EVERY EYE-SHALL-SEE-HIM-a-study-in-the-promissed-second-coming-of-christ-Clifford-Harley-London-1949-a-study-within-the-works-written-by-swedenborg
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EVERY EYE-SHALL-SEE-HIM-a-study-in-the-promissed-second-coming-of-christ-Clifford-Harley-London-1949-a-study-within-the-works-written-by-swedenborg






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    EVERY EYE-SHALL-SEE-HIM-a-study-in-the-promissed-second-coming-of-christ-Clifford-Harley-London-1949-a-study-within-the-works-written-by-swedenborg EVERY EYE-SHALL-SEE-HIM-a-study-in-the-promissed-second-coming-of-christ-Clifford-Harley-London-1949-a-study-within-the-works-written-by-swedenborg Document Transcript

    • EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIMINTRODUCTIONTHE belief that our Lord would return to the worldand establish His Kingdom on earth was widely heldby the Primitive Christian Church, and appears tohave been an integral part of the teaching oL theApostles. It found its most explicit expression in Paul sfirst letter to the Thessalonians in the following passage:" For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even sothem also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. Forthis we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we whichare alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall notprevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shalldescend from heaven with a shout, wit h tfie vOIce of the. arch­anga~ anl):vi(.h":.Jh~1rump_9I:QOd : aria the 000 in Biristshall rise first; T hen we which are alive and remain shall becaught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lordin the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Whereforecomfort one another with these words" (Chap. iv. 14-18).So widespread and strongly held was the belief i...n theimminent return of the Lord in bodil form thatit was,in large measure ; aresponsl e factor In delaying thecommittal to writing of the apostolic oral tradition ofthe Lords life and teaching. For the Apostles, ourLords death and resurrection were simply th e prellde,the opening cha[lter, of a story soon to be given itsglorious completion. Meanwhile, they conceived theirmission to be the delivering by the living voice, of theirown personal testimony to the cardinal facts of theGospel-the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus,the Christ.Anti~ipating, _a.~~Y: djd, the speedy retur..n_ of theLord !.Othe world, and the triumphant establishmentof. His Kingdom, they had no thought of makmg awritten record for posterity, since they believed that thesubstance of any such record would find splendid fulfil­ment in present experience of the Lords Kingdom.As the years passed, and the Apostles themselves wereremoved by the hand of death from the scene of theirearthly labours, the need was increasingly felt for anauthentic account of the essential facts of the Gospelstories to be committed to writing, while yet thereremained to the Church some, at least, of the " eye­witnesses of the Word." And so began the written3The belief inthe EarlyChurchA reason forthe lateappearanceof the writtenGospels.
    • accounts of the Gospel, which were received as authori­tative records by the Early Church. " The late appear­ance of the writt~n Gos els·is interesting and significanteviaence~50thof the tenacit of the beliefin, and natureof thS Second Comjn" Qf_the Lord, w 1cIi was held bythe Apostles and the primitive Church.The present Nor has the belief ever died out from the Church.view of thedoctrine in But, as might be expected in view of the fact that, as itthe Church.was interpreted by the Apostles and the FathersL...!l9literal fulfilment has been give.!ll2...it, many ~!!emptshave been made to find some kind of inter retation 0 Itother th an a litera one. None of th ese, however, hasproved to be acce table to the collective mind of theurc , so t at m recent years, t~I~Dcegrc;noTilie doctrine of the Second.Adv nLhas-.received a[ shift in emphasis. The doctrine chiefly interests moderntheologian s from the point of view of how it arose. Therecorded sayings about it, attributed to the Lord, havebeen closely studied. Parallels with apocalyptic teachingcontemporary with Christ, and also of that contemporarywith the age of the Jewish prophets, have been closelyscrutinized, and the conclusions which have been drawn,as a consequence, tendtOCIlsmiss the belief in a Second(Coming as being n01o_~er wormy 0 cre ence:-Andfortlie most part, it nas scarce y any-place incontemporary theological thought. -T he the,i<;pf I1 In this booklet it will be shown that the doctrine of theIhls booklet. l Second Advent is n2t_t.9 be sIismissed as unworthy ofcreaence, bUttliat all the Lords teachmg concernmg it/? -<> liiSactUally been fulfilled,"and that the Second Coming/ 11 of the Lord is an accomplished fact.r In order that the truth of this assertion may bedemonstrated, it is necessary that hat our Lord( A actuall ta~ht His disciples about His return, snould De set fort . That done, we shall next proceed to show, 2 precisely what He meant by the terms that He usedconcerning It. Lastly, we shall try to show that thepromise to come again has hl!,d its historical fulfilment._ .--R~-3 OUR LORD~S TEACHINGCONCERNING HIS SECOND COMING.. The Little The Gospel accordinz to Mark is probably theApocalypse. I -earliest of the four Gospels, and in the t~( chapter of the book we find what is technically knownas T he LIttle Apocalypse. Here we may find the firstconnectea account of what our Lord Himself taughtconcerning His return to the world.4
    • Mark narrates the incident which the Lord made theoccasion of His prophetic utterance. He says thatLater that same day, the Lord and His discipleswithdrew from the city to the seclusion of the Mountof Olives." And as he sat upon the Mount of Oli ves ... Peter and.Tames and John and Andrew asked Him privately, Tell uswhen shall these things be? and what shall be the signs whenall these things shall be fulfilled?" (verse 3).Thereupon, our Lord enumerated a number of signsthat would herald the fulfilment of H is prophecy. Theymay be read in detail in verses 5-23. The account issubstantially repeated in Lukes account in chapter 17of his Gospel, with minor modifications, and with someadditions.Returning to The Little Apocalypse, Mark nowrecords the very pith of the promise of the SecondComing, in the following words:" But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall bedarkened, and the moon shall not give her light,;""and the starsof heaven shall fall, and the powers that ar e in heaven shal/1jeshaken. And then shall they see the 1 of Man in ilLtheclouds of he:Jven with powedan great glory.-rr-And then shall H e sen B Is angels and they shall gathertogether His elect from the four winds, from the uttermostpart of the earth to the ullermost p:Jn ofhea ven " (verses 24-27).The Little Apocalypse concludes with the parable ofthe man who took his journey into a far country, givingauthority meanwhile to his servants, and commandingthe porter to watch.The parable is expressly linked with the prophecy ofthe Second Coming and actually applied to it in thewords," Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master ofthe house cometh.... And what I say unto you, I say un to~, ~h " (verses 35 and 37).Matthewsaccount.The account by Matthew of our Lords teachingconcerning His return to the world, is substantiallythe same as that given by Mark, but is slightly moredetailed. The heart of the prophecy is all but identicalwith that given in The Little Apocalypse, as will be seenfrom the quotation which follows from Matthew xxiv,29-31." Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the~n be darkened, and the m~n shall not give her light, and the5
