[Frontispiece: Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Wittington.]

     (Delivered in the Cathedral, Bryn Athyn, Pa., December 29th, 1926, his last appearance in the pulpit. The sermon, somewhat revised for this occasion, was originally delivered in Chicago fifty years ago.)

     "If ye abide in my Word, ye shall be my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make yore free." (John 8:31, 32.)

     The Lord came into the world to rescue man from the thralldom of infernal spirits. Spiritual freedom had fled from the human race, and even the natural freedom of man was almost gone. Divine power alone could execute the work of deliverance, and restore liberty to men. In order to perform this Divine work, it was necessary that He should Himself naturally come into the world, that He should appear before the eyes of men, that He should talk with them as one man with another, and, in talking, teach them the mode and manner of the deliverance Which He had come to effect, which was to be by the truth of His Word, to be taught by Him; which, when received, would restore liberty to the world. "If ye abide in my Word, ye shall be my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

     The Divine instrumentality of redemption and salvation was to be the Truth. But the truth must be known, and continue to be known, in the thought of the understanding, in the affection of the will, and in the actions of the life. No other power or force under heaven could bring about the desired end. The truth is all sufficient. No other instrumentality was needed. For in the truth brought down from heaven to earth by Him was to be the Divine power of the Lord.

     It has been said that knowledge is power. This is because truth is power. This is because the Word is power. This is because the Lord is power. He who has knowledge, he who has truth, has power, "the power of God unto salvation " (Rom. 1:16), the power of salvation from sin. For the Lord God also said, "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin," that is to say, a slave to sin. "And the servant," the slave to sin, "abideth not in the house forever," but the Son, the Son of God, the Divine Truth, "abideth forever." "If the Son of God therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." And ye shall be free forever.

     In the unregenerate state, man does not know what freedom is, because his ignorance is so dense that he does not know what truth is, does not know what freedom is. What a man does not know is to him as something which does not exist. For nothing exists to us except that which we make our own by actual life. We may indeed hear of things that we do not actually make our own, and from that hearing talk about them, but it consists of little more than the use of terms and words; and if we think we possess the thing, it is not the real thing, the real truth, but merely a spurious imitation of it. In the other life, even all knowledge of a thing that we have not made our own by actual life while in the world is taken away, and we know it no more. Hence it remains eternally true, that after death we know nothing of that which we have not learned to believe and love, to will and to do while in the world. All else is wholly forgotten, and no effort we can make will recall it to remembrance.

     So it is with freedom,-the freedom which comes by the truth, the freedom which the Lord brings down from heaven to earth by the truth of His Word, the Word of truth which He came into the world to bring a freedom which no man has except by the worship of the Lord and a life of obedience to His commandments. This is what is meant by the words which the Lord spake to His disciples, the words of Him who spake as never man spake (John 7:45), the words of the God Man, who came into the world to bring spiritual liberty to men: "If ye abide in my Word, ye shall be my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."


He Himself was that truth come down from heaven to redeem and save.

     When the Lord said to His disciples, "If ye abide in my Word," that is, "If ye continue in my Word," He meant the same as when He gave John, on the isle of Patmos, the message to the church in Smyrna, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." (Rev. 2:10.) No man is set free from the slavery of sin, the bondage of death and of hell, but the man who receives the truth, and abides in the truth to the end of life in the world. "Be thou faithful!" Be thou faithful even unto death, and after death thou shalt receive a crown of life. And we are informed that by these words is signified that "then they will receive eternal life, the reward of victory,"-the reward of a continuous conflict with the powers of hell. And we are further told that "it is said that a crown of life shall be given them, such as the martyrs received, who were faithful even unto death; and because the martyrs wished for it, therefore after death crowns were given them, by which was signified the reward of victory." And we are still further informed that they still appear in their crowns in heaven, which, the Revelator says, "it has been permitted me to see." (A. R. 103.)

     Now while slavery continues,-slavery to one's own evils fit is inspired and kept alive by infernal spirits, kept continually blazing and burning by the influx of the breath of hell, holding the mind under the continual phantasy that if man were deprived of what he has, if he were deprived of the delight of evil, he would be deprived of life. For evil has its delight, a delight that gives a kind of freedom, a freedom that looks like freedom, but is as far away from it as the west is from the east, as hell is from heaven. And in this state of slavery, a man is held in the phantasy that if he were deprived of the delights of evil, he would have no life left.

     Hence may be understood the unwillingness of men in this state to come and place themselves under the dominion of the Lord, under whose dominion alone there is freedom. For man, every man, is always under some dominion. If he is not under the dominion of the Lord, he is under some other dominion, and he cannot possibly escape it. Under the Lord's dominion he has freedom, but under every other form of dominion he has only slavery. But man,- the natural man, the unregenerate man,-is unwilling to come out from slavery into the only true freedom, and rebels against it.


Men cry out, as did the unbelieving Jews, "We will not have this man to reign over us." (Luke 19:14) They rebel, because to come under the dominion of the truth calls for obedience, and they are unwilling to obey the truth. There is nothing they hate so much as the truth. Truth is a Man, and that Man is God, that Man is the Lord God, our Savior Jesus Christ, who says He came into the world to make men free, who says," If ye abide in my Word, ye shall be my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." There is nothing else under heaven that can make men free.

     The truth does indeed require us to give up our own life, the life of our evil loves, the life of our evil delights. And although the truth offers-the Lord in His truth offers-real life, life itself, and with it the indescribable felicities of heaven, yet the natural man will have none of it. The purely natural man does not admit that what the truth says is so, and he remains in dense ignorance that there is any better life than that which he now possesses,-the life which the truth alone can impart to him.

     Some refuse to undertake to do what the truth requires, because they labor under an erroneous idea of what the truth does require. It is a part of the scheme of dominion with the infernal powers, and with their willing agents on earth, in order more completely to obtain control of the souls of men, to assume the garb of religion, and to take possession of the church and construct a false heaven. Their object is not to save souls, but to acquire dominion. To do this, they do not give to men the genuine truth of the Word, but a spurious imitation of it. They do not break to them the true bread of heaven, the "bread which cometh down from heaven to give life unto the world." And hence they do not permit men to see the real evils that are leading their souls to hell. Such they cover up, do not refer to, never speak of. Instead of urging men to come up to the requirements of the truth itself, plainly taught in the Word of God, in particular in the Ten Commandments,-instead of this, they teach that men live by faith only, and require certain things that are non-essential, urging upon their followers the traditions and inventions of men, rather than the plain commands of God.


Prominent among these non-essentials is the requirement to give up natural pleasures, which are in themselves innocent and not harmful, making this one of the chief elements of a religious life; causing it to be believed that the pleasures of the body in the world are not at all in agreement with the life that leads to heaven, that we must deny ourselves these things if we would live a heavenly life.

     Now this is requiring more than the truth requires, and at the same time less. It requires more than the truth requires, because the truth of Scripture nowhere makes the surrendering and extinction of natural pleasures an essential of religion; it simply regulates those pleasures, puts them into order, and causes the mind to discriminate between pleasures that are really evil and those that are harmless and innocent in character. And it requires less than the truth, because the truth exacts from all men a strict obedience to the letter and the spirit of the Ten Commandments, the precepts of the moral law, as containing the genuine essentials of salvation, without which no man can be saved. But a humanly invented system makes no such requirement, except for the eyes of the world; holding that the Commandments are merely to be kept for the life of the outer world, and contribute nothing to the life of preparation for heaven; that heaven is entered by faith only, and not by the works of the law.

     Every reader of history knows, and all human experience testifies, that nations obtain their liberty through war, that men must fight for liberty, for the sake of the blessings which it brings. And sometimes the war is indefinitely prolonged. It cannot be otherwise for it is the same with all spiritual war. In this, as in all other things, the natural corresponds to the spiritual. When a young man seriously begins the contest for spiritual liberty, he finds himself all at once in the midst of a war that was unexpected, not looked for at first. It is a war against his own delights, and apparently against his own freedom. For it is a remarkable fact, not foreseen, that a true spiritual freedom is established, and a false and spurious freedom banished, by apparently depriving ourselves of freedom at first,-by putting ourselves under bonds. But observe closely; it is only an appearance of bondage, for the bonds are self-imposed. They are the bonds of self-compulsion, bonds that man voluntarily assumes, even as a soldier going to war, that a false freedom may be removed.


And so, even in this very self-compulsion and self-restraint, there is the highest exercise of freedom. But the sense of freedom is absent. Such a state does not appear to be free.

     A lesson to learn here, by the young people who are about to begin the battle of the regenerate life, is not to be discouraged and desist from the conflict, or retreat from the field of battle, because the experience is hard and bitter in the effort to compel oneself to do what the truth teaches. Remember what the Lord said to His disciples on one occasion: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth. I am come not to send peace, but a sword." (Matt. 10:34.) Life on earth was to be a constant warfare against all that stands out in opposition to the truth of the Word of God; and all are enlisted for that war who love that truth; and in this world there will be but a few faint glimpses of the peace of heaven. "I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword." Peace will come after the conflict, not on earth, but in heaven.

     In an ancient fable the story is that a certain animal was informed of the exceeding sweetness of nuts. So he snatched a walnut from a tree, and pressed his teeth into it. But being offended by the bitterness of the hull, he threw it away before he reached the inner sweetness, complaining that he had been deceived, that nuts were not sweet, but bitter, and he would make no further trial. Now One who is infallible, and infinite in His knowledge, teaches us of the exceeding sweetness and beatitude of life in heaven. But to reach that life we must, while on earth, pass through many bitter experiences; bitter, because it is necessary to make war against our own evil delights. And so, instead of the sweet, we find the bitter; instead of freedom, constraint, and what appears to be bondage. And we are prone to pause in doubt, even as the people of Israel hesitated on Mount Carmel, standing still, as it were, at the forks of the road, causing the prophet Elijah to call out to them: "How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him!" (I Kings 18:21.)

     We are reminded also of the wonderful vision seen in the world of spirits by the prophet of the Second Coming. Some hundreds of people, yea, a multitude of men and women newly arrived from the natural world, were traveling along a great highway, finally reaching the forks of the road where a great stone, over which some stumbled and fell.


They had at last reached the point of decision; they could no longer halt between two opinions. And we are told that a few took the right road, but many the wrong. (H. H. 534.) We have here a picture of the beginning of manhood, when a decision must be made, and when the Divine law of order, which is inexorable, will brook no further delay; and one would fain return to the fleshpots of Egypt rather than wander through the wilderness of years that intervenes between the starting point and the goal.

     We have quoted the Gospel where the Lord said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I am come not to send peace, but a sword." (Matt. 10:34) If this passage were read, to the exclusion of other passages where peace is spoken of by the Lord, we should receive an erroneous idea of the end, of the purpose, for which the Lord came into the world. This passage in Matthew tells the truth, but it does not, on its surface, tell the whole truth. The Lord did come to bring a sword,-to bring war, combat, temptation, trial, tribulation; yet this does not express the whole truth,-the supreme end: for which He came among men. Nor are we left in doubt. He came to bring a sword, but it was to bring the peace that comes only by the sword. The sword was the truth which was to make men free, which was to bring peace to the world, as is even the case with natural wars among men. Wars are fought that peace may come.

     This truth, as applied to spiritual war, is fully explained by the Lord elsewhere; as, for instance, where, in the Gospel of John, He speaks to His disciples, saying, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33.) I have overcome the world. He had accomplished redemption by combats with the hells, and so established peace in heaven and also among men. "Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

     And the angels sang this song of peace, as heard by the shepherds at Bethlehem: "There were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. . . And suddenly there, was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:8-14)


For the truth,-which was to make men free, was in the world. Amen.

     Lessons: Isaiah 58. John 8:28-51. N. J. H. D. 141, 142.


     The following addresses were delivered at the Funeral Service in the Bryn Athyn Cathedral on November 7th, 1927:

     A deeply loved and honored leader, to whose wisdom the Church has looked for counsel for more than half a century, has been gathered to his fathers. He was very dear to all of us, not only because of what be did for the Church in that high office to which he was called, but also because we loved him as a man. He was a genial and sympathetic friend, a broadly cultured gentleman, with whom one felt a spirit of sincerity within the forms of courtesy that made them the embodiment of charity. His mind was keenly alert, even to the last, responsive to every subject of human interest. Tolerant in the extreme, he never obtruded his personal views upon others; yet he ever spoke with a calm assurance and a firm conviction, penetrating the appearance, and bringing to light a deeper truth. All his thought seemed to be born, not only of an intellectual vision of the Lord, derived from the Heavenly Doctrine, but also of a continual sense of His living presence. The realization that the Lord had come seemed to transform his life, and to mold his character.

     From it he derived a deep humility, a sort of childlike simplicity in all he said and did. From it he also derived a quiet strength, an unwavering courage, a calm acquiescence in the dispensations of Providence, the sphere of which deeply affected all who came in contact with him. It enabled him, in a degree seldom achieved by men of forceful character, to preserve in actual practice the freedom of others, both as to speech and action, while at the same time he helped them to feel the power of Divine Law as that to which all men should compel themselves.


     All these qualities combined to fit him eminently for the task to which the Lord had called him. Keenly perceptive of the Divinity of the Writings, he saw in them the vision of the Son of Man in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. He saw that, only as that vision came to men with profound conviction could an internal church be founded. Standing courageously for this principle, and for all that it involved of loyalty to the Heavenly Doctrine, in thought, in teaching, and in life, he suffered bitter opposition from those whom he was trying to lead toward a higher conception of the New Church than men were as yet prepared to accept. For the sake of that principle he willingly sacrificed every hope of advancement, and suffered poverty and hardship for himself and his family. But in this he was not entirely alone. The small group of kindred spirits, gathering around the strong personality of Bishop Benade, found themselves drawn ever closer by bonds of spiritual friendship. Out of this arose the Academy, fighting its way at last to freedom and independence, that the Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming in the Writings might gain a foothold in the minds of men, among all who were ready to receive it.

     The high vision was for the most part in advance of the time; and even among those who were ready to accept it as an abstract doctrine, not all were prepared for such an application of it as would make it a forming, creative force in the development of the Church. The conflict was sharp, and the outcome often in doubt. But when at last a favoring Providence brought success, and a small but closely knit organization came into being, free from external restraints, with sufficient means to inaugurate a practical program of internal evangelization, all heaven seemed to inflow with inspiration to fill the hands of these devoted men and women. It was as if they had come out of the desert into a fertile land, where, by earnest cultivation, the soil could be made to produce a plentiful harvest of spiritual fruitage, until it became like the valley of the Jordan,-the garden of the Lord. The exaltation of those days of joyous labor and unstinted sacrifice has loaned its inspiration to every generation following.

     But the conflict was not over. Dark days lay ahead. Difficulties arose which appeared as insurmountable, difficulties arising in the Academy, itself, and seeming to be intrinsic to it.


The very principles, a perception of which had seemed to open the windows of the soul and impart a glimpse of heaven itself, seemed, when faithfully applied, to be irreconcilable with actual human conditions. They seemed to involve the sacrifice, not only of the things of the world, but of freedom itself, that priceless gift of God, without which there is no possibility of human progress. At last, even strong men reached the limit of their endurance, wavered, and began to break. They seemed to be caught in a cul-de-sac from which there was no escape. Hope gave place to disappointment, and at last to despair.

     Then was our beloved Bishop, now departed, called to take the helm. With firm adherence to the inner vision of the Truth, he yet was able to see the need of an external yielding, an external accommodation to the necessities of human life, that the vital seed might have room and air in which to grow. Providing by counsel and assembly for free thought and speech, he yet held the minds of men fixed steadfastly upon the vision of the living Lord, stirred within them a spirit of charity and mutual toleration, and inspired them with renewed confidence in the future of their cause, with a new faith in the Providence that was directing their destiny. Holding the Church ever true to the deep, sure channel of Revealed Truth, he guided it between hidden rocks and dangerous shoals, which he perceived with keen insight before others guessed their presence. Safely he brought it to a haven where for a time there might be rest, preserving all that was of lasting value in the earlier development, so that upon this, by devoted labor, there might be a further building. His efforts were rewarded beyond all expectations, and to his patient leading we owe in great measure the manifold blessings that we now enjoy. Our debt we can neither express in words nor perhaps completely realize as yet.

     Small wonder, then, that with his passing there comes to all the Church a sense of loss, as of some assurance of security removed. With him passes a state within our Church which no power in heaven or on earth can bring again. The stream of life flows on with irresistible current, carrying us inevitably upon its flood to states untried and dangers that cannot be foreseen.

     If, realizing our bereavement, we are tempted in a moment of human weakness to question the future, let us remember his own unfaltering trust in Providence.


Our beloved friend has finished his work; he has laid aside that tool we call the body, and entered upon his appointed use in the world of spirits. But the Lord who prepared him for his task, the Lord who gave him strength and wisdom adequate to meet the needs of his day, the Lord Who is the real, the only Builder of His Church, remains as present in His Glorified Human as in days now past. "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it." Men are indeed instruments under His hand. Through them He works. To human appearance, the Holy Spirit passes from man to man, and the New Jerusalem seems to descend from heaven by means of great minds, enlightened to teach and inspired to lead. And yet it is the Lord Who provides these minds, the Lord Who raises up these leaders, in every time of need. If we penetrate the appearance and lay bare the reality, we see that the Holy Spirit passes from God through man to man, and that the Lord is immediately present with every man, by afflux from Revelation and by influx from heaven, to build the New Jerusalem in every individual mind. To that presence, clearly seen and spiritually felt, our beloved friend ever pointed as "the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world." To that living presence his whole life points, with glad assurance of Divine protection and unceasing care for that Church in whose past we see so many miracles of mercy.

     The same may be said even of his death. For that death brings his resurrection to new health and strength, and the unfolding power of the spirit. That state which he personified must needs pass for us; but in that world to which he now has gone, carrying with him all those spiritual faculties by which the Lord so powerfully worked among us here, all that is vital of it, all that is of eternal value in it, will be preserved forever. Its effects will be profound, both there and here. Heaven is the storehouse of remains for the racial man, even as the inner mind is the storehouse of remains with the individual,-remains that enter into future states to mold and guide them from within. There will his work go on, although the Lord alone can trace its operations, although we neither see him nor realize the source of that inflowing spirit which results from his inner presence with us. None the less it will go on, as a means in the hand of the Lord for the protection, preservation, and establishment of His kingdom on the earth.


It is out of that heaven to which he has gone that the New Jerusalem descends from God; and to that heaven, and the influx thence, he will add a new quality of strength and increased perfection.

     What of the Academy to which he will now come in the spiritual world? It is the old Academy, yet ever new because of hidden things revealed, because of doubts removed and questions answered by spiritual experience and angelic teaching. Yet the old friends are there,-the friends who labored with him through the troubled days of small beginnings here, and who will now receive him gladly to a deeper fellowship. How happy that meeting will be into this new Academy he will come as to a home, where he will find not only rest after weary wandering, but peace which comes from the fulfillment of hopes long years deferred. And to them he will bring news from the earth,-news of the Church and its advancing states, for which they eagerly await. It is thus that he would have us think of him in this glad moment of awakening, forgetful of our sorrow, with hearts full of thankfulness to the Lord for His mercy, both in granting us to know and remember him as he was on earth, and to know and rejoice with him in those days of new-found life that lie ahead, stretching on even to eternity.

     His memory will long be cherished with us for what he was and for what he did as a faithful shepherd of the sheep, a faithful servant of his Master. May we remain true to that vision of the Divine Human in the Writings which he made so clear. May we draw from his life an inspiration to mutual charity, to kindly tolerance and regard for human freedom, to all those qualities which in him were born of a steadfast faith and an earnest life of spiritual religion, the qualities to which our Doctrines point, and which he in so marked a degree exemplified. Not otherwise can we be worthy of his memory, and true to the love of him that is in our hearts. Not otherwise can his great hope for the Church and its genuine growth among us be realized.

     Only thus can the Lord continue to work through him with us, giving us light and strength to meet the needs of another day, that we also may be granted a humble part, a blessed service, in the great work for which he gave his life,-the work by means of which there will at last arise upon the ruins of a fallen Christianity a heavenly kingdom on the earth of men, wherein, in very truth, the "Lord God Jesus Christ shall reign," to Whom be all glory and dominion now and evermore. Amen.




     Men are spiritual uses; and as they serve those uses, they are disciplined, and, it may be, become regenerate. The uses which men perform are of the Lord's appointment. They are foreseen from the beginning. The Lord foresees them in the man's creation, and provides for them by all the events which bear upon the man, from the first to the last day of his life. In this way man's use, which is and evermore becomes the man, is pre-determined; and yet, in time, it is in freedom shaped and perfected; for creation is continual, and its continuity is effected by recreations. The creation of man as a spiritual use is a non-ending process. That which we call death is but the ultimate catalysis of the body, whereby release is given for further advance, whereby the life of the use which man is becoming is raised to a higher plane and increased powers, whereby a wider opportunity is given for the extension of the service which is involved in the man's use. To this end, man by death becomes a spirit, and an invisible power,-invisible to men in the world; yet the spirit is a power which has an unconscious extension to men in the world of nature. It is thus that the church on earth is aided, is strengthened, by the passing of its members into the other life, a life which is called "other" only because it is not visible to our eyes. The church there and here is one and indivisible; the fate of the one is bound up in the state of the other; for the relation of the two is like that of mind and body.

     Today we commemorate the passing of a member of our church into the other life. William Frederic Pendleton was gifted with a length of days on earth beyond the ordinary. His service to his Church was of great measure. He was honored in this service, and yet more was he loved; and even as he abides in our love, so will he continue to serve the Church on earth. His release leaves us in possession of his spirit, and of his ideal, in which his spirit dwells, in which it has ever dwelt with peculiar force and effective power.


     It is not for any one thing that we now remember him, nor will the recitation of many things equal his work. It is the whole that counts,-the whole as one and individual. He impressed us as singular in the unity of his life. It is so we grasp and hold to his spirit,-the spirit of his faith and love. We so think and speak of him, because he was our leader in fact as well as form, in spirit as well as in office. He was our leader in and under seeming defeat. He saw the light when there was darkness. His light was the light of faith in the Writings,-a faith that was bold and direct-bold in deed, but quite apart from self-assertion, and direct with that simplicity and sincerity of thought which ever characterizes those most fit to lead their fellow men. The dubious played little part in his life. His mind was engaged with the certainties of Revelation. To see clearly and to believe implicitly was a part of his temperament, his interior constitution. This made him, in his youth, an ardent soldier, and in his younger manhood a devoted follower and upholder of his spiritual teacher and leader; and when in time the call to general leadership came to him, there was no change in his mode and manner. As he was, so he remained, and this to the end,-a most unassuming man, and yet of fiery quantities and properties in maintaining the truths of his conviction, the certainties of Revelation as he saw them, and the validity of those doctrines which have become associated with the name of the Academy.

     I have no knowledge of a greater devotion to those doctrines than was manifest in him, and I know of no leading that led more directly to the Writings as the source of life and faith. His stand ever was to lose the world and gain the Church, and to this end he willingly sacrificed. His mission first called him to the Church in the wilderness, to gather a scattering of the flock and tend them, to give them, in patience and with zeal, spiritual food for their instruction, their upbuilding. Some of us are of this, his flock, his original flock, and the affection of these for their pastor is entwined with the deepest things of their life. Associated with this, his first leading, are memories that cannot die, not until all who knew him have passed away; and in the life to come such memories only sleep, to be awakened for cause and need.


     A remarkable affection went out to him because he ministered in sacred things, and because his priesthood was ever held inviolate, and because it was exercised with peculiar power, and with singular consecration. In all this he was later known to the whole Church, and known as its Bishop; but to his first-formed Academy flock, he was ever called by the name of Father, as a nearer and dearer title.

     If you will pardon me, I cannot on this occasion be other than personal, though I fear he would not have it so. But remember, the persons of men are formed for spiritual uses, and if regenerate, they are formed of spiritual uses. And in so far, and by this means, the blessing of the Holy Spirit passes through man to man,-that is, by instruction in those Divine things which become sacred when received. In this, happily, there is a personal qualification. It is unhappy only when, and if, the qualification is of the proprium. In the first instance, the person is but a servant of the use, giving form and color to it. In the second, the person would surmount through proprial passions. This is the distinction between a good and an evil shepherd,-between those who gather and those who scatter the flock.

     But let this be. Today we memorialize a brother who has passed into the life beyond, a leader called away from his people; a man who has gone into the presence of his God, even as we shall all go. And while we cannot count upon this memorial either as an aid or a hindrance to his journey, yet for ourselves it may serve as a guidepost on our way, as one by one the passing years bring us nearer the goal.

     When I was a boy, my brother said to me: "There are three great events in a man's life, his birth, his marriage and his death." He had been speaking of the other life as affording a state in which a man could enter into his use in a way not possible in this world. Almost his last words to me were: "I am interested in my work." He diverted from what I was saying. He wanted to know what, if anything, was being done about his class.

     For a number of years he has been in virtual retirement, but his presence among us has been constantly sustaining. Let us look to see, let us pray, that his released spirit may be more strongly with us in aid of the things for which our Church has stood from its beginning. There is ever the insistence of change; yet the power of continuity resides in that which is unchangeable.


For this is a Divine attribute. It pertains to the Lord. It is derived into His Word, and from thence into His Church. It is that which gives to the spirit of man its immortality. Amen.



     "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace." (Psalm 37:37.)

     It is common in the world to estimate our fellow beings for their wealth, for their power, their social position, their bodily charm or strength, their intellectual attainments. And when their souls pass on into the spiritual life they seem truly to have departed-to have ceased to be so far as men are concerned. For their activities on earth cease, their offices pass into other hands; they are dead to the world, even though history may claim them, or natural affection restore their image.

     But the real man is something different from all this, and is reserved for relatively few to see and perceive and treasure. In common intercourse the best we can hope from our friends is to see their real personality-see the depths of their being, the depths of their love, of their wisdom, and the strength of their endeavor-revealed in a passing flash now and then. Such moments we treasure up as constituting the glory and loveliness and joy of life, as a promise of the heaven where souls shall walk serene without fear or worldly reserve in inmost communion, giving out the wisdom of their life freely, one to another, sharing their delights with their fellows.

     The Writings of the New Church teach us to look for this real man, rather than to stop after admiring or condemning the hereditary talents or faults which garbed his mind, or the accidental gifts which environment and education added superficially. We are to learn to love each other from the heart, and for the real virtues of the spirit, for the good we see in each other; not for the superficial good only, but for the fundamental things which make the regenerating man to be like an angel of God.


We are to love men for the good of their real use.

     By their real use we do not mean their outward function in life, even though a man's office is a fulcrum and a plane for this, his inner use. A man's real use is tied up with his attitude and illustration in his function, and few there be who can estimate it aright. Yet in the art of appreciating the uses of others lies the key to all progress toward true charity and wisdom and heavenly order and peace. When we learn to see deeply into the hearts of our friends, we shall find their inward use, the use which the Lord has sent them to express in life. This is their true soul, which is the Lord's own creation.

     The soul of each man is a use, a Divine purpose. It is this which forms its body in the world, feeding and growing as man advances in regeneration amidst adversities and struggles against earthly heredities, groping towards a more perfect expression, and all the while organizing itself into a spiritual form within the mortal body. And when this organization, this forming of the use, has been accomplished, when it is ready, and fits completely to a need in the Gorand Man of heaven, the body is laid aside, in Divine Mercy and according to the universal order of progress. (S. D. 5002, 3.) And the spirit, the real man, the formed use, is then born into another world, born into a freedom it had not before, and into a peace and a delight it had never yet felt.

     Within each human soul there is, as a driving power, a Divine thing which is not a part of man. It is a Divine purpose. Happy the man who is true to that Divine end of his creation, to that mission upon which he is sent from God. We can never wholly and finally judge of our fellow as to whether he consentingly fulfilled the Divine purpose to some extent or not. No man can fulfill his mission except in a small part, even though all eternity be reckoned for the task. Yet some are so evidently of eminent service, because of their patient and selfless labor in the Vineyard of the Lord, that we may see their lives, not so much as persons, but as uses formed by the Lord.

     In the late Bishop Emeritus we see such a use-a Divine mission fulfilled a link in the chain of human uses which subserve the Divine Providence as means.


Wherever possible, in the course of his long services to the New Church, he blotted out himself. He became the leader of the General Church of the New Jerusalem, and we vision him as the foremost figure within the New Church in that period. Yet he held the Church together, not by force of personality, but by principle; held it not to himself, but to the Lord. His use was eminently that of the New Church Priesthood, whose position and freedom of development his efforts assured without detriment to other uses. And after a long life of service and struggle had been crowned by the blessings of peace and progress within the Church, he chose to retire from his many administrative duties, doing this gradually and inconspicuously as age came on, and leaving his work in capable hands. And he felt it as his reward that now he could do some one task more perfectly. It is this (as he modestly said) that gives perfection to angelic life,-that their obligations are limited to the one use for which they are adapted, and for which they feel themselves urged to labor because they see that need as one to be filled.

     And now the rushing urge of the world, with its manifold calls, its turbulent, sudden needs, and the many interruptions and interferences of natural life-all this has passed for our beloved and saintly Bishop. His is now to be the one use which he is henceforth free to do,-a heavenly use connected with that priestly love of saving human souls which dominated him. We cannot but rejoice with him that the limitations of old age, and of a body which ill health has ever pursued, have been laid aside forever. For he has not gone, is not departed, from us. He has only entered more interiorly into the sphere of his use. And his living spirit,-which fought for freedom in his youth, and which, latterly in his age, in a greater spiritual crisis, led our Church to a greater spiritual freedom, is present to reinforce the impulses for every good work in the New Church on earth.

     That the General Church as an organization will survive very largely because of the spiritual leadership and wisdom, and tempered, foreseeing tolerance, of its first Bishop, W. F. Pendleton, will be for history to point out. Those who have sat under his tutelage, and those who have known him as a friend, feel that they have been nearer to angels than is usually the privilege of men, and that his life was charged in every part with a self-discipline which was subordinated to the truth, which made his use paramount, and made him a form of use.


It is of such men that the Psalmist speaks when he says:

"Mark the perfect man,
And behold the upright;
For the end of that man is peace."

     No man is perfect in any Divine sense. But the word here so translated means whole, entire, "integer," one whose life is integrated and united and organized by one fidelity, one fire, one use. Him should we mark, and emulate, for the end of that man is peace,-unity of mind, completeness of devotion, profundity of happiness. The death, or resurrection, of such is precious in the eyes of the Lord.

     And we can only pray that we may all be given the singleness and sincerity which must be if our lives are to be transformed into greater usefulness, into a means for a fuller outpouring of the Spirit of wisdom and of the fear of the Lord, that the Church even here on earth may become a communion of souls, whose minds will be more and more deeply revealed to each other despite the world's shadows, and whose uses will be at one with those of the Communion of Saints in the heavens. Amen.




     (A paper read at the Ontario District Assembly, 1927.)

     The possibilities as to variety and broad scope involved in the signification of the names of the Old Testament first caught my attention in a really lively manner some years ago, while I was composing a sermon. The subject of the sermon was the story of the war of liberation fought by Israel against the Canaanite oppressor, Jabin, and his General, Sisera. (Judges 4 and 5.) It is there told that this General had his headquarters at a town named Harosheth. Now in the Writings it is said of Sisera that he represents "falsity from evil destroying the church" (A. E. 434:18); but nothing is said about the significance of his town, which is not even mentioned. But on consulting the lexicon to find the literal meaning of the name and its root, it was found to fit so beautifully into place, and to be so inclusive, as to be very stimulating to thought and imagination. The conclusion arrived at was that it represented "falsities of every kind," which are serviceable to the controlling falsity and its reigning evil, and which also serve as its ultimate base of operation.

     The word "Harosheth" means "cutting," and is used where it tells of the making of the Tabernacle and says that Bezaleel was filled with wisdom . . . "in cutting stones for setting, and in cutting wood (i.e., carving), and in engraving." (Ex. 31:5; 35:33, 35.) These are the only places where the word occurs as a common noun, and the idea is that of highly skilled workmanship with edge tools. But when we go to the root, and to other derivatives from it, the idea is broadened in various directions. The artisan is sometimes the carpenter, sometimes the mason or stone-cutter, sometimes the smith, and thus often the maker of curious and ingenious devices. The word also means the device itself which has been cunningly shaped and put together, a contrivance, and from this a fabrication, evil and deceptive plans, conspiracies, whispering secrecy, and witchcraft. A wood or forest is also meant, as being the place where timber and faggots are cut, or as a place of concealment for rebels, outlaws, and enemies, and so for plotting evil.


We may note in passing that when David was an outlaw and fugitive from the authority of King Saul, he and his band of debtors and malcontents hid themselves for a time in a forest named Hareth, which, according to Gesenius, is really the same root as that of the words heresh and Harosheth.

     A forest is also a place of bewilderment and confusion; and the aim of deception, secrecy, witchcraft, and cunning device is to bewilder the victim, and make it easy to carry out the evil purpose. Still other meanings are found for this word, i.e., deafness, dumbness, silence, and, derivatively, keeping still, being secretive and concealing, connecting again with what has been shown already. This meaning arises from the fact that the deaf and dumb are cut off from communication with their fellow men. It describes the spiritual condition of those who are in falsities from evil, that they are incapable of hearing truth M speaking it; they can learn nothing about the Lord except in perversions and denials of truth, and they are incapable of praising Him; hence they are deaf, dumb and silent as to all things of spiritual life. Such a state was also represented in some of the provisions of the Law of Israel. The doing of certain evils was to be punished by "cutting off." The wrongdoer must be "cut off" from Israel. He was excommunicated and exiled from the camp, receiving none of the benefits Or protection afforded by the camp, and having no instruction from the Law. He could not approach the Tabernacle to bring an offering and worship the Lord. For rebelliousness, Miriam was punished in this way for seven days; but in the code given a little later the "cutting off" seems to have been meant as permanent. This legal act in Israel represented that evils and falsities destroy the faculties of receiving and of giving the things of spiritual life. They make man deaf and dumb.

     Again, the root of the name Harosheth means imagination, or the formation of images in the mind. This meaning is from that of artisanship, carving, and engraving; for, like an artisan, the imagination takes up the raw materials of observation and experience, and by cutting and fitting makes out of them forms adapted to the use of thought and purpose; or, like a carver, the imagination devises and makes us see visible forms and representations in things otherwise meaningless. On the other hand, with those who are in falsity from evil, the imagination constructs a world of phantasy and illusion, in whose midst they live.


     Thus it would seem that the name of the town where Sisera's power was centered stands for every kind of falsity that is available for undermining the spiritual life and destroying the Church-cunning sophistries, ingenious devices, that sorcery which makes falsity seem true and truth seem false, closely reasoned fabrications, endless forests of science in which one may wander deviously until utterly bewildered, and specious applications of fact and truth; in short, whatever can be used to confuse and dull the perceptions.

     In the same story, there is another name that invites attention and well deserves close study. It is the name of the prophetess of Israel who inspired the people to rebel against their oppressors,- Deborah, the wife of Lapidoth. Our curiosity leads us to look up the meaning of this name, and we quickly find it,-a "bee." But here we are struck with a certain incongruity. The idea of this small though industrious insect seems to carry no significance comparable with the inspiring character of the woman or the glorious events of the story. In this respect the name is in noticeable contrast with the others. Sabin, the name of the Canaanite king, has the meaning of intellectual, cunning, crafty, knowing. Barak, the name of the captain of Israel, means lightning or "a glittering sword." These have a fitness and direct application that is stimulating to the imagination and thought. But Deborah, the prophetess, "a bee!" Even the name of the husband, who has no other mention, seems more appropriate; for Lapidoth means torches, lamps or firebrands. For as prophetess she illuminated by giving instruction, and as heroic leader she enkindled the people and inflamed them with the love of liberty, so that the oppressor was destroyed. But she is called "Deborah," and the apparent triviality of meaning awakens a desire to inquire further.

     If we turn to the Writings for the spiritual signification of the bee, we find it given several times, but in an unfavorable sense,-"falsity perverting the reasonings of the mind," "falsity of reasoning," etc. And bees are mentioned, along with flies, as among the hurtful flying creatures of the world of spirits, being produced by the sphere of false thought generated by spirits there. But in A. E. 401:6 an explanation is given: "As the rational obtains everything that belongs to it from the scientifics of the natural man, its reasonings are signified by 'bees,' because bees suck out and obtain their store from flowers, as the rational does from the scientifics of the natural man.


But here by 'bees' are signified false reasonings, because the rational gathers what belongs to it from scientifics falsely applied." Now when we consider this explanation we find that it applies quite as much to the proper and orderly operation of the normal rationality as to disorderly and perverted reasoning, The genuine natural rational is there described as "obtaining everything that belongs to it from the scientifics of the natural man"; it has the whole held of external knowledge and experience out of which it draws a meaning, a thought, a reason, a philosophy; even as the bee extracts honey from a field of flowers, until it has laid away an abundant store of sweetness.

     But we need to go on another step. For we are told that there is not only a natural rational, but also a spiritual rational, which may be formed within the natural as a matrix, and which operates in a way similar to the natural, though the flowers it seeks are the beauties of written Revelation; and it labors industriously to draw forth from that source the deeper meaning hidden therein, to gather it together into a body of doctrine, and to store it up as a precious possession. Consequently, "honey" stands for "the pleasantness and delight from the affections of knowing and learning goods and truths, celestial and spiritual" (A. C. 56405), also "the delight from the truths of faith." (A. C. 5620.) And so when the prophet and the apostle, having their eyes opened, saw the Lord in vision, and in His hand a written book, and when they had received the book that they might eat it, it tasted to them as honey, because such a delight is given to the spiritual rational mind when it goes to the Word for the sake of becoming intelligent in the doctrine of love and faith. And again, Jonathan, being an hungered in the forest, when he found some wild honey and began to eat it, "his eyes were enlightened." (I Samuel 14:27, 29) And the manna from heaven, which nourished Israel in the wilderness, tasted like cakes made with honey. (Ex. 16:31) Again, the opening of the inner rational, together with its delight in the hidden meaning of the Word, is prophetically ascribed to the Lora in the words of Isaiah (7:15): "Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good."

     This labor of gathering the inner significance out of the Word is one of the essential uses of the prophet, since it prepares for and leads up to that other prophetic use,-the teaching and preaching of doctrine from the Word.


Therefore a, prophet or prophetess, in the abstract sense, stands for "the doctrine of the church from the Word." (A. R. 8, 801, 943; T. C. R. 130, 149; L. 28; A. C. 7268, 9820, 9809, etc.) And this abstract spiritual idea is expressed in an ultimate correspondential way in the name of the prophetess Deborah,-"a bee."

     But let us extend our inquiry into the linguistic derivation of this name. The root is found to be a verb of very frequent use in the Hebrew,-dabhar,-generally with the sense of "speaking" or "to speak," but carrying with it a certain note of dignity as of speech with a weight of meaning, in contrast with colloquial and trivial speech, which is usually expressed by some other word. In our own language, indeed, the expression "to speak" commonly implies more dignity and formality of utterance than the word "to say," and a similar distinction seems to hold in the Hebrew. The source of this dignity is an underlying idea of order in the root, its basic meaning being given as "to arrange in order," and its meaning of speech and discourse being literally "to put words in order," But to put words in order implies at the same time that ideas are put in order, so that discourse may be the speech of reason, intelligence, and the understanding of truth; and when this is the case the spoken words carry an authority that is felt by all hearers.

     In this idea of "authoritative speech," involved in the word dabhar, we are brought to the prophetic function of teaching, of teaching from the understanding of truth, of teaching the doctrine of the church from the Word, of teaching that truth which has been drawn forth from the inner recesses of the Letter. Thus the name "Deborah" contains in its meaning these two correlative uses of the prophet, or prophetess: first, the industrious investigation of the Word with the end of deriving from it the essential truth concealed therein; and secondly, the authoritative proclamation of that truth, so that men may be instructed and led by it. Our Lord, when on earth in the flesh, assumed and fulfilled the office of Prophet, so that from an infinitely perfect understanding of the Scriptures He expounded them to His disciples and preached to the multitudes. And "the people were astonished at His doctrine; for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." (Matt. 7:29.)


     But the prophetic authority differs in kind and degree from the authority of reason, for it derives from a higher order. The ordered arrangement of truths in the rational human mind does indeed give much weight to the words that embody human thought; yet that order and intelligence are but finite, a shadowy image and distant reflection of Divine Wisdom and Order. When the Lord wishes to reveal Himself-to make Himself known to men that He may come to men, and draw them to Himself-He superinduces His own Divine order upon the thought and words of the prophet, and causes these to flow into such an order and sequence as no man could devise, and containing an infinitude of wisdom which men cannot begin to exhaust, even by assiduous labors. It is the peculiar use of the prophet to set forth this order in words. The thing then spoken, or the discourse then written, has in it the authority of that order which is Divine Authority,-the Authority, not of any man or angel, but of the Lord alone.

     It is in accordance with the notion of authoritative speech that the word dabhar is usually used when the Lord is the subject of the verb. For examples: "The Lord spake unto Moses" at the head of the Ten Commandments, "And God spake all these words, saying," and many similar expressions. Likewise in the phrases, so commonly used in the Prophets: "The word of the Lord came unto me," "the word which the Lord sent, . . ." etc.

     So much for the central meaning of the word from which is formed the name "Deborah." We shall now go very sketchily other some of its derivative meanings, which bring out special values and uses of prophetic utterance.

     "To admonish, to prescribe, a precept, a wise saying, an edict, to command." All these involve superior intelligence and authority such as belong to the prophet. The prophets of Israel reproved and commanded kings.

     "To promise, to threaten." The prophets foretold great glories for a renovated and faithful Israel, and they prophesied troubles even to destruction for the apostate nation. The genuine truth of the Word tells of heaven as the reward of the upright, and of hell as the fate of the wicked.

     "To lead, or guide," as of flocks to pasture. The prophet, by instructing in truth, gives guidance and also provides spiritual food.


Derivative forms, dobher, midhbar, mean the pasture-lot or the grasslands bordering the desert where flocks were kept.

     "To follow"-the reciprocal of leading which is essential in any kind of order.

     "To bring into order." It is perhaps from this, or from the notion of "leading," that the particular sense of a "bee" is taken, either from the habit of swarming, and so of being led by the queen to a new home and field, or from the highly organized form of government under which they live.

     "To utter judgments." It is said of Deborah that she judged Israel for many years at a tree where she was accustomed to sit. Other prophets, notably Moses and Samuel, were also judges. The power of judgment makes one with the understanding of doctrine from the Word and illustration thence. The Word itself judges men according to their reception of it, separating the good from the evil. Then "to pronounce sentence,"-something always done by truth when good has been separated; the evil always perceive the truth as condemnatory.

     "Destruction, death, pestilence,"-the effect of the judgment among the evil as they are cast into hell.

     "To speak kindly, to console,"-the doctrine of truth from the Word as it is with those in temptation, to mitigate their suffering, and to inspire hope and sustain them to the end.

     "To utter a vow,"-worship of the Lord and prayer, trust in His power and province.

     "To utter a song,"-praise of the Lord from the heart because of deliverance from infestation. "To render or recite," or "give voice,"-an additional word meaning the song itself. Deborah's connection with triumphant poetry and song is so close as almost to justify an explanation of her name as "Songstress." Up to the time of the prolific David, the only other known composers of song were Moses, Hannah, and Miriam. As if to call attention to this relation, there is in the Song of Deborah a word-play balancing the name with the action word. (Judges 5:12.)

     In English:

          "Awake, Awake, Deborah;
          Awake, awake, give voice to sing!"


     In Hebrew:

          "'Uri, 'uri, Debhorah;
          'Uri, 'uri, dabberi-shir."

     Again, this word from which the name "Deborah" is derived has a special idiomatic use, namely, "to speak" to a woman, or "bespeak" her, that is to ask her in marriage. This usage involves the sense of dignity and formality before noted as attaching to this word; and it points to the spiritual truth that by the Word of the Lord a relation is established between the Lord and man which looks toward and leads into a conjunction or heavenly marriage, and that this is given through the appropriation of the Word of Authority into thought and life, to allow it to "bring order" into the life, to "follow" so that it may "lead" to "green pastures," to see by it the Divine power and providence, so that we "praise" Him from a full heart on account of His merciful deliverance.

     One more item in this long list. Another noun from this root, debhir, was used in a strictly limited sense for the inmost room, recess, or sanctuary of Solomon's temple,-the holy of holies. In our common English version it is always rendered "oracle,"-a very suitable term, as meaning " the place of prayer." For prayers were offered every morning and evening while incense was burned at the golden altar in front of the veil which inclosed the most holy place; and then, once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest went within the veil with incense to offer special prayers and make propitiation for the nation. But the Debhir was also the Place of the Word, and the Place of Speech; for there the Word, in its most holy form, as framed in the Covenant written on tables of stone, was kept sacred and inviolate. There also was the mercy seat, the cover of the ark between the cherubim, of which the Lord had said, "There I will meet with thee," "There I will speak with thee." For the written Word is the Lord's presence with men. When rightly cherished, we meet Him there and see His face. It is the speech of His mouth, and the prophecy and promise of eternal life.

     In all these details we find a general agreement with the idea of a prophet, both as to his use and work, and as to his representative character. And we also find an infilling of that idea with many particulars, so that the name in question, Deborah, is perceived to be adequate in every way to the great deliverance which this woman wrought, and to her exalted place in the midst of Israel.


And in addition it is seen to have a broad and comprehensive meaning such as to shed illumination upon many varied aspects of the internal sense of this history.

     Now I would like to present a general conclusion that I have reached, one that may be fairly drawn, I think, from the brief study that I have presented. It is this,-that the student should attack the literal or natural meaning of Hebrew names with an inclusive approach, so that, instead of determining from several possibilities that it means this, and not that, he will conclude that it means both this and that. And then, upon this broad and inclusive basis, let him proceed to build up the structure of the internal sense. We are told that the things of the spiritual world, as compared with those of this world, are as a thousand to one. A like ratio holds as between the things of the internal man and the external. And the same thing is true as regards the internal sense of the Word, in comparison with the Letter. Yet these innumerable internal things are really contained in and represented by the single things of the Letter; and something of the immensity of the inner plane is reflected in the diversity and extensiveness of the sense of the Letter.

     We are familiar with the statement that Hebrew words commonly include meanings from opposite to opposite, extending from some very practical physical idea to an exalted good and to a debased evil. But in very many instances the extension of sense is more like the spread of a fan or like the spokes of a wheel; for, from some central basic idea, usually physical, several varieties of meaning go forth along diverse courses, leading to several particular oppositions of good and bad. All of these should be taken together, so that we may have an all-around view of the significance of the word or name under consideration. In pursuing such a study we always find certain liftings of the veil, with glimpses of the internal sense; but the comprehensive grasp of that sense can best be gained as we fit together in order all the varied elements which constitute the sense of that Letter upon which the heavens rest, and by which we are brought into companionship with its angelic societies.




     MY RELIGION. By Helen Keller. Foreword by Paul Sperry. New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1927. Cloth, illustrated, pp. 208. Price, $2.00.

     Helen Keller's new book is a valuable review of some not all-of the doctrines of the New Church. The title of the book-My Religion-defines her reading of the Writings as that of a strong, individual reader, living her life apart from an organized church, apart even from the idea of an organized church. This, however, makes her book interesting, because her vision of the Writings is vivid, and clear, and individualized.

     When a little girl of ten, Helen Keller wrote to Rev. Phillips Brooks, asking, among other questions, "How did God tell people that His home was in heaven?" "What will He do to teach people to be pitiful and loving? "Please tell me something that you know about God." To her joyous satisfaction she has found the answers to these questions in the Writings.

     The book is divided into eight parts, each part not so much a chapter as an essay; and these eight essays-with the distinction, informality, and human experience of essays-will have a value apart from a natural interest in them as the work of a deaf-blind woman. The first essay is about Swedenborg, his family, education, travel, his work in chemistry, anatomy, geology, philosophy, mathematics, mechanics, mining, statecraft, his first sixty books and pamphlets, and finally his revelation of the realities of the spiritual world. The second essay includes Helen Keller's own experiences in reading the Writings. "When I began Heaven and Hell I was as little aware of the new joy coming into my life as I had been years before when I stood on the piazza steps awaiting my teacher. Impelled only by the curiosity of a young girl who loves to read, I opened that big-book. . . . My heart gave a joyous bound. Here was a faith that emphasized what I felt so keenly-the separateness between soul and body, between a realm I could picture as a whole and the chaos of fragmentary things . . . which my limited physical senses met at every turn."


     In the third essay, Miss Keller defends her happy acceptance of the Writings by listing and quoting distinguished men and women whose praise of Swedenborg proves to her that her own judgment is not defective because of her physical limitations. It is a needless defense. She speaks of Emerson, Carlyle, Elbert Hubbard, Henry James, Henry Ward Beecher, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Edward Everett Hale, Phillips Brooks, and Whittier. She might have added Howells, Robert Frost, Rachel Lindsay, Howard Pyle, Strindberg, and Yeats. But with the possible exception of some of Lindsay's scattered tributes, her own sequent tribute is finer than any of theirs, in her comparison of Swedenborg with other great men in science, literature, philosophy, and religion.

     The fourth essay is about the symbolism of the Bible, the parables, the dark sayings, the law of correspondences, the universal language, interpreting for her the dim literal sense, revealing God as Man. "Swedenborg gives the same spiritual equivalent for the same natural object throughout the Bible, and the meanings fit wherever they are applied. I know; I have tried this key, and it fits. This is what Swedenborg calls the law of correspondences.

     The fifth essay explains the doctrine of the Lord, of heaven and hell, and the law of use. The sixth-an unusual subject-traces the history of Love as a doctrine from Empedocles, and Plate, through St. Augustine, A Kempis, Boehme, and others, to the Arcana Celestia and Divine Love and Wisdom. The seventh, an informal symposium, includes the subjects of happiness, joys of charity,-joy inseparable from the Doctrines,-noted as strange after the penances of the Middle Ages,-Divine Providence, and the doctrine of remains. The last essay is again related to personal experiences-that she has found the best answers to questions about affliction in the chapters on Faith and Free-will in The True Christian Religion, that she knows there are two planes of life, spiritual and natural, each "with an outside as well as an inside"; that her first revelation, in her seventh year, was when light came with words into her silent, dark life, and then "it was but a step for me from the wonders of nature to the wonders of the spirit" . . . "To one who is deaf and blind, the spiritual world offers no difficulty.


Nearly everything in the natural world is as vague . . . as spiritual things seem to the minds of most people."

     The book naturally stimulates an interest in the writer. Although occasionally, and with no self-pity, Helen Heller speaks of herself sitting outside the gate of life, or holding out two trembling hands to life in a world without sound or light, she is prevailingly happy, living a more complete life than many who have eyes and who see not, and ears and who hear not. She says: "Our blindness changes not a whit the course of inner realities." "If you wish to be something that you are not, you shut your eyes, and for one dreamy moment you are that which you long to be." When she was a student at Radcliffe, she said: "Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence." When she was a child of eleven, she wrote in a letter: "Yesterday I thought for the first time what a beautiful thing motion was, and it seemed to me that everything was trying to get nearer to God. Does it seem that way to you?" Touch, taste, reverberation, smell, and motion, fragrance and form, words-the wings of the mind-an eager dependence on people and books for the experiences of light and sound, a mind that inherits the balance of all five senses,-these make her life; and she says: "I am conscious of the splendor that binds all things of earth to all things of heaven. . . . I possess the light which shall give me vision a thousandfold when death sets me free."

     Her three books, The Story of My Life, The World I Live In, My Religion, make a trilogy in a study of absorbing interest. Our dependence on the senses and our independence of them is of importance to all of us. There is a serpent in every garden, a sense plane in every life-as there should be. But to see life lifted to a higher plane, as Helen Keller has shown that it may be, explains the world interest in her character and books. At one time she lost temporarily her senses of taste and smell, and was solely dependent on the sense of touch. A materialist would think this remarkable experience a lessening of the faculties of life. A behaviorist would say-what? Helen Keller's experience is, that human wisdom and Divine wisdom can come only through the senses; but she says in her book that the explanation in the Arcana Celestia is, that "it is the interior man that sees and perceives what goes on without him, and from this interior source the sense experience has its life."


     The book is not an explanation of the New Church. If it were meant to be such an explanation, it would be incomplete. It is what its title indicates-the religion of one thoughtful, sincere reader of the Writings.



     The chaos and misery of Egypt's feudal period inspired a Joblike literature which rivals modern pessimism. Neferrohn writes of "a land upside down; that happens which never happened before. Men shall take up weapons of war; the land lives in uproar. All good things have departed. Things made are as though they had never been made. The land is minished, its rulers are multiplied." But both he and the famous Ipuwer foretold a savior who should restore peace, and who is thus beautifully described by Ipuwer: "He shall bring cooling to the flame. Men shall say, 'He is the shepherd of all the people; there is no evil in His heart. If His flocks go astray, He will spend the day to search them. The thought of men shall be aflame. Would that He might achieve their rescue!' Verily, He shall smite evil when He raises His arm against it. . . . Where is He this day? Doth He sleep among you?" (See Cambridge Ancient History; Breasted History of Egypt.)

     Here is a ray from the Ancient Church nearly a thousand years before the Messianic prophecies of the Hebrews.


     The tale of Sinuhe, an Egyptian political fugitive, is of special interest to the New Church, giving, as it does, the earliest traveler's view of pre-Israelitish Canaan. Most strikingly his description confirms the testimony of the Writings regarding the remains of a celestial character which lingered with the tribes later represented in the Word by Shechem and his father. (Genesis 34:8-12. A. C. 4447, 4448.)


     Sinuhe, taking refuge in Palestine, was welcomed by Emuienshi, the chief of the tribe, with the type of cordiality later extended to Jacob: "Happy art thou with me. . . . Behold, thou shalt now abide with me." Sinuhe continues: "He put me at the head of his children, he married me to his eldest daughter, he made me select for myself of his land, of the choicest of that which he had, on his boundary with another land. It was a goodly land, named Yaa. There were figs in it, and vines; copious was its beauty, plenteous its oil; all fruits were upon its trees. Barley and spelt, without end all cattle. Moreover, great was that which came to me, which came for love of me, when he appointed me sheik of the tribe, from the choicest of his land. I portioned the daily bread, and wine for every day, cooked flesh, and fowl in roast; besides the wild goats of the hills, which were trapped for me and brought to me; besides that which my dogs captured for me. There was much made for me, and milk in every sort-of cooked dish;" (Breasted Ancient Records, 494-6.)


     The questioned superiority of art for art's sake over utilitarianism comes forcibly to mind in studying the Old Kingdom sculpture of Egypt. There was then no idea of creating a form of beauty, but rather of beautifully translating an object into stone; a pharaoh into diorite. The artist lavished incredible patience and unsurpassed technical skill upon a statue which he sincerely hoped would remain forever buried, its sole purpose being to perpetuate the form of the dead for his practical use hereafter. Thus the utmost of artistry was given with no thought of glory other than to make the dwelling of the soul excellent.

     And what is the evidence of these spirit statues for the nameless hands which fashioned them more than 4000 years ago? We are astonished at their unconscious beauty and almost breathing realism. Too soon this type of expressiveness was lost, and ingenuous art, becoming self aware, blossomed with the Greeks into intentional beauty. But which was Art?


     A faint shadow of the correspondential style is noticeable in the Egyptian passion for simile and metaphor.


At times their ideas are almost buried in decoration. Here is one fascinating example from the Dialogue of the Man-weary-of-life with his Soul: He says: "Death is before me today like the convalescence of a sick man, like going forth after an illness. Death is before me today like the smell of myrrh, like sitting beneath the sail of the boat on a breezy day. Death is before me today like the longing of a man to see his home when he has spent many years in captivity." (Cambridge Ancient History. Vol. I, p. 345)

     Apropos of literature, I cannot resist adding this charming letter written by Pepi II when a little boy of ten. The border baron Harkuf, returning from a foreign expedition, sent the message ahead that he had captured a dwarf to be the plaything of the young king. He received the following letter, so eloquent of childish delight tempered by the consciousness of a pharaoh's dignity: "...Come northward to the court immediately! Thou shalt bring this dwarf with thee which thou bringest living, prosperous and healthy, from the land of spirits, for the dances of the god, to rejoice and gladden the heart of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt. . . . When he goes down with thee into the vessel, appoint excellent people who shall be beside him on each side of the vessel; take care lest he fall into the water. When he sleeps at night, appoint excellent people who shall sleep beside him in his tent. Inspect him ten times a night. My Majesty desires to see this dwarf more than the gifts of Sinai and of Punt. If thou arrivest at court, this dwarf being with thee alive, prosperous, and healthy, my Majesty will do for thee a greater thing than that which was done for the treasurer of the god Burded in the time of Isesi, according to the heart's desire of my Majesty to see this dwarf." (Breasted Ancient Records, 353).



WHITTINGTON MUSIC       Editor       1928

Office a Publication, Lancaster, Pa.
Published Monthly By
Editor                    Rev. W. B. Caldwell, Bryn Athyn, Pa.
Business Manager          Mr. H. Hyatt, Bryn Athyn, Pa.

     All literary contributions should be sent to the Editor. Subscriptions, change of address and business communications should be sent to the Business Manager.

In the United States, $3.00 per year; Elsewhere, $3.25 or 14 shillings; payable in advance
Single Copy          30 cents
     "Some African spirits from Abyssinia whose ears were opened heard singing from a Psalm of David in a certain temple in the world, and were affected with such delight that they joined in the singing. But presently their ears were closed, so that they no longer heard the singing, and they were then affected with a still greater delight, because it was spiritual; and they were at the same time filled with intelligence, because that Psalm treated of the Lord, and of Redemption. The cause of the increase of delight was, that communication was given them with that society in heaven which was in conjunction with those in the world who were singing that Psalm, From this it was evident that communication with the universal heaven is given by means of the Word." (Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 108.)

     As our frontispiece this month we present a photograph of Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Whittington, taken at their Devonshire home in 1920. Mr. Whittington's death last March awakened anew a realization of our great debt to him for the music which has been in use among us for over thirty years. Composed by a New Churchman, imbued with the spirit of the New Church and well acquainted with such things of our Doctrine as we have cited above, we recognize in music a gift of Providence to the New Age, and it is fitting that we should record our grateful acknowledgment.


Written in and for the New Church, the Whittington music brought a distinctive element into our worship; in addition, it ranks with the finest sacred music.

     It was in the year 1891 that the Rev. E. C. Bostock, on a visit from London, brought with him to Huntingdon Valley some of Mr. Whittington's shorter pieces, including "How good are thy tents, O Jacob" and "The voice of one crying in the wilderness." All were delighted with them, and it was suggested that the composer be asked to write music for the Psalms, which were then being newly translated. Mr. Whittington gladly undertook this work, and in due course the Psalms set to the new music began to arrive, and were made available for use in sheet form. So great was the enthusiasm that for a time three Psalms were sung in a single service. Seldom, if ever, have congregations attempted such elaborate music, usually reserved for trained choirs; but the interest and zeal of the time, and a delight in the music itself, surmounted the difficulties, and the Psalmody has continued in use throughout the General Church to this day.

     Besides the fifty Psalms in the Psalmody, and the many other Scripture selections in the same volume, Mr. Whittington composed music for Psalms LI to LVI, which are printed in a separate booklet. Psalm CL is also included in the Psalmody. In the Liturgy, we find his music to Chants 34 and 55, and to Hymns 25, 26 and 154, the last being the Hymn "Patience," one of the finest things he wrote. He also composed the music for two Sanctuses used in the Offices of the Liturgy. In the Social Song Book we find his music to "Our Glorious Church," "Vivat Nova Ecclesia," "Swedenborg's Birthday" and "The Academy Colors" songs. In addition, he composed the music which appears in A Farm of Divine Service, published in 1896, and used in the Burton Road Church, London, for many years. We shall rejoice to see the day when this rich heritage of distinctive music shall be in use throughout the New Church.

     Mr. Whittington had composed anthems to words from the Scriptures long before he undertook the Psalmody. Indeed, he had written music for the 45th and 45th Psalms in their entirety, without the repetition of the words which had been customary in the oratorios. It is this earlier setting of the 45th Psalm which now appears in the Psalmody.


His elder brother, who was also musical, had encouraged his bent in this direction, and at the age of ten he composed a double chant which has been printed in various collections, among them the Bristol Tune Book. Music, however, was an avocation with him. Born in Manchester, he went to London at the age of sixteen to become a clerk in a Stock Exchange firm, and thus began a life's career in the field of finance in which he was highly successful. At the time of his death, the London press paid tribute to him in several obituaries, from which we quote the following:

     "By the death of Mr. Charles James Whittington, the London Stock Exchange has lost one of its oldest and most respected members. Mr. Whittington, who had entered his eightieth year, joined the Stock Exchange fifty-one years ago, and set up in business as a dealer in shipping, dock, insurance, gas and water securities. In this financial field he was an acknowledged authority. On retiring from active business about twenty years ago, he became a member of the Stock Exchange Committee, in the work of which he took a lively interest down to 1921. During the war he did useful service as me of the two members of the New Issues Committee established under the auspices of the Treasury. Mr. Whittington had twelve children, nine sons and three daughters, who are all living. Six of his sons served in the war, and all came through safely. Five sons now form the firm founded by their father." (The Times, March 30, 1927.)

     "Few men had played more parts, had done more yeoman work for the Stock Exchange and for the interests of its members, than Mr. Whittington. His name became a synonym for shrewd common sense, unerring judgment, kindly thoughtfulness. Founder of a powerful and greatly respected firm, he still had time to devote to music. As an organist he won distinction, and with his musical compositions, neat, polished and tuneful as they were, he became known throughout the House as a composer. He has left behind a gentle memory that will long be held in veneration." (The Financial Times, March 30, 1927.)

     Mr. Whittington was instructed in the Doctrines of the New Church at an early age. While he was still a boy, his father had accepted the Writings. Cooperating with the Academy movement in England, a pamphlet published in 1891 reveals him in active defense of Academy views.


In 1912, On the death of Mr. James Speirs, Mr. Whittington bought from his estate the copy of the Brief Exposition upon which Swedenborg wrote the inscription, Hic Liber est Adventus Domini, and presented it to the British Museum for safe-keeping in perpetuity. (See NEW CHURCH LIFE, 1913, P. 597.) In 1926, The New-Church Press, London, published a very well written missionary booklet of 133 pages, which was reviewed in our issue for February, 1927. It was entitled, A Brief Introduction to the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, and its author given as "A Layman." It has since become known that the author was Mr. C. J. Whittington, and that in it he had brought together material such as he had used in imparting a knowledge of the teachings of the New Church to a group of listeners in the vicinity of his home in Devonshire. In this volume we have testimony to his sustained interest in the Heavenly Doctrines, although he was not actively associated with the organized New Church in recent years.

     Mr. Nathaniel Stroh, of Kitchener, Ontario, has written for us the following appreciative comment:


     In reviewing the music of The Psalmody for the New Church, the first question that naturally arises in the inquiring mind is: "Wherein lies its intrinsic value or use to the New Church?" After all, music is an expression of affection, so that a description of the music written by Mr. Whittington can at best be only of a very general nature.

     It might be useful to realize that the composer, inspired by the, vision of the New Revelation, wrote this beautiful music for the use of the New Church. Several outstanding features are worthy of special note. The repetition of words, commonly found in the Oratorios of the masters, is carefully avoided, and the translation was made from the original Hebrew in the light of the teachings given in the Writings. In a number of instances, antiphonal music is made use of, the male and female voices alternating in a unique way. And lastly, the accompaniments are intended to be played by orchestral instruments and the organ; in fact, all the instruments of genuine musical value are appropriate.


     The form used throughout is of a free and ready style, while the rhythmic flow very aptly follows the natural expression of the words. Feelings of exaltation and humiliation are spontaneously expressed. Note the trumpet call, and the stirring, pulsating music written to the words, "All ye peoples, clap with the hand; sing unto God with the voice of song," (Psalm 47), and contrast this with the delightfully quiet theme of "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem." It is interesting to note the extensive variety of themes used by the composer. Most certainly the few musical motives, phrases and even sentences that occasionally recur do not become monotonous, but rather tend to make the various Psalms a coherent whole.

     While the Writings do not say a great deal concerning the use of musical instruments, quite sufficient is said to indicate clearly that they distinctly express various affections, and that they are used in the other world in various forms and combinations according to the affections and genius of the societies of spirits and angels using them.

     At the time the Whittington Psalms were written; a number of orchestras were formed in societies of the General Church, but soon disappeared for various reasons, one of which, no doubt, was the lack of realizing the difficulties to be encountered in mastering the elementary technical requirements in the study of the different instruments. Quite naturally it is more burdensome for adults to overcome the early difficulties in the study of instruments than it is for younger folk; and as most of our pioneer orchestras were composed of adult beginners, they soon lost heart, It seemed an impossibility to eliminate the persistent squeaks of the clarinets and the scratches of the violin bows; so the study was given up, and the wish for orchestral accompaniments to the Psalms was not brought into early fruition.

     While the composer of our Psalmody did not write complete orchestral scores, he was fully inspired with the value of their use, and occasionally enjoyed playing them over with several of his friends who performed upon various instruments. Most likely he realized that it would be some time before they could be effectively played by the instrumentalists of the Church; for he himself did not orchestrate the music for the Psalms found in the Psalmody. Only a few were transcribed for members of his family and friends. But he did intend that orchestral music should be written by musicians for the use of the Church.


No doubt this will be done; in fact, it is now being done in some societies of the General Church.

NOTES AND REVIEWS.       Editor       1928

     Mr. Arthur Carter has furnished the two interesting items below:


     Writing about the belief in the "return of Jesus in His corporeal individuality," Samuel Taylor Coleridge thus outlined his view:

     "The whole passage in which our Lord describes His coming is so evidently and so intentionally expressed in the diction and images of the Prophets that nothing but the carnal literality common to the Jews at that time, and most strongly marked in the disciples, who were among the least educated of their countrymen, could have prevented the symbolic import and character of the words from being seen. The whole Gospel and the Epistles of John are a virtual confutation of this reigning error; and no less is the Apocalypse. The unhappy effect which St. Paul's incautious language respecting Christ's return produced on the Thessalonians led him to reflect on the subject, and in his second epistle to them he qualified the doctrine, and never afterwards resumed it; on the contrary, in the first epistle to the Corinthians, ch. 15, he substitutes the doctrine of immortality in a celestial state and a spiritual body. On the nature of our Lord's future epiphany or phenomenal person, I am not ashamed to acknowledge that my views approach very nearly to those of Emanuel Swedenborg." (Complete Works of Coleridge, Harper and Brother, 1864, Vol. vii, p. 277)

DEATH MASK OF CHARLES XII.       Editor       1928

     The late Laurence Hutton, at one time literary editor of HARPER'S MONTHLY, was an energetic collector of death masks and casts of skulls. In his beautiful home at Princeton, N. J., his gatherings were kept in a room set aside for the purpose which the English writer, Edmund Gosse, named "the skullery.


After Hutton's death, his "portraits in plaster," as he called them, passed into the possession of Princeton University, and a recent inquiry has elicited the information that the death mask of Charles XII, of Sweden, one of the only two in existence, now reposes in the Library of that institution. The following account is taken from Hutton's Talks in a Library:

     "About one hundred and fifty years after his death, the body of Charles XII of Sweden was disinterred, although in a reverent and proper manner and to satisfy a curiosity which was perhaps justifiable. Historians had differed as to whether he was shot from before or behind, by the enemy or by one of his own soldiers; and they opened his grave to see that the fatal missile had passed entirely through the King's head from left to right, and in a downward direction. In my cast the indentures are plainly perceptible, especially the larger one on the right temple. There is a much finer copy of this mask of Charles in the British Museum, bequeathed to the nation by Charles Christy, who is said to have bought it in Stockholm at the time of the sale of the effects of a famous Swedish sculptor. The museum authorities and others believe that the cast dates only from the occasion of the long-delayed post mortem examination; but a somewhat rare engraving of it, dated 1823, states that 'it was made four hours after he was shot.'" (P. 155.)




     HELD AT TORONTO, OCTOBER 13-16, 1927.

     The Assembly began with, a reception and dance in the social room of the Olivet Church on Thursday evening, October 19th, reported in the church news from Toronto.

     First Session-Friday.

     The Assembly came to order at 10:30 a.m., the Bishop presiding. After the singing of a hymn and the reciting of the Lord's Prayer, the Rev. H. L. Odhner read a lesson from Isaiah.

     The Minutes of the Fifteenth Ontario District Assembly were adopted without reading as printed in NEW CHURCH LIFE, July, 1924, pp. 430-434.

     The Bishop called for a report of the work in the Ontario District, and the Secretary then told briefly of the work of the District Executive Committee, and described more fully the situation in regard to the isolated people of the Church in Ontario. Correspondence has not been successful in establishing contact with them. A personal visit might accomplish something; at least it could be learned whether further efforts would be worth undertaking. This report was discussed at length by a number of speakers.

     Mr. Frank Wilson read his report as Treasurer of the District Executive Committee, showing receipts of $39.84 and expenditures of $38.66, leaving a balance on hand of $1.18.

     The question of the re-election of the Committee was postponed until the following day.

     Mr. Jacob G. Stroh then addressed the Assembly on "The Early History of the New Church in Kitchener. Mr. Stroh spoke extemporaneously, telling of the earliest receivers of the Doctrines in the vicinity of Berlin (now Kitchener) He himself had been identified with the New Church there since the year 1855. The first to be baptized was Mr. Christian Enslin, the second, Mr. Adam Ruby, and the third, Mr. J. J. Lehnen.


The Rev. F. W. Tuerk arrived in 1857. In illustration of his remarks, Mr. Stroh exhibited some of the first copies of the Writings that came to Berlin, as well as letters and other documents connected with his subject.

     Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner: I feel that we have been greatly privileged in hearing Mr. Stroh tell of his research in the annals of the New Church in this Providence, and should acknowledge it with a vote of thanks, at the same time expressing the hope that these valuable contributions to New Church history may be published. They show so wonderfully the origin of the Church among the early pioneers of Waterloo County, which in turn has contributed a stream of New Church people to various Societies elsewhere.

     The vote of thanks was carried enthusiastically, and acknowledged by Mr. Stroh.

     Assembly Banquet

     On Friday evening a Banquet was held in the social room of the Olivet Church, the occasion being socially delightful and the speeches inspiring. The number in attendance being considerably larger than anticipated, the caterer's resources were put to quite a strain, but a good natural foundation was laid for the spiritual feast which followed.

     The Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner was toastmaster, and introduced the general subject of "The Distinctiveness of the New Church" by saying:

     It may seem at times that New Church distinctiveness rests, or is grounded, upon a merely intellectual difference, namely, upon our belief in the new doctrine; and yet, if that were so, we would indeed be open to grave censure and criticism. That kind of distinctiveness, merely intellectual, could very easily be turned into something else, into a spiritual pride and bigotry that condemns others, and tries to judge of the internal states of others. These things are not to be attributed to those who are truly Mew Church. The teaching is, that differences of opinion need not be the cause, and should not be the cause, of schisms or sects, or of a lack of co-operation among our fellow men, provided only that there be some common love, that common love particularly which we call charity. "It appears," is the teaching in Divine Love and Wisdom, "that wisdom distinguishes one man from another; but the fact is quite different; it is love that unites and distinguishes."


It is because the world no longer loves to understand truths spiritually, and because men are unwilling to acknowledge Divine Truths as authoritative, that the New Church must be separate from the Old, to the end that the loves of heaven may be reconquered and restored to the New Church. They have been lost, and they must be restored through the endeavors of a New Church life. First of all is our love of the Lord-a spiritual love of the Lord, not as to Person merely, but as to His Body of Divine Good and Divine Truth. And foremost among the loves that bless our natural life, among the distinctive loves that characterize the New Church, stands the love of the Marriage Covenant between the Lamb and His Bride, from which descends love truly conjugial, which is to reorganize the Church on earth and change the basic heredity of man in that new race which will constitute the New Church. That love will reorganize the New Church home, and make it a new and glorious thing, hitherto unknown in the world.

     Various phases of the general subject were then treated by the speakers, as follows: "Distinctive Morals and Customs," Rev. W. B. Caldwell; "Distinctive Uses of New Church Societies," Mr. Rudolph Potts; "Distinctiveness Among the Isolated," Rev. F. E. Waelchli; and " The Distinctive New Church Home," Mr. Percy Izzard. After the regular program, Mr. Frank Wilson proposed a toast to "The Ontario District Assembly," and spoke feelingly of the great value of such Assemblies. Dr. R. W. Schnarr and Mr. Edward Craigie also spoke on "Distinctiveness." The toastmaster wove a silver thread of spiritual teaching throughout the series, but so many excellent things were said that we cannot reproduce them all here. In response to a final toast to "Our Guests," the Bishop touched upon the general theme of the evening, saying in part:

     "It is always a great pleasure to meet you and feel your love for the Church, to note the sacrifices you have made, and will doubtless continue to make, for the Church. Inasmuch as the Church is upheld by the Lord upon your sacrifices, the man who is not willing to give up his own will, his proprial notions, for the good and benefit of the Church, is unworthy of it, and he is not truly of the Church in the highest sense of the word.


It is only a spirit of self-sacrifice that leads a man to the light, and makes him acceptable to the Lord.

     "Doctrine by itself cannot do anything; it must have life in it, which is charity,-the great need with us always in our Church. We have unique forms, unique customs; we have a kind and quality of life, and a hope in the future. From the beginning we have had these things, and also our distinctive doctrines which mean so much to us. But we also need charity, internal charity, as a matter of love and life. We also need something more than that, if we are to get along well. We need good fellowship. We need to develop a real affection, an instinctive affection, for one another. That is the natural state we need to cultivate, because it is a very good thing to rest in, and serves a great use. We need good fellowship, and lack of Pride and conceit, which stand in the way of our coming closer together and understanding each other. We need love for one another, Primitive Christianity,-as a basis for our living here. Let us aim high, and keep fighting for it to the end."

     Before closing, the toastmaster offered the following Resolution, which was adopted with a rising vote:

     "Resolved, That the Ontario District Assembly send its greetings of affection and good will to the Immanuel Church, Glenview, on its Fiftieth Anniversary. May Heaven bless its future, and keep the enemy from its gates."

     Second Session-Saturday, 10:30 am.

     After the singing of a hymn and the reciting of the Lord's Prayer, the Rev. L. W. T. David read from the 16th Chapter of Matthew.

     The Bishop: A matter of business is before you,-that of the disposition of the Committee appointed some years ago as an Ontario District Assembly Committee, composed of the two ministers and two laymen, one from each of the Societies.

     Rev. H. L. Odhner: I think it would be fitting if the Committee should consist, ex officio, of the Pastors and Treasurers of the Societies; the reason being that sometimes a man will drop out between Assemblies, and that would lead to some confusion. I would, therefore, make a motion to this effect, that these officers shall be elected automatically to the position. Seconded and Carried.



     Speaking extemporaneously, for the most part, the Bishop now addressed the Assembly on the subject of New Church Education, with special reference to its aims and accomplishments. The following is a brief outline of his remarks:

     Our Church has been interested in Education from the beginning, and we have had time to gauge in a general way the results of the work of our schools, which have been in operation for nearly half a century. A theory of education, like anything else, will, in the long run, be judged by its efficacy, that is, as to whether or not the education that is given produces the results desired.

     Recently I have read a book by Bertrand Russell in which he deals with, this subject. He begins by asking the question: "What results do we desire to achieve?" We should have a conception of the kind of person we want to produce. A certain kind of education, if persisted in, will produce a certain kind of person and character. This, in general, is true, although some children will react so much against their education as to go the other way. But Russell shows that, in all tests, in all times, among all peoples, the result aimed at has been produced by the system of education that has prevailed. He illustrates this by examples, such as the Greeks, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Jesuits, Dr. Arnold's School in England, and the American Public School. Each developed a very distinct kind of education, and they have all been successful in accomplishing the thing they set out to do.

     The education of the Athenian boys consisted in learning Homer by heart, and that produced a very distinct kind of person. The Chinese, on the other hand, had to learn the Confucian classics by heart. Nothing could be wider apart than Homer and the Confucian classics. The one race was fed entirely upon one, the other upon the other, with the result of marked characteristics in their national life. In general war, heroism, and all that goes with it, was the pabulum of the Athenian, while the Chinese classic was peaceful, resigned, non-resistant, and the Chinese character was built upon that. The result was, that the Greeks, with their war-like ideal, in the end destroyed themselves, while the Chinese have remained, exemplifying the saying that "the meek shall inherit the earth." No matter who conquers them, they simply absorb them and make them Chinese.


They are today as they were centuries ago, with little change. So with other cases cited by Russell to show the results produced by education.

     Now, in the New Church, we have an end and aim-education for heaven. But I think we might define the matter more closely. We may ask: "How am I going to educate my child for heaven?" We may imagine that it is an ideal kind of life where there is no evil, and that we are going to train our children to live there. Even from the Writings we have an imaginary picture of that life, and we hardly know how to set about training our children for it. But I believe we can define it more closely, and bring it right home to ourselves by saying that we shall educate the child for his own individual regeneration, knowing that if the child is regenerated we need have no concern about training him for heaven. Our education is a practical one, therefore, and includes a very definite training of the mind of the child, storing it with remains, etc., concerning which definite laws dealing with that process are revealed to us. And this enables us to take very definite steps in preparation for the process of regeneration.

     The Bishop now treated of the application of revealed teachings to various phases of the training of the child. Incidentally he spoke of the two elements of leading in freedom and the use of compulsion and punishment, and of the effects of a misdirected application of one or the other.


     Rev. W. B. Caldwell: The Bishop has given us a delightfully refreshing view of our educational work and aims. When he spoke of what Russell says about the Chinese in contrast with the Greeks, it occurred to me that, if we want to establish the New Church in perpetuity upon the earth, we should be like the Chinese. It is a fact that the Writings speak well of the meekness of the Chinese in the other life, and contrasts it with the state of Christians, to the detriment of the latter. But our civilization has come down from the Greeks, with its warlike ideals, and has produced a like state in modern Christendom, where the Writings have been revealed for the sake of the establishment of the New Church. Regeneration cannot be effected without temptation combat. The essence of our education is to prepare children for the life of regeneration, and that is a life of combat, especially of combat against the evils that prevent reception of the truth. We think we begin to see results in the General Church, in the numbers of young people brought up in the Church who are taking hold.


The mere increase in numbers, however, and getting the children to become members, is not our aim. It is something deeper. The Catholics have built up the most powerful church organization in the world today, but this has been accomplished by placing an external bond of fear upon the children, and not by inspiring them. It is a difficult thing to lead the child in freedom, being careful to use compulsion only when necessary, always looking to the time when it will appropriate the truth by fighting for it in a life of regeneration.

     The New Church elsewhere is losing ground. The first generation is enthusiastic, the second loyal, and the third indifferent. Whole families drift away and are dissipated. But we have tried to check such a decline in the Academy. It has been our principle to maintain the ministry of the Church both to the adult and the children. That principle is correct, and we cannot give up our schools. Only let us be sure that we are preparing the young for the real life and work of the Church.

     Rev. H. L. Odhner: I wish to express my deep appreciation of the Bishop's address. I am glad that he has brought it so strongly before this meeting that the primary aim of New Church Education is the salvation of souls. We are apt to take the means for the end. This is the origin of all decadence in religious matters, the origin of the decadence of the Churches,-that they have taken the tools of their worship for the reality, and the upbuilding of the organization for the upbuilding of the kingdom within. There are those who act as if they were favoring the pastors personally, and the society as an organization, by sending their children to the school, allowing this attitude to prevail over the utter necessity of an education which, from the beginning, lays the basis for a spiritual mind that is to grasp the uses of life in such a way that the adult will be able to gain, not only the riches of this life, but the riches of the kingdom of heaven. The development of the soul, which we call regeneration, is primary. Education in the world is looked upon as the accumulation of so much knowledge. You must learn to read, to multiply, divide, etc., and that is education. That is the appearance in the world, and it puts an external stamp on a man. But the internal story of education is a different thing. It has to do with the great realm of thought, labeled in the world as the "sub-conscious." And it is to establish right connections in the child's mind that New Church education has been developed; because every knowledge laid in the mind enters into association with other ideas, reaches into the spiritual world, and calls forth emotions which originate in heaven or hell, from the fact of being connected either with the soul or with the heredities of the proprium and its infernal delights. The work of the educator of the New Church is to seek to guard the implantation of knowledge in the mind, and to provide that there is some connection with heaven and the Lord.

     No one can read the doctrine about the need of the implantation of remains,-the function and character of remains in infancy and later life,-and have the slightest doubt of the utter need for New Church education. There is no question of it. At times mistakes are made in New Church education. Surprising, is it not? But those very mistakes are useful when they are unintentional.


Providence is trying to do things which we are not able to do. I am not afraid of mistakes. The little things do not matter. Our children have the very association of belonging to a New Church school, and that has great power in it; not because it makes the pupil think he must belong to the church, but because his affection centers around the New Church, and is not tempted by the other things of life. He will know what the New Church stands for-know that his parents thought so much of it that they sent him to a New Church school. It is the most illogical thing in the world for New Church parents not to reorganize their whole natural life in order to procure the benefits of New Church education.

     Mr. George Schnarr: The address has opened up a wonderful subject to me, and I think there can be a good many discussions of the question. We say that the New Church is a glorious Church. In what way? We have an idea of the other life. We are taught that heaven is a place of usefulness. To be useful, a man must have charity in his heart, and that is the primary thing. From a business standpoint, if you have a lot of good ideas, they are no good unless carried out; and surely there are a lot of ideas in the New Church that are not carried out. It is the things which are carried out that make the difference.

     Rev. L. W. T. David: The Bishop's address is, I feel, a very valuable contribution to the study of education. We know the saying that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." I would recast it in this way, "Eternal vigilance is the price of New Church education." There is a danger which faces every human undertaking, however lofty, namely, that it is accepted as perfect in its beginning, with the belief that it must be perpetuated in just that form, apart from any other consideration. This danger lies in the inability of the spiritual man (such as we are in genius-we are not of the celestial type) to grasp truth as it is in itself, or to get such a vision of truth that it is an infallible view. Even our lofty conclusions drawn from the Writings of the Church have that fallibility in them. The Lord works with us as best He can, using our fallible conceptions so that we may go on further. The vigilance comes in this way, that we receive something new, and it should modify our previous ideas by checking up and correcting or enlarging them; but presently they crystallize into certain definite ideas that we must do this and that, and there we stop; they become static or fossilized. We need to go constantly to the source from which our inspiration comes, to see where we have been in error, where we can do better, where we can follow a truer line of development. The progress of the Church will consist of just such reconstructions as time goes on, that our fallible conceptions may be turned into conceptions less fallible. That is what the Bishop has been doing for us, and I hope that the Church, and educators in the Church, will benefit by these things.

     Mr. Theodore Bellinger; I greatly enjoyed the address. In the light of recent developments in China, I should think they had acquired a little of the Homeric education, as they are fighting among themselves! I would like to ask what the remedy is for misdirected applications of our principles.


     The Bishop: It is a fact that if you punish a child you can make it obey, within reasonable limits; but misdirection means carrying things too far. I can possibly illustrate by a story, showing how you can misdirect a good idea. A man wanted to make a good mouser of his kitten. He placed a mouse before it, and nothing happened. So he gave it a flogging, and repeated the process many times. But in after life whenever the cat saw a mouse it ran away as fast as it could. He got a result, but it was a case of misdirection. It illustrates how we may overdo it by misdirected punishment of a child. If it is to be effective, it must accomplish what it starts out to do. I cannot tell you how to do it; that is where experience and judgment come in. Legitimate punishing is good; overdoing it or misdirecting it is bad. A principle may be applied in a thousand ways; all we can do is to give one another the benefits of our own experience, but there is no answer that any one can make to the many situations that arise. It is a very important matter,-how to bend the feelings of our children in freedom, in the way we want them to go; for regeneration has its beginnings in this early education.

     Mr. Frank Wilson: Bertrand Russell's point of view appears to be on the whole pretty accurate; his analysis of his subject is keen; but he has not gone far enough, if I have correctly gathered the burden of his criticism. Russell makes the statement that we are losing the British Empire by the very means by which we trained our men to hold it. I don't feel "we" are losing the British Empire. What I feel is taking place is this-that the "Children" or "younger members" of the Empire are seeking to realize their own destiny in the world, and to express themselves in the light of truth as they find it. It pleads and demands for others that liberty and freedom that we desire for ourselves.

     The Bishop said that probably Russell would put us in the same class as the Roman Catholics. This would be a great mistake. And why? In the early days of my connection with the New Church, I felt that there was a danger that the child mind would be so formed that, when it came to adult life, it would not have freedom. There is this vital difference, however, that in the Roman Catholic Church they have no access to the Divine Word. They cannot understand. We have the Word and the Writings of the New Church, and in that Revelation we have all the safeguards necessary to maintain that precious freedom which is the right of every man and woman. And I would like to put it in this way, that, whilst it is true we are seeking to train our children, and hold them for our Church, their access to Divine Revelation for themselves will bring about just the result we see in nature all around us. The Lord does not make all flowers the same in color and form, the reason being that they take unto themselves from their source of nourishment the particular food they need. And so our children, despite their leaning toward the New Church as a result of their early training, will get from their own understanding of Divine Revelation the true color and form that will blend them into the great pattern of life.

     I am glad that Mr. Odhner emphasized the idea that we are not doing our New Church schools a favor by sending our children to them.


As the years pass, we shall realize, perhaps more fully than now, the very humiliating thought that it was necessary for us to come to the New Church that we might have a fighting chance for regeneration. That being the case, how can we presume, in sending our children to a New Church school, that we are doing it anything of a favor? All that we can do, the most that we can do, is very, very little to render to the Lord for the mercies He has vouchsafed to us.

     Third Session-Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

     The Rev. L. W. T. David read a paper on "The Interpretation of Hebrew Names." [See p. 20.]


