And other parts:



Author of several Works in Defence of the New Jerusalem.



Of Birmingham

SHALL PRAISE THE LORD." - Psalm cii. 18.






THE assumption, by an association of religious men, of the title of "The New Jerusalem Church," requires no defence or explanation, except to those who are unacquainted with the principles which that title represents, and are ignorant of the motives which prompted its earliest members to adopt that sacred designation. Upon the profession of these principles the organization so named has been founded, and their recognition, its members believe, is essential to its continuance. Although the few earnest Christian men with whom it took its rise in England, firmly believed that the doctrines which formed their bond of external union, were unequivocally those alone which expressed the true sense of the Sacred Scriptures - essentially different as those doctrines were to all other accepted creeds or articles of faith, - yet it was not inconsistent with their convictions to believe also, that no external organization could include all of the Lord's Church on Earth - that the members of the New Jerusalem could be numbered only by its Divine King - that the laws of spiritual affinity could break over the barriers of space, and cement in one the hearts of those who never looked each other in the face, or grasped each other by the hand.

For these reasons, doubtless, the New Jerusalem Church has seldom if ever been charged with arrogance for the adoption of its name; and its most prominent doctrines have been necessarily a safeguard against the spirit of sectarianism, or bigotry, or religious pride in its consistent members. Deeply impressed with the truths contained in the Writings of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, upon whom they found good reason to rely as a specially-prepared and divinely-appointed "servant of the Lord," they sought the most natural, the only efficient, and therefore the wisest means of aiding the declared mission of their great teacher; confidently persuaded that they were not originating a new sect, or proclaiming a new religion of human invention, but were the humble promulgators of a New Dispensation of Christianity to the world.

The importance of the following History may be partially anticipated, therefore, as it is the record of nearly a century's struggles by those who undertook to brave, in their endeavours to establish a New Church, the consequent opposition of the sects, and the difficulties more than likely to arise among themselves; and it will probably continue to possess an amount of interest which will not lie confined to the present circle or generation of New-Churchmen alone. It claims the additional value of being chiefly from the pen of one who was amongst the most active promoters of the organization, - one whose great ability and sound judgment were perhaps mainly instrumental, under Divine Providence, in giving form and solidity to the whole movement.

The New Dispensation of Christianity is considered to date from the Last Judgment (spoken of in the Revelations), which was accomplished in the Spiritual World in the year 1757; the results of which, it is maintained by those who are familiar with the philosophy of the New Church, are clearly perceptible in the rapid progress made since then in the arts and sciences; in their increased and marvellous application to human wants; in the greatly improved character of popular literature, and the still growing appreciation of it among the peoples of all Christian countries; and in the facilities opened up for the advancement of both secular and religious education. Now, more than ever, "through the whole order of creation and the whole scheme of Providence, we observe marks of a progressive advancement and a gradual discovery of truth." The temples of Paganism appear to be tottering; light is breaking in on Mahommedan and Papal darkness; and there is an antagonism at work, - an antagonism of spiritual principles, - obvious in our leading Universities, bidding fair soon to be felt in every country, in every city, in every home.

A number of Swedenborg's Works had been published prior to the Last Judgment; but they are nearly all in explanation and advocacy of those very principles of truth, charity, and freedom to which the religious and philosophical worlds are evidently drifting, and with which, to an incalculable extent, they are even now imbued.

These works attracted but little notice till the year 1783, when several gentlemen who had read and appreciated their contents, resolved to ascertain if possible how many other readers would be willing to acknowledge a like estimate of Swedenborg and his Writings. This was attempted by means of public advertisement, which was met by a response from only five persons. Though but few in number, they were deeply impressed with the power contained in the harmonious, rational, Scriptural, faultless system of Theology which had been discovered to them; and were therefore not only strong in their efforts to associate as societies for religious purposes, but capable, eventually of establishing that external Church of the New Jerusalem whose members can now be numbered in every quarter of the globe.

All the former part of this History is a record of the Writer's own personal knowledge and experience in the earlier progress of the Church, and much of the latter part is derived from sources which are becoming daily of less easy access, being extracted from the Reports of the several Institutions of the Church. With these Institutions the writer was most intimately connected, particularly with those devoted to Missionary purposes - he being himself a most zealous, successful, and favourite Missionary.

About the year 1824, the Author withdrew from the labours of an active public life, and retired into the private sphere of his own family circle. It is supposed that about this period he commenced the task, which, at the instance of some friends of the Church, he had undertaken, of writing this History. He brought it down to the year 1830; but from various circumstances was prevented from proceeding further with it; and his health failing, he entirely relinquished it in 1834, as will appear from the following memorandum annexed to the MS.:-

"As it is probable, that I cannot proceed any further with this History, I must close here, [as closed,] and, leave it to others after me to carry it on either from the year it is brought to, or from some preceding year, as may be thought most proper.

"Nov. 28, 1834=78.                            "ROBT. HINDMARSH."

The Author departed this life, at Gravesend, on the 2nd of January, 1835, aged 76; and was interred in the churchyard at Milton-next-Gravesend, where a gravestone briefly records his services to the Church.

At the meeting of the General Conference, the representative body of the Church, in the month of August of the same year, a communication from the Author's son was read, respecting some MSS. in his possession, relating to church affairs, left by the departed; and which he wished to see published. Amongst these was that of this History of the Church; which it was supposed would cost from L250 to L300 printing, and might, when printed, be sold for 18s. a copy. The Conference, however, not having funds applicable to such a purpose, and perhaps the suitable time and state not having arrived, declined to undertake the work, and the MS. has remained with the family till the year 1857, when it passed by purchase into the hands of the present Publisher. The length of time the Work has been passing through the press, has been rendered necessary by the many references that had to be made of a corroboratory nature, and the time required in examining into and tracing to their results, as at present existing, many of the circumstances related.

The Editor has given considerable attention to all the details; and acknowledges most thankfully, the aid that he has in this way received. He has adhered most faithfully to the original throughout. The only deviation that he has deemed it necessary to make has been the disuse of the title "Baron" when Swedenborg is spoken of, except in the reprint or quotation of Original Documents. All the original notes are retained, and those added are signed "ED."

The Portraits herein given are deemed most correct likenesses; and the Autographs are of undoubted authenticity; it is therefore hoped, that, upon the whole, this Work will be worthy of the Church whose external History it records.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 2

                            RISE AND PROGRESS


                            THE NEW CHURCH

                            SIGNIFIED BY THE NEW JERUSALEM IN

                            THE REVELATION.


                            CHAP. 1.

As one of the earliest receivers of the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem in this kingdom, and the first who took measures for the formation of a society in London, whose object was to acquire for themselves a more full knowledge of those doctrines, and to propagate the same among mankind, by circulating the Theological Writings of the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg as extensively as possible; I have been earnestly and repeatedly solicited to communicate to the public an account of the Rise and Progress of the New Church in Great Britain and elsewhere, more particularly in reference to its External Appearance, and the establishment of Divine Worship among its professors. This task I will now endeavour plainly and briefly to perform, so far as my own knowledge, and the information received from others, will enable me to do it with certainty. And though I shall be under the necessity of frequently naming myself as taking an active part in the transactions of those early days of the Church, I trust no one will charge me with aspiring to any higher character, than that of a servant, in common with my fellow-labourers, whom the Lord has been pleased to make use of as humble instruments in accomplishing His divine will.

During the life-time of the Author, Emanuel Swedenborg, it appears, there were but few individuals who cordially embraced his writings. Among these were the following persons of distinguished reputation abroad, viz., Count Hopken, many years Prime Minister to the King of Sweden; Dr. Beyer, Greek Professor and Assessor in the Consistory of
Gottenburg; General Tuxen, Commissioner of War at Elsineur;


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 3 Mr. Robsahm, one of the Directors of the Bank at Stockholm; Dr. Rosen, of Gottenburg; Hallenius, Bishop of West-Gothia, the successor of Swedenborg's father*; Counsellor Sandel, Superintendant of the Mines in Sweden; Superintendant Oetinger; Count de Tessin; Count Bonde; Count D'Ekelblad; Count de Bjelke; Mr. Wenngren, of Gottenburg; Mr. Oronoskull, a Russian Monk; and several others. In England there were still fewer; but the following names deserve to be recorded, viz., Dr. Messiter, a Physician, of London; the Rev. Thomas Hartley, M.A., Rector of Winwick, in Northamptonshire, but residing at East Malling, near Maidstone, in Kent; Dr. Hampe, of London, a learned Philosopher, who was Preceptor to George the Second; Christopher Springer, Esq., Swedish Consul at the Port of London, and the intimate friend of Swedenborg; Mr. William Cookworthy, a Chemist and Druggist, of Plymouth; the Rev. Mr. Ferelius, a Swedish Clergyman, residing in London; and Mr. Stephen Penny, of Dartmouth. Both Dr. Messiter and Mr. Hartley were in the habit of visiting and corresponding with him at his lodgings in Great Bath Street, Cold Bath Fields, Clerkenwell, London. Mr. Cookworthy also once paid him a visit, a short time before his death, in company with Mr. Hartley.

* His father's name was Jesper Swedberg.- ED.

In 1750, Mr. John Lewis, a bookseller and printer, No. 1, Paternoster Row, London, printed and published, at the expense of Swedenborg himself, an English translation of the Sixteenth and five following Chapters of the Arcana Coelestia, in quarto. The advertisement, which he circulated, on this occasion, through the usual channels of information, is well worthy of being preserved; as it shews the high opinion he entertained of the noble Author's Writings, and of the generosity of his disposition in causing them to be printed and published at so cheap a rate, that readers of every class might have a ready access to the important truths contained in them. Mr. Lewis's advertisement was couched in the following terms:

                                   "Paternoster Row, February, 5. 1750.
"ADVERTISEMENT, by JOHN LEWIS, Printer and Publisher, in Paternoster Row, near Cheapside, London. Be it known unto all the learned and curious, that this day is published the First Number of ARCANA COELESTIA, or HEAVENLY SECRETS, which are in the Sacred Scripture, or Word of the Lord, laid open; as they are found in the SIXTEENTH CHAPTER OF GENESIS: together with the Wonderful Things that have been seen in the World of Spirits, and in the Heaven of Angels.

"This Work is intended to be such an exposition of the whole Bible, as was never attempted in any language before. The Author is a learned foreigner, who wrote and printed the first volume of the same work but last year, all in Latin, which may be seen at my shop in Paternoster Row, as above-mentioned.

"And now the second volume is printing both in Latin and English; to be published in cheap Numbers, that the public may have it in an easier manner, in either tongue, than in whole volumes.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 4

"It must be confessed, that this nation abounds with a variety of commentaries and expositions on the Holy Bible; yet when we consider what an inexhaustible fund of knowledge the Sacred Scripture contains, the importance of the subjects it treats of, and the vast concern every man has in those things they relate and recommend, we may cease to wonder that so many ingenious pens have been employed in sounding the depths of this vast ocean; and he must be a very dull writer indeed, who does not find a pretty large number of readers of any work he may publish of this kind. I would be far from depreciating the merit of any man's performance, nay, I will allow, that it is owing to the labours of learned and pious men, in their disquisitions after truth in the Bible, that we of this kingdom have been enabled to discern truth from error, and to know more of the mind and will of God in his Word, than the priests of Rome were willing we should. Yet give me leave to add, that these Sacred Writings are capable of speaking to the heart and understanding of man, by more ways than have been thought of or put in practice; and he who can discover new treasures in these Sacred Mines, and produce from them such rich jewels as were never yet seen by the eye of man, will undoubtedly challenge our strictest attention, and deserve encouragement in his pious labours.- This then may be said of our Author. He hath struck out a new path through this deep abyss, which no man ever trod before; he has left all the commentators and expositors to stand on their own footing; he neither meddles nor interferes with any of them; his thoughts are all his own; and the ingenious and sublime turn he has given to every thing in the Scripture, he has copied from no man; and therefore, even in this respect, he hath some title to the regard of the ingenious and learned world.

"It is true, when a reader comes to peruse his work, if he expects to understand him with a slight and cursory reading, he will find himself greatly mistaken; his thoughts are too sublime and lofty to be surveyed with a weak or a wanton eye; his language is quite different from the common modes of speech; and his sense is sometimes so deep and profound, as not to be readily apprehended by a common understanding. Whoever therefore takes this book in hand, and finds passages in it not easily intelligible, let him not throw it by as a thing of no value, nor content himself with a bare perusal; but let him read it over and over again; let him study the drift, and design of the Author; and I will answer for it, that the more and oftener he reads it, the more instruction and delight he will receive from it. The Author has a depth, which, if once fathomed, (and it is not unfathomable,) will yield the noblest repast to a pious mind. But if any one imagines that I say this to puff a book, in the sale of which my interest is so nearly concerned, any gentlemen is welcome to peruse it at my shop, and to purchase it or not, as his own judgment shall direct him.

"Nothing recommends a book more effectually to the public, than the eminence and credit of its Author; nothing is more notorious, than that a weak performance, if it appears under a great name, shall be better received in the world than the most sublime and ingenious productions of an obscure person: so that it is not merit, but prejudice, that generally governs the judgment of men.

"Though the Author of Arcana Coelestia is undoubtedly a very learned and great man, and his works highly esteemed by the literati, yet he is no less distinguished for his modesty than his great talents; so that he will not suffer his name to be made public. But though I am positively forbid to discover that, yet I hope he will excuse me if I venture to mention his benign and generous qualities. How he bestowed his time and labours in former years, I am not certainly informed; (though I have heard by those who have been long acquainted with him, that they were employed in the same manner as I am going to relate;) but what I have been an eye-witness to I can declare with certain truth; and therefore I do aver, that this gentleman, with indefatigable pains and labour, spent one whole year in studying and writing the first volume of ARCANA COELESTIA, was at the expense of two hundred pounds to print it, and also advanced two hundred pounds more for the printing of this second volume; and when he had done this, he gave express orders that all the money that should arise in the sale of this large work should be given towards the charge of the propagation of the gospel. He is so far from desiring to make a gain of his labours, that he will not receive one farthing back of the four hundred pounds he hath expended; and for that reason his works will come exceeding cheap to the public.

"I further declare, I have not the least reason in the world to believe him a bigot to any mode or method of religion; I know not what community he belongs to, or whether he belongs to any; if any one can guess by his Writings, he knows where to find them. But it matters not what or who the person is that writes, if his Writings are founded on truth, and agreeable to such learned men as are competent judges of them. The deepest and most learned, as well as most valuable pieces, are sometimes misunderstood and rejected many years, even by learned men themselves; to instance only three performances out of the many that might be produced, viz., Locke on Human Understanding, Milton's Paradise Lost, and Prideaux's Connection of the Old and New Testament.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 5 Those who have been conversant with books, especially in the trading way, cannot be ignorant of the difficulties these valuable pieces have met with in making their way into the world: and it is as remarkable now to observe, how they have been called for and admired for many years past.

"How this great work of ARCANA COELESTIA will succeed in the world, is impossible at present to determine. If all men of learning were of the same mind with the ingenious and pious Mr. Penny, of Dartmouth, we need not fear success; for in his letter to me on the publication of the first volume are these following words: 'I have long ardently wished to see the historical part of the Old Testament, which seems only to regard the Jewish dispensation, (and on that account too lightly regarded by the major part of the present Christian world,) proved to be as delightful, instructive, and as necessary for the knowledge of Christians, as the New. This, ARCANA COELESTIA gives me the fullest satisfaction of,' &c. A copy of this Letter was printed at large in the Daily Advertiser of Christmas Day, 1749. Now this delightful, instructive, and necessary knowledge cannot be expected from this part of Holy Writ, unless the historical part of the Old Testament be allegorized in some such manner as our Latin Author has here done it. And the great and learned, as well as inspired St. Paul clearly gives encouragement to this way of writing, Gal. iv. 24. And our Author neither rejects nor disturbs the literal sense by his allegorical exposition.

"Soon after the publication of Mr. Penny's letter before- mentioned, a grave, judicious, and learned gentleman was pleased to call at one of the booksellers" where this famous Latin book was appointed to be sold; and when he had cast his eye over part of the work, he inquired who the Author was; but being told that the Author would not be known,- 'Well, (said the gentleman,) I confess that at these years I am not fond of new acquaintance, but should be extremely glad to have some conversation with him; for (continued he, with great earnestness,) I never saw, nor heard, nor read of so surprising a man in all my days!'

"Any one of small judgment may guess at the cheapness of the Work, when he finds that six hundred and forty quarto pages in Latin of the first volume, are sold for no more than six shillings unbound. But this second volume, which is now publishing in Latin and English, will be unaccountably cheap, as any one may conclude, even by the postage of the Latin copy from abroad: for the bare postage of this first Number cost no less than twelve shillings, and, now it is printed, doth make fifty-two quarto pages in the English tongue; and all to be sold for no more than eight-pence, which is not half the price that such a quantity of paper and print is generally sold for. The postage of the second Number came to eighteen shillings; and that of the third amounted to one pound two shillings; and yet these two Numbers are to be sold for no more than nine-pence each: so that from hence it is easy, to imagine how cheap the whole will be, especially when printed in such a grand and pompous manner at so low a price. But it is the generous Author's absolute command that it should be so, who, it is plain, wants neither purse nor spirit to carry on his laudable undertaking.

"As the copy comes from a foreign country, and as one Number may contain near double the quantity of another, it is utterly impossible to fix a certain regular time for the publication of each. But this the public may be assured of, that when a fresh Number is published, it shall be advertised in the Newspapers. Those who are pleased to give their orders to the news-carriers, will have every Number as certainly as though they were apprised of the certain time of its coming out. And the price will be printed on the title of each English Number; (and every Latin Number will be of the same price with the English;) so that the readers may be sure that they will not be imposed upon: for sometimes the bulk of the book will plainly appear to be worth five times as much as will be required for it.

"Those who are so happy as to be well acquainted with the Latin tongue, will be highly delighted with the Author's elegant and sublime language."

From the above Advertisement it appears, that the Author, after publishing the first volume, in Latin, of the Arcana Coelestia, which contains fifteen Chapters of Genesis, changed his original plan of publication, and commenced the second volume, beginning with the Sixteenth Chapter, as the first of a series of Numbers, each containing one Chapter, to be continued throughout the succeeding parts of the Work.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 6 Probably he thought this would be an accommodation to the public, and the means of bringing it into more general circulation. But after the experiment of publishing six Numbers in this way, viz., from the 16th to the 21st chapter, which are regularly numbered I., II., III., IV., V., and VI., and now make the second volume in Latin; and after observing the apathy and heartless taste, with which his Work was received by the Christian world at large, he no doubt thought it expedient to revert to his former mode of publication, and to give the remainder in complete volumes, as we now have them.

Mr. Lewis states in his Advertisement, that he had received a Letter from Mr. Penny, of Dartmouth, (from which he also gives a short extract,) expressive of the high opinion he entertained of the Arcana Coelestia, and that a copy of such Letter was inserted in the Daily Advertiser of Christmas Day, 1749. After many years search for the Paper of that day, it was at length found by a friend, who forwarded a copy of Mr. Penny's Letter to the Editors of the Intellectual Repository, and they inserted it in their 10th Number, for April, 1826, p. 180, New Series. The Letter, together with a Note from Mr. Lewis to the Editor of the Daily Advertiser, requesting him to publish it, was as follows:-

                             "To the Editor.


"If you'll insert the following Letter in your Paper, it may induce the curious in the learned world to peruse a work very entertaining and pleasant, and oblige,

                                                                "Sir, Yours, &c.,

                                                                "JOHN LEWIS."

                     MR. PENNY'S LETTER.

"To Mr. John Lewis, in Paternoster Row, Cheapside, London.

                                                        "Dartmouth, Oct. 15, 1749.


"Accidentally reading the advertisement of Arcana Coelestia, excited by the oddness of the title, I presently ordered my friend in London to send me one. The extraordinary degree of pleasure the reading of it has given me, and the yet more expected from what more is to be published, induces me to request advice as often as any new publication happens, which I apprehend to be designed annually. My reason for troubling you is, because I very rarely see any of the public papers, and consequently future advertisements may escape my knowledge; which I hope will excuse me.

"I have long ardently wished to see the historical part of the Old Testament, which seems only to regard the Jewish dispensation, (and upon that account is too lightly regarded by the major part of the present Christian world,) proved to be as delightful, instructive, and as necessary for the knowledge of Christians, as the New. This, Arcana Coelestia gives me the fullest satisfaction of. But the illumined Author, whoever he is, (is it Mr. Law?) must expect a considerable army of gownmen to draw their pens against him; 'tis a blessing their power is prescribed within impassable bounds.

"The favour of a line in answer, to know what dependence I may make upon you, will very much oblige,


                     "Your most humble Servant,

                                                               "STEPHEN PENNY.

P.S. Perhaps the Author was concerned in the publication of Mr. Butchinson's works? Has he published any other work? and at what price?"


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 7

To this the Bookseller appended the following notice:

"This large Latin book is neatly printed in 4to.; and sold by Mr. Nourse, at the Lamb, opposite Catherine Street, in the Strand; Mr. Ware, at the Bible, on Ludgate Hill; and by John Lewis, printer of the same, as above-mentioned. - Price 6s. unbound.

The translation of the Sixteenth Chapter of Genesis*, which was advertised by Mr. Lewis, was made (as I have been informed) by Mr. John Merchant, a literary gentleman of good character, at the express desire of the Author himself, who remunerated him for his trouble.** And it is probable, that the Doctrine of Life and the Brief Exposition of the Doctrine of the New Church, originally published, the former in 1763, and the latter in 1769, were translated by the same hand, or perhaps by Mr. William Cookworthy***, in or about the same years. It was this first translation of the Brief Exposition, of which Dr. Messiter speaks in the postscript of his letter to the Rev. H. Hamilton, Professor of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh, where he says, "Whatever esteem the Latin work may deserve, this I am sure will procure but little, it is so indifferently translated." A new translation of the Brief Exposition was afterwards made and published by me in the year 1789.

* This was published in parts, in both Latin and English.-ED.

** A copy of this (imperfect), and one part of the Latin, is in the possession of the Rev. E. Madeley, of Birmingham; in the inside of the cover of the first is written, in the hand-writing of John Augustus Tulk Esq., the fact here stated, that it was translated by Mr. John Merchant. W. T. bought this copy in 1783.-ED.

*** In the Memoir of W. Cookworthy, of Plymouth, by his grandson, it is stated that he became acquainted with the Writings of Swedenborg in 1760, and that he translated The Doctrine of Life.- ED.

In the year 1770, Mr. Hartley translated, and published, in quarto, the Treatise on the Intercourse between the Soul and Body, under the title of A Theosophic Lucubration on the Nature of Influx, as it respects the Communication and Operations of Soul and Body; to which he prefixed an excellent preface. But neither this nor the former publications produced much effect in England, although considerable expense was incurred in advertising them. So little at that time were professing Christians disposed to listen to the lessons of wisdom which the writings of Swedenborg are now by many thousands acknowledged to contain.

The Author died at his lodgings No.26, Great Bath Street, Cold Bath Fields, Clerkenwell, London*, on the 29th of March, 1772, in the 85th year of his age; about which time, or soon after, some of the Latin works providentially fell into the hands of the Rev. John Clowes**, Rector of St. John's, Manchester, a gentleman eminent for his piety, learning, and extraordinary labours in translating the whole of the Arcana Coelestia, the True Christian Religion, containing the Universal Theology of the New Church, the Treatise on Conjugial Love, and the Treatise on the Earths in the Universe, &c.; besides publishing many original and eminently useful works. While these and other works of our much-esteemed Author were in the course of publication, a great interest began to be excited in different parts of the kingdom, particularly in and about Manchester, where the worthy translator resided.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 8 The labours of so able and upright a clergyman, whose name added weight to every undertaking in which he engaged, could not long remain unnoticed. The pulpit and the press incessantly announced the sublime truths of the new revelation; and many individuals, who heard and read them with astonishment and delight, were led to adore the Divine Mercy, for having been pleased a second time to visit and redeem his people.

* The particular house has since been pulled down; but a new one has been built on the same spot, and bears the same No.-ED.

** See Memoir, by himself, 2nd edition, 1849. He died on the 29th of May, 1831. - ED.

In 1778 appeared Mr. Hartley's translation of the Treatise on Heaven and Hell*; and in 1781 Mr. Clowes's translation of the True Christian Religion, containing the Universal Theology of the New Church. In 1782 a Society was formed in Manchester, consisting of gentlemen who were both able and willing to promote the cause of truth, by printing and publishing the works of Baron Swedenborg in the English language: and to their honour be it spoken, they have never relaxed in their praise-worthy endeavours to enlighten and benefit the Christian world. Their exertions, countenanced and supported, as they have all along been, by their venerable pastor, and by others of congenial mind and sentiment, have been continued, without abatement, to the present day. But let the society speak for itself. In the Twenty-fifth Report of its Proceedings, published in 1827, the following pleasing and highly satisfactory information is communicated.

* In the Memoir of Cookworthy, before referred to, it is stated that he (Cookworthy) "translated the Treatise on Heaven and Hell, under the revision of Thomas Hartley, Rector of Winwick, in Northamptonshire." Thus it appears that Mr. Hartley revised the edition, and wrote the Preface which has been so much and deservedly admired. -ED.

"It is well known, that the works of the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg were written and published in the Latin language, and consequently, that during the Author's life, and for some time after his death, the receivers of the new doctrine were limited to a few pious, learned, and discerning individuals. These worthy and early recipients soon became impressed with a conviction of the necessity of making translations of the Writings into the English language, in order that the knowledge of them might be more widely and extensively diffused. With a view to commence and carry on the work of printing and publishing such translations, the Manchester Printing Society was formed in the year 1782.

"That early period of the New Church may be likened to the 'day of small things,' and also to the 'grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which, indeed, is the least of all seeds:' yet the Society were not discouraged in their undertaking because their numbers were few, being fully satisfied that the Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg was a messenger from the Lord, appointed to announce to mankind the descent of the holy city, New Jerusalem, mentioned in the book of Revelations. They were, indeed, well aware, that on account of the doctrines contained in the Writings of the Hon. Author, being so contrary to the prevailing sentiments then maintained in the Christian world, a long period must elapse before the reception of them would become general.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 9 But the Society perceiving that these Writings contain within themselves the clearest evidence of their heavenly origin, they proceeded to print and to publish volume after volume, under a firm persuasion, that truth would finally triumph over every obstacle, and remove every impediment that might stand in its way. It may indeed be said of the New Church, that its growth is almost imperceptible; but when the Society look back to the time of their commencement, and compare the past with the present state of the Church, there seems to be ample cause for thankfulness, in beholding such visible and manifest proofs of its increase and extension. The whole of the Theological Writings of the illustrious Swedenborg have been published in the English language, and many of them have gone through several new editions: and the Society entertain the pleasing hope, that the time is not far distant, when a similar provision will be made for the various inhabitants of the Christian world. Indeed already a considerable portion of the Writings has been translated into the French language, by the disinterested efforts of one of our wealthy and distinguished brethren (John Augustus Tulk, Esq.)*; and though, according to report, the reception of the New doctrines, by the French, has hitherto taken place only in a very limited degree, yet, from what is said by Swedenborg in the Apocalypse Revealed, n. 745, there is good reason to believe, that the doctrines will be received hereafter, by that nation, in a more extended degree. Several years ago a Society was formed in Sweden, for the purpose of translating and publishing the Writings in the Swedish language; and it is understood, that several volumes of the Arcana Coelestia have been already printed in that language. In Germany also an effort was lately made by Dr. Tafel to publish the Writings in the German language; but unexpected obstacles have arisen to compel him, for the present, to suspend the important undertaking."

* The principal demand for these translations was, at the time, from Russia.- ED.

Great, however, as were the exertions of our Manchester friends in making known the doctrines of the New Church, by printing and publishing them in the manner described, it does not appear, that any idea had as yet occurred to them of forming a separate congregation for the public worship of the Lord, on the principles of the New Jerusalem. The receivers of the new doctrines in Manchester, Whitefield, Radcliffe, Bolton, Eccles, and some other parts of Lancashire, were content to associate together at each other's houses, chiefly for the purpose of reading the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, and conversing upon them. In London a few individuals only were known to read the Writings, and even those few had scarcely any acquaintance with each other. But a new era of the Church was about to take place; and London, being the centre of the British dominions, was destined by Divine Providence to become the centre likewise of the New Jerusalem in Europe. For the information and satisfaction of those, who wish to trace effects from their causes, or to see how a small grain of mustard seed sown in the earth has shot forth its branches, so as to give promise of its becoming in due time a great tree, capable of lodging and sheltering the fowls of the air, it may be expedient to give a general outline of the rise and progress of the first Society formed in the metropolis for the propagation of the heavenly doctrines. And as it so happened, that the writer of this account was himself an active agent in, as well as eye-witness of, the various events to be recorded, "it seemed good to him, (if he may be permitted to use the language of an Evangelist on a similar occasion,) having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first," (Luke i. 3) to note them in their order, as they occurred.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 10

It was before observed, that the quarto edition of the Treatise on Heaven and Hell appeared in English in the year 1778. The printer was Mr. James Phillips, a Quaker, residing in George Yard, Lombard Street, London; and it was owing to this circumstance, that I first heard of the name of Swedenborg, as I was at that time an inmate in the house of another Quaker, Mr. Josiah Collier, who was also a printer, and a partner in the firm of Fry and Co., letter-founders and printers, in Worship Street, near Finsbury Square. This family was intimately acquainted with Mr. Phillips; and it frequently happened, that their conversation at table turned on the extraordinary character of Swedenborg, and his reported visits both to heaven and hell. On hearing their remarks, from which it appeared they had no great faith in the Author's declarations, I much regretted, that nothing certain was known of the state of man after death; little imagining, that the information I was so desirous of obtaining was to be found in all its fulness in Swedenborg's Writings. I was then in the nineteenth year of my age; and I allowed several years to pass over my head, before I came to the resolution of making myself acquainted with the Writings of a man, of whom from time to time I had heard the most extraordinary accounts. Meanwhile, observing the divisions which obtained in the Christian Church, I was anxious to acquire a knowledge of the truth; but was determined to unite myself with no sect or party, until I had made a full examination of the various doctrines taught, and compared them with the Sacred Scriptures: for these I believed to contain a revelation from heaven, though capable of a just or an unjust interpretation, according to the different states of illumination with different readers. I was particularly desirous of understanding the nature of the Divine Trinity; for which purpose I read many authors, and heard many preachers, of different denominations, yet without obtaining from any or all of them any thing like a satisfactory or rational solution of the subject. In my estimation, it appeared a contradiction to assert, that Three Divine Persons have existed from eternity, each of whom singly and by himself is God and Lord, and yet that there are not Three Gods and Lords, but only One! Neither was it enough to be told, that it was a great mystery, incapable of being explained or rationally understood, and that therefore it must be implicitly believed without further inquiry.

To ascertain, if possible, the real truth in the midst of this confusion, I examined the Scriptures as carefully as I could for myself, and, after close investigation, I came at length to this conclusion, That there is and can be only One God in One Divine Person, and that the Lord Jesus Christ is that God.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 11 Yet, as mention is repeatedly made, in the Sacred Scriptures, of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, it appeared most evident, that something of Triplicity is compatible with the Divine Unity: and the only way, in which I could at that time reconcile the apparent incongruity, was by considering, that the One God is called the Father by virtue of his being the Creator; the Son, by virtue of his being the Redeemer; and the Holy Spirit, by virtue of his being the Regenerator and Comforter of his people: thus, that there was not Three Divine Persons in the Godhead, but Three Divine Characters uniting in the Person of Jesus Christ alone.

Such was the idea, which I had formed concerning the Divine Being from my own examination of the Sacred Writings, without the assistance of any other books or any living teacher whatever. And though I afterwards found, when I came to consult the enlightened messenger of the new
dispensation, that this view of the subject is by no means sufficiently correct and explanatory, I have reason to believe, that it prepared me for the reception of the genuine truth immediately on its being presented to my mind by the extraordinary, and, I may say, super-human Writings of the great Swedenborg. By these I soon learnt, that the true doctrine of the Divine Trinity is, that the purely Divine Essence or Essential Divinity is what is called in the Word the Father, the Divine Humanity the Son, and the Proceeding Operation of both the Holy Spirit, all appertaining to the single Person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when the Infirm Humanity from the Mother was put off, and the Divine Humanity from the Father was put on; consequently that He is the One Supreme and Only God of heaven and earth, as declared in Matt. xxviii. 18; Rev. i. 8, 11, 17; xxii. 13. I found also by the clearest evidence from the Sacred Scriptures, contained in the aforesaid Writings, that this view of the Divine Trinity, like that of the human trinity in every individual man, of soul, body, and proceeding operation, is the only one which, in conjunction with the doctrine concerning the Infirm Humanity, satisfactorily accounts for the language of inspiration, and removes every difficulty attendant upon the subject.

On the first of January, 1782, I paid a visit to my father, James Hindmarsh, who then resided at Canterbury, being a preacher in the connexion of Wesleyan Methodists. Our conversation turning on the subject of Swedenborg's Writings, he informed me, that Mr. George Keen, a Quaker gentleman of that city, was in possession of some of them, and probably would favour me with a perusal of them, if requested to do so. The next day, Jan. 2, I waited upon Mr. Keen, who kindly lent me, though a stranger to him, the Treatise on Influx, or on the Intercourse between the Soul and Body, and the Treatise on Heaven and Hell. These works I read with the utmost avidity, and instantly perceived their contents to be of heavenly origin.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 12 I therefore as naturally embraced and delighted in them, as the eye embraces and delights in objects that reflect the golden rays of the rising sun. The same day that introduced me to a knowledge of these Writings, introduced me also to the first interview with the young lady, who, on the 7th of May following, became my wife, and with whom I had the happiness of living in much harmony and affection nearly fifty- one years, that is, until the time of her decease, which took place on the 2nd of March, 1833. Thus I found myself doubly blessed by the events of the before-mentioned day.

From that time I began to search out other readers of the same Writings in London, in order to form a Society for the purpose of spreading the knowledge of the great truths contained in them. I expected at first, that almost every person of sound judgment, or even of common sense, would receive them with the same facility as I did myself, and would rejoice with me, that so great a treasure had at length been found in the Church. But I was mistaken: and such was the prejudice in the minds of men of apparent candour in other respects, that so far from congratulating me, and their own good fortune, in the acquisition of such spiritual information, I was absolutely laughed at, and set down by them as a mere simpleton, an infatuated youth, and little better than a madman, led away by the reveries of an old enthusiast and impostor.

I heard these vituperations with surprise, and could not help thinking, in return, that the accusers were themselves mad, or at least under the influence of a strong delusion. One in particular, a great professor of religion, whom I had hitherto regarded as a friend, and a sincere follower of Jesus Christ, declared, that it would give him pleasure to see the Writings of Swedenborg consumed by fire, and me on the top of the pile. He was a Predestinarian, or rigid Calvinist, who perhaps thought he might do his God a service by burning his adversaries, or by blotting them out of the map of existence. I smiled at his zeal, and recommended him to consider "what manner of spirit he was of," as our Lord on another occasion advised his disciples James and John, Luke x. 54, 55.

Another, a bookseller, by whom I was employed to print periodical and other publications, was much offended by the zeal which I displayed in favour of the truths of the New Church. He plied me both with promises and threatenings; by promises of wealth and riches from the abundance of employment, with which he would supply me, if I would but decline the printing of Swedenborg's Writings, and attend to his interests only; and by threatenings, that, if I persevered in the propagation of such idle notions as I had adopted, he would withdraw his support from me, and give his patronage to another.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 13 To this I answered, that I felt grateful for all his favours, but that I could not conscientiously accede to his proposal. He then said, in allusion to the doctrine of the Divine Trinity, which, among other things, he understood Swedenborg dwelt so much upon, "What does it signify to you or to me how many Divine Persons, or how many Gods, there are? Let them settle the matter between themselves: that is their business, not ours!"

Some few individuals listened for a time with apparent attention to the report, which I had to make of the Writings; but on hearing the Author's account of the state of man after death, as the result of his own personal observation, they soon went off as it were in a tangent, and I lost sight of them for ever. Even my own father at this time, and for two or three years after my reception of the new doctrines, cautioned me to beware how I gave way to them, lest I should be seduced by mere flights of imagination, and estranged from the common faith of professing Christians. As I knew his heart to be good, (of which I had had many proofs in the course of my education,) I gave him full credit for the sincerity of his advice, being well assured that he, as well as myself, was desirous of truth for the sake of truth, and that he was incapable of giving countenance to any system, which he did not in his conscience believe to be true. He already approved of some of the fundamental doctrines taught by Swedenborg, particularly that of the Divine Trinity. But he did not as yet see, that that doctrine, rightly understood, and permitted to branch out into all its consequences, involved every truth of the New Church, and negatived, yea nullified, every doctrine of the Old Church. He did not as yet see, that the doctrine of atonement, as generally taught, is altogether inconsistent with the Divine Unity and the Divine Mercy; that it presupposes a Trinity of distinct Persons, as so many Gods, with attributes and properties in collision with each other; that while one of these Divine Persons, the Father, is represented as vindictive against the human race for the crime of their first parents, and refuses to be appeased by any thing short of the bloody sacrifice of an innocent victim, and that victim the Son of his own bosom, - another of the Divine Persons, even the Son himself, willingly lays down his assumed natural life to allay the burning wrath of his Father. He did not as yet see, that the consummation of the age, or end of the Church, as predicted by the Lord in the Gospels, had already taken place; that the sun was darkened, that the moon did not give her light, and that the stars had fallen from heaven. Neither did he as yet perceive the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, or the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. But he was, what every upright man ought to be, open to conviction. After diligent application to the Writings of Swedenborg, particularly to the work, entitled, True Christian Religion, containing the Universal Theology of the New Church, and a renewed examination of the Scriptures, he at length became a full convert to the new doctrines, and afterwards (as will be noticed in the proper place) had the high honour of being the first person who publicly and avowedly preached the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem in England, and probably in the world.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 14

A circumstance may here be adverted to, which in itself will possibly be regarded by some of the most trivial moment, but which, connected with the time when the New Church doctrines were as yet in embryo and only beginning to be published, has often suggested thoughts on the connection between the spiritual and the natural world. On almost all the walls in and for miles round London, the following words were chalked out in large legible characters, viz. "CHRIST IS GOD." Wherever the eye was turned, this inscription met it; and no one could tell by whom it was done, or when it was done. It continued, however, to excite the attention of the public for several years; during which time, whenever by rains or from other causes of decay it began to fade, it was immediately and constantly renewed by some unknown hand. The sentiment was forcibly impressed on every observer; and though in some respects it was agreeable to the faith commonly but blindly professed by Christians at large, yet in other respects it was altogether opposed to it. For who in the Christian world, that regards Christ as the mere Servant or Messenger of the Supreme God, as a Mediator between God and Man, as an Intercessor with the Father, or even as the Son of God, according to the usual acceptation of those terms, can in his heart believe, that he is absolutely the Supreme God himself, as the above inscription truly imports ? If he be not the Supreme God, it is evident he must be no God at all; and it is idle, and worse than vanity, to say with modern Christians that Christ is God, while another is acknowledged to be of a higher order, and superior to him in dignity and authority. But the title written upon all the blank walls of the metropolis, like that upon the cross in ancient times, when properly and rightly understood, announces no less, than, that the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the One Supreme and Only God of heaven and earth. The chalk-writer, whoever he was, had probably some such idea of the high character of the Christian Redeemer, as that here alluded to; and being impressed with its great importance, yet perhaps without knowing the full force of the words he used, or the source from which he was as it were impelled to write, committed to the walls and stones of the town that testimony, which the powers of the spiritual world were at that time earnestly engaged in making known to men in the natural world, in a more explicit and intelligible form, by the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem.



Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 15


IN one whole year after my reception of the Writings, I found only three or four individuals in London, with whom I could maintain a friendly intercourse on the subjects contained in them. In 1783 I invited these few to hold regular meetings for reading and conversation in my house in Clerkenwell Close; not far from the spot where Swedenborg died. These meetings were continued every Sunday morning, till it was thought expedient to endeavour to make them more public. I was possessed of all the Writings in Latin, and these were constantly on the table before us, while we read in them those illustrations of the Holy Word, and those extraordinary Relations in reference to the state of things in another life, which so peculiarly distinguish our Author's theological works from those of every other man. In this manner we went on for a time*, our first meeting consisting of only three persons, viz., Mr. Peter Provo, of the Minories** Apothecary; Mr. William Bonington, of Red Lion Street Clerkenwell, Clock-case Maker; and myself, of Clerkenwell Close, Printer. Afterwards John Augustus Tulk, Esq., of Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, a gentleman of independent property, joined our little Society, and by his zeal, ability, and judgment, added strength to our hands. It was now agreed to call a public meeting of all the friends and readers of the Writings in London, of whom we had any certain information; first, that we might become better acquainted with each other; and secondly, to unite our forces, and make known to the world what we could no longer in conscience conceal from their notice. Our first public meeting was accordingly fixed to be at the London Coffee House on Ludgate Hill***, where we met, five in number, at 5 o'clock on Thursday Evening, the 5th of December, 1783.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 16 But finding, when we were assembled, that no private room could be allotted to our party, and that it would be inconvenient to transact our business in any of the open boxes of the Coffee Room, we immediately adjourned to the Queen's Arms Tavern, now St. Paul's Hotel, on the south side of St. Paul's Church Yard****, where we had a room to ourselves, and drank tea together. The following persons were present on this occasion, viz., Mr. John Augustus Tulk, Mr. Peter Provo, Mr. William Bonington, Mr. William Spence, of 17, Great Mary-le-bone Street, Surgeon*****, and myself. Another gentleman, Mr. Henry Peckitt, of 50, Old Compton Street, Soho, a retired Apothecary, went to the London Coffee House, after we had left it, in hopes of joining our company; but hearing no tidings of us there, although we had left word at the bar where we were gone, returned home without seeing us.******


16        Rise and Progress of

* At this period Mr. Hindmarsh was in the twenty-fourth year of his age.- ED.

** Mr. Provo afterwards resided at Pentonville. He is mentioned by Mr. Noble in his Appeal, (2nd edit., p. 207,) as having supplied him with an original anecdote respecting Swedenborg therein printed. Other anecdotes collected by him are printed in the Intellectual Repository for January, 1836, p. 27. Mr. Provo published a work, called Wisdom's Dictates, printed in the year 1789, and advertised to be sold at Mr. Chalklen's, 49, Grace-church Street. Swedenborg also, at one time, lived in the Minories, prior to residing in Clerkenwell.- ED.

*** This circumstance is alluded to in the Report of the Friendly Meeting held in London during the sitting of the Forty- second Conference, 1849. The President of the Meeting, the Rev. S. Noble, (then in his seventieth year,) on introducing the speakers to the audience, adverted to a fact of singular interest to the entire assembly; but which he left to be narrated by the first speaker introduced; who observed "That we were assembled in a locality which was historically connected with the commencement of the New Church in the world. For it was a fact, that in the year 1783, the very first assembly that ever met for the purpose of considering how the Heavenly Doctrines could be promoted in the world, were gathered together under that very roof. For in that year the late venerable Hindmarsh, who was one of the earliest disciples of the New Jerusalem, issued, in various newspapers, an advertisement to the effect that all persons acquainted with the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, and favourable to their promotion, were earnestly invited to meet together for consultation at the London Coffee House, Ludgate Hill, on a certain day in the year 1783. At the time appointed five individuals assembled; and this is the first meeting on record of persons receiving the doctrines of the New Church, and consulting together for the purpose of making them known in the world." The London Coffee House is still on Ludgate Hill, and consists of Nos. 24 to 26.- ED.

**** This Hotel still remains, and is Nos. 5 and 6, St. Paul's Church Yard, at the corner of Dean's Court.- ED.

*****Afterwards Dr. Spence. He was the author of Essays on Divinity and Physic, with an Address to Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York; printed by Hindmarsh in 1792. He also edited The Apocalypsis Explicata, a posthumous Latin work of E. S., in 4 vols., quarto, which sold for L4. 4s.- ED.

****** It was observed by some of our friends, that several remarkable coincidences were frequently presenting themselves to our notice, in the various occurrences that took place at this early period of the New Church. Among others, the number five was very distinguishable. Thus, the number of persons, who assembled at the first public meeting, was five; the hour of the day was five in the evening; the day of the week was the fifth (Thursday); and the name of the month was the number five doubled (December), usually regarded as the twelfth month in the year, which is another significant number. Again, the place where the meeting was actually held was first at the Queen's Arms Tavern or Inn, on the South side of St. Paul's Church; then in the Inner Temple; and afterwards in New Court, Middle Temple. These circumstances, though in themselves trivial, and perhaps not worthy of being recorded, were however noticed by some members of the Society, as significative of the rise or commencement of the New Church. Five, in the science of correspondences, denotes what is just sufficient for future use, or the lowest degree of remains, which can preserve spiritual life, and from which a New Church can be formed on the destruction of a preceding one; while the number twelve denotes an assemblage of all the goods and truths of the Church together. Not that the five persons assembled actually formed the remains here spoken of; but only that as to their number they may be said to represent the remains still subsisting in the Christian Church at large. Again, our meeting at an inn brought to recollection the passage in the Gospel, Luke ii. 7, where the Lord is said to have been born in the stable of an inn, at the period of his first advent; to which place the shepherds were directed by the angel of the Lord, ver. 12: also another passage in Luke x. 34, where the man, who had fallen among thieves, was brought by the good Samaritan to an inn, to be taken care of, and provided for. In the spiritual sense, an inn signifies where the knowledges of good and truth are to be obtained; and these knowledges, it is well known, are to be found in great abundance in the New Church.

I may add, as rather a singular case, in relation to myself and the No. 5, that my grandfather had five children; my father five children; myself five children; and my three sons each five children, and no more. My wife and I were married on the 7th of May 1782; and she died on the 2nd of March, 1833; consequently we lived together fifty years and ten months, wanting five. days. During all that time we never had a death in our own house. And we have seen five generations in the family, viz., 1. My father and mother; 2. Myself and wife; 3. Our children; 4. Our grandchildren; and 5. Our great-grandchildren. Not to mention some other circumstances distinguished by the No. 5, which are too insignificant to be particularly noticed. (This Memorandum is made on the 12th of May, 1834.)- R. H.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 17

At this first public meeting, if it may be so called, we mutually congratulated each other on the good fortune and happiness we enjoyed, in having become acquainted with the Writings of a man so highly distinguished above his fellow-men by the divine favour, and by gifts from heaven of the most extraordinary description, as was the late Emanuel Swedenborg. To hear the story of each other's first reception of the doctrines, and to observe the animation that sparkled in the eye, and brightened up the countenance of each speaker, as it came to his turn to relate the particulars of that by him never-to-be-forgotten event, was itself a little heaven, a foretaste of those pure delights, which we foresaw would spring up in the minds of all future recipients, when they should, in years or ages to come, first meet together in little bands or Societies, to see and converse with each other, to talk of all the wonders of the new revelation, to help each other in the way to the heavenly Zion, to point to the gates that open into the holy city, and to spread widely, and more widely still, the happy news, that the New Jerusalem is in the act of descending from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband; that the angels are already stretching out the curtains, lengthening the cords, and strengthening the stakes of a new habitation on the earth for the Most High to dwell in; and that the tabernacle of God is about to be set up with men, who will dwell with them, and cause them to be his people, while he himself shall be acknowledged and worshiped as their only Lord and God. No more tears; no more death; no more sorrow, nor crying, nor pain: for the former things are passed away, and behold! all things are become new. Rev. xxi. 3-5.

After our mutual congratulations, and the reading of some letters from absent individuals, who resided in the country, we began to consult on the best means of making known the new doctrines, and enlarging our Society. It was agreed that we should meet again at the same time and place on the Thursday following, unless a more convenient situation could in the mean time be procured. Our spirits were elated by the meeting. Three or four hours swiftly passed away; and soon after nine o'clock we adjourned, highly gratified with this first public interview of congenial minds, and determined to prosecute our plan of holding up to the view of the world a Light, which could no longer be concealed in a secret place, nor hid under a bed or a bushel.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 18

In the course of the following week we engaged Chambers in the Inner Temple, near Fleet Street; and to make our next meeting more public, we caused an advertisement to be inserted in some of the Newspapers, stating the objects we had in view, and giving a general invitation to all the readers of Emanuel Swedenborg's Writings, in London or elsewhere, to join our standard, and by one common exertion to assist in extending the knowledge of their important contents. This advertisement was immediately noticed by Mr. James Glen*, a Scotch gentleman about to settle at Demerara, in South America, who was then in London, and who, introducing himself to the Society at their next meeting, most heartily united with us in our professed design of procuring and publishing translations of all Swedenborg's Works. He gave us a short but interesting account of his first reception of the doctrines, which was on the ocean, while he was on his return from America, where he had been to purchase a plantation for himself to reside upon. The captain of the vessel, in which he was sailing, after many conversations with Mr. Glen, whom he found to be a person of literary habits, and liberal sentiments, in a great measure free from the influence of religious prejudices, told him he was in possession of a book, written in the Latin language by a very extraordinary man, which he thought would prove acceptable to him: whereupon he presented him with a copy of the Latin work De Coelo et Inferno (the Treatise on Heaven and Hell). As soon as Mr. Glen had read the work, and well considered its contents, he was all astonishment, first, at the nature of the information, which that book conveys; and in the next place, at the goodness of the Divine Providence, which had so unexpectedly brought him into such a peculiar situation, that while sailing on the surface of the great deep, of an abyss of waters beneath him, his eyes were opened to behold an abyss of divine truths above and around him. That day Mr. Glen declared to be the happiest day of his life, which thus brought to his view the glories of the heavenly state, and the stupendous realities of the eternal world.

* In the Monthly Observer for June, 1857, p. 213, will be found a notice of Mr. Glen; also in the Intellectual Repository, vol. 2, for 1814-15, p. 445, where his decease is recorded. "He delivered some lectures in Philadelphia in the year 1784, and was the first avowed advocate of the heavenly doctrines of the New Church in America. He travelled to Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky, for the purpose of making them known."- ED.

The same meeting in the Inner Temple, which was attended by Mr. Glen, was favoured also with the presence of a young clergyman of great piety and uncommon ability, viz., the Rev. Joshua Gilpin, whom I had the honour of introducing to Swedenborg's Writings, as well as to that meeting.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 19 This gentleman (who was afterwards engaged by the Rev. John Fletcher, Vicar of Madeley*, in Shropshire, as his Curate,) expressed his entire approbation of so much of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg as he had then seen; and cordially wished us success in our endeavours to make them universally known.**

* A most interesting notice of the Rev. Mr. Fletcher, is contained in Noble's Appeal, 2nd edit., p. 251, et seq.- ED.

** He was for many years afterwards the esteemed Vicar of Wrockwardine in Salop, and author of Monument of Parental Affection, two volumes of Discourses, &c.- ED.

Mr. Henry Peckitt also, who had been disappointed in meeting us the former week, now joined us, and brought with him a rich harvest of information concerning the personal character, circumstances, and habits of the great Swedenborg. This information he had carefully taken down in writing with a view to its being preserved for the gratification of those, who, like him, might hereafter regard every little anecdote of his life, that could be depended upon for its truth and accuracy, as a most precious relic. Being myself in possession of all the particulars alluded to, I take this opportunity of giving them to the public, in Mr. Peckitt's own words, from the original manuscript deposited in my hands upwards of forty years ago.


"London, January the 24th, 1778, I, Henry Peckitt, went to Bath Street, Cold Bath Fields, to one Mr. Shearsmith's, a Barber, at whose house the learned and Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg lodged, and died the 29th of March, 1772; and was then, as I have since found, eighty-four years old. He, by the order of one Mr. Charles Lindegren*, a Swedish Merchant, who lives in Mincing Lane, Fenchurch Street, was laid in state at an Undertaker's**, and deposited in three coffins in the vault of the Swedish Church, in Prince's Square, Ratcliffe Highway, with all the ceremonies of that Church.***

* Mr. Shearsmith informed me, that after the decease of Swedenborg, Mr. Lindegren came to his house, and claimed the property left by Swedenborg, for the purpose, as he said, of transmitting the amount to his surviving relations in Sweden. There was in Swedenborg's pocket-book a bill for L400 sterling, drawn upon the house of Mr. Hope, a Banker in Amsterdam. This bill was delivered into the hands of Mr. Lindegren by Mr. Shearsmith, who yet doubted in his own mind whether Mr. Lindegren had a right to demand it. But as he had no means of ascertaining who was the proper heir to the property, and Mr. Lindegren at that time(a) had the reputation of being a respectable and substantial merchant, well acquainted with Swedenborg's family in Sweden, and in the habit of corresponding with some of them, he thought himself justified in giving up the property to him, that it might eventually reach the legal owner or owners.- R. H.

(a) Mr. Lindegren was, at the time, in the Royal Exchange Assurance Office, and through him Swedenborg received his remittances from Sweden.- ED.

** This Undertaker's name was Robinson; and he kept a shop in Ratcliffe Highway, to which place the remains of Swedenborg were conveyed in a hearse after his decease. I once saw this Mr. Robinson, but had not an opportunity of conversing with him. -R. H.

*** In 1785, Mr. Keene went down into the vault of the Swedish Chapel and saw his coffin, which lies next to Dr. Solander's.- P.P.- ED.

"It seems by the account of Mr. Shearsmith, that the Baron* had visited England three or four different times.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 20 He had before lodged in Cold Bath Fields; and upon his return to England, came to the same place: but the people had removed, and he was recommended to Mr. Shearsmith's, where he lodged about two years. Then he left England, and went to Amsterdam, in Holland, at which place he had published many of his Latin works. He staid there some time, and then returned to England, and came to the same place to lodge with Mr. Shearsmith**, and remained at his house till his death, which might be about two years.

* Swedenborg is generally designated "the Baron" by the earlier readers of his Writings. In all the documents that are reprinted in this work, that designation is retained; but in other cases it is altered. His rank of nobility in his own country was that of the Equestrian Order. It did not confer upon him any title, it consisted only in the change of his name. But it has been customary to call him "Baron," because that is the lowest order of nobility in England. On the continent he was sometimes called "Count." When he was ennobled by the Queen of Sweden, Ulrica Eleanora, his name was changed from Swedberg to Swedenborg.- ED.

** On the arrival of the vessel in London, Swedenborg took a hackney coach, and directed the coachman, as well as he could, to Mr. Shearsmith's in Great Bath Street, Clerkenwell, where he had before lodged. Mr. Shearsmith was going out on business, when he heard behind him a voice calling out of the coach-window, in broken English, "Dat be he! Dat be he!" The coach stopped, and Mr. Shearsmith, coming to the door,immediately recognised his former noble lodger, Emanuel Swedenborg, whom he assisted to alight from the coach, and conducted into his house. On Swedenborg's telling him, that he was come to lodge with him again, Mr. Shearsmith informed him, that his apartments were at that time occupied by a family: "but," says he, "I will go up stairs to them, and ask them if they will quit the lodgings, to make room for you." On his return, he told him, that they were willing to accommodate him; and, what is very singular, they immediately removed without further notice, and gave up their apartments to Swedenborg that very day, though a perfect stranger to them. This information I had from Mr. Shearsmith's own mouth.- R.H.

"The dress that he generally wore, when he went out to visit, was a suit of black velvet, made after an old fashion; a pair of long ruffles; a curious hilted sword; and a gold-headed cane.* He ate little or no animal food, only sometimes a few eels.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 21 His chief sustenance was cakes, tea, and coffee, made generally exceedingly sweet. His drink was water. He took a great deal of snuff.** Mr. Shearsmith was affrighted when he first lodged with him, by reason of his talking in the night and day. He said, he would sometimes be writing, and sometimes would stand talking in the door-stead of his room***, as if he was holding a conversation with some person; but as he spoke in a language Mr. Shearsmith did not understand, he could not make any thing of it.

* This gold-headed cane, as it is called, is now in my possession, having been purchased of Mr. Shearsmith by the Rev. S. Dean(a), late of Manchester, when in London, who left it to his widow; and she, before her death, gave it to Mrs. Marsden(b), who presented it to me a few years ago. It has the cypher E. S. engraved upon it in a foreign style: but on examination it does not appear to be gold, but copper, which was probably gilt, so as to have the appearance of gold. The stick itself is a painted thorn, and not a cane.(c)

I may here add, that a Picture of Swedenborg, painted by my late brother John Hindmarsh, about the year 1785, from Swedish and English Engraved Prints, corrected by Mr. Shearsmith's description of his person and dress, so as to form, in his estimation, a most perfect likeness, is also in my possession. Of the striking resemblance, which this Picture bears to the Original, the reader may judge from the following anecdote, related in the Intellectual Repository, vol. 3, for 1816-17, p. 515. "The reader may feel an interest in being informed, that he (the late Mr. Henry Servante, of London(d),) was one of the last remaining individuals, who remembered the person of Swedenborg, though at the time he saw him he did not know him. He was once passing along St. John's Street, London, in the neighbourhood of which Swedenborg lodged, when he met an old gentleman of a dignified and most venerable appearance, whose deeply thoughtful yet mildly expressive countenance, added to something very unusual in his general air, attracted his attention very forcibly. He turned round, therefore, to take another view of the stranger, who also turned round, and looked again at him. Some years afterwards, when Mr. Servante had received the Writings, he called on Mr. Hindmarsh for some of them; when seeing in that gentleman's parlour a Portrait of the Author, he instantly recognised in it the venerable stranger, whose appearance had so much interested him. The Portrait, which he saw, was copied from the Print engraved by Martin, representing Swedenborg in advanced age, the fidelity of which is thus singularly proved."

The strong resemblance, which this Picture bears to the Original, was further confirmed by Dr. Messiter, an intimate acquaintance of Swedenborg. Being informed, that the Doctor was paying a visit, on a certain day, to his friend Dr. Spence, of Mary-le-bone, I sent the Picture to him, with a view to obtain his opinion of its accuracy and fidelity; when he immediately pronounced it to be a very striking likeness.(e)

It cannot be said, that the members of the New Church are particularly fond of being possessed of relics, like the members of the Old Romish-Christian Church, whether they be old bones, old sticks, or old boards. But I must acknowledge, that a little spice of that taste adheres to myself, as well as to some others of my friends of the New Church. And first of all, it shews itself in my attachment to the walking-stick before mentioned, which I prize, not for its real value, but merely because it was once a kind of support to the hand of that great Man, whose works I can never think of without the most intense admiration, and gratitude for the benefits they confer. In the next place, I must suppose, that my friend, Mr. John Barge, of Manchester, has a similar feeling of admiration for the works of the same great Man, because he purchased, at more than treble its value, an old table(f), formerly the property of Mr. Shearsmith, and the very same on which Swedenborg wrote several of his latest productions. This table Mr. Barge keeps in his parlour, and justly regards it rather as a memento, than a relic, calling his attention, whenever he sees it, to those great truths, which were first spread upon it in the shape of written papers, before they were sent to the press, and thence propagated in all directions throughout the world at large. How different a feeling of sentiment this, from the idle, superstitious, and idolatrous reverence paid to old bones, rags, chips, nails, and crosses, by the ignorant and deluded sons and daughters of the Roman-Catholic Church!- R. H.

(a) The Rev. S. Dean was atone time Head Master of the Free Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth, and Minister of St. Paul's Church, Blackburn; and afterwards for a short term Minister of the New Jerusalem Temple, Hatton Garden, and Author of a Series of Letters On the Nature, Evidence, and Tendency of the Theological Writings of Swedenborg.- ED.

(b) The widow of Mr. G. B. Marsden, a member of Mr. Hindmarsh's Society, Bolton Street, Salford. - ED.

(c) Besides the walking-stick here mentioned, of the genuineness of which there cannot be any doubt, and which is now in the possession of Mr. J. S. Hodson, who has purchased it from the author's grandson; the Rev. S. Noble had a cane presented to him, by the late Mr. Holder, of Highbury, also said to be that of Swedenborg's, - which he left, with his other property, to the Cross Street Society, and is now in its library. Upon investigation and inquiry, as well as from a recollection of Mr. Noble's opinion about it, this also may have belonged to Swedenborg. It has the initials J. L. engraved on the head. The conjecture is, that it was presented to Swedenborg by John Lewis, the Bookseller, who appears to have had a great veneration for him, and who may have taken this as one way of manifesting it. It is not altogether unusual for the donor's name to be engraved on such presents. This cane is a genuine Malacca, and has a metal head, called gold, but is most likely a metal then known as pinchbeck, which was much in use at one time as a substitute for gold. Malacca canes, at the period in question, were comparatively rare, and this would have been of the value of 20s. without the mountings, so that it would not have been a very unsuitable present.- ED.

(d) Mr. Servante died the 23rd August, 1817, in his seventy-sixth year.- ED.

(e) This painting is now in the possession of Mr. J. S. Hodson, who purchased it of the author's grandson.- ED

(f) Into this table, now supposed to be in the possession of his daughter, Mrs. Tyrrell, Mr. Barge had a brass plate inserted recording to whom it belonged, &C.- ED.

** One advantage of the Author's profuse snuff-taking appears to have been the preservation of his Manuscripts: for when printing his posthumous work, entitled, Apocalypsis Explicata, I found every where between the leaves a sufficient quantity of snuff to prevent their being perforated and injured by those little active mites or insects, which are so destructive to old books and papers.(a)-R. H.

(a) His visits to the European mines, his chemical and anatomical researches, and his voyages in ill-ventilated vessels, will go far to account for this habit.- ED.

*** The following anecdote was communicated to me by Mr. Shearsmith. Among the many gentlemen and others, who, from time to time, came to his house, to make inquiries concerning Swedenborg, after his decease, one gentleman from St. Croix called to see the apartments, which so great and extraordinary a man had occupied; and being led up to the one pair, he was shewn the front and back rooms, in which the Author was wont to write and sleep. The stranger quickly passed his eye over the two rooms, and then cast them up to heaven, as if in the greatest astonishment, that so humble a dwelling should have been chosen for the abode of such an exalted genius as he considered Swedenborg to be. After putting some questions to Mr. Shearsmith, and receiving his answers, he then said, "Place me, as near as you possibly can, on the same spot in the room, as that on which he formerly stood: that is all I request." Mr. Shearsmith accordingly took him to the door-way between the two rooms, where he had often observed Swedenborg to stand, while he was conversing with his invisible friends. "Here," says Mr. Shearsmith, "place your feet on these boards, and you will be on the very spot you desire." The gentleman then, standing as he was directed, said, "Am I now exactly in the position, and on the very spot of ground, on which you have observed Swedenborg to stand? "You are, Sir," replied Mr. Shearsmith. "Then here is half-aguinea for you," said the gentleman: "I am abundantly satisfied with the honour of having for once trod in the footsteps of so great a man."- R. H.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 22

"During the time he was at Mr. Shearsmith's, some learned men came to converse with him, especially a Rev. Mr. Hartley*, of East Malling, in Kent, and a physician called Messiter. He did not know the English language so as to hold a running conversation in it. He had an impediment in his speech. He laid some weeks in a trance, without any sustenance; and came to himself again. This was not a great while before his death. He seldom or never complained of any bodily pain; but was attacked, before his death, with a kind of paralytic stroke.

* The Rev. Thomas Hartley, Rector of Winwick, Northamptonshire, departed this life 11th December, 1784, aged 77. He was the author of a Volume of Sermons, and several other works; and was most highly esteemed and respected by a large circle. See The Monthly Observer for 1857, p. 177.- ED.

"He had no books, no not so much as a Directory. He was far from being verbose, or addicted to many words. It was said, he had conversation in spirit with Luther and Calvin. During his last visit to England, he chose to be mostly retired.

"It seems he had no particular regard for times or seasons*, or days or nights; only taking rest when nature required it. He did not indulge in needless gratifications. He went not to any place of worship during his abode with Mr. Shearsmith.** He did not want money.- Dr. Messiter had some manuscripts of his, which were returned by him at his death.***-The above is what I gathered from Mr. Shearsmith."

* On one occasion Swedenborg desired the people of the house, where he resided, to shake his carpet, which usually had a surcharge of snuff upon it, and in the operation of cleansing excited considerable sneezing. It happened to be on a Sunday, of which he did not seem to be aware. Mr. Shearsmith observed to him, that it was the Sabbath, and he would prefer having it done the next day. "Dat be good! Dat be good!" immediately replied Swedenborg, and most readily assented to the proposed delay.- A certain professor of religion, hearing that Swedenborg did not pay that formal attention to particular days, which others are in the habit of doing, observed to Mr. Shearsmith, that on that account he could not be considered a good Christian. To which Mr. Shearsmith replied, that "to a good man, like Swedenborg, every day of his life is a Sabbath."-- It may be proper to remark, here, that Mr. Shearsmith was not attached to any religious sect of professing Christians; but appeared to be a plain, simple, and upright man, assenting to the religion of his country as he found it established, yet acknowledging and respecting the good among other denominations, without mixing with any of them. A character of this description was perhaps the most suitable that Swedenborg could have selected for a landlord; and having no prejudices for or against any particular Society or any particular tenets of a Society, he was always ready candidly and honestly to speak the truth, whenever called upon to answer questions relative to his venerable and illustrious lodger.- R, H.

** For a reason see True Christian Religion, n. 108.- ED.

*** These Manuscripts, though incomplete, were afterwards printed at London, in the year 1780, at the expense of Mr. Frederick Nordenskjold, under the title of Coronis seu Appendix ad Veram Christianam Religionem. The work was afterwards translated into English by me, and published in the year 1811, being the Coronis or Appendix to the True Christian Religion, &c.(a) - R. H.

(a) It was also translated by the Rev. M. Sibly, and since then by others.- ED.

"Dec. 4, 1783, I went again to Mr. Shearsmith's, to read over to him the above account, to know if it was just in every particular; and he told me it was. Mr. Shearsmith not being at home when I called, I staid till he came in, and had some conversation with the maid who attended the Baron.* She said, that he was a good-natured man; and that he was a blessing to the house, for that they had harmony and good business, while he was with them.** She said, that before he came to their house the first time, he was offered another lodging in the neighbourhood, but he told the mistress there was no harmony in the house; which she acknowledged, and recommended him to Mrs. Shearsmith's.

* This servant-maid, who attended upon Swedenborg, afterwards became Mr. Shearsmith's second wife, and was employed by the Society in Cross Street, Hatton Garden, to clean the Church, and open the pew doors, when the Temple was first opened for public worship in 1797.- R. H.

** I have frequently heard Mr. Shearsmith say, that every thing went on prosperously with him, while Swedenborg lodged at his house. When I resided at 32, Clerkenwell Close, from 1783 to 1793, I employed him in the way of his profession, and consequently had many opportunities of gaining information from him concerning Swedenborg and his habits of life. As Mr. Shearsmith advanced in years, his business declined; and I have heard him, with much feeling, regret the loss of one, whom he always considered as his best friend. "If I have not a friend in this world," said he, "I know I have one in the other" (meaning Swedenborg).- R. H.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 23

"Upon asking the maid if he ever ate any animal food, she said, he once had some pigeon pie. She said, that he told them a few days before his death, when it would happen; and, said she, "he was as pleased," and made a comparison that the pleasure was such, "as if she was going to have a holiday, to go to some merry-making."*

* Mr. and Mrs. Shearsmith both informed me, in addition to the above, that when the day of his departure arrived, (which he had foretold a month before it took place,) he asked them what time of day it was: and when he was told, that it was nearly five in the afternoon, he replied, "Dat be good! Me tank you, God bless you." He then bade them farewell, saying his time was come; and in a few minutes after he calmly resigned his breath.- R. H.

"London, March, 16, 1778, I, Henry Peckitt, called on Mr. Springer, No. 12, Craven Buildings, near Wych Street, who is Counsellor of Commerce for Sweden. He had been acquainted with the Baron Swedenborg for many years. It seems the Baron had visited England many times during his life. Mr. Springer told me, the Baron had a fine house and garden at Stockholm; and that on one occasion he was sitting with company at Gottenburg, which is 188 miles from Stockholm; when he told them, that that part of the town was then on fire, where his house and garden were situated; but he hoped his house would escape the flames. He shortly after told them, his house was safe, but his garden was destroyed. When the Post arrived a few days after, it was found to be as he had previously stated. This was in the year 1759.

"Mr. Springer also told me, that the Queen of Sweden had written letters to her brother, a Prince of Prussia; and that, having no answers, she doubted whether he had received them or not. The Baron at that time had converse with the Queen, and her brother died in Prussia. She was very desirous to know if he had received the letters. She consulted the Baron, who said he would inform her in a few days. He did so, and told her he had received them, and was going to answer them, and that in the scrutoire of the Prince was a letter unfinished intended for her; but he was taken ill, and died. She sent to the King of Prussia, and the unfinished letter was found where the Baron had described it to be, which was immediately forwarded by the King to her Swedish Majesty.

"It seems the Baron was always subject to an impediment in his speech.* He wrote none of his Theological Works for gain.- So much from Mr. Springer."

* In the printed Anecdotes of Swedenborg, annexed to Sandel's Eulogium, p. 17, of the first edition in 1784, it is said, "that he usually spoke very distinctly, but stammered a little when he spoke too fast." It may be regarded as a singular coincidence, that Moses, who was the chief instrument, in the Lord's hands, of raising up the Jewish and Israelitish Church, was of "no eloquence, but slow of speech, and of a slow tongue," Exod. iv. 10; and that Swedenborg, who was the chief instrument in founding the New Jerusalem Church, was also a man of no eloquence, but on the contrary defective in the powers of elocution, and apt to stammer in his speech. But as the external imperfection of Moses was amply made up by the superior oratorical talents of his brother Aaron, of whom it is written, "I know that he can speak well," ver. 14; so it appears, that the defect of Swedenborg as a public speaker, which was a character he probably never attempted to assume, was more than compensated by the uncommon facility, order, and correctness, with which he penned his voluminous Writings. In the former instance, two distinct persons, Moses and Aaron, were necessary to the conveyance of heavenly instruction to the Israelites; the one as an organ for the immediate reception of the divine law from Jehovah, and the other as a medium for its further external and audible propagation among that people: whereas in the latter instance, a single person only, Emanuel Swedenborg, was, by his extraordinary mental endowments, and due preparation of the Lord, perfectly qualified to receive for himself immediately, and by his superior capacity as a writer to communicate, mediately, through the Latin language, and the press, the interior things of the same divine law to all the nations of the earth.- R. H.

After meeting twice or thrice in the Inner Temple, the Society removed to more convenient Chambers in New Court*, Middle Temple.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 24 We now took the name of "The Theosophical Society, instituted for the Purpose of promoting the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem, by translating, printing, and publishing the Theological Writings of the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg." The news of such an association soon spread in the Metropolis, and our numbers began to increase. Gentlemen of respectability found their way to our meetings, and cordially united with us in the objects of the Society. Among these were several persons of distinguished reputation for talent and merit in their several professions.**

* New Court contains only one large house, which occupies the entire of the west side. The east side is formed by the back of the Chambers in the adjoining Court.- ED.

** Among them were Mr. George Adams, of Fleet Street, Mathematical Instrument Maker to His Majesty, and author of several works on Vision, &c.

Mr. Joshua Jones Prichard, a learned Proctor, of Paul Baker's Court, Doctor's Commons.

Mr. Thomas Wright, of No. 6, Poultry, Watchmaker to the King.

Mr. Benedict Chastanier, M.A., of Grafton Street, Soho, and afterwards of 62, Tottenham Court Road, a French Surgeon, who always distinguished himself for his zeal in advocating the cause of the New Church.

Mr. J. Sanders. of Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, Miniature Painter.

Mr. William Sharp, of Bartholomew Lane, Threadneedle Street, afterwards of Charles Street, near the Middlesex Hospital, Marylebone, Engraver.

Mr. Thomas Osmand, of the Bank of England, and Denmark Hill, Surrey.

Mr. F. H. Barthelemon, Musical Preceptor to their late Royal Highnesses the Dukes of York, Gloucester, and Cumberland, and of His Serene Highness the Duke of Brunswick; and for several years Leader of the Band at the Ancient Concerts and the King's Theatre.

Mr. John Flaxman, the celebrated Sculptor, Wardour Street.

Mr. Emes, of Poland Street, Engraver.

Thomas Parker, Esq., of Red Lion Square, Counsellor-at-Law.

Major Dowling, of the Tower Hamlets, and of Aldermanbury; with his two sons, Mr. John Dowling, and Mr. Edward Dowling.

Mr. Benjamin Hutton, of Friday Street, Merchant.

Lieutenant-General Rainsford, of Soho Square, afterwards Governor of Gibraltar.
Lieutenant Horseley, of the Tower Hamlets, and Hoxton Square,

Mr. Loutherbourg, of Stratford Place, Piccadilly, the celebrated Painter.

Mr. Henry Servante`, of Upper Marylebone Street, Gentleman.

Mr. Manoah Sibly, of Goswell Street, Bookseller, afterwards an Ordained Minister of the New Jerusalem Chapel, Friars' Street, Blackfriars.

Mr. Daniel Richardson, of Clerkenwell, Artist.

Mr. Isaac Brand, of London, Watch-Jeweller.

Mr. Thomas Young, of Little Britain, Silversmith.

Mr. Richard Thompson, of Snow Hill, Floor Cloth Manufacturer.

Mr. Isaac Hawkins, of London, afterwards an Ordained Minister of the New Church; and his son, Mr. John Isaac Hawkins, a distinguished Mechanist and Engineer.

Mr. Thomas Willdon, of Tooley Street; and his brother, Mr. John Willdon, of No. 8, Snow Hill; both zealous and valuable members of the Society.

Mr. John Rainsford Needham, of Cross Street, Wilderness Row, Wholesale Druggist.

Mr. Robert Brant, of London, afterwards an Ordained Minister of the New Church. Mr.

Samuel Smith, of London, afterwards an Ordained Minister of the New Church.

Mr. Benedict Harford, of London, Carver and Gilder.

Mr. Benjamin Banks, of London, formerly of Salisbury, Musical Instrument Maker.

Besides many others, now deceased, whose names are not recollected - R. H.

Mr. James Rayner; Mr. Joseph Osborne; Mr. Joseph Richards.- ED.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 25        One of the first measures taken by the Society was to address the public, and particularly the Clergy, on the design of the Institution, and to invite to our assistance such of them as were disposed to take a part either in the translation of the Latin works of our Author, or in contributions to be raised for defraying the expenses of printing and publishing them in English. Among the few written documents, which have been preserved as evidence of the transactions of those early days, I find the following Address, which sufficiently shews the temper and state of the Society at the time of its original formation.


To the Christian World at large, but more particularly to the Clergy, whether of the Established Church, or among Dissenters, the following Address is earnestly recommended.

"Friends and Fellow-Creatures,
"It having pleased Almighty God, of his great mercy to the Church on earth, in this age of darkness and error, to raise up his servant, the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg, to teach the genuine doctrines of the everlasting gospel, as revealed from heaven in the Writings of this great and good Man, - certain number of gentlemen, into whose hands these works have providentially fallen, fully convinced themselves of the superior excellence and importance of the grand discoveries therein contained, and being anxious to communicate to their brethren of the same spiritual treasures, have united together for the avowed purpose (under God) of procuring faithful and correct translations from the original Latin, and publishing them at an easy rate for the benefit of mankind in general.

"It is true, our number at present is small, the undertaking before us extensive and laborious, and the opposition we may reasonably expect to meet with, from those who shut up their minds against all spiritual information, by no means inconsiderable. Yet we trust we have embarked in a good cause, with consciences void of offence, free from all motives of self-interest, and, as far as in us lies, dovoted to the spiritual welfare of all ranks and conditions of men. We wage war with none, but are determined to maintain peace and friendship with all: and being sensible, that without variety (in religious as well as other concerns) there cannot exist harmony, or true order, we allow all men the free exercise of their respective modes of worship, however various, according to their different persuasions and habits of education; and wish nothing more, than to renounce every appearance of a sectarian spirit.

"That every person, who is unacquainted with the theological principles of the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg, may receive information thereof in as few words as possible, we think proper to declare the two grand fundamentals of the whole doctrine, which are as follow:

"I. That there is only One God, One Person, in whom is the Divine Trinity, called Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, like the human trinity of soul, body, and proceeding operation, in every individual man; and that the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is that God.

"II. That a saving faith is to believe in Him; and that such faith is necessarily conjoined with charity, or a good life.

"With principles like these we do not hesitate to declare our most hearty concurrence; and doubt not, but every one, who feels the truth of these propositions, will likewise unite with us in bringing to light all those other doctrines which are derived from them, and which, after having been smothered in the ruins of Christianity, are again about to recover their former splendour through the instrumentality of Emanuel Swedenborg. To men of liberal sentiments and candid minds we are not ashamed to appeal, earnestly requesting them (as they tender immortal souls) not to be dilatory in giving what assistance may lie in their power, whether in the capacity of Translators, or otherwise. For as the works of our Author are many and voluminous, at the same time that they display such a fund of learning and knowledge as, beyond all manner of doubt, has not been equalled these seventeen centuries back, - there will be found ample room for every volunteer either to exercise himself in the field of Translation, or to join the THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY in Contribution and Support.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 26

"It is thought proper to observe, we have in our possession, among other Posthumous Works of this Author, authentic copies of the following Manuscripts, viz., Clavis Hieroglyphica Arcanorum Naturalium et Spiritualium, per Viam Repraesentationum et Correspondentiarum.- Summaria Expositio Sensus Interni Librorum Propheticorum Verbi Veteris Testamenti, necnon et Psalmorum Davidis: Cum Duplici Indice Rerum.- Index Rerum in Arcanis Coelestibus. Also Index Rerum in Apocalypsi Revelata. Whoever may be desirous of seeing these Manuscripts, is at liberty to call on Mr. Chastanier, Surgeon, No. 62, Tottenham Court Road, who will not only favour any gentleman with a sight thereof, but likewise make known the plan and conditions of subscription, and give such further information respecting the THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY as may be judged necessary.

