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Emanuel Swedenborg

Emanuel Swedenborg

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    B f barrett_a_cloud_of_independant_witnesses_the_swedenborg_publishing_association_philadelphia_1891 B f barrett_a_cloud_of_independant_witnesses_the_swedenborg_publishing_association_philadelphia_1891 Document Transcript

    • A CLOUD OFIndependent Witnesses TO THE TRUTH, VALUE, NEED, AND SPIRITUAL HELPFUL. NESS OF SWEDENBORGS TEACHINGS. BY B. F. :^ARRETT,Author of "The Golden City," "Heaven Revealed," "The New View OF Hell," " Foot-prints of the New Age," " The True Catholicism," etc. PHILADEPHIA: THE SWEDENBORG PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION, GERMANTOWN, PA.
    • -B3 G/(^ Copyright by THE SWEDENBORG PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION, 1891. • Y,^!ilivJli)irA/^ ^^^"^^PRESS OF WM. F. FELL K CO., 1220-24 SANSOM STREET, PHILADELPHIA.
    • d^ PREFACE. Let me assure the reader here, in the outset, thatthis volume has not been written in the interest of anyparticular sect or denomination, but purely in theinterest of religious liberty and unadulterated Chris-tianity. Hitherto there has prevailed throughout Christen-dom an intense prejudice against Swedenborg and histeachings, especially among ministers and churchesclaiming to be evangelical and much of this preju- ;dice still even in the most enlightened com- lingers,munities, though with its former intensity andacerbity considerably diminished. Church membersare advised by their pastors to shun the writings ofthis man and his expositors as they would shun whatthey knew to be spiritual poison ; and sometimes ex-communication threatened, and even practiced, as isthe penalty for reading and accepting the teachings ofSwedenborg. The Young Mens Christian Associ-ations generally regard Newchurchmen as non-evan-gelical, and refuse to receive them into membershipon equal terms with other Christians, however blame-less and excellent their characters as revealed in theirdaily lives. I am sure that no one who reads the followingpages can fail to see that this prejudice is utterly blind iii 383321
    • IV PREFACE.and unfounded. Its prevalence in ecclesiastical circlesisa powerful hindrance to the progress of the highestreligious truth and the growth of the best religiouslife. Those who harbor and are most zealous in it, and strengthen it, have notheir efforts to perpetuateconception of the nature of the work in which theyare engaged. Most of them, I doubt not, think that "they are really doing God service," as did the apostlePaul before his conversion, when he " shut up manyof the saints in prison, having received authority fromthe chief priests." For all such blind opponents of theNew Christianity, therefore, we can heartily join in theDivine Saviours prayer, " Father, forgive them, forthey know not what they do." Weinvite the readers special attention to the factthat not one of the witnesses here summoned is, orever has been, a member of the organization knownas the New Christian Church. Their testimony,therefore, all the is stronger for being perfectlyindependent, and not open to the suspicion of beingprompted by a sectarian spirit, or a desire to strengthenand build up a particular denomination. And it is thetestimony of men who are quite familiar with the oldtheologies — more than a hundred ministers, represent-ing ten of the leading Christian denominations most —of them well educated, having been thoroughly trainedin theological seminaries, and many of whom havepreached the old doctrines from four to forty years.Can we conceive, therefore, of more competent orreliable witnesses in a case like this, or witnesses moreworthy of an attentive hearing ? And what is their
    • PREFACE. Vuniform and concurrent testimony? Why, that theOld theologies, compared with the New as unfolded inthe writings of Swedenborg, are as the dim twilightof evening compared with the splendor of noonday. Then, look at the character of the extracts quoted two hundred pages. These, in the aggre-in the firstgate, cover all the leadingand vital doctrines of theChristian religion, and reveal also their spirit andobvious tendency. That their teaching does notchime with the creeds of two or three centuries ago,or with the still prevalent religious dogmas, is verytrue. But is unscriptural, unreasonable, un- any of itphilosophical, or detrimental to the souls orderlydevelopment and noblest growth ? Has it not a mani-festand strong tendency to draw every honest inquirernearer to the Lord, and into closer fellowship withthe angels of heaven ? These are the importantquestions, — and the reader can answer them for him-self when he shall have carefully read the book. And consider also this other fact, that some of theworks herein extensively quoted and those, too, —most thoroughly imbued with the spirit, philosophyand doctrines of Swedenborg, but whose author wasnot generally known to be a believer of his teach-ings —havereceived from the periodical press, bothreligious and secular, the highest commendation everbestowed on any religious works published in America.In confirmation of this statement, let the reader turnto pages 144, 65, ZZ. The wide acceptance of theteachings of these books is indicated by their extensivesale — very extensive for religious works " Regener- —
    • VI PREFACE. " "ation having passed through ten editions, Fore-gleams and Foreshadows of Immortality" throughfourteen^ and "The Fourth Gospel, the Heart ofChrist," through nine. We call special attention also to this other fact,that, in none of the works herein quoted, and in noneof the extracts from more than a hundred letters, isthere the least manifestation of a narrow, bigoted, orsectarian spirit, or of a purpose to disturb existingecclesiastical relations ; but instead of this the grandcatholicity of the Gospel of our Lord, and an earnestdesire for that unity among Christians of whatevername, which is sure to result from the due exaltationof charity above faith, character above creed, lifeabove doctrine. B. F. B. Germantovmy Pa.y Sept. 28th, i8gi.
    • CONTENTS. CHAPTER I. PACKTESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES, 13 His Conversion to the New Christianity, 15 His Life and Character, 20 Mr. Nobles Estimate of Him, 23 His Address to the Clergy, 31 Their Duty to Examine These Writings, 33 A Common Objection Considered, 35 Trieir Neglect to Examine Inexcusable, 37 Existing and Groundless Prejudices, 38 Practical Value of the New Doctrines, 40 Preparation for Their Reception, 42 His Idea of the Nfiw Church, 45 CHAPTER II.TESTIMONY OF REV. EDWIN P. HOODy 51 His View of the Athanasian Creed, 52 Some Central Doctrines Discussed, 54 Regeneration, 56 The Sacred Scripture, 58 Homology and Psychology, 62 CHAPTER III.TESTIMONY OF REV. HENRY B.BROWNING, . . . 66 How to Think of God, 68 The Glorification of Christ 70 The Divine Incarnation, 7 What Is it to Love God? 71 The Influent Life of God — Its Law, 72 Human Happiness — How Attained, 73 Prayer, 74 Preparation for Heaven, 76 vii
    • viii CONTENTS. PAGE The True Worship, 77 The Law of Spiritual Growth, 78 Spiritual Liberty, 80 The Elements of Angelic Life, 81 — Angels and Their Fellowship With Men, 82 Gods Purpose in Creation, 82 Discrete Degrees in Creation, 83 A Spiritual and a Natural World, 84 Origin of Things Noxious, 84 Death and Resurrection, 85 The Judgment After Death, 88 Hell — Its Punishments Merciful, 90 Apparent Truths in Scripture, 92 Apparent Truths in Nature, 94 CHAPTER IV.TESTIMONY OF REV. T. M. GORMAN, 97 A New Theology Needed, ^ 97 The Divine Trinity, 100 — God a Divine-Human Person, loi The Three Essentials, 104 The Dogma of Faith Alone, 106 His View of Sacred Scripture, 107 The Church and Church Unity, 108 Views Accepted by Intelligent People, iii CHAPTER V. TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D.D., 113 His Acceptance of the New Doctrines, 115 Becomes Senior Editor of a Religious Monthly, 117 His Three Principal Works, 119 The Holy Spirit, 120 Its General and Special Influence, 126 Some Press Notices of " Regeneration," • . . . 131 The Divine Humanity, 132 " Foregleams and Foreshadows of Immortality," 134 "Home," 135 A Few Press Notices of this Work, 143
    • CONTENTS. IX PAGE « The Fourth Gospel, the Heart of Christ," 145 Symbolic Character of Scripture, 145 Babylon and the New Jerusalem, 148 Incarnation of the Divine, 154 The Resurrection of Christ, 158 The New Jerusalem Descending, 162 The Apostolic Thrones, 163 Some Press Notices of this Work, 165 CHAPTER VI.TESTIMONY OF REV. HORACE BUSHNELL, D.D., . 169 The Old Doctrine of the Trinity, 172 The Old Doctrine of Atonement, 173 Expiation —A Pagan Doctrine, 174 The — Doctrine of Substitution A Mockery of Law and Justice, 176 Mediation and Intercession, 177 God Humanized, 178 A New Inauguration of Faith, 179 Religious Character, 180 Mans Power and Responsibility, 181 Divine Providence, 181 Character Before Creed, 182 Christian Nurture in the Home, 183 Sin Causes Bodily Disorder, 184 Correspondence Clearly Recognized, 185 Influence of Spirits — Good and Evil, 186 The Satan of Scripture, 187 A Few Press Notices, 188 CHAPTER VII.TESTIMONY OF PROF DRUMMOND, F.R.S.E., F.G.S., 189 Adulterations in Theology, 193 The Ordinary Forms of Belief, 194 Regeneration — Testimony of Science, 196 The Spiritual and Natural Man, 199 Salvation by Formula, , 200 Love is the Supreme Thing, 203 The Final Test of Religion 205
    • X CONTENTS. FAGB The Christian Life Causal —Not Casual, 206 Christ the Alpha and Omega, 209 CHAPTER VIII.TESTIMONY OF REV. GEORGE T FLANDERS, . . 212 Difficulties Finally Mastered, 213 His Idea of the Spiritual World, 216 « Other World Order," 219 A Summary of His Conclusions, 224 Little Children After Death, 226 Divine Providence, 229 The Verdict of Reason, 230 His View of the Old Creeds, 232 CHAPTER IX.MANY WITNESSES NOT YET SUMMONED, .... 234 CHAPTER X.TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHER MINISTERS, 239 Extracts from Letters of 1882, 242 " from Letters of 1883, 245 " from Letters of 1884, 250 « from Letters of 1885, 255 from Letters of 1886, 266 " from Letters of 1887, 278 " from Letters of 1888, 288 " from Letters of 1889, 297 " from Letters of 1890, 303 CHAPTER XLSWEDENBORGS PREDICTIONS, 307 Effects of the Last Judgment foretold, 307 These Predictions Verified, 309 The Nevi^ness in all Things 313 Another Prediction Fulfilled, 316
    • NDEPENDENT W VV ITNESSES
    • A Cloud of Witnesses, CHAPTER I. TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. the intelligent receivers and advocates ofAMONG the doctrines of the New Church signified bythe New Jerusalem, as taught in the writings of Eman-uel Swedenborg, the name of Rev. John Clowes willever hold a conspicuous place. No man ever under-stood these doctrines more clearly than he, or receivedthem more affectionately, or imbibed and exemplifiedtheir heavenly spirit more fully, or was more zealousand active in their dissemination among the English-speaking people. He was a member of the ProtestantEpiscopal church, and Rector of St. Johns in Man-chester (England) for nearly sixty years ; and for morethan half a century he taught these doctrines openlyfrom his and delighted audiences. He pulpit, to largeconversed and lectured on them at his own house, andon all suitable occasions elsewhere. He wrote numer-ous letters about them to his friends at home and 13
    • 14 - CLQVp QF.^^WITNESSES.abroad. He translated eighteen volumes of Sweden-borgs works,* and wrote and published more thanforty of his own (great and small), in explanation andvindication of their teachings. The manner of hisconversion to the New Theology is worthy of record,and cannot failto interest every Christian believer. Itwas not less remarkable than was Pauls conversionto Christianity. Indeed, it so closely resembled thatof the great Apostle, that, viewed in connection withhis zeal and success in propagating the New Christian-ity, he may not inappropriately be called a secondPaul. Shortly after his acceptance of the Rectorship ofSt. Johns Church, Mr. Clowes formed the acquaint-ance of Richard Houghton, Esq of Liverpool, a ,gentleman of great learning and piety, and a diligentreader and enthusiastic admirer of the writings ofSwedenborg. Mr. Houghton urged him, in a manner "so affectionate, sincere and earnest, to read The TrueChristian Religion," —not then translated into Eng-lish — that he at once sent to London and purchaseda copy. But when he had procured it, he felt not theslightest inclination to read it; and it remained uponthe shelf several months unexamined and untouched.He had noticed that it treated mainly on doctrinalpoints, and in these he felt no interest. Besides, hewas well satisfied with his spiritual attainments, and
    • TES TIMONY OF RE V. JOHN CL O WES. 1 5thought he had no need to trouble or concern him-self with questions of a speculative nature, which hedid not think could add either to his sanctity or in-ward peace. "Alas!" says "I was not aware, at the time, he,either of the pearls of wisdom which I was over-looking, or of my own want of them, both for orna-ment and for use. I was deceiving myself (as is thecase, it is to be feared, with many Christians) bysupposing that had attained the highest point of IChristian purification and perfection, and was alreadyin full possession of the supreme good and the su-preme truth, without considering that the Christianlife is a continually progressive life, and that to standstill, therefore, under any present attainments, whetherof goodness or wisdom, is to change its characterfrom progressive to stagnant." HIS CONVERSION TO THE NEW CHRISTIANITY. At length a remarkable circumstance occurredwhich induced him to take up and read with careand without prejudice, the hitherto neglected vol-ume. The following is the account of it as writtenby himself: — " In the month of October, immediately succeeding
    • 1 6 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.the spring when the True Christian Religion wasrecommended to me by my friend at Liverpool, Iwent, according to annual custom, to visit an oldcollege pupil of mine, the late Right Honorable JohnSmith, of Heath, in the county of York. On theevening before I set out, I opened the long-neglectedvolume, not with a view to read it, but merely to geta better idea of the general nature of its contents,when, in turning over the pages, I happened to castmy eye upon the term Divinum Humanum. The termappeared new and strange, but still it did not affect mymind in a manner to produce any lasting impression ;and accordingly, on shutting up the book, it seemedto be forgotten and gone. Probably, too, it wouldnever again have been recalled to my remembrancehad it not been for the following memorable cir-cumstance. "On awaking early one morning, not many daysafter my arrival at my friends house, my mind wassuddenly and powerfully drawn into a state of inwardrecollection, attended with an inexpressible calm andcomposure, into which was instilled a tranquillity ofpeace and heavenly joy, such as I had never beforeexperienced. Whilst I lay musing on this strange,and to me most harmony in the interiors of delightfulmy mind, instantly there was made manifest, in thesame recesses of my spirit, what I can call by no
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 1/Other name than a divine glory, surpassing all descrip- and exciting the most profound adoration. Buttion,what seemed to me the most singular circumstanceon this occasion, was, that I was strongly impressedat the time, by a kind of internal dictate, that theglory was in close connection with that DivinumHumanum, or Divine Humanity, above mentioned,and proceeded from it as from its proper divinesource. " The glory continued during a full hour, allowingme sufficienttime both to view and analyze it. Some-times I closed my bodily eyes, and then opened themagain, but the glory remained the same. It is well,however, to be understood that there was no appear-ance presented of any visible form, but only a strongpersuasion that the glory proceeded from a visibleform, and that this form was no other than the DivineHumanity of Jesus Christ. " When the glory disappeared, as it did by degrees,I quitted my bed; but the recollection of what hadhappened attended me during the whole of the day,whether I was in company or alone and what is still ;more remarkable, the next morning on my first awak-ing, the glory was again manifested but, if possible, ;with increased splendor. Now, too, a singular effectwas produced by it upon my mind, convincing me ofthe spiritual and providential origin of what I had
    • 1 8 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.seen, by the important end to which it pointed, andwas designed to conduct me. The effect was no otherthan the excitement of a strong and almost irresistibledesire to return home immediately, in order to enterupon a serious and attentive perusal of the neglectedvolume^ which I had left behind me. And such wasthe powerful impulse of this desire, that although Ihad intended to remain with my friend a week or afortnight longer, yet I made some excuse for quittinghis house the next day, and hastened back to Man-chester rather with the impetuosity of a lover thanwith the sedateness of a man who had no other objectof pursuit but to consult the pages of an unknownand heretofore slighted book." A sudden change in Mr. Clowes feeling toward theneglected volume, was wrought by this circumstance.He immediately felt an uncontrollable desire to readthe book. He did read it —and and delight his interestin its teachings increased with every page he read. Tocite his own words : — " It is impossible for any language to express thefull effect wrought in my mind by the perusal of thiswonderful book. Suffice it, therefore, to observe thatinproceeding from the chapter on the Creator and onCreation to the succeeding chapters on the Redeemer
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 1 9and Redemption, on the Divine Trinity, on the SacredScriptures or Word of God, on the Decalogue, onFaith,on Charity, on Free-will, on Repentance, onReformation and Regeneration, on Imputation, onBaptism, on the Holy Supper, on the Consummationof the Age, the Advent of the Lord, and the New-Heaven and the New Church, it seemed as if a contin-ually increasing blaze of new and re-creating light waspoured forth on the delighted understanding, openingit to the contemplation of the most sublime mysteriesof wisdom, and convincing it of the being of a God,of the existence of an eternal world, of the interiorsanctities of the Holy Scriptures, of the true natureof creation, redemption and regeneration, in a man-ner and degree, and with a force of satisfactory evi-dence, in which those interesting subjects had neverbeen viewed before. " The mind, therefore, was no longer perplexed aboutthe proper Object of its worship, because it was en- —lightened to see clearly as by the of a meridian lightsun —that Jesus Christ Divine Humanity in his that isObject, He being the Creator from eternity, the Re-deemer in time, and the Regenerator to eternity, thuscontaining in his own Divine Person the sacred Trinityof Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the Father beinghis hidden essence, the Son his manifested existence,and the Holy Spirit his proceeding operation. In
    • 20 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.like manner all difficulties and doubts were removedrespecting the sacred Scriptures, or Word of God,through the bright and heretofore unseen manifesta-tion of their spiritual and interior contents, by virtueof which discovery apparent inconsistencies vanished,apparent contradictions were reconciled; and whatbefore seemed and nugatory, assumed a new trivialand interesting aspect; while the whole volume ofRevelation was seen to be full of sanctity, of wisdomand of love from its Divine Author, and also to be inperpetual connection with that Author, who is itsinmost soul — its essential Spirit and Life! Such is the account which Mr. Clowes himself hasgiven of his conversion to the New Christianity, andhis intense and steadily increasing interest in the NewJerusalem verities. HIS LIFE AND CHARACTER. And what was the character of the man who relatesthis remarkable experience ? What reputation did hebear among his contemporaries and acquaintances?The fact that he was Rector of St. Johns Church formore than half a century, and retained for this wholeperiod the affection of his people in a manner almostwithout a parallel —and this, too, notwithstanding hisknown interest in the doctrines of the New Church,
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 21and his zeal in disseminating them — is sufficient evi-dence on this point. Seldom has a higher tribute ofpraise been offered to the memory of any man, andnever a tribute better deserved, than that which wasspontaneously poured forth through the columns ofthe public journals at the time of his death. TheLondon Times (June 4, 183 1,) said: — " His affections were ever alive toward all who camewithin the sphere of his usefulness ; and it would havebeen any one to resist the influence of that difficult forgoodness which showed itself in all he did, or said, orlooked and to have been with him, even for a little ;while, without being impressed with a sense of theloveliness of Christian principle as it was exemplified inhim. ... In simplicity of heart, in unity of pur-pose, in the abandonment of every selfish consideration,in the unclouded and playful cheerfulness of a pure andbenevolent mind, in the ornament of a meek and quietspirit, in the beauty and happiness of genuine holi-ness, he truly adorned the doctrine of God his Saviourin all things. Those who did not know him, maybelieve this tribute to be the offspring of strongfriendship and affection ; but the many who did,will feel how inefficient must be the attempt rightlyto commemorate his admirable and truly Christianexcellences."
    • 22 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. The Manchester Courier, in an obituary of the samedate, said : — " In recording the excellence of this venerable manand truly apostolic minister, it may be allowed tomark, as prominent features of a character in whichall was lovely, his child-like simplicity, his singlenessof heart, the elevation of his devotion, the cheerful-ness of his piety, the beauty of his hoHness, . . .the ease of his seriousness, the innocence of his mirth,the purity of his exuberant joy. " He was admirable in all the faculties and powersof an enlightened mind ; but the charm by which hewon and ruled the hearts of all, was that grace in manwhich is the nearest image on earth of a holy andmerciful God, —the boundless benevolence of a trulycatholic spirit. " This admirable person enjoyed, in a singular de-gree,through life, the respect and affection of all bywhom he was known but, in an especial manner, the ;veneration of his own flock, over which (and it was and only care of souls) he was, by Gods pro-his firstvidence, the shepherd for the very unusual term ofnearly sixty-two years."
    • TESTIMONY OF REV, JOHN CLOWES. 23 MR. NOBLES ESTIMATE OF HIM. Rev. Samuel Noble, a distinguished New Churchwriter,who was an intimate friend of Mr. Clowes, " "speaks of him as the principal instrument in ex-tending the knowledge of Swedenborgs teachingsthroughout the kingdom of Great Britain, He com-pares him with the illustrious seer, and thinks he stoodto him in a relation similar to that of Aaron to Moses.He says : " To Britons, and to all who speak the language ofBritain, he stood in a relation toward Swedenborganalogous to that which Aaron bore to Moses. Butfor him, or some other person raised to fill the officewhich he discharged so well, Swedenborg must stillhave been, to almost all, both in a natural and spirit-ual point of view, as Moses says of himself, * slow ofspeech, and of a slow tongue; — unintelligible to thegenerality, not more for the learned language in whichhe wrote, than for the elevated and abstract characterof the divine truths which he delivered. But in Mr.Clowes he found a genuine brother, —a kindredspirit, eminently qualified, as another Aaron, to be his spokesman unto the people. This character he sus-tained not only by the translation of his works fromLatin into English, which any other learned man
    • 24 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.might, If sufficiently zealous and industrious, haveaccomplished, but by a talent for bringing down theinterior truths which they contain to the comprehen-sion of themost simple and common understanding,and presenting them in the most engaging form, evento the adapting of them for the instruction of children.It is owing, I verily believe, as its immediate cause, toour having had a Clowes, that the doctrines of theNew Church have made greater progress in England,and United States of America (the people of in thewhich are still Englishmen as to language), than inany other country upon earth. No wonder, then,if one who was to be the instrument of such exten-sive usefulness, was called to the work by as special adivine interposition as was vouchsafed to Swedenborghimself." And for more than fifty years this gifted and mostestimable man read and circulated the writings ofSwedenborg, and openly taught the doctrines they "contained as the genuine doctrines of Christianity."But he did not do it without opposition, nor withoutsome harsh treatment and bitter persecution byministers of his own denomination. At one timethere were three clergymen in his neighborhood, whoheld regular weekly meetings for the purpose of "crushing the growing heresy." The most un-
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 2$founded rumors respecting Swedenborg and hisdoctrines, and the most bitter and scurrilous invec-tives, emanated from almost daily. Nor this sourcewere his persecutors content with employing theirtongues only ; they had recourse to their pens.They wrote and published a pamphlet in which theyendeavored to prove that the writings of Sweden-borg were opposed to religion and common sense.Mr. Clowes at once replied to this pamphlet. Theynext appealed to the Right Rev. Dr. Porteus, thenBishop of the Diocese, preferring, in a formal manner,the four following charges against Mr. Clowes ist; :that he denied the Trinity ; 2d, that he denied Atonement ; 3d, that he went about the countrytiQendeavoring to propagate the Netv Doctrines ; 4th,that hehad private meetings at his own house for thesame purpose. Mr. Clowes was accordingly sum-moned to appear before the Bishop to answer to thesecharges. He appeared and answered — in a manner,it is said, quite satisfactory to the Bishop, who is re- "ported to have said afterwards, that he wished therewere many more John Clowes in his diocese." Thisdamped the ardor of his persecutors ; and from thattime he was permitted to preach and publish his ownsentiments without further molestation. It was in the fourth year after his acceptance of thepastorate of St. Johns Church, that Mr. Clowes com-
    • 26 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.menced the study of the heavenly doctrines ; andduring the remainder of his earthly life he was a dili-gent student and faithful teacher of these doctrines asexpounded by Swedenborg and unfolded from thehigher and heavenly sense of the Sacred Scriptures. " " No sooner," he says, had I finished the perusalof the True Christian Religion, than the treatise onHeaven and Hell, the Arcana Coelestia, the Apoca-lypse Revealed, the Angelic Wisdom concerning theDivine Love and Wisdom, and also concerning theDivine Providence, the Delights of Wisdom concern-ing Conjugial Love, etc., with other minor tracts bythe same author, were successively read, or rather de-voured; and as constantly excited wonder, delightand edification. At the same time a strong andardent desire was enkindled to put others in posses-sion of the same sources of heavenly intelligence;and this desire frequently, yet tacitly, expressed itselfin those words of the great Saviour, where he prays, Father that they may be with mey to behold Thy gloryJohn xvii : 24. For the whole testimony as deliveredby the messenger of the New Jerusalem verities inhis theological writings, appeared to my mind like aradiant glory from the face of Jesus Christy and repeat-edly called to my recollection the words of that in-carnate God, where, speaking of his second advent,
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 27He says, * Then shall ye see the sign of the Son of mancoming in the clouds of heaven with power and greatglory! — Matt, xxiv : 30." And in his autobiography, or narrative of his reli-gious experience, written when he was seventy-fiveyears of age, and after he had experienced theenlightening and comforting influence of the truthsof the New Church for nearly half a century,he says — : " The author cannot conclude his narrative withoutoffering up to the Father of Mercies his most devoutand grateful acknowledgments for the extraordinaryprivilege and inestimable blessing vouchsafed him,inhaving been admitted to the knowledge and ac-knowledgment of the truth and importance of thedoctrines unfolded by Swedenborg from the Word ofGod, as the genuine doctrines of Christianity. Forwhat worldly glory, gain, or happiness can stand incompetition with this, —to know Jesus Christ to bethe only true God, and to be allowed to approachand worship Him in His Divine Humanity; to bedelivered thus from all perplexity as to the properobject of worship ; to see, at the same time, the di-vine volume of Revelation opened ; its interior treas-ures displayed; its evidence and authority thus
    • 28 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.confirmed by its divine contents ; its apparent contra-dictions reconciled ; whilst all that is divine and holy,all that is good and true, all that is calculated toexcite the veneration of intelligent beings, and theaffection of penitent ones ; all, in short, that has atendency either to enlighten the human understand-ing, or to purify the human will ; either to edify, by thebright and profound lessons of divine truth, or tosoften and console by the sweet and tender influencesof the divine love, is perceived to proceed from thisDivine Fountain, as its only source ! " Yet such is the transcendent glory, gain, andhappiness imparted to every penitent and devout re-ceiver of the above heavenly doctrines. Add to this,the nearness and connection between this world andanother, demonstrated by such a weight of irresistibleevidence ; the great evangelical doctrines of faith, ofcharity, of repentance and remission of sins, of temp-tation, reformation, regeneration, the freedom of thewill opened, explained, and enforced, according totheir edifying and important meaning; the nature,also, and effect of the Last Judgment, the Lordssecond advent, and the descent of the New Jerusalem,presented to view in all the brightness and fulness oftruth, and confirmed by the testimony of the sureWord of prophecy and some faint idea may then be ;formed of the immense debt of gratitude owing at
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 29this day from all the families of the earth to theirheavenly Father. " For who, except that Father, whose tender mer-cies are over allHis works, could thus cause His lightto shine in darkness, for the deliverance of His peoplefrom evil, from error, and from destruction, and, atthe same time, for the guidance of their feet into theways of righteousness, truth, and salvation ? To hispraises and most unfeigned thankfulness on this oc-casion, the author is lastly urgent to add his ardentprayers, that the above glorious light may shine inevery corner of the habitable globe, until the wholeearth becomes that blessed tabernacle of God whichwas announced to be with men, in which God willdwell and be with them their God, and wipe away alltears from their eyes. Rev. xxi : 3, 4. " Nor can he entertain a doubt but that, sooner orlater, this prayer will be fulfilled, inasmuch as theAlmighty pledged Himself for its fulfilment, whenthe seventh angel sounded, and there were greatvoices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this worldare become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of HisChrist, and He shall reign for ever and ever. Rev.xi: 15. " In the full persuasion, then, that all these gloriousthings are coming to pass, and, indeed, in some degreeare already come to pass, the author cannot express
    • 30 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.the state of his mind in language more appropriatethan that of the devout Lord, nowman of old, Thou Thy servant depart in peace, accordinglettestto Thy word for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, ;which Thou hast prepared before the face of allpeople ; a Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the gloryof Thy people Israel. Luke ii : 29 to 33. Amen. " Glory be to God in the highest.* "Manchester, February 28, 18 18." Here we have the testimony of one of the purestand best men that ever lived, and one who was capableof judging between the Old and the New ChristianTheology. He had been familiar with the Old doc-trines from his childhood; had studied and preachedthem for several years. He understood equally well,too, the doctrines of the New Church as unfolded inthe writings of Swedenborg ; for he had made himselfthoroughly acquainted with these by long and patientexamination. And what is his testimony ? Why, thatthe Old as compared with the New, is as darkness tolight. In respect to all the great doctrines of Chris-tianity —the doctrines concerning God, the SacredScripture, the Spiritual World, Creation, Redemption,Regeneration, etc. —he confesses that the perusal ofSwedenborgs True Christian Religion had opened
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 31his mind to the contemplation of sublime mysteries "of wisdom in a manner and degree, and with a forceof satisfactory evidence, in which those interestingsubjects had never been viewed before y HIS ADDRESS TO THE CLERGY, And before his death this saintly man wrote an"Affectionate Address to the Clergy," urgingthem for their own sakes as well as for the sake ofthe Lords kingdom on earth, to give the writingsof Swedenborg a patient and prayerful examination.His appeal to his brother ministers is so affectionateand earnest, and the request he makes is so reason-able, that no apology is needed for introducing liberalextracts from it here. " Rev. Brethren, —Deeply impressed with vener-ation for your sacred character as ministers of thetruth, and with as real a concern for the interests ofthat truth of which you are the ministers, I feelmyself induced by many powerful and pressing mo-tives, to call your attention for a moment to a fewconsiderations respecting the theological writings ofEmanuel Swedenborg, so far as the contents of thosewritings appear to me more immediately to affect theduties imposed on you by your holy function andhigh station.
    • 32 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. " You are in a peculiar sense the Ministers of God,entrusted with the oracles of his Word, and commis-sioned to read, to meditate upon, to understand, topreach and explain, the laws of the eternal wisdomtherein contained. From you the people receive theinterpretation of those laws, and their understandingof them must needs, in a great measure, depend onyours. If the light which is in you be darkness, thelight which is in the people will most probably bedarkness also ; but if your bodies be full of light, itmay then be reasonably expected that those of thepeople will be likewise /^//Z of light. The state, there-fore, of religious knowledge in the land, will ever takeits standard from you, and of consequence, whatsoeveris connected with religious knowledge has a peculiarclaim upon your attention, and you must necessarilyfeel yourselves bound by every motive of duty andgood conscience to take cognizance thereof in thefear ofGod, and out of due regard to the interests ofthat truth with which you are more especially en-trusted. . . . ^The theological writings in question are confess-edly of a religious kind, treating on religious subjects ;and containing various and interesting explications ofthe Word of God, which is the divine fountain andfoundation of all religion. Much wonderful, and hith-erto hidden, information respecting religion, is brought
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 33to light in them. Various religious errors are detectedand exposed, various religious truths too are mani-fested, recommended and confirmed. THEIR DUTY TO EXAMINE THESE WRITINGS. " The ministers of religion^ therefore, must needs feelthemselves particularly interested in, and in dutybound to a careful and candid examination of, thesewritings,and of the ground and reasonableness ofthose high titles by which they are announced to thepublic. And as such examination implies at leastperusal, serious attention, candor and impartiality ofjudgment, the exercise of these virtues will also beexpected from you. To condemn, therefore, or ap-prove blindly; to suffer your judgment to be influ-enced by popular prejudice, or to be determined bythe sentiments of others rather than by your own ;to be deterred from engaging in a deliberate andequitable inquiry, because you have heard the author and his works stigmatized by those who per-vilified,haps never read them, or who have an interest in con-demning them ; all this would be criminal in you, andexpose you to the censure of all wise and discerningmen, and especially of your own consciences at thathour when you appear in private before the Maker ofhearts and the Inspeptor of secret purposes. 3
    • 34 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. " Let it be supposed for a moment, that you hadlived in Judea at the time when the incarnate Wordappeared there to give light to them who sat in darkness ;and that your names at this interesting period hadbeen enrolled in the Jewish priesthood: It is veryplain that under these circumstances your duty wouldhave called you to form a judgment of that wonderfulperson, his pretensions and his doctrine. But informing thisjudgment, would you have thought itsufficient to hearken only to the voice of the multi-tude ? ^Some said he is a good man^ and that never manspake like him ; others said nay, but he deceiveth the peo-ple ; he has a devil and mad, why hear ye him ? The isvoice of the multitude, therefore, was divided, andmight have led you right or led you wrong, accordingas you received your report from this or that quarter.But would you have thought it safe, or prudent, orconscientious, or becoming your characters as mem-bers of the Sanhedrim, entrusted with the oracles ofGod and the interpretation of prophecy and the instruc- and peculiarly called at that periodtion of the people,of time to discover the marks of Messiahship, todetect false pretenders, and point out the true Christ—would you, I say, have thought it safe and equitableunder these circumstances, to see with anothers eyes,and hear with anothers ears, instead of using yourown ? Would you not rather have thought it your
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 35duty, and have made it your business, to see and hear thewonderful man yourselves ? to examine his doctrinesand pretensions impartially? to acquaint yourselveswith the tenor of his life and conversation ? to removefrom your own hearts every unreasonable suspicion,jealousy, or prejudice, which might pervert yourjudgment? in short, so to consult, by sincerity andpurity of intention, the divine will and wisdom inyourselves, that you might know of the doctrine whetherit were of Gody or whether the speaker spake of him-self? .... A COMMON OBJECTION CONSIDERED. " But methinks I hear you urge, as a final and un-answerable argument against acceding to the testimonyof Swedenborg, that the dispensation of grace andtruth in Jesus Christ, when he became incarnate hereon earth, is the last and crowning dispensation whichGod hath to offer unto mankind ; that it is all- com-plete and every purpose of salvation, all-sufficient forbeing the end of the law and the prophets, and con-taining so full and perfect a revelation of the will ofthe Creator to his creatures, as to supersede the ne-cessity of any further dispensation; consequently nofurther dispensation is to be expected, and nothing isrequired of the ministers of the gospel but to believein and preach Jesus Christ and obedience to his com-
    • 36 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.mandments, which be abundantly competent to willsecure every possible blessing both to themselves andthe people committed to their care. It is granted: —The dispensation of grace and truth in Jesus Christis as you represent it, all-complete and all-sufficient ;and it be well with you and with your will assuredlypeople, and you can want no other dispensation tosecure your eternal happiness, if Jesus Christ bepreached, and his commandments obeyed. But letme ask, is this the case ? " In the first place, is Jesus Christ preached ? Doyou him yourselves as the one only Lord believe onAND God of Heaven and Earth, and do you teachyour people so to believe on him ? Do you acknowl-edge the Father and the Son to be one in Him, as heHimself hath taught ? and that of consequence He isthe manifested Jehovah, the sole Creator, Redeemer,and Regenerator of man ? Or rather, have not someamong you entirely rejected this your God, by deny-ing his Divinity ? And have not others divided thisone only Lord and God into three, making one God ofthe Father, another of the Son, and another of theHoly Ghost? Do you not regard Jesus Christeither as a mere creature, or as a Divine Person sepa-rate from, and subordinate to, the Father ? Do younot regard the Holy Ghost as a Person separate fromboth, assigning to each separately distinct attributes
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 37and offices ? Is not your idea of God become thusaltogether confused and perplexed, so that you know-not to what or to whom to direct your worship, some-times addressing yourselves to the Father, sometimesto the Son, and sometimes to the Holy Ghost but ;never to Jesus Christ alone as the one only God, inwhose divine person the sacred Trinity of the Father,Son and Holy Ghost is contained ? And is not thisconfusion and perplexity in your ideas of Jesus Christmanifested by want of power in your public preachingand ministry? .... THEIR NEGLECT TO EXAMINE INEXCUSABLE. " I repeat it, be these writings true therefore, again ;or false; be their authority well or ill-founded; bethey from the Father of Lights, or from the father of your office and duty, as ministers of the truth,lies, it isto examine well into the nature of their evidence, andthe degree of credibility which is due to them.You cannot possibly excuse yourselves from the dis-charge of this duty. A regard to truth and theinterests of religion demands and you are it of you ;bound to greater caution herein, inasmuch as thejudgment you form will not affect yourselves only, butwill affect also the people committed to your care so ;that the salvation of thousands may possibly depend
    • 38 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES,upon your decision in this interesting case. If Swe-denborg, therefore, be a heaven-taught scribe^ your ownconsciences will dictate to you in a more powerful lan-guage than that of any human words, how you oughtto hear what he teaches and not only hear him your- ;selves, but also make his doctrines known to others,as far as ability is given. And if he be d. false teacherand deceiver, you are still equally bound to discoverand make known the fallacy and deceitfulness bywhich he hath already begun to impose upon thou-sands, that so the error may be nipped in the bud. EXISTING AND GROUNDLESS PREJUDICES. " Many prejudices, it must be acknowledged, arisingfrom a variety of sources, at present stand in the wayto oppose in your minds the testimony of the honor-able author here presented before you. But, let meask, what teacher of truth, whether ancient or modern,religious or philosophical, hath not prejudice opposed?The prophets of old, you well know, were each ofthem in their turn, violently assaulted by prejudice.The God of Truth Himself, when manifested in theflesh, did not escape prejudice. His most venerablefollowers inall ages, after the example of their DivineMaster, have had to combat with the same unreason-able adversary, prejudice. Prejudice, too, has had the
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 39boldness to oppose the conclusions of a sound phi-losophy, as well as of a sound theology ; and you neednot be informed that, had the voice of prejudice pre-vailed, the brightest discoveries of the most ablephilosopher that ever contemplated the works of theGod of nature, had still laid buried in obscurity. " I wish only further to observe on the subject,that it is impossible for you to read many pages ofthe writings in question, seriously, and in a Christianspirit, without discovering some things of importancewhich must needs affect every well-disposed mind.You will see, for example, the Divinity of the Chris-tian Redeemer, and his oneness with the Father,principally insisted upon, and demonstrated with sucha power of solid proof, deduced from the Sacred Scrip-tures in general, as will supply the most effectualantidote against the poisonous tenets of modernArianism and Socinianisjn. You will see, also, thesacred doctrine of the Holy Trinity explained, andelucidated in a manner so simple and yet sublime, soagreeable to the Word of God and at the same timeso consonant to sound reason, so satisfactory to theunderstanding and so edifying to the you life, thatwill wonder how so much darkness could ever pre-vail in the world respecting so bright and clear atruth ; but you will wonder still more, that now the
    • 40 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.truth is discovered in its brightness, all mankind donot immediately assent to and rejoice in it. Youwill see, likewise, the sanctityof the Holy Scripturestaught and explained, and the hidden wisdom thereofopened and brought to light by the doctrine of cor-respondences^ with such a fullness of conviction aswill at the same time both greatly astonish andedify you, while it supplies an internal evidence ofthe Divinity of the sacred Word, and particularlyof the Apocalyptic part of it, infinitely surpassing,yet not overturning but confirming, all its externalevidence. PRACTICAL VALUE OF THE NEW DOCTRINES. " You will see, further, the purest, plainest, andmost consistent doctrine of life presented to your view,and contrasted with those impure, dark, and incon-sistent tenets which are at this day so frequentlytaught and circulated under the venerable name ofChristian precepts. And here you will be surprisedto find every evil of life, and every error of doctrine,detected and described, which in these latter timesthreaten the very existence of religion in the king-doms of the earth, and cause so much serious alarmin the minds of many Christians who look furtherthan the mere skin and complexion of the Church to
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 41forma judgment of the soundness of its constitution.You will see, also, pointed out, the root whence suchanti-Christian evils and errors have sprung —howthey have all originated in mistaken ideas of theDivine Being, his nature and mode of existence andoperation, and in the consequent separation of thethree essentials of Christian life and salvation, viz. :charity faith ^ and good works. * And while you lament the unhappy causes andconsequences of such an unscriptural and irrationaltheology which you will here see figuratively depictedunder the significative images of Dragon^ Beast, falseProphet^ and the great Whore, mentioned in the Reve-lation, you will not fail to rejoice in the prospect ofan order of pure truth and doctrine about to be mani-fested from Heaven to mankind, signified and repre-sented by the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming downfrom God out of Heaven, whereby all false, pervertedprinciples of faith and life will be dissipated in suchminds as are meet for its reception ; and the under-standing be enlightened, the will purified, and thelife be restored to the order of heaven a near and ;blessed conjunction will again take place between theCreator and his creatures, predicted and described inthese words : * The taber7iacle of God is with men, a?idHe will dwell with them, and they shall be his people,and God himself shall be with them their God
    • 42 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. PREPARATION FOR THEIR RECEPTION "But after all, it is not the testimony of fact andexperience uniting their evidence with that of ourauthors interpretation of prophecy; neither is itthe brightness and power of divine truth discover-able in such interpretation ; nor yet the consistency,the harmony, the clearness, the edifying tendency ofevery page of his Theological Writings, which will ofthemselves lead to conviction, and beget a full persua-sion of the authors faithful testimony in yourminds or in the minds of others. To produce thishappy effect, it is necessary that the readers under-standing be previously prepared, by a meet disposition^for the reception of truth ; without which preparationthe truth itself, let it be ever so much confirmed, mustneeds appear untrue, and the more so in pro-portion to the unprepared state of the mind andtemper, agreeable to the declaration of the truthITSELF, * He who doeth evil hateth the lights neithercometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved^ " have due If this consideration is permitted to itsinfluence, it will doubtless lead you, and every readerof the writings in question, to attend well to the spiritand disposition in which you read, from a prudentand profitable suspicion that something may be wrongin the state of the persons mind who reads, as well
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 43as in the matter of the book which he reads ; andthat it is not always the fault of an author that hisworks are not generally received and approved. Youwill, therefore, begin, like pure lovers of the truth,before you remove from your hearts all those read, tounreasonable prejudices and partialities which mighttend to blind your eyes and pervert your judgment.You will recollect our Lords words where he saith,*/ thank thee, Father Lord of Heaven and Earth, ,because thou hast hid these things from the wise andprudent^ and hast revealed them unto babes; and withthese words in your remembrance, you will see theexpediency of putting away from you all that mereworldly wisdom and prudence which they condemn astending to hide the things of God, and the equalnecessity of cherishing that child-like and simple tem-per of mind to which alone the things of God everhave been and ever will be made manifest. "You willbe taught, also, by the same divinewords, in your examination of truth, not to place anill-grounded dependence on any attainments of merehuman science, or any natural talents or intellectualabilities you may possess ; knowing that such advan-tages, unless under the guidance of a humble andteachable spirit, have, in all ages of the Church, ex-cited the bitterest persecution against the truth of
    • 44 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.God, insomuch that when this Truth appeared onearth in Person, the cry of Crucify him, crucify him,was principally at the instigation of learned critics,deep-read scholars, admired orators, inquisitive phi-losophers, and especially of what were deemed at thetime able expositors of the Divine Oracles. You willbe further cautioned by the above words, in your ex-amination of truth, against that servile attachment togreat names, and the influence of human authorities,which is ever suggesting the old question. Have anyof the rulers believed on him ? And remembering thatrulers may be deceived, and have been deceived, aswell as other people, yea, and are frequently moreexposed to deception, as being more exposed to thetemptations arising from an overweening conceit oftheir own wisdom- and prudence, you will assert thefreedom of thinking and judging for yourselves inthat which so essentially concerns yourselves; andwill be bold, in the pursuit of truth, not only to op-pose all motives of worldly interest and honor, buteven the most respectable powers and authoritiesamongst men, whensoever they stand in competitionwith the higher power and authority of that wisdomwhich is from above. "Commending you to the guidance of this wisdomin all things, and sincerely wishing you in possession
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 45of all its comforts, I remain, with all possible venera-tion for your sacred office and character," Your affectionate Brother and Fellow-laborer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to whom be Glory and Dominion in all Ages^ " John Clowes." Such is the independent and unbiased testimony ofa minister of the Church of England, to the truth andvalue of Swedenborgs writings ; —the testimony, too,not of an ignorant or prejudiced man, but of one whohad acquainted himself with these writings by patientand thorough study of them. Such the judgment ofa singularly wise and good man, as to the relativebeauty and excellence of the two systems of Christian —theology the Old and the New. HIS IDEA OF THE NEW CHURCH. Mr. Clowes was eminently qualified, by the purityof his heart and life, to understand and interpret theteachings of Swedenborg. No man was more com-petent than he. And the fact that he remained inconnection with the Episcopal Church after receivingthe heavenly doctrines, shows how thoroughly heappreciated the non-sectarian and catholic spirit ofthese doctrines. And he has left on record his idea
    • 46 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.of the nature and whereabout of the New Church.In one of his works he says — : ** I apprehend that by the term New Church, is notmeant a mere new Sect, or particular denomination ofChristians, as Quakers, Moravians, Methodists, andthe like ; but that it denotes a Dispensation of uni-versal grace, mercy and truth to the whole humanrace, without exception or limitation of time, place orsect." —Dialogue between Sophron and Philadelphus. " Nothing, therefore, can be plainer, than that theNew Jerusalem Dispensation is to be universal, andto extend unto all people, nations and languages onthe face of the earth, to be a blessing unto such as aremeet to receive a blessing. Sects and sectarians, assuch, can find no place in this General Assembly ofthe ransomed of the Lord. All the little distinctionsof modes, forms and particular expressions of devo-tion and worship, will be swallowed up and lost in theunlimited effusions of heavenly love, charity andbenevolence with which the hearts of every memberof this glorious New Church and Body of Jesus Christwill overflow one toward another. Men will no longerjudge one another as to the mere externals of churchcommunion, be they perfect or be they imperfect; forthey will be taught that whosoever acknowledges theincarnate Jehovah in heart and life, departing from all
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 47evil, and doing what is right and good according tothe commandments, he is a member of the New Jeru-salem, a living stone in the Lords new Temple,and a part of that great family in heaven and earth,whose common Father and Head is Jesus Christ.Every one, therefore, will call his neighbor Brother^in whom he observes pure charity; and this spirit ofhe will ask no questions concerning the form of wordswhich compose his creed, but will be satisfied withobserving in him the purity and power of a heavenlylife."— /^/^. He did not believe in separating from other Christiancommunions on receiving the heavenly doctrines. Heregarded such separation as unauthorized and need-less, so long as ones Christian rights and privilegesare not denied him. He believed it was fraught withdanger and tended to foster the growth of a sectarianand anti-Christian spirit. He, therefore, spoke againstit, wrote against it, and worked against it till the dayof his death. He published a discourse on this sub-ject, under the title of "An Address from the Trans- Readers of the Theological Writings oflator to theEmanuel Swedenborg, intended to point out the gen-eral design and tendency of those Writings, and par-ticularly to show that they do not authorize theirreaders in a separation, at this time, from external
    • 48 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.communion with other professing Christians." Andafterremarking upon some of the dangers to be ap-prehended from such separation, he says : — "Would the compass of this address permit, Icould here point out some other dangers to be ap-prehended by the New Church from a sudden separa-tion from external communion with other professingChristians, such as particularly the danger of fallinginto a sectarian spirit, and thereby despising or think-ing lightly of all others, who are not worshippingGod according to certain forms expressed in a pecu-liar language. But I trust that what has been alreadysaid, will be sufficient to convince every candid readerof the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, that suchseparation is neither prudent nor expedient at thistime whilst the New Church is in its present infantstate, nor yet agreeable to the sentiments of our en-lightened author." And in this address, Mr. Clowes gives his idea ofthe Apocalyptic New Jerusalem. " " It is a church," he says, not to be limited by anyexternal forms or ceremonies of worship, neither tobe pointed out by a lo here ! or lo there ! but univer-sal as the reception of heavenly truth and obedience
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. JOHN CLOWES. 49to its dictates, consisting of the upright and sincerein heart among all people, nations and languages, andforming one grand body or kingdom here on earth,whereof the Lord Jesus Christ is the soul or head,and of which all are living members who worshipHim in spirit and in truth. Woe be to those whowould endeavor to confine this blessed tabernacle andtemple of the Most High and Holy One within anypale of their own framing, under the delusive imagi-nation that any mere opinion, speculation, doctrine,form or ceremony whatsoever, can of themselves con- which the almightystitute that spiritual building, inand eternal Jehovah Jesus dwells, with all the bless-ings of his parental love, and the powers of his sal-vation Whereas it must be very plain to every !attentive reader, both of the Sacred Scriptures and ofthe writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, that the churchof Christ consists solely of the humble, the uprightand the obedient, agreeable to those words of the *Lord, My mother and my brethren are these, whichhear the Word of God, and do it," (Luke viii : 21);and in another place, * My sheep hear my voice,(John x: 27); where to hear is to obey." Such was this saintly mans idea of the NewChurch signified by the New Jerusalem. So welldid he understand the meaning and purpose of the 4
    • 50 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.heavenly doctrines. So fully did he enter into andso thoroughly comprehend their large and catholicspirit. So clearly did he see that the New Jerusalemis not a visible body, and can never be identified,therefore, with any organization or sect. And scoresof passages might be cited from Swedenborg, show-ing how fully his teachings sustain those of Mr.Clowes as here quoted.* (See A. C, 402, 940, 8938 ;N. J. D., 95.) * Although Mr. Clowes was quite correct in his understanding of thenature and whereabout of the Church signified by the New Jerusalem,it is to be said in justification of the new and separate organization,that the state of nearly all the churches a hundred years ago, was suchas to render that step almost if not quite unavoidable. So great wasthe prevailing intolerance and so intense the spirit of sect, that personsknown to be readers and receivers of the New-Church teachings,would not be received into many of the churches of that day ; and ifalready members, would be required to renounce their belief in theseteachings, under penalty of excommunication if they refused. Thoughsome of the old intolerance still lingers, it is far less intense than it wasa century or even a half century ago. —B.
