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Scripture to be reconciled? Certainly not by the ordinary mode of translating this passage, nor by the attempts that have been made to explain it. The error lies in giving to the word "earth," a general, and not a particular application. Every smatterer in Greek knows that the word so rendered has a limited or local meaning, and is commonly to be understood synecdochally of a region or country. Thus the darkness which overspread the land of Judea at the crucifixion, is said to have been (ε Tagay ay ay) “upor all the land," not as our version has it, upon all the earth; for the limitation of time from the sixth to the ninth hour, proves that the obscuration was confined to the latitude of Palestine.

Most of them consider the passage as a prediction of the persecutions which the church should suffer; but this explication is far from being satisfactory, for the declaration is manifestly delivered by our Saviour in a judicial sense. He speaks in He speaks in the language of authority as actually sending out a scourge from himself, and he makes no allusion either to his religion or his followers. A modern divine, in a sermon preached before the University of Oxford, has gone the length of saying, that the text might perhaps, with propriety, be translated, Think not that I am come to sow the seeds of peace; I. come not to sow the seeds of peace, but of dissension and war." For this reading a reference is indeed made to Wetstein, who supports it by the authority of Xenophon; but this, instead of mending the matter, makes it worse, and in creases while it professes to remove the difficulty. At any rate, the proposed translation is nothing more than a paraphrase; for though the verb Baλe, which in our version is properly rendered "send," may be, and is sometimes used by classic writers for the act of throwing seed into the ground, it cannot be so understood here: for who ever heard of the sowing of a sword? Besides, by adopting this reading the text involves a contradiction; for our blessed Lord did come to sow the seeds of peace upon earth, taking the latter word universally as indicative of the existing and future state of the world. But in the passage now before us, it is expressly said, that he came not to send peace; and this assertion he repeats with an emphatic premunition, cautioning his hearers against entertaining the fond belief, that a state of rest and ease would be the immediate result of his advent. How then is the apparent clashing of the

There is also a passage in the prophecy of Ezekiel, which is full to the present purpose, and in our Bible it is rightly translated, "Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land,' if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman," &c. chap. xxxiii. 2. Here the word rendered "land" is the same as is elsewhere translated 'earth;" but it could not have been so turned in this place without violating the sense of the text; and accordingly the Septuagint gives a reading of it similar to the passage under our consideration, etɩ tyy yyy.,

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Our Lord's declaration, therefore, literally requires this construction ; "Think not that I am come to send peace upon the land, or this land ;

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come not to send Peace, but a sword." And how completely his words were fulfilled, the history of Judea, the destruction of its polity, and the excision of the people, will abundantly prove without any further observations.

Dec. 7, 1814.

W.

EXTRACTS.

Reflections on the Signs of the Times. [It is with great satisfaction that we witness the gradual, but sure advances of the Principles of Peace; and we rejoice to recognize them, and to hold them forth to public regard wherever they are known to exist. In the 43d Number of the Intellectual « Repository for the New Church," which may be considered as speaking the sentiments of the majority of the members of the New Jeru

salem Church, we observe a communication decidedly pacific, and some extracts from which we are persuaded the readers of the Herald will be pleased to see inserted in our pages.]

MANY are the signs of the times in this eventful age, which have excited the attention of the serious and considerate in general.

Among the several remarkable occurrences worthy to be regarded in this point of view, there is one which, though it has not escaped conimon observation, yet few, it is to be feared, have so attentively reflected upon its importance, as to draw from it any moral and practical conclusion.

The particular consideration alluded to, is the increasing disposition in the public mind to permanent Peace, and aversion from political hostility: a circumstance which can be no otherwise regarded by the cordial recipients of our heavenly doctrines, than as an obvious effect and an additional testimony of the fulfilment of prophecy.

If then we view it in this important light, are we not imperatively called upon to participate in such providential designs, by exerting a corresponding influence in their favour? more especially as the line of conduct that the occasion may require is so very obvious, and within the reach of every capacity. And every thinking Christian, if he duly reflects upon the merits of the cause, will doubtless feel himself powerfully interested, and accordingly give it his

support. For whatever conviction is forcibly impressed upon our minds, it will invariably influence our conversation and practice.

In order, therefore, to render this maxim operative in respect to our present purpose, let us endeavour to elicit some profitable reflections from the consideration of the subject: First, in regard to the nature and extent of the evils arising from a state of war: Secondly, in what manner individual influence may be employed to obviate the prevalence of such ill effects in the future stages of the world and lastly, we will notice the popular opinion relative to the extension of pacific principles.

