Vol. CXII           January, 1992               No. 1
Rev. Donald L. Rose, Editor
Mr. Neil M. Buss, Business Manager
     Second-class postage paid at Bryn Athyn, PA
Requests for application forms for admission of new students to the Academy Secondary Schools should be made by April 1, 1992. Letters should be addressed to Mrs. Gloria Wetzel, EdD., Principal of the Girls School, or Mr. T. Dudley Davis, Principal of the Boys School, The Academy of the New Church, Box 707, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Letters should include the student's name, parents' address, the class the student will be entering, the name and address of the school he or she is now attending, and whether the student will be a day or a dormitory student.
     Completed application forms should be forwarded to the Academy by June 30, 1992.
     Admission procedure is based on receipt of the following:
     1)      Application
     2)      Transcript
     3)      Pastor's recommendation
     4)      Health forms Notes on This Issue 1992

Notes on This Issue       Editor       1992

     Your thoughtful attention is invited to "a lone voice from the Far East" on page 32. That makes two communications from Japan in this issue.
     A few hundred of our readers were present at the Academy graduation exercises held in Bryn Athyn last June. Memories of that warm summer day and that assembled multitude may come back as you read Bishop King's address on page 11. Although most of our readers were not present then, we know that some have heard this address through the agency of the Sound Recording Committee. If you have never listened to an Academy graduation ceremony, you ought to try it, perhaps on a cold winter day.
     Many readers have autumn memories of the Charter Day address given last October in the Bryn Athyn Cathedral. Rev. Daniel Goodenough, even now preparing to take on the work of President of the Academy, quoted from Dostoyevsky and Pascal in that memorable address, which appears on the opposite page.
     Do you remember Rev. William O. Ankra-Badu of Ghana who studied for years in Bryn Athyn? If you look at the baptisms and confirmations in this issue you will see that our friend has been busy!
     For several months we had a "favorite passage" article in each issue. Thanks to Rev. Kenneth Alden we have another this month, and perhaps this will remind others who have been intending to send one along.



CHOICES       Rev. DANIEL W. GOODENOUGH       1992


     Choices, choices; decisions, decisions. Since the beginning of human existence people have had choices to make. When Jehovah God put the man and the woman in the garden and told them to eat of every tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, He was asking them to choose. Why didn't He stop them from eating of the forbidden tree, or keep the serpent away? Because He wants us to have choices, to make decisions (see TCR 469).
     Choices begin in the Garden of Eden, and are found all through the Word, just as they go on throughout our lives. Moses was forever putting choices before the Children of Israel, by carefully explaining what they were supposed to do and not do, and what would happen if they did or didn't do this. A choice is only as real as your understanding of the issues involved and the consequences. This is why Moses so carefully set out the blessings and the cursings as he pushed his people to choose between the Lord and following their own ways. A generation later Joshua put it to them: "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served . . . or the gods of the Amorites . . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah" (Joshua 24:15). Just as dramatic was the prophet Elijah: "How long will you falter between two opinions? If Jehovah is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him" Psalms and Old Testament prophets are always calling on us to consider, think, and decide.
     Choices in the New Testament? "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16; cf. John 3:36.) Usually in the New Testament the Lord gives us our choices and their results a little more gently. "Behold I stand at the door and knock: if anyone hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me" (Rev. 3:20).


Still, the gospels are full of choices that we should think about, and so are the early Christian epistles. The Writings? Though only occasionally do they ask us directly to make a decision, in fact with every idea they explain, the implied choice is offered: think about this, seriously consider it and pray to the Lord for light, and then choose whether or not to believe it and live by it.
     Choosing isn't just part of life, an option to enjoy when we have time, or when someone gives us a decision to make. Choosing is central to human life. Choosing is life, and the essence of life is choosing. This is because you choose with your love, and it is choosing that changes and develops the love that is the real you. In fact we are choosing all the time, with the big choices about career, school, marriage, and also the little choices: how am I going to treat this teacher, my parent, or this friend I'm not so sure about? If you stop to reflect, you are choosing every waking moment of life.
     This can be scary. We like to make some decisions, but do we really like to be choosing all the time? In The Brothers Kanunazov Dostoyevksy suggests that people fear free choice and would prefer the church to make their decisions. In this passage the aged and power-hungry Gorand Inquisitor challenges Christ at His return to stop asking humans for faith freely given, and instead to give them bread. Mankind cares little about love and freedom, and religion should be based instead on miracle, mystery and authority. "And they will be glad to believe our answer, for it will save them from the great fear and terrible agony they endure at present in making a free decision for themselves" (Signer Classic edition of the New American Library, NY, 1957; Book 5.5, p. 239). But Dostoyevsky has Christ respond to the Inquisitor's long diatribe by simply kissing him and departing in silence.
     The Gorand Inquisitor is right about one thing-choosing can be scary, and often our lower natures would rather hide behind someone else's choice.


To choose the same way as many others gives us confidence of being right. To decide something all alone, with no one's support, can be one of the loneliest of human experiences. Yet being in the majority is no true assurance that we've chosen wisely; one well-known New Church minister, now in the other world, liked to argue that throughout history the majority has been wrong in every important decision that mankind has made. Whether this is true or not, having numbers on our side doesn't mean we've chosen wisely, and some of life's most real choices we must make alone. In fact it is what we choose for ourselves that we feel as our own; choices where we tend to follow others (as we all often do) come to feel as our own only as we think about them for ourselves and see our own reasons for accepting them.
     Why is this? Why is choosing not just a means to an end but at the very core of human life? It goes back to Divine love. The Lord cannot love others and be loved by them if they have in themselves anything of the essence and life of Divine love in itself; He does not wish to be simply loved by Divine love, since this would be to love Himself, in a closed circle (see DLW 47-50). But by giving us freedom, the power to choose for ourselves, He gives us the ability to receive life and love from Him, and He lets us determine what will be the kind of love that will motivate us. It's by choosing that we decide this. If freedom stops, our will stops (see TCR 482:2). Choosing freely is what gives us a life of our own. If we are wise, we believe that life and love are from God, and that we live from Him and His gift of choosing, Yet even if we deny that and think life is our very own, and even if we abuse the life from Him, He keeps giving us a power to choose for ourselves, to be what we choose to be.
     It's choosing freely that makes us human, and that's how the Lord can be with those who choose against Him and choose a hellish life for themselves. He is not in the evils they choose, but He is in the process of their choosing; He is in their liberty of willing.


For they too feel life as their own and are individual feeling people, living independently. Our lesson said that the Lord "dwells in every person" in the two faculties of freedom and rationality (DLW 266), and though many human choices sadden Him, His love finds fulfillment even with the evil in their being free agents who can choose and have a life of their own. And He allows hell precisely because human life consists more in the process of choosing for oneself than in the results of that choice; that's why living and willing in hell is better than not to live or will at all.
     Most people sense how important choosing is to them, even if it is sometimes scary. The Writings say people strive after what is forbidden (see AC 1947) just so they can feel the choice is their own. Who of us hasn't stupidly fought some prohibition we should have respected?
     Maybe we imagine that our choices are unlimited, that God gives us a kind of infinite freedom. But we can't be free in a vacuum, or in some sort of infinite space with no bounds or limits. We don't choose masculine or feminine souls; we don't choose our genes, our innate abilities and tendencies; we don't choose the environment we grow up in or the values we imbibe through parents and siblings, friends and teachers. Many experiences we do not choose. We each can think of influences that place bounds or limits on our choosing. Some influences can even curtail our choices and shrink our freedom. But many limits in our lives that we haven't chosen give us in fact a framework and order in which we can choose. Freedom is a meaningless abstraction except in a structure of specific choices that we can actually make. The right limitations, the right order won't hurt our choosing, but will structure it and open it up.     
     Growing toward maturity means to evaluate and make choices about the ideals and values that structured your childhood choosing. As by stages you learn to think from your own rational, you come more and more into the process of deciding about values.


This is one reason it is so exciting to teach at the Academy: knowledges and points of view conveyed in class aren't just to be learned and put away, but actually used in decisions of how people are going to live.
     Blaise Pascal had an interesting point of view about this. A mathematical genius, he was also a devout and strict Catholic, living in the mid 1600s in France. Do you know the story of The Three Musketeers? They typify the swashbuckling France that Pascal observed and worried about. He didn't choose to be born and live there, but he thought a lot about what choosing meant in his society, largely given over to the pursuit of pleasure, glory, personal honor, sensual enjoyment, and especially power. He was puzzled by his countrymen's indifference to traditional Catholic virtues like good will to others and giving to the poor, prayer and devotion to God, humility and righteous living. Though his world was somewhat like ours, its public acceptance of the Christian religion was much greater than today, and some would say that his world was more hypocritical. But it was also a world that through thinkers like Pascal asked fundamental questions about the meaning of life and of spirit more honestly than you will hear today.
     What Pascal wondered was how people could ignore the possibility of an eternal life that will go on forever in favor of a few pleasures of the moment. "This same man who spends so many days and nights in rage and despair for the loss of office, or for some imaginary insult to his honor, is the very one who knows without anxiety and without emotion that he will lose all by death" (Pensees, The Modern Library, NY, 1941, p. 69). "It concerns all our life to know whether the soul be mortal or immortal" (Ibid., p 76). Over and over Pascal asked himself how so many people could choose the fleeting pleasures of the world instead of eternal happiness.
     Pascal's answer was framed in terms of a bet, a wager, a gamble that any contemporary Frenchman would understand. You must bet on God or on there being no God. If you choose to bet on God, and you live and have faith as a Christian, then if God and eternal life are real, you will be happy forever; and if God and eternal life are nothing, then by death you lose only what you would have lost anyway.


On the other hand, if you bet against God and choose to live only for your own pleasure, then even if you are right, and God doesn't exist, you lose everything by death; but if you are wrong and God does exist, Pascal concluded starkly, you will be miserable forever. Self-interest demands that we choose God since we may gain eternal joy, and this wager costs nothing. But to bet against God may cost an eternity in hell, and it can gain us nothing but a few trifles.
     You may not like reducing your innermost choice about the meaning of life to a gambler's calculated bet, but some time in your education consider Pascal's wager, think about it from the viewpoint it was meant for-the natural, external level of the mind. And it does demonstrate that how you define a choice can make a big difference in how you choose. If you see eternal and lasting meanings about sex, you are likely to choose differently than if you understand sexual choices only in terms of this world.
     Learning how to define choices is one of the biggest reasons we are at this school. If choosing should be more than a wager or bet, how do you define the process of choosing? The Heavenly Doctrines are full of ideas to help us define our choices. In general they urge us to look inside external choices to understand the spiritual choice inside. When we choose we usually think we're choosing some thing or some action, or to avoid some action or thing, and we usually see it in terms of concrete events to do or avoid. Choosing usually involves activities in the world of space and time. But on a higher plane in choosing we are deciding on a way of thinking, on certain principles that we're going to think from. Inside a decision about action we are choosing how to understand life-perhaps choosing to see life as sensible, rational and purposeful, with logical consequences to actions; or choosing maybe to see life as irrational and crazy and unconnected with no necessary result tomorrow from what we do today.


Some choose to see life as cruel and unfair, so that if you don't look out for yourself above all else, no one else will; others choose to see life as full of human love and good will, with evil an insignificant element. Some prefer to see life as without freedom or meaningful choice, while others see life as a smorgasbord of choices, opportunities, challenges. The point is that in the process of choosing how to act, what friends to be with, and what to do and not do with them, how to spend our time and where we should study and work-in the process of choosing all the externals that we decide on-we are little by little choosing how we want to understand life. We are choosing how to think, a philosophy of life. And when we have fully chosen our way of thinking, whether true or false, it will stay with us long after we've left behind actions and objects in this world forever. It is our faith because we have chosen it.
     But we choose something deeper than faith. More than actions or how we decide to think about life, we choose who we are-what we care about, what we want, what we love. We all have some loves now, good ones and bad ones, but they're not going to stay the same. Loves get better or get worse, but they won't stay static, because in the process of choosing what to do and how to think, we are also choosing affections to motivate us and to live from. Whether we choose wisely or foolishly, we never stop choosing. No beautiful choice of yesterday is so permanent that today we cannot either improve it or disfigure it. And no bad choices in our past can so strengthen evil love in us that today we can't choose to receive help from the Lord to control and subdue it.
     This or that individual choice matters less than our patterns of choice-what do we choose to do again and again; what ways of thought do we choose to go back to; what feelings and delights do we choose to repeat? For it is in habits of choice that we choose who we are going to be.


A good method of self-knowledge is to study habitual, repeated patterns in choosing.
     We are choosing all the time, whether or not we are conscious of it. Try to avoid choosing and that itself is a choice. In Pascal's words. "But you must wager. It is not optional" (Ibid., p. 81). What is optional is what to choose, and more important, the process of choosing, how to define our choices. You can choose a lot more sensibly when you understand what the choice really is.
     Here is one of the basic purposes of the Academy of the New Church, chartered 114 years ago to promote education "in all its forms," that the New Jerusalem Church may be established on earth (the charter). Absolutely central to this New Jerusalem Church is the principle of individual freedom to accept or reject what the Lord offers. And choosing freely means defining choices clearly and accurately. That is how the truth makes free (see John 8:32). When you see the spiritual and eternal side of a choice, you become free to choose heaven; the Lord's truth has freed you. Only you can decide what to do, how to think, what love to live from. But the Lord's truth frees you to make a rational choice.
     It is the Academy's mission to open up and present truth to make human choices free-by truths directly from the Lord in His Word, and also by truths in every field of study, from the Roman Senate to a formula in physics, from a thoughtful sonnet to programming a computer. Education liberates because truth defines our choices and frees us.
     Probably most Academy students think their real choice is between what their parents want and what they themselves want. It is the hope of the Academy to help you redefine your choices and see them in a different light. The real choices are not between other people's wishes and your own. Those choices exist, but in the long run do not matter much. The important choices are between paths to the Lord and the various ways that lead away from Him.


It is the Academy's work to understand our real choices, then to present truth about them so that the students here now, and more and more people around the world in our future, may choose freely and wisely.

     Lessons: Deuteronomy 30:11, 14-20; John 8:30-36; DLW 266 (selections)



     Disciples, apostles, spiritual fishermen! Every person in this room is one or the other of these. If we look over to this side of the room, to our graduates from the Secondary Schools, we have disciples. They are students and followers of the truth. At the Academy they have received a wonderful education, both academically and in the doctrines of the New Church. Without exception they are creative, productive individuals, prepared to be of use to society wherever they go from this point.
     On the other side of the podium we have graduates from the junior and senior colleges, receiving advanced degrees in studies that have prepared them for professional life. They can be likened to apostles or teachers. At this stage in their development, their discipleship or following of the auth can now be expressed in professional relationships with others, affecting for good and from a New Church point of view everyone with whom they have any contact.
     Beyond these candidates for degrees we have our Theological School graduates who will receive their masters of divinity today, followed by inauguration into the priesthood of the New Church at the cathedral service tomorrow morning. They are about to become spiritual fishermen. The Writings define spiritual fishermen as those who teach spiritual truth in rational form.


     Let's think about the Lord's own example. He passed through a stage of discipleship, apostleship and spiritual fisherman. He was born into the world that He might save us, and for thirty silent years, in Galilee, He performed a wonderful work within Himself. The Divine love which created us was His soul, clothed in a physical body received from the virgin Mary. Into His human mind He gathered scientific knowledges founded upon nature, and He read and understood the Divine truth contained in the Old Testament, which the Jewish Church had rejected. In short, He experienced the first and most perfect example of New Church education, New Church education is an opening of the mind to receive and bring together the Lord's love, the spheres of good and truth in the heavens, and knowledges which enter from the written Word and from nature through the senses. The Lord had both a Divine nature and a human nature, which He willed to unite into one. The hells attacked Him and tried to prevent this union of the Divine and the Human in Himself. But the Lord rejected their efforts and in so doing induced an order upon all the inhabitants of the hells.
     The heavens, which were threatened with extinction because they had no New Church upon which to rest, zeroed in on the Lord's mind Here they found a perfect joining together of Divine love and wisdom with human experience and conscious thought and affection. As the Lord successively made His human Divine, He supplied an eternal foundation for the heavens for all time.
     It is the goal of New Church education to bring the Divine of the Lord through the heavens so that innocence and joy may enter our lives. The hells would oppose this bringing together of the Lord's Divine Human with our developing conscience, but with the Lord's help we can overcome the hells.
     A final work of redemption on the Lord's part was the teaching of the truth, now contained in the New Testament, to establish His kingdom on earth. This was His public ministry or apostleship.


In the Writings where His Divine Human is available to all who would worship Him in spirit and in truth, the Lord becomes our Divine Fisherman who teaches us spiritual truth in rational form. Indeed, the Lord fulfilled His discipleship during those thirty silent years before His public ministry. His Human became the pupil and follower of His Divinity within. Gradually the Divine and Human natures in the Lord became one Divine Human. During His public ministry, He fulfilled His apostleship, teaching the truth of the New Testament so that the Christian Church might be established. When at His second coming He revealed the spiritual sense of the Word so that it could be taught in rational form, He became the Divine Fisherman to eternity.
     What about the twelve disciples? They were called by the Lord to leave their profession as fishermen that they might become fishers of men. For three years they were with the Lord day and night, listening to His teachings, observing His examples and learning to obey His commandments. Truly they were disciples-students and followers.
     Then suddenly all hell broke loose. In their final attack upon the Lord, the hells appeared to be successful in destroying Him, since He died on the cross. The disciples were terrified and disillusioned and would have deserted Him. But the Lord opened their spiritual eyes and ears so that they could feel His tender touch and hear His gentle voice, "Peace! Be not afraid for I am with you always." This is also the message of the senior class banner.
     The Lord encouraged them to become teachers-apostles who would comprise the first Christian ministry. Faithfully for the next thirty to sixty years they taught and baptized in His name. History records that most of them died the death of martyrs, even as Jesus had been crucified
     In the spiritual world the disciples spent the next sixteen hundred years carrying out, in the world of spirits, the work they had begun as disciples and apostles on earth.


     The lesson we read from True Christian Religion 339 describes how Swedenborg was writing down the spiritual truth concerning the Lord's Divine Human. At this very moment the apostles were sent to him by the Lord As they looked over Swedenborg's shoulder and read this passage in True Christian Religion, they reached the culmination point of their discipleship and apostleship. Now they could rationally perceive spiritual truth, the Spirit of Truth which the Lord had promised them. When the True Christian Religion was completed, the Lord called together His twelve disciples and on June 19th, 1770, sent them out through the whole spiritual world to preach the gospel that "the Lord God Jesus Christ reigns." This is the central doctrine or spiritual truth of the Writings which can now be taught in rational form.
     What about us? The Lord calls each one of us to be disciples (followers of truth), apostles (teachers of the truth through our example and our relationship with each other), and spiritual fishermen (teachers of spiritual truth in rational form). When we acknowledge the Lord God Jesus Christ as the source and Author of everything good and true which He accomplishes through us, and if we are willing to share this acknowledgment with others, we become spiritual fishermen.
     Graduates, look out into this sea of faces in front of you. They are your parents, families, teachers and friends who love you very much indeed, and whose love is flowing over with hope and confidence that you will be faithful disciples, apostles and spiritual fishermen in days and years to come.
     In closing, let me suggest a formula or a recipe for happiness. Never let another day go by without thinking about the Lord-how much He loves you and longs for your usefulness and eternal welfare. Imagine what He has invested in you and what confidence He has in you. And what does He want in return? Your happiness! You can receive this happiness by looking inwardly to the Lord and then outwardly to each other.


Try to appreciate what is good and true in others from the Lord, finding happiness in the support of their usefulness, in those positive qualities. On the eve of His crucifixion He washed His disciples' feet. How symbolic was this act of how completely we depend on Him and how much we owe to each other. He said, "If I, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you ought also to wash each other's feet. I have given you an example; do this and you will be happy."
     May the Lord bless you graduates, and may you find true happiness. Thank you.

LORD'S RESURRECTION BODY (Part 5)       Jr. V. C. ODHNER       1992


     An unemphasized point that ought to be emphasized is that the glorification had taken place on the cross with the last of temptation (see AC 2776:2, 2816:1,2; 5041, 5045e, 7499, 10053:5, 10655:3; AE 272:3e, 476, 806:4-6; Lord 29:3:5, 35:3e, 51:3; TCR 126, 128). So in John 19:30-"It is finished. . . . " What had happened on the cross, not within the sight of anyone except God and heaven, was that the Divine Human had completely descended into the prepared human body of the Lord (see AC 1414e, Ath. 192, SD 4845), thus becoming the Divine Substantial, in the manner predicted by God. His work had been done, basically, on the cross. In Athanasian Creed 192-"He retained the infirm human while He was in the world because in no other way could He be tempted, least of all on the cross; there the whole maternal was expelled." (Emphasis in the quotations is added by the author.) Bruce Rogers, as explained, in his second letter (NCL August 1982, p. 366), raises the question of how the Lord could have put off the human body when it was with this that He ministered and existed to the end in the world. Here is the crux of the matter.


How can the "whole maternal" have been expelled when yet there was the Lord there on the cross? Surely there must be a reconciling explanation. New Church people can be somewhat repelled by emphasis of the cross. Yet, little to the knowledge of Christians, there is great significance here; there is great holiness to be attached to the significance of the cross, and this from what the Writings say occurred on the cross, the last of temptation, the very wonderful glorification of our very and only Lord. AC 2776:2-" . . . the passion of the cross was the extremity of the Lord's temptation, by which He fully united His Human to His Divine and His Divine to His Human, and thus glorified Himself."
     In AC 2816:12-". . . is according to the internal sense that the Lord's Divine led His Human into the most grievous temptations . . . and this even to the utmost of power. The truth is that the Lord admitted temptations into Himself in order that He might expel thence all that was merely human, and this until nothing but the Divine remained. That the Lord admitted temptations into Himself, even to the last which was that of the cross, may be seen from the words of the Lord Himself in Matt. 16:21-23. The interpretation of the word "united" is probably responsible for some of the misunderstanding by corporealists. By this word is understood the concept of a union rather than an adjunction of the Divine and the material body. There was only a progression to unition of His unglorified Human Essence with His Divine; the adjunction of the Divine with the material body was a supreme manifestation of the reality of "union" by correspondence, brought into existence with creation, which also progressed with the glorification process (see AC 1414). See AC 2021: "principal and instrumental." See AR 55.
     In AC 5041 " . . . but because the inmost was Divine, He was able by His own power to cast out that evil heredity,. . . which was done successively by means of temptations, and finally by the last, that of the cross, when He fully glorified His Human, that is, made it Divine."


Keep in mind the words "made it Divine," which simply mean the progression and finalization of the descent of the Divine Human entity into the prepared material shell (body), at the last on the cross. In AC 5045- "That the passion of the cross was the last of the temptations, and that by it the Lord fully glorified the Human in Himself, that is, made it Divine, is also plain from many passages in the Word, as in John 13:31, 32; 17:1,5; Luke 24:26." And in AC 7499e-"But after the Lord had fully glorified Himself, which was done when He endured the last of temptation on the cross, He then made His Human also Divine good, that is, Jehovah; and thereby the Divine truth itself proceeded from His Divine Human. The Divine truth is what is called the 'Holy Spirit,'. . . . " And in AC 10053:5e-"It is plain that this unition was fully accomplished by the passion of the cross, which was the last of temptations." And in AE 476: "The passion of the cross was the Lord's last temptation, by which He fully subjugated the hells and glorified His Human." And in Doctrine of the Lord 51:3-" . . . for after His glorification, or complete union with the Father, which was effected by the passion of the cross, the Lord was then Divine wisdom and Divine truth itself, and consequently the Holy Spirit." Read TCR 126 and 128.
     From all this, can it be understood that the Lord, at the end, on the cross, was the Lord? See HH 316, Here, on the cross, was the essential completion of His work. There was the body, yes, but was this the Lord? Can't one imagine that here the Divine had completely descended so that, the work being finished, a Divine Human now existed apart, yet conjoined to the naturally lifeless (see DLW 234) body? What is Divine is Divine. What has in it the Divine is not Divine, for the Divine is a distinct entity, and what had been made Divine could not include the material body. Part of the confusion comes from the term "making Divine." While the Writings say the human was "made" Divine, the Writings, based on overall doctrine, mean that the Lord's natural body was left to itself, and that the Divine Human was received (or "born") gradually and successively, distinct from the natural body.


Yet that natural body, through influx from the Divine, was changed to perfectly represent it by correspondence (see AC 1414, 6716:3, AE 706:11). But this is only an aspect to man; there was nothing Divinely new in itself (see AC 3061:3, TCR 30). So it is that TCR 103:3 says that by the acts of redemption the Lord put off "everything of the human from the mother and put on the Human from the Father." He had become the Divine good also (see AC 6864, 8705:4, 8724, 9930:5e, 10052-3, 10076:1), coupled with the Divine truth.
     Doctrine of the Lord 59 quotes the Athanasian Creed as follows: "This human was not converted into the Divine, or mingled with it; but it was put off, and the Divine Human was assumed in its place." See AC 3599:2e. In AE 899:14-"As man rises again after death, therefore the Lord willed to undergo death and to rise again on the third day, but to the end that He might put off everything human [that means the material body too] that He had from the mother, and might put on the Divine Human [fully descended at the last of temptation on the cross]; for everything human that the Lord took from the mother He rejected from Himself by temptations [the glorification process by which all hell was forever subjugated through the Mary mental heredity], and finally by death; and by putting on a human from the Divine itself that was in Him, He glorified Himself, that is, made His Human Divine [that is, a descended Divine Human without what He took from Mary] . . . "
     In TCR 126-"But glorification is the uniting of the Lord's Human with the Divine of His Father. This was effected gradually and was completed [all at once] through the passion of the cross." The human body on the cross wasn't the Divine-Substantial; the descent of the Divine into that body (DLW 234: "although a receptacle of the Divine), not to the sight of anyone but God and heaven, was the Divine Human, including the Divine Natural (see Sacred Scripture 99), promised to save all mankind (see TCR 33).


See AC 5576:5, 6834, AR 468.
     On p. 335, under the heading "The Last Act of Glorification," in the June 1906 NCL article, referred to above, we have the following words: "The infirm human being retained resulted in this, that to the last there was the appearance that the human lived from itself. By means of this . . . the Divine within could still be veiled; and the hells could still approach. Appearances, and especially the appearance that man lives from himself, all spring from the natural. These appearances were the plane in which evil originated, and by them evil acts its ends. The time had come when no man could resist these appearances or subdue them. And therefore the Lord, in assuming an infirm human, took on Himself these appearances, which were gathered together and as it were focused in that prime appearance that the human lives from itself. It was by the retention of this appearance even to the end that the Lord could receive the assaults of the combined power of the hells; that He could suffer temptations even at the hands of the angels, who from their finiteness would have held the human in their own appearances. He successively subjugated the hells, and put the heavens in order. He successively cast off all fallacies and appearances until in the last great temptation He wholly conquered the power of evil by totally expelling even the most ultimate appearance that the human lives from itself. He cast the hells forth from the very body in which is the last seat for the assault of hell, and with their final expulsion, all that was human, all that was a vessel, all that was aught of finiteness, was dissipated, and at the Resurrection the Lord stood forth as the Divine Man, glorified even as to the flesh and bones. As He had the Esse of life from conception, so a similar Esse of life existed in His Human by Union. (AC 2649)"
     Then follows partial quotations of AC 1603:2; SD 4845; AC 3318:5, 5077-8, and reference to AE 581:11.

     (To be continued)




     The definition of infectious disease is a disease caused by organisms growing and multiplying in the body. What was it that interested me in this subject? First of all, I have few answers but a lot of questions and enthusiasm.
     Secondly, I hope to share with you my excitement about microbes, especially how they relate to man.
     Thirdly, I hope to leave you with some of the excitement so that all of you might find some answers for yourselves.

Begin at the Beginning

     To begin this, I have to go back over thirty years. To keep a long story short, I became interested in medicine at a young age. I wanted to be a doctor! However, my biology teachers had other ideas and directed me into their field. In my last year in high school, I received the prize for science (one of the few awards I received in school), given to the one girl each year who showed the most promise in science. My prize was a book called Viruses and the Nature of Life. Wow! Now I had the answers--at least it triggered my interest in microbiology.
     In college I started reading the Writings, Not only was I learning the facts of biology, which was fascinating, but I learned that everything on earth, including microbiology, corresponded to something in the spiritual world. On leaving college, I spent three and a half years assisting a senior lecturer in microbiology with his research and class work at a gigantic London college. I also continued to read the major books of the Writings with a desire to know everything about spiritual matters the way I did about biology. (I had little interest in the application of doctrine to life at this stage!)


     All of this went on hold for seventeen years when I left my job to have and raise four children. I did read a scientific journal or the Writings here and there, but my focus was elsewhere. When my youngest started school, I woke up like Rip Van Winkle: I had to get back to biology. I now work in a clinical microbiology lab and I love it, especially helping people to get well. Now that I am back to the correspondence between disease and man's spirituality, I feel like Alice in Wonderland. You may remember that the door to Wonderland was hidden behind a curtain and was too small for Alice to get through. Then she spotted the bottle that said "'Drink me,' which certainly was not there before,) said Alice. The scene continues for some time with Alice always finding another reason that prevents her from getting into Wonderland. I feel that I'm in a state where I can get a grasp on various aspects of the problem but I can't get it all together and make it into Wonderland.

Revelation and Infectious Disease

     What do the Writings say about infectious disease? The following are extracted from Arcana Coelestia 5711 to 5727:

All diseases in man have correspondence with the spiritual world, not with heaven but with hell.
Diseases correspond to the lusts and passions of the lower mind, which are also their origins.
The death of man is from evils on account of sin; the same with diseases, for these pertain to death.
The infernals induce disease by flowing into man's lusts and falsities.
Only when man falls ill do the spirits flow into the unclean things of the disease.


However, this does not hinder man's being healed in a natural way; for the Lord's Providence concurs with natural means.

     The Lord through Swedenborg then goes on to detail the effects that different spirits have on a man; for example, some infuse unclean chills, some bear relation to deadly tumors inside the skull, others inflict pain in various areas, yet others inflict exhaustion.
     The passages close with:

     If man had lived a life of good, his interiors would be open to heaven and through heaven to the Lord, and so too would the least and most invisible vessels. In consequence, man would be without disease and would merely decline to extreme old age until he became a wise little child. When his body could no longer minister to his spirit, he would pass without disease out of his earthly body into his spiritual one.

     Here's where I feel a real sadness: that so few people have this kind of life. I have almost a yearning for the way it must have been in the Most Ancient Church. The Lord did permit man to fall, however, and He gave us these wonderful teachings that give us insight into how we should live. I should just confirm here that I do not believe that the above quotes apply to individuals: I especially am not looking for the particular evil that Mrs. Smith is guilty of in order for her to suffer from a visit from the toothache evil spirit.
     I am extremely excited about what has happened in science since Swedenborg's day. Did you know that if Swedenborg had lived fifty years later, he never could have studied all the subjects he did? In Providence he was able to learn a lot about science and to become one of the foremost thinkers of his day.


     In the 18th century, they knew nothing about the causes of disease, how disease developed, nor how our bodies fight disease. So I am focusing on infectious disease together with a few ideas that I have on their correspondences.

Organisms That Cause Disease

     There are several kinds of organisms that cause disease, but I am going to focus only on bacteria, protozoa and viruses. Those organisms that cause disease whenever and wherever they are found are called pathogens. These "true" pathogens are distinct from other organisms, which only cause disease when in the wrong place or at the wrong time.


     These were originally free-living organisms. How did they come to cause disease? It is believed that many bacteria started out feeding off of dead organic matter. (Some of them never changed and they form an essential part of our ecosystem; without them we'd never get rid of our garbage!) As higher animal forms developed, some bacteria changed too and were able to live off of food residues in the animals. We have millions of this kind of bacteria living peacefully on or in our bodies. On the skin and in the nose and throat they clean up dead skin, hair and the like. In the intestines, they are an essential part of the digestive process; anyone with no bacteria in his gut is very sick indeed. (Could this correspond to the loves of self and the world being essential for man's survival?)
     When the balance is upset, these friendly bacteria can become pathogenic. For example, if the skin is broken, some of the bacteria living on the skin can enter the body and cause infection, fever, and even death. Likewise, bacteria that are helpful in the throat can cause pneumonia when the body's resistance is low; others can cause meningitis if they get into the lining of the brain. My final examples of good bacteria gone wrong are those in the bowel.


Gut bacteria can be very dangerous when introduced directly into a wound such as by a gunshot. In World War I, many soldiers died of tetanus or gangrene caused this way. Some flavors of the commonest gut bacteria can cause infantile diarrhea or Montezumas Revenge for all in South America. (Could this correspond to problems arising when we invert the true order of creation by making love of self the primary love?)
     The third type of bacteria that changed further to live off of live organic matter are the true pathogens, dangerous wherever they are found. Some of these bacteria are responsible for typhoid; likewise dysentery, which killed millions in World War I. (My thought on the correspondence of these bacteria is that some evils are so dire that they are never harmless.)


     These are single-celled animals mostly found in the tropics but they do exist elsewhere. (Those of you from the Bryn Athyn area may remember Giardia which was a scourge a few years back.)
     My first example of a protozoan infection is amoebic dysentery. The amoeba invades the intestinal wall and draws nourishment from red blood cells and fragments of damaged tissues. In the virulent form, the amoeba secretes enzymes which break down the body's neighboring cells and cause ulcers to form in the intestinal wall. The amoeba can move from the ulcer to the blood and thence to the liver, where it creates an abscess. This is all very dangerous indeed! (Could this amoeba show us how insidious evil is: first robbing us of good affections-red blood cells-and then going on to destroy our rational-the liver?)
     My second example of protozoan infection is malaria, which used to be widespread in the tropics but is now controlled by drugs.



[Graphic text is below without corresponding arrows]
          form cysts                     bite
     (Man)                               Man-
Blood cell destruction=                              Blood
               Liver: infects and multiplies in cells
Destruction                     Affections
of good loves



     Viruses were discovered when the agents for Tobacco Mosaic disease were isolated and found to be able to pass through filters that would hold back bacteria. Viruses consist of nucleic acid surrounded by a protein coat, and can only multiply inside living cells (true parasites). They are so small that the usual way that growth of viruses is detected in a lab is by the death of the cells that they are growing on (the host cells).
     Could viruses correspond to the most insidious evils? Just as with bacteria, there are hundreds of "harmless" viruses in the body. There are also pathogenic viruses such as measles, mumps, polio and AIDS.


     Since I have spoken about the infectious organisms waiting to attack man, you are probably wondering why we're not always sick. The correspondential answer, I believe, is that the Lord's Providence works by preventing us from going into deeper evils if He cannot turn us toward heaven. The physical answer to why we are basically healthy in a very dangerous world is our body's fantastic immune system. The body's self-defense mechanism is far more subtle and complicated than anyone imagined, and is still being unravelled today (like Divine Providence, which will always remain mysterious?).
     There are eight different kinds of cells involved in the immune system, with a wide range of functions. The specific types are produced by the thymus, spleen, bone marrow, and lymph glands, and are distributed via the circulation of the blood. (The Lord protects us from evil in more ways than we can possibly know?)
     Generally, once the immune system has been mobilized to fight an infection and the infection is defeated, the body remembers enough so that the next infection is defeated immediately by specific cells. We often become immune to the organism.


(The correspondence: when we have truly overcome a particular evil through temptation and with the Lord's help, and truly recognize it for what it is, we achieve a state such that when it pops into our mind from hell we simply tell it to pop out again without a real temptation.)
     I should add here that the above is not true of all infectious disease. Reinfection with the same organism can occur without the establishment of protective immunity. This can be due to 1) different strains of the organism infecting us, so that our immune system does not recognize it as the old foe; this is true of both the cold and influenza viruses; it can be due to 2) the body's never really overcoming the disease so that the disease can flare up again; for example: cold sores, Epstein-Barr virus; or 3) immunity to the disease is temporary.
     Some ideas on the correspondence of the above:

     1) When we overcome one evil, many other relatives are waiting in the wings. Unless we continuously ask for the Lord's help, we will succumb in the next temptation.
     2) and 3) If we try to overcome evil without the Lord's help, the victory will be only an appearance or just transient. As soon as the environment is right, the evil will reappear.


     Infectious disease is controlled in four ways:

     1) By eliminating the organism as a threat For example, draining swamps eliminates the mosquito that carries malaria. (Elimination of falsity by the study of truth is a start toward overcoming evil?)
     2) By improved sanitary conditions (for example, separating drinking water from sewage is still the most effective public health act for a community).


(Leading an orderly life reduces the opportunity for the hells to attack?)
     3) By vaccination, which causes the immune system to mobilize and create immunity against an organism. (Activation of remains/affections from conscience will protect us against evil.)
     4) By antimicrobials, which are drugs used to kill the organism in the body. (Are truths from the Word the spiritual antibiotics that we need to overcome spiritual disease?)

To Sum up

     Many organisms that cause disease are normally harmless, and cause disease only when in the wrong place or when allowed to grow unchecked. (Loves of self and the world are not wrong in themselves, providing they are in the right order. If they are made more important than love to the Lord or the neighbor, they can cause spiritual disease: pain, misery, etc.)
     Whether an individual succumbs to an organism depends on his immunity, state of health, etc., even his state of mind. (We each have our own individual susceptibility to evils, perhaps due to our inherited evils. However, it is harder for the hells to attack when we are armed with the truth and trust in the Lord)
     When an individual does fall ill, he can be cured by the body's own defense mechanism alone or with the help of medicine. The body is continuously fighting disease throughout a person's life. (Man needs both a trust in the Lord and the truths of His Word in order to be victorious in temptation induced by the hells. This is a continuous process throughout a person's life in this world.)


Editorial Pages 1992

Editorial Pages       Editor       1992


     A remarkable book review has been called to our attention. In the Harvard Divinity Bulletin there appeared a review of the book Dying, We Live: A New Enquiry into the Death of Christ in the New Testament by Kenneth Grayston. The book was published in 1990 by Oxford University Press.
     The reviewer is W. William Anderson, who does not seem bound to old theological dogmas. He notes that according to this book the death of Christ is not an atonement. It is not to pacify God's wrath. It changes the condition of the sinner, rather than the attitude of God.
     The following two paragraphs by the reviewer are most arresting:

     If Christ died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, there must have been something in the mechanics of the crucifixion that eradicated sins; something that we are capable of understanding, and that makes sense in reason and logic, but which hasn't been discovered yet. Many of the mysteries of God's creation have turned out to be perfectly reasonable once they have been found out.
     Just as there exist electromagnetic waves that wry television pictures around the globe, bouncing off satellites in a matter of micro-seconds, so there surely must exist a spiritual realm which we cannot observe with the senses, and which we have not yet had the intelligence or insight to uncover. Discovery of the means to tap into that spiritual realm might very well result in our understanding of the resurrection of Christ preceded by the death that causes our sins to be forgiven On the other hand, it may be that the insight into the mechanics of the crucifixion, whenever it comes, will enable us to tap into the spiritual realm.


     To understand what was accomplished by the Lord's coming requires a knowledge of the spiritual world. The Lord achieved the work of redemption in the world in which our spirits reside. We might even refer to it in the reviewer's words: "a spiritual realm which we cannot observe with the senses." And the "discovery" can be the discovery of a revelation concerning that world.


     In April of 1991 a series of meetings was held in Manchester, England. These meetings (described editorially last June) brought together various Swedenborg publishers. A topic mentioned there was the thirst for religious literature in Eastern Europe. What could we do to make books of the Writings available there? No answer could be more direct than that of Guus Janssens of Holland.
     He and his wife Aline said they were willing to load up a van and simply drive from country to country to distribute the books. It was not merely a matter of jumping into the van and driving east! Contacts had to be made ahead of time with people of different nationalities. Books in English, Latin and other languages had to be gathered together from various sources. The Swedenborg Society and other organizations provided books, and they had such a collection that Guus said, "Our car was a small library when we left from Breda in the Netherlands on August 31st."
     They first drove to Switzerland, where they were supplied by Dr. Friedemann Horn with more than 200 books in German. (They spoke mostly in German with most contacts over the following weeks.) They drove through Austria to Hungary. In the city of Vesprem they made contact with a Dr. Jeno Bardos, whose name had been given to them by Canoll Odhner of the Swedenborg Library in Bryn Athyn. Onus commented, "A very interesting suggestion by Dr. Bardos is to organize lectures on Swedenborg's teachings in the near future in cooperation with the Theological Academy in Veszprem.


     They went on to Budapest, where Mrs. Alinka Mayor introduced them to Dr. Robert Nagy, editor of the Hungarian magazine Elixir. He said he would consider publishing an article on Swedenborg in a forthcoming issue. In a Hungarian library they were surprised to find how many books of the Writings were listed in the catalogue-15 titles in Latin, 12 titles in English, 10 in German and three in French. They were delighted to find some Hungarian translations, including Heaven and Hell and Divine Providence.
     At a Hungarian library they were shown a handwritten list of all of the Writings in Latin. They report that the Hungarian people "are enjoying the results of a free press, and booksellers are doing good business."
     In Poland they visited the country's oldest library. Books of the Writings are listed in the catalogue in German, French, English, Swedish, Latin, Russian and Polish. Unfortunately, however, they are available only on microfilm. To such libraries they donated books from their van.
     Guus writes: "We were provided by Rev. Don Rose with the address of a scholar at the Warsaw Institute of English Studies who wants to work on Polish translations, Mr. Tristan Korecki." They left books for Mr. Korecki, and report that he is making translation progress.
     At Warsaw University they found only two books of the Writings, but soon augmented their collection. "The librarians accepted the books gladly and would like to receive more volumes to complete their set. They told us that 90% of the books of this library were destroyed during the war, and that from the remains most theological works were removed by the Communists."
     "The iron curtain is gone, new democracies are born, and we felt very privileged to have been able to travel freely through these countries distributing the Word."



NEW CHURCH WORLD EVANGELIZATION       Tatsuya Nagashima       1992

Dear Editor:
     A lone voice from the Far East, or beyond the Pacific, is here addressed to NCL readers. If we really know the Heavenly Doctrines and abide by them, the Lord will change ourselves and the world in a much shorter period of time than we expect. Here are some very simple teachings in the Word.

I. All Goods Are from the Lord (e.g., AC 1911).

     There is no need to make quotations from the Writings because there are so many passages in which the above statement is asserted. The Lord Himself says in the gospel of John: "Without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).
     Furthermore, the Lord encourages us to draw all good things from Him. He repeatedly tried to convince His disciples of the truth that they can do anything from Him.

     If you ask anything in My name, I will do it (John 14:13).     
     If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you (John 15:7).
     I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you (John 16:23).

     No human can speak like this, especially when he knows in advance that the listening disciples will all be scandalized by his death. But the Lord declares, "He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father" (John 14:12).
     How stupid and lazy we are if we don't pray and ask for it out of our little faith! We should be determined to choose believing either one, His own Word or the demythologized scholars' opinions. If we believe the former, we will live, but if the latter, we will die.


The Writings often tell us: "Dominus adeundus est (We must go to the Lord)" (e.g., CL 129).

II. The Lord provides everything for each of us at every moment and even the least fraction of a moment for our eternal happiness (DP 333:3).

     The Lord is with us any time and anywhere we are. Just as our heart beats, blood circulates, lungs constantly breathe the air, and just as our stomach automatically digests the food, and just as each particular cooperates for the growth and sustenance of the whole body, the Lord takes care of us with His meticulously programmed guidance. His care and attention extend to the minutest parts of our daily life.
     At the end of the gospel of Matthew, the risen Lord Himself testifies to this truth by saying, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20). If this statement were not true, the Lord would have been cheating all human beings on earth ever since He uttered it, but no one has ever been betrayed by His Word as long as he believes in Him.
     Why don't we rely upon the Lord's guidance even in the minutest part of our daily life, such as health, money, marriage, married partner, children, employment, taxes, environment, weather, housing, government, hobbies and so on? If we do not rely upon Him in minutest things, we do not rely upon Him in the whole either. The Lord can teach us how to spend our pocket money, even a ten yen coin, for the best use in the long run. If we do everything we can as if from ourselves, He will take care of everything even to the minutest necessity of our daily life. The Lord says, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [food, clothes and shelter] shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:33).

III. The Lord's Prayer: Thy Kingdom Come (Matt. 6:10)

     The most inspiring heavenly voice of the Lord for evangelizing the world is evident in His prayer after the last supper.


He said, "I pray for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, . . . that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You . . . have loved them as You have loved Me" (John 17:20-23).
     Our revelator wrote, "this form [of the angelic heaven] is perfected to eternity with the increase in numbers, the greater the number of those entering into the form of the Divine love, which is the form of forms, the more perfect the resulting unity" (DP 62).
     I can propose here some incentives for New Church people to evangelize (or reach out to) their neighbors, their nation, and the entire world as follows:

     1)      Because it was our Lord's strongest desire that His kingdom should come (until finally He could endure the most cruel temptation and death).
     2)      Because the Lord Himself is our most intimate and closest neighbor, who must be loved by us with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind.
     3)      Because there are so many people around us who do not know our Lord and His church. If they cannot start being regenerated on earth, it will be almost impossible for anyone after death to change his state of life.
     4)      Just as earthly wealth and resources are to be distributed to those who are in need in this world, so spiritual wealth and resources should also be distributed to those who are in dire need.
     5)      All evils such as wars, diseases, poverty, racial discrimination, political and social oppression and turmoil come from men's inner disorders influenced by hellish powers; and all possible remedies healing the above things and restoring them into order come from the Lord alone.


     In terms of the above three guidelines we can easily be led to the commitment that New Church evangelization is the most meaningful and urgent requirement which we, or only we, can afford to provide to the present world Don't you think that this is the best possible use of our own?
     We can all start by praying to the Lord who told us to ask, When just asking in prayer, do not exempt anybody. Young and old, men and women, adults and children, priests and lay people, active and retired can equally participate with this simple action. This can be the start for New Church world evangelization!
     Tatsuya Nagashima,
          Tokyo, Japan

P. S. Do you think we need a pocket prayer book like the one which is often published in other Christian denominations? It could help the individual who does not know how to pray, and might find in it various needs of his own, from "at the time of temptation" to "praying for world peace," etc.

LETTER FROM JAPAN       Breton Blair       1992

Dear Editor:

     A complete year has gone by since my first arrival in Japan. Within that time I have developed rudimentary skills with the language, a steady job, and many close friendships. Yet, most importantly, I have acquired a new concept of this country and the state of the New Church here.
     I came with misconceptions. For example, I had the idea that since Japan is a wealthy nation, most of its citizens are millionaires. It did not take long to find the opposite. While most people here earn a salary comparable to their American counterparts, the expenses they face can often double those experienced by the latter. With the standard rent for a one-room apartment in Tokyo hovering at $600 per month, and the cheapest movie ticket retrieving $15, I soon realized why many people here don't even bother trying to buy dryers for laundry!


     Another misconception was the thought that Christianity is somehow new here and entirely dependent on the west. Again to the contrary, some quick glances at history books have shown me that Christian followers have lived in Japan longer than the U.S. has existed as a nation. (Christianity was instigated in Japan by Francis Xavier in the mid-16th century.) While it would be wrong to overlook the relatively low population of believers (approximately 1% of the total population), it would also be wrong to assume that the 800,000 Christians here are mere "yes men" for the western clergy. Naturally, Christians here hold their western friends in high esteem. However, they also have developed some native traditions of which they are rightfully proud. (To my surprise I have found that most Christian churches here have become culturally self-sufficient, being led by ministers educated in Japanese seminaries and singing from liturgies which contain a large amount of indigenous music.)
     In light of such misconceptions, I was not surprised to find my idea of the New Church in Japan to be in need of correction. To start, before boarding the plane last year, I was certain that Japan claimed no members of the General Church. This was probably my worst misconception. At this point the current count is 31, the majority residing in the Tokyo area, plus eight others who have been baptized
     Naturally, after meeting some General Church members in the flesh, I jumped to another conclusion precipitously; I assumed that all of Japan's Swedenborgians shared exactly the same goals. This idea has since been corrected as well. Not unlike their counterparts in the west, Swedenborgians in Japan have goals that range from initial exploration to the hopeful establishment of a strong New Christian society.
     All of these people are working on attracting new members, and two groups already have a substantial number of young people.


It may be only a matter of time before some young person from Japan enters the academy Theological School!     
     There is also one more Tokyo group independent of the General Church. Headed by Rev. Yoshii Yanese, who has translated the entire set of the Writings during his long life, this group maintains a church building and constantly attracts those who have found Mr. Yanese's translations in bookstores.
     Also playing a role in New Church growth are numerous other groups, most of which contain members who do accept the Writings. Depending on their actions, a deeper involvement with the Word could develop.
     Indeed learning so many new things about the New Church in Japan has proved to be a humbling experience. Moreover, it has opened my mind to one more important element-the role of the old Christian churches here. Although an aggressive side of me shuns the idea of giving recognition, I must admit that the Catholic, Protestant, and Mormon churches (to name a few) have done much to open Japan to Christianity. Furthermore, I feel the New Church owes much of its success to their endeavors. One particular example is the case of Tatsuya Nagashima, an indispensable translator and facilitator for New Church growth here. Without his prior involvement with the Jesuit order or his later experience as a Protestant minister, he would never have gained the Latin or social skills so vital to his use today. Also, there are often many newcomers to our groups who were first initiated into Christianity by the aggressive
evangelization of other churches.
     I can now see how much people in Japan everywhere have in common with each other. With the exception of language and location, there are few elements of religious expansion (growing pains included) which Japanese New Church people don't share with all New Church people. We all can have a promising future with the Lord's help.
     Breton Blair,
          Urawa City, Japan



CRISIS AND GRIEF IN DIVORCE       Barbara Larsen       1992

Dear Editor:
     I read with interest Ruth Wyland's letter, "Crisis and Grief in Divorce,"
     When I went through a divorce, I felt most people didn't know what to say to me. I tried to figure out why this was the case. I came up with an analogy: Going through a divorce is like having an amputation. People respond in one of two ways; either they say, "You lost your arm? You know our church doesn't believe in amputation." Or "You lost your arm? Well, you really didn't need that arm anyway."
     What is needed, I think, is for people to realize that all divorce, no matter what kind of marriage it was, is a loss and there is grief over the inability to save that marriage. We, therefore, should treat those who are going through divorce with the same sympathetic caring we would show toward someone whose spouse has died. This is very important for the children who must continue to deal with both parents.
     I work in a court office where divorces are filed. I do not see anyone joyful over the process. It is a sad experience and a very stressful one. May we all remember that it is the Lord who judges and He has admonished us to "Judge not."
     Barbara Larsen,
          Horsham, Pennsylvania

SIMPLIFYING THE WRITINGS       Norman Heldon       1992

Dear Editor:
     Mr. John Schoenberger and Mr. Howard Roth argue well against producing the Writings in simplified form. The point is that if they were "shortened, cut, manipulated" they could hardly be called the Writings. Yet there is merit in an effort to present the truths of the New Revelation in very readable style.


Rev. Messrs. Frank Rose and Jan Weiss might offer doctrines from the Writings in the best English style of the present day and produce the books in attractive form with good titles. "Simplified" gives a wrong impression. Eminently readable yes, but faithful to the original manuscripts.
     Mr. Basil Laser of Australia has published booklets at his own expense and sent many hundreds of copies to Ghana, where they were well received. He relied on translations available to him, but no doubt the booklets could have been even better had there been some careful work on the language.
     Mr. Schoenberger says that we need to feel the "wonder and glory of the New Revelation." I like that. The Heavenly Doctrines must not only feed the intellect but also stir our affections. Doctrine can be exciting, and as Mr. Schoenberger also remarks, we sometimes need help from gifted ministers and teachers, help to feel the wonder and glory, sensing for instance the Lord's love for all mankind and His earnest wish to draw all people to Him and give them the happiness of heaven. (See for example a sermon by Rt. Rev. Peter Buss, "The Woman at the Well," New Church Life, April 1991.) The way in which doctrine is taught does make a great difference, especially in sermons.
     Some people no doubt can read through every book of the Writings, even the Arcana. Yet I'm sure they will admit to its being tough going at times, especially with some translations. On translating, some useful points have been made by Mr. Schoenberger.
     Perhaps Messrs. Rose and Weiss will offer some samples of their work to date to New Church Life. If it is good, then no doubt it will get the seal of approval from readers.
     Norman Heldon,
          Penshurst, Australia



HEATED DEBATE       Patricia Street       1992

Dear Editor:
     I grow weary of the continuing heated debate in the pages of NCL as to whether or not the Writings are difficult to read, and whether or not it would be useful for a group of people to attempt publication of simplified versions.
     How about this? For some people the Writings are not difficult to read or understand; for others, they are. Some people are uncomfortable with and do not see a use in publishing simplified versions; some are comfortable with this idea and highly motivated to work upon it. This project, like others, will not appeal to or serve everyone.
     I would suggest that one reason there are so many societies in heaven is that the former of these two groups of people would not find happiness living and working closely in heaven with the latter group of people because of the different ways the two groups see truth and its application. We can see that even though the various societies of angels differ in their basic loves, nonetheless their members are all angels. Why do we have so much trouble allowing for these differences among ourselves on the earth? Why do we not take pleasure in performing the uses which our loves and talents call us to, while enjoying the infinite variety of uses, loves, and talents we are privileged to observe and benefit from in our neighbors-without indulging in strident arguments about whose perceptions are most accurate or which uses am most appropriate?
     If we are reasonably sure that the neighbor is working from a pure motive (and I don't foresee any riches or fame coming to Mr. Rose or Mr. Weiss from this project), can we not give him the benefit of the doubt as to his "calling" to the work he proposes? It is one thing to offer our response-which Mr. Rose and Mr. Weiss have requested-as to whether we personally see the value of a proposed project. It is quite another to attack with violence (e.g., using the phrase "mutilating the Writings") the very proposal itself.


And when we offer our opinion of the need or validity of the project, we must constantly remain aware that it is an opinion. And our opinion may simply mean that our eyes have not been opened in the same way as our neighbor's; we are not all called to the same work.
     Patricia Street,
          Ashland City, Tennessee

AFFIRMATION       Name Withheld       1992

Dear Editor:
     It was more than fifty years ago, back in the thirties, when our high school religion course was a study of Conjugial Love. Our class seemed to find it an interesting subject, something we could look forward to in the future. Our teachers were two fine elderly men (probably in their forties or fifties) and therefore we accepted their teachings, but with some reservations about two teachings that were pretty hard to take.
     Particularly in some of the Memorable Relations, such as CL 44 and 55, it was said that in a good conjugial marriage "potency continued into old age," and that in a good marriage the husband's love of the sex was diminished until he loved only "one of the sex," his wife. We listened but had our doubts. This writer is now well beyond that biblical old age "three score and ten," and it seems only right to assure the young bucks that the Writings are quite correct. Regardless of the difficulties during life, please take the word of one of the old fogies that my wife is the most attractive woman I know, and that our life together is fully blessed in ways I could never have believed as a young fellow. It won't necessarily be easy, but it's worth it.
     Name Withheld



EVOLUTION       James S. Brush       1992

Dear Editor:
     The letters of Linda Simonetti Odhner (LSO) and Dewey Odhner (DO) are a welcome reply to my paper on the theory of evolution. Though it is plain that they do not like certain aspects of my article, the alternative explanations they offer have conceptual problems.
     LSO asks if I would maintain that spatial relationships have no objective reality. It is certain that I agree with the Writings in giving them objective reality: " . . . all nature being a theater representative of the Lord's kingdom" (HH 106) flowing forth from the Lord's Divine Human (see HH 101), but existing and subsisting from the spiritual world (see HH 106). However, the interesting analysis presented in the philosophy of Bishop Berkeley seems to agree with the Writings in giving the natural world less reality than the spiritual.
     LSO seems to find my development of the teaching in TCR 78 that creation was previously continuous in both worlds an "artificially fabricated appearance of elapsed time." It is suggested that the artificiality that she finds may have been absorbed from the evolutionary and geological theorists who believe nature to be the first (and last) cause of all that exists, To a certain small degree we cannot fault them with concluding the universe to be of unimaginably great age, for there is much which superficially so appears. Yet the natural sciences grew out of philosophy-a relation they would seem to like to escape. We do not have to invoke the Writings-which are unrecognized in the sciences-to overturn from philosophy such appearances of great age. Plate, for instance, has already done it in first principles in his dialogs. After the natural sciences began, Kant and Hume defined in detail the basic superficiality and often confusion of much scientific reasoning.
     To paraphrase what the Writings succinctly demonstrate: nature is only an effect, all causes being above and within it in the spiritual world.


One can speculate that the layered order of the fossil record in geological strata might represent successively suppressed (buried) states of the formation of the Most Ancient Church and then its gradual decline into sensual evils of the corrupted proprium. That church's intimate interaction with both natural and spiritual worlds at once could conceivably produce such simultaneous creation effects in nature. It should be valuable to continue such a process of refining or replacing this proposal in the light of the Writings.
     Concerning my critical analysis of the concept of entropy, which is the concern of DO: The mathematical physicist of the last century, Rudolph Clausius, who first formulated the Second Law of Thermodynamics which includes the concept of entropy, concluded rather pontifically that "The energy of the universe is a constant; the entropy of the universe strives towards a maximum." He concluded this after studying the mechanics and energies of theoretical engines. What the definition of entropy is, however, is more difficult to ascertain. Standard thermodynamics texts define it approximately as the energy required to bring a system which has undergone an irreversible change back to its original state by a "fully reversible pathway." From this obviously poorly expressed and difficult to understand definition has come the very tenuous transformation by many that measurements of it are equivalent to the measurement of a system's "increase in disorder" and Clausius' statement transformed into the even more difficult and philosophically indefensible statement that "the universe strives to reach a maximum state of disorder." I mistakenly used the same transformation in my article, because it is so commonly presumed in written discussions. However, I found upon consulting a standard authoritative thermodynamics text by G. N. Lewis and M. Randall published in 1923 that they come near to the concept when considering probability aspects of entropy, but rather meticulously avoid the transformed form in order to apply it only where its successes are most evident: non-living systems involving primarily predictions of the behavior of gaseous and some liquid systems.


Indeed, to the knowledge of this author, there is no known way to make entropy measurements on anything as complex as living organisms or, for that matter, on dynamic galactic processes.
Each of these systems is so complex that it would be extremely difficult to be certain whether the values measured were due to entropy changes alone, It would be even more difficult to equate the latter to decreases in "complexity" or "order." The argument, then, of DO and of many others (including myself in the article) proffered with some passion that there are or are not "Second Law violations" in the fossil record is a question that cannot be resolved by scientific evaluation.
     Nevertheless, a most basic assumption and position for us (paraphrased from the Writings) is that the Divine truth from the Divine good (the Word or Logos of John 1:1-3) has created and continually sustains the universe from within (of which disorder cannot be predicated).
     James S. Brush,
          Scottsdale, Arizona

MINISTER'S FAVORITE PASSAGE       Rev. Kenneth J. Alden       1992

     Many of my favorite passages have already been mentioned in New Church Life. When I happened upon Arcana Coelestia 2493 recently, I realized that this was one of my long-time favorites. I find that this passage radiates peace of mind, for it shows that with wisdom comes the ability to allow the Lord to carry any burden we may have in life. How often evil spirits stir our memory of mistakes and misdeeds, and burden us with guilt. How often they raise anxieties about our future life. This passage puts our past and our future into perspective, so that we can strive to live in the present with no cares or worries.


I like to think of this passage as giving us freedom by limiting our responsibility to what we do in the present, and another favorite passage, HH 302, as giving freedom to choose the influx we receive in the present. Together these passages show the way to remove a lot of negative selfhood and to become responsible, responsive vessels of life from the Lord. May we all attain to the trust in the Lord and the innocence described in this passage:

     I have spoken to angels about the memory of things of the past and about consequent anxiety concerning things of the future, and I have been informed that the more interior and perfect angels are, the less do they cam about things of the past or think about those of the future, and that this is also the origin of their happiness. They have said that the Lord provides them every moment with what to think, accompanied by blessing and happiness, and that this being so, they have no cares and no worries. This also is what is meant in the internal sense by the manna being received "day by day" from heaven, and by the "daily [provision] of bread" in the Lord's Prayer, as well as by the statement that they must not worry about what they are to eat and drink, or what clothes they are to put on. But although angels have no care about things of the past and are not worried about those of the future, they nevertheless have a most perfect recollection of things of the past and a most perfect insight into those of the future, because their entire present includes both the past and the future within it. Thus they possess a more perfect memory than can possibly be imagined or put into words.
     Rev. Kenneth J. Alden

MINISTERIAL ANNOUNCEMENT       Editor       1992

     The Rev. Eric H. Carswell has been called to serve as pastor of the Glenview Society, effective July 1, 1992.



PHOENIX SOCIETY       Editor       1992


     The Phoenix Circle of the General Church of the New Jerusalem has been recognized as the Phoenix Society of the General Church of the New Jerusalem, effective November 23, 1991.


Songs From the Word 1992

Songs From the Word       Editor       1992

from the
A collection of songs by
Lori and John Odhner
     Here are all the songs from Loris four tapes, printed in sheet music with words. They are indexed by Scriptural reference and by title or first line of each song. You are given the page number in the notebook, the tape number and side, and even the placement on that side. Copies of this book compiled by John and Lori Odhner, are available through the General Church Book Center.
     General Church Book Center          Hours: Mon-Fri 9-12
Box 743, Cairncrest               or by appointment
Bryn Athyn, PA 19009          Phone: (215) 947-3920


Notes on This Issue 1992

Notes on This Issue       Editor       1992

Vol. CXII     February, 1992     No. 2
New Church Life


     Notes on This Issue

     "This evening we begin . . . " (see opposite page). That evening in June in Kenosha, Wisconsin, we did indeed begin something inspiring and delightful.
     There were hundreds of us in that audience when Prescott Rogers got the assembly off to a start. He asked us to raise our hands according to age groups, and he illustrated some points by this exercise. He challenged us: "The question every organization needs to ask itself is whether or not it wishes to abandon or in some way alter its original goals as it changes." "The General Church needs to examine its past and to decide what it wants to keep and make a part of the present." "How many of you were born after 1944? Please show your hands and keep them up." "What this address does declare is that any change should be considered as to whether it better embodies what the Heavenly Doctrines teach and indicate than what was done before." He spoke of the college students who come to the Academy and take "Rookie Religion." "These students are new to the formal study of doctrine, and for the most part have had little contact with the Heavenly Doctrines themselves. Most of them were not strongly recruited, and yet they came to the college. . . "
     "Please, if you are from a country other than the United States and Canada, stand up. Let us see you. There are people here from Korea, from Sweden, from Japan, from Ghana, from Brazil, from South Africa, from Australia, and from England . . . The Heavenly Doctrines are truly universal, speaking to all people in all cultures."
     It is interesting to consider that some who were at the assembly will read these lines in a summer season while others read it in mid-winter. We are in different seasons, but we share something precious, and we share the challenges articulated at the assembly.





     This evening we begin a series of events whose purpose is to help unite us into a recognizable and thriving organization. We do this at a very important time in the history of the General Church and of the New Church as a whole, for we are about to enter into a new era under the leadership of a new executive bishop. It is useful and almost necessary at a time such as this to focus our attention not only on the event itself, but also on the meaning and the essence of the event. This can be and should be a time of rededication when we as individuals choose again to form a community based on a vision and a mission to which we all can subscribe. This is a time to be aware of the covenants we have formed with each other and with the Lord in order that the General Church may provide its members with what they need for a healthy and happy spiritual life, moral life and, to a lesser extent, civil life.
     A covenant simply means a contract between two or more people with explicit or implicit stipulations or conditions by which the contract may be honored by all concerned, and so upheld. And since earliest times, presumably after the human race fell away from a close working relationship with the Lord Himself, covenants have been used to form societies, large and small, and to regulate the relationships among the members of the societies and between societies. The Lord has also used covenants to form His relationships with the human race as a whole, with social units within the human race, and with individuals.
     The Heavenly Doctrines do not say much about covenants and their role, but the covenant between the Lord and His special church has been the theme of all revelation. The very purpose of revelation is to establish a covenant between the Lord and His church on earth.


In fact, there is not a passage in the Old Testament, in the New Testament or in the Heavenly Doctrines which does not relate to the covenant with the Lord. The ancient Israelites realized this and preferred to call their revelation the Book of the Covenant, and this book includes only those historical and prophetical passages which in some way deal with the covenantal relationship between Israel's God (Yehowah-YHWH) and Israel. The early Christians called their revelation the New Covenant, and later called it the New Testament, for it was a testimony to the new covenant established between their God (Jesus Christ) and Christianity. And we in the New Church are privileged to have the Heavenly Doctrines which constitute and institute the latest, the last, and the best covenant with our God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Every passage in the many volumes of the Heavenly Doctrines in some way deals with the covenantal relationship we as individuals may have with our Lord and we as a church organization may have with Him.
     For a while let us examine the establishment of the covenant with Israel as it is described in the book of Exodus, for this is the greatest event recorded in the Old Testament and it serves as a model for every covenant established since. Picture the moment in your minds when all the Israelites were ritually prepared and gathered around Mount Sinai. There they witnessed a dark cloud in the middle of a dry wilderness, and they saw lightning, they heard thunder, and they felt the ground move. And they heard God speaking!
     The Lord knew the sensual nature of the Israelites. The only way they would accept the sanctity and the seriousness of the covenant was if they witnessed such a miracle. By it they had the fear of God and they saw the necessity of obeying the conditions of the covenant. Sensual people will believe only what they perceive through their senses, and sensual people tend to be easily led, especially when they are amazed by the unusual. The Lord took the Israelites, who at that time were only a group of ex-slaves, and formed them into a nation and into a religion.


The nation was formed on laws that governed Israel's society, and these laws presented to the Israelites their social obligations. The religion was formed on laws that governed Israel's cult, and these laws presented to the Israelites their ritual obligations. In return for their obedience to the social and the cultic laws, the Lord promised the Israelites a life of security and prosperity. Each party, the Lord and Israel, would receive what He or it wanted in exchange for what He or it promised. And each party entered the agreement voluntarily. For their part, the Israelites declared three times that they would hear and obey, and three times in the ancient world meant absolutely. They gave their consent willingly and emphatically.
     The role Moses played in the establishment of the covenant is interesting, for he was the medium or the go-between that made the covenant possible. When he went up Mount Sinai, he spoke to God on behalf of the people, and when he came down the mountain, he spoke to the people on behalf of God. (It is in this latter role that Moses was a prophet, meaning "spokesman," and indeed the greatest prophet Israel ever knew.)
     In spite of Moses's greatness and in spite of the emphatic consent, the Israelites soon and often murmured against Moses and God. And so from Israel's beginning as a nation and as a religion, its covenant with the Lord was threatened because of a lack of dedication on the people's part. And this was in spite of the nature of the covenant established on Mount Sinai, for the covenant was clearly universal and eternal, including all Israelites for all time. This did not surprise the Lord, for He knew the sensual nature of the Israelites, and He knew how to deal with sensual people. He worked miracles to regain or keep their attention. He allowed rewards for their obedience in the form of military victory and financial success, and He appeared to punish their disobedience by means of military defeat and financial ruin. But He also knew that a single event, clearly recorded and imprinted on the social awareness of the whole nation, would not be enough.


The Lord knew the value of covenant renewals, and used them at annual feasts and at major episodes in the history of Israel. The purpose and the value of these renewals were to revitalize the older generation in the attempt to encourage them to rededicate themselves, and to introduce the younger generation and new members to the covenantal relationship with Israel's God.
     According to the will of YHWH the Israelites were to practice regular covenant renewals in connection with the annual feasts. So every year the Israelites were to be reminded of their obligations to their God as spelled out in the covenantal law code. This was (and is) a major element in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. But more special and important were the occasional covenant renewals which occurred when Israel needed a special effort to stay loyal to the Lord, and these usually occurred when Israel had a change in leadership.
     The first and greatest of these special renewals took place when Joshua was about to die and the Israelites were about to go and take possession of the land they had just conquered the land flowing with milk and honey which the Lord had promised them as part of the covenant (see Joshua 24). (This renewal speech was read as a lesson in our worship service. It continues to be a powerful and a beautiful reminder of the responsibility that humans have to their God and of the gracious care He exhibits toward all His children.)
     Joshua had been the military commander under Moses and then he had served as the leader of Israel, and so he was a part of the founding generation of Israel. He was one of only two people from that generation who were allowed to enter the promised land-along with Caleb-for only they had not doubted the Lord's power to save. And even though he led a new generation into Canaan, Joshua was a living reminder of the covenantal relationship with the Lord. When he died, the founding generation would be gone. And so the people needed a forceful and eloquent reminder of their obligations to the Lord and to each other-of their cultic and their social obligations.


     The Old Testament does not reveal how often the special covenant renewals occurred, and they may have decreased in number because of the decreasing willingness on the part of the Israelites to turn to the Lord and to obey His commandments. This becomes strongly evident in the time of the reforming king, Josiah, who ruled Judah at the end of the seventh century B.C., just before the Babylonian exile. Josiah came to the throne with the intent of repairing the temple and reforming the cult. While the temple was being repaired, the Mosaic law codes were presumably found hidden behind the walls, and the surprised response by the high priest and the king indicate that they had not been aware of these laws (see II Kings 22). Think of it! The two most important people in Israel did not even know the conditions of the covenant.
     Josiah built the rest of his reforms on these laws, and so he tried to forcibly bring the Israelites back into the covenant by making them obey the social and cultic laws of the covenant. He started this stage of his reforms by reading the found manuscript before the people. And this constituted a covenant renewal when Judah was about to follow the northern kingdom of Israel into justifiable punishment.
     Although Josiah's reforms lasted only as long as he did, they became the foundation of the Jews' rededication in Babylon when they found themselves without a homeland and without their temple. The covenant renewal enabled the Jews to survive as a people and as a religion. This was also the case with the covenant renewals under Ezra and Nehemiah in the fifth century B.C., and under the Maccabees in the second century B.C. At both times the worship of YHWH almost ceased because of a loss of dedication, due to disillusionment in the first case and due to external influence and threat in the second. The human race was not yet ready to receive its Lord, for evil had not yet been exposed completely in the deteriorating human states.


And so the Lord needed to ensure the survival of the last stages of the Israelitish Church as vital to His preparation for His birth and His mission to save mankind.
     When the Jewish Church had completely rejected the God of the Old Testament, and had placed greater authority in the interpretations of their leaders than in the plain teachings of their revelation, the covenant between Israel and YHWH could no longer be renewed. There was insufficient life in it to allow for a revitalization. Instead the Lord executed a covenant exchange. He exposed the failure of the Jews to uphold their obligations and declared the covenant null and void. He then established a new covenantal relationship with His new followers who served as the start of the Christian Church.
     The Heavenly Doctrines show that this new covenant was eventually destroyed by the Christians, who also chose to place their authority in human understanding instead of in the teachings of the Word. Our Lord then executed another covenant exchange when He established His new special church, the New Church, to which He now enjoys a close and personal relationship based on the covenant established by the Heavenly Doctrines. Although this is not explicitly stated in the Heavenly Doctrines, listen to what they do teach us about covenants: Covenants are made for the sake of love, friendship, consociation, and thus of conjunction (see Life 60). Every covenant is for the sake of conjunction, that people might live in friendship or love (see AC 1038). Covenants are formed when there is consent on both sides (see AC 8778). Just as consent is the essence of marriage, which is itself a holy covenant between a couple and the Lord, consent is the essence of every relationship. And in all covenants involving the Lord there must be that consent, and they must be established in this order: the Lord proposes the covenantal relationship and people respond.
     This is true in all the sacraments and rites of the New Church, for their purpose is to establish a covenant with the Lord by which the participants enter into that covenantal relationship and so into a new state of life.


The first part of the ceremony belongs to the Lord when He speaks to the participants from His Word through His priesthood. This is the Lord proposing the covenant. The second part of the ceremony belongs to the participants when they give their consent to enter into the covenantal relationship by agreeing to certain applicable questions. The third part belongs to the Lord and the participants together, when the covenant itself is established. And consider the role of the priest in the sacraments and the rites. Like Moses, he acts as a go-between, striving to bring the two parties together by speaking to the participants on behalf of the Lord and to the Lord in prayer on behalf of the participants.
     AC 6807 speaks of covenants as the means by which nations are bound together, and in this discussion it makes the point that stipulations exist for both sides by which the conjunction is maintained. AC 6804 tells us that the Lord places stipulations on Himself in all His covenants, and these stipulations are mercy and choice. He will always be merciful toward humans, and He will always desire that each person enter into a covenant with Him. On a person's side, the same passage tells us, the Ten Commandments are the stipulations or the conditions of his covenant with the Lord. In a broader sense, all the commandments given on Mount Sinai are those stipulations. And in a still broader sense, all the commandments in the books of Moses are those stipulations. (Please note for a moment that this passage is speaking to us in the present tense. The commandments were given over three thousand years ago, but they still apply for those who want to have a covenantal relationship with the Lord.) In the broadest sense, the whole Word presents to us the stipulations for our personal and ecclesiastical covenant with our Lord. As CL 128 states: "As the Word is the medium of conjunction, it is called the Covenant, Old and New." The Word is called a Covenant, and in one place "the Covenant of Peace" (see AC 1038). In this passage covenants with God are said to be established through love and faith by means of the Word.


     The Word is the vehicle by which the Lord establishes covenants with His people, and it is the internal senses that present the Lord to the human race, while largely He is represented in the natural sense of the Old and New Testaments. Although the covenant between YHWH and Israel did exist, it was merely a natural covenant having to do with the moral and cultic behavior of the Israelites and effecting only God's presence with Israel at best. For the Lord was not conjoined with the Israelites, because they were merely natural. In reality, only internal things form a covenant, while external things are signs of a covenant (such as circumcision and observing the Sabbath). These external signs effect a covenant with God only when internal things are attached to them (see AC 1038:7), and the Israelites never made that attachment. The early Christians began to make that attachment, but the attachment they made was severed when the Christian Church fell in the fourth century A.D. Early Christians were interior people, but the later Christians became increasingly sensuous or most external. Only with the New Church can the Lord enjoy a close covenantal relationship because of what the Heavenly Doctrines offer to it, namely the internal senses of the Word by which the Lord can be present and conjoined with people.
     Internal things belong to faith and charity. And so when a person or a group of people has genuine faith and genuine charity, he or it has a covenant with the Lord. Genuine faith is formed by the reception and application of genuine truth, and genuine charity is formed by the reception and application of genuine good-and each genuine good is contained within its own genuine truth. Since the Heavenly Doctrines are the presentation of genuine truth by which the internal senses are revealed in the natural sense, at no time in the history of the human race, at least since its fall, have humans had a better opportunity of entering into a full covenant with the Lord.


And in this covenant proposed by our Lord Jesus Christ for the members of the New Church, the Lord proposes stipulations deeper or more interior than commandments. Instead He proposes that we receive His truths of faith which belong to love, for these are what truly conjoin (see AC 1038:5). AC 665 states, " . . . no covenant can come between God and man except conjunction through love and faith." It continues to say that as a consequence of this, true covenants are only with the regenerate, and they are formed as a person regenerates. Only a person who has regenerated on earth or who has well proceeded along the path of regeneration is a true member of the New Church.
     This covenant can be effected most powerfully and with the greatest assurance by the Holy Supper. The Holy Supper is called a covenant and is itself a sign of a covenant (see TCR 730). It involves the Lord and the participants, with the priest acting as a medium between them, It entails consent on the part of all those involved. It contains stipulations, And if a person takes it worthily, the covenant is "signed and sealed."
     Up to this point I have been discussing the covenant between YHWH and Israel and the covenant between the Lord and the New Church. And we here are members of the New Church, or hope to become members through personal regeneration. But we are also members of or affiliates of the General Church of the New Jerusalem, a human organization dedicated to the fulfillment of its mission to help the Lord bring the New Church to the world. Can this or any other church organization have a covenant with the Lord, or is a covenant only a spiritual phenomenon? It is essentially spiritual, but to the extent that the spiritual is embodied in the natural, the natural has spiritual life. And so, any human organization that is dedicated to the Lord's truth for the sake of goodness can-and does-have a covenant with the Lord. It is also important to point out that any organization exists as a result of a covenant among its members by which they consent to be members and express a willingness to abide by certain stipulations.


And extremely significant to the organization are its vision and its mission-what it sees to be its purpose and goals, and how it plans to fulfill its purpose and accomplish its goals.
     With every covenant there needs to be renewal, whether the covenant is between individuals (as in marriage or in friendship), among a few people (as in a family or small group), or among many people (as in a church organization). As an organization we need to consider how well we have upheld the covenant that has bound the General Church together-a covenant with stipulations that address the relationship of the General Church to the Lord and the relationship among its members. Every organization changes during its history as circumstances and conditions change and as it develops new directions and goals. The question every organization needs to ask itself is whether or not it wishes to abandon or in some way alter its original goals as it changes.
     In non-literate societies the repetition of essential acts (such as rituals) and stories (such as myths) is essential for its continuation. Industrial societies usually think that they do not need such repetitions, or at least they don't practice them. And stability and security are often sacrificed in the process as people identify with groups less and less. The General Church needs to examine its past and to decide what it wants to keep and make a part of the present. It needs to practice covenant renewal on a regular basis and at special times. This could be done annually, as it is done, for example, when a school has its opening exercises. And this should be the most significant purpose of the general assembly, especially when a new executive bishop is being installed. Programs should exist which describe, explain and evaluate the activities, programs and policies which the General Church holds dear.
     Are we all aware that the General Church began with the declaration that the Writings, or the Heavenly Doctrines, are the Word of the Lord, and with reliance on the authority of the plain teachings of that Divine revelation?


