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the many channels which are open to him, and the Committee has made the most liberal arrangements as regards price. To promote the largest possible circulation, the sum of £10 has been sent Mr. Mitnacht, to be spent in advertising the work in the Continental papers. The March Dividends have been received by the Treasurer, and the balance in hand is £88, 9s. 10d.
Scandinavia.--The first volume of the True Christian Religion in Norwegian left the press about the time of the last Annual Meeting, and in April last the Rev. A. Boyesen writes that this volume, “which is now in the book-stores, will cause some change in the minds of earnest seeking people, but as such are few, the sale of this excellent work will certainly go on very slowly.” Preparations are being made for printing the second and concluding volume of this work.
India.—No communication has yet been received from Baboo Mozoondar as regards the distribution and reception of the volumes given to him for presentation to his fellow-countrymen. It is not however improbable that many of the passages in the works in sympathy with the idea of the Divine unity and the embodiment of charity in the life, which are so prominent in the teachings of the Indian reformers, may have found their way into some of the publications of the Brahmo Somaj.
Documents.—Copies of the first volume of the Documents were sent for review to the editors of the following papers and magazines :Quarterly, Edinburgh, *British Quarterly, Westminster, Contemporary, Fortnightly, * Athenceum, * Academy, Times, * Daily News, * Daily Telegraph, * Standard, *Globe, Pall Mall Gazette, Guardian. Particulars of the copies presented in Sweden appear in the list of presentations. Reviews of the work appeared in the papers and magazines marked thus*. The second volume is in the press, and 500 pages have been stereotyped. Dr. Tafel was unable to complete the MS. for the printer before he left for America, therefore some little delay will take place in its publication, but no longer time than is absolutely necessary will be occupied.
Huber Bequest.-No further information has been received from Mr. Roy, the acting executor, since the last report.
Auxiliary Society.—The Committee feels it to be due to the Auxiliary of the Missionary and Tract Society to express the highest opinion of the important uses that new Society is performing in connection with the religious and other publications of the day, and the utterances of many of the recognized leaders of religious thought. The Committee has gladly seconded its judicious efforts by granting any works which have been required for presentation to authors or the press.
In conclusion, your Committee has faithfully endeavoured to promote-to use the words of the late Mr. Attwood—“the more wide and effectual diffusion of the vital and momentous truths contained in the writings of Swedenborg” in the “manner best calculated to achieve
that most desirable object." This it has been enabled the better to do by the generous assistance it has received from meinbers whose names will ever live in the records of the Society. The Committee trusts that the great impulse which has been given to the circulation of the works during the past few years will be amply sustained, until the great truths contained in the writings are known universally, and become the means by which the will of the Lord may be done on earth, as it is done in heaven.
The Treasurer read his accounts. Mr. BATEMAN, M.R.C.S., proposed the following resolution :“That the Report of the Committee and the Treasurer's Accounts received, be adopted, and printed for circulation, and that this meeting especially approves of the action of the Committee in continuing in so energetic a manner the important work of presenting copies of the True Christian Religion and the Apocalypse Revealed to ministers of all denominations."
