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FROM THE SAME TO THE SAME.
MY DEAR FRIEND, FOR I shall continue to make use of that endearing appellation; and
think not, my old companion and fellow traveller through the thorny paths of 'mortal life, think not, my much esteemed friend, that disembodied spirits are incapable of enjoying the supreine felicity and delighting in the luxury of friendship: continually supplied from the overflowing and everflowing fountain of divine love, and feasting on the delicious fruits of heavenly friendship, how is it possible that we should be inimical to that celestial principle that unites us to the ETERNAL?
'Tis true we have none of those base and ignoble dispositions about 'us' which flesh is heir to, which deform the fair image of God, and debase the soul while confined within the precincts of mortality-ur love' is pure, 'without any alloy of bad passions, and our friendship, ilke' the spreading branches of that tree, “whose leaves are for the Tiealing of the nations," is pregnant with the most superlative advantage to all those who may be under our protection. cil As I intend to be at your elbow' at the time you are reading this epistle, I expect to see yout curiosity excited by the turn of the last sentence. You have no idea of our active kind of existence; your *soul, confined as it were, in anutshell, your mind darkened by prejudice, contracted by education, and enslaved by false systems, cannot comprehend how it is possible that we should have things in charge, and persons 'under' our protection. You have been in the habit of believing heaven to be a place, perhaps somewhat like Rowland Hill's chappel, in Surry Road, with the throne of God in the centre, like the parson's pulpit, and the disembodied spirits of a few of the select orders of orthodox protestants confined therein, like the devout congregation, either sitting or standing in rows all around, with musical instruments and hymn books in their hands, playing methodistical tunes, and singing godly songs “ in God the Father's ears” day and night, without cessation or interruption. What an absurd belief! What vulgar ideas! But such was my belief, and 'such were my ideas, when a sojoumer with you; however, my former belief, and my former stock of ideas, were left behind with the body I evacuated. In an instant I perceived that I had been wrape in delusion, whose darksome mist soon evaporatedmyriads of spiritual instructors soon surronnded ine, and presently ! Kecame one of the enlightened,' and highly gratified in the possession of my celestial bitthright.
Here I could proceed, my friend, to give you the most pleasing accounts; the most ravishing descriptions of my advancement in knowledge, of the happiness I enjoy, and the charming company I associate with but it would be too much for you either to hear or comprehend at present. You must die to become one of us, and then
ed, and highly gratified in the possession
see as you are seen, and know as you are known." . Do not suppose, my friend, as some morials do, that your spirit, after quitting the body, shall be hurried up millions of miles through the regions of the air, before you can arrive at a place, called heaven, or be usbered into the immediate presence of Deity, and unite with us happy immortals. is not God omnipotent? How, then, can he be so far from you? Is not the kingdom of heaven within you? How comes it to pass, then, that you must take so long a journey to enjoy it? “ Are not: angels ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to the heirs of salvation?" And are not departed spirits “as the angels which are in heaven?" Why, then, do you suppose, may we not take charge of surround, and protect our friends in the body, and frequently minister to the objects of our sympathetic regard? Alas! my friend, were your eyes but opened, like the eyes of Elisha's servant, you would not only see, but believe.
I shall not conclude before I inform you that I have had many pleasing interviews with my uncle Simpson, whoin you have so often waited upon when he was in the body; he has left, I assure you, his clecripitude, and all the feebleness and fretfulness of old age behind him; he looks -gay as a summer's morning, rosy health blooms in his face, and heavenly tranquility composes his mind. We often converse about his daughter Mrs. W. and her husband, and their little prattling children.
At another time, perhaps, I may give you some further information ; at present farewell!
MR. Payne asks, “. If the word immerse be a proper translation of
baptizo, would it not have been more proper to have translated Mat. iii. 2. and other similar places, “ I indeed immerse you IN water," instead of with water; because, to say, I DIP you WITH water, is not proper."
I apprehend that Mr. P.'s query goes on this idea, that the two words dip and immerse are precisely of the same meaning; but this I conceive is not the fact. It is granted that dipping includes immersion ; but it does not therefore follow that immersion necessarily includes dipping. To immerse is to cover over; but it is evident that a man may be immersed or covered over with water, without being dipped in it, though no man can be dipped in water without being covered over or immersed in it. So the disciples were immersed with the Holy Spirit,
* See U. M. for July, 1800, p.375.
but they were not dipped in the Holy Spirit on that day. Our Lord commanded his apostles to preach and immerse those that were taught, and as dipping is the most ready and easy way of immersing they therefore practised dipping, as his own example had set them the pattern, Mat. iii. 16. And the Greeks, in whose language the New Testament was written, practise immersion by dipping, to this day.
I conceive, therefore, that the translators of Mr. Scarlett's Testament did very right when they rendered baptize by immerse, and baptizoxtes by immersion, &c. &c. But if Mr. P. has
further difficulties upon this subject, I should be glad to hear from him again by means of your Miscellany.
QUESTION ON THE PROPER ATTITUDE IN PRAYER*.
SER, THE practice of different nations in the attitude of prayer has beer
and still is, very different from each other; because their ideas of bodily actions shewing respect to superiors is different. In some eastern countries covering the head, and sitting down, are tokens of reverence paid to great men; but in Europe we uncover the head and stand up, when we would shew respect to any.
