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of the heavens be shaken. *" For, as said the watchman, when called to out of Seir, when the morning cometh, there cometh also
These reflections have been at this time particularly excited by the perusal of a late publication,t containing “ Notices of the leading doctrines, and outlines of the sections of the Church, from the incarnation of Christ to the present time.” The author is a man of research, and, although the theology which he would inculcate is the opposite of every thing which the New Jerusalem holds as true, the book is well worth the attention of the members of that Church. Perhaps some account of the contents of this book, and the signs of the times therein and elsewhere exhibited, with a few reflections to which they give rise, may not be unedifying or uninteresting to the readers of the Repository.
The author commences with the earliest ages of Christianity, but soon passes on to the dissensions arising from the Arian heresy. A page or two more brings us to what is commonly called the Reformation, and a history of the Protestant Church, in which Calvin, and those among the Protestants who modified or partially opposed his doctrines, make the principal figure. From the 23d page, Calvin becomes the centre, around which the whole Church is made to revolve, and the eccentricities of their orbits are calculated precisely in relation to this wonderful luminary. Speaking of the errors (as the author judges them to be) of the Protestant Church, it is remarked, “Many of the Protestant clergy in Prussia and Germany are not Socinians only, but are expressly and avowedly Deists. What was the point at which they first began to diverge from the path of truth? Precisely that at which the Salmurensian divines commenced their career of ruin-the doctrine of a definite atonement. When men once leave the path of truth, the farther they travel, the more widely do they stray. Arminianism, we have seen, is the
• The sun, in the spiritual language of the Scriptures, signifies love to the Lord, and the moon charity towards our neighbour. The stars falling from heaven, signify that the knowledges of good and truth shall perish and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, signifies the foundations of the Church, which are said to be shaken when these principles perish. See 2 Acts, v. 14, 20, where Peter explains a similar passage in the prophet Joel, as applying to the coming of the New Dispensation at that day. + Wilson on the Atonement, &c. VOL. I.
high road to Deism.” What shall the Church of Rome say to this ? How will the Catholics smile at such a sentiment! This, they will allege, is what we told you, when you presumed to depart from the bosom of the Church, from the protecting decrees of councils, and the holy father, and were for permitting every one to form his opinions from the Scriptures. We then foresaw what floods of error, heresy, and infidelity would flow into your congregations—and now you acknowledge it has come to pass. This is what your Luther and Calvin have done. Their schism was the point of departure from the "path of truth,” the real opening of the flood of heresies. You may now weep over the works of your own hands. We have never sanctioned
definite atoneme and ever opposed the error of Luther, when he denied the free will of man in spiritual things. Arminianism is but a step in return to the bosom of the Church. We have always been as liberal, or more so than Arminius, and have ever been protected from Socinianism. I know not what the reverend gentleman could reply to this. Indeed, he has made a most unfortunate declaration for the Protestant Church, and put his cause, and that of his brethren, in a most lamentable plight. But there is a secret, which this gentleman and his brethren do not, and never will know, till they come to the New Jerusalem for information. The truth is, Socinianism is deeply rooted in the inmost ground of the whole of the Old Christian Church. It commenced in an early age, in the very bosom of the Catholic Church, it continued with Luther, grew worse with Calvin, is now come into open avowal with thousands, and will go on yet further, till it overspread the whole Church, and those words are fulfilled, “ I will make a man (ANOSH) more rare than gold, and a man (ADAM*) than the wedge of Ophir, therefore I will shake the heaven, and the earth shall remove out of her place in the wrath of Jehovah of Hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined to them shall fall by the sword.” Isa. xiii. 12, 13, 15. And again, “ I saw the earth, and behold it was without form and void : and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld, and lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heaven were fled.” Jer. iv. 23, 25. In the Catholic Church was the seed sown, in those of Luther and Calvin it came into open germination, and it is now becoming a upas, which shall cast its baleful shades to the terror of all around. We see these things, we know they must come, and recognize them, like the deepest darkness of the night, as the immediate forerunners of the day. For we know and rejoice in the prediction, “ Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two, three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four, five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith Jehovah God of Israel. At that day shall a man look to his MAKER, and his Eyes shall have respect to the Holy ONE OF ISRAEL. And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands; neither shall he respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves or the images.* In that day shall his strong citiest be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left, because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation. Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salyation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, there.. fore thou shalt plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips.” Is. xvii. 6 to 10. But this shall be more fully explained, and upon
* ADAM (homo) man, denotes those who are principled in good, thus denotes Good; but Truth, which is derived from good, is called in the Word ANOSH, vir homo, man-man, and also the son of man.
this fundamental point let every Christian beware.