Mr. Bateman said the evidence they had in the Committee's Report of the good work done, and to be done, should elicit their hearty approval of the Committee's operations, and the zeal displayed. Swedenborgians could no longer be called a little sect. The New Church is an universal Church, the means by which Divine providence was changing the aspect of Christianity throughout the world. They believed an influence was descending from God disposing men towards a higher light and life, and Swedenborg's writings were preparing mankind for the reception of that influence, and disseminating more Christian views than had ever before existed. The members ought to be satisfied with the work the Committee had done and were doing, and sustain the new Committee in every possible way. It was not to be surmised that they had reached their goal; far from it! The more they advanced the more clearly they saw the necessity for increased exertions. He recollected when their books were published partly in London and partly in Manchester; the result being, that with difference of type, paper, and binding, a set of these volumes looked higgledy-piggledy. What a different appearance their books now had ! And as to price. He remembered paying £1, ls. for the True Christian Religion, and 3s. extra for the Appendix. Now the book could be had for 2s. 6d., and was being obtained by ministers of all denominations for the expense of postage. Not many years ago a Swedenborgian was looked upon as one who had been bitten by a madman, and was a little mad himself. Now people were beginning to acknowledge that the writings of Swedenborg satisfied the want pointed out by the Bishop of Peterborough in the letter they had heard read. For these writings opened up spiritual views of things which as yet have only been regarded carnally; and they were being examined and inquired into, prayerfully and devoutly, on all sides. Many authors were working upon Swedenborg's writings, and ministers were most popular who were most imbued with New Church teaching. On every hand there were inquiries respecting Swedenborg's writings, and clergymen would soon find themselves in an atmosphere of Swedenborgianism, and would have to be prepared to answer the questions of their people. The Society had always devoted itself to the diffusion of Swedenborg's doctrines, and in no sectarian spirit. The New Church was a part of the Holy Catholic Church, and its operations extended throughout the civilized world. Already had Swedenborg's works been translated into English, French, Italian, German, Russian, Polish, Swedish, and many other tongues. He begged the meeting to support the Society with heart and hand.
DR. STOCKER seconded the resolution. He felt that the work which had been done was very encouraging. But the first thing to be considered was, For whom were they working? If Swedenborg was the servant of the Lord, the work they had in hand was a Divine work, and it was in that light alone it should be regarded. Looking at the length of time it had taken to bring about the results already achieved, every one knew that a person who found out and promulgated valuable truths, was always an era before his time. Swedenborg's name was rising in estimation where other names much thought of fifty or sixty years ago had sunk into oblivion. Swedenborg's works revealed a right idea of the Deity and a satisfactory interpretation of the Scriptures, and seeing the value of these doctrines, each should help forward with all his heart, and soul, and mind the useful work of that noble Society.
Mr. R. JOBSON well knew from experience in other quarters that the Society was carrying on an important work by distributing the works amongst the clergy. As an instance of the remarkable manner in which Swedenborg's doctrines were becoming appreciated, he stated that a relative of his having occasion to call at Jamaica on a voyage home from the West Indies, paid a visit to the mountains there. Looking about for rest and refreshment he came across a lonely cottage, and was surprised to see among some books on the table Dr. Bayley's Brighton Lectures and Hearen and Hell. He took occasion to remark to the good woman of the house, who by the way was a Scotchwoman, that he knew Dr. Bayley, and had heard him preach. She replied that she had not only read the books, but she thoroughly believed in them. The same gentleman told him (Mr. Jobson) that on board the steamer there was some discussion on the subject of the resurrection, and venturing to give his views on the subject, one of the party remarked, “Those are the ideas of Swedenborg, I have some of his books downstairs," and he ran down and fetched the True Christiun Religion. These little incidents, Mr. Jobson remarked, were proofs of the distinguishing characteristics of New Church doctrines, and were an incentive to renewed exertions.
Dr. Sexton spoke with some diffidence before so many better acquainted with Swedenborg's works than he was. As a recipient of those works he had benefited from the Society's existence. The works of Swedenborg produced an effect upon his mind greater than all the works he had read before, and he was therefore in a position to testify as to their value. He had been a sceptic twenty years,
and was mainly driven to it by, the difficulties of the Trinitarian dogma. He would never have had those experiences had he been acquainted with the writings of Swedenborg. He daily came into contact with large numbers of persons of different denominations, and he confidently asserted that the views of Swedenborg were permeating society from top to bottom. He often questioned people he met upon the subject of the Trinity, and elicited replies which showed that the old views were disappearing. When he reminded these people that their views coincided with those of Swedenborg, they told him they would take an early opportunity of perusing Swedenborg's works. He maintained that many of Swedenborg's doctrines were coming to the fore. The doctrine of a tripersonal Deity was fast disappearing, and the Deity of Christ being conspicuously recognised. That was a fact of great importance; for all thought must tend in that direction. It was the grandest truth that had ever been made known; it dispelled all theological difficulties, and bridged the chasm between the infinite and the finite. He could not trust himself to speak upon that subject; the warmth of his enthusiasm would surprise them if he did. He could not mention Swedenborg's name but with deep admiration. He (Swedenborg) had strode over the whole of the age, and the greatest of men were insignificant in comparison with him. He throws a flood of light upon the greatest of all questions revealed, the conditions and life of the other world, and shows the way to prepare for it. He was sure the New Church was not a sect; it was an Universal Church. The time was not far distant when the Lord's Second Advent would be realized outside the Church, originating important reforms which would surprise our most ardent reformers. (Loud applause.)