    • stars shall fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens shallbeSha ken." And then shall appear the Sift of the Son of Man in heaven:and then shall all the tribes 01 t e earth mourn , and they shall& the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with powerand great glory."And H e shall send His angels with a great sound of atrumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from thefour winds, from one end of heaven to th e other. "Here, then, in the Gospels by Mark, Matthew andLuke, we have the record of the words which form theh core of the ro hecies of the Second Commg.l naddition to these, however, t ere were many parablestold by our Lord, in which the subject received signifi­cant treatment and application. One of the mostnotable is related in Matthew xxv. It is the parable ofthe sheep and the goats, which is applied to a judgmen tIuI2Qn all nations, to be effected " when the Son QI manshall come in His glory, and all the holy angels withH im " (verses 31-46) .Apostolic It was on the teaching set out in the above passages,doctrine.that the Apostles based their belief, and developed theirinterpretation of the pro]2hecies of the Second Advent.That they interpreted them with the utmost degree ofliteralism is clear from Pauls words in Thessaloniansand elsewhere. But by the time the book of R evelationwas written, it is evident that, althoUh the ex ectationJIof the Lords ret r • 11 > lshed, the rve y opeof Its occurrence in the lifetime of the Apostles wasalready on the wane; so much so in fact, that the definitedeSCri tions of how th e Lord would come havegiVenI al se, to the simple affirmafron tfiatJHe would return. T he final words 01 the book ofRevelation make this fact very clear. They are,"behold, I come quickly. Even so, come, Lord J esus "(R ev. xxii. 20).4- THE TERMS OFTHE PROPHECY EXAMINEDOld Testa­ Long before th e first advent of the Lord, and from thement parallels.time of the custom of building synagogues, the educationof Jewish boys was entrusted to the R abbis, and thebasis of the instruction given was the Law of Moses.With more advanced years, instruction in other OldTestament books was added. And the committalto memory of certain parts of it (notably the Shema(Deut. vi. 4-9) and the H allel (Psalms cxiii. to cxviii) )was an integral part of the course of study.In the local syn a!I0gue of His own village of Nazareth,6
    • our Lord would be instructed in the Scriptures of theOld Testament.That the instruction was thorough and that o~I.,OJ:dS knowled e alike of the · and ofRabbinical trag!!.i..Qn?-1 interpretations of them, was eep an~ extensive, is evident from t e account of I!lSVisitto the temple, and of the amazement of those who sawand heard Him, in " the presence of the doctors" ofthe law "both hearing and asking them questions"(Luke ii. 41-48).These remarks aresubject. Jesus waimbued with the s;"=:;i"-:·:- "0";f;<=t7 e ~:n.,r:lt- nh -O am tures.An , as t e ospel records of His life unfold, we findhow frequently He quoted from them, and how veryoften, and with what aptness, He applied them directlyto Himself, and indirectly to what He taught.We should, therefore, not be surprised to find, that in speaking with such confidence of His survival ofdeath, of His return to the world, and of the ultimatetriumph 01 His Ki!lgdom, He should employ thelanguage of the Old Testament to describe alike thenature of the necessitv for a Second Coming, and themanner in whi ch it woul e made. This is a veryimportant consideration to our understanding of thesubject, and we shall shortly return to it.At what precise moment in His life the Messianic Messianicprophecies.consciousness of the Lord dawned upon Him, is of littleconsequence to know. But that He was early awarethat He was the Messiah of Old Testament prophecyis evident from the records. And that He applied toHimself and to His lifes work the terms of the propheciesis equally manifest. In part He made literal applicationof them as, for example, His claim to be born of the lineof David, His triumohal ride into erusalem sittingupon a white ass, ~ e stee of e rew -ings an ju~s,His acceptance of the title of the " Lamb of God, whichtaketh away the sin of the world", His acceptance ofindignities, sufferings and crucifixion, and His manifestunderstanding of these circumstances as being applica­tions to Himself, as Messiah, of the prophecy of Isaiahwhich said," the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." And He made His grave with the wicked, and with therich in His death; because He had done no violence, neitherwas any deceit in His mouth" (chapter liii ).These and other instances show how literally the Lordapplied to Himself many of the Messianic passages ofthe Old Testament.7
    • Nevertheless He must well have known, indeed Hiswords show that He did know, that many a prophecywhich He claimed to have been fulfilled in Himselfand in the circumstances and events that befell I-Em,could have had no literal counterpart in either. Hebelieved Himself to be the Messiah. He knew thatprophecy declared of the Messiah that He should ascendthe throne of David: yet He neither hesitated norscrupled to apply such conceptions to Himself whileyet He declared, " My Kingdom is not of this world."And He also knew in how many of the propheciesrelating to the coming of the Messiah, and which sooften were introduced by the words, "in that day,"there were foretold wars and earthquakes, famine andpestilences, signs in the heavens and on the earth, andgreat cosmic catastrophes, as certain forerunners of theadvent. Nevertheless although none of these predictionshad any literal fulfilment at the time of His birth, norduring His lifetime, He solemnly announced," think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets:I am not com