    • CHAPTER II. TESTIMONY OF REV. EDWIN P. HOOD. distinguished clergyman, though classed withTHIS the English Independents or Nonconformists,was cordially welcomed to all orthodox pulpits inAmerica at the time he visited this country a fewyears ago. He is the author of several interestingworks — among others, "A World of Anecdote,"" ** Lamps, Pitchers and Trumpets," and Swedenborg :A Biography and an Exposition." This latter, accord-ing to the authors own testimony, was written purelyin the interest of spiritual truth and true religion. Afriend (as we are told in the preface) hearing that he "was writing such a book, said to him Then, of :course, you are a Swedenborgian." To whom he " amreplied : I am *no more a Swedenborgian than Ia Bunyanist, a Howeist, a Bernardite, a Franciscan, aMoreist, a Behmanite, or a Lawite. The sayings andthoughts of all great and true men are precious to me ;and I hope I can both receive them and retail themwithout parting with myself" Mr. Hood may, therefore, be regarded as an emi- 51
    • 52 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES,nently independent witness in this case. He knewwhat the Old Theologies are, and could have had noconceivable motive in misrepresenting or disparagingany of their teachings. He had also read Swedenborgenough to pretty thoroughly master his system, or atleast toknow what he teaches on all doctrines of vitalimportance. What says this witness ? We shall givehis testimony on a few points only. Hear, first, hisvindication of Swedenborgs perfect sanity —for someprofessedly Christian ministers have pronounced him " "a monomaniac," and his theological system, onevast, utter delusion." " Sanity is the due exercise of our whole manhood —body, mind, and spirit —the frame, the intellect, andthe will or affections ; and it is obvious that this highsanity can only be in a state where sin, the greatdisjointer and deranger of humanity — sin, which isinsanity, is excluded. But if we look at Swedenborgscareer, we find all his life balanced and harmonized.If ever there lived a man who might ^aim to present tothe world a completed being, he was the man." (p. 162.) HIS VIEW OF THE ATHANASIAN CREED. Of the Athanasian Creed, as accepted by mostChristians and published in not a few prayer-books,Mr. Hood says : —
    • TESTIMONY OF RE V. ED WIN P. HO OD. 53 " The Athanasian Creed is a most astonishingaffair. . . . We have ever been amazed at theboundless arrogance —the haughty, awful impudenceof the thing —that any man should dare to say on sodark a subject so much more than God himself hassaid ; should so, from the finite standpoint, close upand moat round the avenues of mercy and InfiniteInfinite personality. Truly we may be very tender onsuch matters, but we cannot read it without a shud-der; it is the embodiment of a faith working withoutlove i. e. faith alone] —a faith singing hollow words,rattling like the bones of a skeleton, without a heart.The Athanasian Creed is the feudal keep of Theol-ogy; it bristles from all its turrets with cruel spear-points ; every word grins like an opening manchicola-tion; in it God no longer looks like the Father —Christ no longer looks like the Saviour —the Spirit*no longer looks like the Comforter ; it repels — it doesnot invite — like a stern old battlement of the MiddleAges; it is lonely and divorced from sympathy; it isso cleverly constructed —that castle of words —that itprobably contains nothing that any sincere Christian infact doubts, and yet, perhaps, not one in a million ofall the saved could understand it —that AthanasianCreed ; and it contains within it dungeons, racks,blocks, and stakes. It is a ruin, however it has done ;something to bring indignation on the idea of creeds at
    • 54 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.all. It is a tower with the drawbridge ever up; claim-ing to be the wicket gate of Christianity." (p. 249.) SOME CENTRAL DOCTRINES DISCUSSED. Then he comes to some of the central doctrines ofChristianity ; and here we have his confession touch-ing both the Old and the New interpretations : — " But it is now necessary that we direct some atten-tion to those views of the Divine Being and characterwhich more especially belong to the province ofRevelation as unfolded in the pages of Swedenborg.. . . Oh, if men would but form their ideas of Godfrom his Word for themselves, rather than on thosedarkening and blackened glosses by which, from age4o age, even the best men have sought to obscure, or,seeking to make clear, have really obscured, the DivineBeing ! " Thus the doctrine of the Trinity has, to ourthought, been purposely and intentionally surroundedby obscurity. We have been angry with any effortmade to roll away the clouds, and to present it as intruth it is in Scripture — plain, intelligible, rational,necessary. . . . "Are we Polytheists? At least, are we Trithe-ists ? . . . Do Trinitarians think of Three Gods ?
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. EDWIN P. HOOD. 55Is there not in much of our Christian worship asgross a Tripersonality as in Grecian mythology, or inthe Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva of Hindoo paganism ?And have we not often noticed that in most of ourprayers we do not treat the Personalities as equal ?Our prayer to God the Father, is as to a Person quitedistinct from and superior to the Son. We do notoften in prayer address the Son at all. ... Itmay we do not often use language be doubted whetherwe do not understand, when we speak of Christ as*the gift of God. When we implore Christ to inter-cede with the Father for us, we do in these phrasesshow that we entertain a sense of the inferiority ofthe second adorable Person ; and it is the inevitableconsequence of our teaching that it should be so."(p. 251.) Then he proceeds to Swedenborgs doc- givetrine on this subject, with evident satisfaction andapproval. " Swedenborg devoutly believed in the Doctrineof the Trinity —not in three Gods, but in one God.. . . The Lord Jesus Christ is, with the Father andthe Spirit, the One only true God. This is Sweden-borgs great Faith." (pp. 251,252.)
    • 56 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. Again he says : — " It was Swedenborg*s idea of the Trinity, that itexisted in one, as the Will, Understanding, andEnergy — as Cause, Manifestation, and Operation;and this is plain, however difficult any oppositemethod of interpretation may be. The Unity of theGodhead is a doctrine so dear to Christian minds —the Trinity has so often proved a stumbling-block toyoung believers, and a ground of contempt to sneer-ing skeptics, that every one must hail a solution thatmay once retain the grandeur and the intention of atthe mystery, and yet make it more plain to the under-standing. We would be the last to reject Revelationon account of its mysteries : . . . but it would bemadness to prefer the mystery to the sunlight, whenthe one streams through the heart and region of the "other. (p. 257.) REGENERATION. Mr. Hood then passes on to another central doc-trine of Christianity — " the great fact in human his-tory called Regeneration." And the following is hisconfession on this subject : — " The new birth is the everlasting puzzle, and theoccasion of everlasting sneers and contempt to almost
    • TESTIMONY OF REV, EDWIN P. HOOD. 5/all persons who have not known the great change —the birth out of Nature and above Nature —the birth,of which the birth and life of Jesus was a type andan illustration. . . . Swedenborg maintains the realityof this new birth. It is [as he explains it] just whatit is by Jesus Christ declared to be it is the birth of ;a new manhood beneath the old it is the ingermina- ;tion of the divine Spirit of all Truth by its Authorand Fountain ; it is the inflowing of a new life, orlife in a new degree and in new manifestation. Thisis the new birth —one of the most clear, beautiful,rational doctrines of our holy faith, in spite of allthat superstition has done to encumber it with false-hoods ; in spite of all that infidelity has done to bringit into odium, derision and contempt. . . . ** Regeneration, in the sense of our writer, is not awork of faith. Faith may be operative in producingit ; but it alone can no more produce the New Birth,than the solving of a mathematical problem cancreate a planet ; neither merely that change of is itlifewhich may result from change of ideas and im-pressions, and from enlarged intelligence. . . . Re-generation itself, in the estimation of many writersand speakers, is much a fact as a shadowy and not somythic event in human history. The reality has notbeen felt as Swedenborg felt it, by most writers. Ithas been the doubtful land of Theologic opinion per-
    • 58 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.petually insisted on, and yet in few instances com-paratively really realized." (p. 259.) And then he quotes, with manifest approval, two or "three pages on this subject from Swedenborgs TrueChristian Religion." THE SACRED SCRIPTURE. Hear Mr. Hoods testimony in regard also to thewritten Word. He has a chapter on " Sacred Hiero- "glyphics which he introduces with a legend called" " " the mysterious Lock," whose application he says," is obvious." According to the legend, there wasonce discovered on the plains of Arabia, a Buildingof colossal size and grandeur, containing innumer-able halls, galleries, and chambers filled with all beau- and precious things. No one could enter thattifulBuilding and thread its delightful but intricate mazes,without the Plan, which lay in a golden Chest orArk guarded by a mysterious Lock. And thus thelegend ran : — " What Key would fit those wonderful wards ? TheArchitect alone could give the Key. He had placedthe plan and inventory within the golden Ark, re-serving thus his own right over his own Building.
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. EDWIN P. HOOD. 59But the ambition of mankind set to work to constructkeys innumerable; still the lock would not move.One bold and daring race, unable to find the key,sought to break open the Ark they hammered on ;its sacred cornices of gold, from whence indignant and flashed they beat upon the locklightnings shone ;and sought to prize it, but it would not yield and ;then as a last resource, they sought to steal thegolden Chest, boasting that, as they had it in theirpossession, the whole of the Pyramid Palace must betheirs; and they covered it with their black cloaksand and ran away believing they had it but to albs, ;this day unmoved and uninjured it lies in the centreof the Palace, and very amazing indeed it is to seecertain of the robber race strutting through the out-courts of the Building, boasting, as they point to itswalls, that it is all theirs. . . . " Alas for us ! We all know the Building —we haveall walked through many parts of it. But who willfind for us the sacred Key ? — for it is said that whenthe Key shall be found, and the finder shall walkthrough the Palace with the Plan, every lamp, self-lighted, will blaze around the splendid rooms; thegates and pillars of precious stones —the Arabesquesand Mosaics — will interfold and flash to and fro likeliving rainbows. . . . Oh that one would give us "the Key ! (pp. 367, 368.)
    • 6o A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. And Mr. Hood believes that the great Architect hasgiven to Swedenborg the Key to the sublime mysteriesof the Word —to its deep spiritual meaning. Hesays — : " The Bible is written from Appearances and fromCorrespondences. How can the Book be at all under-stood unless this be considered ? But in order thatthere may be some attempt at solution, let us attemptthe analysis of the doctrine of certain Correspondences.We believe it will be found that, after a little study inreading the Scriptures, we shall learn to think not fromthe expressions, but from the hidden significations.Swedenborg removes the veil ; and truly wonderful itis to find how, by this principle of interpretation, themost opposite passages of the Sacred Book are foundto have consistency and coherence the mind of the ;Book becomes more plain and clear. As it is, theunenlightened mind is compelled, in hearing, to hear *and not to understand, and in seeing, to see and notperceive. What is the greater part of the SacredWritings to most minds, but a tone —a sound without "a meaning or a sense ? (p. 369.) " You may denounce Swedenborg as a fanatic, adreamer, a mystic ; but at any rate you must have hissacred piety and exalted aspirations in some homage,before whom the priests Breastplate, the Tabernacle
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. EDWIN P. HOOD. 61in the wilderness, the magnificence of SolomonsTemple, gleam out with meaning as well as lustre, re-ceiving and reflecting light from the parables of ourLord, the harp of prophecy, and the city of the NewJerusalem with its twelve manner of stones." (p. 382.) " Why did the Holy Spirit speak to man by images ?— to perplex, to baffle, to confound ? Surely not ; butthat the words might be seen to contain, as in an Ark,things more sacred than words alone can reveal."(p- 385.) " Scripture has a literal writing and signification allmay read — all may understand ; and it is sufficient forthe salvation and understanding of all. But there isa hidden writing—a name * like that upon the whitestone, * which none may read but those to whom it isgiven. The Saviour in his words and parables de-clared this ; it is the principle of the old Jewish ser-vices ; it is the principle of Prophetic Writing ; it isadopted by our Lord in his discourses, and evidentlyindicated in his miracles ; and the canon of Scripturecloses with a most wonderful illustration of it. It isa hand-writing we partly know. Why should we notaccept any other aid which may yet further elucidatethe meaning of a Book which, though it speaks plainlyand clearly the words on which depends our eternallife, reserves much for the consolation of those who, *with humble hearts, seek for the consolation of Israel.*
    • 62 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. " There is a spirit as well as a letter in the Word ofTruth. Have we not occasion to fear that our atten-tion has in this age been wholly absorbed in theletter, until we have, in fact, quite forgotten, in manyinstances, the spirit?" (p. 384.) I/O MO L OGY AND PS YCHOL OGY. Hear Mr. Hoods confession also touching the popu-lar view of the nature of man, of the resurrection, ofthe value of what is called psychological science, andthe light that Swedenborg has thrown upon thesesubjects. " No other writer has so distinctly given the nega-tive to the great delusion that the body is the man.The body is mans house ; all its powers and facultiesare but the organs of the soul ; not modes of the avenues through which it acts,souls operation, butand by which alone it can be apprehended or at allknown. This is one of the greatest delusions man hasto encounter and conquer ; the connection of manwith his body has to be more clearly known. . . .He allows his senses to impose upon him, and by andby abandons altogether the thought which ought per-petually to be his consolation and his life ; namely,that his personality stands as far and as highly ^is-
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. EDWIN P. HOOD. 63tinguished and apart from his body, as does his bodyfrom the house in which for a time it has its abode.It is a comforting idea that our mind is the master andthe tenant of the deceased and dying house of mourn-ing and of clay." (p. 290.) " Psychology —the doctrine of the spirit, is wellnamed ; but often it has happened that the name hasbeen the best part of the study. No range of thoughthas been more dreary or barren than this none has ;been more frequently converted into a mere sciomachyorlogomachy spirit has had but little to do with the ;discussion. The professed Psychologists all wearyus. How can it be otherwise than so? They compelus to follow over immense deserts of arid and sandyscientifics —the mirage haunting us, and beckoning inthe distance a promise of satisfaction. Vain wisdom * all, and false philosophy The mirage fades like a !phantom; our spirit finds no rest for the sole of itsfoot tis a weary chase ; — through cloud and star-landwith Berkeley, through the grim dreary mountain de-files with Hume, through the dry hard streets ofevery-day life with Reid, through the rainbowed chaosof Fichte and his contemporaries ; and rest assuredlymeets us nowhere. " Truly Psychology, so called, has not introduced usto the spirits but it has raised a score of Frankenstein ;monsters, horrible abortions, who crush us. When
    • 64 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.we were yet young, our faith was in the Bishop ; heset the spirit free from matter, but we did not see ourway through the shapeless universe of which he flungback the doors. We recoiled from a world all ideas ;it was as deathlike as a world all matter. Your psy-chological sciences are the graves of faith, or the veryinns of infidelity. ". . . All the essays on Psychology we ever heardof, never introduced us to one spirit. They were arotting chrysalis without the butterfly." (pp. 300, 30 1.) " But Swedenborg boldly asserts that in every par-ticular the spirit is a man after death as before ; ashape cognizable, with emotions and passions, withmental powers and affections. He is the only. . .writer who asserts clearly, so far as we have seen, thenexus between body and soul, distinctly separatingand yet conjoining them." (pp. 302, 303,) And Mr. Hood closes his chapter on Homologyand Psychology with these words : — " The reader, we trust, will now see the characterof Swedenborgs investigations into the nature ofman and ; it will be seen while his conceptions aredefinite and distinct, they conduct neither to the va- Hegel or Schelling, nor the cold but glitter-garies ofing Pantheism of Fichte, nor the lofty but dizzy
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. EDWIN P. HOOD. 65opium heights of Kant. Let the reader acquainthimself with his books — grounding himself in thedoctrines and thoroughly understanding them he —will then stand on a ground from whence he may ob-tain a knowledge and ample survey of the opinionsof other men and he will find, we believe, that the ;confidence and repose felt from these, far transcendsthat which arises from the faith in any other systemof mind. It is a faith that recompenses for thediggir^g; ^"d that is saying more than we dare tosay of almost any system that has challenged ourhomage in modern times." (p. 310.)
    • CHAPTER III. TESTIMONY OF REV. HENRY B. BROWNING. the strongest testimony which a min-PERHAPS ister can bear to the truth, value, and spiritualhelpfulness of Swedenborgs writings, is his thoroughstudy and hearty acceptance of their teachings, andhis incorporation of them into all his pulpit discourseswithout naming Swedenborg or the New Church.This is what hundreds (and possibly thousands) ofministers in England and America are doing to-day—and have been doing for several years past. Andthey feel that under existing circumstances they arefully justified in so doing. They have studied theseWritings, and have within themselves the testimonyof the Spirit that they are what they claim to be —"from God out of heaven." They have examinedthem and prayerfully, and in the light of carefullyScripture and reason and human experience and allknown truth and they have found them to be in a ;high degree helpful to themselves, and have reason,therefore, to believe that they will be equally helpful totheir people. But they know what an intense though 66
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. B. BROWNING. 6/wholly groundless prejudice prevails against Sweden-borg and his writings, and that the minds of many ifnot all of their hearers would be closed by an openprofession of belief in his teachings. They therefore —prudently and, as we think, wisely— refrain from anymention of his name. Of this class of ministers is Henry B. Browning, "A. M., Rector of St. George with St. Paul "—orwas, twenty years ago — in Stamford, England. An "interesting volume from his pen, entitled Words inSeason," was published in this country about twentyyears ago, which has had a wide circulation, andbeen read with delight by some of the best people inevery Christian denomination. It contains forty chap-ters wherein every important doctrine of the Christianreligion is discussed in a plain and familiar manner.The authors views are presented on more than a hun-dred distinct religious topics; and while he nevermentions the name of Swedenborg, he was known atthe time this work was published to be an affectionatereceiver of the New doctrines ; and the author is inperfect accord with the great Swedes teachings onevery subject he discusses. The most pronouncedSwedenborgian would not ask for a work more com-pletely in harmony with Swedenborgs teachings, ormore unexceptionable in both its doctrine and spirit,than "Words in Season." We will give a number of
    • 68 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.extracts from this work, that the reader may see howdifferent its teaching is from the Old Theology, andhow much more reasonable, Scriptural, and spirituallyhelpful. HOW TO THINK OF GOD, " Whenever we would think of God, we shouldthink of Him in the glorified Person of our Lord andSaviour Jesus Christ. This will give definiteness toour ideas of Him. Many think of God as of aninfinitely diffused substance without form. Thus thethought of God is dissipated, like the sight of theeye when one looks upon the boundless universe. Allthis vagueness is removed when we think of God asa Divine Man, infinite in Love, Wisdom and Power,and present by his life-giving effluence in all creaturesand all things. The deep desire of every earnest soulis to know God — Show us the Father and * it sufficethus. And to the soul so yearning to know God, theSaviour answers, as He answered Philip Have I: *been so long time with you, and yet hast thou notknown me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seenthe Father.* John xiv : 8, 9. The attempt to think ofGod as He is in the infinite abysses of his own nature,must ever be futile. The mind becomes confused inthe effort to soar so far above the necessary limita-tions of human thought.
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. B. BROWNING, 69 " But in Jesus, God manifest in the flesh/ we have *a revelation of God exactly suited to our wants. Thevagueness of belief in God, which prior to the in-carnation was inevitable, is now abolished in Christ God brought down Jesus our Lord. in Christ is soto our spiritual state, that He can be a subject of ra-tional thought and an object of rational love. Theincarnation was such an accommodation of God to ourcondition as to bring Him within the hmitations ofhuman thought and affection. It was the most won-derful of all Divine accommodations to mans state.To know Christ is to know God, and to love Christ isto love God not God afar off in the infinitude of his ;Divine nature, incomprehensible by human thought;not God as an abstract idea taking shape in thenecessary anthropomorphism of our own minds but ;God incarnate — Immanuel, God with us.* * " To angels in heaven as well as to men on earth,God, who in Himself is invisible, is manifested inChrist. They think of God and see Him as a DivineMan, who created them in his own image and like-ness, and who Himself descended into the naturaland material plane of his creation, and was manifestin the flesh." (pp. 203, 204.)
    • 70 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. THE GLORIFICATION OF CHRIST. " The great fundamental doctrine of the New Testa-ment is this : In order to redeem and save mankind,God took upon Himself a human nature, which wasborn of the virgin Mary ; through victories in temp-tation, this human nature became more and morefully one with the Divine nature ; until, perfectedthrough sufferings, it was filled with all the fullness ofthe Godhead, and exalted far above all heavens to bethe everlasting medium of Divine influences to angelsand men. " This process, by which the human nature ofChrist was made one with the Divine which dweltwithin it, is termed the glorification of Christ. Itconsisted in the opening of his human capacities,by the continuous removal of all inherited conditionsthat could limit or resist the influx of the Divine life ;and in the continuous descent of the fullness of theGodhead from the inmost even to the ultimates of theperfected humanity, until the human consciousnessbecame altogether one with the Divine. The realoperator was God working in the human nature inwhich He was incarnate ; for Jesus received continu-ally from the Divine Father who dwelt in Him, thepower both to will and to do." (p. 239.)
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. B. BROWNING. 71 THE DIVINE INCARNATION " At the time when the Lord appeared on earth,Hhe enemy had come in like a flood; the powers ofhell had risen to such a height that moral freedom waswell nigh lost. Life from God, coming to manthrough false and evil media, was perverted. Thehereditary propensities of mankind, entailed throughso many generations, were becoming increas- sinfulingly corrupt and increasingly powerful. To rescueman God needed to bow the heavens and come down*.To encounter the enemies of man. He needed to hideHimself, to veil his Divinity in mans nature, to be Immanuel, God with us* ; so that the EverlastingFather might also become the Prince of peace."(P-157.) WHAT IS IT TO LOVE GOD? " Love to God, in its highest spiritual significance,is the love of his Divine perfections —the love ofwhat God is. We are to love God, not merely forhis benefits toward us, but for his own sake — for thesake of those love-worthy qualities which constitutehis Divine character. Hence genuine love to Godis the love of goodness and truth ; for these in theiressence and origin are Himself Whoever lovesgoodness and truth loves God and he loves God ;
    • 72 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.just in the degree and manner in which he loves good-ness and truth. And the command to love Godabove all things is equivalent to this —that manslove for what is good and true must be the great con-trolling principle of his life. " Love to God, in this sense, has a necessary ten-dency to conform us to the image of God. Truelove, based on appreciation of character, is imitative it seeks to resemble its object. Love is the mostformative thing in the world, the most powerful inremoving what is uncongenial to its nature, and inassimilating all things to itself. By loving goodnesswe increase in goodness ; by loving wisdom we in-crease in wisdom ; by loving holiness we increase inholiness ; by loving these as qualities in God, we be-come like God." (p. 233.) THE INFLUENT LIFE OF GOD— ITS LAW. " The Lord himself is continually in the desire andendeavor to communicate to man the life of his ownlove. The actual communication of this life is limited,not by the Lords willingness to impart, but by manscapacity to receive. It is a law of mans nature thathe is receptive of goodfrom the Lord only affectionsso far as their opposites are removed. The Lordalone is able to remove mans evil loves but He can do ;
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. B. BROWNING. 73this only so far as man in freedom resists them inhimself, and abstains from evil actions as sins againstthe Lord. In proportion, then, as a man from thismotive mortifies his selfish and worldly loves, everlooking to the Lord for help, the love of God andthe neighbor will be shed abroad in his heart and bemanifested in his words and deeds." (p. 237.) HUMAN HAPPINESS— HO W A TTAINED. "Love is richest in joy when we seek to manifest itin deeds of love. Happiness, whether here or inheaven, is found in the effort to make others happy.The law of delight is the law of use good —of doingto others. By and orderly bringing us into the goodstate of tenderness, mercy, charity, the Lord bringsus into blessedness. Hence the doing of good worksisimmediately as well as prospectively profitable untomen. " however, that in the beginning of the It is true,regenerate life, obedience springs from a sense of dutyrather than from inclination. We have to restrain our-selves from doing wrong, and to compel ourselves todo right. The reason of this is — the obedience offaithprecedes the obedience of love. But doing good froma sense of duty is the first step toward doing goodfrom the love of goodness. The habit of obeying the
    • 74 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.Lord from the and to do good, opens the desire to besoul to a Divine influx which will gradually changethe character of our motives. The obedience which seemed hard, will, when the love of goodnessat firstbecomes our ruling principle of action, be found ajoyous service. We enter into harmony with theLord, and find that his commandments are not griev- ^ ous, and that in keeping of them there is great re- "ward. (p. 172.) PRA YER. " Prayer is not needed to inform the omniscient your Father knoweth what Lord of our wants ; forthings ye have need of before ye ask Him. Matt, v: 8.Neither can it avail to change the purpose of the All-wise, or to make the All-loving more gracious andwilling to bless than He was before. But thoughprayer does not effect any change in the Lord, yet itdoes effect a most important change in man. In trueprayer the face of mans spirit is turned toward theLord, and the mind and heart of the petitioner areopened to receive from the Lord the blessings adaptedto his state. " Besides making us receptive of grace which theLord is ever willing to bestow, there is in prayer itselfa reflex benefit. We are the better for our prayers,not only through them as a means of receiving bless-
    • TESTIMONY OF REV, H. B. BROWNING. 75ings from the Lord, but by them on account of theirown influence upon ourselves. This benefit is twofold.First : because true prayer reacts upon ourselves inconfirming and increasing those spiritual graces whichare exercised in prayerand find expression in itswords. because in true prayer we hold com- Second :munion with God, and the effect of such communionis to conform us to the Divine image. It is an invari-able principle operating with the certainty of causeand effect, that man by worshiping becomes assimi-lated to the object of his worship. " Prayer will be ineffectual without practice —unlessaccompanied by our own endeavors to realize theblessings for which we pray. By prayer we seek fromthe Lord grace to overcome falsity and evil, and togrow knowledge and in goodness. It is a means of ingrace, and must not be mistaken for the end. Of whatuse is it to pray for patience, if we do not try to curbour impatience ? to pray for purity, if we continue toindulge in uncleanness ? to pray for charity, if wefoster unkindness and neglect to do charitable deeds ?Prayer for Christian graces will be ineffectual^ unless atthe same time we resist all evil as sin against the Lord.While a man from this motive strives against evil,prayer is a most efficacious means of attaining Divinehelp. It brings the soul into a state of humility, of
    • jd A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.self-distrust, of constant looking to the Lord forstrength and guidance." (pp. 207-209.) PREPARA TION FOR HEA VEN. "We become fitted to enjoy heaven by learning todelight in heavenly things. The process by whichthis preparation is effected is regeneration. It con-sists in the reception of heavenly love and wisdomfrom the Lord ; in the formation in man of a trulyheavenly character, so that all the aspirations and de-lights of the soul shall become heavenly. Heavenwould be only a place of misery to those who felt nojoy in heavenly delights. Indeed it is easy to con-ceive that, to those who are destitute of truth andgoodness and confirmed in falsity and evil, heavenwould be even more painful and horrible than hell.To the drunkard, the licentious, the covetous, the re-vengeful, the society of the temperate, pure, generous,and merciful is ever a source of discomfort and evenpain. They desire even here to flee from such, andto associate with their like. Death, which is merelythe putting off of the material body, makes no changein a mans ruling loves. How needful, then, it is thatwe should be made meet * to be partakers of the in- "heritance of the saints in light. (p. 1 19.)
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. B. BROWNING. jy THE TRUE WORSHIP. " The joys of the redeemed in heaven do not con-sist merely in vocal praises of the Most High. Everyact they perform is, indeed, an act of worship andadoration because everything they do is prompted ;by love to God, is directed by wisdom from God, andis done for the honor and glory of God. True wor-ship, either in heaven or on earth, does not consist invocal prayer and praise alone. We worship the Lordmost worthily when we delight in doing his will.Our life is a life of praise when we live to the honorand glory of the Giver of all good gifts, who operateswithin us both to will and to do of his good pleas-ure. Whatever be the nature of the service we maythere have to perform, there can be no question thatevery use and function will enhance our happinessand deepen our gratitude and love to the Lord.Heavenly light will enable us the better to under-stand the ways of our Creator and Saviour ; heavenlylove will fill our ever-enlarging affections heavenly ;uses will employ our ever-increasing powers. TheLords joy will then be in us, and our joy will be full.However actively engaged in heavenly ministrations,the service of the Lord will be perfect freedom our ;work will be truly rest, because truly delightful toour souls." (pp. 60, 61.)
    • 78 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. THE LAW OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH, " The purpose for which our talents are entrustedto us is, that we may be made mediums of blessing toothers; and the good Lord has so ordered, that ourendeavors to be of use to others react upon ourselves.The Lord is a true economist in all his works. Heso orders everything that it shall subserve many pur-poses. The soul that does good to others grows ingoodness. He that is a medium of blessing to others,is himself blessed thereby. Hence selfishness is follyas well as sin ; for while it prevents us doing good toothers, in the same degree it prevents our doing goodto ourselves. " In regard to spiritual gifts, the more we commu-nicate, the more we shall receive. The law of increaseis thelaw of use. The Saviour teaches this great law in these words : Give and it shall be given untoyou good measure, pressed down, shaken together, ;and running over, shall men give into your bosom.For with the same measure that ye mete withal, itshallbe measured to you again." (Luke vi: 38.) ThisDivine law rules in regard to spiritual things, both onearth and in heaven. We must minister because wehave received ; and we must minister that we mayreceive more abundantly. In ministering to otherswe enter into the true order of our life. Our life
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. B. BROWNING. 79comes from God who is the universal Giver. It musttherefore impel us to give ; it must prompt us towords of help and deeds of use. If we are not con-scious of this impulse, it is because our Hfe, althoughreceived from God, has become perverted in our re-ception of it. The more it retains of the characterof its Divine original, the more must it impel us toact in a God-like way, andgive. The Saviours great-ness and oneness with God was shown in this, amongmany other things, that He came not to be minis- tered unto, but to minister. He was the greatest ofall, because He was the servant of all. In seeking toresemble Him, we enter into harmony with theDivine purpose, which is that all may be blessed and ^that they may realize their own blessedness in seeking tobless each other. " We must, however, communicate to others fortheir sakes, and not merely to serve our own ends.While it is true that they who give are enriched, thatthey who teach learn, that they who help grow strong,that theywho bless are blessed yet if in giving we only ;think of our prospective gain, if in blessing we onlythink of the richer blessing we shall receive, the ap-parently unselfish act is really a deed of the mostrefined and intense selfishness. The selfish motivevitiates the efificacy of the seemingly unselfish act.By the universal law of reaction, that very act only
    • 8o A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.tends to confirm our own selfishness. The love of use,and not the love of self, should be the leading motivein all we do." (pp. 1 81-183.) SPIRITUAL LIBERTY. " Life from God is so imparted that it seems to usas were independently our own. This is the case if itwith natural life, and it is the case also with spirituallife. While in very truth it is God that worketh inus both to will and to do, yet it seems to us that boththe will and the power to do are our own. The Lordthereby secures to man a spiritual individuality in thegood that he does He thus preserves in him ; spiritualliberty at the same time that He imparts to himspiritual good. The new nature which prompts theChristian to do good, seems to him as truly his own,as did his former merely natural life. The promptingsof the new heart and the right spirit seem to him asfully the spontaneous impulses of his own will, as didthe prior promptings of his unregenerate mind. Thusfaith in the Lord as the Source of spiritual life, doesnot interfere with mans liberty. The angels whorealize with fullest conviction that they live only byinflux of life from the Lord, are conscious of the mostperfect freedom." (p. 177.)
