« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Oh the week was originally set apart for Lord thy God commanded thee to the sabbath, why were the Israel. keep the sabbath day." This was a paies, and made them ites required to keep the seventh a good reason why the Israeliteswelin reign over them. day? To such a question, I would should be directed to keep the seven nithout meaning and reply, that the fact of the altera- enth day; but it was no reason w Christ thus distintion of the day remains the same, why any other nation should keep al barned the first day whether we can account for it, or it. not. But, it is not difficult to con- Now, if it be true, that, for read New Testament, th jecture, what some of the reasons sons like the above, the day of there the reet, is
, by way might have been, for requiring the sabbath was altered at Sinai; it called the Lord's DA Israelites to keep the seventh day, will follow, that when the Jewish si: John writes, Rev. instead of the first, as from the be- sabbath was abolished, the fourth nu in the spirit on ginning. One reason probably was, commandment bound Christianst," It seems not m to keep the Israelites from joining to keep the first day of the week, to ascertain the mear with the Gentiles in their idola- agreeably to the original institucression, than that of trous worship of the sun, and the tion in Paradise.
le scriptures. The host of heaven. Prone as the Isra- 4. It is thought to be predicted acent times and the elites were to idolatry, had they in the hundred and eighteenth na sope of the Che been directed to observe the same Psalm, that Christians should keep us, that the Lord day as a sabbath, which the sur- the first day of the week as their tas kept in honour rounding nations devoted to the sabbath: “The stone which these the first da worship of the sun; they would builders refused, is become the Lis expression have been more easily seduced by head-stone of the corner. This is ss of the day; their impious example, to depart the Lord's doing it is marvellous al supper is to
. is the and true God. Another reason for the Lord hath made; we will
the son meals, asta requiring the Israelites to keep the joice and be glad in it;"....
" The besedemuls te seventh day, might be, to keep stone spoken of, is Christ. them a distinct people. A change was refused by the builders, espe- diction of Goe
He rece of the and other injunctions of the Mosa- | While he was in the grave, he lay shat this is the of the sabbath, like circumcision cially when he was put to deathe way of the che ick ritual, had a tendency to keep as a stone cast away by the buildthat people from intermixing with ers. But, when he was raised from bas right to ke other nations, which might have the dead, he became the head of
he prestice be been the means of their extinction. the corner. And the day on which As a third reason for the change of this took place, which was the first seventh day, it may be mentioned, God has made, or sanctified, as the that the deliverance of the Israel day on which the church shall reites from Egyptian bondage took joice and be glad." place on the seventh day of the 5. Christ, the great Head and week. As this event was impor- King of the church, was pleased tant in itself, and also an eminent peculiarly to distinguish and hontype of the redemption by Christ, our the first day of the week. On
. it was proper that the day on which this day he rose from the dead. it happened, should be kept in On this day he appeared, at several commemoration of it. Hence Mo- times, to his disciples, after his ses says, Deut. v. 15, “Remem- resurrection. On this day, which ber that thou wast a servant in the was the Jewish pentecost, seven land of Egypt, and that the Lord weeks after his resurrection, he thy God brought thee out thence, poured out his spirit, in a remarkthrough a mighty hand, and by a able manner, upon his apostles; stretched out arm: therefore the land bowed the hearts of three thou
sand of his enemies, and made them tion, observed the day, which he willing to have him reign over them. directed them to keep as a holy It was not without meaning and sabbath. design, that Christ thus distin- 8. It has been the practice of guished and honoured the first day the Christian church, from the time of the week.
