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himself, but rather includes it; for the angels are angels not from themselves, but from their reception of the love and wisdom of the Lord. Hence, these principles as embodied in the angels, and the angels as receptive of these principles, may be regarded as ministering under the Lord, and from Him in the regeneration of the men of the Most Ancient Church, and as thus exhibited to us in the Divine words—" Let os make man."
The Incarnation In Reiation To This
And Other Worlds. To the Editor.
Sir,—Can you inform me what is the doctrine of Swedenborg with respect to the Incarnation, as affecting the inhabitants of the other worlds which we are led to believe are scattered throughout the universe? Is it the doctrine of the Swedish theologian that the Incarnation was effected on this globe only, and for the benefit of its inhabitants exclusively? or was it intended (having been comple'ed on our earth) to affect, in its consequences, the people dwelling on every orb in the universe? Was this planet the scene selected for the assumption of humanity by the great Creator? and was it effected, once for all, or was it not so ?—I am no controversialist, but simply An Inquirer.
An answer to these questions, and one which, we think, is grand in its simplicity, the writer will find in the small work entitled " The Earths in the Universe," nn. 113—122. We give the last paragraph. After stating that there are several reasons why the Lord was pleased to be born on this earth, and not on another, the principal of which was for the sake of the Word, he concludes thus:—
"To the reasons already given this may be added, that the inhabitants and Bpirits of our earth, in the Grand Man, have relation to natural and external sense, which sense is the ultimate in which the interiors of life close, and on which they rest as on their common basis. It is similar with Divine Truth in the letter, which is called the Word, and which for this reason was given on this earth, and not on another. And as the Lord is the Word, and its First and Last, therefore, that all things might exist according to order, He was pleased
to be born on this earth, and he made the Word, according to what is written in John—' In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begottenof the Father. No one hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath brought Him forth to view.' (i. 1—4, 14, 18.) The Word is the Lord as to Divine Truth, consequently Divine Truth from the Lord. But this is an arcanum which will be intelligible to few."
Thus, considering the earths in the universe as one perfect whole, formed, as every divine work must be, of an indefinite number of corresponding and harmonious parts, forming, in fact, one Grand Man, of which the inhabitants of the different earths constitute the various organs and members; and considering, further, that in this Grand Man the inhabitants of our earth form the ultimate in which the interiors close, the basis on which the higher rest, it will be seen that the human nature which the Lord assumed on this earth, included human nature as it exists on every other earth; so that the Incarnation secured to the inhabitants of all the earths in the universe the benefits of the Lord's advent, without the necessity of His being bom in any earth but one.
GENERAL CHURCH INTELLIGENCE.
Forty-second Anniversary Of The Missionaey And Tract Society Of The New Chuech.
This anniversary was celebrated on the 6th May, in the Church, Argylesquare, London.
After the friends had taken tea in the School-room, they adjourned to the Church, where, in the unavoidable absence of Mr. Warren, who had been announced as chairman, the Rev. Dr. Bayley was called upon to preside.
The 509th Hymn was sung, and prayer offered by the Chairman, who then briefly addressed the meeting.
The audience, numbering about 150, listened very patiently to what is often, on such occasions, regarded as the least
interesting portion of the business, namely, the reading of the Committee's report and of the Treasurer's cash account; and, after the first resolution, for the adoption of the report and accounts, and the second resolution, by which Mr. Sandy was re-elected Treasurer, had been passed, the third resolution was proposed by— The Rev. E. D. Rendell:—
"That, being strongly impressed with the importance of Spiritual Truth, and with the fact that mankind are being prepared for its increased reception;—and, believing that the Lord has, in these days, granted a knowledge of Spiritual Truth by a revelation of the interior sense of the Sacred Scriptures.—this meeting commends the Missionary and Tract Society of the New Church as a most efficient instrument for the dissemination of those truths; and trusts that the society may hereafter be far more liberally supported, and thus be enabled to enter upon an enlarged sphere of usefulness."
