« 前へ次へ »
establish themselves as a Church, They require funds, and are at present unable to supply them. Whatever richer sympathizers there may be in the country, they do not declare themselves, and it is imagined that some would do so were the affairs of the Church in more prosperous and settled condition.
Without expressing any opinion as to the desirability or feasibility of the plan, it may be mentioned that the friends at Stockholm are anxious to induce some English or American friend or friends to purchase Swedenborg's house and grounds in the Horngatan, with the double purpose of preserving it as a memorial, and of establishing therein the visible nucleus of a New Church Society-a place of meeting, a library of New Church books, etc. It has already been mentioned that the house has recently been purchased, but it is nevertheless still in the market, and they are of opinion that as a mere investment it would not fail to answer well. They argue that so long as they have no standpoint they can make no progress, but with such a start they think they could manage to raise the rent, and, as they say, they believe they could ultimately buy the house--but that, in any case, the house would be sure to let well, and amply repay the purchasers.
I was informed that there was a certain Herr Manby, who was highly spoken of as an educated and intelligent man, and who is very anxious to become a New Church preacher and minister. It was the intention of the Society to hire a room from the 1st October, when they would have stated meetings, at which Mr. Manby would address them. Mr. Manby is a Swede, and reads English, but does not speak it; and it was suggested that if he could be assisted in his desire to be prepared for ordination, it would be an excellent thing both for himself and for the community which wishes for his services.
While in Stockholm I paid a visit to the Library of the Royal Academy of Sciences, with a view of inspecting the MSS. of the works of Swedenborg deposited therein. I hoped, after the memorial which the Committee of the Swedenborg Society caused to be written to the Royal Swedish Academy, that I should find these MSS. in better order and in a more complete condition than they were nine years ago, when Dr. Bayley visited the Library, and made the careful examination which led to the drawing up of the memorial in question. But I regret to state that that memorial appears to have been barren of results. It recommended, or suggested, that the MSS. be all kept together in the order in which they were produced—that the printed
works be arranged together with them, etc. But neither of these suggestions appear to have met with any attention-the manuscripts are irregularly placed in an open bookcase, and in a sort of store-room, which appears to be a depository of unarranged material, instead of being properly and separately arranged in a glazed bookcase, as they certainly ought to be. Moreover, the volumes said to have been lent to Nordenskjold, and never returned by him, are unfortunately still missing—any attempts which have been made to recover them having hitherto proved fruitless.
In Denmark, until eight years ago, absolutism prevailed, and there was the same intolerance as existed in Sweden up to a much more recent period ; but now a greater freedom prevails in the former than in the latter country. The people of Denmark are however of a singularly volatile character, much addicted to schemes of pleasure and amusement, and the teaching of the Lutheran pastors does not much conduce to attract them to anything better. At Copenhagen I was kindly received by the Rev. A. Boyesen, who presides over the New Church Society of that city. Mr. Boyesen is favourably known to the friends of the New Church, not only as an indefatigable pastor, but as an able translator of the Writings of Swedenborg into Dansk and Norsk. He is now engaged in translating the “De Divino Amore,” having already completed the “ Divine Providence" and the “ True Christian Religion.” Besides these, the “New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine ” and “Heaven and Hell” have been published, and are nearly sold out, which may be regarded as an encouraging sign, since of each of the foregoing works one thousand copies were printed. It appears that many, both in Norway and Denmark, read the books, and are willing to acknowledge their truth, but yet hold back, and are discouraged by the general aspect and condition of affairs, and the low estimation in which the works of Swedenborg are held in all Scandinavia.
In Norway, indeed, the principles of religious toleration appear to be better understood than in the other two kingdoms, and freedom of worship has existed there for a longer time; but this circumstance does not appear to have given birth to any societies of New Churchmen; and whatever friends there may be in that country, they are not open and avowed receivers, but only secret sympathizers.
