oFROM DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW.--- BENJAMIN FISKE ~ARRETT,PREACHER, WRITER, THEOLOGIAN, AND PHILOSOPHER. · A STUDY. BYTHE AUTHOR OF "THE REPUBLIC," "HOMO ET CANIS," ETC. PHILADELPHIA : SWEDENBORG PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION, GERMANTOWN, PA. 1896.
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TUE DEDICATION. ---~--_. "No lifeCan be pure in its yu,rpose and strong in its strife,And all life ftOt be purer and stronger thereby,The spirits oj just men made perfect on kigh;7ke army oj martyrs Who stand by the throneAnd gaze into the Jace that makes gluriouB their oumKMID this aureiy at last. Honest lmJe, honest BOT7VID, tnOn"OW,-Honet1/, tDOrk JOIf the day, honest hope JOIf theAre theBe fDOrl1I, nothing more than tke hand tkey make weary,The heart they haDe saddenetl, the life they leave dreary 1.Husk / tke BeDenfold heavens to the fJOice oj tke spiritEcho: He that 0 ercomef,1I, shaU all tkings inherit. " -OWEN MEREDITH.
PREFACE. When a writer attempts to tell something which hedeems important, and wishes the reader to share in hisviews as to its value, it is but" fair al1d square" thathe should give a reason for his act. The history of nations is largely made up of the his-tory of men. The biography of a few leading men is,indeed, the story of the nations. So the well toldbiography of a few men may be the history of theliterature, science, invention, medicine, law, or theol-ogy of a country. In any great cause there are fewleaders. If not the first, certainly among the most able of theexpounders of the principles and truths of the NewChurch, as made known by Emanuel Swedenborg, wasthe subject of this 8tudy. He devoted more than halfa century to the teaching and spread of the newdoctrines, and the life to which they sllould lead~No man was better suited to be the expounder and v
vi PREFAOE.defender of a new and true system of philosophy, relig-ion, and life. Prepared and schooled under peculiarcircumstances, he entered upon the work as a finishedscholar. He wrote more, perhaps, than any other oneman to spread and sustain the cause he held to beabove all others. His tongue kept with his pen, andhis preaching gave force and influence to his writing.He taught and reasoned as a philosopher, and hiswork gave him high rank as a theologian. To the friends, who believed and rejoiced in hiswork, and to those who may yet become his friends,and also believers in and exemplars of the beautifuldoctrines he taught, these pages are, with great respect,dedicated by the AUTHOR.
TABLE OF CONTENTS. PAGEPREFACE, • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • v I. Birth, Early Life, and Training, . . . . . . . 9-12 II.College Days-The Long Prepamtion Begins, 13-17 III. Cambridge Divinity School, • • • . . . . . . 18-26 IV. The Unitarian Preacher-First Experiences-Finding . a New Way, . . • • . . . . . . . • • 27-30 V. In the Right Place at Last-The Preacher, 31-34 VI. The Preacher (continued), 35-47 VII. The Preacher (continued), 48-53VIII. The Writer, • • . . . • 54-65 IX. The Writer (continued), • 66-77 X. The Theologian, . . . . • • • • • • 78-89 XI. The Theologian-His Words and Teachings-The New Christianity, • • . . . . . . . . • . . . . . . 90-125XII. The Philosopher-The New Christianity in His Words and Principles, • . . . . • • . . • • • 126-152XIII. Personal Recollections by His Children, . • • . . . . 153-194ApPENDIX:-XIV. Extracts from Letters, • • • • • • • • • • • • . . . 197-211 vii
Benjamin Fiske Barrett: A STUDY. I. Birth, Early Life, and Training. The qualities and traits necessary to the making ofa preacher, writer, philosopher, and theologian werecombined in an eminent degree in Benjamin FiskeBarrett. Born in the woods of ~Iaine, of hard-workingparents, Ilis childhood and early life were destitute ofthe advantages within the reach of lnany boys andyoung men, but in spite of this he became one of theInost useful men produced by that or any otller Statein the Union. Vhile the parents of Benjamin Barrett were able toaid him ~ut little in the literary tastes they silentlywatched him develop, yet their early training was ofinestimable value to the boy. His father was a car-penter, an intelligent man, the owner of a farm that U
10 BIRTH, EARLY LIFE, AND 7RAINING.required considerable ability and industry to cultivatesuccessfully in the bleak and rocky State of Maine.He was a successful man in his day and generation,and was held in respect and esteem by the communityin which he lived. Not" church members," nor what were called piouspeople, his parents taught tlleir children to revere theBible, to keep tIle Ten Commalldments, and to respectthe ordinances of religion. This healthy home traill-ing, combined with some outside influences, laid thefoundation for the independent char~cter and activeand useful career of the subject of this study. At the age of eight years he began his book-educationin a rude school-house a mile or two from home. Inthose days spelling ranked alnong the noble accom-plishments; and for proficiency in this art young Ben-jamin was occasionally allowed to wear a rosetteuponhis sleeve. All the summer and autumn days heworked, from his tenth to his seventeenth year, on astony, wooded farm, and in the winter attehded thecountry school, working in the morning and again atthe end of the day, and studying his few books lateinto the night.. In later days he used to thank IIeaven, not only that
BIRTH, EARLY LIFE, AND TRAINING. 11lIe was born on a farm, but that llis early struggles hadllelped to form industrious llabits. He says in his" Autobiography:" "I now see, as I didnot when a boy, that country and farm life, howeverhard the work may be, are far more favorable than city-life to "the normal and healthy development of onesintellectual, moral, and physical nature." He then sa,vthat" abundance of work, even if it be pretty hard, isone of Heavens laws." For a long tiln~ the opinionhas been gaining ground that the Almighty was con-ferring a blessing, not a curse,011 man when He said," In the sweat of thy face shalt tllOU eat bread." By the time Mr. Barrett had reached his seventeenthyear, by using rainy days, nights, and extra momentsfound here and there, he had not only mastered thebooks taught in the school, but also geometry, survey-ing, and some other branches, and had many a timecried for books he was unable to get. During the sum-mer of 1826 he committed to memory the Latin gram-mar, and that winter he spent at " Lincoln Academy,"-a school of some pretension in the county. Here hedevoted his entire time to the study of Latin, llis fatherbearing his expenses ($30 for the whole term). Hisfather now also willingly consented to his entering
12 BIRTH, EARLY LIFE, AND TRAINING.college on condition that he should bear his ownexpenses. True it was that three years of 11is sons lifeand service were yet due him on the farm before tIleboy should be of age, but the right to claim this hewas willing to forego.
II. College Days-The Long Preparation Begins. Mr. Barrett now spent another summer on the farm,and the following winter taught his first school. Inthe summ~r of 1828 he again passed four months inLincoln Academy, and that fall entered Bowdoin Col-lege, at Brunswick, Maine. This old, richly-endowed school not only stood ashigh as any in the country at that time (holding itsplace fairly well at this day with the great colleges of~ew England), but it was also fortunate in having thenas one of its faculty the poet Longfellow. At no otherperiod in its history had its graduates more cause forpride in the title- and standing of their Alma Mater. The winters of the four years passed at BowdoinMr. Barrett spent in teaching and providing thenecessary means for defraying his college and otherexpenses, - $200 a year being the extent of hisoutlay. In those days living was cheaper in NewEngland than at this time, and his economy wasstrict, indeed. He had no vulgar nor expensive habits 13
14 OOLLEGE DAYS.to provide for. G~aduating as one of the six studentshaving the highest standing, he had what was to llimat that time the great honor of being chosen a memberof the most important college society in the country.Better than this, however, he at once received the ap-pointment of principal of the "Young Ladies HighSchool" at Eastport, Maine, at a salary of $700 a year,-no mean salary at that time. This appointment, hewas also gratified to know, was through the recom-mendation of Professor Longfellow. In Bowdoin College there was no very direct religioustraining nor influence, but such as there was, was notespecially helpful to one who had lived in the broad,free atmosphere of the Dresden farm. TIle unknown,or apparently unknown, God of the Maine woods wasbetter than the tri-personal Deity set up among the-religious students at Bowdoin. The one was to befound out, known, and loved; the other was a mysteryto be feared. But Bowdoin was preparing the scholarand writer. It remained for the Divinity School atCambridge to lay the foundation for the preacher andtheologian. Up to the time of taking charge of the school atEastport, Mr. Barrett had made preparations for the
THE LONG PREPARATION BEGINS. 15study of the legal profession. He now began to enter-tain doubts on this point, and these were mucll strength-ened by his religious surroundings and his strollgdesire to be useful. In the fall of 1832 he began his work of teachingyoung women at Eastport, and he remained there untilthe summer of 1834. At the outset this work seemedto be a very difficult undertaking. His former experi-ences furnished him no means of judging as to the tasknow before him. To govern these Eastport girls by histongue or will or in any way of his own devising hefound to be impossible, and was soon forced to tell themthis. They had not been slow in discovering his fail-ure, and while they knew the reuledy, were willing to •aggravate the case yet further. Apparently the youngBowdoinite had found more than his match. It wasan inglorious dilemma. What should be done? With-out government there could be no progress, no properschool. And t;his he was obliged to make known tothem after a few hopeless weeks of trial. Had it beena school of boys tIle question might have been settledspeedily in another way. A few applications of therod might IlRve decided the physical superiority of themaster and secured the government necessary.