Do we remember that the General Church has three pillars which rest on this foundation? These pillars are areas of life in which effort is made to apply the teachings of the Heavenly Doctrines. The three pillars of the General Church and its societies are distinctive worship, distinctive education, and distinctive social life. Are we today aware of what is distinctiveness, and what distinctive worship, education and social life are? Distinctiveness means the successful attempt to act from the Heavenly Doctrines, and specifically in our ritual, our education and our social life.
     But distinctiveness cannot be assumed. It must be continuously fostered. If not, people will forget the distinctiveness and not see it in the church's activities. To combat this, every person, every generation ought to be incorporated into the vision and the mission of the General Church. That vision and that mission ought to be presented to established members, to new members, and to prospective members in specific and clear terms. In this way the established members are revitalized and the new members are incorporated.
     This is not the time to go into a detailed examination of how the General Church fosters distinctive worship, distinctive education and distinctive social life, but some illustrations are beneficial. With regard to worship in the General Church, how well do we know why the ritual is in its form? Why do we do what we do? What is the purpose of a worship service, of a rite, of a sacrament? Some activities are well understood, such as why the minister opens the Word at the beginning of a service and closes it at the end. Some activities are pretty well understood, such as why couples approach the chancel together during a wedding ceremony. Some activities are not well understood, such as why a minister faces the congregation when he does and the Word when he does. And the fact is that when a person understands why an activity takes place, he appreciates the activity more. When a couple approaches their wedding knowing why the wedding ceremony has its form and activities, their knowledge brings a heightened awareness of the purpose and the value of that wedding, and so a heightened joy.


For another example, consider this: if a parishioner understands how a minister forms his sermon, he gets more out of it.
     The loss of appreciation for the distinctiveness of our worship services is especially acute among our young people. In all my classes in the Academy of the New Church College, and in all my preparatory classes for weddings or baptisms, never-never-has a person known why our services are conducted as they are. It's no wonder there is a decreasing appreciation for worship among our young people. It is not simply a matter of television-induced desire for simple and entertaining messages, or a matter of competition from the evangelical type of services. Our young people don't know the meaning of our ritual, so they can't understand it, and so they can't appreciate it.
     I believe that this is also a major cause of the decline in confirmations. How well do our young adults realize the importance of confirmation? Have parents told them? Have the ministers? Have the secondary schools and the college?
     How many of you were born after 1944? Please show your hands and keep them up. Of those of you who have raised your hands, how many of you have been confirmed? If you have, some time I would like to know why you were confirmed. If not, I would like to know why not. Have you discussed your decision with others?
     How many of you are over seventy? How many of you have been confirmed? It seems to me that 100% have been. How many of you are in your sixties? How many of you have been confirmed? Again I see about 100%. How many of you are in your fifties? How many of you have been confirmed? Almost 100%. How many of you are in your forties? How many of you have been confirmed? Raise your hand if you are in your thirties. How many of you have been confirmed? How about the twenties? And how many of you have been confirmed?


(If you're under twenty, you are spared from this activity.) There is a noticeable drop in the percentage of people who have been confirmed, with a dramatic drop with those who were born after World War II and who went through the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
     The same observation can be made, I believe, about home dedications. Do we know why the General Church has home dedications? Are they advocated and explained? Why is a home dedication ceremony being included in the new Liturgy? How many of you were born before 1945? How many of you have had at least one of your homes dedicated? How many of you have been born after 19441 (The reason I chose these figures is so I could be in the younger half.) How many of you have had at least one home dedicated? The drop in percentages is considerable. Why? Have we discussed this and all the other like subjects, such as family worship and church attendance?
     I won't ask for a show of hands in this, for the area of greatest concern for me and many others is with the Holy Supper. What percentage of our adults up through their mid-forties participate in the Holy Supper and with what regularity? For that matter, how many people celebrate the most holy act of worship at least once a year? I argue that a major reason for the decline in attendance at the Holy Supper is the decreasing awareness of the importance of the Holy Supper, and of the lack of awareness of how the sacrament's ritual fulfills its purpose.
     Now this sampling is inaccurate, for you are not a true sample of the General Church. The fact that you have been willing to spend time and money to be here is a testimony to your zealous involvement in the church. We need to gather information from those who aren't here as well. But for now, imagine the percentage of people who have been confirmed or had their homes dedicated, or the like, since the 1960s-the age of disillusionment and of alienation from the past and from authority. But the real question to me is: What are we doing about these matters?


     And this leads me into the next topic-change. This address does not declare that any change in services is bad. Many changes have occurred which are beneficial, for they have addressed the express needs of individuals and of groups. I am thinking, of course, of the church camps and other fairly recent developments. What this address does declare is that any change should be considered as to whether it better embodies what the Heavenly Doctrines teach and indicate than what was done before. And it does declare that whatever form our worship takes, it ought to embody spiritual principles, and it ought to do this in a way that is recognizable. Then it ought to be taught to the people so that everyone can appreciate the principles and the forms. This requires ongoing instruction-or what I call covenant renewal.
     In most, if not all, of the societies of the General Church which have schools, there are problems that are intimately connected with the vision and the mission of New Church education. This is the case because for the most part we priests and we educators have assumed that the members of the General Church have been and will be dedicated to New Church education. This in turn assumes that all parents of school-age children are aware of the purpose, the goals, the methods, and the value of New Church education. This cannot be assumed. Most parents are dedicated to New Church education, but young parents have lacked the needed instruction by which they, as members of a new generation, could be incorporated fully into New Church education. And in turn, they have too often failed to inquire into these matters. And so the vision and the mission have not been shared with them in such a way that they can get excited about distinctive education and its value in comparison with what bigger and better equipped schools can offer.
     And we need to take the message to them-to all of them: those who send their children to New Church schools and those who don't.


We can't afford to wait for them to come to the message. We can't stand with our hands by our side waiting for the Lord to do all the work for us. And even when waiting seems to work, there is more than waiting that happens. This can be attested by the students I teach in Religion 101 and 102, fondly known as "Rookie Religion." These students are new to the formal study of doctrine, and for the most part have had little contact with the Heavenly Doctrines themselves. Most of them were not strongly recruited, and yet they came to the college to learn about the New Church. By the end of the second term almost every one of them not only has learned some doctrine, but has gained an appreciation for New Church education. This appreciation arises because the students are taught what the purpose of the Academy College is and how they might participate in that purpose. They are consciously appealed to in the hope for their incorporation.
     It is harder to illustrate distinctive New Church social life, for it is harder to define it, and it is the one pillar of the General Church which has received the least attention over the past decades. That in itself is telling. When is the last time we discussed distinctive New Church social life? Have we as individuals and as a group made an examination of the Heavenly Doctrines to try to determine what forms that social life should take? Have we shared what we think? Without making edicts, what should the church do about the increasing amount of violence and immoral sexual activity on television, in the movies, and in some forms of modern music? We at least ought to be talking about it so that individuals can make considered opinions in light of the Heavenly Doctrines. And this should be done so that everyone has a chance to be part of the discussion.
     Communication is the process of forming a community, and the subject matter, the ideas and the tone of the conversation all affect the life and the form of the community. The founding generation of the General Church chose to make distinctive worship, distinctive education and distinctive social life three of the most important topics.


To them the issue was how the doctrines applied to their relationship to the Lord (worship), to the incorporation of future members (education), and to the relationship among themselves (social life). Since then we have developed these and have gone in new directions. Notably we have added evangelization and translation as major uses, and in doing this we have modified the topics as the founders envisioned them. Evangelization, like education, is a way in which future members are attracted and incorporated. Translation affects our worship, but it also affects our understanding of doctrine and our vision as to how it ought to be applied in worship, in education, and in social life. But what do we as members of the General Church talk about today? What topics hold us together as a unit?
     Those who are enslaved to the past never grow, and those who ignore the past grow without roots. There is value in being aware of the General Church's past and in the reexamination of its purpose, goals, and activities with a view of maintaining that which has value, of developing those items which could be improved, and even of rejecting what no longer applies to present conditions and needs. We have unifying programs that go back to the beginning of the General Church, and they still have purpose and value. What may be lacking is an awareness of their purpose and their value. And this awareness comes only from rededication after reexamination-from covenant renewal.
     The purpose of the past is to teach the present and to bring pleasant memories. There is no other purpose to the past. And at no time are we to live in the past-only in the present. It is unhealthy for individuals or groups to live in the past. As individuals and as an organization we are to learn from the past, to live in the present, and to prepare for the future. The Lord has promised that the New Church will fill the earth. We are on the threshold of this right now. What can we do to help the Lord make it happen?
     Please, if you are from a country other than the United States and Canada, stand up.


Let us see you. There are people here from Korea, from Sweden, from Japan, from Ghana, from Brazil, from South Africa, from Australia, and from England. We are indeed small, but we are already filling the earth. Why? Because the rational presentation of truth given to us by the Lord is bound to no culture, to no nation, as every other revelation in every other religion has been. The Heavenly Doctrines are truly universal, speaking to all people in all cultures. (It was Professor Barrett of Temple University who pointed this out to me. He was and is an expert in systematic theology and he believes that Swedenborg offers the world the most complete theology in the history of the human race, and he feels that it is for all cultures. I invite you to ask me about my conversation with him.)
     If the General Church is to grow as an organization, its vision and its mission must be clearly understood and they must be shared with all who wish to be a vital part of the church. This process involves building on the past, incorporating all cultures, and allowing them their own expression of the truth and goodness they receive from the Lord-their own distinctive worship, their own distinctive education, and their own distinctive social life. And still the church will be one, even though the forms will differ, because the distinctiveness comes from the same source-the Heavenly Doctrines.
     This address is given with the appeal that we consciously think about covenant renewal throughout the assembly and at various times in each year as we return to our societies, to our circles, to our groups, and to our own New Church homes. It is given in the confidence that our Lord yearns to bless our efforts, and will do so when we cooperate with Him to make our individual and collective lives truly and distinctively New Church. We in the General Church have the greatest opportunity of all time to have the closest covenantal relationship with our Lord because we have the greatest means-the Heavenly Doctrines. All we need is the motive.


May this assembly and all other forms of covenant renewal help to motivate us, so that we may better serve the Lord to establish His heavenly kingdom on earth. May we all be able to say: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).


     Requests for application forms for admission of new students to the Academy Secondary Schools should be made by April 1, 1992. Letters should be addressed to Mrs. Gloria Wetzel, Ed.D., Principal of the Girls School, or Mr. T. Dudley Davis, Principal of the Boys School, The Academy of the New Church, Box 707, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Letters should include the student's name, parents' address, the class the student will be entering, the name and address of the school he or she is now attending, and whether the student will be a day or a dormitory student.
     Completed application forms should be forwarded to the Academy by June 30, 1992.
     Admission procedure is based on receipt of the following:

     1)     Application
     2)      Transcript
     3)      Pastor's recommendation
     4)      Health forms

     The Academy will not discriminate against applicants and students on the basis of race, color, gender or national or ethnic origin.




     First, let us not forget our connection! Even though Betsy and I hail from Tucson, the Tucson Society is very much a part of the Phoenix Society, and vice versa. For years, before they got their own resident pastor, some members of the Phoenix Circle attended Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter services in Tucson. Rev. Frank Rose (and his predecessors) for years gave services in Tucson and straightway drove up to Phoenix to be their pastor as well. Too, Frank is the Bishop's Representative in the west. And finally, any growth of a sister church is good news for us. We're all family here in Arizona, as fond of our Phoenician family as we are of our Tucson friends.
     It was a truly wonderful weekend being among the sixty-eight people attending the dedication service Saturday morning, November 23rd. What a miracle of growth! Betsy and I remember coming down from Flagstaff to worship in the early seventies with a dozen people. We would stay with Hubert and Natalie Rydstrom and meet Jim and Hedy Barry over at the Camelback Women's Club for church services. I remember recorded prelude music which seemed lonesome and quavery. We never forgot the warmth and hospitality of the Rydstroms and the Barrys.
     This year there were wonderful samenesses and wonderful differences! The Phoenix Society has a wonderful resident pastor, Rev. Fred Chapin, with wife Aven and two children. The Barrys and Rydstroms are still the heart of the Phoenix Society, having had everything to do with the dedication. And if they symbolize the glorious heart of the society, the Ed Allen family symbolizes the powerful lungs. Ed and Bev Allen were everywhere, hosting the fabulous luncheon following the dedication, speaking at and sharing duties of the banquet that evening.


(Kaethe Niall organized the delicious food for both the banquet and the luncheon.)
     The Allens were reinforced by daughter Kaethe and husband Mike Niall (or vice versa!) in all the events, and the sumptuous Sunday breakfast was graciously hosted by Joel and Lee (Asplundh) Allen with help from Bob and Marilyn Asplundh. Carol (as treasurer) and Lawson Cronlund represented the backbone of the society, along with James and Grethe Brush, Victor and Terry Odhner, Blake and Jane Synnestvedt, Kevin and Lois Taylor, Ersa and Lewis Francis, Greg Glebe, Doris Barnett, Joyce Loding, Barbara Cheathem, and Zak Tootla among others. Blake and Jane not only hosted the open house Friday evening before the dedication, but Blake was the master of ceremonies at the banquet. All in all, it was a master group effort.
     Crystallized words of wisdom remembered include Ed Allen's banquet speech on the history and milestones in the growth of the Phoenix Church, Rev. Fred Chapin's and Bishop Buss's banquet speeches, Rev. Harold Cranch's children's talk on the 23rd Psalm, Bishop Buss's Sunday sermon, all capped off with the Holy Communion service.
     Rev. Fred Chapin spoke on the power of the external church stemming from the selfless example of the Lord's washing the disciples' feet. There are four purposes in a church building:

     W-worship, honor, and glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ above self.
     A-assimilation of self into society for the group's benefit, to learn and practice mutual love.
     S-a sanctuary and escape from natural cares and anxieties of the world and self, so that we may return to duties from a spiritual perspective.
     H-a heaven on earth. In doing for others we experience heavenly delights.


     Bishop Peter Buss spoke on the power of the internal church: innocence and peace-

Innocence is not naivete, as the world thinks it.
Innocence is knowing what is right and wrong and choosing what is right.
Innocence is choosing what the Lord wants.
Innocence is feeling we can be better than what we are.
Innocence is acknowledging we need the Lord in order to become better.
Innocence is acknowledging that the essence of everything good is from the Lord.
Innocence is the belief that there is something good, something better the Lord will give us.
Peace is the ability to enjoy all the blessings the Lord Jesus has given us.
All joys of life from God bring peace from God.

     What a delightful promise and inspiration: innocence is not something lost to be wistful or nostalgic about; it is something to look forward to and regain! The banquet ended as Bishop Buss recognized for the first time the Phoenix Society, lifted from the status of Circle!
     Bishop Buss's Sunday sermon was also "vintage inspiration." In his "Dreams That Die, Dreams That Don't" address, he urged us to recapture our dreams as well as our innocence.

     We start out so often with ideals and end up with pragmatism.
     We begin a marriage with love and spiritual values and end up as strangers.

     So let us not sit in the rubble of our broken dreams criticizing others! Let us not daydream about "the good old days"; let us see the future with shining eyes of hope.


     Do we want to be part of the world that ends, as T. S. Eliot said, "not with a bang, but a whimper"? No, that is why dreams die. A shadow falls between the essence and the act; we fail to remove the barriers to the dream.
     We must transfer dreams from heaven to earth. To do this, we must remove the barriers. We go to a tennis coach to correct our playing errors. We go to a golf coach to correct our golf errors. Why do we not do the same with our evils and sins? Repentance is the beginning of all our dreams. We go to the Lord and we ask His help in removing our evils. (What better coach could we have? And He has assistant coaches, to-our ministers.)
     Good deeds are good only after we remove the evils. For example, if as managers or performers, or professionals or as salespeople, we remove the evil of greed, we can then serve others by selling. Dreams, after all, are hopes for our own character development, not the winning lottery ticket. Our dreams are to become a better person, with better human relationships. Nothing can stop us but us.
     We must not say, "I had a dream but I ruined it. I blew it. It's all over." The prophet Joel promised, "Yet repent and ye shall dream dreams and see visions." And we will see the Lord's truth. And we will see His will be done.     
     The Bishop's banquet talk on innocence and his sermon on dreams perfectly led us up to the preparation for and partaking of Holy Supper in the communion service. That ended a wonderful weekend, but the dream lives on.
     For a perfect ending to this report, we must conclude with Bishop Buss's address on happy memories given at the dedication. The wonderful thing about memories is that we store them up and can draw on them again and again years later. God made us that way, so memories and remembering can make us good, can make us happy. God wants us to be happy. And a church has many happy memories for us: the tender services of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, the milestone occasions of marriages, baptisms, and dedications!-seeing friends and visitors.


     All of the out-of-town visitors this weekend: Betsy and I were among many from Tucson. How wonderful to think of all the connections and happy memories they brought us! To mention only a few, Rev. Cedric King was here, merrily playing piano for the dedication. It was touching to see Lachlan Pitcairn here with his cello music; he faithfully took pictures of all the events as well, and had the pictures developed and back in an hour! Bob and Marilyn Asplundh, loyal backers of both churches in Arizona, were here. A dedication wouldn't be the same without them. Bishop Buss and his wife Lisa were here, filling the room with their warmth and presence.
     A favorite uncle, Rev. Harold Cranch, and his wife Jeannie were here. I remember 44 years ago listening to his children's talk at Sharon Church in Chicago. He was the closest thing to the Lord I could imagine back then, so kind and wise and gentle, and emanating holiness in a way I had never experienced before. Watching him and singing "Heavenly Father" etched that vision in my heart forever. Uncle Harold started everything for the Lord's New Church in the west back in the '40s and '50s. No dedication in Arizona or any other state west of the Mississippi is complete without him. He's the New Church Father King of Arizona. When I was in the Air Force, I would hitchhike a thousand miles a weekend to worship in his church in Glendale, California.
     Boyd and Myra Asplundh were here; they have been to many dedications, and have done so much for others, including members of my original family. Frank and Louise Rose were here. Mike and Lynn Brown were here. James and Grethe Brush I remembered from 1962 days in Oklahoma City when Rev. Bob Junge visited us from Colorado. On top of all that, Betsy and I were able to get away and enjoy the weekend with Mrs. Harryet Barnitz, Betsy's mother (from Cairnwood Village), by whom we have been totally blessed.


     So many happy and loving memories, so many happy, loving people. I see now what Mr. Chapin meant when he said we could experience heaven on earth in a church.


     This question was asked by a small child many years ago. The answer to this question concerns us all, particularly when we stand in the doorway of a new year.
     The Lord has given us the inmost of all loves in the love of liberty and freedom. What He "does all day" is to protect this most precious of all gifts. Whether this gift expresses itself in the rise of nationalism, or in the will to better the condition for one's family and those dependent on one's efforts, we are all subject to the Lord's daily working to establish optimum liberty for all. The Lord knows that we all need the freedom to stop sinning, to leave the prison of our passions, and to balance the accounts of the past. The Lord knows that we need challenges in order to reach toward our future potential.
     If you were to list all the things, accomplishments, requirements you feel you need in order to make the new year a productive year for you, what would your list contain? Would you list: friends, time, money, education, recreation, opportunity, a living faith, hope, work, family? Now if you were to list in their order of importance these things and other items you would have included in the list, what would have been the most important of all these categories? You guessed it! A living faith. Without it, and its positive maintenance, the rest of the list does not have meaning beyond time and space.
     Most Christians would agree that the Lord is not to be viewed as a detached spectator, content to watch the effects of His own handiwork.


Rather the Lord is with us from day to day in our human strivings, pervading our world with His own spirit, crying to us to be received as He knocks on the doors of our minds.
     The Lord's work is to move our hearts to be like Him, to inspire the lives of men so that He, through us, can reach the world. Only human hands and minds can carry on the Lord's work in the world. His work is to govern all effort so that it is brought closer to the efforts of the heavens, where all embrace His loving wisdom.
     As long as we are humans in the world, we live among humans. It is men and women who influence men and women. We must remember that human organizations often are too rigid to express the fluidity of heaven, the spirit of compassion and disciplined concern needed to do the Lord's work. The Lord needs us to work for Him. This is what He likes to do, to get us to work for Him.
     Wars may win a battle for human hopes; wealth may buy time for us while we live in the world; political power may temporarily satisfy earthly concerns. But what is temporarily successful is not primary with the Lord. He has our eternal welfare in mind. No amount of earthly limitations can ever hold Him back from His burning love for our eternal welfare. Insofar as we are willing to respond to the call of His love, we can be a part of His daily work, to influence humans for good, for eternal usefulness, working for the only One who has our eternal welfare in His hands.

MINISTERIAL APPOINTMENT       Editor       1992

     The Rev. Geoffrey S. Childs has been appointed to serve as Bishop's Representative in Southern Africa, effective upon his retirement as President of the Academy on June 30, 1992. Peter M. Buss, Executive Bishop



LORD'S RESURRECTION BODY (Part 6)       Jr. V. C. ODHNER       1992

     We come now to the subject of exchange. Continuing with Erik Sandstrom Sr.'s first letter (July 1982 NCL, p. 315, paragraph 1), he conveys the idea of "exchange" (AC 2265e), because the Lord's material body had now served its purpose to the last of temptation on the cross. ES's words are: "The idea I want to convey is that there was no changing of the material into the Divine-Substantial: no change, but exchange. The Lord totally put off, expelled, did away with the one, and put on the other" [Some emphases in the quotations were added by the author.] That is, the Divine Human, now completely an Essence by itself (see AC 3061:3) had correspondentially descended into the body that it might rise at the resurrection, while the body was left in the world that it might serve heavenly uses.
     ES was most aware of Bishop Alfred Acton's effort to explain this concept: "Glorification, therefore, was a continual expulsion of what was merely human and a putting on in its place that which is Divine. Apply this to the glorification of the Body and the true meaning . . . will . . . become [somewhat] evident. The Lord glorified the whole of the Human . . . to the very body, by expelling everything which was merely human and putting on in its place the Divine, so that He rose a Complete Man even in ultimates. In other words, the Glorification of the human consisted in its total expulsion" (June 1906 NCL, p. 326, under title "The Harmony of the [Two Sets of] Teachings").

Doctrine of the Lord 35:1 Examined

     This number in part reads: "Moreover He did not transmute this human nature from the mother into the Divine Essence, nor did He mingle it with the Divine Essence."


This part of the number tends to refute the idea that the Lord rose with His natural body, because by "human nature from the mother" most people would judge this to mean all the Mary heredity, including the body. But in his first letter (March 1982 NCL, p. 121), commenting on this passage, Rev. Bruce Rogers (NBR) takes a different view: "Human nature is a quality, not a substance." For various philosophical and theological reasons this statement can be called into question. For example, in AC 9154:2-"Because, as before said, good has its quality from truths, it has its form also from them; for where there is form there is quality, and where there is no form there is no quality."
Therefore, in NBR's statement, to have a quality there should be a form; and it is known that there is no form without substance. In DLW 14-"Where there is Esse (being) there is Existere (taking form); one is nor possible apart from the other." DLW 15 Esse is not esse unless it exists, because until then it is not in a form, and if not in a form it has no quality; and what has no quality is not anything." A more extensive treatment of the matter is in DP 4:2, 3-"A one [substance and form] is impossible apart from a form, the form itself making the one. Anyone who thinks intently can see clearly that a one is impossible apart from a form, and if it exists it is a form [to be a form it must also be a substance]; for whatever has existence derives from form that which is called quality . . .; consequently that which is not in a form has no power to affect; and what has no power to affect has no reality. It is the form that gives all these things; . . . (3) Every object seen by the eyes in the world is such a one; also every object not seen by the eyes, whether in interior nature or in the spiritual world. Man is such a one, human society is such a one, the church is such a one, also the whole angelic heaven before the Lord; in a word, the created universe, not only in general but also in every particular, is such a one."
     I grant you, the Writings "forgot" to mention "human nature."


However, I think the number is sufficiently inclusive to show that any human quality is ultimated in substance and form, and that there is no intent in the genuine truth of the Writings to separate the Lord's human mind from His body. In fact, the intent is just the opposite, for the glorification process described in the resurrection body doctrine not only propounds at length on the natural mind conquering temptation, but focuses on the subjection of the body to correspondential compliance with the continual progress of the natural mind's glorification: "In Him alone there was a correspondence of all things of the body with the Divine-a most perfect correspondence, infinitely perfect, giving rise to a union of the corporeal things with Divine celestial things, and of sensuous things with Divine spiritual things; and thus He was the Perfect Man and the Only Man" (AC 1414e). See Ath. 192 and SD 4845.
     For further study on NBR's "human nature" contention, by which he allows for the dissipation of the Mary mental or spiritual heredity while retaining the material body for glorification, see AC 2083:2, 3737, 5373:3, 9154:2; AE 209:4; 587:4,5; 1196:3; 1207:1-4; CL 66, 87:1, 3; DLW 224, 327; DP 13; HH 89, 304:2, 3; 315, 339, 418, 434; ISB 11, 12e; LJ 12, 20; SD 4482.
     As to NBR's remarkable statement that "Divine essence is a quality, not a substance," see AC 3237; TCR 20, 21; 25:3; 36, 37; 52, 53, 753. In TCR SS-"He [God] is form because every quality of substances has sprung and continues to spring from Him, quality having no other source than form." To say that something is a quality and not a substance is equivalent to saying that there can be form without substance, because quality is from form and form is from substance (see TCR 53). That is why "good itself is qualified according to truth" (AC 2715:4e). See AC 3986:2; 5144:2; 5342:3; 7759; 7887; Can. HS 1:3, 4, 8. To conform to this "quality, not substance" theory, NBR substitutes the word "humanity" for the word "human" in a number of his translations. I can't subscribe to this, nor the NBR attempt to separate the Mary mental or spiritual heredity from the body so that this heredity could be put off and the material body deified.


This misconception can be seen clearly in the following section of Athanasian Creed 161-2. My copy of 162 reads: "That the Lord, in the sepulcher, and thus by death, rejected all the human [Ath. 161 says 'put off all the material . . . '] from the mother and dissipated it (from which He underwent temptations and the passion of the cross, and whereas this [the material body] could not be conjoined with the Divine Itself), and that so He assumed the Human from the Father, thus that the Lord, thoroughly and clearly glorified, rose with the Human, this also from the faith of the church that He overcame death, that is, hell, and rose with triumph."
     NBR, in his first letter (March 1982 NCL, p. 121) revises the Athanasian Creed translation and makes note of the fact that the number doesn't use the word "body." Although this is correct, it is plain the sense of the letter clearly refers to the body. I surmise one reason the body isn't mentioned, except by inference, is to draw attention to the fact that the glorified Divine Human was what rose ("thoroughly and clearly glorified, rose with the Human"), and nor the natural body.
     That "all the human from the mother," which the number says He "rejected" and "dissipated," is the natural body most will agree. See AC 2288e and AE 706:11. One reason is that the number refers to the "sepulchre" or grave where the Lord's body was buried (see Luke 23:52, 53); certainly, "a mind" can't be buried; another reason is that it says "by death," meaning the lifeless body brought from the cross. Thus, what had been "left" on the cross was the Divine Human, not visible yet to men, and the natural body, very visible but lifeless, that is, no longer an organ of natural life, now to be dissipated.     
     But the chief and crowning reason is known from the doctrine regarding the glorification on the cross, discussed previously. It follows that since glorification was effected on the cross, no other body than the natural body could here be understood by "dissipated," for the Mary mind or spiritual inheritance had been overcome and cast out on the cross.


The dissipation of this mental inheritance on the cross is acknowledged by corporealists. See above where Bishop de Charms makes this point. This proves that Ath. 161-2 refers to the natural body.
     NBR, at the top of p. 122, says, referring to Ath. 161-2: "With what did He rise? If it was all dissipated, He could not have risen with it. If it was all the Divine Itself in the first place, then again He could not have risen with it, because it was the same thing as risen already.
     If I have not already sufficiently explained this, let me try again. To the first sentence, "With what did He rise?"-He rose with what had descended for 33 years and was completed on the cross, the very Divine Human, glorified and now separate from His natural body, the temptation uses of which had ceased. Concerning the next NBR sentence: "If it was all dissipated, He could not have risen with it," it depends on what you mean and refer to by "it." "It" (the natural body, which I maintain Ath. says was dissipated) refers to the natural body and indeed it did not rise, but "IS" (the Divine Human) did rise after its final descent, to glorification, but then again, "It" was not dissipated, you can be sure. The next NBR sentence: "If it was all the Divine Itself in the first place, then again He could not have risen with it, because it was the same thing as risen already." Remember, there are two "its," one "It" (the Divine Human) and the other "it" (the natural body), to clarify NBR's own wording. Once "It" became all Divine by means of glorification, the Divine glorified body on the cross, the final steps were not far away. Essentially, we can say "It" rose but "it," the natural body, remained in the world for other uses, about which I could speculate but not yet confirm by the Writings. The resurrection of the Divine body could not take place until the "third day," from its significance. In these very sentences of NBR can be seen the misunderstanding which has been at the root of the corporealist position.

     (To be concluded)


Editorial Pages 1992

Editorial Pages       Editor       1992


     Unseen by us there is a world of action in which life-and-death issues are being contested.
     From a relatively recent book* we learn of a remarkable performance put on at Notre Dame cathedral in July of 1951.
     * The book from which the above is taken is Angels, Ministers of Grace by Geddes MacGregor (pages 34 & 35). Extracts about Swedenborg taken from this book are included in November's editorial entitled "A Book About Angels."
     "The facade of the great cathedral formed the backdrop. While the actors on the ground below were presenting us with a lively play in which they acted out a simple story of the embroilments and follies in which we humans customarily engage, our eyes were drawn upwards to the scene far above."
     In that scene an angel and an evil spirit were engaged in combat. And there was a relationship between their combat and what was happening on the ground.
     "One became quickly aware that however amusing might be the antics of the players below, engaged as they were in the petty squabbles of human life, the real warfare was being conducted far above them.
     "The players' intentional obliviousness to it was strikingly convincing, for physically they could not see it, while we, the audience, could. We were being let in, so to speak, on the secret of the angels. We were privileged to see before our very eyes where the action was: the real action. It was not going on down there among the human participants who were so preoccupied with what they would have called 'the real world' that they looked, and were intended to look, as though they knew of nothing else going on outside their little flat rectangle of pavement. . . The real action, however, was not going on 'down there' at all, but 'up there' in the Gothic turrets. . . .


     "What came across so impressively was that even as we humans glue our eyes to the scenes of everyday life and pride ourselves in our involvement with whatever society we find around us, we conduct even our bitterest feuds, even indeed our global wars, with blinkers over our eyes, with tunnel vision that precludes our having even a hint of awareness of the real warfare that is going on, of which ours is a mere feeble reflection, like the shadows cast on the ground by squadrons of aircraft engaged in combat above us. How ludicrous and pathetic we must be with our inward-looking engagements for war and solemn assemblies for peace, if war is being waged by the heavenly hosts between the Angels of Light and the Angels of Darkness, while we plod our way through the mud, following like children the shadow-boxing images their warfare is casting on the ground!"
     Since readers of this editorial are New Church, I do not think I need to spell out the connection with the teachings of the Writings. You will perhaps have thought of what is said in Divine Providence 251 about the wars described in the Old Testament, and other global conflicts and their correspondence to events in the spiritual world.
     I would quote but one passage of the Writings and leave you to make connections with the thought-provoking performance described above.
     When man comes into a certain state "infernal spirits encompass him, and when they perceive that he is inwardly protected by angels, the evil spirits excite the falsities which he has thought and the evils which he has done, but the angels defend him from within. It is this combat which is perceived in the man as temptation, but so obscurely that he scarcely knows otherwise than that it is merely an anxiety; for man-especially if he believes nothing about influx-is in a state that is wholly obscure, and he perceives scarcely a thousandth part of the things about which the evil spirits and angels are contending. And yet the battle is then being fought for the man and his eternal salvation, and it is fought from the man himself; for they fight from those things which are in man, and concerning them."


     The above quotation is from AC 5036. In it Swedenborg might be likened to someone who has as it were seen the play and interviewed the cast, for the passage continues, "That this is the case has been given me to know with the utmost certainty. I have heard the combat, I have perceived the influx, I have seen the spirits and angels, and at the time and afterward have conversed with them on the subject."
     But it is not just a play. It is where the reality is!

DAILY READINGS 1992       Editor       1992

     There are different approaches to the regular reading of the Writings. One that is working well for a number of people is the daily reading program. You may wish to participate in 1992. Secretary Boyd Asplundh has provided the following,

     In his first rule of life Emanuel Swedenborg enjoins us "diligently to read and meditate on the Word of God."
For many years the General Church has produced a Calendar of Daily Readings to encourage continuous individual reading of the Word and the doctrine of the New Church.
     Those who have been following the calendar for the past few years will have completed the Old and New Testaments, and will have begun again with Genesis 1 on January 31st. Several days prior to that they will have also begun the serial reading of the Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture. This seems a fortuitous combination, and those who receive this issue of the Life promptly may yet be able to catch up.

     Reading of the book of Genesis begins in February and is completed on May 4th. Reading from Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture began on January 27th and will be completed on March 4th, at which point readings in Doctrine of Life will begin. For some particulars see page 91.



CANON OF THE WRITINGS       Chris Horner       1992

Dear Editor:
     The subject brought forward by Arthur Atherton in the July issue, and for which he makes a plea for discussion, is an interesting one. It was a matter of much contention in the early days of the church among different factions, some ascribing Divine authority to the works actually published by Swedenborg, while others so regarded all the works penned by him, whether published or not.
     Our correspondent writes: "The subject has received little mention in NCL over the past ninety years." However, I would point out that in the November 1983 issue, in the first of his series of articles entitled "Priest and Layman, Hand in Hand," Rev. Dandridge Pendleton made a somewhat startling declaration to the effect that he had "no doubt whatsoever as to the plenary Divine inspiration of what Swedenborg ended up writing and publishing" but that he suspected that his other writings were sometimes a mixture of genuine doctrine and Swedenborg's own human concepts. He also wrote that he felt that his readers would treat this concept "some with interest and others perhaps with horror." This, to me, was a very significant approach to the Writings, and after pondering over the matter for something like five years and finding that none of the readers of NCL responded with either "interest" or "horror," I decided, with much temerity as an ignorant layman, to venture an opinion in NCL, and my letter was published in the February 1989 issue, under the heading "Posthumous Works." Still no interest and no horror!
     In preparing my submission to this periodical late in '88, I studied in detail a lengthy paper on this subject by Rev. Frank Rose which was delivered to the Council of the Clergy meetings earlier in the year.


It was very informative and showed that the author had gone to infinite trouble to gather virtually all available information, but he expressed no definite opinion one way or the other, though to me it confirmed my earlier conviction that only the writings actually published by Swedenborg have complete Divine authority; others doubtless contain innumerable truths but only in a confirmatory capacity, and they could lead to grave mistakes as instanced in my letter. I am in complete agreement with Mr. Atherton regarding the evidence of a canon in the Writings, though I am at variance with the strange connotation used by him-"the Word of the Writings." To me there is only one Word, as demonstrated in the Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture-the tripartite Word of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Writings, This book (DSS) plainly tells us that all power and holiness is in the ultimate sense of the Word and without this it is like a house without a foundation or a body without the skeletal framework of bones and covering skins. However, as an essential portion of the threefold Word it is clearly probable that the Writings should have a canon as is the case with the Scriptures.
     It seems to me that the distinction comes between the works of Swedenborg which he published personally, at the command of the Lord, and those which were published posthumously. Surely it didn't just happen that way. Do New Church people believe that things happen by chance? I am reluctant to encroach on your space by reiterating what I wrote in my earlier letter, but I cannot refrain from making reference again to Arcana 5508:2, 6485, 6493 and 6494, and that very startling revelation in Divine Providence 70 which speaks of "fortuitous" and "accidental" as "empty words"!
     I hope that Mr. Atherton's plea for some discussion on this subject will be taken up, and I am sure that some priestly guidance on the matter would be welcome.
     Chris Horner,
          Tamworth, Australia



Quo VADIT ECCLESIA?       Multiple Authors       1992

Dear Editor:
     It was proposed in an article which appeared in the June 1991 issue of New Church Life that the church should produce a "second-generation Writings," that is, an abbreviated, easy-to-read "Word," which takes no heed of what the Lord wishes us to read and of the order in which His truths are presented. This, we are told, is for the sake of cheapness, to compensate for the lack of education in today's children and so that we will have more time to spare on doing things other than reading the Word!
     Do we have the right to change the Word of the Lord when we are told that "every jot and tittle" contains within it what is of the internal sense?
     It has not been proposed that the church should produce an abbreviated, easy-to-read version of the Old and New Testaments. This is not because these testaments are already easy to read; they are almost incomprehensible in parts. Indeed, we New Churchmen have deplored the production by the orthodox Christian churches of abridged and/or supposedly more easily readable versions of these testaments. The church has been quick to point out that the omission of certain passages or the reduction to a single word of the apparent duplications such as "weeping and wailing" and "darkness and thick darkness" destroy both the Divine order of the wording and the spiritual and celestial senses within the wording.
     There can, perhaps, be some understanding of those who desecrate these Divine works in this way, since the Christian Church has already fallen to a last judgment. What excuse would an organization of the New Church have for picking and choosing passages from the new Divine revelation which the Lord has given for our regeneration, and thereby destroying the Divine order in which it is given?


     The answer can only be that more value is placed on the Old and New Testaments than on the Writings. The former are considered by many to be "the Word" while the latter are only considered to be "the Writings," and so they are open to a bit of "improvement" here and there. Often as we may hear the statement, "the Writings are the Word," they are nevertheless held by many not to be as fully the Word as the two previous testaments; they are not held to be "the Word for the New Church."
     We have no objection to selected quotations from the "Writings" which are presented in a fashion to whet the appetite of an inquirer to the church, or of choosing a few appropriate passages as the lessons for a sermon, or of accurately modernizing the language of the translations. The purpose of such material needs no explanation. However, a series of paraphrased books-The Easy Heaven and Hell, The Simplified Arcana Coelestia, etc.-will serve to supplant the "Writings." Most likely the authors of the article in the June New Church Life have no such intention, but the very existence of such a series of books would have this result, and would also indoctrinate people into thinking that the "Writings" are too hard to read and are only for research purposes. They would also serve to get the message across that it is not necessary to read the "research" version, as all that is essential has been carefully selected in the "modern" version!
     Is it possible to select all that is essential? Do we who are finite have the perspicacity to select what is essential for the regeneration of every individual and for the interior growth of the church organization? More than this, do we have the audacity to disregard the Divine order in which this revelation has been given by omitting the "hard" parts? The "hard" parts only appear hard because they are not yet appropriate to our state of regeneration, or because they are more distinctively new than other passages. Therefore they are most precious.
     No one would deny that in the world around us Christian values are almost extinct.


This state of affairs is a powerful force acting against the descent of the New Jerusalem, and any "second-generation 'Writings'" are without doubt a part of this trend, as they would supplant what is fully the Lord's with what is partly man's.
     We are also concerned about the use of the term "fundamentalist New Church man" on page 264 of the NCL article. It has been used to mean the person who looks to the Divine authority of the "Writings" but at the same time is used in a derisory way and in a way which attempts to divide New Churchmen. It is the primary principle of the church that we acknowledge the Divine authority of the "Writings"; there should be no other sort of New Churchman.
     To sum up, we would like to quote two extracts from an article by Bishop Alfred Acton, which appeared on page 605 of the October 1909 issue of New Church Life:

     (1)      "The Letter of the Word, we are told, appears rough and rude to those who see nothing beyond. And so it is with the Writings. The charge that they are technical and meaningless lies rather against those who make the charge. It is the spiritual ideas revealed that are meaningless, because unfamiliar, undesired, and unloved."
     (2)      An easy-English translation is a translation "that will eliminate the distinctiveness of Swedenborg's ideas, a translation that will more or less merge those ideas into the current thought of the 'better thinking' of the Christian world, a translation that will make the Heavenly Doctrine appear less new, less strange and distinctive than in fact it is. Doubtless, with such a translation the works would be read and patronizingly praised; but they would not build up a church which is new because its thought and life are new."


     It seems to us that the apparent need to simplify the "Writings" does not stem from a need to compensate for a lack of education in today's young people, but from the failure to recognize the "Writings" as fully the Word for the New Church. It is only one facet of a trend into externalization which is becoming increasingly evident in the church, and which the church should address with urgency.
     Rex D. Ridgway
     Lavender Findlay Ridgway
     Heulwen Moira Ridgway
     Richard W. Laws
     Barrie R. D. Ridgway
     Christine Pryke Ridgway
     Philip D. Richards
     Canberra, Australia

DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND?       H. Keith Morley       1992

Dear Editor:
     The difficulty experienced by some readers in understanding the Writings is acknowledged in various places, for instance in AC 4286:5-

     If people did bother about the things that have to do with the life after death, and so about those which have to do with heaven, they would easily grasp all that has been mentioned above, for that which a person loves he absorbs and grasps with ease, but that which he does not love, with difficulty.

     H. Keith Morley,
          Toronto, Canada



DAILY READINGS 1992       Editor       1992


     The readings may be obtained from Mr. E. Boyd Asplundh, Cairncrest, Box 743, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Here are some of the 1992 readings and the dates to give you an idea for now.

5      Wed      Genesis 3:14-24           SS* 25,26
10      Mon      Genesis               SS 43,44
15      Sat      Genesis 9:1-17          SS 57-61
20      Thu      Genesis 12:1-9          SS 79
25      Tue      Genesis 15SS 91-94
29      Sat      Genesis 18:1-15           SS 101-103
4      Wed      Genesis 19:29-38           SS 116-118
5      Thu      Genesis 20Life 1, 2
10      Tue      Genesis 24:1-28           Life 25-29
20      Fri      Genesis 28Life 70-73
30      Mon      Genesis 32:24-32           Faith 6-12
10      Fri      Genesis 38Faith 65-68

     * SS, Life and Faith are found in The Four Doctrines.





Dr. R. Shepard, 4537 Dolly Ridge Road, Birmingham, AL 35243. Phone: (205) 967-3442.

Mr. & Mrs. Winthrop B. Sullivan, 1107 Princeton Drive, Madison, AL 35758. Phone: (205) 772-0074.


Rev. Fred Chapin, 5631 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85254 (church). Phone: home (602) 996-2919; office (602) 991-0048.

Rev. Frank S. Rose, 9233 E. Helen, Tucson, AZ 85715, Phone: (602) 721-1091.


     Little Rock
Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Holmes, 2695 Mark Lane, Batesville, AR 72501. Phone: (501) 793-5135.


     Los Angeles
Rev. John L. Odhner, 5022 Carolyn Way, La Crescenta, CA 91214. Phone: (818) 249-5031.

     Orange County
Rev. Cedric King, resident pastor, 21332 Forest Meadow, Fl Toro, CA 92630. Phone: home (714) 586-5142; office (714) 951-5750.

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Ripley. 225 Woodlake Lane, Newcastle, CA 95658. Phone: (916) 663-2788.

     San Diego
Rev. Nathan Gladish, 7911 Canary Way, San Diego, CA 92123. Phone: home (619) 268-0379; office (619) 571-8599.

     San Francisco
Mr. & Mrs. Philip C. "Red" Pendleton, 2261 Waverley Street, Pale Alto, CA 94901.


     Colorado Springs
Mr. & Mrs. William Rienstra, P.O. Box 95, Simla, CO 80835. Phone: (719) 541-2375.

Rev. Clark Echols, 3371 W. 94th Ave., Westminster, CO 80030. Phone: (303) 429-1239 or 428-6019.




Mr. & Mrs. James Tucker, 45 Honey Bee Lane, Shelton. CT 06484. Phone: (203) 929-6455.
Rev. Geoffrey Howard, visiting pastor. Phone: (508) 443-6531.


Mr. Justin Hyatt, 2008 Eden Road, N. Graylyn, Wilmington, DE 19810. Phone: (302) 475-3694.
     District of Columbia: see Mitchellville, Maryland.


     Boynton Reach
Rev. Daniel Heinrichs, 10687 B. Clair Ranch Road, Boynton Beach, FL 33437. Phone: (407) 736-9235.

     Lake Helen
Mr. & Mrs. Brent Morris, 264 Kicklighter Road, Lake Helen, FL 32744. Phone: (904) 228-2276.

Mr. & Mrs. John Peacock, 5238 Soundside Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561. Phone: (904) 934-3691.


Mr. W.H. Eubanks, Rt #2, S. Lee Street, Americus, GA 31709. Phone: (912) 924-9221.


Rev. Ray Silvernan, 2119 Seaman Circle, Chamblee, GA 30141. Phone: office (404) 452-0518.


     Fruitland (Idaho-Oregon border)
Mr. Harold Rand. 1705 Whitley Drive, Fruitland, ID 83619. Phone: (208) 452-3181.


Rev. Grant Schnarr, 73A Park Drive, Glenview, IL 60025. Phone: home (708) 729-0130; office (708) 729-9296.

Mr. John Aymer, 380 Oak Lane, Decatur, IL 62562. Phone: (217) 875-3215.

Rev. Brian Keith, 73 Park Drive, Glenview, IL 60025. Phone: (708) 724-0120.

Rev. Patrick Rose, 785 Ashcroft Court, Cincinnati, OH 45240. Phone: (513) 825-7473.

Rev. Patrick Rose, 785 Ashcroft Court, Cincinnati, OH 45240. Phone: (513) 825-7473.


     Baton Rouge
Mr. Henry Bruser, Jr., 6050 Esplanade Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70806. Phone: (504) 924-3098.


Rev. Allison L. Nicholson, HC 33 - Box 61N, Arrowsic, ME 04530.


Rev. Themes Rose, visiting minister, 3809 Enterprise Rd., Mitchellville, MD 20721. Phone: home (301) 4644585; office (301) 464-5602.

Rev. Lawson Smith, 3805 Enterprise Road, Mitchellville, MD 20721. Phone: (301) 262-2349.


Rev. Geoffrey Howard, 138 Maynard Road, Sudbury, MA 01776. Phone: (508) 443-6531.


Rev. Grant Odhner, 395 Olivewood Ct., Rochester, MI 48306. Phone: office (313) 652-7332

     East Lansing
Mr. Christopher Clark, 5853 Smithfield, East Lansing, MI 48823. Phone: (517) 351-2880.


Mr. & Mrs. Paul Johnson, 1508 Glencairn Court Columbia, MO 65203. Phone: (314) 442-3475.

     Kansas City
Mr. Glen Klippenstein, Glenkirk Farms, Rt. 2. Maysville, MO 64469. Phone: (816) 449-2167.

     New Jersey, New York:

     Ridgewood, NJ
Mrs. Fred B. Munich, 474 S. Maple Ave., Glen Rock. NJ 07452. Phone: (201) 445-1141.

     New Mexico:

Mr. Howard Leach, 548 Mullen Rd. NW. Albuquerque, NM 87107. Phone: (505) 345-5297.

     North Carolina:

Rev. Bill Burke, 6010 Paddington Court, Charlotte, NC 28226. Phone: (704) 846-6416.

Rev. Patrick Rose, 785 Ashcroft Court, Cincinnati, OH 45240. Phone: (513) 825-7473.

Mr. Alan Childs, 19680 Beachcliff Blvd., Rocky River, OH 44116. Phone: (216) 333-9413.


     Oklahoma City
Mr. Robert Campbell, 3108 Eagle Pass Road, Edmond, OK 73013. Phone: (405) 478-4729.


Mr. and Mrs. Jim P. Andrews, Box 99, 1010 NE 3601, Corbett, OR 97019. Phone: (503) 695-2534.


     Oregon-Idaho Border: see Idaho Fruitland.


     Bryn Athyn
Rev. Kurt Asplundh, Box 277, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Phone: (215) 947-6225.

Mr. Meade Bierly, 523 Snyder Ave., Elizabethtown, PA 17022. Phone: (717) 367-3964.


Mr. Paul Murray, 5648 Zuck Road, Erie, PA 16506. Phone: (814) 833-0962.

Rev. Ragnar Boyesen, 122 McKeen Road, Freeport, PA 16229. Phone: home (412) 295-9855; office (412) 353-2220.

Mr. Grant Genzlinger, 4 Main Street, Hawley, PA 18428. Phone: (717) 226-2993.

Rev. Jeremy Simons, RD 2, Box 217-A, Kempton, PA 19529. Phone: home (215)756-4301; office (215) 756-6140.

Rev. Eric H. Carswell, 299 Le Roi Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15208. Phone: church (412) 731-7421.

South Carolina: see North Carolina

     South Dakota:

     Hot Spring
Linda Klippenstein, 537 Albany, Hot Springs, SD 57747. Phone: (605) 745-6629.


Mr. Robert Grubb, 510 Academy Drive, Austin, TX 78704. Phone: (512) 447-6811.

     Dallas-Fort Worth
Mr. Fred Dunlap, 3887 Antigua Circle, Dallas, TX 75244. Phone: (214) 247-7775.


Mr. Donald Johnson, 13161 Happy Hill Road, Chester, VA 23831. Phone: (804) 748-5757.

     West Virginia:
Mrs. Thelma Smith, Route 1, Box 447, Peterstown, WV 24963. Phone: (304) 753-9508.


Mr. Thomas Andrews, 5035 NE 180th, Seattle, WA 98155. Phone: (206) 365-2194.


Mr. Charles Howell, 3912 Plymouth Circle, Madison, WI 53705. Phone: (608) 233-0209.



Mr. and Mrs. Rex Ridgway, 7 Whalan Place, Kaleen, ACT, Australia 2617, Sydney, N.S.W.
     Rev. Doug1as Taylor, 22 Dudley Street, Penshurst N.S.W. 2222 Phone: 57-1589.

See Rev. Douglas Taylor under Sydney.


     Rio de Janeiro
Rev. Cristovao Robelo Nobre, Rua Lina Teixeira, 109 Ap., Rocha Rio de Janeiro RJ, 20970. Phone: 21-201-8455.



Mr. Thomas R Fountain, 115 Southglen Drive S.W, Calgary 13, Alberta T2W 0X2. Phone: 403-255-7283.

Ken and Lavina Scott. RR 1. Crooked Creek, Alberta T0H 0Y0. Phone: 403-957-3621.

Mr. Wayne Anderson, 6703-98th Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 3L9. Phone: 403432-1499.

     British Columbia

     Dawson Creek
Rev. Glenn G. Alden, Dawson Creek Church, 9013 8th St. Dawson Creek, B.C. Canada V1G 3N3. Phone: home (604) 786-5297; office 604-782-8035.



Rev. Louis D. Synnestvedt, 58 Chapel Hill Drive, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 3WS. Phone: home (519)748-5605; office (519) 748-5802.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald McMaster, 684 Fraser Ave., Ottawa, Ontario K2A 2R8. Phone: (613) 725-0394.

Rev. Michael Gladish, 279 Burnhamthorpe Rd., Islington, Ontario M9B 124. Phone: church (416) 239-3055.


Mr. Denis de Chazal, 17 Ballantyne Ave. So., Montreal West, Quebec H4X 2B1. Phone: (514) 489-9861.


Mr. Jorgen Hauptmann, Strandvejen 22, 4040 Jyllinge. Phone: 46 78 9%8.


Rev. Christopher Bown, 2 Christ Church Court, Colchester, Essex CO3 3AU. Phone: 0206-575614.

Mr. and Mrs. R. Evans, 24 Berkeley, Letchworth, Herts, SG6 2HA. Phone: (0462) 684751.

Rev. Frederick Elphick, 21B Hayne Rd., Beckenham, Kent BR3 4JA. Phone: 011-44-1-658-6320.

Rev. Norman B. Riley, 69 Harewood Rd., Norden, Rochdale, OL11 5TH, England. Phone: 0706 54003.


     The Hague
Mr. Ed Verschoor, V. Furstenburchstr. 6 3862 AW Nijkerk.


Rev. Dzin P. Kwak, #Bol. Sanho-villa, 238 Shinsa-dong Eun Wung-Ku, Seoul, Korea 122-080. Phone 82-2-309-7305.


Mrs. H. Keal, 4 Derwent Cresc., Tilirangi, Auckland 7, New Zealand.


Mr. Klaas Biermann, Bskketoppen 10A, 1165 Oslo 11. Phone: (0)2 283783.



     Cape Town
Mrs. Sheilagh Brathwaite, 208B Silvermine Village, P.B. 1, Noordhock, 7985 R.S.A. Phone: 021-891424.


Rev. James P. Cooper, 30 Perth Road, Westville 3630, Natal, Republic of South Africa. Phone: 011-27-31-821612.


     Transvaal Society
Rev. Andrew Dibb, PO. Box 816, Kelvin 2054, Republic of South Africa. Phone: (011) 804-2567.


     Kent Manor
Rev. Andrew Dibb, visiting pastor
Mrs. Maarten Heimstra, P.O. Box 10745, Meerensee, 3901 R.S.A. Phone: 0351-32317.
Please contact Rev. James Cooper or Rev. Andrew Dibb concerning these societies:
Alexandra Township, Buccleuch, Clermont, Diepkloof, Enkumba, Hambrook, Impaphala, Kwa Mashu


Contact Rev. Bjorn A. H. Boyesen, Bruksater, Furusjo), S-566 00. Habo. Phone: 0392-20395.

Rev. David H. Lindrooth, Aladdinsvagen 27, 161 38 Bromma, Sweden. Phone/Fax: 011 468 26 79 85.


"Words of Spirit and Life" 1992

"Words of Spirit and Life"       Editor       1992

A collection of 52 contemporary audiotape messages originally produced for the radio
     Each message is a 15-minute discussion of the Lord in our lives
Rev. Ray Silverman, Ph.D.
     Boxed sets of 6 cassettes (12 messages) are available on:
An Introduction to the New Church
The Ten Commandments (A Divine Guide for Living)
The Clouds of Heaven (A Study of the Parables of Jesus Christ)
The Sign of the Prophet Jonah (A study of the Miracles of Jesus Christ)

     Each Set: $39.95 plus $1.50 postage
     For a complete list of titles or to place an order, please call or write:
General Church Book Center
     Box 743, Cairncrest                         or by appointment
General Church Book Center                    Hours: Mon-Fri 9-12
Bryn Athyn, PA 19009                          Phone: (215) 947-3920


Notes on This Issue 1992

Notes on This Issue       Editor       1992

Vol. CXII     March, 1992          No. 3


     As we go to press the annual meetings of the Council of the Clergy are just beginning in Bryn Athyn (March 2-6). Dozens of ministers come from far and near, between 80 and 90 including theological students. A service of worship will be conducted by Bishop Peter M. Buss at the cathedral on Monday afternoon. This will be followed by the first of many meetings at Glencairn. Papers are being offered by Rev. Messrs. M. Pryke, E. Sandstrom, K. Asplundh, A. Acton, E. Buss, P. Rogers, J. Odhner and others. Some of these will find their way into the pages of New Church Life.
     We are indebted to Louise G. Coffin for the striking article on page 106. It was written by her father, and we anticipate that 1992 readers will view its prescience and insight with astonishment.
     Rev. Andrew Dibb of South Africa has provided us with an article on racism. In the conclusion next month he will address the question, Why Did the Lord Let This Happen? and discuss the "Solution to Racism."

     Announcement of a New Publication

     In February of 1990 we published an article by W. R. Warley of Atlanta entitled "Some Thoughts on Managing from a Spiritual Viewpoint." Readers from far and near expressed interest in this. We expect that such interest will also be shown in the new publication The New Church Business Review (see p. 138).



JESUS WEPT       Rev. MARK R. CARLSON       1992

     "Jesus wept" (John 11:35).

     Our text is taken from the shortest sentence of the Word-two words: "Jesus wept." This is a concise and beautiful peek into the emotional life of the Lord while He was on earth.
     To be sure, this is not the only time we are allowed to view in the gospels the depth of the Lord's feelings. Luke tells us of a time just a short while later when Jesus was riding into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and as He drew near and saw the city, He "wept over it, saying, If only you had known . . . the things that make for your peace!" (Luke 19:41, 42). Later, after He entered Jerusalem, we see His zeal as He threw the money changers out of the temple. And we see His compassion as He told the woman taken in adultery to go and sin no more (see John 8:11). We see His caring when He took little children up in His arms and hugged them (see Mark 10:16). We see His humor when He told the Jews that they were like little children who could not agree on what game to play (see Luke 7:31, 32). We see His doubt as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that the cup of His last hours of natural life might pass from Him (see Matt. 26:39). And we see the depth of His despair as He prayed upon the cross, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46).
     In John we are given a clear window into His feelings of sorrow. The situation was this: Jesus had been called to Bethany by Mary and Martha because their brother Lazarus was sick. He did not come immediately but waited several days. At last Lazarus died. Then when Jesus came, Martha accosted him, saying, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died" (Luke 11:21). Later Mary came to speak to the Lord, and she too became angry with him, repeating Martha's very words, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died" (Luke 11:32).


     When Jesus heard Mary's reaction-Mary, the one who had so attentively listened at His feet while Martha puttered; Mary, one of those whom He thought truly understood him-He was troubled. And when He saw all of the relatives weeping, it was too much for Him. We are told that "He groaned in His spirit. . . ." What a wonderful description of one who is deeply disappointed and sorrowful: "He groaned in His spirit." Perhaps you know what it is like to groan inside.
     And then, "Jesus wept" (text).
     What is the picture this abrupt statement is intending to convey to us? Is it merely that Jesus had tears in His eyes? Is it that He hid His face for a moment as He was overcome with grief? Or is it that suddenly, without warning, He broke down in great sobs of sorrow right there in front of everyone? We cannot know for certain, but the shortness of the statement with no qualification or elaboration seems to indicate the latter: there was no hiding of His sorrow. Has this Divinely revealed picture of the Lord weeping become part of your idea of Him? The Lord was crying openly, and not just for a passing moment! And it happened more than once.
     What was He weeping about? It is cleat that He was not sorrowful over the death of Lazarus. He knew that Lazarus would be just fine even if he were allowed to pass through the threshold of death that he was upon; and besides He knew that He was about to bring Lazarus back to this world of grief and travail. Perhaps He was weeping about that! No, it was not that. It is clear that the whole situation of Lazarus' death and the reaction of Martha and Mary brought to mind much deeper issues. His words to Martha reveal that He was looking at the whole thing on a more universal level. He said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25, 26).


     There is a certain desperateness in Jesus' words to Martha, "Do you believe this?" The trouble was that she didn't. She still clung to the idea of a resurrection from the dead on some future last day. She still did not understand what He had told her many times-that death is merely a continuation of life. But then Martha never did really listen to what He had to say. Surely Mary would know better. But she too demonstrated her ignorance on this issue. And both women blamed Him for allowing their brother to die. Now He had only two weeks left to complete His mission and still two of His closest friends did not understand. No wonder He groaned in His spirit, and later wept openly.
     The Heavenly Doctrines make it very clear what the Lord was sorrowful about on this occasion. It was not just that He had been misunderstood, but rather what this misunderstanding seemed to mean for all of mankind. He wept because it seemed to Him that His whole mission had failed, and that the human race would never be spiritually well again. He wept out of His love for mankind and His infinite mercy toward all people. He wanted so desperately to bring healing and spiritual peace to all of mankind, and here some of His closest friends, those whom He had spent the most time teaching, were far from understanding the things that make for peace, and there were only two weeks left. He wept from His deep compassion for those whom He loved (AC 5480).
     To gain some idea of the feelings the Lord was then having, we can put ourselves in an analogous situation. Imagine, for a moment, that you are the parent of a beautiful little child, a three-year-old girl with deep blue eyes, flowing hair, and an innocent smile. One day from inside the house you are watching your daughter riding on her tricycle in the front yard. Suddenly you see her coasting down the driveway into the road just as you also notice a large truck speeding toward her. You yell for her to look out, but she is too far away; she cannot hear you. You yell as loudly as you can, but to no avail--she just keeps coasting into the road.


(See AC 1865, which says, "That the Divine love is such may be seen from the love of parents toward their children . . .") That feeling as you see your beloved child about to be maimed or killed-a feeling that comes from total love totally unable to communicate a warning-is something like what the Lord felt that day when He groaned in His spirit. But His concern was not just for one child but for billions of them. Can we now understand why He wept? Some who stood by and watched Him weep spoke rightly when they said, "See how He loved him."
     What are the implications of all this emotion which the Lord felt while He was in the world? The first thing we would note is that His feelings certainly were not hidden from us, either in the literal sense of the Scriptures or in the explanation of the Lord's inner life given to us in the Writings. The word "weep" is mentioned forty-five times in the Word. Where the Writings give us an explanation of the text in which it occurs, most often the weeping going on is said to be expressive of the Lord's grief from His love for all human kind. That feeling in the Lord is what is meant, what the angels see and feel as we read. No deep, arcane or intellectual explanation-just the Lord's grief.     
     Obviously it is important for us to know about the Lord's feelings and to make this aspect of His life part of our own personal idea of the Lord. If for no other reason we need to know this to make real for us the notion that we can hurt the Lord, that we can cause Him sorrow, for He does grieve.
     Through His life in the world the Lord made all of our natural human qualities part of Himself and made them Divine. And so it is that through His life in the world we are given to see the Lord's infinite love dealing with human issues on the same level as our day-to-day lives. This is the level of existence we truly understand and appreciate, and it is the dilemmas of life at this level of existence with which we empathize. This is as it must be, for our feelings and concerns can be sparked only by that which we ourselves have experienced.


It is imperative that we come to know and understand the Lord as to His feelings, since feelings are what make our own lives so human, so interesting, so enjoyable, and, at times, so desperately sorrowful.
     If we were to imagine the Lord as some cold computer off somewhere in the far reaches of the universe controlling everything, such a picture could not be further from the truth. But if we were to imagine Him as a loving father who would do anything to save his infant daughter from a terrible accident, we would be very close to the truth. Let there be no doubt about it: the Lord had strong feelings, deeper than we can ever imagine, and He still does.
     It is important that we understand the many ways in which the Lord is different from us. He is infinite; we are finite. He is life itself; we are recipients of His life. But there are also ways in which we are very much like Him. After all, He created us in His image and likeness. One of the reasons He came into the world was to demonstrate just how much He is like us. Even the process of spiritual growth the Lord experienced while in the world was similar to our own development, but the end result was far different. We pass through the stages of our natural life in order that we may become more spiritual, but the Lord passed through similar stages to become more natural! His primary purpose for coming into the world was to gut on a human essence which He did not have before (see AC 1461). This is one reason why He rose with His whole natural body, while we leave our natural bodies in the grave.
     You see, the Lord did not create us with the totally natural consciousness we have developed. He created us to be celestial, or at least spiritual, beings, but after mankind created evil, we fell into a totally natural state of consciousness. In a sense we moved into a territory that He was unfamiliar with, a territory over which He could not reign supreme, a territory over which He was not omnipotent. Thus while our task in the natural world is to become more spiritual, His task was to become more natural, to put on a Divine Natural (see AC 3286, TCR 109, SS 99).


And it was vital that He do this in the full view of all mankind so that people of all temperaments and all degrees of spiritual development might be given true natural and sensual images of Him to worship. This is why He never sought to hide His feelings from His followers, nor does He hide them from us in the internal sense of the Word. In fact, often it is His very feelings that constitute the internal sense (see AC 1492).
     After the Lord's mission in the world was completed, there was a great change in His ability to save people. The Writings for the New Church go so far as to say there was something that was added to the Lord (see AC 1461). This addition was His new ability to reach right down into our most external natural consciousness and touch us with His love, His mercy, His tenderness, and His wisdom. This is why He told us that it would not be until after He left the world that the counselor, the spirit of truth, would come. "I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you" (John 16:7).
     The Lord, our Heavenly Father, is indeed our Counselor. And we may know that there is no depth to which we might fall that He will not be able to come to us. No matter what we do, no matter what we may feel, no matter how natural we become, no matter how wicked, He can touch our hearts, and inspire us to follow Him back up the path toward heaven-not only because He is our infinite God, but because He has been where we are. We may know that all along the journey He will guard our footsteps and give us direction in even the most painful events of our life if we will but ask His guidance. Father, help us!
     We may know that there is no agony, no sorrow, and no doubt that He is unfamiliar with, for He was, and is, and is to come-a "Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief."


He understands and sympathizes with our every emotion and our every problem. And He knows just how to gently touch us, to tenderly encourage us to go on when all seems lost, just as He once went on when all seemed lost. And He will guide us to share that other emotion which also is His-inmost joy. For He is our Father, our Counselor, our Friend, our Lord and our God. Amen.



     Requests for application forms for admission of new students to the Academy Secondary Schools should be made by April 1, 1992. Letters should be addressed to Mrs. Gloria Wetzel, EdD., Principal of the Girls School, or Mr. T. Dudley Davis, Principal of the Boys School, The Academy of the New Church, Box 707, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Letters should include the student's name, parents' address, the class the student will be entering, the name and address of the school he or she is now attending, and whether the student will be a day or a dormitory student. Completed application forms should be forwarded to the Academy by June 30, 1992.
     Admission procedure is based on receipt of the following:

     1) Application
     2) Transcript
     3) Pastor's recommendation
     4) Health forms

     The Academy will not discriminate against applicants or students on the basis of race, color, gender, or national or ethnic origin.



REVOLT OF WOMAN       Rev. W. L. GLADISH       1992

     (Reprinted from the July 1915 issue.)

     What is this sound of tumult that is borne to our ears by every passing breeze? It seems the confused clamor of a vast throng. Even as we listen it grows ever louder and more insistent-louder as from a growing number, insistent as from persons whose purpose is kindling into flame.
     It is not the cry of a disciplined army shouting for the charge, but rather of a spontaneous gathering of people whose hearts are hot with wrong, who seek speedy redress and perhaps vengeance against their oppressors.
     It is the revolt of woman against the tyranny of man; it is the outcry of the female against the dominance of the male. This is not a war of nation against nation, nor of an enslaved people against their Egyptian oppressors. Worse than that: it is a house divided against itself. It is woman aroused, awakening as from an age-long slumber, determined to snatch the scepter from the hand of man and at least seat herself beside him on the throne, and possibly, if he resists, cast him down and rule over him as he has done over her.
     What should be the attitude of the New Churchman toward this movement? Should it have his sympathy or his unqualified condemnation? There are those among us who regard it as the very voice of God, a change essential to the New Age and the establishment of the church. There are others who look upon it with horror as a grave menace to the home and destructive of that conjugial love which is the jewel of human life and the only hope for the establishment of a New Church upon the earth.
     It little matters to the great world what we think, for that world knows not even of our existence.


Nor will our opinion change the march of God's providence for His children. His purposes will move steadily forward to their fruition whether we co-operate or resist.
     But it is of importance to ourselves, to our children, and to our beloved church, that we think justly concerning the relation of husband and wife, of man and woman. Its supreme moment to us lies in the fact that conjugial love is the fountain whence flow all human loves, both natural and spiritual. The spiritual life of the church therefore depends upon her stand upon this question. If the church with us is to advance-as we fondly hops-into clearer light and purer love toward God and man, we must be right in our understanding of the true relation of male and female to each other.
     The church has hardly entered upon a deep study of this subject from doctrine. She still hesitates, waiting for clearer light. But the time approaches when she will acquire for herself a doctrine: when she will, as a body, conclude from the angelic wisdom revealed to her either that woman must keep the place of obedience to her lord assigned her since the Fall, or that she is now to rule jointly with him. Yea, there is even a third possibility, namely, that woman's affectionate perception is a safer guide than man's harsh intellect, and that in the days to come she will dominate as man has done in the past. When the time comes that the church's doctrine is formulated, the Lord grant that it be the true light unclouded by prejudice, and Undistorted by sentiment, shining from the rational perception of her men and glowing with the warm affection of her women.
     The doctrine of the church, through not merely the Christian dispensation but also the Israelitish and even the Ancient, has been based upon the words of Genesis 3:16. "Unto the woman He said . . . thy desire shall be to thy husband; he shall rule over thee."
     But the common thought of New Churchmen has been that this doctrine of the literal sense is to be modified in the light of the internal sense of Scripture; that if husband and wife are to be united in the bonds of conjugial love, neither must exercise dominion over the other; that if she defers to his leadership in some regards he must equally submit himself to her leading in other ways.


For, it has been thought, conjugial love can flourish only between equals, never where one commands and the other but obeys.
     The question is now raised, however, whether our doctrines justify such a conclusion. Attention is called to the statement, "The male is love covered or veiled by wisdom; and the inmost in the female is that wisdom of the male and its covering is love thence derived; but this love is feminine love and it is given by the Lord to the wife through the wisdom of the husband. . . . Hence it is that the male is the wisdom of love, and the female the love of that wisdom" (CL 32).
     Again: "This [rational] wisdom is peculiar to the understanding of the men and climbs into a light in which women are not; which is the reason that women do not speak from that wisdom, but in the society of men when such things are being discussed they remain silent and only listen" (CL 165).
     It must be admitted that there is, in these statements, an appearance as of the inferiority of woman to man. Her inmost is the wisdom of her husband whereas his wisdom is given him directly by the Lord. His rational wisdom climbs into a light in which women are not. Yet it is immediately added that such things as make the rational wisdom of the men are with their wives from within, which is the reason of their listening and recognizing what has been said and favoring what they hear-or rejecting it if it does not seem right to them.
     Still more difficult to reconcile with the belief of the full equality of man and woman is the following: "The heavenly marriage is that of good with truth and of truth with good, yet not between good and truth of one and the same degree, but between good and truth of an inferior degree and of a superior; that is, not between the good of the internal man and the truth of the same, but between the good of the external man and the truth of the internal, or, what is the same thing, not between the good of the natural man and the truth thereof but between the good of the natural man and the truth of the spiritual man; it is this conjunction which constitutes marriage.


     The case is similar in the internal or spiritual man; between the good and truth is the spiritual man there subsists no heavenly marriage, but between the good of the spiritual man and the truth of the celestial man, for the celestial man is relatively in a superior degree. Neither does the heavenly marriage subsist between good and truth in the celestial man, but between good of the celestial man and Truth Divine, which proceeds from the Lord. Hence also it is manifest that the essential Divine Marriage of the Lord is not between Good Divine and Truth Divine in His Divine Human, but between the good of the Divine Human and the Divine Itself, that is, between the Son and the Father, for the good of the Divine Human of the Lord is what is called in the Word the Son of God, and the Divine Itself is called the Father (see AC 3952).
     Here is given the underlying law of marriage. And it is not the marriage of equals but of unequals; always it is the marriage of truth of a higher degree with good of a lower one.
     Does it not seem that one is justified in deducing from this teaching the opinion that "Viewed by the Writings of the church, women must be regarded as more external than men. . . . She renders the service of external to internal" (NCL, March, 1915 p. 224)?
     That this appears to be the teaching we must admit. But that it is really the teaching that marriage between man and woman is a union between a superior and an inferior, between an internal being and an external one, we do not believe.
     We reject such a conclusion for many reasons. 1. It is out of harmony with the general teaching of the doctrine concerning the relation between husband and wife. 2. It is in flat opposition to many statements concerning that relation.


3. The subject here treated of is not marriage between husband and wife but is the heavenly marriage in one individual. And it is a well known principle that the doctrine of any subject must be drawn from passages where that subject itself is expounded, and cannot be properly based on deductions from statements made in the course of the exposition of other subjects. The doctrine of the church concerning the relation of husband and wife must be found where that relation itself is definitely set forth.
     Other weighty reasons for rejecting the inferiority of woman are that it is repellent to the soul and to enlightened perception; and that if confirmed it would destroy that humility and reverence with which the true man courts and woos his wife. Therefore such a belief would destroy conjugial love, which is a union of equals before God.
     But let us consider some of the statements of the doctrines concerning marriage: "Marriage in heaven is a conjunction of two into one mind . . . . The mind consists of two parts, one of which is called the understanding, and the other, the will. When these two parts act as one they are called one mind. The husband then acts that part which is called the understanding and the wife acts that which is called the will" (HH 367).
     "Everyone, whether man or woman, has understanding and will, but with man the understanding predominates and with woman the will predominates. But in marriages in heaven there is no predominance, for the will of the wife is also the husband's will and the understanding of the husband is also the wife's understanding, since one loves to will and think as the other, thus mutually and reciprocally" (HH 369).
     "The love of dominion of one over the other entirely takes away conjugial love and its heavenly joy, for conjugial love and its joy consists in the will of the one being that of the other mutually and reciprocally. This is destroyed by the love of dominion in marriage since he that domineers wishes his will alone to be in the other and nothing of the other's will to be reciprocally in himself, which destroys all mutuality and thus all sharing of any love and its delight one with the other" (HH 380).


     These passages just quoted seem to establish the equality of husband and wife that there may be entire freedom, mutuality and reciprocity, which constitute the joy of marriage.
     Those which follow show some respects in which woman is superior to man. Three wives in heaven of whom Swedenborg sought arcana concerning conjugial love replied: "There are arcana, and some of them transcend your wisdom to such a degree that the understanding of your thought cannot apprehend them. You glory over us on account of your wisdom, but we do not glory over you on account of ours; and yet ours is eminently above yours because it enters your inclinations and affections and sees, perceives and feels them. You know nothing at all about the inclinations and affections of your own love; . . . yet wives know them so well in their husbands that they see them in their faces and hear them from the tones of the speech of their mouth; yea, they feel them on their breasts, arms, and cheeks. . . .We know better than the men whether it be well or ill with them" (CL 208).
     In Conjugial Love 222 it is taught that there are several spheres which proceed from the Lord, "but the universal sphere of all is the conjugial sphere because this is also the sphere of propagation and thus in a supereminent degree the sphere of the preservation of the created universe through successive generations," And in the following number it is said: "This sphere is received by the feminine sex and through this it is transferred into the masculine sex. That there is not any conjugial love with the masculine sex but only with the feminine sex, and that from this sex it is transferred into the masculine sex, I have seen evidenced by experience, see n. 161" (CL 223).
     What becomes of man's boasted superiority if he has in himself nothing of conjugial love or even of the love of the sex, if his reception of that most universal sphere which preserves creation depends wholly upon the female sex?


May not this superiority of woman be set over against the ability of his rational to climb into a light in which women are not? "Conjugial love depends on the wife's love; and such is the husband's love in reciprocation; and the wife's love does not depend on the husband's love. . . . It is the reverse with those who are not in conjugial love" (De Conj. 34).
     These passages clearly teach the superiority of woman over man, of the wife over the husband. Conjugial love is hers, not his. Consider what this involves. The conjugial sphere is the most universal sphere proceeding from the Lord. It is the sphere which preserves the created universe. It is the sphere not only of marriage, but also of religion. Conjugial love is the source whence flow all human loves, spiritual as well as natural. Man must receive through woman not only conjugial love but also love to the Lord, mutual love, love of offspring, love of the neighbor; thus all that makes the sweetness, beauty and joy of life is given by the Lord to woman and through her is transferred to man so far as he, by return of her affection, is conjoined with her. Is it any wonder that woman represents the church?
     The truth of the matter is that the equality of man and woman results from their inequality. In his province-that of judgment and rational light-man is supreme. His understanding climbs into a light in which woman is not. For the sake of marriage the Lord gives to him that light which is to guide them both.
     In her province-that of affection-woman is supreme. Her will receives the warmth of heaven. For the sake of marriage the Lord pours immediately into her soul that conjunctive sphere which is for her husband as well as herself, which, having united them, turns them to the Lord and then conjoins them with their fellows.
     Therefore each is superior to the other; and each is also inferior to the other. From the heights in which her will dwells, gently glowing with the warmth of heaven, woman stoops to man in his poverty and offers him of her abundance.


And if he receives it and loves her, she lifts him up to the delectable mountains.
     On the other hand, man also dwells upon the heights as to his understanding. For the Lord separates his understanding from his will and lifts it up to the peaks where it caches the eternal splendor of the Sun of Heaven. And from that Light he beckons the woman to leave caring for bodily and earthly things and dwell with him in that splendor.
     The reason we think that the Writings teach the inferiority of woman is that the understanding is the only province of human life of which we have any conception. We come of a faith-alone generation to which the will and its affections were unknown. We ourselves still abide in the rind and husk and think of science as wisdom. If man can think more deeply than woman, what is there left for her to do? Thought is the all of life. She can indeed prepare her husband's meals and nurse the babies. But a servant can do these things. Woman can show her equality with man only by invading his field, beating him at his own game, becoming a more astute statesman and a better general of fighting armies. Such is the thought of today.
     But if life were more truly estimated it would be seen that after man has done his part of seeing truth in its great rugged outlines, there still remains the woman's part of clothing it with grace and beauty so that it shall be attractive and human, and then the further part of leading her husband and herself to make that truth a living truth, a truth of life.
     The understanding has indeed its place and that a vital place. Without light one cannot see the path which leads to heaven. The understanding is the eye of the mind. Man sees for both. But to see the way is but a means to an end. There still remains to walk in it. And since woman is a form of will or affection, walking in the way depends upon her. Without her, man would but lift his eyes and from afar catch occasional glimpses of the celestial mountains and then sink back again to his former life without the will to toil over the dusty road and face the lions in the path.


     The regenerating man recognizes his wife his equal because she is in all things that he himself lacks so far his superior. He must acknowledge that superiority, and on bended knee supplicate her to unite her grace, beauty and sweetness to his uncouth austerity. And this not only in the days of courtship before marriage but his humility before her grows with the years, and his wonder that she should harken to his plea. To him she becomes the embodiment of all his heart's desire, unattainable without her. Nor does this at all involve placing his own burden of rational judgment upon her slender shoulders. Here he is superior.
     And as the understanding sees both for itself and for its will, so the husband with a clearer sight looks out the untrod path for both.
     An illustration of the relation of husband and wife may be found in the doctrine of the rational faculty and the animus as unfolded in The Soul [Rational Psychology]. See especially numbers 313, 343 and 473 of that work. The animus is the lower mind, containing the disposition, of itself governed by bodily and worldly affection. It must submit itself to the rational and be guided and ruled thereby, must acknowledge the rational as its lord and superior.
     Yet in its first beginnings the animus is above the rational itself. The animus in that region is the pure intellectory (343) above the shades and appearances of the rational. Thus the rational is itself built upon the animus, which is both above and below it. Still the animus must flow through the rational to become conscious of itself and must, as already said, submit itself to the rational in order to be purified, reformed and regenerated.
     So is it with man and woman. She, being a form of affection while he is a form of understanding, is, as it were, both above and below him. She inspires him yet is guided by him.


From her unregenerate affections she looks up to his superior light. Yet has she from within all things that form his rational. But with her they are only feelings, impulses. She sees them as truths only when they have been formulated and spoken by him. Her leadership is from within, hidden, unrecognized even by herself unless her husband has wit enough to see it and show it to her. His leadership is open and manifest to all, and to the unthinking seems the only leadership. Thus each leads and each follows.
     Each has a soul that reaches up to direct contact with God. Neither is the internal of which the other is the external. Understanding from the Lord flows into the male, but for love he must turn himself to woman. Love from the Lord flows directly into the female, but for light she must turn to the man. The man does not represent the Lord and the woman the church but both together represent the church (see CL 21), and in heaven are not called two but one angel (HH 367).
     The solution of the difficulty presented by AC 3952 is suggested in what has been said of the animus and the rational. But let us look at it a little more closely. That the subject is not marriage is evident from the concluding words of the quotation: "From this it is also manifest that the Divine marriage itself of the Lord . . . is between the Son and the Father." It is hardly to be expected that the law of conjunction between Father and Son should be in all respects the law of marriage between husband and wife. Moreover, it is definitely said, before leaving the subject: that " . . . this union is the Divine marriage itself. . . . Yet the union is not cohabitation [i.e., marriage between husband and wife], but is expressed by cohabitation in the sense of the letter" (AC 3960).
     Heavenly marriage indeed gives rise to marriage in both heaven and earth, but the laws of marriage are other than those of the union of an interior and exterior degree of the mind and of the Son and Father in our Lord. For in marriage both partners have souls with all the human degrees. Both are equally internal and external.


