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the American world, where the religion of Europe had been transplanted, was equally seized with the destroying mania; till from one extremity to the other of that vast continent,-from Canada to Chili,-the flames of war raged with as great violence, in proportion to the number of the people, as in the western hemisphere. In Asia and Africa too, wherever christians had planted colonies, the demons of carnage were let loose; whilst, likewise, the waters of every sea were swelled with human blood, poured into it with a profusion beyond all that had ever, in former ages, discoloured its waves. Never before, since the christian religion was vouchsafed from heaven to be a blessing to mankind, was the whole mass of its professors thus raised by a simultaneous impulse, and arrayed against one another; as if they had all agreed as one man, while disagreeing in every thing else, to disown the empire of the Prince of Peace: never indeed before, since the world began, was any war excited, which deluged the surface of the globe with such wide-spread desolation. Posterity will read of the events which the middle-aged part of the present generation have witnessed, with greater wonder, than that with which we in our childhood used to read of the innumerable hosts of Xerxes and the exploits of the Greek and Roman conquerors : all the surprising histories of antiquity will appear but records of insignificancy, when compared with the history of our times. There have, it is true, been wars in all former ages; and if the late tremendous series of conflicts had been of a common description I should not think of urging them as an argument on this occasion : but if all must allow them to be of a totally unprecedented character, my readers cannot think that I press them too far, in calling upon them to refer such events to an adequate interior cause. What adequate cause of such wonders can be assigned, but some great convulsion in the moral and spiritual world, displaying itself in corresponding events in the world of nature? what, in fact, but the performance of a judgment there, whence flow as a necessary consequence, natural judgments here?
ic And if the war was of so astonishing a character, what have been its effects upon the states of christendom? During its contin-' uance, several were sometimes swept from the map of Europe in a single campaign : and though the most considerable were restored at the peace, it was with such great alterations, both in their internal polity and external relations, that it is strictly correct to say, that the entire face of the European, yea, of the whole christian commonwealth has been completely changed. To apply the prophetic phrase in the sense which commentators usually assign to it;—the former heaven and earth of every state of christendom have passed away; and they have been, with scarce an exception, so entirely new-modelled, that they have received, politically, a new heaven and earth in their place.
“Now it may be observed as at least a remarkable coincidence, that the troubles which have had so extraordinary a career and termination, broke out at exactly the same distance of time after the date assigned by Swedenborg for the performance of the Last Judgment in the spiritual world, and of which he published his account
VOL. 1.-NO. VI.
in the year 1758, as that which intervened between the conclusion of the judgment performed by the Lord while in the world and the troubles which led to the destruction of Jerusalem.” pp. 199, 200, 201, 202.
The effects which the last judgment has had on the condition of the ecclesiastical world, are then noticed :—that the Roman catholic religion, which is allowed by the protestants to be signified by Babylon in the Revelations, has received such a shock as to lead us all to recognise the fulfilment of the denunciation, even in the natural world, “ Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.” But the last judgment is not to be viewed in connexion with spiritual and natural evils only, but as the harbinger of spiritual and temporal blessings to mankind.
"The calamities with which they (judgments) are accompanied, are only designed to remove obstructions out of the way, and to make room for the reception of the benefits which the Divine Judge ever has in view. If the wicked who occupied the intermediate region of the spiritual world, were, by the judgment there, cast into hell, it was that the good who were mixed with them, or reserved in the lower parts of the spiritual world on account of them, might be raised into heaven; and also, that the divine efflux of spiritual life and light, which they intercepted in its passage to men on earth, might have free course : in like manner, if Christendom has been visited with tremendous troubles, as a first consequence of the performance of the judgment in the spiritual world, it is that a second consequence may follow, and that the divine outpouring of spiritual life and light may produce the blessings for which it is bestowed. If then we see, in the world around us, marks, in this way, of the activity of this divine efflux, they are sure signs that the judgment in the spiritual world has been performed.” pp. 208, 209.
“Observe, then, the surprising advance, on the one hand, of science; and, on the other, the universal increase of the desire for knowledge, combined with the extraordinary multiplication of the means for its diffusion. Since the time at which we believe the Last Judgment, in the spiritual world, to have taken place, every branch of science has been improved to a most unexpected extent, whilst many new ones have been added, and others have assumed a form which makes them virtually new: thus Geology, whose discoveries are so highly interesting, whose conclusions are so momentous, and whose practical uses are so eminent, is entirely the offspring of modern times; whilst Chemistry, which is so continually astonishing us with fresh wonders, has undergone, in our times, a change equivalent to a new creation.”