e to destroy, but to fulfil " (Matthew v, 17).These, and other instances not here mentioned, showclearly that the Lord applied such passages to Himself,not in a literal, bur in a symbolical and spiritual sense."Not among the least of the reasons why the leadersof Jewry refused then and refuse now, to accept Himas the Messiah of prophecy, was that neither in Himself,nor in the even ts of H is life, nor in the circumstances ofHis times was the greater JNrt of the terms of theprop lecies Iiterallv fulfilled . T o writer has grven moretelling e.xpression to this incontrovertible fact than hasbeen done by the late Dean Farrar in his The Life andWork 01St. Paul. He writes:" If the Pharisees regarded it as the main function of theirexistence to raise a hedge about the law-the inspiring motivewas a belief that if only for OD e day Israel were entiITly faithful,the Messiah would come. And what a coming! How shouldthe Prince of th e I-louse of David smite the nations with therod of HIS mou th ! How should He break them in pieces likea potters vessel. How should He exalt t~ .children of Israelinto kin s of the eart an d feed them with The flesh ofBe emoth, and LevIathan, and pour at their feet the treasuresof the sea! And to say that Jesus firNararetl: was the promisedMessiah-to suppose that all the splendid promises of patriarchsand seers and kings, from the Divine Voice which spoke toIAdanfin Eden, TOthe last utterance of the angel Malachi- allointed to, all centred in One who had been the carpentefOJ"zare , and whom !hcy had seen cru clhed between r",bbrigan s-to say that their vc Messiah liad been • hung by G~ntik..l rants at the Instance of thclr own riests:-this,)1 . . ~~ve be~ w~ . I It ha not seemed too aDsurd.Was there not one sufficient and decisive answer to It all in8
    • one verse of the Law- Cursed by God is he that hangeth ona~c (Deut. xxi. 23)."That Christians have accepted Him is because, in thelight of His life and teaching, and in the light of thesplendidly beneficent consequences of both, they see that~ in senses both literal and svm bolic;-" the testimony ofJesus is the spirit of prophecy " (Rev. xix. 10).Doubtless the reader will not be unprepared norshould he object to find, that it is now intended to applythe considerations so far advanced, to the terms in whichthe Lord announced the sigrls, the fact, the nature andpurpose olHis Second Coming.Notable among O ld T estament prophecies concerningthe Messiah, is one made by (fIle-prophet jQ£I) It isnotable for two special reasons:---Tlie flrStis that it isin almost identical terms to that in which the Lordprophesied His Second Coming. The second is in theuse of it made by the Apostle Peter on the day ofPentecost (Acts ii.).Here is the prophecy:" And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour outMv Spirit up on all flesh.... And I will show wonders m theheavens andm the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood,beforethe great and terrible day of the Lord come " (.Joel ii.28-3 1 ) ." The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the starsshall witharaw their shmmg" (joel iii. IS), ­Compare these verses with those already quoted fromMark and Matthew, and the parallel becomes at onceapparent. There can be no little doubt, also, but thatour ~ord deliberately" drew upon His knowledge ofthemwhen He made His own predictions.But why should He have done so, and why shouldHe have used imagery drawn from other Old Testamentsources, unless He knew that the conditions which ;Qre­1 vailed at His First Coming were such as were adequately,although symbolically, described by them, and thatconditions not dissimilar would present themselvesillthe future, which would constitute the ne cessit for aZ Second Coming, an which t ere ore could be escn edbY the same symbols?When our Lord spoke of the Jewish Church in suchforthright terms, as, "ye have made the command­ments of God of none effect through your traditions,"when He denounced the leaders of that Church as" blind guides," and " hypocrites," when He declaredin one parable after another, " therefore the kingdomof God shall be taken away from you, and given to a9The foregoingconsiderationsare nowapplied to thepropheciesof the SecondComing.The Meaningof theSymbols.
    • nation that shall bring forth the fruits thereof," He wasrevealing at least one of the reasons which had neces­sitated His incarnation. The Jewish Church, the onlyChurch in the world which had the DlYme Law, andthe knowledge of the one true God, had utterly failed tofulfil the purpose for which it had been established." The salt had lost its savour," and was" fit only to becast out." The Church was consummated . To bringabout its judgment, to reveal its inward corruption toIII itself, to establish a new t ri tual order, a new dispensa­j1 tion of re1ig-ion, a new C urch m fact, was one of thereasons why the Divine Being was "made flesh anddwelt among us." In the spiritual states of the JewishChurch and the Gentile world, many Old Testamentprophecies were fulfilled, " behold! darkness shall cover )the earth, and gross darkness the people " (Isaiah lx. 2).In the advent of the Lord was the complementary partof the prophecy also fulfilled," Rut the Lord shall arise upon thee. And His glory shallhe seen upon thee" (Isaiah Ix. 2).But the states of the Jewish Church and the Gentileworld were symptoms, not causes. They were symptomsof the d.~.ep-seated malaise which afflicted all manJilild,and which neither prophet nor law-giver could anylonger heal." Your iniquities have separated between you and your( God, and your sins have hid His face from you" (Isaiahlix. 2).The power of th e hells prevailed over the power of theheavens, and on earth the power of evil over the power/ of good, and they threatened the freedom of the humanl race, and placed in jeopardy its very existence.A To subjugatd IN HIS OWN PERSON the e9wer of the jZ..- l.!£!!s, to rcstoretspi al freedom t9 mankmd, to~ct1 a ud mel.lL..p-on..a consummated hurch, and to estab­7 lish a nevv"reli ious dis ensation- these were the veryreasons why.. the word was made flesh and dwelt among us" (John i. 14)... So He became their Saviour; in His love and in His pityHe redeemed them " (Isaiah Ixiii. 8).Love to God was all but extinguished. Because of th.edearth of love there was lack of faith, and with the losslof love and faith the knowledge of things Divine andsJirituaL!Yas dragged down and immersed in the mireo superstition, an the" traditions of men."Is it any wonder that the prophets of Israel, Divinelyinspired to foretell, and to give warning of just suchspiritual conditions, should do so by the use of symbolsthat wonderfully corresponded to the desolation of love,..,10
