Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

He re

deemer; I have chosen you to un- From this world of spirits, the fold to men the internal and spirit- soul, if prepared, is introduced in ual sense of the sacred writings, to heaven. Here we find every and will dictate to you what you thing almost precisely as it is on are to write.” At that time I was earth. There are three distinct not terrified, and the light, though heavens, the inhabitants of which very brilliant, made no unpleasant are not permitted to hold any com impression upon my eyes. The munion with each other, though Lord was clothed with purple, and Swedenborg was allowed even this the vision lasted a quarter of an privilege. The angels are divided hour. That same night, the eyes into innumerable societies, and of my internal man were opened, seem to continue in their respecand fitted to see things in the world tive places, with little or slow imof spirits, and in hell, in which provement. “ That the universal places I found many persons of heaven resembles the human form. inine acquaintance, some of them is a secret hitherto unknown in long since, and others lately de- this world;" but it is even so. ceased."

though we can get no idea of the From the time that he thus saw proposition.

" That angels are the personal appearance of God, human forms of men,” says Sweto the day of his death, Sweden- denborg, “ I have seen a thousand borg enjoyed uninterrupted inter- times, and have conversed with course with the world of spirits. them, as one man with anotherHe informs us that he conversed nor did I ever see any thing that with angels on many subjects, “at differed from the human form.” least a thousand times."

He informs us that there is a real lates the most ludicrous ideas and sun and moon in heaven, though stories with such a wonderful de. they are both spiritual. This idea gree of gravity, that the reader of is highly poetical, but not original: his works often finds it difficult to the heathen poet expresses it more keep his risible muscles under pro- clear and elegant: per discipline. I am first to give a

—solemque suum, et sua sidera norunt.' faint picture of heaven and hell, as drawn by our author in a large There is also heat, light and darkvolume, and of which he most sol

ness in heaven; and one is almost emnly assures us on his dying bed, i tempted to set Milton down as a “ every word is true.”

Swedenborgian, potwithstanding At death, then, the soul does he lived some time before Sweden not immediately go either to heav-borg. en or hell, as the scriptures teach

"There is a care us, but to a world of spirits, situat- Within the mount of God, fast by the ed exactly between. This " valley tbrone, of spirits," has heaven above it, Where light and darkness in perpetual and hell beneath it; but it is so

round well guarded by rocks, mountains, Lodge and dislodge by turns, which

wakes thro' heaven &c. that the spirits cannot escape. Grateful vicissitude, like day and night.' They remain here, some for days, some for weeks, or even for years, There are four cardinal points though none are allowed to remain in heaven, corresponding to ours; longer than thirty years. Whether and what is remarkable, the angels this valley becomes full, or why are never permitted to turn their they are not permitted to remain faces from the east. How they longer, we are not informed. are comfortable or happy in this

eternal position, it is difficult to from thence.” To many it may conceive. The angels are clad in be new to learn, that there never real garments, which our author was such a being as satan or the saw and handled times without devil; that there never was any number. They have houses, gar- order of spirits superior to man; dens, walks, groves, &c. like our- and that

every inhabitant of heaven selves. They have temples and and hell originally came from this social worship, though to what de- world; but Swedenborg says it is nomination they belong we are not It may also be new, to learn told. Swedenborg frequently at- that there is never to be any restended their meetings, and even urrection, except what takes place assisted in conducting them.- at death, when a spiritual body is ** That I might be an eye witness taken oat of our natural bodies; to the manner of their assemblies that there is never to be a day of in their temples, I have been in- judgment, except what took place Julged with permission to enter in 1757, which was the second and them, and hear the preaching: - last judgment;" but Swedenborg The preacher stands in a pulpit on says these truths were all thus rethe east side; before him sit those vealed to him. Just one third part who are most eminent for wisdom, of the inhabitants of heaven are and on either band the inferior. infants, who are cducated with They sit in something of a circular great care by females appointed for form, so that all can see the face that purpose. The rich and poor of the preacher; but no one is to retain their respective characters be out of his sight, no one is allow- in the other world. The lot of the ed to stand behind the pulpit; for rich, when transplanted to heaven, Should one do so, it would confuse is that of being in a condition of the preacher, as would be the case greater splendour than others:should any one dissent from his some of them dwell in stately paldoctrine." The power of angels aces, richly furnished and ornais described as very great over mented as with gold and silver, matter. “ I have seen mountains together with abundance of all that had been occupied by evil things ministering to the delight spirits, cast down and overturned, of life. Our Saviour declares that or shaken from top to bottom, as there is “ neither marriage nor by an earthquake; rocks also rent giving in marriage” in heaven; asunder to their very foundations, but Swedenborg, in a long and and the evil spirits upon them, dismal chapter on this subject, swallowed up." The angels all says there are marriages in heavspeak one language, which, as our author so readily understood it, is The description which he gives probably Swedish. Writings are of hell resembles that of heaven. numerous among the angels, though He says there are three hells, corthey seem to be applied to no use. responding to the three heavens ; These are probably Hebrew. “On that there are the same number of a certain tíme a little paper was societies; that there is an exact sent me from heaven, on which equilibrium between heaven and were written some words in He- hell, to prevent the freedom of brew characters, and it has told man from being destroyed by the me that every letter contained over balancing of good or evil; some secrets of wisdom, nay the that all the inhabitants of hell are very flexures and curvatures of the of one race; and that as all heaven letters, and the sounding them resembled one man, so all hell resembles one devil. These three properly represented to consist iv hells are described as under huge unrestrained passions. But this, mountains, hills and rocks; as we find the inhabitants represent dark and dismal, though here and ed as suffering from heat, cold, there lighted up with burning coals. hunger, as being beaten, driven Some of the dwellings of the suf- into narrow and filthy places, &c. ferers, are described as resembling in a manner that almost wholly dens of wild beasts, some as fall destroys that awe and dread with of fire, some as ruined cottages, which this subject is surrounded towns and streets; others are like by the language of the New Testadeserts, caves and gloomy woods. ment. The. punishment of hell is very

