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God to man, as well as the reconciliation of man to God, justification by faith alone, the resurrection of the body, and partial election. On this last article of faith the author, to our surprise at this time of day, insists more than on any other; and on the ground of the comfort it affords! In speaking of the Lord as the Door of the sheep, he says, Many a soul is perplexed about the great doctrine of God's sovereign election, seeing it is certainly taught in the Word, but not understanding how full it is of comfort. The saying, 'I am the Good Shepherd,' will bring that truth before us ; meanwhile, I only so far anticipate as to say, the 'sheep' are a definite number known to Christ, whom He chooses, redeems, feeds, and defends." Under the anticipated head the subject is again brought up. After another statement to the same effect, that “it is not the part of sheep to choose their shepherd, He fixes the number to which His flock shall extend, and selects each one who makes up that number," the author mentions the case of " a woman who was under deep concern about her soul's salvation, and one tried to help her by insisting that Christ had died for all, and therefore must have died for her. Out of the very depth of her agony she startled and instructed the well-meaning man hy demanding, 'Have you nothing better to tell me than you might tell the lost in hell ?' and it was a fair answer.” How does the author show the fairness of the woman's answer ? Thus. " The warrant of a sinner's faith is not to be found in a general view of the nature of the Atonement, but in Christ's explicit invitation. When we have obeyed that invitation and entered by Him, the Door, He tells us, for His glory and our infinite consolation, that our names were written in His Book of Life from the foundation of the world.'" That is to say, the sinner who enters through the Door hears the joyful tidings that he is one of the elect. But what help or consolation is this for those on the outside? The Lord's invitation is to all. What comfort is there in this unlimited invitation ? All are invited, but all cannot com We know the stereotyped
Christ does not invite us as elect and non-elect, but as lost sinners. We do not see that this alters the case. Only the elect can come. Ah, here is the comforting reply. Christ invites all, that the elect may hear and obey the call, and so enter and be saved,—and that the non-elect, by hearing and not obeying, may be condemned, not because they have not been elected, but because they have refused the call—which they had no power to obey, and which it was pre-determined they should not obey. It seems to us that any answer that can be given to agonized souls is likely to produce either presumptuous confidence or blank despair. That God could have saved all, but that of His own sovereign pleasure, without any respect to good or evil in the creature, He elected a certain number to everlasting life, and left all the rest to perish eternally, to the praise of His vindictive justice, is a doctrine which should be congenial and consoling to the lost in hell, since it shifts the cause of their sufferings from themselves to the Almighty ; but what consolation it can afford to agonized sinners on earth we confess ourselves unable to comprehend.
CHRISTIAN PSYCHOLOGY. Under quite willing to admit him into their this title the English Independent of ranks, or to accept him as an ally. And May 25th gives a review of Mr. yet it is to Swedenborg more than to Gorman's new translation of Sweden. any one else that we owe the discovery borg's " De Commercio Animæ et of the exact relation of the soul to the Corporis.” The writer claims to body, on which is founded the true be " among those whose respect for interpretation of the Christian doctrine Swedenborg as a reformer of the cur- of the resurrection of the body. Acrent materialistic Rationalism of his day cording to the Cartesian, or rather stops short of recognition of his pro- Platonic, theory of an immortal soul phetic character as the founder of the united to a mortal body, and the two Church of the New Jerusalem”.-- a view acting together by what Leibnitz deof Swedenborg's relation to the Church scribed as a pre-established harmony, of the New Jerusalem as accurate as it the doctrine of the resurrection of the would be to speak of John the Baptist as body is, and ever must be, a stumblingthe founder of Christianity. The writer block. It was Swedenborg who taught, admits, however, the value of Sweden almost in the apostle Paul's language, borg's teaching respecting the soul and that the body is the soul's vesture. the spiritual body, and gives the follow. What is spiritual,' he says in chapter ing account of the influence which this ix. of this work, clothes itself with teaching is slowly exercising on the what is natural, as a man clothes himminds of thoughtful and inquiring self with a garment. Compare this
