« הקודםהמשך »
SWEDENBORG.–There are constantly and without considering his rather amazgrowing indications of the increased ing claim to be the official surveyor and attention which is given to the writings map-ınaker of the spiritual universe ; of our author, both in England and this may fairly be admitted : he has America, In the latter country the contributed more than any other writer examples are apparently more marked to a philosophy of religion which reconthan in our own. The writings enter ciles the deeper senses of Scripture with more extensively into the current litera- all that we know of nature and of man. ture, and receive more fully, at least, a Often ridiculed and misrepresented by passing attention. The Messenger of those who have taken little pains to November 24th gives two examples of penetrate his real meaning, often grothis. The first is the introduction of tesque in his conception and expression, the claims to attention of the doctrine he is yet vastly larger than any of his of correspondences into a Sunday School critics ; and probably no fair-minded Convention at Wilmington, Del
. The student of his writings ever assigned first question proposed for discussion them a place in the second class. No was, “Shall we teach our children cor- man ever looked into Swedenborg far respondences ?” The teacher who intro- enough to learn what he means, without duced the discussion based his argument receiving a profound impression, and on this proposition, “The spirit of in- confessing to a large indebtedness. His spiration regards the intrinsic qualities increasing influence appears in nearly all of things, and not their mere external recent and important modifications of circumstances.' In proof of this de religious thought; in the most salutary monstration the speaker offered proofs and effective preaching of our times; in and illustrations from the nature of man the growing reasonableness, catholicity, and of the Word. Of the Word he re- and humanity of the churches, and in all marked, “The Word of God is to be aspirations towards a more perfect social understood in two senses, that of the order. Or, if we may not trace these letter and that of the spirit, and by the better tendencies to his influence, we Divine science of correspondences, the must say they prove his breadth and most difficult parts can be brought down insight; for they all move, if unconto the comprehension of a little child." sciously, in the direction whither his This was illustrated by texts from the finger points. Word and their exposition. In the dis- To two classes of persons the writings cussion that followed, a Wesleyan mini- of Swedenborg may be confidently comster said, “I am afraid of these corre- mended ; first, to those who, with the spondences, it sounds like Swedenborg, Bible in their hands from childhood, I therefore move that we do not teach and with a large assortment of preachers our children correspondences. This to choose from every Sunday, have yet being seconded, came properly be been driven, by intellectual difficulties, the convention for action, whereupon to feel as if all foundations of faith and another Methodist minister moved to hope were slipping away, or crumbling lay the matter on the table, which was beneath their feet, and all religion becarried by upwards of a two-thirds vote. coming unreal. He can help this doubt
The second notice in the Messenger is ing and bewildered class in two ways : still more remarkable. It is a lengthened by making spiritual themes more thinkpaper from the Christian Register, by a able,' and by inspiring respect for their writer, Charles G. Ames, who, as will honest doubts. He is a master in Israel, be seen, is not a member of the New but he refuses to overpower you; his Church. We give this paper at as great function as a seer is to help you to see length as our space will admit. with your own eyes.
Better still, as a “Without 'swallowing whole' a sys- physician of the soul, he prescribes the tem so suspiciously complete as that of eternal cure for doubt concerning the Emanuel Swedenborg, without accepting fundamental postulates of religion, by him as an absolute oracle or authority, bringing the questioner face to face with
that awe-inspiring reality, himself, thought by his more admiring disciples revelation of both God and man, to be to have been, like his vast scientific questioned nevermore !
attainments, a providential qualification “To another class the thoughtful read- for reporting and formulating with ex: ing of Swedenborg's works would be a actness his visions' or views ; but it noble benefit, viz., to those who are has certainly made it impossible for one becoming painfully or sneeringly aware who is not an admiring disciple to read of the narrowness, the illiberality, the any of his volumes without being bored inhospitality to reason and human feel. as well as instructed. Writing as he is ing of the current orthodoxy, or of the said to have done in a partly barbarised vagueness, thinness, and chaos of the Latin, and often expressing his commoncurrent heterodoxy. Multitudes are dis- places abstrusely, he only comes before satisfied with their own religious tra- English readers in a cumbrous transladitions, and yet hardly know how to tion. There are many often recurring open or handle the questions they would phrases, out of which one must pick the gladly examine. Much of what Sweden- meat as he would from an imperfectly borg says will not help them at first, cracked walnut. But the meat is there, perhaps not at last; but their own con- sound, rich, and sweet. scious needs will guide them in selecting “Even an imperfect and comparatively from his mass of material that which is superficial acquaintance with Sweden. enlightening for the understanding and borg inclines one, who cannot call himself nutritious for the life. He can conduct a New Churchman, to say that, ever since them to high and clear points of religious that acquaintance began, it has seemed outlooking and inlooking. He can lead possible to form a juster estimate of them forth into a large place;' and every other book he has read, of the supply them a helpful measure both for relative importance of every theme he their errors and their truths. Doubtless has pondered or heard expounded, of he is not a finality, but a way-station on every experience through which he has the road to something better than he passed, and of all present and past can give ; but no one can travel so far events affecting the human race. without a joyful certainty that for every has also seemed easier to believe that, straying pilgrim there is a King's high- sometime and somewhere, even we, poor, way.
