refer you to the thousands who have received Swedenborg's testimony as witnesses in his favour, but only to such as found their evidence on their personal acquaintance with him; and I could easily add to their number. But the stories respecting his supposed insanity cannot be traced up to one witness of this description. They were first put in circulation by Mr. Mathcsius, Minister of the Swedish Chapel in London, who was a bitter opponent of Swedenborg's sentiments; and who professed to relate his tale upon the authority of a Mr. Brockmer, at whose house in London Swedenborg had once lodged, but who, when questioned upon the subject by some gentlemen who waited on him for the purpose, denied having given Mr. Mathesius any such information.—Such, Sir, is the

——tenuis sine viribus umbra

to which you and your 'countless many' had given the

——clypeumque jubamque,
Divini capitis;
——

and thus, when pursued by a candid inquirer,

——nubi se immiscuit atrae.

"To cast up accounts, then, as we go on, how stands your argument as founded on witnesses ? Just thus. A number of gentlemen of the highest respectability together with the persons in whose house he lived, all of whom had the fullest opportunities of observing his conduct, have borne testimony on the question of Swedenborg's sanity: The testimony of such witnesses, by all the rules of evidence, is entitled to credit: But their testimony is in his favour: Therefore he must have been insane. Again: 'A countless many,' who refer as the source of their information to a man who denies having given them any, have borne testimony on the question of Swedenborg's sanity: The testimony of such witnesses, by all the rules of evidence, is unworthy of credit: But their testimony is against him: Therefore he could not have been sane.—O Prejudice, Prejudice! how great is thy power over those 'who cannot raise their minds to the contemplation of any economy which they have not experienced!' How readily, at the touch of thy magic wand, is white tranformed into black, and black into white! What thou deniest, no testimony can render credible! What thou affirmest, must, in spite of all testimony, be deemed incontrovertible! Thou canst make men believe, that the more positive the testimony in Swedenborg's favour, the less likely it is to be true, and that when deposed on oath, it becomes utterly incredible.

"I proceed to examine your arguments drawn from the Principles of Medical Jurisprudence. For feeling that the persons named by me are irrefragable witnesses on every subject of which they could have a competent knowledge, you would fain represent this as a casein which they are not qualified to form an opinion: so, rejecting the verdict of general reason, thus expressed by men collected promiscuously from the upper ranks of society and the learned professions, you claim this cause for the decision of medical men alone. Nor, it seems, are even these, if taken generally, to be depended upon for such a purpose: for though 'the merest tyro in medical philosophy' has, 'in cases of insanity,' a wonderful superiority over all un-medical intellect, yet here, you affirm, even 'physicians of the greatest celebrity, experience, and talent,' are 'liable to be mistaken.' Great caution, then, you deem, must be used, in framing a jury likely to return you a verdict, even of medical men alone. In this opinion of yours I entirely concur; since, strange as it may appear to you, not only was one of the gentlemen I mentioned before, a physician, but it ts a fact, that the number of medical men who have embraced the doctrines of Swedenborg, with full assurance that they are not the dictates of 'a madman,' is, in proportion to the whole number of his followers, fully as great as in any other religious profession whatever: indeed, I am satisfied, much greater. Swedenborg, also, has a claim to the candid regard of medical men, as the author of two works, intitled Regnum Animate, and OEconomia Regni Animalis, which display the most profound acquaintance with anatomical and physiological science. And, what is sufficiently remarkable, one of these works, or at least a great portion of it, was written after the access of his imputed derangement. *

* It was published in three parts, two of which were printed in 1744, and the third in 1745: his spiritual intercourse began in 1743.

"But, Sir, I have two other remarks to make on what you have said respecting the application of medical science to the question before us. The first is, That at the utmost, you have only shown an appeal to medical science to be here out of place. For you represent the chief use of this to be, in detecting the latent hallucination, where the patient, as often happens, endeavours to conceal it. But the peculiar persuasion entertained by Swedenborg he never concealed: nor did the gentlemen who have deposed to the soundness of his mind, do so in ignorance of this persuasion, but with a full knowledge of it, and after having weighed it and the whole of his character, conduct, and writings, together. The question which thus arises is not one in the science of medicine, but in theology; and the possession of medical knowledge confers no capacity of deciding it, beyond what is possessed by every man of general information and good sense. My second remark is, That, upon your own showing, an appeal to medical science must terminate in Swedenborg's favour. That you belong to the profession yourself, is sufficiently obvious; and I see no reason to doubt your claim to a respectable share of professional knowledge: of course, I cannot question the accuracy of your description of those 'cases of insanity,' which you affirm to be 'like the Baron's.' In these, you say, 'a man will often appear perfectly sane, and will stand the test of the most scrutinising examination, till the subject is touched upon, in which all his fond and delusive systems are concentrated; and then his aberration of mind bursts forth terrifically.' Now, Sir, no part of this description at all applies to Swedenborg: for, in the first place, though he did not obtrude his peculiar notions, it never required any 'scrutinising examination' to draw them from him; nor, secondly, where the subject was touched upon, nor even when he was rudely opposed, did he ever exhibit those terrific bursts, which you represent as the decisive symptom. Near the beginning of the first of his publications on theology, and repeatedly afterwards, he states his anticipation of such imputations, and his indifference to them: and he always evinced, in conversation, the same self-possession. He never would enter into dispute on points of religion. When obliged to defend himself, he did it mildly, and in few words: if they wished to urge him further, he retired from all contest, only saying, 'Read my writings with attention and without prejudice: they shall answer for me: perhaps you will see reason to change your sentiments.'* This behaviour, Sir, when 'the subject was touched in which his not delusive system was concentrated,' is very different from the terrific bursts to which you allow the lunatic will, on such occasions, give vent. Judged, therefore, even by your own theory, Swedenborg must be acquitted.

* Anecdotes collected by Pernetti.

"Finding, then, Sir, that the Principles of Medical Jurisprudence will not serve, any more than the Rules of Evidence, to condemn our author, you at last betake yourself to Theological Considerations; from whence you lay down a canon, which, if admitted, will certainly consign him to the condemned cell; and much good company with him. The Apostolic canon in such cases is, 'Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God:' (1 John iv. 1). and the touchstone to which they are to be brought is pointed out by the prophet: 'To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no truth in them.' (Isa. viii. 20). But instead of this canon, you offer another, which, requiring no discrimination in its exercise, is well suited for those who would decide in a summary way, without the trouble of examining the merits of the case. It is simply this: Whoever professes to be the bearer of divine communications, is insane. To bring Swedenborg within the operation of this rule, you quote, as if from his own works, a passage which is nowhere to be found in them, but which you seem to have taken from some Biographical Dictionary or Cyclopaedia, few of which, give any thing like a fair account of the matter. A statement, in substance resembling yours, has indeed been given by one of his friends: but there is very great reason to doubt its accuracy; and the particulars, as quoted by you, cannot, certainly, be depended on as correct. I prefer then to abide by Swedenborg's own account; and the most particular relation which he has given of himself is in Ms work entitled True Christian Religion; the last chapter of which treats 'Of the Consummation of the age (called in the common Translation the end of the world); of the coming of the Lord; and of the New Heaven and New Church.' One of the sections of this chapter is headed, 'That the coming of the Lord is not a coming to destroy the visible heaven and habitable earth, and to create a new heaven and a new earth, as many have heretofore supposed, in consequence of not understanding the spiritual sense of the Word:' and another Section is designed to show, 'That the Second Coming of the Lord is not a Coming in Person, but in the Word, which is from Him, and is (in its essence) Himself.' After having demonstrated these propositions with great clearness of reasoning and powerful Scripture testimony, he proceeds to another which is required to make the series complete; which is, 'That this Second Coming of the Lord is effected by the instrumentality of a man, to whom He has manifested Himself in Person, and whom He has filled with His Spirit, to teach from Him, by the Word, the Doctrines of the New Church.' This last proposition he begins to illustrate thus: 'Since the Lord cannot manifest Himself in Person to the world, as is shown in the preceding Section; and yet he hath foretold that he will come again, and found a New Church, which is the New Jerusalem; it follows, that he will effect this by the instrumentality of a man, who shall not onlj receive the doctrines of this Church in his understanding, but also publish them by means of the press. That the Lord hath manifested himself to me his servant, and appointed me to this office, and that he afterwards opened the eyes of my spirit, and so introduced me into the spiritual world, and granted me the view of heaven and hell, and the privilege of conversing with angels and spirits, which 1 have now enjoyed for many years, I testify in truth: as also, that from the first day of my calling, I have never taken anything that respects the doctrines of the church from any angel, but from the Lord alone, while reading the Word.' Here, Sir, if a wonderful fact is related, it is no more than is worthy of the occasion assigned for it, and this occasion is one, which, every reader must acknowledge, must arise at some time or other; as also, that, when it does arise, it must demand such an instrument for its announcement, as our Author, in so unaffected a manner, states himself to have been made. "But, it seems, come when it may, you are predetermined not to believe it, but to denounce whoever shall declare it as a madman: for you ask, in a manner that conveys the strongest negative answer, 'Can he he a sane man who records such a reverie as a matter of fact?' But, Sir, did you consider whom you will include among the insane, if you make this the criterion ? Did you never read of one who says, in words very like your version of the Baron's reverie, 'It came to pass, that, as I took my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus, about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me: and I fell on the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me ? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord ? And He said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.' * Do you not recollect also, that the same person says of the gospel which he taught, 'I received it not of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ?+ Have you also forgotten who affirms that he was 'caught up to the third heaven,' and likewise, that 'he was caught up into paradise, and heard there unspeakable words, which it is not possible for man to utter;' and who also speaks of 'the abundance of his revelations ?' # These are reveries very like the Baron's: 'Can then he be a sane man who records them ?' Or did you never hear of another, who says, 'I was in the spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last,' and who, when he 'turned to see the voice that spake with him, saw one like unto the Son of Man,' $ whose glorious appearance he particularly describes; and who has written a whole book, full of the extraordinary things which he saw and heard, when he was 'in the spirit,' and 'in vision?' Here are reveries far more extraordinary still; can then he be a sane man, who records them ? In short to adduce all the instances of such reveries which we find in the Scriptures, would be to quote half the Bible: and if we judge of this Divine Code by your infallible test, we must pronounce the whole to be the effusions of insanity. You are displeased with me for having stated, in my former letter, that by setting revelation at variance with reason and philosophy [by insisting upon a merely literal interpretation of Scripture], you were strengthening the cause of the infidel; but assuredly you are doing the same thing here. The infidel assumes as a maxim, that the notion of God's interfering to communicate revelations of his will to man, is utterly incredible: and he may now quote your authority for his general principle. The infidel argues in support of his maxim, that such interference is contrary to common experience, and that they who have pretended to it in modern times are allowed to have been lunatics or impostors: and you re-echo the sentiment. But the infidel, in offering this argument, though weak, is consistent. He will readily acknowledge, that, if it can be proved that such interferences have ever taken place, there is no improbability in supposing that they may take place again. But you, while you adopt his general principle and argument, depart from the consistency which alone makes them worth a moment's consideration: you allow that God has in former times made men the bearers of divine communications, but affirm that whoever professes to stand in this character now, is convicted, ipso facto, of insanity. Really, Sir, (and I speak it with concern,) this assertion of yours, together with your declared determination to abide, wherever it may lead you, in what you mistakenly call 'the good old way,' makes me fear, that had you lived in Judea when the Saviour of the world appeared in the flesh, you would have remained in 'the good old way' of the Jews, and would have followed the cry which said, 'He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?'