Each as from above lifts up the other, man raising the woman to his light, woman lifting the man into her love.
     If this study approaches a correct interpretation of the relation of man and woman, it will be apparent that our sympathy should be with every movement which places her by his side as altogether his equal; that everything which tends to encourage and develop her interior leadership, or inspiration, should be most welcome; but that the church should oppose all that takes the burden of external leadership and rational judgment out of man's hands and places it in hers. For conjugial love is dependent on each being supreme in his own sphere and seeking to be led by the opposite sex in those things which belong to that sex.



     The Academy summer camp will be held on the campus of the Academy of the New Church in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania from Sunday, July 5 until Saturday, July 11, 1992.
     The camp is open to boys and girls who will have completed eighth or ninth grade in May or June of 1992.
     Students will receive registration details after the first week in March. We try to send to every eligible student, but sometimes miss someone. If the information form is not received by the second week in March, or if you know someone who may need information, please contact William C. Fehon, Camp Director, Academy of the New Church, Box 707, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009, or call him at (215) 947-4200.



RACISM       Rev. ANDREW M. T. DIBB       1992


     What is racism? It is defined in the American Heritage Dictionary in the following way: Racism: "the notion that one's own ethnic stock is superior."
     We begin this treatment of racism using this basic definition, although we will depart from its narrow confines rather dramatically.
     Racism is almost as old as the human race itself. The earliest recorded people left evidence, both in written form and in the bones of "inferiors," that racial discrimination, with the strife accompanying it, has almost always been a fact of life, at least ever since history was first recorded.
     In the sense of the letter of the Word there are many examples which have been used to condone racism. For example, Abraham made his servant swear that no wife from the "daughters of Canaan" would be given to Isaac (see Gen. 24:3). If we keep purely to the sense of the letter, this appears to be racist.
     In the Deuteronomic Law one finds the command stating: "Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son" (Deut. 7:3), "them," of course, being the people of Canaan, the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (see Deut. 7:1).
     Another example of racism is shown by the Egyptians who, noted for their culture and civilization, considered it an abomination to eat with the Hebrews (see Gen. 43:32, AC 5702:2).
     The Writings point out that although racism was common in the Ancient world, as it is now, the Israelites were told to abominate and avoid their neighbors, not because of their race but because of the evil they indulged in, particularly in their religiosity.


     It cannot, however, be claimed, as it occasionally has, that because the Mosaic laws appear racist, racism is sanctioned by the Lord and the church. In fact, to offset the apparently racist laws there were a great many others that demanded that the Israelites were to treat strangers as themselves, thus there was to be "one law for the Hebrew and the Egyptian."
     However, the Jews were conceited enough to believe that they were chosen above all other nations-most of whom were no worse than they were, " . . . in spite of the fact that . . . that nation is in filthy loves, in sordid avarice, in hatred, and in conceit; and that they even make light of, and even hold in aversion, the internal things which are of charity and faith, and which are of the Lord" (AC 7051).
     The people of the Old Testament preferred to ignore the Mosaic laws prescribing equality and justice, and look only to the ones which appeared racist. Since that time racism has flourished in this world. Our own twentieth century has given us many startling examples of this:

     A.      The anti-Semitism that flourished in Europe during the first World War and before the second, leading to the Nazi extermination camps. One example is Czar Nicholas II, who blamed the decimation of Russian troops on Jewish money lenders. The real culprit was poor military strategy, training and weapons.
     B.      Many western nations were "sympathetic" with Nazi anti-Semitism and refused to allow Jewish refugees to emigrate to their countries.
     C.      The treatment of ethnic peoples and minorities in countries that have either colonized places or been "havens" for refugees, etc. For example, the "reservations" for Indians in the U.S. and Canada, for Aborigines in Australia, and Maoris in New Zealand.


     D.      Finally the institutionalized racism inherent in the system of apartheid in South Africa.

     Institutionalized racism, however, is only a part of the problem of coexistence between different groups of people. After the experience of World War II, it is not likely that the western world will be faced with another holocaust (although we saw something similar in Biafra in the 1960s, Cambodia in the 1970s and Kurdistan in the 1980s, to name just a few).
     Far more pervasive, and a part of every single person's life, is the friction that exists within society between groups of people who are of differing cultures, colours, religions, and so on. Racism is not restricted to whites considering themselves superior to non-whites. It is a problem that is found in all groups of people, and actually has very little or nothing to do with the "civilization" process. People of similar status, and even the same ethnic heredity, abominate each other:

     E.      For example, the Scotsman who never has a good word for an Englishman, or the Englishman who considers the Irish to be slightly lower than dogs.
     F.      Or perhaps the Hindu Indian who hates the Muslim. They are both of a common stock, and they both hate the Sikh.

     Racism is also at home with class differentiation. There are groups who are on a lower level of culture but who despise those on a higher level, which is particularly true for countries which have long entrenched class distinctions:


     G.      E.g., in Britain the Labour Party advocates rule by the lower classes (or working class) because the "upper" classes cannot be trusted.

     It is not my intention, however, to go any further into a litany of racistic attitudes. There is hardly anyone who is not familiar with them, both on a global scale and also on the personal level of life. One cannot live in our metropolitan environment without seeing or hearing of such occurrences.
     From these considerations, however, it would be useful to broaden the definition of racism given earlier from "the notion that one's own ethnic stock is superior" to "the notion that all people outside of one's immediate circle of associates are inferior."
     The first definition is limiting, because a person can be a racist without actually being prejudiced about colour, but about a host of characteristics found in others dissimilar from himself. It is quite possible, by using the broader definition, for one to be prejudiced against those within his own ethnic group.


     Racism, stripped to its bare bones, is nothing short of self-love. The Writings teach us that a person who is in self-love "is diametrically opposed to the celestial things of love, for he who loves himself loves no others, but endeavors to destroy all persons that do not pay reverence to him. . . .Hence it is evident that from the love of self gush forth all hatreds, all revenges and cruelties, and also infamous simulations and deceits, and thus all heinous things against the order of human society and against the order of heavenly society" (AC 2219). Self-love gives rise to a disregard for anyone who is not in agreement with oneself, and that, in the broadest sense, is racism. One can understand "disagreement" to include disagreement not only of thought, but also of language, religion, colour, education.


     When we see someone from another race, culture, or even religion, we see someone who is in a state of disagreement with ourselves. They come from an unfamiliar stock or background, with the result that they appear different, think differently, and have different customs. This heightens one's sense of disagreement. So we are told: "The man who is in the love of self despises the neighbour in comparison with himself, regards him as an enemy, does not favour or reverence him, hates and persecutes him, burns with revenge against him, and desires his destruction" (AC 7370).
     This passage captures the essence of the practice of racism, the opposition of racism to pure mutual love-which "consists in the fact that they love the neighbour more than themselves . . . " (AC 2057), and to wish "better to another than to one's self; and thus, it wills to give another what belongs to one's self (namely, one's goods)" (SD 4607m). "Mutual love, however, which alone is heavenly, consists in not only saying but also acknowledging and believing that one is utterly undeserving, and something worthless and filthy, which the Lord in His infinite mercy is constantly drawing away and holding back from the hell into which the person constantly tries, and indeed longs, to cast himself" (AC 1594:4).
     AC 7370 also sums up the opposition of racism to common charity, which is described as love to the neighbour, and is practiced by those who from an internal affection wish to do good to others (see also NJHD 104), or at least to live according to the Golden Rule.
     There is in racism the disregard for both mutual love and charity. The love of self is the origin of the accumulated bigoted acts of mankind down through the ages, both on national levels and also on the personal plane when we tell racial jokes, or belittle someone because of his origin.
     It is perhaps the most hellish of all forms of conceit to dismiss people on purely ethnic grounds.


This is something they have no control over. It is one thing to separate oneself from people who deliberately choose evil, but a totally different thing to reject them on racial grounds. To do so for the latter reason is to deny that a person is a unique creation, a substantive being who, like oneself, is under the direction and guidance of Providence and who is destined to a place in heaven.
     Inherent in racist attitudes is the thought of oneself as better, more deserving than others. Conceit, or pride, is the daughter of self-love; we are told "That 'to deal proudly' denotes the endeavour and the force used to rule is because this endeavour and the consequent force are in all pride, for pride is to love self more than others, and to set self above them, and to wish to exercise command over others; and they who wish this also despise others in comparison with self, and also persecute from hatred and revenge those who set themselves above them, or do not pay them respect . . . " (AC 8678).

How Did Racism Begin?

     Racism is so entrenched in society, and indeed in the human mind, that it is difficult to picture a time when it did not exist, although people idealize a time when its deadly force will be no longer felt in our world.
     Yet there was a time in the pristine state of the Most Ancient Church when there was no racism. The people of that time were in states of innocent mutual love. Since racism is the opposite of mutual love, it follows that it was alien to their culture. But as the Most Ancient Church fell, so wickedness swept into the human mind, bringing with it all the evils that result from a rejection of religion. The purest love of the Most Ancient Church was love to the Lord, and this existed in the "Garden of Eden" with "Adam." Its opposite was self-love and all the evils that went with it, which is pictured by the wickedness of the men of the church who were destroyed in the flood.


     When the Lord finally judged the Most Ancient Church and raised up in its stead the Ancient Church, people were no longer able to have or practice mutual love. They were capable, however, of charity, or the desire to do unto others as one would have others do unto oneself. "The doctrine of the Ancient Church was the doctrine of life, which is the doctrine of charity" (AC 2385; see also 2417, 3419, 3420, 4844, 6628). Worship of the Lord took a different form in the Ancient Church from that which had gone before: "Among these peoples [those of the Ancient Church] doctrinal teachings and religious practices differed from one to the next, but there was nevertheless one church because with them charity was the essential thing" (AC 2385:5).
     Charity is an external form of mutual love: it is not as high or as pure. But it sufficed the people of the Ancient Church because it gave them a way of loving the Lord. The Lord allowed the knowledge of mutual love to fade: "This church at the outset knew no other teaching than that which had to do with charity, for that teaching looked toward and permeated life; and so they were concerned about their eternal welfare" (AC 2417).
     Even in their charity, however, the Ancient Church carried the seeds of racism. Had the people been in mutual love, this would have been impossible. But charity, unlike mutual love, can be simulated by external things. As the church grew and diversified, so the potential for friction among differing groups arose. "The first Ancient Church, meant by Noah and his sons, was not confined to a few people but was spread throughout many kingdoms, as is clear from the nations mentioned-throughout Assyria, Mesopotamia, Syria, Ethiopia, Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Philistia up to Tyre and Sidon, and throughout the whole of the land of Canaan. . . . Everybody at that time was distinguished into separate houses, families, and nations. One nation recognized one father from whom it took its name. . . " (AC 1238:2; cf. AC 2417).


     Initially, when there was charity between the people, the differences between these groups did not divide them, for the doctrine of charity "conjoined all the churches, and so made one out of many, for they acknowledged as men of the church all who lived in the good of charity, and called them brethren, however greatly they might be at variance in the truths which at this day are called the truths of faith" (AC 6628).
     History shows us how in due time this charity was forgotten, and the different nations went their own ways, different principles grew up, and in place of charity arose the opposite, self-love and with it racism, or the notion that one's own ethnic group is superior to all others.
     By the time history was written down, the Ancient Church had long since passed its prime and racism was rampant. It is at this point that the racism between the Hebrews and the Egyptians enters the pages of the Word. The antagonism arose because the Egyptians came from one branch of the Ancient Church and the Jews from another. Over the centuries they had grown apart, turning to idolatry and magic, until "all things of the Hebrew Church . . . were an abomination to the Egyptians," who, in turn, were nauseated by the Hebrews (see AC 5702).
     These attitudes were passed from generation to generation and hardened in each generation by unrepented actions, until, by the time the Lord was born into the world, there was pure racism, which has lasted until this very day.

     (To be concluded)

1992 WOMEN'S RENEWAL WEEKEND       Editor       1992

     The theme this year is "The Dance of Femininity." The location is Camp Lutherlyn (near Pittsburgh). The date is Friday, May 1 (5:00 p.m.) through Sunday, May 3 (1:00 p.m.). The registrar is Trish Lindsay, 186 Iron Bridge Road, Sarver, PA 16055; phone (412) 295-2316.



LORD'S RESURRECTION BODY (Concluded)       Jr. V. C. ODHNER       1992

     The Human Essence

     This is the essence of the assumed human that the Lord took on in the world (the "Son of man"-see AC 1729; 1999:5; 2004:1, 2; 1607:2, 3; 1738; 1921:2; 2814). As to celestial things, or goods, it was in union with the Divine Itself. As to spiritual things, or truths, it was human and thus adjoined to the external man of the Lord, but eventually, by degrees, successively, through combats, temptations and always victory, this also was made Divine, or Jehovah Himself (see AC 1584e; 1707:5; 1996; 1708; 1745:2). Only the Lord thought from the affection of intellectual truth, which is above the rational (see AC 1914:2). "But so far as the Lord united the Human Essence to His Divine Essence, He thought from the Divine Good Itself, that is, from Jehovah" (AC 1914:3). AC 1997:2e-"This latter affection, of truth, the Lord united to the affection of good, which is to do good from the love of good, when He united the Human Essence to the Divine Essence." AC 2803:1-" . . . the union of the Divine Essence with the Human, and of the Human Essence with the Divine, is the marriage of good and truth, and of truth with good, from which comes the heavenly marriage. . . . "
     Quoting again from Bishop Alfred Acton's superior 1906 NCL paper, p. 331: "It was the Human Essence and not the infirm human that was glorified . . . and the unition was effected by the total expulsion of the infirm human. The Human Essence may be compared . . . to the remains stored up in man by the Lord from which he has the faculty of seeing truth from somewhat of heavenly affection [see AC 1906:4; 1988:2e; 1963; 1988:2,3; 4670] . . . .


In the assumed Human, therefore, the Human Essence which was from the Divine could meet the hells which were present in the organic forms [see AC 1603:2] of that human. For by it the Divine was veiled, and in it the hells could find their like.
     "The Lord's Glorification consisted in the descent of the Human Essence which was born of Jehovah, and the descent was effected by the removal and subjugation of the hells by means of temptation combats."
     In AC 1603:2-"But with the Lord, after He had expelled the hereditary evil, and so had purified the organic things of His Human Essence, these too received life, so that the Lord, being already life in regard to His internal man, became life as to His external man also" (some emphasis in the quotations is added by the author). Here we have a glimpse of how the Divine Life descended through the degrees of the mind of the Human even to the organic things of the body, forming, or allowing to be formed, the Divine Human as a separate entity or essence (see AC 3061:3) along the way, which gives us a clearer understanding of such numbers as AC 5077-8. See AC 3318:5. And in AC 5078:2 we see how "The Lord made the very bodily in Himself Divine [that is, through temptations and victories, the descending Divine Human was eventually "born" within the very ultimates of the body], the sensuous and its recipient organs." And since the very bodily was an ultimate receptacle for the Divine Human essence (see AC 3061:3; 2803:2, AE 581:12). It became the "same as risen." For it was after the last temptation on the cross that a full unition occurred between the Divine and the Human Essence (see AC 2921:6). This left the body to itself, while the Divine Human, glorified even to ultimates, as a Divine Body separate from the material, but conjoined correspondentially (see AC 3318:5; SD 4845), was prepared for resurrection. The process of sundering could not be completed until the "third day," meaning what is complete from beginning to end (see AC 4495; AE 655:10e).



     The importance of the resurrection body doctrine can be seen by the calm, self-evidencing reason of love (see Canons, Prologue) in the various numbers that apply. The very essential of the church is the acknowledgment of the union of the Divine Itself with the Lord's Human, The ideas of Christian theology have not only twisted proper thought of the Divine Human, but have permeated the New Church through the years.
     To understand the doctrine of any subject, the doctrine of the Word should first be consulted because, being good presented to view, it is a guide and the way. Doctrine is the lamp (see AE 714:11) for that way and prevents stumbling on the obstructions of the literal sense as the internal sense is sought.
     The doctrines of influx and order demand that the spiritual flows into the natural, and not the reverse. The Lord never acts against His laws; therefore, the Lord's material body could not have ascended into the spiritual, let alone the Divine. All the Lord's miracles were in accordance with order and not by "fiat." Primary is the idea presented in DLW 234 of the Lord's body being a receptacle of the Divine yet not a part of the Divine, while yet a Divine Body (Divine Human) was born therein.
     The doctrine of the infinity of God prevents the idea that anything, including the Lord's natural body, could be added to the Divine. The wording of the Writings that the Lord "made" His Human Divine simply means that He used the natural or material correspondentially for the formation of His Divine Body, or Divine Human.
     The doctrine that the Lord became no longer the son of Mary means just that, that He eventually put off in the world all that He had taken from her, and formed a separate Divine Body which was Jehovah and the Divine Human from eternity.
     The Lord's material body was a servant which, by means of temptations and victories, He formed into correspondential compliance, so that it could serve as an ultimate basis for the formation of His Divine Body or Divine Human.


     The Lord used that body as a means for glorification to save all mankind, and never took anything from the finite into His Divine.
     Because the Divine Seed was from Jehovah, the Lord's natural body was born of Him, and His internal was Jehovah. When He glorified His natural, or made it Divine, it was the Divine Itself descending to make possible the presence of the Divine Human by means of the Human Essence and the servant body. Thus, CL 183:4 denies the idea that the Lord had a limbus such as man has because it teaches of the natural transmission of the limbus in the seed. Perhaps the remains of the Lord's material body answer the limbus concept.
     The body the Lord formed or presented, by means of temptations from all of hell and complete victory over them, was an essence by itself (see AC 3061:3), the Divine Human, the Divine Natural, successively reaching to ultimates while it was forming a correspondential receptacle. The Human Essence's victory from the Divine was everything.
     With the last of temptation and victory on the cross, the Lord glorified His Human and presented a Divine Human Body, to the sight of no one but Himself and heaven. On the cross the Lord had made His Human Essence completely Divine and had formed a Divine Human Body within the shell on the cross. The unition which had taken place was not that of the Divine and the material, but of the Divine and the glorified Human Essence, right down to the correspondential essence of the flesh and bones. The complete or plenary union was that of the Divine Truth, which He first made Himself, with the Divine Good, which resulted in unition. The Lord had exchanged His unglorified Human Essence and material body for the Divine Human. And on the cross, the sabbath, He had peace (see AC 10730:2).
     To call the Lord's Human a quality and not a substance is philosophically and theologically unfounded, as borne out by numerous passages from the Writings, not to mention common sense regarding the statement.


     The necessary union of the Divine and the Human, the essential combat of good/truth versus evil/falsity, must be understood as the purpose of incarnation, a means for the purpose of creation, the only means. Yet, once this incarnation purpose was accomplished, our mind must be immediately drawn to the servant use the body performed, and thus to the result, which was the glorification, the absolute sundering of that means, and the establishment of the Divine Human Body. Ath. 161-2 makes clear that the Lord's material body was dissipated in the tomb, and that on the cross He had already glorified Himself. But the resurrection, or rising, did not take place until the third day, as we know from the three-part Word and from the signification of the "third day."
     From the doctrine of the Human Essence one can see how the Lord glorified Himself down to the very ultimates, thus making possible the formation of a separate Divine Body, the Divine Human, within His material body, the material compliance being completed on the cross, and He rose on Easter, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last.


     The New Church College, of Radcliffe, Manchester, England, is sponsoring a Summer Seminar of Swedenborg Studies, highlighting Swedenborg's influence in western literature, with speakers from Britain and abroad. You are encouraged to register early as places are limited, The cost for the seminar is L90. Write, enclosing your deposit of L10, to The Administrative Officer, The New Church College, 25 Radcliffe New Road, Radcliffe, Manchester, England M26 9LS. Information about nearby hotels is available.


Editorial Pages 1992

Editorial Pages       Editor       1992


     An excellent idea would be to provide a series of readable pamphlets answering the question: What is New Church education? One pamphlet could address the question in relation to elementary education. Others could follow on more advanced levels.
     Well, this idea is being acted upon right now, and the first pamphlet exists and is available! The writer is Beth Johns. She has given the pamphlet just the right touch. It takes a visitor through a New Church school and explains what is going on and the reasons behind what is going on.
     In two dozen pages Mrs. Johns explains the "essential philosophy" of New Church education and tells who the students are, who the teachers are, and what is taught. She maintains interest and clarity as she moves through the different subject areas.
     At one point this reviewer paused and said, "Does this really hold true in New Church schools?" For example, on page 20 she describes activities used in physical education. "Nothing is included in the program merely because it is expected, popular or generally accepted. Rather, careful thought is given to the usefulness of any activity over the long term and whether it is appropriate for a particular level of development, as well as for the emotional and physical states of the children." I can remember as a school principal hollering, "Okay, we're going to play some softball now." Well, I was completely reassured by the author's note on page 22 which says: "Ideals stated here are not always reached, but the vision inspires the minds of many dedicated educators who continue to devote their lives to achieving it."


     At the end of the pamphlet is a list of a dozen doctrinal subjects relating to education, together with references to the Writings. Following this is a list of the nine New Church elementary schools now in operation.
     This attractive pamphlet is highly recommended for parents as well as teachers and for anyone asking the question: What is New Church education?
     Note: This pamphlet is available ($1.00) from The General Church Office of Education, Cairncrest-Box 743, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009.


     Almost twenty years have passed since well-informed people were saying that the differences between the sexes were cultural differences. The idea was that we make girls different by giving them dolls when they are young.
     Swedenborg watched boys and girls from his window and noted the difference of their behavior. Among other things, the girls were dressing dolls (see CL 218). The seemingly enlightened idea some twenty years ago was that if you bring the girls up differently they will be like men. A passage in Conjugial Love does refer to the notion that women can be like men "if only they are initiated . . . from their earliest age as are boys" (CL 175).
     At last in the 1990s enough data and observation have been amassed to show that there are innate differences. The cover story of Time magazine (January 20th) is about the differences of the sexes. There we read of behavioral scientists spending two years trying "to determine the origins of gender differences by capturing on videotape the squeals of delight, furrows of concentration and myriad decisions that children from 2 to 8 make while playing." The study confirms that girls prefer dolls. The article comments that parents and nursery school teachers already knew this.


     The article reminds us that during the 1970s "talk of inborn differences in the behavior of men and women was distinctly unfashionable, even taboo." "Once sexism was abolished, so the argument ran, the world would become a perfectly equitable, androgynous place, aside from a few anatomical details."
     The evidence for innate sexual differences has greatly increased. The article goes on to say, "Now that it is O.K. to admit the possibility, the search for sexual differences has expanded into nearly every branch of life sciences. Anthropologists have debunked Margaret Mead's work on the extreme variability of gender roles in New Guinea . . . . But the most provocative, if as yet inconclusive, discoveries of all stem from the pioneering exploration of a tiny 3-lb universe: the human brain." "Psychology tests . . . consistently support the notion that men and women perceive the world in subtly different ways."
     We are likely to see some very interesting studies in the years ahead about men and women. "They differ in their attitudes and their ways . . . . Nothing whatever in them is alike; and yet, in their singular parts, there is what is conjunctive; yea, in the male the masculine is masculine in every part of his body, even the most minute, and also in every idea of his thought, and in every grain of his affection; and so likewise, the feminine in the female" (CL 33).

NO HIGHER JOY       Editor       1992

     Every one who comes into heaven enters into the highest joy of his heart. He can bear no higher joy, for he would be suffocated thereby.
     Divine Providence 254



SERVING THE CLIENTELE       Susan B. Nickel       1992

Dear Editor:
     I tire of the cry for "simplifying" the Writings, but from a different perspective. Let me start by saying that I don't live or work amongst fellow New Churchmen. I also have no hesitation in listening and participating amongst those of other faiths, and in fact make it almost a daily occurrence. My training is as a vocational educator. (For those not familiar with traditional vocational education in the United States, we are those who design and facilitate the teaching of applicable skills as well as academic knowledge to prepare our students in specific career areas. The key word here is "applicable.")
     I believe strongly that the Writings need to be the carefully maintained, analytically arranged works that they are. That they can be painfully hard to read even for a diehard New Churchman as myself is not the issue we should be addressing. I believe the focus of our earthly organization should be the needs of our clientele and potential clientele rather than the semantics of the Writings.
     One argument toward "simplifying" the Writings is to make them more attractive and understandable to potential members in an evangelical effort. Just because the complexity of the Writings may be more appropriate for later in a newcomer's spiritual journey doesn't mean the Writings should be rewritten into a supposedly simpler dialogue. I believe this clientele wants spiritual guidance geared to and arranged in contemporary topics. They want the Word put into applicable form, that is, one they can understand, is tangible with tangible results, and can be used when specific incidents arise in their lives. They don't want to be told repetitively that one particular word or phrase corresponds to a specific thing, let alone every correspondence to one phrase.


They want to know exactly how parts of the Word and Writings relate to their work, their families, their feelings, their lives, and they don't want a preacher to take an hour to get there. And of course there are other clientele with other needs. What we need is well-planned, well-written supportive materials for identified clientele groups to complement the Writings.
     It is obvious that other entities have realized clientele and target audience needs, and have responded in a fashion from which we could learn. May I suggest Chuck Swindol's The Strong Family as a model of effectively written material (a study guide to one of his radio series):

     1)      Beautifully printed, glossy paperback about " thick that looks like a "quick read" or at least one that is manageable.
     2)      Covers one very pertinent topic in modest depth.
     3)      Takes appropriate Scripture and makes it applicable, written in totally understandable language discussing exactly how to build family life including exercises, techniques, activities, etc. Biblical quotes are found within the text, but are limited to one or so phrases, not every reference found in the Bible.
     4)      Always written in an enthusiastic, happy, encouraging tone, and a little humor mixed in isn't considered a bad thing either-none of this brittle, uninspired, pseudo-somber presentation in which our people seem to continually be mired.
     5)      Clearly defines objectives and hammers them home-it may be uplifting, but it hardly "pulls its punches" (we in education would say it doesn't "soften the curriculum").

     I encourage listening to or reading Swindol's work to study this talented, eloquent, well-read individual's effective style.
     Of the supportive materials of New Church origin I currently possess or have viewed, I don't feel we've done an effective job in this area.


It seems the development of such materials, particularly the creative and fresh approaches, is often left to uncoordinated, individual efforts. I contend that the New Church should be spending time and effort encouraging and developing the kind of leadership skills and supportive material development displayed by other faiths as we do with others who are talented in other valuable ways. I believe such focus would result in greater overall value to more individuals than merely simplifying the Writings.

     Susan B. Nickel,
          Chadron, Nebraska

CHANGE AND THE CHURCH       Rev. Martin Pryke       1992

Dear Editor:
     The article by Rev. David Roth in your December issue was challenging and certainly pertinent to the church at this time. I would like to offer comments in two areas.

The Church Specific and the Church Universal

     It is one of the most encouraging teachings of the Writings that everyone can be saved. Those who conscientiously live by their own concept of God and of what is right and wrong can be brought to heaven. Such people constitute the church universal. Moreover, all people have some concepts which are true, mostly handed down to them from the Ancient Church. Mr. Roth points out, by way of example, how the Muslims are possessed of genuine concepts which are mixed with falsity, and these can be the basis for their salvation. These truths are frequently "adapted" (Latin: accommodatio) to meet their states.     
     However, it is not the will of God that people should be in falsity. These "accommodations" are permissions.


They are permitted to prevent worse error, such as idolatry. The Lord's will is that everyone should have a true vision of his God as He is revealed in His first and second advents.
     These last constitute the church specific-those who know God and live by His precepts. Such a church specific is to serve as the heart and lungs of tint church universal and to provide a channel for communication between heaven and earth. The world will come out of its fallen state only to the extent that the church specific is established and is spread across the face of the globe. The establishment of this church specific is the prime objective of every New Churchman who is blessed with a knowledge of the Lord in His second coming.


     Change is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Change is legitimate if it has a genuine purpose, but illegitimate if it is undertaken for its own sake. We live in a culture that glorifies change, which is seen to be intrinsically good.
     I suggest that in the church we be very cautious, and in this I am not advocating conservatism or liberalism. I believe that the better path lies between the two. Certainly the older generation has to compel itself to be willing to accept change, but, equally, the younger generation must be willing to introduce change with caution.
     If change is contemplated, it would seem that there are certain steps which should be followed. First, we should be very clear as to the object in view, and be reasonably assured that that object can be accomplished by the change. Secondly, we should examine very carefully the reasons for the present practice which we want to change. Almost always there were good reasons for it, although they may no longer be valid. We should be certain that we know what it is that we are changing. Finally, the loss or price which will result from the change should be very carefully weighed.


     Change will always have its price, and sometimes the price is justified; but certainly it should be considered very carefully. It is my observation that our change in style of worship and of instruction has paid the price of hurting many people, and this is not confined to the older generation. Many, young and old, feel unfed and their needs unmet. My object is not to raise this specific issue, which is a complex one, but it serves as an example of how change has its price.
     A careful consideration of all these elements, with patience and with no sense of rush, will provide for wise changes which can be explained and more easily accepted.
     Rev. Martin Pryke,
          Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania

TEACHING YOUNG MEN       Charis P. Cole       1992

Dear Editor:
     There is a thing I think it is important to stress in our teaching of young men, especially in teaching about conjugial love. Boys and young men like to feel like heroes, and I think God meant it to be this way. But in our age they feel more as if they are being asked to be wimps. Of course, it is important for a man to be gentle, understanding, and interested in his wife and children. But he also must be courageous, honest, and willing to stand up and fight for what is right. With this approach, I think, young men will feel more confident and respond more enthusiastically to working for the church.
     They also have to see how badly our society needs the truths of the Writings and these masculine qualities like honor and courage. They will be better able to see how badly they are needed if they see what a mess the world is in due to the fact that so many, especially in public life, have given up belief in God and thrown morality out the window.


     I have an interesting book called Point Man by Steve Farrar which refers to a soldier leading a group of men in war. He says that a father is point man for leading his family through this agnostic world. He says that to do this a man has to be strong and courageous, read the Word and live according to it.
     I think we need to stress this idea more in our church. And I think we have to demonstrate to our students that it is the anti-God, anti-morality philosophy that is causing the breakdown of society: drugs, crime, diseases, etc. When people see how bad something is, they are inspired to help. When an earthquake, hurricane, or flood wrecks an area, people get out and risk their lives to help those in trouble and danger.
     If our students don't see how bad things are, and how necessary it is to live the truths of the Word and Writings, they are not going to be enthusiastic. We have to show them in a concrete way how and why these truths are the only salvation for our society.
     Charis P. Cole,
          Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania

NEW CHURCH BUSINESS REVIEW       William R. Warley       1992

Dear Editor:
     We would like to invite readers of New Church Life to consider writing an article for The New Church Business Review, a journal of applied Christian principles. Supported in part by The Academy of the New Church College, our mission is to share and stimulate discussions about how New Church men and women effectively practice New Church principles at work. We want articles from professionals, managers, and staff personnel.
     We need your help to make the journal a reality and a success. We need short articles about how you have successfully applied the teachings from the Writings.


We also welcome articles that raise issues about the work setting in relationship to the Writings that might stimulate a discussion through the journal. The journal will include anecdotes, success stories, book reviews, case studies and incidents, letters to the editor, and quips and quotes, and other items of interest.
     We have received enough articles to publish our first volume and want to encourage interested New Church men and women to submit articles for upcoming issues. The frequency of the issues will be determined based on the material.
     Please help us get The New Church Business Review started by writing or calling to inform us if you plan to submit an article or want to be on the mailing list. A list of suggested topics and the style requirements for submission will be mailed to you.
     Editorial board:
William R. Warley, Editor
Brian Schnarr, Managing Editor
Bennet Dunlap, Design Editor
Les Sheppard, Director of Marketing; Graphics, Design and Layout
Bruce Henderson, Contributing Editor
Jim Rodman, Contributing Editor
Edmund de Chazal, Contributing Editor
     Brian L. Schnarr; Dean
     Box 717 ANCC
     Bryn Athyn, PA 19009
     phone (215) 938-2543;
     fax (215) 938-2616

PERPETUAL USES       Editor       1992

     The universe consists of perpetual uses brought forth by wisdom but initiated by love.
     (True Christian Religion 47)



WOMEN'S SYMPOSIUM       Editor       1992

     Audio tapes from the symposium that was held November 29 to December 1, 1991 may be borrowed, or purchased for $3.00 each, from the Sound Recording Committee of the General Church.
     The available tapes are "The Distinctive Feminine" by Bishop Buss; the panels "When to Trust Your Feelings" and "Going It Alone"; "The Woman Clothed with the Sun" by Rae Friesen; the church service, including tableaux, with Rev. Tom Kline; and the following workshops: "Loving a Husband's Wisdom" with Kay Alden; "The Conscious Mother" with Tryn Clark; "Feminine Issues on a University Campus" with Bronwyn Reuter and others; "Becoming a Whole Person" with Leah Rose; "Learning How to Fly: Poetry and Women" with Janna Odhner; "Women and Words" with Mandy Rogers; "Woman as Heart" with Louise Rose; "Women of Influence in Western Culture" with Aubrey Odhner; and "Finding the Keys to the Storage Bin During the Seven Years of Famine" with Lori Odhner.

IN GOD WE LIVE       Editor       1992

     In the created universe nothing lives except God-Man (that is, the Lord); neither is anything moved except by life from Him, nor has being except through the sun from Him; so that it is a truth that in God we live, and move, and have our being.
     Divine Love and Wisdom 301


What Is New Church Education? 1992

What Is New Church Education?       Editor       1992


     What Is New Church Education?
     Send out Your light and Your truth!
Let them lead me (Psalm 43:3).
     What Is the Essential Philosophy?
What Teaching Methods Are Used?
What Curriculum Is Followed?
Who Are the Children?
Who Are the Teachers?
     Here are the answers for New Church parents, for inquiring friends and neighbors, and for education boards and committees.
     Written by Beth Johns
Published by General Church Office of Education
     Convenient pamphlet size $1.00 plus $.50 postage
     Box 743, Cairncrest                    or by appointment
General Church Book Center               Hours: Mon-Fri 9-12
Bryn Athyn, PA 19009                    Phone: (215) 947-3920


Notes on This Issue 1992

Notes on This Issue       Editor       1992

Vol. CXII     April, 1992     No. 4


     Notes on This Issue

     "Racism is a personal thing, living in the heart and breast of a person, where it is nurtured by self-love, fed by ignorance, and fanned into a violent blaze by hatred." In this issue Rev. Andrew Dibb of South Africa concludes his article on racism.
     We concluded that the 16-page article by Donald Barber should be included in one issue. This meant the postponement of some other items, which we hope to publish in May. Mr. Barber presented some of these thoughts to a men's discussion group. One man commented that perhaps we need a new paradigm, a new model, of the marital relationship. This led to further thoughts, which are now offered to a wider readership.
     Your attention is called to two Oregon camps, one for young people starting on June 23rd (page 169). The other is in August (page 179) for all ages.
     Visits to Eastern Europe-February Rev. Bjrn Boyesen traveled from Sweden to Latvia to visit a group of people who expressed interest in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. His visit was very well received.
     This month Rev. Olle Hjern of Stockholm is scheduled to give talks in two Russian cities. He will be accompanied by Goran Appelgren, who speaks Russian. Mr. Appelgren is just completing his training at the Theological School of the Academy of the New Church.
     Visit to West Africa-Next month Rev. Robert S. Junge is scheduled to visit New Church people in Ghana. March 6th was the birthday of that nation, and that evening at a large gathering in Bryn Athyn half a dozen Ghanaians acknowledged applause and the singing of "The Lord Upon You Send His Blessing."
     Russia, Swedenborg and the Eastern Mind-The current issue of The New Philosophy (page 391) has an excellent article on this by Mr. Anders Hallengren.



"I AM WITH YOU EVERY DAY"       Editor       1992

     The final verse of the gospel of Matthew contains the phrase, "I am with you every day." (See note below on the translation.)
     We celebrate at Easter time an event which took place at a certain point in history. It happened a certain number of years ago, and we can even say what day it was and what time of day.
     The Lord rose on the first day of the week in the morning. In English the day is called "Sunday" or the day of the sun. It is the Lord's day. The Lord is the sun of the angelic heaven (see AE 179). He is the dawn or morning, and this is true of every day.
     Where does the Lord rise? The Writings tell us that He rises in our hearts (see AC 9031). When does He rise? In every morning moment. His coming to the individual is said to be "the dawn" when a person receives Him and acknowledges Him (TCR 766).
     A wonderful passage in the Arcana says that the Lord's coming "exists whenever the gospel is preached and what is holy is thought of" (3900:9). Turning our minds to the holy subject of the Lord's resurrection, we rejoice in His promise that He is with us every day.
     Note: The translation "I am with you always" is correct, but it does not bring out the concept of days. In the Liturgy (p. 63) it is rendered "all the days." The Writings say the Lord rises in the minds of the regenerate "every day, and even every moment" (AC 2405).



RACISM       Rev. ANDREW M. T. DIBB       1992


Why Did the Lord Let This Happen?

     We know from doctrine that all evil is a permission. The Lord did not will mankind to rum against itself. His offering to us at creation was the ideal of mutual love. For a short time in the history of mankind, people lived up to that ideal. Then, as so often happens, people sought an easier path, a path which led them steadily away from the Lord and into rejection of His ideal.
     We also know from doctrine that the Lord turns evil into good whenever possible. The splintering of the Ancient Church and the subsequent rise of many groups allowed for a proliferation of differences among people. Under His care, these differences could be made to reflect a oneness and unity.
     The Lord allows variety in all things because variety is intrinsic to the heavenly form. So we are told that "Heaven consists of countless communities. They all vary, and yet all are one, for all are led as one by the Lord" (AC 1285; see also AC 3241, AC 3890).
     In the Lord's spiritual kingdom there is such variety as to the things of faith, and this variety to such a degree, that there is not one society, or even one person in a society, that is altogether in agreement with another (see AC 3267:2).
     The communities of heaven have their origin in the way they receive good and truth from the Lord (see AC 2739). Because each individual is different, so the community is perfected by the differences of the angels there. We could say that the similarity of their ruling loves binds them, while their individualities complement each other and make the union a harmony.


One community is never completely like another (see AC 690); they are never exactly alike (see AC 3241, AC 684, 685).
     Yet for all the differences and variety in heaven, both in individual societies and in heaven as a whole, there is never any mention of racism or the desire to be preeminent over others-these attitudes belong exclusively to hell. Even in matters of worship, which in heaven varies enormously, we are told that: "Variations in matters of doctrine and forms of worship are like the variations that exist with the physical senses and with the inner parts of a man's body, which . . . all contribute to the perfection of the whole. Indeed the Lord flows in and works by way of charity, though in different ways according to the disposition of each individual. And in so doing He arranges every single person into a proper order, on earth as in heaven. In this way the Lord's will is done, as He Himself teaches, 'on earth as it is in heaven'" (AC 1285e).
     Heaven is a form of complete harmony, in which the varieties are blended together by the Lord like the parts of the human body, so that from being many and various they, without losing their identity, form a working unit that allows people to coexist in charity.

Solution to Racism

     The heavenly model of harmony amongst variety is the solution the New Church has to offer for our racially separated world. If self-love is the root cause of racism, and if charity is the opposite of self-love, then it stands to reason that charity is the solution to racism.
     The difference between religions in the fallen Christian Church is not as much a factor of racism these days as it used to be. Nevertheless there are still religious wars being fought in Northern Ireland, Lebanon, India, Ceylon and probably places I have never heard of. If individuals in those places would take their cue from heaven and recognise that the Lord looks not at the external worship, or even at the tenets of the religion, but at the life a person leads, then religious racism would disappear.


     More frequent these days is the racism that results when populations are mixed; Liberal laws forbidding discrimination help tremendously. The abolition of apartheid might make life easier, as would the forbidding of school teachers to make racist remarks. But these only treat the external causes of racism. For racism is a personal thing, living in the heart and breast of a person, where it is nurtured by self-love, fed by ignorance, and fanned into a violent blaze by hatred.
     The true and only solution to racism is regeneration, beginning with the recognition, of both an individual and society, that this beast lives within us. Then there needs to be repentance, both personal and public-public repentance by repealing racially repressive laws and passing fairer ones, by making it a crime to discriminate against another person on the grounds of race, colour or creed; but perhaps more importantly, personal repentance by acknowledging racism in oneself, by standing guilty before the Lord, by asking His help in overcoming it, and by then living a life of charity in which one's fellow man is viewed with love and compassion, as a creature of God, as a person endowed with an immortal soul.
     Only in these ways will racism be removed from the world. Each member of the human race is capable of choosing the path of charity. We are given by the Lord the ability to love our neighbor as ourselves. We ate instructed in the Word to look to the good in a person, to join ourselves to that good. Each person's good can be defined as the way he lives his life: Is he honest, is he sincere, does he worship the Lord (or a god who is outside of himself and who leads him away from selfishness, for even gentiles have good in them and should be loved for it)?
     Thus we are told, "To love the neighbour does not consist in loving his person, but in loving that with him from which he is, consequently good and truth" (NJHD 106).


     At the same time we must exercise judgment. There really is no such thing as unconditional love, for unconditional love loves even evil, which we are told to overlook but not to love. "They who love the person and not that which is with him from which he is, love evil as well as good. And they do good to the evil as well as to the good, when nevertheless doing good to the evil is doing evil to the good, which is not loving the neighbor" (ibid.).
     Nor can charity exist without exercising discrimination. We cannot, nor should we try to, treat all people the same. But the basis of the discrimination is not external, certainly not racial. It lies in the other person's choice and attitude towards good and truth: "People whose teaching is solely about faith know of charity toward the neighbor as nothing other than giving what is their own to others and taking pity on everyone, for they call everyone their neighbor indiscriminately, when in fact charity consists in all the good residing with the individual-in his affection, and in his ardent zeal, consequently in his life-while the neighbor consists in all the good residing with people which affects the individual. Consequently the neighbor consists in people with whom good resides, and quite distinctly and separately from one person to the next. . . " (AC 2417:6).
     This kind of discrimination is very different from racism. Racism is an abomination of others who are different from self, from selfish reasons. It is a burning hatred, a despising of others lesser or greater than self, an evil love. But discrimination (or judgment) from religion is just the opposite, for it arises in charity and seeks to affirm the good in another, and, in the event that this cannot be done, it is a separation, not vindictively, but sadly.
     We need to be careful in our dealings with others. Before regeneration, the hereditary tendency to discriminate in a racist way may masquerade as discriminatory charity. After regeneration, true charity may from time to time give the appearance of racism.


We can avoid the problem if we treat each person with charity, regardless of race, social status, or education, while maintaining the balances built by the Lord into the practice of charity.


     Racism in this world, both on a grand scale and on a personal scale, can be removed. New Church doctrine, as I understand it, does not allow for this kind of discrimination. However, the solution, which is regeneration, takes time; it takes commitment. To be unprejudiced is not man's natural state. We all incline to evils of every kind, and supreme among those evils is the love of self with its attendant pride. This love is most difficult to root out, and it is only by cutting off its tentacles, of which racism is just one, that we will gradually deprive it of its power in our lives. But it does take time and effort, a life of repentance, and the humility of heart to believe that the Lord truly made all people, every color, language, religious persuasion and so on, and that every person is destined to heaven; that each person is kept in the vortex of providence, which gradually leads him to heaven and a life of charity.
     We are told that if the Lord's kingdom existed on the earth now, "all [people] would be governed by the Lord as though they were one person; for they would be like the members and organs of one body which, though dissimilar in form and function, still relate to one heart on which every single thing, everywhere varied in form, depended. Everyone would then say of another, no matter what form his doctrine and his external worship take [or what are his race, nationality, educational level, and so on], this is my brother; I observe that he worships the Lord and is a good man" (AC 2385:5).





     When I hear about a young man and a young woman's becoming engaged to be married, I experience a feeling of happiness. It is a pleasure to see the happiness of the couple. It is a pleasure to see them in their new relationship as they socialize with friends. It is a pleasure to see them (and sometimes help them) plan for their future together.
     Alternatively, I experience a feeling of sadness when I hear about a married couple who have concluded that their marriage must end in divorce. For some reason the spark which existed during their courtship and at the beginning of their marriage is no longer there. Sadly, they decide to sever their relationship.
     In observing a newly engaged couple I wonder how they met and what mental and spiritual preparations have been made by them as their relationship developed. In considering the unhappy situation of a couple who are getting a divorce I find myself wondering what has developed in their relationship which has led to this conclusion that divorce is the solution to their problem. I also wonder whether there might have been some gap in their preparation for marriage which resulted in an insecure foundation for their marriage-a foundation on which they could not find support during the stresses which they experienced.
     In both of the above situations I find myself thinking of the teaching of the Writings that "the woman ought to consult her parents, or those who are in the place of parents, and then deliberate with herself before she consents.


The parents should be consulted because they deliberate and counsel from judgment, knowledge and love: from judgment, because they are advanced in age, and age improves the judgment, and it sees clearly things suitable and things unsuitable; from knowledge, of the suitor as well as of their daughter; respecting the suitor they procure information, and respecting their daughter they know; they therefore conclude, at once with joint discernment, respecting both; from love, because to consult the good of their daughter, and to be careful for her home, is also to do the same for their own good and for themselves" (CL 298).
     With newly engaged couples, and more especially with marriages which have ended in divorce, I wonder how often a woman consults her parents (or adults of mature judgment) before giving consent to an offer of marriage. When I hear it suggested that the rate of divorce of couples married in the New Church is similar to the rate of divorce with marriages in the general population I wonder whether the benefit of applying this teaching on conjugial love has been overlooked (or perhaps ignored).
     In general the message is that a woman can benefit from the mature judgment of others when she deliberates on whether to consent to marriage. See also CL 299.
     The conclusion might be reached that these numbers of the Writings apply to the social conditions of the 18th century but do not apply today. Certainly, today women live outside the parental home and are financially independent in a way which did not exist 200 years ago. Today the parents of a young woman may see her and a suitor only occasionally during the daughter's courtship. In contrast to 200 years ago, the parents may have little or no knowledge of the young man prior to his meeting their daughter. In contrast to 200 years ago, a young woman has opportunity to meet young men in a manner more independent than previously.
     Whatever the social and external circumstances of the world, it still remains that the masculine is to perceive from understanding while the feminine is to perceive from love. "For understanding is of light, and love is of heat; and things that are of light are plainly seen, and things of love are felt" (CL 168).


We know that men are not without love and women are not without understanding. However, CL 168 does describe the dominant characteristic of each. Since rational judgment from her understanding is not the strength of a woman, it is prudent for her to consult the judgment of her parents before she consents to marriage.
     Courtship is a time for a man and a woman to explore the likes and dislikes, both internal and external, of each other. CL 227-228 teaches that there are various similitudes (likes) and various dissimilitudes (unlikes) with married partners, both internal and external; that various similitudes can be conjoined but not with dissimilitudes. Another reason for a woman to consult her parents before she consents to marriage is that they may be aware of dissimilitudes, especially internal ones, which she has not noticed or which she has not considered sufficiently important. They also need to conclude whether the similitudes provide sufficient strength for the potential marriage.
     In the 18th century where a parent or guardian often provided a daughter (or ward) with home and support-and perhaps a dowry-the parents or guardian could exert considerable influence on a daughter or ward to reject a marriage proposal if they judged the match to be unsuitable. Perhaps they could exert similar pressure on her to accept a marriage proposal which she considered unsuitable. The teaching of CL 298 about consulting parents is not to indicate that the parents make the decision on whether to accept a marriage proposal, but that a woman should consult those who have her welfare at heart before she decides whether or not to accept a marriage proposal. This leads to the conclusion that if a suitor has the interest of the woman at heart and wishes for the best possible foundation for their marriage, then the suitor might request that the woman consult with parents or with mature adults in whom she has confidence before she accepts his marriage proposal.
     Today a courtship often takes place mainly away from the woman's parental home.


In contrast to the 18th century, courtship today frequently occurs with the man and woman being by themselves, not by their socializing with other people. With the moving populations in today's world, a man or woman may not have contact with those who knew the character of the other in a previous geographic location. This suggests the prudence of getting to know someone and his/her internal qualities by socializing in groups during courtship, and by taking opportunities to become acquainted with other people who know the woman or man in other circumstances (e.g., job, neighborhood, etc.). This does not indicate any distrust of the other person but is simply the prudence of trying to thoroughly know the character of the other person before considering whether the important relationship of marriage has a possible foundation.
     In today's world where a woman lives away from the parental home it is often the situation that her closest friends are other women. In such a situation, she may find difficulty in consulting with a male friend in whom she has confidence if she receives a marriage proposal from a suitor. Perhaps a woman living independently should anticipate her possible need for such consultation and try to develop the friendship of a possible male confidant-preferably married and therefore who has judgment from the experience of marriage.
     Living at a distance from home is not necessarily a barrier for a woman to have a suitor meet her parents or other members of her family, or for her to meet the parents and family of her suitor. Getting to know the family of her suitor should be helpful and useful to a woman in getting to know her suitor, likewise for the suitor to get to know the family of the woman in getting to know the woman. Just as a tree is known by its fruit (see Luke 6:44), so the fruit can be better known by knowing the tree.
     One reason for a woman to consult her parents is that they should be in a position to know her inclinations, to know her character with its strengths and weaknesses.


From this knowledge the parents can advise on whether the likes and dislikes of the couple should provide a solid foundation for a lasting marriage. For example, if the couple hold common religious beliefs and values, the chance is minimized that there will develop causes of coldness, separation or divorce (see CL 234-260). If the woman does not or cannot consult her parents she hopefully will be able to consult someone who does know her like a parent, someone who knows her inclination and who has had a "parental" role in her life. Consultation should be something more than "Read this."
     A consideration of the causes of coldness, separation or divorce is especially important when either a man or a woman contemplates marriage with someone who has been previously married and divorced. This is a situation where a person considering marrying a divorced person should try to come to a conclusion on whether the divorce is morally valid, according to what Jesus taught, and therefore whether marriage with such a person would be morally valid. Jesus taught that "whosoever shall put away his wife except for fornication, and shall many another, commits adultery" (Matt 19:9).
     Putting away because of adultery is the complete separation of minds, which is divorce; but all other puttings away, for their causes, are the separations just treated of (see CL 252-254). If after these another wife is married, adultery is committed, but not after divorce (CL 255). This is a hard teaching, tempered by the example of mercy shown by Jesus to the woman caught in adultery. Such mercy is possible when the person genuinely repents of his or her action and asks the Lord's help to amend his or her life.
     Considering marriage with someone who is divorced should involve consideration of the reasons for the divorce and whether the contemplated marriage will be valid or whether it will result in adultery because the divorce does not meet the test of Matt 19:9.


If there has been more than one previous marriage and divorce, this suggests that the person has difficulty in developing the marriage relationship or is unable to do so-or that the person does not recognize the commitment needed for marriage and therefore will terminate the legal marriage for reasons other than adultery. These possibilities suggest that caution is needed when marriage is being considered with such a person.
     My understanding of adultery is that it includes situations in addition to physical adultery; e.g., malicious desertion, physical violence, others(?). In today's world we are aware that it is not uncommon for a man and a woman to live together without having made a commitment to marriage. What should have been our reply if either one of them had asked for our advice on whether to enter into such an informal living arrangement? We know from CL 305 "that during the time of betrothal it is not permissible to be bodily conjoined" and "if the successive order of this love is precipitated by conjunctions of the body before their time, it follows that a person acts from the lowest region which by nativity is unchaste. That thence begins and rises coldness toward marriage, and neglect with disdain toward the married partner, is known."
     If the man and woman are already living together and one or both of them seeks our advice, we can refer them to AC 9183-9184, where we learn that a "lawful conjunction" can develop from such beginning.
     Another precaution for a woman would be to avoid a hasty courtship. She can respond to a marriage proposal after a "short" acquaintance by saying that she is not ready to consider the question but she would like to continue the friendship. If the suitor loves her, he will respect her wish to take more time to assess their friendship. This suggests that a woman could usefully begin to consult her parents when she feels that there is more than a passing interest between her and a man, i.e., early in courtship.
     It is important to note that a woman, besides seeking the advice of both parents together, should also consult her mother separately from her father.


Note the following:

That for the sake of this conjunction [i.e., the conjunction of the wife with the moral wisdom of her husband] as a goal, to the wife is given a perception of the husband's affections, and also consummate prudence in moderating them (CL 366).

That wives hide this perception with themselves and conceal it from the husbands, for reasons that are necessities, in order that conjugial love, friendship, and confidence, and the blessedness of living together, and the happiness of life, may be confirmed (CL 167).

     The wish of a woman to consult her parents will not necessarily develop if communication between the woman and her parents has not developed in her younger years. If she feels the need to consult someone about a suitor or a marriage proposal, she will want to consult someone with whom she has an easy and intimate communication. Hopefully the parents have established such communication with their daughter. If not, she may want to consult someone who has had a parental role in her life with whom such communication is possible.
     From observation it seems ironic that parents are often turned to for support (and advice?) when marital breakdown occurs, especially if there are young children. There certainly seems to be a willing communication between a woman and her parents at that time. It is impossible to say whether consultation with parents before marriage would have avoided the marriage, but such consultation would have provided the woman with a broader basis for her decision on whether to enter into marriage with the man.
     When a person (man or woman) is in a period of transition in a relationship because of a broken engagement, divorce or death of a spouse, he or she is somewhat isolated or unconnected. In such circumstance there can be felt the need to fill a void by establishing a new relationship.


Sometimes the wish to fill the void can cloud perception and judgment. Consultation with a friend can be very useful and helpful at such time, although the clouding of perception and judgment might make it unlikely that advice would be sought.
     A last question which comes to mind is, Should advice be offered to someone who seems to be contemplating marriage when such advice is not sought? We are familiar with the saying that you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink. If someone has not sought advice, then it is likely that he or she is not receptive to advice on the highly emotional subject of marriage. Of course, this is not true with all people. If you see a friend heading for a marriage relationship which would appear to be unwise and leading to likely unhappiness, you may feel strongly that you must discuss your apprehensions with your friend. You want to prevent a disaster. Certainly the reception of comments will depend on the manner of approach and on how advice or apprehensions are expressed.
     The marriage relationship is an important one and requires many considerations. The above are some thoughts which have occurred to me. I would appreciate receiving any thoughts which could add to these.


     When I presented these thoughts to a men's group for discussion, there were many and varied comments on the subject of marriage and marital breakdown. One comment was that perhaps we need a new paradigm, a new example or model, of the marital relationship for which we should strive. Since hearing this comment my consideration of the subject has led me to the conclusion that we need to clarify the vision of our goals in marriage and how the Lord provides the means for us to reach these goals, rather than looking for new goals or a new model of the marriage relationship. Perhaps it is a different use of language.


For some people, clarifying their vision of marriage will result for them in a new model of what marriage can be.
     Whatever the description of our approach, I think that we need to re-examine the teachings we have on marriage. Discussions with other people have led me to the conclusion that unrealistic expectations in marriage can lead to discouragement and to doubts that a person has made the correct decision to enter into marriage. Discouragement and doubts can lead to a coldness between married partners, which coldness can lead to separation and then divorce. Certainly this does not happen in all cases, but statistics seem to indicate that it is frequent enough to be disturbing-disturbing not only to the couple involved whose lives suffer an emotional and spiritual upheaval, but also disturbing to family and friends who may feel inadequate in knowing how to respond in a supportive manner.
     Among the teachings in the Heavenly Doctrines on the causes of colds, separations and divorces are found the following:

(A)      The internal causes of cold are from religion (see CL 238). The explanation of this is expanded in CL 239 where we read "that where religion is not, there conjugial love does not exist, and where conjugial love is not, there is cold . . . . But the cause and source of this ignorance [concerning conjugial love] is, that, notwithstanding there is religion, still there are not the truths of religion; and what is religion without truths?" (emphasis added).

(B)      The fourth of the internal causes of cold is imbibed falsity of religion. The reason is that falsity in spiritual things either takes away religion or defiles it (CL 243).

     Unrealistic expectations in marriage can be consistent with there being some missing truths of religion, as in (A), and/or there being falsity of religion, as in (B).


     The shining vision of marriage is described in the book Conjugial Love in various ways.

     (1)      There exists a truly conjugial love which at the present day is so rare that it is not known what its quality is and scarcely that it exists (see CL 58, 59).
     (2)      The origin of that love is from the marriage of good and truth (CL 60, 61).
     (3)      Conjugial love, on account of its origin, and on account of its correspondence, is celestial, spiritual, holy, pure and clean above every other love which from the Lord is with the angels of heaven and with the people of the church (CL 64).
     (4)      It is also the fundamental love of all celestial and spiritual loves, and hence of all natural loves (CL 65-67).
     (5)      And into that love are collected all joys and all delights from first to last (CL 68, 69).
     (6)      But none others come into that love and are able to be in it but those who approach the Lord, and love the truths of the church, and do its goods (CL 70-72).
     (7)      There does not exist solitary good, nor solitary truth, but they are everywhere conjoined (CL 87).
     (8)      The male and the female were created to be the very form of the marriage of good and truth (CL 100).
     (9)      Conjugial love conjoins two souls, and hence two minds, into a one (CL 158).
     (10)      The will of the wife conjoins itself with the understanding of the man, and hence the understanding of the man conjoins itself with the will of the wife (CL 159).
     (11)      Those who are in truly conjugial love feel that they are a united person, and as it were one flesh (CL 178).
     (12)      The states of this love are innocence, peace, tranquility, inmost friendship, full confidence, and a desire of the heart to make all good mutual to each other, and the states arising from all these are blessedness, blissfulness, delightsomeness, and pleasure; and from the eternal enjoyment of these is heavenly felicity (CL 180).


     (13)      These things can exist by no means except in the marriage of one man with one wife (CL 181).
     (14)      These [continual] changes [of spirit] are different with men than they are with women, since men from creation are forms of knowledge, intelligence and wisdom, and women are forms of the love of those things with men (CL 187).
     (15)      With men there is an elevation of the mind into a higher light, and with women an elevation of the mind into a higher heat; and the woman feels the delights of her heat in the man's light (CL 188, 189).

     These highlights of the teachings on marriage illustrate many (most?) of the hopes and aspirations which men and women (especially young men and young women) have when considering the marriage relationship in which they are or into which they hope to enter. Are these hopes attainable? Are these expectations realistic?
     From discussions I have had with young people (married and unmarried) it seems that there are experiences in marriage which appear to be in contrast to the highlights quoted above. Such contrasts can raise doubts with a person about whether he/she and the marriage relationship are growing spiritually. Such doubts can lead a person to question one's marriage relationship. The persistence of doubts can lead to the development of coldness in marriage. The persistence of coldness can lead to the weakening and eventual dissolution of the marriage.
     What experiences are there which seem to contrast with the anticipated highlights of marriage? Many readers can probably imagine (or identify with) the state of mind at the end of a day of a young mother with one or more pre-school children. Fatigue, both mental and physical, can be a common occurrence. Add to this the possibility of some part-time work outside the home, and the work schedule (and possible study schedule) of a young husband. The result can be a young wife who feels that she does not experience peace and tranquility in her marriage (see CL 180).


     Or consider the experience of husbands (or wives) who feel that they do not sense feelings of oneness of thought and action as suggested by CL 158 and CL 178. This might happen after any period of marriage, even (especially?) for the tired young mother described above.
     Or consider a husband who tries to improve with himself and his wife their knowledge of the truths of their religion and the application of these truths to their everyday lives, but who does not sense with his wife the elevation of her mind into a higher love nor does he sense her interest or her inspiration for his effort to elevate his mind to a higher light (see CL 188, 189).
     Or consider a wife who would like to expand her knowledge and understanding of the truths of her religion but does not sense any response when she tries to inspire her husband to lead in the effort to study and discuss such truths. Her attempt to elevate her mind to a higher love and to experience the delights thereof is thwarted by her husband's lack of effort to elevate his mind into a higher light (see CL 188, 189).
     In considering whether or not these examples of unfulfilled expectations are also unrealistic expectations I would ask you to consider the following:

Those who are in truly conjugial love feel themselves to be a united man, and as it were one flesh. That this is the case must be confirmed not from the testimony of any inhabitant of the earth, but from the testimony of the inhabitants of heaven. For truly conjugial love does not exist with men on earth at the present day; and moreover, men on earth are encompassed with a gross body which blunts and absorbs the sensation that the two married partners are a united man, and as it were one flesh . . . (CL 178, emphasis added).


I know that few will acknowledge that all joys and delights from primes to ultimates are collected into conjugial love, because truly conjugial love, into which they are collected, is at this day so rare that it is not known what its quality is, and scarcely that it exists, . . . for those joys and delights do not exist in any other than genuine conjugial love; and as this is so rare on earth, it is impossible to describe its supereminent felicities from any other source than from the mouth of angels, because they are in it (CL 69).

     These two numbers indicate that it is unrealistic to expect to experience on this earth the full joys of conjugial love. That glimpses of such joys and delights are experienced on this earth is indicated from the teachings that " . . . the approach to this love is seldom made at the present day, except for a few paces . . . " (CL 318) and "That truly conjugial love is at the present day so rare as to be generally unknown . . .; nevertheless it actually exists . . . " (CL 333). See also AC 2734 and AC 2742.
     Certainly men and women experience strong emotions during courtship and during marriage. It is the memory of these happy times that helps sustain a person through the struggles of marriage, and provides the incentive to work toward re-establishing the basis for the happy times to return. While the happy times are a strong foundation for conjugial love, there is no teaching I am aware of which indicates that they are evidence that conjugial love already exists. The marriage relationship can develop and mature from this beginning, however, and certainly a mature conjugial love with all its joys and delights can eventually develop.
     It needs to be recognized that realistic expectations in marriage, in addition to including the realization that truly conjugial love and its joys will likely be only glimpsed, should also include the realization that the challenges of marriage will include meeting and repelling the powers of hell. Because "conjugial love is the fundamental of all celestial and spiritual loves, and hence of all natural loves" (CL 65), it is subject to strong and subtle attacks by the devils and satans of hell.
     I am sure that we all have had the experience of a thought entering our mind and wondering how and why the thought was there since our thinking process did not seem to consciously retrieve the thought from our memory.


The thoughts are dislodged from our memory by the good (or evil) spirits who are unconsciously associated with us and who provide the foundation of our conscious life. "That spirits are associated with a man in accordance with his loves has been made known to me by manifold experience, for as soon as I have begun to intensely love anything, spirits were present who were in such love, and they were not removed until the love ceased" (AC 6196).
     Our challenge is to welcome the good spirits and angels by continuing to entertain good thoughts which support good loves, and to make evil spirits unwelcome by ceasing to entertain bad thoughts. This is the freedom of choice which we have-to provide fertile ground for good thoughts and good loves and to weed out evil thoughts and evil loves. We need also to recognize that the evil thoughts and evil loves come from without, from evil spirits. These evil thoughts and evil loves are not ours unless we continue to make them welcome and then proceed to consciously invite them and delight in them.
     The challenge of examining and then expelling thoughts stimulated by evil spirits which attack our marriage can be a challenge which is difficult to recognize. When we have poor or difficult communication with our spouse because (1) we are tired; (2) he/she is tired; (3) we am both tired; (4) either one of us wants something done our way, when the manner of doing is not important; (5) one spouse has an evening job or evening study; (6) of a problem in raising children on which we cannot agree; (7) other?-the reader can possibly provide an example-then there can arise the thought in our mind that perhaps we have made a mistake in our marriage. The thought and the doubts about our marriage which it stimulates seem to be our thoughts and our doubts, when in reality they arise from the subtle but strong attack of evil spirits who intensely hate a loving marriage relationship. Such attacks, with the uncomfortable doubts which arise, can be particularly unsettling during the early years of marriage. This is a time when marriage loves are being formed and developed. Evil spirits are more likely to attack frequently at that time when the marriage foundation is incomplete or weakly established. Note here how the subject of communication is stressed in the many books written on how to strengthen and enrich the marriage relationship.
     In considering the stresses which a marriage inevitably (or usually) undergoes, we must also realize that the strength of resistance to stress will fluctuate.


"The inclination to unite the man to herself is constant and perpetual with the wife, but inconstant and fluctuating with the man. The reason is that love cannot do otherwise than love and unite itself in order that it may be loved in return; its essence and life is nothing else; and women are born loves, whereas men, with whom they unite themselves in order that they may be loved in return, are receptions . . . . Hence it is that the inclination to unite the man to herself is constant and perpetual with the wife. But the reason why there is not a similar inclination with the man toward the wife is that the man is not love but only a recipient of love; and as a state of reception is absent or present according to intruding cares, and according to the changes of heat and want of heat in the mind from various causes, and according to the increase and decrease in the powers of the body, which do not return regularly and at stated periods, it follows that the inclination to that conjunction is inconstant and fluctuating with the man" (CL 160).
     This suggests that a husband and wife need to try to understand each other's emotional makeup and emotional fluctuations. It would be unfortunate if a decrease in the inclination of a husband toward his wife were interpreted as a state in the husband of cold toward his wife. An anticipation by the wife of her husband's fluctuations can help her realistically interpret and cope with these fluctuations. The husband must also realize that there are times when he must make an effort to pay attention to his wife's needs.
     Another stress in marriage can arise from different attitudes about having children. "That the sphere of conjugial love makes one with the sphere of procreating is evident, for procreation is the end in view, and conjugial love is the mediate cause by means of which the end in view is promoted, and the end in view and the cause act in unity, because together, in the things to be effected and in the effects" (CL 387).
     If the spouses have different ideas on whether or when to have children, there can be a great strain on the heart of a marriage. Ideally this is agreed upon before marriage but sometimes it is not.
     Realistic expectations in marriage, therefore, should include the expectation that evil spirits will subtly and fiercely attack the marriage, especially in the beginning states of marriage, but that the source of the thoughts and doubts which arise during such attacks is from without.


We need to ask the Lord to expel such thoughts and doubts for us, to help us suppress our selfishness and our discouragement which arise from our fatigue and from our material wants, and to help us remember the joys and anticipation which we experienced during courtship and during the early days of marriage.
     When our marriage love feels challenged we can draw strength from the knowledge of what the nature of love should be. "It is the essential of love not to love self, but to love others, and to be conjoined to others by love. It is the essential of love, moreover, to be loved by others, for thus conjunction is effected. The essence of all love consists in conjunction; this, in fact, is its life, which is called enjoyment, pleasantness, delight, sweetness, bliss, happiness and felicity. Love consists in this, that its own should be another's; to feel the joy of another as joy in oneself, that is loving" (DLW 47).
     This love can keep us in, or return us to, the trust and confidence in our spouse that we are both working toward the same goal of a loving marriage.
     It is my conclusion, therefore, that having realistic expectations of marriage and of what stresses are likely to be experienced in marriage, and what is the origin of these stresses, will provide us with a strong defense against these stresses. When astronauts prepared for a trip to the moon they used simulation exercises, which included simulations of problems and emergency situations, to prepare for the actual trip.
     For our individual regeneration we know that we will encounter feelings of selfishness and domination in ourselves. These feelings sometimes come in disguises which make them difficult to recognize. We know that we need to search out and suppress such inclinations so that the Lord may come into our lives with unselfish and charitable loves for the welfare of others.
     Just as we need to be conscious of the efforts we need to make in our own regeneration (the rebirth of our spirit) by having realistic expectations of our individual challenges in life, so we need to be conscious of the realistic expectations of our challenges in our marriage relationship. We can then ask for the Lord's help in battle. It is particularly important to instruct those approaching marriage, especially young people, about the marriage challenges which they will likely encounter.


I wonder whether Academy instruction covers these challenges sufficiently. If not, I think they need to be included.
     Because this is a subject which involves the application of truth to life, I am sure that much more could be said because different people see different facets of a truth. I would be interested in seeing comments from readers in letters to the editor, comments which can be helpful to all readers.

YOUNG PEOPLE TO GATHER IN OREGON       Editor       1992

     High school and college age singles from across the country are invited to Camp Hoover, June 23 to June 26, 1992. This is the first camp of its kind to be held in the Northwest.
     The camp is located on the shore of Detroit Lake in the Jefferson National Forest. The theme of the camp will be "Earth and Water," and will be led by Rev. David Roth of the Chicago New Church.
     Activities will focus on enjoying the great outdoors in an atmosphere of worship, sharing and growth.
     Participants will need to provide their own tents and sleeping bags. Food will be included in the price of registration, which will be $55.
     Registration packets will be sent out soon, so get your name on the list if you are interested. Send your requests to Alan Roof, 7580 SW Rood Bridge Road, Hillsboro, OR 97123.




     First of all, thanks to the editor for publishing the ongoing discussion of the Lord's Resurrection Body. It has greatly increased my interest in that subject in particular and the New Testament in general. Hopefully, the following will be a helpful addition to what has already been written.
     There are several reasons why I support the conclusions of those who say that the Lord rose from the dead with the same body that He had on the cross. For one, I found their arguments, for the most part, to be much simpler and easier to understand. This in itself should not necessarily be a reason, but it would seem very unfortunate if the simpler members of the church were unable to fully understand the doctrine that is described as the essential truth of the church. Even little children are able to participate in the other essential, the obeying of the Ten Commandments.
     Secondly, although the main writer in favor of the Lord's rising from the dead with the same body was said to be overly influenced by the literal sense of the Word, I found that his articles contained an overwhelming number of direct and relevant quotes from the Writings. If statements from the literal sense are supported by quotes from the Writings, how can they still be said to be too literalistic? Most importantly, the fact that the Word does say that the Lord rose with the same body is not a weakness but a strength, because the Writings clearly state that "doctrine must be taken from the sense of the letter of the Word, and confirmed by it" (SS 53).
     In light of this number, it seems perfectly reasonable to ask those who say that the Lord did not rise with the same body that He was crucified with to attempt to confirm their doctrine with truths from the literal sense of the Word, "for if not confirmed by it, the truth of doctrine appears as if it were only man's intelligence in it and not the Lord's Divine Wisdom; and thus doctrine would be like a house in the air, and not on the ground, and consequently without a foundation" (SS 54).


When the Writings want us to understand that a particular passage from the Word is not to be taken literally, it seems to be normally done by presenting other relevant passages from the Word that make it obvious that another meaning is to be understood. That, in my opinion, is the difference between explaining the literal sense and explaining it away.
     Obviously, there is a danger of becoming overly literalistic (that is, if we choose to ignore relevant quotes from the Writings). We can all agree, for instance, that after the Lord ascended into heaven He did not literally sit "on the right hand of God" (Mark 16:19). But there is a much greater danger in doing away completely with the literal sense. Can we, for example, do away with the literal sense of the Ten Commandments, and just obey the spiritual and celestial senses? Can we do away with a literal Virgin birth? What would we be left with?
     The most recent writer in favor of dissipationism did raise a very interesting point, the idea that "the gradual process of 'putting off' involved not only the subjugation and casting out of the 'mental and spiritual qualities' or infirmities, but also, at the same time, the subjection of the material, or natural . . . " (V. C. O. Jr., Dec 91 NCL). I think the literal sense agrees with this idea, although not with the conclusion that the subjugated body was no longer necessary and was dissipated.
     In order to understand how the Lord gradually became Divine, we have to understand the nature of the temptations that He underwent. There are two examples mentioned in the New Testament: His temptation in the wilderness by the devil, and the cross. Each of them was, from what I can tell, both internal and bodily, a complete temptation. The Writings seem to indicate that they were complete temptations: "The Lord's temptations were the most terrible of all; and He had anguish from the very inmosts even to the sweating of blood" (AC 1787).


Certainly, going without any food or water at all for forty days, and then being tempted with bread, was an extremely brutal bodily temptation, as well as an internal one, as was being spat on, beaten, whipped and nailed to a cross. The point is that the Lord's body, along with His internal, was gradually becoming Divine during His life on earth.
     I believe this can be supported by other passages from the literal sense. For instance, the Lord healed the sick in different ways, sometimes by speech, sometimes by speech and touch, and sometimes by the touch of His Body alone.
     "Whoever touched the hem of His garment was made perfectly whole" (Matt 14:36). "They pressed upon Him for to touch Him, as many as had plagues" (Mark 3:10). "As many as touched Him were made whole" (Mark 6:56). "And the whole multitude sought to touch Him: for there went virtue out of Him, and healed them all" (Luke 6:19). Also, the woman with the issue of blood, who "said within herself, If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole" (Matt 9:21).
     How could this have been the case unless the Lord's Body was also gradually becoming Divine? The Lord's Body obviously had Divine power long before He was risen from the dead.
     I personally don't find it any harder to believe that the Lord's human body was gradually put off and replaced with a Divine Body than I do to believe that His human internal was gradually put off and replaced with a Divine Internal. We even know from science that our own bodies are constantly being recreated. Is this idea harder to believe in, and less in accordance with, the laws of order than a "Now you see it, now you don't, now you see it again" body in the tomb?
     Another subject that should be relevant to the discussion of the Lord's resurrection is the Holy Spirit (in its various manifestations). The Spirit was present at the Lord's conception, at the beginning of His first recorded temptation, was given up at the end of His last temptation and death, and was possessed by Him after His resurrection.


"That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" (Matt 1:20). "Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil" (Matt 4:1). "And when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, He said, Father into Your hands I commend My spirit. And having said this, He breathed His last" (Luke 23:46). "He breathed on them, and said to them, receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:22).
     When thinking about the Lord's death and resurrection, it might be helpful to remember that "the word 'spirit' is derived from respiration" (Lord 47), and actually comes from the same word in Hebrew. Therefore, the Lord's words on the cross could be understood as, "Father, into Your hands I commend My breath: and having said this, He breathed His last"; and His words after He rose again could be understood as, "He breathed on them, and said to them, Receive the Holy Breath." In other words, when the Lord's breath left Him, He died, and when He came back to life, He was in possession of the Holy Breath.
     The life principle (and the rebirth symbol) throughout the entire Word is the Breath of the Lord, from Genesis 2:7 ("and the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives, and man became a living being") through Revelation 11:11 ("Now after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet . . . " (Rev. 11:11). The Writings say that "by spirit is meant the life of man" (Lord 47); "where Spirit is mentioned in reference to the Lord, it means His Divine Life. . . . " (Lord 50); and "by spirit is meant the life of the reborn . . . " (Lord 49).
     The relevance of all this is that the Word seems to imply that it was the Holy Breath that revived the Lord when He was dead in the tomb. The idea that the Lord's Life is the Breath and that He was resuscitated by it in my opinion does away with the incorrect idea of focusing only on the Body, which could lead to the conclusion that it was necessary to dispose of the dead body and replace it with another one that was already alive.


     The above mentioned passage in Revelation describes two witnesses (by whom are meant the two essentials of the New Church-AR 490). The two witnesses were killed and their bodies left in the street of the city "where also our Lord was crucified" for three and a half days, in this case, notably, with their bodies being observed by everyone for the entire period. They were resurrected by the breath of life from God, stood on their feet, and then ascended into heaven (Rev. 11:7-12). This is, without a doubt, the closest comparison to the Lord's own death and resurrection to be found anywhere in the Word. Were they raised from the dead with the same bodies that they had when they were killed? Unquestionably yes. How? By the breath of life from God.
     A final observation: the Writings say that the most basic teaching of the church is that Jesus is God. But on countless occasions while on earth, He was referred to by those who knew Him as the Son of God, a prophet, a king, a teacher, the Son of Joseph, and even a demon-possessed blasphemer, etc. Who was the only person in the gospels to actually call Jesus "God"? Thomas refused to believe that the Lord had risen from the dead until he had touched the crucifixion wounds on His Body. The Lord later appeared to Thomas and told him to "reach your finger here, and behold My hands, and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing. And Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord and My God" (John 20:25-28).
Title Unspecified 1992

Title Unspecified       Editor       1992

     Recently Published-The Country of Spirit, selected writings of Wilson van Dusen (J. Appleseed and Co.).



TUCSON MEETINGS       Rev. FRANK S. ROSE       1992

     On the first day of February, ministers began to arrive in Tucson for a set of meetings exclusively devoted to the growth of the church. The seminar was held under the energetic leadership of Rev. Grant Schnarr, head of the General Church Evangelization Committee. It was hosted by Rev. Frank Rose, pastor of Sunrise Chapel in Tucson, and with the interest, support and participation of the Bishop of the General Church, Rt. Rev. Peter Buss.
     Those able to arrive early attended the Sunday morning service in Sunrise Chapel, followed by small group discussions and refreshments. That evening Rev. Grant Schnarr gave a public lecture entitled "Unlocking Your Spiritual Potential" to an audience of 82 people, at least 30 of which were new to the church. During the refreshment break after the lecture, twelve copies of the tape of the lecture were sold (thanks to the work of the office secretary, Billie Baty), and ten copies of Grant's book of the same name (thanks to our new book stewards, Herbert and Laura Kaler).
     By Monday morning all of the men had arrived, including one bishop, twenty ministers and one layman. In the opening worship Bishop Buss set a tone for the conference with a moving service centering around the joy of communicating truth to others. The singing-soon to become a special feature of the meetings-filled the chapel. After the service, the men were invited to remain in the chapel for prayer and meditation while reflective music was playing. They looked out at the mountains, knelt at the stone altar, prayed together, or just sat in quiet contemplation. We had a similar time of meditation every morning after opening worship.
     Our leader, Grant Schnarr, welcomed us to the seminar and presented the participants with workbooks. He also did a brisk sale of T shirts made specially for the occasion.


