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my opinion, figurative of some of the spiritual ones that will, in the appointed time, precede the much-to-be-desired end of the Scripture world in our hearts, and that would make us feel, more than we do, the want of a Deliverer and true instructor; bringing us to think of God, and to look to Him alone for protection, instead of trusting to the vain means of this world. I have understood that the coming of the Scripture First Man will be preceded by a most awful event that will impress every one with the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, compelling every knee to bend ; and disposing all creatures, more than many seem inclined to, disposing them to worship the Supreme Being in sincerity, to respect their Sovereign, and to love their neighbour. It is possible, also, that the reign of the fear of God in our hearts will be, in the fortunate consequences that would result from it for our behaviour and happiness, a precursor and an emblem of the future reign of Christ's doctrine in our soul; by which he would keep in her the evil spirit bound in insuperable chains; and by which alone one will arrive at the desirable state of the children of God (Rom. 8. 19, 21.1 John, 3.9.-5.18). Let me add that I understand that such a millenium (Rev. 20. 4, 6) will be, the same as the unavoidable sojourning in Egypt, the Wilderness, and Babylon (Gal. 4. 3), during the course of regeneration, quite independent of the vulgar time; and will happen to any one, but only after he will have fulfilled in his heart the righteousness of the law and every tittle of it (Rom. 8. 4.-Matt. 5. 18), and, sooner or later, according to his obedience to Christ's precepts, considered as the commandments of God speaking in him
and by him, as He does in the Apostles (Matt. 10. 19, 20,-Mark, 13. 11), Christ's fellows and brethren (Heb. 1. 9.-2. 11, 12, 17,) to reconcile the world unto Himself (2 Cor. 5. 19).
Before I take leave of you, permit me to repeat once more that I may be considerably mistaken, and that you ought not to receive any notion of mine, without having discussed first, whether it is right or not. Do not believe me hastily (1 John, 4. 1); much rather search and ponder well the words and the whole of the Sacred Writings; they will tell you where I am wrong, and where I may be supposed in the way to the truth. May your reflections on them enable you to give yourself a positive and correct answer to the third question, on which I cannot satisfy you, from want of positive information about it! If they speak of both this visible earth, and the invisible world within us, may you find out, or may any body favour you with, a tried, invariable rule to discern and ascertain when the words earth and world ought to be taken in the literal sense, and when they ought to be understood in a different way; so that you may be safe against all mistakes! Beware of mine,
Please, Theophila, to accept of this farewell, the farewell of an ignorant man, a frail clay-vessel, in want of being emptied of its errors, and of being fashioned and filled with the knowledges, qualities, and virtues that will adorn Christain philosophers. If what I have ventured to say should induce you to meditate on the Scripture, and to study it, more than you had done before this communication of mine ; if your investigation should be of service to you; if you should be blessed with a new intelligence of it, preferable to the
common; if you should be delighted with it, and should perceive the possibility that it do not speak of this earth and other visible things, but only of inward things and actions referring to the soul, to the inner man rather than to the outward ; if you should be convinced that not a word of it ought to be taken in the usual, external sense ; and that it cannot be what it is generally represented, an account of events that have occurred on this earth, and have been related by men who have witnessed them; but that, instead of being partly a tradition concerning this world, as mostly supposed, it is a Sacred History, the whole of which has been granted us by the inspiration of God, for the reproof and correction of our soul: not a mere allegory or fable, as many would perhaps imagine, but an authentic, a positive, revealed History of certain circumstances that shall take place within man, during and for his renovation (Job, 33. 29, 30); and at the same time a code of regeneration in the knowledge of oneself, in religion and felicity; the whole tending to the formation of Christ in us (Gal. 4. 19); a code of resurrection from sin, showing progressively the way and process by which it can and shall be operated in the soul; if you would admire the order that the Divine Wisdom has put in it, and the beautiful connexion that exists between all its parts; if, from an intimate persuasion that every where you may find in it some important instruction for your soul, you would resolve to apply henceforth to her every passage of it; if you would value it as an inestimable present from God, as an emanation from His will and goodness, as a Book holy, far above any you ever heard of; as the very Word of the Creator who is infallibly itself; if, conscious of your inability to comprehend it by yourself, and with the help of human explanations, and feeling the importance of understanding it, that you might follow it the better, you would pray God to grant you the intelligence of its Sacred language; if you would believe that it would make you more pious before Him, more obedient to the laws of the Sovereign whom He has given you, more kind and instructive to your fellow creatures, more able to do them essential good; and that it would improve you in hope, faith, and charity, in which consists the true and holy Christian religion, which I understand to be the eternal life (John, 10. 28); the eternal wisdom that is inhabited by the high and lofty Spirit, Isai. 57. 15.-1 Cor. 1. 24); the words that shall never pass away (John, 6. 63, 68.—Matt. 24. 35); the combining together of the two first great commandments (Matt. 22. 37, 38, 39, 40); the united theory and practice of all virtues; the reconciliation of the two natures, minds, beliefs, wills (Rom. 7. 22, 23); the union of the spiritual and of the human part within man ; the end or destruction of the pride of the world in the heart; the resurrection of the spirits dead in sin ; the passover from mortality to immortality, from humanity to spirituality and eternity; the spiritual Rock; the Light of the world ; the true Vine; the door through which the real sheep enter in to be saved; the gate of heaven; the ladder to it; the throne of God, and His rest for ever (Ps. 132. 14); the temple and bread that are the body of Christ; the glorious body or knowledge that is united for ever with his spirit; the flesh that must be eaten, and the blood that must be drunk (John, 6. 50, &c.); the better country that is desired by the souls of Patriarchs and Prophets; the Canaan that is promised to the faithful souls for their everlasting residence; the Mount Sion on which stands the spirit of the Lamb (Heb. 12. 22.-Rev. 14. 1), the Holy hill of the Lord; the Jerusalem that is the city of the great King; the religion in which there is no death, no worldly philosophy, . no error, no night or obscurity, nothing inconsistent, nothing incomprehensible; in which all is simple, clear, satisfactory, all is perfection, joy, and peace, all pains and difficulties being removed by faith in God; the everlasting Gospel that will be preached to every nation (Rev. 14. 6); the Lamb's bride, the only wife and help meet for him, the tabernacle of God, the dwelling of His Spirit with men, the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven (unto the soul) (Rev. 21.2, 3); the woman in heaven who is clothed with the sun, and moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars, whose seed keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (12. 1, 17), the mother or bearer of truth and innocence (5); the Book of life, the sealed Book which the Lamb alone is worthy to open, unveil, expound, and the seven mysteries of which he will make known only to those to whom it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom, those whose souls acknowledge Him for their only Lord, obey and follow His Divine precepts, and whose faith and works are in full conformity with his, and according to the things that are written in that highly religious Book; if with bumility and simplicity you would acknowledge the Almighty for your Creator and benefactor, from whom you hold your existence, your soul, your minds, your thoughts, qualities, talents, faculties, ad