« ÖncekiDevam »
tion be continued what ravages will take place in one revolution of the sun! Ere another fortnight elapse, may not we be summoned before the tribunal of Almighty God. On that solemn occasion, doubtless the first question asked of us will be, • What hast: thou done? The next inquiry may probably be, not, What have been the articles of thy faith ?—but, , What have been the grounds of thy faith ? not, What have you believed? but, Why have you so believed ? This will be the test of sincerity.
You believe Jesus to have been God: we believe him to have been a man ; and our plea is the sincerity of our Master, who made no claim superior to those of a
You pay religious adoration to Jesus Christ; we pay religious adoration to God the Father only; and our plea is the express command of Jesus to worship none other but him. As to this article of our faith, then, we are contented to be tried by the commands and the example of our Saviour, at the solemn tribunal of Almighty God. And we doubt not that he will accept our plea, and, if we act con
sistently, that our blessed Saviour, with open arms, will welcome us as his genuine disciples !
Then let us march cheerfully on,
ADDRESSED TO THE MEMBERS OF THE
NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH.
The Lectures which have been delivered this winter have been addressed exclusively to Trinitarians. Considering ourselves as separated from every other denomination of Christians, by this insurmountable barrier, that the object of religious adoration should be One, not Three, it did not occur to me, when I entered upon this course of Lectures, that there existed another branch of the family of Christians, who at all resembled us, in prostrating themselves before an altar erected to One God undivided into several
persons. What is the opinion of the Society of Friends, upon this subject, it is difficult to ascertain, as they are cautious in committing themselves upon the
question. Whatever may have been the opinions of their founder, Fox, or of their eminent leaders, Penn and Barclay, recent circumstances, such as the occurrences in Ireland, the expulsion of Hannah Barnard, and the disownment of Mr. Rathbone, and Mr. Fox, appear to put a decided negative upon their being Unitarians. I am willing to acknowledge, that such of the writings of Swedenborg, as had fallen under my observation, appeared rather the reveries of mysticism than the deliberate conclusions of a sane mind. I am willing to confess that I did not give to those, who had embraced the same opinions, that degree of credit for cool deliberate investigation, and solidity of judgment, which is their due. .
To you, then, who call' yourselves members of the New Jerusalem Church, I am induced to devote a few pages of this 'work, 'trusting that they will receive your *attentive consideration. "Believe me this
address is made with no, unfriendly view. Far, otherwise. To a, considerable distance, we proceed together, on our christian, journey, we are clothed in the same armour, we wield the same weapons, arrange ourselves, under the same banner, fight in the same glorious cause. Whenever, therefore, we feel it our duty to separate, let us, at least, part friends, The reasons which have induced me to address this Supplement to you may
be thus briefly, stated.
The honour paid to these Lectures by the regular attendance of several of your ministers, at a time when an attempt was made by some, both publicly and privately to stifle enquiry and excite a general odium;*
* I feel no inclination to enter into particulars. If there are any, who, either in established or non-conformist pulpits, or in private conversations, have endeavoured to expose to per. sonal obloquy, by abusive epithets, or to prejudice friends and connections, or to inflame the minds of those in the imme. diate vicinity of residence ;-may reflection teach them the littleness of the motives which instigated their conduct, the anti-christian spirit, by which they were actuated. — Thanks be to God, the British mind is becoming too enlightened to listen to mere insinuations. The age of enquiry is arrived ; men will think, nor any longer take for gospel the ipse dixit of a priest.