16 COLLEGE DAYS. As it was, Dominie Barrett appealed to the unrulygirls and suggested to them that they gover:n them-selves; and accordingly a republican system of govern-ment was set up, and each pupil became a self-consti-tuted factor, executing tIle laws as applicable to herself.The mild sway at Bowdoin was modified and extendedat Eastport, and though the master found lle could notbe a king, yet he lost nothing, and the girls learnedself-control. Although Mr. Barrett did not find his wife amongthese Eastport young women, yet the time was verydelightfully and profitably passed, and here he finallyconcluded that the law did not need him, and that thedark religion of the times seemed to present the real •field for his exertions. He read the writings of Mr.Channing, and believed that in the general way directedby him splendid work could be done. Unitarianismwas not strong and needed additional props. At Bowdoin he had not been" converted," but Uni-tarianism then required no " change of heart," no piety.Experimental religion was unknown and little caredfor by Unitarians. Mr. Barrett saw that the BiLleseemed. to teac}} the theory of a tri-personal God, andthe Unitarians, seeing the same thing, rejected the ap-
THE LONG PRLP-ARATION BEGINS. 17parent teaching of the Book on this subject, and muchof the Book itself, and set up an altar to the unknownGod whose sign had long ago been reared on MarsHill. From the teachings of Bowdoin, and from theHigh School at Eastport, after special study and prepa-ration from Unitarian writers, Mr. Barrett entered theDivinity School at Cambridge.
III. Oambridge Divinity School. Convinced that the ministry needed him, or that inthe church was to be found the true field of usefulness,and at this time believing that Unitarianism was soundin th.e leading points, in the fall of 1834 Mr. Barrettentered the Cambridge Divinity School. After three years of hard work in theological dark-ness, but amidst agreeable and really beneficial sur-roundings, he graduated. The degree of Master ofArts from Bowdoin furnished a passport to the scholar,but a degree from Cambridge left the real work in fOfln-ing the Doctor of Divinity to be done. About all hehad learned thus far was that the uni-personalism andunsatisfactory negations of Cambridge seemed to bepreferable to the tri-personal or tri-theistic teachings ofAndover. On the tenth day of July, 1838, Mr. Barrett gradu-ated. The mail1 theme of his thesis was moral f01·ce inthe hands of the Christian minister. And, strangelyenough, perhaps, his model was the Saviour, and tIle 18
OAMBRIDGE DIVINITY SOHOOL. 19doctrine is put forth that" The truth as it is in Jesus isthe only true life of the world." But moral meansconstituted the. great instrument in the hands of theminister. This was really the force back of all theteaching at Cambridge, and moral force was the greatinstrument employed by the Saviour. To his fellowsMr. Barrett said in this thesis: " You shall see andknow that morallneans are in truth the mighty powerof God." But let us now see from his own language what hehad learned at Cambridge, and how strangely unfitthe man was to set out as an expounder of Scriptureand a religious guide to others. In his" Autobiography"he says:- " I learned nothing at the Cambridge Divinity Schoolrespecting the distinction between the natural and tIlespiritual man, the natural and the spiritual world, thenatural and the spiritual sense of the Sacred Scriptures,the regenerate and the unregenerate state of mall, orwhen and how we pass from the latter to the former ofthese states. Regeneration was a term seldom heard atthat time from a Unitarian pulpit or lecture-room, andnothing was ever said about . the new birth,-the birthof the soul into a higher life,-or when and in whatway the soul is opened to the reception of the Christ-life, which is the truly human life. I did not therelearn that a truly religious life is at all different from
20 OAMBRIDGE DIVINITY SCHOOL.a merely moral life, and I do not think that thedenomination generally recognized any differencebetween morality and religion. To the best of myknowledge no such distinction was re~ognized or taughtin Cambridge. A certain kind or degree of inspira-tion was claimed for the Bible, but precisely what itwas, or wherein it differed from that of any uninspiredor merely human composition, I am unable now tostate, nor, indeed, did I ever know. The recordedmiracles of Christ were accepted as historical facts, butnone of their deep, heavenly meaning was unfolded tothe students, nothing of their divine significancetaught,-nothing beyond their evidencing the divineauthority and mission of the miracle-worker. Ibelieved, as did the Unitarians generally, in theimmortality of the soul and a consequent future life,-in heaven for the good, and in hell for the wicked. Ialso believed in a general way (or thought I did) in aspiritual world, and this also was held and taught atCambridge; but where that world is and how it isrelated to the world in which we are now living, whatare its laws (if it has any) and howadrninistered, whatis the essential nature of heaven and of hell, and inwhat form the immortal soul will be wIlen it leaves themortal body,-upon these and all related questionstouching the great Hereafter Iny ignorance was at thattime on a par with, but no greater than, that of thelearned and estimable professors of the Cambridge andall other divinity schools in our land." What, indeed, hs,d been gained in these three years?Was it gain to be taught that He, in whom dwells the
OAMBRIDGE DIVINITY SCHOOL. 21fulness of the Godhead, was merely a perfect man?But this was positive knowledge, and he was authorizedto .teacll it as confidently as if he had recei ved hiscommission in a different tone from the Council ofNice itself. In his glowing and beautiful oration to his fellowsMr. Barrett exhibited the great field of morals as theproper ground for the work of the Unitarian preacher.But the Doctor of Divinity was without his calling.There was really no system. There was no pllilosophyof religion and life. There was not only the rejection of the only God, theWord made Flesh, the Beginning and the Ending, butthere was the consequent confusion, darkness, and un-certainty upon other points as well. Even Morals, thegreat sheet-ancllor of the Cambridge Divinity School,was without definite boundaries. Yet in a certain largesense Cambridge was of great worth to Mr. Barrett.Quoting again from his" Autobiography," we find himsaying:- " I have never regretted the time nor money spent inthe Cambridge Divinity School. lhe three years Ipassed there were among the pleasantest of my life, andno less profitable than pleasant. They were years of
22 OAMBRIDGE DIVINeJTY SOHOOL. earnest thougllt and study upon the highest and most. momentous themes,-years of honest seeking and pa- tient waiting,-years of mental struggle, calm inquiry, and inward spiritual growth. The course of study pur- sued there was well calculated to promote growth. The professors were broad-minded,cultured,liberal,and truly noble men, as free from everything like bigotry or sec- tarianisID as any men I ever knew. The students were not required on entering the school to subscribe to allY creed, although the theology taught there was con- fessedly that known as Unitarian. But the religious be- liefs or disbeliefs of a candidate for admission were not inquired into. Orthodox and heterodox, Calvinist and Unitarian, Christian and Jew,-all were freely admitted, and upon equal terms. They were invited to come there to 8tudy theology, not simply to confirm opinions inher- ited, or in which they had been previously educated. The professors themselves had settled convictions which they were always free to state, but there was never the appearance of any disposition to fasten their convictions upon the students in a dogmatic or authoritative way. We were encouraged to examine every subject freely, fearlessly, honestly, and as thorougilly as we could, availing ourselves of all accessible means of informa- tion, and then form our own conclusions. This natu- rally resulted in considerable diversity of opinion on theological and religious questions among the students." . . ." Our professor in dogmatic theology, after frankly giving us his own opinion on whatever happened to be the subject of inquiry, was in the habit of referring the class to such works as had been written on the subject
OAMBRIDGE DIVINITY 80HOOL. 23 .by men commonly considered the most learned, thought-ful, and devout, no matter to what denomination theybelonged, and 1e were oftener referred to orthodox thanto Unitarian authorities, probably because the able andscholarly works of the former were more numerous.And f9r tllis broad and genuine catholicity taught andso well exemplified at the Cambridge Divinity School,I shall never cease to be unfeignedly thankful. It notonly left each student free to think for himself, tosearch diligently for the truth as for hidden treasure,to examine subjects thoroughly and conscientiously,but it imposed this as a religious duty. It tended tounsettle the foundations of some traditional notions, tobroaden our melltal visions, to check the growth of thedenominational or sect spirit, to increase our respect forthe rights of the individual conscience, to encouragethe growth of freedom, independence, and intellectualhonesty, and to imbue us with a la.rger toleratioll anda kindlier spirit toward all theological opponents, aswell as toward skeptics, agnostics, Jews, and infidels.The effect upon myself of that broad, free, independent,and honest Cambridge training was, as I now view it,altogether good and wholesome." Yet Mr. ~arrett is compelled further on to say :- " I entered the school an honest and devout Unita-rian, bent on llelping forward what I believed to be agreat and much-needed reform in Christian theology.But before my course was two-thirds finished, I hadbecome less satisfied with Unitarianisln thaIl I was atthe time of my entrance. I felt a growing want which
24 CAMBRIDGE DIVINITY SOHOOL. that school of theology did not adequately meet. Nor was I any better, or even as well, satisfied with any of the other and more popular scllools then existing. There was so much in the doctrinal systems of all the prevailing religious sects which seelned to me unrea- sonable and like mere worthless rubbish, and yet the acceptance of whicll was insisted on by many as abso- lutelyessential to a mans salvation, as well as to Chris- tian fellowship, that doubts about all the religions and churches of the day began to crowd upon me in rather a discouraging way." . . . "But now these questions arose and began to press for an answer: Is the Bible really the Word of God? If so, in what does its divin- ity consist? What especially distinguishes it as a.divine work? Wherein does it differ from other good books which contain many wholesome moral precepts, but which lay no claim to a special divine inspiration?" Yes, that was it. The great struggle, after all, was asto the real character and origin of the Sacred Scrip-tures. If the old Book fell, tIle church would be with-out foundation, and all preaching would become fool-ishness. lhe strange, but all-important, question withMr. Barrett was: "What, then, should I do with theBook when I entered upon my approaching ministerialduties?" Indeed, what could be of- greater moment?Was the preacher not to have a Bible? To cast it asidQand treat it as he would Milton or Burns would be
CAMBRIDGE DIVINITY SOHOOL. 25equivalent to, abandoning the profession for which hehad labored for years. Apparently, CUlnbridge hadlanded tllis one of its graduates in tIle mire of doubtand confusion. Yet tIle case was not so desperate as itseemed to be. After the apparently hopeless struggleof the night would come tIle morning. A foulldationhad been laid on the Dresdell farm, and Cambridgehad built on this foundation. It had taught him to lookwell through the prevailing theories and" isms" of tIleday, and to profit by his ability to do so. It was taught in the Divinity School that the Saviourwas a perfect man. If lIe ,-ras this perfect man, thellhonesty and truth must be His leading traits. Ilow, then,could such an assertion as this come from the lips of aperfect man: "This is the bread that cometll do,vn fromHeaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I amthat bread of life. He that eateth me, even he shall livebyrne"? Could a mere man say honestly that he was "tIleliving bread that caIne dovn fronl Heaven"? Theseand other similar passages of the Bible, read and studiedby Mr. Barrett with his broad and enlightened views, in-fluenced his whole future career. After a time light brokeon the path of the young Unitarian preacller enteringupon a calling in which his AlIna Mater had gi ven llim
26 CAMBRIDGE DIVINITY SCHOOL. only the training for honest and independent thougllt; but this finally enabled him to grasp a new and inde- pendent system of tlleology, and to become one of its leading exponents..........
