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for man, and not that man was made for them. Just as that system of government is best for a people which best suits the people who are governed by it, so that organization and that ritual are best which are best adapted to those who adopt them. As they were framed by human skill to fit human needs, so it is proper that human skill should alter all organizations when they become inadequate to the purposes for which they were devised. It is only Babylon that denounces schism ; for it is only Babylon that claims to be supreme. The perfectness of the body of Christ consists not in the impossible unity of identical members, but in the harmony of many diverse ones. therefore be questionable as to prudence, whether a new organization should at any time be attempted; but it is altogether improper to talk of such a step being wicked or unchristian.
Our reasons for forming ourselves into organizations is not because we are exclusively the Lord's church. To say that would be both foolish and impious. It is because we are the fullest receivers of those doctrines which one day will be more or less accepted by all the church; because we can adapt the forms of our worship to the belief we hold ; because we can thus secure intellectual sympathy among the worshippers, as well as fellowship in worship; because thereby we can most easily train our children in our own faith ; because we can thereby best perform our work of disseminating the higher doctrines of the new dispensation among our fellow-men. For these and other such reasons our separate organization is both useful and necessary. Indeed, such a separate organization was sooner or later inevitable.
Our duty to the members of our societies is to labour to make them more and more fully members of the Lord's church, by fostering among them a deeper love to God, a life according to the ten commandments, charity to man, and a zealous and an abundant usefulness. The means to this end are our increasing in the knowledge of the truth, our growing in faith, and our fuller promotion of charitable uses. Thus might we really attain to a central place in the Lord's Internal and Invisible Church—that truly to be occupied by those alone, who, with the largest knowledge of divine things, unite the deepest love, and lives most abounding in the good fruits of the Spirit of our Master and God. This is our relationship to the new and universal church of the Lord.
In our relationship to other religious organizations, we may claim to be equally acceptable to God, if we are equally useful in spiritual things to those who have joined our societies. Yet is our work, in regard both to other Christian denominations and to the world at large
specific and distinct. We are the custodians of the writings of Swedenborg, the earthly guardians of the precious verities of the new dispensation. It is our mission in the world to make them known by every means in our power. This is our use to the public. It is the second great justification of our existence as a separate organization. All who have received the truth owe to its Author the duty of disseminating the truth. The truths of the New Church have been guides, helps, comforters, and stimulators to our own souls. If we would allow then, they would lead us far more interiorly into heavenly love and goodness than any one could advance without their guidance. Already they make the way of our pilgrimage to be a glad and joyous way. They can do for others all that they have done, or might do, for us. Others need the help and consolation of these principles, although they have not grown to recognise their need. With them it is a need not yet become a want. We may rejoice that men are becoming every year more conscious of the need for clearer and fuller light.
The movements which are agitating the whole of Christendom tend unmistakably to dissatisfy men with the old formularies, the old mysteries, and the old surrender of reason in matters of faith. There is hope in the movement, for to become conscious of needing new truth is the precursor to investigating and accepting it. The spirit of inquiry is the genius of progress; and this spirit of inquiry is growing in the world. Men will increasingly crave what in the Divine Providence has been entrusted unto us. Our duty to the world, consequently, is to provide, as far as in us lies, means for communicating to minds thirsting for the water of life, the knowledge of the truths of the new age.
This is a great and honourable mission in the world, and it is ours. The questions which many are beginning to ask with deep seriousness,
The doubts which more than ever before are now bewildering the minds of the earnest, we can satisfy. The new-fashioned objections to Divine things which men are urging, we can refute. Some of the solemn problems of life, death, and eternity, which every age has pondered, we can solve. Over many problems that none can fully solve, we can cast a new ray of light. The Lord, through Swedenborg, has granted to us so much of power. He has thereby appointed to us so much of use.
Our organization into societies, and the meeting of the representatives of those societies to confer together enable us to do this work far more efficiently than could otherwise be possible. Not only to do this work, but also and at the same time to administer to the spiritual wants of those who unite with us in worship, because
we can answer.
they are one with us in faith. We claim no more for our societies than that they are bodies of Christian men and women, who are striving to promote the regeneration of each other, and labouring to impart to the world the knowledge of the doctrines in which we rejoice. The merit of our socie to be measured by their use. We cordially extend to every other religious organization the heartiest sympathy and appreeiation. It may easily be the case that more earnest, more devout, and more faithful servants and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ are to be found in other organizations than are to be met with in ours.
That ought not to be the case, yet it may easily be true. To assert the contrary would be to exhibit spiritual presumption and pride. We may measure and contrast doctrinal intelligence; but we dare not pretend to judge of the spiritual states of men. On one subject we are safe. It is not arrogant to assert that in the doctrines of the New Church we have a vast storehouse of truth which others have not yet obtained. Indeed, the principles we hold rebuke all arrogance; for what manner of men ought we to be to whom the privilege is extended of seeing what we see, and of knowing what we know.
