Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Swedenborg's works to be added to their library.” The president likewise of one of the universities in the United States has ex. pressed, to a member of the New Church in this city, his desire that the writings of Swedenborg should be presented to the institution over which he presides, saying, they should be placed in the library and recommended to be read. These two highly respectable institutions are one thousand miles distant from each other. A copy of the Universal Theology has been presented to, and deposited in, the library of Yale college, New Haven, Connecticut, and for many years past a number of the writings of Swedenborg have been possessed by the library company of Philadelphia, from which they have been borrowed for perusal, by the members and others.

In the city of Philadelphia, the Temple continues to be crowded on the Lord's day, both in the morning and afternoon, and the Church daily becomes more and more a favourite with the public. Baptisms are frequent, and members from time to time are added to the Church. But, over and above this, another very important object is obtained. This city, being the resort of numerous visiters from all parts of the United States, great numbers of respectable persons from a distance, particularly from the westward and southward, have, at different times, attended worship in the Temple, with which they have been highly gratified. Some bave hereby been induced to embrace the doctrines cordially, and many have said they had heretofore imbibed prejudices against them which have been completely removed. Several have declared their intention to read and examine for themselves. In fact, it has been found that the public and open teaching of the doctrines from the pulpit has had a most powerful effect. This is what we might reasonably have expected. What New Churchman can read No. 791 of the Universal Theology, without seeing, as clear as the noon-day sun, that preaching is one of the most important and useful means of disseminating the Truths of the New JerusaJem ? If the Lord himself has so extensively provided for this mode of spreading his Church, may we not expect striking and constantly increasing correspondent effects throughout the world? Great effects in the natural have their origin in the spiritual world. We may therefore look for an increase of inissionary efforts in an accelerated ratio.

There are now resident in the state of Ohio, four ordained ministers of the New Jerusalem Church, which is a greater number than there is in any other state in the Union, New York having two, and Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, each but one. How is this? “ Shall it be so done in our country, that the younger sister shall be married before the first-born ?"

In a country with such an immense territory as the United States, and a population doubling itself every twenty years, where religious prejudices are vanishing like the morning clouds, and . neither political institutions nor religious establishments oppose the slightest impediment to the propagation of the Truth, where even Cæsar says "render to Cæsar the things only that are Cæsar's, and to God the things that are God's,” what may we not hope for the dissemination of the verities of the New Jerusalem. Our population now exceeds ten millions of civilized inhabitants, all of them emigrants or descendants of emigrants from the eastern hemisphere. At the ratio in which we have heretofore multiplied, and which the almost unlimited expanse of our land will long continue, we may expect, within a century, to surpass the population of all Europe. We shall then exhibit to the world the striking picture of a nation of more than one hundred and twenty millions, all speaking the English language, with uniform manners and a general similarity of sentiment, enjoying in the highest degree the liberty of speech and of the press. Amongst a people, like the men of Athens, always inquiring after some new thing, universally occupied in reading the numerous publications of the day, and in the constant habit of debating in public meetings, more or less numerous or dignified, their political and social concerns, with a great readiness of utterance and an uncommon subtlety of argument, the march of religious truth will move with a rapidity not to be calculated. When we reflect that the despised, wandering, exiled son of Abraham hath at length, after a lapse of seventeen centuries, here first acquired a citizenship and a home, that the Christian, the Jew, the Mahometan, and the Gentile may here meet upon equal terms, and as in one grand temple offer up their unrestrained adorations in every varied form to the great I AM, thus representing the whole spiritual world, where all nations and tribes are gathered together; must we not be fully satisfied that this country has been founded under the auspices of the Divine Providence, for the establishment of the last and

noblest dispensation of Divine Truth among men? Even the transplantation of the numerous hordes of degraded Africans, disorderly as it may seem for the present, will appear to the eye, penetrating into the distant future, as forming a part of that great plan of Him who operates on a scale, and for a daration beyond the comprehension of man. Some of our older friends of the New Church may recollect the favourite opinion of a departed enthusiastic friend, from Sweden, who entertained the notion that the New Church would never flourish to any extent, until a communication was opened between the Church in Africa and that in Europe, which event, in his ardent contemplation of correspondencies, he compared to the union of the will and the understanding. It is known that he lost his life, if we are not misinformed, in the pursuit of his favourite system, perishing in the unhealthy climate of Sierra Leone, in one of the early expeditions to that colony. May not Providence be now in this country in the course of accomplishing actually, by this combined with other events, what our friend had but a slight glimpse of in theory, and may we not see in America, thus eventually produced, that complete preparation of the means which are absolutely necessary for the effectual and permanent establishment of the Church? The position of the United States strengthens the conjecture. United on the east by a most active commerce with every port in Europe and Africa; touching on the north-west the extended realms of Russia and the Tartar tribes; bounded on the west by the great Pacific, whose placid surface will afford an easy and uninterrupted communication with China and Southern Asia, whilst Mexico and the other Spanish colonies are in her immediate neighbourhood, looking up to her example and her institutions with a wistful eye, marking every trait for their imitation, what must be the magnificent part she is raised up to perform on the great theatre of uses in the Lord's spiritual kingdom ! PROSPECT OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE NEW CHURCH IN AFRICA. Extract from French papers, translated for the Boston Patriot.