with the Apostle's statement: “We “Instead of a small section of follow- know that if the earthly house of this ers who claim him as inspired, and a tabernacle be dissolved, we have a build. large class of the indifferent world out- ing of God, an house not made with side, whether philosophers or theolo- hands, eternal in the heavens.' On this gians, who roundly describe him as subject Mr. Gorman aptly quotes a insane, there is springing up a middle remark of the Duke of Argyll, in his class who accept many of his thoughts "Reign of Law.' • The Christian docas valuable contributions to the in- trine of the resurrection of the body,' terpretation of Scripture, but who are says the Duke, 'sanctions and involves unable to follow him in his imaginary the notion that there is some deep dialogues with dead and departed connection between spirit and form persons-in a word, who admit his which is essential, and which cannot be spiritual insight, but not foresight. finally sundered even in the divorce of He had struck out a sound system of death.' There cannot be such a psychology, and lifted, for the first thing,' says Swedenborg, as a body time, the true theory of the soul as without a soul, or a soul without a the formative principle of the body body. That a soul can exist without a out of the rut of commonplace into body is an error which flows easily from which the later school of Cartesianism fallacies, for the soul of every man is in had brought it down. Considering that a spiritual body after it has cast off the spiritual philosophy, as it was then outward covering which it had carried called, had worked the vein out of about with it in the world !' Leibnitz and Wolf, and that the ten- It is pleasant to see intelligent and dency of thought was steadily setting thoughtful men thus far admitting the in the contrary direction of materialism, authority and guidance of our great under the leadership of Hartley, and author, and we quarrel not with the the French school of sensationalism, the position they assume in regard to him. services of Swedenborg to spiritual To They that are not against us are for philosophy cannot be over-estimated. us. Increased attention to his writ. Indeed, as we think, they have been ings, and a fuller study of the facts of too much under-estimated. Neither his experience, will remove any linger. philosophers nor theologians have been ing suspicion that he occupied
border-land between sanity and in- year of 1876 might live to witness Him sanity. Swedenborg's
of —the Prince of Peace, the Lamb of himself is the only rational solution of God, the Crucified of the Earth-coming his case, and must, we are satisfied, in power and great glory. The poor old be in the end accepted by every student gentleman at Rome was constantly comof his writings.
plaining of his aches : evidently matters
with him must be in a desperate state. OPINIONS OF LITERARY MEN RE- That miserable dog, the Turk, was now SPECTING SWEDENBORG. (From the going to the dogs. The rev. doctor New Jerusalem Messenger.)— In some cited to a considerable extent from of the literary circles of London, says recent communications in regard to the correspondent of the Chicago Times, Jerusalem, and declared that even in the Swedenborg is much talked about. Mr. newspapers of the day it was stated that Carlyle, having looked upon the great the Jews were trying to restore the seer all his life as a visionary_lunatic, Temple thrown down eighteen centuries now says he stands rebuked. He looks ago. It had been declared that Jeruupon him as one of the loftiest minds in salem could be made the healthiest the realm of mind ; one of the spiritual capital in the world. Christians believed suns that will shine brighter and that Jerusalem was to be one day rebrighter as the years go on; and that stored to be the beauty of the whole more truths are compressed in his writ. earth. The rebuilding of the Temple ings than that of any other man. His and the Jews going back to Palestine great prescience with regard to modern were sure signs of the times. He was scientific discoveries, since made known, certain that we were on the eve of the is astonishing: And the most impor- great and entire destruction of the tant of all subjects, the one that to-day Papacy, the waning utterly and for ever is enlisting the largest amount of atten. of the Crescent, the return of the Jew tion-psychology-finds no deeper or to his own land, and lastly, the time more rational solution from any other when this great country of ours should writer. The same correspondent also lift up its head, and old England would says of Mr. Gorman's “Christian Psy- echo with the cry, “ Glory to God in the chology," that it is one of the most highest; peace and good-will to all men.' valuable additions lately made to the It can excite little surprise that these literature of the subject, and after vagaries are regarded not merely with giving a brief sketch of its contents, distrust but positive dislike by the adds : 'Swedenborg's system, as Mr. religious journals of the day, some of Gorman points out, is truly rational whom have leaders to controvert them. and pre-eminently Christian. To any The Church at large is awakening to a one who will study it carefully, it will sense of the utter inadequacy of such clear the mind of a great number of teaching as an exposition of the sublime perplexities, and at the same time prophecies of the Word of God. prepare the mind for yet higher truths, which border upon the region of the SPIRITUALISM AND THE NEW CHURCH. supernatural.
