leave him to “reconcile the counter-statements of Swedenborg with his own judgment." At any rate so far as the authority of Swedenborg is concerned, representatives ceased at the coming of our Lord, with the exception of two-Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Nevertheless while we believe in the fallibility of mortals, we must believe that it was possible even for Swedenborg to be wrong. But whether he was or was not, others shall decide. It is a matter that each must decide for himself.

Mr. W. is again aware, I presume, that the Apostles have a representative character. In the A. E. 8, Swedenborg says: “By the twelve Apostles are represented and signified all in the Church who are in truths derived from good, thus also, all truths derived from good, from which the Church is; and by each apostle in particular is represented and signified some specific principle. Thus by Peter is represented and signified faith ; by James charity; and by John the good of charity, or the good of love."

“ By the twelve Apostles are represented all who are principled in good and truths from the Lord.” A. C. 9942.

“By apostles are not understood apostles, but all who teach the goods and truths of the Church.” A. R. 79.

It is here seen that the apostles are still representative, and that all who teach the goods and truths of the Church are apostles, but he does not say that all who teach the goods and truths of the Church are representative as the original apostles were, nor are we commanded to appoint an external apostolic order. Nevertheless such a proceeding would be quite as reasonable as to invest the present priesthood—so called—with a representative character.

Thus then from all the evidences offered by Swedenborg, I am forced to the conclusion that ordination, the priesthood, and the laying on of hands, are all without a vestige of authority beyond a council, a diet, a conference, or an individual. If a community of men agree to call certain men priests in consequence of their having agreed to submit to a certain “imposition," so far as I know there is no act of parliament to prevent it; but so far as Swedenborg, scripture and reason aver there is no warrant for such a proceeding.

The matter is one that is left entirely to human judgment. If men prefer priest, or whatever men are pleased to term public teachers of religion, and get along better with than without them, I believe our Good Father has no objection to them.

If God can tolerate the frightful beasts, birds, and reptiles in nature, and the harrowing wickedness amongst men that he does, then that

other men,

sime All-tolerant Being will find no difficulty in tolerating the devices and weaknesses of those striving in the best way they know to uplift down-trodden humanity. It is right that public teachers of morals should be respected, ay, even regarded with veneration, because the more they are respected the more will their power for exercising a good influence upon society or those about them be increased. But to hanker after veneration, and seek to obtain it by means forbidden to

is a meanness and a degradation which no class of honourable men would suffer.

Let teachers of religion boldly announce what the world is more than half conscious of, that their pretensions to special Divine graces are all a hoax, and let them seek influence as other good men do, by services of heart and head, and depend upon it the honest avowal will invest them with a firmer, a wider, and a more lasting respect and influence than the most cleverly concealed deception can ever do. Still human nature is weak, and the sick patient likes the remedy that helped him and his father before him ; and so with the priesthood of our day. They know ordination has brought honour to men of the past, and brings it to men of the present. And as ordination is an old and well-tried remedy, one can hardly blame men for their love of it. Still

, to apply Mr. W.'s gentle insinuation, at the bottom of page 248, “ It is quite possible that the strong inclination sometimes manifested to submit to ordination may arise from the pride of the proprium rather than from a spiritual motive.” Of course I do not say it does ; but as it sounded so charitable, I thought Mr. W. might like to hear it when applied to his own view.

Nor will he be angry with me for copying his example, because " ministers regularly ordained hold a higher status intellectually, as well as socially, to that of the lay preacher," page 250. As Solomon said in a bitterly repentant moment, “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” If modesty were to be personified, I wonder what shape it would assume? Perhaps one of Mr. W.'s exceptions to the above rule, those of the rule being out of the question. Such a being is indeed a sorry sight, very modest, and by no means uncommon.

It would be out of place to give instances against Mr. W.'s next exaggerated assertion, that “those societies which have had the services of one regularly ordained into the ministry, have, as a rule, made the greatest progress, both numerically and in the consolidation of their interests and active uses." His statement is not true at this moment; and I must have proof of its truth as applied to the past before subscribing to it. Again, I remind the reader of Voltaire writing history better without than with facts. I do not accuse Mr. W. of any

wilful perversion. I believe he is incapable of such a proceeding. But I am bound in all conscience to handle his plain and defiant assertions in as plain a manner as he has given them. If I have seemed irreverent, I am not consciously so, and, as Mr. W. says, it “ will, I trust, be overlooked." I am willing to be convinced from Scripture, or Swedenbory, or from reason, of the validity of ordination, of its power to confer certain graces, of its representative character, and therefore of the necessity for its observance, but I must—as I presume every one else must -have authority for everything, and as yet not a sentence of evidence has been produced.

Give the chapter and verse for its validity and representative character, and I am on Mr. W.'s side in an instant. Fail to produce them, as Mr. W. has hitherto done, and, while I believe in the goodness of his intention, I fail to appreciate his intellectual judgment.

