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"Your Literary Committee have endeavoured to perform their labours, in connection with this society, with unabated energy and skill. They have printed as tracts (Nos. 77 and 78) two pamphlets, written by the late Rev. J. Clowes, the first entitled 'A Few Plain Answers to the Question, Why do you receive the Testimony of Swedenborg?' and the second being 'Prayers, Thanksgivings, and Meditations, to assist the devout Christian in his Preparation for, and Attendance on, the Lord's Supper.' Both these tracts have been called for; the latter especially having been considered by some receivers to be of very great use. The price of the former is Is 4d., and of the latter 0d., per dozen. They have also reprinted Tract No. 54, written by the Rev. E. D. Rendell, who has thoroughly revised the same, which is entitled 'The Opening of the Book of Life'; and also Tract No. 51—'On the Divine Providence.' Besides which there are in the press a new tract, No. 79, consisting of those sections of the 'Heaven and Hell' which treat upon man's resuscitation from the dead and his entrance into eternal life, the origin of heaven and hell, and on the life which leads to heaven, which is shewn not to be so difficult as some suppose; and likewise a reprint of No. 42—' The Golden Wedding Ring." These state ments shew that 10,400 tracts have been added to the Society's stock during the past year.''
"The successors of your Committee will have to reprint, as early as can be accomplished, the following tracts:— Nos. 1, 4, 12, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 32, 33, 40, 49, 62, 65, 66, and 67; which, with the reprint of the continuation of the Last Judgment, will require an outlay of £240. to meet their cost and to discharge the expense of printing those which are already in the press. By every member of our societies who is not yet a contributor to the funds of this Institution, favouring us with a subscription during the next year, much if not all of the needful means would be available. And here your Committee would remind their brethren, that for the amount given to the Society they will receive tracts in return, which tracts will enable them to store their minds, or to refresh their memories, with as complete a system of spiritual and rational theology, based upon and
confirmed by the letter of the Divine Word, as is to be found in the world."
"Hitherto the blessing of the Lord has prospered the labour of our hands; let us, then, not weary in well-doing, for if we faint not we shall reap, in due season, the golden harvest of heavenly goodness in our own regenerating souls, and be enabled, by the Holy Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, to let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father who is in heaven. (Matt. v. 16.)
"Signed on behalf of the Committee, "Jno. B. Kennerley, "Manchester, Hon. Sec.
"May 11th, 1863."
From the Treasurer's Account we learn that the income of the Society during the past year has been £'164., all which has been expended. The Permanent Fund is £540., and the stock on hand £027.
The following resolutions, adopted at the annual meeting, deserve general attention:—
"That this meeting most cordially invites the sympathies of their brethren in the Lord's New Church with the useful work of Tract distribution; and earnestly hopes to secure the aid of those friends, during the ensuing year, who have not as yet contributed to the funds of this Institution."
"That the societies of the church are desired to form Branch Tract Societies, to cooperate in their several circles with the parent Institution, for the purpose of securing a wider circulation of tracts."
On the 18th of May was completed the tenth year of the existence of this society, and on the 26th the anniversary was celebrated, as usual, by a tea meeting and gathering of friends. About sixty sat down to tea in the school-room, which was decorated by Mr. Heath with his usual taste.
The friends afterwards went up into the church, where the chair was taken by our respected leader Mr. Bateman, who announced that the subject for the evening would be "The Progress of the Church." The Secretary made some brief remarks as to the progress of the Islington Society, adverting chiefly to the fact of ten new members having been added during the past year.
The Chairman then called on the Eev. O. P. Hiller, who spoke very earnestly and emphatically on the necessity of preaching the doctrines of the New Church clearly and decidedly, as a means of real progress.
Mr. Austin, who has frequently preached for us during the past year, then gave some very interesting particulars with respect to the effort which has lately been made at Kennington. He stated that as many as 150 or ltiO attentive hearers had been sometimes present, and that it was intended to commence a fresh series of services after the summer. Mr. Austin expressed his conviction that if the friends on the south side of the Thames would support this movement actively and steadily, a useful and extending society might soon be formed there.
Dr. Goyder addressed the meeting briefly and affectionately on the general progress of the church.
Mr. Bateman then mentioned an interesting circumstance in connection with New Orleans. Gen. Butler having closed some of the Episcopal churches in that city, many respectable persons were led to visit the New Church place of worship there. Some of these had become much interested, and there seemed a good prospect of their small society receiving a large increase of members.