"The benefits, we presume, arising to mankind, from the reception of our Author's works, and the application of the truths therein contained to uses of life, cannot but appear in a most striking point of view. Sensible, however, at the same time, that every one does not see with our eyes, nor consequently receive with equal satisfaction things alike offered to all, we beg leave, with the greatest respect, and deference to the judgment of others, to submit to their serious perusal and earnest attention, those works of the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg, which have already been published in the English language. And if, after a fair and candid investigation, the reader cannot think himself justified in adopting the principles, or acknowledging the extraordinary mission of our enlightened Author, we are ever ready to indulge him with all that liberty of peaceful dissent, which the bowels of charity rejoice to confer. Whilst, on the other hand, we seriously admonish all persons of a different complexion from ourselves, to beware with what spirit they reject the doctrines of this New Church, lest, on the day of account, they should be found fighters against God.

                             "For the Theosophical Society,

                                   "ROBERT HINDMARSH, Secretary."

"Middle Temple, Jan. 15, 1784."

The Society continued to hold its meetings on Thursday evenings, when the untranslated writings of Swedenborg were read from the Latin either by Mr. George Adams, or myself. Particularly we devoted ourselves to the reading of the Apocalypsis Revelata, which treats so copiously of the consummation or end of the Christian Church, the Last Judgment, the Second Coming of the Lord, and the Descent of the New Jerusalem, or the establishment of a New Church upon earth. The translated works also, viz., the Treatise on Influx, or the Intercourse between the Soul and Body, the Treatise on Heaven and Hell, and the True Christian Religion, containing the Universal Theology of the New Church, afforded the most important instruction on all the grand topics of Christianity, the state of man after death, and the order in which life is communicated, by influx, from the Lord in the midst of the spiritual sun, to angels, spirits, and men. The conversation, to which these interesting subjects gave rise, and in which each member took a part, was in the highest degree animated and delightful; and tended, in an extraordinary degree, to unite us together in the bonds of mutual affection and charity. In many respects the Society might have been compared to the Primitive Christians. Sincerity, simplicity, and an earnest desire to communicate to others those spiritual advantages, which we ourselves enjoyed, were distinguishing features in all our meetings, which were conducted with an order and harmony truly gratifying.

That the benefits arising from these meetings might be diffused more generally, the Society soon came to the resolution of holding them twice a week, on Sunday as well as Thursday evenings, for the accommodation of those, who could not conveniently attend on days of business.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 27 At one or other of these meetings, we were frequently favoured with the visits of strangers, who had heard of our Society and views by the reports of some who had previously attended. On one occasion, Captain Webb, a gentleman distinguished for his zeal in the cause of Methodism, and admitted by Mr. Wesley to preach in his pulpits, was introduced by a friend to our meeting; and, after hearing for some little time, the conversation that passed among us, he entered into the story of his own experience. With his left leg resting upon his right knee, while he detailed to us, in the most animated terms, the particulars of his conversion and instantaneous justification, he no sooner came to the last- mentioned point of his relation, than, raising his arm with enthusiastic feeling, he struck the calf of his leg so forcibly with the palm of his hand, as to cause the sound to ring again in our ears. "There," says he, "my justification was as sudden as that blow; and I found the callous nature of my heart to be changed in an instant to the softness of the flesh of an infant. From that moment I became a new man, and have ever since enjoyed the liberty of the children of God." We heard him with respect, and, believing him to be sincere and conscientious in his profession, gave him full credit for the warmth of his feelings, but could not help judging that he was still under the delusion of a favourite system, which the Methodists, as a body, take great pains to inculcate, viz., the instantaneous forgiveness of sins.

As a preacher, dressed out in his full regimentals, he presented a striking appearance in the pulpit; though one eye was covered with a black ribband, he having lost it by a musket ball in an engagement, and narrowly escaped with his life. In this costume, I once heard him preach to a crowded congregation, on the tremendous subject of the day of Judgment. The utmost attention was paid to him by the persons assembled, who appeared to tremble before him, while he proclaimed, in accents swelling with impetuosity and thunder, the terrors of the Lord, which would then inevitably fall on the heads of guilty and impenitent sinners. Many were melted to tears, no doubt with the consciousness of their own unworthiness; and the whole congregation seemed humbled in the dust, with the dreadful apprehension of that great event. It was the Captain's favourite theme, and no man could set it off with fuller effect, or to better advantage. With a commanding person, a Stentorian voice, and action suited to the words, he made his way to the hearts of the timid; and considering the low degree of illumination, with which both speaker and hearers were at that time blessed, they having no other knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures, than what is derived from their literal and obvious sense, it may be fairly concluded, that even this kind of preaching may have had its use, in stemming the tide of infidelity and wickedness among those who could not otherwise be led to see the dangers of immorality and open vice.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 28 But in general, it may be remarked, that the effects produced in this way are too often, like those of tragic representations, transitory in their nature, and soon forgotten. Widely different are the results proceeding from an enlightened address to the understanding and judgment, accompanied with a suitable appeal to the best affections of the heart. Discourses of this description must be edifying, and cannot fail to be attended with the happiest effects.

In the months of May and June of the year 1784 a grand Musical Festival in commemoration of Handel was held in Westminster Abbey in the presence of several of the Royal Family, and great numbers of the Nobility and Gentry. This circumstance furnished a good opportunity of making known to the higher classes of the community, by means of printed notices, the objects which the Society had in view, and at the same time of publishing a list of those works of our Author, which had already been translated into English. A short advertisement to this effect was accordingly printed on Cards, as more likely to be preserved, than if printed on Paper; and these were delivered indiscriminately to all who entered the Abbey. The following is a copy of such advertisement, and the list of books then published.


"The design of this Meeting is,

"I. To consider the Spiritual Sense of the Sacred Scriptures, with intent to gain further knowledge of the laws of Divine Order, and the Doctrine of Correspondences, according to which great part of the Old and New Testament is written, and the spiritual and natural worlds are united.

"II. To acquire further knowledge concerning that eternal world and state we are all born to inherit, are daily verging to, and for which this world was created, and is preserved.

"III. To enter occasionally into the investigation of the wisdom and laws of God, as existing and operating in the natural creation, from a scriptural ground.

"IV. To enter into a serious and deliberate discussion of the most important truths contained in the Writings of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, acknowledging the Scriptures as the ONLY RULE of doctrine and life.

"V. To urge the necessity of repentance and regeneration, by renouncing all evils as sins against God, in order that it may be well with us here, and that our states may be blessed eternally hereafter.

"It is the earnest desire of each member, that their conversation may be influenced by principles of the most unbounded charity, by no means subversive of any of the present establishments, nor in the smallest degree tending to discountenance any religious sect or party whatsoever, either by controversy or separation.
"N.B. The hours of meeting are from Six to Nine every Sunday Evening.

                     "ROBERT HINDMARSH,

"No. 32, Clerkenwell Close, Printer to the above Society."
"New Court, Middle Temple, Oct. 1784."

On the back of this card was printed the following "List of English Translations from the Latin of the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 29

"I. True Christian Religion, containing the Universal Theology of the New Church. 2 vols., quarto, 14s.

"II. First Volume of Arcana Coelestia. in 12 Sixpenny Numbers.

"III. First Part of the Second Volume of Arcana Coelestia. 2s. 6d.        

"IV. A Treatise on Heaven and Hell, and of the Wonderful Things therein. 4s.

"V. A Treatise on the Nature of Influx, or of the Communication between Soul and Body. 1s. 3d.

"VI. The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord. 1s.

"VII. The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine. 4s.

This advertisement was not without its effects. Several were induced to look into Writings, which before were altogether unknown to them; and the Society by degrees acquired the reputation of possessing more interior and more consistent views of the great doctrines of Christianity, than those of any other denomination. The subjects discussed at our various meetings frequently excited the astonishment of visitors, some of whom were disposed to concur with us in sentiment, while others, it must be acknowledged, treated the doctrines of the New Church generally with some degree of contempt. But nothing could for a moment divert the Society from their fixed determination, of bringing before the public those extraordinary discoveries of divine truth, which the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg are known to contain.

In the course of the year 1784, Mr. Glen (whose name has been already mentioned, p. 17, as the first person who answered to the advertisement inserted in the public papers by the Society meeting in the Inner Temple, near Fleet Street,) went to Philadelphia from England, taking with him, partly from the Society, and partly of his own free bounty, an assortment of such of the works of Emanuel Swedenborg, as were then translated. He there attempted to promulgate the doctrines of the New Church, by public Lectures, and explanations of the science of correspondences, but without any apparent effect. He soon after quitted Philadelphia, leaving behind him the box of books, which he had brought over from England.* At that time Miss Hetty Barclay, a pious and intelligent lady, was residing in the family of the gentleman, at whose house the books were left. She had the curiosity to open the box, and peruse the books contained in it; and after a long and careful examination of the new and sublime doctrines, which they unfolded, she most cordially and fully embraced them.

* This is differently related. The facts we believe are, that Mr. Glen after lecturing on the Science of Correspondences in Bell's Auction Room, in Third Street, Philadelphia, according to advertisement dated June, 1784, remained there but a short time. A box of books, soon after his departure, reached the city, consigned to the care of Mr. Bell for him. On the death of Mr. Bell, the books were sold with his other effects at a public sale. Mr. Fisher and Mr. Bailey purchased several; and Mr. Bailey, his wife, and a Miss Barclay became warm recipients of the doctrines: shortly after this, Captain Lang, Mr. Thomas Lang, and Judge Young of Greensburgh, became receivers. In 1788 the last-named received from London a copy of The True Christian Religion, and reprinted it by subscription. Among the subscribers were Dr. Benjamin Franklin and Robert Morris. He died on the 6th October 1840, aged 78.- ED.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 30

About the same time, or soon after, Mr. Francis Bailey, Printer to the State of Pennsylvania, and one of the deacons or elders of the Presbyterian Church in Pine Street, Philadelphia, also received the new doctrines, and with Miss Barclay, and another lady, formed a little Society, the first in the United States, not for public worship, but for reading and conversing on the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Mr. Bailey soon wrote to me for more of the books, which were immediately forwarded to him, including a Summary View of the principal Doctrines of the New Church, written by the Rev. J. Clowes. Some of these he circulated among his friends, and others he re-printed at his own expense. Thus by the instrumentality of Mr. Glen, who first announced Swedenborg's Writings in America, and afterwards by the successful exertions of Miss Barclay, then of Philadelphia, Mr. Bailey, of Philadelphia, and Mr. Folsom, a bookseller of Boston, to whom the Writings were also sent from London, the doctrines of the New Church were extensively circulated in that country, and the inhabitants of the New and Old World were, nearly at the same time, enlightened by the rays of divine truth proceeding from the Sun of heaven.

It is pleasing to notice the means whereby the Lord, in his Divine Providence, gradually and almost imperceptibly raises up and establishes a Church. Miss Barclay, in 1789*, paid a visit to her brother in Bedford, Pennsylvania, and shortly afterwards made his house her permanent residence. There, by her intelligent and spiritual conversations, and a variety of Swedenborg's works which she took with her, she laid the foundation of a New Church Society**, which, so long as it existed, had reason to bless her memory. Through her agency, either directly or indirectly, it appears, that almost all the early members of the Church in the western parts have received their first impressions. She died at Bedford, in 1796.

* From the year 1789 to 1793 or 1794, several interesting foreigners, attached to the doctrines, visited America. Margaret Bailey in a letter to C. Raguet, Esq., in 1837, gives their names as follows: Col. Julius Vahn Rohr, by birth a Swede, who had seen Swedenborg and knew his family. He possessed all his writings, philosophical as well as theological. Mr. Chalmer, or Charing, a Danish gentleman, who was there in some diplomatic capacity, who had also seen Swedenborg; and Captain Byard, a French gentleman, who with his family had fled from his country, but was soon after recalled. - ED.

** The Bedford Society is not reported to the Convention as in existence since 1835, but Mr. Sam. M. Barclay is mentioned as a receiver so lately as 1852.- ED.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 31


                                   CHAP. III.

ABOUT the beginning of the year 1785, the Society procured from Sweden that interesting Posthumous Work of the Author, entitled Apocalypsis Explicata, secundum Sensum Spiritualem, &c. This was neatly written for the Press, and, as it appears by the title-page, intended to be printed in London. Some doubts, however, being entertained by several gentlemen, whether the Explanations given in this Work might not be supposed by some readers, to clash with those contained in the Apocalypse Revealed, in consequence of the latter being a very general, while the former is a more particular elucidation of the internal sense of the book of Revelation, it was thought advisable by the Society in their aggregate capacity, to decline the printing and publishing of the Work in question. Several members of the Society, however, were not satisfied with this conclusion; rightly judging, that no possible injury, but much real benefit, would accrue from the publication of such an invaluable production. Four of them immediately volunteered to print and publish the Work at their own joint expense. The names of these four persons were HENRY PECKITT, WILLIAM SPENCE, GEORGE ADAMS, and ROBERT HINDMARSH. To this list of Editors was added the name of BENEDICT CHASTANIER, a French Surgeon, resident for more than forty years in London, who was distinguished for his extra-ordinary zeal in promoting the cause of the New Church, though unable to assist with his purse in any undertaking of magnitude.* The Work was then put to press without further delay, and was printed by me in 4 quarto volumes, bearing date from 1785 to 1789, though not finished till the later end of the year 1790. The resolution thus taken, and acted upon, by the Editors, was evidently in conformity with the original design and intention of the enlightened Author, who, as before observed, had marked on the Title-page the word "LONDINI," as the place where he wished it to be printed, and also the date "1759," though the actual Printer of it was only born in that year.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 32 That the undertaking was a judicious and happy one, has long since been proved by the great satisfaction it has given to the New Church at large, and even to those very persons who at first objected to its appearing in print, and by the extraordinary benefits, which its numerous illustrations of the Four Gospels, and other parts of the Word, have conferred upon the public. The Work itself in the Manuscript, having been left incomplete by the Author, it reaching only to the middle of the 10th verse of the 19th Chapter, as may be seen in n. 1229 of the Original, it was deemed advisable to continue the Explications to the end of the Revelation; and this I undertook to do myself, as Printer and one of the Editors, by extracting from the Apocalypsis Revelata all that was necessary to complete the Work. A notice to this effect was therefore written, and subjoined to the aforesaid number 1229, of which the following is a copy, to be found in p. 143 of the fourth volume of the Latin edition.

* Mr. Chastanier, it appears, met with his death some years afterwards in the following unfortunate manner. Having gone to Scotland on some particular business, he designed to have returned to London by the Packet, and went on board with that intention. But the wind at that time being unfavourable, the Captain delayed sailing till a change should take place. On this Mr. Chastanier told the Captain, that he would in the meantime visit a friend at a little distance, and return to the vessel the next day. He accordingly quitted the Packet, leaving his bundle behind him, but never returned. It was cold, snowy weather; and it is supposed he either lost his way, or was overtaken with drowsiness, and sat down on the road-side to rest himself, where he was found the next day frozen to death. The Captain sailed when the wind was fair, and brought his bundle to London, which was afterwards delivered into the hands of Mr. Sibly, of Goswell Street.

       "Annotatio ab Editoribus infra scriptis.

"Has suas Explicationes super Apocalypsin hac usque porrexerat EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, quas, ut nobis videtur, ipse Autor intermisit, propterea ut tentamina de Sapientia Angelica cum aliis argumentis in hoc Opere inceptis, distincte` et plenius ageret; tum eo ut Libri Apocalypseos breviorem Explicationem, nuncupatam APOCALYPSIN REVELATAM, in lucem proferret; quod Opus, anno 1766, vel juxta nonnullos codices 1764, Amstelodami excusum est. Hujus attamen Libri, nempe APOCALYPSEOS EXPLICATAE, Editores, ut Operi fastigium imponeretur, deficientia Capita ex APOCALYPSI REVELATA desumpserunt; seduIo observantes numeros Articulorum in uno Opere citatos, cum correspondentibus numeris in altero commutare, et nonnullos alios silentio praetermittere.

"Ad finem Explicationum sequitur Continuatio de Divino Amore et Divina Sapientia prius susceptis, quae, inter alia fragmenta manuscripta, post mortem Autoris reperta sunt.

"HENRICUS PECKITT,                                                                                                                                                          

Londini, Jun. 17, 1790."

TRANSLATION of the preceding NOTICE, for the use of those who do not read Latin.

       "Note by the under-written Editors.

"The Author, EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, had extended his Explications of the Apocalypse thus far, and then discontinued them, for the purpose, as it appears to us, of giving, separately and more fully, his Essays on Angelic Wisdom, together with other subjects begun in this Work; and also that he might publish a shorter Explication of the Apocalypse, under the title of the APOCALYPSE REVEALED; which last Work was printed at Amsterdam in the year 1766, or, according to some copies, in the year 1764. But the Editors of this Work, namely, of the APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED, have thought it advisable, in order to render it more complete, to take the Explications of the remaining Chapters from the APOCALYPSE REVEALED; and in doing this they have been careful to alter the numbers cited in one Work, so as to make them answerable to those in the other, and in some cases to omit a few numbers as unnecessary.

"At the end of the Explications follows a Continuation concerning the Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, already begun in this Work, which, with other fragments in Manuscript, were found after the Author's death.

"ROBERT HINDMARSH."               "London, June 17, 1790."


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 33

As Printer and one of the Editors of this important work, I had occasion to make a variety of emendations or alterations of the text, in those places where verbal inaccuracies were discoverable. These inaccuracies did not in the least affect the sense, but were evidently mere slips of the pen, which any reader at all acquainted with the Latin language might easily have corrected for himself. Nevertheless it was thought expedient, for the satisfaction of future readers, to annex at the end of Vol. 2, 3, and 4, a List of all such variations from the Author's Manuscript, as had been made in the course of printing the work.

It may be proper to remark, that, some time after the Apocalypsis Explicata was published, Mr. Peckitt, being desirous of possessing the whole property in the printed Work, paid over to each of the other Editors the sums which they had advanced as their respective shares. Accordingly, after the Subscribers had been supplied with the copies ordered, the remainder of the impression was delivered to Mr. Peckitt, together with the original Manuscript volumes. These Manuscripts, after the death of Mr. Peckitt, came of course into the hands of his son, the present Mr. Henry Peckitt, who has since presented them to The Society for Printing and Publishing the Writings of the Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg, which was instituted in London, in the year 1810.* The Latin edition consisted of two hundred and fifty copies, a number perfectly sufficient, in the first instance, to secure this great treasure to the New Church for ever.

* These MSS. were returned to the Royal Academy of Sciences of Stockholm, from whom they had been borrowed, in 1842. The letter of acknowledgment from Von Brinkman, President of the Society, and Jacob Benzelius, the Secretary, was printed in the Intellectual Repository for 1843, p. 74.- ED.

A remarkable circumstance, worthy of being recorded, took place while I was printing the first volume of this same Work in 1785. Mr. Peckitt, as one of the Editors, had in his possession the Manuscript of the second volume, containing from the 7th to the 11th chapters inclusive. By some accident a fire broke out in his neighbourhood at midnight, which soon extended its ravages to his house. In the alarm and confusion common in such cases, the firemen and others endeavoured to save whatever property came first to their hands; but while in the act of performing so dangerous an office, the house fell in, and covered them with its ruins; from which, however, they were afterwards extricated without much injury. Mr. Peckitt himself, who assisted in the removal of his goods, till the flames compelled him to quit the house, narrowly escaped with his life; and it was not till the next morning, when the agitation of his mind was somewhat abated, that he bethought himself of the Manuscript Volume of the Apocalypsis Explicata, which he now concluded must have been burnt, with the immense multitude of other books, which were consumed. What added to his distress on the occasion was the recollection, that the Manuscript was in his desk in the parlour, and that desk was destroyed.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 34

Early on the next morning he visited the ruins, yet with slender hopes of recovering what he now considered as the most valuable jewel which had been in his possession, and consequently as the most serious loss which had befallen him. But his search was vain; neither desk nor book was to be found. Soon after, one of the neighbours (Mr. William Yarnold, a Coal-Merchant, of No. 16, Soho Square,) informed Mr. Peckitt, that he had picked up several books in the street in the course of the preceding night, and had taken them to his own house, in order to preserve them in safety. Entertaining a faint hope, that the Latin Manuscript was among the books so preserved, Mr. Peckitt immediately accompanied him to his house, where he actually found the very Volume in question, which did not appear to have sustained the smallest injury.* On inquiry it was ascertained, that one of the firemen, in the midst of the general confusion, finding the desk too heavy to be easily removed, had opened it, and thrown its contents at random into the street, where the Manuscript was taken up, and secured, as before observed.

* Except being singed at one of the corners.- ED.

These particulars I had from Mr. Peckitt himself, who communicated the information in a very affecting manner. The Society was holding its usual meeting in the Temple a few evenings after the fire, and conversing on the calamity, which had been permitted to fall on one of the worthiest members of its body, when Mr. Peckitt entered the room with the lost and recovered Volume under his arm, and throwing it on the table, burst into a flood of tears, being unable for a few moments to give any other kind of utterance to his feelings. When restored to his self-possession, "There," said he, "the greatest treasure which I had in my house, is preserved in safety; and for the sake of that, I willingly submit to my great loss." He then gave the particulars, as above related. His library consisted of many thousand volumes in every branch of science, which had been accumulating for some years; besides a rare collection of mystical books, to which he was known to be very partial, before his acquaintance with the Writings of Swedenborg. But these latter had already considerably weakened his attachment to the mystic authors; and the loss which he now sustained by the fire, had the happy effect of weaning his mind still more from their abstruse and erroneous sentiments. The books consumed on this occasion could not have been less, it is said, than a full waggon-load.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 35

What renders the preservation of this Manuscript Volume the more remarkable, is the circumstance, that the 11th Chapter of the Revelation, which it contains, particularly treats of the Two Witnesses, (the Two Essentials of the New Church, viz., the Doctrine concerning the Lord, and the Doctrine of Life,) against whom the beasts ascending out of the bottomless pit made war, and whom for a time he overcame, and apparently destroyed; though afterwards they revived, and stood upon their feet; denoting that those Essentials, however opposed and rejected by men at their first publication, would hereafter be received and acknowledged in the Church. See the Memorable Relation, n. 531, of the Apocalypse Revealed. It is further stated in n. 543 of the same Work, that, while writing the Explication of the 12th Chapter of the Apocalypse, where the birth of the Male Child is treated of, by which is signified the first appearance of the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, the Author was beset by the spirits of the Dragon in the spiritual world, who endeavoured by all the means in their power to extinguish or destroy his writing. Their efforts, however, were unavailing, being frustrated by the Divine Providence of the Lord, which has been abundantly exemplified in the protection of his rising Church. The reader may also consult n. 711 of the Apocalypse Explained; and n. 312 of the True Christian Religion, where he will find a further account of the hostility of the spirits of the Dragon against the doctrines of the New Church.

I know not whether the preceding anecdote may be thought by the reader worthy of preservation. At any rate it can have no bad effect. It gives some countenance to the idea, that what are called accidents and misfortunes in the natural world, are brought about by the presence and sphere of spirits in the spiritual world, whose agency, when extended to nature, is directed and controlled by Infinite Wisdom and Goodness, according to the laws of divine permission. For if a sparrow cannot fall on the ground without our heavenly Father; if even the very hairs of our head are all numbered, Matt. x. 29, 30; in short, if nothing can happen by chance, every event, however casual or fortuitous it may appear, must have a certain cause, from which it derives its existence; and that cause must be ascribed to spirit, and not to matter, or the accidental arrangement of matter.


The members of the Society, in their aggregate and individual capacity, being now supplied with a considerable stock of printed books, opened a correspondence, through the medium of their Printer, with booksellers and others in various parts of England, who were each furnished with a small assortment on sale or return. Advertisements were also from time to time inserted in the public papers, announcing the various works, as they passed through the press.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 36 Printed copies were likewise forwarded to correspondents in Scotland, Ireland, France, Holland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Poland, North and South America, the West India Islands, the East Indies, and other distant parts of the globe.

About this time information was received of the existence of a Society of readers of the writings at Moscow, in Russia, which was begun in 1783 by two young gentlemen, who had been favoured with a sight of the treatise on Heaven and Hell, and who were so deeply interested in its contents, that they scarcely, knew how to contain themselves on the occasion. They began reading it together one evening, and never rose from their seats till they had gone through the whole. Being astonished beyond measure, and at the same time gratified with the prospects laid before them of a state of being hereafter, of which they had till then not the slightest idea, worthy of being called an idea, they at once came to the resolution of endeavouring to spread among their friends and neighbours, according to the utmost of their ability, yet with a zeal tempered with prudence and discretion, the knowledge of those wonderful truths, which had so powerfully operated upon their own minds, and which they doubted not must produce similar effects upon the minds of others. Meetings were accordingly instituted for reading the Writings; and though little was heard of them for some years afterwards, books were occasionally forwarded to them, when opportunities offered.

Among the various persons, in different parts of the world, with whom I now corresponded, in consequence of its being pretty generally known, that I was the Printer of Swedenborg's Writings, was an English gentleman at the Hague, William Gomm, Esq., Secretary to the British Ambassador at that place, and brother-in-law to the late Lord Malmesbury.* He was a most zealous and cordial approver of the New Jerusalem doctrines, and took an active part in disseminating them in the higher circles of society. He translated into the French language such of the proceedings of our Society, as he thought were likely to interest foreigners in favour of the New Church; and wherever he met with opposition to the truth, or heard of reports injurious to the character and writings of Swedenborg, he exerted himself most strenuously in their defence, as will in part appear from the following Letter, which he addressed to me on a particular occasion.

* See Servante's Letters to Glen, in The Monthly Observer for 1857, p. 420 and note. - ED.

Extract of a LETTER from WILLIAM GOMM, Esq., at the Hague, to Mr. ROBERT HINDMARSH, of London, concerning a Report, that Baron Swedenborg had in his last moments retracted his Writings.

"My dear Sir,

"I am now to trouble you upon an important and interesting subject to us both, and indeed to all real admirers of Baron Swedenborg.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 37

"A Mr. Vosman, (Keeper of the Prince of Orange's Museum, or Chamber of Natural Curiosities,) who was personally acquainted with the Baron, and who received a volume of his Writings in which I have read these words in the Baron's own hand writing 'Dono miss ab Autore,' asserts in the most positive manner, that a Swedish Nobleman (I think a Baron or Count Rosenberg, whom he had desired, upon his leaving him here in his way to London, to give him the most circumstantial and authentic account what he could collect of Baron Swedenborg's behaviour in his last hours,) had informed him, (and he declares it in the most unreserved manner,) that he had been assured, that a few hours before his death, Baron Swedenborg had retracted all he had written.'

"I need not tell you how truly afflicting such a report is to all true recipients; nor (however improbable it seems to most of us) how very prejudicial it is to Baron Swedenborg's reputation. I therefore know you will think no pains a task, which you can possibly take to enable me to destroy what I take to be so palpable, as well as disengenuous and illiberal, a falsehood.

"Consult everybody you can think of, my dear friend, who is likely to be assistant in clearing it up. I shall use every endeavour in my power, in consequence of yours, to destroy this prejudice, if it be in our power; and therefore wish the lines you may favour me with, in answer to these, may be written apart from any other matter whatever, as I shall be able to make the better use of them in that shape.

"I need not say, I am sure, how anxious I shall be to receive them. Your zeal in so good a cause makes all further apology, I well know, entirely superfluous.

"I beg you will continue to believe me,

                     "Dear Sir, affectionately years,

                                                  "WILLIAM GOMM."
Hague, Oct. 14, 1785.

"P.S.- A part of the Swedish Nobleman's information is said to have come from the people of the house, where Baron Swedenborg lived and died. This being so near at hand, may possibly be cleared up by yourself, Dear Sir, (at least to the satisfaction of candid people,) by what you may be able to collect from these living witnesses, upon proper queries; as, Who visited the Baron in his last hours? What language did they speak with him in? What questions did they ask him? and, What do they recollect to have heard, at the time, of his answers? &c., &c."

As soon as I received this letter from Mr. Gomm, I called on my friend Mr. Thomas Wright, of the Poultry, Watchmaker to the King, and consulted with him on the measures most proper to be taken to meet the occasion; and we came to the resolution, in the first instance, of waiting upon Mr. Shearsmith, at his house in Great Bath Street, Cold Bath Fields, Clerkenwell, to ascertain from his own mouth the truth or falsehood of the report alluded to. Accordingly we immediately proceeded to Mr. Shearsmith's house, and, after stating to him the cause of our visit, requested that he would openly and candidly declare, whether to his knowledge or belief, there was any foundation in truth for the report in question. His answer was prompt and satisfactory: he assured us, in the most positive terms, and in a manner which bespoke the sincerity of his heart, that the report was altogether destitute of truth, and that it must have originated with, and proceeded from, some malicious person, whose enmity to Swedenborg's Writings had suggested such a falsehood. His wife, who was present, and who had constantly attended Swedenborg until the time of his decease, corroborated her husband's testimony; and they both freely offered to make an affidavit before a Magistrate, that the report, which had been raised and circulated to the prejudice of Swedenborg, was altogether false and groundless.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 38

Satisfied with this information, and anxious to give it publicity in an authentic shape, Mr. Wright and I proceeded to the house of Mr. Prichard, a Proctor, in Doctor's Commons, who, on hearing the particulars, prepared an Affidavit in legal form, the contents of which were sworn to and signed by Mr. Shearsmith and his wife, on the 24th of November, 1785, before the Lord Mayor of London, whose name also was Thomas Wright, though no relation of my friend the Watchmaker. A copy of this Affidavit, together with a Letter inclosing the same, was then forwarded to Mr. Gomm, at the Hague; which were as follows.

Copy of a LETTER from Mr. ROBERT HINDMARSH, of London, to WILLIAM GOMM, Esq., at the Hague.

"Dear Sir,

"I am in possession of the most authentic proof of the falsehood of the report you mention to have gained credit in Holland, regarding Baron Swedenborg's having disowned or retracted his doctrines and communications, when he was drawing near his end. The persons, in whose house he lived, and where he died, upon being told this circumstance, freely offered, of their own accord, to take their oaths before a Magistrate, that the whole of the said report is totally void of foundation, to the best of their knowledge. You will see this accordingly confirmed by the inclosed document, sworn to in the presence of the Lord Mayor of this city, and of which you are at full liberty to make whatever use you may think proper, in order to destroy the influence of so malevolent an insinuation.

"Allow me to add here what I have further learnt from Mr. Springer, a Swedish gentleman residing here, and a very intimate friend, as you may have heard, of Baron Swedenborg's.

"When the deceased found his end approaching, and expressed a wish to have the communion administered to him, somebody present at the time proposed sending for Mr. Mathesius, the officiating Minister of the Swedish Church. This person was known to be a professed enemy of Baron Swedenborg, and had set his face against his Writings: it was he that had raised and spread the false account of Baron Swedenborg's having been deprived of his senses. The Baron therefore declined taking the Sacrament from him, and actually received it from the hands of another ecclesiastic of his own country, named Ferelius, who at that time was a reader of Baron Swedenborg's Writings, and is said to have continued to do so ever since, at Stockholm, where he is now living; and I have been assured, that on this occasion Baron Swedenborg expressly exhorted him 'to continue steadfast in the truth.,

"Mr. Mathesius is said to have become insane himself, a short time after this; and becoming thereby incapable of his function, has existed ever since, in that melancholy state, upon the bounty of the King of Sweden.

"Mr. Springer further says, 'That a short time before his death, Baron Swedenborg had his spiritual or internal sight withdrawn from him, after having been favoured with it during so long a course of years: that he was under the greatest tribulation of mind on that account, calling out, 'O my God! hast thou then at last abandoned thy servant?' This seems to have been the last of his trials. He continued several days in that deplorable condition; but at length recovered his spiritual or internal sight. He was then comforted again, and became happy as before.'

"Mr. Springer received this assurance from Baron Swedenborg's own mouth: and what I write now is from an exact copy of part of a letter written by Mr. Springer himself.

                            "I remain, dear Sir, your's, &c.

                                          "ROBERT HINDMARSH."       

"London, Nov. 28, 1785."

COPY of the AFFIDAVIT by RICHARD SHEARSMITH, and ELIZABETH his Wife, referred to in the preceding Letter.*
* This Affidavit has been strangely mutilated and misrepresented, first by the Editors Of the New Jerusalem Magazine, published in 1790, p. 225, and since that time by almost all the writers, who have had occasion to quote it; although it was correctly printed in the Magazine of Knowledge for 1791, p. 300, from the original document, which is still in my possession.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 39

"Richard Shearsmith, of Cold Bath Fields, London, Peruke Maker, and Elizabeth Shearsmith, formerly Reynolds, his present wife, jointly and severally make oath and say, That the late Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg came to lodge a second time to his this deponent's house, No. 26, Cold Bath Fields aforesaid, in the month of July or August, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-one, and continued to lodge there until his death, which happened the twenty-ninth of March following. That a short time before Christmas, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-one, he had a paralytic stroke, which deprived him of his speech, and occasioned his lying in a lethargic state for three weeks and upwards, during the whole of which time he took no sustenance whatever, except a little tea without milk, and cold water occasionally; and once about two tea-spoonfuls of red currant jelly. That about the expiration of three weeks from the time he was so struck, he recovered his speech and health a little, and ate and drank toast, tea, and coffee, as usual. That from that time to the time of his death, he was visited but by a very few friends only, and always seemed unwilling to see company. That about a month before he died, he told this deponent, then Elizabeth Reynolds, spinster, who was then a servant to her fellow-deponent, and Mrs. Shearsmith her then mistress, that he should die on a particular day, which to the best of her re-collection and belief happened on the day he had foretold. That about a fortnight or three weeks before he died, he received the sacrament in bed from the hands of a foreign clergyman, and enjoyed a sound mind, memory, and understanding, to the last hour of his life. That about five o'clock on Sunday, the twenty-ninth day of March he asked her, this deponent, and her then mistress, who were sitting by his bed-side what o'clock it was? and upon their answering him that it was about five o'clock, he replied, 'Dat be good, me tank you, God bless you," or to that effect; and in about ten minutes after, he heaved a gentle sigh, and expired in the most tranquil manner. And these deponents jointly and severally on their oath declare, that to the best of their recollection and belief, no person whatever visited him either the day before, or the day on which he died. And these deponents positively declare, that they never did, either directly or indirectly, say or assert to any person or persons whatsoever, that the said Emanuel Swedenborg had a few hours before his death retracted or contradicted any part of his Writings, as hath been falsely reported; nor did they ever hear him, nor do they believe he ever did say a word that expressed or implied such an idea; nor were these deponents ever asked a question relative to that circumstance, by any person or persons whatsoever, until the twenty-second day of October last, when Mr. Thomas Wright, of the Poultry, London, Watchmaker, and Mr. Robert Hindmarsh, of Clerkenwell Close, Printer, called upon them to inquire into the truth or falsehood of such report, which these deponents then declared to them, and now again on their oaths declare, to be a false and groundless report.       


                                    "RICHARD SHEARSMITH.

                                                         The Mark of


                                          "ELIZABETH SHEARSMITH."

Sworn at the Guildhall, London,       }
the 24th day of November, 1785,
before me,                                          }

              "T. WRIGHT, Mayor."       }

Mr. Gomm, on receipt of this affidavit, translated it into French, and caused it to be printed at the Hague; by which means the false report, that had gained credit there, was completely refuted, and the enemies of truth on this occasion were effectually silenced.

Besides the proof, above adduced, of the falsehood of the report of Swedenborg's having recanted his writings, another arises from the evidence of Count Hopken, who in a letter to General Tuxen, dated Schenninge, the 21st of May, 1773, expressly says,


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 40 "The late Swedenborg did not, on his death-bed, recant what he has written; of which I have particularly informed myself." This letter may be seen in the Appendix to the first New Jerusalem Magazine, p. 270. But indeed we have positive evidence, that so far from denying the truth of his writings, he did in his last days most solemnly confirm the whole of them. His intimate friend, the Rev. Thomas Hartley, visited him a few days before his death, and addressed him in the following manner: "In the name of God, in whose presence you are soon going to appear, and in the name of sacred friendship, declare to me, I beseech you, if all you have written is truth itself?" To this Swedenborg answered, "The doctrine I have set forth to the world is true; it has been revealed to me; and from and after the year 1780 it will spread very much." Mr. Benedict Chastanier, a French Surgeon, residing in London, adds to this testimony, that Mr. Hartley informed him in the year 1788, that "three or four days before Swedenborg's death he waited on him with Dr. Messiter, and in the Doctor's presence earnestly pressed him openly to declare whether all he had written was strictly true, or whether any part or parts thereof were to be excepted?" "I have written (answered Swedenborg with a degree of warmth) nothing but the truth, as you will have it more and more confirmed hereafter all the days of your life, provided you always keep close to the Lord, and faithfully serve him alone, in shunning evils of all kinds as sins against him, and diligently searching his Sacred Word, which from beginning to end bears incontestible testimony to the truth of the doctrines I have delivered to the world." The truth of this account was afterwards repeatedly affirmed by Dr. Messiter, and cannot now be disputed. See the first New Jerusalem Magazine, p. 226.

With respect to Mathesius, who appears to have been a great enemy to the writings of Swedenborg, and the inventor of those false reports which were so injurious to the character of one of the best and wisest of men, I shall only add to what has been already stated, the remarks of the Rev. S. Noble, who, in his excellent Appeal in Behalf of the Doctrines of the New Church, 3rd edit., p. 243, observes as follows:- "We are by no means prone to assume the distribution of divine judgments; but it really is difficult to avoid thinking that we behold one here. All must allow it to be a remarkable coincidence, that the man who first imputed insanity to Swedenborg, and was the chief cause of its being believed by others, should himself have experienced the deplorable visitation; which happened, also, soon after he gave the information to Mr. Wesley. The Abrege des Ouvrages d'Em. Swedenborg, which was published at Stockholm, in 1788, states in the Preface, that Mathesius had become insane, and was then living in that state in that city.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 41 The same is affirmed in the New Jerusalem Magazine; one of the Editors of which was Mr. C. B. Wadstrom*, a Swedish gentleman of great respectability, well known for his efforts in the cause of the abolition of the slave trade, and who must have had ample means of knowing the fact. In a MS. minute, also, in my possession, of a conversation held by Mr. Provo, May 2nd, 1787, with Mr. Bergstrom, master of the King's Arms (Swedish) Hotel, in Wellclose Square, the latter says as follows: 'Mr. Mathesius was an opponent of Swedenborg, and said that he was lunatic, &c.; but it is remarkable, that he went lunatic himself; which happened one day when he was in the Swedish Church, and about to preach. I was there, and saw it. He has been so ever since, and was sent back to Sweden, where he now is. This was about four years ago.' All the accounts agree: and thus evident it is, that into the pit, which this unhappy man digged for another, did he fall himself."

* Author of An Essay on Colonization, &c. See full title in the Monthly Observer for 1857, p. 418.- ED.

The Rev. Jacob Duche*, Chaplain to the Asylum for Female Orphans, in St. George's Fields, and one of the most eloquent and popular preachers in London, had for some time embraced the doctrines of the New Church, and in all his discourses from the pulpit gave evident proofs of his attachment to them, though at first with great caution lest it should be generally known, that his sentiments were opposed to the doctrines of the Established Church, of which he was an avowed member. To a new translation of the Doctrine of Life, made by one of the members of our Society, he was prevailed upon to write the Preface, which does credit both to his head and his heart.

* For an account of Mr. Duche, see The Monthly Observer, for 1857, p. 79. He was the author of two volumes of Discourses, published 1779, with Frontispieces from West, engraved by Sharp, in one of which is represented, a male and female angel. He died at Philadelphia in 1797.- ED.

As public worship had not as yet been established in the New Church, many of our friends attended his Ministry on the Sundays, and were highly delighted at the prospect, which they fondly hoped was opening to their view, of the introduction of the new doctrines gradually and insensibly into the service of the Church of England, by means of such able and pious preachers as Mr. Duche, and some others of the Clergy in different parts of the kingdom, who like him were now become receivers of the truth. But these hopes, after many years' experience, proved to be abortive. Several of these reverend divines, when it was known to their superiors in the Church, that they had embraced the doctrines contained in the Writings of Swedenborg, and were endeavouring to spread them among the people, were called to an account, and privately admonished on the subject. Others moved cautiously; and among these Mr. Duche is to be reckoned as one. He, however, afterwards opened his house at the Asylum for a number of his friends to meet in, for conversation on the doctrines.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 42 These meetings continued for several years; and I have been present, when upwards of thirty persons, male and female, have spent the Sunday evening together in a truly delightful manner, receiving from his lips the most impressive lessons of instruction, and mutually interchanging sentiments of pure affection for the truth, and for one another.

In the year 1786 the Society was visited by a Polish Nobleman, under the assumed name of Sutkowski, though his real name was Grabianka. He said he came from a Society at Avignon, in France, of which he was a member. That Society, it appears, had been formed in the North of Europe, in the year 1779; some individuals of which professed to have received orders from heaven to go to the South. These were to be followed in due time by the rest, who, after being dispersed in different countries, and having passed through their appointed trials and difficulties, were to re-assemble in a given place, at a time fixed upon by the general body.

On what principle this Society was formed, or for what purpose the individuals belonging to it were separately to remove from one part of the Continent to another, we could not exactly learn. An air of mystery hung over the whole account given of this Society by the Count; and strong suspicions were entertained, that he came to England with the view of making proselytes to some peculiar tenets of his Society, which were to be unfolded when he perceived a disposition among us to receive, with implicit faith, whatever he had to communicate. In the mean time, being a man of great ability and most engaging manners, he wonderfully succeeded in gaining the good opinion of those with whom he conversed. In answer to questions respecting his Society, he assured us, that its members were actuated by a sincere desire to promote the happiness of mankind, by disseminating the truths of Christianity, and especially the principles of love and charity, among the professors of religion, of every denomination. Hearing of the establishment of our Society in London, and being desirous of opening a correspondence with us, they had commissioned him to visit us in a friendly way, to ascertain the number of individuals of which our Society consisted, their character, situation in life, and probable tendency of the measures adopted to form a religious Community in the Christian world, under the name of the New Jerusalem Church.

The Count attended all our meetings, joined in familiar conversation with each of us, and expressed the utmost satisfaction with all our proceedings. He appeared to be well acquainted with the leading doctrines of the New Church, and spoke in glowing terms of the personal character and the Writings of Swedenborg.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 43 At Mr. Duche's he was a frequent and welcome visitor: his conversation was always interesting and animated: and when he communicated the religious sentiments and feelings of his Society, he seemed to speak the very language of the New Church. All were delighted with his company: all were anxious to shew him tokens of their affection and esteem. He was particularly desirous of eating bread, and drinking wine, (as if in commemoration of the Lord's Supper,) at each of our houses, or at least at the houses of those whom he esteemed the leading members of the Society; when, after this light repast, it was his custom to embrace each individual of the company present, and (after the manner of many foreigners) to give to each three kisses, first on the right cheek, then on the left, and lastly on the lips of the mouth. I have seen him administer this friendly salutation at different places, and on one occasion to more than thirty persons collected together, male and female, high and low, rich and poor, without discrimination; though in general he chose to take his bread and wine in the company of gentlemen only. I believe the ladies of the New Church, who were witnesses to, and sharers in, this display of spiritual affection and esteem, both to male and female, must have considered those days, when such scenes took place, to be rare days of the New Church indeed very unlikely to occur again, at least in our times!

The Count Grabianka was also a man of observation. After having become familiar with many individuals of the Society and remarked which of them acted the most prominent parts at the various meetings, which he attended, he distinguished twelve from the rest, and marked them, in his own mind, as resembling in character, person, or manner, the twelve apostles of the Lord. One he called Peter; another, James; a third, John; and so on with the rest. I do not exactly recollect all his assimilations and if I did, I certainly would not be so rude and discourteous as to name which of us came in for the character and name of Judas Iscariot. But this I well remember, that my father, James Hindmarsh, was Peter, perhaps from his elderly and portly appearance, and a forehead that seemed to betoken courage an sincerity: Mr. George Adams, from his warm- hearted an generous nature, was well entitled to the appellation of James: and myself, probably from my juvenile aspect, being the youngest of the Society, he named John. Whether these, or any of the others, truly answered to the characters and names given them by this foreign Nobleman, or whether they did not, is of little consequence, and certainly cannot be known by any man living. The circumstance is mentioned only for its singularity, and as a mark whereby the character of the Polish Count himself may in some small degree be ascertained.

It was remarkable, that in almost all the meetings, which Count Grabianka attended, he gave us to understand, that he and his Society were in possession of some grand secret, which he was not then at liberty to divulge, because the time proper for its disclosure was not yet arrived.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 44 But he assured us, that it was fast approaching; and he was in hopes, before he quitted England, of perceiving the state of our Society to be such, as to authorise him to open his mind fully to us upon the unknown subject. Many months passed away; and many minds were anxious to know all about this great secret, which, when revealed, was to do more for us, than we could possibly anticipate: but still the time was not come. It was to enlighten the understanding beyond all former discoveries of truth; not excepting even the writings of Swedenborg himself: it was to be the crown and summit of all mysteries; the key to all wisdom; and the perfection of all revelation. In short, it was in a manner to supersede all that was heretofore known, to eclipse all former dispensations, and to enrich the human mind with the last and best treasure of heaven.

"Well, what can this secret be?" said one. "I should like very much to know it," said another. "A fig for all your secrets," exclaimed a third: "I'll venture to prophesy, that, when it comes out, it will be found a mere hoax, a bagatelle, unworthy of the serious attention of a member of the New Church, who is already in possession of the pearl of great price, heaven's first and last best treasure, the knowledge of the Lord, of the internal sense of his Word, and of the great realities of another life. This is the secret most worthy of being known, hidden indeed from the ages that are past, but now happily revealed to all who have ears to hear it, and widely published to the world at large in the Writings of that great and ever-to-be honoured servant of the Lord, Emanuel Swedenborg; whose pages are open to the inspection of all, to the simple as well as the wise, to the unlearned as well as the learned, to the poor as well as the rich; and where the streams of living water from the divine fountain, the Holy Word itself, are continually flowing, to fertilize and enrich the heretofore dreary wastes of the Church, or of the human mind, which is the seat of the Church and of all true religion. What can we know of the Lord more, than that he is the only and everlasting God of heaven and earth, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in one adorable person, the Creator, Redeemer, and Saviour of mankind, the Bridegroom and Husband of his Church, the Friend of sinners, and the Word made Flesh, dwelling in and amongst us, raising us continually nearer and nearer to himself, that we may enjoy the felicities of heaven and eternal life for ever and ever? Can any secret equal this, no longer now a secret, but a divine revelation and manifestation of mercy to all the inhabitants of the earth? I fear," continued this speaker, "that some imposition is attempted under the mask of friendship and a superior degree of illumination; some Jesuitical scheme of gaining proselytes to a faith that shelters itself in mystery, seeing that the Count himself and the whole of his Society, still profess themselves to be members of the Church of Rome."


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 45

These fears and suspicions afterwards appeared to be too well-founded: for though the Count did not, during his stay in London, find himself at liberty to reveal his great secret to the Society as a body, the constant excuse for which being, that the time was not yet arrived - in other words, because the generality of us were too independent in spirit, and too well satisfied with the doctrines of the New Church, as contained in the writings of Swedenborg, to suffer ourselves to be duped by any Romish emissaries, yet to a few individuals he at length divulged it. And what can the reader surmise it to be? He has already heard, often enough, of the great mystery, which both Catholics and Protestants proclaim, as forming the first and most essential part of their respective creeds, namely - the existence of Three Divine Persons in the Godhead. But never, perhaps, till now, did he hear of this Polish Mystery - this Grand Secret, which leaves at a distance all other Enigmas which have hitherto been presented, not to the human understanding, but rather to the frailty of man's nature, and which it is impossible for any one but a Jesuit or rank enthusiast seriously to entertain. Long had we been expecting according to promise, a disclosure of it from the Polish Count; and at last out it came, to the surprise and derision of many. It was no less than "That there are actually Four Divine Persons in the Godhead; the Virgin Mary, having, in consequence of giving birth to the Saviour Jesus Christ, been ultimately Deified herself, and associated with the other Three Persons as an equal participator in Divinity!"*

* This absurd and impious opinion reminds me of a circumstance, which I will here relate. About the period when the Polish nobleman above alluded to, visited our Society, I accidentally fell in company with a person residing in Kingsland Road, near Shoreditch, whose religious (or rather irreligious) frenzy had induced him to believe, and to assert in the most positive terms, that there was no God in the universe but man; that he himself was a God, in common with others; and that though few men were aware of this their dignity and power, yet there was a society of such as professed themselves to be Gods, and he was one of their number. When I remonstrated with him on the wickedness and blasphemy of such a sentiment, as destructive of all rationality, and highly offensive to the true God, the Creator of heaven and earth, he the more strenuously insisted on his insane notion, contending, That if there were such a supreme and omnipotent God, as I and others supposed, he must be a very cruel Being: or why, said he did he place the sun in the firmament at such an immense distance from the earth, that the heat proceeding from it was incapable of yielding him any comfort or benefit? This cruelty, he said, had been sensibly felt by him that very morning; for taking an early walk about sun-rise, he said he had reason to complain of the severe cold, which a merciful God, if there be such a one, might easily have prevented, by placing the sun nearer to the earth. "Besides," continued he, "I am terrified and distracted every night in my dreams; and how could a kind and beneficent Being inflict such misery upon one who never offended him? I am therefore constrained to deny his existence, or else to conclude, that he delights in punishing and tormenting his creatures." To this I replied, that his own infirmity and sufferings ought at least to have convinced him, that he was himself no God; and that perhaps his disorderly state of life, while waking, might be the occasion of his alarm and distress while sleeping; and that he would do well to humble himself, and pray to be delivered from his infatuation, before it was too late.

The case of this man somewhat resembles that of another, in the West of England, who, after fancying himself at one time to be Adam, and at another time Jesus Christ, at last declared himself to be God Almighty! Yet, on the appearance of some clouds gathering in the sky, being asked whether it would rain or not, he replied, like a simpleton as he was, "Indeed I do not know!" thus giving the lie to his own vain pretensions, and in an unguarded moment acknowledging his ignorance, so incompatible with the character he had previously assumed, of being God Almighty.

Both these cases may be regarded as actual confirmations in the natural world, of the account given by Emanuel Swedenborg of a scene witnessed by him in the spiritual world. Two devils ascended from below, and informed him, that they belonged to two different societies in hell, - one consisting of two hundred, in which all are styled Emperors of Emperors, Kings of Kings, Dukes of Dukes, and Princes of Princes; the other consisting of three hundred in number, who are all called Gods; but the devil, who was their spokesman on this occasion, called himself God of Gods. The whole relation is edifying, and shews the sad consequences of cherishing the love of dominion and pre-eminence, grounded either in self- love or in the love of the world, from which are generated the most dreadful phantasies and delusions, such as are above described. - See True Christian Religion, n. 661. - R. H.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 46

After this the Society needed no further information or instruction from that quarter; being perfectly satisfied, that a very high degree of illumination of the understanding, discoverable on many occasions in the conversations of the Polish nobleman, is yet no security against a person's entertaining secret designs of making proselytes to an enormous faith, and thus withdrawing the simple-minded from the true and exclusive worship of the One Only Lord. If such was the secret purpose or end, for which the Count visited the Society of the New Church in London, he certainly did not succeed in his mission: for not an individual could be found among us so weak and so extremely besotted, as to give countenance for a moment to such a visionary, impious, and atrocious creed.

About the end of the year 1786, the Count, after taking a
most affectionate leave of the Society assembled at Mr. Duche's, returned to France. In the course of a few months after, we received a letter from his Society, signed by himself and five others. This letter appeared to be written in a most excellent spirit, but contained some mysterious allusions to the formation of the society abroad, as if by supernatural means, and to the objects which it had in view. After all, whatever was the real character of the society in question, or of the individual members it comprised, it does not by any means appear, that they associated together on the sound principles of the New Church: and though the conversations of the Count, when in London, were highly interesting, and the letter to us after his departure, was couched in terms of uncommon friendship and affection, there was still something about the whole of their communications, which was not altogether satisfactory; and therefore no further correspondence was maintained between the Society at London and that of Avignon. But the reader shall judge for himself, on perusing the following:-


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 47



       "To the Children of the New Kingdom in London.

"Very dear and well-beloved Brethren,

"After having returned the most sincere thanks to the Lord our God, that he hath been pleased to permit our very dear brother Count GRABIANKA (who was known to you by the name Of SUTKOWSKI) to come amongst us - a circumstance that we have long desired - we hasten to join him in returning you the most sincere thanks for the civil and distinguished manner with which you treated him while he dwelt amongst you.

"We thank you equally for the inestimable present you made him of several of the works of Emanuel Swedenborg, to be delivered to our Society as a pledge of the union, which the Lord is about to form between us. We have received them with transports of the most lively joy, and will take that care of them which they deserve, and also present them to the rest of our brethren, as the precious mark of your friendship for us.

"Long before we were acquainted with the writings of this author, Heaven had condescended to reveal to us the great truths which they contain, and to assure us in a very particular manner, that the voice of JESUS CHRIST descended into his heart, and endowed him with his knowledge. We know further, that his works contain, under the veil of the most simple diction, a depth and a sublimity, which puts them out of the reach of those who are not advanced in the spiritual life; and consequently that no one can flatter himself, that he can obtain the true sense of them, if he be not assisted by the light from above.

"To the representation, which our very dear brother GRABIANKA has given us of the desire of knowing the truth, which animates all the members of your Society; of the eagerness and ardour shewn by each of you in his researches after it; of the constant emulation which directs and supports you in this pious and holy study; he has added the particulars of what he had communicated to you relative to us. Though we are persuaded you have given an entire confidence to what he told you, we think it our duty to confirm his assertions.

"Yes, very dear brethren, there exists a society, which the Lord JESUS CHRIST has formed. It was in the year 1779, and in the North of Europe, that he was pleased in his mercy to lay the foundations thereof. Some of those who were first favoured by his choice, received afterwards orders to go to the South. Five of this number being re-united, expected for sometime past, their very dear brother GRABIANKA, Who, notwithstanding his desire to be with them, has not been able to gratify it till now, because he has been obliged to pass through the thorny path pointed out to him by Heaven. The rest, who are dispersed in different countries, earnestly expect to obtain the same order. We know already, that one of them, who has nearly finished his first course, will very soon join us. The ensuing spring will bring back fifteen, and we expect many more brethren and sisters that we know will be called in the course of this year.

"The Spirit of God, which breathes in the souls of all men, selects indiscriminately from all nations. Those that the love of truth raises and directs constantly towards its sanctuary, by receiving continually the divine influences of this Holy Spirit, will no doubt contribute the most to constitute this new people of the Lord. Dear Englishmen, very dear and well-beloved brethren, if you knew the favours that Heaven already bestows upon many amongst you, how would your hearts be penetrated with holy joy! Happy nation! thou shalt tread falsehood under thy feet; and when the arms of truth have ascertained thy triumph, peace will take refuge in thy bosom, and thou shalt acquire immortal glory by placing thyself under the banners of JESUS CHRIST.

"The time not yet being arrived for mysteries to cease, we pass rapidly over this subject, in expectation of the moment of a complete manifestation. But in passing through the interval which will conduct us to this period, we will employ every moment to unite ourselves with you in heart and mind to adore the Lord, and through the aid of his Holy Spirit to practise every Christian virtue. In acting thus, we shall fulfil the orders, which Heaven has given us relative to you: and as we have received the same orders with respect to several other societies, who, like you, walk in the paths of CHRIST, we hasten to fulfil them also in obedience to the command. For the will of God is his Word, the Word of God is his powerful virtue, and his powerful virtue is the light of the world.

"Eight successive years (passed away in the obscurity and silence imposed upon the greater part amongst us) have at last brought us to this happy day, wherein we are to open our hearts to our brethren, and draw from theirs that reciprocation of fraternal friendship, which we bear towards them in JESUS CHRIST.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 48 After this we hope, that in receiving from us these first ideas, you will desire to form one and the same soul with us, to praise, to bless, and to adore the Lord; and that
your love towards him will make you ardently desire to be of the number of those that he shall deign to choose, to labour towards dissipating the thick darkness which covers the earth; to annihilate the fatal errors which keep the truth in captivity, by subjecting the minds of men thereto; to endeavour to bring back the wanderers from the broad roads of iniquity, and lead them into the paths of righteousness; in a word, to dispose them to receive revealed truths, and prepare the way for his new people. For, very dear brethren, the angel that stands before the face of the Lamb, is already sent to sound his trumpet on the mountains of Babylon, and give notice to the nations that the God of heaven will soon come to the gates of the earth, to change the face of the world, and to manifest his power and glory.

"We hope also that you will pray to the Lord for us, as we ask of him for you, the spiritual assistances we stand in need of, in order to serve him with fidelity; for the glory of God being the sole end, which we are to propose to ourselves in our labour, and the good of our brethren the fruit of it, we contribute to both while we mutually assist and support each other in the ways of JESUS CHRIST.

"Let us then unite our hearts to give glory to the Most High, who calls upon us; for if we hear him we shall understand him; and if we understand him we shall be blessed.

"Let us remain full of the love of our Lord; he will open to us the path of his mysteries; and this mighty God becoming our glory will make us become his, and by him we shall live in him and for him.

"Prosperity, joy, happiness to those who desire to follow his Word, because they will become his children.

"May you, very dear brethren, be all of this number; we desire it most sincerely; and it is with these sentiments that we beg of you to accept the testimonies of the most fraternal affection and particular esteem, with which we are,

               "Very dear and well-beloved Englishmen,

                     "Your brethren in JESUS CHRIST,

                     (Signed by Count) GRABIANKA,"
Feb. 12, 1787.       And FIVE OTHERS.

Some time after the receipt of this letter, two individuals, William Bryan*, of London, and John Wright, of Leeds, not members of our Society, but who had become acquainted with the circumstances above related, in consequence of Count Grabianka's visit to this country, and the publication of his letter to us after his return to France, came to the resolution of travelling on foot, (excepting the passage over the water) from London to Avignon, a distance of above 700 miles. This journey they undertook for the sole purpose of joining the Society in the last-mentioned place, and to obtain further information concerning the objects it had in view, as well as the mysteries or hidden secrets of which it professed to be in possession, by a direct revelation from heaven.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 49 Without pecuniary means sufficient to defray a third part of the expenses likely to be incurred by travelling even in the humble style of pedest- rians they started from London in high spirits, leaving their families behind them in nearly a destitute condition.

* Of Bryan's enthusiasm the reader may judge from the following anecdote. Walking with him one day in the streets of London, and conversing with him on the subject of some extraordinary powers to which he pretended, beyond those of his fellow-mortals, I desired him to state what these were; when he declared, that he was possessed of a faith sufficient to demolish and remove everything that opposed any obstacle to his wishes. "For example," said he, "were I now disposed to exert my faith, and the power inseparable from it, I could, with a single blast of wind from my mouth, overthrow the buildings on either side of the street, and scatter them in all directions." I smiled at the idea, and told him, I hoped he would have the goodness to keep his faith in check for a while, at least until I had an opportunity of securing a safe retreat from the possible danger. He consented to this, and we both walked on, he without blowing up the street by the intensity of his faith, and I without witnessing the dreadful effects of his vaunted power.- R. H.

After arriving in France, their small stock of money was soon exhausted; unexpected privations and difficulties pressed upon them; and long before they reached the end of their journey, they had to beg their bread on the road by their miserable gestures and appearance, neither of them having the least knowledge of the language of the country in which they were travelling. At Paris they found a third person, (Mr. Boosie) who, on learning the nature of their expedition, readily agreed to accompany them. The latter, collecting what little property he could, made common stock of it; and without further delay, they all marched together from Paris, and after encountering many hardships, at length safely arrived at Avignon, the place
of their destination.

Here they soon found the Society they were in search of; and they were received with a hearty welcome by the various members, to whom they were introduced. After a certain process of examination, probation, and injunction of secrecy, they were finally initiated into the mysteries of their order. Of what nature these mysteries were, may be collected from the following particulars, which transpired soon after the return of the travellers. It was given out, that the members of this Society had immediate communication with heaven; that at certain seasons they assembled at the top of a mountain, where an angel met and conversed with them; that this angel once presented each of them with a glass phial (cork and all) filled with a red liquid; which he told them was the dew of heaven, and which, if carried in their bosoms, would be a continual protection to them against enemies, and would moreover enable them at all times to perform miracles, provided they had sufficient faith in its virtues. On one occasion our travellers were most solemnly introduced to what was called the actual and personal presence of the Lord; which, it appears, was effected by the agency of a comely and majestic young man, arrayed in purple garments, seated on a kind of throne or chair of state, in an inner apartment decorated with heavenly emblems, who thus dared to personate the Lord, and was waiting to receive from these newly-initiated devotees that homage or worship, which is alone due from a creature to his adorable Creator.

That any number of Christians, in modern times, should be associated together with principles and practices like these, is indeed an extraordinary phenomenon; and perhaps can only be accounted for by tracing the existence of such a Society to some Jesuitical scheme and contrivance, to extend the dominion of the Romish priesthood over the souls and bodies of men.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 50 For of all the institutions hitherto formed among professors of the Christian religion, none have united so much craft, wickedness, and just of power, to the finest expressions of piety, humility and disinterested love of their neighbour, as that known by the name of the Society of Jesus, the members of which are usually called Jesuits. Whether the Society at Avignon was, or was not, of the character suspected, is now of little consequence, as no result of any moment took place as the effect of the Polish Count's visit to England; nor did the correspondence, thus begun, appear necessary or even desirable to be continued. Some expressions and sentiments, contained in their letter to the London Society, have a very doubtful and suspicious look, notwithstanding the many endearing terms with which it abounds.

It is remarkable of the city of Avignon on the banks of the Rhone, that it was once the seat of 7 Popes in succession, viz., from 1308 to 1377, and dependent on them till it was united to France; that it contained 7 monasteries, 7 hospitals, 7 colleges, 7 palaces, 7 markets, and 7 gates; with a cathedral, very stately churches, and surrounding avenues of delightful appearance.

When the first vessel sailed with convicts from this country to Botany Bay, under the care of Governor Phillip, in 1787, Mr. John Lowes, a surgeon, who was employed by the government in that expedition, and with whom I was particularly intimate, was entrusted with a large assortment of books, as a present for the use of the new colony. As he was himself favourable to the writings, it was reasonable to expect that he would take care to distribute them in the most judicious manner, both among the officers, his companions, and among such of the crew and convicts as he might think most capable of profiting by them. I had reason afterwards to believe that he discharged the trust reposed in him with care and punctuality: for in a letter received from him after his arrival at Botany Bay, he informed me, that several of the officers approved of the writings, and cordially embraced their contents. But the clergyman, who was appointed chaplain to the expedition, and to the new colony, was much opposed to them, because they were not in agreement with the doctrines of the Established Church. My friend, however, succeeded in distributing them in such a way, as gave hopes of much future good. The wise man says, "Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days." Eccles. xi. 1.

On another occasion I sent a small packet of the books to the Dey of Algiers, by an Algerine Captain who had been shipwrecked, and who applied to me in London for assistance to enable him to return to his own country. I interrogated this man pretty closely concerning his misfortune at sea, as well as concerning the state of society in Algiers.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 51 He told me that English people were to be found there, and indeed men of almost all nations. I asked him whether he could have access to the Dey, and whether he would undertake to deliver a small parcel of books to him, if I entrusted them to his care. He answered, that, as captain of a vessel, he could without difficulty gain access to his Highness, and that he would faithfully deliver the books, or whatever else I might choose to send, into his own hands. I then gave him what little assistance I could, to increase the sum that had been contributed by other friends, to enable him to return home; and made up a small parcel of English books, which I charged him to deliver to the Dey himself. This opportunity I embraced, though with little hopes or expectation of a favourable result. Yet, as it was impossible to foresee the effects of such a venture, or into whose hands the books might ultimately fall, either at sea, or elsewhere, I committed them to the care of a Mahometan or avowed Infidel, and left the event to the Divine Providence.


                            CHAP. IV.

WE now come to a most interesting part of our history,- the period when it was thought high time for the professors of the new doctrines to assume a more public character, than that which had hitherto marked their progress. The Society had not as yet separated themselves, as a religious body, from the other professors of Christianity, usually designated by the name of the Old Church, in contradistinction from that of the New Church; neither had they, as yet, made any efforts to establish public worship in agreement with their own adopted sentiments, and the great truths of revelation. Their labours were confined to the translation and publication of the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg; to weekly and other meetings for conversation, and to epistolary correspondence with those societies, both at home and abroad, which had already been formed, and with such individuals in all parts of the world, as were then known to have embraced the doctrines of the New Church. Great as were the benefits resulting from these measures, by extending the knowledge of the truth through the Press, and building up each other in the practical part of the purest religion that ever blessed the Christian world, there was still no public ensign lifted up among the nations, Isa. v. 26; the outcasts of Israel were not yet assembled, nor the dispersed of Judah gathered from the four corners of the earth, Isa. xi. 12; neither was the flock of the Lord's people, like the precious stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land, Zech. ix. 16; though their enemies roared in the midst of their congregations; and set up their ensigns for signs, casting fire into the sanctuary, defiling the dwelling-place of the Lord's most holy Name, and burning up all the synagogues of God in the land, Ps. lxxiv. 4, 7, 8.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 52

It became, therefore, a subject of deep concern, with those who considered the state and quality of the public worship generally practised in the Christian world, to witness, in the various Churches of the land, the awful defection of charity and faith, the entire perversion of the genuine sense of the Holy Word, and the destruction of all true knowledge of the One proper Object of worship, - the Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ. It was clearly perceived, that the idea of a Trinity of Gods had pervaded the whole Church, and subverted it from its very foundation; that the Divine Being, who is Essentially and Personally One, was divided into Three distinct Persons, each of whom "singly and by himself," that is to say, separately from the others, is declared to be God and Lord, which is as plain and palpable an acknowledgment of Three Gods and Three Lords, as if it were expressly said, "THERE ARE THREE GODS AND THREE LORDS!" It was further considered, that these Three Divine Persons, particularly the two first of them, are described sometimes of one mind and disposition, and at other times as of contrary dispositions; the First Divine Person, or Father, being naturally vindictive, yet after much difficulty, suffering himself to be appeased by the sight of blood drawn from an innocent Victim; the Second Person, or Son, being in his own nature merciful, and therefore offering himself as that innocent Victim, in the room of wicked and ungrateful criminals, who are thus screened from the Divine vengeance due to their sins, if they will but believe in such a scheme being adopted for their salvation; and the Third Person, or Holy Ghost, being in the above respects altogether neutral, yet ready on all occasions to execute the designs and purposes of the other two, as soon as ever they are agreed upon. It is also the prevailing custom among the professors of Christianity, not only to divide their God into Three distinct Intelligences, but in their acts of public and private worship, to address one of them only, that is, the First in order of nomination, for the sake of the Second, or in consideration of the sufferings, death, and merits of the latter: and rarely, if ever, do they implore the forgiveness of sins, or what is the same thing, the removal of evils, purely for the sake of mercy, or by virtue of that infinite goodness and loving kindness, which constitutes the very nature of the Divine Being.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 53

Strange and unreasonable as these notions may appear to a sober and reflecting mind, free from the prejudices of education, or of a party spirit, they are yet, alas! too generally entertained, both by Churchmen and Dissenters. Where, for an example, could be found, at the time alluded to, a single Church, or a single congregation in any one of the places of public worship throughout the Christian world, that professedly worshiped the Lord JESUS CHRIST, as the Supreme and Only God of heaven and earth? addressing all their prayers, praises, and thanksgivings, to Him, and Him Alone, as including in his own Divine Person all that is meant in the Scriptures by the terms, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? and not marring, distorting, and confounding the worship by some ambidextrous slip or error of judgment, thought, or speech? Nay, where could be found a single individual - out of the Societies of the New Church, or uninstructed by the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg - who had attained to this great truth, and could rationally and intelligibly explain the real nature of the Divine Trinity in Unity of Person as well as Essence? at the same time drawing all his proofs from the Holy Volume of Inspiration, which, though it lay open to the inspection of every man's natural eye and understanding, was still to all intents and purposes a Sealed Book, which neither the learned nor the unlearned could read and expound? Isa. xxix. 11, 12. It does not appear, from any testimony hitherto brought forward either in public or in private, that any one such individual was to be found throughout the whole of the Christian world. What then was to be done in a case so truly alarming and deplorable? Were we to continue inert, like sluggards, with "lamps burning in a secret place, or under a bushel?" Luke xi. 33. The Lord says in the Gospel, "A city that is set on a hill, cannot be hid," Matt. v. 14.

Now the New Jerusalem is such a city; a city of truth, which cannot - must not remain concealed from the eyes of mankind. The prophet, also, contemplating in distant prospect, the arrival of this happy day, exclaims, - "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth," Isa. lxii. 1; and again, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven," ver. 16. The fact is, that the state of the professing or nominal Church was such, that it became necessary to raise a new standard, to which the people might flock; and that standard could be no other than "a Rod out of the Stem of Jesse, yea, the Root of Jesse itself," Isa. xi. 1, 10; "the Man, whose name is the Branch;" Zech. vi. 12; "the Righteous Branch," Jer. xxiii. 5;
"Jehovah our Righteousness," ver. 6; "the Word of God," Rev. xix. 13; "King of Kings, and Lord of Lords," ver. 16; "the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, who Is, and who Was, and who is to Come - the Almighty," Rev. xxii. 13; chap. i. 8; and, to take the sum of all prophecy and all revelation, the Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST in his Divine Humanity, to whom all power is given in heaven and on earth," Matt. xxviii. 18.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 54 This standard was erected in the city of London, and the public worship of the One True God was announced, as soon as a suitable place for the purpose could be procured. In the meantime the following steps were taken by those, who were convinced in their hearts, that "the time to favour Zion, yea, the set time, was come," Ps. cii. 13.

The Society having now continued its meetings in the Temple, from 1783 to 1787, during which time the doctrines of the New Church were very extensively made known in the kingdom, and in other parts of the world by printing, publishing, and circulating the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg; and various other Societies having been formed in different places for reading and conversation, but hitherto without the hope or expectation of seeing public worship established among them, in agreement with those doctrines; several of the London members of the Church came to the resolution of bringing forward in the Society a distinct proposition for taking and opening a place of worship. For it had been found, after a trial of several years, that the progress of the Church, in procuring actual recipients of the doctrines, by merely publishing the works, and by holding meetings for reading and conversation, was comparatively very partial and limited in its extent. And it was thought, that the promise and hope of increase to the Church attached more to the hearing of the Word preached, than to the reading of comments upon it, or to any private explanations that may be given of it, however edifying they may be to those who have already embraced the new doctrines. This was gathered from the following passages, which contain the injunctions of the Lord, both to his ministers and to his people; and it was afterwards confirmed by the success, which attended obedience to those injunctions.

First. To his ministers: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature," Mark xvi. 15. "Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee," Jonah iii. 2. "Jesus commanded his twelve apostles, saying, Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand," Matt. x. 5 to 7. "What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the house-tops," ver. 27. "Jesus said to the man, who was desirous of burying his father, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou, and preach the kingdom of God," Luke ix. 60.

Secondly. To his people: "Hear the Word of the Lord, O ye women, and let your ears receive the word of his mouth," Jer, ix. 20. "Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live," Isa. iv. 3.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 55 "Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul," Ps. lxvi. 16. "Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth," Ps. lxxviii. 1. "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear," Matt. xi. 15. "And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me, every one of you, and understand," Mark vii. 14. "Jesus said unto all of his disciples, Let these things sink deep into your ears," Luke ix. 44. "If they hear not Moses and the prophets neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead," Luke xvi. 31. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live," John v. 24, 25.

When the proposition for opening a place of worship was regularly submitted to the Society, which was at a meeting held in New Court, Middle Temple, on Thursday the 19th of April, 1787, it was negatived by a small majority, on the ground that the proper time for separating from the Old Establishments was not yet arrived. A few individuals of the Society, however, thought otherwise; conceiving, that whenever the human mind is in a fit and prepared state for the full reception of unadulterated goodness and truth, and free from the shackles of a blind faith, imposed upon it by "the precepts of men," rather than by the Word of God, then is the proper time for withdrawing from a fallen Church, and for adopting a worship more consistent with the principles of genuine Christianity, than that either of the Established Church or of ]Dissenters. Finding that the Society, as then constituted, was not disposed for any change, those of the members, who were desirous of having a new order of worship, united themselves expressly for that purpose, yet without discontinuing the usual meetings with the rest of their brethren in the Temple. For though in the article of separate worship they could not all see alike, they were still united in affection and friendship; having one great object in view, in common with each other, namely, to spread the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem as extensively as their means would permit, by printing and publishing. While, therefore, a part of the general body resolved themselves into a new Society for promoting the establishment of an External Church, in agreement with the truths of the Internal Church, which, it was humbly presumed, had already begun to be formed in the hearts and lives of many, all were actuated by the same zeal, as before, in favour of the common cause.

It was about this time that the Rev. J. Clowes, M.A., Rector of St. John's, Manchester, hearing of our design to form a separate community for the establishment of public worship on the principles of the New Jerusalem alone, without any mixture with those of the old establishments, came to London for the express purpose of dissuading us from the proposed measure.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 56 With the purest intentions in the world, and doubtless actuated with the most sincere desire of promoting the interests of the New Church, according to the best of his judgment, he earnestly intreated us to remain in our former religious connections, and not to think of deserting the authorized worship of the country. He thought it probable, that sooner or later the bishops and other dignitaries of the Church of England would be disposed to revise their Liturgy, and make it conformable to the truths of the new dispensation*; and he considered, that no others had any right whatever to interfere in the matter. A separation, he thought, might at some future period be found necessary, if no such reform, as that which he contemplated, should be likely to take place. In the mean time he recommended us to wait with patience until the doctrines of the New Church shall have gained a more extensive reception in the hearts of the people; to cultivate the principle of charity** towards others, rather than aim at the introduction of new forms and creeds; and leave to those, who had the proper authority, to make alterations in the articles of faith, and in the ceremonies of public worship.

* After a period of about seventy years, a revision of the Church of England Liturgy is beginning to be talked of, not because "the Bishops and other dignitaries" have been "disposed" to do it, but because the intelligence of the laity, and the general advance of the human mind, have rendered it necessary. Any doctrinal alteration is not, however, contemplated- ED.

** At one of the meetings held in the Temple, during the time that we were favoured with the company of Mr. Clowes, the Rev. Dr. Twycross, a clergyman of the Church of England was introduced by me as a visitor; and he, observing the great stress which Mr. Clowes deservedly laid upon charity, in preference to all those perceptions of truth which come under the general denomination of faith, remarked to me afterwards, that it appeared to him as if Mr. Clowes had only "one string to his fiddle," and that he could sound no other note than "the cuckoo note, charity, charity." This being related to the Society at their next meeting, it was pertinently remarked by one of our members, Mr. George Keen, in reply, That if the sound of the cuckoo were indeed heard in our land, it was certainly a sign of spring!

We heard these observations and recommendations with the greatest deference and respect to the character of Mr. Clowes, whose services in the Church, together with his pious and amiable conduct in life, had gained the esteem and affection of all who knew him. But in a cause of so much importance, as that of the promulgation of the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, in a way too which appeared to have the sanction of the Divine Word, as well as of the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, we did not think ourselves justifiable in deviating from our avowed purpose, but were determined, through divine assistance, to proceed in the course, which our own consciences dictated as the wisest, the best, and the most expedient, that could be adopted at the time.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 57 And it is highly satisfactory to reflect, after many years' experience of the good effects produced by the efforts of a few individuals, associated to give publicity to the new doctrines by preaching them in an open and unreserved manner, that many thousands have been brought to the knowledge of the truth, who otherwise might still have remained in the darkness of error, and the mazes of superstition.

The first regular meeting of our new Society, as a separate body from the Old Church, was held on the 7th of May, 1787; when, after mature deliberation, it was unanimously Resolved that, on the first opportunity that might offer, a suitable chapel' situate in some convenient part of the town, should be engaged for the use of the Society.* Places of worship, however, being generally occupied in the metropolis, it was sometime before one could be procured. In the mean time our little Society, thus newly formed, held their weekly meeting, at each other's houses particularly at Mr. Thomas Willdon's, in Tooley Street, Southwark, at the foot of London Bridge; also at the house of Mr. Thomas Wright, Watchmaker to the King, No. 6 Poultry; and afterwards at the house of Mr. John Willdon, No. 8, Snow Hill. A Select Meeting was likewise formed, consisting of those persons most anxious to bring forward the New Church in its ultimate and external form, and who could conveniently attend its primitive institution.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 58 A Preparatory Meeting was appointed to be held by these, on the Sunday preceding the day which was fixed upon for the formal and solemn commencement of the New Church in its external form; and an entry was made in the society's Book, recording the transactions of that day, of which the following is a COPY:

"A Select Meeting of the Members of the New Church-Sunday, July 29th, 1787, at Mr. Wright's No. 6, Poultry.