The Society in Copenhagen consists of some fifty persons, and they are much in advance of that at Stockholm, inasmuch as they have a regular place of meeting, a printed liturgy, and, above all, an appointed minister to conduct the service and preach. This Society, however, like that at Stockholm, is poor, and they are unable to raise any considerable stipend for the services of their pastor, Mr. Boyesen. I was present at one of their services, which are held once on Sunday -- viz., at six o'clock in the evening, that being found the most likely hour to get a congregation. The meeting was held in a plain room of the second floor at the back of a house in the Gotha's Gade. The evening was fine, and the streets were crowded with people, and this perhaps may account for the fact that there was less than twenty persons present, inclusive. There was certainly nothing attractive to strangers in the service. The hymns were sung to the accompaniment of a small harmonium, played by a lady of the congregation, and after the somewhat brief liturgy was concluded, Mr. Boyesen, arrayed in the black gown and white ruff of a Lutheran pastor, preached what I doubt not was an excellent sermon, but which unfortunately I could not follow. The service concluded with the administration of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and occupied nearly two hours.
There is another Society, consisting of some twenty persons, at a place about fifty miles from Copenhagen ; and Mr. Boyesen expressed it as his decided opinion that the New Church is making some advance and progress in Denmark. I did not however visit this place, nor Christianstad in Sweden; and have therefore confined my remarks to what I have gathered upon the spot from responsible persons, in preference to retailing any information at second hand.
From these remarks I fear it will be evident that the condition of the New Church in Scandinavia is very far from being that which we might expect or hope—and, as it appears to me, very different from anything which the friends in England and America are aware of. For my own part (and my sources of information were the same as those of others) I was under the impression that the affairs of the New Church in those countries were, if not flourishing, yet at least in the highest degree hopeful; and these impressions received a rude shock when brought face to face with the reality. The account which Mr. Boyesen published in the American Messenger of his missionary visit to Sweden speaks, it is true, in a hopeful spirit; but it is also evidently written under the belief that we were fully aware of the exact condition of the Church at Stockholm, about which it is clear to me that there exists considerable misapprehension. When I expressed myself to the friends in Stockholm as to certain views and impressions
entertained in England in regard, for instance, to the attitude of the State Church towards the followers of Swedenborg, they were much astonished, and emphatically requested me to contradict such impressions, which they said were entirely the reverse of the fact; and it was evident to me that, while we were under the belief that they were regarded with unjaundiced if not friendly eyes by the Lutherans, they thought we were fully aware of the great difficulties and disabilities under which they stood from the opposition and enmity exhibited by the authorities of the Established Church in Sweden.
THE NEW CHURCH IN ENGLAND AND AMERICA.
To the Editor of the Intellectual Repository. The visit of the Rev. Chauncey Giles appears to have placed us in more intimate relationship with our brethren in America.
I think we should do all in our power to maintain unbroken this bond of brotherhood, and I cannot conceive any more ready means to achieve this than for New Churchmen in England and in America to make a point of subscribing for, and diligently reading, both the Intellectual Repository and the New Jerusalem Messenger—the two organs of the New Church at home and abroad.
I cannot tell how great has been my own profit and pleasure for several years in the perusal of both these valuable periodicals, and I think I can do no greater service to those of my friends who do not enjoy this privilege, than by recommending them to place themselves at once in a position to do so.—I am, yours very truly,
AN ENGLISH SUBSCRIBER. LONDON, 13th December 1875.
Review. JESUS IN THE MIDST. By GEORGE Crow. Glasgow: Morison. 1875. This small volume contains many good things, but they are tainted by erroneous views on the first principles of the doctrine of Christ. Three Persons in the Godhead, Vicarious Atonement, and Justification by Faith alone, though not put prominently forward, lie at the foundation, and are the dead fly that taints the whole of the ointment. In looking for “Jesus in the midst,” we were disappointed to find it stated that "it matters not to which of the Persons of the Godhead we apply the grand term Saviour;" nor, consequently, to which of them we apply for salvation ; and that “God and Christ are so one, that it did not matter which died.” The forgiveness of sin is the one grand object to be desired and pursued, and this consists in being freed from the guilt of sin; yet it is admitted that “it is more important, in some respects, to be delivered from sin itself than from its punishment." Just as if sinners could be freed from the punishment due to sin without being freed from sin itself. Yes, because Christ bore the punishment. What advantage would we have gained from His sufferings, if not deliverance from punishment? A much greater advantage, deliverance from sin. We see in this, in some respects, excellent book, how vicarions atonement falsifies all the true, and undermines all the practical, teaching of the Gospel.