The Chairman then called on Mr. Goldsack, who, in a short but effective speech, said that the spirit of inquiry was extending rapidly at Adelaide, with very pleasing results. He referred to some infidel placards, as proofs of the great need at present existing for the light which the New Church alone can give, especially as to the inspiration of the Scriptures.
During the evening three anthems were very kindly sung by the choir, which has only lately been organised.
Mr. Hiller closed the meeting with prayer; and the friends separated, after an evening of more than usual interest.
Newchubch. To the Editor.
Dear Sir,—It may be interesting to some of the readers of the Repository to hear something about our society at Newchurch.
On the 26th of February last, Mr. Woodman delivered a leoture on the
work of Bishop Colenso, which was very attentively listened to; but during his remarks he alluded to the first chapter of Genesis, and said that the "earth" there spoken of signified man in his carnal state. This caused a little excitement to those who had always been taught that it meant the earth we tread upon, so that at the close of the lecture a few questions were asked, and, to my mind, satisfactorily answered. There were a few present who thought the doctrines were false, and accordingly they exerted all their influence to stop their progress, but in vain.
Mr. Woodman again, the week following, lectured on "The Last Judgment;" and then, shortly after, Mr. Storry delivered two lectures on "The Divinity and Atonement of Jesus Christ." At this time their indignation appeared to be at its height; and one person was determined to stop this new and false system, as they call it. He procured one of Dr. Brindley's pamphlets, and posted bills, stating that he would expose the fallacies of the doctrines of the New Church. When the time came a large number went to hear him; but all that he did was to read from the above pamphlet and ridicule all that was in it, and then he ascribed it to the New Church people.
A short time after this, Mr. Storry delivered to us his beautiful lecture on "Marriage," and that appears to have induced many to think for themselves; and now we seem to be getting on very nicely. I should like the time to arrive when we shall have a church and minister of our own.—I beg to remain yours, <fec, G. H.
June 13th, 1863.
Twerton. To the Editor.
Dear Sir,—It may be interesting to some of our New Church friends, should they not already be cognisant of the fact, that the little edifice at Twerton, near Bath, which has been in existence, I believe, over sixteen years, is in imminent danger of being closed. The building has lately passed into other hands, and I have it from an authentic source that after September next the continuance of a New Church at Twerton will be impracticable. This, I consider, is a great misfortune, and more particularly as the walk to Bathr
two miles distant, is not throughout the year always comfortable.
Now there is land obtainable in the village at reasonable rental, and I am sore a simple and unpretending structure might be erected at a less cost than £21)0., sufficiently large to accommodate the present (and, for some time to come, the future) members and visitors of the church.
I should much like to know whether BDy provision is made by Conference for assisting local subscriptions for the erection of churches; and I have no doubt that, if the matter were well considered, the people of Twerton would Dot be long without a new church. If the circumstance became widely known, correspondence thereon might lead to a good result.—Yours faithfully,
Archibald Dawney. New Passage Hotel, near Bristol, June 2nd, 1863.
The following advertisement appears daily in the Mercury, and its continuous insertion for six months has been finally arranged for:—
"The Future Life. By Swedenborg. The only work giving an authentic description of the other world from things heard and seen.
"Sold by E. Howell, 6, Church-street, and W. Smith, 43, Lord-street. Price Ninepence."
Some of the Bedford-street friends have also determined to forward a copy of the above work, gratis, to every minister of every denomination in Liverpool, with the exception of the Roman Catholic priests.
Australia Asd America. To the Editor.
Sir,—If yon think the annexed items of sufficient importance, they are at your service.
First, from Adelaide, South Australia, my father writes—"Mr. Day baptised three children the other Sabbath. . . I may mention that Mr. W. and myself attended two of a series of lectures by the Rev. Mr. Bussell (one of the leading clergymen of the Church of England), at St. Paul's church, and the reverend
fentleman lent us his manuscript. We ave lent him the first volume of the 'Arcana Coalestia,' and the 'Plenary Inspiration.> He seemed pleased with
them. I sent him one of the'syllabus' you sent me of Dr. Bayley's and Mr. Hyde's lectures. He called on me, and thanked me very heartily for it, inquiring whether 1 had yet received any of the lectures; he said he should feel grateful for a perusal. Mr. Day has given us the first of two lectures on Dr. Colenso's difficulties. We had 500 copies printed, and the booksellers of Adelaide are selling some of them. In about a week Byng has sold ten out of his dozen, and the other five have sold about half of theirs."