     After we shared some of our expectations for the event, we broke into three groups to share some of our wounds. This enabled us to let go of any pain from the past to get on with the work of church growth. Over lunch Eric Carswell presented some of the doctrines that would answer common objections to church growth. Then we looked at the importance of visions (led by Frank Rose) and goals (led by Grant Schnarr).
     In the afternoon we drove off in the van, conveniently rented for the occasion by Helen Alden, to the Douglas Spring Trail on the Rincon Mountains. The sun was warm, and there was great exhilaration in ascending through the desert vegetation to a mountain stream fed by melting snow farther up.
     Monday evening, about 50 people gathered in Friendship Hall for a supper put on by Tryn Grubb and her helpers, and then we adjourned to the chapel for a "fishbowl" discussion. First, people from Sunrise Chapel shared in a center circle about what the church has meant to them in their life. This was followed by another center circle, this time with a selection of the clergy talking about their experiences with church growth, and their impressions of what they had seen already in Sunrise Chapel. The evening was concluded with an informal worship service led by Rev. Eric Carswell. In it he invited people to recall and recite any special passage from the Word that had meaning for them. With hearty singing and much warmth, the service came to a close. We couldn't believe how much had happened in one day.
     Tuesday began, as did Monday, with worship, prayer and meditation. Then we heard two stories about how men had followed strategies in working for growth: Rev. Frank Rose telling the Tucson story, and Eric Carswell sharing about his work in Pittsburgh. After this introduction, five men were asked to develop a strategy for future work in their area or some future pastorate, each one supported in working it out by a team of four other people. After an hour or so working on strategies, we had lunch at a Burger King and went to see the building formerly used by Sunrise Chapel (3056 Country Club Road, Tucson).


When we returned we heard reports from the different strategy teams, had some closing thoughts and set off for a hike in Sabino Canyon. The men scattered throughout the canyon, walking and talking in groups of two or three, enjoying the warm February air and the rush of water in the creek.
     After the hike we gathered in the Hidden Valley Inn for dinner, ending the event with champagne (complements of the management) and a hearty song and toast, heard by all in the restaurant, "To Sunrise Chapel and Frank Rose." The waitress was invited to worship in Sunrise Chapel the following Sunday. Late that night many of the men shared in prayer and dedication to be "warriors for the Lord" in the work of building His church. Others had a sharing group at the home of the pastor.
     By Wednesday morning we had a strong sense of support in the work of the church, and a deep sense of brotherhood. The singing was even richer and more inspiring than the day before, and the Bishop continued in his beautiful series on the joy of bringing the good news to others. We talked a little bit about how our approach to sermon writing has evolved over the years, and then broke into three workshops, each person going from one workshop to another until all three had been experienced. One was led by Grant Schnarr on sermon delivery. Another was by Frank Rose on how to structure sermons for maximum effect (since this is the no. 1 tool for church growth). Eric Carswell took the third workshop on selecting topics and illustrations in sermons. The workshops continued through the morning, and after lunch into the afternoon. That left only our closing thoughts about the sermon workshops, and then closing thoughts about the whole seminar. Peter Buss, Grant Schnarr and Frank Rose led a closing worship with the theme, "Here am I; send me," as each person knelt to be reminded, with the laying on of hands, of the Lord's commission as recorded in Matthew 28:19,20: "Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations . . . . "


     [Photo of participants at Tucson Meetings]


     Incredibly about eleven of the men who were still there had the energy to drive up Mt. Lemmon to Windy Point, singing all the way. We sang to the cliffs and canyons, got back into the van and drove down the mountain, the van once again filled with song as we made our way to a barbecue and open house at the home of Mike and Lynn Brown, where we had a delicious supper and then sang again until our voices were worn out.
     Tired and inspired, we went off in all directions, having experienced three days that changed our lives and rekindled the conviction that spreading the good news of the Lord's Second Coming is one of the greatest joys a person can know.
     Those who attended the workshop were Rt. Rev. Peter Buss, Bryn Athyn; Rev. Messrs. Glenn Alden, Dawson Creek, Canada; Wendel Barnett, Bryn Athyn; Ragnar Boyesen, Freeport, PA; Erik Buss, Glenview, IL; Eric Carswell, Pittsburgh, PA; Fred Chapin, Phoenix, AZ; Clark Echols, Denver, CO; Nathan Gladish. San Diego, CA; Cedric King, El Toro, CA; David Lindrooth, Stockholm, Sweden; Grant Odhner, Rochester, MI; John Odhner, La Crescenta, CA; Mark Pendleton, Caryndale, Canada; Mark Perry, Bryn Athyn; Frank Rose, Tucson, AZ; David Roth, Chicago, IL; Grant Schnarr, Chicago, IL; Ray Silverman, Chamblee, GA; Jeremy Simons, Kempton, PA; Lawson Smith, Mitchellville, MD; Mr. Phil Schnarr, Toronto, Canada.
CAMP WINDING WATERS (August 22-26, 1992) 1992

CAMP WINDING WATERS (August 22-26, 1992)       Editor       1992

     The theme of this camp in Joseph, Oregon will be "Teach Us to Pray." Like the 1990 camp this will bring together young and old, families and singles, in an atmosphere of growth. A wide range of lodging is available.
     The camp program will be led by Rev. Cedric King and Rev. Frank Rose. Contact Peggy Andrews, P.O. Box 99, Corbett, OR 97019.


Editorial Pages 1992

Editorial Pages       Editor       1992


     On the eve of the crucifixion the Lord prayed, "that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves" (John 17:13). That evening He had promised the disciples, "Your sorrow will be turned into joy." Aware of their sadness, He said to them, "You have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you" (John 16:20-22). Love desires to render others happy, The love that motivated the Lord in His ministry on earth was a love of supreme intensity. And we are told that His love was such that "the salvation of the human race, as beheld in the union of Himself with His Father, was to Him the inmost joy" (AC 2034:3).
     Did Jesus radiate a joy in the world that others could notice? There are instances in which people who saw Him were struck with His evident joy. "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit."
     He told His disciples to "rejoice because your names are written in heaven. In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, 'I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth . . . (Luke 10:20, 21).

     Was it not prophesied that He would be "a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief"? Yes, and this was eloquently demonstrated in the sermon in the March issue of this magazine. It was also prophesied that He would have His reward with Him and His work before Him (see Isaiah 40). The one reward He sought was the salvation of the human race (see AC 1789).
     That prophecy in Isaiah about His reward also says that He would be like a shepherd. How does a shepherd feel when he finds a lost sheep? "He lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'" (Luke 15:5, 6).


     The Lord calls us together to rejoice with Him. The songs of Easter express such rejoicing. We know that when the Lord's work in the world was completed, "He had peace." Peace is the inmost of delight, "The combats then ceased and all things in the heavens and in the hells had been reduced into order. And accordingly there was peace not for Him only; but also for the angels in the heavens, and for people on earth, there was peace and salvation" (AC 10730).
     "Peace I leave with you," He said; "My peace I give unto you." What is peace? It is put so strikingly in Heaven and Hell 286: Peace is "the joy felt by the Lord in angels and by angels from the Lord."

CAREFUL SELECTION       Leon S. Rhodes       1992

Dear Editor:
     It was with heightened interest that I read "Quo Vadis Ecclesia?" in the February Life, a message from our friends in Canberra, Australia, raising the question of the wording to be found in the Writings. It happens that I have been studying the testimony in the Kramph Will case in 1907, particularly the account published by the Academy in 1910. In this fascinating and important conflict it is striking how the subtleties of the detailed wording in numbers, sentences and phrases from the second part of Conjugial Love were explored and debated, even as to the original Latin. Surely in Providence the words chosen are no mere accident or casual matter, and I find myself in agreement with the assertion that "all that is essential has been carefully selected."
     Leon S. Rhodes,
          Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania



READING WITH DELIGHT       Freda Bradin       1992

Dear Editor:
     I would like to add to the discussion on simplifying the Writings. We hear so much in the church about these wonderful truths, and expect to understand them in depth in a short time. Are we expecting too much of ourselves? Do we make the reading of the Writings a burden instead of a joy? Whether we are young, new to the church, or a regular member of the church, we can become discouraged and give up any attempt to continue reading. It is well to remember that, thankfully, there is one thing in life that does not have a time limit-we go on learning truths to eternity!
     It is not a matter of how much we read. At first just a little at a time, picking out the generals, is good. The understanding will come as we look to the Lord and our love of truth grows. I have reread the Writings several times throughout the years, and I am always amazed at the new state of understanding which comes about each time.
     We have an added responsibility which we should not forget. In an address to a Sons group a few years ago, Bishop King said, "Those many thousands, perhaps millions, of individuals who cannot sustain the truth of the Lord's second coming are not given it directly. But those who can sustain it have been chosen, challenged and privileged."
     It is my hope that we will not change the Writings, but study them patiently and work with the Lord in bringing about a change in ourselves. The challenge of reading and working to apply the truths to our lives is what keeps life ever new and interesting-something to work for! This is the challenge, and hopefully delight, we will have to eternity.
     Freda Bradin,
          Rochester, Michigan


JOEL 1992

JOEL       Richard Linquist       1992

Dear Editor:
     "He is a good man." This statement echoes one of Joel's favorite phrases. He spoke well of his neighbors and often said of one of them, "He is a good man."
     Side by side for a decade and a half we served many uses related to services of worship at our cathedral. Many good men served as ushers, but whether scheduled or not, Joel's hands were always ready to help and they did.
     I recall being unhappy that Richard and Pat Nixon sat in the third pew instead of the fourth at Raymond Pitcairn's resurrection service. Joel noticed my concern and quickly ushered the Nixon's to the proper pew. He opened doors for the elderly, especially on windy days. Putting the numbers on the boards for the hymns or finding a seat and a Liturgy for someone who was late for church, Joel gladly did what needed to be done.
     He performed thousands of small acts of charity and yet Joel often seemed to be above the things of time and space. His calm eyes revealed an inner distance. This may have resulted from his joy in contemplating mathematics. Also his calm gaze might have revealed the peace resulting from the union of good and truth in a regenerating mind.
     His hands were darkened with the dirt of useful labor but his mind was that of an eagle, I believe, watching and searching for where he could be of service to what was good.
     About one week before the time came when his body could no longer serve him in the natural world, we met in a local store. I could almost see the angels descend into his face as it softened and brightened in a way that I had never seen in the forty years that I have known him. With the firmness of friendship we shook hands and I thought it meant goodbye, but I was wrong.
     Recently during a painful emotional struggle not to satisfy an evil lust, I became aware of a force urging me not to succumb.


I was aware of Joel's presence.
     In Joel's resurrection service, the Rev. Fred Schnarr stated, "We reflect on Joel's life at this time because of what the Lord gave us through that life. Not only are there memories to treasure, but there are living currents of love and uses to bind together the lives of those on earth with the lives of those in heaven." In truth, " . . . the New Church on the earth grows according to its increase in the world of spirits, for spirits from that world are with men . . . " (AC 732).
     In this fair and fine journal for the New Church, I salute a very good man, Joel Pitcairn, who is still my friend.
     Richard Linquist,
          Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

DIVORCE       Daniel Heilman       1992

Dear Editor:
     I read with interest in the October Life Ruth Wyland's letter on pastoral care and counseling for the divorced. I would like to share a small portion of my experience, and add a perspective. By definition it's personal.
     Despite our special and distinctive teachings about marriage, divorce is a fact more ecumenical. In an essay Herbert Gold says, "divorce is perhaps the extremest moral event which can consummate on earth. It may be an evil act or it may be a good one, but it is moral all the way down . . . we reach it only with a rope wove of a thousand difficult decisions" (The Atlantic, 1957).
     Part of the morality of divorce is related to "what is done with the children." Always affected, children are not the ones being divorced. Everything possible must be done to protect their filial right to continue access to and receive love from each parent.


     Helping people to deal with grief or counseling persons with sensed failure and injured self-worth may require the services of a psychologist or psychiatrist. Ministers' counseling divorced or divorcing persons seems to me to be entirely different from counseling persons in a troubled marriage. Such counseling from a member of the clergy in a church with such powerful teachings on marriage is a complicated undertaking. The experience of divorce is known to very few of our clergy. For these reasons and others, it may be a challenge to develop a "heart understanding" of divorce.
     Who knows best the thousand difficult and highly personal decisions made when a marriage becomes spiritually bereft? Ultimately it is God who is on the other side of man's moral decisions. I once heard a minister state in a sermon that the key to conjugial love is personal regeneration. If this is so, then personal regeneration might be a key to an individual's growth in his or her life after marriage, in one's attempt to heal one's self however it came to be injured, one does well to seek the care and love of true family and true friends.
     In reporting my experience I desire not to separate myself from those in our church who have experienced divorce. In fact, I feel a shared experience, not so much in belonging to "a category," each case of which is unique. The shared experience I refer to is in having entered a bond with the best perceptions and the grandest dreams, and seeing them dramatically altered.
     Many people, I believe, would say that the most wonderful thing about our church is truth as revealed. For me one welcome value of our church has been its ecclesiastic unwillingness to take an edictal stance on individual situations the way some church organizations do. It has appeared to me that despite extensive teachings on morality, there is an official willingness to leave the matter in the hands of the individual. (This may not always have been the case.)


     I have been helped immeasurably by the caring attitude I have felt from several of our ministers and parishioners. Caring embodies friendship, compassion, listening, and the unwillingness to be polarized. It is based on respect for the individual and a willingness to treat the divorcing or divorced the same after as before this intensely personal life-event. I have needed and am grateful for that caring and the teachings of the New Church.
     Daniel Heilman,
          Saxonburg, Pennsylvania

MICHAEL CHURCH CENTENARY       Freda G. Griffith       1992

Dear Editor:
     The celebration of the centenary of the building which is the home of the London, England, Society of the General Church will start on New Church Day, Friday, 19th June, 1992, and will continue throughout that weekend. The program for the three days is given below.
     There will be other events throughout the summer, particularly an ongoing exhibition of archive material, of which there is a great wealth! The closing event will be a Thanksgiving service combined with our Harvest Festival on Sunday, 4th October.
     There will be a warm welcome for any of our friends throughout the church, and particularly those who have had close association with the society, who for one reason or another find themselves in England this coming summer.
     The program for the June weekend is as follows:

Friday 19 June at 7:30 p.m.
     New Church Day service. Joint celebration with our Conference friends, hosted by Michael Church. The Rev. Erik Sandstrom will preach.


The service will be followed by refreshments in the schoolroom.

Saturday 20 June 6:00-7:00 p.m.
     Sherry and conversation in the schoolroom, and the exhibition of photographs and documents.
     7:00 p.m. "Banquet, followed by short speeches and musical items. Tickets L5 per head or L10 for a family ticket.

Sunday 21 June 11:00 a.m.
     Service. Preacher: The Right Rev. Peter Buss
This will be followed by a bring-your-own picnic lunch and games for the children.
     A booklet on the history of the society is being prepared and will be available at no charge from 20th June.
          Freda G. Griffith,
               Chairman, Centenary Committee

IVYLAND CIRCLE       Editor       1992

     What used to be referred to as "Hatboro-Horsham," a church group a few miles from Bryn Athyn, has now been recognized as the Ivyland Circle, under the leadership of Rev. Robert S. Junge. The circle is thriving, and work is progressing on a most attractive place of worship.


     A Korean-speaking New Church group in Long Island, New York is visited by Rev. Robert S. Junge . The leader is Mr. J. H. Bae, 38-03-214 Pl., Bayside, NY 11361. Phone (office) 212-547-4100; (home) 718-279-2290.





Sept      7      Mon      College resident students arrive on campus
     8      Tue      Theological School classes begin
               Registration of all College students
               Registration begins with all Secondary Schools local students
               Secondary School resident students arrive
               First-time Secondary School parents' reception/dinner
               Secondary Schools Parents' Forum
          9      Wed      College classes begin
               Cathedral Worship Service for students, faculty, parents
          10      Thu      Opening exercises for Secondary Schools
Oct      16      Fri      Charter Day Celebration and Service
          17      Sat      Charter Day Banquet
Nov      19      Thu      Fall Term ends for College and Theological School
          23, 24      Secondary Schools' mini trips
          24      Tue      Secondary Schools Fall Ten ends and Thanksgiving recess begins
          29      Sun      Resident students return
          30      Mon      Winter Term begins in all schools
Dec      18      Fri      Christmas recess begins


Jan      3      Sun      Resident students return
          4      Mon      Classes resume in all schools
          18      Mon      Martin Luther King observance
Feb      15      Mon      Presidents' Birthday
Mar      1      Mon      Application deadline for 1993-94 admission
          4      Thu      College and Theological School Winter Ten ends
          5      Fri      Secondary Schools Winter Ten ends
          6      Sat      Spring recess begins
          14      Sun      Resident students return
          15      Mon      Spring Term begins in all schools
April 9      Fri      Good Friday holiday
May      31      Mon      Memorial Day
June      4      Fri      Graduation Dance
          5      Sat      Commencement



COMING SOON IN CHRYSALIS       Editor       1992

     We want to draw your attention to the themes being featured by the Swedenborg Foundation in the next two upcoming Chrysalises. The Spring 1992 issue focuses on scientists exploring spirit, and is an update of the foundation's proceedings of its tricentennial symposium on science and spirituality (Chrysalis, Spring 1989). The issue is guest-edited by Professor John L. Hitchcock and includes his own article on chaos theory as well as articles by Larry Dossey, M.D., on medicine and meaning, and by Frances Vaughn on transpersonal empowerment. Besides other articles, there is the letters-from-readers section entitled "Advance and Past Reactions." The Spring 1992 issue contains a two-page letter on hyperreligiosity written by a great-granddaughter of an ardent Swedenborgian, as well as comments from readers on the 1993 World Parliament of Religions and Chrysalis's recent issue on mankind. Readers are now being invited to write letters to the foundation for advance reactions for the Summer 1992 Chrysalis. We hope you will be interested in
     (1)      commenting on the future of human nature for the Summer 1992 Chrysalis;
     (2)      subscribing to Chrysalis so that you can enjoy and put among your reference books the Spring 1992 issue, "Scientists Explore Spirit."
     Chrysalis now has almost 3,000 readers. The foundation notes that less than ten percent of the subscribers are Swedenborgians. We want more New Church involvement. Why don't you call 1-800-366-7310 and charge your subscription to your credit card? Or write the foundation (attention Chrysalis), 139 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010 with New Church comments on the future of human nature. We want you to be part of our outreach to the rest of the world.



HUMAN MIND       Editor       1992


     The human mind is just as capable of becoming wise as the angelic mind. Heaven and Hell 314


"I AM" 1992

"I AM"       Editor       1992

     A series of talks on the 'I am' sayings of the Lord as found in John's gospel
Rev. Ian A. Arnold
     I am the bread of life                         (John 6:36,48)
I am the light of the world                         (John 8:12; 9:5)
I am the door                                   (John 10:7, 9)
I am the good shepherd                         (John 10:11, 14)
I am the resurrection and the life               (John 11:25)
I am the way, the truth and the life               (John 14:6)
I am the true vine                          (John 15:15)
     Softcover 50 pages $4.00 plus $1.05 postage
     General Church Book Center                    Hours: Mon-Fri 9-12
Box 743, Cairncrest                         or by appointment
Bryn Athyn, PA 19009                         Phone: (215) 947-3920


Notes on This Issue 1992

Notes on This Issue       Editor       1992

Vol. CXII     May, 1992      No. 5


     Notes on This Issue

     Think of an insignificant insect, and then think of the candles which make churches brilliant. Or think of the worm who crawls on the ground but who also makes the silk that adorns men and women. Think of the way our food is provided. That is the invitation of n. 356 of Divine Love and Wisdom. We have an unusual pursuit of thought along this line starting on page 217.
     "So here we are tonight, beneficiaries of the continuity of the Lord's love and a myriad of changes through which the Divine Providence leads and guides us." It was a night of last summer's assembly, and the retiring bishop had reflections for us: "Reflecting on forty years of ministry in the General Church, I am grateful for both the consistency of guiding principles of truth and also the many changes which have come in attitudes and in applications of the truth freely expressed in the lives of individuals. Let me give a few examples" (p. 201).
     "We might be feeling empty pockets but our pockets are always full, because all goods inflow from the Lord into us, and through us into other people. We will be feeling emptiness and abundance at the same time." Mr. Nagashima of Japan has provided us with a stimulating treatment on the blessings of poverty (p. 208).
     "Sometimes we can't seem to get it together. There are things we know we ought to do, and we know how to do them, but for some reason we can't light the fire and start doing them." This was a theme last autumn under the heading "The Mind under Siege." But is it really so simple? A letter in this issue takes the theme further in a way that rings true to life (p. 224).





     The Lord God Jesus Christ alone is infinite, eternal, "and changes not."
     Yet He wills that there be change, the orderly result of which is a heaven from the human race. The quality of heaven depends upon continuity-the constant presence of the Divine itself which makes heaven. "If you abide in Me and I in you, then you will bear much fruit" This reciprocal abiding of the Lord with man and man with the Lord is called conjunction, for heaven is conjunction with the Lord. So the Lord said, "I am in My Father, and He in Me, and I in you, and you in Me."
     The joy, variety and beauty of heaven, however, depend upon eternal change which results in the continued perfection of each angel; for angels, as reciprocal vessels of the Divine, constitute heaven. Continuity makes heaven. Change constitutes it. As a favorite hymn puts it, "Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me" (Liturgy page 458). A second hymn supports this: "A mighty fortress is our God . . . lo a Man is on our side . . . Christ Jesus it is He, the Lord of Hosts His name, from age to age the same" (Liturgy, page 422). It is a well known teaching in the Word that "the Divine of the Lord makes heaven; angels constitute it."
     Because the church on earth makes one with the angelic heaven, continuity and change, therefore, make and constitute the true church. Continuity exists by virtue of the presence of the Lord's love in the church. All change is from the Lord's truth as it forms the faith and life of the church.
     Historically the first change ever to take place was creation itself, a successive formation from the substance or being of God man. The doctrine of discrete degrees as contained in Divine Love and Wisdom describes the successive production of one entity from another, beginning with the Lord's own substance (the Word which was in the beginning-the Divine existere) and culminating in fixed substances at rest outside of the Divine, such as are in earths.


So the spiritual world with its sun, atmospheres, waters and lands came into being, and the natural world with its sun, atmospheres, waters and earths.
     After this, from ultimate fixed substances at rest, creation continued in a grand upswing, with an ascending formation of organic vessels-an apparent evolution of mineral, vegetable, animal, then human organic vessels.
     Creation and change are synonymous. The Lord's infinite love to give of Himself to others became the original conatus or endeavor to create human beings in His own image and likeness, who might receive His love and His wisdom and feel His Divine things in themselves as if their own, and thus attain eternal happiness. The true culmination of creation is man, in God's image and likeness, that is, possessing the ability (capacity) to see (understand) what is good and what is true, and to be so affected by them as to be able to live according to them.
     Truth is the form of good, enabling it to be intellectually perceived. Truth, therefore, is order, impressed upon each degree of creation and ultimately terminating in two foundations-nature and revelation.     
     This order, implicit in each degree of creation, both spiritual and natural, is gathered and presented in knowledges we call truth-spiritual truth founded upon and contained in revelation, and natural truth founded upon nature and gathered into scientific writings.
     Truth, because it is the form of good, is absolute and designed to so affect the human mind that it may increasingly receive the Divine of the Lord. The result of this educational and regenerative process is a state of conjunction with the Lord, which is the essence of a heaven from the human race.
     What a momentous change creation was, and what a magnificent chain of subsequent changes it triggered.


If we should summarize in one grand series the three great changes which history records, we would include: (1) Creation (Father), (2) Incarnation (Son), and (3) Glorification (Holy Spirit). As New Churchmen we would recognize in this series of three major changes three beginnings signaling profound series of changes flowing forth from and qualified by each beginning. So the Lord created all things outside of Himself, so that human beings might have an eternal existence and an as-of-self relationship with their God.
     When the human race withdrew from the Lord to the very threshold of self-destruction, the Creator came down and entered into the created universe of change. He willed to be consciously present in the natural plane of life with mankind, to order the created universe and re-establish equilibrium between the spiritual and natural worlds. Continuity and change came together in the person of Jesus Christ, for He was at once both God and man. His soul was the infinite, unchanging Divine; His body and mind were finite vessels forming a temple in which His Divine soul might dwell and effect the great work of redemption.
     The third great change in this grand series was the glorification. The human mind and body which the Lord put on through a magnificent series of changes which only the Divine could accomplish was the uniting of the Divine with the Human, and of the Human with the Divine, in the Lord's Person.
     In order to understand and appreciate more fully the Lord's unstinting love toward us, let us expand the historic series of changes from three to seven:
     1.      Creation-God Himself did not change but brought forth from Himself creation, which is synonymous with change.
     2.      The fall of man-mankind himself caused the first and only change for the worse. By turning away from the Lord, he turned good into evil and truth into falsity, becoming the origin of hell.


     3.      The Lord, responding to the desperate spiritual need of fallen man, established the spiritual genius by separating in man the perverted will from the understanding. Because of mankind's turning away from the Lord, the Divine love to give of itself to others was perceived for the first time as a love for the salvation of those who had turned away and perverted the native will.
     4.      The written Word was given by the Lord to instruct by means of truth from without, elevating the separated understanding within so that a new will might be formed out of remains implanted in the elevated understanding. So the written Word became the sole medium of conjunction with the Lord, making possible repentance, reformation and regeneration.
     5.      The Lord's advent into the world was Divine love's response to mankind's effort to self-destruct. This was made manifest by the evolution of a mere representative of a church existing with the Jewish nation at its spiritual end. The Lord's advent into the world marked the fifth change in this series. He is called Redeemer because He subjugated the hells, ordered the heavens, and established a true church on earth. He is called Savior because He glorified the humanity which He put on, retaining for all time His immediate presence through a Divine natural degree. The Divine descending and clothing itself in the human was not changed nor could it lose its infinite continuity. By putting on the natural degree of human life, the Lord assumed the whole realm of change in His conscious mind. He was both God and man in the finite person of Jesus Christ. His humanity became the Word made flesh so that He might bring about a great last judgment in the spiritual world, effecting the salvation of the spiritual church, then glorifying His humanity so that He might eternally be the Redeemer and Savior of each person who would turn to Him and worship Him as a visible God in His Word.


     6.      The second coming of the Lord, as the Spirit of Truth, brought into full effect the works of redemption and glorification. This set the stage for the seventh and culminating change in this series.
     7.      The formation of a new heaven and a new earth-when Emanuel Swedenborg completed the writing of The True Christian Religion, the Lord called together His twelve disciples and sent them forth throughout the whole spiritual world to preach the gospel that "the Lord God Jesus Christ reigns, whose kingdom shall be for ages and ages; and blessed are they who are called to the marriage supper of the lamb." A crown of revelations has been given. A crown of churches may now exist in which the Lord God Jesus Christ is to be worshiped in His own Divine humanity as a visible, loving God.

     So here we are tonight, beneficiaries of the continuity of the Lord's love and a myriad of changes through which the Divine Providence leads and guides us into the presence of the Lord's love. How wonderful it is to be the object of the Lord's Divine love and wisdom-vessels able to receive and respond as of self to these blessings which the Lord would have us feel and use as if our very own.
     Each of us is special, chosen for a unique and joyful effect upon others, a use which takes form and receives increasing perfection as we approach the Lord, love the truths of the church and do its goods.
     What a blessing it is to have the Word of the Lord in its three testaments, to pattern our lives according to the examples He Himself has given us, to use the tools for shunning evils as sins and then performing charitable works as He has commanded. "This do in remembrance of Me." "I have given you an example"; if you will do these things, you will find happiness.


And what a joy it is to know that in our heavenly Father's house are many mansions. How meaningful then is the refrain "in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me." The Lord always abides with us, "stands at the door and knocks," but do we abide in Him? When the Lord is seen and felt as the continuity of everything good and useful in our lives, then His presence makes all things new. It is His unceasing presence in our life that enables us to be regenerated. It is His presence in our marriages that makes them conjugial. It is His presence in New Church education which makes it distinctive. It is His presence in the church that makes it a new Christian church. It is His presence in all things of life which causes the church on earth to make one with His kingdom in the heavens.
     The tools for change are the truths of His Word. They are absolute. This does not alter the fact that they will relate differently to different states in us, depending on the integrity and purity of our understanding of those truths.
     The three primary doctrines of the New Church involve the Lord, the Word and the life of charity. The Lord is love and love is conjunction. The Lord's presence is constant. His Word is the medium of change whereby conjunction is effected. The life of charity brings these two together and makes possible a heaven from the human race. We strive for a balance of continuity and change that there may be equilibrium or freedom of choice and resulting conjunction with our visible God and Heavenly Father.
     The organized church, like human beings who compose it, must have both continuity and change in balance.
     In our Heavenly Father's house are many mansions. If we would live eternally in one of His mansions, we must change and grow. As the song says "in life, in death, O Lord, abide with [us]." The Lord always abides with each one of us. His love, like the sunlight, falls all around us all of the time, and like the gentle rain, His Divine wisdom descends upon the just and the unjust in equal measure. But do we abide in Him?


     "If you abide in My love, then My father's love will abide in you . . . . Whosoever obeys My commandments, he it is that loves Me." Every effort to use the Lord's Word to effect a change opens our lives more fully to Him. Opening the doors of our house to Him is regeneration.
     The organized church, like human beings who compose it, must strive for a balance between continuity and change. There must be continuity in essentials, balanced by willingness to change in less essential forms which are instrumental. Reflecting on forty years of ministry in the General Church, I am grateful for both the consistency of guiding principles of truth and also the many changes which have come in attitudes and in applications of the truth freely expressed in the lives of individuals.
     Let me give a few examples:

The Principles of the Academy

     The Principles of the Academy were formulated by the Reverend Richard de Charms, Bishop William Henry Benade and Bishop William Frederick Pendleton prior to the turn of the century. They were beautifully enunciated by Bishop Pendleton at the Third General Assembly of the General Church held in Berlin, Ontario, Canada on June 30th, 1899. As recently as 1951, when I was inaugurated into the priesthood of the New Church, these principles were often quoted and publicly affirmed throughout the General Church. I studied and subscribed to them 100% as stated, and yet when I read them today, I realize how important it is for the growth of a church to have a balance between continuity and change.
     Let us consider these twelve principles very briefly. Number one proclaims the second coming of the Lord in the Writings of the New Church revealing His Divine Human. With perfect, wholehearted continuity the General Church today makes one with the General Church formed in 1897, based solidly upon this first principle.


     The second principle speaks of the dead quality of the Christian Church and of the necessity of separating completely from it. I believe that our attitudes and applications today focus more on the teachings concerning the church universal, and the responsibility to reach out to others to promote what is good and true from the Lord in them.
     When I was a boy living in the Glenview Park and attending the Immanuel Church School, there was a sign at the main entrance of the Park which announced "The Immanuel Church of the New Jerusalem." In more prominent letters below this were the words "Private property," and in still larger letters entered near the bottom "Keep out." At church, in school and at home we were not so subtly confirmed in the attitude expressed by this sign. How different is our attitude today with regard to our relationship to our Christian neighbors, yet without watering down what the Writings have to say about orthodox Christian doctrine.
     The third principle of the Academy refers to the priesthood as the appointed means for the establishment of the church and the importance of not placing it under any external bond. This approach, though continued in essence, is greatly modified by the attitude within the priesthood and that of the church concerning accountability of the priesthood and the need for professional development so that there may be a more direct response and accommodation by the priesthood to the needs of a living and growing church.
     Principles four and five state the essential nature of our sacraments, Baptism and the Holy Supper. Perhaps it is the way I interpret the wording of these principles but it seems to me that at times adult baptism was considered more of a badge of exclusiveness symbolizing the passing of an intellectual test rather than a doorway of introduction into the knowledge and life of the church. Baptism today stresses a willingness to follow the Lord and desire to keep learning the truths from His Word.


In the statement concerning the Holy Supper (in "Principles of the Academy"), the use of fermented grape juice is focused upon, an obvious effort to differentiate the General Church from other bodies of the New Church. This same underlying context which separates us from other bodies of the New Church and the Christian Church is seen in the emphasis placed upon marriage in principles six and seven. Principle six warns against the marriage of one who is in the faith of the New Church with one who is in a false faith or in no faith as being heinous in the sight of heaven. I believe our attitudes today modify the extreme nature of this principle by bringing to our attention again the teachings concerning the church universal and its relationship to the church specific, as well as the differentiation the Writings themselves make between religion on the one hand and faith separated from love.
     Number seven speaks of any interference on the part of man with the law of offspring in marriage as an abomination. I don't believe this is the clear teaching of the Writings. There are just and weighty reasons which should modify this statement. I'm certain that the spirit of this principle looked to interference from the love of self and the world as being the real disorder to be shunned.
     The eighth principle of the Academy declares the latter part of conjugial love as laws of order for the preservation of the conjugial. This principle certainly is as true today and fully accepted as it was in 1897.
     Principle nine refers to the doctrine of the New Church as celestial-the New Church itself as a celestial church-and ends up referring to celestial perception of the truth that is within doctrine. There are those in another body of the church who believe that the General Church has gone back on this principle and in fact has renounced the celestial.
     Principle ten speaks of unanimity and the importance of not taking action without essential unanimity. Doubt as a cause for delay is still a principle carried forth in the life, the order, and the organization of the General Church and its educational institutions.


     Principle eleven speaks of uses as truth taking form in response to needs. This is as true today as it was in the past.
     The twelfth principle refers to education as the most fruitful field of evangelization. We certainly can enlarge our concept of what education involves in its far-reaching effect.
     I think that we will all recognize, when we read these "Principles of the Academy" and the words selected to express them, that the essential truths from the Writings within these principles are accepted today as much as ever, but that emphasis and application have changed, particularly in the light of other numbers and contexts drawn from the Writings to give balance, and to meet the changing needs of the world about us and within us.

Another example of change is evangelization.

     The General Church looks enthusiastically to sharing the doctrines and life of the New Church with others, responding to the Lord's exhortation to go among all nations. The social gospel, so often questioned in the past by General Church ministers, is more kindly regarded and perhaps understood in the light of genuine good works carried on by so many unselfish and unself-conscious peoples of the earth. There is also more emphasis upon the fact that all true enlightenment and clear-sightedness of truth is ultimately dependent upon living that truth. Truth that is not turned to good or the life of use very soon ceases to be true. Proprial affections take hold of it, particularly proprial affections born from the conceit of self-intelligence, which cause the truth to be used in the condemnation of others and in the setting apart and elevation of one's self as more chosen by the Lord. Yes, we have seen a change!
     It is all right, even a good thing, to focus upon good works today-in this New Church.


And with this open attitude and outreach toward others, we can truly learn so much that is good and true from the Lord with them. New perspective gained by looking outward enables us to be more open in assessing our own vulnerability and disorders.
     We can admit the misuse, even abuse, of alcohol and other substances in our church. We are not immune to child abuse, homosexuality and other disorders which many of us never believed could possibly exist in the New Church. And even if we suspected their existence, we readily denied the possibility. I believe we have come to see that the "inclination to evils of every kind," to which the Writings often refer as our hereditary nature, makes it possible for each one of us to see in ourselves that which we abhor and denounce in others. Perhaps we have learned that people must be allowed to make mistakes and that the church should not turn off such people and direct them to other organizations and agencies where the lepers' bell we have given them will signal to others their need of help. Like a Pharisee in a certain parable, we have crossed the street to observe another's need and then walked on unmoved to help.
     The sanctity and holiness of marriage is as important today as ever, and the legitimate cause of divorce remains the same. But when there is divorce and remarriage, under a variety of less than desirable situations, there is a growing attitude of mercy and willingness to give support so that the church may be a vehicle for encouraging return to the Lord and the conjugial of heaven. We must leave the door open to the Lord's knocking. Such good Samaritan attitudes should not interfere with or compromise the teaching of ideals directly from the Word of the Lord, particularly to our young people.
     There are so many areas of change in attitude and yet continuity of principles drawn from the Writings which affect many areas of the church. One of the most noticeable changes is especially our attitude toward the uses which women may serve. Women do have intellect even though their love predominates.


They can love to study and to learn doctrinal things, engage in abstract patterns of thought, write beautiful poetry, produce technical manuals if they choose, and exercise amazing judgment-and always from a nature and temperament in which thought from affection predominates. And I believe we have learned not to take the teachings in Conjugial Love referring to the relationship of husbands and wives, after consent has been given, to define and apply roles to unmarried men or women who have not yet given consent in a marriage relationship. I believe that if the Latin word homo were translated "person," or masculine and feminine or some other more worthy term that would imply both masculine and feminine, there would not be the appearance which bothers many, that the Writings are male-oriented, if not chauvinistic.
     Just reflect for a moment upon the change in attitude which the church has come to with regard to ministers' wives and the part they play in their husbands' use. Reflect upon the changes of attitude that have taken place in the church with regard to extemporaneous prayer and use of prayers by priests and laymen other than the Lord's Prayer. In the last decade the church's attitude toward extemporaneous preaching, summer camps, support groups, spiritual growth communities and a variety of alternative forms and styles of worship has changed dramatically.
     I believe that all of these changes have come about because we are in a changing world, and as a church we have changing responsibilities, but with the Lord's presence this has been done without compromising the continuity of His love and the absolute nature of His Divine truth for the New Church.

Closing prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for the presence of Your love every hour and every minute of every day. We thank you for the light of Divine truth bringing Your Divine Human into view and immediate touch for us in every state of our lives.


We ask for the creativity, the inspiration and imagination to respond to the challenge which You have given to the church specific, that we may open our lives to each other and to the world to search for that which is Divine and continuous from You in each other, that Your kingdom may grow with Unceasing change to bring joy and gladness to the hearts of Your children. Amen.

CAMP WINDING WATERS       Editor       1992

     If you want to learn about this Oregon camp (Aug. 22-26), write to Peggy Andrews, P.O. Box 99, Corbett, OR 97019.
The camp will be led by Rev. Cedric King and Rev. Frank Rose. The theme this year will be "Teach Us to Pray."

WHAT IS LAST RESORT?       Editor       1992

A New Church camp for young adults, ages 18 to 30.
A place to play and grow!
A time for sharing, music and discussion.


At Deer Park, a wooded campsite near New Hope, Pa., a 25 minute drive from Bryn Athyn.
There are cabins with beds and bathrooms, a central meeting room, a swimming pool, and a lovely dining area.
Monday, June 8 (arrival time from 10-11 am), until Friday, June 12 (around noon).
How much does it cost?
$40 until May 1          
$50 after May 1.          
$15 per day part-time.
Registration Information:
write to Last Resort, c/o Glade
Odhner, BACS, Bryn Athyn PA
19009-0277; or call (215) 947-7904 or -8904.




     Money Matters and Their Internal Sense


     Our human nature tends to believe that wealth is a sign of blessing. Drawing evidence from the Old Testament (e.g., Deut. 28), some Christians have a belief that earthly possessions are God's blessings. Other Christians think differently, that money and wealth are obstacles in following the Lord's steps. They hear His saying, "It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:23).
     New Church people are in the middle between these two extremes, because they know that money and wealth can be a blessing or a curse according to how one uses it, or what love he has in mind when he uses it (see DP 217). In the Writings we read, "The rich enter heaven just as easily as the poor, and no man is shut out of heaven on account of his wealth, or received into heaven on account of his poverty" (HH 357). Put simply, wealth is a blessing with the good, but a curse with the evil.

The Literal Sense of the Word

     In the New Testament we find many passages in which the poor are exalted and the rich humbled. For example:

     Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God (Luke 6:20).
     Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation (Luke 6:24).
     No one can serve two masters . . . . You cannot serve God and mammon (Matt. 6:24).
     The Lord said to His disciples, "Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs, for a worker is worthy of his food" (Matt. 10:9, 10).


     Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple (Luke 15:33).
     It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven . . . . It is easier for a camel to go through     the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Matt. 19:23, 24).

     The infant Lord was born and laid in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn (see Luke 2:7). The Lord's initiation of His human life started in poverty. He was an unknown carpenter, and His disciples were simple, uneducated fishermen, or rather poor. And the Lord had nowhere to lay His head (see Matt. 8:20).
     The Divine Providence gave the first Christian Church the Word clothed with the literal sense, and it was provisionally enough for them to start their regeneration. The natural sense of the Word, as it appears to the natural eyes, was a prerequisite to go into the deeper sense of the Word. They literally accepted the "Blessed are the poor and woe to the rich" message and followed Him by forsaking their own wealth and property (see Acts 2:44, 45).
     They knew such a lifestyle was not commanded by the Lord, but they assumed it from His earthly life. Paul put it as follows: "We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (1 Tim. 6:7-10).


     All Catholic religious orders have kept their traditional ascetic training by making a vow of "poverty" when a member is initiated. As is well known, St. Francis of Assisi, for example, exalted poverty as a holy queen of all Christian virtues.
     Nevertheless, they did not naively believe that poverty itself was a key to heaven and that the rich would go to hell. They already knew some inner sense of the Word, for the Lord often made a new interpretation over what He had previously preached (as seen in the parable of the sower in Matt. 13). And His disciples were permitted to taste the deeper meanings of the Word (see Matt. 13:11). Some early church fathers made metaphoric and parabolic interpretations of the Word.
     In such a way seventeen hundred years' Christian ages were needed so that their generations could become an incubator of the New Church revelation, Just as our revelator, Emanuel Swedenborg, was an offspring of the former Christian Church, all New Church people are their offspring likewise. And just as the natural human body is a basis of the spirit therein, the natural sense of the Word is an indispensable receptacle of the internal sense of the Word. The Writings put it as follows: "By the sense of the letter of the Word there is conjunction with the Lord and association with the angels" (TCR 234).
     Physical poverty and the ascetic lifestyle, which were once highly esteemed in the foregoing Christian ages, could be a catalyst for their purification or regeneration. From poverty they learned how to make themselves free from avarice and the greediness of earthly possessions.

The Internal Sense of the Word

     There are three kinds of heavens distinguished discretely from one another. In the celestial heaven the angels know the celestial sense of the Word with "wisdom," thinking from "end."


In the spiritual heaven the angels know the spiritual sense of the Word with "intelligence," thinking from "cause." And in the natural heaven the angels know the natural sense of the Word, thinking from "effect" (see TCR 234, 235, DLW 232).
     From the Writings we also know that the "rich" signify those who are in knowledge of truth and good, and that the "poor" signify those who do not have them but desire them (see AC 10227, HH 365:3). And also the "poor" can signify those who know that they cannot understand anything from themselves (see AE 118).
     If we share the Word with the angels in heaven, the "Blessed are the poor and woe to the rich" message is also read, thought and tasted by the celestial and spiritual angels in their own capacities. The celestial angels might be tasting it from the end which ascribes everything to the Lord's love and glory. They are so "poor" in spirit that they cannot attribute anything to themselves. Their consistent declaration is that all goods and truths are from the Lord. And woe to those who do not do it. The spiritual angels are those who accept and see the above message from the cause. They immediately find that they are also "poor" because they try to give anything good for their neighbors' benefit for the Lord's sake. Woe to those who do not use them for other people. While the celestial angels taste the message from wisdom, and praise the Lord, the spiritual angels see the message from intelligence and apply it for the neighbors' sake.
     Although we might have some insight similar to angelic wisdom and intelligence, we are in the natural world which is discretely distinguished from the heavens. We see it from the Writings as follows: "As long as man lives in the world, and is thereby in the natural degree, he cannot be elevated into very wisdom such as the angels have, but only into higher light, even up to angels, and can receive enlightenment from their light that flows in from within and illuminates" (DLW 256).
     In the natural degree our minds are elevated only in continuity, so we cannot jump up to the higher level without necessary steps taken successively and gradually.


In terms of the spiritual growth in regeneration, slow and steady steps are always required. This is also true with our own understanding of the internal sense of the Word.
     In the above context the foregoing Christian Church must have therein had a kind of implicit conception of the internal sense of the Word which is to be gradually disclosed to their spiritual eyes. The "Blessed are the poor and woe to the rich" message was gradually reinterpreted, by the help of the Lord's Holy Spirit, into what is closer to the New Church doctrines. This accounts for the fact that in the present Christian Church nobody takes this message literally as it used to be. Human reason can also see that none should be judged from his appearance of being rich or poor, but only from his intention or purpose in life. They already have a tacit recognition of the internal sense of the Word.
     At the same time, the literal sense of the Word, although it seems to be natural, can be made to serve the celestial mind as means to its own end, and is made celestial (see DLW 261). Mother Teresa's service for the people is described by her own tongue that it is for the sake of the Lord's love. Even though her Catholic understanding about the Lord's suffering is based upon the literal sense, it can serve for her end, which is celestial.
     Our Lord, starting from the seemingly harsh Word such as "Woe to the rich," has tried to extricate His people from avarice for money and its possessions. If not, more people would have perished out of greed and lust for earthly things. Swedenborg also points out that the love of money for the sake of money is avarice (see SD 2450).

New Church Education on Monetary Matters

     Since money matters are tightly connected with the love of self and of the world, we have to give a careful but balanced education for ourselves.


Let me show you some tentative guidelines as follows.

1. How to Think-All good is from our Lord.

     If we acknowledge that all goods are from the Lord alone, we know that there is no private possession in its own sense. Everything is constantly created and re-created by Him for our use, Food, clothes, and shelter are from the Lord. Other natural resources, such as air, water, light, heat, power, plants, animals, and all micro/macro-cosmic worlds, are unceasingly created by the Lord. Our human body, which is miraculously composed and daily sustained, is His creation. We "borrow" all these good things from Him for use so that everything may finally converge into the Gorand Man in heaven for the sake of His glory.
     In human society, money is a symbol of private possessions with which our temporary appropriation is guaranteed. We are yet reminded of the parable of the talents in which the master delivered "his" goods to his servants (see Matt. 25:14-30). We are given His goods, not for possessing them but for using them, developing and multiplying them. We are users but not possessors.
     Paul was right when he said, "Empty-handed we came into the world, and empty-handed, beyond question, we must leave it" (1 Tim, 6:7, Knox Bible).
     Avarice comes from a false image that we actually possess things as our own. If we put too much emphasis on private possessions, we ignore the fact that everything primarily and ultimately belongs to the Lord.

2. How to Spend-Thy kingdom come.

     We are commanded by the Lord that we must love Him from all our hearts, souls and minds. So His kingdom and His church must also be loved by us as His glory and as His bride.


     If we pay tax to support our country, we also have to support our humanly organized church by means of donations, offerings, or tithings. As long as the church takes care of our spiritual life, the church is much closer to us than our country, which only takes care of our material life (see TCR 415).
     We learn something from practice. By our practical offerings and donations we learn that everything, including money, belongs to the Lord. The money to be offered is not a leftover in the budget but the first crop of the harvest, which represents the whole.
     The New Church must be a giving church, because no other churches in the world know better that everything belongs to the Lord, and that He takes care of us at every moment and even the least fraction of a moment for our eternal happiness (see DP 333:3). The giving church consists of the giving people who attribute everything to the Lord, and show their thanks to Him by their offerings. This money is used for His bride's growth and expansion.
     We actually learn only by acknowledging that we receive everything from the Lord. Every day will be a history of miraculous support from the Lord. By giving we receive. Our Lord says, "Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you" (Luke 6:38).
     The New Church must be the church in which each donor donates his money for the sake of the Lord's glory alone, not for his own sake. Donors are great when they hide their names before the people, and will be much greater when the Lord will reward them openly some day (see Matt. 6:3,4). When donors give their money from the delight of self-love for their own glory, the Writings say, "This delight in glory, which in the world seems to them like heaven, is changed after death into hell" (AE 659b:5).


3. How to be "Poor"--Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3).

     When we admit that all good is from the Lord, we must acknowledge that we can do nothing from ourselves (see John 15:5), and that we can understand nothing from ourselves (see AE 118). That means we are poor in spirit. The "poor" people admit that they have no knowledge of truth and good but desire them (see AC 10227). They are also hungry people, and have thirst for truths and goods.
     The New Church is the church in which each member is a perpetual truth-seeker, because in each literal sense of the Word innumerable treasures of the internal sense are concealed and preserved. And one can be successively and gradually associated with the higher angels by being more and more "poor" in spirit. The more you seek the truths, the more you feel hunger for higher truths, because the Divine truth is infinite.
     Spiritual poverty cannot be acquired without giving such truths to other people, just as one can never become poor without giving his possessions to others, In such a way the New Church expands into the whole world. In order to be poor in spirit we have to distribute such acquired truths to other people. As material resources are to be distributed to all nations the world over, spiritual resources are also to be distributed to them. As there are millions of poverty-stricken people in the world, there are more millions of religiously disenchanted people the world over. The Lord's "Blessed are the poor in spirit" message can be a strong incentive for the New Church globalization into the whole world. The New Church has a tremendous amount of truths and principles which can save the world.
     The "Blessed are the poor in spirit" message is made much more clear in His message on the mount. "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? . . . Your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.


But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matt. 6:25-34).
     In heaven we will be provided with all necessary things each day and each moment by the Lord. We have no need to store them for tomorrow, although we must think of it as if from ourselves. A regenerated life has nothing to do with worry or apprehension for something which could be missed, because nothing is missed before Him.
     We might be feeling empty pockets but our pockets are always full, because all goods inflow from the Lord into us, and through us into other people. We will be feeling emptiness and abundance at the same time. We are empty in ourselves, but we are full in the Lord. This is the real happiness of those who first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, because all good things are given to them each day and each moment.
     In such a way we can be learning to be more and more poor in spirit, whether we are materially rich or poor, in order to be prepared on earth for heavenly life.

NEW PUBLICATION       Editor       1992

     It is called Comcounsel. A typical issue is a dozen pages. It includes book reviews, information on church camps and weekends, personal testimonies, thoughtful presentations. It is informal and inviting. "We intend to publish it once a month (and so far, we have)."
     The subscription price is $15 per year. Write to Comcounsel, P.O. Box 325, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009.




     We learn very early of the Lord's infinite capacities, that He is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient. We know that these qualities are incomprehensible to human minds, yet we are somehow to remember that our God is all-powerful, that He is everywhere, and that He is all-wise; that is, He knows everything.
     The usual tendency is to relate such concepts to the incomprehensibly vast universe-infinite space filled with an infinity of stars, solar systems and galaxies. This, of course, does no harm, but somehow seems remote and almost meaningless. It may be helpful to try to think about these qualities in a way that we can get our teeth into!
     Perhaps because I enjoy cooking-and eating-I find it helpful to remind myself of the Lord's omniscience in terms of His marvelous wisdom expressed in such terms. I am quite sure that He created us and gave us life in a form which involves eating in order to grow or to be useful and healthy. This daily familiar activity eloquently expresses the Lord's omniscience if we just think about it.
     To begin with, all living things-the vegetable and animal kingdoms-derive their life and power from the materials they absorb into themselves in wonderful ways which convert, let's say, a sandwich and French fries into the fuel for thinking and acting. The breakfast of the Olympic athlete provides some of the power for that world-record performance; Pavarotti's meals enable him to delight us with those tenor arias.
     Now I am positive that this is no mere happenstance. I am sure that the Lord knew what He was doing when He created us in His own image, providing that our marvelously intricate bodies could convert basic chemicals into abstract uses. All that we, and all living things, do throughout our lives depends upon this simple act of gathering in materials to fuel our lives.


Remember for a moment the tragedy of starvation, or even the dreadful effects of drought, and keep in mind that whatever your age (including your growth in your mother's womb) your body has called for the process of eating.
     When it is said that the Lord "blessed His creation" it includes the idea that He devised a system that is not merely mechanical but also that we enjoy good food, and surely that we notice it if the food doesn't taste as it should! We have been profoundly blessed by the simple fact that this necessary act (which is rather grotesque if we really think about stuffing something into our mouths) can be one of life's thoroughly enjoyable experiences.
     For myself I sometimes think about other forms of life-birds or fishes or plants-which do eat, but probably don't really notice very much what they are eating. Instinctively they do choose their foods, but does a bird taste? Now I know how chickens and turkeys taste after proper preparation, but I mean that when they peck away at a little bunch of millet seeds, it seems improbable that this gives them great pleasure beyond the mere satisfaction of an instinctive appetite.
     Let's therefore start by thinking about eating in ways far different than the gourmet dinner in a four-star restaurant. Start by realizing that the animal kingdom as a whole is divided between vegetarians and carnivores. A herd of wildebeest munching the plains of Serengeti simply is not blessed as fully as we are when we consume our daily bread. Too, the panther lurking in the nearby bushes is also thinking in terms of life-giving food. As a matter of fact, a large portion of the animal kingdom actually lives by consuming the flesh of other animals. Not all of them kill in order to get their meals, but they do actually live off the carcasses of other creatures. If this idea happens to bother you, please consider that this is not a mistake on the Lord's part. It is not a cruel instinct that is contrary to His love of all things, but, much more, is an incredibly wise system for keeping the planet orderly.


     Without flesh-consuming birds and animals, as well as fishes-and for that matter, myriads of worms and tiny insects or microscopic organisms-the world would be stacked high with dead bodies. Isn't it marvelous that the Lord provided an orderly way for recycling material by simply providing that creatures feed on other creatures? We really could not possibly live on earth without this profoundly wise provision by our Creator, "God has provided that fish shall be food for each other" (TCR 32:3).
     Lest there be some resistance from vegetarians who sincerely object to eating the flesh of living creatures, this does include the animals that die a "natural death" as well as those killed by predators, those that provide a rather specialized pleasure for hunters and fishermen, and the eating of flesh, be it salmon steak, shrimp scampi, pheasant under glass, or wild boar on a spit, raises another notable point. The Lord did have in His vast plan the fact that so many things, properly prepared, really do taste good.
     I truly sense the Lord's infinite wisdom in the blessings He conferred upon mankind by including a sense of taste in our makeup. This He enhanced by allowing us to find additional pleasure in those wonderful aromas frequently associated with food, as well as that remarkable type of "beauty" we recognize in a biscuit just the right shade of brown, or the striking colors of fruits and vegetables. And remember, we are just barely beginning to think about His infinite wisdom.
     If you cannot just let your imagination and memory run loose through all the marvels of food, take any ordinary cookbook and flip through the recipes. The Lord knew that crab meat goes very well with certain kinds of cheese, and blends wonderfully with the flavor of mushrooms. It is He who somehow built in those combinations like mint jelly and lamb chops, cranberry and roast turkey, to say nothing of the two greatest marvels of the culinary art: onions and butter!


     Aside from taste, aroma and appearance, think of the wonderful textures in food and those transformations that occur when bread rises or eggs are hardboiled, cream is whipped or even when cheese gets moldy. How foolish we would be to think of these as mere accidents or insignificant qualities that just happened. The Lord blessed us in so many marvelous ways that it is highly appropriate that we do start a meal by asking the blessing.
     This tiny exploration of the subject of eating and the sense of taste can be extended throughout our experiences-beautiful sights, exquisite music and the numberless pleasures of life. It won't do any harm to think about these blessings as manifestation of the Lord's infinite wisdom.
Title Unspecified 1992

Title Unspecified       Editor       1992

DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM 356     Can anything natural regard use as an end and dispose uses into series and forms? No one can do this unless he be wise; and no one but God, whose wisdom is infinite, can so give order and form to the universe. Who else or what else is able to foresee and provide all things needful for the food and clothing of man-food from the fruits of earth and from animals, and clothing from the same? How marvelous that so insignificant a creature as the silkworm should clothe in silk and splendidly adorn both women and men, from queens and kings to maidservants and menservants, and that insignificant insects like the bees should supply wax for the candles by which temples and palaces are made brilliant. These and many other things are manifest proofs that the Lord from Himself, by means of the spiritual world, brings about everything that comes into existence in nature.


Editorial Pages 1992

Editorial Pages       Editor       1992


     Among the things circulated to the clergy before the March meetings were some notes from which we quote the following:

     I was struck by the example of a Jewish woman's writing of her childhood growing up in a tiny ghetto apartment in Krakow, Poland, "surrounded by squabbles, dark political rumblings, marks of wartime suffering, and a daily struggle for existence." How did she feel as a young teen when her family emigrated to Canada? She felt that she was "being pushed out of the happy, safe enclosures of Eden."1 Most people would look objectively at the environment she was leaving and think it was a blessing to escape it. They would think of the new world that Canada would offer as far superior. But the young girl didn't feel that way. Why?
     1 Hoffman, Eve: "Personal History" New Yorker, Dec. 5, 1988, p. 98, 99.
     We can see a similar quality in our own reactions to change. As each of us grew up and continuing to the present, the Lord surrounded each of us with angels who shared their happiness and peace with us as far as our state of mind would allow it. Their presence with us was not independent of our surroundings, but not absolutely controlled by them. To the extent that the angels could draw something good, useful and heavenly from your natural experience, they would do so and use it as a basis for touching your heart. We can sense the spiritual connections with the natural world when a stray scent suddenly reminds us of some person, place or event from our childhood and a host of thoughts and warm feelings can tumble into our consciousness. It can work the other way too. Some people cannot face the familiar breakfast of their childhood without recalling the nervous getting-ready-for-school stomach that they experienced so often.


     What happens when there is change in something that angels have used to touch our heart? There can be a powerful sense of loss. [See note below.]

     How many things this applies to! Listen to a group conversation on whether it is best to go to a New Church school or to a public school. How often people testify that the pattern they followed was just right. One person might say, "I did the first six grades in a New Church school, and then I went to public school until my junior year when I went to the Academy." Another will say, "My New Church education began at the A. N. C. College."
     Is it arrogant to consider our own life's example as the ideal? Might it not be something far from arrogance-a heart-felt gratitude for our life's experience?     
     Can you think of other things this might apply to? Music used in church? Bible translation? Talk to someone who has long loved the King James Version. You can certainly find examples in which more recent translations are demonstrably more understandable and even more accurate. But your friend holds to the familiar, and is it not much more than familiarity? It is the result of wonderful and precious things that have occurred in your friend's life.

     (To be continued)

     Note: The quotation above came from "Pastoral Leadership and the Lord's Presence in a Congregation," a draft of ideas by Rev. Eric H. Carswell. The above example was given after a comment on improving modes of instruction. The writer says, "But what happens if we try to change our forms of instruction to be more effective? Will people be pleased? Often they will not be."



ABORTION       Rachel Carlson       1992

Dear Editor:
     I am writing, especially to ministers, about a very serious matter. It is a matter which our church has contributed to by keeping silent and encouraging others to do the same. We rarely hear sermons on it (although I heard about one by Rev. Louis Synnestvedt), and pro-life articles sent in to New Church journals often do not appear. I'm talking about the killing of innocent, unborn babies.
     Maybe it seems that no one in our church would do this, but by talking to many people I have discovered that this is not the case. Many people are having or encouraging abortions. Perhaps some people feel that since the church refuses to take a stand, either option-pro-life or pro-choice-is okay. Perhaps they feel that sacrificing the baby's life is worth keeping the appearance of chastity in our church. What good is an appearance? What good is a baby?
     I am writing to you ministers to ask you to please give a sermon to help our church on the implication of abortion and to talk about our duties as New Church people to help everyone involved with what it seems has come to be looked upon as merely another form of birth control.
     I think I understand why people don't do anything about this. (At least this is why I usually don't.) It is because we have been desensitized to the blatant wrongness of it. I am sure that evil spirits love to make abortion okay in people's minds, and that they have an even easier time convincing people there is nothing they personally can do to stop it. But it is simply not okay, and there are steps we as a church can take to stop it.
     I am asking you to try to see that there can be no sound argument for killing babies.


It is a scientific fact that human life begins at conception. (Read The Silent Holocaust by John Powell.) And more importantly, as stated by Rev. Prescott Rogers, it is a religious truth that unborn babies have a potential soul, if not an actual soul, and therefore are fully real in the eyes of the Lord.
     For the sake of any woman who is just reading this letter and might have had an abortion, I would like to say that I have no idea what you have gone through, and I am speaking not to make anyone feel bad but just to get people, including myself, thinking and acting for the general good in this matter. I believe that if preaching on this matter is to be successful it must address all the victims of abortion, including the mother.
     I thank those of you who take the time to research this, because then you will probably realize that this is a catastrophe and then do something great to put an end to it. (As it is the cause of more than a million deaths a year-4,000 a day-I think the word "catastrophe" is appropriate.) More deaths have been caused by abortion than by all the major wars put together. Once again, I truly believe it would make a big difference if we were inspired by your views spoken in the light of the Word. Thanks if you have already been preaching about it, or have stood up for the life of unborn babies in other ways, or are planning on doing so very soon. I'm sure I speak for many people.
     If you would like to respond, please let me know what you are doing at this time to help.
     Rachel Carlson,
          Student at the ANC

MIND UNDER SIEGE       Judy Hyatt       1992

Dear Editor,
     I write in response to your editorial comments in the December 1991 NCL, "The Mind under Siege." I would like to offer another way to view the subject of resistance.


When you stated the question, "Have you ever tried explicitly resisting a negative sphere?" I thought of what often seems to be the futility of doing so, and also of the saying "Resistance causes persistence." My experience has been that the latter is true, particularly when one tries to resist negative emotions and spheres. It's almost as if our efforts at trying to resist or control such states only serve to empower our attackers.
     I'm not sure what you meant by "deliberate action." I pictured it as thinking that if only one would get busy with external activities, that would be a powerful resistance to the internal negative influences. I don't think we can always successfully resist them by our external actions, but I do think we can rob them of their power (1) by observing the state in oneself such as in your statement, "I am feeling the effects of a sphere that is dividing the house of my mind"; (2) (perhaps more passively than your suggested "deliberate action) by acknowledging that I am powerless in the face of evil, that control is not in my hands; (3) by making a statement to the Lord that I see all this going on; and (4) by praying for His support in ridding me of the evil. I wonder if possibly a man who "is of such a character that he can resist" (AC 1820) may use such an approach. I note that earlier in the same number reference is twice made (sections 2 and 3) to the necessity of the Lord's help in driving away evil spirits causing man distress.
     We can get discouraged at the lack of results if we trust our human ability to resist evil through external action, thinking we're doing what the Lord commands. Perhaps our power to resist lies more effectively in our ability to give up control to the Lord.
     Judy Hyatt,
          Huntingdon Valley, PA



ANOTHER'S POINT OF VIEW       Lisa Hyatt Cooper       1992

     Dear Editor:
     The February 1992 issue of New Church Life includes a letter from Canberra, Australia, which claims that the suggestion to produce simplified translations of the Writings "takes no heed of what the Lord wishes us to read," and that it was put forward "for the sake of cheapness, to compensate for the lack of education in today's children and so that we will have more time to spare on doing things other than reading the Word!" The letter also deplores the use of language "in a way which attempts to divide New Churchmen." Like the authors I find it painful when one group of people verbally attacks another because their ideas differ, when the one side puts an emotional spin on the words of the other side in order to express contempt.
     Recently, in reading John Chadwick's new translation of The New Jerusalem, I was struck by no. 9, which says of the ancient churches, "they did not take it amiss if one failed to accept another's point of view, knowing that each person accepts truth only to the extent that he is in a state of good." Imagine that! They knew that a failure to see the truth was a direct result of human imperfection, and this was why they refused to take offense over a difference of opinion. And so if I suspect my neighbor's disagreeable ideas are the result of pigheadedness, I can take that as a reason to be tolerant of his point of view. This to me is an astounding thought!     
     If any readers disapprove of the views expressed by the authors of the letter in NCL, I hope they will show forbearance, realizing that an increase of charity will eventually lead to greater enlightenment. I'm sure your Canberra correspondents will apply the same principle. May we all!
     Lisa Hyatt Cooper,
          Willow Grove, Pennsylvania



ANOTHER'S POINT OF VIEW       Hugh D. Hyatt       1992

Dear Editor:
     I read February's New Church Life back to front, which I do only rarely now that my schoolmates have stopped so regularly getting married and having children. Thus it was as I started that I was pained to find it asserted that the reason some of us sometimes find the Writings difficult to understand is that we lack sufficient interest in life after death or in heaven. But after starting to read the preceding letter, I became so distraught that I had to put the magazine aside for several days. Now, several weeks later, I feel able to respond.
     I have no desire to enter into a point-by-point debate on the subject of simplifying the Writings. But I do wish to say that I, for one, was appalled to see Frank and Jan attacked with the implication that neither of them, nor anyone who supports their proposal, cares for what the Lord's wishes are.
     I am mystified by the thinking that led to these letters. I assume that their authors perceive a genuine threat to something they love. I fail to see the threat. And while my sense of the Lord's teachings is very dear to me, it's hard to imagine feeling that threatened by someone's proposal to do something so unthreatening as simplifying, rearranging, explaining or even interpreting the Writings. Rather, I hope that my first inclination to opinions different from mine is to rejoice in the existence of diversity, or, if my initial reaction is one of distress, either to re-evaluate my own view or at least to try to see how someone could arrive at conclusions so foreign to mine.
     If there is a threat in all of this, I'm afraid it's in imputing motives in a way that will discourage people from expressing opinions for fear of being attacked. And although I don't feel threatened, I am certainly saddened to see such attacks in the pages of a magazine devoted to the teachings of the New Church.
     Hugh D. Hyatt,
          Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania




     Searching the Bible and the Writings

An Old Problem

     Nearly 35 years ago a young married layman pressed on me this question: "How do I approach the Writings? How do I find answers to the questions my wife and I are asking?" He explained how he was facing 30 volumes of the Writings and six volumes of the Concordance. How could he find answers to their questions there? The best answer I had at that time was a discussion group where we asked questions and together tried to find the answers. Such discussions brought some help. But it still begged the question and was only a partial answer.

A New and Better Solution

     Today there is a satisfactory answer to this question, You can find your answer without searching the Concordance or finding a passage in a book. You can find it by simply pushing a button on your computer keyboard. New Church Outreach has produced Gorandman Search, a computer program that searches the Bible and most of the Writings. It is very easy to learn and use. It is like learning how to use a cook-book recipe or how to put together the Christmas presents for your children. Our goal is a copy of Gorandman Search in every New Church home, so parents can learn more about the Lord and tell their children and friends more about His New Church.

Missionary Work a Goal

     It is an accepted finding of church growth research that 85% of the people who change religions are led to this change by their friends.


All other missionary activities are insignificant in comparison. Missionary work in the New Church will succeed only when laymen feel capable to talk with others about their religion. Gorandman Search can help our laymen to learn the teachings of the New Church easily. If they have questions, they can have them answered quickly and independently. This easy learning will give them a feeling of confidence in their conversations with others. But when their friends ask questions which they cannot answer quickly, the Gorandman Search can be a real backup help. They can bring their friends to the computer and ask Gorandman Search their questions. Often we are asked questions about problems people have with the literal sense of the Bible. In Gorandman Search you can start with a statement in that literal sense, and with the pressing of one key move to teachings in the Writings that explain that statement. This linking capability of Gorandman Search enables all of us to quickly and powerfully see the coming of the Lord in the clouds of heaven.
     Quickly produced answers will not only give New Church men the confidence that they have the answers, but will also give their friends the confidence that they can get their questions answered. This will encourage these friends to ask more questions.


     To ease entrance into the Writings further, New Church Outreach has produced a preamble, which will be attached to Gorandman Search in the future. At this point there are 14 subjects in this preamble, which are treated on three levels. On the first level you will find a very simple treatment of the subject. On the second level there are short quotations from the Writings, and on the third level there is a bibliography for each subject. The subjects and the levels are connected with links, so you can move from one subject to another and from one level to another by simply pressing a key.


In the future this preamble may be extended.

What Users Like About the Program

     Users have told me that they like Gorandman because it is so user friendly and so easy to use. It is easy to select passages from revelation, save them to a file for later study, or print them on paper for immediate viewing. It is easy to move to other programs like a word processing program, do all kinds of things there, and then return to the same place in Gorandman. But the most fascinating and beautiful capability of the program is the way it has linked the Old and New Testaments with the Writings, as well as how it has linked one passage in the Writings with other passages. As there are approximately 100,000 such links in the program this link capability deserves a closer doctrinal backdrop.

Gorandman Reveals the Lord in His Second Coming

     When the cursor is under a triangle in front of any verse in the Old or New Testament Word you can press ENTER, and all the passages in the Writings that explain this verse appear on the screen, and you can scroll through them line by line. When you do this, the Lord truly makes His second coming in the "clouds of heaven." So if any passage in the Old or New Testament puzzles you, or if any friend questions you about it, you can quickly get on the screen all the passages in the Writings that explain it.
     There is also linkage from the Writings to the Old or New Testament and between one place in the Writings and another. For example, in Heaven and Hell at the bottom on many pages there are references to the Arcana Coelestia. One push of a key and you are in the Arcana. When you are through reading there, another push and you are back in Heaven and Hell.


     The linkage capability of Gorandman Search helps you to see the totality of the Divine Word. You can see the literal sense of the Jewish Word, the Christian Word and the New Christian Word in their historic connection in a rapid succession. Beyond that you can see how these revelations are connected through the internal sense, and through this sight you can see the Divinity of each Word.

Single Book Shareware

     Shareware computer programs are offered free. People can acquire shareware by just asking for it or by copying it from someone else. When they find it useful, they contribute to the continuation of this use.
     We are close to producing shareware computer programs that handle single books. Here is a list of the programs:

     1.      Various books of the Writings like TCR, HH, DP, DLW, CL, Four Doctrines, all in their literal form.
     2.      A program on the Second Coming of the Lord. This program consists of three different books which are linked together. The first is a collateral introduction to the second coming that approaches the Christian and the non-Christian separately. Then there is a book that was collected from the Arcana on the fulfillment of the second coming prophecies and then there is a collateral book that reviews all the critics of the New Church.
     3.      Abridged versions of some of the Writings, and collateral books on more practical application of the doctrines, like a book on a judicial and police system that is based on the concept of protection instead of punishment.

     The program that handles a single book of the Writings is the same as Gorandman Search, so that if a person has learned to work on the computer with a program for a single book, he will be able to work with Gorandman Search.


From the Past into the Future

     The day of Searle's Index, Potts' Concordance and Warren's Compendium is gone. Our youth is very much on to computers. Many others are communicating with each other nationally through the use of modems. Electronic bulletin boards and sophisticated answering computers are becoming more and more popular. The shareware I have described will all fit into a local electronic bulletin board which is being studied right now and which we hope to have working within half a year.     
     How does this concern you? First of all you may be able to use Gorandman Search. In my view any pastor can save many hours a week in the preparation of sermons and classes. Laymen could use the program for their own education and for missionary work. If laymen would come together in a discussion group, Gorandman Search could markedly improve the level of discussion.
     In addition I am dreaming of a computer-literate person in each church group who can help others use Gorandman Search, and can help those who already have a computer. But the biggest use will be to give help to people who are starting on the computer, and need help in buying and installing them.

More Information

     Gorandman Search requires 28 megabytes of hard disk space. Shareware programs fit on floppy disks of 1.2 megabytes. For more information write to NCO, POB 7066, Industry, CA 91745.



ORDINATION       Editor       1992

     Ankra-Badu-At Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, March 1, 1992, William Ofei Ankra-Badu into the second degree of the priesthood, Rt. Rev. Peter M. Buss officiating.

PAMPHLET IN RUSSIAN       Editor       1992

     A pamphlet has been excerpted from the Russian translation of The Essential Swedenborg, and published by "SPI," or Swedenborg Publishers International. There are some copies left, and if you want one for a Russian, write to Dr. Erland Brock at the Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn.





Dr. R. Shepard, 4537 Dolly Ridge Road, Birmingham, AL 35243. Phone: (205) 967-3442.
Mr. & Mrs. Winthrop B. Sullivan, 1107 Princeton Drive, Madison. AL 35758. Phone: (205) 772-0074.
Rev. Fred Chapin, 5631 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85254 (church). Phone: home (602) 996-2919; office (602) 991-0048.
Rev. Frank S. Rose, 9233 E. Helen, Tucson, AZ 85715, Phone: (602) 721-1091.
     Little Rock
Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Holmes, 2695 Mark Lane, Batesville, AR 72501. Phone: (501) 793-5135.
     Los Angeles
Rev. John L. Odhner, 5022 Carolyn Way, La Crescenta, CA 91214. Phone: (818) 249-5031.
     Orange County
Rev. Cedric King, resident pastor, 21332 Forest Meadow, Fl Toro, CA 92630. Phone: home (714) 586-5142; office (714) 951-5750.
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Ripley. 225 Woodlake Lane, Newcastle, CA 95658. Phone: (916) 663-2788.
     San Diego
Rev. Nathan Gladish, 7911 Canary Way, San Diego, CA 92123. Phone: home (619) 268-0379; office (619) 571-8599.
     San Francisco
Mr. & Mrs. Philip C. "Red" Pendleton, 2261 Waverley Street, Pale Alto, CA 94901.
     Colorado Springs
Mr. & Mrs. William Rienstra, P.O. Box 95, Simla, CO 80835. Phone: (719) 541-2375.
Rev. Clark Echols, 3371 W. 94th Ave., Westminster, CO 80030. Phone: (303) 429-1239 or 428-6019.
Mr. & Mrs. James Tucker, 45 Honey Bee Lane, Shelton. CT 06484. Phone: (203) 929-6455.
     Rev. Geoffrey Howard, visiting pastor. Phone: (508) 443-6531.
Mr. Justin Hyatt, 2008 Eden Road, N. Graylyn, Wilmington, DE 19810. Phone: (302) 475-3694.
     District of Columbia: see Mitchellville, Maryland.
     Boynton Reach
Rev. Daniel Heinrichs, 10687 B. Clair Ranch Road, Boynton Beach, FL 33437. Phone: (407) 736-9235.
     Lake Helen
Mr. & Mrs. Brent Morris, 264 Kicklighter Road, Lake Helen, FL 32744. Phone: (904) 228-2276.
Mr. & Mrs. John Peacock, 5238 Soundside Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561. Phone: (904) 934-3691.
Mr. W.H. Eubanks, Rt #2, S. Lee Street, Americus, GA 31709. Phone: (912) 924-9221.
Rev. Ray Silverman, 2119 Seaman Circle, Chamblee, GA 30141. Phone: office (404) 452-0518.


     Fruitland (Idaho-Oregon border)
Mr. Harold Rand. 1705 Whitley Drive, Fruitland, ID 83619. Phone: (208) 452-3181.
Rev. Grant Schnarr; 73A Park Drive, Glenview, IL 60025. Phone: home (708) 729-0130; office (708) 729-9296.
Mr. John Aymer, 380 Oak Lane, Decatur, IL 62562. Phone: (217) 875-3215.
Rev. Brian Keith, 73 Park Drive, Glenview, IL 60025. Phone: (708) 724-0120.
Rev. Patrick Rose, 785 Ashcroft Court, Cincinnati, OH 45240. Phone: (513) 825-7473.
Rev. Patrick Rose, 785 Ashcroft Court, Cincinnati, OH 45240. Phone: (513) 825-7473.
     Baton Rouge
Mr. Henry Bruser, Jr., 6050 Esplanade Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70806. Phone: (504) 924-3098.
Rev. Allison L. Nicholson, HC 33 - Box 61N, Arrowsic, ME 04530.
Rev. Themes Rose, visiting minister, 3809 Enterprise Rd., Mitchellville, MD 20721. Phone: home (301) 4644585; office (301) 464-5602.
Rev. Lawson Smith, 3805 Enterprise Road, Mitchellville, MD 20721. Phone: (301) 262-2349.
Rev. Geoffrey Howard, 138 Maynard Road, Sudbury, MA 01776. Phone: (508) 443-6531.
Rev. Grant Odhner, 395 Olivewood Ct., Rochester, MI 48306. Phone: office (313) 652-7332
     East Lansing
Mr. Christopher Clark, 5853 Smithfield, East Lansing, MI 48823. Phone: (517) 351-2880.
Mr. & Mrs. Paul Johnson, 1508 Glencairn Court, Columbia, MO 65203. Phone: (314) 442-3475.
     Kansas City
Mr. Glen Klippenstein, Glenkirk Farms, Rt. 2. Maysville, MO 64469. Phone: (816) 449-2167.
     New Jersey, New York:
     Ridgewood, NJ
Mrs. Fred B. Munich, 474 S. Maple Ave., Glen Rock. NJ 07452. Phone: (201) 445-1141.
     New Mexico:
Mr. Howard Leach, 548 Mullen Rd. NW. Albuquerque, NM 87107. Phone: (505) 345-5297.
     North Carolina:
Rev. Bill Burke, 6010 Paddington Court, Charlotte, NC 28226. Phone: (704) 846-6416.
Rev. Patrick Rose, 785 Ashcroft Court, Cincinnati, OH 45240. Phone: (513) 825-7473.
Mr. Alan Childs, 19680 Beachcliff Blvd., Rocky River, OH 44116. Phone: (216) 333-9413.
     Oklahoma City
Mr. Robert Campbell, 3108 Eagle Pass Road, Edmond, OK 73013. Phone: (405) 478-4729.
Mr. and Mrs. Jim P. Andrews, Box 99, 1010 NE 3601, Corbett, OR 97019. Phone: (503) 695-2534.


     Oregon-Idaho Border: see Idaho Fruitland.
     Bryn Athyn
Rev. Kurt Asplundh. Box 277, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Phone: (215) 947-6225.
Mr. Meade Bierly, 523 Snyder Ave., Elizabethtown, PA 17022. Phone: (717) 367-3964.
Mr. Paul Murray, 5648 Zuck Road, Erie, PA 16506. Phone: (814) 833-0962.
Rev. Ragnar Boyesen, 122 McKeen Road, Freeport, PA 16229. Phone: home (412) 295-9855; office (412) 353-2220.
Mr. Grant Genzlinger, 4 Main Street, Hawley, PA 18428. Phone: (717) 226-2993.
Rev. Jeremy Simons, RD 2, Box 217-A, Kempton, PA 19529. Phone: home (215)756-4301; office (215) 756-6140.
Rev. Eric H. Carswell, 299 Le Roi Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15208. Phone: church (412) 731-7421.
     South Carolina: see North Carolina
     South Dakota:
     Hot Spring
Linda Klippenstein, 537 Albany, Hot Springs, SD 57747. Phone: (605) 745-6629.
Mr. Robert Grubb, 510 Academy Drive, Austin, TX 78704. Phone: (512) 447-6811.
     Dallas-Fort Worth
Mr. Fred Dunlap, 3887 Antigua Circle, Dallas, TX 75244. Phone: (214) 247-7775.
Mr. Donald Johnson, 13161 Happy Hill Road, Chester, VA 23831. Phone: (804) 748-5757.
     West Virginia:
Mrs. Thelma Smith, Route 1, Box 447, Peterstown, WV 24963. Phone: (304) 753-9508.
Mr. Thomas Andrews, 5035 NE 180th, Seattle, WA 98155. Phone: (206) 365-2194.
Mr. Charles Howell, 3912 Plymouth Circle, Madison, WI 53705. Phone: (608) 233-0209.
Mr. and Mrs. Rex Ridgway, 7 Whalan Place, Kaleen, ACT, Australia 2617, Sydney, N.S.W.
     Rev. Doug1as Taylor, 22 Dudley Street, Penshurst N.S.W. 2222 Phone: 57-1589.
See Rev. Douglas Taylor under Sydney.
     Rio de Janeiro
Rev. Cristovao Robelo Nobre, Rua Lina Teixeira, 109 Ap., Rocha Rio de Janeiro RJ, 20970. Phone: 21-201-8455.
Mr. Thomas R Fountain, 115 Southglen Drive S.W, Calgary 13, Alberta T2W 0X2. Phone: 403-255-7283.
Ken and Lavina Scott. RR 1. Crooked Creek, Alberta T0H 0Y0. Phone: 403-957-3621.
Mr. Wayne Anderson, 6703-98th Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 3L9. Phone: 403432-1499.
     British Columbia
     Dawson Creek
Rev. Glenn G. Alden, Dawson Creek Church, 9013 8th St. Dawson Creek, B.C. . Canada V1G 3N3. Phone: home (604) 786-5297; office 604-782-8035.