    • ~faith and kllQ.wk,dge in the Church and the world,saying, to quote again the words of one of them, Joel," the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon intoblood, and the stars shall withdraw their shining."For do not the Scriptures themselves say of the Lordthat He is " the s.!Ln of righteousness" ? Is not faith, thelife of love to God and to the neighbour, reflected in? religious beliefs, and so, comparable with the ~n,whose light is the reflected light of the sun? Are notJ the s.tilJS of heaven most fitting, and aptly lovelysymbols of heavenly truths, which in darkness, send outtheir rays of hope, consolation, guidance, and counsel,without which the souls of men grope in darkness, andwalk in the valley of the shadow of death?If indeed these be the true m~ings of the symbolsemployed in the predictions of our Lords first Advent, J1are we not compelled by His own use of them, when Hepredicted His Second Coming, as well as by parity of t.reasoning, to give tOt1iem the same svmbolic in ter­[ pretatioIU!s we have seen reason to give to the propheciesort11eComing of the Messiah? We proceed, therefore,to show how, in what sense, and when, th c-fU:omiseL of the Second Comin be~e an accom lished fact.E; THE FULFILMENTOF THE PROPHECIES OF THESECOND COMINGIt is an interesting and significant circumstance that, The Son orwhereas the Old Testament prophecies of the coming of Man.the Lord invariably refer to Him as the Messiah, the I( New.Testament prophecies of His Second Coming refer. to HIm as " the Son of Man." 2­The title "Son of Man" appears also in the OldTestament, and is chiefly used of the prophets of Israeland Judah. Isaiah and Ezekiel were invariablyaddressed by the title whenever they were commandedto deliver a message from the mouth ofJehovah. In thebook ofDaniel the title also occurs, but it is there appliedto a m .cal fiaure who a cared to Daniel in a vision.The striking similarity 0 the terms used in the account/ of the vision, with those used by our Lord in the pre­. dictions of Hi s Second Coming, cannot-fail to impressthe reader. ~ays," I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son ofMan came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the AnclentoiDays, and they brought him near before him. And there wasgiven him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people,11
    • It nations, and lan~es, should serve him: his dominion is anIt everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away!> and hiskingdom that which shall not be destroyed "(Daniel vii 13, 14).Compare that with our Lords words in The LittleApocalypse and in the report of them in Matthew xxiv ." And they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds ofheaven with power and great glorY."But before we make any further comment upon thetitle as used in the Book of Daniel, we shall return toconsider the use of it as applied to the prophets.And first we ask the question, In what, essentially, didthe prophetic office consist? The answer is that thee~~ of prophecy consisted of two elements, distinctfrom each other, and usually complementary. The twoelements are, forthtelling and foretelling. ForthtellingJ was a p~aching function, and foretelling was the functionL of prediction. More often than not the predictionsaroseout of the preaching, and in both cases the message waswhat the prophets had heard, when, as they put it," in mine ear, saith the Lord of Hosts," or in what theyhad seen wh en th ey were " in the Spirit." And bothf preaching and prediction were the uttering of Divine"truths, revealed as commandment to declare" the WordPof the Lord."I The prophetic office then, essentially consisted in thedeclaration of truth revealed by the Divine Being, whileprop-hecy itself may be said to be the tr21th."!-G{e_~!ed." Keeping this thought in mind, the readers attentionis directed to a memorable occasion on which our LordVad used this title, " Son of Man," in speakingoffiiscrucifixion; whereupon the question had been put toHim by His hearers, " who is this Son of Man? "It was when our Lord had gone up to Jerusalem sixdays before the last passover feast that He would keepon earth. Jesus had said," I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men untoMe." The people answered Him, We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth for ever : and how sayest Thou, Th~o.no:.M~n must be lifted up? Wh o is this ~~n ? " ~nJXli. 32,34).To their question the Lord made what seems at firstsight to be a quite irrelevant answer,"Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the lightwith you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness comeupon you ." (John xii. 35).Is the answer really irrelevant, however? Consider thatour Lord had already declared that" I am the light of the world" (John viii. 12 )." I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John xiv. 6).12- I- 1­
    • And does not the relevance of His reply begin to appear?He was the light because He was the truth. And as thetruth incarnate, the" Word made flesh," He was alsothe Prophet of whom Moses had written in the Law:" The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet fromthe midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him yeshall hearken" (Deut. xviii. 15).. If, then, the title " Son of Man" could be used withIpropriety of the prophets who were but the mouthpiecesof the oracles of God, how much more pertinently couldHe who was the Word incarnate, apply to Himself, the(. supreme title of" The Son of Man"? And would notthe title carry the same reference, namely, that of fore­telling and forthtelling the things of the wisdom of God?Therefore it would bear the same meaning, namely, theDivine truth.The" Coming of the Son of Man " is therefore thesame thing as the commg of the Lord as, and in the Divinet!:!!.ili. If such a Com mg IS a Second COiiiing, ItCan~i~ only consist in a further revelation of such truth toPImankind, an unfoldment of the Hu ngs of H IS infinitec love and wisdom, implicit in His First Coming, but notl-at that time made explicit. For did not the LordHimself say, " I have many things to say to you, butye cannot bear them now" (John xvi . 12).We must assume that the necessity which was the A Conlrast~ a~areason for the assumption of our human nature by God Comparison.Almighty; was completely met by the unique meansadopted, and by the work which He accomplished in theworld as" the Word made flesh." If the dire and tragicstate of the human race was such, that it could only behealed by the advent of the Almighty" in the likenessof slrJuI man," then the advent and the manner of it Iwas an act of infinite wisdom as well as of infinite love. L.Being such, it could n~possibly need to be supple­mented, at a future time, by a further coming identicalin kind. There could never again be such a humansituation as could only be met by God becomingincarnate. Is it not clearly evident, then, that, althoughour Lord foretold a-S~ond Coming, that coming, when­ever it should occur, would be different in kind ~is~firs t ad ye.pt?The first advent was effected by incarnation, and-1 .- incarnafioii required the use of a human instrument.The instrument was a woman who was a vinti.n, and - Enwho, by the " overshadowing" of the Almighty, con­ceived a human form and body, whose soul or inmostbeing was the Divine itself of the Father. Foregleamsand anticipations of the incarnation of a Divine Being13