IV.The Unitarian Preacher-First Experiences-Finding a New Way. Even before his graduation Mr. Barrett had beeninvited to preach for a few Sundays to the" UnitarianSociety" at East Bridgewater, Mass.~ and here, on the15th of July, 1838, he preached two sermons whicll,notwithstanding his growing skepticism, pleased thesociety so well that he would have been invited toremain in tllis place had he not made other engage-Inents. It was here, however, that some of his friendsfirst talked to him of Swedenborg, whose name he hadonly heard casually mentioned at Cambridge. In thefamily in which he boarded at East Bridgewater weretwo" New Churchmen,~ as the Swedenborgians calledthemselves. For the first time Mr. Barrett began toinquire into the New Christianity. At the suggestionof Ralph Waldo Emerson, he had read a few pages ofSwedenborgs " Apocalypse Revealed" while he was atthe Divinity School, but he bad thrown it aside, won-dering how Emerson could have asked him to read 27
28 THE PREAOHER.such a book. With all his craving for knowledge heseemed unable to grasp the views of Swedenborg, buthe now set his mind to becoming acquainted with theteachings of the New Church, and before finishing hisshort engagement at East Bridgewater he began to feelstrong doubts as to his position among Unitarians.After all his earnest efforts he began to feel-that he wasin a wrong place. The Unitarians had engaged to start a church inSyracuse, N. Y., and Mr. Barr~tt had been appointed tofill t!le pastorate before he left Cambridge. In the fallof 1838 he set out for his new mission, and among hisbooks lle carried with him a dozen or more of the worksof Swedenborg, determined to investigate the new doc-trines. Old beliefs were crumbling away, but the lastthree years were not lost, for they had taught him toexamine all systems of theology with an ullbiased mind.The knowledge and training thus gained was essentialto the real Doctor of Divinity and the expounder of anew religion. For this work there was no place in allthe land better than the Cambridge Divinity School. Was this young Unitarian preacher, full of doubts,or this earnest student of a new philosophy, a newtheology, ~ new Christiall dispensation, going to Syra-
THE PREACHER. 29·cuse to do the first work in building up a new Uni-tarian society without qualms of conscience or with nokind of remonstrance? No! He had laid the wholecase before a loved and respected friend, and was urgedby him to take up the work assigned, and if his investi-gation of the writings of the mad Swede should separatehim from the Unitarian Church, then would be thetime to announce his change of views; and this advicehe followed. While tIle preacher and his preaching were entirelyacceptable to the Syracuse Unitarians, Mr. Barrett soonbegan to see, ~s he then thought, that he could not goon in this dubious way. He accordingly requested to bereleased from his obligations to the" American Unitar-ian Association," and this release was finally granted.In the fall of 1839, at East Bridgewater, he preachedhis last sermon as a Unitarian. Soon afterward heformally withdrew from this connection and was ad-mitted into the Boston Society of the New Church. There had been some singularly agreeable temp-tations put in Mr. Barretts way favoring Ilis remain-ing with the Unitarians. At.Lockport they had offeredto build a new church if he would return and preachto them. At Northampton they had told him that his
30 THE PREACHER.interest in the writings of Swedenborg would be no ob-jection to his preaching for them; and at East Bridge-water the generous Unitarians said to him: " Thesociety is prepared to extend an invitation to Mr. Bar-rett to become its pastor, and allow him to preach as . .much Swedenborgianism as he pleases or migllt deemuseful, and call it Unitarianism." In after years, when lle had learned the history ofthe Rev. John Clowes and others who had held theirplaces as pastors of old churches, some of them for awhole life-time, while they were teaching the doctrinesof the New Church, Mr. Barrett would, without doubt,have taken a different view of the case. Yet he couldhave had no regrets on this point when looking backfrom the end of his life. His home training at the Dresden farm, his life atBowdoin and at Cambridge, had fitted him, eminently,for bringing the New Jerusalem, in its widest and bestsense, down into the hearts and lives of men every-where. It became a leading theme in his preachingand writing, as may be plainly seen in the progress ofthis Study, that Christ is not now coming in the cloudsof the letter to an organized few, but to all who areable to receive Him, wherever they may be found.
v. In the Right Place at Last-The Preacher. The winter of 1839 Mr. Barrett spent in Bostoll,studying the writings of Swedenborg, and in associa-tion with what was then the somewhat narrow andbigoted Society of the New Church. III the followingspring he began Ilis work as pastor of the New YorkSociety of the New Church, and in that city, Cincin-nati, and Philadelphia he mainly passed that portionof his long and busy life which was devoted to theministry of the New Christianity. In Mr. Barretts work, " Swedenborg and Channing,"there is this dedication :- " To the Unitarian Denomination in America: a religious bodywith which the author once had the happiness to be connected, andto which he grate~ully acknowledges a large indebtedness; whichearly taught him the proper function of reason in religion, themeaning and value of religious liberty, and the importance of rev-erently heeding the whispers of the Spirit; and whose inculcationsthrough pulpit and press, and at its excellent Divinity School,encouraged a free and earnest search after truth, and gave new em-phasis to the Apostolic injunction, Prove all things; hold fast thatwhich is good, this volume is affectionately inscribed. " This dedication shows clearly his feelings toward 31
32 THE PREAC]IER.the Unitarians. They had done their part in aidinghim to become an apostle of the new faith, the faith-ful expounder of a clear, comprehensiye, unsectarian,rational, and satisfactory system of theology. Evenwhen he was preparing his way to leave them, they re-mained his.friends, listened to his sermons, and assuredhim of their willingness to keep him in their society. During Mr. Barretts short stay Vt,ith the Unitarianshe had preached pretty constantly; when he went toEastport as a teacher he went with an address in hispocket, and from that time to the end of his activecareer he was always ready with a lecture or sermon.The habits of industry acquired in the Maine woodswere always with him, and to the end of his natural lifehe was one of the busiest and most industrious of melleThe main theme of his discourses, while in the Unita-rian fold, was morals. On this subject he could haveno doubts. In his last address at Eastport in 1834,to the associated Sabbath-schools, Mr. Barrett said,"There is no real worth but moral worth;" and, ofcourse, the Sabbath-school was one of the great instru-ments for the development of this world-purifying force.His lectures and addresses even before leaving the Di-vinity School began, however, to demand another kind
THE PREACHER. 33of culture, in a certain degree distinct from moral cul-ture. It was religious education, and rapidly the greatwork widened before him as the clouds cleared fromhis own sky. At East Bridgewater, where he appearedfirst as a preacher, one of his sermons was based on tIledastardly conduct of the disciples in forsaking the ~Iaster. Here, now, he could say: ." Brethren, we are in 3certain sense the pledged friends and followers of JesusChrist-pledged to Him by the very constitution andendowments of our nature. We cannot divorce our-selves from obligat.ions of allegiance to Him if wewould. We cannot strengthen our obligations by jOill-ing a church, nor in any measure impair them bystanding without its pale." At Lockport, not a year from this time, he waspreaching from the words, "Can ye not discern thesigns of tIle times?" Old things were fast passingaway and all things were becoming new. The Messiahhad been found, and the Bible had become the DivineWord. The old Book now stood far above the creeds ofmen, and the Son of 1J:lan was appearing in His" secondcoming, in the clouds of heaven with power and greatglory." ~Ir. Barrett had not yet reached his prime of life. 3
34 THE PREAOHER.But now, with the vast, exhaustless fields of pllilosophyand religion, bearing the st.amp and impress of Heaven,opening before llim, did his voice and spirit rise with thefire and vigor of a strong, aspiring manhood. The lastsermons that Mr. Barrett preached to the Unitarians wereNew Church sermons, and his eloquence and earnestnessshow that there was a great difference between puttingthese new things before those strange to them and readyto view them as wonderful, and putting them beforethose who were their friends, and to whom they were .neither new nor wonderful. The tIlought did, no doubt, .occur to him in after times that it might have been wellfor him to have remained among the Unitarians, wherehe would have found eager listeners, and the benefitwould have been great to all concerned. But Mr. Bar-rett bad another work to do, far more beneficial andimportant than preaching, and this he could not doamong his old friends. All the steps he had taken,however, were leading him to this new field of labor.
