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Henry james-the-church-of-christ-not-an-ecclesiasticism-london-and-new-york-1861

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The Swedenborg moment and movement in America. Henry James 1811-1882. Religion and Philosophy united. …

The Swedenborg moment and movement in America. Henry James 1811-1882. Religion and Philosophy united.
Full title : The Church of Christ not an ecclesiasticism. A letter of remonstrance to a member of the SOI-DISANT New Church.
This is the second half (pp.108-197) of the book : The Old and the New Theology, 1861.
(source : google + OCR)

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  • 1. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.
  • 2. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM. A LETTER OF REMONSTRANCE.SIR, You and I are equally persuaded, doubtless,that a new church, which according to the tenor ofancient promise, is destined to be the crown andconsummation of all past churches, is now formingin the earth; and if we have equally reflected uponthe characteristic scope and genius of this church,as depicted·in the almost transparent language ofprophecy, we must be equally convinced that it isfull both of sympathy towards every existing formof use or goodness; and of mercy, gentleness, pa-tience, towards every form of ignorance and un-conscious error. For, what is meant by a church, to which thevoice of inspiration does not hesitate to apply the my~tic name of New Jerusalem 1 What is meant [ III ]
  • 3. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST by a church which may truly be styled the crownand consummation of all past churches; or whatis the same thing, which shall express Gods full pleasure in humanity 1 Clearly it is not meant tobe a mere rival or competitor to any other church.Clearly it is not meant to be a better church of thesame kind as already exists. Churches of theexisting sort have only dwindled ever since thestately days of Moses and Aaron. Starting fromthat gorgeous prime, they have descended throughthe diminished pomp of the Romish ritual, andthe Anglican attenuation of that, until the acmeof desquamation seems at length attained in thepinched and wintry ceremonial of our own Con-gregationalism. And even if this sort of churchshould be revived, and redintegrated in its fullMosaic splendor, would it be a work worthy of God 1Will the divine name be written as legibly underthese skies on stone and mortar, on ephod andbreastplate, as on the fleshly tablets of the busyhuman heart 1 I think not. I think indeed thata church which by dint of holding its breath, orarresting the transit of the divine influx, shouldswell itself to more than Papal or even Mosaicresonance, would only swell itself away from thewhole divine meaning it ever contained For .thetrue meaning of every visible divine institution has [ 112 ]
  • 4. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.been, to serve as a witness merely to the invisibleDivine, whom the heaven of heavens canoot con-tain, much less therefore any house or polity ofmans invention. Consequently any visible church,technically either "old" or "new," which shouldprofess to constitute Gods true abode on earth,would only repeat the Jewish mistake, and incurthe like public contempt. Besides, when we talk of the crown and consum-mation of a thing, we do not mean any rival orhostile thing on the same plane with itself; wemean some discretely higher thing, say its facultyof use or action. Thus when we talk of the crownand consummation of a plant, we mean its floweror fruit, assuredly not some other and hostile plant.In like manner the crown and consummation ofan animal body is its will or faculty of voluntarymotion, not some new and rival form of animation.And the crown and consummation of the humanorganization is not any new and superior organiza-tion which is to supersede the old, but its facultyof virtuous activity, or the fruit of a holy life. Infact, the crown and consummation of any naturalthing, is always the use it effects, is always thesuperb fruit it bears. Thus the crown and con-lmmmation of the mineral kingdom is not somenew and precious form of mineral existence, but [ 113 ] Q
  • 5. THE CHURCH OF ClIRISTthe vegetable form to whose development all itsuses ale tributary. And so in like manner thecrown and consummation of the vegetable kingdomis not some rare and splendid form of vegetation.but on the contrary the animal form, to the devf-lopment of which the vegetable kingdom is whollysubservient. And so again the crown and consum-mation of the animal kingdom is not some newand glorious form of animality, but the humanform, to which all the realm of animal existence istributary or subordinate. In all these cases we seeprogressive development to be the intention andmethod of nature. We never see her returningupon herself, or stopping short in her career toamend the work she has made, and bring out asecond edition of the same performance. We seeher going straight onward from the foundation ofher edifice, through all its successive grades orstories to its roof and skylight, and stopping onl)when the faultless house stands before you radiantin beauty, and inexpugnable in strength. Analogically therefore, when we look for a newchurch in the earth which is to be the crown andconsummation of all past churches, we are not wlook for a mere second edition of the existing ecclf-siasticiRm: we are not to look for a new and rivalecclesiastical organization to that of the old church: [ 114 ]
  • 6. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.we are not to look for a new and competitive priest-hood, nor for a new and competitive baptism, norfor a new and competitive eucharist. This sort ofnewness the church experiences usque ad nauseamevery few yeal8, upon the occasion of the outbirthof every new sect. No, in looking f9r that newchurch which is to be the crown and consummati~nof all past churches, we are to look for the incor-ruptible spirit of which these past churches havebeen only the preparatory and perishable letter, forthe ripe and perfect fruit of which they have beenthe temporary and unconscious husks. In shortwe are to look for a spiritual church, which beingidentical with the broadest charity in the life ofman, must alwaYl:! refuse to become identified withparticular persons, particular places, or particularrituals of worship. Such of necessity is the character of the churchof Ohrist. It is a spiritual economy, and is there-fore identical with all that is humble and tenderand easy to be entreated in the soul of man.Heaven is not more distant from earth, than issectarianism, or the desire to separate oneself fromothers, distant from the mind of the true church-man. Instead of saying to Oalvinist or Oatholic,to Methodist or Episcopalian, "Stand aside, wepossess a holier priesthood than you, and put forth [ 115 ]
  • 7. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTa more acceptable baptism and eucharist than you," the true churchman taking counsel of the divinelove in his heart, says, "Draw near, my brother,and let us worship together. There is but one priesthood known on high, the priesthood of good-ness, and one baptism and communion, that which~tes instead of dividing the household of faith.The two outward ordinances which we have receivedfrom the Lords hand are uniting, not dividingordinances j they are 80 divinely large IlB to accom-modate all heavenly truth, and hence to unite intheir equal embrace every true worshipper of God,in every clime, and of every name under heaven.He consequently who claims that they are adaptedto symbolize only the truth he professes, or thatthey lend themselves more willingly to his worshipthan to that of other and less instructed men, vir-tually claims to possess all truth, and in so doingproves that he is himself an alien from the entirespirit of truth. No, my friend, let us worship to-gether, calling upon one and the same blessed Lorda.nd Redeemer. You possibly do not know manyof the spiritual things contain~d within the ob.scurity of the literal scriptures j but all savingklWWledge is amply contained in the letter ofsacred scripture, and is to be drawn exclUBivelyfrMn it,. and you doubtless are IlB sincerely zealous [ 116 ]
  • 8. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.of the honor of the letter as I can claim to be.But even if it were otherwise, even if the commondoctrine of the church were not deducible fromthe letter of scripture, but only from its spiritualcontents, I yet know so little of those contentscompared with what is to be known, that the dif-ference between my knowledge and your ignorancein this respect sinks into absolute nought. Andyet on the other hand I know so well the mag- nanimous and divine spirit of all that truth, thus contained invisibly to natural sight within the literal page,-I know so well the boundless love and charity with which it is all aglow, that I could never think of making any amount of superior information I possessed, a ground of glorying over others, or a warrant for expecting a greater com- placency on Gods part to my worship than yours. On the contrary, the spirit of all truth is goodness, the substance of all faith is charity, and hence the more I feel the spirit of truth, the less I value all merely external and intellectual differences among men, and the more I value all cordial and vital agreement.". Now no one can doubt that this is the attitude of the true churchman. Every one in whom the church truly exists is a regenerate man, is a form of charity, and nothing can be more intolerable to [ 117 ]
  • 9. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTsuch a man, than the attempt to separate himfrom others, or give him an ecclesiastical elevationabove others. He cannot be persuaded by anyamount of sophistry, or any force of clerical domi-nation, long to falsify his fundamental instincts inthis particular. He will go on to suffocate andsuffer, until at length he throws off the incumbentmass of ecclesiastical pride and dotage, and emergesfor ever into the lustrous air and warm sunshine ofGods boundless love. The true Christian allowsothers to separate from him as much as they please,as much as their unfortunate narrowness makes itinevitable to them; but he feels it nece88arJ toseparate himself from no one. His mission is oneof love, and therefore of fusion and unity, insteadof separation or disunity. Hence although heclaims the right to worship on Sundays withwhomsoever he pleases, and to employ for thatpurpose any improved form of worship, he yettakes care to deny all ecclesiastical separation onthat account from those around him, professing hissteadfast allegiance to the same Lord whom theyequally profess to obey. He does not attempt toconstrue his arrangements for an improved socialworship, into a fact of public significance, nor doeshe claim for what is purely conventional and tran-sitory that public importance which is due only to [ ll8 ]
  • 10. NOT AN ECCLESIASlICISM. what is spiritual and eternal. Hence he remamsin ecclesiastical unity with the people around him,being content to enjoy unimpaired his spiritualfreedom, and the freedom of external worship withwhomsoever and wheresoever he pleases. The only legitimate newness of the Christianchurch consists in a newness of spirit among itsmembers, not a newness of letter. The letter ofthe church consists unalterably in its two ordi-nances of baptism and the Lords supper. A newliteral church therefore must disown these ordi-nances, must exhibit new ordinances, instinct withnew meaning. Clearly Swedenborg never contem-plated such a church. Never once in the wholecourse of his writings, has he criticized the admini-stration of the Christian ordinances, or declared itdefective, save in respect to the withholding thecup from the laity in the Roman church. Hewaged no war whatever with the church as anecclesiasticism, though I doubt not he had his justProtestant predilections, but only as a corruptspiritual economy. He complained of it only inthat respect wherein the Lord complains of it,namely, as being destitute of the life of charity,and being therefore to all heavenly intents andpurposes dead or inactive. Accordingly you nevPf.find him proposing so cheap and superficial a [ 119 ]
  • 11. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTa remedy for so grave a disease, as the creation ofa new ecclesiastical organization. How should anew ecclesiastical hierarchy mend matters 1 Thecomplaint was not against a particular set of per-sons, as contrasted with another set. The Glomplaintwas not that certain persons called Gods churchwere worse men spiritually than certain other per-Rons; which other persons must therefore be formedinto a new ecclesiastical body, and made to super-sede the old one. By no means. The complaintwas that the entire mind of man, as ecclesiasticallyexhibited, was in spiritual ignorance or darkness,and hence the remedy befitting this condition couldnot be a change in the personal administration ofthe church, or a change in the persons composingit, but an entire renewal of its spirit. What thechurch wanted was not a new body, or a new literalconstitution, but exclusively a new spirit, the spiritof unfeigned love. Hence you never find Swedenborg discussingany questions of ecclesiastical polity, or urging anymeasures of ecclesiastical reform, except that ofthe administration of the eucharist in the Romanchurch. He thought, indeed, that from the cir-cumstance of that church exalting a life of charityin its doctrines more than the reformed churchesdo, it would more easily receive the new truths [ 120 ]
  • 12. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.than any other church, provided it would rectifyits administmtion of the eucharist, and dismiss theworship of saints. But all this of course was matter .of private opinion. You always find him treatingall questions of ritual or exte~al difference betweenchurches as of no spiritual significance, save ascontributing indeed to the greater unity of thechurch, when charity was its spiritual bond. Heinvariably represents the true Christian, or theman in whom charity dwells, as gratefully andreverently observing the institutions of public wor-ship established in his nation, and on no occasionwhatever does he represent him as finding theseinstitutions inadequate to his need So also when-ever he talks of the external of the church, he doesnot represent it as consisting in a Sunday ritual,or a correct liturgical form, but exclusively ingoodness of life. " The church of the Lord," says hein 403 of .A. rcana Explained, "is both internaland external: the internal of thechurch consists ofcharity and faith thence derived, but the externalof the church IS THE GOOD OF LIFE, or the WORKSof charity and faith j" that is, all those thingswhich charity and faith opemte in our social re-lation!. Consistently with this definition, you findhim throughout his writings making no ecclesiasti-cal complaint of the church, but only a spiritual [ 121 ]