    • are commonplaces of the religious thought of the ancientworld, and they found their most definite and clearexpression in the Scriptures of the Old Testament,where the prophecies of the Messiah are proQhedes Of)the coming of Iehovah God in human form, to be thedeliverer of the Jews and the Saviour of all mankind.Such a prophecy, for example, is to be found in theBook of Isaiah:" It shall be said in that day, La, this is our God, we havewaited for Him, and He will save us. T his is ]chovah: wewill be glad and rejoice in His salvation" (Isaiah xxv. g).And also (whatever meaning we may choose to attach- to the word " vIrgin " in the passage) there is theprophecy, which the Church universal has always seenas applicable in an ultimate sense, only to the Messiah," Behold, a virgi n hall conceive, and bear a son, and shallcall his name lanuel (Isaiah vii. 14).Z. But in all the predictions of the Second Coming of theLord, there is no hint of incarnation, no suggestion ofbodily Coming. On the contrary, a feature common toall the predictions is that the Lord would appear to@ - mankind, as " the Son of Man coming in the clouds ofheaven with power and great glory." Let it be wellobserved, also, that the clouds which are mentioned arenot the clouds of earth, but the clouds of heaven.The Clouds of VVe have already seen that the Lord identified theHeaven. • §9n of Man with Himself, but with Himself as being~ " the ligh t ori:he worl ,and we have urt ier seenthati the light of the world is the Divine truth proceedingfrom the Lord. At an earlier stage still in our treatmentof the subject of the Second Coming, we pointed outthe symbolic meaning of the sun, the moon, and thestars, and showed that these symbols all had relationto the Divine Being as love, and wi~m, and to manslove towards, and faith fri" H im . In the Old Testamentr the name of the Diving Being is Jehovah. In the NewTestament the name of Jehovah in His incarnation isz Jesus Christ. The Old Testament and the New Testa­nleIit together are the supreme revelation of the Lord tothe human race. In and by the New T estament theLord may be said still and always to come to men, forit is there that we have the record of the incarnation,and of the life and teaching, the death and resurrection,which wrought the redemption of the orld.I n an abstract sense, therefore7the wri tte , I f(God may fitti ngly be called" T he Son of an, sinceit is the written form of that living Divine truth, whichwas" th e word made flesh." And it follows from this, ,,1{. <: that if the second Coming of the Lord is the coming of14
    • I )..C:.,.e ~ ~ w...:..tz;jl 1 J"J , J----:"L "w--":n __ w. ~d .. ~ lI), d .... J-c..•. --..-. (c.A.....,/rj" the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven with power and11 grea t glory," -then that coming is a coming in the D ivine l}J truths of thdwritten) word, and tEe full manifestation of Itile""""Son ofM an Him:;elf, as the Divine Man, "theAlpha and O mega , the First and the Last, the Almighty,"and" the only wise God, our Saviour."Ifsuch is indeed the character of the Second Coming,then " the clouds of heaven " (in which, it was pre­dicted, the Lord would come in "power and great( glory") must have reference to the written "Vord, andto s specific aspect of that Word. What th at aspect~:... ... 0 the Wore is we shall now endeavour to show.= h 01 are the clouds of earth formed? And what usedo they serve ? T he questions are asked because theanswers to them will enable us to see clearly why cloudsare used as a symbol of that in which the Lord promisedthat He would come again.Clouds are formed by the action of the rays of the sunupon the surface of the earth, whereby its moisture isdrawn up into the air, and is there condensed into theforms that we know as clouds. The clouds, beingformed, serve many uses, but especially do they temperto the earth and its inhabitants, the fierceness andbrightness of the rays of the sun, and by tempering them,they enable the things of earth that could not livewithout them, to receive and to endure them.In similar manner as the sun comes forth to theworld (and tern els its arde~ the clouds, which arecr eated by its own actryjnes , so the m mte ardency andbrilliancy of the D ivine Love and Wisdom, broughtforth in revelation to mankind, clothe themselVeS]in the "lan uage" of the objects of the world, a nd 11- "c,f"e­t C istorres 0 a race, III w IC I t ley are tempered J",""h. ok ..... .and accomm odated to n mte powers of perception andunders tanding.T his clothing aJ]d acco mmodation is itself the letter,l -11.... A. S .and the sense of the letter of the Old and New T esta­ments, the WrItten Word of Go d. And it is this sense)wh ich, i~ that Wor~ IS symbolized by " the clouds of -tt.; A.s.h~n. ~~. S . )..;;,--c,If~ however, the literal sense 0 he Vord vere the Power andhat I - L d great glory.onIy sense t at It pos es, t le comin 0 or to )mankind in such clouds would need no renewal or Tt-.. ~ SamphficatIOn, smce:the Vord in that sense~is with men, • •and needs only that men should read It reverently and ~.s .intelligently,jorsthe Lord in His truth to come to them.2. - Bu t the literal sens~ is not the only sense of the word.There IS WIt m t at an internal and spiritual sense, -:J-. W";t:../ I ..}1 - distinct from that of the letter, and treating not of j "" "/4j, _~ . s. 15
