Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

In further confirmation of this, we publish an extract from the Intellectual Repository, for July, 1818, containing further interesting particulars on the same subject.

“I send you the following quotation from the New Times, London newspaper, of 14 April, 1818, which, if you think its contents of suffi. cient importance, you will probably allow a place in your repository. After relating the sufferings of the marquis D'Etourville, (a French emigrant) during his captivity in an African nation of the most inhuman character imaginable, it proceeds as follows: ‘M. D’Etourville fled to a province situated to the south of the western Mountains of the Moon, near which is the empire of Droglodo, a region hitherto unknown, but by far more civilized than all the neighbouring countries, with which they have no communication whatever. Here he resided ten years in a state of slavery. He says that the policy of their government bears a near resemblance to that of China, and that, like the Chinese, their civilization is maintained from the remotest times. He examined the history of their country, and found their sacred books much resembling, in many respects, the Holy Scriptures. He conceives that Genesis has been written according to the geography of that country. M. D'Etourville has proceeded to France, and intends to publish a large work on the subject." "

It may be useful to insert the following account of the New Church in Africa, from E. Swedenborg's Continuation concerning the Spiritual World. No. 76–78.

"Such being the character of the Africans, there is therefore at this day a revelation begin among them, which is communicated from the centre round about, but does not extend to the sea-coasts ; they acknowledge one Lord as the Lord of heaven and earth, and laugh at the monks who visit them, and at the Christians who talk of a threefold Divinity, and of salvation by mere thought; asserting, that there is no man, who worships at all, that does not live according to his religion, and that unless a man so lives, he must needs become stupid and wicked, because in such case he receives nothing from heaven: They likewise give to ingenious wickedness the name of stupidity, because there is no life but death in it. I have heard the angels rejoice at this revelation, because thereby a communication is opened with the rational principle in man, which has heretofore been closed up by a general blindness with respect to matters of faith. I was informed, from heaven, that the things contained in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord, concerning the Word, and in the Doctrine of Life for the New Jerusalem, lately published, are now revealed, by word of mouth, by angelic spirits, to the inhabitants of that country. In regard to strangers from Europe, they said, that they are not admitted amongst them; and when any, especially if they are monks, penetrate into their country, they inquire of them what they know; and when they relate any particulars concerning their religion, they call them mere trifles, which are even offensive to their ears; and then they send them away to some useful employment; but in case they refuse to work, they sell them for slaves, whom they are allowed by law to punish at pleasure.”

Europe. The following letter, from a highly respected friend, containing most important intelligence from the continent of Europe, will be perused by our readers with the greatest delight.

“ My dear Sir, We are very apt to judge of the state and progress of the New Church, by the numbers of those who are in the reception of the new doctrines, and we are at times inclined to lament, that there is not a more universal desire excited to embrace a system, which disposes into symmetry and order, all sciences, arts, employments, and conditions of life, and which, by unfolding: the interiors of the Holy Word, will, like the Urim and Thummim, give responses of wisdom and consolation, according to the spiritual wants and distresses of each. But surely in this we form an erroneous judgment, and are anxious only, because we cannot discover, in those operations which embrace the whole, and at the same time the eternal end of each, our own external transitory views, and our feeble means for their accomplishment.Looking a little deeper than the mere surface, or manifestation of this glorious dispensation, we acknowledge with devout gratitude to our Eternut Futher, that His ways of gently leading his children to Himself, are as mani. fold as human minds, and that in this, His second coming, every perception of truth which leads to good, and to the los of the LORD, as its supreme and only source, is a Revelation of Himself, and in the recipient mind, and there only, He builds his holy Church. But this is a sight which can only be seen by Him, who is the essential life and soul of all; we must be content, and rejoice to see it manifested in the improvement of society, in the more general freedom of thought, the dissipation of the mists of prejudice, and the reception of the pure doctrines of truth, in the understanding and the life. In all these, I am happy to say, we have had lately abundant testimonies of that hidden operation, which we thus view as in a mirror, and these I shall have the pleasure of repeating to you, that yourself and our friends may increase our joy by participation.

