« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
nearly ended; how can such reasonably expect to receive those blessings which are ever attendant on the sincere spirit of prayer? Some come into the temple of praise when the hymn of praise and gratitude is already sung; how can such pour forth their souls in thanksgiving and praise, so as to join with their brethren in the performance of this essential portion of sacred worship? Others, again, come into the church after a lesson from the Word has been read; how can such benefit by the divine truths which have been solemnly pronounced from the Holy Word ? In all these cases the congregation is not only disturbed, but the sphere of worship is infested by uncongenial states and influences. Let these words of caution against disorders of this kind in reference to public worship, be sufficient.
The author also states in the extract that man "by external worship is imbued with knowledges and prepared to receive things celestial.” The knowledge of truth is the universal receptacle of good ; if we have no knowledges of truth, we have no vessels to contain the oil of goodness. These vessels should be abundantly procured, as the prophet commanded “the widow to borrow vessels of her neighbours not a few.” We must procure for ourselves “bags which wax not old ;"—which should be constantly renewed by interior perceptions of truth from good, by which our knowledge is preserved from lying dead in the memory, or from waxing old and useless. But those who neglect the duties of external worship neglect one means of acquiring knowledges of truth. Many in this busy world have but little time to devote to reading, except it be on the current news of the day, and on the subjects immediately connected with their earthly callings. To the higher subjects of theology and sacred philosophy, and even to the divine Word itself, they dovote but little of their time. Hence with them the Sabbath affords the principal means of acquiring religious knowledges; if these opportunities are neglected, no knowledges of truth are acquired; and the mind remains as to religious sentiment, perception, and feeling, a barren waste, where the enemy may sow his tares, and plant his thorns and his thistles, without resistance. Let these divine uses of external worship, so clearly and so concisely pointed out by Swedenborg, be properly considered, and those who profess to receive the doctrines of the New Church will see, if they live in the neglect of those duties, that their conduct is inconsistent with their profession, and that their great object is not to seek “the kingdom of God and His righteousness in the first place,” as the primary and all important concern of this transitory life.
I am, &c.
MARRIAGE AND ITS LAWS.
To the Editor.
DEAR SIR,—The July No. of the “ Intellectual Repository” contains some strictures on a previous article in your pages on “ Marriage,” &c., in which the writer speaks of marriages between persons of different religion as “revolting to one's perceptions." These terms your correspondent M. A. regards as “very strong and illiberal," and remarks that " they conveyed to his mind a sense of sectarian prejudice," &c. satisfied that if M. A. will read carefully what Swedenborg was commissioned to teach us “ from the Lord” on this subject, he will be led to think differently. In the following passage, which is a direct exposition of the spiritual sense of the Word, language even stronger is used, descriptive of how such marriages are regarded in heaven. If marriages on earth between persons of different religions are regarded as “ heinous" (pro nefandis) in heaven, surely it should not necessarily be from “sectarian prejudice" that they are “revolting to the perceptions” of those who are well instructed in the doctrines of the New Church on the earth. If there are those in the New Church to whom they are not so, from the principles laid down in the following passage, it is the truest charity to instruct them, that they may be enabled to see this most important subject in its true light. When the following passage is understood, does it not amount to a divine command ?
They who are born within the church, and from infancy have imbibed the principles of the Truth of the church, ought not to enter into marriages with those who are out of the church, and have thereby imbibed such things as are not of the church. The reason is, because there is no conjunction between them in the spiritual world; for every one in that world is consociated according to Good and the Truth thence derived; and since there is no conjunction between such in the spiritual world, neither ought there to be any conjunction on earth.
For marriages, regarded in themselves, are conjunctions of minds [animi] and of minds [mentes], the spiritual life of which is derived from the truths and goods of Faith and Charity. On this account marriages on earth, between those who are of a different religion, are also accounted in heaven as heinous ; and especially between those who are of the church with those who are out of the church. This also was the reason why the Jewish and Israelitish nation was forbidden to contract matrimony with the Gentiles, (Deut. vii. 3, 4.) and why it was altogether heinous to commit whoredom with them. (Num xxv. 1-9.). This appears still more evident from the origin of conjugial love as being from the marriage of Good and Truth. When conjugial love descends thence it is heaven itself in man; this [heaven] is destroyed when two conjugial partners are of dissimilar hearts grounded in dissimilar faith." A.C. 8998.
DOCUMENTS CONCERNING THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF EMANUEL
SWEDENBORG, late Member of the House of Nobles in the Royal Diet of Sweden, Assessor of the Royal Board of Mines, Fellow of the Royal Society of Upsala, and of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Stockholm, and Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg. Collected by Dr. J. F. I. Tafel, of Tübingen ; and Edited in English by the Rev. J. H. Smithson, formerly Member of the University of Basel. Enlarged Edition. London: J. S.
Hodson, 22, Portugal-Street; W. White, 36, Bloomsbury-street. The original edition of these Documents appeared in 1841. Since that period, many other Documents which relate to the life and labours of Swedenborg have come to light. In Sweden and Germany several individuals have made diligent researches into the history of this extraordinary man, and the present volume is the result of their endeavours to procure and preserve every well-authenticated Document concerning him. The Manchester Printing Society, seeing the utility of these Documents, have published them in the present form, and presented them to the public as a collection of facts and materials relating to one of the most wonderful men that have ever appeared in the realms of thought, or in the history of literature.
