« AnteriorContinuar »
Maryland. Baltimore. Within the last year, the number who have attended divine worship at the New Jerusalem Temple, in Baltimore, has increased nearly one-half. The number of those who have requested their names to be entered on the list, as full receivers of the doctrines, is between sixty and seventy, whilst several others are gradually receiving. The Liturgy used is an abridgment of that formerly used by Mr. Proud, and which was some years ago published in Baltimore. Service is performed on Sundays, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, and in the evening at early candle light. The female members, a few months ago, established a Sunday school, which promises to be well attended, and to produce, in due time, the most pleasing results.
Virginia. Abingdon, in the south-west part of the state. A small society exists at this town, consisting of seven persons.
Wheeling and West Liberty.-In these two towns, which are. situate in the western part of Virginia, and not far distant from each other, there are from fifteen to twenty receivers and readers.
Ohio. Steubenville. The number of the society of this town consists of about twenty receivers, and there are in the vicinity about ten readers besides. They have service on Sunday morning. Form of worship similar to that of the Presbyterians, without a Liturgy. From twenty to fifty persons usually attend. The leader is Mr. David Powell.
Cincinnati.—No positive information was received from this society; but the number is supposed to be about forty-five. Their minister is the reverend Adam Hurdus.
Lebanon. The number of receivers at this place and in its vicinity, is about twenty; and in addition thereto, there are about twenty-five persons, who are readers and friends to the doctrines. An extensive spirit of inquiry prevails in the neighbourhood, and a strong appearance of a rapid dissemination of the doctrines exists. The leader is Mr. Thomas Newport, who has communicated to us the names of twenty-six professors known to him, who reside in different parts of the western country, and who are not comprised in any of the societies herein enumerated.
Indiana. Madison town. A letter states that there are several true friends to the New Church in that neighbourhood.
South Carolina. Charleston The number of receivers in this city does not exceed five or six. A late letter states that “ Mr. B— mentions his having heard of some readers in the interior of this state. He did not recollect the exact place, but promised to inquire.”
Extract of a letter from London, dated Dec. 29, 1816.
- My dear sir, “ It is perhaps because we look upon the United States as another England, and see, in the peculiar genius and sphere of useful service of your societies, a very near and congenial province with our own; but your letters assuredly seem to give more than common delight to our societies, and to infuse fresh life and consequent activity into their proceedings. I have now two of your most interesting communications before me, to one of which, written officially, I have but briefly replied, in a letter sent with the additional packet of books, to be forwarded from New York. But as that would be but a sorry return for the high gratification it has afforded us, I shall proceed to reply much more at large, leaving the second, of the 29th of October, which is but just received, until I can speak more particularly as to your own commission, which I shall take great pleasure in executing. Your last letter arrived too late for your own books to be forwarded in the society's parcel, but they shall be sent the earliest opportunity.
“ Since I had the pleasure of writing to you in August, I have had an opportunity of seeing and learning the state of the New Dispensation in France; and, though my information is of a very negative nature, such as it is, I shall proceed to lay it before you, as illustrative of that consummation, which seems at this moment to be past its greatest height, and to be in some slight degree tempered by the approaching dawn of a perpetual day. Folly and impiety, among that noble people, seem to have done their worst; and the rapid sale of various new and cheap editions of the Bible, and that in Paris, proves the descent of a heavenly influx, and that there are some humble and chastened minds, who, wearied out with the heartlessness and misery ever attendant on Atheism and vice, at length begin to hunger and thirst after righteousness, and to seek it where alone it is to be found, in the divine source of all consolation, security, and peace. But what may still further prove that this blessed change has commenced, is the increasing demand for the Latin works of our Swedenborg. The bookseller who sells the works, Barrois the elder, assured me that he had frequent demand for them, and that, in consequence, he was in the habit of sending for them to Germany, Scotland, and Switzerland, and wherever else he heard of copies to be sold. For a set of the Latin Arcana, (if there was one which I could procure him) he offered thirty Louis d'ors, for a gentleman who had borrowed the three first volumes for perusal from the Royal Library. But though these matchless writings had secretly made their way with individuals, dispersed over the country, I could not learn, nor do I think that any societies have been formed. Indeed, the political state of the country, until the restoration of the present family, would not have authorized such a step. In France, they have but few of the works published in the language of the country, and of those few, most of them very indifferently done. The only two which are correctly done, are, the treatise on Influx, and the first volume of the True Christian Religion, by our excellent and learned friend, M. Parraud. As the spiritual face of the land is changing, and the trees and shrubs, after a long and horrid winter, are beginning to bud, and put forth their tender shoots, I am in hopes that our friend will soon be enabled, by the divine blessing, 'to publish the remaining volume of the latter, and a translation of the Parables, which he justly seemed to think would be most beneficial, as introductory to those transcendent volumes of wisdom, which are, perhaps, in many instances, too powerful for the sight, without a gradual preparation. From M. Parraud I learned the names of three receivers of the New Doctrines, M. Girault, à la maison rouge à Pontoise, M. Verdier, Cour saint loud, N. 8, à Angers, and M. Bousie, Passy pres Paris: to the last of these gentlemen I had the pleasure of being introduced.