Mr. Rendell spoke of the great importance of those spiritual truths for which a special revelation has been vouchsafed; human ratiocination being utterly incapable of reaching such truth. Natural truth is simply the finger-post pointing to something higher and better than itself. Itself a light, it is designed to lead us to what is truly good, to those matters which are capable of exciting and exercising our highest affections. Every truth, therefore, with which the Lord has blessed us should be employed for the acquisition of good, and that of a more and more interior kind. He believed that mankind are now, to a large extent, in a state favourable for the reception of those truths which the New Church possesses in such abundance. He knew that, in the minds of many, a strong impression exists that there is in the Word of God something more than has yet been acknowledged. And in the view of the importance of the spiritual truths which this Society has to offer, and which are revealed in the internal sense of the 'Word, and of the state of mental preparation existing for the reception of those truths, he trusted there would be no backwardness in providing the means by which those truths may be disseminated.
The resolution was seconded by Mr. Isaac Gunton, who likewise expressed a hope that the friends will contribute more liberally and more generally than they have yet done to the support of this valuable Society. He found, on consulting the Minutes of Conference, that the
number of registered members of the several societies of the New Church in London was about 500, in addition to some 140 junior members. On looking at the balloting list, it appeared that the number of persons qualified to serve upon the committee was only thirty; and making every allowance for the fact that ladies were not eligible, and for the inability to give the necessary time to the duties of the office on the part of some gentlemen who were qualified, there was certainly a very large margin for improvement. The total number of subscribers to the Society is under 150, the number in London under 100; and he conceived it spoke but little for the liberality of the London friends that so small a proportion of the registered members are subscribers to this Society. It was well to attend these meetings, and to applaud the truth, but there was a need for something more, and he would warmly commend the matter to the attention of all the members and junior members of the church in London.
The Rev. O. P. Hiller supported the motion, and gratified his auditory by a lively and humorous address. He was sure that it only needed to be realised that a subscription of four shillings or upwards, annually, constituted membership, and there would speedily be a decided increase in the members of the Missionary and Tract Society.
Dr. Goyder having followed in support of the motion, the same was put, and passed unanimously.
The fourth resolution, moved by Mr. Batema.n, was as follows:—
"That, in the opinion of this meeting, the discussions with respect to the 'Inspiration of the Scriptures' and the 'Antiquity of Man,' which are now occupying the attention of the thinking public, furnish evidence of the peculiar need which at present exists for the labours of this society; and afford a strong inducement to all friends to exert themselves liberally for the spread of those interior truths which form the rich inheritance of the New Jerusalem."
The speaker remarked that, with respect to the inspiration of the Scriptures, one of the topics of the resolution,—a subject Upon Which the opinions both of the learned and the pious are so milch divided,—Swedenborg had declared, in the Arcana Galestia, more than a hundred years ago, that the Word of God is Divine as to every syllable and every letter, that it is fully inspired or God-breathed, that it contains withia
Itself interior senses beyond the letter; and hence is raised above the level of common writings, and placed by itself as a treasure-house of wisdom calculated to elevate man to heaven. Thus, this old and oftentimes despised writer was seen to be the promulgator of truths precisely adapted to meet the wants of the present age. Swedenborg, it was to be observed, did not give a new word, but he furnished the means of understanding and interpreting the Word: without ignoring or undervaluing the letter, he unfolded the "Spirit which giveth life." Turning attention to the second subject referred to in the resolution—the antiquity of man—it was not now a point upon which philosophers were much divided. The belief in the antiquity of the human race was now no longer confined to men of great research, but was being discussed in large volumes such as Lyell's "Geological Evidence of the Antiquity of Man," and was being adopted by every thoughtful mind. And yet this belief was utterly discordant with the common creeds of Christendom, though perfectly accordant with the doctrines and teachings of the New Church. The New Church is an advancing church, suitable for an advancing age; and he hoped that as intelligent men find the views of the church to be so superior to what is called "orthodoxy," they will accept those views; and, notwithstanding any prejudices they may previously have entertained against the name of Swedenborg, may adopt a religious creed which will relieve them of all their difficulties, their perplexities, their doubts, and embrace a religion calculated to raise men to heaven by bringing down the principles of heaven to man.
The resolution having been ably seconded by the Rev.WoodVille Woodman, was put and carried unanimously.
The auditors were then elected, tbe names of the new committee read, and the fifth resolution passed:—
"That the revised rales, as prepared by a Subcommittee, and approved and recommended by the Committee, be adopted, and added to the report nnder the direction, and subject to the revision of the new Committee."
The report will soon be issued, and may then be obtained on application to the officers.