* Acts xxii. 6, 7, 8. + Gal. i. 12. # 2 Cor. xii. 2, 4, 7. $ Rev. i. 10—13.

"You, however, call to your aid Mahomet, the old false prophet, and the more recent ones, Reeve and Muggleton; who supply you with the following pointed argument: Mahomet was a false prophet: so were Reeve and Muggleton: therefore, Swedenborg was another. But, Sir, in order to make us see the force of your therefore, you ought to have shown in what respects Swedenborg resembled your false prophets. You certainly have done this in one point: but the point you have selected, being the only one you could find in which Swedenborg resembled Mahomet and the others, is that single point, in which Mahomet and the others resembled the true prophets; which was, in professing to be invested with a divine commission. To complete then your argument, we must introduce your infallible test as the major proposition; and then we shall find it sufficiently comprehensive if not particularly conclusive. It will stand thus1. Every one who professes to have received a divine commission, is insane: Mahomet, Muggleton, all the Apostles and prophets, with Swedenborg, did this: Therefore Mahomet, Muggleton, all the Apostles and prophets, and Swedenborg, were insane.

"But, Sir, you should have known, that neither Mahomet nor Muggleton have been ranked as false prophets simply because they pretended to divine revelations, but because their pretended revelations contained nothing worthy of the source to which they ascribed them. That Mahomet's system is in many respects diametrically opposite to Holy Writ, is well known. Nor will the parallel you would institute between Swedenborg and Reeve and Muggleton hold any otherwise than in the way of contrast. Move disgusting stuff cannot be conceived than fills the pages of those ignorant drivellers: yet, though nothing bordering on such rubbish is to be found in the writings of Swedenborg, you are not ashamed to represent him, and this, you affirm, seriously, as treading exactly in the steps of Reeve and Muggleton, not abating an atom of their fanaticism and delusion ? And yet you profess yourself ready to abide by my appeal to his works! Read them first, Sir, and learn what they are. At least, read some one of them straight through, giving a candid attention to every part of its contents; not looking only for such things as may be distorted into subjects of ridicule, as infidels have treated the Bible.

"I will only mention one other circumstance, which marks a very wide distinction indeed between Swedenborg and the whole tribe of such pretenders as you have mentioned. It is a common infirmity with them all, to entertain high conceptions of themselves. Every remarkable one among them has been fond, with Simon the sorcerer, of 'giving out that himself was some great one.' (Acts viii. 9). The magnificent claims of Mahomet are sufficiently known. Reeve and Muggleton affirmed that they were the two witnesses mentioned in Rev. xi. Richard Brothers pretended to be the Prince of the Hebrews. Joanna Southcott fancied herself to be the woman clothed with the sun, mentioned in Rev. xii.; as Madame Bourignon and Mrs. Buchan, though without her grossness, had done before her. And they have all been forward in promising great blessings to their disciples, simply as such, to commence even in this life; while they breathed great bitterness against their opponents. But in Swedenborg nothing of this is to be found. His views of Scripture were too elevated to allow him to believe that any of its predictions pointed to himself, or to any other individual of the human race. His writings are so free from the least tincture of egotism, that he even never speaks in the first person where it is possible to avoid it. "Whenever the subject that he is upon requires him to mention his commission, as in the extract given above, he does it with the most unassuming modesty, taking not the least merit to himself on account of it, but representing it as arising out of the order constantly observed in the Lord's dealings with man, in which he always makes use of human instruments.—In short, neither in his life nor writings can there be traced the least desire to be thought some great one, or any other motive savouring of human infirmity. This fact, alone, is sufficient to render untenable the charge against him of insanity: for where this exists, as you well know, the checks suggested by reason being removed, the corrupt passions that lurk in the human heart always exhibit more or less of their naked deformity..

No, Sir: Piety to God and charity to man, form the soul, both of Swedenborg's system and of his conduct; and neither can deserve the reproach you have cast upon them, till it shall be allowable to deem virtue a farce; disinterestedness, madness; a belief in the spiritual and immortal nature of the human soul, and in the existence of an eternal world, its proper home, as rank insanity; a heartfelt conviction of the being of a God, of his omnipresence and perpetual providence, as the climax of absurdity: and till it shall be justifiable to treat the demonstration by argument of the nature of these soul-ennobling excellences, and of the reality of these great truths, as the most deplorable perversion of the human understanding.

"I will conclude, Sir, with begging of you either to refute the following dilemma, or, accepting which of its conclusions you please, to allow it to govern your next letter. Either the fact of professing to be the subject of divine communications is alone a sufficient proof of insanity; or it is not: If it is, then Paul and all the other apostles and prophets were insane: If it is not, then the nature of the communications must determine whether the person who pretends to them, is insane or not.—Assuredly, we cannot with any appearance of reason say, in such a case as this, 'The man is mad; therefore his doctrines must be erroneous:' but, after having proved the doctrines to be erroneous, we may say, 'Erroneous doctrines cannot be from God; therefore the man must be mad.' The one question ought to be entirely laid aside, till we have determined the other. To raise the cry of insanity in the first instance, is only to appeal to passion and prejudice, instead of reason and truth. I fear that this has been done in the case of Swedenborg, because it was felt to be more easy, bt, this stigma, to prevent mankind from examining his system, than, when examined, to prevent it from being embraced by the candid and well-disposed. But I by no means intend to apply this remark to you. I trust that your hostility has proceeded solely from misinformation; and thus that you are included within that canon of Divine Mercy, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' "

I earnestly recommend the above discussion of the charge against Swedenborg of insanity, to the serious consideration of my present readers. My Colchester antagonist did not reply again. His arguments are precisely the same as we commonly hear. I never met with better, and I cannot see how better can be invented. If then these are seen, as they surely must be seen, though ingeniously proposed by Gulielmus, to be utterly futile, let the reproach of "madman," in application to Swedenborg, be abandoned for ever. Only let it be allowed, as must be allowed, that the mere professing to have received divine communications does not prove a man mad; and let the consistency of Swedenborg's conduct and writings with the character he assumes, be tried by the Word of God and by sound reason; and he must receive, we are satisfied, the most honourable verdict.

