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as the basis of religious fellowship. Their principal and almost only endeavour has been to examine, amend, and improve the internal and essential parts of the church, the articles of faith, and the moral doctrines; and in the way of Scriptural exegesis and deeper theological investigation, bring them into congruity and harmony with the true sense of the Word of God. From Swedenborg's time to our own, the Swedish defenders of his doctrines have in general sent their translations of his theological works, and their apologies for his whole dogmatical system, as amicable peace heralds into the militant camp of the symbolico-scholastic Lutheranism; and it would be unjust not to recognise that these messengers, with the exception of a very few, have been at least not inhospitably received. To high and low, at the Court, in the universities, and almost throughout the whole country, they have in a friendly manner been introduced; and many of the old church have observed the admonition of the Apostle (Heb. xiii. 2):—"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Thus we find a number of persons in all classes of the people, among peasants, tradesmen, clergymen, noblemen, even princes and kings, who have read and admired Swedenborg's theological works. It is known that Charles XIII., as Duke of Östergöthland, was a a member of the “ Philanthropic Society," whose principal purpose was to translate and publish these precious writings. But this society, as well as another Swedenborg association for “Faith and Charity,” had no long duration. They both ceased when the men who had founded them were gone to a better world. We know also that Charles XIV., John, and Oscar, took under their protection, Geyer, Lundblod, and G. Knös, when some of their writings, composed in the spirit of the New Church, had brought upon these distinguished men either the accusation or the suspicion, on the part of some ultra-orthodox bishops and clergymen, of entertaining heterodox doctrines. Since Geyer, in the year 1821, was solemnly cleared by the jury from all charge of guilt for Swedenborg's sake, no layman or clergyman in Sweden, who has written anything in defence of the New Jerusalem doctrines, has been accused or stigmatised as “infidel,” although almost every year some little book at least of this good stamp has appeared in the book trade. It seems as if the old symbolico-Lutheran anathemas have for ever been silenced, and their brutum fulmen extinguished. A milder genius has from day to day begun to prevail in our national church. Even the orthodox, so zealous before, have been more favourably affected towards the New Jerusalem and its heavenly doctrine, or as our Thorild names it, “The Third Testament, that of open truth.” They now regard the
friends of Swedenborg rather as confederates or allies than as antagonists, and suffer them uncensured and unreproached to write and preach acccording to their conscience. They perceive, more and more, that no other means of interpretation but Swedenborg's doctrine of Correspon. dences is sufficient to explain the Bible and its spiritual and celestial sense, and to refute the speculative and hypercritical arguments of pseudorationalism, which aims at the full denial of the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures and the divinity of Christ. For this alteration in theological sentiment, our thanks are due to the Divine Providence.
It is, no doubt, a very good omen. proves that a new religious age is about to begin even in Sweden; and that our clergy, in general, are now-adays less fearful of “ admitting the understanding in any theological subject” than they were in Swedenborg's time.
The more enlightened among our theologians do not preach a heartless and dead dogmatism, or “faith alone.” On the contrary, they agree with Swedenborg, that love to the Lord, and charity towards our neighbour, are the essentials “on which hangs all the law, and concerning which all the prophets speak.” They appear to have read and laid very
much to their hearts the instruction of our great author, when in his Arcana Cælestia, section 1799, he says—" Doctrinals alone do not constitute the external, much less the internal, of the church; nor do they serve to distinguish churches before the Lord; but this is effected by a life according to doctrinals, all which, whilst they are true, regard charity as their fundamental,—for what is the end and design of doctrinals, but to teach how man should live and become a real man? The several churches in the Christian world are distinguished according to doctrinals; and the members of those churches have hence taken the names of Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Calvinists, or the Reformed, and Gospellers, with many others. This distinction of names arises solely from doctrinals, and would never have taken place if the members of the church had made love to the Lord and charity towards their neighbour the principle of faith. In this case, doctrinals would be only varieties of opinions concerning the mysteries of faith, which they who are true Christians would leave to everyone to receive according to his conscience; whilst it would be the language of their hearts that he is a true Christian who liveth as a Christian, that is, as the Lord teacheth.” With kind regards to all friends, I remain, very truly,
Your affectionate Lund, 6th July, 1862.
some have been rejected, and some Last month we recorded the judgment have been partly sustained and partly of the Court of Arches in the case of rejected, and these are required to be the Rev. Mr. Heath, incumbent of the corrected. church in Brading, Isle of Wight, which It is competent for the parties who pronounced him guilty of heresy, and have instituted these proceedings to come deprived him of his living. This month into Court again, but they must come we have to record the decision of the with a curtailed number of charges, and same Court in the case of Dr. Williams with a diminished prospect of success. and Mr. Wilson, two of the writers in It is not to be supposed they will venthe book entitled “Essays and Reviews.” ture to renew the cause, and matters The great excitement which this volume will therefore be allowed to remain as produced in the public mind has caused they are. Whether renewed or not, the the decision on the merits of the charge careful and elaborate judgment of Dr. against these two gentlemen to be re- Lushington has brought out the legal garded with intense interest.