Rev. Louis D. Synnestvedt, 58 Chapel Hill Drive, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 3WS. Phone: home (519)748-5605; office (519) 748-5802.
Mr. and Mrs. Donald McMaster, 684 Fraser Ave., Ottawa, Ontario K2A 2R8. Phone: (613) 725-0394.
Rev. Michael Gladish, 279 Burnhamthorpe Rd., Islington, Ontario M9B 124. Phone: church (416) 239-3055.
Mr. Denis de Chazal, 17 Ballantyne Ave. So., Montreal West, Quebec H4X 2B1. Phone: (514) 489-9861.
Mr. Jorgen Hauptmann, Strandvejen 22, 4040 Jyllinge. Phone: 46 78 9%8.
Rev. Christopher Bown, 2 Christ Church Court, Colchester, Essex CO3 3AU. Phone: 0206-575614.
Mr. and Mrs. R. Evans, 24 Berkeley, Letchworth, Herts, SG6 2HA. Phone: (0462) 684751.
Rev. Frederick Elphick, 21B Hayne Rd., Beckenham, Kent BR3 4JA. Phone: 011-44-1-658-6320.
Rev. Norman B. Riley, 69 Harewood Rd., Norden, Rochdale, OL11 5TH, England. Phone: 0706 54003.
     The Hague
Mr. Ed Verschoor, V. Furstenburchstr. 6 3862 AW Nijkerk.
Rev. Dzin P. Kwak, #Bol. Sanho-villa, 238 Shinsa-dong Eun Wung-Ku, Seoul, Korea 122-080. Phone 82-2-309-7305.
Mrs. H. Keal, 4 Derwent Cresc., Tilirangi, Auckland 7, New Zealand.
Mr. Klaas Biermann, Bskketoppen 10A,1165 Oslo 11. Phone: (0)2 283783.
     Cape Town
Mrs. Sheilagh Brathwaite, 208B Silvermine Village, P.B. 1, Noordhock, 7985 R.S.A. Phone: 021-891424.
Rev. James P. Cooper, 30 Perth Road, Westville 3630, Natal, Republic of South Africa. Phone: 011-27-31-821612.
     Transvaal Society
Rev. Andrew Dibb, PO. Box 816, Kelvin 2054, Republic of South Africa. Phone: (011) 804-2567.
     Kent Manor
Rev. Andrew Dibb, visiting pastor
Mrs. Maarten Heimstra, P.O. Box 10745, Meerensee, 3901 R.S.A. Phone: 0351-32317.
Please contact Rev. James Cooper or Rev. Andrew Dibb concerning these societies:
Alexandra Township, Buccleuch, Clermont, Diepkloof, Enkumba, Hambrook, Impaphala, Kwa Mashu
Contact Rev. Bjorn A. H. Boyesen, Bruksater, Furusjo), S-566 00. Habo. Phone: 0392-20395.
Rev. David H. Lindrooth, Aladdinsvagen 27, 161 38 Bromma, Sweden. Phone/Fax: 011 468 26 79 85.


Flash-a-Card Bible Story Pictures 1992

Flash-a-Card Bible Story Pictures       Editor       1992

Full color 10"x 13"
Perfect for classroom and Sunday School
23 sets available

Creation, Adam and Cain                    26 pictures $10.50
Enoch, Noah and Babel                    18 pictures 9.00
Abraham and Isaac                          30 pictures 10.50
Jacob                                        21 pictures 9.00
Joseph                                        28 pictures 10.50
Moses in Egypt                              34 pictures 11.50
Journey to Sinai                              28 pictures 10.50
Journey Through the Wilderness           35 pictures 12.25
David 1 (Young David)                    21 pictures 9.00
David 2 (David in Hiding)                    28 pictures 10.50
David 3 (King David)                     34 pictures 10.50
Tabernacle                               9 pictures 7.00
Joshua                                        35 pictures 12.25
Judges                                        34 pictures 11.50
Elijah                                        38 pictures 12.25
Elisha                                        42 pictures 13.00
Daniel                                        32 pictures 11.50
Life of Samuel                              21 pictures 9.00
The First Christmas                          27 pictures 10.50
Boyhood and Early Ministry                    37 pictures 12.25
Jesus Heals and Helps                    41 pictures 12.25
Later Ministry of Jesus                    36 pictures 12.25
Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ      36 pictures 12.25
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Notes on This Issue 1992

Notes on This Issue       Editor       1992

Vol. CXII          June, 1992          No. 6


     Notes on This Issue

     We salute the Toronto chapter of the Sons of the Academy who recently held their 500th meeting! For that occasion they had an address by Rev. Martin Pryke, which we publish this month. "Tonight I would like to talk to you about a unique doctrine of the New Church which has a unique place in the raising of our children."
     In years of counseling with couples Rev. Mark Carlson has noticed patterns of misinformation that affect New Church marriages. The series beginning in this issue is intended to address this misinformation.
     The announcements of baptisms in this issue must surely break records in General Church reports. We have long been hearing about a growing interest in the church in Ghana, and the number of baptisms is something that was anticipated by visitors to that country. (Rev. Robert Junge is currently visiting Ghana.)
     In the year 1801 Jonathan Chapman ("Johnny Appleseed") began to traverse the new settlements in southern Ohio. There is a lot of New Church history in that state (see p. 259). There are small genuine Johnny Appleseed apple trees flourishing now on the campuses of the Academy and Bryn Athyn Church schools.
     We would call your attention to a good number of ministerial announcements beginning on page 280.
     Statistics: There are 96 people aged 60 in the General Church database. There are 101 aged 50, 151 aged 40, 183 aged 30. See page 248 for similar information.
     Dr. Erland Brock will address an international conference at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire this summer. The title of his address is "Man in the Background: Swedenborg's Influence in the Body Politic." The date of the conference is July 8-11. See p. 278.


. . . AND A NEW EARTH 1992

. . . AND A NEW EARTH       Editor       1992

     Fifty years ago Hugo Lj. Odhner gave an address about the future of "the earth" (published in June 1942). Bear in mind that the world was at war at that time.
     Yes, John saw a new heaven, and he also saw a new earth. For New Church Day Dr. Odhner allowed himself to conjecture about the New Church society of the future. Here are some of his lines.

The criterion of truth will be, not any tradition (however true), nor reliance placed in people whose regenerate goodness might be specially evident, but the revealed Doctrine itself. Beyond this, much latitude will be given for interpretations; but nothing of this will be insisted upon as more than reasonable conclusions, in which all men are free to surmise and to differ, giving rise to various uses, offered in good faith and accepted (or declined) in charity.

     Mr. Odhner spoke of the turbulent state of the world. "The events of these latter days move so fast that we have no time to estimate their possible meaning for the future." He spoke of the freedom we have to better perceive spiritual truths if we so will.

If we will to take this freedom, and appreciate it in heart and life, so long, I believe, the Lord will not cause the uses of the church to be endangered. But if we take this freedom for granted, then the storms of the world will be needed to awaken us to its value, by the threat of its loss! . . .
Let us, by all means, fight for what we believe to be right as to natural justice . . . but let us not, in spirit, leave that new earth which is formed to correspond to the new heaven-the sanctuary of the spiritual freedom which the Twelve proclaimed on the first "Nineteenth"; a soil which has been patiently gathered, generation by generation, by those into whose labors we have entered; a soil made our own by the living faith that "the Lord God Jesus Christ doth reign."



CONJUGIAL LOVE IN JAPANESE       Editor       1992

     What a great pleasure it is to behold the completed volume of the work Conjugial Love now rendered into the Japanese language. One who does not read Japanese can only turn the pages and marvel at the work completed by Mr. Tatsuya Nagashima. But he can look at the cover, and in this case there is such a lovely, heavenly quality to the illustration.
     There is a feeling about this cover. It seems so right for this work. As there are two English versions coming out this year, perhaps they will be influenced by the success of this cover. (We were taken by the illustration of a candle on the cover of the most recent Swedenborg Society edition.) The striking picture on this Japanese translation is evidently a rendition of a scene from number 42. A chariot descends from heaven drawn by horses as white as snow. In it are two married partners from heaven with doves in their hands.
     The choice of this paragraph is ideal, for in it a voice from the highest heaven says that conjugial love in its origin and essence is as yet not known on earth. "Yet it is important that this be known. Therefore it has pleased the Lord to open the heavens to you . . . . "
     We rejoice that these precious things may now be known to readers in Japan.


     From the University of Seville comes a new book in Spanish called A Book About Swedenborg. This should go nicely with the new translation of Heaven and Hell published in Argentina.


     This seminar will take place July 13-17, 1992 in Manchester, England, sponsored by the New Church College.




     It has been my privilege to counsel with many New Church couples over these past fifteen years. In doing this work I have noticed certain patterns of misinformation which seem to plague New Church marriages. In this series of articles, based on a presentation I made to the Council of the Clergy meetings this year, I will attempt to outline what I consider to be the most frequent and pernicious misconceptions about marriage and conjugial love held by New Church couples.
     A great deal of the difficulty New Church marriages experience appears to stem from one great misconception-the false idea that conjugial love is something that we find outside of ourselves. Put in another way, it is the idea that we must find our conjugial partner. The most devastating consequence of this belief is that when a marriage leaves the "honeymoon state" and enters the "working state," or when it leaves the "working state" and enters the "battle-for-control state," often one's partner no longer shines quite so brightly, and may even look rather dull and boring. When these states come, and inevitably they do, that old belief about finding the right partner rears up and says, "You have not married your conjugial partner; you have made a big mistake; maybe it's time to get out and look again!"
     Regardless of the truth that is taught in the classroom, one can see this misconception taking hold of high school students at the Academy who joke in all seriousness about finding their CP (i.e., conjugial partner). There is an inner resistance to hearing the truth about marriage both in young people and in adults: and the truth is that experiencing conjugial love is about being the right partner, not finding the right partner.
     The doctrine is very clear.


The origin of conjugial love is the marriage of good and truth (see CL 83), within the Lord as the first cause and within creation as an image of Him (see CL 84). This conjunction of good and truth must also exist within the individual who would receive this love. For "no one comes into this love and can be in it but he who comes to the Lord, and loves the truths and does the goods of the church" (CL 70). This conjunction of good and truth within the individual is said to be the conjugial itself (see AC 3914), and because it originates within the individual, not within the relationship, it is quite possible for one partner to experience conjugial love while the other does not (see CL 226).
     In addition to the inner resistance we have to hearing the truth about marriage, there is a great deal of pressure from our culture and from the media to view marriage just the way we would like to hear the teachings concerning conjugial love: through the looking-glass myth of romantic love.
     Let's face the facts. Most people want to believe in the myth, and many in the church continue to believe in it regardless of what doctrine teaches. We long for it to be true; we so desperately want to find that romantic love which feels so wonderful, so fulfilling, so good and right, enhancing and enlivening our whole world experience-a love which may start one unexpected moment, on some enchanted evening, when we first see our love across a crowded room, to begin a relationship which will last forever, full of fun and sex and laughter, while never involving our anger, never requiring work or effort or self-compulsion, or attention to spiritual things.
     I will suggest that there is a massive form of denial at work among us that often causes the teachings concerning conjugial love to be interpreted as a Divinely sanctioned pursuit of the illusion of romantic love. It is a hard teaching when the Lord says that none come into this love but those who come to Him and love the truths and do the goods of His church (see CL 70).
     Perhaps the greatest tragedy is that part of the myth of romantic love is true, and many lose sight of that truth when they stumble and fall in pursuit of the illusion.


It is tragic to see those who have given up on love and marriage because they have been following a false idea and are looking in the wrong place.
     The kind of intimate and tender love that we so desperately seek in our hearts is possible; it is a love which includes romantic love and sexuality, and extends far beyond what our natural minds can imagine. It is a love which can light up our lives and make all living and experiencing exquisitely pleasurable and purposeful. But it is not a love received from another person or elicited from us by another person, as the myth of romantic love would have us believe.
     On the contrary, conjugial love is received from the Lord alone as His most precious gift to His children. He offers it continually to all people, but it is received only by those who work at loving even when they don't feel loving. It is received by those who put effort and attention into loving acts, and who compel themselves to live a spiritual life. Loving words and loving actions in the absence of the self-satisfying feeling of love is true love and the prerequisite for conjugial love.
     When we live a loving life, often compelled by our knowledge of truth to loving deeds in the absence of loving feelings, then and only then can the Lord give us eyes to see that other person, who is also putting effort and attention into spiritual things, that other person who is to be our soul-mate to eternity.
     What I believe, and what appears to be taught in the Writings for the New Church, is that married partners on earth who put forth this effort in their spiritual life, and who treat each other with kindness regardless of how they feel at the moment, will almost always be given eyes to see each other as soul-mates, if not during life in this world, then surely in the next. And the reason this often happens is that when two people who have freely chosen each other, and commit to each other, live together for long periods of time, facing the challenges of life together, making love together, raising children or performing other uses together, the Lord uses these common experiences to fashion them secretly into a conjugial pair.


     In the next article, we will look at how the misconception of finding conjugial love leads to other misconceptions about marriage.

     (To be continued)


     The computer knows how old you are, and you get into the computer soon after birth. There are 159 two-year-olds in the General Church database. There are 165 seven-year-olds. There are no fewer than 201 aged nine, a figure equaled by those aged 36 and exceeded only by those aged 33 (212 of them).
     There are 90 people over 90 years of age.
There are 270 between the ages of 80 and 89.
There are 516 between the ages of 70 and 79.
Interestingly, a big cluster is in the age group between 27 and 36-1,879 in that group.


     Correspondences, A Key to Distinctiveness, has just been published. Its fifty pages include thoughtful articles by Stephen Cole, Walter Orthwein, Prescott Rogers, Mark Carlson, Erik E. Sandstrom and others.




     (Given at the 500th meeting of the Sons of the Academy in Toronto, Canada, April 11, 1992)

     We have heard New Church education defined in many different ways, but I would like to set the stage by pointing out two ideas which seem to me to be basic reasons for struggling so hard to provide a unique education for our children.
     What greater blessing can any couple have than being given the opportunity to introduce a new life into this world, a potential angel of heaven, and the privilege of caring for the proper upbringing of that child? "Behold, children are an heritage of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is His reward" (Psalm 127:3).
     Surely it is the prayer and endeavor of each conscientious parent to pass on to his child every possible blessing. If we believe that the things of this world constitute man's greatest blessing, then these are the things we will want to give our children. But if we believe that the treasures of heaven, those things which contribute to the child's spiritual welfare and eternal happiness, are the most precious gifts we have, then these are the things that we will want to pass on more than anything else.
     The first charge of New Church education is to support and help the home in this work of providing a spiritual endowment for our children.
     Secondly, we would note that New Church education is based on the principle that although there are two foundations of truth (the experience of the senses and the truths of revelation), these two are harmonious and not in conflict, as may so often seem to be the case.


Therefore, true rationality requires that we learn from both sources (the world and the Word) and then see how they relate to one another. Religion is not separate from life, and this a New Church school can constantly demonstrate as it shows the connection between them.
     Tonight I would like to talk to you about a unique doctrine of the New Church which has a unique place in the raising of our children-both in the home and in our schools. I speak of the doctrine of "remains." The Writings speak of certain spiritual qualities or attributes which are implanted in our minds by the Lord, and which remain with us throughout life to serve our spiritual welfare. These are implanted from earliest infancy, through childhood, and, indeed, throughout adult life.
     What are these remains? They are that in us from the Lord which counteracts the effect of our inherited tendencies to evil, into which the hells flow. If these last alone influenced us, we would be doomed to an evil life and would indeed be like animals, simply governed by our instincts. The hells draw us to evil and falsity; remains are knowledges of truth and affections of good which take us in the opposite direction. They provide the impetus for us to accept truth and do good. They guarantee a balance of influences on us so that we are kept in freedom.
     We are shown that when we receive truth in a state of affection, when we find delight in learning it, then that truth remains with us, buried perhaps in our memory, but ready to be drawn on when needed. Similarly, when we find delight in states of good, these states remain with us as affections for that good. These are states of innocence implanted in infancy, as the child feels the love and protection of his parents. They are states of love towards parents and family, as delight is experienced in association with mother and father, brothers and sisters. They are states of charity towards the neighbor as the child or young person feels delight in helping and bringing joy to others. These are precious states, arising from delight, and they are stored up for later use, just as simple truths from the Word, which give so much pleasure to the young and youthful mind, remain to serve later in life.


     It is these remains which form our conscience, which makes it possible for us to resist the pressure of evil and, in adult life, can gradually become the new will which is born in regeneration.
     We are told that without remains a man cannot be a man, and so it would seem that if a child is born in such circumstances he will receive no remains, then he is taken directly into the other world. For others, however humble and disordered are their circumstances, sufficient remains are provided that their free will is preserved and the possibility of salvation assured.
     Yet it is quite clear that the more remains implanted and the greater the quality of them, the richer a person's spiritual life can become. As we have noted, a man's free will is always preserved, but the life he is able to lead here on earth, and afterwards in heaven, can be profoundly influenced by the remains implanted in childhood and youth, We can easily understand that the environment, the nature of our upbringing, the examples set us, all have a significant effect on the quality of our lives. Justice or equality between man and man does not mean that we are all alike or will become the same, but it does mean that every man is free to use to the greatest possible advantage the gifts he has, and also free not to do so. The variety of heaven is its wonder; the unity in variety is its order.
     And so we are constrained as faithful parents and adults to do everything in our power to make possible the implantation of many and rich remains in those young ones placed in our care. This surely is both a challenge and a privilege. Let me offer some reflections of how this can best be done.
     We know that in infancy the association is with the celestial heavens, and the remains implanted are the most deep-seated. Moreover, the basis for these is largely in the sense of touch. The child at the mother's breast, held and caressed tenderly, fondly gathered into the father's arms, experiences a powerful sense of love and security.


Add the sphere of a peaceful and happy home, the expressed affections of parents striving for conjugial love and always anxious for the welfare of their child; add also every possible protection from any strife or violence, anything of evil, and we provide for the states of innocence proper to the infant and essential to the implantation of these interior remains.
     It is interesting to note that thoughtful scientists are now coming to see the importance of these things as a basis for a normal healthy childhood and adult age. It is now recognized that the child should not be torn from the mother's arms to be separated in a sterile environment. The expression of love by touch is far more important.
     All the preschool years are an extension of these earliest states. They change as the child grows older, but there will still be the need to protect childish innocence, the close life of the home, a contentment with simple activities and an avoidance of undue stimulation. There is time ahead for broader experiences; in the meantime let every benefit of the innocent years be preserved.
     As the child enters school, the scene changes in many ways. No home can provide everything the child needs as he becomes older. He needs contact with a wider environment; he needs things that parents can no longer give, and so experts are sought to help in the task. Educators, trained to meet these wider needs, are called upon. Teachers have their own unique enlightenment just as parents do, the latter in the home, the former in the classroom handling many children of one age together, steering them through their period of intellectual growth. How wonderful it is that children are exposed to both kinds of enlightenment. They must make the final decisions in their own field of expertise and experience, parents in the home, teachers in the school. But always there must be a constant communication and exchange between the two. Then there can be harmony, instead of conflict, between home and school to the immeasurable benefit of the child.


     It must be a basic aim of New Church education to build on what has been begun in the home, to provide every possible opportunity for the implantation of remains. These will be different from the remains of infancy. There will be more emphasis on knowledge, although certainly the affections are not to be forgotten. The spiritual angels will work with us to this end. And so the school must consciously find opportunities for the student to experience a sense of delight in all that is good and true. The experienced and loving teacher will find many ways in which to do this. Sometimes children must be compelled; sometimes they will not find delight in what is required of them. Nevertheless, we must constantly strive to present the most essential concepts of good and truth in ways that make it possible for the student to find delight in them. This will be done in worship and in the classroom; it will be done on the playing field and on a field trip. A host of opportunities will present themselves, by close attention to the individual, to let the children feel joy in those precious things which come to us from the Lord.
     It should be noted that the state of delight necessary for the influx of remains is not found in chaos and disorder but rather in orderly conditions in which the child may feel secure. Delight does not necessarily result from complete freedom to do whatever one wishes, but from a familiar routine within which new experiences, new pleasures, may be discovered. Just as order is the pattern of heaven, so it must be our pattern in home or school if the heavens are to inflow.
     In the meantime the home will be building on what was so lovingly begun in the pre-school years. The sphere of the home and the unity of the family will be constantly nourished. As the family joins in meals (a perfect opportunity for communication of all kinds), as it undertakes activities together, perhaps working as a team on a project, vacationing together, wonderful occasions are provided to strengthen bonds, to establish standards, and to find delight in those marvelous gifts of love and wisdom which the Lord offers us.


How many powerful remains are established!
     In all of this, home and school alike will strive to protect our children and young people from the influence of evil-the influx of the hells which is completely destructive of our purposes. This is a difficult thing to do today. We are surrounded by quite frightening expressions of evil which reach us through the air waves, through the printed word, through the example of public figures and others. Even very young people are exposed to disorders that earlier generations knew nothing of.
     We certainly have a responsibility to protect our children from these influences. To a degree, by careful planning, we can keep them from these exposures to the hells, but we can never do so completely. This means that we must also provide them with defenses so that they do not allow themselves to be harmed by these influences. This we do by building strong remains which become, in them, a resolute conscience. But it also means that we must be willing to confront these issues when they arise, and to speak fearlessly, although compassionately, of the distinction between what is good and true and what is evil and false. They must learn that certain patterns of behavior, certain concepts, certain standards, are not acceptable to the God-fearing.
     We are taught in the Writings that the two great enemies of spiritual life and of the implantation of remains are profanation and deceit. By profanation is meant the deliberate turning away from those things that we know to be true. Once a principle is recognized, we are to beware of ignoring and so of profaning it. Deceit is, of course, diametrically opposed to all that is good and true. Moreover, it leads to self-justification, to the excusing of evil, and so to the abandonment of the effort to shun evils as sins. Deceit is especially a temptation for children and young people. It seems to be such an easy way out of facing the consequences of our faults.


Each conscientious parent and teacher will find the most useful ways of handling deceit. Perhaps a combination of punishment and reward is called for, subtly applied from the enlightenment of a loving adult. Above all we must find ways of inspiring our young people to treasure honesty. This would seem to be an example of a case where communication between parents, between teachers, and between teachers and parents together would be invaluable.
     I have become increasingly convinced of the very great importance, indeed outright necessity, of adults sitting down regularly in open one-to-one discussion with young people, especially as they reach their teens and upward. It is so easy for the days, weeks and months to slip by without this happening. Our days are full, the young people are occupied in many activities, and the result is that our communication tends to be superficial and casual. I especially would urge fathers to talk to their sons, and mothers to their daughters, as well as teachers to their students.
     The fact is that we do not really know our young people until we do this. We may so easily misjudge them, making our assessments on the basis of external characteristics and behavior rather than on what they are really thinking and feeling. In every child there is that which is good, although often hidden by negative states. These are the remains that we have been talking about. Through these the Lord is present in everyone. By a one-to-one communication we will find positive qualities on which we can build, and so can touch the remains lying within.
     I refrain from developing this theme further, except to say that I am utterly convinced that this kind of real communication is vital in both the home and school if our work is to be fully effective. Everybody will find his own way of doing it, some formal and some informal. Fathers will find their own opportunities and mothers theirs. Teachers may have to do it a little more formally in counseling sessions, but they too may also find less formal settings for reaching out to those under their charge.


     Perhaps it needs not be added that, in all of our work with our children, we must be sensitive to the separate and yet harmonious needs of boys and girls. Fathers need to be close to their sons and mothers to their daughters, but often a father may have a powerful influence on his daughters, and a mother on her sons.
     In conclusion it must be said that none of this can happen without a willingness on the part of one generation to make real sacrifices for the sake of the next-sacrifices for use. In the home there will be sacrifices of time, energy, thought and money. We cannot serve from the love of self, but only from the love of the neighbor (in this case from the love of our children), and also from our concern for the future of the church and the eternal welfare of the human race.
     In New Church education we obviously must be prepared to make substantial sacrifices. It is an expensive process, and seems especially so when a state-provided system is at hand. This sacrifice-financial support-must come from everybody and not just from parents; in fact the parents may, at the time of raising a family, be the least able to help. A whole generation must sacrifice for the next.
     Our committed teachers are called upon to make daily sacrifices of time and effort and devotion to forward the welfare of their students. But we must also be willing to sacrifice certain aspects of a secular education for the sake of more important things. We cannot, in small schools, have all the facilities, as wide a curriculum, the athletic opportunities and so forth as the larger and wealthier school will offer. But is it really a sacrifice to do without some of these things in order to gain much else that is of so much greater importance-especially when viewed in the longer, spiritual perspective?
     There is no greater gift that we can give our children than these affections for what is good and true, the beginnings of a genuine conscience, the remains of which we have been speaking.


What can we pass on that is of more importance than the truths of the Word, and some insight into how these are to be brought together with the knowledges of the world to make a genuine philosophy of life?
     "What man is there of you who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone; or if he ask a fish, will give him a serpent?" (Matt. 7:9)

SWEDENBORG SOCIETY       Editor       1992

     The one hundred eighty-second report of the Swedenborg Society describes undertakings during 1991.
     Looking at it one sees a promise about the translation of the Arcana Caelestia. "Volume eight is now with the printers and it is anticipated that it will appear in print in March or April of 1992." It did come out right on schedule!
     Something to look forward to is "a booklet of extracts from the Writings on the subject of Families and Children. It is anticipated that this will make a welcome addition to our current selection of popular booklets."
     The report refers to the first international conference of publishers and distributors of Swedenborg's works. It was held in Manchester in April of 1991. "The very evident enthusiasm and mutual inspiration at this gathering augurs well for cooperative ventures in the future."

     The most important development of the year will probably prove to have been the emergence of the informal organization called Swedenborg Publishers International (SPI) referred to earlier in this report, of which we have become, along with information about new opportunities for disseminating Swedenborg's Writings and is also able to coordinate the financing of the projects that arise.


Given the global scale of emergent demand, such collaboration is, from our point of view, essential if we are to be able to produce an effective response. At the same time our own initiatives continue unabated. Readers of this report will be pleased to hear that at the time of writing (early 1992) some two hundred volumes, including copies of The True Christian Religion, Heaven and Hell, Arcana Caelestia volume 1 and The Swedenborg Epic, have been donated to libraries and other organizations in Russia and other ex-Soviet republics under the auspices of Book Aid. Like opportunities will be sought and we shall always endeavor to produce the maximum and most appropriate response.

     See page 287 about SPI.
     Membership of the Swedenborg Society stands at 889. The Last Judgment, translated by Dr. John Chadwick, has now been published by the Society.

FIRE IN THE MIND       Editor       1992

     The biography of Joseph Campbell by Stephen and Robin Larsen has sold more than 25,000 copies. The Larsens have been very active in the Swedenborg Foundation, especially in the production of the large volume A Continuing Vision.


     The Swedenborg Foundation is expected to move its headquarters from New York City to the area of West Chester, Pennsylvania. The move could take place this year.




     (In January of 1983 we had two articles relating to the history of the General Church in the Cincinnati area. Ed.)

     Halfway between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, on the banks of the Ohio River, lie the twin towns of Pomeroy and Middleport, both of which figured prominently in the history of the New Church in the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century.
     It all began about 1818 when three young men decided to seek their fortunes in the wilderness of the newly formed state of Ohio. John Sherman, John McQuigg and William Hobart had been members of Rev. Mr. Beers' society in Darby and Spencer, New York. They must have found it an adventure to set off through uncharted lands. Perhaps it was the wide sweep of the Ohio River as it bends almost in a loop around fertile bottomland, promising good farming, that convinced them to settle there.
     Eighteen years later they were joined by John Randolph Hibbard. Mr. Hibbard was an itinerant preacher of the Methodist Church, and during his circuit riding he chanced upon a copy of True Christian Religion in a wilderness cabin. One may assume that this lucky find can be attributed to the tireless efforts of Johnny Appleseed. Mr. Hibbard read his newfound book assiduously while riding his rounds, and two years later persuaded his father, Mr. Elisha Hibbard, to join him and break with the Methodist Church.
     In the summer of 1817, John Grant, Sr. and his wife Sarah, their son Samuel, a miller, and his wife Hanna with their seven children migrated from the state of Maine.


On reaching the Ohio River, they built a flatboat upon which they loaded all their possessions and floated down river until they reached the Pomeroy-Middleport area. They left Maine with only four horses, two wagons and the precious millstone, and traveled for eleven weeks. The lumber from the boat was put to good use to build a shelter until individual houses could be built. Three more children were born to Samuel and Hanna, and they raised seven motherless grandchildren as well.
     One of the three later children was William Hull Grant, who eventually married Ester Hobart, daughter of William Hobart. Johnny Appleseed was a frequent visitor in their home where they enjoyed lively discussions about the Writings and the spread of the doctrines throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
     Many settlers arrived and established themselves throughout the county, and by 1845 they organized themselves into "The Rutland Society." Rutland is a small community a few miles west of Middleport, and this group eventually became known as the Middleport Society. The Rutland Society joined the Western Convention, later the Ohio Association, and was ministered to by a succession of men: J. P. Stuart, E. A. Beaman, Chauncy Giles, Theodore Edson, A. O. Brickman and David Powell. To quote from a later New Church Life (Sept. 1896): "it is especially to the labors of Rev. David Powell that the church here owed the inclination toward an interiorly and orderly reception of the doctrines and the life of the church, which for many years have characterized some of its members."
     The highlight of 1871 was the purchase of land and the construction of a simple little chapel which became the focal point of church activities. It twice suffered damage from Ohio River floods (1913 and 1937), but in both instances was repaired and continued to be used.
     There are many familiar names listed as members of the congregation, names which have spread throughout the church to the present day.


Quite a few families were scattered in the countryside, north and south in rural areas: Boatmans, Eblins, Hobarts, McQuiggs. Winter rains and muddy roads often kept the families from attending services and classes. In the towns the Cooper brothers, James and Lewis, kept a dry goods store, Dr. Edward Davis had a pharmacy, while Thomas Davis (no relation) had an ice and coal business. The Bradburys were in real estate, and the Hobarts had a grocery store. Dr. Arthur Hanlin and his son S. Bradbury were well-loved physicians, and J. S. Boggess operated a machine shop servicing the many steamboats on the river. Cyrus Grant ran a prosperous salt works, and William Grant owned a flour mill.
     The society produced a number of respected teachers in New Church schools, notably Miss Alice Grant, Miss Clara Hanlin, Miss Electa Grant and Miss Lucy Boggess (Mrs. Victor Waelchli). It should be noted that at one time in the history of the Academy, all four heads of schools had been born in Middleport: Prof. E. S. Klein, Dean of the College, Miss Clara Hanlin, Dean of Women, Prof. R. R. Gladish, Principal of the Boys School, and Miss Dorothy Davis, Principal of the Girls Seminary.     
     Bishop Benade came to visit in 1876, bringing with him Rev. Richard de Charms to serve as their first resident pastor. He remained for about two years and then they were without a pastor until 1882 when Rev. Ellis Kirk came to stay for two years. Quoting again from New Church Life: "The influence of the Academy of the New Church now began to be more active in the society. Some of its members became teachers in the schools of the Academy, and some of the children of the church in Middleport attended their schools. Students of the Academy were invited to spend their summers there, and the society thus enjoyed the services of Rev. Messrs. Homer Synnestvedt, Alfred Acton, J. B. Boyesen, Charles Doering and R. H. Keep."
     To illustrate the activity of summer candidates, Mr. Acton is quoted as holding two evening classes for young men, two afternoon classes on singing in Hebrew, a regular Wednesday evening doctrinal class of thirty-three people reading Brief Exposition, preaching on Sundays when the resident pastor was not on hand, another doctrinal class that evening, and special instruction to the Sunday School teacher!


Following Mr. Acton's return to Bryn Athyn, Dr. W. H. Hanlin became the leader of a Sunday evening discussion group and also taught a Wednesday evening group of boys studying Conjugial Love.
     In 1894 the society passed a resolution dissolving their connection with the Ohio Association, and two years passed before they were granted membership in the General Church of the Advent of the Lord. During that period they had the services of candidate J. B. Boyesen, followed by candidate C. E. Doering. Finally in July of that year a minister was appointed as a full-time pastor, a Mr. R. H. Keep. The December 1896 New Church Life has a long account of the festivities celebrating the formal recognition of the society, including the baptism of "a man and wife of African extraction, the first colored members of the New Church."
     The following year was highlighted by the marriage of Miss Lucy Cooper, daughter of J. M. Cooper to Rev. Charles Doering, Rev. Homer Synnestvedt officiating.
     In 1901 it was voted to ask Mr. Keep to continue his services indefinitely, but by August of that year we find that Rev. David Klein had arrived to become resident pastor. Mr. Klein reported enthusiastically his reception, and noted that over sixty people were present at the opening service.
     After two years Mr. Klein was called to the Chicago Society, and he was replaced by Rev. W. L. Gladish. A year later a constitution was adopted as required for admission to the General Church.
     The next ten years were happy ones except for one sad note which tells of an epidemic of diphtheria which took the life of little Philip Gladish. There was also a scarlet fever epidemic which disrupted the life of the society for a whole winter, but fortunately spared the lives of the congregation.


     In 1914 Mr. Gladish, the last of resident pastors, was called to other uses, and the long period of Rev. F. E. Waelchli's visits began. Mr. Waelchli paid at least one visit a year until 1937, staying usually ten or twelve days each time, noting as time went on, that deaths and removals were sadly shrinking the membership. The decrease in river traffic and the loss of a large steel mill took their toll on the prosperity of the towns, and people moved to larger cities. Finally, after years of faithful service, Father Waelchli arranged with Rev. N. H. Reuter to take over, visiting four times a year.
     When there was only a handful left, Mr. Reuter arranged to sell the little building, and the Middleport Society was dissolved.

     [Photos of Eldric Klein and Dorothy Davis]

     Here are some New Church people with roots in Ohio.




     "There are other types of tumults, or rather of conflicts, which also convey the idea of a Last Judgment, and by which communities harmfully joined together as regards their interiors are dissolved . . . . As a result of their thinking, each at variance with the others, and each muttering something different from the rest, an uproar is produced. . . .
     "While these conflicts were going on, there were other spirits who spoke to me, telling me in speech that rose clearly above all that noise the meaning of every single thing" (AC 2129).
     I have been reading a book on Saint Anselm (Saint Anselm, A Portrait in a Landscape by Sir Richard Southern; Cambridge University Press, 1990), and it strikes me that some of the terminology used by Anselm has the same meaning as that used by Swedenborg. Anselm was Archbishop of Canterbury in England under William I (the Conqueror), William II (Rufus) and Henry I, from 1093 to 1109, and was one of the most important authors of doctrine in the Christian Church. His influence on the ways Anglicans and Roman Catholics view their relationship with the Lord is still extremely strong. If the New Church understood the congruity between these ideas and theirs, some measure of peace could arise out of the tumult.
     For example, Anselm, according to Southern, says there are two sources of human knowledge, apart from miraculous God-given knowledge such as that of the prophets and, one might add, of Swedenborg: first, knowledge which comes from the senses, and second, that which comes from the mind's introspective knowledge of itself.
     From the senses there come images; these when stored in the memory are available for examination by the rational faculty of cogitation or meditation, which leads to a knowledge of general substances such as man, animal, and rational being (see p. 78).


     Interestingly, according to Anselm, it is because the senses give the mind access to these great realities beyond the range of the senses that they have any place in the spiritual life. Further, since the senses have this mediating role, they have an eternal place in heaven. This agrees with Swedenborg's doctrine.
     If one compares the above ideas with, say, AC 1555, where Swedenborg describes how a person is led to true wisdom, there is a good deal of similarity, though Swedenborg, being aware of the importance of the will, adds it as a first degree, that of the celestial degree of childhood, because as his doctrine tells us, the desire or will to do anything must logically be the forerunner of everything else. The second degree corresponds to Anselm's knowledge coming from the senses and/or introspection. Swedenborg's second degree is formed by knowledge and cognitions, which latter I take to mean introspection, to form understanding. These ideas formed in the understanding form one within the celestial things granted by the Lord since infancy, and these correspond to what Anselm calls truth, justice, beauty and virtue, and in Swedenborg's terms, charity from which a person starts to act. The light of this life is called wisdom, which then plays the leading role and is set above intelligence. In this way the third degree is formed, which Anselm calls meditation (mediatio). As he says, meditation is an embryonic form of contemplation. If a person reaches the third degree in this life, according to Swedenborg he goes on being perfected in the next life. Anselm describes this by saying that meditation gives way to contemplation. These ideas stem from Augustine. If one realizes this, to some extent the words of the Lord, "I came not to destroy the law and the prophets but to fulfill them," are realized. Swedenborg fulfills more clearly perhaps some of the ideas of Augustine and Anselm for example, but at any rate lends them the authority of the Lord as they were received through revelation.


     Pondering over the conflict between the legalistic, Anglican idea and the New Church idea of the crucifixion, one comes up against the apparent conflict between celestial and spiritual people. Rational truth-separated from rational good leads to a wild-ass man (see AC 1949), a man quick to find fault, making no allowances, against all, regarding everyone as being in error, instantly prepared to rebuke, etc, One knows the type. This is Ishmael. Isaac represents the Lord's rational man which sprang from good. Ishmael was therefore cast out. One can see the same process happening in the relation between Anselm and Abelard.
     In a book called Cur Deus Homo Anselm had tried to refute an idea I think was prevalent in the church at that time, which may be outlined as follows:

     1)      Imagine the devil as a brigand who has tricked Adam and Eve into his bondage.
     2)      The devil has then certain rights over mankind as long as he does not overstep the rules. The big rule is that if he catches and unjustly imprisons someone who has done no wrong, he has lost the game and mankind is freed.
     3)      God manages by a wily piece of gamesmanship to trick the devil into imprisoning Christ, by which the devil breaks the rules, the game comes to an end and mankind is free. (I think this summarizes the plot played out in The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis.)

     Anselm was a very serious and devoted man, to both God and the monks in his community at Bec, and this frivolous way of looking at life did not satisfy him, as he regretted the lost harmony and blessedness of that celestial state which has been forever lost with the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. This blessedness requires the perfect and voluntary submission of man's will to God.


It reminds one of Genesis 16:9 And the angel of Jehovah said to her, Return to your mistress and humble yourself beneath her hands," talking of Hagar, Ishmael's mother, who had to return to Sarah. Anselm saw the vast accumulation of Past and future disobedience, and thought that only God could make an offering or sacrifice sufficient to cover this frightful offence.
     But the question arises, To whom is this offering being made? In Anselm's time the old answer was "To the devil." But Anselm put that out of court because he held that the devil had no rights, so we are left with the traditional view that the good Son is offering Himself to an angry, just Father for all mankind's transgressions. Therefore, a God-Man was necessary for the redemption of the whole creation. Anselm was a wild-ass type of man (see Gen. 16:12), and I think this type of thinking which sees the world in such a light is natural for such a person.
     Abelard, a turbulent figure born in 1079, a younger contemporary of Anselm, saw the problem and asked why could not God, like any good feudal lord, simply pardon, on whatever condition seemed appropriate, those who repented? Abelard writes: We are justified by the blood of Christ and reconciled to God by this singular grace shown to us, in that His Son received our nature, and in this nature left us an example in word and deed of enduring until death. In doing this He so bound us to Him in love that, being inflamed by so great a gift of Divine grace, we will not fear to endure all things for His sake (see Commentatio in Ep. Pauli ad Romanos, ed E. M. Butaert, c. 1969, pp. 117-118, Pl. 178, col. 836, p. 210 in R. Southern's book).
     According to Southern, this sees the birth of one of the great new ideas of the 12th century, that the incarnation was efficacious not in satisfying the just claims of God or the devil but by teaching by example the law of love (ibid. p. 210).
     Abelard's view seems to correspond to Abraham's behavior to Hagar.


The more interior, celestial meaning, which is to a certain extent recognized by Abelard, is signified by the birth of Isaac, the Lord's rational man which sprang from good, avoiding the Pitfalls of the human rationalistic devotion to legalistic principles.
     As Swedenborg explains earlier (AC 2152), Abimelech had no right to Sarah, Abraham's wife. No man, no more than the Lord in His Human form, can approach the Divine through the first human rational. The Divine rational works on other principles, as contemplation in Anselm's sense might have shown.
Editorial Pages 1992

Editorial Pages       Editor       1992


     In May we considered a phenomenon. Someone moved from one thing to something seemingly much "better." But the person felt that she was being "pushed out of the happy, safe enclosure of Eden."
     Besides the obvious external environment we have an environment of angelic associations, and it is partly due to this that we look with fondness on the familiar things of our past.     
     Furthermore, "what has once been implanted from infancy as holy . . . and is thus inrooted, the Lord never breaks, but bends" (AC 2180). "The person has been imbued with them, and has regarded them as holy" (AC 2053). "If they are things that the person esteems holy, and are such as are not contrary to Divine and natural order but are in themselves matters of indifference, the Lord lets them alone, and suffers the person to remain in them" (AC 12550).
     Among the examples mentioned last time is Bible translation.


Not many years ago most of us had an attachment for a particular English rendition of the Scriptures, and a good number of us still do.
     We do recognize the benefits of new translation efforts, and we would mention here the coming of a translation strongly promoted by the American Bible Society. It is called the CEV or Contemporary English Version. The New Testament has been available for some months, and now the book of Psalms is available.
     The following example is from Psalm 29:3, 4-

     The voice of the LORD
          echoes over the oceans.
     The glorious LORD God
          thunders above the roar
          of the raging seas,
          and his voice is mighty
          and marvelous.

     We hope to have a closer look at this new effort.

     From the Sermon on the Mount we have:

     Don't store up treasures on earth! Moths and rust can destroy them, and thieves can break in and steal them. Instead, store up your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy them and thieves cannot break in and steal them. Your heart will always be where your treasure is.

     Look at the birds in the sky! They don't plant or harvest. They don't even store grain in barns, yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren't you worth more than birds?

     Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about.



     Interest in religion has greatly increased in the Commonwealth of Independent States, and there are people who have been working to make the Writings available there.
     Mr. Kenneth Murata of Japan has arranged and provided that university libraries in various parts of the Soviet Union should receive copies of The Essential Swedenborg in Russian. Mr. Leonard Fox has produced bookmarks with sayings from the Writings on them in Russian, as well as pamphlets of excerpts from The Essential Swedenborg. Mr. Goran Appelgren distributed many of these in April when he and Rev. Olle Hjern gave lectures in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
     One of Mr. Appelgren's objectives was to look into possibilities of getting books of the Writings published in Russia. What printed works of the Writings are there in Russian? Mr. Fox has provided a list of what is available in the Swedenborg Society collection in London, There is an 1860 edition of Heaven and Hell published in Leipzig. There is a 1914 edition of Conjugial Love published in Moscow, and there are two versions of New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine.
     In addition to these there are printed portions of other works, and in manuscript a number of works including Divine Providence, Divine Love and Wisdom, Four Doctrines, and a 2,000-
page manuscript of Apocalypse Revealed.
     Mr. Appelgren has reported the existence of a small New Church group in Lvov. This is in the Ukraine, not far from Poland. A representative of that group, Mr. Alexander Vasiliev, made the journey to Moscow to hear the April lectures. See page 287 on the work of SPI.



GENDER IN TRANSLATION       Sarah Headsten       1992

Dear Editor:
     Over the years there have been many letters and articles in New Church Life about the problems of translating the Writings, but only recently have I found translations a stumbling block in my reading of them. What has become increasingly difficult for me to understand is when the words "man," "he," "his," or "him" include women and when they don't. Since translators most often are men, maybe there is a lack of appreciation for the confusion this can cause.
     Recently I was reading a number from the Doctrine of Faith which once again focused my attention on this problem. To quote:


     The knowledges of truth and of good are not matters of real belief until the man is in charity, but are the storehouse of material out of which the faith and charity can be formed.
     25. From his earliest childhood man has the affection of knowing, which leads him to learn many things that will be of use to him, and many that will be of no use. While he is growing to manhood he learns by application to some business, etc. [bold emphasis added].

     I am bringing this to the attention of the readers of New Church Life because I am afraid that more and more women in the church are struggling with this problem. Writers in our wider culture no longer assume that readers think that "men" could mean "females" as well as males, and they use such nouns as "persons," "people," "men and women," etc.


Women are becoming accustomed to gender-specific pronouns, and thus it is increasingly difficult to recognize universal ones.
     Translating the Writings is a monumentally slow task, and I am fearful that the translators won't keep pace with the need for language to explicitly include women. I think it would help if, when writing sermons, giving classes, and especially in their reading of numbers from the Writings, ministers could specify women with their nouns and pronouns when appropriate.
     Sarah Headsten,
          Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

GENDER IN TRANSLATION       Rev. N. Bruce Rogers       1992

Dear Editor:
     Miss Headsten draws attention to one of the flaws in our traditional translations of the Heavenly Doctrines, the failure to distinguish between man/homo and man/vir. The Latin word homo fundamentally means man as a human being, person, or individual. Vir on the other hand fundamentally means man as an adult male. In order to maintain the distinction in English, it is generally preferable to translate homo/homines as person/people. This is a point that current translators in the church are aware of and implementing. It is not a matter of keeping pace with modern trends but of preserving in English a distinction found in the Latin.
     This does not mean that it is always preferable to eliminate masculine singular pronouns (he, his, him) when the antecedent is indefinite in gender. In colloquial speech we tend to substitute plural pronouns (they, their, them) when referring to singular antecedents of indefinite gender (someone left their book; if anyone did they will come back for it; when the right one comes back I will give it to them), but that is incorrect grammatically and substandard in formal writing. If the gender of a singular human antecedent is unknown or if the antecedent is applicable to either sex, by long-standing convention in English and other languages of every period it is correct to use the masculine form in subsequent pronominal references (someone left his book; if anyone did he will come back for it; when the right one comes back I will give it to him).


     It has been suggested that translators pluralize singular antecedents of indefinite gender in order to avoid having to use these masculine singular forms in subsequent pronominal references, but this is not always possible (consider the examples above); and even when it is possible (one who loves himself-people who love themselves), still the translator has to consider whether it is legitimate to impose modern sensitivities on earlier writers. It is not the translator's task to try to improve or rectify his text, but only to turn it into another language.
     In practice, I believe that fidelity to the text of the Heavenly Doctrines, including preserving in English distinctions found in the Latin, will eliminate the gender confusion encountered in traditional translations. To illustrate, let me conclude by presenting the passage from The Doctrine Regarding Faith cited by Miss Headsten as I might render it:

     Concepts of Truth and Good are not Matters of Faith Before a Person is Possessed of Charity, but are a Reserve from which a Faith of Charity may be Formed.
     25. From earliest childhood a person possesses an affection for knowing, as a result of which he learns many things which will be of use to him and many things which will not. As he matures, by applying himself to some occupation he absorbs matters that are of importance to the occupation. This occupation then becomes for him one of useful service by which he is affected. So begins an affection for useful service, which produces an affection for the means by which he attains to his occupation that involves that useful service . . . .
     Rev. N. Bruce Rogers,
          Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania



"SIMPLIFICATION" OR SIMPLICITY?       Leonard Fox       1992

     Comparing Translations of Arcana Coelestia

Dear Editor:
     In light of the ongoing discussion in New Church Life regarding the issue of "simplifying" the Writings, it might prove of interest to compare the Latin original of a passage, chosen at random from Arcana Coelestia, with several translations, beginning with the first English version (a translation of volume 11 by John Marchant, published in 1750, simultaneously with the Latin edition of the same volume), the cost of which was paid by Swedenborg himself.

     1971. Visiones quae coram spiritibus bonis existunt, sunt repraesentativa illarum rerum quae in caelo; nam quod in caelo coram angelis existit, cum delabitur in mundum spirituum, vertitur in repraesentativa, ex quibus et in quibus perspici potest quid significant: talia suntperpetua apud bones spiritus, cum pulchritudine et amoenitate vir: enuntiabili.

     [Marchant, 1750:] The Visions, which exist before good Spirits, are representative of those Things which are in Heaven; for that which exists in Heaven before Angels, when it falls into the World of Spirits, is turned into Representatives, by which and in which it may be clearly discerned what they mean: Such Things are perpetually among good Spirits with a Beauty and a Pleasantness hardly to be described.

     [Clowes, 1784:] The visions which exist before good Spirits are representative of those Things that are in Heaven; for what exists in Heaven in the Presence of Angels, when it descends into the World of Spirits, is changed into Representatives, by which, and in which, it may be clearly seen what they signify: Such Things are perpetual with good Spirits, with a Beauty and Pleasantness scarce expressible.


     [Boston: New Church Printing Society, 1838 (apparently a revision of Clowes):] The visions which exist before good spirits are representatives of those things that are in heaven; for what exists in heaven in the presence of the angels, when it descends into the world of spirits, is changed into representatives, from which, and in which, may be clearly seen what they signify. Such representations are perpetual with good spirits, with a beauty and agreeableness scarce expressible.

     [London, 1857:] The visions which have existence in the presence of good spirits, are what make representations of the realities which are in heaven; for what has existence in heaven before angels, on sinking down into the world of spirits, is turned into what make representations, from which, and in which, one can see thoroughly what they denote. Such things are perpetual among good spirits, with a beauty and pleasantness scarcely to be uttered.

     [Swedenborg Foundation ed. (Potts):] The visions that come forth before good spirits are representatives of the things that are in heaven; for when that which exists in heaven before the angels passes down into the world of spirits, it is turned into representatives, from which and in which it may be plainly seen what they signify. Such things are perpetual with good spirits, and are attended with a beauty and pleasantness than [sic; should be "that"] can hardly be expressed.

     [Swedenborg Society pocket ed., 1939 (Potts, revised by Rev. Messrs Jas. R. Rendell, Wm. A. Presland, and Isaiah Tansley):] Visions appearing to good spirits are representatives of things in heaven; for when what appears to angels in heaven passes down into the world of spirits, it is turned into representatives, from which and in which may be perceived what they signify. Such things are perpetual with good spirits, and are attended with a beauty and pleasantness that can hardly be expressed.


     [Swedenborg Society ed., translated by John Elliott, 1984:] The visions beheld by good spirits are representatives of the things that exist in heaven, for that which occurs in heaven among angels is converted into representatives when it passes down into the world of spirits, from which and in which representatives one may see clearly what they mean. Such representatives among good spirits are never-ending and are accompanied by beauty and loveliness that are almost beyond description.

     What seems to emerge from a reading of these translations is that in the course of time (with the possible exception of the 1939 version) the clarity and attractive simplicity of language evident in the early versions, especially Clowes', has gradually become needlessly obscured and complicated.
     Rather than attempting to "simplify" the Writings and, in the process, inevitably betraying their meaning, thought should perhaps be given to a reconsideration of the style and vocabulary of the earliest translations-again, particularly those by Clowes-with a view to learning from the elegance and simplicity of their English.
     What is needed in future translations is language that contains far more of the lexical elements of English that are readily comprehensible to educated individuals who are unfamiliar with Latin. Shorter sentences are also desirable, as is a style that represents standard literary English, but attempts neither to reflect the particular features of current spoken English nor to include terms of twentieth-century philosophical English, since such a translation would become obsolete within a few years.
     If we believe that the Writings are the Word, it is imperative to preserve their absolute textual integrity. English is a marvelously rich and malleable language. It can certainly be used to translate faithfully the Latin of the Writings in a manner that will be not only comprehensible but also pleasing to the reader.


"Simplification" or interpretive translation of the Writings could easily degenerate into travesty and profanation. Having been involved for thirty years with translation from various languages-including some that are very different from English in grammar, vocabulary, syntax, and semantics-I know that it is possible to produce literal translations that are not stilted, but utilize the vast resources of English to their greatest advantage (Michael Hamburger, the eminent translator of German, has much to say about these techniques, as well as about the general philosophy of translation that remains as close as possible to the original text).
     We must also not underrate the reader. An individual who comes to the Writings and immediately recognizes that it is the Lord who is speaking in them will make the commitment to continue reading, overcoming any difficulties of comprehension that may present themselves, because that reader will recognize how vital the Writings are to his or her life. It is a mistake to think that by trying to reduce the Writings to the level of the lowest common denominator we will increase their circulation. We should consider what the effect might be upon a serious, intelligent individual when confronted with a volume of the Writings from which the beauty and gravity have been removed and sacrificed to "simplification" or modes of expression intended for mass consumption.
     Finally, we might recall that the King James version of the Bible was the work of a dedicated group of translators, who produced a masterpiece of English writing that has endured for several centuries. Surely the Writings-whether one thinks of them as the New Word, the Heavenly Doctrines, or the Third Testament-are worthy of such a collective effort by Neo-Latin specialists, New Church theologians, and talented writers of English. Cooperating together, they could produce the same sort of enduring translation.


In our time, when a thorough knowledge of Latin is becoming increasingly rare and English has practically assumed the role of the world's lingua franca, it is all the more important to have available an excellent, faithful English translation of the Writings that can also be used by those who will be translating them into other languages.
     Leonard Fox,
          Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania


     Scholars and interested people from near and far are invited to a conference in Bryn Athyn (August 23-26, 1992). This is being promoted by the Swedenborg Foundation and the Academy of the New Church College. There will be workshops and computer demonstrations, and there will be speakers from England, Sweden, Boston, Washington State and Bryn Athyn.
     Write to Swedenborg Conference, Box 717, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009 for a registration form and program.

CONFERENCE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE (see p. 242)       Editor       1992

     The conference is sponsored by the Transnational Institute which organized conferences in Russia last September attended by two Swedenborgians. The theme is "The Renewal of Russian Spiritual Life." There will be more than a hundred people taking part, fourteen of them from Russia. Besides Dr. Brock (who is giving a paper), there will be Dr. Brock's wife June, Mr. Brian Schnarr, Dean of the Academy College, and Dr. George Dole, representing the Swedenborg Foundation. Coming from Sweden, Mr. Anders Hallengren will give a talk entitled "Spirituality and Fraternity."


Church News 1992

Church News       Naomi G. Smith       1992


     The June 1991 assembly was, of course, the highlight of the past year for the Glenview Society. The various committees had worked together for so long that assembly planning seemed almost a way of life, the society as a whole sharing in preparations for a vast undertaking that seemed to bring out the best in everyone. And the glow lingers with us: the sphere of fellowship during those four days in June, the delight of hosting men and women who came from all over the world to worship and receive instruction, the social life that sometimes seemed a glimpse of what heavenly fraternization might be like. But as our pastor, Rev. Brian Keith, put it the following week in the Park News, "There is a life after the assembly!"
     Yes indeed. We had just ended the summer's less hectic schedule that included a Vacation Bible School, and barely begun the regular school year when the society learned that Brian had been appointed Dean of the Theological School, and would be leaving for Bryn Athyn in the summer of 1992. Glenview is not unused to losing her pastors to higher uses, but it's always difficult to say goodbye to a minister and his wife who have performed their duties so ably and with as much devotion as the Keiths. The prospect of losing Brian and Gretchen was made easier, however, by the fact that Rev. Eric Carswell, our good friend and former Assistant Pastor, accepted the Glenview Society's invitation to return to us as Pastor. An added joy is the prospect of welcoming his wife Donna, and a gaggle of children whose friends will be happy to see them back in July.
     A couple of other committees have been quietly at work during the past year. The Park Historical Committee has collected photographs and taped some of our older members' recollections of the Immanuel Church's past. And at the other end of the spectrum is The Futures Committee (scheduled to give its final report to the society in May 1992), which was formed to look at our society to see what its needs will be in the years to come, and how best to meet those needs. Its various subcommittees have concentrated on such areas as the church, evangelization, school, real estate, social life, etc., and have produced an extensive questionnaire that should enable us to see more clearly the direction in which we are headed.
     Our Sunday services have undergone a radical change this year with the start of a 9:30 a.m. informal combined church service at which families can attend an informal children's talk and, after the youngsters have left, a sermon for the adults.


This has proved extremely popular, finding participants even among older members who usually attend the regular 11:00 a.m. service.
     The elementary school opened a marvelous and varied resource center, held a book fair, and continued the SNAP (Special Needs to Approach Potential) and ACE (After Class Enrichment) programs. There was again a renewal weekend for women in November, and a Saturday retreat enlivened us in late winter.
     The group that cooks for and serves over three hundred hungry souls at the Olive Branch Mission has grown from a handful to about forty interested folks.
     And we would be remiss not to mention that throughout the year Rev. Robin Childs and Rev. Erik Buss have continued to contribute their unique talents to the society.
     The year has been a productive, successful one, and we look forward to continuing the many uses of the Immanuel Church and discovering new ones.
     Naomi G. Smith

MINISTERIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS       Peter M. Buss       1992

     The Reverend Christopher D. Bown has until this year been serving as bishop's representative to Great Britain, Holland and France. He has now kindly consented to act as the bishop's representative for Great Britain and Europe, and to coordinate the uses of the church on that continent.
     The Reverend Nathan D. Gladish has accepted a call to serve as Pastor of the Pittsburgh Society, effective July 1, 1992.
     The following appointments of candidates are contingent upon successful completion of the Academy of the New Church Theological School program and ordination into the priesthood on June 7, 1992:


Candidate Goran R. Appelgren has been appointed to serve as Resident Minister of the Surrey Circle, England, and the Visiting Minister to the Copenhagen Circle, Denmark, effective July 1, 1992. He will hold these positions under the supervision of the Reverend Christopher D. Bown.

Candidate Simpson K. Darkwah has been appointed to serve in Tema, Ghana under the supervision of the Reverend Robert S. Junge, effective July 1, 1992.

Candidate Mauro S. de Padua has been appointed to serve as Assistant to the Pastor of the Pittsburgh Society, effective July 1, 1992. He will also be preparing for a future assignment in his own country, Brazil.

Candidate Leslie L. Sheppard has been invited by the Brisbane New Church to take up a pastorate there in the Association of the Australian Church, for whom he will be working. This assignment will be taken up with the full support of the Bishop of the General Church.

     The following Academy of the New Church Theological School students have been recognized as candidates for the priesthood of the New Church as of April 1, 1992: Kurt Hyland Asplundh, Peter M. Buss, Jr., and Derek P. Elphick.
     On Easter Sunday the Reverend David Lindrooth was ordained into the second degree of the priesthood in Stockholm, Sweden. The service was attended by representatives of the church from Jonkoping, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Oslo, Norway. It is perhaps the first ordination in the history of the General Church conducted in Swedenborg's native tongue. I know that many of David's and Aven's friends would join in congratulating David on his fuller entrance into the priesthood of the New Church.

     Peter M. Buss, Bishop


WHAT IS "SPI"? 1992

WHAT IS "SPI"?       Editor       1992


     Swedenborg Publishers International is an entity yet in process of taking form. But it is getting important things done.
     It all began when the people in eastern Europe who hunger for spiritual literature became free to obtain it. People concerned with this new need met in Manchester, England in April of 1991 (see NCL 1991, July, p. 268, October, p. 467). Guus Janssens was encouraged to carry books into European countries (see NCL January 1992, p. 30). Vital projects are now being considered, such as negotiations in the near future to publish many thousands of copies of Heaven and Hell in Russia.
     Do you want to receive the SPI newsletter or learn of its projects? Write to Dr. Erland Brock, Box 717, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009, or phone Mr. Leon Rhodes (215) 947-1153.
     See page 257 of this issue where SPI is said to be probably the most important development of the year 1991.

PAMPHLET IN DUTCH       Editor       1992

     The pamphlet Come and See by Don Rose has been translated into Dutch by Mr. Adri Braam. Most of the copies have been sent to Holland, but there are some in Toronto and some in Bryn Athyn.


     Love in Marriage is the title of the new rendition by Dr. David Gladish of the work Conjugial Love being published by the Swedenborg Foundation. This should be available in July. For information phone the Swedenborg Foundation, 1-800-366-7310.



HELEN KELLER'S GREETING 70 YEARS AGO       Editor       1992

     Helen Keller's greeting to "the New Church of Scotland (Swedenborgian), Glasgow," is dated June 22, 1922. Here is what she said:

Dear Friends of the New Church of Scotland,
     I greet you with the joy of spiritual kinship. It is good to be in this "green and pleasant land," and to find friends with whom I can unite in a happy community of faith. I cannot express better the sense of fellowship I experience here than by telling you what the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg have meant to me.
     By giving me the golden key to the hidden treasures of the Bible he opened the gate of the Garden of Heaven for me, and showed me fair flowering paths where I love to walk. What precious herbs of healing grow there! What sweet smells of celestial flowers greet me! What thresholds of quiet I pass over, leaving behind me all the harsh, loud futilities of earth-life! There the Lamb of God walks whitely through the grass. In the Garden of the Lord sparkle countless rills and fountains. There the dews from Hermon fall upon my head. The trees, laden with golden fruit, murmur wisdom with their leaves, and the birds no longer sing wordless notes, but immortal truths. There blessed figures arrayed in light pass me and smile companionship with me; their beautiful hands guide me in paths of peace, and they whisper patience to me while I wait for my release unto greater service and a more satisfying self-expression.
     There, with "The Divine Love and Wisdom" spiritually bright, I read words that give me eyes and thoughts that quicken my ear. As the air is made luminous by the sun, so the Word Ineffable makes bright all darkness.
     Yes, the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg have been my light and a staff in my hand, and by his vision splendid I am attended on my way.


Notes on This Issue 1992

Notes on This Issue       Editor       1992

Vol. CXII     July, 1992     No. 7


     Notes on This Issue

There are wonderful things said in the Writings about variety, and Terry Schnarr has given an extensive presentation on this subject, which we begin in this issue.
     There were a number of "mini sessions" at the assembly last summer. One of them was about dos and dont's. People found it lively and stimulating (see page 305). The author brings out some interesting thoughts on prayer beginning on page 311. This seems to go nicely with a little editorial snippet of making time for prayer (see p. 319).
     In the past we almost always began an issue with a sermon, and perhaps when we get through the wealth of publishable material reaching us we can get back to that. We are glad to begin this issue with a sermon by Rev. Daniel Heinrichs of Florida on the priesthood as a watchman.


     From the New Translation of Last Judgment Published by the Swedenborg Society

     I have several times seen, when my eyes were opened, what a countless multitude of people there is there already. It was so great it could hardly be counted, for there were tens of thousands in only one place and one district. So how many must there be in the rest? All there are gathered into communities, which are very numerous. . . . So there are some who are high up, some mid-way, some beneath them, and there are some in the lowest regions or hells under them. Those in the upper levels live like people in cities with populations as large as some hundreds of thousands. From this it is plain that the natural world, inhabited by people on earth, cannot be compared to that world in point of the numbers of people there. So when a person passes from the natural world into the spiritual, it is like going from a village to a large city (LJ 27).




     "Son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear the Word from My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you shall surely die!' if you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul" (Ezekiel 33:7-9).

     In its historical context, our text contains the Lord's instructions to Ezekiel, whom He had selected as a prophet to the captive Jews in Babylon. Over many centuries, in the period preceding the era dealt with in our text, the worship of Jehovah by the Israelites had been steadily waning. To halt this tragic trend, the Lord sent a succession of prophets to warn Israel of the disaster which would overtake them if they persisted in their headstrong course. But they paid little heed. The Lord said of them: "This is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the Lord, who say to the seers, 'Do not see,' and to the prophets: 'Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits . . . turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us'" (Isa. 30:9-11).
     During this period in the history of Israel, there was also a succession of kings, some of whom were good and obeyed the Lord's commands given through His prophets; but most of them were evil. They led the people into more and more grievous idolatry and the accompanying perversions. The few good kings, and the prophets, were not able to reverse the trend. At best, they succeeded in retarding Israel on its downward path to destruction.


     Finally the threatened ruin overtook them. They were conquered by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and over 10,000 people were carried away captive to Babylon. Among those carried away captive was the priest Ezekiel. In the fifth year of his captivity, the Lord called him and commanded him to prophesy to those held in captivity. During this same period, Jeremiah continued as the Lord's prophet among the Jews who remained in Canaan.
     The essence of the message which Ezekiel delivered to Israel was that the grievous things they suffered, and were yet to suffer, were the result of their own wickedness and persistent idolatry. The Jews held that the sins of the fathers were visited on the children. They attributed their sufferings to the sins of their forefathers. But Ezekiel taught that every person was individually responsible for his own evils. He urged them to repentance, teaching that if a good person turned away from righteousness to evil, he would be accounted guilty, but if a person who was in evil repented of the evil and turned to good, he would be accounted righteous.
     The Lord, speaking through Ezekiel, said: "Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father, as well as the soul of the son, is mine; the soul who sins shall die . . . . When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. Again, when the wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive . . . he shall surely live; he shall not die. Therefore, I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions so that iniquity will not be your ruin. . . . For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies, says the Lord God. Therefore turn and live" (Ezek. 18:4, 26-28, 30, 32).
     The Lord called Ezekiel to convey His Word to the erring Children of Israel so that they might be tuned back from their evil ways to following the Lord. Indeed, this is the purpose of all Divine revelation.


This is also the Essential use of the priesthood.
     The Lord has "no pleasure in the death of the wicked." He created mankind in order that they may enjoy, eternally, the happiness of heaven. He has provided, through the ages, a written Word accommodated to human states of reception. In addition, He has instituted a priesthood to proclaim His Word, and through it lead people to repentance and salvation. In the celestial sense, then, Ezekiel represents the Lord as to the saving power of the Word. In the spiritual sense he represents the function of the priesthood in the Divine work of salvation.
     The love which distinguishes the use of the priesthood from all other uses is a love for the salvation of souls. The Lord inspires this love into the hearts of certain men. When they become aware of this love as the dominant love of their life, they feel a call to the priesthood. The essential use of the priesthood is, therefore, to serve the Lord in leading people to heaven.
     According to the Writings, this is done by teaching truths from the Word. For when a priest teaches truths from the Word, he teaches from the Lord, for the Lord is the Word. The Lord declared that He is the door to the sheepfold, and anyone who enters in another way is a thief and a robber. Therefore the Writings state that "priests who teach truths and by means of them lead to the good of life, and thus to the Lord, are good shepherds of the sheep; but those who teach and do not lead to the good of life, and thus to the Lord, are evil shepherds. The latter are called 'thieves and robbers' (John 10:7-16)" (AC 10794).
     When we reflect on this statement, it gives us a new and distinctive concept of the leadership which is to be exercised by the priesthood of the New Church. In the world today there is a great deal of emphasis placed on developing qualities of leadership.


In the universities and in many theological seminaries, courses are given on effective leadership. In these courses the predominant idea is to first sell oneself-to put oneself across to one's audience, or public, get them to believe in you and trust you. The techniques of winning confidence are taught. Desirable personality traits are identified and cultivated, and undesirable ones eliminated. The potential leaders are taught how to speak persuasively and convincingly. They are taught to avoid or gloss over what is perceived as unpleasant, and to present those things which will strike a responsive chord in their audience. These things are not all bad. Some of them are plain common sense.
     But this concept of leadership is very different from the one which the Writings present for the office of the priesthood. The priest is to teach truths from Word, and by them lead to the good of life. He is to lead people to good by means of truth, not by his personality, his manner or persuasive speech. If he chooses these latter means, he turns people's minds to himself rather than to the Lord who is the "Door" to the sheepfold. He is a thief and a robber. In the New Church the leadership of the priesthood is not to be a personal leading, but a leading by the clear and. unambiguous teaching of truth from the Word. Thus it is the truth which is to lead, not the priest, and if a person is led by truth, he is led by the Lord, for the Lord is Divine truth--He is the truth itself.
     There are two aspects to the truths of the Word. To those who are in good they are delightful and pleasing. They enlighten the mind with the light of heaven. They give hope and inspiration. But if we are in evil, and we all are at times, they are undelightful. Then the truth is like a sword which strikes terror into the heart.
     In speaking of this aspect of truth the Lord said: "Do not think that I am come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword" (Matt. 10:34). Again He said: "Everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light lest his deeds should be exposed.


But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen that they have been done in God" (John 3:20, 21).
     When we are in evil, we do not spontaneously love the truth. We do not want to hear it. Our proprium is antagonistic to it, especially to those truths which convict us of falsity and evil. Like the Israelites, we say in our hearts, if not openly: "Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things" (Isa. 30:10, emphasis added).
     But the duty of the priest is clear. The Lord said to Ezekiel: "Son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear the Word from My mouth and warn them from Me. When I say to the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die! if you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul" (text).
     The Lord has established His priesthood to act as a watchman in the church. Like Ezekiel, the priest is to hear the Word at the Lord's mouth, and give warning, not from himself but from the Lord-from what the Lord teaches in the Word. When the priest sees, from his study of the Word, false ideas and disorders in the church and with the people of the church, it is his duty to give warning. Such preaching will not be popular; indeed, at times it will offend. But it is necessary and is commanded. The priest would be derelict in his duty if he neglected such teaching. Not only would the church, and those concerned, continue to suffer from the effects of falsity and evil, but the responsibility would be the priest's for failing to carry out his responsibility for teaching truth from the Word relevant to the states of the church.
     But beyond this the priest may not go. The Writings say that a "priest must teach people, and lead them to the good of life by means of truths.


But they must not compel anyone" (AC 10798, emphasis added). It is the priest's responsibility to teach those truths which are applicable to the flock and necessary for their spiritual welfare. It is the responsibility of the individual members to give heed to the teaching which is given, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant.
     We all undergo alternations of state. At times our evils are quiescent and we enjoy a temporary respite from temptation and evil. At such times we are receptive to truth, that is, it is delightful to us. At other times we are in active combat against evil. At these times also, truth is welcome; it strengthens us in our resistance to evil and encourages us to greater efforts. At other times we are actively enjoying certain falsities and evils. Often we are not even aware that we are thinking falsely or that we are living contrary to order, thus evilly. We are just doing what comes naturally to us. When truths are presented which reveal that we are thinking falsely or doing evil, we do not welcome it. Our initial response is to react against it, to reject it, or to turn against the priest who spoke it, attributing it to him rather than to the Word. Another common reaction is to search for knowledges of truth which we possess, and seek to justify; what we have been thinking and doing.
     While this is a natural reaction, it is a dangerous one for our souls. For the Lord said: "if you warn the wicked to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity" (Ezek. 33:9).
     The clear, unequivocal teaching of the Word is that the first of the church in man is repentance. To become a church in particular, we must first recognize and acknowledge our evils. For this the presentation of truth is necessary, and it is truth that will hurt. Then we must hold ourselves guilty of those evils which the truth exposes, beseech the Lord's help in resisting them, and then we must actually desist from them and lead a new life.
     Let us therefore realize that a clear, unequivocal presentation of truth is necessary for our eternal welfare.


It is the means the Lord has provided for our salvation. If the truth that is taught is not pleasing to us, it is not the fault of the Word nor of him who teaches it from the Word. In all probability the fault is in ourselves. If we are sincerely trying to live the life that leads to heaven, we should welcome such teaching, pay careful heed to it, and turn from the way that we are going in order that our soul may live; for the Lord has "no pleasure in the death of one who dies" (Ezek. 18:32). Amen.

Lessons: Ezekiel 33:1-16; John 10:1-16; Charity 160 FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT ON SWEDENBORG 1992


     Fifty-four years ago President Franklin Roosevelt made a statement so agreeable to Swedenborgians that it was translated into Swedish and used in a letterhead.
     Someone just showed it to us, and so we have had it translated back into English. The heading was: President Roosevelts Budskap till Vrlden, or "President Roosevelt's Message to the World." It reads as follows:

     Swedenborg's course of life enhances in a striking way the victory of the spirit over the flesh for matter, or material things]. In their heart his disciples bear witness of the living force and inspiration in his message in a world where the voice of conscience all too often is weak or hardly heard. There is a need of that spiritual leadership of which Swedenborg was a shining example. I hope that as a result of the upcoming 250 years anniversary of Swedenborg's birth the world may turn away from only chasing material things and instead be mindful of the silent strength that lies in spiritual things.




     I pray that each of us will acknowledge that "varieties . . . contribute to the perfection of the whole. For then, through charity the Lord inflows and works in diverse ways, in accordance with the genius of each one; and thus, both in general and in particular, He disposes all into order, on earth as in heaven. And then the will of the Lord is done, as He Himself teaches, as in the heavens so also upon the earth" (AC 1285:3).
     There is a variety of all people and things from creation such that no two things are exactly the same, nor will be to eternity. This variety has its origin in the infinity of God the Creator, and is something good to be encouraged and loved in conjunction with the doctrine of freedom.
     Variety and diversity are apparently used as synonyms in all but two passages. "By varieties here are meant differences between things of one kind or of one species, and also between genera and between species; and by diversities here are meant differences between things that are in the opposite" (CL 324). The variety of good things is called variety, and the varieties of evil things are sometimes called diversities.

     Origin of Variety in Creation

     Variety originates in the infinity of God.1 He is infinite and in Him are infinite things; otherwise He would be infinite in name only,2 The infinite things in God-Man, the Lord, are one distinctly, or distinguishably. Nevertheless, the infinite things in the Lord are all one and indivisible.3
     The infinite variety of things in the Lord can be seen as in a mirror in the infinite variety of things in creation, all of which ale from the Lord.4 The infinite variety in creation testifies to the infinite things in the Lord. The one only substance of the spiritual sun, the first of creation, presents the varieties of all things in the created universe.5


     There is an infinite variety of all created things, and will be to eternity. There will never be two things exactly the same. "In God-Man there are infinite things which appear in heaven, in angels, and in people, as in a mirror . . . " (DLW 21). "An image of the infinite and eternal is apparent in the variety of all things, in that no one thing is the same as another nor can be to eternity. The eye beholds this in the variety of human faces ever since creation; in the variety of minds, of which faces are types; and in the variety of affections, perceptions and thoughts, for of these the mind consists. In heaven, therefore, no two angels or spirits are the same, nor can be to eternity. The same is true of every object to be seen in either the natural or the spiritual world. Plainly, the variety is infinite and eternal" (DP 56:2).
     "There can never be a substance, state, or anything in the created universe the same as or identical with any other, neither in atmospheres, nor in lands, nor in the forms arising out of these. Thus not in any of the things which fill the universe cant: any thing the same be produced to eternity" (DLW 318:2). "This infinite variety would be impossible except from an infinity in God the Creator" (TCR 32:1, 2, 6).6

     Variety Is Manifested According to Reception

     The infinite variety in the Lord is one but is manifested in the variety of creation according to reception. Each angel, person, or thing is finite and receives the infinite in a finite and limited way, therefore manifesting only that part of the infinite it receives. Each receiving vessel, be it an angel, person or thing, is a unique form created to receive and manifest the Divine. To eternity no two receiving forms will be exactly alike. The Lord creates this variety of receiving forms so that the infinite variety in Himself can be manifested in creation. In this sense we are taught that all variety springs from the recipient subjects, which are created by the Lord.7


     Since there is infinite variety in the Divine and there will be an infinite variety of receiving vessels to eternity, the Lord will manifest Himself in creation in a growing variety of ways to eternity, eternally increasing and perfecting His infinite presence in creation. Variety in creation is the means whereby God will become more and more closely conjoined with heaven and earth to eternity. This variety is in Him and at the same time in those receptive forms which are created from Him.

     Variety of Human Beings

     Each human being is a unique created vessel for receiving life-love and wisdom, or good and truth-from the Lord. Simply being created makes each one of us different from all others. if we were exactly the same as another we wouldn't be ourselves. This fact of creation in itself makes for an infinite variety of human beings.
     The Heavenly Doctrines explain one way the Lord provides for the infinite varieties of people. "Regarded in itself good is one, but it becomes various by means of truths" (AC 4149:2). Truth is the form of good. Every person's mind is formed by means of truths. Such as the truth is, such is the reception of good. But truths are innumerable, and every person forms his mind with a unique set of truths. This causes the form of each person's mind to be unique.8
     Furthermore, truths form a person's mind in accordance with his state and his life.9 Even if two people learn the same truths the consequent effect in forming their minds is varied by the state of each person, and how he applies those truths to his life. There is an infinite variety of states and their progressions, so that even if two people are in the same state when they learn truths, the states that led to that state and those which follow will be various. Consequently, the effect of the same truth is various with each individual, forming each one's mind to receive good from the Lord in a variety of ways depending on his state and his application of truth to life.


     Since, then, there is an infinite variety of forms of minds in people, there is consequently an infinite variety of reception of good. Thus there is an infinite variety of goods, generating an even greater variety of people.
     Thankfully, the Lord organizes and orders our minds. "It is however to be understood that the Lord disposes truths into order in accordance with the good of the person's life" (AC 9174; see also AC 5147:2, 3241:2,3; 6628; HH 56; DP 190:3). Imagine trying to organize your mind, trying to figure out where to put your knowledges and memories, how to connect your thoughts and affections together! Impossible! But the Lord does that for us. "The mind of one is never altogether like that of another, but that great as is the number of people, so great is the variety in respect to affections and thoughts" (AC 4149:2). No two people can ever have the same affection or thought because the forms of their minds are varied, even though there may appear to be similarities.
     The infinite variety of good loves and truths can also be said of their opposites, evil loves and falsities. These also have the effect of variously forming people's minds according to their states and applications to life.