IV. Before concluding this Section, I will notice two minor objections, strenuously insisted on by almost all the opponents of our Author's claims, and sometimes urged in support of the charge against him of mental derangement.

The first is, That he has pretended to make additions to the Word of God, and is convicted, ipso facto, of delusion or imposture.

To suppose, however, that the writings of Swedenborg, if true, are to be received as new books of Scripture, or that they are either offered by him, or accepted by us, in any such light, is to assume a gross error. Against him have often been quoted these words (or rather part of them, for the whole passage evinces its inapplicability) from the conclusion of the Apocalypse: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book," (Ch. xxii. 18, 19). Now the whole passage, as here cited, evidently relates, not to the whole Bible, but to the book of the Apocalypse alone, and no more proves that no additional divine communications would ever be made, than the similar declaration in the last book of Moses, "Ye shall not add unto the word, which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it," (Deut. iv. 2). proves that no additions to the Word of God were to be made by the later prophets, If the passage of John the Revelator evinces Swedenborg to be an enthusiast or an impostor, the passage of Moses, by parity of reason, makes impostors or enthusiasts of all the prophets and apostles. Thus, upon any supposition, the text in the Revelation can prove nothing against Swedenborg, and to cite it for that purpose only evinces how eager his opponents have been, without much caring about the validity of their arguments, to ciose the ears of the public against his testimony. But give the words all the extent which such reasoners assign them; admit them to be an authoritative declaration that no addition would ever be made to the canon of Scripture; and they still prove nothing against our author; for it never entered his thoughts to claim for his writings the sacred character of the Word of God. It was his belief, and it is ours, that the canon of Scripture actually was closed by the Revelation of John, though that book does not say so; and the Contents of his writings are presented as truths drawn from the Scriptures now existing, not as new Scriptures given in addition. #

# For an explanation of the difference between the illumination of Swedenborg and the inspiration of those who wrote the Word itself, see the remark of AEgiochus, on the paper of Dr. Hedge in the American Christian Examiner, in the Int. Rep. for July, 1834, pp. 187, &c.

The other objection that I propose here to notice, is exactly the reverse of the former. It is, That Swedenborg rejects a great part of the Word of God; and herein again is convicted, ipso facto, of delusion or imposture.

Although as we have seen, the passage of the Apocalypse just noticed relates to that book only, and the passage in Deuteronomy only to the books of Moses, it cannot be denied, that to reject any book, or any portion of any book, as being part of the Word of God, when it really is such, would be a most unwarrantable piece of presumption; and to pretend to do so under divine illumination, would be a sure mark either of imposture or of delusion. Accordingly, every effort has been made to bring home this charge against Swedenborg; and it has been preferred in the most aggravated form. Thus one of our accusers states, that "the Baron, out of sixty-six books, excludes thirty-two:" and to exaggerate this enormity, and make us objects of horror to the well-disposed, he reasons thus: "Now if the Baron be allowed to expel thirty-two books out of the Bible, may not some other courageous man be allowed the same liberty of conscience, and suffered to dismiss at least half a score more ? Then, surely, as we all wish for equal laws and equal rights, another man, finding that several of the books remaining both annoy his practice and bother his conscience, must needs think himself entitled to the privilege of dismissing half a dozen more:" and so he concludes, that "a lusty quarto bible would be reduced to the thickness of an old coin sixpence, long, long before all objectors and Swedenborgians had exercised their imprescriptible rights and their elective franchise." "Without noticing the elegant and liberal style of this argument, I will only observe, that it takes a false imputation as its basis. The writer intimates, that we not only reject almost half the bible (though the thirty-two books he mentions, being all very short, make but a small part of the whole in regard to quantity); but that we do this, because, in his sublime language, they annoy our practice and bother our conscience. The complete contrary is the truth. We do not wish to eject from the Bible one book that is now found in it, nor one sentiment, or sentence, or word, from any one book. We consider the books which do not contain any internal sense,—any sense beside the letter—especially all the writings of the Apostles,— as delivering the true doctrines of the Church, and as written by men divinely illuminated in the things of God; thus we are quite satisfied that Paul spoke a real truth when he said, "I think also that I have the spirit of God." We do not then wish to deny the authority of one sentence that they have written, or to make the least alteration in it: and instead of finding any thing in those books that annoys our practice and bothers our conscience) so far as our practice and conscience are formed by our doctrines, we are convinced that every syllable in them is on our side. The objector observes, that "The books excluded are charged with having no internal sense!" Does he intend then to say, that they have an internal sense? By no means. He considers the "charge" to be very true: he ought therefore to acknowledge, that our idea of those books is precisely the same as his own. But we distinguish between books that are written by the highest inspiration, in which every word is suggested to the writer and is the immediate dictate and very word of God, and books which are written from the minds of men under such a divine guidance as secures from error, but of which the words themselves were not immediately given to the penmen. This latter is the only kind of inspiration now allowed to any of the books of the Bible by the learned in general; and none of them are aware that any books whatever contain a regular internal or spiritual sense in every word. We, therefore, place a part of the books in the Bible just in the same station as our opponents place the whole, and we respect them as highly as Christians in general respect any portion of them whatever: but the far greater portion we exalt much higher than Christians in general will admit: and thus, because we venerate the Bible, taken all together, a great deal more than they do, we are maligned as rejecting one half of it.*

* Those who wish to see this subject fully elucidated may consult my work on the Plenary Inspiration (App. No. II.), in which it is shown, that the distinction made by us is only a more accurate definition of that which has been made, in all ages, between those books in the Old Testament which are called the Law and the Prophets, and those called the Hagiographa; a similar distinction to which exists among the books of the New Testament likewise. See also the Int. Rep. for Jan. 1827, pp. 364—379, where is an article intitled, The New Church Canon of Scripture, as far as regards the Old Testament, advocated by the Eclectic Review; in which I have recited the large body of evidence, collected by a learned writer in that work, proving that those books only, which Swedenborg recognises as having an internal sense, belong to the canon. of plenarily inspired Scripture. So that the New Church by no means stands alone, at the present day, in her decision or this subject.

If, however, to make a distinction between some books of the Bible and others destroys the authority, as a theological leader, of him who makes it, then there is an end of the authority of the famous Luther, so highly venerated as the great founder of the Protestant Church. If, on this ground, we are to refuse to listen to Swedenborg, we must equally renounce Luther; and shall find no refuge but in returning to the bosom of the infallible Church of Rome, and accepting with her, as the Word of God, not only the whole of the books comprised in the Protestant Bible, but all the Apocrypha—Tobit and his Dog—Bell and the Dragon—to boot. Luther, upon grounds merely arbitrary, prefers some books before others, and rejects several altogether: witness the following extracts from his works, as quoted by Wetstein in the learned Prolegomena to his famous critical edition of the New Testament.* "From these remarks," says Luther, "you may judge which of the books of the New Testament are the more excellent, namely, John's Gospel and Paul's Epistles: these are, in a manner, the kernel and marrow of them all. The Gospel of John is the genuine and chief Gospel, to be far and far preferred to the three others, and to be much more accounted of. The Epistles of Paul and Peter, also, leave the three Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, at a long distance behind them. Compared to these, again, the Epistle of James is a mere book of straw: it does not at all savour of the Gospel." In his Bible, this Oracle of the Reformation places the Epistle to the Hebrews, with those of James and Jude, and the Apocalypse, by themselves at the end, with a preface before them, of which the following is an extract: "Thus far we have the genuine books of the New Testament: of those which follow the ancients thought very differently. In the first place, the Epistle to the Hebrews was not written by Paul or by any other Apostle; which I prove as follows," &c.—"I do not wish to force my opinion on others, but I must say, that I do not think the Epistle of James to be an Apostolic writing, chiefly for this reason; that, in direct contradiction to Paul and the whole of the Scriptures, he attributes justification to works. Besides, that James makes such a jumble and confused mixture of all that he treats upon, that I look upon him to have been some good simple soul who merely committed to paper some sayings he caught hold of from some of the disciples of the Apostles.—No one can deny the Epistle of Jude to be a mere abridgment and copy of the second Epistle of Peter, as it agrees with it almost word for word; so there can be no need to reckon it among the chief books of the New Testament.—In regard to the Apocalypse, I leave every one to think as he pleases; only allow me to say, that for more reasons than one, I do not believe it to be either an Apostolic or prophetic book."— To apply Wetstein's remark upon this slashing piece of sacred criticism:—Swedenborg is condemned for the judicious discrimination he makes between some books and others without rejecting any: Luther is venerated as an oracle, notwithstanding he, without discrimination, rejects some books altogether, and prefers some of the others to the rest, merely as they seem to favour, or otherwise, his favourite notions:—"Let them who can decide thus, consider, whether they are not straining out the gnat, and swallowing the camel!" On the whole, it is abundantly plain to all who know what Swedenborg teaches on the subject, that he neither attempts to add anything to the Word of God, nor to take aught from it; and to think of raising, out of his sound and truly learned doctrine on this point, a plea against his perfect sanity and solid wisdom, is little short of insanity and weakness of the most preposterous description. I beg still to add a word on the charge against Swedenborg of mental derangement, to introduce a desperate accusation that has been brought against him.