blind mortals, might realize and attain * To read Swedenborg with attractive the vision of the man who 'saw through.' interest may not at first be easy; an appetite must be formed, as for eating
'He saw through life and death, through
good and ill; tomatoes. Indeed most men would find
He saw through his own soul: something like re-education in com- The inarvel of the Everlasting Will pelling themselves to pass over to the
Before him lay-an open scroll.'”. points of view, the ways of thinking, and the forms of expression which
SWEDENBORG'S PSYCHOLOGY. - The characterize this scribe of the New Jer. publication of Mr. Gorman's “Christian usalem.
It may require a degree of Psychology,” which is a new translaresoluteness and persistence to which tion of Swedenborg's “De Commercio many are unequal, and for which most Animæ et Corporis," with preface and of our common reading and traditional illustrative notes, has led to notices in thinking gives us a distaste and disa- some of the popular periodicals. One bility. More than once the reader will of these occurs in the Literary World, be repelled by obscurities and apparent a cheap weekly serial published by the puerilities ; but when he first catches proprietors of the Christian World, and and follows his author's drift, gets used circulating chiefly in dissenting conto the unhuman sound of his voice, and munities. It is not perhaps surprising is content to let him have his own way that the many topics introduced by Mr. of putting things, there will be an ex. Gorman into his “notes” should have ceeding great reward for patient study attracted the attention of the reviewer, such as comes to those who search in but we might reasonably have supposed the right place for hidden treasures. that he would have given some atten
tion to the work itself. "The severely mathematicaland rigidly Swedenborg says there are three logical cast of Swedenborg's mind, is hypotheses respecting the intercourse
between the soul and the body. These, especially of one whose influence has been in the technical language einployed, are so marvellous upon a very high class called “physical influx, spiritual in- of mind, is a thing to be glad of. No flux, and pre-established harmony." one can look at Mr. Gorman's patientlyThe first has its origin in the fallacies wrought essay without learning much.' of the senses, the last in fallacious What the writer has learned, and what reasonings. The second, spiritual in- commends the work to him, is the flux, is true, and is confirmed by right discovery “that the sect popularly knowledge respecting the soul and its called Swedenborgianism, and calling relation to the body. "No fourth itself the New Jerusalem Church,' or opinion respecting the intercourse be- some such pretentious and monstrous tween the soul and the body can be title, is in no sense the work of Swedenframed; for either the soul must operate borg, who neither founded a schism nor upon the body, or the body on the soul, wished any to be founded, but was as or both continually together." Is the keen an opponent of sectarian separadoctrine taught by the author true ? tion as his contemporary Wesley was. We shall look in vain to this review That Swedenborg, however, can for any notice respecting it. Not a ever become to English Churchmen all sentence occurs to intimate that the writer that such writers as Mr. Gorman and has given the slightest attention to what Mr. Chas. Bold believe he should be, is is the kernel of the subject he attempts utterly impossible; the majority of to handle. He fastens upon a multitude their brethren have not the time nor the of extrinsic and incidental matters, and power to enter upon speculations so totally overlooks the subject on which entirely philosophical and psycho
is professedly writing: As we read logical. Indeed," Swedenborg appears paragraph after paragraph, we ask our- to us more than ever, after looking at selves, what has all this to do with the Mr. Gorman’s laborious elucidations, to question proposed for review ? Sweden. belong to the philosophers more than to borg's Psychology is a clearly stated the theologians.” The hope is less, doctrine, to which the reviewer has not therefore, than those of our friends once alluded! The review is filled with who adhere to the popular forms of details from private memoranda, the Christianity imagine, for the circulation Dream-book, and other matters, which, of the truth in these bodies. Other whether true, as some suppose, or false, matters than theological inquiry occupy as others very confidently affirm, were the attention of the clergy, and the the mere scaffolding to the solid struc- people who sit under their ministry ture of Swedenborg's mental attain- are too generally contented to listen ments, and have no more and no other passively to their instructions. Be. relation to the doctrines he propounds, tween those, however, who prefer to than the scaffolding to a finished build remain in the Establisment or con. ing. These doctrines rest on the solid nected with other Christian Churches, foundation of rational evidence, and and those who prefer to unite themare to be judged by their power of selves with their brethren in a separate enlightening the mind, and solving the communion, there ought to be no ever pressing and often perplexing untowardness of feeling or lack of problems by which it is oppressed. Christian unity and sympathy. Those These problems return upon us con- who have formed a separate communion tinually for solution, and it is the have done so in the hope and expectagreat recommendation of Swedenborg, tion of thereby best promoting the that he offers a satisfactory solution of diffusion of the truth, and the building their perplexities.
