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AMERICA. MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES.
-The Messenger of December 20th gives from a local paper the following account of the organization of a Society of the New Church at this place:
“NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH. — The Meeting of Friends of the Swedenborgian or New Jerusalem Church on Sunday, at the United States Court Room, was attended by forty persons, and organized by calling on Judge Trigg to preside. In a brief address Judge Trigg, in admirably chosen terms, gave a concise statement of the peculi. arities that distinguish the New Church. The proceedings were very interesting, and a warm feeling was expressed in favour of forming a permanent congregation in this city. As a beginning, it was unanimously resolved to form a society, and to hold meetings every Sunday. Messrs. Judge Pierce, J. M. Tomeny, and Alfred Matthias were appointed a committee to make arrangements for organization. The meeting adjourned until Sunday next, when it will again assemble at the same place at three o'clock in the afternoon.”
SOUTHERN STATES. — We extract the following account of the Southern States from the report of the Warminster So. ciety to the Maryland Association :
"We cannot leave this portion of our report without calling your attention, and that of the Church generally, to the singularly receptive state of the southern mind at the present crisis. It is a field where an hundred missionaries could be well employed. The political convulsions through which this section has recently passed, were, no doubt, the result of a partial judgment in the spiritual world, immediately adjacent; and such times are eminently favourable for the introduction of new religious ideas. An extended and well sustained effort inaugurated now, before the public mind shall begin to harden into a new state of externals, might establish the Church in these States to such a degree, that it would soon take a powerful hold of the affectional and emotional nature of our people.”
From this report we also learn that Pike's slanderous pamphlet against the New Church has been published in opposition to this society. The reply
has been circulated, and the society hopes to receive no injury from this effort to excite prejudice against them.
From the report of the committee on missions of this Association, we find that a larger amount of missionary work has been done during the past year than in any former year. Some of this work has been performed outside the limits of the Association. Rev. Mr. Day reports particulars of a missionary journey in which he travelled about nine thousand miles, and preached or lectured thirty-nine times. In this journey he visited societies and small bodies of receivers of the doctrines in the States of Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Delaware, and Maryland. “ Although my travelling expenses,” he says, “have been large, on account of the great distances between the places where there are New Churchmen, still the contributions from the missionary field itself have been nearly sufficient to pay the expenses, which, considering the impoverished condition of the southern country, is all that can be afforded by the New Church Friends in that region at present.” We commend this fact to the attention of the Church in this country. Hitherto it has been the practice of our missionary institutions to provide all the expenses of missionary labour, and to invite no contributions towards meeting the expenses of these labours from the congregations bene. fited by them. We are convinced that many persons who attend our missionary services would gladly contribute towards their expenses, and would be benefited by having the opportunity of doing so. This subject has already, we believe, received the thoughtful attention of the ministers in Lancashire, and we hope ere long to see it generally adopted.
Another feature which is becoming manifest in America, might be usefully adopted in England. “The Church in Abingdon, Va., has been without a pastor or ministerial service of almost any kind for a number of years, and has not made much progress externally, although the society itself may be said to have the best elements of success, if properly employed. The friends and members of the Church in that locality are now endeavouring, with the cooperation of the Society in Nelson County, Va., and the New Church friends in Knoxville, Tenn., to procure the services of some experienced minister of the church, who can be settled at Abingdon, and divide his time between the three places, Norwood, Abingdon, and Knoxville." How many societies in England might profitably combine their energies for the same purpose ?
SWEDENBORG SOCIETY. — We have received the following account of the doings of the committee, and of interesting and important events in connection with the Society.
There have occurred two gratifying evidences of zeal and attachment to the cause. The late Mr. B. Bucknall, formerly of Stroud, bequeathed to the Society £50, free of duty; this has now been received, and Mr. Dean, one of the trustees, has testified his good wishes towards the objects of the Society by a donation of £100. These examples will, it is hoped, stimulate others to do likewise; there is every prospect that the claims on the funds will soon be very large and urgent.