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. B. BROWNING. 81 THE ELEMENTS OF ANGELIC LIFE. " Love, wisdom, and use are the elements of angeliclife. In heaven, where the laws of Divine order areperfectly obeyed, love and wisdom received continu-ally from the Lord, are ultimated or find their em-bodiment in use. We may know but little of whatare the employments of angels; but of this we maybe sure —that for those of his creatures whom Godfills with love, He provides others that may be loved ;and for those whom He endows with superior wisdom,He provides others that may be taught. Wisdom isinfinite only in God. In all created intelligences wis-dom can exist only in a relative degree, as more orless. That the Lord should make the wiser angelsmediums of instruction to the less wise, does notlower our conception of the felicity and perfectness ofheaven. Surely it may be thought that new-comingspirits fresh from earth, must need and may profitfrom the loving instruction of their elder brethren ofthe skies. The felicity of heaven, it may well be be-lieved, does not consist merely in the reception of* the manifold grace of God by each angel for him- * self, but also in ministering the same one to another,as good stewards thereof —The delight of the natu-ral man is to get; the delight of the spiritual man is
    • 82 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.to give. The truly beneficent man is the happiestman." (p. 184.) ANGELS—AND THEIR FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN. " One thing our experience may teach us when- :ever we are actively engaged in the uses of charity,from the love of doing good, we are most richly andconsciously blessed. The reason is, that we are there-by brought into association with those angels of theLords kingdom who are in the love of similar uses ;and those angels are made to us mediums of blessingsfrom the Lord by imparting to us of their affectionsand delights. Thus by the law of spiritual affinity,which draws together those who are animated bysimilar affections, the angels, though unseen, associatewith us and fit us for the higher uses of the eternal *world. In this way they are ministering spirits, sentforth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salva-tion. Heb. i: 4." (pp. 184, 185.) GODS PURPOSE IN CREATION. "The moving cause of creation was the DivineLove. The Lord did not create the universe for hisown sake, but because He desired the existence ofbeings in his own image and likeness, whom He
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. B. BROWNING. 83might make happy from Himself. Hence the ultimateDivine purpose in creation, is the formation of aheaven out of the human race. Thus earth rightlyregarded is the seminary of heaven —the scene inwhich man begins to exist, and in which he maydevelop an angelic character to fit him for the higheruses and the more exalted felicities of the eternalworld." (pp. 245, 246.) DISCRETE DEGREES IN CREATION. " There are three discrete degrees of substance viz.: —the Divine, the Spiritual, and the Natural the sub- ;stance of God himself, the substance of the souls ofmen and of the spiritual world, and the substance ofthe natural universe and of all things therein. In theorder of creation, the natural was discreted from thespiritual, and the spiritual from the Divine. TheDivine can act upon or into the spiritual and the ;spiritual can act upon or into the natural but by no ;process of transmutation or refinement can the naturalbecome the spiritual, or the spiritual become theDivine. By this doctrine of discrete degrees of sub-stance we avoid the fundamental error of Pantheism,while adopting the great truth which it so imperfectlyexpresses. The Creator is not confounded with thecreation, for the substance of the universe is not con-tinuous from God. Yet God is truly the original and
    • 84 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.all-perv^ading life —animating the spiritual degree ofsubstance, which is the indwelling and actuating prin-ciple of all material things." (pp. 246, 247.) A SPIRITUAL AND A NATURAL WORLD. " God is the Great First Cause of all things thatexist. The spiritual world exists in the natural as acause in its effect. The spiritual world is a world ofmediate causes acting in the natural world, but deriv-ing all its power from the great First Cause, fromwhom it originated and by whom it continually sub-sists. Matter itself, the ultimate created substance, isdead and inert ; and all forces by which its inertia isovercome, and all the active properties which it seemsto possess, have a spiritual origin. All natural objectsexist from and are actuated by corresponding spiritualessences^ to which they stand related as the body of a7nan to his soul. Hence all things in the animal, vege-table and mineral kingdoms of nature have theirantitypes in the spiritual world, substantial spiritualentities corresponding in all particulars of organiza-tion with their material types." (p. 247.) ORIGIN OF THINGS NOXIOUS. "This doctrine of influx from the spiritual worldaccounts for the existence of inverted or disorderly
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. B. BROWNING. 85creations in the material universe. None of thenoxious things that exist on this earth were createdby the Lord in the beginning, but they are all fromhell. For, by the law of spiritual causation, the affec-tionsand thoughts of the inhabitants of the spiritualworld give birth to corresponding spiritual creations,which form the objects and scenery round about them.It isthrough the operation of this beneficent law, thatthe members of each heavenly society are surroundedby the beautiful and useful objects (spiritual, of course)in the animal, vegetable,and mineral kingdoms, whichare in harmony with their mental and moral states.But the same law of spiritual causation prevails equallyin hell, where, consequently, the inhabitants of eachinfernal society see their falsities and evils projectedinto corresponding external objects, which are inver-sions of the orderly creations of the heavenly world.These spiritual inversions, flowing into the world ofnature, become embodied in material substance andoriginate the various types of animals, vegetables,and minerals injurious to man." (p. 248.) DEATH AND RESURRECTION. " Man in this world is a dual being; consisting of aspiritual and immortal part — his soul ; and of a naturaland mortal part —his body. The soul is the real man.
    • 86 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.that for a while is tabernacled in the flesh. It is thesoul which hears, sees, feels, thinks, desires, speaks,and acts. The body is no more than a marvelousmaterial organism which lives from the soul, in whichthe soul dwells, and by which the soul remains in thenatural world, and takes part in its concerns. " When man is said to die, it is only the body whichreally dies. The reason is, that the body is no longersuited to be a dwelling-place for the soul. The mar-velous and mysterious hnks which previously unitedthe soul to the body are broken. The soul takes itsflight from the body ; and as its life departs, the bodydies. The body being dead, truly means that thesoul has left it. Now that its life is gone, the body,subject to the wonderful processes of natural chemis-try, will waste away, decompose and mingle with thedust. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, is, therefore,properly said when the body is placed in the grave. " But the real man, the soul, is not destroyed byquitting the body. It remains a living, thinking, lov-ing, conscious being, and dwells in the spiritual world.If the man has been good, pious, and holy, if he hasbelieved in the Lord Jesus Christ and has striven tokeep his holy commandments, he will, like Lazarus,be carried by angels into Abrahams bosom * that is, ;he will go to heaven. He will enter into and dwellin the heavenly mansions about which Jesus spake
    • TESTIMONY OF REV, H. B. BROWNING. 8/when He said : In my fathers house are many man-sions : if it were not so, I would have told you. I goto prepare a place for you. (John xiv : 2.) He will jointhe Church triumphant, the * innumerable company ofangels — the general assembly and Church of thefirst born which are written in heaven — the * spiritsof just men made perfect. Heb. xii : 22, 23. " In that state of happiness the man is as truly aman as when he dwelt on earth. He is now a spiritualman, possessing a spiritual body, dwelling in thespiritual world. The soul, when separated from thematerial body, is in the human form. Hence whenMoses appeared to Peter, James, and John, minister-ing to the Lord in the mount of transfiguration,although his material body — the earthly house ofthis tabernacle —was dissolved, having been buried* in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor (Deut. xxiv: 6), more than fourteen hundredyears before, yet Moses was still in the human form.By death man ceases not to be human. We may besure that he possesses in the other life all that isessential to his existence as a man —memory, con-sciousness, intelligence, and affection, in a spiritualbody adapted to the spiritual world. In the case ofthose who have been truly members of the LordsChurch, servants and disciples of the Saviour, therecan be no question that their faculties are purified
    • 88 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES,and exalted far beyond any perfection attainable onearth. Their capacity for joy is enlarged; the joysthey experience are beyond all comparison higherand holier ; and of the increase of their blessednessthere shall be no end." (pp. 58-60.) THE JUDGMENT AFTER DEATH. "The judgment after death is not merely a judicialact by which every one is at once assigned his finalabode, but it is a process of exploration and develop-ment by which the exteriors of the spirit are gradu-ally brought agreement with its interiors into by ;which the genuine internal character is brought forthto view; until the Lords words are fully verified in *each individual case : There is nothing covered thatshall not be revealed ; neither hid that shall not beknown! Luke xii: 2. The design of the judgment isthus to bring the externals of human character intoexact conformity or correspondence with the innerlife; to abolish all artificial, assumed, and merelyapparent distinctions among men and to establish on ;the basis of internal and spiritual realities the condi-tions under which they will thenceforth exist, and theassociates with whom they will thenceforth consort. "The Lord is truly the Author of this judgment;God is the Judge of all The means by which this *
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. B. BROWNING. 89judgment is effected, is an influx into the soul of theHght of Divine Truth from the Lord, impelling everyone to think, speak, and act under the influence ofhis ruling love, and thus revealing both to himselfand others the true quality of his life. In this worldevery man is able more or less to conceal his realcharacter, and in his words and actions to assume anexterior conformable to the laws of social order bywhich society is governed and preserved. The powerof hiding from others our interior thoughts and feel-ings during our probation here, is a merciful arrange-ment of Divine Providence ; for it not only enablesus to form a basis of natural goodness on which maybe built the spiritual superstructure of a heavenlycharacter, but it likewise permits the associations ofthis life to proceed in an external way of peace whichwould otherwise be impossible. " If the light of Divine Truth from the Lord soshone into the minds of men in this world as to impelevery one by word and deed to disclose his innerthoughts and feelings to his fellow-men, abolishingthereby all those merely external restraints, courte-sies, and attachments which now subsist, societywould be dislocated. A new distribution of mankindwould immediately ensue ; those only who resembledeach other in internal character would associate ; thegood would have fellowship only with the good, and
    • 90 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.the evil only with the evil. In such case, instead ofbeing as now a mixed state —a sort of commonground or mutual meeting-place where both the goodand the evil can come into contact and maintain socialand amicable intercourse with each other, the worldwould become a theatre where all the good wereassembled in — one place a heaven; and all the wickedin — another place a helir (pp. 228, 229.) HELL—ITS PUNISHMENTS MERCIFUL: " There is no contradiction to the harmony of theDivine attributes in the fact that Divine Justice pro-vides for the punishment of sin. It is the highestmercy to punish the sinner whom nothing but pun-ishment could restrain from wickedness. The morecertainly that wickedness is disorder and that disorderis productive of misery, the more certainly that obe-dience is order and that order is productive of happi-ness —the more certainly true it is that mercy mustseem cruel to be kind. Punishment is not an end ofitself; it is but a means to an end ; and that end isaltogether merciful. Punishment which is merely vin-dictive and without merciful ends in view, has no placein the Divine government. " Even the punishments of hell are no exception tothe operation of the Divine Mercy. The notion of
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. B. BROWNING. 91hell as a place of arbitrary punishment eternally in-flicted by an implacable Deity for past acts of wicked-ness committed during the sinners life on earth —however apparently supported by the letter of Scrip-ture — is utterly untenable. There is indeed punish-ment in hell but it is such punishment for present ;acts of wickedness as is repressive and restrainingonly, and thus altogether merciful. God sends noone to hell but all who go down to that world of ;death, go there of their own choice, drawn to theirassociates in evil by the attraction of their rulingloves. Those passages of Scripture which, in theliteral sense, seem to assert that God commands thewicked to be cast into outer darkness and the tor-menting flame, are accommodations of language tothe natural ideas of men.In so far as it is a law ofDivine order that in the other world, as indeed inthis, men shall desire and strive to be with their like,and shall seek for and prefer to abide with such — inthat sense God commands the consequence in insti-tuting the law. "But the law is merciful, both in its purpose and inits operation ; for by virtue of this law all the associa-tions of heaven are formed ; and even in the associa-tions of hell the lost spirit is less miserable than hewould be in heaven. The suffering of the infernalsis a dread reality, the necessary consequence of their
    • 92 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.disorderly and evil state : but the Divine mercy ispresent even in hell, operating through the inevitablelaw by which evil punishes itself, to restrain themfrom the excess of evil which would aggravate theirmisery. Fear of punishment is the only restrainingmotive in beings confirmed in evil and the Divine ;mercy, ever seeking to limit the raging of their lusts,and thus to save them from increase of suffering, usesthat motive as the only means to this beneficent end."(pp. 223, 224.) APPARENT TRUTHS IN SCRIPTURE. " There are two classes of statements in the letterof the Word—those in which the truth is openly andabsolutely expressed; and those which convey thetruth, not as it is absolutely, but as it appears to theminds of men in a low moral and intellectual state.We may conveniently style the former genuine andthe latter apparent truths. The necessity and advan-tage of this distinction will be seen in applying it tothe descriptions in the Word of the moral characterof God. " The purpose of the existence in the Bible of ap-parent truths in relation to God, is clear — viz.: toreach minds in a low moral and intellectual condition,who can think of God in no other way. Although
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. B. BROWNING. 93the understanding may be elevated above the will, sothat we can see the excellence we have not realizedin ourselves, yet all men, more or less, picture tothemselves a God in their own image ; so that, in thissense it is true: * With the merciful Thou wilt showThyself merciful; with an upright man Thou wiltshow Thyself upright with the pure ; Thou wilt showThyself pure ; and with the froward Thou wilt showThyself froward. (Ps. xviii: 25, 26.) Only so far asthe Divine characteristics are revealed in us, can theybe spiritually discerned. While others may have aspeculative knowledge of the Divine perfections, onlythe loving can really know God in his Divine love,only the wise can know Him in his Divine wisdom,only the holy can know Him in his Divine holiness.As men grow up into the Divine image and likeness,in thesame proportion their perceptions of the Divinenature deepen and become exalted. To the wickedGod appears what He really is not — terrible, jealous,full of wrath ; while to the good He appears what Hereally is —altogether loving, gracious, full of compas-sion, the Divine Father, whose love deeper and ismore tender than that of a woman for her first-born.Being born again, they see the kingdom of God ;being pure in heart, they see God being ; lifted intoheavenly they recognize their Father in heaven. light,By accommodating the verbal revelation of Himself
    • 94 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. and capacities of men, God has providedto the statesa means by which all may be reached, and by whichall may be enabled to believe. The lower view willgive place to the higher, as men, through faithfulnessto the light they have, become more and more recep-tive of the higher." (pp. 113- 115.) » APPARENT TRUTHS IN NATURE. " In the book of Nature as well as of Revelation,we are compelled to distinguish between genuine andapparent truths ; and in the sun, which is a symbol ofthe Lord, we have a very close analogy strikinglyillustrative of the subject before us. The sun, whichis gloriously refulgent in an unclouded sky, appearsred and lowering when obscured by fog; but there isno change in the sun itself It is thus with the un-changeable God under the different aspects in whichhe appears to men. Seen through the clear spiritualatmosphere of love and truth, God is love, immutablelove seen through the fog and mist of evil, He ap- ;pears to be angry, wrathful, at enmity with man.When man changes in his spiritual condition, andfrom his changed condition thinks of the Lord, itseems to him as though the Lord had changed. "Toconclude from appearances that the Lordchanges, is as great a fallacy as to conclude from appear-
    • ^ TESTIMONY OF REV. II. B. BROWNING. 95ances that the sun moves around the earth. The abso-lute truth is that the sun in respect to the earth isstationary; the sun only appears to move, and therealchange is in the earth itself which seems to be soimmovable. The sun changes not the Lord changes ;not. The sun seems to change, waxing and waningin brightness and in heat ; now coming nearer, thenretiring farther from us ; now effulgent in the noon-tide, then altogether gone in the obscurity of night.God, manner, seems to change now shedding in like ;forth lightand love, then frowning and angry; nowvery near to our souls, then far removed from us;now causing the souls noontide of love and glory,then leaving the soul to mourn his absence during itsdark, cold night. The change of the earths place andposition is the real cause of the apparent changes ofthe sun ; and variation mans spiritual condition is inthe real cause of changes which seem to take place inGod. God is unchangeable the changes take place ;in us. .He has hung his unchanging image in thenatural firmament to be an unalterable witness to hisuniversal operation, to be the very analogue of thelight and heat, the truth and goodness, which He con-tinually pours out on allThe appearance mankind.of change in the sun does no injury to him who be-lieves that the appearance is a reality. The time maycome when the reality will be known and the appear-ance will be explained. So the apparent truths of ;
    • 96 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.the Bible in relation to God, if the highest of whichthe mind is capable, do no injury to him who believesthem. They only become hurtful when he who hasonce believed them, is thereby confirmed in his rejec-tion of the higher truths." (pp. 215-17.) And much more might be quoted from this preciousvolume, similar in character to the foregoing, but it isneedless. We have shown, by brief extracts, whatwere Mr. Brownings views on a large number of dif-ferent religious topics —some of them vital, and all ofthem important and interesting. Who cannot seethat the views here presented are totally different fromthose commonly taught in the churches of to-day, orto be found in any of the generally accepted authori-ties ? You may search the entire religious literatureof Christendom, back to the days of the apostles, andyou nowhere meet with any such views. will Yetevery one of them is to be found distinctly set forthin the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and it ; is thehighest testimony that an Episcopal minister couldgive to the truth and value of his doctrinal teachings,to publish so many of them as Mr. Browning has inthis delightful volume, with no allusion whatever tothe great Swede or his writings.* *Mr. Brownings volume, •* Words in Season," from which the fore-going extracts are taken, is for sale by the Swedenborg Publishing Asso-ciation, Germantown, Pa. Price 75 cents, post-paid.
    • CHAPTER IV. TESTIMONY OF REV. T. M. GORMAN. GORMAN was an English clergyman inMR. good and regular standing in the Protestant "Episcopal Church at the time he wrote The Athana-sian Creed and Modern Thought." And although hemakes no mention of Swedenborg in this work, hewas known to be a devoted student of his writingsand a cordial receiver of their teachings. And inthis work, from which we make liberal quotations, henot only shows his thorough understanding andhearty acceptance of all the fundamental doctrines ofthe New Church as revealed through Swedenborg,but places them in contrast with the old and stillwidely received doctrines, and expresses his deepconviction of the need of a new system of theologywidely different from the old. A NEW THEOLOGY NEEDED. In his comments on the Athanasian Creed, Mr. Gor-man gives his view of the utter inadequacy of the OldTheology to meet the present demands of thinking 7 97
    • 98 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.men, and his belief that a New Theology is a press-ing need of the times ; and he more than intimatesthat a new system has already been provided, and isaccessible to all who have any desire for it. Hesays — : " A blind and unconscious repetition of doctrinalsummaries must inevitably tend to deaden the highermoral sense, and becloud the intellectual vision withwhich man has been endowed for the perception ofthings spiritual and heavenly. This is too plain toneed proof When, on the other hand, expositionsof the Christian faith embodying genuine spiritualtruths from the Living Word, are presented in such aform that the intellect is able to grasp their meaning ;. such expositions may be compared to the hem . .of the Lords glorious garment of Divine Light:and when touched, if one may so say, by the hand ofa living and intelligent faith, spiritual, yea Divinevirtue goes out from them. For them there is a har-mony of faith and reason. Truth is seen in its ownheavenly radiance. There is, in some sort, an actualcommunion with heaven, the native abode of alltruth. " If the teaching of the Church is to be believedand practiced, it must be shown on proper and suffi-cient evidence, to be true — intrinsically reasonable in
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. T. M. GORMAN. 99the highest and purest sense. No appeals, howeversubtle and eloquent, to a blind and unreasoning faith,will much longer suffice to prop up the crumblingsuperstitions of past ages. The old arguments andpersuasives which once sufficed to establish and per-petuate popular religious convictions, have no longerany influence on the great mass of intelligent men.We breathe an entirely new scientific, moral, intellec-tual,and religious atmosphere. New and unexpectedlights have broken in upon the human mind, filling itwith wonder and delight. The true character of num-berlessphantoms of the imagination, which in everyregion of human research had held undisputed swayas real existences, has now been laid bare. A dlindfaith in the supernatural is no longer possible. Thenumerous and wonderful revelations of science have,so to speak, furnished new eyes to the understanding,and cleared the intellectual horizon far and wide. . . . " The time approaching when a complete readjust- isment of current theological views will be, to some ex-tent, possible. For many a century the teaching of theChurches has been, on the highest subjects of humanthought, miserably in disaccord with reason and fact. " It is clear that the Christian faith must now bemaintained and spread by new arguments and newexpositions of its first principles. The old modes ofdefence, like the old conceptions, are fast becoming
    • 100 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.obsolete. Once more as in the old time, the deadmust be left to bury their dead. An entirely neweffort must be made by all who love truth in sincerity,to welcome its advent from every quarter and in everyform. "The path of sound theological opinion in theChurch beset by two obstacles of giant magnitude. isThere is, on the one hand, a desolating Tritheism, andthe phantasms to which it necessarily gives origin ;and on the other a naturalistic Atheism, the subtlepoison of which induces on the mind into which itfinds an entrance stupefaction and torpor touchingthings intellectual and spiritual. The rejnains ofChristian truth and life in the Church can be savedonly by the revindication and reassertion — in a formadapted to the new state of — thought of the founda-tion doctrine of her worship, a Divine Trinity inTHE ONE LIVING AND TrUE GoD." (pp. lOQ-I I3.) THE DIVINE TRINITY. And what is this Trinity as held and taught by Mr.Gorman? Very different from that commonly re-ceived and taught in the Church of England (withwhich he was in external communion), but preciselythat taught by Swedenborg throughout his writings.The author states it thus : —
    • TESTIMONY OF REV, p M. ^^f/E^WAl^fy ; WOl "The three general Essentials of every man, aresoul, body and the united working of both. In likemanner in the One God there are three and only —three — general Essentials; Father, Son and HolySpirit" (p. 135); — meaning, clearly, that the DivineTrinity finds its image and best illustration in manssoul, body, and their united working —these being thethree general essentials of every individual." And in another part of his book, he says, in reply "to one who had virtually confessed that the mysteri-ous and adorable doctrine of the Holy Trinity" is nota doctrine to be comprehended or explained : — " To admit, in an age like the present^ even by impli-cation, that the Church possesses no intelligible doc-trine of the Divine Trinity, is virtually to surrenderthe first principles of the Faith to the enemy. Thesooner the rulers of the Church become fully alive tothe extreme importance of this plain fact, the betterand happier will it ultimately be for all concerned."(p. 106.) GOD—A DIVlNE-HUMAN PERSON. " Andwho, according to Mr. Gorman, is the oneliving and true God?" Here is his answer to thisquestion : —
    • 102 A CLOJJli OF WITNESSES. "Jesus Christ alone is God and man, that is to say,God-Man, or a Divine-Human Person." (p. 135.) Again, he says : — " At the head of all doctrines stands one which goodand true Christians of all communions acknowledgeimplicitly in every act of obedience and love to Godtheir Saviour, but which as yet is little known amongtheologians from any clear, definite and rational idea —viz. : that the glorified Human Form, in which ourLord Jesus Christ now reigns as God over all, blessedfor ever, is Divine — not merely human and finite ascommonly supposed, but in all the fullness of mean-ing of the terms. Divine and Infinite. This truthought to be the primary doctrine of all ChristianChurches." (p. 100.) And once more : — "This idea, then, of the Lord God and SaviourJesus Christ as a Divine-Human Person [an ideaeverywhere prominent in the writings of Sweden-borg], is pre-eminently the noblest, the purest, themost exalted, the most influential for good, that thehuman mind by its highest reach can ever conceive.It conjoins, really and consciously, the Infinite and thefinite, the Creator and the creature, as the ray of light
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. T. M.- GORMAN. 103connects the eye with the sun. It serves to lift, inpart, the veil of that inner world which has been sofully revealed, and yet so dimly discerned in HolyScripture." (pp. 160-162.) And many times in this same work does Mr. Gor-man speak of Jesus Christ as the Divine Man, andthe only proper Object of worship, saying in oneplace:"Although Hebe Divine and Human in one —Divine-Human form that is, God-Man, yet He is not *two beings or persons, but one Christ, or Messiah,in One Divine Person! (p. 148.) And he reckons it as" " the chief of all doctrines and the very foundation "of the Christian Church, that Jehovah, the Beiftg ofbeings, is to be worshiped in his Humanity, that is, inthe God-Man, the Lord God and Saviour JesusChrist." (p. 154.) " Again he speaks of the supreme Divinity of ourLord Jesus Christ as " an essential principle of the "Christian faith, wanting which a Church is a Churchonly in name." (p. 18.) The very doctrine distinctlytaught by Swedenborg over and over again, and byno one previous to his time; and its fundamentalimportance is insisted on by Mr. Gorman as emphati-cally and earnestly as by the great Swede himself Furthermore, Swedenborg tells us why it was neces-sary that God should assume our natural human-
    • I04 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.ity,and what was accomplished by it, and why Hecould be tempted when on earth, and how the processof glorification went on. And every student of hiswritings will recognize a striking similarity —the pre-cise idea and almost the very language —between histeachings on this subject, and the following from Mr.Gormans book : — " This victory over the powers of spiritual dark-ness, this glorification of his human Essence andForm, was effected by means of temptations, themysterious and dread character of which was revealedto man only in part, under the veil of the letter —temptations which he endured in that infirm humanityderived from the virgin mother. TJds alone could betempted. The Divinity, as such, cannot be temptedin any wise. These temptations were overcome bysuccessive steps continually unto the end. The pas-sion OF THE CROSS was the last and direct temptation ;but it was also the full, perfect and eternal victory."(p. 163.) THE THREE ESSENTIALS. Mr. Gorman favors the honest efforts of earnest andgood men * to render the common confession ofChristian belief, and the rule of Christian life, as brief,simple and comprehensive as possible, consistently
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. T M. GORMAN. 105with conserving the essentials of Christianity." Andhe tells us what he regards as the essentials : — " These essentials may be said to be three in num^ber: ist. A belief in the Supreme Divinity of theLord Jesus Christ. 2d. A belief, in some real andbona fide sense, in the inspiration of the Word ofGod. 3d. A belief that love to the Lord and loveTOV^ARDS THE NEIGHBOR, Constitute the essence andlife of the church in the mind of man — in other words,the kingdom of heaven within him." And the following is what Swedenborg gives as theessentials of the church : — " There are three essentials of the Church : anacknowledgment of the Divinity of the Lord, anacki)owledgment of the holiness of the Word, and thelife which is called charity. Every mans faith is con-formable to his life, that is, his charity. From theWord he knows what his life ought to be, and fromthe Lord he has reformation and salvation. If thesethree had been held as the essentials of the Church,intellectual dissensions would not have divided it,but would only have varied it, as the light variescolors in beautiful objects, and as a variety of jewelsconstitutes the beauty of a kingly crown." —DivineProvidence^ n. 259.
    • I06 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES, THE DOGMA OF FAITH ALONE. " Speaking of what he terms the irrational dogmaof * Salvation by faith alone, " Mr. Gorman says : — " The leaders in most of the Protestant sects, inestablishing this dogma, destroyed, as far as it waspossible, a principal foundation of the Christian Re-ligion, by separating faith from charity ; when, never-theless, it is a most certain truth of the Christian Re-ligion that no genuine living faith can possibly existwhen separated from charity. Faith separate fromcharity is no faith; for charity is the life, soul andessence of faith." —Preface, p. xvii. The very same doctrine, again, that we find in Swe-denborg repeated a thousand times, and very often inthe same words employed by the writer. The innumerable falsities, too, which have corruptedChristianity and darkened the church, Mr. Gormantraces to precisely the same source as does Sweden-borg — viz. : to a misunderstanding and falsification ofthe written Word. He says : — " Misinterpretations and perversions of the letter ofHoly Scripture, arising from the commonly receivedcanons of Biblical interpretation, have gradually and
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. T. M. GORMAN. 10/insensibly led to the adoption of most erroneous andabsurd views concerning the Divine essence and char-acter of the one living and true God. To a similarsource may be traced numberless other whimsicalnotions and pernicious persuasions, originating in hu-man pride and ambition, plainly contradicting theteaching of Scripture, and at variance with the dic-tates of sound reason." — Ibid,^ pp. 9, 10. HIS VIEW OF SACRED SCRIPTURE. Mr. Gorman is also in perfect accord with Sweden-borg in view of the nature, and of the right hismethod of interpreting Sacred Scripture. " " Holy Scripture," he says, cannot be rightly inter-preted apart from a previous admission, in generalterms at least, of its Divine origin and spiritual innermeaning. "The Scripture has in general two meanings atleast — one natural or literal, the other spiritual ; withthis difference, however, between them —that thespiritual is the genuine and unchangeable meaning,which is clothed by the natural." (pp. 40, 44.) Again : " The remonstrances of those who advocate * oneand only one meaning, are^ in Divine Providence,
    • I08 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.destined to be forever unavailing. The letter withoutthe spirit —the original meaning real or supposed,without the spiritual and living sense is like a body —without a soul. The time will come to some . . . —extent has already come — when students of theDivine Word will search its pages neither for astron-omy, geology, nor any other natural or mere worldlyscience but for that which alone it was by infinite ;Wisdom provided to teach for all ages —the spiritualtruths which pertain to mans regenerate life, and theeternal laws by which the Lords Kingdom is gov-erned in heaven and on earth. The time is at handwhen an attempt to impose on the free study of theWord, the carnal and blinding bondage of the letter *that killeth/ will be regarded as the offspring ofeither hallucination or wickedness." (pp. 138, 139.) THE CHURCH AND CHURCH UNITY. In respect to the Church and Church Unity, aswell as the nature of true internal worship, see againhow entirely Mr. Gorman agrees with Swedenborg —expressing himself in almost the very same language : " The Lords Kingdom on earth, in other words, hisChurch, must, from the circumstances of the case,exist in various external forms ; and have diverse
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. T M. GORMAN. IO9conceptions of Revealed Truth. Although eachseparate religious communion professes to derive itstenets from Holy Scripture, and individuals, even inthe same Christian society, differ widely in theiropinions ; still all this need be no barrier to ChurchUnity, provided Christians be at one in willing anddoing what good and right. is The notion of . . .Papal Unity, and every imitation of it in the Re-formed Churches or elsewhere, is not only chimerical,but also tends necessarily to the violation of Chris-tian truth and charity. "There is a mere outward formal worship; and there is also an inner worship in spirit and in truth.*The votaries of the former are hypocrites ; and in theDivine sight such worship is vile and abominable.Those who cultivate the latter are children of God ;and are to be found in every form of Christianity —nay, even among the Heathen. Who these are indi-vidually, and to which class they truly belong, is cer-tainly known only to Him who knows what is inmany (pp. 99, lOO.) And Swedenborg says —and more than fifty timesdoes he repeat the same in substance : — " In respect to the Lords Kingdom on earth, thatis^ in respect to his Church, the case is this : that,
    • no A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.since it derives its doctrines from the literal sense ofthe Word, it must needs be various and diverse inrespect to doctrines, — one society professing onething to be a truth of faith because it is so said in theWord, and another society professing another thingfor the same reason and so on. Consequently the ;Lords Church will differ in different places ; and thisdifference will exist, not only between large societiesor general bodies of the Church, but sometimes be-tween individuals in each society. Nevertheless adifference in the doctrinals of faith is no reason whythe Church should not be one, provided there beunanimity in willing what is good and doing what is —goodr Arcana Ccelestia, n. 3451. "Worship is both internal and external " — " If loveand faith are not inwardly in prayers and adoration,there is no soul or life in these latter, but only a cer-tain external like that of flatterers and pretenders,who, we know, are not pleasing even to a wise manin the world. To do according to the Lords precepts isthe way to worship Him truly ; yea, this is true loveand true faith." — Ibid., n. 10, 143. And speaking of the church, Swedenborg further "says : It is everywhere, both in those kingdomswhere the [Christian] church is, and out of them,where the life is formed according to the precepts of
    • TESTIMONY OF RE V. T M. GORMAN. 1 1 1charity." {Ibid., n. 152.) And elsewhere and often "does he say that no one but the Lord alone knowsthe internal states of men," or who belong to his truechurch. VIEWS ACCEPTED BY INTELLIGENT PEOPLE. And so Mr. Gorman, throughout his book, whenhe gives us his own views, shows that he fully acceptsSwedenborgs doctrine on the several subjects dis-cussed and that he knows they are not the views ;commonly held and taught in the Church of whichhe is a recognized minister. Yet they are viewswhich intelligent people who are not much confirmedin falsities, readily receive. This is plain from his " "Preface, in which he tells us that the leading pointsin the work from which we have here quoted, werepresented in a discourse that he delivered on twoseparate occasions. And he adds : — " The method adopted on both occasions, of treat-ing a most difficult and almost totally neglected partof our Divine Service, called forth numerous andunexpected approval from expressions of cordialintelligent and earnest-minded parishioners who hap-pened to be present, and also a strongly expresseddesire to see the discourse in print. The writer, forobvious reasons, hesitated as to the propriety of com-
    • 112 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.plying with this solicitation ; but the perusal of adebate on the same subject, which recently took placein the Upper House of Convocation for the Provinceof Canterbury —a Report of which was published inthe leading Church newspapers — removed once at allscruples in the matter. It was then, apparently forthe first time, publicly declared by authority, that theexplanation of the Creed was an open questiony The doctrinal teachings of Swedenborg are at onceso reasonable and Scriptural, that (provided the seersname is withheld) the laity or common people alwaysreceive them with great delight. So it was at the "Lords first advent. The common people heard Himgladly." And here we desire to add, that it is greatly to thecredit of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Eng-land, that her clergy are permitted to read and preachthe doctrines of the New Church as fully and plainly whose writings we have hereas did the ministers fromquoted, without disturbance and without threat orfear of excommunication. If all the Christian denom-inations in bothEngland and America would adoptand pursue the same wise and truly Christian policy,what an impulse would be given by such freedom andcatholicity to the spread of the new religious truth,and the extension and upbuilding of the Lords King-dom on earth !
    • CHAPTER V. TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. if not all, of the American people who feelMOST, interest any in spiritual or religious subjects,are doubtless more or less familiar with the writingsof Rev. Edmund H. Sears. But probably few of themknow how long or carefully Dr. Sears had studied thewritings of Swedenborg, or how heartily he acceptedtheir teachings on all the fundamental doctrines of theChristian religion. He sometimes, though rarely,mentions the name of Swedenborg in his books but ;the principles and spirit of the illustrious seer aremanifest in every chapter. Dr. Sears was a personal acquaintance and muchvalued friend of the present writer. Our intimacycommenced in the Divinity School at Cambridge,where we were together for two years, though not inthe same class. And not long after my graduation,and when I had become deeply interested in Sweden-borgs writings, I wrote him, telling of my new orthreatened theological departure, and urging him —ashe prized the privilege of saving his friend from the 8 113
    • 114 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.theological gulf that was yawning — to read the books Ihad just read, and give me his candid opinion of them.He promptly acceded to my request and then com- ;menced a correspondence between us which lasted formore than forty years, till near the close of Dr. Searsearthly life —sometimes, however, with pretty longintervals between our letters. In this correspondencehe related to me much of his spiritual history — tellingof the difficulties he encountered and the progress hemade in his study of the new revealings. Withoutgoing into any detail of this history — for that is notnecessary to my present purpose — I will give herebrief extracts from two or three of his letters, whichwill show how fully confirmed he finally became inthe doctrines of the New Church as revealed throughSwedenborg, and before he published his principalworks. In September, 1842, he wrote: — " I continue to read the writings of Swedenborg,and will tell you just how I stand in regard to them.The general doctrines of Swedenborg commend them-selves entirely tomy understanding. I mean by thegeneral doctrines, that concerning the spiritual world,the resurrection, inspiration, regeneration, and thedoctrine of life. The doctrine concerning the Lord, Isee nothing to object to so far as I am sure that Iunderstand it." He then proceeds to state some difficulties which
    • TESTIMONY OF RE V. E. II. SEARS, D. D. 1 1 5he encountered in connection with this doctrine, andof which he had found no solution in any of theNew-Church writings. HIS ACCEPTANCE OF THE NEW DOCTRINES. But he continued to study Swedenborg, and his were gradually overcome. And in a letterdifficultiessome three or four years later (1846), he writes :" The doctrine of the Lord is glowing in my mindlike a noon-day sun ; and cannot doubt any longer Ithat Swedenborg was the appointed medium of anew dispensation." And in the same letter he an-nounces his full reception of the doctrines of theNew Church as unfolded in the writings of Sweden-borg. " You will judge by this," he says, " what I sup-pose you knew before, that I am a full receiver of theNew-Church doctrines. I told our parish committee(he was then pastor of the Unitarian Society in Lan-caster, Massachusetts) last spring, that I had becomeso much of a New Churchman that I must resign myoffice; against which they earnestly protested, sayingthat the people, knowing my views, were anxious Ishould remain. Notwithstanding their kindness andtoleration of my views, and the New Church senti-ments and sympathies which exist among a portion ofthem, I do not see how I can remain."
    • Il6 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. This was written at a time when Dr. Sears con-sidered the New Church as an organized and visiblebody, distinguished from all others by its new doc-trines. But I had come, through a careful study ofSwedenborgs teachings, to see that this was a mis-taken idea and that all who are in love of the Lord ;and in charity toward the neighbor are internallyassociated with the New Heaven, and are thereforemembers of the New Jerusalem, whatever may betheir external or earthly church relations. And be-lieving that Dr. Sears could perform a greater use bycontinuing in his denomination, I advised him tomake no change in his ecclesiastical relations, but toremain where he was so long as he was permitted todo so, and his services proved acceptable to his peo-ple. He did remain, and subsequently changed hisview of the nature and whereabout of the New Church,as appears from the following extract from one of hislater letters : — " I wish I could see you and have a long palaverwith you, such as we may hope to have when we getinto the other world and breathe the clearer and morebracing ethers. You know used to quarrel with I *you about the visible church. I believe I under-stand you now, and fully agree with you on that sub-ject."
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 11/ BECOMES SENIOR EDITOR OF A RELIGIOUS MONTHL Y. For several years Dr. Sears was one of the editorsof the Monthly Religious Magazine, published in Bos-ton,"an independent journal having no connection "with any denomination and during his editorial ;career he encountered some criticisms from the Uni- "tarian organs." In response to one in the ChristianRegister^ he did not hesitate to say, that when invitedto assist in conducting the Religious Monthly "heavowed explicitly to the proprietor that he was thor-oughly a New Churchman in theology, and as suchmust appear pages of the magazine." And in in thehis response to a criticism in The Christian Inquirer^he openly acknowledged his belief in the fundamen-tal doctrines of the New Church as unfolded andtaught in the writings of Swedenborg. Taking care,in this response, not to compromise the Junior Editor, "he tells his readers to bear in mind that * We meansthe Senior Editor, in the first person singular, whocompromises his associate in none of his confessionsof faith," and says, among other things : — " We believe in a New Church, the New Jerusalemdescending from God out of heaven, to gather intoitself all that is good in all the sects in Christendom,
    • Il8 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.and out of the present hubbub and chaos to form thecity of our God and that the New-Church system ;of interpretation evolves its three primal doctrinesvi^ith logical precision, and in heavenly clearness.These doctrines are the Divine Humanity in the LordJesus Christ ; the plenary inspiration of the Word ofGod, and a life of charity in conformity therewith;God as one Divine Person ever present with hisChurch as the glorified Christ ; his Word all-perfectas a rule of faith and practice, and a life of obedienceto its teachings of justice and love. " We believe that this Church of the Future, organ-izingaround these three primal truths, is becomingthe Church of the Present, and is to become so morerapidly evermore ; that over the clang of opinions, andthe waters of strife, it hovers like Noahs dove, andfinds here and there a resting place ; that its blessedinfusions descend into all the sects, Unitarian andTrinitarian ; and that in its coming power and efful-gence the good and the true everywhere will turntowards and be gathered into it, it like doves that flyto their windows." And in the same magazine a few years later (March1865), Dr. Sears said — : " Swedenborgs theological system has a unity of itsown, and an organic connection with Christianity,
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D.D. II9such as avouches itself the genuine development ofthe Christian system. His cosmology, his theologyand pneumatology are the Christian revelation hisbreaking into more full and rational light from theseals of the letter which had kept and preserved it." HIS THREE PRINCIPAL WORKS* The principal works of Dr. Sears and those bywhich he is best known to the reading public, are," " Regeneration," Foregleams and Foreshadows of **Immortality," and The Fourth Gospel, the Heart ofChrist." Neither of these works was written until he had studied and cordially accepted the New-afterChurch doctrines; and although Swedenborgs name ismentioned only five times throughout all these vol-umes, and no quotations are made from his writings,yet every chapter in these books is filled to the brimwith the principles and spirit of the New Christianity.They are thoroughly New-Church books ; and whilethey are read and admired by the best people in allthe denominations, no class holds them in higher * A volume of sermons since his removal to the spiritual published " Christ in theworld, entitled Life," and containing more than twentyof Dr. Sears poems, is one of the richest, most delightful and instruc-tive collections of sermons to be found our language. And al- inthough Swedenborg is not named in them, they are thoroughly NewChurch in spirit and in doctrine.