"At a Meeting held this day by appointment, present as follows:

Mr. ROBERT BRANT,       
Miss JANE, GRANT,        

"After being assembled, the Lord's Prayer was read, and No. 625 of the Universal Theology, being the Glorification of the New Heavens for the Lord's Second Advent.

"A Paper drawn up by Mr. Glen, containing general principles of the New Church, was also read, and with some alterations and additions unanimously approved of. It is as follows:


"1. There are two distinct Worlds, the Spiritual and the Natural.
"2. The Spiritual World produces the Natural World by Influx.
"3. In consequence Of this Influx, every Object in Nature corresponds with its Spiritual cause.
"4. This Correspondence, by means of Influx, is essential to the Existence of both Worlds.


"1. God Omnipotent in his Divine Humanity, in the year 1757, began and accomplished a Last Judgment in the Spiritual World, and thereby formed New Heavens.
"2. From these New Heavens a New Church will descend, must descend, on this earth, according to the eternal and immutable Laws of Influx.
"3. This New Church will be an exact Corresponding Representation of the New Heavens.
"4. This Correspondence, by Influx, between the New Heavens and the New Church, is essential to the Existence of both.


"1. The Truths of the New Church are alone contained in the Word, and the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.
"2. The Doctrine of Correspondence, being the Knowledge of the Order of Influx, as proceeding from the Divine Humanity, is essential to the Understanding of the Word.
"3. The earnest and hearty Rejection of the Doctrines and Forms of the Old Church, must precede the full Reception of the Influx of Wisdom and Love from the Divine Humanity, through the New Heavens, into the New Church.
"4. The full Reception of the glorious Truths of the New Church, as revealed by Swedenborg, is essential to constitute a Member of the New Church on earth, and thereby to admit him into an immediate Conjunction with the Lord, and Consociation with the Angels of the New Heavens.
"5. Introduction into the New Church is solely through the Spiritual Correspondent, Baptism, performed in that Church.
"6. Conjunction with the Lord, and Consociation with the Angels of the New Heavens, are effected by the Holy Supper taken in the New Church, according to its Heavenly and Divine Correspondences.

"This Society admits the propriety of Baptising into the New Church, and also of Receiving the Holy Supper.

"The Form of Baptism to be by reading the Faith of the New Heaven and New Church in its Universal and Particular Form, from the Universal Theology, No. 2, &c.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 59 And the Person to be Baptised must declare his Belief therein. Then to Baptise him in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

"The Form of the Holy Supper to be thus:- All to sit at the Table. Read the last part of No. 703, Universal Theology, concerning the Lord's Doctrine.- One person (chosen by Lot) to break the Bread, and bless it by repeating the Lord's Prayer, and reading the first part of the Institution respecting the Bread. (Universal Theology, No. 703.) - Then every one to take the Bread, and eat.- Again, the chosen person to take the Wine in a Cup, and give Thanks by again repeating the Lord's Prayer, and concluding the Institution.- Then every one to drink thereof."

* A Committee was also appointed to frame rules and regulations for the government of the Society; and at a meeting held 2nd July, 1787, they were presented and adopted. As these were the first rules and regulations ever framed for the use of a Society of this New Jerusalem Church, it may be well to preserve them. They were as follows:

"1. The design of this Society is, to the utmost of their power, by the Divine Mercy of the Lord, to promote the knowledge and practice of the Doctrines contained in the Theological Writings of the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg, by meeting together as often as convenient to read and converse on the said Writings, in order thereby to become more and more acquainted with the spiritual sense of the Holy Word.

"2. That the Society shall consist of a President, Treasurer, and Secretary, and an unlimited number of male and female readers of the said Writings, and believers in the Doctrines therein contained, and who will declare themselves to be such on their admission.

"3. That the Officers of this Society, viz., the President, Treasurer, and Secretary shall be annually elected in the first month of every New Year by ballot, and the choice determined by a majority of votes.

"4. The business of the President is to preserve good order, and freedom of conversation in the Society.

"5. The Treasurer is to keep an account of all monies received and paid by him on the Society's account, and at the end of every year, or oftener, if required, to produce the same, and pay the balance, if any, into the hands of the Treasurer elect.

"6. The business of the Secretary is to make minutes of all the transactions of the Society, and of all monies paid into the Treasurer's hands, as a check upon his accounts, in a book to be provided for the purpose.

"7. That every person desirous of becoming a Member of this Society, shall first be proposed by a Member, and duly seconded, at a Monthly Meeting for business, and elected unanimously by ballot, at a subsequent meeting.

"8. The expenses attending the Meetings of the Society to be defrayed by voluntary subscriptions.

"9. That all business relating to the temporal concerns of the Society, shall be transacted at a Monthly Meeting to be held for that purpose on the first Monday in every month.

"10. That all resolutions which shall be carried by a majority of votes, except for the admission of Members, which must be unanimous, shall be equally binding with these laws while they remain unrescinded."- ED.

The Society, having thus made solemn preparation for what they conceived to be an event of great importance and interest to all who should thereafter be admitted as actual and visible members of the Lord's New Church on earth, proceeded to appoint a day for carrying their intentions into effect; and at the particular request of Mr. James Glen, who was much respected by all the members of the Society, Tuesday, the 31st of July, was fixed upon for that purpose. The proceedings of that day, as entered in the Society's Book, are thus recorded:

"Tuesday Evening, Six o'clock, July 31, 1787. No. 6, in the Poultry, at Mr. Wright's.

"A meeting of the following persons was this day held, for the purpose of forming, by the Divine Mercy of the Lord, the New Church upon earth, signified in the Revelation by the New Jerusalem descending from [God out of] heaven.

Mr. ROBERT BRANT.       


"The meeting was begun with the Lord's Prayer.- It was determined by Lot, that Mr. JAMES HINDMARSH should officiate in the room of a Priest, in blessing the Bread and Wine for the Holy Supper, according to the Form prescribed at the last meeting; which Sacrament was to be considered as the Sign and Seal of the Formation of the New Church. The Holy Supper was received by the Eleven first persons in the preceding List, all sitting round the Table. Behind them stood the five last, who were desirous of being Baptised into the Faith of the New Church. After the former had taken the Holy Supper, ROBERT HINDMARSH was called; and the Faith of the New Heaven and New Church, from Emanuel Swedenborg's Universal Theology, being read to him, he was questioned whether he firmly believed the same, and was desirous of being Baptised into that Faith. On his answering in the affirmative, he was marked with the sign of the Cross on his Forehead and Breast, and Baptised in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

"GEORGE WRIGHT, ISAAC BRAND, SAMUEL HANDS, and JAMES RAYNER, being then called together, the Faith of the New Heaven and New Church was again read to them; and upon each declaring his belief therein, and desire of being Baptised, they were each likewise Baptised in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

"After this the Glorification for the Lord's Second Advent was read from the Universal Theology, n. 625; and the ceremony concluded with the Lord's Prayer, and a Prayer for the King and Royal Family, &c., with the Benediction at the end of the Revelation, 'The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.'"

Such was the commencement of the New Church in its External and Visible Form, in the city of London; which latter place, in one point of view, that is, in a good sense, in reference to the best of the Protestants, may be considered as the Meditullium or centre of all the Reformed Churches; and in another point of view, that is, in an opposite sense, in reference to their denial of the two essentials of the New Church, may be considered as "the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified," Rev. xi. 8; and from the hostility to be expected from many of the English Church, may be further considered as the very place alluded to in the Revelation, chap. xvi. 16, and called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 60

Great care was taken, that all the proceedings of the Society should be conducted in the most orderly manner. Due regard was paid to the solemnity of the occasion, and to the high character given in the book of Revelation to the New Jerusalem dispensation. For we had confidence in the divine promises, and firmly believed, that the Church, now begun in much weakness and imperfection, is yet destined to become, in the Lord's appointed time, the Crown and Glory of all the Churches that have heretofore existed on this earthly globe. We therefore did what we conceived to be a duty imposed upon us, as the first Society in the known world, that was disposed to bring into ultimate effect the true worship of the Lord, which, beginning in the internal affections and perceptions of the mind, descends into the externals of the body, where it is, like the Word itself, in its fulness, in its sanctity, and in its power.

The Society still continued its weekly meetings in the Middle Temple, and at one of the friend's houses on Sunday and other evenings*, until a place of worship offered in Great East Cheap, (the same that was formerly lectured in by the celebrated Dr. Gill,) which was immediately hired at the rent of L30 per annum. We had now to look out for a minister, capable of teaching the new doctrines, and of defending them, in a public manner, from the Pulpit; and all eyes were directed to one of the Society, who had for many years been in the habit of preaching among the people called Methodists, with great reputation to himself, and benefit to the congregations which he addressed. This was no other than my own father, Mr. JAMES HINDMARSH, formerly Writing Master at the Methodist Seminary, called Kingswood School, near Bristol; and afterwards an Itinerant Preacher in Mr. Wesley's Connexion.

* The Society left their rooms on the 5th November, 1787.-ED.

His reception of the doctrines of the New Church had been attended with great difficulty at first, arising, no doubt, from a conscientious belief, entertained for many years of his life, that the principles of Methodism were those of the true Christian religion, from which he was determined never to swerve, except on the fullest conviction that they were not founded on the truth. Although he often conversed with me, his son, on the extraordinary character of the Writings of Swedenborg, which he knew I had embraced with my whole heart and understanding, yet for several years he rather opposed than favoured them, fearing they might in the end prove no better than the dreams of imagination, and consequently detrimental to my spiritual state.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 61 He approved, indeed, of the doctrine of the Divine Trinity in the Person of the Lord, as taught by Swedenborg, and some of the other essential truths of the New Church, which had respect to purity and integrity of life: but he still clung to the doctrine of the Atonement, even as it is vulgarly understood. He did not perceive, that such an idea as that of One Divine Being requiring satisfaction, and atonement for sin, of another Divine Being, like to himself in respect to his Divine nature, but totally unlike him in respect to the feelings of vindictive justice, was in itself a direct breach of the Divine Unity, which admits of no contradictory feelings, passions, or attributes of any description. Thus, like many others, who partially embrace the truth, he for a time maintained two opposing propositions the one of which naturally tended to destroy the effect of the other.

At length, after visiting our Society meetings in the Temple with which he appeared to be highly delighted, and again reading and digesting the writings of Swedenborg, particularly the work entitled, True Christian Religion, containing the Universal Theology of the New Church, he became, about the year 1785, a complete convert to the doctrines; his former doubts were entirely removed; and the path was opened to his view, that led at once into the New Jerusalem.

The Society, having known Mr. James Hindmarsh for a considerable time, and being well satisfied with his character and abilities, now requested, that he would become their Minister, and officiate in that capacity, as soon as their place of worship should have undergone the necessary repairs, and be ready for opening. To this request he assented, assuring them that it was his desire to promote the heavenly doctrines according to the utmost of his ability, without the hope or expectation of any other reward, than that of seeing the actual establishment of the Church, and rejoicing with them in its prosperity and happiness.

It now became necessary to prepare a Form of Worship for the use of the New Church, in the new place, which the Society was about to occupy. This was immediately done, and printed under the title of The Order of Worship for the New Church, signified by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation, &c. This little Manual of devotion was instrumental in drawing the attention of the public to the new doctrines, which were embodied in it; and had the good effect of giving, in a very small compass, satisfactory information concerning the religious principles of the members of the New Jerusalem Church.

The day of opening the chapel was fixed for Sunday, the 27th of January, 1788; and accordingly on that day Divine Service was performed therein, and a Sermon preached by Mr. JAMES HINDMARSH, to a very crowded audience, in defence and recommendation of the new doctrines.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 62 His text was "Praise ye the Lord," Ps. cl. 6. Mr. ISAAC HAWKINS read the Prayers for that day; and Mr. ROBERT BRANT preached in the afternoon. In the evening a reading-meeting was held by the Society. Thus it appears, that Mr. JAMES HINDMARSH was the first appointed Minister of the New Church in England, and probably in the world, being called to that office by the first Society that associated together for the avowed purpose of instituting public worship therein, and proclaiming to the world, by discourses from the pulpit, the glorious truths of the New Jerusalem.* This office he continued to hold for several years; obtaining no other reward for his labours, than the respect and thanks of his congregation, and the high satisfaction of seeing, that the great cause in which he had embarked was a growing cause, not likely to be eventually frustrated, however it may for a time be impeded by the oppositions of ignorance and superstition, but giving promise of the most complete success in the future progress of its career. He was occasionally assisted by various other Ministers, whom the wants of the Church had called to the exercise of public speaking.

* At the end of the passage in the Street, that led to the place of worship, was placed a painted board, on which was inscribed "The New Jerusalem Church;" and over the entrance of the Chapel was the inscription, "Now it is allowable," in conformity to the Memorable relation, in the True Christian Religion, n. 508.- ED.

As the law then stood, a stamp duty was payable to Government on the registry of burials, marriages, births, and christenings, among Dissenters, as well as in the Established Church; and as it was the intention of the Society to keep a regular entry of all our Baptisms from the commencement of the Church in July, 1787, it was found necessary to procure a Licence for that purpose from His Majesty's Commissioners for managing the Stamp Duties. Being Secretary of the Society, and personally responsible for the rent of the chapel while it continued in our possession, I made application at the Stamp Office, in Somerset House, for the requisite Licence, and obtained the same in due form, of which the following is a copy:

"We, His Majesty's Commissioners appointed to manage the Duties charged on stamped vellum, parchment, and paper, do, in pursuance of the power vested in us, hereby give and signify unto ROBERT HINDMARSH, of Clerkenwell, Printer, in the county of Middlesex, our Licence and Authority to enter and write, or cause to be entered and written, in the Register Book or Books of the New Jerusalem Church, in Great East Cheap, in the City of London, all Entries of any Burial, Marriage, Birth, or Christening, without any Stamps or Marks affixed thereto, or thereupon subject nevertheless to the payment of the Duty imposed thereon, by an Act entitled, 'An Act for granting to His Majesty a stamp Duty on the Registry of Burials, Marriages, Births, and Christenings;'


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 63 and also, 'An Act to extend the Provisions of an Act made in the Twenty-third Year of His present Majesty's Reign, for granting to His Majesty a Stamp 'Duty on the Registry of Burials, Marriages, Births, and Christenings, to the Registry of 'Burials, Births, and Christenings of Protestant Dissenters from the Church of England;' and for the payment of which sufficient Security hath been given by Bond to His Majesty: And we do grant this our Licence, under this particular condition, that the said ROBERT HINDMARSH shall, whensoever thereunto required, from time to time, produce and shew the said Register to us, or to any Officer or Agent duly authorized by us, or the major part of us, for the purpose of inspecting or viewing such Registers, and the Entries made therein: Provided always, that this our Licence shall continue in force, until we, or the Commissioners for the time being, appointed to put the several Stamp Laws in execution, shall revoke the same, and give notice thereof in writing, and no longer. Given under our Hands and Seals the Thirty-first Day of July, One thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven.

("J. BYNG,

                                          (Signed)       (T. BINDLEY.


From the preceding document it appears, that the New Church, in common with other Protestant Dissenters, was authorized by the Government to keep a register of burials, births, and christenings, on paying a stamp duty, for each. The charge on christenings or baptisms, which were the only entries at that time made or contemplated by the Society, was three-pence each; for the regular payment of which a bond was given by me, as required by the Act of Parliament. This Stamp Duty continued in force for a few years only, when, from its unproductiveness, or some other cause, the Act was repealed, and the Duty thereupon ceased. The number of baptisms that took place in the Society, while it occupied the Chapel in Great East Cheap, and for which a stamp duty was paid to Government, including those of adults, as well as of infants, was two hundred and fifty-one.

Soon after the opening of the chapel, Mr. SAMUEL SMITH, an Itinerant Preacher among the Methodists, joined the Society, and gave proof of his ability to serve the cause by his valuable assistance in the work of the Ministry. This gentleman related to the Society an anecdote respecting Swedenborg and the Rev. John Wesley, which he assured us from his own knowledge, was true. As I did not at the time minute down the particulars, I shall here transcribe what a worthy member of the Society, then also present, viz., Mr. John Isaac Hawkins, has stated on the subject, in a letter to the Rev. Samuel Noble, which the latter gentleman has inserted in his Appeal in Behalf of the Doctrines of the New Church, 3rd edit., p. 245.


"Dear Sir,

"In answer to your inquiries, I am able to state, that I have a clear recollection of having repeatedly heard the Rev. Samuel Smith say, about the year 1787 or 1788, That in the latter end of February, 1772, he, with some other preachers, was in attendance upon the Rev. John Wesley, taking instructions and assisting him in the preparations for his great Circuit, which Mr. Wesley was about to commence: That while thus in attendance, a letter came to Mr. Wesley, which he perused with evident astonishment: that after a pause he read the letter to the company; and that it was couched in nearly the following words: [The letter was most probably in Latin; but Mr. Wesley, no doubt, would read it in English.]


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 64

"Sir               Great Bath Street, Cold Bath Fields, Feb. - 1772.

"I have been informed in the world of spirits, that you have a strong desire to converse with me: I shall be happy to see you, if you will favour me with a visit.

                            "I am, Sir, your humble Servant,

                                    "EMAN. SWEDENBORG."

"Mr. Wesley frankly acknowledged to the company, that he had been very strongly impressed with a desire to see and converse with Swedenborg, and that he had never mentioned that desire to any one.

"Mr. Wesley wrote for answer, that he was then closely occupied in preparing for a six months' journey, but would do himself the pleasure of waiting upon Mr. Swedenborg soon after his return to London.

"Mr. Smith farther informed me, that he afterwards learned from very good authority, that Swedenborg wrote in reply that the visit proposed by Mr. Wesley would be too late, as he, Swedenborg, should go into the world of spirits on the 29th day of the next month, never more to return.

"Mr. Wesley went the Circuit, and on his return to London, was informed of the fact, that Swedenborg had departed this life on the 29th of March preceding.

"This extraordinary correspondence induced Mr. Smith to examine the writings of Swedenborg; and the result was, a firm conviction of the rationality and truth of the heavenly doctrines promulgated in those invaluable writings, which doctrines he zealously laboured to disseminate during the remainder of his natural life.

"That Mr. Smith was a man of undoubted veracity, can be testified by several persons now living, besides myself. The fact, therefore, that such a correspondence did take place between the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg and the Rev. John Wesley is established upon the best authority.

"On referring to Mr. Wesley's printed Journal, it may be seen, that he left London on the 1st of March, in the year 1772, reached Bristol on the 3rd, Worcester on the 14th, and Chester on the 29th, which was the day of Swedenborg's final departure from this world. Mr. Wesley, in continuing his Circuit, visited Liverpool, and various towns in the north of England, and in Scotland, returning through Northumberland and Durham to Yorkshire, and thence through Derbyshire, Staffordshire, and Shropshire, to Wales; thence to Bristol, Salisbury, Winchester, and Portsmouth, to London, where he arrived on the 10th of October in the same year, having been absent rather more than six months.

"I feel it my duty to accede to your request, and allow my name to appear as your immediate voucher.

                      "I remain, dear Sir, your's very sincerely

                             "JOHN ISAAC HAWKINS."

Such were the circumstances related by Mr. Smith, according to the best of Mr. Hawkins's recollection. Another gentleman, Mr. Benedict Harford, now of Liverpool, who was also present when Mr. Smith stated the above particulars to the Society, gives a similar account from his recollection, which was minuted down by him in writing, and delivered to me, on the 5th of August, 1822. It is as follows:

"An anecdote of the late Rev. John Wesley and the late Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg, as related by Mr. Samuel Smith, a Methodist Preacher, who had it from Mr. Wesley's own mouth.-Swedenborg, a little previously to his decease, sent a Note to Mr. Wesley, to the following effect: 'I perceive in the spiritual
world, that you have a desire to see me. If you would see me, you must call before such a-day; for after that I must go to the angels, with whom I have been associated these twenty-seven years.' - 'It is certain,' said Mr. Wesley, 'that I had a strong desire to see the Baron; but how he came to know it, I have not an idea, as I never told any creature, that I had such a desire.'       (Signed)        "BENEDICT HARFORD."

I was myself also present, with several others now living, but not mentioned, when Mr. Smith related these particulars; and though I do not charge my memory with the exact words of Mr. Smith, yet I well remember, that the account given above is substantially correct, having frequently heard him repeat it.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 65

The Society now increased considerably in number, and the doctrines began to be much more generally known, both in town and country, than they had been before the commencement of public worship. The opinion entertained at first by some readers, that the doctrines of the New Church could not easily be preached, was found to be far from correct. For, as General Rainsford, who succeeded General Elliot, as Governor of Gibraltar, justly observed to me, after he had heard my father preach, "The doctrines of the New Jerusalem ought to be those of the Established Church;" and he was in great hopes, he further added, that they would one day become so generally approved of in this country, that "no rational man would be desirous of hearing any other." Yet, notwithstanding this declaration of the General, who was a man eminently qualified to judge of these things, we still had reason to expect opposition from the bigotted of all denominations. And truly we were not deceived: for while many rejoiced to find, that the standard of truth was erected in our land, and that the Divine Word was preached in all its purity, we are compelled to state, that an opposition was raised against the new doctrines, which nothing but the protecting hand of the Divine Providence could effectually withstand. But with such divine succour, no weapon formed against us could prosper. Truth was found to be omnipotent; and many, who came for no other purpose than to gratify a vain curiosity, or to make a jest of what they did not before understand, were powerfully arrested in their course, and in the end constrained to acknowledge, that no other religion than that of the New Church, no other views of the gospel than those which the new dispensation offered, were worthy of the attention of a rational being, or in any wise entitled to the admiration and cordial reception of a man professing himself to be a Christian.

About this time Mr. Ralph Mather (who had been first a Methodist, then a Quaker, and was now a warm receiver of the new doctrines,) and Mr. Joseph Whittingham Salmon, (who had been a Methodist Local Preacher, and was now an admirer of Swedenborg's Writings, a man distinguished for his eminent piety and zeal in the cause of divine truth,) found themselves impelled, as it were, by an irresistible desire, to promulgate the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem by preaching and proclaiming them in the streets, highways, and market-places of many of the most considerable towns in England. For this end they undertook to travel together as joint missionaries, not by any authority or commission from the Society then established in London, but from a feeling of duty and kindness to their fellow-creatures, to make known to the world at large, in a way which they thought agreeable to divine order, those great truths of the new dispensation, with which they had themselves been so powerfully impressed.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 66 In this spirit, and with this view, after preaching in the open air, in Moorfields, London, they visited Salisbury, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Norwich, and many other towns and villages in the kingdom, where at first, without notice, or any other means of collecting audiences, than their own personal appearance in the streets and marketplaces, whenever they observed an assemblage of people, they seized the opportunity of calling the attention of the multitude to subjects of religion, and to the doctrines of the New Church, which at that time were almost entirely unknown in the country, and generally regarded, when heard, not merely as novelties, but as errors of the most dangerous tendency. Yet, in the midst of all this irregularity, many individuals were forcibly struck with the important truths, which were thus presented to their view. Particularly the doctrine of the sole and exclusive Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that concerning the necessity, of living according to his holy commandments, fixed the attention of several among them, who afterwards became valuable members of the New Church, and lived to bless the day when they were thus brought out of darkness into the true light of the gospel. Of this number, among others whom I could name, was the Rev. Joseph Proud, a distinguished Minister of the New Church.* Reports of their success were from time to time communicated to me by Mr. Mather and Mr. Salmon; on which occasions they were earnestly exhorted to exercise prudence and judgment in all their proceedings, to adhere strictly to the genuine doctrines of the New Church, and not (as they were then too prone to do, from a want of their thorough knowledge of the Writings,) to mix them with the common errors of the day, from which they were as yet scarcely delivered themselves. Their sincerity and integrity of life, however, were powerful recommendations to the cause they advanced; and those who could not altogether approve of their excentric and irregular manner of promulgating the truth, were yet by the event, justified in the hope, that much good might hereafter result from their exertions, and that the Divine Providence would so over-rule the disorders incident to this mode of preaching, as in the end to produce a positive advantage, by the increase of numbers to the New and True Christian Church.

* See Memoir of this celebrated Minister by the Rev. Edward Madeley, of Birmingham, prefixed to the revised edition of Proud's Last Legacy, published by Hodson, 1854. - ED.

After a few years both Mr. Mather and Mr. Salmon desisted from travelling. Mr. Mather settled for a time at Liverpool, and preached the doctrines in that town. He then went over to America, and finally settled in Baltimore, where he occasionally assisted Mr. Hargrove in the Ministry, and where he died many years ago.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 67 Mr. Salmon, sensible at length of the irregularity and disorder, into which he had been betrayed by the enthusiasm of his companion, was so much affected with regret at the part he had taken, in opposition to the advice given him by some of his best friends, that he declined altogether the office of a preacher. For some time he acted as an amanuensis to Mr. Clowes, at Manchester, while the latter gentleman was engaged in translating the Arcana Coelestia. He afterwards retired to his house at Nantwich, where (being possessed of an independent fortune) he spent his time chiefly in maintaining a private epistolary correspondence with some of his intimate friends, and in writing, as occasion offered, in defence of those doctrines, which he had for so many years espoused. He died the 15th October, 1826, in the 79th year of his age, esteemed and regretted by all who had the happiness of knowing him.*

* The doctrines of the New Church were first introduced to the notice of Mr. Salmon by the before-mentioned Rev. John Fletcher, Vicar of Madeley, in Shropshire, a few months before his decease in 1785. Mr. Salmon published a Sermon on the decease of his first wife, in 1785; a New Translation and Abridgement of the Light of the World, by Madam Bourignon, in 1786; the Beauties of Hawkstone Park, the third edition of which was printed in 1817; A Friendly Address to the Inhabitants of Nantwich, &c.; besides many poems, papers, and letters in Magazines.-ED).

In consequence of the Society having now assumed its proper character, and appearing externally before the world, as well as internally in the sight of Heaven, a regular and orderly Church, though still in the weakness, simplicity, and ignorance of its infancy, it was unanimously Resolved, at a meeting held on the 5th of May, 1788, That, instead of its former name of "The Theosophical Society, instituted for the purpose of promoting the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem, by translating, printing, and publishing the Theological Writings of the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg," the following be henceforth adopted, as the authorized, scriptural, and heaven-descended name, which can never be forgotten or superseded, viz., "The New Church, signified by the New Jerusalem, in the Revelation." This Resolution was afterwards confirmed at a meeting held on Sunday, May 18, 1788.

The meetings in the Temple, which had hitherto been attended both by Separatists and Non-Separatists, began now visibly to diminish in number, as soon as it was found that public worship was regularly established, and was likely to be continued. In consequence of this, in a short time afterwards the original Society gave up their chambers in the Temple, and removed to No. 5, Vere Street, near Clare Market; and finally to the house of Mr. Prichard, in Paul Baker's Court, Doctors' Commons, where some few of the members continued to meet, and where the books belonging to the Society were ultimately deposited.*


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 68 At one of these meetings in Doctors' Commons we were visited by a Mrs. Osbaldiston, the daughter of Lady Pennington, and a person of extraordinary zeal in the cause of religion, who hearing of our Society, was anxious to know the principles of our profession, and to set us right if she should find us to be in error. After much conversation on the subject of religion generally, and the particular sentiments entertained by the members of the New Church, she urged us to fall down on our knees, while she delivered herself of a long prayer, more suited to the band-room of a Methodist audience, than to the orderly and enlightened views of a New Jerusalem Society. Before she took her leave of us, she addressed each one in the room in the style and manner of "a mother in Israel," though she was herself but a very young woman; and at last observing me as a youth among the elders, who had not as yet opened my mouth in her presence, she accosted me by saying, "And who are you, young man, that have found such an interest in heavenly things, as to lead you to cultivate the society and friendship of men raised above the vanities of this world, and seeking to enjoy the felicities of a better life?" - "Madam," I replied, "I am one of little estimation, compared with the friends whom you now see, but at the same time ardently desirous of joining them in the pursuit of true wisdom, which I believe is only to be found in the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem."

* Among these were the eight quarto volumes of the Arcana Coelestia, in Latin, and some other books, all left as a legacy to the Society by the late Rev. Thomas Hartley, translator of the first editions of the Treatise on Heaven and Hell, and the Treatise On Influx.- R. H.

At length the Society originally assembling in the Temple, discontinued its meetings altogether, after having successfully promoted the cause for which it was formed, namely the translating, printing, and publishing, the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg; and given birth to a new Society, whose members associated together for the express purpose of instituting public worship, and the delivery of discourses from the pulpit, in agreement with the principles of the New Jerusalem Church. While the Manchester Society, with the Rev. Mr. Clowes at its head, was engaged in translating and publishing the great work, entitled Arcana Coelestia, first in Monthly Numbers at sixpence each, then in half-volumes, and afterwards in full volumes, until the whole should be completed in twelve closely printed octavo volumes; subscriptions were set on foot, and measures taken, by the Original London Society, and by individuals belonging to it, in conjunction with the friends at Manchester, to translate and publish other works of the same Author.*

** A List of the various Works so translated and published will be given in the Appendix.- ED.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 69

As the Church advanced in number and in strength, it was deemed advisable, for the sake of order, to take into consideration the propriety of instituting a regular Ministry for the administration of the sacraments, and the authorized preaching of the Word. Meetings for this purpose were held at different times; and it being the wish of the Society to take no steps in this matter without full and mature deliberation, the following questions claimed their most serious attention. "How shall the regular and orderly Ministry of the New Church commence? How shall the Ordination be established therein? And who shall be the person to undertake so awful a solemnity? Is it necessary that the succession of Ministers should be continued from the Old Church to the New? And if necessary, or agreeable to order, can any reasonable hope be entertained, that any Bishop or Ordaining Minister of the Old Church will lay hands upon a member of the New Church, who, if conscientious in his replies to the questions that would be put to him, must of necessity give such answers, as would disqualify him for the office, in the estimation of such Bishop, and prove a certain bar to his admission therein? And as it is well known, that a simple Minister or Priest of the Old Church has no authority whatever to ordain or introduce others into the Ministry, if such an one were even disposed to assume that office, in breach of the rules which he himself submitted to at the time of his own Ordination, to whom must the members of the New Church turn their eyes, and look for an answer to their prayers on so solemn - so weighty an occasion, as the Ordination of a Minister in the New and True Christian Church, called the New Jerusalem ?" - To whom (it was repeated) - but to the Lord alone?

These questions were most deliberately considered; and it was Unanimously Resolved by all the members of the Society, that the Institution of a regular Ministry in the New Church could not be derived from any authority heretofore recognized in the Christian world. For as the New Jerusalem Church is altogether a New Church, distinct from the Old, and of which it is written in the Revelation, chap. xxi. 5, "Behold, I make all things New;" it was conceived, that this declaration applies not only to the doctrines of the Church, but also to its institutions and ordinances of every kind, and among the rest to that of the Ordination of Ministers, whose authority to teach, and preach, and administer the Sacraments, must be derived from the Lord alone in his own Church, and not from any Priesthood of a fallen, consummated, and finished Church. This was precisely the situation of the Primitive Christian Church, which derived no authority by succession from the regular Priesthood of the Jewish Church, but commenced its Ordination within itself, from the immediate presence and authority of the Lord. Besides, it was argued, how inconsistent would it have been, if not plainly impossible to derive authority from the Old Church to oppose its own doctrines, and thus to undermine and subvert it from the very foundations!


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 70 A kingdom, a city, a house, or a church, thus constituted, thus divided against itself, could not possibly stand. Matt. xii. 25.

Among the male members present, at the first Ordination, sixteen in number, besides the two, who by experience were found qualified to officiate as Priests or Ministers of the New Church, no one entertained the most distant idea, that he had, in his individual capacity, the smallest right or authority to send forth labourers into the Lord's vineyard: and hence it was plain to them, that the Ordination could not commence in such a way, or by such individual authority. It was therefore suggested, that twelve persons should be selected from all the male members present, to represent the whole body of the Church, and thus to put on a new character, which they did not before hold, but which the solemnity of the occasion and the necessity of the case now invested them with; that those twelve should be chosen by Lot, as the only mode left to them under present circumstances, whereby the Divine Will could be ascertained; that, when so chosen, they should all place their right hands, upon the head of the person to be ordained; and that one of them should be requested by the rest to read and perform the ceremony. This proposal was acceded to, and adopted, for the following, among other reasons:-

First, Because no individual person, either in the Old Church, or in the New, could be acknowledged by the Society as possessing in himself the smallest title to authority or preeminence over others, in a case of such vital importance to the interests of the Church at large, until by solemn dedication to the Lord, and by a visible test of the divine approbation, some person or persons should be marked out as duly authorized to assume the character of Representatives of their brethren at large, and in this new capacity to lay the foundation of an orderly and regular Priesthood or Ministry in the New Church.

Secondly, Because the future prosperity and well-being of the Church required, that no time should be lost in forming an Institution, which should hereafter become a divinely-sanctioned and well regulated safeguard for the protection, due administration, and perpetual succession of the sanctities of the Ministerial function.

Thirdly, Because, when the Apostles of the Lord found themselves in a somewhat similar situation, in consequence of the defection of one of their number, they, judging themselves incapable of determining who was most fit for the vacant office, from which Judas by transgression fell, had recourse to the drawing of Lots, "that the Lord, who knoweth the hearts of all men, might shew which of the two persons, (Barsabas or Matthias,) proposed to fill up the place of Judas, he had chosen." Acts i. 24.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 71

Fourthly, Because again, on another occasion, the drawing of Lots was adopted as a decision of the Divine Providence, when there did not appear to be sufficient ground for the determination of human judgment. See the Treatise on Influx, or on the Intercourse between the Soul and Body, n. 19, first edition, in quarto; from which the following extract is taken: "Do not suppose, that this Lot came to hand by mere chance; but know, that it is by Divine Direction, that so you, who could not discover the truth because of the confusion of your minds, might have it thus presented to you in the way of your own choosing."

Such being the situation of the Church at this time, and such the reasons for proceeding in the way described, it may be proper here to annex an extract from the Minute Book of the Society, in which the first Ordination took place. It is as follows:-



                                                         "Sunday, June 1, 1788.

"At a full Meeting of the Members of the New Church held this day, in Great East Cheap after the morning service, it was unanimously agreed to Ordain JAMES HINDMARSH and SAMUEL SMITH, as Ministers and Priests in the New Church, in the manner following, viz: Twelve men to be chosen by Lot out of the Society, as Representatives of the New Church at large, and these to lay their right hands on the person ordained, agreeable to the form of Ordination.

"The following persons drew Lots for that purpose:


"And the lots fell on the twelve first mentioned, who unanimously appointed Robert Hindmarsh to read the service."

Having stated these particulars of the proceedings of the Society, in respect to the Ordination of Ministers, I may here be permitted to relate a rather singular circumstance, which took place at the time of the first Ordination. Being Secretary to the Society, when it was determined, that twelve men should be selected by Lot from the body of the Church, to lay their hands on the heads of the persons to be ordained, it was my office to prepare the tickets. I accordingly made sixteen tickets, answering to the number of male persons present, members of the Church, and marked twelve of them with a cross. Being desirous, for my own private satisfaction, to ascertain which of the twelve to be selected by Lot, it might please the Lord to appoint to read or perform the ceremony, I wrote, unknown to the rest of the Society, upon one of the twelve tickets, thus marked with a cross, the word ORDAIN.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 72 I then put the sixteen tickets into a receiver, when a prayer went up from my heart, that the Lord would shew whom he had chosen for the office of Ordination. The members being properly arranged, I went round to them all; and each one took a ticket out of the receiver, leaving me the last ticket, on which was written, as before stated, the word ORDAIN. Still the other members of the Society were not aware of what I had done; and when the twelve were separated from the rest, after consulting together a few moments, they unanimously requested, that I would read and perform the ceremony of Ordination. Whereupon JAMES HINDMARSH was first Ordained by me, and immediately afterwards SAMUEL SMITH.

This commencement of the Ordination of Ministers in the New Church has been approved of, and confirmed, by the Church in various of its subsequent General Meetings, particularly by the Sixth General Conference of its Ministers and other members held in London in the year 1807; the Minutes of which, after describing the mode adopted as above, contain the following remark. "It is to be observed, that this manner of Ordination by twelve members was used, because hereby the Church in this respect commenced anew, which would not have been the case, had she submitted to have had her Ministers ordained by those of the former Church; and twelve were chosen, because that number signifies all the goods and truths, from the Lord, whereof his Church is constituted."

The same General Conference further expressed their sentiments on the subject, in the following Resolutions.

"Resolved, That the origin of the Ordination of Ministers of the New Church now read, as adopted by the Society of East Cheap, on Sunday, the 1st of June, 1788, be considered as the most consistent, proper, and expedient, according to the then existing circumstances.

"Resolved, That this Conference recommend a continuation of the Ordination of the Ministry from this origin, and recognize the following persons as having been so ordained. [The names of ten persons are then enumerated.]

"Resolved, That if there are any persons at present officiating as Ministers of the Lords's New Church, who have not been ordained according to this form, they be recommended to submit to the same as soon as possible, for the sake of order; and that the Presidents of this Conference be requested to write to any such Ministers, of whom they may have knowledge."

Again in the Minutes of the Seventh General Conference, held at Birmingham, in the year 1808, a similar notice and recommendation are to be found in p. 5. "As the Ordination of Ministers at East Cheap, in 1788, was the first Order appointed and observed in the New Church, the Conference recommends, that the same Order be recognized and continued."

In the Minutes of the Eleventh General Conference, held at Derby in the year 1818, p. 19, the 37th Resolution is thus expressed.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 73 "Mr. Robert Hindmarsh (the President for that year) having been requested to leave the room, and the Rev. J. Proud called to the Chair, the subject respecting the Ordination of Mr. Robert Hindmarsh was then introduced, and underwent a very deliberate and able discussion; when it was

"Resolved Unanimously,

"That in consequence of Mr. Robert Hindmarsh having been called by Lot to ordain the first Minister in the New Church, this Conference consider it as the most orderly method, which could then be adopted, and that Mr. Robert Hindmarsh was virtually Ordained by the Divine Auspices of Heaven; in consequence of which this Conference consider Mr. Robert Hindmarsh as one of the regular Ordaining Ministers."

Accordingly in all the subsequent Conferences, where Lists have been given of all the regularly Ordained Ministers of the New Church, the name of ROBERT HINDMARSH is inserted at the head of those, who are recognized by the General Conference, and authorized to Ordain others into the Ministry, he himself being considered as the person appointed by Divine Providence to commence that Institution in the New Church, and therefore described as one Ordained by the Divine Auspices of the Lord, agreeably to the form and circumstances above related.

And here it may be observed as somewhat remarkable, that JAMES HINDMARSH and ROBERT HINDMARSH, the father and the son, should have been separately appointed by Lot to act those prominent parts in the formation of the Visible Church, which neither they nor any others of the Society would of themselves have had the assurance to undertake. On the first solemn occasion, that of first bringing the New Church into a visible external form, by Baptizing a given number of persons, desirous of entering the Church in a formal manner, as was done on the 31st of July, 1787, Mr. JAMES HINDMARSH was chosen by Lot to perform that ceremony; and the first person so Baptized was his son, Mr. ROBERT HINDMARSH, as above stated, p. 58 et seq. And on the next solemn occasion, when it was found expedient to commence the Institution of the Ordination of Ministers, Mr. ROBERT HINDMARSH, being himself the first that was ever admitted by Baptism into the New Church, was in like manner chosen by Lot, as well as by the unanimous voice of the members of the Society assembled for that purpose, to Ordain his father, Mr. JAMES HINDMARSH, as a Minister of the said Church: see p. 71, &c. Thus it appears, that two individuals of the same family, having no pretensions beyond those of the humblest of their companions, and certainly with qualifications much inferior to those of several others who assisted at both the ceremonies above mentioned, were placed in situations, which they could not have anticipated, and from which they could not conscientiously recede, after having once committed themselves to the Divine Disposal, by joining with the rest in prayer, that the Lord would lead, direct, and guide them in all their proceedings. His primitive disciples were men of humble abilities, despised perhaps for their plainness of manners, by the great men of their day, and deemed utterly unworthy of the distinction with which they were honoured.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 74 So in the present day, the day of the Lord's second advent among men in the true spirit of his Word, equally obscure individuals, and insignificant in the eyes of the world, may be made choice of, as humble mediums, through whom the Divine Wisdom may bring forth great events from apparently trivial causes and small beginnings. For the Lord sees not as man sees; neither are his ways to be judged of by the light of mere human reason. The weakest instruments are often made subservient to the most important ends. This has been conspicuous in all ages of the world; and doubtless the same laws, which tended in former times to the production of much eventual good, even to those who were ignorant of them, are still in operation for the benefit of the human race at large, and especially of the New and True Christian Church.*

* A correct List of all the Ordinations that have taken place, from their first commencement in 1788; with the times when, the places where, and the persons by whom, these Ministers were severally Ordained, will be given in the Appendix- ED.

The foundation of the Ministry of the New Church having been thus laid in the manner above described, with a provision for its succession and perpetuity, the benefit of such an Institution was soon perceived and very generally acknowledged, by all who wished well to the prosperity of Jerusalem. Disorderly spirits were hereby kept in a state of subjection to true order; and the first ebullitions of an over- heated imagination, or fanatical zeal, which might have been injurious to the rising Church of the Lord, were thus wisely controlled, and prevented from bringing discredit on its cause. Yet the Society had difficulties to contend with, which by divine help were gradually overcome. It was scarcely to be expected, that all, who received and cordially embraced the same doctrines even in heart and in life, should still entertain the same views of the best mode of promoting their publication in the world. While some conscientiously thought, that the most effectual way of increasing the New Church was by a candid and open declaration of its doctrines, neither flattering the prejudices, nor apparently justifying the errors, of those who by education and habit were most sincerely attached to the doctrines and worship of former establishments; others, of no less scrupulous and amiable a character, both as men and as Christians, hesitated to give their sanction to measures, which they feared might injure, rather than benefit, the cause most dear to the hearts of all the recipients of divine truth. By a premature and sudden display of the superior light of the new dispensation, before minds as yet unprepared for so great a blessing, some of our friends in the country, and particularly those of Manchester, were apprehensive, that the good already acquired by such characters, in their states of simplicity and ignorance, might possibly be deteriorated, or at least checked in its progress towards perfection.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 75 It was therefore, no doubt, a suggestion of pure charity towards the good and pious of all denominations, that the Society in London was addressed by their friends in Manchester, and earnestly intreated, both by letter and otherwise, not to separate themselves from the communion of the Established Church in this country, but to wait till a more convenient opportunity offered, when perhaps the very bishops, or other persons in authority in the Church and State, should, from conviction of the truth, give their sanction to a change in the forms of public worship. This recommendation, Coming from such a quarter, from men who, we had every reason to believe, had the real interests of the New Church at heart as much as ourselves, caused us to reflect on all our proceedings, from the first moment of our resolution to become a distinct people: and the result was, after the most mature deliberation we were able to give the subject, and considering the improbability of bishops and other dignified clergymen risking their ecclesiastical benefits, that, as Englishmen, free by the constitution of our country, and entitled to act in obedience to the dictates of our own consciences, as far as no violence was offered to the religious sentiments of others, we were unanimously resolved to go forward in the path already struck out, not at all doubting but a divine blessing would attend our well-meant endeavours.*

* The first Member of the New Church Society who was removed from the natural into the spiritual world was Mr. James Rayner. He departed this life on Saturday, the 19th July, 1788, aged 33. On the Wednesday following, his mortal remains were interred in the burial ground adjoining Northampton Chapel, in Spa Fields, Clerkenwell. The Rev. James Hindmarsh performed the funeral service by reading E. Swedenborg's statement of the Resurrection as contained in the New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrines from n. 223-228: to which were prefixed a few introductory remarks suitable to the occasion, and concluded by repeating the Lord's Prayer. There were present nineteen Members of the Church, a relation of the deceased, and a few other friends.

The following remarkable circumstance occurring at the time of Mr. James Rayner's decease, is recorded on the authority of the Rev. M. Sibly. Two days previous to his removal, the window of his room being open, a Red-breast came in and perched upon his feet, as he lay in bed, and sang in a most delightful manner, for a considerable time, to the great surprise of several persons, who were then present. It then flew away. About half an hour previous to his decease, it returned again to the window, but did not enter, and only hovered about for a little while. About five minutes before his death it came again, and perched upon the window, where it continued to sing in its former delightful strain till about five minutes after his death, and then flew away. It visited the window frequently till the third day after his decease, when the body began to change; after which it returned no more.- ED.

From the first agitation of the question of separation from the Old Church, by which expression are meant all the Established and Non-established Churches in Christendom, among Roman Catholics, Greeks, and Protestants of every denomination, it was found, that a certain portion of the readers of the New Church Writings were altogether averse from the formation of themselves and others into a distinct body of Christians.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 76 They conceived it to be their duty to remain in their respective connexions as before, and to continue in the exercise of public worship at those places, which they had heretofore been accustomed to attend; though at the same time they knew, that such worship was not in agreement either with their newly- adopted principles, or with the true sense of the Divine Word itself. But judging that, upon the whole, more good might result to society from the course they took, by the opportunities it afforded them of insinuating the truth among their former associates, than if they were hastily to withdraw themselves from all spiritual communion with them; and perhaps, in some cases, unwilling to be reputed Sectarians, or stigmatized as Fanatics, they were content to do some violence to their own feelings, and to suffer a kind of voluntary martyrdom, rather than give unnecessary offence to their uninformed neighbour. To his own Master every man is accountable: it is therefore a duty incumbent on all, who profess the same faith, however they may vary in their modes of spreading it abroad in the world, to regard each other as brethren united in one common cause, under One Common Head, who crowns with success the separate or joint exertions of all his faithful servants.

Several letters passed between the Society, now formed into a distinct body, and those of their friends who thought it was as yet premature to separate themselves from former Establishments. Each party, as might naturally be expected, urged the propriety of their respective views of the question; and, in the true spirit of charity and brotherly affection, each party left the other freely to determine for themselves. As a specimen of the friendship and candour, in which this correspondence was maintained, and at the same time for the purpose of shewing the grounds upon which public worship was first established by the members of the New Church Society in London, their printed Answer to a Letter received from the Manchester Society is here subjoined, under the title of-

"REASONS for Separating from the OLD CHURCH, &c.: In Answer to a Letter from the Friends at Manchester; by the Members of the New Jerusalem Church, who assemble in Great East Cheap, London.*

* The full title is, Reasons for Separating from the Old Church; In Answer to a Letter received from certain Persons in Manchester, who profess to believe in the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church, as contained in the Theological Writings of the late Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg, and yet Remain in the External Forms of Doctrine and Worship now in Use in the Old Church, notwithstanding their Direct Opposition to the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Church. To which are added, Sundry Passages from E. Swedenborg, on which the Expediency, and even Necessity, of a Complete Separation from the former Church, is founded. By the Members of the New Jerusalem Church, who assemble in Great East Cheap, London. 1788.

"Dear Brethren,

"We received your friendly Epistle of the 14th of November, 1787; and after mature deliberation on the contents thereof, we think it necessary to deliver our sentiments as follows:

"It appears to be written in a spirit of charity, and accordingly we receive it as expressive of your best wishes towards us and the New Church at large.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 77 But in regard to that part of it, where you advise us not to separate from the present established forms of worship in the Old Church, as no argument is advanced from the Holy Word, or from the Writings of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, which to us are dearer than every other consideration on earth, we dare not comply with any requisition of man, that in our judgment would tend to crush the Lord's work in his infant New Church. It appears to us from the Writings of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, that the faith of the Old Church is diametrically opposite to that of the New Church, and consequently that they cannot remain together in the same house, much less in the same mind, without the most dangerous consequences to man's spiritual life.

"With respect to the Universality of the Divine Mercy, which you seem to consider as a sufficient ground and reason for not separating from the Old Church, inasmuch as the Lord accepteth the sincere worship of all men, howsoever imperfect their forms, we conceive this might as well have been applied to the Primitive Christian Church, when separating from the Jewish, and with much greater propriety to the Reformed or Protestant Churches, when they withdrew from the Roman Catholics, than to us in the present case. For the consideration of the Lord's mercy being extended to Pagans and Idolaters, and even to the wicked, doth not seem to us to be a sufficient reason for continuing either in idolatry or wickedness, when the means of reformation are in our power. If the Lord accepteth the sincere worship of all men, notwithstanding the imperfection of their forms, surely we may hope that his mercy will be extended to us even in our new form, while we worship him alone in sincerity and truth. And if so, even upon your own principles of Universality, we beg leave to ask, wherein consisteth the evil or danger of separating from the forms of the Old Church?

"By a Separation we by no means wish to circumscribe the limits of the Lord's Universal Mercy, much less to confine it to ourselves, or to the forms which we have adopted for present use, as may appear from the Address to the Reader prefixed to our Liturgy, to which we refer you for our sentiments on this head. Nay, so sensible are we of the Universality of the Divine Mercy, that we believe it is perpetually extended even to the infernal spirits, in preventing them from falling into deeper hells; the Lord from his divine love being ever desirous of elevating all into heaven. But this is impossible, by reason of their acquired evil, which they have confirmed to such a degree, that it cannot be removed or extirpated to eternity. Heaven and Hell, n. 521 to 527.

"You will be pleased to observe, that the friends in London by no means wish to confine the New Church to any forms, which they may think most suitable for themselves; for we know that all perfection consists in variety. (Arcana Coelest. n. 1285. Heaven and Hell n. 51 to 58.) There will therefore be many varieties of worship in the New Church; but all these varieties will harmonize by the ACKNOWLEDGMENT and PROFESSION of ONE GOD in the DIVINE HUMAN PERSON of the LORD JESUS CHRIST. This is the Universal, that must enter into every Particular and Singular, as the very life and soul thereof; and this will unite all the members of the New Church, howsoever different their modes of worship may be. But it is plain to see, that this cannot extend to the forms in use in the Old Church; for the Universal that prevails therein, particularly in respect to its doctrine concerning God, the Person of Christ, Charity, Repentance, Free-will, Election, the Use of the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, and in every other the most minute Singular, is a Trinity of Gods, (see True Christ. Rel., n. 177;) and this Trinity of Gods as naturally begets the pernicious doctrine of Justification by Faith alone, as the acknowledgment of ONE GOD in the DIVINE HUMANITY of the LORD JESUS CHRIST produces a life according to his commandments.

"We trust, therefore, our dear brethren of Manchester will not impute to us a sectarian spirit, when we profess and endeavour (through divine assistance) to maintain charity towards all mankind, and declare that we have nothing in view, but the worship of the true God, and the advancement of his New Church, both in doctrine and in life.

"In separating from the Old Church, and in framing a Liturgy agreeable to our perceptions of the heavenly Truths of the New, we conceive we are only exercising that liberty of conscience, which the Lord in his divine providence has been pleased so peculiarly to favour us with, and which as members of the New Church, and subjects of a free land, we have a most undoubted right to. Indeed the propriety, and even necessity, of this measure appears the more striking, when we consider, that all the present forms of worship in use in the Old Church, are calculated to implant in the mind a divided idea of the One God; and to lead from the true Object of worship, which is JESUS CHRIST, to an imaginary God of a superior order, who is on all occasions to be addressed for the sake of the merits and sufferings of his Son.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 78


"We consider it, therefore, as a duty incumbent upon us, to forsake whatsoever is calculated to oppose and obstruct the free reception of good and truth from the Lord; and howsoever trivial it may appear to some, whether we use or reject the forms of the Old Church, yet we are firmly persuaded (by certain experience) of the truth of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG'S assertion (speaking of the forms of prayer now in use), that whatever is implanted in the memory in a person's younger years, becomes the subject of all his future thoughts. (True Christ. Rel. n. 173.) This being the case, it is evident, that the forms of worship in the Old Church have a pernicious tendency, inasmuch as they lead the mind to conceive Three Gods in idea, and teach a justification by faith in the merits of one, who suffered death to appease the wrath of the other.

"The danger resulting from such erroneous sentiments to the rising generation, is too evident to escape notice; but rather awakens us to a sense of the duty we owe to our families and offspring, in guarding them, as much as possible, against receiving and being confirmed in principles, that cannot fail hereafter to prove highly prejudicial to their eternal life.- See True Christ. Rel. n. 23.

"But it is not our design to point out to you all the sad consequences of the faith of the Old Church, as no doubt you must be well acquainted with them already from the works of our Author. Suffice it to observe, that we consider them as sufficient reasons for withdrawing from the former Church. And we hope and trust, that our dear brethren of Manchester, and elsewhere, will also in due time see the importance and necessity of relinquishing, both internally and externally, those destructive forms ff faith and worship, which have already been the means of vastating and consummating the Old Church, and which, if persevered in, will doubtless threaten the most dangerous consequences to the New.

"You, as well as we, believe there is only One God in One Person, and that the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is He. So do the angels of heaven. But they profess the same with their lips also; and thus the acknowledgment of their hearts, descending into the confession of their mouth, is in its fulness and in its power. Why then should we be ashamed or afraid to profess our faith in the open day? Why speak with our tongues what we know in our hearts to be false? Shall general custom, or any human establishment on earth, be allowed a sufficient plea? Is evil to be done, that good may come of it? O friends and brethren! let us no longer deceive ourselves! let us no longer halt between two opinions! But let us seek truth for the sake of truth; and when we have found it, let us acknowledge and profess it in humility and simplicity, as knowing that nothing short of genuine truth, derived from genuine good, can constitute us real members of the New Jerusalem.        

"As a Church has lately been opened in London, wherein the Lord Jesus Christ ALONE is worshiped, and the doctrines of the New Jerusalem are avowedly preached, we can from some experience declare, that we think your fears about a Separation from the Old Church were entirely groundless. Many persons have already by that means been brought to the knowledge of the truth; and we have a good hope, from present appearances, that the efforts of those concerned therein will, through divine mercy, in the end be crowned with the desired success.

"Sensible of our own weakness and infirmities, and how much we stand in need of the divine assistance, it is the sincere prayer of our hearts, that we may be preserved in the truth of the Holy Word, and in the genuine spirit of charity towards all mankind. For we are well assured, that the most perfect forms of external worship and profession will avail us nothing, unless, by the divine mercy of the Lord, we enter into real states of repentance and regeneration, which can only be effected by shunning evils as sins against God, and by a life conformable to the genuine truths of his Holy Word.

"We do not wish to lay a stress on any reasoning derived from man's propriety or self-intelligence, but simply to receive the truth as the Lord has been pleased to manifest it by means of his servant EMANUEL SWEDENBORG. And where we cannot all agree in sentiment or opinion on any particular points, we trust we shall ever be united in the bonds of mutual love and charity.

"We think it proper, at the close of this letter, to point out to you some of those passages in the writings of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, on which we ground the necessity of a separation from the Old Church, and which appear to us of sufficient weight to authorize our conduct. The application of the same passages, however, to your own breasts, we shall leave entirely to yourselves. We do not wish to urge the example of our separating as a just reason for yours; being well persuaded, that every man must judge and act for himself, particularly in matters of such importance as have respect to his conscience. And although it is possible you may not at present see the expediency of forsaking the Old, and adopting the New Church, in an external as well as internal manner; yet we trust, the Lord will in mercy preserve you from your present danger, and in his own good time deliver you from the power of all your enemies, by setting your feet on sure and certain ground.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 79

"This is our ardent prayer for you, for ourselves, and for all others who desire to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth."

"Great East Cheap, London.

              "Dec. 7, 1788.                      "(Signed)


The passages in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, alluded to above, on which the Society grounded the expediency of forming themselves into a distinct body, were annexed to this Letter, as an authority acknowledged by all who embrace the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem: but they are here omitted, being thought unnecessary in the present advanced state of the Church, when the question of Separation, which formerly agitated the infant Societies, has at length subsided, and almost ceased to be a subject of conversation. For it is seen and perfectly acquiesced in by all parties, (if such a term can be allowed, when now more than ever they are united,) that the common cause, in which they are embarked, must proceed, and that nothing can hinder its future progress; because, having already gained a respectable footing in this and other countries, it is beginning to bless all lands with its superior light, and cannot reasonably be expected to forfeit the divine promise of being made "a praise in the earth," Isa. lxii. 7; "an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations," chap. lx. 15.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 80

In the course of two or three years after this correspondence, the friends in Manchester came to an almost unanimous resolution to follow the example of the London Society, and to erect for themselves a commodious and spacious building in Peter Street, to be called the New Jerusalem Church.* Other Societies also in Lancashire, Yorkshire, &c., which heretofore only held their reading meetings and friendly associations, soon perceived the utility of public worship, from the examples thus set them by their brethren in London and Manchester, and gradually formed themselves into little communities and churches, all vying with each other in zeal to propagate the truths of the new dispensation, and most earnestly endeavouring to stem that torrent of infidelity, which about this time began to infest and infect the whole of the Christian Community in Great Britain.

* This erection is still in the possession of the New Church, the original cost of the building is paid off, and a new and commodious School Room is just completed (1858). This Church was opened, on Sunday, August 11th 1793; on which occasion the Rev. J. Proud preached two discourses from Isaiah lx. 1, 2.- ED.


       CHAP. V.

THE London Society, having proceeded thus far in their exertions, first, to bring the Church into an actual external existence, then to introduce into it a regular and orderly Ministry, and afterwards to invite their brethren in other parts of the kingdom to unite with them in giving more full effect to their humble endeavours to propagate the truth among mankind, - now proceeded to take into consideration the propriety of calling a GENERAL CONFERENCE of all the readers of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, in order that the measures to be hereafter adopted might be the acts, not of one Society only, but of the New Church in general. For this end a Meeting was convened of all the members of the London Society, who appointed a Committee to prepare a Circular Letter, to be addressed to all the Societies of the New Church in Great Britain, and to such individuals, not united in any Society, as were known to be receivers of the new doctrines, and friendly to the formation of an external visible Church.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 81 This Meeting was held in the Chapel in Great East Cheap, London, on the 7th day of December, 1788; when the following Circular Letter, containing Forty-two Theological Propositions, taken from the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, with a general invitation for all the readers to attend the proposed Conference, was submitted to the Meeting, approved of, and ordered to be forthwith sent to all Societies and individuals, that might be supposed interested in the establishment and prosperity of the New Jerusalem.

"COPY of a CIRCULAR LETTER, addressed to all the Readers of the Theological Writings of the Honourable EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, who are desirous of rejecting, and separating themselves from the OLD CHURCH, or the present Established Churches together with all their Sectaries, throughout Christendom, and of fully embracing the Heavenly Doctrines of the NEW JERUSALEM.


"Dec. 7, 1788.

"At a full Meeting of the members of the New Jerusalem Church who assemble at the above place, for the purpose of considering the most effectual means of promoting the establishment of the New Church, distinct from the Old, both in this and other countries, it was unanimously agreed, that a GENERAL CONFERENCE of all the readers of the Theological Writings of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG who are desirous of rejecting, and separating themselves from, the Old Church, or the present Established Churches, together with all their Sectaries, throughout Christendom, and of fully embracing the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Church, be held in Great East Cheap, London, on Easter Monday, the 13th day of April, 1789; when the following Propositions, containing the principal Doctrines of the New Church, will be taken into serious consideration, and such Resolutions submitted to the said Meeting, as may be found necessary to promote the above design.


"I. That Jehovah God, the Creator of heaven and earth, is One in Essence and in Person, in whom is a Divine Trinity, consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, like Soul, Body and Operation in Man; and that the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is that God. True Christian Religion, n. 5 to 24, 25, 164 to 171, 180.

"II. That Jehovah God himself came down from heaven as Divine Truth, which is the Word, and took upon him Human Nature for the purpose of removing hell from man, of restoring the heavens to order, and of preparing the way for a New Church upon earth; and that herein consists the true nature of redemption, which was effected solely by the omnipotence of the Lord's Divine Humanity. True Christ. Rel. n. 85, 86, 115 to 117, 124, 125.

"III. That a Trinity of Divine Persons existing from eternity, or before the creation of the world, when conceived in idea, is a Trinity of Gods, which cannot be expelled by the oral confession of One God. True Christ. Rel. n. 172, 173.

"IV. That to believe Redemption to have consisted in the passion of the cross, is a fundamental error of the Old Church; and that this error, together with that relating to the existence of Three Divine Persons from eternity, hath perverted the whole Christian Church, so that nothing spiritual is left remaining in it. True Christ. Rel. n. 132, 133.

"V. That all Prayers directed to a Trinity of distinct Persons, and not to a Trinity conjoined in One Person, are henceforth not attended to, but are in heaven like ill-scented odours. True Christ. Rel. n. 108.

"VI. That hereafter no Christian can be admitted into heaven, unless he believeth in the Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, and approacheth him alone. True Christ. Rel. n. 26, 107, 108.

"VII. That the doctrines universally taught in the Old Church, particularly respecting Three Divine Persons, the Atonement, Justification by Faith alone, the Resurrection of the material Body, &c., &c., are highly dangerous to the rising generation, inasmuch as they tend to ingraft in their infant minds principles diametrically opposite to those of the New Church, and consequently hurtful to their salvation. True Christ. Rel n. 23, 173.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 82

"VIII. That the Nicene and Athanasian doctrine concerning a Trinity have together given birth to a faith, which hath entirely overturned the Christian Church. True Christ. Rel. n. 177.

"IX. That hence is come that abomination of desolation, and that affliction, such as was not in all the world, neither shall be, which the Lord hath foretold in Daniel, and the Evangelists, and the Revelation. True Christ. Rel. n. 179.

"X. That hence too it is come to pass, that unless a New Heaven and a New Church be established by the Lord, no flesh can be saved. True Christ Rel. n. 182.

"XI. That the Word of the Lord is Holy; and that it containeth a Three-fold Sense, namely, Celestial, Spiritual, and Natural, which are united by Correspondences; and that in each sense it is Divine Truth, accommodated respectively to the angels of the three heavens, and also to men on earth. True Christ. Rel. n. 193 to 213.

"XII. That the Books of the Word are all those which have the Internal Sense, which are as follow, viz. in the Old Testament, the five Books of Moses, called Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy; the Book of Joshua, the Book of Judges, the two Books of Samuel, the two Books of Kings, the Psalms of David, the Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; and in the New Testament, the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Revelation. And that the other Books, not having the Internal Sense, are not the Word. Arcana Coelestia, n. 10325. New Jer. n. 266. White Horse, n. 16.

"XIII. That in the Spiritual World there is a Sun distinct from that of the Natural World, the essence of which is pure love from Jehovah God, who is in the midst thereof: that the heat also proceeding from that Sun is in its essence love, and the light thence proceeding is in its essence wisdom; and that by the instrumentality of that Sun all things were created, and continue to subsist, both in the Spiritual and in the Natural World. True Christ. Rel. n. 75. Influx, n. 5.

"XIV. That immediately on the Death of the material body, (which will never be re-assumed) man rises again as to his spiritual or substantial body, wherein he existeth in a perfect human form; and thus that Death is only a continuation of Life. New Jer. n. 223 to 228.

"XV. That the State and Condition of man after death is according to his past life in this world; and that the Predominant Love, which he takes with him into the Spiritual World, continues with him for ever, and can never be changed to all eternity; consequently, that if this Predominant Love be good, he abides in heaven to all eternity, but if it be evil, he abides in hell to all eternity. Heaven and Hell, n. 480, 521 to 527. True Christ. Rel. n. 199. Arc. Coel. n. 10596, 10749. De Amore Conjug. n. 524. Apoc. Explic. n. 745, 837, 971, 1164, 1220.
"XVI. That there is not in the universal heaven a single Angel that was created such at first, nor a single Devil in all hell, that had been created an angel of light, and was afterwards cast out of heaven; but that all both in heaven and hell are of the human race, in heaven such as had lived in the world in heavenly love and faith, and in hell such as had lived in hellish love and faith. Last Judgment, n. 14. Heaven and Hell. n. 311 to 317.

"XVII. That man is not Life in himself, but only a Recipient of Life from the Lord, who alone is Life in Himself; which life is communicated by influx to all in the Spiritual World, whether in Heaven or in Hell, or in the intermediate state called the World of Spirits, and to all in the Natural World; but is received differently by each, according to the quality of the recipient subject. True Christ. Rel. n. 470 to 474.

"XVIII. That man hath power to procure for himself both Faith and Charity, and also the Life of Faith and Charity; but that nevertheless nothing belonging to Faith, nothing belonging to Charity, and nothing belonging to the Life of each, is from man, but from the Lord. True Christ. Rel. n. 356 to 359.

"XIX. That Charity and Faith are mere mental and perishable things, unless they be determined to Works, and exist therein, whensoever it is practicable. And that neither Charity alone, nor Faith alone, produces good Works; but that both Charity and Faith together are necessary to produce them. True Christ. Rel. n. 375 to 377, 450 to 453.

"XX. That there are three universal Loves, viz., the Love of Heaven, the Love of the World, and the Love of Self, which, when in right subordination, make man perfect; but when they are not in right subordination, that they pervert and invert him. True Christ. Rel. n. 394 to 405.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 83

"XXI. That man hath Free-will in spiritual things, and that without this Free-will the Word would be of no manner of use, and consequently no church could exist; and that without Free-will in spiritual things there would be nothing about man, whereby he might join himself by reciprocation with the Lord, but God himself would be chargeable as the Author of evil, and all would be mere absolute predestination which is shocking and detestable. True Christ. Rel. n. 479 to 485. New Jer. n. 141 to 149.

"XXII. That Miracles are not to be expected at this day, because they carry compulsion with them, and take away man's Free-will in spiritual things. True Christ. Rel. n. 501, 849. Div. Prov. n. 130.

"XXIII. That Repentance is the beginning and foundation of the Church in man; and that it consisteth in a man's examining not only the actions of his life, but also the intentions of his will, and in abstaining from evils, because they are sins against God. True Christ. Rel. n. 510 to 566.

"XXIV. That Regeneration or the New Birth is effected of the Lord alone, by charity and faith, during man's co-operation; and that it is a gradual, not an instantaneous work, the several stages thereof answering to those of man's natural birth, in that he is conceived, carried in the womb, brought forth, and educated. True Christ. Rel. n. 576 to 578, 583 to 586.

"XXV. That in proportion as man is regenerated, in the same proportion his Sins are removed; and that this Removal is what is meant in the Word by the Remission of Sins. True Christ. Rel. n. 611 to 614.

"XXVI. That all have a Capacity to be regenerated, because all are redeemed, every one according to his state. True Christ. Rel. n. 579 to 582.

"XXVII That both evil Spirits and good Spirits are attendant upon every man and that the evil Spirits dwell in and excite his evil affections, and that the good Spirits dwell in and excite his good affections. True Christ. Rel. n. 596, &c.

"XXVIII. That spiritual Temptations, which are Conflicts between good and evil, truth and falsehood, are a means of purification and regeneration, and that the Lord alone fighteth for man therein. Ibid.

"XXIX. That the Imputation of the Merit and Righteousness of Christ, which consist in Redemption, is a thing impossible; and that it can no more be applied or ascribed to any angel or man, than the Creation and Preservation of the Universe can; Redemption being a kind of Creation of the Angelic Heaven anew, and also of the Church. True Christ. Rel. n. 640.

"XXX. That the Imputation, which really takes place, and which is maintained by the New Church from the Word, is an Imputation of Good and Evil, and at the same time of Faith; and that the Lord imputeth Good to every man, and that Hell imputeth Evil to every man. True Christ. Rel. n. 643 to 646.

"XXXI. That the Faith and Imputation of the New Church cannot abide together with the Faith and Imputation of the Old Church; and in case they abide together, such a collision and conflict will ensue, as will prove fatal to every thing that relates to the Church in man. True Christ. Rel. n. 647 to 649. Brief Expos. n. 96, 103.

"XXXII. That there is not a single genuine Truth remaining in the Old Church, but what is falsified; and that herein is fulfilled the Lord's prediction in Matthew xxiv. 2, that 'one stone of the Temple shall not be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.' True Christ. Rel. n. 174, 177, 180, 758.

"XXXIII. That Now it is allowable to enter intellectually into the Mysteries of Faith, contrary to the ruling maxim in the Old Church, that the Understanding is to be kept bound under Obedience to Faith. True Christ. Rel. n. 185, 508. Apoc. Rev. n. 564, 914.

"XXXIV. That external Forms of Worship, agreeable to the doctrines of the New Church are necessary, in order that the members of the New Church may worship God in One Person, according to the dictates of their own consciences, and that their acknowledgment of the Lord may, by descending into the ultimates, be confirmed, and thus their external man act in unity with their internal. Apoc. Rev. n. 533, 707. True Christ. Rel. n. 23, 55, 177, 508.

"XXXV. That the two Sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Supper are essential institutions in the New Church, the uses of which are now revealed, together with the spiritual sense of the Word. True Christ. Rel. n. 667 to 730.
"XXXVI. That the Kingdom of the Lord, both in heaven and on earth, is a Kingdom of Uses. True Christ. Rel. n. 387, 459. Arc. Coel. n. 5395.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 84

"XXXVII. That true Conjugial Love, which can only exist between One Husband and One Wife, is a primary characteristic of the New Church, being grounded in the marriage of goodness and truth, and corresponding with the marriage of the Lord and his Church; and therefore is more celestial, spiritual, holy, pure, and clean, than any other love in angel, or men. De Amore Conjug. n. 57 to 73.

"XXXVIII. That the Last Judgment was accomplished in the Spiritual World in the year 1757; and that the former heaven and the former earth, or the Old Church, are passed away, and that all things are become New. Last Judgment, n. 45. True Christ. Rel. n. 115, 772. Apoc. Rev. n. 886. Brief Expos. n. 95.

"XXXIX. That Now is the Second Advent of the Lord, which is a Coming, not in Person, but in the power and glory of the Spiritual Sense of his Holy Word, which is Himself. True Christ. Rel. n. 776 to 778.

"XL. That this Second Coming of the Lord is effected by means of his servant EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, before whom He Hath manifested Himself in Person, and whom he hath filled with his Spirit, to teach the doctrines of the New Church by the Word from Him. True Christ. Rel. n. 779.

"XLI. That this is what is meant in the Revelation by the New Heaven and New Earth, and the New Jerusalem thence descending, prepared as a Bride adorned for her Husband. True Christ. Rel. n. 781.

"XLII. That this New Church is the Crown of all Churches, which have heretofore existed on this earthly globe, in consequence of its worshiping One Visible God, in whom is the Invisible, as the Soul is in the Body. True Christ. Rel. n. 786 to 790,


"As a friend to the establishment of the New Church, distinct from the Old, you are hereby invited to the above-mentioned CONFERENCE, to be held in Great East Cheap, London, on Easter Monday, the 13th of April next, at Nine o'clock in the morning. Any person within the circle of your acquaintance, whom you know to be a lover of the truths contained in the Theological Writings of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, and friendly to the formation of a New Church, agreeable to the doctrines contained in the said Writings, and consistent with the plan proposed in this Circular Paper, you are at liberty also to invite; as nothing but the real welfare and promotion of the New Jerusalem Church is hereby intended; which end, it is thought, may be most effectually answered by a general concurrence of the members of the New Church at large.

              "Signed in behalf of the New Church at London
THE COMMITTEE:              


              THOMAS WRIGHT, President

              ROBERT HINDMARSH, Treasurer and Secretary

              JOHN AUGUSTUS TULK

              THOMAS WILLDON

              RICHARD THOMPSON

              ISAAC HAWKINS

              MANOAH SIBLY

              SAMUEL SMITH

              JAMES HINDMARSH

"Great East Cheap, London.
"Dec. 7, 1788."

On the publication of this Circular Letter, and the Propositions accompanying it, by some means or other it came to the knowledge of the then Bishop of London, (Dr. BEILBY PORTEUS,) who immediately sent his Chaplain, the Rev. Mr. SELLON, Minister of St. James's Church, Clerkenwell, to my house for a copy of it, and at the same time to inquire of me what it all meant, or what our intentions were in summoning an Assembly of the above description. In answer to this application, I sent two or three copies of that Circular, with my compliments, to the Bishop, and begged the messenger to assure his Lordship, that no violence or disrespect was intended to any order of society; but that the design was to spread the doctrines of the New Jerusalem among mankind as publicly and extensively as possible.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 85 I heard no more from the Bishop after that. But I have reason to believe, that his Lordship was pretty well acquainted with the nature and tendency of those doctrines, and that he was far from entertaining an unfavorable opinion of them. His Chaplain, Mr. Sellon, who was a neighbour of mine, after that, frequently called on me, and purchased the books, as they came from the press, partly on his own account, and, as I understood, partly on account of the Bishop.

On the arrival of the appointed time for the meeting of the General Conference, which began on Easter Monday, the 13th, and continued till the 17th of April, 1789, a numerous assemblage of readers attended at the place of worship in Great East Cheap, London. Besides the Society in London, individuals were present from Kensington, in Middlesex, Rotherham, in Yorkshire, Derby, Liverpool, Salisbury, and other parts of England; also from Sweden, America, and Jamaica. All seemed desirous of promoting, to the utmost of their power, the great object for which they were convened; and though many of them had never before seen each other, they all rejoiced in the opportunity afforded them of testifying their sincere attachment to the cause which brought them together, and were anxious to manifest to the world their sense of the blessings, which awaited them in this new era of the Church.

The Meeting was opened in the manner described in the Minutes of the First General Conference of the Members of the New Jerusalem Church. After a prayer suited to the particular occasion of the day, and for the prosperity of the New Church at large, a member of the London Society (Mr. ROBERT HINDMARSH) addressed the Meeting in the following words:

"Friends and Brethren,

"I am directed by the members of the New Jerusalem Church in London, to thank you, in their name, for the readiness you have shewn in accepting their invitation to this General Conference. It gives them unspeakable pleasure to find, that the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem are now manifesting themselves in this land, and that in every quarter of the globe, the Lord's New Church is in some small degree beginning to make its appearance. May the Lord hasten the time, when righteousness shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea!

"Be assured, that nothing but a sincere love to mankind in general, and an ardent desire to promote their spiritual welfare, could have induced them to step forward on the present occasion, and call your attention to subjects, which, however new, or opposed to the prejudices and misconceptions of the present day, are nevertheless of the utmost moment and importance to all.

"With hearts filled with gratitude to the most merciful Lord Jesus, for the greatest of all mercies, his Second Advent; and warmed with affection towards their brethren of the New Church, the Society of London can with freedom and confidence communicate their sentiments to all present; not doubting but the same charity and benevolence, which they trust actuate themselves, will be equally manifested on the part of the friends now assembled. Under this persuasion, and that all our proceedings may be conducted with harmony and good order, they have directed me to request, that the Meeting at large do now proceed to the election of a President and Secretary, to officiate in their respective capacities during the present Conference."

@Something is going on here. The page numbers jump from 84 to 97. Is the pagination wrong, or is there text [email protected]


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 86


Hereupon the Meeting unanimously appointed Mr. HENRY PECKITT, of London, to be President; and Mr. ROBERT BEATSON, of Rotherham, in Yorkshire, to be Secretary.

When the President had taken his seat, he opened the business of the Conference in the following manner.

"It is presumed, that all present are well acquainted with the design of the present Meeting, that it is, as stated in the circular letter, for the purpose of considering the most effectual means of promoting the establishment of the New Church, distinct from the Old, and for entering into such Resolutions, as may appear necessary in a work of so great importance. I trust, that the utmost harmony will be preserved during the whole of this Conference; and that each member, in delivering his sentiments, will ever keep in mind the necessity of humility, and guard against every domineering spirit that might attempt to infest his mind, by persuading him that he alone is in the true light, or that his judgment is superior to that of others; as knowing, that of himself he can neither think a good thought, nor speak a good word, but that every good and perfect gift proceeds from the Father of mercies, even the Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who alone is the true fountain and source of all life and light. In his Name, and by the influence of his Holy Spirit, may all our proceedings be begun and carried on!

"Sensible of the many difficulties we have to encounter, and of our inability, without divine assistance, to perform the task before us, let us remember, that whatever may be done in our present weak and imperfect state, can only be preparatory to the future complete and glorious establishment of the Lord's kingdom upon earth; to effect which great and blessed end, frequent Conferences will no doubt be necessary, in order that unanimity and harmony may prevail in all the Societies of the New Church, wheresoever they may be formed throughout the world. In the mean time, let us offer up our united prayers to the Omnipotent Jehovah Jesus, who is King of kings, and Lord of lords, that he would be pleased to preside in the present Assembly, and by his divine presence warm our hearts with love to himself and his kingdom, enlighten our understandings with the pure and genuine light of heaven, and so bless our feeble endeavours at this time, that they may tend to the further exaltation of his great and holy Name, and a more general reception of the glorious truths of the New Jerusalem."

The following passages, extracted from the True Christian Religion, written by the Hon. EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, were then read; wherein is contained an account of the New Angelic Heaven forming in the Spiritual World, and a view of the principal Arcana of the New Church now revealed to mankind.

"108. I shall relate the following particulars, which I know to be true, because I have been an eye-witness of them, and therefore can testify the truth of them. There is at this day a New Angelic Heaven forming by the Lord, consisting of such only as believe on the Lord God and Saviour, and approach him immediately as the Object of their worship; and all others are rejected. Wherefore, from henceforth, if any one cometh from a Christian country into the spiritual world, where every man is received after death, and doth not believe on the Lord, and approach him alone as the Object of his worship, and cannot then receive this doctrine concerning him, in consequence of a mis-spent life, or a confirmation of himself in falses, he is rejected at his first approach towards heaven, and his face is thence averted, and turned towards the region below, whither he goeth, and joineth himself in society with those there, who are signified in the Revelation by the dragon and false prophet. The prayers also of every man that liveth in a Christian country, and doth not believe on the Lord, are henceforth not attended to, but are in heaven like ill-scented odours, or like eructations from corrupted lungs; and although he may fancy that his prayer is like the perfume of incense, yet in its ascent to the Angelic Heaven it is but like the smoke of a chimney, which by the violence of the wind is driven down into the eyes of men below, or like the incense from a censer under a monk's cloak. This is the case from henceforward with all worship, which is directed towards a Trinity of distinct Persons, and not towards a Trinity conjoined in One Person.