of the apostles to the present time, 6. In the New Testament, the to keep the first day of the week first day of the week, is, by way of as a holy sabbath. 66 We read in eminence, called the LORD's Day. the writing which remain of the The apostle John writes, Rev. i. first, second and third centuries, 10, “I was in the spirit on the of the Christians keeping the Lord's Lord's day.” It seems not more day: and so in all succeeding ages: difficult to ascertain the meaning and there are no accounts that conof this expression, than that of any tradict them. Though there are other in the scriptures. The writ- accounts of many different disputes ings of ancient times and the im- among professing Christians in anmemorial usage of the Christian cient times; yet there is no aca church show, that the Lord's day count of any disagreement respectis that day kept in honour of the ing the day to be observed as the Lord Christ, or the first day of the Christian sabbath This is truly week. This expression denotes unaccountable, upon the supposithe holiness of the day; as the tion that there has been a departsacramental supper is called the ure from apostolick practice, in an Lord's supper, to distinguish it article of such importance. If the from common meals, as a holy sup- apostles kept, and directed the per, to be solemnly received, in churches to keep the seventh day, remembrance of the Lord Christ. instead of the first, is it conceivaThe application of God's name to ble, that there should have been a the first day of the week, plainly change of the day effected throughindicates, that this is the day which out the Christian world, without God has sanctified, and which any debate, without any one ingenChristians ought to keep holy. uous enough to assign the reason
7. The practice of the apostles of it, or faithful enough to bear and prinitive Christians, author- testimony against the unwarrantaizes and obliges us to keep the first ble innovation?” day of the week as holy time. It Finally. As the first day of the is frequently recorded in the Acts, week was originally sanctified and that on this day they assembled to made a sabbath, in remembrance worship God, to preach the gospel, of the great work of creation; so and to celebrate the Lord's supper. it is but fit and reasonable, that On this day of the week, the the observance of it should be conapostle particularly directed the tinued in remembrance of the greatchurches to have their contribuer and more stupendous work of tions for the relief of their poor redemption. The moral world is and persecuted brethren. The the end of the natural world. first day of the week, it appears, Christ created the world as a theawas the day which the primitive tre, on which he might perform Christians devoted, in a special the work of redemption. Surely, manner, to the worship of God and then, the day of the week, on the duties of religion. It was which Christ rose from the dead, their sabbath, and ought, therefore, and put the finishing stroke to the to be ours. They knew the will work which he came down from of their master, and without ques. I heaven to perform, is privileged
above all other days, and is the ber this day, to keep it holy,
It most suitable to be observed, by is the Lord's day: Let us be in all his followers, as their holy sab- the Spirit on it. This is the day, bath. This is not only the day, on which the Lord hath made: Let which God rested from the work of the whole Christian church rejoice creation; but it is the day, on and be glad in it, until they arrive which the great Lord of the sab at that more glorious and eternal bath burst the bars of death, and rest, that remaineth to the people was declared to be the Son of God of God.
MORALIS. with power. Let us ever remem
SWEDENBORGIANISM. lowers of this system have public (Concluded from page 110.)
worship, churches, a Liturgy and
music. The Swedenborgians then, be- Such is the creed of the Swelieve, negatively, that there will be denborgians, and such is the sysno future day of Judgment; they tem for the propagation of which do not believe in the second com- no small exertions are now making. ing of Christ, and the consequent Such too, are the high pretensions destruction of the visible heavens which are claimed by the founder and earth; they do not believe in of this sect. Let us now see by a future resurrection; they do not what arguments or evidence, the believe in the atonement or vicari- inspiration of this mass of absurdious sacrifice; they do not believe ties demands our belief. The inin the personality of the Trinity, spiration of Moses, the Jewish though they admit that there are ceremonies and laws, and the rethree divine essences; they do not ligion of Christ and his Apostles, believe in predestination; they de-were proved by most stupendous ny the doctrine of election, of jus- miracles. We know that as it retification by faith, &c. Positively, gards the Gospel, great stress may they believe that all the writings of be placed upon its internal eviEmmanuel Swedenborg are divine- dence; this argument to the bosom ly inspired; that he talked with of the Christian, must ever be God face to face; that the final strong and consoling. But it is judgment of the world took place not too much to say, that we have in 1757; that the second coming of no reason to suppose that even Christ took place in the revelation Christianity would have been reby Swedenborg ; that there is a ceived by mankind, without the world of spirits, or purgatory, be testimony of miracles. Whatever tween heaven and hell; that there stress, then, may be laid on inter, are three distinct heavens, and nal evidence for the inspiration of three hells, both of which exactly any system of religion, the ultimate balance each other, and are equal test must be miracles. Now Sweas to the number of inhabitants; denborg never pretended to per that the scriptures can be under- form any miracles in proof of his stood only by those who can ex- | inspiration. For this, he assigns plain them in three different senses; two reasons, viz. that miracles that every thing in this world has would destroy the freedom of the its correspondent in the world of will, and make men believe, whe, spirits"; that the dispensation of ther they would or not; and that the New Jerusalem Church is the his doctrines are sufficiently con, crown of all others, &c. The fol- ' vincing without the aid of miracles.