VI. The Preacher.-( Continued.) Mr. Barrett entered upon his office as a minister ofthe New Church as most others had done, by quittingthe pulpit of the old. But his preparation had beenvastly superior to that of most others. At BowdoinCollege he had become a finished scholar, and at Cam-bridge he had spent years in studying the religioushistory of the world and the manners of the pulpit,and the outcome showed that the time had not beenlost. From one small sect he went into the small bodycalled the New Church, which he always held not to bea sect. But it was not in his nature to be idle or to be ~satisfied with the daily care of the small Societ~T in NewYork, and he had barely become accustomed to hisnew work before he began to reach out for a wider fieldof usefulness. Accordingly, in the winter of 1840 hedelivered twelve lectures designed for the generalpublic on the doctrines of the all-comprehensive NewTheology. These were the first lectures of the kindever delivered in this country. They were well received 35
36 THE PREACHER.and subsequently published under the title of" Lectureson the New Dispensation." This book went throughseveral editions and is still acknowledged to be one ofthe best means of introducing the New Christianity. In one of his last discourses to his Unitarian friendsat Lockport, in April, 1839, Mr. Barrett said :- " It has also been remarked before, and partly con-firmed by the Divine Record, that all words in the Scrip-tures which in their literal or lowest sense refer to timeand space, in their spiritual and highest sense refer tostates of mind or quality of the church. Thus, heavenand hell, high and low, distant and near, coming anddeparting, etc., in their literal sense refer to space with-out us; but in their higher or spiritual sense they referto what is within, that is, to the quality or condition ofthe mind. They signify a heavenly or infernal state ofthe soul, its height or degradation in respect tospiritual things, its distance from or nearness to thedivine truth, or the divine order of its creation, itsprogress in regeneration, or departure from the divinelaws, thus coming to or departing from Christ. "The same may be said of all words in the SacredWritings which in their lowest sense refer to time, asdays, weeks, months, years, etc. Thus, the angel in theApocalyptic vision is heard to declare that thereshould be time no longer, and many, understandingthis in its literal sense, really believe that time shallcease. But the chapter in which this text occurs treatsof the reformed churches in Christendom previous to
• THE PREAoHEll. 37the second coming of our Lord.". " And whenit is said that there should be time no longer, it is sig-nified that there will not be any state of the church;that is, by falsifying and adulterating Gods Word,truth and love, which constitute the life of tIle church,will be lost, and so the church perish-become spirit-ually dead. "It is the alternations of day and night, morningand evening, summer and winter, which make time inthe natural sense of the word. So it is the alternationsor changes of state with respect to truth and goodnessin the church which constitute the spiritual meaningof time. When divine truth is received in its sim-plicity and clearness, then is it ~orning or day-timewith the church. When that truth is falsified, thenhas the church come to its evening or night. Whenthe divine warmth of love is shed abroad in menshearts, then is the church in its sumnler. When lovefails, then comes its winter. Thus, in respect to anychurch, when truth and love are withdrawn, or whenthe light of divine truth is turned into the darkness oferror, and the warmth of love into the chills of hatred,then there are spiritual night, winter, darkness, anddeath." All this must have sounded strange, indeed, to thesegood people, to whom the idea of a spiritual sense inthe Scriptures was new and startling. But it also showsthat he had early discovered that the main business ofthe New Church minister lay in the endless work of
38 THE PREAOHER.showing clearly the internal or spiritual sense of theSacred Scriptures, and not in merely teaching morals.This became the great work of his life, for which he wasfitted beyond most other men. But the true ministerhad other things to do. His own views as to what theminister should be and do Mr. Barrett gave to hisfriends in Cincinnati in taking charge of the Societythere in 1848. He tllen said :- " Fortunately, this subject, viz., the relative dutiesof pastor and people, is one about which there neednot be much disagreement. It is much easier for anyone of you, as you all well know, to tell another whata true Christian should be, than it is to be that Chris-tian. So it is much easier for me to tell you what a trueminister of Christ should be than it is to be that minis-ter." . . . " Yet I may speak of some things whichI think should especially characterize a minister of theNew Church; and though I may, in the course of myminstr~tions, fail to exhibit them as I could wish, yetthe mention of them will show you, at least, what myaims and intentions are. " I conceive that the Christian minister ought of allmen to be free and independent. I do not mean byindependence that he should be regardless of the coun-sels and wishes of his brethren, but tllat he should beilldependent in his inquiries and investigations-freefrom the trammels of fear and of prejudice, and fromthose external, worldly, and personal considerations
THE PREACHER. 39whose tendency is to pollute the sacred desk by intro-ducing there a cold, calculating, time-serving spirit.". . . " But while the Christian minister should beperfectly independent in his researches-while heshould allow himself the utmost liberty in investigatingtruth relating to all spheres of thought and all degreesof human life-while he should think, speak, and actas becomes a free man, acknowledging no master butthe Lord, and feeling himself responsible to Hinl alone,he sllould not forget his high and peculiar sphere of useand the investigations appropriate to that spllere. Hewill remember that it is his peculiar province to minis-ter to the spiritual wants of his people-to break untothem the bread of spiritual life-to unfold the SacredScriptures and thus to teach them truth from the Word,and lead them to live according to it. He will neverfor a moment lose sight of the great end of his calling,which is to free mens souls from the thraldom of evillives and false persuasions, and lead them onward andupward to the Lord." . . . "The New Church lninis-ter must preach the New Dispensation of Christianity.He should preach the doctrines of heaven as they havebeen revealed through the Lords OWIl chosen instru-mellt-teach them distinctly and systelnatically, with-out fear and without compromise. But while he willfeel it his duty to do this, he will not, if he has rightlyapprehended the spirit of these doctrines, proclainltllem in strife or collision but in quietness andpeace. He will not teach them dogmatically, fordogmatisln, or allYthing like it, belongs not to theNew Church. He will not teacll them in a war-
40 THE PREACHER.ring or anta.gonistic spirit, for the spirit of the NewChurch is loving and peaceable. Especially willhe guard against preaching them ill such a man-ner as is calculated to make his hearers bigots orsectarians, or to impress them with tIle idea that out ofthe narrow circle of professed New Churchmen nogood is anywhere to be found. Bigotry is at all timesand everywhere hateful, but in the New Church it isdoubly mean and contemptible. For we are taughtin the doctrines of this church that charity is the es-sential element of heavenly life, the essential thing ofthe church on earth. And true charity is expansive,like the air we breathe, and liberal as the light of thesun. It would have us forget all names and sects andparties, it would have us rise above all Inean andnarrow prejudices, all denominational distinctions, allmere forms of faith, and extend our sympathy, our love,our fellowship, to men of every name according to thekind and degree of good we discover in them." There cOllld be no doubt about the views of tllis ne,vpreacher. The Lords New Church is never at war with~lle sects, the creeds, or the world, any more than thegerm of wheat is at war with the husk. With its keyto the Bible all contradictions, inconsistencies, andobscurities disappear; the old Book, in its genuineparts, riding as safely above all cavil and strife as theearth in its path around the sun. So, amidst all thetheologic strife of the times, and the assaults on Chris-
THE PREACHER. 41tianity and its Book, this New Church, everywheredev~lopiDg, stands undisturbed and unassailable, be-lieving that now, in days of tribulation, are old tllingspassing away and all things becoming new. In Mr. Barretts introductory address at Cincinnatihe says that one item of his duty ~~ould be to "impartsuch instruction as I may freely receive from on high,"thus restating the old, old faith of the" calling to theministry." This claim has been universal in the oldchurch, and the apparently coarse and unspiritual-minded condition of the preacller, or the doubtful char-acter of· the preaching, has never ill the least modifiedhis views of himself as a divinely chosen instrument.This doctrine or belief in the" calling of the ministry"has met with much unfavorable comment and ridicule.In the New Church, where Providence is held to bespecial and general, in and over all things, the ministerhas strong ground for attachment to his calling, andMr. Barrett llad been prepared, as it were, in a peculiarway for his vocation. At Cincinnati the new minister found t,vo factions,two Societies, and his first act was in requiring tlleseto throw aside their small differences and become oneon condition of his assu111illg the pastorate. This step
42 THE PREAOHER.well portrayed the character of the man and was con-stantly carried out in his after-life. The mode of gov-ernment and orders in tIle ministry had even thengiven no little trouble in the slowly-forming NewChurch organization. With child-like simplicity Mr. Barrett at first acceptedthe form of government adopted by the New Church,but llis heart and his natural, independent mode ofthought soon convinced him that many matters madeof much moment in this small body of men were oflittle importance. He was young at this tilDe, but fullof energy and hope, and his fine face showed more thanat any other time, perhaps, the vigor and force of hismind. In Portland, Maine, in 1854, at a meeting of NewChurchmen, most extraordinary grounds were -taken inregard to friendly and brotherly union in life amongall the followers of the Lord, without reference to creedor church. At this meeting Mr. Barrett, after quotingsome passages from Swedenborgs writings, spoke withenthusiaslll as follows :- "We have here an acknoTledgment that there are, sincere follo,vers of the I~ord elsewhere than amongtllose who acknowledge the doctrines that we receive,
THE PREACHER. 43or who profess themselves of the New Jerusalem. Vehave an ackllowledgment that the Lords church Ollearth is not all concentrated in our own ranks, thatthere is some of it, at least, to be found outside of ourorganization; for, surely, the sincere followers of theLord must belong to His church, whatever name theymay be known by or whatever cOlnlnunion they mayhave joined." . . . "And who are the sincere fol-lowers of tIle Lord? rfhey are all those who havefaith in Him, who love and reverence His Word, andwho shun as sins against Him whatever is contraryto the divine precepts. They are all who follow Himspiritually by walking in the way of His command-ments, seeking to have the spirit and temper of theirminds conform to the requirelnents of His Word, seek-ing in all things to do His will." . . . " They maynot all understand the Scripture as we understand it.They may know nothing of the Science of Correspondenceor the doctrine of discrete degrees or the spiritualworld as disclosed in the writings of Swedenborg, butthey may know, notwithstanding all that, from actualexperience, what means the life of God in the soul ofman." . . . "They may know what it is to deny-self,to take up the cross alld follow the Lord; what it is todo justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.". . . " I say then, that the sincere followers of theLord, some of whom are to be found among all exist-ing religious sects, separated though they are, appar-ently, externally, ecclesiastically, are internally togetherand are already spiritually united on the groundof genuine Christianity."