    • ~.S . JWJ~earthly things, but exclusively of spiritual things. Andwilliiii.t hat sense again, which itselfis an accommodationi t.... . p. . oS of infinite tru th to the und erstandin of an el-men and(women in the spintua WOI , is the Divine Isdomitself; which is another way of saying that the Lord-- Himself is inane-wor.9) and is its very spirit and life.Let it be n""Otedliere that the prophecies concerningthe Second Coming of the Lord do not stop with theassurance that H e will come " in the clouds of heaven."j They testifY that He will come" in-l?0wer and great{glory." ,.Ju.. .q • s , -:-----....2... _ _ - - lhe " clouds" ar the Word in its liter~..~ The" power and great glory are t e or _ 10 Its sp~rit~alA ~(;C. Sr - sejise, The very coming~tself, therefore, COnsists 1!L1he~ rcveIation of the internal ~ iritual sense of th~~Word,- I Whtehin essence treats of the ord alone, an 0 Im) A. .rin His Divin e or glorified Humanity,...in His relations .J with angels and ~. This revelation of1~S: truths and= < )1~~ip~s wh ich constitute t?e spiriftiaf !!CnsL,gf the}1»: «/ WoM, and are the essen tla :tower an<L great gory".d r. J + orit, is none ot er than the fUffi ment of a promise madere. .. . """~ . by the Lord when, in the flesh, He " dwelt among us."The promise was,It "in th at A .J.lY, I will no more speak unto you in parables,Jl but I IL how you plainly of the Father" (J ohn xvi. 25).And the fact of the promise having been given, and ofthe terms in which it is couched, are themselves a dis­clo~:,::re of the very nature of the literal sense of the ~e{Word, which is, thatit iS~E..arable. And no small part( orthe parable is the story of our Lords life on earth. 71.... R.J True history the story undoubtedly is. Being such, its) revelation of the Lord primarily shows Him in theI infirm humanity, put on in the womb of the Virgin. ) - R.S .o necessity, t erefore, It must pjcture Him in H is states of humiliation and in the depenaence 0 t e umaruty ) - R. S.upon the Divine Father which had created it.For this reason, the very record which is a revelationof the Lord as " a Man of sorrows and ac uainted-2vith ) _ A. S.g~," tends to obscure the momentous truth tnat, verv Man" though H e was, H e was "Ve~d " ­ ILS .also.=Ualso tends to hide from us the triiTIlthat,although as to His Humanity, He was the Son of God, - A .[ .He nevertheless was as to His soul, "the EverlastingFather." Sw. «.s .Not until the truths of the internal sense of the Word,., had been revealed, and the fUllness of its disclosure of---" how the Lord was God and Man?and of how He foughtvIth, ana overcame the hells, an~glorified by makingI IJJ • -~ Divine, His Humanity~ thereby effectIng the redemptionn . S. ]6
    • of mankind in all worlds from the preponderant powerj:<.v •of the hells-~til the n could mankind read the )- - A.J_" parable " of the incarnatlOn/l and plainly see t eSW·Divinity of the Lords Humanity;r~md that He and the:FatTle"r are one and the same Divine Being. fur •It is precj;;ely in the revelation of the inll;rnal senseof the W9J"tr,~md in the~..octrine concerning t~d)l _ J"".as the One onl God i~te for mans redemption, ,4. S .1that e come { again. It is iIA the power andas ~/1great glory of the sp1l1tual sense of the·.l:Word, lighting I"/ j Up, and beaming t1lrough the " clouds" of its literal n.r f c;(~T_ . A. rpscnse, that the predictions of the Second Coming are ,I - 11 - .., J-­made clear as to their"genuine meaning: .--l- 1I. . 2. ~·s /I" they shall see the .son of Man cormn III the clouds of heaven, " _ Mol. ro...f.,with pow er and great glory" ( att ew XXIV. 30 • M4"J- I~ and when that revelation was made, the purposefor which it was made, and the consequences of itshaving been made, is the subject of our final inquiryinto the teach ing concerning the Second Coming of theLord.6 HOW THE SPIRITUAL SENSE OFTHE WORD HAS BEEN MADE KNOWNIn any act of knowing there is involved a subject and A humaninstrumentan object, the knower and the thing known. In the was necessa ryact of revelation there are likewise involved the revealer,and the person or persons to whom the revelation ismade. It is advisable that we should here confine theuse of the word "revelation" to mean, the act ofDivine disclosure to m~ truths that man could notdiscover for himself. It is in this strict sense that weuse the term "revelation" of th~ disclosure of th etruths contained in the internal or spiritual sense 0.£.J.h!:Word. A. JI1".~ . f.,.T herefore, if such a revelation is to be made, therevealer must be the source of what is revealed, and thusthe Divine Being Himself. I t is also evident that"ahuman instrument will be employed as the medium of~ tJiC"disclosure.~ - At th e first Ad yent of the Lord, and in order that Godmight manifest Himself in a human form and body, itwas necessary to raise up a human instrument for thepurpose. The agent used was a woman, the Virgin( ~, in whose womb God formed and fashioned forI His full indwelling, the humanity which was known to, men a~the Christ. By the process of glorification17
    • this H umanity was united to the Divinity of which itr. was begotten; so that the Divine Humanity of the LordJ}JJ...... Ad. S~, . ~fJesus Christ is" th.f. visible God in whom Uheinvisible,I asthe soul is in th e bOdy."But the visibilitY-OLthe Divine Humanity is visibilitynot to physical, but only to mental sight. The Divi e~ . S . H~ty is at once conceivable, and comprehensibleby men. It is "visible" to their understanding, andfor this reason, namely, that since H is ascension the Lordis in His glorified humanity; He can no longer ~Eear" ­i. J. - - Ilbefore the eyes of mans body.> Wherefore, whene s owed- Himself to His disciples after His resur­rection, He first of all opened the eyes of their spirit.And so we read of the appearance of the risen Lordto the two disciples on the Emmaus Road that," their eyes were o~ened, an d they knew Him; and He vanishedffJ.S . out of their sIgh t j (Luke xxiv, 31).Ernanuel These considerations are offered to the reader, inSwed enborg.order that he may not hastily dismiss from his mindwhat is about to be said. The claim to have been theinstrument raised u b the Lord in order to effect HisIc)d -r. S~ond oming- by revea ing Himself in the truths ofC-- - His WQfd, in its opened internal sense-is made by thatlrf4.ul . I.good and great "servant of the Lord Jesus Christ,.3A. S .Emanuel Swedenborg." The claim is unpretentiously, but firmly, made in a book written by him, which bearsIthe title, True Christian Religion. And it is put forwardin the words which follow :" Since the Lord cannot manifest H imself in person to the world(on account of the glOriJ1caiiOriOffiishumanity), and yet He hasforetold that H e would CO!!1l:-llQcis stablish a New Church,which is the new !erm alem, it follows that He will do this bymeans of a Man, who is able not only to receive the doctrines Of)that Church in his understanding, but also to make tnem Rnownby the press. That the Lord manifested Himself before me, Hisservant, that He sent me on this office and afterwards openedthe sight of my spirit, and so let me into the spiritual world,permitting me to see the heavens and the hells, and also toconverse with angels and spirits, and this now continually formany years, I attest in truth; and further that from the firstday of my call to this office, I have never received anything Irelating to the r!ocu:i.lles of that Church from any angel, but e , r.from the LOrd a[one, w.hilc I Was read ing " the word " . 1. H: T.(paragraph 779) · A .sTo this claim, Swedenborg added the further statement J • •that,"To the end that the Lord might be constantly present, Herevealed to me the spiritual sense of His word, in which senseDivine truth is m lIS light, and 10 thiS light"l-Ie is continuallypresent; for H is presence in the wprd is only by means of itsspiritual sense through the light 0 which He passes into theA • .r. shade, in whi ch is the sense of the letter. eo: .. The literal ~Qlse - A oS •____ is as a c~(J , ,!!!d the sJllritual sense Wry, and the Lord HimselfS.....,8 t:::=,
