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fourteen years' ministry in the city of Glasgow, he freely availed himself of this permission, and his notes and observations increased to so great an extent, as to run over nearly the whole of the Gospels. Collecting the young men and women of his congregation together, between the intervals of worship on the Sabbath day, he began his labors in this department of his duty, by making known unto them what by reading and reflection he had himself acquired respecting the science of correspondence; and
many of those instructions will now be found in the Essay, to which he invites attention. Many of these young men and women are now settled in distant parts of the British dominions, and may, it is hoped, in the order of providence, serve as nuclei for the building up of the New Church in their respective localities.
Shut out as the writer was and is from social intercourse by the infirmity of deafness, and gaining all his information through the medium of books, he found in his public capacity of Minister, great pleasure in imparting as fast as he acquired : but when he reflects upon the thousands of volumes he has read, he is struck with astonishment at the little he has acquired from the perusal of so many books, when compared with that which the writings of Swedenborg have supplied. Keeping an index of most of the works which have passed under his observation, he finds that Swedenborg has anticipated almost all that this fertile age, as it is called, has produced. He is wonder-stricken with the knowledge contained in his works, and he can account for it in no other way than by ascribing it—as Swedenborg himself does to his intercourse with the spiritual world, and to illu
mination from the Lord, while reading his Holy Word. He cannot, therefore, refrain from recommending both the Philosophical and Theological works of Swedenborg to the careful perusal of all into whose hands this version of the Gospel by Matthew may fall.
It will be seen from the notes which follow the respective chapters, that the more important topics have not been summarily disposed of. This in particular will be found the case with the various subjects treated of in the Divine Sermon on the Mount, which may be said to comprehend, within itself, a compact body of divinity, extending to 133 pages. The writer particularly recommends the notes of these chapters to the careful perusal of the reader, especially calling attention to the Summary of the Divine Sermon.
In the course of his reading, he has availed himself largely of assistance and illustration from the different literary sources in the New Church, as well in America as in Great Britain, appending the initials or names of the respective parties. But he makes himself responsible for every article, whether by signature, or by those portions exclusively his own, which bear no signature, only remarking, that there is nothing in the volume-unless expressly stated to the contrary—but what he can substantiate from the writings of Swedenborg, to whom he therefore considers himself principally indebted, and he desires his book expressly to be understood as a work purely Swedenborgian.
He respectfully requests the attention of the reader to the Introductory Essay, in which, it is to be hoped, will be found some simple rules for the applicability of the principle by which the Word, in its spiritual sense, is illustrated. He would also direct the attention of the reader to this Essay, because he believes it will supply a brief answer to the question—“Who was Swedenborg ?" of whose name we now hear so much. In many periodicals, correspondents are making enquiry of the respective editors—“Who was Swedenborg ?” and the replies given to many such enquiries, evince, on the part of such editors, equal ignorance and mendacity.—The writer of this Advertisement would respectfully request his readers to peruse carefully the Essay in question, and then judge for themselves.
To such as need further confirmation, the writer would most earnestly recommend a perusal of Section v., pp. 179—237 (second edition) of the "Appeal” of the late Rev. Samuel Noble “in behalf of the views of the Eternal World and State,"* which work can be obtained from the Library of any New Church Society in Great Britain and America,—there he will find the most elaborate, clusive, and satisfactory answer to the question—“Who was Swedenborg?"
The doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church have been by many considered both visionary and Utopian ; but it will be seen by those who consult the writings of Swedenborg, and form their judgment from the evidence there adduced, that they are far indeed from the enthusiastic character ascribed to them. They are the deductions of sober truth. They are a “development of Christianity, which shall collect into one focus all its scattered rays, and which shall cause us to find in religion, more than
* Published by J. S. Hodson, Portugal Street, London.
happiness, ---more than philosophy,--more than morality since each of these blessings will be multiplied by its re-union with the others.”* The writer may perhaps be • allowed to allude to what he conceives may prove a useful feature in the notes which follow the respective chapters.
Among the various Societies of the New Church in Great Britain, there are several without a resident Pastor ; but which Societies, nevertheless, meet regularly for worship on the Sabbath day. It is presumed, that the reading of part of a chapter [after the regular worship of prayer, praise, and the reading of the Word is concluded], with the notes illustrative of the part so read, may serve as a homily or sermon. In
of the notes will be found matter amply sufficient for this purpose. The writer is also of opinion, that this plan may be adopted in such schools as assemble in their respective rooms for worship, in consequence of there being not sufficient space to accommodate them in the church.
Finally, the Editor would say in the elegant language of an American writer respecting the writings of Swedenborg :-“Those who consider the ancient Eastern allegories as enigmas, may learn by the writings of Swedenborg, who unfolds the science of correspondence to resolve them. Those whom the Holy Book charms with a promise, whose execution they dared not hope for, may take possession of the key which shall explain to them its mysteries. There is, in this consoling philosophy, much for scientific curiosity, and at the same time, for religious belief. No literary subject has so many claims to captivate the attention of men : no learned thesis has more
* Madame de Stael.
attraction for the man of erudition : no moral system,no Utopian has at once so much originality, and so much ability. It causes to enter into time, what we had not believed possible, till after the annihilation of time. It presents to the human family a plan of life which we thought destined only for celestial spirits.
It gives a future to society, and it embellishes with a thousand perspectives the destiny of man."
Of the various topics which form the subject of the notes, the index will convey an idea, and praying that the divine blessing may attend their perusal, the writer now commits his work to the public.
DAVID GEO. GOYDER.
IPSWICH, FEB., 1854.