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which circumstance, see also what is said in the small work concerning the Last Judgment, n. 33 to 39.
Even from ancient times, it hath been a matter of controversy what is the first principle of the Church, whether faith or charity; and they who were unacquainted with the nature of charity, said that faith was the first principle, but they who were acquainted with the nature of charity, said that charity was the first, and that faith was charity as to appearance, inasmuch as the affection of charity appearing to the sight in thought is faith, for the delight of affection, when it passeth from the will into the thought, formeth itself, and in various forms presenteth itself visible; this was unknown to the simple, wherefore they took that to be the first principle of the Church, which appeared before the sight of their thought; and because the Word in the letter is written according to appearances, therefore this is there called the first, the beginning and the first-born. For this reason, Peter, by whom was represented the faith of the Church, is said to be the first of the apostles, when yet John was the first, inasmuch as by John was represented the good of charity ; that John, and not Peter, was the first of the apostles, is evident from this circumstance, that John lay at the breast of our Lord, and that he and not Peter followed the Lord; see John xxi. 20, 21, 22: that by the twelve disciples of the Lord, were represented all the truths and goods of the Church, may be seen, n. 2129, 3354, 3488, 3858, 6397 : that by Peter was represented faith, n. 4738, 6000, 6073, 6344, 10087, 10580; and that by John was represented the good of charity, n. 3934, 10081, 10087. For the same reason also by Reuben, because he was the first-born of Jacob, was represented faith, and it was believed that the tribe which had its name from him was the first, nevertheless that tribe was not the first, but the tribe of Levi, inasmuch as by Levi was represented the good of charity, wherefore also this tribe was appointed to the priesthood, and the priesthood is the first order of the Church : that by the twelve sons of Jacob, or by the twelve tribes named from them, were represented all the truths and goods of the Church, may be seen, n. 3858, 3926, 4060, 6335, 7836, 7891, 7996: that by Reu, ben was represented faith, n. 3861, 3866, 4605, 4731, 4734, 4761, 6342 to 6345; and that by Levi was represented the good of charity, n. 3875, 4497, 4502, 4503. It is also for the same reason, that in the first chapter of Genesis, which in the sense of the
letter treats concerning the creation of heaven and earth, but in the internal sense concerning the new creation, or regeneration of the man of the Church at that time, it is said that the light was first made, and afterwards the sun and the moon, as may be seen, verse 3 to 5, and 14 to 19 in that chapter, when notwithstanding the sun is the first, and light is from thence.
The reason why light was said to be the first of creation, was, because by light is signified the truth of faith, and by the sun and moon the good of love and charity; that by the creation of heaven and earth in the first chapter of Genesis, in the spiritual sense is understood and described the new creation of the man of the celestial Church, or his regeneration, may be seen in the explica. tion of that chapter in the Arcana Cælestia, and likewise n. 8891, 9942, to 545: that light signifies truth derived from good, thus also the truth of faith, may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n. 126 to 140; and that the sun signifies the good of love, and the moon the good of charity, both from the Lord, may be seen in the same work, n. 116 to 125, 146. From these considerations it may now appear what is signified by the beginning of the workmanship of God; namely, faith from the Lord, which is the first principle of the Church as to appearance,
THE HOLY ALLIANCE. The following interesting papers have appeared in the gazettes. They speak the same language, in relation to the sole divinity of Christ, which was so conspicuous in the Holy League.
“ His Majesty the Emperor of Russia has addressed to the Privy Counsellor Willemer, of Frankford, author of a small work entitled, “ The Hopes of Germany,” the following letter :
“ I fully agree with you, Sir, in the sentiments which you express, in transmitting to me your work on the act of fraternal and Christian alliance of the 14th (26th) September. The great attention which you have shown in studying the sense, announces a purified zeal for good, as well as a remarkable sagacity. A solemn engagement, founded on the simple and sublime precepts of the religion of the Saviour-God, offers, no doubt, a vast field to the most interesting meditations. It is to their unity, as well as to the concurrence of the wishes which the friends of humanity form, that the efficient application of those truths to the social and political existence of nations, may result. The ideas exhibited in your production, being evidently directed towards this end of universal utility, it is agreeable to me to testify to you my particular satisfaction, and to give you this assurance of my esteem.
ALEXANDER. “ St. Petersburg, 30th Nov. 1816." 6. The President of the Russian Bible Society, Prince Galitzing having received a letter from an unknown person in Scotland, written in French, and signed “Une Ecossoise,” in which she gives vent to her Christian feelings with regard to the Sacred Alliance, and expresses the respect she entertains for the person of his Imperial Majesty, the deep interest she takes in the success of the Bible Society, and her benevolent disposition towards its President, esteems it his duty to inform this unknown individual, through the medium of the public news-papers, that he feels himself much obliged by her letter, which breathes so much of the genuine spirit of Christianity.