* Ed. Semler. p. 457.

It may, I believe, be said with truth, that no one can seriously read much of his works, possessing, at the same time, an adequate knowledge of his history, and continue to think him insane. This has been evinced by the conduct of some of the most inveterate of his adversaries. Men prejudiced against him in the strongest degree, and determined to find in his works nothing to approve, have yet felt that the imputation against him of mental derangement could not be supported. None, for instance, would think of casting on a man distinguished through a long life by every virtue, the charge of intentional deception, unless, while anxious to suppress his opinions, they despaired of rendering probable the imputation of a perversion of intellect. The Abbe Barruel, one of the most acrimonious of his assailants, was well aware of this; and, accordingly, the accusation of imposture, rather than that of insanity, is that which he chiefly laboured to render plausible.* So the author of the "Trial of the Spirits," noticed above,+ who exhibits throughout his work a more intemperate hostility and utter disregard of truth than almost any other of Swedenborg's enemies, is constrained to acknowledge that the charge against him of insanity cannot be maintained: so he substitutes for it that of diabolical possession! "Swedenborg does not," he says, "seem to have really laboured under any natural derangement of his 'interiors,' or vulgar insanity;—but if we acquit him of lunacy or hydrophobia, we cannot absolve him of diabolomania."# "If madness of any kind can be rationally imputed to Swedenborg, it can be no ordinary insanity, or mere derangement of intellect, from bodily or even mental disease; but must be truly of that species which was also impiously attempted to be charged on the blessed jesusa demoniacal madness, (Matt. xi. 18.) he hath a devil." $ The parallel, in this respect, is undoubtedly a just one, and the charge is as true in the one case as in the other. We have seen above how exalted and amiable the character of Swedenborg is universally allowed to have been,—how completely serene and happy were his life and death: could such be the state of a man who was the organ of evil spirits ? Yet there is no alternative, according to this adversary, (in which we fully agree with him), between believing Swedenborg to have been such an organ, and believing all his writings to be true. Which is the more probable, let the candid reader decide.

* Of which see a most triumphant refutation in Letters to a Member of Parliament on the Character and Writings of Baron Swedenborg in answer to the Abbe Barruel: by the late Rev. J. Clowes, M.A.
"+ Having repeatedly mentioned this publication, I would refer the reader, for a just account of it and its author, to "the Intellectual Repository," Vol. i. Second Series, p. 590, &c., p. 648, &c., and Vol. ii. p. 59, &c., p. 156, &c. It is there proved, that the author is the Rev. W. Ettrick, M.A., of High Barns, near Sunderland.
# P. 117. $ Pp. 6, 7.

Here, then, I close this section on Swedenborg as the Human Instrument for announcing the Second Coming of the Lord, and for communicating the truths then to be discovered; and I trust it has teen shown, that there is much to authenticate, and nothing of any Validity to impugn, his claims to be accepted in that character.

Why is this not generally seen ? Because Christians in general now, like the Jews at the Lord's first advent, have their minds preoccupied with erroneous conceptions respecting spiritual subjects: because, as the Jews were possessed with gross but darling notions respecting the earthly kingdom of the Messiah, and the perpetual carnal observation of the ceremonial law, and thus were disqualified for relishing the spiritual things which he declared were contained in that law; so Christians are possessed with external but fondly cherished sentiments respecting all the great points of the religion of Jesus, and with the persuasion that it is to continue unaltered, as professed by them, till the end of the world; and are thus disqualified for relishing the truly heavenly doctrines and really spiritual ideas which are now shown to be contained in the Word of God. Perceiving, on a slight inspection, that the views presented by Swedenborg oppose their prejudices, few take the trouble to make themselves sufficiently acquainted with his writings to be able to form anything like a correct judgment respecting their truth and credibility: yet I apprehend, even the most prejudiced will hardly deny that the spiritual sense opened by his instrumentality, if true, is a discovery of such importance as to be worthily referred to God. But let us hope that the reign of prejudice, though it has lasted long, will soon, in this as in so many other instances, be broken down. The Lord at his coming in the flesh was crucified; no wonder then that, when appearing again in the opening of a higher order of Truth in his Word, he should be rejected: but as he then rose again, and from his throne in heaven extended his reign over multitudes who then first began to acknowledge him, so, doubtless, the hour is coming when an influence from himself in heaven will accompany his Word as opened,—when the prejudices which oppose its reception will be abolished from the minds of multitudes,—and when they will again "look upon him whom they have pierced," and accept the truth they have denied. Begin then, I intreat you, ye Candid and Reflecting, to use the freedom which, by the accomplishment of the Last Judgment, is restored to the human mind. Suffer, in your own breasts, the power of prejudice to reign no longer. Take the pains fairly to estimate the views of, and from, the Word of God presented by Swedenborg, not rejecting the whole as soon as you find something that differs from your previous opinions, or that you do not immediately understand: and the result, I trust, will be that you will find them, as compared with the Word of God, testifying their own truth by evidence far more convincing than that of miracles, because by evidence that does not merely strike the senses, but reaches the understanding, and affects the heart. Then you will see that the illustrious Swedenborg must indeed have been the Human Instrument for communicating the great truths connected with the second coming of the Lord. If, with any degree of candour, you look at his character and writings without admitting this, you will find the whole an inexplicable riddle.* His writings, you will see, are far too replete with superior views of Divine Truth to be the productions, in its ordinary state, of the human mind: in addition, you will perceive, that they are far too methodical in their form, too soberly as well as sublimely rational, to be the imaginations of a lunatic; and, in further addition, you will acknowledge, that their excellent moral tendency, together with the eminently amiable and virtuous character of their author, render ridiculous the notion, that they can be the offspring cither of wilful imposture or of diabolical illusion. What remains, but that you accept them as the result of divine illumination,—the communications of a writer who had really been called to a holy office by the Lord ? Admit this, and the mystery is solved. You will be satisfied, that this much calumniated and much mistaken man was as consistent and exalted a character as the world has ever seen: you will confess, that having been selected as the Human Instrument for announcing the last great dispensation of gospel-truth, though differing from former similar Instruments as much as this differs from former dispensations; and being, as one of his illustrious predecessors says of himself, "not disobedient unto the heavenly vision;" + he pursued the course appointed him with as much steadiness and consistency, self-devotion and zeal, as marked the career of a Moses or a Paul: and your hearts will tell you, that, like them, he deserves to have his memory for ever embalmed in the grateful recollections of mankind.

* See the remarks on this subject above, pp. 214, 215. + Acts xxvi. 19.

VI. Heaven And Hell; And The Appearances In Them, And In The Intermediate Region, Or World Of Spirits.

A. The Human Instrument for opening the Truths to be revealed at the Lord's Second Advent, should be enabled to remove the prevailing Darkness on these subjects.

if the character of the illustrious Swedenborg, as the divinely selected Human Instrument for announcing the second coming of the Lord, and for communicating the discoveries of Divine Truth to be then afforded, be satisfactorily established: and if the reality of his intercourse, in that character, with the spiritual world, be confirmed, as we have seen it is, by indubitable evidences of his supernatural knowledge; all the objections which are made against him on account of the particulars brought to light by him respecting the hitherto unknown state of man after death, fall at once to the ground. If those particulars are in harmony with his general system of doctrine, and his general system of doctrine, including that part of it which relates to this subject, is securely founded on the Scriptures, it is the height of absurdity to reject them, and with them the whole of his system, because they clash with some unfounded prejudices of our own. Most men avow, that, in regard to all which relates to the life of man after death, beyond the simple fact that there is a future existence, they are involved in the deepest ignorance: yet offer them any specific information on the subject, and they reject it as untrue, with a decision which would only be justifiable, did they already possess respecting it the most accurate knowledge. Supremely interesting to an immortal being as is the nature of the state on which he enters at the death of the body, the opposers of the New Church act as if it were here a high privilege to be in the dark. Allow me, then, now to appeal to you my Candid and Reflecting Readers, on this much misrepresented and much misunderstood part of our Author's testimony and writings.