EMANUEL SWEDENBORG.–Under this its feeble morality and uncertain doctitle a long, series of most interesting trine, and in its anti-scriptural tendenand well-written papers have appeared cies. If the Church fails to satisfy in the Holborn Guardian and Blooms- man's cravings to know more of the lite bury Chronicle. The last of these, the beyond the tomb, Spiritism brings no thirty-fourth, is before us, from which help, for the dicta of one spirit are conwe give the two concluding paragraphs. tradicted by the next, and nerves anıl From a note at the foot of the article brains are worn into hypochondriacal we learn that “these articles are about attenuation in the endeavour to fashion to be republished in a separate form." any coherent system of ethics out of They will form an admirable introduc- spirit-messages. tion to the Author's Writings, and ought “Whether, however, Swedenborg be to find an extensive circulation among or be not a true seer is a matter for inthe members of the New Church :- dividual judgment, and the purpose of
“Swedenborg's relations of things this sketch is answered in supplying heard and seen in the spiritual world the materials for such a judgment, or at have earned for him the terms Mystic least indicating where they may be and Spiritualist. Because he speaks of found. For his admirable qualities and a land we have not seen and cannot see, worthy life we have learned to respect shall we call him names and shut our Swedenborg.
The list of those who ears?
Such a position may suit those have appreciated his genius daily grows who fancy that nothing more can be more numerous.
One of the latest is known than is known of the other life, Thomas Carlyle, in whose thoughtful and are satisfied with such ignorance. works many very Swedenborgian sentiBut the exposition of a mystery is its ments are to be found. There is no . death, and most of us look forward to a doubt that Swedenborg has outlived time when this Mother of Abomination neglect, contempt and ridicule which and Superstition shall cease to exist. would have extinguished a lesser light. In bringing down to our comprehension It is possible, if the signs of the times the one fact of the nearness of heaven to mean anything, that some day men will earth Swedenborg has done well. As to wonder how they have lived so long in his Memorabilia generally, they abound the shadow of such a genius and not with the most extraordinary statements known him, and will hurry to set up a - it would be wonderful were it not so. pedestal for him amongst the tombs of But it appears that every statement, the departed great. But that would be whether made in his earliest or his no honour to such a man. His books latest work, is perfectly comprehensible, are his best monument, and it would according to the fundamental principles seem that the Swedenborg Society are he himself lays down. There is through- erecting this with the perseverance that out nothing flighty, confused, contradic- begets success. And Swedenborg himtory, or erratic in the relation, and self would say, “Since man is a recipient though we may not see the explanation, of love and wisdom, which are his life we cannot but feel the Author is master from the Lord, it follows that all that of the situation. It is this wonderful man does from thence is from the Lord, consistency of purpose in Swedenborg to whom alone the praise is due.' Not that seems to us to belie the accusation Paul; not Swedenborg, but CHRIST. that he was a mere spirit-medium.
“U.S. E.” it was, we remember, who predicted, some eighty years before the occurrence, REVIVALISM.—The lapse of time since the rise of Spiritism-consequent upon the departure of Messrs. Moody and Sanan inroad of vagrant spirits into the key has afforded opportunity for estiearth plane of the spirit-world, and he mating the value of their work. That frequently warns his readers against it there has been great exaggeration on the and them. Modern Spiritism is de- part of their admirers is everywhere graded in the bad company it keeps, in admitted, and that their partisans have