    • is as the sun from which the light proceeds, and thus the Lordis !Ie W~" (paragraph 780). ).S...... c.However astonishing this claim .may appear to be,the reader is asked to reflect upon what has beenadvanced in the pages of this booklet. I t has beenr - shown (firstly) that the Second Coming of the Lord ismade in a revelation of Divine truth from Himself, in"T which revelation He has clearly revealed "H imself as.. -~.:::. being~ in is Divine Humanity: the one God of heavenA·S. L - and earth; (secondly) the revelation consists in th e", L J ~.(.f­disclosure of the internal sense of the Word of God; - d A. f . .s.:? _ and (thirp lY) such a revelatIOn"must needs be made bymeans orJlhuman instrument. ~ - ---_ J,..;.-That the claim to have been the aforesaid instrument A.S .is made by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), has beenaffirmed in his own words. - What the reader mustdecide for himself-namely, can the claim be sub­stantiated ?-can only be fairly decided on availableevidence, such as the eminence of the claimant as aman of science, philosophy and statesmanship, hisprofound scholarship, the integrity and purity of his life,his probity, and his competence to the mission entrustedto him. The life of Swedeobor is on record and mayA be read in t le annals of his country . we en and inthe biographies written by George Trobridge, and theRev. Wm. Worcester. Above all else, the testification7 ( to the truth of the claim is to be found in the booksIv i written by Swedenborg, from the time that hei ~urrendered himself to the call he received, to his deathIn 1772.There we must leave this particular matter. And weare well content to do so if the reader will make impartialinquiry in the directions indicated above.f We have answered the ques9,ons ofhow, l od (approxi­~ mately) when, th e spiritual s ense of t!:lc r.Word wasI. " made known " and the SecOi1clCOming olthe Lordthus effected. There remains that we should answer asbriefly as possible two more questions..:j FOR WHAT PURPOSE HAS THE LORDMADE HIS SECOND COMING ANDWHAT CONSEQUENCES HAVEFOLLOWED IT?We have seen that the language in which th e coming Parallelsbetween theof the Lord as the Messiah was prophesied, was symbolic First andSecondin character, and that it aptly described the desolation Advents.of I2Y..e, faith, knowledge, and spirituallifc, which would• z . ] t19
    • prevail in the Church and the world, at the i~fHis coming. Furthermore, this "abomination ofdesolation" was what constituted the necessity for HisComing, and which, therefore, involved the Divinework of redemption. The work 0 redemptIOn Itselfconsisted in the Lords taking upon Himself our fallennature, and therein combating, conquering and removinghell from man. The conquest of the hells by Hisvictories over them in temptations, involved at the sametime the glorification of the Lords Humanity. -- - ­This Divine work of redemption also effected ajudgment upon the Jewish Church-an opening of itsinternal states, and the bringing it to an end. Thus ourLord declared that.. for judgment am I come into the world" (John ix, 39).That the Jewish Church was self-jud~J2Y-jts re~onof the Lord as the Messiah,ls a matter of history. Andthat it had reached the nadir of its futile and em2tyf~m at the time that our Lord came into the world,cannot be doubted by any unbiased student of the age.It was indeed a consumm_~~~sLQ1Utrch, utterly inctRable~ rebuking or r~g the age in which it ha cometo the end of its spirinial.aisefulness. Its doom waspronounced by the Lord Himself in the dreadful words:If God were not to be left without a witness in theworld, it was most urgent and necessary that a ~d }more spiritual Church should be established. Accord­ingly.a New Churcll,was founded upon the rock of faith ~in .th e Lord l-Iims~lf. On His life and teaching, and guided and inspired by the Spirit of the Lord, theChristian Church began its glorious and conqueringcareer.The last judgment on the Jewish Church was actually effected by the Lords work of redemption, in thespiritual world. To this judgment He referred when Hesaid,.. I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven (Luke x, 18).And to its immediate consequences He made pointedreference in the words, >.. Now is the judgment of this world : now shall the prince ofthis wOrld be cast out: An d I If I be lifted u fr m the earthl! l....cA •• Jwill d raw all men unto e 0 n xii. 31, 32 ) . ,,0.".It was by means of this general judgment in the spiritualworld, that the way was opened for a new inflowing of20
    • h.caY.cnly love and light into the minds of men uponearth. Without that influx there could have been noreception of t h e ord as God and Saviour, and noaffirmative response to His message. And apart frOm) I 9.1...;.suchjreception it is impossible to conceive how the z. j)£ ~f •Christian Church could have been established amongst ] JW d ~J­men.We see, then, that an essential purpose in the adventof the Lord in flesh was the work of judgment, thewinding up, as it were, of the ewish Churc , and theestablishment of a new dispensation of religion, or theChristian Church.ll--- We should expect to find, therefore, that like events were involved in the Lords Second Adyent, and that }.ll::iecause of them, th e Lord could use in His predictions .. t lconcerning it, the very language of corres&ondentialsy.mhQls, which had been employed by ose whodelivered the prophecies of His First Advent. - 4~That, in point of fact, our Lord did use these symbolshas already been shown. That He also foresaw theecline and fall of the Church which He had establishedby the la ours of HIS postles must be manifest to anydiscerning student in the words in which He foretold it,"when the Son of Mall cometh shall He find faith on the1I earth? " (Luke xviii. 8). ­The parable of the sheep and the goats, related inMatthew xxv., as a part of the predictions concerningthe Second Coming, as clearly shows that the making ofa general judgment was an integral part of its purpose.As a consequence, a re-orientation in the world of_ ,Ispirits, the formation of new heavens and the estabhsh­---=:.) ment of a new Church, are described in the book caned" T he Apocalypse," in which the visions recorded ashaving been seen by John, the revelator, are concludedwith the vision of tl:ll;, descent of the Holy City, the new-- J erusalem. The description of this vision is introducedby the words," I saw a new heaven and a new eart h " (Rev. xxi. I).And in the course of it we meet with the declarationmade by Him "who sat upon the throne," that,"Behold! I make all things new" (Rev. xxi. 5).The inference, then, appears to be irresistible, that avital part of the purpose for which the Lord wouldmake a second Advent was th e judgment of its faith and~ JI life upon the first Christian Church, and the foundingMthereafter of a new Christian Church, which is theJChurch of T he New Jerusalem.21