"846. I was once raised up as to my spirit into the Angelic Heaven, and introduced into a particular Society therein; and immediately some of the wise ones of the Society came to me, and said, WHAT NEWS FROM EARTH?


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 87 I replied, This is New, that the Lord hath revealed Arcana, which in point of real excellence exceed all the Arcana heretofore revealed since the beginning of the Church. They asked, What Arcana? I answered, The following, I. That in all and every part of the Word there is a SPIRITUAL SENSE corresponding with the natural sense, and that the Word by that sense is a medium of conjunction between mankind and the Lord, and also of consociation with Angels; and that the sanctity of the Word resideth in that sense. II. That the CORRESPONDENCES, of which the spiritual sense of the Word consisteth are discovered. And the Angels asked, Had the inhabitants of the earth no knowledge heretofore concerning Correspondences? I replied, None at all; and that the Doctrine of Correspondences had been hidden now for some thousands of years, viz., since the time of Job; that at that time, and in the ages before it, the Science of Correspondences was esteemed the chief of Sciences, being the fountain of wisdom to man, because it was the fountain of knowledge concerning spiritual things relating to Heaven and the Church; but that that science, by reason of its being perverted to idolatrous purposes, was so obliterated and destroyed by the Divine Providence of the Lord that no traces of it were left remaining: That nevertheless at this time it was again revealed by the Lord, in order to effect a conjunction of the members of the Church with Him, and their consociation with the angels, which purposes are effected by the Word, in which all and every thing are Correspondences. The angels were much rejoiced to hear, that it had pleased the Lord to reveal this great Arcanum, which had lain hid so deep for thousands of years; and they said, that it was done with this view, that the Christian Church, which is founded on the Word, and is now at its period, may again revive, and derive spirit through heaven from the Lord. They inquired further, whether it was discovered at this day by that science, what is signified by BAPTISM, and what by the HOLY SUPPER, which have given birth heretofore to so many various conjectures about their true meaning? And I replied, That it was discovered. III. I further said, That a revelation was made by the Lord at this day concerning the LIFE OF MAN AFTER DEATH. The Angels replied, How concerning life after death? who doth not know, that man liveth after death? I replied, They know it and they do not know it: they say, that it is not man who then liveth, but his soul: and that this is then a living spirit; and their idea of spirit is like that of wind or ether: thus they insist, that man doth not live till the day of the Last Judgment, and that then the corporeal parts, which had been left behind in the world, (notwithstanding their having been eaten up by worms, mice, and fish,) will be collected together again and again fitted and formed into a body, and that thus they will rise again as men. Hereupon the Angels said, What a notion is this! Who doth not know, that man liveth as a man after death, with this difference alone, that he then liveth a substantial man, and not a material man as before; and that the substantial man is visible to the substantial man, just as the material man is to the material, and that they know no difference, except that they are in a more perfect state. IV. The Angels asked, What do they know on earth concerning our world, and concerning HEAVEN AND HELL? I answered, Nothing at all; but that it had pleased the Lord to discover, at this day, the nature and state of the world in which Angels and Spirits live, consequently the nature and state of Heaven and Hell; and also that Angels and Spirits are in conjunction with men, with many other wonderful particulars concerning them. The Angels rejoiced to hear, that the Lord had been pleased to reveal such things to mankind, that so they might no longer live in doubt respecting their immortality, in consequence of their ignorance of a future state. V. I further added, The Lord hath been pleased at this day to reveal, that there is in your world a Sun, distinct from the Sun in our world, and that the Sun of your world is pure love, and that the Sun in our world is pure fire; and that therefore whatsoever proceedeth from your Sun, by reason of its being pure love, hath somewhat of life in it, and that whatsoever proceedeth from our Sun by reason of its being pure fire, hath in it nothing of life; and that hence ariseth the distinction between what is SPIRITUAL and what is NATURAL, which distinction heretofore unknown is now revealed. Hereby also is discovered the source of that light, which enlighteneth the human understanding with wisdom, and the source of that heat which kindleth love in the human will. VI. It is further revealed, that there are three Degrees of life, and that consequently there are three Heavens; and that the mind of man is distinguished into the same Degrees, and that hereby man correspondeth with the three Heavens. The Angels asked, Did not they know this before? I replied, They knew somewhat of a distinction of degrees in relation to more or less, but nothing of their distinction in relation to prior and posterior. VII. The Angels then inquired, whether anything else had been revealed?


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 88 I said, Much more besides, as concerning the LAST JUDGMENT; concerning the LORD, that he is the God of heaven and earth: that God is One, both in Person and Essence, in whom is a Divine Trinity and that he is the Lord; also concerning the NEW CHURCH about to be established by him, and concerning the Doctrine of the Church; concerning the SANCTITY of the SACRED SCRIPTURE; that the APOCALYPSE also is revealed; and, moreover, concerning the INHABITANTS of the PLANETS; and concerning the EARTHS in the UNIVERSE; besides many memorable and wonderful particulars relating to the Spiritual World, whereby several things connected with wisdom have been revealed from Heaven.

"847, In some further conversation with the Angels, I acquainted them, that the Lord had been pleased to make a revelation to the world on another subject. They asked, On what subject? I said, In relation to LOVE TRULY CONJUGIAL, and its Spiritual Delights. And the Angels said, Who doth not know, that the delights of Conjugial Love exceed the delights of every other kind of love? and who cannot conceive, that there must be some particular kind of love, on which are amassed together all the blessednesses, joys, and delights, which it is in the power of the Lord to bestow; and that the receptacle of those blessednesses, joys, and delights, is true Conjugial Love, inasmuch as it correspondeth with the love of the Lord and the Church, and is capable of receiving and perceiving such blessednesses, joys, and delights, in a full and sensible manner? I replied, Mankind on earth know nothing of all this, because they have not approached the Lord, and therefore have not shunned the concupiscences of the flesh, and consequently could not be regenerated, and Love truly Conjugial is only from the Lord, and given to those who are regenerated by him; and these also are they who are received into the Lord's New Church, which is understood in the Revelation by the New Jerusalem. To this I added, that I had a doubt whether men on earth at this day were disposed to believe that Conjugial Love in itself is spiritual, and consequently grounded in religion, inasmuch as they entertain only corporeal ideas concerning it; and of course they will hardly be persuaded to believe, that, by reason of its religious ground, it is spiritual with such as are spiritual, natural with such as are natural, and merely carnal with adulterers.

"848. The Angels, on hearing an account of all these new discoveries made to mankind, were much rejoiced; but they saw that I was sorrowful and dejected, and they asked, What is the cause of thy sorrow? I replied, Because these Arcana at this day revealed by the Lord, notwithstanding their superiority in excellence and dignity above all the knowledges that have been heretofore published to the world, are yet reputed on earth as things of no value. The Angels wondered at this, and requested the Lord's permission to look down into the world; and they looked down, and lo! mere darkness was therein. And it was suggested to them to write those Arcana on a paper, and let the paper down on earth, and then they would see a prodigy. And they did so, and lo! the paper, on which the Arcana were written, was let down from Heaven, and in its progress, whilst it was yet in the Spiritual World, it shone bright like a star; but when it came into the Natural World, the light disappeared, and as it fell on the ground, it was totally darkened; and when it was let down by the Angels amongst some assemblies consisting of learned clergy and laity, many of them were heard to mutter words to this effect, What have we got here? Is it anything or nothing? What matters it whether we know these things, or do not know them? Surely they are the offspring of imagination and a disordered brain. And it appeared as if some took the paper, and folded it into different shapes, and then again unfolded it with their fingers; and also as if some tore it in pieces, and were desirous to tread it under their feet. But they were prevented by the Lord from proceeding to such enormity; and the Angels were charged to take up the paper back again, and secure it. And because these things affected the Angels with sorrow, and they began to think with themselves how long the darkness on earth would continue, it was told them, "FOR A TIME, AND TIMES, AND HALF A TIME." Rev. xii. 14.

"849. After this I heard a confused murmur from below, and at the same time these words, DO MIRACLES, AND WE WILL BELIEVE. And I replied, Are not the things above- mentioned Miracles? and answer was made, They are not. And I asked, What Miracles then do you mean? and they said, Discover and reveal future events, and we will believe. But I replied, Such discovery and revelation are not allowed by the Lord, since in proportion as man knoweth future events, in the same proportion his reason and understanding, together with his prudence and wisdom, fall into an indolence of inexertion, and thereby lose their activity, and their very existence. And I asked again, What other Miracles shall I do? and they cried out, Do such as Moses did in Egypt. And I replied, Possibly ye may harden your hearts against them, as Pharaoh and the Egyptians did: and they said, We will not.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 89 And again I replied, Assure me of a certainty that ye will not dance around a golden calf, and worship it, as the posterity of Jacob did within about a month after they had seen the whole mount Sinai on fire, and had heard Jehovah himself speaking out of the fire, consequently after being witnesses to the greatest of all Miracles: (a golden calf in the spiritual sense signifies carnal pleasure:) and reply was made from below, We will not be like the posterity of Jacob. But at that instant I heard a voice from Heaven, saying to them, If ye believe not Moses and the prophets, that is, the Word of the Lord, neither will ye be convinced by Miracles, any more than the posterity of Jacob were in the wilderness, or when they saw with their eyes the miracles which the Lord did during his abode on earth.

"850. After this I saw some spirits ascending from below, whence the voices proceeded, who, addressing me in a deep tone of voice, said, Why did the Lord reveal the long list of Arcana, which thou hast just now enumerated, to thee who art a Layman, and not to some one of the Clergy? To which I replied, That this was according to the Lord's good pleasure, who prepared me for this office from my earliest years: nevertheless I will also ask you a question in reply, Why did the Lord, when he was on earth, choose fishermen for his disciples, and not some of the lawyers, scribes, priests, or rabbies? ponder well this circumstance in your minds, and form a right judgment concerning it, and ye will discover the reason. Hereupon they began to murmur, and afterwards they were silent.

"851. I am aware, that many, who read the Memorable Relations annexed to each chapter of this Work, (the True Christian Religion,) will conceive that they are the fictions of imagination: but I protest in truth, that they are not fictions, but were really seen and heard; not seen and heard in any state of the mind in sleep, but in a state when I was broad awake; for it hath pleased the Lord to manifest himself to me, and to send me to teach the things relating to his New Church, which is meant by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation; for which purpose he hath opened the interiors of my mind or spirit, by virtue of which privilege it was granted me to have commerce with Angels in the spiritual world, and at the same time with men in the natural world, and that now for twenty-seven years. Who in the Christian world would have known any thing concerning HEAVEN and HELL, unless it had pleased the Lord to open spiritual vision in some person or other, and to shew and teach what relates to the spiritual world? That such things do really appear in the heavens, as are described in the above Memorable Relations, is clearly evident from similar things being seen and described by JOHN in the Apocalypse, and also by the PROPHETS in the Word of the Old Testament. In the Apocalypse we read, that John saw the SON OF MAIN in the midst of seven candlesticks; that he saw a tabernacle, a temple, an ark, and an altar in heaven; a book sealed with seven seals, the book opened, and in consequence thereof horses going forth; four animals about the throne; twelve thousand chosen out of each tribe; locusts ascend from the bottomless pit; a woman bringing forth a man child, and flying into a wilderness by reason of the dragon; two beasts, one ascending out of the sea, the other from the earth; an angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel; a glassy sea mixed with fire; seven angels having the seven plagues; vials poured out by them on the earth, on the sea, on the rivers, on the sun, on the throne of the beast, on the Euphrates, and on the air; a woman sitting on a scarlet beast; a dragon cast out into a lake of fire and sulphur; a white horse; a great supper; a new heaven and new earth; the Holy Jerusalem coming down from heaven, described as to its gates, its wall, and foundations; also a river of the water of life, and trees of life bearing fruit every month; with many things besides, which were all seen by JOHN, whilst as to his spirit he was in the spiritual world and in heaven. Not to mention what things were seen by the Apostles after the Lord's resurrection, as by PETER, Acts xi. and by PAUL; and also by the PROPHETS in the Old Testament, as by EZEKIEL, that he saw four animals, which were cherubs, chap. i. and x.; and a new temple, and a new earth, and an angel measuring them, chap. xl. to xlviii.; that he was carried to Jerusalem, and saw there abominations, and also to Chaldea, chap. viii. and xi. The case was the same with ZECHARIAH, in that he saw a man riding amongst myrtle-trees, chap. i. 8; that he saw four horns, and afterwards a man with a measuring-line in his hand, chap. iii.; that he saw a flying roll and an ephah, chap. v. 1, 6; that he saw four chariots and horses between two mountains, chap. vi. 1, &c. So again with DANIEL, in that he saw four beasts ascending out of the sea, chap. vii. 1, &c.; that he saw the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, whose dominion shall not pass away, and whose kingdom shall not be destroyed, chap. vii. 13, 14; that he saw the fighting of the ram and the he-goat, chap. viii. 1, &c.; that he saw the angel Gabriel, and conversed with him, chap. ix.; that the young man of Elisha saw chariots and horses of fire about Elisha, and that he saw them when his eyes were opened, 2 Kings vi. 17.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 90 From these and several other instances in the Word, it is evident, that the things which exist in the spiritual world have appeared to many, both before and since the coming of the Lord. What wonder then is it, that the same things should now also appear, at the commencement of the Church, or when the New Jerusalem is coming down out of heaven?"

Having finished these Extracts, the Circular Letter, convening the Conference, was read. The Meeting then proceeded, with a solemnity and deliberation suited to the magnitude of the occasion, to take into serious consideration the various PROPOSITIONS contained in the above Letter; and after a most interesting and instructive conversation on their important contents, the following RESOLUTIONS were moved, and unanimously agreed to.


"I. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the Theological Works of the Hon. EMANUEL SWEDENBORG are perfectly consistent with the Holy Word, being at the same time explanatory of its internal sense in so wonderful a manner, that nothing short of Divine Revelation seems adequate thereto. That they also contain the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Church, signified by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation; which Doctrines he was enabled by the Lord alone to draw from the Holy Word, while under the Inspiration and Illumination of his Holy Spirit.

"II. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the First Proposition in the Circular Letter, asserting the Unity of Jehovah God, both in Essence and Person, is a truth founded in, and demonstrable from, the Holy Scriptures or Word of God, as well as consistent with sound rationality. That this Unity implies a Threefold Principle, consisting of Divine Love or Divine Good, Divine Wisdom or Divine Truth, and the Divine Proceeding or Operation, which in the Word are called Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; being so termed by way of accommodation to the capacity of man, in whom also exists a Trinity, though finite, of soul, body, and operation, corresponding with the Divine and Infinite Trinity, which alone exists in the Glorified Humanity of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

"III. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the second Proposition, asserting the nature and end of Redemption, together with the mode of its accomplishment, is agreeable to the genuine sense of the Holy Word.

"IV. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the Old Church, by which is meant the present Christian Church, so called, both as existing among Roman Catholics, and among Protestants of every description or denomination, is at this day arrived at its full period or consummation, in consequence of its destructive faith, the fatal effects of which are enumerated in the 3rd to the 10th, 32nd, and 38th Propositions.

"V. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the Faith of the Old Church is a Faith directed to Three Gods, the ultimate consequence of which is a belief either that Nature is God, or that there is no God at all.

"VI. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the Faith of the Old Church ought to be abolished from the mind of every individual, in order that the Faith of the New Church may gain admission, and be established.

"VII. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that so long as men adhere to, and are influenced by, the Faith of the Old Church, so long the New Heaven cannot descend to them, and consequently so long the New Church cannot be established in and among them.

"VIII. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that all Faith and Worship directed to any other, than to the One God Jesus Christ in his Divine Humanity, being directed to a God invisible and incomprehensible, have a direct tendency to overturn the Holy Word, and to destroy every thing spiritual in the Church.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 91

"IX. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the Doctrines and Worship in the Old Church are highly dangerous to the rising generation, inasmuch as they tend to implant in young people the idea of Three Divine Persons, to which is unavoidably annexed the idea of Three Gods; the consequence whereof is spiritual death to all those who confirm themselves in such an opinion.

"X. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that it is the duty of every true Christian to train up his Children in the Principles and Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church alone, the two grand Essentials of which, as stated in the 1st, 23rd, and 42nd Propositions, are, I. That the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the Only God of Heaven and Earth, and that his Humanity is Divine. II. That in order to salvation, man must live a life according to the Ten Commandments, by shunning evils as sins against God.

"XI. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that for the above purpose it is expedient that a Catechism be drawn up for the use of the New Church; and that a deputation from this Conference be appointed to see the same put into execution.

"XII Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that a complete and total Separation from the Old Church is warranted not only from the Theological Writings of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, but also from the Holy Word; and that this Separation ought to commence in every individual, on being fully convinced of the truth of the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Church, and of their opposition to those of the Old. See Prop. 29, 30, 31, and 33.

"XIII. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that as the Doctrinals of the Old and New Church are in full and direct opposition to each other; and as the Faith of every Church does, or ought to, contain a clear, explicit, and determinate view of their Understanding of the Word; so no person, when once convinced of the truth of the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem, ought to assent or conform to any of the Articles of Faith in the Old Church, or to Prayers directed to any other than to Jesus Christ alone.

"XIV. Resolved Unanimously

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the establishment of the New Church will be effected by a gradual Separation from the Old Church, in consequence of a rational conviction wrought in the minds of those, who are in search of Truth for the Sake of Truth, and who are determined to judge for themselves in spiritual things, without any regard to the influence or authority of the Clergy in the Old Church, or the hopes of preferment either in Church or State.

"XV. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the Establishment of the New Church distinct from the Old, is likely to be productive of the most eminent uses to mankind at large, inasmuch as thereby the communication betwixt the Angelic Heaven and the Church on earth will be rendered more full and complete - and consequently that it is greater charity to separate from the Old Church, than to remain in it.

"XVI. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the Eleventh Proposition, asserting the Sanctity and Divinity of the Word, and its Threefold Sense, is abundantly proved in the Works of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, by the clearest and most satisfactory evidence from the Word itself.

"XVII Resolved Unanimously

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that those Books only, which contain the Internal sense, and are enumerated in the Twelfth Proposition, ought to be received by the New Church as Canonical, or of Divine Authority, inasmuch as they treat of the Lord alone, and of the most holy things of Heaven and the Church.*

"* The other Books, which have not the Internal Sense, as well as those which have an internal sense, but not in Series, are nevertheless useful in their place, so far as they inculcate the great Doctrine of the Lord, and the Doctrine Of Charity."

"XVIII. Resolved Unanimously

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the existence of a Sun in the Spiritual World, distinct from that of the Natural World, as the primary instrumental Cause of Creation and Preservation, agreeably to the 13th and l7th Propositions, is highly rational to suppose, and at the same time perfectly consistent with the Holy Word.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 92

"XIX. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the Doctrines of the New Church concerning the nature of man's Resurrection, his eternal state and condition after Death, according to his past life in this world, and the Seminary from whence both Heaven and Hell are peopled; concerning Charity, Faith, and Good Works; concerning the Order whereby man's Life ought to be regulated; concerning Free-will, Repentance, and Regeneration; concerning Imputation, the exercise of the Rational Understanding in matters of Faith and the necessity of a Life of Uses; and concerning true Conjugial Love, as described in the 14th to the 30th, 33rd, 36th, and 37th Propositions, are Doctrines drawn from the pure and genuine sense of the Holy Word, and calculated, through divine mercy, to instruct, reform, and bless mankind.

"XX. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the working of Miracles, which was necessary for establishing the first Christian Church, is now superseded by the plain Manifestation of Divine Truth in the Holy Word, and the Revelation of its Internal sense; the effect whereof is as much superior to that of Miracles, as the Understanding is superior to the bodily eye. See Prop. 22.

"XXI. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that it is agreeable to Divine Order, that the New Jerusalem Church assume to itself an External Appearance, distinct from the Old Church, both in Doctrine and Worship; but that there may be many varieties of External Worship therein, provided they are all influenced by the genuine Doctrine of the Lord and of Charity. See Prop. 34.

"XXII Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that as Baptism in the Old Church is a Baptism into the Faith of Three Gods, between which Faith and Heaven there can be no conjunction; so Baptism in the New Church, being a Baptism into the Faith of One God, between which Faith and Heaven there is conjunction, is highly necessary, inasmuch as the person baptized thereby takes upon him the badge and profession of genuine Christianity, and is at the same time inserted among Christians even in the Spiritual World. See Prop. 35.

"------- It is therefore recommended to all, who desire to become members of the New Jerusalem Church, to be baptized, both themselves and their children, in the Faith of that Church; and in case they have already been baptized in the Faith of the Old Church, to be re-baptized in the Faith of the New.

"XXIII. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the Holy Supper in the New Church is the most sacred and solemn of all Worship; but that it ought not to be received in the Old Church, by any who desire to be members of the New Church; because this would be a solemn acknowledgment of the existence of Three Gods, and that the sum and substance of redemption consisted in the passion of the cross, as a satisfaction or atonement made to appease the wrath of the Father. See Prop. 3, 4, 7, and 35.

"XXIV. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the state of Marriage, when under the influence of true Conjugial Love, is the most holy, chaste, and perfect state, that either Men or Angels are capable of attaining; being the very ground or plane which receives the influx of the Lord into his New Church. See Prop. 37.

"XXV. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the Second Advent of the Lord, which is a Coming in the internal sense of his Holy Word, has already commenced, and ought to be announced to all the world. That this Second Advent involves two things, namely, the Last Judgment, or Destruction of the Old Church, which was accomplished in the Spiritual World in the year 1757, and the consequent Formation or Establishment of the New Church. See Prop. 38 to 41.        

"XXVI. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the true Christian Religion is alone to be found in the New Jerusalem Church, because this is the Only Church that acknowledges and worships Jesus Christ Alone, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in One Divine Person, and consequently as the Great Jehovah, the everlasting God of Heaven and Earth, in a Visible Human Form; which Church, being the Crown of all Churches, which have heretofore existed on this earth, will never have an end.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 93

"XXVII Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that men of every Religion or Persuasion throughout the whole world, even Pagans and Idolaters, are saved, after receiving instruction in the Spiritual World, provided they have lived a life of Charity, according to the best of their knowledge. That nevertheless the true Christian Religion, being founded on the Word, which is the Lord himself as to Divine Truth, is that to which all other Religions tend as to their Centre, and from which they receive all their Sanctity, together with all their Power of Salvation.

"XXVIII. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the Evidence of the Truth of Christianity arises chiefly from the Internal Sense of the Word; by virtue of which Sense, rationally understood, according to the Science of Correspondences, the New Church is in possession of more certain Evidence in favour of the Christian Religion, than it is possible to obtain without it.

"XXIX. Resolved Unanimously,

That it is the opinion of this Conference, that, notwithstanding the apparent severity of some of these Resolutions, which are intended to be directed chiefly against the Evils and Falses of the Old Church, and not against the Persons of any religious Body whatever; yet the greatest Charity ought to be maintained towards those in the Old Church, who, being in states of simplicity, and not confirmed in Falses of Doctrine, are the Remains, out of which the Lord will build his New Church, on their reception of the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem.

"XXX. Resolved Unanimously,

"That it be recommended to all the readers and lovers of the Theological Works of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, both in this and other countries, to form themselves into Societies distinct from the Old Church, and to meet together as often as convenient, to read and converse on the said Writings, and to open a general correspondence for the mutual assistance of each other.

"XXXI. Resolved Unanimously

"That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the Writings of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG are calculated to promote the Peace and Happiness of Mankind, by making them loyal subjects, Lovers of their Country, and useful Members of Society: And therefore that these Resolutions are not intended to militate against, or in the smallest degree to annul the Civil Authority in any Country; but only to emancipate mankind from the mental Bondage and Slavery, wherein they have so long been held captive by Old Leaders and Rulers in the Old Church.

"XXXII Resolved Unanimously,

"That a GENERAL CONFERENCE of the MEMBERS of the NEW CHURCH be again held in London, on Easter Monday, the 5th of April, 1790, when, by the Divine Mercy of the Lord, such further matters respecting the Establishment of the New Church distinct from the Old, as may at that time appear necessary, will be taken into serious consideration.

               "Signed in behalf of this Conference,

HENRY PECKITT, of London, President.
ROBERT BEATSON, of Rotherham, Secretary.
BENJAMIN BANKS, of Salisbury.
CHARLES HARFORD, of Liverpool.
JOHN WILLDON, of London.
ROBERT JACKSON, from Jamaica.
JAMES CRUDEN, from America.
JOHN AUGUSTUS TULK, of Kensington.

"Great East, Cheap, London,

April 16; 1789."


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 94

Such were the proceedings of the First General Conference held in London; and as a singular circumstance it may be recorded, that, although the individuals composing it came from the east, the west, the north, and the south, and had been previously, of almost every denomination of professing Christians, such was the unanimity which prevailed on all the subjects of discussion, that not a single dissentient voice was heard, but the whole of the proceedings was conducted in harmony, peace, and love.

As this was the first General Assemblage of the members of the New Church, met for the purpose of promoting the great interests of that Body at large, it was thought advisable to give a particular and circumstantial detail of what passed on that occasion; in order that the spirit of charity and affection, which influenced all present, and the zeal tempered with prudence, by which all were actuated, might never be lost sight of, nor departed from, by those who shall hereafter be engaged, either publicly or privately, in advocating and advancing the same cause. It was to be expected, that a Church, professing to derive its lineage and birth from heaven, should bring with it into the natural world not only those doctrines of divine truth, which were seen by the beloved Apostle to descend in their aggregate as the holy city, New Jerusalem, from its celestial abode in the spiritual world, but also the still more valued principles of universal benevolence, which so particularly distinguish that Church. This expectation was fully realized during the time the General Conference held its sittings; and the harmony, which then prevailed, was justly regarded as a kind of pledge or earnest, that all future meetings of the New Church would in like manner be conducted in the true spirit of love to the Lord, and charity towards all mankind.

When the business of the Conference was completed, a Committee was appointed to prepare an Address to the Members of the New Church at large, informing them of the nature and design of the Meeting, the harmony that prevailed among them, and the result of their deliberations in the Resolutions which they had unanimously adopted. Of this address, which was prefixed to the printed Minutes, the following is a copy.

"The Members of the NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH, assembled in General Conference, in Great East Cheap, London, the l3th of April, 1789, for the Purpose of taking into Consideration the most effectual Means of promoting the Establishment of the NEW CHURCH, distinct from the OLD,

"To all the Lovers of Truth, as contained in the Holy Word, and illustrated in the Theological Writings of the Hon. EMANUEL SWEDENDORG.

"Dear Friends and Brethren,

"Impressed with a deep sense of the important business, in which we are engaged, and desirous that all the members of the New Church, wherever dispersed throughout the whole world, may be preserved in perfect harmony of sentiment, as well as united together in the bonds of mutual love and affection; we think it a duty incumbent upon us to communicate the result of our deliberations, by transmitting you such Resolutions, as appeared to us necessary to be adopted, in order to promote the above design. And it is with particular satisfaction that we can with truth declare, there was not a single dissentient voice among us, notwithstanding the Meeting was numerously attended, as well by the friends from different parts of England, and from abroad, as by the Members of the New Jerusalem in London.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 95

"We do not, however, hereby mean to dictate to you, or to any one, either how you must act or believe; as knowing that this would be contrary to the genuine principle, of the New Church, which allows all men the free enjoyment of their religious persuasions, however various, without attempting even to touch, much less to violate, the freedom of the human will. We would only recommend to you and to all, and this with the most sincere and affectionate desire for your spiritual good, a serious examination and search after truth for the sake of truth, that in all things our Words and actions, as well as our thoughts and affections, our external man, as well as our internal, may be brought into a strict conformity to the divine laws.

"The reasons, which have induced us to think it absolutely necessary for the New Jerusalem to assume to itself an external appearance, distinct from the Old Church both as to doctrine and worship, are many and weighty, and may be seen partly in the Resolutions accompanying this Letter, but more fully in the works of our enlightened Author, EMANUEL SWEDENBORG; whose testimony in this matter, authorized and confirmed by innumerable passages from the Holy Word itself, is so positive and clear, that, notwithstanding the weakness of the instruments, whom it may please the Lord to make choice of in so great a work, yet we have not the shadow of doubt, but even in our days "the God of heaven hath begun to set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; a kingdom, which shall not be left to other people, but shall break in pieces, and consume, all these kingdoms, and shall stand forever." -Dan. ii. 44.

"We desire with affection and thanks to acknowledge the receipt of sundry Letters from different societies and individuals, members of the New Church, in various parts of England, as likewise from abroad, who, by the necessary avocations of life, were prevented from a personal attendance. It has afforded us no small satisfaction to find, that the end proposed in the Circular Letter meets the approbation of so great a number of the lovers of pure and undefiled religion. May each of us in heart and life endeavour to promote the same, by examining the ends and motives of all our actions, by shunning evils continually as sins against God, and by living a life of genuine uses according to His Holy Word and commandments. So will the kingdom of the Lord be established in our hearts, and we ourselves prepared for admission into the holy city, the New Jerusalem, now descending from God out of heaven.

Signed, in behalf of the Conference,

"HENRY PECKITT, President.


"Great East Cheap, London.

"April 16, 1789."

The following was added, by way of Postscript.

"P.S. The members of the New Church at large are requested to make inquiry among the readers and believers of the Writings of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, whether they have any children, whom they wish to have educated by a Tutor approved and appointed by the New Church, and to transmit an account of the same to Mr. HENRY PECKITT, President of the Conference, in Compton Street, Soho, London."

This Postscript shews, that, though the Education of children in the principles of the New Jerusalem formed no part of the avowed design in convening a General Conference, it was yet deemed of such importance, that the first opportunity that offered of calling the attention of the Church to that subject, was eagerly embraced. No further steps, however, appear to have been taken, beyond that of a Catechism, to bring this suggestion into effect, till some years afterwards, when New Jerusalem Sunday Schools* were instituted in different parts of the country, particularly in Lancashire and Yorkshire.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 96 Since then, and but very lately, Schools for the Daily Instruction of children of both sexes have been opened by the members of the New Church in London and Manchester; and good hopes are entertained of their becoming more general.**

* Mr. RAIKES, a Printer, of Gloucester, was the first Who about this time proposed the Institution of Sunday Schools for the instruction of the poor throughout the kingdom; and Mr. WILLIAM ILLINGWORTH, who married my sister, and thus became my brother-in-law, was the first in Yorkshire to second that benevolent design. While his health permitted, he was ever afterwards a most active and zealous promoter of that Charity, in the place where he resided and died, which was Keighley, in Yorkshire. For the character of this good man, see the Intellectual Repository for the New Church, No. 13, for January, 1815, p. 275. - R. H.

(Mr. Hindmarsh, in common with the prevailing opinion at the time he wrote, seems to have regarded Mr. Raikes, of Gloucester, the intelligent and early advocate of Sunday Schools as being the founder of those admirable institutions in England. But this was not the case. The following is given, in the controversy of 1841, as the order in which the names of the first founders of Sunday School stand relatively to each other.

Rev. Theophilus Lindsey, Catterick                     1764

Mrs. Catherine Cappe, Bedale                            ---

Rev. William Jones                     about              1765

Miss Hannah Ball, High Wycombe                     1769

Mr. James Heys, Little Lever, near Bolton              1774

Rev. Thomas Stock, Gloucester                            1777

Rev. David Simpson                                   1778

Mr. William King                                          ---

Messrs. Stock and Raikes, Gloucester              1780

Mr. Robert Raikes                                          1781

Rev. John Clowes, Manchester                            1784

It will be observed that the earliest Sunday School dates seven years after the Last Judgment.- ED.)

** Thirty-three Societies of the New Church reported to the General Conference of 1858 as having Sunday Schools containing 4144; and 670 Teachers. There are several others of which no returns were made. Six Societies have established Day Schools, having 2106 Scholars, 1858.- ED.

It ought not to be forgotten, that every day, during the sitting of Conference, the members dined together at a neighbouring tavern in Abchurch Lane, to the number of sixty or seventy, male and female; at which repasts the most cordial unanimity and brotherly affection were observable. It appeared as if the times of Primitive Christianity were restored among us, when all things were held in common. Natural and spiritual food were both dealt out with an unsparing hand; and while the body was refreshed with a rich supply of the good things of this world, the mind was at the same time replenished with the bread that cometh down from heaven. The tree of life, whose roots are planted in the gardens and streets of the New Jerusalem, as well as on either bank of its river, spontaneously sprung up before our eyes, luxuriant in foliage, and laden with the sweetest fruits of paradise in endless variety and abundance. Filled to satiety with this delightful food, yet panting as it were and anxious for the return of the next meeting the company retired at an early hour of the evening of each day, highly gratified with their own sumptuous entertainment, and no less so with the assurance from the Divine Word, that "the leaves of the tree of life were still left for the healing of the nations." Rev. xxii. 2.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 97

The Church, in its aggregate capacity, having proceeded thus far, now took a survey of its relative situation since the commencement of public worship in 1788, compared with its former state before that event: and it was ascertained that the increase of members in particular, and of readers in general, in one year after the opening of the Chapel in Great East Cheap, was at least seven-fold more than it was during the four years that the London Society held their meetings the Temple. From this circumstance alone it is very evident, that the fears entertained by some sincere but timid minds, lest a separation from former Establishments should prove to be premature, and even injurious to the cause of truth, were entirely unfounded. On the contrary, the success, which had been anticipated by the friends to that measure, was realized beyond the fullest extent of their most sanguine expectations. Almost every week added to the number of recipients; the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg came to be more in demand; and the doctrines of the New Church began to spread themselves far and wide both at home and abroad.

In 1790, the New Jerusalem Magazine made its appearance in London, being set on foot by a few gentlemen who met at the house of Mr. Henry Servante, No. 45, Upper Marylebone Street. This was the first Periodical Work undertaken by the members of the New Church, being published in Monthly Numbers, and containing much valuable information respecting the life of Swedenborg, and the state of the New Church, as it then existed in England and foreign countries. It continued only six months, viz., from January to the June following, when it ceased for want of sufficient encouragement. But in May, 1791, an Appendix was added to it, to complete the Volume.

In the same year another Periodical Work, on a plan different from the former, issued from the Press of Mr. ROBERT HINDMARSH, Printer Extraordinary to HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES*, under the title of The Magazine of Knowledge concerning Heaven and Hell, &c. The first Number appeared in March, 1790, and the Work was continued till October 1791, being completed in Twenty Sixpenny Numbers, and making two Octavo Volumes.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 98 As sole Editor, Printer, and Proprietor of this Work, I can say, that the expenses attending it were very heavy. Besides about fifty thousand Hand-bills, which were distributed in all directions, I caused long Advertisements to be inserted in almost all the Town and Country Newspapers of the day; also in many of the leading Newspapers both in Scotland and Ireland; for most of which a charge was made of from fourteen Shillings to a Guinea for each insertion. So that the expense of advertising, and making the Work publicly known, could not have been less than One Hundred Guineas. The result was, that a great sensation was created in the religious world; and the Orders for the first Number were numerous, arising no doubt from the novelty of the Work, and a curiosity in the public mind to know the nature of its contents, and the character of the new religion, as it was called by some, which it was the object of the Magazine to make known to the world. About fifteen hundred copies each of the first and second Numbers were disposed of: but by degrees, as the Work advanced, and the principles of the New Jerusalem began to be unfolded in it, which cannot be permanently retained except by minds duly prepared by the previous love of truth for its own sake, the sales sensibly diminished, until it was at length found expedient to discontinue the Work, when it had reached the twentieth Number, from the same causes which had before interrupted the progress of the New Jerusalem Magazine. Still, it is presumed, that much good was effected by both publications, as both for a time succeeded in giving publicity to the new doctrines, and have ever since been regarded as valuable acquisitions to the Church.

* On the 18th of June, 1787, I obtained the honour of being appointed PRINTER EXTRAORDINARY TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES; with full liberty to place over my door His Royal Highness's ARMS or CREST, in token thereof. Soon after, notice of this appointment was inserted in the London Gazette, by the proper authority, in the following words:

"Carlton House, July 7. Mr. ROBERT HINDMARSH, of Clerkenwell Close, is appointed PRINTER EXTRAORDINA- RY TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES." - R. H.


       CHAP. VI.

AGREEABLY to appointment, the Second General conference was held at the Chapel in Great East Cheap, London, on Easter Monday, the 5th of April, 1790, and continued to the 7th. Mr. SAMUEL HANDS, of Birmingham, was unanimously chosen President; and the Rev. FRANCIS LEICESTER, of London, Secretary. A Committee of twelve persons was also appointed, to expedite the business of the present Conference. The proceedings of the former Conference were then read and confirmed.

The first object, to which the attention of the members present was called, was the preparation of a Catechism for the instruction of Children, according to the principles of the New Church. Several sketches of Catechisms were produced, and referred to the Committee to compare and incorporate them together, so as to be properly adapted to the capacity of Children.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 99 The Committee accordingly took an opportunity of retiring for that purpose; and, having agreed upon one, which in their opinion was likely to answer the end proposed, submitted the same to the approbation of the Conference. The Catechism, so prepared and recommended by the Committee, was then read, and unanimously adopted.

The next subject, that came under consideration, was a Volume of Hymns, which Mr. Proud had composed, and which, if it met with the approbation of Conference, he was then about to print. The Hymn Book, so announced, was soon after printed, and continued to be used by the different Societies of the New Church for many years.

Another subject of the utmost importance to the welfare and stability of the Church, and which demanded the most mature deliberation of the Conference, was that relating to External Worship. It was proposed as a question, "Whether a Form of Prayer ought, or ought not, to be used in religious worship in the New Church?" This question, after being well considered, and thoroughly canvassed, was determined in the affirmative, without a dissentient voice, for the following, among many others, which might be adduced as substantial reasons:

"1. Because a Form of Prayer and Worship, if drawn from the Holy Word, and consistent with the genuine sense thereof, is calculated to preserve the doctrines of the New Church in their purity, and is at the same time a powerful guard against the introduction of any heresy. For it is presumed, that no Minister, after hearing or reading the prayers of the Church, which have been approved of by a General Conference, is likely to ascend the Pulpit immediately, and pull down or destroy what has been already advanced in the preceding part of the worship.

"2. Because the constant and regular use of a proper Formula, in public worship, has a tendency to implant in the minds of children and Young people, true ideas of the One Object of divine adoration, to familiarize them with the Word of God and his holy commandments, and thus to lay the foundation of their future spiritual life on Christ alone, who is the Rock of ages.

"3. Because it has also a tendency to confirm the faith of those who are in the use of it; as well as because it is an open avowal, before the whole world, of the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, and a full proof, even in the ultimates, of their actual descent from heaven to earth."

This Conference was further engaged in revising and amending the Order of Worship, which had been before adopted by the Society in Great East Cheap, and was then used by that in Birmingham, as well as by some others which had recently sprung up in the country. For it is to be observed, that these forms were at first regarded only as provisional helps till the Church should increase in number, and be better qualified by their united judgment, to produce a Liturgy more suited to the wants of its members, and more unexceptional in the eyes of the public. By these and other means the Church gradually improved in its external appearance; and, emerging from a state of relative weakness and imperfection, it acquired a degree of strength and reputation, which nothing but a confidence in the superintending hand of Divine Providence could encourage us to expect.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 100

Among the various amendments adopted were the following, viz., a literal translation of the Lord's Prayer from the original Greek; also a translation of the Decalogue more conformable to the original than that in common use. The responses at the end of each commandment, being judged an interruption to the solemnity of this part of the service, were ordered to be discontinued in future, and only one used after the tenth commandment.

It was also unanimously agreed, that, in order to open the gates of the New Jerusalem as wide as possible, the only condition of admission by Baptism be an acknowledgment of the two essentials of the New Church, which were ordered to be inserted in the two Forms of Baptism, instead of the Creed. These two essentials are as follow: I. That God is One both in Essence and in Person, in whom is a Divine Trinity, consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that the Lord and saviour Jesus Christ is He. II. That in order to salvation, man must live a life according to the ten commandments, by shunning evils as sins against God.

Mr. Joseph Wright, of Keighley, in Yorkshire, and Mr. Manoah Sibly, of London, having been proposed as proper Persons to be ordained Ministers of the New Church, were unanimously approved, and they were accordingly ordained at the close of this Conference.

The following General Letter, addressed to the Members of the New Church at large, was ordered to be prefixed to the Minutes of this Conference.


The Members of the NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH, assembled in General Conference, in Great East Cheap, London, from the 5th to the 7th of April, 1790,
"To all their Brethren of the New Dispensation.

"IT is with particular pleasure we again address all the lovers of genuine truth, on a subject of such great importance as the extension and establishment of the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem. The favourable reception, which the thinking part of mankind now begin to give them, both in this and other countries, we trust is a happy omen of the revival of true Christianity; the rational principles of which seem heretofore to have been but little understood. May the light of truth continue to spread itself over the whole earth.

"This is now the Second Annual Conference of the New Church, held for the purpose of its further promotion and establishment. And when we consider from how many different persuasions and denominations of religion, the greater part of us have been brought to see the truth, it is really matter of astonishment to observe the harmony and union of sentiment that has prevailed in all our consultations, which we pray may be directed, by the Divine Providence of the Lord, to the real welfare and prosperity of his New Church.

"It has long appeared necessary to prepare a Catechism for the instruction of the rising generation; and the more we reflected on the subject, the more we were convinced, that no time ought to be lost in providing means suited to the capacity of children, whereby they may be gradually introduced to the true knowledge of the Lord, and their infant minds trained betimes to the love and practice of his holy commandments.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 101 This end, we trust, will, through Divine Mercy, be in some degree promoted by the printed CATECHISM, which accompanies this Letter.

"Herewith you will also receive the MINUTES OF CONFER- ENCE, which will inform you of the nature of our proceedings, and the particular subjects we were led to deliberate upon. May a Divine Blessing attend these, and the endeavours of all others who are engaged in the same cause, viz., of promoting the welfare and prosperity of the New Church.

              "Signed, in behalf of the Conference, by


"Great East Cheap, London,

"April 12, 1790."

Soon after the conclusion of the Second General Conference, information was received from a gentleman in Wales, stating, that having for some years embraced the doctrines of the New Church, he had already translated some of its most essential articles into the Welsh language, and was disposed to proceed, according to his ability, in spreading among his countrymen a knowledge of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. The following Extract of a letter, addressed to the Editors of the New Jerusalem Magazine, will be read with pleasure and satisfaction.

"About four years since I had the happiness to peruse that admirable work, The Treatise on Heaven and Hell, by Emanuel Swedenborg, which was the first of his writings that happened to fall into my hands. I was struck with admiration and astonishment, to find myself in possession of an inestimable treasure, that gave me an account of the invisible world and its inhabitants. Indeed what could be more acceptable to a man travelling towards a strange country, where himself and family are to take up their abode and for ever to reside, than to meet with a fellow-traveller, who had before visited the place, and could give him a faithful account of it from ocular demonstration, concerning its inhabitants, their manner of living, with several other particulars, which he could relate to the inquisitive inquirer?

"I have endeavoured to prevail on some of my neighbours and acquaintance to embrace the heavenly doctrine of the New Church, and to throw off their false notion of a Trinity from eternity, because it carries with it an idea of Three Gods, and to receive the true doctrine of a Trinity in the Lord Jesus Christ, as an essential article of religion and true worship;- to consider, that justification by faith alone is not grounded in Scripture, and that love to the Lord and charity to our neighbour are the only qualifications for eternal life; and where these are wanting, there can be no faith. On this account I have translated some of the most essential articles of the new doctrine into the Welsh language, in order to explain the same to those who are not acquainted with the English tongue, and also with an intention (if the Lord permits) some time or other to publish the fundamental articles of the new dispensation, with some other interesting subjects and extracts from the Writings of Baron Swedenborg; and if I shall be so happy as to find my countrymen likely to embrace this new and most excellent revelation, nothing on my part shall be wanting to spread the knowledge thereof among those, who have not the advantage of perusing the same in any other language, especially such who wish to come at the truth for truth's sake.

"I am, Gentlemen, yours, &c., "MATTHEW WILLIAMS."

Landilovawr, Carmarthenshire,

       "May the 12th, 1790."

Another letter, from a gentleman in Beverley, Yorkshire, is to the following effect:

"What spare time I have from the duties of my profession is generally spent in reading and meditating on the Writings of that great and venerable Seer, Emanuel Swedenborg. I am not ashamed to own my hearty assent to every particular doctrine therein contained, which, from the little experience I have had, I have found to be the most comfortable and consolatory.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 102 In short, next to the Bible, I am verily persuaded, that no Writings at this day exist, that have a greater tendency to make men wiser and better, than those of Baron Swedenborg.

"When man, from an impartial examination of unequivocal Scripture testimony, is at length become fixed in the true faith and acknowledgment of the One True God, the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in whom dwelleth a Divine Trinity, the Fulness of the Godhead bodily, and duly considers himself as subordinate to that divine administration, he cannot have a greater incentive to become good. He must then see the necessity of shunning evils as sins, because he cannot otherwise prepare himself to receive the divine influence of the Lord his God, which is the only means of his present and future happiness".

"The nature of that future and eternal world, which ought to be the object of every man's hope and joyful expectation, is in these invaluable Writings so clearly revealed to us, that the gloom, which heretofore seemed to hang over the grave, is in a great measure dissipated. These Writings were first seriously recommended to me by a clergyman the latter end of last August, and I have since found infinite pleasure in the perusal of them.

"You are at full liberty to print, if you think proper, any part of this letter; but my present situation will not permit me to have my name inserted at full length: I have, therefore, only signed the initials of it. I congratulate you on your publishing the New Jerusalem Magazine, and am,

                                   "Gentlemen, with sincere respect, &c.,

"Beverly,                                   "T. W."

       "May 15, 1790."

As the Writings, which contain the doctrines of the New Church, now began to be more generally known, by means of translations from the original Latin into various languages, and thereby gave rise to the formation of Societies in many kingdoms of Europe, it may be proper to notice some of them in this place. Among these, one, called the Exegetic and Philanthropic Society, was formed in Stockholm in the year 1786. This Society successively increased, till their number, in 1790, amounted to more than two hundred persons, the greatest part of whom were men holding respectable offices in the State, and of distinguished learning. Many of them were clergymen, not to mention two of the first princes in Europe, who took upon themselves the patronage of the Society. Various translations and treatises of the new doctrine have been published by this Society in the Swedish language: but the press not being free in Sweden, their works for the most part have been printed in Denmark. For some time they suffered considerable persecution; but as a collective body, or Society, can no more be exempt from trials and difficulties than an individual, they have patiently and with confidence in the divine protection of the Lord, waited for a more happy period, which it is hoped is now approaching. The members assemble generally once a week; and they have opened a correspondence, on an enlarged scale, with other professors of the same doctrines in different parts of the kingdom. In one single bishopric, it is said, no less than forty-six respectable and profoundly learned clergymen have cordially embraced the Writings, and have frequently been exposed to severe persecutions on that account; nevertheless they openly and without reserve preach the new doctrines, though with the caution, as yet necessary in Sweden, of not mentioning the name of Swedenborg in the pulpit.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 103 In another diocese, which contains about three hundred clergymen, and receives a yearly supply of ten young Ministers, it has been remarked, that six of the ten are generally favourable to the new doctrines. Hence it may be inferred what space of time the whole diocese at such rate will require, to gain the superiority in regard to this dispensation. There can be no doubt but it is of the Divine Mercy and Providence, that a period of persecution has been permitted, as this naturally tends to excite the people's attention to the cause of such persecution. The consequence is, that the doctrines are more inquired into, than they might otherwise be: and it appears, that at the colleges for education no less than a hundred manuscript copies of the doctrinals of the New Church, are in circulation among the young students.

Prince Charles, Duke of Sudermania, and brother to the then reigning King, honoured the Exegetic and Philanthropic Society at Stockholm, by accepting the invitation to become one of its members. On his first introduction to the Society, Aug. 29, 1787, his Royal Highness delivered the following speech, which marks the condescension of his manners, the liberality of his views, and his devotion to the cause for which they were associated.

"Truth is simple, it is infinite; it may be shaded, but cannot be changed; and if ignorance, prejudice, or private views, hide its true meaning, these clouds are dissipated by an upright inquirer, who, being led by a superior hand, has strength enough to distinguish truth from falsehood.

"This happy period is approaching, and while unbelief is striving with superstition, truth is enabled to re-assume that right among mankind which it had from the beginning of time, namely, of enlightening them concerning their real good, the road which leads to union with their Author and Benefactor.

"From reason, as also from what I have heard, and were it not presumptuous I would say, from what I have already experienced, I am convinced that such a road exists.

"Having found, gentlemen, that your thoughts are consonant with my own, I have with pleasure accepted of your invitation to reckon myself one of your number.

"I wish to assist you in the pursuit of the aim of your meetings. Convinced that the hand of Omnipotence protects your laudable intentions, I trust that by his grace you will reap the fruits of a labour consecrated to his glory. May he bestow his blessing for this purpose, is my ardent prayer."

A letter from Mr. Christian Johansen, of Sweden, dated Elskilstuna, 2nd March, 1791, states,

"That the Exegetic and Philanthropic Society at Stockholm has received a very interesting letter from Prince Charles of Hesse, which shews the truly noble and respectful sentiments of that great man for the doctrine of truth, in the principles of which he seems to be more and more confirmed. Mr. Manderfelt, one of the members of the New Church, has, at his own expense, lately printed in the Swedish language, at Copenhagen, a plan for a Catechism entirely upon the principles of the new doctrine, composed by the late zealous and learned Dr. Beyer, which has been so much approved of by all the friends in Sweden, that a great many copies have been circulating in manuscript there, till they could get this printed."

Another letter, dated Stockholm, 2nd of May, 1791, from a friend of great zeal and erudition, is to the following effect:

"It is with the utmost pleasure I am going to tell you, that many of the first people in this kingdom are coming into the doctrines of the New Jerusalem.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 104 The eminent constructor of ships, Admiral Chapman, Knight of the Order of the Sword, an acknowledged genius, is now reading Swedenborg's works in English, with a great deal of joy and approbation. Our great men in these northern kingdoms seem not to fear ridicule, the arms of little witty souls. It certainly becomes a strong mind and a great man to lift himself above such fears: history abounds with examples of that kind. Some months ago we had a most favourable letter from the Prince of Hesse, Generalissimo in Denmark, a Prince of genius, of learning, of experience and abilities. You will certainly read the copy of his letter with feelings becoming a Christian. Its contents are as follows:

"'A la Societe Exegetique a Stockholm.

                                   "' Copenhagen, 19 Novembre, 1790.

"'Il m'est bien agreable, Messieurs et tres Chers Freres, de trouver l'occasion favourable que le porteur de cette lettre me fournit, de vous temoigner toute ma joie des succes dont la Providence a beni votre zele et vos soins, et vos sollicitudes pour son service, que j'ai eu la satisfaction d' apprendre par lui et par Mr. Haldin. Veuille le Seigneur des Seigneurs vous combler de ses plus precieuses benedictions, et vous eclairer de la sagesse! Que son Esprit repose sur vous, qu'il vous guide, qu'il vous consacre a la gloire d'etre ses serviteurs! Mes voeux ardens vous accompgnent sans cesse: agrees les, mes tres chers freres, de la part d'un frere, d'un ami absent, mais dont le coeur est toujours present avec ceux qui professent l'amour, et l'adoration de notre Seigneur & Maitre Jesus Christ; a lui soit honneur et gloire a jamais. Je vous embrasse fraternel-lement en son saint nom du fond de mon coeur.       

                                          "'CHARLES, Prince de Hesse.'

(The same in English.)

"To the Exegetic Society at Stockholm.

                                    "Copenhagen, 19th of Nov., 1790.

"It is very agreeable to me, Gentlemen and very Dear Brethren, to meet with so favourable an opportunity, as the bearer of this letter furnishes me with, to declare to you the great pleasure I feel on the success, with which the Divine Providence has blessed your zeal, your exertions, and your diligence in his service; which I have had the Satisfaction of learning from him and Mr. Haldin. May the Lord of Lords confer upon you his choicest blessings, and enlighten you with wisdom! May his Spirit rest upon you, guide you, and consecrate you to the glory of being his servants! My best wishes accompany you without intermission: accept them, my very dear brethren, as proceeding from a brother, from an absent friend, but from one whose heart is always present with those who profess to love and adore our Lord and Master Jesus Christ; to whom be honour and glory for ever and ever. I embrace you affectionately in his holy name, from the bottom of my heart.

                                           "CHARLES, Prince of Hesse."

"Some of our learned members are now translating the Bible from the original text. I trust it will be a most useful work. But as here is no toleration, no liberty of printing, we must wait for some more happy time, when we can publish works of that kind. For my part, I am created to obey; my will is bound by the ties of that society, in which I live; but in my thought I am and ever will be free. It is under the blessing of this internal freedom I am in all tenderness of respect, Sir,

                            "Your most obedient Servant, &c.,



"16 May, 1791."

At Paris, Strasburg, and Rouen, it is said, there is a considerable number of friends to the truth, as well as in various other parts of France. In the year 1790, several wealthy and zealous individuals, readers of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, at Rouen, formed themselves into a society, under the name of "Societe des Amis de la Paix," that is, "Society of the Friends of Peace." They have it in contemplation to publish all Swedenborg's Works, both theological and scientific.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 105 The seal chosen by this Philanthropic Society, bears an olive branch across a sword, with the motto round it,- "Si vous aimez la Paix, soyez toujours armes;" that is, "If you love Peace, be always in Arms;" or, according to the Roman adage, "Would you have peace, prepare for war." This Society is formed of some of the chief of the national guard of Rouen, and several of the members belonging to the principal cities of France.

In Lisbon some individuals have expressed an ardent desire to see the Writings; but at present they are debarred from such an inestimable privilege, as the inhabitants of that country as well as of Spain, are still led captive by fanatic monks, and groan under the tyranny of the Priesthood. Nevertheless there is good authority to state, that in Madrid the Theological Writings of our Author are often the subject of conversation at the tables of the nobility.

But from Denmark the most pleasing account has been received of the progress of the New Church in that kingdom, in consequence of the liberty of the press having been lately granted; by which means the Society at Stockholm has, at its own expense, printed several of the Writings in Denmark, where the Swedish language is read almost with the same ease as the Danish.

In Russia everything presents yet its wild appearance. A Society of the friends to the new doctrines had begun, as already observed (p. 35), about the year 1783, to meet at Moscow; but the tyrannical and odious principles of the Empress gave rise to some persecution.

It is understood, that many individuals in Holland, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, and some even in Italy, Venice, and Constantinople, are favourable to the Writings of Swedenborg. But it does not as yet appear, that public worship, in agreement with the doctrines of the New Church, is anywhere established or legally sanctioned on the Continent of Europe. This blessing is only experienced by those, who have the happiness of living under free and liberal governments, like those of Great Britain and the United States of America. But surely a brighter day is beginning to dawn, and to shed its vivifying light over the hitherto gloomy and barren deserts of the so-called Christian world.

The Third General Conference met in Great East Cheap, London, on Easter Monday, the 25th, and continued to the 29th of April, 1791-35; when Mr. BENJAMIN BANKS, of Salisbury, was unanimously elected President, and Mr. ROBERT HINDMARSH, of London, Secretary. As it was now thought, in consequence of the publicity, which the New Church had already obtained, that an indiscriminate admission of persons unknown to any of the members present, might be productive of inconvenience, and tend rather to retard than promote the objects of the Meeting, it was agreed upon, and stated by the president, that the following CONDITIONS OF ADMISSION to the Conference were to be strictly observed.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 106

"1. Every person, who is a reader and approver of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, and friendly to the establishment of the New Church distinct from the Old, may be admitted to this Conference as a member thereof, and will have a right to deliver his sentiments on all subjects which may come before the Conference, and also give his vote on every question.

"2. All those who read and think favourably of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, but are not yet desirous of separating from the Old Church, may be admitted into the gallery, but not be entitled to speak in this Conference on any question whatever.

"3. Any person in the gallery, though not entitled to speak himself, may yet, if desirous of having any particular subject agitated, procure a member of the Conference to propose the same; as it is the desire of this meeting, that every useful question may be fairly and fully canvassed."

These Conditions were considered as expedient, at a time when as yet the individuals composing the Conference were not appointed as regular Representatives of their respective Societies, according to a scale proportioned to the number of each. But after the experience of some years, when the Societies became more numerous, and a further degree of order was established in the Church, it was found necessary to make regulations, as well in respect to the admission of Ministers, as to the other constituents of Conference.

Twelve persons, with the President and Secretary, were then appointed as a Committee to expedite the business of the Conference, and to represent the whole body of the New Church until their next Annual Meeting.

A considerable portion of the first day was occupied in reading letters, which had been received from Hull, Liverpool, Keighley, Bristol, Manchester, Wolverhampton, Dublin, Sweden, North and South America; from all which it appeared, that the New Church was gradually extending itself both in England and in foreign parts.

It having been observed, that "the evils which had arisen in the Old Church, in consequence of the Clergy assuming to themselves rights and privileges above the Laity, in matters of spiritual or religious inquiry," the Conference was requested to take such measures as might be most likely to prevent the introduction of such abuses into the New Church. A motion was accordingly made to that effect; which being duly seconded, it was unanimously Resolved, "That in all consultations and deliberations of this Conference, no privileges shall be attached to the Clergy in preference to the Laity, but that in all respects whatever they shall be on an equal footing."
Another subject, which engaged the attention of this Conference, arose out of the following question: "Whether Temples, or places of worship, in the New Church ought, or ought not, to be consecrated, prior to the actual celebration of divine worship therein?"


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 107 After considering this question for some time, when all present appeared to be fully agreed in the propriety of such consecrations,- the following passage from Emanuel Swedenborg's True Christian Religion, n. 126, was read in confirmation of their sentiments. "A Temple (says he) must first be built, and that with the hands of men, and afterwards consecrated, and lastly sanctified by prayer, that God would make it the abode of his presence, and unite himself with his people assembled therein."

A Form of Consecration was then directed to be prepared, and laid before the Conference. Such Form was accordingly drawn up, and received the sanction of those present. The same, with some alterations, continued in use among the different Societies for some years, whenever an occasion offered either in the erection of a new Temple, or in the appropriation of new place of worship by the members of the Church. An improved Form of Consecration has, however, been lately adopted, together with the New Liturgy printed in 1827.

The next question submitted to the Conference was, "Whether the Ministers of the New Church should not wear, while officiating in divine service, garments corresponding with their office, without any respect to what has been used in the Old Churches?"

In deliberating upon the above question, many rational and scriptural arguments were advanced in favour of the propriety of Ministers wearing correspondent garments, which were confirmed by the authority of Emanuel Swedenborg, who in various parts of his Writings declares and proves, that it is by Correspondences that the spiritual and natural worlds are united; and consequently that by genuine Correspondences, particularly those in the Holy Word, angels are conjoined to men; and that this approximation of the spiritual and celestial world to men on earth is even according to the things within them and without them, which correspond to the state of angels as to good and truth. It was then unanimously Resolved, "That it is the opinion of this Conference, that the Ministers of the New Church, after Ordination, ought to wear, while in the discharge of their office, an inner purple silken vest, and also an outer garment of fine white linen, having a golden girdle round the breast." See Rev. i. 13, and Dan. x. 5.*

* This Resolution was acted upon at the opening of the Church in Birmingham, when Mr. Proud and Mr. James Hindmarsh officiated in the dress directed. Mr. Proud also continued to appear in such a dress, while Minister of the Society in Cross Street, London; but on removing to York Street, it was discontinued. In the Minutes of the Fifteenth General Conference, held at Salford, in 1822, it is stated that a wish had been expressed, that the Conference "would consider what dress is the most proper to be worn by Ministers of the New Church in the discharge of their functions." The subject was postponed for consideration at the next Conference, which was held in London, in 1823, when it was Resolved, "That it is the opinion of this Conference, that WHITE is the proper colour for the dress which Ministers of the New Church should wear in their sacred functions." At both these Conferences the formation of a new Liturgy was under consideration; and when this was eventually published, the following appeared in the Preface. "Whether any particular dress be worn, [by the Minister,] or not, is perhaps a matter of much indifference: but where one is worn, it certainly ought to be expressive of the functions performed in it. But no colour is so appropriate to the whole of those functions, as white. White robes, especially of linen, are significative of genuine truths, grounded in goodness: now it is by genuine truths, grounded in goodness, that the Minister, in the devotional part of the service, is supposed to approach the Lord; and it is from genuine truths, grounded in goodness, that, in the discourse, he is to instruct and exhort the people. Hence, in the Israelitish Church, all whose service consisted of genuine representations of spiritual things, garments of white linen were prescribed for all the priests, except the high priest alone, into whose magnificent robes other colours were admitted; and even he, when, once a year, he performed the most holy rite of their worship, and went into the holy of holies, wore white garments only. But never was he, or any of the other priests, permitted to wear black. Under a representative dispensation black garments would have been esteemed profane; and therefore the Israelites were cautioned against following the example set them by the priests of Baal and the Chemarim, - a word which means wearers of black robes: (Zeph. i. 4.) nor were such robes adopted in the Christian Church, till over-zealous Protestants determined to differ from the Catholics in every thing, even where the practice of the Catholics was right. How proper soever black may be to express the evil nature of man's selfhood, a Minister, in the discharge of his functions, does not appear in his private character, but in that belonging to his office."- ED.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 108

It had for some time been the practice of the London Society, to affix two dates to all their transactions; the first date referring to the First Advent of the Lord, and the second to his Second Advent, commencing from the year 1757, at which time the Last Judgment was accomplished, and the New Jerusalem began to descend from heaven. (Thus, 1757-1, 1791-35, &c.) This practice having been submitted to the members of the Conference for their consideration and approval, they agreed to adopt the same, judging, that "by thus continually holding up to the view of the world such a remarkable era, the groundless expectation of the Lord's personal coming in the natural clouds, may be gradually weakened, and at length dissipated."

The Conference having examined and well considered the proceedings of the London Society, prior to the sitting of the First General Conference in 1789, relative to the Commencement of public worship in the New Church, and the Ordination of Ministers, unanimously confirmed the same, and recognized by name, as lawful ministers of the New Jerusalem, all such persons, then living, as had been so ordained, viz:


JOSEPH WRIGHT, of Keighley, Yorkshire;

MANOAH SIBLY, of London;

*FRANCIS LEICESTER, of London; and


* The Rev. Francis Leicester, A.B., was a Member of St. Peter's College, or St. Peter House, Cambridge, and was an ordained Minister of the Church of England; but on receiving the Doctrines of the New Church, it appears he was ordained as a Minister, according to the ceremonial therein required.- ED.

It was at the same time also unanimously Resolved, "That, in order to secure the harmony of the New Church at large, no person can in future be ordained a Minister, except he be first recommended by the society to which he belongs, and the approbation of the General Conference of the New Church be obtained for that purpose."


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 109

The consent of this conference was given to the Ordination of Mr. Joseph Proud*, and Mr. Robert Brant, both at that time of Birmingham.

* Mr. Proud was a regular Minister of the General Baptist Connexion, and he also underwent the ceremony of ordination into the New Church.- ED.

The thanks of this Conference were unanimously voted to the London Society for their zealous endeavours in promoting the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, prior to the meeting of the first General Conference, in the year 1789; also for their conduct in calling the same, and voluntarily transferring to the General Conference, all the powers which they derived, or might be supposed to derive, from their situation, as being the first Society publicly known to have separated from the Old Church.

The thanks of this Conference were also unanimously voted to THOMAS PARKER, Esq., Counsellor at Law, for his legal advice and kind assistance at the Meeting. And after some other business, transacted in the same spirit of harmony and unanimity, which had hitherto marked all their proceedings, the Conference was adjourned to the ensuing year.

It is a remarkable circumstance, that every commencement of a New Church is attended with vain and idle pretensions, on the part of certain individuals, who set themselves up as prophets or extraordinary messengers from heaven, charged with commissions to teach and instruct mankind in things, of which they themselves are entirely ignorant, and of whom it may be truly said, that they run before they are sent, and by their prophecies, dreams, and divinations, cause the people "to trust in a lie," Jer. xxviii. 15. Such were Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, at the time of the institution of the Jewish and Israelitish Church, who, on offering incense to Jehovah with false fire in their censers, were swallowed up by the earth, and they with their whole company perished from among the congregation, Numb. xvi. 33. Such also was Theudas at the commencement of the Primitive Christian Church, "boasting himself to be somebody, to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves; who was slain, and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered and brought to nought. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee, in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished, and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed," Acts v. 36, 37. In like manner Simon the Sorcerer "bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one; to whom they all gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 110 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries," Acts viii. 9 to 11. And such also, at the commencement of the New Jerusalem Church in our times, were the impostor Richard Brothers, and the false prophetess Joanna Southcott.*

* Many other names of persons of both sexes might be added, who have since that time laid claim to similar blasphemous and absurd pretensions.- ED.

With respect to Richard Brothers, who had previously been a midshipman in the Navy, and now set himself up for a great prophet, it may be recollected that he called himself the Prince of the Hebrews, and said that he was appointed to lead the Jews to their own country, and to re-instate them in the land of Judea, as the chosen people of God, to whom all nations were to become subservient and tributary. In proof of his authority for this purpose, he exhibited a rod, which he cut from a hedge by divine commandment, and which he declared was convertible into a serpent by his throwing it upon the ground, and again re-convertible into a rod by taking it up in his hand; in like manner as it is written of Moses, that "he cast his rod on the ground, and it became a serpent; and when he put forth his hand, and took it by the tail, it again became a rod in his hand," Exod. iv. 2 to 4. And as this circumstance, coupled with the power of working miracles with the rod, was to be a sign to Pharaoh and the Egyptians, that Moses had received his authority from Jehovah, to be the leader of the Israelites out of the place of their captivity into the land of Canaan; so Richard Brothers most solemnly and publicly announced, that he also was, or would shortly be, invested with the power of working miracles with his rod, in order to convince the people at large, that he was divinely commissioned to restore the Israelites to their ancient inheritance, to wind up and fulfil all the prophecies in their favour, and thus to establish a new kingdom upon earth, in which God himself was to be the Sovereign Ruler, while he, Richard Brothers, was to be universally acknowledged as the Prince of the Hebrews, and at the same time as their great prophet, high-priest, and legislator.

The folly and madness of these pretensions could only be equalled by the fact, that many professing Christians were to be found, who, implicitly relying upon his word, and believing him to be "some great one," as he said he was, actually made preparations to follow him as the leader of the Israelites into the land of Judea. And not merely by tens (as the prophet says, in a passage totally misunderstood,) did these zealots approach this self-called Prince of the Hebrews, but scores of proselytes* out of the various denominations were eager to "take hold of the skirt of him that" called himself "a Jew, saying, We will go with you; for we have heard that God is with you," Zech. viii. 23.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 111

* Many of them in most respectable situations of life; among whom was Mr. Halked, M.P. for Lymington, who advocated Brothers' claim in the House of Commons.- ED.

Brothers was particularly patronized by a Captain Hanchett, who, being desirous of bringing him into public notice, applied to me through his bookseller to print the pamphlet containing his prophecies and pretended revelations, offered to pay double or treble its value. But after examining the manuscript, and finding that it distinctly prophesied the death of the king, which I considered to be unlawful, and highly injurious to the welfare of society*, I declined being a party in any respect to such an abuse of the liberty of the press. The pamphlet was afterwards put into the hands of some other printer, who was less scrupulous on such an occasion.

* Brothers was arrested for treason in 1795.- ED.

Soon after this the Rev. Francis Leicester, A.B., of St. Peter's College, Cambridge*, who had warmly embraced the doctrines of the New Jerusalem, and was disposed to examine every new pretension to supernatural communications, that he might in the end be more and more confirmed in the rational and scriptural views taken by the members of the New Church, expressed to me his desire to see and converse with this self-denominated Prince of the Hebrews, and begged that I would accompany him in a visit which he wished to pay him. I consented, though almost ashamed to have it known that I could spend one afternoon of a most glorious day, in the examination of a most vain and contemptible delusion. We went to Paddington**, the residence of the great Prince, who received us kindly enough, and entertained us with the particulars of his history, and an outline of the commission which he was enjoined to execute. In the course of conversation we requested, that he would be so kind as to shew us the Rod, wherewith he was to perform his mighty feats. After looking earnestly at us, he said, he thought he might safely entrust us not only with the sight, but also with the handling of it, which was a favour very sparingly bestowed upon visitors: for, as he informed us, two young men had sometime before called upon him, and begged to see his Rod; but by a careful inspection of their eyes he discovered, that one of them had formed the resolution of breaking it as soon as he should have it in his power, which indeed, on being taxed with such a design, he fairly acknowledged was his settled purpose, at the same time expressing his surprise and astonishment that his intention was so readily detected.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 112 He then brought us the Rod from an adjoining room: it was about two feet and a half long, and appeared to be a common thorn. "Here," says he, "this rod is the rod of God, the instrument and the emblem of that power, which will shortly astonish the world, cheer and protect the faithful, but at the same time strike terror and dismay, into unbelievers." We smiled at the confidence, with which he delivered these and similar denunciations; and after some further conversation we left him.

* In 1788, Mr. Leicester published Two Sermons on Universal Restoration, or Salvation; but, on receiving the Doctrines of the New Church, he published a renunciation of his sentiments in that work, which appeared in the Magazine of Knowledge for 1790.- ED.

** He dated his Pamphlets from "57, Paddington Street," and from "Fisher Mead-House, Islington." They were printed by "Riebau, Strand;" who called himself, in the imprint to a collection of Pamphlets, "Bookseller to the King of the Hebrews." 1798.- ED.

It must be acknowledged, that some of this man's predictions, particularly those relating to the war, in which the King of Prussia was at that time engaged against France, were afterwards verified by the events. But whether this was a matter of mere guess-work, as is most probable, or the result of human sagacity, or any other species of knowledge, I do not pretend to say. The generality, however, of his predictions were notoriously false. He was at length, after agitating the public mind for a considerable time, confined in a mad-house by order of Government, but was released when Mr. Fox came into power.

As to Joanna Southcott, she appears to have been originally a servant girl in the west of England, who took it into her head that she was divinely commissioned to predict the failure of the harvests, and other natural calamities, that were to visit this kingdom about the time of the breaking out of the French Revolution, and afterwards. She also declared, that the future destinies of different nations were revealed to her by types, shadows, dreams, and visions; and that these were to terminate in the second coming of Christ, and the day of judgment at the expiration of seven thousand years from the creation of the world. Great part of her writings consists in an explanation of her dreams and visions, in language that assumes the form and character of doggrel poetry, and which in reality is the strangest medley of rhyme and nonsense that can be conceived. She gave a seal to her converts, which she said she was authorized to do, until the number of 144,000 was completed; and these were thereby to be assured of their final salvation.*

* She was born at Gittisham, in Devonshire, in 1750. She first declared herself to be the woman spoken of in the Revelation chap. xii. xxii., at Exeter, in 1792; she died on the 27th December, 1814, aged 64, and her body was interred in the burying ground of St. John's Wood Chapel, London. A tablet is laid over her grave, surrounded by an iron railing; and at a distance of 26 feet, another tablet is erected against the wall, bearing the following inscription:-

"While through all thy wondrous days,

Heaven and earth enraptured gazed;

While vain sages think they know

Secrets, THOU ALONE canst show;

Time alone will tell what hour,

Thou'lt appear in greater power,"
"Behold, the time shall come, that these TOKENS which I have told THEE, shall come to pass, and the Bride shall appear; and SHE coming forth, shall be SEEN, that now is withdrawn from the earth."-2 Esdras vii. 26.

"For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry."- Habb. ii. 3.

"And whosoever is delivered from the aforesaid evils, shall see my wonders."2 Esdras vii. 27.- ED.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 113

This is the woman, who for a season had so many admirers and proselytes, that she began to consider herself as the head of a numerous and permanent sect. At length she had the audacity to declare herself to be the very woman mentioned in the 12th chapter of the Revelation, who was seen by John in vision, clothed with the sun, having the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars, being about to bring forth a man-child, who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron. The Devil, she says, has his seat in the moon; and though some have simply enough talked of the Man in the moon, the spirit of divine inspiration revealed to her, that the Devil, as the prince of the air, has his particular abode in that planet; and that is the true reason, she says, why the moon was seen by John under the woman's feet. As to the twelve stars, she asserts, that they are twelve chosen men, who were to strengthen her hands, and confirm her predictions. Lastly, she declares, that being herself with child by the Holy Ghost, she was to bring forth the man-child spoken of above, who was to be the promised Shiloh. In this ridiculous manner she attempted to explain various parts of Divine Revelation. But the last delusion at once put an end to all her pretensions: for dying before she was delivered of any child, and while she yet supposed herself to be pregnant, her body was opened by medical gentlemen, called in for the purpose, in the presence of some of her most sanguine and confident disciples; but no Shiloh was to be found, though anxiously looked for, nor any appearance of pregnancy in her case. The disappointment, as might naturally be expected, confounded and dispersed the greater part of her followers; but some obstinately persevered in maintaining her absurdities, and still continue her professed disciples to the present day, in different parts of the kingdom.

Such are the pretensions, which men in all ages, and sometimes women, have presumptuously made, in order to gain proselytes to their contemptible notions, and thus to counteract and render null those genuine, authentic, and beneficial revelations, which have from time to time been given to mankind, for the information and improvement of a degenerate race. When really divine miracles were performed by Moses before Pharaoh and his people, the magicians of Egypt stepped in, and endeavoured by their delusive arts, to neutralize the effects produced by the hands of Moses, the true servant of God.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 114 And when even the Lord himself appeared on earth, and gave power to his disciples to cast out devils, to heal the sick, the lame, and the blind, and thereby to establish a New Church among the gentiles, separate and distinct from that of the Jews, - first a Theudas, then a Judas of Galilee, and afterwards Simon the Sorcerer, each boasting himself to be "some great one," bewitched the people, causing them to believe "cunningly devised fables," and to make light of the true faith, then beginning to enlighten and bless mankind. So, again, in our own times, when a new dispensation of divine truth was about to be ushered into the world, - first of all, George Bell*, a fanatic in the old Methodist connection, began to stultify and terrify the people by predicting the near approach of the end of the world, and the day of judgment. But the time fixed upon by him for this awful catastrophe having passed by without the slightest indication of any such convulsion of nature as he gave his hearers to expect, he soon fell into contempt, together with his idle but noisy prophecies. After him, when the doctrines of the New Church had made their appearance, there rose up other imposters, and among the rest Richard Brothers and Joanna Southcott, already spoken of, each of whom for a time gained a number of proselytes, until they also fell into equal contempt, both having proved themselves to be persons of unsound mind, and characters utterly unworthy of public regard.

* This George Bell was formerly a common soldier in the Guards, who, aspiring to the character of a prophet, fixed upon a certain day for the destruction of the world by fire. When the specified time arrived, the Methodists and many others in London, believing the prognostication, were in the utmost agitation and alarm during the whole of that day and the succeeding night. It is observed by Mr. Wesley, who relates the story in one of his Journals, that many thousands spent the day and night in the streets and at their doors, not daring to rest or close their eyes; while he himself, as if despising the danger, went to bed at his usual hour, and slept the whole of the night as sound as a top. The event not happening, as Bell had vainly and arrogantly predicted, he still continued, for a long series of years, to lay claim to a prophetic spirit, yet wisely, or at least cunningly, giving out, that by supplication and prayer he had prevailed on the Lord to suspend his judgments to a future day, when the calamity he had threatened would be certainly realized in all its fulness and terror.- I once had an interview with him at a gentleman's house in Cornhill. He was then about eighty years of age, and apparently in good bodily health. He declared to me, that he spake by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, by whom all his words were dictated; that he never had been visited with any illness during the whole of his long life; and that in fact he should never die, as the rest of mankind did, who, he said, were fools to suffer themselves to be overtaken by any disease, or to submit so tamely as they did to the cruel stroke of death. On his assertion that he would never die, I remarked, that I supposed he must mean, that he would never die as to his spirit, but that he would live eternally in a future state of immortality as all other men did, after their departure from the world. To this he answered, "No, my meaning is, according to the plain and obvious sense of the words, that I shall never die even with respect to my body; for I am proof against all the assaults of the enemy, and shall never be afflicted with any of the complaints incident to human nature, much less with the calamity of death." On this I rose up from my seat, and in a solemn manner pronounced sentence of death upon him, assuring him, that sooner or later he must of necessity go the way of all flesh. We then dropped the subject, and after conversing for a short time on in different subjects, I took my leave of him, but not before he made some indecent allusions to the female sex, which betrayed a state of mind very unfit for any thing like divine inspiration to which he had just before pretended.- A year or two after this conversation, I was informed of his death.- R. H.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 115

A Committee having been appointed by the last General Conference of the New Church, held in London, to transact whatever business might appear to them necessary for the further promotion and establishment of the same; and it having been judged proper to apply to Parliament for the same relief and religious toleration, which others of His Majesty's subjects enjoy, whether they be Roman Catholics or Protestant Dissenters; a Petition to the above effect was drawn up by a professional gentleman, and presented by LORD RAWDON, (afterwards the EARL OF MOIRA, and the MARQUIS OF HASTINGS,) to the House of Peers, on Monday the 30th of May, 1791, in behalf of the New Church at large, of which the following is a copy.