In the Lord's good providence new openings for introducing the doctrines of the New Church to foreign nations occasionally present themselves. As stated in our January number, this has recently occurred in reference to Italy, where freedom of religion is now fairly established. Our friend, the Rev. A. E. Ford of Florence, has come into correspondence with a zealous and intelligent native, who, having quitted the Roman Catholic religion, in which he was born, embraced Methodism, and was actively and successfully engaged as a missionary in that cause. Subsequently he became dissatisfied with those views and gave them up; and, after awhile he met with the doctrines of the New Church, which satisfied his utmost longings. He now wishes to devote his talents to the cause he has so heartily embraced. The Committee have therefore deemed it right to employ him to translate into Italian “The Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem,” to be printed and published at Florence, under the inspection of Mr. Ford. Ít is expected our American brethren will supply means for him to be engaged in missionary labour among his now emancipated countrymen.
The Index Biblicus—a portion of which was published by the late Dr. Tafel, has been completed by Dr Kahl, who kindly undertook the labour. He declined to accept any remuneration, saying he had much enjoyed the work, and had been paid during its performance. He, however, expressed a wish that some assistance should be afforded to the Swedish Society; the committee therefore made it a present of £10. Further portions of the Index Biblicus have since been discovered by Professor Tafel among the MSS. at Stockholm.
The fifth volume of the Arcana Coelestia, in Swedish, has been published, the Society making its usual contribution towards the expense.
The introductory matter which is prefixed to the “Four Leading Doctrines,” when issued in one volume, has been revised and printed ; so that the work can now be had in that form.
As usual, several grants of works have been made. To the Exeter Free Library, to the Public Library, Graaf Reinett, South Africa. To the Manchester Free Library, to complete the set; also to the Royal Library, Stockholm, to assist in completing their already large collection in various languages. A few works have also been presented to two zealous New Churchmen, sergeants at Aldershott, who have for some years been circulating the works among their comrades.
The periodical, “Good Words” is universally known, having a circulation of upwards 100,000, especially among men of enlarged views. Presuming on the liberality of the publisher, inquiry was made with a view of stitching in it a complete list of Swedenborg's works, with an introductory address. Finding it would be admitted, the Rev. T. M. Gorman and the Secretary were appointed to carry the measure out. It consequently appeared in the number for November. As this document has been placed in the copies of the Repository, the readers are enabled to judge of the importance of thus bringing the works to the notice of residents in every part of the globe. Copies of it are in progress of being sent to the clergy of the Established Church in London and elsewhere; and friends who desire to circulate them in their own sphere can have copies for that purpose. The expense has been large;
but the committee felt justified in in- necessary to reflect on the constitution curring it, in the hope of subserving a of the human mind and its capabilities. useful object not hitherto attained. Man possesses a will and an understand
The advertising of the Heaven and ing. The will is the most interior, or Hell has been resumed ; and the com- the faculty first in importance. The mittee intend to advertise the Rev. ruling love in the will controls every A. Clissold's new work, “Transition," other faculty of the mind ; if it is evil which contains the address he delivered the man cherishing it will become a at the Society's last Anniversary. devil of the worst kind ; if good he will
Agency of the Swedenborg Society. — become an angel of the first or highest In response to the advertisements in the order. last numbers of the Repository, many “Every man is not regenerated by applications were received. Several of the the Lord up to this highest degree of recandidates possessed the requisite quali- generation, because every man does not fications, and had testimonials of a very co-operate with the Lord by exercising high character. The committee, there- self-denial from love to Him to the exfore, had some difficulty in selecting tent that enables the Lord to create a new the right one. This they have done to heart or new will principle in his nature. the best of their ability, and have fixed Those that were beheaded for the testiupon Mr. James Speirs of Glasgow. He mony of Jesus, that is, who were reis a prominent and active member of the jected and cast out by the Dragonists, Society there, has had considerable ex or those who are principled in all the perience in the book trade, and will throw perversities of faith alone, and who live all his energies into the work. He is ex and reign with Christ a thousand years, pected to enter upon his duties in May. are those who by self-denial attained
Preparing for Publication.—“Chris this first and holiest state of regeneratian Psychology: the soul and the body tion. It is because of this that their viewed in correlation and contrast; ascension to heaven is called the first, being a new translation of Swedenborg's the highest resurrection into life from tractate, ‘De Commercio, Animce et the Lord. These occupy the third, the Corporis, de.,' Londini, 1769. With highest heaven. It is said of them preface, introduction, and explanatory 'Blessed and holy is he that hath part notes, by Th. Murray Gorman, A.M., in the first resurrection, on such the curate of Kensington.
