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strain which he was about to sing, the new Evangelist thus proceeds:— -
“Now, in my former discourse, I did further set forth upon this second chapter of Acts, first, THE MIGHTY WIND as denoting the power they were to be baptized with. Christ calls it, “The baptism of power.’ ‘Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come,’ and its effect is manifested in those baptized with the Holy Ghost in that they speak with a power not their own—that there is a power in the word which they utter that is not their own. In speaking with the Holy Ghost there is always a mighty power; not as people talk, screaming,” or any thing of that kind; for it is not the work of flesh at all, but with a most correct harmony and intonation, a mighty power, and with an intonation according to the thing expressed. If it be judgment which is spoken in this church in the hearing of men, to recover men and rouse them out of sleep, that they might prepare for the Judge, it is with a mighty voice. Do you awake a man who is fast asleep with a whisper, or with an ordinary voice? With a mighty voice you awake him; and, if he will not be aroused, you lift up your voice more mightily still, and do any thing, rather than let the fire come and consume him. This is the reason why, the other night, the Lord spake with a voice that seemed as if it would rend the roof. But that is not the way the Holy Ghost speaks always. It is often with the greatest tenderness, with the greatest melting earnestness, but always with power. That is a characteristic always occurring with it.
“Then, the second symbol which the Holy Ghost took was the symbol of the cloven tongues. Now, that is, speaking with other tongues, a divided tongue. Now observe, that is, how it is that many of you have heard in this church; and those speaking with the Holy Ghost do, in general, speak with a double tongue—that is to say, the message delivered is this—it begins in an unknown tongue, and it continues in the known tongue, so that it is exactly a cloven tongue. And the reason of it, if men will be patient to examine and consider, is, the unknown tongue—unknown both to the speaker and to the hearer—shows that it is another power than their own with which they speak—then, the known tongue, being thus ushered in, is known to be spoken, not in their own strength, but to be spoken in a strength beside their own; and so, by having part in an unknown tongue, and part in a known tongue, having the tongue cleft, which is the symbol, you have the proof of inspiration. You have the sign of the inspiration in the unknown tongue, and then you have the substance, the message, the revelation, the knowledge, the doctrine, or whatsoever God would deliver or set forth to you, in your own tongue. I pray you to observe that that is almost constantly the way of the Holy Ghost's speaking. Sometimes he speaks without the sign of the other tongue, simply in our own tongue, and then it is in a mighty voice. But, in the presence of unbelievers, then it pleases the Holy Ghost to give the unbeliever a sign; for the unbeliever would say concerning the thing spoken, “It is only the truth we have in the Bible; and, though it is spoken with a strong voice, what reason have I to believe it is any thing more?” But it is more than man's memory, more than man's composition, so that man's authority in the message delivered is last. But, when the sign is given, it is both in a known and an unknown tongue. What, I would ask, brethren, if a foreigner should now be hearing me, and seeing me speak in the midst of you all, and seeing me full of action, my countenance full of emotion, and every thing indicating that I was speaking both with intelligence and with earnestness—what would you think of that man drawing the conclusion, because he understood me not, that I was speaking gibberish 2 You would say the man was a fool, or the most uncharitable knave that ever was introduced into a Christian country. Or, suppose you went into a town of France, not knowing a word of French, and heard a man speak with all manner of action, and did not understand his words, what a conclusion it would be for you to say it was gibberish But now, take a person speaking with tongues—we see emotion, agony, the fullest emotion—we see in the countenance, and in the action, that which is most proper emotion—we hear most proper natural language corresponding to it; and what think you of the uncharitable person who should say, “Because I do not understand it, it is gibberish 7” Why, it is beyond all things uncharitable; and more especially when you see it is the form the Holy Ghost employs. I think it ought to give the subject reverence, to see that the gift of the Holy Ghost does descend in this way—it ought to make a man stand with awe. When he sees the thing of which the form is written in the second chapter of the Acts, he should be reverential. But, when he sees the person is full of action, and full of energy, with what he is uttering, it is the most unjust conclusion which can be drawn by foolish conclusionists. But we find in the epistles to the Corinthians, and in all places of Scripture, that the tongue was not known to the speaker, nor yet to the hearers.”