     Rev. H. L. Odhner: I should like to express my appreciation of the very interesting study Mr. David has made, because the tendency in the world today, in the study of the Bible and Biblical writers, is not to use the inclusive interpretative method, but rather a restrictive method. They do not think of the internal sense, but try to find what picture was in the mind of the writer. And so the tendency is to have popular translations of the Bible, saying, "Why should we not have the folklore of the Hebrews in the same language as others?-not knowing that the Hebrew words of the Bible were Chosen by a Divine selection, and are the basis of the ideas of the spiritual sense. When I last looked up the meaning of "Deborah," I was wondering why she had that name, and the authority I consulted did not give the meaning of "Bee," but said that Probably she was married to a rather unknown and insignificant person, who was rather handsome; and the word "Lapidoth" Was interpreted literally, not as "light," but as "bright eyes," and that, of course, may have been the case. It gives a very vivid picture of the man.

     I feel that in the New Church we can make use of both methods. It is beautiful to get at a true, actual, historical picture of the times in which the Lord lived here on earth,-a vivid, actual picture and reconstruction of the habits of the people. We can get wonderful things out of those pictures, and I find it is also interesting to get into the feeling of the people of the time. For instance, Deborah's Song of War-it is one of the most beautiful pieces Of poetry in the Bible-we must study it to make it vitalized. If you write it out, section by section in an antiphonal style, with introduction and grouping of recitatives, you find that it is a big weaving into a climax, all referring to current events in the word-picture given. That method, which has not been used very much in the New Church, and which is all that is left to the Old Church, can be a great stimulation to interpretation. On the other hand, the Writings only now and then refer to that method. It is for the study of the literal rather than the spiritual sense, and there is no guard against error in it.


All our ignorance about ancient times can be turned to pervert the literal sense, if we go too far. What Mr. David has stressed is what the Writings stress, that the Word is inspired in every syllable.

     Mr. Samuel Roschman: In listening to the paper I was very much impressed by the infinite possibilities that there must be in exposition based on a knowledge of the Hebrew. The study of Hebrew was encouraged in the old days with us, recognizing that there were infinite things in the Hebrew words. We must have an enlightened priesthood to draw from the Word the things which we can understand. How often one comes upon a thing which to the lay mind is a blank wall! This or that character represents a state. The place to which he is going, from which he came, or where he lives, is the quality of that state, and nothing further is said, the inference being that there must be an infinity in that Hebrew name. And a study such as Mr. David has given opens to the imagination the possibility of arriving at a true understanding of the states depicted in the Word.

     Mr. Nathaniel Stroh: When first studying Hebrew, it is hard to understand why a man who attempts some investigation into the subject can see why there were not more prophets than Swedenborg. It makes us wonder why man could not be prepared to understand them so that the revelation would come more readily than it did. It is amazing to learn the meanings of the words, and the study would lead the casual observer into a maze. I will not forget a chat with the late Mr. C. Th. Odhner. Some were urging the teaching of Hebrew at that time, and were in love with the subject. Mr. Odhner said: "That may be all right, but it is better for the average layman to understand the Writings in English before going into Hebrew." However, we can see why our Revelator was prepared by a knowledge of Hebrew to understand these things truly. I think it would be fine if the use of Hebrew songs might return to a little more extensive degree than we have had in the past. Even in our adult worship, the delight of singing a number of them is very substantial, and would provide an increased variety. As children we were taught that they were the words of the angels. The sphere they bring is one that is worth while, and something we do not forget. Some expansion in that work would be useful and of great value.

     Rev. F. E. Waelchli: No one could listen to the exposition which Mr. David has given us without realizing how important to the New Church is the study of the Hebrew language, how essential it is to the opening up of the Word to the revelation of the spiritual sense from the letter. It is because it is so essential that one of the first things that Swedenborg needed to do before entering upon his mission as revelator was to study the Hebrew. And he applied himself very industriously to that study for a number of years. We must really go to the original of the Word, if we are to see in any completeness the shining forth of the spiritual sense from the letter. We realize this when we read some of the explanations in the Writings-for example, that series in the Arcana treating of the birth of the sons of Jacob, one after the other. In each case it is said, "His name was called" so and so, and it then states the reason why that name was given, with sufficient explanation to show what is involved in the name.


But if you could go to the Hebrew itself, and make a study of the names, you would see still more fully how the spiritual sense is involved in the Hebrew itself.

     We have been saying more or less about the things that we have that are distinctive in the New Church, and of our distinctive education; and one of the things of that distinctive education is the instruction of the children in the Hebrew. That is peculiar to New Church education. I am not at all in harmony with the remark of Mr. C. Th. Odhner quoted by Mr. Stroh. While it is very good to go to the Writings, and study them in English, yet, long before the children have attained an age when they will do that, we instruct them in the Hebrew. And here I will say that a very valuable book has been placed at the disposal of the Church,-Mr. Acton's book on the Study of Hebrew. It is a book that should be in every home, and you need only turn to it and do a little study, and read the book through, and you will see how very easy it is to acquire a considerable knowledge of the Hebrew, and at the same time come into a great state of affection for it. You will find this if you apply yourself to it. It does that especially with children, and it will do so for older ones too. Children delight in the Hebrew. They want it. If you miss it, or forget it, they will mention it themselves. They want to have a Hebrew lesson. As I have gone about, I have given lessons in Hebrew to children of the isolated, and they will say, "You gave us Hebrew last time, won't you do it again this time?" It is because here is the Word exactly in the form in which the Lord dictated it. It is the ultimate of the Word in the sounds of the words and the pictures of the letters. And when the children hear it, and especially when they sing it, the angels who are present can inflow with a fullness of affection into that perfect ultimate. And because of the childlike state of innocence, there is a delight to the children beyond any other delight. It affects them deeply, and we, too, can experience something of it.

     Mr. Thomas Smith now read a paper dealing with the subject of Government by the Priesthood, and referring especially to the teaching that priests are to have honor and dignity on account of their holy functions. We regret that the paper has not been made available for publication. Warm appreciation was expressed in the course of the discussion which followed.

     Sunday Morning.

     The Assembly came to a fitting close and an uplifting climax in the service held on Sunday morning. The chapel was filled, and extra chairs were necessary. The singing of so large a congregation was very inspiring, and this feeling came forth with special power in the 19th Psalm. At the interlude an appropriate selection was very effectively sung by Mrs. Fred Stroh, of Kitchener.


The sermon by the Bishop was a beautiful, dramatic, and deeply suggestive treatment of the prophetic office as exemplified in Jeremiah. The service closed with the administration of the Holy Supper, the Bishop being assisted by the pastor of the Olivet Church.

     All of the sessions and other meetings of the Assembly were well attended, a delegation of about forty members having come from Kitchener to swell the numbers of the local Society.

     In concluding this report, the Secretary wishes to give due credit to Mrs. Theodore Rothermel for her able assistance in taking stenographic notes of the speeches and typing them. Her hard work, well and cheerfully done, has won our deep gratitude.
     L. W. T. DAVID,


     (For accounts of Mr. Baeckstrom's previous visits to Norway, see New Church Life for February and June, 1927.)

     During the month of October, I undertook a third journey to Norway. I first visited Kristinehamn and Karlstad in Sweden, where there are interested friends though not members. In the former place there are six persons. I preached for them in a private house, and administered the Holy Supper. In Karlstad, I visited the six or seven there who are interested in the New Church. In both places I also lectured, the average attendance being 50 persons.

     Our little circle in Oslo, Norway, has increased somewhat since my last visit, another Mr. Boyesen, with his wife, having moved to that place and joined our group. On one Sunday we had worship at the Boyesen home, and the Holy Supper was administered to ten persons. The lending library of the circle has been well patronized. I gave three public lectures, the subjects being: "The Birth of Jesus and the Lord's Second Coming"; "The Reality of the Spiritual World"; and "Life after Death." As more people came to the third than the room would hold, I gave this lecture a second time.


     The Rev. Homer Synnestvedt had given me the addresses of his relatives in Oslo and Bergen and I had written to them about the lectures to be given in those places. In Oslo, two of them introduced themselves to me. I had a pleasant visit with Mr. Frederick Synnestvedt and his fiancee, and supplied him with books. These two attended all the lectures. I introduced them to the Boyesens, and we all went on an excursion together.

     This time the newspapers had not made much mention of my lectures, and the one on the editorial staff who had been so friendly was absent on a trip to France. As I had found it useful, however, to give books, I called upon one of the editors of another paper, a Miss M., to present my latest book to her, and introduced the talk by saying: "I think that Swedenborg has been very little known in Norway." "Yes," she said, "until recently, when a book on Swedenborg published in Sweden has been much read here." "What is the name of that book?" I asked. "Swedenborg's Revelations," she said. "Well, that is my book," I said. She attended the next lecture, and gave a good account of it iii her newspaper.

     In Bergen I gave three lectures, and one on "Swedenborg" was broadcasted there. I met another of Mr. Synnestvedt's relatives here, Mrs. Carl Monssen, and her husband, and spent a day at their hospitable home. Miss Svanoe, an earnest receiver, feels isolated, and was glad to receive a visit from me. Many of her friends have become anthroposophists (a new branch of theosophy), and their supposed belief in the Lord's Divinity, together with their friendly attitude toward Swedenborg, is somewhat alluring. Their Propaganda is very active in Norway at present. Right after my stay in Bergen, one of their men was to give no less than seven lectures in a week.

     Miss Svanoe invited me to her home one evening to meet some of her friends, among whom were some of these anthroposophists. Her object was to have a discussion, and to hear me meet the arguments of her friends. Now I take little pleasure in such discussions, as they may very easily become a fight in which those who are wrong confirm themselves more strongly in their false views. But on this occasion I could not avoid it without seeming to admit that I was unable to meet their arguments. There was one lady in particular who was in a splendid fighting humor-they sometimes are, people say-and I had to tell her that when I was a boy in school I had read a book of Swedish history which told about a sea battle between the Swedes and the Danes, saying, "Darkness separated the combatants, and both claimed the victory."


I said that I felt a good deal like this, and she said I was right. But the next moment she renewed her attack with a vigor that would make Mr. Dempsey ashamed of himself. The main subject we discussed was their doctrine of reincarnation, which makes their supposed belief in the Lord's Divinity very problematical indeed. The exchange of views had this good result, that Miss Svanoe afterwards declared that now she would hold fast to Swedenborg.

     In Stavanger, we have another New Church friend, Mr. M. Eckhoff, who is making a Norwegian translation of The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine, including the footnotes. He will soon complete this work. Mr. Eckhoff is one of the strongest New Churchmen in Norway, and feels quite lonely. He reads the Writings every day, and needs someone to talk with concerning the doctrines. There are also two ladies in Stavanger who are interested. One of them is old and almost deaf, but though she could not hear a single word she attended my lecture in order to see a New Church minister before her death. So far as I know, it is the first time anyone has paid admission to see what I look like.

     To sum up, I gave 8 lectures in Norway, with an average attendance of 150 persons, and sold boobs to the value of 400 kroner (about $108.00), which may be considered good results at a time when preparation for an election of members of parliament held the chief public interest.

     I may add that I have just published my biography of Swedenborg. Such a work has been greatly needed in Sweden. In a few. days we will bring out a Swedish translation from the Latin of Swedenborg's Divine Wisdom. This work has never appeared in Swedish. We published a Swedish version of Divine Love some years ago.


Church News 1928

Church News       Various       1928


     The Sixteenth Ontario District Assembly, postponed from the Spring of the year, was held in Toronto, October 13th to 16th inclusive, by invitation of the Olivet Society. Considering the fact that there were no holiday dates during the period of the Assembly, the attendance was surprisingly good. "Counting heads" seems to have been overlooked this time, but we would judge the attendance to have been well up to the standard of former occasions. All told, there were dose to forty visitors from Kitchener. Our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. N. D. Pendleton, was with us, of course, inspiring the Assembly by his presence, his words of wisdom and his able presidency at the meetings. These once-a-year visits from the episcopal head of our Church, are, we believe, an increasingly appreciated boon. In addition, we had the pleasure of welcoming the Rev. W. B. Caldwell back to his old "stamping-ground" after an absence of many years, and also the Rev. F. E. Waelchli who was with us renewing old acquaintances, and meeting old friends of many years of cooperative effort in the Church in this district. A full Report will appear elsewhere, but we may say that, from the Reception and Dance on the opening evening of October 13th, when the guests were well and truly received by a reception committee, consisting of the Bishop, Rev. and Mrs. H. L. Odhner, and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Bellinger, right through to the singing of the recessional hymn at the close of worship on Sunday, the 16th, there was a sphere of happy enjoyment of each other, of the papers, speeches, (both formal and informal), indeed, of every item on the program. The scheduled papers and addresses were all good, and the resultant discussion,-well, you may read most of it for yourselves in the formal report of the meetings.

     But, as Mrs. Theodore Rothermel, the "reporter," was not at the men's meeting, we will mention briefly that the general subject, "A New Church Scrutiny of Modern Morals," was considered under the three headings: "Infancy and Childhood," by the Rev. H. L. Odhner; "Youth," by Mr. John Parker; "Adults," by Mr. E. Craigie; all of whom brought out points of interest and value, adding to our sum of knowledge thereby. A prominent feature of the discussion was the seemingly increasing difficulties that modern conditions present to parents desirous of keeping their children as far, and as long as possible, unspotted from the world. The difficulties were frankly recognized, and the Bishop, in one of his characteristic summations, reminded us that after we have done our best, poor though that best may seem to be, it is for our encouragement to know that a beneficent Providence is watching over this, as over all other matters pertaining to our welfare. Felicitations between the men's and ladies' meetings were duly observed when the men sent a gift of chocolates to the ladies with a suitable expression of their love and affection, which elicited in return a poetic acknowledgment of our "kind thoughtfulness," and-we are not quite sure of this-an assurance that they were doing very nicely, thank you.

     The closing event of the Assembly, as already intimated, was Worship followed by the Administration of the Holy Supper, the Bishop being assisted by the Pastor of the Olivet Society. The sermon by the Bishop was from the text of Jeremiah 8:19-23, and was, as usual, wise in counsel-as drawn from the exposition of the text-and full of instruction in the way of life. We quote to the best of our ability the dosing passage:

     "Creeds have fallen, as they should and must.


The history of mankind is enlightened by a Divine story which none may deny save the blind. Israel's history embodies this story. In the Messiah we have a Divine Personality. Christianity is its attempted exposition. The New Christianity will penetrate and reveal its deepest secrets. The New Church will open itself to the old Divine story, and fulfill the spirit of the prophets, who spoke without ceasing of the day beyond their time, the day of the coming of the Lord and the final restoration."

     With the singing of the recessional hymn, "Peace be to this congregation," the Assembly was brought to a fitting close in a powerful worshipful sphere, and we can think of no more fitting phrase to epitomize the whole than "A Happy Assembly." Our thanks are due and generously given to all who in any way contributed to the success of our meetings.

     In common with all our brethren in the Church, we mourn the passing from our midst of our late beloved Bishop Emeritus, W. F. Pendleton. We say "mourn," because truly do we grieve that no more may we behold in the flesh, hear the voice or clasp the hand of one who for many years was counselor, teacher, guide, yea, we feel we can say, the friend of New Churchmen everywhere. But whilst this grief is natural, yet it is possible for us to feel with him the joy that comes with the removal of the cramping limitations of the human body and old age, especially when that body has not been of the strongest, but has been subject to frailty and ill-health. We shall cherish through many years the memory of our late Bishop.

     On Wednesday evening, November 9th, at the regular Wednesday evening supper, our pastor gave a resume of the life of the late Bishop, and, along with other speakers, paid grateful and touching tribute to the qualities possessed and displayed throughout his many years as episcopal head of the General Church of the New Jerusalem. At 8.15 p.m., a memorial service was held in the chapel. The lessons were from Psalm 84 and Spiritual Diary 5002-3, and the address was based upon the text: "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace." (Psalm 37:37.) It is not possible for the writer to give even a synopsis of this beautiful testimony of one sincere soul to another, without marring its beauty. It was redolent of the affection of the student for his mentor, the pastor for his leader and guide, and of a people who looked to and loved him in the use of his high calling. But it was not alone to his capacity as man and leader that this tribute was paid, but the speaker also said: "Those who have sat under his tutelage, and known him as a friend, feel that they have been nearer to angels than is usually the privilege of men, and that his life was charged in every part with a self-discipline which subordinated it to the truth-which made his use paramount, and made him a form of use. It is of such men that the Psalmist speaks, when he says,

"Mark the perfect man,
And behold the upright:
For the end of that man is peace." F. W.

     Forward Club.

     We have received an outline of a Study-Course to be undertaken by the Forward Club of the Olivet Church during the present season. "The Human Body, in its Natural and Spiritual Aspects," is the subject to be considered, and the Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner is to introduce various phases of this subject in a half-hour lecture at each monthly meeting, this to be followed by a general discussion. As the program reads, "a unique opportunity is thus offered the men of the Society to study the physiology of the body in the light of universal principles. The human body is the ultimate of all order, and the basis of heaven itself. (H. H. 100.) Through a true knowledge of anatomy we would gain an understanding, not only of the body politic, but of the spiritual world itself. (S. D. 1145)"


The program also lists the "four kingdoms of the human body," and gives extensive references to the Writings for home reading. The whole plan cannot be too highly commended. "The proper study of mankind is man," and to the New Churchman this means the study of the human form on all planes, even to the supreme or Divine Human Form.
     W. B. C.


     Services, including the Holy Supper, were held at Columbus, OHIO, on Thursday evening, November 10th, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Wiley. Only members of the family were present. The following evening there was a doctrinal class, at which there were, besides the family, three persons not of the Church. At the request of one of these, the doctrine concerning the Lord was presented, and, during two hours, many questions were asked and answered. On Saturday morning instruction was given to the youngest child of the family.

     On Sunday, the 13th, services were held at MIDDLEPORT, OHIO, with an attendance of fourteen, including two children. The rite of Confession of Faith was administered for Mr. Ellison Boatman. At the Holy Supper there were twelve communicants. After the services a meeting of the Society was held to consider an offer for the purchase of the church property by an Old Church congregation. The offer was turned down decidedly and emphatically. Although, in the course of years, the Society has lost many members by removals and deaths, and another family contemplates moving away in the near future, those who remain are strong in courage to carry on. As of old, there abides an earnest zeal and love for the Church and the Heavenly Doctrines. This was evident from the attendance at our three evening doctrinal classes, this being, respectively, nine, eleven, and ten. One afternoon, instruction was given the children.
     F. E. WAELCHLI.


     The first Sunday in August is a notable day to the children of out Sunday School. It is Prize Sunday. This year two boys, Linnie and Sydney Heldon, were given awards for attending every Sunday of the year. And quite a number, of others had good attendances to their credit. There were also prizes presented by the teachers for the memorizing of Scripture verses. Sydney Heldon came top of the school, and his brother Linnie second with a half mark less. Just prior to the presentation of the award books by our Pastor, Mr. G. W. Guthrie addressed the children on the subject of "Prizes."

     Mr. and Mrs. L. Brackett Bishop, of the Kenwood Parish, Chicago, visited Sydney during the last two weeks in October and, on October 15th, gave a dinner in the New Church Hall, Thomas Street, td the New Church people of Sydney. Invitations were also received by the members of our Society. Ten of us were able to be present, and spent a delightful evening.

     After dinner, Mrs. Bishop gave a lecture on "Beads." She has a wonderful collection, the largest in the world, and it was most interesting and instructive to listen to all she could tell us about them. We enjoyed it all so much that we invited Mrs. Bishop to attend a children's concert at Hurstville on the following Thursday and repeat part of her lecture. She gladly consented, and her delightful way of imparting instruction in correspondences and teaching moral and spiritual truths was enjoyed by her audience, which for us was a large one.

     The concert was given by the small children, who had been practicing for several weeks on Saturday afternoons under Miss White's direction. Several items had been prepared by the older ones, but were held over to make room for Mrs. Bishop's lecture. It was an exciting event, especially to the young people, to have with us a New Church visitor from so far away. Mrs. Bishop said the children's concert carried her back to her childhood, when she took part in just such things.


But she was able to take us all round the world in thought, and everywhere the New Church centers were of greatest interest.

     Already we are making preparation for carrying on without our Pastor while he attends the General Assembly next year. For seven years he has ministered to us without a break. So it will mean that others will have a record to live up to in his absence. We would all like to go in a body to this notable Assembly, but London is rather too far away for us as yet.

     It is hoped to have special Christmas celebration this year, something more ambitious in the musical part. Practice for this is to commence next week under Mr. Taylor's instruction.

     At the time of writing, our Pastor is in correspondence with two men, living far distant, who were attracted by the subjects of his advertized sermons. The correspondence with one commenced in the beginning of March, following the advertized subject, "Bible Proofs that Jesus Christ is God." The correspondent held the belief that "millions now living will never die"; but his persistence and trend of thought give hope that he may receive spiritual rational truths of the New Church. In his last letter he said that he had written to ministers of other churches, but they had "not the stamina" to continue. The other correspondent sought an explanation of the Parable of the Unjust Steward. He writes: "I have been for a long time seeking a more spiritual interpretation of this parable than the last part of the eighth verse reveals. I understand that verse, but whom does the 'lord' symbolize? Why should he commend such deceit? Why should we 'make friends of the unrighteous mammon'? When do we 'fail'? What and where are the 'everlasting habitations' open to us on failing? If you can give me light on this, I shall be much obliged, as I have tried clergy and laity and gained no help."
     M. M. W.


     Our Thanksgiving Day service this year was featured by a stirring address, and the choir sang a special anthem. We recall the first Thanksgiving Day in The Park, thirty-three years ago, which was celebrated by the half-dozen families with the usual feasting and good cheer, a zest for which was furnished by a prolonged chase of the old bus horse, which escaped control and cavorted all over the forty-acre prairie that now forms The Park.

     The atmosphere of Christmas is all about. The households are deeply engrossed in preparations; Prof. Jesse Stevens is rehearsing the chorus and orchestra for a grand musical festival to be held on the Sunday afternoon before Christmas; and the school children are getting ready to take their parts in the Christmas Service.

     Our Pastor is holding a special class for the ladies on Wednesday afternoons for the study of the Arcana Celestia, and a steady attendance is reported. The Church Library is more active than ever, and the teachers report special interest on the part of the pupils, which interest is fostered by them in various ways.

     At a recent Friday Class, Mr. Seymour G. Nelson called our attention to the very valuable assistance rendered by the Rev. Wm. Whitehead in the editing of the book, Early Days of the Immanuel Church. Words of appreciation were voiced by others, and a vote of thanks to Mr. Whitehead was enthusiastically carried.

     Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Cole and family have come from Sandusky, Ohio, to spend the winter in Glenview. Mr. Cole is pursuing some intensive studies in the University of Chicago.     
     J. B. S.



NEW CHURCH SERMONS              1928


     Expounding the Scriptures in the Light of the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem.

     Selected Discourses by Ministers of the General Church. Suitable for individual reading, and for use in family worship and other services, as well as for missionary purposes.
Title Unspecified 1928

Title Unspecified       Editor       1928


EDITORIAL COMMITTEE:              1928

     Rev. George de Charms. Rev. Wm. Whitehead.

     Sent free of charge to any address on application to Mr. H. Hyatt, Bryn Athyn, Pa.



ATTRACTIVE TOURS              1928

     In connection with the General Assembly, the Bartlett Tours Company has offered to arrange conducted tours for a minimum of five people. In so doing the Company assumes full responsibility for securing steamship, hotel and railroad accommodations. The route may be specially arranged, and the choice of accommodations may be varied from Third Class to De Lure Suites. The price includes accommodations in London during the Assembly. Among others, the following trips are suggested:

     June 30-August 22: Visiting Sweden, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and France. Single Cabin out, and 2d Class Passage back $835.00
Option: The same as above, going to Switzerland instead of Holland and Belgium . . . . $835.00
July 5-September 3: Visit Sweden before the Assembly, and tour England and Scotland for two weeks after the Assembly. First-class Passage both ways, $975.00
Option: Visit France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Holland, before the Assembly, and return immediately after the Assembly. Single Cabin Passage $785.00
Or continue with tour of England and Scotland, as above, after the Assembly $925.00
For full information, apply to Miss Florence Roehner, Bryn Athyn, Pa.

     Miss Celia Bellinger has agreed to act as one of the European conductors next Summer for the Temple Tours, Incorporated. The trip is of the Tourist third-class type, leaving June 22, visiting France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, and England, including 9 days in London during the Assembly. Total cost, $800.00. She invites the young girls of the Church to be the first to join the party, and welcomes this opportunity to fulfill her promise to show them some day the beauties of Europe. For further particulars, address: Miss Celia Bellinger, 7437 Ben Hur Street, Pittsburgh, Pa.

     All Bookings should be made in the near future.

     It is already becoming difficult to obtain just the accommodations desired on vessels sailing during the "rush season. "




     THE THIRTEENTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the General Church of the New Jerusalem will be held in London, England, AUGUST 3D TO AUGUST 12TH, 1928.

     An Historic Occasion on Historic Ground!

Remember that the First Meeting of the Organized New Church was held in the City of London.

Come and Meet your Friends of the General Church in Europe!

The prices here given include room and breakfast:
Simple boarding house           6/- ($1.50) per day.
Smaller hotels                9/6 ($2.30) per day.
Larger hotels                12/6 ($3.00) up per day.

     The total cost for the ten days of the Assembly, for room and breakfast (bath included if booking covers a week or more), would range from $15.00 to $30.00 for reasonable accommodations situated conveniently near Victoria Hall where the Assembly meeting; will be held. Most places require from six weeks to two months notice for bookings.

     Miss K. M. Dowling, who has kindly furnished the above information, has been appointed to take Charge of accommodations for visitors. On request, she will gladly give further information and assistance to those desiring to make individual arrangements or reservations. Address: Miss K. M. Dowling, 11 Overton Road, Brixton, London, S. W, 9, England.





Monday, January 30.
     3:00 p.m. Consistory.

Tuesday, January 31.
     10:00 a.m. Council of the Clergy.
     3:00 p.m. Council of the Clergy and General Faculty. Address: Mr. Eldric S. Klein. Subject: "The Hittites."

Wednesday, February 1.
     10:00 a.m. Council of the Clergy.
     3:00 p.m. Council of the Clergy and General Faculty. Address: Miss F. M. Buell. Subject: "The Poets and Eternal Justice."

Thursday, February 2.
     10:00 a.m. Council of the Clergy.
     3:00 p.m. Council of the Clergy and General Faculty. Address: Rev. Hugo. Lj. Odhner. Subject: "The Subconscious as a Factor in Education."
     8:00 p.m. Public Session of the Council of the Clergy. Address: Rev. Gilbert H. Smith. Subject: "The Kingdom of Heaven."

Friday, February 3.
     10:00 a.m. Council of the Clergy.
     7:00 p.m. Philadelphia District Assembly. Banquet.

Saturday, February 4.
     10:00 a.m. Joint Council.
     3:00 p.m. Joint Council.

Sunday, February 5.
     11:00 a.m. Divine Worship-Sermon by Rev. W. L. Gladish.
     8:00 p.m. Service of Praise-Sermon by Rev. F. E. Waelchli



PRAYER       HENDRIK W. BOEF       1928

VOL. XLVIII FEBRUARY, 1928          No. 2
     Prayer, in the widest sense, is man's very life. Man is a vessel receptive of life from the Lord, and therefore his life is a continual supplication for all things natural and spiritual which harmonize with his love. It is a continual longing, both conscious and unconscious, for the things which will satisfy the desires of his heart.

     The nature of man's prayer is necessarily qualified by his state, and by the things for which he prays, and this whether he prays orally or not. In this sense, it may be said that all men pray. The spiritual man prays for spiritual things, the natural man for natural things; and the agnostic, yea, even the atheist, who is averse to oral prayer, still look forward to and desire to obtain those things which are in accordance with their character, though they ascribe the acquisition thereof to their own prudence and efforts. But the prayers which pour forth from the instinctive desires of man for the things which are necessary to his self-preservation are not prayers in the particular sense of the word. Nor does the Lord require man to pray for the mere necessities of life. He provides him with these even before man thinks of asking for them. If man prays for them, however, his prayer has inmostly in it the acknowledgment that all things are from the Lord, and he offers his prayer as a sign of thanksgiving to the Lord for them.

     Since the quality of man's affection determines the object of prayer, so if man is moved by natural and worldly affections, his prayer will be for natural blessings; and if he is inspired by spiritual affections, his prayer will be for spiritual blessings.


Natural blessings are those things which minister to the natural well-being of man on earth, such as riches, honors, high positions, and release from pains and sorrows; while spiritual blessings may be defined as those things which have regard to the well-being of man as an inhabitant of the spiritual world, and are therefore of eternal value to him. They are: That man may acknowledge and love the Lord, and the neighbor as himself; that he may receive a humble heart, learn truths, and how to shun evils as sins. Man cannot exist without natural blessings; they are useful, but only in so far as they serve the spiritual man in the performance of his use. But if we pray only for natural blessings, for the comfort and pleasure which they give to the physical man, it is a sign that we have set our hearts on the riches of the world. Natural blessings then become a curse to our spiritual man, and a hindrance to the development of our spiritual faculties. In that case, and in His Providence, the Lord does not grant us material and natural wealth more than we can bear, lest our spiritual life be eternally harmed by them.

     There are two kinds of prayer, internal and external,-the prayer of the heart and mind, and that of the body or of the mouth; and rightly so, for man has both a spirit and a body. True prayer must therefore include both; it must come from the spirit, and it must find its ultimation in the external act of kneeling and the repeating of words, which are the vessels that receive the ideas and present man's desires in ultimate form. Internal prayer without external is incomplete; on the other hand, external prayer without the internal is void; it is mostly a mere gesture, performed from habit and for the sake of merit, which is thought to be gained thereby. From which it is clear that prayer like that of Catholics, which consists only of the repetition of a dead formula, is of no avail unless the mind be in it and give it life. For, when man is in adoration and prayer, the Lord regards nothing else than his affections, his interiors, his love and faith. Thus, He sees whether man is in the good of life or in the evils in which his proprium takes delight. He hears not man's oral petitions alone, but looks inmostly into man, and sees his motives, whether they are for the glory of His kingdom or for selfish ends.

     Prayer, to be acceptable before God, must be addressed to Him alone,-to the Lord Jesus Christ, who alone is God; for He alone is the Savior, and consequently no one else can hear us.


He alone is the Teacher of all men, and we should therefore address our prayer to Him from this acknowledgment, to the end that He may teach us how to pray, and that our prayer may become human, and, indeed, speech with the Divine, which is a privilege granted to the human race, that it may receive internal perception, and thus be able to distinguish between what is good and what is evil.

     The use of prayer is evident, for in it there is actual elevation of the mind to God, and hence communication with the heavens. Moreover, by means of it, man can be brought into states of internal humility, in which he can be imbued with true love to the Lord and neighbor, and receive an affection for spiritual and celestial things.

     The Lord Himself, in His states of humiliation, prayed to the Father, and received Divine revelation and was glorified. Nor could He from Himself do miracles, nor speak Divine Truth, but only from the Father, the Divine in Himself, which He saw and obeyed by turning to Him and doing His will. From a comparison of the Lord's glorification with man's regeneration, it is very plain that without prayer no regeneration is possible. For man, of himself, tends to evils and falsities, and is withheld from them only by the Lord, and led to do good if he turns to Him. Man, in his prayer, is to declare before the Lord that he is willing to receive instruction from Him, and to obey accordingly; for nothing is given to man unless he asks for it in freedom. Man must first ask, long for, and pray; the Lord then answers, informs, and does.

     The effect of true prayer is not only that man is thereby brought into the presence of God, but, as a consequence thereof man's state is changed. This is especially evident in the spiritual world, where the consequence of true prayer is the change of environment, and the advancement into new and higher states. The same is true of the spiritual man while still on earth. When he is in states of peace, he perceives internal joy while in prayer; and when he is in states of distress, the elevation of his mind to God gives him comfort and consolation. He receives new hope; for he is then imbued with trust in the Divine, whose guidance is for eternal good.

     The Lord is equally present with all men, for it is His will that all should be eternally happy.


Because it is the Lord's will that all should be eternally happy, He permits every man to be happy in his own way. But, for the same reason, it also follows that He cannot grant the fulfilment of man's prayer, if it flow forth from love of dominion over others, or from the love of riches for himself alone, which would appropriate to itself even the necessities without which the neighbor is not able to exist. Such prayers are immediately opposed in heaven, since their fulfilment is detrimental to the well-being of the whole human race. By such prayers, man closes his mind to the reception of influx from the Divine, which inflows only according to order; and he thus casts himself into the prison-houses of hell, these being the only means by which he can be kept in bonds. There, in his phantasy, he enjoys the desires of his loves, but is immediately checked if he would practice them in actuality. For the Lord, from His Divine Love, protects others from the injuries which such a man would inflict upon them if he were allowed to go about freely. He is like a wild beast, which must be kept in a cage lest he destroy human beings.

     Since the Lord regards the ends which man cherishes inwardly while in prayer, it may be seen that the prayers just described, as well as those which are directed to idols, saints, or a tripersonal god, are not acceptable to Him, since prayers of this kind are opposed to the truth that He alone is God. Man cannot ascribe all honor, glory, and power to a deity which is monstrous in its form; and when he deprecates his evils before it, still he inwardly does not wish to shun them; from which it follows that in such prayers he is rather confirmed in his evils than released from them.

     Sins are only remitted when man implores the Lord the Savior for light to see them, and for power to remove them to the circumference of his life. Then, when temptation comes, he uses that light which inflows into his mind to see and explore the quality of his evils; and when he has seen their filthiness, he turns from them by the power given him from the Lord, and holds them in aversion. Nor can man's prayer for the forgiveness of sins be effective, except by the actual combat which, is to follow. Therefore, a man who knows that he is nothing but evil, and that from himself he has no perception of truth, will not pray to be spared from the anxieties of temptations; but he accepts temptations when they arise, because they are the means, in the Divine Providence, for his purification.


He fights courageously, as if of himself, but from the Lord, who leads him and gives him strength; and when he has conquered the assailant, he renders thanks to the Lord, and attributes the victory to Him alone.

     With the fall of the Most Ancient Church, and that of the Ancient, the good of love to the Lord and the truth of faith in Him perished. Man lost the true way in which he should commune with his Creator or pray to Him. In the Jewish Church, only a representative of this remained; and when this also perished, it became necessary for the Most High to descend upon the earth, that He might restore this vital means of communication between Himself and men, without which no conjunction with Him is possible, thus no salvation, or elevation into His heavenly kingdom.

     Let us now contemplate the state of the Christian Church at this day. That Church abandoned its first love to the Lord, a love which it had in its beginning, but which it sacrificed, in order to worship a triune god,-a procreation of its self-intelligence, which permitted the exercise of the love of dominion over others, and arrogated the power of revelation to itself. If we view the present state of that Church, we may see that it is still the spiritual desolation and death into which it fell in the early days of its existence. But especially if we examine ourselves, we may see how necessary it was that the Lord should come again, that He might reveal to us the true way in which we are to approach Him. If the greatest of all visions has been granted to us, in the Divine mercy of the Lord,-namely, to see the Lord in His Second Coming,-then our first prayer to Him should be, that He teach us how to pray, in order that His will may be done, and not ours, so that we may become His servants; also, that we should pray for the establishment of the Lord's New Church in ourselves. For is not this the means by which man learns how to perform uses, and to serve God? Yea, to no other end was the Heavenly Doctrine revealed. In praying thus for the Lord's Church, we pray from charity, if at the same time we obey the Lord's words, "When ye stand praying, forgive." Then we pray according to order, or, what is the same, in the Lord's Name. And the Lord has given us this promise, "Whatsoever ye ask in my Name, that will I do."


     From all that we have said, it is clear that, when we pray, we should examine our internal desires and motives, and, above all things, that we should know and understand what true prayer is, that our prayer should not be purely emotional. For is it not rightly asked in the Arcana Celestia: "What is prayer of the lips, if the mind is not in it, but mere babbling?"

     At His first Advent, the Lord taught men to pray. He taught them the Lord's Prayer, in which all the possible needs of men are met, if only that Prayer be rightly understood, and repeated in the proper attitude of mind and heart. In the fall of the Christian Church men lost the right interpretation of these sacred words, and perverted their purpose to their own ends. Now, as never before, the true interpretation of the Lord's Prayer-its internal sense-has been given in the Writings. And the Lord restores this to every man who will receive it in truth and from love to Him. But the true meaning of the Lord's Prayer will still be hidden to us, if we have not studied the Writings, and read in their sacred pages the interpretation thereof. Lest our prayer become mere babbling, let us, therefore, investigate from time to time, and pray the Lord for enlightenment.

INTERIOR SENSE OF WORDS              1928

     "That to number signifies to order and dispose the goods and truths of faith and love, is because numbering involves examination, and what is examined by the Lord is also ordered and disposed. Moreover, in the original language, the word by which numbering is here expressed signifies to examine, to estimate, to observe, and also to visit, to command, to preside, thus to older and arrange. These are significations of that word, because one involves the other in the spiritual sense; and the spiritual sense if the interior sense of words, which interior sense is very often within the words of languages, especially of the oriental." (A. C. 10217.)



CAPTURE OF AI       Rev. GILBERT H. SMITH       1928

     "And the Lord said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed. Take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into thy hand the King of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land. And thou shalt do to Ai and her King as thou didst unto Jericho and her King; only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves" (Joshua 8:1, 2.)

     After the miraculous destruction of the city of Jericho, the Book of Joshua describes the efforts of the Children of Israel to capture the city of Ai. There is Divine Truth in these historical things of the Old Testament, which, when understood, will help men to come into true order, to see falsities, and to behold the wisdom of the Lord. There is something in these historical matters that is for the guidance of the Church.

     Ai was not as easily taken as Jericho. It could not be captured by marching around it with trumpets and shouting. There were two attempts to capture Ai, the first a complete failure, and the second a stratagem that was completely successful. They lured the men out of Ai, surrounded them, and burned their city.

     The first attempt was unsuccessful because a certain man named Achan, of the tribe of Judah, had "trespassed in the accursed thing"-had stolen from the spoils of Jericho a goodly Babylonish garment which he coveted, also two-hundred shekels of silver and wedge of gold. Instead of delivering them to Joshua for the treasury of the Lord, he had hidden them in the midst of his tent. This was why the Israelites were beaten by the men of Ai at first. Although Achan alone had done this, all Israel suffered defeat; and it was not until the guilty man was discovered by lot, and stoned to death in the valley of Acher, that Joshua could proceed to reduce it.

     At the first attack upon Ai, the men whom Joshua had sent out to reconnoiter had persuaded him confidently that two or three thousand men would be sufficient to take the city, and that it was not necessary for all the people to undergo the labor of battle.


The result was that the men of Ai chased them away from their gates, and slew a number of them; whereupon Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face, complaining to the Lord. But the Lord reproved him for this, saying, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel; thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.

     What is meant by this accursed thing without the taking away of which the Church cannot stand against her enemies?

     After Achan had been discovered and stoned, the Lord instructed Joshua to lay an ambush against the city behind it, and promised that the city should be treated by him as Jericho had been treated. So Joshua placed two bodies of his men on the north and west of the city behind it, and he himself with, another body lay all night in the valley that was before the city. And in the morning the king of Ai came out, with his men, and Joshua made as if he were beaten, and fled to the wilderness whereupon all the men were called out of Ai to pursue after Joshua. They went out, and left their city open. Joshua, as a signal, then stretched out his spear toward the city, and all the liers in wait arose, and entered the city and burned it. The king of Ai found himself in the midst of the Israelites, and his way of return to the city cut off. And the men who had feigned flight also turned back upon him. The men of Ai were all destroyed, and the king of Ai was hanged, and buried under a heap of stones.

     This is a survey of the story. From the spoil of Jericho, Achan had taken some for himself, and had not given it into the treasury. For this taking of the "accursed thing," Israel was defeated by the men of Ai in their first confident attack. But when Achan had been stoned to death, Ai was taken by the stratagem which has been described. What is the meaning of all this to the Church of the Lord as it is with ourselves?

     First of all, let us remember that Jericho represented a profane life, that is, an evil life, which can only be destroyed by means of the reception of spiritual truths from the Lord, and by a full instruction in those heavenly truths. But we are told that Ai signifies the knowledge of worldly things.


     Ai is often mentioned together with Bethel. Bethel and Ai, when so spoken of together, mean the knowledge of heavenly things and the knowledge of worldly things. Hence it is said of Abraham that he encamped in a position "between Bethel and Al." (A. C. 1453, 1557.) And in the lesson before us it is said that Joshua camped in the valley between Bethel and Ai. (Ch. 8:9.) So also the preparation for the taking of Jericho signified the instruction in heavenly truths, but the preparation for the taking of Ai signified a similar instruction in worldly things. A state of the Lord Himself during His glorification was signified by Abraham's pitching between Bethel and Ai; and a state of the Church is signified by Israel under Joshua being in the same position, that is, between Bethel and Ai. It is clear, therefore, why Israel was first made victorious over Jericho, and then went up against Ai, namely that a man must have instruction in heavenly things before he can distinguish between the things of heaven and the things of the world. Before he has procured a knowledge of heavenly things, that is, more interior heavenly knowledge, he cannot, as the Writings express it, "disperse worldly things." The taking of Ai means the dispersal of worldly things with the man of the Church. What does this mean,-the dispersal of worldly things?

     To say that worldly things must be dispersed or broken up is a very general statement, the meaning of which is not very definite. We must know what those worldly things are which are meant by Ai. Perhaps we may strike nearer to the thing that is meant by Ai, if we use the phrase "worldly wisdom." This is what must be broken up err dispersed by those who are truly of Israel-the Church. Worldly wisdom is what men make use of to confirm themselves in evils of life. As Jericho, while yet in the hands of the inhabitants of Canaan, represents the life of the profanation of good, Ai signifies the worldly wisdom by which such a life of evil is confirmed, or which men use to justify evils. This city must also be taken and destroyed, as Jericho was; but it is a far more difficult task. It is a task that will never succeed, if it be approached with self-confidence. The scouts whom Joshua sent out beforehand had told him that two or three thousand of his army could easily take the city; but, acting upon that advice, he met bitter disappointment. The first attack of Joshua failed utterly.


It was necessary, as the Lord then said to him, to destroy the accursed thing which was in the midst of Israel, before they could stand before their enemies. We must know what is meant by this "accursed thing" which Achan had taken to himself,-the Babylonian garment, the shekels of silver, and the wedge of gold.

     Let us have all the facts in the narrative before us. The "accursed thing" was to take anything for themselves from the spoils of the city of Jericho. But of the spoils of Ai it was expressly said that they were to take of them for themselves. The people might enrich themselves from the treasure of cattle which they found in Ai; but it was "accursed" for them to take anything for themselves from the booty of Jericho. Men must not claim for themselves any of the knowledges of heavenly things, but they may claim for themselves the knowledge of worldly things. In fact, the knowledge of worldly things is absolutely necessary to the growth and development of the Church; but that knowledge of worldly things, or that worldly wisdom, which destroys heavenly life must be broken up. So the city of Ai, while still in the possession of the inhabitants of Canaan, is worldly wisdom destructive of heavenly life; but the spoils of that city, when it is overthrown, signify that knowledge of worldly things which is necessary to the life of the Church. Spiritual men must have knowledge of the world, but they must disperse merely worldly wisdom in themselves.

     The accursed thing, or the sin committed by Achan, represents spiritual theft. And spiritual theft is the departure in practice from the heavenly knowledges imparted to us in childhood, and from the interior teachings of the Word after we have grown up, while at the same time we profess to believe them. For thus it is that innocence is destroyed. The knowledge of heavenly things, and the innocent, childlike delight in obeying the heavenly principles which all men are taught, are spiritual riches and possessions. Their abode is in the natural mind. But if, in later life, a man allows these heavenly principles to be infringed, and at length forgets or denies them through the delight of selfishness, then he is stealing what belongs to the Lord.

     For the Lord gives all of us in childhood a sure and active delight in heavenly knowledge and heavenly principles. We love to learn of heavenly things, and we also experience some of the delight of doing them. Take, for example, the delights of generosity. Never was there a normal youth who was not generous.


Take also the delight of service and labor for the attainment of some high ideal. Never was there a normal youth who had not something of this loyalty to a noble idea. But if the opposite delight of self-gratification,-the delight of acquiring for one's self and of excelling others,-are given a foothold, then they enter into the abode of our natural mind like a thief breaking into a house, while, at the same time, for the sake of reputation or safety from punishment, heavenly ideals are still professed, and the appearance of an unselfish life is maintained.

     This, as well as we can express it, is an illustration of what is meant by the sin of Achan in taking of the accursed thing. This is the profanation that is represented by the inhabitants of Jericho. For thus innocence, which is the child-like belief in heavenly knowledge, is stolen away from the natural mind which it was intended by the Lord to furnish and enrich. Thus the garment of Babylon, the silver, and the wedge of gold, are spiritual riches which men profess to believe in, but which they really steal from the Lord, and use to advance themselves in the world, and as the means to the gratification of delights which are evil. And this is the thing that must first be utterly condemned in the minds of those who are of the true Israel, before that stronghold of the enemy of spiritual life, which is signified by the city of Ai, can be taken.

     The Lord told Joshua to root out this spiritual theft from the midst of Israel; otherwise Ai could not be taken. The innocence of childhood must be restored, and maintained throughout life. "Except ye become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of God." Without that childlike belief in the things which the Lord has revealed,-the same kind of eager teachableness which We had when first instructed in heavenly things as children-cannot stand against the enemies of our spiritual life, especially not against the reasonings of worldly wisdom.

     For worldly wisdom is that misuse of the knowledge of worldly things which prompts us to be shrewd, and cunning, and covetous, while at the same time we speak well of heavenly things, and endeavor to appear as upright in all respects. Thus we see that it is a very interior evil, or rather a very subtle false principle, that is meant by Ai.


And that kind of worldly knowledge cannot be dispersed in us, if we allow ourselves to enjoy delights that infringe upon the plain doctrine of the Church.

     The men of Ai are those who form all their opinions, and all their principles of life, from their knowledge of the world, from their sciences, from appearances of truth. To them, the knowledge of heavenly things is unscientific, the future life is speculation only, right and wrong are only what appears to be beneficial or harmful to the physical health and well-being. To them, the only kind of restraints they must put upon themselves are legal restraints and the fear of the loss of their reputation. Their minds are dosed toward the knowledges of heaven which they may have only from Divine Revelation. Such minds and men are appointed to spiritual destruction. The seeds of heavenly doctrine with them are "choked, and become unfruitful," because of "the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches."

     But just as Joshua withdrew from before Ai, and made as if Israel were fleeing in defeat, so must it always appear to those who are in worldly wisdom that the life of those who restrain themselves for spiritual reasons, or because Divine Revelation so teaches, is a losing fight. To them it is impractical idealism; it runs counter to human inclinations and the ways of the world. A life in child-like obedience to the things we learn in childhood from the Word, and to the things we may learn from the spiritual sense of the Word later, seems to rob a man of some of his chances for worldly success and pleasure. This is why Joshua made as if he were defeated, and so drew the men of Ai out of their stronghold and surrounded them by those that lay in wait. But the spear in Joshua's hand was kept stretched out toward Ai, and then the men who lay in ambush arose and surrounded the men of Ai. The spear of Joshua, like the rod of Moses, is the Divine Truth of Revelation from the Word, and his keeping it pointed towards Ai represents that this Truth is forever directed against that kind of worldly wisdom and science which leaves entirely out of account the laws of spiritual life.

     Remembering that Joshua represents the Lord, it may be seen that the Lord leads men out of worldly wisdom by a kind of Divine stratagem or "lying in wait." He allows men the freedom to fight against heavenly ideals and principles. He allows them to act from worldly and selfish principles.


Yet all the while He surrounds them with spiritual truths from the Word, which are the Children of Israel lying in wait, until men begin to see the hopelessness of the knowledge of the world alone, and the real power of heavenly knowledges applied to life.

     So the general lesson contained in the account of the combat waged by Joshua for the destruction of Ai is this: That the taking of the accursed thing is to make use of heavenly knowledge as an outward profession, but to live a life that contradicts and belies it, and that this makes it impossible for men to disperse or remove the principle of worldly wisdom, which fights against the Church as the king of Ai fought against Israel.

     But the Lord gives men power over worldly wisdom, expedience, and opportunism, if they put not confidence in themselves, but return to a childlike belief in the all-importance of following the knowledge that comes down from heaven, the all-importance of letting no delight in anything lead them away from keeping the Lord's Commandments, in letter and in spirit. Amen.

     Lessons: Joshua vii. Joshua viii:1-29. A. C. 1557.


     No man is born today with an innate perception that will unerringly sift the true from the false. Its attainment is gradual, and comes only after plodding loyally in the trails illumined by Revelation. But many challenge leadership in this heavenly direction. They have either never seen this radiance, or else their belated espial of the trail is outweighed by an urge to make after a mirage that had dazzled an earlier fancy.

     The New Church of a century ago was hampered by conditions of divided allegiance among a number of Evangelical clergymen who entered its fold without leaving at the threshold their several teraphim. Today, however, such infusions of the deleterious are no longer on the plane of pure theology. We may say that the arena of the resulting contest between heavenly authorized verities and dogmas from alien sources has now shifted to lower ranges.


Stated in the language of the Apocalypse, it is today not so directly with the "woman," but with the "remnant of her seed," that the enemy contends.

     One type of attack fastens upon that attitude of mind which, regarding the world as under God's care, then concludes that the introduction or some current theory into our system is likely to be a germane liaison with another forward movement in the van of progress. A still subtler attack comes when it would restrict the message of Revelation to pure theology. The man who holds to this is possibly unaware that he is driving a wedge between this supreme plane and subordinate truths, or that he is favoring the slogan, "Divide and rule." He perhaps thinks he is merely championing the free scope of human reason over these lower planes, and resisting the encroachment of theological authority there. Applied specifically to the Writings of the New Church, such an attitude means that their teachings on philosophy and science need not be considered as less humanly fallible than Swedenborg's earlier teachings, before he was chosen to be a revelator, and must accordingly enter the lists with current profane systems to vindicate any value they may have. If this plea is just, then any one of us may with perfect propriety link on as a substrate to our theology any theory with worldly vogue that seems to recommend itself.

     But I may as well ask whether what the Writings say on these subordinate subjects does not come with greater emphasis than such a plea presumes. Are such statements merely incidental, and not a significant part of their structural unity, or do they come with the sanction of angelic enlightenment, and perhaps as a direct admonition from the Lord? The inquiry should lead to interesting results. In the present case I shall restrict it to what is said in regard to philosophy and philosophers.

     Swedenborg, in the earlier period, when he penned his philosophical works, had an admirable spirit that qualified him in a high degree for research fed by the Lord, as he avers, during these thirty-five years, he constantly stressed the dependence of lower truths upon the truths of theology. In this he therefore differs notably from our moderns who segregate their fields of study from light from above.


Writing in 1766 he says in regard to this earlier period of his life that the Lord had given him a love of truth for its own sake, and that one who so loves truths "sees them from the Lord, . . . who is the Way and the Truth," whereas whoso loves them "for the sake of honor or gain . . . . Sees them from self, . . . which is equivalent to seeing falsities." (Doc. 232.)

     His attitude toward current views was non-partisan, and affirmative to a presumed content of truth. With regard to Wolff, he learned subsequently that what he had admired in this author's writings had not been meant by him. He disagreed with two of the three fundamental laws of Newton; in fact, characterized one of them as "infantile" (A. K. 2881), but made no formal refutation, allowing his vindication of the truth to stand forth uncontroversially in the system of his Principia. He laid bare the weakness of the metaphysical juggling by which Leibnitz justified the theory of Pre-established Harmony; but elsewhere admits that under proper qualifications it may be true, that is, when restricted to the domain of the pure soul, or if taken to mean that a harmony existing in the soul is thus antecedent or "preestablished" to subsequent harmonies arising when lower planes of life are brought into agreement with the soul. (Rat. Psych. 167.) His elaborate digests of the views of the thinkers of all times, recorded in Ontology, Psychologica, the Philosopher's Note-Book, and elsewhere, evince a calm, fair, and judicial spirit. The following citation is quite characteristic: "Since my intention is to draw conclusions from the connection of things, and from rational considerations supported by experience, I wish merely to make passing mention of opposing doctrines, but not to pave the way for the opinion that follows by any invalidation of other opinions. The very connection and the naked truth is sufficient, for it will defend its own cause. Each (of the others) I will let stand by his own opinion, but let him see for himself whether that opinion be consistent, and in agreement with the laws of nature." (Generation 236.)

     His philosophy differs signally from all others since the time of the Ancient Church as to its upper and lower contacts. For these others in their upper limit face a frankly admitted or thinly disguised blank; whereas on the lower side they depart from common sense and practical experience. Swedenborg, however, as to One side, was convinced that a search for the soul cannot be made without a study of anatomy, nor the mind discovered apart from an analysis of the brain; whereas, as to the upper limit, he held that such secrets would be disclosed to none but God-fearing men.


In others words, the truth in regard to any subject comes out only by viewing its relations to the Creator and to creation. In fact, the attainment of wisdom in a natural matter depends on: (1) A knowledge of the facts of experience; (1) a perception of the causal relationship of this plane to higher ones, which he calls geometry; and (3) a guiding light from the Lord that gives the faculty of reasoning truly. (Principia, Chap. 1.) Even in regard to the understanding of the Word, this trine of science, philosophy, and religion is required, the three means postulated being called in the Writings (1) a knowledge of the doctrines, (2) a knowledge of the correspondences between discrete planes, and (3) illustration from the Lord. (De Verbo.)


     But to sharpen the distinction between Swedenborg's philosophy and others, let us take as subjects the spiritual world and the three uncreate degrees in God.

     His mode of approach is non-metaphysical. For instance, he employs no such method as would start with stressing the spacelessness and timelessness of these subjects, and so leave no predicates adequate to either, the mind remaining aghast before a formless blank. To him the spiritual world is a real state of vital, mental experience that is transacted in intimate organic touch with human society and the created universe. So God is not impalpable force, but the Divine Man; and thought of Him is but obscured by the refinements of human phraseology unless His relation to the Gorand Man of humanity and to the cosmos be kept in mind. "To know these matters," he wrote in regard to degrees of altitude, "and not to see them by application to existing things, is only to know abstractions which remain no longer than while analyses from metaphysical things are in the thought, . . . for the mere knowledge of abstractions is like something aerial which flies away; but if abstract matters are applied to such, things as are in the world, they are as that which is beheld on earth by the eyes, and which remains in the memory." (D. L. W. 189; T. C. R. 52; A. C. 4574.)

     To Swedenborg, philosophy was an intermediate that would exhibit the facts of experience as arranged in series under Divine Law, and so bear witness to the truths of religion.


"Philosophy," he wrote, "if it be truly rational, can never be contrary to revelation, . . . for reason was given to man that he might be able to perceive that there is a God, and know that He is to be worshiped. . . . he very mysteries which are above reason cannot be contrary to reason, even though they cannot be disclosed as to their quality by reason." (Infinite, Introduction.) Again: "These pages of mine are written with a view to those only who never believe anything but what they can receive with the intellect; consequently who boldly invalidate and are fain to deny the existence of all supereminent things sublimer than themselves. . . . For these persons only I am anxious. . . . For them I indite, and to them I dedicate this work. For when I shall have demonstrated truths themselves by the analytical method, I hope that these debasing shadows or material clouds which darken the sacred temple of the mind will be dispersed: and that thus at last, under the favor of God, . . . an access will be opened to faith." (A. K. 22.) Later, in his theological period, he reaffirms the prospect of doing this by means of that "second foundation of truth . . . which is from nature, and for those who are natural and in natural lumen. . . . For these can no more be convinced from the Word, . . . because sciences have shut their understanding. Therefore sciences will also open it, and it is being opened so far as they are in good. . . . But nothing can be founded upon scientifics unless previously founded upon the Word, for this must be first. The other (foundation) is only a confirmation from man's scientifics." (S. D. 5709-5710.) And this matter is finally confirmed by the Word: "'The ears shall hear the Word behind him,' for the sciences which are the Word from the back in the regenerate man, and which then instruct, because the life of faith, or faith, is in them, and applies them; for then they are servile or services." (Index Bib. at Isaiah 30:21.)

     In the Writings, where Swedenborg speaks as Revelator, fully two-thirds of the references to philosophy are devoted exclusively to showing the harm done by human philosophy since the time of the Ancient Church, and to unfolding the low state in the spiritual world of many philosophers and metaphysicians. The same theme appears also in the other references where mention is made of the uses of a true philosophy.


In this latter third the burden is either an obvious inference to Swedenborg's earlier philosophical labors as constituting a true philosophy, or else to show how, under an overruling Providence, some good has come out of other philosophies, in spite of the havoc they wrought. A brief digest of this favorable testimony may be rendered as follows:

     1. Philosophy is true when it concords with the Word, as an external with its internal. It is then what it should be, and may serve to exhibit the agreement between the things of earth and those of heaven, both of which issued concordantly from the Creator. (I Adv. 912, 914.)

     2. It is then of service to form intellectual faith, to which the human mind will recur for protection whenever doubts assail matters of belief. (I Adv. 914.) Thus it serves to form the understanding with the truly intelligent (H. H. 353), or to perfect the rational (A. C. 4658, S. D. 4578), by confirmations which give a fuller idea of the things taught by the doctrine of faith. (A. C. 2568, 1072.) In this way the ideas of those who believe what the Lord says are illustrated and strengthened, for it is by means of things rational and scientific that a man has light. (A. C. 2588, S. D. Minor 4659)

     3. The series of truths, from Divine ones down to physical ones, are God's Word. But there are other truths, called philosophical, which frame rules, laws, and a phraseology, by which the former truths are explored; as when inquiry is made into the qualities, quantities, accidents, modes, ratios, etc. (I Adv. 937.) Swedenborg defends his own usage of expressions such as "subject, predicate, form, quality " as a means of securing conciseness of diction, and to avoid cumbersome circumlocutions. (S. D. 1603.) For a given term may involve many truths when these have been seen in one's self or from experience in the world. (S. D. 2263.)

     4. Human philosophy indeed possesses many discovered truths, as that an active force makes one with an instrumental force, or that it is a fallacy for the latter to suppose itself to be the force itself. (S. D. 649, 3095.) It knows also that things exterior and composite cannot enter into interiors and simples, but that penetration is in the reverse order. (A. C. 2588.) It should also be able to see that to call a thing universal, and then remove it from jurisdiction among singulars, as in the case of the Divine Providence, annihilates it as much as to say that a whole could exist without its parts.


"This is philosophically true." (A. C. 1919.)

     5. The normal operation of the mind is philosophical, and is what enables men to receive instruction. (S. D. 226.) A little child can speak more philosophically in a few minutes than Aristotle could describe in volumes (A. C. 4658), and is much more learned in himself than are those men who are called learned from a philosophy which is poor and of no account. (S. D. 226.)

     6. Like the Apocalyptic "leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations," a philosophical way of presenting essential truths is able to reach certain types of mind and carry conviction, even though it do not lead to a repentance of the life. In this manner, even those "who have pierced" the Lord may be brought to see the truth, and, in spite of feeling no interest or delight in the truth itself, may yet be stirred to help its cause with zeal when they see they can thus impress others. (S. D. 3095, 5709-10, 649.)

     7. Swedenborg had been led by the Lord to be a philosopher prior to his becoming a Revelator. For he who had taught natural truths rationally was subsequently to teach spiritual truths in a way to bring about the fullest rational reception of them. Only when spiritual truths are based on rationally understood natural truths can there be a real intelligence. An inkling of this verity seems to exist even in Christian seminaries of theology where students are taught metaphysics prior to dogmatic theology. But as their theology is a tissue of falses laid upon them under the canon that the understanding is to be held under obedience to a blind faith, and as their training in metaphysics is to enable them to make a clever parade of learning, under which they may seem to men to have confirmed these falses logically, it is plain that no real intelligence exists with such, either in theology or philosophy. (Dec. 232; Influx 20-21; T. C. R. 388, 17; A. E. 1103.)

     8. In conversation with spirits, Swedenborg urges that philosophers should apply their reasonings to matters of a practical definiteness, instead of quarreling about terms with regard to subjects of profitless speculation. And here he refers with approval to his researches, as (S. D. 3459) to the presence of animal spirits within the fibers, and (A. C. 6326) to the operations of the mind in the purer substances of the brain.


I might note here his reference to the Worship and Love of God as being in accord with Revelation (cf. Hist. of Crea.); and his asseveration of having been constantly sustained by the Lord when inspired to undertake the perilous task of exploring things celestial and spiritual by means of studies in the natural sciences. (2 Adv. 1281-2.) In his work, De Sensu Communi, he records a supernatural admonition to use his philosophical Principia, as thus he would be enabled to fly withersoever he would." The benefit to human thought, of thus embodying the Heavenly Doctrine in his prior philosophy, consists in the infilling of the generals of doctrine with particulars and then with singulars, to the greater enrichment of the mind. We are, in fact, told that sciences are not to be rejected; and the reason given is, that by them "spiritual things can be confirmed, . . . and the angels thus come to the knowledge of indefinite and most arcane things therein." (S. D. 3460.)


     Turning now to the other side of the subject, I am led to adduce the following citations as a typical preface to his findings with regard to the effects of philosophical thinking from the time of the Ancient Church to the present day:

     "Heavenly spirits are much surprised that mortals live in so great blindness, and from their philosophy and erudition alone, as they call it, which leads them into dense ignorance, so that they know not that there are four faculties in man, and know not how to discriminate the human soul from the rational mind, yea, neither from the soul of brutes. And perchance they will come into such blindness, solely from the philosophy of their minds, as scarcely to distinguish it from the soul of the vilest insects, and finally not even from the soul of inanimate things, and of plants, since they see similar productions thence.* Thus one must grieve that today, when men suppose they are living in so great a light as to intellectual matters, they are yet in a shade so dense that nothing can be denser. For as soon as, from it, they consult any philosophy, they fall into nature worship and are turned backwards; and the order itself is so perverted that there is no faith, and the condition is well-nigh irremediable, unless all their philosophy is previously shaken out of their minds." (2 Adv. 1076.)


"Philosophy itself, or human erudition, judges and concludes about spiritual things from natural ones, and because, since the fall, the natural man is such as to be contrary to the spiritual man, and continually assails him. Hence a philosophy which is from this man, and is drawn from his rational mind, is such as to destroy the things which are drawn from the Divine Word. Therefore, it is not philosophy viewed in itself which is to blame, but the very human mind from which philosophy is drawn, whose state is such since the fall." (Adv. 911.)
     * Swedenborg's strictures on philosophy are wide-sweeping, and not confined, as some have supposed, to a condemnation of the reasonings of medieval scholasticism.

     I may here note that, since the Writings are the Lord in His Second Coming, such an arraignment by them of the philosophy that has arisen since the Ancient Church (2 Adv. 1283) is no more than an ampler expression of the denunciations of human philosophy which He gave at His First Advent. He spoke then of how the Word had been "made of none effect by human traditions," urged His disciples to "beware the leaven of the Pharisees," declared that He had blinded the eyes of those who thought they were wise, and promised that those who would take no thought how to answer their persecutors would be given a direct inspiration when the hour came.

     Those of the Ancient Church who on earth had been delighted with ideas, and had indulged in thoughts "but without philosophy," had, on entering the spiritual world, constituted a society of wisdom which was delighted whenever men on earth in subsequent times thought sanely and wisely, appearing to them as a woman who would stroke their cheeks. This manifestation had occurred to Aristotle and others. (A. C. 4658; S. D. 3949 seq., 4446, 4744.) It was doubtless the reason for the veneration in which Pallas Athene was held by the Athenians. The scientifics of the ancients treated of the correspondences between the spiritual and natural worlds, and led men eruditely to the knowledge of the spiritual and celestial things which constituted their wisdom. The fables about Pegasus, the Pierian Spring, and the Muses were all symbolical of such. (A. C. 4966, C. L. 182.) So, in Egypt, the written characters, called hieroglyphics, were formed for the purpose of permitting interior things to be viewed by their means. (I Adv. 875.) The most ancients in this world had acknowledged no other wisdom than that of life, and this had also been the wisdom of those called the Sophi.


Subsequently, in the Ancient Church, those arose who acknowledged wisdom of reason as wisdom, and were called Philosophers. "But today even those who only know are called wise." (C. L. 130.)

     Reflecting upon this course of events which has culminated in the philosophy of the present day, Swedenborg was led to make the comment that these early men were better off than moderns, "who have philosophical things, such as the Aristotelian, which rather turn the mind away" from knowing such heavenly things. (A. C. 4966.) Hence it was evident to him how far the human race has departed from the erudition of the ancients (ibid), and that wisdom has fallen from its peak to its valley. (C. L. 130.) Some spirits of the Socratic School, after a discussion with a priest, a politician, and a philosopher of Swedenborg's day, who had explained how little esteem the learned world had for the wisdom revealed through him, concluded that the interiors of human minds had been successively closing, until, in the world of that day, a faith in the false shone as truth, and a fatuous ingenuity appeared as wisdom. They declared that the light of wisdom had lowered itself from the interiors of the brain "into the mouth below the nose, where it appears before the eyes as a splendor of the lip, while the speech of the mouth thence appeared as wisdom." (C. L. 182.) In other words, acclaim is now given to mere oratory, without reference to the sense of what is uttered. Even the internal sense of the Old Testament has this subject as the burden of one of its prophecies. For the little horn on the dragon's head, in which was a "mouth speaking great things" (Dan. 7:8), "is philosophy destroying all more interior things; for a new philosophy has entirely eradicated all the science of the three previous ages, so that they have understood nothing of these, as is quite evident, since they stick in letters only, and cannot or will not understand interior things, and still less the more interior ones." (Schmid. Marg.)

     The Writings indicate the following philosophers as being sane and in heaven; Socrates and the Socratic School, Diogenes and his scholars, Plate, Aristotle, Demosthenes, Cicero, Des Cartes, Newton, and Leibnitz. Newton, however, had to undergo some vastations before his sanity could be vindicated.

     But the disciples of Aristotle, since they reason and think from the terms he propounded, "are many of them among fools." (A. C. 4658.)


Wolff appeared enveloped in a dusty, suffocative smoke, because he had placed wisdom, not in the truths of faith, which he had not believed, but in subsidiary studies and in terminology. (S. D. 4744, 4727; E. U. 38.) Numbers of logicians and metaphysicians who had immersed their thoughts in such trivialities now live a lamentable and obscure life with no perception. (S. D. 3947.) The inhabitants of the pit of the abyss, mentioned in the ninth chapter of the Apocalypse, whence issued the locusts it describes, had all been learned in the world. Among them Swedenborg recognized metaphysicians and scholastics who had been esteemed above others. (A. R. 421.) It may be noted that Aristotle agreed with Swedenborg's characterization of modern philosophy, remarking that it is "futile and useless as dust, and is altogether to be rejected." (S. D. 3950.) He is referring to the habitual reasoning from terms to ideas, and the practice of thinking from an artificial, syllogistic system.

     Leibnitz, who had interior judgment (T. C. R. 335), seems to be meant in A. C. 6326 by the "one among the more celebrated and sane philosophers, recently deceased," (though he died fifty years before them), who concurred with Swedenborg in the view that philosophy should be applied to a scrutiny of mental activities within the purer substances of the brain, and "not attend to naked expressions of words, and wrangles over them, and so sweat in the dust."


     For convenience of apprehension I may arrange Swedenborg's full arraignment of philosophy since the time of the Ancient Church in the following itemized digest:

     1. It is the fruit of the tendency of the human mind since the fall to judge of higher spiritual things from a low, natural ground. (Adv. 911.)

     2. The endeavor of human philosophy to enter into things spiritual and celestial is contrary to order, since it is the latter which should enter into the former, as was the case with Swedenborg. The result is disastrous, being attended with severe penalties. (Adv. 1282.)

     3. It makes men nature-worshipers, and favorers of things corporeal and natural. (2 Adv. 1283.)


     4. It causes a doubt about spiritual and celestial things, and finally a denial of them. (Ibid. S. D. 591.)

     5. To attempt to explore the mysteries of faith by scientifics is to attempt the impossible. (A. C. 233.)

     6. It confounds truth with good, and occasions a loss of common sense. (A. C. 1385, 5556.)

     7. Conditions today are worse than with the antediluvians when voluntary good was destroyed, for there is now a philosophy unknown to the ancients by which intellectual light is utterly darkened, and the darkness can hardly be dispelled. Thus intellectual good begins to perish. Men are blinded much more than they were then, and are not only deaf serpents but the most pernicious flying ones. (A. C. 2124, 196; S. D. 767.)

     8. It affects the memory, causing it to appear as a dark callosity when viewed in spiritual light. (A. C. 2492.)

     9. It is an inversion of order, the following of a negative principle, and leads to all folly and insanity. (A. C. 2568, 2588, 4658)

     10. It destroys faith. (S. D. 341.)

     11. It abstracts all things to which human ideas affix themselves, and involves the matter under consideration, which may be simple in itself, in such terms and occult qualities that everything is obscured. The Jovians call those who do this insane and offal. (S. D. 591.)

     12. It causes men not to want to distinguish themselves from beasts. (Ibid.)

     13. It is worthless, declares Swedenborg in a heading. This is confirmed by a spirit, who said he now perceived such studies to be worthless, since they are phantasies which take away all light, and which had prevented him from knowing spiritual things. (S. D. 609.)

     14. Each part of human philosophy has hitherto done nothing else than to darken minds, thereby closing the way to the intuition of interior things and of universals. (S. D. 767.)

     15. For it consists of terms only, and of wrangles over these. (Ibid.)

     16. A philosopher who has indulged much therein is, in the other life, stupid and more unlearned than others. (Ibid; S. D. Minor 4579)


     Some fifty more references might be cited to the same purport. I shall restrict myself, however, to one more citation, which is especially interesting, in that it states the length of time the human race has been a prey to such an influence.

     "Philosophical things so finite the human mind, that (men) at length can see nothing. Philosophical things, even from the first centuries, have now for several thousand years consisted solely of terms and the syllogism. And because it is only terms that men gape for, as to what is the form, the accidents, the modes, and the like, nothing else can result than that the mind is terminated in mere ideas without life, because without any light. For they do not apply them to rational matters; and the things they do apply are mere terms, and if they wrangle from them, they are then as one who learns the words of a language, not for the sense to be expressed, but only for speech. Thus they stir up and contract the universals of the mind into what has nothing of life in it, namely, into what is merely material; and they form thence a callosity so dark some that no light can pass through it. Syllogistic philosophy likewise so finites the ideas of the mind that there is almost no loophole for light. Therefore, those who are wise in this way are much blinder, yea, much more stupid, in spiritual and celestial things, than a very insignificant person in a mob, or among tillers of the soil." (S. D. 866.)

     The picture of such an incubus preying for a score or so of centuries upon the human mind,-the most precious thing on earth, will arouse concern among those who desire to inaugurate, with the Writings as their guide, a wholesome, heavenly way of living and thinking upon earth. In previous ages, the great mass of the people, thanks to their ignorance, were protected from this canker. Until fifty years ago, woman, the mother of the race, was similarly protected. But now all are bent upon higher education, streaming to secular universities where such a philosophy as Swedenborg arraigns is the keynote of the instruction given, and where Swedenborg, prince of philosophers, does not even appear as a name in their textbooks.

     It is not forbidden us to hope, however, that in time an enlightened sentiment will be aroused among Newchurchmen to make headway against this current by promoting the cause of higher education in New Church theology, philosophy, and science, from which any infusion of alien theories in the world is discouraged.


A time is coming when more parents will see through the spurious eclat and prestige of modern universities, and decide to stand by their own enterprise in this direction.

     It is no longer possible to protect the things of faith by insisting that they are to be believed simply without any intuition from the rational. Only by forming adequate rational and natural ideas about them can there be a protection against those who reason from the negative about everything. (A. C. 3394, T. C. R. 15.)

     There can be no more harm in studying the history of philosophy than that of the perversions of Christian doctrine, provided the estimate given by the Writings is the guiding light. In fact, many minds need to visualize certain ratiocinations by the names of the characters of those who spun them; and this also causes a private delectation (S. D. 3950), due to the feeling that one is acquiring the basis of a reputation for erudition.

     The pith of New Church philosophical studies will be social philosophy, cosmology, the economy of the brain and body, and the growth and regeneration of the mind in the cortical glands of the brain. Such studies will furnish a fertile soil in which the spiritual truths of the Heavenly Doctrine can draw enriching particulars and singulars. Thus a bounteous harvest will be proffered to mere on earth, and the angels of heaven (S. D, 3460) will thus be enabled to enter into the indefinitely many things therein.




     Significance of Death in Egyptian Life.

     The Great Pyramid: masterpiece of colossal geometry, its shaft set to the North Star; how fittingly it symbolizes Egypt, the land of science! Nor is it merely the angular form of lifeless knowledge. The passageway which strikes deeply beneath the surface leading to the chamber of the dead leads also to the heart of human life in Egypt. Preoccupation with the hereafter shaped the very lives of the common people, and little else is known of them today. Nor was the thought of death less central to the Pharaohs, who lived in palaces of sun-dried brick that they might be entombed in polished stone. Except for these dwellings of the dead, the land of monumental grandeur would be searched in vain for any relic of the human everyday point of view in ancient Egypt. But the tomb walls are eloquent of their self-life, petty pride, and aspirations; and between the lines of hieroglyphics one recognizes the little frailties of human nature, and those persistent traits of character which, after so many centuries, are still almost humorously familiar.

     In the Light of Revelation.

     To a sanguine New Churchman who finds himself for the first time with the Concordance in one hand and a volume of Egyptian mythology in the other, there comes an optimistic impulse to make arbitrary interpretations. The Writings repeatedly declare that Egypt derived her ritual, hieroglyphics, and magical knowledge from the Ancient Church. It would, therefore, seem relatively simple to trace the spiritual meaning beneath the words of those who, more than all other nations, cultivated the science of correspondences. Such a study, already begun, will doubtless lead New Church scholars of the future down into Egypt, there to borrow the silver and the gold of true correspondence. But an amateur is apt to be deceived by the base metal of priestcraft.


His outstanding difficulties are three: Firstly, the vastness and intricacy of the maze of incongruous beliefs which the Egyptians attempted to reconcile. Secondly, the fact that magic set in at a very early period, and from thenceforward we cannot expect to find true correspondence; for the teaching is, that with the development of magic, truth from the Ancient Church was perverted into its opposite. This would necessitate a negative study of the bulk of Egyptian beliefs. The third difficulty is, that the New Church has only begun to redevelop the knowledge of correspondence. Nevertheless, the subject is so exceptionally fascinating as to tempt pioneer thought, especially along the lines of Egyptian myths regarding life after death, although no such New Church interpretation is ventured in the following paragraphs.

     The Egyptian Resurrection.

     Ancient knowledge of a discrete spiritual body, and of its need for contact with the limbus, took a phantastic form in Egypt. Man was thought to have a khat, or body, a ka, or spirit, and a khu, soul. The khat and ka were born simultaneously, and continued their separate existences throughout life, related by a kind of pre-established harmony. They were by no means inseparable. A man's ka, or double, could leave him during sleep, or was free to live in a flower, tree or fruit, if it became bored with the limitations of its own body. In the Bata legend, a young man's ka was hid in the highest blossom of a magnolia tree, which grew on the enchanted isle. When his faithless sweetheart discovered the secret, and destroyed the flowering tree, her lover's body, in a distant land, sank down lifeless. Not only human beings, but all things of creation had a ka or double; nor was it limited to organic life; for clothing, cosmetics, food and even words had kas. Thus a man's ka dressed in the ka of his garments and ate the ka of his bread.

     Death brought no essential change, for the body continued to be a resting place for the ka, and was thought to retain consciousness thereby. Part of the burial ceremony was the verbal instruction of the corpse in its new duties, and even today the simple folk of Egypt are heard talking down into the graves of their dead. Naturally, every effort was made to preserve the body for eternity, since it still indirectly lived.


But experience with the inexorable laws of disintegration prompted the further precaution of burying a perfect reproduction of the body as an emergency habitation for the ka. Some of these life-portraits in stone, now excavated, are among the world's most remarkable sculpture for sheer technique and realism. The ka of a man might inhabit any image of himself, for which reason certain Pharaohs placed their statues where they might eternally command a view of passing events which had interested them in their lifetime. The lie might even enter a man's pictured likeness, or be imprisoned in his name.

     Burial customs changed with the developing of the ka conception. At first a man's body was interred with implements, weapons, jars of grain, and the never-forgotten cosmetics, the kas of which would supply the earthly needs of his spirit. There is evidence that some even had their slaves killed and buried with them for future service. Mortuary equipment thus became more and more elaborate as time wore on, including games, literature, and every conceivable need or luxury. These articles were not for use at some distant resurrection, but were in constant demand by the dead, requiring to be replaced from time to time.

     It was the development of magic which gradually simplified the tomb furnishing. The belief in the power of mere symbols rendered genuine objects unnecessary. For instance, instead of storing the mastaba chambers with grain it was considered equally effective to inscribe pictures of wheat in the tomb, from which the grain ka might feed the spirit. In fact, if a man should merely speak the names of any articles of diet, tangible food would gratify the dead man's appetite. For this reason it was customary to inscribe the outside of one's tomb with a plea to the passerby that he utter the names of coveted necessities for the benefit of the ka within, such as: "Thousands of clothing, thousands of geese, thousands of beef, thousands of bread, and thousands of beer." Such requests are preceded by long and very naive lists of the sterling qualities and noble deeds of the inmate; and, as a final argument for the generosity of the living, it is pointed out that such verbal donations will cost the stranger nothing.

     Magical simplification affected the provision of slaves for the dead. Instead of burying real men with him, it came to be enough that statues of slaves be placed in the tomb.


These curious little stone figures are excavated by the thousands. "Ushebti," they were called; for their duty was to harken. A conspicuous absence of ambition, on the part of the masters, for the performance of use in the after life, is indicated by the inscriptions carved on these slaves: "O thou Ushebti, if thy Master is assigned to do any work that is done in the other world . . . 'Lo, here am I,' thou shalt say." Only the rich could afford the ritual and upkeep necessary to promote the welfare of the deceased, but faith in the magic power of images led some of the very poor to hide pathetically rude figures of their dead in the tombs of great nobles, forlornly hoping thus to rescue those they loved from annihilation.

     Besides his ka, man had a khu, which was a vague concept correlated with the soul by scholars, but more like the New Church idea of the rational mind. Whereas the ka was the double of the body, the khu was double to the intellect, will, or intention, and was significantly depicted as a bird whose name means "the bright one."

     This series must not be confused with another triad which developed in Egypt. It included both the soul and spirit in the ba, the mummy being the sahu and the kahybet, the shadow. The latter was considered a very real part of a man, subject to injury, and able to inflict damage by being cast upon another's person. Of a special interest to New Churchmen is their belief in the power of the ran, or name. It was a part of man's living being, and his spirit was so conjoined with it that any man knowing one's name exercised magical power over him, even after his death. Evil spirits could be cast out if their names were known. Thus it was that the baptism of a child was a most secret ceremony, and no outsider was ever told the true name; "a little" or nickname being provided for common use.

     Out of the baffling intricacies of Egyptian cults modern research has disentangled the three main concepts of life after death: Existence in the tomb, in the kingdom of Osiris, or in the sun-bark of Re. Each is essentially distinct and becomes incongruous when combined with the others. But the Egyptian minds were the last ever to be bothered by the most absurd contradictions, and the priests interwove irreconcilable doctrines with a tenacious conservatism which rivals the Chinese.


Both the Osirian and the Re cult assume the ka and khu existence of the spirit and its physical need of a natural body, ministered to by the living. But instead of a perpetual and at best gloomy existence in the tomb and vicinity, the Osirian votaries transported the kas of the blessed to the paradise of Osiris, and the Re worshipers to the cosmic boat of the sun-god.

     The Osirian Kingdom of the Dead.

     Of all the Egyptian gods, Osiris had the most permanent appeal, especially to the popular mind. He was the god of vegetation, and, by analogy, of resurrection, thus representing the Divine Human. (See C. T. Odhner's Correspondences of Egypt, pp. 108-121.) To dwell with Osiris in the blessed fields of Yaru was the hope that inspired the pilgrim dead to undertake that frightful journey thither, the terrors of which must have filled his dying hours with gloom and apprehension.

     The soul, leaving his tomb, turned his face westward to the mountain cliffs over which lay the mystic land of the hereafter. The direction of the setting sun was always that of the dead. They were buried on the western bank of the Nile, and in common parlance "to die" or "to go west " were synonymous. Arriving at the rocky border of Egypt, the soul climbed over into a region wherein grew an enormous sycamore tree, beautiful of foliage, and weighted down by clusters of fruit. As from a window, the tree goddess leaned out from its massive trunk, proffering to the newly dead a tray of magic cakes and fruit and a pot of clear fresh water. To eat and drink this supernatural offering rendered one a servant of the gods; to refuse it was fatal, for such an ingrate was sent back to his tomb, there to remain in eternal darkness.

     Many were the perils which next beset the wayfarer in the bleak and water less desert which he now must traverse. Boiling streams gushed past him; serpents, venomous reptiles, and poisonous insects harassed him; and evil spirits tried, by every fierce and magical device, to make him die a second death and cease to be. Some of his enemies had to be overcome by charms; others, as a gigantic tortoise, he needs must day with a lance. Most dreaded of all was Set, the god of evil, and the deadly enemy of Osiris.


He assumed the horrid form of a, huge red monster with the head of a camel, a hound-like body, and a long forked tail bristling with poison; and he attacked the pilgrim with intent to eat him. This being subdued, the soul could reach the fateful river, ancestor of the Grecian Styx. Here he had great need of the magical formulae which his kinsmen had buried with him on papyrus rolls, or carved upon his coffin. In the complex these mystic utterances form the so-called Book of the Dead, though they were never collected nor compiled during the time of their use in Egypt.

     Examples will show the type of dangers which were dissipated by these spells. One prevented a man from being forced to work, another kept his heart or hati from being taken away from him, or drove away evil snakes. Another formula enabled him to assume any shape he desired; still another saved him from a second death, and so forth. The spirit, standing on the bank of the river, repeated the words which summoned the reluctant ferry boat to take him across, if his magical knowledge proved adequate. This barge was a dark and sinister conveyance, and its ferryman was named Turnface; for his back was eternally turned to the dead who called for him. There was a crew of silent and hostile-seeming divinities who offered no helping hand to the man on the shore. As the boat approached, its parts called to the spirit, each in turn, saying, "Tell me my hidden name!" If the soul's mummy has been properly equipped, his papyrus will prompt him in his mystic replies to each, many of which seem to have no possible connection with the question; bewildering senselessness being thought to enhance the potency of such abracadabraism.

     At last the boat was satisfied; and its dour ferryman, after claiming that the equipment was incomplete, could at last be prevailed upon to accept the passenger. But, this river crossed, our hero's troubles were just beginning. He was now confronted by a building of enormous size, and of a black and threatening appearance. It was the Great Hall of Justice, in which Osiris judged the dead. Only by the god's permission was the bolt drawn from the gate and the soul allowed to approach the monstrous edifice, behind whose silent walls Osiris listened while the pilgrim shouted his salutation:


"Hail unto thee, great god, thou who art lord of truth!
Lo, I draw nigh to thee now, O my lord, and mine eyes behold thy beauty.
Thee I know, and I know also the two and forty gods assembled with thee in the Hall of Justice.
They observe all the deeds of the wicked;
They devour those who seek to do evil;
They drink the blood of those who are condemned before thee, O just and good king.
Hail, lord of justice! Thee I know;
I come before thee even now to speak what is true;
I will not utter what is false, O Lord of all!"

     Then followed a negative confessional which was a vital part of the ritual:

"I have done no evil against any man;
I have never caused kinsfolk to be put to death;
I have never oppressed a servant with too much work;
I have never been devoid of good works, nor have I acted weakly or with meanness;
I have not stinted the food offered to the gods;
I have not despoiled the dead;
I have not deprived Children of milk;" and so on.

     Many of these sins are those of the Ten Commandments, as these:

"I am not a murderer;
I have never committed adultery;
I have not caused false witnesses to speak in the
Hall of Justice."

     He also denied the various forms of stealing, as lessening corn measure, stealing cattle from meadows, or birds consecrated to gods, fish from holy lakes, or taking away temple offerings. The confession ended by claim of sinlessness quaintly followed by the hope that no untoward fate would overtake him in the hall of judgment. It should not be supposed for a moment that it was necessary that the soul be really innocent of all the evils thus enumerated by him. Not at all. Such was the power of magic that the mere vocal proclamation of purity made one pure.

     As his last words died away in the oppressive stillness, Anubis, the jackal god, "opener of the ways, came to the soul and led him into the hall, where, in the half darkness, beneath a roof of alternating flames and white feathers, sat Osiris upon his throne.


A crown was on his head, a crook in one hand, and a flail in the other. Before him was the fateful balance on which the heart of the man must be weighed against Maat, goddess of truth, or her emblem,-a feather. Beside the scales crouched a fearsome, monster hippopotamus, partly crocodile and part lion; and around the walls sat forty-two animal gods whose happy duty it would be to tear the man to pieces, should he prove guilty.

     Facing this tribunal, the plaintiff must again raise his voice in the awful silence, repeating his confession, and addressing a different animal for the denial of each sin. Next, his heart was taken by Anubis and placed upon the balance,-a nervous strain which most have tried the most resolute faith in magic. But if the dead had been properly buried, over his heart lay a saving scarab beetle, on whose stone breast was carved the very significant words, "O heart that was mine, do not say, 'Behold the things that he hath done!'" By this aid, the blackest sinner was able to pass through the ordeal successfully, and enter paradise. Any man who was not able to afford such patent sin-destroyers was under the necessity of being good. Unfortunate was he whose sin-burdened heart weighed down the white feather! Be could hope for no mercy from the ferocious animal deities, and never would he roam the joyous fields of Yaru among the grain which grew twelve feet in height beside the heavenly Nile.

     The Cosmic Hereafter.

     Another series of beliefs concerning the fate of man after death developed among the worshippers of the sun god Re (or Ra). (See Odhner Correspondences of Egypt, pp. 78-83) This god was thought to travel across the sky by day in his flaming solar ship. Saintly beings (and, of course, all the Pharaohs) were immediately merged after death with Re himself. The less fortunate dead were able to sail in the boat with him for a longer or shorter part of the day, according to their merit. At evening, having passed through a cycle and become an old man, Re steered his bark down to the western gate of the land of death, or Duat, and all through the night he passed along the underground Nile which finally led him to the East at daybreak.