  • 13. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTcomplaint, as to its destitution of charity. Thushe says the existing array of divided churches, asCatholic and Protestant, and the various subdivi-sions of the~ again, would be perfectly conformableto the divine mind, were they only animated bymutual love or charity. "THE THINGS OF DOC-TRINE," he says in his Oelestial .A. rcana, 1790,"DO NOT DISTINGUISH CHURCHES BEFORE THELORD,"-that is to say, the Lord knows no differ-ence between a church professing true doctrineand one professing false-" but this distinction iseffected BY A LIFE ACCORDING TO THE THINGS OFDOCTRINE, all of which, if they are true, regardcharity as their fundamental, for what is the endand design of doctrine but to teach how man shouldlive? The several churches in the Christian worldare doctrinally distinguished into Roman Catholics,Lutherans, and Calvinists. This diversity of namearises solely from the things of doctrine, and wouldnever have had place if the members of the churchhad made love to the Lord, and charity towardstheir neighbor, the principal point of faith. Thingsof doctrine would then be only varieties of opinionconcerning the mysteries of faith, which THEY WHOARE TRUE CHRISTIANS would leave to every one tobelieve according to his conscience, whilst it wouldbe the language of their hearts THAT HE IS A TRUE [ 122 ]
  • 14. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM. CHRISTIAN WHO LIVES AS A CHRISTIAN, that is, as the Lord teaches. Thus one church would be f01"YMd out of all these diverse ones, and all dis- agreements arising from mere forms of doctrine would vanish ; yea, all the animosities of one against another would be dissipated, and THE KINGDOM OF THE LORD WOULD BE ESTABLISHED ON THE EARTH." Think of that, my sectarian friend. These old Christian sects whom you propose to supersede, Catholic, Calvinist, and Lutheran, with all their subdivisions, were they only enlivened by charity or mutual love, would present no ecclesiastical ob- stacle to the divine truth, but would really consti- tute the Lords kingdom on earth, would constitute the true and spiritual church which is identical with that kingdom. How much wider the sym-pathies of this great man were, than they arerepresented to have been by those who make use of his name to originate a new ecclesiasticism !Let us sing a few more brief hymns to the sameblessed tune, from the same general repository. "Allthe members of the primitive Christian church,"he says, A. a. 1834, -<, lived one amongst anotheras brethren, and mutually loved each other. Butin process of time charity diminished, and at lengthvanished away; and as charity vanished, evils suc-ceeded; and with evils falsities also insinuated [ 123 ]
  • 15. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTthemselves, whence arose schisms and heresies.These would never have existed, if charity hadcontinued to live and rule : JOT in BUch ca8e theywould not have called 8chism by the name of8chism, nOT heresy by the name oj heresy, butthey would have called them doctrines a.greeableto each persons particular opinion, or wa.y of think-ing, which they would have left to every onesconscience, not judging or condemning any fortheir opinions, provided they did not deny funda-mental principles, that is, the Lord, eternal life,and the Word, and maintained nothing contraryto divine order, that is, to the commandments ofthe decalogue." "The false principle within thechurch," he says, A. O. 2351, "which favors evilsof life, is that goodneBB or charity doth not con-stitute a man of the church, but that churchmembership is effected by truth or faith." .ABman becomes internal and instructed in internalthings, externals are as nothing to him, for hethen knows what is sacred, namely, charity, andfaith grounded therein." Again he says in A. O.3122, "The regenerate man makes no account ofthe things of faith or truth;" that is, of course,holds them to be wholly subordinate to a life ofcharity. " Faith, in the Word, means nothing butlove and charity: hence doctrines and tenets of [ 124 ]
  • 16. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.faith are not faith but only appurtenances of it.-A. 0.2116. " Love to the Lord cannot possibly be separatedfrmn love to the neighbor, for the Lords love istowards the whole human race, which he desiresto save eternally, and to adjoin entirely to himself,so as for none of them to perish: wherefore WHO-SOEVER HAS LOVE TO THE LORD, HAS THE LORDSLOVE, and cannot h.elp loving his neighbor."-A. a. 2023. "When it is said there is no salvation in anyname but that of the Lord, it means that there issalvation in no other doctrine; that is, IN NOOTHER THING THAN MUTUAL LOVE, which is thetme doctrine of faith."-A. a. 2009. " The essential of worship is hearty adoration ofthe Lord, which does not exist save in so far as theheart be principled in charity or neighborly love..All true worship is adoration of the Lord, for theLord is never present in external worship unleBBinternal worship be contained in it."-A. a. 1150. "Many say that there is. no internal worship without external, when yet the truth of the case is, that there is no external without internal.- A. a. 1175. " The new church is to be established only among those who are in a life of good."-A. a. 3898. [ 125 ]
  • 17. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST "The church is one, notwithstanding its diversi- ties of doctrine, when all acknowledge charity as the eB8ential of the church, or, what is the same thing, when they have respect to life as the end of doctrine, that is, when they inquire HOW A MAN OF THE CHURCH LIVES, and not 80 much what are his 8entiment8."-.A. O. 3341. ., The church must needs vary as to doctrine,one society or one man profe!lSing one opinion, andanother, another. But as long as each liveB i11charity, HE IS IN THE CHURCH AS TO LIFE, whethe1he be as to doctrine or not, and consequently, theLords church or kingdom is in him." -.A. O. 3451. "Doctrinals are not designed to direct thethoughts so much as the life, for what is theirend but that a man may become what they teachhim to be 1"-...1.. O. 2982. Again, in his latest work, entitled "The-.rrueChristian Religion," 784, when expressly describingthe formation of the church, he says, "that thiscannot be effected in a moment, but in proportionas the false8 of the fornwr church are removed;and this must first take place among the clergy,and by their means among the laity." Now, surely, this whole strain of observation isinconsistent with the notion of any just stigmaattaching to the Christian church, considered as [ 126 ]
  • 18. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM. an ecclesiastical constitution, and utterly forbids the conception of the new church, therefore, as a new and militant ecclesiastical polity. Noone, indeed, can read Swedenborg at all intelligently, without being convinced that the Christian ordi- nances of Baptism and the Holy Supper were never given by the Lord for the purpose of sym- bolizing a particular creed, or celebrating a certain doctrinal consensus on the part of his professed followers. They were given to be a sign or memo- rial of the universal spirit which, under all varieties of doctrinal and ritual observance, reigns among his followers, namely, a regenerative spirit, a spirit which proceeds upon the putting away the evils of the natural heart as sins against God, typified by baptism, and tlie consequent reception of goods and truths from the Lord, typified by the eucharist. These ordinances have thus a most universal scope, being addressed solely to the foreshadowing of the great facts of life in which all Gods children are, one, and not in the slightest degree to the fore- shadowing of those minor facts of doctrine, as to which all Gods children, simply because they are his children, must eternally differ. It is this universality of scope in the Christian ordinancelii which fits them to symbolize the new or spiritual and universal Christian church; because what this [ 127 ]
  • 19. THE CHURCH OF CHlUSlchurch primarily regards is the life of charity, or aspiritual new birth in man, and the ordinances ofbaptism and the supper are the express imagesand types, are the divinely appointed signs :andseals of this regenerate life. No matter how mucha man may misconceive the literal text of scripture,no matter how full of absurd traditions or super-stitions his ecclesiastical memory may be, so longas he professes to believe in the Lord, and avoidsevils as sins, he is a perfectly proper recipient ofthe Christian ordinances, let them be administeredwhere or by whom they may; as proper a recipient,let me add, and one as precious in the Lords sight,as if, instead of his own native ignorance on thesesubjects, he possessed the angel Gabriels plenaryillumination. We may well fee~ therefore, howmerited a scorn shall one day betide any commu-nion which excludes such a man from it in theLords name. We may well feel what scorn shallespecially betide any corporation, which, assumingthe sacred name of New Jerusalem, yet seeks todivert these divinely appointed vessels of the Lordshouse aside from their benign and universal uses,to the service of its own ecclesiastical pomp andvanity. Now, my friend, if the spirit of the new economybe as I have described it, if charity be the all of [ 128 ]
  • 20. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.the true Christian church, the all of its life and theall of its doctrine-and I defy anyone rationallyto gainsay this-then it is highly incumbent onthose who profess to be devoted to the interestsof true Christianity, to inquire what hinders thespread of it among men. Let us proceed brieflyto do this. Now, mark! the inquiry we propose to make isnot as to the obstacles which defeat the spread oftrue religion in the world generally. Undoubtedlythe main obstacle to the spread of true religion inthe world, is a very prevalent indifference to theconcerns of mans spiritual history and destiny,growing out of the unsanctified lusts of self-loveand the love of the world. This obstacle you andI, in common with all the rest of the world, expe-rience to the life of true religion in our souls. Truereligion is of so heavenly a genius, its temper is sohumane, so instinct with the vital breath of charity,that it necessarily encounters the stupid antagonismof the natural heart in all of us, and is alwaysobliged to conquer, therefore, wherever it takespossession. But this is not the point we are nowto consider. It is a most interesting point, doubt-less; but we have one still more interesting beforeus, which is this: what obstacles exist in the mindsof religious people-people who are sincerely [ 129 ) 10
  • 21. THE CHURCH OF ~LqTanxious to know and do the will of God-tothe reception of new-church light, as that lightstands diiiclosed in the remarkable writings ofSwedenborg 1 This is our question. We findmultitudes of tender, generous, and profoundlyreligious minds in all the divided Christian sect.B,who are consciously starving and perishing uponthe slender fare which is hebdomadally served outto them; and we ask what is it which hindersthese persons immediately receiving the stupen-dous consolations of the new and spiritual church 1 Now, my friend, permit me to say that I thinkthere can be but one answer to this enquiry, andit is, that these personl are continually taught tolook upon the new church, not as a spiritual andtherefore universal church, but simply as a newChristian sect, and upon the writings of Sweden-borg, consequently, as tbe ravings of a fanatical ordisordered brain. I say, these persons are taughtto take this view of the new church pretensions.And if you ask me how they are thus taught, Ianswer, by the purely ecclesiastical aspect which isgiven to the new church idea, by so many sincerebut inconsiderate admirers of Swedenborg. The technical or self-styled new church assumes before the world simply the attitude of a new ecclesiasti- cal organization, or a new organization for external [ 130 ]
  • 22. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM:.worship, claiming a new clerical order, and a morevirtuous or valid administration of the Christianordinances than pertains to any other sect. Thusthe world is led to consider the new church, not asa new and regenerate life of man, not as a life ofspiritual conformity to the divine will, to be exem-plified only in the broadest charity, or in everyform of domestic, social, civil and religious use, butonly as a new visible sect, having a local habitationand a name, and capable, therefore, of being geo-metrically de£ned and demonstrated. And, accord-ingly, when you go to a person whose thoughts areexercised about in£nite truth and goodness, or whoBuffers in soul from the violence which is done tothese interests by the spirit of sect-when you goto such a person and set before him the claims ofthe new church to his regard, be replies at once,-" Do you mean by the new church the sect thatworships in such or such a place, and seeks toprocure itself a name by outwardly separatingitself from all other worship 1 Because if youmean that, 1 really do not see that you promiseme any improvement. The persO,llS who composemy present ecclesiastical connection are very goodpersons generally, very good neighbors, very goodcitizens; and besides all that are too niodest toclaim before the world any peculiar ecclesiastical [ 131 1
  • 23. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTnearness to God, as the sect in question does. Ihave no fault to find with my ecclesiastical con-nection, consequently, at least, no such fault aspromises to be remedied by °a mere change ofconnection. In short, my troubles are not at allecclesiastical, but spiritual. One ecclesiasticism isquite as good as another to me, were the vital spiritof it only divine. What I lack in them all is thatclose internal fusion or sympathy of the members,which could not fail to be felt in them all if charitywere their life and not an unchastised ambition formutual preeminence. How should I be helped,then, by going among the people in question 1Do they not pretend to offer God a more accept-able worship than the Presbyterians or Catholicsor Episco.palians? Do they not claim a newministry? Do they accept Presbyterian or Metho-dist baptism? Will they allow Bishop Wainwrightor Dr. Dewey to administer the Lords supper tothem? If all these things are so, will you tell mewherein this self-styled new church differs in spiritfrom all the older sects, unless, perhaps, in beingrather more sectarian? And if it do not differ inspirit from the older sects, why then, of course itis nothing new under the sun, but something onthe contrary-very stale, flat, and unprofitable. Anew church must prove itself such by ne1cmesS of [ 132 ]