"To the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of Great Britain, in Parliament assembled.       

"The humble Petition of Benjamin Banks, Junior, of Salisbury; Robert Hindmarsh of Clerkenwell, London; Thomas Wright, of the Poultry, London; Francis Leicester, of Spa Fields, London; Anthony Hunt, of Bristol; Samuel Hands, of Birmingham; and John Hoyle, junior, of Halifax, Members of the New Church, called the New Jerusalem, for themselves, and in Behalf of the other Members of the said Church;


"That your Lordships' Petitioners having embraced the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, as published by the late Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg, which they believe to be an authentic and true explanation of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and finding that they cannot conscientiously make and Subscribe the declaration required by the l9th of His present Majesty, to be subscribed by His Majesty's Protestant subjects, dissenting from the Church of England, in order to obtain to their Ministers, Teachers, and themselves, the protection of the laws of Toleration: And your Lordships' Petitioners having a further difficulty in certifying their places of public worship agreeable to the terms of the said laws, for the purpose of having the same registered as places of public worship: And your Lordships' Petitioners being loyally and affectionately attached to His Majesty's Royal Person, Family, and Government, and being ready to prove their loyalty and attachment by taking the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and by subscribing a declaration against Popery: And your Lordships' Petitioners being desirous to provide for the religious education of their children, for the support of their poor, and for the useful employment of other members of the said Church:

"Your Lordships' Petitioners therefore humbly pray for leave to bring in a Bill, to allow the Ministers, Teachers, and others of the said New Church, to perform all the duties, offices, and ceremonies of religion within the realm, and in the colonies and dependencies of Great Britain, upon the condition of their taking an oath of their true allegiance to His Majesty King George, and subscribing a declaration against Popery, and of their being Christians and Members of the said New Jerusalem; and to allow them to certify their places of public worship as such, without being required to describe themselves as Protestants or Dissenters: And to incorporate certain Members of the said Church, to enable them to contribute to the common stock of such institutions, as may be necessary for the religious education of their children, and for the employment and maintenance of their poor, without being answerable for any greater sums than they may severally advance into such common stock; and for such other purposes as shall be set forth in the said Bill, and as to the wisdom of Parliament shall seem meet.

"And your Petitioners shall ever pray, &c.

(Signed)       BENJAMIN BANKS, Jun.






       JOHN HOYLE, Jun,"


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 116


At the time of presenting the above Petition, (it being too late in the Session to proceed with the Bill,) Lord Rawdon informed the House, that he had recommended to the Petitioners to print the Heads of their intended Bill, and not to proceed in it till the next Session of Parliament, which advice the petitioners had adopted.

In the mean time the Bill was prepared; but no further steps were taken in the endeavour to bring it to a successful issue. The law, it appears, which was considered so obnoxious to the members of the New Church, was afterwards repealed; and it is now generally thought, that in consequence of that measure, and the late repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, no other concession from the Government is required, than liberty to perform the ceremony of Marriage*, without being, as at present, under the necessity of complying with the forms of the Established Church.

* This liberty was granted, by the New Marriage Act, passed 1837.- ED.

During the time of this application to Parliament, the Committee had frequently occasion to wait upon Lord Rawdon, whose friendship and urbanity of manners were honourable to his station in life, to consult with his Lordship on the steps proper to be taken in forwarding their views. At one of these interviews his Lordship informed us, that he had spoken with some of the Bishops, and with the Lord Chancellor Thurlow, on the nature of our application. The Bishops, he stated, were much opposed to us, particularly the Bishop of Durham*, who asserted, that Swedenborg and his followers denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ! and that therefore we were not entitled to those privileges, which we sought to obtain. By what strange misapprehension of the tenets of the New Church the Bishop could have arrived at this conclusion, it is indeed most difficult to conceive; since no writer ever appeared in the Christian world, who more plainly and clearly maintained the Divinity of the Saviour, than Swedenborg. Nay, so far was he from justly incurring the charge brought against him by the Bishop, that it may with truth be said, no writer before him ever attempted to place the doctrine in its only proper, its only consistent point of view, and to demonstrate from the Sacred Scriptures, as Swedenborg has done in the most ample and satisfactory manner, that the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is himself the One Only God of heaven and earth, consequently that He alone is possessed of Sole, Supreme, and Exclusive Divinity. Had the Bishop designedly turned his back to heaven, and in that posture heard a voice from behind him proclaiming aloud in his ears, that Jesus Christ was God, and God alone, he could not more palpably and effectually have perverted the sentiment so uttered into its direct opposite, by declaring, that the voice expressly denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ, than he has done in his charge against Swedenborg and his followers.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 117 Lord Rawdon was not sufficiently acquainted with the tenets of the New Church to undeceive the Bishop; but his Lordship was furnished with such books, as were likely to give the necessary information. The Lord Chancellor Thurlow**, unlike the Bishop, acted upon the most liberal principles towards the New Church, and in all the conversations on the subject of our application to Parliament, his Lordship expressed himself decidedly in favour of our claims. From the different conduct of the Lord Chancellor, who may in this case be considered as a Representative of the State, and the Bishop of Durham, who may well pass for a Representative of the Church, we may fairly draw this conclusion, that the former, viz., the State, to which we most willingly profess attachment and allegiance, is more disposed to listen to and redress the grievances of the people, than the latter, or the Church, to which we owe neither attachment nor allegiance; because, though many apparently excellent things are to be found in its rituals and services, it is yet, as a Church, founded on principles plainly repugnant to Divine Revelation, and therefore in its tendencies and effects injurious to the well-being and true happiness of human society.

* Dr. W. Van Mildert, the grandson of a Dutch merchant settled in London. He was a distinguished theologian. He died in 1836.- ED.

** Edward Lord Thurlow, retired from the office of Lord Chancellor, in 1792, and died in 1806. He appears to have been a great favourite with the Royal Family- ED.

A new Temple having been erected about this time in Birmingham, for the use of the New Church, (being the first of the kind erected in England, or in any part of the world,) it was opened and consecrated on Sunday the 19th of June, 1791, by the Rev. Joseph Proud, who, after being a respectable Minister for many years in the connexion of General Baptists*, had now for some considerable time been a zealous advocate for the cause of the New Jerusalem. Divine service was performed three times on that day, and each time the place was crowded to excess. Mr. Proud preached in the morning; Mr. James Hindmarsh in the afternoon; and Mr. Proud again in the evening; both Ministers officiating in the robes, which were prescribed by the preceding General Conference. I was myself present on the occasion, and can bear witness to the extraordinary sensation that was produced by this first public annunciation of the new doctrines in that town. Professors of all denominations were assembled, excited either by curiosity to hear something new and strange, or by the more praise- worthy desire of being made acquainted with the great truths of the new dispensation.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 118 Among the rest, the celebrated Dr. Priestley was an attentive bearer, who afterwards expressed his surprize, and indeed satisfaction, at the proceedings of the day. He was invited to tea by Mr. Samuel Hands, an active and zealous member of the Church, at whose house a number of friends were assembled to give the Doctor a meeting.

* See Memoir by the Rev. E. Madeley, prefixed to the revised edition of Proud's "Last Legacy."- ED.

He came the next day in the afternoon, when a most interesting conversation took place on the doctrines of the New Church. He acknowledged, that he was altogether ignorant of the existence of such a body of Christians as he found us to be; and was particularly pleased with the arguments he had heard advanced in favour of the Divine Unity, in opposition to the idea generally entertained of the Divine Trinity. But he was much puzzled, and perfectly astonished, to find that we maintained the Sole and Exclusive Divinity of Jesus Christ; imagining, at first, that it was impossible for any set of Christians, who believe in the absolute Unity of the Divine Being, and rejected the unscriptural notion of Tripersonality, as we did, still to ascribe to the Saviour of the world the undivided Majesty of the whole Godhead. This, he said, was a doctrine altogether new to him, and in his judgment incompatible with the many declarations to be found in the Apostolical Writings, and the general tenour of Divine Revelation. Seeing, however, that we appeared to be reasonable men, and that we cited the authority of scripture in support of our views, he admitted that we were entitled to a candid hearing, and expressed his intention of examining the Writings of Swedenborg, from which we professed to have derived our information on the subject.

After much agreeable discourse on this and other topics relating to the peculiar doctrines of the New Church, against some of which he could scarcely raise an objection, the conversation turned to subjects of a lighter character. Anecdotes, of which the Doctor possessed a rich fund, amused and enlivened the company. One, however, of a complexion calculated to excite painful emotions rather than entertainment, I can never forget. It was indeed of a very extraordinary nature, and tended to shew to what excess of folly and fanaticism the human mind is capable of being carried by false principles and persuasions, under the pretence of religion, if the term religion can for a moment be allowed to mix with such wickedness, as the event about to be related discloses.

The Doctor began by stating, that the Government of the United States of America, in their zeal to prove their love of religious toleration, at one time provided a building as a place of worship for any new sect that might start up, to give them an opportunity of gaining proselytes to their cause. They were gratuitously allowed the use of this building for one whole year; in which time, it was thought, if their religious opinions were at all worthy of countenance or support, they would be sure to obtain as many converts to their doctrines, and as much pecuniary assistance from their friends, as would enable them to secure their continuance as a body in some other place of worship, to be afterwards provided by themselves.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 119 This was in Philadelphia, the capital of Pennsylvania. It so happened, that a wild fanatic, with a few adherents as wild as himself, claimed the use of this Chapel, to try their luck in raising a Society, as other adventurers had done before them. It was one of the leading doctrines of this sect, "That whoever died suddenly, no matter by what means, whether by the visitation of God, by accident, by the unjust violence of another, by his own hands, or by the hands of the executioner, such a one was sure of his final salvation, and a joyful entrance into the kingdom of heaven hereafter." Strange as this doctrine may appear to be, the delusion wrought most powerfully and unfortunately on the mind of one individual of this dangerous Society. Being determined to secure his own salvation against the mischances and uncertainties of a protracted life, and at the same time willing in his kindness to confer a similar boon on some other of his fellow-creatures, he sallied out of his house one morning into the street of the city, with his gun loaded and primed, fully intending to kill the first individual he should meet. The person, whose fortune it was to be passing by at the moment, was a Quaker, who immediately, and before the other had time to present his piece, accosted him in a cheerful and friendly manner, saying, "Good morning, my friend: I hope thou art well." This salutation struck the fanatic as something uncommon, or unexpected, as coming from a stranger, and a Quaker too. He therefore paused a moment, and ruminated on the singularity of the occurrence; while in the mean time the Quaker, little suspecting the danger of his situation, passed nimbly on, and escaped the sudden death, which was intended to prove his sudden salvation. Not so the poor unfortunate man, who next came in the way of the fanatic: for as soon as he came up to him, he levelled his gun, and shot him dead upon the spot.

Immediately an alarm was given, and the culprit was seized. Being asked if he knew what he had done, and why he had perpetrated such an atrocious act upon a passenger in the street, without provocation, and indeed without a word passing between them? (for the crime was witnessed by more than one;) he calmly replied, that he was perfectly aware of what he had done; he had committed murder, and was willing to abide the consequences. He was of course taken to prison, and in due time tried, convicted by his own confession, as well as by the testimony of others, and afterwards executed.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 120

The American Government now perceived its error in Keeping a place open for the indiscriminate occupation of all sorts of adventurers, and thus holding out encouragement as it were to the inventors and propagators of every species of fanatical, phantastical, and diabolical whims, that might eventually endanger the peace of society. The place of worship was therefore immediately closed, and the custom of lending it to strangers abolished.

This anecdote, which Dr. Priestley related to the company as a matter of fact, he declared he had from the mouth of the celebrated Dr. Franklin.

Soon afterwards, in the same year, 1791, the riots took place at Birmingham, where Dr. Priestley resided; and as his political sentiments were deemed inimical to the Government and Constitution of this country, his house, library, and valuable scientific apparatus were destroyed by the mob, while he himself narrowly escaped from their fury.* It appears, that he had prepared for the Press a pamphlet, entitled, "Letters to the Members of the New Jerusalem Church**," which he was on the point of sending to the Printer, at the very time when the rioters besieged his house. This Manuscript was destroyed with the rest of his papers: but as he was still desirous publishing his thoughts on the doctrines of the New Church, he came to the resolution of writing his Letters over again. For this purpose, being in London, he applied to me for the loan of such books of Emanuel Swedenborg, and others, as he conceived were necessary to assist him in the undertaking. I readily promised to furnish him with any he might require, not in the least doubting but some good would result to the Church hereafter, in consequence of the notice he might take of Swedenborg's Writings, whatever might be their effect upon his mind, or whatever complexion his promised Letters to the Members of the New Church might wear.

* The houses of several of the leading Unitarians, and both their places of worship, were also destroyed. The New Jerusalem Church had a narrow escape; but a collection having been made the day before, the minister, who lived next door, with great presence of mind, threw the money among the mob, informing them, in a brief but energetic address, that the minister and worshipers were not Unitarians, nor inimical to the Government. A shout was raised, - the New Jerusalem for ever, and the mob dispersed.- ED.

** Hindmarsh's Letters in reply to this celebrated production of Dr. Priestley, have rendered the name of the latter familiar to the receivers of the New Church Writings. Dr. P. died in America, in 1804. Letters in reply to the Dr. were also published by Proud, Spence, and others.- ED.

In his visit to me, the Doctor was accompanied by his friend Dr. Towers, a celebrated Dissenting Minister of his day, who resided in my neighbourhood.*


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 121 After a good deal of conversation on the character of Swedenborg, and the extra ordinary nature of his Writings, Dr. Priestley jocosely observed, that, in sitting down to write a refutation of Swedenborg's doctrines, he might possibly, after reading and digesting them, rise up a convert to them, as he understood some others had been known to do under similar circumstances. "No, Sir,-" I replied; "I fear this will not be your case, for the following reasons. 1. Because you have already, by your numerous writings on Theology, committed yourself as the head of a party, as a kind of champion, to whom others now look up both for argument and for authority. And, 2. Because your peculiar sentiments have, in all probability, gained a fixed form and permanent habitation, not only in your mind, but what is still more, in every part of your body, even to your tongue, your hands, and your fingers. For such I considered the principles of a man's life to be, that whatever of affection and of thought was deliberately confirmed by him, it became as it were a second nature in him, disposing the very organs of his speech and the movements of his hands to a facility of speaking and writing, in all respects as if the mind itself were seated in the very material substances of the body." The Doctor and his companion looked at each other, and smiled, but did not attempt to deny the conclusion. After this and some other friendly conversation, they departed; the Doctor observing, that he would make out a list of such books as he wanted, and would shortly send to me for them.

* He resided at this time in Warner Street, Clerkenwell. He was originally a printer. He became a preacher among the Dissenters, and the degree of LL.D. was conferred on him by the University of Edinburgh. He died in 1799.- ED.

It may perhaps gratify some readers to see the purport of the Doctor's various Notes or Letters to me on that occasion: these I copy from the originals, which have been in my possession ever since they were written. They are as follows.

       No. I.

"Dr. Priestley presents his compliments to Mr. Hindmarsh, and will be much obliged to him if he will lend him Swedenborg's Universal Theology, his Account of the Last Judgment, the Magazine [of Knowledge, &c.] No. 6, and the Proceedings of the Conferences. He had ordered the first, and had borrowed the last of Mr. Hands at Birmingham, and does not yet know whether any of them be preserved in the wreck of his library.

"If any of the books be in the least damaged, Dr. Priestley will be ready to take them, and pay for them."
"No. 72, St. Paul's, Aug. 24, 1791."

These books were immediately sent to the Doctor, at Mr. Johnson's, Bookseller, No. 72, St. Paul's Church Yard.

       No. II.

Dr. Priestley presents his compliments to Mr. Hindmarsh, and will be much obliged to him, if, to the books he has already favoured him with, he will add Mr. Swedenborg on the Different Earths, and the Doctrine concerning the Lord."
Aug. 25, 1791."

The whole of the books sent to Dr. Priestley, at different times, were the following:

1. True Christian Religion, containing the Universal Theology of the New Church.

2. The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 122

3. A Treatise concerning the Last Judgment, and the Destruction of Babylon.

4. A Continuation concerning the Last Judgment, and the Spiritual World.

5. The Magazine of Knowledge concerning Heaven and Hell, &c.

6. Minutes of Conference for 1789, 1790, and 1791.

7. A Short Account of the Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg, and of his Writings.

8. A Treatise concerning the Earths in the Universe; with an Account of their Inhabitants.

9. The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord."

       No. III.

"Dr. Priestley presents his compliments to Mr. Hindmarsh, is much obliged to him for the use of the books which he returns, and keeps the Accounts of the Conferences, and the Short Account of E. Swedenborg, for which Mr. Johnson will pay him.

" His Letters to the Members of the New Jerusalem Church are in the Press, and he will beg Mr. Hindmarsh's acceptance of a copy, as soon as they are printed."

"No. 72, St. Paul's, Monday, Sept. 1791."

In a few weeks after the date of the last Note, the Doctor published his Letters, and presented me with a copy of them. Hereupon a Meeting of the Society in London was called, to take into consideration the propriety of giving him a public Answer; and it being their unanimous request, that I would prepare such Answer, I thought it my duty to comply; though from the press of business, in which I was then engaged, (as Editor and Compiler of six periodical publications, besides correcting the Press for them all, and for various other works which I was employed to print,) no opportunity offered for writing, except on an evening, or at night, when the regular business of the day was concluded. Notwithstanding these daily interruptions, I proceeded with the work; and in a Letter to Dr. Priestley I informed him, that at the request of the members of the New Church in London, I was preparing an Answer to his Letters. In the meantime Mr. Proud brought out a shorter Answer in a small pamphlet, which is noticed by the Doctor in the following Letter to me.

       No. IV.


"Your former Letter being inclosed in the parcel with the books you were so obliging as to present me with, I have only just received it, along with other parcels for me, which Mr. Johnson did not send till I was got into my present habitation. I thank you for that, and the other pieces I meant to have purchased, and shall be glad to see your Answer to my Letters at your own convenience. I have not seen Mr. Proud's, though I hear they are published. If I reply at all, it will hardly be before I have seen yours; and for that purpose I may have occasion to trouble you again for the loan of some of the Baron's Writings. I have no doubt, that both you and Mr. Proud will write like Christians, and lovers of truth; and in this controversy what is usually called scholarship has little to do.

                     "I am, Sir, yours sincerely

"Clapton, Nov. 18, 1791."                     J. PRIESTLEY."

In the course of a few weeks from this time, my Answer appeared, under the title of Letters to Dr. Priestley, &c., a copy of which was immediately forwarded to the Doctor, in return for the copy of his Letters, which he had the kindness to send me. After this, a twelvemonth or more elapsed, without my seeing or hearing anything from him.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 123 At last, the Rev. Francis Leicester, (of whom mention has already been made in this History, p. 109, 122), finding that Dr. Priestley was making preparations to leave England for America, requested that I would pay a visit to the Doctor, then residing at Clapton, for the purpose of inquiring of him when we might expect his Reply to my Letters, which he had so long ago given us reason to calculate upon. Mr. Leicester offered to accompany me: and we accordingly waited upon him on a Sunday, in the Vestry of the Unitarian Chapel, Hackney, immediately after the morning service. At first the Doctor affected not to know me, which indeed might possibly have been the case, as he had not seen me for a considerable time. But he also affected a total ignorance of the nature of my business with him, even after I had explained it to him. And he actually put me upon the necessity of expostulating with him on the apparent loss of his memory; although he was evidently in perfect health of body. I was, however, determined not to give up the object of my visit, without another effort to rouse his slumbering powers of memory; and I at last succeeded in eliciting from him distinct answers to the following questions: "Do you not remember, sir, that you lately published Letters to the Members of the New Jerusalem Church; and that you sent me a copy of them?" "Yes, I do." - "And do you not also remember, that I published Letters to you in answer; and that you received a copy of them from me, after having expressed a desire to see them, and intimating your intention of going on with the controversy?" "I recollect the circumstances now very well." - "Then, Sir, the purport of my visit to you this morning is, to know when we may expect your long-promised Reply; or whether we are to look for it at all, or not. And the only reason of my troubling you with these questions is, that I may have it in my power to satisfy those who repeatedly make their inquiries of me." Here the Doctor's countenance began to brighten up, and having now perfectly recovered his memory, he answered to the following effect: "I well remember, that both you and Mr. Proud addressed me on the subject mentioned. I have of late been very much engaged: but it is my full intention, if I should publish a second edition of my Letters, to answer you both together in an Appendix, which I shall then add to those Letters." The conversation ended here; and we took our leave of the Doctor, wishing him health and happiness.

Soon after this, the Doctor went over to America, where he lived many years, continuing to write on other subjects, but never once opening his mouth, or handling his pen, in opposition to the doctrines of the New Jerusalem; although it has been said, that in every other matter of controversy, in which he once engaged, the last word was with him. He died Feb. 6, 1804, in the 71st year of his age.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 124

It is to the credit of Dr. Priestley, that, unlike many of the opponents of Emanuel Swedenborg and his doctrines, he never attempted to calumniate his memory, by charging him with madness, or a wilful design to mislead and deceive his readers; nor did he ever represent those, who sincerely believed his testimony, as a set of weak and bigotted enthusiasts, prepared to countenance every idle tale that the ingenuity of an impostor could invent. On the contrary, he considered the members of the New Church, with several of whom he had opportunities of conversing, as fairly entitled to the respect of the public, and as well qualified to judge of the reasonableness of an argument, drawn from Scripture or from common sense, as any other individuals to be met with in the field of rational investigation. And if, upon trial, he found that he could make no more impression on them, than they in their turn could on him, he was content to allow to other; what he claimed for himself, - full liberty to pursue the convictions of their own minds, without calling in question their sincerity or integrity. But widely different has been the conduct of the greatest number of our adversaries, some of whom openly display their banners by boldly announcing their names, and the sect to which they belong*; while others slily and secretly attack us in ambuscade, by their anonymous efforts to bring us into contempt.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 125 Of this latter description is the following communication sent me by Post, soon after the publication of my Letters to Dr. Priestley, which I here insert, not so much on account of myself being the individual to whom it was addressed, as to shew the malignant character of those underhanded assaults, which have been so repeatedly made against the members of the New Church at large.

* Among these was the late Rev. Cornelius Bayley, D.D., of St. James's Church, Manchester, a man, it must be acknowledged, of exemplary piety and zeal in the cause of religion; a character which he had obtained while among the Wesleyan Methodists, long before he was ordained in the Established Church, and which he retained ever after. He was well versed in the learned languages, and published a Hebrew Grammar, which I printed for him in the year 1782. Being intimately acquainted with him in the early part of his life, and having acquired from him in my youth a knowledge of the Hebrew myself, I had many opportunities of conversing with him on literary, philosophical, and theological subjects. But I must confess, that, though I always found him to be a most upright and conscientious man, I could never discover in him any traits of a strong and vigorous mind, elevated above the vulgar apprehensions of the literal sense of the Word, and the fallacious appearances presented by many of the objects in nature. For example: he disputed the diurnal motion of the earth round its own axis, as well as its annual motion round the sun; maintaining that the sun, together with the stars, rose and set every day according to the appearance, having this small globe of earth for the real center of their revolutions. And this view of the subject he would confirm by an appeal to the authority of the Scriptures, which frequently allude to the motion of the sun, but never to that of the earth. Joshua, he would say, bade the sun and moon stand still, not the earth, Jos. x. 12: and it was the shadow of the sun, not the earth, that returned backward ten degrees, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz, 2 Kings xx. 10, 11. With this kind of language he was perfectly satisfied, and would not listen to the reasonings of philosophers and infidels, which, he said, tended to a denial of the Bible. "Besides," said he, "if the earth moves, and not the sun, how is it that we do not feel the motion? Wherefore the want of this sensible evidence is sufficient to render the whole hypothesis doubtful and improbable." In this way Dr. Bayley argued with me on the subject of the earth's motion; and though I observed, in reply, that it was no more reasonable to expect, that men should be sensible of the motion of the earth, than that mites should feel the motion of an old Cheshire cheese when carried across the room, he still persevered in treating the whole cue as a matter of great doubt and uncertainty; thus evidently leaning to the vulgar belief, that the sun's apparent motion is also its real and true motion. Yet this gentleman was one of the avowed opponents of the New Church; and it is for the purpose of shewing what kind of adversary it had in him, that the preceding anecdote is related.

But I have not done with him yet. The same Dr. Bayley, on another occasion, stated to me, that, in his opinion, a knowledge of the Hebrew language, acquired in this life, would be a good introduction among the angels of heaven in another life; because, said he, it being the language in which God himself spake to the prophets of old, it must of course be the language of angels in heaven, and they who could speak that language with the greatest facility, or who could pass as good Hebrew scholars, after due trial and examination, would hereafter be the best qualified to understand, and to join in, the beauties and sublimities of angelic conversation! - The vanity and delusion of such a notion as this, will scarcely bear a remark. Were it true, it would indeed be thought good news to some few of the bearded Israelites, but heavy tidings to the poor, the illiterate, and, in short, to the great mass of mankind. Yet Dr. Bayley, who could countenance and indulge such idle conceits, had the temerity to call in question the rational and scriptural views of heavenly things, which Swedenborg has so ably laid down in his voluminous writings. Many years ago he published a Sermon on the Divine Trinity, in which he took occasion to argue the point in favour of a Trinity of Persons, in opposition to a Trinity of Essentials in One Person; and he concluded his observations with a pious wish, that "the waters of strife might be quenched in the fire of divine love!" But how water, was to be quenched in fire, instead of fire with water, he did not inform the reader. Dr. Cornelius Bayley was the Clergyman alluded to in my Letters to Dr. Priestley, p. 357, first edition, who, "after writing pretty freely against the doctrines of the New Church, candidly confessed to me, that he did not understand what Swedenborg meant by the three terms, celestial, spiritual, and natural!"- R. H.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 126

(Dr. Bayley was the founder of St. James's Church. He published his Sermon on Gal. iv. 6, in 1784. It was preached on Trinity Sunday at Hayfield. In Derbyshire. Immediately afterwards appeared a pamphlet entitled, The Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity Vindicated according to the Principles of the Illuminated Emanuel Swedenborg. With Remarks upon the Sermon. In reply, Dr. Bayley published in 1785, at Warrington, his Swedenborgian Doctrine Considered, pp. 91; in which he makes a great parade of learning, and logic to no purpose, in support of Tripersonalism.- ED.)

"Copy of a Letter received by Post, from an Unknown Hand, in the year 1792.

"Mr. R. Hindmarsh,                            "Kidderminster, June 28, 1792.


"In Swinney's Chronicle of this day, I have read and perused your pompous and wicked advertisement, under the title of Letters to Dr. Priestley. I must be laconic on the occasion. You yourself, and Counsellor Parker, (who I believe has had a hand in these Letters,) are under as great, melancholy, and awful a delusion, as Dr. Priestley is; yea, more so; for Dr. Priestley, with all his awful extravagance, has too much understanding to suffer his mind to be carried away with the reveries of a Swedenborg; and yet this Madman, (namely Swedenborg,) and his foolish and vain Writings, are by you, and such wicked men as you, (for you should know better, and must know better, for your father was one of Mr. Wesley's preachers; but I am afraid that worldly interest has led you aside,) set in opposition to the blessed Scripture. You would, by your vain and false philosophy, set up yourselves as men of consequence: but God knoweth, that real Christian experience, and the root of the manner [matter] is not in you. Against the glorious gospel of Jesus, You set up Swedenborg and yourselves; and under the cloak of opposing Dr. Priestley, (who by the by is a far more excellent character, and more sensible man, than E. Swedenborg was, or any of you are,) endeavour to introduce a new gospel. Eternal ruin and condemnation awaits you: you are now under the curse of GOD; and will be damned, unless you fly with broken heart unto the blessed JESUS, and receive pardon from God through his blood and righteousness: and if your heart is ever changed, you will retract your wicked writings, which are so repugnant to the holy gospel of my Lord.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 127 And know, Mr. Hindmarsh, that he who writes this letter, could have wrote it far more accurately, had he thought proper. As a proof of this, he takes the liberty of giving you a specimen of accurate writing on the other page, not by way of exalting myself, but to convince you, that all wisdom and understanding is not absolutely hid from those who dare to oppose you.

"I find not the name of Swedenborg in all my Bible: but this I find, That if harlots, thieves, publicans, and sinners, or even the quondam followers of Swedenborg, go as lost, undone, and condemned criminals, to JESUS CHRIST, and believe on him, they shall be eternally saved. This is gospel: and any thing in opposition to it, is nothing more than the doctrine of devils.

"From one who wishes your repentance, and to see your retraction of such abominable writings as you at present exhibit.                                                                       "Amicus.       

"Look at your 4th Article, [query 13th] under LETTER THE THIRD, concerning Charity. You here lead one to think, that your brains are turned, and are absolutely in the same predicament that your false Apostle was; that is to say, MAD!

"Mr. Paine might condescend to notice the furious rhapsodies of EDMUND BURKE; but I'll be bold to assert, that he will never, never mind the more unmeaning fooleries of Mr. HINDMARSH.

"The Specimen I spoke of.

"The glorious APPROACH of the SAVIOUR's KINGDOM.

"SHOUT, all ye nations, at the dawning ray

Of bright Salvation's long-expected day.

Ye favour'd climes, its grateful steps invite,

And bid your kingdoms drink the golden light.

O'er ev'ry realm* it gleams: great Salem, see

A richer glory bursting upon thee.

Rejoice, ye distant isles, and gentile lands;

And thou, O Afric, clap thy sable hands.

O pour th' applause, ye empires, now arise,

And with your voices shake the pearly skies.

For lo! his orb o'er earth MESSIAH rears,

Illustrious as the GOD of gods appears.

Wide as the world, th' enliv'ning radiance streams,

Imparting free its salutary beams.

Death flies before it, with his ghastly train,

And Falsehood shuns its truth-displaying reign:

While, by it heal'd, the blind pursue their way;

Their eye-lids ope, and catch immortal day."

       * Isaiah lii. 10.

"Dr. Priestley is a false apostle, and so was that filthy dreamer, Swedenborg. Both, in their writings, are as opposite to the blessed gospel of JESUS, as GOD is to the Prince of the bottomless pit. Your Publication seems to me to be a mere Catch-penny. Pray, don't affect to imitate HOGG in the Row, i.
e., publish any thing to get a groat by."

From the tone and spirit of the preceding Letter, (apart from the lines of Poetry, which are certainly worthy of a better pen, if indeed they are the production of this anonymous writer), it is pretty evident, that it is the offspring of some zealous, hot- headed professor of religion, probably a Methodist, who, having consulted Mr. Wesley's Arminian Magazine, for suitable epithets to bestow upon Swedenborg, is liberal enough in applying them both to him and his admirers; while at the same time he seems to entertain a very high opinion of his own abilities. But all such assaults, however frequently repeated, uniformly prove impotent, and fail of their intended effect. They are like "the floods of water issuing out of the mouth of the serpent, and directed against the woman in the Revelation, to cause her to be carried away by the flood."


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 128 Yet we read, that "the earth helped the woman, and opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. Then was the dragon wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Rev. xii. 15 to 17.

On Sunday, the 16th of October, 1791, a place of worship for the New Church was opened in Liverpool, by Mr. Ralph Mather. The interest excited in the town by the novelty of the doctrines preached, as well as by the superb dress which Mr. Mather wore in the pulpit, was so great, that it was found impossible to accommodate with seats the crowds that attended. Weekly meetings were also established on Tuesdays, when the works of Emanuel Swedenborg were publicly read and explained. But it does not appear, that the Church was as yet likely to obtain a permanent footing in that populous town. The excentricity of the preacher, and various other causes, combined rather to retard than to promote the successful establishment of a New Church Society, the members of which were for a considerable time divided amongst themselves on certain points of doctrine, which, it is supposed, were not rightly understood by some who took an active part in their propagation. The consequence was, that some time after Mr. Mather's removal to America, the Society divided itself into different parties, each vying with the other in zeal to maintain their respective opinions, until by experience and a returning spirit of conciliation, they found it their interest to unite together as one body, for the promotion of one common cause. In Liverpool the Church has fluctuated more than in any other part of the kingdom, unless indeed we except Bristol, where the members have in like manner, for some years, been alternately in a state of union and of disunion, arising from circumstances, which could neither be foreseen, nor perhaps prevented. Yet there is now good reason to hope and believe, from present appearances, that in both the places above- mentioned, as well as in some others, where similar inconveniences have arisen, the difficulties, which the Church has had to contend with, are no longer felt.*

* In Liverpool, a School-room was at first licensed in Lancelot's Hey. The elegant Chapel in Key Street was taken in 1791, where Mr. Mather was ordained by his congregation. On his removal to America, he was succeeded by the Rev. W. Hill, then a young man of considerable talents, who afterwards translated the Apocalypse Explained. In 1792, this chapel was relinquished for a room in Marble Street, and the worship was conducted for only a short time by Messrs. Leadbeater and Walker. The external Church at Liverpool has passed through many vicissitudes. Originally its prospects were very encouraging; and it seems that there is some hope of its recovering itself. There are now two societies in this populous town, one of which has been long in existence under the leadership of Mr. R. G. Sheldon; and the other, whose place of worship has been recently erected, is, at present supplied by Missionaries. They are both in the Conference connexion.

At Bristol there is also a Society again in existence, and in the Conference connexion. The original New Jerusalem Temple was opened at Bristol in June 1792; and the Rev. Robert Brant was for some time the Minister.-ED.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 129


The Magazine of Knowledge, &c., having been discontinued after October, 1791, that work was succeeded by another, entitled The New Jerusalem Journal. This latter was comprised in Ten Monthly Numbers at sixpence each; the first of which was published in January, 1792, and the last in October in the same year. Having printed this and some other publications at my own expense, without meeting with sufficient encouragement to proceed, I contented myself for a time with the reflection that some good had been produced in society by these humble efforts, to spread the knowledge of divine truth in a dark world; still looking forward with hope to the day, when more able and more successful labourers in the same glorious cause, would be raised up by the Divine Providence of the Lord, to extend the territory of the New Jerusalem, to build up its "jasper" walls, and to "bring the glory and honour of the nations into it." (Rev. xxii. 26.)

About this time, I received a letter from Halifax, in Nova Scotia, containing an account of the first opening of a place for the separate worship of the members of the New Church in that town, agreeably to the recommendation of the First General Conference, held in Great East Cheap, London, in the year 1789. The following is a copy of that letter.

                            "Halifax, N. Scotia, Nov. 19, 17 9 1.


"Agreeable to your 30th Resolve of Conference, held in Great East Cheap, 1789, we have separated ourselves from the Old Church by fully embracing the doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church, as now first organized by you. We therefore, though small in number, wish to hold a correspondence with your Society, as it will serve to strengthen and excite us to pursue, with more order, those pure revealed truths contained in the Writings of the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg. We know it will afford you pleasure to bear what progress the Church is making in any part of the world; and we therefore shall now inform you, that we have for more than six years met together for the sake of reading, and conversing on, the subjects unfolded in the important Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg: and since the publication of your Liturgy for the New Church, we have in every respect conformed thereto in public worship, and read some part or other of the Theology, forenoon and afternoon, every Sabbath-day. We likewise meet every Friday evening, for the further improving ourselves in the knowledge of the said truths, with psalmody and Christian conversation. Also, agreeable to the 22nd Resolve, we have formed ourselves by Baptism into a Church, and have since baptized our children, and thus hope to increase by degrees. We shall be very glad to receive any further instructions, which you may think necessary and useful for us.

"I conclude with sincerely wishing to hear a great increase to the New Church, and am, in behalf of the Society,

                            "Your very obedient and humble Servant,

                                                         "JOSEPH RUSSELL."

This was one of the first Societies in North America, that instituted public worship on the avowed principles of the New Church.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 130 That at Baltimore was another. But others soon followed the example; and great has been the increase of divine knowledge, as the sure consequence of preaching the Word indiscriminately to all who have ears to hear it.


       CHAP. VII.

On Easter Monday, the 9th of April, 1792=36, and six following days, the Fourth General Conference met at the Chapel in Great East Cheap, London, agreeably to the last adjournment, to take into consideration the most effectual means, under Divine Providence, of promoting the further establishment of the New Jerusalem. Mr. ANTHONY HUNT, of Bristol, was unanimously elected President; and Mr. ROBERT HINDMARSH, of London, Secretary. A Committee of twelve persons was also appointed to expedite the business of the Conference.

Hitherto the proceedings of the Church had been conducted with the greatest harmony, and unanimity of feeling and sentiment prevailed to an extraordinary degree. In the three first Conferences, for 1789, 1790, and 1791*, not a dissentient voice was once heard; although the persons, of whom these meetings were composed, were collected from almost every denomination of professing Christians; but all seemed to be animated by one spirit of love, charity, and brotherly affection. This state of peace and concord, however, began to suffer some interruption in the present Conference, on account of a difference of opinion, which for the first time arose among the members, in respect to the appointment of Ministers in the New Church. This brought on an inquiry into the nature of the New Jerusalem doctrines, whether they were more favourable to an Episcopalian form of government, or to one similar to that adopted by Dissenters in general. Several of the members present, after much deliberation on the subject, gave it as their opinion, that, notwithstanding the Universality of the doctrines of the New Church, which are capable of being embraced by men of all denominations, and in some measure preserved in all the possible forms of Church Government, they are yet clearly and decidedly more congenial with the Episcopalian form, or that which admits of a subordination of Ministers, than with those of Presbyterians and Dissenters, which admit of no such subordination.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 131 Still, however, notwithstanding the many proofs, which were brought from the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, in favour of the above sentiments, a considerable majority of the members of the present Conference thought proper to adopt that mode of Church Government, in which all questions are to be determined by the votes of the members at large.

* Provincial Conferences were also held successively, 6 Sept., 1791, at Keighley, at Salford in 1792, and at Birmingham in 1793, of which Minutes were printed. That held at Birmingham, was attended by Revs. W. Cowherd and J. Proud. Mr. Samuel Mann, of Manchester, was President; and the Rev. C. Leadbeater, of Chester, Secretary.- ED.

This decision, being the act of the majority, was therefore justly considered as the act of the Conference, and was accordingly entered as such in the Minutes of its proceedings for the year 1792. That the free subjects of this realm have a clear right, as Dissenters, to adopt and establish among themselves whatever system of Church Government they may think most conducive to their own prosperity and success, is a position which cannot be doubted or controverted. But at the same time, when it becomes a question, which form of government, the Episcopalian or the Presbyterian, is most agreeable to divine order, as discoverable in the Sacred Scriptures, particularly in the institution of the Priesthood among the Jews, wherein there was a three-fold order of Ministers, viz., the High Priest, his Sons, and the Levites, Exod. xxviii. 1, 2, 40, 41; chap. xxix. 4 to 9, 29, 30; chap. xxxviii. 21; Numb. i. 50 to 53; chap. iii. 6 to 9; chap. viii. 11 to 22; 2 Kings xxiii. 4; find also in the Christian Church, in the appointment of twelve Apostles, and seventy Disciples, over whom the Lord himself was the Head, Luke vi. 13; chap. x. 1; and when, moreover, it is considered, that such threefold order is stated in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg to be the most perfect, as in Arc. Coel. n. 10,017; Tr. Chr. Rel. n. 10, 679; and Coronis, n. 17; it surely could not be deemed improper, on the part of those few, who formed the Minority in the Fourth General Conference, to express their sentiments on the occasion, and to recommend to the Church at large the adoption of the Episcopalian form of government, in preference to any other. This threefold order in the Ministry, though, as it appears, unsuited to the state of the Church at that time, and particularly so to the state of those not yet admitted into the Church, of whom, nevertheless, its future members were expected chiefly to consist, was afterwards distinctly approved of, and unanimously adopted by the Eighth General Conference, held at Manchester, in the year 1815, as will be seen when we come to that period of the present History. What is best in theory, is often most difficult in practice; and that which in itself is most worthy of being countenanced and supported, may, under certain circumstances, be found altogether inexpedient. So in the present case the majority of the Conference may have acted wisely, as they certainly did sincerely, in the decision to which they found it their duty to come: and there is good reason to believe, that the Divine Providence, whose superintending care over the Church is unceasing, permitted a less perfect order to prevail for a season, until one more perfect could with safety be adopted.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 132 Thus natural things, in the present state of the world, precede things spiritual: for, as the Apostle Paul justly observes, "that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." 1 Cor. xv. 46.

At the time when this Conference met, the whole country, from one end to the other, was agitated by contending political opinions, in consequence of the licentious and deistical principles, which followed in the train of the French Revolution, and which were then promulgated with much zeal on this side of the water, particularly by the democratical Mr. THOMAS PAINE. By him it was urged, that the people at large had the undoubted right to call to account all who were in authority over them, whether in the Church or in the State, and, if necessary, to cashier and depose them at pleasure, not excepting the Chief Magistrate of the realm, even the King himself, who sat upon the throne. Many were the otherwise well-disposed individuals, in almost every class of society, who, taken as it were by surprise, and captivated by the artful and seductive reasonings of the above-mentioned writer, and others of the same stamp, too hastily and heedlessly suffered themselves to be misled in their judgment, and to become discontented with the Constitution and Government of their country. It was to guard against the introduction of sentiments of this description, and to convince the world that the Writings of Swedenborg gave no countenance whatever to them, that a Protest was entered in the Minutes of this Conference against all such principles of infidelity and democracy as were then circulating in the country. For it is well known, that the members of the New Church, actuated by the religious principles which they profess, always have been, and still are, among the most loyal and peaceable subjects of His Majesty, well affected to every branch of the Royal Family, and thankful to the Divine Providence for the inestimable blessings they enjoy, under the mild and paternal sway of the House of Brunswick.

Mr. Hands moved, that some general hints be submitted to the different Societies of the New Church, for their regulation and support. He recommended each Society to form itself into a trading company; which recommendation, though approved of by many present, was considered by others as entirely foreign to the true interests of the Church, and unworthy of its notice. It, of course, died away, and was never acted upon.

Immediately after the conclusion of the Conference in 1792, the London Society, which had hitherto been united as one body, separated themselves into two Societies, in consequence of that difference of opinion relative to Church Government, which has already been alluded to.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 133 The majority of its members, who inclined to the Presbyterian form of Government, chose for their pastor the Rev. Manoah Sibly, and removed from Great East Cheap to Store Street, Tottenham Court Road, where a temporary place of worship was engaged, and opened to the public, on Sunday, the 13th of May, 1792. Here they continued about a twelvemonth, and were successful in spreading the doctrines in that part of the town, and gaining a number of respectable members, all anxious to give their support to those divine truths, which Mr. Sibly so ably and indefatigably dispensed among them. Conceiving, however, that their situation in Store Street was not sufficiently central, the Society, at the expiration of one year, obtained the lease of a chapel in Red Cross Street, Cripplegate, which was opened on the 12th of May, 1793. At this place new regulations were adopted; the members formed themselves into a more regular New Church Society; rules and articles were drawn up and agreed upon for uniting them more firmly together; and under the Ministry of Mr. Sibly, they were deservedly regarded by their brethren, who did not associate with them, as an amiable and affectionate people.

On the expiration of their lease, which was for a term of seven years, the Society removed to the new Temple, in Cross Street, Hatton Garden, which had been built expressly for another Society of the New Church, but was at that time unoccupied. Those eligible and spacious premises were re-opened by Mr. Sibly, for public worship, on Sunday, the 16th February, 1800. But after a trial of nearly two years, they found the expenses too great for their small Society to support. They therefore again removed, on Christmas day, 1801, to a large room in Cateaton. Street, near Guildhall, which they had engaged as a temporary place of worship, until a new building, more appropriate to the purpose, should be erected. Whilst at this place the Liturgy was again altered, in concert with the other Societies then established in London, with the view of obtaining, what had long been considered desirable, - uniformity of public worship among all the Societies of the New Church.

Before the expiration of this year, a piece of ground presented itself in Friars Street, Blackfriars, near Doctor's Commons, which, being thought suitable for the erection of a Temple, was taken by the Society on a lease for 60 years. Under the north- west corner stone, which was laid December 21, 1802, a Plate was deposited with the inscription, "SACRED TO THE WORSHIP OF JEHOVAH JESUS, THE ONE ONLY LIVING AND TRUE GOD;" together with the date of the year, and the names of the Minister and Trustees. In the front, over the door, was engraven on a stone, "SACRED TO THE WORSHIP OF JEHOVAH JESUS; FOR IN HIM DWELLETH ALL THE FULNESS OF THE GODHEAD BODILY." Col. ii. 9.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 134 As soon as the building was finished, the Society removed from Cateaton Street to this new Temple, which was consecrated and opened for public worship, by Mr. Sibly, on Sunday, the 7th of August, 1803, where the Society has ever since continued, and under the blessing of Divine Providence still remains united and happy.

Mr. Sibly, who has officiated as the Pastor of Friars Street Society, from 1792*, first became acquainted with the new doctrines at the close of the year 1787, by being introduced to a Meeting of some of the friends, which was then usually held at each others houses on the Sabbath day evenings, as well as on other evenings in the week. Here it was that he first heard the great and fundamental doctrine of the New Church, "That the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the One Only God of heaven and earth." Though he must often have read language to the same purport in the Sacred Scriptures, yet he never before saw that truth in the light he now did; and the conviction, that it was indeed the divine truth of heaven, operated so forcibly and instantaneously on his mind, that he afterwards compared it to a flash of lightning, for its brilliancy and powerful effect. He left the meeting, as he says, "quite another man:" and in going home, he employed himself in recalling to his memory various passages of Scripture in confirmation of the doctrine. He found himself indeed brought out of darkness into marvellous light; and the next day he defended the sole and exclusive Divinity of the Lord against some of his former connexion, to whom he mentioned the change that had taken place in his religious sentiments, with the hope that they would as joyfully embrace the divine truth as himself.

* He continued his services till 1840; and on the 16th of December in that year he departed this life.- ED.

After the opening of the New Jerusalem Chapel in Great East Cheap, which was on the 27th of January, 1788, Mr. Sibly was first a reader, and some time afterwards, viz., in 1790, commenced the honourable work of the Ministry in the New Church, as before related. His labours have always been gratuitously performed, and gratefully acknowledged by the Members of his Society.*

* In the month of June, 1824, this Society presented to their Pastor an elegant silver cup and cover, richly chased, bearing suitable inscriptions, and dated 31st May, 1824.- ED.

The character which Mr. Sibly most deservedly sustains in the Church, is that of an upright, faithful, and interior Minister of the Word; a sedate, judicious, and zealous advocate of the doctrines of divine truth; a sincere, conscientious, and pious man; in short, one, of whom it may be truly said, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile," John i. 47.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 135

It will be recollected, that it was before stated, that a correspondence had taken place between the Society at Manchester and that in London, on the subject of Separation from the old Church; and that the London Society, after having formed themselves into a regular External and Visible Church, for the avowed purpose of worshiping the One True God of heaven and earth, even the Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, sent to their brethren at Manchester their "Reasons" for acting as they had done, with an affectionate recommendation to follow their example, if it should be thought worthy of imitation. This recommendation was contained in a Letter, dated Dec. 7, 1788, purporting to be "Reasons for separating from the Old Church, &c., in Answer to a Letter received from the Friends at Manchester;" and may be seen by referring to p. 75 above. The effect of this Letter began now to be apparent: for in the latter part of the year 1791, a meeting was held by the Society in Manchester to consider the propriety of openly declaring their sentiments to the world, and of instituting public worship in agreement with those truths, which they had so long embraced with their hearts. The result was, that a great majority of members present came to the resolution of withdrawing from the Established Church of England, in whose communion they had been educated, and by the divine blessing, of forming themselves into a distinct and separate body. Subscriptions were immediately opened for building a place of worship on a large and respectable scale; early in the spring of 1792, ground was taken in Peter Street, a most eligible situation; and such was the success of their efforts, that they were soon enabled to raise a spacious, commodious, and elegant Temple, devoted to the worship of the Lord, and the propagation of the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, in the populous and thriving town of Manchester.

In the meantime, while the erection of the external edifice was going on, the Rev. William Cowherd, curate to Mr. Clowes, of St. John's Church, who had joined the Society, and was engaged as their intended Minister, employed himself in preparing a Liturgy for the new place of worship. That of the Established Church he made the basis of his work, judging that might be an accommodation to the states of the people, and prove generally acceptable to them. What with pruning, clipping, and altering, in some places, phrases peculiar to the old exploded system; and what with adding, squeezing in, and dove-tailing, in other places, expressions and sentiments in agreement with the new dispensation, he aimed at giving the whole an appearance of consistency and legitimacy; when yet he might have known, as experience has since proved, that old things and new cannot cohere together.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 136 The highest of all authorities says, "No man seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment; else the new piece, that filled it up, taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles." Mark ii. 21, 22.*

* This Liturgy was printed in 1793, at Manchester, under the title of The Liturgy of the Lord's New Church, (signified by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation,) formed upon the plan of that of the Church of England. To which are added Forms of Baptism and the Holy Supper."- ED.

The following anonymous Letter (probably from Mr. Cowherd himself) was communicated to me for insertion in the New Jerusalem Journal, which was in the course of publication at that time.

       "To the Editor.

"Sir,                      "Manchester, Jan. 27, 1792.

"At Manchester, the receivers of Swedenborg's doctrines are now in general so disaffected to a separation, that they wish not any longer to separate their outward profession from their inward sentiments; nor their public acts of worship from their interior principles of charity and faith. They are, therefore, not only raising subscriptions for the building of a church, wherein they can conscientiously and unequivocally profess what they really believe; but at the same time, for the service of that Church, they are pruning the Liturgy of the Church of England, both from its dead and cumbersome branches, and likewise more especially from all those destructive undergrowths, springing from its wild root of Tritheism, which have been hitherto so productive of wild grapes,

"In this respect, indeed, they may be said to favour a separation; but it is such a separation, as the FATHER, or Divine Good of our Lord, is declared to practise on his Vine, the Church. I, the Truth itself, by means of the Word, am the true Vine, and my Father is the Husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, every apparent truth or false in the Church, not springing from good, and consequently not productive of use; likewise every merely nominal member of the Church, not grounded in charity, and consequently not performing good works, he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, every real truth, originating in good, and productive of use; likewise every true member of the Church, who, from charity by faith, doeth what is good, he purgeth, that it may bring forth more fruit,

"They cannot have a higher, they seek no other authority for their attempt. But the proper execution of their plan, they know to be as arduous, as it is important. A reform in religious ceremonies and worship, to become preferable to the others discarded, and generally admissable, needs, they are well convinced, mature deliberation, and various opinions. They would, therefore be much obliged to you, Sir, if in your useful Journal, you could give a place to the few ARTICLES OF RELIGION, which they have already framed from those of the Church of England. And they beg leave to request, from the respective Societies and readers, such remarks thereupon, as may be deemed pertinent and useful."

Then followed the Articles above alluded to, which were adopted by the Manchester Society. These Articles were signed W. C., and may be seen in the New Jerusalem Journal, p. 97, 98, and 169 to 173. As before observed, they appear to be a modification of the Articles of the Church of England, omitting various points contained in the old system, and adding others altogether new; which have the effect of tearing up the old garment, instead of framing a new and comely one; or, as the Lord says in the Gospel, of making the rent worse than it was before; also, in another point of view, of marring the old bottles, so that they burst, and the new wine, which was attempted to be poured into them, is actually spilled and lost.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 137 Several remarks on these Articles, so amended, appeared in the above Journal, being sent by different correspondents, one of whom concludes by giving it as his opinion, "That the friends at Manchester had better cut down the tree altogether, than spend their time in cutting off 'those destructive undergrowths, springing from its wild root;' for while the old root springs, it will find them more work to do, both above and below." See New Jerusalem Journal, p. 288.

It is, however, but justice to add, that the friends at Manchester, if ever they did wear the old garment above alluded to, have for some years thrown it aside, and are now to be seen clothed in their proper New Jerusalem attire, being "arrayed in robes of fine linen, clean and white:" or if ever they did make use of the old bottles for their new wine, they have long since ceased to give them a place in their sanctuary, and are now enjoying the happiness of drinking the new wine of the new kingdom out of new bottles prepared for them by the Lord of the vineyard.

The building was finished and opened for public worship in 1793. The crowds that attended were highly encouraging. It was evident, that a great sensation pervaded the town; and the New Jerusalem Church became the topic of conversation in almost every circle. Mr. Proud was soon after invited to assist Mr. Cowherd; but both being popular preachers, a little jealousy sprang up between them and their respective friends, which in the end occasioned the departure of Mr. Proud, and the sole occupation of the pulpit to revert to Mr. Cowherd again.

It appears, that Mr. Cowherd, from the time of his first receiving the doctrines of the New Church, had always manifested a tendency to run into extremes, and to adopt sentiments of an extravagant complexion, by no means in agreement with the dictates of sound judgment, or the enlightened views of the Author whom he professed to follow. This was soon discovered by some of the leading individuals of his congregation, who began to be dissatisfied with his doctrines, as well as with his conduct in other respects. He, therefore, some time after the removal of Mr. Proud, quitted the church in Peter Street, and taking premises in another part of the town, built a place by subscription for himself, in King Street, Salford, where he raised a society more subservient to his purposes than that which he had left, and ready to support him in all the whims which he successively broached among them. The last peculiarity which he hit upon, was that of abstinence from animal food, and from all kinds of fermented liquors.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 138 So essential and necessary did he represent a mere vegetable diet to be, in order, to form the true Christian life, that he made the strict observance of this practice the condition of admittance to the communion of the holy supper. And although it was well known, that many individuals of his Society, particularly weakly females, who persevered in the attempt beyond their natural strength, fell sacrifices to the task imposed upon them, still the command was rigorously enforced, and no relaxation whatever permitted. The Rev. Joseph Wright, of Keighley, Yorkshire, was one of Mr. Cowherd's correspondents, and pupils in the doctrine; and he, poor man, fell a victim to the delusion; as did also his master, Mr. Cowherd himself, in the year 1814.

Mr. Cowherd was succeeded in Peter Street, by the Rev. Mr. Dean, of Blackburn, in Lancashire, a gentleman of considerable ability as a preacher, though but superficially acquainted with the doctrines of the New Church, and entertaining (as he expressed himself in the pulpit) no higher opinion of Swedenborg, than he did of Luther, Calvin, or any other Reformer. From Manchester Mr. Dean was invited to London, where he resided a year or two, till he was engaged at Bristol. From thence he returned to Manchester, and was employed by Mr. Cowherd to officiate in a chapel erected by him in a neighbouring village, called Hulme.

On the departure of Mr. Dean from the church in Peter Street, the Rev. Richard Jones and Mr. Francis Marseilles Hodson, succeeded as joint Ministers to the church in that place. But, as this arrangement was afterwards found to be incompatible with the peace and harmony of the Society, Mr. Hodson for a time officiated alone. Soon afterwards, however, he vacated the pulpit, and Mr. Jones became the sole Minister of the place, where he continued to officiate gratuitously, to the entire satisfaction of the congregation, and the great benefit of the church at large, till his death, in 1832.

We now turn to the state of the New Church in America. It, was stated, p. 28, in what manner the Writings were first introduced into America, by Mr. James Glen. After his unsuccessful effort to rouse the attention of the citizens of Philadelphia to the new doctrines, he went to Demarara, in South America, the place he had chosen for his permanent residence. Here he succeeded in forming a small but respectable Society of intelligent and sincere admirers of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, which in all probability remains to the present day. His visit to Philadelphia, as before noticed, was at first apparently without fruit; but, through the zealous exertions of Miss Barclay and Mr. Bailey, the doctrines soon after his departure were published in that city, and began to excite the attention of the public.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 139 From Philadelphia they spread to other parts of the United States; but the first regular church, with a Minister at its head, appears to have been formed in the town of Baltimore, where the Rev. James Wilmer, a clergyman of the Episcopal Church, resided, and who, having cordially embraced the new doctrines, openly preached them to overflowing congregations. The following papers, communicated to me as Editor of the New Jerusalem Journal, in London, and inserted in that work, will be read with interest by those who delight to see the first streams of light from the rising sun irradiating and gilding the spiritual horizon of the New Church in a foreign land. The first is taken from the Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser, printed by W. Goddard and James Angell, April, 17,1792. The next is a Letter from Mr. Christian Kramer, describing the state of the Society in Baltimore.

"Messrs. GODDARD and ANGELL,

"On Saturday last a hand bill was circulated in this town, giving notice, that on the next day a gentleman would preach, at the Court-House, on the doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church. Novelty and curiosity induced me to go to the Court- House, where I found a number of other persons assembled, I believe from the same motives. I heard the Rev. Mr. Wilmer read a form of prayer and worship to Jesus Christ, as God; and I afterwards heard him deliver a discourse, from the 8th and 9th verses of the 2nd chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Colossians. I did not understand the religious principles and doctrines, which Mr. Wilmer asserted with great zeal, and I wish his sermon was published for information. As the doctrines of Mr. Wilmer contradicted the fundamentals of the religion (as I have understood) received by all the Christian world for above 1700 years, I confess I was astonished, and applied for information, to one of my neighbours, who put into my hands the inclosed papers, containing, as he told me, the faith, and a summary of the doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church, which I send you to publish for the consideration of the inhabitants of this town.

"Yours, &c.

       "Baltimore, April 3, 1792."                     "A. B."

"The CREED, or ARTICLES OF FAITH, of the New Church, called the New Jerusalem Church, (the members whereof call themselves Jerusalemites,*) as revealed by Jesus Christ to his servant, the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg; who declared, that, for twenty-five years before his death, he conversed with angels; and that Jesus Christ revealed to him the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures.

"* By way of reproach called SWEDENBORGERS."

"1. That God, the Creator of heaven and earth, is One in Essence, and in Person, in whom is a Divine Trinity, consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and that Jesus Christ is that God. 2. That God himself came down from heaven, (as Divine 'Truth, which is the Word,) and took upon him human nature, for the purpose of removing hell from man, of restoring the heavens to order, and of preparing the way for a New Church upon earth; and that herein consists the true nature of Redemption, which was effected solely by the omnipotence of the Divine Humanity of Jesus Christ. 3. The Sanctity of the Word, and that it containeth a threefold sense, namely, celestial, spiritual, and natural, which are united by correspondences; and that in each sense it is divine truth, accommodated to the angels of the three heavens, and also to men on earth. 4. That immediately on the death of the material body, (which will never be re-assumed,) man rises again as to his spiritual or substantial body, wherein he existeth in a perfect human form; and thus that death is only a continuation of life. 5. That the Last Judgment is accomplished in the world of spirits, 6. That the former heaven and the former earth, (mentioned in the Revelation,) or the Old Church, (that is, the present Christian Church, as existing both among Roman Catholics, and Protestants, with all the various sects that dissent from them,) are passed away; and that all things are become new. 7. That now is the Second Coming of Christ, not in person, but in the spiritual sense of his Holy Word, which is Himself; in other words, not in a personal appearance upon earth, but in the revelation (to Swedenborg) of the internal or spiritual sense of his Holy Word, whereby the human mind is now capable of receiving and understanding the spiritual truths therein contained in a rational manner.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 140 8. That the holy city, New Jerusalem, or the New Church, is now descending from God out of heaven. 9. That Jesus Christ is to be worshiped as the Only God, in whom is a Divine Trinity.

"The Heavenly DOCTRINE of the New Jerusalem Church, in another Form.

"1. That Jesus Christ is God. 2. That Jesus Christ, or God, is essential love and essential wisdom, or essential good and essential truth; and that as to divine truth (which is the Word, and which was God with God,) he came down, from heaven, and took upon him human nature, to restore to order all things which were in heaven, and which were in hell, and which were in the church; (as at that time the power of hell prevailed over the power of heaven, and on earth the power of evil prevailed over the power of good;) that he assumed Humanity to redeem men and angels; and that he afterwards fully glorified his Humanity, by uniting in it divine truth with divine good, or divine wisdom with divine love, and thus returned into his Divinity, in which he existed from eternity, together with and in his Glorified Humanity; or, in other words, he returned to the Father from whom he came. 3. That without the Lord's coming into the world, no flesh could be saved; and that all will be saved, who believe in him, and live a good life. 4. That Jesus Christ is to be worshiped in his Glorified Humanity, as the Only God of heaven and earth, and Supreme Governor of the universe. 5. That true celestial life consists in love to God, and charity towards our neighbour. 6. That, in order to salvation, man must live according to the ten commandments, (which comprise the substance of religion,) by shunning evils as sins against God. 7. That the Scriptures were written for the instruction and comfort of men on earth, and for the h happiness and improvement of angels in heaven. 8. That evil actions ought not to be done, because they are of the devil, and from the devil; and good actions ought to be done, because they are of God, and from God. 9. That the order, wherein man was originally created, was perverted and destroyed by the abuse of his free-will, and in consequence thereof all men are born in the love of self and of the world; and, therefore, no one can enter into the kingdom of God, except he be regenerated and born again of water and of the spirit, that is, by the truths of faith, and a life in conformity to them. 10. That the dogma, or established principles of the present Christian Church, that the Father was alienated from mankind, and that his wrath was appeased by the satisfaction which his Son made by atoning blood, is a mere spectre of the night, which vanisheth at the light of the morning. 11. That this world is full of good and bad angels, and they constantly endeavour to make men good or bad. When an infant is baptized, angels are present; and as soon as he is baptized, he is placed, by God, under their tuition, by whom they are kept in a state of receiving faith in the Lord; and as they grow up, and become capable of thinking and acting for themselves, the tutor-angels leave them, and they draw into association with them such spirits as make one with their life and faith. 12. That God is present (both as to his Divinity, and as to his Glorified Humanity,) at the administration of the holy supper.- By flesh, blood, bread, and wine, in a material sense, is meant the passion of the cross, in remembrance of which they were to be received; in a spiritual sense, by flesh and bread is meant the good of charity, and by blood and wine is meant the truth of faith and in a supreme sense, the Lord himself, with respect to the divine good of his love and the divine truth of his wisdom. By flesh and blood are also signified the divine good and divine truth contained in the Holy Word; and by eating and drinking thereof, is signified appropriation and spiritual nourishment. 13. That the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures, of baptism, of the Lord's supper, &c. &c., lay concealed until it was revealed, by God, to the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg; that Christianity, before this revelation, was little else than a mere name, and only, as it were, in a twilight state; that Christianity is now first beginning to dawn, and the New Church (meant by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation) is now to be established by Jesus Christ, who has been pleased to reveal the spiritual sense of the Word (or Scriptures) to Emanuel Swedenborg, and, together with it, the doctrine of Correspondences."

Copy of a LETTER from Mr. CHRISTIAN KRAMER, of Baltimore, directed to Mr. ROBERT HINDMARSH, of London, for the New Church at large in Great Britain.

"North America, Baltimore Town, April 10, 1792.

In the knowledge of Him who Was, Is, and Will Be, Jehovah manifested in the flesh,

"Dearly beloved Brethren and Friends,


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 141

"Although we are strangers one to another in the material body, yet the many living testimonies we find in your Magazines, which we received from our friend Bailey, in Philadelphia, create a living evidence in us, testifying that we have communion one with another, that we both drink out of that fountain of living water, which the Lord hath opened by his Divine Humanity, for the purification of our internal man, in obedience to that truth and grace which he manifested in his appearance in flesh, in redeeming us from the powers of darkness, when he captivated captivity, in which our understanding and will lay captivated; proclaiming liberty to us for reformation, repentance, and regeneration, as the only way to secure our everlasting happiness, consists in conjunction and unity with him who is Alpha and Omega, Jesus Christ, in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth bodily.

"In reading the Conference you held in London in the year 1791 = 35, we felt a living influence in our hearts, by which our strength was renewed to proceed forward in that life and truth which had been raised in us, and in which heaven only can be opened in our internal man. For I am fully convinced, that all bodily exercises, so far as they lead us not to the internals, are nothing but so many chains of darkness, in which our minds keep captivated in the mystery of iniquity, under a show of godliness, to our everlasting destruction. Our hearts are filled with gladness, to see the glory of the Lord manifested in and amongst you; but we must cry our leanness, and in thankfulness of heart, feed on the crumbs which fall from your table.

"Persuaded in our minds it will give you some satisfaction to be informed, that the doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church are springing up here, through the dark clouds of the invention of men who were principled in falses and self-love in their own wisdom, rejecting the plain counsels of the Lord laid down in the Word, against themselves, in which the minds of the generality lay locked up as in a prison;- for this reason I will give you a short account from my beginning down to my present situation.

"I was brought up in the Calvinist sect, in a religious manner, but never could believe that detestable notion of predestination. This caused me to inquire into the principles of all denominations, and comparing them with the Word of God, found them all in the greatest confusion, and inconsistent in themselves. I then began to read the Scriptures alone, and conversed with people about religion, but was nothing the better for it. At length I concluded it would be better for me to die in confusion and despair, than to go with a false assurance to an imaginary heaven; for the doctrine of three coequal distinct Persons, and yet a Father and a Son, that of satisfaction and imputation, I could not reconcile with the Word and sound reason. Thus I separated myself from all societies, and if I could have blotted out of my mind the deep impressions of a First Cause of all things, I would have been a perfect Atheist. There remained in my mind always a glimpse of light, of the purity of the religion of Jesus Christ; and this kept me up, walking between light and darkness, in hope of a better day, but continually confused and uneasy. Thus I kept myself separated for a number of years, and by this my mind was purged, as you may see, and preserved from drinking of the cup of abomination of the whore of Babylon, and prepared for the reception of better things.

"Being one day in discourse with a Methodist Preacher, I mentioned to him that I heard of Emanuel Swedenborg being a wonderful writer, likewise a madman. He informed me, that there was a Mr. John Cooper, on Fell's Point, who had some of his writings. I went to him, and got the book called True Christian Religion, printed by Robert Hindmarsh; and as my mind was emptied, I received that pure milk and unadulterated wine of the kingdom of God with joy, in which I now stand and grow in the internal man, am free of doubt and confusion, and my feet are fixed on a sure foundation, and I speak with a new tongue. Thus Cooper, Boyer, and myself were stigmatized Swedenborgers; and as out of the fulness of our hearts our tongues flow over, the Methodists were raised up in arms against us in the pulpit, and in their sectarian zeal told many false accusations and lies against the Baron and his followers; in consequence of which I have written letters to them, and shewed them their unjust proceedings. By this they were raised more, pronouncing hell and damnation against us. This brought a confusion and an inquiry amongst them; some would see the Baron's Writings, and as many as read them were convinced of their errors, and have left their former societies, and joined as. The Methodists are now quiet, and see their error in speaking against the Baron publicly, and are now contented with forbidding their people to read the Writings of the Baron. Thus were the wise caught in their own snares, in promoting that which they were determined to root out: so that nothing is left to them as a hope, only, as the doctrines are so insignificant, they will die away, as one of the Methodist Preachers told me a few days ago. We meet with many oppositions, and most from the Methodists: but we are determined to stand our ground; for we know, He that is with us is strong, He is the true and faithful Witness, the Word of God, the King of kings, and the Lord of Lords; and in our weakness we find his appearance opening our internals, and the living waters flowing from our mouth to the great confusion of the gainsayers, out of the circumcision.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 142

"We are here twenty-two in number, and are formed into a Society, professing two doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church; but none of the rich, the great, or the noble, are amongst us. Mr. James Wilmer, a clergyman of the Episcopal Church, has received the doctrines, and opened the Church, the 1st day of April, in the Court-House of this town, to a large concourse of people; took his text from Colossians ii. 7, 8; gave great satisfaction to the people in general, particularly to the better sort, and to the great mortification of the Methodists.

"Our friend Robert Carter, living at Nomony Hall, Westmoreland County, Virginia, who corresponds with you, sent us the Liturgy of the Church, with the Hymn Book composed by our friend Joseph Proud. The doctrine of the New Church gains ground daily; the few books we have are constantly among people of different denominations, and we have not half enough for the inquirers. We are fully convinced, that the doctrines would spread rapidly here, if we had a church; but as our circumstances are but low, we must have patience; we all live free of want, but have no money amongst us. A certain well-wisher to truth advised us to make a statement of our circumstances, and send it to you: this we have done in the above, and are sure you will take the same into your consideration, and as we have one cause at heart, hope you will assist us out of your fulness, in building a church; for we are fully convinced, that a separation from the Old Church is absolutely necessary; for besides the three Gods which they hold, in fact their doctrine of satisfaction, and imputed righteousness, grounded thereon, tends to root out all real good from the souls of men. Genuine truth is entirely rooted out of the Church, and she is become a dwelling-place for evil spirits and unclean beasts. Truth calls for us to go out from her; touch not, handle not; for the whore, the beast, and the false prophet, shall all be cast into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; and he that lies in one bed with her, shall receive the same reward. These things we leave to your consideration, and the issue to the Lord.

"The Life and Death of the Baron, with the Nine Queries, are reprinted here by Samuel and John Adams, Printers; the latter of whom is a member of the New Church. The familiar Letters of friend Mather, which he sent to me last fall, are to be reprinted here by subscription. The Liturgy, with the Hymns, are to be reprinted also. I add no more at present, but remain,

       "Your brother in the truth,
"To Mr. Robert Hindmarsh."              "CHRISTIAN KRAMER."

Soon after the receipt of this Letter, two others came to hand from the same quarter, one from the Rev. James Wilmer, and the other from the Society in Baltimore, extracts from which now follow:

Extract of a LETTER from the Rev. JAMES WILMER, of Baltimore, to Mr. ROBERT HINDMARSH, of London.

"Baltimore, State of Maryland, April 23, 1792.

"Dear Sir,

"As Preacher in the New Jerusalem Church, the first formed within the United States of America, I take the liberty to address you, and the Society through you. We have had vast trials; but the kingdom of our God being stronger than the powers of darkness, we trust, through the Divine Humanity, and doubt not, but we shall prevail. I was some time at Christ Church College, Oxford, though an American born, and for years past have been not satisfied with the Old Church. In a most wonderful manner the doctrines of the Honourable E. Swedenborg falling into my hands, I very soon became a sincere and zealous convert to the heavenly doctrines, and by permission opened them in the Court-House of this town the first Sunday in the present month, from Coloss. ii. 8, 9, to a very crowded and learned audience; and my proceedings were announced in the next paper, published in this town, with every degree of satisfaction, considering them at once striking at the errors that had been so long established. My next discourse was on the Sabbath following, to an uncommon audience, from 1 Epistle of John iv. 16. The third was from Gen. xviii 21: this and the first will be shortly published by particular desire. The body of the Church rests here with four worthy and respectable characters, now a standing committee for three months to come; and all your official information will be pleased to be directed to them, to the care of Mr. Henry Didier, or Mr. Robert Mickle, merchants, Baltimore, Maryland.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 143


"I forgot to mention, that I was a regular ordained Clergyman by the late Dr. Terrick, Bishop of London, and have now cast my everlasting all in the heavenly Jerusalem. Our numbers at present are but small, and few of us rich. But all things possible with the Lord; and as the heavenly seed, we believe, has taken deep root in this soil, we trust ere long to see a glorious temple reared to the alone God, the Lord Jehovah.

A Mr. Carter from Virginia, lately sent me the Psalms by E. S., also a Form of prayer done in London. Every edition or recent sermons will oblige your faithful friend and servant in the Lord Jesus Christ. We have rented a building in this town for three months. With every good wish, I have the honour to be respectfully,

       "Sir, your affectionate Servant,

              "J. WILMER."

Extract of a LETTER from the SOCIETY at Baltimore, to the SOCIETY in London.

                                          "Baltimore, April 25, 1792=36.

"Dearly beloved Brethren,

"Finding by your Conference of April, 1791=35, held in Great Eastcheap, London, a Committee appointed for the purpose of settling all business of correspondence, as well as other matters concerning the Church; likewise having an invitation from Mr. Ralph Mather, of Liverpool, to open a correspondence with you, now that we have formed ourselves into a Society, we address you as a body, though small, yet we hope, by the grace of Jehovah, in whose cause we are associated, to increase and multiply; and that the grain of mustard seed, which is cast into our garden, will grow up and shortly become a great tree, so that our citizens may come and lodge in its branches. We have great encouragement to hope for the event, as we have an enlightened community; yet, at present, we encounter many difficulties from our want of books to circulate the doctrines, and a settled place to preach them in.

"The Reverend Mr. Wilmer, formerly of the Church of England, has been raised up to preach the doctrines unto us, in which office he is indefatigable, and divides his time, by sometimes reading, out of what books we have, such parts as are best suited to the reception of those that are unacquainted with the doctrines; which answers the purpose of raising a curiosity, and consequently a desire to read the writing", and which we find ourselves at a great loss to supply them with, as we have but very few books at present, and we are convinced, if they were more general, they would answer an excellent purpose to propagate the divine truths.

"Our worst enemies here are the Methodists, who are a large body of people, and take much pains to prevent any communications between us, by ordering the members of their Society not to read any of the books. But we pray for the enlargement of their minds for the reception of truth, and for the destruction of bigotry, which has so long held the world in darkness; but light now begins to prevail, and stupid bigotry vanishes before its splendor.

"Since the first beamings of the true light in this place, the wars and rumours of wars, spoken of in the Revelations, begin to make their appearance, dissentions in various societies of the Old Church having lately taken place.

"We are persuaded, that numbers begin to feel a want, and we would invite them to come and lodge in the branches of this heavenly dispensation; but as every rational and enlightened mind would wish to taste of our fruit before they swallow it, to know its excellence, as a more certain source of knowledge, (as we are all but young in the doctrine, and not fully able to answer the numberless questions that are asked us by sticklers for doctrinal profession,) we would wish to have more of the books, as we find them of infinitely more service even with those characters, than our answers to their questions, which naturally beget an argument.

"Our Church was opened the 1st instant in our Court-House, where Mr. Wilmer delivered an enlightened discourse to a very respectable audience, from chap. ii. of Colossians, 8th and 9th verses; and on the Sunday following he preached in the Dunkards' Meeting-house, from the 1st Epistle of John, chap. iv. and 16th verse. But as these were only temporary indulgences, we have now taken the old theatre for one quarter of a year, until we can procure some better accommodation, or raise a Temple, which, in our present infant state, we are not able to accomplish. Yet we hope to surmount these difficulties, and mean soon to put a subscription on foot for the purpose of raising some money, and flatter ourselves those of other societies will assist us. In the mean time we would beg your assistance and support, to forward our work.

"The Society have formed themselves after the manner of your's, as seen by your Conference: we would therefore wish you to consider all letters sent prior to this as from private persons, and not from the Society as a body.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 144 May the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ attend us all, and forward us in His great work.

"We remain.

       "Your obedient humble Servants in Him,


"N. B. Please to direct your letters to Mr. Henry Didier, merchant, Market Street, Baltimore. Please also to send us the plan of your Temple in London, and the Temple in Birmingham."

In the beginning of the year 1793, General Washington, being then President of Congress, made a tour through the United States, each of which presented him with an Address expressive of their regard for his person and public services. Amongst others, the readers of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, and members of the New Church at Baltimore, presented him with one on that occasion; which being couched in energetic terms, very different from the usual compositions of that nature, and as rationally and manfully answered by General Washington, is here inserted, together with the answer.

An ADDRESS to GEORGE WASHINGTON. Esq., President of the United States, from the Members of the NEW CHURCH at Baltimore.


"While the nations of the earth, and the people of United America especially, have, in their various denominations, paid the tribute of respectful deference to the illustrious President thereof; permit, Sir, a Society, however small in number, yet sincere, they trust, in their attachment, to offer up, in the dawn of their institution, that mark of dutiful esteem, which well becometh new associations, to the Chief Magistrate of America.

"We presume not, Sir, to enter into a reiterated panegyric of matchless virtues or exalted character: but judging of causes by effects, we are led to believe, that you were a chosen vessel for great and salutary purposes, and that both in your actions and in your conduct you justly stand one of the first disinterested and exemplary men upon earth. Neither in this Address can we, were it expected, enter into a detail of the profession of our faith; but we are free to declare, that we feel ourselves among the number of those who have occasion to rejoice, that the Word literally is spiritually fulfilling; that a new and glorious dispensation, or fresh manifestation of divine love, hath commenced in our land; when, as there is but One Lord, so His name is becoming One throughout the earth; and that the powers of light, or truth and righteousness, are, in an eminent degree, universally prevailing, and even triumphing over darkness; when all corruptions in Church and State shall be corrected to the gospel state of divine love and wisdom, and the love of God and man be the only ground of action throughout Christendom.

"Oh! Sir, could we, without being charged with adulation, pour out the fulness of our souls, to the enlightened conduct of him, who stands chief amongst the foremost of men, what a volume of Truth might we deservedly offer to the name of WASHINGTON, on the ALTAR OF LIBERTY, uncircumscribed!

"Allow us, by the first opportunity, to present to Your Excellency, among other tracts, the Compendium of the New Church, signified by the New Jerusalem in the Revelations, as the readiest mean to furnish you with a just idea of the heavenly doctrines.

"That the Lord Jesus, whom alone we acknowledge as 'the True God and Eternal Life,' will preserve you long to reign in the hearts of the people, and finally to shine as a gem of the brightest lustre, a star of the first magnitude, in the unfading mansions above, is the fervent aspiration of your faithful fellow-citizens and affectionate brethren."