     (To be continued)

     1 LJ 13, HH 48, AC 2789
     2 DLW 17, 18, 21, 22, 155; AC 10261; TCR 160
     3 Deut. 6:4, AC 3035, 10261, HH 469
     4 DLW 21
     5 DP 6, 190; DLW 155, 173, 178, 300
     6 DLW 19; DP 562, 57; AC 4043, 9176e
     7 TCR 6, 8, 154, 365; DLW 54, 128; AC 1285, 3744, 3890, 4206e, 6472
     8 DP 279:6, 7, 9; DP 319; AC 2189:2, 3; 3986:2; 4043; 4149:2; 4263; 5147:2: 6326; 6337:2: 7236:2,3; 10261; 10334; HH 41,51
     9 AC 4005:3, 5962:3, 7343; AE 654:15




     Part II

The misconception that conjugial love can be found outside of oneself leads to other false ideas that can result in great tension and unrealistic expectations in marriages.
     The notion that conjugial love is somehow bestowed upon us by the unique qualities and characteristics of the person whom we have fallen in love with paves the way for a very common and very destructive relationship process to begin. There is within most people an unconscious desire to return to something like the infantile state when we had no clear personal boundaries, and in our ignorance and innocence we did not know the difference between ourselves and our mother, or our primary care giver. It was as though our inner world of infantile loves, needs, and desires included the person who satisfied those needs; she was part of us, and we were part of her.
     Probably because on a deep level the intimate relationship of marriage reminds us of this earlier time, it often triggers those old desires, and on some level we expect this new and wonderful intimacy will be modeled after that first tender Garden of Eden experience with our mother. We want and expect to be conjoined into one with our partner.
     The great difficulty for New Church couples is that this is just what the Writings appear to teach should be the ultimate goal of marriage, and the conjugial state itself. But a closer look at what is taught makes clear that a total oneness is not the goal of marriage, and most certainly not the oneness a child feels with its mother.
     The proper terminology for the relationship of husband and wife is not "conjunction" but "adjunction," as is made clear in the following passage: "It may be seen from reason that [conjugial love] is not conjunction into one, but adjunction, near and close according to the love, and in the case of those who are in love truly conjugial even to contact" (CL 158).


It would appear that a common New Church idea is that husband and wife will become "one" person because celestial angels who are married appear like one angel at a distance (see CL 42). But in CL 158 we see that those who are in love truly conjugial do not become one but rather come into "contact." This fits with the observation that the angelic couple referred to above became two distinct individuals with very distinct identities when they came closer. So it is that the Writings often use the phrase "as though one" when referring to the union of partners in conjugial love (CL 44).
     The notion that marriage should be a conjunction of two into one leads to a third misconception about marriage. This misconception is that if partners are to become one, then they should also want and like the same things and think and feel alike most or all of the time. Unfortunately, this particular notion was reinforced in the betrothal service in the 1966 Liturgy, which asked the couple this question: "Will you now in the presence of the Lord declare your undivided love for each other, and your mutual consent to become one in affection and thought, and in all ends and purposes of life?" (Liturgy, 1966, p.92). While there is doctrine concerning marriage to support the general idea here, the particular wording is not used in the Writings, and perhaps emphasizes the "togetherness" in a conjugial relationship to the exclusion of the real "separateness" that also must exist.
     The unrealistic expectation of total togetherness has caused an enormous degree of doubt and guilt in New Church couples, particularly among wives who are often more sensitive to the state of the marriage than their husbands. The Writings make it clear that wives monitor the quality of their marriage much more than men do. In my experience, New Church women often wonder if there is something wrong with them if they don't like or enjoy many of the things their husbands like, or if perhaps they should somehow attempt to force themselves to like what their husbands like for the sake of the marriage.


If you have ever tried to force a desire or a feeling, you will know what a frustrating and impossible situation this is. And needless to say, the extra tension this misconception can cause is not helpful to the marriage.
     The misconception about marriage that partners should think and feel alike most of the time opens to a fourth misunderstanding. If partners should think and feel alike, then it must also mean that partners should not express disagreement or fight over issues. Marital "fighting" in the sense most people understand the term is not a good idea, especially if the "fighting" involves physical or verbal abuse, a desire to go for the kill, get one's way, or dominate the relationship.
     However, the expression of honest disagreement, the ability to state one's own views, desires and opinions, even if they seem contrary to those of a partner, is one of the essential means whereby closer conjunction and mutual understanding can be reached. Stating one's views is not the same as getting one's way. But honest communication is the life blood of a working marriage.
     Loving feelings and good will toward one's partner can be easily damaged or even killed for lack of basic communication skills and problem-solving techniques. One of the basic functions of a marriage counselor is to help partners express their honest feelings to each other, looking for solutions to problems while avoiding blame. When couples begin to communicate honestly they often find they really are not so far apart after all, but only feared that they were. More than once I have observed the bittersweet moment when partners have just discovered they secretly wanted the same thing for years but were afraid to express it.

     (To be continued)





     After 200 years the New Church has accumulated certain customs and habits. The church turns to the Lord in the Word of His Second Coming for a new vision of the future. What do we do, what should we continue to do, and what, if anything, should we stop doing?
     You could perhaps give 50 different suggestions in the next five minutes. So, to save you the confusion, I hope my selection of six main either dos or don'ts straight from the Writings is fair. The Writings spell out some things without which there would not be a New Church, or warn of what would quickly spell the doom of the New Church if left unchecked. And along the way I hope to cast a few side glances at what we are up to.

1. No External Separated from the Internal

     This is the internal sense of the words, "I saw no temple therein, for the Lord God almighty is the temple of it, and the Lamb" (Rev 21:22). The essential relationship is that "in this church there will not be any external separated from the internal" (AR 918).
     You know this from experience: Don't you remember that annual meeting when someone said, "We need a new notice-board" and someone objected that the old one was made by a dearly beloved but now extinct member? Never mind that it is falling to pieces; it ought to be renovated in memory of him. And then the young carpenter of the society hunkered into his seat, because he had just offered to make a new one.
     Well, any other annual meeting debate will do. Or take the new Liturgy: why change it? And the Lord's Prayer: should we keep the KJV version or use the NKJV version? Why do either? Why have new hymns? new prayers?
     Because no external should be separated from the internal.


But first a show of hands: how many of you here have ever attended a New Church service of worship? Thank you. And now we read a scary passage.
     We read: "Unless the internals are in the externals, and unless [people] think of the internal when they are in the external, and at the same time are affected with the internals, there is nothing of the church" with them (AC 4433).
     Now how many of you who just said you have attended church services have wandered off in your minds and said things by rote? Your internals were not in the externals, were they?
     We perhaps hate to admit that at least on some Sundays we are not affected by the internal. Piety, we read, is to think and speak piously, pray assiduously, behave with humility, listen devoutly to preaching, partake of the Holy Supper, etc. (see NJHD 124). But at times we are not concentrating. We wander off. Often it is because of something in the sermon. For when we meditate on some truth, our spirit is seen in the spiritual world! (see DP 296:6). Our spirit appears in the spiritual world and angels there talk to us. Swedenborg says, "I have wondered how the man himself while still living in the body could be totally ignorant of this" (TCR 14e; cf. HH 453e). Perhaps we wander off during a sermon because we meditate ourselves off into the spiritual world, and we jolt back into reality when someone on that side takes us for one of their own!
     Well, that is a charitable interpretation of why we drift off. But where is the internal during worship? The internal of piety should be charity. We read, "The very worship of the Lord consists in performing uses . . ., discharging aright one's duty in his station, thus from the heart being of service . . . to the neighbor, in dealing sincerely with his fellow, and in performing kind offices . . . in accordance with each person's character" (AC 7038). In a word, worship is to perform uses.
     This internal of worship-doing uses-should not be separate from external piety: prayer and listening to sermons, etc.


     What does this mean, say, regarding a new notice-board or a new Liturgy or saying the Lord's Prayer in a new wording? It means that every outward habit should have an internal reason governing why and how it is done. The internal cause clothes itself with the natural effect; that is to say, it seeks out the means in order that it may there reassemble its own image and reappear. It comes to life on the next lower or natural level (see AC 6275, 5131). Picture a thought getting the right words together for complete expression. That is how an internal cause such as love to the Lord reassembles its image in ritualistic worship at church. And so the quality of our worship depends on the state of regeneration we have achieved Monday through Friday! (see AC 10206)
     So also, the Liturgy is a collection of words and phrases from the Word arranged by their own internal. The Lord's Prayer, for example, contains so many arcana that not all of heaven can comprehend it (see AC 6619). So why worry over the version of the Lord's Prayer? That is a secondary concern. The primary concern is to "think of the internal when you are in the external, and at the same time be affected with the internal." In other words, if you marshal your thoughts while praying, the words will have meaning regardless of the version you use.
     And the discussion of a new notice-board, or any society controversy, should be governed by use. The spiritual use reassembles itself from material found on the level of the effect, and directs the terms for its own construction. The society's young carpenter gets the green light.
     Or perhaps a society member "hogs" a use, and won't let anyone else get near it. But the use itself should govern how it is to be performed. The Lord provides the use, and we voluntarily serve it. We cannot add anything except our service to it. People serve uses; uses do not serve people.
     We move to the next maxim.


2. No Investigation from Below

     This is another negative warning: don't investigate spiritual things from below.
     The maxim comes from the passage which states, "A desire to investigate the mysteries of faith by means of the things of sense and memory was not only the cause of the fall of the posterity of the Most Ancient Church, but is also the cause of the fall of every church. Hence come not only falsities, but also evils of life" (AC 127). It is "as impossible as for a camel to go through the eye of a needle" (AC 233).
     What happens when we question the mysteries of faith from known facts? What is a good example in the New Church?
     If I took a survey, you would probably shout, The Earths in the Universe-aha, that embarrassing little New Church book, talking about men on the moon when science has demonstrated that it never was inhabited. And other planets are also inhabited, we say proudly, yet furtively, wondering whether the newcomer might be a journalist!
     Well, let's have a look. Swedenborg met only spirits in the world of spirits, no inhabitants. All who die are near their planet of origin. Spirits from Mercury who travel the spiritual universe by changes of mental state (see EU 157) have first-hand knowledge of six hundred thousand inhabited planets (see EU 26).
     Now, changes of mental state are like taking a holiday in Italy or France, or coming to an assembly even! You have to change time zones and some habits. For example, when I served in the Peace Corps (Micronesia, central Pacific U. S. Trust Territory), I had to learn not to touch a child's head, since only God and the "Iroij" or king could do that-a different "mental zone."
     So it is on a mental level that we consider The Earths in the Universe. And mental or spiritual events should not be questioned by natural facts. We can't use science to deny what the Writings tell us.


Anyhow, natural facts don't even touch spiritual events. Swedenborg never met any inhabitants of other planets, only spirits who used to be people from those planets. Twice he saw actual planets, but through the eyes of inhabitants in touch with newly departed spirits. That also happened when Swedenborg was at a funeral and met the dead person in the spiritual world, who saw his own funeral through Swedenborg's earthly eyes. He must have been as bemused as Tom Sawyer at turning up at his own funeral!
     So descriptions of spirits living in long, low huts with blue star-studded ceilings demonstrate their spiritual quality after death, not necessarily their planetary conditions.
     Thus data on any given planet should not be used to deny the revealed qualities of the spirits who came from those planets. The two sets of data don't touch, so our faith in an inhabited universe which worships the same God and Lord is not threatened either.
     So a camel cannot go through the eye of the needle, and known facts can't deny the spiritual world. Unless you know what to look for, nothing spiritual can derive from any "scientific data whereas from spiritual truth all "data" can be all the more appreciated.
     Now does this strike you as a denial of the "scientific method"? No, We agree that data has to be believed, but which data? Have you noticed who have changed their minds most radically in recent years? Right-the astronomers! After the Jupiter and Saturn probes, they exclaimed jubilantly: "We have to re-think absolutely everything in the light of this new evidence." Compared with unchanging revealed truth, scientific "data" have a positively chameleonic existence.
     But this is good. Now, the brilliant astronomer (successor to Einstein, they say), British Nobel Prize laureate Stephen Hawking in his best-seller, A Brief History of Time, explains God into the equation of the big bang: "The initial rate of expansion also would have had to be chosen very precisely for the rate of expansion still to be so close to the critical rate needed to avoid recollapse.


This means that the initial state of the universe must have been very carefully chosen indeed if the hot big bang model was correct right back to the beginning of time. It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us" (Op. Cit. p. 127).
     So now, God features in some astronomers' theories. That certainly lends at least some weight to the revealed truth that the universe is inhabited. "Evolution" can likewise be relabeled as "elevation." Forms of life were "elevated" to receive a spiritual mind by a Divine act of propagation: "And God said, Let there be light. . . . And God breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives"-not only in pre-historic times here, but all over the universe as well.
     So scientific facts need not worry us. The scientific method is praiseworthy: set the null hypothesis (i.e., what is to be disproved by experimentation), get the statistical standard deviation for validity (do the results measure what is intended?) and reliability (can the same results be duplicated by other experimenters?). Then believe what the t-test (one statistical formula for frequency of anything happening beyond mere chance) tells you. In fact, the Writings apply the same rigid standards to revealed truth.
     Here is our "formula" for a New Church belief: "What is this? believing when you do not see whether the thing is true? . . . Do you consider yourself God that I am bound to believe you? Do you think me mad enough to believe a statement in which I do not see the truth? Make me to see it" (Faith 4).
     Perhaps we should insert this in the Confession of Faith of our new Liturgy! It means, "No blind faith; don't believe the New Church just on my say-so. See it for yourself." Swedenborg said as much to scoffers: "Read my books and see for yourselves." That is all we ask: read the Writings and decide for yourselves.
     So if we start on the level of the spiritual universe and view the natural universe from a spiritual vantage point, then creation and Hawking's observations may just meet.


     So the New Church "scientific faith" is: 1) start with revealed truth; 2) question your belief until you see it; and then 3) confirm it by natural data or any evidence at your disposal (see AC 129, 2568, 2588). We should not, however, question the Word from below.
     Now let's have a DO.

3. Pray for Your Own Service to the Church.

     This positive commandment comes from the well known words, "Let him that hears say Come, and him that thirsts take the water of life freely" (Rev. 22:17). It means, "He who knows anything of the Lord's coming and of the new heaven and the New Church . . . should pray that it may come" (AR 956).
     We should pray that the New Church should come. Have we done so? On countless occasions, I am sure. But there is more: "And he who loves truths will then receive them from the Lord, without his own work" (Ibid., emphasis added).
     If you have ever wondered what we should pray for, here is a truly free offer: if you love truths, pray for truths and you will receive them without any work of your own. There may be more involved than just this, but literally stated, all we need to do when we love truth is to pray for understanding, and it is given to us. Surely it is an offer we should take up. Also, pray for the New Church. What do we have to lose?
     Why should we pray for these? Because "if man does not dispose his own life, he cannot be led by Providence" (DP 210). The Lord cannot intervene except through human means. That is why wars are allowed to happen: masked evils succeed, and then creep out from their lurking places. Once seen, they can be defeated. Then others can step in and correct them. Both the death camps of World War II and Iraq's atrocities in Kuwait became known only after they succeeded to some extent.


     So we ought to pray for the New Church. Why? Because if a steady stream of men and women thirst for light and pray for truths and for the New Church, it will grow without hubbub or hubris.
     How then does the church grow? What establishes the church? "It is not doctrine that establishes the church" we read, "but the soundness and purity of doctrine" (TCR 245, emphasis mine). What does this mean? It means that the first task of every reader of the Writings is to find out what the Writings actually are saying. It does not matter what we think they are saying. What we think they say may put the actual message in jeopardy. Instead, we have to clear our mind just to let the truth sink in, the truth the way it is, not the way we want it to be.
     The Writings say that "everyone wishes to appear perfect, and so changes the laws of doctrine in his own favor" (AC 6705, emphasis mine). For example, if we hear an uncomfortable truth, don't we switch it around so it won't show us up? The Writings say we do, and perhaps we blush at the truth of it.
     So our first act of seeing any truth is to lift it up toward the Lord, the Author and Source, thereby letting some dress of our own understanding fall off. "The soundness and purity of doctrine establishes the church." Only when doctrine has shown us to our place, so to speak, can we bring it down into our bosom and live by it.
     The priesthood is inaugurated to help this process, since the "priesthood is the first of the church" (AE 239). What is one of their tasks? "What is new cannot enter until the falsities have been rooted out, and this will take place with the clergy, and so with the laity" (TCR 784, emphasis mine). So the priesthood leads the way in removing falsity among themselves, then in the laity.
     If we all work together in charity, then we reach for a lovely egalitarianism before doctrine: It existed in the Ancient Church, namely to call someone "brother" if he lived in charity, no matter how much he differs in truths.


"One fellow instructed the other in these truths,. . . nor did they become indignant if one did not agree with the opinion of another, for they knew that everyone receives as much truth as he is in good" (NJHD 9).
     Perhaps here at an assembly, that ancient egalitarianism before pure and sound doctrine will come by praying for the New Church. And since you yourself are the closest person to pray for, and the Lord needs someone to volunteer to do His will, you can therefore pray that the Lord will use you in establishing His church. Use Isaiah's words: "Here am I! Send me" (Isaiah 6:8). And if you feel you don't know enough to do that, don't worry: just pray for truths and you receive them without any work of your own! It almost amounts to an experiment. Perhaps you could see if it works.
     Next month we move to another positive DO for the New Church.

FOUR ORDINATIONS       Editor       1992

     On June 7th, Bishop Peter M. Buss officiated at the ordination of four candidates. Inaugurated into the first degree of the priesthood were Simpson Darkwah, who is returning to Ghana, Mauro de Padua of Brazil, who will take up work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Goran Appelgren of Sweden, who will work in England. Les Sheppard was ordained into the pastoral degree, and so wears a blue stole. This is because he will be serving as a pastor in Australia under the aegis of a sister organization, the Australian Association of the New Church. See the photograph on the next page.


     [Photo of Simpson Darkwah, Mauro de Padua, Peter Buss, Leslie Sheppard, Goran Appelgren]



CORRESPONDENCES       Editor       1992

     There is a committee devoted to the study of the science of correspondences and its use in education. It is called simply "The Correspondence Committee." In August of 1991 it held a seminar, and the proceedings (50 pages) are now printed and are being made available for no more than the cost of postage and handling. Write to Box 717, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009.
     In the June issue we mentioned some of the writers. Here are some selected quotes. An article on the Academy Museum says, "The museum itself has now changed. It has moved to more impressive housing. The collections have grown and been properly organized. But above all it is alive and constantly being used. The excitement embodied in the museum is inspiring more people all the time. But the mystery is still there. How could it help but be, in the halls of a castle?
     "The grand invitation over the doorway of the New Church is that we may now enter into the mysteries-but not that they are simply now gone. The power of the mysteries is that they keep going on, no matter how far we enter into them. At the heart of mystery dwells the Lord. He reaches out to us through the mysteries, but we never pierce through to the center ourselves. What we need is to find and keep the drive to continue entering. . . .
     "There can be nothing static about the New Church. My impression of the Church as I was growing up was of an establishment dedicated to the status quo, an establishment trying to convey a fixed and already complete body of knowledge. We must show the students in our charge that what is known is but a small drop in the vast ocean of what is yet to be known, that to learn is to take part in a process that is continually new. The newness of the New Church and its doctrines is a living, on-going process, not some event frozen in history. Let us teach correspondences not as a dead set of equivalences, but as an organic, living, exciting mystery."


     Another article says: "Quantum mechanics offers a number of what I consider to be highly correspondential examples of doctrine. One such example from quantum mechanics deserves a great deal of thought from New Church teachers. It is now a well-established scientific fact that matter and consciousness are in some way mysteriously interwoven. . . . Since all human activity involves correspondence, obviously we use correspondence in education all of the time. But what I am suggesting here is a more conscious and deliberate attempt to use the power of correspondence in reaching young minds with the beauty of the Lord's truth. For example, story telling which consciously employs correspondential symbolism to teach life lessons, or point out moral issues, or even simply to entertain, seems an appropriate avenue for teachers to pursue. This was the delight of delights in the Ancient Church, and we are informed that the Ancient Church and the New Church are similar in internals. Perhaps we could do much more with story telling and story writing in teaching correspondence."
     An article by Aubrey C. Odhner concludes as follows: "Fresh air from the Second Coming has caused some torches to flare up and inspire secular scholars and our own young people to take renewed interest in occult studies, perhaps because it revives the heretofore dormant human hope of the reality of the spirit. We must meet the candle-lit processions and relay their torches with rationally developed presentations of that Science as we understand it.
     "We need to share with them, speak their language and learn from them what they understand about the process of thinking and mythologizing. We need to enlarge our own awareness of the importance of correspondence in the internal process leading to the perception of truth. We need to understand better how the Lord operates on the soul and mind which are immediate correspondential representations of His Image, as the Organizer of data and the Spirit of Meaning, the One who is Meaning Itself. 'He causes truth to shine' (TCR 349)."



BE DISCRIMINATING       Editor       1992

     (Excerpts from the Doctrine of Charity)

     47. If you are choosing one among ten for the performance of some service, do you not inquire into his will and understanding?
     51. Whoever does not distinguish the neighbor according to the quality of good and truth in him may be deceived a thousand times, and his charity become confused and at length no charity. A man devil may exclaim, "'I am a neighbor: do good to me." And if you do good to him he may kill you or others. You are placing a knife or a sword in his hand.
     52. The simple act thus. They say every man is equally a neighbor, and that they deem it no business of theirs to search into his quality; but God looks to that; I may only render assistance to a neighbor. But this is not loving the neighbor. He who from genuine charity loves the neighbor inquires what the quality of a man is, and does good to him discreetly, and according to the quality of his good.
     53. Such simple ones are withdrawn and separated in the other life; for if they come among diabolical spirits they are allured to do good to them, and to do evil to the good. These spirits cry out, "Set me free! Help me!" This is the greatest strength which the evil acquire. Without help from and, as it were, conjunction with them, they have no power at all; but with them whom they have deceived by the name of neighbor, they are strong.
     54. Genuine charity itself is prudent and wise. Other charity is spurious, because it is of the will or of good alone, and not at the same time of the understanding or of truth.


Editorial Pages 1992

Editorial Pages       Editor       1992


     Last November we ran an editorial on a fine book about angels. We have since had input from readers indicating the existence of several books on this subject.
     Our attention has been called to a paperback of some 185 pages entitled, Do You Have a Guardian Angel? And Other Questions Answered about Angels (Mamre Press in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 4th printing 1991). The book is put together simply. The writer, John Ronner, has used a number of sources, and it is gratifying to see that Swedenborg gets some attention. On page 29, for example, we read that "there are thousands who would agree with the world-class scientist and mystic of the 1700s, Emanuel Swedenborg, who wrote: 'I am well aware that many will say that no one can possibly speak with spirits and angels as long as he lives in the body. . . . But by all this I am not deterred, for I have seen, I have heard, I have felt."
     The bibliography is particularly interesting. It is headed: "Books an Angels & Related Subjects." No book of the Writings is mentioned. But here are some of the books that are mentioned.

     Angels and Men by Ladislaus Bores, Seabury Press, NY, 1977.
     The Angel Book by Ann Cameron, Ballantine Books, NY,1977.
     A Dictionary of Angels by Gustav Davidson, Collier-Macmillan, Toronto, 1967.
     Angels, Angels Everywhere by Don Gilmore, Pilgrim, NY,1981.
     The Blessed Angels by Manley Hall, Philosophical Research Society, Los Angeles, 1980.


     All About Angels by Leslie Miller, Regal Books, Glendale, CA, 1976.
     God's Angels Need No Wings by Claus Westermann, Fortress Press, 1979.

     It is a shame that books by New Church writers are simply unobtainable in the world generally. One thinks in particular of the books by Dr. H. L. Odhner such as The Spiritual World or Spirits and Men, with its chapter on guardian angels.


     There is a phrase in the Writings relating to prayer that has been translated in various ways and gives rise to these comments.
     One recent translation of Heaven and Hell 222 mentions "finding time for prayer," an excellent phrase to think about in the 1990s. Did people in Swedenborg's day have trouble finding time too?
     In George Dole's translation it is "making time for prayer." In John Elliott's translation of AC 952 we read of setting time aside for prayer. And there are other good renderings.
     Speaking very literally, the phrase of two words implies vacating or emptying out for prayer (vacare precibus). When I phoned an erudite nephew about this, he took delight in the phrase. He suggested that two things may be involved here. First you have to make room on your schedule, find or make the time slot. Then you have to make room within yourself, clearing out the things in your mind and heart that get in the way.
     Which of these two do you find easier?



APPRECIATION       Rev. Lawson M. Smith       1992



Dear Editor:
     I really appreciate the three lay studies by V. C. Odhner, Ben Pendleton, and Don Barber recently published in New Church Life. I learned something from each one; and more than that, their love of study and reflection on the Word is an inspiration. Charity, the heart of a true church, does not consist in being "nice" to other people (though that's often involved). Charity is to act on principles drawn from the Word so that the Lord may guide our lives. So personal reading and reflection on the Word by everyone in the church will always be essential.
     Study of the Heavenly Doctrine by laymen as well as priests has been the hallmark of the General Church since it began. I am very glad to see lay study and spiritual growth groups all around the church flourishing today. Lay-led study groups will become even more important as we go forward, if our outreach efforts bear fruit, and if our budgets continue to tighten. In a day of specialists, it's great to see that laymen do not regard study of the Word as a priestly specialty.
     Ben Pendleton's article especially instructed me. I don't remember ever thinking about the miracles done by the Lord's touch as a sign of the glorification of His body. His point about the Holy Spirit, the Divine Breath, resurrecting His body is fascinating. And I appreciate the connection between Thomas' acknowledgment of the Lord as God and his chance to touch the Lord's wounds. Surely the sensual in each of us will always need those stories in John and Luke as a basis for a heavenly sight of the Lord as God-Man.
     But, alas, I'm afraid Mr. Pendleton's and Mr. Odhner's studies further confirm the teachings of the Writings about heredity: I hear echoes of their ancestors' renowned studies of the doctrine of the Lord.


     Thank you, Ben, Carmond, Don, and other laymen all around the church.
          Rev. Lawson M. Smith,
               Mitchellville, Maryland

ON THE THIRD DAY?       Rev. Daniel Fitzpatrick       1992

     Dear Editor:
     One of the more subtle traps one can fall into in regard to the development of doctrine in the New Church is when specific practices or rituals become accepted as "doctrinally sound" and then begin to take on the authority of the doctrine upon which they were originally based. I have in mind here the practice of holding resurrection services on the third day after a person's departure from this world. While I have no objection to this practice in itself, I have been unable to find any reliable doctrinal basis for our current practice, apart from the statements that a deceased person is awakened "on the third day" after the death of the body. (One could argue over the meaning of the "third day," but I will leave that for another time.) Obviously the use of the memorial service is primarily for those who remain here on earth.
     I was first struck by the lack of doctrinal foundation for this practice of holding memorial services on the "third day" while working in Stockholm. Practices in Europe in general obviously differ from those here in the United States. But in regard to the timing of resurrection services the difference is rather striking. It was not unusual for families to wait anywhere from one to three weeks after the person's decease before holding a service. This practice made me examine my own interpretation of the doctrinal basis for the timing of memorial services.


     Let me here make clear that I am not in any way questioning others' interpretation of when to hold a resurrection service for someone dear to them, nor am I questioning current practices on either side of the Atlantic or among various societies of the General Church. But I do believe that we need to keep clear for ourselves and our children, and young people especially, the difference between doctrine, derived doctrine, and practices based on the interpretation of them.
     It seems to me that, lacking a firm basis in the doctrine which would necessitate holding a memorial service on the "third day," we as a church could be quite flexible when it comes to the timing of these services. This would be quite desirable in cases where relatives must travel long distances or make unusual arrangements, especially with their employers. Even with the hardship or bereavement fares which are currently available from most major airlines, travel on short notice is quite expensive.
     I see no reason why a memorial service could not be held on the "third day," only that it is not necessary to hold it at just this time.
     The doctrines we possess do provide for a great deal of flexibility in interpretation and practice while unflinchingly putting forth the principles of Divine truth. The doctrinal integrity of our rituals and practices can never exceed the integrity of our understanding of the Heavenly Doctrines. Therefore we cannot ever afford to let our "traditional practices" or man-made derived doctrines obscure the depth and breadth of the Lord's Word and its living role in our minds and hearts-and hopefully our daily lives.
     Rev. Daniel Fitzpatrick,
          Lake Worth, Florida



VIEWPOINT ON ABORTION       Ben Dettinger       1992

Dear Editor:
     The sound of silence emanating from the New Church in regard to the issue of abortion has reached a deafening level in my ears. I can no longer remain silent.
     How sad I am to compare this inexplicable silence on the part of my new church to the continued stand being vocalized against abortion by my old church. It is, however, my belief that the inflexibility of that stand helped foster the occasionally justified rebellion that, with an excessively over-compensating pendulum swing, has helped carry us into the present insane age of selfishness.
     My old church, you see, put abortion in the same category as murder. Obviously, abortion belongs in the same category as killing. When we read the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," we understand it to mean, "Thou shalt not commit murder" (since killing can, under certain circumstances, be justifiable). When we rightly see abortion included in this commandment, we understand it to mean abortion on demand (since abortion can, under certain circumstances, be justifiable). Unfortunately, my old church failed to understand the Scripturally justified permission for abortion to be used to save the life of the mother or to allow a rape victim the right to cut off the seed of an enemy within her. Truly women (and men) rebelled mightily at this unsupported usurpation of a woman's basic right to choose her course of action freely.
     My new church, unfortunately, seems to have confused a woman's right to be left in freedom in the case of abortion on demand. Women should, indeed, have the freedom to choose or reject justifiable abortion. But, in regard to abortion on demand, women (and men) should not be kept in freedom (ignorance is never freedom) from definitive church teaching that abortion on demand is murder. For, "if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare for the battle?"


     Is it possible that the New Church cannot see that life begins at conception? Or is the New Church simply being confounded by the same type of egocentric, ivory-tower-dwelling theologians that have led past churches into falsity?
     I would like here to adduce but one natural example of how clear this issue should be. In order to do so, let us temporarily turn our thoughts to the sport of boxing. In order to eliminate cheating, many complicated systems (models of obfuscation) have been devised and tried, to determine the winner of a bout. They remain glaring failures. If, however, we asked the average ten-year-old boy to watch the fight, he could invariably pick the true winner. Obviously, however, this is merely natural perception on the part of a boy (or man).
     Man has, however, a deeper, spiritual perception that allows him to determine whether a thing is so. What unbiased man cannot know that there is a God? What man cannot know that murder is wrong? (Likewise, abortion on demand.) In addition, man's spiritual perception enables him to know whether a thing is so upon hearing it. When, at last, the Writings permitted me to understand the Trinity, I realized that I had found truth, In like manner, what unbiased woman cannot know, upon being told, that abortion on demand is murder?
     Nonetheless, I shall herein offer some proofs for my contentions. Conspicuous will be the absence of any quotations from the Writings (although wisdom from the Writings and the first two revelations will be liberally drawn upon). The reasons for this are twofold. As a newcomer, I cannot claim to have read the Writings in their entirety-yet. It would therefore be presumptuous of me to try to offer quotations to a long-time church member (for my proofs). Nonetheless, I have found nothing in the Writings that contradicts my assertions. Nor have I found anything to contradict the original source of my assertions (the Old and New Testaments). Nor will I find anything in this newest source of truth to contradict the first two aforementioned sources.


I know this to be so, since I know the central truth of the Writings to be Truth Itself. And all other truths contained therein must adhere to this central truth (that Jesus Christ is the one God of heaven and earth). Secondly, I wish to speak to the spiritual perception of each reader.     
     For centuries, Bible-based Christian churches have unequivocally opposed abortion on demand, deeming it as murder. The wisdom of this stand becomes obvious as one reads the Old and/or New Testament with wisdom, searching for wisdom. One reads thus (with wisdom) when one strives to separate what is meant to be taken literally, not so literally, or even not at all literally. One exercises even greater wisdom in his/her reading when he/she humbly searches for wisdom from the Lord therein, and doesn't attempt to distort it with his/her feeble human wisdom.
     Even civil authorities have long opposed abortion on demand as murder in order to foster a civilized nation. What nation of any value will long endure where the disregard for human life extends even into the womb? The recent riots in Los Angeles and other such revolting news are indicative of the depth to which we have sunk, and are disturbing harbingers of how far we might yet sink (maybe even to the very bowels of hell).
     On a more pleasant note, what woman reflexes to the growing life within her abdomen as "my fetus"? Does she not pat said abdomen, lovingly, knowing that it is merely the temporary home of her baby?
     In the Bible we are taught that the Lord God sees us in the womb and knows what type of person we will become. To God, for whom all is in the present, we are, from the moment of conception, what we will ultimately become. I can assure you, truly, that Jesus loves the littlest children (in the womb).
     In the New Church, we are taught that the soul is passed on by the father. With that being the case, how could the soul be added at a time later than conception? At that time, the growing baby already has the potential to become all that he or she can be (or to choose not to).


If we determine a person to be a person only if he presently possesses the combined dualities of free will and rationality, where will such distorted thinking lead? Will Alzheimer patients be aborted in their old age? For, while we can expect a person in the womb to exhibit these qualities in a short time, it is possible that some old people will never exhibit said qualities again (in this world). Will the severe and profoundly affected person be considered a non-person and eligible for after-birth abortion? How about a totally autistic child? It is obvious that, if Swedenborg were here today, he would be horrified at the misuse of the Writings that allows abortion on demand to remain uncondemned.
     When Jehovah God sent Himself into the world, He did so into a Human. Could the one God of heaven and earth ever have been the soul of what was less than human? Could what was less than human ever become human? The answer to all of this is obvious. Life begins at conception! We are a person, soul and body, from the moment of conception.
     If the New Church will not recognize this, what are we to assume happens to those conceived and then aborted before they achieve the combined qualities of free will and rationality? Please tell me that the New Church is not attempting to relegate such ones to a limbo-type existence such as was reserved for the unbaptized in my former church. Such totally unGod-like inequity was the initiating point of my eventual departure. I know that these aborted children are now being raised by the Lord through the angels of heaven. If the science of correspondences seems to indicate otherwise, it is merely an indication that our knowledge of this science is at best infinitesimal. Finally, who can deny that even the third revelation, which sheds so much longed-for light on the first two, will probably never be fully understood before a person is admitted to heaven, if then?
     Finally, we are lowering ourselves and becoming unfit for heavenly life when we stand silently and allow this present-day holocaust (that is even more insidious than the Biblical slaughter of the innocents) to go uncondemned.


The latter was fueled, primarily, by the selfishness of one man. The former, however, is being fueled by the selfishness of mankind and enacted upon the victim by her who should be his/her greatest protector-his/her mother.
     As I sat in church, totally unable to concentrate on the sermon, I knew I could not let Mother's Day 1992 pass without speaking out. The sermon seemed, somehow, drowned out by the cries of the innocent that no one seemed to hear. Please join with me in speaking out for the rights of our purest neighbor-the unborn.
     Ben Dettinger,
          Hatboro, Pennsylvania

PRIEST AS A WATCHMAN       Freya H. Fitzpatrick       1992

Dear Editor:
     A recent sermon preached in our society helped me crystallize some thoughts regarding the priesthood of the General Church.
     The sermon stated that the essential use of the priesthood is to lead people to heaven by teaching truths from the Word. The truth, not the priest, is to lead.
     I think the General Church needs to take a serious look at how it evaluates its priests, Many members of the church and priesthood are becoming more open to what the outside world has to offer us in many areas, including church growth, counseling and support groups, leadership and management skills, and more. I think this is wonderful. I think of this as borrowing from the Egyptians, which is something God commanded Israel to do.
     However, I believe we must critically evaluate tools and techniques in light of what the Word teaches-in this case, what it teaches about the priesthood.


What makes an honest, good priest is for the priest to know, study, research and teach the truth. Many tools can enhance this use. For instance, leadership courses suggest identifying and cultivating desirable personality traits and eliminating undesirable ones. That seems reasonable; it seems similar to self-examination and reformation, which our doctrines clearly support. On the other hand, lessons in persuasive speaking are suspect. Dynamic public speaking, presenting the truth in a voice full of expression, may well enhance a person's ability to receive the priest's message. As TCR 155 explains, a good priest preaches with a zeal that is outwardly gentle, placid, thundering and glowing. Persuasive speech, however, does not seem appropriate, given the teaching that a person can make his own only that which he receives in freedom.
     Another popular concept in leadership is that a leader must sell himself to get the audience to believe in him and trust him. I do not believe this idea is congruent with what the Word teaches. Of course we want our priests to be honorable, and therefore credible, but deliberately or unintentionally encouraging people to follow oneself, as the priest, to me is a form of persuasion, in addition to violating the principle that truth, not the priest, is to lead.
     As the sermon which I read stated, "In the New Church the leadership of the priesthood is not to be a personal leading, but a leading by the clear and unambiguous teaching of truth from the Word." This means we must evaluate the merit of a priest based primarily on his study and understanding of truth, and his use of truth to lead others to heaven. The priest's personality, charisma, speaking ability, ability to administer, to run support programs, etc., are secondary. TCR 154 and 155 point out that the gift of the Holy Spirit and enlightenment from the Lord are manifest in each priest according to his particular state of mind. This means that what priests do and how they do it is going to vary greatly.


The importance of various "secondary" qualities in a priest will change from one era to another, from one society to another, from one person to another.
     I would urge members of our church to look first at a priest's understanding of truth, his commitment to the study of truth, and his clear presentation of truth to lead others to heaven. When we select a pastor, when we communicate our feelings about a priest to the bishop, when we tell the theological school what we think they should be teaching priests, we must put aside our personal preferences; we must not be inappropriately swayed by current trends in leadership training; we must consider first the necessity of our priests' understanding and teaching truth.
     I believe there is evidence that our church has to a certain extent become enamored with the popular priest image. In the past ten years there have been examples of priests whose main interest has been research and study who have nevertheless been expected to assume primarily a pastoral role, or a role as a principal, for instance. Some have managed to do well in these positions; some have finally found a home in scholarship positions; others have been shuttled from pastorate to pastorate; and still others have been left with little option but to leave the active ministry. This is not to say that all our good scholars have been driven out, nor to say that all the priests who are no longer active were great scholars who were never recognized.     
     The point is, I believe we have in many instances been focusing on the "secondary" qualities in a priest, not on his clear understanding and teaching of truth. I've heard the excuse that we are a small church and at this time can't support priests who have strengths in only certain limited areas. Yes, we are small. Yes, financial constraints are real. What I am urging is that in making these tough decisions, a priest's proven commitment to the study and clear presentation of truth should be the primary criterion, and charisma and other secondary qualities should be the secondary criteria in evaluating him. As stated in Coronis 18, " . . . [A] church is a church from doctrine and according to it; without it a church is no more a church than a man is a man without members, viscera and organs. . . . "


And in AC 769, "There can be no church without doctrinal things."     
     We, as a church, need to evaluate our priests primarily on their understanding and teaching of truth. In defining their training and their job descriptions we need to provide time for study and research, not fill up all their time with evangelization, support groups, administration meetings, etc. In placing priests, understand that each man's enlightenment will be manifested differently from others', and those who are clearly scholars should be prized and appropriately placed. Perhaps it may seem that our tight budget doesn't allow for the luxury of priests sitting around studying instead of "doing something"; however, the existence of our church does not allow for us not to provide for our scholars and for scholarship, that is, for the study of truth.
     Freya H. Fitzpatrick,
          Lake Worth, Florida

OUR UNIQUE CONTRIBUTION       Laurel Odhner Powell       1992

Dear Editor:
     Consider what our church could really, practically, offer to the world that other churches don't.
     Worship one God? Moslems do that.
     Make sense? Every religion makes sense to somebody.
     Help people with problems? Mother Teresa, Salvation Army, even radio preachers and talk shows do that.
     Save souls? Any religion can do that! (See AE 1179-80, DP 322, TCR 536, etc.)
     One reason we've been slow to evangelize is that the Writings do show us the value of other religions, and we don't see the rest of the world as condemned.
     But this could be the key to an evangelical potential that we've hardly even begun to recognize: we may be the only religion that has the ability to value, and thus to reconcile and weave together, all the different religions of the world.


Listening to Christian radio stations, talking to a friend exploring teachings of Yoga and Hinduism, and reading a letter from a lady who teaches Quaker First-Day school all heightened my awareness recently that every religion has something in it that is necessary for our salvation-not just, I now see, something in it that can save those raised in it, but something in it that other religions don't have that the human race as a whole needs for its salvation (see DP 326).
     When we let go of pride and love of dominion, we can see our organization as an instrument for forming the New Church rather than as being the New Church itself. When we look around us with humility and love, and appreciate the good our neighbor churches are doing, I imagine us gathering the leaves of the tree, healing all the breaches among the religions of the nations, and helping the Lord weave out of them a great wreath or Crown of Churches.
     And we need this healing to save this country.
     May God give us the humility and energy to do His work.
          Laurel Odhner Powell,
               Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania

DWELLINGS OF ANGELS       Editor       1992

     The dwellings of angels are in heaven, to all appearance separate from the places where people on earth live; but the angels are still present with human beings in their affections for good and truth.
     Last Judgment 9
     (From the new translation by John Chadwick)



ORDINATION       Editor       1992

     Lindrooth-At Stockholm, Sweden, April 19, 1992, David Hutchinson Lindrooth into the second degree of the priesthood, Rt. Rev. Peter M. Buss officiating.


     The Latin was first published by Dr. J. E I. Tafel in four volumes in 1844. Tafel's reading, though surprisingly accurate for the speed at which he worked, left many problems in the text. That edition has been out of print for many years and until now has never been replaced.
     Dr. J. Durban Odhner of the Academy of the New Church has produced an entirely new, careful reading. It will comprise four volumes, with another two volumes devoted to the author's index. The first three of these six volumes are now available. The set of three is $135.00, and each single volume is $50. They are obtainable from the General Church Book Center, Box 743, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009.



ARCANA CAELESTIA       Editor       1992

     by Emanuel Swedenborg
of John Elliott's new English translation
is now available
     Hardcover postage paid $17.50
Softcover postage paid $13.50
     P.O. Box 743, Cairncrest               or by appointment
Bryn Athyn, PA 19009                    Phone: (215) 947-3920


Notes on This Issue 1992

Notes on This Issue       Editor       1992

Vol. CXII     August, 1992          No. 8


     Notes on This Issue

     In Revelation 12verse 6 it is said that "the woman" fled into the wilderness. This is about the New Church "at first among a few," and there is reference to provision meanwhile that it may be among many "even until it increases to its appointed state" (AR 546, 547). In this issue we begin a major study on the implications of the church and the wilderness.
     Rev. Alfred Acton says, "If you are counting, I have now mentioned five groups of gentiles." "Which ones are the most likely for conversion into the New Church and which ones least likely to receive the Writings?" You will find questions raised in this study and specific answers suggested.
     In January of 1983 we published a list of Scripture tests used in sermons in New Church Life between 1959 and 1982. In this issue (page 379) we take this through 1991.
     In the June issue (p. 270) we referred to "the existence of a small New Church group in Lvov." See the news about this on page 370.
     The new translation by Dr. David Gladish of the work Conjugial Love is entitled Love in Marriage. We are printing pages of this new translation in this issue. See the note by Dr. Gladish on page 358.
     It is interesting that Swedenborg deliberately employed an unusual word for "zeal" in the original work. Rev. Mark Carlson explores this and calls it "God-given energy to protect love from attack" (p. 369).


     Charter Day is October 16th. Tickets for the banquet on October 17th may be obtained from Mrs. David Roscoe, Box 707, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009 (phone 947-4200). Details coming in September issue.




     From the Church with Few to the Church with Many

I. Preamble

     The purpose of this paper is to look at what the Writings say the church should do in order to leave its wilderness state, the time when it is with the few, and begin to approach its prophesied fullness when it will be with many (see AE 730a). What tasks must the church accomplish for this change to happen? What kinds of people must we "target" if we wish to work with Providence in spreading the church? As I understand it, the Lord's Providence cannot work apart from people (see DP 210). People either enter into the Lord's work or thwart it. They cannot remain neutral. We need to ask ourselves as a church whether we are doing what is necessary to work with the Lord in establishing His church. Obviously our answer to this question must begin with an attempt to hear from the Lord what He wants us to do. My purpose is to undertake this attempt.
     In undertaking this I have made two assumptions. First, I am assuming that the spread of the New Church to many will be a spread of the church to gentiles. Just who these gentiles are will be discussed. Second, I have assumed that the transition for the New Church from few to many will be similar to the transition described historically in the Old Testament when the Hebrew people left the wilderness and entered the Holy Land. Before this event could happen certain "wilderness tasks" had to be accomplished, and a new leader, Joshua, had to replace Moses. I will describe four basic wilderness tasks for the Children of Israel although more could be added. I believe similar things need to happen in our church before the New Church can be with many.


II. Church Cycles in Relation to the New Church

     The Rev. Carl Th. Odhner in his book The Golden Age1 notes that each of the four previous churches has developed in a similar manner. He cites the Coronis summary of these parallel developments as follows:

      1 Carl Th. Odhner, The Golden Age, The Academy Book Room, 1913, pages 16-26.
     I.      In each church there have been four successive states or periods, in the Word called morning, day, evening and night (see Cor. 5).
     II.      In each church there have followed four changes of state, of which the first has been the appearance of the Lord Jehovih and redemption, and then its morning or rise; the second has been its instruction and then its day or progression; the third has been its decline, and then its evening or vastation; the fourth has been its end, and then its night or consummation (see Cor. 6).
     III.      After its consummation or end, the Lord Jehovih appears and performs a judgment upon the men of the former church, and separates the good from the evil, elevating the good to Himself in heaven, and removing the evil from Himself into hell (see Cor. 10).
     IV.      After this the Lord Jehovah establishes a new heaven from the good elevated to Himself, and a new hell from the evil removed from Himself; and He induces order upon both, that they may stand under His auspices and obedience to eternity (see Cor. 14).
     V.      Out of this new heaven the Lord Jehovah derives and produces a new church upon the earth, which takes place by means of a revelation of truths out of His mouth or out of His Word, and by means of inspiration (see Cor. 18).
     VI.      This Divine work, as a whole, is called redemption, without which no man can be saved, because without it he cannot be regenerated (see Cor. 21).


     Mr. Odhner continues, "To these general laws of analogy we may add the following:

     VII.      In each church, just before its consummation, there has been a temporary reformation, as a protection to those who could still be saved, and as a preparation for the new church to come.2
     2 Following the analogy to a day I like to call this stage of a church's cycle the stage of Moon rise. The moon produces only cold reflected light which seems to fit the kind of reformation described; e.g., Luther's faith alone as cold light reflected from the New Testament. Other reformations include that of the church Enoch in the Most Ancient Church, the Hebrew Church in the Ancient Church (others can be added for specific locals of the Ancient Church, e.g. the reform of Ikhnaton prior to the end of the Ancient Church in Egypt which is described with Pharaoh's destruction in the closing of the waters of the Red Sea), and the reform of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Jewish Church.
     VIII.      Each new church had its rise among the remnant of the former church, but in fullness it was established among Gentiles who had not been contaminated with the evils and falses of the perverted Church.3
     3 Examples of this remnant include the church Noah for the Ancient Church; the church established by Eber for the Jewish Church; Mary, Joseph, the Apostles and other early Jewish converts for the Christian Church; and presumably the Protestant founders of the New Church.
     He goes on to trace this analogy through the four previous churches, concluding with a consideration of the Church of the New Jerusalem. First he tells how that church began with the giving of the Writings. He continues, "Gradually a few disciples were gathered, but as soon as the presence of the New Church was perceived in the world of spirits, the crew of the Dragon began its assaults. Persecutions from without soon gave place to more insidious attacks from within the ranks of the New Church itself.


All the heresies and all the evil forces from the dead churches of the past will unite in the endeavor to devour the woman with the Man Child, but their assaults will be vain, for the Lord has come in the power of His glorified Human and will remain with His New Church forever. Human organizations in the New Church may have their rise and decline, but the New Church itself will never pass away, for the Divine Truth of the Word has been revealed in a form so rational and self-evidencing that it can never be extinguished among men who have eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts to be kindled by the fire of Divine Love.
     "This New Church will at first, and perhaps for ages, remain among a few in the Christian world, but as these few remain faithful to the Light, and pass it on to their posterity, the church will gradually increase among many, who in each successive generation will come into clearer and purer light and life. And in time this Light will come also to those who now are gentiles, and among them it will be established in a fullness and glory of which we as yet can have no conception. It will then become on earth what it is in heaven."
     In general I accept Mr. Odhner's outline. However, there is a teaching which states that every church began with gentiles.

Be it known further, that when any church becomes no church, that is, when charity perishes and a new church is being set up again by the Lord, this is effected rarely if ever with those with whom the old church has been, but with those with whom there was no church before, that is with the Gentiles. So was it done when the Most Ancient Church perished; for then the new church called "Noah," that is, the Ancient Church which was after the flood, was set up among the Gentiles, that is, among those where there was no church before. So too when this church perished; then a semblance of a church was instituted among the posterity of Abraham from Jacob, thus likewise among the Gentiles, for Abraham when called was a Gentile (see n. 1356, 1992, 2559); and Jacob's posterity in Egypt became still more Gentile, even to such an extent that they were absolutely ignorant of Jehovah, and consequently of all Divine worship. After this church had been consummated, the Primitive Church was set up from the Gentiles, the Jews being rejected; so too will it be with this church, which is called Christian.


The reason why a new church will be set up by the Lord among the Gentiles is that they have no principles of falsity contrary to the truths of faith, for they are ignorant of these truths. Principles of falsity imbued from infancy, and afterwards confirmed, must be shaken off before the man can be regenerated and become a church . . . . As the Gentiles are in ignorance, and are free from stumbling-blocks [or difficulties], they are in a better state for the reception of truths than those who are of the church; and all those among them who are in the good of life receive truths easily (AC 2986; cf 3898).

     What seems to be the case is that every church in its first generation or so begins with a remnant from the former church, but its initial growth, still with the few, is with gentiles; e.g., Eber in relation to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Moses after learning from Melchizedek in relation to the slaves in Egypt; and the first acceptance of Christianity by some Jews in relation to the work of Peter and Paul.
     Since children of those converted to the church and so not imbued with falsities are gentiles,4 I think it fair to say that those of us here who were raised in the church began our lives as those gentiles with whom the New Church has been established.


Of course, when we entered the church we ceased to be gentiles. So, although the New Church when it goes to the many will go to gentiles, the church with the few also is a church established with gentiles. This is why the Writings when they use the term "church of the Gentiles" are usually referring to the primitive Christian Church, a church still with the few (see AC 231, 367, 931, 1551, et al.).
     4 That children are either like or exactly like gentiles see AC 2280, 3986, 9809:11, AE 1179, SD 5747. There are several numbers that make a distinction due to inherited evils (cf. AC 788:2, 5518, CL 338, TCR 521, 835, SD 480), but note that a patent who rejects the falsities of the former faith changes the nature of the inheritance passed on to his offspring, and that a parent who regenerates to a certain level does the same thing. (Cf. TCR 103, AC 310, 313, CL 202.) This is demonstrated by the case of Luther, whose upbringing affected the nature of his spiritual life (see TCR 796:4). I conclude, as did those who founded the Academy, that infants and children are gentiles, who by a right upbringing enter into the New Church.
     The early history of a church will have two phases running somewhat concurrently, the collecting of the remnant from the former church, and, although with few, the building of the church with gentiles while in the wilderness. This is why the teaching from the Apocalypse Explained (730a) already cited also states that the church in the wilderness is the church among the gentiles.5
     5 A third use of the word "wilderness" is also given in that number, namely, a state or period of temptation. I shall refer to this aspect of the church with the few later.
     In addition to Mr. Odhner's analogy concerning the growth of the New Church I would add two other corollaries which are both based on number 784 of the True Christian Religion:

     Corollary I. The New Church on earth will grow in relation to the growth of the New Heaven.

     I believe this teaching does not mean a growth of proportionate numbers but proportionate states. The New Heaven began to be populated with the completion of the first draft of the True Christian Religion when the Lord sent out His apostles to proclaim the new gospel. All the "souls under the altar," the good people of the former Christian Church, as well as all children who had died since the crucifixion, at that time began to enter into that heaven, but this entrance could not have been instantaneous. Their changes of state would necessarily be marked by the passage of time here on earth.


More importantly perhaps is the fact that instruction needs instructors, people who understand the nature of the Writings. These instructors seem to have come at least in part from people who had embraced the New Church on earth, a possible reason for the fact that most early converts were professional people, although access to the Writings at that time also clearly demanded considerable education. However this may be, it seems clear that it took earthly time to amass the necessary teaching force.
     Beyond these considerations is the question concerning whether or not gentiles who are in the other world will leave the gentile heavens and enter into the New Christian heaven, which, if our answer is yes, would again demand the passage of earthly time. In this connection ask yourself whether the description of heaven repeated at the end of the True Christian Religion in a somewhat altered form from that given in the Continuation to the Last Judgment describes the New Heaven as to form. If so, the gentiles are on the circumference of that heaven. If not, this heaven will increase as they enter into it. I have found no direct answer to this question.6 If the answer is yes, it would seem that such increase would be last in time, assuming that the work went from the center to the circumference. Under these circumstances we would expect the church on earth to begin with Protestants, move on to Catholics, then to Muslims and at length to Africans, Asians, and the people of the Indies, which is approximately what has happened with the exception of the Muslims. But however we look at this question, it still seems that the growth of the New Heaven would take time and that the church on earth necessarily will also need time to increase.
     6 AC 2595 notes that gentiles can enter heaven in one night while Christians can barely do this in thirty years. But the question stands, "What heaven are they entering?" See LJ 51 which looks as if they can, versus many that set them at the outermost ring. Certainly gentiles of the Ancient Church are still in their heaven since that heaven was judged at the crucifixion (see HH 322).


     Corollary II. The New Church will grow only as it rejects the falsities of the former faith.

     As I see it, the church has made no concerted effort to look beyond those falsities directly exposed in the Writings. In a paper delivered to this council [the Council of the Clergy] last year, "Paradigms of Revelation," I tried to examine falsities of the former faith concerning the nature of revelation, noting three forms of falsity which I think we must reject. I also once suggested that the early General Church attitude to birth control was founded on a Catholic falsity which saw natural order as perfect rather than perverted by the introduction of evil uses. Have we accepted Victorian Protestant views as a part of our culture, and, albeit unwittingly, confirmed them as a part of our faith? Have we not for some time accepted a Victorian attitude to roles of women and the world of work, as well as the Protestant work ethic in relation to useful service? The nineteenth century seems dominated by faith alone, which wants to separate the understanding from the will. It is not surprising to see the culture of that century as well as earlier faith-alone-dominated centuries also separating men and women. Are not many of us now reacting to a new set of cultural forms simply from tradition without really looking for the falsities in those new forms or the falsities being exposed in our traditions? Are our forms of church government also based on falsities of the former faith? Surely the Catholics fell as they accepted the concept of a high priest in the form of a pope. Have we somehow allowed our attitude to the executive bishop of the church to fall into this mode? Certainly Bishop Benade seems to have seen himself in such a role.
     Can we name other falsities which we must expose in our own thinking if we expect our church to grow?


It seems to me we must make the endeavor. How else can we as priests promote the soundness and purity of doctrine, our special charge?
     When we consider this analogy, it seems clear that conversion of a new group of gentiles brings the church to many. However, when the church is with few, some gentiles other than children of those in the church are converted. These gentiles can come from three groups, all of whom are called gentiles: the unchurched from the Christian world; Catholics, or Christian Gentiles; and others whose faith is non-Christian. Such gentiles converted to the New Church are analogous to "sojourners" or "strangers within your gates" in the Jewish Church.7 As directly commanded concerning these people, there should be but one law for all who embrace the truths of the Lord's New Word.
     7 Cf. AC 1463, 8007, 8013, 8560.

III. Definitions: Who are gentiles?

     If you are counting, I have now mentioned five groups of gentiles: (1) Gentiles in heaven, some of whom at least will remain where they are;8 (2) children who are not imbued with the falsities of the former church; (3) the gentiles with whom the church is first established; (4) Christian Gentiles or Catholics who in simplicity worship saints and who do not have the Word; (5) all those who are not Christians, including many living in the western world, the "unchurched." This last group-those who are not Christians-can be subdivided in several ways.


It can include non-Christians who belong to the church universal, those now satisfied with their faith, as well as the children of those gentiles as yet unconfirmed in their religion but learning it; gentiles who are not part of the church universal and who are longing for truth; and also evil people who are nominally in some religion or religious persuasion.9 In another context this group can be divided according to those who know of Christianity in its cruel, heretical form, and those who do not.10 Still other subdivisions are noted in the Writings: The Muslims, who aren't described as gentiles because they have something of the Word, are still gentiles of a special type in that they are non-Christians. The Jews who became gentiles and those Jews by birth but not by religion who have accepted something of their heritage "by circumstance" are another. The Africans, Asians, people of the Indies and Americans (see DP 330:7) are still others. The Chinese are also specifically mentioned as a group of gentiles.


Most of these groups of gentiles have some truth with them from the Ancient Word, or through an influx from the Ancient Church's heaven, but in other passages it is pointed out that this truth is civil and moral, not spiritual, which makes profanation with gentiles impossible. The Writings link the people of the Ancient Church with gentiles, although once this was not the case since once they were the church specific. We might want to ask how long it takes to make people who were of the church specific gentiles once a judgment has happened? How long will it take for all Christians to become gentiles?11 Finally there is a small group of people who "have no religion" who appeared to Swedenborg in the other world as apes. These people are said to be living on islands.12
     8 Cicero, for example, is specifically mentioned as a gentile who is in heaven. He lived before the crucifixion and so belongs to the ancient heavens. He is still labeled a gentile. It is interesting that he could talk with Swedenborg with Christians who were in falsities present, but that he didn't wish to be associated with them even though he accepted the fact that the Lord had come on earth. See AC 2592, HH 322.
     9 I see Marxism as an ultimate Christian heresy, a heresy which has denied the life after death and so dreams of making heaven on earth via a totalitarian (god-like) state. It seems this heresy is a permission on the order of Islam, permitted in order to wipe out still worse forms of paganism. Marxists who have not really considered for themselves the issue of whether there is a God or not, such as those raised in a Marxist culture, by this logic become a group of gentiles, although atheists by definition are not.
     10 In our world almost all gentiles know of Christianity; however, another distinction in this subdivision could be observed as that between those who think in the languages of Christendom and those who do not. True Christian Religion number 813 states, "a common genius reigns everywhere among peoples of the same language." The English also have a similar "disposition" which keens them "closely attached" to one another, and due to their laws regarding freedom of speech and of the press have a special light. These observations demonstrate that disposition and culture as well as genius determine one's background. (Cf. TCR 807-808.) I conclude from these numbers that one's language and culture as external reflections affect the quality of one's gentile state.
     11 Here see note #4.
     12 Many, many references exist for each of these groups. I have not included all by any means.
     (1)      Gentiles in heaven-CLJ 75; EU 120; AC 5256, 7977, 8013; SD 4593, 4676, 5263.     
     (2)      children-see note #4.
     (3)      the gentiles with whom the church is first established-AE 721b, AC 2913.
     (4)      Christian Gentiles or Catholics-AC 3447, 3667, 5235, 5432,10046, AE 955, 1118, SD 5266, 5407.
     (5)      Non-Christians:
           a.      gentiles of the church universal-AC 932, 3767, 3778, 3993, 7975:8, 9198, EU 120.
           b.      their children AC 1992, 2180, SD 1994, 3537, 5776.
           c.      evil gentiles who are non-Christian-AC 859, 1093, 4169, 5828, 5895, 5954:8, 9192, SD minor 4603.
           d.      Uninstructed gentiles-AC 2284, SD 213, 413, 1194.
           e.      Africans, Asians and the people of the Indies-AC 1118, 26022604, 2606, 2868, 4783; HH 326; DP 330:7; SS 105; TCR 107:9, 268, 840; LJ post 120, 124; De Verbo 39, 40; SD 4676, 5811, 5946.
           f.      The Chinese-AC 2596, 4325; LJ Post 132; SD 3066.
           g.      The people of the Ancient Church-HH 322.
           h.      People living on islands-TCR 274; SD 5355.


           i.      The unchurched-AR 110, 484; AE 714c.
           j.      Gentiles touched by Christianity-AC 916, 2597; HH 325; AR 34; TCR 183; LJ post 118; SD 4401.
           k.      Jews as gentiles-AC 2547, 2986, 3858; AR 10.
           l.      Muslims-SD 3066, 5264.
     (6)      Gentiles can't profane-AC 3757, HD 172, or when instructed, only lightly-AC 6971.
     (7)      Truths with gentiles are not spiritual-AC 1366, 2049, 3271, 4190; AE 1179:2, 1180; SD 4697.
          (8)      Gentiles have truths from the Ancient Word but by tradition-AC 3723, 4936, 8944; WH 4; SS 117; De Verbo 16.

IV. Gentiles and others who either are or are not good candidates for conversion.

     Of all these gentile groups, which ones are the most likely for conversion into the New Church and which ones least likely to receive the Writings? In general I believe people who have not effected a marriage of good with truth (in whatever form) for their lives are the most likely to enter into the New Church, while people in evil, people of the church universal who have effected this marriage, and the children of gentiles who have accepted the persuasion of parents, teachers and the like, are poor candidates. Other extremely poor candidates are confirmed "dragonists" and "Babylonians," people who believe in faith alone and dominion.
     People of the church universal include people of the church specific and both gentiles and good Christians. In the book of Revelation these latter seem to be those described as the "earth" (spiritually a church), which helped the woman by swallowing up the water the dragon spewed forth. In other words there are many good Christians who simply pay no attention to the heresy of faith alone, and practice Christian charity as taught in the New Testament. These good people have effected a marriage of good and truth in their lives, thus becoming a church.


They are satisfied with what they have and are unlikely to change, perhaps to eternity. (See footnote 10 concerning Cicero.)
     The Writings specifically say that the relation of the church specific to the church universal is like the relationship of the heart and lungs to the rest of the body.13 Using this analogy, conversion of church universal people is as likely as the heart or lungs converting the big toe to their functions. A further argument against the convertibility of confirmed gentiles rests on the fact that gentiles exist in heaven as gentiles although these gentiles have easily been instructed, more easily in fact than some Christians. Swedenborg did append the description of heaven to the True Christian Religion after the New Heaven was formed. There were gentiles in this description. If gentiles remain gentiles in heaven even with angelic instruction, why should we expect to do better? Who else can these gentiles be but those who have married good and truth in their lives on earth, that is, the gentiles of the church universal? Of course some of the people of the church universal will see the marriage they have effected shattered by natural circumstances. These gentiles, along with those who have never effected the marriage, particularly young people, will be ready to receive the New Church, provided there are no other stumbling blocks. Recognizing that people of the church universal are not good candidates for conversion does not take away the church specific's responsibility to these people. It exists with angels in heaven as well as with the church. In fact, the Writings indicate that these heart and lung functions for the church on earth happen today through the heavens. Angels in consociation with the church specific relate to angels in consociation with the church universal, allowing an influx of love and light which keeps them spiritually alive.
     13 Cf. AC 9276:5; HH 308; AE 351, et al.


     My belief is that as the church grows, these functions will come from without as well as from within. We of the church specific will have more contact with the church universal via different organizations to which we belong as well as via letters to the editors on various issues, books, published articles, etc., and by our church's life of charity, which with size will be seen by many. This interaction will not produce conversions from the church universal but will help to meet the responsibility we have to that church. Many of us have participated in inter-faith groups where we have been able to state our unique views, allowing our light to shine. Many people by contacts with their friends have also let their love show. Light and love are the substance of lung and heart functions. Although we should not expect conversion from these involvements, we can rest assured that we are performing a vital use to the church through our participation, provided, of course, we do not hide our light and love in a false spirit of fraternalism.
     In this context it is well to remember the danger of such interaction as well as its real benefit. The danger is described in the story of Joseph with Potiphar's wife. You recall how she used Joseph's own garment to condemn him. The Arcana Coelestia, in discussing this story, notes two kinds of truth, truth natural and truth spiritual. Truth natural, Potiphar, is conjoined to natural good, Potiphar's wife, here called hereditary or adventitious good, which longs for oneness with spiritual good. Joseph clothed can work for Potiphar despite the daily allurements of his wife. Spiritual truth can work well with natural truth making it prosper, as long as natural good is not actively seeking conjunction. A New Churchman from the perspective of the Writings can see ways of doing good which aid those in natural truth to achieve their goals. Two states of plenty are described, with Joseph being described at that time as most attractive. But there came a time when Potiphar's wife finally compromised Joseph. He fled, leaving his garment behind. There may well come a time in our interaction with the church universal when we will be in danger of losing our own good by allowing ourselves to be enticed by natural good.


Then we must flee. However, our garment, the truths from the Word we used to lead toward spiritual good, may well be left behind and used to accuse us of immorality.14 In our interactions with the good people of the church universal we must beware lest we compromise the truth with us. Such compromise also is very possible in our dealings with all gentiles. We guard against compromising spiritual truth in our desire to grow, although we must accommodate it. One of our problems is that what appears as accommodation to one person seems to be compromise to another. To see the difference, look at your motives. Are you leading by bending or are you accepting?
     14 Example: We may well work with others in helping the poor. We can join in the letter of the Word (natural truth) in so doing. But when we are not helping the spiritually poor, when in fact we see no discernment in the practice of charity, we may have to flee from the endeavor leaving the truth of the letter behind to accuse us. The desire to help the poor at all costs, the natural good, will be what seeks to seduce us. For many that natural good may be as simple as the desire to be liked. (See AC 4988.)
     The dangers are there. They are real. But, of course, all genuine endeavors are coupled with dangers. We in the church specific have a "heart and lung" responsibility to the church universal which is quite important. We need to accept this role. In the past I think some have confused this role with what has come to be called "permeation." These two things are not the same, in that conversion is not a goal when working with the church universal, while it is with permeation.

     (To be continued)




     Part II

     I pray that each of us will acknowledge that "varieties . . . contribute to the perfection of the whole. For then, through charity the Lord inflows and works in diverse ways, in accordance with the genius of each one; and thus, both in general and in particular, He disposes all into order, on earth as in heaven. And then the will of the Lord is done, as He Himself teaches, as in the heavens so also upon the earth" (AC 1285:3).
     There is a variety of all people and things from creation such that no two things are exactly the same, nor will be to eternity. This variety has its origin in the infinity of God the Creator, and is something good to be encouraged and loved in conjunction with the doctrine of freedom.
     Variety and diversity are apparently used as synonyms in all but two passages. "By varieties here are meant differences between things of one kind or of one species, and also between genera and between species; and by diversities here are meant differences between things that are in the opposite" (CL 324). The variety of good things is called variety, and the varieties of evil things are sometimes called diversities.

     Origin of Variety in Creation

     Variety originates in the infinity of God.1 He is infinite and in Him are infinite things; otherwise He would be infinite in name only.2 The infinite things in God-Man, the Lord, are one distinctly, or distinguishably. Nevertheless, the infinite things in the Lord are all one and indivisible.3
     The infinite variety of things in the Lord can be seen as in a mirror in the infinite variety of things in creation, all of which are from the Lord.4 The infinite variety in creation testifies to the infinite things in the Lord.


The one only substance of the spiritual sun, the first of creation, presents the varieties of all things in the created universe.5
     There is an infinite variety of all created things, and will be to eternity. There will never be two things exactly the same. "In God-Man there are infinite things which appear in heaven, in angels, and in people, as in a mirror . . . " (DLW 21). "An image of the infinite and eternal is apparent in the variety of all things, in that no one thing is the same as another nor can be to eternity. The eye beholds this in the variety of human faces ever since creation; in the variety of minds, of which faces are types; and in the variety of affections, perceptions and thoughts, for of these the mind consists. In heaven, therefore, no two angels or spirits are the same, nor can be to eternity. The same is true of every object to be seen in either the natural or the spiritual world. Plainly, the variety is infinite and eternal" (DP 56:2).
     "There can never be a substance, state, or anything in the created universe the same as or identical with any other, neither in atmospheres, nor in lands, nor in the forms arising out of these. Thus not in any of the things which fill the universe can any thing the same be produced to eternity" (DLW 318:2). "This infinite variety would be impossible except from an infinity in God the Creator" (TCR 32:1, 2, 6).6

     Variety Is Manifested According to Reception

     The infinite variety in the Lord is one but is manifested in the variety of creation according to reception. Each angel, person, or thing is finite and receives the infinite in a finite and limited way, therefore manifesting only that part of the infinite it receives. Each receiving vessel, be it an angel, person or thing, is a unique form created to receive and manifest the Divine. To eternity no two receiving forms will be exactly alike. The Lord creates this variety of receiving forms so that the infinite variety in Himself can be manifested in creation. In this sense we are taught that all variety springs from the recipient subjects, which are created by the Lord.7


     Since there is infinite variety in the Divine and there will be an infinite variety of receiving vessels to eternity, the Lord will manifest Himself in creation in a growing variety of ways to eternity, eternally increasing and perfecting His infinite presence in creation. Variety in creation is the means whereby God will become more and more closely conjoined with heaven and earth to eternity. This variety is in Him and at the same time in those receptive forms which are created from Him.

     Variety of Human Beings

     Each human being is a unique created vessel for receiving life-love and wisdom, or good and truth-from the Lord. Simply being created makes each one of us different from all others. If we were exactly the same as another we wouldn't be ourselves. This fact of creation in itself makes for an infinite variety of human beings.
     The Heavenly Doctrines explain one way the Lord provides for the infinite varieties of people. "Regarded in itself good is one, but it becomes various by means of truths" (AC 4149:2). Truth is the form of good. Every person's mind is formed by means of truths. Such as the truth is, such is the reception of good. But truths are innumerable, and every person forms his mind with a unique set of truths. This causes the form of each person's mind to be unique.8
     Furthermore, truths form a person s mind in accordance with his state and his life.9 Even if two people learn the same truths, the consequent effect in forming their minds is varied by the slate of each person and how he applies those truths to his life. There is an infinite variety of states and their progressions, so that even if two people are in the same state when they learn truths, the states that led to that state and those which follow will be various. Consequently, the effect of the same truth is various with each individual, forming each one's mind to receive good from the Lord in a variety of ways depending on his state and his application of truth to life.


     Since, then, there is an infinite variety of forms of minds in people, there is consequently an infinite variety of reception of good. Thus there is an infinite variety of goods, generating an even greater variety of people.
     Thankfully, the Lord organizes and orders our minds. "It is however to be understood that the Lord disposes truths into order in accordance with the good of the person's life" (AC 9174; see also AC 5147:2, 3241:2, 3; 6628; HH 56; DP 190:3). Imagine trying to organize your mind, trying to figure out where to put your knowledges and memories, how to connect your thoughts and affections together! Impossible! But the Lord does that for us. "The mind of one is never altogether like that of another, but that great as is the number of people, so great is the variety in respect to affections and thoughts" (AC 4149:2). No two people can ever have the same affection or thought because the forms of their minds are varied, even though there may appear to be similarities.
     The infinite variety of good loves and truths can also be said of their opposites, evil loves and falsities. These also have the effect of variously forming people's minds according to their states and applications to life.

     (To be continued)

     1 LJ 13; HH 48; AC 2789
     2 DLW 17, 18, 21, 22, 155; AC 10261; TCR 160
     3 Deut. 6:4; AC 3035; 10261; HH 469
     4 DLW 21
     5 DP 6, 190; DLW 155, 173, 178, 300
     6 DLW 19; DP 562, 57; AC 4043, 9176e
     7 TCR 6, 8, 154, 365; DLW 54, 128; AC 1285, 3744, 3890, 4206e, 6472
     8 DP 279:6, 7, 9; DP 319; AC 2189:2, 3; 3986:2; 4043; 4149:2; 4263; 5147:2; 6326; 6337:2; 7236:2,3; 10261; 10334; HH 41, 51
     9 AC 4005:3, 5962:3, 7343; AE 654:15



LOVE IN MARRIAGE       David Gladish       1992

     This translation of De Amore Conjugiali was done in 1984 in the hope of providing readers of English a new, clearer text of the New Church's so urgently needed concepts about marriage and sex.
     Most readers, I think, will find that this translation is still fresh compared to those that preceded it, but tremendous strides have been made in the translation of Swedenborg's Latin in the eight years since 1984, and perhaps people on the cutting edge will find it less up-to-date than it was then. Those who are more conservative may find this translation all too radical. To me this shows one good reason why the revelation was given in a "dead" language: The Latin text is always there, like a clear spring, no matter what vessel we fill from it.
     David Gladish

     Samples of the Translation

     161 (5) The wife excites conjunction in the man according to her love, and the man receives it according to his wisdom. Men today do not notice that love and therefore conjunction are excited in men by women. In fact, they all deny it. The reason is that wives maintain that only the men love and they themselves receive, or that the men are the love and they themselves are obedience. And it brings joy to their hearts when the men believe this.
     There are various reasons why wives insist on this, and all the reasons have to do with the prudence and circumspection of wives. Something about this will be said later, particularly in the chapter about causes of coldness, separation, and divorce among married partners.
     The excitement or instigation of love in men comes from wives because men have nothing about them of married love or even love for the other sex, but it resides only in wives and women.


I saw living proof of this in the spiritual world. There was once a discussion of these things there, and the men, persuaded by their wives, maintained that they are the ones who love, and not their wives, and that their wives receive love from them. To settle the debate about this mystery, all women, including their wives, were removed from the men, and when they were, the very atmosphere of sexual love went away. With this gone, the men went into a very strange state of mind that they had never felt before. It made many of them complain.     
     Then while they were still in that state women were brought to them, and wives to the husbands, and they spoke to the men tenderly. But the men had become cold to their charms. They turned away and said among themselves, "What is this? What is a woman?" And when some of the women said that these were their wives, they answered, "What is a wife? We don't understand you."
     But when the wives became hurt, and some cried over this thoroughly frigid indifference on the men's part, the atmosphere of feminine sex and marriage, which was kept away from the men up to that point, came back. Then the men instantly returned to their previous state of mind-those who loved marriage into their previous state, and those who loved sex into theirs.
     This convinced the men that nothing of married love nor even of sexual love resides with them, but only with wives and women. But afterwards the wives, in their prudence, still induced the men to believe that love resides with men and that a certain spark of it can come across from them to the women themselves.
     This experience is brought in here to make it known that wives are loves and men the receivers.
     Men are receptive according to the wisdom they have-particularly this wisdom from religion: that only your wife is to be loved. This is obvious from the fact that when you love only your wife, the love is concentrated.


It stays strong, is steady, and lasts, because it is on a high plane. Otherwise it would be like throwing wheat from the barn to the dogs, creating poverty at home.
     193 (8) A woman really is formed into a wife according to the description in Genesis. In Genesis it says that the woman was created out of the man's rib and that when she was brought to him the man said, "This is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh, and she shall be called ishshah, woman, because she was taken from ish, man (2:23-24). In the Word the ribs of the chest stand for nothing other than truth on a worldly plane. The ribs that the bear carried in his teeth (Dan. 7:5) stand for this, because bears stand for those who read the Word in its worldly sense, and they see the truth there without understanding it. The chest of a man stands for something essential and particular that is different from what the chest of a woman stands for. This thing is wisdom (see no. 187 above). For truth supports wisdom just as a rib supports the chest. These things have this meaning because all human things are in the chest as in their center.
     These observations establish that woman was created from man by the transfer of his own wisdom, which comes from worldly truth. The love for this wisdom was transferred from the man to the woman so it could become married love. And it shows that this was done so there would not be self-love in the man, but love for his wife. She, on account of a natural inborn quality in her, can do nothing but change the self-love in a man into his love for her. And I have heard that this is done by the wife's own love, without the man or wife being conscious of it. This is why no one who has the pride of his own intelligence from self-love can ever love a partner with a real married love.
     Once this unknown fact about woman's being created from man is understood, one can see that similarly a woman is, so to speak, created or formed from a man in marriage, and that this is done by the wife, or rather through the wife by the Lord, who pours into women the inclinations to do this.


For the wife receives into herself the image of the man through taking his affections to herself (see no. 183 above) and through joining the man's inner will with hers. More about this follows. She also does this by taking the output of his soul into herself. More about this follows, too.
     These things make it clear that a woman is formed into a wife according to the inner meaning of the description in Genesis-by the things she receives from her husband and from his breast, and transfers to herself.
     194 (9) The wife works this transformation in unknown ways, and this is what it means by the woman being created while the man was sleeping. It says in Genesis that Jehovah God made a heavy sleep fall on Adam, so he fell asleep, and then He took one of his ribs and built it into a woman (2:21-22). The heavy sleep and the man's falling asleep stand for his complete unawareness that a wife is formed and in this sense created from him. This is clear from the presentation in the last chapter and also in this one about the inborn prudence and watchfulness of a wife not to let anything be known about her love, nor about taking the motives of the man's life to herself and in this way transferring his wisdom into herself.
     The explanation above (nos. 166ff.) shows that a wife brings this about with her husband unaware and as if sleeping-in other words, by hidden means. In that place it also shows that the skill to bring this about is inherent in women from creation and therefore from their birth, for reasons that are necessary to preserve the love, friendship, and confidence of married love, and thus the happiness of living together and productive life. So for this to be done right the man is told to leave his father and mother and cling to his wife (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-5). In a spiritual sense, the father and mother whom the man leaves mean his own will and his own intellect.


A person's own will is to love himself, and his own intellect is to love his wisdom. And to cling means to give himself over to loving his wife.
     (No. 193, above, and other places, show that these two things of his own are fatal ills to the man if they stay in him and that love of them both turns into the love in marriage as the man clings to his wife-i.e., receives her love.)
     (There are other passages in the Word that can sufficiently confirm that sleeping means being ignorant and unaware, that father and mother stand for the two things of a person's ownone associated with will and the other with intellect-and that to cling means to give yourself over to loving someone. But this is not the place for passages.)
     196 (11) The purpose is for both of their dispositions to become one, and thus for both of them to be one person. This is because whoever joins himself to someone's will also joins the person's intellect to himself. For, seen as what it is, intellect is nothing but the servant and attendant of free will. The feeling of love shows clearly that this is true. With a nod it sets the intellect thinking. Every feeling of love is a property of your will, for what someone wants he also loves.
     It follows from these things that whoever joins a person's will to herself joins the whole person to herself. This is why it is inherent in a wife's love to unite her husband's will to her will, for in this way a wife becomes her husband's and her husband becomes hers. So both are one person.
     532 I add to this a story.
     In spirit I was once whisked up into the angelic heaven and into one of its communities, and then some of the wise people there came up to me and said, "What's new from the earth?"
     "This is new," I told them. "The Lord has revealed unknown things that surpass the mysteries revealed from the beginning of the church until now!"
     "What are they?" they asked.


