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I hope thus much will suffice to shew my oversight as to the use of the phrase new Christian heaven, and at the same time to shew that there is but one. In like manner I contend that though the New Jerusalem is a New Church, there is but one Christian Church, from the Lord's first advent to eternity; and that if the phrase New Christian Church is allowable, it is not thence to be concluded that there have been, properly speaking, two Christian churches; but that by the doctrines of the New Jerusalem, the genuine Christian Church is restored to its newness and vigour, and is infinitely more developed than at its commencement or in any intermediate period.
I am fully convinced that the genuine New Church has nothing sectarian in its composition, and that those who incline to give it such an aspect to the world, deviate, so far, from its genuine principles. I consider E. S. to have been one of the most unsectarian characters the world has yet produced, and at the same time a man of the most inflexible principles, from which no temptation could induce him to swerve.
That beautiful specimen of his conduct, at nearly the termination of his worldly career, [if the account be true, of which I think we can scarcely doubt,] given in your last number, pages 229—233, of his receiving the Holy Supper by the administration of a Swedish clergyman, proves how fully his free spirit could partake of the essentials of true religion, independently of mis-constructed formularies through which they might be administered.
Yet the other parts of this most interesting letter, shew that he was far from being an insensible or an indifferent witness of those perversions of genuine Christianity, which were prevalent in the worship and teaching of the Christian Church, in all its then externals. Notwithstanding all this perversion, he assured the clergyman that he would gladly take the sacrament with him, in order to shew the connexion and union between the church in heaven and the church on earth! In the minds of the sincere and simple Christians, there was still the Christian Church, whose members were in connexion with the Christian heaven, and, though ignorant of the influence of the New Jerusalem, were, no doubt, in some degree, its happy subjects, and viewed by the Lord as members of his New Church. Let us rejoice, that we in England have the happy privilege to be indeed, and in the externals of worship, members of the Lord's New Church ; but let us not, on this account, be, in any shape, bigots, exclusives, or sectarians.
I am, gentlemen, yours, truly, June 11, 1842.
AN OLD MEMBER.
THE REMNANT FOUND, &c. SHEWING THAT THE JEWS OF DAGISTAN, ON THE CASPIAN SEA, ARE THE REMNANT OF THE TEN TRIBES. BY THE REV. JACOB SAMUEL.
To the Editors of the Intellectual Repository. GENTLEMEN, As every statement of the enlightened Swedenborg is true, we must believe that there is still preserved in Tartary the more ancient Word of God, and that, in all probability, it will some day be discovered. In relation to this more ancient Word, I considered some of the following extracts from Mr. Samuel's work might prove generally interesting to the New Church. The remnant found is certainly a most interesting and ancient people; and their freedom from hatred to Christians and the New Testament, is a very pleasing feature in their character. They inhabit the country west of the Caspian, while Tartary is on the opposite shore. What the "Poems and Allegories " they possess may be, time perhaps will unfold. I have also extracted Mr. Samuel's ideas on the Millenium, as interesting to the New Church, as from his national partiality he might naturally be supposed to be inclined to lean to the literal fulfilment of the prophecies.
I am, &c.,
“Of the nature of the Millenium, I shall simply state my opinion that it is mystical; yet it is assured by Scripture. Undoubtedly it will be a golden age, when justice, charity, and faith shall hold undivided sway, and when the governor shall be Christ Jesus the Messiah." (P. 19.)
“But now a clearer dawn breaks upon the religious horizon; there are prognostications that the ruling power of the Almighty is in more immediate action, the kingdom of heaven is more sensibly at hand, that the Millenium may be expected with more proximate certainty than in the long centuries that have elapsed since John and the Great Saviour, of whom he was the harbinger, proclaimed the kingdom.'” (P. 20.)
“ If the remnant of the ten tribes (see 2 Kings chap. 18, ver. 11) is to be found any where, the Jews of Dagistan, Kakhete, Imiriti, Gooriel, and Mingrelia, including the whole of ancient Cotchei, are these.” (P. 40.)
“At the feast of weeks, the elders begin with a loud voice to sing, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord;' when all the people
respond ‘One! One! One!”” an emphatic affirmation of the unity of Jehovah. (P. 55.)
“They are in possession of several literary compositions, such as poems, allegories, &c., but none that are common to their brethren elsewhere. (P. 93.)
“ Their alphabetical characters bear the impression of great antiquity, and these are certainly the old or ancient Hebraic character.” (P. 93.)