44 THE PREACHER. Hovever wide and charitable ~Ir. Barrett ,vas as tothe life of Christians, yet he justly placed the highestpossible value upon doctrines and beliefs ,vith thosewho could understand them and in the right senseapply them. In his address to young nlen at Cincin-nati in 1852 he said :- "Religious belief, to be firm, must rest upon a solidfoundation-upon the rocks of eternal truth. And thetruth must be seen, understood, and felt by you in sucha way that you may know it to be truth. Your religiousbelief will be weak and tottering just in the degree thatthe doctrines you believe or profess fail to approveth~mselves to your understandings and hearts, fail tomeet the delnands of your highest reason. You maybelieve as your fathers for many generations before youhave believed, or as your minister or some other piousfriend tells you to believe, or as your fanlily connec-tions, or the respectable p~ople of yonr neighborhoodand acquaintance believe, but if your belief has nothingbetter, nothing more solid than this to rest upon, it is amer~ persuasion, and can never supply adequately thewants of your. souls. Yours is not a firm religiousbelief, and in your hours of darkest trial it cannotafford you that comfort or support ,,~hich it is in thepover of such a belief to impart. Your religious belief,to be solid, enduring, and sustaining, must be the resultof your own free and unfettered inquiry, and it mustbe a belief, too, ill truth which your reason can acceptand your heart can love."
THE PREACHE/.l. 45 Later on, in a sermon on the importance and use of .doctrine, he said :- " Some think it a matter of small consequence whatreligious doctrines a person believes. Suppose one be-lieves wrong, or accepts a false doctrine for the true,what matters it, say they, provided he lives well? Doa mans beliefs damn him or save him? Cannot a per-son who accepts a false creed live a good life? If so,then, why should anyone trouble himself about doc-trines? Do we not find equally good people believingvery different doctrines? Undoubtedly, you will findgood people in all tIle various Christian sects, notwith-standing the many and great errors in their religiouscreeds. For they all accept the Bible as the Word ofGod in some sense; and ill the plain and simple pre-cepts of the Bible, which all can understand, there is avast amount of saving truth. You will also find sonJegood people among Jews; Mohammedans, and Pagans,in spite of all the errors in their creeds. For alongwith their errors, we must remember, there are mingledsome grand yet simple and saving truths." . . . ." But these are the exceptions, not the rule. We do notdeem good tools the less important or desirable becausesome skilful mecllanics can do a very good job with in-ferior ones. Neither should we consider a good creedor true religious doctrines undesirable or unimportantbecause some gifted individuals, with a very imperfectand even erroneous one, have attained to great excel-lence of character. " As a general rule, the character of individuals and
46 THE PREAOHER. of churches depends upon their beliefs and is formed by them. Indeed, I may say that this is universally true. No ones life is a whit better than his beliefs." · . . . "Beliefs, opinions, ideas, doctrines, when they have become convictions or have settled into heart be- liefs, these exert a tremendous influence. They shape the character of individuals, comlnunities, states, and churches. They 1?eautify or deform, they exalt or de- grade, they make or mar, they save or damn, according to the truth or falsehood there is in them." . . . . "Religious doctrines, then, I mean to say, are not to be viewed as matters of indifference or of small moment." · . . . "Another divinely authorized test of a belief, opinion, or doctrine is the obvious influence of the doc- trines upon life and character, or their inherent and manifest tendency. False doctrines, or those that come from hell, have no tendency to make men better, and true ones no tendency to make them worse. The fruits of every tree must be according to its own nature." · . . . "If the manifest tendency of any doctrines is to curb and repress the lower part of our nature, and to stimulate and expand the higher; if they reveal a more exalted wisdom and loveliness in the Divine Be- ing and a more perfect order in the created universe than we had known before; if they inspire us with a deeper love and profounder reverence for the Word and works of God; if they give us a clearer insight into our own characters, and awaken a deeper desire while they show us the way to improve them; if their tendency is t~ make us more humble and self-denying, more thoughtful of the good of others, and more eager....
THE PREAOHER. 47to promote it," . . . . "surely doctrines whichllave this tendency proclaim tlleir own nature and ..orIgIn. " . . . . " And there is one other test of true doctrines wllichwe should not forget to apply, and that is their consist-ency and reasonableness. Remember that God is areasonable Being, the most reasonable in the universe.And He has endowed us with a rational faculty, thatwe, too, may be reasonable. We have no right to dis-card or trample on this precious gift, as we do when weaccept doctrines which do violence to our highestreason. It is not Gods will that we should do so. Itis a sin and shame to do it. And it is certain that nodoctrines requiring such a sacrifice for their acceptancecan be from Heaven."
The Preacher.-( Contin.ued.) In one of his unpublished sermons on the relationbetween the family and the cllurch Mr. Barrett says :- "The family, then, is a divine institution, and so,likewise, is the church. These two institutions, themost important and sacred on earth, are intimately re-lated and mutually dependent on each other. Thebusiness of the church is to assist in carrying forwardto its completion the great soul-building or soul-renew-ing work which was begun (or should have been begun)in the family." In another of his unpublished sermons he says ofthe lleighbor:- " There are various distinctions or grades in the re- lationsllip of neigllbor. First, every hUlnan being, high or low, rich or poor, white or black, is our lleigh- bore This is the first or lowest grade in tllat relation- ship. And ,ve love our neigllbor as ourselves ,vhen ,ve regard and shun, as a sin against God, all wrong and injustice toward any individual, ho,vever humble, when we desire and se~k to promote the welfare of those around,us not less than our own, when we fecI tlleir wrongs to be our wrongs." . . . . " lhe next higher grade in the 48
THE PREAOHER. 49relationship of neighbor is a society or community. .Such society or community is our neighbor more than anindividual, because it consists of many. Therefore, it ismore to beloved than an individual. Its interests are to beheld paramount to the interests of any individual." . . ."A society or community, then, being more our neighborthan an individual, is to be loved more. Its welfareis always to be consulted in preference to the welfareof any individual member thereof." . . . . " Andnext in the ascending scale of this relationship standsour country. This is more a neighbor than a societyor community-more than any city, town, county,state, or other fractional part of the country. Therefore,the laws of neighborly love require that we should loveour country more than we love any fractional portionthereof; and should be more zealous for the honor andwelfare of the whole than of any fractional part." The great bulk of this preachers sermons concernedthe Sacred Scriptures, and although these relatedmostly to what is known as the internal or spiritualsense, yet he n.ever lost sight of the fact that the literalsense is of equal importance, not only containing thespiritual as a casket contains its jew~ls, but also sub-serving a grand and independent purpose. The literalsense was one of his earliest tllemes and one of his last.As early as 1842 an unpublished sermon contains thesewords:- 4
50 THE PREAOHER. " It has been mercifully provided by the Lord thatthose truths which it is most needful for all to know-those general and fundamental laws of life, whose ob-servance is. indispensable to the welfare of humansociety, as well as to the salvation of the souls of men,should appear, as it were, on the very surface of HisWord,-should be revealed in the literal sense,-soplainly revealed, too, that the simplest mind need noterr in regard to them." Again, he is found saying in the pulpit:- " The literal sense, then, of any portion of the Wordis always the first thing to be ascertained. Al1d we seefrom what has been said how important it is that thissense be correct. For since the literal is the foundationof the spiritual and corresponds to it, like body to soul,it is necessary to know the true literal import of anypassage before we can arrive at its correct spiritualmeaning." But notwithstanding the great stress he placed uponthe letter of the Word, as upon the .valuable andbeautiful casket containing the sacred and wonderfuljewels of the Word, Mr. Barretts sermons and writingsrelated mainly, as a matter of course, to the key for un-locking the casket, to the" Science of Correspondences,"and to the spiritual sense mostly concealed in the letter. It was his peculiar talent and delight to be always en-
THE PREAOHER. 51gaged. in displaying the jewels of the spirit withoutbreaking the casket of the letter. In a man so equally balanced and standing out sowell on all sides it is difficult to find points for unfa-vorable criticism. Crotchets could not flourish in suchsoil. Yet his character was not built on the plan ofthe level plai~. The undulations were sufficientlynumerous. But what could well be said of the manand preacher may not apply to the writer and theo-logian. His writings are smooth-mown lawns, where,if the reader seldom has cause to be surprised, he will,at least, meet with few or no disappointments. At the age of forty Mr. Barrett showed, perhaps, hisgreatest personal attractiveness. He had a fine, sonor-ous voice, and his manner was easy and pleasing. Inthe pulpit he had perfect delivery and clearness of ex-pression, but no stage effect. While his rhetoric wasneither florid nor ornate, he was always logical anddistinct in his utterances. As a preacher he was good;as a writer and theologian he was great. His charac-ter adapted him·for success in any pursuit. He didnot lean to one side. Whatever came against him hewas erect. This was true of him both mentally andphysically. Whatever he needed he could, if necessary,
52 THE PREA.OHER.do himself. What another mans hands could ~o hiscould do. His faculties were general, applying to littleas well as to great things. He was always a wholeman without the help of another. He had no habitswhich could be a disgrace to the man or the preacher,in the home or the pulpit. He used no poisons to in-spire or console him. Nothing vitiated the pure redblood, or made disgusting the breath of life in him.In his old age he needed no artificial and false props.His early good habits became stronger, and the samespirit which led him from the old to the new and gavehim strength and zeal, faith and hope, love and energyin the earlier days remained with hiln to the end. He was an earnest man. always, exhibiting his ear-nestness in his bearing as well as in his -speech. Hisvitality was immense, a fact apparent in the pulpit, inhis work, and in his moments of play. If there wasno uncertainty in his speech, there was none in hisacts. What he did he did warmly. There was nohalf-way work in him. His positiveness and warmthir: any cause made him somewhat dogmatic. But hehated dogmatism and was pleased to recognize the traitas, in some degree, peculiar to the" cloth." Much ofthis quality disappeared in his writings, some of which
• THE PREA.CHER. 53were fine specimens of argument. His" Letters· ontIle Divine Trinity," addressed to Henry Ward Beecher,are lnodels of frank, cleaOn-cut, strong, convincing, andpersuasive reasoning. Out of the pulpit, on themes of the day, he displayedlittle of that flash and fire which would Ilave developedthe brilliant side of his cllaracter. If he ever appearedto forget the divine origin of all force and good in him,and assume the demeanor of a man big in his estimatesof himself and in depreciation of others, it was all inappearance. True humility was one of his prominenttraits, not tIle kind that cringes and fawns, but thatwhich ascribes to the One great source, all of powerand goodness.