66 Dr. Watts (says Mr, Wilson, p. 144) was a Sabellian and an Arian. He maintained that there was but one person in the Godhead, who was represented as acting in the capacities of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and that the human soul of Christ existed before all worlds, and created them.” This sentence contains a world for reflection, and points to truths of which the author had no conception. If Dr. Watts, for believing there is but one person in the Godhead, and that the human soul of Christ existed before all worlds, be a SABELLIAN and an ARIAN, what are those who believe there are three persons in the Godhead, and that the human soul and human nature of Christ was born since the creation, is like that of another man, and is the Son of Mary?
These are the creeds and doctrines of Athanasius, Luther, Calvin, and others, who have formed them from their own intelligence, and not from the Word.
| The Doctrinals of the Church.
Thus making GoD THREE and the Saviour two-Divine as to his GODHEAD, but not divine as to his HUMANITY. Surely, by the plainest syllogistic reasoning, they are Tritheists and So
In such a faith doth Socinianism palpably exist, and the Church which holds it must finally come to ruin, and the open avowal of Socinianism.
The New Jerusalem Church is established in direct contradiction of this faith ; for she holds, that God is in essence and person ONE, and that the HUMANITY of the Lord is from the Father, and is divine. But to shew that this doctrine of Socinianism is inherent in the faith of the whole Old Christian Church, it is necessary to go into the particulars of the respective creeds.
The real point of departure from the truth was made at the Council of Nice, when the Athanasian creed was formed, when they divided God into three and the Lord into two. 6. Since that time (says the herald of the New Church) the Christian temple hath not only tottered on its foundations, and been full of chinks and clefts, but hath also fallen down and become a heap of ruins. Nay, since that time, the desolation foretold by Daniel began and increased. Matt. xxiv. 15. All the Good of Charity and the True of Faith were instantly banished, being utterly inconsistent with the mental worship of three Gods, and the lip-worship of one God at the same time; for in such case the mind denieth what the mouth speaketh, and the mouth denieth what the mind conceiveth, the consequence whereof is, that neither a belief, in three Gods nor in one can any longer exist."
In the Athanasian creed, which is received by all in the Christian world, are these words, “ The right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man, God of the substance of the Father and MAN of the substance of the Mother."
Of Christ the LORD, (the Lutherans teach,) “ That in Christ there are two natures, a divine and a human, the divine from eternity, the human in time,- That their union is hypostatic, That he was incarnate, of the substance of the Holy Ghost, but that his human nature was produced by the Virgin Mary.”
6. Some of the Reformed, who are treated of in the Formula Concordiæ, believe that Christ, according to his human nature, by exaltation received only created gifts and finite power, therefore that he is a Man, like any other, retaining the properties of the flesh; that therefore as to his human nature he is not omnipotent and omniscient; that nevertheless, though absent, he governs as a King things remote from himself; that as God from eternity he is with the Father, and as a Man born in time is with the Angels in Heaven.”
“ It is also written in the Formula Concordiæ, That it is a damnable idolatry, if the trust and faith of the heart be placed on Christ, not only according to his divine, but also according to his human nature, and if the honour of adoration be directed to both.”
Let every Christian examine his mind as to this particular of his faith, and let him also consult his teachers, and he will find similar opinions universally prevalent among people and clergy of all denominations. In the New Jerusalem, a very different doctrine is taught, for we are there told, “ The Lord put off the humanity taken from the Mother, which in itself was like unto the humanity of another Man, and consequently material, and put on the humanity from the Father, which in itself was like unto its divinity, and consequently substantial, by virtue whereof the humanity was also made divine. Hence it is, that in the prophetical part of the Word, the Lord is also, with respect to the humanity, called Jehovah and God. Now whereas the Lord had, from the beginning, a humanity from the mother, and successively put off the same, therefore, during his abode in the world, he passed through two states, one a state of humiliation or emptying himself, and the other a state of glorification. The state of humiliation was at the time, and in the degree that he was in the humanity from the Mother, and the state of glorification at the time, and in the degree that he was in the humanity from the Father. That the Lord put off the humanity from the Mother, appears 'also from this consideration, that so often as he spoke by his own mouth, he did not call her Mother, but Woman. This is also confirmed by this consideration, that he did not acknowledge himself to be the Son of David. Matt. xxii. 41 to 45. Mark, xii. 35, 36, 37. Luke, xx. 41, 44. Ps. cx. 1. Whence it is evident, that the Lord, with respect to his glorified humanity, was neither the Son of Mary nor David. What was the nature and quality of his glorified humanity he shewed unto Peter, James, and John, when he was transfigured before them, “ That his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as light.”