  • 24. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.8pirit, by a spirit of universal charity-a charitywhich shall loathe to be preeminent even overPagam and Turks, let alone its fellow-Ohristiana.Any spirit short of this, any spirit which virtuallysays to sincere Christian worshippers of whatevername,- Stand aside! we claim to offer a moreacceptable worship than you! is an extremelyancient spirit, is as ancient at least as that unhappyPharisee we read of in holy writ, who approachedthe temple of divine worship, saying, Father, ITHA.NK THEE that I am not as other men, &c.,and who therefore went down to his house con-siderably disadvantaged from other men." I say therefore, because if a man so mistakes thedivine character as to suppose Him a respecter ofpersons, and to give Him thanks accordingly forprivate or personal favors, it is manifest that themans worship is animated by self-love, and thedivine name consequently grossly profaned. Ofcourse it is the dictate of true religion to refer allgood. to the Lord, and all evil to the devil: buttrue religion dictates no comparisons or contrastsbetween ourselves and others, nor indeed does shetolerate any such comparisons, declaring them, onthe contrary, utterly incompatible with her heavenlytemper. When. I feel disposed to thank God forgreater ecclesiastical privileges than my neighbors, [ 133 ]
  • 25. ·THE CHURCH OF CHRISTor what is the same thing, a nearer access to Himthan my neighbours enjoy; whenever, lookingupon Dr. Potts or Dr. Hawks, I felicitate myselfupon the knowledge of a rival priesthood superiorto theirs;. or whenever, looking upon the ordi-nances of the universal church as administered bytheir hands, I congratulate myself that they aremore efficaciously administered elsewhere-it is nolonger religion which animates me-it is no longerthe blessed spirit of charity, but the accursed spiritof sect, or a temper of genuine self-love, which, ifleft unchecked, must issue in confirmed diabolism. Do not misunderstand me. It is very far frommy intention, because it is very far from my desire,to cast disparagement upon any institutions ofsocial worship. It seems to me entirely properand inevitable that those who sympathize witheach others views of Christian doctrine, shouldcome together at suitable times and places forsocial worship. Nothing could be more delightfulthan an assembly of this sort, when animated solelyby a spirit of charity towards all other assemblies,and having nothing to gain by disparaging themin public estimation. An assembly like this, unitedin cordial adoration of the Divine Love, and intentonly on celebrating His ineffable perfection, wouldIlf,and in an attitude of the tenderest sympathy [ 134 ]
  • 26. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.towards all other assemblies. Jt would neverdream of impugning the truth of their worshipby publishing itself as the only true church of Godin New York; but it would strive on the contraryto shew them the riches of spiritual consolationwhich are embodied in the Christian ordinanceswherever administered, and prove how every par-ticular of their own worship is fragrant with theinward acknowledgment of divine mercy and peace.No, let us worship together in this spirit to ourhearts content, and under whatever orderly routinebefits our taste. Let us have architecture, let ushave music, let us have singing, let us have preach-ing, and the concerted voice of prayer; let us have,in short, whatever graceful and glowing forms maybe deemed suitable to express a worship so cordialand therefore so cheerful, so rational and thereforeso profoundly reverential, as that which is inspiredby the new truths must necessarily be. All thisis right and sweet and beautiful; and I cantimagine anyone but a sour and surly sectarianobjecting to it. No one, indeed, can object to it,unless he be disposed to deny freedom of worshipaltogether. Every one, on the contrary, must seethat it is a suitable and decorous thing for personswhose intellects are forming upon the same generalclass of truths, to seek each others sympathy in [ 135 ]
  • 27. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTpublic or social worship. But what every one hasa right to complain of as an unsuitable and inde-corous thing, is for this company thus comingtogether for worship to arrogate to themselves thename and authority of the Lord, in any such senseas prejudices the equal right of any other worship-ping assembly to do the same thing. I believevery truly in the interior truths of the Scriptureas they .are unfolded by Swedenborg, and I instructmy family in the knowledge of those truth~ so faras their tender understandings are capable of re-ceiving them. Have I thereupon the right to saythat my family worship is one whit truer or moreacceptable in a heavenward way than that of mynext door neighbor, who never heard of any inte-rior sense in the Scripture, or if he h~ deemsit a very great snare and delusion, and steadilyworships, notwithstanding, according to the plenaryPresbyterian platform 1 Assuredly not. Shall thetruth of any mans reverence and worship of thegreat Being who creates and redeems and preserveshim, hinge upon his possessing adequate conceptionsof the divine perfection~ and offering a homagetherefore which shall be worthy of those perfections 1God help the best of us in that case! say I. Forthis is to place worship in a new ground entirely-no longer in a sense of the profound wants of the [ 136 ]
  • 28. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.heart-no longer in the deep and cordial andoverwhelming sense of our own deficiencies, of ourown relative nothingness and vanity, and of Godsboundless sufficiency-but rather in ones intellec-tual acquisitions, in the sentiment of possessing asuperior illumination to other people. But if I have no right to defame my neighborsfamily worship on the ground of its utter uncon-sciousness of the new truths, if I have no right tosuppose that the Lord views my family worshipwith more complacency than he does that of myPresbyterian neighbor; what right have I andthose who socially worship with me, to supposethat He views our social worship with any morecomplacency than He does that of the Baptists,Catholics, Unitarians, Presbyterians, or Mahome-dans 1 What right have we to claim in our socialcapacity, a comparative nearness t.o God over othersocieties, which we have no right to claim in ourfamily capacities! If I myself, with all my heartydelight in the new truths,. do not contribute anyelement to my family worship which makes itcapable of disparaging my neighbors family wor-ship before God, do pray tell me how any fifty orfive hundred of us assembling for social worship,shall contribute any element to that worship whichshall have the effect to disparage any other sincere [ 137 ]
  • 29. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTworship before God 1 If I have no right in myprivate devotions to stigmatize my neighbors de-votions as old and worthless and dead, what righthave I to do so in my public worship 1 Whatright have I to advertise my public devotions asnew and living and valid, and his by implication,as old, spiritless, and unprofitable? Of course it is perfectly proper for people whosympathize in any particular views of divine truth,and who desire to express that sympathy in formsof social worship, to advertise their place of meeting,for the benefit of all persons interested. Or if wewish to assail the popular doctrines by means oflectures, sermons, and so forth, let us clearly ad-vertise our intention. But let us not put forthimmodest hand-bills, informing the world that herethe true church is to be found, and inferentiallytherefore not anywhere else in the city, underpenalty of affronting the most intimate spirit ofthat church. You may very properly say to the world, if youplease, that you are about establishing, or havealready established, external Christian worship insuch a place on an improved basis, or with a spiritmodified by new church light. Bnt to say thatany amount of such worship gives you the slightestclaim to the worlds recognition as the" new Jeru- [ 138 I
  • 30. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM. salem," as the grand end and achievement of all divine promise and prophecy, gives you the slightest right to arrogate to yourselves one particle of the consideration which belongs to that divine and im- maculate economy, is to say what only a complete ignorance of the spirit of that economy prompts. The new church in man, is a regenerate life, a life of brotherly love or charity, a life which is no more consistent with the claim of superior ecclesiastical merit before God, than it is with that of superior moral or physical merit. I am ashamed to go before God saying that I am a better man morally than John Smith, and that I should like therefore a superior celestial position to his. Why am I thus ashamed 1 Because the plea insultingly im- plies that God is a respecter of persons, thus, that one of His creatures is less dependent upon Himthan another. By what infatuation is it, then, that one is not ashamed to do ecclesiastically, thatwhich he is thus ashamed to do personally 1 Oneis not ashamed every Sunday to claim before theworld, and challenge the worlds recognition of thefact, that he is ecclesiastically much nearer to Godthan the Catholic bishop Hughes, the Presbyterianbishop Phillips, or the Unitarian bishop Bellows.What, I ask, is the explanation of this scandalousincongruity 1 [ 139 ]
  • 31. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST The explanation is to be sought in the prevalenceof totally erroneous or sectarian views of the church.The sectarian idea of the church is, that it is pri-marily a visible corporation, hierarchically consti-tuted, whose life lies in Sunday worship, and whoseproper activity consists accordingly in promotingall the resources and interests of that worship.According to this conception of the church, a manis what he is, chiefly by virtue of his connnectionwith that visible body; that visible body standsbetween him and God, and is the medium of thedivine blessing to him, so that he may be calledupon to honor it as his spiritual mother, with pre-cisely the same propriety that he may be calledupon to honor God as his spiritual Father. Wefind the conception everywhere diffused, and hearit expounded and enforced from all sorts of pulpits ;but the only consistent and worthy representativeof it is the Roman Catholic church. No personwho holds this theory of the church, who holds theecclesiastical conception of it, and maintains it ea;0JIIJimw, has any logical right to disclaim the pater-nal authority of bishop Hughes, and must eitherin this world or the next filially submit himself toit. He may call himself a Protestant against thechurch of Rome, and may protest till he is blackIn the face; but when he at last finds that the [ 140 ]
  • 32. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.church of Rome is the only logical exponent of hisidea of the church,-when he finds that all logicand all experience and all testimony go to substan-tiate her sole claim to the name of church in thisview,-when, in short, it comes to the choice ofthe church of Rome or no church at all of thatsame general type or pattern; he will infalliblyswallow the nauseous medicine, I havent a doubt. I cannot, indeed, understand how anyone whoholds to the ecclesiastical conception of the church,can for an instant deny the paramount claims ofthe Romish hierarchy upon his allegiance. If thechurch of Christ possesses of necessity an ecclesias-tical constitution, or, what is the same thing, aninseparable external organization, based upon the distinction of clergy and laity, then the Romanchurch is the only true church, because it alonepermanently secures such an organization. Hadthe Protestant been as stoutly pushed a tergo as the Catholic has been pushed by him, and as he himself bids fair to be pushed in the future, he must long ere this have acknowledged that the only consistent ecclesiasticism is that of Rome. The Roman Catholic makes the church to consist wholly in the pope and his inferior clergy, just as the old theories of the State left out the people, or as the little boys when they form amateur military [ 141 ]
  • 33. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST companies, make them to consist wholly of captains, lieutenants, and corporals. We may smile at this infantine simplicity on the part of the church, or weep over its boundless spiritual arrogance, as we please, but it affords nevertheless the only i¢allible recipe for the churchs perpetuity, considered as an ecclesiastical institution. If we want conviction on this point, we have only to refer to the utter disorganization which the hierarchical idea, or thechurch considered as having an inseparable ecclesi-astical organization, encounters at Protestant hands.The Protestant democratizes the idea of the church,making it to consist not of one power alone, not ofthe clergy simply, but of the clergy and peoplejointly. But this theory by commixing the twoorders, and leaving their respective parts whollyundefined, like a military company whose officersand privates should possess a joint authority, isdestructive of all discipline, and has actually endedin the complete disorganization of the church, asan ecclesiasticism. What is your own ecclesiasticalpretension in fact but a proof of this 1 Your ownsect is a striking fruit and exemplification of thepurely disorganizing tendencies of Protestantism.In the first place, a handful of laymen reared inthe bosom of Protestantism, and united in nothingbut a profession of faith in the remarkable writings [ 142 ]
  • 34. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.of a very remarkable man, combine by mutuallybaptising each other, to establish a new ecclesias-tical organization which shall have the effect tosupersede all the older organizations, and vacatealike t~e authority of their priesthoods and thesanctity of their sacraments. But as these personscan legitimately claim no other warrant for thisnew organization than their own wills; as theyexhibit no diviDe sanctions for it in the shapE ofnew baptisms or other sacraments distinguishingthem from the old organizations; as, in short, theyare only a new Christian sect to all the recognizedintents and purposes of a sect, they cannot of coursepropagate any but sectarian offspring, and musttolerate every schism and division and heresy whichmay subsequently arise to rend their own bowels,and deliver them in their turn an easy prey todissolution. Accordingly I know no sect so young that gives such unequivocal proofs of senility asyour own; I know no sect so inconsiderable inpoint of numbers, which has already bred so many "doting questions and strifes of words." For this result I say you are indebted only to your inherent Protestantism, or the mother that bore you. :For as Protestantism was not a new church, spiritually considered, but only a new form or modification of one and the same ecclesiastical spirit, so your more [ 143 ]