    • I20 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES,esteem than do the members of the organized or pro-fessed New Church. Few religious works pubhshedin our country have had so extensive a sale as these,or have given so great satisfaction and delight to in-telligent Christians of the various denominations ; andnone, it is believed, have received such unqualifiedpraise from the periodical press both secular and re-ligious. To give the reader some idea of the charac-ter of Dr. Sears works, we will quote a number ofpages from three or four of them —only adding thatevery chapter in the works quoted, is not at all inferiorin its spirit, teaching, or grace of diction, to thosewe have selected. The following is from his treatise "on Regeneration." THE HOL Y SPIRIT. " The spiritual nature implies two things : A spiritualworld which exists out of man, and a faculty in himto put him in connection with that world, and appre-hend its objects. It implies the adaptation of one tothe other. The physical nature includes the facultiesof sensation : but the faculties of sensation imply theirobjects —the world of sights and sounds and fra-grance; of skies, fields, and waters; a world whichputs the physical nature in connection with itself, andunfolds all the sensuous powers. Even so there is
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D.D. 121the same correlative fitness of the spiritual man to a term spiritual nature, asspiritual world, or else theapplied to human beings, would be a term without ameaning. " Let us now approach the subject of the Divinenature so far forth as to deduce the doctrine of Di-vine influence. There are two sources of evidencethat lieopen to us whereby this doctrine may comeclear and living to our minds. There is a sure andsafe analogy, and there are the vivid descriptions ofrevelation. "Man is created in the image of God, and so inman the Creator has abridged and copied out hisown attributes. Were it not so, we could have nocommunion with the Eternal Father, any more thanthe beasts of the field or the clods of the valley. Wecould not even form any conception of the Divinenature, for we could get no ideas answering to theterms which describe it, and God would be unrevealedin the human and finite images which set him forth.For instance, if there be a trinity in God, there wouldalso be a trinity in man, that likeness which a pencilof rays out of his own nature has made of itself andprojected into time. And just so far as it fails ofrealization in the likeness and the copy will the wordsthat describe it be words and nothing more. Andso of the Holy Spirit. In man must we find the
    • 122 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.analogy that sets forth its nature, else the termsthat describe it will be sounds that float idly uponthe air. " We human being from two points of describe theview, — man as he is, and man as he is manifested inhis doings ; — man in his own person, and man in thespirit that is breathed out of it ; in his intrinsic natureand in its daily and hourly outgoings ; in his essentialbeing, and in the functions it performs in the economyof life ; in the powers that lie within him, and in theinfluence that goes out of him, and creates the moralatmosphere, the insphering life that affects all thingsthat lie There are those whose persons we within it.have never looked upon, but whose influence abideswith us, transforming our characters, and permeatingall our trains of thought and feeling when least weare thinking about it. Indeed, man in his finite de-gree may be said to create a world out of himself. Heis furnished with the rough material, the primal chaos,so to say, which he acts upon and transfigures by hisown effusive energies. Nature and society furnishthe material which he works with plastic power, andhe leaves on them the prints of his genius, and imbuesthem with the colorings of his mind. According towhat he is, is the quality and amount of the virtuethat goes out of him, and he cannot cease to impart
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D.D. 1 23his peculiar life unless he sinks into the lethargy ofdeath. His hand, feeble though it be, holds the golden compasses of the poet, by which he marks off a portion of the chaos that lies about him and ;this circumference is filled, and to some extent ischanged, by that life that never ceases to go out ofhim. Some modern philosophers would have us be-lieve that its manifestations are more subtile thanordinary senses have ever detected, and that all thingsabout him, when least he is conscious of it, areimbued and imprinted with his genius. " Indeed, this same distinction holds of all createdthings, —things as they exist in their own form andessence, and as they impart their virtue and performtheir use in the grand economy, from the modestflower that rises by the way-side and exhales its sweetness on the ambient air, to the sun out of whose orb comes the never-ceasing waves of glory that break on the outermost limits of the universe. Not a tree itor a leaf — no, not a clod nor a stone—out of which virtue of some kind is not always going. Not a substance which has not its attractive or repellant forces, and which does not impart either health or poison. Could we see into the life of things, we should know how they act and react upon each other in such wise as to elude our clumsy analysis, and that
    • 124 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.that grandest conception of the imagination hadhardly outrun the sober truth of philosophy : — " Theres not the smallest orb that thou beholdst But in its motion like an angel sings, Still choiring to the young eyed cherubims; But while this muddy vesture of decay Doth grossly close us in, we cannot hear it. " Ascend we now to the august conception of theHoly God. The Divine Being exists in one Spirit of and glorious person, but out of that personinfinitecomes the life that pervades the universe, and con-stitutes the latent principle out of which all otherforms of life do blossom forth. It is the affluent en-ergy that creates all souls in its own image, and whichby never-ceasing effusions would make them beautifyand grow toward its own perfections. Falling intomute and insensate natures, they are only mouldedinto the passive and unconscious images of the Di-vine wisdom, beneficence, and beauty. But fallinginto the natures of free and rational agents, and freelyand rationally received, it produces love, wisdom, holi-ness, making man the active and conscious likenessof the supremely Good and Fair. Hence man returnsthe love he receives, and hence his communion withGod. Free and spiritual beings may receive thisinfluence in more full or more feeble measures, and soamong them are all gradations of spiritual life. The
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 12$sensual and the sinful grieve and quench the spirit.But it is received in more measures among beatificthe inner ranks of saint and angel, and yet more bythose inmost ranks that do always behold the face ofthe Father : — * * The circles in the circles that approach The central sun with ever narrowing orbit. " Conceiving the true doctrine of Divine influence toto be of primary importance, we must ask the readernow to put this conception of the Holy Spirit in con-trast with some other views, that it may stand outwith due prominence. We put it in contrast with theidea that the Divinity is an impersonal spirit that per-vades humanity, or a blind unconscious force thatrollsthrough nature. The idea of God is not to beconfounded with that of the spirit which he shedsabroad. We know of no spiritual influence which isnot the outbreathing life of a living person. Weknow of no spiritual power which is not the attributeof a conscious being. Out of man and above man,out of nature and above nature, is the Divine Person,around whom centre all the splendors of the Godhead,but from whom is that effluence of light and lovewhich pervades the whole circuit of being, and makesevery atom glow with his omnipresence. Do not I *FILL heaven and earth ? saith the Lord.
    • 126 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. " Again, we put it in contrast with the separatepersonality of the Holy Spirit, as we have not a (doubtthat this latter doctrine is the source of much that isanomalous in the prevailing mode of spiritual nurture.For if the Holy Spirit is a person that comes andgoes between man and God, his advent will be hailedby tumults of rapture, his departure and absence willbe bewailed as the era of desolation and mourning, hisreturn will be sought by mystic rites and agonizing con-jurations ; the wildering fancy will see the signs of hisreturn in its own wandering lights and irregularframes; the favored families which he visits will be pointed out, and the families which have been passedover will seem abandoned to perdition. The churcheswill increase rather by periodic agglomerations than byhomogeneous and perennial growth. There will be thealternation of chills and fevers, not the consciousnessof Gods abiding spirit, always given, always immanent,and whose life is ever to be unfolded in the crowningvirtues and graces of the Christian character." ITS GENERAL AND SPECIAL INFLUENCE. " Man lives in two worlds at the same time, oneof matter and one of spirit. Not more surely do theexternal senses open outward and downward, and puthim in communication with material things, than a
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D.D. 1 27finer sense opens inward and upward, through whichcome the idea of God and tidings of immortality. Notmore surely do his sensuous faculties bring into hisear the sound of waters, and over his brow the breathof breezes, than his spiritual faculties admit to his soulthe aura of heaven and the still and awful beatingsfrom the heart of God. What nation or race of mencan be found, asks a heathen writer whose pages aremore alive with spiritual ideas than much of ourChristian literature, — what nation or race of mencan be found, which have not without any teachingsome preconceptions of Deity, some idea of the sub-ject by which the mind is preoccupied, and withoutwhich there could be no questions and reasoningsabout it ? There must be divinities, for we havethoughts of them which are inseminated and inborn.*So he will have it that the primal truths are not thediscoveries of mans painful logic, but they rollin upon him from the all-informing Intelligence, andto perceive them he has but to listen and to pause.At any rate, we are shut in to one of two alternatives.We must assume that all the disinterested virtues, allgodlike sentiment, and the ideas of God and immor-tality and the divine law, which are found outside ofChristendom, are what man has evolved out of his own * Cicero, De Natura Deonim, 1 : 16, 17.
    • 128 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.reason, independent of divine aid, and so he can bewise and good of himself, or else we assume that Godis never without a witness in the hearts of all hisrational creatures, and that the Eternal Word is thetrue light that enlighteneth every man that comethinto the world. We take the latter alternative, incompany, as we think, with" the Evangelist and theApostle, and we say, as Erasmus did after readingCicero on duty and immortality, I am so affected thatI cannot doubt that the breast whence such things pro-ceeded was in some way occupied by the Divinity. "But while the New Testament writers assert thisimmanence of Gods spirit in man, they use the wordsHoly Spirit in a more restricted sense, and as describ-ing a special influence. The Saviour, on the eve ofwithdrawing his personal presence from his disciples,gave promise that he would send the Comforter, thespirit of truth, to guide them into all truth and bringall his teachings to their remembrance. Up to thehour of his ascension, they were ignorant of the natureof his kingdom, and the truths of Christianity laydead memories. But after ten days had passed in theiraway, and while they were assembled at Jerusalem inexpectation of some new tokens from on high, thepromised influence came. Gods spirit swept throughtheir souls like rushing breezes ; the truths that liedead in their memories are blown into flame, their
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 1 29powers of utterance are unloosed, and such is the newlight within that it seems to play around their personslike lambent fire.* This was the commencement of anew dispensation of the spirit, which ever since hasbeen enjoyed by the Christian Church just so far asshe has observed the condition of its reception. Yes,itwas the great purpose of Christ in coming into theworld to prepare the way for this new advent of theDivinity in the human soul. It was to remove allobstacles in the way of Gods access to humanity, thatHe, who is always coming, might be always received. " Now it is important to observe, that this new Di-vine influence differs in degree, though not in kind,from the universal action of God in man before de-scribed. Ever and everywhere the hindrance to thisaction is the sin and the ignorance of man, the darkand baleful cloud formed from exhalations out of hisown heart, and hanging between him and the Divineglory. But for this, God would inundate our soulsevery hour with the warmth and the splendors ofnoon. Precisely here was the consummation of themission of Christ. He came first with a dispensationof truth, and the dispensation of the spirit was thenecessary consummation. He penetrated the dark-ness that brooded over the mind, and God shone * Compare John xx : 26 with Acts ii.
    • I30 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.without hindrance into it. And so the Church in theday of its purity appeared in an age of darkness, hkeone of those refulgent spots which lie upon the land-scape under a riven cloud, and which on either sideare flanked by the shadows flung from its wings. "All those passages of Scripture which describe theoperations of the Divine Spirit, whether as a generaldispensation to human nature, or a special dispensationto the Christian Church, are in strict harmony withthe deductions of analogy. True, there are passagesin which it is personified, but it is personified in justthe same way as is every attribute of God, his Word —and his Wisdom, his Mercy and Truth, his Righteous-ness and Peace.* In its operation, it is always repre-sented as the effluent life of God. Take its current phraseology, being filled with the Holy Ghost,* baptized with the Holy Spirit,* and try to annex theidea of a person, and the understanding is overwhelmedwith confusion. Take the whole Pentecostal scene,where the spirit descended into the minds of theApostles, and appeared around them like the play ofnimble lightnings, conceive of and your it as a person,conception becomes perplexing and monstrous. Butthink of it as an influence from the one Infinite Per-son which imbathed their souls with its tidal fragrance * Ps. Ixxxv : lO.
    • TESTIMONY OF RE V. E, H. SEARS, D. D. 1 3 1and light, and all is clear and rational, and in closeaccordance with the facts of Scripture and analogy. "The new dispensation of the Holy Ghost, intro-duced through the mediation of Jesus Christ, is atopic to which we shall return when treating of themeans of regeneration. What we now observe is,that it is the same Holy Spirit, the effluent life of God,of which all nations and ages have had some percep-tion and experience. But by the mediation of Christ,it was made more operative in human redemption.Both the general influence and its special adaptationsto the human condition imply a nature in man recep-tive of the gift." SOME PRESS NOTICES OF REGENERATION: « A fresh, vivid presentation of an important theme all the more —valuable as the utterance of one who has thought deeply and felt pro-foundly about it. The reader will find in these pages no dry discussionof a hackneyed subject, but familiar truth presented with beauty of dic-tion in a singularly felicitous and impressive manner, and possessing afascination which will win his attention from the beginning of the book •to its close. . . . The three volumes (* Regeneration, Fore-gleams, and The Heart of Christ ) together are a valuable contribu-tion to religiousand theological literature, and one which any manmight be proud to have made. As now published, they would formmost acceptable additions to the library of any Sunday- School, parish,or clergyman." — Boston Evening Transcript. * Mr. Sears volume on * Regeneration is one of the profoundestand most exhaustive treatises on that subject extant. The way inwhich he unfolds the laws of our inner life in the orderly process of
    • 132 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.spiritual development, will be a revelation to most of those who readit for the first time." — Arthurs Home Magazine. ** A full of the deepest and most nourishing spiritual truths work —truths never more needed than they are at the present day and hour.Among devotional works it stands in the front rank and alike in the ;sweetness of its spirit and the beauty of its language, it commendsitself to every sincere Christian. .It is a good book to have by . .one. Its frequent perusal and study can hardly fail to enrich thespiritual life and lead to a firmer faith and a larger charity." The —Christian Register. " We wish every one of our readers to purchase and read this book.If they are not satisfied that their money is well spent, and their timewell devoted, and their hearts made better, and their minds enlight-ened, then we will not recommend another book for the perusal ofthe public." — Christian Inquirer. ** Never, we venture to say, has the subject of regeneration beentreated in a manner at once so profound, philosophic, exhaustive,logical, and Scriptural, as in this charming volume," —New ChurchMagazine. THE DIVINE HUMANITY. " which the Divine What, then, are the conditionsSacrifice requires of us ? Faith, — faith in God, notas a mere abstraction, not as a sovereign who onlythreatens you with the punishment of hell, but as aBeing whose love you wound, and whose mercy yougrieve, with every act of disobedience. Never does aman see his sins in their true character till he seesthem so opposed to the Divine Nature that in everyone of them his Lord is crucified anew. Never willthe wrong done to his brother appear to him in its
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D.D. 1 33true light till he looks up, and sees a Divine Suffererwho says to him, Because you have done it untohim, you have done it unto me. Never is repentanceanything but a and fear of punishment, selfish frightnever is reformation anything but an outward con-formity, till we look up, and see through our tearsthe Lamb in the midst of the throne. Never is theDivine Mercy anything to us but a cold proclamationof pardon, till we receive itas a Mercy which ^hasbled under wounds that , we have inflicted. But,when it is thus received, we enter into the heart ofit and the sense of forgiveness is indescribably pro- ;found and tender and we enter into the Divine ;meaning, Behold the Lamb of God that takethaway the sins of the world. " And only then do we enter into such communionwith God, and become so far forth partakers of Hisnature, that our faith in Him gives us the heart offlesh, and the morality and charity that are filled withthe throbbings of His love. Paul worshipped God asa Sovereign, after the straitest and most rigid ofrituals and he was very much like the God he wor- ;shipped, hard and unrelenting. But he met, one day,one who appeared out of the bending heavens, andtold him, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest : Iam the one you are slaying. And the flint allmelted out of him ; and he became full of the spirit
    • 134 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.of the Lamb of God, and tender-hearted as a child.So only God takes your sins away. His promisesmay bribe you His punishments may keep into virtue,you from sinning with your hands but only through ;the Lamb of God He will take away your sins, meltthem clean out of you, and make your souls beatwith the throbbings of His own Divine Humanity." —Christ in the Life, -p^. 168-170. ^FOREGLEAMS AND FORESHADOWS OF IMMOR- TALITY: The author tells us in his introduction to the" " Foregleams," that this work was written at the re-quest of the Executive Committee of the AmericanUnitarian Association, but in the wholeness of free- "dom which they have allowed ; and he * commendsthe argument to the attention of the candid of allparties in the Church, who would see the light of theheavens turned more brightly and warmly into thesunless valleys of the earth, where thousands watchfor the morning." It is not easy to make a selection from a work ofmore than forty chapters on an interesting and sub-lime theme, where all is so beautiful, rational, andScriptural. So we take at a venture —partly on accountof its — brevity the chapter which might not inappro-
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D.D. 1 35 "priately be called The nature of Heaven and of Hell,"but to which the author has given as a caption thefamiliar and appropriate title of— ^HOMEr " Heaven and hell are the opposite conditions ofhumanity. In the former, God is supreme ; in thelatter, self In this natural sphere they are mingledand and they could not be separated without interfused,destroying the framework of society. This conditionof things must needs be, in a preliminary and pro-bationary state, based on external relations and ma-terial interests and pursuits. We have seen that thenecessary result of the resurrection will be to bringon the crisis, or the judgment-time, and that the neces-sary result of the judgment will be to resolve humanityinto its elements, and separate the wheat and the tareswhen the reapers come to the harvest. "But what is heaven, and what is hell? It isnot so difficult to answer these questions, when oncepossessed of the truth that their elements are boundup and waiting within us. We shall dwell now, how-ever, more exclusively upon the former, because it isa more welcome theme, and because if we know whatheaven is, we shall know also its opposite, withoutattempting to evoke its awful imagery.
    • 136 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. " We know of no subject so practical as this. Thewhole business of the present life, with all its disci-pline of labor, sorrow and joy, is to prepare and ripenus for heaven ; and if it shall not do this, life will bea miserable But how shall we prepare for it, failure.unless we know what we are to prepare for ? Howcan we travel unless we know the point of the com-pass toward which we are steering ? " Let it not be said that we have not data, and verydistinct ones, too, from which to reason. If heavenand hell are not places to be entered by locomotion,but states of being to be evolved out of man, thenthey are already in man, and so our souls are pro-phetic, and through them we have an opening into thewonders of immortality. You will always find thatones notions of heaven correspond to his own spiritualstate. They are his idea of the supreme good. Ex-amine that, and it will show you precisely your spir-itual position, —just as the traveller knows his latitudeby looking at the north star and noting its distanceabove the horizon. What would you have, if yourmost ardent desires were gratified, and your loftiestideals were actualized? Suppose you stood at thefabled wishing-gate, what is the petition you wouldsend up ? What are the suspirations that go up fromthe profound within you ? What sort of a worldwould you make for yourself, if you could have every-
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 1 37thing your own way, and embody around you yourown best imaginations ? Answer these questions hon^estly,and your idea of heaven is defined to you, andyou will see whether it be carnal and selfish, or spiritualand pure. " Hence it is important that our idea of heaven shallcorrespond to the reality. It is our idea of the su-premely good and fair, always shedding its lustrousbeauty on our toilsome road, to cheer and gladden usalong the climbing way. " Dismiss from your thought at the beginning theidea that all the departed saints are to be gathered intoone assemblage for unceasing worship, and that youare to be merged in that vast multitude. Rememberthat all the past generations outnumber the thousandmillions that are now upon the earth. What wouldyou be in such a great mob of saints, hoarse with hal-lelujahs ? Descend into your heart, and you will findthere a deep and unquenchable instinct, — one whichbelongs to the spiritual nature, —which death, there-fore, cannot quench, but which it rather sets free for amore unreserved enjoyment of its objects. It is theinstinct of home. It is this which determines humanloves and sympathies around special points and cen-tres, and forbids ever the notion of a formless multi-tude. It is this which will determine every soul to itsspecial place by quick and unerring affinities, just as
    • 138 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.the matter of the vast and shapeless nebulae deter-mined around innumerable points of twinkling flame,till the whole became thickly studded with stars. " There is one grand motive, love and obedience tothe Lord, which rules in all regenerated hearts ; but ithas a thousand modes and forms of manifestation, ac-cording to each ones mental and moral structure,special tastes, habitudes, and affections. It is so here ;it will be so always. The instinct of home is simplythe drawing together of souls most alike and congen-erous around their own special centre, that there theruling love may have the fullest gratification and nour-ishment, and from that centre radiate in most delight-ful exercise for the good of others. Two or moreminds toned alike, and acting as one, from a commoncentre and for a common end, make up the idea ofhome. It is so now, it will be so always. Let theinstinct of home be destroyed, and man would beutterly demoralized, or hopelessly insane. His lifebecomes aimless, and he wanders in spiritual vaga-bondism, he knows not whither or for what. Theanimals have not this instinct except, so far as theyreflect it from man, and are drawn by him within itsinfluence. by eminent endowment and pre- It is hisrogative. Hence the peculiar and utter loathsomenessof those crimes which are committed aerainst it. —which either disturb the unity of home or soil its
    • TESTIMONY OF RE V. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 1 39purity ; for the lusts that tend to this destroy the veryimage of humanity, and break it in pieces under thehoofs of the most swinish pollution. ^ Our home is always where our affections are. Wesigh and wander, we vibrate to and fro, till we rest inthat special centre where our deepest loves are garn-ered up. Then the heart fills and brims over with itsown happiness, and spreads sweetness and fertility allaround it. Very often when the eyes are closing indeath, and this world is shutting off the light fromthe departing soul, the last wish which is made audible "is to go home." The words break out sometimesthrough the cloud of delirium ; but it is the soulsdeepest and most central want, groping after its object,haply soon to find it as the clogs of earth clear away,and she springs up on the line of swift affection, as thebee with unerring precision shoots through the duskof evening to her cell. " How admirable are the arrangements of Provi-dence by which he gradually removes the home-centrefrom this world to the other, and so draws our affec-tions towards the heavenly abodes We start in life !an unbroken company brothers and sisters, friends ;and lovers, neighbors and comrades, are with us;there is circle within circle, and each one of us is atthe charmed centre where the hearts affections areaglow, and whence they radiate outward upon society.
    • I40 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.Youth is exuberant with joy and hope, the earth looksfair, for it sparkles with May-dews wet, and no shadowhath fallen upon it. We are all here, and we couldlive here forever. The home-centre is on the hither and why should we strain our eyesside of the river,to look beyond But this state of things does not ?continue long. Our circle grows less and less. It isbroken and broken, and then closed up again but ;every break and close make it narrower and smaller.Perhaps before the sun is at his meridian the majorityare on the other side, the circle there is as large asthe one here, and we are drawn contrariwise andvibrate between the two. A little longer, and we havealmost all crossed over ; the balance settles down onthe spiritual side, and the home-centre is removed tothe upper sphere. At length you see nothing but anaged pilgrim standing alone on the rivers brink, andlooking earnestly towards the country on the otherside. In the morning, that large and goodly companyrejoicing together with music and wine; in the even-ing, dwindled down to that solitary old man, the lastof his family and the last of his generation, waitingto go home, and filled with pensive memories of theLong Ago ! " A question which the bereaved heart has some-times revolved painfully, receives now a full and satis-factory solution : Shall we know our friends after
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 14Ideath ? How do we know them here ? We knowthem since their peculiar qualities of mind and affec-tion are imaged in the features, and expressed andtoned in the living form, made effusive of the soul with-in. But all more completely true of the spir- this isitual man, since the spiritual body is more quickly andperfectly the exponent of the soul, and the very ^^^yof its affection ; and hence it will result that we shallknow those we have loved even better than we knewthem here. For there when thought meets thought,and heart opens to heart, it will be the fond gaze ofthe old, familiar faces ; —faces that have not changedexcept to be made more familiar, since more than everthey are the living transparencies through which welook into the well-springs of hearts that have beat inunison with our own. The doctrine of friendly recog-nition once formally stated in the New Testament,* isand always implied. I needed no other statementthan the doctrine of the resurrection, from which itcomes as a necessary corollary, while it chimes inwith the prophetic yearnings of human hearts. Theresurrection body is not manufactured and put onafterwards, but it is the hearts most cherished lovegrowing into its most perfect form and likeness, put-ting on robes bright with the colors of the spirit and * I Thessalonians iv: 13, 14.
    • 142 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.wavy with its tremblements, and looking uncloudedfrom its own features and aspect. Recognizing ourfriends We hardly do as much now for if we jour- ! ;ney too far from each other, we find when we meetagain that time has been so busy with our clay tene-ment, and has so beaten and battered it, that we looklong, and must trace the old signs and lineaments asOld Mortality traced the inscriptions on the tombs.Death does not obliterate the handwriting, but re-moves the moss and the rubbish that had gatheredover it, and the resurrection brings it out more boldlythan alto-reliefs. Death removes the mask of timeand age, that the undecaying affections may take onthe face and features that belong to them in the fresh-ness of their immortal prime. Yea, further, it results,if we choose to follow out the deduction, that we shallnot only recognize the friends we have seen and loved,but friends we never saw before, though they havelong been near us congenerous with each ; for soulsother will meet as they had been kith and kin from if —the beginning, just as here there are minds which ontheir first meeting seem each the complement of theother, and they will almost have it that they kneweach other in some pre-existent world. " Our present topic is exceedingly suggestive onthe whole subject of the future retribution. Thehome-instinct constitutes the essential law that ar-
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H, SEARS, D. D. 1 43ranges the societies of heaven and hell. It is the* * Come, ye blessed/ and Depart, ye cursed, not im-posed as an arbitrary sentence from within. The soulwhich is foul, and whose life is perverted, is excludedfrom heaven, because there it would be the mostwretched. It has no home-centre there, and the clashof lifeopposed to life would be sharp and dreadful.It goes where its most cherished and ruling affectionshall find its sphere and exercise, because there it willsuffer the least of anywhere in the universe, and thereit finds all which in the nature of things it can enjoy ;^though, alas ! how baleful is the glow of unclean lusts,and how dense the smoke of false illusions that everrise out of them ! The home-instinct is the law thatdots the circles from highest to lowest, and concentresaround them all spirits in their class and order ; andthey shine forth star-like up the terraces of the heav-enly mountain, or they gleam out point beyond pointalong the vales of Gehenna, and constitute the down- "ward range of its lurid fires ! A FEW PRESS NOTICES OF THIS WORK. "TheForegleams of Immortality will stand as a lovely classicin sacred literature, and a beautiful inspiration of pure devotionalfeeling. . . The best test of merit of a book is when we feel we .have been made better by reading it ; and while the one now beforeus widens the field of intellectual vision, and makes solid and sub-stantial the bridge from time to eternity, it quickens the conscience in
    • 144 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.its sense of duty, and softens the heart with a tender and more celes-tial love." — Christian Inquirer. " Dr. Sears has done a valuable service to reflecting minds in thepreparation of this volume. . Nowhere is the argument for im- . .mortality more clearly set forth ; nowhere are the Scripture facts,which testify to and marshalled in closer array, or arranged affirm it,with more logical consistency. The clear and beautiful style of theauthor adds new power to the lesson he has sought to teach, and givesadded brightness to the page on which it is written." — Boston EveningTranscript. " The other productions of Mr. Sears have been marked by theloftiest moral beauty, in the purest and most elegant diction ; butthis is his chef-d ceuvre in many respects. . . know no re- . Weligious work of the age adapted make a deeper, more practical, and tomore gladdening impression on thoughtful and lofty minds." Christian —Register. " Few books have pleased me so much as Foregleams of Immor- *tality. It is full of beauty and truth. The writer is wise from Swe-denborg, and has his own gifts besides. I can scarcely conceive ofhis writings not impressing many, and deeply. I have lent the bookand recommended it in England, where the husks of the Old Theologyinterfere much with development and growth. Certainly it is a mostbeautiful and pungent book." — Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, ina letter to an American friend. " There is much in the details of the volume which is instructive,and especially as regards the reality and some of the features of theintermediate state. . . . The concluding part of the book is entirelynew, being on the Symphony of Religions, and sets forth the im-perfect but yet valuable testimony of the various heathen religions tothe grand truth of Immortality." — Chicago Advance. * A very interesting volume. — The author has herein discussedthe pregnant theme of Immortality with signal ability, clothing histhoughts in language so chaste and elegant, and illustrating his ideasby such a profusion of appropriate imagery, that the book has all thefascination of a beautiful poem. Yet its principal charm to a thought-ful mind is the abundant and beautiful truth it embodies and sets im-pressively before us upon a most important and interesting subject.
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 1 45Although the author makes no mention of the New Church, and refersdirectly to Swedenborg only twice in the whole volume, it is plain thathe is quite familiar with his writings. Indeed, the truths of the New —Church stand out prominently on almost every page as is the case inthe beautiful work on Regeneration, from the pen of the same author."— The Swedenborgian^ in an extended and appreciative review offifteen pages. THE FOURTH GOSPEL, THE HEART OF CHRISTY This is a work of 551 pages —the last, and consid-ered by many as the ablest of all Dr. Sears works.The name of Swedenborg appears only three times inthe whole volume ; but the great central doctrine ofthe New Church as expounded in his writings (thatis, the new doctrine of the Divine Humanity, and inci-dentally the doctrine of the Sacred Scriptures and thedoctrine of Life), is here unfolded in a degree of full-ness, and its truth confirmed by a force of argument,unequalled in any other work that we have ever seen.And the authors rhetoric is no less charming in this,nor his diction a whit less graceful than in his otherworks. A few pages will suffice to show his idea ofthe symbolic character of the sacred Scripture, and ofthe proper object of religious worship. SYMBOLIC CHARACTER OF SCRIPTURE. " To estimate aright the scope and temper of theApocalypse we must have some adequate conceptionof the state of seership from which it professes to 10
    • 146 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.have been produced. Professor Davidson, who writeslearnedly about this book, has no other notion of thatstate of mind than the natural faculties excited tounwonted and ecstasy. That the visions and fervor their coloring were given is an assumption, he says, ^* which deprives the author of consciousness, and iscontrary to the analogy of prophecy/ It no moredeprives the author of his consciousness, than thescenery of nature given every day to our naturalvision, deprives us of our consciousness; and it is notonly in analogy with prophecy, but it is prophecyitself in the exercise of its highest function. Theseer has opened within him a more interior con-sciousness, to which the scenery of a higher worldis unrolled. That scenery he can describe, and itschanges he can note and chronicle, while his con-sciousness may be as vivid and more so than thatof the astronomer when looking at the stars. Hesees events in their causes ; in those spiritual statesand conditions that lie behind and within all materialphenomena, and out of which material phenomenaare evolved. Those states and conditions he seesrepresented by appropriate symbols. Those symbolsmay be given entire, or they may be in his ownmemory, the treasures of his own imagination ; asin the case of John, whose mind was aglow with theimagery of the Saviours discourses fondly preserved
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E, II. SEARS, D. D. 1 47and dwelt upon. In either case they are no longerhis own, after they have passed into scenery whichsymbolizes the spiritual truths and realities of whichall earthly realities are only the outcome and ultima-tion. " To illustrate : The seer beholds in vision the sunin sackcloth and the moon turned into blood. Does an eclipse of the sun andthis foretell moon in thenatural world ? Nothing of the kind. It representsthe divine light and love extinguished in human souls,and the woes and calamities that are sure to follow. Hesees a conqueror, whose name is Faithful and True,riding upon a white horse with a sharp sword issuingfrom his mouth. Does this mean that we are to lookin the natural world for a man on horseback with thesame appearance and name ? Nothing of the kind.It represents plainly Divine Truth in its triumphalpower. He sees a city lying waste, and the temple init about to be thrown down. Does this mean thatsome city answering to it in appearance is to be de-stroyed? Nothing of the kind. It means that asystem of religion is to be overthrown whose worshiphas become false, and whose unitizing life has gone.In short, the psychological condition of the seer issuch that he sees spiritual things represented byNATURAL THINGS. We shall turn his vision into de-
    • 148 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.lirious nonsense when we interpret him as represent-ing natural things by natural things. " And yet this is precisely what a long series of in-terpreters, ending with Professor Davidson, have beentrying to do. Swedenborg is the only interpreter wehave ever met with who does not flounder in thisinterminable slough. He keeps consistently on thespiritual plane, and though we do not pretend to un-derstand his entire exegesis, we believe his method isthe only rational one for interpreting a purely sym-bolical book, and that in the work under considera-tion, it unfolds some of the profoundest truths thatever searched the nature of man." BAB YL ON- AND THE NEW JER USALEM. " The Jews had crucified the Lord spiritually beforethey nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross. Withintheir gorgeous ceremonials the Divine Life was ex- and charity and humanity had ceased to pulsatetinct,through them. Pagan Rome was sitting on her sevenhillsdrunk with the blood of martyrs, and a paganizedChristianity was to succeed her with like power overthe souls and bodies of men. It is important toobserve, however, that not persons nor places, notJerusalem and its pharisees, nor Rome with its em-
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 1 49perors,nor the Roman Church with its papal tyrannies,are to be looked for exclusively in the Apocalypse.Not persons, but states of mind and depravities ofheart infesting our human nature universally, are de-scribed in the symbolization of the seer ; depravitiesof which all the Neros and Napoleons are the visibleincarnation, and all ecclesiasticisms, used to serve theends of human ambition and pride, are the body andform. " Faith severed from life, dogma hard and frozen,with no pulse of charity in it, worship whose formstands forth as a gorgeous shell emptied alike of theknowledge of God and the love of man, these are —the same in quality, whether we call them by Jewishor Christian names, and the hatreds and strifes whichthey engender in the name of religion, are the plaguesthat upon men out of these comes the pale horse, fall ;and the name of him that sits thereon is Death, andliell follows with him, and power is given him overthe earth to kill with sword and with hunger and withdeath and with the beasts of the earth. " Babylon is Rome ; —human pride and ambitionusurping the seat of God, and blasphemously sendingforth anathemas in his name. But every churchwhich has done the same is also Rome, and is apos-tate. The fires of Smithfield are not more lurid thanthe fires of Geneva ; and the plagues that fall on the
    • I50 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.bodies of men are not worse than those which blightthe soul. Not anything in the natural world, whetherof men or cities, appears in the vision of the seer.But the infernal depravities, born of our uncleansedhuman selfhood, latent alike, reader, in your natureand in mine, subsidizing even the religious sentimentto the service of its own lust, aggrandizement andglory, and pouring out the seven plagues on theearth and on the sea, are the Apocalypse of woe irre-spective of person and time ; and if we read it, more it than towilling to be searched beneath judge othersby it, no book that ever was written would open intomore startling sunlight the pages of oar book of life. "There is no priesthood, Roman or Protestant, whichdoes not need betimes the exploration of its trumpetvoices, show them whether they are using the toforms of Christianity for their own power and glory,or only to bless and save mankind. There is nochurch, Roman or Protestant, which does not needto have its ruling motive and that of all its membersrevealed to its consciousness ; and if religion is some-thing apart from life, if faith is divorced from works,held and professed only for a mans personal salvation,and not made warm and radiant with all the charitiesand humanities, they should find themselves revealedin this book quite as much as the dynasties that havepassed away. Not material weapons, not flesh and
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D D. 151blood, but evils and delusions of the heart and mind,hinder the descent of the New Jerusalem. " And the New Jerusalem isneither a lo here, nor !a lo ! there. It is not an ecclesiasticism, but a form offaith, of doctrine, and of worship, so warm with thelove of the Lord that He abides in the soul, the riverof its peace, the fountain of its charities, the inspira- its tender humanities, after all the old Juda-tion ofism and Romanism have been adjudged and castaway. It is Christianity unitizing God, man, andnature making our cleansed and renovated human- ;ity the tabernacle of God with men, and thenceturning the earth into Eden, and making it the refleximage of the skies. It descends into all minds, andthence into all the ecclesiasticisms, as we renounceour Judaism and our heathenism for the spirit of uni-versal brotherhood,and then the nations of themthat are saved do walk in the light of it, and the kingsof the earth do bring their honor and glory into it. " The worship and ritual of heaven, and thence ofthe New Jerusalem descending out of it, in contrastwith the worship whose interior truths have beenfalsified or lost, is set forth in one of those chapterswhich open into the serene vistas of the higherworld. The heart becomes tender and warm in thelight which comes down through it from the cen-tral glory. God and the Lamb is the twofold *
    • 152 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.designation of the object of the Christians supremeworship and love. This does not imply any dividedhomage, but the Lamb is a predicate of the onedivine Being, and sets forth his relations to the creat-ures He has made. Its essential meaning is sacri^ and coupled with the Divine name it signifies thatfice,God himself is one great sacrifice for man. Not alone on Calvary He gives himself away forin the sacrificethe expiation and forgiveness of sin. Beyond itssolemn heights and away through the door openedinto heaven, He appears as the essential sacrifice givenhourly for the redemption of the world. Ever goingout of himself, and coming down to our lowly condi-tion, underlying all our weaknesses, and helping us bearup our weary burdens, present in all our sufTeringsand suffering with us, sinking himself out of sightbeneath our mortal infirmities, clothing himself withthem, as it were, that He may help us the more ; re-jected, inj ured, wounded, grieved away by our hardnessof heart and blindness of mind, his very life killedout of us when striving most to enter and save us, —such is the eternal sacrifice of God ; and so when welook up to the throne with eyes made wet with re-pentance, we see not the thunder-clouds of wrath buta lamb as it had been slain. " white and Truth, as seen by the pure intellect, issilvery; but truth transfused and made chromatic
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 1 53with the divine love is golden; and when it rulesright royally over the conscience and the life, itcrowns us, and we wear it as our diadem of praise.But how prone we are to wear it as our personaladornment; as something which we have wroughtout and perfected, and so make it our crown of pride,to draw with it the admiration and applause of thecrowd ! Hence our priestly ambitions and all the allselfish motives by which the rights of worship havebeen made aglow with strange fire. Hence the con-troversies that have been waged only for personalvictory. Hence our pulpit eloquence is so prevail-ingly an exhibition of self-love or the love of popularapplause, and hence our churches are gathered ad-miringly around the preacher who expands so largelywith the breath of praise, that the Lord Jesus Christis not seen at all, but is kept behind him out ofsight. But when we get gleams of the ritual ofheaven, the elders who wear crowns of gold castthem down at the feet of Him that sitteth on thethrone, saying: Thou, O Lord, art worthy. Thewhole scene, both and the sym- in the descriptionbolic meaning, impressive and grand beyond all ishuman conception and we never read it without ;being ashamed of the strut and vanity of our ecclesi-astical pomps so faintly chromatic with the divine love,nor without an aspiration that the crowns we wear, of
    • 154 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.SO lurid and fiery a lustre, may be exchanged betimesfor the crowns of gold, fit to be cast down in thatbeautiful ceremonial which ascribes blessing andhonor and glory and power unto Him that sitteth on "the throne and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. INCARNA TION OF THE DIVINE. " Supposing it possible, however, for a being to beborn into our earthly degree of existence with a finitematernal humanity on one side and the Divine Spiriton the other, with no finite fatherhood between, then conceivable that as the maternal humanity wanedit isand the paternal dawned and brightened through theconsciousness, it would image forth to us the Divineperfections on a loftier plane of existence than manand nature had ever done. Such a person would notspeak and teach and act merely from a finite and fal-lible intelligence, but as the inmost Divine waxed andthe outward and waned, he would speak and teach finiteand act from the Divine reason itself Such wouldnot be a case of mere prophetic inspiration, which istemporary and vanishing, but of Divine incarnation,in which the voice of the Divine Reason is the nor-mal dictate of the soul. " would not be right to say that such a being is ItGod, you mean that God is limited to any outward if
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 1 55symbolization ; but it would be true that the finitematernal humanity, waning and disappearing, Godwould be revealed to us in a higher degree of life,and in more perfect and unclouded glory than inani-mate nature or sinful men could ever reveal Him.And though what is called *the hypostatic union isbeyond our comprehension and analysis, so also isany union of the Infinite with finite natures. In manGod one degree nearer to us than in the animal, but isin a Divine Humanity he would be nearer still, andwith a personality more openly brought to view. Ina person divinely human would be nothing un- therenatural, but something more than natural there would ;be nature transfigured and exalted. There would benothing inhuman, but something more than human ;humanity made divine, and therefore the most clearand spotless mirror through which the divine attri-butes shine forth upon the world. " We can conceive that there might be a necessityin the course of human advancement for such a reve-lation of the Divine Perfections that sinful men, ;however developed, are no adequate representativesof God that there was an appropriate time for some ;knowledge of Him above the light of nature, abovedepraved human instincts, above legal codes andverbal declarations; that these instincts themselvesmight have been yearning forward in expectation of a
    • IS6 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.nearer divine epiphany, as when men watch the red-dening streaks of twilight ; until God should appearas a new sunrise, to light up the dark annals of theearth with diviner glow. " We are assuming nothing here. We are only de-scribing the rational possibilities and probabilities ofthe Men might find God partially in nature case.and in themselves, for He is immanent in both but ;in such a divine epiphany He would be revealed ina higher degree of life, and illustrate both natureand man more perfectly from the divine side of allcreated things. By the immanence of God, in us,we might surely recognize such an advent of theLord when it takes place. But we should not belikely to master its psychology, since we know itso little in the lower degrees of life, where infiniteand finite interpenetrate in nature and in ourselves." "John supplements them (Matthew and Luke) bysaying that the Word, which was ap/.^ with God, tiand in its first principle divine, descending into thisworld to subdue and save it, took this humanity forits clothing and was the soul of its soul and the lifeof its life. Legendary A legend is a cumulative accretion of " !hearsays around a nucleus of common fact, clothingit in the garb of fable ; and the common fact herewas the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of Joseph and
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 1 57Mary. Legendary the story might appear so, if !you isolate it and make it stand alone. But why doyou isolate it ? Read on, and at the farther end ofthe biography we come to the death of this person,quite as exceptional as his birth. The flesh thus as-sumed as the investiture of a divine life did notbecome a corpse, like the bodies of other men, to seecorruption in the grave. It was extruded by a livingprocess, through the abounding energy within, whenthe divine man had served ascended to his place iton high. If you make his ingress into this world ashere given legendary, why not reduce his egress fromit into the same category ? If you shut the divineportal through which He came in, why not also thedivine portal through which He went out ? "Then just sit down and scan the facts that lie be-tween and see what can be made of them. The lifebetween constantly forecasts just that exit from thisworld it courses its way on planes of being far above ;those on which we walk, and subsumes just such abirth and death. You must run the legendary theorythrough that also, till all the history is disorganizedand tumbles into chaos. And even then you haveonly just begun. This life of Christ on earth waspreliminary and preparatory to a deeper and broaderlife humanity, coursing through the history of ineighteen hundred years. The record goes on to say
    • 158 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.that he appeared after his resurrection as the guar-dian of those communions called churches, and that Holy Ghost through him on them and gave *the fellthem their conquering power. The Christian Churchever since, conscious of his presence and inworkingdivine energy, has originated, led on, and inspired allthe advanced civilizations of the world, and is leadingthem Legendary Why still. ! not make all the after-history legendary too, and the worlds progress start-ing from fiction and always proceeding under it!This life, dating from that birth at Bethlehem, hascontinued ever since, and it spans our lowly historyand floods it with more than rainbow glories, onefoot of its celestial arc resting at the manger whereMary lay, and the other on in the future, for aughtwe can tell, at the end of time. Legendary Is it !necessary to*abstract such a birth from its relationsand reduce it to the conditions of our own baby-hood?" THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. " In the death and resurrection of Christ the nat-ural body saw no In this mainly is his corruption.transition distinguished from ours. But there areconsiderations connected with it of vast significance.The transforming power of our own interior life overthe natural body which is its clothing and exfigura-
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 1 59tion continues up to the moment of death. Thereit ceases, and the immortal being must be extricatedfrom his mortal coverings. He has no power to ex-trude them and return them uncorrupted to their na-tive elements, and so he leaves a corpse as his legacyto the earth. " But the Life made flesh in Jesus Christ is not tobe measured by the weak and languid pulses of ours.It was nearer the infinite source and was the fullnessof the Godhead bodily. That a Spirit like his shouldnot need extrication from the bonds of death, butshould rapidly transform them and turn them by aliving process into their native ethers, leaving nocorpse to see corruption, is consonant with all that istold us of his birth, of his Divine Life transfiguringthe natural form that invested it as that Life wasgrowing deep and full and too resplendent for itsearthly foliage. " What is the change signified by the ascension ofChrist? A higher and more perfect pneumatologywill show, we doubt not, that death is something verydifferent from what our childish imaginations havemade it ; that there are no breaks and chasms in ourcontinuous being; that, therefore, the first conditionafter death is in some sort of congruity with thecondition before death ; that the spiritual bodyevolved from the natural does not put off at once
    • l6o A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.all its natural appearances and adaptations.* Hencethe pre-ascension appearances of the forty days,when Jesus showed his disciples his hands and hisside, saying, A spirit hath not flesh and bones asye see me have. But when the Divine Life fromwithin was ultimated in power and brightness, its fullall the remnants of the natural life disappeared, andJesus was only ensphered with the celestial glories.And this was the ascension of Christ! Type andrepresentation of our own transition, if we followhumbly through his upward and radiant pathway!After the ascension his disciples only saw Him intheir more heavenly frames and beholdings. " There are those who talk of intuition as thesurestand highest evidence, but who do not seem tobe aware of the application of the truth which theyinvoke. All other intuitions pale into dimness beforethose which attest the resurrection of Jesus Christ.All other revelations of God in humanity comparedwith this are as starlight which precedes the dawn.Not the vision of apostles alone, not the word of eye- * in his very rational illustrates this at Swedenborg pneumatologylarge, showing that the changes from an earthly to a heavenly con-dition through death are not made by crossing over chasms, but bythe life within unfolding in an orderly way and robing itself anew, sothat the natural appearances just before death and just after may besimilar.