I send you a copy of this lecture, and may mention that the Adelaide paper reviewing it says—"It contains many new and striking truths."
My next extract is from a friend recently departed hence to America. Writing of a course of lectures on the "Symbolic character of the Sacred Scriptures," by the Rev. A. Silver, of New York, he says—" They will be published by D. Appleton and Co., the largest publishing house In New York, so that they will be circulated throughout the United States, and will do much to counteract the effect which Bishop Colenso's works are likely to produce in America. The same author has also written a book of about 300 pages, entitled—' The Holy Word in its own Defence: the True Light for Bishop Colenso, and all other earnest seekers after Truth.' It has not yet been decided to publish it; but if it is, it will create a sensation, as it will be published by D. Appleton and Co., and go all through North America. The New Church in this country is somewhat extensive. There are seven Associations in connection with the Convention. One of these (Massachussets) has fourteen ministers and sixteen societies; another (Ohio) has about eleven societies; the others are smaller. We are trying to get up an Association for New York and New Jersey."—I am, Sir, yours respectfully,
London, June, 1863. R. G.
Proposed Supplementary Prayers To The Liturgy. We have received a communication from the Bath society, calling our attention to an error in the letter signed "A Minister," inserted under this head in our last number. It should have been Bristol, not Bath. The Bath society, our correspondent states, do not approve
of any change being made in the Liturgy, unless very evident improvements; and do not consider the changes that have been made to be such improvements.
"The Future Life."
The new issue of " The Future Life"
is now ready, and may be obtained of
Mr. C. Alvey, or Mr. Pitman, at 9d. a
copy, or Gd. in lots of ten and upwards.
Letter From Dr. Tafel. Tubingen, June 4th, 1863. To the Editor.
My dear Sir,— Since I wrote you, I have again had occasion to experience that the Lord, who is Himself his doctrine, continues constantly to work miracles, and especially to resuscitate from the dead. For instance, some weeks ago I received an interesting letter from a noble and distinguished lady, the head of an institution lor young ladies, by which this truth is confirmed. In answer to a request that she would communicate to me some account of her life and experiences, she says—
"Earnest by nature,—inclined to the sciences,^—devoted in spirit and heart to mental (moral) philosophy and poesy,—adoring God as Spirit, as first Being, as Providence, and as Father, confiding in Him and loving Him, I nevertheless could not arrive at any knowledge of Him, as the question— 'Who is Christ, and for what end did He come into the world?' remained to me an unsolved enigma. I felt that neither in rationalism nor in Schleiermacher's Essays on Mediation, nor in the doctrines of the Friends of Light, —although gleams of light may be seen in them,—nor amongst the new Protestants [new Lutherans], is the truth to be found. Hegel satisfied me more, but neither did his views produce any life in me. On the other hand, the doctrine of the Pietists on the Atonement raised in me an invincible aversion. During this internal discordance, I founded, four years ago, an institution for young ladies, and abstained, indeed, from all religious instruction, but felt, nevertheless, on many occasions, the necessity of touching the young soul by religion, whilst, however, I had no firm views of iti no peace of mind in God.
"At this time, a year and a half ago, came accidentally, as we say, into my hand, a little book—' Swedenborg, the Good Seer.' This excited in me a wish to be acquainted with Swedenborg's writings. I purchased the' Arcana Coelestia,' 'The True Christian Religion,' the 'Angelic Wisdom,' and some other books. With a strong desire I imbibed light, charity, peace, and joy. The strength so gained soon found an occasion in which to ascertain and glorify itself in heavy internal struggles- It did so, for which I thank God, and am quiet. Since I know what is happiness, earthly fortune seems to me of little concern, earthly success not wanted; and on the other hand, every trifle, every moment in the earthly life, acquires the highest value, because in everyone we can improve in the way of salvation, whilst every false step removes us from the Lord and from His glorious designs in regard to us. I had never believed that such happiness could exist for me; for that everyone can only be saved according to his quality, this I had ever understood. Now I know also that I shall find happiness; and for this knowledge, for this unspeakable consolation, I am indebted to Swedenborg. With Dr. K., the only adherent of Swedenborg known to me in the neighbourhood, I had, at the beginning of my conversion, a conversation on the situation of Swedenborg's adherents vis-avis to the dominant church, and have seen therefrom, as well as from my own experience, that unfortunately we must be very circumspect in every expression, and that many otherwise pious and sincere Christians consider Swedenborg as a fanatic, and reject him without knowing him. This is painful respecting my pupils, but nevertheless I will request the writings for children of the New Church," &c.