The CHAIRMAN then put the resolution to the meeting, and it was carried nem. con.
Mr. R. STOCKER proposed and Mr. H. BATEMAN seconded the appointment of Mr. Watson as Treasurer, which was carried.
Mr. Watson briefly returned thanks.
Messrs. Arthur Faraday and J. R. Hooker were re-appointed Auditors for the ensuing year.
The Rev. Dr. BAYLEY pointed out that, owing to the fact that the Secretary was, by the laws of the Society, elected by the Committee and not by that meeting, they only knew the value of Mr. Elliott by the work he did. He felt he must drag him out of this obscurity, and in a highly eulogistic speech reviewed the work the Secretary had accomplished, commented upon the skill and zeal shown by him, and proposed a hearty vote of thanks for his valuable services.
Mr. WATSON seconded the proposition, and after some observations from the Chairman, it was put to the vote and carried with acclamation,
Mr. T. H. ELLIOTT thought a mistake had been made. It was not the individual who carried to and fro the bricks needed for the erection of a building who received praise, but the architect. Mr. Att
wood had given the Committee £1000, and told them to spend it, and he had only been following out these instructions. He assured them he felt himself greatly honoured by contributing in even a slight degree to the dissemination of Swedenborgian theology and philosophy.
Mr. E. H. BAYLEY begged to withdraw for the present a motion of which he had given notice relative to a reduction in the annual subscription from 10s. to 5s.
The Rev. Dr. BAYLEY moved the following resolution :
“That the advancement and happiness of mankind depend upon the diffusion and acceptance of truths, spiritual, rational, and scieutific; and as the writings of Swedenborg contain such truths in unparalleled abundance, admirably unfolded and enforced, this Society, established for their circulation, is worthy of the support of the ministers and members of every Christian denomination.”
Dr. BAYLEY said it was self-evident, at least to all thoughtful persons, that the advancement and happiness of mankind depended upon the diffusion and acceptance of spiritual, rational, and scientific truths. Those who did not think deeply asked, “Why do you bother people about your views ? let them alone. Our fathers were decent folk in their way, and why can't we be let alone to go on in the same way as they did ? That spirit of apathy produced the greatest difficulties they had to encounter, but it must be overcome. He was reminded of an anecdote about the Spanish muleteers, who had many years ago a custom of loading one of the panniers of their mules with fruit, and filling up the other with stones, etc., to balance the weight. This practice had existed for ages, and when one of them found out that it was just as well to balance the panniers with fruit, and save a journey up and down the mountains, his innovation was resisted. “No one," they said, “could tell what dangers would come if they altered the system of their forefathers,” and it took a long time to drive this little sense into their brains. Apathy was considered by the ancients as the greatest of all opposing gods. It was this they had to encounter before their success and advance were secured. "If the truth shall make you free," said the Lord,
ye shall be free indeed.” We must know, love, and do the truth ; so should we advance in every mode of life, spiritual, rational, and scientific. Divine revelations were always made to a few men prepared to receive them. The Pope of Rome did just the contrary. He called all his old people together, not to find out the truth, but to assert that what they thought true was true. That sort of thing was retrograde, and led rather to a use of the wrong end of the pastoral staff upon those who discredited their dogmas. The Christian Church at first was in a minority, but our Lord said, “Fear not, little flock; it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” The minority became a majority, and a great system was founded. They had the privilege now of being in the minority, but there were sufficient to show that the truth makes men bright and happy, able to live like angels and glorify the Lord daily; not only in promulgating the truth, but showing they believed it by doing