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. l6l *witnesses on the great morning and during the forty- *days ; but the consensus of Christendom for eighteenhundred years is cumulative evidence for the reap-pearing of Jesus. The highest experiences and pro-foundest introversions of the purest and healthiestminds along this whole track of the centuries, bringthem into correspondency with the risen and glorifiedSaviour ; not by open vision, but by signs and tokensquite as trustworthy. When men have been turnedfrom darkness to light, from the slavery of lust andsin to the joyous service of the living God ; when theDivine Voice has come down upon the stormy seas of *passion in the soul commanding audience, still as night or summers noon-tide air ; when all its higherpowers have been waked into life; faith, sympathy,disinterested love, tenderness towards God and to-wards everything that breathes when the peace has ;come at last where storms and conflicts are no more ;it has all been with the profoundest consciousness ofa risen Saviour near at hand, with his assurance, AHpower is given me both in heaven and upon the earth.If the intuitions of the soul are to be appealed to^what are its shadowy gropings compared with thesesun-bright beholdings of so many of the best andhealthiest minds through a period of eighteen hun- "dred years ? II
    • 1 62 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. THE NEW JERUSALEM DESCENDING. " In his chapter on Converging Lines," near theclose of the book, Dr. Sears shows us that he sees theNew Jerusalem descending not merely as a new andvisible church organization, but as the increasinginflux of new light and life into all humble, faithfuland obedient souls. He says : — " The living Christ, we say, leads and inspires thethought of our advancement to-day. Any reform allthat meets with tolerable success, succeeds, becausethe Christ showing the worth of man as an is in it,immortal being, the child of a universal Father andthe member of a universal brotherhood, his fellow-ship being not of earth and time only, but of the glo-rified in heaven aswhose sympathies draw us well,mightily upward, and whose Come up higher * ever !falls down to cheer us. There is not a denominationof Christendom, whose literature we are acquaintedwith, which does not show that the Spirit is comingwithin them with greater fullness and tenderness,making their theologies fluid in the love of Christ, asthey reflect from his face in softer light the Beatitudeswhich he spake and lived. " All this being so, another consequence inevitablyfollows. We cannot move towards the Christ without
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 1 63coming closer to each other. Leave out Him and hisunitizing Word, and let every man strike out for him-self, and we tend to a crumbling individualism, toendless distraction and confusion. But those whoacknowledge Jesus Christ as the supreme authorityand guide, and enter more into his all-revealing mind,are making progress towards the harmonizing truthswhich he represents. However wide apart they maybe at the start, their progress is ever on converginglines. Essential truth becomes more and more centraland manifest, the non-essential falls away to its sub-ordinate place, and orthodox and unorthodox movealike towards a higher and higher unity. It is notthat any one sect is making a conquest of the others,but Jesus Christ is making a conquest of us all." THE APOSTOLIC THRONES. " When we undertake to interpret a symbolicalbook, we should not mix up symbol and letter into ajumble. We have seen into what a slough of insanenonsense the Apocalypse may thus be turned. Butkeep constantly to its symbolic meaning, and thoughwe may not be drawn up to its sublime heights ofvision, we shall have the same serene and blissfulopenings that are given us in the fourth Gospel. " Persons in the Apocalypse, and the imagery amid
    • 164 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.which they appear, very often symbolize truths in aconnected series even Christianity, as a system of ;truth, in its power of judging, regenerating, andsaving mankind. What are the apostoUc thrones?Seats raised aloft with the fishermen of Galilee robedroyally and sitting thereon, as the judges of their fel-low men, they to whom the injunction first came, —Judge not that ye be not judged? Not at all; butthe apostolic truths which they represented, appliedin their royal power to subdue and save, and beneathwhich those twelve men have learned by this time tobring themselves in lowly self-surrender. " And what is the worship of * God and the Lamb ? Is it the worship of a created, dependent being, re-ceiving the alleluias of the universe while seated onthe throne of God ? Is this the worship received bya man who came to teach humility, and whose lastoffice on earth was washing his disciples feet ? Is itthe kind of worship we render to sovereigns, magis-trates, and prophets ? How John himself was taughtto regard such worship, rendered not alone to magis-tratesand prophets, but to an angel of heaven oflarge commission, he has told us for when he fell ;down to worship at the feet of the angel, though notrendering supreme worship, — for there is no intima-tion that he mistook the angel for the Almighty, —hewas promptly rebuked, * See thou do it not, for I am
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 1 65thy fellow servant and of thy brethren the prophets,—worship God! " SOME PRESS NOTICES OF THIS WORK. " The Fourth Gospel, the Heart of Christ, is a book of extraordi- *nary interest. Judged as a volume on its own merits, it is a . . .rich and fresh contribution to the literature of the ages touching thelife of our Lord. It is instructive and suggestive in the highest rangesof Christian thought and feeling." — The Congregationalist. " No book of recent American theology is likely to win more noticefrom thoughtful readers than this handsome volume by Edmund H.Sears, of 551 pages. As a work of literary art it has great merit;and its clear, rich, and vivid style carries in its flow great wealth ofthought and learning with cumulative power to the end." — 77^*? Churchand State. " We regard book as altogether the most valuable contribution this which has been made during the present cen-to theological literaturetury, and one destined to exert a most powerful and benign influenceon all the churches. For no minister or theological student canafford to be without it, while no one can read it attentively withoutbeing profoundly impressed by it." — Arthurs Home Magazine. " One of the most deeply interesting volumes of this generation.It is as much superior to • Ecce Homo in power of statement, grasp of thought, and freshness of conception, as that was to the Christolo-gies of average writers." — The Light of Home. " The argument is cumulative, and one needs to read of the book through conscientiously in order to feel the strength of its positions.itWe believe that the interest which it has awakened is likely to in-crease ; and that, while it will lead toward a modification of the theo-ries both of the Orthodox and of the Unitarian theologians, it willtend powerfully to conserve and establish the essential truths of theChristian system." — The New York Independent. " This is one of the most interesting and valuable offer- certainlyings to theological and devotional literature which has been mgde inour country in this generation." — The Liberal Christian.
    • 1 66 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. " It is long since there has appeared in theological literature a workof such power and significance as the present. Deeply reverent andtender, imbued with a thorough sympathy with its subject, it sketchesthe life of the God-man, with a degree of grace and beauty rarelyattained in books of its class." — The Boston Journal. " This stout book of is one of the most important volumes 551 pagesyet contributed to theological literature in this country. It is writtenfrom a clear head and full heart; it is not dry argument or skeletontheology, but the thought glows with life, and the rhetoric is as grandand beautiful as the logic is strong." — Cincinnati Times and Chronicle. " The Fourth Gospel, « the Heart of Christ, by Rev. Edmund H.Sears, is a book of real ability, admirable spirit, and conclusive argu-ment. The author evolves the contents of the Johannean writings,which, he claims, clearly apprehended, are their own evidence, andprove Christianityitself a gift direct from above, and not a humandiscovery." — The New York Bulletin. " Mr. Sears Christmas as well known as hymn is any poem inAmerican and read and sung by hundreds of thousands literature, iswho have but a faint appreciation of his worth as a religious thinkerand scholar. If these persons could only know that the same tender-ness and beauty which find expression in that immortal hymn, breathethrough this labored work on the beloved disciple/ they would rush to it like a famished host on miraculous bread. " * The Boston Globe, — " No book of our time is adapted to produce a more decisive influ-ence on thought and feeling. Its style is its own and its authors —glowing and fervent throughout, yet calm and gentle, as if from aperennial hearth-flame of devout emotion. believe, too, that Wethere are in all sections of the Church devout minds that have beenwaiting for precisely the clear light and definite views which thisbook will give them." — The Christian Register. " Those who hold to a real tripersonal Trinity, will not accept allthe results of Dr. Sears. But all who believe in the Supreme Divin-ity of Jesus Christ, in the regeneration of fallen man by the Divineinfluence, and in the inspiration and authority of the Gospels andother New Testament writings, will regard his work as one of pecu-liar power and value. In spirit it is heavenly and full of vital energy;in style it is beautiful and finished." — The Christian Union.
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. E. H. SEARS, D. D. 1 67 " * The Fourth Gospel, the Heart of Christ, is a work of extraordi-nary interest, depth, and power. Th»re has been nothing equal to itfor the last century. . . . We unhesitatingly pronounce it the richestand most valuable contribution to theological literature ever made byan American author. And its charming spirit as well as masterly itstreatment of a lofty theme, must commend it to Christians of everyname, and secure for it a large circle of thoughtful readers." The —New Church Magazine. Many more notices of this work similar to theabove might be cited from the periodical press. Noother theological work by an American author hasever received or merited such unqualified praise as *the press has bestowed on The Heart of Christ."It has been commended by orthodox and hetero- alikedox, Trinitarians and Unitarians, the religious and thesecular papers ; but by none more highly than by TheNew Church Magazine. And the reason for this isobvious for although the name of Swedenborg occurs ;only three times in the book, yet its entire doctrinesand philosophy and spirit and method of interpretingSacred Scripture, are precisely those we find in thewritings of the illumined Swede and nowhere else in —their entirety^ or full and vital coherence. And the high commendation which this — work aswell as the others of Dr. Sears, above — quoted hasreceived from so many educated, independent andtruth-loving men and women, proves three things :first, the importance, reasonableness and Scripturalness
    • 1 68 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.of Swedenborgs teachings ; second, the readiness withwhich these teachings are received by thoughtful andserious minds when the teachers name is withheld, ormentioned only casually; and third, the blind andsenseless prejudice of many religious teachers, whoignorantly oppose and ridicule writings from whichthey might derive so much spiritual light and help. But none of the notices above quoted, appreciativeand commendatory as they all are, do anything likefull justice to this grand and luminous work. Nor isit — easy hardly convey to an- possible, — perhaps toothers mind the cumulative and perfect conclu- forcesiveness of the argument by which the author de-molishes the " legendary theory of modern skeptics "concerning the Fourth Gospel ; or the unequalledfullness and clearness with which he unfolds from thisGospel the doctrine of the Divine Humanity, or theSupreme Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Toget a clear idea of this, one must himself read thebook. The works of Dr. Sears here quoted from, can be had of theSwedenborg Publishing Association at publishers prices, viz. : — The Fourth Gospel, the Heart of Christ ^i 50 Foregleams and Foreshadows of Immortality .... i cx) Regeneration 75 Christ in the Life I 25
    • CHAPTER VI. TESTIMONY OF REV. HORACE BUSHNELL, D. D. the eminent witnesses to the truth, valueAMONG of the and need new revealings through Swe-denborg, we cite with much pleasure this distinguishedauthor and estimable man. Dr. Bushnell was formany years pastor of an orthodox Congregationalchurch in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a man ofrare spiritual insight, coupled with great freedom andindependence of thought, and one of the noblest menthat ever occupied the American pulpit. All who "have read or will read his Life and Letters," pre-pared and edited by his daughter, Mrs. Cheney, can-not fail to see that he was one of the broadest, purest,humblest, and kindliest of men and ; that the followingtestimony publicly borne by his intimate friend andsuccessor. Rev. Dr. Burton, falls far short of thewhole truth : — " " Dr. Bushnells mind," says Dr. Burton, was oneof the rarest. What it was in his books, that it wasin private, with certain very piquant and unforgetablepersonal flavors added. It was original almost beyond 169
    • I/O A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.precedent; ... it was independent, courageousalways, incisive, imperative, not cumbered by exces-sive and undigested reading, almost irreverent attimes towards mere [human] authority, but . . .truth-loving (intensely so), debative, soldierly, mas-sive, mobile, impressible to every touch, as the sea to —the swaying of the winds, a mind so royal in manyways as to awaken a never-failing and profound admi-ration in those who knew him best." His published works, numbering some eight ornine volumes, have had a wide circulation, and arecommonly reckoned by advanced thinkers as belong-ing to the best religious literature of our times. Theyare to be found in all the best libraries of religiousbooks, both public and private, are read by manyministers and theological students of nearly everydenomination, and have doubtless contributed in nosmall degree to the recent movement in the orthodoxchurches of our country commonly spoken of as theNew Theology. That his writings should be consid-ered heretical by those who are deeply confirmed inthe old doctrines, and who do not believe in a pro- is not surprising.gressive theology, But that theyshould have met with a cordial reception from somany thoughtful and intelligent people, and shouldhave received such strong commendation as theyhave from leading and influential journals, is a clear
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. BUSHNELL, D. D. 171indication of religious progress; —a sign of the increas-ing dissatisfaction with the Old and a growing readi-ness to accept the New and more rational as well asscriptural interpretation of the Christian religion. It is not generally known that Dr. Bushnell was areader of Swedenborgs writings, for he never quotesfrom him, and rarely mentions him by name only — "once, we believe, in his largest work, Nature and theSupernatural." But his writings furnish ample evi-dence not only of his familiarity with, but of his cordialacceptance of, all the principal doctrines of the NewChurch as revealed through Swedenborg. He rejects be seen by some extracts from his writings)(as willthe Old and still widely accepted doctrines of theTrinity, Atonement, Substitution, Expiation, Interces-sion, Salvation by faith alone, an individual or per-sonal Devil, and other related doctrines; and substi-tutes, in lieu of them, substantially the New Churchview, though never using its or Swedenborgs termi-nology. And he plainly accepts and teaches the Newdoctrines of the personal unity of God, the supremeDivinity of Jesus Christ, the Divine Humanity, thesymbolic character of the Scriptures, the pre-eminenceof charity or love, the relation of the natural to thespiritual world, the presence and influence of bothgood and evil spirits, and the New Church doctrine ofCorrespondence. And if he had never read a page
    • 172 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES,of Swedenborg, his own writings would be none theless pertinent and valid as testimony to the truth,value, and spiritual helpfulness of the great seers re-vealings, on account of agreement with their closethem. We proceed to give a few extracts from hiswritings in illustration and confirmation of what wehave here said. THE OLD DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY. " A very large portion of the Christian teachers,together with the general mass of disciples, un-doubtedly hold three real living persons in the inte-rior nature of God ; that is, three consciousnesses,wills, hearts, understandings. Certain passages ofScripture supposed to represent the three persons ascovenanting, co-operating, and co-presiding, are takenaccordingly, so to affirm, in the most literal and dog-matic sense. " But our properly orthodox teachers and churcheswhile professing three persons, also retain the verbalprofession of one person. They suppose themselvesreally to hold that God is one person. And yet theymost certainly do not they only confuse their under- ;standing, and call their confusion faith. This, I affirm,not as speaking reproachfully, but, as I suppose, onthe ground of sufficient evidence — partly because itcannot be otherwise, and partly because it visibly isnot. No man can assert three persons, meaning threeconsciousnesses, wills and understandings, and still
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. BUSHNELL, D. D. 1 73have any intelligent meaning in his mind, when heasserts that they are yet one person. "This, in fact, is polytheism, and not the clear,simple love of God. There is true love in it, doubt-less, but the comfort of love is not here. The mindis involved in a dismal confusion, which we cannotthink of without the sincerest pity. No soul cantruly rest in God, when God is two or three, andthese in such a sense that a choice between them mustbe continually suggested. " If any one will say that he believes in three meta-physical or essential persons in the being of God,there is no argument that can set him in a more un-satisfactory position, whether intellectually or practi-cally, than he takes himself Or if any one endea-vors to relieve his position, by declaring that he onlymeans distinctions by the word persons, he then fliesinto darkness and negation for his comfort, and therehe may safely be left. We take, then, as a first point,to be held immovably, the strict personal unity of —God one mind, will, consciousness. Then, secondly,we have, as a term to be reconciled with this, thethree of Scripture, and the living person walking theearth, in the humanform, called Jesus Christ a sub- —ject, suffering being, whose highest and truest realityis that he is God." —God in Christy pp. 130, 131, 134,136. THE OLD DOCTRINE OF ATONEMENT. " A very great number of Christian teachers, evenat this day, maintain that Christ suffered exactly as
    • 174 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.much pain as all the redeemed would have suffered under the penalties of eternal justice. " If evil remitted must be repaid by an equivalent,what real economy is there in the transaction ? Whatis effected, save the transfer of penal evil from theguilty to the innocent ? "And the great Redeemer, in the excess of his ifgoodness, consents, freely offers himself to the Father,or to God, to receive the penal woes, or some sufficientpart of the penal woes of the world, in his own per-son, what does it signify, when that offer is accepted,but that God will have his modicum of sufferinsfsomehow — he the guilty go, will yet satisfy if letshimself out of the innocent? In which the divinegovernment, instead of clearing itself, assumes thedouble ignominy, first of letting the guilty go, andsecondly, of accepting the sufferings of innocence !In which Calvin, seeing no difficulty, is still able tosay, when arguing for Christs three days in hell, —* it was requisite that he should feel the severity ofthe divine vengeance, in order to appease the wrathof God, and satisfy his justice. I confess my inabilityto read this kind of language without a sensation ofhorror." — Ibid., pp. 194, 195, 196. EXPIA TION—A PA CAN D OCTRINE. " What is expiation ? It does not, I answer, simplysignify the fact that God is propitiated, but it bringsin the pagan, or Latin idea (for it is a Latin word),that the sacrifice offered softens God, or assuages theanger of God, as being an evil, or pain, contributed
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. BUSHNELL, D.D. 1/5 That Christ has fulfilled ato his offended feeling.mission of and become a reconciling power sacrifice,on human character, has been abundantly shown.And this change thus wrought in men, we shall alsosee, the condition of a different relationship on the ispart of God. But an expiatory sacrifice proposes asettlement with God on a different footing viz., that ;God to be propitiated, or gained over to a new re- islationship, by very different means. The distinctiveidea of expiation is that God to have an evil given ishim by consent, for due by retribution. It an evilthrows in before God or the gods some deprecatoryevil, in the expectation that the wrath may be softenedor averted by it. The power of the expiation dependsnot on the sentiments, or repentances, or pious inten-tions connected with it, but entirely on the voluntarydamage incurred in it. According to the Latin idea, Diis violatis expiatio debetur — when the gods arewronged, expiation is their due — and the understand-ing is that, when the wrong doers fall to punishingthemselves in great losses, it mitigates the wrath of thegods and turns them to the side of favor. " As repentance settles into penance under thisregimen of superstition, so the sacrifices settled intoexpiations under the same. And the process onlywent a little farther, when they fell, as they did thepagan world over, into the practice of human sacri-fices for since the gods were to be gained by expia- ;tory evils, the greater the evil the more sure the favor ;and therefore they sometimes offered their captives,sometimes their sons and daughters, sometimes their
    • 176 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.kings sons, and sometimes even kings and theirqueens themselves believing that in no other man- ;ner could they sufficiently placate their envious andbloody deities. *• If it is a mere feeling in God which is to be pla-cated by an expiatory sacrifice, then we have to ask,is God such a being that, having a good mortgagetitle to pain or suffering as against an offender, he willnever let go the title till he gets the pain — if not fromhim, then from some other ? Such a conception ofGod is simply shocking." — Vicarious Sacrifice, pp.486, 487, 491.THE DOCTRINE OF SUBSTITUTION—A MOCKERY OF LA W AND JUSTICE. " Suppose it be so, and that God, as a ruler of theworld, is bound to do by every man just as he deserves.What means this inflexible adherence to the point ofdesert, when, by the supposition, he is going to ac-cept, in expiation, an evil not deserved ? He is going,in fact, tooverturn all relations of desert, by takingpains not deserved, to release pains that are. Is thisjustice ? or is it the most complete and solemn abne-gation possible of justice? To get a pain out ofsomebody, is not justice; nothing answers to thatname, but the inexorable, undivertible, straight-aimedprocess of execution against the person of the wrongdoer himself " To remit a punishment or pain deserved, in con-sideration of a similar punishment or pain not de-served, accepted by an innocent party, so far from
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. BUSHNELL, D.D. 1/7 is the worst possiblebeing any due support of law,modiery of it. It belongs to the very idea of pun-ishment, that on the transgressor himself, not it fallon any other, even though he be willing to receive it. The law reads do this or thou shalt die, not do this or somebody shall die.* A fine, or a debt, may bepaid by anybody but a punishment sticks immovably ;to the wrong doer, and no commutation, expiation, ortransfer of places can remove it." -Ibid., pp. 492, 3. — MEDIA TION AND INTERCESSION. We speak of Christ as a mediator, and as doing "a work of mediation which is Scriptural, but we ;often conceive that he is literally a third being, comingin between us and God to compose our difficulty withhim, by gaining him as it were to softer terms. Buthe is no such mediator at all, nor any mediator, suchas does not leave him to be God manifest in all Godsproper feeling. No, he is a mediator only in the sensethat, as in humanity, he is a medium of God to beingus such a medium that, when we cling to him in ;faith, we take hold of Gods own life and feeling asthe Infinite Unseen, and are taken hold of by Him,reconciled, and knit everlastingly to Him, by what wereceive. " We call Christ our intercessor, too, and conceivethat we are saved by his intercession. Does he thenintercede for us in the sense that he goes before Godin a plea to gain him over to us, showing God hiswounds, and the print of his nails, to soften himtowards us. Far from that as possible; nothing
    • 178 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES,could be more unworthy. Intercession means liter-ally intervention, that is a coming between and^^t is ;not God that wants to be softened, or made better ;for Christ himself only the incarnate love and sacri- isficing patience of God but the stress of the interces- ;sion is with us and in our hearts feeling all which —we simply figure, objectively, when we conceive himas the priest that liveth ever to make intercession forus." — Ibid., pp. 71, 72. GOD HUMANIZED. " It is a very great point, as regards the kind ofpower Christ is obtaining, that he humanizes God tomen. I have already spoken of the necessary distanceand coldness of a mere attribute power, such as weourselves generate, when trying to think of God asthe Absolute Being. The incarnate life and history ofJesus meet us here, at the point of our weakness.God is in Christ, consenting to obtain the power, bywhich he will regain us to himself, under our ownhuman conditions. He is in our plane, acting with usand for us, interpreted to our sympathies by what hedoes and is, in social relationship with us. His per-fectionsmeet us in our own measures, not in the im-possible measures of infinity and so he becomes a ;world-king in the world, and not above it and far awayfrom it. We know him, in just the same way as weknow one another. He becomes the great HeadCharacter in human history, by living in it himself —such a kind of power, as being once in it, can neverbe gotten out of it, any more than if it were a new
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. BUSHNELL, D.D. 1 79 element in the worlds atmosphere. God isdiffusiveno more a theosophy, or mere phosphorescence of ourhuman intelligence no more a theophany, like those ;casual appearances of the Jehovah Angel in the olddispensation . ; but a God-human or God-man, . .born into our race itself, and even into a place in ourhuman tables of genealogy. And since we are sodeep in the senses, he contrives to meet us there, thatwe may hear, see with our eyes, look upon, handlehim with our hands. Nay, he comes directly into ourbodies themselves, by the healing of his inward touch,and occupies a great part of his ministry in works thattake hold of our sympathy, by means of our diseases. " No greater advance on human sensibility, we mayfairly say, could possibly be made, than is in fact made,in this wonderful chapter of humanization, that con-tains the teachings, healings, tender condescensions,and sufferings, of the divine man Jesus. He buildsup anew, so to speak, and before our eyes, in theopen facts of his ministry, the divine perfectionsthemselves, and the moral power he obtains in doingit is just what it must be a name that is above every — ;name." Ibid., pp. 220, 221. A NEW INAUGURATION OF FAITH. " Anything which displaces the present jealousy ofwhat is supernatural, or abolishes the timidity of faithmust, as we may readily see, be an important contri-bution to Christian experience and the practical lifeof religion. Nothing do we need so deeply as a newinauguration of faith ; or, perhaps I should rather
    • l80 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.say, a reinauguration of the apostolic faith, and thespirit which distinguished the apostolic age. And yeta reinauguration of this must, in some very importantsense, be a new inauguration for it can be accom- ;plished only by some victory over naturalism, thatprepares a rational foundation for the supernatural —such as was not wanted, and was, therefore, impos-sible to be prepared, in the first age of the church." —Nature and the Supernatural, pp. 32, 33. RELIGIOUS CHARACTER. Before this unbending prisoner of fate, this nature-God, dead wall, man might go on to dress up a thischaracter and fashion a merely ethical virtue culti- ;vating truth, honesty, justice, temperance, kindness,piling up acts of merit, and doing legal works ofcharity; but to call this character religious, howeverplausible the show it makes, is only an abuse of theterm. Religious character is not legal. It is aninspiration — the Life of God in the Soul of Man ;and no such life can ever quicken a soul except in thefaith of k Living God, which here is manifestly want-ing. Not even the pure angels could subsist in sucha style of virtue; for it is the strength and beatitudeof their holiness, that it is no will-work in them, but aneternal, immediate inspiration of God. Consciouslyit is not theirs, but the inbreathing life of their Father."—Nature and the Supernatural^ p. 235.
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. BUSHNELL, D.D. l8l MANS POWER AND RESPONSIBILITY. " Man moment, a complete power as has, at everyrespects doing what God requires of him at that mo-ment, and is responsible according to his power. And when we say a complete power, we mean, not soyet,much that he is going even then to do somethinghimself, as that he is going to have something donewithin him, by the quickening and transforming powerof his divine Lord, in whom he trusts. His power isto set himself before power, open his nature to therule of power, and so to live. Even as we may saythat a tree has power to live and grow, not by actingon itself and willing to grow, but as it is ministeredunto by its natural surroundings, the soil, the sun, thedew, the air. It has only to offer itself openly andrespectively to these, and by their force to grow." —Ibid., p. 239. DIVINE PROVIDENCE. " On this subject of Providence there is much ofunregulated thought and crude speculation. Thus itis a greatly debated question, whether there is a only a general Providence ? For it is con-special, orceived,by a certain class, that God has a specialmeaning or design, in some few things of their expe-rience, and not in others. This plainly is a faith ofcredulity, and one that accommodates God to themeasures of human ignorance. Another class, whoassume to be more philosophic, holding a general, anddenying a special Providence, only substitute an ab-
    • 1 82 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.surdity for a superstition for what is a general Provi- ;dence that comprehends no special Providence, but agenerality made up of no particulars that is, made ;out of nothing ? The only intelligent conception is,that every event special, one as truly as another is ;for nothing comes to pass in Gods world withoutsome particular meaning or design. And so thegeneral Providence is perfect, because the special iscomplete — Ibid., pp. 406, 407. CHARACTER BEFORE CREED. " Nor will it ever be found that a truly catholicspirit undervalues truth. It only- pays it higherhomage, as being of a nature so vast that no man orsect can perfectly contain it. The same spirit, too,which makes us catholic, makes us modest, andmodesty is the first condition of successful study inthe truth. Or, if we speak of purity, what harm islikely to follow, if a church, under the moderatingpower of a catholic spirit, deems its purity violatedmore by an unspiritual or bad life, than by a falseopinion what is surer to bring in false opinions, ; forby system and without limit, than to hold, at the rootof all, an opinion so false as to set the creed or the —form before the life thus to cast out every shade oferror, and suffer patiently examples of practical mis-conduct. "And what will God, in his justice, more surelygive up to delusion, than the sanctimonious bigotrywhich crucifies an error and hugs a sin ? The worstof all heretics is the man of a loose practice. And
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. BUSHNELL, D. D. 1 83the same rule of purity holds, in reference to theacknowledgment of those who belong to other fami-lies and The best defence of purity is never to sects.cast out of a church, never to withhold the acknowl-edgment of brotherhood, for any kind of opinionwhich does not destroy the confidence of character.By their fruits ye shall know them." Christian Nur- —ture, p. 238. CHRISTIAN NURTURE IN THE HOME. " What motives are laid upon all Christian parents,by the doctrinehave established, to make the first Iarticle of family discipline a constant and careful dis-cipline of themselves. I would not undervalue astrong and decided government in families. Nofamily can be rightly trained without it. But there isa kind of virtue, my brethren, which is not in the rod— the virtue, I mean, of a truly good and sanctifiedlife. And a reign of brute force is much more easilymaintained, than a reign whose power is righteous-ness and love. ** Your real aim and study must be to infuse intoyour children a new life ; and, to this end, the Life ofGod must perpetually reign in you. Gathered roundyou as a family, they are all to be so many motives,strong as the love you bear them, to make you Christ-like in your spirit. It must be seen and felt withthem that religion is a first thing with you. And itmust be first, not in words and talk, but visibly firstin your love —that which fixes your aims, your feedsenjoyments, sanctifies your pleasures, supports your
    • 1 84 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.trials, your wants, contents your ambition, satisfiesbeautifiesand blesses your character. No mock piety,no sanctimony of phrase, or longitude of face on Sun-days will suffice. You must live in the light of God,and hold such a spirit in exercise as you wish to seetranslated into your children. You must take theminto your feelings as a loving and joyous element, and if by the grace of Godbeget, you may, the spirit ofyour own heart in theirs. This is Christian education,the nurture of the Lord." — Ibid.^ pp. 41, 42. SIN CAUSES BODIL Y DISORDER. " Nor is anything better understood than that what-ever vice of the mind — wounded pride, unregulatedambition, hatred, covetousness, fear, inordinate care —throws the mind out of rest, throws the body out ofrest also. Thus it is that sin, in all its forms, becomesa power of bodily disturbance, shattering the nerves,inflaming the tissues, distempering the secretions, andbrewing a general ferment of disease. In one view,the a kind of perpetual crystallization, and the body iscrystal of true health cannot form itself under sin,because the body has, within, a perpetual agitatingcause, which forbids the process. " There is great reason also to suspect, so devastat-ing is the power of moral evil, that the infections anddeadly plagues of the world are somehow generatedby They seem to have their spring in this cause.some new virus of death, and this new virus musthave been somewhere and somehow distilled, or gene-rated. We cannot refer them to mineral causes, or
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. BUSHNELL, D.D. 1 85vegetable, or animal, which are nearly invariable, andthey seem, as they begin their spread at some givenlocality, to have a humanly personal origin." —Natureand the Supernatural, pp. 175, 176. CORRESPONDENCE CLEARL Y RECOGNIZED. " God the infinite beauty and who can imagine, is ;looking on this or that half dry and prosy scene ofnature, that it represents the infinite beauty? Thefact of creation argues no such thing. For what ifit should happen to have been a part of Gods designin the work to represent, not himself only as the pureand Perfect One, the immutable throne of law anduniversal order, but quite as truly, and in immediateproximity, to represent man to himself; that he maysee both what he is for, and what he is, and struggleup out of one into the other. Then, or in thatview, it would be the perfection of the world, taken inits moral adaptations, that it is not perfect, and doesnot answer to the beauty of the creative mind, saveunder the large qualification specified. " The doctrine of types in the physical world, torepresent conditions of character and changes of for-tune in the spiritual, is only another conception of thesame general truth. And this doctrine of types weknow to be true in part for language itself is possi- ;ble only in virtue of the fact that physical types areprovided, as bases of words, having each a naturalfitness to represent some spiritual truth of humanlife ; which is in fact the principal use and significanceof language. Whence also it follo.ws that if human life
    • 1 86 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.is disordered, perverted, reduced to a condition of un-nature by sin, there must also be provided, as thenecessary condition of language, types that representso great a change which is equivalent to saying that ;the fortunes of the outer world must, to some verygreat extent, follow the fortunes of the occupant andgroan with him in his disorders. " Thus we have growths in the briars and thornsthat do not represent the beauty and benignity ofGod but under his appointment take on their spiny ;ferocity from man, whose surroundings they are, andwhose fortunes they are made to participate. Thesame may be said of loathsome and disgusting ani-mals. mayOr we pismire take the race for an ex- —ample a race of military vermin, who fight pitchedbattles and sometimes make slaves of their captives ;representing nothing surely in God, save his purposeto reflect, in keenest mockery, the warlike chivalryand glory of man." — Ibid., pp. 187, 189, 191. INFLUENCE OF SPIRITS— GOOD AND EVIL. "Then we recognize a vast and glo- again, also,riously populated of angels and departed realmspirits, who, when they are sent, minister, unseen,about us mixed, we know not how, in the surround- ;ings of our unsaintly and demoniacal state, withpowers of mischief, not sent nor suffered even tocome, save when they are attracted by the lowaffinities we offer as open gates to their coming. ** I am well aware of the modern tendency to re-solve what is said on this subject in the Scripture into
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. H. BUSHNELL, D.D. 1 87figures of speech, excluding all idea of a literal inter-meddling of bad spirits. But that there are badspirits, there no more reason to doubt, than that isthere are bad men (who are in fact bad spirits) andas little that the bad spirits are spirits of mischief, andwill act in character, according to their opportunity."Ibid., pp. ZZ, 125. • THE SATAN OF SCRIPTURE. " And then it follows that, the moment God createsa realm of powers, the bad possibility as certainlybecomes a bad actuality, a Satan, or devil, in esse ; nota bad omnipresence over against God, and his equal —that is a monstrous and horrible conception but an —outbreaking or empire of evil in created spirits, evil,according to their order. For Satan, or the devil,taken in the singular, is not the name of any particu-lar person, neither is it a personation merely of temp-tation, or impersonal evil in the sense of moral evil ;but the name is a name that generalizes bad persons orspirits, with their bad thoughts and characters, manyin one. That there is any single one of them who, bydistinction or pre-eminence, is called Satan, or devil,iswholly improbable. The name is one taken up bythe imagination to designate or embody, in a concep-tion the mind can most easily wield, the all or totalof bad minds and powers. " That the organic force of evil, therefore, has eversettled supremacy of the eternal some one spiritcalled devil, or Satan, is against the known nature ofevil. There is no such order, allegiance, loyalty, faith,
    • 1 88 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.in evil as that. The stability of Satan and his em-pire consists, not in the force of some personal chief-tainship, but in the fixed array of all bad minds, andeven of anarchy itself, against what is good." Ibid.^ —pp. 134, 135, 136. A FEW PRESS NOTICES. The Nhv York Evangelist says of Nature and the ** " Supernatural :" The work will rank very high among the literary and theological pro-ductions of the present century." The Christian Intelligencer says : " The discussion is conductedwith great ability. .. It is a quiver full of arrows wherewith to .defend the citadel of Truth against the assaults of science falsely socalled." The New York Independent soys : " A noble monument of the earnestand talented authors production to religion, science and literature. . . It should be among the first books selected by the minister inmaking up a library, however scanty." The North American Review says : * The author has rendered amost important service to Christian Faith, both as regards the externalfacts of religion, and the more recondite experience of its true disciples." The New Englander says * We do not hesitate to pronounce it a :magnificent book, a truly Christian book, and one pre-eminently adaptedto the times in which we live."
    • CHAPTER VII. TESTIMONY OF PROF. DRUMMOND, F.R.S.E., F.G.S. all lovers of the best and genuinelyWITH Christian literature of our times, the nameof Henry Drummond has become a household word.His books are to be found in all the choicest libraries,are read and admired by the best men and women inall the Christian denominations, and are highly com-mended by both the secular and religious press. Prof Drummond has shown himself a man, notonly of extensive learning and great scientific acquire-ments, but of deep religious experience and rare **spiritual insight. His and great work, Natural firstLaw in the Spiritual World," was published in 1883,when he was only thirty-two years of age. " The "book," we are told, found at once a hearty response.It ran through thirty editions in England, and thepresses are not yet still. It was republished inAmerica ; was translated into German, French,Dutch and Norwegian ; and has already become aclassic." Five smaller but intensely interesting works by 189
    • 1 90 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.him —given at first in a series of lectures at Oxford —have since appeared, the titles of which are — : The Greatest Thing in the World. Pax Vobisaan (Peace be With You). The Changed Life. " First ; a Talk with Boys. How to Learn How. The publication of the first of this series, it is said,"was instantly demanded. And slight as was thepamphlet in bulk, its success more than repeatedthe success of his first Nearly a quar- literary effort.ter of a million copies were sold in Great Britainalone. The second and third of the same series metwith a sale equally extraordinary." These five works,which have already had a pretty wide circulation inpamphlet form, are now published in one very beauti- * "ful volume under the title of Addresses by Drum-mond," with a biographical sketch of the author.And the publisher expresses his " confidence " and —the best men and women everywhere will unite in thehope — " that their merits will command millions ofreaders and prove a source of untold blessings." Prof. Drummond rarely mentions the name ofSwedenborg — only twice, I think, in his largest work.Yet his writings show that if he has not made him- * For sale by the Swedenborg Publishing Association, Germantown,Pa. pp. 286. Price 75 cents, post-paid.