     I said that they are these: (a) That in all the things in the Word, including its details, there is a spiritual meaning that corresponds to the earthly meaning, and that through this meaning a person in the church is joined to the Lord and is in companionship with angels, and that the holiness of the Word resides in this spiritual content. (b) That the correspondences that the spiritual content of the Word consists of have been disclosed.
     The angels asked, "Didn't the world's inhabitants know about the correspondences before this?"
     "Not a thing," I said. "They've lain hidden for several thousand years now-certainly since the time of Job. And among the people who lived at that time and before it, knowledge of correspondences was the knowledge of knowledges. It gave them wisdom, because from it they had a grasp of things having to do with heaven and therefore with the church. But that knowledge turned into idolatry, so it was wiped out, thanks to the Lord's Divine Providence, and lost, so no one has seen a trace of it. And yet the Lord has now disclosed it to make a connection with Him for people in the church, and companionship with angels. This is done through the Word, where everything, including the details, are correspondences."
     The angels were very much delighted that the Lord saw fit to reveal this great unknown fact, so deeply hidden through so many thousands of years, and they said, "This is for the purpose of receiving the Christian Church, which is based on the Word and is now at its end, so it can be revived by the Lord through heaven."
     They asked if this knowledge discloses today what baptism and the Holy Supper-which there have been so many different opinions about till now-stand for.
     I answered that it is disclosed.
     I went on to say: (c) "At this day the Lord has revealed the facts about life after death."
     The angels said, "What about life after death? Who doesn't know that a person lives after death?"


     "They know," I said, "and they don't know. They say it's not the person but his soul, and that it lives as a spirit, and they foster a notion of a spirit like a wind or atmosphere, and that the person does not live until after the Last Judgment Day. And they think that then the parts of the body left behind in the world will be gathered again and put back together into a body, even though eaten by worms, mice, and fish, and that this is the way people are resurrected."
     The angels said, "What is this? Who doesn't know that a person lives after death as a person, with the only difference that he lives as a spiritual person, and that a spiritual person sees a spiritual person just the way a material person sees a material person? And that they know not one difference, except that they are in a more perfect condition?"
     The angels asked, (d) "What do they know about our world and about heaven and hell?"
     I said, "They know nothing, but at this day the Lord has disclosed what the world where angels and spirits live is like-that is, what heaven is like and what hell is like. Also that angels and spirits are associated with people. As well as many remarkable things about them."
     The angels were glad that the Lord was pleased to disclose things like that to keep people from being in doubt about their immortality any longer due to ignorance.
     I told them further, (e) "The Lord has revealed at this day that there is a different Sun in your world than in ours, and that your world's Sun is pure love and our world's sun is mere fire. And that therefore everything that radiates from your Sun, because it is pure love, brings something of life, and everything that radiates from ours, because it is mere fire, brings nothing of life. And that this is where the difference between spiritual and natural comes from-a difference unknown till now, which has also been disclosed. This tells where the light that lights human intellect is from and where the heat that kindles the human will with love is from.


And besides, (f) it is disclosed that there are three levels of life, so there are three heavens, and the human mind is divided into three levels, and so a person corresponds to the three heavens."
     The angels said, "Didn't they know this before?"
     I answered that they know about levels between more and less but nothing about the levels between what comes before and after in order.
     The angels asked (g) if more things than those have been revealed.
     "Many," I said, "about the Last Judgment, about the Lord-that He is God of heaven and earth, that God is one person and essence with the Divine Trinity in it, and that He is the Lord-also about the New Church established by Him, and about the teachings of that church, about the holiness of Sacred Scripture. Also that the Book of Revelation has been explained, of which not one tiny verse could have been revealed except by the Lord. Moreover, about the inhabitants of the planets and the earths in the universe. Also many noteworthy and amazing things from the spiritual world. By all this many things that have to do with wisdom have been disclosed from heaven."
     533 Hearing these things made the angels very glad, but they noticed sadness in me and asked, "What's making you sad?"
     I said, "Those unknown things the Lord has revealed at this day are considered on earth to be worthless, even though they are more important, and are worth more, than the things everyone knew before."
     The angels were amazed at this and asked the Lord to let them look down into the world. They looked down and saw total darkness there! And they were told to write the unknown things on a paper and drop the paper onto Earth, and they would see an omen. It was done, and the paper with the unknown things written on it dropped from heaven, and on the way it shined like a star in the spiritual world, but when it fell into the natural world the light was diffused, and as it fell it was gradually lost in the darkness.


And when the angels dropped it into groups where there were scholars and learned people, some of them clerics and laymen, you could hear many of them muttering these words, "What's this? Is it anything? What does it matter if we know these things or not? They're someone's bright idea, aren't they?" And it seemed as if some of them took the paper, folded it, and rolled it in their fingers to rub out the writing. And it seemed as if some wanted to tear it up, and some seemed to want to stamp on it with their feet. But the Lord kept them from that outrage, and the angels were told to bring it back and guard it. This experience made the angels sad, and they were thinking, "How long will this last?" So someone said, "Until a time and times and half a time" (Rev. 12:14).
     534 After this I discussed with the angels something else the Lord revealed in the world.
     "What is it?" they said.
     I said, "It has to do with the real love in marriage and its celestial joy."
     The angels said, "Who doesn't know that the joy of married love surpasses the joy of all other loves? And who can't see that all blessings, happiness, and enjoyments that the Lord could ever bestow are gathered in that love, and that real married love is what receives them? It can receive them and feel them fully."
     I answered that they do not know this, because they have not approached the Lord and lived according to His teachings, avoiding evils as sins and doing good things. And the real love in marriage, with its joys, is only from the Lord and is given to those who live by His teachings-that is, it is given to those who are received into the Lord's new church, which is what is meant by the "New Jerusalem" in the Book of Revelation.


     I added to this that I am doubtful that they want to believe, in the world today, that this love is a spiritual love in its own right and therefore comes from religion, because they foster a notion about it that is purely physical.
     Then they said to me, "Write about it and complete the revelation, and then we'll drop the book written about it down from heaven, and we'll see if they accept the things that are in it. And we'll also see if they want to acknowledge that this love is in keeping with the religion in a person-spiritual in spiritual people, worldly in worldly people, and purely physical in adulterers."
     535 After this I heard a hostile murmur from those below and with it these words, "Do miracles and we'll believe."
     I asked, "Aren't these things miracles?"
     The answer was, "They are not."
     "So what are miracles?" I asked.
     "Disclose and reveal the future and we'll have faith."
     But I answered, "Heaven does not grant things like that, because to the extent that a person knows the future his reason and intellect, together with his prudence and wisdom, fall idle, go numb, and collapse." And again I asked, "What other miracles shall I do?"
     They shouted, "Do miracles like the ones Moses did in Egypt."
     To this I answered, "Maybe you'll harden your heart to them like Pharaoh and the Egyptians."
     The answer was, "No, we won't."
     But again I said, "Promise me you aren't going to dance around a golden calf and worship it as the descendants of Jacob did within a month after they saw all Mount Sinai on fire and heard Jehovah Himself speaking from the fire-in other words, after a miracle that was the greatest of all." (The spiritual meaning of a golden calf is physical pleasure.)
     The response from below was, "We won't be like the descendants of Jacob."


     But then I heard this spoken to them from heaven. "If you do not believe Moses and the Prophets, that is, the Word of the Lord, you'll not believe on account of miracles any more than the descendants of Jacob in the desert, nor any more than they believed when they saw with their own eyes the miracles the Lord did when He was in the world."


          Part III

     The misconception about marriage that partners should not express disagreement or fight over issues leads to a fifth misunderstanding. If partners should not express disagreement or fight over issues, then it must also mean that anger has no place in a relationship, and that if it does come in, the relationship is in real danger, This is a very common misunderstanding, and unfortunately a devastating one.
     I remember one of my first supervisors telling me that he would much rather work with a couple that was really wound up with their anger toward one another than a couple who just sat there and unemotionally wondered what had gone wrong with their marriage. I could hardly believe what he was saying. For one thing angry people scared me, and I was personally much happier working with the more passive kind of couple. But experience has confirmed his statement. Strong, active anger in a couple is a much more positive sign that things can improve, because it means that "feeling" is still alive within and between the partners. In addition, the anger gives the therapist something to work with and a clear place to begin that work.
     We might wonder how it is that anger works to improve a marriage.


In order to see this I think we need to recognize that there are two kinds of anger, and they appear alike in externals and even feel much alike to one who experiences them (see CL 363). Blood pressure goes up, adrenalin pumps into our system, and we feel energized and ready to run or defend ourselves from attack. The anger that works to improve relationships is the anger the Writings more properly call "zeal," or love burning (CL 358). This anger is God-given energy to protect love from attack (see CL 359). We often think we are angry with our partner when really we are zealous with our partner. Our partner is doing something that threatens our love, and the Lord gives us this energy to deal with the situation to stop the attack. What we frequently get wrong, however, is that usually we think it is our partner who must change to halt our sense of being attacked, but as often as not, it is we who need to change; we have misunderstood something, or our sense of what is loving is infantile.
     Zeal stops its thrust and returns to a charitable and loving state when the attack is dealt with because it contains love and friendship within it (see CL 365). True anger, on the other hand, contains within it hatred, and nurtures itself from the delight of vindictiveness. It does not stop when the perceived attack is withdrawn, but continues on, desiring to be justified and made right while the partner is made wrong. If allowed to go to its ultimate goal, it would seek total control of the partner, which is, of course, the partner's spiritual death. Obviously, this kind of anger is not helpful in marriage.
     The Writings tell us that "zeal" in marriage is the zeal of zeals, and is to be called by a new name, zelotypia, which is the very type of zeal. I am convinced that it is this zelotypia that married partners are so often afraid of or interpret as a harmful thing and therefore repress it, or avoid giving it expression. But this is the God-given energy to improve the relationship, the stuff that marriage counselors love to see alive and well in a couple because it means their love is still alive!


Close behind honest anger/zeal is honest love. Much to the amazement of couples, zeal honestly expressed often leads to love honestly felt.
     The problem we have in our culture, and in our church, is that we have so few models for dealing with our zeal in effective, honest, and charitable ways. We see movies and TV shows in which anger is used to win an argument at another's expense. Our very system of justice is adversarial, and most if not all encounters with anger pictured in the media have winners and losers.
     The problem is that in marriage, and indeed in all relationships, when one person wins, both persons lose. We hear jokes about marital fights as though they are a distasteful side effect of marriage, when in fact they are the norm for working marriages.
     I believe that we in the New Church are called by the Lord to begin a spiritual quest to resurrect the rightful place of zeal in relationships, whether those relationships are between husband and wife, father and son, mother and daughter, employer and employee, or simply between friends. The Writings tell us about it and describe it, but we know virtually nothing about zelotypia.

     (To be continued)

NEW CHURCH RECOGNITION IN LVOV       Editor       1992

     In the city of Lvov in the Ukraine a young man named Alexander Vasiliev embraced the doctrines of the New Church. He has corresponded with New Church people (e.g., Rev. Fred Elphick in London), and in April he traveled to Moscow to meet Gorn Appelgren. On June 16th the newly ordained Mr. Appelgren received a letter in which Mr. Vasiliev said that the government has officially allowed the existence of a New Church group in that city.





     4. Sacramental Worship of One Visible God.

     A whole constellation of teachings will strike you as quoting Shakespeare: So this is where all those famous quotes come from:

     "Now it is permitted to enter with the understanding into the mysteries of faith" (TCR 508).
     "The spiritual sense of the Word is revealed to enable the New Church's real use and benefit of baptism and the holy supper" (TCR 700).
     "The Apocalypse must not be shut but opened, so that any may be saved" (AR 947).
     "Real Christianity is now beginning to dawn" (TCR 668, 700).
     "Unless this church arise, no one can be saved" (AR 9).
     "The Lord is approached directly in the New Church" (AR 476).
     "God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are acknowledged as one Person" (TCR 700).
     "The New Church worships one visible God, in whom dwells the invisible, as the soul in the body" (TCR 787).
     "This church acknowledges one God and repentance of life" (AR 9).

     These are touchstone truths whereby we gauge our New Churchmanship. But how do we apply them?
     There is not just one standard way of doing things, is there? No, each generation explores new ways to apply the doctrines. In worship there is the traditional cathedral type service, then the more relaxed, less formal services, no doubt in many of our societies.


     This same variety is found in various camps. I recall in the first British Academy Summer School that worship was quite "normal" and no one thought anything more about it. But upon returning years later to teach at the summer schools, I found that a form of evening worship outside somewhere had developed: a long procession with candles, an altar constructed of nature's offerings in a moderately wild setting, and students preparing prayers and singing to guitar, with readings to fit the hushed mood of reverence. Sometimes a lengthy silence added an almost tangible awe to the occasion.
     By now camps have proliferated. New Church members, families and friends either have a favorite camp to go to, or perhaps a favorite excuse not to go.
     These are externals; what about the internals? There are the following basic concepts: Christianity for the first time beginning to dawn; approaching the Lord directly; repentance of life; the sacraments of baptism and the holy supper; the necessity of opening up the Apocalypse. We are forever fixed to these internals. We can't do away with them. We will always have to explain the Apocalypse to each new generation. We have to introduce all to the idea of "entering the mysteries of faith, with the lamp of our understanding." Baptism and the Holy Supper will never be replaced: 10,000 years from now we will still be doing them.
     And above all, the Lord God Jesus Christ, Creator and Redeemer of universal mankind, is worshiped as the majestic, invisible Omnipotence, made visible in the Person of Jesus Christ, our Lord. He rose from the tomb. His Divine Human is now an essence by itself, filling the universal heaven (see AC 3061). He can reach everyone, forever. No one striving for it will ever again be denied spiritual enlightenment (see TCR 109, AC 3195, 2776, 4180).
     Here we find the core of the New Church: the Lord and worship.


     But what is worship? "Why do I have to go to church?" asks just about everyone. Because it serves a use, we answer. "Why do we have to serve this use?" Because of the third commandment: "Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy." The point is, we serve a use by worshiping the Lord.
     And the essential of worship is what? Charity. Remember, regeneration is one thing, worship another (see AC 10206). What did I just say? I said, regeneration is one thing, worship another. They are not the same. Going to church is not the same as regeneration. Yes, that is right: You are not regenerated just by going to church!
     Instead, you "come as you are" to church. Whatever state of regeneration, or lack of it, you are in, that is what you bring to church. We read: "Regeneration is first, and the worship is according to the quality of the man's regeneration" (Ibid.).
     Does that mean that the Lord accepts everyone "as you are"? Yes, but of course He may see embarrassing things were they to be known. Suppose the prophecy, "Whatever you have spoken in the ear . . . will be proclaimed on the housetops" (Luke 12:3), were re-enacted as you entered church. Imagine an angelic doorman announcing as you come in, "Mr. and Mrs. Lockhorn, fighting over a dentist appointment." Well, of course worship would stop! Therefore, regeneration is one thing, worship another. We in effect stop regenerating when we enter church. For church is not "life," is it? Life stops for an hour. You cannot do anything you wish, if you are over three, that is.
     That is what is meant in the powerful passage in Isaiah, "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My Holy Day . . . not finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord" (Isaiah 58:13,14-emphasis added). Turning your foot away from the Sabbath does not mean heading for the golf course instead! It means keeping external paraphernalia-the "foot"-from interfering with the use of church worship.


Clear the way for worship. Repent of that sulk in front of TV, and instead put your foot on the gas and head for church.
     Is this compulsion? No, it is the third commandment.
     This fascinating age-old problem is cast in oh-so-simple terms. We read: "The Lord does indeed demand adoration . . . from man, but not for [the Lord's] own sake, for the Divine has no glory from man's adoration. But when man is in adoration, he can receive good from the Lord. Therefore the Lord wills adoration in man for man's own sake, so the Lord can flow in with heavenly good" (AC 5957, emphasis added).
     And one law of Providence says we ought at times to compel ourselves to the things of religion (see DP 129). The nick is: self-compulsion equals the greatest possible freedom, since you really will to do what you make yourself do (see AC 1937, 1947).
     But how do you tell a teenager that? Well it depends on what kind of worship you are going to. At times it is in fact better to say, "Take the day off; you wouldn't enjoy it" than to drag them along-perhaps for the very last time. But later you aim at a special family service-'This one is going to be good. Come along." Yet in practice, worship is a non-negotiable item. We go and do it, and that's that.
     Camps of course solve the problem in an ideal way. And every assembly has its miraculous moments which last forever.

     Now a DON'T.

5. No Miracles

     The Christian Church was started by miracles, The New Church is not. We are perhaps a bit disappointed. Come on, admit it! How many would rather hear this address or see an angel? Well, it so happens . . . .
     To add insult to injury, we read, "Miracles seduce, and do not teach anything" (Inv. 52). No one was ever saved by a miracle. And here our comprehension kicks in: Were people were just healed.


Healing is not the same as saving. After healing someone, the Lord sometimes said, "Go and sin no more." What would be the point of saying that if the person were already saved?
     Miracles prevent salvation, prevent regeneration. This is something we must see, because the Lord is not going to prove it for us by doing a miracle that promptly destroys us! That would be tantamount to Faust's pact with the devil: enjoy miracles and perish!
     So the Writings explain: "Mediate revelation effected through the Word surpasses immediate revelation effected through spirits" (De Verbo 29). So the New Christian Church, we read, "is not being established through any miracles, as the former was. But instead of them, the spiritual sense of the Word is revealed, the spiritual world disclosed, the nature of heaven and hell manifested, also [life] after death. These things surpass miracles" (Coronis Summary L, LI; emphasis added).
     All right then. May we please have an experience such as Mr. Swedenborg had? That would do nicely. No, we don't deserve it. Just read Heaven and Hell.
     You see, no one becomes wiser by speaking with spirits and angels; rather the reverse! The reason is that spirits only use our own affections and thoughts. That is the rule. Once in a while one of their memories makes it across, and we remember something that has never happened, one of those deja vu experiences (see HH 256). But that is just a glitch. Spirits can only confirm what we already believe; they can't teach us anything (see De Verbo 29). So seances or meditation apart from the Word are useless for spiritual growth. Spiritual growth cannot be artificially accelerated beyond the pace of regeneration, which takes at least a lifetime.
     Many come to the New Church from a mixed background of spiritualism and reincarnation. Have we told them, "That's wrong"? Perhaps we scare away potential converts to the New Church.


In fact, reincaration is just a "flat earth" version of going to heaven. It can be reverted back into regeneration.
     A belief in reincarnation started even as the Ancient Church fell, around 2000 b.c. (Abraham lived around then). It is simply stages of spiritual progress to heaven, but minus a heaven to go to. (In the Tibetan Book of the Dead, reincarnation back to earth is a catastrophic failure to reach Dharma-Kaya or perfect union, and should be avoided at all cost!) As the Ancient Church lost contact with heaven, the Nirvana of the "inner self' became the substitute. So reincarnation is an ancient version of regeneration, minus a clear vision of heavenly life.
     The Ancient Church knew that regeneration was meant by the seven days of creation. These same seven stages recur when awakening from death: three stages of resuscitation from the dead body; three stages in the world of spirits (external, internal and preparation), and one to actually enter heaven. So the New Church can provide the missing pieces for reincarnation to revert into the original story: obey the Word in life here so that when you die, you end up an angel in heaven. Nirvana is heavenly peace.
     Likewise with spiritualism: your one and only open contact with the spiritual world should be when you die! Wait for it, because once you make that contact, it will last forever.
     So the New Church can provide a haven for followers of spiritualist endeavors. However, they need to accept the Writings, which surpass all miracles and replace all seances. Nirvana for the New Church members is assemblies, camps and other forms of contentment.

6. Contentment

     So, finally, contentment. What do we get out of being in the New Church? "Is it worth my while?"
     Yes, the New Church offers prizes for winners: join the New Church and what prizes do you receive?


Third prize, the good of life; second prize, spiritual peace; and first prize, bliss and conjugial love (see Coronis Summary LIII, AR 17, CL 43, 534).
     But unlike earthly sweepstakes, all members can win all prizes, while still here on earth to boot. In fact, the use of the priesthood is to "teach the truths of faith, and to lead thereby to the good of life." The good of life is the objective in all church activities.
     We have a challenge: "As in heaven so upon the earth." How do we bring heaven down on earth? One answer: by living longer. We live long enough both to get regeneration well under way, and to tuck into the task of establishing heaven on earth. What is the point of dying just when you are regenerate enough to go to heaven? Pointless waste: Stay with us to make a bit of heaven here before you go. Old people are needed: don't have your funerals quite yet! Give us of your wisdom and charm; set a wonderful example to grandchildren. Start repentance even! Of the four factors which explain why some live long and others not so long, the one which I feel speaks to senior citizens is, " . . . use, while in the world, to spirits and angels; for as long as man is in the world where all things in the spiritual world terminate, he is as to his interiors with spirits" (SD 5003).
     We have to provide a termination for heaven, and that is a use for old age.


How do we apply these six dos and don'ts of the New Church?

     1.      Strive to be affected by the internal when we are in an external. That means, think of the words of the Lord's prayer when saying it; think of the Lord when worshiping Him. Perhaps it also means next time we sing "Here's to our friends" we mean it sufficiently to sing it just once?


Does it mean hands out of pockets when singing "Our Glorious Church"? What should we look at while singing it? We don't want just to avoid eye contact. Perhaps someone could compose a new song with just one verse, and in harmony.
     2.      No investigation from below means seeing creation in the light of heaven, not vice versa. It means not only to respect the scientific principle but also to question doctrine, so you won't be bullied into the New Church. It also means not judging anyone from externals: can we learn the angelic trick of interpreting others' faults as though they were just oversights, not wicked plots discovered by us in the nick of time?
     3.      Prayer for service in spreading the church means praying for oneself to become better at representing the church. Pray to serve the Lord's use, and not to hog it, preventing others from sharing in it. Pray for the New Church, and pray for truths. Say, "Here am I! Send me." What do we have to lose? That which prevents us from doing missionary work is ignorance; and why should we prefer that?
     4.      Sacramental worship of a visible Lord. The standard form of worship service is now varied by new forms. Is there dignity? Innovations can kill the church (see AC 1241). Internals specify their own external. Inmostly there should be the Lord's Divine Human, especially in the Holy Supper. Reverence together with innocence does not preclude joy, but directs its forms: "New wine-skins for new wine."1
     1 Incidentally, one view has it that the wine used at the time of the Advent was not fermented.
     5.      No miracles means no short-cuts to heaven, only perfecting our ways of getting there. Miracles today are invisible and continual contingencies (see SD 2434). "Water turns into wine . . . " when contact with doctrine causes a change. We "live" our way to heaven.


     6.      And finally, contentment. There are little sign-posts along the road to heaven, easily missed, that things are well with us. True, we can't count our blessings; they are too ephemeral for accurate count. But we can know what a blessing is so that we can recognize it when it is past.

SCRIPTURE TEXTS USED NEW CHURCH LIFE: 1983-1991       Editor       1992

     (Vols. CIII to CXI)

Ch.      Verse      Year           Page           Ch.      Verse           Year      Page
           OLD TESTAMENT
                    Genesis                               Psalms
1      27      88           3           1      1          90      195
2      21      84           359           18      35           89           351
12      1      85           299           46      8, 9          91           291
18      3-5      83           371           61      2           90           291
29      9-11      85           3           95      6, 7           83           327
                    Exodus               100               85           475
16      13-15      83      503           119      30           86           329
17      2      86           240           139      1-6, 23, 24 87           391
          Leviticus                               Isaiah
25      9-11      86           295           6      8           83           3
                    Numbers                    64      8      84           3
14      8      86           387                               Jeremiah
24      5, 6      83           455           13      7           88           407
                               32      15 &
                    Joshua               33      10, 11      91           51
6      16      89           55                                   Ezekiel
                    Judges               18      21-24      89           303
16/21      83           43           21      5           88           311
                    I Samuel          11      1           88           515
1      10      89           535           2      16           89           107
                    II Kings                               Malachi
4      8      83           411           4      6           89           447


               NEW TESTAMENT                              NEW TESTAMENT
                Matthew                               John
5      16      84           255           1      14           88           223
5      38, 39 84           47           3      14, 15      83           83
6      13      88           271           3      27-29      88           351
6      14, 15 86           195           8      47           90           435
7      24      83           139           9      3           86           3
8      17      86           439           11      25, 26      86           51
10      16      91           195           12      12           90           147
12      25      89           155           13      34           85           343
13      44-46 85           55           14      6           87           3
17      7      86           159           14      9           83           227
18      7      89           487           16      13           90           3
23      25, 26 91           331           17      15           84           207
24      30      88           223           17      15-19      84           151
24      31      89           251           19      5           85           251
27      51      87           143           20      15, 16      86           107
28      2      88           91           20      17           85           155
28      19      84           99           21      6           88           175
                    Mark               21      18           89           399
1      17      88           135                               Revelation
7      15      84           415           1      1, 2          89           3
9      38-41 87           103           3      19           90           339
10      14      91           3           4      1           83           187
                    Luke               12      14           85           103
1      34      90           531           19      11, 13      83           279
2      10,11 84           531
2      11,12,16 83      503                          WRITINGS
5      23-26 87           195           AC 904           86           483
6      27      87           443           AC 8478:4           89           203
7      36      87           244           CL 75           88           459
9      55, 56 85           391           CL 180           91           243
11      4      87           55           TCR 69           83           187
16      20, 21 87           295           TCR 394, 403      88           51
21      19      90           99           TCR 779           89           3
                              DP 250           91           99


Editorial Pages 1992

Editorial Pages       Editor       1992


     Swedenborg arranged for two books of the Writings to be translated into English. A letter in the June issue quotes from the 1750 translation. It goes on to emphasize the importance of English translations, As English "has practically assumed the role of the world's lingua franca, it is all the more important to have available an excellent, faithful English translation of the Writings that can also be used by those who will be translating them into other languages." This is one of the reasons that the forthcoming translation by Rev. N. Bruce Rogers of Conjugial Love is so important. (Readers will note samples of yet another translation in this issue.)
     The Rev. Norman Ryder in England has been furthering the work of ascertaining what books of the Writings have been translated into what languages. In some cases languages have changed so much that extant versions are not adequate.
     Here is some information on the big picture in the fascinating language situation of our world.
     The top two languages are Chinese and English. Chinese has more than a billion native speakers (subdivided into five dialects) and English 350 million. But there is reason to believe that those who use English as a preferred second language outnumber those to whom it is the native language!
     There are eight other languages that are native tongue to more than a hundred million people. Here is the list (from Native Tongues by Charles Berlitz) in descending order:     

     Hindustani, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, German, Indonesian, Portuguese, French

     Two thirds of all scientific treatises and technical periodicals are printed in English. Sixty percent of the world's radio programs are beamed in English.


     English vocabulary is amazingly rich compared with other languages. There are about 100,000 words in the French language, 130,000 in Russian, and 185,000 in German. And English? According to Webster there are 450,000 words. But the Oxford English Dictionary lists 615,000.
     The English language is growing in its number of words and in the number of people who use it. In Shakespeare's day it was mother tongue to only five to seven million people and was outstripped by French, German, Spanish and Italian. "Today it has almost as many speakers as the four put together." This last sentence and most of the data above comes from The Miracle of Language by Richard Lederer (1991, Simon & Schuster).


     Can you imagine why the world needs a new Bible agency? The United Bible Societies forms a global umbrella that unites all national Bible Societies. Well, there are in the world sixteen other major Bible distributing organizations. These include Bibles International, Institute for Bible Translation, World Gospel Crusades and Pioneer Bible Translators.
     Last year a meeting was held in England in which all seventeen organizations were represented. They have called themselves the "Forum of Bible Agencies." They consider two main functions: Distribution and Translation. The chairman of the translation group said that with the massive task of making the Scriptures available in hundreds of languages "our supporters will not tolerate any duplication of effort. They demand good stewardship!"
     The secretary of United Bible Societies said, "The coming into being of the 'New Europe' has showed us just how urgent the task of Bible translation and distribution actually is." He urged new cooperation.



WOMEN'S WEEKEND       Editor       1992


     Subject: "Mary and Martha, the Practical and Spiritual Aspects of One's Life"; Date and time: Friday, October 2nd, 8:00 pm to Sunday, October 4th, 2:00 pm; Place: Cedar Glen, Bolton, Ontario. 30 minutes north of Toronto; Cost: $90 Canadian, a $20 non-refundable deposit requested by September 1501; Registrar: Mrs. Phillip Schnarr, c/o Olivet Church, 279 Burnthamthorpe Rd., Islington, Ontario M9B 124 Canada. There will be opportunity for elections, walks and talks, along with the schedule of presentations.
     The Midwest Women's Renewal Weekend will be held October 23-25, at the St. Joseph Retreat Center, Des Plaines, Illinois. Our theme will be "Relationships with God, Self and Others." Wendy Parry and Allyn Edmonds will be our workshop leaders. To register or for more information contact Amy Childs (708) 729-4397, 2700 Park Lane, Glenview, IL 60025 or Audrey Grant (703) 729-0180, 2344 Dewes St., Glenview, IL 60025.


1992 CHARTER DAY 1992

       Editor       1992

Vol. CXII     September, 1992     No. 9


     1992 CHARTER DAY

     All alumni and friends of the Academy of the New Church, and members and friends of the General Church, are invited to attend the 76th Charter Day exercises to be held in Bryn Athyn,
Pennsylvania, Friday and Saturday, October 16th and 17th. Highlights of the weekend are:

Friday, Oct. 16th      Cathedral Service           10:30 a.m.
                    Charter Day Dance           9:00 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 17th      Charter Day Banquet           7:00 p.m.

     Banquet ticket prices are: Adults $8.00 and Students $4.00. Tickets may be purchased by contacting Mrs. David Roscoe at the Academy switchboard, Academy of the New Church, P. O. Box 707-Benade Hall, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009; phone: (215) 947-4200. Tickets can be mailed to you (please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope), held at the switchboard for pickup by 10:00 a.m. on Friday the 16th, or picked up at the door Saturday night. In Bryn Athyn, tickets can also be purchased at the Development Office in Pitcairn Hall or at the college office in Pendleton Hall. Tickets will also be on sale in the Society Building before and after Friday Suppers.
     Checks should be made payable to the Academy of the New Church.

WOMEN'S WEEKENDS IN OCTOBER       Editor       1992

     The first one is in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 2-4; the second is in Des Plaines, Illinois, October 23-25. For details see the August issue, p. 384.



LORD WISHING TO GIVE       Editor       1992

     One of the beautiful numbers in the Apocalypse Explained is n. 248 expounding the words, "Behold I stand at the door and knock."
     The Lord is there in the patient endeavor to bring about change for the good in our lives. Does it matter that at first we are unaware of this reality? The passage says, "It does not matter if man does not know in the beginning that this is from the Lord."
     For many in the northern hemisphere the month of September is a time of new beginnings as the summer comes to an end. At such a time we can awaken or quicken an awareness of the wonder of the Lord's presence. The imagery of a door and of "knocking" is so apt.
     "As the word 'door' is used, so the word 'knocking' is used, which signifies the Lord's perpetual wish to conjoin Himself with man, and to communicate to him the blessedness of heaven. That this is the meaning can be seen from this, that in the Lord is Divine love, and Divine love is wishing to give all its own to others, and wishing that they may receive Him . . . . This desire to give these things to man and to implant them in him is signified especially by, I stand at the door and knock" (AE 248).
     If you follow the daily reading plan (copies of which are available from the Secretary of the General Church), this is one of the numbers you will be reading in the month of October.
     There are different ways of maintaining regular reading of the Writings. For example, some groups are forming this month for weekly discussions of scheduled readings. The daily reading plan remains one of the excellent means available.




     July 1, 1991, to June 30, 1992

     The year began with the transfer of leadership of the General Church to the new Executive Bishop. At a moving church service in the Cathedral on June 30, 1991, Bishop King preached, and then symbolically "passed the reins" of leadership to me by quietly placing around my neck the chain that once belonged to Bishop W. F. Pendleton, and which is now used in services of ordination.
     In July the General Church Board, many members of the clergy, and some other leaders of organizations in the church, met to give early advice to the new bishop on the work of the church. A number of the recommendations given have been implemented during this year, but of deeper importance was the counsel arising out of fifty people gathering and considering the future health of the church.
     One of the outgrowths of this meeting was a "Joint Committee" of the General Church Board and the Council of the Clergy. Its purpose is to give the bishop detailed counsel on all the affairs of the church. At times the bishop finds himself talking to the consistory in one room about uses, and then talking to the board in another room about financial and policy matters. By bringing the heads of our key committees together with some members of the consistory, I have tried to have one group which is fully informed about all aspects of the church's uses.
     This committee met through the year, and held its own seminar in early July, 1992. Four key aspects of the church's uses were discussed "Changes in the life and worship of the church"; "Recruitment, selection and training of ministers"; "Financial realities and setting priorities"; and "Plans for evangelization." We also heard a report from the Reverend Fred Schnarr on changes in educational approaches.


     Five key changes occurred in our ministerial placements. The Reverend Geoffrey Childs retired as President of the Academy, and became Bishop's Representative to Southern Africa, taking this position in his retirement. The Reverend Daniel Goodenough became the new President of the Academy, and the Reverend Brian Keith became Dean of the Academy Theological School. The Reverend Eric Carswell became the new Pastor of the Immanuel Church in Glenview, and the
Reverend Nathan Gladish became Pastor of the Pittsburgh Society. All these changes became effective July 1, 1992.
     In my first year as bishop I have worked to maintain the leadership initiatives developed by Bishop King, with whom I worked closely over the four previous years. He defined three particular priorities in his last five years: the support of our educational system, the development of evangelization, and translation of the Word for the New Church. The Office of Education is fully operative under the leadership of the Reverend Fred Schnarr. The Reverend Grant Schnarr is giving dynamic leadership to our evangelization uses. Under the Reverend Alfred Acton our translation activities are progressing well, with advanced work on translations of Conjugial Love (soon to be published) and The Spiritual Diary.
     As I look to the future I am ever more deeply impressed with the challenge to our church to show how the Writings will transform our world. Their truths present us with abstract, beautiful ideals, which give hope to a people frequently mired in the clay of earth. But they also give us tangible ways in which we can free ourselves of our restraints, and take the first tentative steps towards those distant ideals. This year I tried to present to the clergy and to parts of the church a vision of the two kinds of truth which the Lord offers us: truths that uplift and truths that apply. The two go together. Sometimes we need one, sometimes the other. We fall in love with the uplifting, idealistic truths, but we desperately need the practical, applicable ones so that we can reach our dreams.


     Part of the beauty of the Writings lies in their incredible blend of the ideal and the practical. If we as a church can see both, and know when to teach and to use them both, then perhaps we can bring hope to the longing heart, and solace to the struggling one. Heaven knows we all need both. That's why our Lord gave them to us.

Statistics on Activities:

As Bishop of the General Church

Annual Council of the Clergy meetings
Bishop's Consistory meetings - 22
Bishop's Joint Committee meetings - 7
Board and Corporation meetings - 7
Dedication of church property - 1 (Phoenix)
Episcopal visits - 21
Evangelization western seminar
Inaugurations into the priesthood - 4
Joint Council meeting
Michael Church Building - 100th anniversary
Midwestern Clergy meetings
Ordinations into the second degree - 2
Worship and Ritual Committee meetings 4

General Church in Canada

Annual GCIC meeting
Carmel Church 100th celebration
Episcopal visits - 4

As Chancellor of the Academy

Board and Corporation meetings - 10
College Chapel - 7
Secondary Schools Chapel 5


Teaching assignment:

Theo. 325, Conversations on Marriage, and Theo. 741, Doctrine of the Priesthood and Principles of Church Government
Theological School Faculty meetings - 8

Ministrations in Bryn Athyn

Society doctrinal classes - 3
Total services conducted (festival, public and private) - 23
     Peter M. Buss, Bishop

WOMEN'S SYMPOSIUM TAPES       Editor       1992

     November 29-December 1, 1991

     Audiotapes from the symposium can be borrowed, or purchased for $3.00 each, from the Sound Recording Committee of the General Church. The available tapes are: "The Distinctive Feminine" by Bishop Buss; the panels "When to Trust Your Feelings" and "Going It Alone"; "The Woman Clothed with the Sun" by Rae Friesen; the tableaux church with Rev. Tom Kline; and the following workshops: "Loving a Husband's Wisdom" with Kay Alden; "The Conscious Mother" with Tryn Clark; "Feminine Issues on a University Campus" with Bronwyn Reuter and others; "Becoming a Whole Person" with Leah Rose; "Learning How to Fly: Poetry and Women" with Janna Odhner; "Women and Words" with Mandy Rogers; "Women as Heart" with Louise Rose; "Women of Influence in Western Culture" with Aubrey Odhner; and "Finding the Keys to the Storage Bin during the Seven Years of Famine" with Lori Odhner.




     (Part II)

     V. The Church in the Wilderness

     As already stated, the church, on entering the wilderness, had two concurrent growth patterns. On the one hand it was collecting the remnant from the former church (missionary work such as that which Clowes undertook); on the other it was establishing itself with its first gentiles (New Church education beginning in England in the early 1800s). Since these early beginnings we have continued remnant-collecting as well as gentile-establishing. But should we as a church two hundred years after its beginning still continue these similar dual efforts? I think not. First ask yourself, "Is there still a viable remnant out there to collect?" Surely there are far more gentiles needing the Word than there are remnant people. Then ask, "Are we in fact using remnant-collecting devices in the work of establishing ourselves with gentiles (in the education of young people), a set of practices which are not suited to gentile conversion?" How the church answers these questions will affect both our endeavors at missionary work and our endeavors at higher New Church education.
     What are remnant-collecting techniques as opposed to gentile-converting techniques? The Lord on earth was primarily engaged in remnant-collecting. He approached gentiles only three times. The rest of the time He worked within the Jewish Church. At first with Mary and Joseph and later with Paul there were miraculous appearances. The truth was announced to these individuals who were already prepared from within by the spiritual good of the former church. This good led them to expect the coming Messiah, and to accept their roles. Compare this kind of miraculous conversion with John Clowes' vision of the words Divinum Humanum on his bedroom wall. He, too, humbly followed the truth when presented, and went on to share it with many others, who also followed.


The history of our church is full of seemingly miraculous, or at least strangely coincidental, conversions. Remnant people can be converted in this fashion because they have spiritual good from the former church to lead them.
     Another method of remnant-collecting is described with the conversion of the apostles. The Lord called and they followed. The spoken Word, for us the written Word or at least the Heavenly Doctrine, was sufficient for conversion. Why? Because the remnant was prepared to follow. Remnant people are just that, people with active remains of spiritual good from their existing church, remains which make them ready to respond to truth when presented.
     In the sending out of the seventy, still more remnant-collecting was undertaken. Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Find the Christian confirmed in the good of the New Testament who is floundering with the heresies of his faith. He knows the Bible but needs to be shown why it is true. Our phrase, "a religion that makes sense," has particular appeal to this kind of remnant person.
     Let me summarize the three kinds of remnant-collecting techniques:

     1.      Coincidental conversion: Drop the Writings wherever you can, like Johnny Appleseed page by page, or in more modern fashion by impersonal ads, or in libraries, etc. Once the truth is scattered, it's up to the Lord to make the miracle happen. Someone will pick up the book, and because he has active spiritual remains from his existing church, because he is a remnant person, he will be converted. Still further down the road he may also coincidentally discover the organized church, which is nice but not necessary to this kind of remnant-collecting.


     2.      Calling: Clowes began calling by means of public lectures. Many other early New Church evangelists continued with this method. Today we use other calling techniques. We talk on the radio. We advertise in a calling fashion, that is, we broadcast the truth hoping that when it is heard, remnant people will listen and follow us. So far we seem to measure the success of this technique by the number of responses we get to our calls. We seem to believe that following a call doesn't imply a commitment to the revelation.

     3.      Going to the lost sheep: In this endeavor we look for people disenchanted with their Christian beliefs. We try to explain to them why the Bible is right by teaching the spiritual sense, or why the trinity of persons is a heresy, etc., believing that if we can show these remnant people new intellectual answers to their old intellectual issues they will be converted. The appearance is that we are "arguing" these people into our church, clearly an unacceptable form of salesmanship. A person convinced by persuasion will soon leave, and of course practicing persuading belongs to the hells.

     But aren't these methods working? Because remnant people have active goods of remains from their existing church, they do work. Nevertheless, the question remains: "Should we be using these techniques two hundred years after our founding?" Are we not wasting our efforts with methods that are either counterproductive or at best not as productive as gentile-converting techniques?
     We also need to ask ourselves whether these methods are being used to convert the youth of our church, people whose remains are not as yet active. Have we expected the good of remains which we have so carefully tried to engender in the youth of the church to almost automatically respond to the truth which we present?


If so, are we in fact giving stones for bread, or cold water for milk? If we believe that the youth of our church will simply respond to the intellectual presentation of truth, I think we are relying on remnant-collecting techniques. Our recent history tells us that a significant number of the youth of our church are not joining the church. I believe this is in great part due to our use of remnant-collecting techniques in attempting their conversion. Indeed how often do we think we are engaged in an act of conversion when working with young adults? Young people are gentiles. Few remains of good are active with them. They need to be approached with gentile-converting techniques, which, as I will show, are based on nurturing. The church as a mother must provide her youth with mother's milk, not douse them in cold water. We must nurture the youth of the church by presenting the good of life along with the truth of faith. They need to start doing good works in order to see truth and so be led to good.
     What are gentile-converting techniques? The Writings note that the Samaritans were gentiles.1 Two stories about Samaritans help us to understand gentile conversion. There are gentiles who, like the good Samaritan, practice good. Also, just as that Samaritan was separated from the Jews, so are these gentiles separated from Christian life. The Christian "saved" and the "chosen" Jews, seeing themselves as an elite group, do not want to deal with the unsaved except on their own terms. The gentiles who know Christians have seen the negatives, the cruelty and adultery, and walk a different path. Nevertheless, they practice good to people in need. Think of Major Barbara and the gunpowder maker. Many passages describe the good of gentiles.2 This good is external good based on natural truth, the kind of truth found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the law code of Hammurabi, and all of the great religions of the world.


People should not kill, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness, or covet. It is this good described by this truth that is active with gentiles. The trick of gentile-conversion is allowing this good to enter into a marriage with truth on a higher plane. To do so we must first find rapport with that good,3 then nurture the good with them, gently bending toward genuine truth
     1 See AE 376e, 537a:4.
     2 See AC 845, 1059, 2023, 4188, 4189, 4302, 9325:7, HH 319; TCR 390; AE 695b; SD 4626.
     3 Approaching and instructing gentiles is described in the following passages: AC 409, 410, 1370, 2602, 2604, 2839, 2863, 2902, 3111, 3310, 3768, 3986, 8209, 9252; NJHD 222; HH 516; Char. 89; AE 195a; SD 4724, 5776.
     When we stop to think about it, what has been our most successful method of evangelism? The answer is marriage with someone not it! the church. Running a close second is conversation with friends not in the church. Both these methods begin with friendship, a shared natural good which the Writings call a mediate, or collateral, good. Beauty is an example of such good. Beauty first attracts a man to a woman. He loves her beauty. Once attracted he can learn of the woman's personality. With this knowledge a new kind of love, a spiritual love, fills the first attracting love, and this new love then is married to that personality. A heavenly marriage begins.4 Gentile-converting techniques are based on this model. We make contact with gentiles through an appeal to their natural good; we try to "look beautiful" to them. Once the gentile is attracted he can learn about our truth, Hopefully he will love this truth and will be filled with genuine spiritual good, entering into the marriage of good and truth which makes him a member of the church. In this model we need to take real effort in seeing how we can "look beautiful" to others. From their point of view there are many other "beautiful-looking" things out there. A congregation needs to pick its own way of "looking beautiful," by deciding what forms of external charity it will practice as attracting modes.
     4 See AC 3952.


     When I was a theolog I once went to call on my uncle, Otho Heilman. Uncle Oth had probably converted more people to the New Church than anyone else at that time. I asked him to tell me the secret of his success. He gave me three different answers. First he said he had found that for every hundred serious conversations he had with people about the church, one person had joined. Go to work at it. His second answer was, "Make yourself accessible." When on the train, have the Writings visible so that when someone asks what you are reading, you can make contact. One of his tricks was to meet people after church and offer them a tour. He would take them in his car to Benade Hall, and since he had them captured he would talk. But I don't think he was remnant-collecting, because he went on with a twinkle in his eye to tell his real secret, the third answer. "Promise them anything." He told me if he was talking to a man, he made sure one of the very first things that man would hear about heaven was that all the women there are beautiful. He had discovered the trick of gentile conversion. Make contact in a spirit of friendship and begin where the person is, with his good. From there lead to the truth of faith that in turn will be filled with spiritual love.
     How does this technique work for a church? I believe that for this technique to work we must recognize that the church is a spiritual mother. We need to learn how to do mothering. No one model will be right for all instances, but the accent must be on mothering, on nurturing individuals, not on mass intellectual proclamations. The church must show itself in terms of good that gentiles can find empathy with if it wishes to practice gentile-converting techniques. It needs to enter into the practice of external charity for people outside of the church. What we need to do is to get each congregation of the church to look at the path, to start at the bottom and work up.
     Of course, the goal is to work up.


Until the gentiles are able to see the Lord in His Divine Human they cannot worship Him. They cannot find the true happiness of heaven.
     Notice how the Lord approached the woman at Jacob's well. He began by asking her to give Him water, addressing her where she was. Next He began to give her some inkling of His power, gradually giving her the expectation that He had answers to real problems. Then He addressed issues which were important to her from a new perspective, giving her His new answers, and, finally He revealed Himself in fullness.5
     5 In the New Church Life, volume 85, pages 240 and following I gave a detailed description of this process in an article entitled "The Church to the Gentiles." At that time I didn't really appreciate the distinction between remnant-collecting and gentile-conversion, but in general the outline addresses the issues.

     Dr. Jane Williams-Hogan wrote her development thesis for the Academy on the theme, "Charisma in the Modern World." In that thesis she outlines how charisma can work in a disenchanted world such as we have today. She first looks at a traditional model of prophecy and then contrasts it with her new model. The traditional model sees prophecy as oral, appealing to a communal crisis, which leads to a collective covenant. The message is particularistic with a specific solution to a specific problem that is enforced externally and demands obedience. The new model sees prophecy as written, appealing to a personal crisis which leads to an individual covenant. The message is universalistic, not bounded by history, and is enforced by self-discipline with a voluntary, free, rational response. In discussing her modern model Dr. Williams-Hogan notes:

The use of this model removes the need to explain away either the relative absence of mass prophetic movements in the modern age, or the coercive quality of the ones that have occurred.


It also focuses our attention on the fact that the prophetic call has a new form, instead of directing our attention to why individuals no longer hear calls to prophetic visions, and the fate of human societies in which spiritual questions have little relevance, as have many sociologists. Men still seek visions, but they seek them privately in order to address their own personal crises and concerns. Charisma has not disappeared, as so many have thought, but it has changed its location and the dynamic of its operation. Charisma exists and still calls to people in the modern age, but the charismatic moment occurs pianissimo, in the reflective interaction between an individual and a prophetic book. It calls men individually and privately, and they must then act to realize the vision. Their response is critical to the life of the vision, and they have a responsibility similar to that of the oral prophet if the vision is to survive. Some individuals will choose to implement the vision only personally, while others will seek to publicly organize around it. Such organizations are voluntary in nature and have both the strengths and weaknesses of this type of movement. To build organizations of this type is a slow and difficult process in comparison to mass movements, because one cannot recruit by means of the pulsating pneuma that sweeps "through the great communities like a firebrand, welding them together" (Gerth and Mills, 1958, p. 155).6
     6 Jane Williams-Hogan, Charisma in the Modern World: A New Theory of Religious Action, Academy of the New Church Development Thesis, 1990, pp. 146-7.

     I cite this thesis here because it enforces what I think is involved in gentile-collecting, The work is one-on-one, personal, individual, free and rational. It begins with natural good, leading to the written revelation. It meets individual crises, not mass evils.

     (To be concluded)




     (Part III)

     Perfection Is from Variety

     "Unity, that it may be perfect, must be formed from variety" (HH 56).
     All things are perfected by increasing the variety of the parts and arranging them in unified order for the purpose of serving a common end. The Lord has infinite perfection from the fact that in Him are infinite things united in infinite order for one end (see DLW 18). We read, therefore, that "perfection comes from variety" (HH 56). "The perfection of every form exists from various things being suitably arranged in their order" (AR 66).
     The form of heaven and its societies is an example and model of how variety perfects. We read: "So heaven is a whole from various parts arranged in a most perfect form, for the heavenly form is the most perfect of all forms" (HH 56). We can see from this why each society in particular and all of heaven in general are perfected by an increase of numbers of people. "It is worthy of mention that the greater the number in any society in heaven and the more these make a one, the more perfect is its human form, for variety arranged in a heavenly form is what constitutes perfection . . . . Moreover, every society of heaven increases in number daily, and as it increases it becomes more perfect. Thus not only the society becomes more perfect, but also heaven in general, because it is made up of societies" (HH 71; see also 56, 418:2; LJ 12; DP 4:4).

     Perfecting the General Church

     Since variety arranged in a heavenly form is what constitutes perfection, the General Church becomes a more perfect embodiment of the Lord's heaven on earth by actively welcoming a variety of people, affections, thoughts, societies, cultures, races, customs and traditions into itself, and by fostering mutual love, thereby arranging them in the heavenly form which is that of the body.


Unity will result from all members being committed to receiving and manifesting the three essentials of the Lord's love, having as our reason for existence and purpose the salvation of the human race. "When this love is among all and in all, then all can be arranged into a heavenly form, which is such that many are a one, and the more in number they are, the more strongly they are a one" (AC 9613).
     Variety in the General Church will perfect our ability to serve the Lord and spread His New Church on earth, an example being that "variety in worship of the Lord from the variety of good in different societies is not harmful . . . for the perfection of heaven is therefrom" (HH 56).
     Some may wish to argue that people in heaven are regenerated whereas people on earth are not, so what is said of heaven cannot be applied to the church on earth where we have to deal with people's unregenerate states. However, we read the following in the next paragraph of Heaven and Hell. "What has been said of heaven may be said also of the church, for the church is the Lord's heaven on earth" (HH 57).


     "Unanimity . . . means the agreement of several, each for himself and by himself" (TCR 25). The Heavenly Doctrines consistently teach that love causes unanimity.
     Unanimity is the result of mutual love, or the effect of receiving love from the Lord. "He who lives the life of faith and charity loves another as himself, and by love conjoins him to himself, and thus reciprocally and mutually; for in the spiritual world, love is conjunction. Wherefore, when all act thus, then from many, yea from innumerable individuals consociated according to the form of heaven, unanimity exists, and they become as one; for then nothing separates and divides, but everything conjoins and unites" (NJHD 2; see also HH 418:2).


Unanimity exists from love and is the result of "willing well and doing well" (AC 3451:2).
     The Lord brings about unanimity in the heavens from within by means of love and charity. "Out of these varieties the Lord makes a one. It is a general canon that every one that has any quality comes forth from various things which are reduced into such unanimity that by agreement of harmony they all appear as a one. In the heavens the unity thus formed, or union, is effected through love and charity" (AC 5962:3; see also 4837:3).

     An Inadvertent Inversion?

     It appears that the General Church has in practice and principle inadvertently exalted the effect to a higher place of importance than the cause. That is, we have committed ourselves to the principle of unanimity as a higher priority than its cause, mutual love, and in the process have alienated ourselves from the principle of variety, thereby inadvertently squelching individual freedom and stunting the growth of the church.
     It is set forth as a "Principle of the Academy" that "Unanimity is a law inscribed upon the life of heaven, and ought to be inscribed upon the life of the Church." Bishop W. F. Pendleton wrote:     " . . . the time has come to re-affirm this fundamental law, and to see and acknowledge it more clearly and more fully as the very life-principle of the Church, as it is of heaven" (NCL 1902, p. 451). He also wrote "that unanimity in action is of supreme importance in the work of the Church," and called unanimity "this precious jewel of the Church" (p. 450. Emphasis has been added in these quotes.)
     Bishop Pendleton also wrote that "the very quality itself of the New Heaven is unanimity" (p. 445).


In my understanding, the very quality itself of the New Heaven is mutual love, the effect of which is unanimity.
     To be fair, Bishop Pendleton also taught that there is no unanimity and thus no unity-whatever the appearance may be-which does not have its origin and source, its spirit and life, its bond and cohesion, in love to the Lord and in the mutual love which flows from love to the Lord" (p. 445).
"Mutual love [is] the ground of unanimity" (p. 446), "There is unanimity when there is charity" (p. 447).
     However, Bishop Pendleton's concept of unanimity seems to have excluded the doctrine of variety. To him, "the word 'unanimity' signifies breathing together; in a large view it signifies one breath, one spirit, one soul, one thought, one affection, one love" (p. 445). He wrote that the unanimity which would come from mutual love would produce "a common end, a common thought, a common understanding of fundamentals, a common intuition of doctrine, a common light in the mind, a common recognition of variety and freedom in application, a common patience, a mutual self-control, and a common or mutual toleration" (pp. 449, 450).
     In contrast, the doctrine of variety as presented in this paper teaches: a variety of thought, a variety of understanding of fundamentals, a variety of intuition of doctrine, a variety of light in the mind, etc.
     Bishop Pendleton professed his view that "all government in the Church, all administration, all legislation, all teaching, must look to the establishment and preservation of unanimity" (p. 450). If he had said, "to the establishment and preservation of 'a variety of mutual love,'" I could agree, But he goes on to say, "there must also be unanimity in action" (Ibid.), which appears to me to contradict the principles of variety.
     So it appears to me that we have inadvertently turned unanimity from mutual love into uniformity for the sake of unity, thus abandoning the principle of variety and stunting the growth of the church.


     Bishop Pendleton writes: "When there is unanimity with a few, all increase in numbers will add to and strengthen the unanimity; and the unanimity of the Church will increasingly draw to it those who are ready to enter interiorly into the established unanimity of the whole. It is clear, therefore, that unanimity in the Church, a unanimity that is spiritual and not merely natural, is first to be desired, and after this, increase in numbers, so that the unanimity may grow and expand and be strengthened by the added force and sphere of many" (p. 448).
     I find myself in disagreement with this statement because I believe his concept of unanimity excludes variety. If he had used the term "mutual love" in place of unanimity, thus making mutual love the priority in the church, and the cause of unanimity, then variety would be included in the statement and I could fully agree with it if revised to: "When there is mutual love with a few, all increase in numbers will add to and Strengthen the mutual love; and the mutual love of the church will increasingly draw to it those who are ready to enter interiorly into the established mutual love of the whole. It is clear, therefore, that mutual love in the church, a mutual love that is spiritual and not merely natural, is first to be desired, and after this, increase in numbers so that the mutual love may grow and expand and be strengthened by the added force and sphere of many."

     Mutual Love or Dominion?

     The doctrine of variety teaches us that unity comes from love from the Lord's dwelling within, not from customs and traditions imposed by the priesthood from without. Embracing the doctrine of variety is frightening to the priesthood, particularly to the episcopal and pastoral offices, whose primary practical responsibility is to keep the church or society unified.     
     Merely natural reasoning would lead the priesthood to desire unanimity and uniformity of doctrine and practices to insure unity in the church.


It could also lead the priesthood into a love of dominion over instruction and ritual in order to try to maintain from without the apparently noble goal of man-made unity.
     However, the doctrine of variety seen in the Heavenly Doctrines from spiritual reasoning would lead the priesthood to desire a variety of doctrines and practices to insure the freedom of affection, thought, and application in the church. It also would lead the priesthood into a love of teaching truths which will lead to the good of life, that is, to a life of charity and mutual love, wherein the unity of the church is preserved by the Lord from within each individual through heavenly unanimity.

     Varieties of Doctrine

     As an example, let's consider varieties of doctrine. We have seen that each person and angel is a unique receiving vessel of love and wisdom, or good and truth, from the Lord. We have seen the effects of this variety of people in the varieties of revelation and the variety of enlightenment. A further consequence is that each person, or each group of people, will collectively have its own unique doctrinal understanding. But note: " . . . varieties in matters of doctrine . . . contribute to the perfection of the whole" (AC 1285:3).
     Varieties of doctrine contribute to the perfection of the whole because doctrine consists of truths variously received, which in turn variously receive good loves from the Lord. "The good of love to God and the good of charity toward the neighbor, however various may be the truths and the affections of truth, are nevertheless receptive of genuine truth and good; for they are, so to speak, not hard and resisting, but are as it were soft and yielding, suffering themselves to be led by Him" (AC 3986:3, 4).
     The result of a variety of doctrine is that the Lord is received and manifested variously in each person or group, perfecting the Lord's presence in creation, and this with eternal increase according to the numbers of people and angels receiving Him.


     "What is doctrine but that which teaches how a person must live?" (AC 1799:3). Doctrinal matters are "only varieties of opinion concerning the mysteries of faith" (Ibid.: 4). These differences of opinion are as innumerable as are people and angels (see AC 3241:2, 3).
     Nevertheless, not all doctrine is good. There are several essential principles which qualify all the varieties of good doctrine. Charity must be the essential of doctrine, and the doctrine must "not deny first principles, that is, the Lord, eternal life, and the Word, and provided it is not contrary to the Divine order, that is, to the precepts of the decalogue" (AC 1834:2). If these essentials of doctrine existed, "heresies would be dissipated, and one church would arise out of many, no matter how greatly the doctrinal and ritual matters that flowed from or led to it might differ" (AC 2385:4).
     When charity is the essential doctrine, then the varieties of opinion regarding doctrine perfect the understanding of how to live, which makes all doctrine one. People would then agree that "the purpose of doctrinal things was not to teach them how to think, but how to live" (AC 2982). "The doctrine is one when all are in mutual love, or in charity. Mutual love and charity cause them all to be a one, although they are diverse, for they make a one out of the varieties . . . . All people, how many soever they may be, even myriads of myriads, if they are in charity or mutual love, have one end, namely, the common good, the Lord's kingdom, and the Lord Himself. Varieties in matters of doctrine . . . contribute to the perfection of the whole. For then, through charity, the Lord inflows and works in diverse ways, in accordance with the genius of each one; and thus, both in general and in particular, disposes all into order" (AC 1285:3).


     When charity is the essential doctrine, then the variety of doctrinal opinions is encouraged and loved. People support and protect others' freedom to think, speak and act according to their own unique understanding and enlightenment, and respect them for doing so. For in mutual love, people do "not even call schism schism, nor heresy heresy, but a doctrinal matter in accordance with each person's opinion; and this they would leave to each person's conscience" (AC 1834:2; see also 1799:4). "Then would each person say, in whatever doctrine and in whatever outward worship he might be, 'This is my brother; I see that he worships the Lord and is a good person'" (AC 2385:5).
     We can see from this that when charity is the essential doctrine of the General Church, then all the varieties of doctrine will make one and contribute to the church's perfection. We read: "But granting the existence of so many varieties and differences of doctrinal things (that is, of so many derivations), they nevertheless together form one church when all acknowledge charity as essential to the church; or what is the same, when they regard life as the end of doctrine; that is, when they inquire how the man of the church lives, and not so much what his sentiments are" (AC 3241:3). "If it were so now . . . all would be governed by the Lord as one man" (AC 2385:5).

     Variety of Religions

     Similarly, merely natural reason leads us to conclude that the world would be better if there were only one religion, that the Lord should have foreseen the great harm perpetrated in the name of various religions throughout history and should have provided only one religion. But spiritual reason, which the doctrine of variety reveals, concludes that it was necessary for the Lord to provide a variety of religions because heaven, we read, "cannot be made up of human beings all of one religion, but people of many religions" (DP 326:10, 254:3).


     A variety of people created by the Lord need a variety of religions to be reformed (see DP 259:1-3; CL 342; AE 1179:2). The Lord has therefore provided that there is a variety of religions in the world. He has provided this through revelation, either directly in a variety of ways, as seen above, or indirectly through the communication of the Ancient Word, the Word of the Old and New Testaments, or the Word of the Heavenly Doctrines.
     There are two factors common to all the varieties of religion. "To acknowledge God and to refrain from evil because it is contrary to God are the two things that make religion to be religion" (DP 326:9).
     All people are saved who believe in God and live a life of charity according to the precepts of their religion provided their religion has these two essentials: "They who are in the good of life, that is, who live in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor, are saved. That these can be saved is because the Divine of the Lord is in the good of love to God and in the good of charity toward the neighbor; and where the Divine is within, there all things are disposed into order, so that they can be conjoined with the genuine goods and genuine truths that are in the heavens" (AC 3986:2, 3).

     (To be concluded)



     Dr. David B. Eller is the new Executive Director of the Swedenborg Foundation. He and his family are moving from Westerville, Ohio, to West Chester, Pennsylvania, where the foundation will establish its premises.
     For the time being the business address of the foundation continues to be 139 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010; phone (212) 673-7310.




     (Part IV)

     All of the previous misconceptions about marriage mentioned in this series of articles contribute to the sixth misconception. Actually this misconception tends to manifest itself as a subconscious process rather than a conscious idea. However, with those couples within the New Church who labor under the misconception that conjugial love brings a total oneness and "conjunction" of minds (first mentioned in the second article of this series), the conscious misconception is often present as well.
     The sixth misconception is that conjugial love and the closeness and intimacy which pertain to it are to be attained by losing one's individual identity in the relationship. This idea encourages and inflames the most common and most difficult relationship pathology marriage counselors are called upon to work with. It is called by family counselors "fusion" or "enmeshment."
     In general, fusion is the result of the common approach to intimacy which cannot imagine a human closeness that involves two completely different individuals. Our natural way of looking at things assumes that true intimacy is the product of a commingling of identities in which our partner must become more like we are, or we must but find a third mutual identity. In other words, sameness is equated with intimacy.
     Another way to explain fusion in marriage is that it is an attempt to get a two-person system going at the expense of the individuality of one or both partners. Individuality is sacrificed on the altar of togetherness, causing a borrowing and a trading of "self" in the relationship. This "proprium" or "self" is what is meant by the creation of Eve (mother of all living) from the rib of Adam. Eve is the feeling of independent identity and self-life granted by the Lord after the fall of the Most Ancient Church (see AC 147 et al).


     In fusion, one partner often gains a greater sense of self than he or she had before the marriage, while the other partner has less sense of self than before the marriage. As might be expected, the partner who loses self usually begins to experience distress, often with little understanding of what is causing the problem. In our culture the most likely result is that the wife loses identity through fusion, while the husband gains identity from it.
     Fusion in a couple can be viewed as a misfired attempt at closeness, or in the context of the church, an unregenerate attempt at conjugial love. The desire for intimacy with another human being is a naturally occurring desire built into us by the Lord (see CL 156), but the means to attain this intimacy is not a naturally occurring process.
     If fusion is a problem in New Church marriages, and if wives tend to lose identity to husbands, then we might expect that wives in such marriages would be suffering more than husbands. From what I see, this appears to be the case. An unusual number of New Church women have ended their marriages in recent history. This is not hard evidence by any means but the trend is startling. What I do know is that many church couples I work with suffer from the effects of fusion. More than once I have heard the wife in a troubled church marriage say, "I just don't know who I am in this relationship any more."
     The following is a partial list of the symptoms of fusion in a relationship. Each of these symptoms could be the subject for an article in itself:

1.      We-ness to the total exclusion of I-ness in the marriage
2.      One spouse over-responsible, one under-responsible
3.      Belief that one's partner should make one happy
4.      Closeness described as a need rather than a want
5.      Frequent attempts at mind reading


6.      Speaking for one's spouse
7.      Pursuer-distancer interactions between partners
8.      Inability of partners to honestly disagree
9.      Desire to control partner
10.      Judgmental attitude toward partner (and others)
11.      Attack-defense-counterattack interactions
12.      Cross-generational alliances (children encouraged to take sides in marital conflict)
13.      Symptoms in children of the couple

     One might think that the symptoms of fusion would always fall into the category of being too "nice" or too "cozy" with one's partner. But notice that this is not the case. As we know from doctrine, the attainment of individual identity (or proprium) through the "as of self" and "free will" is a fundamental spiritual process which healthy people will fight to defend. Fusion between partners threatens this process. Much of what goes on in marital squabbles is a defense of one's unique identity and self-determination. The content issues in marital fights often resolve themselves when the fundamental issue of each partner's right to individual identity and self-determination is addressed. There are indeed sacrifices to be made in marriage for the sake of the partner's happiness, but these sacrifices must be made by each partner out of unmanipulated free choice.
     The question now must be: How is it possible to be truly intimate in marriage without the relationship's becoming fused or enmeshed? The answer to this question is found in the doctrine for the New Church and will be the subject of the next article in this series.

     (To be continued)
Title Unspecified 1992

Title Unspecified       Editor       1992

     The Olivet Day School in Toronto, Ontario, Canada will celebrate its 100th birthday over the weekend of April 30-May 2, 1993.


Editorial Pages 1992

Editorial Pages       Editor       1992


     If anything is serious, it is someone going to hell. And yet hell and the things that make hell are presented in the Writings in a comical way.
     Conversely, to those in hell heavenly things seem absurd and are dismissed with laughter. A classic example is the learned individual who ascended from hell, and who was interviewed by Swedenborg. What did he have to say about religion? It was nonsense, said he, which is blown away "with a breath of laughter." He was asked about heaven and hell, and he "replied with a loud laugh."
     As this man explained away the notion of life after death, Swedenborg "could no longer keep from laughing." The absurdity was made clear to him. There he was living after death and arguing against the possibility of life after death! He confessed that his ideas were madness, but when he got back to hell he called what Swedenborg had said madness (TCR 80).
     This was not the only time that Swedenborg witnessed a reversal of state and a reversal of what is regarded as laughable. "I have been permitted to hear them, when they were in a state of wisdom, laughing at their own insanity, and when in a state of insanity laughing at wisdom" (DP 223).
     What about ourselves? The above passage speaks of being "let into alternate states of wisdom and insanity, that he may see the latter from the former." Can we observe states of selfishness for what they are? From the perspective of wisdom can we see our own folly? How better to distance ourselves from evil than to see it as utterly absurd?



     Did Mark Twain have Swedenborg in mind when he wrote the amusing Captain Stormfild's Visit to Heaven? Twain had a wonderful gift for picking up on the comical side of life. Did he read n. 9 of Conjugial Love that tells about the hilarious results when people tried out a heaven in which one glorifies God in an everlasting religious festival? Did he read about the notion some had of "eternal rest" from labors? The angels asked three people whether by "eternal rest" they meant just lying around. "Laughing blandly they replied that they had supposed something of the kind" (CL 207).
     At the beginning of CL 207 there is the sound of laughter, illustrating how funny is the notion of eternal idleness. Whether Mark Twain read this paragraph is not certain, but he saw the humor in common notions about heaven. And his hero says of a heaven of work, "It's the sensiblest heaven I've heard of yet."
     In the story Captain Stormfield has arrived in heaven, and he meets old Sam, "who had been dead a long time." He asks Sam how the matter stands. Sam answers: "I'll set you right on that point very quick. People take the figurative language of the Bible and the allegories for literal, and the first thing they ask for when they get here is a halo and a harp, and so on. Nothing that's harmless and reasonable is refused a body here, if he asks it in the right spirit. So they are outfitted with these things without a word. They go and sing and play just about one day, and that's the last you'll ever see them in the choir. They don't need anybody to tell them that that sort of thing wouldn't make a heaven-at least not a heaven that a sane man could stand a week and remain sane. That cloud-bank is placed where the noise can't disturb the old inhabitants, and so there ain't any harm in letting everybody get up there and cure himself as soon as he comes.
     "Now you must remember this-heaven is as blissful and lovely as it can be; but it's just the busiest place you ever heard of.


There ain't any idle people here after the first day. Singing hymns and waving palm branches through all eternity is pretty when you hear about it in the pulpit, but it's as poor a way to put in valuable time as a body could contrive. It would just make a heaven of warbling ignoramuses, don't you see? Eternal rest sounds comforting in the pulpit, too. Well, you try it once, and see how heavy time will hang on your hands. Why, Stormfied, a man like you, that had been active and stirring all his life, would go mad in six months in a heaven where he hadn't anything to do. Heaven is the very last place to come to rest in-and don't you be afraid to bet on that!
     "Says I'Sam, I'm as glad to hear it as I thought I'd be sorry. I'm glad I come, now.'"

ABORTION       Cindy Halterman Spielvogel       1992

Dear Editor:
     In regard to two recent letters against abortion that appeared in your "Communications" section, I find it interesting that neither author directly cited the Writings but rather other sources. Perhaps this is because their opinions are not definitely corroborated anywhere in the Writings. That lack of corroboration could also be the reason there are varying opinions on abortion in our church, even among ministers.     
     To believe abortion is "killing babies" means it is murder in every case, including rape, incest, and when a woman's life or health is threatened. (The words "kill" and "murder" are used interchangeably in the Writings, including in TCR's chapter on the Ten Commandments.)


Ben Dettinger's letter made an undocumented reference to "Scripturally justified permission for abortion" for saving a woman's life and for rape victims. Even if there is such a passage in the Scriptures, our church's doctrine is based on the internal sense, not the letter of the Word. Killing might be justified in cases of war or self-defense, but abortion fits neither of those two categories.
     It's interesting that Dettinger looks at the issue from a woman's perspective in the cases of rape and her life's being threatened but from the perspective of the fetus in all other cases. How can he believe one fetus has a "right to life" and another doesn't? The fact that he can acknowledge there are some cases where a woman should decide gives me hope that he and others like him might someday extend that thought to all women.
     Outlawing abortion won't prevent it; women who want them will just find less safe ways of getting them. If anti-abortionists spent as much energy helping to prevent unwanted pregnancy as trying to make laws about an issue there is no consensus on, we'd all be a lot better off.
     Cindy Halterman Spielvogel,
          Canoga Park, California

ABORTION       William L. Weaver       1992

Dear Editor:
     As suggested by a communication on abortion in the May 1992 NCL, I read The Silent Holocaust by John Powell, S. J., as well as some other books.
     John Powell's book said two things to me: The biological evidence is conclusive that the baby which has been conceived is indeed a human being, and that a resolution of the National Academy of Sciences says that "the question of the beginning of life must be answered by theologians, not by scientists." Mr. (Father?) Powell doesn't attempt to speak as a theologian.
     I'm sure we would like New Church theologians to take us beyond the biological evidence, but they too seem to have a problem with this, as reflected in Rev. B. David Holm's article in NCL for April and May 1990.


I can understand the difficulty from what I have been able to discover in the Writings. It therefore doesn't seem appropriate to call upon our priesthood to denounce the "killing of babies."
     I am not advocating a position on abortion, but I feel very uneasy about one statistic I came upon. In Miscarriage, the Facts, by Gillian C. L. Lachelin, it is said that "possibly more than 75 per cent of human conceptions are lost . . . . " Apparently the number of miscarriages far exceeds the number of abortions. Yes, one is done on purpose and the other isn't, but this startling fact would seem to have some bearing on the discussion.
     William L. Weaver,
          Large, Florida

NEW DIRECTION       Luise*       1992

Dear Editor:
     It has been a year since I overdosed in a suicide attempt. At that time I wrote an article called "The Myth of Suicide, which was featured in New Church Life in November of 1991. This article arose out of the terrible fear and horror I felt when I was heading toward death. I think I saw for the first time the lies the hells were using to convince me that suicide was really okay.
     I believe that in recovering from the dysfunctions caused by my abuse, the first thing I had to do was to recognize the evils that were influencing me. I had to recognize that the beliefs which were affecting my behavior were false. I had to recognize the truths that opposed these lies.
     At that time I was still looking toward hell.


The only difference was that God had opened my eyes so that I could see the ugliness of the hells which were affecting me. I had to see the swamp of depression that surrounded me, I had to feel the hatred and shame which the evil spirits were insinuating into me. My eyes were opened and I recoiled in horror.
     Now, a year later, I have made another discovery. I realized that the gift of life, freely given to me by the Lord, was not of value to me. I still wanted to die. The only life I valued was the life after death. I wanted to be freed of this terrible life on the earth. Just imagine: God was offering me a precious gift and I was rejecting it. It was of no value to me. I even hated it. Suddenly I realized the arrogance in my rejection of His gift. I realized that if I truly loved God, as I professed to do, I would cherish any gift He offered to me just as I would cherish any gift from a loved one. My rejection must have caused sorrow both to God and to the angels.
     It was time to re-examine my life. Each day I looked for the gifts that God filled my life with. I found the beauty of nature, the joy of making a friend happy, the pride in my intelligence which made it possible to read the Writings and discuss them with others, the joy I felt when I lifted my voice in songs to the Lord, and the deep sense of peace I felt when I participated in holy ceremonies. These were all benefits I could receive while living in this world.
     But there was something else that I was slowly getting in touch with. It was a feeling that God wanted to use the strengths that I had acquired through overcoming the pain and suffering of abuse. There has been a growing desire to pass my strength on to others who are hurting. I feel joy and a new purpose to my life when I hold out my hand to another person struggling to recover.
     A year ago I blamed God for the pain I was feeling. Why had He allowed me to be raised in a dysfunctional family? Wasn't God strong enough to protect me? These questions had to be addressed before I could heal.


As I struggled with these questions, I slowly came to realize that God was giving me a strength which I never could have acquired without undergoing intense trials and temptations. As I attended the many support groups which helped me to grow and change, I was touched by the strength and compassion of the people I met. I yearned for the serenity which they had gained through their own recovery. But as I healed I saw that my healing was unique from every other person's. I could see that God needed my special qualities which He could use to affect others who were hurting. This was the greatest gift He could give to me. As I learn to cherish this gift, I slowly learn to cherish His gift of life.
     I haven't traveled far over the past year; I have only changed directions. This reminds me of the passage in our Liturgy: "Turn thou us unto Thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned." I did not do this turning by myself, even though it felt as if I was struggling and working hard. All I had done was to provide God with the tools which He could use to turn me around.
     I don't know yet what God has in mind for me. I don't know how He will use the strengths which I have acquired. I only know that if I continue to work on my own recovery, He will lead me to the people and places where I can best use my new strengths. Hopefully I will be a tool which He can use to help the world heal from the evil and pain which is so prominent today. Hopefully, my words can give another person the strength to try, one more day, to reach recovery.

     * The name Luise is a pseudonym adopted by the author of this article in order to protect her family and loved ones. The subjects she wishes to write about (child abuse, suicide and recovery) are painful ones, but she hopes that the strength of her recovery will help others to heal. We hope that you will respect her anonymity, and resist the urge to discover her real identity.



GENDER IN TRANSLATION       Jessica S. Grubb       1992

     Dear Editor:
     As I read the Rev. Bruce Rogers' response to Sarah Headstens letter concerning gender in translation, it became obvious that there is a need for greater clarity on the issue. Although there are many reasons to alter current translation of homo, vir and homines, in the interest of brevity I will focus on the argument as presented by Mr. Rogers.
     As I understood it, his main objection to inclusive pronoun usage (through pluralization) was that "longstanding convention in English and other languages of every period" dictates use of the masculine pronominal form when the antecedent is unspecified or ungendered. Perhaps I misunderstood his argument, as it is clear to me that at no point in history have we held tenaciously to any particular grammatical structure or word usage simply for tradition. The form originated as a reflection of a misogynistic and patriarchal society in which women's exclusion and subjugation to a secondary status was the desired effect. This (hopefully) is no longer our aim. Therefore communication symbols based on these past intentions simply do not portray current conditions properly, and create an anachronism based merely on one's sender. For in fact, cannot and do not women have the affection of knowing (reference cited in original letters)?
     No form of communication or its symbols are etched in stone. Humans create these symbols to serve their needs for active interchange. When a symbol no longer defines a specific action or interchange, and begins to create rather than diminish confusion, then it must be altered, Clearly the inclusive, multi-gendered pronoun "he" is no longer accurate or useful. So what do we change it to?
     There are many answers to this question. The easiest at this point would be to stick to simple alterations, such as pluralization, or alternation of "she" with "he" when formerly a "he" would appear.


Ideally we should introduce entirely new nouns and pronouns or use the original Latin term. The Writings often use new or Latin words which are specifically defined, and there is no reason this could not be done in this situation.
     The conversion from sexist (and unclear) to non-sexist communication need not involve clumsy, difficult or ungrammatical expressions. Natural and logistically accurate non-sexist language patterns come relatively easily to one who has the commitment to seek them.
     Jessica S. Grubb,
          Fredericksburg, Virginia

CANBERRA GROUP MISREPRESENTED       Rex D. Ridgway       1992

     Dear Editor:
     It seems that there have been many letters to New Church Life on the subject of a new generation Writings, most of which have been in full agreement with the strong belief expressed by the Canberra group that such a work would lead to a dangerous erosion of the Divine truths given to us by the Lord in His perfect order. From all these letters it is obvious that there is a very strong feeling against the production of simplified, "easy-to-read" Writings for the New Church, and some, quite rightly, have been expressed as strongly as the letter written by us. I refer in particular to the letters by Rev. B. Wilmot of Sydney in Australia, and by Bruce Glenn of Bryn Athyn. Others, such as H. Keith Morley of Toronto, Freda Bradin of Michigan, and Leon S. Rhodes of Bryn Athyn, have expressed strong and supportive views.
     I would like to mention that just prior to the publication of our group letter in New Church Life, a long letter was written by me for the group to Rev. Jan Weiss, one of the authors of "Second Generation Writings," explaining very fully our feelings regarding the developing external direction taking place in this modern age, which creates the demand for everything "no matter what" to be made easy.


It was pointed out clearly that it is this external degeneration which impels us to voice our objection, and we did not and would not decry the motives of any person or persons who wish to address this condition. A very gracious and friendly letter was received in reply from Mr. Weiss.
     I am saddened to read in NCL dated May, 1992, the letters by Lisa Hyatt Cooper and Hugh Hyatt, attacking us with much unnecessary heat-mainly because they misinterpret our letter. We were taken aback by the attacks of both, but particularly by the attack of Mrs. Cooper on our integrity, namely, "putting an emotional spin on words in order to express contempt," as well as other uncharitable remarks. Far from attacking Rev. Messrs. Weiss and Rose, we agree with them that the lack of reading in the church must be addressed. However, we do not agree that the solution lies in any alteration to the Writings, for this would destroy the Divine order in which they are given. (For the importance of retaining the series in the Writings, please read AC 4680.) We consciously avoided attack on the authors, or any other persons, but would voice our opposition to any suggestions which might lead to the diminution of the Word of the Writings, the New Testament or Old Testament. I reiterate that we therefore made no attack on the authors, but sought to deplore, in the strongest possible terms, the climate in the church which has caused the lack of interest in reading to arise.
     I would suggest that Mrs. Cooper reread our letter in its entirety in a somewhat more charitable state of mind than that which leads her to accuse others with whom she disagrees of twisting words or, as she put it, "putting an emotional spin on words. . . in order to express contempt" (emphasis added). I was particularly sad to read these accusations, while at the same time she appeals to others who disagree with us to "show forbearance."