     This kingdom of night was a superlatively dismal place, and even the sun-ship was not exempt from the dangerous attacks of evil forces. In fact, the implication is that the god could never pass the powers of darkness, were it not for' the faithful ministrations of his priests on earth, who chanted the seventy-five invocations which overcame the series of obstacles falling regularly in the twelve astronomical hour-divisions of the night.

     As the boat entered Duat, its passengers were Re, Watchman, Steersman, Striker, and unnumbered deities and souls. It would seem that those whose life had not entitled them to a round trip, as it were, were forced to spend a sunless day underground, entering the solar-boat only at night when it passed through and brightened their particular hour-division. The length of their journey was measured by merit or magical knowledge, their only other privilege being that of eating, free of payment.

     The perils of night were many and varied. There was a wall which must be passed through, also flame-spitting serpents, water reptiles, ferocious fishes, and gruesome monsters which made the voyage hideous. In the fifth hour-division, Sokar, in his winged-serpent form with three human heads, attacked the ship. A lurid drowning pool must be passed, in which swam tortured genii with their heads on fire. The terror was increased by vague and mysterious forms which hovered in the offing. But when, at last, the eleventh hour was reached, all the evil spirits were burned in a mighty conflagration whose flames became the sunrise foretelling the triumphant rebirth of Re.



NEW CATECHISM       Rev. F. E. WAELCHLI       1928

     FIRST ELEMENTS OF THE TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. An introductory Catechism for the New Church. Adapted to the Needs of the Schools, Homes and Missions of the General Church of the New Jerusalem. Bryn Athyn, Pa.: The Academy Book Room, 1927. Cloth, 18mo; pp. 84. Price, 50 cents.

     In 1917, the General Church published A Catechism on the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer, by the late Rev. C. Th. Odhner. In its preface the author says: "This catechism has not been written for children, but for boys and girls between fourteen and sixteen years of age. It was found easier to write out an extended study than to compose a simpler work for younger children, but it is to be hoped that some one may be able to draw up a smaller catechism." The hope herein expressed is fulfilled in the eighty-page book before us, compiled, as appears from the signature to the preface, by the Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner. The work fills a long-felt want throughout the General Church. Mr. Odhner is to be congratulated upon the excellence of his work; and the publishers are to be complimented upon the attractive appearance of the booklet.

     The Catechism opens with an Introduction intended for those who are to be instructed, telling what the New Church is and what is its purpose. This is followed by the Preface. Then come the seven chapters of the work, entitled respectively, The One God, The Word, The Life of Charity, True Faith, The Eternal Life, The Church, Sacraments and Institutions. Each chapter begins with an appropriate Scripture passage. At the end of the work there are twelve pages of Teaching Notes, and Suggestions about the Use of Catechism.

     The seven chapters consist altogether of seventy doctrinal points, each of which is numbered. The points are presented in question and answer form, which has been usual in catechisms for centuries.


The Rev. C. T. Odhner, in his catechism, avoided this form, although favoring it, "because of the pressure of new-fangled pedagogical notions," as he once said to the writer of this review. We are pleased to see the return to it in the present work. Authority for religious instruction in this manner is to be found in the many questions and answers of the Letter of the Word; also of the Writings, especially in the Memorable Relations. Following the answer to the question are confirming Bible passages,-those of the Word in boldface type, and those not of the Word in ordinary type. The book contains about two hundred and fifty such passages.

     After these passages, reading from the Word is often indicated; and notes in small type are also frequently added. As examples, we would adduce three of the numbers. (Let the division of the answers into paragraphs be noted.)

7. What is the Divine Trinity?

     The Divine Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not three persons or three gods,
     but are three essentials of the One God,
     just as the soul, the body and the operation of man are the three essentials which compose man who is made in the image of God.

     Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Savior. Isa. 43:10, 11

     Teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matt. 28: 19 (Compare Acts 8:16, etc.)
     I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Rev. 22:13
     And God created man in His image, in the image of God created He him. Gen. 1:27
Reading: Matthew 3:13-17.

45. How are the angels employed?

     The angels, from their love and charity, perform all manner of useful services to each other,
     instruct and guide spirits, and guard over men.

     He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. Psalm 91:11.
     Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? Hebr. 1:14
Note. The word "angel" means messenger.


63. Why should infants be baptized?

     By Baptism an infant is publicly placed under the instruction and protection of the Church on earth and is introduced as to his spirit into the Christian Heaven, where angels are assigned to take care of him and keep him in a state for receiving faith in the Lord.

     When the infant grows up, the angels leave him, and he associates to himself such spirits as make one with his life and faith.

     Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. Mark 10:14, 15

     Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father who is in heaven. Matt. 18:10

     The Preface opens by saying: "The present little work is compiled as a guide book to assist parents, teachers, evangelists and missionaries in the instruction of neophytes and older children or in preparing young people for the rite of Confirmation." Parents are mentioned first, and, among them, those will be especially benefitted who live isolated or in circles without a resident pastor. Together with these parents we may mention, because similarly situated, the teachers in Sunday Schools of isolated circles. The greater the teaching gift of such parent or teacher, the greater the benefit to the pupils in the use of the book. But those who have this gift in but small measure-and of these there are not a few-will nevertheless be able to do excellent work. This is one of the highly commendable qualities of the book.

     Parents and teachers, such as have been mentioned, will desire to know to what age the instruction is adapted. The compiler says it is for "older children," but also that it can be preparatory to the catechism by the Rev. C. T. Odhner, which is designed for the age of fourteen to sixteen. We would venture to say-risking dissent on the part of some of our professional educators-that the book as written can be used for the instruction of children of twelve years of age (seventh grade), with the exception of a few places here and there that may be too advanced.


Selected portions can also be used for younger children, with whom it may often be well to omit the question and answer, and to draw the doctrinal lesson directly from the Scripture passages. Children beyond the age of twelve, and these later as young people, can be taken through the catechism several times, the instruction being progressively more advanced. For the preparation of more advanced instruction the Teaching Notes will be found very useful.

     It is to be noted that the compiler, in the Suggestions about the Use of the Catechism, warns against too much stress being placed upon the need of learning answers or passages "by heart." But some stress must be placed upon it; and by the time the pupils have gone through the book several times, many of the answers, and especially of the passages, should be thoroughly known.

     The Pastors of our societies and the teachers of religion in our schools will, we are certain, welcome this catechism and make use of it in their work, some more, some less, each according to the methods of instruction which he favors and has developed. To all, the large collection of Scripture passages, and their arrangement, will be of exceedingly great value.

     Mr. Odhner mentions the instruction of neophytes, or new receivers, as one of the purposes of the work. It fills this need admirably. Often such a person asks for some book which may give him a good general idea of the doctrines of the church; and none better than this can be placed in his hands. Possibly the author had in mind also the neophytes in our South African missions, in whose instruction he has had considerable experience; for on the title page he says that the catechism is adapted to the needs of the schools, homes and missions of the General Church. The book is not of a "missionary" character, that is, is not intended for interesting people in the doctrines, yet it might at times well serve this use, and should have a place on the tables of our missionary book rooms.

     The preface gives, as another use, the preparation of young people for the rite of Confirmation. In the chapter on Sacraments and Institutions, it is said that confirmation is to take place at entrance into adult age. We conclude, therefore, that a course of instruction for young people up to that age, using this catechism, is intended.


The value of such a course, including the committing to memory of a large number of the passages, is inestimable. The doctrines of the church would thus find their foundation on the rock of ultimate truth, to rest firmly thereon. However, it is not only young people who need this. Every member of the church, of whatever age, needs it. And so this book provides for everyone the means of reviewing from time to time the "first elements of the true Christian religion," and of seeing this religion, point by point, as drawn from and confirmed by the Letter of the Word. And the Teaching Notes will furnish the means for more particular study.

     The book is adapted, the title-page tells us, to the needs of the General Church of the New Jerusalem. Throughout, it is written in accordance with General Church principles. The Writings are recognized as the Word of the Lord's Second Advent. The errors of three divine persons and of faith alone are not concealed, but are pointed out, and likewise a number of other errors in the old theology. The chapter on The Church treats, amongst other things, of the consummation of the age and of the need of the Second Advent and the establishment of the New Church, the Crown of Churches for eternity. Teaching concerning betrothal and marriage is also given.

     As features of the work we may mention the inclusion of the opening portion of The Faith of the New Heaven and the New Church, given at the beginning of The True Christian Religion, and of Swedenborg's Rules of Life. The well-formulated history of the successive Churches is also worthy of especial mention.

     The hope of the Rev. C. T. Odhner for a simpler catechism than his own, for younger children, is realized in this work. And now may we express the further hope for a catechism still simpler, for children of a yet younger age. There is need for this, especially among the isolated. The church requires many books, of various kinds, for the religious instruction of its children. Gradually they are being supplied. And as they are, in Providence, given, we can with increasing assurance look forward to an ever more interior acknowledgment by the generations following of the words with which the book before us closes: "With Thee is the fountain of life; in Thy light shall we see light."
     F. E. WAELCHLI.



SIMPLE AND THE NATURAL GOOD       Editor       1928

Office a Publication, Lancaster, Pa.
Published Monthly By
Editor                    Rev. W. B. Caldwell, Bryn Athyn, Pa.
Business Manager          Mr. H. Hyatt, Bryn Athyn, Pa.

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     A correspondent has asked us to say a few words to mark clearly the difference between the "simple" and the "natural good." We assume that the question refers to the meaning of these terms in the Writings. The subject is a large one, and a full treatment would require more than a "few words," but we shall endeavor to set forth the distinction in a brief statement, and follow this with passages from the Writing; by way of illustration and confirmation.

     By "the simple," the "simple in heart," and "the simple good," frequently mentioned in the Writings, are meant those among Christians and gentiles who, in adult age, have remained in states of childlike innocence and faith. For the most part, the term "simple" has reference to their state of intelligence, or their understanding of the truth of Divine Revelation. The simple good among Christians have a childlike faith in the Lord and the Word, and the simple good among gentiles believe in a God under the human form, in a life after death, and in the precepts of their religion, even though many of them are idolaters in practice. Thus the "simple," both within and without the Church, have only a general understanding of spiritual and Divine things, undeveloped by particular and interior truths, in contrast with those who are learned, intelligent and wise in spiritual things.


     As to their state of life, the "simple" are characterized by innocence, mercifulness, charity and sincerity, and they live in obedience to the truths of their simple faith, on which account they are called "the simple good." This good with them is not interior spiritual good, but a natural good in which there is something of a spiritual quality from religion,-a spiritual-moral good, also called "saving good," because it is receptive of spiritual truth and good after death purely spiritual good is with the regenerate who are also intelligent and wise in spiritual things, and these also have natural good from spiritual; their works of charity and piety, and their civil and moral life, are inspired from within by spiritual charity and faith, which they have received from the Lord in an enlightened understanding of spiritual truth and a life according to it.

     This, in brief, presents the relation of the terms "simple" and "natural good" as used in the Writings.

     As to the term "natural good," it refers especially to that good which a man may have "by nature" or from birth,-a mild and charitable disposition which he may inherit from his parents; also to that good of the civil and moral life in which he is educated, or which he may acquire by his own efforts, and which may include the external good of piety and religion. Before regeneration, however, such good is "merely natural good." With the regenerating man, who receives spiritual good from the Lord, natural good is called "I the good of the natural," to distinguish it from that inherited and acquired natural good which all men, even the evil, may have outwardly. The regenerate are those who have been "born again, of water and the spirit." They have become " sons of God, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12, 13.)

     The following passages from the Writings have been selected from among many to illustrate and confirm the above brief and general statement. They also present definitions which we trust will bring the distinction of terms clearly to view.

Simple Faith.

     "The sense of the letter of the Word is accommodated to the grasp of simple men, in order that they may be introduced into interior truths." (A. C. 8705:2.)


     "In very many places the Word speaks according to appearances with man, . . . but he who believes the Word in simplicity, or from a simple heart, thinks that it is true because the Lord has thus spoken; and if, from other sayings of the Word, he be instructed how it is to be understood, he then acquiesces, and rejoices in his heart. Yea, it does no harm if one believes from simplicity that the Lord is angry, punishes, repents, grieves, for thus he believes that the Lord sees each and every thing; and when he is in such a belief he is afterwards enlightened in the rest, in the other life, if not before." (A. C. 589.)

     Such is the faith of childhood; and those who do not advance beyond it in adult age are called "the simple." It is, however, the beginning and inner ground of faith with all-namely, a belief in what the Lord teaches in Divine Revelation. For we read:

     "Intellectual truth does not appear, that is, is not acknowledged, until fallacies and appearances have been dispersed, which cannot be done so long as man reasons concerning pure truths from things sensual and scientific; but it then first appears when man believes in simplicity of heart that a thing is true because the Lord has said so; then the shades of fallacies are dispersed, and there is then nothing with him that prevents his apprehending the truth."

     Further definitions of those who are in simple faith are given in the following:

     "The simple are those who think naturally and very little spiritually about the things of the church." (A. R. 878.)

     "For the most part, the angels in the ultimate heaven are simple, because they have not cultivated their understanding by interior truths, but only by exterior truths from the sense of the letter of the Word, according to which they have lived. Hence it is that their spiritual mind, which is the interior mind, has not indeed been closed, but neither has it been opened, as it is with those who have received interior truths in doctrine and life. From this it is that they have become simple as to spiritual things." (A. E. 624.)

     "The simple in heaven are those who have acknowledged the Divine, loved the Word, and lived the spiritual moral life, but have not so much cultivated the interiors of their minds by knowledges and sciences." (H. H. 356.)

     "In order that a man may become intelligent and wise, it behooves him to learn many things, not only those which are of heaven from the Word and the Church, but also those which are of the world from the sciences.


So far as a man learns these, and applies them to life, he becomes intelligent and wise; for thus the interior sight of his understanding and the interior affection of his will are perfected. The simple of this sort are those with whom the interiors have been opened, but not so much cultivated by spiritual, moral, civil and natural truths. These perceive truths when they hear them, but they do not see them in themselves. But the wise of this class are they with whom the interiors have not only been opened, but also cultivated; these also see truths in themselves, and perceive them." (H. H. 351.)

     "All are received into heaven who have loved truth and good for the sake of truth and good. They, therefore, who have loved much are those who are called the wise; but they who have loved little are those who are called the simple. The wise in heaven are in much light, but the simple in heaven are in less light; everyone according to the degree of the love of good and truth." (H. H. 350.)

     From this we learn that those who are simple in the world remain simple after death, dependent upon wise leaders through whom they receive light from, the Lord.

     "He who has been in wisdom in the world is in wisdom in the other life, which wisdom is appropriated by him; and they who have not been in wisdom in the world, but yet in the good of life, are able to receive wisdom through the former, although it is not appropriated by them. When they recede from those by whom wisdom has been appropriated, they are simple, as before." (S. D. 5188.)

     This teaching is to be borne in mind when we read such passages as the following:

     "He who is in simple good, and simply believes in the Word according to its literal sense, is gifted with the faculty of perceiving truths when he is instructed in the other life by the angels." (A. C. 3436.)     
"They who, while living in the world, are in external truths, and at the same time in simple good, receive internal truths, and thence wisdom, in the other life; for from simple good they are in the state and faculty of receiving them." (A. C. 3820.)


The Simple and the Learned.

     The Writings frequently contrast the superior state of the simple with that of the learned who have not become intelligent and wise, as where we read:

     "In the Christian world, the internal is dosed in the case of those who know the truths of faith from the Word but do not live them. For it is life according to truths from the Word that opens the internal man; otherwise the truths are in the memory of the external man only. But, wonderful to say, the internal is more frequently closed with the intelligent than with the simple. The reason is, that the intelligent, more than the simple, are in the cupidities of becoming eminent and making gain, and thence in the loves of self and the world; they are also in the faculty of confirming evils and falsities more than the simple." (A. C. 10492.)

     "The learned believe less than the simple, and in heavenly things they are less wise; for the simple can view a thing above terms and scientifics, thus above sensual things, but the learned cannot, for they view it from terms and scientifics, inasmuch as their mind is fixed on such things, and is thus bound as in jail or in prison." (A. C. 5089.)

     This state, so common with the learned, accounts for the fact that so few of them receive the Divine Truth revealed by the Lord at His Second Advent; for it was so at His First Advent, as we read:

     "It is a common and known thing that the learned have less belief in a life after death than the simple, and that in general they see Divine Truths less than the simple; the reason is, that they consult scientifics, from the negative, possessing these in greater abundance than others, and thereby they destroy in themselves the intuition from what is higher or interior; and when this is destroyed, they no longer see anything from the light of heaven, but from the light of the world; for scientifics are in the light of the world, and if not illuminated by the light of heaven, they induce darkness, howsoever it appears otherwise to themselves. Hence it was that the simple believed in the Lord, but not the Scribes and Pharisees, who were the learned in the Jewish nation. . . . And so the Lord said, 'I thank thee, O Father, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and intelligent, but hast revealed them unto babes' (Luke 10:21); 'babes' meaning the simple." (A. C. 4760)


     Yet the men of the Church, who may be truly learned, truly intelligent and wise, because they enjoy interior light from Divine Revelation, are despised by the learned of the world, who "regard them as simple, vile, and of no account." (A. C. 1844) In heaven, indeed, the wisest of the angels appear like infants, because they are in the innocence of wisdom. "For the most part, they appear simple in external form, although they are wise and prudent in internals. It is these who are meant by the words of the Lord. 'Be ye prudent as serpents, but simple as doves. (H. H. 278, 280.)

     It is the function of the New Church to "make wise the simple,'' so that their first simple faith may be enlarged, enlightened and confirmed by knowledges from heaven and the world, and that their natural good may become spiritual.

Simple Good.

     The "simple" have a good end, good in the will, good at heart; and hence they are called "the simple in heart," the "heart" meaning the will, which is the real man. They are men of good intention toward the neighbor, and live in obedience to civil and Divine laws, however mistakenly they may Bt times carry this out, owing to their limited intelligence. Among both Christians and gentiles, the "simple" are characterized by innocence, mercifulness and charity, as also by sincerity.

     "They who will well and think rationally, and who thence do well and speak rationally, are meant by the 'simple in spirit' in the Word. They are called simple because they are not double." (T. C. R. 443)

     "The simple in heart believe what they say, and have not what is doubtful and negative in their ideas." (S. D. on Simplicity, 2663.)

     It is from simple good in the will that the simple have the general light of common perception or common sense in their understanding, according, to the Lord's words, " If thine eye be single (that is, good), thy whole body shall be full of light; but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness." (Matt. 6:22, 23. See T. C. R. 403) It is on this account that simple-minded Christians perceive the error in the doctrine of faith alone, as we read:


     "They who are in simple good acknowledge that the Lord's Human is Divine, and also that works of charity ought to be done, in order that man may be saved. They who are in faith separate know this; wherefore they do not insist upon this faith before those who are in simple good, because they dare not oppose common sense . . .far the simple good would say that they are foolish." (A. C. 4754.)

     Because the will is the real man, and not the understanding apart from the will, all the simple good are saved, even though they be ill ignorance, or their minds are clouded by fallacies of appearance and falsities.

     "Very many of those who are in falsities are saved, as in the case of very many of the gentiles, who have lived in natural charity and in mercy, and also Christians who have believed from simplicity of heart. Their very ignorance and simplicity excuses them, because in these innocence can be present." (A. C. 845.)

     We are told, however, that simple good is "not genuine good, because genuine truths have not been implanted in it, although it is of such a character that genuine truths can be conjoined to it, and the Divine can be in it. This is wont to be the case with infant children, before they have received genuine truths; and also with the simple within the Church who know few truths of faith, but still live in charity; and also with upright gentiles, who are in the holy worship of their own gods. By means of such good it is possible for genuine truths and goods to be introduced." (A. C. 3986.)

     From this it is clear that simple good is natural good of a kind that longs for enlightenment and instruction, which is thus receptive of the spiritual truth of Revelation, and through this of genuine spiritual good from the Lord.

Natural Good.

     "They who are in natural good, not spiritual, are mild and upright from heredity; thus they do good from nature, not from religion. It is one thing to do good from nature, and quite another to do good from religion. They cannot be distinguished in the world by man, because he does not know the interiors of others, but in the other life they are manifestly discriminated, where the interior thoughts intentions and ends are made evident as in clear day." Further described. (A. C. 5032.)


     "There are many who enjoy natural good from what is hereditary, from which they have delight in benefitting others, but they have not been imbued from the Word, or the doctrine of the church, or from religion, with principles as to the doing of good; wherefore they cannot be gifted with any conscience, for this does not come from natural or hereditary good, but from the doctrine of truth and good and a life according to it. . . . When such come into the other life, they wonder that they are not received into heaven." (A. C. 6208.)

     "It is to be known that they who do good from natural goodness alone, and not at the same time from religion, are not accepted after death, because there is only natural good in their charity, and not at the same time spiritual good; and it is the spiritual which conjoins the Lord to man, and not the natural without this. Natural goodness is of the flesh alone, born of the parents, but spiritual goodness is of the spirit born anew from the Lord." (T. C. R. 537.)

     "We must well distinguish between spiritual good and natural good. Spiritual good has its quality from the truths of faith, their abundance and connection, but natural good is inborn, and also comes forth by accidental things, such as misfortunes and diseases. Natural good saves no one, but spiritual good save all." (A. C. 7761.)

     "The good with those who are outside of the Church is called natural good, because it is from birth and heredity, and with some from sickness and imbecility. It is quite different from the good of the Church; for through the good of the Church a conscience is formed with man, which is the plane into which the angels inflow. But no such plane can be formed through natural good. They who are in this good do what is good in the dark from blind instinct, and not in the light of truth from influx out of heaven. . . . In the other life they are led away like chaff before the wind, by the good and the evil alike. . . . They who do good from natural disposition alone cannot be consociated with the angels." (A. C. 8002.)

     "The natural good which is connate with man is in itself nothing but an animal something; for it exists with animals also. But the natural good which is acquired, or which is gifted to man by the Lord, has in it what is spiritual, so that there is spiritual good in the natural good. This good is human natural good itself; whereas the other, which is connate, even though it appear as good, may be not good, and even evil. . . . Such natural good exists with nations of the worst life and faith." (A. C. 3408.)


     Four kinds of natural good inherited by many Christians at this day, described in A. C. 3469.

Good of the Natural.

     "The good which man derives from his parents is very distinct from the good of the natural which inflows from the Lord. For the sake of distinction, the latter is called the Good of the Natural, and the former Natural Good." How the one may be serviceable in preparing for the other. (A. C. 3518.)

     "By the good of the natural is not meant the good into which man is born, or which he derives from his parents, but the good which is spiritual as to its origin. Into this good no one is born, but a man is led into it by the Lord through the knowledges of good and truth. Wherefore, until man is in this spiritual good, he is not a man of the church, howsoever it may appear from connate good that he is." (A. C. 4231.)

     "Good with man is from a twofold origin, from heredity or from the doctrine of faith and charity. The good and truth from the former is natural good not spiritual, but the good and truth from the latter is spiritual natural good. . . . The two goods have an affinity in external form, but are wholly different in internal form. The natural good from heredity is like that with mild animals, but the natural good which is from, doctrine is proper to the man who acts from reason, and who thence knows how to dispense good variously according to uses. The doctrine of what is just and equal teaches this dispensation, and, in a higher degree, the doctrine of faith and charity teaches it. . . . They who are not spiritual, or who are not regenerate, see good in its external form only, but in the light of heaven the two kinds of natural good are men most distinctly, and also by those who are spiritual or regenerate, because these are in the light of heaven." (A. C. 4988.)


     In the light of the teachings adduced above we trust it will be possible to mark clearly the difference between the "simple" and the "natural good." To summarize:


     Natural good with the simple has a saving element of humility and religious faith in it; natural good with the more enlightened regenerate man of the Church is essentially spiritual; natural good with those who are internally confirmed in evil and falsity is merely natural and hypocritical; they are "wolves in sheep's clothing."

     The New Churchman, well instructed in the spiritual truths of the Heavenly Doctrine, will discriminate as far as he is able. (See above, A. C. 4988; also C. L. 523; T. C. R. 449) Natural good with the simple he will find pleasing; for their good acts are characterized by a sphere of innocence, charity and sincerity, by simple faith in the Lord and the Word. Natural good with many of the more enlightened will not be so pleasing, having a sphere of the proprium and meritorious self-satisfaction about it; this will manifest itself when their goodness is not approved or praised. "Beware of the wrath of the good-natured man!"

     Finally, let the New Churchman beware that he is not deceived by his own natural good, from which may come the most subtle temptations, even as our Lord was tempted by the angels themselves. (A. C. 4295.) All genuine good is from the Lord alone.

NEW BOOKS       Editor       1928

     SWEDENBORG. A Brief Presentation of his Development from Scientist and Philosopher to Seer, and a Few Outlines of his Doctrines. By Gustaf Beckstrom.

     AN INTRODUCTION TO THE WORD EXPLAINED. A Study of the Means by which Swedenborg the Scientist and Philosopher became the Theologian and Revelator. By Alfred Acton, M.A., D.Th. Reviews of these recently published works will appear in our next issue.

     We learn from THE NEW-CHURCH MESSENGER (January 11, 1928) that the first edition of Miss Helen Keller's book, My Religion, reviewed in our January number, has been exhausted, and that a second printing has been made. Translations are being made into French, German, Czechish, Danish and Swedish. An edition in Braille is also being prepared by the Perkins Institute for the Blind, Boston.




To the Editor of NEW CHURCH LIFE:
     Your notes in NEW CHURCH LIFE for November, 1927, p. 679, under the heading, "The New Church and Physical Healing," which were largely by way of comment upon my statement in the booklet, "A Sign of the Times," that physical healing ". . . is among the fruits of the New Church," carry forward the consideration of an interesting question which has been discussed pro and con by the Church for nearly a century.

     As far back as 1832, an article appeared in the NEW JERUSALEM MAGAZINE, Vol. 5, P. 169, entitled, "The Healing of Diseases by Faith," and in the succeeding generation or so, nine articles of a similar kind were published in this, the official organ of Convention of that day. In our times, the church periodicals have carried an increasing number of articles, letters, and editorial comments on the subject. In fact, in October last, four of our publications, here and abroad, published some reference or other to "healing."

     Needless to say, this growing presentation in print merely reflects the public mind. We might perhaps say it is a matrix of a growing inquiry in the New-Church mind. Certainly, physical healing by purely spiritual means to-day claims world-wide attention. Even the Church of England, at its Lambeth Conference a few years ago, gave authority for the practice of divine healing, as it was there termed. In America, an Episcopal minister but recently founded a "healing guild," while you doubtlessly recall John Stratton Roach's announcement from his pulpit a few months ago that "healing" was a part of Baptist doctrine.

     Some of the smaller Protestant denominations have included physical healing work in their doctrines as a matter of course, and one does not need to be reminded of the numerous cults, some rather influential, which consider healing work to be practically the crown of their religious beliefs.


I should not care to assert that all this alone gives either force or authority to the statement that physical healing is to be numbered among the fruits of New Church doctrine, but it surely points to a revival in a work which Gibbon tells us in his Rise and Fall . . . was carried forward by the early Christians as a heritage from the days of the Apostles.

     To proceed a little further from the historical standpoint, we find that the most ancient records in existence make no distinction between physician and priest. The sacred books of India and Egypt show the office as one, and we need scarcely be reminded of the duties in this connection of the Hebrew Levite. That these priestly doctors, or the people of the times, did not, however, always turn to the Lord for relief in time of physical difficulty, and suffered thereby, is strongly hinted at in the case of King Asa who " . . . in his disease (of the feet) resorted not to the Lord but to the physicians,"-and he died. As a matter of fact, the priest-physician in question dealt largely in noxious herbs, bleedings, incantations,-even mesmerism.

     But does not all this point to the same perversion of the office from the physician's standpoint, as in the case of the priestly?

     That is, the present order apparently is not the true one, and unless man makes a real effort, here and now, to approach the true order, making concessions perhaps, but not compromises, he is not leaving much of a heritage to the next generations which are to produce "a healthy race" from the "regenerating New Churchmen" you speak of. Or, to put it another way, some one must start the thing, and we may well begin now. "Now is the accepted time," and unless we begin to teach our children that " God is a present help in time of trouble,"-I read into this no distinction between the spiritual and the natural,-we need hardly expect their children to do so.

     New Churchmen, in considering the question before us from the negative standpoint, frequently emphasize that we are told "miracles are not performed at this day, . . . because they compel." With that I most heartily agree. But I most certainly do not agree that answer to prayer is miraculous, and I venture to say that Swedenborg does not anywhere so teach. Indeed, quite the contrary. There is a suggestive passage in this connection to be found in Tafel's Documents, vol. 1, p. 39. There the banker Robsahm records that Swedenborg, in response to his friend's recommendation of a "common remedy," spoke of his toothache as not caused by a diseased nerve, "but by the influx from hell from hypocrites, which he said he knew would soon stop and leave him."


Wrote James to the twelve tribes, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you."

     That many New Churchmen, almost from the beginning, adhered to the homeopathic school of medicine points clearly enough to the fact that the grosser methods of other systems did not appeal; and they still do not. If one seeks for a reason, might it not be that homeopathy seems to be closer to the spiritual order? This being the case, let us follow another line of thought in that direction. In his famous Organon der rationellen, Heilkunde, Hahnemann dedares, in part, "A homeopathic dose can scarcely be made so small as to amend, and indeed perfectly heal." (P. 1157.) Attenuation carried to such a degree ceases to be dilution; the potion gives way to a higher order of things.

     What seems to me a very extraordinary article, entitled "Faith Healing," appears in THE NEW-CHURCH HERALD for October, 1927. Its author emphasizes that the human mind always desires u sign. As I see it, the individual who demands the sight of a pill or draught before he can be well, seeks after signs vastly more than does the man who is willing that the drug be attenuated to elimination, or, indeed, will have none of it in the first place.

     A well-known New Churchman and physician, Dr. Charles T. Cutting, of Los Angeles, declares: " . . . I believe that if we follow in His footsteps, as we are commanded to do, all diseases that we now know to be preventable will cease to exist. . . . In the Word, and in the application of Divine Truth, we have the cure for a vast amount of the physical and mental suffering seen all about us." (THE HELPER, April 5, 1922.) That is it, exactly: In the Word, and in its application.

     Healing through prayer is not the property or monopoly of any group or individual. In the Word, as Dr. Cutting further stated, are given ". . . the actual 'prescriptions' for good health, and the happiness and usefulness which inevitably follow." But no real New Churchman, being taken with an illness, will take down the Bible as though it were the pharmacopoeia, hunt up a "formula," automatically repeat it, and expect healing for the state of his spirit, as he may be expecting it for his body.


We are to remember, "If ye ask anything in my name, I will do it." Again, says James, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss." Asking in the Lord's name begets the attitude of "Not my will but Thine be done."

     When we really try to humble ourselves; when we open the mind in recognition of His Divine care and mercy for us; when we go to Him in gratitude for innumerable gifts already received, surely we approach in some finite degree a realization of what that Divine Name is, and surely something enters into our lives, strengthening purifying, and bringing into order. And yet, this is not to say, and it should not be premeditated, that the answer to one's prayers will necessarily be manifested in an improved physical condition. "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him." But true prayer never leaves us where it finds us. Nevertheless, you do well to emphasize, in your comments, the discreteness-not forgetting the contiguity-between the spiritual body and the natural body, "in order to avoid the pitfall of confusing physical healing with the salvation of the soul." For, as you say elsewhere in your notes, "An evil man may be in good physical health, while a good man may suffer from disease."

     It is that very point which, in a general discussion of our subject, probably is brought up more frequently than any other. For the answer, the teaching is to the effect that the corporeal body as a part of the natural world is subject to the same general influx from the spiritual world. But the body is also subject to other influences outside those reaching it through the mind or spirit. Thus the natural body does not perfectly reveal the state of the spirit. A physical injury does not affect the spirit. Likewise, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

     But whereas a natural remedy, as such, has no effect on either the will or understanding, a spiritual corrective can affect the body. For example, take the disorderly state of fear. The individual afraid of most everything he eats, or the weather, or who is continually discussing disease and other morbid subjects, is not long out of trouble. Soon he will be able to declare with Job, "That which I feared has come upon me."


But if the individual facing a physical difficulty resists such influx from the hells, opening his mind instead to the inflow from heaven, then, far from being possessed by fear and its evil consequences, he will not only gain a better idea of the Divine Providence, but will improve the state of his natural body as well. I know this to be true because I have experienced it. So have other students of the Heavenly Doctrines of my acquaintance, and I trust there are many New Church people, with whom I may not be acquainted, who can likewise testify.

     Physical disorder is to be recognized as among the temptations the flesh is heir to, and may we not say that it is to be resisted in the same way as we are to resist the temptation to do or think evil? Comes disease from a different source? But as I see it, the resistance must be above the plane of the will of self, and should be based on the realization, "It is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure." I also understand that, whereas evil may be permitted for the end-for we are led for our salvation through states "sometimes glad and sometimes sad" (A. C. 8560)-nevertheless, God doth not behold evil; it has no power in His sight, that is, His presence.

     It is worthy of notice that the healing works done by Paul, as recorded in The Acts, followed his conversion to Christianity. And yet when, as he declares in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, he besought the Lord thrice to remove "a thorn in the flesh," be received answer, "My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness."

     Thus we see that the heavenly qualities are made more and more manifest in us as we humble ourselves to be worthy of His grace, and we perceive also that, whereas the healing of this physical body may be the gift to one, to another the answer to his prayer may be less comprehensible.

     In conclusion, may I say this: We may indeed be glad and grateful that it is the Lord who, in His infinite mercy, provides the curative means, but that there are degrees in this respect may be illustrated, I believe, in this way: Let us take two men, both worldly and unregenerative. The one relies on material means for his cure, and is healed. The other has been pointed to the Word for his help. He studies the Scriptures with sincerity, and changes his course in life. His disease, too, disappears.


Which of these two men is in an improved spiritual state? Or, neither man having been physically helped, despite their respective course of action, which one is nevertheless nearer to regeneration?     
          1602 Pilgrim Street, Akron, Ohio, December 11, 1927


     In the above communication, Mr. Marshall makes a more complete statement of his views than is given in his booklet, A Sign of the Times, briefly reviewed in our September, 1927, issue. He there states that he has found physical healing to be "among the fruits of the New Church." To this we objected, if it means the practice of physical healing as a function of the New Church, or anything more than an indirect or secondary benefit of regeneration, which in course of time will produce a healthy race. (November issue, p. 679.)

     We have read Mr. Marshall's new statement with interest, but we feel that he is pleading for something akin to the Christian Science view, and not sufficiently marking the distinction between the cure of the body and the regeneration of the spirit. In connection with what he says about prayer, we would recall the teaching of our Doctrine that the prayers of those who are in spiritual temptation are little heard, because they pray for release from suffering, not for power to resist evil. (A. C. 8179.) Diseases are listed among those natural temptations which "do nothing whatever to man's spiritual life." (A. C. 8164.) In keeping with this doctrine, our ministers offer this petition: "We Pray Thee, O Lord, to look down in mercy upon all who are afflicted in mind or body; give them patience in suffering, endurance in temptation, firmness of purpose and strength of will, that all their trials and distresses may be overruled in Thy Divine mercy for their eternal good." (Liturgy, p. 359)


Church News 1928

Church News       Various       1928


     Zero weather interfered somewhat with our New Year service, but there was no lack of a happy enjoyment of Christmas. The Children's Festival on Saturday afternoon was especially thrilling. The system of bringing in the tableaux in connection with the service itself has been worked out to a point of entire smoothness, and perhaps merits some special description at this time.

     We used to have the formal service upstairs in our church room, and then march downstairs for the scenes, the giving of gifts, and the lighter Songs. That was when we used the big stage, and had such gifted impresarios as Bobbie Caldwell, Herman Lechner, and such well-trained assistants as Edward Fuller and Julian Kendig, to mention only two. When these were no longer functioning, we ceased using the big stage, which occupied about half of the room, but retained the invaluable combination of appropriate text, invisible music (unaccompanied) and simple but perfectly lighted and posed tableaux.

     Our chief aim has been to produce the sphere of reverent worship, with as little as possible of what is "stagy," or which might detract from direct thought of the Lord and the angels. Later, we had to give up the big stage, since there was no longer room to store it, and then Mr. George Percy Brown, with others, developed a very compact small stage, perfect in its details, which we tried having at the side of our chancel upstairs the miniature representation of the Bethlehem Scene and the Heavenly Host being, as usual, on the other side. The text is read by a priest or priests, the children joining in the parts which they have memorized, adding some verses each year. When each tableau is shown-such as the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Shepherds Watching their Flocks, the Wise Men and the Star or the Flight into Egypt-the appropriate verses are first recited, then the lights go out, the curtain goes up silently, and the "Angel Song" begins. Perhaps the song has much to do with lifting the heart heavenwards. It is not always possible to have the children unaware of the personality of the one who takes the part of Mary or Elizabeth, but the men, having beards, are not known. The Star, which moves forward and glows increasingly, is very effective. Then we continue the service, with enough reading and singing to prepare quickly and silently for the next scene. There is no noise, no irreverence, no obvious stage management. The service is consecutive throughout, and it is as if the tableaux were quite incidental.

     After two trials, however, we have moved the whole service downstairs, and a temporary chancel is erected between the Scene on one side and the Representation on the other. The gifts for the children are neatly arranged at the side of the platform. We always begin with a procession, the children bearing offerings, followed by their elders. This was preceded this year by some carols sung outside, which the children had prepared themselves with the help of Miss Jennie Gaskill. As all the babies are brought to this service, it is limited to an hour. The informality of the giving of gifts to the children under High School age, as we call each name and the recipient comes or is carried forward, does not seem out of character on this occasion.

     The one in charge tries to have some new or original tableau each year. Once it was simply the Opened Word. This year we wove in from the Old Testament the scene of Moses being drawn out of the water. It was beautiful, and connected effectively with the previous scene of the Flight into Egypt.


Of course, these things entail a good deal of work, but if some one is able to direct and secure competent co-operation, as Mr. Ed. Blair did this time, and as others have done before him, it is not too much, considering the use and the pleasure to the children.

     I might mention other holiday events. The dance on Thursday night was thoroughly enjoyed, as was the previous one at Thanksgiving time. The presence of visitors at such times lends especial interest. Few of our own young people returned this year, but Miss Bertha Farrington and Miss Elsa Synnestvedt, of Bryn Athyn, and Miss Doris Ridgway, of South Africa, were welcome holiday visitors. There has been a regular epidemic of social affairs of lesser size-teas, lunches, card parties, and even some skating and swimming.

     On Friday evening, we had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Chas. R. Pendleton, under the auspices of the Philosophy Club. He explained to us the pros and cons of a new theory of Evolution which is not in conflict with any teaching of the Writings, but which does follow the general principles of series and degrees, as set forth in Swedenborg's philosophy. As an alternative between the Fiat Theory of the religionists, and the Evolutionary Theory of the Agnostics, there has so far been nothing for the New Churchman but the Arboreal Theory of the Worship and Love of God-which some regard as being symbolic, like the later parts of that work. Of course, there is Le Conte's idea of tying on the human line to that of some higher animal by the simple device of supposing a human soul to be miraculously conceived in an animal matrix. This the speaker regarded as an untenable concession to the prevailing thought of those who do not recognize man as other than a higher animal. Dr Pendleton's address called forth a very lively discussion.

     Last month, we raised a goodly subscription toward the purchase of a large lot adjoining the new Frick Park, suitable for the new church edifice which we look forward to having some time. But the discovery of a city plan to cut off part of this lot by a new boulevard made us pause. A committee, composed of Mr. Arthur O. Lechner, Mr. William Blair, and Mr. Samuel Lindsay, Jr., is now engaged in further investigations.     
     H. S.


     Our Christmas Festival was held on December 24th at 5:30 p. m., children and adults taking part in the worship, singing the familiar Christmas songs from the Hymnal, and the pastor's talk was addressed to the children. After the service, we adjourned to our basement room, where presents were distributed around the Christmas tree; and this was followed by a supper for all. Both on this occasion and at the service on Christmas morning strong sphere of worship and charity prevailed.

     Early in November, the ladies residing at the home of Mrs. John Headsten gave a reception for Mrs. W. B. Caldwell, who had been visiting in Glenview after the Jubilee of the Immanuel Church. We remember her affectionately as the sweet bride of our first pastor of Sharon Church. The reception was a large and happy one, as she has many warm friends in Chicago and Glenview. On the first Saturday in November, the Ladies' Society met at the home of Mrs. Jasmer. As we had just heard of the death of Bishop Emeritus W. F. Pendleton, we postponed our usual study and devoted the meeting to reminiscences. A few of us knew Bishop Pendleton during his early pastorate in Chicago, from 1877 to 1884, and we were able to speak affectionately of his unfailing courtesy, and of the depth of his love for the truths and uses of the Church.

     On November 12, Mr. and Mrs. Gladish went to Wilmington, Ill., to visit Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Cracraft (Grace Wright), and there Mr. Gladish officiated at the baptism of their infant daughter, Nancy Joyce. After the ceremony doctrinal class was held for the adults, and also classes for the older children.


A lady relative of the family attended the baptism, and was much interested in the truths of the New Church presented, which were wholly new to her.

     Our Annual Bazaar was held on Thursday evening, December 8th. Supper was served in the basement room, and the sale of articles was held on the first floor. There was singing and a jolly good time. The proceeds of about $150.00 were added to the Ladies' building fund. Again, on December 29th, a very enjoyable social was held. There were charades, cards, and other forms of amusement.

     At a meeting of the Philosophy Club on the evening of January 8th, the pastor presented a summary of the Principia doctrine of creation.
     E. V. W.


     On Sunday afternoon, December 18th, a Festival of Music was given by our congregation, choir and orchestra, under the direction of Professor Jesse Stevens, and the varied program was very delightful to all. Words of the songs had been distributed, in order that the congregation might sing or follow them.

     A special feature of this occasion was the presentation of a handsomely bound set of the Writings to Mr. Seymour G. Nelson, as a token of our appreciation of his fifty years of faithful service in the church music. But while he has completed his fifty years at the organ, he continues in this use as faithful and reliable as ever. Mr. Nelson, in a few fitting remarks, expressed his deep appreciation of the gift, and of the spirit that prompted it.

     Christmas dawned cold and clear, but snowless. At the service, the children occupied the front pews of the church, and contributed in large part by their united singing and recitations. The choir assisted, and rendered special Christmas music. At the conclusion, the congregation retired to the Assembly Hall, which had been specially prepared, and here continued the service in another form. The stage had been beautifully altered, so that it appeared as the front of a chapel with Gothic windows through which we saw the solemn tableaux representing the scenes surrounding The Nativity,-The Annunciation, The Shepherds, and the Wise Men. Never in our history have these scenes been better done. A sphere of devout attention was on us all, making the picture more than ever real and living. Congregational and choir singing and orchestral music were interspersed, the pastor spoke further to the children, and the service closed with the offering of gifts by the children, and the presentation of gifts and fruit to them all.

     The New Year's Eve celebration was a royal good time, like the many we have had before. The early part of the evening was spent with cards, dancing and musical features. Shortly before midnight we assembled in the school rooms (thrown into one) where a collation was served. At midnight all arose, faced the east, and joined with the pastor in the Lord's Prayer. The exchange of New Year's greetings was then followed by speeches in a jovial vein, winding up with a serious address by Mr. Norman Reuter on the subject of "Our Growth."

     As Recording Secretary, we have just transmitted our yearly report to the headquarters of the General Church. It has been compiled from our accurate records, and the totals may be of interest to our many friends elsewhere. About twenty-five years ago, when we succeeded the shiftless Secretary then functioning, our records showed a membership of 34. We now report a total of 120, all active. Each year has shown a steady growth, with never a backward step.

     Personal news records the departure of Mr. and Mrs. Seymour G. Nelson for points south, and-this time including their Florida residence, Egypt and what not, as also the General Assembly in England next August. The Misses Adah and Emelia Nelson departed with them to spend the winter in St. Petersburg.


     Mr. and Mrs. William H. Junge have gone to Phoenix, Arizona, for a few weeks to look up their children, Ben and Lenore McQueen and Winfred Junge. We regret to hear that old rheumatics has rendered our steady soldier, Ben, hors de combat, and it may be that the old folks will urge these pioneers, with the little grandchildren, to return to the protecting family wing in Glenview. The doctor, however, recommends the dry desert for Ben.

     Our new subdivision of ten acres abutting The Park on the north, and connecting therewith, comprises nineteen lots, which have all been taken up. Half of the lots have been built upon, and no more lots are to be had for love or money. The lots in the original Park subdivision, purchased at a price of $150.00 per lot, are now valued by real estate men at about ten times the price, and none to be had.
     J. B. S.


     Since our last report, the calendar has been so crowded with interesting events that we can give but an inadequate idea of them here.

     There was a special service in the Cathedral on Thanksgiving Day, November 24th, the Bishop preaching the sermon on the subject of Prayer. The impressive service gave spiritual significance to the home celebrations of the day.

     The Civic and Social Club gave a very successful dance on the evening of November 23d, and on the 25th the long-heralded Community Night provided a unique entertainment for the whole society, being instrumental in raising the sum of $500.00 for the benefit of the Elementary School. Much time and labor had been expended in preparation for this event, especially by those who dressed dolls and did various kinds of fancywork for the Fair, which proved by far the most remunerative part of the undertaking. Mr. L. E. Gyllenhaal made a new departure in providing cafeteria supper of excellent quality and reasonable cost. The Bazaar opened at 8 o'clock in the Kindergarten Room, which had become a fairyland of decorated booths, adorned with innumerable colored balloons, while the counters were laden with flowers and growing plants, cakes and candies, toys and novelties, and dolls as many and varied as the army that followed the Pied Piper of Hamlin. On the second floor there were moving pictures and cards, and in the auditorium dancing. There had been a special entertainment for the children in the afternoon. Altogether it was a memorable occasion, eminently successful in its object of providing needed furniture for the School. The society gladly acknowledges a debt of gratitude to those who gave so much time and labor to the cause.

     And soon Christmas was upon us. The general program this year was simplified. On Friday, December 23d, a series of Tableaux was given in the auditorium under the direction of Miss Margaret Bostock, with the assistance of Miss Erna Sellner, who designed the costumes, and Mr. George Fuller, who had charge of the staging. The scenes were: The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds, the Wise Men following the Star, and The Nativity. Between the Tableaux there was a short reading from the Word, songs by the children, and instrumental music by the Bryn Athyn Orchestra.

     On Saturday the 24th, there was a Children's Service in the Cathedral, the children entering in procession led by the choir in white vestments and carrying lighted candles. The service was conducted by the Bishop and the Assistant Pastor, the Rev. George de Charms, who delivered an address on the name "Jesus," explaining why it was given to the Lord when He was born. At the close of the service the children marched past a beautiful Representation, which had been prepared under the direction of Miss Constance Pendleton and placed in the north transept. As the children retired from the church, each received a gift of candy and fruit and a toy in the traditional stocking.


In the evening, the cold, still air rang with children's caroling, and groups went from house to house proclaiming in song the glad message that the Lord had come.

     On Christmas Day there was a service in the Cathedral, and the Bishop delivered a notable sermon on Isaiah 7:1-16, in which he connected the prophecy of the Virgin Birth with the turning back of the shadow ten degrees on the sun dial of Ahaz. Special music by a quartet of wind instruments from the Philadelphia Orchestra was greatly enjoyed.

     A New Year's Dance in the auditorium on December 10th was a delightful occasion at which everyone, old and young, under the influence of the holiday spirit, succumbed to the music of an excellent dance orchestra.

     On the morning of New Year's Day, Sunday, the Sacrament of the Holy Supper was administered by the Bishop, who was assisted by four ministers. In the evening there was a special musical service, with beautiful selections by a string trio. The Rev. George de Charms preached a sermon appropriate to the day, showing that the beginning of the New Year represents entrance upon a new spiritual state, and that every advance to a new state is of the Lord's Mercy and Providence.

     The Academy Schools reopened after vacation, and the routine of school activities was resumed, on January 5th. A week later came Founders' Day, when the Faculty and Corporation of the Academy celebrated the anniversary by spending a pleasant social evening together in the auditorium. Dr. Alfred Acton gave a talk on the "Swedenborgiana" in the Academy Library, including the collection of editions of the Writings, of photolithographs, documents, and the contemporary books of Swedenborg's day. As usual, he made the subject vitally interesting, and painted an encouraging picture of the growth of the Academy, as traced in the development of the Library, which he regarded as perhaps the greatest center in the world for the study of everything connected with Swedenborg and the New Church. Following the address, refreshments were served, and the remainder of the evening was spent in animated conversation.
     G. DE C.


     It is customary for the school children to present a short entertainment at Christmas time. This year an extra pleasure was given us when a procession of fourteen boys and girls marched upon the stage-it looked so well occupied-a noticeable contrast with the smaller school of preceding years. They sang appropriate Christmas songs, recited, and enacted a playlet, "The Snow Witch," adapted from a Russian legend. Five of the little ones made their debut at "speaking pieces," and it took sharp ears and an alert mind to follow the sense, as each one nervously raced to the end of his verse. But, as always, there was a special charm about these endeavors of little folks; and they were greatly delighted in feeling that they had contributed an important part to the whole. A pretty Christmas Bell Drill was the result of the work of Mrs. George Schnarr and Miss Carita Roschman in teaching dancing to the school. To see the increased number of pupils made every one happy and the entertainment more enjoyable; while Miss Heinrichs was congratulated by many for the success of her efforts in preparing the children.

     We have been glad to welcome back to the Carmel Church Mrs. Alfred Bellinger; who has now made her home in Waterloo. Three of her children are attending the school.

     On Christmas Eve the usual Children's service was held, and happy voices of old and young were lifted in the hymns and anthems so dear to Christmastide. There were two table Representations, one of the Inn with the Manger and Wise Men, another of the Shepherds and the Host of Angels. Near the close each child received a package of good things to eat, and some of the little ones were given small presents, and it was the minister's youngest son who disgraced himself by blowing his mouth organ before the end of the service.


     On Sunday morning there was a special Christmas service, the Pastor preaching on the text, "Though the Lord be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly" (Psalm 138:6), treating of the humility of Mary as being necessary for her part in His Advent, and showing that He comes only to the humble heart. There were extra hymns, and the 24th Psalm, which all enjoyed singing, while a special choir, prepared by Mr. Nathaniel Stroh, sang the 48th Psalm very beautifully.

     The following Sunday, New Year's Day, the Holy Supper was administered with a service that continued the thought and spirit of the Advent.

     Monday evening, January 2d, a social was held to celebrate the entrance of the New Year. Cards was the leading feature, and Mr. Archie Scott was kept busy putting up additional tables, showing great ingenuity in fitting fourteen of them into the space we usually fill with seven. But the people would keep on coming, and all were in a very festive spirit. After the cards, Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Stroh gave us a musical treat, flute and piano. Refreshments were served, and the evening dosed with a hearty singing of several of the old favorites from the Social Song Book.

     Arrangements had been made by the Men's Club to have Professor C. R. Pendleton address the Club on Tuesday evening. After the exceptional supper of tasty rabbit, the men felt well prepared for anything Prof. Pendleton might say. Nevertheless, with his paper on "Academy Adaptations to Science," he succeeded in waking us from our philosophic hibernation, so that we listened with intense interest to the problems he presented, of which the origin of man and evolution received extended treatment. Dr. Pendleton was induced to stay with us another day, and on Wednesday evening addressed all of the Society who could attend. He then spoke extemporaneously on the Philosophers of Swedenborg's time and before, and of their relation to Swedenborg's Philosophy, mentioning especially Kepler, Des Cartes, Leibnitz, Berkeley, and Spinoza. This was Dr. Pendleton's first visit to Kitchener, and proved very enjoyable to us, so that we look forward hopefully to future visits.
     L. W. T. D.





     THE THIRTEENTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the General Church of the New Jerusalem will be held in London, England, August 3d to August 12th, 1928.


     The Thirteenth General Assembly will be a unique and important occasion. It will be unique in affording an opportunity to meet members of the Church from all parts of the world, and to become acquainted at first hand with the conditions under which the Church is struggling for a foothold in England. It will help, more than anything else could possibly do, to strengthen the bonds of unity in the General Church, and will bring about a degree of mutual understanding that should have a far-reaching effect upon the future development of our movement. It holds out, in addition, an incentive to obtain the cultural advantages of foreign travel, so far as personal means may permit.

     Nor is such a trip nearly as expensive today as it was in past years. Every effort is being made by the steamship companies to reduce the cost of passage, in order to attract a larger volume of American travel. Summarizing what has been printed in previous issues of the LIFE, We may say that, on a very fair estimate, the trip to the Assembly and back from New York City can be made, Second Class for $400.00, and Tourist Third Class for $250.00. By Tourist Third Class is not meant steerage. On many of the lines the present accommodations for this mode of travel are the same as the former Second Class, and the number of interesting people taking advantage of these low rates gives assurance of congenial associations. The figures quoted above include all necessary expenses and the ten-days' stay in London. Passage must be secured in the near future.

     For detailed information and all possible assistance, write to Miss Florence Roehner, Bryn Athyn, Pa.



BENEDICTION       Rev. E. E. IUNGERICH       1928

[Frontispiece: James W. Pryke, Northampton, England.]

VOL. XLVIII MARCH, 1928           No. 3
     "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." (Revelation 22:21.)

     The words of this blessing, with which the Apocalypse concludes, have come down to us in two forms, one of which we have just heard; and the other reads: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be unto all the saints. Amen." Of these two, the one we have quoted as our text has been regarded by Christian scholars as having the greater weight of authority. It is the one used in the English Authorized Version, and in nearly all translations of the Word into the modern tongues. To a New Churchman it also has a special appeal from the fact that Swedenborg used it in the Apocalypse Revealed: "Gratia Domini nostri Jesu Christi cum omnibus vobis, Amen."-"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." Virtually every New Church liturgy prescribes it as the blessing or benediction to be pronounced by the ministrant at the close of a service of worship.

     Appropriate as is the sentence commonly used at the beginning of worship,-"The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him,"-the blessing of our text surpasses it in frequency of use and in prestige among us. And justly so, inasmuch as its culminating position at the end of the Word to the Christian Church marks it as also looking forward to the Word of the New Church, which has come to fulfill Scripture prophecy, and to complete the great series of dispensational Revelations. It accordingly stands there as a reminder of our Lord's words: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.


Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth." (John 16:12, 13.) As the benediction pronounced before the ceremonial closing of the Word in our service, it fitly expresses the prayer that should then prevail, that the mind may rise above the letter into the spiritual sense, the disclosure of which is the "grace of our Lord" to men of this age.

     The word "grace" is often upon the lips of men, though few know that Divine Truth from the Lord is what is meant. It is generally taken to mean some virtue which the Lord acquired by the crucifixion, and which He miraculously transmits to such as have won His favor, in order that He may blot out their sins and raise them into heaven. It is held that those acquire this benefit who confess that He died for their sins; others contend that such must also lead the type of saintly life that is recommended by the tradition of the Church. Few, therefore, realize that "the grace of our Lord" is the loving communication of His Truth, given to heal troubled minds and lead them into the ways of righteousness, to be attained when evils are shunned and truths are lived. And yet this is the plain import of the following passages, which associate grace with truth, reference being made to the Lord's Coming in the flesh, and to His Second Advent as the Paraclete:

     "And the Word was made flesh, . . . and we beheld His glory, . . . full of grace and truth. . . And of His fulness have we all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. . . ." (John 1:14, 16, 17.) "All bare witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth." (Luke 4:2.) "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you." (John 16:13, 14.) "Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come." (Apoc. 1:4.) It was that they might be ready to receive this gracious boon of Divine Truth in the form of spiritual doctrine, and not some illusory panacea to blot out sins in the twinkling of an eye, that men were urged to '' watch and pray," lest they miss their Lord when He came.

     The other version of our text, with less weighty claim upon our approval, also lacks the close intimacy of the address of one who speaks in the second person to his flock.


It reads: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be unto all the saints, Amen." You will notice that it has omitted the intimate pronouns "our" and "you" of our text, and is couched in the reserve and greater distance of the third person.

     Now, if we conclude, with Christian scholars, and from Swedenborg's usage, that our text is the true Scripture, then this variant which has grown up beside it might be explained as embodying a further interpretation of the text on the part of the Christian Fathers. For it explains who are meant by the "you all," upon whom the grace of our Lord is to be conferred. And with this interpretation we agree, for it implies that these are not everybody in the universe upon whom the Lord's mercy falls "as rain upon the just and the unjust" alike. As the Fathers understood it, this grace of our Lord reached a much more restricted group, that is, those whom they called the "chosen," the "elect," or, as this interpretive variant has it, "unto all the saints." They meant, in fact, the ecclesiastical body under the care of pastors whose ministrations would aid in procuring them this grace.

     The Writings endorse such a fundamental distinction as this between Divine mercy and grace. The former is associated with good, and is more catholic and wider in range; the latter has relation to truth, and to a closer contact with human striving, cooperation, and achievement. And it is the lower of these two gifts that is invoked in our text, and which the priest who conducts the service habitually asks to have conferred upon his flock. The reason for this will be the subject of more extended comment further on. At present we may note in passing that a similar thing occurs in what is said in the Arcana Celestia with regard to the insinuation of good and of truth, where it is stated that good, the more important, may be insinuated by anyone in the country, but not so truth, the lesser in importance, except by those who are teaching ministers. (A. C. 6822.)

     In regard to mercy, we are taught that it pertains to the celestial, who do not acknowledge anything else, and scarcely know, if at all, what grace is. Being in humiliation from the heart, and acknowledging that the human race is mere dress, and of itself infernal, they bow down in self-abjection before the Lord, and implore His mercy. (A. C. 598, 981, 3118.)


So when the words of the Psalm, "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile" (32:2), are evolved before those in a heaven lower than theirs, it is found to evoke the thought that "the just are blessed" (P. P.), whereas, when evolved from the Hebrew letters alone, so as to affect the third or celestial heaven, the sense thence elicited is "that the Lord is merciful even to those who do evil." (S. S. 90.) For the celestial recognize, as to their proprium, they have no excellence superior to the proprium of evildoers. In their feeling of unworthiness they dare not ask for any favors other than those which the Lord grants to all the wicked when He withholds them from plunging into deeper evils. And this, their prayer, like the publican's, "God be merciful to me a sinner," is said to be preferred above all others.

     On the other hand, grace pertains to the spiritual, who scarcely acknowledge anything else, and to whom mercy is little more than a name. In prayers, what humiliation they have is from the thought, and but little from the heart; and if they then implore mercy, it is done in a state of temptation, or else with the mouth alone, and not from the heart. For though they may have read that the human race is mere dress and infernal, this is not a matter of acknowledgment with them, inasmuch as they remain in the proprium, and love it, and have no distinct perception of what is the Lord's as different from their own. Their pride makes it difficult for them in worship to do more than slightly bend the head, and they see little value in reciting a general confession of sin, not feeling that they have any proneness to other sins than the few that have come under their observation, and which they are trying to shun.

     For those who are more in the affection of truth than in the affection of good cannot humble themselves to such a point that they acknowledge from the heart that all things are of mercy. And in the degree that anyone loves himself, and tacitly supposes that he can do good from himself, and so can merit salvation, he is less able to implore the Lord's mercy. Instead he asks for grace. And if this be not difficult for him to do, chiefly because the petition for grace has become a customary prayer, there are then only a few things of the Lord, and many things of self, in the grace for which he asks. (A. 6. 981, 2423.) "Each person," significantly adds the Arcana, "can examine this in himself, when he mentions the Lord's grace." (A. C. 981.)


And since pride, love of the proprium, and the thought of self are so present with the spiritual, it is plain that their prayers are not very different from that of the Pharisee, who thanked God that he was not like other men.

     In the sacred languages, the word "grace" has the connotation of seeking favor and patronage, and of rendering thanks for benefits received. The meaning of the name John, writer of the Apocalypse, and therefore of our text, is "the grace of Jehovah." Mercy, however, has the connotation of an appeal for the compassion and pity upon those who are in great wretchedness. The word for mercy in the Greek is the basis of our word eleemosynary or alms. It may be noted at this point that the celestial, who alone are able to make the more heartfelt prayer of the publican for mercy, have no consciousness of having done anything more excellent than what others have done. For with the celestial is being fulfilled that greatness which consists in wishing to be least and the servants of all.

     We may now take up the matter which we have hitherto deferred. Noting the lower estimate that is given to grace and its associates,-the affection of truth, and the prayer from the thought,-as compared with mercy,-the affection of good, and prayer from the heart,-we naturally ask why it is the lower of the two in spiritual value that must be surrounded with the greater safeguards. For it is said that truth is only to be insinuated by teaching ministers, whereas anyone in the country may insinuate good. (A. C. 6822.) Then again, if, as we have already indicated, a prayer like that of our text is one that is made for the Church, and not for humanity at large, why should the lesser favor of grace be asked for it, and not that of mercy, which is higher? Is not the Church the very quintessence of humanity? and should not the very best be wished for it? It may also be a point for wonderment that the blessing most frequently on the lips of the priest should be this request for grace, whereas it is the members of the Church, singly or in chorus, who most often say, "O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy is forever."

     We should note, first of all, that it is a limitation of the finite mind, after it has marked distinctions as to what is higher or lower in the scale of perfections, to be unable to grasp in a universal sweep of view the full interrelationship of all these parts. It therefore tends to slight, or place under a ban, that which in its judgment it deems to be lower.


Divine safeguards are then provided to protect and restore that which is in danger of being disparaged. In an army, for example, the use of a general is more exalted than that of a common soldier; and so a new recruit might fancy becoming a general right away, without passing through all the ranks. But all the uses of these lower degrees, down to the private, are important, and no one is fitted to have the general oversight of all who has not passed through each, and so learned to give it a permanent value. Again, the use of the celestial angels, who dwell alone to the end that they may better serve the many whom they love, is greater than that of others who live in closer contacts with persons in smaller groups. Yet no one would urge that by avoiding the smaller group-contacts he is thereby better prepared to perform the high celestial use, forasmuch as it is interest and ability to enter into singulars that will qualify the mind for any service that is universal in scope.

     In the Divine economy, there is a circle of life that goes out from God to man, and then returns to Him, with uses to be performed by men and angels in both the outgo and return phases of the circle. Now the outgo phase is in all perfection; for the Lord is in all men, His Divine mercy not being withheld from any. But the case is not the same with the return phase, in which there has been a reflecting back from finite man, with all his imperfections. Though the Lord is in all men, not all men will to be in the Lord; though all are "called," many do not choose to respond.

     The uses of those who are termed "the spiritual" are concerned primarily with this return phase of the circle of life. The grace of their ministration is to assist in providing for a Divine reagency in the human mind, so that the descending influx may find what is its own with the man, and so be reflected back to God. The means at hand for this service are the truths of God's Word when insinuated in a way to be quickened so as to make this superhuman response. Still, their contact with human striving spells infirmity and liability to error, and so the greatest of all safeguards have ever been provided to protect this service from failing totally, even to the descent of God Himself on earth at the time of the greatest crisis. For then He Himself said: "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me."

     The spiritual kingdom, which labors in this field, consists of those whose minds have never been opened to the third degree, which is nearest to our Lord.


They are in the constant need of perfecting the form of their minds by new truths, that their living may be increased. They labor among those who welcome and respond to this service, and out of these they constitute a Church Specific whose faithful members are bound in ties of mutual love and reciprocal service. They are spared the distress of having to labor among the recalcitrants who would spurn their jewels and then turn upon them to rend them. For their conscious service is among those who are in this fellowship of mutual endeavor. Still, the Lord, unconsciously to them, makes use of their organized labor to serve as a quickening pulse-beat and a reinvigorating inhalation to all the heavens of mankind, and to those who will subsequently come into its form. At times, too, their powerful wave-beat is directed toward the hells, whenever a powerful influx is needed to quell turbulence there. They are the Michaels who conquer the dragon; and to them is addressed the words of our text: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all."

     Yet those who have passed through this service by regenerating to the opening of the third degree of the mind, especially if they are also of the celestial genius, which prefers good to truth, are joined to the original ministry of the celestials which was in operation before men fell, when the succenturiate service of the spiritual had to be inaugurated. It is not necessary to spare these the contacts with the rebels of hell, from whom they can suffer no harm, and whose pitiable state does not arouse horror with them, but only compassion. For they are angels of mercy, and fly on the wings of the Lord's love whithersoever a human soul is cramped by a deformed mind which must be lulled if some form of use is to be entered into and afford a measure Of happiness. It is chiefly the celestial angels who assist in the governance of the bells; in their humility they make no distinction between their own propriums and those of its inhabitants, but implore an equal outpour of the Divine mercy to withhold themselves and their charges from plunging into deeper evils.

     It is related of the Lord during His Passion, that, when wrestling with the rebellious powers of hell to the end that He might bring them into order, it became necessary for Him to rebuke these celestial keepers for an excess of compassion which made them willing to forego their own happiness and liberty, if by so doing they might deliver their charges from the penalty to which they were entitled.


     The Lord came on earth for the sake of the spiritual, who could not have been saved without His coming. And yet, if He had not come, under the conditions which existed, even the celestial would have suffered through a curtailing of their liberties and their chances of service. But since the Lord did come, and by a redemption subjugated the hells, ordered the heavens, and established a church as a footstool on earth, both functions are as a Jacob's ladder, with descending and ascending angels between God in heaven and the Church Specific on earth.

     Actually, the Church Specific is celestial in essence and soul, and spiritual in existence and form. Inwardly, it cherishes peace and goodwill to all men, and a desire to promote their happiness and opportunity for service. Outwardly, it must employ the safeguards of distinctiveness and a close scrutiny as to the quality of those whom it admits within its fold and promotes to positions of trust and responsibility therein.

     To some people this double conditionment may appear incompatible and even two-faced; and some will argue in favor of the one, to the exclusion of the other. We can only pray that such arguments may never prevail. For to lay down all barriers of exclusiveness, such, for instance, as baptism into the Church Specific, and to extend its borders so as to take in as members multitudes who are not in harmony with its real purpose, and who would only be a clog to its vigorous service, would be a serious blow to spiritual living among men; as serious as the harm that would be done to a body in which the heart and lungs were ashamed of their pericardium and pleura, which keep them aloof from the rest of the body, and prayed to have these removed in order to fuse equally with all the other organs. On the other hand, to limit our peace and goodwill to the actual members of the organization would rob the Church Specific of its soul. In that case, it would be disqualified at once as a potentiality for future growth and expanding service.

     So, when the blessing of our text is seen to be addressed to a Church that is prospering in regard to both these conditions, the term "grace" will no longer seem to be a lowly expression, inadequate to be conferred upon what is deserving of the highest gifts.


For, as this Church worships our Lord Jesus Christ as the Divine Man in ultimates, in whom "dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily," so the grace of the same Lord Jesus unto that Church is a suitable ultimate blessing, containing within it all the gifts that will enable the Church to become the temple of His Holiness. Amen.


     (A paper read at a meeting of The New Church Club, London, November 18, 1927.)

     Although it is not within our province this evening to present anything in the nature of a critical analysis of the poetry of William Blake, we yet venture to suggest that a careful study of his life and work would, for the New Churchman, prove to be a great deal more than a pleasant intellectual diversion. Remarkable personality he certainly was; and one of his enthusiastic admirers has not hesitated to place him amongst the wonders of the world. He chiefly interests us now, however, for two reasons: the one is, that he probably came into personal contact with Swedenborg, and was influenced by him to no small degree; the other being that his literary posterity claims him as preeminently an imaginative poet; and it is with the structure and function of the Imagination that we are here primarily concerned.

     Blake was a cockney. He was born at 28 Broad Street, Soho, on the 28th of November, 1757, and died on the 12th of August, 1827, at 3 Fountain Court, just off the Strand, both places being close to this very room. His death passed almost unnoticed save by a small circle of friends, but during the hundred years which have since elapsed there have always been writers of finer perception, who, from time to time, have either published their recollections of the poet and artist or have written short lines of him. This stream of interest has steadily grown in volume and value, and the recent occurrence of the centenary of Blake's death aroused considerable activity in literary circles. It is probable, therefore, that the consequent publication of new biographies and editions of his works will, for some years to come, bring his name still more prominently before reading people.


     Born and living, as we are told, in an era which was marked by great artists, famous engravers, poets, writers, and some mystics, there is no denying Blake's claim to greatness. As an engraver, his style was too severe to be fashionable in his own day, although even then it was freely admired. His work as an artist, again, won the praise of distinguished admirers, while among those who were appreciative of his lyric poems were men of the caliber of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Lamb. As mystic, he was mainly influenced by Jacob Boehme and Swedenborg; but to this phase of the subject we shall revert later.

     He experienced one unhappy affair of the heart, but almost immediately afterwards he met Catherine Boucher, who proved to be his true love, and whom he married after one year's acquaintance. Their married life lasted some forty-five years, and it is not without pathos to recall that, just before he passed over, Blake, who had finished a final portrait of his beloved helpmeet, affectionately said to her: "Kate, you have ever been an angel to me. Devoted wife she assuredly was, for in addition to being a pattern housewife, she had learned to assist her husband by printing off and tinting his engravings. Just before he died, his countenance became fair, his eyes brightened, and he burst out singing of the things he saw in heaven. In truth he died like a saint, and this was Catherine Blake's opinion of her husband.

     At the early age of fourteen, Blake could write:

     How sweet I roamed from field to field,
     And tasted all the summer's pride,
     Till I the Prince of Love beheld,
     Who in the sunny beams did glide!

     And it is probable that some of the earlier productions will ultimately prove to be the foundation of his fame. Who can hear unmoved such verses as:

     Tiger, tiger, burning bright
     In the forest of the night.
     What immortal hand or eye
     Dared frame thy fearful symmetry?

     Or these:


     To see a world in a grain of sand,
     And heaven in a wild flower,
     Hold infinity in the palms of your hand,
     Eternity in an hour.

          *     *     *     *

     Seek love in the pity of others' woe,
     In the gentle relief of another's care;
     In the darkness of night and the winter's snow,
     In the naked and outcast, seek Love there.

     Or the oft-quoted:

     Bring me my bow of burning gold,
     Bring me my arrows of desire,
     Bring me my spear-O clouds unfold!
     Bring me my chariot of fire!

     They all are of the very stuff of poetry.

     From his early childhood Blake claimed to have visions and to see angels. On one occasion he ran home and told his mother that he had seen the prophet Ezekiel; on another, that he had seen a tree on Peckham Rye with angels around it; and on a third, he said he had watched some haymakers, and had seen angelic figures walking amongst them. His parents, on becoming aware of the boy's peculiarities, were puzzled at first, but seem to have acted with discretion, and came to believe in some indulgence for him, refusing to send him to school. Having abandoned the rod themselves, and knowing how greatly a blow moved Blake to anger, they did not care to entrust him to strangers who might be less patient than their perplexed selves. Imagination, and the impulsive expression of feeling, were probably the worst faults they had to find with him.

     This fancied penetration into the other world persisted through out Blake's life. On the very day of his death he composed and uttered songs to his Maker. Of these he declared to his wife, "Beloved, they are not mine; no, they are not mine!" And he added that death would not prevent him from taking care of her.

     A critical investigation of the development of Blake's mind, undertaken in the light of the New Church doctrine, would show where he left the path of spiritual order; and it could not fail to produce many valuable lessons, much useful information, and some warnings; although to attempt it would be to digress from our immediate task.


     There is no question that Swedenborg exercised a marked influence upon Blake, whose father, at any rate, inclined to his teachings. Blake himself heard many conversations concerning the other world, and also about the Last Judgment; and at this early stage of his career he had read the Divine Love and Wisdom. In later life, he referred to Swedenborg as "that Samson shorn by the Churches."

     We must content ourselves with four extracts from the later and so-called mystical works, such as The Everlasting Gospel, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, All Religions are One, The Book of Thel, The Song of Los, etc., written when the imagination had taken full charge.

     As a new heaven is begun, and it is now thirty-three years since its advent, the Eternal Hell revives. And lo! Swedenborg is the angel sitting at the tomb; his writings are the linen clothes folded up.

     *     *     *     *

     Man has no body distinct from his soul; for that called body is a portion of soul discerned by the five senses,-the chief inlets of soul in this age.

     *     *     *     *

     Now hear a plain fact: Swedenborg has not written one new truth. Now hear another: he has written all the old falsities. He conversed with angels, who are all religious, and conversed not with devils, who all hate religion; for he was incapable through his conceited notions.

     These from The Everlasting Gospel, a poem of great power, but one to be read with careful discrimination. The quality and nature of these productions are sufficiently described and explained by the following penetrating criticism of one of his latest biographers:

     "The early Swedenborgian influence that Blake had imbibed in his boyhood from, his father and his father's friends was now to be enforced by a new work from this transcendental scientist (Jules Lemaitre). Mysticism and visionary insight were so native to Blake that he could not fall without danger into the hands of one who claimed a scientific knowledge of the spiritual world, and included all things in heaven and earth in his system. His undeniable contributions to science, his habit of investigation, made Swedenborg an almost overwhelming influence to all who fell under his spell.


He was so universal in his range, and so minute in his particulars, that he necessarily imposed an intricate symbolism as the indispensable form for intuitive ideas.

     "Blake was a little recalcitrant to such evident supremacy, and his annotations to the Wisdom of Angels show him anxious to preserve his mental independence. He could never question without desiring to surpass, and the effect on his mind was to project a new cosmogony of his own. He was quite unfitted for the task, for he was not, like Swedenborg, an orderly thinker; and when an opponent of systems determines to create one, we seem to be watching the laborious creation of chaos. I must create my own systems, or be enslaved by another man's, is the pathetic cry of an intelligence that has mistaken its direction. It was on a hint from Lavater that Blake started to annotate. It was in rivalry with Swedenborg that he started systemizing.

     "If Swedenborg had conversed with angels, so had Blake; if Swedenborg had visions, so had he; if Swedenborg had found in the Bible the Divine wisdom, and had received a special commission to be the interpreter of its spiritual meaning, Blake was impelled to the same task. From that day forward, apocalyptic literature was the only literature for this poet, who came to think religion and art interchangeable terms at the very point where art is discarded for a revelation that boasts its independence from immediate beauty. The mystic who claims a direct personal experience of reality, may not need art for himself, but if he would communicate his knowledge, and remain an artist at the same time, he must respect the form that he has chosen. By inventing an arbitrary and unnecessary symbolism for his intuitions, by equally refusing to employ the traditional forms of literature, Blake did not transcend either, but left a chaos of both. When he came at last to repudiate Swedenborg, he deserted all form and all models, and we see another fine mind dethroned in a chaos of its own creating. So long as he followed even the most extravagant of his models, he remains a man of letters."

     So writes Osbert Burdett, who seems to have pared down to the root of the matter in a most striking manner. We seem to picture uncontrolled egotism riding an imagination, teeming but undisciplined; and the resultant wild lucubrations stand in about the same relation to revealed order and beauty as the mutterings of some deluded crystal-gazer do to the living response made by the medium of the Urim and Thummim.


     But this brings us to our real subject,-The Imagination.


     There may conceivably be those who feel themselves possessed of latent powers which for one reason or another have had no opportunity to come to maturity. If so, the example of Blake may suggest the need for patience and confidence in Providence. He shows us an imagination of great sweep and fertility, but one acting without restraint and in disregard of an intelligence superior to its own.

     What, then, is the imagination? and what are its functions in the formation of a spiritual rational intellect?

     It may be replied that the imagination is the entire field in which man reacts, or what he makes as for himself of the world around him. In one sense he is but as a grain of dust on the balances of the universe; in another sense, he is of such importance that all the forces of the universe find their direction in him; and his response is made through the instrumentality of the imaginative faculty, the immediate servants of which are memory and thought. Structurally, it is built up by these, and refined by the rational faculty. By instruction, by hearing, by sight, man acquires, according to his measure, knowledges of every conceivable quality and of every conceivable kind. Once taken into the memory, they form a basis for thought or speculation, whence the imagination examines them, marshals them into new order, arranges them into fresh combinations and Series, and so commences the formation of a new world, even as his will may dictate. If wise; he will strive to create that world progressively in consonance with order; if unwise, wilful or self-centered, it will in the end prove to be merely fantastic, and come tumbling down, to be replaced by one formed of external restraints.

     Thus, in one place, the imagination is described as internal speech; the thought passes over to ideas by the medium of formed expressions, and man communes with himself in the privacy of his own soul. Elsewhere it is called interior sight; the man explores the storehouse of the memory, and, with the assistance of the imagination, conceives new ideas from the materials found there, which ideas appear in just the same way as material objects appear before the sight of the bodily eye.


Again, it is internal hearing, this being the reason why words can so easily be called forth from the memory, and thoughts so easily brought out by means of words and speech. All intellectual activity depends upon the exercise of the imagination, and thought itself has no existence separated from it.

     In a lengthy descriptive passage, to be found in the volume on The Five Senses, the whole process is explained: how the memory of images which enter through the external senses forms as it were a new visible world. Imagination, strictly so called, comes into being when those objects, now become ideas, are reproduced similarly as they had entered. From these new ideas, more simple ones are educed, which, in their turn, are laid before the field of the memory, and this again to other still more distinct and interior ideas, from which the inmost sense takes its objects. It is the office of the imagination to reproduce these when excited by the external senses or the appetites of the body, or by affections for the moral society in which one dwells. Thus, reproductions of the imagination can be stimulated, either by the object of the visible world, or by causes in the body, or by the objects of the social world, or by reflections on one's self. Human imagination is produced not by nature, but by the working of the rational mind through sciences and words into which the man ought to be led. The whole science of imagination is memory; wherefore no cognition of goodness can be ascribed to it as from itself, but from, things either inferior or superior to itself. Hence the imagination has no power of judgment; nor can it examine truths; it can only reproduce them. In other words, it is the mediate faculty in which the rational mind is instructed and by which it determines its will into act.

     From all this we learn that the sequence is: first, the acquisition of knowledges, which is done by the aid of all the senses; next, the impletion of the memory, which takes place more or less independently of volition; then, the excitation of the imaginative, which is started by some affection or group of affections; and, finally, critical examination by the rational faculty.

     Thought and imagination are so intimately related that at first glance they are almost indistinguishable, although really they are most distinct in their origins and in their functions.


The former is merely the reproduction of what is already in the memory, while the latter rearranges and recombines the contents of the mind, and so actually produces new ideas, which, in their turn, form the ground for further thought, and this indefinitely. All this operates at the dictate of the will, as the effect of the proprium perpetually striving to translate the concepts of the imagination into act. So, as has been said, man fashions a world of his own, which, even in this life, modifies to a limited degree his external surroundings, and in the other is often presented objectively outside of him. A moment's reflection will show the supreme importance of this condition of existence, its responsibilities, its possibilities, and its dangers.

     The natural man often complains of being called into existence unasked, and refuses to acknowledge that he lives from a source beyond his control. Here is the doctrinal answer to his complaint: He may, under order, take a hand in his own fashioning, and we may fix upon the "self-made man;" whatever belongs to his production.


     So far, however, we have been considering what may be called the mechanism of natural imagination, trying to see in some obscure way how this marvellous piece of work operates. The same principles hold good on the spiritual plane; nay, are true by virtue of their dependence upon the spiritual. Let us, then, turn to the inner side of the teaching, and learn how the spiritual imagination is formed.

     At the outset we may recall a most instructive passage from the Arcana Celestia (3957), enumerating seven things which men might know about the other life, if only they were willing to use their reason. This seems to imply that it would not be improper to define conscience itself as the imagination going forth into act under the governance of good and truth. In short, the passage reads as follows:

     "The Lord is continually operating into good and truth, and if there be not some such recipient as a plane in which the interior man lives after the death of the body, the inflowing good and truth cannot be received.


Man, on this account, ought to be solicitous to procure to himself such a plane by thinking what is good in regard to his neighbor, by willing what is good to him, and thence doing good to him, thereby acquiring to himself a living delight in such things. This plane is acquired by charity, and its plane is called conscience. Into this plane good and truth from the Lord can flow and be received, but not where there is no charity and consequently no conscience. In this case the influent truth and good become transfluent." (A. C. 3957)

     The point for us is, that this comes about on man's part by thought, imagination and will, although it may be noted that the passage incidentally, if that term be permissible, throws a strong light upon the statement that the wicked have no conscience. Conscience is the human mental plane resulting from charitable thought and act, but as the wicked Will have none of these they can have no conscience. Moreover, the inflowing good and truth are in such case perverted into evil and falsity.

     The first ardent states of the novitiate New Churchman, when, overjoyed by a sense of the pricelessness of the treasure he has discovered, he longs to communicate it to others, when, in imagination, he sees humanity waiting for the water of life, and the imminent and universal descent of the New Jerusalem, are closely analogous to the waking of the imaginative faculty of children in the first state of adolescence, which, as we are instructed, is then especially vigorous. In the beginning, when ideas are few, the imagination is obscure, but as knowledges increase and ideas multiply, so the thought is clarified, and the imagination excited until dl things seem possible. For the child, and for the child in spiritual things alike, the need is so to guard that only true knowledges are imbibed, that nothing contrary to heaven's order and beauty are permitted to lodge in the mind, and, while retaining all the fire and enthusiasm, so to refine them that fallacies and phantasies may be discarded, and the imagination directed to enlightened ends.

     For, again, man's imagination consists solely of such forms and species of things as have been admitted by bodily vision, wonderfully varied and modified; but his interior imagination consists solely of forms and species of such things as have been admitted by the man's vision, still more wonderfully varied and modified, which things, although in themselves inanimate, become living by life flowing in from the Lord.


     This calls into question man's whole attitude towards revealed doctrine, and ultimately decides his eternal state and use. Exactly the same as is the case naturally, so on the spiritual plane he has to learn the wonders of existence, store them in his memory, conceive ideas from them, combine these into new series, and use them as if they were his very own. In other words, he decides what he would do with himself and the universe if left in uncontrolled freedom. In sober truth, he must become as a little child, before he can enter the kingdom. And as he proceeds along the regenerative path, he enters that wonderful state of wisdom allied to childish innocence which can imagine nothing more delightful than to cooperate with the Divine will. When this is the quality of his reaction, then indeed it may be said that heaven lies about him in his infancy, that infancy which endures to all eternity. The field of knowledge is limitless, the well of truth inexhaustible; and as the infinite treasure is drawn up by wisdom, and brought into use by charity, so angelic man enters a life of felicity beyond the powers of human description.

     This exalted imagination is mentioned in the Spiritual Diary (679), which teaches the existence of imaginations of the inmost heavens, these not being like the sensitive of sight but like the sensitive of the understanding, and goes on to say that for the sake of distinction the word imagination may serve for interior things, speculation for more interior things, and thought for inmost things. This seems to indicate that thought only reaches its real office when it is engaged upon inmost matters.

     At some convenient opportunity we might employ our imagination upon the phenomenon of the modern perverted use of the word "speculation." Originally intended to denote interior mental sight, it has fallen to indicate almost exclusively a more or less intelligent anticipation of the state of the "market." It would prove extremely useful if some research could be made along the lines of discovering to what extent debased or inverted forms of speech follow a deterioration in the quality of common thought. Dare we recommend this study to the younger members of the Church, whose imaginations, as we have seen, are more especially virile and active?



     Thus far on what may be called the positive or real side of the imaginative function. There is, however, an opposite sense, one which more closely corresponds with the meaning attached to the word by natural thinkers, and suggests something without foundation or actual existence, something fantastic and fallacious. This results when the imagination confines itself to earthly matters. For it is Divinely written that "by the Word of the Lord the heavens were made"; and thought which is not derived from that truth, and ultimately rests there, is, in its final analysis, but a mental figment devoid of reality.

     Spiritual Diary 2037 recounts how angels assisted in various ways a certain one lately deceased, giving him everything that entered into the range of his thoughts and desires, altogether as if lie possessed them in the world. For, the number significantly continues, "the possession of goods in the world is nothing else than what is imaginative." That is, the idea of actual personal possession is imaginative, while one may be allowed their use for a longer or shorter period under the Lord's good pleasure.

     All who long for heaven are introduced into the joys of their imagination, we are taught, and it will be seen at once that only those who have known and thought the truth can remain there, since otherwise the sphere of their imagination would collide with the heavenly life-sphere around them. They must, therefore, be remitted to a state where they can learn the truth, and desire to live according to it, or alternatively, form imaginary heavens after the fashion of their own conceits which will eventually be dispersed.

     On the other hand, (D. P. 300), those who are in hell are nothing but the lusts of evil and the derivative imaginations of falsity; and, wonderful to relate, these are arranged directly opposite to the corresponding affections of good and thoughts of truth in heaven. The succeeding number explains that those in hell are there because they are in the love of self and of their own intelligence, and "all the imaginations of falsity are from proprial intelligence." (D. P. 301.)

     As a commentary upon the quality of the present-day imagination, and indeed of our own, too, so far as we are affected by the thought around us, we may point to the further teaching that reasonings about faith alone are purely imaginary and visionary.


Those that sit on horses signify such as are intelligent from the Word, in this connection those who are invaded by imaginary and visionary reasonings about faith alone; for faith without charity is merely imaginative-a specter.

     As might be anticipated, there is a wealth of information on the subject of the imagination to be found in the Spiritual Diary, but one mention (1752) will suffice here, viz., on seeing visions, as- to which certain persons on the earth boast of their experience. Spirits, we read, can hold the mind, and thus the imagination, in the representation of some particular object, whether of an animal, an infant, or some monstrosity; and as long as the imagination is so confined, man is persuaded that he actually sees such things. In this way, many visions are declared to have taken place, though they were nothing else than illusions. This not only opens up the question of the communication with the other world through the medium of human memory, thought and imagination, but also points to a grave warning against allowing the mind to become ridden by a fixed idea.


     Enough has now been adduced to show that a right use of the imaginative faculty is inseparable from mental and spiritual growth, and that if it is to conduce to these its ideation must ever be based upon truth. It must be recombining the materials furnished by Revelation, and arranging them into new order directed to use. The field for the play of the imagination is wide; it is no less than the sum total of our individual sensations and experiences, mental, moral and spiritual.