At about the same time a student of theology brought me a very kind and tender letter from a young scholar, who some years ago came often to my house, and resided afterwards for some time in London, where, as he tells me, he was often much edified in one of your churches, and highly delighted with the beautiful hymns. He is now a teacher of theology in one of our first universities, where, as the student told me, he shews very clearly in his lectures that the Jewish law, as contained in the
Bible, has everywhere a deeper sense of religious and eternal value. The student, too, received favourably what I said to him on the essential truths and their connection with philosophy and science, except, as I found afterwards, the doctrine on the Atonement, <fec.
I had also a visit from a Russian Counsellor of College (FelicianusTustanowski, from Archangel, but a Pole by birth), who is a receiver, and intends to stay some time in London. He wished me to take notice of the facts of spiritualism, because only New Churchmen have the true criteria to judge of it. During a residence of eight days at Baden-Baden, he was desirous of seeing Dr. Dj., the Catholic prelate, but in vain, as he was thought to be dying; afterwards he could converse but a little with him, because he was still very weak. Before this the prelate himself had written me that a rich Russian reader of Swedenborg's works had published, at his own expense, the treatise on "Heaven and Hell," and censured in his preface my views on spiritism, as well as those of M. Le Boys des Guays and of the New Church Societies. We have, however, never denied that there is something providential in this phenomenon, as its facts have value for science, and because they contain instances against materialism and atheism, and can bring millions of men, who, perhaps, otherwise would have remained unbelievers, to a conviction of the immortality of the soul, and of our connection with the other world. But on the other side, I found it very dangerous, in more than one respect, and especially in those effects which already were proved as pernicious by Swedenborg, who shewed that, in general, intercourse with spirits is the direct way to the madhouse (remember what he said to Mr. Robsam, when departing for London). Accordingly we have seen that, by a kind of psychography, mediums lost their independence, became more and more possessed by bad spirits, and lastly went into bedlam. He shewed, too, that the spirits are too often fanatics, who believe themselves to be God, come into their natural state, and confirm those men with whom they have intercourse in their perversities and false views. Accordingly many facts prove this. False doctrines were taught by deceased persons of great authority and supposed piety and illu
mination; for instance, an absolute dualism of the good and the evil principle, scandalous doctrines concerning the Lord's nativity, erroneous views concerning the origin of the angels, whilst other spirits ascertained repeatedly that all angels and devils were at first men; whereby, however, they shewed that pretended revelation is in contradiction with true revelation, makes all revelation doubtful, and tends directly to unbelief.
Copies of the Biblical Concordance of the Spiritual Sense (Index Biblicus), vol. iii., mu3t already have reached the Swedenborg Society's House, and the copies of the Latin reprint of the work De Ccelo et Inferno, ordered by letter of May 19th, will also soon reach it, if not yet arrived. The third volume of the Apocalypsig Explicate is now much desired, and I have the confidence that, notwithstanding the war in America, which has a very unfavourable influence on my undertakings, the Lord will enable me to complete this work, as well as the others, without interruption. The present crisis in theology, in which the divinity and inspiration of the Word are denied and refuted by so specious reasonings, wherefore even candid minds are more and more exposed to unbelief, requires imperiously such means given by the Lord just for that purpose, to make diaphanous the whole Scripture, and to bear testimony to the divinity and practical tendency of every passage and word in it.
With kindest regards to all brethren and friends, most affectionately yours, Emanuel Tafel.
Hoiigsiind per Drammen, Norway, April 23rd, 1863. Dear Sir,—Regarding the affairs of the church, we have this year suffered a disappointment. To this session of our House of Representatives the Government had sent a project of law, by which the Government officers (the theologians, of course, excepted) should have the right to belong to whatever Christian denomination they pleased. Among the advocates of the measure were almost all the members of the intelligent classes, and amongst the most earnest, the representatives of the clergy, except one or two. Had the project