up of the spiritual character in them. A more respectful notice of the work selves, and we think that facts show appears in the English Churchman. that they have acted wisely. The writer says :-" That we should A review of the work in Notes and take that exceedingly high view of Queries is by a writer who confesses to Swedenborg's position in Christendom scanty acquaintance with Swedenborg's which the author attributes to him, is writings. A perusal of the Appendix is not to be expected. But any work sufficient to convince any one of the which undertakes the defence and the inscrutable nature of the everlasting interpretation of a misunderstood man, problem of soul and body, and of the
unseen world.” The writer concludes, rational considerations. Dr. Simms however, that “if we believe that to says :-"No amount of evidence under Swedenborg was accorded a view of the canopy of heaven will convince a heaven and hell, his revelations large class of individuals, if they are not supersede and render unnecessary all in a condition to receive the truth. mere human conjectures regarding the But, when affliction comes, the mind spiritual world.” It is a prominent becomes subdued to calm reflection, and feature of Swedenborg's revelations, we receive those truths which in the that while they assert facts they appeal bustle of life we rejected. The world to reason, and that their tendency is thinks inuch about death and its results, not to paralyze, but to strengthen and but very little about life. Yet life is develop the mental faculties.
the most important of all things to man, for, as we live here so we fit ourselves
to enter into that second life beyond the PURCHASE OF SWEDENBORG'S HOUSE AT STOCKHOLM.—We have received two l'his life is only the nursery of the next
grave, which we deem immortality. communications on this subject, one world—a workshop in which souls are recommending the entertainment of the made and fitted for eternity.” subject, the other from a “ New-Churchoffering her mite towards the
PROFESSED HOLINESS. —The ostentaWe are not aware that this ques. tious profession of holiness has had a tion has been seriously entertained by severe rebuke, in the conduct of some of any public assembly of the New Church, its disciples. Eminent ministers, as and would suggest to
Mr. Dale and Mr. Spurgeon, have whether the Scandinavian Mission would not be a better investment of dissent from much of this loud profes
thought it necessary to express strong their contributions.
sion that has lately passed at the public
conferences at Oxford and Brighton. NATURE'S REVELATIONS OF CHARAC- Mr. Spurgeon expresses himself in the TER.-A correspondent sends us some following manner :- Mary did not tell extracts from the work of Dr. Simms everybody that she had precious ointrecently published under the above ment in store, but they knew it by her title. In discussing the subject of pouring it out. Whenever you hear a physiognomy the Dr. insists strongly man boast that he is holy, remember that the law of the exterior manifestation that good scent needs no proclaiming. of the internal character, which Sweden. The only cart I ever meet with that borg has shown exists universally in the rings a bell is the dust-cart. If jewels next life, is, to the trained observer, and diamonds, or the bullion of the equally universal in this life. The Bank of England, are carried through general adoption of physiognomy as a the streets, no bell is rung. "Great cry branch of the orvlinary scholastic curri. and little wool’ is a proverb which has culum, would, in the estimation of Dr. had a new exposition in this country of Simms, result in greater openness of late in a wonderful cry about holiness, character, since attempts at disguise and wonderful little holiness to cry would be fruitless, more sincerity of about, but a great deal to be wept over conduct, since hypocrisy would gradu- and lamented before the living God. ally find itself devoid of a ray to cover To stand in every room and cry, Spike. its naked deformity, more benevolence nard ! spikenard! wonderful spikenard !! of disposition, since malevolence would would have been idle. Pour it on Jesus' find itself everywhere exposed and feet, and you will not have to say any. scouted, and in fact would gradually thing about it, for every room will be be found to lead to purer sentiments, sweet with the smell thereof. We need and that the indulgence of vicious nowadays to have a little less talk about habits inevitably lead to exposure, igno- what men are, and much more actual miny, and disgrace.