"Baltimore, 22nd Jan. 1793."

To this His Excellency returned the following Answer:-


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 145


"To the Members of the NEW CHURCH at BALTIMORE.

"It has been my pride to merit the approbation of my fellow-citizens, by a faithful and honest discharge of the duties annexed to those stations, in which they have been pleased to place me; and the dearest rewards of my services have been those testimonies of esteem and confidence, with which they have honoured me. But to the manifest interposition of an over-ruling Providence, and to the patriotic exertions of United America, are to be attributed those events, which have given us a respectable rank among the nations of the earth.

"We have abundant reason to rejoice, that in this land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition; and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart. In this enlightened age, and in this land of equal liberty, it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest offices that are known in the United States.

"Your prayers for my present and future felicity are received with gratitude; and I sincerely wish, gentlemen, that you may, in your social and individual capacities, taste those blessings which a gracious God bestows upon the righteous."

                     "GEO. WASHINGTON."


       CHAP. VIII.

THE Fifth General Conference was held at the Chapel in Great East Cheap, London, on Easter Monday, the 1st, and continued to the 5th of April, 1793=37. The Rev. JAMES HINDMARSH, of London, being the Senior Minister present, was unanimously appointed President, and Mr. ROBERT HINDMARSH, of London, Secretary. The subject which chiefly engaged the attention of this Conference, was the best mode of managing the spiritual and temporal affairs of the New Church. After weighing the advantages and disadvantages peculiar to the several systems of Ecclesiastical Government adopted by different classes of professing Christians; and on a deliberate investigation of the principles laid down in the Holy Word, and inculcated by Emanuel Swedenborg in his Theological Writings, - the members present were of opinion, that the Episcopal Form of Government is in itself more excellent than those of a popular nature; that it is more in correspondence with the Lord's government of his Church in the heavens; that it bears a nearer resemblance to the order inscribed on creation at large, but particularly on the human form, in which the subordination of all parts of the body under one head is most strikingly evident; and that therefore it is more congenial with the spirit of the New Church, which ever aims to unite to the purest essence the most perfect and durable form.

On the subject of the Civil or Temporal Government of the New Church, it was concluded, that all places set apart for public worship ought to be vested in such Lay persons as are proprietors or tenants of the same, in Trust for the benefit of those who should assemble therein.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 146 A plan was also laid down for what was then thought to be the best mode of accomplishing that object, not indeed with the expectation that it would be itself the final arrangement to be adopted by the Church, but rather as a hint to be improved upon, when further legal assistance should be procured. This has since been done at the Fourteenth General Conference, held at Derby in the year 1821 when a Deed was executed, declaring what is meant by, and the persons composing, the General Conference of the New Church, signified by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation; and another Deed, appointing Trustees to receive lands, &c., for the benefit of the said New Church.

At the same Conference of 1793, a Form for the Ordination of Ministers in the New Church, and another for the Consecration of Priests, or Ministers having authority to ordain others, were brought forward, not as perfect forms, but as general outlines to be matured by the better judgment of those who might be concerned in the future establishment of order in the Church. The first-mentioned form, or that for the Ordination of Ministers, was nearly the same as that used on the 1st of June, 1788, which formed the basis of the several Ordinations which have taken place since that time. The form of the Consecration of Priests, or Ordaining Ministers, is a modification of the other, adapted to the circumstances of the case. Both of these forms have been improved, and are to be found in the new Liturgy, containing all the public services of the Church, which was prepared and printed by order of the General Conference, in the year 1828, in the hopes of establishing Uniformity of worship in all the societies of the New Church in the kingdom. Occasion being taken, in the Minutes of the Fifth General Conference, to speak of the administration of The Holy Supper to persons under the years of maturity, a quotation of some importance was made from the Arcana Coelestia, n. 10, 225, which is to the following effect. "Man from infancy to old age undergoes several states. The first is from his birth to the fifth year of his age: this is a state of ignorance, and of innocence in ignorance, and is called Infancy. The second is from the fifth to the twentieth year: this is a state of instruction and science and is called Childhood or Boyhood. The third is from the twentieth to the sixtieth year: this is a state of intelligence, and is called Adolescence, Youth, and Manhood. The fourth or last state is from the sixtieth year of his age upwards: this is a state of wisdom, and of innocence in wisdom, and is called Old Age. While man is in his first and second state, he does not think or judge from himself, but from his teachers; consequently he is incapable of having faith until he enters upon his third state, which commences from his twentieth year. This also is the reason why none were permitted to go out to war, who were under twenty years of age, as in Numbers i. 2, 3, 18, &c.; chap. xxvi. 2, 4."


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 147

From the above, and other similar passages, it is inferred, that none ought to be admitted to the Holy Supper in the New
Church, until they have arrived at twenty years of age; for until then they cannot be said to have faith, neither can they undergo states of spiritual temptation, without which previously sustained, at least in some degree, the Holy Supper will not only be inefficacious towards perfecting the work of regeneration, but may even suffer by an abuse of its sanctity.

In the Minutes of this Conference notice is taken of a work written and published by me in the preceding year, entitled, Letters to Dr. Priestley, &c., in Defence of the New Church; and it is there stated, that "the manuscript of that work was read at several meetings of the members of the New Church in London, whose entire approbation it then met with; and that the same is now also approved of by this Conference, as conveying a just sense of the doctrines of the New Church, as given in the writings of Swedenborg, on the great subjects of religion, and of the order of civil society, as founded on the divine authority of Revelation."

At the conclusion of the Minutes of Conference for 1793, notice was given, that the next Annual Meeting of the members of the New Jerusalem, would be held in London, on the 21st of April, 1794=38. But such meeting did not take place at the time specified. The General Conferences were discontinued for the space of fourteen years, that is, until the year 1807*, when they were again revived in that year, and the succeeding one, 1808; after which they were again discontinued for seven years more, until the year 1815, from which time they have been regularly held every year either in London, Manchester, Derby, Birmingham, or elsewhere.

* The Conference of 1807 was held in York Street Chapel, St. James's Square, London. The Rev. Messrs. M. Sibly and J. Proud were joint Presidents, and the Rev. J. Hodson Was Secretary.

"The Conference of 1808 was held in the New Jerusalem Temple, Newhall Street, Birmingham; the Rev. J. Proud was President, and Mr. Thomas Dawes, Secretary.

Conferences of the Three London Societies were held in 1813, 1814, and 1815; including fifteen meetings held at the various chapels.

The General Conference of 1815 was held in Peter Street, Manchester; the Rev. R. Hindmarsh was President, and the Rev. Richard Jones, Secretary.- ED.

The Society remaining in Great East Cheap being small in number, after the secession of Mr. Sibly and his friends, as already stated, and the situation of the chapel being also very obscure, in a small, narrow court leading out of the street, resolved, at the expiration of the year 1793, to quit the place, after having held it for the space of six years. During that time birth had been given to numerous Societies for the exercise of public worship in Great Britain, America, the West Indian Islands, &c., all formed after the model of that in Great East Cheap, and all bearing within them the seeds of divine truth, for the further and continual propagation of the Church.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 148

But besides the Societies which had been formed in different parts of the world, for the avowed purpose of worshiping the Lord agreeably to the doctrines of the New Church, and of maintaining those doctrines in an open and public manner, there were many individuals of eminence who privately embraced them, and were most anxious to promote their success, by encouraging the publication of all Swedenborg's Writings. Among the numerous instances of this kind that came to my knowledge, I may here be permitted to notice the ardour of affection for the truth, which was manifested by one gentleman of distinguished ability in the medical profession. This was the celebrated Dr. Ford, who was said to be Accoucheur to her late Majesty Queen Charlotte, the Mother of his present Majesty William the Fourth. He frequently honoured me with his correspondence, and once paid me a personal visit; when, after some conversation on the doctrines, he gave me general orders to supply him with every new work, as it passed through the press, both those of Swedenborg's own writing, and those which might be published by others in their defence and support. "But," added he, "I have no desire to see anything in the way of opposition to them: for having most carefully examined the nature of Swedenborg's testimony, and after the fullest conviction of his perfect agreement with the Divine Word, I cannot think, at this advanced period of my life, of losing my time in reading any other works of Theology than those which flowed from his pen, or such as maintain the truth as he has delivered it. All others I consider as nugatory, to say the least of them, and utterly unworthy of my attention."

The same spirit which was manifested by Dr. Ford, I have been well informed, actuated his worthy brother, the late Mr. Ford, at one time the chief magistrate of Bow-street office. When asked how it was that he discharged the troublesome duties of his situation with so much regularity and order, as he was known to do, in the multifarious concerns that were constantly brought before him, and which were calculated to embarrass men of ordinary feeling and capacity, he answered, "That it was by divine assistance, which be implored every morning of his life, before he entered upon the arduous duties he had undertaken to perform. His first employment, after rising from his bed, was to read a chapter in the Holy Word, and some portion of the Writings of Baron Swedenborg; by which means his mind was fortified, when he went forth into the world, with a due sense of the obligation he was under to act faithfully in the discharge of his duty to his neighbour, and to society at large: and it was from a conscientious regard to those lessons of justice and judgment, which he derived from the sources above-mentioned, that he was able to surmount all the difficulties of his situation with comparative ease to himself, and satisfaction to the public."


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 149

Other examples of the kind might be adduced, in proof of the efficacy and value of Divine Revelation, in communicating to the upright and sincere Christian both the desire and the delight of doing good, according to the dictates of wisdom, judgment, and discretion. This is one great end, for which the Sacred Scriptures were given; and it is to the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, which so beautifully illustrate them, that we are indebted for a clear view of the best and most perfect system of morality and religion, that ever yet appeared in the world. Judging, therefore, of the new doctrines by the result consequent on their reception by the individuals named above, and by many others, no less distinguished in the walks of public life, and equally attentive to the calls of duty in their own particular spheres, there is abundant reason to be thankful to the Divine Providence for raising up a New Church at this day, whose object is to promote, among all classes of the community, a just knowledge of the person and character of the One True God, Jesus Christ, and the necessity of living, on all occasions, and under all circumstances, in strict conformity to his divine commandments.

When we reflect on the humble efforts of a small and comparatively insignificant body to rouse the attention of mankind to their best interests, by publicly proclaiming from the pulpit, as well as by the press, and by other means, the commencement of a new era of the world in the Second Advent of the Lord, and the actual descent of the New Jerusalem, according to predictions now first understood in the Church; and when we further consider the extraordinary success, which has marked every step of the career of this and other Societies, so far beyond the most sanguine expectations that could have been reasonably entertained; we are led to admire and adore that good Providence, whose mercy and truth have never ceased, in all ages, to attend the people of his choice, and still continue to bless his inheritance. Most truly has it been said, "A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation." Isa. lx. 22. Of Zion also it is written, "Before she travailed, she brought forth: before her pain came, she was delivered of a man-child. Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day, or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children." Isa. lxvi. 7, 8.

Every event, great or small, must have its beginning, first in the spiritual world, and secondly in the natural world, before it can be full and complete.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 150 The New Jerusalem state first began in the spiritual world: from that it descended into the natural world, by a revelation of those divine truths and heavenly doc trines, which were to form its peculiar character, and become the rule of life to all who should enter the holy city, after its descent upon earth. This revelation was given to Emanuel Swedenborg, the chosen instrument for making known to the world the genuine sense of the Sacred Scriptures; and includes, among other things,- 1. The knowledge of the One True God, Jesus Christ, his essential attributes and character, together with a just elucidation of the Divine Trinity in his adorable Person. 2. The true nature of that redemption, or deliverance from the powers of bell, which he effected by the assumption and glorification of his Humanity. 3. The universality of the Divine Mercy and Providence, over-ruling the minutest events of human life, and furnishing to all the nations and individual inhabitants of the earth the means of their salvation. 4. The necessity of regeneration, its nature, progressive stages, and final result. 5. The resurrection of man immediately after the death of the body, or his entrance into the spiritual world, in a spiritual and substantial body, perfectly distinct from the earthly or material covering, which is consigned to the grave, and will never be raised again, because it can never become the subject of eternal life. 6. His eternal state hereafter, either in heaven or in hell, according to the ruling love, or prevailing bias of mind, which formed his character in this life, and which, still continuing with him in the other, can never be changed to eternity. 7. The true nature and effects of the last judgment, the second coming of the Lord, and the descent of the New Jerusalem from heaven to earth; together with many other interesting and important subjects, never before clearly understood in the Christian Church, but now at length happily revealed, for the benefit of mankind at large.

When these great truths were published to the world in the works of that extraordinary man above-named, then, spiritually and scripturally speaking, "was brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron," Rev. xii. 5. By the man-child is signified the doctrine of the Church received in the understanding and in the thought; and by the woman, which brought forth the man-child, is signified the New Church in the heavens, from which that doctrine descended. By her travailing in birth, and being pained to be delivered, as stated in the 4th verse of the said chapter, is denoted the difficult reception of the new doctrine on the part of those to whom it is made known. This appears to have been literally the fact: for on the first promulgation of these doctrines, they met with a violent opposition from the advocates for a Tripersonality in the God-head, and the principles of solifidianism; and even with those who afterwards most sincerely embraced the truth, much difficulty was encountered, before they could be emancipated from their former errors, and be brought to see divine truth in its own proper light.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 151 But it is added, that the man-child was caught up unto God, and to his throne; by which is signified,
that, notwithstanding the hostility manifested against the new doctrine, it was still preserved by the Lord, through the ministry or mediation of angels, for the use of posterity. To "rule all nations with a rod of iron," is to prove and confirm the doctrine by truths from the literal sense of the Word, and by rational arguments, drawn even from the light of nature, to convince those among the gainsayers who are open to conviction, or willing to acknowledge the truth when seen.

Hitherto then the New Jerusalem had not descended with all its fulness of effect. Its doctrines were indeed clearly and plainly announced; but they could not as yet be received, except by a few, who formed a kind of nucleus for the future increase of the Church. They were, therefore, (like the perceptions of the Most Ancient Church, which were reduced to doctrine, and represented by Enoch, Gen. v. 24,) placed by the Divine Providence in a kind of abeyance, quiescence, or apparent non-existence, for a series of years, though in reality under the immediate protection of Heaven. This state continued until such time as preparation was made in the spiritual world, and thereby in the natural, for the more full reception and open manifestation of the new doctrines. For twenty years and upwards after the publication of these doctrines by the Author, which first made their appearance in the original Latin, in 1749 to 1758, in 1763, and afterwards at intervals from 1764 to 1771*, when his last work, entitled Vera Christiana Religio, or True Christian Religion, &c., was published, the Church may be said to have been in the wilderness or desert, as described in the 12th chapter of the Revelation. It was to be found only among those, who, embracing the doctrines with their heart and understanding, still continued in communion with the perverted and desolated Church, surrounded by their enemies, the spirits of the dragon, yet providentially and wonderfully protected from their baneful influence. During this time the New Church was insensibly gaining strength; individuals of high character, both in England and on the Continent, as well as in America, were zealous in spreading the doctrines; and some of the clergy in particular, distinguished themselves by their labours in translating the writings which contained those doctrines, and in various other ways recommending them to the notice of the public. Among these were the Rev. Thomas Hartley, of East Malling; in Kent; and the Rev. John Clowes, of Manchester, of whom honourable mention has already been made in this History of the New Church.

* About the year 1769, Swedenborg appears to have presented his published works to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge; in whose Libraries many of them are still preserved.- ED.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 152

The Church being thus provided with champions capable of taking the field, and withstanding all the assaults of its enemies; and "the time, yea the set time," being arrived for building up the walls of Jerusalem, and raising a temple within it for the external worship of the Lord, in agreement with its internal worship, it seems to have been an arrangement of the Divine Providence, that a Society should be now formed in the natural world, to bring into ultimate effect the great ends and uses of the new dispensation. Accordingly a small Society was formed in London in the year 1783, first for reading, conversing upon, and publishing the doctrines of the New Church; and afterwards, as circumstances favoured the design, for instituting public worship, as the last visible proof of the descent of the New Jerusalem from heaven to earth.* This took place (after a few month's solemn previous preparation) in the beginning of the year 1788, in the manner already described.**

* The Vera Christiana Religio was translated by Mr. Clowes in 1781, and the same year a small Society was formed at Bolton, in Lancashire, for reading that work, which met monthly for the space of seven years.- ED.

** About this time a Society of the New Church was inaugurated at Moscow, but was speedily suppressed. In 1789, there were readers at Lisbon, including some Friars. The same year a number of wealthy and zealous friends formed themselves into "a Society of the Friends of Peace" A similar Society was formed in the following year at Rouen, which included some of the Chief National Guard.- ED.

It is worthy of observation, that the predictions contained in the book of Revelation, concerning the commencement of this New Church, have been successively verified and realized in the very order in which they were given. The two essentials of this Church, which involve all the other doctrines as intimately connected with them, are the following:- 1. That the Lord Jesus Christ is the Only God of heaven and earth, and that his Humanity is Divine. 2. That conjunction with the Lord, and consequently salvation, is effected by a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue. These two essentials are signified by the two witnesses spoken of in the 11th chapter of the Revelation, of whom it is said, that they were to prophesy a thousand two hundred and three-score days, clothed in sackcloth; that on their testimony being finished, the beast ascending out of the bottomless pit would make war with them, overcome them, and kill them; that their dead bodies, being reputed unworthy of burial, would lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified; that after three days and a half the spirit of life from God would enter into them, enabling them to stand upon their feet; and lastly, that they would ascend up to heaven in a cloud, even in the sight of their enemies.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 153 All this was verified on the first promulgation of the two essential doctrines above mentioned. They were slighted, rejected, and even vilified, as unworthy of notice: thus the enemies of truth were violently opposed to them, and in their own estimation confuted them, and for a season apparently extinguished them. But after a time new recipients of divine truth were raised up, who, on close and careful examination, found the doctrines to be strictly in agreement with the sacred Scriptures; and thus the doctrines themselves may be said to have received new spiritual life from the Lord in the minds of men, influencing both their internal and their external conduct. Still, however, the hostility of professing Christians to these two essentials of the New Church was so general, that no great success could as yet be anticipated. They were therefore permitted to slumber, as it were, till a more favourable opportunity should occur for their dissemination, and in the meantime they were preserved by the Divine Providence for the use of a succeeding race.

So again in the 12th chapter of the Revelation, where mention is made of the birth of the man-child, which the woman brought forth, and by which are understood not only the two essentials above specified, but other leading and most important doctrines of the New Church, it is clearly predicted, that they would meet with continued opposition from those represented by the dragon. As yet no hint is given, that external public worship could with safety be undertaken by the New Church on earth; but only that "to the woman (or Church) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place; where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent," ver. 14; and that "the earth helped the woman, and opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth," ver. 16. But in chapter 14, when the New Church was about to emerge from the difficulties that oppressed her, mention is for the first time made of "preaching the everlasting gospel unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people," ver. 6: and these are exhorted to "worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters," ver. 7. Again, in the 15th chapter, it is said, that "they who had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his name, and over the number of his name, did sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb;" and that "all nations shall come and worship before the Lord, because his judgments are made manifest," ver. 2 to 4. In the 19th chapter also it is said, that "the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready," ver. 7.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 154 By the marriage of the Lamb is signified the full conjunction of the Lord with his New Church; and by his wife making herself ready, is signified that the members of that Church, on their separation from the Old Churches, were to be collected together, initiated, and instructed. They are also exhorted to "gather themselves together unto the supper of the great God," ver. 17; that is to the New Church of the Lord, and to conjunction with him. Moreover, the apostle John, who represented the Church on earth, was cautioned against worshiping an angel, or a deceased man, as a great portion of the Christian world has long been in the habit of doing, and expressly commanded to worship God, ver. 10; which injunction is again repeated in the 21st chapter, ver. 9.

All these predictions of the Divine Word have been realized both in the spirit and in the letter. The Church was in the wilderness or desert for a number of years. Its doctrines were ridiculed, and treated with the utmost contempt, for a time, times, and half a time, that is, from the period of their first publication, when every truth of the Word was completely lost sight of and destroyed, until the appointed time when the scattered remnants of the house of Israel were collected together into one small, but visible body, every year increasing its numbers, and carrying it onward to a state of further maturity and perfection.* With respect to myself, as one of the individuals allowed to share in the honours of composing that small body, I may be permitted to add, that, born in 1759, during the reign of the Second George, when the great doctrines of the New Church were first promulgated, and having been mercifully preserved through the whole of the lengthened reign of George the Third, in whose time their publication was completed, and their reception among men began to change the universal aspect of affairs in the religious world, I have had, with many others now living, the high privilege of witnessing the commencement of an era, which can never be forgotten in the annals of mankind; an era, which being long foretold in the Records of Divine Revelation, brings with it the dawn of innumerable benefits and blessings for the human race, to be gradually but amply realized in all the future ages of the Church.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 155 Already, the shades of night have disappeared; the tempest has subsided; the clouds are dispersed; and the glory of the heavens is advancing in the east. The morning is begun; the melody of spring is everywhere heard in the land; and now at length the Sun - the Sun of Righteousness appears above the horizon, with healing and salvation in his wings; that Sun, of which it is written, "It shall no more go down;" but "its light shall be increased sevenfold, as the light of seven days." Isa. lx. 20; chap. xxx. 26.

* Wesley's slanderous attack on Swedenborg and his Writings, had appeared in the Sixth Volume of the Arminian Magazine. Another infamous work appeared about 1790, entitled, Swedenborg Triumphant, or Intelligence Extraordinary from New Jerusalem; being pious and political dialogues of the living with the dead." By Peregrinus Spiritualis. Another bore the title, Jesus our Elder Brother, &c., In Answer to Besor's Notions, (a Member of the New Jerusalem Church,] in his Book entitled, "Jesus Christ the True God and only Object of Supreme Adoration." By John Dawson, Minister of the Gospel, Evesham. Among others, one appeared in 1794, published at Manchester, entitled, An Inquiry into the Commission and Doctrine of the New Apostle, Emanuel Swedenborg, &c. By a Member of the Old Church. pp. 68. The Author of this scandalous perversion of truth was, I believe, the Rev. - Fordyce, then an Independent Minister, a Socinian in 1812, and afterwards a Deist.- ED.

Having thus witnessed the commencement and progress of the New Church, from its first rise to its present state of comparative maturity and success, and having travelled with my much esteemed companions through all the difficulties and trials of the journey, from the day in which we made our escape out of Egypt, until we reached the promised land of Canaan, I can truly say, that, after the wonders we beheld while in the land of Ham, we passed in safety through the Red Sea, the Lord going before us by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead us in the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give us light, Exod. xiii. 21; while the waters were a wall unto us on our right hand, and on our left, chap. xiv. 22; that having reached the wilderness, we were abundantly supplied with the true bread of life that cometh down from heaven, and with streams of living water perpetually gushing out of the Rock, chap. xvi. 14, &c.; chap. xvii. 6; that our enemies prevailed not against us, because in all our contests with them the hands of Moses were continually lifted up towards heaven, chap. xvii. 11; that we heard with reverence the divine law, as delivered by Jehovah on mount Sinai, chap. xx. 1 to 17; that we saw the back-parts of the same Jehovah, while all his goodness passed before us, chap. xxxiii. 19 to 23; that in all our encampments in the wilderness, and journeyings through it, the ark of the covenant was constantly either in the midst of us, or leading us in the way to the desired land of milk and honey, where we have at length arrived, and are now enjoying the inheritance marked out by lot to each of our tribes, Josh. xiv. to xix. "For the Lord hath given unto us all the land which he sware to give unto our fathers; and we possess it, and dwell therein. And the Lord hath given us rest round about, according to all that he sware unto our fathers: and there hath not stood a man of all our enemies before us; the Lord hath delivered all our enemies into our hand. There hath not failed aught of any good thing which the Lord hath spoken unto the house of Israel: all is come to pass." Josh. xxi. 43 to 45. "Now, therefore, we will fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth. For the Lord our God he it is that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people, through whom we passed," Josh. xxiv. 14, 17.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 156 And behold, "the Lord our God hath given us rest on every side so that there is neither adversary, nor evil occurrent," 1 Kings, v. 4. He hath also "chosen for himself a place, in which to put his Name," and hath made it the habitation of his holiness, Deut. xii. 5, 11, &c. He hath built for us, "a city of pure gold, like unto clear glass," called the New Jerusalem, having "walls which can never be demolished, and gates which shall never be shut." He himself is in the midst thereof, "its temple, its glory, and its light. And the glory and honour of the nations shall be brought into it. But there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they only who are written in the Lamb's book of life," Rev. xxi. 2, 12, 18, 22, 26, 27.

Viewing, then, the rise and progress of the Church, such as it has actually been, and comparing the changed state of society since the first promulgation of the new doctrines till the present day, with the predictions contained in the Word concerning the commencement of the New Jerusalem, we are fully warranted in concluding, That now indeed is the time of the Lord's Second Advent into the world, when he was to be seen "coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, to gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other," Matt. xxiv. 30, 31; and when he was "to receive dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him; whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and whose kingdom is that which shall not be destroyed," Dan. vii. 14.

The Chapel in Great East Cheap being now given up, the remnant of the Society that occupied it to the last, kept themselves together, by meeting at each other's houses, till the year 1796, when ground was purchased for the erection of a new place of worship in Cross Street, Hatton Garden. In the meantime the Society, under the pastoral care of Mr. Sibly, which had branched off from the original stock in Great East Cheap, as already described, continued to prosper in their little Chapel in Red Cross Street, Cripplegate.* They were for some time the only Society in London, that exercised public worship according to the principles of the New Church; and it was owing to their zeal and affection for the doctrines, that the New Church still maintained a respectable footing in the metropolis of the country. Other Societies, also, which had been formed in different parts of the kingdom, contributed to give stability to the Church, by their orderly and regular attention to the duties of public worship.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 157 And where difficulties arose, which were to be expected in the infant state of a people either vigorously struggling for their rights of conscience and independence, or patiently sustaining the open assaults of their enemies, they were generally surmounted in the end, and by the blessing of Divine Providence were made subservient to the purification and growth of the Church.

* This Society removed from Store Street to Red Cross Street in 1793. The Chapel was opened May 12th.- ED.

About this time, viz., in the year 1794, an unsuccessful attempt was made in London to found an institution for distributing, gratis, among the poor, Bibles, Testaments, the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg, and such other books and small tracts, as are calculated to promote the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem. An Address to this effect, to the readers of the Writings, was circulated among all the Societies of the New Church, yet without producing the end contemplated. It is sufficient to shew, however, that the members of the New Church, if not in their aggregate capacity, at least as individuals, were among the first to shew a disposition to promote the benefit of society, by providing the poor population of the country with such books and small tracts, as were best calculated to guard them against the prevailing infidelity of the times, and to instruct them in their duties to God and their neighbour. The following is an extract from the Address then circulated:

"In the year 1783, a few gentlemen associated together for this purpose. Their meetings were held first in the Inner Temple, and afterwards in the Middle Temple, near Fleet Street; but latterly they have, in a great measure, been discontinued. The advantages, however, arising from that Society have long been sensibly felt and acknowledged. By their means, and the co-operation of other Societies, the doctrines of the New Jerusalem have been propagated with some degree of success in most parts of the kingdom, and likewise in foreign countries. But as no Society has heretofore been established in the New Church, on the same plan of universal benevolence, as that which is now proposed, namely, of giving away Bibles, Testaments, the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg, and such other books as are calculated to promote the doctrines of the New Jerusalem, it is hoped, that every friend to the True Christian Religion will consider the importance of the present undertaking, and unite his endeavours with those of the Society now instituted, to check that torrent of Atheism, Deism, Socinianism, and Naturalism, which has already begun to inundate the Christian world, and which, if not timely prevented, will introduce universal infidelity with respect to heaven and hell, to a life after death, and to the Sacred Scriptures.

"While many sincere and worthy members of the Old Church are exerting themselves, in every conceivable way, to propagate and perpetuate their mistaken notions of the Christian religion, - notions which ascribe to the Divine Being properties most foreign and repugnant to his nature;- shall the members of the New and True Christian Church, to whom a revelation hath been made of the most rational and sublime religion ever dictated to man - shall they remain inactive? - shall they continue indifferent to the calls of virtue and religion? - shall they alone be the professors of charity and not the doers thereof? - Forbid it, Heaven! Rather let every individual consider himself as bound by all the ties of religion, conscience, and humanity, to assist in propagating among his fellow-creatures those great and glorious truths of revelation, which at this day especially are most necessary to be known, and which, if practised in all the relative duties of civil and religious life, are most eminently calculated to ensure the present as well as future happiness of mankind.

"The pecuniary circumstances of many thousands in this nation do not admit of their purchasing the books necessary to be read in their families. Even the Bible, the very Word of God himself, hath not yet found its way into all the cottages of the poor; in consequence of which many are still ignorant of the great truths of religion, and, though living in a Christian land, utter strangers to the doctrines of Christ.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 158 To such as these, donations of Bibles and Testaments, together with Emanuel Swedenborg's illustrations thereof, and other pious books of a similar nature, must prove particularly useful. And when it is considered, that the Subscribers to this institution will have the opportunity of purchasing the above books to give away, at the lowest possible price, there is every reason to hope, that their sphere of usefulness will be much extended, and that the charitable exertions of the intended Society will in the end be crowned with the desired success."

During the year 1795, nothing remarkable appears to have occurred relative to the New Church.* Only one place of worship was now open in London, viz., that in Red Cross Street, Cripplegate: but others were already established in Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Keighley, Hull, Salisbury, Leeds, Chester, Isle of Wight, Norwich, Dudley, &c., in England; also in Baltimore, and some other places in America and the West India Islands. In Scotland there were a few readers, but no Societies as yet formed. In Ireland, several persons associated together in Dublin; and in other parts of the same country some few individuals were known to be readers of the Writings. Before the Revolution in France, a respectable Society existed in Paris; but the troubles in that country rendered their meetings dangerous, in consequence of which they had for some time been discontinued. The same causes, which tended to check the progress of the New Church in France, operated with equal force against it in Holland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Italy, Venice, Switzerland, and other parts of the European Continent. So that to the war, which then raged among the different nations of Christendom, may in a great measure be ascribed the depressed state of the Church in Europe. But without doubt the convulsions and remarkable changes, which continued for a number of years to astonish and confound the world, were permitted by the Divine Providence for the purpose of preparing the way for a better state of society in general, by removing those obstructions to rational liberty and the rights of conscience, which had for so many ages oppressed mankind. Such are the effects in the natural world, produced from causes which have their beginnings in the spiritual world. The judgment performed in that world must necessarily have its consequences in this, which are twofold; first, upon those who are in states of disorder, and violently opposed to all reformation, thus bringing upon themselves a grievous calamity; and, secondly, upon such as are disposed to admit the influences from heaven, and to become susceptible of, those benefits, with which the present era of the New Jerusalem is beginning to bless the human race. Thus the beams of the rising sun, while they dispel the gloomy shades and threatening aspect of the preceding night, usher in a delightful morning, and become the harbinger of a brilliant and all-glorious day.

* In this year a Latin copy of the Arcana was presented by the Rev. W. Hill to Cambridge College, Boston, M., U.S.-ED.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 159

The remnant of the Society formerly meeting in Great East Cheap, ever since their removal from that place of worship, entertained the design of erecting a more convenient building, and one more eligible in point of situation, whenever a piece of ground suitable for the purpose could be obtained. This offered itself in the year 1796, in Cross Street, Hatton Garden, when three individuals of the Society, viz., Mr. Ralph Hall, of Cheapside, Mr. Richard Thompson, of Snow-hill, and myself, entered into a negotiation with the proprietor to purchase the Freehold Estate, called Hatton House.* The premises consisted of a large dwelling-house in the front of the street, and a vacant piece of ground behind it, on which it was thought a moderate-sized Chapel or Temple, as it was afterwards called, might be erected. Our intention was to proceed on a small scale, adapted not only to the means we possessed, but also to the prospect of success, which the humble state of the New Church at that time warranted us to expect. It was agreed, that the expense of the building, independent of the purchase money for the premises, should not exceed L1,000, and that the sum necessary to complete the whole should be advanced by us in equal proportions. With this understanding, after the premises had been well examined, and in every respect approved of, I was deputed to see the proprietor, and to close with him on the best terms I could obtain. An appointment was accordingly made to meet him at Dr. Hodson's, the house adjoining, where I made the purchase for L730, and paid him a deposit of about 10 per cent.

* Pennant, in his Account of London, third edition 1793, p. 189, mentions Hatton Garden, thus: "Hatton Street, the late Hatton Garden, succeeded to the town-house and gardens of the Lord Hattons, founded by Sir Christopher Hatton, Lord Keeper in the reign of Queen Elizabeth . . . . . The place he built his house on, was the orchard and garden belonging to Ely-house. Here he died in 1591." These he extorted from the Bishop of Ely Richard Cox, who, for a long time, resisted the sacrilege; but the well-known letter written to him by the Queen forced him to acquiesce. "Proud Prelate! You know what you was before I made you what you are now; if you do not immediately comply with my request, I will unfrock you. ELIZABETH." Hatton was celebrated, among other qualifications, for his proficiency in dancing, and there is a tradition that the Church in Cross Street is built on the site of his ball-room.- ED.

After this, on obtaining possession of the premises, we proceeded to make arrangements for carrying our design into execution. Mr. Thompson, who was well qualified, by his knowledge and previous habits, to superintend the building, undertook to conduct the whole concern by his own personal attention, purchasing all the materials at first hand, and employing proper persons in the different branches of the work. On again examining the ground, and considering its capability of allowing a more spacious Temple to be erected upon it than was originally intended; judging also that it might hereafter become matter of regret, were the present opportunity suffered to pass without embracing the advantage offered, it was deemed advisable to enlarge the plan, and, instead of L1,000, to expend a sum not less than L3,000.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 160 As I had just then completed the building of a house and printing-office for myself, it would have been an act of imprudence on my part to continue a joint proprietor of the premises, and thereby subject myself to expenses that would have been found very inconvenient. I therefore proposed to Messrs. Hall and Thompson, that, if they were willing to charge themselves with the whole responsibility of the undertaking, I would relinquish all my share and interest in the premises to them. To this proposal they readily acceded; and accordingly the Deed of conveyance was made out in their joint names, and the whole property vested in them alone, on payment of the remainder of the purchase money.

Immediately afterwards workmen were employed, and the First stone of the intended Temple was laid on Thursday, the 5th of May, 1796. In a recess cut in the foundation stone, a leaden Plate was deposited, having impressed upon it, by letter-press types prepared at my printing--office, a declaration of the uses to which the building was to be devoted; the day when, and the persons by whom, the first stone was laid; and the names of twelve members of the Church, as witnesses of the ceremony. The following is a copy of the inscription, or rather impression, made upon the plate:

"Sacred to the Worship of the Lord JESUS CHRIST, as the Only God of Heaven and Earth, according to the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, contained in the Word of God, and illustrated by the Theological Writings of the late EMANUEL SWEDENBORG. The First Stone of this Temple (fifty-four Feet eight Inches square, and the first of the kind erected in London) was laid in this South-East Corner, on Thursday, the 5th Day of May, in the Year of the Lord's First Advent 1796, and of his Second Advent 40, by Ralph Hall and Richard Thompson, Joint Proprietors of the Freehold Estate, in the presence of





JOHN BELLAMY,              EDWARD DOWLING, Junior,


              "And many others."

The ceremony of laying the First Stone was performed by the Rev. Francis Leicester*, according to a form prepared for the occasion, being taken chiefly from 1 Kings v. and Rev. xxi.

* The Rev. F. Leicester departed this life 27 November, 1800.- ED.

The building was finished in the summer of 1797; and on Sunday, the 30th of July, in the same year, was opened for public worship, and solemnly consecrated, by the Rev. Joseph Proud, who had previously been engaged as the stated and regular Minister of the place.*


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 161 Overflowing congregations an-
nounced the great sensation which was excited in the metropolis; and Mr. Proud's abilities, as a popular preacher, kept up the interest during the whole time he remained there, which was a little better than two years. The dress also, which he wore, an inner purple silken vest, a golden girdle, and a white linen gown over the whole, as approved of and recommended by the Third General Conference for 1791, (see p. 118,) contributed not a little to draw the attention of the public to the discourses of "the Swedenborgian Orator," as he was then called.**

* His text on the occasion was, in the Morning, Isaiah lxii latter part of verse 10, "Lift up a standard for the people;" and, in the Evening, from Daniel ii. 44.- ED.

** In 1797, a popular minister of High Wycombe published an abusive pamphlet, entitled, A Check to the Dangerous and Delusive Doctrines of Baron Swedenborg. A few receivers existed there at that time.- ED.

Another novelty in the worship consisted in the Minister's turning his face, while at prayer and in thanksgiving, to the East, where the communion-table and pulpit were placed; for which deviation from the mode usually adopted by Protestants, the following reasons were stated in an Address to the Reader prefixed to the Liturgy then in use.

"I. It appears from the Sacred Scriptures, that the mode of worshipping Jehovah among the ancients was with their faces towards the East, and in their temples towards the altar, which was always in the eastern part of the building, because the East represented the Lord. And this was the custom, not only with the people, but also with the priests who officiated. Thus at the dedication of the temple, when Solomon addressed the Lord, or prayed to him, it is said, 1 Kings, chap. viii. 22, that he "stood before the altar of the Lord, in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands towards heaven:" and in verses 29, 30, 35, and 54, mention is again made of praying towards the holy place, which was the altar, where the ark was that contained the Covenant or Holy Word. But when Solomon addressed the congregation, it is said, verse 14, that he "turned his face about, and blessed all the congregation of Israel." See also verse 54.- David says, Psalm xxviii. 2, "Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee; when I lift up my hands toward thy holy Oracle." - And in Ezekiel it is said, "Behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the East," chap. xliii. 2.

"II. All nations have been, and with few exceptions still are, in the constant habit of worshipping with their faces towards the East. Even among Christians it was the custom for many centuries.

III. According to the testimony of Emanuel Swedenborg, the angels in heaven also worship with their faces towards the East, because there the Lord appears as a Sun. See the Treatise on Heaven and Hell, n. 141. And in the Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, n. 123, he observes as follows: 'Forasmuch as the Lord as a Sun is constantly in the East, therefore the ancients, with whom all the particulars of worship were representative of things spiritual, in their adorations turned their faces to the East; and that they might do the same in all worship, they also turned their temples towards the same quarter; whence it is, that churches at this day are built in like manner.'

"For the above reasons, and because the Minister is the head or representative of the people, it is considered as proper, that in all his addresses to the Lord, as in prayer, thanksgiving, &c., he should turn his face to the East. But while the Minister addresses the people, either by reading to them, instructing them from the Word, or blessing them, it is considered, that he then, by virtue of his office, represents the Lord: therefore on all such occasions he turns his face to the congregation. Nevertheless, although this method of turning the face to the East is adopted in London, as being more in conformity with, and representative of, the direction of the interiors towards the Lord, it is by no means urged upon other Societies, who perhaps may not see it in the same point of view, or else cannot conveniently introduce it into practice.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 162 All externals of worship are in themselves non-essentials, and may be changed or varied according to the states of the Church, and the different Societies thereof, without any detriment to the worship of the Lord, which is that of the heart and the life."

Forms of prayer and glorification for particular days, also of the baptism of infants and adults, together with a Catechism for the use of the New Church, and a Selection of Hymns composed by Mr. Proud*, were annexed to the Liturgy, which was the fifth edition of that originally used in Great East Cheap, but with alterations and improvements adapted to the state of the Society. With this Liturgy, and the abilities of Mr. Proud as a preacher, the public appeared to be well satisfied, and the Church in London was evidently in a growing and flourishing condition. For the first year things went on smoothly and harmoniously: but in the second year a difference of opinion sprung up between Mr. Proud and the two proprietors, partly on account of the rent paid for the premises, which Mr. Proud thought too high; and partly on account of some objections, which the latter had raised against the Liturgy.** With respect to the first point, the proprietors stated, that they had expended above L3,000 on the building; and though they were desirous of contributing liberally to the expenses of the place, they required, what they conceived to be, under all the circumstances of the case, a moderate rent, which yet Mr. Proud resisted, because he thought it pressed rather heavily on a newly-formed Society. On the other point, viz., the objectionable parts of the Liturgy, which probably constituted the chief ground of complaint in Mr. Proud's mind, he thought, that the distinct mention of the accomplishment of the Last Judgment in the spiritual world, by which a full end was put to the former Christian Church, together with the use of certain phrases and expressions peculiar to the New Church, and, in short, the general aspect of the whole Liturgy, were such as to give umbrage to strangers, and created difficulties in the reception of the new doctrines, which might be avoided by a form of worship more accommodated to the prejudices and feelings of modern professors. These points of objection were strongly urged by Mr. Proud; but the proprietors, entertaining very different views of the subject, and judging that the public worship of the New Church should not only be in agreement with the internal principles which give it birth, but also be expressed in its own language, thought themselves justified in refusing to yield to his suggestions. The consequence was, that the Society continued to increase; and though it was Mr. Proud and his friends resolved to look out for other premises, where they could be more at liberty to act as they pleased, and where probably the rent might be considerably less.

* The first edition of Proud's Hymns appeared in 1790.- ED.

** This perhaps should read: "partly on account of the increased rent demanded for the premises," for the fact was, that in consequence of the congregations being so much larger than was anticipated, the proprietors required more rent than they had originally agreed to take. It was this increase of rent that was resisted, by the minister as well as the congregation.-ED.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 163

Just about this time an opportunity occurred of obtaining, on a lease for seven years, a most eligible and splendid Chapel (formerly the Spanish Ambassador's) in York Street, St. James's Square, at the low rent of L100 per annum. The offer was immediately closed with, and to that place Mr. Proud removed at Michaelmas, 1799; taking with him the whole congregation, except a few individuals. On having the Temple in Cross Street, Hatton Garden, thus left on their hands, the proprietors made great exertions, and great sacrifices, to keep it open for the purpose for which they had built it. This was done, for some time, by the assistance of several individuals not then in the Ministry. At length the Temple was engaged by Mr. Sibly and his Society, who re-opened it on Sunday, the 16th of February, 1800. Here they continued for nearly two years, when they removed* to a large room in Cateaton Street, near Guildhall, as before stated, p. 143.

* December, 25, 1801.- ED.

After this, the proprietors of the Temple, having heard a favourable report of the abilities of the Rev. S. Dean, a Clergyman of the Established Church, who had professed his attachment to the new doctrines, invited him to London, and entered into an engagement with him, at a certain fixed salary for seven years, in hopes that a respectable Society might be formed under his Ministry. No congregation, however, of any account was raised by him; one individual after another deserted him; scarce any thing was returned as rent of the premises; and Messrs. Hall and Thompson, after a full, fair, and tedious trial of his services for about two years, were glad to give him a good round sum to cancel their agreement. The fact was, Mr. Dean paid but little respect to the doctrines of the New Church: his discourses were a mixture of new and old things, having more of the spice of Martin Luther and John Calvin in their composition, than of the pure aromatic flavour of Emanuel Swedenborg. The consequence was, that the seats of the temple remained nearly vacant; those who attended considered him to be neither one thing nor the other; a state of lukewarmness and indifference, exciting almost to spiritual nausea and vomiting, was superinduced over the whole mind; and it was soon discovered, that the Church could never prosper under the Ministry of Mr. Dean. Yet, for all this, Mr. Dean was a man of real ability, and in any other pulpit but a New Church one, would certainly be considered as such.*

* The Rev. S. Dean published a pamphlet in 1802, while he was the Minister of the Temple in Cross Street, entitled, The Nature, Evidence, and Tendency of the Theological Writings of the Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg, in a Series of Letters to a Friend. He received the doctrines about 1789. He was formerly Curate of Blackburn, Lancashire. In consequence of some dispute occurring between him and the Rector, many of the parishioners united to build him a church, which was dedicated to St. Paul. He was also Head Master of the Free Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth, in that town; and was known as favourable to the Writings of Swedenborg.- ED.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 164

All possibility of keeping the Temple open, according to its original design, appearing thus at an end, the proprietors now let it to other denominations. It was occupied, for a time, by a Mr. Braithwait, a preacher of considerable notoriety as a high or Antinomian Calvinist. After his decease it was rented by Mr. Smith, a Baptist Minister; on whose removal it passed through the hands of one or two other parties; and was then engaged for the Rev. Mr. Evans, a leader of the small party which made a considerable noise, some years ago, with Mr. Baring and Mr. Kemp at their head, as Seceders from the Church of England. The Chapel had by this time, in consequence of the death of Mr. Hall, become the sole property of Mr. Thompson; and that gentleman, tired of having such a quick succession of tenants, determined upon disposing of it altogether. He was anxious, however, that it should not be finally alienated from the New Church: he offered the estate to the Societies in London at an extremely low price - more than L1300 less than he afterwards obtained for it. The Society at York Street was, at that time, the only one which could have attempted to undertake the purchase: but Mr. Proud, imagining, probably, that he was established for life in the elegant Chapel he then occupied, refused to hear of it. This was about the year 1812. The estate was in consequence purchased by the then newly-formed Corporation, the Caledonian Asylum, for the sum of L4150.* For some years afterwards, the Chapel was used, under an endowment for the purpose, for preaching in the Gaelic language to the Scottish Highlanders settled in London. But, after a time, it was diverted from this object, and became a regular Scotch Church, under the Ministry of the Rev. Edward Irving; whose excentric eloquence was rewarded with such extraordinary popularity, as to make the Chapel well known to almost every inhabitant of the metropolis.

* It should be recorded, that the former worthy proprietor, Mr. Thompson, has often said since, that he wished he had given it to the New Church for nothing. By a singular fatality, he invested the money he received for it in a speculative undertaking, and lost the greater part of it.- R. H.

(Mr. Thompson died on the 3rd of September, 1834, aged 84.- ED.)

Having said thus much concerning the Temple in Cross Street, we may now advert to the Society which originally occupied it, under the Ministry of Mr. Proud. At York Street, to which place the congregation had removed with their Minister, found difficult to raise the necessary funds, much success appeared to attend Mr. Proud's preaching.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 165 In 1805, however, circumstances arose which led to the formation of another Society, under the ministry of the late Dr. Hodson, which, after a short interval, obtained a small place of worship in Dudley Court, near Denmark Street, Soho.* In 1806, the lease of York Street Chapel expiring, the Society was obliged, on obtaining a renewal of it for another seven years, to engage to pay the advanced rent of L150 per annum; and here they continued till the expiration of their second lease.

* The Rev. James Hodson, M.D., published a work in 2 vols. in 1787, entitled, Jesus Christ the True God and only Object of Supreme Adoration. This work purporting to be the result of an independent and candid examination of the Word of God, was the means of introducing him to an acquaintance with the friends and writings of the New Church, and he at once became an intelligent and ardent receiver. He laboured in the ministry gratuitously and cordially for a period of seven years. He published a volume of admirable Discourses on the Israelitish Bondage and Deliverance, in 1809; and several tracts, sermons, &c. He died 16th of April, 1812, in the fifty-ninth year of his age. - ED.

The three Societies in London, considering that the state of the Church was now such, as to require some general regulations with respect to worship, came to the resolution of holding meetings, which they called Conferences, from time to time among themselves. The result of these meetings was, the introduction of another Liturgy, so modified and altered from those in former use, that it was hoped it might become universal in the Church. It was accordingly printed in 1810, and adopted by all the Societies in London, and by several in the country: but still it was objected to by many other Societies, on the ground of its being too close an imitation of that of the Church of England, and because, in their estimation, it did not sufficiently characterise the New Church, and distinguish its public worship from that of all other Churches.

At one of those meetings held by the London Societies, it was agreed, that the Rites and Ceremonies, proper to be observed by the New Church, should be distinctly drawn up, and recommended to all the country Societies. This was accordingly done in 1807; and wherever such rites and ceremonies were adopted, they had the effect of producing harmony and uniformity in some of the most important branches of the public service. But as the regulations here spoken of, together with the London Liturgy then in use, were only to be regarded as temporary aids, until the Church, in its collective wisdom, should adopt such as might be thought more extensively applicable, and likely to be permanent, it is not necessary to allude further to them; they are to be found in an improved form in the New Liturgy, which is now very generally used by the Societies of the New Church, both in town and country.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 166

It may be also proper to mention here, that a volume of Hymns, composed by Mr. Sibly*, for the use of the New Church, in addition to that which had been previously composed by Mr. Proud, was published by the former gentleman, and adopted by his Society in Friars' Street, near Doctors' Commons, until it gave place to the New Hymn Book, authorized and recommended by the General Conference.

* The second edition was published in 1810.- ED.

We now turn again to the state of the New Church in foreign parts, which appears to have been silently making its way, and enlightening the various nations of the earth. In 1798, information was received from America, that the doctrines were spreading on that extensive Continent. The Society at Baltimore, in particular, was on the increase, the members being zealous, active, and lively. Two Ministers of the Methodist persuasion, Mr. Adam Fonerden and Mr. John Hargrove, having embraced the New Jerusalem doctrines, and separated themselves from their former connexion, published the reasons of their conduct in a Farewell Address to the resident Minister of the Episcopal Church at Baltimore, of which the following is a copy.


"To the Rev. JOHN HARPER, Resident Minister, and the Members of the Episcopal Church in Baltimore.

"Respected and Dear Brethren,

"As a very important change has taken place in our sentiments, respecting an article of the Christian religion, which, in our view, is one of the most essential, and which, if erroneous, of consequence must have its influence upon all other doctrines which flow from it, or are connected with it; and as we already feel, that this change will subject us, in future, to considerable embarrassment, or, what is far worse, unfaithfulness in our public ministration and services; we have, therefore, after the most solemn and serious consideration of the subject and its consequences, both with respect to the welfare of the Church, to whom, until now, we have been connected, as well as that of our own souls, come to this conclusion:-- That it is best for us peaceably and quietly to withdraw ourselves, and resign our membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church; that we may more consistently enjoy our present religious Sentiments in a state of perfect freedom, and act accordingly.

"Upon a retrospect of our general conduct amongst you for nearly thirty years past, we trust none of you can find just cause to suspect our sincerity, when we declare to you, that no base considerations of any kind have influenced us; but that we do in our hearts believe, that it is now required of us to take this unexpected and unpopular step - a step not unattended, on our parts, with much regret.

"The protracted and pleasing intercourse of Christian fellowship, which heretofore happily subsisted between us; the many personal and endearing attachments, which we have formed amongst you; the conspicuous and Sacred stations, which we have so long held in the Church, joined to the high esteem we still entertain for you, all conspire to render this step that we have now taken, one of the most painful and self-denying acts of our past lives - an act, which nothing less than a solemn sense of duty (and of otherwise offending God) could have prompted us unto. We do not wish to enter into any controversy with any person or persons upon earth, respecting our sentiments; for where controversy is, there is every evil work:' yet we conceive it may be but consistent with our present duty, calmly and meekly to mention, that the leading article, in which we differ from you, is the doctrine of the Trinity; concerning which we beg leave to say, that we think this doctrine, as generally apprehended, to be neither consistent with, nor reconcilable to, Scripture or reason, to wit, - that the Trinity in the Godhead consists of three distinct Divine Persons, each of whom, separately, and by himself, is very and eternal GOD.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 167

"On the contrary, we believe, that the LORD JESUS CHRIST, in whom dwells all the fulness of the Godhead, - who is the 'Everlasting Father,' as well as the 'Son,' - who hath declared that He and the Father are One, - and that he that seeth Him seeth the Father, - is the true and only GOD of heaven and earth; and that in Him is a Divine Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; that the Divinity within him is the Father, the Humanity is the Son, and the Divine Proceeding thence is the Holy Ghost, constituting one adorable and gracious Object of Christian worship.

"We have not adopted this belief in a hasty, precipitate manner, nor yet because we found it in certain human Writings; but because we find it to be a doctrine contained in the Word of God, from the whole of which we learn, that God is One in Essence and in Person.

"That this doctrine has a direct influence upon other doctrines derived therefrom, is plain to see: yet we conceive it needless, and by you it might be deemed impertinent, if, in this place, we were to adduce proofs and arguments in support of our sentiments, especially as our request is, that this Address should be read to the Society: but we shall not be backward to state them at large, when called upon, or when it may appear necessary for us to do so.

"Could we have thought it possible to have enjoyed our present sentiments amongst you in a latitude suitable to our stations, we should not thus withdraw ourselves; but have no doubt such indulgence would, on your part, be deemed wholly inadmissable, we have no other alternative left us to preserve a consistent character and a good conscience.

"Our wish and desire is, notwithstanding, to live in as much peace and friendship with you all, as on our part it will be possible.

                                          "ADAM FONERDEN.

"Baltimore, 5th June, 1798."              "JOHN HARGROVE

The step thus taken by these two respectable Ministers, produced, as might naturally be expected, a considerable sensation among the body of people from whom they withdrew, and added no small degree of strength to the New Church in Baltimore. From subsequent information, however, it appears, that one of them, namely, the Rev. Mr. Fonerden, did not so steadily persevere in the truth, as his colleague, the Rev. Mr. Hargrove; but, suffering himself to be biassed by the influence of his friends and relations, who were Methodists, he relapsed to his former connexion. Mr. Hargrove, on the contrary, remained firm, and not only joined the friends of the New Church, but warmly and openly assisted in spreading the heavenly doctrines. Although the support of a wife and eight children depended chiefly, or wholly, upon the stipend he received from the Methodists, as one of their regular ministers, he nevertheless, from a conscientious regard to what he conceived to be his duty, withdrew from them at all hazards, being well convinced that no sacrifice of worldly interest was too great to obtain possession of heavenly wealth. If any anxieties remained on his mind respecting the temporal support of himself and family, they were soon dissipated; for the blessing of Divine Providence attended him, and delivered him from all his fears.

Mr. Hargrove now openly preached the new doctrines in a small Chapel hired for the purpose, in conjunction with Mr. Ralph Mather, a gentleman who had previously joined himself to the New Church in England, and had removed thence to settle in Baltimore.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 168 Measures were taken by them to set on foot a subscription for building a Temple, or place of worship in that town, which, by the zeal and activity of the friends, was soon completed. Here Mr. Hargrove became the regular Minister, and continued for many years to preach the doctrines with great success.

A Letter from Mr. Joseph Leigh, of Portsmouth in New Hampshire, to Mr. Glen, of Demarara, dated September 8, 1798, after mentioning a list of such of the Works relative to the New Church as he is in possession of, concludes as follows:

"The great torrent of light those Works convey to the human mind, I hope will prove instrumental, in the hands of Infinite Wisdom, to dispel the dark cloud that hangs over the Old Churches, so that the heavenly doctrines may shine as conspicuous in these parts as the sun when at its meridian lustre. For the attainment of so desirable an object there will be no want of exertion on my part, in order to effectuate it. I keep the Works in a perpetual move, and enjoin it on the readers to communicate their important contents to all around: and as some of the Works are at this present moment at least a hundred miles distant, it is to be hoped much good to the great cause will result from this plan. However, in order more effectually to promote the cause, I propose a tour to Baltimore this fall, which has for its object the raising a fund towards the support of an itinerant preacher, to sound the New Jerusalem Trumpet throughout the United States. As Demarara is at this present in the hands of the British, consequently a communication will be kept up; will therefore thank you to copy this letter, and send to your friend in London, in order to communicate it to the brethren; and if they approve of the plan, probably they will contribute their mite by sending some books to enlarge my circulation. And be pleased to convey this general idea, how wishful I am to hear from some of them, of the present state of the Society in Great Britain and other parts of Europe."

It has been remarked by some intelligent, well-informed receivers of the truth, that the doctrines of the New Church have spread more extensively in the world, than any other religious system has been known to do in the same period of time from their first promulgation. Not that the number of individuals, who have embraced them, is greater than that of some others, professing the Christian name; but from an examination of the local extent, and the various climates to which the new doctrines have been carried, it has been found, that almost every part of the habitable globe has been blessed, more or less, with the light of this new dispensation; that the truth, has been hailed by readers of all classes of society in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, in the newly-discovered continents, and numerous islands in the South and West. This will in part appear from the present History, but might be more fully evidenced by a particular detail of all the information, which the New Church in England has at different times received on the subject. One circumstance, however, relative to the progress of the new doctrines in a distant region of the earth, seems worthy of being made known, and cannot fall to be read with interest and delight.

About the year 1798, I received a letter from a venerable Clergyman, belonging to the Established Church of England, then residing at Calcutta, in the East Indies, in which, after ordering a variety of the translated Works of Emanuel Swedenborg, he gave a most interesting account of himself, and his most cordial reception of the great truths which the new doctrines unfolded.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 169

"I am (said he) this day ninety years of age, in excellent health, and able to read even a small print without spectacles. But what constitutes the chief happiness of my life is, the delight I experience in reading the admirable Writings of Baron Swedenborg, and meditating upon those divine subjects which he has so fully and satisfactorily brought to light. It is a blessing, which I the more sensibly feel, because I have been permitted, in my old age, and while I am yet in the natural world, to see and understand the true Scripture doctrine concerning the Lord and the things of his everlasting kingdom; for a knowledge of which, thus opened to my mind before I enter upon my eternal state, I can never be sufficiently grateful to the Divine Providence."

This communication was received through the house of David Scott, Merchant, in Broad Street Buildings; and the books were forwarded to order, through the same house. But I had not the happiness of hearing from my venerable correspondent again; and it is probable, from his advanced age, that he was shortly after called by his adorable Lord and Master to that station in the New Angelic Heaven, which his long experience in this life, crowned with his last and best perceptions of divine truth, so eminently qualified him to fill.

On the Continent of Europe considerable progress had by this time been made in promulgating the doctrines of the New Church, notwithstanding the illiberal spirit which the old governments, ever under the influence of the Ecclesiastical Order, have constantly displayed. Even the Protestant Establishments in some countries, too closely imitating the Catholic Priesthood, have shewn so intolerant a spirit, that several eminent men, after receiving the new doctrines, have been deterred from openly avowing their conviction of the truth, through fear of persecution, or deprivation of ecclesiastical benefices. Yet some few have dared to profess them boldly, and to risk all consequences. In Stockholm, by the testimony of Captain Walden, an officer in the Swedish Navy, it appears, there are two Churches, where service is regularly performed according to the New Jerusalem doctrines. They are said to be well attended, and even by persons of distinction. The Clergyman that belongs to one of these Churches, the Rev. Mr. Roos, is spoken of with high praise, as being undaunted in delivering the truth. It is further stated on the same authority, that in Westrogothia nearly all the Clergy, being forty-two in number, are readers of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. In Copenhagen, also, there are many readers; but no regular Society appears to have been formed in Denmark, although the liberty of the press in that country gives encouragement to hope, that the doctrines of the New Church will in due time gain a permanent footing there. In France, Holland, Germany, and Prussia, likewise, we have reason to believe, that the truth is silently making its way, not withstanding the prejudices it has to contend with, arising from the inveterate habits and false principles of religion cherished by the professors both of the Romish and Reformed Churches.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 170

In May, 1799, appeared the First Number of a Monthly publication, under the title of The Aurora, or Dawn of Genuine Truth. It was continued till October, 1801, and consisted of Twenty-eight Numbers. The Editors were Mr. Proud, Dr. Hodson, and Mr. Sibly. Much useful information was circulated in the Church, through the medium of this publication; and it was with regret, that the readers found it could no longer be continued, for want of sufficient encouragement. This indeed has been the case, more or less, with all the first efforts of the Church: yet, taking into consideration the comparative paucity of its numbers, as well as the many prejudices and difficulties, which it has had to encounter, there is much reason to reflect with gratitude on the success it has already experienced, and still to press forward for the attainment of more abundant prosperity.

The Editors of the Aurora received a letter from the Rev. John Hargrove, dated the 14th of March, 1801, stating, that Mr. Jefferson being legally and constitutionally appointed to the Chief Magistracy of the United States of America, on the 4th of March, the members of the New Church in Baltimore, though few in number, lost no time in remitting to him, at the federal city of Washington, a respectful Congratulatory Address, dated the very day of his inauguration. The following is a copy of the Address, and of the President's Answer.


To THOMAS JEFFERSON, Esq., President of the United States of America.

"Sir,              "Baltimore, March 4, 1801.

"It is with singular pleasure and profound respect, that we, the Minister and acting Committee of the New Jerusalem Church in the city of Baltimore, beg leave to congratulate you on your accession to the Chief Magistracy of our beloved country - a country hitherto eminently favoured by the Divine Providence with a peculiar degree of civil and religious liberty.

The present sanguinary and turbulent aspect of the Eastern Continent is, doubtless, truly painful to every philanthropic and disinterested lover of mankind: but still the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church confirm us in the belief, that 'GOD rides on the whirlwind, and directs the storm;'- and encourage us to anticipate, with indescribable sensations, an approaching period - 'a consummation devoutly to be wished for,' when genuine charity, liberality, and brotherly kindness towards all who differ from us in mere opinions, shall become 'the order of the day' - when theology, philosophy, and politics, shall, like 'gold seven times tried in the fire,' lose all their 'dross and tin,' and when reason and religion shall fully unite their sacred and all-powerful influence, in promoting 'peace on earth, and good-will amongst all men.'

"With the most fervent and sincere prayers, that the LORD GOD of hosts may long_ preserve and keep you, and the nation over which you now preside, 'from all evil,' and richly replenish your will and understanding with such divine affections and perceptions, as may eminently qualify You for the exalted and important station you are now called unto, we remain, Sir, with due respect, yours, &c.,

       "JOHN HARGROVE, Minister.


       JOHN BOYER,}              Acting Committee."

       JOHN KEER,}       


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 171



"Sir,                                   "Washington, 11th March, 1801.

"I beg leave to return you my thanks, and through you, to the Acting Committee of the New Jerusalem Church, in the city of Baltimore, for your friendly congratulations.

"I deplore with you the present sanguinary and turbulent state of things in the Eastern world, and look forward to the restoration of peace, and progress of information for the promotion of genuine charity, liberality, and brotherly kindness towards those who differ from us in Opinion.

"The Philanthropy which breathes through the several expressions of your letter, is a pledge that you will endeavour to diffuse the sentiments of benevolence among our fellow-men, and to inculcate the important truth, that they promote their own happiness by nourishing kind and friendly dispositions towards others.

"Commending your endeavours to the BEING, in whose hands we are, I beg you to accept assurances of my perfect consideration and respect.


"The Rev. John Hargrove, Minister of the

New Jerusalem Church, Baltimore."

Mr. Hargrove concludes his letter as follows:

"Who can tell the good effects that may result from this?- Surely such Addresses and such Answers can (at least) do no injury to the cause of religion and good order; but may operate as a counterpart to the huge obloquy and vile slander, which has been industriously spread and circulated against divine truths, as well as against Mr. Jefferson.- It is said, that Mr. Jefferson is a Deist: be it so (though it was never yet proved): I would hope for a better state of the Lord's New Church under an enlightened, calm, liberal Deist, than under a contracted bigot of any sect in Christendom. The Old Church must and will be vastated by some means, and, in my opinion, very considerably by Deistical men and arguments. I know we are the antipodes of the men; but there is a point where opposites unite.

"I stand alone here as to a fellow-labourer in the pulpit. None preach the new doctrines publicly in America now but myself. Yet none of these things move me; though my sufferings and trials in domestic life have of late been indescribable, chiefly owing to the death of Mrs. Hargrove, on the 2nd of October last, by the yellow fever, which then raged horribly in this city.

"I cannot enlarge just now, only to inform you, that our prospects are more encouraging than ever, respecting the progress of genuine truth. But O, for a faithful, fervent, judicious helper in the everlasting gospel! We can make no provision, however, for his maintenance as yet. I myself am poor and needy with respect to this world's goods; but I have not received any compensation for Ministerial services: the Society is too small and poor."*

* On the 26th December, 1802, the Rev. John Hargrove preached "a Sermon on the Leading Doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church, at the Capitol, in the City of Washington, before the President and Congress," which was printed. He preached again, by request, the following evening. He also preached another Sermon before both Houses of Congress, 25th Dec., 1804, "on the Second Coming of Christ and the Last Judgment," which was published.- ED.

During the short interval of peace between England and France, in the year 1802, curiosity led me, as well as many other Englishmen, to visit Paris. Knowing that a small society of readers of the new doctrines existed in that city before the Revolution of 1789, I was desirous of ascertaining the state of that society, after the many convulsions which had taken place in the political world. On inquiry, I found the Society still met together occasionally, but not regularly; and on Sunday, Sept. 5th, I attended one of their meetings, which consisted of about twelve persons, who had been collected together by some of our English friends then in Paris.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 172 One of their members, M. Bousie, read a few pages of one of Swedenborg's Works, which had been translated and printed in French; after which a conversation on miscellaneous subjects took place, from which I was in some measure enabled to form a judgment of the state of this little Society. Two or three of them appeared to have embraced the Writings with great affection; the others were very tender recipients, and required better information than they then possessed, which it was probable they would not be long without, as one of their members, M. Parraud, was a very able translator, and took an active part in propagating the new doctrines. They were in possession of only a few of the Works in their own language; but a translation of the True Christian Religion was then in the press, and was expected shortly to be published in three octavo volumes. By a letter which M. Parraud had received from a correspondent in St. Petersburg, I understood that something of a Society existed in that capital, who were very desirous of communicating with them, and of procuring as many of the Works in French, as could be spared. Accordingly, before I left Paris, I had the pleasure of seeing a large parcel of the books packed up for them, which were to be immediately forwarded to St. Petersburg.

During my short stay in Paris, I could not help noticing the total absence of all the public decencies of religion on the Sabbath-day. About one half of the shops were shut, but not (as I was informed) out of any respect to the day as a day of worship or religious instruction, but by way of giving the tradesmen an opportunity of indulging themselves with a holiday, and joining in the usual diversions without the restraint or interruption of business. This is often the case on other days of the week, as well as on Sundays; but on these latter days the custom is more general. The other half of the shops were open, and the common transactions of buying and selling were going on as usual. Workmen were employed in the public buildings; warehouses, bridges, and streets, were undergoing repairs: the trowel, the hammer, the chisel, and the saw, were every where to be heard; and the river was crowded with washer-women belabouring their dirty linen with bats and scrubbing-brushes, as on other days. I went into several churches during the time of divine service. The congregations in general consisted of about three or four hundred each: in one, I think, there were not fewer than six hundred, the greatest part of whom were women. The preacher in this last place was animated in his discourse, full of action, and occasionally sat down in the pulpit, while delivering his sermon.

In the streets, and under the very walls of the church, mountebanks and jugglers were amusing the people with their nonsense; some were fiddling, singing, and dancing; while others were playing off their tricks at cards, and dealing out lucky numbers to gaping fools, who intended to throw their money away in the lottery.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 173

From this view of the manner in which the French people passed their Sabbaths, it may be plainly inferred, that religion was, at the time alluded to, at a very low ebb indeed with that nation, which was confirmed to me by another circumstance, which I shall here relate. It having been announced in the French papers, that grand water-works were to be played off, on Sunday, the 29th of August, 1802, in the gardens belonging to the palace at Versailles, immense crowds flocked from Paris to be spectators of the sight, and to pass the day in other recreations. Among the rest an English gentleman and a Swede, who lodged in the same house with me, proposed to go there, and requested me to accompany them on the same excursion. I readily consented, and it was agreed that we should go by water to a small town called Sevre, which is rather more than half way to Versailles. Accordingly we embarked at 9 o'clock in the morning on board a large barge, in company with upwards of three hundred persons of both sexes, all bound on the same expedition of pleasure. Three or four horses, kept in a brisk trot on the bank of the river, conducted the barge, by means of ropes attached to it, with a pleasing speed down the stream. The passengers were all in high spirits, and comfortably seated on benches, as well in the long open cabin below, as on the deck above; the weather was delightfully fine and serene; the country around us abounded with gardens all well stocked with fruit trees, many of which were still laden with their golden burdens, and being as it were weary with supporting them any longer, bowed their heads to the ground, as if supplicating relief from the hands of their master - MAN. In the midst of all this scenery, which appeared to me as a luxury of nature, I could not help being impressed with those sensations of delight, which the novelty and beauty of the situation could not fail to produce in any mind, and which to receive their utmost zest, only required the presence of my London and Yorkshire friends to participate with me in the happiness of the day.

During the short voyage, which lasted only two or three hours, I fell into conversation with one of the passengers, who had been formerly a priest in the old ecclesiastical establishment. He was well read, and a man of considerable erudition, but avowed himself to be a Deist, as he said all the learned men in France were, whether they be Clergymen or Laymen. He acknowledged, that he never did believe in divine revelation, even while he officiated in the clerical capacity; but said, that it was convenient, and proper for the good of society, that priests should inculcate among the ignorant and vulgar those tenets of religion, which experience has proved necessary to keep them in awe, and under obedience to civil government.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 174 When I asked him why he did not accept of a situation in the Church under the new establishment, (he being now a Schoolmaster) particularly as it could not be a matter of conscience with him, whether the present Gallican Church is regular or irregular; he answered, "Because priests in the new establishment, sanctioned by Bonaparte, have not sufficient power put into their hands;" and he thought, that the trade of priestcraft was not a desirable occupation without power and riches united. I conversed with him on the Doctrine of the Divine Trinity, which he at first ridiculed as a thing contradictory to common sense as well as sound reason. But when I explained it according to the doctrine of the New Church, as consisting of Three Essentials in One Divine Person, like soul, body, and proceeding operation in one man, he admitted the propriety of this view of the subject, saying that it contained nothing offensive to reason, or subversive of human understanding. He had indeed at times thought, that the Three Persons meant no more than three distinct characters or offices, in which the One God acted on different occasions: but the many difficulties attendant even on this hypothesis led him to conclude, that the whole system of Christianity was nothing more than the invention of artful, cunning priests, and an imposition on the credulity of mankind. He had never heard of Swedenborg, nor of the doctrines of the New Jerusalem; and when I informed him, that the Writings containing those doctrines threw a new light on revealed religion, and rendered Christianity more amiable, because more intelligible than heretofore, he expressed his doubts on the subject, although he would not pretend to condemn what he had not seen or read.*

* See Apocalypse Revealed, n. 740.- ED.

From this specimen of the state of infidelity in the Old Church, particularly among the priesthood and learned men of one of the most distinguished nations in Christendom, it is consolatory to turn our eyes to that happy prospect of better days, which is now beginning to cheer the world by the promulgation of the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem. When a Church is brought to its full consummation, so that the Divinity of the Lord, the sanctity of his Word, and the immediate resurrection of man, after death, into a state of life and immortality, are not only doubted and disbelieved, but expressly denied or ridiculed, then commences a new era, or new dispensation of divine truth. And we are assured from divine revelation, that, however deplorable may be the condition of the fallen Churches at this the period of the Lord's Second Advent, the day is hastening, when the waste places shall be rebuilt; when "the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose; when the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 175 For the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isa. xxxv. 1, 5, 10.

From the year 1802* to 1806 nothing particular occurred in the Church, to call for any remarks beyond what has been already stated.** It was a period of war, which continued till 1815, during which the attention of mankind was more directed to the political changes of this transitory life, than to their eternal interests in the world to come. The consequence was, that a general apathy in spiritual things so far prevailed, that little impression could be made on the minds of those, who under other circumstances might be induced to read and embrace the doctrines of eternal truth. Still the New Church was unwearied in its exertions to rouse the slumbering spirit of the age, and to present to the view of the people the great importance of heavenly and divine things. For this purpose it was determined upon by the Non -Separatists, with the Rev. John Clowes at their head, to hold Annual Meetings among themselves, (from which, however, other friends were by no means excluded,) at a most convenient and delightful spot, called Hawkstone Park, in Shropshire, adjoining the seat of Sir Richard Hill, Bart.*** These Meetings, the first of which took place in 1806, were continued at the same place till 1823, when, for the accommodation of Mr. Clowes, whose age and bodily infirmities prevented him from undertaking any considerable journey, and who had gone to reside at Leamington, and afterwards at Warwick, for the benefit of his health, they were held many years at Warwick.****

* The Accrington Society was formed in 1802, a Sunday School having been opened the year previously. This Society erected and opened their first place of worship in 1805.- ED.

** In 1804, on the 2nd of June, the Rev. W. Hill, of Philadelphia, North America, departed from the natural world into the spiritual in the forty-second year of his age. - ED.

*** Sir Richard Hill, Bart., died in 1808, and was succeeded by his son, Sir John.- ED.

**** Since the decease of Mr. Clowes, they have been continued at Hawkstone, as before. At the first meeting in 1806, on 9th July a gold cup was presented to Mr. Clowes, "as a tribute of affectionate esteem, and to express a grateful recollection of his disinterested and indefatigable exertions as a zealous promoter, an able defender, and a faithful translator of the Writings of the Hon. E. Swedenborg."- ED.

It is not within the avowed design of this History to give a particular account of the proceedings of those individuals, who, after receiving the new doctrines, still adhered to the old forms of worship, and have been usually called Non-Separatists; but only of those, who have assisted in the External Establishment of the New Church, distinct from the Old, both as to doctrine and worship.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 176 It is sufficient, therefore, to state generally that the object of the Hawkstone and Warwick Annual Meetings has been, from time to time, to enter into Resolutions declaratory of the various important doctrines of the New Church, and to publish and circulate those Resolutions as extensively as possible.* The same design has been most successfully prosecuted by the Manchester Printing Society also, ever since its first institution in 1782. And although the persons engaged in those Meetings, generally speaking, have taken no part in the promotion of public worship separately from that of the Established Church, yet their exertions in behalf of the truth have, in an eminent degree, contributed to the present state of prosperity enjoyed by the New Church. The question of Separation, as observed in another place, has long ceased to engage the particular attention of its members; it being now considered almost as a matter of course, that the professors of the new doctrines should become open worshipers of the Lord, in a form consistent with those doctrines. Hence the efforts of both Separatists and Non-Separatists, in all their public meetings, for a series of years past, have been directed to one great end, the propagation of those divine truths of Revelation, which are calculated, not only to enlighten the understanding, but to warm the affections of the heart, and thus to build up the Church by the practical exercise of every Christian virtue.

* In 1807 it was reported that there were several receivers of the heavenly doctrines in Finland, Hamburg, and Denmark.- ED.

By a letter received about this time from a gentleman of consequence and respectability, residing on his own extensive estate in New Russia, on the borders of the Black Sea, towards Poland, and addressed to the Members of the New Jerusalem in London, it appears, that the doctrines had found their way into that part of the Russian dominions, and are justly appreciated by the writer as a signal blessing from heaven in these degenerate days of infidelity and irreligion. The letter is written in French, and was conveyed through the Russian Ambassador in London, with an order for such of the Works in English as the writer had not seen, together with every late publication relative to the New Church. A translation of the letter here follows:

"By the different works translated from the Latin into English which I have received, it appears evident, that the doctrine of the New Jerusalem has been solemnly received by many societies in England, particularly in the town of Manchester. Being a disciple of that same doctrine, although a weak one, which I profess through the grace and infinite mercy of the Lord; I trust in consequence thereof I have the happiness of being united to those respectable societies, and that I have a claim upon their spiritual assistance in my weakness and infirmities, which retard my progress in the spiritual life. I beseech their assistance, and permission to open my heart to them, to draw from their wisdom the proper means of obtaining the real knowledge of eternal truths, a sure asylum against the evils which pursue me.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 177 What a happy and pleasing circumstance, when brethren live united together!

"Your affectionate and devoted


"of the Russian Nation, Counsellor of the College, living on my Estate

in the Government of New Russia, near the town of Ecatherinoflaw.

"This 9/13 of May 1806."

Another letter, written by the Rev. John Hargrove, dated Baltimore, December 20, 1806, states as follows:

"I have lately returned from a religious journey of more than 500 miles, towards the head waters of Ohio, on the banks of the Monongohela. My route in going out you may trace upon a large map of this country, as follows: 1st, Took the public stage to Frederick-town, near 48 miles.-- Thence to Hager's-town, over the South mountains, 21 ditto.- Thence to Chambersburgh, by the way of Greencastle, 22 miles more.- Thence to Bedford, over the North mountain, about 52 more. Here I found several old and respectable recipients of our doctrines, at the head of whom our amiable and valuable brother, Josiah Espy, Esq., Attorney-at-Law, presides in all their movements. Here therefore I baptized between 30 and 40 children and parents, from infancy up to the venerable age of seventy-nine. Here also I preached in their Court-House, both at my going out further, and on my return. The last time I preached there, to wit, on my return from the Western Waters, it was Court week in Bedford, which is their county town. On this occasion, however, Judge Walker, a very amiable and liberal Socinian, adjourned the Court, to afford me an opportunity to preach in the Court-House; (no house of public worship being yet erected in Bedford!) and after sermon, the Judge, who sat near where I stood, rose, took me by the hand, bowed, and thanked me - before jury, Bench, and Bar! waited on me at my lodgings, and conversed seriously with Mr. Espy and myself until near midnight.

"From Bedford I proceeded on, after a few days, over the celebrated Alleghany Mountains, unto Greensburgh (through Somerset), being about 80 miles, and was met, a few miles out of town, by John Young, Esq., Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for a district composed of several counties in that part of the State of Pennsylvania. Mr. Young is one of the oldest, most learned, and most respectable receivers of our doctrines in the United States.

"At Greensburgh I staid with my amiable and learned friend, Mr. Young, (whom I had the honour to re-baptize in the faith of the New Jerusalem three years ago, in our Temple in this city) for several days, preached in the Court-House at Greensburgh, and baptized Mrs. Young's children on the Sabbath, and then proceeded on to the town of Brownsville, on the banks of the Monongohela river, to receive our excellent friends Mr. M'Cadden and Mr. William Goe, sen., in that neighbourhood, and baptize themselves and their children, grand-children, and great-grand-children.