Section 5th A Human Instrument necessary, and therefore granted. Our limits will not enable us to do justice to Mr. Noble, for we can only glance at those subjects which he has treated very minutely, and at great length. It is shown that the truths of a new dispensation should, in the very nature of the case, be ex
plicitly announced, and consequently, that a human instrument should be raised up for that purpose; that this has been the case in all preceding similar events; that Noah was the chosen instrument, who, in the decline of the most ancient church, was to warn them of their impending fate, and to act as a pioneer to the succeeding church. When the representative church was established in the Jewish dispensation, Moses was selected and commissioned by God himself to bear the glad tidings to his brethren. Nor was the office of a herald omitted, even on the occasion of the Lord's advent in person, when, if ever, such human agency might be supposed to have been dispensed with. John the Baptist announced his approach, and proclaimed the kingdom of heaven to be at hand.
“Surely then, at his second coming, which was not to be a personal one, a human herald must be altogether indispensable. Had it occurred in the first ages, when Christians were looking daily, though mistakenly, for the second coming of their Lord, and when they had not yet learned to regard such an interposition as impossible, the appearance of such a herald would have been hailed with joy: and surely it ought not now to be scouted as ridiculous, by any but them, who, because mankind have lived so long under an economy different from that which prevailed before the introduction of Christianity,—under an economy in which continually repeated missions of divine messengers were not required,-have forgotten that such missions ever existed at all, and that, without them, Christianity itself could not have been established. It is however, an unquestionable truth, that how long soever the suspension may have lasted, one more example of them must be afforded :-one case more must inevitably arise, in which, without the employment again of one more such messenger, the last great purpose in the divine economy must fail to take effect, the last great predictions of holy writ must remain unfulfilled forever.” “I am sure you will all acknowledge, that, at the era of the second coming of the Lord, some Human Instrument or other must be divinely enlightened to declare it, and to communicate the important truths, which at that event are, as we have seen, to be unfolded to mankind.” pp. 248, 249.
Mr. N. then goes on to notice the qualifications of Swedenborg for that office, and gives some interesting particulars concerning him, which were never before published. But as the life of Swedenborg will be given more at large in the Magazine, we shall not quote any thing relative to him in this place.
We must leave unnoticed, for the present, the remaining part of the book, as we are unable to comprise, in this article, enough of its contents to do justice to the author.* We will, however, subjoin, from the section on the last judgment, a note “on the improvements in natural science, made about or subsequently to the era of the last judgment, 1757.”
* The section on the trinity has been transferred, almost entire, to the pages of the Magazine.
“ The distinct classification of natural beings and substances of all kinds,-the determinate recognition of their respective specific identity, and denotation of that identity by names,-which have effected so many subordinate improvements in science, were not made until about the above era.-The Linnæan system of natural history, which was materially concerned in the improvement just noticed, was promulgated from about 1735 to 1778, and came into full reception about the latter period, or perhaps somewhat before.--The doctrine of the regular succession of the stratified masses constituting the crust of the globe, forming the foundation of the modern science of Geology, was first delivered distinctly, and to a considerable degree demonstrated, by Lehman in 1756, and by Mitchell in 1760.-Five primary planets, and eight or ten secondary planets or satellites, have been discovered since 1757. No addition to the former class of heavenly bodies had been made from time immemorial; and none, I think, to the latter, for a century before; but of this I am not certain.—Many departments of mathematical and physical science which had scarcely any existence before, and some which were absolutely unknown, have risen to great importance since 1757. Among the former are several branches of mathematical analysis, which, in the investigation of problems in physics, have nearly superseded the old and tedious geometrical methods.—The sciences of mineralogy, chemistry, (see below) and electricity, have assumed a form since 1757, altogether distinct from that which they bore in the previous period. It would seem indeed that a new discrete degree was developed in the sciences at that era; a marked character of which was the improvement first noticed in this list.-A great variety of truths merely suspected in the latter part of the seventeenth century and former part of the eighteenth, were seen in the clearest light after the above era. The entire science of galvanism, or Voltaic electricity, which has exerted so great an influence on that of Chemistry, as well in theory as in practice, and given rise to so many discoveries in it, has arisen since the era of the last judgment : it was absolutely unknown before.—The true nature of thunder and lightning was discovered about 1750, by Dr. Franklin. Is it in correspondence [thunder and lightning being used as figures, in Scripture, of the revelation from heaven of Divine Truth] that this discovery should have been made at the same time that the spiritual sense of the Scriptures was being revealed to mankind ? [The first volume of Swedenborg's theological works was printed in 1749. ]
“ The steam engine was invented (as a machine for use) about 1700, or a year or two before: but it received its grand improvements about 1764.-The application of iron as a principal article in civil and naval architecture, did not take place until after 1757. It was employed in arms and machinery for ages before.