SO.

en.

(To be continued.)

[ocr errors]

FOR TAE HOPKIXSI UN MAGAZINE.

It is presumed, that, with a few ESSAYS UPON HOPKIYSIANISM.

exceptions, the orthodox, whether No. IV.

they choose to be called HopkinSKETCH OF HOPKINSIAN SENTIMENTS. sians or Calvinists, will all assent

Having traced the origin of the to the following propositions: that epithet Hopkinsian, and shown its there is One only living and true propriety and utility, I now come, God, the Maker, Possessor and agreeably to the plan proposed in Governour of the world—that the my first essay, to draw the outlines Scriptures of the Old and New of the system, properly denominat- Testaments, were written by Died Hopkinsian. A brief sketch is vine inspiration--that, in the Unity all that can be reasonably expect of the Godhead, there is a Trinity ed; since, to exhibit a Hopkinsian of Father, Son and Holy Ghostconfession of faith, in all its rami- that the purposes and providence fications, would be a greater task, of God, are universal--that manthan the writer was willing to im- kind are free, moral agents, acpose upon himself, and would oc- countable to God for their concupy more room in the Magazine, duct--that men, by nature, are than the Editor would, probably, depraved, guilty, lost creatures be able to spare. In the brief that Jesus Christ is truly God, and, sketch proposed, it will be a lead by his submission to death, made a ing object, to present a discriminat-proper atonement for the sins of ing view of Hopkinsian tenets, or men--that salvation is sincerely to point out the difference

between offered to men in the Gospel, upon them, and the tenets of others, the condition of repentance and who are called Orthodox, and par- faith--that, in order to repent and ticularly of such, as lay an exclu- believe in Christ, men must be give claim to Calvinism.

regenerated by the special operaRespecting, many of the funda- tion of the Holy Spirit--that those, mental doctrines of revealed re- whoin the Holy Spirit regenerates ligion, the Orthodox, in general, in time, were given to Christ in of every name, express their belief eternity, or chosen to salvation in nearly the same terms: the dif from the beginning--that all true ference between them, consists in believers will be preserved from the sense, in which they use those final apostacy--that the bodies of terms, and the inferences, which men will be raised to life, at the they deduce from the ideas, under- last day; when Christ will judge stood to be expressed by them. I the world in righteousness; and

when, according to the sentence after, to be so, by quotations from then pronounced, saints will enter acknowledged Hopkinsian divines. on a state of perfect, and endless The Divine Inspiration of the Sahappiness, and sinners on a state

cred Scriptures. of complete and endless misery. Though but few, who receive

Bat while the Orthodox might the Scriptures as the word of God, all assent to a creed, couched in will deny their plenary inspiration; such general terms, they would yet, respecting the nature of that differ much in their modes of ex- inspiration, there is a diversity of plaining it, and making deductions opinions. Some suppose, that the from it.