It is, we are well aware, (and it may be expedient, first, to meet that objection with a few remarks,) a great offence with many in this Sadducean age, that our Author should profess to have had open communication with the spiritual world; to have been so in the spirit,—and this, as he declares, not when he was asleep but when he was wide awake,—as to he able to communicate with those in the world of spirits, or the first receptacle of souls after death, and occasionally with those in heaven and with those in hell: as also to behold the appearances which exist in all those places and states respectively. The writer of this Appeal can here speak feelingly; for it was this which he found most repulsive, when first, by the kindness of Providence, the writings of Swedenborg came into his hands. Permit me, then, here to appeal to you from my own experience.

Accustomed, as is so commonly the case at this day, to consider the other world and this to be separated by an impassable barrier, I could scarcely believe it possible for an inhabitant of the natural world to have any open communication with the spiritual,—not even by the special gift and providing of the Lord. Hence I at first ridiculed what I read (for the first book I opened was the Treatise on Heaven and Hell), beautiful, sublime and affecting, as were the views presented. But examining further, the superior views on all the subjects of religious doctrine which the writings of Swedenborg everywhere exhibit, and the luminous explanations they offer of the Word of God, entirely convinced me, that, in these respects, he was truly an enlightened and safe guide. And then such thoughts as these occurred: "I am able, by the faculties with which God in mercy has endowed us, and by recurring to the standard in the Word of God, to form a judgment of the theological sentiments contained in these writings: and I feel with the utmost conviction,—I see in the clearest light,—that these are certainly true. But can he who is faithful in much, be unfaithful in that which is least ? If his statements respecting his spiritual intercourse are unfounded, they must either be the offspring of derangement or of a systematic attempt at deception. But to suppose that a man who communicates, on many most important subjects, such superior ideas, and who always writes with such perfect order and consistency, could have lost his reason, is a violation of all reason and sound judgment. If, then, his representations respecting the other world are not true, it cannot be because the Author was himself deceived: he must be a wilful deceiver, or none. But how could a man of bad intention, which always darkens the understanding on spiritual subjects, deliver views of truth so truly heavenly and glorious? Besides, how could a man of the irreproachable character which all testimony, of friends and foes, equally allows him,—of the genuine piety which all his writings breathe,—invent such stories to deceive? The idea is monstrous. I must take then the whole of his writings together, and Interpret the one part by the other: and as I can see that everything in them, of which it falls within the province of reason to judge, is certainly true, I may safely take those mere matters of fact, of which my reason can go no farther in its judgment than to see that they are not impossible, upon his authority. Besides, why should they not be probable as well as possible? He does not in the least resemble the common herd of pretenders to supernatural communications: the importance of his information is fully equal to its-singularity. His writings explain the nature and meaning of the second coming of the Lord, and of the New Jerusalem which is to accompany it. They prove, also, that the state of religion in the Christian world at this day, is precisely such as, it is predicted, would be the case, when those great events should arrive. Arrive at some time they must. Suppose then this should be the time, and he really is the appointed instrument for declaring them: in this case, that he should be admitted to the privilege of an intercourse with the spiritual world seems a matter of necessity. Besides: What subject is there in which the human mind at this day is enveloped in greater darkness, than in all that concerns the nature of the eternal world? What then can be so reasonable as to expect, that, among the communications which would be imparted to mankind in the day of the second coming of the Lord and appearing of the New Jerusalem, information respecting the eternal world, its appearances and its laws, would form a prominent subject ? And how could this so naturally be imparted, as by opening the spiritual sight of some inhabitant of the earth, and permitting him to report what he had witnessed?" It was thus that I then reasoned, and in deciding accordingly I found peace and joy; and the forty years which have since passed have only added strength to the conviction, that I then reasoned and decided aright. My experience has been that of many, and will be that of many more.

But what is there in Swedenborg's pretensions on this subject, which is not sanctioned by the experience of those who have formerly filled a similar office? Did not the Apostle Peter behold as extraordinary a vision as any that is detailed in the "Memorable Relations" of Swedenborg, when he beheld "a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet, knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth; wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls, of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter, kill and eat." ( Acts x. 11, 12, 13). Does not the Apostle Paul declare, that, to him, revelations from heaven were things of common occurrence ? He says,—and states it among his claims to respect and attention, not as what ought to involve his pretensions in doubt and denial,—"I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ [meaning himself ], about fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such a one caught up to the third heaven.

And I knew such a man (whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell; God knoweth;) how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not possible for man to utter. Of such a one will I glory.—And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure." (2 Cor. xii. 1—5, 7) Communications with the spiritual world, then, were common with the apostles, and were regarded by them as properly belonging to their office: and specific examples of them abound throughout the Scriptures both of the Old and New Testament. So, if we are to give any credit to the unanimous assertion of all the primitive fathers, similar communications were extremely frequent in the early ages of Christianity. But, without adverting to these, the possibility of such communications cannot be denied by any believer of the Scriptures. Surely then we may say, that, standing in the situation in which Swedenborg asserts he did, he would have been but half qualified for his work had he been without them. His pretending to them does not, indeed, afford proof that his other pretensions are true; but it makes the whole consistent, and thus it gives to the whole the character of higher probability. In him, as the instrument for restoring the true knowledge of religious truth, they were entirely in place. Without them, all that he advances besides would have lost half its claim to attention. And if the information communicated by him is far more distinct than had ever been made known on such subjects before, this also is precisely what, under the circumstances, was to have been expected. If the knowledge respecting life and immortality, brought to light at the first promulgation of the gospel, greatly exceeded in clearness what the world previously possessed; it surely was to be expected, that the knowledge on the same subjects unfolded at the Lord's second advent, would rise in distinctness above that communicated at his first, in the same ratio as this transcended the mere shadows afforded under the Mosaic dispensation. Is it, then, the part of sound reason to reject the information communicated, for being what, if true, it assuredly ought to be? Is it the part of sound judgment to conclude, respecting Swedenborg, from the mere fact of his asserting that he had such communications with the spiritual world, as, if his pretensions were true, he ought to have had, that therefore his pretensions were false ? We surely cannot justly come to such a conclusion, till, after having weighed all that he offers as the result of his communications in the balances of Scripture and Reason, we have found them wanting. The principle of the discoveries thus imparted, and of the objections made to them, shall be examined in distinct parts of this section.

B. The Inhabitants of Heaven and of Hell are all from the Human Race.

nothing can be of greater importance, in order to our forming just conceptions respecting the eternal world, than to be acquainted with the nature and origin of its inhabitants. On this subject, very wild imaginations have existed; and persons of fertile invention, in all nations, have deemed themselves at liberty to people the invisible worlds ad libitum. Various families of spiritual beings have been dreamed of, from angels and genii only inferior to deities in not being self-existent, to fairies and brownies, the familiar visitants of the rustic's haunts; all of different race from the human. Christian theology, indeed, has rejected many of these tribes, as the mere offspring of heathen superstition; but Christian theology, as generally received, has exempted one class of such beings from the general proscription, and has authorised the belief of a race of celestials, originally created such; including a race of infernals, originally created angels of light, but changed, by rebellion and forfeiture, into angels of darkness.

Swedenborg, having been admitted to the privilege of intimate communication with the inhabitants of the spiritual world, has done more towards rationalising our notions respecting them than any other writer that ever existed. Being commissioned to make known the truths respecting the eternal world necessary to remove the darkness at present existing on that subject, and to impart such knowledge respecting it as the present state of the human mind requires, and which, therefore, it was fitting should be revealed at the Lord's second advent; he has been enabled conclusively to show, that the prejudice in favour of the existence of angels, originally created such, has no more title to indulgence, than the superstitions about genii and fairies; and that there does not exist in all the heavens a single angel, nor in all hell a single infernal, nor in any region of creation a single spiritual being (the Divine Being alone excepted) who did not first come into existence as a man, upon this or some other of the earths in the universe.

This discovery is one, which ought equally to recommend itself to acceptance by its sublimity and its simplicity. But the common systems of doctrine, if they might be supported without the belief of good angels originally created such, cannot stand a moment without the notion of a mighty personal Devil, of power to act as the antagonist of the Almighty. Accordingly, the assailants of the heavenly doctrines of the New Church, have zealously laboured to overturn our views on the origin of angels and devils. This being a general subject, a just conception of which will tend to throw light upon many more particulars relating to Heaven and Hell, shall be considered, therefore, before we proceed further.