To all this rhodomantade, we shall merely oppose the unequivocal language of the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, to which the orator refers, and if falsehood had any shame about it, it must be put to the blush, seeing that it is thus completely unmasked.
“1. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they (the Apostles) were all with one accord in one place. “2. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. “3. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. “4. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance. “5. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under Heaven. “6. Now, when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. “7. And they were all amazed, and marveiled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans ? “8. And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born ? “9. Parthians, and Medes, Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, “10. Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Lybia about Cyrene, and the strangers of Rome, Jews and Proselytes,
“11. Cretes, and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” - This, we fancy, is a manifestation of the gift of tongues very different from that which the Irvingtonians claim ; their new dialect is unknown to themselves, and to all the world besides; they might be preaching in it for years without making any body wiser or better, or more acquainted than he was before, with the “wonderful works of God,” for neither the English nor the French, the Spaniards, Italians, Germans, Russians, Hungarians, nor any other nation under Heaven could understand the heterogeneous sounds which these Bedlamites pronounce. We are told by the writer in the Pulpit, that “After the Rev. Gentlemen had pronounced the apostolic benediction, and the congregation were about to disperse, they were addressed by Miss Cardale, first in an unknown, and then in our tongue. She warned the auditory of the speedy approach of Christ, and assured them that though they might now despise the Saviour, yet they would not do so always. The congregation remaining some time after the lady had closed her address, the Rev. Gentleman stated that they need not tarry; it was nothing onarvellous; the only marvel was, that the gift had not always continued £n the church.” Will it be believed that the real object, in carrying on this impious and abominable delusion, is nothing more or less than pecuniary gain 7 Irving is the editor, and either sole or principal proprietor, of a periodical publication, called “The Morning Watch,” the sale of which depends entirely upon the miracles which, through the instrumentality of a set of kindred knaves or of fools, he is able to fabricate, as so many proofs of the descent of the Holy Ghost upon these devoted victims of his sordid avarice, and his infamous hypocrisy. Here, indeed, is a precious consequence of the principle of “private judgment,” established by the Reformation | Shocking, however, as these follies may be ; disgraceful as they are to Christianity, in whose profaned name they are enacted, we have still other blasphemies to notice, which spring avowedly from the same “reformed” principle. The book, whose title stands first at the head of this article, now lies before us, and we suppose that if all the volumes that have ever emanated from human pride and weakness were collected together in one library, this would be adjudged by any rational jury as entitled to the most eminent place amongst the whole, for its extreme absurdity and conceit. . It appears that the author, whose only judicious act has been the suppression of his name, published, some years ago, a treatise on religion, to which he gave the title of “Beware,” and that awful and alarming as that name ought to have been considered, nobody criticised his work, and, what is still worse, scarcely anybody read it. This he deemed a great misfortune, not to himself alone, but to all mankind. So convinced is he that the world is plunged into the most deplorable error with respect to the true interpretation of the Scriptures, which was partly disclosed in his former tract, that he has now very considerably enlarged his plan, and published his “Revelations” in consideration of ‘the portending times in which we live.” The reader must not be startled at the term “Revelations;” it will form but a very small part of his difficulties in perusing this volume. Such supernatural intelligence must be quite familiar to the author, for he alludes to his possession of it repeatedly with the greatest possible calmness. “ You may depend, he says, addressing his friend, Theophila, ‘that I would not presume to address you on a subject on which so many persons that have been esteemed for their knowledge in theology, have failed to give satisfaction, had I not been made acquainted with the high Revelations which Divine Providence has been pleased to make from the beginning of December, 1784, to that of the said month in 1787, and which seem to me to have thrown a great light on the Trinity.’ To whom these ‘high Revelations were made the author does not say, but it seems that he was not made acquainted with them until the year 1795. To these divine whispers he appeals on all occasions, in order to confirm the truth of the novel interpretations which he gives to Holy Writ. If you express your amazement at any of his positions, you are immediately met with such an explanation as this—“I am quite confident of it, having heard it from an authority which it is my duty implicitly to believe.” From this and other similar passages we should be led to infer that the “Revelations’ were made from on high to the author himself, but that from some temporary feebleness of intellect, or other cause, he did not perfectly comprehend them for some years. Well, what does the reader suppose to be this man's interpretation of the Scriptures 2 What is the result of his exercise of the established right of private judgment 2 Simply this, that the Bible is in no part of it a narrative of events that have actually occurred, but altogether a prophecy of events that are to come ! ‘I have heard,” says this new Apocalyptician, ‘ from an authority which it is my duty to believe implicitly, and to the utmost, that the Scripture is a prophecy of things to come; therefore (!) it must be a mistake to consider it partly as an account of transactions that have occurred on this globe. The great Revelations, to which I have had already occasion to allude, have confirmed me in that view of it; in which I have been strengthened also by other things, which it would be useless to state at this moment.” With such a person as this, reasoning is wholly out of the question. He would stop the strongest argument that ever was clothed in language by an appeal to his ‘high Revelations.” He considers that the Old and the New Testament are to be construed altogether in a spiritual sense, never in a literal one; and to be, as we have seen, exclusively prophetic of events which are hereafter to take place, and which, as he understands, are indeed about to commence in a very few years. Adam, for instance, and Eve, have not as yet existed upon this earth. The first man foretold in Scripture ought not to be considered as the natural father of all mankind, but as ‘the father of their souls, whom he will beget in the knowledge of oneself, and of the true philosophy; giving them a new life, by the sound principles and instructions he will minister unto them: the Almighty having appointed him to open the eyes of our understanding, and begin our regeneration. This more I shall say, there is room to hope, from those Revelations, that it will not be very long before he will be witnessed among us.” He has found in the “Centuries” of Nostradamus a clear prediction not only of the French revolution, but also of the temporary elevation of the house of Orleans to the throne, and of the restoration of Charles X. ; when the latter event takes place, it will be the complete termination of the revolution, ‘which,” he continues, “I understand will be succeeded by the peace there will be on earth, when the first man appears upon her; and without which it would be difficult for him to fulfil his mission.” But lest Theophila should suppose that her inspired instructor referred to the prophecy of Nostradamus as a confirmation of the great ‘Revelations,’ to which such frequent allusion is made; he takes care to add—‘If I have quoted to you Nostradamus's opinions, it has been merely to show you that there have been people who have been informed that the first man is to come, and not at all with a view to support the Revelations that have been made concerning him; for they are of such a nature, that they need the support of no man soever.’ According to this new Apocalypse then, all men have lived in a prior state of existence, which was a better one than that we now enjoy ; in that state we had a knowledge of the true religion, which he calls Eden. Eve means only the disposition to faith which God gave to each of us, as a ‘spiritual wife,” with whom we might occasionally consult. But as in such a happy state as this we could know nothing of evil, and, therefore, must have been ever ignorant of the merciful attributes of the Deity, “it became indispensable that we should sin, and disobey our creator, in order that we might acquire knowledge of them, which we had not.’ Hence we fell, and became a degenerate race | Nor can we be regenerated until the ‘first man’ shall come amongst us. As there was no division of sex in our prior world, so neither shall there be when we are restored to it: we shall all be then re-united, “forming again of the twain one flesh or mind as formerly.” The ‘first man’ will be accompanied, however, by a wife, whom he will call Eve, and in whom we shall behold a perfect personification of faith. All our knowledge is to come from the man, all our faith from the woman. The Three Persons of the Trinity are ‘Three Deified Spirits, who are to be rendered manifest to mankind, each under