-In our April number we noticed a
correspondence on this subject in the SIGNS OF THE TIMES.—Dr. Cumming Nonconformist newspaper. În an article has been endeavouring to enlighten the on “Spirit Life,” in a subsequent issue Protestant Reformation Society of Shef- of the same paper, the question is again field on this subject. He has detailed introduced. In the course of his rehis long cherished opinions on the marks the writer says, “We are glad to literal fulfilment of prophecy, and shown take this opportunity of disavowing any his usual dexterity in applying passing intention of casting a slur upon so political changes to their confirmation. excellent a body as the New Church. “He believed the Jews would be soon men, who in regard to matters of in Palestine from all over the world, but primary importance in religion are, it is they would not sell Jesus as their fore- hardly necessary to state, as far removed fathers had done --they would sing from spiritualism as any other denominapraises to Him.
Some of his hearers tion of Christians : and moreover, as a might be gathered to the silent tomb body, are distinctly in antagonism to before then, but some now living in this any communing with 'familiar spirits.'
A candid perusal of our former paper the press generally, the distinctive docwill make it evident that we wrote with trines of the denomination. The busias much respect for Swedenborg as with ness of the meeting consisted in the scorn for the religion of the Spiritualists. reception of the reports of the retiring But,” continues the writer, " the just- committee, and the election of officers ness of the parallelism pointed out for the ensuing year. Previously to the between some doctrines of the Spiri- meeting, tea was served in the schooltualists and Swedenborgians is confirmed room adjoining the Church, of which by the bulky volume just issued, and several of the friends partook. called 'Angelic Revelations, concern- assembling for business," Mr. Austin ing the human spirit given by the (the minister of the Church) took the angel Purity, known on earth as Teresa chair, and was supported by several Jacoby.'
leading New Church friends in London. The parallelism between the New In a few preliminary remarks the chair. Church and the Spiritualists is the same man sketched the origin and objects of as between the Word, and all sincere the Society. In 1824, he said, on rebelievers of the Word, and the Spiritua- ference to the New Church Almanac, lists: it is the belief in the possibility of he found that on this day in that year, open intercourse with the inhabitants of the late Rev. Manoah Sibly was prethe unseen world, and in the fact that sented with a silver cup, in token of the such intercourse has taken place, which respect and affection in which he was no believer in the Bible can possibly held by a large body of his friends, and deny. That professed New Churchmen allegorising this fact, he (the chairnian) should give themselves to spirit mani. would say that the work of the New festations is much to be regretted, but Church, and of this Society in particular, the New Church as a body is no more was to present the silver cup-a vessel responsible for these disorders, than is suitable to hold the pure truths of the any other Christian community, some of Bible—to those who were worthy and whose members are ensnared in the willing to receive it. What they were same useless pursuit.
in want of was a coherent form of doc
trine-a system of interpretation that INAUGURATION OF THE Rev. W. would explain the beauty and harmony BRUCE AS AN ORDAINING MINISTER. — of the Divine Word ; and this the New This interesting service took place Church was ready to give. Their work at Palace Gardens New Jerusalem was, he held, eminently constructive ; Church, Kensington. The Rev. Dr. in short, it was the insemination of Bayley was the officiating minister. truths which in God's own time would Ministers from all the Societies in and bring forth the fruits of righteousness. around London were present, and stood The minutes of the last meeting to the right and left of Mr. Bruce as having been read, the chairman called presenting and supporting him. Suit- upon the retiring secretary, Mr. R. Job. able hymns were sung. There was an son, to read his report. A considerable attendance of friends from every part of interest was awakened by the increasing London, and the service was felt to be a operations set forth in the report, which most impressive and edifying one. It showed that the Society was quite was closed by a sernion from the new worthy of the support it has always Ordaining Minister.
