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doctrines of annihilation, &c. thereon--but the members or honest readers of the doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church will be preserved from such preposterous doctrines. Indeed the Heavenly Truths falling into such different mediums, the rays are in some cases truly reflected and in others refracted, but the Church is the Lord's, and he will guard the same. Let us all be careful to shun evils as sins against God.
66 As to the state of our society here, in our constitution called • The Turtle Creek Society of the New Jerusalem Church,' none are acknowledged regular members unless they have, at some time or other, been baptized. We are perfectly satisfied that Baptism and the Holy Supper are perpetual ordinances of the Church, and that the Supper is in particular the most holy act of worship, proving to the worthy recipient an introduction into Heaven, as Baptism is an introduction into the Church.
“ We have many in this country, who have a standing in other societies, and who read some of our books, who profess the sole and exclusive Divinity of Christ, but who positively deny the Divinity of the Humanity, which is a fundamental doctrine of the New Church. One of their principal .writers is the Rev. Wm. B. Stone, of the western country. I now experience the principal difficulty is in clearly evincing to the satisfaction of the inquiring, this great truth, they having been accustomed to think of God as Divine and the Person of Christ as merely Human. However, as they become more and more acquainted with regeneration they will become more and more enlightened, for regeneration is an image of the Lord's glorification, and it is a knowledge of the glorification of the Lord's Humanity that seems wanting.
“ Your society has our prayers for your welfare, &c.”
Extract of a letter, dated “ Danby, Tioga county, New York,
March 17th, 1816. 66 DEAR SIR-Your circular came to hand March first: its contents were truly pleasing to the Church of the LORD, in this place, at present it is only “ a handful of Corn in the Tops of the Mountains.'
“ You desire the names of those who have received the Holy Doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church. I will give you the number and will endeavour to send you the names hereafter, by
their own subsctiption. Of happy recipients the number is fourteen. The number who generally attend public worship is from fifty to one hundred, and sometimes ardent desire brings together between two and three hundred, and public attention is much excited here. We have not assumed any outward order, but are waiting the Lord's directions."
Extract of a letter, dated “ Highland County, Ohio, June 1, 1816.
“ I am greatly delighted to learn the members of the New Church in your city have formed a society for promoting those important doctrines. I received one of your circulars, and had it published in a late Chilicothe paper. I sent it to the press, perhaps the next day after I received it, by a person who was then a stranger to me, a preacher, by the name of
- He forgot to leave it, but his curiosity was so much excited that on his return, as soon as he entered the house, almost his first words were, . Have you any of Swedenborg's works? I lent him the Doctrine of the Lord and the Treatise on Influx, and on his way home he called on an acquaintance to whom I had lent the Treatise on Heaven and Hell, and got it also. After perusing the books he sent them home. He told me he liked the Doctrine of the Lord, but could not receive the Memorable Relations. He had an appointment to preach, a few miles from this, last Sabbath, I went to hear him, and liked him extremely well. His text was what our Lord said to the impotent man, . Wilt thou be made whole.' He held forth the Doctrine of the Lord and of the Resurrection in New Jerusalem light, clearly and expressly. He seems still to possess some darkness, and many
Sadducean prejudices, yet I think he has received the most essential, the vital part.
6 There are a good number of readers I have generally more than twenty books out-many are remarkably attentive.”
Extract of a letter, from the Rev. Lewis Beers, dated
« Danby, April 3d, 1817. ** I came to New York Thursday morning, much fatigued ; of course (it being stormy also) did not preach as was contemplated; spent a pleasant evening with our brethren at Mr. C's; left the city next morning for the west and met with no occurrence worth relating through the journey home, which was on the 29th January. The Lord's day following I had a crowded audience.--After service I read to the assembly my certificate of ordination. On the following Lord's day, Feb. 9th, introduced the Liturgy and performed worship according to it; the Brethren and Sisters were much delighted with it, and almost all whom curiosity had brought to Church seemed pleased.
« On Lord's day, Feb. 16th, I proposed that we should form into a Church and enjoy the Holy Ordinances thereof; a committee was appointed to arrange the business. On the 16th of March our little Church was organized with Praise and Thanksgiving to our LORD Jesus Christ. On the 23d, three adults received the solemn ordinance of Baptism into the Faith of the New Jerusalem Church. March 23d, we entered into the most solemn and holy ordinance of worship, it " was a Feast of Love,” the Lord himself was there. The number who received the Bread and Wine from my hands was twelve, (a very significant number.) Thus you see what the Lord has done in a wilderness country—it is really glad for them, and the desert seems to rejoice and blossom as a rose. Our prospects are pleasant, the Lord seems to make bare His Arm before the people. Let us pray, without ceasing, that the work may progress and the Lord will cause it to revive. I need not tell you how much I desire to see you all with Bodily Eyes, but be assured I am with you in Spirit, beholding your order and the stedfastness of your faith and love to our LORD JESUS CHRIST.