“ First then, with respect to the reception of the new doctrines ; our friend Mr. Ley, an English gentleman settled at Rotterdam, has lately advertised in the continental papers, the existence of societies, instituted in this kingdom, for the purpose of printing and publishing the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, and requesting that communications might be sent to us from those societies and individuals who had embraced the heavenly doctrines. The effect of this gentleman's kindness has been most gratifying and satis. factory. We have had letters from Switzerland, the north of Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, and I am pretty confident that our friends in America will be highly pleased when they read their contents in our next annual report. From Switzerland we have a letter written by the Curé of a small town, who is at the same time, the leader of three small societies, established

in his own and two neighbouring places, consisting in the whole of about seventy-five persons. I have not the letters by me, or else I would enter more into particulars ; however, among others, I remember we have two from PrivyCounsellors of Hesse and Denmark, one from Burkhardt, the Geometrician, and they all announce the reception of our glorious doctrines, and an ardent zeal for the more general diffusion of heavenly light and life. But one of our most important, as well as most interesting letters is a very valuable communication from Dr. N--, of Carlscrona in Sweden, a Doctor in Divinity, a Member of the Royal Academy of Stockholm, and of the Society Pro Fide et Charitate. He gives us his views upon the mode which it will be necessary to adopt with different nations and denominations in order gradually to bring them into the fold of the New Jerusalem. The plan seems founded on an application to the best points in every system, and there are some good in every system-and on a purification and elevation of those particular truths, to the final rejection of erroneous and pernicious doctrines. He embraces a wide field, sufficient to employ us all, and our descendants for these two hundred years to come. But you will soon read the whole of this, and other valuable communications ; so I shall proceed to another subject of no little interest to us, so far as respects the future growth of the New Church in these realms. We have lately written to the heads of the seven Universities of these kingdoms, announcing to them a resolution which passed at our annual meeting last year, that such of the works of our author as our society had published should be presented to their public library; and in answer, we had the satisfaction to find, that our present was in every case most graciously acknowledged, and in some instances with expressions of gratitude and estimation on the parts of the University, that, coupled with an extraordinary circumstance, which I shall presently relate, promises, by the divine blessing, the most auspicious result in determining young men, who are preparing for the ministry, to consult, and to receive these pure expositions of the holy word. The extraordinary circumstance to which I alluded, is this. About two years ago, our very dear friend Mr. Clowes and myself in a little journey passed through Cambridge, and visiting the library of Trinity College, our Alma Mater, we agreed to leave each a memorial on its shelves ; he placed there, the beautiful treatise, “ On the worship and the love of God,” and I, “ The doctrine of the Lord.” Well, Sir, the last news we had of our books was from a sincere recipient, a member of the University, who informed us that the former, had excited the greatest atten. tion among the young men, that it was scarcely ever in the library, and that it formed quite a topic for conversation; all this promises well, and we look forward to still more blessed effects from our present, which by the kind assistance of our Manchester friends, is made complete, and that the declaration of our author, will, by these and other means be accom. plished, that the Universities will send forth ministers to proclaim the mercies of the Lord, in thus revealing Himself and wonders of His kingdom by opening the interiors of His holy word. May his blessing, his light and peace rest upon your society to its eternal welfare, is the prayer of, my dear sir, your friend and brother."

As connected with the preceding, we think it useful to insert the following extract from the Intellectual Repository, for July, 1818. State and Progress of the New Church in Foreign Countries.

