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our blessed Saviour himself (Matt. xxiv. 48:) The evil servant says, My Lord delayeth his coming; then he begins to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken.' And Solomon teaches the same truth (Eccl. viii. 11:) 'Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.' And even the good servants, in this imperfect state, the sons of virtue and piety, may be too much allured to indulge sinful negligence, and yield to temptations too easily, when the terrors of another world are set so far off, and their hope of happiness is delayed so long.-Whereas, if it can be made to appear from the Word of God, that, AT THE MOMENT OF DEATH, the soul enters into AN UNCHANGEABLE state according to its character and conduct here on earth, and that the recompenses of vice and virtue are to begin immediately upon the end of our state of trial;-then all those little subterfuges are precluded, which mankind would form to themselves from the unknown distance of the day of recompense. Virtue will have a nearer and stronger guard placed about it, and piety will be attended with superior motives, if its rewards are near at hand, and shall commence, as soon as this life expires; and the vicious and profane will be more effectually affrighted, if the hour of death must immediately consign them to a state of perpetual sorrows and bitter anguish." He then notices the argument, that the dead will awake out of their graves utterly ignorant of the long time that has past since their death, wherefore men should be as careful to prepare for judgment as if they were inmediately to undergo it: to which he replies, "I grant, men should be so in all reason and justice. But such is the weakness and folly of our natures, that men will not be so much influenced, and alarmed, by distant prospects, nor so solicitous to prepare for an event which they suppose to be so very far off, as they would FOR THE SAME EVENT, if it commences as soon as ever this mortal life expires. The vicious man will indulge his sensualities, and lie down to sleep in death, with this comfort: I shall take my rest here for a hundred or a thousand years [or no one knows how much longer;] and, perhaps, in all that space, my offences may be forgotten; or something may happen that I may escape; or, let the worst come that can come, I shall have a long sweet nap before my sorrows begin.'

Thus the force of divine terrors is greatly enervated by this delay of punishment.”*

Who can be insensible to the power of these weighty considerations? And if they could be so strongly felt by a writer, who believed, nevertheless, that the body is at last to be raised again, and that all that is to be enjoyed or suffered in the meantime is but a faint foretaste of what is to be experienced afterwards; how truly cogent do the arguments become when relieved by this neutralizing drawback,-when it is seen that the spirit of man is truly the man himself, possessing sensations immensely more acute than any that can be imparted to flesh and blood, and when it thus is known that all the fulness either of joy or sorrow which is commonly supposed to follow only upon the resurrection of the body, awaits the man as soon as he enters the eternal world by death! Then the arguments of the heavenly-minded Watts become powerful indeed. It is only in connexion with our view of the resurrection that they possess their proper weight. May we not then say, that whoever wishes to see the practice of virtue enforced, and that of vice discouraged, by the strongest of all possible sanctions, must wish to see the truth of the New-Jerusalem-doctrine of the Resurrection cordially acknowledged by all mankind?


The Last Judgment.

I now have to appeal to you, my Reflecting Readers, upon the subject of the Last Judgment. The views which we believe to be those of the New Jerusalem of the Apocalypse in regard to this great consummation, differ considerably, it is true, from those commonly entertained: and they also are such as, when first propounded, universally excite no small degree of surprise: yet

* Works, Ed. Leeds, Vol. vii. p. 5, 6, 7.

their truth appears to be by no means difficult of proof; and I trust that it has already, in some degree, become apparent.

Respecting the General Judgment our distinguishing opinions are these two: First, that, according to the Scriptures, the scene of it was to be, not in the natural world, as commonly believed, but in the spiritual: and, Secondly, that it has there been accomplished accordingly. Of these two propositions, the first may already have been sufficiently proved: for if it has been proved, as attempted in the last Section, that man rises from the dead, in a spiritual body, immediately on the death of the material body, and that no resurrection of the material body will ever take place, it necessarily follows, that the spiritual world, into which death introduces him, can alone be the scene of the judgment he is to experience. But, as what passes in the spiritual world cannot be known to the inhabitants of tre natural world in general, if performed there, the inhabitants of the natural world would not have any consciousness of what was passing. Hence our second proposition, that it has there been accomplished accordingly,-affirms nothing that is at all improbable in itself, and nothing which can, by any possibility, be proved to be false. We will first give further evidence in proof of our first proposition; after which we shall see, that, independently of the assertions of Swedenborg, there are various considerations tending to evince, that our second, also, is certainly true.

