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expelled, before we can possess any meetness for heavenly felicity. But how is this change to be accomplished, except by the medium of truth? How are our corruptions to be seen, except by the light of truth? How are they to be expelled, except by the power of truth? What clue have we to guide us, in our pilgrim age through the valley of the shadow of death, except the doctrines of heavenly truth? And though it may be allowed that the doctrines of every sect in Christendom contain a portion of truth, however disfigured and falsified; and that the simple in heart of every profession, who do not confirm themselves in the falses in which they have been educated, though they cannot avoid being entangled and perplexed by them, may acquire a capability of salvation; yet there is no axiom in geometry more certain than this,, that the purer our ideas of spiritual truth are, or the nearer the doctrines we profess approach to the eternal standard of the Holy Word, rightly understood, the straiter and plainer will be our road from a state of evil and corruption to that state of heavenly good and purity which divine mercy is ever willing to communi cate to those who are sincerely desirous to attain it, and which alone contains within it a ground of eternal and indestructible happiness. Then what excuse can be found for indifference, in a concern of such moment? How earnest, yet cautious, should we be in our inquiries! What folly we should esteem it, to abide implicitly in the tenets in which we have been educated, without examining the grounds on which they have been received! How careful we should be, not to admit any sentiments, and confirm them in our understanding, without a rational intuition of their truth! How studiously should we guard against the effects of authority or prejudice, lest, by a misplaced prepossession in favour of particular persons or names, we should admit falses for truths; or, by an ill-founded prejudice against other persons or names, we should reject truths as falses! In a word, how incumbent it is on him who wishes to enjoy the intelligence which is of wisdom, and to find the way to happiness made plain before him, to be careful that he be not deceived; that the partial views of any sect or person pervert not his own judgment; but that all his thoughts and sentiments originate in, whilst all his desires and actions are guided by, THE ETERNAL TRUTH!
But a question here arises, which does not appear to be of very easy solution: How are we to know whether our opinions are thus
substantially founded? The obstacles to the attainment of this most desirable knowledge are certainly very numerous indeed : then how gladly should we receive a teacher commissioned by divine authority to remove them, could we once be satisfied of the validity of his mission! When mankind are so divided in their religious opinions, that the prospect which presents itself to those who wish to be grounded in the right is so very obscure and discouraging, with what joy should we hail an instructor commissioned from above to dispel the mists of error, and display the regions of spiritual knowledge in rich perspective before us! In fact, without such a guide, how is certainty to be now obtained? The fallacious notions which men are continually devising are endless; and the mischief which such uncertainty is calculated to produce is deeply to be lamented. So many sects are continually starting up, who insist upon the most contradictory sentiments, and promulgate the grossest absurdities, all of which they pretend to discover in the volume of divine truth, that we see how many there are, who thence conclude in disgust, that there is no such thing as divine truth at all; commence Deists or Atheists thereupon; and adopting or inventing some new system of what they call philosophy, make their reason the harlot of their will, and lose themselves, too frequently for ever, in the gratification of all their disorderly propensities. What a fatal consequence of the ambiguities in which error has involved the truth! We must shudder, when we see how the Scribes and Pharisees have thus shut up the kingdom of heaven against men, neither going in themselves, nor suffering them that are entering to go in! But let not the sincere inquirer despair; the Lord has pronounced a "woe" against them. Yes, my friends, the corruptions and perversions of divine truth shall be, yea, they now are, taken away; and whosoever will, may take of the water of life freely.
But in making this assertion, I am anticipating the conclusion before I put you in possession of the premises. In my subsequent letters, I shall endeavour to shew the probability that such a divine interposition would take place; the necessity that exists for its taking place now; and that it actually has taken place, in the illumination and mission of the Lord's servant, Emanuel Swedenborg. Requesting you, in the mean time, to suspend your judgment, I am, in sincere charity, yours, &c.
Of the New Jerusalem Temple, in the City of Philadelphia.
This edifice is situated on the south-east corner of Twelfth and George streets, one of the most respectable and conspicuous parts of the city, being built in the form of a parallelogram, fortyfour feet by fifty, and in the Gothic style. Both of the exterior sides and western front are similarly arranged, containing a large door in the centre, ten feet by sixteen, together with two recessed blanks, rising from the basement or floor line of the church; corresponding to, and immediately over, these blanks, are small windows, in the form of a cross.
The walls are composed of brick work, rough cast, and jointed in imitation of free-stone, capped by a bold cornice and frieze, extending round the building, and supporting a parapet, embattled over the doors and recesses. The whole crowned by a surbased dome and lantern, which diffuses a strong, but soft and agreeable light throughout the body of the temple.