living unto Jesus.” On the question of a future state the writer offers “Proofs founded in nature.” REVIVALISM.—The effort to introduce The evidence of the future of man is by into the city of York a series of revival revelation, but the truth revealed to us services has led to a controversy in the admits of abundant illustration from local press, in the course of which the
Rev. John Hunter, an eminent Congre- draw the non-worshipping parts of the gational minister, expresses the opinion community these services have been an that the teaching of the Oxford and utter failure; that “this religious disBrighton Conferences, apart from the sipation has induced dissatisfaction with extravagances” of individuals, is not the ordinary teachers and the regular
wholesome," and that it tends to en- services;" and that, “in spite of all those courage and promote a sentimental frantic efforts, our churches and chapels instead of a practical religious life. throughout the city are more thinly "From an honest study of this spiritual attended than they were a year ago.' life movement,” he continues, "I be- The Conference nevertheless took lieve its direct tendency is to produce place, and among the speakers was Mr. and increase that weak and morbid Muller, of Bristol. When it was over pietisnı which is the curse of our modern Mr. Hunter expressed the opinion that, Church life. One has only to read the with the exception of Mr. Muller's adliterature of the movement, especially dresses, the teaching of the Conference the records of the Conferences, to be seemed to have been not very unlike convinced of this. The more I study that of Oxford and Brighton. the New Testament the less encourage this solitary exception," he says, “there ment do I find in it for those who place is scarcely a word in the newspaper continuance in unusual states of thought reports that leads me to think that the and feeling before continuance in well- speakers had given prominence to the doing, and the more encouragement do practical character and form of the I find for those persons who are called spiritual life, that they had applied the cold and unspiritual, because they be- principles of the Gospel to the different lieve that meekness and temperance and relations men sustain to each other in truth-speaking and righteousness and the world. The burden of their message charity are the real signs and fruits of seems to have been how to secure joy, the Spirit of God, and not high-flown and peace, and rest, not how to live ecstasies of religious emotion.”
righteously and godly in the home, the In a subsequent letter, Mr. Hunter shop, and the market-place-how to says, the professed endeavour of the make themselves happy and blessed, not York Conference to present the subject how to help and serve world full of of the spiritual life "in a practical woe and want.” Mr. Hunter and many form,”
" has his heartiest sympathy. “It others in York strongly affirm their must be inanifest,” he says, to every belief that the whole tendency of the candid person that the weakest part of movenient represented by the Conference religion to-day is this—that it does not is “to lead people into a state of unsave many of its loudest professors from concern regarding moral character and cheating and lying, from uncharitable- duty." ness and selfishness of life. Of all the weapons with which modern sceptics NEW CHURCH COLLEGE. --Our Col. assail the Church, the most effective is lege Lectures have been delivered by Dr. this—that it fails to produce among its Bayley, Mr. Appelbee, Mr. Austin, Mr. members a type of moral character any Davey, Mr. Davies, Mr. Payne, Rev. higher, if so high, as that which is to John Presland, and Mr. Bateman. Dr. be found in the unregenerate world.” Tafel has continued his lectures on CorAnother correspondent of the York respondences, and is to give us one, Herald expresses a fear that the pro- the importance of a genuine translation posed Conference will foster a morbid of the Sacred Scriptures," on Tuesday the and self-conscious piety which the his- 22nd inst. tory of the Church has shown to be Dr. Bayley, Dr. Stocker, Rev. J. compatible with great moral obliquity. Presland, Mr. 'Woodford and Mr. Bate“Have the visits,” he asks,“ of the man have also engaged to lecture during itinerant revivalists which have been so the ensuing months of the Session. frequent of late, with their coarse and There are now forty-two boys in the carnal representations of Christian doc. College School, eleven of whom are trine, so unlike the sweet reasonableness boarders. Our two students are working of the truth of Christ, been of any ad- well.–From a Correspondent. vantage to the cause of true religion ?" He expresses a belief that as a means to ITALY. We give from the Messenger