He might have added a third rea- dispensations required the aid and son, of still greater weight. He assistance of miracles, in order to thus states his reasons in his Arca- induce mankind to acknowledge na Cælestia. In respect to pro- them, this argues at least, that digies and signs, it is to be observ- they did not carry with them that ed, that they were performed a clear and rational evidence of their mongst such persons as were in truth, which was of itself sufficient external worship, and were not de- to gain credit among men ; for sirous of knowing any thing about wherever the truth of a thing can, internal worship ; for they who not be established by any other were in such worship, were to be means than by miracles, it plainly compelled by external means ;- implies that it is involved in obhence it was, that miracles were scurity, doubt and uncertainty. performed among the Jewish and Such was the case with all former Israelitish people, who were mere- dispensations, which only shadowly in external worship, and none ed forth and represented the last that was spiritual. Hence it was and most magnificent of all, the that so many miracles were per- New Jerusalem. This last and formed among that nation. But greatest of dispensations requires with those who are in internal no miracles, because the truths it worship, that is, in charity and displays are of themselves clear, faith, miracles are not performed, rational and satisfactory. It is too being to such persons hurtful: for dignified to stoop down to earth miracles force or compel to be- for any thing that resembles a mirlieve; and whatsoever is of com-acle; for by so doing, its heavenpulsion, doth not remain, but is born glory would be tarnished, dissipated-hence it is that no mir- and a cloud would overspread the acles are performed at this day. sky, so as to interrupt the beams That they are also of a hurtful na- of celestial light, proceeding from ture, may appear from the follow- him who is the sun of righteousing considerations: they compel to ness!" believe, and fix in the external Rejecting the aid of miracles, man an idea that the thing is so or because out of his power, Swedenso: if the internal man afterwards borg relies wholly upon internal denies what the miracles have con- evidence for the credit of his revfirmed, then there commences an elations. Did I not presume that opposition and collision between I have already given the reader a the internal and external man ; sufficiently enlarged selection of and at length, when the ideas pro- this kind of testimony, it might be duced from miracles are dissipat- indefinitely increased. But there ed, the conjunction of falsehood is one proof of the doctrine of and truth takes place, which is Swedenborgianism, which may be profanation. Hence it is evident, I brought forward by the disciples how dangerous and hurtful mira-1 of this religion, if it be really true. cles would be at this day in the We have not as yet seen a shadow church,” “ Are not the things of evidence in its favour. If it above mentioned above miracles?" really be what it pretends to be,
The following passage is from we have a right to expect and deHindmarsh, in his defence of Swe- mand the proof now to be mendenborgianism. He is a zealous tioned. It is this. The same redisciple, and seems to have had as velation which declared to Sweclear views as can be possessed on denborg that his doctrines possesà subject so dark. "As former ) sed a
"As former sed a * superiority in excellence
and dignity above all the know- eternal war with all who would ledges that have heretofore been not receive his doctrines; Swedenpublished in the world,” also re- borg, as we have seen, shuts them vealed to him, that in the interior up in a dungeon and leaves them of Africa, far from the sea-shore, quarreling. Mahommet declared his system of religion had been himself an inspired prophet, rerevealed, and was rapidly spread peatedly went to heaven, conversing through all the region; conse- ed with God face to face, and is quently, that there is a large coun- the founder of a new religion ; try, in the centre of Africa, which Swedenborg does all this. The is inhabited by Swedenborgians! one described a sensual and matéNow, if his disciples really believe rial heaven and hel; so does the in these revelations, why do they other. They both saw marriages not send to the interior of Africa, in heaven, and lust in hell. The and afford the world this one proof one saw angels whose heads were of the inspiration of their leader? so large, that it would take a bird It is easy to swallow absurdities a thousand years to fly from one in the gross, but difficult to digest ear to the other; the other never them, when dealt out singly. allows these angels to turn their
Hindmarsh has given several faces from the east. The one gave instances of the prescience of Swe-a religion full of absurdities; the denborg. They are all of the same other does no less. The former character as those with which gave us a revelation utterly unworstraggling fortune-tellers in our thy of God; the latter levels the day, delude the ignorant and su- Deity to a man. Both religions perstitious; and what is remarka- are alike unfitted for man. Yet ble, none of these examples are in some respects these two men recorded till after their fulfilment. were very dissimilar. Mahommet These relations are so puerile, and raised his blood-stained sword, and 80 nearly approximating to foolish-proclaimed it the key of heaven; ness, that I fear the reader would Swedenborg unlocks the door quite think me imposing upon him, were as effectually by his key of corI to give examples.
respondencies. Mahommet spread The reader has probably, ere his religion by fear and force; Swe
; this, noticed a resemblance be- denborg relies on the ignoranoe tween the religion of Mahommet, , and credulity of mankind. The and that of Swedenborg. As it one was unquestionably the greatrespects personal character, they est impostor the world ever saw; were certainly unlike; but in oth- the other the greatest self-deceiver er respects there is no slight re- the world ever pitied. The one semblance. Mahommet professed came like a demon, strewing his
high regard for the scriptures, path with --desolation, while he and a high reverence for the char- trampled on the cross of Christ; acter of Jesus Christ; so does Swe- the other clothes himself with denborg. Mahommet believed in clouds and mysteries, while he dethe Unity of God; so does Swe- bases Christianity, The one walkdenborg. Mahommet declared hised on the wings of destruction; revelations superior to all others; the other comes in the stillness that Swedenborg does the same. Ma- precedes the earthquake. The forhommet rejected the aid of mira- mer shocked us by his hardened cles to prove his mission, and treats and bold impiety; the latter esthem with contempt; so does Swe- capes the charge of the most dreaddenborg. Mahommet declared an ful blasphemies, only because we