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Supper? In His giving the bread and wine, or His flesh and blood, or "the good of the Divine Love, and the truth of the Divine Wisdom," there is an evident propriety. He alone can give His flesh and blood
-can any other fitly give the bread and wine which is to represent and signify the Lord's flesh and blood? What efficacy can there be in any one's merely repeating the Lord's words, with " Jesus said, Take, eat; this is My body;” or “Jesus said, This cup is the new covenant in My blood.” Can men assume to do this even vicariously? The analogy between baptism and the Holy Supper is not complete, because the Lord directly commanded His disciples to baptize, and gave
them a formula—“into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit;" wheras He did nowhere command His disciples to administer the Holy Supper, nor did He give them any form of words to use on the occasion. Jesus baptized no one (John iv. 2); yet He commanded His disciples to administer this ordinance. He did administer the Holy Supper, but did not instruct His disciples to administer it. Any disciple can initiate another into the truths of the Church, but no disciple can even representatively give to another the Lord's flesh and blood.
8. With what kind of bread and and wine ought the Holy Supper to be observed ? The bread of the Passover was certainly unfermented, was the wine unfermented also ?
9. Much is said by E. S. about partaking of the Holy Supper “worthily”—How is a person to know when he is worthy to partake of it? If any one partake unworthily, Paul says, he “shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord;" and that he “eateth and drinketh damnation to himself.” (1 Cor. xi. 27, 29.) Should not this consideration daunt a person from partaking; and likewise deter all from urging young persons, or indeed any person, to approach to the communion ?
10. If the Holy Supper is to be observed as an outward ordinance, on the ground that the Lord administered it, why not the washing of feet? The command to the disciples to wash the feet of the brethren is direct—“If I, then, your Master and Lord, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." (John xiii. 14, 15.) This command is explicit and direct; while the command as to the Holy Supper is limited to the reception. In the one case the Lord enjoins something to be done ; in the other, something to be received. Is it consistent to say that the literal command to actually do some
thing was never intended to be outwardly obeyed; while the command to receive something really meant that that something was to be administered to others ?
11. Paul said, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death TILL HE COME." (1 Cor. xi. 26.) The Lord has come, and is coming, in the Spirit and power of His Word, unlocking its internal treasures, and revealing the comparative unimportance of "the flesh" which "profiteth nothing," and the supreme importance of “the spirit and the life.” Christ and Him glorified is the beautiful gospel which the New Church has to proclaim, rather than “ Christ and Him crucified.” The external Holy Supper was significative of His death : the internal Holy Supper is significant of His life. Is the external ordinance, which commemorated His DEATH, and which was only to endure “till He come,” still of universul and imperative obligation ?
12. What are we to understand by the Lord's declaration that henceforth He would not drink of this fruit of the rine, “ until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom ?” (Matt. xxvi. 29; Mark xiy. 25; Luke xxii. 18.) I am aware that E. S. says, that the appropriation of good from truth, and of truth from good, whereby the intellectual principle is made new, or the man is made spiritual, is sig. nified by“ drinking of this fruit of the vine;" and, that this is not done fully save in the other life, is signified by “ until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom.” (A. C. 5113.) Yet this explanation does not bear immediately on the point as to the outward observance of the Lord's Supper. That supper was made HOLY because Jesus ate and drank of it with His disciples; but if Jesus can no longer eat of the bread, and drink of the cup, with any congregation of His disciples, how can we presume to assert that our communion is the Holy Supper? The very elements which made that supper holy, viz., His administering it, and His having partaken of it, are necessarily absent from our outward observance of a faintly similar form. We can receive the Holy Supper from the hands of the Lord in only an inward and spiritual way; He can partake with us in only an inward and spiritual way; where, then, is the divine authority from the Word for an external observance of the outward form ?
13. Is the eating of the breud, or the drinking of the wine, in an outward and ceremonial fashion, absolutely indispensable for the appropriation of good from truth und truth from good? If “the renewal of man's intellectual principle” must in any sense depend on the ulti
mation of the spiritual reception into the exactly corresponding natural action of eating bread and drinking wine, then some of my previous queries are of new importance, viz., as to the character of the bread and wine; as to the times, method, and formalities of the observance, and as to the only persons who can administer, and those who should partake of it. A fault in any of the correspondents would vitiate the series, and destroy the correspondential efficacy of the act.
14. E. S. says, that “this external symbol was enjoined, because the largest portion of mankind are principled in external worship; and therefore without somewhat external there would scarcely remain anything of a holy principle appertaining to them.” (A. C. 2165.) This evidently implies that the outward ordinance was
as much an accommodation to the external state of the people, in the first Christian dispensation, as was circumcision to the externality of Abraham and the Israelites. Is, then, the one, any more than the other, intended to be of perpetual and universal obligation ?