    • TES TIMONY OF PR OF. DR UMMOND. 1 91self familiar with the great Swedes teachings, he hassomehow —possibly through his rare spiritual in-sight —caught their spirit, philosophy, and advanced thoughtreligious in an extraordinary degree. Andmore than that, he has shown the solid, scientific basisof some of the leading New-Church doctrines, in amanner and with a clearness in which it has neverbeen shown before. Consequently his books havenowhere found more ardent admirers than among theprofessed receivers of the New-Church doctrines.They are advertised in New-Church journals, andkept on sale at New-Church book-rooms ; and one ofthe longest, most appreciative and laudatory reviewsof his principal work that we have ever seen, waswritten by New-Churchman, and published a professedin a New-Church monthly.* The review commenceswith these words : — " Probably few works within the last thirty yearshave attracted as much notice, or been as extensivelyread by thoughtful people on both continents, asDrummonds * Natural Law in the Spiritual World.And must be hailed by New-Churchmen as this factamong the encouraging signs of our times. It showsthe providential preparation which is going on for * Boston New Jerusalem Magazine, November, 1885; June, 1886;in all, 19 pages.
    • 192 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.the wide reception of the New-Church Theology,especially among independent and scientific thinkers." And in his closing paragraph the reviewer says : — " This book is altogether so remarkable, so repletewith the New Christian thought, its positions are sothoroughly buttressed by the latest scientific dis-coveries, and its circulation among thoughtful peopleis so unprecedented, that we cannot think of dismiss- iting just yet." And in the early part of his review this writersays — : "Wehave read every line of Prof Drummondsbook twice, and a large portion of it three times, withabsorbing interest. It is the first successful attemptwe have seen ... to show something like a solid,scientific basis for theology and such a basis it must ;have if we expect it to win or retain the reverent re-gard of thoughtful and robust minds. . . . Thoughevincing a kind and friendly feeling toward all denomi-nations of Christians, it is clear that its author seesvery distinctly the defects and inconsistencies, theconfusion and contradictions, in the reigning theology,and the great need there is of its doctrines being somodified as to bring them widiin the scope of the un-perverted intellect, and in harmony with reason andknown law."
    • TESTIMONY OF PROF. DRUMMOND. 193 On all the fundamental doctrines of the Christianreligion — such as the doctrines of the Lord, theAtonement, Salvation, the Resurrection, Regenera-tion, Life, the nature and whereabout of Heaven andHell, the insufficiency of Faith alone, the supremacyof Love, the reign of Law in the spiritual as well as inthe natural realm —on all these and many more ProfDrummonds teaching such close agreement with is inthat of Swedenborg that we feel warranted in classinghim among the independent witnesses to the truthand value and spiritual helpfulness of the great seersrevealings. And the testimony would be none theless pertinent nor less strong, if he had never read aline of Swedenborg. We proceed to give a few ex-tracts from his writings by way of illustration andconfirmation of what is here said. ADULTERATIONS IN THEOLOGY. " If theremoval of suspicion from Theology is ofurgent moment, not less important is the removalof its adulterations. These suspicions, many of themat least, are new ; in a sense they mark progress.But the adulterations are the artificial accumulationsof centuries of uncontrolled speculation. They arethe necessary result of the old method and the war-rant for its revision —they mark the impossibility of 13
    • 194 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.progress without the guiding and restraining hand ofLaw. The felt exhaustion of the former method, thewant of corroboration for the old evidence, the pro-test of reason against the monstrous overgrowthswhich conceal the real lines of truth, these summonus to the search for a surer and more scientific sys-tem. With truths of the theological order, withdogmas which often depend for their existence on aparticular exegesis, with propositions which rest fortheir evidence upon a balance of probabilities, or uponthe weight of authority ; with doctrines which everyage and nation may make or unmake, which eachsect may tamper with, and which even the individualmay modify for himself, a second court of appeal hasbecome an imperative necessity." —Natural Law in theSpiritual Worlds p. xix. THE ORDINAR Y FORMS OF BELIEF. " It is recognized by all that the younger and ablerminds of this age find the most serious difficulty inaccepting or retaining the ordinary forms of beliefEspecially is this true of those whose culture isscientific. And the reason is palpable. No man canstudy modern Science without a change coming overhis view of truth. What impresses him about Natureis its solidity. He is there standing upon actual
    • TESTIMONY OF PROF. DRUMMOND. I95things, among fixed laws. And the integrity of thescientific method so seizes him that all other forms oftruth begin to appear comparatively unstable. Hedid not know before that any form of truth couldso hold him ; and the immediate effect is to lessenhis interest in all that stands on other bases. Thishe feels in spite of himself ; he struggles against itin vain ; and he finds, perhaps to his alarm, that heis drifting fast into what looks at first like pure Posi-tivism. This is an inevitable result of the scientifictraining. . . . " It is quite erroneous to suppose that science everoverthrows Faith, if by that is implied that anynatural truth can oppose successfully any singlespiritual truth. Science cannot overthrow Faith ; butit shakes it [if it be not a true faith —B]. Its owndoctrines, grounded in Nature, are so certain, that thetruths of Religion, resting to most men on Authority,are felt to be strangely insecure. The difHculty, there-fore, which men of Science feel about Religion is realand inevitable ; and in so far as Doubt is a consci-entious tribute to the inviolability of Nature, it isentitled to respect. " None but those who have passed through it canappreciate the radical nature of the change wroughtby Science in the whole mental attitude of its dis-ciples. What they really cry out for in Religion is a
    • 196 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.new standpoint —a standpoint like their own. Theone hope, therefore, for Science is more Science." —Ibid., XX. REGENERATION— TESTIMONY OF SCIENCE. * The testimony of Nature to any Spiritual truth isof immense importance. Regeneration has not merelybeen an outstanding difficulty, but an overwhelmingobscurity. Even to earnest minds the difficulty ofgrasping the truth at all has always proved extreme.Philosophically one scarcely sees either the necessityor the possibility of being born again. Why a vir-tuous man should not simply grow better and betteruntil in his own right he enters the Kingdom of God,iswhat*thousands honestly and seriously fail to under-stand. Now Philosophy cannot help us here. Herarguments are, if anything, against us. But Scienceanswers to the appeal at once. If it be simply pointedout that this is the same absurdity as to ask why astone should not grow more and more living till itenters the Organic World, the point is clear in aninstant. "What now, let us ask specifically, distinguishesa Christian man from a non-Christian man? Is itthat he has certain mental characteristics not pos-sessed by the other ? Is it that certain faculties have
    • TESTIMONY OF PROF. DRUMMOND. I97been trained in him, that morality assumes specialand higher manifestations, and character a noblerform ? merely an ordinary man who Is the Christianhappens from birth to have been surrounded with apeculiar set of ideas? Is his religion merely thatpeculiar quality of the moral life defined by Mr.Matthew Arnold as * morality touched by emo-tion ? And does the possession of a high ideal,benevolent sympathies, a reverent spirit, and a fa-vorable environment account for what men call hisSpiritual Life ? " The distinction between them is the same as thatbetween the Organic and the Inorganic, the livingand the dead. What is the difference between acrystaland an organism, a stone and a plant ? Theyhave much in common. Both are made of the sameatoms. Both display the same properties of matter.Both are subject to the Physical Laws. Both maybevery beautiful. But besides possessing all that thecrystal has, the plant possessessomething more a —mysterious something called Life. This Life is notsomething which existed in the crystal, only in a lessdeveloped form. There is nothing at all like it inthe crystal. There nothing like the first beginning isof it in the crystal, not a trace or symptom of it.This plant is tenanted by something new, an original
    • 198 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.and unique possession added over and above all theproperties common to both. " When from vegetable Life we rise to animal Life,here again we find something original and unique —unique at least as compared with the mineral.From animal Life we ascend again to Spiritual Life.And here also is something new, something stillmore unique. He who lives the Spiritual Life hasa distinct kind of Life added to all the other phasesof Life which he manifests — a kind of Life infinitelymore distinct than is the active Life of a plant fromthe inertia of a stone. The Spiritual man is moredistinct in point of fact than is the plant from thestone. This is the one possible comparison in Nature,for it is the widest distinction in Nature ; but com-pared with the difference between the Natural and theSpiritual the gulf which divides the organic from theinorganic is a hairs-breadth. The natural man be-longs essentially to this present order of things.He is endowed simply with a high quality of thenatural animal Life. But it is Life of so poor aquality that it is not Life at all. He that hath notthe Son, hath not Life ; but he that hath the Son hathLife —a new and distinct and supernatural endow-ment. He is not of this world. He is of the time-less state, of Eternity." — Ibid,, p. 79-82.
    • TESTIMONY OF PROF. DRUMMOND. 1 99 THE SPIRITUAL AND NATURAL MAN. " The difference, then, between the Spiritual manand the Natural man is not a difference of develop-ment, but of generation. It is a distinction of quality,not of quantity. A man cannot rise by any naturaldevelopment from morality touched by emotion,to morality touched by Life. Were we to con-struct a scientific classification. Science would compelus to arrange all natural men, moral or immoral,educated or vulgar, as one family. One might behigh in the family group, another low ; yet, practi-cally, they are marked by the same set of character-istics —they eat, sleep, work, think, live, die. Butthe Spiritual man is removed from this family soutterly by the possession of an additional character-istic that a biologist, fully informed of the wholecircumstances, would not hesitate a moment to clas-sify him elsewhere. And he really entered into ifthese circumstances it would not be in another familybut in another Kingdom. . . . This differencebetween the Living and the Dead in souls is so un-proved by casual observation, so impalpable in itself,so startling as a doctrine, that schools of culture haveridiculed or denied the grim distinction. Neverthe-less the grim distinction must be retained. It is a
    • 200 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.scientific distinction. He that hath not the Sonhath not Life.* " Now it is this great Law which finally disting-uishes Christianity from all other religions. It placesthe religion of Christ upon a footing altogetherunique. There is no analogy between the Christianreligion and, say, Buddhism or the Mohammedanreligion. There is no true sense in which a man cansay. He that hath Buddha hath Life. Buddha hasnothing to do with Life. He may have something todo with morality. He may stimulate, impress, teach,guide, but there is no distinct new thing added tothe souls of those who profess Buddhism. Thesereligions may be developments of the natural, mental,or moral man. But Christianity professes to bemore. It is the mental or moral man plus somethingelse or some One else. It is the infusion into theSpiritual man of a New Life, of a quality unlike any-thing else in Nature. This constitutes the separateKingdom of Christ, and gives to Christianity alone,of all the religions of mankind, the strange mark ofDivinity."— /^/^., p. 82-84. SAL VA TION B V FORMULA, " We confine ourselves also at present to that formwhich finds its encouragement in a single doctrine,
    • TESTIMONY OF PROF. DRUMMOND. 201that doctrine being the Doctrine of the Atonement —let us say, rather, a perverted form of this centraltruth. " The perverted Doctrine of the Atonement, whichtends to beget the parasitic habit, may be defined ina single sentence — it is very much because it can bedefined in a single sentence, that it is a perversion.Let us state it in a concrete form. It is put to theindividual in the following syllogism : * You believeChrist died for sinners ; you are a sinner ; thereforeChrist died for you ; and hence you are saved Nowwhat is this but another species of molluscan shell ?Could any trap for a benighted soul be more ingeni-ously planned ? It is not superstition that is ap-pealed to this time ; it is reason. The agitated soulis invited to creep into the convolutions of a syllo-gism, and entrench itself behind a Doctrine morevenerable even than the Church. But words aremere chitine. Doctrines may have no more vitalcontact with the soul than priest or sacrament, nofurther influence on life and character than stone andlime. And yet the apostles of parasitism pick ablackguard from the streets, pass him through thisplausible formula, and turn him out a convert in thespace of as many minutes as it takes to tell it. " The zeal of these men, assuredly, is not to bequestioned : their instincts are right, and their work
    • 202 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.is often not in vain. It is possible, too, up to a cer-tain point, to defend this Salvation by Formula.Are these not the very words of Scripture? Didnot Christ Himself say, * It is finished ? And is it not written, By grace are ye saved through faith, any man should boast, and Not of works, lest He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life ? To which, however, one might also answer in thewords of Scripture, The Devils also believe, and * Except a man be born again he cannot see the King-*dom of God.But without seeming to make textrefute text, let us ask ratherwhat the supposed con-vert possesses at the end of the process. That Christsaves sinners, even blackguards from the streets, is agreat fact; and that the simple words of the streetevangelist do sometimes bring this home to man withconvincing power is also a fact. But in ordinarycircumstances, when the inquirers mind is rapidlyurged through the various stages of the above pieceof logic, he is left to face the future and blot out thepast with a formula of words. "To be sure, these words may already convey agerm of truth, they may yet be filled in with awealth of meaning and become a lifelong power.But we would state the case against Salvation byFormula with ignorant and unwarranted clemencydid we for a moment convey the idea that this is
    • TESTIMONY OF PROF. DRUMMOND. 203always the actual result. The doctrine plays toowell into the hands of the parasitic tendency to makeit possible that in more than a minority of cases theresult is anything but disastrous." — Ibid.^ p. 331, 2. LOVE IS THE SUPREME THING, " Eternal life is to know God, and God is love.This is Christs own definition Ponder it. *This islife they might know Thee the only true eternal, thatGod, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. Lovemust be eternal. It is what God is. On the lastanalysis, then, love is life. Love never faileth, andlife never faileth, so long as there is love. That isthe philosophy of what Paul is showing us; thereason why m the nature of things Love should bethe supreme thing —because it is going to last ; be-cause in the nature of things it is an Eternal Life.It is a thing that we are living now, not that we getwhen we die ; that we have a poor chance of shallgetting when we die unless we are living now. Noworse fate can befall a man in this world than to liveand grow old alone, unloving, and unloved. To be an unregenerate condition, lovelesslost is to live inand unloved ; and to be saved is to love ; and he thatdwelleth in love dwelleth already in God. For Godis Love
    • 204 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. " * Love suffereth long, and is kind ; love enviethnot ; love vaunteth not Get these ingredients itself.into your life. Then everything that you do is eter-nal. It is worth doing. It is worth giving time to. Noman can become a saint in his sleep and to fulfil the ;condition required demands a certain amount of prayerand meditation and time, just as improvement in anydirection, bodily or mental, requires preparation andcare. Address yourselves to that one thing; at anycost have this transcendent character exchanged foryours. You will find as you look back upon yourlife moments that the that stand out, the momentswhen you have really lived, are the moments whenyou have done things in a spirit of love. As memoryscans the past, above and beyond all the transitorypleasures of life, there leap forward those supremehours when you have been enabled to do unnoticedkindnesses to those round about you, things tootrifling to speak about, but which you feel have en-tered into your eternal life. I have seen almost allthe beautiful things God has made ; I have enjoyedalmost every pleasure that He has planned for man ;and yet as I look back I see standing out above allthe life that has gone four or five short experienceswhen the love of God reflected itself in some poorimitation, some small act of love of mine, and theseseem to be the things which alone of all ones life
    • TESTIMONY OF PROF. DRUMMOND. 205abide. Everything else in all our lives is transitory.Every other good is visionary. But the acts of lovewhich no man knows about, or can ever know about—they never fail." —Addresses p. 70. THE FINAL TEST OF RELIGION. "In the Book of Matthew, where the JudgmentDay is depicted for us in the imagery of One seatedupon a throne and dividing the sheep from the goats,the test of a man then is not, * How have I believed?but * How have I loved ? The test of religion, thefinal test of religion, is not religiousness, but Love.I say the final test of religion at that great Day is notreligiousness, but Love ; not what I have done, notwhat I have believed, not what I have achieved, buthow have discharged the common charities of life. ISins of commission in that awful indictment are noteven referred to. By what we have not done, by sinsof omission^ we are judged. It could not be otherwise.For the withholding of love is the negation of thespirit of Christ, the proof that we never knew Him,that for us He It means that He sug- lived in vain.gested nothing our thoughts, that He inspirec in allnothing in all our lives, that we were not once nearenough to Him to be seized with the spell of Hiscompassion for the world. It means that —
    • 206 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. ***I lived for myself, I thought for myself. For myself, and none beside — Just as if Jesus had never lived, As if He had never died. " No other charge than lovelessness shall bepreferred in the final Judgment Day. Be notdeceived. The words which all of us shall one Dayhear, sound not of theology but of life; not ofchurches and saints, but of the hungry and the poor ;not of creeds and doctrines, but of shelter and cloth-ing ; not of Bibles and prayer-books, but of cups ofcold water in the name of Christ. Thank God theChristianity of to-day is coming nearer the worldsneed. Live to help that on." —Addresses p. 74. THE CHRISTIAN- LIFE CAUSAL—NOT CASUAL. "There is one kind of cause for every particu-lar effect, and no other ; and if one particulareffect is desired, the corresponding cause must be setin motion. It is no use proposing finely devisedschemes, or going through general pious exercises inthe hope that somehow Rest will come. The Chris-tian life is not casual, but causal. All nature is astanding protest against the absurdity of expecting tosecure spiritual effects, or any effects, without the em-ployment of appropriate causes. The Great Teacher
    • TESTIMONY OF PROF. DRUMMOND. 20/dealt what ought to have been the final blow to thisinfinite irrelevancy by a single question, Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles ? "Why, then, did the Great Teacher not educateHis followers fully ? Why did He not tell us, forexample, how such a thing as Rest might be obtained?The answer is that He did. But plainly, explicitly, inso many words ? Yes, plainly, explicitly, in so manywords. He assigned Rest to its cause, in words withwhich each of us has been familiar from his earliestchildhood. " He begins, you remember — for you at once knowthe passage I refer to — almost as if Rest could behad without any cause Come unto Me,: * He says,* and I will give you Rest.* " Rest, apparently, was a favor to be bestowed ;men had but to come to Him ; He could give it toevery applicant. But the next sentence takes that allback. The qualification, indeed, is added instan-taneously. For what the first sentence seemed togive was next thing to an impossibility. For how, ina literal Rest be given ? One could no sense, canmore give away Rest than he could give away Laugh-ter. We speak of causing laughter, which we cando ; we cannot give it away. When we speak of butgiving pain, we know perfectly well we cannot givepain away. And when we aim at giving pleasure,
    • 208 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.all that we do is to arrange a set of circumstancesinsuch a way as that these shall cause pleasure. Ofcourse there is a sense, and a very wonderful sense,in which a Great Personality breathes upon all whocome within its influence an abiding peace and trust.Men can be to other men shadow of a great as therock in a thirsty land. Much more Christ; muchmore Christ as Perfect Man ; much more still asSaviour of the World. But it is not this of which Ispeak. When Christ said He would give men Rest,He meant simply that He would put them in the wayof it. By no act of conveyance would or could Hemake over His own Rest to them. He could givethem His receipt for it. That was all. But He wouldnot make it for them for one thing, it was not in His ;plan to make it for them for another thing, men were ;not so planned that it could be made for them and ;for yet another thing, it was a thousand times betterthat they should make it for themselves. "That this is the meaning becomes obvious fromthe wording of the second sentence Learn of Me : *and ye shall find Rest. Rest, that is to say, is nota thing that can be given, but a thing to be acquired.It comes not by an but by a process. It is not to act,be found in a happy hour, as one finds a treasure but ;slowly, as one finds knowledge. It could indeed beno more found in a moment than could knowledge. A
    • TESTIMONY OF PROF. DRUMMOND. 209soil has to be prepared for it. Like a fine fruit, it willgrow in one climate and not in another ; at one alti-tude and not at another. Like all growths it willhave an orderly development and mature by slowdegrees." —Addresses p. 95. CHRIST THE ALPHA AND OMEGA. The following is a portion of a passage in " TheChanged Life," which Prof Drummond quotes withstrong approval from the speech of a distinguished "Christian statesman. They are the words," he says," of one of the highest intellects this age has known —a man who shared the burdens of his country as fewhave done, and who, not in the shadows of old age,but in the high noon of his success, gave this con-fession to the world : " — ** Many men have educated themselves by readingPlutarchs Lives of the Ancient Worthies, and settingbefore themselves one and another of these that indifferent ages have achieved celebrity and they have ;recognized the great power of these men on them-selves. Now I do not perceive that poet, or philoso-pher, or reformer, or general, or any other great man,ever has dwelt in my imagination and in my thoughtas the simple Jesus has. For more than twenty-fiveyears I instinctively have gone to Christ to draw ameasure and a rule for everything. Whenever there 14
    • 2IO A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.has been a necessity for it, I have sought and at last — —almost spontaneously to throw myself into the com-panionship of Christ; and early, by my imagination, Icould see Him standing and looking quietly and lov-ingly There seemed almost to drop from His upon me.face an influence upon me that suggested what was theright thing in the controlling of passion, in the subduingof pride, in the overcoming of selfishness ; and it is fromChrist, manifested to my inward eye, that I have con-sciously derived more ideals, more models, more influ-ences, than from any human character whatever. " That is I feel conscious that I have de- not all.rived from the Lord Jesus Christ every thought thatmakes heaven a reality to me, and every thought thatpaves the road that lies between me and heaven. Allmy conceptions of the progress of grace in the soul ;allthe steps by which divine life is evolved all the ;ideals that overhang the blessed sphere which awaitsus beyond this world —these are derived from theSaviour. The life that I now live in the flesh I liveby the faith of the Son of God. ** That is not all. Much as my future includes allthese elements which go to make the blessed fabric ofearthly life, what the summer is compared yet, after all,with all its earthly products — flowers, and leaves, andgrass — that is Christ compared with all the productsof Christ in my mind and in my soul. All the flowersand leaves of sympathy all the twining joys that come ;from my heart as a Christian these I take and hold —in the future, but they are to me what the flowers andleaves of summer are compared with the sun that
    • TESTIMONY OF PROF. DRUMMOND. 211makes the summer. Christ is the Alpha and Omega,the beginning and the end of my better life." " There have been times when I have had an un-speakable heart-hunger for Christs love. My senseof. sin is never strong when I think of the law; mysense of sin is strong when I think of love if there —is any difference between law and love. It is whendrawing near the Lord Jesus Christ, and longing tobe loved, that I have the most vivid sense of unsym-metry, of imperfection, of absolute unworthiness, andof my sinfulness. Character and conduct are never sovividly set before me as when in silence I bend in thepresence of Christ, revealed not in wrath, but in love tome. I never so much long to be lovely, that I may beloved, as when I have this revelation of Christ beforemy mind. " In looking back upon my experience, that part ofmy life which stands out, and which I remember mostvividly, is just that part that has had some consciousassociation with Christ. All the rest is pale, and thin,and lies like clouds on the horizon. Doctrines, sys-tems, measures, methods —what may be called thenecessary mechanical and external part of worshipthe part which the senses would recognize this seems — ;to have withered and fallen off like leaves of last sum-mer; but that part which has taken hold of Christabides." —Addresses p. 189.
    • CHAPTER VIII. TESTIMONY OF REV. GEORGE T. FLANDERS. many years ago a volume of rare interestNOTand ability was published by Mr. Flanders (at " anonymously) under the title of Lifes Problems,firstHere and Hereafter." It has had a large sale andbeen received with marked favor by the more ad-vanced Christians of nearly every denomination, andproduced a profound impression on many thoughtfulminds. And we can easily believe the publishers "when they say : We are in constant receipt of lettersfrom unbelievers, doubters, misbelievers, the per-plexed and afflicted, testifying to the great help andcomfort its perusal has afforded them. has sup- Itplanted unbelief, doubt, and perplexity with faith,trust, and hope." And although no mention is madeof Swedenborg, the volume is literally crammed fullwith the new truths revealed in his writings. On allthe principal doctrines of the Christian rehgion, he isin such perfect agreement with the illustrious Swedeas to warrant the belief that he had faithfully studiedhis writings and cordially accepted most if not all ofhis teachings. We could easily fill forty pages with 212
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. GEO. T FLANDERS. 213 and confirmatory passages, but must foregoillustrativethat pleasure and confine ourselves to a few briefextracts. We begin with a quotation from the authors" Prelude," in which he gives us a little of his spiritualautobiography — : DIFFICULTIES FINALL Y MASTERED. " If, indeed, man be immortal, if, essentially, man isa spirit, —what is spirit ? Is it something ? Or is itnothing? Is spirit a real, substantial entity, that,under certain conditions, may be seen, touched, felt,and handled ? The popular idea of spirit is the exactreverse of this, — is as near the idea of nothing as wellcan be. But from this semi-nihilism I instinctivelyrevolted. I could not abide the thought of my dearones and myself, * Made up of moon-beams floating dim, And wreaths of misty light. " was beset with multitudinous questions about IHeaven, its topography, dimensions, scenery, andlocation in space. Does it resemble this old world ofours ? Do the aged forever remain aged ? Do infantsforever remain infants ? Is union between husbandand wife perpetuated there ? Of course, I was unableto answer these questions, and I dealt with them sum-marily — I cast them out. To the really sincereinquirer I said — Who knows ? Who can know ? I
    • 214 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.had no proof to offer to others ; I had no proof for —myself, proof that stood firmly on the feet of reasonand fact " At the age of twenty-four my mental perplexityreached a climax, and I was at the parting of theways. The change that then came over me may bebriefly told. " Chance, as I then believed, drew my attention tocertain psychological facts, and led up to a series of in-vestigations that eventuated in the complete solutionof my difficulties. Light broke in from unsuspectedsources. Truth sprang from hitherto unknownsprings. On purely rational and historical groundsmy doubts were vanquished, and at last I was free —free to speak with the positiveness of absolute certainty— free to do my duty to man and to God. " I did not gain this vantage-ground at a singlebound. It was six long years before I could commandthe field of my difficulties and feel a sense of mastery.The mists rose slowly and dissolved in the pure ether. *But soon every valley was exalted, every hill wasbrought low, the crooked was made straight, therough places were made smooth, and no soul was evermore at rest in Ashlu, at the pools of peace. It istrue I saw, as all mortal men are fated to see, * through a glass darkly ; but to this day the truth remains un-shaken and unimpaired, — I saw.
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. GEO. T. FLANDERS. 215 " Perfectly aware that there are many clergymen,and thousands of men and women in and outside ofthe churches, who are involved in doubts, difficulties,and perplexities similar to those that once enthralledme and made me wretched, I propose to set forth inthe pages following the way and the means by whichmy doubts were silenced, difficulties overcome, per-plexities cleared up, and I was made to know thatGod is, that man is immortal, that our personality per-manently endures, that a real, substantial world awaitseach man, woman, and child at death, that we shallknow each other and ultimately be united as onefamily, that times, seasons, and events flow in the har-monious order of an ever beneficent Providence thatreigns supremely and works solely for human good.It is a large part of my purpose to make the reader anindependent thinker and investigator, by simply givinghim the key and showing him the way. " Let it be borne in mind through every stage ofthe discussions following that the author is truthfullytelling his own unvarnished story, and that the wholemay be taken as a sort of modern Pilgrims Progressfrom the city of Doubt, through the slough of Diffi-culty, and from thence on and up to the Summit of "the Celestial Mountains (p. 11-15).
    • 2l6 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. HIS IDEA OF THE SPIRITUAL WORLD, " Quoting Pauls saying, that the invisible things ofGod are clearly seen, being understood by the thingsthat are made, Mr. Flanders concludes "that thespiritual world must as closely resemble its materialbase, as the spiritual man closely resembles, in formand feature, his material body" —that "the things in "heaven have form, as do those on earth ; and headds : — "Topographically speaking, the spiritual world,like the material world, has great variety ofscenery and every conceivable form of adaptationand use. Its conditions are flexible to every moodand to every need. Hill, mountain, and plain ; trees,shrubs, and flowers ; lake, river, and ocean, are allthere as the natural belongings of that incomparablesphere. There is beauty for the lover of the beau-tiful ; grandeur and sublimity to expand and lift thesoul in adoration of its Creator; exquisite harmonyof objects, colors, sounds, to charm away all discord-ant thoughts ; adaptation to lead to unbroken contentand peace and in everything wisdom, goodness, and ;love. There is a place for every one, and every oneis in his proper place (p. 99). Nor does this writer believe that the inhabitants of
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. GEO. T. FLANDERS. 21 Jthe spiritual world are unemployed, or without op-portunity for the exercise and further unfolding of alltheir faculties. He says : — " Nor are the humblest souls without an appropri-ate stage for their abilitiesand development. Thefields await the gardens of fragrance and bowers ofbeauty and country and hamlet, town and city, the ;nobler architecture of a better and happier world.Whether it be hand-work or brain-work, all work is worship and brings joy ; and the world of souls isas full of busy industry as it is with the glory of theLord. No time is wasted in aimless lingering aroundthe throne or playing on golden harps. We shallcarry thither our limbs, our hands and feet, our eyesand ears, our brain with all its marvelous facultiesand possibilities and these imply a sphere for their ;effective use. Our personality preserved, and all elsefollows as a matter of course" (p. lOo). He believes, too, that the objective world in thespiritual realm must be in correspondence or harmonywith the internal states of its denizens and for the ;righteous, therefore, vastly superior in beauty andloveliness to this material realm — : " I was able to approximate an idea of the supe-riority of the spiritual world to our material world.
    • 2l8 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.on reflecting that the agreeability and adaptation ofany given locality depend upon the degree of har-mony that exists between our interior state and ex-terior surroundings. There is scarcely a place uponthe earths surface that would not be agreeable andenjoyable if one were in perfect harmony with externalobjects and associated with agreeable and concordantminds. Choose, then, some favored spot where na-ture, in every aspect, is at her best ; where the soulis in perfect fellowship with all it sees, hears, and feels,and every rational desire is fully gratified ; and is itnot certain that unspeakable happiness and content-ment would ensue? And such, at least, is the state andplace of the pure and just in the realm of souls. As it is written : Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard,neither hath it entered into the heart of man to con-ceive, the glory that God hath prepared for those who "love him ! (p. loi). Nor does he believe that the spiritual world is amisty, shadowy, unsubstantial realm — far from it: — "And, best of all, it is real. The spiritual worldis no fanciful fog-bank, no unorganized ideal mist, nofantastic, delusive mirage. Its life is home life ; itsdeepest joys are home-joys. Many of our relativesand friends are already there. They have never
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. GEO. T. FLANDERS. 219ceased to love us, and yearn for our presence amongthem ; and when we shall have reached their lovelydwelling-place, they will receive us with demonstra-tions of inexpressible delight." OTHER WORLD ORDER: " This is the title of chapter IX in Lifes Problems." "Having reached the conclusion that a spiritual worldis " — a real and substantial world into which we areconsciously introduced "through the gateway ofdeath " —the author proceeds to consider what mustbe its social arrangements, and according to what lawknown to people on earth its inhabitants must be dis- "tributed. And while engaged on a solution of the "main question," his mind underwent a process ofgradual development," and the following are some ofthe conclusions " by him identi- ultimately reached " —cal, be it observed, with the laws and other-worldsocial order revealed through Swedenborg more thana century ago. " All men are not equally developed intellectually,morally, or spiritually, nor are all equally holy andhappy immediately after death. Their place in thesocial organization of the spiritual world is deter-mined by the variety and quality of their moral and
    • 220 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.intellectual state. The proof sustaining this propo-sition is specific and irresistible. It is, in part, con-tained in the following particulars : — " Variety and diversity, I perceived, result from far-reaching and uniform laws. The least of things, aswell as the largest, are under their inflexible control.Diversity of parentage —the almost infinite variety ofsouls —the manifold degrees of development in respectto culture and refinement, morally and intellectually —imply not only exterior, but interior conditions thatare irreversible and ineradicable. The forms of life,from the lowest to the highest degree, disclose no ex-ception. We are justified, therefore, on grounds ofstrictly scientific deduction, in concluding beyond that,our mortal ken, there is no exception even to the "uttermost limit (p. 109). " and I saw, too, that without variety diversity,separate or differentiated existence would be impos-sible. If each particular thing and creature were, inevery respect, precisely alike, they would inevitablyseek a common level and to occupy a single focus.That road leads to chaos. " one of the most essen- It was also apparent thattial features of creation, physically and morally, wouldbe wanting if creation were devoid of beauty. Physi-cal beauty depends upon form and color, light andshade, in infinite variety. Intellectual and moral
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. GEO. T. FLANDERS. 221beauty depend upon purity, truth, and love, mani-fested in infinite variety and combination of ideas, and actions. Without these forms of beauty,affections,whether here or hereafter, the formation of a pure andsymmetrical character and the attainment of perfecthappiness would be impossible. If creation werewithout variety, it would not only be devoid of use tobeings such as we are, but stale, flat, and unprofit- * able to an unbearable degree. While I could notconceive of the spiritual world as in any way differ-ent, externally, from this world, it was also evidentthat personal peculiarity is continued there, in all its "variety and diversity, even to the minutest particular(pp. 111,112). " Our present social state, whether in civilized orsemi-civilized communities, is made possible, and itsimperfect order maintained, by the careful observanceof such distinctions as spring from morals and culture.From the highest virtue to the lowest vice, from greatenlightenment to the profoundest ignorance, fromChristian civilization to the most beastly barbarism,from faith in God and man to cold-blooded nihilism,society shades off by almost imperceptible degrees.But disregard all lines of separation, sink out ofsight all social, moral, and intellectual distinctions,and confusion and anarchy would be the inevitableresult. We may be sure that in the spiritual world
    • 222 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.these lines of separation are not disregarded, but arestrictly observed. No system of spiritual communismprevails there ! " The tendencies of modern society, instead of be-ing in the direction of laxity, are steadily movingtowards a more severe definition of its diverse andoften antagonistic elements, and the formation of dis-tinct social centres. Everywhere, under the action ofuniform laws, like is seeking like. Refinement is seek-ing refinement, culture isseeking culture, spiritualityis seeking spirituality, wickedness and vulgarity areseeking wickedness and vulgarity, and the movementis yearly accelerating. In the words of a homely proverb, Birds of a feather flock together ; and, asone our present ignorance of each other, result ofcoupled often with a disregard of moral principles, "the different flocks sometimes get badly intermixed 1(p. 14). " How is social organization in the spiritual worldeffected ? Precisely on the same principles, and bythe action of the same laws, as here ; in a word, onthe basis of attraction, enforced by absolute knowledgeof each other. We have not only the authority ofthe Bible, but of common sense, to assure us that inthat world our power of perception will be greatly and advanced, and we shall not only see *enlargedface to face, but know even as we are known! The
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. GEO. T FLANDERS. 223startling significance of these words may be thusillustrated : — " Suppose that to-morrow morning everybodyshould be permitted to know as much about everyperson within their acquaintance as they do aboutthemselves. How many friendships that would notbe broken ? How many business relations that wouldnot be severed? How many marriage connectionsthat would not be immediately intolerable ? Is it notcertain that the majority of old relations wouldspeedily break up, and new relations be formed?Society would be reconstructed, as quickly as possi-ble, on the basis of actual affinities, and heaven andhell on earth, not intermixed, but rigidly defined andseparate, would be the inevitable result. " I did not forget, here, that God rules by law, andnot from caprice. Choice is effected by the silentaction of law operating from within, and no violenceis done to individual preferences and attractions. Eachgoes willingly and cheerfully to his own place, and therefore by choice, and is as happy in his choice asconditions and capacity permit. " Something like this is daily transpiring here inour common life. Without violence, and mostlywithout force from without, men and women aresilently asserting and following their preferences. Po-litical parties are formed on the basis of political prefer-
    • 224 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.ence. Creeds are accepted from choice. Churches,often antagonistic in doctrine and discipline, aremonuments of the irrepressible law that aggregateslikes and establishes lines of fellowship. Chemicalaffinity, so imperious in determining the associationof particles and the forms of matter, moves upwarda degree, and is equally imperious in determiningsocial and other forms of association. Can it be thatthe law of association is less imperious on the higherplane of the spirit life ? If the most interior realityof each individual life were laid bare, if every thought,word, and act were brought to judgment, how longwould that festering debauchee, that satined and jew-eled harlot, that millionaire whose wealth was begot-ten in narrowness and meanness, that impersonationof supreme selfishness and conceit, hold their placesin popular respect and on the uppermost seats ofsociety? How long would that gilded and sancti-monious hypocrite stand in pulpit, or sit at ease inpew of a fashionable church ? Once known, theywould gravitate to their kind" (pp. 116-18). A SUMMARY OF HIS CONCLUSIONS. And the author sums up the conclusions he hasreached, and which he justly considers "rationallyundeniable," in the manner following : —
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. GEO. T. FLANDERS. 225 ** Man is man as to his spirit, and therefore lives I.as man after death. This fact is proven by a greatmass of scientific and historical evidence, —notably bythe appearance of Christ, Moses, Elias, and manyothers, who were seen as men, women, and children ;although in many cases they had long been dead, —Moses, seven hundred years, " 2. The material body of man neither thinks, con-ceives, originates, wills, feels, nor acts of itself Itsmanifestations, of whatever character, originate withand are dependent upon the spiritual man, woman, orchild within it. This proven by the absolute ces- issation of all physical and intellectual manifestationsthrough its agency after its death. " 3. Physical, intellectual, and moral manifestationspertain to man only as a spirit ; therefore whatever isachieved or gained, —character, good or bad, igno-rance or intelligence, habit or tendency, — is the soleproperty of his spirit, and necessarily accompanieshim after death. " 4. Character is not a physical, but a moral forma-tion ; nor does a man lose his character by dying. " 5. Conditions of happiness or misery always attendon character; therefore conditions of happiness ormisery attend a man after death. " 6. Character, attainments, tendencies, tastes, havealmost infinite variety of gradation ; therefore almost »5
    • 226 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES,infinite gradation of happiness or misery attend oncharacter" (pp. 125-6). LITTLE CHILDREN AFTER DEATH. Again, Swedenborg tells us that those who die in "infancy up immediately after death, taken are raisedinto heaven, and committed to the care of angels of thefemale sex who in the life of the body loved littlechildren tenderly, and at the same time loved God.And because these angels, while in the world, lovedall little children from a sort of maternal tenderness,they receive them as their own and the little ones ;love them as their own mothers." And he proceedsto tell how and lovingly they judiciously, tenderly,are treated, how wisely they are educated and gov-erned, and how fully and harmoniously all their noblestpowers are developed and their natural selfish pro-pensities repressed. And all this, remember, frompositive knowledge obtained by long and open inter-course with the spiritual world. Look, now, at the conclusion which the author of " "the Problems has reached on the same subject, bystudy, reflection, and the exercise of his logicalpowers — : " Nearly one half the human race die in infancy.They enter the spiritual world weak, helpless, igno-
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. GEO. T. FLANDERS. 22/rant of themselves, and of pretty much everythingelse they need to know. Undeveloped physically,mentally, spiritually, they need there, as much as theyneeded here, the constant care and instruction ofparents, or of those competent to care for them. Arethey neglected and left to shift for themselves ? Said Jesus : It is not the will of my Father that one of *these little ones should perish.* Their angels doever behold the face of my Father which is inheaven. "These motherless immortals undoubtedly arecared and carefully trained up to the beauty and for,glory of immortal manhood and womanhood in a ;word, to an equality with the angels. Thousands ofmothers are entering the spirit-world whose heartsyearn for the little ones they left behind them why ;should they not find solace in the adoption and careof some little spirit-orphan whose parents, perhaps forlong years to come, must remain on the earth ? Andsomething more than solace for what can be more ;congenial and indispensable to their future happinessthan the charge of these helpless innocents ? Howoften here a bereaved mother finds comfort and solacein the adoption of some motherless babe. Many asorrowing mother could be resigned to her bereave-ment could she be made to realize that her helplessinfant is loved and cared for in the world immortal
    • 228 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.by some mother in whom the love of little children isa deathless passion. Mothers have died resignedlyand peacefully because assured that their little oneswould be treated tenderly, and provided with every-thing necessary for their health, education, and hap-piness. " We must believe that the care, education, physicaland moral training of little children is a markedfeature of the after-death life. From no other pointof view can we successfully vindicate the moral justice "and benevolence of God (pp. 165-7). Swedenborg further learned from open intercoursewith the spiritual world that those who die in infancy orchildhood continue to grow in that world till they at-tain the full stature of men and women. And when,perhaps many years after, their mothers enter thespiritual world and desire to see their offspring, nowgrown to the fullness of the human stature, these lat-ter are remitted into their infantile state, and conse-quently take on the precise form they had when theyleft this world, and so are instantly recognized by theirmothers. Then, in the presence and before the eyesof their mothers, they pass rapidly through all thestages of development till they arrive at their presentstate of maturity, and, of course, are recognized bytheir mothers at every stage as their own children,
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. GEO. T FLANDERS. 229precisely as they would have been had they lived andgrown to manhood or womanhood here on earth. " And the author of the * Problems arrives at asimilar conclusion respecting the main fact — viz., theirgrowth to maturity in the spiritual world. Hesays — : "It seems to me clear that facts in physiologyand in psychology, together with logical deductionsfrom the perfections of God, point unmistakably tothe attainment in the immortal life of physical andmental perfection in other words, to the attainment ;of Immortal Youth." DIVINE PROVIDENCE. " There is then no chance, no fate, no absolute fixed-ness, pertaining to human affairs or to human life.But nothing is left at loose ends.* An Infinite Di-vine Providence everywhere presides. A sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice; and to say that it numbers the hairs of our head is onlysignificant of its infinite minuteness. As generalscomprehend particulars, it is not only in all generals,but also in all particulars. And so it is exterior andinterior ; universal and minute. And everywhere itacts for ends of use. It is building the human race
    • 230 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.up into a glorious, blessed heaven, and it cannot be *diverted from this object. It makes the wrath ofman to praise the Lord, and the remainder thereof, —allbeyond that use, — it restrains. It is always busyand always accessible. It modifies here, and enlargesthere, and is, what its name implies, — Divine Provi-dence. In a word, — it is our Heavenly Father acting aFathers part toward all his intelligent creatures^(p. 259-60). THE VERDICT OF REASON. The old theologies, because of the unreasonable-ness of many of the doctrines, have insisted on theexclusion of reason from the domain of religion, andtaught that the understanding is to be held in subjec-tion to faith. But the New Christianity repudiatesthis dogma, and insists on the faithful exercise of therational faculty in religious as in all other inquiries.The herald of the New Jerusalem never encouragesa blind belief, nor asks our assent to an unreasonabledoctrine. Though never exalting reason above Reve-lation,he would, nevertheless, have us regard it asone of the noblest gifts of God, and exercise it freelyand reverently in determining the true meaning ofRevelation. He insists that religious truth is to berationally received, or seen to be truth before it is ac-cepted; that a blind faith, or the unthinking accept-
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. GEO. T. FLANDERS. 23 1 "ance of the mere dictum of others, is not faith,but only a persuasion." What is truth not seen," **he asks, " but a voice not understood ?" Even " in "heaven," he adds, no one believes any truth unlesshe sees it," or apprehends it by his rational faculty.And this is precisely the ground taken and resolutelyand ably maintained by the author of the " Problems." "In his chapter on Results," after the rational consid-erations presented in support of the conclusions hehad reached, he adds : — " Such is the verdict of reason ! Why not pausehere, I said, and go no further ? Reason needs nosupport from without ; why carry the case to anothertribunal ? Most men respect the verdict of reason ;but Christian people are apt to feel the need of addi-tional support from Revelation. Reason and Revela-tion, when their final verdict is made up, have alwaysbeen found to be in perfect agreement. It is well forRevelation that they are not in conflict ; for the dayhas gone by when Revelation could be made to standagainst reason, and command the credence of sensibleand educated people. It should be remembered,moreover, that Revelation has received from reasonits strongest supports and defences. When the twoare united touching any one thing, their testimony issure to prevail. Are they united in the verdict ren-
    • 232 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. "dered, as we have seen, by Reason ? We shall see(P- 173). HIS VIEW OF THE OLD CREEDS. " have brought forward the most important and the Imost difficult questions in theology and philosophyand subjected them to a purely rational treatment. Inno single instance have I appealed to authority — inBible or Church — to sustain or enforce my conclu-sions. My sole reliance has been on pure reason andhistorical fact. If occasionally I have cited texts ofScripture, was simply to show the harmony of the itevidence. have thus endeavored to meet the skeptic Ion the one hand and the Christian on the other. " I am convinced that a stubbornly skeptical attitudeof mind is a great misfortune. The curse of the mod-ern Christian church is skepticism. The old creedsare fading out, and too often Christianity is identifiedwith the creeds. As a consequence the churches arehoneycombed with unbelief, and the people are notfed. God with thunderbolts and an endless gehenna Ifis a mistake, they seriously ask, is there a God ? — Ifthe future life is not a scene of devastated familycircles and broken ties, they plead, — is there a futurelife ? What is the meaning of Scripture texts so longused to support these theories, if they have not beencorrectly understood ? Is the Bible a truthful book ?