First then, let us seriously reflect upon the deplorable evils that result from war: let us picture it to our minds in its true colours, divesting it of the false gloss which a selfish and worldly love of glory has devised to conceal its real deformity. The writer of these remarks, having himself been lured in the early period of his life by the superficial aspect which the world presented, could experimentally pourtray the fiend, but that the public testimony of every period since the fall of man, obviates the necessity of particular description. There are few indeed in the present age, who have not either actually or relatively been partakers in the general calamity: thus all it may be said are furnished with documents of experience. What bloody scenes abound in our public records! what desolation of peaceful habitations and their harmless tenants, perhaps unconscious of the cause that roused the fury of their foes! and these again, most frequently as ignorant, and destitute of any motive beyond the mere authority of their leaders: an authority, alas! which too frequently furnishes opportunity and plea for the exercise of every private adverse passion,

that only needs the licence and occasion for excitement.

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And this reflection leads us to the consideration of the subject in another and more serious point of view for it is not so much the natural and temporal calamity sustained in war, as the spiritual and eterna! desolation it occasions, that claims our chief regard; and which, it may be remarked, does not come within the sphere of general inspection. It is however a general, and even proverbial sentiment, that moral and religious principle does not abound in martial scenes: the causes of which obviously arise from peculiar circumstances connected with that mode of life,-the facility and thence encouragement given to the exercise of depraved passions, and the powerful influence of example, to which human nature is inevitably a prey at the early period in which our youth are admitted into the warlike professions, that of the navy in particular. It is indeed a lamentable evil that children should be so early exempted from the care and protection of either parents or masters, lanched thus into the world with all their inexperience and uncontrolled desires, and left, even at maturer years, without the power, as in common life, of choosing their associates. To give a particular description of the scenes which characterize a naval arsenal, or the cock-pit of a man of war, may be unnecessary, and would moreover offend the ear of chastity suffice it to observe, that our youth have frequently no alternative but to dwell in society .with the most abandoned of the female sex, as is invariably the case in our refitting ship, where these unhappy victims have unlimited admission; a circumstance which, besides the immediate consequences, is productive of almost every other species of immorality. Vice being thus continually exempt from the restraint of polished manners, and the homage due to female character,

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which in society at large is wont to aid the cause of virtue, is irresistible in its effect upon the minds of youth, immersed at such an early period in this torrent of infection. Nor is example left to its exclusive influence, but it is powerfully aided by the importunity of depraved associates, who strive, with unaccountable assiduity and zeal, to multiply the number of their votaries, and to proselyte for the infernal rather than the heavenly abodes. And although it must be owned, that examples are not wanting of youthful constancy, as the writer himself can testify, having seen the noble advocate of virtue. and religion with truest courage stem the scorn of fools; yet who would condemn such a youth to dwell where nought but licentious revelry prevails? where oaths inconceivably profane, and filthy merriment gambling, and the ridicule of sacred themes, with obscure catches tuned to sacred melody in mockery of devotion, serve to dissipate the vacant hours !!!

But some will possibly conceive that this gloomy description, however true, is nevertheless calculated to excite unnecessary fears; that many who have been educated and served in war, have proved exemplary characters in domestie life, and eminent Christians in every other respect.

Happily this cannot be denied. Yet such exceptions are comparatively of small account := and who, with any serious reflection, would undervalue the advantages of early piety, by such fallacious arguments drawn from partial observation? Think what numbers continue unreclaimed through life! how many others, who, under more favourable circumstances, might have lived to adorn society with their virtues, have fallen an early sacrifice to vicious habits acquired by the depraved associations above described! And of those who live to be reclaimed, how many are a prey to frequent infestations, the obtrusion

of unhallowed thoughts, and the war of principles striving to regain their lost dominion in the soul! Many who peruse these pages can, no doubt, bear woeful witness to this truth, though the world in general heed not their condition.

2. Having now sufficiently enlarged upon the many evil consequences that result from a warlike disposition; we proceed to show, as was proposed, in the second place, how individual influence may be employed to obviate the extent and prevalence of such ill effects in the future stages of the world.