“A member of the London Society for Printing and Publishing the Writings of E. S. resident at Rotterdam, caused, some time ago, an advertisement, announcing the existence of the above Society and that of Manchester, to be inserted in several of the continental journals ; which has been the occasion of our obtaining far more information respecting the state of reception in the otlter parts of Europe than has hitherto been known in this country. The leta ters conveying this information, or the most interesting parts of them, will no doubt soon be published in the Society's Report ; in the mean time our readers may be pleased to be informed, that there are several from different parts of Germany, two from Switzerland, and one from a new and very intel. ligent correspondent, a doctor of divinity, in Sweden. Those from Germany demonstrate, that there are various individual friends to the cause scattered through the different states of that vast country, who appear to be drooping in solitude without any knowledge of each other, no societies having hither. to been formed. In Switzerland, however, in the canton of Appenzell, in St. Gall, and Graubunden, there appears to exist a society of seventy or eighty members and their families, who have been brought to the knowledge of truth by the exertions of two parochial ministers: but these, as well as the friends in Germany, find their progress greatly impeded by the want of books, there being but few of the works translated into the German language, and very few copies of these to be procured. On the whole, it is impossible to read these letters without emotions of affection mixed with pity, and connected with sentiments of gratitude for the superior privileges which we in this country enjoy. Means have bere been found for the publication of the whole of the writings in our native tongue, with many other works in agreement with them; and we here enjoy the inestimable liberty of printing, publishing, and preaching as we please; in consequence of which the seeds of divine truth have here found a comparatively extensive reception. In all these advantages our continental brethren are wofully behind us, insomuch that we cannot compare the difference of our situation without thinking we hear the voice of the vision which said to Paul, “Come over and help us." Measures have been taken by the Society to learn their situation more particularly, af. ter which it will be necessary to consider how the great cause may be best promoted; which will most probably be, by encouraging the formation of Societies and stimulating them to the translation and publication of the writings in the German language. In the latter case, (such is the distressed situation of the continent,) pecuniary aid will be necessary; and we doubt not that the affectionate recipients of the heavenly doctrines in this country, who, together with the truth itself, have received the duty of labouring diligently for its propagation, will do their utmost to enable the Society to ful. fil its wishes, by following the example of the British and Foreign Bible So.

VOL. I.

3 y

ciety, and rearing a progeny of co-operative Societies throughout the various countries of Europe, till the writings are published in their respective languages, and the truths they contain extensively received, throughout the civilized globe."

In England, which may be truly called the cradle of the New Church, as well as of the Bible Societies, our friends are going on with increasing vigour. But the old question of separation from the established Church has been revived, and is now debated with considerable animation. In such hands, however, no danger can arise from the discussion. Both parties will continue to perform most eminent uses. Both are under the control of their common master, and will be guided for the eventual good of his church. It is remarkable, that at the commencement of the Christian dispensation, a similar difference of opinion took place among the apostles, as to the necessity of continuing in the externals of the Jewish church. But not being able to come to a uniformity of sentiment, they made rather a truce than an agreeinent, that each might be allowed to pursue their own views : this was the result of what is called the first council of the Christian church, held at Jerusalem. See Acts, c. 15. and c. 21. Gal. c. 2.

After waiting for a long time, we have at last received the Manchester and Hawkstone Reports and the two numbers of the Intellectual Repository, for April and July. They contain, as usual, much edifying matter, and are rich repasts for the spiritual appetite of the reader.

As it is always pleasant to be had in esteem and affectionate remembrance by our friends, it will be gratifying to the two ladies, who have employed their pens so much to their own honour and the benefit of the church, to publish the following extract from the Manchester Report, for January, of the present year. And we most sincerely assure them that their American friends partake deeply of the gratification.

“The Society cannot close their narrative of transactions in America, without adverting to a circumstance, extraordinary in itself, and which, when viewed in connexion with the interests of the New Church, promises to be equally beneficial. The circumstance to which they allude is this : Two ladies, one residing in Boston, and the other in the neighbourhood of New York, have lately taken up their pens in Defence of the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem, and have employed them with so much zeal, intelligence and force, that the happiest results may be expected from their publi

« AnteriorContinuar »