  • 35. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST limited movement exhibits no spiritual advance upon the older Protestant sects, but only a highly rational and comfortable modification of their ritual observances. Thus you have no right to glory over the Protestant sects, through which ~ your own ecclesiastical validity is derived; just as they have no right to glory over the Catholic church,seeing that whatsoever hierarchical virtue theypossess, is but a puny rill of that once affluent butnow moss-grown and dishonored fountain. Neitherof you has the slightest reason for boasting overthe other, save on the ground of a spiritual supe-riority, or a more eminent life of charity; andeminence in that life is scarcely consistent withecclesiastical or any other sort of boasting, beingidentical in fact with the greatest personal humility. Do I- complain of these unhandsome quarrels,however 1 Do I regret the grand original fact ofProtestantism 1 Do I regret the great subsequentfacts which have marked her history, and developedher true or characteristic tendencies 1 God forbid !I look upon them all as facts full of blessed signifi-cance for the true church of God, for the true lifeof God in the soul of man. Had we not hadCatholicism in the first place, or an ecclesiasticaleconomy paramount to the civil and politicalregime, the human mind must have lacked the [ 144 ]
  • 36. NOT AN ECCLESlASTICISM.necessary germ or egg of the true idea of the church.We could never have conceived in that case of thedivine life in man, as destined eventually to controland sanctify his civil and natural life. Had wenot haQ Protestantism again, we should have hadno disorganization of this primary and beneficentgenu, nor consequently any development of themiraculous spirit which infonus it. I have indeedno doubt that the Providence which governs humanaffairs is altogether divine, for I see throughout allhistory the unswerving march of a great spiritualend or purpose, which is so high above mansthought as to find its stepping-stones alternatelyin his wisdom and his folly, and so high above hisbest affections, as to make his very vices contributean equal furtherance with his virtues, to itB finalevolution.. f I need not say to you that I look upon this endor purpose of the Divine Providence, as identicalwith that new church of which the world has solong and so reverently read in ancient prophecy,and of whose advent the roseate dawn is at lengthflushing the entire mental horizon of humanity;that new and everlasting church, the crown andconsummation of all past churches, which is consti~tuted solely by a regenerate life in all her members,or a heart full of love to God and love to man. [ 145 ] 11
  • 37. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTIt is identical with what the mystical scriptures callthe New Jerusalem, meaning by that carnal symbolnothing indeed appreciable to the carnal eye, "norat all germane to the carnal heart, but a trulydivine life in the soul of man. " It is also called anew church, both because it is the crown and ful-filment of all past churches, and because a churchin the spiritual idea invariably signiiies a regeneratelife in man, or the life of charity. This church isnot aristocratically constituted like the RomishChurch, nor yet democratically like the Protestantchurches. It is not made up of clergy alone, norof clellq and people jointly; but simply of goodnessand truth in the soul of every individual member.It is not made a church by any amount or anyexactitude of ritual worship, any more than I ammade aather by the number of kisses I give mychildren. No man can say of it 10 here! or 10there! any more than he can limit the path ofthe lightning which now shin:es in one part of theheavens and now in the opposite. For as all her "members are born of God, they can only be spi-ritually discerned, and hence the new church mustpeIlistently disclaim all identification with parti-cular persons, particular times, or particular places. Unlike the typical "churches, this perfect church finds its t.mest abode and expression in the indi- [ 146 ]
  • 38. NOT AN ~IASTICISlLvidual soul. The existing ecclesiaBtical politiell,both Catholic and Protesta.n~ stand between Godand the individual man, claiming to be the mediumto him of the divine blessing. The true church,on the contrary, derives its most general or aBBO-ciated form from the individual life of which it iscomposed, only from the purer individual fibres ofwhich it is the gross aggregation. It consequentlyconfesses a total inability to confer life, or do any-thing else but receive it. There is no stone so dead,no dolt so absolute, in respect to whom this newchurch claims or is conscious of one jot of supe-riority. Because her first, second, and third estate,or her beginning, middle, and end, are unmixeltdependence, and beget nothing accordingly batunmixed humility. She is only what her individus:lmembers make her; and as they are all regeneratemen, or men in whom charity rules, and self-seekU::gis dead, so she of course can only be a stupendousform of charity, whose life lies not in receiving,but only in communicating. No baptisms and no sacraments give admissionto this church, but only those things which allbaptisms and sacraments do but typify, namely,charity and a faith which itself is charity. All thebaptisms and sacraments that ever were adminis-tered, and all the priesthoods ever consecrated, veil [ 147 ]
  • 39. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTtheir servile heads before the true divine presencein the soul of the humblest of men, confessing theirutter impotence to approxima.te their subject: tothat suprema bliss. Nay, more j were the Lordhimself once again in finite form upon the earth,and the actual administrator of the Christian ordi-nances, they would still remain utterly inoperativeto give the slightest. approximation to his spiritualpresence. For all true approximation in thatdirection is spiritual, depending upon the existenceof neighborly love in our hea.rt:.l, and a new andtrue church therefo~e will place her distinctivemarks, not in the possession of any baptisms orsacraments or other ca.rnal observances of any BOrt,but only in the sincere and saintly life of hervotaries. It is totally impossible, if she be a truechurch, if she be anything else than a spuriouschurch, or a mere representative economy, that shecan have any manifestation apart from the manifes-tations of charity in the daily life of her members.If charity teaches her subject to blow trumpetsbefore him in the public streets, proclaiming thathe is a regenerate man j if it teach him to invitepublic attention by printed handbills, whenever heseeks to celebrate the Divine Perfection by praiseand prayer j if it teach him to advertise himself asGods true child, in contradistinction to others who [ 148 ]
  • 40. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.only falsely profess to be so; if it teach him toacknowledge the divine life only in those whoentertain the same theological opinions 88 himself,or read the same theological books: why then, ofcourse, the greater church will do the same things,that is to say, will soon render the name of "newchurch" the synonyme of whatsoever is sectarianin temper, or vulgar and disreputable in manners.But if charity prescribe no such behavior to hervotaries; if the truly regenerate man, or the manin whom charity rules, be, from the very nature ofthe case, the least conscious of the difference be-tween himself and other men, and the least disposedto magnify such difference; if he be disposed tohide the shortcomings of his brother, and discoveronly the things that make for peace and universal unity; if he perceive in the law of God a heightand depth, a length and breadth of spiritual perfec-tion, which laughs to scorn the bare thought of meritin Gods sight, and makes our truest wealth to lie inthe unaffected consciousness of our utter want: whythen, of course, the new church will everywhere inten-sify these individual characteristics until she utterly sink from all identification with persons or places or rituals, and stamp herself 88 one only with what- soever is pure and unsullied in human inspiration, and manly, just, and generous in human conduct. [ 149 ]
  • 41. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST In short, the true or final church is not in theleast degree an ecclesiasticism, is not in any out-ward sense a hierarchical institution. Were it so,it would have existed from the beginning of theworld, for the world h8.8 never been without authen..tic hierarchies, or true ecclesiastical institutioIl&I do not see what rea.sonable fault is to be foundwith either the Jewish worship, or with that of theCh.zmian church, if they are to be replaced onlyby other external worship. The Jewish priestsreflected, no doubt, the prevalent arrogance andselfishness of the national hope, but, I presume,were otherwise a superior class of men. And theChristian priesthood, although the temptations in-cident to their conventional elevation have servedto devel~pe among them many of the subtler formsof evil latent in the undisciplined human heart,have yet, on the whole, been lustrous with manyvirtues. You will occasionally find one amongthem with a conscience like the hide of a rhino-ceros, and a lust of dominion able to surmount thetallest star, and annex it to the bishopric of hisconceit. And, what is remarkable, the smaller thesect, the plentier you find this sort of men, 8.8 ifthe divine Providence purposely limited a stomachso gigantic.to the meagerest possible pasture. But,on the whole, what sweetness h8.8 baptized the [ lliO I
  • 42. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISlLclerical function in the past! What fortitude, whatself-denial, what patience, what labor in seasonand out of season, have been the heritage of thegreat ma.es of these men! What stores of learningthey have accumulated; what splendid additionsthey have made to the best literature of every land;how they have enriched the sciences by their ob-servation and studious enquiries; how they havekept the flame of patriotism aglow; how they haveencouraged the generous ambition of youth, anddirected it to worthy and useful ends; how theyhave dignified the family altar, and cherished thepurity of woman, and diffused through society thecharm of honest and gentle manners: all thesethings must be cordially acknowledged by everyone competent to speak on the question. Wherewould be the sense of ousting such a body of men,native, as it were, and to the manor born, inherit-ing a grace and dignity from their time-honoredplaces, embalmed in the kindly reverence andgood-will of the community, only for the purposeof introducing a new and undisciplined body, honestand well-intentioned, no doubt, and in many re-spects intellectually well qualified; but aggreBBiveby the very nece88ity of their birth, contemptuousand insulting by the inseparable theory of theiroffice 1 [ lIH ]
  • 43. THE CHURCH OF CHRlST All the world will bid God-speed to the new3.lpirantB, provided they will honestly and modestlyapply such teaching-faculty 88 they posseBB to thedissemination of original truths on the su~ject ofmans relations to God and his fellow-man. Butif they are not content with this-if they immo-destly claim to be a newer and more authenticpriesthood as well; if, instead of simply sheddingnew and grateful light on previously insolubleproblems, they 8eek a private end also, which isthe exaltation of their oum order in public regard,and to this end represent baptism and the Lord88upper to P088es8 a different virtue, a divinerunction, under their administration than underthat of the existing priesthood: then the insultedcommon sense of the public will conclude thattruth informed and urged by such a temper canhardly be worth a reasonable mans attention; andthat if we can never attain t<> a newne88 of 8pih-itin religious matteI"B without necessitating a >corres-ponding newne88 of letter also, the sooner we aban-don all hope of spiritual progreBB the better, and BOget well rid for ever of the interminable quarreland fatigue. But let us go a little deeper int<> the problem.Let us inquire the meaning of th~ great phenome-non which we call THE CHURCH; let us inquire in [ 162 ]
  • 44. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.what sentiment of the human soul it takes its rise,and to what rational issues it inevitably points. Ifwe thoroughly master these inquiries, we shall haveno remaining doubt as to the genius of the truechurch of God in heaven and on earth. The vis formativa in the church, the foundationstone of all religion, is a certain sentiment in thebreast of man of disproportion or disunion betweenhim and God, between him and the Infinite. Thissentiment underlies every church in history, under-lies the entire religious life of the world. It hasgiven shape to all mans distinctive hope, to all hisaspiration, to all his best activity. He has the ideaor inward sense of infinitude, of perfection, of a lifewhich is not derived from without, and which isconsequently above all vicissitude or perturbation,and he feels in all his bones that this is not thelife which nature gives him. Hence a conflictbetween him and nature, between the ideal withinhim, and the actual without him. For man alwaysfeels himself bound to realize his ideas. To makethe ideal actual, to bring forth the dim and nebu-lous radiance of the soul into clear bodily shapeand act, is the very distinction of human life. Thebrute obeys only the life of the senses. Man, whenhe is truly man, when he is emancipated from thepurely animal life to which his inherited tendencies .[ 153 ]
  • 45. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTcondemn him, obeys his ideas, acts from within,from the impulse of taste, from the inspimtion ofGoodness. His life lies in clothing the outer worldwith the glory which he brings from the inner, orin making his ideal actual. Hence, when hecherishes the idea of So life higher than he yet ex-periences, he inevitably aspires, aims, and hopes tomake it actual. Did he not 80 aim, aspire, andhope, he would perish. For the idea is there tobe realized. It is not there merely to mock himwith its stem impo88ibilities; it is not there simplyto taunt him with his hopele88 infirmities; but, onthe contrary, to educate his. nascent and UDBU8-pected powers, to stimulate his hopes, and leavehim no rest until he has amply actualized it. Man, then, has the idea of infinitude, of perfeo-tion, of a life infinitely superior to that whichnature gives him. And hence, the beginnings ofthe church in him, the beginnings of his religiouslife, or of his attempts to conciliate the Infinite,involve a. conflict between him and nature. Naturegives him So life underived from within, derivedfrom past ancestry,-a life depending on a. myriadexternal things, and hence subject to a myriadpains, disquiets, and disappointments. His soulwhispers to him of a. hi~her life than this, the life of God, a life which flows wholly from within the [ 154 ]