We take this opportunity of earnestly pressing upon tbe attention of our
readers the claims of this eminently useful Society. Subscriptions and donations may be forwarded to the Treasurer, Mr. E. C. Sandy, 1, Shaftesbury Villas, Hornsey Rise, London, N.; or to the Secretary, Mr. P. Pitman, 20, Paternoster-row, London, E.C.
Jersey. The Rev. E. D. Rendell paid a missionary visit to this place, under the joint auspices of the National Missionary Institution and the Jersey New Church Missionary Association, on Thursday, April 23rd, 1803. The rev. gentleman delivered the first of a course of intellectual lectures, of no common order, in the Temperance Hall, on Friday evening, the 24th, to a numerous, respectable, and attentive audience. The subject chosen—"What is Man?" was handled in a masterly style. He strongly urged upon his hearers the necessity of " Man, know thyself," and shewed plainly that "the proper study of mankind is man;" for if man were to consider that he "was fearfully and wonderfully made," he would soon be led from the consideration of the creature, to a right and proper knowledge of the Creator, of whom he is a reflex or image. This lecture, which was delivered on behalf of the Temperance society, has given general satisfaction, and Mr. Rendell's talents were highly appreciated.
The second lecture was delivered in the New Jerusalem Temple, on Sunday morning, the 26th; the subject being— "Man as the subject of Influence from the Spiritual World." The lecturer went on to shew that, however unconscious we were of the fact, all our thoughts and ideas were brought to us by an invisible agency from the spiritual world, either good or bad,—the intercourse of which depended on our choice and course of life.
Sunday evening—"The one God of Revelation,"—deducing from the Word the trinity of principles of which the whole of the Scripture speaks, and not of persons.
Monday evening—" How does the circumstance of Jesus as the Just suffering for the Unjust, comport with rational ideas of Justice? It was clearly demonstrated that the vicarious sacrifice Was as unsCriptural as it was unreasonable.
Tuesday evening—" God's love to the world, as manifested in the gift of his
only-begotten Son." This being a continuation of the previous lecture, it went to demonstrate how and what was the gift of God in this respect.
Friday evening, May 1st —" The Divine Fidelity, as illustrated by the Retrogression of the Shadow on the Sun-dial of Ahaz," shewing that the providence of God was ever with man, even to the evil, notwithstanding appearances to the contrary.
Sunday morning — " Saving Christianity; the Practice of a Virtuous life rather than a Mysterious Creed." The argument was that the commandments of God could he kept because they were to be understood, and formed the rule of life for the Christian; while mysterious creeds, which had no place in the Scripture, but were the productions of men, could not save, nor even form a rule of faith, because they could not be understood.
Sunday afternoon—" The Opening of the Book that was written within, and on the back side, and sealed with Seven Seals." This lecture excited much interest, and was a masterpiece. It was shewn that the trouble existing in the so-called Christian church, was in consequence of her ministers and teachers not being able to loose the " seals," and therefore they had only been able to read the writing which was on the " back side"— the natural or literal sense; th at the Essays and Reviews, and also the works of Dr. Colenso, bore out this to be the true state of things; and that the Old Church was coming to its end, or last judgment.
Sunday evening, the concluding lecture—"What is sin? The forgiveness of sin, and the sin against the Holy Ghost, which is not to be forgiven." The lecturer very powerfully impressed upon his hearers that the sin that is not unto death, although it may harden the sinner, may be repented of and be forgiven, and is the sin which belongs more particularly to the natural man; but the sin which is unto death, is the sin against the Holy Ghost, which is committed by the spiritual man—those who have tasted and enjoyed communion with God, and have known the blessings consequent thereon, and who ultimately crucify to themelves the Word and all it contains spiritual afresh.
Mr. Rendell left Jersey with the good wishes of many. His visit has caused
some to inquire for more information concerning the doctrines of the New Church, Mr. Rendell is a fluent, pleasing, as well as an impressive preacher, and is able to retain the attention of his audience without tiring. There is no doubt that the good seed sown will some day spring up, and bring forth an hundred-fold, and, like " the bread cast upon the waters, be found after many days."
Thos. Baxter, Sec.
St. Ives, Hants. . To the Editor.