VIII. The Writer. In 1871 Mr. Barrett resigned his position as pastorof the Philadelphia Society of the New Church, andthus ended his regular work in the pulpit. Severalthings led to this turning-point in his active career, themain one of which was the view that llad long im-pressed him, that the printing press, even more than tIlepulpit, was the great medium through which to spreadthe heavenly doctrines and give their benefits to theworld. In this beltef he now determined to devote hisentire time to writing, and to translating and publish-ing the writings of Swedenborg, a work for which hewas peculiarly and admirably fitted, notwithstandinghis general adaptability to different pursuits. But therewere other things which concerned him deeply, andwhich had no little share in causing this turn in hislife. In 1865 he proposed to the Philadelphia Societythat they issue for general distribution a monthlytract. This proposition the Society approved of, ~ndthe result was the organization of" The American New 54
THE WRITER. -55Church Tract and Publication Society," with Mr. Bar-rett as manager. During his connection with thissociety not only the writing of the tracts, but the finan-cial management was his work. In 1867 a little magazine, The New Church Jfonthly,was started, of which he was editor, but after threeyears it was discontinued. Several bequests had been made through Mr. Barrettto the" Tract and Publication Society," and its workwas felt through the country. He, llowever, discovereda strong element in the management against him,which was likely to destroy his usefulness, so in 1871,soon after resigning his pastorate, he withdrew entirelyfrom the society. This was a step of no little momentto him, and looked as if it was ending his hopes in thegreat field for whicll he was so well qualified. Buthere again it was only a matter of appearance, as theonly reliable One in the universe was preparing betterthings for him. Some months of discouragement now followed in thisbusy mans life. He had, however, been urged byfriends to start ·an independent publication society.The opportunit), was not long in presenting itself, whenby the gift of a small sum of money from one interested
56 THE WRITER.ill the cause "The Swedenborg Publishing Associa-tion" was incorporated, in March, 1873. Although theaffairs of this new association were not for a time veryprosperous, yet this change was the real beginl1ing ofMr. Barretts life as a writer and expounder of the greatsystem of the New Christianity. It will be l1ecessary tolook backward a little, as his pen had not been idle inthe past. In 1842 his "Lectures on the New Dispensation,"delivered in New York, appeared in book form. Thisis one of his best works, and is twelve lectures on thedoctrines of tIle New Church, the first being a briefand clear sketch .of the life of Emanuel Swedenborg.Four lectures are devoted to the Sacred Scriptures, set-ting forth their character and unique structure, givingthe key to the unalterable and fixed Science of Cor-respondences (the exhaustless store-house of all spiritualsupplies for the New Age of the world); revealing thetrue philosophy of mind alld matter, exhibiting therelation between the natural and the spiritual, reflect-ing and painting the infinite world of causes, and dis-persing the clouds of the literal sense of the Word byrevealing the richness and glory of its internal orspiritual contents. These four lectures on this subject
THE WRITER. 57present in themselves a clear but brief text-book ontllis new science and its application to Scripture in-terpretation. The opening of the illternal sense of the"Tord by means of this science became the great themeof Mr. Barretts life, on which he labored most, andin which he excelled his contemporaries. The re-maining chapters of the "Lectures" are: "The Con-summation of the Age; or, the End of the World," ." The Second Coming of the Lord,"" The Trinity andTrue Object of Worship," " The Glorification of the Sonof Man, Including the Atonement and Regeneration,"and the last lectures relate to Swedenborgs intercoursewith the other world. "TIle Golden Reed," Mr. Barretts next work, wasmainly an attempt to correct the prevailing theory amongNew Churchmen at tllat tilne, that the Churcll signi-fied by the New Jerusaleln was a very limited organ-ized body made up of only those who read and acceptedthe teachings of Swedenborg. This theory Mr. Barrettrejected as false, believing that the Lords New Churchis composed of those who love the Lord.. and keep Hiscommandments, wherever or in whatever creed or faiththey may be found, a belief then having"few followersanlong New Churchmen, being too broad for the Chris-
58 rHE WRITER.tian world. Yet this little work was one of the earliestmeans leading t? an acceptance of truer views amongIlis own brethren at least. This, with the little book,"Beauty for Ashes," and the "Visible Church," werewritten during the years 1854 and 1855, while the au-thor was living in Brooklyn. In 1856 Mr. Barrett moved to Orange, N. J., andwhile there spent most of his time in writing books,pamphlets, and magazine articles, until he went to Phil-adelphia in 1864. While in Orange he wrote the "Letters to HenryWard Beecller on the Divine Trinity," and for three,years edited The Swedenborgian, a small monthly. Here,too, he wrote llis "Catholicity of the New Church andthe Uncatholicity of New Churcllmen." From the tinle of his location in Orange to the lastyears of his life Mr. Barrett wrote a vast number oftracts, pamplllets, and sermons, besides his work inThe Swedenborgian, The New Church Monthly, and TheNew Chtristianity. Indeed, before his location in Brook-lyn he had w~itten many tracts illustrative of variousthemes in the New Theology, and he was one of thefirst American writers to engage ill this kind of work.As a tractarian, lIe ,vas hardly excelled by any other
THE WRITER. 59New Churchman. Some of his larger pamphlets andbooklets were: "Bindin~ and Loosing," " The Man andHis Mission,"" Ecclesiastical Polity,"" The Holy Spirit,""Response to the New Church Messenger," "The NewChurch Signified by the New Jerusalem," "Brief Reviewof Succession in the Ministry," " Brief Statement of theDoctrines of the New Church," "The Allger of tIleLord," "The Way to Heaven," "Love to the Lord,""Doctrine of the Grand Man," "The Bible or theCreed." The first number ,of the little magazine called TheSwedenborgian was issued in January, 1858, while Mr.Barrett resided at Orange, the paper being designed asthe organ of " The American New Church Association."This organization had for its great object the spread ofthe New Christianity through the press, and was in noway connected with the governmental affairs of theNew Church. The first number of this little paper saidon its title-page that it was" Devoted to the Advocacyof Spiritual Christianity and Religious Liberty," andin his advertisement the editor boldly said :- " We are decidedly opposed to the idea that the NewChurch is to be a single great ecclesiastical organiza-tion like tIle Church of ROlne. We shall assert witll-
60 THE WRITER.out qualification tIle complete independence of indi-vidual congregations in the regulation of their ownprivate affairs; and, therefor~ shall strenuously resistevery attempt to establish the subordination of suchcongregations, or their ministers, to the control of anyextraneous human autilority whatever. We believe inthe cooperation and mutual assistance of such societies,but it must be free and voluntary, and no "stiglna orcondemnation must be laid on those who, for reasonsof their own, do not ch<;>ose to engage in it." There were only four volumes of this little magazine.It was Mr. Barretts first experience in editing a paper,and although much of its teaching was very broad formany New Chtlrchmen, wllose vision was yet limited toa narrow field, it was edited with spirit and was filledwith valuable material. The New Ohurch Monthly, of which Mr. Barrett waseditor, was a paper of somewha~ more pretensions thanThe Swedenborgian, but it ran its race in three volumes,the first number appearing in Philadelphia in 1867.Thjs little paper exhibited the mind of its editor onevery page, and was very outspoken in its opposition tosome assumptions and theories of the General Co.n-vention, the general business body of the New Cllurchin America. This publication was decidedly contro-
THE WRITER. 61versial in spirit, showing that a strong man, believinghimself to be right, was ready for combat. The New Christianity appeared in January, 1888, andwas established. in the interest of "The SwedenborgPublishing Association," the position of Mr. Barrett alldhis friends on some points of church government andthe whereabouts of the New Church barring them fromtIle use of the General Conventions organs. The NewChristianity is yet continued, and although Mr. Barrettwithdrew from the chief editorship at the end of threeyears, he furnished articles for its columns until theclose of his life on earth. These were the monthly publications that employedhis busy pen for many years, and, besides these, he con-tinued to publish his works with considerable rapidity. "The Bishops Gun Reversed" was published inPhiladelphia in 1871, "Letters to BeecIler on theFuture Life" appeared in 1872, " The Golden City" in1873, "The Swedenborg Library" was begun in 1875and ended in 1881, " The New Cllurch, its Nature andWhereabout" in 1876, "Swedenborg and Channing"in 1878, "The Question, What are the Doctrines ofthe New Church? Answered" in 1883. The Sweden-borg Publishing Association published in 1883 "The