"Judge Young, and his amiable cousin, Miss Statira Barclay, accompanied me to Brownsville, 30 miles from Greensburgh. Here I preached to a large congregation, and found the Rev. Mr. Ayres, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, who was formerly married to a daughter of old Mr. Goe. Mr. Ayres was scarcely ever out of my company for three days, (while I staid here,) held the bason for me while I baptized near 40 souls, old and young, among whom were his father and mother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Goe; the former 77, the latter 75 years, besides several aged children of this venerable pair, who have now alive 14 children, 56 grand-children, and 10 great-grand- children. More genuine zeal I never witnessed than appeared in this family; and such another family never expect to see again in this world.

"I could entertain you, and also perhaps pain you, were I to relate all the particulars and singulars of this journey, which took me 30 days; the opposition I met with, and easily overcame, from several, and the cheerful reception which our doctrines found with many others, who had never before heard them announced. I might also add, that Paul himself, perhaps, was never in more 'perils by land,' than I was while going over the mountains in the stage, and sometimes actually overset with nine passengers in it, and yet received no hurt! I find, by referring to my Journal, that I baptized 78 souls, young and old, while on this journey, one third of whom were adults. A greater number this, than went down into Egypt of old of the posterity of Jacob, of whom it is recorded, that in little more than 200 years, 600,000 souls came up again! And why may we not expect a similar increase in the same time from the souls thus introduced by me into the visible New Church of the Lord in this fertile land?


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 178

Since I returned, I had to attend the General Assembly of the State of Maryland now in Session at Annapolis: while there I had the honour to deliver two discourse, before the Senate and Representatives together convened in the Representatives' Chamber. I have heard nothing very remarkable in consequence, but yet cannot help hoping my labours 'were not in vain in the Lord.'"


       CHAP. IX.

IT was now considered expedient, that a General Conference of the Ministers and other Members of the New Church should again be convened, in order that by their united exertions the great doctrines of the New Jerusalem might be more generally disseminated in the country at large, and that new life might be infused into the societies and individuals professing the same faith. Accordingly the Sixth General Conference, after an intermission of fourteen years, (see p. 157,) was held in York Street Chapel, St. James's Square, London, on Wednesday, the 6th of May, 1807=51, and following day; when the Rev. MANOAH SIBLY and the Rev. JOSEPH PROUD were unanimously appointed Joint Presidents, and the Rev. JAMES HODSON, Secretary. Five Ministers attended, and Seven Delegates, being the first appointed to represent the different Societies, besides about a hundred other friends. A letter from the London Societies, convening this Conference, was read; and also letters from the Rev. John Clowes, of Manchester; and the Rev. Richard Jones, of the same place; the Rev. Isaac Hawkins, of Wivelscombe; the Rev. Joseph Wright, of Keighley; Mr. George Haworth, of Accrington; Mr. George Senior, of Dalton; the Rev. Robert Brant, of Hull; Mr. Samuel Dawson, of Bolton; and Mr. William Attwell, of Edinburgh.

The Conference adverted to the circumstances of the first Ordination of Ministers in the New Church, as already given in a preceding part of this History (see p. 70); and passed a Resolution, declaring such Ordination to be "the most consistent, proper, and expedient, according to the then existing circumstances." It then recognised the persons so ordained, as authorised Ministers of the New Church; and recommended a continuation of the same order and authority to be observed in future.

The Order for Consecrating a place of worship, the Confirmation of Matrimony, the Burial of the dead, and the Exhortation to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, with other rites and ceremonies of the New Church, were read, and unanimously approved, with some verbal alterations.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 179

It was also Resolved, as the opinion of this Conference, That, no one should officiate in the Ministry, or assist the Minister in the performance of worship, except an Ordained Minister, or one preparing for the Ministry) unless in cases of necessity when no Minister or Candidate presents himself for the Work.

It was further Resolved, That, although this Conference is desirous of acknowledging all as brethren of the Lord's New Church, who profess and live according to her doctrines, yet they cannot but earnestly recommend, in imitation of the primitive Christians, Baptism, or Re-baptism, into the faith and life thereof, as bringing their acknowledgment into fulness.

The necessity of external worship was also enforced by appropriate extracts from the Arcana Coelestia, and from the Treatise on Heaven and Hell, which were submitted to the attention of every member of the New Church, especially of those who have the charge of educating young persons, that their infant minds may be properly imbued with just notions of the true, Object of worship; since it is well known, that, "whatever is implanted in the memory in the early part of life, becomes the subject or groundwork of all a man's future thoughts." It was therefore considered of the utmost importance, that a clear idea of the sole and exclusive Divinity of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ should be deeply impressed on the minds of all children and young people; for which purpose forms of worship, and a general system of education, in agreement with the new doctrines, were most earnestly recommended as essential to the spiritual welfare of the rising generation.

Other Resolutions were also entered into, expressive of the wishes of Conference, that a more regular communication and intercourse might be opened and maintained between the different Societies of the New Church, not only in this kingdom, but throughout the habitable globe; that such communications, as are important and useful to the general body, be from time to time laid before Conference; that public libraries be formed, both in town and country, for the use of the respective Societies; and, wherever it is practicable, that Sunday Schools be established for the education of the poor.

The thanks of the Conference were then voted to the Rev. John Clowes, of Manchester, for his faithful and laborious translation of the Arcana Coelestia, and other works of the Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg; and for his boldness in vindicating the doctrines of the New Church. After which thanks were also voted to the two Joint Presidents and the Secretary; and it was Resolved, that the next General Conference be held at Birmingham, on the last Wednesday in June, 1808=52.

The Seventh General Conference was held, agreeably to appointment, in the New Jerusalem Temple, Newhall Street, Birmingham, on Wednesday, June 29th, 1808=52, and two following days; being the first Conference held out of London.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 180 Five Ministers and eleven Delegates attended, besides many other members of the New Church. The Rev. JOSEPH PROUD was chosen President, and Mr. THOMAS DAWES, Secretary. Letters from various Societies and individuals were read. After which the Ordination of Ministers in the New Church, as it commenced at Great East Cheap in 1788, was again considered, approved of, and confirmed. The Conference then passed a Resolution, recognizing twelve persons, then living, as having been ordained from that origin; yet expressly declaring, that it did not wish to disown any others, who might have regular congregations, and who had not as yet submitted to the mode of Ordination then adopted. The Resolutions of the last Conference were in general confirmed; and several new propositions were submitted to the meeting, all tending to promote harmony among the different Societies, and mutual affection between those who have separated from the old establishments, and those who still remained in their former associations.

A Resolution was passed, declaring, "That this Conference highly approves of the Christian spirit and temper, which are manifest in the Rev. R. Jones's publication, entitled A Friendly Address to the Receivers of the Doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church, on the Propriety of adopting suitable Forms of External Worship, &c., and return him thanks for the translation of some important passages in the Apocalypsis Explicata."

A Resolution was passed, That it is expedient, and desirable that a Minister be appointed at each Conference to draw up an Admonitory Epistle to the members of the New Church, to be placed at the end of the Minutes.

Some other Resolutions of minor consideration were passed; and after a vote of thanks to the President and Secretary, the next General Conference was appointed to be held at Manchester, on the last Wednesday in June, 1809=53.

The Conference proposed to be held in 1809, as above, from unforeseen circumstances of an unpleasant nature, did not, however, take place at the time appointed. The Church in Peter Street, Manchester, was shut up; and the affairs of the Society in that place were in so deranged a state, that it was thought advisable to discontinue the public meetings, until an opportunity more favourable to the interests of the Church should present itself.

In the mean time Mr. Cowherd, who had separated himself' from his former connexions, and collected a Society of his own, consisting in general of persons but little acquainted with the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, convened a meeting of such, as were disposed to acknowledge him alone as their spiritual guide; and to this meeting he gave the name of Conference, apparently with the view of having it considered as a regular and legitimate General Conference of the New Church.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 181 It does not appear, however, to have met with the general concurrence of the known professors of the new doctrines in any part of the kingdom: for, independent of want of sanction by any of the regular and approved Ministers of the Church, or by any of the leaders of respectable Societies, the eccentricity of Mr. Cowherd's character, and his unsteady, injudicious, and overbearing conduct, on many occasions, added to the novel and pernicious tenets which he was, from time to time, desirous of putting forth as the genuine doctrines of the new dispensation, were quite sufficient to satisfy every reasonable mind, that no real benefit or advantage could result from an association convened and directed by such a man. His Conference, therefore, as it was called by him, being only a local, partial, and unauthorized Meeting of a few individuals of his Society, for the most part strangers to the Writings, and the Resolutions or Acts of that Meeting, can never be considered as a fair specimen of the sentiments or opinions of the members of the New Church.

Not only did he in a manner renounce the Scriptural name of New Jerusalem Church for the Society, of which he was the ostensible leader, and substitute in its stead that of Bible Christians, as the distinguishing name of his sect; but the doctrines he published in his Report of the proceedings that took place in his Chapel, called Christ Church, Salford, particularly with respect to the Lord, and his opinions on many other points, were by no means in agreement with those of the New Church. This will appear from the following statement of his views, as given in the Report of his Conference between himself and his friends, in the year 1809, and still more from the conversations I had with him subsequent to that date.

1. He regarded the Lord not as the Supreme God, or Jehovah himself in the Humanity, but as a kind of Secondary God distinct from the Father, and presenting, according to circumstances, both "a reflected and a refracted image of God; a reflected image, when he was seen on earth by the apostle John, after his resurrection; and a refracted image, when he was seen by the same apostle as coming in the clouds of heaven."

2. He asserted, that the Redeemer had two Souls, one within the other; the first or outermost Soul being the Divine Existere in the heavens, which passing by transflux through the heavens, became his Divine Human Soul; the second or innermost Soul being the influent Divine Spirit from the Essential Jehovah above all the heavens, which was the Soul of the Divine Human Soul, connecting the Son with the Father throughout the whole state of our Lord's humiliation.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 182 Thus what Swedenborg calls the Divine Humanity before the incarnation, as being formed by the transflux through the heavens, (Arc. Coel. n. 600, 5663, 6280 6371, 6720, 6831, 8273,) Mr. Cowherd called the Divine Human Soul, in which was the emanated glory of the immutable God as another more interior Soul. He never would allow, that Jehovah himself, or the Divine Esse itself, which is far above the heavens, and not any proceeding or emanation from him in the heavens, was actually and truly the Lord's Soul from first to last, that is, from his very first conception to his final ascension; and yet, this is one of the leading, distinguishing, and most important of all the doctrines taught both by the Sacred Scriptures, and by the New Church. See this subject clearly stated and confirmed in Arc. Coel. n. 1921, 1999, 2004, 2065, 2018, 2025, 4235 10125, and in numerous other places. Mr. Cowherd further asserted, that the Father dwelt in the Son in the same manner as he dwells in heaven and in the universe; which (to say the least of it) is most unguardedly expressed, as it may lead to the conclusion, that the Humanity of the Lord is no more Divine, than that of any other man.

3. He held, in common with others, that the Lord is a Mediator between God and man, or the only Medium, through whom man can approach God, or receive any communication from him; which he explained in the following manner "God," said he, "has his residence at an immense distance from mankind, far beyond the region of the fixed stars: and the body of Jesus Christ, having been glorified, or (as he termed it) deflagrated, at the time of his ascension into heaven, (like that of Elijah, who went up by a whirlwind into heaven, being carried in a chariot of fire, drawn by horses of fire, 2 Kings ii. 11,) was dispersed, in inconceivably minute particles, through every part of the atmosphere of this earth. Hence (he said) whenever man prays to, or looks towards God the Father, for mercies and blessings, and whenever the latter communicates such blessings to man, it follows as a matter of course, that the prayers and thoughts of man towards God, and reciprocally the benefits received by man from God, must of necessity pass through the atmosphere, now impregnated with the particles of the Lord's deflagrated body, before either God can be reached, or man wrought upon." In this local, miserable way he explained to me what is meant in the Scriptures by the Lord's being a Mediator or Medium between God and man, and how it is to be understood, that salvation is effected "through Jesus Christ!"

4. He further described the manner, in which the Lord, as the Son, though confined to the atmosphere of this earth, was yet seen by Stephen, and may be still seen by others, standing: or sitting at the right hand of God the Father, whose personal abode is far beyond the region of the fixed stars.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 183 "As," said be, "two stars of different magnitudes may be seen apparently close together in the heavens, though one of them may be millions and millions of miles more distant from us than the other; so God the Father and Jesus Christ, his refracted Image at the summit of our atmosphere, may be seen by man as standing apparently close to each other in heaven, though at the same time the real position of the Father is immensely beyond that of the Son, both appearances being nearly, but not quite, in the same direct line from the eye of the beholder!"

5. On the subject of the Holy Spirit, also, his views were idle and ridiculous in the extreme. Sometimes he represented the Holy Ghost as a person; at other times as a wind or air wafted about in the atmosphere, and having access to man, not from within, but from without. If a window or door were open, or were there a broken pane of glass, in a Church or Chapel, while men were in the act of performing their worship therein, such opening, he said, was sufficient to admit the Holy Ghost among them; for he fled as it were on the wings of the wind, and, after lighting upon their bodies, made his way to their immortal souls through the external avenues of the mouth and ears! When Ann Moore, the notorious impostor, gave out that she needed no food to support her bodily frame, and that she had subsisted for more than a twelvemonth without any, many were the dupes of her artful contrivances to deceive the public. Among the persons, whose curiosity prompted them to visit her on that occasion, Mr. Cowherd, ever ready to seize an opportunity for the display of his talent in commenting upon supernatural events, could not refrain from being one. Well, sure enough, he went; and returned too, with his mouth full of wonders. He made his congregation acquainted with the object of his journey, and his success in discovering the means whereby the fasting woman was so long supported without natural food. He related, in my hearing, the story of her long abstinence, and confirmed it as a fact which could not be controverted; assuring us, that "her sustenance was derived solely from the Holy Ghost, which was present in all the wind that blew upon her, and in all the air she breathed!" In this gross manner he explained the extraordinary phenomenon, as he called it, which had so long astonished the credulous, and puzzled grave divines; but which, after all, turned out to be a mere trick and imposition upon the public, for the sake of worldly gain, according to the confession and acknowledgment of the woman herself, made to those gentlemen, who undertook the examination of her case.*

* Ann Moore, of Tutbury, in Staffordshire, imposed upon the credulity of crowds who visited her, between the years 1807 and 1813; when her imposture was discovered, and she expressed her contrition.- ED.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 184

In addition to these ridiculous whims and ebullitions of an unsound mind, (for they cannot be considered in any other light,) Mr. Cowherd proclaimed, from the pulpit, the necessity of abstaining from the use of animal food, wine, and all fermented liquors. As observed in a former part of this History (p. 148,) he even made the rigorous observance of this rule a condition of church-membership; and several instances occurred, in which persons of a weakly constitution, who could not suddenly change their diet, without endangering their health, were not only forbidden to partake of the holy supper, but were also unfeelingly expelled his Society. One poor woman, who, on application for a ticket to admit her to the sacrament, was called to an account by him about her mode of living, and being questioned whether she rigidly abstained from all kinds of animal food, or not, simply replied, "O yes, Sir, I never taste it, but only now and then take a little mutton-broth, and a red, herring;" which, she thought, came not within the interdicted fare. But this acknowledgment was quite enough: after a smile, which could not be repressed even by Mr. Cowherd himself, he sternly informed her, that she, together with her mutton-broth and red herrings, were altogether in a state of ex-communication; and thereupon he dismissed her without further ceremony. And it is but too true, that many of his professed followers, rashly but perhaps conscientiously persevering in the diet prescribed, till a fatal result was inevitable, would gladly have returned to their former mode of living, when, alas! it was found to be too late. Mr. Cowherd himself, also, in the end, suffered the full penalty of his delusion, in the 54th year of his age.

Although in many points of importance Mr. Cowherd deviated from the doctrines laid down by Swedenborg, he was yet anxious to have it believed, that he was the only man in the kingdom who understood his Writings. Mr. Clowes, whose pious and luminous publications have endeared him to the Church, and placed him high in the estimation of all his brethren, he charged with having "no ideas respecting the Lord, and the invisible things of his kingdom, but such as were incorrect and erroneous in the extreme;" and added, with singular effrontery, that "he was, in his own opinion, too wise to be taught, and too good to be amended." With no less ceremony did he treat others, and among the rest myself; to whom, on one occasion, the sum of his own knowledge and mine together being compared to a bushel of wheat, he would not allow one complete grain of that accumulated wheat as my portion, but actually seized the whole for himself, without leaving me any thing more than a husk or two that stuck to the sides of the bushel.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 185

In his correspondence also with me on the general tendency of the Report of his Conference, he constantly ascribed my differing in sentiment with him to my not understanding the subject and to my ignorance of Swedenborg's doctrines. When I complained to him of the obscurity and equivocal language of his Report, particularly on those points which regard the person and character of the Lord, he replied, "Language is equally unintelligible to the mind that has wrong ideas, as to the person that has none; and I never yet met with a reader of E. S. who, respecting the Lord and his Word, did not betray great ignorance and intolerable absurdity. For instance; some talk of God, who is necessarily impassive, as if he could suffer and die: others transubstantiate, in their vain opinions, what is human into what is purely divine: and others conceive two or more Divine Spirits (though they would blush to own two or more Gods) one within another, as soul, spirit, and body in man."

"As to the Word, they all appear to believe in physical influx, imagining that they receive from the Bible, what actually comes from the LORD, by correspondency, while the Bible is read by a mind in conjunction with him: in consequence, they appear utterly ignorant that the Writings of E. S. do but connect them, according to their respective states, with the true or false Church, bearing his name in the spiritual world."-"P. S. There is a New Church Hell in the intermediate world, from which no reader of E. S. can keep clear at this day, but those who receive the Lord whilst they meditate in his Word."

More than once did Mr. Cowherd declare to me, that he was himself the greatest and most extraordinary man living; that he had received from the Lord precisely the same kind of revelation as was given to Emanuel Swedenborg before him; that what is called the spiritual sense of the Word, is in fact nothing more than the sense resulting from a correct translation of the original, which he was qualified to give with the utmost accuracy; and that ere long he and his peculiar doctrines would be appreciated by the wise and good of all nations with every mark of veneration and esteem.*

* The Rev. Wm. Cowherd, died 21th March, 1816, in his 54th year, and was interred in a vault in front of his chapel, called "Christ Church." At his own request is inscribed on his tomb, All feared, none loved, and few understood." The late Joseph Brotherton, Esq., was for a considerable period the Minister of this Society; and was for many years M.P. for the Borough of Salford: he died in 1857, universally respected.- ED.

On these and similar occasions, I cannot say that I flattered him with any thing like an assent to his extravagant claims; but gave him plainly to understand, as my humble opinion, that in the course of a very few years, both he and his system, or rather his succession of ever-varying systems, would be altogether forgotten, or no otherwise recollected than as beacons to warn the future members of the Church against the indulgence of vain and delusive speculations.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 186

The same unfavourable opinion of Mr. Cowherd's views, which is here expressed, was also entertained by the best informed and most judicious readers of Emanuel Swedenborg's Writings. The gentlemen, who attended the Annual Meeting held at Hawkstone Park in the year 1810, although they came to no specific Resolution on the subject, yet unanimously concurred in their disapprobation of the purport and tendency of his Report, published in 1809, and requested that I would expose some of its gross errors. Indeed it does not appear, that a single individual, except a few of Mr. Cowherd's immediate followers, has ever given the least countenance to his absurd novelties. The society founded by him in Salford, Manchester, is still in being, but has no connexion whatever with the New Church; their doctrines assimilating them more to the character of Unitarians than to that of any other denomination of professing Christians.

Since the death of Mr. Cowherd, it has been asserted by one of his admirers, who adopted the theory, but not the practice, of his master, that Swedenborg not only inculcated the doctrine of abstinence from animal food, and from fermented liquors of every description, but also confirmed it by his own example. An appeal, for the truth of this assertion, was made to Mr. Shearsmith, at whose house in Clerkenwell he lived and died; and a paper, purporting to be an account of questions put to, and answered by, the said Mr. Shearsmith in my presence, having been widely circulated among the Societies of the New Church, it is deemed proper in this place to state the whole of the particulars relative to that transaction. They are to be found in the Intellectual Repository, No. 21, for January, 1817, p. 272; and are as follows.

"A REPLY to a late Attempt to insinuate, that the Use of ANIMAL FOOD was discountenanced by EMANUEL SWEDENBORG.

"To the Editors of the Intellectual Repository.


"A paper having been put into my hands, giving an account of the person, clothing, and dress of the late Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg, and said to be taken verbatim from the lips of Mr. Shearsmith in my presence, which paper has been industriously circulated among several of the Societies of the New Church in Yorkshire, apparently for the purpose of recommending abstinence from animal food, and holding up the example of our Author as an authority for the same; I find it a duty, which I owe to truth and candour, to state what I know of the subject. But before I offer my remarks, it may be proper to transcribe the paper alluded to, which is as follows.

"'An Account of the Honourable EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, taken verbatim from the lips of Mr. SHEARSMITH, by ROBERT ARMITSTEAD, in the presence of Mr. ROBERT HINDMARSH, Dec. 20, 1810.'

"'Mr. Shearsmith mentioned, that he lived at No. 25, Bath Street, Clerkenwell, where Baron Swedenborg lodged with him till he died; and observed, that he generally wore a long gown in the morning. His eyes were of a brown grey, nearly hazel, and rather small. In stature he was about five feet nine inches high; rather thin, and of a brown complexion. He was never seen to laugh, but had always a cheerful smile on his countenance. He generally wore a dark brown coat and waistcoat, with black velvet breeches.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 187 But when full dressed he wore his clothes all of velvet, with a cocked hat*, and a sword in a silver scabbard. He ever walked out with a golden-headed cane: he wore spectacles, and took snuff.

* Mr. J. S. Hodson, of London, has sent us the following:"In May, 1858, I met, at the office of the Constitutional Press, London, an individual who, in the course of conversation, stated, that he had recently arrived from America; that he was an Englishman, named Earl, and the son of Earl, a Bookseller, formerly of Albemarle Street; and that he had at his home in America, Swedenborg's cocked hat, wig, and several other articles of his wearing apparel. He promised that, on his return, he would send them over."- ED.

"'Mr. Shearsmith affirmed, that from the first time of the Baron's coming to lodge with him to the day of his death, he never ate animal food, nor drank spirituous or fermented liquors; but lived principally on milk and vegetables, taking tea, and sometimes coffee, with gingerbread. His expressions respecting animal food and fermented liquors were, 'Not be good;' which he always repeated, when asked to partake. He once, however, at a friend's house in London, was over- persuaded to take two glasses of wine, which made him unwell for three days, and caused that fever in which Mr. Wesley says 'he was mad.'

"'When discoursing with spirits, he usually stood on his feet, lifting his eyes to the altitude of about 45 degrees. At such times his assent, and dissent, in regard to what he heard, was generally expressed by a 'Yea, yea,' or a 'Nay, nay,' spoken very quickly. Such conversations, to which he appeared to pay the utmost attention, he punctually wrote down in a book; then rose again to receive further communications.

"'Mrs. Shearsmith, who always waited on him with his victuals, &c., could always tell when his communications had been with good or bad spirits, from the appearance of his countenance, which was dreary when he had been infested, but illuminated around the eyes with a radiant brightness, transcending natural light, when his influence was from good beings.

"'Mr. Shearsmith further affirmed, that certain Swedish friends, who called on E. S. at his house, attested, that the Baron never did eat animal food, nor drink spirituous or fermented liquors, since the opening of his spiritual sight in the days of Queen Ulrica Eleanora.'

"On reading the above, I own I was surprized to find my name annexed to it, and still more so to perceive the end which it was intended to serve: for though it is stated to have been taken verbatim from the lips of Mr. Shearsmith in my presence, as if it had been drawn up on the spot, and at the time assented to by me as correct, yet I can truly say, that I had no knowledge whatever of the existence of such a paper, till my friend Mr. Hawkins presented it to me on the 7th of November, 1816. But I well remember the visit, which Mr. Armitstead and myself paid to Mr. Shearsmith about the close of the year 1810, the questions put to him by the former, and the answers which were with some difficulty drawn from him, he being then superannuated, and totally unable to hold a regular conversation. This last circumstance I also particularly mentioned to Mr. Armitstead on our coming away, and observed, that Mr. Shearsmith's memory, faculties, and speech, were so much impaired by age, that no dependence could be placed on what he then said, only so far as it agreed with the testimony which he had repeatedly given before, both to me and others, while he was in perfect health, and in the full enjoyment of his faculties.

"Mr. Armitstead, who, though himself at that time by no means an abstainer from animal food, or fermented liquors, was yet very desirous that others should adopt the system so strenuously recommended by the late Mr. Cowherd, evidently laboured to draw from Mr. Shearsmith such answers, on this point, as he wished to obtain; but from his great anxiety to serve a particular cause, has certainly suffered his pen to become the instrument of misrepresentation. For example, he states, as the testimony of Mr. Shearsmith, that Swedenborg, during the whole time of his lodging with him, 'never ate animal food, nor drank spirituous or fermented liquors, but lived principally on milk and vegetables;' whereas Mr. Shearsmith's language was, that he seldom or never took such food, but lived chiefly on milk, tea, coffee, and gingerbread. Indeed Mr. Armitstead's account is little less than a contradiction in terms; for if, as he states, E. S. never ate animal food, but lived principally (i. e. not wholly but chiefly) on milk and vegetables, then he must in part have lived on some other kind of food that was neither animal nor vegetable. But what kind of food could that be?


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 188

Again, Mr. Armitstead admits that Shearsmith informed him of Swedenborg having taken two glasses of wine at a friend's house, which however disagreed with his stomach. But this is evidence, that he did not refuse wine from conscientious motives; which I apprehend is the point intended to be established by Mr. Armitstead: and if the Baron declined it afterwards, it must have been purely for the sake of his bodily health.* It was concerning this wine which disagreed with him, and not animal food nor fermented liquors in general, that he exclaimed, 'Not be good, not be good!' I Neither did Mr. Shearsmith represent it as throwing him into that fever, to which Mr. Wesley alluded, when he reported he was mad: for the fever, or pretended fever, of which Mr. Wesley speaks, was said to have seized the Baron at the time when he lodged with Mr. Brockmer, a member of the Society of Moravians, many years before he came to reside at Mr. Shearsmith's. But this assertion, like many other calumnies invented by his enemies, was totally without foundation, Mr. Brockmer having assured me, a short time before his death, when I called upon him for the express purpose of ascertaining the truth or falsehood of the report, 'that Baron Swedenborg was never afflicted with any illness, much less with a violent fever, while at his house; but on the contrary that his health was good, and that he always conducted himself with the greatest propriety.'

* This appears actually to have been the case, from a letter written by General Tuxen, who was personally acquainted with the Baron. In a conversation, which passed between them a little before his last voyage to England, Swedenborg informed the General, that "for twelve years past he had been afflicted with a very weak stomach, and during that time had scarcely taken any other food than coffee and biscuits." See the Appendix to the first New Jerusalem Magazine, for 1790, p. 262.

Mr. Springer, also, the Swedish Consul in London, and an intimate friend of Swedenborg, in a letter to the Abbe Pernetty, Librarian to the King of Prussia, writes as follows: "His (Swedenborg's) common food was bread and butter, and milk coffee; yet at times he was wont to eat a little fish, but ate very seldom any meat, or drank above two glasses of wine." Anecdotes of Swedenborg, printed in 1784, p. 32.

"As I was myself for many years a neighbour to Mr. Shearsmith, both of us residing in the parish of St. James, Clerkenwell, London, I employed him in the line of his business, which was that of a barber and hair-dresser; and consequently had many opportunities of questioning him as to the habits and manners of his noble lodger. On every occasion of inquiry as to the kind of diet, which the Baron usually took, while at his house, he uniformly declared, that he lived as other people of his age might be expected to live: sometimes he partook of animal food, and particularly of eel-pies, which he seemed to prefer; but in general, coffee well sweetened with sugar, tea, milk, and even gingerbread, which he would frequently bring home with him, and share with the children, were the chief constituents of his humble fare. To infer, therefore, from Baron Swedenborg's usual mode of living, at the age of upwards of fourscore years, that the use of animal food was altogether condemned by him, is a conclusion sanctioned neither by his practice nor by his Writings, which on the contrary expressly declare, 'that at this day no one is by any means condemned for this, 'that he eateth flesh.' See Arc. Coel. n. 1002, 1003; in which last number our Lord's words are also adduced, in confirmation of the same doctrine: 'Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man,' Matt. xv. 11. In another of our Author's works we further read as follows: 'The uses created for the nourishment of the body are all things of the vegetable kingdom, which are for meat and drink, as fruits, grapes, seeds, pulse, and herbs; likewise all things of the animal kingdom, which are eaten, as oxen, cows, heifers, stags, sheep, kids, goats, lambs, and the milk which they produce, likewise birds and fishes of several kinds.' Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 331.*

* "Dr. Richard Reece, in his Domestic Medical Guide, 3d edition, p. 292, says, 'With respect to our natural food, the formation of our teeth and intestines proves, that we are destined to live both on animal and vegetable food; and thus we find the flesh of animals, with a proportionate quantity of vegetables, a diet best adapted to our frame. It is not, however, in the quality, but the quantity of food, in which man generally errs."'

"With respect to the other particulars contained in Mr. Armitstead's paper, such as the stature, dress, and complexion of the Baron, the colour of his eyes, &c, I consider them of so trivial a nature, that they do not merit more than a moment's consideration; and therefore I dismiss them with this single remark, that the real members of the New Church regard not the person of any man, except so far as they can discover in him the traits of heavenly wisdom; and that, in imitation of an apostle, who 'no longer knew even the Lord himself as to the flesh,' they are desirous of cultivating an acquaintance with Baron Swedenborg only in spirit, that is to say, in his instructive Writings.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 189

"There is perhaps need of an apology for intruding these remarks on the notice of your readers, the subject being scarcely worthy of their attention. But as there always have been, and probably always will be, minds weak enough to imagine, that the duties of religion in a great degree consist in the selection of meats and drinks for the body in the mode of its clothing, and in other peculiarities of an external and trifling nature, it may be proper to let the public know, that the doctrines of the New Jerusalem impose no such unnecessary regulations upon its members, but allow them freely to live and to appear in society like other men, while at the same time they most strictly enjoin sobriety, temperance, integrity of conduct, and every other Christian virtue. Nicety and precision in the washing of hands before meals, and in the kinds of food to be eaten, as well as care and anxiety in providing for the body, rather than for the mind, were the very errors, which our Lord charged upon the Pharisees of old, and upon those Gentiles who knew nothing of the religion of the heart. Among the Jews indeed laws were enacted, prescribing the particular kinds of food which they might eat, and prohibiting other kinds which they might not eat. But this was merely because they were a representative people, and by no means implied, that there was in reality any moral good or moral evil, either in eating, or abstaining from, the one or the other. Yet for want of knowing this great truth in relation to the Jewish C Church and that the laws for maintaining representatives were abolished by the coming of the Lord, some even good men have supposed, that those laws are, or ought to be, still in force. Others again, both in ancient and in modern times, as if anxious to outstrip their neighbours in the apparent sanctity and severity of their manners, have searched for pretexts and precedents to authorize their abstinence from all kinds of animal food, whether clean or unclean; to which they have also added abstinence from wine, abstinence from marriage, abstinence from social intercourse with mankind, abstinence from the drama, abstinence from innocent recreation, and abstinence from almost every other enjoyment that can render life comfortable and happy. And this they have done and taught from a mistaken notion, that the self-denial or mortification, which is recommended in the Sacred Scriptures, is a discipline to be inflicted on the body and external senses, rather than a conscientious restraint on those lusts of the mind, which lead man into the practice and habit of uncharitableness, pride, envy, malice, and other deadly evils destructive of true happiness. Such notoriously has been the conduct of numberless professors of Christianity among those who are called Catholics, and of too many even among Protestants. And it is solely with a view to vindicate the New Church from similar charges of superstition and pharisaic austerity, as well as to prevent its members being diverted from the true line of their religious duties, to the observance of non-essential externals, which are calculated rather to engender spiritual pride, than to promote the true Christian life, that I have been induced to offer the present remarks to the consideration of the public."                            "ROBERT HINDMARSH."

"Salford, Nov. 18, 1816=60."

It may be thought by some readers, that more attention has been paid to the eccentricities of Mr. Cowherd, than in reality they deserve. But when it is considered, that at one time he was regarded as an acquisition of importance, and even as an ornament to the New Church, from his learning and acknowledged ability as a preacher; that after his secession from the Society, of which he was once the Pastor, he was still regarded by many as an authorized Minister in connexion with the general body of the Church; and that his peculiar tenets were asserted by him, and believed by others, to be derived from the Writings of Swedenborg; it surely cannot be deemed improper publicly to state and disavow those erroneous opinions, which are calculated to bring nothing but contempt on the cause of religion. The New Church is liable to be assailed by false friends, as well as by open enemies; and we have already seen, in more instances than one, the danger that is to be apprehended from misapprehension, and an over-weening regard to fallacious and ill-founded theories.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 190 To guard, therefore, in future against the introduction of doctrines similar to those above described, which can only tend to impede the progress of divine truth, and to disturb the peace of the citizens of the New Jerusalem, it has been judged excusable, if not advisable, to give the preceding account of errors, which (together with those jesuitically broached by the Avignon Society) might otherwise be justly consigned to an eternal oblivion.

The Church was now spreading itself in many towns and villages, where heretofore the doctrines had been unknown; and in several places public worship was instituted, as soon as rooms or meeting-houses could be engaged for that purpose. As far back as the year 1783, a Society for reading the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg was formed at Radcliffe, in Lancashire: but it was not till many years afterwards that a building was erected in that place for the express purpose of public worship, according to the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem. This, however, was accomplished by the liberal exertions of Mr. Robert Ashworth, of Radcliffe, and Mr. G. B. Marsden, of Manchester, aided by the contributions of several other respectable gentlemen in the neighbourhood. A large piece of ground was taken of the Earl of Derby, in Stand Lane, on a small chief rent, or perpetual lease, which is a peculiar kind of tenure on which land is generally procured in that county, being considered nearly equivalent to a freehold in other parts of the kingdom. On the ground so obtained a commodious Chapel has been erected, capable of containing upwards of two hundred persons, to which has been since added a separate building for a Sunday School, in which about two hundred children of the poorer classes of society are gratuitously instructed in the most necessary and useful branches of education.* For many years the Society has been without a stated Minister; but by an arrangement with the Missionary Committee at Manchester, preachers are appointed to officiate there, in rotation, every Sabbath-day.

* The Church and Schools have since then been rebuilt, and are vested in the General Conference Trust.-- ED.

A Society for reading the Writings was also collected at Bolton, in Lancashire, with Mr. Samuel Dawson at its head, about the same time as that at Radcliffe. In 1797 a Sunday School was established there for the education of about two hundred children; over which a spacious and commodious room has been converted into a neat Chapel. Here Mr. Dawson, whose knowledge of the New Church doctrines was not surpassed by any who professed to embrace them, continued to preach for many years, until through age and infirmity he could no longer perform the duties of the Ministry.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 191 He died in 1823, at the advanced age of 79 years, leaving behind him a character for integrity, piety, and true Christian benevolence, which justly endeared his memory to all his surviving friends.*

* Mr. S. Dawson had been previously a member of the Rev. J. Clowes's congregation, in Manchester. Mr. Dawson was for thirty years the regular and intelligent leader of the Bolton Society. His remains were interred at Prestwich, near Manchester.- ED.

In 1805 a small place of worship was erected at Accrington, in Lancashire, where Mr. George Haworth, a schoolmaster, officiated as Minister: and in 1807 a commodious Chapel, thirty-six feet square within the walls, was built for the use of the New Church in that populous neighbourhood. Since the death of Mr. Haworth, which took place in 1823, the duties have been performed by Missionaries appointed, in rotation, by the Manchester Missionary Committee. A Sunday School has also been opened in the same place, in which one hundred children receive instruction, and are thus qualified to become useful members of society, according to their humble situations in life.

At Brightlingsea, in Essex, Mr. Munson, a local preacher among the Wesleyan Methodists, embraced the truths of the new dispensation, which had been introduced into that village by a medical gentleman of great respectability, about the year 1809.* As he neglected no opportunity of recommending the same, both in his discourses and in his conversation, he was soon dismissed from that connection, but not until he had produced a considerable effect on the minds of many of his hearers. These, together with some other inhabitants of the place, were formed by him into a New Church Society, which under his Ministry rapidly increased in number, until they were enabled, by the assistance of others, to build for themselves a respectable and commodious Chapel.** Another Society was also raised about the same time at a neighbouring village, called St. Osyth, which Mr. Munson visited as often as he conveniently could. And thus, notwithstanding the opposition, with which he was assailed by his former friends, the Methodists, he succeeded in establishing two zealous and flourishing Societies in that part of the country. Mr. Munson was ordained a regular Minister of the New Church in 1813; and, after a few years of active labour in the service of his Lord, was, in 1818, called to receive the crown of eternal life.

* This gentleman was Mr. Moses Fletcher, who came to reside in this village about this time, or somewhat earlier, to practise as a surgeon. He died on the 11th of April, 1848, aged 76.- ED.

** The ground on which this chapel is erected is freehold, and was given to the Society by the late John Presland, Esq. The building cost L420.- ED.

Besides the above, other places of worship, either erected by the respective Societies, or hired by them, had also by this time been opened, viz., at Keighley, in Yorkshire; at Cooper's Bridge, near Huddersfield; at Eccup, near Leeds; at Hull; at Middleton and Ringley, in Lancashire; at Bristol; at Liverpool; at New-castle-upon-Tyne; and some other towns and villages in different parts of the kingdom.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 192 The success, which has attended the humble efforts of the lovers of truth in all these places, is fully commensurate with the most sanguine expectations that could have been reasonably entertained; and although it must be acknowledged, that unlooked-for difficulties every now and then rose up to impede for a time the progress of the Church, yet in the end they were generally surmounted, and the hand of Divine Providence has visibly interposed to frustrate the designs of enemies, and to make way for the further enlargement of the new and everlasting kingdom of righteousness upon earth.

It was before observed, that the Society first instituted in London, in 1783, was for the purpose of promoting the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, by translating, printing, and publishing the Theological Writings of the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg. This object had by this time been nearly, if not wholly, accomplished by the unwearied exertions of those concerned in the work; and the benefits arising therefrom to the English reader were duly appreciated. But as a continual supply of books to the public was a desideratum not to be lost sight of by the Church, it was now thought advisable to form a new institution for the express purpose of re-printing, publishing, and advertising for sale such of the works as might from time to time be sold off. Accordingly on the 26th of February, 1810, a meeting* was called to consider the subject, and, if approved of, to raise a fund for the above purpose, either by loans, donations, or annual contributions. This meeting was attended by a great number of the most respectable members of the Church, who, seeing the utility of the proposed plan, and desirous of supporting it by all the means in their power, most cheerfully and unanimously united in giving it full effect. A subscription** was immediately set on foot, and a sum raised on the spot sufficient to justify the expectations of the warmest friends to the cause, and to give a fair prospect of complete success to the undertaking.*** This Society, usually denominated the London Printing Society, continues to support its character for unremitting zeal in prosecuting the design, for which it was first established.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 193 Besides the expense of keeping up a regular supply of books for the public market, it has, by its judicious plan of advertising, caused a knowledge of the Writings, at least as to their titles and subject-matter, to be very extensively circulated through the kingdom; and it is well known, that many readers have hereby been made acquainted with the new doctrines, and from amongst them a considerable number of valuable members has been added to the Church. Donations of books have also been presented to many of the country Societies, which had not the ability to purchase them; and when suitable opportunities offered, or where there was reason to believe that the gift would be acceptable and useful, several of the Universities in Great Britain, as well as respectable public libraries, have been gratuitously furnished either with complete sets of the books, or with parts of sets, on the sole condition of their being open to the inspection of such as might be desirous of reading them. By these and other means a degree of publicity has been obtained for the Writings, which could not otherwise be hoped for; and instances are not wanting to prove, with what thankfulness such unexpected favours have been received, and how beneficial in their effects they have been found to be. The Anniversary Dinner, in commemoration of the first establishment of this Society, is regularly held on the 19th of June, unless it fall on a Sunday, in which case it is held on the day following.****

* At this meeting the undermentioned members were elected on the Committee: John Augustus Tulk, Chairman; Thomas Jones, Deputy Chairman; Charles Jenkins, Treasurer; Samuel Noble, Secretary; John Parry, Charles Augustus Tulk, John Presland, Thomas Jones (of Long Acre), Robert Armitstead, Samuel Sharpe, Robert Oliphant, M. [G.?] Prichard.- ED.

** The amount raised was as under:

Donations . . . .               295       0       0
Benefactions . . .                60       6       0
Annual Subscriptions.                52       13       0


                            407       19       0       - ED.

*** The first works printed by the Society were The Last Judgment, and The Doctrine of Life. To the former a Preface was prefixed by Mr. Hindmarsh, the translator.- ED.

**** Of late years this mode of commemorating the formation of the Society has been discontinued, and its Annual Meetings are held in the ordinary manner about the middle of June.- ED.

About this time (1810) the Rev. William Cowherd, of Manchester, who was scarcely known to the friends in London, gave out that it was his intention to translate and publish the Philosophical Works of Emanuel Swedenborg, and to print new editions of his Theological Works. As it was a part of his plan to establish a Printing Office in his own house, under the superintendence of one skilled in the business, he
repeatedly and earnestly solicited my assistance in both departments of the undertaking. Conceiving that the proposed work was of great importance to the Church, and to the public at large, I at length, after some hesitation and reflection, accepted the invitation to remove to Manchester, where I arrived in January, 1811. But I had not been there long before I discovered, that Mr. Cowherd was not the man I had charitably supposed him to be, notwithstanding the unfavourable reports which had reached my ear. His eccentricity of character, joined to an overbearing and conceited opinion of his own transcendant abilities, which he blushed not to represent as far superior to those of every other reader of the Writings, soon convinced me, that the expectations I had entertained of the probable success of our joint efforts in the way contemplated, could never be realized.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 194 I had reason also to believe, that my visit to him for the ostensible purpose of assisting in the translation and publication of the works before mentioned, was made a cloak to shelter a concealed design, which afterwards became manifest, of having it generally understood, that I had adopted his peculiar sentiments, and was come to support them against all opposition. Being satisfied, therefore, that my stay with him would be productive of no real good, and that the whims, to which he was constantly subject, especially those which regarded abstinence from animal food, and the use of fermented liquors, which he strenuously insisted upon as a religious duty, to be observed by all the members of the Church, I determined, after about three months trial of the spirit that harassed and worried him, to withdraw from all connection with him, and return to London.*

* As one instance of the spirit, in which Mr. Cowherd regarded those who differed with him on the subject of eating animal food, the following may be mentioned. Having invited me one day to dine with him, he was considerate enough to provide a dish suited to the ravenous propensity (as he called it) of those who fed on such unhallowed fare, as the flesh of animals. With a variety of vegetable dishes for the guests present, a small joint of animal food was placed on the table for me; and while we were all busily engaged with the knife and fork, he observed, that "as there were only two wild beasts at table, he hoped there would be flesh enough for them both." The two wild beasts alluded to were myself and the cat, which was then walking across the table, to take possession of its allotted share.- R. H.

This resolution was no sooner known among the friends in Manchester, than they wished to engage me as a Minister in the service of the New Church, and offered to hire a room, wherein I might address the public, and endeavour to raise a new Society in that large and populous town. For a considerable time I declined this proposal, having no desire whatever, but on the contrary an almost insuperable reluctance, at my age (being then in my 52nd year), to undertake the office of a Preacher. But at length, yielding to the very urgent solicitations of those who thought more favourably of my abilities, than I did myself, I consented to make a beginning. A room was immediately engaged in Clarence Street, Princess Street, and, after being neatly fitted up as a little chapel, was opened for public worship on Sunday, the 7th of July, 1811. In this humble situation the Society continued for nearly two years, when it was resolved to build a new Temple in Salford.

In the mean time, reflecting on the depressed state of the New Church in Manchester, and the many disadvantages under which it laboured, partly from Mr. Cowherd's capricious conduct, and partly from some other untoward circumstances, it occurred to me, that a remedy might be provided for these evils, which, if judiciously administered, could not fail to have the effect of rousing the attention of the public to the new doctrines, and of removing from the minds of many those unworthy prejudices against them, which were found to prevail to an alarming degree.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 195 For this end it was proposed to found an Institution similar to the ancient Schools of Philosophy and Divinity, in which a regular inquiry and investigation into the peculiar doctrines of the New Church should be publicly entered upon, every Thursday evening during the winter, and such explanations given as might be calculated to produce a favourable impression on all who were in search of truth for the sake of truth. Accordingly, at the latter end of the year 1812, a Prospectus of the intended Plan of instruction was published, which meeting with general approbation, was widely circulated in the town and neighbourhood, and promptly carried into execution. The effect produced was such as had been anticipated: the room was immediately crowded, not only by the professed members of the Church, but also by strangers of almost every denomination, who seemed to feel an interest in the various subjects that were announced for discussion.

As might be expected on such an occasion, enemies as well as friends mingled together in one body to hear and witness the proceedings of each evening. Some came in hopes of an opportunity to confront the speaker with studied objections to the Divinity of Jesus Christ; and others with the confident expectation, that the cause of the New Church would triumph in the end; while others again, as yet undecided in their judgment, and anxious to know the truth, kept themselves in readiness either to accede to the new doctrines, or to reject them, according to the nature of the evidence and arguments that might be advanced.

As the undertaking was somewhat novel in its features, and was attended with consequences highly beneficial to the Societies in Manchester and its neighbourhood; and as, moreover, a similar institution may hereafter be thought advisable, when the circumstances of the Church in other places may require it; a more particular account of the plan adopted, and of the mode of conducting the institution, will perhaps be acceptable to the reader, and furnish an opportunity for others to suggest some further means of extending the knowledge of divine truth among men, in addition to the regular and approved practice of public worship and the preaching of the Word. I shall, therefore, transcribe the Prospectus, which was then issued, and leave it to the judgment of those who feel an interest in the success of every measure that is calculated to promote the extension of the New Jerusalem.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 196

"The NEW SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY, open every Thursday Evening at Eight o'Clock, in Clarence Street, Princess Street, Manchester, and conducted by ROBERT HINDMARSH, lately from London.

       "Introductory Address.

"The inhabitants of Manchester and Salford are respectfully informed, that, in imitation of the ancient Schools of Philosophy and Divinity, a New SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY is opened at the above-mentioned place, for the discussion and explanation of the most important subjects of divine revelation. To this SCHOOL free admission will be given, on the conditions hereunder expressed, to the religious of every denomination or persuasion, who are sincerely desirous of obtaining that information, which is in vain to be looked for in any of the old Schools. But it is to be distinctly understood, that nothing of the nature of a Debating Society is hereby intended; because, in the generality of such institutions, victory over an antagonist, either by argument or by eloquence, followed by the applause of the auditors, and not the discovery of truth purely for the sake of truth, is the great object held in view both by speakers and by hearers. The vain parade of set speeches, rounded periods, and high-sounding but empty words, containing nothing of sentiment or instructive idea, is therefore rejected as unworthy the notice or pursuit of candidates for heavenly wisdom. For as language, whether in its highest or in its humblest sphere, is only given to man as a medium for the conveyance or communication of the rational perceptions of the mind; and as these perceptions are in themselves of an infinitely higher order, than the mere verbal expression of them, and will remain with man's spirit, when the language of words shall cease to affect him; it cannot be too strongly impressed upon the minds of all who shall think proper to visit or frequent the new SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY, that the great end of this institution is, to lead men from words to ideas, from language to sentiment, from matter to spirit, in short, from earth to heaven; thus it is to open the gate of spiritual knowledge to those who are yet in ignorance of the true nature of divine revelation, and at the same time to animate those who are already in possession of the truth with sentiments of love to their adorable God and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, and of affectionate regard to their fellow-creatures of every name and description.

"It may be proper, however, to give a general outline of the great subjects that are intended to be discussed, as occasion may serve; and of the plan which is proposed to be adopted in the business of the SCHOOL; together with the necessary conditions and rules to be observed by all who attend, both for the preservation of order, and for the more effectually securing the great ends of the institution, namely, the instruction of the ignorant, and the spiritual edification of the pious and sincere Christian.

"Divine Revelation the Basis, on which the New School is founded.

"In the first place, then, divine revelation, as contained in those books more especially, which are truly and properly called the Word of God, because dictated by him alone both as to their language and as to their interior sentiment, is acknowledged as the very basis or foundation, on which the new SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY is erected; the fountain, from which all wisdom, both human and angelic, is derived; the test or criterion, by which all doctrine is to be determined; and the standard of excellency and perfection, to which all other writings in the Church must ever be referred, in order that their true value may be estimated and ascertained. From revelation thus acknowledged, and particularly when illustrated and explained by the comments of apostles and evangelists, and by the still further discoveries of divine truth by seers and other wise men in various ages of the Church, arises all our genuine information concerning the being and attributes of a God; his dealings with man, both in his primeval and in his fallen condition; the final end of the creation of the universe; the immortality or future existence of the soul, either in a state of happiness or misery; with many other subjects of equal interest and importance to every rational being. Questions, like these, will be perpetually presented to view for contemplation and improvement: but as it may be useful more particularly to specify some of them, and as the reader may wish to be apprized of their nature and tendency, the following enumeration of subjects will furnish him with the required information.

"Subjects to be occasionally discussed and explained.

"1. The existence of a Supreme Being, called God, the Creator and Preserver of the universe, which, though plainly to be deduced or inferred from the works of creation that surround us, yet can never be so clearly and satisfactorily established by them, as it is by the book of revelation.

"2. The attributes, qualities, and perfections of this God.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 197

"3. The Unity of God, both with respect to essence, and to person or form.

"4. The Divine Trinity; which will be shewn to be perfectly consistent with the Divine Unity, while existing in One Person; but utterly repugnant to it, if supposed to consist of Three Persons.

"5. The absurdity of supposing a God infinitely extended, and thus without form or person; which yet is the general opinion of Christians so called, especially of those who are reputed to be the wisest, because they are the most learned, notwithstanding their contradictory belief, at the same moment, that he has three distinct forms, or, what is the same thing, three distinct persons.

"6. If, then, God be not infinitely extended, he must exist in some form; which form, it will be demonstrated, is not, and cannot possibly be, any other than a Divinely-Human Form.

"7. Nevertheless this Divinely-Human Form, as well as the Divine Essence itself, which fills it, is omnipresent in all spaces without space, and in all times without time; that is to say, the whole God is present in every point of space and time, yet without bearing the smallest relation to either of them; and consequently he is not a part here, and a part there, but a whole and complete God everywhere.

"8. This same Divinely-Human Form has been exhibited to angels and to men under the name, and in the person, of JESUS CHRIST, who is therefore, and will be undeniably proved to be, the Great Jehovah God Himself in his Divine Humanity.

"9. From these premises results the Exclusive Divinity of JESUS CHRIST; that is to say, a Divinity, which will not allow any other being in heaven or on earth to lay claim to, or participate in it, in any respect or degree whatever.

"10. It will be necessary, therefore, to explain, to the satisfaction of the rational mind, those various portions of the Sacred Scripture, which apparently represent the Saviour of the world as a distinct person from God the Father, and which are so eagerly and so ignorantly seized upon, both by Unitarians and Trinitarians, to degrade the person and character of JESUS CHRIST, by setting up another imaginary Being over his head, opposition to the many other plain declarations, as well as to the whole tenor and spirit of revelation, which so decidedly teach, that He is the Supreme and Only God of heaven and earth.

"11. The descent of Jehovah God himself into the world, in order to become incarnate, and in that capacity to redeem and save mankind.

"12. The wonders of the first and second redemption.

"13. The return of Jehovah God into and above all the heavens, at the time of the fall and perfect glorification of the Humanity, which he assumed in the world.

"14. The miraculous establishment of Judaism, and also of primitive Christianity.

"15. Miracles no test of truth; the effect which they naturally have on the human mind; and the reason why they have now altogether ceased in the Church.

"16. The decline and end of the Christian Church.

"17. The last judgment in the spiritual world, and the Second Advent of the Lord in both worlds.

"18. The present state of the Christian Church so called, both among Roman Catholics and Protestants of every denomination.

"19. The restoration of genuine Christianity, under the name of the New Jerusalem.

"20. This New and True Christian Church, called in Scripture the New Jerusalem, is not a mere sect or party, but an entirely new and universal dispensation, succeeding, superseding, and eclipsing all former dispensations, being the end to which they uniformly have had respect, and in which they will hereafter find their ultimate and full accomplishment.

"21. The spiritually blind, however, that is, they who are wise in their own conceit, and fancy themselves to be already in the light of the gospel, will not be permitted to see or comprehend any one of these great truths: for it is written 'He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart, that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, and be converted, and I should heal them,' John xii. 40.

"22. The resurrection of man as to his spirit, or his entrance into the spiritual world, immediately after the death of his body, which will never be re-united with the soul or spirit.

"23. The state of man after death, which is fixed for eternity by his life in the present world.

"24. The actual existence of a heaven and a hell, with the true nature and quality of each; their unceasing duration, and progressive advances in the perfection of good, and the imperfection of evil, respectively, to all eternity; and this not merely as a matter of necessity, but of choice and delight in the subjects of both the one and the other.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 198

"25. Angels were not created angels, neither are devils fallen angels, according to the notions commonly entertained; but both classes of beings are of the race and family of mankind.

"26. The existence of a sun in the spiritual world, distinct from the sun of the natural world; the heat of which former sun is divine love, and the light thereof divine wisdom.

"27. The influx of life into man, through the medium of this sun, from Jehovah God, whose more immediate residence is in the midst thereof.

"28. Man is an organ of life, or a form recipient of life from God, and not life in himself.

"29. The Lord alone is life in himself, and this even with respect to his Humanity: for as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son, to have life in himself,' John v. 26. The Father is the Divinity, the Son is the Divine Humanity, both together constituting One God, or the Divine Essence in it's own Divine Form.

"30. All influx is from spirit to matter, from the soul to the body, and not vice versa; consequently all life, all affection, and all intelligence, is so likewise.

"31. Liberty and necessity, how far compatible or incompatible the one with the other.

"32. The origin of evil accounted for, by being traced to the abuse of the two faculties of liberty and rationality, with which every man is endowed.

"33. Election, predestination, and reprobation, when considered as arbitrary acts of the Divine Being in favour of some his creatures, to the irremediable destruction of the rest, and this by an eternal decree before they were brought into existence, must ever be ranked amongst those insane and detestable heresies, which cannot be contemplated without horror. The true Scripture doctrine on each of these subjects plainly teaches, that the divine mercy is equally extended to the whole of the human race; but that some receive it to their salvation, while others reject it to their condemnation.

"34. Free-will in spiritual things, though heretofore known by name in the Church, and made the subject of much vain and heated disputation, was yet never clearly understood till the present day, to be the result of the equilibrium between good and evil, truth and error, reality and appearances.

"35. The doctrine of original sin, as held by Christian Churches, a complete error, and misapprehension of the rise, progress, and consummation of moral and spiritual depravity.
       "36. The doctrine of atonement, or vicarious sacrifice for sin, as almost universally taught by the same Churches, is found to be no part of the true Christian religion, but a perversion and abuse of the terms used in divine revelation.

"37. The necessity of unfeigned repentance, which is the beginning and foundation of the Church in man.

"38. This to be succeeded by reformation of life, and regeneration, or an entire change in the propensities, habits, and delights of the mind, which can only be effected by divine means, in a gradual, and not in an instantaneous manner.

"39. This removal of evil, and change of life, is what is meant in the Sacred Scriptures by the remission or forgiveness of sins.

"40. The nature of temptation, as one of the means used in the process of man's regeneration.

"41. The imputation of the merits of Christ, a thing impossible, absurd, and highly dangerous, if depended upon for salvation.

"42. The imputation, however, of good and evil, and also of faith, according to the quality of a man's life, is to be acknowledged as a most interesting truth of revelation.

"43. Human merit nothing, and divine merit every thing.

"44. The nature and uses of baptism and the holy supper.

"45. Marriage a spiritual as well as a civil contract, being grounded in the marriage or conjunction of good and truth; and when under the influence of true conjugial love, the most holy, pure, and perfect state, that either men or angels are capable of attaining.

"46. Distinction between the internal and external man.

"47. The nature of conscience, and how it is generated in man.

"48. The varieties of love, both good and evil.

"49. Piety the external, secondary, and formal part of the life of charity, which is the essential characteristic of religion.

"50. The presence and operation of Divine Providence in every minute circumstance and occurrence of life, equally as well as in the greatest events.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 199

"51. The supposed restoration of the Jews, and their re-establishment in the land of Canaan, as a peculiarly favoured nation and people of God, a groundless conjecture, founded in ignorance of the true sense of divine revelation.

"52. The real restoration of the Jews, or that which is so frequently predicted in the Sacred Scriptures, is the establishment of the New Church, called the New Jerusalem, whose commencement is in the present day.

"The Oracles of Divine, Wisdom, when rightly understood, the only infallible Criterion of Truth, to the rational Perception of which we are conducted by enlightened Reason, in conjunction with Integrity of Life.

"Such are the subjects intended to be introduced, and occasionally enlarged upon, as circumstances may call them into notice. Truth, the great object of our pursuit and contemplation, will be viewed under a new light, and exhibited in all her native beauty; whilst error, superstition, and fanaticism, together with infidelity, and every other species of intellectual deformity, will be chased away either as guilty or as idle intruders on the happiness and peace of religious society. For this end appeals will be perpetually made to those Oracles of divine wisdom, which, when rightly understood, form an infallible criterion of both the true and the good. Next to these, the voice of Reason will be listened to with the greatest deference and attention; not Reason in her state of infancy or minority, when she can discern nothing but the appearances of truth, and consequently when she herself still needs the guiding and fostering hand of Wisdom and Experience; but Reason grown up to a state of maturity; Reason capable of distinguishing between the fallacies of mere sense, and the realities of superior intelligence; in short, Reason enlightened by divine revelation, and thereby elevated far above the mists of ignorance and infidelity, into that purity of perception, which instantly embraces for itself, and at the same time is urgent to communicate to others, truth unadulterated by vice, unsophisticated by argument, and unmixed with the delusions of error.

"Universal Science made to contribute its share in confirming the Truths of Revelation, and in testifying to the Existence of a God-Man, the Creator and Preserver of all Worlds.

"But, in addition to the genuine sources of information above described, we shall also press into our service, out of the immense variety of facts reposited in the great theatre of nature, such aids as shall be found more immediately and distinctly calculated to support and confirm the testimony of divine revelation. The natural history of the globe which we inhabit, together with the multifarious productions of its three kingdoms, the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral; the arts and sciences, which once flourished in former ages, and which, after a long night of oblivion, are now again reviving with increased number, splendour, and advantage to society; and not only these, but even the firmament itself, consisting of myriads and myriads of suns, as centres to innumerable systems of worlds, doubtless created to be the habitations of intelligent and immortal beings successively coming into existence; but above all, the moral and physical constitution of man, in whom are concentrated all the powers, perfections, and glories of the creation, in a way and degree most astonishing and truly miraculous; all these (so far at least as the scanty information of those engaged in the work will enable them to accomplish) shall be made to contribute their measure and portion towards the production of that fatness of acknowledgment and love of the Supreme Being, which can alone spring up in the human breast, when the God of nature is perceived to be the God also of revelation, and when finally the same God is seen to be no other than the ever-adorable, because the ever-merciful, omniscient, and omnipotent Lord of the universe, JESUS CHRIST.

"Plan or Method of conducting the school.

"The plan of conducting the meetings of this infant Society, which has been already adopted, and which will be continued in future, at least during the winter, is as follows. As an accommodation to the labouring poor of this town, the meetings commence at Eight o'clock every Thursday evening, and continue for a little more than an hour. Without any formality, in the way of prayer, or other external sign of worship, in order that every one present may feel himself in a state of perfect liberty and ease, of whatever religious community he may be a member, MR. HINDMARSH takes the chair precisely at Eight o'clock; and, after explaining to the company (as occasion may require), the nature and design of the meeting, he gives an opportunity to any serious person to propose a subject for discussion; it being always understood, that no vain questions foreign to the real intent of the institution, or destitute of any prospect of spiritual benefit to the hearers, will be offered for their consideration; but, as the time is limited, that it may be employed in the most rational and useful manner possible.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 200 If no subject be proposed by any of the company present, MR. HINDMARSH then introduces one himself either from the Sacred Scriptures, or from the Theological Writings of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, which are illustrative of those Scriptures, and contain the most admirable lessons of instruction that have ever been given to mankind since the foundation of the Christian religion was first laid. From these Writings extracts will be read, and comments delivered on their extraordinary contents, which to the candid, the pious, and the rational mind, cannot fail to bring the most welcome and salutary information. In the midst of these discussions, which for the most part are intended to be conducted with all the familiarity of social conversation, and the lively affection of religious intercourse perfectly free from the spirit or the heat of party, it is most fervently hoped, that one unanimous sentiment of love and friendship will animate all who shall from time to time attend; and that each individual, learning to bear and forbear with his brother, and having his mind open to the cheering influence of heavenly life, will reap in his own bosom that blessedness of state, which ever awaits the truly humble and sincere Christian.

"Conditions of Admittance, and Rules to be observed in the School.

"For the sake of order, and that our THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL may be conducted with harmony and useful effect, the following conditions of admittance, and rules to be observed by all who attend, have been found proper to be adopted.

"1. Every person desirous of information or edification in subjects of theological inquiry, whatever may be his religious profession or denomination, is at liberty, and even invited to attend, on the simple condition of peaceable and quiet demeanour during the time of meeting.

"2. Any person is at liberty to propose a subject for consideration: but, as the power of determining upon its propriety or impropriety must be lodged somewhere, it shall be in the discretion of the President or Conductor of the meeting either to admit or reject the proposition, as he may think most consistent with the end of the institution, or beneficial to the company present.

"3. Every call to order by the Conductor, if such call should unavoidably become necessary, must be instantly attended to by all present: and if the authority of the chair shall require support, it is expected that it will not be with-held.

"4. As truth in its own nature is such, that it cannot be ascertained by majorities, and yet as it is possible that the decision or determination of a question may be called for, the Conductor, by virtue of his office or situation, is allowed the power of disposing of all questions in the way he may think most proper; each individual nevertheless still retaining in himself the full right and exercise of private judgment in all cases whatever.

"5. The avowed sentiments or religious opinions of MR. HINDMARSH, who acts as Conductor, being wholly derived from, and as he trusts in perfect agreement with the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, as contained in the Sacred Scriptures, and so clearly unfolded in the Theological Writings of the late Honourable EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, it is to be understood by all who attend, that the principles which influence his conduct, and give character to the institution which he has the honour to superintend, are expressly those of the New Church, called the New Jerusalem: and therefore he hopes, that no one will take offence, or consider himself in any way aggrieved, if, in his feeble endeavours to promote what he humbly conceives to be the truth of heaven itself, he shall at times be found to oppose with all his might the popular errors of the day; which yet he trusts he shall be enabled to do without the smallest breach of charity or affection towards those who differ from him in sentiment, and who may be equally sincere with himself, though (as he believes) misled in their judgment. In the performance of this duty, however it may expose him to the censure of the ungenerous, or the uncandid, as he neither looks for the honours of this world, nor is disposed to court its favours, he is supported purely by the consideration, that the cause, in which he is embarked, and in which he has laboured for more than thirty years of his life, is no less than the cause of virtue, of piety, of universal benevolence to mankind, and of supreme veneration for the great Author of all being. It is therefore from a conscientious regard to what is required of him, that he now ventures to offer himself to the notice of the public, in the way which this Prospectus announces; humbly hoping, that, if his abilities are slender, his usefulness to society may exceed his most sanguine expectation.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 201


"The leading Feature of the School, or the first and last Position, that will virtually, if not expressly be asserted and maintained in every Discussion, is that of the Sole, Supreme, and Exclusive Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; accompanied with Demonstrations to all who have Eyes to see the Light of Truth, that the present is actually the Day of his Second Advent.

"Having thus stated the design and objects of our new SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY, together with the plan or method of conducting the same, and the rules to be observed by those who may think proper to attend, only one observation more appears needful, that the public may be fully apprized of the real character of this institution. It is well known to every person at all acquainted with the predictions contained in the New Testament, that the Second Advent of JESUS CHRIST into the world is announced as an event which sooner or later was to take place. This event has long been looked for by many in the Church, who yet had no just idea of the true nature of such advent. In general it has been regarded as a personal appearance, in no way distinguishable from that of his First Advent, but by the glory, pomp, and power, which, it is supposed, will accompany it: and such vague, incoherent, and ridiculous notions have been entertained by almost all who have thought upon the subject, that nothing rational and satisfactory has been hitherto found by them to supply the place of doubt and conjecture. In this state of ignorance and darkness, it must be gratifying to those, who cordially believe in the promise of their departing Saviour, that he would again return to bless them with a more full and direct knowledge of himself, than his first appearance in the world was calculated to produce, to hear it distinctly and solemnly announced, that the present day is witness to the divine reality of his Second Advent; an Advent not in person, but in spirit, by virtue of which he is now opening and unfolding the wonderful contents of his Holy Word, which have been so long concealed from the eyes of mankind, and which cannot possibly be discerned by any others, than those who are willing to acknowledge his supreme and exclusive Divinity. To all such it will be made manifest, and as clear as the noon-day sun, that now is the day of the second appearance of the Lord God and Saviour, JESUS CHRIST; that now he is taking to himself his great power, and must reign as the Omnipotent God, both of angels and men; that now are the kingdoms of this world, and of all worlds, become his kingdoms; and that henceforth He alone, as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in essence and in person, indivisibly One, shall be known, acknowledged, and adored, both in heaven and on earth, as the Supreme God over all, blessed for ever-and ever-and ever. AMEN."

As before observed, after issuing the above Prospectus, the room was crowded to excess; the doctrines of the New Church became the subject of conversation in many circles; and a strong interest was excited in the town, which continued during the whole winter, until measures were taken for erecting a new place of worship in Salford, to be called the New Jerusalem Temple. Two gentlemen of the Society, Mr. John Barge, and Mr. Francis Goadsby, undertook to raise the building at their own joint expense, with the design of vesting the same in Trust for the use of the New Church for ever, as soon as a certain proportion of the debt incurred should be paid off by the subscriptions of the Society, they themselves taking the lead in a most liberal and handsome manner. Ground for this purpose was taken by them in Bolton Street, Salford; and the foundation-stone of the new Temple was laid on Monday, the 15th of March, 1813. In six months the building was completed; and on Sunday, the 19th of September following, it was opened by me for public worship, and consecrated, in the presence of a crowded audience. The adjoining burial ground, designed to be the silent depository for the ashes of departed friends and others, was also at the same time, duly set apart for that purpose. The Collection on that day amounted to L5l. 8s., which sufficiently shews the deep interest that was excited on the occasion.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 202 The property has been since vested in Trust for the use of the New Church, agreeably to the original design of the first proprietors.

As the purpose for which the Temple in Salford was erected, was well known among the inhabitants of the town, many were the inquiries which from time to time were made respecting the nature of the doctrines professed by the members of the New Church. On one occasion a gentleman, who appeared to be of an inquisitive turn of mind, but unacquainted with our views of the sole and exclusive Divinity of the Lord, requested me to state the grounds upon which we addressed all our worship to the Second Person in the Godhead, that is, to the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and did not extend at least some portion of it to God himself, or to the First Person, called the Father, and also to the Holy Ghost, as the greater part of Christians usually do. From what he had heard of our doctrine, he was not aware, that we maintained the identity of the Son with the Father, and with the Holy Spirit; and consequently he did not know, that in worshiping the Son as the visible manifestation of all that is divine, whether known by the name of Father, as an invisible and unapproachable Essence, or by the name of Son, as the proper Form of that Essence, or by the name of Holy Spirit, as the Influence or Operation proceeding from the Father and the Son together, we at the same time worship the whole, the sole, and the complete God, in all his Divine Majesty and Glory. Retaining, therefore, his idea of a personal distinction in the Godhead, as an undoubted fact, because the Christian Church in general holds it to be such, and wondering why we should select one of the Divine Persons as the sole object on whom to place the whole of our faith and love, he was for reasoning with me on the supposed indignity which we thus offered to the Father and the Holy Ghost, by refusing to worship them, in their turns at least, in common with the Son. But after explaining to him the doctrine of the New Church on this very important subject, and proving to him, both by Scripture and reason, that the Divine Being is incapable of such division into persons as the imagination of man has invented, I perceived that he was in some degree inclined to favour our views, though he would not hastily relinquish the faith of his fathers. "One conclusion," he said, "I have come to from your conversation, which gives me pleasure; and that is, - if you are right in worshipping Jesus Christ as the whole God, and the sole God, then nothing can eventually injure you, or overthrow your system: but if you are wrong, and have unadvisedly, through ignorance and misplaced devotion, set up the Son as superior to the Father, (supposing them to be distinct Persons,) even in that case I cannot doubt but the Father himself, from the great love he bears towards his Son, and the desire he has that all should honour him, will wink at the error you have committed, and accept you at last for the sake of his Son."


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 203 "Then, Sir," I replied, "upon the footing which you have yourself laid down, the members of the New Church are still on the safe side of the question." At parting, I strongly recommended to his future attention and study, the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, which I thought would yield him more information and satisfaction on the subject, than he could possibly derive from any other human source.

An account has been given of four successive periodical publications, undertaken at different times by the members of the New Church in London. The first was The New Jerusalem Magazine, which appeared in 1790, and contained with the Appendix, seven Monthly Numbers. The second was The Magazine of Knowledge, concerning Heaven and Hell, containing twenty Monthly Numbers, the first of which was published in March, 1790, and the last in October, 1791. The third publication of the kind was The New Jerusalem Journal, in ten Monthly Numbers, which came out in 1792. Several years elapsed before any other work of a similar nature was undertaken by the members of the New Church: but a wish having been generally expressed, that some medium of public and periodical communication should again be adopted, a few gentlemen united together for that purpose, and in May, 1799, brought out another work, in a smaller form, to which they gave the name of The Aurora, or Dawn of Genuine Truth. This Work proceeded as far as the twenty-eighth number, when it likewise closed in October, 1801. All these works were well received by the members of the New Church, at the time of their respective publications; and there is reason to believe, that they were productive of much good, and that the cause of truth was essentially promoted by each of them. But as the professors of the new doctrines were comparatively few in number in those early periods of the Church, the encouragement given to them was not sufficient to ensure their continuance, though the price at which they were published, was only Six- pence for each Number. A considerable loss was indeed sustained by those who undertook them, particularly in the case of the Magazine of Knowledge, and the New Jerusalem Journal, where the whole of the expense fell upon one individual, and that was myself.

Some years after the conclusion of the Aurora, the Church still increasing in numbers and in means, a very general desire was again expressed, that another effort should be made to establish a periodical work. The heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, it was considered, might be thereby further extended, and an opportunity given to societies and individuals to communicate with each other, and to acquire from time to time, a better knowledge of the success of the New Church in this, as well as in other countries, than could possibly be obtained without such a public medium.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 204 It was, therefore, resolved by a few gentlemen in London to commence a Quarterly publication under the title of The Intellectual Repository for the New Church, at the price of Eighteen-pence per Number. This was accordingly done, and the work made its appearance on the 1st of January, 1812, and was continued with great ability and success for many years. Not only by the professed members of the New Church, but by many pious and sincere Christians of other denominations, it was regarded as a publication of superior merit, a treasure of uncommon value: and it is to be hoped, that a periodical work so well conducted, will long continue to enlighten, to improve, and to gratify the lovers of genuine truth.*

* This publication is still continued, and is now in its 47th year. It first appeared quarterly, at 1s. 6d. a number, till the close of 1829; it was published every alternate month, at 1s. a number, till the close of 1839; and with 1840, it became a monthly magazine, at 6d. a number, and has so continued. The Intellectual Repository was commenced by seven members of the Church, who advanced L5 each as capital for the undertaking; and this was not only sufficient to carry it on for eighteen years, but it enabled five of the proprietors, when they transferred it to the General Conference, in 1829, to accompany it with a sum of L25 7s. 7d., then in hand, besides a considerable quantity of back numbers. The original editors were Mr. J. A. Tulk, Mr. G. Prichard, Mr. Noble, Dr. Orger, and Mr. T. Jones; and Mr. Mason and Mr. Shaw were also editors prior to its transference to the Conference. When it became the property of the Conference, the Rev. Mr. Hindmarsh, Mr. Noble, and Mr. Thomas Jones, were appointed editors; but Mr. Hindmarsh being unable to act, in consequence of his removal from London, Mr. Shaw was selected to fill the vacancy. In 1836, Mr. Jones and Mr. Shaw retired from the editorship; and Mr. Brayley, of London, and the Rev. J. H. Smithson, were associated with Mr. Noble in the editorship, the latter having withdrawn his resignation which he had tendered. At the Conference, in 1839, a new arrangement of the editorship was made, and the duties were undertaken by Mr. Noble and Mr. Smithson, each editing the alternate numbers; Mr. Brayley being relieved from the office; but ere the close of the Conference, Mr. Noble sent in his resignation, and stated his intention of retiring altogether from the editorship after the completion of the volume. He had been editor for twenty eight years. Mr. Butter was then associated with Mr. Smithson as alternate monthly editor, and continued till 1843, when the Rev. Mr. Smithson was appointed sole editor, and remained so to the end of 1857, when the Rev. W. Woodman was appointed assistant editor.- ED.


       CHAP. X.

IT is customary with the members of the New Church in Lancashire and other parts, to commemorate annually, the opening of their places of worship, and to hold anniversary meetings for the support of the various Sunday-schools instituted by them.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 205 At one of these provincial meetings, held at Bolton, in Lancashire, on the 11th of June, 1813, a proposal was made to form a Missionary Society, for the purpose of supplying with Ministers and Preachers such of the country Societies as stood in need of, and were desirous of obtaining, the benefits of public worship. In consequence of the wishes so generally and strongly expressed by those present, that the proposed measure should not be lost sight of, a meeting of several Ministers, Leaders, and other members of the New Church was held at the New Jerusalem Church, in Peter Street, Manchester, on Wednesday, the 16th of June, 1813, to take into consideration the best means of carrying the above design into execution, the Rev. RICHARD JONES* in the chair; when it was Resolved unanimously,

* The Rev. Richard Jones departed this life on the 22nd November, 1832, in the 62nd year of his age. He was the highly esteemed Minister of the Society in Peter Street, for the period of nearly thirty years; and rendered his services gratuitously.- ED.

"1. That, in consequence of the ardent desire so generally expressed by numerous Societies and individuals of the New Church, in various parts of Lancashire especially, and in prospect of the incalculable benefits to be derived from the universal extension of the Lord's new kingdom on earth, it is highly expedient, that a fund be raised for the purpose of providing suitable Ministers or Teachers, and of defraying the expenses which may be incurred by their visiting the different Societies already formed, or here-after to be formed, within this county and its vicinity.

"2. That it is the opinion of this meeting, that the most effectual way of raising such fund, will be by weekly, quarterly, and annual subscriptions, to be immediately set on foot among all the Societies of the New Church; which may also be increased by the friendly donations of individuals, who may not meet in society with their brethren, but who nevertheless are equally desirous of contributing to the more general dissemination of divine truth.

"3. That it be recommended to the various Societies, that weekly meetings be held by them, either in one body at the place where they usually assemble, or in smaller parties at each other's houses, for the purpose of reading and conversing on the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem; at the conclusion of which meetings the weekly subscriptions may be most conveniently collected.

"4. That the persons who may hereafter be authorized to act as Ministers or Teachers, and to visit the different Societies in the country, be first approved and recommended by at least two of the Ministers already appointed, and now officiating in their respective places of worship in the New Church, either in Manchester, or in other parts of Lancashire."

These Resolutions, with some others relating to the same subject, though unanimously passed at the meeting held in Manchester, as above stated, and afterwards printed, were yet (from causes not necessary to be here mentioned) never circulated among the Societies in Lancashire, nor in any respect acted upon for at least two years. But at length the Manchester and Salford Societies jointly brought the subject before the General Conference in the year 1815; when the establishment of a Missionary Ministry was declared to be highly expedient, and strongly recommended to the support of every individual member of the New Church. Of the proceedings on this subject more will be said in its proper place hereafter. In the mean time we proceed with the regular History of the Church.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 206

At Heywood, near Bury, in Lancashire, a Society had lately been formed: yet their zeal and success have been so great, that they have already erected a commodious building, which serves them both for a place of worship and a Sunday school. It was opened on Sunday, the 9th of October, 1814, and the collection amounted to L28. 2s. 8d.; a large sum for a country village. The Society in this place took its rise in the following manner. Four or five years before this time there was scarcely a single reader of the new doctrines in the whole village, which is very populous. But providentially one or two of the inhabitants were led to the New Church meeting in Middleton, where Mr. Richard Boardman*, a Leader of the Society in that place, has successfully officiated for many years. They were struck with the beauty and simplicity of the doctrines, but chiefly with their evident tendency to promote a good and useful life, by leading men to the true knowledge of the Lord and his Word, and at, the same time to the practical exercise of every Christian virtue. They continued their attendance at Middleton for about twelve months, during which time some others were added to their number; until by degrees they formed themselves into a society, established a library, as well for the benefit of their neighbours as themselves, and held regular meetings once a fortnight at the house of Mr. James Ashworth, which were begun in April, 1812, and continued till the December following. They then found it necessary to take a larger room, which might serve both for a Sunday school, and a place of worship. Their number still continuing to increase, a subscription was entered into, to enable them to build a more convenient place, which, by the assistance of their friends, and particularly of Mr. John Richardson, of Heywood, they at length accomplished. The place was accordingly opened, as before observed, on the 9th of October: and Mr. Boardman, of Middleton, who was the chief instrument under the Lord of raising the Society, regularly dispenses among them the great truths of the new dispensation. The number of actual members is about twenty; but the congregation, that usually attends, is computed at not less than four hundred. The school is likewise in a flourishing condition; and what with the assiduity of the teachers, the zeal and activity of the members of the Church in general, and the great reputation which the institution has already obtained among the inhabitants at large, the prospect of extensive usefulness is every week becoming more and more evident.