     Let us take one or two examples of how this great power may be used.

     First, the imaginative of Worship. To image forth all that is known of the Lord, His attributes and laws. It will speedily be recognized that unless this proceeds along the lines of Revelation, fantastic pictures will fill the thought, and we shall realize what is meant by the psalmic portrayal of a god fashioned after human conceits. But let the imagination rest upon the many and various means adopted to teach man about God, or range through the heavenly societies which are themselves celebrating worship, or picture the Lord waiting to pardon and to bless, or recall the purpose for which the building was set apart, or visualize a fresh the inner meaning of the priestly office, or think of the gathering together of fellow New Churchmen, having similar needs and ends, and our worship will attain a richness and completeness never before imagined.


     Second. The imaginative of Charity. Let it cultivate a truer conception of our neighbor's difficulties and aspirations; of his longing to help and be helped, and there will be born a truer vision of what can be done towards spreading the Doctrines. Set the imagination working in this direction, and it may even reach the point of inquiry whether, in fact, the chance visitor at our services, or even the regular visitor, is welcomed in the wisest and most hospitable manner. Perhaps there might even be discovered golden mean between the effusive hand and that frigid stare which could hardly be bestowed with charity upon the most blatant intruder. A right use of the imaginative in this respect might possibly lead to the reflection that, before complaint is made of the fewness of the newcomers which the Lord sends us, investigation of our fitness to receive them might profitably be made.

     Third, the imaginative of Humanity. To think of man as the focus and correspondent of the Gorand Man, with its myriads of societies, each with its particular function based upon some human organ; of man's power for use on all planes to those around him, and to creation at large; of the joy which comes from linking the daily work with spiritual use.

     Fourth, the imaginative of domesticity; of the joys of the family circle, and of the thousands of forces which combine to give it shelter, food and clothing.

     Then there is the imaginative of the arts and sciences. In these domains are treasures without end, all of which must be made to live in the service of the Church. The Church waits for the man who, being steeped to the finger tips in the facts of history, can so re-tell the story as to make the dry bones live, and to proclaim that, in its entirety, it is always the story of man's leading by His Creator. It waits for the man who can dissect and amalgamate number, and show its power over material things by virtue of its association with spiritual things; for him whose imagination can open new avenues to the business world, conceived of use and capable of bringing tribute to the New Jerusalem.


It waits for him who shall be skilled in the exact use of words, whose trained imagination will enable him to draw upon heavenly things and mirror them forth for the delight of earth-dwellers.

     There is at least one example of the imaginative novel planned on those lines-The Wedding Garment-which has helped more than one reader over difficult places. Again, the almost virgin field of poetry is calling out for cultivation, and how may that not be made to enrich and inspire church life! Here the imagination may soar unchecked almost over the universe and even to the fanciful, and yet be guided by truth.

     "The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
     Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven."

     And the entrancing imagery of two worlds is waiting to serve.

     So, too, with regard to science: all the splendid discoveries of patient investigation may be brought to the Assay of Truth, and its true metal be woven into the fabric of the Palace of Wisdom. Such examples might be multiplied a hundredfold; for there is no limit to the flight of the imagination. But the object of the paper will have been gained if you agree with it that "all things new" means, firstly, a new perception of the quality and use of existing things.

     We are commanded to press forward, to possess the promised land, and not be deterred either by the stature of its inhabitants or the size of its fruits. But in speaking thus we would recall what was said earlier as to the imagination being under the lordship of the rational; and this, if in order, looks both outwards to the world and upwards to heaven.

     The lesson of William Blake's poetical life seems to be just that. Vivid, active, fertile in imagination, he undoubtedly was; but he was also self-centered, with all that that word implies. In bondage to the fixed idea that he must surpass all other men, his imagination was permitted to outrun his intelligence. Knowing, as we do, that Divine help never fails, that he was in contact with the Master of spiritual imagery, Blake's cry, "I must create a system or be enslaved by another's," may be ranked as one of the most tragic to be found in English literature.


What monuments in verse and line might Blake have left behind, what beneficent influence might he be exerting even now, had he accepted the new knowledge that was within his grasp!

     If, as New Churchmen, we are ever to attain the measure of full-grown men, there must be no hesitation in the use of this marvelous instrument which has been shaped for us-the Imagination. Yet that use should always be tempered with the humility which teaches us to offer, with growing fulness of perception, the petition: "Store in our minds, O Lord, true images of Thyself!"


     AN INTRODUCTION TO THE WORD EXPLAINED, by Alfred Acton, M.A., D.Th. Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn, Pa., 1927. Cloth, 164 pages. Price, $2.00.

     Dr. Acton has for some time been engaged in the task of translating the work commonly known as the Adversaria. This work was written by Emanuel Swedenborg during a period of his life that was intermediate between his career as a natural philosopher and his entrance upon the office of Revelator. It was a period of final and direct preparation for his complete illumination. He had already been introduced into the spiritual world, and had received the Divine call. In obedience to that call, he had abandoned all his personal plans and ambitions, dropped work on those philosophical studies which he had outlined for himself, halted his writing of the Worship and Love of God in the middle of a sentence, and devoted himself thereafter entirely to the study of the Word and of theology. His first work was to prepare an alphabetical index of the Old Testament. Having completed such an index, he began to search for the internal sense of the Word, writing first a little essay on "The History of Creation," and then entering upon an exposition of the books of the Old Testament. Having completed a treatment of the historical books, he began an Index of Proper Names, and about the same time entered upon a serious study of the Hebrew language.


With the index completed, he returned to the task of exposition, treating of the Prophetical Word. Interspersed in this work he recounted, in indented paragraphs, his experiences in the spiritual world, and so began the work which later developed into what has been called the Spiritual Diary.

     The works here outlined occupied a period of about three and a half years, during which time Swedenborg did not publish anything. The unpublished manuscripts, however, were preserved, and, on the death of their author, were turned over to the Royal Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. There they lay, neglected and unknown, until 1839, when Dr. Achatius Kahl, of Lund, an ardent admirer of the Writings, undertook to investigate them. He considered the expositions of the Old Testament to be of great value, and, desiring to have them appear in print, communicated with Dr. Immanuel Tafel (who at the time was engaged in editing a Latin reprint of the Arcana Celestial, highly praising the work, and recommending that it be published. Dr. Tafel received the suggestion with interest, and although he had not seen the manuscript itself, secured a transcript of a small portion of it, and this, as soon as the necessary means could be obtained, he Proceeded to prepare for the press. Supposing that it consisted of notes made in the course of preparing the Arcana Celestia (and a continuation of that work intended to cover the other books of the Word) he gave it the title of "Adversaria" or "Notes." The work of publishing the whole manuscript was delayed by lack of funds and other circumstances, and it was not until 1854 that the fourth and last volume appeared.

     The real character of the work was not discovered until recent years, when the fact was established that it had never been intended by the author as a collection of notes made in preparation for the Arcana Celestia, but was a serious attempt to expound the books of the Old Testament, without regard to any work which was to follow. It is now seen to represent the fruits of Swedenborg's concentrated study of the Word during this period, and it is clear that it should be accorded an independent place. For this reason, Dr. Acton has adopted for his translation the title given to it by Swedenborg himself, namely, The Word of the Old Testament Explained. When the first volume of this translation was completed, and ready for publication, the translator undertook to prepare an introduction to it, to contain a brief analysis of the relation of this work to the Writings, and of its contribution to Swedenborg's own preparation for his mission.


With this intention, he began an investigation of Swedenborg's life, bringing to light a mass of new historical material, the effect of which was to challenge the traditional interpretation of the mode by which Swedenborg was Divinely inspired, and to call for the formulation of a different theory, more nearly in accord with the evidence. In attempting to present this new theory, together with the cardinal facts on which it is based, Dr. Acton found his proposed introduction necessarily expanded beyond the limits of a single chapter, and he therefore decided to publish it as a separate volume.

     Such is the history of the book now before us for review. It contains a history of The Word Explained in manuscript, in Latin text, and in previous translations, together with an account of Swedenborg's preparation for his Divine commission from early infancy, and an appraisal of the significance to be attached to that intermediate period to which the original manuscript belongs. It seeks to demonstrate the unbroken continuity in the method of study, and in the degree of individual effort and labor, between the periods before and after he became the instrument of a Divine Revelation. And it sets forth with forceful logic the theory, to which the author was led by his investigations, of how Swedenborg was Divinely guided in the writing of the Heavenly Doctrine itself. To all this the author ha; appended an answer to certain objections which might be raised against his theory, arising from the use by Swedenborg in his earlier works of the theological terms characteristic of his own day. And lastly Dr. Acton has appended a very brief summary of his conclusions.

     The book is the product of profound scholarship. Its author has for many years been immersed in the study of Swedenborg's life, and in a most careful examination of original manuscripts. More recently, his interest was particularly aroused by a study of the Journal of Dreams, the character of which seems so different from all the other writings of Swedenborg as to constitute a stumbling-block to his followers, and to afford a central point of attack for his enemies. Being a private document, never intended for publication, and revealing most intimate thoughts, this book is difficult for the casual reader to understand. It seems to reveal an abnormal state of mind, at times an extreme depression even to despair.


It has been taken to indicate a disturbed and somewhat unbalanced condition; and such a conclusion is fully warranted by a perusal of the book without reference to the circumstances under which it was written. For this reason, those seeking to discredit the astounding claims of its author have seized upon this Journal as prima facie evidence of an approaching insanity, such as might reasonably account for those unprecedented hallucinations by which Swedenborg was himself convinced that he actually lived in the spiritual world, and was able to relate the conditions that obtain after death. Scholars have labored to identify the exact nature of this supposed insanity with some known form of mental pathology.

     Even New Churchmen, who, because they see the Divine character of the Writings, regard any charge of insanity launched against Swedenborg as vile calumny, have been unable to explain the Journal of Dreams, and have been compelled to treat it rather warily. Dr. Acton, however, in seeking to discover what was the actual significance of these dreams, conceived the idea of studying the book in connection with the literary and philosophical studies upon which Swedenborg was engaged while it was being written. The book itself is a sort of diary in which the author noted down those dreams which seemed to make an extraordinary impression upon him. It contains dates and other entries which fix these experiences in relation to his daily life. The result, when the two are compared, is amazing, and serves to demonstrate, beyond all possibility of dispute, that Swedenborg during this period, was not in an abnormal mental state. That is, he was not morbidly disturbed in any such sense as the contents of the Journal of Dreams, taken by itself, might seem to imply. At the time, he was accomplishing Herculean tasks, solving deep philosophical problems, making minute investigations, producing an unbelievable amount of written manuscript in which he shows profound penetration, and gives evidence of a calm, deliberate judgment. He was copying, correcting, editing, and publishing, with a care, precision, and application altogether inconsonant with the idea of a man in a serious pathological condition. By this comparison it is shown that the Journal of Dreams, while recounting a series of deep spiritual temptations on the plane of the rational mind, cannot possibly indicate any such disturbance of the animus as is characteristic of all insanity. In the midst of these temptations, Swedenborg was in the full possession of his faculties, and displayed all the coordinated mental powers of a remarkably clear and balanced thinker.


And this fact having become established, it is evident that the experiences recorded in the Journal of Dreams formed an important and necessary part of Swedenborg's preparation. They have a profound spiritual significance. The preservation of the manuscript is most certainly of Divine Providence, since the right understanding of its contents is found to be the key by which we are enabled to unlock the mystery of Swedenborg's illumination.

     The solution of this mystery is the pivotal point of Dr. Acton's book. The traditional idea in the Church has been that the Theological Writings were immediately revealed to Swedenborg by means of some sort of viva voce dictation, such as is apparently implied in the famous statement by the inspired author that he was not "allowed to take anything from the mouth of any spirit, nor from the mouth of any angel, but from the mouth of the Lord alone." (De Verbo 13e.) Dr. Acton holds, however, that such a mode of Divine leading would be inconsistent with the requirements of a rational revelation. The character of his revelation demands that Swedenborg should have been led from within, by enlightenment through the soul, rather than from without by a dictating voice, even though it be the voice of the Lord. Dictation from without might be given to a simple, untutored mind. Rut for internal leading by means of enlightenment through the soul, there was necessary a long period of preparation, arduous labor, study, investigation, and deeply philosophical thought.

     It is this conception of revelation by internal enlightenment that alone gives significance to that unique preparation by which Swedenborg is so markedly distinguished from every previous human medium of transmitting the Divine Word to men. Under the theory of external dictation, the necessity for this is far from obvious. But if Swedenborg, unlike other Revelators, was to be illumined through the soul, then must the Divine light fall on suitable objects gathered into this mind from the world of nature, and later from the spiritual world,-gathered as a result of his own labors, and ordered, as to all outward appearance, by his own powers of deduction. That this was true of any Divine Light or guidance which he may have received during his earlier life, Prior to his call, is readily admitted. But in what sense was this labor, this gathering of material, this concentrated study, a preparation, unless the same were, in a higher degree, to be true of that period when he was writing the Heavenly Doctrine itself?


     That it must have been true of this also, is the central contention of Dr. Acton's book; and all the evidence that he has so carefully collected points in that direction. It is plainly shown that Swedenborg did not, from the date of his Divine call, cease from his labors, and merely transmit as an amanuensis the dictations of a Divine voice. He continued to work with the same energy and application. He studied to establish the internal sense of the Word with that same painstaking method and thoroughgoing scholarship by which he had previously studied to discover the inner secrets of nature. This is particularly true of the intermediate period; but it is also true of his later life. For the doctrines of the Writings themselves are developed logically, step by step, each advance being placed firmly on a foundation already laid, and buttressed by illustrations drawn from the wealth of learning and experience previously acquired.

     Certainly it may be said of the intermediate period, that the difference between this and what had been done before the sharp break caused by the Divine call does not lie in an entirely different mode of Divine leading, but in the opening of the spiritual world, the admission of Swedenborg into a universe of spiritual experience and investigation previously closed to him, and in the direction of his mind rather to the exposition of the Word than to the unveiling of nature. There was, indeed, a conscious realization of the Lord's presence, and a recognition of the fact that he was being prepared for a high and unique office. This had not been possible before. But it did not inhibit his own efforts. It did not take away the appearance that he must attain to this new wisdom by reason of his own arduous labors. It merely opened his mind to the reception of a higher light, and held before him a more exalted goal. And even of the period of full illumination, it can be shown, on the basis of indisputable evidence, that the Revelator continued to work, and to study, as of himself, receiving, apparently as the reward of his labors, a Divine Light, by which he was led by the Lord immediately, but from within.

     The hypothesis is a bold one, and Dr. Acton is well aware of the danger attendant upon it.


The danger, as we see it, lies in two directions. It lies, on the one hand; in placing so great an emphasis upon the human side of Revelation that the sense of its real Divinity is blurred. And it lies, on the other hand, in magnifying the importance of the preparatory period, until the distinction between the Philosophical and the Theological works is broken down. To become entrapped in either of these pitfalls would bring the Church to ruin.

     Those who are unwilling to acknowledge the Writings as in the highest and most perfect sense Divine, while yet fully prepared to accept them as a human philosophy of surpassing wisdom, will find in the book material which can readily be twisted to confirm their view. Against this possibility the author has sought to provide by a studied statement of his case, and by an unqualified acknowledgment of the full Divinity of the Writings. But the necessity of distorting his argument will not necessarily prove a deterrent to such as do not see in the Heavenly Doctrine the Second Coming of the Lord.

     It is equally assured that the theory that there was no essential change in the mode of Swedenborg's Divine leading before and after his full illumination can be mistakenly understood to place the Philosophical Works on a plane of Divine Authority no whit lower than that of the Theological Works. This would be so to bind the conscience of the Church in matters of philosophical speculation as to hamper and restrict its growth.

     Neither of these extremes is contemplated by Dr. Acton; nor are they the logical consequents of his position. He holds the Writings to be Divinely inspired and the veritable Word of God. And he regards the Philosophical Works as a Divinely provided but none the less subsidiary aid to the understanding of that Revelation, to be interpreted and understood wholly in the light of Revealed Truth.

     For our own part, we regard his book as highly valuable in strengthening an affirmative attitude of mind toward the essential truth of Swedenborg's philosophical system; and we consider it a definite contribution to the thought of the Church with regard to the nature of Swedenborg's Divine inspiration. The evidence adduced makes the idea of guidance by an external, viva voce dictation an untenable conception; yet it does not for that reason impair the idea that through the Heavenly Doctrine there has been given to the world a body of Divine Truth which is absolute and infinite in character.


     Why, after all, should such truth necessarily be given by external dictation? Why cannot the Word of God be imparted through a human instrument by an internal illumination through the soul? To say that this is done, does not per force imply, either that it is the product of a man's own intellectual powers, or that, in rationally understanding it, he must perceive all its infinite possibilities. To admit the former would be to make of it a purely human thing, limited, liable to error, and subject to the imperfections of mortal man. To admit the latter would be to postulate a finite mind capable of an infinite understanding (which is an obvious contradiction), or to require that the revelator himself be Divine.

     The third possibility, and the one which seems to be the truth, is that Swedenborg received the revelation of the Writings understandingly, and to all appearance as the result of his own labors, but that none the less he was in this respect Divinely guided, namely, that the form into which he was unknowingly led to couch those Writings was such that they might contain within them, enfolded as in a protecting body, a soul of Infinite and Eternal Truth, unrealized by Swedenborg, indeed, and yet present for the everlasting instruction of men, bringing the Lord Himself immediately present in His Divine and Glorified Human. At any rate, however inadequate our present understanding of the problem, the book before us opens an engaging avenue of thought, and suggests an interpretation of how the Lord has made His Second Coming through Emanuel Swedenborg that is worthy of careful consideration.




     SWEDENBORG. A Brief Presentation of his Development from Scientist and Philosopher to Seer, and a Few Outlines of his Doctrines. By Gustaf Baeckstrom. Appelviken, Stockholm: Bokforlaget Nova Ecclesia, 1927. Paper, 12mo, pp. 152. Price, Kr. 2.50.

     In this tastefully printed booklet, Mr. Baeckstrom has met a distinct need. While much about Swedenborg has appeared in the literature of his native land during recent years, nothing like this introduction to a knowledge of his life and teachings has been available to the missionary. To meet his own requirements in this field, the author has at the same time supplied a volume that will be of use among readers of the Swedish language everywhere. The scope of the work is shown by the subjects of the thirteen chapters, as follows:

     I. Swedenborg's parental home and his youth, and also something about his personality and development.
     II. Studies and work. His thoughts concerning creation.
     III. Search for the soul and its connection with the body.
     IV. A few words concerning the significance of Swedenborg's preparation by means of the scientific studies.
     V. The "religious crisis."
     VI. Swedenborg was not a spiritist.
     VII. The most essential thing in Swedenborg's work,-the revealing of a spiritual content in the Sacred Scripture.
     VIII. The Second Coming of the Lord.
     IX. The absolute unity in God.
     X. The unity of mankind from the unity in God.
     XI. The conjunction of charity and faith.
     XII. The conjunction of husband and wife.
     XIII. The great Ages.

     The book opens with the statement: "There is probably no Swede who has been the subject of so much discussion as Swedenborg. He is one of the riddles of the world.


His books have been spread in many languages, and his doctrines have been received with interest by men in almost all parts of the world, by persons of such different bent and culture as Europeans and Americans of all classes, Indian philosophers, Japanese students, Basuto negroes and other natives in South Africa, and have called forth a more abundant literature concerning him than concerning any Other Swede."

     The author speaks of the universality of the doctrines of the New Church, and of the fact that they are suited and accommodated to all peoples and to all times. Yet it was because of his religious claims that Swedenborg, the great scientist and philosopher, had been neglected and forgotten in his own country. "When foreigners, especially the English, had dug Swedenborg's greatness from the grave, than he was also acknowledged by his native land."

     Concerning the difference as to form of mind between Swedenborg and his father, he says, quoting from Lamm: "He cannot, like his father, wander about unconcernedly in the great fairyland of wonders, rejoicing in every new manifestation as a sign of the power and goodness of God. His heart cannot find rest until he has had an explanation, until he has been enabled to see clearly the connection in the effect." Further he quotes Liljedahl: "One does not read his (Swedenborg's) many letters to Benzelius without perceiving the breath of a spirit that is free from selfish calculations and personal ambition. Truth was everything to this devoted investigator." Mr. Baeckstrom then goes on to say: "What especially distinguished Swedenborg was his practical turn of mind.

     The effort to explain the riddles of existence went hand in hand with the effort to make use of his insight for practical purposes.

     Thus he was not a dreamer, visionary, or fantast, but an intensely active, capable man. . . . For example, when he speaks of the wonders of nature, he displays the hidden treasures of minerals in the mountains, but does not depict the majesty of the high rocks or the grandeur of the forests. When describing his sea voyages, he never speaks of the play of the waves or the glitter of the billows. His thoughts are occupied more with the origin of things, and with the use they perform, than with their outer appearance." (P. 17.)

     He was praised and extolled on account of his great learning and brilliant intellect.


"No wonder, then, that in his youth he seems to have possessed a certain self-assurance, and is seized with the love of scientific fame, which, during the time of his religious crisis, he comes to regard as his worst evil, against which he fights, and prays to God, asking for 'the grace to be Thine, and that I be not left to myself'; asks to be delivered from his own selfhood, and to become 'an instrument with which God does according to His pleasure.'" (P. 20.)

     "He made journeys during the whole of his life. Nevertheless, he always remains the warm patriot who thinks of sending home rare books and instruments that are needed for the scientific work in Sweden. In spite of all the success in foreign lands, he always longs to return to his poor native land. He is always a Swede." (P. 22.)

     In pleading with his readers to make themselves acquainted with the teachings of the Writings before passing judgment upon them, Mr. Baeckstrom refers to the case of Dean Ekebom of Gothenburg, who confessed that he had never read or seen any of the Writings, that he knew nothing of their teachings, and yet publicly declared them to be "seductive, heretical, and offensive, and in the highest degree to be condemned."

     The book ably shows how Swedenborg was prepared from his childhood for the work he was to do. It clearly and fearlessly declares the doctrine of the Divine Authority of the Writings. Speaking of the fact that it was God Himself who came into the world, the author says: " Love did not send another, or did not let some one else go in its place. Love Itself came. If He who came was not God, then He who came and gave His life for His friends would have had greater love than God. For 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.'"

     Mr. Baeckstrom writes in a clear, concise style, which is very readable, and the book is evidently the result of much careful study and investigation. The Church in Sweden is certainly to be congratulated upon this valuable addition to its literature.



NOTES AND REVIEWS.       Editor       1928

Office a Publication, Lancaster, Pa.
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     In the paper on "William Blake and the Imagination," which appears elsewhere in our present issue, Mr. Pryke suggests that Blake "probably came into personal contact with Swedenborg, and was influenced by him to no small degree." We do not know Mr. Pryke's authority for the supposition that Blake met Swedenborg, but it may be that he refers to William Allingham's suggestion, cited below. As they were for a time contemporary residents in London, the meeting of the two men may be regarded as possible; but as Blake (born in 1757) was under fifteen years of age when Swedenborg died (1772), it could hardly be said that the youth, if they did meet, was personally "influenced by him to no small degree," although he later came under the influence of the teachings of the New Church. The following, from The Life of William Blake, by Alexander Gilchrist, seems to be an eminently fair statement of the case:

     Another still more memorable figure, and a genius singularly germane to Blake's own order of mind, the "singular boy of fourteen," during the commencement of his apprenticeship, may "any day have met unwittingly in London streets, or walked beside, a placid, venerable, thin man of eighty-four, of erect figure, and abstracted air, wearing a full-bottomed wig, a pair of long ruffles, and a curious-hilted sword, and carrying a gold-headed cane,-no Vision, still flesh and blood, but himself the greatest of modern Vision Seers,-Emanuel Swedenborg by name; who came from Amsterdam to London in August, 1771, and died at No. 26, Great Bath Street, Coldbath Fields, on the 29th of March, 1772."


This Mr. Ailingham pleasantly suggests in a note to his delightful collection of lyrical poems, Nightingale Valley (1860), in which (at last) occur a specimen or two of Blake's verse. The coincidence is not a trivial one. Of all modern men the engraver's apprentice was to grow up the likest to Emanuel Swedenborg; already by constitutional temperament and endowment was so; in faculty for theosophic dreaming, for the seeing of visions while broad awake, and in a matter-of-fact hold of spiritual things, To savant and to artist alike, while yet on earth, the Heavens were opened. By Swedenborg's theologic writings, the first English editions of some of which appeared during Blake's manhood, the latter was considerably influenced; but in no slavish spirit. These writings, in common with those of Jacob Boehme, and of the other select mystics of the world, had natural affinities to Blake's mind, and were eagerly assimilated. But he hardly became a proselyte or "Swedenborgian" proper; though his friend Flaxman did. In another twenty years we shall find him freely and-as true believers may think-heretically criticizing the Swedish seer from the spiritualist, not the rationalist, point of view; as being a Divine Teacher, whose truths however were "not new," and whose falsehoods were "all old." (The Life of William Blake, by Alexander Gilchrist.)





To the Council of the Clergy and
Executive Committee in Joint Session.
     It does not fall within my province to determine or materially influence the choice of my successor in the office of Bishop of the General Church; yet it is my duty to see to it that the ordaining degree of our priesthood is perpetuated, and that steps be taken, in case of need, to provide for Episcopal assistance. With this in mind, I sent to the Ministers, the members of the Executive Committee, and to the Treasurer of the Academy, the following letter:

"Dear Sir:
     The death of the Bishop Emeritus has made advisable the ordination of a minister into the third degree of the priesthood, without undue delay; this, in addition to the pending ordination of the Rev. Robert James Tilson into that degree.

     While all ordinations pertain to the Episcopal office, yet it is my earnest desire that this proposed ordination should meet with the approval of the Church. With this in view, I ask your advice, which I trust you will freely give, as to any and every phase of the subject. Especially do I wish to know which of our ministers you and the Church as you know it would desire to see raised to the highest grade of our priesthood.

     Unless otherwise instructed, I shall regard your answer as confidential.
     As ever yours,
          (SIGNED) N. D. PENDLETON."

     Of the sixty-one persons addressed, fifty-nine have to date replied.

     I desire to express my gratitude to these gentlemen.


They responded freely, giving not only valued advice but also evidence of deep interest in the subject. The two entwined factors, namely, the perpetuation of the third degree and the need of Episcopal assistance, were fully discussed. Other phases of the subject were also touched upon. On the whole I feel that I have before me a fair representation of the complex mind of the Church on this important subject.

     In addition to my request for individual advice, I now bring the subject up in a more formal way. This joint body is the acknowledged representative of the General Assembly. It is competent to speak for the Church. I ask, therefore, whether in your judgment, the Church is willing and desirous to proceed with the proposed ordination; and if so, is it your pleasure that I should name the candidate at this time.

     Please give this your serious consideration. To aid you, I will, in so far as I can with propriety, answer any question you may ask.

     The above communication was read by the Bishop to the Joint Council on the morning of February fourth. The members of the Council, having no certain knowledge of the one whom the Bishop had in mind to name, spoke to the question. At the beginning there were some tentative suggestions as to the advisability of delay, but as speaker after speaker arose it became evident that the desire for immediate procedure would prevail, and at the last this desire became a powerful emotion, expressive of the feeling of the Church.

     The Bishop then arose and said: "This meeting has convinced me that the Church desires to proceed in this matter without delay, and the letters received have convinced me that I shall have with me the heart and mind of the Church in ordaining the Rev. George de Charms into the third degree of the priesthood."

     This announcement was received, not only with applause, but with other signs of deep feeling.

     Subsequent to the meeting it was decided to ordain the Rev. George de Charms on the 11th day of March, 1928.



REPLY TO A REVIEW       Rev. HUGO. LJ. ODHNER       1928

     It may not be usual for an author to reply to a review, but since it is also an unusual experience to be charged with inculcating "heresy" and "priestcraft"-as I am in THE NEW-CHURCH HERALD of November 19th, 1927, in the course of a review of my First Elements of the True Christian Religion-I shall ask you for the space which I surmise would not be so willingly afforded me in the HERALD. The review is by "S. J. C. G.," and reads as follows:

     The plan of the little work is quite admirable, and the sequence of questions develops each theme in a simple manner. With the larger part of the teaching we can cordially concur. But on certain points, we affirm that the dogmatic statements made are based on false assumptions, and do not state the true doctrine as taught by Swedenborg. A note at the end of the chapter on The Word refers to "the inspired theological writings of Swedenborg," and a further note on question 13 (P. 67) runs: "Divine revelation, to be the Lord's Word, must proceed from His mouth. That the writings of Swedenborg are from the mouth of the Lord alone is taught in De Verbo xiii, in the little work called Ecclesiastical History, in Coronis 18, in Invitation 38, in Apoc. Explained 1183, in the Preface to Apoc. Revealed (at the end), and throughout the writings." This is, of course, the fundamental heresy of the General Church. Swedenborg states, and we are sure he states truly, "that from the first day of that call I have not received anything whatever pertaining to the doctrines of that church from any angel, but from the Lord alone while I have read the Word." (T. C. R. 779.) But nowhere does he state that he wrote under divine inspiration, or that his writings were verbally dictated. A few passages from works Swedenborg did not publish are quoted to support the statement, "That the writings of Swedenborg are from the mouth of the Lord alone"; but such passages are violently strained to confirm an assumption that has no warrant from the works Swedenborg saw through the press.

     Again, it is a gross misrepresentation of what Swedenborg has written in The True Christian Religion to state: "The institution of the New Church in the Spiritual World on the 19th day of June, 1770, is noted in T. C. R. 791, 108." (p 72.) The chapter VII, " Sacraments and Institutions," opens with the question: What are the Sacraments? and it is rightly stated, "The Sacraments, which are two, and are called Baptism and the Holy Supper, are holy acts of worship ordained by the Lord Jesus Christ" (p. 56). But in between the questions dealing with these are questions regarding "the rite of confirmation," and following the questions relative to the Holy Supper, is a question concerning "the sacred rite of Betrothal"; and the answer affirms, "It is according to divine order . . . " (p. 62).


The "neophyte "may easily be misled to suppose that the institutions devised by the General Church have the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, as have the two Sacraments.

     This little work is issued on behalf of the General Church of the New Jerusalem, and it is frankly stated that "application for membership must be made to the Bishop of the Church, who grants a certificate of membership. After a person has thus become a member of the General Church, he is eligible to join some society". . . (p. 74). This sectarianism with its attendant priestcraft is inculcated throughout; and there is no reference to the Church Universal.

     Some answers define terms by first stating what they do not mean, and should be recast (e.g., pp. 40, 41). With ample space to spare, it is a pity that the Lord's Prayer has not been printed in full (p. 22).
     S. J. C. G.

     The reviewer is quite appreciative of the merits of our little catechism; but just as he reaches the point where he might be expected to recommend it to his reader, he instead breaks the sad news that really "on certain points" it does "not state the true doctrine as taught by Swedenborg," but voices "the fundamental heresy of the General Church,"-the heresy that the Writings are "the inspired theological writings of Swedenborg," and that, being inspired into Swedenborg, they were expired from the mouth of the Lord. And, toward the end, having cited our frank and bold admission that, for joining the General Church, application for membership must be made to the Bishop of the Church, who grants a certificate of membership, and thus makes the applicant eligible to membership in one of the Societies, the HERALD reviewer triumphantly points out that herein lies hidden papacy and perdition!

     "This sectarianism, with its attendant priestcraft, is inculcated throughout (the book)," writes the reviewer. Come now, S. J. C. G., surely this pompous announcement needs to be backed by some definite evidence. Whose souls have we damned, or what minds have we swayed persuasively? Whose spiritual freedom have we threatened? If there be a spiritually progressive religious society more free than ours from the rule of human authority, and from the bigotry of superstition, and from sectarian ill-will; whose laity and priesthood are more free to cooperate in their respective fields of uses within the Church without encroaching upon each others' freedom, and thus without hampering the illustration and development of spiritual life; let us by all means know!


For from such would we learn, as modest pupils, since it is such a state of mutual freedom and perfect reaction that is enjoined in the Writings, and is our aim to obtain; even if, being human, we cannot boast a full achievement. The sole reason for our episcopal mode of government is the teaching of the Writings on the subject: "In the church there must be a mitred prelate, parish priests, and under them curates." (Coronis 17.) Such is the recommended order, since "in order that anything may be perfect, there must be a trine in just order, one under another, and communication between them." (Ibid.)

     S. J. C. G. also seems to be afraid that we will imitate Rome in multiplying sacraments! And this because of our explaining the ideas underlying Confirmation and Betrothal, with references to the Writings. In regard to the sacred rite (not "sacrament") of Betrothal, the Catechism states: "It is according to divine order. . . " This reply is constructed from C. L. 301 et seq. and no. 21 (at the end), where it is shown that a priest should be present at the solemn betrothal. But the phrase, "it is according to divine order," causes the reviewer to comment: "The 'neophyte' may easily be misled to suppose that the institutions devised by the General Church have the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ as have the two Sacraments"(!)

     What does S. J. C. G. mean? "Consent," we read in C. L. 301, "is to be strengthened and confirmed by a solemn betrothal." "Conjugial love, precipitated without order and its modes, burns out the marrows (i.e., the interiors of the mind and of the body) and is consumed." "If a man and woman precipitate marriage without order, not looking to the Lord, nor consulting reason, throwing aside betrothal and yielding only to the flesh, from the burning heat of which, if that love commences, it becomes external and not internal, and thus not conjugial. . . ." (C. L. 312.) "By betrothal the mind of each is prepared for conjugial love." (C. L. 302.)

     Why, then, should the NEW-CHURCH HERALD suggest that betrothal is an institution "devised by the General Church"? The state of betrothal is not a sacrament, for it has respect to a human relationship-that of man and woman. But it is the outward guarantee of conjugial love and its ideals, and is given to us in the body of our Revelation for the use of the New Church, and for a protection against that very sphere of animality which at this day is threatening to engulf the world, destroy marriage, and dull the perceptions of men to any of the finer shades of good or ill.


Certainly it is "of divine order" that betrothal should precede marriage. Divine order is the order revealed by the Lord. If we should accept the suggestion of our critic, that only the two sacraments have "the authority of Jesus Christ," then the orderliness of marriages and ordinations Would also be questioned, despite the teachings of the Word and the Writings.

     But the real trouble with S. J. C. G. seems to be that he shares the philosophy of those doctors and learned men, from clergy and laity, who are spoken of in C. L. 5331 who, when the truths revealed by the Lord were sent down to them, murmured, What is this? . . .What matters it whether we know these things or not? Are they anything more than the progeny of the brain?" This is more than S. J. C. G. would say openly. He would probably say that he "believes" in Swedenborg, but only in what Swedenborg published, not what he wrote in manuscript with a view to publication, or wrote to his friends! When, for instance, we quote De Verbo xii, Eccl. Hist., Core. Is, Inv. 38, Apoc. Exp. 1183, in support of the teaching that the Writings are "divinely inspired, and from the mouth of the Lord alone," S. J. C. G. tries to belittle the authority of these MS works written by Swedenborg. "This," he writes, "is the fundamental heresy of the General Church." And he goes so far as to declare that Swedenborg "nowhere states that he wrote under divine inspiration, or that his writings were verbally dictated. A few passages from works Swedenborg did not publish are quoted to support the statement, "That the writings of Swedenborg are from the mouth of the Lord alone, but such passages are violently strained to confirm an assumption that has no warrant from the works Swedenborg saw through the press."

     The insidious implication of the reviewer that Swedenborg wrote one thing in private, and published a different thing, is so intolerable as to merit instant rebuke. Swedenborg taught one doctrine at all times. When the posthumous Apocalypse Explained states, "It has been granted to me to . . . perceive distinctly what came from the Lord, and what came from the angels; that which came from the Lard has been written, and that which came from the angels has not been written" (1183), it is a statement of the same fact as is spoken of in the Preface of the Apocalypse Revealed, published by himself, where Swedenborg claims "singular enlightenment, and thus revelation," and adds, "Do not believe, therefore, that I have taken anything there from myself, or from any angel, but from the Lord alone" which is again explained further in Spiritual Diary 1647 and 4034, and restated in T. C. R. 779, where the heading also states that the Lord's Second Coming was affected by a man whom the Lord "filled with His Spirit" (i.e., inspired) "to teach the doctrines of the New Church through the Word from Him."


     But what earthly use is it for S. J. C. G. to ask us for any doctrinal "warrants from the works Swedenborg saw through the press," if he does not believe even these works to be Divinely inspired? We note here as a matter of interest that it is the teaching of A. C. 6597, published by Swedenborg himself, that the expositions of the spiritual sense, there to be found, were "dictated to me (Swedenborg) from heaven"! The precise meaning of "dictated" can only be judged from other passages, especially in the posthumous Writings. It was not a viva voce dictation, such as the prophets enjoyed, but a dictate of perception. "Verbal" dictation, therefore, implies a different state than Swedenborg's.

     Is it not peculiar and puzzling that New Churchmen should be called to task for "heresy" because they value and believe the revelation upon which the New Church is founded,-the revelation without which the New Church would not exist, which gives the laws of order and progress to the New Church, which restores for the New Church the means of her regeneration,-the understanding of the Word!

     Why can not New Churchmen go back to their "first love," stop quibbling about terms, and work for the increase rather than for the decrease of their common faith? Why haggle? Why call Swedenborg inspired, yet not his Writings? Why try to introduce a specious distinction between the Doctrine as given to Swedenborg from the mouth of the Lord, and the Doctrine published by Swedenborg upon the Lord's own command? How could the Lord command him to publish these doctrines if they were not worthy to bear the Divine imprimatur, or be worthy of the name of Divine Revelation? But all this evasion is mere sophistry. The reviewer should admit from T. C. R. 779 that the Doctrine of the New Church in the abstract is "continuous truths, laid open by the Lord through the Word" (T. C. R. 508), and is a Revelation from God, not from any angel, and that, in itself, it is the Second Advent of the Lord.


     In the Apocalypse Revealed (published by Swedenborg himself) the statement is definite that the male child in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse "signifies the doctrine of the New Church. . . . The Doctrine which is here meant is the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem (London, 1758), also the Doctrines concerning the Lord, the Sacred Scripture, and concerning Life according to the Precepts of the Decalogue (Amst. 1763)." Swedenborg then relates how the Dragonist Spirits stood threateningly about him while these books were being written. (A. R. 543) Only if we see that these works were the Doctrine, Divinely organized from inspiration, can we understand how Swedenborg could have written in the Diary (6102) that those in the spiritual world who had insulted "the five works concerning Heaven and Hell, and the rest" had been told "that they are not my works, but the Lord's, who desired to reveal the nature of heaven and hell and the duality of the life after death, etc.," . . . "This revelation is the male child whom the woman brought forth and the dragon wished to devour."

     Who can fail to See that unless the Writings were inspired, and "from the mouth of the Lord alone" (as is said in De Verbo 13), it would be impossible for Swedenborg to write about "the books which were written by the Lord by means of me" (Eccl. Hist.), or to receive a Divine command to inscribe, "This book is the Advent of the Lord," on two copies. And further, what student can fail to see that the unpublished MSS always teach the same doctrine as the parallel published works, although at times they may give some different details in the development? If Swedenborg was not inspired in his writing, his whole doctrine is only so much worthless speculation,-a grand structure of guess-work; and he would then be culpable of obvious insincerity and of impertinent presumption in speaking in the name of the Lord. But if Swedenborg was the revelator of that marvelous four-square city of Heavenly Doctrine, whose truth so fills our minds with beauty and adoration that we see therein the Lord in His Second Advent, returned in glory to feed the nations with a rod of iron, there it is the critics, like S. J. C. G., who must learn to constrain their ready self-intelligence, and see to it, like good shepherds, that they lead not their flocks too far afield; see to it also, like true watchmen, that they discern the real dimensions of the Divinely lighted Jerusalem, and not walk off into the empty air, chasing some vision of their own!


     Yours truly,
          HUGO LJ. ODHNER.

     P. S. In connection with the subject of "The New Church and Physical Healing," treated recently in your pages, I suggest the following as a contribution to the discussion:


     Prayers for health, wealth, and other external things, whether for ourselves or for others, "savour not of the things that be of God, but the things that be of men" (Matt. xvi, 23). Should an adult instructed New Churchman approach the Lord with such a request? He can indeed ask the Lord for aid and means to do his duty, in such a held and with such powers as Providence may indicate; but his prayer for health must be qualified by the question whether his sickness has as yet accomplished its use to his soul; even as the prayers of those who are in temptation must be qualified by a similar thought. In the face of the greater issues of spiritual life, however, health seems a paltry thing to ask the Lord for. "Take no thought for your life, or for your body. . . for after all these things do the gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

     The whole of Providence, with its spiritual and natural laws, is continually working for eternal, not temporal, ends. Shall we presume to suggest a deviation from this ruling? If the Lord's purpose is aided by a recovery, His Providence will effect a cure through natural means diligently sought; especially when man has faith in the Lord's power so to heal, and therefore cooperates with the laws of health. The spirit should pray for spiritual things; and if it desires power for good uses, it naturally trains its body to act in orderly ways, rather than making the spirit serve as the voice for natural affections.

     If these qualifications are felt as essential, no man can pray for a definite natural boon "believing that he will receive it." "He who is in faith from the Lord asks for nothing but what contributes to the Lord's kingdom and to himself for salvation. . . . It is impossible for the angels of heaven to wish and so to ask for anything else, and if they do so they could have no faith that they would receive it." (A. E. 815:10.)
      H. L. ODHNER.

     [South African New Church Open Letter, August, 1922.]



ANNUAL COUNCIL MEETINGS       Various       1928



     The Thirty-second Annual Meeting of the Council of the Clergy was held in the Council Hall of the Cathedral at Bryn Athyn, January 31 to February 3, Bishop N. D. Pendleton presiding. There were 20 pastors and I minister in attendance 4 authorized candidates were also present by invitation.

     The meetings included four regular morning sessions, one public session, and a special afternoon session devoted to the particular problems of active pastors. At the latter part of each morning's session, a paper was read, followed by more or less extended discussion.

     On Tuesday morning, January 31, the Rev. Homer Synnestvedt presented a spicy and practical paper on "Authoritarianism," plea for more perceptive adjustment, in these difficult times, of the respective spheres of authority and individual freedom. On Wednesday morning, the Rev. Theodore Pitcairn read a brilliant and highly interesting analysis of "The Ultimate Source of Philosophic Ideas." This paper aroused much discussion; and it was generally agreed that the Academy of the New Church was fortunate in having the benefit of Mr. Pitcairn's course in "The History of Philosophy." On Thursday morning, the Rev. L. W. T. David read a profound study on "The Word and the Divine Human." A group of new ideas embodied in this paper aroused a good deal of favorable comment; and it was felt that the speaker had made a distinctly valuable contribution to the already extensive literature on this subject. On Friday morning, the Rev. E. E. Iungerich contributed a scholarly review of "Swedenborg's Concept of the Universal Mathesis," in which several striking pieces of hitherto unknown material were brought to light and analyzed.


     The regular Public Session of the Council was held in the Auditorium of De Charms Hall on Thursday evening, February 2d, when a considerable audience listened to an address by the Rev. Gilbert B. Smith on "The Kingdom of Heaven." A lively discussion of various points in the Address followed.

     On Friday afternoon, February 3, a special session was devoted to the problems of the active pastors of societies, who were thus enabled to have special conference with the Bishop on the particular needs arising out of actual pastoral activities.

     At one of the regular sessions of the Council, the Rev. George de Charms presented the following Resolution, which was unanimously passed by a rising vote:

     WHEREAS Bishop Emeritus William Frederic Pendleton, for many years our revered and trusted leader, has in the fulness of days been gathered to his fathers, therefore

     BE IT RESOLVED that we, the Council of the Clergy, record our deep affection for him, and express our gratitude for the distinguished service to the Church which he, under Providence, performed. Because of the wise counsel whereby he brought our body safely through a most critical period, giving it enduring form and organization; because our present prosperity and the rich promise for the future which we now enjoy are, in large measure, the result of his labor and devotion; and because we had learned to find strength continually in his personality and friendship;-his removal to the spiritual world leaves us with a profound sense of loss. Yet we acknowledge the mercy of the Lord in his resurrection to new life and joy and higher service. For his memory, which will long abide with us an inspiration, we are deeply thankful. The story of his life remains with us a token of the Lord's Divine protection of His Church,-a token from which we draw courage to meet the problems of the future in the same spirit of trust and quiet confidence which he so markedly exemplified. May the principles for which he fought become ever more fully established with us, that in them he may be spiritually present still, to aid the work to which his life on earth was so completely given. Then will our seeming loss be, in the sight of the Lord, only the means to a more interior blessing, both of our departed friend and of the Church he loved.

     At another session, the Rev. E. E. Iungerich moved the following resolution, which also was passed unanimously:


     RESOLVED: That in commemorating the departure of our brother, Ernst Deltenre, to his new field of uses in the spiritual world, we, his associates of the Council of the Clergy, feel a deep concern for the widow and orphans who are now deprived of his care and guidance, and for his native land now bereft of one who had labored for fifteen years to bring to it the light of the Lord in His Second Advent. Both, however, are in the Lord's hand; and we trust that the work so happily begun there will not fail entirely for the lack of another standard-bearer. With our brother, though we may grieve at the severance of the earthly ties that joined, still we cannot but rejoice. Surely one, whose last weeks on earth were devoted to seeing that his daily work should be completed faithfully, must enter into the spiritual world with the vigorous desire to continue there his earnest labors for the Lord's Kingdom. Our affection goes with him.


     The 1928 joint meetings of the Council of the Clergy and the General Faculty, held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons, were unusually inspirational, both to ministers and educators. Besides the members of the Academy General Faculty and Corporation, and all of the ministers, two teachers were present from Glenview, one from Toronto, and one from Kitchener. The average attendance at the meetings was 57.

     The first paper, by Mr. Eldric S. Klein, illustrated the re-discovery of the civilizations of the lands of the Ancient Church, by a study of the history of the Hittites. After reviewing the archaeological discoveries in this field, and the literature of the subject, the speaker presented an outline of the chronological history of this long-forgotten people. He concluded that great opportunities awaited the New Church scholar equipped with the knowledge of a Divinely revealed science of correspondences. In late years, the Hittites had emerged from the almost total obscurity of twenty-five hundred years; but we of the New Church possessed the spiritual history of the race, and the key to their religious life.


We also knew that heaven is from the human race, and that the life of the men of the other world has its ultimate resting-place in the minds of the men of this world; and that, as they of the other world entered into our thoughts and speech, they came, as it were, into a fuller life.

     Miss F. M. Buell's paper on "The Poets and Eternal Justice" was a keen and powerful analysis, cast into epigrammatic forms, of the varying concepts of the Divine Justice held by poets. The speaker emphasized the need that our justice should exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees-whether ancient or modern-in evaluating the poets. The relation of poetry to ethics was usually debated by people who were preoccupied with morals to the exclusion of religion. Justice was spiritual, moral, and civil; but putting moral justice in the first place, and spiritual justice in the second place, excluded a higher judgment of literature. The aim should be, to know a poet's attitude toward eternal justice-whether he believed that there was anything eternal, or in eternal injustice, fate, caprice, or providence. Few poets (or other men), however, saw life sanely, or as a whole. The, description of life and Providence in the Spiritual Diary, no. 4393, typified the situation of many of the poets. The Book of Job, Aeschylus, Ben Jonson, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Dante, and many modern writers, called forth enlightening comments. Miss Buell's very enjoyable address was followed by a general and very discursive discussion, which ranged all the way from the personal literary preferences of the speakers to the undying question as to what was best for little children.

     At the final joint meeting of ministers and educators, on Thursday afternoon, the Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner read a stimulating paper on "The Sub-Conscious as a Factor in Education." Beginning with a critical and sometimes playful review of the new "science" of psycho-analysis, he contrasted certain of its outpourings and excesses with the New Church teacher's authoritative knowledge of the sub-conscious depths of the child's mind and nature. He pointed out that, however suggestive the data provided by modern teachers, it was highly necessary to relate them to the true scheme of the mind as unfolded in the Doctrines. Particularly must we stress that the mind is itself a vessel,-the vessel of personality; and not a mere assortment of impersonal processes. Furthermore, the mind possesses faculties which, spiritually construed, empower and define it as human, including Will, Understanding, Freedom, Rationality, Imagination, and Memory.


We must not be tempted into following modern psychology in discarding the terms which represent actual ultimates of spiritual order.

     A brisk, general discussion followed the paper, as was, indeed, the case at all of the sessions. In fact, the intellectual vigor and content of these 1928 meetings surpassed, perhaps, any of our previous sessions. We Understand that the papers presented at all three sessions will appear in an early number of the Academy's JOURNAL OF EDUCATION,

     At the close of the formal Sessions, a committee of the ladies of the Bryn Athyn Society Served light refreshments. The growth of the social sphere at these occasions brings nearer the ideal of genuine professional brotherhood in the field of New Church education.


     The Philadelphia District Assembly took the form, as by custom in late years, of a Banquet in the Auditorium, on Friday evening, February 3, with an attendance of about 350. An astonishingly ample supper was provided, for an astonishingly small price, by Mr. Otho W. Heilman and his staff of able and willing helpers.

     Mr. Phillip C. Pendleton, as toastmaster, laconically and wittily introduced us to a series of three speeches on the rather breathtaking subject of "The Origin of Man." However, our personal determination to slumber quietly whilst this question was being settled by the Philadelphia District Assembly was rudely shaken by the fact that all the speakers were vigorous, witty, worthwhile, and not at all in mutual agreement. Mr. Randolph W. Childs introduced the question with a rather keen appraisal of the various schools of thought on the Subject,-a lucid inventory which lost nothing, under the circumstances, by a more than legal percentage of sparkling humor. The Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner delighted his hearers with a literary review of scientific reptiles and reptilian Scientists. Dr. Charles R. Pendleton threw down the gauntlet, or something almost warlike, at the feet of those who believe they understand Swedenborg's Worship and Love of God; and Dr. Alfred Acton made a powerful and (from a New Churchman's point of view) entirely unanswerable arraignment of the natural evolutionary school of thought and its hold on contemporary religious thought.


Although general discussion was limited by the lateness of the hour, it was clear that great interest was generated in the topic of the evening. As we understand that there is a possibility that these speeches will appear shortly in the pages of NEW CHURCH LIFE, in the form of a "symposium" of opinion, we refrain from any analysis at this time.

     On Saturday evening, February 4, the local Civic and Social Club presented a comedy entitled "The Fatsy," in which some of our gifted young players did more than justice to the entertaining "plot" involved.

SUNDAY WORSHIP.       Editor       1928

     Three services were held on Sunday, the first being a Children's Service at 9:30 o'clock. The Rev. Alan Gill delivered the address, speaking on the familiar relation as to the garments of children in heaven.

     At 11 o'clock, the regular service, followed by the monthly administration of the Holy Supper, was conducted by Bishop N. D. Pendleton, the Revs. George de Charms and W. L. Gladish assisting. Mr. Gladish preached a most acceptable sermon on the subject of "Creation" (Genesis 1:1).

     In the evening at 8 o'clock, a musical service was conducted by the Revs. George de Charms and F. E. Waelchli, the latter preaching a profound and stirring sermon on "Spiritual Elevation" (John 5:8). The choral work, the participation of the School Orchestra under the leading of Mr. Frank Bostock, and selections by the Bryn Athyn String Quartet, were noteworthy features of a delightful service.



JOINT COUNCIL.       Various       1928

     BRYN ATHYN, PA., FEBRUARY 4, 1928.

     First Session 10:00 a.m.

     1. The Thirty-fifth Annual Meeting of the Joint Council opened with worship conducted by the Bishop.

     2. There were present:


     Bishop N. D. Pendleton, presiding; Revs. Alfred Acton, H. R. Alden, W. H. Alden, R. W. Brown, W. B. Caldwell, R. G. Cranch, L. W. T. David, George de Charms, C. E. Doering, Alan Gill, W. L. Gladish, E. E. Iungerich, H. L. Odhner, Theodore Pitcairn, Enoch S. Price, Gilbert H. Smith, Homer Synnestvedt, F. E. Waelchli and William Whitehead (Secretary). Total, 20.


     Dr. F. E. Boericke; Messrs. E. C. Bostock, Paul Carpenter, G. S. Childs (Secretary), R. W. Childs, H. Hyatt (Treasurer), A. P. Lindsay, S. S. Lindsay, C. G. Merrell, A. E. Nelson, H. F. Pitcairn, Raymond Pitcairn (Vice President), and Paul Synnestvedt. Mr. L. E. Gyllenhaal (Treasurer of the Academy) present by invitation. Total, 14.

     3. The Secretary read the Minutes of the Thirty-fourth Annual Meeting, which, on motion, were approved as read.

     4. The Bishop announced that the Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner had been appointed a member of his Consistory.

     5. Rev. George de Charms read the Report of the Secretary of the General Church (see p. 182), which, on motion, was received and filed.

     6. Rev. William Whitehead read the Report of the Council of the Clergy (see p. 184), which, on motion, was received and filed.

     7. Mr. G. S. Childs read the following Report of the Executive Committee, which, on motion, was received and filed:


     During the past fiscal year, the Executive Committee has held five meetings, with an average attendance of nine members. Three new members have been added to the Committee, under the authority that was given to increase its membership by a total of seven. These new members are: Mr. Colley Pryke, of England; Mr. J. Henry Ridgway, of Durban, South Africa; and Mr. Nils E. Loven of Stockholm, Sweden.


     The passing of the Bishop Emeritus, and of the Rev. Dr. Deltenre, enabled the Committee to express to the widows, through pensions, something of the Church's appreciation of the work of these men.

     Aside from the adoption of the annual budget, and the disposition of numerous routine financial matters, the Committee has spent considerable time on matters pertaining to the Assembly in England this summer.
     Respectfully submitted,
          G. S. CHILDS,

     8. Mr. H. Hyatt formally presented the last printed Report of the Treasurer of the General Church, with oral explanations and comments. After a brief discussion, the report, on motion, was accepted and filed.

     9. The Secretary read a summary of the Report of the Treasurer of the Orphanage Fund (Mr. W. C. Childs), which was accepted and filed (see p. 189).

     10. Bishop Pendleton announced that invitations had been received from the Bryn Athyn and Toronto Societies for the Fourteenth General Assembly. He further stated that a widespread feeling existed that this Assembly should be held within two years from the Assembly in London, England, as the proportion of those unable to be present in England would be relatively great enough to make the intermission of five years between Assemblies held in America seem something of a hardship. After some discussion of the time and place of the next Assembly, the following resolutions were passed unanimously:

     11. Resolved: That the Fourteenth General Assembly be held two years after the forthcoming Assembly in London, England.

     12. Resolved: That the invitation of the Bryn Athyn Society, to hold the Fourteenth General Assembly in Bryn Athyn, be accepted.

     13. Resolved: That this body deeply appreciates the invitation from the Olivet Church, Toronto, and looks forward with pleasure to a General Assembly there at an early date.

     14. After a brief intermission, the Bishop read a statement relative to the need to perpetuate the ordaining degree of the Priesthood, and to provide for Episcopal assistance. (See p. 164.)


After an extended discussion, the Bishop announced the early ordination of the Rev. George de Charms into the Third Degree of the Priesthood.

     15. The session adjourned at 12:45 o'clock.

     Second Session-3:15 p.m.

     16. On motion, it was voted to consider "The Program of the Thirteenth General Assembly." Copies of a suggested program were then distributed by the Secretary of the General Church. Various explanations were made by him as to the arrangement of the events, etc.

     17. On motion, it was voted to refer the question of the particular mode of reporting the Assembly proceedings to the Executive Committee.

     18. Bishop Pendleton drew attention to the placing on the docket of the General Assembly of the following subject: "Reading the Writings; and the provision of a calendar of readings for the members of the Church." This had already been actively discussed by the Council of the Clergy, which had agreed to refer it to the General Assembly. It was generally agreed that a place should be found on the program for its adequate discussion.

     19. On motion, it was unanimously agreed to print the official Assembly reports ahead of time, in pamphlet form, in order to facilitate discussion.

     20. On motion, it was agreed that the official Assembly reports would be taken up at the Third Session, on Monday, August 6, at 10 a.m.

     21. On motion, it was unanimously agreed that the important subject of the renewal of the habit of reading the Writings should be given a prominent place in the Assembly program, decision as to the time to be left to the Bishop and his Consistory.

     22. On motion, it was unanimously Resolved: That the Joint Council desires to convey to the ladies of the Bryn Athyn Society its heartfelt appreciation of their efforts in providing such delightful refreshments at the close of the afternoon meetings.

     23. The Joint Council also expressed its thanks to the donors of the flowers that graced the tables.

     24. On motion, the meeting adjourned at 4:30 o'clock.
     WILLIAM WHITEHEAD, Secretary.



     During the year 1927, 73 new members were received. Deducting 26 deaths, the net increase for the year was 47. As the total membership at the end of 1926 was 1865, this increase of 47 brings the total at the end of 1927 to 1912 members. No resignations.

     Geographically, the 13 new members received during the past year were distributed as follows:

United States           42
Canada          3     
England          7
France               7
Sweden           6
Holland          2
South Africa           4
Australia           2

     These figures do not include the membership of the South African Native Missions. According to the report of the Missions to December 31, 1927, there is a total of approximately 636 native members in various parts of South Africa.     

     NEW MEMBERS.          

     January 1, 1927 to January 1, 1928.


     Ontario, California.
Miss Ruth Elizabeth Stroh

Denver, Colorado.
Miss Angella Louise Bergstrom

     Washington, D. C.
Miss Lois Eileen Stebbing

     Chicago, Illinois.
Miss Elma Cronwall
Miss Ida Cronwall
Miss Beatrice Aitken Farrington
Mr. Theodore Gladish
Miss Helen Geraldine Heimgaertner
Mr. Charles Marelius Lindrooth
Miss Christine Pearson

     Glenview, Illinois.
Mr. Werner Wolfgang Hager
Mr. Donal Clement Hicks

     Baker, Oregon.
Miss Dorothy Jane Blake

     Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Edreth Parry Acton
Miss Carola Julie Marie Carpenter
Miss Elizabeth Doering
Mr. Theodore Doering
Miss Virginia May Glebe
Miss Dorothea Homiller
Miss Doris Klein
Miss Elizabeth Park Meisel
Mr. Francis Adams Meisel
Miss Gertrude Price
Mrs. Viola Wolcott Rennels
Mr. Bertrand Louis Smith
Mrs. Bertrand Louis Smith
Mr. Gilbert Morris Smith
Mr. Homer Stuart Synnestvedt

     Fox Chase, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Smith Gilroy
Mrs. Smith Gilroy

     Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Donald Raber Coffin
Mr. Ronald Webster
Mrs. Ronald Webster

     Landsdowne, Pennsylvania.
Mr. George Charles Smith


     Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Miss Eliza Henrietta Broadbridge

     Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Miss Elizabeth Claire Glenn
Miss Sylvia Synnestvedt

     Woodmont, Pennsylvania.
Miss France Marcelle Vinet
Miss Lucienne Vinet

     Ocean City, New Jersey.
Miss Jean Moir

     Wadesboro, North Carolina.
Mr. Addison Franklin Lyman, Sr.
Mrs. Addison Franklin Lyman, Sr.

     B. IN CANADA.

     Kitchener, Ontario.
Mr. John Ernest Kuhl

     Toronto, Ontario.
Mrs. Charlotte Dawson
Mr. Stanley Douglas Jesseman


Mr. Rupert Samuel Lewin

Mr. Ivor Dawson

Miss Kate Madeline Dowling
Miss Una May Patrick
Miss Joan Gwynedd Stebbing

     Seven Kings, Essex.
Mr. Alfred Godfrey
Mrs. Alfred Godfrey

     D. IN FRANCE.

     Grez sur Loing.
Mrs. Anton Zelling

Mr. Henri Eustache Curpault
Mrs. Marie Louise Delhotal
Mr. Rene Hussenet
Mrs. Rene Hussenet

Mr. Victor Raguenet
Mrs. Victor Raguenet

     E. IN SWEDEN.

Mr. Arne Torvald Fritjof Boyesen
Mr. Carl Ragnar Boyesen
Miss Margit Karoline Boyesen
Mr. Erik Sandstrom
Mr. Oscar Teodor Svensson
Miss Anna Henny Helena Widerstrom


     The Hague.
Mr. Pieter Hendrik Jacob Rutger Wellenberg
Mrs. Pieter Hendrik Jricob Rutger Wellenberg


Miss Denise Ruth Cockerell
Mr. Hugh Scott Forfar
Miss Audrey Iris Edith Fraser
Mr. Melville William Ivan Ridgway


Mr. Thomas Richard Taylor
Mrs. Thomas Richard Taylor

December 31, 1926 to December 31, 1927.
Mrs. Martha J. Powell, Middleport, Ohio, December 17, 1926.
Mr. James G. Blair, Pittsburgh, Pa., December 23, 1926.
Miss Doris Marie Bellinger, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, January 10, 1927.
Madame Regina Evelyn de St. Fern, Lausanne, Switzerland, January 16, 1927.
Mr. Ezekiel William Misson, London, England, February 16, 1927.
Rev. Ernst Deltenre, Brussels, Belgium, March 14, 1927.
Mr. Henry Hamm, Bryn Athyn, Pa., April 15, 1927.


Mrs. Nancy Evans, Erie, Pa., May 9, 1927.
Mr. William George Lynn, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May 17, 1927.
Mr. Emil Schierholtz, Detroit, Mich., June 16, 1927.
Mr. Thomas Stigen, Seattle, Wash., July 5, 1927.
Mrs. Elizabeth Keppler Hicks, Ten Mile Run, N. J., July 5, 1927.
Mr. Jacob Ebert, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., July 7, 1928.
Mr. Hugh Bourne, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, July 28, 1927.
Mrs. Provida Hilldale, Wyoming, Ohio, August 3, 1927.
Mr. Frederick Pfleuger, Philadelphia, Pa., August 21, 1927.
Mrs. Mary A. Fincke, New York, N. Y., August 28, 1927.
Mrs. Emma Merrifield Stebbing, London, England, September 3, 1921.
Mr. Gustave Rauch, Glenview, IIl., September 15, 1927.
Mrs. Cora Rott Schoenberger, Pittsburgh, Pa., October 1, 1927.
Mr. Ferry Armstrong Thomas, Gallipolis, Ohio, October 15, 1927.
Mr. Alfred G. Bellinger, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, October 21, 1927.
Bishop Emeritus William Frederic Pendleton, Bryn Athyn, Pa., November 5, 1927.
Mrs. Luise Dexter, Meriden, Conn., December 4, 1927.
Mr. Joseph W. Vance, Los Angeles, Cal., December 14, 1927.
Mrs. John A. Wells, Bryn Athyn, Pa., December 16, 1927.



     The present list of the Clergy of the General Church includes forty-two names. Of these, in addition to the Bishop, thirty-three are Pastors, two are Pastors pending ordination, two are Ministers, and four are Authorized Candidates.

     Since the last report, the Church has suffered the loss through death, of Bishop Emeritus William Frederic Pendleton, and of the Rev. Ernst Deltenre.

     As compared with last year, the total number on the roll of the clergy is notwithstanding deaths and other changes-virtually the same.

     During the year, the following changes transpired:

     1. On September 1st., the Rev. W. B. Caldwell gave up the duties of Secretary of the General Church, which duties were assumed pro tem. by the Rev. George de Charms, by appointment of the Bishop. As Mr. de Charms relinquished the duties of Secretary of the Council of Clergy, these were assumed in similar manner by the Rev. W. Whitehead.

     2. After the Annual Meeting of the Carmel Church, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, the Rev. L. W. T. David offered to the Bishop his resignation as Pastor. This was accepted at a special meeting of the Society held on October 18th. Since that time, he has been acting under appointment, conducting the uses of the society as usual, until new arrangements can be made.

     From the list of forty-two Pastors and Ministers, the Bishop has received reports from thirty-two, as follows: The Revs. Alfred Acton, K. R. Alden,


W. H. Alden, Baeckstrom, Brickman, Brown, Caldwell, Cranch, Cronlund, David, De Charms, Doering, Elphick, Gill, Gladish, Harris, Heinrichs, Hussenet, Iungerich, Lima, Morse, Odhner, Pfeiffer, Pitcairn, Price, Rosenqvist, Smith, Starkey, Synnestvedt, Tilson, Waelchli, and Whitehead.

     These reports show that the Rites and Sacraments of the Church have been performed as follows: Baptisms 90 (South African natives 123 in addition); Confessions of Faith 25; Betrothals 18; Marriages 24; Funerals 27; Holy Supper 191 to societies and circles, and 29 to private individuals.

     From the reports of individual members of the clergy, the following facts of general interest have been collated:

     Bishop N. D. Pendleton presided at District Assemblies held in Bryn Athyn, February 4-7, in Toronto, October 13-16, in Glenview, October 21-23,-the latter taking the form of a Jubilee celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Immanuel Church,-and in Pittsburgh, October 28-30. He also presided at Local Assemblies in New York, May 7-8, and in Washington and Arbutus, May 14-15. He Preached in Bryn Athyn sixteen times, and once each in New York, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Glenview; conducting services regularly in Bryn Athyn, except when absent.

     Rev. Alfred Acton reports that the Washington Society has witnessed some changes since last year. Not only has one of its leading members removed to Bryn Athyn, but in consequence of the removal of three others to Laurel, Maryland (which is situated half-way between Washington and Baltimore), it has been found feasible to have doctrinal class, and sometimes services, at Laurel as well as at Washington.

     Mr. Acton adds: "What the future holds in store for us we do not know, but we have already experienced the benefit and delight of being able to meet socially as well as in doctrinal class with our friends in Arbutus. The occasion was the dedication of a home, conducted by the Rev. T. S. Harris. Members of both societies attended, and the doctrinal class was afterwards conducted by me. We look forward to other joint meetings like this one which proved so very delightful."

     Rev. K. R. Alden during the summer conducted eleven missionary services in the Cathedral at Bryn Athyn, on Sunday afternoons. He states that: . . . "The work was especially gratifying this year because of the number of persons who became personally interested, and repeated many times. It is not too much to say that there are at least twenty persons reading the Writings, directly or indirectly as a result of these services." He also preached three times at the regular services in Bryn Athyn, once in New York, and once in Chicago.

     Rev. Gustaf Baeckstrom, in addition to the usual pastoral duties, has done missionary work and visited isolated members and friends of the society in different parts of Sweden and Norway. He delivered 11 public lectures in Stockholm-attended by an average of 48 persons; 4 lectures in other places in Sweden, with an average attendance of 66 persons; and 15 lectures in Norway, with an average attendance of 173 persons. He has written a biography of Swedenborg which has been published in Stockholm.


New Church literature to the extent of Kr. 2,150 ($580.00) has been sold during the year. Two lectures on Swedenborg have been broadcast in Norway.

     Rev. W. E. Brickman reports that, in addition to rendering some assistance to the pastor of the Pittsburgh society, he gave an address in November (by invitation) to the Young People's League of the North Side Convention Society, on "The Law of Correspondences."

     Rev. W. B. Caldwell preached once, and assisted three times in the administration of the Holy Supper, at Bryn Athyn. In reporting that his resignation as Secretary of the General Church, and as a member of the New Church Sermons Committee, was accepted by the Bishop, as from September 1st, 1927, he adds: "It was with regret that I gave up these duties which it was a pleasure to perform for some years; but it became necessary for me to seek relief from a combination of uses which entailed continuous application throughout the year, without a needed respite during the summer.

     Rev. L. W. T. David reports that, in general, the activities of the Carmel Church have been similar to those of past years: Sunday morning worship; Friday Doctrinal Classes, with suppers every two weeks; Day School; Sunday School; Young People's Class on Sunday evenings, every two weeks; classes on Education with the Women's Guild; Men's Club, with lectures on special subjects; and general socials about once a month. For about three weeks in May and June all activities were suspended because of small-pox; none of the cases were very serious, and fortunately the outbreak was limited. He speaks appreciatively of lectures given in the society by the Revs. C. E. Doering and W. Whitehead; also of occasional visits by the Revs. Waelchli and Odhner. For the summer vacation season, Mr. Victor Gladish preached very acceptably to the society. The services of Miss Anna Heinrichs had been secured for the local school which now has a roll of fourteen pupils.

     Rev. George de Charms reports that he preached nine times in Bryn Athyn; conducted the weekly doctrinal class, in the Spring, on the subject of "The Tabernacle of Israel," and in the Fall, on "The Doctrine of Degrees. Also two group classes for young people held in alternate weeks. He also conducted the Children's Service from January to Easter, and from November 13th to Christmas. Regular meetings had been held of the Chancel Guild, the Ushers, the young ladies in charge of the children at Children's Services; and he had presided, in the absence of the Bishop, at meetings of the Pastor's Council. He taught Religion to the Seventh and Eighth grades of the Elementary School; and had charge of Religious Instruction throughout the grades. He also taught Hebrew to the Seventh grade boys, and had given several classes in Education to the Normal students of the College.

     Rev. C. E. Doening, in April, visited the Local Schools in Pittsburgh, Glenview, Toronto and Kitchener, by appointment of the Bishop and at the request of the societies. He also preached in Kitchener, Pittsburgh and Toronto; and twice assisted in the administration of the Holy Supper at Bryn Athyn.

     Rev. Frederick W. Elphick, as Superintendent of the General Church Mission in South Africa, reports that he has baptized 123 natives during the year. The Holy Supper has been administered in ten various centers in Basutoland, Transvaal, Natal, and Orange Free State.


The estimated number of baptized members throughout South Africa, at the end of 1927, was 636. The number of leaders in the Mission is 14; Candidates, 2; School Teachers, 14. There are eight Day Schools and four Night Schools. The local "Circle" at Alpha numbers 7. Three of these are not yet members of the General Church; but regular Sunday worship has been maintained by Mr. Elphick as pastor, throughout the year; also a weekly Doctrinal Class was commenced in September last.

     Rev. Alan Gill reports that, despite the loss of several members by removal, there has been an appreciable increase in the number of those attending services and doctrinal classes. This year it is expected to re-open the Sunday School which had to be temporarily discontinued on account of losing children to another society. He also reports a steadily increasing interest in the Men's Meetings; and speaks appreciatively of a recent visit by the Rev. K. R. Alden, when it was decided that efforts be made to have ministers or teachers come from other societies to address the men periodically.

     Rev. W. L. Gladish reports that the Sharon Church, Chicago, has had a happy and peaceful year. The full support of the pastor, which was begun last year as an experiment, seems assured of success. Six accessions were gained during the year; but four were lost by transfer to other societies. Services were conducted four Sundays in Linden Hills, Michigan; and other visits to isolated members elsewhere were made. Attendance and interest at worship and doctrinal classes have been good. The "Principles of the Academy" have been taken up at the Doctrinal Class, with good results.

     Rev. T. S. Harris reports that during the period in which he has been pastor of the Baltimore society, about twenty members of the congregation have moved to Bryn Athyn. For this and other natural reasons, the average attendance at public worship has decreased; but there is no apparent lack of interest on the part of those who attend. The financial support has not diminished, and recent prospects are more hopeful than in past years.

     Rev. Henry Heinrichs states that, in addition to the regular pastoral duties of the Denver Society, he now has a class in the Sunday School composed of first and second year High School pupils who have graduated from the purely historical and moral teaching and are now receiving doctrinal instruction, the work on The Last Judgment being the text. The class is attended also by several of the adult members. During the summer he made a trip to the North-West, visiting two places in Oregon, one in Washington, and eight in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The Holy Supper was administered seven times during this journey, a detailed report of which appeared in the December issue of NEW CHURCH LIFE.

     Rev. Eldred E. Iungerich preached twice in Bryn Athyn during the year. He reports various preparations made to visit Valencia, Spain, during the coming summer.

     Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner reports that the District Assembly, held in Toronto last October, opened the new season in a spirit of zeal and genuine interest. In addition to reporting the successful progress of the usual Church activities, he says that "an unusual thing this year is the relatively many new faces we see in the congregation; a number of these newcomers are making their first acquaintance with the New Church teachings."


During the summer, Mr. Norman Reuter, an authorized candidate, preached seven times; and Mr. Victor Gladish, another candidate, preached once. Mr. Reuter's work was much appreciated by the society, and gave a needed relief to the Pastor. During the year, the Pastor preached in Bryn Athyn, Kitchener and Pittsburgh.

     Rev. Gilbert H. Smith reports that a noteworthy event in the life of the Glenview society was the fiftieth anniversary or Jubilee celebration, on October 21-23, at which the mortgage on the Church property was retired by Messrs. S. G. and A. E. Nelson, leaving the Society free of indebtedness. Also noteworthy was the publication of the book, The Early Days of the Immanuel Church, compiled by Mr. S. G. Nelson for the Society. This gave the first authentic printed record of our Chicago Academy foundations. The Society had benefitted by two musical festivals under the direction of Mr. J. V. Stevens. These had been of a predominantly religious nature, and had constituted major community projects, with returns of musical, cultural and social value.

     Rev. Homer Synnestvedt reports that, during the past year, the younger members of the Pittsburgh Society had been taking hold of the Church work with zeal and energy. The school, while smaller in numbers, had been maintained at a high standard of efficiency. Obstacles caused by threatened city road developments have temporarily postponed the purchase of a new and larger lot for a church building.

     Rev. Robert James Tilson, after reporting visits to various New Church people in Jersey, Cotchester, Bristol, York, and Somersetshire, reports that he presided, at the request of the Bishop, over the Twenty-first British Assembly, held at Colchester in August last; and acted as Celebrant when the Holy Supper was administered to 71 communicants. Before the Local School was discontinued in July last, he gave instruction in Religion and Hebrew.

     Rev. F. E. Waelchli reports that, in the Middle West, he had visited Middleport four times during the year; Windsor, Ont., Detroit and Erie each twice; and Columbus, Cleveland and Niles each once. In the South, visits were made to Knoxville, Tenn.; and Jacksonville, Oak Hill, Miami, and St, Petersburg, Fla. During five weeks in Los Angeles, California, the average attendance at services was 26, including children; at Sunday School 9; and at doctrinal class 17. On the Sunday of his one visit to Ontario, California, the entire circle visited there, the attendance being 36, including children. The total number of places visited during the year was 16. At Cincinnati he officiated at 29 Sunday services.
     Respectfully submitted,




     Statement from January 1 to December 31, 1927.


Cash Balance, December 31, 1926                          $ 409.71
Interest on Investments                               220.83


Orphanage Boxes                          $969.47
Bryn Athyn Cathedral Boxes                243.70
Denver Society, Children's Christmas Offering      2.50
Kitchener Society, Christmas Offering           22.21
Bryn Athyn, Children's Play                     32.81
Cincinnati Society, Christmas Offering           25.00
Philadelphia Society                         25.00
Philadelphia Society, Women's Guild           11.40
New York Society, Christmas Offering           23.31
Pittsburgh Society, Christmas Offering           50.00
Mr. Harold F. Pitcairn                    360.00
Mrs. Cara S. Glenn                          100.00
Mrs. Raymond Pitcairn and Family                225.00
Mrs. Raymond Pitcairn                     600.00
Mr. Colley Pryke and Family                36.13
Mrs. W. S. Howland                     12.00
Mrs. Alice B. Harrold, Leetonia, Ohio           50.00
Mr. Alexander P. Lindsay                     5.00
Mr. Louis B. Pendleton                     20.00
Mrs. F. O. Breitstein                          10.00
Mr. D. Edwin Leonard                     3.00
Miss Josephine Sellner                     10.00
Dr. Felix A. Boericke                     50.00
Mrs. M. C. Axten                         1.00
Mr. Walter C. Childs                          25.00
Mrs. Regina Iungerich                     10.00
Total Receipts                                   $3,553.07



Assistance to Sundry Persons                $2,640.00
Printing and Postage                          19.75
Sundries                               7.54           $2,667.29
Cash Balance, December 31, 1927                          $ 885.78



Church News 1928

Church News       Various       1928


     On Friday, February 3d, Mr. William F. Junge, an active member of the Immanuel Church, passed into the spiritual world. We recognize the Providence which overrules such events for good, but his death was a great shock to this community, as he had been known to us as a healthy man in the prime of life, and had been ill but a week. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Eleanor Rauch Junge, and three boys. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Junge, returned hurriedly from Phoenix, Arizona, where they had been visiting; his absent sisters also came,-Mrs. Elise Brown from Pittsburgh, and Miss Frieda Junge from Bryn Athyn. The funeral service took place on Monday, February 6th, with an appropriate address by our Pastor, the Rev. Gilbert H. Smith, who had been recalled from Bryn Athyn, where he had been attending the Annual Council Meetings.

     Two of the teachers in our School, Miss Gladys Blackman, and Miss Helen Maynard, also attended the meetings in Bryn Athyn, part of the expenses being defrayed by the local chapter of the Sons of the Academy, in the interests of New Church education.

     The celebration of Swedenborg's Birthday was held on Friday evening, January 17th, the banquet taking the place of the usual supper. After an introduction by our Pastor, there were three speeches on the program, as follows: Dr. G. G. Starkey spoke about and from the Rational Psychology; Mr. G. A. McQueen from the Economy of the Animal Kingdom; and Mr. Louis S. Cole read from an American periodical an article quoted from a London paper, wherein a prominent physician of the time-about 1820-expressed his appreciation of Swedenborg's vast learning and advance in science, and his amazement that the world at large appeared to be ignorant of Swedenborg.

     Messrs. Fred and Donald Merrell, of Cincinnati, Ohio, were welcome visitors at the Swedenborg's Birthday banquet. Miss Susan Scalbom has returned from her visit to the Bryn Athyn Schools and her many friends there. Her little pupils of the Kindergarten welcome her return.

     A Chicago newspaper, on February 8th, contained the following item under the caption, "65 Years Ago Today": John A. Baldwin and Miss Annie E. Hall, were married on Feb. 5 at the New Church Temple by the Rev. John R. Hibbard.
     J. B. S.


     With the opening of another school year next September, the Rev. Homer Synnestvedt will be welcomed to Bryn Athyn as a member of the Faculty of the Academy of the New Church. He has recently resigned as Pastor of the Pittsburgh Society, and will discontinue his duties there on September 1st. Mr. Synnestvedt has been active in the pastoral and educational fields of the ministry for a period of thirty-seven years, and so brings the ripe fruits of experience into his new sphere of use in the Academy.





     In the list of the pastors of the General Church, appearing in New Church Life for December, 1927, p. 752, it should have been stated that the Rev. Robert James Tilson was ordained into the First Degree of the Priesthood on August 23d, 1882. While Mr. Tilson's name has appeared annually in this Directory since 1919, our attention has only now been called to the fact that he was ordained by the Rev. Dr. Bayley in 1882, ten years prior to his ordination into the Second Degree of the Priesthood by Bishop Benade.




     of the

     General Church of the New Jerusalem

     will be held in

     London, England,

     August 3d to August 12th, 1928.


     The Thirteenth General Assembly will be a unique and important occasion. It will be unique in affording an opportunity to meet members of the Church from all parts of the world, and to become acquainted at first hand with the conditions under which the Church is struggling for a foothold in England. It will help, more than anything else could possibly do, to strengthen the bonds of unity in the General Church, and will bring about a degree of mutual understanding that should have a far-reaching effect upon the future development of our movement. It holds out, in addition, an incentive to obtain the cultural advantages of foreign travel, so far as personal means may permit.     

     Nor is such trip nearly as expensive today as it was in past years. Every effort is being made by the steamship companies to reduce the cost of passage, in order to attract a larger volume of American travel. Summarizing what has been printed in previous issues of the LIFE, we may say that, on a very fair estimate, the trip to the Assembly and back from New York City can be made, Second Class for $400.00, and Tourist Third Class for $250.00. By Tourist Third Class is not meant steerege. On many of the lines the of travel are the same as the present accommodations for this mode former Second Class, and the number of interesting people taking advantage of these low rates gives assurance of congenial associations. The figures quoted above include all necessary expenses and the ten-days' stay in London. Passage must be secured in the near future.

     For detailed information and all possible assistance, write to Miss Florence Roehner, Bryn Athyn, Pa.



WORD AND THE HUMAN FORM       Rev. L. W. T. DAVID       1928

[Frontispiece: George de Charms.]

VOL. XLVIII APRIL, 1928           No. 4
     It is essential to heavenly life that the Word be seen in interior light in some degree, that is, that it be seen to be a living thing, and that its life is Divine. For the most part, this quality of the Word is seen more obviously by the simple in whom there is faith, for they see in the letter the Divine zeal, and still more do they feel the sphere of it as it touches their affections; but a larger development of the natural rational obscures the thought and dulls the sensibility with those who, in the manner of the world, are more intelligent.

     But the perception of the living quality of the Word, from seeing and feeling the zeal of the Divine Love in the letter, is still a very general and obscure perception of it, and needs to be supported by doctrinal truths, and. also perfected and elevated by them into higher and clearer light, if it is to stand against the forces of sensuous rationalism that are so powerful at this day.

     We may note here, in passing, the very well-known and lamentable fact that people have ceased to read the Word. A great change has been observed in the space of not so many years. The forefathers read the Word very dutifully, and also loved it, finding delight and inspiration, counsel and consolation, in reading it. Especially was this true of the simple, with whom the theological mysteries of the clergy passed overhead as an empty wind. Although false theology had removed, ages before, any possibility that people would see the Divinity of the Word with clear intelligence, there had Persisted among the simple the general perception which has been mentioned, and a consequent honor and faithful use of the Word.


This could not stand alone, however, as intelligence from the light of nature became widespread. It was rapidly undermined by science and criticism, and fell of itself from lack of the internal supports which the church itself had already destroyed.

     And so, at the present day, it is more necessary than ever before that the eye of the rational intelligence be opened to see in spiritual light the things that come before it, if anything of the Divinity of the Word is to be perceived by men, and any idea of its holiness is to be preserved. Faith in the Word has been destroyed by the natural activity of the reason. It can be restored and perpetuated only by the opening of the rational faculty to spiritual activity, and thereby the establishing of an interior faith to give strength and life to the exterior faith. This is to have the "eye opened to see visions of God," and the vision that is seen by the opened reason will progress through a series, or unfold itself, so that one thing after another is seen more interiorly, even to the inmosts. Thus an intelligent faith, from its first formation, will be continually enlarged and strengthened.

     This, which is rationally true of every man who is looking toward heaven, is presented to us in a picture by the prophet Ezekiel, who saw it in vision: "And I looked, and behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself; and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the appearance of coals in the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man." (Ezekiel 1:4-5.)

     In the work on the Prophets and Psalms, a title is given the Book of Ezekiel, and particularly for the first chapters, "A Prophecy concerning the Lord as to the Word"; then, to explain the verses just read, "The Divine external sphere of the Word," and, "A representative of it as a man." To these last statements I would especially call your attention, as being initial to the discussion to be set before you. The same brief statements are also to be found in the work on the Sacred Scripture, no. 97.

     In a summary, the thing seen by Ezekiel is a representation of the letter of the Word, as it is apprehended by a mind that is progressively opened to a more interior sight. Such a mind is meant by the one whose "eyes are opened."


First, the immediate sense of the letter is seen as a dark storm-cloud, terrifying, threatening to destroy. Then the active fire is seen with its brightness; for what at first appeared as Divine wrath is perceived to be the zeal of the Divine Love, acting vigorously to save. Then, by an opening of the perception-"in the midst thereof'-the Divine Love is seen, not as an obvious, vehement activity, but as the steady, abiding source of spiritual vitality and zeal. If the Word is the Fountain of Living Water, it is also the glowing ember taken from the altar that sets the prophet on fire, so that in his speech the Divine Love bursts forth in zeal;-"His ministers are a flaming fire." Yet again from the midst appeared the creatures who had the likeness of a man. By a further opening of the internal sight the Word is perceived as Human,-as the Divine Human with men. The four living creatures represent celestia and spiritual things which are in the sense of the letter, and are conjoined there; and being conjoined, they constitute a unity. And so it is said in the singular, that the Word is "represented as a man."


     When the first opening of the interior sight gives a simple and general perception of the real quality of the Word in the sense of the letter, there is insinuated a certain feeling and idea of it as living, and this has daily confirmation as long as the heart holds its simplicity. Herein has been the power of the Word in the world at large. With this as a secure foundation, the idea of it as a living form can and should be developed, until, in spiritual light, it is seen why it is living and is represented as a man-because, spiritually considered, it is a man.

     The vague perception of the living quality of the Word must first be given form, or be defined, to adapt it to the uses of the rational mind, to cause it to catch the rays of spiritual light, and to be illuminated by them. This is done by the teaching that there is an internal and an external, the internal being living and imparting life, while the external sets forth that life to view: "The Word of the Lord is like a body in which there is a living soul. The things of the soul do not appear while the mind so coheres in corporeal things that it scarcely believes in the existence of the human soul, still less that it will live after death.


But as soon as the mind withdraws from corporeal things, the things of the soul and life become manifest. . . . It is the same with the Word of the Lord." (A. C. 1408.)

     With this distinction in our minds, it can be seen with less confusion that the Word is a man. For unless we distinguish between what is internal and what is external, between what is of the soul and what is of the body, external and internal ideas will be confounded, and the whole will be obscure. But having made the distinction, it can be seen that the Divine in the Word is the internal, and that the ardor of the Word and its power to affect are from this, while the words which present all these things are the external.

     It is then to be observed that in the Word throughout there is a sphere of things intermediate between the inmost Divine and the outmost letter. This is the realm of ideas resting upon and conveyed by the words, and is called, broadly, the "sense of the letter." Relatively to the Divine, it is to be called external; yet it is not the most external, but is within and above the words, which are the very ultimate. Hence we distinguish between the Inmost, the Intermediates, and the Ultimate. These three spheres of the Word are pointed out to us in the very beginning of Revelation, first in time and place: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Gen. 1:1.) The creating Divine, or God, is the Lord as to the Word; the heavens are the intermediate realms of ideas; and the earth is the letter. Thus this verse is an epitome of the whole Word.