    • TESTIMONY OF REV. GEO. T. FLANDERS. 233 " Of secret doubt and untold difficulty all alongthese lines, there is a vast amount. For the mostpart the pulpit is silent, and for the most part the pul-pit does not know what to say. Is it to be wonderedat that the churches are thinly attended ? That thepews are only partially filled ? Is it not time to lookat Christianity, as represented by the Bible, from a dif-ferent standpoint, and see if it has not a side in strictharmony with educated reason and conscience, and inno wise contradictory of any known fact or law ? " I have endeavored to show that Christianity hassuch a side. I am a Christian — at least technically —but it is because my reason has made me one. If myfaith is not rational, it is nothing. But I am in nobondage to a system. My Christian convictions arein accord with all else I know. They present noobstacle to my liberty of faith or research. I wouldtherefore make the reader a Christian on the terms "that I am one (pp. 315-17).
    • CHAPTER IX. MANY WITNESSES NOT YET SUMMONED. is much more indirect testimony to theTHERE value, and spiritual helpfulness of Sweden- truth,borgs teachings, which we are compelled to omit. Toinsert it all would require a more extended researchthan we have time to make. And even that portionwith which we are already familiar would if only a —moderate fraction of it were given —swell the presentvolume to a size greatly beyond the dimensions con-templated, and beyond what is needed to accomplishour purpose. " " By indirect testimony we mean the testimonyof those whose writings are imbued with the large,free, catholic, and Christian spirit of the Church signi-fied by the New Jerusalem, and which teach most, ifnot all, of the fundamental doctrines of this Church,but without ever mentioning Swedenborg by name orusing any of his terminology. Some of these writersare known to be, and others to have been, readers ofhis writings ; but some of them may have received thetruths they teach by a kind of spiritual instinct, orthrough that spiritual perception which is vouchsafed 234
    • WITNESSES NOT YET SUMMONED. 235in a greater or less degree of clearness to all thehumble and devoted followers of the Lord. As it is "written any : man will do his will, he shall know Ifof the doctrine." And this is often and plainly taughtby Swedenborg. We cite one or two passages inconfirmation of this : — " Every one is enlightened and informed from theWord according to his affection for truth and the de-gree of his desire thereof, and according to his facultyof receiving. They who are in illustration are in thelight of heaven as to their internal man ; for the lightof heaven is what enlightens men in the goods andtruths of faith. They who are thus illumined appre-hend the interior meaning of the Word ; thereforethey make for themselves doctrine from the Word,to which they apply the sense of the But they letter.who are not in the affection of truth from good, andthence in the desire of growing wise, are more blindedthan illumined when they read the Word, for they arenot in the light of heaven ; and from the light of theworld, which is called the lumen of nature, they seeonly such things as are in agreement with those of theworld ; and thus, from the fallacies in which the ex-ternal senses are, they lay hold of falsities whichappear to them as truths. Hence the greater part ofthem abide in the sense of the letter, which they . . .
    • 236 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.apply to favor falsities, especially such as are in agree-ment with the loves of self and of the world. Butthey who are not of this character merely confirm thedoctrinals of their own church, neither do they knowor care whether these be true or not." —Arcana Cce-lestia, n. 9382. " They who are in good and desire truth have per-ception and are enlightened when they read the Word,and so are taught from the Word. But they who arenot in good cannot be taught from the Word, but canonly be confirmed in such things as they have beeninstructed in from infancy, whether those things betrue or false. The reason why they who are in goodhave revelation [that is, spiritual enlightment], andthey who are in evil have not, is, that all and singularthings in the Word in its internal sense treat of theLord and his Kingdom, and the angels attendant onman perceive the internal sense of the Word ; this iscommunicated to the man who isgood and reads inthe Word and desires truth from affection hence he ;has illustration and perception. For with those whoare in good, and thence in the affection of truth, theintellectual principle of the mind is open into heaven,and their soul, that is, their internal man, is in consortwith the angels." — Ibid., n. 8695.
    • WITNESSES NOT YET SUMMONED. 237 In the light of this teaching we see that those whotruly acknowledge the Lord — only such are for really good — and earnestly desire the" " in have truth, aperception of the spiritual and true sense of the Wordwhen they read it with such desire ; and this, too,without having read any of Swedenborgs revealings—though with the help of these they might receivethe truth in greater fullness. We do not claim, there-fore, that all the advanced religious thought of to-dayis to be credited directly to the writings of Sweden-borg but the testimony of its teachers to the truth ;and value of these writings is none the less pertinentor potent on that account. Among the names of the large class of witnesseshere referred to, but not summoned, may be mentionedsuch eminent divines as Frederick W. Robertson,George McDonald, Canon Farrar, John Caird, JohnPulsford, William Ellery Channing, Phillips Brooks,Henry Ward Beecher, Lyman Abbott, Andrew P.Peabody, and David Swing. It would be easy to fill avolume larger than the present one with extracts fromthe writings of these men, containing most, if not all,of the essential doctrines of the New Church as taughtin the writings of Swedenborg, and thoroughly imbuedwith their catholic and Christian spirit. And notwith-standing the opposition which some of these writershave had to encounter from the more conservative or
    • 238 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.less progressive class of Christians, their writings aremuch more extensively read by the intelligent and pro-gressive men and women of to-day, than are thosethat breathe the spirit and uphold the doctrinal theol-ogy of a half century ago. And so their writings andthe great multitude of their readers and admirers helpto swell to gigantic proportions the cloud of witnessesto the truth, value, and spiritual helpfulness of Sweden-borgs teachings.
    • CHAPTER X. TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHER MINISTERS. the last two decades the cloud of witnesses toFOR the truth, value, and spiritual helpfulness ofSwedenborgs religious teachings, has increased involume with wonderful celerity, yet scarcely percepti-ble to the popular gaze. It is well, and in perfectaccord with the laws of divine order, that its increasehas been so quiet and unobserved. For the spiritualgoods and truths with which these teachings are allaglow, are the light and warmth of the New Jerusalem" coming down from God out of heaven." And whatis the New Jerusalem when brought down to, ourpresent plane of existence, but the Lords kingdomhere on earth? (See A. C, 402, 940; N. J. D., 95).And this kingdom, we are told, "cometh not withobservation." EXTRACTS FROM A HUNDRED LETTERS. During the decade the writer has had a pretty lastextensive correspondence with members, and espe-cially ministers, of the various Christian denomina- 239
    • 240 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES,tions,concerning the claims of Swedenborg and thetruth and value of his teachings. Many New-Churchbooks have been ordered and sent them from time totime but generally those known as " collateral works ;of the Church " — works designed to explain, eluci-date, and confirm the doctrines taught by Sweden-borg — have proved to be most satisfactory, and mostsuccessful in convincing their readers of the truth ofthe new revealings ; — doubtless because these are morereadily understood by the uninitiated than the seersown works, but invariably leading to the study ofthe writings they aim to elucidate. The following are extracts from a portion (only afraction, however) of the letters here referred to and ;nearly allof them are from ministers. But none ofthis testimony is from persons who are, or haveever been, identified with the organized New Church.These ministers are all familiar with the Old Theo-logies, most of them having studied and preachedthem for yearsand they know, therefore, from their ;own personal experience, the relative worth and help-fulness of the Old and the New Theology. Theyknow, too, with what gladness the best of theirpeople receive the new teachings, and how percepti-bly they grow, under their enlightening and quick-ening influence, in all the Christian graces and noth- ;ing but the prevailing and intense but blind prejudice
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 24 1which is known to exist against the writings ofSwedenborg, prevents them from telling their peoplethrough what channel they have received the higheror more interior truths of the Word. Their testi-mony, therefore, is all the stronger for the fact that itcomes not from professed New-Churchmen, and istherefore not open to the suspicion of being prompt-ed by a sectarian spirit, or a desire to enlarge andstrengthen a particular denomination. In all theseministers the love of truth, and of the good to whichtruth leads, has overcome and cast out the spirit ofsect. These extracts have been taken indiscriminatelyfrom our files of letters received during the last nineyears,and no other order in their arrangement hasbeen observed but that of the annual date of the suc-cessive groups. Some of the more recent ones speakof the help derived from The New Christianity,which is really testimony to the truth and value ofSwedenborgs teachings. For, standing at the headof this paper, is the following : — STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES. 1. The New Christianity recognizes the Two Great Com-mandments (Matt, xxii 37-40) as embracing the essentials of :true rehgion and of Christian fellowship. 2. It recognizes the propriety and use of organized churches(with their divine ordinances), and seeks to promote the spiritualgrowth of all. 16
    • 242 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. 3. holds that pure or absolute religious truth is not attain- Itable by finite minds, and that perfect agreement, therefore, inreligious doctrine is not to be insisted upon charity, or right- ;eousness of life, being the end of all doctrine. 4. It accepts Emanuel Swedenborg as a divinely illuminedexpounder of the Word, or Sacred Scriptures, and aims to be atrue exponent of the principles through him revealed. The names and places of residence of the writersfrom whose letters these extracts are taken are omit-ted, for reasons which every one will understand andappreciate. A — very few of them perhaps three orfour— are from laymen, but a full hundred are fromministersand the single one from a well-known ;New-Churchman, was merely to tell of letters hehad received from ministers commending Madeleys" Science of Correspondences Elucidated," and thank-ing the Connecticut New-Church Association for thegift which they highly prized. EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS OF 1882. " From a " United Brethren Preacher. " I am a preacher in the Church of the United Brethren,and have been transferred to the Conference. I firstbecame acquainted with the New-Church doctrines nearly ayear ago, and from the first they struck me with their rationalityand catholicity, and the purity of life enjoined from love to theLord and the neighbor ; and now I am heartily a receiver ofthese heavenly doctrines, and desire to live for the Lord, and to
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 243perform uses for the advancement of his kingdom in the heartsof the children of men. " Swedenborg Library and your own works as I want the advertised in The Man and his Mission. ... I feel that thereis a good field here for the spread and reception of the N. C. doc-trines, and I am desirous to be of use in this direction. If youor some one else will furnish the books, I will us^ them as acirculating library among those interested. " Thanks for your kmdness in sending me The Man and his Mission, also the Contents of the Swedenborg Library.From the latter I infer that your books are more than helpful tothose knowing how to use them. 1 shall take great pleasure incommending them to our town library, and also to that of thecity of , two miles distant." From an Episcopal Minister. " have now finished reading your letters on the Divine I Trinity and cannot withstand the impulse of expressing to youmy great delight with the work. It certainly is a clear, forcible,and eminently rational explanation of that doctrine, and as anexplanation of Swedenborgs views, incomparably superior tohis own expression of them, so far as my acquaintance withhis writings goes. And I will go further : as explained by you,the difficulties which it has to encounter in the minds of seriouspersonswho feel that they can never rest satisfied with any viewwhich does not fully meet all the demands of reason and theScriptures, are immeasurably less than those by which thepopular doctrine is embarrassed. Of this I feel fully convinced." From another Episcopal Minister, " I regard him [Swedenborg] as a great man, a great thinker,one of those minds that impress themselves deeply and abid-
    • 244 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.ingly upon the race. I have learned and continually do learnmuch from him that I value among the richest treasures of mytheological studies. And I feel that, whatever may be our ex-planation of the origin or mode of acquirement of his thoughts,they deserve the consideration of all who desire to have con-verse with one of the master thinkers of the modern church."From a who subscribed for the Sweden- Presbyterian Minister borg Library and now accepts th^ New Doctrines. "... The one essential of the church is, to fear God andkeep his commandments. The Lord Jesus taught this. . .Swedenborg teaches this. The essential thing of the NewChurch is, that the Lord Jesus Christ is the God of heaven and earth, and religion consists in keeping his commandments.This is all any church needs, or has any right to have the creedas a condition of membership. The church may formulate atlength its doctriiys for the sake of instruction, but it has noright to impose anything by authority, or on penalty of exclu-sion from communion, on any man who acknowledges and itsobeys the Lord. Christians should call no man master on earth,because they have one, only one. Master, the Lord himself;and they are all brethren. . . . " It is an important inquiry whether a new organization is notdemanded —an organization which will plant itself squarely onthis rock : That the one essential thing of religion is, toacknowledge the Lord and keep his commandments which ;will teach its members to look to the Lord alone, and call noman or body of men. Master which will teach them to allow ;their brethren the same freedom, and to bear with them in theirignorance or errors ; which will teach its members to seek forthe good and true, and not be afraid of Swedenborg or anyother man who has something to say ; to listen to all, but to
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 245follow the Lord alone. This church should exemplify as wellas teach the doctrine of charity. It occurs to me as possiblethat such an organization might perform a great use, . . .and might leaven all other churches with the truths and prin-ciples of the New Age." EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS OF 1883. From a Baptist Minister. " Dear Brother Barrett : — Many thanks for your excel-lent and timely work on The Doctrines of the New Church. a deeply interesting volume, and cannot failIt is to perform animportant use in the Lords kingdom. I think it is just thebook needed for colleges and seminaries. Inclosed find $$ tohelp it along; and if you need another ^5, just say so, and itwill be forthcoming. God bless you in your great and goodwork. My heart is with you always." From an Episcopal Minister. " Though loaded down with a press of duties of all sortswhich had accumulated during a three weeks absence, I havefound time to read your work, and to read it very carefully, . .There is nothing in the book which any Christian need beafraid of, and much that is calculated to remove doubts anddifficulties, and to help humble and earnest inquirers on theirheavenward way. . . . I do not know but this little workactually surpasses in value as an introduction to Swedenborg,all your previous writings. For this purpose it iseven betterthan Barretts Lectures on the New Dispensation, valuable asthat work is. . . . " This much is certain to me Swedenborg was a great : philo-
    • 246 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.sophical and theological thinker, and indeed so exceptionallygreat, that his writings have certainly revolutionized theologicalthought ; and with him the Church unquestionably entered —upon anew Epoch though his influence is only just beginningto be felt and that Epoch is therefore yet in its early dawn." ; From another Baptist Minister. " Will Science of Corre- you please send a copy of the spondences elucidated to Rev. , D.D., of ,with my name on the wrapper or in the book, and send bill tome. I have been reading the work somewhat, and think itadmirable. I wish I had money to send a copy to every min-ister in the land." From a Congregational Minister. " I have been a constant reader of N. C. works for fiveyears. I have a set of the Arcana and all the other principalworks of Swedenborg, with many collateral works. I have se-cured to our city library a set of the A. C. and ten others ofSwedenborgs books. Considerable interest is being createdthrough their circulation. " can the leaven-like influence permeating I, too, testify toall classes of society through the instrumentality of New- Church teaching. I proclaim it without let or hindrance.Many have avowed their preference for it over the old views.Of course there are some constitutionally opposed to receiv-ing anything new. But they are not the most intelligent persons—far from it." From another Congregational Minister. " have been reading Dr. Holcombes Lost Truths Of late I of Christianity, and Aphorisms of the New Life. They are a revelation to me, and just what I need. How good the Lord
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 247is to have things for us just as we need them. I would likevery much to own The Swedenborg Library in 12 vols.,which I find advertised in Aphorisms. But I must wait tillthe Lord provides." [And this correspondent had not to waitlong.— B.] From another Baptist Minister, " Enclosed find numbers of New-Church ^i.oo, price of fourPopular Series. You have surely gotten on the right track inthisway of publishing N. C. literature. I hope the time willcome when such books will be published monthly to regularsubscribers. I would like to have many such works in my library. To my mind, Barretts Swedenborg Library is thegreatest success ever accomplished in the popularizing of N. C.truth, and these extra volumes are but the continuation of thesame good work. Keep on." Froftt an Evangelical German Pastor. * Though entirely unknown to you, I am a minister and co-worker in the Lords vineyard, and for many years past in con-nection with an Evangelical German Church. In principle I ama New Churchman, and am endeavoring to teach the heavenlydoctrines to the people of my charge. A few months ago aTract came to hand entitled A Brief Exposition of the Doc-trines of the New Church, of which you are the honoredauthor. This Tract pleased me so well, that I ^t once resolvedto make a translation of it into the German language, andhave it published for general distribution among our largeGerman population. With the aid of some friends the matterhas been accomplished, and the nicely printed T^ct is alreadyin the hands of many Germans, and will no doubt fulfil its use-ful mission."
    • 248 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. From a Presbyterian Elder. " I have been a reader of New-Church doctrines for someyears, and my views now accord with Brother s, althoughI am still in connection with the Presbyterian Church (Elder).I take great pleasure in the dissemination of these truths.Within the last two or three years I have purchased not lessthan $100 worth of books and tracts pertaining to the doctrinesof the New Church and ; the reading of these has not beenwithout its influence." From an Episcopal Minister. " desire to know something of Swe- Having long cherished adenborg and his writings, I procured a copy of his A. R., H. H., "and T. Apocalypse Revealed," Heaven and Hell," C. R. ["and "True Christian Religion "] which three works I have notonly read, but carefully studied —and am getting more hungryand thirsty for spiritual food. . . . Will you favor me with full information regarding your Swedenborg Library, which,if possible, I would like to procure ? And let me know thelowest price, for I have not much of this worlds — goods thechurch or society I am connected with (Prot. Episcopal) beingsmall and very poor." [The S. Library was soon sent him at a greatly reduced — B.]price. And not long after, the same gentleman writesagain — : " have already succeeded I in winning six persons, who, ac-cording to my judgment of their lives and conversation, trulyaccept and beheve the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusa-lem." And six weeks later he writes (ordering a few more volumes of our works), and says : — makes me • Your Swedenborg Library • is excellent ; and it
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS, 249supremely hapjjy to have the few [of my people] who are in-terested in the doctrines of the New Church, come to borrowand read them : . . . and to answer their many and almostinnumerable questions, and to explain these doctrines to themas they gather round about me in private." " And a few weeks later he writes again — : " I am pleased to say that the books, from present appear-ances, will be read by many more than I at first expected. Ifind two more of my little congregation pr^epared to receivethese new revelations. ... I accept your suggestions [as tothe best course to be pursued in a private class]. Vol. VIII of the Swedenborg Library, treating of the Sacred Scriptures, is,without doubt, the best book to begin with, and I thank you I seem tofor your advice. profit a great deal by your sugges-tions, and am glad you have not withheld them. I shall speakto those who are ready to embrace the opportunity of studyingE. S. in private, and, if possible, have them purchase a copyof the book." From Another Episcopal Minister. " Enclosed please find the postage for the package you sokindly sent me about a week since. I had hoped to be ableto read both books in a day or two, therefore to be able tothank you more intelligently for them. But in this I havebeen disappointed. ... I have lately read Swedenborgs * Doctrine of the N. J. respecting the Sacred Scripture ; andimmediately afterwards, by way of impressing the salient pointsof that work more deeply upon my memory. Vol. VII. of the Swedenborg Library, down to the Key.* I hope to readthat, also, in a day or two. When read, I know I shall longfor something more of the kind. . . I met Rev. Mr.[of the Evangelical school]. I had a long talk with him. He
    • 250 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.is a full receiver of the N. C. doctrines, but stancis on your plat-form with regard to the nature and whereabouts of the NewChurch." EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS OF 1884. From a Universalist Minister. " pamphlet on the Deterioration of the I received a little Puritan Stock a little while ago, and I noticed on one of thecovers the advertisement of your work entitled The Science ofCorrespondences Elucidated, price $1.25 to ministers. Now —I would like very much to have that work, with the pamphletsyou send gratis ; but I am not able to buy it. I have only ^400a year, and a family to support. And yet I do hunger aftersome such work as you advertise. If you feel able to send mea copy, and feel that the good it might accomplish will repayyou for the cost, I would receive it with a thankful heart. " Pastor Universalist Church. , A copy of the Science of Correspondences was immediatelymailed to this brother, and not long after he wrote : — " The book came to hand, for which please accept my heartythanks. have already selected from it the substance of two Isermons and one lecture. So far as I have read, it is muchbetter than I expected to find it. " Yours fraternally, ." From a Baptist Minister. " Dear Sir and Brother About a year : — ago, when I waspastor of the Baptist Church at , I received apamphlet from Dr. John Ellis, called Deterioration of thePuritan Stock. I read it with profit. It created an appetite
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 2$ Ifor more of such literature. I wished to learn and practicemore love God, and more charity for my neighbor. I there- tofore provided myself with one of your works which I saw men-tioned in Dr. Elliss pamphlet. I got The Doctrines of theNew Church Briefly Explained. [No. 5 of New- Church Popu-lar Series.l From it I have received great light. I wish to beled still further into the light. Will you take my hand ? Please keep me posted *let me know of some good periodical that will in regard to the general work of The New Church. I intendsoon to provide myself with Swedenborgs complete works, andyour works also. ... I have been a minister of the Gospelnearly twelve years, with a clean record, etc. I am fully re-solved to go wherever the truth leads. Hoping to hear fromyou, I remain "Yours in love to God, and charity to " the neighbor , "Pastor Baptist Church, ." From a Minister in North Carolina. " My Dear Brother Barrett The tract, with receipt for : — 155.80 [for books], came to hand yesterday. It is now about three years since I began to look into Swedenborgianism (so called) for something more than the dreams of a mystic and ; I am happy to say that I have found an inexhaustible mine of heavenly treasures." From a Minister of the Disciples Church. " have been a hearty receiver of the New-Church Doc- I trines now for seven or eight years. I am a regular minister in the Old Church, among the people calling themselves Christians or Disciples, popularly known as Campbellites. My .preaching is more popular and more effective upon the common mind than
    • 252 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.it was before I read New-Church literature. But the preachersthink me astray, especially those who know whither I am drift-ing, as one of them expressed it. " Sometimes and in some places I have openly acknowledgedmy indebtedness to the New Church ; but at other times andplaces I have not. And these experiments have convinced methoroughly that the time has not yet come for me openly to ad-vocate the New-Church doctrine, unless I leave my present-relations and join the New Church. Whether to do that or nothas been a question of serious thought. ... I am nowgetting along nicely with my new charge, on which I enteredthe first of the year (1884). I am also getting along nicely withthe preachers of the other denominations, who are progressivemen. . . . " Now, if you can give me any suggestion, I would be glad.As a receiver I have been all alone. Sometimes in my isola-tion I feel really hungry for sympathy and advice. If you havethe time, I will be glad to receive a letter from you." I promptly replied to this brothers letter, sendinghim some New-Church books, and advising him, as Ioften have advised other ministers similarly situated,to pursue a prudent, gentle course; to preach thetruth affirmatively as he understands it, disturbing noone by running a tilt against the old dogmas; to tryand win his people by the exhibition of a higher,holier, and more devoted life ; and thus endeavor toeducate them gradually out of the Old into the New,and lead them in the heavenly way. And about three
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 253months thereafter another letter came from him, fromwhich the following is an extract : — " My Dear Brother : — After reading your ApocalypticNew Jerusalem, and the other large work, I am confirmed inthe view which I imbibed from my reading of the T. C. R.,the first of Swedenborgs works that I ever read. I drew theconclusion from my first reading of that work that, if Sweden-borg be taken as an authority, there must be many genuinemembers of the New Church now in the different divisions ofthe Old Church. When I carefully read his graphic descrip-tion of what characters would be members of the New Church,I thought I could point out just such characters in my owncommunion. It was his doctrine of charity as set forth in theT. C. R. that first began to win me and if that bait had not ;been on the great fishermans hook, I, for one, should never havesnapped at it. But I felt my heart growing warmer as I readthat lovely doctrine. Conscience seemed to grow stronger andwiser, and my liberality began to expand. " was matter of hearty me that could now It rejoicing to Ibegin to see how perfect fidelity to truth was entirely com-patible with the broadest charity. While I was confirmed inmy former view that I should preach nothing but the truth, yetI saw, as I never clearly saw before, that truth should always be* spoken in love, and should be used only to save and never tocondemn. In those early days of my reception of N. C. doc-trines I supposed that if ever I should meet with New-Churchpeople I would find them meek and gentle, and ready to reachout thehand to encourage me. I did not then see that theLord was keeping me away from N. C. people to prevent me
    • 254 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.from being frozen out. I can now see that my very isolationwas a blessing and my safety. The Lord leads the blind in away which they know not. . . . "As to my personal attitude towards the New Church [or-ganization], I think I can be a better as well as a more usefulman by maintaining my present ecclesiastical relations. . . .And the Lord being my helper, I shall be more cautious thanever not to forfeit my standing among my own brethren. . . .I have read Swedenborg to no purpose if it be not true that hiswritings breathe the sweetest charity, the gentlest forbearance,and the tenderest toleration. And if any one should ever con-vince me that I am mistaken, and that he and his doctrinesbreathe the spirit of bigotry and intolerance, then I shall makea bonfire of all my New Church literature. " But have the presumption I (if such it be) to interpret Swe-denborg for myself, and I long to drink more and more of thesweet and gentle spirit which he always infuses into my soul.My daily prayer to the Lord is, that I may become more kind,long-suffering, and conciliatory towards all who differ from mein doctrine and opinion. And if the spirit of Christ is contraryto this, then I dont want to be a Christian. If the dear Lordcan make me a vessel fit for his use in leading my brethrenslowly and quietly into the better doctrine and higher life, myhighest ambition will be realized. And I shall be more cautious•than ever not to over-drive the flock for a single day, lest theyshould all die, as Jacob said to Esau. "Hoping you will some time write me at your leisure, Iremain, kindly and lovingly, " Yours in the Lord,
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 2$$ From another Baptist Minister. " What regard your recent work on are the Doctrines of Ithe New Church ? as the best work of the kind I have everread for general use. I read iton a sick-bed, when death stoodbefore me face to face, and I can testify to its great worth in thelight of eternity. It is simply invaluable. " While I have not yet had time to read your Footprints,* Ihave nevertheless turned over nearly all of its pages, and havein a generalway followed you in your argument. I am muchpleased with the work, and think it will serve an important use.We need at times to consider these footprints of progress.Your work reminds me of the pious Arab who, on being askedhow he knew there was a God, replied, How do I know that acamel passed my tent last night ? Do I not see his footprintsbefore me ? And so, if any person shall ask me again — asthey have often done before — for evidences of a New Age, Ishall be enabled with satisfaction to point them to Footprintsof the New Age by : B. F. Barrett. These footprints are soclearly shown that none but the wilfully blind can help seeingthem. I wish to subscribe annually to your Society [Associa-tion], for I am in full sympathy with its aims and hopes." EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS OF iSSj. From a Presbyterian Minister, " much book Heaven Revealed] Very that you teach in thisI regard as Gods own precious truth, which must be of im-mense spiritual help to every one who reads it with an unpreju-diced mind. . . . Anything so suggestive of noble spiritualideals as this book is should be gratefully welcomed by everyone who is working for humanitys uplifting and regeneration."