It is natural for us to transfer our usual testimonies of respect for men, to our reverence for the Deity in our worship of himn : hence the Mahometan, the rites of whose religion originated in the east, covers his head and sits down in prayer; but the Christian, whose ideas of reverence originated in the practice of the ancient Greeks-approved of, and sanctioned by the apostle Paul, 1 Cor. xi. Is36.-uncovers his head, while the female covers hers, and both of them either stand or kneel: which attitudes were Grecian customs in their worship.
The ancient Jews practised various bodily actions in their worship. but in all of them they always had their head covered. David sat and prayed before God, as recorded in 2 Sam. vii. 18–27. The sweet singer of Israel also describes the worship of Jehovah by bowing down and kneeling, or rather prostrating themselves before him, Psal. xcv. 6. In the same manner did the returned capiives worship, see Neh. viii.
5am 6. Solomon, at the dedication of the temple, stood when he exhorted the people, and when he blessed them; but when he prayed lie kneeled down upon his knees, 2 Chron. vi. 1-13. The whole congregation of
* See U. M. For March 1800, P: 108.
Israel at the same time stood, ver. ģBut when, at the end of his prayer, the fire of Jehovah came down and consumed the sacrifices upon the alter, then the people bowed themselves with their faces to the ground, and worshipped and praised Jehovah. Chap. vii. 1“-3. So likewise, in the days os Jehosaphat, on an occasion of public calamity, the whole congregation of Judah stood before Jehovah, and Jehosaphat stood in the midst of them, but when a message came from Jehovah by a prophet then present, both the king and the people bowed themselves and fell down and worshipped, 2 Chron. XX. 5-13-18. More instances might probably be adduced; but these may suffice to shew the commor attitude of prayer among the Jews in the teinple was standing ; but that at particular times they bowed, and even prostrated themselves.
The ancient synagogue practised the same attitude in worship as the teinple did, which is- above stated. And the modern synagogue does the same; and if the same divine appearances were among them now, as formerly, no doubt but they would prostrate themselves as then: as for bowing, they always practice it now, in some part of their
prayers particularly the grave and religious men bow very low, and not unfrequently stretch out their hands towards heaven, and strike them together, and also smite their breasts with apparent-agony. This I have often seen.
As for the practice of Christ and his apostles, this appears to have beert various upon various occasions. Our Lord in his agony in the garden kneeled down and prayed, Luke, xxii. 41. And Mark says that he felt on the ground, chap. xiv. 35. And: Luke, that he fell on his face. I conceive that he kneeted down first, and that in the agony of his spirit he fell on his face, and prostrated himself to the earth; all these were natural actions in his circumstances And, indeed, in private prayer, a person may practise an attitude which would not be convenient in social, or public prayer.
As for the disciples and apostles, we find that Stephen kneeleď down and prayed, Acts vii. 60. And Peter kneeled and prayed when he raised Tabitha, Acts, ix. 40. And Paul kneeled down and prayed with the elders of the church of Ephesus, Acts, xx. 36. Paul also describes prayer by bowing the knees to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Ephes. iii. 14. But none of these can well be called inštances of public prayer; they being all either private, or social at most,
I do not recóllect any positive command concerning the attitude of prayer in the New Testament. That which looks inost like one, is the words of Christ, when ye stand praying, &c. Mark, xi. 25. Our Lord also describes the pharisee and the publican as both standing, though each by himself, when they went up into the temple to pray Concerning the example of our Lord, though we are told of his praying both by himself, and with his disciples; yet nothing is said of his attitude, any more than what we have before noticed.
As for apostolic example, we have already seen several instances of kneeling in private, social, or individual prayer. Public examples of prayer among them there are several : but very little is said of their attitudes. If my memory do pot fail me, the only example of apostolic attitude in public prayer, is in Acts, xxi. 5. here Paul and his companions with the Christians at Tyre, together with their wives and children, kneeled down upon the sea shore, and prayed. But I query
whether this be a proper example for a Christian assembly in a place of worship. Not that I think it unlawful to kneel in such an assembly, and in such a place; but there are many places of worship where it would be very inconvenient so to do, and I think it generally most convenient to stand.
As for Ecclesiastical history, it informs us, that early Christians practised both standing and kneeling, in public prayer. And it seems that they considered the attitude as indifferent,as no doubt but it is: and circumstances of convenience only can determine which ought to be used.
It is a melancholy reflection that this triling subject, the attitude of prayer, has been one cause of prejudice, among Christians, against each other. Such ought to remember that God is a spirit, and that he seeks such to worship him, who worship him in spirit and in truth. No attitude whatever is acceptable uniess the heart be engaged: and the true worshipper will worship in spirit and in truth, let his attitude be
what it may
I conclude, therefore, that Christ and his apostles have given no precept upon this subject: and that nothing can be gathered from their examples, to determine our conduct either to stand or kneel : as each of these attitudes is consistant with the solemnity of the exercise of prayer.
DIFFICULTY ON THE RESURRECTION*.
SIR, THE doctrine of the resurection of the dead is an article of the first
importance. The apostle, 1 Cor. xy. 12—29. represents it as the corner stone of Christianity; and though the Scriptures often speak of it as if the whole of mankind would be raised at once, as John, v. 28, 29. Acis, xxiv. 15., yet, by a comparison of Scriptures, we find that the resurrection will be gradual and progressive. Paul unites the general and particular views of this grand subject together, 1 Cor. xv. 22, « For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.' In these words we have the general subject stated, viz. the resurrection of all men in Christ Jesus. But the apostle goes on to shew, that the whole shall be conducted with regularity, and be accomplished by degrees; for, in the 23d yer. he adds, “ But every man in his own
* See our last,.p. 300.