I confess I am greatly troubled by these and other similar queries in relation to the Holy Supper us an external ordinance. Knowing that other, and very earnest, New Churchmen are in the same condition of mental indecision and uncertainty, and deeming that not only Mr. Woodman, but also other New. Church ministers, are prepared with a satisfactory reply, based on Divine Authority, to these and all other such difficulties; and, believing that a fuller consideration of the subject cannot fail to be profitable to the Church, as well as interesting to all your readers, I venture to solicit the favour of your inserting this letter in your excellent Magazine, and am, dear Sir, yours respectfully,
TRUTH-SEEKER. April 5th, 1869.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE
DEAR SIR,—I think it proper to announce that Mr. Pitman, the Secretary of the Conference, has informed me that it is his intention not to accept a re-appointment to that office; and, therefore, the Conference, at its next session, will have to appoint some other qualified person to perform the duties of that situation.—I am, yours respectfully,
E. D. RENDALL, AVENHAM ROAD, PRESTON.
President of the Sixty-first Conference. May 5th, 1869.
COLPORTAGE: PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT IN
[A Paper read by the Rev. R. STORRY at the Quarterly Meeting of Ministers, held
at Salford, April 28th, and afterwards, on the same evening, at a Special
Meeting of the Manchester and Salford Societies. Published by request.] One of the most prominent and efficient means adopted by the British and Foreign Bible Society for the diffusion of the Word of God is the employment of suitable persons to canvass the several districts where it is most needed, to enter into conversation with the people at their homes, and to encourage them to purchase and read for themselves the Word of life. In this work not less than two hundred persons are employed on the Continent, and a large number in London and other parts of the United Kingdom.
This mode of Christian usefulness is in many respects well suited to the New Church. We have a literature the object of which is to open to the mind a knowledge of the great truths of the Word of God, to restore faith in its teaching, and to extend its wisest and holiest influence over the minds of the whole body of the people. In Lancashire there are local circumstances which render such an agency especially desirable. We have a tract and a printing society, which require such an agency to bring their works into more extensive circulation. We are surrounded by an earnest and intelligent population, in which we might reasonably hope to find purchasers who would be largely benefited by New Church publications. Members of our several societies would also have the works by this means brought more fully under their notice. Their home libraries would in many cases be extended, and their interest in the literature of the Church increased. We should thus, at the same time, extend the borders of the Church and increase the intelligence of her members.
The great Father of all has ever anticipated the wants of His children. Ages before the time arrived for their employment, His creative wisdom had stored the earth with coal and iron, with useful metals and minerals; and the providence which thus anticipated the physical wants of His creatures is not less active in providing the means of their spiritual progress. The truths of the first advent were proclaimed by the living voice. The preachers went out into all the earth. But before the time arrived for this universal promulgation of the “glorious gospel of the blessed God," the Lord had so directed the movements of the ancient world, that even in their age of grossest spiritual darkness, and while seeking only the extension and glory of earthly empire, they had, unconsciously to themselves, prepared the way for the spread of the Gospel. The
and martial ardour of the Romans had projected roads, brought the nations of the earth into mutual intercourse, instituted laws, established forms of government, and spread a civilization which to some extent prepared the way of the Gospel, and offered facilities for the journeyings and labours of its early apostles. The truths of the second advent are of a more interior order than those of the first, and their promulgation is differently provided for. The first was a protest against heathenism, as days of ignorance at which God had winked, and a loud call to repentance and newness of life. It proclaimed the elemental principles of the everlasting Gospel, and intimated the existence in the Word of God of still deeper truths to be hereafter made known to the Church. The second advent is the discovery of these interior truths, and the introduction of the Church thereby into the inner tabernacle of the written Word of God. For the accomplishment of this purpose another agency besides the living voice is required. This agency is the press; and again the providence of the Lord has anticipated the wants of a coming age by providing and familiarizing the world with this agency before its great mission is disclosed. Modern literature is at once a result and an evidence of the new age on which the Church has entered, and a means of preparing the way of the Lord at His second advent.
The members of the New Church have always recognised this feature of the new dispensation. Their earliest and most persistent efforts have been connected with the press. Printing societies have been instituted for the publication of the writings of Swedenborg, and authors whose works illustrate his teaching; and these societies have been among the best supported and most useful of our public institutions. While, however, we have provided books, have we been equally successful in providing the means of their diffusion? It is obvious that books can only benefit the world as they are distributed and read. Piled
upon the shelves of the warehouseman or bookseller they accomplish no useful purpose ; and until we have provided the means, therefore, of their circulation, our work is only half accomplished. The means hitherto employed have been advertisements in the newspapers and magazines. If the writings of our great author, and of New Church writers in general, are only intended for the minds of culture and intelligence, this might be sufficient; but if they are to be extended to the