  • 46. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.subject, depending upon no outward circumstances "whatever, controlling a.ll outward circumstances infac1; and subject therefore to no pain, no disquiet,and 00 meanness for ever. By all the attraction ofthe latter life over the former, he aspires to placateit, to draw it nearer to him, to win its blessedness.And he knows no way so direct, so full of influencetowards this end, as the denial of the natural life,or the persistent mortification of its desires, ambi-tions, and splendors. This life, he says practically,which I derive from nature, shall not be my life.I hate it, I abhor it, I banish it. I know of aserener, of a freer, of a higher life than this, andall my instincts bid me crave it. Hence I will killthis mortal natural life within me. It ma.y forlong years yet invest my body, but my soul shallhave no participation with it. My soul 8hall mournin itsjoys and rejoice in its sorrows, if so be thatI may thus get deliverance from it. Hence it is that you see the church throughouthistory disclaiming any natural basis, built uponthe practical denial of nature. Hence it is thatyou see the religious life, under whatever skies itmay flower, involve more or less of asceticism.This makes the unity of all churches, Pagan andChristian, Jew and Gentile, that they all declareman to be separated from God by nature, and not [ 155 ]
  • 47. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, connected with Him. They ~l affirm the necessity of regeneration. They all say, of course not in the same, but equivalent terms, Ye must be bom again before ye shall see the kingdom of God. Accord- ingly, in the earlier and ruder stages of human history, you find the eminent parts of divine wor- ship to consist in sacrifices and offerings, the sacri- fice or offering up t<l the Deity of some natural possession greatly prized by the worshipper. The dumb instinct of a paramount spiTit/.l..al unity be- tween God and man, led the latter to cast incessant dishonor upon his natural affections, which were felt somehow to obscure tha.t higher bond. Hence it was common, in some regions, for the parent to sacrifice his child as his dearest natural possession. In others, the most shocking mutilations and lace- rations of the body have been practised. In others, the most beautiful virgins in the community were sacrificed. In others again, the lower sacrifices of animals t<lok place, and, as it was believed that the costlier the sacrifice the more grateful it was to the gods, 80 hecat<lmbs, or an offering of a hundred bulls at once, came into vogue. On all sides the Deity was felt to antagonize the merely natural man, and every curious and cunning effort was made, therefore, to anticipate his will by the volun- .tary mortification of natural desire. [ 156 ]
  • 48. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM. You have heard, no doubt, of the famous ring ofPolycrates, king of Samos, which being thrown byhim into the sea with a view to propitiate thedivine friendship, came back to him in the bellyof a fish. The letter of his friend Amasis, king ofEgypt, which had induced him to sacrifice the ring,is worth quoting. "Amasis says thus to Polycrates :It is pleasant to hear that ones friend prospers,yet your exceeding good fortune pleases me not,knowing as I do that the Deity is a jealous being;and I could wish that both myself and those I loveshould be fortunate in some of their doings, and inothers miscarry, and so pass their lives in changes of fortune, rather thap be always fortunate; for I never yet heard talk of anyone who with good fortune in everything, did not come to his end miserably with an utter downfall. . Do you there- fore follow my advice, and in respect of your happy chances do as I tell you. Look out well for the most precious thing you have, and that which you would most take to heart the loss of; and then away with it in such sort that it shall never more come before the eyes of men. And if after this, your success should not take turns, and go evenly with your mishaps, still remedy the matter in the way here proposed." Herodotu8, iii. 40. Her~ upon Polycrates threw his ring which he valued [ 167 ]
  • 49. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST very highly into the sea, and when Amasis learned that it had been restored to him by It fish, he at once renounced the friendship of a man so clearly marked out for misfortune. In reading this touching letter of Amasis, king of Egypt, one fancies that he is listening to a stmm of modem piety, so exactly akin is the true reli- gious instinct in all time and all space. It wasnever better illustrated than in thi~ document of long mummied royalty. Its starting point or in-spiration is the conviction of Gods dissatisfaction with the merely natural life, and its method ofconciliation is as Amasis describes it, assiduously " to seek out the most precious thing one has, thepossession dearest to ones heart, and then awaywith it in such sort that it shall never come beforethe eyes of men." Thus the Roman Catholicascetic under the fervent inspiration of this temperbetakes himself to convents and nunneries, andunder its ordinary exhibitions to fasting and pen·ance. And the Protestant ascetic under the sameinfluence devotes himself to the ministry or themissionary enterprise, and persistently denies him-.self the delights of music and the dance. Theopera is a snare to him, and the theatre little shortof certain destruction. Ritually of COUI"l!le or intheir ecclesiastic practice, both the Catholic and [ 158 ]
  • 50. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.Protestant Mcetic differ very widely from the Paganworshipper. But they are all very closely allied inspirit, since they all alike aim to please God by anincessant depletion of the flesh, or an incessantmortification of natural desire. Such then is the universal attitude of the churchof God throughout the past, an attitude of aversiontowards the joys of the merely natural life. Suchis the invariable aspect of the religious sentiment,ere it has degenerated M among us into sentimen-tality and cant, an aspect of patient and profoundself-sacrifice as to all the things men naturallycovet. Churches may exhibit inter 8e the greatestpoBBible ritual and political diversity, but none ofthem has any claim to be considered a churchunleBB it be baptized with this spirit. This is thereason, independently of its denial of the Lordsdivinity, why the Unitarian church gets so littleuncultivated recognition, and impresses so slightlythe popular imagination. Its theory of Christianitysoftens the depravity of human nature~ which de-pravity to the popular mind is the neceBBary anti-thesis of the divine magnanimity, and .the verynucleus therefore of gospel consolation. Hence Unitarianism never gets beyond the respectableclasses. Even where it conquers the bedroom andparlor floors, it leaves the attics and kitchen all the [ 169 ]
  • 51. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST more obstinate Baptifilt and Methodist. It is a. good profeBSion for those in whom culture andprosperous circumstances have somewhat overlaidthe natural discrepancy between flesh and spirit,or self-love and brotherly love, so enforcing a milderand more decorous doctrine upon that subject.But evidently the chief historic praise of U nitarian-ism is negative, consisting in its destructive criti-cism of some Calvinistic errors, and in its stillfarther toning-dmvn the prevalent ecclesiasticalidea of the church, and so preparing the way forthe recognition of the Lords spiritual advent. From this survey, then, it is evident that the-constituent principle of the church is the convictionof the inadequacy of the merely natural life of manto attract the divine complacency.· The obvioussentiment which underlies all mans religious life,is that of a total disproportion between God andhimselfconsidered as the subject of nature. Humannature universally confesses a conscience of sin, andhence regeneration becomes the prime necessityand aspiration of the religious profeBBion. Thesetwo words, a conscience of sin, and an ardent desirefor a new birth-Bu~ up the entire ecclesiasticaldevelopment of the race. The church has begottenand maintained only these connected convictions,and consequently when you ask it for any distillctive [ 160 1
  • 52. NOT AN ECCL»lIASTICISM:.life, for any life which shall confess the operationof its own peculiar spirit, it consistently refers youon the one hand to the tears of humble penitence,and on the other to the anticipations of cheerfulfaith. It disclaims all present vital satisfactions.I t is content to transact a ritual or forensic approxi-mation to God through the periodical ministrationsof its clergy, and patiently postpones the directrealization of its faith and hope to a post-1n<Yrtemexistence, or the dawn of the souls to-mOITOW. Now, the great service which Swedenborg hasrendered the intellect, is in brief this: that he haspenetrated the darkness which overlays the originof the religious instinct, and proved that all itscroppings out, so to speak, in the forms of peni-tential wo.rship, are so many effects of strictly in-telligible spiritual causes. That is to say, he hasproved that all the facts of mans ascetic experience,all the facts of his properly ecclesiastical conscience,all those facts which imply Gods physical exteriorar-tion to man, belong to the infancy of the souls life,and bear therefore the same relation to its maturity,as the rude and gnarled trunk of a tree bears to itsexquisite bloBBOm and tender fruit. Let me makethis clear. The soul, according to Swedenborg, is an organic or ilUbstantial existence in human form. I t is, [ 161 ] lZ
  • 53. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTindeed, a much more substantial or real existencethan the body, because its substance is the DivineLove which alone is creative. The Divine Love isnot the attribute or quality of a material subject.God is not a finite, physical subject, of whom weproperly say, as we say of ourselves, that He feelsan emotion of love. He IS Love. His existenceis not first given, and then His character or per-sonality. He is not first a passive existence, aswe are, and only afterwards and upon occasion acharacteristic and active subject of that existence.He has no nature apart from His personality, asyou and I have. His personality absorbs his nature.He is personality itself, thus essen~ially active, oractive in Be, instead of obeying an outward motive.In short, the Divine Love is not emotional, butcreative, and hence His operation, or going forth,is not arbitrary, wilful, irrational, but on the con-trary strictly rational and formative, proceedingfrom ends by means to effects. It is exerted onlyin creating subjects or forms receptive of itself, andhence its procession is invariably from within to without, and not the contrary: it is not like thepower of a carpenter or sculptor modifying pre- existing materials, and proceeding therefore from the circumference to the centre of his work: it re- sembles rather the phenomenon of natural growth, [ 162 ]
  • 54. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.which proceeds upon the liberation under suitableconditions of an invisible spiritual germ, and itssubsequent orderly expansion into root and stem,branch and leaf, flower and fruit. In short, thedivine power is the power primarily of an inwardand spiritual life, and only in strict subordina-tion to this the power of an outward and naturalone. God is a spirit, and his creation therefore mustbe primarily spiritual. He is essential Love andWisdom, and His creatures therefore must be as totheir essence, derivative forms of love and wisdom.But one cannot be born spiritual: he can onlybooOme so. I am not made loving and wise byvirtue of my natural generation, but by virtue ofculture, or the patient subjection of my outwardlife to the inspirations of interior goodness and truth. Hence time and space become necessaryelements of the creatures self-consciousness. Hisspiritual evolution exacts ~ external or inferiorfield of existence, by means of which this culture ~r self-discipline may take place; and Nature, orthe world of time and space, is the fruit of this exaction. Accordingly while the mind is under the dominion of Nature, and supposes the laws of time and space to be absolute, man is in a state of spiritual infancy, incapable of forming a single [ 163 ]
  • 55. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTright conception on the subject of the Divineexistence and character. This is not the place totrace the historic steps by which the mind of man,through the grad~l preponderance of self-loveover charity, lapses under this dominion of nature.Weare here only concerned with the fact of thelapse, in order to show how neceBBarily all thesubsequent judgments of the mind, in regard toGod and Ris relations to us, become colored by it.I flimply take the fact of such lapse, then, as in-dubitable by every one who has duly estimated thesubject, and I say that so long as it remains fullypronounced, that is, 80 long as the mind looks uponthe laws of physical existence, or the laws of timeand space, -as absolute, it neceBBarily regards themas essential to all existence, and consequently tothe Divine. Conceiving of himself as a purelyphysical existence, and at the same time perceivinga life or being superior to, and creative of, himself, man instinctively inve~,> this superior being with all excess of physical attributes, by intensifying in its favor the only elements of existence known to himself under the names of time and space. Man himself occupies seventy years more or less of time, and six feet more or less of space; his Creator, therefore, being so superior, must occupy a great deal more of both: yea, being perfect, He must [ 164 ]
  • 56. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM:.,occupy all time and all space, and so be avouched eternal and infinite. Of co~e, then, in the souls infancy, the Divine Perfection is exclusively material, being identical with the utmost possible amount of time and space. And equally, of course, therefore, in this state of things, when spiritual love and light in the soul are so completely overlaid by natural love and light, the more devout one is, or the more he acknowledges the Divine, the greater must be his conviction of the disproportion between God and himself. Mans affections and intelligence are completely domi- nated by the things of space and time, turning him in fact into a mere form of self-love; but as, in this state of ignorance, he necessarily attributes to God an infinitely greater subjectiqn to the same laws, so consequently God becomes to the carnal imagi- nation a huge overshadowing form of self-seeking, intent upon His creatures incessant diminution. Hence, I repeat, the profounder ones conviction of the Divine existence is at this period, and the pm- founder his conviction of his own dependence, the deeper will be his sense of their irreconcilable antagonism, and the more he will strive to hide the implacable enmity of his heart under the proffer of a servile and interested devotion. Such being the attitude of a purely natural mind [ 165 ]