“ The Alliance is certainly the work of God. Who can doubt it? The sole object it has in view is the glory of the Saviour. Upon him the head-stone of the corner, without which no building can stand, is grounded this union of love, of humility, and of self-denial. It is a proclamation from the Most High, published for the purpose of awakening the world, that those who have ears might hear, and those who have eyes might see.
“ Let us entreat our Lord, that all the nations may follow the call of their sovereigns, preaching to them from their thrones conversion to the truth, that they may willingly receive that kingdom which is not of this world, and which shall have no end, and thus learn to know the Lord of all his mercies.
“ The unknown Scotch lady is also hereby informed, that her letter has been handed up to the Emperor Alexander, who has received it with satisfaction, and thanks her for the feelings therein expressed.”
LONDON CONFERENCE, A general conference of ministers and delegates from societies of the New Church, in England, met on the 16th, and continued their sitting till the 18th of July last, in the New Jerusalem Cha
pel, Fryar's street, London. The Rev. Messrs. Sibley, Churchill and Hawkins, of London, Rev. Mr. Proud, of Birmingham, and Rev. Mr. Hindmarsh, of Manchester, attended as ministers. Delegates also attended from the society meeting in Fryar's street Chapel, the Lisle street society, and the society in St. George's fields, London, from the Derby society, and the Bolton street - society, Salford, near Manchester. Many other members of the
church, resident in London and its neighbourhood, were also present. Reports were made respecting the various societies existing in Great Britain, of which the following is an abstract.
Liverpool. A letter from Mr. Samuel Walter, minister of the society, states, that they meet to worship three times on the Lord's day; in the morning and afternoon using the London liturgy, in the evening conducting the service after the manner of the dissenters. They experience some increase. The regular hearers, in the morning and afternoon, are from sixty to eighty, in the evening double and treble that number frequently attend.
Keighley. A letter from their minister, Mr. Joseph Enoch, stated, that they meet in the morning and afternoon of the Lord's day, when the service is conducted as in London, with some little variation; they meet in the evening for spiritual conversation; they also meet two evenings in the week, at the houses of different friends, for reading, singing and prayer; seventy-three are enrolled in the church books as members of the congregation, of whom thirty-seven have been introduced as members of the New Church, by baptism.
Hull. A letter from Mr. J. King, on behalf of this society, stated, that it is increasing, particularly from the accession of younger persons; they have a library of the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, and works in agreement with them, which are read by many. (We have been verbally informed, by a gentleman lately from England, that the right to the Chapel, which has so long been a subject of legal dispute, has been decided in favour of this society.)
New Jerusalem Temple, Bolton street, Salford, Manchester. The society usually meeting at this place, consists of about one hundred and fifty persons, including the families of those who take sittings. The congregation, in the morning, amounts to about one hundred and fifty, in the afternoon, from two hundred to three hundred; worship is conducted according to the liturgy
printed for this society; extracts from the writings of E. Swedenborg are constantly read in the course of the afternoon ser vice; a Sunday-school is attached to the Temple, and a library for the use of the society and others frequenting the place of worship. (The Rev. Robert Hindmarsh is their minister.)
New Jerusalem Church, Peter street, Manchester. The mem- . bers meeting in this place of worship, including those branches of their families who are in the habit of attending, are about two hundred and seventy-six ; a Sunday-school, of above one hundred children, is conducted by the members. (The Rev. Mr. Jones is their minister.)
New Jerusalem Temple, Birmingham. This society consists of about seventy members; worship is performed according to the London liturgy, in the morning and evening of the Lord's day, and a meeting is held one evening in the week for opening some part of the Holy Word ; a library and a well-conducted school, of about two hundred children, are connected with the society. (The Rev. Joseph Proud is their minister.)
New Jerusalem Meeting, Derby. Thirty-five persons are enrolled as members; they have a Sunday-school, of about eighty children, and a library.
New Jerusalem Chapel, Fryar's street, London. The enrolled members are one hundred and fourteen.
New Jerusalem Chapel, Lisle street, London. The adult members are upwards of one hundred and thirty.
New Jerusalem Chapel, St. George's fields, London. The number meeting for worship is about fifty. All the societies in London use the same liturgy.
It appears there are also societies at the following places. Huischamflower, Somersetshire, where are twenty-one baptized members ; a dissenting minister, at another town in this county, has received the doctrines, and preaches then to his congregation. Leeds, where the London liturgy is used. Norwich, Ipswich, Colebrook Dale, (Salop,) the village of Great Bentley, near Colchester, Essex, Scarborough, (Yorkshire,) Newark, Leicester, Northampton, Sheffield, and Barnsley, ( Yorkshire.)
The resolutions, having reference to a minister superintendant, were adjourned till the next general conference, and it was unanimously resolved at this conference, That no candidate for the ministry be admitted by ordination into the first degree, without