bearings of the question, as it affects The “Essays and Reviews” were read, the theological liberty of the clergymen or read of, by everybody, and formed, for of the English Church. The Judge was a considerable time, one of the leading careful to lay it down as a principle, topics of conversation. Most of the that the Court in which he presides can views maintained in them had indeed decide upon opinions only as they are been advanced before by clergymen of agreeable or contrary to the Articles of the Church of England, and might be Faith in the Church, as these Articles collected from their works, but no one are by law established. It is not there volume had ever appeared in which were a question whether opinions are or are brought together so many heterodox not in accordance with Scripture; nor opinions; nor bas the church ever fur- is it a question whether or not they nished so large a number of contempo- agree with the views of other clergymen rary authors whose works are deeply or dignitaries—even the highest—in the tinctured with naturalistic, now called Church. However highly he may perrationalistic, opinions. It is not there- sonally respect the opinions of the bench fore to be wondered at that the orthodox of Bishops, as a Judge he has no authoand conservative portion of the church rity to guide him but that of the law. should take the alarm at the appearance The law has declared what are the docof the “Essays and Reviews," and that trines of the Church of England, and the work should be severely criticised by this alone he is bound to decide. in religious periodicals, and that refuta- Although this principle is sometimes tions of its pernicious doctrines should objected to in the
proceedings of Church appear in separate works. But this was Courts, and of other tribunals where considered by some of the more zealous charges of heresy are tried, we do not members of the body as not sufficient regard the objection as well founded. to fix upon the opinions of the essayists A church which has drawn up or adopted and reviewers the brand of heterodoxy, articles of faith, is understood to have and prevent them from spreading among embodied in those articles the doctrines, the people. Legal proceedings were according to the best of their knowledge therefore instituted against two of the and belief, of the Word of God; and so writers, and the highest talent of the long as these articles remain unaltered, Bar was employed on either side. The they are the proper standards by which decision of the Judge was looked forward the views of the members of the body to with intense interest, and has since are to be tried. To appeal to the Scripformed the subject of as much comment, tures in such cases would be to call in and has called forth the expression of as question the articles of faith themselves, different opinions, as the “ Essays and which would be to put the creed of Reviews” themselves. But whatever the church on its trial, instead of the views may exist as to its soundness, the opinions of the individual accused, and judgment of Dr. Lushington is consi- which would unsettle everything and dered to be virtually, or in effect, an settle nothing. There is a point, howacquittal of the parties accused. Some ever, on which there may be a question, of the charges have been sustained, that is, the interpretation of the articles, and this, with the construction put upon tion of religious truth has given religious the statements to which exception is liberty to the human mind. It is that taken, are the points on which the liberty which is now working in some, whole question turns in such trials and and which others wish to restrain. That decisions.
liberty is not, however, accountable for In the Court of Arches the interpre- all that is done under her influence, tation of the Articles, and the construc- or even in her name. One of the first tion of an author's statements, rest of results of liberty is excess. The im. course with the Judge; and in the pre- prisoned mind, when once set free, has sent case Dr. Lushington has ruled that to learn to use its liberty without abusing there are some of the charges which it. Although emancipation makes the a right interpretation and construction slave a free man, it does not necessarily do not sustain. Another principle laid make him a wise man. down by the Judge is, that clergymen Although we see in these “ Essays may entertain what opinions they please; and Reviews" a new mental freedom, they are only accountable for erroneous we cannot expect to find in them a doctrines when they teach them ;—that true and uniform spiritual intelligence. is, the ecclesiastical, like the civil law, They manifest one of the first results only takes cognizance of overt acts. It of freedom-negation,-the denial and is not till a priest has uttered his views casting off of glaring errors. The negain the pulpit, or written them in a tive theology, as it is termed, shows that book, that he is accountable for them to we live in an age of pulling down. Men the Arches Court. But the Judge has are beginning to see the errors of the decided not only that a clergyman shall Old Church, but they have not yet adonly be accountable for what he has vanced so far into the light as to enable published, but that when he is accused, them to discern, or even generally to his very words must be cited, as also accept, the truths of the New. the words of the particular article in The New Church is as a very small the Creed to which they are said to be remnant, operating in the world, like opposed. On this ground some inde- remains in the individual mind, to finite charges have been rejected, espe- moderate and correct, to purify and cially one that spoke of the dangerous enlighten, and finally to subdue all tendency of certain views put forth,— things unto itself. tendencies not being proper subjects on The signs of the times which these which to adjudicate.