    • 256 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. From a Baptist Minister. " I have examined your excellent work entitled Heaven Re-vealed, with the deepest interest and with great delight. As a/^/2^/<a!r presentation of Swedenborgs disclosures about heaven,I know of no work equal to it. Its clearness and freshness areboth charming and convincing. The chapter alone on The Origin of Angels, is worth the price of the whole book. Thisopinion is also shared by an intelligent member of my congre-gation who has for some time been deeply interested in thepneumatology of Swedenborg. His verdict is that HeavenRevealed is simply grand —the best he has yet read. I predictfor your book a very large circulation and a very wide sphereof permanent usefulness." From another Baptist Minister. " Your kind favor of October 19th is before me. Accept myheartfelt thanks for your kind words, wise counsel, and thebooks. The advice you give comes very timely, for I was ata loss to know just what course to take, but had felt impressedthat the course you suggest would be the wise one to follow. .. . . My discourses, which are all treated from the New-Churchstandpoint, are doing much in this community to open the eyesof the orthodox people not only in my own church, but in theother churches. The present situation is very promising. Alarge percentage of church members are pleased with my myteaching, and stand firmly by me. Few (until recently) haveknown that the doctrines [they were listening to] were NewChurch. Most of them know it now." From the same {a few weeks latet). " The First Baptist Church of , of which I am pastor, atits regular business meeting, held Nov. 2d, by more than a four-fifths vote indorsed my recent series of discourses as the truth
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 257of God ; and, to emphasize that indorsement, the Trustees wereempowered to secure my services as pastor for the term of twoyears. . . . They seemed to think if what I had been givingthem was Swedenborgs doctrine, they would more of it." like From another Baptist Minister. " resigned my charge I with the best wishes not only at ,of the church, but of the community generally; took good cre-dentials, etc., and am laboring acceptably as pastor of the Bap-tist church here. They wish me to accept their unanimouscall and permanently as their pastor settle for coming years.I must take time to consider. This church is more willing toaccept progressive thought than the one I lately resigned. " I have subscribed for the two periodicals you recommended,viz., the N. J. Magazine and the TV. C. Messenger. I am contin-ually getting more light, and am trying to walk in the light. Iwish to be humble, but believe I am developing intellectuallyand spiritually. " thank you kindly I for the books you sent me, and haveread them carefully and prayerfully. ... I am heartily tiredof party spirit, man-made creeds, old sectarian ruts, and allnarrowness. We Baptists are too narrow. ... thank you Imore than I can now tell you for your kind letter, which hasbeen the means of leading me into greater light and liberty." From the same {two weeks later). " Dear Brother —^Your kind reply is received. Accept my :thanks. I see wisdom in your suggestions, and will do as youadvise — remain where I am, and lead the people into greaterlight. I never saw a people more willing to be led —providingI do not mention the name of E. S. . . . The good Lord isgiving me great success here, for which I am thankful. . , , 17
    • 258 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.Thanks for the little books. May God bless you for the kind-ness you have shown in your letters. I remain " Your Brother always, From another Baptist Minister. "Thanks for yours of the 6th inst. I have glanced through Holcombes Letters and The Garden of Eden, and prizethem very highly. Have more carefully gone over TheApocalyptic New Jerusalem, which has so fully confirmed mein views previously entertained as to remove the remains ofanxiety and doubt. " I closed a six years pastorate of the Baptist church ofone year ago. Have been interested in New-Church doctrinesabout two years, and preach them at the school-house and fire-side, where most of my present teaching is done. They aresomewhat variously received ; but I am encouraged by the factthat a class of people being reached who have hitherto held isthemselves aloof as far as possible from all religious influence ;and hope at no distant day we shall be able to organize a INew-Church society here. Sometimes I feel a little lonely inmy work; but when I remember that the Lord (in his secondadvent) here in power and glory, the feeling passes away, isand my heart is filled with peace, joy and hope. " I thank you most sincerely for your kind letter, so full ofsympathy, encouragement and instruction —as also for thebooks, all of which are highly prized." From an Episcopal Minister. " I am a Presbyter of the Prot. Epis. Church, of thirty years.I have been reading N. C. writings for five years. The peopleknow that I read them. I teach in a plain and positive way, in
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 259a quiet manner, and from the Bible. Having been here but afew months, it would not do to tell the people I am teaching thedoctrines of E. S. But I can teach the truth, and enforce itfrom the Word, and they will readily accept it. I do not yetfind any one uneasy as to my teachings, but all seem impressedby the work I do on the Lords day. " I take the N. C. M., and have done so for three or fouryears. Have distributed a large number of tracts, and secured the Gift Books for nearly forty clergymen and laymen.Have bought and distributed with profit some of your works.I aim to do the work so as to have it tell. Next week I shall, if possible, have the Gift Books sent to aclergyman of theChristian denomination [Disciples]. He has promised to take them and read them. have your Library of I 12 volumes.My wife has read them, and is a partial receiver." From another Episcopal Minister. "have studied Swedenborg enough to see that his views Ion fundamental doctrines are not only intensely rational, butin strictest accordance with the teaching of Holy Scripture. . .His theology is not Petrine nor Pauhne, but it is *Johan- nean. .... " Last evening I was going over the principal contents ofyour book [//eaven Revealed^ with two ladies, one of them astaunch Presbyterian, who remarked The views are so beau- : tiful, so attractive, so entirely in accordance with what our God-given instincts lead us to perceive, that I desire to hear moreabout them. have never heard any such views advanced in Iregard to heaven before, in all my life. They are novel, but "they strike me as true. From the same {a few weeks later). " The New View of Hell reached me by due course of mail,
    • 26o A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.and I have just finished reading it. Apart from one singlestatement on — 170 a statement, however, in no wise affecting p.the general argument—there not a word in the book to which isI can take the slightest exception. . . . " In conclusion me to say, that I esteem it a permit very-great privilege to have been permitted to read this book in con-nection with your new work, Heaven Revealed. The twoshould be read together. Their practical tendency seems tome to be good, and only good. How any one can rise fromthe persual of these books without the determination, by thegrace of God, to lay aside every weight and the sin which dothso easily beset us, and run with patience the race set beforehim, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, isto me a mystery. And I believe few will." From a Congregational D. D. "Although not a disciple of Swedenborg, I am not averse torecognizing the great things effected by him in the domain ofreligious thought. In what your book [Heaven Revealed"] saysconcerning the essential nature of heaven, the sure way to heaven, environment in heaven, homes, children, workand progress in heaven, I find much that is sensible and and very little tohelpful, dissent from or to qualify. .... Icannot doubt that the practical influence of the book, as awhole, will be for good. Indeed, from what I have been able toread of it, I am disposed to read more, and to thank you for thework." Frojn a Methodist Minister. " I have been studying Swedenborg quite thoroughly, andhave entered into experiences in the direction of his teaching —think I am growing in the right direction. I have reacheda foundation of faith and philosophy which to me seems solid,
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 26 1and satisfies both reason and heart. ... I believe he [E. S.]was a seer of the highest order, and that his is the only truespiritual philosophy and the true interpretation of the Word.And the Christian thought and theology of this age have gotto come to it. The growing thought of the churches is in thisdirection, but the great mass of the preachers are still goinground in the narrow circles of the old dogmatism. . . . " There is not a shred of the Old Theology left in me. Theend of the world has come The old Dispensation is con- to me.summated. The Lord comes now. The New Age has begun—the New Jerusalem descends. My soul is turned to theEast, and rejoices in its morning. The night is past, though thetwilight still lingers. Spiritual realities are yet seen but dimly-shadowed in the mists of the morning. But the spiritual Sun isrising on this bewildered world. " I still belong to the M. E. Church, though I really believenone of its theology. I feel it is best to remain with them forthe present. The time for the old hulls to drop off has notcome yet, and I dont think it best to try to pull them off. Andafter all there is a better chance to work within than without. preach occasionally, sometimes in the Methodist andI stillsometimes in the Congregational church and sometimes I go ;outside wherever there an opening. Of course, is I do not preachthe old theology which I do not believe." From another Methodist Minister. "Enclosed find $1.00, for which please send me Dr. Hol-combes Letters on Spiritual Subjects.* . . . I am satisfied withand fully embrace the doctrines of the New Church on theTrinity, the Atonement, the Resurrection and the Life. I am amember of the Conference of the Methodist EpiscopalChurch, have lived and labored beyond my threescore and ten
    • 262 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.years, and regret that I did not make an earlier acquaintancewith the writings of (what have been) one of I believe him tothe worlds greatest men. I am poor, and take the dollar fromthe uses of the natural man, with the desire and hope of findingfood for the spiritual man in Dr. H.s book." From the same {of later date). " have read your Heaven Revealed (and re-read some por- Itions of it) with intense satisfaction yes, I can truly say, with —delight. I have loaned it to a neighbor, who is also delightedwith it. As a basis for the formation of Christian life and char-acter, the book is inestimable. What a pity it could not findits way into every family in our land." From another Methodist Minister —a D. D. " I received your excellent book entitled Heaven Revealed.Was much and much pleased to get it. interested in it . . .While the thoughts contained in the book are not new to me —for I have been a reader of Swedenborgs works for over thirtyyears —yet found pleasure in reading again sentiments and Iviews of the heavenly state, which have always afforded memuch comfort. The views of Swedenborg on the subject of theheavenly state are so rational, so completely in harmony withthe laws of our spiritual being, and, above all, so consonant withthe Divine Word, that I can hardly conceive it possible theyshould not be correct. . . . " I think your book is calculated to do much good, by givingits readers more exalted and rational views of the heavenlystate than those ordinarily entertained. I trust it may have anextensive sale, and that tendency may be to wean many from itsthat evil and selfish kind of life which characterizes so largelyeven professedly religious people. " Yours in our Divine Lord,
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 263 From still another. " course of reading for a year or two past has been in the Myline of Butlers Analogy, Halls Problem of Human Life,Natural Law in the Spiritual World, The Unseen Universe,together with works on Idealism as published by the so-calledChristian Scientists. " In have pursuance of this vein of thought, I just completed *Vol. XII. of The Swedenborg Library and have been findingit wonderfully helpful. My whole soul goes out for an entirenew spiritual life —for a better understanding of truth, anda life of love. I want all the volumes of the SwedenborgLibrary. . . . What can you do to help me towards getting "them ? The Swedenborg Library was immediately offeredthis brother at a greatly reduced price ; and shortlyafter the whole set was ordered by him, and within afew months thereafter he sent for several other books. From a Minister of the Disciples Church. "What a pity that the slavery of ignorance renders it neces-sary to doubt the ability of its subjects to bear light ! From thehasty glances which I have so far found time to give your book,I have been much edified and assisted in my attempts tounderstand more of the Real World. An impartial jury oughtto decide that your book is powerfully suggestive; and itseffect ought to be to send its readers back to the Bible toreexamine all bases of faith. Many will read it with profit — Iamong them." From another Minister of this denomination. " Your book reached me at a busy time, and I have notexamined it as I desired to. As far as I have gone, it has
    • 264 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.helped me to a better understanding of the positions discussed.In some respects I like Swedenborg. In many things I donot comprehend him or I cant agree with him. Your ex-positions have made me see more clearly, and I admire yourmethod." From a Unitarian Minister. " have read your book {^Heaven Revealed^ with interest Iand profit. I have been a reader, and to some extent areceiver, of the Swedish seer ever since I entered the ministry.... Your works from time to time I have also read withinterest. This last work of yours is well fitted, I think, to intro-duce the great Swede to those unacquainted with him, and toshow them the rational basis on which his teachings and vis-ions rest. . . . Slowly, but surely, I think, the world is comingto hQ philosophy of the spiritual world found in the New-Churchteachings. But it is not on the authority of Swedenborg thephilosophy is received, but on the authority of reason —the voiceof God in the soul. "As to the practical influence of your book, I think it must begood. For while I cannot accept all its teaching, it does makethe spiritual world seem, as it is, something real, and gives anidea of Heaven and Hell to which, in the main, our commonsense responds. I thank you for the book." From a Professor in a California University. " On my return from a Geological camp I found your bookHeaven Revealed^ awaiting me and have been reading it, and :need not say how much I am pleased. " Let me assure you, dear sir, that I most deeply sympathizewith the views, doctrines, or revelations —call them what youlike — of Swedenborg. It seems to me he has already impreg-nated all modern literature and revolutionized all modern
    • TESTIMONV OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 26$religious thought, ahhough few seem to know their indebted-ness to him. If I cannot wholly, unreservedly, and heartilyaccept the reality of his communication with spirits, it is onlybecause long dealing with scientific methods makes it difficultto do so. I find precisely the same difficulty, neither more norless, with the supernatural in the Bible. . . . " I cannot for a moment doubt the powerful tendency forgood of all Swedenborgs works, and therefore, also, of youradmirable vindication of them." Fro7n a Deacon in a Baptist Church. " completed your book. The New View of Hell, a day or Itwo ago, and must say it has given me a great deal of newlight. I consider it, in connection with Heaven Revealed^which was loaned me by Brother , and which I read afew weeks since, two volumes that should be in every library,and frequently read. . . . " The views of the New Church are in most respects, as faras I am able to judge, strictly in accordance with the teachingsof the Sacred Word. Although I have been cautioned aboutreading these works, yet I cannot see wherein they are danger-ous. I am free to acknowledge that they have led me veryclose to the blessed Master, and am very thankful that theyhave been put within hope the Saviour will put my reach. Iit into your heart to write many more such useful works, andthat you may spread them broadcast over this land, that theeyes of those in darkness may be opened." From another Congregational Minister. Swedenborg on * They [objections to certain points] cannotblind eyes, however, to the immense wealth of thought and mytruth contained in his system. The practical bearing of this . .book _Heaven Revealed is excellent, many of its lessons in-
    • 266 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.valuable. Such teaching could not fail, I think, to inspirenobler ideals of living here, and to make earth better as wellas Heaven surer. In all these respects we owe you a largedebt for interpreting to us, and applying to this time, the teach-ings of Swedenborg." EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS OF 1886. Frojn a Congregational Minister in Australia. This was an interesting letter of ten pages, stating some ofthe writers difficulties, and concluding with the following : — " . . . Long as my letter is, I am aware that my difficul-ties have been stated very imperfectly and disjointedly ; butyou, having passed through much the same, will interpret thembetter than I could express them even in a much longer epistle.I can say honestly, though, notwithstanding the difficulties Ifind in accepting or understanding Swedenborg and the New-Church collateral writings, the only really spiritual pabulum Iget comes from that quarter. I want to get a thorough graspof your positions, as I feel and have felt for a longtime that theOld Church, with its gross literalism, is quite unable to grapplewith the questions which are constantly pressing upon us. Ourground, I am convinced, notwithstanding the reiterated asser-tions of our leading lights to the contrary, is completely honey-combed by the advances of the scientific spirit. . . . " My apology for thus writing you is the conviction I havethat you will gladly render me any light or assistance in yourpower. I may state that I am a Congregational minister. " With The gratitude for light received from your books [ New and New Divine Trinity, Future Life, Dispensation
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 267View of Hell *] mentioned at the beginning of my letter, andbest wishes for your continued usefulness, I am " Yours ." sincerely, From a Unitarian Minister in New England. Dear Brother Barrett — On my return from a short • :vacation, I find your True Catholicism,* The New Age, and The Bible ? or the Creed ? which you have kindly sent me.Like a bee the choicest flowers, I have been sipping the amongsweets, not of theology but of pure and undefiled religion. Iam thankful to God that you are instrumental in in-bringing somuch sweetness andThe old systems and schemes are light.passing away being renioved that the pure gold ; the dross isof truth and righteousness may remain and abide forever. —More and more we are getting to the uplands of Galilee ; and,sitting reverently at the feet of our Saviour, Christ, we are find-ing that His holy religion is Light, Life and Spirit, just as Hesaid when He tabernacled among the sons of men. " I rejoice that you are doing so much to modify the old-timetheologies, and in place of negations to put forth such a simplefaith as to win the love and esteem of all who are seeking tohelp humanity onward toward the goal of the heavenly life. "Rest assured that I shall diligently study your books — read, mark, and inwardly digest ; and, God helping me, Ishall bring forth from my treasury things new and old.* " ." Fraternally yours, From a Baptist Minister in Georgia. " Brother Barrett — I have received and read your tract, : The Bible ? or the Creed ? and you can hardly imagine how much I relished its contents. You have hit my case exactly.I have been a reader and firm believer of the heavenly doc-trines of the New Jerusalem for ten or twelve years, and have
    • 268 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.been in the Gospel ministry for the last forty years. And I amready and willing to say that I have gained more light on theScriptures from the New-Church writings than from all othercommentators put together. . . , " to some extent by openly But I have injured my usefulnessand publicly assailing from the pulpit the old and still existingcreeds, ...so that, occasionally, on visiting some of themissionary churches, I find the doors and pulpits closed againstme; when, if I had taken the course counseled in your tract, Ishould not have met with such opposition." From a Distinguished Minister in the West. "Dear Sir: — By suggestion on the cover of ProgressiveThought, etc I write you for information about bookson the New Christianity. Although a Baptist Minister andPastor of the Orthodox type, I am yet an honest inquirer aftertruth. A student and teacher ... for long years of thelanguages of Italy and Greece and their literatures, as well asthe Bible, I am not restful in much that goes for inspired truth. " Skepticism and I have already ordered Dr. John EllisDiv. Revelation, Swedenborgs True Christian Religion, Apoc. Revealed, and Heaven and Hell. Send me whatbook you think Ill need additional. I have stumbled for along time on the Cadaver Resurrection. If you have any book determinative o^ this, please send it and the price. . . .If you send me one or two best works on the trend of the NewChristianity, with price to ministers, I will enclose you theamount by return mail. " I have the courage of this conviction, that the progress ofChristian thought is now distanced by that of true science,which is also one form of Gods revelation to men. . . . " Yours for the ." Truth,
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 269 From a Minister in Indiana. " — Dear Brother A few days ago I received a copy : of Progressive Thought on Great Subjects, which I read withattention and much interest —and must read again. So grandare its thoughts — to me new thoughts —that I hunger now formore. I am laboring on small pay, but I desire to give thesegreat subjects more thought, and to give to others as you sayin your Appendix, p. no. Please send me the catalogue ofworks published by your Association — find stamps enclosed. •• Rev. ;• From a Methodist Minister in Texas. "Dear Brother: — I bought the Science of Correspon-dences some time since, and am reading it as I have time. Iam pleased with and interested in it, and, am not ashamed tosay, instructed and benefited by it. I think I should like toread the Swedenborg Library. Please tell me the price of itto ministers. " I have my twelfth year in the Texas Con- just concludedference. never received over $400 a year generally less. I I —have a wife and four children so you see that money cannot;reasonably be very flush with me. But our lives must be spentin doing good, not in accumulating earthly treasures. "Yours in Christian Brotherhood, ." " " The Swedenborg Library was offered thisbrother at a greatly reduced price ; and soon after heremitted ;^3.50, and ordered the set sent him. A newedition, bound in six volumes instead of twelve is now(1891) offered to ministers at ;^2.$o, post-paid.
    • 270 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. From a Baptist Minister in Kansas. " My Christian Brother — have been much pleased and : I instructed in reading Progressive Thought on Great Subjects,lately sent me by some unknown friend. I have for severalyears a desire to become acquainted with Swedenborgs feltNew Theology but my limited income in my loved occupation ;(Pastor of the Baptist Church in ) has always shaken itshead, No. " Now, please inform me how I can be favored in reading orhaving Swedenborgs works to read, and at what cost. Alsoplease send catalogue of publications by The Swedenborg Pubhshing Association to one who desires to know our blessedMasters will and revelation better, and thereby be betterequipped for his work —be enabled to preach more truth andwith greater clearness. " Yours in Christian service, . From a Minister in Michigan. " Dear Friend and Brother : —A book entitled Progres- Thought on Great Subjects came to me a few days ago; siveand I have read every word of it with intense interest, and ithas awakened in me a desire to know more about the New Christianity. I want the Swedenborg Library * (12 vols.), butcannot send for it just now, as I am getting ready to go forth asa missionary in our home mission work —a good time to beginwith the higher views." From a Teacher in Missouri. " Dear Brother : — I have read and re-read (partly) Pro-gressive Thought. It is the best to me of anything I have yetseen. I am more and more convinced that the revolution of
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 2/1theology and ecclesiasticism is the brightening of the GloriousMom. "O, how my bewildered mind is being calmed by thesepeaceful breezes ! . . . I want your teachings to prove true,and Im almost sure they will. God speed the time when allHis people shall be one. " Please send me The Science of Correspondences by Ma- deley, Aphorisms of the New Life, and Helps to Spiritual Growth by Holcombe, Footprints of the New Age and True Catholicism by Barrett. I desire to form a small circulatinglibrary soon as possible." From a Baptist Missionary. " Dear Sir : —The Rev. , with whom I am at presenta visitor, has lent me a copy of Progressive Thought, etc., inwhich I am greatly interested, and of which I should like tohave a copy. There are some questions of very solemn mo-ment upon which I desire fuller light, and I am led to think theworks of Swedenborg may be very helpful in the solution ofsome difficult theological problems, such as the Atonement,Heaven, Hell, etc. I have led a very active, busy life as amissionary for . . ., and subsequently as pastor of Baptistchurches in . I have had little time for the full considera-tion of the truths presented by Swedenborg, though I haveseveral times resolved to do so. Now that I have a little leisure,I should like to fulfill my intention before I settle down to regu-lar work. . . . "Many of our churches are dead —bound in the grave-clothes of ecclesiastical bondage and religious bigotry. I shallbe glad if you can advise me in these important matters, andsend me anything I ought to read. ... At present I preach
    • 272 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.only those truths upon which I have settled convictions —thethings which I have seen and heard concerning the Word oflife. . . . " With Christian regards, " Yours very sincerely, ." From a University Professor. " to make a request. I write During the great revival of1 was illuminated by the Divine Spirit to the recognition andreception of truth, such as I afterwards found embodied inSwedenborgs writings. I am desirous that the students of ourUniversity should have the opportunity of reading that greatseers productions. But we have no available funds for theirpurchase. And if we had any, I should, perhaps, be consideredas presumptuous in asking our Board of Trustees for their ex-penditure in the purchase of Swedenborgs books. " Having lately received the pamphlet entitled ProgressiveThought on Great Subjects — for which I hereby express my —sincere thanks I have been impelled to inquire whether a do-nation of all Swedenborgs volumes might not be made to usfor our Library ; or if not all, at least as many as may be gra-tuitously bestowed. I should consider them a great acquisitionto our Library and a valuable aid to our students in their in-vestigations and inquiries after truth. " Sincerely yours, .* [Thirty-three volumes of our S. P. Associationspublications were sent as a donation to the Libraryhere referred with the suggestion that possibly, by to,applying to the A. S. P. and P. Society of New York,a set of the unabridged works of E. S. might also beobtained gratis. — B.]
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 273 From an Episcopal D. D. in Canada. " From a Notice to Ministers on the cover of a book sentme by some unknown friend, I learn that the Swedenborg Pub- lishing Association will send its catalogue of publications toany minister on his application. I would be glad to receivethe same. I am a minister of the Church of England, andsome time ago I had my attention directed to the New Jerusa-lem Church. I am very favorably impressed with what I havelearned of its doctrines, and I want to know more. I may evenuse the liberty, which I see you permit, of communicating withyou by letter respecting these most important topics. " Yours with the most sincere respect, ." From a Baptist Minister in Illinois. " Some one has sent me a small book entitled ProgressiveThought on Great Subjects, which I have read most carefully. " Now I wish to say that I have been prejudiced against theteachings of Swedenborg. This arose from early training. . . .I have never seen any of his teachings until recently. But asI have a strong tendency toward investigation, I now proposeto read for myself; for I know that I am personally responsible.I have been a Bible student for years, and at times I have feltthat Bible truthwas darkened by the opinions of men. But Ihave often noticed that when I went to God for aid, I receivedit. To comprehend the true meaning of the Scripture, we musthave the aid of the Divine Spirit. . . . " Now, Brother Barrett, as pastor of a Baptist church, I feelit a duty to investigate, and gain all the knowledge I can ; andto this end I shall send some of your Swedenborgian publi- forcations as soon as I have the means to spare, and would likeall the help you can give me by letter and otherwise." 18
    • 2/4 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. From a Congregationalist in Nebraska. Having received a secular paper from Nebraska, " "containing a reprint of one of our Leaflets (No. I," Spiritual Recompense "), I wrote to the gentlemanwho sent me the paper (an entire stranger to me)thanking him for this unusual service so generouslyrendered, and asking a few questions. And in replyI received from him a long and very beautiful letter,and one which interested me all the more from thefact that the writer is not a professed (though I thinkhe is a real) Newchurchman. The following is anextract from his letter : — "... I read your little Leaflet, No. i (sent me in a by a friend), with unusual interest, and re-read it severallettertimes and as opportunity permitted I gave it to one and an- ;other of my friends to read, and all seemed to be of one mindconcerning it. To me it seemed to be a plain, simple statementof great truths and principles on which all thoughtful peoplecould agree as laying at the root, or embodying much, ofpure Christianity. Moreover, these were presented in languageexceptionally clear and attractive, and in that respect speciallyfitted not only to commend them to the intellect, but to reachthe heart, and to leave an impression which should be lasting —for good. "With these feelings concerning it, and perhaps regarding itas a morsel of spiritual food providentially thrown in my way,not only for its influence upon my own soul, but perchance topass along to others, I sent it, with a brief note expressive ofmy own views, to the editor of our Journal, who kindly gave ita place in his columns.
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS, 2/5 " It in the daily and weekly, having a combined appearedcirculation of about 9000 copies. I took 500 extra copies, which,after marking the article, I mailed — say, about 50 to Editors ofvarious religious papers, about 350 to clergymen of differentdenominations, mostly in the West ; and the balance to per-sonal friends. " I am a member of the one of the Congregational Church ;editors oi }^q Journalxs a leading Episcopalian, while the othermakes no profession of rehgion ; but I am sure we may be nonethe less happily harmonious in receiving and disseminating theprinciples of a pure Christianity, which we felt were commended " to us in your little Leaflet. From a Baptist Minister in Pennsylvania. " Dear Brother : — I write you this little note to express mygratification book you were pleased to and thanks for the last —send me The New View of Hell. I have thoroughly ex-plored its contents, and must honestly confess that I have re-ceived from it very much benefit. And I could say more. . . . • I think I am beginning to live in the light, in the truth, in way— yes, hope, in the Life of God.* I am much in- the Idebted to you and some other New-Church authorities, and willbless theNew Doctrines now and evermore. " Yours ." faithfully, From an Independent Minister. " My Dear Brother : — I have just finished a second read- ing of The Bible ? or the Creed ? and can cordially say.Amen ! to the good Christian common sense contained in youradvice. . . . " I felt that was a minister of the Gospel of Jesus I alwaysChrist, and that I owed allegiance first of all, and only, to Him,
    • 2/6 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.. . . and that I was constrained by a supreme regard to hiswill and the eternal interests of his people, to preach to themthe message He gave them. " The Churches all seem to think that the people who haveunited with their communion are their private property ; andthat it is dishonest and wrong for a minister in any of them topreach any truth, however important or precious it may be, ifit is harmony with the accepted creed of that church. not inBut when a man comes forth in the name of his Master, with amessage from Him, relating to the eternal well-being of thepeople over whom the Lord has placed him as pastor andteacher, he cannot afford to stand on matters of church eti-quette, orpay much regard to the behests of any Sanhedrim,Synod, or Conference which would presume to prohibit him,because, forsooth, these people belonged soul and body to them ;and they were going to see to it that their chattels should learnnothing about the Lord, life, or heaven, except what wouldplease their masters." From an Episcopal Minister in Texas. " I have this moment finished your True Catholicism ; and Iwish it hands of every minister of both the Old and were in thethe New Church, and of every member also. ... I expectto write some sermons in which I shall largely use your book.. . . I am going to ask my brother of the Presbyterian min-istry to read it. I am confident it is a work that he will enjoy." From another Baptist Minister. "My Dear Brother Barrett: — I have read with great pleasure your excellent work, The Bible ? or the Creed ? and heartily endorse every word of it. The advice you give the regard as the very best that can be ministerial converts Igiven ; for I have followed it for a number of years with the
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 2/7most happy results. . . . Under the Lords guidance, I feltmyself directed to simply and quietly, yet honestly, preach thetruth as I acquired it, and as my people could understand andreceive it. . . . "As to the cry raised of * deception, want of honesty, etc.,I take no account of it whatever. The simple fact is, the peoplewant the truth ; and the Lord, who owns the people, desiresme, as his servant and minister, to give it to them and this is ;what I am doing, and what I intend to do to the end of [myearthly] life. I know the Lord is satisfied with my course, andthis is all that concerns me. And to the man who charges me with deceiving the people by preaching as I do, I reply, thatI thank the Lord for the privilege of deceiving men with thetruth as it is in Jesus, and that I only wish /had been thus de-ceived many years before I was. . . . "As you are aware, I am pastor of a large and flourishingchurch. The people generally (I know of no exception) aresatisfied and delighted with the truth I give them from time totime, and are, with myself, gradually coming into greater light.They even now discourage an exchange with neighboring min-isters, on account of the harshness of the old forms of doctrinetaught in my absence. They love the truth for its own sake,and they like it all the better if it comes from a warm heartwhich has drunk in the loving and tender Spirit of the Lord.Of course, this is not the experience of all my people, but Itrust they are all coming to it. I think they are." From a Minister of the Disciples Church. have read every word of your True Catholicism with great * Ipleasure and can think of no more forcible expression of the ;effect produced by the reading than this I feel lifted up. : Iwish it could be put in the hand and heart of every preacher in
    • 278 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.the land. Could it be distributed as widely as its charityreaches, I doubt not the next Congress of Churches would urge "a movement all along the line. From another Baptist Minister. " About four years ago I was introduced providentially toNew-Church doctrines. In a house that I had purchased a pileof old books was left by the former owner ; and after living inthe house three or four years, one eveningwas looking over Ithe old books and came across one entitled Skepticism and Divine Revelation, by John Ellis. I had never read anythingabout Swedenborg except what was derogatory to him ; but Isoon became interested in this book, and kept on reading until12 or I oclock at night. I felt as though I was in a new world ;and I became so deeply interested by the time I had read thebook through, that I at once sent for several other New-Churchworks [naming yfT/^] and 75 tracts. Sinca then I have spentmost of my time studying and preaching the New Doctrines,although I have not made known their source except to a fewpersons who have been reading the books I have lent them.There are no New-Church people here ; and as I am alone, Ithought it the part of prudence, etc. ... I am called uponto preach nearly all the funeral sermons in this section ; . . .I find the people like the New Doctrines and are pleased tohear them ; quite a number are investigating them, and I thinkthe foundation is being laid for a society here." EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS OF 1887. From a Baptist Minister in New Jersey. " I know something of the teachings of Swedenborg and ;what I have learned from him concerning the New Church has
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 279led me to believe that his meaning is just what you are teach-ing. . . . Some of your people seem bhnd to the great changethat is going on in the churches. Men of all denominationsare longing to see the rent body of Christ healed with the finehealth of beautiful and tender brotherhood. " Every Christian who feels the warm heart of the Masterbeating in his, while reading the prayer that Jesus made for theunity of all who believe in Him, is intent, not upon emphasiz-ing the difference between himself and his brothers, but ratherfeels called upon to emphasize that in which heart answersheart and face looks into face with the wonderful light of divinelove that is at work knitting us all together in the heart of ourblessed Lord." From an Episcopal Minister in Arkansas. " Dear Brother Barrett : —Yours of the 29th ult. received. . . I have read The Question Answered with unflagging in-terest. Your kindness in sending me this reading matter iskeenly appreciated. I long to possess the Swedenborg Library,yet fear to seem importunate or exacting. I have found whatmy soul longed for. Swedenborg formulates my expressedand long suppressed fancies, dreamings, thoughts. He setsforth, as if by inspiration, much that I believe, and that othersbelieve,-too, but in secret, like Nicodemus. These are afraidof Church Councils and well meaning but irascible sectariancongregations. " I shall move cautiously —necessity counsels caution. . . Ipray for grace, for wisdom, to distribute the leaven judiciously.Your advice is sound, sensible, encouraging. . . To-day I havereexamined City. The Golden pray It affords comfort. . . Ifor you humbly, but in all earnestness, that your abundantlabors may be richly blessed. What help you afford me now,you extend to the New Church emphatically."
    • 280 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. From a Presbyterian Mmister in Kansas. * A small book, entitled Progressive Thought on GreatSubjects, has fallen into my hands and upon close perusal ;it has almost fascinated me with the teachings which I supposeare to be found in Swedenborgs writings. And I am exceed-ingly anxious to give his works and those of kindred authors athorough examination. But I am unable to purchase them at If you can furnish me with the Swedenborg Library present.at a very low rate, and on easy terms, I shall try to buy it." Of course, the * Swedenborg Library was sent tohim at a very low rate, and on very easy terms. Fro77t a Methodist Minister in Maine. " Dear Brother : — Enclosed find a P. O. order for |2.oo,for which please send The Science of Correspondences Eluci- Skepticism and Divine Revelation, by dated, by Madeley ;Dr. Ellis ; The Question — What are the Doctrines of the New Church? —Answered, and The Man and his Mission. " have been deeply interested in your True Catholicism I and The Golden City. I have had some of Swedenborgs works in my library for years, but have not given them a thor-ough reading for two reasons : ist, Prejudice growing out offalse impressions ; 2d, because of their peculiar style. " Heaven and Hell Of late I have given quite a closestudy. It is a wonderful book. . . A general distribution of would do much good. The world your True Catholicismwould be a thousand times better than it is could its teachingsbe generally received and reduced to practice." From a Methodist Minister in Georgia. " Enclosed find a P. O. Please send money order for ^3.50.the new edition of the Swedenborg Library to of , Ga. He is already a pretty good Newchurchman for
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 28 1an old Methodist. I find quite a number of people who likethe books and seem desirous to know more about Sweden-borg. . . " As I grow older my love for the blessed doctrines of theNew Church grows stronger and stronger. Oh, how thankfulI am that the good Lord has led me in my old age to a sourceof so much comfort — to such green pastures of love and flow-ing streams of living water." From a Universalist Minister in Pennsylvania. " My Dear Brother : —Your courteous note was duly re-ceived. . . I am much interested in your Golden City,* andshould be pleased to read other works from your pen. I wasalso much interested in brother Ravlins Progressive Thought.*I am glad to read the thoughts of men who have freed them-selves in a large measure from traditional beliefs. " I am satisfied that your interpretation of the visions of St.John is have had the same general substantially correct. Ithought for some time, but have never worked it out in detail,being comparatively young and busy.* From a Baptist Minister in Maine. " A short time ago I received a complete set (12 vols.) of the Swedenborg Library.* . . I must confess that in all my readingof books (and have read many hundreds) I have found more I/i^At, more /ie//>, more so/id comfort in these than in all otherbooks combined. I have been preaching these thirteen years ;and I shall study these books and open up the Gospel anew tomy people as fast as I can understand. Shall send you partpayment soon ; and when these are paid for I will purchase allof Swedenborgs works. " Many thanks to you for such help. May God bless you allis my prayer."
    • 282 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.From an Episcopal Minister in Australia, ordering nearly $20 worth of our books. " My Dear Mr. Barrett I have wished : — for some time towrite in reply to your kind invitation to ministers interested inthe New Christianity to communicate with you. I waited,however, until I could send at the same time for some books.For some years back I have felt that theological books were ofvalue almost entirely in proportion as they agree with Sweden-borgs teaching, and prefer to devote my time to the study ofthose which set forth his doctrines. I have, and have read Swedenborg Library, and have the Arcana your valuableCoelestia, T. C. R., H. H. and A. R. I cannot get on at all the A. C, though I find so much that is valuable in it.fast with Ihave your Golden City and Letters on the Future Life. I am particularly at one with you in regretting any founding ofthe New Church as a sect, believing that it is on a higher planethan the old churches, and so does not clash with them. " I endeavor to teach what I learn to be truth, without leav-ing my position as a minister of the Church of England. It ismy wish to deal and honestly, and I make no secret of fairly myviews, while not forcing them upon the notice of my superiors.I think that if they are dissatisfied with me it is their placeto take me to task. But my Bishop seems to avoid carefullyany subjects of controversy ; so I have gone on hitherto with-out any difficulties. I lend books, as I see the opportunity, tomy brethren and others. I believe the true object of theChurch of England is to bring men to Christ, and that is whatI desire to do above all else. Some expressions in our form-ularies jar upon me a good deal, and I wish they could beexpunged. But the best hope of attaining this end seems tome to be, to try to educate opinion inside of the church. . . . " I have no opportunity of meeting any one who has gone
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 283so far as myself in these studies for I live in a very small ;community, and seldom am able to go out of it. I find, how-ever, great readiness on the part of many of the laity to acceptthe new views, and in many cases find that they are alreadysomewhat familiar with them. * I thank you very sincerely for your Friendly Suggestionsto Ministers. Some friends of mine, hearing that I was aboutto write for books, have asked me to get some for them also.I enclose a list with Post Office order and addresses. " With brotherly love, and thanks for very much advice,comfort and instruction derived from your books, believe me, " Yours very sincerely, From a Young Minister in Kentucky. " I am a young minister of the Gospel of our Lord JesusChrist ; and for the past seven years I have been studying pre-paratory to entering upon the work preaching occasionally. — " But during the past summer I providentially came across a book Progressive Thought on Great Subjects. little entitled Ihave read and re-read it. And the result is, a great hungeringand thirsting has come into my heart to know more of theteachings of the New Christianity. I am anxious to possessthe dest works on the subject, and would be glad to have youradvice as to what ones I had better purchase first. Please sendme a catalogue of your Associations publications. " Your Brother in love of the Truth." From a Presbyterian Minister in Indiana. " — Dear Brother Please send me at once by : express Arcana Coelestia (10 vols.), Apocalypse Explained (6 vols.) ;second-hand, if in first-class order, will answer. " Also send me the 20 volumes offered in your circular, A
    • 284 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.Rare Opportunity. Please enclose bill when you send them ;and hurry them up. I am getting out of reading, and hunger-ing {ox more. So forward at once, and oblige." From another Presbyterian Minister. " Dear Brother Barrett Without a previous : — introduc-tion,. or a formal beginning, I write you, craving a little of theadvice and sympathy proffered by you to those newly enlight-ened in the inner meaning of the Word of the Lord. " For several years I have been preaching the truth as I havefound it in the writings of E. S. I am pastor of a Presbyterianchurch, and have never met with the least difficulty in the workfrom having preached the new doctrine. On the contrary,wherever I go I am well received and gladly listened to. Mypeople seem to me to be growing in knowledge and spirituality. " I have read a great many of Swedenborgs works. I havethe A. C, T. C. R., A. R., H. & H. and Science of Corre-spondences, by Madeley. I need more, but am not now ableto purchase. As soon as possible will get A. E. " have read the statement of principles in the first I issue ofyour paper, and can heartily subscribe to them. . . I havepreached for Was twenty years in the Presbyterian church.educated by the church, and feel at times the meanness andingratitude it would be to come out and decry against my ownmother. But so many are being led astray, and will notchange while the church makes their form of belief —or de-clares essentials and non-essentials in creed. " Would it be better for me to go on as I have in the past —teaching and leading others to see the truth that must event- —ually overturn the old or to withdraw at once ? " Another serious question. wife and four childrenMy mustbe educated, clothed and fed. If I give up my position, incomemust cease. Please give me your advice."
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 285 We immediately wrote this brother, giving him ouradvice as requested, and sending him some pamphlets;and soon after we received from him the followingletter:— " Dear Brother Barrett: —Yours of the 22d just received. * • The Bible ? or the Creed ? and Response to N. C. Messengercame several days ago. " Your advice suits my feelings better than any other thatcould have been given. I could think of no move more pain-ful to me now than that of cutting loose from the mother towhom I owe my education and standing. Nevertheless, if theLord should require it, I would not hesitate. "My successor in a former field (Rev. ) spent thenight with me last week. I find he is sorely perplexed, tellingme and the old system of belief. I his struggles with doubtsgave him Progressive Thought, and begged him to read S.s works. He frankly confessed he was afraid to read. I toldhim my own struggles, and called to his mind his call of God,which no human church had the authority to limit. No creedhas any authority over the Bible or the human intellect. Hepromised to read, and I think he will preach the truth as hesees it. " I no trouble with the people I preach to, but occasion- findally a stranger comes in who smells heresy. The Presbytery,I think, will never attempt to unsettle me for opinions that are not brought to their notice. " The New Enclosed find one dollar for Christianity. Ifind it the most to my mind of anything Ihave yet seen. Maythe dear Lord spare you many years to do the work needed so much in our day and age."
    • 286 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES. From another Presbyterian Minister. " The number of The New Christianity impressed first —me favorably especially that splendid article, The New Doc- trine of the Lord. Of course, you are aware that your presen-tation of the subject is not really new, though probably new tothe masses. Many ministers and thinking laymen have heldthe same views for years. No doubt many intelligent men inthe old churches use the old phraseologies in their utterances ; but not with the former meaning. They put new wine in old bottles, and the old bottles are capable of great expan-sion, and therefore do not burst at once. " Ah, well ; as to the ultimate result, let us leave it to the All- wise God. One thing is certain, many articles of creeds and revision — notably* confessions need those relating to theAtonement.* . . The language of the pulpit is too often mis-leading. . . Here I must stop. Much success to you. I maywrite you a short article now and then if acceptable." From a Baptist Minister in Illinois."Editors New Christianity. " Dear Brethren : — I have been carefully perusing thecopy of your paper which you kindly sent me and ; the readingthereof has awakened within me a desire to know more of theNew Christianity as revealed by the ever blessed and lovingSaviour to those who walk close to Him and desire to partakeof his nature. " The subjects, The New Doctrine of the Lord, A Wordto Ministers, The Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of Bigotry,were especially interesting to me. And I feel that I must takethe paper, and must have a few books though my means are —meagre. I enclose a P. O. order for ^5.60, for which pleasesend me :
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 287 " The New one year The Swedenborg for Christianity, ; Library (cheap edition) ; Ends and Uses The Man and his ; Mission ; — The Question What are the Doctrines of the New Church ? —Answered The Garden of Eden Heaven Revealed; ; ; The New View of Hell. And if you please, send me The Bible ? or The Creed ? and oblige " Yours in ." Christ, In the above letter we recognize the spirit of an honest, humble, earnest seeker after truth ; and all such seekers are sure to find. Should not every min-/ ister of the Gospel be such a seeker? From a Congregational Minister in California. " I am greatly pleased with The New Christianity. It must do good. I have been a reader of the works of Sweden- borg for many years. Have H. & H., T. C. R., A. R., etc., and find great profit in them, though I am in the ministry of the Congregational Church, and have been for over twenty years. I very much want all of the works, but have a large family and cant see my way to get them just yet. I send en- closed $1.00 for the paper. " Truly yours in the Lord, From an Episcopal Minister in Mississippi. " have just read a sample copy of your paper. I have also I read a good deal of Swedenborgs writings, and find him to be a marvelously spiritual man. . . I cant imagine how any one seeking to be led by the spirit of God can fail to find in every page of his writings the deepest spiritual revelations and the sweetest spiritual food."
    • 288 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES, EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS OF 1888. From a Congregational Minister in Maine. "Dear Sir: — Some years since, . . , when my more sys-tematic studies of Swedenborg began, I found in him a well-conceived body of philosophy, of ecclesiastical history. In youradmirable little book, The Golden City, I find Swedenborgselaboration elaborated. For a long time I had been dreaminga dream of something, which, could I attain it, might be calledThe Science of Man and Society in Communion with the Lord.Your book is the best contribution toward such a science that Ihave seen. " Swedenborgs writings seem to me not so much like somebooks about God and man, and the earth and the heavens, asa cosmos inviting explorers and patiently awaiting its Hum-boldt. ... In the books you have sent me, you have affordedme facilities for seeing some things in clearer light than I haveever seen them before. I cannot say I accept all you see, per-haps only because I do not yet see it. But in some things youhelp me more than any interpreter I have met. In WilkinsonI get lost, and I must shabbily confess / want to get lost, in thesplendor of his rhetoric. Henry James troubles me by the in-cessant struggle, seen in every one of his sentences, to formu-late some burning thought of his own which yet he has nothimself fully comprehended, and make it one with some far it seems, hegreater and deeper thought of Swedenborg which,is trying to open. " But The Golden and The True CathoHcism come Citydown pat to the wants of a common man, and help me onmany of the little things in Swedenborgs world, the want of asimple and right knowledge of which holds the mind back
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 289from knowing some of the great things. If these books couldbe honestly and thoroughly read by every clergyman in theUnited States, it seems to me such reading ought to issue in asunburst of light across the continent." From an Episcopal Minister. " Enclosed find postal note for $1.00, which I wish applied onmy subscription to The New Christianity. And pleasechange the address from to , where I expect to spendthe coming winter. "We cannot do without your paper. My wife has become afirm beliver in the doctrines of Christianity as expounded bySwedenborg, and I am but a few steps behind her. " I wish you would occasionally send some of your pam-phlets or other matter to the following persons in . Theyhave become interested by reading some of the books andpapers sent to me." From an Episcopal Minister in Michigan. " My Dear Brother : — I thank you heartily for your letterof May 7th and the kind words it contained ; and especially copy of your book, The Golden *for the City.* I have read itcarefully and prayerfully, and feel that it is the right book at theright time ; and if all Christian ministers could read it andwould embrace its teachings, I think the cause of our blessedMaster would be wonderfully benefited thereby. " I have now read quite a number of the pubhcations of theSwedenborg Publishing Association,* including The NewChristianity and there is no periodical taken in my family ;that is more heartily welcomed or more diligently read than *this. ... have read nearly all of the Swedenborg Library I(the six-volume edition) and have been greatly benefitedthereby. I was deeply interested in The True CathoHcism,* 19
    • 290 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.and could wish that all Christian ministers and laymen wouldgovern themselves by the doctrines and teachings thereincontained. I am now reading as I find time The Scienceof Correspondences, by Madeley, and am much interestedin it. " I subscribed for The New Christianity for six monthsand will renew my subscription soon. My dear wife hasbecome a firm believer in the doctrine of the New Church, andshe wishes me to say that she has received much personalbenefit from both your paper and your books." This brother sent, in the same letter, for the following ** "works : Letters on the Divine Trinity," Heaven " "Revealed," The New View of Hell," Lectures on "the New Dispensation," Letters on Spiritual Sub- "jects by Dr. Holcombe. Prom an Independent Missionary. * Dear Brother Barrett —Your postal of : the 25th inst.with bill of books received. Enclosed find postal note foramount. " Our books are being read more widely than ever before ;but it requires time for the seed thus sown to germinate. " I find that what I do in this line must be done quietly,without arousing the antagonism of the churches. " Our readers are found in nearly all the different denomina-tions. Some of them are active Sabbath-school teachers, etc.,in their respective churches was known generally ; and if itthat they were studying the New-Church doctrines and receiv-ing them, it would hinder their usefulness in their present fieldof labor.
    • TESTIMONY OF A HUNDRED OTHERS. 29 1 " My advice to such is : Stay right where you are, and com-municate the hght which you receive to others as fast as theyare able to receive it. "And in following this plan I think I will accomplish moregood than if I were preaching to a regularly organized New-Church Society. I am desirous (as soon as I am able) to estab-lish a free library of select New-Church books. Such books asI have, I freely loan to whoever I can get to read them. Inthisway, and by private conversation, I am doing effectivework in a way that does not arouse antagonism on the part ofthe churches. " The woman must abide in the wilderness yet a while untilwe can get the conditions right. I am doing what I can to bringabout such conditions as will favor the influx of heavenly lightinto the minds of the masses. For the New Church is not to bea rich mans church ; it is for all. " Fraternally yours, From a Baptist Minister. Dear Brother Barrett — " As time and health per- : . . .mit, I have read much of New-Church literature. I have readwith a sincere desire for the truth for its own sake. I acceptSwedenborgs teachings as fully as does any member of the ex-ternal New Church. I can see the truth as I read his works.I also preach the truth as it is in Jesus to the best of my ability.If I think it aids the truth, I mention Swedenborgs name;otherwise I do not. My object wholly is to reach the hearts ofmen with the saving truths of the Gospel, and I vary mymethods according to the exigency of each case. " My preaching is well received by all ; in fact, the more spir-itual portion of my hearers want nothing else. They especially
    • 292 A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.want the whole Godhead in the Lord alone, and to be fully-resurrected at death. They have, almost to a man, no sympathywith the old forms of doctrine. " Believing, as I do, that no man is qualified to preach a per-fectGospel without an acquaintance with Swedenborgs teach-ings,I would advise my brethren in the ministry everywhereto throw away their prejudices and to study the works ofSwedenborg, looking alone to the Lord for spiritual light. Iassure them from experience it will come to their utmost joyand delight. I think, too, The New Christianity will ma-terially help them. I have also received valuable aid fromthe New-Church Messenger and New-Jerusalem Maga-zine. Your paper, however, has a special mission in reachingnew beginners, and exciting popular attention to the HeavenlyDoctrines. "Yes ; I have tried both systems well ; there is no comparisonbetween them except by way of contrast. Beauty for ashes,the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spiritof heaviness.* I have about given up the reading of the oldbooks on Theology ;they starve me out and out if I keep longat them, while the Heavenly Doctrines nourish my soul moreand more grasp them. as I " You are doing a good work with your newspaper, TheNew Christianity. Dont get weary, but keep right at it,and the Lord, I am sure, will bless your efforts. You have myutmost sympathy." From the President of the Connecticut New- Church Association. " That Science of Correspondences is Madeleys perform-ing a great use I am convinced by the numerous letters Ireceive from clergyman to whom the book has been sent.
    • TE