62 THE WRITER.Science of Correspondence Elucidated," a great part ofwhich was prepared by Mr. Barrett. In 1884 appeared"The Footprints of the New Age;" " Heaven Revealed"in 1885; "The True Catholicism" and "-Ends andUses" in 1886; his" Autobiography" was finished in1890; "A Cloud of Independent Witnesses to theHelpfulness of Swedenborgs Teachings" in 1891, and"Maximus Homo" in 1892. " Beauty for Ashes," one of Ilis earliest works, a littlebook of a hundred pages, set forth the old Calvinisticview in contrast with the modern doctrine concerningthe condition of infants in the other world; the secondpart of this work gives a clear account of the NewChurch teaching on this subject, that all those, how-ever or wherever born, dying under the ripe andcertain age of accountability, are sure of reachingheaven. "The Visible Church," another of his earlier works,first appeared as an article in The New Church Reposi-tory, and immediately afterward, in November, 1855,in the New Church Herald. Treating forcibly one ofthe most important questions, it was soon put in bookform. It was then allowed to run out of print, but, re-vised and enlarged, was again put in type in 1883
THE WRITER. 63under the title of " The Apocalyptic New Jerusalem."This ably written booklet should be of interest to allCIlristians, no less so to men of the so-called old church,than to nominal New Churchmen. Although Mr. Barrett entered the New Church with-out dissent as to the state of its government and with-out critical examination as to its whereabouts, one ofhis earliest discoveries was that the Apocalyptic New·Jerusalem so fully described by Swedenborg, and calledthe" Lords New Church," on earth is really not a vis-ible church, and in the nature of things could not beso. The booklet just mentioned sets forth this matteras it was understood among New Churchmen in 1856,and at every point exhibits the sharp acumen of thedeliberate controversialist, who, while knowing himselfto be right, does not, however, neglect charity, anotherof this authors great themes. T~e task before him naturally divided itself intomany heads: (1) Showing by a critical argument,based wholly on tIle New Testament and tIle statementsof Swedenborg, that the Lords New Church is aninvisible body (His kingdom" on earth) and not achurch organization, or kindred organization, not eventhat composed of the societies called by that name;
64 THE WRITER.(2);that all of tllose, wherever they may be found inthe Christian wO,rld, who in their hearts acknowledgethe Lord and sincerely keep His commandments consti-tute His Church; (3), that this New Cllurch has beenforming for the last hundred years; (4), that the Lord,and He alone, who sees the heart as it really is, canknow who are of this Church; (5), that the LordsChurch can never, therefore, be exactly bounded on thisearth, except by Him, "rhile the external organizations,however variable in doctrines, are necessary and use-ful; (6), that no number (great or small) of men call-ing themselves New Churchmen, even if they are ableto meet all the requisites of the divine standard, canconstitute the Lords New Church on earth, when itmust, of necessity, consist of all Christians, whereverfound, who fill the simplest requirements, and thesemainly as to life and not faith. Although a change has come over New Churchmenon this subject since that day, there are yet many whohold firmly to the views combated by Mr. Barrett. Itis true, however, that the brightest and best of the NewChurch ministers have very broad views on this sub-ject, while they adhere to the General Convention as
THE WR17ER. 65the necessary instrument for binding the Societies inthe common brotherhood of faith and use. Most of these men hold that while it may be impos-sible to locate the members of the Lords New Churcll,it is wise and right to maintain the externalorganiza-tion called by that name, counting those nearest thetrue Church who believe the doctrines that show forthbest in character and life, and leaving the outcolne tothe Lord, as to His external or internal, visible or in-visible, kingdom. 5
IX. The Writer.-( Continued.) " Letters on the Divine Trinity," addressed to HenryWard Beecher, were first printed in The Swedenbor-gian, but later were issued in book form. There is noevidence that Mr. Beecher ever made any reply tothese or the other series, " On the Future Life;" indeed,it was not expected that he would do so. There are seven letters to Mr. Beecher on the Trinit~T.They begin by reviewing the commonly accepted tri-personal doctrine and its consequences; then set forththe new view, closing with the Scripture proofs and anexplanation of the true and reasonable meaning ofFather, Son, and Holy Spirit, as conditions or mani-festations of the one God. Mr. Beecher had said inone of his sermons :- "That mans own being is given to him as the de-termining element by wllich he is to understand allthings outside of himself." . . . "The momellt youundertake to understand anything predicated of theDivine Being, of which there is not some germ, some 66
THE WRITER. 67 seed-form in yourself, to stand as an analogue, that very moment you fall into confusion." This hint Mr. Barrett took up, and on it constructed his argument on the oneness of God and a trinity of qualities in one person. No simpler, clearer, or more convincing and powerful presentation of this great sub- ject of the nature of God and the centering of the Di- vine Being in one person has ever been made than this, addressed to the deservedly popular Brooklyn preacher. "The Catholicity of the New Church and the Un- catholicity of New Churchmen," the next one of Mr. Barretts books, appeari~g in 1863, is now out of print. This little work of 312 pages occasioned no_ little feeling among New Churchmen, but it helped to widen the borders in regard to the Lords New Church. In 1876 Mr. Barrett issued a work of 213 pages on the same subject, called" The New Church, its Nature and Whereabouts," and in 1886 his little book, " True Catholicism," appeared. This last, while containing the substance of.the two preceding works, omits some matters not of importance at a later date, and in it his best thoughts are found, carefully expressed, 011 a sub- ject which had been of such vast interest to him and many others.
68 THE WRITER. "Letters on the Future Life," also addressed to~Henry Ward Beecher, published in 1872, is a compactlittle volume of 191 pages. Three of the six letters werefirst published in "The Golden Age," but, on accountof their importance, the author was induced to add threemore, and make them into a separate volume. Thisbook, while addressed to Mr. Beecher, was designed forreaders generally, and was called forth by statementsmade by the great preacher, the following especially,in one of his sermons :- "Tha.t great Future to which we are going is now allhaze, with here and there a single point jutting out be-f~re us. To those, then, who ask what are to be the con-ditions in the other life of the countless myriads of menwho have been going out of this world through count-less ages, all the answer that can be given, is, we knownot." . . . "Weare as unable to understand it as adog is to understand the nature of a commonwealth." The extremely kind manner in which Mr. Beecher istreated in both works addressed to him applies to thevast multitude which Mr. Barrett ~lt he might beaddressing for time indefinite. The sharp, logicalhandling at every point never descends to a philippic,and while the reader will always find himself pressedonward and delighted by this method, he will also feel
THE WRITER. 69himself strengthened by the lucid presentation of theseapparently far-off, new, and little understood themes. "The Golden City," published in 1873, and repub-lished in 1886, with a supplement, is a neat 12mo of311 pages. By the time Mr. Barrett came to makeadditions to this work, he found that a great change hadcrept into the theories and philosophy of many whohad opposed him years before. Outside of the NewChurch, a host of independent, as well as denomina-tional, witnesses were appearing on his side. But" The Golden City" is mainly a clear and earnest por-trayal of the character and nature of the New Jeru-salem of the Apocalypse. It may, indeed, be taken asMr. Barretts best thoughts on this great subject, andclassed at the top of all writings of consequence fromall sources, for all readers of all creeds, on the mysticcity now descending from heaven. " The Swedenborg Library" was begun in 1875 butnot finished till 1886. This work, in twelve small 16movolumes, contains a very simple and accurate condensa-tion of all Swedenborgs theological writings. Although this work was done after ~Ir. Barrettsviews on the true character and whereabouts of theNew Church had been well known and circulated
70 THE WRITER.(and now largely embraced), nolie of his work forthe spread of the New Theology has been better re-ceived or more highly valued. The last volume, un-like the eleven others going before it, is really a com-pend of Swedenborgs teachings, covering one hundredand twenty-one distinct subjects, and is, perhaps, the mostuseful in this almost priceless little set. The other vol-umes of the work are not only careful condensations ofall the leading subjects taught by Swedenborg, but theyare really more valuable to the ordinary reader andstudent than the original works, as the industrious andgifted compiler has strengthened his own words byadding relevant passages from other parts of the" Writ-ings." Throughout this and all his books and articles,1tlr. Barrett was in the habit of making himself doublysecure by consulting the original Latin in which Swe-denborg wrote, and especially when there was the leastdoubt as to their exact and right meaning and structure. "Swedenborg and Channing," issued in 1878, is aneat little book of 288 pages, mainly designed to showthe similarity between William Ellery Channings viewsand the teachings of Swedenborg. In a sense; it mustbe taken as one of Mr. Barretts kind contributions totIle good feelings of his old friends, the Unitarians.