Dear Sir,—I have great pleasure in reporting the Rev. J. B. Kennerley's visit to this place, in March, on which occasion we were favoured with a very able lecture. The subject was—" If God is Love, how came Hell?" As soon as our worthy leader, Mr. W. Tall, became aware of Mr. Kennerley's kind intentions, no time was lost in distributing handbills throughout the town. The subject created considerable interest amongst the people. On the evening of the lecture, our church was crowded with an intelligent and attentive audience. The clear and forcible manner in which the lecturer set forth some of the most important truths of the New Church appeared to make a favourable impression upon all present. Your readers will doubtless be glad to hear that our prospects at this place are somewhat cheering, and that we have reason to hope the Lord is blessing our humble endeavours to spread the glorious truths of His New Church in this neighbourhood. We hereby tender our warmest thanks to the lecturer, and hope soon to have the pleasure of seeing him again.—Yours truly,
RlCHABD CULTIN, Sec.
The eighth anniversary of the society in St. Ives has been celebrated. On Sunday, April 19th, a lecture was delivered by the leader, Mr. Tall; the subject—" The Deluge; was it a Flood of MaterialWaters,orof Evils and Falses?" A tea-meeting was held on the following Thursday, when about sixty persons sat down to the sooial repast, which was followed by an impressive lecture, by our leader, on—" Noah's Ark; was it a Natural Vessel, or a system of Religious Teaching, provided by the Lord to save Mankind?" The lectures caused more than ordinary excitement in the town
and neighbourhood. On both evenings there was a much larger attendance than we have seen at any former anniversary. A collection was made after each lecture, on behalf of the TrustFund, in which there was also an improvement. The lectures were well received, and some were present who had never before ventured inside a New Church place of worship. Richard Culpin, Sec.
Through the kindness of the Missionary Society, the Rev. J. B. Kennerley has been enabled to pay us a visit, for which our society are very thankful.— The subject of the lecture was—" If God is Love, why is Hell?" Our church was well filled, and during the delivery of the lecture marked attention was paid, and most were highly pleased with the lucid and powerful arguments used to explain the somewhat extraordinary subject.
The Chatteris friends hope that Mr. Kennerley will be able before long to visit them again.
Thos. Langford, Sec.
Society. To the Editor.
Dear Sir,—'It may be interesting to some of your readers to be informed that a Mutual Improvement Society has been established in connection with the Summer Lane Church. It commenced with the opening of the present year, and since that time members and friends have met regularly once a week, on Tuesday evenings. It was inaugurated by the President, Rev. E. Madeley, in a very appropriate and instructive lecture on " Self Culture," and its proceedings up to the present time have been very satisfactory. During the past quarter, essays have been read by different members of the society, on various subjects, among which were "Activity," "Samuel Budgett, the British Merchant," "Cooperative Societies," "American War," to. An elocutionary entertainment has also been given, and the quarter's proceedings were brought to a close by a concert, the proceeds of which were devoted to the benefit of the school library, to which, through the kindness of the School Committee, the members of the society have free access. The first Tuesday in each month is devoted
to the consideration of some theological subject, which is introduced by an essay or lecture, at the close of which the subject is open for remarks. The subject of the February essay was "The Literal Sense of the Word," and March, "The Object and Duties of Life." It would be needless to dwell on the uses of societies of this kind, as they are so well known,—developing the mental faculties, and improving the social feelings. In addition to the Tuesday evening meetings, we have established French, Drawing, and Elocution classes, which are well attended.
The society already numbers nearly seventy members, the majority of whom attend the meetings. It has already been useful, as by its means the younger members of the society and school have become desirous of further improvement, and are striving to use the means which the society places within their reach. Members and friends of the church meeting at Hockley have also joined, and many of them attend regularly. The society has been fortunate in securing the hearty cooperation of the Church Committee, who have very generously given the free use of the school-room and church library. Our prospect of success is a promising one, and we earnestly desire that, by the Divine blessing, we may not only assist each other in improving and making the best use of the talents entrusted to our care, but that the society may become a means of real use to the church and school.—I am, Sir, yours truly, A. Winklet, Sec.
To the Editor.
Sir,—We thought your readers would be pleased to hear of a new field being opened at this place for the dissemination of the heavenly truths of the New Church.
Somersham is a populous village situated about midway between Chatteris and St. Ives. For some time past a few persons have been reading, and have occasionally attended the church at St. Ives. Many foolish and absurd notions were in circulation about our doctrines, so that we felt anxious to have one or two lectures here. Accordingly we applied to Mr. Tall (the respected leader of the St. Ives society) to favour us with a visit, who, on Sunday, April 26th,