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DEAR SIR, AVING sometime ago had the misfortune to lose by death a person - who had the care of my younger children, and a letter having come to my hands a few days after her interinent from a relation, who formerly lived with the deceased in my family, but who then residing at a distance from Bath, had not been informed of her friend's death the singularity of the circumstance very forcibly struck my mind, and produced a train of pleasingly solemn reflections, which led me to personate the deceased, and to answer the letter which had been addressed to her-which answer, together with the following letter in continuation, I here with transmit for insertion in your valuable Micellany, provided the subject be deemed admissible, and that more interesting communication do not claim the privilege of occupying all the space allotted for friendly correspondence.
MY DEAR FRIEND, N o doubt but it will excite your surprise to find that ere your letter
could reach me, I had become an inhabitant of the world of spirits, and that all that you had ever seeu of me had been wrapped in a shrowd, screwed up in a coffin, and deposited in the silent grave, upon the remains of my dear little boy, in Bathwick Churchyard. . But why, my friend, should you be at all surprised? Is it any thing so extraordinary for you mortals to be deprived of those friends who shared your esteem and affection, and to lament the interception of those social intercourses which death has destroyed? When you enter the mortal state of existence, are you not launched on a sea of uncertainties, and frequently the sport of adverse, winds? Do you not behold those frightful waves which swallowed up so many of your acquaintances, ready to burst on you, and overwhelm your own little bark?... sei allen siin
But methinks by this time you are anxious to know by what means my spirit obtained releasement from its prison; and, throwing away the fetters of mortality, and rising above the prejudices of imperfect education and the tyranny of established custom, became acquainted with a new order of things, and a fellow-citizen with the saints. "
You know, when you and I lived together under the same roof, that my poor body was much afilisted, and that an asthmatic complaint
caused me to lead a life of suffering and pain; I was rather more afflicted than usual about a fortnight before the dissolution of nature took place; however, Mrs. W. and her youngest child were at that time extremely unwell, and I held up as well as I could till the Sunday before last, when I took to my bed, and in spite of the tender solicitudes of Mr. and Mrs. W. and the skill of the doctor, I quitted my earthly tabernacle on the Saturday following; and it gave me no small satisfaction that my requests were complied with, and my remains decently interred in the place I before mentioned, on Wednesday last ;- for you must know, that it is a very mistaken idea which some of you mortals cntertain, that the disembodied spirit is quite regardless of what happens in your world; on the contrary, permitted as we are to visit our old habitations, and to hover about our old friends—although we do not feel that apxiety and solicitude which you are subject to in your state of imperfection yet we cannot avoid being somewhat interested in what we see doing among our old companions and friends."
No doubt but you would gladly be made acquainted with many particulars respecting my new life and state; suffice it then for she present to say, that I am quite happy, and enjoy the sweet society of many friends and relations, who obtained releasement from the body hefore me. My dear husband, and my much loved child, have kere new charms : here I have been in company with your uncle Joseph, who.: is now all life and activity, and meets with nothing to interrupt his felicity: he is continually contemplating the most sublime, subjects, delighting in the unbounded goodness and mercy of God, and rejoicing, in the riches of his grace, and the wonders he has wrought, both in the celestial and terrestrial regions. He frequently indulges himself in the anticipation of the compleat triumph of insulted liberty, the perfect, improvement of the human inrellect, the approximating downfal of papal and Mahometan superstitions, the overthrow of all antichristian hierarchies, the expected establishment of the kingdom of peace, and the universal and uninterrupted reign of the mighty and merciful Jesus.
Here, too, I have embraced dear little Thomas W., who is not now that babe he seemed to be when nursed by you and me; he is now, since no longer under the restraint of Heshly confinement, all intelligence, and arrived to the stature of a perfect man, and capable of attaining that supreme felicity which none-but happy immortals can enjoy. .
How false are the conceptions, and how erroneous the ideas, which the generality of mortals form of the invisible world! 'Tis, my friend, for you, but just to close your eyes upon sublunary objects and you are immediately in the world of spirits. And then, Oh, then! what delightfully unbounded prospects open to the astonished sight! However, as I may have said quite enough at present, I shall reserve for a future opportunity the business of acquainting you with some further particulars of your immortal friend, ' 's ? Son? .. ..
Q aboos bison vi G. M. m .;"
LETTER IL..i in 4. - FROM THE SAME TO THE SAME., Han , * MY DEAR FRIEND,
, " :'; com nie i n FOR I shall continue to make use of that endearing appellation ;' and
think not, my old companion and fellow traveller through the thorny parhs of morial life, think not, my much esteemed friend; that disembodied spirits are incapable of enjoying the supreine félicity and delighting in the luxury of friendship: continually supplied from the dverflowing 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 LTERNAL?. .. .
9. 'Tis true we have none of those base and ignoble dispositions abour us which ftesh is heir to, which deform 'the fair image of God, and debase the soul while confined within the precincts of mortality-our love is pure, without any alloy of bad passions, and our friendship, like the spreadirig branches of that treed on whose leaves are for the liealing of the nationis," is pregnant with the most superlative advantage to all those who may be under our protection.id
As I intend to be at your elbow at the time you are reading this epistle, I expect to see your curiosity excited by the tern of the last sentence. You have no idea of our active kind of existence; your soul, confined as it were, in a nutshell, your mind darkened by prejudice, contracted by education, and enslaved' by false systems, cannot compréhend 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 palpit, 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 earsday and night, without cessation for interruption." What an absurd belief! What vulgár ideas ! But such was ihy belief, and such were my ideas, when a sojourner with you; however, iny former belief, and my former stock of ideas, were left behind with the body t'evacuated. In an instant I perceived that I had been wrapt in delusion, whose darksome mist soon evaporated myriads of spiritual instructors Boon 'surrounded me, and preseritly Became one of the enlightened, and highly gratified in the possession of my celestial Kirilright!... ...... ..
* Ferë I could proceed, 'Iny friend, to give you the most pleasing accounts, the most 'ravishing descriptions of my advancement in knowledge, of the happiness 1 enjoy; and the charming company F associate with--but it would be too much for you either to hear or comprehend at present. You must cie to become one of us, and then
shall you * see as you are seen, and know as you are known." Do not suppose, my friend, as some mortals 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 ushered into the immediate presence of Deity, and unité 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 concludę before I inform you that I have had many pleasing interviews with my uncle Simpson, whom you have so often waited upon when he was in the body; he has left, I assure you, his! decripitude, and all the feebleness and fretfulness of old age behind. him; he looks gay as a summer's morving, 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!
M R. 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 iinmerse, 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,
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 baptizo by immerse, and baptizantes by immersion, &c. &c. But if Mr. P. has any further difficulties upon this subject, I should be glad to hear from him again by means of your
QUESTION ON THE PROPER ATTITUDE IN PRAYER*..
SIR, THE practice of different nations in the attitude of prayer has been
* 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 inen; hut 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 hiin: hence the Mahometan, the rites of whose religion originated in the east, covers bis 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. 14-16.--uncovers his head, while the female covers hers, and both of them either stand or kneel: which attitudes were Grecian custoins 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. 1827. 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 captives worship, see Neh. viii. 6. Solomon, at the dedication of the temple, stood when he exhorted the people, and when he blessed them; but when he prayed he krected down upon his knees, 2 Chron. vi. 113. The whole congregation of:
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