THE WRITER. 71 "·The Bishops Gun Reversed," published in 1882, isthe most amusing and caustic of the authors contro-versial works. The reason for the writing of this littlebook was the issuing of a pamphlet by Bishop Burgess,of the Episcopal Church, in which were SOlne misstate-ments and misrepresentations, which are met in threedivisions: "Episcopalianism in its own Dress," " Epis-copalianism in Borrowed Robes," and" Episcopalian-ism at the Confessional." "The Question, What are the Doctrines of the NewChurch? Answered," a small book of 144 pages, writtcllin 1883, constitutes one of the books of "The NewChurch Popular Series," published by the "Sweden-borg Publishing Association." This work treats brieflyand clearly of the doctrines of the New Church, com-paring them with the old Theology. The comparisonsare made with the views held in the time of Sweden-borg. The author maintains in all his works that doc-trines and life have been advanced by influx from theother world during the last century. One of Mr. Barretts best works is " Footprints of theNew Age," published in 1884. This shows the signs ofprogress in the last hundred years. It appeals to allChristian people,-a characteristic, indeed, of most of Ilis
72 THE WRITER.writings. If the things actually occurred in the otherworld as set forth by Swedenborg, what might reason-ably follow in this world? If a great general judg-ment took place in the world of spirits, some thingsoccurring here would point to the fact. In the courseof time some fruits of the New Age would appear.Days of tribulation were to mark the second comingof the Lord; and within a quarter of a century of theperiod indicated by Swedenborg, wars and other greatgeneral commotions involving all people were mattersof history. In the Old World there resulted some ad-vance toward human liberty,and in the New World theestablishment of a great free governlnent, destined tolead the race in the footprints of the New Age,lladbeen inaugurated. Everywhere are traceable the signsof tIle second advent. At the head of Mr. Barretts .writings stands his"Heaven Revealed," and next to it his" New View ofHell." The former, a book of 382 pages, appeared in1885; the latter has only 215 pages, and "Tas not printeduntil 1887. These are text-books on the two importantsubjects treated, and contain the sum and substance of allthat is known of the spiritual world and of Swedenborgsteachings in regard to it. Here the reader has all he may
THE WRITER. 73ever need to know in this world of the philosophy of theNew Theology, as to the nature and cllaracter of life inman, and of his future home. TIle other world andall the phases of life and government in itare as clearlyand minutely put before the reader as he himselfwould be able to write the history of his own garden orthe roonl in which he sleeps. These two books alonewould place their author at tIle head of writers on tIleNew Theology. Had he lived to "Trite another book onthe great, fixed Science of Correspondences, he wouldhave left no ground uncovered. He actually contem-plated doing this in his eighty-second year. "Ends and Uses" was published in the authors mostbusy and fruitful period. It has six chapters on the"Ends," and fifteen on the" Uses," of life, and is acondensation of the teachings of Swedenborg on thesesubjects. Here are centered the matters that countabove all things wit}l man in his own book of destiny.It is to be, to do, and to suffer; not alone to think, toreason, and to believe. The doctrine of" Ends and Uses"presents the whys and wherefores of life, and the answerto the question that every sane man must ask himself:How shall I know what my lot will be in the great,certain, inevitable, and now well-known Hereafter?
74 THE WRITER. In 1891 Mr. Barrett wrote Ilis ,!ork, "A Cloud of Independent Witnesses to the Need and IIelpfulness of Swedenborgs Writings," and in 1890 his "Autobi- ography," written at the earnest request of his friends, was finished. In 1892 his "Maximus Homo" ap" peared in a somewhat new coat, together witl1 some others of his earlier sbort writings. "The Cloud of Independe11t Witnesses" consists in part of extracts from a llundred or more letters, mainly from ministers of different denominations, acknowledg- ing the great benefits they were receiving from the writ- ingsof Swedenborg alld the works of New Church writers, and in many cases their entire dependence on this source for their religious philosophy and spiritual pabulum. A large part of the book (of 318 pages) is taken up with the views of the Rev. John Clowes, Edwin Paxton Hood, Henry B. Browning, E. H. Sears, Horace Bush- nell, Henry Drummond, and others. This is considered a part of Mr. Barretts work most useful for the New Church and the world. The" Swedenborg Publishing Association" now sends it as a gift book (on receipt of ten cents postage) to ministers and theological students. The" Autobiography" is the simple, modest story of 1tlr. Barretts life, with sonle very striking scenes and-
THE WRITER. 75events illustrative of the writers adaptability to anypursuit, and the possession of qualities leading tosuccess. "Maximus Homo 2 (Grand Man) is a book of 179pages on a subject which has given New Church min-isters no little trouble. From this subject (very littleunderstood) the mystery is removed and its practicalvalue exhibited. Only fifty pages are taken up withthis topic, and other essays are bound in the samevolume. " The Science of Correspondences Elucidated," whichMr. Barrett brougllt out in its present form, waslargely the work of the Rev.. Edward Madeley, of Eng-land. In 1883 the" Swedenborg Publishing Associa-tion" came into possession of Mr. Madeleys manu-scripts; many notes and extensive additions fromother sources were made by Mr. Barrett, and the wholepublished under the foregoing title, making by far themost complete work now extant on Correspondences. As has been before mentioned, Mr. Barretts readyand facile pen was ever busy for various periodicals,-The Swedenborgian, The New Church Monthly, The NewChristianity, etc. For these he wrote hundreds of arti-
76 THE WRITER. cles never published elsewllere. During his residence in Philadelphia and Germantown he prepared tracts and leaflets without number, and among these were some of his most helpful and able productions. Mr. Barretts work as a writer was immense, and for this he had been specially prepared. Successful in the pulpit, he was still more so as a writer. In the pulpit his words were clear and to tpe point, and in his writ- ings they are the same; he never uses figures or orna- ments, nor indulges in lofty flights, and yet he is never dull. He wrote on great themes only, and always en- larges the readers mental and spiritual vision. His writings arc always practical, and they constitute to- gether a complete library of tIle New Theology, a fact not applying so truly to the work of any otller "Triter in this country or England. More than any other New Church writer, he wrote for the world. .His creed em- braced the whole of mankind. In his principles he copied ·closely the Great Master, acknowledging only -Him. The following selections from his writings might constitute a killd of encyclopedic New Church library: "Heaven Revealed," "The New View of Hell," "Lec- tures on the New Dispensation," "Letters on the Di-•
THE WRITER. 77vine Trinity," "Swedenborg Library," "Ends andUses," "The Science of Correspondences Elucidated,"" A Cloud of Independent Witnesses," "Footprints ofthe New Age," "The True Catholicism."
x. The Theologian. . The ability to preach a good sermon does not consti..tute a theologian, neither does withdrawing from anold creed or church association and finding fault withit when, perhaps, a new one offers less than the old. Tohave the title of D. D. does not necessarily elevate thebearer of it to the rank of a theologian. This title istoO often a mere form, for which the bearer is in no wayresponsible. In these days, in all denominations, theeducation of the clergy is more general and more re-quired; but even a liberal education does not constitutea theologian any more than does a title. Creeds do notmake theology, and to be well up in " discipline" maysignify little. The theologian does not rely upon creeds,but he must know fairly well all creeds and religions.He will never garble or misrepresent. His views willalways be wide and just. He can have no prejudices,religious or otherwise. The Bible, his text-book andguide, will be the Holy of Holies to him, and his greatdelight and work will be in unfolding its beauties and 78
THE THEOLOGIA.N. 79benefits for the uplifting of humanity. His mind andheart will embrace the whole Christian world, and hewill not forget that God works in His own way evenwhere Christianity is unknown. All the worlds are His. Mr. Barretts early associations made him favorableto anti-trinitarianisln, and at the close of his prepara-tory studies his views were yet within the limits of asect. But Cambridge proved to be his best startingground for the work he had before him, since Cam-bridge was not so much a sect school as a divinityschool. It sent out branches in most directions amongold things, but it hardly took root in anything. Underthis influence the field widened, and when Mr. Barrettwent over to the New Church organization, although hewas surrounded by the ritualism and machinery of theold, he believed that this Church was really not amere sect. Even if the new truth was still found inthe old receptacles, among old modes, it was not possi-ble for this Church to be limited to a sect. As headvanced he found himself more secure in his expan-sive views. From the mere learner, explorer, and .teacher, he became the philosopher, theologian, and ex-pounder of a comprehensive New Christianity. At thisearly stage came from his pen the most sectarian of