    • ~~Ys~a;,ew . The r~<i;der will naturally ask, What circumstances inChureh was Athe condition of the first Christian Church coula possIblyne eded. anse tliat wou a reqUIre that the Lord should come2. again and establish a_new-Church ?Our reply can only be brief: for the story is too longto be told in detail within the limits of this small booklet.But, although the reply be brief, it shall be succinct,and history shall be appealed to in verification of itstruth.I1 The simplicitl: and purity of the Atostolic Church--- .11 dianot long survIve the age of the Ap~t es, ifit survivedit at all. 1 ne EpIstles of the Apostles bear eloquentwitness to that fact. The primitive Church, which maybe said to have been the Church survivin the A ostles,an astmg or a out ~ears at most, was requently .?ao .rent by heresies and schisms. With the Church of~theFathers" false beliefs multiplied themselves and maliceand hatred marked their interminable disputes.So disturbing were these factional disputes, and sowidespread was one of the most formidable heresies thathas ever rent the Church, namely, that known asArianism, that the Emperor Constantine called anassemblage of the Bishops to Nicea, There the Councilof that name drew up a creed-.rn rebuttal of the Arianheresy. In its immediate object of stamping out theheresy, the Council was generally successful; and theCreed of Nicea became the orthodoxy of the Churchconcerning the Godhead, and remains so to this day.It answered the assertions of Arius that Christ, though)begotten before all time was neverthelessa creature.As such, He was not God, although, s~d Arius, H e ~asDivine, because His " reasonable soul w~h~ ~gQs."In short, accordinf to Arius, Jesus Christ was a semi-)Divine Being, and a super-man,~ but He was not God.The Nicene Council affirmed that Christ was VeryGod and Very Man. So far it was right. But the creedit drew up insisted that, although of the same substance ~as the Father and the Holy Ghost, He was a distinctPerson, as were also the Father and the Holy Ghost. )t moreover asserted that, as to His Humanity, it wasinferior to His Godhead, and so it was not Divine. Whileit was careful to say that the Father, the Son, and theHoly Spirit were each distinct persons, it was neverthelessaffirmed that there was but one God.Thus Deity was said to consist in three persons, eachone of whom is " God and Lord." I n e breath theCreed asserted that there is bUt one God, and" in theother it declared in effect, although not in words, that22
    • there were three Gods, and that the Humanity of Christwas not Divine:--Here, then, is the fountain-head of the subsequent 11 1=.vG 1S .decay of the fi!:.l!! ChiistIan---!:!!:..ch. From it followeda host of consequences which corrupted the life of faithas well as the doctrines of faith. The doctrine of thevicarious atonement, and salvation by faith alone in theredeeming merits of Jesus Christ, with all its evil conse­quences to the life of pure religion, could never havearisen ifthe Church had maintained the faith upon which) - DUI S ~she had been founded, namely, faith in the Divine Lord .as the One only Godclheaven and earth, w~eHumanity is Divine, and faith in the teaching of herLord that men can only be saved out of their sins byshunning evils as sins against Him, and by living inaccordance with His commandments.g CONCLUSIONIt has been the aim of this booklet to explain the NewTestament doctrine of the Second Coming of the Lord.It has endeavoured to show that the Lord has come ~ _f""""again as He promised to do, and that He has done so bYJ} L A.S"Cl>"- c r.........,a revealing of Himself as the One God 01 all mankmdon earth and In heaven. In Its fullness, the revelationconsists in the disclosure of the ~es of the internal - roV.sense of tl~d, an~1l11estation in its literal - A·S4sense. The revelatiOlFwas made by a human instrument,and set forth in the theological works of1the revelator)Emanue1 Swedenborg, wherein also the nature of thespiritual world and of life in that world are made known" from things heard and seen."In the revelation, committed to writing" by commandof the Lord," and penned in freedom by His servantEmanue1 Swedenborg, the Second Coming of the Lord J_ I J.......is an accomplished fact, and by that commg, and in the ~ A ..s.truths in which it is made, a_ new Church has beenestablished, and is now in process of rowth and ten­J(sion throughout the world. The many things which ourJ1 Lord wished to teach ~hen He tabernac1ed ~~ngmen, but could not because men could not "hearZ. them, " have now been .12ld, ancf"~lthingsare beingmade new. And of The N~ Church~ur Lord JesusChrist, " the only wise God, our Saviour," it is written,"His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall notDanieass away, and His Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed"vii, 14).
    • .3 POSTSCRIPTThe principal works written by Swedenborg at the" command of the Lord" are as follows:- Arcana Calestia.Tli£I5ivzne Love and Wisdom.The Divine Providence.The Apocalypse Explained.The Apocall1l.se Revealed.Heaven and its wonders and Hell.The Heavenly Doctrine.- True Christian Religion.These and other works not here mentioned were allwritten between the years 1]40 and 1])0. T neTast ofthe m tol);Wnnen: y,,-ai:True Chri--rliq!L lJ:iligion. In anaddendum to this work, Swedenborg wrote the following:" After this work was finished the Lord called together Histwelve disclpI cs-wJiololloweill -lim in the world, and the nextday He sent them throughout the whol e spiritual world topreach the Gospel, that the Lord God r~sus Chri sLrrignethwhose kingdom shall endure for ever and ever a din to theprophecy in aniel ViI 13, 14) and in th evelation Xl . 15)and that HI e ~e those who arualled ,to !!!i!!IlagesU!per of the Lamb ( evelation xix. 9). This was done onthe nineteent h clay of June, in the year t770 This is under­stood fiy the Lord s words: • H e slialhcrnt1Iis angels and theyshall gather together His elect from one end of heaven to theother (Matthew xxiv, 31)."~n that date, therefore, it may be said that the Second 1Coming of the Lord became a fact of history, and fromlirdates the commencement 0 The New Church,-.s-- symbolized by The New erusalem in Revelation xxi.AIade and Printed in Great Britain. byThe Campfteld Press, St. Albans, Herts.