proceedings display, tell us that the day The decision of the Judge in this case has dawned, and that the darkness is leaves no room to doubt that the clergy passing away. But they tell us also that of the Church of England, as by law it is our time to work. The affirmative established, enjoy very considerable li- principles-the heavenly truths of the berty of opinion, and at the same time New Jerusalem-are alone able to supply no small degree of security against ill- the religious want which men begin to judged or illiberal prosecution. They feel, and guide them out of the labyrinths do not, however, owe this to the Creed in which they partly acknowledge they itself. Articles of Faith framed three wander. hundred years ago, by men but recently It is our duty to make these truths emancipated from the yoke of the Romish known as extensively as our means will dominion, must be rather narrow; and permit, that those who are prepared it is only by the Church being more may receive them, and enjoy the great · liberal than her Creed that considerable blessing which the truth confers. liberty of opinion is allowed. It will hardly do now to attempt a forced con
HOME. formity to a rigid interpretation of the LIVERPOOL.-INDUCTION OF THE REV. Thirty-nine Articles. The case which
C. G. MACPHERSON. has just been tried will not be the last Tbe services of the Bedford-street to challenge prosecution. The human Society have for many years been con. mind can
no longer be effectually ducted by a few friends from the Manshackled by time-worn symbols. The chester district, amongst whom was Mr. understanding cannot always be kept G. Parry, whose continued services the under subjection to a blind faith. Man society deemed themselves fortunate in now can and will enter rationally into securing, but whose secular duties, on the things of religion. A new dispensa. his removal to Liverpool, prevented him
from efficiently performing those of the deal to be done by that means. Reministerial office. The society then called minding the meeting that, in order that in the aid of Mr. F. Smith, who for a con- their pastor's ministrations might be siderable time gratified and instructed thoroughly successful, they as members the congregation by his very able expo- of the church must strengthen his hands sitions of the Word, and who has been by their own individual exertions, the a great means of inducing individual chairman concluded by hoping the enexertions for securing the services of a gagement between the society and Mr. resident minister, as, however efficiently Macpherson might be of long continuthe Sunday services may be conducted, ance, and attended with profit to both the want of pastoral superintendence minister and people. (Cheers.) Mr. must be very severely felt where a society Barnes moved the following resolution: has not a resident minister. Various - That this society, in giving expresmeetings were held, at which a unani- sion to its hearty welcome to the Rev. mous feeling was expressed that such C. G. Macpherson in his acceptance of steps should be taken as would conduce the pastorship to which he has been to the securing of a minister who would called, would express the earnest hope be likely to suit our wants. The Rev. that the relationship now commenced C. G. Macpherson was solicited to spend may be long continued, and conduce some time amongst us, when the very at once to the spiritual welfare of the able manner in which he conducted the society and the happiness of its minisservices, and his efficiency and zeal in ter. Mr. Barnes expressed his hearty the pastoral duties, soon drew all hearts sympathy with the resolution, observing to him, and it was unanimously agreed that, though his acquaintance with Mr. that in him they had found the right man. Macpherson had been but brief, he The services of Mr. Macpherson having respected him, believing as he did that been secured, his formal appointment the reverend gentleman's heart was in took place on the 5th of June, at a the performance of his duties. He had general meeting; the following account given an earnest of his zeal in years of which was given in the Liverpool gone by, having sacrificed a good 'living' Mercury of the 6th :
(in the Church of England) and a good “ Last evening, a tea party and soirée position in the world for conscience' sake; was held in the school-room beneath and that spoke well for his earnestness. this place of worship, in celebration of Mr. Barnes congratulated the society the induction of the Rev. C. G. Mac- upon having obtained the services of Mr. pherson as the pastor of the congrega. Macpherson, and the reverend gentletion worshipping there. A large party man upon his appointment as their sat down to an excellent tea, after which minister--not in a pecuniary point of Mr. Geo. Pixton was called on to preside, view, but because he had been called to the proceedings having been opened with labour in an almost unlimited field of prayer. Mr. Pixton, in addressing the action, Liverpool being one of the largest meeting, observed that, as most of those cities of the kingdom. He (the speaker) present were aware, they had assembled hoped that the reverendgentleman would for the purpose of cordially welcoming become more and more attached to them Mr. Macpherson on his coming amongst as time rolled on, and that the connecthem. He had never known the con. tion might continue for many years. gregation so unanimous upon any sub- (Applause.) The chairman then called ject as they had been with respect to upon Mr. Parry to second the resoluthe appointment of the reverend gentle- tion, remarking that the latter had for
The latter had a combination of some time performed the services of qualifications. He was an excellent their church in a most efficient manner. preacher, a scholar, and a gentleman. Mr. Parry seconded the resolution in a He had already given them every satis- very good speech, expressing bis acknowfaction as a preacher, and as to his ledgments for the flattering manner in pastoral duties the chairman had no which the bumble services rendered by doubt they would be satisfactorily and him had been spoken of by the chairefficiently performed. Mr. Macpherson man. He assured them that his attachhad already set himself to his task in a ment to the church had undergone no very earnest manner, devoting a portion diminution, though his connection with of his time to visiting the members of them as a preacher had ceased; and the congregation, and there was a great that he would ever be ready by voice or