The opponent whom, in this work, I have taken as my chief guide as to the subjects to be considered and the objections to be answered, here evidently expects to have the prejudices of his readers on his side; as will doubtless be the case with those who adopt as their Bible, on this subject, Milton's Paradise Lost: in which work is supplied that information respecting the pre-existence and fall of angels, which the Scriptures have withheld. Eager to anticipate a triumph, he indulges in a modest and elegant philippic against the enlightened Author who has exposed the error. "This extraordinary man (says he) is not content with changing times and seasons in this world, but he will needs revolutionise (at least reform) the two invisible worlds: He first rectifies the person of the Divine Being—then he new models the atonement—then again he makes a new thing of the mediatorship —after which he proceeds to abolish the resurrection—onward he goes to the day of judgment, and having snugly set that aside, he proceeds, Jehu like, to shove all the angels in heaven, as well as all the devils in hell, out of existence!"*

* Anti-Swedenborg, p. 63.

They who have recourse to ridicule ought first to consider whether it can be retorted. Now, what ampler field could be found for its exercise, than in the common notions of pre-existing (I use that term in reference to the creation of man), warring, and falling angels ? I will not however resort to it. I will merely state the circumstance? as commonly described, and leave the reader to judge whether the holders of such sentiments are entitled to ridicule those who reject them.

The Creator, it is conceived, having produced an immense but definite number of angels, remained satisfied in the midst of his work, till the most exalted of them became his rival:

"And durst defy the Omnipotent to arms;"

whereupon (astonishing to relate!) a third part of the angelic host,— beings of the highest communicable goodness and intelligence,— ranged themselves under the banners of the apostate, and waged battle with their Maker. This was the occasion of the creation of the world: for after the ejection of the rebel angels, the Victor determined to produce another race of beings to supply their place in his affections. The case is thus stated, according to Milton, by the vanquished chief; who merely delivers the popular belief, adding nothing of his own but a very natural reflection:

"HE, to be avenged, And to repair his numbers thus impaired, Whether such virtue spent of old now failed More angels to create (if they at least Are his created), or to spite us more, Determined to advance into our room A creature formed of earth, and him endow With heavenly spoils (our spoils):—*

Now, can anything be more puerile than the whole of this story? Does the mythology of the heathens contain a tale more extravagant? Are common theologians to be at liberty to people a third part of heaven, and a much greater proportion of hell, with men, and is Swedenborg to be described as, "shoving all the angels in heaven and all the devils in hell out of existence," because he affirms they all, originally, were either good or wicked men ? If to deprive of existence a multitude of imaginary beings to supply their places with real ones, be a sin against orthodoxy; is not to thrust into hell a third part of those who were once safe in heaven, and to supply their place with beings of a totally different nature and origin, a sin against consistency, reason, and credibility ?

* Take the following as an appropriate comment upon the above text. I am assured that the opponent with whom I here have to deal, has sometimes, in his sermons, undertaken to inform his hearers, how the saints are endowed with the "spoils" of the fallen angels. When the latter, he avers, were cast out of heaven, they left their thrones vacant behind them, with their crowns hung above them on pegs: every saint who dies enters on possession of one of the vacant thrones, and, taking the crown over it from its peg, places it on his head: and the occupying of the last throne and unloading of the last peg, will be the signal for the sounding of the last trumpet and the end of the world.

The common notions respecting angels and devils are then, we find, sufficiently open to ridicule: Is it equally ridiculous to affirm, that angels and men are of the same family, and that heaven and hell are from the human race ?

What is man ? The Scriptures assure us, that he is a being created in the image and likeness of God. This is the proper and intrinsic nature of man, however he may have departed from it: and is it possible to employ any other language that will accurately define the intrinsic nature of an angel? Is an angel more than an image and likeness of God ? This would be saying that angels absolutely are Gods. An image and likeness of God is a being who receives life, love, and wisdom, of a genuine and heavenly nature, from God: and is not this the definition both of a man and of an angel ? To possess life, love, and wisdom, in himself, is the prerogative of God alone: to possess life derivatively, accompanied with a species of love of a merely natural kind, and with instincts supplying the place of wisdom, without a capacity to recede from or alter them, belongs to the brut creation alone: and to possess life derivatively, accompanied with a power of rising from natural love to spiritual, and attaining to the enjoyment of a love and wisdom truly human, imaging the divine love and wisdom from which they are derived, belongs to the only other conceivable order of animated creatures,—the only species of being that can exist between the all-perfect, the infinitely wise and good God, and the irrational animal. Such a being is man: and such a man, when he has passed from this natural into the spiritual sphere of existence, is an angel. Did the order which the Divine Being has laid down for the conduct of his own operations admit of the production of angels in a more immediate manner, who can suppose that men would ever have been created ? Why were we not all created as angels at once, without being exposed to the dangers attendant on our coming into existence in this world of nature, could the same end have been attained without it ? If some were called into being at the end of the goal, and created angels immediately, why are we, who, all allow, are eventually to be not at all inferior to angels, placed at such a distance from it here ? Why, but because there is no other entrance to the angelic state, and in order that we may be angels, it is necessary that we should be men ? Infinite Wisdom and Divine Omnipotence never act, we may be assured, but in conformity to the most perfect order: and how satisfactory is the view which teaches, what indeed experience demonstrates, that order requires that there should be distinct degrees of life and existence, intimately connected together and all dependent on each other; that the interior degrees, in order to their permanence, should have an exterior and ultimate one as a basis on which, as it were, they might rest; that in the masterpiece pf creation, all the degrees of life, from first to last, should exist together, with a capacity of being successively opened; that the human mind should be formed while it dwells in a natural frame, in order that it may have a termination to give its acquirements a fixed existence; that all multiplication, and, in fact, all actual creation, should take place in the exterior and ultimate sphere of being; and that hence man is produced an inhabitant of the world of nature, in order that he might afterwards lay aside his clay and appear an angel before the throne of God,—thus, that man is produced that angels might exist, and that God might gratify his love by surrounding himself with, a continually increasing multitude of beings, capable, in the highest communicable degree, of consciously receiving, and of acknowledging, his benefits! Thus also we obtain a view of creation as one coherent whole,—yea, we view as one coherent whole the entire chain of being, from the crude globe of earth to the source of all in God: and thus we are enabled to see that man, the only being created in the image and likeness of God, is not, what the contrary view supposes,—a superfluity among the works of his Creator.*

But from reason let us go to Scripture, where we shall find the most explicit testimony to the doctrine that angels are men.

An opponent would fain reduce our proofs from this source to a single (or rather double) text. "The Baron," says one, "supports this doctrine chiefly, as I understand him, by the following text, 'And I John saw these things, and heard them; and when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel which showed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.' (Rev. xxii. 8, 9; see also Rev. xix. 10.)" These words, it is contended, only mean, that angels, as well as men, are servants of the Most High. "This," says the objector, "I am certain is the opinion of the best divines. Whereas the Baron will understand the words, 'I am thy fellow-servant and of thy brethren the prophets,' to signify, 'I am a departed spirit of one of thy brethren, or one of the prophets.' But the premises will not warrant the conclusion: and, as far as I can find, the Baron stands alone in his opinion;" &c.+ This is curious indeed. This text, on which it is wished to have it supposed "the Baron chiefly supports his doctrine," and "in his opinion" of the meaning of which he "stands alone,"—is never once applied by him to the subject! Had he done so, however, he would not have stood alone, as may be learned from so well known a book as Doddridge's Family Expositor; in a note of which we read, that "Mr. Fleming understands it [Rev. xix. 10, to mean], I am one of thy brethren, which he thinks intimates that this was the departed spirit of an apostle, perhaps St. Peter or St. Paul, or his own brother James, though not in a form to be known. And he thinks the person speaking, ch. xxii. 9, might be the spirit of one of the prophets, perhaps Isaiah, Ezekiel, or Daniel." And was not Watts one of "the best divines?" But he says on the text, "These words naturally lead one to think, that though he appeared as a messenger from Christ, and in the form of an angel, yet he was really a departed spirit, a brother, a fellow-prophet: perhaps the soul of David, of Isaiah, or Moses."# Assuredly, the words do most naturally lead one to think so; whatever they who desire to make angels a different species from men may pretend to the contrary.

* See the quotation from Swedenborg above, pp. 131, 132. + Anti-Swedenborg, p. 62. # Works, vol. ii. p. 401.