  • 57. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTtowards God, it is very easy to see how the peculiarecclesiastical development of humanity comes about. Man looks upon God only as a larger self, or as a great corporeal existence, full of superfluous and ebullient self-love, and capable, therefore, of very mischievous determinations towards His insignifi- cant creatures. It necessarily follows from this that every true revelation of God to the natural mind, every revelation of Himself at all adapted to popular credence, must consult these carnal concep- tions, and wear an extremely accommodated aspect. The final elevation of the mind out of nature de- pends upon this merciful descent and accommoda- tion of Divine Truth to carnal conditions. Hence you find Gods name or glory in the earlier stages of history associated with some exclusive people,,and His worship made purely sensuous, or at best,merely representative of spiritual things. This.people may be a capital type or figure of the true or spiritual people; but if they pretend to be any- thing more, if they pretend to fulfil the spirit as well as the letter of the Divine promise, they be- come an insufferable stench in the nostrilB, com- pared with which Gentiledom were sweet andvernal. A spiritual tie with minds so carnal mustof course be preposterous, and hence the Deity isalways revealed as in eminent spiritual hostility, [ 166 ]
  • 58. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.as in the lnost pointed private antagonism andquarrel, with the very people upon whom Hisname is publicly written. God is exclusivelyspiritual, being essential Love and Wisdom, andtherefore He incessantly repugns physical attri-butes, seeking to elevate His creature to morespiritual conceptions. But this can be done onlyin the most gradual manner, only in so far as thecreature himself, by virtue of the discipline to whichhe subje~ts the principle of self-love in his bosom,regains his primal status, or becomes spiritua.llypronounced by becoming a form of brotherly love,or charity, and thus learns to conceive of God nolonger as a huge physical and passive existence,but as the sum of spiritual and active perfection,as the perfection of character or personality, inshort, as perfect Man. Meanwhile, therefore, Godcan consent to place His name upon any specialpeople only with a view to the utter abasement ofits pride or carnal righteousness, only with a viewto demonstrate, by the contrast of its proper vileness,the character of the true and spiritual worship Hecraves. Hence, I repeat that you will always findGod revealed as in intimate spiritual hostility toevery church or people with whom his name isoutwardly identified. The total pith and authen-ticity of every divine institution upon earth, stands [ 167 ]
  • 59. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTin its purely insubstantial or promissory character,--stands in it3 being a figure or emblem of divinerthings to come. For abundant illustration on thispoint read the history of Gods" chosen people"in the Old Testament, and observe how, whenJesus came offering a full and direct revelation ofthe Divine Spirit, he provoked the measurelessscorn of that deluded and self-righteous people.In fact, as we very well know, he was obliged tohide the pure spirituality of his mission even fromhis own kindly but unintelligent followers, wasobliged to wrap it up in apologue and parableand mystic action, and finally bequeath it to theworlds memory in the disguise of two ceremonialrites, baptism and the eucharist, under penalty ofhaving it utterly obliterated and forgotten. Had it not been accordingly for these two carna.lordinances, snatched by the Lords hand from thewreck of the Jewish worship, and modified intosymbols or memorials of His own blessed spirit,the church of Christ, that great multitude in earthand heaven ransomed from sin and death by hismajestic suffering, could have had no embodimentin nature, no material basis of existence, and hencecould never have come to spiritual consciousness.For as nature is the seminary of the spiritualworld; as no conscious spiritual existence takes [ 168 ]
  • 60. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.place without a previous natural germination; so,consequently, had it not been fDr this provisionaland symbolical embodiment of the church affordedby the two rites in question, it must have utterlylacked all natural body or germ, must have re-mained for ever unincarnate, for the simple reasonthat the spirit of Christ was so infinitely above thatof his followers, that its only true incarnation inthe fruits of a regenerate life, or the works ofcharity, was absolutely impossible. Such is theentire philosophy of religion considered as a CUltU8,and not as a life; such the sole justification of thechurch regarded as an ecclesiasticism, and not as aliving society or fellowship. Swedenborgs whole labour, accordingly, is vir-tually given to the extrication of the Divine spirit,which is latent in these carnal ordinances of theChristian church. He shews that they are utterlyworthless save for their spiritual contents, andvindicates their existence and use only on theground of this mystic significance. The spirit ofChrist was Divine and Infinite Love. Now thisspirit becQmes possible to finite man only throughthe hu~iliation of his natural lusts, only in so faras he puts away evils of life from a sentiment ofreverence towards God or Infinite Goodness. Hemay put away these evils apparently, that is, in [ 169 ]
  • 61. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTobedience to merely prudential motives, motives ofoutward profit and 10llll, but all this does not invitethe Divine Spirit. To put away ones evils truly,one must put them away from an interior motive,or a sentiment of their contrariety to Supreme andInfinite Goodness; and just in proportion as onedoes this, the Divine spirit, the spirit of InfiniteLove, flows into him interiorly, and builds him upinto a living and miraculous tabernacle; immortallyadequate and pliant to the Divine inhabitation. But who was there at Christs day to comprehendor receive these truths 1 How totally averse werethey to the entire strain of the Jewish mind! Andhow little prepared the Gentile mind also was fortheir entertainment, may be augured from the factthat Christs professed followers had scarcely gotstanding-room in Gentile tolerance, before theybegan to give his mission a palpably secular de-termination, and merged the glimmer of spiritualpromise it exerted in the lust of a mere earthlydominion. Indeed, for that matter, we may say,how few minds are even now prepared to receivethese high spiritual verities! You will doubtlessfind numbers of very amiable people professing tobe "converted," and able, moreover, to put theirfingers on the time and place of its transaction;but how rarely do we find our men of intellect [ 170 ]
  • 62. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.living in the habitual acknowledgment of the Divine _name, or putting away their native evils from anyother than worldly ends! The pride of intellectsays, "Be ye yourselves as gods, determining goodand evil;" and in missing humility consequentlywe miss all true exaltation. The house that towershighest towards the skies must first go down thedeepest in the earth; and the life that lays thesurest hold on heaven, is that which has the mosthonestly subjugated hell. If, therefore, the mind of man be still so carnaland stupid, how was it possible for the Lord tohave communicated the grand mystery of the spiri-tual birth, at that early day, in any other than afigurative or symbolic manner 1 Clearly the thingwas impossible, without fatally disgusting even themost adhesive of his few and perplexed disciples.Either the great arcanum must have remainedwholly untaught, the very effort being abandoned;or else it must be taught in accommodation to themental stature of the race, that is, carnally orfiguratively. Accordingly, Christ instituted the tworites of baptism and the supper, one symbolizingthe negative or initiatory side of the regenerativeprocess, the other the positive and consummateside of it. Baptism was designed as a sign ormemorial of the elimination or putting away of [ 171 ]
  • 63. THE CHunCH OF CHRISTnatura.l evils requiElite in spiritual regeneration;and the eucharist, or the mystical feeding on thebody and blood of the Lord, as a sign or memorialof the influx of Divine goodness and truth conS&-quent upon such elimination. They were bothalike mere signs of this regenerative process, merememorials of it, destined to survive until hi1!mystical second coming; that is, until he shouldcome in the power of his Spirit, to claim the spiri-tual allegiance of his worshipper, or, what is thesame thing, take possession of his heart and under-standing. Now, what must we say of a self-styled newchurch which, in face of all these palpable facts,and while avowedly acknowledging the spiritualadvent of the Christ, does not hesit2l.te to graspthese literal symbols or memorials of his truth,and convert them into its inseparable and eternalsubstance 1 Why, we can only say with the Apostle,"that he is not a Jew who is so outwardly, andthat circumcision is truly nQt of the letter, but ofthe spirit." The sole glory of the Christian sacra-ments lies not in themselves, but in their spiritualsignificance. When, therefore, that thing whichthese sacraments signify is, by your own avowal,come, why seek to re-enact the accomplished sym-bol1 Especially, why should you claim a more [ 172 ]
  • 64. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.authentic hold upon the symbol, than they whodeny the Lords second or spiritual advent, andwho, therefore, very pertinently cherish his ap-pointed memorials 1 If your hold upon these ordi-nan~s be really more authentic than that of theEpiscopalian and Baptist, it can only be becauseyour relation to Christ is more carnal and sensuousthan theirs. These ordinances were intended onlyfor the carnal mind, or those who had no spiritual-apprehension of the Divine Truth; and if, therefore,your administration of them exhibit any specialfitness, it must lie wholly in your spiritual inferi-ority to the older sects. But the whole pretension is unfounded. A me-morial is of value only during the absence of thememorialist. When he returns to us, and exhibitsevery day and hour the love of his llllveiled heart,the memorial grows instantly wan and faded, andfalls of necessity into disuse. How sinister a com-pliment should we seem to pay to his friendship,if we persisted in cherishing a gift after the giverhad made himself wholly ours! He would say, " Clearly, the gift has been prized not for my sake purely, but for some private en,d; otherwise its value would cease by my re-appearance." It was so with the Christian ordinances. Their worth was inestimable during the long spiritual night which [ 173 ]
  • 65. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST invested the church from the time of the apostles to the splendid Pentecost of the last century; for they served, as Swedenborg says, to secure anorderly spiritual connection for their subject, and protect him from the incursion of heterogeneousinfluences. But since that great Pentecost, sincethe passing away of these old heavens and theformation of new, and the consequent immediateintercourse of the Lord with man in nature, to whatecclesiastical end can these ordinancesminister1The truths of the new heaven are internal anduniversal truths, as intelligible and acceptable tothe Turk as to the Englishman; they are spiritualtruths, as applicable, therefore, to the conscience ofthe Hot1{lntot and Laplander as to the Frenchmanor American. Accordingly, the new heavens, asSwedenborg reports them, are made up of Gentilesand Christians alike ; and hence mere ecclesiasticalChristianity, Christianity which stands in ortho-dox ritual observances, has utterly lost all celestialvalidity. A man may be, as to his ecclesiastjcalmerits, a stanch Roman Catholic, or a stanch Pres-byterian, or a stanch" New-Churchman," and bearevery infallible ear-mark of these several persua-sions; but, however various the form of these men,it is evident that their spirit is one, the spirit ofseparatism or sect, and this spirit must necessarily [ 174 ]
  • 66. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.exclude them all alike from the new heavens. Theonly spirit which qualifies one for admission to thatharmonious company, is the spirit of mutual loveor charity; and where this spirit does not exist,the new heavens are not only invisible, they arealso incredible. If you doubt this, go and intro-duce the subject of the new heavens, the heavensto which charity alone gives admission, to thelearned attention of anyone in whom the ecclesi-astical spirit prevails, and you will infallibly "hearthings easy to be understood." No doubt, secta-rians of every complexion will always find falseheavens of every name, new and old, suita,ble totheir exact temper; but the truth of the angelicheavens is no more prejudiced by the number ofspurious ones, than is the worth of bullion prejudicedby the existence of any amount of brass and tinsel But I must draw to a close. No observantperson can doubt that what is ordinarily calledInfidelity is rapidly on the increase in this country,and that it is chiefly fed by the immigration fromContinental Europe. Religio~ bas been so muchidentified with the secular power in Europeancountries, the churcb has been so pliant a tool ofthe state, that the popular mind, in reacting againstthe tyranny of the one, unhappily finds itself ar-rnyed in equal hostility also to the other. We [ 175 ]
  • 67. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST .seem destined to reap some of the fruits of thisreaction. Multit.udes annually resort to these hos-pitable shores for a livelihood, who cherish a reso-lute contempt for the name of religion, and willnaturally do all in their power, legally, to diffusesuch contempt. In this state of things, what is theremedy 1 We have no political remedy, of course,since our Constitution allows the utmost freedomof opinion and speech. Indeed, the separation~tween the civil and ecclesiastical power is ournational distinction. It constitutes the legitimateboast of the American church, that it disclaims thealliance of the secular power, or refuses to protectitself by civil penalties. Hence our only relianceagainst the encroachments of infidelity, must ne-cessarily be in the divine truth of our religion itself,and the clearer exhibition of its spirit in our ownlives. Religion is the affirmation of a higher lifefor man than that derived from nature-a life ofgrowing conformity to infinite goodness and truth.All good men necessarily therefore enrol themselveson ita side, as feeling the very life of their soulsbound up with its prosperity. The effect of everyconflict, accordingly, between religion and infi-delity, must be to bring good men of every nameinto clearly pronounced union, and reciprocal know-ledge, and appreciation. [ 176 ]
  • 68. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM. Religious wars are over, doubtless-at least inthis land. For where no special ecclesiasticism istolerated by the state, every possible casus belliis averted by anticipation. The only warfare herelegitimated is that of opinion, which sheds no blood,and leaves no scars save upon the intolerant, orthose who deserve to bear them. A mans opinions,when they are freely formed, are expressive of hiswill or his vital attitude towards eternal Goodness.If, accordingly, he cherish an opposite opinion tomine in regard to, religion or any other interest,it does not become me to blame him for so doing,but on the contrary, to insist upon his entire free-dom in the premises. Blame is called for onlywhen his action grows disorderly and hostile tospciety. The best definition of religion ever given,is that which makes it to consist in loving Godsupremely and o~ neighbor as ourselves. I amsure that no man fit for the society of men, canseriously quarrel with religion thus avouched. Ifhe does, it must be at the deliberate compromise ofhis own character, in confessing himself indifferentto every humane aspiration. Would anyone feeldisposed to resort to legal penalties against such aperson 1 On the contrary, would not one feel the sincerest pity for him, and cheerfully do his best to soothe and placate him 1 [ 177 ] 13