“ It is singular, that just before your inquiries respecting a correct portrait of our Swedenborg, I had received as a present from the society Pro Fide et Charitate, in Sweden, a painting, copied from the original picture, by Martin, which was declared by those
who recollected Swedenborg in that country, to be a most admirable and faithful representation. Now we have in this country three engraved portraits. One prefixed to the Principia, when he was young, which we are assured by one of our first artists, and a devout receiver of the Doctrines, Flaxman, to be a very indifferent likeness, (if any) judging from the utter want of correctness in its drawing. From this an engraving has been taken, and of which you have some few copies sent with the books. But the most correct engraving we possess, is decidedly the one prefixed in the New Jerusalem Magazine. The plate was sent over some years ago, as a present from the Exegetic Society of Stockholm, and was taken from the original painting by Martin, of which I have a correct copy, in oils, in my possession. The plate is the property of a worthy friend, Mr. Servante, is in a good state, and would admit of many impressions being struck off.
“ Reserving what I have further to say, for my answer to your last kind letter, permit me, my dear sir, to subscribe myself
“Your and your society's friend and servant."
Extract of a letter from London, dated 2d January, 1817.
6 I heard Mr. T has just received a letter from you ; the intelligence therein communicated is indeed highly gratifying to the brethren of the Lord's New Church on this side the water, and we augur the most beneficial results from the spreading of the New Jerusalem truths over your quarter of the globe.
“ In this country, too, at least in my own circle, many are embracing the writings; nor can it be doubted, but that every one who consults his best and dearest interests, will be led to make these delightful truths the study and practice of his life and conduct. Wishing you, and the rest of our brethren in the truth, every happiness, I remain, &c.”
Extracts from a letter, dated “Near Lebanon, Ohio, Feb. 6, 1816.
“ I received your communication, together with Mr. T's. letter, and was highly delighted in reading the intelligence therein contained. I have been viewing, for many years, the preparations making by the Lord for the spreading of the glorious Truths of Heaven and the Church. The first line I ever saw, to my knowledge, was “ That the Lord is the God of Heaven." It went like a holy beam of light and heat through my spirit; for prior to this auspicious day, for the term I think of more than three years, I had been a prey to doubts concerning the Divinity of Christ, and particularly the Divinity of the Humanity. I had been a professor of experimental religion many years, having been operated on by the Heavenly Sphere very young indeed, and I think in my seventeenth year joined the Friends' Society. Soon after my reception of the Truths, my mind was deeply impressed with the vast importance of them for the renovation and re-establishment of the Church on earth. My zeal was considerable, and I probably should have pretty soon commenced teaching the doctrines, but found the science of correspondencies, as a key to the spiritual sense of the Word, was almost or quite indispensably necessary, and this appeared an Herculean labour ; but I submitted my will to the dictates of my understanding, and by the Lord's grace assisting, I experienced some small degree of the necessary knowledge of correspondencies, and after a lapse of about twelve years, commenced teaching or lecturing from the Word of the Lord. I have had considerable prejudice to encounter, but have endeavoured to turn the other cheek (or to overcome with charity) and not rail, and indeed generally, for many years, have wondered at the subsiding of opposition, and the open ear and eye of many, very many indeed, who make no profession of the New Church doctrines. Conversations, upon the essential principles of the New Church, are very common through our country, and as I am pretty far in the decline of life, I have much leisure to visit my neighbours and converse freely on theological subjects. In those visits, I call on any of the preachers or lay people of any of the societies, such as Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, and often those who are attached to no particular profession of religion, and sometimes Deists.-At present there are few here who profess Deism, but we have some Universalists, Halcyonists, and many Shakers.--With some of all those different professions I have had conversations, and generally find they all are looking for the coming of Christ, except the Deist, and even he expects the amelioration of mankind by the rays of the Sun of Science, thus indirectly bearing testimony to the coming of the LORD JEHOVAH. The Halcyonists derive some principles of theology from Baron Swedenborg, and unite or engraft the false