“ A French paper announces as interesting, the publication of a voyage to Africa, by the marquis D'Etgurville, who was led by singular circumstances into the interior of that continent, during the revolution. He mentions hav. ing discovered, near the sources of the Nile, a new empire, its legislation similar to that of China, and he supposes its civilization anterior to that of the Egyptians."

In further confirmation of this, we publish an extract from the Intellectual Repository, for July, 1818, containing further interesting particulars on the same subject.

" I send you the following quotation from the New Times, London newspaper, of 14 April, 1818, which, if you think its contents of sufficient importance, you will probably allow a place in your repository. After relating the sufferings of the marquis D'Etourville, (a French emigrant,) during his captivity in an African nation of the most inhuman character ima. ginable, it proceeds as follows: ‘M. D’Etourville fled to a province situated to the south of the western Mountains of the Moon, near which is the empire of Droglodo, a region hitherto unknown, but by far more civilized than all the neighbouring countries, with which they have no communication whatever. Here he resided ten years in a state of slavery. He says that the policy of their government bears a near resemblance to that of China, and that, like the Chinese, their civilization is maintained from the remotest times. He examined the history of their country, and found their sacred books much resembling, in many respects, the Holy Scriptures. He con. ceives that Genesis has been written according to the geography of that country. M. D’Etoarville has proceeded to France, and intends to publish a large work on the subject.'”

It may be useful to insert the following account of the New Church in Africa, from E. Swedenborg's Continuation concerning the Spiritual World. No. 76—78.

“Such being the character of the Africans, there is therefore at this day a revelation begiin among them, which is communicated from the centre round about, but does not extend to the sea-coasts; they acknowledge one Lord as the Lord of heaven and earth, and laugh at the monks who visit them, and at the Christians who talk of a threefold Divinity, and of salvation by mere thought; asserting, that there is no man, who worships at all, that does not live according to his religion, and that unless a man so lives, he must needs become stupid and wicked, because in such case he receives nothing from heaven: They likewise give to ingenious wickedness the name of stupidity, because there is no life but death in it. I have heard the angels rejoice at this revelation, because thereby a communication is opened with the rational principle in man, which has heretofore been closed up by a general blindness with respect to matters of faith. I was informed, from heaven, that the things contained in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord, concerning the Word, and in the Doctrine of Life for the New Jerusalem, lately published, are now revealed, by word of mouth, by angelic spirits, to the inhabitants of that country. In regard to strangers from Europe, they said, that they are not admitted amongst them; and when any, especially if they are monks, penetrate into their country, they inquire of them wbat they know; and when they relate any particulars concerning their religion, they call them mere trifles, which are even offensive to their ears; and then they send them away to some useful employment; but in case they refuse to work, they sell them for slaves, whom they are allowed by law to punish at pleasure.”

EUROPE. The following letter, from a highly respected friend, containing most important intelligence from the continent of Europe, will be perused by our readers with the greatest delight.

“ My dear Sir, “ We are very apt to judge of the state and progress of the New Church, by the numbers of those who are in the reception of the new doctrines, and we are at times inclined to lament, that there is not a more universal desire excited to embrace a system, which disposes into symmetry and order, all sciences, arts, employments, and conditions of life, and which, by unfolding the interiors of the Holy Word, will, like the Urim and Thummim, give responses of wisdom and consolation, according to the spiritual wants and distresses of each. But surely in this we form an erroneous judgment, and are anxious only, because we cannot discover, in those operations which embrace the whole, and at the same time the eternal end of each, our own external transitory views, and our feeble means for their accomplisli ment.Looking a little deeper than the mere surface, or manifestation of this glorious dispensation, we acknowledge with devout gratitude to our Eternut Futher, that His ways of gently leading his children to Himself, are as manifold as human minds, and that in this, His second coming, every perception of truth which leads to good, and to the love of the LORD, as its supreme and only source, is a Revelation of Himself, and in the recipient mind, and there only, He builds his holy Church. But this is a sight which can only be seen by Him, who is the essential life and soul of all; we must be content, and rejoice to see it manifested in the improvement of society, in the more general freedom of thought, the dissipation of the mists of prejudice, and the reception of the pure doctrines of truth, in the understanding and the life. In all these, I am happy to say, we have had lately abundant testi. monies of that hidden operation, which we thus view as in a mirror, and these I shall have the pleasure of repeating to you, that yourself and our friends may increase our joy by participation.

“ First then, with respect to the reception of the new doctrines ; our friend Mr. Ley, an English gentleman settled at Rotterdam, has lately advertised in the continental papers, the existence of societies, instituted in this kingdom, for the purpose of printing and publishing the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, and requesting that communications might be sent to us from those societies and individuals who had embraced the heavenly doctrines. The effect of this gentleman's kindness has been most gratifying and satis. factory. We have had letters from Switzerland, the north of Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, and I am pretty confident that our friends in America will be highly pleased when they read their contents in our next annual report. From Switzerland we have a letter written by the Curé of a small town, who is at the same time, the leader of three small societies, established

« PoprzedniaDalej »