Our twofold duties are therefore plain—to build up and establish the members of our societies in goodness and trnth, and to promulgate to the world the doctrines of the New Dispensation. Both these objects deserve our deepest sympathy, and should command our most active cooperation. By regular worship, by Sunday-schools, by junior members societies, and their various classes, by benevolent societies for the visitation and comfort of the sick and the poor, by instituting reading meetings for mutual instruction and social worship, and by other agencies, we should zealously endeavour to compass the first object. By printing, publishing, preaching, lecturing, tract distribution, colportage, the establishment of day schools, and other similar instrumentalities, we should strive to realize the second great purpose of our societary existence.
While it is quite proper that we should desire to increase the number of members in each society, and also to increase the number of our societies, and likewise to provide them with suitable ministers, yet these objects should be held as subordinate to the larger and nobler purpose of diffusing abroad the knowledge of the truth, and by the truth to lead men to goodness. This view has happily prevailed in our printing societies, in our tract societies, in our missionary work, and in the publication of our magazines. We may point to these things as refutations of any charge of sectarianism which can be brought against us. We do not wish to see any other organization extinguished and merged into ours; but we do wish all men to enter into the knowledge and acceptance of the truth, and thereby to enter into the fuller reception and exercise of charity, that so the whole Christian Church, however diverse in form of government, however differing in ritual, and however various in modes of working, might become one body in the unity of one faith, wherein should harmonise the widest diversity of gifts, and every member of which should strive to vanquish ignorance, to subdue evil, and to promote the coming of the kingdom of our God and Saviour into the world. The disciples of the Lord were knit into union by their common love for their Master : when love for the “one Lord whose name is One" shall fully rule in the Church, disunion shall be banished, and the varieties in external things, which will still prevail, will then only add to the completeness and perfectness of the whole. (H. H. 56, 57).-I am, dear friends, yours most sincerely,
JOHN HYDE. DERBY, August 1869.
SWEDENBORG AND GEOLOGY. A CORRESPONDENT, who signs himself G. H., sends a short quotation from Bishop Berkley and a long one from Sir Charles Lyell, which he considers adverse, if not fatal to Swedenborg's “revelations" respecting the exalted condition of the inhabitants of this earth, who formed the most ancient church. To quote Berkley would be useless, and to quote Lyell is unnecessary, the facts he records being generally known. None feel a deeper interest than the members of the New Church in the recent discoveries of human remains in the drift deposits; and none are more willing to abide by the results to which these are destined to lead. But those who jump to the conclusion that these remains are unmistakable signs of the human race having commenced their existence in the lowest state of savage ignorance and stupidity, entirely inconsistent with the idea of a primeval paradise and a golden age, have still some things to learn, both respecting what the earth records and what Swedenborg teaches. First, these discoveries are recent, and limited to certain localities remote from the region where our author asserts the most ancient church existed. Further discoveries are yet to be made, which may greatly modify, if they do not change, the aspect of the case in regard to the primeval condition of man. Secondly, the statements of Swedenborg, respecting the men of the first church, must be known by those who would form a right judgment on this question. The high state which, he tells us, mankind occupied during the best ages of the first church, has little in common with what is exalted according to the modern idea. Their science was not physical science, their art was not mechanical art, their wisdom was not worldly wisdom. They had, we believe, neither stone implements nor lake dwellings; they neither killed animals to feed on their flesh, nor flayed them to make garments of their skins; possibly they toiled not, neither did they spin; neither sowed, nor reaped, nor gathered into barns; they laid up no treasures upon earth, and reared no proud monuments for posterity. “Their food the fruits, their drink the crystal well,” they lived, as the rest of God's creatures live, without care for the morrow, trusting to their heavenly Father to feed them. Supposing the remains of such a people were to be found, it is quite possible that our modern savants would rejoice over the discovery of some precious specimens of humanity, in the rudest and most helpless stage of man's earliest existence, unless the cranium might indicate a higher type of the race. Living in the greatest possible simplicity, the exalted state of primeval man consisted in his possessing the priceless gifts of spiritual innocence and intuitive wisdom, and in loving and using earthly things for heavenly ends, and seeing in the works of God, above, around, and within him evidences of the Creator's eternal power and Godhead, and the reflected images of his love and wisdom. But this was the condition of man, when the most ancient church was in its best state ; for man had ascended from, as he afterwards descended to, a much less perfect state than that in which he once stood. Those rude signs of the dawn of physical science and art, which the hitherto discovered remains of man have disclosed, may be regarded either as the indications of his pre-Adamite or post-Adamite condition, most probably signs of the commencement of that new epoch in his history, when, having departed from the innocence and wisdom of inward life, he began his outward progression through the path, new to him, of physical art and science. Whichever of these be the real state of the case, the discoveries of geology will, we have no doubt, confirm the testimony of Scripture and its illuminated expositor, respecting the early state of human life.