     It is really much more than an epitome of the Word. It is the whole Word in its primary form, or in its seed. All things of the Word, both internal and external, are contained in this seed, though they do not appear manifestly to the understanding, just as all things of a tree, its trunk, bark, leaves, flower, and fruit, and also its vital principle, are contained in its seed. They are not visible, because they have not yet been separated from one another, unfolded, and developed, but they are there in potency. Or it is like a living ovum in which are contained all the members and organs of a human body, all the faculties of a human mind, and a living soul, though not as separate things, because the distinctions have not yet been made, and the functions have not yet been specialized. Yet its growth into the adult man and angel may be described as simply making distinct and active in specific ways the infinitude of potencies in the seemingly simple ovum.


     It could well be said that an ovum or primitive man is represented in the first verse of Genesis, with its three primary planes or spheres: the Divine presence giving life; the intermediate receiving, tempering and carrying down that life; the ultimate reactively reciprocating. Out of that primitive ultimate grows the whole body, with all its least parts; out of the primitive intermediate grows the whole complicated mental structure within, upon, and by means of the body; while life itself from the Divine continues universally active in both.

     The same is the case with the Word, which, too, has grown from its seed. In its initiament were the three primary planes: the Divine Spirit; a truth perceived in a human mind; and a spoken word that was afterwards reduced to writing. From the primitive ultimate has grown the whole letter, which is the body of the Word and the foundation of truth. From the primitive intermediate, and along with the ultimate letter, has developed the entire plane or sphere of ideas, perceptions and knowledges of truth in human and angelic minds,-the sense of the Word, greatly variegated according to states of illustration. Inmostly the Divine Sphere had operated from the beginning to form the Word ever more completely into an image of Itself, that is, into a man.

     Since the externals and intermediates of the Word are derived entirely from men and their states, or from the church and its states (therefore being called a "cloud" and a "dark cloud"), the condition of men and the church constantly appears. Or, to follow out the thought presented before, the externals and intermediates of the Word, as they progress from their first seed to their maturity, grow into a human form like that of another man, filled with most external sensuous knowledges, facts and fallacies; having some remains of infantile innocence and peace, opposed by many and strong cupidities. There is a large store of truths, natural, moral, and spiritual, and thence conscience, obedience, disobedience, doubt, temptation, despair, prayer, victory, thanksgiving, and every other kind of thought and affection. There is imagination in parable and allegory, and experience of the spiritual world in vision. And so, when the Lord speaks to us in the sense of the letter, He speaks to us as man to man, from a knowledge of our own states and weaknesses, and in terms of our own understanding.


It is with the Word as it was with .the human that the Lord took from the virgin, into which was gathered all the evil heredity of the race, and by which He spoke with men as one of themselves, and from a knowledge of their own states.

     A man is not called a man from his body, its figure and organization, but because the body is the habitation of a mind with human faculties of thought and affection, love and wisdom, freedom and rationality. Neither is the Word called a man from the letter,-its figure, style, and outward organization,-but from the human things that are within. The human body and the letter of the Word can be called "man" and "human" only derivatively, because they are the perfect forms for expressing those qualities which are human. The qualities that are human-that make a man-are freedom and rationality, love and wisdom, and the eternal goods and truths of heaven which he lays hold of and makes his own. It is heavenly truth that makes him wise and rational; it is the love and delight of heavenly things that set him free, and kindle a flame in his heart that will endure unto everlasting life. And these are the more human things of the Word,-truths of wisdom and rational intelligence, the good of love and of use, wholly free and active as of itself, for the most part deeply hidden within the letter, but now made abundantly manifest in the Writings. In the Revelation given for the New Church, the essential humanity of the Word appears. There it comes forth, and speaks to the spiritual mind in terms comprehensible to reasoning thought, that all who hear may heed, and be made more truly men.

     But neither are these more interior things, in and of themselves, to be called "man." They are a man solely by virtue of being recipients of the Divine of the Lord, who is the One Only True Man. In this function of being a recipient, the Word is a most perfect man, for from its beginning in its seed it contains the universal truth,-"God created the heavens and the earth." And as that seed grows, the idea of God grows, and is diversified and elaborated with many particulars, until it fills the whole Word in its three Covenants. It not only forms and sets forth the idea of God, but it is the idea of God, according to which every man finds his final abode.


Thus it is a more perfect man, a more perfect recipient of the Divine Love, than any angel, or than the whole of heaven; it is the pattern according to which heaven is being formed. For we read in the Heavenly Doctrine: "The Word is presented before the Lord as the image of a man, in which and by which heaven is represented in its whole complex, not as it is, but as the Lord wishes it to be, namely, an image of Him." (A. C. 1871.)


     It might be well now to remind ourselves that by the Word is meant all revelation of the Divine, and, that any interior truth applies equally to every revelation; as, that "The Word is like a body in which is a living soul." (A. C. 1408.) This applies to Divine Revelation in all three of its written forms,- the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Writings. In each there is inmostly the Divine as a soul going forth and creating an external form and covering for itself. Each has an ultimate or body which is its letter, consisting of words arranged in an appropriate order; and this, taken by itself, is natural, earthly, and lifeless. And each has its intermediate or plane of ideas which is the sense of the letter.

     The Letter and its sense are the external form and figure of the Word, which bring down the qualities of the inmost Divine Soul into the natural states of men, and terminate them in what is corporeal, sensuous, moral, and rational. All these things are in the letter of the Word, and are its sense in all Revelation, though not equally apparent. The obvious sense, which is drawn proximately from the words, is the Sense of the Letter strictly, and is sometimes corporeal, sometimes moral, sometimes rational. Yet within this proximate sense there are always other senses so intimately bound up with it as to be inseparable from it, and called interior, spiritual, celestial, inmost, supreme, and Divine; and these also are the Sense of the Letter, for they are contained in the letter, and express themselves by it. In fact, they cannot at all be expressed to any human comprehension except in a letter. Hence, broadly, the Sense of the Letter means all the sense that is in the letter, whether apparent or arcane.

     It is the same as it is with a man. His body consists of earthly things, arranged suitably to be the dwelling place of the soul.


Contained in this body are innumerable interior things, natural, sensuous, moral, and rational, all so intimately related to the body that they cannot be expressed, or cannot exist, except in states and motions of the body; while, conversely, the states of the body express innumerable interior things, which we understand according to our intelligence. A ruddy flush on the cheek may be read in its proximate sense as showing that the nerves have opened the capillaries of the skin so that the blood has rushed to that region with unusual activity. Who, however, but a physiologist will interpret it so literally? Do we not, rather, understand immediately an affection or passion of anger or of love, as the case may be? And then, if we can, we perceive an affection of good or of truth in vigorous activity within. It might spring from loyalty to a spiritual doctrine, or it might be an incipient state of the heavenly conjugial, and yet all this is the sense expressed and read in the state of the body.

     So with the letter of Revelation. Who but a scientific critic, or one whose understanding has been closed, will understand the letter only in its proximate sense? Will not men rather see in the letter more interior senses and more vital truths and goods, according to the opening of the sight of the understanding?

     In a natural way a man's intelligence is measured by his ability to see and comprehend the interiors of his fellow men, and to appropriate them to his own ends and uses. In a spiritual way, or in the sight of heaven, a man's intelligence is measured by his ability to see, appropriate, and use the interior things of the Word, and this because the Word also is a man.

     The Word is not a man by virtue of the letter, or even by virtue of the sense of the letter, so far as that sense is natural. It is a man by virtue of the spiritual and celestial things that are within, which sometimes are seen manifestly in the letter, but interiorly are universally present. These are celestial and spiritual truths,-truths concerning heaven and the church, and concerning the regeneration of man, truths concerning the Lord, redemption by Him, and the glorification of His Human. These things make the Word to be a man, for these are things receiving and transmitting the light of the Sun of heaven, which is infinite Divine Truth. This is why, in the vision of Ezekiel, we first read of a cloud, and of a fire with a brightness round about, and then that "out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures; and this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man." (Ezekiel 1:5.)


These creatures, we are told, represent celestial and spiritual things in the exterior sphere of the Word, which are conjoined there, and are called a man. In fact, the conjunction of spiritual and celestial things in the natural is the condition of life that is properly to be called "man." Wherefore, we read in N. J. H. D. 246: "Truths conjoined from good present the image of a man." Truths conjoined from good constitute wisdom; hence, also, a "man" signifies wisdom and intelligence, and even the Word as to wisdom and intelligence. (A. R. 609.)

     The human faculty which makes anything to be a man is the faculty of receiving Divine Truth from the Lord. "When the Divine order is presented in a form, it appears as a man for the Lord, who is the source of it, is the Only Man. And in proportion as angels, spirits, and men have from Him, . . . thus in proportion as they are in Divine Order, in the same proportion they are men." (A. C. 4839:2.)

     This is still more true, or the Divine order is more perfectly presented as a man, in the entire congregate of angels, spirits, and men, which is the Gorand Man. And again, in still greater perfection, the Divine order presents itself in the Word, which thence is a man. It so appears as there is entrance into the interiors of the Word, or ascent into the celestial and spiritual things there, and then above these into the Divine of the Word, which can be viewed by the Lord alone; for it is said that it so appears to Him.

     "In the literal sense of the Word, especially in the propheticals, hardly anything appears but an inordinate something; but when it is read by man, especially by little infant boys and girls, it becomes more beautiful and pleasant by degrees as it ascends, and at last is presented before the Lord as the image of a man, in which and by which heaven in its complex is represented, not as it is, but as the Lord wishes it to be, namely, that it be an image of Him." (A. C. 1871.) Thus the Word is shown to be the most perfect image of the Lord, or the most perfect man. The same conclusion may be drawn from the following quotation from the work on the White Horse: ". . . In this respect the Word is a kind of heaven. The Word in its whole complex is an image of heaven; for the Word is Divine Truth, and Divine Truth makes heaven, and heaven is like one man; and, therefore, in this respect the Word is, as it were, an image of man." (W. H. 11)


Here, too, we are shown that the Word is as an ideal human form, into whose image heaven and every angel is made.

     As a comparison, we may imagine a wondrous concept of living and expressive beauty in the eye of the sculptor, who, as he chisels the stone, is ever seeking to shape it into a form of just such beauty and life. Yet with all his skill the vision is more perfect and living than the stone, and the stone must always be cold and dead, even though it almost appears to live. Such are the human imperfections of men, compared with the Human perfection of the Word. For a man, in and of himself, is indeed spiritually dead, and he is brought into a state of life only as something of Revelation is adjoined to him by the Lord, in such a way as to seem to be his own.

     This leads us to see that it is very inadequate to compare the Word with man such as he is on earth, or even as he is in heaven. Such a comparison is one of outward appearances. In externals, indeed, the Word appears as an earthly man, with all his passions and fallacies, but in internals the Word is altogether different. Such perfection of form and order as is ascribed to the Word, and lifts it not only into heaven but above heaven, belongs only to the Lord in His Divine Human; and therefore it is with Him that the Word is really to be compared. And so, in many places, the Writings tell us that the Word, even in its externals, is the Lord: "It is from Him, and is Himself." And, according to the same principle, the Writings declare themselves to be the Lord in His Second Advent.


     It is well known that, in general, the Old Testament was a prophecy of the Advent of the Lord, for He so instructed the Disciples; but the irruption of falsities imposed many obscurities and limitations upon this knowledge. But now, from the Writings, we can see clearly that the whole Hebrew Word, from beginning to end, and in every jot and tittle, was a prophetic description, by representations, of the Lord's advent and glorification.

     This means, and should be so understood, that the Lord made a representative advent in ancient revelation, before He made His advent in the flesh.


And by this representative advent He put on a representative human in which He was seen and known by men. This was not His Own Human, but a representative of it borrowed from angels, spirits, and men. Consequently, all the Ancient Churches were representative Churches, and are said to have worshiped an invisible God; as we read in the True Christian Religion: "God's Divine Love had no other end, when He created the world, than to conjoin man with Himself, and Himself with man, and so to dwell with man. That the former Churches were not in the truth, is because the Most Ancient Church, which was before the Flood, worshiped an invisible God, with whom no conjunction is possible. The Ancient Church, which was after the Flood, likewise. The Israelitish Church worshiped Jehovah, who in Himself is the invisible God, but under a human form, which Jehovah God took on through an angel, in which He was seen by Moses, Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Gideon, Joshua, and some of the prophets; which human form was representative of the Lord to come; and because it was a representative, each and every thing of those churches was made representative." (T. C. R. 786.) Yet, on account of this representative human, the ancients always thought of the Divine as in a human form: ". . . . The Ancient Church had this from the Most Ancient; and also from this, that Jehovah was seen by them in a human form. Wherefore, when they thought about Jehovah, they did not think as of a universal Ens, of which they had no idea, but as of a Human Divine, into which they could determine their thought. . . . That in ancient times they adored Jehovah under a Human Divine, is very manifest from the angels seen by Abraham in human form, also afterwards by Lot, and by Joshua, Gideon, and Manoah, which angels were called Jehovah, and were adored as the God of the universe." (A. C. 6876.)

     The Human Divine is not the Divine Human, but is a finite representative of it, taken on by the Divine for purposes of finite manifestation, but taken from angels and men. Angels, we are told, when serving the Divine purpose thus, were so filled with the Divine Presence that they knew no otherwise than that they were Jehovah Himself, and all that they said was the Word of the Lord. Likewise with the Prophets While they were writing or speaking from the Divine afflatus, they said, "Thus saith the Lord," for the prophet was then the Divine Human.


These appearances were occasional and temporary; nevertheless they were the instrumentalities through which the Divine of the Lord gradually gathered about Itself human words and ideas in documentary form as a definite, concrete, and Permanent representation of Itself,-a written embodiment of the Divine Spirit, which was also the Human Divine.

     Such was the Ancient Word to the Silver Age. Such was the Torah to early Israel, and the Histories, Prophecies and Psalms to the later period. In the vision of Ezekiel, it is this, the external sphere of the Word, that is called the "likeness of a man." Specifically, it was the likenesses of the Human which the Lord would take on in the world by the incarnation, and it was nothing else than a prophetic representation of that Human, and of the works of redemption and glorification to be wrought in it. Like that Human, it was conceived of the Lord alone, and born of the human race. It was conceived by the descent of the Divine Spirit into the interiors of the men of the church, overshadowing them with its power, so that they no longer cared for any earthly concerns, but labored only to bring forth the Word of the Lord. But it was born of man, for the generating Divine took to Itself a body from men,-the Letter and the Sense of the Letter. And thus all the heritage of the church, all the fallacy and falsity, all the evil and idolatry, were collected into the body of this Human Divine, and as well what remains of good there were,-the analogue of the hereditary good in the Infant born at Bethlehem.

     By the incarnation, the Power of the Highest took upon Itself another kind of human ultimate, one in which the Divine Human foreseen and foretold from the beginning could be assumed actually by the accomplishment of all things according to the pattern that had represented it; or, as it is often said, He did a thing "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet." By the Lord's action and experience in this human, He drew into Himself, or put on, the entire representative Human, and united it with His inmost Divine, making it also Divine Human. Hence the Word, now, even as to the letter, is the Lord Himself; it is no longer a remote representation of Him, but the very embodiment of Him. "It is from Him, and is Himself." Instead of being sensuous, corporeal, moral, spiritual, and celestial, as the heavens and the church are, It is Divine Celestial, Divine Spiritual, Divine Rational and Natural, Divine Sensuous and Corporeal-more ultimate than any angel or spirit, more perfect than the whole of heaven, the Type or Pattern according to which the Divine Love wills to make every man a man, and heaven a Gorand Man.



     A further thought to be suggested very briefly,-that because of the relation just described, and by means of it, the Lord has made His Second Advent; that it is by opening the internal sense of the Word, and thus revealing Himself therein. It would seem that the Divine Human could not, at this day, be revealed in any other way or embodiment.

     We read in many places that the Lord will come "in the clouds of heaven." (Matt. 24:30, 28:64; Mark 24:62; Luke 21:27; Rev. 1:7, 14:14; Daniel 7:13; also Matt. 17:5; Luke 9:34, 35.) But hitherto no one has known what is meant by the "clouds of heaven." They have believed that He is to appear in them in Person. But that by the "clouds of heaven" the Word in the sense of the letter is meant, and by the "glory" and "power" in which also He is then to come, the spiritual sense of the Word is meant, has hitherto been concealed, because hitherto no one, even by conjecture, has reached the conclusion that there is a spiritual sense in the Word such as this sense is in itself. "Now, because the Lord has opened to me the spiritual sense of the Word, and it has been granted me to be with angels and spirits in the spiritual world as one of them, it has been disclosed that by the clouds of heaven is meant the Word in the natural sense, and by the power the Lord's power through the Word." (T. C. R. 776.)

     The Word is the Lord. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." (John 1:1, 14.) And the Word is Divine Truth, because, for a Christian Church, Divine Truth is to be had from no other source than the Word and its sense. This is the fountain from which all the churches named from Christ draw living waters, each in its own capacity and according to its own doctrine, though a church in which the sense of the Word is natural is in a cloud, while one in which is the spiritual and celestial sense is in glory and power. (T. C. R. 777.)


     It has been shown how the Word is a Man, even in its external sphere. And that this Human form, especially prepared by the Divine of the Lord before the incarnation, was taken on in the incarnation and united to the inmost Divine, being resurrected from the death which it had suffered at the hands of the Jews, and being made "sevenfold" more glorious and living than before; so that from being a Human representative of the Divine of the Lord, it is now altogether one with the Glorified Human.

     This is why, in His Second Coming, the Lord appears in the Word, and is to be found there, and nowhere else, by all who seek Him. "He is not to appear in Person, because since He ascended into heaven He is in the glorified Human, and in this He cannot appear to any man unless He first open the eyes of his spirit, and this cannot be done with anyone who is in evils and thence in falsities." But the Divine Human is seen rationally by those whose eyes are opened to see Him in the Word, "to see visions of God." "It is therefore vain to believe that the Lord will appear in a cloud of heaven in Person. But He will appear in the Word, which is from Him and thus is Himself." (T. C. R. 777.)

     Since the Lord cannot manifest Himself in Person, and nevertheless has come to found a New Church which is the New Jerusalem, it follows that He must do this by disclosing the spiritual sense of His Word, in which the Divine Truth is in its light, and in this light He is continually present. In this sense are the celestial and spiritual things represented by the four animals whose likeness was that of a man; for only by these celestial and spiritual things can the Lord be seen in His Divine Human. His presence in the Word comes forth only by the spiritual sense, and through the light of this He passes into the shade in which is the sense of the letter, as it is with the light of the sun in the daytime passing through a cloud that is interposed. (T. C. R. 719, 780.)



GOD THE CREATOR       Rev. W. L. GLADISH       1928

     "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1).

     It is important that the New Churchman have a clear idea of God the Creator, lest his mind be corrupted and debauched by the insane notion, prevalent in the learned world, that nature created herself. For he is taught on every page of the Writings that all man's love, all his wisdom, all his life, continually inflow from the Lord, Who alone has Life, Love, Wisdom in Himself as His own. Man, of himself, is wholly without life, is merely a form to receive life, to be animated by Him Who is Life Itself. Conjoined with God by faith and love, he comes into the Divine image and likeness, enters into the joy of his Lord, lives in God and God in him. If separated from God by supreme love of himself, he still exists, indeed, but turns the inflowing life into death, God's wisdom into insanity, His love into hatred.

     But bow can a man really in heart continue to believe this central truth of religion, which carries with it the possibility of a happiness greater than that of the Golden Age? How can he believe that God is his All-in-all, in Whom he lives and moves and has his being, and yet think, according to modern science, that Nature labored blindly through millions of years to bring the earth to its present state, and that external things,-chance, accident, and environment,-are responsible for the final form which plants and animals and the earth itself have taken?

     At the heart of all this sane thought of creation must be the idea of God the Creator as a Divine Man, Who had a supreme end in view, namely, a heaven of angels from the human race, of beings who could receive His Love and His Wisdom freely and rationally, and so could love Him and be conjoined with Him, beings whom He could as it were draw up into His bosom, and to whom He could impart all manner of delights and blessings.


     But how shall God be thought of as a man,-a man of a certain size and cast of countenance, going about from place to place and creating as a common, finite man would, or by fiat speaking something into existence out of nothing? No; God is infinite and eternal, without beginning or end. Therefore, He has in Himself no finite limits of any kind whatever. Yet He is Man, and indeed the only Man, because He has in Himself as His own that which, when received from Him, makes us men, namely, love and wisdom. Man has the ability to think, to reason, to understand, to be wise, and to love others and rejoice in their happiness. These are the human qualities; these are what make man. These God has, and therefore He is Man; has them infinitely, and therefore is infinite Man, Divine Man.

     Whence does God derive substance out of which to make suns and worlds and all things upon them? Not out of nothing, for from nothing comes, but from His own substance, derived from Himself. For God is substance itself and form itself, because He is the origin of all created substance and form. This, many wise men have seen, but have been afraid to say, lest they seem to make nature Divine and a part of God. But we are saved from that fear by the revelation of how God provided substance from His own substance, yet withdrew the life from it, so that it had no life in it as its own. Thus He provided from Himself-the only Source from whence all things must come-substances outside of Himself, as it were, from which He could mould forms to be animated by life from Him.

     The angelic idea of creation by God is derived from the sphere about every man. There is about every man a sphere of substances put off from himself, of substances that were once a part of himself. This sphere flows forth from all his parts and organs, and is both in him and around him. This sphere is moved by his heart beats and his breathing; it carries forth the activities of his thoughts, so that they are imparted to the finer atmospheres and carried to others. A man is known to others by this sphere, which is a likeness of him outside of himself. But this sphere is not the man; it is no organic part of him; it consists of substances thrown off from his body, from which his life had been withdrawn, yet fit to respond to the activities of his life, because they have once been an organic part of him.


     So with the Lord God. The sphere is around every man-yes, around every plant and shrub and animal, and even about the inanimate things of the mineral kingdom-because there is such a sphere constantly going forth from God. (D. L. W. 291, 282.) This sphere from the Lord forms the sun of the spiritual world, the first created substantial, from which all created things are formed.

     This sun-the sun of the spiritual world, radiant from immediate contact with the infinite, uncreate Divine, yet in itself not Divine, but finite and created, no longer an organic part of God,-this becomes the center from which creation descends by discrete degrees, becoming in its descent ever more inert and dead until, in the earths, it ends in matters wholly inert, devoid of motion, angular in shape-in a word, the materials of the mineral kingdom.

     This sun is called "living"; its substance is the Divine Love, its form the Divine Wisdom; its activities are not merely mechanical, but are living and human. From this sun there go forth radiant zones, and finally, by compoundings, the atmospheres, substances and forms of the spiritual world. These substances are all called "living," because they are able to respond to the activities of mind, of love and wisdom, of will and understanding. But of these same substances God is able to form matters that are not living, matters whose activity is merely mechanical, and therefore dead. Such are the suns of this world, whose activity, instead of pure love, is pure fire.

     The change from living substance to dead matter is brought about at the surface of each sun of the natural world, by the active forces of the sun and the passive forces of the encompassing atmosphere. Between these two forces, as of hammer on anvil, the substances of the living atmosphere are crushed together, so that they can no longer be moved by life from within, but only by forces outside and around them. This provides matter,-the beginning of nature,-even as the sun of the spiritual world provided living substances for the forms and activities of that world.

     These matters of the natural sun, while dead, are not inert, but are in most intense and active motion. They are called "dead," because their action is purely mechanical; in it there is nothing of love, nothing of wisdom.


Out of this matter, by further compoundings and conglobations, the original chaos is formed, which at first surrounds the sun, and at length is thrown off and formed into planets and satellites.

     Now we have two suns,-a sun of the spiritual world, which is living, and a sun of the natural world, which is dead. The living sun is active, the dead sun only reactive or passive. From each sun proceed atmospheres and earths, until their activities finally cease in substances and matters at rest; and of these substances and matters all created forms are composed. The difference between the two worlds is, that the substances of the spiritual world are interiorly active, and respond immediately to the activities of the mind, of love and wisdom; while the matters of the natural world respond only to the dead mechanical forces of this world. The spiritual world is the soul, the natural the body; the spiritual, the world of causes; the natural, the world of effects.

     But it must ever be remembered that, in relation to God Himself, all creation is dead. It has no life in itself as its own. Apart from Him it would perish like a soap bubble. All created things must be continually sustained by Him Who created them. He alone is life; all created things must be moved by the currents of His life. All creation is from the Divine and in the Divine. He not only sustains it by life inflowing from above, or within, thus through the spiritual sun, but also by immediate influx into each degree of both worlds. And He also supports it from below, or without, or around about; for He is the Last as well as the First, the End as well as the Beginning. (A. C. 7004) He holds in being that which He has created, and moves it at His good pleasure. There is in it no life but His life, no power but His power. Thus does the Divine provide for Himself substances and matters as the material for creation.

     And now in the ultimates, where all things are in fulness, He creates forms of life,-that is, the forms of the vegetable kingdom,-out of the dead matters of the mineral kingdom, and through these He creates the sensitive forms of the animal kingdom. Thus all nature is clothed with beauty and with life. Universal spring reigns, and everywhere are flowers and living creatures; the waters are full of fish, and the air of birds. And all these are expressions of the infinite things which are in God.


For the only powers and forces in nature are the forms of the activities of His Love and Wisdom; and all nature is most plastic to the activities of His will.

     Yet creation is incomplete,-a vast wilderness in which no man lives. The spiritual world is wholly unoccupied. There is no being to whom God can reveal Himself, none capable of knowing God, of believing in Him and loving Him, and so of being conjoined to Him by faith and love.

     So God creates man in His own image, after His likeness, and gathers into him all the planes of creation, spiritual as well as natural, so that his soul is in immediate contact with God Himself; he is made a little world or microcosm, epitomizing all things of the macrocosm.

     And to man, as His crowning gift, He gives freewill and rationality, the ability to choose for himself what he shall love and what he shall call true. For this is the image and likeness of God, Who loves and is wise in and from Himself, and not from another.

     To the first man God revealed Himself in form adapted to his comprehension, and taught him. It could not but be so, for this was the end in view in creation, both in the whole and in all its parts. Nor could the first men, in their successive generations, do other than love the Lord. He was their whole life; they knew no other; nor did they desire any proprium or sense of self-ownership. There was as yet nothing to prevent the full reception of His inflowing life, so far as their faculties were opened. Nor was there anything to separate His wisdom from His love in them. Love and wisdom from Him flowed into them as one, and turned them to Him from whom they came, so that they lacked nothing of wisdom. So far as love or desire awoke, so far also had they wisdom adequate to all the uses of life.

     And now the heavens began to be peopled with angels from the human race. And the created universe, which went forth from God, was bound back to God through man. Man, living in the ultimates of creation, yet conjoined to God by love and faith, was the means by which the created universe was bound back to God.

     The universe began to be infilled with a new soul, or rather a mind, formed by the reception of the Divine Love and Wisdom by finite beings, primarily by the reception of the Lord God in the celestial heavens.


This, in the Writings, is called the "Divine Human," sometimes the "Divine Human from eternity," which is one with the Divine Word or the Divine Proceeding. It is the Divine Truth, which is from God, and is God, as it is received by angels and men. This is the Spirit of God, which organizes the heavens in His image and likeness. And so, passing through the heavens, there is as it were a Divine Man reproduced, which is the Divine Human.

     If man had remained in his integrity, this would have been sufficient. As human life developed, an idea of God as Man would have been presented in ever-increasing perfection, and so the infinite God would have dwelt in His creation in ever greater fulness. But when man turned from God to self, and from heaven to the world; when he closed the upper door, and lived only in the mists and shadows of the senses, when he lost all love of God and all belief in God; then this bond binding creation back to the Creator was broken, and unless it could be restored, all creation was threatened with destruction.

     Then the Lord God Himself came into His creation. He bowed the heavens, and came down for our salvation. He, the Infinite and Eternal, the Word which was with God and was God, by influx through the heavens clothed Himself with all degrees of angelic life, and by conception in the womb of a virgin mother, and by birth of her, clothed Himself with all degrees of the life of man in the world. Having no human father, His inmost Soul was God Himself.

     He lived in the world as a man, opening the senses of His body and developing His mind, even as another man would do, only more fully and more perfectly, because the Divine dwelt in Him without finite limit.

     Hereditary life from the mother woke in Him, with its love of self and the world, so that He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. For in every case He acted not until He was able to see through the clouds of appearances to the genuine truth. Then He rejected the lusts of the body for the love which came from the Father within.

     Thus He glorified the natural degree of life,-the life of man in the world,-with the glory which He had with the Father before the world was. He made His assumed Human Divine, and united it with the Divine from eternity, so that they were one.


Thus in Himself He restored the bond broken by man's fall, restored it in full Divine power, so that He lives in lasts as in firsts, the Lord God omnipotent.

     Creation was not complete and fully finished till this was done. Now God lives in His creation, and creation lives in Him, beyond the power of hell to spoil. He is in the world, not in an image and likeness, in the measure determined by angelic reception of Him merely, but fully and Divinely, in His own Divine Human, which has no finite limits, but is altogether one with the Divine from which it came.

     The infinite Divine indeed transcends the finite creation; it is both above it and below it, within it and around it; yet through the Divine Human the Divine dwells in its own unclothed glory in the world. The veils have been removed, and we can see the very glory of God Himself, so far as our eyes are opened.

     This God, even our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in the beginning created the heavens and the earth; and, when they were threatened with destruction as the result of man's fall, Himself came into the world which He had made, and redeemed it, and drew it back into His own bosom, beyond the power of man or of devil ever to snatch away. Amen.

     Lessons: Genesis 1. John 1:1-18. H. H. 137-140.

CHURCH AND RELIGION              1928

     "We speak of the truth, of the church and the good of religion, because the church is one thing and religion another. The church is called the church from doctrine, and religion is called religion from a life according to doctrine. Everything of doctrine is called truth; and its good is also truth, because it only teaches good; but everything of a life according to those things which doctrine teaches is called good; also, to do the truths of doctrine is good. This is the distinction between the church and religion. But still, where there is doctrine, and not life, there it cannot be said that there is either the church or religion; because doctrine regards life as one with itself, just like truth and good, faith and charity, wisdom and love, and like the understanding and the will. And therefore, where there is doctrine, and not life, there is no church." (Apocalypse Revealed 923.)




     The question as to why and in what degree I am a "Swedenborgian" is primarily, of course, my own business, and its answer vastly more important to myself than to anybody else. It occurs, however, with regular frequency in the course of varied contacts with those to whom Swedenborg is a name vaguely familiar as an incident to the stock-in-trade of the well-informed mind, but who know little or nothing of the organized existence of the New Church or of its doctrinal system. As it comes from such sources, the question involves some obscurely complimentary connotations. Why, it implies, is this apparently educated and reasonably well-informed person an avowed believer in a sectarian theology and a member of an obscure and probably freakish church communion?

     The question is embarrassing by its difficulty, even when asked in sincerity rather than curiosity, because the answer cannot be brief. There are obvious answers that will not serve. To refer the questioner to the Writings may be sound ethics, but is not likely to be sound psychology, since he will in all probability not go there without better inducement than my own recommendation. To quote the good example of leading thinkers and public figures carries little weight with the modern individualist, and also tends to overvalue the actual importance of their allegiance to or interest in the Doctrines. The text of literal Scripture carries small authority to the modern and slightly cynical disputant who is definitely outside of the walls of the Old Church creeds. The question must be answered in colloquial terms, if the answer is to arouse favorable interest and further curiosity. It must give plausible explanation to the anomalies involved in the interrogation; the phenomenon of a modern mind acceding to the ancient habit of faith, the reasonable reconciliation of established science and theological dogma, and the distinction of Swedenborgianism from discredited doctrines and practice.


     A careful answer may perhaps arouse respect for the doctrines of the New Church, and on occasion stimulate an affirmative curiosity. This is about as far as private and personal "missionary work" can go. Its fruits, if any, are a matter beyond the province and even beyond the speculation of the individual New Church apologist. He is under a spiritual obligation to answer the question as best he may, but the consequences must be left to better hands.


     The question as to why I am a Swedenborgian, however unimportant to the unbelieving world, is my own familiar companion. There is no casual answer. Birth and education and a predisposition born of several generations of ancestry are principally accidents to the matter, accidents which create circumstances under which the problem becomes acute. The fact that I was born and raised a Swedenborgian merely sharpens for me the ultimate necessity of determining whether I am to remain one.

     If Swedenborgianism were a conventional type of religious persuasion, there would be no serious problem, certainly no daily problem. I should either be inevitably committed to it by native obstinacy or molded to it by parental and priestly authority, or I should be out of it by the normal process of revolt. In either case I should not be much concerned about it. Nor would there be serious difficulty if I might accept the emasculated "religions" of social service and moral uplift which have lately risen on the ashes of old creeds. Either of these alternatives involves the segregation of religion in an isolated section of the mind, where it is supposed to have little or nothing to do with other cerebral activities. But Swedenborgianism takes in the entire territory. It not only embraces a theological system and a canon of law, but also contemplates with a catholic interest the wide world of human thought, the abstractions of philosophy, the stern realities of pure science, the laws shadowed in human history, and the delicate speculations of metaphysics. Neither cosmology nor chemistry, nor anatomy nor biology, are outside of its regard. It imposes no fenced finality of legitimate inquiry; there are no forbidden lands, no Index Expurgatorius of hazardous matters that must be ignored since they cannot be safely considered.


It is, in fact, a system of thought and life whose final authority to the individual depends upon its ability to satisfy not only the needs of faith but also the demands of reason and the necessities of experience. Its doctrines are a challenge to the rational mind, and their scope and power are adequate to the needs of the full stature of intelligent humanity.

     The question as to why I am a Swedenborgian is therefore not only a logical but a recurrent apparition, and one that will not down. It refuses to leave me long in peace, and probably never will during the changes and chances of terrestrial existence, so long, at least, as I preserve the unfortunate habit of listening to what other people, other philosophies, and other evidence have to say. The question is in fact sufficiently vital to be one of the answers to itself, for a religion which is an issue in every mental experience is far from being dead load in the burden of individual life. It is not a stone to be pushed daily and laboriously back to a precarious hilltop; it is not a cross to be borne; it is not a dead monument from the past, exacting painful toll for maintenance and repairs. It is a live companion, and it breathes of its vitality into much that might otherwise be dry bones of discussion and debate.


     The cataclysm of modernity, which had its birthday in the eighteenth century, split Christianity into a hundred sects, and disintegrated its kingdoms and royalties. Prior to that shock, the classic and monumental religious systems were founded principally on an ungodly trinity of human weaknesses. First of these was simple faith, which has been more unkindly labeled as superstitious credulity; second, was an appalling obstinacy and pigheadedness, with cruel intolerance to match; third, was a mass unanimity in trivial doctrines which permitted a complete business organization. With these, by favor of modern chaos, I have little to do. One characteristic, however, I share with medieval monk and early martyr; with Greek and Hebrew; with the Druid and the worshiper at Karnak. I must believe in something. "We are born believing," said Emerson. "A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples." Pure skepticism is not possible to the human mind; the phrase is a contradiction in terms. Human nature abhors a vacuum of conviction; and the attempt to achieve the ideal independence of perception, prejudice and point of view, approximates not to a scientific clarity of vision but to a lifeless and blank inanity.


Such a reward is certainly not worthy of the effort it demands, and is never impressive, as Bacon showed in his classic essay on Atheism, and as modern disputants, such as Aldous Huxley and his ilk, display in every line they write. The necessity to believe links the racial history, and the modern world does not escape it, either by dictum and manifesto or by way of the test-tube and microscope.

     So Swedenborgianism, like all creeds and most codes, begins with the belief in God. God is not a demonstrable fact, except to myself. I cannot convey one iota of my conviction of His reality; my arguments are effective only so far as they find an echo in perception or personal experience. If you throw the burden of proof upon me, I throw up the argument. Yet this much is demonstrable, that in every human mind whose fabric has not been forcibly twisted to justify an appetite or a weakness, there is a profound disposition to believe in a supreme law and order and purpose. You may label this as you please,-as a deification of the fear of nature, as an inheritance from countless generations of God-worshippers, as self-glorification by the creation of omnipotence in the image of man,-but it remains a fact. Moreover, it is a fact through recorded history and back into shadowy legend, and even to the undiscovered territory where speculation may take undisputed liberties. This for me is an argument rooted in human evidence; and when a formula is offered to explain it away, I am suspicious chiefly of the formula. God made us, and left His ineradicable mark upon His handiwork. This is a simple fact; it is not much disturbed by complex metaphysics.


     The second essential of religious faith, and the crux of the difficulty between systematic theology and skepticism, concerns the nature of God. It is inconceivable to many that God should concern Himself with me and mine, with the ant inhabitants of this and countless worlds, with personal conscience and joy and anguish. I confess the difficulty, and its importance is overwhelming. Creeds are based on supposed revelations of Divine will; codes of spiritual and moral behavior presuppose a personal responsibility to a God who is personally interested.


Without a Divine purpose, comprehensible to man and revealed to him, religion is a farce and a puppet-show. Yet the sense of proportion shrinks a little from making of God little more than a kindly or meddlesome next-door neighbor. Part of this distaste for the doctrine of a personal God arises out of prejudice, a prejudice grown from centuries of Nonconformist arrogance of personal acquaintance with the Deity. The babble of the revival and the experience meeting, the exaltation of mild hysteria into monumental spiritual experience, the prayers and boastings and cant phrases of maudlin minds obsessed by an unfamiliar emotion, have soured the stomach of the thinking world. Modern sects have done no better than their barbaric ancestors in fashioning a God in their own image, and the results are sufficiently unimpressive and unappetizing to make it difficult to restore to the theme its due dignity.

     Swedenborgianism postulates a God of infinite love and wisdom,-attributes not bestowed with a patronizing concession of the kinship of God and man, but acknowledged as infinite realities of which human love and wisdom are distant and fragmentary echoes. Of love we know that it demands satisfaction in a reception outside of itself, and a return which is free and personal. Such love as an attribute of God is the occasion in Swedenborgian Philosophy for the creation of the universe, by a sequence of causes that are infinite wisdom and the source of order and law, to a final end in the apparently independent and self-sufficient human being. Freedom of thought and will, in this final evolution of the creative purpose, permit the completion of the cycle from God to man and from man to God.

     This is the skeleton outline of a system that satisfies the fundamental need for a starting point. Broad as it is, it has no place for fiat creation, predestination, instantaneous salvation, infant damnation, and other raucous particularities. But this, I submit, is no great loss. It has, of course, infinite difficulties and details, which is as it should be, for any system that explains infinity in a sentence arouses my suspicions of infinity. It clarifies but does not simplify the approach to God, which has by Protestantism been too much simplified. Neither omnipotence, omnipresence, nor eternity can be predicated of a God who can be "found" and delineated in the emotional moment of a revival meeting, and many of the elect rest too easily and familiarly in the bosom of their Creator for me to trust their judgment or envy their confidence.


It is true that a child may comprehend that there is one God who has created the race of men to love Him, yet all that scholar and philosopher can learn may not exhaust the theme.

     Granted a purpose in creation, God will make His will known. This is the substantial necessity that has given authority to numerous pretensions to revelation. Swedenborgianism assumes a further essential,-that revelation is designed to the time and race it is to serve. This is not a justification for numerous occasional pronouncements; it concerns only those universal conditions of the human race which transpire out of centuries of slow change and reach an intolerable climax of ignorance or sin. Neither is the message confined to a chosen people with exclusive patent on the saving truth, even though the instrumentality may be local and even personal. Under these conditions it is surprising that Swedenborgianism accepts the Scriptural canon, with certain minor exceptions. This obviously cannot be a literal acceptance, including casual creation of the world, sundry magical operations, and the spiritual supremacy of the abysmal and bloody Hebrew of the Testament. It involves an interpretation, a comprehension of conditions, and the purpose of the message and its effective means. The Biblical narrative must be translatable out of its colloquialism if it has eternal importance.

     Such an interpretation is not foreign to our treatment of secular authors and their theme and treatment; it is made difficult in our study of the Scripture principally by the centuries of proprietary literalism that have preceded us. Yet I must consider its possibility and plausibility. The endurance and integrity of the Scriptures, and their history of power over the souls of men, is no accident; and if, through Swedenborg's exegesis, this power is explained, and the Biblical story becomes a continuous, intelligible, and pregnant treatment of spiritual realities, then a prime difficulty of Christianity is on the way to my personal solution.

     Swedenborgianism further claims a new revelation to the modern world in the terms of the modern world, as a logical and inevitable conclusion to human history and Divine purpose.


This revelation is dated at the pivotal point in modern history,-the late eighteenth century. It takes the form of books of doctrine, description, and exegesis, logical in form, dispassionate in tone, and comprehensive in theme. These were written by Emanuel Swedenborg, a learned and honored member of the Swedish House of Nobles, and published by him as his sole contribution to the founding of a church or sect. Swedenborgians accept them as the containant of the truth of God regarding Swedenborg as instrument and interpreter only.

     What is the authority of this system, spread through scores of volumes, touching every interest of humanity, involving a complete philosophy of life and conduct, and yet apparently balanced dangerously on an extraordinary personal claim to Divine appointment? Just this much authority,-that it endures the test that it invites. The Swedenborgian gives you a simple answer, which is no answer at all. The thing is true so far as he comprehends it; when comprehension is inadequate or information incomplete, the thing is still true by virtue of its record. There is, of course and necessity, a point at which faith is born, faith which is "the assurance of things hoped for, the proving of things not seen." The argument becomes more impressive, the evidence more comprehensive, the truth more unmistakable, until it transcends human origin. This is the only Swedenborgian equivalent of "getting religion" or "seeing the light," or any other catch-phrase by which you identify the moment at which human intelligence surrenders to guidance. Such surrender is, by the enduring evidence of experience, fully proper to the habit of human wisdom, and of far greater dignity than the obstinacy of skepticism and the meticulous narrowness of materialism, of "unfaith clamoring to be coined to faith by proof."


     A typical experience in Swedenborgianism concerns life after death. Here, as in regard to the existence of God and His nature, there is a point of faith. Evidence on such matters is entirely subjective; it comes from the individual heart where it is out of reach of ordinary skepticism. It is also beyond proof, and largely indifferent to the crude experiments of scientists and spiritists. Belief in immortality has little bearing on the question as to why I am a Swedenborgian; it might equally serve for initiation to a score of sects and creeds.


But granted the fact of personal immortality, its nature and purpose and provision for it become matters on which I am open to conviction. Swedenborg's narrative presents a case for immortality that is reasonable and attractive, which is more than can be said for the hell-fire-and-damnation, harp-halo-and-hallelujah, of conventional religion. It promises the immortality of that which I know to be my essential self. It offers no rewards for casual merit; it threatens no punishments extrinsic to myself. Heaven is no compensation for the inferiority complex of earth; hell is no ghastly atonement for carelessness or ignorance. Both are the logical outcome and continuance of my personal preference, whether it be for freedom in accordance with law or for an impotent and unsatisfied revolt. Further in exposition of the panorama of eternity there are offered me numerous pictures of life after death. Of these I can only say that to me they are essentially probable and true, and that I know of no better.

     Such pictures of a spiritual world, which are written into the Swedenborgian thesis with an obvious indifference to the shock of their pretensions, are perhaps the accessories of the doctrine. Its prime faith is the unity of God and the Divinity of Christ. Of the first little need be said today, since the triplicated deity of an over-cautious church council has been deposed, but the Divinity of Jesus is touchstone to the Christianity of our times. Arius grows stronger, and his disciples more numerous and more candid in their declaration of Christ's brotherhood with man. On the other hand, fundamentalists pontificate in the thunderous phraseology of dead creeds. Swedenborgianism teaches without qualification the Divinity of Christ, and the personal advent of God into the world, for a purpose in harmony with the nature of God and man.

     There is in this doctrine, of course, a mystery, though little of mystical jargon or obscure metaphysics; a greater mystery than the human mysteries of birth and life and death,-not yet unveiled, but not denied to be realities. Concerning the mystery, its solution for me is no less nor more than my capacity for comprehension. I cannot solve it to finality, since infinity is involved; neither have I yet proved myself superior to its solution nor able to dismiss it as insoluble or a matter of indifference. In this, as in other matters of importance, I find no equal substitute for faith,-faith that since what is known is adequate, what is unknown will not play upon me a jest.



     There are other and lesser reasons why I am a Swedenborgian. I am a Swedenborgian, for instance, because its doctrine not only permits but insists that I be honest with myself. It dismisses all such subterfuges as vicarious atonement, salvation by faith alone, indulgence, deathbed repentance, and the prodigal power of prayer, and hands over to me the responsibility that is the measure of a man. It gives point and purpose to most of the interesting absurdities of life. It puts no ban on intelligent studies, and even invites them, and equips me to meet evolutionist and biologist and psychologist without inviting a rout. It diminishes to proper proportion the crank-handled propaganda of social service, prohibition, and other meddlesome occupations of churches that have lost their real job. It teaches humility in the presence of truth, rather than arrogance in the possession of dogma. It declares a brotherhood of man that is spiritual rather than sentimental.

     The fact that Swedenborgians are few and far between, save in their special communities and families, does not particularly concern me. Magnitude has never guaranteed integrity of morals or doctrines, and the magnificence of Christian churches has principally been measured in terms of magnificent crimes. I do not miss the social distinction of membership in a popular church, with its political advantages, nor do I yearn much after the missionary fervor of orthodox evangelical sects. And I am not appalled by history or geography that dwarf all sects into insignificance. Humanity, with such help as is given it, can and does muddle its way to salvation as to everything else. "An Englishman," said Voltaire, "goes to heaven by the road which pleases him;" But Bacon looked across three centuries to the special crisis of the modern world. "A religion," said he, "that is jealous of the variety of learning, discourse, opinions, and sects, as misdoubting it may shake the foundations, or that cherisheth devotion upon simplicity and ignorance, is adverse to knowledge." Swedenborgian doctrine, by its own testimony, was given to the modern world in the fulness of time for the salvation of the modern man, who has rashly taken all knowledge for his province.


Its power to the individual does not depend upon the drama or magnitude of its claims, nor on their specious appeal to human weaknesses, but alone on their fundamental truth, and their efficacy for human enlightenment, guidance and assurance. As its message is to the individual soul, so is the conviction of its truth and Divine authority.


     In answer, then, to the ironic curiosity of the modernist, I am a Swedenborgian, first of all because of what appears to me a singularly fortunate interposition of Providence, which has equipped me with the special advantage of faith, in a world that cries out for faith. Secondly, because the doctrines of this church preserve entire the religious inheritance of the world, and yet survive the searching scrutiny of the times, which questioning habit I necessarily share as a part and product of the times. Thirdly, because there is daily promise in Swedenborgian doctrine and practice that enlightenment and conviction will be increased-a notable comfort when contrasted with the cumulative doubts and confusion of current secular philosophies. And fourth, because, in last analysis, I can do no other, nor escape the searching intimacy of this doctrine, its revelation of myself, its proffered hope of personal salvation, its condemnation and consolation.

     Therefore, I am not likely to loose hold on it in deference to minor doubts or attacks, nor set up against it the crude idol of a synthetic intellectualism. Nor, considering the evidence, can I justify myself in neglecting its message, its mysteries and its majesty, to pursue the arrogant conceits and artful anaesthesia of the neo-philosophies of the day. For these, by their own boast, are the works of men's hands, but the Truth is given of God alone.



DEATHBED REPENTANCE              1928

     The extract from The Word Explained ("Adversaria") printed below contains an interesting treatment of the subject of last-minute repentance, or of what is known as "deathbed repentance. And the passage closes with the statement concerning Judas (no. 1479), to which occasional reference is made by New Church writers when treating of the fate of Judas after death. As this portion of The Word Explained is not yet available in English, we think it will be useful to put the entire context before our readers; and the Rev. Alfred Acton has kindly placed his translation at our disposal for this purpose.-EDITOR.



     1476. As for you, ye designed evil against me; God designed it unto good, that he might do as at this day, to make a great people alive (vs. 20). These are Divine words, and thus are so full that they cannot be explained, unless we run through such numbers of particulars that they would fill many pages; for they extend to the whole world, and to the whole of heaven, and also of hell.

     1477. First, as concerns man, the figments* of whose heart are evil from the very seed. His thoughts are evil as soon as he begins to think, or to be a man in the genuine sense; for it is his interiors and his thought that make him to be a man. In infancy, such is the power of thinking that he can think nothing except in an evil way, since he thinks nothing but what concerns himself and the world. In themselves, indeed, these thoughts are not evil, when reflection is made from them to God Messiah; for there is nothing in the whole world which does not testify that God Messiah is, and that the Kingdom of God Messiah is to come. All that is beautiful, and all that is pleasing and delightful, signifies a harmonic conjunction, and this can never be possible without conjunction by Divine Love.


All things that are beautiful, pleasing and delightful how from Divine Love, just as ugly, unpleasing and undelightful things, each and all, flow from the devil. So likewise in things spiritual; for these must be the beginnings of things. Without things spiritual, nature is nothing. Thus God Messiah is now disjoined from man, from his very birth, man thinking nothing but what separates him from God; for he worships himself, and adores the world.
     * In the autograph, this and the following passages are emphasized by "N. B." written in the margin at almost every other line.

     1478. So likewise in the present case, with those who are sons of Jacob, and also with those who are sons of Israel. Therefore man must be regenerated; that is to say, he must be reborn, in order that he may be able to enter the heavenly kingdom; and thus, that things worldly and terrestrial may be rejected below and beyond those that are spiritual, and may occupy not a single place above them or below. In other words, the order that has been perverted must be restored; for without the restoration of order, things inferior are in the place of heaven, and things superior in the place of hell; for in the man who is not regenerated, it is the superiors and thus the interiors that foster those loves which are the enemies of love toward God Messiah. When this order is inverted, the loves of the world do indeed remain, but in such way that they are entirely dead in respect to love toward God Messiah. Then they constitute the body, as it were, of all and single things,-a body which lives not in the least from itself, but from the soul, the latter inducing the appearance as though the body itself were living. As long as the loves of self and the world actuate the soul, so long is the man entirely dead; and spiritual things do not then actuate his body. Man is cast into the densest shade in regard to things spiritual and celestial; for if he then wished to form a body, as it were, from things spiritual, and to reject the latter below and beyond his own love, he would never be capable of reformation. Shade, therefore, that is, ignorance, is what is induced by God Messiah, and indeed by means of the devil, in order that it may be possible for man to be reformed and excused. So long, therefore, as man is ruled in this way, he designs nothing but what is evil, but God Messiah then designs this unto good.


Thus God Messiah permits the devil to introduce man into temptations, captivities, servitude, diseases and the like. The devil then thinks that the man is held bound and subjugated to himself, or that he is entirely lost; but it is then that God Messiah is most active, and reforms the man; for He then slays and extinguishes the loves of the world and self, and afterwards infuses a remembrance of Himself, and gives faith to each one according to the measure in which he can receive it; and he does this again and again, according to the man's character, which is to be reformed.

     Those who believe that they need repent only at the last moment, like the thief on the Cross, and like the laborers who came to the vineyard at the eleventh hour, and who received the same hire as those who had come at the fifth or seventh hour, do not understand these arcana. As concerns the thief, he could by no means have repented [merely] at that moment, but by the Divine mercy of God Messiah he had been prepared during his captivity, and had been led to the knowledge of God Messiah; thus he could then acknowledge the Messiah. How otherwise could he have asked Him, and this in such a way that the words came from his heart and mind, that God might remember him when He came into His kingdom? As concerns the workers in the vineyard, they are those who came at the eleventh hour, i.e., on the sixth day, immediately before the last day, and who receive the same hire, although they did not live in ancient times; for the ancients give themselves the prerogative by reason of mere age, and because they have therefore been celebrated by their posterity-not to speak of other particulars which, by the Divine mercy of God Messiah, shall be mentioned when we come to this passage. To this it must be added that some are indeed reformed more quickly, and even at the moment of death; in this case, however, they are such as had been prepared previously in a marvelous manner of which they themselves are ignorant; otherwise, if saved by the mere mercy of God Messiah, then they must undergo infernal torments.

     1479. This was told me in respect to Judas, the betrayer. Yet there is said to be hope for him, because he was one of the elect who were given to God Messiah by Jehovah the Father, as declared by God Messiah Himself.




     (A paper read at the Council of the Clergy, 1928.)

     It is the nature of the uncritical form of mind to mistake words for ideas. What we can name we are apt to imagine that we know without first seeking to realize the way the ideas have been formed which finally are crystallized in words. Take such a phrase as "spiritual substance," the nature of which we have so frequently discussed. How easy it is to argue this way and that without first calling into question the manner by which we have arrived at the idea denoted by the two words "spiritual" and "substance."

     Modern philosophy is considered by many to have commenced with the statement of Descartes' "I think, therefore I am." Descartes' ambition was to build up a mathematically correct philosophy, every phase of which was a necessary conclusion from the preceding premises. The first necessity of such a philosophic system was to find some premise which could not be doubted. Every idea which he entertained in his mind be believed was open to the possibility of a doubt, until it dawned upon him that the idea of "I think, therefore I am," was an expression that was not open to this possibility; the reason being that the opposite statement, "I am not, therefore I think," involved a contradiction of itself, and really confirmed the original proposition.

     There are still well-known philosophers, such as Calkins, who agree that in this statement of Descartes was laid the foundation of a positive philosophy. We maintain that it was not, for the reason that Descartes did not examine into the origin of the idea "I," or the idea involved in the word "am." Neither of these words expresses a primary concept of the human mind. Both of them are arrived at by the process of something like reasoning.

     A child knows many objects before it comes to recognize itself as an object; and when it first arrives at the idea of "me," it is probably due to the following train of thought: The child has recognized its parents, nurses, and playmates as individuals or units; the unintelligent complex of sensations that come from mother and father have taken on a unity in its mind.


It finally comes to recognize that the word "me" implies a similar unity; this unity is first conceived of in terms of the body. A child knows its fingers, hands, eyes, head, etc., long before it knows that it has a mind. The idea of "I" as something which thinks, as understood by Descartes, is, therefore, the culmination of a long process of reasoning. We are not here considering the infantile perception that accompanies the upbuilding of the mind.

     If Descartes accepts his conclusion, "I think, therefore I am," legitimately, it means that he must accept the truth of the method by which the human mind has arrived at this conclusion, which seems to lead to a very different basis of philosophy than the one maintained by Descartes.

     As Hume later on pointed out, no one has seen or known the ego as such. All we know are certain internal sensations of thought, love, etc., which seem to presuppose something as their subject. This thing we call the mind, the " I."

     When, therefore, I say that "I am," what I mean is that I consider myself an object of thought, having certain similarity to the other objects that I know. If I deny the existence of other objects, apart from my ego, I deny the validity of the origin of the very idea of my ego. In other words, "I am" becomes a meaningless expression. In opposition to Hume, we maintain that we are aware of a certain unity of personality, a consciousness of a self, but scarcely in the sense of a subject of which thoughts and loves are attributes. All we are conscious of is a unity or relationship of our thoughts and loves, and this unity or relationship is what we are conscious of as bur ego. All of which may sound like dialectical hair-splitting; but we maintain that it is not so.

     All thought and all knowledge are based upon sensation. Sensation is of two kinds, external and internal. External sensation is the sensation of the bodily senses; internal sensation is awareness or consciousness of mental activity. We feel that we think, we love, we imagine. All thought is built up from these two types of sensation.

     As we mentioned previously, all thought, up to a certain point in mental development, is based upon external sensation. This is true of most, if not all, of the life of childhood.


External sensations reveal to us a world composed of objects or rather subjects, having motion and activity. The idealistic philosophers do indeed deny the reality of the existence of external objects as such; and modern science, like Swedenborg's science, reduces the material world to the product of motion. But we will not turn aside to consider such hypotheses here. We are investigating the origin of ideas from sensation; acid, as we have said, external sensation reveals to us fixed objects in space having certain activity or attributes, including local motion. We must never forget that it is this external sensation, such as we know it, that formed our first ideas. We can never get away from these ideas; nor will they cease to be the bases of our thought, no matter how abstract our form of mind may become. Remove the habits of thought that are based upon external sensation, and we can think nothing.

     Let us now turn to internal sensation, and see what that reveals to us. At a certain point in the development of the human race, a primitive philosopher noted that certain activities of mankind were distinct from the activities Of the body. Now it is the very nature of the human mind, due to its experience, to presuppose a subject or substance when there is an activity. When we consider the properties of light, we assume that there must be a subject,-the ether of which light is a predicate.

     No one has seen the mind as such; no one has seen the mind as organic. We may know the laws and activities of the mind or spirit, but no philosopher besides Swedenborg has been able to approach the nature of the mind or spirit, except as a form of activity. There was but one possible approach, and this approach no one but Swedenborg has found.

     Let us illustrate the difficulty of the approach by an example: Suppose a piano was being played in the next room, and no one of us had ever seen a piano. If, on hearing the music emanating from the locked room, we were asked to describe the piano, what could we tell of its nature? If we were musicians, and were familiar with other stringed instruments, we might make some fairly good guesses. But let us suppose we had never seen a musical instrument of any kind, and were not familiar with anything that even made a noise. If we were physicists, we might be able to invent instruments for measuring the wave-lengths, and thus might have some faint bases for speculation; but supposing, in the very nature of things, such instruments were impossible, what then could we know and learn?


By careful listening we might learn to distinguish high and low notes, melody, harmony, and rhythm, but as to the nature of the thing from which these sounds emanated, we could have not the least conception. We might argue until doomsday whether a piano was structural or non-structural; but as to the nature of the piano we could not have the least idea.

     This is the problem which the philosophers have been confronted with when considering the human mind. By internal sensation they are conscious of an activity of love, thought, and imagination, etc.; and they can express the laws governing these activities but they cannot with any reason say whether the mind or spirit is structural or non-structural; and still less can they even imagine what is the nature of the mind. In fact, they cannot prove that there is such a thing as the human mind, except in the sense of activity following established laws. It could not even be shown that the word "activity" would be an appropriate one. For the thought connected with the word "activity" is derived from the external senses, and implies a subject and predicate; while it has not as yet been proved that there is such a thing as a spiritual subject. In reference to the mind, there is no evidence of anything but internal sensation; and it has not as yet been proved that the same law which applies to external experience, namely, that of subject and predicate, necessarily applies to internal sensation.

     It might be answered that common sense shows that there must be such a thing as a spiritual subject of which thoughts and desires, etc., are predicated. "Common sense" is nothing but common experience; but what we usually think of as common experience is the experience that comes through the external senses. Common sense would not necessarily demonstrate that the laws of external sensation can be transferred to internal sensation, and still be valid.

     Even on the plane of external sensation, common sense or common experience may have to be revised from time to time. To illustrate: Experience taught men that an ax must be sharp on the entering edge, but that the opposite side of the ax must be flat. The same law applies to all other cutting and piercing tools, such as nails, spikes, and needles. In the human mind this law tended to become a universal law.


Wherefore, the first airship builders thought that it was common sense to make the front or piercing end of an airship more pointed than the back end. It has been proved that this law does not work in the higher medium of the air. But the reverse of this law of solid objects is true, namely, that a well-constructed airship must be more acutely pointed on the rear end.

     When we consider the vast difference between the external senses and the internal sensation of thought, love, etc., we cannot say, a priori, that the same law of subject and attribute which applies in the external world necessarily applies to internal sensation,-the sensation of what we call the mind,-and consider it proved. In other words, the philosophers cannot say whether the mind is a material substance, a spiritual substance, or no substance at all. Still less can they describe its nature.

     Kant showed that the human intellect could define the modes of the functioning of the will, understanding, and sensation, etc.; but, according to the methods pursued by philosophers, it could do nothing else. It could not prove intellectually that there is Divine substance, spiritual substance, or even material substance. Philosophers since Kant's day have been like men seated listening to an instrument in a locked room, and vainly speculating as to its nature, until they have wearied of the impossible, and, for the most part, have given up in despair.

     In the meantime, Swedenborg had approached philosophy from a new angle. Swedenborg saw, in the first place, that if one doubted the existence of the material world, one undermined the foundations upon which the human mind had been built, and that, with the undermining of the foundations of the human mind, all rational philosophy became impossible. He, therefore, did not consider this alternative.

     He also saw that there could be no direct approach to the soul as a substantial existence; for we cannot by means of the internal sense come to know the soul as organic, or even as a substance. If, therefore, any progress was to be made, a new means of approach had to be found. Swedenborg, in his studies, came upon certain laws with which we are all familiar, such as the laws of series, degrees, correspondence, and the similarity of things greatest and least. These laws, one might maintain, have not been proved beyond a doubt.


We would answer, in behalf of our philosophy, that there is abundant illustration of these laws in the plane of nature; and if these laws are not true, then all philosophy is vanity. Without them no system of philosophy worthy of the name is possible. If, then, we accept these laws, as Swedenborg did, an approach to the nature of the human mind and spiritual substance becomes possible.

     But before considering Swedenborg's manner of approach, let us first give another illustration of the difficulties that lay in the way. Imagine an intelligent man who had been living entirely apart from other human beings, and who had had a peculiar loss of memory. This loss of memory applied particularly to the nature of the human body. Suppose he was unable to touch his eyes or see his own reflection. What could he find out about himself? He would soon find out the nature of hands, feet, and trunk, with their respective functions. He could discover considerable knowledge about his head. Probably the last thing that he would note would be that he had such a thing as sight. After discovering this sensation, he might speculate as to how it functioned. The more he speculated, the more impossible it would be for him to come to a conclusion as to the nature of the eye. He could tell nothing of its shape, form, or structure. In fact, he might arrive at the conclusion that it was a purely spiritual, human attribute, having no organic structure.

     When Swedenborg commenced his search for the soul, he was fully aware of the difficulties lying in his path. He saw that it was as hopeless to try to find out the nature of the substance and structure of the soul, from reasoning based merely upon the observation of thought or internal sensation, as it would be for the man in the above illustration to discover the organic form of the eye from the sensation of sight. If there was to be any progress in philosophy, there had to be an analogy between the world revealed by external sensation and that revealed by internal sensation; there had to be a correspondence between the soul and the body, between the natural world and the spiritual world. But this correspondence was not the only thing requisite. By itself, it would be insufficient, if he was to arrive at a rational conception of the internal human organic. The doctrine of series and degrees was the additional necessary link.

     Swedenborg had noted that there were series and discrete degrees in the world of external experience.


There was scientific evidence pointing to the fact that the series and degrees of the external world ascended to a plane above the five bodily senses. Swedenborg realized that, if the series to which external objects belonged could be imagined to ascend to higher and higher planes, as by steps, as illustrated in his series of atmospheres, until the place was reached where these planes became the subject of which the internal sensation of thought and will were the attribute, then a rational philosophy became a possibility. By this means, external and internal sensation might be brought into a relationship, without which metaphysics was mere phantastic speculation.

     In other words, if we could, in our thought, abstract the grosser elements of the material world as we ascended degree by degree, until we arrived in this series at a place where we could find a plane or substance of which thought and love were the attributes, we could arrive at a substantial idea of the mind.

     Swedenborg first traced this series in the atmosphere, then in the human body. If there is a similarity between greatests and leasts, then, by the study of the human brain, some knowledge of the human mind as organic may be obtained. If there is a correspondence between the soul and the body, then, by studying the human body, some knowledge of the soul is possible.

     It is not the object of this paper to trace the manner by which Swedenborg advanced along these lines. What we wish to emphasize here is, that all such ideas as subject, substance, body, structure, and atmosphere, are ideas derived from and based upon external sensation. While the ideas expressed in the words "love," "will," "thought," and "imagination," are based upon internal sensation, this was true with Swedenborg as with every other man.

     Let us here turn for a moment to the word "spiritual." In spite of the fact that in many languages this word means breath of air, yet, in the meaning we attach to it, it is not derived from external sensation, but from the internal sensation of the operations of the human mind. When, therefore, we used the words "spiritual substance," we combine reasoning based upon two distinct types of sensation. In our imagination, we have ascended the series which culminates in matter, and which is known by our external senses, until we have arrived on a plane that is directly known, as to its activity, by the internal sensation that we call consciousness of thought and feeling.


     New Churchmen have sometimes striven to conceive of a purely spiritual organic. By this we mean an idea of a spiritual organic based upon internal sensation, and not upon external sensation. We have tried to show that this is a vain delusion. In fact, we doubt whether the mind, built up as it is, can rationally conceive such a thing. But, supposing there were such a form as a purely spiritual organic, its nature could not be expressed in words, for all words signifying organic are based upon external sensation. All ideas of organic have the same basis. The mind, therefore, has no structural bases for conceiving such ideas. To try to imagine a purely spiritual organic, in the sense that we have been describing, would be like attempting to imagine a color entirely distinct from any that we have seen, or to imagine a new, distinct sense of the body, as different from our bodily senses as hearing is from sight. There is no structural basis in our mind for such concepts. And the same is true of a purely spiritual organic, that is, an organic, the ideas of which are derived from the internal sense, and not from the external senses.

     Why, then, does it say in the Writings that love is substance? Love, as we know it, is nothing but an internal sensation. By scrutinizing and analyzing the operations of our mind, we cannot discover love to be substance. Our idea of substance is based upon external sensation. To our mind, substance seems something like a higher, purer and living form of that which ultimates itself before our external senses as matter.

     In the Writings, it frequently speaks as if spiritual substance were atmosphere or a human organic of which love and wisdom were attributes. Love and wisdom are treated of as the attributes or activity of spiritual atmospheres, which are received in the organic forms of angel and man. In other passages, it speaks as if love was the subject or substance itself. The reason for these latter statements is, we believe, to prevent us from forming a material idea of the spiritual world. If we speak of atmospheres, even though we call them spiritual, our ideas are based upon external sensation; it is, therefore, impossible, owing to the way in which our mind has been built up, to get away from a somewhat material idea of atmosphere.


No matter how much we refine and purify our conceptions, our idea of atmosphere is still based upon that of matter. Wherefore, if we think of love as atmosphere in activity, we think more or less materially. Though we have ascended, as by a ladder, far above the material world, still the first round of the ladder is matter, and we see the higher rounds only in our imagination. This ascent is a proper one; but, by itself, it is inadequate; by itself it is materialism.

     When we say that love is spiritual substance, we make a direct approach to the spiritual; we approach by the way of internal sensation. And we must never forget that this approach, although it is also inadequate in certain ways, nevertheless reveals to us more accurately the true nature of the spiritual than does the other approach. Let us illustrate this point: If I tell a simple person that light is a wave motion of the particles that compose the ether, this idea, by itself, would be far less true than if I said that light was the medium of sensation by which I am able to see the objects about me. Again, if I say that life consists of various particles of matter in a certain kind of motion, this statement, by itself, gives a less true idea of heat than if I say that it is the activity which causes a feeling of warmth.

     When the Writings say that love is substance, what is meant is that love is reality, and that the nearest and most direct approach to reality is through the internal sensation,-the sensation by which I am conscious of love,-and not through the external sensations of the body and reasonings based thereon.

     We will close this paper with a brief statement of the position of our philosophy in the usual classifications of philosophic systems. Philosophies are divided into groups under three general headings. The first of these is dualism, namely, the belief in two totally different types of substance,-spiritual substance and matter. Descartes' philosophy is representative of this group. The second group is monistic, acknowledging but one kind of substance, namely, matter. Hobbes's philosophy is an example of this type. The third group is also monistic, but maintains that spiritual substance is the only reality. This philosophy is idealistic. And the chief representative of this group is Berkeley.

     Swedenborg has usually been classed as a Dualist and a Cartesian.


It is our opinion that this is a misclassification. We believe that Swedenborg's philosophy differs fundamentally from each of these classes, while it agrees in certain aspects with all three.

     Swedenborg agrees with Descartes in maintaining that there are two kinds of substances, which are distinct, namely, spiritual substance and matter. He differs from Descartes' teaching that there is no finite ratio between these two types of substance, and insists that, as to substance, these two belong to one series, the upper half of which is living and the lower half dead.

     Swedenborg agrees with the idealists in their belief that spiritual substance, being nearer to its source than matter, is in a sense more real than matter. He differs from them in maintaining that matter has a reality of its own.

     Finally, Swedenborg agrees with the materialists that our basic concepts of structure, organism, body, etc., are derived through the outer senses, and so are based upon matter. He differs from them in insisting that nevertheless matter is not the only reality, nor indeed the chief reality. Swedenborg's philosophy cannot, therefore, be grouped under any of these headings.

     The object of this paper is to invite your careful consideration of the way in which the ideas of the mind have been formed. If we are not careful to consider this process, our philosophic discussions are apt to degenerate into words, the ideas connected with which are obscure.


REPRINTED FROM THE NEW-CHURCH HERALD, OCT. 22, 1927. THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE GREEKS AND ROMANS. By Carl Theophilus Odhner. Bryn Athyn, Pa.: The Academy Book Room, 1927.

     Considering that the Science of Correspondences is the brightest jewel in our crown, it is astonishing how little we make of it. Its facets reflect the light whichever way they turn, and reveal the secret nature of things more surely than a thousand experiments could ever lay bare. But we handle the tiara clumsily, hold it in a bad light, and its brilliancy is dimmed.


We trumpet forth our "doctrines" insistently; but the inward essence of this outward show, its symbolism, its correspondence, which alone illuminates those doctrines and interprets them, we treat as a side issue, a sort of Appendix to the book, valuable for including semi-extraneous matters for which there is no room in the text. "Poetry comes nearer to vital truth than history," says Plato. This precious apprehension of a parabolic universe, now restored to the Church after ages of exile, this mysterious relationship between things and thoughts,-does it not supply the poetic "tang," the vivid splash of color in new-age philosophy? Unless we are cursed with a roving eye, a wandering and unpenetrating gaze, unless, like Nebuchadnezzar, we are absorbed in eating grass like an ox,-we must be conscious of the strange unity between things visible and invisible, and that some prodigious Idea stands behind the apparent. "The Times are the masquerade of the Eternities," says Emerson. "They are to be studied as omens, as sacred leaves, whereon a weighty sense is inscribed, if we have the wit and the love to search it out."

     Not many, even in the inner circle of New Church students, have plucked up either the wit or the love to pursue such a quest with the constancy of a Columbus. Spite of Swedenborg's bounteous hints and unfoldings, the Science of Correspondence remains, to a very large extent, a virgin field, an unworked mine. This is as true of the sacred symbols of the Word as it is of the pages of nature, and of antique legend and myth. The truths therein concealed, like the Sleeping Princess, await the approach of the Awakener and the sound of his magic horn. But the horn must be sounded, or the princess will sleep on. The awakener must not only be equipped with the "science" of Correspondences; for this adventure he will need imagination, a delicate fancy, without which he will hardly get past the guards that keep the palace.

     Still, we honor an intrepid adventurer, and wish him bon voyage, whether he finds the Golden Fleece or not. Such an adventurer is the late Rev. C. T. Odhner, of Bryn Athyn, U. S. A. Exactly how widely his name is known I am not aware, but it is co-extensive, at any rate, with the organized New Church. And it is a name of solid repute. Mr. Odhner has done things; and several works, involving considerable industry, learning and ingenuity, have proceeded from his pen.


They are all valuable contributions to the literature of the New Age, not the least so being his Correspondences of Canaan. But, indeed, his excursions in esoteric studies have carried him far beyond that limit. The volume now before me-apparently a posthumous production-is a further illustration of that fact.

     Greek myths are a vast area of buried treasure, and here at my hand is a determined attempt to excavate among the ruins and bring to light some of those spiritual truths known to be entombed there. The attempt was certainly overdue. And its success in this instance is, I think, unquestionable. I know of no other equally careful and comprehensive survey of the situation. Whether Mr. Odhner has quite the imagination for the task might possibly be challenged. If not, he is certainly well equipped with other compensating qualities. He is thoroughly acquainted with the technical side of his subject, an expert in the very involved "science" of Correspondences; but, in addition, he is daring, ingenious, and keenly perceptive of relationships between apparently unrelated things. Without such qualifications in some degree it would be useless to set out on a quest of this kind. The mine is rich, but demands a skillful miner. All is not treasure-trove in the world's myths, Greek or otherwise. A prodigious deal of quartz, not to say slag, confronts the explorer. The quartz may even be beautiful in itself, a circumstance, however, which must not be allowed to have a distracting influence. It is not allowed in this case. Mr. Odhner keeps a very level head. He assumes from the outset that the religion of the Greeks and Romans, and other western peoples of the Mediterranean, was originally an off-shoot, doubtless externalized, of the Ancient Church, that therefore their legends and apologues enshrine profound truths, and are "all glorious within." He boldly declares:

     "The Religion of the ancients is one with the Religion of the New Church, teaching the same Divine Truths, inculcating the same lessons of moral and spiritual good, and leading the mind to the worship of the same and only supreme God, the God of the Ancient Church, who is the Lord of the New Church. . .. In the presence of Mythology we stand before a noble classical temple, the home of the Muses, the cradle of all art, poetry and culture; to us alone has been given the key, and if we enter into the inner recesses we shall find ourselves in a sacred adytum which strangely resembles the interior of a temple of the New Jerusalem."


     He is emphatic in claiming the science of Correspondences as the Key, the only "Open Sesame" for passing the portal. It is the "exclusive prerogative of the men of the New Church." Something more, surely, is required-insight, vision; nor does he fail to supply them. I am impressed, indeed, with the almost uncanny facility with which he conjures the latent Idea out of figures and fables seemingly too grotesque to contain any. Examples need not be multiplied here, nor can the scope of the work be more than indicated in outline.

     The author treats first of the elder race of gods, headed by Ouranos, who flourished before the popular hierarchy of divinities most familiar to the Greek imagination. He sees in Ouranos a personification of the Most Ancient or Celestial Church; in the Titans who sprang from him a deteriorated, yet comparatively innocent, posterity of that Church, and in the Cyclopean and other monstrous descendants a representation of the diabolic perversions of the original Adamic or Celestial strain. The entry on the scene of Zeus, or Jupiter, and his Court signifies the installation of the Ancient or Noetic Church among the nations of the East. The Golden Age gave place to the Silvern. He perceives that the many cruel and scandalous stories that gather round these Olympians are an obvious indication of the gradual corruption of that ancient dispensation once so widely established. Thus Hera (June), the spouse of Zeus, is a noble matron in the earlier versions, but a jealous and vindictive wife in the later. None the less, the many infidelities attributed to Zeus, sinister though they be on the surface, yet symbolize-so Mr. Odhner considers-the Lord's influx into various Gentile peoples able to receive Him in simplicity. June's rage thereat is the resentment of the fallen, yet official, Church at any recognition of worthiness in the heathen! Well, it is an ingenious and plausible postulate, and worth pondering upon.

     Several of the supreme deity's frivolous escapades are passed under review, and it must be admitted that, as treated by Mr. Odhner, they "suffer a sea-change into something rich and strange." He is an alchemist, and transmutes dress into gold! He examines most of the leading figures, male and female, in the religious systems of Greece and Rome. Particularly pleasing are his reflections on Phoebus Apollo, the glorious symbol of the Lord as the Divine Man and the Sun of heaven.


Very convincing also is the chapter on the winged Hermes, or Mercury, the messenger of the gods and the supreme Cloud deity-representative of the Word as the medium of communication between heaven and earth. Pretty and appealing, too, is his interpretation of the Hope that lay at the bottom of Pandora's box, after all else had flown away, as being the promise of a. Redeemer made to the posterity of the Edenic people, fulfilled in the fulness of time. Personally, I should have been still more pleased with the work if the author, instead of thinking mainly in terms of "Churches and Dispensations," had seen in the mirror of these myths the reflection of our own spiritual experiences.

     Always Mr. Odhner uses his Key, producing it with the lofty confidence of a magician in possession of the talismanic word. Often, when one fears for the efficiency of the key in the case of some particularly complicated lock,-lo! it slides smoothly into the wards, and the portal opens!

     However, I am not lecturing on the book or on its theme, but only performing an introduction. I commend this stimulating study to the New Church public, and to all interested in the esoteric side of things.


     HEMELSCHE VERBORGENHEDEN (Arcana Coelestia). By Emanuel Swedenborg. Volume II, nos. 1114-2134, Genesis x-xvii. The Hague: Swedenborg Genootschap (Society), 1927. Cloth, 640 pages. Price, 6.50 florins.

     We take pleasure in congratulating the Swedenborg Society at The Hague upon the publication of this second volume of the Arcana Coelestia, which has just come to hand. As noted in our review of the first volume (March, 1927, P. 161), the translation from the original Latin is the work of Mr. Anton Zelling, with whom the Rev. Ernst Pfeiffer is cooperating. While adhering accurately to the meaning of the Latin, the style is fluent and readable in the Dutch, a combination not always attained in English versions of the Writings, but which can be attained if the literary effort is made.



AUTHORITY       Various       1928

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     The old, but ever new, question as to whether the New Churchman forfeits his intellectual and spiritual freedom by placing himself under the authority of the Writings is the burden of recent correspondence appearing in THE NEW-CHURCH HERALD. The contrasting views on this subject are well exemplified by the two letters reprinted below from the HERALD of January 28, 1928:


To the Editor of the NEW-CHURCH HERALD.

Dear Sir:
     There is apparently a section of New-Church men to whom the word "authority" is a sort of Bogey. One cannot help wondering into what sort of delusions some of us would fall if we had not in the Writings an authority by which all ideas and theories must ultimately be tested. I had the honor of being Secretary to the Theological and Philosophical Society for some eight years. During that time I listened to numerous papers by leading New-Churchmen of diverse characters and views, and to discussions on them, and can testify that the one real question in regard to them was whether they were in accord with the authority of the Writings.


Nothing was accepted or approved that did not stand that test. Now we are solemnly told that this is a sad state of affairs and destructive of freedom. What sort of freedom do we want? Does not every Christian aspire to be a servant of the Lord, and what is that but submission to authority, and is not true freedom attained by such submission? But we have those among us who, while professing to accept the Writings as Divine Revelation, just pick and choose what they will accept. That is their idea of freedom, and it is the weakness of the Church. It is the reason why so many are attracted by fanciful ideas and beliefs wholly incompatible with New-Church teaching. If only we were all alive to the immense blessing of having an authority by which all ideas may be tested, how many would be saved from falling into gross errors; what unity we should have in the Church, and what strength.
     Yours faithfully,
          H. P. BALY.


To the Editor of the NEW-CHURCH HERALD.
Dear Sir:
     May I, as a veteran of the New Church, suggest that discussion of this subject is futile. I have always found that argument is fruitless, save that it invariably ends in confirmation of the opinions of the opposing parties. No one is converted: The opposing types of mind do not "mix." This "authority" question crops up periodically, and has always ended where it began. What is rather vaguely known as the "authority" position involves great issues, not the least among them being the literal inerrancy of the Writings. Any candid student will admit that as New-Churchmen grant that the letter of the Holy Word is not literally, historically, or scientifically inerrant, they cannot grant inerrancy to all literal expressions in the Writings. As you, Sir, have often said, the Writings of Swedenborg are "a good gift from the Lord," but it does not follow that the Spirit of Truth revealed to Swedenborg's perception is perfectly articulated in his words. The Light is from the Lord, but the expression of the truth is surely Swedenborg's own. I cannot think that we are expected to submit our intelligence and judgment to any book. It occurs to me that the only "Authority" to which any man can submit, if he is to retain his freedom, is that of the voice of the Lord in his own soul.


In the end, the attribution of authority to any institution or document is an act of private judgment. As a learned writer has said, "There is one conception of revelation which I think must be repudiated, that, namely, which assigns to it what may be called an oracular authority, and regards it as taking the form of a miraculous communication from heaven of INFORMATION, infallibly guaranteed, about matters of history or of theological truth, ready-made, and expressed in precise theological form."

     Let all take the truth given as it can be intellectually received, and, above all, remember that practical submission to the inner dictates of the Lord in the living soul is the thing that matters. Academic discussions hardly advance the Kingdom of God. I am tempted to write at great length on this matter, but experience tells me that it is wiser for me to refrain.
     Yours for common sense,

     In the above letters, the contrast is clearly drawn between submission to the authority of the Writings as Divine Revelation, on the one hand, and man's recognizing only, the authority of the "voice of the Lord in his own soul," on the other. Granting that the individual, in his freedom, must first choose whether he will accept the Writings as a Divine Revelation, thus as the "voice of the Lord " speaking to His New Church, we must hold, with Mr. Baly, that the way of true freedom lies in the acceptance of the Writings as such a Revelation, and in the voluntary submission to their authority, even while effort is made to see and understand the truth of their teachings. This position is well supported by the fact that the intellect is not opened to receive enlightenment from the Lord, except by a primary acknowledgment of the truth revealed by the Lord. The fact is thus set forth: "Intellectual truth first becomes evident, or is acknowledged, . . . when man believes in simplicity of heart that a thing is true because the Lord has said so; then the shades of fallacies are dispersed, and there is then nothing with him that prevents his apprehending the truth."

     As at the First Advent, so at the Second, He speaks as one "having authority, and not as the scribes."




     In memory of the late Rev. Ernst Deltenre, Pastor of the General Church Society at Brussels, Belgium, and Editor of LA NOUVELLE JERUSALEM, a special number of that periodical, with an excellent photographic likeness of Dr. Deltenre, was issued in November, 1927. Its twelve pages contain a French translation of the Obituary by the Rev. E. E. Iungerich, which appeared in NEW CHURCH LIFE for May, 1927, and a Note by the Translator, Mr. Henry de Geymuller, who not only expresses his warm regard for Dr. Deltenre, but also brings to light evidence of his artistic talents which is new to us.

     "It was with emotion," Mr. de Geymuller says, "that I transcribed the obituary in French. I had not the good fortune to be personally acquainted with him whose departure has left such a void among the French pioneers of the New Church, but this has not prevented my appreciating his qualities of heart and soul, or feeling a friendship which, though from afar, was none the less real and productive. To judge from old letters addressed to our friend by numerous artists and literary men, and which Mme. Deltenre has kindly placed at my disposal, he whom we mourn was already in his youth one of those attractive personalities who are instinctively beloved as soon as known, because of the charm they irradiate and the interest they arouse.

     "One writer said: 'Mr. Deltenre had one of those warm artistic natures which thrill at the contact with all that is beautiful and human. That is why he could translate admirably into music the beautiful thoughts and verses of those whom he admired.' Another speaks of the 'exquisite and joyous music' to which he had set his song, and exclaims, 'Long live the musician who understands poets!'"

     Competent and impartial musical critics also wrote in glowing terms of his compositions, as cited by Mr. de Geymhtller, who concludes:

     "One can easily comprehend how much it must have grieved Pastor Deltenre when he later found himself misunderstood by so many intellectual friends. And doubtless it was partly the regret at not having succeeded in getting them to understand, and to have their share in the new light of the Heavenly Doctrine which flooded his soul, that inspired the reflections, tinged with a note of disappointment, with regard to the futility of evangelizing intellectual centers, which were expressed in his 'letter to a young friend in the New Church,' quoted by Mr. Iungerich in his obituary.


It has seemed to me that an article consecrated to the memory of our venerated friend would be incomplete without a mention of the artistic interests which had such a prominent place in his life."
     E. E. I.

LACK OF CONVERTS              1928

     The following is quoted from THE NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE of February 7, 1928:

     "Confronted with statistics showing that approximately 60,000 of the 200,000 Protestant churches in the United States failed to gain a convert last year, representative ministers, laymen, and officials of the principal Protestant churches yesterday began an inquiry into the reasons for this lack of growth. They were meeting at a luncheon of the Men's Church League at the Madison Square Hotel.

     "Dr. J. Campbell White, general secretary of the league, said that 3,268 of the 9,299 Presbyterian churches in the United States did not add any converts on profession of their faith. Of 8,715 Baptist churches, 3,474 obtained no converts, and of the 16,581 Methodist churches, 4,652 had none. A total, therefore, of 11,394 churches out of 34,575 in these three denominations won no converts, and several thousand reported only one or two each, he said.

     "Various churchmen suggested what was the matter with the churches. Lack of leadership, lack of co-operation between denominations, neglect of personal evangelism, satisfaction with conditions as they are, spiritual laziness, failure of leaders to 'keep their eyes on Jesus,' were all mentioned.

     "Dr. C. H. Fenn, of Princeton, N. J., a missionary to China, now home on furlough, presented the view that churches were afflicted with 'fatty degeneration of the heart (wealth, luxury and ease), pernicious anaemia (lack of blood in its theology and in the fight with sin), cerebro-spinal meningitis (destruction of back-bone and brain center), cancer (unbelief in the supernatural), and neuritis (supersensitiveness to ridicule or criticism).'"

     To which we may add general debility (permeation failing to permeate).




     The service in the Bryn Athyn Cathedral on Sunday, March 11th, became a notable occasion in our history when Bishop Pendleton inaugurated the Rev. George de Charms into the Third Degree of the Priesthood of the New Church, and received him as a Bishop in the General Church of the New Jerusalem. A congregation numbering nearly five hundred persons was deeply impressed by the Rite as performed according to the modes of our Liturgy. As the Officiating Bishop concluded the readings from the Scripture and the Heavenly Doctrine, Mr. De Charms made the following Declaration:


     I believe in the one only living and true God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in Whom is the Divine Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

     I believe in the Sacred Scripture as the very Word of God, Divinely inspired and holy in every syllable.

     I believe in the Heavenly Doctrine as Divine Truth continuous from the Lord, revealing for the upbuilding of the New Church the internal sense of the Word and the glorified Human of our Savior, as He comes in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

     I believe in the New Christian Church, formed of all who in heart, and faith, and life take up their cross to follow the Lord in His Second Advent, as the Holy City New Jerusalem now descending from God out of heaven.

     I believe in the Divine institution of the Priesthood as a human instrument under God for the salvation of men, as an ordered medium whereby the Holy Spirit may pass from the Lord through man to man, and as a sacred office for the administration of the Divine Law and Worship.


     And now, believing that, in the Divine Providence and according to the acknowledged order of the Church, I have been called to enter more fully into the use of the Priesthood, I come before the Lord solemnly to dedicate my life to His service, declaring that it is my purpose to hold my office as a trust inviolate, to resist every impulse of self and the world, to seek guidance from Him alone, and with singleness of heart to labor in His vineyard in the Spirit of Him who came not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.

     This Declaration was followed by the Prayers, all kneeling. Then, with the congregation standing, came the imposition of hands by the Bishop and the words of Ordination into the Third Degree, closing with, "Receive the Holy Spirit!" The blessing was then pronounced, the red stole placed, and the newly consecrated Bishop took his seat in the inner chancel, as the congregation sang "Great and wonderful are Thy works, O Lord!"