Holy Spirit merely superini ended I shall now attempt to exhibit the sacred penmen, so as to prethe views of some of the leading vent their making mistakes. Othpoints above mentioned, which may ers suppose, that Divine inspirabe considered as, in a great meas- tion consisted, principally, in eleure, peculiar to Hopkinsians: in vating and strengthening the natudoing which, for the sake of method | ral powers and faculties of the and brevity, I will class them un. sacred writers. But, Hopkinsians der the following general headsm hold, that, in writing the ScripThe Divine inspiration of the sa- tures, not only the truths exprescred scriptures---The peculiar sed, but the very words in which Mode of the Divine Existence-- they are clothed, were suggested, The Character and Works of God or dictated to the inspired pen- The free, moral agency of man- men, by the Holy Spirit. This The native character and condi-only, can, with truth and propriety, tion of mankind-- The Character be called Divine inspiration; since and Work of the Redeemer-The a mere superintendency, or even Terms of the Gospel – The Work the highest elevation, has nothing. of the Holy Spirit in Regeneration in it of a miraculous nature, and and Sanctification—The present is not different in kind, if in deJustification and future Reward of gree, from the common influences true Believers.

of the Spirit, and cannot, thereUpon these subjects, in their or- fore, impart Divine authority to der, it is proposed, concisely, to the sacred writings, any more, state the sentiments of Hopkins- than to the works of any wise and ians, with a few of the reasons good man. As it will not be deadduced to support them. In such nied, that God was able to suggest a brief sketch, as the limits of to the several writers, whatever these essays will admit, it is not they wrote; so it was necessary thought necessary to mention the that he should suggest the whole; particular Authors, and the pages that they might always be conscious of their works, in which the senti- of a Divine inspiration, and might ments stated, may be found. It be able to say, as they do, that will be sufficient to refer, general- they were moved by the Holy Ghost ly, to the works of Dr. Bellamy, -that they received what they President Edwards, Dr. Hopkins, wrote by the revelation of Jesus Dr. Edwards, Dr. Stephen West, Christ-and that they expressed Dr. Emmons; and to the Essays themselves in the words which the in the Theological and Mass. Miss. Holy Ghost teacheth.' Magazines. Should it be thought, The peculiar Mode of the Divine however, that any thing advanced,

Existence. is not strictly Hopkinsiar; it may, All, who make pretensions to when pointed out, be shown, here- 1 orthodoxy, admit, that the mode

1

or the

of the Divine Existence, is pecul- | are One God, the same in subiar and mysterious; , and that it is stance, and equal in Power and such, as to render it proper to ap- Glory.” This is a doctrine, not ply to God, the distinct names of discoverable by reason, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But light of nature: but it is a doctrine they differ respecting the kind of clearly taught in Divine revelation, distinction in the Godhead, which in which the Father, Word and these names import, and, conse Holy Spirit are represented as havquently, respecting the seat of the ing distinct volitions, as performmystery, which the doctrine of the ing separate parts in the work of Trinity involves. Some suppose, redemption, and as speaking to that the distinction, in the mode of and of each other, as distinct perthe Divine Existence, is inexpli- sons; while, to each of them, Dicable; and in this distinction, there- vine names, attributes and works fore, they place the mystery of the are ascribed; and, at the same sacred Trinity. Others suppose, time, it is uniformly asserted, that that the distinction in the Godhead, there is but One God. This docis that of attributes and offices trine, so plainly and fully taught merely-that the Father denotes in the Scriptures, is above, but not the attribute of understanding, or contrary to reason; as it neither the office of lawgiver and sover- | implies, that three persons are one eign-that, the Son denotes the person, or that three Gods are one attribute of wisdom, or the office God; but only, that there is One of communicating light and truth, God in Three Persons. There is and that the Holy Ghost denotes nothing mysterious in the distincthe attribute of p.wwer, or the office tion of Persons in the Godhead: of creating and of upholding and the mystery lies in the union of moving the creatures and things Three Persons in One God. This that are made. Whether divines is, indeed, a profound mystery: of this class, suppose, that there is and what is more reasonable, than any mystery in the Trinity; or, if to suppose, that the uncreated and 80, where they think it lies, I am eternal Being should have some

thing, in the mode of his existence, In opposition to the above no- incomprehensible; or that creattions of the mode of the Divine ures cannot, óby searching, find Existence, Hopkinsians hold, that out God?' But, though the docthere is a distinction of Persons trine of the Trinity is mysterious, in the Godhead. They agree with yet it is not unintelligible: it may the Assembly of Divines, that be stated and understood, and, * there are three Persons in the therefore, as rationally believed, Godhead, the Father, the Son, and as any other doctrine taught in the the Holy Ghost; and these Three sacred volume.

A HOPKINSIAN.

unable to say:

Religious Hntelligence. The Translations of the Bible by moir on the Translations. The the English Baptist Missionaries, New Testament is published in have been very extensive.- twenty of the languages of India. The London Missionary Register 1 of the Bengalee, the 6th edition for November, just received, con- is in the press. 2 of the Hindee, tains an abstract of their 9th me. the ed in press. 3 of the Sanscrit,

« VorigeDoorgaan »