But there is abundance of texts which are not at all equivocal. If angels are a different race from men, how is it that they are called, almost wherever their appearance is mentioned, throughout the Scriptures, by the name of men ? Thus of the three angels that appeared to Abraham, it is said that "he looked, and lo, three men stood by him:"* and of the two of them that went on to Sodom, the people said, "Where are the men which came in to thee this night ?" + Lot said of them, "Only to these men do nothing:" # and the inspired historian himself repeatedly gives them the same title. $ When Jacob wrestled with an angel, it is said, that "there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day."|| When Joshua was by Jericho, "he lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold there stood a man over against him with a drawn sword in his hand," who declared himself to be "the captain of the host of the Lord."@ Of the angel who appeared to the wife of Manoah, she said, "A man of God came to me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God:" ** and afterwards she said to her husband, "Behold, the man hath appeared unto me that came unto me the other day. And," it is added, "Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am."++ The "man clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side," seen by Ezekiel,## was doubtless an angel; as was the "man whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed," who showed him the vision of the temple, &c. $$ The angel Gabriel, sent to Daniel, is called, "the man Gabriel." || || That prophet afterwards, beheld "a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz."@ @ Zechariah saw "a man riding upon a red; horse," who is presently called "the angel of the Lord."*** The women who went to the Lord's sepulchre, on entering in, "saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment:"+++ according to Luke, "two men stood by them in shining garments;"### who, according to John, were "two angels in white." $$$ finally, John the Revelator identifies angels with men, by informing us, that the angel "measured the wall" of the New Jerusalem, "a hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel." || || ||

* Gen. xviii. 2. + Chap. xix. 5. # Ver. 8. $ Ver. 10, 12, 16. || Ch. xxxii. 24. @ Josh. v. 13, 14. ** Jud. xiii. 6. ++ Ver. 10, 11. ## Ch. ix. 2, 3, 11; x. 2, 3, 6. $$ Ch. xl. 3, 4, & . || || Ch. ix. 21. @ @ Ch. x. 5; xii. 6, 7. *** Ch. i. 8, 11. +++ Mark xvi. 5. ### Ch. xxiv. 4. $$$ Ch. xx. 12. || || || Ch. xxi. 17.

Here angels are explicitly affirmed to be men; and many other passages might be adduced, in which to angels are ascribed the attributes of men, and in which they evidently were seen as men by those to whom they appeared; indeed, it is palpably certain, that they never were seen otherwise than as men. How is this to be accounted for, if they are in reality a totally different race, of other origin and dissimilar nature ? I know the fiction to which expositors have recourse: they tell us that they assumed the human shape, by clothing themselves with a material vehicle for the occasion, and are then called men from their assumed appearance: but what a clumsy mode of explaining the fact is this, and how totally destitute of a shadow of ground in Scripture! Where do we read of an angel's thus creating a human body in which to represent himself before the corporeal eye of men, and dissipating it again at his disappearance ? How much less operosely is the case accounted for by supposing, that, man being himself similar in nature to angels as to his interior constitution, on closing his bodily senses and opening the sight of his spirit, he immediately sees an angel, if present, in his own proper form; who again must necessarily vanish in a moment on the closing of the spiritual sight of the beholder, and the seat of his perception returning again into the body ? If, then, as would hence appear, the human form is the proper form of an angel, how can it be doubted that angels and men are the same beings in different stages of their existence ? What would a naturalist say, were we to present him with an animal possessing the exact form of an ox, but were to tell him that he must not argue from its form to its nature, for this, he might be assured, was that of a very superior animal ? When it shall be right not to believe the animal which wears the form of an ox to be one, we may also venture to conclude that the angels of Scripture, who always wear the form of men, and often are called siich, are not what they are called and seem. When we can no longer trust our eyes, and believe, on their testimony, that oxen are oxen, we may refuse to trust the Scriptures, and to believe, on their testimony, that angels are men.

As this is the clear deposition, upon this subject, of reason and Scripture, it was seen to be so by many in the early times of Christianity, and by some since; though the Jewish fables about angels of different race, and their falling from heaven, began too soon to infect the Christian church. Thus upon the identity as to nature of angels and men, the celebrated "father," Origen, quotes from another writer, whom he does not name, these striking and well-discriminated remarks. "Moreover, a certain other writer, using that testimony, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,' affirms, that whatever is made after the image of God, is man: and he brings myriads of examples to prove, that the Scripture uses the terms man and angel indifferently, applying both terms to the same subject; as in the case of the three who were entertained by Abraham, and the two who visited Sodom; and so through the whole series of the Scriptures, which sometimes call the same beings angels, and sometimes men. So, likewise, he who is of this opinion will say, that as some who are acknowledged to be men are angels too,—as John the Baptist, of whom it is written, 'Behold, I send my angel before thy face;'— so the angels of God are called by that name because it belongs to their employment, instead of being called by the name of men which belongs to their nature."* In another place, the same father, delivering his own sentiments, thus represents all angels as having once been men: "I conclude it to be evident from hence [the Lord's answer to the Sadducees] that it is not merely by not marrying and being given in marriage that they who are esteemed worthy of the resurrection from the dead become as the angels in heaven, but also because their vile bodies, being transfigured, become such as are the bodies of angels, ethereal, and having the appearance of light. If this doctrine should appear strange to many believers, let any one inquire, as he may do, probably, from many other passages, but certainly from that before us, whether, since they who rise from the dead are as the angels in heaven, and pass from the rank of men into that of angels, so also other angels in heaven, having once been men, and having, when in the bodies of men, fought the good fight, are become angels of heaven; as certain others, again, had done before them."+ It is true that Origen does not always write so consistently, but mixes with these intelligent views Ème fancies of Jewish and heathen origin: but for all his opinions on this subject, true and erroneous, his editor, the learned Huet, a Roman Catholic bishop, makes this apology;—that the church had not in his time defined with sufficient clearness what ought to be believed in regard to angels;# thus acknowledging, that the general prevalence of the notions now received was owing to the decrees of the prevailing party, that is, of the Romish church; in later times.

* Com. in Joh. t. iii. + In Mat. t. xvii. # Origeniana, 1. ii. $ 1.

But that the common perceptions of mankind, and the genuine light of Scripture, have never, on this subject, been entirely extinguished, is evident from the following beautiful lines of Young; a writer who, when submitting his own understanding to an erroneous doctrine, sometimes, as we have seen above, suffers his pen to run into the grossest absurdities; but who, when, without regard to human creeds, he writes from his own feelings and perceptions, and from the light of the Word itself, often delivers the most affecting, uncommon, and elevated truths: he says:—

" Why doubt we, then, the glorious truth to sing ?—
Angels are men of a superior kind;
Angels are men in lighter habit clad,
High o'er celestial mountains winged in flight;
And men are angels, loaded for an hour,
Who wade this miry vale, and climb, with pain
And slippery step, the bottom of the steep.
Angels their failings, mortals have their praise:
While here, of corps ethereal; such enrolled,
And summoned to the glorious standard soon,
Which flames eternal crimson through the skies."

The New-Jerusalem doctrine on this subject being so conclusively established by reason, Scripture, and the best human authority, proceed we to examine what is urged against it. To authenticate, against such evidence, the irrational, and, to all appearance, palpably fabulous notions, about angels created such, wars in heaven, and a fallen angel who is a sort of Anti-God, very strong testimony ought surely to be required.

The two first texts that are put forth are the following; which have indeed always been regarded as the main bulwarks of the doctrine: "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day."* "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains and darkness to be reserved unto judgment:" &c.+

Formerly, I confess, I much wondered what these texts could really mean, and had consulted numerous writers on them without finding anything satisfactory. At last I was providentially conducted into a channel of inquiry, which led to a solution of the question so perfectly clear and conclusive, as cannot be denied or evaded.

It is to be noted, that neither of the Apostles delivers the circumstances he relates as original information, but both bring them in incidentally, as things well known to their readers, to draw from them an argument on another subject. Peter affirms # that false teachers would come, and Jude $ that they had come; and both argue to the judgments which would overtake them, from the judgments which had overtaken the wicked in ancient times, and with which their readers were acquainted.

Whence then was this history of the angels that sinned, and their punishment, known to those to whom these Epistles were written ? The other occurrences referred to are contained in the Scriptures (except that we read nothing in the Scriptures of Noah's being "a preacher of righteousness," as he is called by Peter):|| but our Scriptures make no mention of any transgressing angels. In the Septuagint Greek version, however, they who, in the Hebrew original and in our translation, are called "the sons of God,"@ who formed connections with "the daughters of men," are called "the angels of God." Here, then, we have some clue to the circumstance intended; but still it evidently is not to the book of Genesis that the two Apostles refer; for this contains no notice, even as given in the Septuagint version, of the punishment that befell the transgressing angels. Some fuller record, necessarily an apocryphal one, must therefore have then been extant, containing the particulars which the two Apostles mention.

* Jude 6. + 2 Pet. ii. 4. # Ver. 1. $ Ver. 4. || Ver. 5. @ Gen. vi. 2, 4.