The Editor in the Preface says :
“ This volume consists, as its title imports, of a collection of Documents concerning the Life and Character of E. Swedenborg. As this extraordinary man is beginning to attract the attention of the thinking and serious portion of mankind, every well-authenticated document respecting his life and character will be regarded with deep interest, precisely in proportion as his writings begin to assume that position in the consideration of mankind, which they most certainly deserve to оссиру.
“ Those who are well acquainted with New Church literature will recognize nearly all the documents ; as, however, they are scattered in different volumes, and recorded at different periods since 1790, probably few of the present generation have seen them at all. A more interesting volume, containing so many well authenticated testimonies in illustration of the life and character of the venerable Swedenborg, can scarcely be imagined.
“ The reader will here find the testimonies of the most scientific men of the age, of prime ministers and councillors of state, of kings and queens, of the most distinguished philosophers and poets, of the most esteemed divines, not of one country but of several, all concurring [Enl. Series.—No. 20, vol. ii.]
to demonstrate that the venerable Swedenborg was a man of unblemished life, of exalted piety and virtue, of distinguished eminence as a philosopher in nearly every department of science; honoured by the kings under whom he lived, as one of the most useful members of the community, and revered and loved by a numerous and most respectable circle of acquaintance in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland, and England.
“ These testimonies also prove, that in the economy of a wise and merciful Providence, Swedenborg was placed in an extraordinary position, in which he could acquire information on the most important subjects relating to wisdom, salvation, and happiness ; which information had hitherto, to a very great extent, been precluded from the eyes of mortals. To the unprejudiced reader these Documents also demonstrate that he shed a peculiar lustre on those momentous points of human intelligence 'which so many have desired to look into, but were not able.
“In fact, these testimonies prove what Swedenborg so frequently asserts respecting himself, that his spiritual sight was opened, and that he had, for most important purposes, a communication with the spiritual world; in order, through the Divine Mercy, to be able to communicate intelligence respecting Heaven and Hell, the Spiritual Sense of the Word, and innumerable things of the utmost moment in promoting the wisdom and happiness of men ; but of which they have hitherto been so deplorably ignorant.
“We therefore consider that these Documents, thus arranged, will be of unspeakable service to the cause of the New Church.
“ To this enlarged edition a Supplement of Documents has been added, which have come to light since the first issue of these · Testimonies to the Life and Character of Swedenborg" appeared. These Supplementary Documents, according to the directions appended to each, may be inserted in their proper places in the next edition of this work."
This volume, consisting of all the known facts respecting Swedenborg's life and character, may be considered as an authentic and interesting Biography of that eminent man, whose name will become more and more respected as the pure truths and doctrines of God's Word, and the spiritual realities of the eternal world become objects of esteem and regard amongst men. In order to have more information respecting Swedenborg, and the vast streams of spiritual knowledge he has, through a merciful Providence, been permitted to pour upon the world, his works must be studied. These Documents should be in every private and public library of the New Church.
A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE ENGLISH KINDER GARTEN (CHILDREN'S
GARDEN), FOR THE USE OF MOTHERS, NURSES, AND TEACHERS; Being an Exposition of Froebel's System of Infant Training, accompanied by a great variety of Instructive and Amusing Games, and Industrial and Gymnastic Exercises, also Numerous Songs, Set to Music and Arranged to the Exercises. By Joh. and Bertha Ronge. London: J. S. Hodson, 22, Portugal-street, Lin
coln's Inn. 1855. This is a work much celebrated in Germany as a practical guide in the training of children. It is introduced into numerous families, and is everywhere highly spoken of. Mr. Hodson has brought out, under the superintendence of the authors, Mr. and Mrs. Ronge, an English edition of this useful Guide. The title-page gives a pretty ample idea of the object and nature of the work. There are numerous engravings, which render all the lessons objective and very interesting to children. This work, brought out at the low price at which the publisher presents it to the public, should be in every family circle. We here quote a portion of the preface, which gives an idea of the object and nature of the work:
“ Froebel's System of Infant Training, to which the following work is a Practical Guide, is admitted by the most competent judges to be a great improvement upon all former systems of infant education-superior as they were to the previous practice.
It is evident that much is required in this work to clearly and ably expound the great and useful principles upon which this system is founded, and but a small portion of the labour is here shown that is requisite to reform the nursery and to bring school and home education into harmony. Some guarantee, however, may be afforded to parents and teachers in this country, from the fact that the authors of this work have long laboured, and with success, in the field of education: and that they do not write from mere theoretical knowledge, but from sound practical experience.
* They founded schools and children's gardens in Germany, in the years 1849 and 1850, and introduced the system into this country by forming an Infant Garden at Hampstead, in September, 1851. 'They have also given a scientific exposition of the system in other English works, in tracts, and in magazines, and having trained English children in this country, in company with their own, from the year 1851, they have thus had every opportunity afforded for adapting Froebel's system to the character and habits of the English nation.
Knowing that such a work as the present could only be useful as a demand for it was created in the public mind, the authors have refrained from publishing it until they had what they deemed sufficient evidence of this result, and which they consider to be now manifest. On