     The Rev. Theodore Pitcairn read the Lessons for the day: Numbers XXIII: 5-26 and Arcana Coelestia 2015:10. The Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner delivered the Sermon,-a powerful and moving treatment of the subject of "Influx and Order," expounding the text of Balaam's blessing of the Tribes of Israel in the plains of Moab: "How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, thy tabernacles, O Israel!" (Numbers 24:5.) These words were shown to depict the heavenly order of the spiritual church, an order into which the New Church is to come by following the Heavenly Doctrine as the Divine Law, and an order which alone prepares the Church for the reception of the Divine influx, inspiration and blessing. The thought of the discourse then fittingly turned upon the uses of the priestly order and administration, as sanctioned in our Revelation,-the way and medium of Divine influx, illustration and protection in that Church which is to be characterized by restored mutual love under the government of the Lord alone.

OUR "APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION."              1928

     There have been but four inaugurations like the one just described, since the title of Bishop was adopted in 1883 and conferred upon the Rev. William H. Benade, as will be seen from the following:



     The lineal descent from the first ordination in America, through the Rev. Richard de Charms, Sr., to the present time, is shown in the following statement summarized from an article in NEW CHURCH LIFE, 1891 (p. 189):

     The first priest of the New Church ordained in America was the REV. JOHN HARGROVE, Of Baltimore, who, in the year 1798, was inaugurated into the Priesthood by the imposition of the hands of the representatives of the Baltimore Society, then the only organized New Church in this country. Mr. Ralph Mather, a preacher licensed through the Rev. Robert Hindmarsh, of London, took part in the ceremony, having previously baptized Mr. Hargrove into the faith of the New Church. When, in the year 1817, the General Convention of the New Jerusalem, in the United States was formed, Mr. Hargrove was acknowledged by that body as an ordaining minister, and the ordinations previously performed by him were declared valid.

     The first person ordained by Mr. Hargrove was a Virginia gentleman by the name of Hugh White. The second was ADAM HURDUS, one of the original members of the Manchester Society, who afterwards became the pioneer of the New Church in the West, and the founder of the Cincinnati Society, to which he ministered for thirty-two years. He was ordained in Baltimore in the year 1816, ordaining powers being at once conferred upon him.

     The first person ordained by Mr. Hurdus was RICHARD DE CHARMS, SR., of Philadelphia, who will ever be remembered as probably the first champion in this country of the Divine Authority of the Writings, and as the zealous advocate of the trinal order of the Priesthood of the Church. After he had graduated at Yale in 1826, he received his theological training in London, under the tutorship of that eminent New Church minister, the Rev. Samuel Noble, and, on his returning to this country, was ordained in Cincinnati, in the year 1833. He was subsequently consecrated an ordaining minister of the Western Convention in the year 1838, and in, the year 1840 became one of the founders and the ordaining minister of the Central Convention.

     The first person ordained by Mr. De Charms was WILLIAM HENRY BENADE, this taking place in 1847, under the auspices of the Central Convention.


In 1852, Mr. Benade associated himself with the General Convention, was consecrated an ordaining minister in the year 1873, and in the same year became the President of the Pennsylvania Association. When this body, on March 17, 1883, adopted a new Instrument of Organization, changing its name to the "General Church of Pennsylvania," a provision was also made that "the third or highest office of the Priesthood in this Church is the Office of General Pastor or Bishop of this General Church." Mr. Benade thus received the title and office of Bishop. (See NEW CHURCH LIFE, 1883, PP. 62, 66.)

     The first person ordained by Mr. Benade was WILLIAM FREDERIC PENDLETON. This took place in the year 1873, and in 1888 he was consecrated Bishop of the Church of the Academy by Bishop Benade. Bishop Pendleton ordained the Rev. E. C. Bostock into the Episcopal Degree in the year 1903, and the Rev. N. Dandridge Pendleton in 1912.

     From this outline it will be seen that Mr. De Charms is but the fifth upon whom, the title of Bishop has been conferred in the General Church. The sixth is in prospect, and will become a reality with the ordination of the Rev. R. J. Tilson at the General Assembly in London next August.

     The steps recently taken by Bishop Pendleton, looking to the choice of a Minister for introduction into the Third Degree of the Priesthood, were outlined by him in the Statement printed in our last issue (p. 164). The career of the Rev. George de Charms in the ministry has brought evidence of personal qualities which have endeared him to the members of the Church, and have established him in their confidence as a spiritual teacher and leader. They have recognized his loyal and enthusiastic avowal of Academy principles and traditions, and his clear and forceful interpretations of the Heavenly Doctrine, abundant testimony of which they have found in his sermons and public addresses, his class instruction and published writings. And the heartfelt good wishes of the whole Church go with him into the higher field of priestly use now opening before him.

BIOGRAPHICAL       W. B. C       1928

     The Rev. Richard de Charms, Senior, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1796, and died there in 1863.


The youngest of his six children was the Rev. Richard de Charms II, who was born in Philadelphia in 1841. In 1885, he married Miss Marie Jung, who was of French descent, born in the Island of Martinique, W. I. Mr. De Charms was ordained by Bishop Benade, and it was during his pastorate at Denver, Colorado, that two sons were born, Richard in 1888, and George on August 24th, 1889. The boys received their education from their parents at home until the year 1902, when the family removed to Bryn Athyn, and they entered the Academy Schools. George did not complete his High School courses, leaving in the Junior year to attend Pennsylvania State College, from which he returned in 1909, entering the College of the Academy in 1910 and the Theological School in 1911. He received the Degree of Bachelor of Theology in June, 1914, and was then ordained. He was Minister of the Advent Church, Philadelphia, from 1914 to 1917, becoming Pastor in 1916, when he was ordained into the Second Degree of the Priesthood. In 1915, he was married to Miss Fidelia Asplundh. In 1917, he was called to become Assistant Pastor of the Bryn Athyn Church.
     W. B. C.

TRINE IN THE PRIESTHOOD              1928

     "It is known that, in order that anything may be perfect, there must be a trine in just order, one under another, and an intercedent communication, and that this trine must make a one; no otherwise than a pillar, over which is the capital, under this the smooth shaft, and under this again the pedestal. Such a trine is man; his supreme part is the head, his middle part is the body, and his lowest part the feet and the soles of the feet. Every kingdom, in this respect, is like a man. In it there must be a king as the head; also magistrates and officers, as the body; and yeomanry, with servants, as the feet and soles of the feet. In like manner in the Church, there must be a mitred prelate, parish priests, and curates under them." (Coronis 17)


Church News 1928

Church News       Various       1928


     On the way home from the annual meetings at Bryn Athyn, a visit was made to MIDDLEPORT, OHIO. I found that our circle had suffered the loss of another family, that of Mr. and Mrs. H. M. DeMaine, numbering six persons, who have now made their home at Pittsburgh; but I found also, as in the case of the many previous losses of this kind, that those remaining have closed their ranks and are going bravely forward, with an earnest determination to preserve and promote the life and work of the church. Services were held on Sunday, February 12th, with sixteen persons present. Included in these were four children, whose mother passed to the other world a few years ago, and who have recently been legally adopted by their grandmother Mrs. Harvey Skinner, this principally in order that they may be brought up in the church, to which end they were baptized at this Sunday service. At the Holy Supper there were ten communicants. Doctrinal classes were held on Sunday Monday and Tuesday evenings, with an attendance of ten, seven and eight respectively. On Tuesday, Mrs. Amanda Bradbury Johnson, member of the New Church, living near Middleport, passed to the other world, and I remained to conduct the funeral on Thursday. Mrs. Johnson was born in the church, and the fact that she died at the age of ninety-four years leads to a realization of how long the church has been established in this community. Although, for a number of years past, circumstances had not permitted her to be active in the church, her love for it remained constant, and it was a great happiness to her that the baptism of the children-her great-grandchildren-should take place on the Sunday before she was called away. The funeral service was held in our church building at Middleport, and about two hundred persons heard a presentation of the New Church doctrine concerning the future life and the preparation for it.
     F. E. WAELCHLI.


     Our 1927 Christmas celebration followed pretty much the lines of other years. The Children's Festival, perhaps the outstanding event of this season, was held on December 23d, following the usual program of recent years. The children, in full force, and carrying lighted candles, marched in procession from their assembling place down to the lecture hall where we all listened to a beautifully appropriate address on the celebrating of birthdays and particularly this birthday of the Lord, leading up to three tableaux in the following order: (1) "The Annunciation," represented by the angel making the annunciation as in Luke 1:26-38, with Mary bowing almost prostrate; (2) "The Wise Men of the East," in two poses, (a) searching their Scriptures for some sign of the Lord's coming, (b) the appearance and finding of the star, at which they are seen to be gazing through the window, in an attitude of wonder and awe; (3) "The Nativity," also in two parts, (a) Mary with the Holy Babe in the manger, (b) the wise men bringing their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and presenting them in prostrate adoration. With an improved system of lighting and the added artistic stage effects we were able to have this year, the tableaux were beautifully put on and went very smoothly, due to the painstaking efforts of the committee in charge, who, in collaboration with the Pastor, wrought wonders with the material and accommodation at their command.


Particularly were we indebted to Mr. Arnold Thompson for his good work in staging them.

     Sunday, Christmas Day, we had a service as usual, with everything appropriate to the occasion. And, like all other people elsewhere, we paid and received calls in the time-honored fashion for the remainder of the day.

     On Monday, January 1st, we had the pleasure of our first visit from Prof. C. R. Pendleton, who came to us under the auspices of the Forward Club and gave his lecture on "Academy Adaptations to Science," treating specifically on the subject of a theory of creation. We understand that this thesis is to be published, and as most members in the Bryn Athyn, Kitchener, and Pittsburgh Societies have heard the lecture, we need not expatiate on it here, further than to say that, probably in common with others, we recognized something of a new contribution to the subject, which probably may be regarded as somewhat in the nature of a concreting of thought, opinion, speech and writing. Certainly the lecture evoked the close attention, and interest of the large gathering that came to hear it, and considerable discussion took place afterwards, both in the meeting and around the tables later when refreshments were served. We appreciated Dr. Pendleton's visit, and can see nothing but good accruing from the presentation and discussion of such topics, provided always that the theories propounded are measured and weighed by the touchstone of Divine authority.

     On January 18th the Society had the pleasure-all too rare-of a wedding in its chapel, when Miss Pearl Hickman and Mr. Wilfred Schnarr were united in the holy bonds of matrimony. Being a mere man, we cannot give that soul-satisfying wealth of detail that would delight the hearts of the gentler sex. We will, therefore, content ourselves with saying that it was a very pretty wedding and a delightfully enjoyable occasion, both at the ceremony itself and the reception which followed, when the bride and groom were the recipients of heartfelt wishes for their future happiness.

     Swedenborg's Birthday falling on Sunday this year, local conditions did not lend themselves to a celebration of the usual kind, so we had an illustrated lecture on Swedenborg by our Pastor, which was made possible by the loaning of slides from Bryn Athyn, and which we gratefully acknowledge. The slides were exceedingly interesting, as was the story woven around them by the speaker.

     During the absence of the Pastor at the meetings of the Council of the Clergy in Bryn Athyn our activities were for the most part suspended. We did, however, have a very interesting evening on Wednesday, February 1st, when Mr. R. Faber gave a "Travelogue through Switzerland," illustrated by beautiful lantern slides. During the intervals, Mrs. Richardson rendered several delightful piano solos, and a male quintette from the ranks of the Forward Club made its initial bow to an "admiring public," giving a couple of numbers which were encouragingly appreciated.

     On Friday, February 8th, the Pastor gave us a very full account of the Council Meetings in Bryn Athyn, from which we gathered that the General Church as a whole is making good progress and is fully alive to its opportunities and responsibilities. Particularly were we interested in the announcement that the Rev. George de Charms is to be elevated to the Third Degree of the Priesthood in the near future. Thus is fulfilled the promise of use, namely, the introduction into the responsibility and opportunity of greater use. The announcement was well received, and we sincerely congratulate the recipient of this high honor, and would say, to quote from Tennyson (slightly altered to the occasion):

We give you welcome to this high office;
     Not without redound of use and glory,
To yourself and to our glorious church.     
     F. W.



     On Sunday, January 29th, the character of the service was appropriate to the fact that the day was the anniversary of the birth of Emanuel Swedenborg, "Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ." In the morning, the lessons were from Malachi iii, John iv:1-38, and Invitation 38, 39, 44; and the Pastor preached a most instructive discourse, taking as his text Matt. x:24, 25,-"The disciple is not above his master," etc. In the afternoon, a special tea was provided in honor of the occasion, and Mr. W. D. Pike read a paper giving a comprehensive outline of Swedenborg's life, which was listened to with much interest. It is surely useful, especially for our young people, that they should become familiar with the salient facts in the life of him whom the Lord chose to be His instrument in the latest revelation of His Divine Word; nor can it harm the older ones of us to hear those facts repeated. The reading of the paper was followed by some useful remarks from our Pastor and one or two others, and the singing of the "Ode" completed this pleasant and profitable celebration of Swedenborg's Birthday. The text of the evening sermon was John iv:17, 38,-"One soweth and another reapeth," etc., again giving point to the central idea of the day. We see Swedenborg as a man; we think of him as a use. The one is as necessary as the other. Thus do the angels.

     The usual Monthly Social Tea on February 12th, also proved a very interesting occasion. The Pastor tool; the opportunity of calling the attention of those present to the recent work by Dr. Alfred Acton, entitled An Introduction to the Word Explained, reading copious extracts from it, and interpolating his own appreciative remarks. Both the matter and the manner of the book appear most attractive, and we feel grateful to Dr. Acton for its production. We had the additional pleasure on this occasion of the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Torsten Sigstedt, who were on their way from Sweden to Bryn Athyn; and Mrs. Sigstedt was kind enough to accede to an urgent request for a "speech," by addressing the gathering in her particularly happy and attractive style. Referring to Dr. Acton, she "visualized" him for us, busy at all hours, and always at work. It was most interesting. No less so were some items in connection with her own research work, of which Mrs. Sigstedt has done much. We were delighted to meet her again and to make the acquaintance of her husband.

     Our Pastor then referred in feeling terms to the departure from this life of our old friend, Mr. David Denny, whom some of us have known for nearly fifty years. On Sunday, February 19th, a Memorial Service was held for Mr. Denny, the chancel being decorated with most beautiful flowers presented by his widow, and the whole service being a most uplifting and impressive one.

     On this Sunday, too, Michael Church received the news of the coming elevation of the Rev. George de Charms into the Third Degree of the Priesthood. No choice could have given greater satisfaction in England, nor have supplied a more spiritual stimulus to the Church here. We do indeed regard this latest act of our Bishop as we hear it is regarded across the Atlantic,-"a wonderful augury for the future." By the time these words are in print, the ordination will probably have taken place. May the Divine blessing rest upon it in fullest measure!
     K. M. D.


     The outstanding event of the New Year so far has been the celebration of Swedenborg's Birthday. The Society gathered on Friday, January 17th, for a supper and social evening. A hot dinner was served, after which we listened to a series of very interesting speeches. Some of the speakers, in treating of phases of Swedenborg's preparation, had used as reference material Dr. Acton's book, The Introduction to the Word Explained, thus creating a live interest in this fascinating work.


Mr. Rudolph Roschman spoke on the subject "Swedenborg's preparation for the Use of Revelator." Mr. Nathaniel Stroh spoke on "Swedenborg's State of Faith during the Preparatory Period," and Mr. Harold Kuhl on "Swedenborg's Introduction to the Use of Revelator." Mr. David acted as toastmaster. Several musical numbers and cards concluded the evening.

     The following noonday witnessed the gathering of about forty gaily clad children who might have come directly from some Swedish village, but who were in reality our own sons and daughters celebrating in fitting style the birthday of our great Seer. The children also enjoyed a delicious hot meal, after which all the older ones read compositions. One was about Emanuel Swedenborg, giving a short account of his life. The others discussed in turn the seven imaginary heavens visited by the novitiate spirits, as described in the Memorable Relations at the beginning of Conjugial Love. Mr. David, following the ideas described in the compositions, pointed out how true heavenly happiness cannot come from one external act, but that it is contained in a balanced life, with use as the internal of these acts. We sang "Our Glorious Church" and Swedenborg's Birthday songs with much enjoyment. The afternoon ended in playing games.
     G. R. D.


     Mrs. Frederick Urwick, who died in London, England, on November 14, 1927, was a devoted New Church woman, and a diligent reader of the Doctrines. In the early days, she acted as Agent of New Church Life. She was a sister of Mrs. W. H. Benade, and thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the intimate acquaintance of the beloved Bishop Benade.

     Mr. David Denney who died at Norbury, London, England, on February 12th, 1928, was a member of Michael Church, where a Memorial Service was held for him on February 19th. He was brought into the New Church by the means of a Theological Class conducted by a Mr. Skelton in connection with the Flodden Road Society, then having Mr. Edward Austin as its Leader. Mr. Denney became a Reader in the services of that Society, and was representative of the Society at the fateful General Conference of 1890.

     He was one of the early members of the Academy of the New Church, and throughout his life a firm supporter of the Divine Authority of the Writings. In the first volume of New Church Life (October, 1881, p. 6), we find a letter from him signed "Auxiliary, and closing with the words, " Receive from us, therefore, a brotherly hearty, British and New Church Godspeed."

     The following year, commenting upon and supporting the efforts of the Rev. Thomas Child to persuade the Conference to place the Ministers of the Church in their rightful position in relation to their societies, Mr. Denney wrote: "It is strange to find among New Churchmen so much fondness for the deductions of unaided human reason, and so much dislike of the Divine guidance in intellectual and doctrinal matters. In 1890, Mr. Denney, with fifty-eight others, left the Flodden Road Church under the leadership and ministrations of the Rev. R. T. Tilson.

     Mr. Denney was well-known by all the members of the General Church in England, and took an active part in many of the British Assemblies. For some time he worshiped under the ministry of the Rev. Andrew Czerny, but eventually led returned to Burton Road. During the last two years he was prevented by ill health from attending services, but loved to read the Writings every day, and to have reports of the sermons which he could not come to hear. He was twice married, and leaves a widow who has most selflessly devoted her all to him, and with whom for upwards of twenty at years he enjoyed the happiest of married life. He was a wise counselor, a genuine friend, and a man greatly beloved.
     R. J. TILSON.



     On Sunday March 4th, we had a special Lenten Song Service, in which there was short address by the Pastor, several songs by the choir, and instrumental music. The occasion was very enjoyable, and will shortly be repeated.

     Preceding the regular service on March 11th, a special service was held for the purpose of marking the ordination of the Rev. George de Charms into the Third Degree of the Priesthood. The Pastor read portions of the Rite of Ordination which enabled us to visualize the ceremony performed at the same hour in Bryn Athyn.

     Our Friday suppers and classes have been running along as successfully as ever, and have assumed the proportions of banquets. The members attend in large numbers, leaving the smaller children at home in charge Of the older children, and everyone enjoys this gather together at table. While we are still seated, the Pastor gives instruction in a talk lasting about twenty-five minutes.

     Our Pastor has recently paid two visits to Joliet, Illinois, to see Mr. Charles Sifferlen, member of the General Church formerly residing in Bryn Athyn, where he was one of the staff of workers on the Cathedral. Mr. Sifferlen has been in the hospital for many months, and is slowly recovering from the effects of an operation.

     We have recently received additions to our membership from those formerly affiliated with Sharon Church, Chicago: Mr. and Mrs. Louis V. Riefstahl and family; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Headsten.
     J. B. S.


     Hotel Accommodations.

     The first part of the month of August is a crowded season for London hotels. To insure satisfactory accommodations, reservations should be made in advance. In the immediate vicinity of Victoria Hall, where the Assembly will meet, August 3d to 12th, are to be found a number of hotels ranging in size from 100 to 506 rooms, the rates being $2.00 to $2.50 per day for room and breakfast. Of these, Cranston's Ivanhoe Hotel (300 rooms), in Bloomsbury Street, is particularly recommended by several New Church people who have stayed there. The rates are 10 shillings or $2.50 per day for room and breakfast. Rooms with private bath cannot be obtained at any of the smaller hotels.

     Reservations may be made direct, or through Miss Florence Roehner, Bryn Athyn, Pa., or Miss R. M. Dowling, 11 Overton Road, Brixton, London, S. W. 9, England.



CORRECTION              1928


     In the Report on page 183, of the March issue of New Church Life, under "Deaths," the second name should be Mr., not Mrs., James G. Blair.




[Frontispiece: John Flaxman and his art; above - Jasper Vase (Wedewood) in British Museum, subject: "Apotheosis of Homer"]

VOL. XLVIII      MAY, 1928           No. 5
     In the realm of the Fine Arts some interest has been manifested in the centenary of John Flaxman, who departed this life in December, 1826, at the age of seventy-one. A superb draftsman, as well as England's greatest sculptor, his native land possesses many evidences of his wonderful and varied craftsmanship. His statues and reliefs are scattered throughout the British Isles in cathedrals, galleries, and other public places of importance; his beautiful cameo designs for Wedgwood ware marked an era in ceramic art; and for generations his outline illustrations for the Iliad and the Odyssey have been a familiar decoration for unnumbered editions of those classics. He is celebrated, moreover, in the world of letters as the friend and associate of William Blake, whose centenary was observed during the past year. But John Flaxman's claim upon our interest is due chiefly to the fact of his association with the earliest beginnings of the New Church in England. Because of this, the man and his career will be gratefully recalled by New Churchmen when his earthly fame has dimmed or has even passed away.

     The future sculptor was born in York, July 6th, 1755. Six months after this event, the family moved to London, where the father, a molder of plaster figures by trade, commenced business on his own account at the sign of the Golden Head, New Street, Covent Garden. Flaxman was a sickly, misshapen child, suffering from curvature of the spine, and little hope was entertained that he would survive to maturity. Unable to move about save on crutches, he was debarred from boyish sports, the pleasures of the countryside, and the companionship of those of his own age.


But, blessed with a cheerful if serious disposition, child though he was, he turned his handicaps to good account. "In a little stuffed chair, raised so high that he could just see over the counter, he usually sat during the day, with his books around him, and paper and pencils before him, reading one hour and making drawings in black chalk another."

     The superior casts made by the elder Flaxman attained a high reputation in their day, and were wistfully remembered. The cultured art-loving customers who were attracted to his shop did not fail to interest themselves in the industrious little invalid. They assisted him in his solitary studies, and appraised or commended as he drew or modeled in clay. But the occasional visits of the great Romney he never forgot. It was noted at the time that this unusual child had not confined his efforts to sketching the objects around him. Forecasting the work of his maturity, he had dipped into Homer, and had attempted to picture scenes and incidents from the pages of the classic.

     After his tenth year, Flaxman rapidly gained in health and strength. The crutches were permanently laid aside, and the long valetudinary period was ended. More assiduously than ever he now occupied himself with the task of self-education-as an instance of which he became a conspicuous example. Save for a brief term under a harsh instructor, Flaxman attended neither school nor college, but mastered what he wished to learn by application and methods devised by his own genius. Other changes occurred at this particular juncture of his life. His mother died, and a new mistress was introduced into the home. She proved to be kindly and efficient, however, and Flaxman referred to her always in terms of affection and gratitude. His father's affairs, which had heretofore been straitened, now commenced to improve slightly, and a greater degree of comfort obtained in the household.

     The Rev. Henry Mathew and his cultured wife are usually credited with having been the discoverers and fosterers of Flaxman's artistic genius. The kindly Anglican divine first met him as a boy ten years of age, and has described the incident in the following words: "I went to the shop of old Flaxman to have a figure repaired, and whilst I was standing there I heard a child cough behind the counter. I looked over, and there I saw a little boy seated on a small chair with a large chair before him, on which lay a book he was reading.


His fine eyes and beautiful forehead interested me, and I said, 'What book is that?' He raised himself on his crutches, bowed, and said, Sir, it is a Latin book, and I am trying to learn it.' 'Aye, indeed! I answered, 'You are a fine boy; but this is not a proper book. I'll bring you one tomorrow.' I did as I promised, and the acquaintance thus casually begun ripened into one of the best friendships of my life."

     Located in the genteel neighborhood of Rathbone Place, the residence of the Mathews was resorted to by numbers of literary, fashionable, and noted people of the last quarter of the eighteenth century. The hostess, "the celebrated Mrs. Mathew," as she was called, and one of the distinguished blue-stockings of her day, delighted in entertaining youthful and promising geniuses, especially poets, artists, and musicians. Amongst the intimate friends and companions who gathered at her soirees and reunions might be seen such exemplars of female propriety and intellectual attainment as the unreadable Mrs. Chapone; the sensible, didactic Mrs. Barbauld; "the learned and awful Mrs. Carter, a female Great Cham of literature"; and the sprightly Mrs. Montague, champion of Shakespeare against the rude assaults of Voltaire. The humor that may arise out of the contemplation of this prim, quasi-aristocratic salon must be tempered with the recollection that its privileges were at one time enjoyed by three young men who were subsequently to become illustrious,-Stothard, Flaxman, and Blake, the two latter of special interest to New Churchmen.

     At the age of eleven, after discarding his crutches, Flaxman was invited to the home that he constantly visited, and in which he was ever welcome for many years to come. Exquisite and highly educated, Mrs. Mathew would read Homer in the original, translating as she went, while the future sculptor sat by her side, sketching any passages that impressed his fancy. In this manner he was familiarized with Greek, and inspired thereafter to acquire some knowledge of the language for himself. The Mathews interested themselves on behalf of their prot?g? in many helpful ways, not the least of which being his introduction to opulent friends and patrons of art. His first commission was obtained through their influence from Mr. Crutchley of Sunning Hill Park. Six drawings were ordered, classical in subject, twenty-four inches in height, and done in black crayon. Grateful for many favors, when Flaxman became skilled in his art, he decorated the library or back parlor of the Mathew's house "with models in putty and sand, of figures in niches in the Gothic manner."


     Flaxman was a precocious exhibitor and prize-winner for three years before attending the Royal Academy as a student in 1770. At the end of the initial term, he gained the silver medal with ease, and it was expected by himself and his friends that he would be equally successful in the competition for the gold one in the ensuing year. Unfairly, it is thought, Sir Joshua Reynolds awarded the coveted prize to a young man named Englehart. As Englehart was never again heard of, reasonable grounds seem to have existed for the dissatisfaction of Flaxman's admirers. Friendly observers were beginning to dub him "coxcomb," and undeserved failure may have been a salutary check to overconfidence. It so happened that the disappointment fixed his determination to persevere in his chosen field; but for the time being ambition was forced to yield to the more immediate problem of earning a livelihood. His father's affairs were not prosperous, and it was idle to expect his support through the unremunerative period of toil which the aspiring sculptor is foredoomed to endure. Laying Homer aside, he turned to the humble occupation of making plaster casts in his father's shop, sketching and modeling for any who would employ him, and, at the same time, continuing his favorite studies with interest unabated. Flaxman performed this drudgery for years, assisting to keep the wolf from the door and hold the family together. It accustomed him to steady work, and if the discipline was hard, it was none the less wholesome.

     At fifteen, Flaxman exhibited a statue of Neptune at the Royal Academy, and in the four succeeding years contributed not more than nine pieces to the various displays of that institution. These pieces were done in wax or plaster of Paris; he was unable to afford marble or the expense of getting it carved. The exhibits of his most arduous years, though few, attracted critical interest in an unsuspected quarter. When Josiah Wedgwood's attention was directed to the artistic skill displayed by young Flaxman, he was already familiar with the name through business relations with the father. Four years were to elapse ere his observations bore fruit, and unfounded prejudices imbibed at the time were to be dissipated on closer acquaintance. In 1771, Flaxman being sixteen, Wedgwood wrote Thomas Bentley, his partner, as follows: "He (a Mr. Freeman) is a great admirer of young Flaxman, and had advised his father to send him to Rome, which he had promised to do.


Mr. Freeman says he knows young Flaxman is a coxcomb, but does not think him a bit the worse for it, or less likely to be a great artist."

     The Wedgwoods, an old Unitarian family, have been master potters for over three hundred years. From small beginnings the house rose to prosperity and distinction under the management of Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), a man of marked ability and a lover of his craft. At his death he had extended the business to great dimensions, accumulated a fortune of over half a million pounds, and profoundly influenced the development of ceramic art. His first success was the invention of an exquisite cream-colored ware, much admired by Queen Charlotte of England. A complete service was ordered for the royal household, and to this day it is sold under the name of "Queensware." After endless experiments he produced a handsome black fabric called basaltes, then his famous jasper. This ware, fine in texture, is made in various colors, the most popular of which is blue. It is decorated with white cameo reliefs, usually classic in design. It was when preparing his new wares for the market that Josiah Wedgwood sought out Flaxman, then a young man of twenty.

     About this time the Flaxman business was moved, and it was probably the new shop on the Strand that Josiah Wedgwood abruptly entered, and, accosting the future sculptor, broke out, "Well, my lad, I have heard you are a good draftsman and clever designer; I am a manufacturer of pots, named Wedgwood. Now I want you to design some models for me, nothing fantastic, but simple, tasteful, and correct in drawing. I'll pay you well. You don't think the work beneath you?" "By no means, sir," replied Flaxman; "indeed the work is quite to my taste. Give me a few days, and call again, and you will see what I can do." "That's right; work away. Mind, I am in want of them now. They are for pots of all kinds,-teapots, jugs, teacups and saucers. But especially I want designs for a table service. Begin with that. I mean to supply one for the royal table. Now, think of that young man! What you design is for the eyes of royalty!" "I will do my best, I assure you." And Wedgwood bustled out as unceremoniously as he had come in.

     Flaxman retained his connection with Wedgwood for twenty years, and his subsequent fame as one of the greatest modern sculptors imparted a luster to the house, rare in a commercial enterprise. In accord with the taste of the age, his ceramic designs were usually classic in motif.


The study of Etruscan vases in the London museums suggested many of the little groups, friezes, and mythological figures so exquisitely wrought in his low reliefs; and Stuart's Antiquities of Athens, then appearing, provided him with the purest shapes of Greek utensils. Perhaps the most popular examples of his ceramic art have been "The Muses" and "The Dancing Hours." Josiah Wedgwood, however, regarded "The Apotheosis of Homer" a vase deposited in the British Museum-as the chef d'oeuvre. In addition to tableware and vases, Flaxman worked at placques, medallions, busts, etc., and among other things, a set of chessmen, the most beautiful objects of the kind ever produced. We have recently been informed by a member of the time-honored pottery establishment that Flaxman designs are still made in basaltes and jasper wares, and that some of the original wax models are on exhibition in the factory museum at headquarters. By the employment of competent artists, Wedgwood elevated the potter's craft, and it is only fair to state that others beside Flaxman contributed to that end.

     Amiable, kindly and generous, biographers friendly to Flaxman admit a certain amount of dogmatism and self-sufficiency in his character. Some knowledge of the latter traits, often conspicuous in youth, must have prompted Wedgwood to use an epithet in 1775 which he would not have repeated in 1776 writing to Bentley, he said: "I am, glad you have met with a modeler, and that Flaxman is so valuable an artist. It is but a few years since he was a most supreme coxcomb, but a little more experience may have cured him of that foible." A year after these words were written, the "coxcomb" had designed "The Apotheosis of Homer," a vase described by Wedgwood as "the finest and most Perfect I have ever made." And on a later occasion he referred to the same "coxcomb" as "the genius of sculpture." Flaxman had lived his reputation down.

     The assurance of an income derived from commercial art was a step ahead for Flaxman, though he still had far to travel before reaching the goal of his ambition. Every hour he could snatch from his regular work he devoted to the study and practice of sculpture. But at this stage of his career commissions in plastic design were difficult to obtain; up to the time of his departure for Rome at the age of thirty-two, three were all that-he had been able to procure. These were: the memorial to Chatterton in the church of St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol; that of Rev. Thomas and Mrs. Ball, in Chichester Cathedral; and Mrs. Morley, in Gloucester Cathedral.


     His friendship with Stothard and Blake, which began in early manhood, is an important phase in Flaxman's life. If the prevailing estimate of Blake continues undiminished, Flaxman's association with that strange character may eventually become his chief title to fame in the future. Through the years, and at the commencement of their acquaintance, Flaxman went out of his way to render kindly services to Blake, for which the latter gave little evidence of gratitude; and the inadequate recognition of this fact on the part of Blake's biographers is irritating to contemplate.

     With Stothard, the painter and illustrator, accredited with 3000 engraved designs, the sculptor's relations were uniformly cordial. But the ebullient Blake, though age may have tamed him, was difficult to get along with; and after the middle years, intervals of coolness were followed by fading intimacy. Blake and Stothard permanently severed their friendship about 1807. In the tangle arising out of designs for "The Canterbury Pilgrims," a celebrated engraving, Flaxman exonerated the illustrator from the accusations of Blake.

     Stothard introduced Blake to Flaxman, who, of his own accord, had sought the acquaintance of the illustrator out of admiration for his graceful prints. Of nearly equal ages, the three young artists frequently availed themselves of the hospitality of the Mathews, at 27 Rathbone Place. Before the precise and fashionable audiences which assembled at Mrs. Mathew's soirees, Blake first sang and recited his earliest poems. It is stated by one who was present, that "he was listened to by the company with profound silence, and allowed by most of the visitors to possess original and extraordinary merit."

     Deeply impressed by the effusions of the bard, the accomplished hostess persuaded her husband to join the sculptor in. issuing the poems in printed form; Flaxman, out of his limited means, generously assuming a moiety of the expense. The little volume of seventy-four pages appeared in 1783, and bore the title, Poeticae Sketches; by W. B. Uneducated, and never amenable to correction, Blake has been the despair of his editors. In the present instance the suggestion by his friends, that he should put his MS. in order, only stirred him to anger.


Consequently, the Poetical Sketches swarmed with errors,-errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation, and bears no evidence even of revision by a proofreader. Smarting under the offence that he had endured in being asked to correct the Poetical Sketches, he wrote, "Improvement makes straight roads, but crooked roads without improvement are the roads of genius."

     Blake was presented with the entire edition to sell or distribute among his friends as he saw fit. Apparently he did nothing of the kind, but sulked over an imaginary affront. Surfeited with soirees, or for other reasons easily imagined, he gradually withdrew from the social entourage of Rathbone Place. Says "Rainy Day" Smith, a chronicler of those days, "It happened unfortunately, soon after this period (1784), that in consequence of his unbending deportment, or what his adherents are pleased to call his manly firmness of opinion, which certainly was not at all times considered pleasing by every one, his visits were not so frequent."

     In the early years of their acquaintance, Flaxman and Blake worked together in the preparation of Wedgwood's illustrated catalogues, the latter engraving the cuts. Here may be discerned an example of one of the many good turns the sculptor did for his erratic confrere. Think, gentle reader, of a catalogue prepared by Flaxman and Blake!

     Of Flaxman as a young man it is said "that his personal appearance was singular, for though his frame had acquired a wiry tenacity which enabled him to bear much fatigue, yet he looked feeble, and was high shouldered almost to deformity, with ahead somewhat too large for his body, and a sidelong gait in walking. His mouth and set of jaw had something of Plebeian stubbornness, corresponding to his inflexible rigidity of opinion on certain subjects; but the eyes were fine and full of enthusiasm, the forehead noble, the smile quaint and winning, and in youth long brown hair curled to his shoulders."

     Such was Flaxman when he won the affections of Ann Denman, daughter of a gun-stock maker, a cheery, intellectual young woman about his own age. The couple were married in 1782. And when they had settled in the small house and studio in Wardour Street, the sculptor was elected to the position of collector of the watch rate for the Parish of St. Anne. The wedded life of the Flaxmans was singularly happy; no differences ever seemed to arise between them, and thirty-eight years of companionship only strengthened their mutual esteem.


They were of similar tastes, content to live within their means, and not ambitious for social eminence, preferring the retirement of their home and the company of a few intimate friends.

     Sir Joshua Reynolds, himself a bachelor, met Flaxman one day when he had not long enjoyed his newly-found felicity, and reproachfully broke out, "So, Flaxman, I am told that you are married. If so, sir, I tell you, you are ruined for an artist." Flaxman went straight home, sat down beside his wife, took her hand in his, and said: "Ann, I am ruined for an artist." "How so, John? How has it happened, and who has done it?" "It happened," he replied, "in the church, and Ann Denman has done it." He then told her of Sir Joshua's remark. His opinion was well known, and had often been expressed,-that if students would excel, they must bring the whole powers of their mind to bear upon their art, from the moment they rose until they went to bed; and also, that no man could be a great artist unless he had studied the great works of Raphael, Michelangelo and others, at Pome and Florence. "And I," said Flaxman to his wife, drawing up his little figure to its full height, "I would be a great artist." "And a great artist you shall be," she replied, "and visit Rome, too, if that be really necessary to make you great." "But how?" asked Flaxman. "Work and economize," rejoined the brave wife; " I will never have it said that Ann Denman ruined John Flaxman for an artist."

     And so it was determined by the pair that the journey to Rome was to be made when their means would permit. "I will go to Rome," said Flaxman, "and show the President that wedlock is for a man's good rather than his harm; and you, Ann, shall accompany me." Patiently and happily the affectionate couple plodded on during five years in their humble little home in Wardour Street, always with the long journey to Rome before them. It was never lost sight of for a moment, and not a penny was uselessly spent that could be saved toward the necessary expenses. They said no word to any one about their project, solicited no aid from the Academy, but trusted only to their own patient labor and love to pursue and achieve their object. (Self-help, by Smiles.) It is one of the ironies of fate that the superb statue of Sir Joshua Reynolds, now standing in St. Paul's Cathedral, should have been executed by Flaxman, whom he had thwarted as a youth and taunted in his manhood.

     Shortly after his marriage, Flaxman was introduced by Romney to the wealthy Sussex squire, William Hayley, Cowper's biographer.


This maudlin poet and genial man conceived a warm attachment for Flaxman and his wife. For several years the young couple spent their summer holidays at his magnificent home in Eartham, and his patronage was of great use to the sculptor in procuring him commissions for monumental work in the neighboring Cathedral of Chichester. When Flaxman had returned from, his residence abroad, a son of Hayley's who showed some taste for art, was placed with him as a student, but within a few years he died of a decline. During his son's illness the Sussex squire rented his fine estate at Eartham, and built a seaside cottage at Felpham, six miles distant, in which he lived for the remainder of his days. Assuming the task of writing Cowper's biography, as a nepenthe for his bereavement, on Flaxman's recommendation, Blake was employed to engrave the illustrations of the projected quarto. It was likewise decided that the artist should live at Felpham, so that, during the progress of the book, he might be near the author, who thought to push Blake's fortunes by introducing him, to his numerous and well-connected friends. After four years amidst the rural charms of little Felpham, the restless spirit of the artist grew bored, and when he parted from his generous patron it was outwardly upon good terms. Hayley, the valued friend of Gibbon in one generation, and of Cowper in the next, was not deserving of the malignant remarks which Blake recorded in his notebook. These aspersions upon former benefactors, deliberately thought out and set down, reveal an unpleasant aspect of Blake's character. "The visions were angry with me at Felpham," he would afterwards say. Following the severance of his relations with Hayley and the serious rupture with Stothard, Flaxman's friendship waned.

     (To be Continued.)

     [Mr. Carter's sketch of the career of John Flaxman will be published in three installments. The next, treating of Flaxman's reception of the Heavenly Doctrines, and f his relations with William Blake, will appear in the June number.-EDITOR]



ORDER AND INFLUX       Rev. HUGO LJ. ODHNER       1928

     "How good are thy tents, O Jacob; thy tabernacles, O Israel!" (Numbers 24:5.)

     Israel was marching towards its promised land. But their migration was unique in history. It is true that they had become a militant nation in the pursuit of the usual human goals of liberty and happiness. But they were led on by a Divine Vision, were obedient to a Divine Voice. To them God had descended to speak His commands in audible manner. They were a "kingdom of priests and an holy nation"-picturing on earth the kingdom of God in a representative way, serving as His Specific Church, and destined to be the tool of judgment in His hands, a scourge to idolatrous Canaan, but withal a blessing to all the nations of the earth, responsible for carrying the burdens of Revelation and preparing the way of the Lord.

     Only very vaguely did Israel sense the holiness or recognize the universality of their mission. Their conscious service was merely external; their loyalty was pledged to traditions of race, and their worship was rendered to the God of their fathers; whom they viewed as a tribal deity whose interest they monopolized. They were unaware of the presence of angelic hosts as they performed the commands of their God. They were, for the most part, too gross to read the spiritual laws of charity and mutual love which were contained within their everyday customs and rituals, or to discern the arcana of heavenly truths which were embodied in their Tabernacle, with its trine of parts. And when-as is implied in our text-the Israelites were encamped upon the plains of Moab, every man by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's houses, each tribe by itself in definite relations around the Tabernacle of the Congregation (Numbers 2:2, 34), they saw in this only a worldly precaution, the prudent care of their God for their protection against external foes, and against internal dissensions and confusions. This external strength of Israel-the power of order and thorough organization-was the result of nearly forty years of desert-life.


Israel had learned the value of discipline, had seen the futility of murmuring and rebellion. No longer were they a rabble of slaves. They were now-their period of Reformation over-a nation bred upon hardships, united by firm discipline, fired by the prospect of conquests.

     This strength of Israel was recognized by their foes. And in the events that lead up to our text we find how the Ring of Moab calls to his aid a noted enchanter, a Syrian prophet, that he might undermine the strength of Israel by secret arts. And Balaam, the prophet, sought to curse Israel on the Ring's behalf. From all the hilltops around the plain did he try his power; but everywhere the Lord turned his curses into blessings. The prophet's eyes, open to the spiritual world, perceived the heavenly powers allied with Israel-and knew that he could not defy whom the Lord had not defied. "Surely," he cried, "there is no enchantment against Jacob, nor is there any divination against Israel." And as he lifted up his eyes, and saw Israel abiding in his tents according to his tribes, the Spirit of God seized him, and he exclaimed, "How good are thy tents, O Jacob, thy tabernacles, O Israel; as the valleys are they planted, as gardens by the river, as sandal trees which the Lord hath planted, as cedar trees beside the waters."

     Israel, in their orderly encampment, represented the spiritual church. The church is indeed called "the Camp of the Saints." Each tribe in Israel signified some universal essential of the church, and their encampment represented the arrangement of the angelic societies in the heavens, and thus the church in the whole complex. This ordination of the societies of heaven is effected with the purpose "that all may be kept in connection by influx." (A. E. 410.) There is a "coordination" and a "subordination" throughout the whole spiritual world, that the influx of life and power may be distributed to all; and although the disposition of individuals, and the mutual relation of societies, are affected by the process of growth, and are especially changed at times of a final judgment, yet the general form of the heaven does not alter, and the order of influx is not essentially changed. (A. E. 702.) Life inflows from the Lord according to a Divine and eternal order-inflows through the celestial into the spiritual, and thence into the natural, and never the reverse; although there is also an immediate Divine influx into every successive heaven, and into each discrete degree.


Only where there is order can this influx be received; and according to the perfection of the order, there is also perfection of reception, of uses, of wisdom, and of love.

     It was because Balaam saw in the encampment of Israel the order of heaven, that he recognized his inability to harm them by enchantments, or by surrounding them with evil spirits. For despite the gross evils of the Israelites as individuals, "Israel" as a people or a church were under the protection of Omnipotent God so long as they were willing to be led, and to have their lives organized by the Lord's will.

     The order of heaven is from the Lord alone. He as the Divine Human is the Life of heaven, the disposing influx of which makes heaven. He is Order Itself. Wherever He is present, there order is; and where order is, there He is present. (A. C. 5703:5.) It is true on earth as it is in heaven, that where two or three are gathered in His Name, or in accord with His Divine Order, there He is in the midst. It was not peculiar to Israel that the Lord's presence with them and His protection over them depended upon the order of their institutional life, but it is a universal law that influx is according to form, and that influx is received where there is order, and there alone. Thus it is true of the New Church, which the Lord in His Second Advent is now seeking to establish on earth, that the Lord is present so far as there is a disposition to recognize the order towards which He leads us by the Heavenly Doctrine. The progress of the Church is actual just so far as there is a growing perception of heavenly order, and a willing endeavor to build our uses according to its form. Then the Church will become a Camp of Jehovah, and an image of heaven; and though it may yet for a season have to dwell in the wilderness, and be cherished among a few, yet no enchantment and no divination shall avail against it.

     Through the Revelation of the Writings we may now look down upon the camp of Israel with prophetic eyes, and discern therein the order of heaven which the church should emulate. Order implies government. Yet, in the center of the camp, we should look in vain for the tent of Moses, or even his judgment-seat. There, instead, we find the holy tabernacle, with its ascending pillar of smoke, wherein the Lord, the Ruler of Israel, dwells between the cherubims, on the ark of the Covenant, the Word, the Divine Law.


The Lord, as a living presence, is the center of the Church. From Him comes all influx of life and government, and all instruction.

     But immediately around the Tabernacle dwell the Levites, divided as to families and functions. And Moses, Aaron, and the priests dwell in the East, at the very gate of the sacred enclosure. It is stated that Israel was to be "a kingdom of priests," which spiritually signified that all in the church are to live in spiritual good-the good which comes from spiritual truth; and thus would become "a holy nation" by truths which spring from such charity. But in order that there may be a kingdom, there must be the office of King, which office is represented by the monarch or executive, and by those who are instrumental in the government; so also a kingdom of priests implies the need of a priestly office, to administer and interpret the Divine Law and Worship. The priesthood is thus "the first of the Church " (A. E. 229), the means of inaugurating it, the means of perpetuating it, by providing that what is Divine may be among men, and by maintaining order in ecclesiastical things.

     The priesthood thus in a manner mediates the influx of the Divine Truth among men, without preventing the presence of the Lord by immediate influx into each and all. The teaching is given us that "influx from the Lord advances through continual mediations and thus successions" (A. C. 5920:2), and the instance is given that the three heavens mediate in such a way. "For all the influx of Divine Truth," the doctrine informs us, "is effected through heaven: immediate influx cannot be received by anyone." (A. C. 4809:2.)

     That the priesthood performs a mediating function in teaching and leading the church, is clear. In a normal state of the church it is seldom questioned, although the teaching and the government is then not obtrusive. For where order rules, the Lord Himself is present, and it is felt that it is He who rules, He who leads and teaches. The nearer the Lord is to man, the freer is man. The priest as to his office becomes, then, but a representative of the Lord, and personality falls away from the thought. But where there is disorder in the church, the responsibility of the priesthood in mediating the influx of truth becomes doubly manifest. For it then often appears that the priesthood has obstructed the influx of truth, instead of mediating and transmitting it. Or that they, like Aaron, on one occasion, did hearken to the popular demand, "Up, make us gods which shall go before us!"


Thus forsaking their holy office of leading and teaching.

     It is a consequence of such abuses that the desirability of a priestly government within the churches has been questioned from time to time, and a congregational government of ecclesiastical affairs has been introduced, among Protestants, and to lesser extent even among New Church societies. The ostensible object in this has been to avoid the mediation on the part of others. But it is clear from observation, as well as from the Writings, that mediation cannot be avoided; that there is no influx possible except through others; that human society is so constituted that no one can think from himself, but all are influenced by those who-in any single field of thought or use-are pre-eminent, or at least most productive or conspicuous. And the duty of the church is therefore to place the function of mediating the truth, and leading thereby to the good of life, in the hands of those who are amply prepared and responsible for that ministry.

     In civil affairs, government is founded largely upon mutual suspicion, and is therefore furnished with a series of checks, with a view of making abuses impossible. But in the New Church the endeavor is to seek an order into which the blessings of illustration and of purer influx may make possible the nearer presence of the Lord and His kingdom of mutual love and charity. No safeguards are of any avail which prevent abuses and make the use impossible or imperfect. Nor can the human mind devise a government which shall fulfill these loftiest of all requirements-of holding and reflecting the light of heaven.

     No. We must go to the ark of God-to the Word displayed as to spiritual meaning-for such instruction. We must look upon the Camp of Jehovah with the eyes of angels, to see the truth that the strength of heaven lies in the order revealed by the Lord. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord." (Zech. 4:6.) A priestly government of three degrees in due subordination is shown in the Heavenly Doctrine to be requisite for the maintenance of order in the things which appertain to heaven among men, that the Holy Spirit, with its special virtues of Illustration and Instruction, may pass freely into the church. The Holy Spirit is the Word, and affects all who approach the Lord there; indeed, it inheres in no man; but it passes through man to man,-in enlightening visions of truth and responding affections.


Still, "if according to order,"-the Canon states-it flows into the clergy, and through them into the Laity. Where the Priesthood does not lead in the perception of the holy truths of Revelation, the order of the church is disturbed. Yet the meaning is that the priesthood as a whole must so lead, in order that the uses of the church may be adequately performed.

     Apparent government may be established by prudence, or even by force. But real government is exercised only by influx. In heaven, we are told, the subordination among the angels is not that of command; none wishes to be master over another, but he rather longs to serve and help him. Thought, however, is communicated freely, and when such thought is joined with a wish that something be done, there in an influx of this thought into others. And if it meets with conviction gladly, the thing is done. It is a government by the perception of uses to be done, a government by conscience-an inflowing of the Holy Spirit in its perpetual passing through the heavens. But influx, in heaven, does not proceed from below, but always from above; that is what makes heaven a heaven. All life is continual influx from above, and the higher degree presents an image of itself in lower degrees. (A. C. 3691:2.) The higher wisdom, the deeper love, always governs.

     Heaven may at times seem very far from the earth. Yet it is from heaven that the Holy Jerusalem, the Camp of the Saints and the beloved City, is to descend, to fashion the New Church and to order our lives. It is so that we shall receive a finite share in Divine Omnipotence. For man is in power against evil and falsity in proportion as he lives according to the Divine Order; so far he dwells in the sphere of the Divine protection which guards the church.

     Much is taught in the Writings about the power that is latent in orderly ultimates. It is said, for an instance, that although man as to his mind's life is not in order, and must therefore be governed by particular spirits, yet his body, being in order, can be governed by a general influx from heaven. This general influx is defined as "a continuous impulse from the Lord through the whole heaven into everything pertaining to the life of man." (A. C. 6211.) The same applies to the body of the church, so long as it is founded upon the order prescribed in its Revelations.


It is then under the general government and influx of heaven, as to institutional life. Its teaching, its ritual, its sacraments, its ordinations, betrothals, and marriages, belong then, not to this world alone, but are also the media of heavenly gifts, bringing heaven and the church into intimate communion and conjunction. Such sacred uses as are shaped from revealed principles, and accepted as of Divine order, are beyond man's caprice to disturb. It is the highway that is called "The Way of holiness; wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein; but the redeemed, the ransomed of the Lord, shall return by it and come to Zion with songs, and with everlasting joy upon their heads." (Isa. 35:8-10.)

     But even as the body can be ravished by diseases, so the ultimates of institutional order in the church can become gradually corrupted. The Divine order which invites heavenly influx into the church comes not merely from forms, nor even only from truths. Truth, seen in the light of authority, can establish a temporary state of order. But even as the most just laws become impotent unless an appreciative public opinion calls for them to be carried out (that is, unless there be a love of law in the land), so order can be made permanent in the church only by the prevalence of the good of spiritual love. The loves of the natural man, and especially the love of self, are inclined to create confusion and chaos, and are destructive of all that tends to unanimity, consociation, and order; because self-interest thrives best where disorder prevails. (A. C. 2957, 2219.) No order, no use, is satisfactory to such a love.

     The order that will endure the stress of spiritual temptation is an order that is loved, an order that springs and flows from the love of heavenly uses. The Writings, therefore, teach that when man arrives at the state when he begins to act no longer from truth only, or from mere obedience, but acts from good-from a love of the end, the use-acts in willing subordination and cooperation; then, and not until then, are the truths within his mind brought into an orderly arrangement. Internal order, conducive to internal progress and to the internal fruitfulness of our uses, is only possible where a spiritual charity and a celestial affirmation of truths and uses anoint the mechanism of institutional life with the oil of mutual love, and thus remove the frictions, and the grind, and the wear, which otherwise tend to break down order and make progress spasmodic and irreliable.


     Thus, with both clergy and laity, it is the charity of spiritual love that environs the uses of the church with a supporting, affirming sphere; which fills the forms of the church with meaning and with prophetic power; which indeed builds the spirit of the church within its body, and thus receives the mediated influx of truth consciously and in freedom.

     Unless that good of spiritual love is present to sustain the church, it will perish by degrees. For over against the Camp of Israel stands Balaam upon the mountains of Moab. His incantations are of no avail against those within the camp. But still he can marshal the alluring daughters of Moab and Midian to entice the errant sons of Israel; and by this, his cunning, come the temptations to which the church is subjected when overconfidence in external strength causes an obscurity which blinds men to the character of the natural good, which beckons them aside from the Way of Holiness.

     The plagues of temptation are indeed an unavoidable experience for those who would become of the true Israel. It is the nearness of spiritual dangers that will open our eyes to appreciate the beauties of the Camp of Jehovah, and move us unitedly to pledge our feeble lives to the cause of spiritual order, to the conquest of the nations, the subjugation of pride and self-will and the love of worldly honors and gain; and thus cause us, too, to exclaim gratefully and reverently, "How good are thy tents, O Jacob, thy tabernacles, O Israel!" Amen.

     Lessons: Numbers 23:5-26. Revelation 20:4 to 21:3. A. C. 2015:10 to end.




      [EDITORIAL NOTE: Four Addresses are printed below in the order in which they were delivered at the Banquet of the Philadelphia District Assembly, held in Bryn Athyn on Friday evening, February 3d, 1928. They proved to be a very stimulating expression of views upon the problem of the mode of man's first creation upon the earth.]


     Method of Approach.

     I was recently privileged to attend a General Faculty meeting of the Academy where the subject under discussion was the Origin of Man, and I can bear witness to the manner with which it was approached.

     Doctor Pendleton, in his paper on the subject, reviewed four theories which had occupied the attention of the Church: the Fiat Theory, the Arboreal Theory, the Animal Hominine Theory, and a recently announced theory, termed by Doctor Pendleton the Microcosmic Theory. The Fiat Theory involved the immediate creation of man. The Arboreal Theory involved the implantation of a human soul in a vegetable form. The Animal Hominine Theory involved the placing of a human soul in an animal form. The Microcosmic Theory involved the placing of a soul in a cell, and the gradual development of that cell, from generation to generation, in ever-increasing complex forms, but all these forms having a human soul, although not an individual human soul, until the full human form was attained. Doctor Pendleton held that this theory was consistent with Revelation and with scientific evidence.

     The discussion which ensued was most interesting. All speakers disclaimed the Fiat Theory. Some speakers endorsed the Arboreal Theory, although holding that the account of the origin of men given in the Worship and Love of God is not to be taken literally. There was no support for the Animal Hominine Theory.


The controversy, which was zealous, and yet entirely friendly, waged over the point as to whether it was reasonable to suppose that a form with a human soul, a form which had sensation and breathed, would not be a complete human being.

     There was a certain tone about the whole discussion which impressed me as possibly evidencing a new state of thought in the Academy. It was not that the speakers invoked the Writings, for we have always done this. It was not that they were affirmative to Swedenborg's Scientific Works, for so we have ever been. But there was a recognition of the fact that in the application of doctrines drawn from the Writings, and of principles derived from the Scientific Works, to matters of science, the evidence of science has its place, and is not to be ignored or explained away.

     What shall we say of this method? We might call it the balanced method, the one which avoids the two extremes of the purely scientific method and of the dogmatic method. Indeed, the value of this balanced method may be seen by contrast with the purely scientific method and the dogmatic method.

     The scientific method is obviously impotent to solve the problem of the origin or destiny of man. Its only criteria are the senses. Its eyes are closed to the shining light of Revelation, and its ears are deaf to the still, small voice of spiritual affections. Vain imaginations and arrogance are its fruits. Its philosophy draws its life from, and can but return to, the dust.

     The antithesis of the scientific method is the dogmatic method, and perhaps we have given less thought to the dangers of this method. Its characteristic is its rigid and literal application of passages from Revelation to any or all subjects, without a full understanding of these subjects; and its tendency is to demand for its applications the sanction of Revelation itself. As we review the history of the New Church, we shall see many examples of this tendency. There has been a tendency to be dogmatic on such subjects as the healing of diseases, architecture, clothing, diet, and even on economic and political problems. This tendency was but natural in a new organization, possessed of a Divine Revelation, and burning with the zeal of a great cause. But as the thought of the Church matures, we arrive at a seeming paradox. More and more we see how the Divine Revelation makes all things new, and yet less and less can we dogmatically assert that our own application of the Divine Revelation is absolutely true.


There is a certain sophistication which accompanies maturity, a sophistication which is characteristic of the men of our race, which rebels against a too positive and too quick application of doctrines to the problems which surround us. As Aristotle said: "They who take only a few points into account find it easy to pronounce judgment."

     The balanced method will shun the extremes of the scientific method and the dogmatic method. It will make progress slowly. As a speaker said in one of the papers read at the recent joint meeting of the Council of the Clergy and General Faculty, we seek today to reach, and at the same time to compass, the fields of science. We have our distinctive marriage and social life, and yet we are a part of modern civilization and in contact with the modern mind. We seek to apply the light of Revelation, not only to our experiences as isolated individuals, but also to those sciences which come to our minds from the wide world without. In every paper read at the recent meetings, there was a wealth of scientific information, a digest of that information, and a view of that information in the light of New Church doctrine. Let us say that today we are not concerned so much with the enunciation of general principles as with their application; and in this task of application I believe that this generation has found itself.

     The problem of the origin of man may not be finally solved tonight, this year, or this century. The problem is a very old one. Saint Augustine suggested that the original creation was of "the seeds of things." It is my understanding that that is the teaching of the Writings. Just how those seeds developed is a profound problem. Obviously, science cannot explain the causes which made those seeds develop, even if it can produce evidence of the forms through which those seeds developed. Religion, on the other hand, though it know the causes of the development of those seeds, will hardly attain any complete understanding of the origin of man if it ignores the evidence of science as to the forms through which those seeds developed. The problem therefore becomes one that is not for the priest alone or the scientist alone, but for both working together.

     The balanced method is needed because of the universality and finality of the Revelation accorded to that New Church which is to "rule all nations with a rod of iron."


The medieval spirit, in which "dogma, definite and defined, was cast like a shell over the adolescent mind of medieval Europe," is not to burden the crown of all Churches. The Sun of Heaven which shines in the pages of the Writings will so quicken the dust of science that the "wilderness shall blossom as the rose."

     But it may be asked: Why this controversy over the origin of man-a controversy that will not change the fact that man is on the earth, however he may have come there, and a controversy that may never be settled to the satisfaction of all New Church minds? There are many answers to these questions, some of which are obvious.

     Experience teaches that the current theory of education tends to unsettle the faith of youth. Youth is curious as to the nature of man's creation, and many of the learned suggest that Divine interposition is not necessarily involved in that creation, and that such intervention should not be believed unless it be scientifically demonstrated-obviously an impossibility. If, however, our New Church theologians and scientists suggest a theory of the origin of man which is consistent with the scientific evidence, our students are strengthened in their struggle with naturalism. In fact, a consideration of the teachings of Revelation, and the disclaimer by eminent modern scientists of any knowledge of the motivating cause of evolution, will protect our youth against the delusion that there is any real conflict between Revelation and science. As to how far it is necessary to consider this scientific evidence in the schools, this is a matter for determination by teachers. We may not, however, lose sight of the maxim that to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

     As to whether a theory of the origin of man can be propounded that will satisfy all New Church minds, the problem may not be so hopeless as at first sight appears. The experience of the Academy shows a striking tendency toward unanimity of thought. The general adherence to Bishop William F. Pendleton's statement of the Principles of the Academy is an example of this unanimity. In respect to the very subject we are discussing there is already unanimity on the authority of the Writings, on the value of the Scientific Works, on the doctrine of order, on the fact of the Divine working in every stage of the creation of the universe, on the doctrine of degrees, and on spiritual influx.


Where, outside of the New Church, would you find such agreement on the fundamentals of this great problem?

     We hold these banquets, not as gladiatorial combats, but as feasts of charity, and we rejoice in the perception of our agreement on fundamentals and interior doctrines, and not in. observing our variations in the application of these fundamental and interior principles. A divergence of views may give space to a banquet, but it cannot make its food. When the "doctors disagree," let us of the laity realize that their agreement is on many things, and their disagreement on a few, and that our keen interest is rather in their harmony than in their apparent discord. We relish original thought, we abhor the standardized mind,-the mind compelled to uniformity by external pressure,-but we hope that out of the free interchange of opinion may come that harmony of thought and will which forever abides in the choirs of heaven.


     An educational writer recently observed that a man is known by the kind of dilemmas he keeps. Certainly we all have them. If not, our minds must be at a standstill. But the writer goes on to say that the characteristic of the educated mind is that it can restate its dilemmas in terms which give promise of a solution. This, I feel, we should be doing tonight with regard to the question of the Origin of Man. For it is a truth that most of our dilemmas are of our own making, since we have a tendency to surround our opinions with a shell of bias, wedging us in so that there is no return. And then, to give up that opinion seems like giving up the universe.

     I shall, of course, not attempt to outline my inclinations of belief in respect to the first derivations of the race we call Man, in the compass of a ten-minute speech; because that would only give me about-say-fifteen minutes in which to do it. And I have a long belief-it stretches all the way down to Paleozoic times. For I do not think there was ever a time when the Lord's hands were not preparing the matrix of the human race. But I am glad that the subject is relegated to the sphere of individual opinion; for I do not think that anything of our treasured faith in revealed doctrine is endangered thereby, but quite the opposite.


The details of creation, the Writings intimate, "do not properly enter into such a system of theology" as it is the purpose of the New Church to teach,-does not enter in, i.e., "as a lemma or argument." (T. C. R. 75e.)

     Yet we need, and our imagination craves, an ultimate and definite mental picture of creation, and of the origin of man, as a reflecting surface. Such a picture, filling out what the Writings give us to know on the subject, we enjoyed when the scientific works and Principia of Emanuel Swedenborg became popularized about twenty years ago. Reflected against a background of diagrams of finites and bullae, we saw certain brilliant truths, so brilliant that for a while we saw no others. That is all that any science or any one view of science can do. Revelation exhibits its truths in constantly new aspects which cannot be crammed down into any one individual viewpoint or any one scientific epoch. Frankly, in my humble but considered judgment, the correlation theory as conceived here twenty years ago has served its purpose. What we need today-and it has already begun-is a new study of the preparatory works of Swedenborg which shall show the development of his mind, the gradual shifts which-under Divine guidance-finally culminated in the rational philosophy that underlies the Doctrine of the New Church.

     The mind of Swedenborg was subject to an evolution; and this, I think, is illustrated in the view he held about the Origin of Man. In his early manhood, he turned his growing scientific knowledge whole-heartedly to the defense of the literal teaching of Genesis about the universal flood and Noah's mechanical salvation therefrom, about the ages of the Patriarchs-and doubtless he held similar ideas about the first men, Adam and Eve in paradise, such as are most readily drawn from the literal account. In this ultimate picture of God forming man dust of the ground and breathing into him the breath of life is contained every truth that will ever be known about creation. It is the touchstone of truth still. But this does not mean that a mind like Swedenborg's could be satisfied to give no more thought to the subject. The right hand of God worked, he knew, from above and within, directing the life-currents from the soul. But the left hand of God was preparing and molding the dust of the ground; and Swedenborg, the scientist and philosopher, whose life was a thirst for the knowledge of God's operations within the universe, could scarcely be expected to refrain from reflecting upon this first miracle of the finger of God, and from putting its wonders in some relation with the other more constant miracles which the world displays.


In his Worship and Love of God, therefore, he introduces the story of the first pair, and in his poetic fancy he sees the trees of life bearing the choice things of the dust into an egg or fruit wherein the right hand of God forms the infant man or woman who were to be the parents of our race.

     To my mind, this evolution of Swedenborg's views was inevitable, but far from final. It represented one of the first attempts that a scientific man had ever made to understand how God prepared for the creation of man. The 18th century accepted officially a far more childlike view, and believed that God had created the man adult and full grown on the sixth day immediately from the soil; and Swedenborg was risking the charge of heresy and worse by his bold theory. Certainly he did not mean either to break anyone's faith in the letter nor to bind his own thought or that of his posterity to his theory. In the Word Explained he later notes: "Whether man was formed immediately from the earth, and thus without passing through his periods from infancy to manhood, or whether he was formed mediately from an egg and so forth, may be left to the faith of the reader. Since, however, a single day signifies an entire space of time or a lapse of many years, he might also have been born from an egg, and the egg been produced, not immediately from the earth's ground, but mediately by means of the fibers of some vegetable object or tree, whereby the essences that were to pass over into his blood might be rectified. If this be the case, he was nevertheless formed of the dust of the earth; for everything that passes through the roots or fibres of vegetables is from, the earth. The fact that all things were brought forth according to ends, even intermediate ends, which were foreseen and provided for-and thus were brought forth mediately and in their order-derogates nothing from the Divine omnipotence." (W. E. 14)

     Our faith, therefore, is free; and the only question is now whether his own views were finally fixed. Should we be well advised to adopt the Arboreal Theory, or did Swedenborg rather point the way to a future investigation of the subject,-an investigation into the means whereby God's left hand gathered the materials for the final creation of man as an immortal being, denizen of heaven, as well as crown and heir of creation?


     Certainly, in the inspired Writings, we find no further discussion of the methods of man's creation. But a change in Swedenborg's views is apparent, for beginning with the Arcana he no longer regarded Adam and Eve as the first men, or indeed as individuals at all. Since I655, when Le Peyrere published his work, called Preadanaites, many (as Swedenborg notes in T. C. R. 466) had come to believe that Adam and Eve were not the first created men. But Swedenborg showed that the so-called first pair were the symbols of the first church of real men, of truly equipped, celestial men. And so we see that the direction of investigation must be redrawn somewhat. There were men before the church Adam, and these Preadamites were not perfect men in the full sense of that word; indeed, we are taught, they "lived as wild animals" (A. C. 286), and although of celestial genius, were born natural, and in their gradual regeneration became spiritual; they were at first in darkness, their minds empty and void; in certain respects, they resembled the animal creation; they were born into the order of their life; they were led by inborn instincts, they had no articulate speech. (See also D. P. 216, E. U. 55)

     Indeed, shall we not go further in the argument which Swedenborg has started, and say that there was a time when these early denizens of the world had not yet experienced the beginning of the humanizing process which commences when God says, "Let there be light." We would save ourselves a great deal of unnecessary anxiety, if we could bravely and wisely draw a line between our real knowledge and the realm of surmise; if we could say, "Thus far the Doctrine guides us-what is beyond this is speculation or interpretation."

     Swedenborg was too wise a man to go beyond his facts, and draw theories which, however true, were illegitimate for him to hold. But I am inclined to speculate that had Swedenborg been confronted with the array of new data in Geology and Biology which have been discovered since his time, he would not have become possessed with any panic at the suggestion that there might have been some sort of an organic evolution of species, and even of Preadamite Man.


     If we lay prejudice and unreasoned feeling aside, and think calmly from the principles of thought laid down in the Writings, we will not find anything there directly opposed to the idea, of an evolution Divinely directed, an evolution totally different, of course, from the theory of evolution which the Godless have pounced upon, and which they love to parade before the gaping world as an argument against the very existence of God! No New Churchman can consider that blind force created the wonderful theater of use-the earth. Natural selection, and blind forces and accidents, are not really creative in any sense.

     I think, also, that we must all agree that any evolution theory that does not account for the discrete degree between man and beast is equally sterile of interest for the New Churchman. And there are other equally important conditions which our eventual theory must fulfill. I think that man was created good,-good for its intended uses, favorable for the hastening of the sixth day. Nor, as Dr. Wilkinson pointed out, was early man a plaything of Ichthyosaurus or Plesiosaurus. The race did not spend its hearts' babyhood,-its infancy or its nursery days,-among cave-bears and hairy rhinoceroses. This may indeed apply to a later man; but because many a geologist tends to create a Frankenstein out of every Paleolithic man, it need not make us do so. Their interpretations are not ours; their reconstructions and plastercasts are not things we may borrow with impunity-but only their facts. The facts of biology and geology are a No Man's Land; their theories they may keep. Everyone looks to history for what he would like to see there. He can see Providence there, if he so desires, or he can make a materialistic interpretation of history which sees only the appearance. We cannot accept another's reading of the Record of the Rocks. We are obliged to read them ourselves. But before we have read them, let us not shut our eyes, and say they are not there. Nor, after a glance at the first sand-pile, say that we have seen all the Rocks, and be satisfied with the first explanation.

     No. This is no off-hand matter, to be settled in an after-dinner speech. For the record of the Rocks uncovers Holy Ground. He who does not "take off his shoes from off his feet," and tread gently, has no right to enter its precincts. For God is present there-creating, forming.

     We must perhaps gaze in upon an embryonic world, which no other than calm and reverent eyes should justly, or could with equanimity, behold.


We see the clumsy forms of primal life creeping out of the fecund waters of a preparadisal earth; we may not deny them; they were there. We see timid prototypes of noble animals, see giant-lizards and monsters whose size was their undoing. We may not call them evil, despite their ugliness, despite they fed on one another, as do the innocent fishes of the sea, and have done since the day of their creation, lest they fill the waters totally; and as does the babe upon the mother's breast. Evil they need not have been, but rude and elemental expressions of the natural loves and untutored instincts of a humanity which perhaps was not yet, and perhaps already existed as a race of beings in an embryonic infancy, not yet matured into real self-consciousness-not yet born into its destined immortality; whose immortal God-offered souls had not yet been accepted as their personal possession; whose will and understanding were involuntary tools of God, even as those of the unborn babe-and thus returned to God when their bodies died.

     The Lord has spread a veil before His primeval workshop. Let us not intrude, except so far as He Himself, in His Providence, invites and lets the finished product review its past.

     I wish we had the time to gather together what the Writings really say about first creation. All creation at the first was instantaneous as, indeed, it is today. It is an immediate creation of a seed. This creation was not confined to time; the idea of time-long or short-six days, for instance, makes comprehension of creation impossible. The mineral kingdom was the basis of the vegetable kingdom, and that for the animal which includes man as to his body. Yet man's body is from a discretely higher origin, from a soul which, if organically appropriated, can be a source of immortal life to the human spirit or mind.

     Much has been said about so-called spontaneous creation. The Writings do not teach "spontaneous" creation out of nothing, or out of physical things. That is rather the position the materialists are pushed into, to account for the first amoeba. The Writings suggest, instead, that in the beginning insects and low forms of life took their initiaments directly by the creation of seeds or germs without any eggs or oviform matters. They suggest this, because there is an influx from the spiritual world which, when received in corresponding and suitable effluvia and substances in the earth, can mold matter into bodies for such forms of life.


But Swedenborg, who, in the Worship and Love of God, hesitated to follow Milton's description of creation, also refrains from suggesting, in the Writings, that baby elephants rise from the earth at once! His silence, to me, is eloquent. The elephants may once have been more humbly dimensioned, more simply formed. Each species may have had a history of its own. Changes of species from natural causes alone are impossible. Evolutionists admit that no natural explanation suffices to account for variation and mutations in species. But, granting a spiritual cause, we have a large range of possibilities that would account for changes within the forms of life. Reception according to form (C. L. 86, T. C. R. 35e) makes species stable, so long as the form is unchanged. But how can we assume that no other law may enter in, which, from a spiritual cause, changes the form from within and without together? Use, the Arcana says, creates the form; use commands the form. (A. C. 4223, S. D. 3472, 2510.)

     And the Spirit of God "brooding upon the face of the waters"-the Divine of Use-the plastic force of the spiritual world, in its manifold, indefinite manifestations, inflows into universal nature, filling it with a conatus toward more perfect forms that look to the human image. This conatus is not self-conscious, not realized, until the human mind is illumined with the Divine Words, "Let there be light!"

     But even so, we are kin with the dust; and as the celestial men of old humbly took their name "Adam" from the red soil, so we should not be too proud to own that only by the mercy of the Lord are we Man.

     We do not know our individual past, still less the origin of man; though we may know that our soul and manhood is from God's immediate presence in us. Let us, then, be bold in this our ignorance, and patient in the knowledge and steady light of doctrine that we may have. For impatience is barren of any spiritual offspring, unless we count the cheap conceits of knowing all there is to know-a dangerous assumption, fostering fantasy and fatal to progress-a bubble of an idea, liable to be pricked at any time by the passing breeze.




     It is not my purpose to expound, nor to present, the Microcosmic Theory referred to by the first speaker, but rather to attempt to appraise as accurately as possible the validity of the Arboreal Theory as it is usually interpreted,-the theory drawn from one of Swedenborg's works, The Worship and Love of God.

     First, I want to call your attention to the great usefulness and importance of Swedenborg's philosophical works in general. There are many things which, may be said on this subject, but I assume that most of you are acquainted with these works. I want merely to point out that the Worship and Love of God is one of these books, and that its usefulness and value should be appraised as a part of the whole. Specifically, the Worship and Love of God has a peculiar value, and possibly an even greater value than Swedenborg's other philosophical works, because Swedenborg said several things about this book that have laid a special emphasis upon it. It was the last of his series of philosophical works. It was written before his eyes were opened into the spiritual world, but was published by Swedenborg himself after his eyes were opened into the spiritual world, after he had begun to write the Arcana Coelestia. This puts a strong stamp of approval upon this work. There are several other things of a like nature which may be said, but owing to the shortness of the time I will not speak of them here. Suffice it to say, that, in my opinion, anyone who challenges the direct teachings of the Worship and Love of God has the burden of proof placed upon him. He must prove his case. Now, I propose to show you some reasons for doubting the literal meaning of the Worship and Love of God. I take upon myself the burden of proof. I propose to show you some reasons for doubting whether Swedenborg himself taught or meant to teach the Arboreal Theory.

     In the first section of the first chapter of the Worship and Love of God, Swedenborg gives a very beautiful summary of the Principia. I do not know of any clearer or more direct philosophical teaching anywhere in Swedenborg's works than is to be found in this summary of the Principia.


It does not add anything particularly to the Principia, but it gives us a very clear outline of his earliest complete philosophical treatment of cosmology. With this, the doctrine of the Principia, I find that the Writings concur. And I have found, after a careful survey of the Writings, that there are a great many difficult and apparently contradictory passages in regard to the nature of the spiritual atmospheres which can be explained by no hypothesis except the one which is furnished by the Principia itself. There are from twenty to twenty-five such sets of contradictory passages, but the Principia interpretation of cosmology seems to offer a beautiful explanation of them all.

     Now it is the doctrine of the Principia which, as I have said, is reviewed in a clear and terse way in the first section of the first chapter of the Worship and Love of God. But, on turning to the latter part of the Worship and Love of God, we find quite a different type of teaching. We find a most remarkable prose poem, in highly flowery and picturesque language. My point is, that when Swedenborg turns from his cosmological introduction to the real body of his work, he uses a different style; that he uses a form of language needing a kind of interpretation. It does not mean what it seems to teach on the surface; one has to look below this to find what Swedenborg really means. I can give you a very good example of this. In the major part of the Worship and Love of God, Swedenborg deals with the creation of the first man and his wife, the most perfect human beings the world knows anything about. We know, however, that this was not the way the human race was created. The Writings are quite clear in stating that the first created human beings were very simple and childlike, not much better than animals, as far as their natural minds were concerned, though they had human souls. From this group of Preadamites several churches developed, until finally we have the Most Ancient Church. Now Swedenborg, in the Worship and Love of God, is describing the man of the Most Ancient Church, whom he calls Adam, and whom he says is the first man created. I take it we here need an interpretation. We must either say that Swedenborg was wholly wrong in the Worship and Love of God, because he teaches that the first man was most complete, while the Writings say the first man was most simple; or, we must say the Worship and Love of God needs interpretation. And I think you will agree, on reading the book, that interpretation is the proper course, because Swedenborg not only says that the first man was most perfect, but also uses other forms of speech which we have to interpret.


For example, Adam is shown talking with intelligences, obviously representing certain activities of the mind of man in its natural, perfect state before the fall.

     So now, in the first section of the first chapter of the Worship and Love of God, we have, I believe, a clear philosophical summary of the Principia; in the greater bulk of the work, on the other hand, we have this prose poem, which certainly needs interpretation. But, in between the first section of the first chapter and the great bulk of the work, we have a small part which treats of what is called the Arboreal Theory of the Creation of Man and Animals. This is the third section of chapter one on the Creation of Animals, and the first section of chapter two on the Creation of Man.

     The question I raise is this: Does this intermediate part belong to the first group or to the last group? Are they strictly philosophical and scientific in the nature of their presentation, or are they a part of this prose poem which needs to be interpreted! Frankly, I cannot say. It is beyond me to give any final answer. We may look at it one way, and say it seems to belong to the first part of the book, or in another way, and say it seems to belong to the second part of the book, that it is a part of the prose poem. I have read them over carefully, and think that the language is about in between, showing signs of the flowery type, but not having as much of this as is found in the latter part of the work. And so the best judgment I can make on this point is that it is fifty-fifty between the two possibilities, about as strong for believing that the middle part of the Worship and Love of God belongs to the first style, as for believing that it belongs to the major or latter part. Therefore, I have found it a necessary expedient to turn in another direction for evidence is the hope of further light on the subject of the Arboreal Theory. I mean, further evidence as to the nature of the means which the Divine used in the creation of successive organic forms.

     The Theory, called the Microcosmic, attempts an explanation of the origin of man along lines somewhat different from those of the Arboreal Theory. It uses the essentials of the Arboreal Theory,-the vital forces of the spiritual atmospheres and the reactive forces of inert nature,-and combines them with certain grand teachings of the Writings, notably the doctrine of the Gorand Man.


I have presented this Theory in another place, so that there is no need to repeat it here; nor is there sufficient time at my disposal. Here, I wish to consider another type of evidence,-the scientific,-to show you how there is none whatsoever to support the Arboreal Theory.

     I have, for many years, been interested in the question of whether there is any scientific evidence to support the Arboreal Theory, that is, any scientific evidence to support the idea that man and animals were created from plants. Shortly after graduating from the Theological School, I started out, with great affection for the Arboreal Theory, to find evidence in support of it. To date, however, I have found almost nothing of a scientific character that can be said to support this theory. I think that it is foolish to expect to find any support from the ordinary textbooks on Evolution, because facts that would be out of consonance with the theory defended by the writer would not be presented in the book. It is still more foolish to expect the opponents of modern evolution to bring evidence in support of the Arboreal Theory, because they are all endeavoring to prove the literal account of the Flood. Therefore, I have endeavored to go to the facts of nature themselves, and to study things as they are. A word as to what sort of evidence we might find. Swedenborg, in the Principia, makes what to me has always been a remarkable statement. He says that the atmospheres have left their footprints on the forms of the mind. I believe that this is a general principle; and in line with this I expected to find some footprints on the sands of time whereby evidence for the Arboreal Theory might be obtained. I have looked for such evidence as to the nature of the process of creation, but I have found almost nothing.

     On one occasion I thought I had found a certain bit of evidence for the theory that animals are produced from plants. I will tell you about it. There is a certain animal known as the polyp. You would think it a plant, and I one time mistook it for a plant in a very funny way. I once went to the seashore to get some specimens of this animal for the Academy biological laboratories. I spent my whole time hunting for this form without success; finally, in despair, I filled my kit with sea weeds of several kinds, and came home. Imagine my surprise to find in my laboratory that one of these sea weeds was the polyp. The curious thing about this form is that it puts out from itself a little bud, and this bud develops into a jelly fish.


So that it looks as if we have an animal developing from a plant, a jellyfish from a seaweed. But the polyp is no seaweed, nor a plant of any kind. It is a sedentary animal, like the oyster or barnacle. It feeds like animals; it cannot live on inorganic material as plants can, but must live on other organisms. Its body is not composed of the same stuff as that of plants. Plants have a supporting structure made of cellulose; the polyps have a totally different kind of supporting structure. Finally, we find that the jellyfish lays eggs which develop into polyps, so that if the polyp were a plant we would have plants developing from animals, as well as animals developing from plants.

     The polyp and the jellyfish is the only evidence I have found anywhere for the Arboreal Theory,-evidence that animals and men were created from plants, or, to put it in another way, evidence that plants served as a matrix for the creation of animals. On the other hand, all the evidence which we can gather at the present time, from the records which are left on the rocks and other sources, points to what we may call one of the transmutation theories. Every indication is that animals have slowly changed from one form to another. This evidence is so overwhelming that there have been very few, if any, who have taken the trouble to examine the evidence itself, who have not come to the conclusion that some form of transmutation is the method by which plants and animals were created. Of course, there are some who seem to believe the contrary. You will find a certain small group of men who call themselves scientists who have taken up a position contrary to the doctrine of the evolutionists, because they have tried to prove the literal sense of the Bible. It is the opinion of such men that the record of the rocks is a record of the Flood. But no one who understands the science of geology has any faith in such, interpretation.

     However, to my mind, the biggest arguments from science in favor of one of these theories are what are known as the laws of biology. They are not facts, not simple isolated facts, but generalizations based on facts which, like the laws of gravity, are so certain that they may be put in the form of law. When we have laws of this kind, worked out to such precision that scientists can tell ahead of time the nature of what is found, then we have something that is rather authentic.


It is because of laws of this kind that the modern doctrine of evolution has been derived. We are not obliged to accept the modern doctrine of evolution, and I do not argue for it myself, but laws of this kind cannot be escaped, and they all point to some form of transmutation, some development in the series of animals from the lower to the highest.

     Finally, I would say that, since the evidence from the Worship and Love of God is, as I have said, equally for and against; and since the evidence from the study of nature is so strongly in favor of some form of transmutation theory; I would conclude by saying that my appraisal of the Arboreal Theory is that the evidence stands about seventy-five per cent. against it, and twenty-five per cent. in favor of it.


     When I was invited to speak this evening, I at first declined, on the ground that feasts of charity ought to be feasts of charity, and not polemics. I afterwards came to the conclusion, however, that there is no reason why we should not have feasts of charity and at the same time bear witness to the fact that, though there is not unanimity of opinion, there can be unanimity of love and affection. Now I have felt that this meeting, as a feast of charity which is intended to draw men closer together, performed its use, so far as I am concerned, when Dr. Pendleton made his speech, because I realized that, while we differed in opinions, we have the same standards. And so long as those standards are maintained,-belief in the Divinity of the Writings, belief in the principles which are enunciated in the Writings and unknown in the world,-so long as these are maintained, by whatever paths men may travel, those principles will be used for the production of something that will be for the upbuilding of the New Church. No one mind and no one man can ever produce the multitudinous and infinitesimal things that will be required to adorn the crown of the New Church.

     I feel that we are on a very difficult subject-The Origin of Man. And I am reminded of a remark made to me some time ago by Mr. Sellner of New York.


He said to me: "We are created, and God created us, and I am satisfied that I do not know how, and you do not either. No one knows." I wonder how it would be if we asked ourselves the question, in the absence of all knowledge of anatomy and embryology: "How did we come into the world?" I think we would find it a very great mystery. And so, when it comes to the problem of the first creation of man, it is no wonder that men find themselves in obscurity. However, there are certain principles-great, broad general principles-from which we ought to think; that is, general principles from which we can test any theory or any speculation that we may make; and it is on those principles, or some of them, that I wish to speak to you tonight.

     The facts that have been discovered by evolutionists, or by scientists, are not disputed. It would be ridiculous to dispute a fact. But let me here say that evolution is not a fact, and is not put forward as a fact by the leading men, but is put forward as their appraisal of an immense multitude of facts, as being a theory which accounts for all the facts, or so large a number of them that they have accepted it without a doubt. And it is a very remarkable thing that this theory, which was opposed tooth and nail by the Christian Church, and which is still opposed by the Catholic Church, but to which many in the Christian Church have capitulated-it is a remarkable fact that this theory has made headway with such great rapidity, so that we may say that practically the whole of the educated opinion of the Christian World believes in the theory of evolution. There are considerable variations, of course, but there is practical unanimity with regard to the truth of the theory that there was a descent of man, or of higher forms of life from lower.

     The reason why this doctrine of evolution was so quickly and so universally accepted was because it explained a doctrine more or less of tradition and ignorance, maintained because it was stated, or seemed to be stated, in a few words in the first chapter of Genesis, and they could not offer any other explanation of them. Shortly before evolution was accepted, there was very little reflection by the scientific mind or by exact observers of fact-very little attention was paid to the question as to whether the beliefs in authority or the traditions of the church were in harmony with the facts of science. And so, when this evolution theory was first brought up, it was opposed by the Christian Church.


But the Church has come slowly, more and more, to accept it, until we have recently, in England, one of the most prominent bishops of the Anglican Church coming out openly in his pulpit and stating that he accepted the doctrine of the descent of man, otherwise known as evolution; and he added that the Bible must largely be regarded as a collection of folklore.

     Now, the reason why, despite all this opposition by the Church, evolution has been so largely accepted, and finally has won the day, is because it accounts for creation by methods which are wholly acceptable to the natural mind, without any acknowledgment of discrete degrees, of Divine Love and Wisdom, of God Man. And the Church has opposed it in vain, because it has not opposed it with the real truth. It is satisfactory to the natural man to account for creation on lines which he can comprehend with his natural mind, and it is more or less abhorrent to the natural man to think of God, as a Man of Divine Love and Wisdom, acting in the way, though infinitely, that you and I act, that is, with design, and end, and purpose. That is the real interior reason why the Christian World is unanimous in spirit with the theory of evolution. The facts have been examined, and the theory has been hatched out to account for them. But how have they been examined?

     This leads me to the first general principle which, I think, ought to be borne in mind by all New Churchmen in thinking on this subject; that is, the statement in Divine Love and Wisdom, that "thought from the understanding opens the eye, and thought from the eye closes the understanding"; in other words that wisdom consists in thinking from causes concerning facts, that is, from spiritual causes; and that unwisdom consists of thinking of causes, or concerning causes, from effects. (D. L. W. 46.) The world has not thought from causes. The thought of the scientists has not been from the kingdom of God in the universe. I do not say that many scientists do not think from God; I simply make the assertion that what has led to the theory of evolution has not been dominated or influenced by the acknowledgment of God, by the acknowledgment of the end of creation as being a heaven from the human race, or by the acknowledgment of the immortality of the soul. And you can see the fruits of this in the real extent of the acceptance of evolution.