Now Jude, a little below, quotes an apocryphal book by name "Enoch," says he, "the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints," &c. * This book of Enoch was well known to the early Christian writers, who often mention it: but it at length disappeared and was supposed to be entirely lost. A fragment of it was discovered, three hundred years ago, by Jos. Scaliger; but as it did not contain the words quoted by Jude, doubts were entertained whether it was the genuine work. At length an Ethiopia version of the whole book was brought from Abyssinia by the celebrated traveller, Mr. Bruce, which has since been translated into English by Dr. Lawrence; and in this are found the quotation of Jude, and the whole of the fragment discovered by Scaliger. Now as it thus is proved that Jude had the book of Enoch before him when he wrote his epistle, and formally quotes from it a passage which he conceived applicable to those of whom he is speaking, it is natural to suppose that he might be referring to the same book when he mentions the transgressing angels and their fate. Such is proved to be the fact. The book of Enoch contains at large a pretended history of the angels who transgressed with the daughters of men, and mentions the exact circumstances repeated by Jude and Peter.

The means of setting this question at rest were actually afforded by the fragment of the book of Enoch discovered by Scaliger; as was remarked by Scaliger himself, who assigning his reasons for publishing it, states "the chief of them to be, because the passage which is produced in the Epistle of Jude respecting the transgressing angels, is manifestly taken from this fragment."+ Yet, strange to say, the commentators in general have passed it by in silence! Most reluctant, they evidently have been, to have it known, that the only imagined Scripture authority for the belief in fallen angels, was an imaginary authority, and no more. I find but one who has deduced from the book of Enoch the origin of the story; and that is the famous German rationalist, Dr. Semler; a writer whose own sentiments, in many respects, I regard as most erroneous and pernicious; but whose great learning and thorough acquaintance with early ecclesiastical history, well qualified him for investigating what he calls the historical sense of the apostolical writings; in regard to which he certainly has made some valuable discoveries. We have no reason to regard him with favour; for he wrote, in German, a tract against our doctrines: but fas est et ab hoste doceri: wherefore I will here translate some extracts from the notes to Ms paraphrase of the Second Epistle of Peter.

* Ver. 14, 15. + Et quod caput est, &c. See Lawrence's Prel. Dis. p. xx.

On the words, For if God spared not the angels that sinned, he remarks, "Here almost all the Christian interpreters, being destitute of the light of history, and influenced by the authority of their system, have been so led into error as not to perceive, that the author is here speaking, as does Jude also, of the history related in Gen. vi. The received form of theology has led them to refer these words to occurrences supposed to have taken place before the fall of man, brought about by the prince of evil angels. Beza himself * severely reprehends the vain studies of divines, whom he represents as being made fools of by Satan, who withdraws them from the business of salvation, and engages them in speculating about such matters as what day of the world that fall of angels happened on, and whether it was before the foundation of this lower world; what was the sin by which Satan fell; and how many angels he drew with him.— But neither Beza nor even Grotius was aware, that the writer of the epistle is here referring to Gen. vi., with the commentary upon it contained in the book of Enoch. And although the advice which Beza gives on the occasion is useful and weighty, 'to learn soberly to take our knowledge from the Word of God, and to be content with what the Holy Spirit has revealed;' yet it is here out of place. For the Holy Spirit did not reveal what we read here, and in Jude 6. Beza, without any authority for it, assigns the knowledge of what is here related to an unwritten tradition, from which he supposes, the fall of angels was known to the fathers. But Christians ought to be aware, that unwritten traditions containing any useful truth, and derived from God, were by no means to be found among the Jews of that time, who, having adopted the fables of the gentiles about the operations of demons, propagated nothing but mere superstition and darkness."—Again, on the words, "but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness," (where the phrase "cast them down to hell" is expressed in the original by one word— tartarosas—which occurs no where else in the New Testament, and means, "having committed them to tartarus,") Dr. S. has these observations: "The word tartarosas is taken from the Grecian mythology. Tartarus is represented as a kind of prison, in which darkness supplies the place of chains. In the book of Enoch (p. 191 of the Codex Pseudepigraphus of Fabricius), Azael [a leader of the sinning angels] is said to be bound hand and foot, and cast into darkness, to be brought forth to the burning in the day of judgment. In like manner, (p. 194), Semiazas [another of their leaders] is bound with his companions for seventy generations under the hills of the earth, until the accomplishment of the judgment of the age of ages. —Thus the transaction is taken from that book of Enoch."

* Calvin's disciple and successor.

The passages here cited by Dr. Semler, from the Greek fragment, are, as found at length in the Ethiopia, and translated by Dr. Lawrence, as follows: "Again the Lord said to Raphael, Bind Azazyel hand and foot; cast him into darkness; and opening the desert which is in Dudael, cast him in there. Throw upon him hurled and pointed stones; covering him with darkness; there shall he remain forever; cover his face that he may not see the light; and in the great day of judgment lot him be cast into the fire." * "To Michael likewise the Lord said, Go and announce (his crime) to Samyaza,. and to the others who are with him, who have been associated with women, that they might be polluted with all their impurity. And when all their sons shall be slain, when they shall see the perdition of their beloved, bind them for seventy generations underneath the earth, even to the day of judgment, and of consummation, until the judgment, (the effect of) which will last for ever, be completed."+

* Ch. x. 6—9. + Ver. 15,

Here then, evidently, we have the history referred to by the two Apostles;—of Peter's "angels that sinned, who were cast down to Tartarus [the desert in Dudael], and delivered into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment; "—of Jude's "angels which kept not their principality, but left their own habitation, and are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day."

This passage of Jude is still further explained by the book of Enoch. Our translation calls them "the angels which kept not their first estate," the original word being arche, which does indeed signify beginning; but it also signifies government or principality, and is often so translated in the New Testament. The history in the book of Enoch proves that it bears this sense here. These angels are there called the watchers, and their duty was to oversee the affairs of men; this then was their arche, government or principality: and for this end they were stationed in the air at no great distance from the earth; this then was "their own habitation."

In the book of Enoch, also, we find the reason why Noah is called "a preacher of righteousness;" for it contains a prophecy pretended to have been delivered by Noah.

Thus, then, it is indisputable, that these texts of Peter and Jude, the only texts in the Bible which can be thought to speak explicitly of the pre-existence and fall of angels, afford no support to those notions whatever. They afford no support to the doctrine of the pre-existence of angels, because the sinning angels spoken of are not those who are imagined to have fallen before the foundation of the world, but those who were supposed to have transgressed with the daughters of men. They afford no countenance to the notion that angels are a different race from men, because the apocryphal story referred to is founded upon what is now acknowledged by all to be a misconception of the relation in Gen. vi.; for no one will now pretend that "the sons of God" there mentioned were angels of any kind. They afford no support to any doctrine whatever; because they are mere allusions to a forged and apocryphal book, addressed to the reader in the way of an argumentum ad hominem; as Paul sometimes quotes both from apocryphal and heathen writers. This is the way in which the learned account for Jude's express citation* from the book of Enoch; and unless it be admitted, the two Epistles must themselves be regarded as apocryphal; as was done by many in ancient times, and by some (especially as to that of Jude, which is rejected by Michaelis) at the present day. I am by no means inclined to consider them spurious; many parts of them exhibit, I am satisfied, the enlightened mind of an Apostle: but no one, surely, will assert, that an allusion to an apocryphal tale about angels who took wives of the daughters of men, affords any proof of the pre-existence of angels, and the fall from heaven of Satan.

* Ver. 14, 15.

The next text cited against us is John viii. 44: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. "When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." How this text can be supposed to prove that angels existed before men were created, and that some of them fell out of heaven, I cannot understand. Even upon the common theory, how can the devil have been a murderer from the beginning, supposing him to have begun his existence as an angel of light ? But it is supposed that his pre-existence as an angel of light is implied by its being said, that "he abode not in the truth." In the original it is, "he stood not in the truth:" which does not necessarily imply that, having first been in the truth, he did not remain in it, but rather, that he never was stationed in the truth; and that this is the true intention of the phrase is rendered certain by its being added, "because there is no truth in him;" or, more literally, "because the truth is not in him." If then we understand a personal being to be spoken of, who, having originally been in heaven, fell out of it, we must understand the cause of his fall to be, that he could not help it. He was a devil from the beginning, created an alien from the truth. Who will impute the production of such a being to the Creator ? Understand these words of a personal being, and they involve a blasphemy; you either impute the origin of your personal devil, as a devil, to the Creator; or you suppose the devil to be an Anti-god, uncreated and self-existing. But understand the devil here to be the principle of evil in the abstract, or rather, to be a personification of the root of all evil, which is the love of self; and all becomes consistent. It is the evil of self-love, or self-love when made the sole or governing spring of action, that prompts to all deeds of violence and deceit,—that makes murderers and liars. In divine language, all personal beings are named according to their qualities: hence, because this horrid principle reigns in hell, its inhabitants, singly, are also called devils; hence Judas is called by the Lord a devil;* and hence, likewise, all individual devils, considered as forming one aggregate evil power, are denominated the devil. But when, as here, the devil from the beginning