     In all my nearly 85 years as a member of the New Church, never have I seen such expressions of intolerance as those expressed by Mrs. Cooper. There was no attack on personalities by us, nor was there contempt, but we were simply expressing our strong disagreement with the means suggested for addressing the conditions which create the unfortunate lack of will to turn the mind towards such "difficult and incomprehensible" matters as things spiritual. A disastrous degeneration of all Christian principles is blatantly obvious and growing in all the world around us, hence the urgency for the New Christian Church to keep the Lord's Word for this church and age intact and free from any changes which may be seen to be less new in its teachings and more attractive to those who often claim the written Word in its entirety to be beyond their capability of understanding or love to understand. (Perhaps the latter is the more appropriate.)
     Here let me quote from AC 4286:5 as given in a short letter by Mr. H. Keith Morley (NCL, February 1992): "If people did bother about the things that have to do with life after death, and so about those which have to do with heaven, they would easily grasp all that has been mentioned above, for that which a person loves he absorbs and grasps with ease, but that which he does not love, with difficulty." It is quite clear just where lies the problem, a problem which does not seem to affect the millions who find no difficulty in coming to grips with the languages of modern technology, science and computerization! The problem is as stated in the quotation drawn to our attention by Mr. Morley.
     In this regard, in his letter to NCL (May 1992), Mr. Hugh Hyatt says that he was "pained to find it asserted that the reason some of us sometimes find the Writings difficult to understand is that we lack sufficient interest in life after death or in heaven." Let me correct Mr. Hyatt. He appears to have misread Mr. Morley's letter.


The quotation cited was not Mr. Morley's but was a direct quotation from the Arcana Coelestia. Mr. Hyatt also appears to have misread our letter which, as already explained, was not an attack on Frank Rose and Jan Weiss but was an expression of our love to retain intact the Word of the Lord for this age. I have already drawn attention to AC 4680 on the importance of retaining the series in the Word for the New Church. We disagree with Mr. Hyatt, therefore, that simplifying or rearranging the Writings is unthreatening. In fact, we perceive that there cannot be any greater threat to the New Church than subjecting the Word to human intervention, no matter how well-intended.
     Mr. Hyatt has put his own interpretation on the opening words of our letter, which were that a "second-generation Writings [would] take no heed of what the Lord wishes us to read, etc." He claims that this implies that we are suggesting that Frank and Jan, and anyone who agrees with their proposal, do not care for what the Lord's wishes are. He has turned our words into an attack on persons, whereas we are pointing out that any proposal by anyone to diminish the Writings would destroy the Divine order within them. Anyone who reads our letter with an unbiased mind will readily see that this does not constitute a personal attack.
     Let me here express agreement with your correspondent, Lisa Hyatt Cooper, that charity is always to be uppermost in all expressions and opinions, whether in favour of or against the beliefs and faiths of others. I will always uphold the freedom to question opinions or interpretations which, rightly or wrongly, appear to be harmful to the progress and life of the New Church. Everyone of course has that same freedom. May I again suggest to Mrs. Cooper that she carefully reread our group letter with due charity, and that she realize that the expressions she seems to attribute to us at the outset of her letter, starting from "for the sake of cheapness," are not ours but are the expressed views of the authors of the second generation Writings idea, and perfectly legitimate expressions they were too.


     We certainly were not "putting an emotional spin" on these expressions, nor were we "expressing contempt," as Mrs. Cooper has stated. We are in fact in agreement with the authors that watching TV, etc., rates more highly than a love for the things of the Lord's church, and were therefore expressing our incredulity that this is so.
     Mrs. Cooper partly quotes our objection to the term "fundamentalist New Churchman" as being divisive of New Churchmen. Surely anyone can see that the terms fundamentalist and non-fundamentalist, as applied to members of the New Church, based upon the first principle of the Academy, do without doubt divide and should be strictly avoided.
     Thank you, Mr. Editor, for your indulgence in allowing me the space to "keep the record straight." I regret that this has been necessary, but feel that the Canberra group's intentions were seriously misrepresented by Mrs. Cooper and Mr. Hyatt, thus putting an interpretation on them which was never there, nor intended.
     However, may I say how pleased I am that so many other New Churchmen see the same importance of retaining for all time the completeness and fullness of each and every volume of the Divine Revelation for the new and true Christian era and to keep its Divine order, its purity and integrity (yes, even its "hard parts") as close as it is possible to its original Latin as it was given by the Lord through His chosen servant, Emanuel Swedenborg.
     Rex D. Ridgway,

          Canberra, Australia

     Note: We have just learned that Mr. Ridgway died on August 13th.



ORDINATIONS       Editor       1992

     Appelgren-At Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, June 7, 1992, Goran Reinhold Appelgren into the first degree of the priesthood, Rt. Rev. Peter M. Buss officiating.

     Darkwah-At Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, June 7, 1992, Simpson Kwabeng Darkwah into the first degree of the priesthood, Rt. Rev. Peter M. Buss officiating.

     de Padua-At Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, June 7, 1992, Mauro Santos de Padua into the first degree of the priesthood, Rt. Rev. Peter M. Buss officiating.

     Sheppard-At Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, June 7, 1992, Leslie Lawrence Sheppard into the second degree of the priesthood, Rt. Rev. Peter M. Buss officiating.



Dr. R. Shepard, 4537 Dolly Ridge Road, Birmingham, AL 35243. Phone: (205) 967-3442.
Mr. & Mrs. Winthrop B. Sullivan, 1107 Princeton Drive, Madison. AL 35758. Phone: (205) 772-0074.
Rev. Fred Chapin, 5631 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85254 (church). Phone: home (602) 996-2919; office (602) 991-0048.
Rev. Frank S. Rose, 9233 E. Helen, Tucson, AZ 85715, Phone: (602) 721-1091.
     Little Rock
Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Holmes, 2695 Mark Lane, Batesville, AR 72501. Phone: (501) 793-5135.
     Los Angeles
Rev. John L. Odhner, 5022 Carolyn Way, La Crescenta, CA 91214. Phone: (818) 249-5031.
     Orange County
Rev. Cedric King, resident pastor, 21332 Forest Meadow, Fl Toro, CA 92630. Phone: home (714) 586-5142; office (714) 951-5750.
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Ripley. 225 Woodlake Lane, Newcastle, CA 95658. Phone: (916) 663-2788.
     San Diego
Mr. & Mrs. Geraldo Gomez, 1774 La Jolla Rancho Road, La Jolla, CA 92037. Phone: (619) 454-4716.
     San Francisco
Mr. & Mrs. Philip C. "Red" Pendleton, 2261 Waverley Street, Pale Alto, CA 94901.
     Colorado Springs
Mr. & Mrs. William Rienstra, P.O. Box 95, Simla, CO 80835. Phone: (719) 541-2375.
Rev. Clark Echols, 3371 W. 94th Ave., Westminster, CO 80030. Phone: (303) 429-1239 or 428-6019.
Mr. & Mrs. James Tucker, 45 Honey Bee Lane, Shelton. CT 06484. Phone: (203) 929-6455.
     Rev. Geoffrey Howard, visiting pastor. Phone: (508) 443-6531.
Mr. Justin Hyatt, 2008 Eden Road, N. Graylyn, Wilmington, DE 19810. Phone: (302) 475-3694.
     District of Columbia: see Mitchellville, Maryland.
     Boynton Reach
Rev. Daniel Heinrichs, 10687 B. Clair Ranch Road, Boynton Beach, FL 33437. Phone: (407) 736-9235.
     Lake Helen
Mr. & Mrs. Brent Morris, 264 Kicklighter Road, Lake Helen, FL 32744. Phone: (904) 228-2276.
Mr. & Mrs. John Peacock, 5238 Soundside Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561. Phone: (904) 934-3691.
Mr. W.H. Eubanks, Rt #2, S. Lee Street, Americus, GA 31709. Phone: (912) 924-9221.
Rev. Ray Silverman, 2119 Seaman Circle, Chamblee, GA 30141. Phone: office (404) 452-0518.


Fruitland (Idaho-Oregon border)
Mr. Harold Rand. 1705 Whitley Drive, Fruitland, ID 83619. Phone: (208) 452-3181.
Rev. Grant Schnarr; 73A Park Drive, Glenview, IL 60025. Phone: home (708) 729-0130; office (708) 729-9296.
Mr. John Aymer, 380 Oak Lane, Decatur, IL 62562. Phone: (217) 875-3215.
Rev. Eric Carswell, 73 Park Drive, Glenview, IL 60025. Phone: (708) 724-0120.
Rev. Patrick Rose, 785 Ashcroft Court, Cincinnati, OH 45240. Phone: (513) 825-7473.
Rev. Patrick Rose, 785 Ashcroft Court, Cincinnati, OH 45240. Phone: (513) 825-7473.
     Baton Rouge
Mr. Henry Bruser, Jr., 6050 Esplanade Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70806. Phone: (504) 924-3098.
Rev. Allison L. Nicholson, HC 33 - Box 61N, Arrowsic, ME 04530.
Rev. Themes Rose, visiting minister, 3809 Enterprise Rd., Mitchellville, MD 20721. Phone: home (301) 4644585; office (301) 464-5602.
Rev. Lawson Smith, 3805 Enterprise Road, Mitchellville, MD 20721. Phone: (301) 262-2349.
Rev. Geoffrey Howard, 138 Maynard Road, Sudbury, MA 01776. Phone: (508) 443-6531.
Rev. Grant Odhner, 395 Olivewood Ct., Rochester, MI 48306. Phone: office (313) 652-7332
     East Lansing
Mr. Christopher Clark, 5853 Smithfield, East Lansing, MI 48823. Phone: (517) 351-2880.
     St. Paul
Karen Huseby, 4247 Centerville Rd., Vadnais Heights, MN 55127. Phone: (612) 429-5289.
Mr. & Mrs. Paul Johnson, 1508 Glencairn Court Columbia, MO 65203. Phone: (314) 442-3475.
     Kansas City
Mr. Glen Klippenstein, Glenkirk Farms, Rt. 2. Maysville, MO 64469. Phone: (816) 449-2167.
     New Jersey, New York:
     Ridgewood, NJ
Jay and Barbara Barry, 348 Marshall St., Ridgewood, NJ 07450. Phone: (201) 612-8146.
     New Mexico:
Mr. Howard Leach, 548 Mullen Rd. NW. Albuquerque, NM 87107. Phone: (505) 345-5297.
     North Carolina:
Rev. Bill Burke, 6010 Paddington Court, Charlotte, NC 28226. Phone: (704) 846-6416.
Rev. Patrick Rose, 785 Ashcroft Court, Cincinnati, OH 45240. Phone: (513) 825-7473.
Mr. Alan Childs, 19680 Beachcliff Blvd., Rocky River, OH 44116. Phone: (216) 333-9413.
     Oklahoma City
Mr. Robert Campbell, 3108 Eagle Pass Road, Edmond, OK 73013. Phone: (405) 478-4729.
Mr. and Mrs. Jim P. Andrews, Box 99, 1010 NE 3601, Corbett, OR 97019. Phone: (503) 695-2534.


     Oregon-Idaho Border: see Idaho Fruitland.
     Bryn Athyn
Rev. Kurt Asplundh. Box 277, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. Phone: (215) 947-6225.
Mr. Meade Bierly, 523 Snyder Ave., Elizabethtown, PA 17022. Phone: (717) 367-3964.
Mr. Paul Murray, 5648 Zuck Road, Erie, PA 16506. Phone: (814) 833-0962.
Rev. Ragnar Boyesen, 122 McKeen Road, Freeport, PA 16229. Phone: home (412) 295-9855; office (412) 353-2220.
Mr. Grant Genzlinger, 4 Main Street, Hawley, PA 18428. Phone: (717) 226-2993.
     The Ivyland New Church, 851 W. Bristol Road, Ivyland 18974. Pastor: Rev. Robert Junge. Phone: (215) -957-5965. Secretary: Mrs. K. Cronlund. (215) 598-3919.
Rev. Jeremy Simons, RD 2, Box 217-A, Kempton, PA 19529. Phone: home (215)756-4301; office (215) 756-6140.
Rev. Nathan D. Gladish, 299 Le Roi Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15208. Phone: church (412) 731-7421.
     South Carolina: see North Carolina
     South Dakota:
     Hot Spring
Linda Klippenstein, 537 Albany, Hot Springs, SD 57747. Phone: (605) 745-6629.
Mr. Robert Grubb, 510 Academy Drive, Austin, TX 78704. Phone: (512) 447-6811.
     Dallas-Fort Worth
Mr. Fred Dunlap, 3887 Antigua Circle, Dallas, TX 75244. Phone: (214) 247-7775.
Mr. Donald Johnson, 13161 Happy Hill Road, Chester, VA 23831. Phone: (804) 748-5757.
     West Virginia:
Mrs. Thelma Smith, Route 1, Box 447, Peterstown, WV 24963. Phone: (304) 753-9508.
Mr. Thomas Andrews, 5035 NE 180th, Seattle, WA 98155. Phone: (206) 365-2194.
Mr. Charles Howell, 3912 Plymouth Circle, Madison, WI 53705. Phone: (608) 233-0209.
Mrs. Rex Ridgway, 7 Whalan Place, Kaleen, ACT, Australia 2617, Sydney, N.S.W.
     Rev. Doug1as Taylor, 22 Dudley Street, Penshurst N.S.W. 2222 Phone: 57-1589.
See Rev. Douglas Taylor under Sydney.
     Rio de Janeiro
Rev. Cristovao Robelo Nobre, Rua Lina Teixeira, 109 Ap., Rocha Rio de Janeiro RJ, 20970. Phone: 21-201-8455.
Mr. Thomas R Fountain, 115 Southglen Drive S.W, Calgary 13, Alberta T2W 0X2. Phone: 403-255-7283.
Ken and Lavina Scott. RR 1. Crooked Creek, Alberta T0H 0Y0. Phone: 403-957-3621.
Mrs. Wayne Anderson, 6703-98th Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 3L9. Phone: 403432-1499.
     British Columbia
     Dawson Creek
Rev. Glenn G. Alden, Dawson Creek Church, 9013 8th St. Dawson Creek, B.C. . Canada V1G 3N3. Phone: home (604) 786-5297; office 604-782-8035.


Rev. Louis D. Synnestvedt, 58 Chapel Hill Drive, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 3WS. Phone: home (519)748-5605; office (519) 748-5802.
Mr. and Mrs. Donald McMaster, 684 Fraser Ave., Ottawa, Ontario K2A 2R8. Phone: (613) 725-0394.
Rev. Michael Gladish, 279 Burnhamthorpe Rd., Islington, Ontario M9B 124. Phone: church (416) 239-3055.
Mr. Denis de Chazal, 17 Ballantyne Ave. So., Montreal West, Quebec H4X 2B1. Phone: (514) 489-9861.
Mr. Jorgen Hauptmann, Strandvejen 22, 4040 Jyllinge. Phone: 46 78 9%8.
Rev. Christopher Bown, 2 Christ Church Court, Colchester, Essex CO3 3AU. Phone: 0206-575614.
Mr. and Mrs. R. Evans, 24 Berkeley, Letchworth, Herts, SG6 2HA. Phone: (0462) 684751.
Rev. Frederick Elphick, 21B Hayne Rd., Beckenham, Kent BR3 4JA. Phone: 011-44-1-658-6320.
Rev. Norman B. Riley, 69 Harewood Rd., Norden, Rochdale, OL11 5TH, England. Phone: 0706 54003.
Rev. Goran Appelgren, 8 Ardmore Way, Guildford, Surrey, England GU2 6RR.
     The Hague
Mr. Ed Verschoor, V. Furstenburchstr. 6 3862 AW Nijkerk.
Rev. Dzin P. Kwak, #Bol. Sanho-villa, 238 Shinsa-dong Eun Wung-Ku, Seoul, Korea 122-080. Phone 82-2-309-7305.
Mrs. H. Keal, 4 Derwent Cresc., Tilirangi, Auckland 7, New Zealand.
     Cape Town
Mrs. Sheila Brathwaite, 208B Silvermine Village, P.B. 1, Noordhock, 7985 R.S.A. Phone: 021-891424.
Rev. James P. Cooper, 30 Perth Road, Westville 3630, Natal, Republic of South Africa. Phone: 011-27-31-821612.
     Transvaal Society
Rev. Andrew Dibb, PO. Box 816, Kelvin 2054, Republic of South Africa. Phone: (011) 804-2567.
     Kent Manor
Rev. Andrew Dibb, visiting pastor
Mrs. Maarten Heimstra, P.O. Box 10745, Meerensee, 3901 R.S.A. Phone: 0351-32317.
Please contact Rev. James Cooper or Rev. Andrew Dibb concerning these societies:
Alexandra Township, Buccleuch, Clermont, Diepkloof, Enkumba, Hambrook, Impaphala, Kwa Mashu
Contact Rev. Bjorn A. H. Boyesen, Bruksater, Furusjo), S-566 00. Habo. Phone: 0392-20395.
Rev. David H. Lindrooth, Aladdinsvagen 27, 161 38 Bromma, Sweden. Phone/Fax: 011 468 26 79 85.


Two New Booklets for Children 1992

Two New Booklets for Children       Editor       1992

     Two new booklets for children
published by
American New Church
Sunday School Association


A Child's First Book about God
Joyce Fekete and Betty Hill
     This booklet has one short page of simple explanation per topic: God, Heaven, the Word, the Ten Commandments, Prayer, Golden Rule, etc. Each has a picture to color. Good for preschool age children.


Louise Woofenden
This booklet speaks of the correspondences of basic colors in a way easily applied to our lives in the forms of truth, love, and use to others. These concepts are presented at a child's level of understanding, and are accompanied by activities, puzzles and pictures to color.
     Price per booklet: $3.00 plus 75 postage
     General Church Book Center               Hours: Mon-Fri 9-12
Box 743, Cairncrest                    or by appointment
Bryn Athyn, PA 19009                    Phone: (215) 947-3920


Notes on This Issue 1992

Notes on This Issue       Editor       1992

Vol. CXII     October, 1992          No. 10


     Notes on This Issue

     In 1988 we published a nice photograph of the Swedenborg Library, and we offer in this issue other vistas of this significant structure. Also in 1988 we published a photo of Queen Silvia of Sweden, who dedicated the library (pp. 157, 345).
     In this issue we have another royal photograph (p. 475). It is a portrait of a Russian Swedenborgian princess named Cleopatra! Yes, and we are so proud to have it. Anders Hallengren of Sweden is to be thanked for obtaining it from St. Petersburg. (Your editor was with Mr. Hallengren in that city a year ago and can vouch for his labors.)
     Another more recent visitor to Russia is Rev. Goran Appelgren. In his interesting story this month he speaks of Russian contacts and says, "One thing leads to another." When I was in Moscow in September of 1991 one of the men to whom I gave literature was Dr. Vladimir Maliavin. I did not then dream that this distinguished scholar would exactly one year later be giving a speech in the Swedenborg Library and addressing the college of the Academy of the New Church! We expect to see him in Bryn Athyn again this month.
     We thank Mr. Howard Roth for writing about the Swedenborg Library, and we commend people to appreciate and support this valuable treasure of the Academy of the New Church.
     In this issue we publish the conclusion of the study on variety by Rev. Terry Schnarr. Appreciation of the doctrine concerning variety can change the way we feel. "Our desire to share our understanding of doctrine with others will be tempered by the knowledge that the Lord provides a variety of religions in the world so that all people can be saved . . . . We need not become indignant if others do not accede to our opinions."
     The Swedenborg Foundation in New York is greatly reducing its library before moving. If you are interested in some books, call 1-800-366-7310.





     Variety of Conjunction with the Lord

     While people from a variety of religions are saved, their conjunction with the Lord is varied according to their knowledge of Him. "The Lord conjoins Himself with these by means of the good of their charity and obedience that is within their gross idea of Him . . . for the conjunction of the Lord with a person is according to the state of his thought and the derivative affection. They who are in the most holy idea concerning the Lord, and at the same time in the knowledges and affections of good and truth-as those can be who are within the church-are conjoined with the Lord in respect to His Divine Rational; whereas they who are not in such holiness, nor in such interior idea and affection, and yet are in the good of charity, are conjoined with the Lord in respect to His Divine Natural. They who have a holiness of a still grosser kind are conjoined with the Lord in respect to His Divine Sensuous . . . . In this conjunction are those among the Gentiles who worship idols and yet live in charity in accordance with their religion" (AC 4211:3).
     As we know, The Divine Providence lists some of the benefits of being more and more closely conjoined with the Lord (see DP 34ff). Those who are within the church can be conjoined with the Lord in respect to His Divine Rational because they can have the most holy idea concerning the Lord from their knowledges of the Word and affections for life according to it.
     Nevertheless, while the quality of people's conjunction with God is varied by their religion, they are in the communion of saints on earth and in heaven, and in conjunction with angels.


"He who in his belief acknowledges and in his heart worships one God is both in the communion of the saints on earth and in the communion of the angels in heaven (see TCR 307, 416). "These are called 'communions,' and are communions, because such are in the one God and the one God is in them. Moreover, they are in conjunction with the entire angelic heaven, and, I might venture to say, with all and each of its inhabitants . . . " (TCR 15).

     Variety of Churches

     The church is according to its doctrine, according to its understanding of the Word. The church is one thing and religion is another. "The church is called a church from doctrine, and religion is called religion from a life according to doctrine. . . . This is the distinction between church and religion" (see AR 923).
     With such a variety of people, of states of enlightenment, and of doctrine as we have seen, we can expect that it is in the Lord's Providence that there will also be a variety of churches in the world (see AC 1285:3, 3986:2). "The soul of every person derives its life from the marriage of good and truth, and from this is the church. And as this is various, and different in the different parts of the globe, consequently the souls of all people likewise are various and different" (CL 246).
     That there are other churches and other religions in the world is good. Many of them are provided by the Lord and we are to love them in accordance with their good, almost ignoring their doctrines. "What pertains to doctrine does not . . . with the Lord . . . distinguish churches from each other, but that which does this is a life according to doctrinals, all of which, provided they are true, look to charity as their fundamental" (AC 1799:3, 8042). "In such a case, heresies would be dissipated, and one church would arise out of many, no matter how greatly the doctrinal and ritual matters that flowed from or led to it might differ" (AC 2385:4; see also HH 57).


     Unity of Churches

     Just as all doctrines can make one through love and charity, so also from good all churches can make one church before the Lord. "But granting the existence of so many varieties and differences of doctrinal things (that is, of so many derivations), they nevertheless together form one church when all acknowledge charity as essential to the church, or what is the same, when they regard life as the end of doctrine" (AC 3241:3, 7396, 9276). Again we read, "And when with each and all, love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor-that is, the good of life is the essential thing, then churches, however numerous they may be, make one church, all then being one in the Lord's kingdom" (AC 2982).
     Again we see that the Lord brings about unity by means of His love, as it is received and manifested in people in mutual love toward the neighbor.

     Varieties in the Ancient Church

     The Ancient Church is an example of how one church can exist out of a variety of churches (see AC 1799:5). "With the churches of the Lord, the case is this: In ancient times there were many churches at the same time. There were, as at this day, distinctions among them in regard to doctrinal matters. Still they made a one in the fact that they acknowledged love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor as the principal and very essential thing" (AC 2982; also 640).
     It was among their works of charity to instruct others in doctrinal matters, but the life of charity was considered the essential. "The doctrine of charity, which is the doctrine of life, was the doctrine itself in the ancient churches . . . .


That doctrine conjoined all churches, and thereby formed one church out of many. For they acknowledged all those as people of the church who lived in the good of charity, and called them brethren, however they might differ respecting truths . . . . In these they instructed one another, which was among their works of charity; nor were they indignant if one did not accede to the opinion of another, knowing that everyone receives truth so far as he is in good" (NJHD 9).
     So, too, our desire to share our understanding of doctrine with others will be tempered by the knowledge that the Lord provides a variety of religions in the world so that all people can be saved. People are to be left in freedom to act according to their understanding of truth, and will be saved if they do so. We need not become indignant if others do not accede to our opinions of doctrine. Our responsibility is to announce (see AC 9925), baptize (see TCR 677), and instruct those who will receive.

     Varieties in the New Church

     In ancient times, in Swedenborg's lifetime, and today there are doctrinal distinctions among churches. Nevertheless, one church exists from this variety insofar as each church makes charity the essential doctrine. People in the New Church will view the variety of churches as various parts of the Lord's church on earth. "Such was the Ancient Church . . . . Among these the doctrinal and ritual matters differed, but still the church was one, because to them charity was the essential thing . . . . If it were so now, all would be governed by the Lord as one man; for they would be as the members and organs of one body, which although not of similar form nor of similar function, yet all have relation to one heart, on which depend all and each in their several forms, that are everywhere varied. Then would each person say, in whatever doctrine and in whatever outward worship he might be, 'This is my brother; I see that he worships the Lord, and is a good person'" (AC 2385:5-emphasis added).


     The New Church is to be like the Ancient Church in internals, that is, as to charity, so that the varieties of doctrine and worship are of only secondary importance (see AC 1083, 4772). "'And the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches' signifies the New Church upon earth, which is the New Jerusalem descending from the Lord out of the New Heaven . . . . By 'the seven lampstands' are not meant seven churches, but the church in the aggregate, which in itself is one, but various according to reception. Those varieties may be compared to the various diadems in the crown of a king; and they may also be compared to the various members and organs in a perfect body, which yet make one. The perfection of every form exists from various things being suitably arranged in their order. Hence it is that the whole New Church is described as to its varieties by 'the seven churches' in what follows" (AR 66, 73).
     The varieties of churches and religions in the world are like the various gems in the crown of a king (just quoted). "I have heard that churches which are in different goods and truths, provided their goods relate to love to the Lord and their truths to faith in Him, are like so many gems in a king's crown" (TCR 763e; also DP 259:3e).

     Heaven on Earth

     "What has been said of heaven may be said also of the church, for the church is the Lord's heaven on earth. There are also many churches, each one of which is called a church, and so far as the good of love and faith reigns therein is a church. Here too the Lord out of various parts forms a unity, that is, one church out of many churches" (HH 57; see also AC 2853).
     "In the Christian world it is doctrinal matters that distinguish churches, and from them people call themselves Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists, or the Reformed and the Evangelical, and by other names.


It is from what is doctrinal alone that they are so called, which would never be if they would make love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor the principal of faith . . . . Thus from all the differing churches there would be made one church; and all the dissensions that come forth from doctrine alone would vanish; yea, all hatreds of one against another would be dissipated in a moment, and the Lord's kingdom would come upon the earth" (AC 1799:4).
     It is known that many wars have been fought in the name of religion, and still are, stemming from an intolerant attitude. When the Lord's New Church is established in the world there will be a loving, supportive, and tolerant attitude toward the variety of churches and religions. Then each person will say, "In whatever doctrine and in whatever outward worship he might be, 'This is my brother; I see that he worships the Lord, and is a good person' " (AC 2385:5).
     In the New Church, as in the Ancient Church, people will acknowledge "all those as people of the church who live in the good of charity and call them brethren, however they might differ respecting truths" (NJHD 9). They will instruct one another in truths, but not be "indignant if one does not accede to the opinion of another, knowing that everyone receives truth so far as he is in good" (ibid.).
     I pray that each of us will acknowledge that "varieties . . . contribute to the perfection of the whole. For then, through charity, the Lord inflows and works in diverse ways, in accordance with the genius of each one; and thus, both in general and in particular, disposes all into order, on earth as in heaven. And then the will of the Lord is done, as He Himself teaches, as in the heavens, so also upon the earth" (AC 1285:3).     
     "If it were so now, all would be governed by the Lord of one man . . . " (AC 2385:5-emphasis added).





VI. "Wilderness tasks" which need to be completed before the church can grow

     Dr. Williams-Hogan pointed out that organizations based on her new model are voluntary. There are no real external bonds, save that of peer pressure, to keep one in the fold. Is our organization today of such a nature? Are we ready to go to the many?
     The Last Judgment 74 tells us how angels see the church of the future.

They said that they know not things to come, for the knowledge of things to come belongs to the Lord alone; but they know that the slavery and captivity in which the man of the church was formerly has been taken away, and that now, from restored freedom, he can better perceive interior truths, if he wills to perceive them, and thus be made more internal, if he wills to become so; but that still they have slender hope for the men of the Christian Church, but much for some nation far distant from the Christian world . . . .

     What I want to emphasize in this number is not the location of this nation with whom the church might grow. Two hundred years of history with the work of many Christian missionaries have changed much of what angels could then see. What is important to me is the emphasis on individual freedom here expressed. Many other things won't change because of the Last Judgment but this will. A new sense of freedom is present in the world. This same sense of individual freedom also seems to be emerging within the church. For example, women certainly have much more freedom to enter into the uses of the church than they did even ten years ago.1


The question arises, however, are we ready to handle this freedom?
     1 Forecasting a wave of freedom for mankind is not unique to us. The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre predicted that Marxism would run its course and be replaced with a new sense of freedom (W. T. Jones, The Twentieth Century to Wiltgenslein and Sortre, New York, 1975, p. 363). However, we know the spiritual reasons for this change. Nor is it simply arising where Marxism has failed. Certainly we have seen remarkable strides for individual freedom in the United States and South Africa as well. Are we ready to capitalize upon this change? Moreover, because the state of the church specific affects the state of the world, our strivings for freedom are reflected around us. (See DP 251.)
     To answer this question I want to turn to the theme of the church in the wilderness. As noted earlier, the wilderness into which the woman fled can mean the church surrounded by the barren states of faith alone, as well as the church with the few gentiles who established it. It also can be a state of temptation. All three of these meanings seem to apply concurrently to the church when in the wilderness.
     What are the temptations for the church in the wilderness? Although I don't wish to deal with it here, these temptations are summarized by the Lord's forty-day period of temptation in the wilderness. The temptations there described are real ones for the church in the wilderness as well as for the Lord.
     Instead of looking at those temptations, I will turn to the forty-year period the Children of Israel spent under Moses, wandering in the wilderness. Also, rather than focusing on the inner nature of their temptations, I want to look at the challenges they faced: the different tasks they had to master while in the wilderness. I believe that the New Church must master similar "wilderness tasks" if it is going to leave the wilderness.
     What are the tasks the Israelites faced? Among others they are: 1. To accept the law; 2. To set up the tabernacle and an order of encampment as well as a structure to relieve Moses from the crushing weight imposed by the role of sole judge-in other words, to establish a nation;


3. To learn not to build golden calves, not to offer strange fire to the Lord, and how to avoid stinging serpents; 4. To refrain from seeking to return to the "flesh pots" of Egypt; 5. To face the giants; 6. To change in leadership from Moses to Joshua.
     I will discuss each of these six issues in turn:

1.      Accepting the law from Mount Sinai. For the New Church this wilderness task involves accepting the Writings as the Word of God. They are the voice of Jehovah, not simply the inspired works of a man, nor a set of doctrines from heaven (Heavenly Doctrines), albeit Divinely inspired. Why must this task be mastered before going to the many? New churches are founded on new revelations, not commentaries on old revelations. They have new truths. Truth for gentiles must be based on a new revelation, else why change? A new revelation must have its own full base (see Lord 65, Contin. 12). The argument over the nature of the Writings has long been in our church. I personally do not think it is completed, although at least the ministers of the church discussed the issues involved last June in a non-threatening fashion, which means we have come a long way from the arguments on this issue held in 1934 and 1937. Can we complete this task? If not, can we expect to present the Word to others? Will they be able to see the Lord in His New Word and so be able to worship Him?

2.      Becoming a nation. Have we adopted a structure for church government which will provide for the voluntary nature of our church and the spirit of freedom which has     followed the Last Judgment, without destroying the ability for the exercise of leadership? Or have we adopted the theocracy of the Hebrew Church, which in turn was adapted by the popes and in fact was the beginning of the end for the Christian Church?


Are we suffering from an authoritarian personality disorder? Can council and assembly as outlined by Bishop W. F. Pendleton work in a church that exists with many? As I see it, government by influx is only as good as the form of the receiving vessel and the uses (efflux) a church undertakes. We cannot expect the government of heaven to exist on earth because we are not all angels. The larger we grow, the more we will need forms which curtail the collective propriums of our membership. Can a business model for our government work with volunteers rather than employees even if it provides for consensus?

I do not believe it merely coincidental that democracy as we now know it arose immediately after the Last Judgment. What does this mean in terms of church government? Should our church be more democratic? Right now we have a principle concerning the consent of the governed. Should that consent be a one-time thing, or should there be a continuing sense of renewal? We believe pastors should not serve too long in one spot, but our bishop serves an unlimited term. If we seek leadership by consensus, what does such leadership do to our sense of priestly enlightenment? I have asked questions here rather than attempt to give any kind of answers, since, if we are to have freedom, the answers should not be handed down from on high but should be developed by both priests and laymen working together.

3.      Golden-calf; strange-fire and fiery-serpent issues. These three issues relate to three different levels of wandering into strange territory. How many false forms of religion will the church get involved in? How enamored will we become with the "false gods of Egypt" or the natural knowledge of our world represented by the golden calf?


Spiritism seems to have been a golden calf that early plagued our church and in some places still does. What current fads are similar candidates for golden-calf status? Strange fire is the offering of false loves in the name of the church. How easy it is to let our emotions carry us away in the name of religion. Why do we want to grow? Is it because we feel people need the truth of the Lord's Word, or is it because we think we need them to keep ourselves happy (strange fire indeed)? Fiery serpents-the stinging allure of the sensual-how comfortable are we? How happy are we with our present size and friends? How ready for change?

4.      Returning-to-Pharaoh issues. We are still trying, or should I say again trying, to name our church. How often do we pretend to be just another Christian sect, a group of Swedenborgians? Isn't trying to appear like a part of the former church our own parallel to the Israelites' desire to return to Pharaoh? As discussed earlier we must actively reject the falsities of the former faith, not present ourselves in their guise.

5.      Facing the giants. The reason the Children of Israel spent forty years in the wilderness was that they listened to the evil report of the ten spies, a report of giants in the land. We too have built-in fears or giants we need to conquer before we can leave the wilderness. These fears are of two kinds. One involves our sense of inadequacy for the task-certainly someone else is better equipped to do the job. Another, more insidious giant is exposed in the story of Jonah. Jonah didn't think the people of Nineveh deserved saving. Why should he share the truth of Jehovah with these hated pagans? He wasn't willing to pay the price for growth.


Only with deep prayer after being swallowed by the great fish was Jonah able to overcome his prejudices and undertake Jehovah's assignment. Nor were his troubles over. When the people of Nineveh repented, he was left sitting outside the great city in discomfort. Are we willing to pay the price of growth?

6.      The change in leadership from Moses to Joshua. Moses in the Word stands for pacific doctrine, while Joshua stands for fighting truth, the church militant (see AC 8545). In the wilderness Joshua fought under Moses, but as the people left the wilderness he took charge. What kind of truth is fighting truth? There seem to be two different kinds of warfare, one represented by Joshua while he is under Moses, and one when he becomes leader. As I see it, these two stages involve fighting the falsities of the former faith as represented by the dragon and Babylon, and fighting the evils of the world. Neither of these tasks is a defensive action. Fighting truth is not reactive. It doesn't sit and bemoan the state of the world. It seeks out the enemy, not confusing evil and falsity with the people expressing them.

     I have already discussed the need for exposing these falsities. One set of falsities, described by battles in the wilderness, is involved with clarifying the nature of doctrine, or forging the sword of truth. However, when the Israelites crossed the Jordan they engaged in destruction of evils of every kind. In this second stage the sword forged is used to conquer.
     Let me illustrate. It is important for us to understand the doctrine concerning the nature of the soul in the body. The "pacific" truth tells us when the soul enters the body how it gradually increases its correspondential relationship with the formation of the body in the womb, and how with birth the relationship becomes full as an eternal being comes into existence. The same kind of doctrine tells us the soul leaves the body in a similar fashion.


When the lungs cease to operate, the person becomes unconscious; when the heart's beat stops, the correspondence of soul and body is severed by one more step, with the soul's finally leaving the body when all brain activity ceases. As such this truth is pacific. It is interesting and important. Now take that truth into the arena of life's problems. Should one abort a fetus? Should one remove life supports from a brain-dead individual? With these questions truth becomes fighting truth.
     Take another illustration. In looking at the hells we see that adultery and cruelty are closely linked. Cruelty, in fact, doesn't exist outside of hell. Hell is obscene. Now turn from this "pacific" doctrine to a life situation. Ask whether the Writings give a battered wife grounds for divorce. Conjugial Love 468 lists manifest obscenity that is linked to what is scortatory as one of the reasons for divorce. It also says that one must determine for oneself just what is manifestly obscene. If we link adulterous love with cruelty, and cruelty with the obscenity of hell, the truth suddenly becomes fighting truth; it exposes the evils of life.
     Gentiles are not interested in fighting the heresies of the former faith. Truth that fights evil is what is necessary for them. How far have we gotten in exposing the evils of life to the sword of Joshua, that is, in showing how the doctrines fight evils?

VII. Conclusion

     I believe Swedenborg saw the events of the Apocalypse as applying to the spread of the church. He specifically equates the water from the dragon's mouth with the Gothenburg trial.2 Other events from that chapter and the next seem to apply well to the history of our church.


We seem to have had war in heaven, that is within the church, over the nature of the doctrine. Are the Writings the Word or aren't they? If so, what kind of Word do you mean? And so forth. Also the dragon seems to have been in our midst as well as out there.
     2 Tafel's Documents, page 300.
     The dragon with the clergy is conceit of self-intelligence, while with the laity it is blind adherence to tradition. In the next chapter of the Apocalypse two beasts are seen, specifically describing these two kinds of dragons.
     The point in looking at such an analogy is that it might give us some insight as to how we are progressing in our endeavors to leave the wilderness and go to the many. Just as a change of leadership must happen between Moses and Joshua, so the Rider on the white horse must appear to the church if the Holy City is to descend.
     Perhaps as a church we are now somewhere around the Babylon issues, issues which warn against adulterating the truth and succumbing to the love of dominion. But enough of speculation.
     In this paper I have tried to illustrate two main themes: first, the church must understand who are meant by the many if it wishes to go to them, and, second, the church must accomplish certain "wilderness tasks" within its walls before it will be ready to undertake the project.
     John the Baptist cried out from the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord." We need to listen to the voice of revelation as we make our preparations for that era when the "time and times and half a time" shall be complete and the woman can leave her wilderness. Then shall come the time when, as Isaiah says, "The wilderness and the dry place shall be glad in them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose" (Isa. 35:1). Then shall the voice of the Lord be heard saying, "He, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk, without money and without price" (Isa. 55:1).




     In April this year I went on a ten-day trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg. The goal of the visit was to lecture, to find publishers that would be willing to publish the Writings, and to support seeds of a New Church movement.
     There are a number of people that made this trip possible and that supported its effort to bring light to the people of the former Soviet Union. The common bond of those people is the title SPI. "Spy" and Russia ring bells of old days. But this is the SPI of a new era. SPI stands for Swedenborg Publishers International.
     One year ago, in April, an historic meeting took place in Manchester, England. Representatives from all different New Church organizations came together to talk about possible means to be more efficient in spreading the Writings around the world.
     Of particular interest was eastern Europe. The Berlin wall had just been torn down. The satellite states of the Soviet Union had been granted their free choice in international affairs, and the Soviet Union itself was being opened up more and more. Freedom of speech and free entry to that country seemed to be coming. The old world order was changing into something promising.
     All these changes gave a focus and a determination among the people going to the publishers conference. It was decided to support projects and events that would further the spreading of the Writings and New Church literature.
     One such event was a conference in Moscow and St. Petersburg last year in September. The subject was wide enough to allow a presentation of Swedenborgian ideas. Rev. Donald L. Rose went to it. Not only did it give us an opportunity to expose Russians to the name of Swedenborg, but it also led to contacts that could be used later for activities in Russia.


He moved on virgin ground and sowed some seeds.     
     And to that prepared ground I went with more seeds. One thing leads to another. This is a good lesson. Nobody knew what last year's trip would lead to. But without that one, my trip could not have happened.
     The background for the trip is the following. At that September conference, Mr. Rose made contact with one of the participants, Mrs. Nina Nikolajeva. She had just recently heard about Swedenborg through Rev. Olle Hjern, whom she had met on a trip to Sweden. That contact took her to the Moscow conference. Then she returned to Sweden in the fall, and while again meeting Mr. Hjern, she invited him to come and lecture in Moscow and St. Petersburg in the beginning of April, 1992.
     Mr. Hjern knew that I speak Russian, and in a letter to Mr. Rose he asked about the possibility for me to come as well. The rest of the story is one of preparations, including such things as applying for a visa, booking hotels and flights, etc. Since Mr. Hjern was in Sweden most of this time, it required some thinking to get the two of us to the same place at the same time in two cities in Russia. But we made it, and all the worries and uncertainties are forgotten. Instead, the good memories remain. It also included finding the financial support, which came from the General Church Evangelization Committee and from the SPI affiliates.
     Yes, the memories are good. It was a successful trip. People were interested. They had interesting questions. They showed a great need, and we felt that we had food to offer them.
     As mentioned, there were three areas that were covered: lecturing, publishing, and supporting New Church people. But before going into that, a few words about the situation in general in Russia should be told.
     First of all, is Communism dead? The answer is Yes without any "huts." This has implications both nationally and internationally.
     On the national level the following is worth mentioning.


Recently the Russian Parliament (the Congress of People's Deputies) had a 10-day-long session. Conservative attacks were opposed, and at the end Russian President Yeltsin said: "Russia has been aroused. It has started moving toward a market economy, a normal, full life. Whatever obstacles there may be on this path, the momentum of history cannot be stopped any more." And further: "I think that no restrictions on . . . freedom of the press are admissible."3
     3 New York Times, April 22, 1992
     There are certainly important things to be noted on the international scene. The country is undergoing a major and significant change. Disarmament agreements have been signed one after the other. What comes to mind is the quote from the Old Testament prophets: "They shall beat swords into plowshares" (Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3). By heavy propaganda the people had been forced into a confrontational attitude toward the rest of the world. That is fading away now. In reality they want to share their lives with others on a charitable or, let us say, on a spiritual plane. They want to raise the level of awareness from the earthly to the heavenly.
     The country is poor but not ruined. There is food at least to survive. Daily life continues as before. Everything that I was involved in functioned well, sometimes remarkably well. People are looking forward. They are not despairing. They know that they themselves have to work for the change, and that it will not come in a moment like a miracle. After coming home, I found an article in a newspaper4 about "Moscow gasoline prices being quadrupled." What is the reaction? One person says: "We are going somehow to find ways to cope." He mentioned working extra hours, not using the car at times. They are prepared to work for a change.
     4 The Montgomery County Record, April 21, 1992
     You might be surprised but I found that people were happy.


One person said to me, "It is not a normal state for man to be unhappy, so why make it worse by despairing when there is a bright future in view?"
     I was amazed to see how easily they seemed to forget about what they have grown up with. I heard a very touching story that illustrates this. One of the interpreters we had told us about her father:

     He was a military officer and member of the Communist party. He worked at the Ministry of Defense. He firmly believed in the Communist doctrines. When the system broke down he lost everything. His hair turned gray in a few weeks. He was forced to retire. The family thought he would collapse. But not long before this the family had bought a summer house 260 km north of Moscow in a village that was close to where he grew up. He went there and found the satisfaction in working on the house and especially with the soil. At this time he also started to look into the Russian religious tradition, the Orthodox church. He studied it, got more and more involved and finally asked to be baptized, although he had been baptized as a child. He now stays weeks at a time in the summer house and continues his involvement in church life there. Also, back in Moscow he goes to church. When asked at what moment he realized that the Communist system was imperfect, he said it was during the perestroika year, when new information reached his ears. This experience of my father has greatly affected me and my sister.

     This shows to me how relatively external-let's call it-the Communist faith was.
     Let us now look at the three areas. First the lecturing.
     It is significant that the initiative for the trip came from within Russia.


Mrs. Nikolajeva is the director for a center that devotes itself to the spreading of spiritual knowledge from different sources, both Christian and non-Christian. For the same purpose they also have a magazine published in both Russian and English. To present Swedenborg and his thought was in line with this purpose.
     Mr. Hjern was the main lecturer. Before we came they told us they did not want to have lectures that were less than two hours! And they got what they wanted. When Mr. Hjern was speaking we had an interpreter. It worked very well. After the two-hour lecture they still wanted to ask questions, and some of them stayed and chatted with us till the warden more or less threw us out of the building. This pattern was repeated each night that we lectured. The second evening I took half of the time, speaking in Russian. I had a presentation of icons, well-known to them, and tied them in with ideas from the Writings that would shed light on the spiritual meaning of the icon pictures.
     It is noteworthy that the Russian and Greek tradition of painting pictures from the Bible (icons) has a deeper and more spiritual content than we can find in the western tradition. One short example is the common icon of the Lord the Pantokrator (the Almighty Lord), which is the risen and glorified Lord. On the halo is written the Greek words "Ho oon," i.e., "the One who has Being" (see AC 3938:2, 3).
     Another surprising fact is that when the Metropolitan Philaret (1782-1867) "who is well known for his fight against serfdom" was asked about Swedenborg's works, "he said that he could not find anything in them that contradicted Greek Orthodox views."5
     5 Anders Hallengren, Religion and Politics-Notes on Radical Humanism and New Church Spirituality, p. 12
     These two programs were repeated in St. Petersburg. Some of the questions from both cities were these: What is the difference between the New Church and other churches?


What are the special rituals in the New Church? In what way is Swedenborg close to the Russian Orthodox faith? And one woman said that "many people have come to look at the Bible more and more and realize that there are hidden treasures under the surface." One person asked about reincarnation. Mr. Hjern first gave an answer, and then he had the interpreter read HH 257 from the Russian translation that we had at hand. One woman asked about good and truth. She had read in our pamphlet (extracts from The Essential Swedenborg in Russian) about the difference between men and animals. She said animals seem to know better than man what good is, whereas people in her country seemed to have some difficulty to see what good is.
     And another woman told us about her son: "A couple of years ago, my son was nearly dying. During that time he had a near-death experience, in which he had been taken to a most wonderful place. A few months after that he had a frightening experience, which according to his own interpretation was 'a visit by the devil.' Thinking of the wonderful place, he often asked me why he had to come back since it was better where he had been." I said that this experience was the reason that she had come to the lecture.
     We had between 15 and 40 people attending, both men and women, and the average age was probably around 45.     
     Do I think that number of people was a disappointment? I have two answers. In 1784 James Glen was the first to give a public lecture about Swedenborg in America, and as far as we know there were not too many attending. Still he got followers.6 The second answer comes from a Christian journal, from a Russian woman's being interviewed. She said: "Many people go to the western rallies and crusades here, but it would be better, although it would take longer, for people to explain their religion to their friends and to small groups that are interested."7


I think we did exactly that.
     6 Block, The New Church in the New World, p. 74
     7 Plain Truth, May/June 1992, p. 24
     As preparation for the trip and the lectures we had about 50 copies of the translation into Russian of The Essential Swedenborg"8 and also 200 pamphlets specially prepared for the trip with extracts from that same book and also addresses of New Church organizations supporting SPI. We also had bookmarks with Swedenborg quotes. All of these things were received with great appreciation.
     8 Osnovy Uchenya
     The second area is publishing. The goal was to investigate the possibilities of publishing the already existing translations of the Writings into Russian.
     A very interesting thing is that there are old traditions to build on. The 70 years of Communist rule is an interim. Before that there were many religious thinkers, philosophers, and overall a strong religious activity. So now there is an effort to reconnect with those traditions.
     And Swedenborg is part of that tradition. Famous writers such as Pushkin, Dostoyevsky and Soloviev were definitely influenced by Swedenborg. And what is more, many of his Writings were translated into Russian, many of them also printed and published. We are therefore not operating in complete darkness. The following titles were once published: Heaven and Hell, The Heavenly Doctrine, Conjugial Love (part 1), Divine Love and Wisdom, one chapter of The True Christian Religion, and parts of Arcana Coelestia.
     So, not only do we already have a tradition to build on, but the existing translations can be used as they stand. And we also have a strong interest from Russian people who want to see the Writings published again.


     And again we see how one contact leads to another. Let us go back to September last year. Mr. Rose then met a Russian professor (Alexander Dobrokhotov at the Moscow University) who himself had a strong interest in publishing Heaven and Hell. So when I went to Moscow I managed to arrange through him a meeting with publishers that are truly interested.
     Let me pause for a moment and be poetic. The country that I visited is a desert. By that I mean that the people are thirsting for spiritual nourishment, for books on spirituality. Seventy years of Communist rule have depleted the stock of that kind of literature. It has been banned and that has been efficient. The country is a desert. So what happens when you are allowed to bring water?
     The publishers are talking about editions of one hundred thousand. Yes, that is right. And they do not doubt that they will be sold. We certainly have to verify that optimism, but that country is a totally different world. At any rate there is a great need, a desert as I said, so wouldn't it be worthwhile trying to help these people find the truths we hold to be so precious?
     The books have to be printed in Russia. The price that can be charged cannot be more than 10 or 20 cents! For them that is much. A normal monthly salary is by now around $10. They say they can produce the book for that price, but they need some preliminary funds from the west to be able to start the production.
     These contacts are extremely valuable and need follow-up. I think this is the right time to promote the distribution of the Writings in this area of the world.
     The third area has to do with an already existing group of New Church people in the Ukraine, part of the disintegrating former Soviet Union.
     In March of this year we received a letter from a man in the Ukraine. His last name is Sidorov. He writes: "I have been acquainted with the works of Swedenborg for about three years, and I recently joined the New Church society in Lvov.


     Two things are worth noticing here. First that this person is talking about a church and not only about Swedenborg as an interesting writer. Secondly, he refers to a group of people in another town, Lvov, not far from him, as a New Church society.
     Let us therefore go to Lvov. It was mentioned above that part of our mission was to support seeds of a New Church movement.
     This seed was planted by the Lord through His Providence about four years ago. Two years ago Rev. Fred Elphick in London received a letter from a young man in the Ukraine. He wrote: "I am 26 years old . . . . I live in the Ukraine in the city of Lvov. Two years ago the Lord-in His mercy-made me acquainted with the truth revealed by Him through Emanuel Swedenborg, and gave me the joy of receiving in my soul something of the heavenly light from the New Jerusalem's church. From that time my entire life is connected with the task of serving her, preaching and the spreading of the works of Swedenborg. Besides me some other people appeared that are also accepting the revelation of the New Church, so that it is already time for us to gather in an organizational way. It is therefore with the greatest joy that I learnt that in Europe there exists a community of followers of Swedenborg, because in the Soviet Union I did not succeed to find them . . . . We would be very happy if you would pay some attention to our community, however small it is at present."
     The man who wrote is Alexander Vasiliev. We have since had contact with him. Before our trip Mr. Rose sent him three letters telling him about the lectures in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The mail being slow, it could or could not have reached him. We did not know. But there he was the first day at the first lecture in Moscow! Later on we had the opportunity to sit down and talk together, in Russian. He speaks no English.
     He told us this: In 1988 he went on a trip to Leningrad (now St, Petersburg) and happened to find Heaven and Hell in Russian.


He read it and went through a conversion. In 1990 he and some others started to have religious meetings and to pray. He said this was the beginning of a truly religious community with them, and he feels the group is absolutely sincere in this. The group meets in his home, but also in cafes, clubs and libraries. They read the Bible and the Writings and discuss. They are all between 20 and 30 years old. Most are men; some are married and have children. Six of them are dedicated and consider themselves to be New Church people. Then there are another 15-20 that are interested. As to the Writings, they have most of what has been published in Russian-Heaven and Hell, New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine, Conjugial Love, True Christian Religion (parts), Arcana Coelestia (parts), Divine Love and Wisdom. And he wants to register this group in Lvov as a religious organization, as a New Church society! Having this organization they would have tax-exempt status and could get sponsors, invite lecturers, organize meetings, and undertake financial operations such as are needed in publishing and running church activities.
     This is the group that Mr. Sidorov wrote to say that he had recently "joined the New Church Society in Lvov."
     Now, having talked to Mr. Vasiliev, I realized that the truth of the matter was that he traveled all the way to Moscow for the sole purpose of attending the lectures and meeting with New Church people from another part of the world. From seeing him we both, Mr. Hern and I, realized that he is a dedicated New Churchman, already looking toward the setting up of an organization that can develop into a worshiping New Church society. We both felt that those people should be supported with all love and care possible. He is not baptized but would really like to be baptized into the New Church.     
     My assessment is that people in the former Soviet Union are in great need for sound spiritual nourishment, and that they would consider what the New Church has to offer to be that sound nourishment.


Their traditions, their sense of love toward the neighbor, and their deep-thinking minds need real food. We have that food to offer. To support the endeavor to print the Writings in Russian in Russia is probably the best thing we can do right now. We should also do whatever we can to support the people in Lvov. Lastly, whenever we can find opportunity to participate in conferences or to go on our own lecture tours, that would be part of a long-term commitment to spread the good news to those peoples.

CELEBRATION IN CANADA       Editor       1992

     The Olivet Day School in Toronto will celebrate its 100th birthday over the weekend of April 30-May 2, 1993.

OFFICIAL DEPOSITORY       Carroll Odhner       1992

     The Swedenborg Library has been recognized as the official Depository Library for the Academy of the New Church and for the General Church of the New Jerusalem. All editors of New Church books and periodicals are asked to contribute copies to the library free of charge. A minimum of two copies of newsletters, periodicals, books, pamphlets, etc., should be deposited with the library-one for a non-circulating collection to be preserved and one circulating copy which can be used for research. Manuscript materials should be sent to the Academy Archives, housed in the lower floor of the library.
     Carroll Odhner,
          Library Director


Editorial Pages 1992

Editorial Pages       Editor       1992


     The final paragraph of one of the Four Doctrines is short and stark. It reads as follows: "Finally I will describe what those become after death who ascribe all things to their own intelligence, and little or nothing to the Word. They first become as if drunken, then like fools, and finally stupid. Of such insanity, therefore, let all beware" (SS 118).
     The warning is serious enough, but the material behind it includes what is really comical. Indeed the warning becomes effective when the humor of the situation is brought home to us.
     A statement may by virtue of its phrasing seem respectable, but it may be sheer folly. Last month we mentioned the evil spirit who was giving impressive arguments against the notion of life after death. The fact that he was himself living after death was not in his mind, and the absurdity of the situation escaped him. Swedenborg finally could not help laughing. Nor could he refrain from bringing out the comical nature of that encounter. "You are now living after death, and you were even now talking just as you formerly did" (TCR 80).
     Formerly that man had given seemingly plausible arguments against the concept of life after death, and he had denied the existence of God. That denial is a colossal folly. One might say that the most absurd assertion a human being can make is that God does not exist. "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Psalm 14).
     The denial of God makes hell (see DLW 13). Hell, although sad and serious as a subject could be, is a subject of comedy. We will later continue the theme that when we act or think under a hellish influence we are into downright foolishness. Of such foolishness, let all beware.



     Last month we spoke of Mark Twain's amusing insights into what heaven would be like if it consisted only in heavenly rest. This, of course, is dramatically portrayed in the Writings.
Another situation apt for drama and amusement is the experience of one's own funeral. In the book Tom Sawyer we read that the entire congregation had dissolved into tears while listening to an oration about Tom and his two friends, presumed dead. But then the three boys came marching up the aisle. "They had been hid in the unused gallery listening to their own funeral sermon!"
     When Swedenborg talked with some persons he knew personally he did not say, "They are getting ready to bury your bodies." He told them in effect, "They are getting ready to bury you!"
     "I talked with three whom I had known in the world, to whom I mentioned that arrangements were now being made for burying their bodies; I said, for burying them; on hearing which they were smitten with a kind of surprise, saying that they were alive" (HH 452).
     It is intriguing to read of some who "attended and witnessed their own funerals, and saw all things there" (SD 5837). In the Arcana we read, "I have spoken with two of my acquaintances of the day of their burial, and with one who through my eyes saw his coffin and his bier; and as this man enjoyed all the sensation he had in this world, he spoke to me about the burial rites while I was following in his funeral procession" (4622).
     One who saw his own funeral ceremony observed his mourning relatives and asked Swedenborg to tell them that he was still alive, but Swedenborg said they would not believe him (see AC 4527). Seeing the service through Swedenborg's eyes was one thing. What about hearing the funeral address through Swedenborg's ears? We will take that up next time.



ABORTION       Linda Simonetti Odhner       1992

Dear Editor:
     The phrase "life begins at conception" is so ambiguous that it does nothing to clarify the abortion issue, much less to resolve it. At best it can be the starting point for a dialogue if the reply is, "What do you mean by life? What do you mean by conception?"
     Science admits that biological life is present in the zygote, or fertilized ovum. New Church doctrine asserts that the human soul, a spiritual vessel of life from the Lord, is there too. Yet both of those things are true of the sperm as well. Why not say life begins with spermatogenesis? Neither the soul nor the bodily substance alone concerns us here, but rather the existence of an individual or person to whom life, both biological and spiritual, belongs. The definition of "life" in this context as "the life belonging to an individual" is not a scientific one, and therefore cannot be applied to the assertion, "Science has proved that life begins at conception."
     Dictionaries define "conception" as the act of becoming pregnant. One biology textbook defines it as the successful union of egg and sperm. Embryology textbooks hardly mention it at all; they speak of fertilization. However it is defined, the event we call "the moment of conception" bears a heavy burden of mystic significance. But which moment is it? Is it

     a)      the entry of the sperm into the oocyte,
     b)      the completion of the second meiotic division of the oocyte and the resulting discharge of unneeded genetic material,
     c)      the fusion of sperm and ovum nuclei to form the zygote nucleus, or


     d)      the lining up of the chromosomes in preparation for the first mitotic division of development?

     Since I have a high regard for the importance of the genome as an instrument of the soul's operation in the world, my choice is d). I don't consider the mere presence of the sperm within the egg cytoplasm to amount to a definitive union, but only the first step. Yet it is a question about which different opinions are reasonable and defensible. In biological terms, conception is a matter of definition; what basis do we have for pinpointing it more precisely or more absolutely from a spiritual perspective? What doctrines apply here?
     The step-by-step union begun by fertilization continues to grow more intimate as development progresses. It takes many cell divisions-guided by maternal genes already present in the egg-to make enough copies of the new gene complex so that it, in turn, can take over and orchestrate development. Not until two weeks after fertilization, with the formation of the primitive streak on the embryonic disk, does the potential for identical twinning end. I regard this as a strong argument against the disturbing practice of treating a zygote or a frozen "pre-embryo" as a person. To quote from my series "Developmental Milestones and Abortion In the BORN (Birth-Oriented Resource Network) Newsletter, "If conception defines legal personhood, identical twins are legally only one person." And if the presence of a human soul necessarily implies the presence of a person, then sperms are people too.
     If fertilization does not instantly create a person, but is an important first step in a process that may eventually result in the presence of a new individual, isn't that enough significance for conception to have? Doesn't that make it special enough? And isn't it bad enough that abortion is the killing of innocent human life without automatically equating it with murder?
     Part of treating prenatal life with respect is observing the distinctions between earlier and later stages, and recognizing the magnitude of the transformation taking place.


Important things happen between conception and birth, and the physical changes do reflect spiritual changes. Something very special occurs when the embryo gains a head-to-tail axis and a definite spatial orientation; when the contact between cells originating in different parts of the egg triggers a cascade of organ formation; when the heart rudiment begins to beat. Saying that the zygote is already a person devalues the significance of these things.
     A prostaglandin abortion at 22 weeks gestation (a rare, but by no means unheard of, occurrence) is a lot more akin to murder than the destruction of a pre-implantation embryo-about 100 times worse, I would say, and about 10 times more horrible than an abortion at around five weeks gestation. If this is so, there is an element of cruelty in any action which delays an abortion without preventing it. Let us weigh our actions accordingly.
     Linda Simonetti Odhner,
          Horsham, Pennsylvania

TWO BECOMING ONE       Rev. Kurt H. Asplundh       1992

Dear Editor:
     I have in my possession an illustration of a current attitude toward marriage, a quotation ready for framing which says: "I do my thing and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations. And you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful." I don't believe this is what Rev. Mark Carlson is suggesting in his discussion of a "third misconception" about marriage in his recent article (July 1992, pp. 303-4).
     I appreciate Mr. Carlson's intent to reduce some of the misconceptions about marriage which may be troubling New Church couples in these difficult times.


However, the position he takes here should not pass without comment.     
     He supports his conclusion that a "total oneness is not the goal of marriage" with the passage which describes conjunction as being really only "adjunction" or "contact" (see CL 158). This fails to take into account the extensive teachings of doctrine about the essential oneness of souls and minds in partners in a marriage of love truly conjugial. In fact, the entire chapter in which CL 158 appears is about the conjunction of souls and minds by marriage. Conjugial love is said to be "nothing else than the willing of two to be one, that is, their will that the two lives shall become one life" (CL 215). The Writings teach that "the male and the female were so created that from two they may become as one man or one flesh . . . . Without this conjunction they are two and each, as it were, is a divided or half man" (CL 37; see also CL 46, 112, 157, 177, 201 and many other passages, perhaps especially the description of the angelic couple from the Golden Age in the Memorable Relation CL 75).
     I agree that we should not hold unrealistic expectations at the outset of marriage that we will enjoy total togetherness and unanimity of thought and purpose. However, I believe the Lord has set this as a beautiful goal of the relationship.
     The concept of marriage has been deeply influenced in our day by the growing denial of the distinctive, yet conjunctive, nature of the sexes. This denial leads to the conclusion that marriage is simply a shared commitment between two partners who are not only equal but independent; a relationship of two who remain two. In contrast to this, the New Church presents an ideal of marriage in which partners become one. " . . . from the first days of marriage, conjunction is effected successively, and with those who are in love truly conjugial, more and more deeply to eternity" (CL 177).
     Rev. Kurt H. Asplundh,
          Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania



MIND UNDER SEIGE       Jessie Pendleton Rose       1992

     Dear Editor:
     I enjoyed reading your editorial about turning to the Lord in a down state by doing some little good with Him in mind. I also liked Judy Hyatt's (May issue) reply that we should turn to the Lord in a bad state by quietly turning control over to Him. I don't think that these two approaches necessarily oppose each other.
     I have spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to turn to the Lord and away from evil. I think that one of the things required of a New Church person is to go to the three testaments and to ask himself why he needs to change, and to do it. Picking a couple of everyday annoying foibles to work on helps with seeing progress sooner, and helps us be more charitable to the neighbor who may daily be unnerved by our foibles.
     Secular and even collateral literature can be a huge help. But there is nothing like the Word if we want to change, so we should go for the light each day. Only by turning to the Lord for ourselves will we gain a lasting good feeling about words such as confidence, friendship, good works, trust, and peace.
     The Lord is at our shoulder through all states, and we need to rationally commit our path of life to Him. May we strive for more than natural good, and for more than a fantasy of quietness. Here's to mature patience: "For they who are in infestations are surrounded by falsities, and shaken like a reed by the wind, thus from doubt to affirmative, and from affirmative to doubt; and therefore when they newly ascend out of this state they are in obscurity, but this obscurity is then gradually enlightened" (AC 7313).
     Thanks for the magazine, and for the support.
          Jessie Pendleton Rose,
               Ft. Walton Beach, Florida




     Shakespeare's 37 plays comprise only a small part of the Swedenborg Library's present 80,000 volumes. While they are not checked out as often as titles on this week's best-seller list, Romeo and Juliet and the Tempest are kept and treasured.

     [Picture of Caliban (from The Tempest) devours a book]

     Our theme for the season suggests that we should be involved in some form of feeding. We hasten to remind our readers that the physical consumption of food is not the direction we seek to focus attention on.


     Feeding the mind-the process of preparation for life should be impressed upon all humankind as an ongoing, ceaseless activity. Where would we be without knowledges? This includes natural, scientific and spiritual knowledge. Men expend a great amount of time and effort in preparation for their life's calling. Unfortunately, many over-commit to the total pursuit of materialistic gain, and neglect the spiritual aspects of life. This weakness or failing does not exempt New Church men and women.
     We are heirs to a precious heritage and we must constantly remind ourselves of just how fortunate we are. The struggle for survival among mankind has been going on for thousands of years and will continue. How we use these gifts to transfer, inculcate, and work to improve what we have will determine the quality of life and education for future generations of New Church men and women.
     Basic training in education is learning the alphabet, parroting words and learning their meanings in order to communicate effectively. A major tool to learning is the dictionary. And there is more than one kind. There is also a spiritual dictionary. Perhaps you may recognize it better if we refer to it as the Dictionary of Correspondences.
     Perhaps an introduction to a few key words from the spiritual dictionary might be of interest. The first word that took our attention was "food," or better put:

     1.      Eat, to: Denotes "communication, conjunction, and appropriation" (AC 2187). The act of "eating, with man, corresponds to scientifics in the world of spirits" (AC 1480). "To eat of the tree of life, in the spiritual sense, is to be intelligent and wise from the Lord; and to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is to be intelligent and wise from self (CL 353). To eat and drink signifies appropriation and conjunction by love and charity (see AC 2187, 2343).


     "Every man in Christendom imbued with religion may know, and if he does not know, may learn, that there is given both natural nourishment and spiritual nourishment, and that natural nourishment is for the body, but spiritual nourishment for the soul, for the Lord Jehovah says through Moses, 'Man doth not live by bread alone, but by everything which cometh forth from the mouth of Jehovah doth man live' (Deut. 8:3). Now whereas the body dies, and the soul lives after death, it follows that spiritual nourishment is for eternal salvation" (TCR 709).

     2.      Fill, to: Denotes "to be gifted" (AC 5487). "To fill the mouth with good is to give understanding by means of knowledges" (AR 244).

     A man's evolution (regeneration) is inner. His possibilities as a created being lie in a development of the mind, of his will and also the control and discipline of his emotions, and these from his understanding. For only through understanding is development possible.
     At the core of this is a wholesome "fear" of the Lord. This fear or spiritual love is the supereminent love of loves which strives to please in every way, and has a great fear of disappointing or failing to please and do the will of the Lord, who is loved so deeply. "The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy" (Psalm 147:11).
     Our discussion has touched upon the physical, material, and worldly aspects of the library. But central to its purpose is the Swedenborg Vault Collection. For here is where Emanuel Swedenborg's copies of the original handwritten and first editions of the Divinely inspired treatises of the Writings themselves reside. Here rest the doctrines of the holy New Jerusalem, which guide our spiritual lives from day to day.
     To view the contents of his personal library comprising thousands of volumes of nearly endless subject matter covering all of the sciences of his day is a deeply moving experience. These date from the late 14th through 17th centuries.


     The massive photo reproductions of the original handwritten volumes of the Writings themselves testify to the physical enormity of the Divine task which Swedenborg was called upon to perform.
     Should not we, in humble gratitude and prayerful thanksgiving, gratefully acknowledge the infinite caring love of our Heavenly Father who has blessed each of us in permitting us to be the children of His New Church on earth?
     May we be granted the wisdom and love of God to strengthen us in our resolve to serve Him and His church on earth in promoting His Divine truths, in both our present generations and all future generations to come.
     A good library offers the best of the past as well as what is currently popular. It also offers more than books. The Swedenborg Library's collections include newspapers, magazines, microfilm, audio and video cassettes, and, most recently, compact discs of classical music.
     Plus, a good library offers the personal and technological services necessary to help its users find the information they seek.
     Here's a question for you: Do you believe, or are you under the impression, that the ANC Swedenborg Library is for the exclusive use of a privileged few, i.e., teachers, students of the ANC, its priests and its board members? If you answered yes to that one, you are partly correct. It is certainly a unique facility-all 35,000 square feet of it. It is three stories high (larger than two supermarkets). And it was funded, constructed, staffed and is open for the use of all New Churchmen throughout the world.
     If you have not as yet visited, browsed through, read or borrowed from its over 80,000 volumes, hundreds of magazines, newspapers, society newsletters from all over the world, video cassettes, classic CDs, or had a personal tour of the Swedenborgiana vault and its treasures, including many of Emanuel Swedenborg's original manuscripts, and 247 volumes of his personal library and reference collection of the greatest minds of his day dating from the 14th century through most of the 17th century, why, you are just missing out on a great source of information, knowledge and entertainment beyond comprehension!


     Some day in the not-too-distant future we hope that through additional funding and generous gifts, all of the library shelves will present to you their full capacity of over 150,000 volumes. Do come and visit with us, join with us, and grow with us because we belong to you!


     Libraries have been referred to as "bodies of knowledge," and in the grand "body," which modern technology is causing the world-library to become, surely the Swedenborg Library in Bryn Athyn will be the heart and soul.
     Thus we have a unique mission to collect, catalogue, preserve and promote the Writings-first editions, all subsequent editions and translations, the library of 17th- and 18th-century works which reflect Swedenborg's day, together with a duplication of his own personal library, and the rapidly expanding collection of New Church collateral materials. Oliver Wendell Holmes expressed the same thought in saying, "Every library should be complete on something, if it were only the history of pinheads." If we do not have as our goal to collect, preserve and make known these collections, who else will?
     The Swedenborg Library also has the mission to support the Academy's schools and college, providing the academic collections necessary to meet their needs. Yet our obligation is not just limited to our institutions for we also serve the local community, New Church societies and organizations nationwide and abroad, as well as researchers and scholars everywhere, by providing research and books through interlibrary loan.


     [Four photos of Swedenborg Library]



     This Russian princess (born in 1809, died in 1883) proclaimed that Swedenborg had opened the way for a new spiritual unification of the nations.
     The portrait itself is in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Anders Hallengren obtained the above copy after corresponding with that museum for six months. Mr. Hallengren had been doing research on early readers of Swedenborg in Russia. Last July he gave an address at the Swedenborg Library in Bryn Athyn in which he mentioned four Swedenborgian Russian princesses. The address was also given at Dartmouth College. We have a copy of it and may be publishing it.



IN OUR CONTEMPORARIES       Editor       1992


     We commend to readers the current issue (Vol. XCIV, nos. l & 2) of The New Philosophy. It contains a landmark study by Rev. Kurt P. Nemitz entitled "Leibnitz and Swedenborg." "Leibnitz is one of the handful of actual contemporary personalities mentioned in Swedenborg's theological works. Explicit references to him are for the most part used like verbal engravings to illustrate the subject at hand." This is a pleasing and thorough (43-page) article, an outstanding scholarly contribution.

BALTIMORE CELEBRATES 200 YEARS       Editor       1992

     On the 11th of this month the Baltimore Society celebrated the formation of the first society of the New Church in America. The first New Church sermon delivered in America was in 1792 in Baltimore. In January of 1793 the members of the Baltimore Society presented a copy of True Christian Religion to President George Washington.


Once again available 1992

Once again available       Editor       1992

A Picture of
     Glossy black & white reproduction
Perfect for matting and/or framing
For the classroom, office or home
50 plus postage
     General Church Book Center                    Hours: Mon-Fri 9-12
Box 743, Cairncrest                         or by appointment
Bryn Athyn, PA 19009                         Phone: (215) 947-3920


Notes on This Issue 1992

Notes on This Issue       Editor       1992

Vol. CXII     November, 1992     No. 11


     Notes on This Issue

     Michael Church of London has celebrated its one hundredth anniversary. For the church service on the weekend of the celebration a former pastor prepared a special sermon, which appears in this issue. You may have noticed that we are not publishing as many sermons as in previous years. This is due to the high volume of items received for publication. Did you know that you can obtain copies of sermons from the General Church? These are mailed monthly, usually in packages of four, and they are sent at no charge (although contributions are encouraged). Contact the Secretary of the General Church, P. O. Box 743, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009.
     Ninety-nine people joined the General Church during the year. Who are they? Where are they? You can find this out in the report of the Secretary. And in the directory (p. 501) you can find a list of the societies and circles (32 of each) of the General Church. Sixteen of the societies are in the USA. Could you name them?
     Is alcoholism evil? That is one of the questions that gets considered attention in the article on p. 512. The writer says, "The Lord and His angels seem to carry some of us through very difficult times without terrible wounds. It does seem to me that we all get all the wounds and all the remains we need in order to have a positive and negative balance."
     A reader has shown us a book of over 300 pages by J. S. Bogg entitled Gems of Heavenly Wisdom. See the editorial called Somebody Already Thought of It.
     Take note of the book advertisement at the end of this issue. Read about an outstanding book by Dr. Gregory Baker, now on sale. Dr. Baker teaches in the college of the Academy of the New Church.
     Another publication recently seen comes from the Center for Nordic Studies at the University of Minnesota. It is a forty-five-page presentation by Anders Hallengren entitled Deciphering Reality: Swedenborg, Emerson, Whitman and the Search for the Language of Nature. This is an excellent study.




     "Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great rock, and filled the whole earth" (Daniel 2:34, 35).

     We in our time live at a turning point in the history of the world, spanning, no doubt, several generations, but a turning point nevertheless. Looking back into the distant beginnings we see the Tree of Life, and looking ahead we again see that tree. Each time it is in the midst-first in the midst of the Garden of Eden, the paradise of God, and then in an image of an age to come, in the midst of the river of life issuing forth from the throne of God and the Lamb, and on either side of the river; and the river flowed out into the New Jerusalem that came down from God out of heaven, the City of God.
     As the Lord is leading us through the wide curve of the turning, we discern at least three major circumstances that contribute to changes in the spiritual climate of the world: (1) Both evil and good are laid bare as never before; (2) Instantaneous electronic communication binds the world together in the way of knowledge; and (3) The Lord is operating in His second advent with a view to establishing His New Church throughout the world.
     With regard to the first we note that what is new is not that evil and good are battling for dominion, but that the battle takes place far more in the open than at any earlier time, and that it is witnessed and shared on a worldwide scale.


We might think that this openness applies more to evil than to good; and true, it is evil that makes the headlines in our papers and is given priority on our screens. And true, too, evil tends to be more loud spoken than good. Yet good-humble and patient-is by far the more powerful. It is the remnant of genuine good among men and women in all nations and among all races that is the conscience of the world. The Lord is with it and in it. And He Himself works, though with Divine longing yet without haste, for He must wait for His flock to be gathered together so that it can go with Him. He will not go without it. Therefore John in Patmos, writing for the Jerusalem church-to-be, said that he was "in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ" (Rev. 1:9). The Lord is patient, and good is patient. Yet good, too-whether on a small scale or a wide one-will be recognized by the discerning eye.
     There is a remnant of good in the world and a clinging to some elements of essential truth (as that there is a Supreme Being, and that His will ought to be done-see AC 3263:2). Like anything spiritual this remnant is called "small" in the Word, and this perhaps for two reasons: it is relatively inconspicuous; and, struggling to survive in a decadent age, it is weak. Yet if it were not for this remnant, mankind would in fact destroy itself. As said Isaiah: "Except the Lord of Hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, we should have been like unto Gomorrah" (Is. 1:9). Yes, weak it is, yet life it has: "A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto truth" (Is. 42:3). While in the world, the Lord called this remnant "a little flock," saying: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). There is some good left in the world!
     Even the truth itself seems weak when the world is in turmoil. It takes an attentive ear to hear it over the noise. So it was that Elijah the prophet, lone and fearful on the mount of God, did not find the Lord in the great and strong wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire.


But when he heard "the still, small voice," then it was that "he wrapped his face in his mantle" (I Kings 19:8-13)-soft in volume, full of power in message!
     This still, small voice, we may believe, is whispering in the ears of many in the non-Christian world as well as in the Christian world itself. The influx of heaven seeks out all those in the ocean of mankind who in lonely prayer hold fast what little they may know and have of spiritual value-remnants from the Ancient Word, remnants from the Gospels. These people hear the still, small voice, though it cannot but be faint while the wind, the earthquake, and the fire are raging.
     We know that the Lord's church is not only among the few who have the Word and therefore know the Lord. There is also the church universal (see HH 328, AC 3263:2, and elsewhere); and embraced by it are all those in whom there is a measure of innocence and humility, for the small voice speaks to innocence and humility. This church, too, is the Lord's, and what may be called the church specific is part of it, as heart and lungs are part of the body.
     That "remnant left unto us," scattered throughout the world, must be strengthened in hope and resolve. From within, the Lord through heaven is telling them: "That which ye have, hold fast till I come" (Rev. 2:25). He is very much with them in their temptations. And through these they gain strength, for by permitting the rampant evil that is flooding the world, the Lord causes them to see evil for what it is, and is helping them to separate themselves internally from it. There is a voice from heaven warning of the great and fallen city Babylon and crying: "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins" (Rev. 18:4; see AE 1107, AR 760). The remnant hears it, though it has no sound.
     If we are watchful we can see something of all this taking place in our day. Courageous individuals and dedicated groups warn lest license be mistaken for freedom and lest "modern values" displace values stemming from the Word of God.


Are there not those that hear the call: "Come out of her, My people!"?
     This internal separation, or gradual coming out, is spiritual judgment. A spiritual judgment is slowly sweeping the world. It is the world event farther reaching than any that we read or hear about. It must in some measure precede the open and joyous acknowledgment of the Lord and the establishment of His true church. As it is written: "He shall bring forth judgment unto truth" (Is. 42:3).
     We see, therefore, that the law for the establishment of the church on earth is the same as the law by which the Lord caused a universal judgment in the world of spirits to precede the establishment of His new heaven. The difference is that what can happen speedily in one world is protracted in the other.
     As for the Writings themselves, without which in the end there is no salvation (for we read: "Unless a new church should arise which acknowledges the two essentials [faith in one God, and repentance of life], and lives according to them, no one can be saved"-AR 9), these Writings are now seeking out new corners of the earth, including places where until recently all religion was prohibited or controlled. The Writings have a new spread. They are from the Lord, and through them He operates from without.
     Indeed, the reed would break in the end, and the flax would give up its flickering light, if it were not for the Lord's advent. For as once the Lord did overcome the world, so He will overcome yet again. And the Writings tell us that a new revelation is always given before a church has been fully devastated (see AE 948:2). These Writings are now reaching out before it is too late.
     As for the second major aspect in which our time differs from what has been before, namely, in matters of instantaneous communication, we are finding ourselves in a world that is in a peculiar way a one.


Certainly, a harmonious one it is not. But while there is no internal bond of charity between n