     Most people confine evolution to biology, but it is a far more universal doctrine than that.


It is the application of the law, the thoughts, and the methods of natural men to the whole universe. We have the evolution of marriage, for instance, not from heaven, but from the love of the sex gradually curbed by experience, and from the common sense of man. We have the evolution of worship; the evolution of the idea of God; the evolution of the idea of the spiritual world; and so on. When we see evolution in these forms, we see the real spirit of it,-that it is the viewing of causes from effects and in the light of effects, and not the viewing of effects from causes, still less from spiritual causes. Many Christians, however, have been reconciled to the doctrine of evolution by Saying that this method of evolution was God's method of creation. The Christian Church has long been holding on to the skirts of science, and dragging it back as much as it could, bringing it into ridicule, and so on. But now it comes down and says, "We accept this doctrine, but it is not what you say it is; it is God's method of creation." To my mind, such a statement implies, morally, a surrender to the doctrine, and a trying to tack on to it something that does not belong to it, and which can never be made to fit into it,-namely, the idea that God's method was by creating a protoplasm and drawing from this a man.

     This leads me to the second principle of the New Church that should guide our thought, namely, that all influx is according to reception, or that an active can produce nothing without a passive, and that the quality of its product is according to the form of the passive. (T. C. R. 366, etc.) All influx is according to form or to reception. God inflows into all our minds, but how different the thought, how different the loves, that each one of us brings forth into the world! God inflows into all the flowers that adorn the garden, but how different the beauty, how different the colors and the odors! If influx is according to reception, then it cannot be God's method of creation that He should evolve the higher from the lower; for if influx is into a form, influx can produce nothing except according to that form. The influx into a flower can produce nothing but a flower; the influx into an animal can produce nothing but an animal. We cannot produce a musical sound by blowing into the air; but if you put a comet into my mouth, you would hear one sound, and if you put a trumpet you would hear another.

     The question then arises, in the light of this doctrine that influx is according to reception: How then is any progress made?


How can a form be changed? It seems clearly indicated in the Doctrines of the New Church that influx is according to reception, and that no vessel whatever in all organic creation, except man alone, can change its form intrinsically. Man can become a brute or an angel, but an animal or flower must forever remain such; and this, because of this great doctrine, that influx is according to reception. How, then, are forms changed? How shall we say that another flower is to be created, if there is no power in the flower of a lower order to change its form?

     And this brings me to the third great doctrine of the New Church for the guidance of our thoughts. We read in the Divine Love and Wisdom, that the uses of all created things ascend by degrees to man, and through man to God. (D. L. W. 65.) Mark, that it is the uses that ascend into the forms. Forms do not ascend, but uses do. We can see that in civil society. We have men who dig coal, and by this certain uses are produced; but the coal-diggers still remain coal-diggers. Their use in life is what contributes to the development of new forms of creation in the world. Each one of us represents some use; all our uses together make a form, building higher forms by which the Divine of the Lord, flowing into the mind, creates more perfect images of the kingdom of heaven. There is a conatus in every created thing, but not a conatus to produce uses other than its own,-a conatus to produce its uses; and these uses are the means by which God is going to produce use after use, to ascend, until finally we reach man, and in man the worship of God Man. And so we find an intrinsic activity in all things of creation,-a conatus; and this conatus is the use. The flower that gives its odor to the atmospheres is but performing a use; the delight it gives to man, both to his sight and to his smell, are significative of the flower, that it may perform these humble services in the great kingdom of uses.

     So everything in nature performs its uses; and when it does so, it actually manufactures something new. The use that a thing performs is actually the production of a new substance, as the sphere of every individual man is the creation of something new in the world, being a contribution of spiritual riches to mankind, or of the poisons that infest mankind; and this contribution is used by the Lord as a material by which new and higher uses will be revealed for man's enjoyment.


The same thing applies from the lowest to the highest in the ascent of creation. It is all by uses, not by forms. When a form is created, influx flows in according to its form, and it cannot intrinsically change that form; otherwise such a form would possess human freedom; but it can produce uses, and this is the materia by which the Lord can create new forms, new forms which receive influx in some higher way for the production of some higher forms of use. And so we have man, who was created on the last day, after all creation had been perfected, because for his creation there was required the uses of all things; just as now, for our sustenance, as we realize the dreams of civilization and the future, we need the use of every single thing that is upon the earth. And we know that the more uses we discover in the secrets of nature, the higher and more perfect our life is, both naturally and spiritually. We see this illustrated in education, in society. Every man, every society, every animal, every flower, is performing uses, and these are the means by which there is ascent.

     Finally, I come to the fourth general consideration, That the Divine is the same in greatests and in leasts; or, that the Divine, and the Divine operation, is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and in the microscopic things as in the greatest things of the universe. (D. L. W. 77) Any theory, any thought, which we may have about the creation of man, must be dominated by this doctrine,-that the Lord's operation in the creation of man is the same as is the operation now in the sustentation of man. And we see that doctrine in the fact that all the uses of the universe rise up, in order that they may be of service to us, so that in us the Lord's kingdom may be established. To man, however, because he is the jewel and very end of creation, there is given a power which no other organic thing has; that is, the power to change his form intrinsically-not to change it so intrinsically that he will cease to be a man, but to change it so intrinsically that he may become a man-angel or a man-devil. It is in this power that man is created in the image of God; for as God can create things, so man can, as it were, create things. As God created animals of all kinds, and a paradise, so man, as it were, can, of himself, create a paradise or a dreadful marsh, spiritually considered. Herein man is superior to all creation, and herein we have the supreme exemplification of the law, that man alone can change his form intrinsically.


     This I consider to be the essence of the theory as given by Swedenborg in the Worship and Love of God. And let me interpolate this thought. We are tempted to underestimate Swedenborg, even the best of us, even those who would wish most highly to praise him. I was impressed by this idea in my studies last summer, when I read his Book of Dreams. The thought came to me: Who was this man who was writing these dreams; who was this man who has delivered the grandest truths, the most far-reaching speculations (though having the very imprint of truth upon them) in his Economy of the Animal Kingdom and in his Animal Kingdom? He was an extremely learned man, but a man who was exceedingly humble, a man who was well-informed; and when I thought of that, I paused and said, Such a man, when he wrote this apparently trivial account of a dream, did not think of it as you and I think of it; but to him there was something in it that we, perhaps, cannot see.

     And so I say, when we read Swedenborg's Worship and Love of God, and think that he there thought this or that; when we think that Swedenborg believes that a simple man and woman were created,-the first human beings,-I am tempted to say: Pause a moment, and see if you cannot enter more deeply into Swedenborg's thoughts, and find there an intrinsic agreement with the great doctrines of the New Church. When you consider that the mind that wrote these words was a great mind, illumined by the light of heaven, and filled with the humility of heaven, the essential thing is, not what is called the Arboreal Theory,-(I have a great objection to having that Theory called the Arboreal Theory, just as much as the evolutionists would object to have their theory called the Ape Theory)-the essential thing is not what is called the Arboreal Theory, but the theory that the process of creation was made possible by the provision of new materia from the uses of a lower order of creation.

     Swedenborg sees a great agreement between his Worship end Love of God and the History of Creation as given in the little work of that name; but he sees this agreement in the fact that creation, as described in Genesis, begins with the very lowest thing and goes up step by step; and his theory,-the very quintessence and soul of the theory set forth in the Worship and Love of God-is, that this was actually the case, and that God created the lowest things that they might breathe into the atmospheres, into the waters, and into the lands, by their spheres forming new materia,-the living forms of their use,-that this new materia might be taken hold of by the hand of God to form new vessels by which new and higher uses might be formed on the earth.


And finally, when creation was completed, that materia was brought into the world, or created, by the complexity of all the uses of creation,-materia from which man could be born. That is the essence of the theory of the Worship and Love of God. And what is called the Arboreal Theory is merely one application of it.

     Moreover, I am inclined to think that Dr. Pendleton has some reason in saying what he does, that the Worship and Love of God is capable of being understood in a different way from that in which it is ordinarily understood. But let us stick to the real theory, which is, that uses ascend until they have contributed to the world the means by which God can create a man. In the History of Creation, Swedenborg gives two alternatives. He says it is not a matter of faith whether we believe man was formed immediately from the dust of the ground, and thus without passing through his periods from infancy to manhood, or whether he was formed mediately from an egg. That is to say, it is not a matter of faith to believe that creation was the creation of a seed from the gifts that had been given by the world, or that creation was simply the raising up in some miraculous manner of a full-grown man, with flesh, bones and blood, and soul and mind. There is the choice, whether you believe the one or the other.

     Now Swedenborg undoubtedly believed in the former; that is to say, that man was created by the creation of seed. He had no doubt about it, and that, it seems to me, is the doctrine that is most in agreement with the principles of the Writings of the New Church. How this seed was created,-that is the question. As I have already stated, if we study this question, perhaps we shall receive new light upon it, to guide us more clearly in the particulars of creation. But the one thing I wish to emphasize is, that Swedenborg's theory, viewed in the aspect I have presented, is in agreement with the great principles of the Writings: First, with the principles of thinking from causes, and not from effects-for Swedenborg certainly brought forth this theory by thinking from spiritual causes. Secondly, it is in agreement with the doctrine that influx is according to reception.


Thirdly, it is in agreement with the doctrine that uses ascend by uses to man, and from man to God. And lastly, it is in agreement with the doctrine that creation is the same in greatests and leasts; for the mode by which we are created is the mode by which we are sustained. I cannot settle this question. I cannot tell you how man was created. But I can remain firm in opposition to all theories that are brought forward by the world, the fruits of which I see are not Christian. And I can remain in opposition to all theories which are not in agreement with the great truths that are given us in the Writings of the New Church. The Writings do not give us science. In a sense, they do not give us theology. They give us great principles from which we are to form, our science and theology, great principles which are to dominate our minds, and which are so to mold our minds that we are enabled to see when a thing is in harmony with these principles and when it is not. That is the statement of my belief with regard to the doctrine of evolution, and with regard to Swedenborg's theory as presented in the Worship and Love of God.

WAYSIDE NOTES       G. A. MCQUEEN       1928


     Hints to New Church Tourists in England.

     The General Assembly of the General Church of the New Jerusalem, to be held in London this year, will be attended by many visitors from America and other countries. In addition to the supreme aim of this New Church pilgrimage,-the taking part in what will be an epoch-making event in the history of the General Church in Great Britain, the opportunity will be provided for seeing the sights of London and other parts of England. As good members of the General Church, some will visit Colchester, "the earliest historic town in England," and the home of the Colchester Society. And there they will, of course, visit the Castle with its Museum of Roman Antiquities, usually referred to in the guide books; but the curious-minded may be inclined to take an hour's walk to see some of the other places mentioned in these notes.


     Angel Hotel, High Street, Corner West Stockwell St. or Angel Lane.

     Here it was that Hindmarsh, in the year 1816, gave a lecture in reply to an attack made upon the doctrines of the New Church in a pamphlet entitled "Dialogue between Captain Condescension and Jack Honesty." Some friends of the cause had secured the use of the Town Hall for this lecture, but owing to the opposition of the local clergy and others, the Mayor revoked his permission at the eleventh hour, and the Town Crier was sent round to proclaim the fact. A room at the Angel Hotel was therefore engaged, and Mr. Hindmarsh had a crowded audience, most of whom seemed to appreciate the lecture; but so much disturbance was caused by the opponents of the teachings that he promptly closed the proceedings and advised the people to go home and reflect upon what they had heard.

     St. Helen's Lane.

     It was here that the doctrines of the New Church were first preached in Public worship in Colchester. The Lane was named after the daughter of King Coel, who, according to the legend, became the wife of Constantius, the father of Constantine the Great. Before the Norman Conquest, a chapel was dedicated to St. Helen, and still stands, after being restored from its ruins of many centuries. Nearby is the site of St. Helen's Lane Chapel, a meeting place built for the use of various denominations of Dissenters. In 1816, it was occupied by a Unitarian congregation, the leader of which became a receiver of the Heavenly Doctrine. This was Mr. B. W. Mattacks, father of the late U. B. Mattacks, who was a supporter of the present Colchester Society in its early days.

     Shaftesbury Hall, St. Nicholas Passage and Culver St.

     After a series of public lecture; by the late Rev. Joseph Deans, regular public worship of the Colchester Society was started in a small room on the ground floor of this Hall. Dr. Becker, who had become acquainted with the doctrines through Mr. U. B. Mattacks, conducted the services on Sunday evenings. This was in the year 1882.


Very soon it became necessary to secure the Hall upstairs, where, during a number of years, the society continued to meet for worship every Sunday without exception. Here it passed through many and varied states which ultimately led to withdrawal from the General Conference and uniting with the General Church. It was not until the year 1890, that the society had a pastor of its own, in the person of the late beloved Rev. E. C. Bostock.

     The Rev. T. F. Robinson, formerly of Northampton, after studying at the Academy Theological School in Philadelphia, succeeded Mr. Bostock, and was pastor of the Society for about three years.

     Osborne Street.

     In this street a small hall was rented which had formerly been used for an infant school. The Colchester Society, under the guidance of the Rev. W. H. Acton, endeavored to carry on a New Church day school, and many useful meetings were held during the brief use of this building by the Society. Our historical knowledge of the origin of the name of the street is quite meager. The only thing we can think of is that "Osborne's Brewery" was formerly situated in that locality, but this, of course, would be of little interest to our New Church tourists.

     Priory Street.

     Here the society met for many years under the true and faithful pastorate of the late Rev. Andrew Czerny, in a modest building which had been made suitable for worship and, social meetings. In front of this meeting place are the famous ruins of St. Botolph's Priory, at one time a massive structure erected about the year 1109, for the Order of Regular Canons of St. Augustine. The back of the hall is only a few yards from the Roman Wall which formerly surrounded the whole town. What a contrast is brought to mind when thinking of our little New Church congregation meeting in such an insignificant place of worship! On the one hand, they looked upon the remains which tell of the mighty Roman Empire, and, on the other, the ruins which represent the death of institutions which at one time controlled the lives and destinies of all Christendom. Yet, amid such surroundings, our people could confidently worship in the light of the New Church.


     The Studios, Sir Isaac's Walk and Head Street.

     "The meeting was held at the studio." This for years was a very common expression in the reports of doings of the Colchester Society. It referred to the Photographic Studios of the late earnest member of the church, Mr. William Gill, who so generously gave the use of his rooms for social and other church meetings. In fact, some of the most important meetings in the life of the church were held therein. Unlike the Priory St. meeting place, which was situated at the foot of the Roman Wall, the Sir Isaac's Walk Studio was built on the top of the wall. Here it was that those widely known photographs of numerous New Church ministers and laymen were taken by Mr. Gill, who was a pioneer in artistic photography.

     New Jerusalem Church, Maidan Road.

     Here the pastor of the church is the Rev. Frederick Gyllenhaal. It is owing to his wise counsel and assistance in the work, and the hearty cooperation of the members, that the New Church in Colchester at last has a place of worship of its own. To reach that church, visitors must turn their backs upon the scenes mentioned in former notes, and, leaving the old wailed town behind them, with all its medieval associations, proceed in the direction of the open country to the place where former things may be forgotten by entering a temple dedicated to the worship of the one God of heaven and earth, the Lord Jesus Christ.



NOTES AND REVIEWS.              1928

Office a Publication, Lancaster, Pa.
Published Monthly By
Editor                    Rev. W. B. Caldwell, Bryn Athyn, Pa.
Business Manager          Mr. H. Hyatt, Bryn Athyn, Pa.

     All literary contributions should be sent to the Editor. Subscriptions, change of address and business communications should be sent to the Business Manager.

In the United States, $3.00 per year; Elsewhere, $3.25 or 14 shillings; payable in advance
Single Copy          30 cents

     In the February, 1928, issue of THE NEW AGE (Australia) the Editor reviews the Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner's First Elements of the True Christian Religion, and is of the opinion that the new Catechism should be used in all the societies of the New Church. Incidentally, however, he comes to the conclusion that Mr. Odhner, in his answer to the question, "What is meant by the Word of God?" has "abandoned" the "extreme and irrational position" of the Academy as to the Writings of Swedenborg being the Word of God,-a conclusion unwarranted if the whole of Mr. Odhner's answer to that question be considered, as we shall note below. Thus our Australian friend is in striking contrast with "S. J. C. G.," who reviewed the Catechism for THE NEW-CHURCH HERALD, and who, while concurring with the larger part of the teaching in the book, finds objection to its holding to the "fundamental heresy of the General Church,"-that the "writings of Swedenborg are from the mouth of the Lord alone." (See Mr. Odhner's reply to this review in our March, 1928, number, p. 166.)

     The review in THE NEW AGE reads as follows:


     "From the Academy Book Room, Bryn Athyn, we have received First Elements of the True Christian Religion. This excellent production is intended to serve as an introductory catechism for the New Church. We have read it through critically, and we are satisfied it could profitably be used in all societies of the New Church. We were delighted to find the eminently sane answer given to the question: 'What is meant by the Word of God?'-'By the Word of God is meant those books of the Bible which were given by divine inspiration through prophets and evangelists.'

     "Exactly so! And this is what we endeavored to say in an editorial not so very long ago; but we were quite severely corrected from Bryn Athyn. [NEW CHURCH LIFE, 1926, P. 607.] It was unequivocally declared that the writings of Swedenborg are the Word of God even as are the books of the Bible-the one being the Word in its literal sense, and the other the Word in its spiritual sense. Some of our critics at the time even stated that the Writings are more fully the Word of God than are the books of the Bible.

     "We are delighted to see that such an extreme and irrational position is, in the booklet before us, abandoned.-R. H. T."

     In answering the question, "What is meant by the Word of God?" the Catechism first gives the general answer quoted by THE NEW AGE, namely: "By the Word of God are meant those books of the Bible which were given by divine inspiration through prophets and evangelists." But this general statement is followed by a more detailed one: "In a wider sense, the 'Word of God' means every divine revelation, including also the celestial revelation of perception which the people of the Most Ancient Church enjoyed instead of a written Word; the doctrinal Word of the Ancient Church which is now lost; and the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem written through Swedenborg for the New Church." (P. 13. See also page 16.)

     And so we must hold Mr. Odhner absolved of the charge of "abandoning" the position that the Writings are the Word.

     In the March issue of THE NEW AGE We find a letter from the Rev. Richard Morse, entitled "Revelation with us is the Word. (A. E. 963)" and calling the attention of the Editor to Mr. Odhner's further definition of the "Word of God," as we have done above.


In closing, Mr. Morse says:

     "I have just read the editorial in NEW CHURCH LIFE in which you 'were quite severely corrected,' and fail to find the unequivocal declaration and the severity you mention. Instead, I read a calm, clear, and in every way worthy reply to your editorial of June, 1092, which is published with the reply. And if you will publish the reply I will gladly pay the cost. It is hardly fair to criticize that which your readers have no opportunity of seeing.

     "It appears to me that no professing member of the New Church, after a careful and unbiassed reading of T. C. R. 779, should have any doubt that the Lord, Who is the Word, came fully into the world through the mind of the man whom He had fully prepared."

     Mr. Teed then comments as follows:

     "We assure Mr. Morse that we did not fail to read [Mr. Odhner's] 'Note' to which he calls attention in this letter. We are, however, as we indicated in our editorial of June, 1926, quite prepared to accept the Writings as being the Word of God ' in a wider sense,' even as is my sermon or Mr. Morse's. Certainly, if we are faithful then, the Word we utter is not our own.-Editor."

WORK ON MYTHOLOGY.              1928

     A writer in THE NEW-CHURCH REVIEW, January, 1928, expresses the belief that The Mythology of the Greeks and Romans will render an "inestimable service to the Church and all students of the subject." We quote in part:

     "The best evidence of the value of a lecture, sermon, or book is that it moves the listener or reader to some righteous, beneficent action. Hence a wise, old professor of homiletics in our Theological School, after listening to an elaborate sermon by a student, would put it to the acid test by asking the question: 'What good does it do?' Put to the same test, the book here under review surely gives a good account of itself. For it seems as if no thoughtful, truly Christian reader of its pages can take in its full purport without feeling moved immediately to go out and buy at least two or three statuettes, copies of the wondrously beautiful marbles shown in full-page plates (twenty-five reproductions of The University Prints, Boston, Mass.).


Nor will the reader of these pages, so moved to action, desire these fine examples of Greek sculpture from any mere love of possession, or for decorative purposes only. He will want them to adorn his home, and for all to look upon, because they are exquisite material symbols or representations of the loftiest spiritual qualities of character, Divine as well as human. . . .

     "Prof. Odhner has rendered the Church and all students of this subject an inestimable service by giving us this systematic treatment of the ancient mythologies. He has made the Grecian marble, sublime as they are in beauty of form, speak to us in a new and higher language of spiritual significance. A particularly satisfying feature of the book is its clear identification of many of the gods of different nations that bear widely different names, but are in reality the same gods, having a similar spiritual meaning; as, for example, the identification of the Greek sun-god Phoebus with Baal or Bel, worshipped among Babylonians, Assyrians and Syrians. Illuminating also is the author's treatment of the often startling, and, from the average Christian's point of view, immoral actions of the gods. Thus the amours of Zeus or Jove are revealed as so many examples of God's adaptation of His love to His Church, manifesting Himself in various forms to meet the needs of mankind in different stages of development."-CHAUNCEY G. HUBBELL.



     Writing in the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE (Feb. 5, 1928), John Erskine, the well-known author, argues dispassionately that Prohibition and Christianity are "based on contradictory ideas, and that if a large number of earnest Christians in this land sincerely believe in prohibition, it must be that unconsciously the doctrines of Christianity have been shifting, so that what goes under the name of that religion is a new thing, a departure from the ancient religion." He then calls attention to the fact that the Lord not only did not condemn the use of wine, but was Himself reproved by men for drinking it.


Going to the root of the matter, he shows that the essential ideal of Christian doctrine was that of free choice, self-control, and thus of temperance; and as this ideal receives abundant confirmation in the philosophy of the New Church, wherein free will and voluntary repentance are held vital to a spiritual regeneration, we are moved to reprint the following paragraphs from Mr. Erskine's treatment of the subject:

     "There must still be many Christians in the world who look confidently to the words of Christ as to an authoritative and divine source of wisdom. To those Christians two episodes in the life of the Master, and a large number of His remarks, stand as embarrassing obstacles to prohibition. According to the record, He began His public career by turning water into wine, and in the last hours before the Crucifixion He instituted the Eucharist and commanded the faithful to celebrate it with bread and wine.

     "He used the image of bread and of wine as metaphors of health and inspiration, as symbols of the Divine part of His own nature, and He called attention to the fact that He Himself, unlike John the Baptist and others of His own day, was not an abstainer from strong meat and strong drink.

     "Yet we have the spectacle in more than one American parish of ministers who still read to their congregations these episodes from the New Testament, and who still celebrate the Eucharist, but who also preach the doctrine of prohibition. Whether they know it or not, the contradiction which they have set up has undermined the authority of the doctrine which they thought they were carrying on, and it is hardly to be doubted that with time they will feel the need of consistency and will abandon altogether that part of the tradition which their prohibition theory now contradicts.

     "Christ taught that the true government, the Kingdom of God, should come from within. In the presence of temptation, where the choice is between good and evil, or between two possible goods, we should be guided by temperance-that is, by such self-control as would bring us to the state of virtue and happiness it is our destiny and obligation to reach. In such a doctrine there was an answer to the evil of drunkenness. There was also an answer to the evil of gluttony or of any other sin. Temperance was to be a positive virtue inspired by the love of God, by the love of ideal goodness, revealed in the lives of heroic and holy men, principally, of course, in the life of the Master Himself.


     "But if good conduct were imposed upon us, we should deserve no credit for it, as in a parallel way, if we were compelled to do evil we might plead the excuse that our own will was not involved.

     "The perfection that Christ urged on those who followed His philosophy was the free and intelligent virtue of God Himself; not the perfection of slaves or of prisoners, but the goodness of children who love and imitate their father. Some attempt has been made to obscure this point by asserting that the wine Christ used in the Sacrament was not really wine. But there were people who thought that it should not be drunk-the prohibitionists of the moment. They criticized Him for drinking it. The spirit of His philosophy is valid today unless you prefer some other; it still teaches that life is dangerous in all directions unless we exercise self-control, and that a man must decide for himself in the circumstances in which he is placed, with reference to all those whom he does or does not influence, just what he can enjoy and what he must forego of the thousand opportunities life offers to him. For this choice he will be held responsible, and the man who prevents him from making it is no true friend.

     "But the prohibitionist retorts by asking how we are to train people to have self-control. This question is most significant when it comes from a Christian minister. He has forgotten temporarily that his religion was instituted as an answer. If Christianity does not apply us with a way of life, it is a complete failure. Perhaps the church is conscious of at least a partial failure. For decades it has been preaching temperance, organizing temperance societies, denouncing drink. If it had done its work it would not have felt obliged to call in the police to enforce its ideals.

     "Its true mission was, and still is, to plant in society, not simply an ideal, but a positive, aggressive love of it, an active love of the goodness which will inevitably result in sound conduct. It is a pitiful surrender of this noble mission to suggest that we first compel people to be good in the hope that afterward they will goon being good through sheer momentum."




     The paper by the Rev. Albert Bjorck, entitled "The Visible God of the Heavens," in the December issue of NEW CHURCH LIFE, I found extremely interesting and illuminating. One point in the paper, however, though I am a layman, I question. That is, the wisdom of his use and idea of the "literal sense of the Writings." This has always seemed confusing, in former articles by Mr. Bjorck, as in those of one or two other writers of recent years. I feel certain that the General Church ministry as a whole does not hold with this usage; and it might prove helpful to others, as to me, if we could have other expressions of opinion from ministers on this subject.

     It has always seemed evident to me from the statements of the Writings where the terms "literal sense" or "sense of the letter" are used, that the references are made to the Word of the Old and New Testaments, and that the Word of the Writings constitutes the spiritual or internal sense, as distinguished from the external or literal sense, of the former Scriptures.

     Nothing that Mr. Bjorck or others have put forward on this subject has been able to banish this impression from my mind, although I have made an effort to see their reasons for advancing the idea. The best I have done in that direction is the realization that an individual may derive a relatively external understanding of the doctrine of the New Church from the Writings which constitute that doctrine; and that that doctrine is spiritual, with no natural sense, even though natural language is the means of conveying it to the mind of man. That is, it has no natural sense other than the literal sense of the former Scriptures, of which it is a spiritual exposition.

     If one derives a natural sense from the Writings, it seems to me that this is due to the state of the particular individual reading them.


Whereas I take it that the sense intended to be given us throughout is spiritual, Unlike the former Scriptures, which, for the sake of reaching all planes of the mind, were intended to provide a natural sense, as well as spiritual and celestial senses.

     I may express my difference of view by slightly altering part of one of Mr. Bjorck's sentences, in paragraph two, page 113, the change being put in italics: "Differences in the understanding of particular doctrines, as they are there stated, should therefore stimulate reflection upon statements in the Writings," for a relatively external and inadequate understanding of them, gives rise to these differences. Mr. Bjorck has it: "whose literal sense gives rise to these differences."

     Because of this difference of view, it seems sufficient for me to consider that the statement that "all doctrine should be drawn from the letter of the Word " (S. S. 50) means that all statements of the Writings (constituting the spiritual doctrine of the New Church) should be (as they are) drawn and confirmed from the letter of the former Scriptures.

     With the spiritual doctrine of the Word now provided, interiorly understood (as I take it they are intended to be understood), one should, I think, consider that the former Scriptures have been presented as new to those who are and will be of the New Church. Taken with the Writings as their revealed soul, they are the new Word to the New Church.

     Therefore, I would add to Mr. Bjorck's final paragraph the words in italics below. The paragraph reads: "No finite being, man or angel, can ever behold the infinite God-Man, the Lord in His glorified Human, nor the whole truth proceeding from Him, which also is infinite, like Himself. But men's vision of His Human, and their perception of His Love and Wisdom, can become ever clearer, though always finite and subject to imperfection, as they understand that the Word which 'in the beginning was God, and was with God'-the Word that was 'made flesh' in the Lord's life on earth-is the inmost of the Word with men, their Spiritual Sun, the Lord Himself with them, and that His Truth comes down into and shines through the very letter of the Word to His New Church"-the letter of the former Scriptures, when the spiritual sun of that Word as now revealed in and by the Writings of Swedenborg is seen in a spiritual-rational manner.
     F. C. FRAZEE.




     The sentence which you quote on page 162 of NEW CHURCH LIFE for March, 1928, is, I confess, constructed somewhat clumsily. What I intended to convey by it was that Blake probably came into personal contact with Swedenborg, and certainly was influenced by his writings to a remarkable extent. As to the continuance of this influence throughout Blake's life, there appears to be a sufficiency of evidence.

     Whether Blake did actually meet Swedenborg is admittedly more doubtful, although the doubt may not unreasonably be affirmative. In addition to the passage from the biography by Gilchrist which you cite, I had in mind a passage from a more recent work, William Blake, by Osbert Burdett. (Macmillan and Co., London, 1926.) On page 3, Mr. Burdett says: "James Blake (the father) was a dissenter inclined to Swedenborgianism." And on page 21: "The shop of Basire (to whom Blake wad apprenticed) . . . was frequented by all sorts of people, including, one day, Oliver Goldsmith; . . . and another visitor may have been Emanuel Swedenborg, who was then living in London, where he remained until his death in 1772." There are no fewer than fifteen references to Swedenborg in this interesting little study.

     While the fact of a meeting between two such famous men is of considerable interest to New Churchmen, the more important point for the paper in question was the power which Swedenborg's writings exercised upon the imagination of Blake, and the failure of the latter to bring his imagination under the guidance of an enlightened rationality.

     I am sorry that I have no opportunity to consult any other works, but perhaps one of your readers may feel able to unravel the question still further.
     Yours faithfully,
          J. S. PRYKE.
     March 16, 1928.


Church News 1928

Church News       Various       1928


     Since our last report the work of the Mission has been going on much the same as usual. The outstanding event was the Annual Meeting, which took place at Alpha from January 20th to 29th, 1928. With the exception of one Leader who unfortunately met with a serious accident, all were present, totaling fifteen. The Leaders met in the mornings, and in six sessions covered a good number of items which were contributed to the Agenda. Many of these referred to local conditions and matters; but there was a decided effort to view native custom and tradition in the light of the Doctrines of, the New Church, which gave rise to some very useful discussions. One important move was made in the government of the Mission. This was based upon an application of the Statement of the Order and Organization of the General Church, as outlined by Bishop N. D. Pendleton in New Church Life for March, 1925. The proposed move was accepted with entire unanimity, the result being that a Native Council of six Leaders was elected to co-operate with the Superintendent.

     As instituted last year, the Leaders and Teachers met together in the afternoons and discussed educational matters relating to the whole of the Mission. In time, it is hoped, advancement will be made in the direction of the giving of original papers and addresses on Education in the light of the New Church, and as applied to the conditions in Africa. Fifteen Leaders and five Teachers signed the attendance roll.

     On Saturday evening, January 28th, a meeting of a social nature was held in the Hostel at Alpha. This was a fitting climax to the conference, and coincident with the celebration of Swedenborg's Birthday. A gathering of about forty sat down to dinner. This included all the visiting Leaders and Teachers, and the Native Mission Staff at Alpha with their wives, together with the Superintendent, the Rev. E. C. Acton and Mr. Ed. Waters. Four Leaders were asked to make speeches suitable to the occasion. This resulted in the following interesting series: "Swedenborg's Early Life," by John Jiyana; "Swedenborg's Travels," by Berry Maqelepo; "The Opening of Swedenborg's Spiritual Sight," by Moffat Mcanyana; and " Swedenborg's Spiritual Travels," by Jonas Motsi. At intervals a quintette gave vocal selections which were much appreciated, and the addresses given brought some very good impromptu speeches from many of the Leaders, all pointing to the establishment of the New Church among the Africans.

     On Sunday, January 29th, Divine Service was held at the Alpha Native Church. Over 220 natives attended, this number being made up principally of visitors from other Mission Stations. The Rev. E. C. Acton officiated at eleven Baptisms, including that of Mr. Twentyman Mofokeng, and the Communion was celebrated. Mr. Acton gave the discourse.     Early in February the Alpha Elementary School commenced its first term for the new year; as also the trade department, such as it is in its present nuclear form. The Alpha Theological Class has also resumed work, with three students. The native teaching staff, however, is less by one, since Mr. George Mokoena resigned his duties in the Mission on December 31st last.

     The "Alpha Circle" has been holding its regular Sunday evening services, and a doctrinal class on Thursday evenings. Bishop W. F. Pendleton's studies on "Ritual" have been considered. These meetings, moreover, have been improved by the addition of music.


The Circle has invested in a small organ, Mr. Waters officiating as organist, and so we are now able to use the Psalmody and the offices in the Liturgy.

     During January, the Rev. and Mrs. E. C. Acton and their daughter Sharon joined us for their summer holidays. During their stay it was our pleasure to have Mr. Acton officiate at three services and two doctrinal classes. At this time Mr. J. H. Ridgway also made a business trip to Alpha, in order to attend the half-yearly meeting of the Mission Committee.

     On January 15th, the Sacrament of Baptism was administered to Mrs. F. Parker. This was a very happy event for the Alpha community. We may also add the very latest happening, namely, the arrival of a son to Mr. and Mrs. Fred Parker on February 11th.

     During the last few months our isolated friends, Mr. and Mrs. Richards, who live at their farm "Ealing," about seventy miles from Alpha, have been brought into closer touch with us. During December the writer had the pleasure of spending a weekend with them, and during January he and Mr. P. D. Ridgway made a hurried call. Mr. Acton also spent a day with the Richards during his visit to Alpha.
     F. W. E.
     Ladybrand, O. F. S.,
          February 14th, 1928.


     One remarkable and pleasing thing in connection with our work here is the continued increase in the numbers attending the Sunday School. It is becoming a problem to find sufficient teachers for all the scholars. The Pastor has introduced a new order for lessons. He, or some teacher, tells the Bible story for the day to the whole school, and gives the correspondence of a prominent word in the story. The name of the story, and also the correspondence, ale written on a blackboard in view of all the children, this to aid them in memorizing. Each Sunday the school is questioned concerning the previous week's lesson before commencing the new one. The two classes of the younger children then build the story sand trays, while the older ones receive further instruction in class.

     Miss Amena Pendleton's Golden Heart is still enjoyed among us. Mr. Morse reads it to the school about once every six months, one story each Sunday. Those who have heard them before are the most eager to hear them again.

     Our Christmas celebrations were very similar to last year. One new feature was the children's song service on the afternoon of December 18th. Our Pastor conducted the service from the chancel in his robes, telling the story of the Lord's Advent in short readings from the Word, these being interspersed with the singing of solos, duets, and choruses by the children. Mr. Taylor trained the children in the singing, and they acquitted themselves very well.

     A tableau showing the Manger Scene, followed by a Christmas Tree, was held on December 17th, with a very good attendance of children and parents. Mr. Morse spoke on the Advent, and Mr. Guthrie on gifts and their signification previous to the children's receiving theirs. And towards the end of the gathering he spoke especially to the parents, who are not members of our Church, telling some simple facts about its teachings, and inviting those interested to come oftener.

     We now have our piano! It came sooner than expected. The proceeds of the children's concerts and sundry contributions, together with a loan from a friend, enabled us to make the purchase. As we have an energetic treasurer for this fund in Master Ossian Heldon, we hope soon to have all the money collected.

     The Sunday School picnic, held at Como on February 4th, proved a great success. Though it rained for an hour, our spirits were not dampened, and as we had shelter sheds, none suffered physical harm.


Sixty persons attended, forty of whom were children.

     If every thing develops as is anticipated, we shall soon have a day school, as Miss Taylor is sending the writer to Bryn Athyn to study during two semesters of 1928-9. The journey to America will be made via England during the time of the Assembly in London, so that Australia will have two representatives on that historic occasion.

     We had the pleasure of a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Williams of the Melbourne Society at the morning service on February 5th.
     M. M. W.


     On March 1st I started out on my annual southern trip, and the same day arrived at KNOXVILLE, TENN. A doctrinal class was held that evening in the family circle of Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson and their daughter Ethel Rae, an Academy ex-pupil. The next day I called on Mrs. Remington, who was a member of the Advent Church ago, and we conversed about old-time friends. That evening she and another New Church member, and one person besides, joined with the Hutchinson family in a service, including the Holy Supper, which was greatly enjoyed by all.

     Saturday, the 4th, I traveled to ATLANTA, where I made my stay at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Crockett, at which Place also all meetings were held. Sunday morning, and also during the week following, instruction was given to four children. In the afternoon we had services, with an attendance of fourteen persons, most of them members of the New Church. The occasion was the more impressive because of an adult baptism, received by one who had had New Church instruction in childhood, and with whom the remains then implanted have in recent years led to an awakening of interest in the Doctrines and of love for the church. At the dose of the service the Holy Supper was administered to eleven communicants. Among those present was Mr. Sterling Smith, of Bryn Athyn, now living at Atlanta. He very soon found himself at home in the group of young people associated with the Circle, and was helpful to their realizing how much the New Church can mean to young people. O, Tuesday evening a doctrinal class was held, at which twelve persons were present, and at which a strong sphere of the affection of truth was manifest, to the delight of all. Wednesday evening, Mr. Fraser-well known to all who attend General Assemblies-and spent with Mr. and Mrs. Henry Barnitz, conversing on interior subjects of doctrine. Thursday evening there was another doctrinal class, to which several of the members brought friends, and we had an attendance of twenty. So missionary talk was given on the doctrine of the Lord. After both our doctrinal classes there was an enjoyable social time. The entire visit to Atlanta was delightful and encouraging, and we hope that the way may open for more frequent visits.

     On Sunday, the 11th, services were held at JACKSONVILLE the Circle here, which is of the General Convention, is under the pastoral care of the Rev. J. B. Spiers, who visits frequently. I might mention that several of the southern circles, having members of both of the general bodies of the Church, welcome both Mr. Spiers and my ministrations. At our services there was an attendance of eleven, and at doctrinal class in the evening six. Both occasions were enjoyable. For the day I was the guest of the delightful New Church home of the Misses Warriner, who also arranged that during the afternoon we had an automobile outing to the historic city of St. Augustine, this being made possible by the kindness of Mr. Means, one of the members.

     On Monday I went to OAK HILL, in FLA., Where two days were spent with of Mrs. John Hilldale and Mr. Harry Hilldale. On Tuesday evening we had services, including the Holy Supper: a small gathering, yet having the wondrous spirit of the Lord's New Church; for where two or three are gathered together in the Lord's Name, as now revealed, there He, in His Second Coming, is in the midst of them.


     On Wednesday Mr. Joachim Fritz called for me and took me by automobile to his country home near APOPKA, in the interior of the State. Here he has a large estate, called Miami Springs,-although more than 250 miles from the city of Miami. Its central feature is a large sulphur spring with its bathing pool. Surrounding it are beautiful woods; and orchards, gardens and flower-beds are being planted. Beyond these, and bordering a river of considerable size, is a great forest and jungle. Mr. Fritz's ambition is that in time the place shall become a resort for New Church people, and especially for New Church ministers, where they may for a period find rest and quiet and renewal of strength. With him we hope for the realization of his plans. In the evening of my second day here, a talk was given to nine persons, engaged in work on the place, on the purpose of our being. On Friday we made an automobile trip to MIAMI. Here, on Sunday the 18th, services were held in the hotel apartments of Mr. and Mrs. L. Brackett Bishop, at which ten persons were present. In the evening a missionary address was given at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fritz; attendance eleven. On Tuesday we returned to the Springs, and from there Mr. Fritz conveyed me to Jacksonville, where I took train for home. St. Petersburg was not visited this year, as Mr. and Mrs. Seymour Nelson, who usually spend the winter there, are travelling abroad.
     F. E. WAELCHLI.


     At the Joint Council Meeting last February, the Bryn Athyn Church extended to the General Church a cordial invitation to hold the Fourteenth General Assembly in Bryn Athyn. The invitation was accepted, and the time of the Assembly was fixed for 1930. Subsequently there was an active discussion in the Pastor's Council relative to necessary preparations for this event, and it was agreed that the first requisite would be a building adequate to accommodate the general meetings, the banquet, and the social occasions of the Assembly. A committee was appointed to investigate the matter, and plans have been underway since for the erection of such a building. Considerable interest in the project was aroused among the younger members of the Society, and a considerable number of the young men have applied themselves energetically to the task of raising the necessary funds. It is hoped that we shall be able to erect a building that will be of permanent use, both to the Academy Schools for gymnasium and social purposes, and to the Society, the present Auditorium being insufficient to meet our steadily growing needs.

     On March 19th, the Young People held a Banquet, at which there were discussed the problems of participation in the uses of the Society by the rising generation. Indicative of our growth is the fact that 239 invitations were sent out for this occasion, all to young people between High-school age and 15 years. There were 175 present. Following a series of prepared speeches, giving evidence of keen interest in the things of the Church, there was a lively discussion centering around the question of the proposed Assembly Building. The Banquet was under the auspices of the two Young People's classes which have been conducted throughout the year by the Rt. Rev. George de Charms. It was a unique occasion, and was eminently successful. It may mark the development of a very useful element in our society life.

     On Sunday, April 8th, the Bryn Athyn String Quartet favored us with a very delightful concert in the Auditorium. An interesting feature of the program was a "Suite in the Olden Style" specially composed for the Bryn Athyn String Quartet by Mr. H. Waldo Warner, who plays the viola in the London String Quartet.

     The Bryn Athyn Orchestra, which includes a number of promising young musicians, has been making very commendable progress under the direction of Mr. Frank Bostock.


Its rendering of two numbers at the special service held in the Cathedral on Friday, April 6th, was much enjoyed by the congregation.

     The Easter program included the usual three services. At the evening service in preparation for Easter, on April 6th, Bishop N. D. Pendleton preached a thought-provoking sermon on the text, Revelation 1:18, treating of Death and the Lord's Glorification. On Easter morning, at 9:30 o'clock, a large congregation gathered in the Cathedral for the Children's Easter Service. The ladies of the Choir in white vestments, bearing lilies, led the procession, followed by the children bearing an offering of flowering plants, which were tastefully arranged at the entrance to the Chancel. The Easter songs expressing the joy of the Lord's Resurrection, the Hebrew singing and recitation by the children, and the address of the Assistant Pastor on the Hope of Eternal Life, and dealing with the revelation of the wonders of the spiritual world which the Glorification of the Lord made possible, combined to rouse a spirit of rejoicing because "the Lord had taken to Him His great power, and had entered upon the Kingdom." This occasion brought to an appropriate conclusion the series of Children's services for the year. On April 15th, the Rev. Theodore Pitcairn began a series of afternoon services which it is hoped can be continued throughout the summer.

     At 11 o'clock on Easter Morning, the Holy Supper was administered to 225 communicants. Bishop N. D. Pendleton officiated, being assisted by Rev. C. E. Doering, Rev. W. B. Caldwell, Rev. E. E. Iungerich, and Rev. Theodore Pitcairn. We enjoyed the presence on this occasion of a number of visitors from other centers of the New Church.

     On April 5th, Miss Eliza Mitchell, of Yonkers, New York, passed into the spiritual world at the age of 87. Memorial services were conducted in the Cathedral at Bryn Athyn by the Rt. Rev. George de Charms. Miss Mitchell had been a member of the Academy since 1877, and was one of the original members of the General Church when that body came into being in 1897. For many years she had lived with the family of Mr. Walter C. Childs, the only surviving Founder of the Academy movement, caring for his children after the death of their mother. She was a devoted member of the Church, deeply interested in the truths of the Heavenly Doctrine, and will be remembered with strong affection by all who knew her. She will receive a glad welcome from the many intimate friends who had preceded her into the other world.
     G. de C.


     It is rather late to tell you about our celebration of Christmas, and I will only state that our Young People's Club, as usual, arranged an entertainment for the children, with a Christmas Tree, games, Santa Claus and presents. Some of the younger children also acted part of a play called "The Guardian Angel," which was much appreciated, especially by parents, brothers and sisters.

     Swedenborg's Birthday was observed in the customary manner. After the service (the day being Sunday) we sat down to a dinner, and speeches were made by the pastor, Mr. Smart and Mrs. Torsten Sigstedt, nee Sigrid C. Odhner. We were especially interested in what Mrs. Sigstedt had to say about Swedenborg, the Assessor in the College of Mines, according to her own researches in the archives of that department of the Government.

     I have just made a fourth missionary trip to Norway, where I visited Oslo and Drammen, the latter a city of 30,000 inhabitants located near Oslo. This time I permitted to lecture in the University at Oslo, a privilege denied me on a previous visit, as there was objection to any "propaganda" in favor of Swedenborg. The subject of the first lecture was: "What are our departed friends doing now in the other life?"


About 300 persons were present, with many standing and some unable to get in. The second lecture was on the subject of "Conjugial Love," and the attendance was 200.

     In Drammen the interest seemed to be still greater. The hall, with accommodations for 350, was overcrowded. Even a seldom used gallery had been opened for the occasion, and I was told by an usher that there had not been so many people in the hall for a long time.

     At the three lectures delivered on this trip, books to the value of 200 kroner ($53.60) were sold.

     In Mr. Alfred Holm, Glenview, Ill., we now have a representative of our Book Room in America who has obtained very good results by advertising our Swedish books in the leading Swedish-American newspaper. In a letter dated January 31st, 1928, Mr. Holm writes:

     "The books have been sold long before they have arrived from Sweden. I have sent out catalogues, and have received orders for more books than I have in stock, and so it will be necessary to carry a larger stock. Almost every day five or ten orders come in, and many questions are asked. Some of these questions come from the priests of different sects, and it is keeping me busy answering all kinds of questions concerning the New Church. I have answered about 150 letters, and have about 90 on hand which have not yet been answered. All the States and Canada are represented in this response to our advertisements.

     "It seems as if the fear of the New Church has diminished, and that people are beginning to think for themselves. One old lady wrote me: 'I am hungry for the New Church. I have been a member of a society of the Mission for thirty years, but as I could not believe in salvation by faith alone I was expelled. Send me Swedenborg's writings. I have read Heaven and Hell, and it is a true word of God.' I have received many letters like this. Some want the Writings in Swedish, and some in English. As a whole I can say that our undertaking is a success.-Alfred Holm."


     The Rev. Eldred E. Iungerich has accepted a call to the pastorate of the Pittsburgh Society, entering upon his duties there in September.

     The Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner has resigned the pastorate of the Olivet Church, Toronto, Ontario, and will become a member of the Faculty of the Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn, Pa.,

     The Rev. Alan Gill, of New York, has accepted a call to become Pastor of the Carmel Church, Kitchener, Ontario, and will enter upon his duties there in September.


     The 107th Session of the General Convention will convene at Washington, D. C. on Saturday, May 12th, 1928, being preceded by the meetings of the Council of Ministers on May 8th. The Rev. H. Gordon Drummond, President of the British Conference will attend as representative of that body.

     The Rev. William R. Reese, Pastor of the Portland, Oregon, Society, has accepted a call to become Minister of the Brisbane, Australia, Society, and will leave America on July 1st.


     The Seventeenth Ontario District Assembly will be held at the Carmel Church, Kitchener, Ont., May 24th to 27th, 1928. All members and friends of the General Church are cordially invited to attend. Accommodation will be provided for all visitors. Kindly notify the undersigned of your intention to be present.
     REV. L. W. T. DAVID,
20 Willow Street,
     Kitchener, Ont.





     Preliminary Program.

     London, England, August 3-12, 1928.

     Friday, August 3.
10:00 a.m. - Council of the Clergy.
1:00 p.m. - Luncheon for the Council.

     Saturday, August 4.
7:30 p.m. - First Session of the General Assembly. Address by the Bishop of the General Church.

     Sunday, August 5.
11:00 a.m. - Divine Worship. Ordination.
          - Sermon by the Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner
7:00 p.m. - Divine Worship. Ordinations.
- Sermon by the Rev. R. J. Tilson.

     Monday, August 6.
10:00 a.m. - Second Session of the General Assembly. Subject: "The Calendar Reading of the Writings."
11:00 a.m. - Address by the Rev. Dr. Alfred Acton. Subject: To be announced later.
3:00 p.m. - Third Session of the General Assembly.
          - Address by the Rev. Ernst Pfeiffer. Subject: "The New Church in Holland."
7:30 p.m. - Reception and Assembly Social.


     Tuesday, August 7.
10:00 a.m. - Open Meeting of the Council of the Clergy.
11:00 a.m. - Address by the Rev. Albert Bjorck.
7:30 p.m. - Fourth Session of the General Assembly. General Discussion.
          - Subject: "Church Extension."

     Wednesday, August 8.
10:00 a.m. - Open Meeting of the Council of the Clergy.
11:00 a.m. - Address by the Rev. Richard Morse
3:00 p.m. - Meeting of the Corporation of the General Church.
7:30 p.m. - Fifth Session of the General Assembly. General Discussion. - Subject: "Society Building."

     Friday, August 10.
10:00 a.m. - Open Meeting of the Council of the Clergy.
11:00 a.m. - Address by the Rev. William Whitehead. Subject: "The New Church and the Modern State."
3:00 p.m. - Meeting of the Executive Committee of the General Church.
7:30 p.m. - "New Church Club" Men's Dinner.
          - Ladies' Dinner under the Auspices of Theta Alpha.

     Saturday, August 11.
3:00 p.m. - Sixth Session of the General Assembly.
          - Address by Mr. J. S. Pryke. Subject: "The Church and the World."

     Sunday, August 12.
11:00 a.m. - Divine Worship. Holy Supper.
          - Sermon by the Rev. Gustaf Baeckstrom.
7:00 p.m. - Open Meeting of the Sons of the Academy.
          - Address by the Rt. Rev. George de Charms. Subject: "The Development of New Church Education."



DIVINE AUTHORITY       Rev. G. A. SEXTON       1928

VOL. XLVIII JUNE, 1928           No. 6

     There are various degrees of acceptance, or non-acceptance, of the teachings contained in the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, and it is quite common to hear the advocates of some particular view condemning any other opinion than their own as a bogey that should be shunned; but usually, when we examine the statements of such persons, we find that the bogey which they call illogical, and which they are warning the Church against, is not what other people think at all, but is a purely imaginary conception of what they think other people believe, too illogical for any reasonable man to accept. We ought to realize that, even if there be many complete fools in the world, the leaders of thought in every phase of opinion are rational men, and, therefore, that each theory must be based upon some sort of logical argument from certain facts. In short, it is safe to say that every shade of opinion held by any body of rational men is what the truth would be if the data from which they have deduced their theory were the truth, and the whole truth, about the matter.

     It will be useful, therefore, if we review the facts upon which the belief in the doctrines of the New Church is based, with a view to seeing what is the nearest to the whole truth that we can arrive at with the data that we have to argue from, and the degree of logical rationality with which we are endowed, We shall find that most of the several degrees of acceptance are but stages in the natural and orderly progress of study, and in the growth of enlightenment. Even those of us who were born within the Church must come into the first knowledge of the things that it teaches by the orderly method of education.


Some may have been started on their way with a predisposition to accept as true whatever they find in these wonderful books; but all must have read the books for themselves for the first time, and as rational minds must have asked themselves the question: "Is this true? How do I know that it is true? and, If it be true, what is the full significance of it?"

     Most young persons, coming to the Writings of Swedenborg, read Heaven and Hell first. It is a good book to begin with, because upon its acceptance or rejection everything that follows must depend; since if one cannot believe that Swedenborg was permitted to have these revelations, which he claimed, it is impossible to accept any of his teaching. Picture a young man, with a neutral but receptive mind, having read Heaven and Hell. If he be not one of those who cannot believe in anything spiritual, and so must reject the whole from the beginning, he must at least accept that which is in it as a beautiful description of what the other world might be like. He tells himself (as I have indeed heard many people express), that it is certainly beautiful, and that if it be true, it is the most glorious revelation of the other world that has ever been given upon earth. But the problem is to prove whether it be truth or fiction.

     To the mature student of Swedenborg this is no problem, because, when the whole of the revelation is grasped, it is so wonderful that in itself it is proof of its own supermundane origin; but that is not the case with the student who reads it for the first time. He has then reached the first stage of acceptance, namely, that of acknowledgment that it is a beautiful conception of the other world, worthy of being accepted as our idea of it, though possibly only an ordinary, human, poetical, imaginary, description.

     That, it should be noted, is the ultimate degree of acceptance that can be placed in the teachings of any ordinary religious teacher, who claims no Divine revelation. If Swedenborg had not had any special vision, or revelation, that is all the acceptance that could be granted his teaching; and consequently, this first stage is the logical position for any man who has read and admired his works, but has not yet discovered the proofs of the reality of Swedenborg's experiences.


     Even so, it should be pointed out that allegiance to a Church which is founded to teach what Swedenborg taught would involve that, so long as one remain in that Church, one should teach that, and nothing contrary to it, even though it be but a man's philosophy; and that funds given for that purpose should be used for that teaching only.

     But that is not the whole truth. The student, having read a few of Swedenborg's works, must inevitably inquire for the proofs of the reality of the things which Swedenborg claimed; and, as he makes researches into the records of the life of Swedenborg, he will find evidence there that Swedenborg was in actual communication with persons who had lived upon earth and passed death. It is not our province, here and now, to deduce that evidence; but when the student has once found it, and been convinced by it, he reaches the second state of belief. He realizes that what Swedenborg has written is a true record of things heard and seen. It is then no matter of thinking that it is a very beautiful poetical imagination, but it is accepted as an actual description of the other world as it is. To one in this stage, Swedenborg's works are a reliable record of the conditions of life after death, as actually revealed to Swedenborg; and it must be admitted, therefore, that Swedenborg was in a much better position to explain the philosophy of Creation than we are, being able to see both worlds at once, and, as he says, "from the one to explore the other," while our vision is limited to this world only. But still, to one in this stage, Swedenborg's conclusions remain his own explanations, even if based upon that wider experience, and may be modified as science throws more light upon the facts of nature.

     In this stage of acceptance, Swedenborg's teaching, though acknowledged as a true doctrine of the other world, is only on the same basis as the evidence of spiritualism, so far as the authority of its teaching is concerned; and it is indeed, to one in this stage of acceptance, a sort of superspiritualism.

     The next, or third stage, is when the student realizes that such a revelation as that given to Swedenborg is a quite unique thing, and that it could not be given except under a very special Divine dispensation. And so it seems impossible that the Creator should give a man such a wonderful experience, not for his own entertainment, but for the purpose of instructing the world, and should not at the same time so guide that man as to prevent any serious, or misleading, error from getting into the records from his own proprium, thereby nullifying the whole value of the revelation, and rendering it a source of dangerous misleading.


     When this state is reached, Swedenborg's Writings begin to stand forth with an authority, not only as to the things heard and seen, but as to the explanations of these things, or the philosophy, which is included in it. That is to say, the fundamental doctrine is accepted as true, though even yet the details of illustration, and the expressions, may be taken merely s, the illustrations drawn from Swedenborg's own mind. This does not mean that one believes what one does not understand, but that one accepts what is stated as an explanation for our understanding, and that, if in this stage one come upon some statement that he cannot understand, he must simply admit that he does not understand it, just as a student of mathematics must do if he turn to problems at the end of his book which he has not yet worked up to.

     But this is rather an unstable state of mind, because the student has not studied all that Swedenborg has written; nor yet does be know all science; so that there must be things that he does not harmonize. And there is apt to be constant uneasiness, lest he should find some statement in the Writings that may appear absolutely to contradict scientific discoveries, and so destroy his faith. Many, therefore, dread this stage. They see it as the logical position in front of them, and yet they are afraid to trust themselves to it. So their faith wavers. As they read, they constantly find statements that they do not know how to interpret, and are in continual dread lest, if they admit such authority, they should find something which would completely destroy their faith.

     There is another state, however, to which those may come who have the privilege of scientific education, and at the same time are gifted with a deep perception of spiritual things, besides having the time for very extensive study of what Swedenborg has written. As we study, we find that the things which seemed to be difficulties while we were in the earlier stages now become the only possible clear explanation. We find that the anticipated difficulties do not arise, but that the more we understand, the more the problems of our earlier reading are cleared away. We see scientific men laboring with slow steps to reach new facts, but when each new discovery is announced to the world, we find that the essential of it is implied in what Swedenborg has already explained to us.


We find that, in some cases, Swedenborg's explanations enable us to look ahead of scientific discovery, and to form a perception of some things, such as gravity, for instance, which science has not yet touched. We see that many statements in which we once imagined there were divergencies between Swedenborg's teaching and science are really agreements, and that the apparent differences were due to difference in the language, Swedenborg actually saying the same thing, only using completely different words, and explaining from a different point of view, many passages being obscured by the translation, not only translation into English, but translation into modern scientific terms. When this stage is reached, the idea of expecting incomprehensible difficulties that will destroy our faith if we once accept the authority of the Writings vanishes, for we find that we only get further and further confirmation the further we go, both in science and in Swedenborg. And we realize that, as Swedenborg lived more than a hundred and fifty years ago, that all this perception was not of his own personal knowledge, but that it could only come through his being led by the guiding hand of Providence in his philosophy and explanation; for only from the Source of all knowledge could such foresight come.

     As this, which we may call the scientific position, matures, we realize further that Swedenborg could not have been in that position of receiving such guidance without himself being able to perceive in what relation he stood to the revealing Providence, and that he himself has declared that he was so led. We realize that he spoke the truth when he declared that he had been guided by the Lord alone. When we reach this assurance we can only bow before this revelation as a message given from the Lord to the world; not a reliable record only, with a man's philosophy based upon it, but a Divinely given explanation of the facts of being.

     This is the scientific position, beginning from first principles, and logically followed out through the study of Swedenborg's Writings, and of the world as we know it. And although it is not everyone who has the privileges that enable one to confirm this state by personal study and reasoning, still those who have not that opportunity, but who have reached the previous stage of recognizing that there must be a Divine intention in these revelations, when they see that greater knowledge does not bring the expected difficulties, but rather dispels the very fear of their occurring, may also lose the doubts that at first disturbed their confidence, and accept the authority of that which has been revealed, with full assurance.


     There is yet another degree of perception that may be reached, when, by entering fully into the understanding of spiritual influences, we realize that there is a Divine plan in everything; that the law of correspondences is not merely a key to interpret some parables, but the basis of the laws of Creation, and that the Word of God contains the inner senses, because a history of the progress of true religion in the world must be the natural counterpart of the spiritual things that have to do with the progress of religion in the human soul, and in the heavens; consequently that, as Swedenborg's works are a true and Divinely guided description of man's position on the earth in relation to his understanding of spiritual things, and in the relationships of man to man in charity, they must, of the very necessity of things, by the universal law of correspondence, describe at the same time the corresponding relationships between man and the angels, and between man and his God. For whatever is absolute truth on our plane of thought must, of the very necessity of things, express also spiritual and celestial realities by the same words.


     "Divine Truth can in nowise be profaned, except by those who have first acknowledged it; for such have first entered into truth by acknowledgment and belief, and thus have been initiated into it; and when they afterwards recede from it, a vestige of it continually remains inwardly impressed, and is recalled whenever what is false and evil is recalled; and hence the truth, because it adheres to them, is profaned. It is on this account that it is most especially provided by the Lord that Divine Good and Truth may not be profaned; and it is provided chiefly by this means, that a man who is of such a nature that he cannot help profaning is withheld as far as possible from the acknowledgment and belief of what is true and good. This was the reason why internal truths were not disclosed to the Israelites and Jews, and why the Lord did not come into the world, and reveal the internal things of the Word, until there was not any good remaining with them. It is for the same reason that the arcana of the internal sense of the Word are now revealed, because at this day there is scarcely any faith, because there is not any charity; and when this is the case, these arcana can be revealed without danger of profanation, because they are not interiorly acknowledged." (A. C. 3398)



TELL NO MAN!       Rev. F. E. GYLLENHAAL       1928


     "See thou tell no man." (Matthew 8:4.)

     On several occasions, after performing a miracle, the Lord commanded that what He had done and spoken should not be made known. Having cleansed a leper, the Lord said to him, "See thou tell no man." After opening the eyes of two blind men, "Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it." (Matthew 9:30.) And it is written that "Unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. And He straitly charged them that they should not make Him known." (Mark 3:11, 12.)

     Yet in every instance the Lord performed His miracles before multitudes, and spoke in their hearing. Evidently, therefore, the words, as well as the miracles, were known to many. And it is related that " the more He charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it." (Mark 7:36.) Of the leper, whom the Lord cleansed, it is written, "But he went out and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in the desert places; and they came to Him from every quarter." (Mark 1:45.) And of the two blind men, whose eyes He opened, we read, "But they, when they were departed, spread abroad His fame in all that country." (Matthew 9:31.)

     We are told that the Lord Himself "went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." (Matthew 9:35.) And when John the Baptist, from his prison, Sent two of his disciples to the Lord to ask Him, "Art Thou He that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go, and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached unto them.


And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." (Matthew 11:2-6.)

     We have also the following account which shows how plainly the Lord at times declared Himself to be Him of whom the Scriptures of the Old Testament had repeatedly prophesied: "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Isaiah 61:1.) And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bear witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?" (Luke 4:16-22.)

     Note, also, that when the Lord entered Jerusalem riding upon an ass, and "the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord; peace in heaven, and glory in the highest"; it is related that "some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, Master, rebuke Thy disciples. And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19:38-40.)

     It is clearly established by these and other passages that the Lord Himself, by traveling about preaching, teaching and doing miracles, spread abroad the very things which, seemingly, He commanded certain ones not to make known. It has been shown, also, that they who were commanded to tell no man, and not to make Him known, always disobeyed Him and so much the more published the matter.


This is not true of the disciples in every case, for when the Lord asked them, "Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?" Peter replied, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. . . . Then charged He His disciples that they should tell no man that He was Jesus the Christ." (Matthew 16:13-20.) And it is not recorded anywhere that they disobeyed Him in this instance. Again, when He was transfigured before Peter, James and John, after the vision had disappeared, as they descended the mountain, He charged them, "Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of Man be risen again from the dead." (Matthew 17:1-9.) And it is recorded in Mark that "they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean." (9:10.) And in Luke the statement is even more definite, namely, that "they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen." (9:36.)

     But the disciples did not understand what they had seen, nor what the Lord had said; for it is written that after His resurrection He appeared to them, and then said, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken; ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself." (Luke 24:25-27.) Again it is written, "He said to them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me." (Luke 24: 44.)

     It would seem, therefore, that there is a mystery in the words, "See thou tell no man." There is, indeed, a hidden, spiritual meaning, which is quite apart from the natural or literal meaning. This is not surprising, however, as it is plainly stated in Matthew (13:34) and the Writings (A. C. 302; S. D. 3357) that the Lord spake almost altogether in parables.

     The words of the text are not explained in the Writings; nor are words to the same effect in any other passages. Yet it is possible to know their spiritual meaning from comparison with a passage not yet quoted, as shall be shown shortly. Even the natural meaning of the text is not quite clear; that is, it is not quite clear what were the natural reasons for giving such a command, when it was not obeyed, and when the Lord Himself seemingly acted contrary to the spirit of it.


The disobedience of the Jews excites no surprise, as they were notoriously disobedient throughout their history. They were compelled by miracles to obey; but when the miracles became too common, they lost their power to compel.

     By Divine miracles, the Jews, or some of them, were compelled to believe, or to have a miraculous faith, in Jesus Christ; but this faith was short-lived with them, particularly when the miracles became common. The multitudes sought the Lord, not from any religious motives, nor for the sake of salvation, nor from any faith in His Divinity, nor from any love for Him, nor even because of the miracles; but because of the healing, restoring and feeding of their bodies. As it is written, "Jesus answered and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the leaves and were filled." (John 6:26.) In this we perceive a reason for the command that no man should be told about the miracle and the words, namely, because there could be nothing spiritual adjoined to men who acted from a merely corporeal motive, and because men so corporeal and utterly selfish could not in the least acknowledge the Divinity of Jesus Christ. Note, also, that no man was ever saved by miracles, nor taught anything spiritual by them, except in the same may as one is taught by a parable.

     Another natural reason for the Lord's prohibition of reports about His miracles and sayings is given in the following statement: "Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself alone." (John 6:14, 15.) Any attempt on the part of the Jews to make Him an earthly king would have interfered with the purpose for which He had come into the world; therefore, at times, the Lord manifested an apparent prudence in avoiding the issue and escaping from an awkward situation by disappearing. And it was for a similar reason, considering the words only in their natural meaning, that He commanded certain ones, as well as His disciples, to "tell no man," and "that they should not make Him known."


The omnipotent Divine was working in the world among men, and therefore in accommodation to the states of men; and the seeming limitations of Jesus Christ were entirely those of men apart from Him, and not in any sense limitations of the Divine Itself. Such appearances are recorded in the account of the first miracle, when the water was turned into wine at the marriage in Cana of Galilee; for on that occasion, it is related, the Lord replied to Mary, who had told Him that there was no wine, "Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come." (John 2:1-11.) The work of subjugating the hells and of glorifying the human assumed was a successive and, seemingly, a slow work, simply owing to the limitations of men, and not to any lack of Divine power. And, we may be sure, the Lord's command to "tell no man," and "that they should not make Him known," was given for the protection of men, even for the sake of their salvation, and not owing to any danger threatening the Lord.

     The spiritual meaning of the text is unlocked by the internal sense of the following passage from the Izth chapter of Matthew: "Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against Him, how they might destroy Him. But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew Himself from thence: and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all, and charged them that they should not make Him known; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my spirit upon Him, and He shall show judgment to the gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory. And in His name shall the gentiles trust."

     Here it is stated that the Lord charged the multitudes not to make Him known, in order that a certain prophecy by Isaiah might be fulfilled. The prophecy is partly explained by the Lord's quotation and application of it to Himself. In it the time is foretold when He will be made known, namely, when He sends forth judgment unto victory, which is after the Last Judgment. " Jesus . . . charged them that they should not make Him known; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias, . . . saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen. . . A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, until He send forth judgment unto victory."


     The spiritual meaning of the prophecy concerns the Lord's advent and New Church; and that He will gently lead and teach. (P. P.) Here the Lord testifies that He is Divine, is God Almighty, and teaches that He will preserve a little of good and truth with the gentiles outside the church, and with the simple and children who are gentiles in the church, until they can come into intelligence, or until He can bring forth intelligence in them; or again, He will preserve the church with them until He can bring forth intelligence in the church. "Sending forth judgment unto victory" also means the triumph of the Divine Truth after the Last Judgment, a triumph which was shown in His resurrection and glorification. This also is the meaning of His charge to the disciples at the vision of the transfiguration, when He plainly declared that "He was Jesus the Christ," that they were to tell no man until He had "risen again from the dead." For the passion of the cross was the last and severest temptation-combat by which the judgment then was completed, and prefigured the Last Judgment of 1757, when the Lord sent forth " judgment unto victory,"-unto final and crowning victory over the bells, when His Divine Human was fully revealed in the Heavenly Doctrine.

     "A bruised reed shall He not break," means that He will not hurt Divine Truth sensual in the simple and children. "Smoking flax shall He not quench," signifies that He will not destroy the Divine Truth that is beginning to live from a very little good of love in the simple and children, "flax" meaning truth, and "smoking," its being alive from some little love. And because both the reed and flax signify truth, it is said that the Lord "will bring forth truth in judgment," which means that He will bring forth in them intelligence, "judgment" signifying intelligence. (A. E. 627:7.) In Matthew 12:20, it is said, "till He send forth judgment unto victory," which means the same as "bring forth judgment unto truth," and also means the Last Judgment and the final victory of truth.

     Divine Truth sensual, which is signified by the "bruised reed," is the truth of the letter of the Word and outmost of Divine Truth natural. In this truth, or in the letter of the Word, and in some love of it, men were to be preserved until they could be brought into intelligence, or into the three higher degrees of Divine Truth.


In other words, the Heavenly Doctrine, which in its entirety is the three higher degrees of Divine Truth. (A. E. 627:5, 6), could not be revealed then, nor until after the Last Judgment of 1757. And this is the meaning of the words, "See thou tell no man." For the Heavenly Doctrine alone gives the enlightenment wherein a man may truly see the Lord Jesus Christ to be the one God Almighty. The Heavenly Doctrine alone reveals this supreme doctrine in rational form to the intelligence of a man prepared by it for its reception. This is the "new doctrine" referred to in the Doctrine of the Lord, no. 65,-a new doctrine which did not exist in the former Church, which did not exist in any former Church. And this supreme doctrine was not given to the Christian Church immediately after the First Advent, because the Lord perceived that it would not be received, and that if it had been received, it would have been profaned. The whole subject of profanation is introduced by the fact that the man cleansed was a leper, to whom the Lord said, "See thou tell no man."

     The Lord added to His command the words, "But go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded for a testimony unto them." In other words, Go to the law of Moses, obey it, be guided by the letter of the Word, which you have made a "bruised reed" and have broken (the Jewish and Christian Churches made it such, and broke it); but I will not break it, I will preserve it with you, and by it I will preserve you." Be guided by the letter of the Word until such time as you can receive, without danger of profanation, the spiritual sense, the new doctrine, the supreme doctrine that God is one in Person and Essence, and the Lord Jesus Christ is that God.

     Because of the state of men, thus for their sakes, for the sake of their salvation, the Lord kept the human race in ignorance of the fact that He was God. It is true that He proclaimed the fact when He was on earth, but, for the most part, He proclaimed it in parable. It was a truth that could not be seen continuously and rationally until the spiritual sense of the Sacred Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments had been revealed; and this revelation could not be given until after the Last Judgment of 1757 and the Second Advent of the Lord made then.


The Second Advent fulfilled the Lord's promise that "the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26.) Amen.

     Lessons: Isaiah 42:1-16; Matthew 8:1-13; A. E. 627: 5, 6)


     (Continued from p. 266 of the May issue.)

     In 1782, a young London printer named Robert Hindmarsh journeyed to Canterbury on a visit to his father, a Wesleyan Methodist clergyman. In one of their conversations Swedenborg was casually mentioned, and the young man learned that Mr. George Keen, a Quaker gentleman of the town, possessed some of the translated works of the seer. Impelled by curiosity, he called on the Quaker gentleman, who graciously loaned him copies of Heaven and Hell and The intercourse Between the Soul and the Body. Hindmarsh perused these volumes with avidity and delight, "instantly perceiving their contents to be of heavenly origin," he said. During an entire year after his reception of the Writings, he found only three or four individuals with whom he could maintain a friendly discussion on the subjects which they treated of. In 1783, he invited these few to hold regular meetings for reading and conversation in his house in Clerkenwell Close, not far from the spot where Swedenborg died. The little circle of three, and subsequently four, assembled every Sunday morning. Says Hindmarsh: "I was possessed of all the Writings in Latin, and these were constantly on the table before us while we read in them those illustrations of the Holy Word, and those extraordinary relations in reference to the state of things in another life."

     Continuing in this manner for a time, a public meeting was decided on, to which all in London friendly toward the Writings were invited.


Five responded to the call on December 5th, 1783, and foregathered in the Queen's Arms Tavern, where they had a room to themselves and drank tea. The newly-formed organization, after a few meetings held in the Inner Temple, removed to more convenient quarters in New Court, Middle Temple. Early in January, 1784, they assumed the name of "The Theosophical Society, instituted for the Purpose of promoting the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem, by translating, printing, and publishing the Theological Writings of the honorable Emanuel Swedenborg." The Society continued in the Middle Temple for several years, slowly increasing in numbers. Convening once or twice weekly, usually under the leadership of Hindmarsh, its meetings were conducted in a similar manner to that of the familiar New Church doctrinal class.

     About the beginning of 1787, an energetic group of members proposed that steps be taken to establish a ministry and acquire a place of worship. A resolution to this effect, submitted to the Society, met with defeat by a small majority, on the ground that the time had not arrived for definitely separating from the Old Church. The minority, however, thought otherwise. They united among themselves for the purpose of discussing ways and means, yet without discontinuing the usual meetings with the rest of their brethren. It was about this time that the Rev. John Clowes, Rector of St. John's, Manchester, hearing of the design to establish public worship on a purely New Church basis, came to London for the purpose of dissuading the proponents from the contemplated move. It is needless to record that he failed to convince, though listened to with the utmost deference.

     The first meeting of the new organization, as a separate body from the Old Church, was held on May 7th, 1787; and on November 5th the Middle Temple was relinquished for the new place of worship in Great East Cheap, which had been rented for ?90 per annum. Happily the problem of securing a pastor presented no difficulties. The right man was available for the emergency. It was none other than James Hindmarsh, the father of Robert, "formerly writing master at the Methodist seminary, called Kingswood School, near Bristol, and afterwards an itinerant preacher in Mr. Wesley's connection."


James Hindmarsh had been slower to accept the Writings than his son, but became an avowed receiver in 1785. Probably the first in the world to minister to a New Church congregation, "he continued in his office for several years, obtaining no other reward for his labors than the respect and thanks of his congregation." After a form of worship had been prepared, the chapel in Great East Cheap was formally opened on Sunday, January 27th, 1788. And here, on June 1st of that year, James Hindmarsh and Samuel Smith were ordained as the first Ministers of the New Church, the ceremony being performed by Robert Hindmarsh, who was later recognized by the General Conference as "virtually ordained by the Divine Auspices of Heaven," and whose name thereafter appeared first on the list of New Church ministers.

     Flaxman was associated with the New Church at its very inception. In 1784, when the Theosophical Society commenced to meet in the Middle Temple, he is numbered by Robert Hindmarsh among "the gentlemen of respectability who found their way to our meetings and cordially united with us in the objects of the Society." Though not again mentioned by this author, it is fair to presume that his interest continued up to the time of his departure for Italy, in 1787. Separated from New Church intercourse by seven years' residence abroad, no definite knowledge is available as to his religious opinions during the interval. That they remained unchanged, may be supported by Allan Cunningham's statement that the influence of Swedenborg can be detected in the illustrations to Dante's Paradise. Additional confirmation is furnished by the fact that during the Flaxmans' stay in Italy, and while Mr. and Mrs. John Augustus Tulk were with them, an extremely beautiful cameo of the head of Emanuel Swedenborg was cut in sardonyx in very full relief by Caputi of Rome. The work was done for Mr. Tulk under the direction of Flaxman, he and Caputi being great friends. After the death of Mr. Charles Augustus Tulk, in 1849, the cameo, along with other relies, was bought by his daughter, Mrs. Ley, of Florence; and after her decease it descended to her daughter Beatrice, in whose possession it was in the year 1890.

     Flaxman had seen the New Church begin as a mere reading circle, without a ministry or form of public worship. On his return to England, he found it an established ecclesiastical organization, and as such he united with it.


     In the absence of any information as to how Flaxman became acquainted with the Writings, only conjecture is possible. It is more than probable, in the opinion of the writer, that the explanation is to be found in his early intimacy with William Blake. From childhood Blake was environed by a New Church atmosphere, his father being a reader of Swedenborg, and James, his brother,-a New Churchman.* When he first met Flaxman, in 1782-83, he must have possessed a fair knowledge of the Writings. Ever bold in his expressions of opinion, it is not easy to imagine Blake's close association with the sculptor without some allusion to the religious beliefs to which, at the time, he and his family were at least favorably disposed. It seems obvious that there is some connection between Flaxman's first appearance in New Church circles, in 1784, and his introduction to Blake a year or two previous. Both men were profoundly influenced by their study of the Writings-Blake, unwittingly, even in his state of rejection; and Flaxman, not only in his life, but also in his art.
     * Blake's father is termed a "dissenter" by Gilchrist; but Symons, Ellis, and Yeats aver that he was a reader of the Writings. This is disputed by the Romish Gardner, on the ground that during his lifetime Swedenborg's works were untranslated. This objection is mere ignorance. Swedenborg himself published an English version of the second volume of the Arcana Coelestia seven years before William Blake was born; in 1763, the Doctrine of Life, and in 1769 the Brief Exposition, were printed in English.

     After a fashion, Blake may be looked upon as a follower of Swedenborg until past the age of thirty. About the year 1788, he studied and copiously annotated a copy of Divine Love and Wisdom. These marginalia, which have frequently been reprinted, it is only necessary to read, says Dr. Spurgeon,* "to realize, in the first place, that he sometimes misunderstands Swedenborg's position, and secondly, that when he did understand it, he was thoroughly in agreement with it." Perhaps he had arrived at a more affirmative attitude when, in 1789, he and his wife attended the First General Conference of the New Church, held-in the Great East Cheap place of worship, April 13th to 17th of that year. None were admitted to its deliberations without first signing the following declaration:
     * Mysticism in English Literature.

     "We whose Names are hereunto superscribed do each of us approve of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, believing that the Doctrines contained therein are genuine truths revealed from heaven, and that the New Jerusalem Church ought to be established distinct and separate from the Old Church."


     Among those recorded as subscribers to the above statement were "W.(illiam) Blake, C.(atherine) Blake," as the curious may see if they turn to page xx of the "Minutes of the first seven sessions of the General Conference of the New Church, London: James Speirs, 1885."

     In 1790, Blake read and annotated the work on Divine Providence. By 1793, his acquiescence in the Writings had turned to hostility, openly proclaimed in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.* That strange production marked a crucial point in his intellectual development. A travesty as well as a diatribe against Swedenborg and his doctrines, the author for the first time assumes the role of prophet and seer. But even in his state of rejection, Blake was never able to divest himself of Swedenborg's influence. Unconsciously he appropriated or carried over doctrines inculcated by his former guide, and the New Church student can detect many suggestions of the Writings in little twists and turns, phrases and inversions. For example, the very title, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, has a Swedenborgian tang. Blake had read of the heavenly marriage of the good and the true, and of the infernal marriage of the evil and the false. Determined to outdo the master whom he had forsaken, he propounded the grand idea of uniting opposites rather than complementaries, and quite appropriately terminates the extraordinary work with a somewhat unsavory passage of rhetorical fustian:
     * Nonesuch Edition says "etched 1793." Ellis assigns it to 1790 on reasonable grounds, viz., that after the "argument," Blake commences, "As a new heaven is begun, and it is now thirty-three years since its advent," etc., referring, of course, to 1757, which would make the date of writing, 1790. Says Max Plowman, Everyman Edition: " The dale of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is uncertain, but there can be little doubt that it was written after the Songs of Experience, for The Marriage represents a synthesis certainly not achieved when Blake was writing most of the Songs." If the Songs of Experience were written before The Marriage (which is not generally admitted), then his future standing as a poet will rest upon what was composed while he was yet a follower of Swedenborg, viz., Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience.

     "Let the Priests of the Raven of dawn, no longer with hoarse note, curse the sons of joy. Nor his accepted brethren, whom, tyrant, he calls free, lay the bound or build the roof.


Nor pale religious lechery call that Virginity that wishes but acts not!

     "For everything that lives is Holy."

     The Marriage is divided into small chapters, consisting for the most part of clever and exceedingly aphorious aphorisms. Appended to each chapter, obviously in travesty of the Writings, is a "Memorable Fancy," narrating an imaginary incident. "Proverbs of Hell" are set down to the number of seventy, and the world is promised The Bible of Hell, "whether they will or not." A title-page for the projected work, as we have somewhere read, has actually been found.* But the spirit of mockery could hardly go farther than the following: "Note. This angel, who is now become a Devil, is my particular friend: we often read the Bible together in its infernal or diabolical sense, which the world shall have if they behave well."
     * "That Blake actually planned such a work, and perhaps even executed it, we know from a draft of a title-page sketched at the back of one of his uncolored designs, reading 'The Bible of Hell, in Nocturnal Visions Collected. Vol. 1, Lambeth.' W. M. Rossetti dates this design 'circa 1791 (?),' but the title on the verse cannot, of course, be earlier than 1793, the year of Blake's removal to Lambeth. No. ms. or engraved copy exists of the Bible of Hell which may possibly have formed part of Tatham's holocaust." (Samson's Bibliographical Introduction to Oxford Edition of the Works.) This refers to the wholesale destruction of Blake's manuscripts after the death of his wife by Tatham, a fanatical Irvingite.

     Blake's renunciation of Swedenborg is somewhat notorious, but when quoted, only a few selected sentences are almost invariably utilized. If read in its entirety, the passage loses in force, and the impression conveyed is vastly different. For if its intent is humourist it is without point; if serious, it is pure dementia. But the Marriage of Heaven and Hell is no more intelligible than the rest of what are known as the "prophetical works," which scores of brilliant students have vainly endeavored to elucidate.* Here is the enunciation in its complete form:
     * As brain exercises, the reader is recommended to try two of Blake's shorter poems, "The Mental Traveller" and "Long John Brown and Little Mary Bell."

     "I have always found that Angels have the vanity to speak of themselves as the only wise; this they do with a confident insolence sprouting from systematic reasoning. Thus Swedenborg boasts that what he writes is new, tho' it is only the Contents or Index of already published books.


A man carried a monkey about for a shew, and, because he was a little wiser than the monkey, grew vain, and conceived himself as much wiser than seven men. It is so with Swedenborg: he shews the folly of churches, and exposes hypocrites, till he imagines that all are religious, and himself the single one on earth that ever broke a net. Now hear a plain fact: Swedenborg has not written one new truth. Now hear another: he has written all the old falsehoods. And now hear the reason: He conversed with Angels who are all religious, and conversed not with Devils who hate all religion, for he was incapable thro' his conceited notions. Thus Swedenborg's writings are a recapitulation of all superficial opinions, and an analysis of the more sublime, but no further. Have now another plain fact: Any man of mechanical talents may, from the writings of Paracelsus or Jacob Behnren, produce ten thousand volumes of equal value with Swedenborg's, and from those of Dante or Shakespeare an infinite number."

     Many years after Blake had written the above words, he told Charles Augustus Tulk that he had two different states, one in which he liked Swedenborg's Writings, and one in which he disliked them. (Mysticism in English Literature, p. 30.)

     After five years of married life, Flaxman determined to start upon the journey to Rome, on which his heart had been set ever since the taunt of Sir Joshua Reynolds. He had accumulated a modest sum of money, and Wedgwood helped him, both with recommendations and with funds advanced for services to be rendered in superintending the work of designers and modelers employed by the firm in Italy. The young couple set out in August, 1787, and took up quarters at Rome in Via Felice. They intended staying abroad two years, but remained seven.

     Shortly after his arrival in Rome, Flaxman was fortunate in making the acquaintance of Canova. The studio of the great Italian was frequented by wealthy and aristocratic visitors from the British Isles. Recognizing Flaxman's abilities, and devoid of professional jealousy, Canova encouraged and befriended his confrere on every occasion. Often he advised those who pressed on him more commissions than he could execute that they should go and see Flaxman. He was astonished that they so little noticed their own countryman. "You Englishmen," he said on one occasion, "I believe, see with your ears."


A few years later, when Cambridge wanted a statue of some great man to adorn one of the University buildings, and a committee was formed to decide what was to be done, the chairman declared that there was only one man fit to do the work, and that was Canova in Italy. Canova was consulted, but declined, saying that he was too busy, and besides they had the right man in England. They wrote again, asking who he was, and Canova replied that he was sorry that they had a Flaxman in England and did not know it.

     Flaxman soon attracted the attention of the resident and traveling English dilettanti, and as long as he remained in Italy he never lacked commissions in important sculptural work. But what gained for him a general European fame at this period was not his skill in plastic art, but those outline drawings of the poets, "in which he showed not only to what purpose he had made his own the principles of ancient design in vase painting and bas-reliefs, but also by what a natural affinity, better than all mere learning, he was bound to the ancients and belonged to them." He obtained from Mrs. Hare Naylor (mother of the distinguished brothers, Francis, Augustus and Julius Hare) a commission for seventy-three designs illustrating the Iliad and the Odyssey. The price paid was moderate-only 15 Shillings each-but Flaxman worked for art as well as money. These drawings aroused the greatest enthusiasm when shown about in the artistic circles of Rome. Mr. Hope followed with a commission for similar designs to Dante, and Lady Spencer for a set of Aeschylus subjects, at one guinea apiece.

     Piroli, an Italian artist, successively engraved the four series of compositions from the Greek poets. An edition of each was printed in Rome (1793), before sending the plates to England for home publication. Those of the Odyssey having been lost on the voyage, Blake was employed--at the instance of Flaxman, no doubt-to reengrave others in their stead. Piroli's name, however, was still retained on the title-page (also dated 1793), possibly because that of Blake had no standing with the public. The engraved versions of the designs fall far short of the originals, neither Blake nor Piroli having succeeded in reproducing the delicacy and expressiveness of Flaxman's pen work. Gilchrist makes the following interesting comparison: "Blake's engravings are much less telling, at the first glance, than Piroli's.


Instead of hard, bold, decisive lines, me have softer, lighter ones. But on looking into them we find more of the artist in the one-as in the beautiful Aphrodite, for instance, a very fine and delicate engraving-more uniform mechanical effect in the other. Blake's work is like a drawing, with traces as of a pen; Piroli's the orthodox copperplate style. Blake, in fact, at that time, etched a good deal more than do ordinary engravers."

     In a critical estimate which appeared in a recent issue of the London TIMES, the writer described Flaxman "as a peculiarly sensitive interpreter of that sedate fairyland, the Greece of eighteenth century scholarship; a T-squared world of white-marble buildings inhabited by marble-white men and women exchanging lofty sentiments in heroic couplets." All of this sounds very clever, oracular and slightly contemptuous. But the famous designs which the world has so long admired are not to be dismissed in this airy fashion. Flaxman's drawings are based upon a lifetime of intensive and independent study of Greek art and literature. As a child he played in his father's shop surrounded by choice examples of classic statuary. He pored over the Greek poets as soon as he could read. And the best years of his manhood were devoted to the minute examination of Greek and Etruscan vases and other originals of ancient art. How scrupulously he strove for fidelity of representation may be judged from what is stated by Allan Cunningham:

     "It is said by one who was frequently in Flaxman's company during the making of the Homeric designs, that his diffidence was at first so great that he transcribed the subject from the Greek vases, adapting them to his purpose; but that he soon became more confident-ventured to forsake those venerable models, and trusted to the resources of his own imagination."