second death hath no power.' They are
so fully on the affirmative principle, NEWCHURCH SPIRITUAL PHILOSOPHY. being in the love principle of the mind, -Under this title Mr. Drysdale of Alloa that they cannot be tempted by the has, for the last two years, inserted as negations of doubt, living as they do in an advertisement in their two weekly the sunshine of love. To them the Devil papers a brief exposition of a portion of and Satan, the evil and the false principle, the Apocalypse. These advertisements is bound and restrained from operating form a connected series of short chap on them. We call the goodness of this ters, giving a brief exposition of the state the good of love. Apocalypse according to its spiritual “The second degree of regeneration is sense. They appear to have been well that of truth from the Lord, producing received, and have excited no opposition the faith of truth, which is truth loved from those who abide in the letter. Now for its own pure excellence. It then that the work is approaching the close forms a conscientious principle, and of the book, several have expressed a flows down and governs the life; the desire to have the whole collected and goodness of this state is called the good printed in a convenient form. The of faith, that is, faith producing goodauthor is not unwilling to undertakeness from the Lord in man in every rethe labour of revision and slight con- lation of life. This class is purified by densation, but hesitates to subject him, temptation. If really receptive in freeself to the entire risk of publication. dom of the good of faith from the Lord, We insert specimens of the work, from all the influence of the dragon loosed which our readers will be able to judge for a little season, with the profusion of of its probable utility :
false reasoning, Gog and Magog, cannot “ To form a correct idea of what is injure them.' meant by the first resurrection, it is "" At the end of the thousand years
fernal love, and the brimstone their own infernal false. Take, for example, envy at another's good fortune, and suppose that this infernal fire has scorched to death every feeling of goodwill to others. Can there be a worse lake of tormenting fire? The fallacies of this state are the suffocating fumes of their own spiritual brimstone.
“It would be a terrible idea to be cast into hell by an angry God, but it is a far more terrible idea, and a more true one, that the wicked cast themselves into hell when the arms of the Divine mercy are stretched out to save them.
“Those who have written learnedly on this Book have justly pointed out that the judgment is of two kinds, “The Judgment of Separation,’including minute classification. This is the judgment which has hitherto been treated of; and thero now remains The Judg. ment of Condemnation,' which is the disposition of each individual into his own place, the place he has prepared himself for by his love and life.
Satan is loosed out of his prison, and it is said he shall go out to deceive the nations that are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle. Satan is a name of all who are in false princi. ples; the dragon, as Satan, are all those who make a profession of faith but interiorly love what is false.. All war comes from what is false against what is true. Truth is not aggressive ; its intrinsic nature is to enlighten and dispel all darkness. The four corners of the earth are what are extreme or outermost; hence, by those that dwell there are meant those who are in mere external worship without any internal per. ceptions—these are Gog and Magog, and the dragon as Satan or those under the mere cloak of external sanctity—is the appropriate leader of those who are in external worship without any internal holy principle. The character of those in this state is manifested even here on earth. Such were called in my young days 'out-door saints and indoor devils,' and many a neglected wife could reveal the evils of this state. So true is the reflection of our own spiritual states cast in the bosom of our families that no cloak can hide their nature here, and it will always be true that the sunshine of heaven's purest influences cannot shine in their native brightness where the father and mother are not united in the love of the interior and holy principles of the Lord's Church.
“It is the characteristic quality of the false principle to oppose truth, and the fallacious terms of securing heaven, offered to the merely external thinking class, draws together a vast crowd, not animated by a love of God's truth, but to oppose its extension.
“They besiege the camp of the saints and the beloved city—that is, they are stirred up by the dragonists to reject practical truth and the pure spiritual life which the Lord taught. Fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them'—that is, they were destroyed by the concupiscences of their own infernal love. No evil love comes from heaven; but those who change the truth of God into a lie change also the love of God in themselves into hatred.
“The dragon, as the devil that deceived them, together with the false prophet, is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. This lake is their own in,
TRACTS.—We briefly noticed in our January number a series of “Tract Sermons,” each containing a perspicuous and instructive exposition of some striking text of Holy Scripture.