  • 69. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST Thus, infidelity will not be able to assail religionitself, without infinitely discrediting its own aims.What Will it be compelled to do, therefore, by wayof keeping itself alive 1 It will assail certain acci-dental peculiarities now attaching to the religiousprofession, certain Romish, Presbyterian, or Episco-palian, or Methodistic features, nowise belongingto the divine form itself, yet able, very often, to doher discredit in the eyes of the thoughtless. .Aninsincere profession, a worldly temper, Pharisaicscrupulosity, superstitious regard for ceremonialobservance~ unreasonable dogmas, and what not,are sure to show themselvetl wherever a sectarianspirit eXists, and it is a blessed infidelity whichshall help us to correct such abuses. The moreyou strip religion of its purely ecclesiastjcal 8.lddeciduous features, or, what is the same thing, themore you identify her with t~e spirit of mutualand universal love which unites the men of all sects together, the more you bring her essential and eternal beauty into relief When I am assured that my looks are not so captivating as my neigh- bors, and my manners not near so graceful as they might be, I then identify myself all the more gladly with the harmless spirit within both looks and manners--a spirit which gives to looks and manners in any case, indeed, all their honest and [ 178 ]
  • 70. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM:. permanent charm. So, when we convince the eccle- siastic that he has paid too much deference "to the mint, anise, and cummin" interest of religion, he will be sure, out of pure contrition for his folly, tQ cling all the more resolutely to the weightier , interests of judgment and mercy which are its vital self. Here, then, we discover the remedy against infidelity, and perceive it to consist in the revival of pure and undefiled religion. We shall stop the IJlouth of the infidel, not by argument, but by exhibiting more and more of the spirit of true, religion, and less and less of the spirit of Roman- ism, Episcopaey, Presbyterianism, Methodism, and New-churchism. There is no sadder sight to every goo<! man than a mere Romanist, or a mere Epis- copalian, or a mere ecclesiastic of any name. One feels how hard it must be for the poor human soul that deliberately buries itself under that rubbish, ever again to reach the upper air, and breathe the heavenly breath of charity. Every truly religious man in every sect feels alike on this point. Every instructed person perceives that the ecclesiastical, temper is totally out of place in this country, be- cause our polity resolutely ignores all ecclesiastical form, committing this subject to the purely private judgment of the people. Hence it is that a man [ 179 ]
  • 71. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTis invariably felt to cut such a sorry figure amongus, when he talks loudly about the church! thechurch !-meaning by that word some meagreand arrogant Romanism or Episcopacy or N ew-churchism, instead of the great brotherhood ofthose who, under whatever name, cultivate thespirit of Christ-a spirit of perfect love, becauseof perfect humility. People of this sort may well dread the advanceof infidelity. It is certain to ingulf them. I tis,indeed, directly aimed at tHeir destruction. Theman who uses the doctrine of Christ only for thepurpose of separating and dividing those who arein spiritual unity, belongs in heart to the infidelcamp, and will finally enrol his name there. Butto the Christian· without guile, to the man whofsteems charity above knowledge, and brotherlylove before self-love, infirlelity presents no t€rrors.He knows very well that every man of like temper with himself must remain for ever unsednced byits chatter, and that for all others, or for those whonalt knowledge above charity, faith above love, itis of small consequence what name they go by.They will be very BUre never to go by an unfashion-able one, whether it be Christian or Infidel. Howmany persons are there in every sect, who are byno means of the sect, but who believe substantially [ 180 ]
  • 72. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.in the views here set forth-men who hide theirRomanism, and their Episcopacy, and their Method-ism, away from the Divine eye aR zealously as theywould hide any other carnal vanity, and rejoiceonly in the spirit of mutual love which is the badgeof Christian discipleship! Is it too much to hope that persons of this stampin all the sects may be coming into closer reciprocalknowledge, and that ere long they may be brought -into open and joyous communion 1 I think not.But, at all events, I am sure that until that con-summation ensue, we shall have no formal cuUusbefitting these high spiritual latitudes, nor anychurch consequently which has the least right tobe above fear as to what man can do unto it.Man can destroy, and will destroy, every churchwhich lives by the allegation of a superior divinesanction to that possessed by other churches. Onthis point, the very citadel and centre of his free-dom, man will tolerate nonsense no longer. Hewill cheerfully promote the welfare of all the sects,because they all express a lawful latitude of humanopinion in regard to divine things, and guaranteethe soul consequently against stagnation and death.Their accordant existence, moreover, tends not onlyto adorn the outward life of the community, by thevaried impulse they give the arts, but to develop [ 181 ]
  • 73. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTalso its inward life by the constant occasions theyafford to the exercise of charity or mutual love.But for this very reason society will no longertolerate sectarian discords. The harmo~y of thesects is so full of social advantage, that it would besuicidal in society to permit the slightest infringe-ment of it on any side. In fact, the developmentof the true or spiritual church of Christ, is absolutelycontingent upon the rigid social equality of thesects. Nor indeed, is there any likelihood of anyof them so far forgetting their own interest, as toattempt transcending this equality, unless it be theRoman Catholic. The Latin poet has said, N atUrram expellas furca tamen usque recurret, andthe theory of the Roman church undoubtedlyobliges it to aspire after universal dominion. It isthe only church, except the Mormon, which laysits sacrilegious hand upon the soul of its subject,and binds him to its will in this world by claimingan absolute power over the destinies of his spirit.All the other churches claim a strictly accordantrelation with the state. The Romish church aloneclaims a paramount relation, and hence it willvery well bear to be very well looked after by everyone who has the states welfare at heart. ThePope may doubtless continue to send his swarminglegions over, and scatter the trinkets of his official [ 182 ]
  • 74. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.vassalage with a profuse hand; he or his subordi-nates may timidly begin to test the public toleranceby foolish and agressive prayers in the public news-papers for the "convers:on of the United States"to Popery, or by pompous and puerile ecclesiasticalproceilSions in our public thoroughfares, withoutrufHing the popular indifference one feather. Butlet them not misconstrue that indifference to theextent of provoking any public recognitio~ of theirhierarchical claims. Let them not se.ek to compassever so covertly any political ratification of theirecclesiastical supremacy, or their very existence asa church will be instantly jeoparded. Beaten andprostrate on her own arena, and in the very noon-tide of her pride and vigor, the Catholic churchhas doubtless a claim to pass the serene and un-perturbed evening of her days in these tolerantclimes; but of course so long as she consents, likeall her sister sects, to eat the bread of politicalhospitality merely, and does not claim to be the mistress of the feast. It cannot be necessary inthe nature of things to fight the same battle twiceover, and it is too entirely ridiculous that thisvirgin hemisphere should be expected to inheritthe quarrels of the older one, or exhibit the slightest solicitude for the lapsed estate of this dowager ecclesiasticism. [ 183 ]
  • 75. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST After what has gone before, you will not be surprised to hear me say, that I look upon the revival of what may be called "the church senti- ment" in these days, as of very precious augury.All that is to be desired in addition is, that thesentiment be somewhat better instructed by meansof an enlargement of the popular conception of thechurch. One daily meets with tender, humane,and noble persons, who are heart-sick of the miser-able scepticism which dogs our current literatureand theology, and who would gladly do anythingthat should promise to bring back ·a devout andbelieving spirit to society. For every person, infact, who has begun to feel the faintest glimmer ofspiritual day-dawn in his soul, knows that withoutfaith in .God, human life is devoid of all dignityand charm, and that we shall never begin to graspthe shining ideal which has animated and sustainedso many generations, until we attain to a childlikedocility of mind in regard to divine things. Theonly mistake on the subject is, that many of thesepersons suppose that the end desired is to be at-tai~ed by a social retrogression instead of advance,or by reorganizing the old ecclesiasticism insteadof utterly abandoning it for a more spiritual con-ception of the church. When the Lord came tofulfil the promise of the earthly Jerusalem, he did [ 184 ]
  • 76. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.not proceed to do so by reorganizing that carnaleconomy, or infusing new life and sacredness intoits cmmbling walls, but by turning away the atten-tion of his followers to a new and spiritual house,wbich should eventually come down from God outof heaven, and gather in its ample bosom all thetrue flock of the Divine Shepherd. So also, in theresurrection, we do not find that a man is raised inthat material body which had been buried, andlong since undergone resolution into its componentearths and gases, but in a new and spiritual andtherefore incorruptible body, befitting his enlargedsoul. Accordingly, now while we are looking fora resurrection of the church, and looking for it toowith entire confidence, we have no right whateverto expect it in any formal guise, or as the redint~­gration of any existing ecclesiastical interests, butonly in a spiritual guise, or as that divine spirit ofcharity which is common to all the churches, andgives to all their solid and sole hold upon publicrespect. One would gladly realize all the poeticcomfort contained in the charming phrase, "MotherChurch." But surely we do this best, not by de-grading the church into a wrinkled old crone, forever looking back to the conquests and coquetriesof her youth, and mourning over the joys that·are gone, -but only by exalting her into "the ever [ 185 ]
  • 77. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTyoung and ever fair" reality which that blessedsymbol paints. The word "mother" suggests tothe imagination all that is most unselfish, mostuncomplaining, and most beneficent~ in humannature. The mother forgets herself and her owninterests utterly in zeal for the welfare of herchildren. She finds her best happiners in develop-ing their affections and nascent sensibility, in being totally spent for them, instead of binding them to her service. She is lost in the love of her offspring, and is never unhappy so long as their bosoms overflow with contentment. She willingly leavestheir discipline and correction and their intellectual growth to the father, and is wholly blest in quicken- ing their affections and laying a foundation, for enduring happiness. Of course, no possible eccle- siasticism can fulfil the bursting promise of this symbol It is only the true or spiritual church, the church which exist.s under all ecclesiastical disguises, and becomes visible only in the good of life, that can pretend for a moment to do so. Were the church utterly divorced in the popular estima- tion from the ecclesiastical pretension, were it once fairly elevated to the spiritual conception, the days of its true glory would instantly begin, never more,to end. Then for the first time we should know the blissful meaning of the phrase "Mother Church," [ 186 ]
  • 78. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.because we should then find a mother whose in-terests were inseparably one with the most variousand advanced culture of her offspring, and whosetotal spirit, therefore, was one of mutual love andtolerance. The recent accessions in this country and Eng-land to the Romish church from other communions,do not indicate, as is sometimes foolishly said, anyrevival of vigor within that church. They simplyindicate a fastidious individual reaction here andthere against the spirit of the age, a spirit which isdaily leaving that church higher and dryer uponthe sands of popular neglect, and exposing it tothe inevitable fate that awaits all tmrely parasiticlife. The Catholic church exists now in the condi-tion of a mere scabies upon the life of the nations,or the body politic, and can no more become againincorporate with that life, than a scabies thrownoff from the natural body cap. again become incor-porate with it. T4e homage it receives from indi-viduals here and there in other communions, is nodoubt soothing to its pride; but this homage com-municates no strength to it, being expressive infact only of utter weakness on the part of the giver,or utter inability to keep pace with the inflowinglife of God into the nations. Suppose all theimbecile and recusant life of Christendom should [ 187 ]
  • 79. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTtake refuge in the Romish communion, as it veryprobably may, would that church be any thestronger, or only the weaker for the infusion 1The larger the army, if cowardice and poltroonerybe its spirit, the surer its overthrow. There isnothing strong but innocence, which is charity,and charity does not vaunt itself, does not puffitself up, does not behave itself unseemly, norprompt its subject to thrust himself upon a publicwhich is tired of him. When one is no longer ofuse but to oneself, he had better die and be for-gotten, as every homage .he receives after thatevent, being offered to the memory of his oldrenown, is inw~dly a present rebuke. Had LouisPhilippe come over to this country after his fallfrom power, he would have received from the in-dividual courtesy of our people the most lavishpersonal consideration. They would have dinedhim and supped him, and caressed and flatteredhim out of all measure: they would have felt,indeed, a cordial sympathy with his heavy losses,and many individuals, no doubt, would have avoweda sharp and bitter disgust at the upstart and pro-testant influences which overthrew him. But wouldLouis Philippe, think you, have been senselessenough to imagine that all this patronage of hisfallen majesty promised to reinstate him? I fancy [ 188 r