They are in the possession of a few manuscript copies of the law of Moses, which are divided into five books like ours, which they call the book of the Covenant, Exod. 24, ver. 7. They are written in the original Hebrew character, without any division or points; which manuscripts they hold to be very ancient, and would not part with them on any account.” “ Their copies do not differ from the Hebrew copies in our possession, except in two places; first, in the book of Deut. chap. 23, where the last blessing of Moses places Judah after Rheuben, in our copies, and Simeon is omitted altogether, whilst in their copies Simeon and Levi are placed together as in the blessing of Jacob, Gen. chap. 49. Second, The last chap. of Deuteronomy is omitted altogether, and the book concludes with the prophetic blessing, 'Happy art thou,
Israel; who is like unto thee, O people : saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency; and thy enemies shall be found liars unto thee: and thou shalt tread
their high places.' From this it appears that they are in possession of the original text of the book of the law of Moses; for it is certain that the last chapter of Deuteronomy was added after the death of Moses. (P. 95.)
“ They are in possession of a part of the book of Esther." “ They are very anxious to get the Psalms of David; and so ignorant are they of the New Testament, that in the year 1837-8, when two of the Jews from Andrewa visited me, and saw the volume, they put it three times to their forehead and three times to their mouth, and kissed it. They are free from the hatred and superstition of their brethren towards Christianity." (P. 97.)
“Until the Russians took possession of Georgia, they had no knowledge whatever of any printed or pointed book.” (P. 97.)
N. S. NO. 31.-VOL. 3.
A NOTE FROM A CORRESPONDENT.
VIATOR begs to thank the Editors for their note in the last number of the Repository (page 223), as it gives him an opportunity of assuring them and their readers, that it was the farthest from his intention to intimate, that natural objects and spaces are “only appearances” of objects and spaces; since it is the plain testimony of Swedenborg that they are fixed and real to man in the world, because they represent or correspond to spiritual things within him. What he learns, however, from the same source, and what he meant to convey, was, that all things in nature are“ but appearances” of truth, and“ are not real, unless so far as they are joined with those things which are of the light of heaven," A. C. n. 3485; for “ internal things are the objects represented, and external things the objects representing." A. C. n. 4292.
The writer is much gratified, also, to see that his observations have called forth the valuable remarks of W. M., and trusts that they may be the means, as is his sole object, of inducing a full and impartial investigation of what Swedenborg has taught us on this subject.
Reigate, June 10, 1842.
THE NAME “LUNACY” A POPULAR ILLUSION.
To the Editors of the Intellectual Repository. GENTLEMEN, In page 185, I find these words :-“ The melancholy condition of lunacy must ever be an inexplicable riddle to the unassisted rational powers; for we can in no way conceive what effect the distant moon in its changes can have on the reasoning faculties of an inhabitant of this earth. Yet we have only to look to the spiritual correspondence of this phenomenon, and we may read at once the cause of this startling fact."
But, gentlemen, this “ startling fact” is no fact at all! as I believe all medical men are of opinion. Some little time back, I inquired of a friend of mine, who has been the resident surgeon and superintendent of the County Lunatic Asylum at Stafford, for the last twentyfive years, with an average of 200 patients under his care, whether he could account for the popular illusion implied in the word lunatic; and whether he had ever observed any access or recess of disease according to the changes of the moon; when he positively assured me, that the notion of any connexion between cerebral disease and the moon, is perfectly illusory; and that the word lunacy, as signifying disease of the brain, or what is popularly called mental disease, appears to be the creation of popular superstition in the earlier periods of medical science, when, certainly, as in all rude periods, much of superstition was mingled with the science and practice of medicine.
I do not suppose that VIATOR could mean to say, although his language is liable to be so construed, that individual cases of insanity, that is, of cerebral disease, originate in individual spiritual insanity; because such a conclusion would be equally cruel and absurd; and therefore, it ought to have been guarded against by greater detiniteness of expression.
Granting even that the moon's changes had the influence supposed on lunatics, I can see no particular connexion between that circumstance and the great general principle of E. S., that all bodily diseases originated with the moral diseases created in the mind by sin ; nor do I see any closer connexion between the spiritual insanity of a perverted judgment, attendant on the dominion of evil, and cerebral disease, than between it and other bodily diseases.
I would not wish to speak of any writer's efforts to amuse, amend, or enlighten us, with unnecessary harshness; but really it does appear to me, that to deal with the sacred science of correspondences as it pleases VIATOR to do, is nothing less than trifling with things divine; it tends to render that science ridiculous, to the exultation of its enemies, and to the deep grief of its pious and intelligent friends.
If I were at all singular in this conviction, I should forbear the expression of it; but, unhappily, that is by no means the case. I have been deeply pained by this (to me unknown) writer's speculations; for although he has invested them with a pious exterior, I have felt them to be, in themselves, highly irreverent.
I am, &c.,
ON THE PROSPECT OF ECCLESIASTICAL CHANGES. Being the ADDRESS delivered on the 33rd Anniversary of the Society for Printing and Publishing the Writings of the Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg, Instituted in London in the year 1810, held at the Freemasons' Tavern, June 21, 1842.
BY THE PRESIDENT, JOHN SPURGIN, Esq., M. D. WERE number the test of the importance or the success of the Society for Printing and Publishing the Writings of the New Church,