R. R. R.


(Continued from page 324.) 4. Next follows the consideration of the third and fourth Ages of the world, in which connexion such subjects as the following are treated of :-The spiritual and natural worlds; the confusion produced by the attempt to illustrate theology by science; the antagonism of the latter to the former in the present day. Theology and science, nevertheless, are shown to be both capable of indefinite development within their respective spheres. It is then shown that development is but the removal of envelopment, and that science is incompetent the unfolding of causes and ends. Then follow some remarks on the order of creation—all things exist from Him who alone, in Himself, Is. The spiritual is clothed with that which is natural—the doctrine of influx. By the principles and truths involved in these and similar subjects, it is sought to elucidate the succession and descent of churches in accordance with the pregnant saying of St. Augustine, that “in the Old Testament the New is enfolded ; in the New Testament the Old is unfolded.' It is shown that the Adamic and Jewish Churches were essentiully the same—the statutes, judgments and laws given to the Israelitish nation were not new for the most part, but had previously existed in the ancient Church. They re the remnants of former Ages, and preserved the continuity of the Catholic Church. “Thus it was that the direct lineage of the Catholic Church began

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from the Adamic Church, thence proceeded to the Noachian, thence to the Hebræan, thence to the Jewish, thence to the Christian ; whence it will continue itself into the Church coming down from God out of heaven.”

“Such is the rationale of the doctrine above maintained by St. Augustine ; it is the real foundation of all the spiritual interpretations by the Church of the Mosaic Law; and he who denies this principle denies the doctrine of the continuity of the Church, and as such, the Catholicity of the Church ; nay, he denies those very laws of Creation, into a knowledge of which the first Church was initiated." (Transition, pp. 78, 79.)

5. The fifth portion of the work treats of the fourth Age of the world, the assumed permanence of dispensations—the Criterion of development

Among the points submitted to special examination are the following -The transition of the Jewish into the Christian dispensation, and the supreme importance of this subject in an age like the present, when old things are, with wonderful rapidity, passing away. The Hebrew term for Age is shown in a very clear and interesting manner to signify something wrapped up, covered over, concealed. Hence, St. Paul speaks of the mystery which had been revealed to him, and “which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men." It is shown why the Jewish dispensation was thought to be final, as also the Christian. An important distinction is taken between the extension and evolution of a dispensation. The end of the Age is shown not to be the same as the end of the World. Our Lord is the King of the Ages, and the FATHER of the Age to come (Isa. ix. 6).

6. Transition of Modes of Biblical Interpretation.Under this head falls the consideration of such subjects as these :-The Lord is the Word ; the Church exists from the Word. The mode of interpreting the Word is the criterion of the dispensation. Authority claimed by the Roman Catholic Church over the Word, even to the extent of saying that whatsoever authority Divine Scripture possesses, is entirely from the Church : and also “ to the Church it belongs to reject or approve the Scripture.” It is then clearly proved that, substantially, the same authority over Holy Scripture is claimed by the Rationalists, and that in the objections of both to what may be called Bible Christianity there is a wonderful agreement.

7. The Churches pass away, the Church remains.—Such is the concluding thesis of this interesting volume. The author proceeds to show that there are the germs of decay in all religious systems. He points out the dangers to which Christianity is, in these days, exposed; and that the Church is continued by the remnant. Some observations


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are made in passing, on the terms Old and Nero as applied to the Church. The Lord provides that there shall always be a Church upon earth, where the Word may be read and the Lord known.

The foregoing is a brief and necessarily imperfect synopsis of the varied and interesting matter of which the volume is mainly composed. The object of the author appears to have been to treat his subject in a general way, and to avoid, as much as possible, entering into details. This is seen in the brief manner in which he touches upon the difficult topics of “ The Old and the New," "To go forth out of the Camp," and others of a similar character. The day is doubtless fast approaching in which these and kindred questions will demand thorough investigation. Those who are able in any degree to discern "the signs of the times ” will be ready to agree with the author when he says that the time has come when plain speaking is absolutely necessary, especially on the subject of the Inspiration of the Scriptures. A Church which “attempts to silence positive infidelity by a negative theology, which is heedless of warnings, and whose very teachers begin to call in question the Divinity of our Lord, is on the way to utter ruin.”

All who take an interest in efforts made to render the writings of Swedenborg more widely known and better understood will thank Mr. Clissold for his valuable contribution to the Theology of the Lord's New Church. It is indeed a labour of love. It is the product of a mind well fitted by varied reading and deep earnest thought to introduce to the general reader, interested in such things, new and satisfactory solutions of some of the gravest and most perplexing religious questions of the day.

We must here draw these remarks to a close, hoping that this effort to bring the truths made known in the writings of Swedenborg face to face with the theological and scientific opinion of the age, will not be wanting in permanent and valuable results. There are doubtless, in the present day, many who are in a state similar to those Englishmen mentioned in a certain spiritual memoir (Apoc. Rev. No. 224), who in their anxiety of mind, arising from the conflicting teachings of their own clergy—the Calvinists, Roman Catholics, and Sectarists-prayed to God on their knees. The answer to their prayer was—Read the Word, and believe in the Lord. To any such this work will be a valuable help, more especially if they study it in the spirit in which it was written, and "bid adieu to the passions, prejudices, and tumultuous theology of the day; and endeavour to rise into those serener regions where alone, apart from all external influences, we can calmly contemplate the Divine laws of Him who is the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last.”

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