Another series of eight-paged tracts is being issued by the Tract Society, under the title of “Leaves from the Tree of Life.” The series begins with four tracts on the Word, the nature of its composition, and the law of its interpretation. The style is clear and forcible ; the arguments for the existence of a spiritual sense are cogent, and the illustrative explanations beautiful. The tracts which follow are on the nature, person, and character of the Lord, and on his Divine works of redemption and salvation. The doctrines are clearly stated, and sustained by numerous Scripture proofs. The passages cited in all these tracts are largely supplied by the apostolic epistles, which, being dogmatic writings, inay be usefully employed for the confirmation of true doctrine. There is, however, a feature in doctrine which has scarcely yet received from New Church writers the attention its importance demands. The doctrines of popular Christianity, though drawn from the Word, have been framed without a sufficient discrimination between its genuine and apparent truths, and hence are to a great extent based on a misapprehension of its true teaching ; and instead of aiding the simple in their endeavours to understand the Word, mislead and mystify them. There is no remedy for this but a rational exposition of these appearances of the letter. The natural man, as is stated in one of these tracts, “ is a child of wrath working iniquity;" and salvation is deliverance from wrath because it is deliverance from those evils of the will and consequent perversities of the understanding whence arise the mistaken apprehensions of truth which are thus described in the Word.
At the small charge at which they are published, these series of tracts ought to secure an extensive circulation Both societies and individuals might aid in this good work. Some time ago we were visiting at the house of a friend who had purchased the Tract Sermons by thousands, and employed a person to leave them at every house in his neighbourhood. We commend the practice as worthy of imitation. THE SUNDAY School Hymn Book. —
Manchester : published by the New Jerusalem Church Sunday School Union. Hon. Sec., T. Potts, Egremont Terrace, Hulton Street, Mossside. London: Swedenborg House, Bloomsbury Street; F. Pitman, Paternoster Row.
This work, compiled by Mr. John Bragg of Birmingham, and produced under the joint editorship of himself and the Rev. John Hyde, was adopted by the Sunday School Union at its last meeting, held at Heywood, June 22, 1868. We learn from the preface that “ it has been the desire and effort of the compiler to present only such hymns as embody true thoughts and good aspirations, in forms simple enough to be understood, attractive enough to be loved and learned, and at the same time really well adapted to be sung." The result satisfactorily fulfils these conditions. Things, new and old, are here pleasantly and appropriately mingled. Among the 264 hymns before us we recognize with pleasure all our old favourites from the well-known collection of the Rev. E. Madeley, and the other smaller compilations by which it has been supplemented. We are also
glad to notice many hymns which, although their beauty of sentiment and music has won them a very general acceptance in our schools, have hitherto been absent from New Church collections. “Abide with me,” “Sun of my soul,” “The Procession of Palms,” “Thy will be done,” “I would be like an angel,” and many similarly admirable and popular productions, are now, for the first time, gathered together in a form adapted for the use of New Church Sunday scholars. Besides these we also welcome several perfect gems, which, to us at least, are entirely new. As the authors' names are not attached, for reasons explained in the preface, we are unable to say whether any of these are among the “ original hymns" for which the compiler acknowledges his obligation to the Rev. John Hyde.
The book is of a form convenient for the pocket, and is neatly and strongly bound in leather. Accompanied by the Tune Book, which the Sunday School Union contemplate publishing, it will form a collection of children's hymns and music of very high and varied excellence. We warmly recommend it to the notice and adoption of all our Sunday schools.
Rev. W. WOODMAN. — We extract from the Farnworth Observer, of February 6, the following account of a Reunion Festival at the New Jerusalem School, Kersley :
“One of the most interesting tea meetings we ever remember to have attended in this neighbourhood was held on Saturday evening last, in the New Jerusalem School-room, Kersley, the occasion being that of a re-union of the Rev. Woodville Woodman's former day school pupils. It will be remembered by some of the older inhabitants that Mr. Woodman's day school was commenced October 1839— nearly 30 years ago, and was continued to the end of 1857. This embraced a period when day schools were not so numerous in the district as at present; indeed, Mr. Woodman's was the only school then existing where the higher branches of an ordinary English education were taught. At first it was opened as a school for boys only, but at the solicitation of parents, girls were afterwards received. To show the humble nature of its origin, it may be noticed that on