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vants of all denominations as deceivers; and against his saints as hypocrites, advise
“ A whip for the horse, a bridle for the A. S. S., and a rod for the fool's back.” (Proy. xxvi. 3.)
“ Forty stripes, save one, and that one the heaviest of all, may be given in a future number!" (ibid. p. 362.)
Whether this extraordinary minister, “ of a strange spirit,” ever had this “ one stripe,” I am not able to say, as it is some years since I left London ; and I have long ago declined taking in the above periodical Review. But I wish to observe here, my reason for extending this review of the late William Huntington was, I felt a particular desire to enlarge, as I know some of his followers consider him, as some do the late extraordinary“ seer,” or “ prophet,” Emanuel Swedenborg; or as I may Robert Barclay, as “the only true expositor of scripture! “ a star of the first magnitude!” I wish, therefore, the reader to compare this with what he may find in this work related of Robert Barclay; judge for himself, and become a disciple of that teacher whom he may perceive comes the nearest to the standard of “ the holy scriptures"-the true “sent,” and minister of Jesus Christ.
But as it respects the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, I wish just to offer a remark or two here. In his “ Arcana Coelestia,” &c. p. 15, vol. 1, it is said " we may discover an evidence of Divine commission, and illumination, far superior to that which the
working of miracles, or the rising of one from the dead could afford !” If this be true it is not saying too much, that “ He is the undoubted messenger of our Lord's second Advent!” Vide " Dissertation on the Regenerate Life, in harmony with the Theological Writings” of E. S.
I find also, there are what is called “a society of gentlemen, zealous to promote the best interest of their fellow-creatures in general,” now, “recommending the theological writings” of this extraordinary "seer” or “messenger,” not only as "containing an immense store of heavenly wisdom;" but as “the genuine antidote against the sectarian spirit,” “ infidelity,” “ sophistry,” and “ the present corruption of christian doctrine,” &c. Vide Advertisement in the Liverpool Courier, for the ninth month, 2nd. 1812. See also their “Intellectual Repository,” &c.
Now, for my own part, I must confess, that although there are many things in the voluminous works of this extraordinary man, which I admire, yet I cannot receive every page, much less every sentence contained in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, as an Arcana Coelestia,”" never before revealed to man!” For instance, speaking of the sufferings and punishment in another world, he saith, “It is to be observed, that no one suffereth any punishment and torment in another life on account of hereditary evils, but for the actual evils which he himself hath committed.” (Arc. Cæl. No. 966, p. 454, on the continuation of the subject concerning the hells.)
Now this “heavenly mystery” was made known
unto man some two thousand years before Emanuel Swedenborg was ever heard of, or born. The prophet Ezekiel, chap. xviii. had this “word of the Lord come unto him,”saying “what mean ye,” &c. Reader! I conjure thee, with reverence turn to thy bible.
Again, this extraordinary “messenger from heaven,” or “intelligencer from the other world;" on those spirits who seemed to have formed the notions that heavenly joys consist in a life separated from good offices of charity, and employed merely in “praising and celebrating the Lord;" and that this world was the scene of an “active life," tells us that “ they (the spirits) were informed that to praise and celebrate the Lord is not such an active life, but an effect of that life, for the Lord hath no need of praises, but is desirous that all should do GOOD OFFICES OF CHARITY, according to which they receive happiness from the Lord!" (Arcana Coelestia, No. 456, p. --, vol. 1.)
I must confess I never heard, or read, before, that there were “ offices of charity” in heaven! However, I must wave, for the present, all farther remarks on the writings of this extraordinary prophet, as they are so extensive that it is not likely that I could even analyze one hundredth part of them in a work of this nature:-and perhaps it may not be necessary. One thing, however, I must say in favour of this man and his writings; if * the Almighty raised him up,” revealed his will unto him, and gave him visions,-yea, intercourse with spirits and angels in heaven (as well as in hell!) “at or about the very time that that infidel philosopher (and his crew) Voltaire,” who was instigated by the devil, and instructed from hell, his works may have been an excellent antidote for those deluded reformers, of the “ French philosophy,”—of the wisdom of this world !-Oh, the mystery of iniquity!—Oh, how great the mystery of godliness, also!
But I have one remark more to make, touching the late William Huntington; as it may serve not only in a comparative view with myself, but as well also for others. That this “ apostle of Providence Chapel ” was not an infallible “guide to the church,” the following extract may serve to prove, and to elucidate a little what before has been said, if not confirm it. In the forementioned life of W. H., (p. 28) it is said that “ he was not uniformly strong in faith. Though he could esteem God as his master, friend and banker, and often styled him his all, still he tells us, whenever “ answers to his prayers seemed to be wholly denied, his faith in God's word began to fail.” “What a humiliating concession! He even acknowledges that he sometimes declined praying at all, when his request had not been facilitated by God. Such were some of his faults, not to term them sins.”
Now, as it respects myself ; many are the times in which I have asked of God particular favours, which I thought would have been especial blessings; and they have not always been answered agreeably to my wish. But I do not recollect that my faith was ever shaken, much less slackened; it rather became more vigorous and importunate; impelling me, like Jacob of old, to “wrestle with God in
prayer.” And I was, I think, always satisfied with his dispensations, and his declaration, “ye ask and receive not because ye ask amiss.” (James iv. 3.) Not that I wanted to “consume” the good things of this world “upon (my) lusts.” (ibid.) “Far be such a thing,” some professors will say!
In no case, perhaps, have I more reason (and I fain would wish) to be thankful to God that he did not answer my prayer, than in a late instance ; though at the same time, I also “esteem him my master, friend, and banker.” If my petition had been granted, I might have retired—not “ to the elysian shades ;” not from “ the busy hum,” “ the worthless concerns of life;" neither to have retired and taken up my carriage, or phæton, with “ four in hand!” This I leave to the great and mighty ones of the earth, “the four in hand club,” those “flittering beings of folly," whose “ transient emanations " pass along the crowded streets and round the squares of London. But I might have retired into some sequestered corner, or some delightful and romantic spot, and there left the cause of truth, which I now so warmly advocate, to shift for itself; instead of (as the apostle Paul saith) “earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints."*
I recollect a passage of a celebrated and elegant writer, the late James Hervey, very pertinent to this subject. You will excuse me, Friends, if I present
* I must reserve my remarks on the subject of carriages, the "saints taking up their carriages," to be introduced in another part of this volume, if possible.