received. Salisbury, Horncastle, Step
ney, Chatteris, Northampton, St. Ives, LONDON MISSIONARY AND TRACT Ipswich, St. Osyth, Bath, Lowestoft, SOCIETY (From the South London Press). Harrogate, King's Lynn, Bristol, Cam-On Wednesday, May 31st, several of bridge, &c., had been visited by means the members of the New Jerusalem of the society. Eleven thousand books Church in London, better known as had been printed, 8,644 vols. had been Swedenborgians, met together at the issued, besides leaflets and tracts, showchurch, situate in Flodden Road, ing a considerable increase over last Camberwell, to celebrate the annual year. The income of the Society for the meeting of the Missionary and Tract past year amounted to £569, 10s. 6d., of Society. This Society was instituted in which £247, 14s. 5d. was for subscrip1822, to propagate, by means of qualified tions. A selection of the books of the missionaries, of tracts, of books, and of Society had been offered to fifty-three public libraries, on condition that they The Rev. Mr. Thornton, late of should appear in their respective cata- Accrington, moved the next resolu. logues, and had been accepted in the tion, to the effect that a missionary cases of the following : Aberdeen, Bath, be appointed for the London district. Bilston, Birmingham, Bristol (2 sets), Mr. Duncan, while seconding the Darlington (2 sets), Dundee (2 sets), resolution, hoped it would be suppleHeywood, Kilmarnock, Leamington, mented by street preaching, which, he Manchester (7. sets), Middlesboro', felt sure, would be an effective agent in Nottingham, Rochdale, Sheffield (4 sets), extending the knowledge of the New South Shields (2 sets), Swansea (2 Church, and would, at the same time, sets), Walsall, Warrington, and Wolver- do something, he thought, to improve hampton.
the tone of the preaching which was Donations were announced of £50 generally heard in the open air. from Mr. Buckland of Australia, and Mr. Denny supported the motion, re£20 from an anonymous friend, besides marking that the Church wanted to be various smaller amounts.
known. Many people did not know The Treasurer then, without comment, what it was. It was as a little sect lost read his report, showing a balance in amongst the bigger ones, and it was to hand of £166, 10s. 6d.
the interest of the largest sects not to let An interesting report was then read it be known. He was recommended by of the operations of the Auxiliary Mis- an orthodox minister not to read the sionary and Tract Society, an organisa- works of the unorthodox, but fortunately tion chiefly consisting of young men, for him, he did not follow that advice. who, in various ways, supplement the One year ago he had the doctrines of the work of the parent society, chiefly by New Church brought before him, and in their supervision of current religious combating them as errors, had found literature and the press.
they were indeed truths, and he looked Mr. Isaac Gunton proposed the adop- upon it as providential that he had been tion of the reports, and that the new brought into the neighbourhood of the committee be empowered to print such church, without which he probably portion of them as they may think fit, would only have thought of New Church. and afterwards drew attention to the men with ridicule. qualifications and privileges of member- Mr. Gunton, in moving the next reship.
solution, commending the claims of the Mr. Bateman, in seconding the Society to the notice of New Churchmen motion, pointed out the distinct sphere generally, gave some interesting inof work which the Society had adopted, formation with regard to the operations and its relation to the other Societies in of the Society during the year. the Church.
The Rev. Dr. Bayley seconded the The Rev. Dr. Collett, a recent receiver motion, and urged everybody present to of the doctrines of the New Church, show the effect of the teachings of their supported the motion, and congratulated church in pious and useful lives. the Society on their doing what he The proceedings were terminated with characterized as "a very fine work.” the benediction by the Rev. Dr. Bayley. He was glad to find that the New Church appealed to the understanding BIRMINGHAM. — The Society at this as well as to the heart. He could not town continues to benefit by the contrisee the use of the heart loving what the bution of special and necessary objects mind could not grasp as true; and it for the completion of their New Church. was because his heart embraced the The Manual of the Society for June truths of the New Church which his gives the following additional contribumind had presented to it, that he stood tions :amongst them that night.
Two of our friends have most kindly The anthem, “O come let us worship undertaken to provide the finial and and fall down," was then sung by the lightning-conductor for the spire, choir.
neither of which items were included in Mr. T. H. Elliott next proposed the the contract cost of tower and spire. re-election of the Treasurer, Mr. R. The finial will be a handsome and suit. Gunton, which, being seconded by Mr. able work in copper, with strong iron Alfred Braby, was unanimously carried. uprights and supports, and the light