  • 80. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.not A king in rags is a Rplendid bait for a luxu-rious benevolence, and a man of Louis Philippesknowledge of the world would have understood thecase at a glance. Let the Catholic church takea lesson from the illustration. It is seldom sosplendid a mendicant knocks at the door of ourecclesiastic sympathies, and the scarlet and queenlymemories she trails in the dust furnish an irresis-tible lure to our sensuous pity. But for this veryreason she is apt to get herself patronized by theleast instructed and most wilful tempers in ProteB-tantism, mere wanton Quixotes, who, in their zealfor reaction, would place mans eyes in the back ofhis head, and who look upon windmills, and goodhonest mutton, and all the other insignia of mansprogressive industry, as inventions of the devil torob the past of its glory. Can this sort of patron-age be anything else than degrading to its object 1 In fact, does not all patronage imply that its objectis below its subject 1 But this is a degression.- No, the American church, the only church whichis at all congruous with the genius of our polity, is not a new ecclesiastical form, but a new spirit breathed, if they will allow, into the old forms. It can have· no formal quarrel, of course, with the old churches, because these formal ecclesiastical dif- ferences are exactly commensurate with the needs [ 169 ]
  • 81. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST of its own sp~tual unity. It has no purely formal interests of its own, because, being exclusively a spiritual .economy, and therefore identical with charity or brotherly love in the universal soul of man, ·it equally authenticates every form, Paganand Christian, Jewish and Mahommedan, whichadmits of this spirit in its votary. Every nation must p08BSess a church, or a spiritual substanceinto which the life of heaven may Bow; because itis evident that the merely political life of thenations is subordinate to an interior or higher life,-is in fact but the carnal covering or clothing ofthat life, and hence disclaims. all i1l~mediate con-tiguity with the Divine. But if every nation musthave a church or spiritual substance, as every bodymust have a soul, it follows also that this churchor spiritual substance must be fully commensuratewith its political form. Thus the church in. theseU"nited States must disown every organizationwhich falls short of our political proportions. Itsdoors must be, at the very least, as wide as thedoors of our political house; otherwise we shallexhibit the disreputable picture of a body largerthan its soul, or a church less celestial than itscorresponding State. As our political dimensionsmake us a city of refuge for all the materiallyoppressed of the earth, so our ecclesiastical dimen- [ 1oo ]
  • 82. NOT AN ECCLESIASlICISM.SlOns must make us a city of refuge for all thespiritually oppressed. Politically we overlook thenative differences of our refugees, absorbing themall alike into our own higher nationality. And ofcourse, therefore, ecclesiastically we can show nopartiality, nor recognize any of thfl existing churchesas authentic, but must elevate them all alike to ahigher spiritual level or unity. Thus we shall at last hail the introduction of anew and eternal morality. The present ecclesias-tical morality, were there any life remaining in it,would be sheerly detestable. The Catholic, thePresbyterian, the Jew, the New-churchman, theBaptist, th~ Mahommedan, the Mormon, fanciesthat no one is secure of the Divine complacencyout of the pale of his own creed, and expectsaccordi~gly a heaven which shall inspire harps ofonly one string. In so far as this man is a con-sistent or strict ecclesiastic, he necessarily regardsall men as good who belong to his own communion,and all men as evil who reject it. For, of course,no one supposes that God saves any but good men,or condemns any but bad ones. It is very truethat few ecclesiastics are logical enough to go tothis unhandsome extreme, for, as I said before, theold ecclesiastic morality is nearly lifeless, exhibitingonly an occasional expiring flicker in some heartless [ 191 ]
  • 83. • THE CHURCH OF CHRIST theologic adventurer, or mere odious residuum of ignorance and insolence in the shape of certain Catholic newspapers. But this unhandsome ex- treme is nevertheless logically inherent in the very heart of the sectarian theory. The consistent Catholic, or the consistent New-ehurchman, ne- cessarily supposes every one liable to the Divine wrath, who intelligently refuses to become identified with their ecclesiastical interests j otherwise they would deny to those interests all Divine sanction. And hence, as I said before, inasmuch as no one can suppose God to approve any but good men, or,condemn any but bad ones, the consistent eccle- siastic or man of the past. church, whatever name he assumes, makes the distinction of good and evil to attach t.o men only as they stand related, positively or negatively, to his own piimy pre- tensions. The true or spiritual church pronounces this morality untenable, and affirms the distinction of good and evil henceforth among men, not as they stand related to any ecclesiasticism under hlven, but only as they stand related to the spirit of God, the spirit of brotherly love or charity. A man shall have whatsoever ecclesiastical ties he pleases: he may be Catholic or Protestant, Christian or Mahommedan, and call himself after the old or [ 192 ]
  • 84. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM.the New Jerusalem, as suits his fancy: and no onespiritually enlightened will deem him so far eithergood or evil. For he who is spiritually enlightened,he who is of the Lords new and living church,knows that no good or evil is predicable in theDivine sight, save of the presence or absence oflove in the soul. He who loves his neighbor ashe loves himself, is a good man in Gods sight,whether he be Turk or Christian ecclesiastically,and will go, as fast as his expansive lungs permit,to the heaven of good men. He who loves himselfmore than he loves his neighbor, is a bad man inGods sight, whether he be dubbed ecclesiasticallyPope or Rabbi, and unless he repent, will infalliblygo to the heaven of bad men. Such is the temper and such the eternal moralityof the true spiritual church, the only church whichpossesses political basis and ratification in theseUnited States. Our political constitution excludesall purely formal churches, every church that isvisibly different from others, from its recognition,and so authenticates only an inward church, or achurch which stands in the spirit of charity orbrotherly love, and which may exist therefore underthe most opposite ecclesiastical forms. The vege-table or animal spirit of the world expresses itselfin very various shapes, here in the shape of II. [ 193 ] 14
  • 85. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTcabbage, and there in the shape of a. peach; herein the form of a doIikey, and there in the form ofa horse. But the spirit is one under all thesevaried manifestations, namely a spirit of love andaccommodation to all mans varied material uses.So the religious spirit in humanity may beget herea Papacy, and there a Presbytery, or an Episcopacy,without any necessary compromise of its own unity.It is a spirit of love and accommoda)ion to allmans varied intellectual uses, and hence not onlytolerates but exacts every various and even eccen-tric formal manifestation. He who quarrels withthis largeness of the worlds spiritual administration,he who would have its religious Providence authen-ticate only some special form, some narrow Romeor narrower Jerusalem, must at some period orother of his spiritual pilgrimage, quarrel withnatures largeness also, and find his diet made upperhaps of unmitigated cabbage, and his empirerestricted to unmitigated donkey. Who can tellto what smallness one may decline, that obstinatelyrenders himself insubmissive to the Divine Provi- dence which governs the world? Nature is but the servant of the soul, and will not always tran- scend the souls demands in the services she renders. The new church then, or the church of the American latitudes, IS as it were a. spiritual Ark. [ 194 ]
  • 86. NOT .AN ECCLESIASTICISM. rising high at>ove the waters of oblivion which are fast covering the ecclesiastical eminences of the old world, and opening its hospitable doors to every element which can add life and vigour and beauty to the manhood Qf a regenemte em. It legitimates every existing ecclesiastical form which the spirit of charity legitimates, that is to say, every form which is compatible with the existence of brotherly love in its subject, and so elevates the religious lifeto a higher platform than it has yet known. Thusfar, then, in all outward respects our ecclesiasticaldevelopment amounts to a disorganization or solu-tion of the things that have gone before: what our ,subsequent crystallization will be as to the mereforms of worship, I am not able to predict. Ofone thing I am profoundly and joyously certain,namely, that the glory of Gods former house willbe utterly eclipsed in the more spiritual splendorof that which is coming. This will be true, doubt-·less, even of ~ts sensuouS things, or its programmeof social worship. Its divine spirit will breathenew sacredness and sweetness even into the estab-lished ritual, and new forms vivid with the beautyof charity will be begotten adequate to every newwant. But the distinctive fact of the church is notan improved Sunday worship, or a new holidayapparatus, but exclusively an improved daily life. [ 195 ]
  • 87. THE CHURCH OF CHRISTThe saint of the new church will not be the manwho prays the most, and builds the most hospitalsand churches, and undergoes the most self-sacrificeof any kind ; for eminence in these things is almostsure to beget pride, or a sense of superior merit, inthe votary: but the man who cheerfully aboundsin social uses, who diligen,tly pursues his lawfulcalling, who trains his children to noble and patientlabors, who dodges no juries and shirks no politicalresponsibility, but manfully confronts every duty,aspiring with his whole heart to be worthy of thegreat and beautiful society in which God has placedhiJp. The most vernacular and intelligible ex-pression for Gods own perfection is USE, and thedivinest form of man consequently is that whichhe derives, not from his father and mother, for thisdoes not endure, but from his own frank and cordialand complete adjustment of himself to the varioususes, domestic, civil, and religious, which societydevolves upon him. This is mans spiritual form,and it endures to all eternity, growing evermoreinstinct with Gods own power, and this is the formto which alone the true church has respect in man.The new church life therefore will begin/rom Godas well as tend to God. Under the old and typicalcreation represented by Moses, religion was not life,but a something superinduced upon life; it was a [ 196 ]
  • 88. NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM:. solace under trial, a refreshment after .toil, and stood embodied in Sabbatical observances. The Sabbath, or day of divine rest, ended the week, shedding the dews of its consolation upon the heads and hearts which the previous six days toil had bruised and wearied. But the new and true creation in Ohrist Jesus reverses this process. It identifies religion with life, inspiring man to labor, not with any hope of winning the Divine favor, but with the confidence of its present and inaliena!:>le pos- session. Hence Christianity discards the Sabbath, or day of refreshment after six previous days of toil, and substitutes the first day of the week as the Lords day; thus signifying that under the new and final economy man will work no longer to life but only from it, no longer with a servile but only with a filial spirit, or that all his secular. activity is henceforth to be baptized with the temper and blessing of heaven. I remain, yours, etc. FINIS.
  • 89. NOTE. SINCE the preceding sheets were printed, that portionof them entitled, "The Church of Christ not an Ecclesi·asticiam," has been published in a considerably expandedform, by the Swedenborgian publiaher, Mr. White, ofBloomsbury. In that form it is, however, less likely tobe read beyond the borders of the sect, to which, asclaiming to be the New JeruaaJem, or New Church of theApocalypse, it is specially addrelllled.
  • 90. BY THE SAME AUTHOR.CHRISTIANITY THE LOGIC OF CREATION. Post 8vo, Cloth, 38. 6d. LONDON: WILLIAM WHITE, 36, BLOOMSBURY STREET.
  • 91. LIST OF RECENT PUBLICA.TIONS. I. HEOLOGIA GERMANICA. Translated from the Ger-T man by SUSANNA WINKWORTH. With a Preface by thenev. C. KINGSLEY, and a Prefatory Letter by Baron BUNSEN.The Third Edition, with Corrections and Additions. Fscap.8vo, price 5s. cloth. II. YRA GERMANICA. Translated from the German byL CATHIlRINE WrNKwoRTH. First Series, Hymns for theSundays and Chief Festivals of the Christian Year, NewEdition, price 5s.; Second Series, the Christian Life, SecondEdition, price 5s. An Edition of the FIRST SERIES OF "LYRA GER-MANICA," with about 225 Illustrations from original Designsby E. Armitage, J. Flaxman, M. Lawle88, C. Keene, L. Marks,and J. Leighton, engraved on Wood under the superintendenceof John Leighton, F.S.A., in Fcp. 4to, price 21s. HI. YRA SACRA: being a Collection of Hymns, Ancient andL Modem, Odes, and Fragments of Sacred Poetry. Com-piled and edited by the Rev. B. W. S.A.VILE, M.A. Fcp.8vo,uniform with "Lyra Germanica" and •• Lyra Domestica." IV. HE CHURCH OF THE FUTURE. By the late BaronT BUNBEIi, D.D., D.C.L., &c. Post 8vo, 98. 6d. v. HRISTIANITY & MANKIND: THEIR BEGINNINGSC AND PROSPECTS. By the late Baron BUNSEN, D.D.,D.C.L., &c. Being a New Edition, corrected, remodelled, andextended, of "Hippolytus and his Age." 7 vola., 8vo, £5 58. VI.E SSAYS AND REVIEWS. By the Rev. F. TEMPLE, D.D., Head-Master of Ru~by; ROWLAND WILLIAMS, D.D.,Vice-Principa1, Lampeter College; BADEN POWELL, M. A.• lateProf688or of Geometry, Oxford; H. B. WILSON, B.D., Vicarof Staughton; C. W. GOODWIN, M.A.; MARK PATTISON, B.D.,Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford; BENJAMIN JOWETT, M.A.,Regius Professor of Greek, Oxford. 8vo, lOs. 6d. LONDON: LoNGMAN, GREEIi, LoNGMAN, AND ROBERTS. ,
  • 92. -THE OLD AND NEW THEOLOGY, TWO LECTURES; ~NDTHE CHURCH OF CHRIST NOT AN ECCLESIASTICISM, A LETTER OF REMONSTRANCE TO A MEMBER OF THE 80I·DI8.&NT NEW CHURCH. BY HENRY JAMES, OW YORK. LONDON:LONGMAN, GREEN, LONGMAN, & ROBERTS. )[J)CCOLXL