“ The following are a few of the particular discoveries in chemistry since the year 1757 : The constitution of the atmosphere. The composition of water. The existence of latent or combined heat (that is, of certain phænomena referred by philosophers to such an origin : great fallacies, no doubt, are involved in the prevailing doctrines on the subject; but these phænomena were unknown, in the science of heat, before). The radiation of terrestrial heat; that is, the passage into space in right lines of the heat obtained from artificial sources, independently of the solar beams; as well as of the heat any substance has previously imbibed from the sun. By this property every substance in nature emulates the sun, as to his diffusion of heat. The doctrine of the mutual relations of the regular geometrical forms assumed by almost every substance, or the science of crystallography.—The doctrine of the definite proportions in which bodies mutually combine; by which every substance in nature, whether simple or compound, is shewn to combine in a quantity represented by a certain number, which number represents the substance in all its relations ; called the atomic theory. There is some difference of opinion amongst chemists, as to what truly constitutes the metallic nature ; but there are probably about thirty-nine metals, of which twenty-four have been discovered since 1757. How immense an addition to the science this is, is evinced by the facts, that not one new metal was discovered between 1541 and 1732, and only four between 1732 and 1757.-The polarization of light, discovered within these few years, forms a more important addition to the science of optics, than any single improvement it ever received.
“ It is of course to be understood that most of the new doctrines in science to which a date has been here assigned, did not come into full reception in the minds of philosophers until a few years subsequent to their date.” pp. 214, 215, 216.
For the New Jerusalem Magazine.
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE WORD, “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” John, i. 14.
The import of the above passages of Scripture is imperfectly understood, at the present time. The old christian church has an obscure perception, that this portion of the Word relates, in some way, to Jesus Christ at his first advent, and to him as a person distinct from Jehovah, the Father, begotten of the Father from eternity. They are ignorant wherein God is the Word, and how the Word represents the Lord Jesus Christ in his glorified humanity.
The writings of man may be denominated his word, and so far as they are expressive of his thoughts, on the subject treated of, so far they are the man himself. This is so fully in accordance with human perception and practice, that we say of a man, that he is known by what he writes. So of the Word of God, which is an exhibition of divine love and divine wisdom, expressed by natural images, in a language adapted to the understanding of the most siinple. The Scriptures being of God, are celestial, spiritual and natural; in each of which degree, being all in all, he has his residence. Inasmuch as they communicate to man the whole of his divine attributes, and man's duty, they are essential love, and wisdom proceeding therefrom. Wherefore, the Word is God, who is the Lord Jesus Christ in his glorified humanity.
We have no positive evidence, in the literal sense of Scripture, at what
of the world the written Word was first communicated to man. We read in Exodus, that Jehovah spake unto Moses, and said, “I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;" that he gave him all the words of the commandments; directed the form of the tabernacle, the ark, the mercy-seat with the cherubims; the table with the furniture, the candlesticks with the furniture thereof; and instituted, for the government of the Israelites, the ceremonial law, &c. No considerate man will believe that these instructions were intended solely for the benefit of that nation, or that the Pentateuch became a useless letter after the christian dispensation was promulgated. Indeed, the old christian church believe parts of the ceremonials of the Jewish church are, in some sense, typical of the Lord Jesus Christ; but inasmuch as he has appeared on earth, the types cease; and the rituals, having performed their office, are of no further use to us; but, it must be considered, being the Word of God, they will endure forever. Although it is not required to observe these rituals literally, yet they are to be observed spiritually. “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one tittle of the law to fail."