But as the Rev. Mr Beaumont has devoted a Section of his Anti-Swedenborg to the subject of the Last Judgment, I must, agreeably to the plan of this Appeal, take some notice of his observations. As, however, he has here aimed more at misrepresenting than at refuting our sentiments, he offers nothing in the way either of argument or of evidence that need detain us long.

Among the arts too often resorted to by polemic writers, it has been observed that this is one, The controvertist selects some doctrine of great importance which no one ever thought of denying; he proves with great display of authorities the certainty of such doctrine; he insinuates that its truth is denied by those whose sentiments it is wished to render odious; and then, because, he has clearly proved what nobody doubts, he triumphs as if he had completely defeated the object of his attack.

This is the course frequently adopted by assailants of the New Church, and, among the rest, by the author of the Anti-Swedenborg. As if we denied the last judgment altogether, he introduces the subject with these remarks: "The doctrine of the Last Judgment is of high import, and is most clearly revealed in the Word of God. Nor has there ever been much controversy in the Christian world on this subject; which is a clear proof, if more than Scripture proof were wanting, that the doctrine has met with the acquiescence of all men throughout the Christian world, with the exception, now of late, of the Swedenborgians, who, I suppose, wish to be called Christians." Accordingly, to put down these wicked Swedenborgians, a great display of texts is made in which a judginent is asserted. These are mostly taken, as they ought to be, from the Bible; but the first and longest of them is extracted from the "Mahometan's Creed;" as if, on this subject, the Bible and the Koran were of equal authority! The ancient heathens, also, are brought in to condemn us. "Many," says Mr B., " of the wiser heathens believed in a general judgment in some form; though their form might differ from that recorded in the Scripture, yet the thing they believed. For they could in no wise reconcile themselves to the prosperity of the vicious, and the adversity of the virtuous, which was every day before their eyes, but on the supposition of a future reckoning day, and an hereafter of rewards and punishments."* Now to what purpose is all this, when it never entered into the thoughts of one of those persons whom he calls Swedenborgians, to have any shadow of doubt about the reality of a future reckoning day, and a hereafter of rewards and punishments?" If the heathens are to be commended, because they "believed in a general judgment in some form, though their form might differ from that recorded in the Scriptures," are we to be censured, because we believe in a general judgment in the form recorded in the Scriptures, though our form may differ from that preferred by Mr Beaumont? And because the form of the general judgment believed in by us, and taken by us from the Scriptures, differs from that preferred by Mr Beaumont, are the heathens to be called in to condemn us, as if, worse than they, we de

* P. 54.

nied both the form and the thing? If, in the above paragraph, our accuser did not mean to insinuate this, he meant nothing, and wrote what was as irrelevant to his own design as it is to our sentiments. Indeed, scarcely anything that he has said in this part of his work applies to our views in any degree whatever. Our doctrines affirm, that a particular judgment takes place, on every individual, at death: he then who wishes to overthrow them, ought to prove from Scripture, that no one undergoes any particular judgment after death whatever. Our doctrines affirm, that the general judgment mentioned in Scripture was to take place in the spiritual world and not in the natural, and that, agreeably to divine prediction, it has there been performed accordingly: he then who would overthrow them should prove, that the general judgment was not to take place in the spiritual world, but in the natural, and that it will not be performed till the total end and destruction of the world. None of these points has our opponent attempted to establish as then all that he has said upon the subject is entirely beside the question, I shall proceed to deliver our sentiments respecting it without further noticing either his arguments or his texts. All that he has advanced respecting it we fully admit, except his Mahometan proof, and his misrepresentations of our views.*

* I here subjoin, with a remark or two to shew their inadequacy to the object, the few sentences in which Mr Beaumont makes any attempt to encounter our sentiments.

After the paragraph respecting the acknowledgment by the heathens of "a future reckoning day and a hereafter of rewards and punishments," he adds, (p. 54, 55), " But I must not wrong the Swedenborgians, for they allow of a judgment; but it is a judgment on every individual soon after leaving the material body, and takes place in the spiritual world!" In connexion with what had gone beforeand marked, as it is, by the note of exclamation, this must be intended to treat such a mode of " allowing of a judgment" as nugatory and evasive,—as if it were no judgment at all: What man however, of sound mind but must feel, that "a judgment on every individual soon after leaving the material body," is, to every individual, an incomparably more serious affair, than a judgment to take place many hundreds or thousands of years hence? Mr B. proceeds: "If it be true, as some learned men say, that, in the whole world, more than sixty persons die every minute, one minute with another; then there can be no cessation to the work of judgment!" Another eloquent note of admiration, to call upon the reader to supply by his imagination the objection, which, the author saw, would appear utterly futile if plainly stated. For what can be the design of this sentence,

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