“ In Spencer, a town adjoining Danby, there are eleven members of the New Church, with whom I shall attend on Lortl's day, the 27th instant, to form them into a regular Church.”
Extract of a letter, dated 6 --, Ohio, May 21, 1817. “ DEAR SIR-Your much esteemed favour, of December and March, was duly received, as also one by.
with a package of books, for which you have my sincere thanks. I have lent them conformably to your request, and shall continue to do so to all such as appear desirous of obtaining information. I am rejoiced to hear of the prosperity of the Heavenly Doctrines of the Lord's New Church in your city,- I trust it will become, as its name imports, a city of Brotherly Love. I fully agree with you, my dear sir, that it only requires a due degree of patient, persevering, temperate zeal on the part of all true recipients of the Heavenly Doctrines, to cause them to spread and prevail, for they are indeed strong and irresistible. It is but a few years since I became acquainted with them, and it is surprising to see what an increase of attention they now excite. However, in proportion to this increased attention the opposition on the part of the clergy increases-we now frequently hear discourses in defence of the Trinity of Persons.
“ It is amusing to see the shifts to which they are driven to maintain their doctrine. I took occasion, not long since, to converse with one of them, immediately after he had delivered a discourse on the subject, in the course of which, finding the doctrine of Three Persons untenable, he denied personality altogether, saying it was owing to the imperfection of language that the word Person was made use of, contending that God was a Being infinitely diffused without body or parts.
That Jesus Christ, although he is Divine, yet his Body was not God.—That it is Idolatry to worship God as an Object. From an impersonal God to no God at all, the transition is easy; hence we see how obviously true those words of the Lord are, · Wo unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days.'
“ It appears to me most expedient that we should defend our doctrines from the ultimate or literal sense of the word chiefly, for of the power of this sense only, our opponents are sensible. And I believe there is not a single text relied on to prove the Trinity of Three Persons, or the Atonement by the vicarious sufferings of Christ, but is susceptible of a different and better interpretation than the one most apparent. But, above all, it is necessary for us to get near to the Lord, and implore his aid to fit and qualify us for his service, for without him we can do nothing. Thus I have addressed to you a few barren thoughts, more in compliance with your request, and to cultivate brotherly love, than from any expectation of imparting any thing useful. I am in much poverty of spirit, for the Lord hideth himself from me. I hope he will long spare you for useful labours in his vineyard and in his mount of Olives, for you have much in your power, if so be you continue to implore his aid.”
Extract of a letter from a gentleman near Boston, dated May
27th, 1817. “ Dear sir, - You have been informed that the readers of the writings of Swedenborg, in Boston and its vicinity, have established social meetings, for the purpose of becoming more acquainted with each other, aiding each other in the acquirement and use of Divine Truth, and uniting their efforts to disseminate the Doctrines of the New Jerusalem. At our last meeting, May 24th, it was resolved to commence a correspondence with the society at Philadelphia, that we may obtain from them such advice and instruction, as shall the better enable us to effect the purposes association, and that we may have the most regular means for communicating to all the societies of the New Church any information, which will gladden their hearts and strengthen their hands. For this purpose, a secretary was appointed, and directed to inform you of our present state, and our desire for a correspondence.
“ At our first meeting, there were but nine present, eleven at our second, and the same number at the last. However, this is not our whole number. We know about twenty in this vicinity, who, may be considered as receivers, and many more who are reading with a great degree of interest, and some satisfaction.
“ We live too remote from each other to assemble often; and most of us are so situated in life, that we find it difficult either to furnish a suitable place for our meetings, or to devote much time to them. We think, however, it may safely be said, that those who have met, feel considerable zeal in the important cause we have espoused, and that we shall not readily abandon it.
« In a letter from Mr. Clowes, dated December 26, 1816, he informs that the new translation of the “ Treatise on Heaven and Hell,” had gone to the press—that he was now employed in completing the Gospel according to John-also, an explanation of the Lord's miracles, in the same manner with the “ Explanation of the Parables,” and lastly, a work entitled, “ The Two heavenly Memorialists, or Love and Truth stating to the Christian world their present peculiar distresses, and imploring relief.” He sent a copy of the Sermons he lately printed on the Lord's Prayer and Ten Commandments, his “Explanation of the Parables,” which is now completed, his new translation of the treatise on the