     For the benefit of any who may fear that it is old-fashioned to admire Flaxman's graceful compositions, it will be appropriate to quote the eminently qualified scholar and critic, John Addington Symonds:

     "Nature, so prodigal to the English race in men of genius untutored, singular and solitary, has given us but few seers who, in the quality of prolific invention, can be compared with Flaxman. For pure conceptive faculty, controlled by unerring sense of beauty, we have to think of Pheidias or Raphael before we find his equal." (Studies of the Greek Poets, I, 177.)


     The Flaxmans varied their residence in Rome with summer excursions to other parts of Italy, the records of which are preserved in the sculptor's journals and sketch books. These prove him to have been an enthusiastic student, not only of the remains of classic art, to which he naturally inclined, but also of the works of the Gothic and Renaissance ages in Italy. Traveling southward on one of his occasional trips, through Virgil's country, Paestum, Pompeii and Herculaneum, his friend Canova introduced him to the eccentric Frederick Hervey, Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry. The cleric prevailed on him to accept a commission for a work on a great scale, the "Fury of Athamas," from Ovid's "Metamorphoses," which detained him in Rome two and a half years longer than was his intention. The price agreed upon was L600, but the installments were irregularly paid, the work prolonged, and when completed left him considerably out of pocket. The group now stands in Ickworth, Bury St. Edmunds.

     He executed a similar commission, "Cephalus and Aurora," for the munificent Thomas Hope, of Deepdene, and spent much time on his own account in an attempt to restore and complete as a group the famous fragment at the Vatican known as the Belvedere torso. The result was unsatisfactory, and "Hercuies and Omphale," as the cast was called, he in later life destroyed. While yet at Rome he sent home several models for sepulchral monuments, including one in relief for the poet Collins in Chichester, and another in the round for the celebrated memorial for Lord Mansfield, for which he received L2500. Erected, shortly after his return, in the north transept of Westminster Abbey, "it stands there in majestic grandeur, a monument to the genius of Flaxman himself-calm, simple, severe. No wonder that Banks, the sculptor, then in the heyday of his fame, exclaimed when he saw it, 'The little man cuts us all out!'"

     In recognition of his merit, before he left Italy, Flaxman was elected a member of the Academies of Florence and Carrara. His last occupation in that country was the packing and shipping of the collection of casts from the antique which Romney had requested him to form, intending to place it for the use of students in his great studio at Hampstead. The sculptor and his wife bade farewell to Italy in the summer of 1794, arriving in England in December of the same year. The journey was accomplished without any such molestation as they apprehended, owing to the disturbed condition of the Continent.


     On his return to London, where his fame had preceded him, Flaxman leased a modest house in Buckingham Street, Fitzroy Square. He erected shops and studios, arranged his models and marbles, and soon found abundant employment. Henceforth the story of his life is "an uneventful record of private affection and contentment, and of happy and tenacious industry, with rewards not brilliant, but sufficient, and repute not loud, but loudest in the mouths of those worth having."

     Now that Flaxmlan had attained a reputation as signal as it was extensive, it dawned upon the Royal Academy that the man who had failed to gain their medal, and whom their late president had declared ruined by wedlock, might, nevertheless, be an acquisition to the institution, were he numbered among its members. No small amount of entreaty was necessary before he allowed his name to be included in the candidates' list for associates, and his immediate election amply demonstrated the pleasure they felt in his having forgiven what must undoubtedly be considered as unjust treatment. Three years later (1800) he was made a full member, and in 1810 the Royal Academy appointed him to the newly created post of Professor of Sculpture, which he held until his death. His fame as an artist, as well as his diligence and popularity as a teacher, especially qualified him for the position. In this connection, a story is related of the rough, profane, old Fuseli, who, breaking away from a convivial gathering of associates, exclaimed: "Farewell friends-farewell wine-farewell wit-I must leave you all, and hear sermon the first preached by the Rev. John Flaxman."

     Flaxman renewed his intimacy with Blake on his return to England in 1I794, and during the next six years, according to Tatham, used to visit the poet at Hercules Buildings, "and sit drinking tea in the garden."

     In the year 1800, a number of patriotic citizens formed a committee to consider the erection of a great naval pillar in honor of British arms. In opposition, Flaxman urged the construction of a colossal statue of Britannia triumphant, to be placed on Greenwich hill; and in support of his scheme he issued a pamphlet, addressed to the committee, which was illustrated with the sculptor's designs engraved by his friend Blake.


Nothing came of the project. At this time, it is conjectured, Blake gave Flaxman a set of drawings to illustrate Gray's poems, which remained unpublished until 1912.

     In the same year (1800), by an arrangement effected by Flaxman, Blake went down to Felpham, on the Sussex coast, to work under the auspices of William Hayley, the sculptor's friend. Returned to London in 1804, Blake wrote to Hayley of "our good friend Flaxman's good help," of "Flaxman"s advice, which he gives with all the warmth of friendship both to you and to me," and of Flaxman's standing, after the death of Banks," without a competitor in sculpture." From London, a year later, Flaxman wrote to Hayley: "You will be glad to hear that Blake has his hands full of work for a considerable time to come, and if he will only condescend to give that attention to his worldly concerns which every one does that prefers living to starving, he is now in a way to do well." At the top of his profession, and an Academician, Flaxman had succeeded by sheer perseverance and a vast amount of drudgery. He could not understand why Blake, with all his natural endowments, had not bettered his position.

     "At present I have no intercourse with Mr. Blake," wrote Flaxman in 1808, when the quarrel between Stothard and the poet was at its height. An unscrupulous publisher, named Cromek, called on Blake, and seeing a pencil drawing he had made of Chaucer's Canterbury Pilgrims, gave him a commission to execute the design. The publisher intended to secure the finished sketch, and employ some one else to engrave it. Negotiations on that basis having failed, Cromek went to Stothard and suggested the same subject, an oil painting for 60 guineas to be engraved by Bromley. Knowing nothing of the previous overtures to Blake, Stothard accepted. While the latter was engaged upon the picture, Blake called upon his friend and saw it, little suspecting-that it was to supersede his own, and that slippery Cromek was double-crossing him. When Blake came to know how the case really stood, his indignation against Cromek was unbounded, and he was at no pains to conceal his feelings toward Stothard, whom he accused of acting in collusion with the publisher. To the end of his life he would, to strangers, abuse his former companion with torrential vehemence. With friends and sympathizers, he was silent on the topic.


The breach was never healed. Years afterwards Blake met Stothard at a gathering of artists, and held out his hand for reconciliation, but the latter refused it. He also called to see Stothard when he was ill, but admittance was denied him. Flaxman believed that Stothard was not a willful culprit in this matter; and that, in all probability, explains the vicious outbursts against the sculptor written by Blake in epigrammatic verse and otherwise.

     Just how wild and absurd Blake could be at times, is aptly illustrated by the following anecdote from Gilchrist: "The completion of the 'Pilgrimage' was attended by adverse influences of the supernatural kind-as Blake construed them. He had hung his original design over a door in his sitting-room, where it remained for perhaps a year. When, on the appearance of Stothard's picture, he went to take down his drawing, he found it nearly effaced; the result of some malignant spell of Stothard's, he would, in telling the story, assure his friends. But as one of them (Flaxman) mildly expostulated, 'Why! my dear sir! as if, after having left a pencil drawing so long exposed to air and dust, you could have expected otherwise!"

     Still wishing to serve as of old, Flaxman secured the services of Blake to engrave his outlines to Hesiod, which was issued in 1817. Blake, it is said, somewhat resented the favor, believing that he should have been recommended to the publishers as a designer. Many consider Flaxman's Hesiod series to be his finest compositions for the Greek poets; and Blake not only surpassed his work on the Odyssey, but also that of Piroli on the Iliad, Aeschylus and Dante. During this period, Flaxman wrote articles on Armor and Sculpture in Bees' Encyclopedia, Blake engraving the illustrations.

     On May 12th, 1826, Flaxman and Blake took tea with a mutual friend who reported that "the evening went off tolerably," but "I doubt whether Flaxman sufficiently tolerates Blake. But Blake appreciates Flaxman as he ought." So far as anything is recorded, this was the last time that the poet and the sculptor met, ere the latter passed to the great hereafter. Flaxman had had his differences with Blake, and on occasions uttered caustic remarks concerning him, but he never permitted anyone else the same liberty of expression in his presence. " Once in these or later years," says Gilchrist, "Cary (translator of Dante) was talking with his friend Flaxman of the few Englishmen who followed historical painting, enumerating Stothard, Howard, and others.


Flaxman mentioned a few more, and among them Blake. 'But Blake is a wild enthusiast, isn't he?' Ever loyal to his friend, the sculptor drew himself up, half offended, saying, 'Some think me an enthusiast.'" And Flaxman was in the habit of declaring with unwonted emphasis that "the time would come" when Blake's designs "would be as much sought after and treasured in the portfolios" of men discerning in art "as those of Michelangelo now." "And ah, sir," he would sometimes add, to an admirer of the designs, "his poems are as grand as his pictures."

     When Flaxman went to Italy in the summer of 1787, the embryo New Church actually consisted of little more than a number of Swedenborg reading circles. On his return, seven years later, he found it an established ecclesiastical organization. The energetic minority of the Theosophical Society had gone ahead with their preparations, and acquired a place of worship in Great East Cheap, the formal opening of which occurred on January 27th, 1788. A crowded audience listened to the inaugural sermon of the Rev. James Hindmarsh; Isaac Hawkins read the prayers of the day, and Robert Brant preached at another service held in the afternoon. In May of the same year, a resolution was adopted to change the name of the organization from the Theosophical Society to "The New Church, signified by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation."

     Hindmarsh informs us that not a dissentient voice was heard in the first three English New Church Conferences (1789, 1790, 1791). The fourth, however (1792), was vastly different. Disagreements arose over the hoary question of church government-whether it should be episcopalian or congregational in character. Recruited mostly from the ranks of dissenters, the majority thought it proper to adopt a mode of ecclesiastical government in which all questions were to be decided by the votes of the members at large. Immediately after the conclusion of the conference, the London Society, which had hitherto been united as one body, divided into two societies. The majority of its members, who favored the congregational form of government, chose for their pastor the Rev. Manoah Sibly, and removed to Store Street, Tottenham Court Road, where a temporary place of worship was engaged.


     The Chapel in Great East Cheap now being given up, the remnant of the society that occupied it to the last kept themselves together by meeting at their individual homes until the year 1796, when ground was purchased for the erection of a new place of worship in Cross Street, Hatton Garden. The building was finished in the summer of 1797, and on Sunday, July 30th, was opened for public worship, and solemnly consecrated by the Rev. Joseph Proud, who had previously been engaged as the regular pastor of the congregation. Mrs. Shearsmith, it is curious to note, who had waited upon Swedenborg in his last illness, was employed as janitress of the newly erected edifice. Proud's abilities as a popular preacher attracted overflowing congregations, and it was about this time that Flaxman identified himself with the Cross Street Temple, as it was called. For a time the sculptor was an active member, serving on the church committee for two years. But, says the Rev. Samuel Noble in the Intellectual Repository, "among the circumstances of Mr. Proud's removal to York Street were some, we regret to say, which gave a wound to the tender feelings of Mr. Flaxman, and occasioned his withdrawal."

     Beyond the fact of Flaxman's wounded susceptibilities, information concerning this incident is not available. It is conjectured on the part of the writer that the sculptor's lacerated feelings were as much the result of his own sensitive disposition as of any extraneous circumstances, however unfortunate. His intimate friend, Crabb Robinson, found him "an uncomfortable opponent," prone to fixed ideas. "I so much fear to offend him," he said, "that I have a difficulty in being sincere." Other quotations, equally apposite, might be furnished, revealing a degree of touchiness incompatible with amicable relations in a mixed assemblage, such as a church organization is certain to be.

     Flaxman stood aloof until 1810, when he joined the newly instituted Swedenborg Printing Society, continuing as a member until his death, sixteen years later. Three times he served on the committee; each year he subscribed to the funds to the amount of L2 or L2 2S. In 1816, the Minutes of the Society record that, "The health of the absent President, C. A. Tulk, Esq., was proposed by J. Flaxman, Esq., in a neat and appropriate speech, in the course of which he took occasion very forcibly and feelingly to expatiate upon the objects of the Society, and the importance of the New Dispensation, as considered in connection with the purposes of science, and on its tendency to advance the best interests of mankind."


     In the Report of the Swedenborg Society for 1827, the year after Flaxman's death, we read the following statement respecting him:

     "Your Committee have also, with the Society in general, to lament the loss of another most amiable and excellent friend of the church,-Mr. John Flaxman, Professor of Sculpture to the Royal Academy, who was known to the world as one of the first sculptors of the age. Your Committee cannot speak of him here as an artist, his merit in that respect being too well established; but as a member of the New Church, your Committee feel themselves entitled to expatiate on his character and deportment. In the Reports of all the several Committees of this Society, his name is found as a contributor to its funds, and as a cordial promoter of the cause. Of late years, however, he was seldom present at these meetings, through bodily infirmity; but on the last time, in 1817, when Mr. Flaxman was appointed one of the Committee, he interested the Society by an affectionate and impressive address in furtherance of our great object. Be was a man of amiable manners, and was beloved and respected by all who knew him; and we confidently assert that any church would have been proud of him as a disciple. The public journals of the day could do no otherwise than notice the decease of so celebrated an individual, which they did in the most distinguished manner. Some of them had the candor to make known his having been a receiver of the doctrines of the New Church, and it is sincerely to be hoped that this announcement, combined with the knowledge of the truly estimable character of the deceased, may have had the effect on the minds of those who read the paragraphs alluded to, of inducing them to examine into those writings and doctrines, the vital regard to which drew forth the high encomiums he in consequence so justly merited."

     (To be continued.)




     It could reasonably be claimed that the study of Heresy-its origin and growth-is identical with the study of Ecclesiastical History. According to the view of the Jews, Christ Himself was "heretic"; according to the Roman Emperors, in the early days Christianity, the Christians were heretics. When Christianity became accepted throughout Europe in the Middle and Dark Ages-though in the hands of the Roman Catholic Church-those opposed to its teachings were heretics. The Roman Church regarded the Greek Church as heretical, and the Greek Church held the same opinion of the Roman Church. When the time came for the Reformation, the Reformers, were, of course, regarded as heretics; while the Reformers aimed at the heresies of the Roman Catholic Religion. At the dawn of a scientific age, the advocates of science and reason regarded religious views as more or less heretical; while those trusting to "faith" regarded the scientist as a heretic.

     In the seventeenth century, Swedenborg covered the fields of Science, Philosophy and Theology; but in following his Divine call to devote himself to writing and publishing the Doctrines of the New Church, which were revealed to him, the majority of his day, and from then to the present day, regarded, and regard him, as a heretic. Again, those who study his teachings, and discern within them the final Revelation of Divine Authority, are held as heretics; while those who rely on the Revelation so given feel fully justified in diagnosing, not only the heresies of bygone ages, but also the heresies of the present day-heresies in religion, heresies in science, heresies in philosophy, and even heresies in the various schools of thought which have characterized the New Church.

     From such historical comparisons it may be said that the heretic of to-day is the reformer of tomorrow, while the heresy of one age becomes the orthodox faith of the next. Yet, aside from such a conclusion, it has also to be remembered that history-particularly church history-reveals the condition of the continual struggle of truth against falsity, and of good against evil.


By such means the Divine Providence prepares the human race, throughout its various states of development, for the reception of a final and rational Revelation. When the past schisms and controversies are viewed in such light, then it can be seen that heresies are governed by the laws of permission of the Divine Providence. (T. C. R. 479. D. P. 259.)

     What then is heresy? Augustine, in his day, stated that "it was impossible, or at any rate most difficult, to define heresy." If it was difficult for him, it is still more difficult now to give a satisfactory definition, especially when applied to the New Church. When the Christian Church attempted to formulate and define theological truth, or doctrine, and to make rigid applications of what was to be believed, it was on the road to decline. Councils were devised to counteract heresy, and yet the epoch-making councils have perpetrated the greatest heresies. Hence the New Church, in matters of doctrine, is admonished by the Revelation given her to beware of Councils, "to put faith in no council, but in the Lord's Word, which is above councils." (T. C. R. 489.) Moreover, the New Church has new concepts of "freedom," "charity," and "unity." It also possesses a distinct, revealed Theology which teaches the true use of Science and Philosophy and their orderly relationship to a rational faith. Consequently, with such equipment, combined with the fact that the New Church, in its essence, is based upon more universal principles than have ever before been revealed, any answer to the question, "What constitutes heresy in the New Church?" must necessarily seek for a far wider vision than is found in the theologies of previous and contemporary religions. But although New Church truth has within it the possibilities of leading to an extensive view of the matter, yet it is equally necessary and equally vital to keep well in mind the fundamental and distinctive principles upon which the New Church is founded.

     At this juncture, however, it will be useful to consider for a moment the ordinary definitions of the term heresy.

     Originally, heresy implied a choice-a taking. It arose with Greek Philosophy, in which each several opinion was called a heresy. It implied a private opinion without reference to either truth or falsehood, and was not used in the contemptuous sense in which it is now used. Webster defines it thus: "Religious opinion opposed to the authorized doctrinal standards of any particular church, especially when held by a person holding the same general faith, and tending to promote schism or separation."


Another definition reads: "Heresy is a doctrine, principle, or set of principles at variance with established or generally received principles. Opinions contrary to the established religious faith." (Annandale.)

     The term is clearly used in direct connection with religious views. Although, as will be dealt with later, the New Church will embrace many individual opinions and interpretations of doctrine, it can hardly be said that the word "heresy" will be used in its original meaning of "choice." It will possess its contemptuous interpretation, and will, no doubt, be employed to characterize decided errors and false deductions.

     Before attempting to consider briefly what errors and false deductions may be rightly described as heresies, both in the Christian Church and the New Church, it is of fundamental importance to know what caused heresy. To determine this, attention should be directed to the statements made in the Doctrines of the New Church. From a series of numbers which directly refer to heresy the following numbers are cited or quoted:

     The separation of charity from faith, as described in the spiritual sense of Genesis IV-treating of Cain and Abel-is noted as the first heresy. (A. C. 324, 337.)

     "Wherever there is any church, there arise heresies, because while men are intent on some particular article of faith they make that the principal thing; for such is the nature of man's thought, that while intent on some one thing, he sets it before any other, especially when his phantasy claims it as a discovery of his own." (A. C. 362)

     As charity declined, evils succeeded, together with falsities. " Hence came 'schisms and heresies. . . . If charity were alive and reigning, then they would not call schism schism, nor heresy, but a doctrinal matter in accordance with each one's opinion." (A. C. 1834. Note that this passage somewhat coincides with the original meaning of the word "heresy.")

     "They who lay stress on the sense of the letter of the Word alone, and neither have, nor procure for themselves from the Word, doctrine that is in agreement with its internal sense, can be drawn into any heresies whatever. It is from this that the Word is called the Book of Heresies." (A. C. 10276:8, T. C. R. 798:8.)


     Concerning a belief in three Divine Persons, each of whom singly is God: "This is the source, and the only source, from which have sprung the monstrous heresies concerning God; and thus the division of the Trinity into persons has introduced into the church, not night alone, but death as well." (T. C. R. 23.)

     From the Writings it is also gathered that mention is made of ideas which are described as actual heresies, namely:

     "That only those born within the church are saved, is an insane heresy." (D. P. 330 Sec. 5.)

     "That any of the human race are damned by predestination, is a cruel heresy."(D. P. 330 Sec. 8.)

     It is also stated in the third Memorable Relation (T. C. R. 112) that, in the spiritual world, the work entitled The Brief Exposition was held to be heretical; while in T. C. R. 378 a long list of heretical sects of the early and middle ages is given.

     In addition to the teaching given in the passages just quoted, it is useful to contrast the following:


     Acknowledgment of the Divine of the Lord.
     Acknowledgment of the holiness of the Word.
     The life which is called charity.     (D. P. 259)


     The doctrine of the Church.
     The fallacies of the senses.
     The life of cupidities.               (A. C. 4729.)

     With these principles in mind it is possible to determine, in some measure, the real nature of heresy, and by such means to review the heresies which have beset the Christian Church, as well as the New Church.

     As an illustrative example the following brief analysis of a few of the heresies which infested the early Christian Church may be of interest. It is to be noted in passing that T. C. R. 378 cites nearly forty different sects, from the early days of Christianity to the time of the Reformation.



Ebionites.          Denied the Lord's Divinity.
               Rejected part of and sometimes all the Five Books of Moses.
               Acknowledged the Gospel of Matthew only.
               Denied the sanctity of marriage. Encouraged immoralities.

Simonians.          Followers of Simon Magus (mentioned in Acts, Chapter 8).
               Denied the Lord's Divinity.
               The Crucifixion considered as "an appearance."
               Material concept of creation.
               Encouraged immoralities.

Nicolaitans.     Followers of Nicolas (mentioned in Acts 6; Rev. 2:6, 15).
               A licentious sect.
               Maintained the dangerous doctrine, that evil must be indulged in before it can be mastered.

Cerinthians.     Denied the Lord's Divinity.
               Considered the Christ a mere man.
               Rejected the Gospels, except parts of Matthew.
               Endeavored to combine doctrines of Christianity with those of Jews and Gnostics.

Quakers.          Belief in one Eternal God, and in Christ His Son.
               Title of Word of God given to Christ, and not to the Scriptures.
               Scriptures held in esteem in subordination to the Spirit.


               Baptism with water recognized.
               The Holy Supper not an external performance, but a participation of Divine Nature through faith,-referring to Rev. 19:9.

     With a view to contraction and precis, only a few heresies of Christendom have been cited; but the principle may be applied in the review of all the various sects or religions which are based upon the letter of the Word or passages from it. When this is done, it can be seen how history confirms what happens when "men are intent upon some particular article of faith" (A. C. 362) or lead a "life of cupidities." (A. C. 4729) The analysis, moreover, is useful in this, that as far as the early heresies of the Christian Church were concerned, it points to the fact that it required several ages for the acceptance of the New Testament as a Revelation. But before making further reflections it will be useful to list some of the heresies which have been, and are, associated with the New Church.


Tulkism.          Denial of the Lord's Divine Human.
               The doctrine of "appearances" mis-applied.
               The doctrine of "ultimates" not realized.

Christian Science.     Denial of the existence of evil.
               The doctrine that evil is nothing in the sight of the Lord misunderstood.

Claims to Spiritual Inspiration          Denial that the Revelation to the like Swedenborg's.
               New Church is "final"-"crowning" Revelation.

Thomas Lake Harris.     Misapplication of the doctrine of "inspiration."


The "Internal" and "External Church      Such divisions exist but the Internal Church cannot be localized or identified. It is known only to the Lord.

Non-fermented wine in the Holy Supper.      Non-recognition of the doctrine of correspondence and the doctrine of "use."

     The worst heresies are clearly evils of life or "cupidities." In the case of the First Christian Church, history affirms how serious this has been; but as a result of the Last Judgment and the institution of a New Church, which is essentially a spiritual Church, a new order has been established. Men, if they will, can now prevent evil by the shunning of evil, as of themselves, on the plane of conscience, and shunning evil as sin against God. If it should happen that actual evils of life are practiced, they soon bring reproach, and by common opinion are held to be against the teaching of the Church and the order of society in general.

     There appears to be only one movement in the New Church which, according to record, might be classed under this last mentioned heading; namely, that infatuation inaugurated by Thomas Lake Harris. In addition to the intellectual heresy of claiming that the Celestial Sense of the Word had been revealed to him, and that he wrote in poetry which, according to him, was a celestial form, he developed certain immoralities. There can be no doubt that such things were direful heresies.

     In noting the heresies which have come with the growth of the New Church, it can be seen that if they be tested in the light of A. C. 362, one doctrine of the New Church has been either undervalued or exaggerated, with the result that a proper balance was not maintained. Throughout the history of mankind, particularly since the fall, intellectual difficulties have centered around the relations of God and the world, spirit and nature, idea and phenomenon. These three groups clearly refer to the relationship between spiritual laws and natural laws, the spiritual world and the natural world, and the modus operandi between the soul and body of man. In short, the problems presented cover the story of Gnosticism in the early Christian Church, Religion versus Science in the eighteenth century and to the present day, and finally to the correlating of Philosophy and Theology in the New Church.


They also embody the contest between the fallacy of the senses and the dictates of reason founded on Revelation.

     Now, confining attention entirely to the distinctive sphere of the New Church, it is the solving of these problems which will engage the scholars of the Church. The New Church indeed possesses the key, but it has to learn how to use that key. Granting that the members of the Church are regenerating, thus avoiding the heresies which come from cupidities; granting that they have faith in the distinctive doctrines of the Church; then, if there be differences of opinion in the solution of these problems, there should be no cause for suspecting heresy. Unity does not imply unity of thought on every particular or derivative doctrine of the New Church, but it does imply unity of thought on the fundamentals of the Church, such fundamentals being absolutely qualified by the distinct theology revealed to the New Church.

     To sum up: The theme here presented has been based upon a consideration of: (1) The quotations from the Writings on the nature and cause of heresy. (2) The three essentials of the Church, as given in D. P. 259. (3) The three sources of falsity, as given in A. C. 4729. From these findings the conclusion as to what constitutes heresy in the New Church seems to fall in a line of thought indicated as follows:

     1. The life of evil is heresy.

     2. Any decided departure from the essentials of the Church is a heresy.

     3. Any doctrine of the Church exaggerated, or placed out of its relation to other doctrines, is a heresy.

     4. Differences of view in the study of Philosophy and its relation to Theology, or differences of perception in the understanding of doctrines, are not heresies. Where charity reigns, and where the three essentials of the Church are understood and acknowledged at heart, dissensions are as light which varies the color of beautiful objects, and as various diadems which give beauty in the crown of a king. (D. P. 259.)




     (An Editorial in The New-Church Review, January, 1928.)

     Swedenborg said that one chief result of the Second Coming of the Lord would be greater freedom. Since then the American revolution and the French revolution have taken place, and more recently the Russian and German revolutions. The political changes in Japan, China, and Turkey seem to be the working of democratic ideals and forces in the direction of political and personal freedom. In view of these facts, we are justified in believing that there has been an immense extension of freedom the world over.

     When we reflect that freedom and rationality are the characteristic endowments of man, evidences of greater freedom are of peculiar significance as features of the New Age. Accordingly, we may expect that with the growth and extension of the New Church, higher degrees of freedom and rationality will be attained. In fact, as we look around we do seem to see advancement in freedom and rationality in various directions. Freedom of opinion, freedom of speech and action, freedom of the press, are generally recognized principles of government and public sentiments. Back of all these forms of freedom is the primal freedom of thought, the freedom to see in the light of one's own mind, and to choose according to one's real interest. The advancement of science and philosophy, and of historical method, certainly permit a high development of freedom and rationality. Historical and critical methods have sifted tradition, and broadened the field of positive knowledge in the realms of history and literature, so that the mind moves more freely in these fields. On the whole, there is no doubt that conditions for the exercise of freedom and rationality have immensely improved in modern times; and they belong properly to the New Age.

     How far these conditions are the result of the Lord's Second Coming, and how far they are the natural development of scientific and historical interest, are critical questions. Without doubt, the doctrinal enlightenment of the New Church has cleared the field of many traditional and natural obstructions; and no doubt New-Church influence through acquaintance with Swedenborg's teachings has to some extent modified and enlightened the minds of a considerable number of the leaders of public opinion.


To what precise degree this enlightenment has affected the leaders or the public, it is hard to Bay. Unquestionably, some of the false doctrines of traditional orthodoxy have been abandoned, and positions more in agreement with the New Church have been taken. For example, the doctrines of predestination, vicarious atonement, infant damnation, a hell of literal fire and brimstone, instantaneous salvation, the trinity of persons, and others, have been either greatly modified or wholly abandoned. Then, too, there has been a growing tendency away from Paul's theology to the teaching of the Gospels, and from doctrines of any kind to greater emphasis upon life.

     These circumstances are favorable for the spread of the New Church, and they may be partly the result of New-Church influence. But if we look more closely into the history of modern religious changes, we shall see that they are proper features of the naturalistic and rationalistic development of the age. These changes are largely destructive; they are specifically negations. The constructive impulse is effective in little more than vague anticipations of the future. Even the best thinking of the day, whether philosophical or religious, is seriously hampered and misdirected by habits acquired under the prepossessions of a falsely narrowed scientific and historical method. These habits are greatly strengthened by the evolutionistic philosophy of the day.

     The doctrine of evolution has taken a firm hold on the schools and on the public mind. Some earnest and high-minded people seem to accept the doctrine second-hand without being aware of its naturalistic ground and trend. From a point of view quite foreign to evolutionistic thought, and with the prepossessions of Christianity, they undertake to incorporate the doctrine of evolution in their view of the world under the formula "Evolution is God's method of Creation." This lack of proper discrimination gives rise to a serious situation for the religious thinking of the day, and especially for the ready acceptance of the New-Church doctrines. It binds people to the enormous prepossessions of present-day naturalism and rationalism.


     The development of natural science, and of biology in particular, has freed the modern mind for more effective thinking in the field of nature; and it has furnished a broader basis for understanding some of the problems of human life. But it has also served to divert attention from the importance of a distinctly religious and spiritual point of view, and from the importance of spiritual realities in general. It has developed the habit and the method of studying all subjects in the light of natural history; all explanation of present conditions must be sought in this direction. The resulting situation is that naturalistic presuppositions control the thinking of the present day in every department of human interest. Not only in science, but in history, philosophy and religion, the demands of naturalism must be met first of all, and the light of naturalism must lead. This trend has usually come into sharp contrast and opposition to religion, and has forced the alternative of dismissing religion altogether or turning it over to natural history and psychology. Accordingly, we have a new science,-comparative religion.

     The study of comparative religion directs attention to the common characters of religion, and to the natural history of all religions. So religion comes to be viewed as a natural growth of human experience and knowledge; and in this respect all religions stand on the same footing. The principle of the natural history method removes religion from, the sphere of revelation, and transfers it to natural history and to an evolutionary process. Revelation itself is universalized, so that the Christian revelation comes to be considered as one of a general class. This point of view is summarized in the formula: "Religious experience produced the Bible; the Bible did not produce religious experience." The result is that religion is taken up into the philosophy of naturalism, and is defined as an attitude towards the universe of reality in general, or to some special feature of the universe. This kind of universalism takes the form in some religious minds of thinking of God as a universal influence which descends upon mankind indifferently; and this is God's presence with men. Some, actuated by the evidences of intensified spiritual conditions, think of the Lord's new presence in this way, and look for the New Age as the outcome.

     At this point, the New Church offers its definite teaching about the Lord's presence and about the Second Coming.


According to the doctrines of the New Church, the Lord is universally present with men as Creator, Preserver, and Savior. But this presence is not a mechanical or spatial presence; it is a spiritual presence, and operates according to spiritual laws; and it operates as love, wisdom, and power in proper recipients. The Lord is present throughout the universe, not only with men, but also with animals and plants. He is Creator and Preserver of all things. He is present to men also in a specific way adapted to man's capacity of reception; so likewise He is present to all animals; but in the case of man He is present and operates in man's faculties of freedom and rationality. This involves free and rational acceptance of the Lord's presence and operation, not to speak of the abuse of these. In other words, man's acceptance of the Lord's presence above the animal level involves knowledge. At this point, the need of revelation appears, and this need is exhibited in the fact that all races and stages of mankind, so far as is known, have some idea of God, some knowledge of God; and it is through this knowledge that the Divine presence is actualized at higher levels than the animal. To express the need of revelation in another way, man can no more rise to a knowledge of God through his own experience than can any other animal. But given a knowledge of God through revelation, then man can refer certain qualities of his experience to God. The question of revelation is a large and complicated one, which very much needs special treatment in the light of the New Church. There are in fact many kinds, degrees, and modes of revelation. God came to Joseph in a dream. "The Word of the Lord came unto me saying," is the announcement of the prophets. "God said unto Abraham," "God said unto Moses,"--these are the forms of revelation through which the Bible was given. As soon as we begin to make natural history of the Bible, we deprive it of the character of revelation. We may very properly recognize that the Bible has a natural history, and we may be interested to learn all we can about its history; but we cannot properly attempt to explain the Bible as mere natural history.

     The New Church is not the outcome of the Lord's universal presence alone, however intensified. It is the product of a specific form of presence and a specific revelation. If the Lord could have saved the world by His universal presence at the time of His First Coming, there would have been no occasion for Him to reveal Himself specifically and individually in the Person of Jesus Christ.


So at the time of His Second Coming, if He could have lifted man to the plane of the spiritual sense of His Word by His universal presence, He would have needed no such special instrument as Swedenborg and the doctrines revealed through him. It is the Lord's presence in the spiritual sense of His Word, as made known in and by Swedenborg's Writings, that constitutes the New Church. The Christian Church from the beginning has had glimpses of the spiritual meaning of the Bible, but no knowledge of the spiritual meaning as a whole, distinct from the letter, and no knowledge of the law of correspondence by which the spiritual meaning was given in and through the letter. The knowledge and acceptance of the Lord in and through the spiritual sense of the Word is the New Church in the minds and lives of men. The New Church in heaven is this body of knowledge as possessed by the angels; the New Church on earth is this same body of doctrine as possessed by men on the earth. In other words, those who know and believe and live the truth contained in the body of Swedenborg's doctrines, and in the spiritual sense of the Bible learned through these doctrines, are members of the New Church to the degree of their knowledge, faith, and life.

     It is not required, of course, that every New-Churchman, or the whole body of New-Churchmen, should thoroughly master the system of doctrine or the body of spiritual truth contained in the spiritual sense, to be enrolled in the membership of the Church. But a knowledge that there is such a system of doctrine and such a body of spiritual meaning, together with a firm belief that the doctrine is true and that the spiritual meaning is there, is essential to membership in the Church. Among the truths contained in the system of doctrine and in the spiritual sense is, that the Lord has fulfilled His promise of the Second Coming. This, too, is to be known and believed, and understood as far as one is able. Those who believe some of the doctrines but not others,-for example, those who believe the doctrine of life but not the doctrine of the Second Coming, or the doctrine of heaven but not the doctrine of hell, or the doctrine of the Lord but not the doctrine of the spiritual sense,--all such put themselves above and outside the Church, and become critics rather than worshipers. But when those who do believe that the doctrines are true, and in particular that the Bible has a spiritual meaning, and that the Second Coming of the Lord has actually taken place, organize on the basis of this common faith for common worship and for common action generally, they constitute the organized body of the New Church.


     We should bear in mind that Swedenborg uses the word "Church," now in a broader, and now in a more restricted sense. He says that the individual man is the Church in the least form when he has a knowledge and understanding of the Word and lives from it. But the man who knows and believes Swedenborg's doctrines, and through them learns and lives the spiritual truth of the Word, will combine with others of the same belief for common worship and for common effort to live the life of the common faith. He will do this in accordance with the fundamental law of love to the Lord and to the neighbor. The man who professes to be a New-Churchman, and lives apart from and in opposition to other members of the Church, is mistaking the meaning of New-Churchmanship, and is violating the first law of Church life, the law of love.

     On the other hand, Swedenborg speaks of the universal Church in contrast with the Church specific. The universal Church is comprised of all who acknowledge the Lord and live in obedience to His commandments; that is, all who worship and obey Him. But there are various levels of such knowledge and obedience. The specific Church is constituted by a definite form of knowledge and obedience. For example, the Jewish Church was constituted by one form of knowledge and obedience, the Christian Church by another. The New Church is constituted by the definite form of knowledge and obedience which is raised to the level of the truth contained in the spiritual sense of the Word. Through this truth the Lord is making His Second Coming; and His Second Coming is to those who have this knowledge, and live in accordance with it. No doubt there are many good and high-minded Christians outside the New Church, either in the general or in the specific sense; just as there were many good and high-minded people outside the Christian Church at its beginning, and there have been such all through its history; but this did not make them Christians. We may go even further back, and recall that Socrates, four hundred years before the Christian Era, was pre-eminently religious and moral; and yet he was certainly not a Christian.


Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Boethius, and others might be cited among those whose ideas coincided with many Christian ideas; but they were not on this account Christians, for the simple reason that they had not the Christian faith. So now it is mere confusion of thought to suppose that many people around us are New-Churchmen, because they are good and high-minded, and have some ideas that coincide with those of the New Church.

     The New Age which will be the outgrowth of the New Church will no doubt incorporate many of the features of the present day, but it will have dominant qualities which this age has not. It will distinguish more clearly between love of the neighbor and love of the world; it will lift ideas of service or use to the spiritual plane, above the humanitarian level; it will cherish the principle of serving the world instead of exploiting the world; it will restore marriage to its Christian position, and lift it to the spiritual level. Young people will be taught more adequately to marry for love, instead of for self-gratification. Children will be regarded as a blessing rather than as a hindrance to living. A man's calling will be regarded as his special form of use to the community and to the Lord, not solely as a means of livelihood and of money-making. The Lord will be worshiped directly and only; not as an intermediary to an unknown God. His love for others will be the love for others in us and in our lives. Our purpose in life will be to use the Lord's love for us and in us for His sake and for the benefit of others. The New Church will live from the Lord, not merely naturally, but spiritually, with knowledge and understanding, freely and rationally. It will live for the sake of receiving the Lord's love, wisdom, and power in our efforts to do good and shun evil.

     The New Age lies before us, not around us; ahead of us, not with us. The marvels of mechanical achievement, the wonderful extension of the great body of science, the growing knowledge and use of the farces of nature, the world-wide extension of human kindness, the efforts of the peoples of the earth to live in peace and in mutual helpfulness and prosperity, the great stirring of the human spirit to understand the world and man's place in it, the intense striving for purer and higher and more complete religion, the genuine desire to worship the Lord in the fulness of His nature,-all these are outstanding features of the present age; and they will be taken up into the New Age, but only after purification and enlightenment, after being separated out from the evils of the day and from the atmosphere of worldliness, and freed from the infection of natural thought and motive.


The thought of the day must be purged of its narrow and intolerant naturalism and rationalism.

     The present-day naturalism and rationalism are characteristic products of our insane egotism, the greatest enemy of man, the source and spring of all infidelity and atheism. Egotism is self-assertion and the spirit of self-importance; it is at bottom the assertion of independence and self-existence, and consequently a denial of God and of the rights of others. Egotism, self-assertion, and self-seeking, and the irreligion and immorality that go with them, are the deep poisons of our present-day life, and are utterly foreign and antagonistic to the spirit of the New Age. They are radically hostile to the love of the Lord and the neighbor. Love is not self-assertive, but self-forgetful; it lives in and for others. The fundamental human love, the love of the Lord, acknowledges dependence; men who live in and from that love never forget that they exist from the Lord, not of themselves. They know that the assertion of self-existence is the original sin, the origin of evil, and the first step to moral and spiritual destruction; it is a denial of the Creator and of one's dependence upon God. This explains the enormous individualism of the day, which asserts that a man's private habits are his own concern, and others have no right to interfere. This is the primal argument of the liquor traffic, and an almost unchallenged justification of self-indulgence, The New Age will respect a man's rational freedom as the core of his individuality, but it will not tolerate self-indulgence to the injury of others; it will require full and complete acknowledgment of one's dependence both upon others and upon his Creator, and compel him to respect the rights of others.

     The poison of self-assertion and of a false sense of independence is flagrant at the present time in sex relations. Marriage, when properly entered upon, is the supreme case in human relations of mutual love and mutual dependence. It is also the supreme case of dependence upon the Lord. But marriage of this kind seems to be facing wholesale extinction. With one divorce to every seven marriages, with all sorts of vicious experiments with the marriage relation, such as trial marriages and so-called companionate marriages, young people are left at the mercy of whim, lust, and adventure.


We hear only too often that young people must live their own lives, and try things out; as if there were no such thing as a world of experience, and no fixed principles established by both experience and revelation. An age which turns its back on experience, and recognizes no fixed principles, and has no settled convictions, but gives itself up to blind experimentation, is on the road to moral and spiritual destruction.

     The age in which we live is complex beyond comparison. We are right in observing, approving, and condemning; but we cannot safely make sweeping judgments. We must judge, and judge in the light of our doctrines; but we must resolve not to be swayed by uninformed public opinion. It is right to enter with sympathetic appreciation into the movements of the day, but it would be disastrous to allow ourselves to be swept along headlessly in their currents. We cannot say confidently whether the present age is favorable to New-Church progress or not. Worldliness is and always has been the great enemy of the Church; and the attractions of the world and worldly motives have never been stronger than they are today. If we look back through our history, and trace the descendants of our New-Church pioneers, we will find that worldliness has robbed the Church of its rightful inheritance, and has been the chief hindrance to our progress.

     It was never more important than now to bear constantly in mind Swedenborg's principle, that self-love and love of the world are the hostile opposites of love to the Lord and to the neighbor. This makes the deepest and clearest distinction between a good and a bad life, between a life of spiritual blessedness and a life of moral and spiritual wretchedness.

     The New Age is properly the New Church in the life of the world. We are living in the New Age in so far as the New Church, as a doctrine, as a light, and as a life, is entering the world. But both the New Age and the New Church are in the beginnings. It rests with us and with our generation whether we shall have progress or retrogression. We must do our part as best we can. The Lord will surely do His.



TWO LONDONS              1928

Office a Publication, Lancaster, Pa.
Published Monthly By
Editor                    Rev. W. B. Caldwell, Bryn Athyn, Pa.
Business Manager          Mr. H. Hyatt, Bryn Athyn, Pa.

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     The holding of a General Assembly in the city of London, attended by members of the General Church from all over the world, will add one more notable event to the many in New Church history which have transpired in that metropolis. There Emanuel Swedenborg lived for considerable periods of time while publishing the Arcana Celestia and other volumes of the Writings, and there, in the year 1772, he passed permanently into that spirit-world wherein he was no stranger. Ten years later, in 1782, Robert Hindmarsh became a receiver of the Heavenly Doctrines, and it was in the city of London that he and other disciples of the Lord in His Second Coming were "endued with power from on high "to proceed with the institution of a distinctive New Church priesthood and worship, in accordance with the New Doctrine from heaven, and thus to found the organized Church of the New Jerusalem in the world. (See NEW CHURCH LIFE, 1927, P. 410.)

     The first Ordination of Ministers took place on Sunday, June 1, 1788, and during the 140 years that have elapsed since that time other centers have become established, from which the New Church has spread to all parts of the world. But in going to London this year, we of the General Church are making a pilgrimage to the cradle of the New Church in this world. And we doubt not that our readers will find delight and benefit in recalling, for themselves and for their children, the stirring incidents of that earliest history, as recorded in Swedenborg biographies, Tafel's Documents, Hindmarsh's Rise and Progress of the New Jerusalem Church, Odhner's Annals of the New Church, and other volumes.


It would be a useful thing to make the present year an occasion for special instruction in family and school concerning the beginnings of the New Church in Europe and America.

     With regard to the city of London itself, we would here recall Swedenborg's very interesting descriptions of the two cities of that name in the world of spirits, one being a very good place to go to, the other a place to stay away from. In that intermediate world, the spirit newly arrived from earth finds himself for a time in familiar surroundings, though this state seldom lasts longer than a year. (H. H. 498.) But even in that first state, it would seem, there is a general separation of the evil from the good, and both are provided places similar to the regions in which they lived on earth. We read:

     "On the cities in the other life, and on the Lord's Providence in preserving them.-Cities appear to spirits like the cities on earth; hence there are London, Amsterdam, Stockholm, and all others. The reason is, that every man has spirits with him, who possess all the things of his memory; they do not indeed see the world through his eyes, but still they are inwardly in it from his ideas. Hence ideas of similar houses, edifices, streets, and cities appear to them; and so appear as to be as it were those places. From this it is that the spirits who are with the men of one city have an idea of the same city. . . . Yea, the whole region there is like it is on earth, with its provinces, cities and villages." (Spiritual Diary 5092, 5094.)

     From this we learn why it is that spirits newly arrived from the earth find themselves in a similar environment, though it is not long before the evil are separated from the good, and each for a time is in a region like that in which they lived on earth. At first, indeed, they may reside in different parts of the same city.


In the Diary, Swedenborg states that "in the eastern part of London in the other life, there is a little city (parva civitas) where upright and good men dwell, but who appear vile to those who are in the city (urbs) toward the west," the latter being prevented by guards from entering the eastern part of the city. (S. D. 5113.) Later on, in other works of the Writings, he describes the two Londons, one for the good, the other for the evil,-two cities that are quite distinct. In fact, the Writings contain several accounts of these two Londons, from which we have selected the three given below, each containing some particulars not found in the others. To quote:


     "There are two great cities similar to London, into which most of the English come after death. These cities it was given me to see, as well as to walk through. The middle of the one city answers to that part of the English London where there is a meeting of merchants, called the Exchange; there the governors dwell. Above that middle is the east; below it is the west; on the right side of it is the south; on the left side of it is the north. They who have led a life of charity more than the rest dwell in the eastern quarter, where there are magnificent palaces. The wise, with whom there are many splendid things, dwell in the southern quarter. They who more than others love the liberty of speaking and of writing dwell in the northern quarter. They who make profession of faith dwell in the western quarter; to the right in this quarter, there is an entrance into the city, and an exit from it; they who live wickedly are there sent out of it. The presbyters who are in the west, and who, as was said, profess faith, dare not enter the city through the broad streets, but only through the narrower ways, because they who are in the faith of charity are the only inhabitants who are tolerated in the city. I have heard them complaining of the preachers in the west, that they prepare their discourses with such art and at the same time such eloquence, interweaving justification by faith to them unknown, that they do not know whether good is to be done or not. They preach intrinsic good, and separate it from extrinsic good, which they sometimes call meritorious, and therefore not acceptable to God; yet still they call it good, because it is useful.


But when those who dwell in the eastern and southern quarters of the city hear such mystical discourses, they walk out of the temples, and the preachers are afterwards deprived of the priesthood."

     "The other great city like London is not in the Christian Middle (no. 20), but lies outside of it to the north. They who are interiorly evil come into it after death. In the middle of it there is an open communication with hell, by which they are swallowed up by turns." (Continuation Last Judgment, 42, 43. The same, T. C. R. 809-811.)

     "Since the cities in the world of spirits are similar to the cities in our world, there is also a London there, like London as to the streets, but not as to the houses, nor as to the inhabitants and their habitations in the quarters. I was conducted into it in the spirit, and wandered through it, and recognized it. And I spoke with certain ones there, and said that men in the world would wonder, and would not believe, that they who live in London see a London also after death, and, if they are good, also dwell in their city; yet it is altogether so. They said that neither would they have believed it, when they were in the world, because such a thing does not fall into sensual ideas, but only into rational ideas enlightened by spiritual light; also, that they did not even know that the spiritual appears before a spirit as the material does before a man, and that all the things which exist in the spiritual world are from a spiritual origin, as all the things in the natural world are from a material origin; in like manner the houses of a city, which are not built as in the world, but rise up in a moment created by the Lord; so, too, all other things. They rejoiced that now they are in England as before, and in its great city. And they said that there is also another London below, not dissimilar as to the streets, but dissimilar as to the houses and as to the inhabitants; namely, that the evil dwell in the middle, and the upright in the last circumferences; and that those come into that London from the London in the world who have not been in any spiritual love, and hence not in any spiritual faith, but have indulged the pleasures of the body and the lusts of the mind. Also that the city, in the middle where the evil dwell, sinks down by turns into the deep; and the evil are thus cast dawn into hell; and that the opening is closed, and the evil are again collected into the middle of it, and are again swallowed up by hell.


This is in the world of spirits; it is different in heaven, and in hell." (L. J. Post., 12.)

     "London in the spiritual world appears like the London in the natural world as to its streets and quarters, but is dissimilar as to houses and habitations. This difference is not apparent, because everyone there dwells in a quarter and in a house corresponding with his affection and the thought thence derived. In the middle of the city is situated the Royal Exchange. To the right of it dwells the moderator, and round about it his officers. The middle street of it answers to Holborn. The east there is in front; toward the back, even to Wapping, is the west; the south is at the right of that street, and the north is on its left. In the eastern quarter, which is of considerable length, reaching far beyond the city, dwell the best of them, where they all worship the Lord. Those who are distinguished for intelligence dwell in the southern quarter, which extends almost to Islington, where there is also an assembly. They who dwell there are also prudent in speaking and writing. Toward the north those dwell who are not lettered, and who are in the greatest liberty of speech, which they love. In the west are those who are in the obscure affection of good; those who are there are fearful of manifesting their thoughts. In the southern region, answering to Moorfield's, and round about it, is a promiscuous multitude; thither from the city are sent away all those who incline to evils; wherefore the multitude there is cast out by turns, and thus continually; through this way the city is continually purified, and those who are led away therefrom appear no more. Sometimes they see about the middle of the city a certain malicious person sitting on a seat in a pulpit, and the inhabitants are called together and ordered to go thither to him. They who approach and hearken are led to the place of exit, where there are promiscuous crowds, and, as was said, they are sent out through the ways there. Every society is purified; this is the manner of purifying them there.

     "Their houses, clothing, and food are similar to those used in the world. I asked about wine, strong drink, beer, chocolate, tea and the like, and was told that they had similar things. I asked also about the liquor called punch, and they said that they also have that liquor, but it is given only to those who are sincere and at the same time industrious.


They do not tolerate in the city any ruler who directs or dictates to them what they must do, for they wish to be in full liberty." (Last Judgment, Posthumous, 268, 269. See also Spiritual Diary 5012, 5013.)

     It is reasonable to suppose that all earthly cities, and all localities in this world, have their double counterparts in the world of spirits, where the good and evil find separate abiding places for a time, and until they are finally judged to heaven or hell. Hence we read as follows concerning the first abodes of the Jews in the other life:

     The Two Jerusalems.

     "In the northern quarter are two great cities into which the Jews are brought after death, and which, before the Judgment (1757), were called Jerusalems, but after it by another name; because, after the Judgment, by 'Jerusalem' is meant the Church in which the Lord alone is adored." (Continuation of Last Judgment 79) Elsewhere it is said: "After the Judgment, the name was changed, because then the Holy Jerusalem mentioned in the Apocalypse, signifying the New Church, became the subject of general conversation everywhere, and no one enters that City unless he regards the Messiah as one with Jehovah, and thus worships the Lord alone." (Last Judgment, Post., 258.)


     In the spiritual world, the spread of the Heavenly Doctrine among the gentiles must proceed rapidly, owing to the universal language there spoken and written. In this world, difference in language is one of the barriers to be crossed in that work of evangelization. But that this will be accomplished in time, as in the case of the Scriptures, which have been translated into so many tongues, is a thought borne in upon us whenever we receive a copy of our South African contemporary, TLHAHISO (Expositor), published under the auspices of the General Church Mission at Alpha, under the editorship of the Rev. Fred. W. Elphick.

     The March, 1928, issue comes to hand, an 18-page number, containing articles in four languages,-Sesuto, Xosa, Zulu and English.


An installment of the Rev. C. T. Odhner's Life of Swedenborg is reproduced in Sesuto and Xosa; Bishop N. D. Pendleton's Letter to the Native Leaders is printed in Sesuto and Zulu; an address on "Ritual," by the Rev. E. C. Acton, appears in Zulu; Church News is given in Sesuto, Zulu and English. In this way, valuable material is reaching Natives who could not otherwise receive it.

     Among the contents printed in English we may note the Editor's in Memoriam to the late Bishop Emeritus W. F. Pendleton, from which we are moved to quote the following:

     "Though only a few members of the General Church Mission have known Bishop Pendleton by name, and still fewer have had the opportunity of studying under him, yet, at the present time, many are indirectly benefitting from the foresight, judgment and loyal New Churchmanship of this revered leader. With a deep study of the Revelation which is given to the New Church, he has shown in a simple, clear and unmistakable manner how the Doctrines of that Revelation may be applied to faith and life. In doing this he has provided for the present and the future, and thus for the New Church throughout the world, helping every race and nation to realize what the Second Coming of the Lord means in the spiritual uplift of all peoples.

     "As far as this Mission is concerned, it is already entering into the labors of Bishop Pendleton. Our services in Sesuto, Zulu and Xosa are the more distant result of his years of study in Ritual. The Government of the Mission, according to the order prescribed in the Writings, has received light, both in theory and practice; while his valued studies in Exposition-simple and direct-are guiding the South African Leaders in the study of the Letter of the Word, which has been brought to their people by means of Christian missionaries and European trade. For these mercies we can be truly thankful. Indeed, just as the Christian Church, in its early foundation, claimed its 'Church Fathers,' so can the New Church, in its present development, claim its 'Church Fathers,' of which Bishop W. F. Pendleton is one. He was, however, not only a Father of the Church, but also a Father of Education, being one of the twelve founders of the Academy of the New Church. As a coworker with Bishop W. H. Benade, and his successor, education was made an arm of the Church, and it was clearly seen that unless education was nourished by the truth revealed to the New Church, no progress could be made.


Thus again, indirectly, this Mission is entering into the labors of the Church Fathers.

     "Profoundly learned in the Doctrines of the New Church, Bishop Pendleton always placed those Doctrines above himself, and gave admonition to others to seek for the truth as of and for themselves. This, indeed, is the spirit of the New Church. But in searching for the truth from the Divine Source of Revelation, we should ever be mindful that those with ripe experience know better than we of less study; and so, even in our day, we can apply the words of the Psalmist: 'We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work Thou didst in their days, in the days of old.'"

     The editor's address is followed by an article on "Revelation in Africa," quoted from Bishop Pendleton's "Topics from the Writings."

TOPICS FROM THE WRITINGS.              1928

     We take this opportunity to announce that the Academy Book Room will shortly publish Bishop Pendleton's "Topics from the Writings" in book form. It will be recalled that the "Topics" appeared in a series of thirty-six installments in NEW CHURCH LIFE, from October, 1921, to November, 1926. We have received many expressions of appreciation from our readers, bearing testimony to the great interest with which the articles were read, and we anticipate that many will desire to possess the volume in which they will be republished. A great variety of doctrinal subjects will be made available for reference by an Index, and it is likely that the book will also perform a distinct use in the missionary field.


Church News 1928

Church News       Various       1928


     Interesting and enjoyable socials are somewhat of a problem to provide in these days of highly organized and specialized entertainment which is so readily obtainable at almost every corner. But the great factor in making such a successful event is evidently that of the effort put into it, as was amply demonstrated by the program provided by the committee responsible for our Valentine Social, held on February 11th. The assembly hall was appropriately and tastefully decorated, and a varied program, well thought out with a view to providing entertainment for all sorts and conditions of men and women, youths and maidens, contributed to the full enjoyment of a large attendance of our people.

     The Forward Club is enjoying its Study Course on "The Human Body, in its Natural and Spiritual Aspects." Dr. W. A. McFall kindly presented the Club with charts of Osteology and the Arterial, Venous and Nervous Systems, which are of great assistance in illustrating the lecture portion of each study, given by the Pastor. At the March meeting, Mr. Healdon Starkey, late of Glenview, Ill., was "initiated" into full membership. He survived the ordeal.

     On March 20th, Mr. Robert Carswell, one of the founders of the Olivet Society, passed into the spiritual world at the age of nearly ninety years. This passing may be said to mark the close of an era in the life of our Society, as Mr. Carswell was, so far as we are aware, the last living founder-member actively connected with the Society. On Wednesday evening, after the weekly supper, and whilst we remained seated at the tables, a memorial meeting was held at which Dr. Alfred Acton gave an exhaustive resume of Mr. Carswell's career; bearing affectionate testimony, as did all other speakers, to the strong, deep and abiding love he had for the church and all its uses, which love is eloquently born out by the very generous provision he has made for the continuance of his financial support of the uses of the Society. This meeting was followed by worship in the chapel at which our Pastor, speaking from Revelation 14:13, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord," voiced in well-chosen sentiments the tribute we all desire to pay to our departed spiritual brother, and giving appropriate instruction on the lessons to be derived from such a life and character as that of Mr. Carswell. His outstanding love seemed to be "the love which appreciated the true use of the New Church upon earth,--the use of preparing souls and minds for heaven, and which love, wherever it exists among us, shall keep the dame of spiritual illustration alight, and shall cause the earth at the last to flame with the light of heaven."

     The day of the funeral, March 22d, was a beautiful day, a harbinger of the spring that is breaking over the whole world, bringing with it the assurance of a perpetual renewal of life. The funeral service, conducted by the Rev. H. L. Odhner at the Carswell home, was beautiful, impressive, and regnant with the thought of the eternity of life. "He is not here; he is risen." Many and beautiful were the floral tokens of affection and esteem from friends and business associates, a large gathering of whom were present to pay their last tribute of respect to our departed brother, an especially large representation being present from The Carswell Co. Ltd., of which company, the deceased was President at the time of his death. The pall-bearers were: Messrs. Kesniel Acton, Bryn Athyn; R. S. Anderson; C. R. Brown, Vice President, J. T. A. Smithson, General Manager, P. A. Maxwell, Sec. Treas. of the Carswell Co., Ltd.; and F. Wilson.


Thus has passed from our midst the physical presence of one, who, for almost as many years as constitute the average lifetime, has fought the good fight for the church. But although not with us in the body, his spirit still lives, inspiring and encouraging those who are left to carry on the good work to an even greater fruition than the past and present has achieved.

     On Thursday evening, March 22d, Dr. Acton kindly delivered his lecture on "The Word Explained." We were unable to attend this lecture, but we understand that a large and appreciative audience enjoyed a masterly exposition of the subject of this new publication now going through the press. The Doctor has added one more to the many obligations for which we are indebted to him.

     We have personally had to miss so many of our local church events during the past month that we cannot give the detailed account of them that would otherwise be possible. Suffice it to say, therefore, that there was the usual joint service for adults and children on Palm Sunday, and the recognition of the special significance of the Easter season by a service in the chapel on Good Friday evening, at which the incomparable music of the "Messiah" was rendered on an Orthophonic Victrola, from imported English records which proved to be a revelation of the perfection which this form of music has attained. We are indebted to Mr. Williams, of the College Street Society, for the loan of the records and the rendition of the music, to Mr. Alec. Sargeant for the excellent Victrola provided, whilst the Pastor read the lessons and the connective readings. Easter Sunday saw the observance of the Resurrection Day by a special service appropriate to the occasion, attended by a large congregation. The Easter Social, in charge of Mr. and Mrs. A. Thompson, was also a pronounced success.

     It is with sorrow and regret that we have to announce the resignation of our Pastor, the Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner, who has accepted a call to professional work with the Academy of the New Church in Bryn Athyn. This is not the time to say all that is in our hearts to say on this matter, of which more anon.
     F. W.


     The 23d of March stands out in our minds as a red-letter day, not only because it is the birthday of two of our young people, but because we had the pleasure of a visit and address from Dr. Alfred Acton on that day. The visit was short, but the address was long, and the interest and enjoyment with which it was received were very great. The address treated of Swedenborg's preparation to become the intelligent medium of the Lord's Second Coming. By a study of the Journal of Dreams, which was written during the same time that Swedenborg was writing the Economy of the Animal Kingdom and other works, and by a comparison of these two, Dr. Acton showed how Swedenborg's spiritual experiences increased in number and diversity while yet he was working on philosophical themes. During his whole life he, was being led unknowingly to the greatest experience, which was his real use. The whole address inspired us profoundly with a feeling of veneration for the great man who suffered and labored so willingly in his search for the truth, and so faithfully recorded the truth when it was shown to him.

     The Easter season always means special events, the first of which was the Children's Service on Palm Sunday. The Pastor spoke appropriately from the text, "For the Lord is our Judge; the Lord is our Law-giver; the Lord is our King; He will save us. (Isa. 33:22.) On Good Friday a special service was held in commemoration of the Lord's Passion. In the address, a comparison was made of the story of Abraham and his intended sacrifice of his only son, Isaac, with the temptation of the Lord in Gethsemane.


The temptation was a fear that there were none who could be saved. It is said that an angel appeared to strength Him, and so Abraham heard voice from heaven, and then found the ram for the sacrifice. The "ram" signified the revelation from the Divine that there were those who could be saved.

     There were two services on Easter Day. The morning service was service of praise, and in the afternoon the Holy Supper was administered. The text for the sermon was taken from Revelation 1:8: "He who was dead is alive." The subject treated of the Glorification of the Lord. A church is living only in so far as the risen Lord is acknowledged as God of the universe, and by being called "dead" means that He was rejected in the Old Church.

     On Monday evening we had a delightful social. Each person, by some article, represented a song. There were clever ones and funny ones, and it took quite a while to guess them all. The refreshment tables were decorated according to the twelve months of the year. Each person sat at the table of his birth-month. Mr. Nathaniel Stroh entertained with two beautiful selections on the piano, Miss Dorothy Kuhl gave a humorous reading, and Mrs. Fred Stroh sang a solo. All of these were very much enjoyed.
     G. K. D.


     Sharon Church has enjoyed a series of interesting and well-attended meetings clustering about Easter. On Good Friday, about fifty persons were present at an evening service. The subject of the address was Judas' betrayal kiss. It was shown that his kiss expressed the kind of service the Jewish Church had given from the beginning; it was the service of an hireling who served the Lord only for earthly reward, without any love of the Lord or the neighbor. The service of the Christian Church has been similar, except with a few, and has ended in similar betrayal at His Second Advent. The service of every natural and unregenerate man is similar, and will end in similar betrayal, unless, by shunning evils as sins, he suffers the Lord to take from him the supreme love of self and of the world, and give him from Himself new heart and a new spirit.

     On Easter, fifty-seven were present, the chancel being beautifully decorated with flowers brought by various members of the church. Two of our young men were confirmed, namely, Edmund Y. Gunsteens and Irving J. Anderson. There were forty-two communicants at the Lord's Supper. The subject of the sermon was "Glory Through Suffering." It was shown that it was necessary for the Lord to suffer the death of the maternal human, the desertion of His disciples, and even the apparent desertion of the Father, in order to enter into the glory of the Father. Likewise it is necessary for man to crucify the flesh, if he is to rise with the Lord in spirit. Each man is created to perform a certain use to others. If he shuns his evils as sins, he receives from the Lord the love of that use, and so enters into the glory of the Lord. If he clings to the supreme love of himself, he still performs his destined use, but as a menial, and finally under compulsion in hell.

     The Jews were predestined to perform the use of a church, to be the connecting medium between heaven and earth, by which spiritual life should be imparted to the human race. Had they been willing to accept regeneration, they might have performed the use of a genuine and internal church. Refusing to regenerate, they still were led by love of self and love of gain to perform their destined use. They became a representative of a church, and although they were without any love of spiritual things, they served to conjoin heaven and earth until the Lord should come and establish a more internal church. Finally, their evils could no longer be restrained, and they were cast out of the land. But he who suffers himself to be regenerated enters into the joy of his use, which is the love of the neighbor, the joy of heaven and the joy of the Lord.


     On Sunday, April 15th, David Francis, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. David F. Gladish was baptized. After the morning service, dinner was served, and at 2:30 the annual meeting was held. All the reports were encouraging. Six new members have been added during the year, but the same number have transferred to other societies of the General Church. Six members of Sharon Church expect to attend the General Assembly in London.
     W. L. G.


     Palm Sunday was the occasion of a splendid service, with the children bringing plants to the altar, and the choir in a special service of song, in which they brought to the altar branches of palm. Good Friday was marked by a special service and the administration of the Holy Supper. Easter was celebrated by a children's service at ro a.m., and the Easter Festival Service for adults at 11 o'clock.

     The Sons of the Academy Chapter gave a grand, full-dress banquet on March 31st, the menu including chicken and an abundance of everything. The honor quest was Mr. Donald F. Rose, of Bryn Athyn, who spoke in ringing notes of loyalty to the Academy, and was echoed by other speakers. And you can readily believe that there were many humorous touches. On the Monday following, a luncheon at the Vesuvius Restaurant in Chicago afforded us another opportunity to visit with Mr. Rose and his many friends, including some of the big literary lights of Chicago. The same evening, at Glenview, a Men's Meeting was held under the auspices of the Sons of the Academy, Mr. Rose giving us an account of the making up of great daily newspaper, which was highly entertaining.

     There has recently been a good deal of sickness in The Park, two of the sufferers being teachers in the school,-Miss Susan Scalbom and Miss Agathea Starkey. In their absence, however, Mrs. Robert Cole and Mrs. Trumbull Scalbom came to the rescue and helped out in the school.
     J. B. S.


     On a visit to DETROIT, the first service, taking place the evening of my arrival, Saturday, April 14th, was the baptism of the two youngest children of Mr. and Mrs. William Cook, in their home. Afterwards I had the pleasure of listening to the family orchestra, consisting of Mr. Cook and the five oldest children, all girls, ranging in age from eight to fifteen years, each of whom is expert on some musical instrument.

     On Sunday morning, a service was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Walker, at which seventeen persons were present. In the evening there was a social supper, followed by a doctrinal class, at the home of Mrs. Violet Day. The attendance was again seventeen. The subject of the class was the teaching that "the Sense of the Letter of the Word is the basis, the containant, and the support of its Spiritual and Celestial Senses." (S. S. 27-36) In the course of the instruction it was shown that, although this chapter and that next following are frequently quoted to prove that the Writings of the New Church cannot be regarded as the Word, it can be clearly seen from all that is set forth in these chapters that the Writings are indeed such.

     On Monday evening, a class was held at WINDSOR, ONT., at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Bellinger. Besides the four Windsor members, there were four visitors, three from Kitchener and one from Wyoming, Ohio. The subject was, that no creation is possible without a double sun, one living and the other dead. On Tuesday evening, another class was held in Detroit, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Day, at which the subject was man's co-operation with the Lord in his purification from evil.


     The next place visited was ERIE, PA., Where doctrinal classes were held on three evenings, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 19th to 21st. At the first the subject was the fulness and power of higher degrees in their ultimate; at the second, the history of correspondences; and at the third, purification from evils. On Saturday afternoon, instruction was given to two young people. At the service on Sunday morning, there was the administration of the Rite of Confirmation for Miss Doris Cranch, and the celebration of the Holy Supper. The attendance at all meetings was four or five persons.

     On Monday, the 23d, I went to NILES, OHIO, and that evening baptized the infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Williamson, in their home. The following evening there was a doctrinal class at the same place, at which ten persons were present, four from Niles and six from Youngstown. The subject was the teaching that the internal man cannot be purified from evil lusts unless evils in the external man are removed, because they block the way. (D. P. 111.)
     F. E. WAELCHLI.


     From April 26th to 29th we had the pleasure of the visit of the Rev. C. E. Doering, Dean of Faculties, who came by appointment of the Bishop and under the auspices of the Sons of the Academy, who have, for the past three years, sponsored these visits to the various societies in the interests of New Church Education; and they seem to be covering a real need, with resultant good to all concerned. In addition to his main purpose, i. e., observation of and consultation on the work being done in the Day School, Mr. Doering read to the society an informative and enlightening paper on "Child Training," occasioned by questions asked during his visit in 1927. The paper was well received, and evoked many questions and a, good discussion by our Pastor and others, some of the points brought out being. There is very little literature in the New Church on child training, outside of Bishop Benade's Conversations on Education. Such literature is needful, and is one of the uses that must receive attention in the near future." "There is a great weakness in the 'Topsy growed' method of training, which should be shunned at all costs." "It should be the aim to prolong states of innocence, or that simple leading by the Lord, as long as possible." "Self-government defeats itself, if given too early. Social over-stimulation loses the stimulus of gradual introduction." "Our main textbooks are the Writings of the Church. Parents who are steady readers never lack illustration. There should be a reorganization of our homes, if necessary for the proper education of our children. We should give tithes of our patience, substance, activities, time, etc., if the object is to be achieved." On Friday evening, the 27th, a banquet supper was served, and Mr. Doering read an interesting thesis on the "History of the Doctrine that the Writings are the Word." This also was much enjoyed, and was discussed by various speakers. On Sunday the 29th, the Misses Marion Hicks, Emily Raymond and Anne Raymond were confirmed, and the Rev. C. E. Doering preached the sermon.

     At the May meeting of the Ladies' Circle, held on the 1st inst., the officers for the ensuing year were elected, as follows: President, Mrs. Rudolf Potts; Vice-President, Mrs. H. P. Izzard; Secretary, Mrs. C. R. Brown; Treasurer, Mrs. R. S. Anderson. Mrs. Ed. Craigie, the retiring President, has filled that office for three successive years with credit to herself and the satisfaction of the Circle. She was accorded the heartiest thanks of the meeting for her indefatigable labors on its behalf.

     As announced in the Life for April, the Rev. H. Lj. Odhner has resigned the Pastorate of our Society, to take a position with the Academy in Bryn Athyn, and in addition we learn that he has been appointed an Assistant Pastor of the Bryn Athyn Society. It is with heartfelt sorrow and regret that we shall see him go, and we wish him abundant success in the new sphere of usefulness to which he has been called, and for which we believe him to be so eminently fitted.


     It is with pleasure that we Toronto folks find our old friend and member, Mr. Arthur G. Carter, in evidence as a contributor of the very interesting articles from his pen which are appearing in New Church Life from time to time. The present continuing article on Flaxman is a particularly interesting and ably written contribution on a subject of historical interest.
     F. W.


     The principal event during the past month was the annual visit of the Rev. C. E. Doering. At the Friday class on April 20th he gave a very interesting paper on of Children," bringing out many sidelights on the subject, and stressing the need of moderation in dealing with children, so that their spirits may not be broken, while at the same time they are sufficiently controlled not to be willful. Mr. Doering visited the school and had consultations with the teachers. He also attended a meeting of the Sons of the Academy, held a meeting with parents, and preached for us on Sunday.

     The financial guardians of the society have just prepared the annual budget, showing a total requirement of more than $10,000 for miscellaneous expenses, an increase of 15 per cent. over last year. This budget, of course, is in addition to the support of the Pastor. We are tackling the problem involved, and hope to raise all the funds called for by the budget.

     Candidate Norman Reuter, now attending the Theological School, has, upon nomination of the Bishop, been engaged by the Immanuel Church as Assistant to the Pastor, and is expected here soon after the schools close to take up his duties. The Pastor will attend the General Assembly in London, sailing July 14th.

     Professor Jesse Stevens is preparing another concert of vocal and instrumental music, to be given on Sunday, June 17th, and we are looking forward to the usual treat.

     We have just received greetings from Mr. and Mrs. Seymour G. Nelson, mailed from Naples, and we understand they are greatly enjoying their trip.     
     J. B. S.


     The last regular Friday Supper for the year, held in the auditorium on May 11th, provided a setting of conviviality for the Spring Meeting of the Bryn Athyn Church. The meeting was divided into two parts, the first conducted by Mr. Otho W. Heilman as Principal of the Elementary School, and the second conducted by the Bishop.

     During the first portion of the evening, while the members were still seated at the tables, Miss Bertha Farrington, assistant teacher in the kindergarten, read an interesting paper on the relation of Art to Nature Study. The paper was illustrated by original productions of the children, and showed how attempts at artistic expression led to closer observation of the elementary facts and laws of nature. Mr. Heilman followed with a brief general report of the progress of the school during the year, commending the teachers for their conscientious and efficient work, and showing an encouraging growth and development. While the tables were being removed, the parents were given an opportunity to examine an extensive display of the work done by the children. The walls were decorated with pictures, posters, and other artistic productions, while examples of modeling, composition, notebooks on various subjects. etc., were exhibited on tables, the work being arranged according to grade, and showing marked indication of talent on the part of many of the children, especially in the field of handwork.

     When the chairs had been arranged for a formal session, the Bishop called the meeting of the Society to order. Minutes and reports were read. The Bishop announced that Miss Farrington had resigned as teacher, to continue her studies elsewhere. We shall be sorry to lose her services, and we extend to her our heartiest good wishes for success in the field of study she is about to enter. Miss Louise Gladish has also resigned as teacher in the Elementary School, in order to accept a position as teacher in the Girls' Seminary.


She has done excellent work, and will be greatly missed; but in this case our loss represents a corresponding gain for the higher department. We have been signally fortunate in securing the services of two experienced teachers to fill these two vacancies, and next year shall have with us Miss Celia Bellinger and Mrs. R. M. Cole.

     The Bishop further announced that Bishop De Charms would enter into Academy work next Fall. He will succeed the Rev. Eldred E. Iungerich as head of the College department. In doing so, he will retain his position as Assistant Pastor of the Bryn Athyn Church, but must be relieved of a portion of his responsibilities in that work. The Bishop therefore nominated as an Assistant Pastor the Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner, who is coming to accept a position as Teacher in the Academy Schools. On motion, this nomination was confirmed by the Society.

     The Bishop then outlined the steps which have recently been taken with reference to the erection of a building designed to meet the requirements of the General Assembly which is to be held in Bryn Athyn in 1930, and at the same time to serve the uses of the Academy and the Bryn Athyn Society. These steps had been of a preliminary nature, and it was desirable that the whole subject be discussed by the meeting, and a definite authorization be given by the Society before further action is taken. After a consideration of the matter, it was voted that the Society express general approval of the proposed project, and request the Bishop to appoint a suitable committee to act for the Society, in conjunction with a committee to be appointed by the Academy, in perfecting plans for such a building.
      G. DE C.


     During the last week of April, the Rev. C. E. Doering visited us in the interests of Education. He spent three mornings at the school, becoming acquainted with the children, addressing them and teaching them; and he also had discussions with the teachers, Mr. David, Miss Heinrichs and Miss Venita Roschman, who has been giving valuable and much appreciated help with the younger grades.

     On Monday evening, following a supper, Mr. Doering addressed the society on "The Training of Children," giving a very practical and instructive address. The following evening he addressed the Men's Club on the subject of "The History of the Doctrine that the Writings are the Word." This paper, like the other, was greatly enjoyed, as Mr. Doering's papers always are, and we feel that his visit was most useful and helpful in every way.
     G. K. D.





     Saturday, June 9, 1928.

     The Annual Joint Meeting of the Corporation and Faculty of the Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn, Pa., will be held in the Chapel, Benade Hall, on Saturday, June 9, 1928, from 9:30 a. m. to 12:30 p. m., when the annual reports of the officers will be presented, and other business transacted.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY              1928

     Hotel Accommodations.

     As London hotels are apt to be crowded during August, those expecting to attend the General Assembly are advised to make early reservations. Write to Miss K. M. Dowling, 11 Overton Road, Brixton, London, S. W. 9, England, who will gladly perform this service.




     LONDON, ENGLAND, AUGUST 3-12, 1928.

     Friday, August 3.
10:00 a.m.-Council of the Clergy.
1:00 p.m.-Luncheon for the Council.

     Saturday, August 4.
7:30 p.m.-First Session of the General Assembly. Address by the Bishop of the General Church.

     Sunday, August 5.
11:00. a.m.-Divine Worship. Ordination.
          -Sermon by the Rev. Hugo L. Odhner.
          -Subject: "The Day of Small Things." (Zech. 4:10.)
7:00 p.m.-Divine Worship. Ordinations.
          -Sermon by the Rev. R. J. Tilson.

     Monday, August 6.
10:00 a.m.-Second Session of the General Assembly.
          -Subject: "The Calendar Reading of the Writings."
11:00 a.m.-Address by the Rev. Dr. Alfred Acton.
          -Subject: To be announced later.
3:00 p.m.-Third Session of the General Assembly.
          -Address by the Rev. Ernst Pfeiffer.
          -Subject: "The New Church in Holland."
7:30 p.m.-Reception and Assembly Social.

     Tuesday, August 7.
10:00 a.m.-Open Meeting of the Council of the Clergy.
11:00 a.m.-Address by the Rev. Albert Bjorck.
          -Subject: "Progress."


7:30 p.m.-Fourth Session of the General Assembly.
          -Subject: "Church Extension" General Discussion.

     Wednesday, August 8.
10:00 a.m.-Open Meeting of the Council of the Clergy.
11:00 a.m.-Address by the Rev. Richard Morse.
          -Subject: "The First Love"
3:00 p.m.-Meeting of the Corporation of the General Church.
7:30 p.m.-Fifth Session of the General Assembly.
          -Subject: "Society Building." General Discussion.

     Friday, August 10.
10:00 a.m.-Open Meeting of the Council of the Clergy.
11:00 a.m.-Address by the Rev. William Whitehead.
          -Subject: "The New Church and the Modern State."
3:00 p.m.-Executive Committee of the General Church.
7:30 p.m.-"New Church Club" Men's Dinner.
          -Address by the Rev. Karl R. Alden on "The New Church Education of the Adolescent Boy.')
          -Ladies' Dinner under the Auspices of Theta Alpha.

     Saturday, August 11.
3:00 p.m.-Sixth Session of the General Assembly.
          -Address by Mr. J. S. Pryke.
          -Subject: "The Church and the World."

     Sunday, August 12.
11:00 a.m.-Divine Worship. Holy Supper.
          -Sermon by the Rev. Gustaf Baeckstrom.
          -Subject: Text, John 11:28
7:00 p.m.-Open Meeting of the Sons of the Academy.
          -Address by the Rt. Rev. George de Charms.
          -Subject: "The Development of New Church Education."




[Frontispiece: Robert Carswell, 1838-1828]

VOL. XLVIII JULY, 1928           No. 7.

     When, within a few months of ninety years of age, Robert Carswell passed into the spiritual world on March 20th, 1928, it marked the close of an era in the Olivet Church at Parkdale, Toronto. His life is worthy of more than a passing mention, not only because of the position he has long occupied within the lay body of the General Church, but also because of the remarkable character which his life helped to shape. We shall endeavor to tell this story as it has been told to us.

     Robert Carswell was born at Colborne, Ontario, on July 19th, 1838, five years after his parents had come to Canada from Glasgow. With two brothers and a sister, he was orphaned while still a little child. His father had had a university education, and was rumored to have been a "learned man," which might have meant almost anything in that pioneering period of the Province of Ontario. Just before his death, the father gave Robert to be indentured or apprenticed to Henry Frint, a pioneer farmer, who, although reputed an "atheist" because he could not believe the early part of Genesis, was yet stubbornly philanthropic, and adopted nine orphans, one of whom was Robert. The old man wanted his ward to become a farmer, as he had no use for "book learning." He would not believe, for instance, that the earth revolved, because his millpond never spilled out at night! But despite this, and despite the isolation of the farm, Robert managed to obtain some schooling during the Winter months. And when the farmer died, the boy was bequeathed some land and a hundred dollars or so, and at the age of twelve or thirteen his resolution to "get an education" brought him to the school in the nearby town of Brighton.


At eighteen he began to teach in Belleville Methodist Episcopal Seminary, where he had begun as a pupil. He then entered the Wesleyan University at Middletown, Connecticut. At the outbreak of the Civil War, the young Americans of that school volunteered for service in the army, and the University closed its doors "for the duration." Our young Canadian, who had spent his vacations selling books, returned to Belleville, to teach there, and to act as the Canadian agent for Appleton's Encyclopedia. There, although in trying financial straits, he married Millicent Carman, who left him a widower two years after the birth of a daughter, Emeline, now Mrs. Alfred Acton.

     In the meantime (1864), the family had removed to Toronto, a city of greater opportunities, where Robert combined the business of selling law books and legal stationery with the very different undertaking of conducting a photographic studio.

     From the first, Robert Carswell was of a pious bent, and in the beginning this took the only form it could well take,-a zealous interest in revivalist movements. He joined the Methodist Church at sixteen, and from then on, until he was thirty-two, he took an active part in all the prayer meeting, Sunday School classes, revivals and occasional camp meetings of the church in his locality. He had many conversations with its ministers, studied its doctrines carefully, listened to its best preachers, and fully believed in the Methodist Church.

     When, about 1870, he came into contact with a Mr. John Parker, who had coma from England about the year 1862, and who commenced preaching Swedenborg's message in the public parks of Toronto, thus becoming the leader and later the ordained pastor of a small New Church society there, Mr. Carswell's reactions to the cold truth were purely negative. Mr. Parker was a brass finisher by trade, and Mr., Carswell had to see him repeatedly in order to collect some bills. Whether the bills were ever paid, history does not relate, but Mr. Carswell certainly got the best of the bargain. For, in his anxiety to defend his own beliefs, and to save Mr. Parker's errant soul from its "obsessions," he took to reading the Writings, and became convinced of their Divine truth. He joined the little New Church circle at Elm Street, and despite the violent opposition of his second wife, an Irish Protestant whom he had married some years before, and by whom he had two children, but whom he later divorced, he became a very active supporter of the movement.


     The photographic studio was dropped in 1872, and henceforth his business was confined to the sale and publication of law books. He was the first to found an exclusive law book trade in Canada. The enterprise prospered, and in 1877 he ambitiously proceeded to build Equity Chambers, then the finest business building in downtown Toronto, and still standing at the corner of Adelaide and Victoria streets. In 1879, he went to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he founded another law publishing house which is still a going concern. In 1881, he married the present Mrs. Carswell, then a Miss Mary Sophia Frankish, a member of the Toronto New Church Society, and their union was blest with a daughter, Flora Edina. The family's missionary zeal may be judged by the fact that the wife and her step-daughter, Emeline, often went out together distributing New Church books from door to door in that city. While in Edinburgh, Mr. Carswell became a prominent leader in the society of which the Rev. Wm. Presland was Pastor, contributing liberally to it uses, and personally sponsoring missionary lectures by such men as Dr. Jonathan Bayley. At the meetings of the General Conference, and later in the General Convention, he stood out prominently as a leading layman, and took an active part in their proceedings.

     In 1883, Mr. Carswell found it wise to sell out his Edinburgh business and to return to give personal attention to the Toronto concern, which had been organized as a partnership in 1879. Now his missionary urge took the form of encouraging colporteur work. The picturesque figure of "Mr. Kelley," a penny-a-day pensioner of the British Army, now comes into the story with a curly full beard, a shiny high hat, twinkling Irish eyes, shabby frock coat, uncreased trousers, and a worn traveling bag full of New Church books! Mr. Carswell provided him with the books, obtained support for him from the Canada Association, and also established a Book Room, which though nominally belonging, first to the Association and then to the Parkdale Society, was always Mr. Carswell's own pet charge. Mr. Kelly, I believe, later decided to try his fortunes and those of the Heavenly Doctrine in other lands, and perished at sea while on his way to India.


     Mr. Carswell, who was one of the principal supporters of the Elm Street Society, now became interested in the movement to establish a place of worship in Parkdale, then a western suburb of Toronto. As there were no street cars to Parkdale, distances demanded a meeting place for those who resided in the western part of the city. November 10th, 1883, seems to have been the date of the first New Church service in Parkdale. Mr. Charles Frankish, a brother-in-law of our friend, was also active in the movement, being Reeve of the community, and incidentally responsible for the beautiful avenues of elms and maples which still characterize this part of Toronto. At the 1884 meeting of the infant Society, Mr. J. B. McLachlan was Secretary, and the Rev. E. D. Daniels was in the chair. In April, 1886, the Minutes show, the Rev. J. S. David-the invited Pastor-presided for the organization, and the officers elected were: Mr. J. B. McLachlan, President; Mr. Charles Brown, Secretary; and Mr. R. B. Caldwell, Treasurer. In May, 1886, a social reception for the David family was held in the concert room of the Town Hall, and was attended by over sixty persons, many being of the Toronto Society, at that time presided over by Mr. T. Mower Martin. Another social that year was attended by over one hundred persons.

     Mr. Carswell himself purchased and held the lot which the new society favored for its future building when funds would be available. The society later bought a portion of this lot, but sold it at a considerable profit within a year, and the corner lot now occupied by the Olivet Church at Elm Grove and Melbourne avenues became the property of the Parkdale Society.

     In 1889, the Rev. J. S. David accepted a call to Minneapolis, and the Rev. E. S. Hyatt, a graduate of the Academy stationed at Erie, Pa., was invited to come to Parkdale. At this time the Academy was looked upon askance, because of its militant zeal for better order in the Church; and the cry of priestcraft was heard, because of its episcopal government. But numbers in the Canada Association were friendly to the Academy movement. The Rev. F. W. Tuerk, Pastor of the Berlin Society, was a member of the Academy, and the Rev. F. E. Waelchli had become his assistant. And a number in the Parkdale Society had also begun to lean toward Academy principles. Yet it was with some doubts and misgivings that the invitation had been extended to Mr. Hyatt.


However, he accepted the call, and, on being asked "not to wear a robe," cheerfully consented, but made the sole stipulation that he should be free to teach the doctrine of the New Church. He at once commenced the thorough teaching work characteristic of the Academy, even to the holding of classes in the sacred languages of Revelation,-Hebrew, Greek and Latin,-which were fervently attended by Mr. Carswell. Indeed, he soon began to read the Writings in their original Latin, and his devotion to the Church increased steadily.

     Meanwhile, troubles were brewing in the Canada Association. The high standards of the Academy worked like a ferment, and many began to insist upon a greater loyalty to the Doctrines, a greater degree of distinctiveness in our association and life. History will certainly show how much needed these issues were. For the Church was in an apathetic state, flirting with Old Church methods, and gripped by the natural good of the world, to the detriment of any real appreciation of her mission. While the Academy champions were not infallible, and doubtless at times were a little too extreme in their applications, and too fervid in their oratory, yet they were fighting for a vital thing, for "the Ark of the Covenant," and compromise would have been fatal to the preservation of the feeling of the Divine Presence in the statements of the Writings of the New Church. The attitude of the General Convention toward all this, as shown in their rejection of the Report of the General Church of Pennsylvania, made a separation inevitable.

     The meeting of the Canada Association at Berlin in July, 1890, was occupied with spirited discussions of the "Academy" issues,-the authority of the Writings, the desirability of New Church day schools (one having already been established in Berlin), the dangers of lay-preaching, and our fraternizing in the worship of the Old Church. Mr. Carswell was not an eloquent speaker, but what he said at this meeting was sincere and forceful. He did not side at once with the Academy. But he was just. He had been impressed, he said, more and more pleasantly by the positive and constructive interpretations of the "Academy" Pastor in Parkdale. "We ought to be loyal to the doctrine," he said, "to shut out everything that is contrary to order, whether it is called 'Academy' or by any other name. If we are not in order, we want to get into order. The question is not what we want, but what the Writings say.


If the Writings are the Word of God, it is far better for us to know it in this world than to have to learn it in the other. The truth is always good!"