The interior arrangement is simply composed of four rows of pews, capable, with some benches around the walls, of containing three hundred persons, with a centre aisle, leading from the western door, up to the chancel, in front of the pulpit. The side aisles separate the pews from the outside walls, and form a passage around the church.
The eastern end of the church contains the pulpit, vestry room, and library. The organ-loft is immediately over the pulpit, the whole being comprised between the circular line of the dome and the end wall. In the centre of this wall, and between the library and vestry rooms, is a Gothic recess, ten feet wide, in which the pulpit and reading desks are elevated about five feet from the floor of the church; which recess is divided into three compartments, and separated by mullions, that divaricate at the springing, and terminate in pointed arches, intermediately pierced with tracery. The whole flanked by pannelled wainscoting and clustered columns, supporting a cornice and pinnacles, also pierced with tracery. The choir is situated on each side of the organloft, over the vestry room and library, which is eleven feet in height, being ornamented on the segment of the circle with pierced pannels, and relieved with purple drapery, as a back ground.
The dome is decorated with raised vertical pannels, a band round the sky-light, together with a cornice and frieze, well executed in stucco, being partly supported by the side walls, and intermediately by four large clustered columns, twenty-one feet in height.
The lantern, or sky-light is ten feet in diameter, of an octagonal form, and upwards of thirty feet from the floor of the church. It has glass on the top, as well as the sides, admitting a great body of light into the dome, which is thence reflected throughout the church. The utility and convenience of lighting a place of worship in this manner, does not alone consist in the uniformity and steadiness of effect produced by the total exclusion of the direct rays of the sun, but combines a facility of ventilation of the most important character to every large congregation of people.
The building was designed and superintended in its structure by Mr. William Strickland, a young architect of the most promising talents, and who, upon this occasion, gratuitously devoted his services to the Church. An engraving of this edifice, intended as a FRONTISPIECE to the first volume of this work, executed by that same gentleman, accompanies this number of the Repository.
ANCIENT OPINIONS RELATIVE TO CHRIST.
The following writers and fathers of the Church, whose opinions, relative to the person of our Lord, are here quoted, flourished in the earliest ages of the Christian æra, and chiefly during the three first centuries:
Clemens Romanus, who is mentioned by St. Paul, says that "we ought to think of Jesus Christ as of God," and urging his example, as an instance of great humility, he says, "Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the sceptre of the majesty of God, came not in the pomp of vain glory and splendour, although he could have assumed them, but he came in lowliness of mind." "Jesus is the defender and helper of our weakness: by him the eyes of the heart are opened through him our barren and darkened understanding is invigorated and gladdened with his marvellous light."
St. Ignatius, the disciple of St. John, says, "I glorify Jesus Christ, the God who thus hath made us wise.-He is God clothed in flesh. Consider the times, and expect him who is above all time; eternal, invisible, yet for our sakes made visible."
Athenagoras, the Christian philosopher at Athens, says, “By the Son of God, and through him, were all things made, the Father and the Son being one; the Son being in the Father, and the Father in the Son, in the unity and power of the Spirit."
Justin Martyr says, that "He is both Christ and the adorable God."
Clemens Alexandrinus says, "Now has appeared to men this word, who alone is both God and man, the cause of all good to us, by whom being instructed to live well, we are conducted to eternal life." "The Lord himself it was who spake by Isaiah, Elijah, and the prophets; the tenderly merciful God, desirous of man's salvation, made himself of no reputation." "O man, believe on him, who is man and God; put your trust in him who liveth, the God of your worship."
On Gen. xxxii. 19, he says, that God refused to tell his name, for, "he reserved his new name for a new and an infant people; and the Lord God was then nameless, not having yet been made a man."
On quoting Isaiah ix. 6, he says, "O the great God! O the perfect child! The Son in the Father, and the Father in the Son." He makes this solemn address. "We will implore the word, be merciful to thy children, O guiding Father, O Lord, the Son and Father both one."
Clemens also calls Christ by several appellations; among others he says, Gather together thy simple children, O King of Saints, and shepherd of rational sheep, that being a choir of peace, the children of Christ, a temperate people, we may with simplicity sing to him, who is alike the mighty child, who is alike the God of peace."
Tertullian says, "The, kingdom and the name of Christ are extended without limits; he is every where believed in; he is worshipped in all nations; he reigns every where; he is adored every where; he is every where offered to the acceptance of all; with him is not respect of persons; he is King and Judge, God and Lord to all." "There is one God the Father, and besides