Under the influence of those serious impressions to which the foregoing reflections necessarily lead, we should discourage generally, and endeavour to suppress on all possible occasions, any disposition in our immediate associates to favour the popular sentiments of martial glory and renown. With this view, we should avail ourselves of any favourable opportunity to lead their minds, either directly or indirectly, to the consideration of the subject in a moral and religious, rather than a political and worldly point of view; weighing the apparent advantages against the real ill sustained, which should be estimated on general principles, not by the partial views of individual gain; and with a liberal expansion of the soul should suffering humanity in general, without regard to national distinction, be allowed its just and full proportion in the scale. And whilst some religious characters are of opinion that necessity affords no plea to justify a state of war, others equally conscientious admit its allowability under certain circumstances; yet must every consistent Christian agree with his more scrupulous brethren, in condemning the principle and deploring its effects. Let all, then, according to the measure of their influence, and the degree of their conviction, conspire to propagate one general sentiment of disapprobation and re

gret, that beings of rationality, ordained for mutual blessing and an eternal weight of glory in the heavens, should lay the foundation of their fame in the desolation and corruption of the world.

But the subject merits more particular consideration and a more direct appeal. Masters, let it be observed, may exert a very successful influence over their domestic servants, journeymen, and apprentices, by incul cating in them principles of honest industry in trade or husbandry; professions more truly honourable than that of arms, by reason of the purity of their use, the innocence of the means employed, and their general conformity to primitive simplicity and the laws of order in the creation and preservation of the universe. Teach them that the proper dignity of human nature consists in virtue, and may be equally conspicuous in the poor as in the rich, in private` life as in public. Inspire them thus with the pride of virtue; a feeling by no means incompatible with true humility, but evidently conducive to contentment and resignation to the will of Him, whose servants we all are, being each appointed, through His boundless love and unerring wisdom, to fulfil our appropriate employ.

Our influence, it may further be remarked, will be peculiarly efficacious, if we were solicitous to check so depraved a disposition in the rising generation. The writings of that eminent servant of the Lord, Emanuel Swedenborg, contain some admonitions and injunctions to parents respecting the virtuous training of their sons and indeed, the whole of the sublime doctrine he has revealed respecting the states of innocence and mutual love with which children are miraculously gifted by the Lord, notwithstanding their native propensity to evil, admits of important inferences affecting the present question: for is it not our duty, as was observed above,

to promote the ends of Providence to the utmost of our power? These, however, are too often manifestly and effectually opposed by familiarizing the minds of youth to acts of violence, and encouraging their feelings of animosity towards fancied foes, instead of mercy and forgiveness towards real ones. The growth of this unchristian spirit is considerably promoted by suffering their sports to partake of a martial character. This practice should be discouraged. Teach them how contrary the love of warfare is to the noble spirit of Christianity: impress their youthful minds with all the horrors of a state of war; not for the purpose of exciting terror at the thought of danger, but rather to rouse their compassionate feelings towards suffering humanity, and aversion to the cause of such direful effects. Let them not be lured by gaudy apparel and the glittering of arms in martial exercise; but with watchful care and assiduity, bend their young minds to observation of the superior splendour that abounds in nature. Their fancy roves where folly leads for want of a judicious guide to point out objects worthy of their notice. Every display of their erring judgment should be seized to make the comparison between genuine and apparent good. What charms are opened to the view by the light of natural history and philosophy, which by the aid of familiar experiment and comparison, adapted to their youthful fancy, might innocently lure them into habits of reflection, and admirably pave the way to true intelligence and wisdom, which only can subdue the vain delusions of the world! Parents, whom this branch of the subject more particularly concerns, should especially reflect upon their motives and intentions, when choosing a profession for their sons whose future welfare must mainly depend upon the event. They should consider this world as the school of heaven, wherein those

VOL. I. NEW SERIES.

affections are to be called forth and exercised which will constitute both them and their children useful subjects of a heavenly, as well as of an earthly kingdom. The requirements of the world, though first in point of time, are not of supreme importance: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness," saith our Lord. "Let the dead bury their dead," is also a scriptural injunction of weighty consideration: it manifestly implies that the most urgent occasions in this life should be made subservient to eternal purposes.

[After alluding to what the writer conceives to be the peculiar obligations of the members of the New Church, to cultivate pacific principles as arising from their renewed affections, he adds]

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How then shall they act so contrary to their immediate impulse, as to cherish a warlike disposition, or engage unnecessarily in the capricious wars of nations? Their glory, and ambition, and utmost happiness, will more properly consist in the constant endeavour to aid, rather than to suppress, by their influence and example, the fulfilment of prophecy in general, and the following express declaration in particular, relative to that blissful era, which we confidently hope is now dawning upon the world: "They shall beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." Isaiah xi. 4.

3d. But here we cannot avoid anticipating an objection of the natural man, who, on the grounds of human prudence, will maintain the necessity of cultivating a warlike disposition with a view to public security.

For those who supremely venerate the authority of revealed truth, and suffer no consideration to be put into competition with one of heavenly importance, the testimony above adduced will perhaps be found sufficiently conclusive. It may however

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