* Mr. Richard Boardman departed this life, at Middleton, on the 21st Jan. 1845, in the 81st year of his age, highly and deservedly respected by all who knew him. He was the gratuitous Leader of the Society for nearly forty years.- ED.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 207

Another Sunday school, founded on the principles of the New Jerusalem, was also opened in Bridge Street, Manchester, by the members of the Church meeting in Bolton Street, Salford, on Sunday, the 23rd of November, 1814: and it soon met with a liberal support from those, who duly estimated the advantages arising from an early initiation into the knowledge and worship of the one true God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

A new Chapel having been erected at Brightlingsea, in Essex, by the united efforts of the friends in that village, and in London, it was opened for public worship on the 28th of August, 1814.* It is a neat building, containing seats for about two hundred persons. At present it has no galleries, but is so constructed, that they may be added whenever there shall be occasion for them. The services were performed, in the course of the day, by the Rev. M. Sibly, from London, in a manner highly satisfactory to the congregations assembled therein. The cause of the New Church seems to be in a very flourishing condition in Brightlingsea. Her advocates have met with considerable opposition from the Methodists; but this appears to have no other effect than to add to their strength; and they number amongst their members some of the most respectable inhabitants of the place.**

* As stated in page 201.- ED.

** A scurrilous pamphlet was published at Colchester, entitled "A Dialogue between Captain Condescension and Jack Honesty," which was refuted by the Rev. J. Proud, and the Rev. Mr. Sibly, in two distinct replies.- ED.

On the following day thirty persons assembled to dinner, to celebrate the anniversary of the introduction of the heavenly doctrines into Brightlingsea and a neighbouring village called St. Osyth; and the company was joined, in the afternoon, by a considerable number of the female friends. The chairman, Mr. Fletcher, reported, that a number of the small tracts had been circulated round the neighbouring country, by means of a person employed to carry them out, who would re-commence the same employment as soon as the harvest was got in. The chairman also reported, that the spiritual harvest, in that neighbourhood, was greatly in want of labourers; and instanced the case of the large village of Great Bentley, about four miles from Brightlingsea, where, he stated, many of the inhabitants were so favourable to the cause of the New Church, that they were desirous of building a Chapel in which the doctrines might be preached to them, and were willing to begin immediately, if they could obtain a properly qualified person to perform the Ministerial duties. It was indeed the general opinion, that if a Minister could be found, whose private circumstances would enable him to require but a very moderate remuneration for his labours, he might perform the most essential uses, by opening the doctrines of genuine truth to the numerous affectionate and well-prepared minds, with which this sequestered part of the kingdom abounds.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 208 Harmony and peace pervaded every breast and conversation on spiritual subjects occupied the attention of the meeting till 9 o'clock, when an appropriate hymn was sung, and the meeting adjourned to the last Monday in July, 1815.

Notwithstanding these gratifying accounts, it was afterwards stated, that the opposition, which the New Church experiences at this place, has of late increased to absolute persecution. The clergyman and leading persons of the parish have expressed a determination to compel the friends of the heavenly doctrines to renounce their sentiments or quit the village; to accomplish which they have entered into an engagement not to deal with or employ any of them, whereby many inoffensive characters have been reduced to great distress. One poor man with a family, who had engaged with a farmer to perform a certain portion of harvest work, was dismissed from his employment the day after the opening of the Chapel, for having attended the service; and several children were expelled from the Sunday school on the same day for a similar offence on the part of their parents;- an action which adds ingratitude to cruelty, as the Sunday school owes its establishment to the active exertions of some of the receivers of the New Church writings. It is astonishing that any set of men can be so blind as not to see, that by such conduct they are, contrary to their own intentions, contributing to establish the very cause which they wish to overthrow, by drawing to it the favourable attention of all who can sympathize with suffering innocence, and who feel indignant at the wrongs inflicted by petty tyranny and oppression.

It appears from the Fifth Annual Report of the London Printing Society, that it has undertaken to publish a translation of The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine in the Welsh language; which may prove the means of introducing the truths of the New Church into a part of the kingdom, where there is great reason to hope that they will find many minds prepared to receive them.* The Society has also taken up the plan, so beneficially pursued by the Manchester Society, of circulating small tracts, extracted from, or illustrative of, the Writings, by means of hawkers; and having met with some encouraging success, it is desirous of prosecuting the undertaking on a more extensive scale.

* This translation was published in 1815, under the immediate inspection of Mr. T. Jones, of Long Acre, London, a native of the Principality, and a member of the Printing Society's Committee.- ED.                            

A New Church Society has lately been established in Stockholm, consisting of many respectable members, some learned, several of the Nobility, and some men high in office, the number altogether is about two hundred. The title, which they have assumed, is, "Pro Fide et Charitate."


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 209 ("For Faith and Charity.") Mr. Billberg, the President of that Society states, that they have it in contemplation to print new editions of the Writings in the original Latin, for the use of readers on the Continent, where that language is very generally understood, and where many appearances, favourable to the propagation of the heavenly doctrines, have of late become manifest. But it is doubtful whether their beneficent design can be at present accomplished, for want of sufficient funds for so great an undertaking. It is also matter of regret, that the state of opinion in Sweden renders it necessary for the members of the New Church to conceal their sentiments, even in the name which they assume. But it is to be hoped, that the time is fast approaching, when, the tendency of those sentiments being more justly appreciated, the open acknowledgment of them will cease to be considered a reproach in any country on the globe.

Letters were received from Russia, Jersey, Jamaica, Demarara, and other places, giving the most pleasing accounts of the demand which is made for books both in English and French. Public worship, preaching, and conversation, in agreement with the new doctrines, must be highly useful in any country: but the actual possession of the Writings in illustration of the Word, and the diligent study of them, together with a life conformable to their heavenly dictates, must ever be considered as the basis, whereon all our hopes of the success of the New Church ought to rest. For which end the circulation of the works of the Honourable Author, in all the modem and living languages, cannot fail to be regarded as a prime object with every sincere lover of the truth.

Some misunderstanding having arisen between the Government of Great Britain and that of the United States of America, the correspondence between the members of the New Church in these two countries was for a long time interrupted. But at length, in 1814, a letter was received in London from Mr. Hargrove, giving an account of the state of the Church in different parts of North America, since the period of his former communications. The letter was addressed to the Ministers and other members of the New Jerusalem in Great Britain generally, and was as follows.

                                   "Baltimore, 1814.
"To the Ministers and Members of the New Jerusalem Church in Great Britain,

       "Grace, mercy, and salvation, be multiplied.

"Dearly Beloved,

"After a long and painful interruption of that, to me, pleasing and valuable correspondence, which has formerly existed between us, occasioned by the unhappy differences between our two Governments, an opportunity now offers (through a friend, a citizen of Baltimore, about to embark for your country on mercantile pursuits,) of remitting you a few lines; which, though hastily thrown together, for want of time, yet may be considered as a true report of the external aspect and state of the Lord's New Church, as far as has come to my knowledge, since the interruption of our correspondence alluded to; and I trust that therein will be contained some pleasing reflections, in the midst of the surrounding gloom, and the numerous tribulations, to which, as members of the Lord's future or New Church, we are subject, yet called to encounter and overcome; not in our own strength, however, but through the aid of omnipotent wisdom and love.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 210

"That you, my beloved, have long been involved in spiritual and deep tribulations, and opposed by all the infernal powers, it needs no argument to assure me of; for as face answereth to face in a glass, so doth the experience and inward feelings of one Minister or member of the Lord's true Church answer to those of every other.

"Think not, then, that your unworthy brother and companion in the Lord's new vineyard has not felt his full share of these deep but necessary trials. Separated as I am, and long have been, from your improving correspondence, and destitute of the sweet and animating influence of your converse and zealous labours of love; destitute, too, of any aid or assistance in the work of the Ministry, or any external support from glebes, patronage, or salary, or from the membership of any of the noble, the wise, or the wealthy of this world; think what a rough path has lain before me in my way to Zion. Yet, 'glory unto GOD in the Highest,' he hath made this rough path smooth, and led me by a way which I knew not; spreading, at the same time, beneath and all around me, his everlasting arms.

"In this city the dragon has erected a high seat, and decorated it with many a false but glittering gem. Our external increase, therefore, is apparently both limited and slow; yet we do increase some, even in outward manifestation, and I trust still more in a more internal and hidden way; hidden as to the sight of the natural man, but not from the sight of angels.

"Of myself I will only say, that I still continue to hold forth the Word of Life every Sabbath day, to those who incline to hear me, while the six days of the week are devoted, in a great measure, to the arduous and various duties of my office, as Register of this great and commercial city, the emporium of Maryland; and though my office is subjected annually to re- election by the two branches of our city council, yet, as a proof of the confidence placed in me by my fellow-citizens and the mayor, I have never, since the first year, had to encounter a rival for my office. This surely is of the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in my eyes, and in the eyes of all my friends.

"In some of my former communications to England, I reported the pleasing progress of the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem in some of the interior parts of this vast continent, particularly on the banks of the river Ohio. I corresponded with two or three plain pious recipients there, whose letters convince me, that the spread of genuine truth will not be effected so much by human eloquence, by human might, or human strength, but by the 'Spirit of the Lord.' I believe I also formerly reported to you the reception of our doctrines by the Rev. Hugh White, M.A., formerly an ordained Minister in the Church of Scotland. This gentleman is far advanced in life, yet still zealous and active, a natural philosopher, and a Latin, Greek, and Hebrew scholar. His residence, for some years past, has been in the village of Charlotte's Ville, Albemarle County, State of Virginia, where he has taught an academy for some time. Two pamphlets have issued from his pen in support of our doctrines, which discover a profound view of his subjects, though then not deeply read in our illuminated author's works. About the middle of August, 1812, his zeal urged him to visit us in Baltimore, (a distance of two hundred miles,) for the purpose of being inducted or ordained, in a solemn and orderly manner, into the Ministry of the Lord's New Church; which was performed by me in our Temple of worship, before a crowded audience, much after the mode adopted in London a few years ago, a printed copy of which I had received;- he having first produced a very high recommendation from a few inhabitants and recipients of our doctrines in his village; and having also delivered a sermon two or three days previous to his ordination, whereby he proved his ability to undertake the office of a Minister of the new dispensation.

"I have now to report to you the pleasing and very interesting intelligence of the reception of the doctrines of the New Church by two Rev. Gentlemen, and Doctors of Medicine. The first of these lives about 600 miles to the southward of Baltimore, in Edgefield Court House, South Carolina. The name of this gentleman is William Brazier, formerly an ordained Preacher among the Methodists; but he receded from the American Connexion of that Church about twenty years ago, when he took to the study of medicine, was admitted, and has for many years practised as a physician, at the same time preaching occasionally, particularly of late.

"The other Rev. M.D., Mr. Lewis Beers, postmaster in the town of Spencer, Fioga County, State of New York, was originally designed for the Ministry in the Presbyterian Church here; but, as he informs me, after his literary preparations for, and full intentions of entering into, the Ministry of that Church were past, he was unexpectedly and pain fully impeded by an honest and impartial re-examination of their creed.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 211 Upon this he changed his original design, took up the study of medicine, and, in due time, was honourably admitted. Still, however, his mind inclined to the study of theology, and would occasionally manifest it so as to attract the attention of his neighbours, until finally he was requested to attend the Ministry of the Universalists, and to give lectures in that Church by a licence from their general meeting. This happened some three or four years ago, since which, though not satisfied, he was more so than to continue a member of the
Church of Scotland (so called).

"'The Halcyon Luminary, or Theological Repository,' a periodical work, commenced by some of our friends in New York, about the beginning of the year 1812, soon attracted Dr, Beers's notice, and finding that one writer therein came forward under his own signature, viz. John Hargrove, on some subjects which attracted his attention, and gratified his inquiring mind, he delayed not to introduce himself to me, through the medium of the post-office, acknowledging the pleasure he received from my essays in the work alluded to, and begging further instruction in a variety of religious articles. To this pious request I could not object, but opened a correspondence with my unknown but esteemed friend, which daily increases in its importance, and in its anticipated consequences to the New Jerusalem Church.

"The first Sabbath in the present year, (fourteen full years since my own first appearance in the Temple in this city, dedicated to the worship of Jehovah Jesus in One person,) Dr. Beers informs me, that he openly and solemnly announced his belief in the second advent of the Lord, in his house of worship; and that, contrary to his expectations, but two or three individuals were offended, while the rest continue to attend his Ministry, and new hearers are daily added.

"It would greatly delight and gratify you, my dear brethren, had I time to transcribe here a few passages from the letters of each of these reverend gentlemen; wherein a spirit of deep piety and fervent zeal is expressed in a classical stile. The latter gentleman lives about 400 miles northward of Baltimore, consequently these twin brothers reside 1000 miles apart, while your humble servant, placed in the centre or focus of this ample periphery, is enabled to behold with pious rapture the respective revolutions of these new luminaries round the centre of the Lord's visible New Church in this part of the world.

"Had I time to enlarge, I would say, surely the set time to favour our Israel is at hand. Happier days approach. The last trumpet's sound will soon be heard from pole to pole, and from the rivers to the ends of the earth. Probably I shall first be removed hence; the growing infirmities of sixty-four years justify me in this opinion; yet while I am spared here, and blessed, as I am, with all things necessary for life and for godliness, I trust I shall still run and not be weary, walk and not faint, until I receive an honourable discharge, accompanied with the divine approbation of 'Well done,'- but I am not worthy to add the rest. I will now conclude with a renewed salutation, that grace, mercy, and salvation, may be multiplied onto you all: Amen.

                                   "JOHN HARGROVE."

It is well known, that, in consequence of a long and destructive war, the various Ecclesiastical Establishments on the Continent have in some countries been entirely subverted, in others so much deranged as to approximate nearly to their extinction, but in all to have suffered severely; so that a general laxity of morals and want of religion have been too plainly observed in the different classes of society, and by good men of every nation most deeply lamented. Among the Sovereigns of Europe the King of Prussia was the first to give his sanction to a proposed reform of public worship throughout his own dominions: for which purpose his Majesty appointed a Select Committee of the Clergy, who were intimately acquainted with the state and circumstances of the Church, and authorized them to examine the different liturgies and religious ceremonies of foreign Protestant Churches, to compare them with those of his own country, and even to invite contributions from Ministers of religion in other kingdoms; in order that, from a well-digested view of the doctrines, forms, and ceremonies, of the Christian Church at large, especially of the Protestant and Reformed part of it, proposals for the most suitable improvements of public worship might be presented to the proper spiritual authorities in Prussia, and by them, in conjunction with the highest civil authorities, be adopted and acted upon, either in whole or in part, as soon as convenient after the return of his Prussian Majesty from the General Congress assembled at Vienna.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 212

This design was first announced at Berlin in the month of September, 1814; and the Prussian Ministry of the Home Department published, by authority of his Majesty the King of Prussia, the following remarkable Notification, which was afterwards copied into most of the public Journals of this and other countries.


"It has for a long time been very generally felt in the Prussian States, that the form of divine worship in the several Protestant Churches is destitute of that awfulness and solemnity, which inspiring and seizing on the mind, can elevate it to religious feelings and pious sentiments. There are few symbols, and even those which are introduced are not always the most significant, or have lost a part of their signification. The sermon is considered as the essential part of divine worship; whereas, though highly important, it is properly only instruction, and encouragement to worship. The liturgies are partly so incomplete, partly so unlike, and so imperfect, that much is left to the discretion of the individual clergyman: and the uniformity of the Church rites, one of the principal conditions towards their beneficent effects, is almost entirely lost. These defects have become more visible in these latter times, when the religious disposition of the people, revived by the great political events, by the sufferings, the struggles, and the triumphs of the country, has profoundly felt the necessity of expressing and pronouncing itself in a worthy manner. It would be to be lamented, if this era, so peculiarly favourable and proper for suitable reforms in divine worship, should pass over without any advantage being derived from it. In this spirit many of the worthiest clergymen, particularly of the Capital and the March of Brandenburg, have applied to his Majesty the King, requesting that this desired reform may be prepared and introduced.

"This pious request of the Clergy, which fully coincides with his Majesty's own views, has been received by him with peculiar attention and satisfaction.

"In consequence, his Majesty has selected a number of Clergymen, who, to the purest intentions of promoting the kingdom of God, unite a thorough knowledge of the whole affairs of the Church, and necessary regard to all circumstances to be attended to; and his Majesty has commissioned them, after mature deliberation, to make proposals for the most suitable improvements of the public worship, by the highest spiritual authorities, after his return from Vienna.

"The wish and the will of the King is, that this Select Committee of the Clergy, according to the saying of the apostle, 'try all, and keep the best,' may examine the liturgies and all the religious ceremonies of the foreign Protestant Churches, compare them with ours, and with the spirit and principles of our holy religion, to produce the best form for a liturgy, which, maintaining and preserving the pure doctrines of the Protestant Church, may at the same time give to public worship new life and new energy, and confirm more and more the religious dispositions of the people. The clergymen commissioned by his Majesty to this end, are the chief counsellors of the Consistory, SACK, court chaplain; PEIBAECQ, GAUSTRIN, and HECKER, counsellors of the Consistory; OFFELSMEYER, and EYLERT, court chaplains.

"Contributions and proposals to promote this end, from judicious and experienced clergymen of both the Protestant persuasions, will be readily received, and carefully weighed by the above Committee; for which reason I invite those, who feel in themselves the call and ability, to promote this important cause, by speedily sending their contributions in writing.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 213

                            "Ministry of the Home Department,

"Berlin, Sept. 17, 1814."              "VON SHUCKMANN."

In consequence of the preceding Notification, and invitation to foreign Ministers of religion to send contributions or proposals for a reform in public worship, it was thought advisable, as no injury, but possibly some good, either present or remote, might be the result, that a communication should be made from some of the members of the New Church in England, to the Committee appointed by his Prussian Majesty to receive whatever might be sent relative to the object in view. Being requested by several of the members of the Society in Salford, Manchester, of which I was at that time the Pastor, to offer a proposal for the more direct worship of our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, than that which has heretofore obtained in the Christian Church, I was therefore induced to address a letter to the Select Committee of the Clergy in Berlin, expressly on that Subject. But not knowing the proper channel, through which the letter, and the books intended to accompany it, might be most safely conveyed, I wrote to the Prussian Ambassador in London, stating the case, and requesting that he would have the goodness to give me the necessary information. My letter to His Excellency was couched in the following terms:

"To His Excellency the Prussian Ambassador, in London.

"Sir,                                   "Manchester, Oct. 29, 1814.

"Understanding that the Ministry of the Home Department in Prussia have lately issued a public Notification, that it is the wish and the will of His Prussian Majesty the King, that a Reform should be made in the Worship of the Church; and observing also that a general invitation is given in the said document to foreign Clergymen, or Ministers of religion, to offer such contributions and proposals as they may judge serviceable in promoting the aforesaid Reform; I take the liberty to request, that your Excellency will have the goodness to inform me, by letter addressed as below, through what channel a Packet may be best forwarded, so as to reach the hands of the Select Committee appointed by His Prussian Majesty to receive and consider the various proposals which may be sent.

       "I have the honour to be, Sir,

              "Your Excellency's most obedient, humble Servant,

                     "ROBT. HINDMARSH."

"Please to direct for me at No. 25, Hodson Street, Salford, Manchester."

Having waited a considerable time for His Excellency's reply, without hearing a syllable from him, and my packet being in readiness to be forwarded, I made inquiry in another quarter; and soon found, that a captain of a ship was on the point of sailing from Hull to Hamburg, who, on application, undertook the charge of its safe delivery according to the directions given. To him I entrusted the packet, and in a few weeks afterwards I received an answer from the gentlemen of the Committee, to whom it was addressed, filled with sentiments of piety, charity, and Christian benevolence. The letter and answer, transcribed verbatim, were as follows:-


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 214

                                          Manchester, Nov. 24, 1814.
"To the Members of the Select Committee of the Clergy, appointed by His Majesty the King of Prussia to make Proposals for the Improvement of Public Worship.


"Learning from an English Newspaper, that a public Notification has been issued by the ministry of the Home Department in Prussia, that it is the wish and the will of the King, that a reform should be made in the service of public worship, so that the spirit and principles of the true Christian religion may more fully appear, both in the worship and in the lives of the people;- and observing further, that a general invitation is given in the said document, by the express desire of his Prussian Majesty, to foreign Clergymen, or Ministers of religion, belonging to Churches reformed from the errors and superstitions of Popery, to send contributions and proposals for the promotion of the above ends;- I take the liberty, with the advice and at the request of the principal members of the Church, whereof I am the Minister, to transmit to you, as forming the Commission appointed by his Majesty to receive the said contributions, the Liturgy and other services of the New Church, signified by the New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation. This New Church differs in various points of doctrine from the Established Church of England, as you will readily perceive on examination. But as we believe, that our doctrines are the pure doctrines of genuine Christianity, purged as well from the errors that have crept into the Protestant and Reformed Churches, as from the gross abuses and superstitions of the Catholic Church, the Liturgy and Hymns herewith sent to you, may possibly suggest some hints for the improvement of your public worship, which is all that we have in view on the present occasion.

"But particularly I would recommend the most scrupulous attention to be paid to the true and proper OBJECT of religious worship: and therefore I beg leave most humbly to propose, that, instead of addressing the Father for the sake of the Son, which is nowhere commanded, but expressly forbidden in the Sacred Scriptures, (John x. 1, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16,*) the approach be directly and immediately made to the Saviour JESUS CHRIST Himself, who is One with the Father, John x. 30; who hath all power in heaven and in earth, Matt. xxviii. 18; in whom the whole fulness of the Divinity dwelleth bodily, Coloss. ii. 9; who is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, who Is, who Was, and who Is to Come, the Almighty, Apoc. i. 8, 11, 17; chap. xxii. 13; and who therefore must be the One Only God of heaven and earth, manifested to men under a Divinely-Human Form.

* See also Matt. xi. 28; Luke xviii. 16; John v. 40; chap. vi. 35, 45, 68; chap. vii. 37; chap. x. 27, 28; chap. xx. 28.

"To be consistent, however, in our addresses to this GREAT OBJECT of divine worship who is One both in Essence and in Person, it appears to be highly necessary, that, in agreement with the Sacred Scriptures, we pray to Him either for his own sake, or for his Name's sake, or for his mercy's sake, as in Ps. xxv. 7, 11; Ps. xxxi. 3, 16; Ps. xliv. 26; Ps. li. 1; Ps. lxix. 16; Ps. lxxix. 9; Isa. xliii. 25; chap. xlviii. 9, 11; Jer. xiv. 7, 21; Dan. ix. 19. Whereas in the various Protestant Churches, in imitation of the Romish Church, the worship is offered to One Divine Person, for the sake of the merits, righteousnesses, and death of another, which implies, in the first place, that the merciful God needs to have his compassion excited, or his wrath pacified, by the extraneous consideration of what another has done and suffered; and in the next place, that some other Being, different from, and superior to, our Lord JESUS CHRIST, is the proper Object of worship.

"It is true, the doctrine of vicarious sacrifice and atonement is received and taught by the generality of Christians. But as it is not on that account the more reasonable, or the more Scriptural; and it being as possible for Christians in the present day to misapprehend the true nature of their religion, as it was for Jews in ancient times to misunderstand the drift and design of theirs; so it becomes us again and again to examine the Scriptures, in order that we may discover their genuine meaning on this, as well as on other most important subjects.

"I will therefore only add, that the two fundamental principles of what our Church conceives to be the true Christian religion, consists in,

"1st. An acknowledgment of our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST as the One Only God of heaven and earth, in whom is a Divine Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, like the human trinity of soul, body, and operation, in every individual man, agreeably to his own words in Matthew, chap. xxviii. 18 to 20; and in various other parts of the Holy Gospels.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 215

"And, 2ndly. A life according to the commandments, by shunning evils of every kind as sins against God.

"These doctrines may be seen more fully stated in our Liturgy*, particularly at page 54, &c., to which you are therefore referred; as likewise to another book accompanying the Liturgy, written by me, and just published, entitled, A Seal upon the Lips of Unitarian, Trinitarians, &c. This latter work, as well as the former, together with two others, written by the late Honourable EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, (viz. The Doctrine of the Lord, and The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine,) you are most humbly requested to accept, and to peruse, for the purpose of drawing from them whatever may be thought useful in promoting the undertaking, to which you have been appointed.

* The Liturgy here referred to is that formerly used by the members of the New Church at Salford, Manchester, before the Conference Liturgy was compiled and adopted. The former, together with several others then in use among the various Societies, has been superseded by the latter, which was published in January, 1828, and is now very generally received by the New Church, for the sake of uniformity of worship.- R. H.

"As it is the pious wish of your enlightened and benevolent King, that you should try all, and retain the best; so it is the prayer of the members of the Church with which am connected, and also of myself, that you may be providentially led to adopt, from the variety of proposals and contributions which may be submitted to your notice, such principles of doctrine and of life, and such only, as shall most redound to the glory of the INCARNATE GOD, and at the same time be most conducive to the real welfare of the people, whose eternal interests you have now in charge.

"With the greatest respect I beg leave to subscribe myself,

       "Reverend Sirs,

              "Your most obedient, humble Servant,

                     "ROBERT HINDMARSH,

              "Minister of the New Jerusalem Temple

                     "in Bolton Street, Salford, Manchester."

ANSWER to the above, received on the 12th of February, 1815, and addressed -

"To the Rev. Mr. Hindmarsh, Minister of the New Jerusalem Church, Manchester.

REVEREND SIR,              "Berlin, the 12th January, 1815.

"WE received very well your kind letter, dated Nov. 24, 1814, and the most valuable present you made us, with the works of the celebrated Baron SWEDENBORG, and the writings concerning the New Jerusalem Church. Accept, dear Sir, our most sincere thanks for the warm interest you take in the most important business which our gracious Sovereign entrusted to our care, as well as for the assistance, by which you have the favour to facilitate the progress of our endeavours. Though we cannot agree in all points with the opinions laid down in the system of the New Jerusalem Church, we must heartily approve your zeal in promoting the honour and respect due to our Divine Master and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, Who, according to Scripture, is the Image of the Invisible God, the First-born of every creature, and in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins. The doctrine, that to JESUS alone our prayers are to be addressed, appears to us inconsistent, not only with the Ecclesiastical Orthodoxy of all ages, but with the clearest assertions in the Old and New Testament.

"With respect to the other fundamental doctrine of your Church, we are quite of the same opinion. A life, conform to the precepts and the example of Christ, is certainly as essential to the Christian faith, as the most orthodox dogmatical theory. We have an unerring principle of acting in the dictates of our conscience, and in the directions of our Lord; and if we do right according to our best knowledge, the merciful Creator of our nature will certainly forgive the erroneous judgment of our understanding. Let us rejoice, dear Sir, that a state awaits us, in which we shall be nearer to the Source of all light, and wherein truth, so often veiled to us in this sublunary world, will dispel all the clouds of uncertainty and doubt.

"We will do our possible to deserve the esteem and approbation of all those, who are convinced of the high importance of public worship, paying the most serious regard to the Form of Prayers and Hymns contained in the Liturgy you had the kindness to send us, and in that of the Episcopal Church of England.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 216

"We most sincerely pray God, that you may enjoy the satisfaction of seeing promoted, by your instructions, Christian knowledge and virtue. We may differ in opinions; but we are all in the right way, if we join in seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

"Accept, Reverend Sir, the assurances of our highest esteem, and our best wishes. May all possible spiritual and earthly blessing render your life as comfortable as the imperfection of human condition permits!

"The grace of our Lord JESUS CHRIST, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you!

                                          (" SACK,

"The Committee appointed by His       (" PEIBAECQ

Majesty the King to make Pro-              (" GAUSTRIN

posals for the Improvement of              (" HECKER,

Public Worship."                            (" OFFELSMEYER,

                                          (" EYLERT."

The reader will observe, on perusing the letter from Berlin, that though the gentlemen of the Committee appointed by his Prussian Majesty, did not at the time of writing it, and perhaps do not as yet, acknowledge the sole and exclusive Divinity of our Lord, and cannot see the propriety of addressing the Saviour alone as the great Object of religious worship, being still impressed with an idea of some Superior Being, who lays claim to the chief affections of the heart; and this probably from their respect to what they call the orthodoxy of past ages, rather than from any direct testimony or instruction of the Sacred Scriptures; yet the spirit in which they write, evidently appears to be that of the true Christian religion, which, allowing for the frailties and errors of the human understanding, ever holds up to view the undiminished necessity of loving the Lord above all things, and our neighbour as ourselves. This principle of love and charity, directed even to those who differ with us in opinion, or in the intellectual perception of divine truth, still tends to bind man with man, society with society, and nation with nation; and being now perhaps better understood, and more sensibly experienced by the sincere and pious of every name and profession, than in any of the preceding ages of the Church since the golden days of primitive Christianity, it cannot but be hailed as the harbinger of that glorious dispensation of mercy peace, and happiness, which every prediction and every promise of the Sacred Records have had in ultimate contemplation.

It is gratifying to remark, that the Committee of the Prussian Clergy, charged with the duty of preparing materials for the proposed improvement of public worship, having received one of the Liturgies of the New Church, are disposed to avail themselves of its contents, as well as of the Liturgy of the Established Church of England, in the prosecution of their work. May they in all their ways be led by the light of that divine truth, which, originating in, and flowing from the Holy Word, is far above all human wisdom! They will then become enlightened as well as faithful shepherds of the flock; conducting their people to the Door that opens immediately into the sheepfold; earnestly cautioning them against "climbing up some other way;" and encouraging them to direct all their thoughts, all their affections, and all their worship to Him, who alone is the Door, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 217

Some time after the date of the preceding correspondence between the Select Committee of the Clergy, appointed by his Majesty the King of Prussia, and myself, as Minister of the New Jerusalem Temple in Salford, Manchester, it was announced in the public journals of the day, that a convention, distinguished by the name of the Holy League, or, Holy Alliance, had been entered into by the Emperor of Austria, the King of Prussia, and the Emperor of Russia. The design of this triple Alliance, which was left open for the accession of other Christian Princes, who might choose to adopt its spirit and resolutions, was to promote unanimity and friendship among the Powers of Europe, and to bind them in future to act towards their own subjects and armies, respectively, and towards each other in all their political relations, as members of one great family of Christians, acknowledging the Saviour Jesus Christ as their Head, and living according to the precepts of his holy
religion. In consequence of this new and extraordinary proceeding on the part of three distinguished Sovereigns, and judging that a way was hereby making, by the Divine Providence, for the amelioration of the state of society in general, and the introduction of the truths of the New Jerusalem among nations and individuals as yet ignorant of them, I was, in common with many others in this kingdom, led to reflect deeply on the tendency and probable issue of the Imperial and Royal Act thus announced to the world at large. It was plainly to be gathered from the whole tenour, as well as from the express language, of the Convention, that a new principle of Theology, different from that which generally prevails in the Christian Church, had been adopted by the parties concerned in it: for it is distinctly stated by them, that the nations, over which they are appointed to preside, have in reality "no other Sovereign than Him to whom alone power really belongs, because in Him alone are found all the treasures of love, science, and infinite wisdom, that is to say, GOD OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR:" whereas the doctrines almost universally received by the Christian nations teach, that Omnipotence is shared among Three Divine Persons or Beings, of whom the Saviour Jesus Christ is only One, and that not the first or highest in rank, but the second. At the same time a fear was entertained, that these Imperial and Royal professions of the sole Omnipotence and exclusive Divinity of the Saviour, were not the result of a deliberate and well digested view of the whole doctrine of the Christian religion, but merely a selection of certain prominent parts of the Gospel and the Apostolic Epistles, which the three Monarchs and their Ecclesiastical advisers had judged expedient to bring forward on the occasion, rather as words of course, which could not be denied by the believers in revelation, than as a settled, firm, and enlightened belief, that the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is indeed the Divine Source of all power, and consequently the Only God of heaven and earth.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 218 For it has been found by repeated observation and experience, that though in one frame of mind, when the commonly-received doctrines of Nominal Christianity are in a kind of abeyance, or for the moment not thought of, the professors of religion can plainly avow their faith in the Saviour as "the True God and Eternal Life," that is to say, as the Great Jehovah Himself - they can yet, in another frame of mind, when under the influence of doctrines as contrary to the truth as darkness is to light, set up an absurd system of Gods, one of superior and another of inferior dignity to Him whom they acknowledge as "GOD OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR." It is to be deplored, that Princes, Kings, and Emperors, are as liable to this delusion, as the meanest of their subjects.*

* That two contradictory sentiments, like those above named, may be entertained by the same mind, and nearly at the same time, is very evident from numerous examples to be met with among the professors of Nominal Christianity; and that this was actually the case with the Emperor Alexander himself, who first suggested the Holy Alliance, may be fairly deduced from the account given in a work published after his decease, and inserted in the Sunday Herald of Feb. 22, 1829, from which the following is copied:

"Some days before his departure from France, Alexander said to Mad. de Krudener, 'I am on the point of quitting France; but I intend, first, by a public act, to pay to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, that homage and gratitude which we owe him. I shall therefore invite the nations to follow the precepts of the Gospel. Here is a draft of the Act; I beg you to go through it attentively, and to tell me if it contains any expression of which you do not approve. I wish much that the Emperor of Austria and the King of Prussia may accede to this religious act of adoration, that we may be like the Kings of the East, who acknowledged the Supremacy of the Saviour. Pray with me to God, that my Allies may be sure to subscribe this document.' On the following morning Alexander came for the draft, which he himself carried to the Allied Sovereigns. He was delighted on finding, that they immediately entered into his views. Such was the origin of the Holy Alliance, which has employed so many tongues and pens, and on which such contrary opinions have been expressed."

Here the Emperor speaks of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, plainly as if they were Three Gods: and shortly after he acknowledges the Supremacy of the Saviour, which, if there be any meaning in the words at all, must imply, that the Saviour is the Supreme Power, or Supreme Being; and if so, as there can be but one such in existence, that He is at the same time the One Only God of heaven and earth. Such are the contradictions, either expressed or implied, in all the systems of modern Christianity, which have so notoriously bewildered the Greek, the Romish, and the Protestant Churches. For neither of these Churches, nor their avowed partisans, will allow that God the Father is the same Person or Being as God the Son, or that either of them is the same as God the Holy Ghost; although at times, either through a sense of shame, or fear of being charged with Tritheism, the natural consequence of their system, they feel themselves constrained to say, that they are all one; which is a declaration, if consistently interpreted, amounting to no more, than that the Three Gods are perfectly unanimous.

Yet, again, this will serve the purpose only for a short moment: for by the same doctrines, which the leaders of the Church have contrived to make so generally prevalent, different and discordant attributes are ascribed to the Three Divine Persons. Thus the first is stated to be in the highest degree vindictive, and implacable without a sufficient atonement, which must be no less than the blood of an innocent Person, his own Son; and even after agreeing to accept such atonement, he is represented as still requiring something more, namely, the continual intercession of the Victim, after his restoration to life, in behalf of guilty sinners, for whom the penalty of death has already been paid. The second Person is considered as propitious, and merciful in his nature, having nothing of a vindictive character in his disposition, but willing to give full satisfaction to his incensed Father, while he himself requires nothing of the kind for his own offended Majesty. Lastly, the third Person is represented as neither giving nor requiring satisfaction, not at all interfering with the proposed plan of redemption, but leaving it to be settled by the Father and the Son as they should think proper, and standing as it were on tip-toe, ready to execute the commands or good-pleasure of the two former, wherever his services may become necessary. These are only some of the points, which might be adduced from the doctrines of the Tripersonal scheme, to disprove all that is said about the Unity or even Unanimity of the Three Divine Persons; but they are quite sufficient to satisfy any unprejudiced and intelligent mind, that the whole fabrick of theology built on such a sandy foundation, is a gross delusion, equally repugnant to the true sense of Scripture, and to the common reason of mankind, as well as destructive of all rational faith in the very Being of a God.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 219

With these considerations in view, yet willing to hope that some real conviction of the exclusive Divinity of the Saviour of the World, beyond the mere routine of phrases borrowed from the Scriptures, had providentially taken place in the Imperial and Royal minds; at the same time being desirous to have it universally known, that the religious principles professed by the three Monarchs in the terms of the Convention or Holy Alliance entered into by them respectively, were actually those of the New Jerusalem, though little suspected to be so by a great portion of the reading public; I was induced, at the earnest request of some pious and intelligent friends in Manchester, to make known my sentiments on the occasion, in a small pamphlet, entitled "Remarks on the Holy League, lately entered into by their Majesties the Emperor of Austria, the King of Prussia, and the Emperor of Russia; wherein they openly profess, and recommend to their own subjects, and to the Christian World at large, the Two Essential and Distinguishing Articles of the New Church, called the New Jerusalem." These Remarks, 'or at least the substance of them, together with a copy of the New Christian Treaty of Alliance, usually called the Holy League, or the Holy Alliance, and the subsequent Manifesto of the Emperor of Russia, being intimately connected with the History of the New Church, on account of their apparent tendency, to spread and support its doctrines, in the political as well as religious world, the Author here submits to the public, as a testimony of his best wishes and efforts to proclaim to the inhabitants of the earth, the new and everlasting gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 220


"It is with the greatest pleasure and satisfaction of mind, that the Author of the following pages now takes up his pen to address the public on a subject of the very first importance to the welfare and happiness of millions of human beings, who make a profession of the Christian name, and in this character have been hitherto agreed in their acknowledgment of a Trinity of Divine Persons in the Godhead, but who are now in the most open manner invited by their respective Sovereigns, henceforth to follow their steps in confessing, and consequently (as we have a right to expect) in worshipping, not Three Divine Persons in succession, nor one of them for the sake of another, as heretofore, but the One Only God of heaven and earth, namely, our ever-blessed and adorable Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST.

"It appears by the public journals, that a most important document has lately been published at Petersburgh, by authority of the Emperor Alexander, containing articles of a Convention entered into at Paris, in September, 1815, and signed by the three Sovereigns of Austria Prussia, and Russia; the first of whom is a Roman Catholic, the second a Protestant, and the third a professor of the Greek Church, which in doctrine and worship is nearly the same as the Roman Catholic. Nor is it a little remarkable, that these three Sovereigns, met together in Convention, unite in their own persons the three grand divisions of the Christian Church. They may therefore be said to represent the whole of the Christian community: and as they have given a proof of the enlightened and benevolent spirit, by which they are actuated, we cannot but indulge the hope, that the truly Christian Alliance, which they have now entered into, may form a new era of the Church, and be succeeded by a general reformation, both in religious principles and in moral life.

"In the preamble to the articles of this Convention, which they justly denominate a Holy Alliance, the three Christian Princes before named, make a solemn acknowledgment of the manifest interposition of the Divine Providence in the late arduous struggles for national independence, and declare their fixed resolution to take for their sole guide, in public as well as in private concerns, the too long neglected principles of justice, Christian charity, and peace.

"They then proceed, in the first article of their Treaty, to bind themselves, by the indissoluble bonds of love and brotherly affection, to aid and assist each other on all occasions, to act as fathers towards their respective subjects, and to stand forward as the protectors of religion, peace, and justice.

"In the second article, to which the attention of the       reader is particularly called, the three Allied Princes, after stating, that no other principle shall hereafter guide their steps, than that of good-will and mutual affection to each other, as members of one and the same Christian family, jointly and unanimously confess and declare, that they themselves possess no authority but what has been delegated or entrusted to them by Divine Providence; 'that the Christian nation, of which they and their people form a part, has in reality no other Sovereign, than Him to whom alone power really belongs, because in HIM alone are found all the treasures of love, science, and infinite wisdom,- that is to say, GOD OUR DIVINE SAVIOR, the Word of the Most High, the Word of Life.' They then recommend to their people, 'to strengthen themselves every day more and more in the principles and exercise of the duties, which the Divine Saviour has taught to mankind.'

"The third article contains an invitation to all other Powers, who shall find themselves disposed to avow these sacred principles, to join them in this Holy League.

"How far the English translation of the Treaty in question may be correct, we cannot undertake to say; but there is reason to believe, that in sense and substance it differs in no essential point from the original. Copies of it have been already very generally circulated throughout the kingdom: but we think the contents of a document so highly interesting, and so evidently announcing the Two Essential Doctrines of the New and True Christian Church, otherwise called the New Jerusalem, have not as yet been sufficiently noticed, either by the public writers or public speakers in this country. And certainly it is too valuable a testimony of that great change of public sentiment and feeling, which has taken place in our day, as one of the signs of the Lord's Second Advent, to be suffered to pass without the most decided marks of our admiration, as well as approbation.

"We shall, therefore, before we proceed with our observations, insert a copy of the New Christian Treaty above named, together with the Manifesto accompanying it, by the Emperor of Russia, which in their own nature must, on some future day, bear consequences that cannot at present be duly estimated; since they have a direct tendency to prepare the minds of a great proportion of the inhabitants of Europe for the reception of the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, especially its two leading and fundamental articles, which are to the following purport:-

"I. That there is only One God in One Divine Person, in whom nevertheless is a Divine Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, similar to the human trinity in every individual man, of soul, body, and proceeding operation; and that our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST is that One God.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 221

"II. That, if man would be saved, he must not only believe in the Lord, but also live, or endeavour to live, according to his divine precepts of love and charity, shunning evils of every description as sins against him."

Copy of the NEW CHRISTIAN TREATY OF ALLIANCE, usually called the HOLY LEAGUE, entered into at Paris, the 26th day of September, 1815, by their Majesties the EMPEROR OF AUSTRIA, the KING OF PRUSSIA, and the EMPEROR OF RUSSIA.

"In the Name of the Most Holy and Indivisible TRINITY.

"Their Majesties the Emperor of Austria, the King of Prussia, and the Emperor of Russia, having, in consequence of the great events which have marked the course of the last three years in Europe, and especially of the blessings which it has pleased Divine Providence to shower down upon those States which place their confidence and their hope on it alone, acquired the intimate conviction of the necessity of founding the conduct to be observed by those Powers in their reciprocal relations, upon the sublime truths which the holy religion of our Saviour teaches,

"They solemnly declare, that the present Act has no other object than to publish, in the face of the whole world, their fixed resolution, both in the administration of their respective States, and in their political relations with every other Government, to take for their sole guide the precepts of that holy religion, namely, the precepts of justice, Christian charity, and peace, which, far from being applicable only to private concerns, must have an immediate influence on the Councils of Princes and guide all their steps, as being the only means of consolidating human institutions, and remedying their imperfections.

"In consequence, their Majesties have agreed on the following Articles:-

"Art. 1. Conformable to the words of the Holy Scriptures, which command all men to consider each other as brethren, the three contracting Monarchs will remain united by the bonds of a true and indissoluble fraternity; and considering each other as fellow-countrymen, they will on all occasions, and in all places, lend each other aid and assistance; and regarding themselves towards their subjects and armies as fathers of families, they will lead them in the same spirit of fraternity, with which they are animated, to protect religion, peace, and justice.

"Art. 2. In consequence, the sole principle in force, whether between the said Governments, or between their subjects, shall be that of doing each other reciprocal service, and of testifying by unalterable good will the mutual affection with which they ought to be animated, to consider themselves all as members of one and the same Christian Nation. The three allied Princes looking on themselves as merely delegated by Providence to govern three branches of one family, namely, Austria, Prussia, and Russia, thus Confessing that the Christian Nation, of which they and their people form a part, has in reality no other Sovereign than Him to whom alone power really belongs, because in Him alone are found all the treasures of love, science, and infinite wisdom, that is to say, GOD OUR DIVINE SAVIOUR, the Word of the Most High, the Word of Life. Their Majesties consequently recommend to their people, with the most tender solicitude, as the sole means of enjoying that peace which arises from a good conscience, and which alone is durable, to strengthen themselves every day more and more in the principles and exercise of the duties, which the Divine Saviour has taught to mankind.

"Art. 3. All the Powers, who shall choose solemnly to avow the sacred principles which have dictated the present Act, and shall acknowledge how important it is for the happiness of Nations too long agitated, that those truths should henceforth exercise over the destinies of mankind all the influence which belongs to them, will be received with equal ardour and affection into this Holy Alliance.

"Done in triplicate, and signed at Paris, in the year of grace, 1815, (14, O. S.) 26th Sept.


                                   "(L. S.) FRANCIS.

                                   "(L. S.) FREDERICK WILLIAM

                                   "(L. S.) ALEXANDER.

"Conformable to the original,

                                   (Signed) "ALEXANDER."

"Done at St. Petersburgh, the day of the Birth of our Saviour, the 25th of Dec. 1815."


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 222


"We, Alexander I., by God's Grace, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, &c.

"Make known: As we have learned from experience, and its direful consequences to all the world, that the course of former political connexions between the Powers of Europe had not the true principles for their basis, on which the wisdom of God, in his Revelation, has founded the tranquillity and prosperity of nations, therefore We, in concert with their Majesties, the Emperor of Austria and the King of Prussia, have proceeded to establish an Alliance, (to which the other Christian Powers are invited to accede,) in which we mutually bind ourselves, both for us and our subjects, to adopt, as the only means of attaining that end, the principle derived from the words and religion of our Saviour JESUS CHRIST, who teaches mankind to live as brethren, not in hatred and strife, but in peace and love. We pray the Almighty that he may send down his blessing thereon; yea, may this Holy Alliance be confirmed between all Powers for their general welfare; and may no one, unrestrained by the unanimity of the rest, dare to depart therefrom. We therefore order a copy of this Alliance hereto annexed to be made generally known, and read in all the Churches."

The first sentiment, perhaps, that will arise in the mind of every unprejudiced and enlightened person, on reading these highly important documents, will be that of approbation mingled with admiration; and he will immediately be led to inquire, Whence is all this? What can have prompted these three illustrious Sovereigns, in our day, more than in times past, in the first place to concur in the propriety and even necessity of a religious Treaty, that seems to have no other object or end in view, than the peace and happiness of mankind; in the next place to depart from the old beaten, and, it is to be hoped, now nearly worn-out path, of acknowledging a God divided into three distinct Persons, and to hold up to the Christian world at large, and to their own subjects in particular, as the Sole Object worthy of their adoration, as the Sole Fountain of love, wisdom, and power, and consequently as the One Only God of heaven and earth, the Divine Saviour, JESUS CHRIST? And how is it that they have now for the first time discovered, that the political connexions and intercourse between the various Powers Of Europe, were not heretofore founded on the principles of the true Christian religion; and that so long as any other Divine Person is acknowledged than JESUS CHRIST, or any other precepts of life, than those of love and mutual affection which he delivered to mankind, are acted upon, it will be impossible either for nations or individuals to enjoy a state of permanent tranquillity and happiness?

Questions like these cannot receive a more satisfactory solution, than by referring, at once to that great event, so long predicted, and which the many signs of the times have already most distinctly proclaimed to be now taking place in the world, namely, the Second Advent of our blessed Lord in the power and glory of his Holy Word. It is the near approach of heaven to man, that has in a great degree dispersed, and is still continuing to disperse, the thick clouds of superstition, intolerance, and darkness, from the human mind, and introducing in their place sentiments of love, universal benevolence, and mutual forbearance, together with the cheering beams of divine light; by virtue of which Princes and their subjects begin to feel a new impulse, while the principles of the true Christian religion, now better understood than ever, are taking a new direction, in consequence of the acknowledgment of One God in one Divine Person alone, who is seen to be no other than our adorable Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ himself. It is the New Jerusalem descending from above, in the midst of which is raised the standard of peace, concord, and love, that bids the nations of the earth to cease from anger, to forsake their wrath," and to learn war no more; teaching them to "beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into pruning hooks." It is the spirit of life from the true God, that has entered into the heretofore dead bodies of the two witnesses, which have been lying for the space of three days and a half without interment in the street of the great city, spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified, and now causes them to stand upon their feet; while fear and astonishment fall, like lightning and thunderbolts, upon their distracted enemies. In short, it is the voice of the seventh angel, who is now sounding the last trumpet, and the shout of countless multitudes in heaven, who are now witnessing the fulfilment of prophecy, and the accomplishment of the deep mysteries of God, that proclaims in the ears of the people, "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever," Apoc. xi. 15.

But who are they that call in question the necessity of this Holy Alliance, into which the united Sovereigns have entered, and to the performance of which they have pledged their honour, their integrity, and their character as defenders and promoters of the true Christian faith?


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 223 Who are they, that presume to avow, in the face of the world, that the spirit of Christianity was already universally known and cherished, that its precepts of love were sufficiently cultivated by the professors of religion; that the families of mankind needed no other bonds of union, than such as they heretofore possessed; and that the new Royal Association is little better than a revival of the hateful spirit of persecution and fanaticism, which in former ages, under the pretence of a holy seal for the recovery of the land and birth-place of Redemption, carried war and desolation from Europe into Palestine? They are the men who can perceive no corruptions or abuses, except in the Civil State; no necessity for a reform, except in Elections and Parliamentary Representation; no need of any purification, but such as affects the outside of the cup and platter; while the internal principle of religion, which, like the first power in a piece of mechanism, governs all the movements of the body natural and political is either regarded as a matter of perfect indifference, or else adjudged to have no real existence in society.

But religion is, or ought to be, the spring of action both with individuals and with nations: according to the quality and state of religion in each case, such will always be the character of their acts, whether they be of a public or a private nature. Hence we may see the great importance of a genuine radical reform in the first principles of religion, such as has been lately announced by the three Crowned Heads on the Continent, in their own proper characters, and not by their ministers, as usual, consisting of an entirely new acknowledgment, on their part, of JESUS CHRIST alone as the Supreme God, and an equally new determination to make his will the unalterable rule of their future life. This is, indeed, that "new song," which none can sing, but they who, "being redeemed from among men, follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes." These, having "obtained the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name;" that is, being at length emancipated from the shackles of that erroneous doctrine, heretofore so universally prevalent in the Christian Church, which divides the Godhead into Three Persons, instead of uniting it in one, and which teaches that salvation is attainable by a mere act of faith, without any regard to the life; and having, moreover, "the harps of God in their hands," in other words, making an open confession of the Lord from the genuine principles of charity and faith united, may be said, in conjunction with their elder brethren in heaven, "to sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest," Apoc. xv. 2 to 4.

To FRANCIS, FREDERICK-WILLIAM, and ALEXANDER, has been reserved the glory of commencing, in a public official way, a work of far greater importance to the real welfare and happiness of mankind, than the Reformation effected by Luther, Calvin, and Melanchton, in the sixteenth century; or than the patronage given to the Christian religion by the Emperor Constantine the Great, in the fourth century; or indeed than any event, which history records, since the first promulgation of the Gospel by our Lord himself and his apostles. In the two periods alluded to, when the Church received its patronage and its reform, no real change of principle could be discovered; though in the one case an amelioration took place in the external condition of those who professed the Christian name, and in the other case certain gross abuses were corrected, while the essential doctrines of the corrupted Church relative to the person and attributes of the Divine Being were still retained, and the dangerous error of justification by faith alone more widely propagated and confirmed.

But now two Emperors and a King, seriously reflecting on the past and present states of Christian society in Europe, and observing that the different nations composing that society have been continually harassing each other with their jealousies, intrigues, ambitious projects, and open wars, are providentially led to compare this conduct with the divine precepts and injunctions contained in that very Gospel, which they all in common profess to make the standard of their faith and practice. And they find, in the Words of the Imperial Manifesto, "that the course of former political connexions between the Powers of Europe had not the true principles for their basis, on which the wisdom of God, in his Revelation, has founded the tranquillity and prosperity of nations." Being thus fully assured, that "the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will;" that "he changeth the times and the seasons" according to his own good pleasure; that "he removeth kings, and setteth up kings;" and that nothing less than a true acknowledgment of Him the Incarnate God, the Saviour and Redeemer of the world, JESUS CHRIST, together with a life in strict conformity to the heavenly precepts of justice, charity, and peace, can secure for the future his divine protection and blessing; they have therefore, for themselves, and for their respective subjects, mutually engaged to adopt this faith, this law of love, in all their public and private acts, in all their foreign and domestic relations.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 224 And they further, in the most solemn and formal manner, yet in the true spirit of brotherly affection and good-will, invite all the other Christian Powers, who are willing to avow the sacred principles now proclaimed, and to adopt them in practice, to join them in this Holy Alliance, which is so well calculated to put an end to all strife and contention, as well on political as on religious subjects, to give an extension to sentiments of liberality and kindness never yet experienced in the world, and to restore to immediate enjoyment the golden age of peace, harmony, and love.

The order, in which a genuine reform may most probably be effected in this country, if ever it should take effect, is conceived to be as follows. The seed of this reform has already been sown in the land, the root has struck deep and wide into the soil, and the germ is now opening in the spring of the year. In plainer language, the divine truths of the Holy Word, seen and understood in heavenly light agreeably to the doctrines of the New Jerusalem, have been promulgated and circulated now for some years in almost every considerable town and village of England: they have been received in silence, but with joy and gratitude to the Sower, who is the Son of Man himself, by minds duly prepared for so rich a treasure: and they are now beginning to manifest their reforming virtues in a multiplicity of useful and beneficent acts, both public and private. Of the numerous individuals, not yet associated together, who have embraced the doctrines alluded to, many are to be found in the National Church, and many among Dissenters of almost every denomination. But, besides these, societies are from time to time springing up, whose express object it is to adopt for themselves, and to disseminate among others, those principles of doctrine and of life, which they believe alone capable of effecting a genuine and permanent reform amongst all classes of the community. We are willing also to believe, that in due time these principles must extend themselves still more generally, until they find their way into the houses of the great and honourable men of the land. And then it may be reasonably expected, that the various Acts of an enlightened and conscientious Legislature, dictated by true Christian virtue, and framed in wisdom, will by degrees correct every abuse that has crept into the system of our Government, and finally, to a certain degree establish, even on earth, under the divine auspices of the Incarnate God our Saviour, his everlasting kingdom of peace, happiness, and love.

But if it should unfortunately be found, that the Hierarchy of the Church of England contains in itself, and presents before others, insurmountable obstacles to the introduction of a genuine reform in its constitution and principles, as it is much to be feared, from the express allusion to it in Apoc. xvi. 12 to 16, that it actually does; then the new and true Christian religion must remain in a state of relative depression in this the proper land of its nativity, while in distant climes it will, in all probability, meet with a more honoured and cordial reception; because none of those narrow prejudices arising from the fancied pre-eminence of a National Establishment, none of those baneful hopes of wealth, honour, and preferment, which tend to extinguish the love of truth in the minds of too many here, can be supposed to operate in a country, where no discredit attaches to the profession of any religious principles whatever, and where comparatively but little temptation exists to put the question, "Have any of the rulers, or of the Pharisees, believed on him?" John vii. 48.

From the latest information it appears, that the doctrines of the New Jerusalem are widely circulating in the United States of North America; that some of the most distinguished characters in public, as well as in private life, are among the number of those who make an open profession of them; that in some provinces able Ministers are going forth to evangelize the inhabitants; that in others Temples are erected for the worship of the One True God JESUS CHRIST; and that multitudes are flocking to the standard of the LAMB, many of whom have been already baptized into the faith, which acknowledges Him alone. It is highly probable, therefore, that the New Church will flourish among the Gentile Nations of the world, including the White, the Black, and the Red Families of mankind, to a degree surpassing all human calculation; and that the light of revelation, which first rose in the eastern, and now irradiates the western hemisphere, will, after making the circle of the earth, at length become stationary in the New Heaven, wherein "the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days," Isa. xxx. 26. Then also will that other prophecy receive its accomplishment, which says, "Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for Jehovah shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 225 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified," Isa. lx. 20, 21.

The blessings here anticipated from a very general diffusion and reception of the great doctrines of the true Christian religion, at length purged from the gross errors of tripersonal or tritheistic worship, and delivered from the spirit of intolerance, uncharitableness, and discord, heretofore so predominant in the world, may perhaps be thought of too celestial and pure a nature to be realized by man in his present earthly and imperfect state. They have, however, been distinctly promised by the Author of revelation: and if the womb of Heaven be already pregnant with them, as the most evident demonstrations announce, there must shortly be a delivery into the lap of those who are prepared to receive the divine gift. Indeed every thing around us proclaims aloud, that we are entering upon a new Era. By the extraordinary occurrences, that mark the times in which we live; by the general expectation (similar to that which prevailed at the time of our Lord's First or Personal Advent in the flesh) of some great event now about to take place; by the new and successful institutions for promoting the instruction and reformation of the poor; by that splendid moral phenomenon, the association of men of every name and character for the purpose of disseminating the Sacred Scriptures through every region of the globe; and at length by that (if possible) still more splendid Act of Imperial and Royal devotion, the Covenant of Love, Friendship, Justice, and Peace, into which Three Great Monarchs of Europe have mutually entered, holding up to mankind the true sense of those Scriptures, and inviting them to observe their divine contents; not to mention other undoubted and infallible signs from heaven; we are distinctly instructed, that now is the period of the Lord's Second Advent in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory; (i. e. in both the literal and spiritual sense of his Holy Word;) that now the Holy City, New Jerusalem, is descending from on high; and that henceforth "God our Divine Saviour, in whom alone are found all the treasures of love, science, and infinite wisdom," as well expressed by the three Sovereigns of Austria, Prussia, and Russia, shall be acknowledged by the Church on earth, as he has ever been by the Church in heaven.

Having now laid before the reader the Treaty of Alliance between their Majesties the Emperor of Austria, the King of Prussia, and the Emperor of Russia, together with the manifesto of the latter, whereby they mutually bind themselves, both for themselves and their subjects, to adopt, as the only means of securing the tranquillity and prosperity of nations, the true principles of the Christian religion;- having seen also what those true principles are, which these illustrious Princes have not been able to discover in the former political connexions between the Powers of Europe, namely, the acknowledgement of our Divine Saviour JESUS CHRIST, as the One Only Omnipotent, Omniscient, and All-merciful God, in conjunction with an actual life of justice, integrity, peace, and love;- and having made such cursory observations as the important contents of the documents above referred to naturally suggested, we have only further to add, that TRUTH and CONSISTENCY, now in their turn, imperiously demand, that the New Treaty thus entered into, and thus publicly announced in the name of the Most Holy and Indivisible Trinity, (that is, in the name of the Supreme God JESUS CHRIST, in whom that Trinity is included,) and in the ears of all nations, peoples, and languages, throughout the Christian World, be henceforth put into a state of vital and permanent activity. Not only must the political transactions between nation and nation be founded on principles of true honour, integrity, justice, and conscience; but the reform must extend to all the social and domestic concerns between man and man. Religion and moral virtue must henceforth mark all the proceedings, public and private, of those involved in the terms of the Treaty. The three Sovereigns have bound themselves, not for themselves alone, but at the same time for their Ministers, their Agents, their Clergy, their Subjects at large, to live up to their new Christian profession: and though it cannot be expected, that the recommendation to this effect, issued by these virtuous and conscientious Princes, will in all cases be strictly observed by their subjects, yet a general improvement in the religious and moral character of the nations, over which they preside, is anticipated, and surely cannot fail to be the desirable consequence.

"For this purpose, as a necessary and most essential medium of reform, an entirely new system of Christianity must be immediately adopted, and together with it new forms, or at least corrected forms, of public worship, new creeds or confessions of faith, and other services of the Church, in agreement with the Imperial and Royal declaration, which expressly acknowledges the Saviour JESUS CHRIST to be the Only Sovereign of heaven and earth. For if, 'in Him alone are found all the treasures of love, science, and infinite wisdom,' then He alone must be the Everlasting Father, as well as the Son born in time, consequently the only proper Object of worship, to whom all prayer praise, and glorification, ought by right to be addressed, in every ceremony, office, and duty of the Church.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 226 And this is plainly the doctrine of the Sacred Scriptures, as well as the doctrine avowed by the three Crowned Heads in their late Treaty of Alliance, Their Proclamation or Manifesto is noble, generous, Christian-like; and it is worthy of being followed up in all its spirit and life. Nothing less can restore the nations to the simplicity and integrity of primitive times: nothing less can render them worthy of the name of their Divine Master and Lord, so long abused, degraded, denied, or falsified, but now about to be inscribed on their standards, foreheads, and hearts, as the great and glorious Name, alone to be sanctified, honoured, and held in everlasting remembrance.

"The olive branch of peace, harmony, and love, is now lifted up, and waves in the air. The virtuous and good of all nations hail it with acclamations of joy; while the sowers of discord, the disturbers of the world, the violators of public tranquillity, are either hushed into silence, or driven to despair, at least for one happy moment of our existence. But how long will this serenity endure? How long will this calm of life be enjoyed by the heretofore afflicted, but now comforted inhabitants of Europe? The answer is ready: So long as, and no longer than, they regulate their conduct by the pure evangelical precepts of that holy religion, which teaches mutual love and affection, justice, integrity, temperance, and humility. But such virtues, to be genuine and permanent, must be derived from their only proper source and fountain, that is, from the Saviour, JESUS CHRIST himself, in whom alone those heavenly treasures are to be found. If any other Person be acknowledged as Divine, any other object of worship be set up in the heart, or preached in the temple in other words, if the forms and practice of religious worship, which at present prevail in the Roman Catholic, Greek, and Protestant Churches, be still continued, and solemnly rehearsed, without amendment at least in this one point, which is the great hinge upon which the whole of Christianity turns; under these circumstances we do not consider it presumption, but on the contrary find ourselves authorized by the Sacred Scriptures, to declare with the utmost confidence, that neither the good understanding which now prevails among the United Sovereigns, nor the peace which now smiles on the earth, can possibly be maintained for any great length of time.

"A multiplicity of Objects of worship must, in the nature of things, beget a multiplicity of jarring interests; or, what is the same thing, a division of the One God into Three Distinct Persons, to each of whom are ascribed properties or attributes incommunicable to the others, and one of whom is addressed for the sake of the other, and not the whole God for his own sake, must and ever will produce discord in the Church, parties in the State, and war among the Nations. As it was in former times with the Jewish and Israelitish people, so it is now, and will be in all future ages, with those who make a profession of the Christian name: every deviation from the worship of the One Only True God of heaven and earth, whether it be by departing altogether from him, or by setting up some other in conjunction with him, will inevitably bring with it a scourge, either of famine, of enemies, or of pestilence. For, however these effects may appear to arise from merely natural causes, it will yet on mature examination be found, that the perverted state of religion, or the total want of it, among the different societies of mankind, is the true spiritual and primary cause of the many calamities, which they so often experience.

"A certain jealousy on this subject, it must be acknowledged, still rises in the mind, a fear lest our hopes have been too sanguine, our prospects too brilliant to be realized in all their fulness. Are the three Allied Sovereigns themselves conscious of the full purport of their own Act? Do they know the extent, to which their language, by just interpretation, may be fairly carried? Have they well considered, that they have, by the terms of their Holy League, virtually renounced the odious and absurd doctrine of a Trinity divided into distinct Persons, and in its stead promulgated the true scriptural doctrine of a Divine Trinity undivided and indivisible, because united in the One Person of their Divine Saviour? Or have they, after all, been proclaiming, in different languages, the high title of the KING OF KINGS, without being prepared to give any other reason for the fact, in answer to the inquiry of modern chief priests, than that which Pilate gave to the chief priests of his day, 'What I have written, I have written?' John xix. 22.

"The clouds of doubt and suspicion, we confess, are not yet entirely dissipated; they linger in the horizon, and seem unwilling to quit the land, over which they have so long cast a chilling shade. O what will be the final result? And when will the Sun of Righteousness drink up or dispel from the earth those mists, still visible to the mental eye, and take entire possession of our hemisphere?-


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 227 Silent as death is the proud wisdom of man on this important occasion. 'I will (therefore) hear what God Jehovah will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: BUT LET THEM NOT TURN AGAIN TO FOLLY. Surely his salvation is nigh unto them that fear him, that glory may dwell in our land,' Ps. lxxxv. 8, 9.

"In conclusion; whatever may be the tide of events, this is our sheet-anchor, this is our assurance: At the name of JESUS CHRIST every knee must bow. The predictions contained in the Holy Word at large, and especially in the last book, concerning the present and future states of the Christian Church, must have their full accomplishment. The great Author of Revelation has pronounced the word: and nothing can be plainer to an enlightened mind, than that the whole angelic heaven has been put in a state of actual requisition, to serve as a medium for the conveyance, to mankind, of those divine energies, which are already in operation. 'He maketh his angels spirits, (winds,) his ministers a flaming fire,' Ps. civ. 4. The power of divine truth is urgent to perform its purpose, and the flame of divine love is lighted up.- See! see how the guilty fly, and cover their heads from the storm! Now they call upon the mountains and the rocks to hide them from the face of the Lamb;- and now they are scattered like chaff, and disappear from the sight. For 'the first heaven and the first earth are passed away, and behold! all things are become new,' Apoc. xxi 1, 5."

On the 11th of June, 1815, a place of worship, capable of containing about three hundred persons, was opened for the use of the New Church, in Cockspur Street, Liverpool. By particular invitation, the services of that day were performed by me, in the presence of full congregations; the Minister engaged to officiate there regularly, was a resident, of very respectable talents as a public speaker and preacher. On his removal from Liverpool, a variety of other leaders succeeded each other, and place after place was hired, until Mr. R. G. Sheldon was appointed to the office, who continues to fulfil the pastoral duties to the satisfaction of one of the two societies which now exist in that town.



AFTER an interval of seven years, during which time no authorized General Conference of the New Church had been held, owing to causes which were neither foreseen, nor could easily be prevented, (though the Quarterly Meetings of the three London Societies had for some time taken the name of The London Conference) the Eighth General Conference was convened, with the approbation and consent of the several Societies in London, Birmingham, Manchester, and elsewhere. This was held in the New Jerusalem Church, Peter Street, Manchester, on Monday, the 14th of August, 1815=59, and four following days, chiefly for the purpose of taking into consideration the state of the Ministry, and of adopting such regulations as might be thought most likely to promote the welfare and prosperity of the Church at large. Mr. ROBERT HINDMARSH, of Salford, was on this occasion unanimously chosen President, and the Rev. RICHARD JONES, of Manchester, Secretary.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 228 Four Ministers, and sixteen Delegates or Representatives from different Societies, were present, besides many other members of the Church resident in Manchester and its neighbourhood. A variety of letters having been received from Societies and individuals in different parts of the kingdom, and from the island of Jersey, these were laid in order before the Meeting, from the reading of which the members present derived the highest gratification, and could not help admiring the zeal, the affection, and the enlightened views, which dictated them. The information obtained concerning the state of the Church, the forms of worship, the times and places of meeting together, &c., was highly interesting and satisfactory; while the prospect of a more general extension the Lord's kingdom on the earth, and a perceptible increase of heavenly love and charity among its various members, seemed to open in the minds of all present a new source of gratitude and delight.

The proposed Ordinances for the regulation of the Ministry in the New Church, submitted for consideration to the General Conference by the London Societies, were then read: after which the proposition, recommending a TRINE, or THREEFOLD ORDER, in the Ministry, having been maturely weighed, and found to be in agreement with the divine institution of the Representative Church, in which there were one High Priest, his sons, and the Levites; and with the example held out by our Lord in the appointment of twelve apostles, and seventy disciples, over whom he himself was the Head; and also with the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, in which it is declared, that, in order to the perfection of anything, there must be a Trine(*); it was Resolved Unanimously,

(*) See Exodus, chap. xxviii. and following chapters; Levit. viii. Numb. iii. 6 to 9; chap. viii. 22. 2 Kings xxiii. 4.-- Luke vi. 13; chap. x. 1--- Arc. Coel. n. 10,017. Tr. Chr. Relig. n. 10, 679. Coronis, n. 17.

"(1.) That the office of the Ministry in the New Church be formed into a Trine or Threefold Order: by which is understood, that there shall be three degrees of Ministers, answering to the three heavens; to the three constituent parts of man, the head, the body, and the feet; and to the three degrees of life in each.

"(2.) That the first or lowest degree of the said Trine consist of such persons as have been, or shall hereafter be, regularly ordained, or inaugurated into the office of the Ministry, and who are or shall be thereby empowered to exercise the usual functions of the Ministry, and shall not have the right of ordaining other Ministers.

"(3.) That the second or middle degree of the said Trine consist of such Ministers as, having been admitted into the first degree, are or shall be further empowered to exercise the office of Ordaining Ministers, and of regulating the general affairs of the New Church.

"(4.) And that in the first instance the office of the third or superior degree of the said Trine be held, and the duties thereof exercised, by one of the Ministers of the second degree, who shall be expressly invited by the other Ministers of the first and second degrees, with the concurrence of a General Conference, to act as Minister Superintendant over and in behalf of the New Church at large.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 229

The Conference next proceeded to take into consideration the qualifications proper for a Minister of the New Church; and, after giving the subject the attention which its importance demands, and the present infant state of the Church requires, it was Resolved Unanimously,

"(5.) That no person be considered as eligible to the Ministry of the first degree, unless he be at least twenty-two years of age; have been previously baptized into the faith of the New Church; have received the sacrament of the Lord's Supper with some one of her Societies; be of exemplary life and character; and have also made an open and full acknowledgment of the divine inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures, and of his cordial reception of the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, as revealed by the Lord in the Theological Writings of his servant, Emanuel Swedenborg: And further, unless he be recommended by at least one regularly Ordained Minister, and some Society or Societies of the New Church, in which he has exercised his talents as a Leader or Teacher a sufficient length of time to enable them to judge of his public usefulness.

"(6.) That no Minister of the first degree be considered as eligible for admission into the second degree, until he have officiated seven years in the first degree, nor until he have received the full consent of the major part of the Ministers constituting the second degree, whose duty it will be, after examination as to his age, qualifications, and suitableness for the office, to present him to the Minister Superintendant for his approbation and concurrence, to be by him consecrated a Minister of the second degree; but if disapproved of by the Minister Superintendant, in such case the latter shall have the power of refusing to consecrate him.

"(7.) That after the death or resignation of the first Minister Superintendant, the Senior Minister of the second degree shall then, and on every future vacancy, succeed to the office; such Seniority being estimated from the time of his entrance into the second degree.

"(8.) That, in addition to the qualifications already specified, it be strongly recommended to every Minister, and to every candidate for the Ministry, if unacquainted with the learned languages, to acquire a competent knowledge of the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin; of the Hebrew and Greek, for the sake of reading the Word of the Old and New Testament in their original languages; and of the Latin, for the sake of reading the exposition of both in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg."

Another Resolution was also passed, recognizing four persons as Ministers of the second degree, having authority to admit by ordination such candidates for the Ministry, as may be properly qualified and approved of.

The establishment of a Missionary Ministry having been long considered by the members of the New Church generally, as a most desirable object, calculated, through the Divine Providence, to disseminate the blessings of the new dispensation both extensively and effectually; after full deliberation, and with a sincere desire to contribute as much as possible towards this great and beneficial end; it was Resolved Unanimously, That it is expedient that a fund be raised to defray the expenses of such Missionary Ministry, which shall consist of approved persons properly qualified to travel through Great Britain, for the purpose of visiting the different Societies already in existence, of forming new Societies, and of proclaiming to the inhabitants of this country at large, the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem. To effect this, small weekly contributions were recommended to all the Societies throughout the kingdom; and the Rev. J. Proud was requested to undertake the duties of a Missionary as soon as he conveniently could.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 230

The Conference further taking into consideration the great advantages and benefits to society likely to arise from the establishment of New Jerusalem Sunday Schools; and being fully convinced, that the insemination of divine truth in the infant mind, in a way accommodated to its tender capacity, before it has imbibed the seeds of religious error, or the first principles of a false and dangerous faith, is of the utmost importance to the future growth and prosperity of the New Church, unanimously came to the following Resolution: That it be earnestly recommended to every Society of the New Church, whenever and wherever practicable, to open Sunday Schools for the instruction of youth in reading and writing, and even (if convenient) in the first and most useful rules of arithmetic; in the just obligations they are under to society in a moral and civil point of view; and especially in their religious duties, which may be all comprised in the fear of the Lord, and love one to another.

After some other regulations the Meeting closed, and the next General Conference was appointed to be held in London, on Tuesday, the 16th of July, 1816=60.

From the great benefit which the lower classes of the community have of late years derived from Sunday schools, both in and out of the New Church, it will, no doubt, be acceptable to the reader to see an account of their origin, which was as follows:- About the close of the year 1781, or the beginning of 1782, Mr. Robert Raikes*, a printer, residing in Gloucester, reflecting on the miserable appearance of many poor children, who crowded the streets in a state of wretchedness and idleness, without the means of instruction or improvement of any description, happily conceived the idea of rendering them useful instead of dangerous members of society, when grown up to years of maturity, by providing for them in their infancy and youth such kind of education as might be suitable to their humble condition in life, and in a way too, which at the same time he little thought would be productive of so much good, as he afterwards found it to be, when his plan was gradually and generally adopted by the charitable and benevolent in every part of the kingdom. The circumstances which led to the institution of Sunday schools, shall be stated in his own words. In a letter to a gentleman, who had applied to him for the particulars of the nature and origin of his plan, he thus writes:

* Vide p. 107.- ED.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 231

"Some business leading me one morning into the suburbs of the city, where the lowest of the people, who are principally employed in the pin manufactory, reside, I was struck with concern at seeing a group of children, wretchedly ragged, at play in the street. I asked an inhabitant whether those children belonged to that part of the town, and lamented their misery and idleness. 'Ah! Sir, (said the woman to whom I spoke,) could you take a view of this part of the town on a Sunday, you would be shocked indeed; for then the street is filled with multitudes of these wretches, who, released on that day from their employment, spend their time in noise and riot, playing at chuck, and cursing and swearing in a manner so horrid as to convey to any serious mind an idea of hell rather than any other place. We have a worthy Clergyman, (said she) Minister of our parish, who has put some of them to school: but upon the Sabbath they are all given to follow their inclinations without restraint, as their parents, totally abandoned themselves, have no idea of instilling into their minds principles, to which they themselves are strangers.' I then inquired of the woman if there were any decent, well-disposed women in the neighbourhood, who kept schools; and I was presently directed to four. To these I applied, and made an agreement with them to receive as many children as I should send on the Sunday, whom they were to instruct in reading and the Church Catechism. For this I engaged to pay them a shilling for their day's employment. The women seemed pleased with the proposal. I then waited on the Clergyman before mentioned, and imparted to him my plan. He was so much pleased with the idea, that he engaged to lend his assistance by going round to the schools on a Sunday afternoon, to examine the progress that was made, and to enforce order and decorum among such a set of little heathens. This, Sir, is the commencement of the plan. A woman, who lives in a lane where I had fixed a school, told me sometime ago, that the place was like a heaven upon Sundays, compared with what it used to be."

It may suffice to state further, that through the medium of the newspaper, printed and published by Mr. Raikes, publicity was given to the plan of establishing Sunday Schools, in Mr. Raikes's own modest and unassuming manner. A gentleman in Lancashire, on seeing it in the papers, wrote immediately to Mr. Raikes on the subject; and the extract, which is here given, is from the letter he received in reply.

"Sunday-schools were speedily established in various parts of Great Britain: they were also introduced in New York in 1814, and Philadelphia in 1815. Indeed, wherever the English language prevails, as well as among nations of a different tongue, Sunday Schools are to be found; and where these exist, the means are given for the extensive promulgation of truth."*

* Vide p. 107.- ED.

It is a remarkable coincidence, that the Society established in Manchester for printing and publishing the whole of the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem, commenced about the same period, as that Society dates its first public transactions in 1782. And a similar Society was instituted in London in the year 1783. Thus at the very time when these heavenly doctrines were about to be introduced into the British empire in the language of the people, they having been originally written in Latin, provision was made, by extending the benefits of education to every class of the community, that the poor, as well as the rich, might enjoy all the advantages arising from the new dispensation of mercy and truth, now opening upon the inhabitants of the earth.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 232

A Treatise concerning the Godhead of Jesus Christ, translated from the French, having been inserted in the Arminian Magazine, at the particular desire of Mr. Wesley, a few months before his death, the Printing Society of Manchester, finding it to be in agreement with the doctrines of the New Church on that subject, thought it might be useful to reprint the same in a separate pamphlet, for the purpose of circulating it among the people called Methodists. This was accordingly done under the following title: "The Sole Divinity of Jesus Christ proved, in a work extracted from the Rev. John Wesley's 'Arminian Magazine,' vol. xv.; by which it appears, that the sentiments of Baron Swedenborg, and Mr. Wesley, were in exact agreement on that important subject. In consequence of this proceeding, a violent attack was made on the Printing Society, by one of Mr. Wesley's followers, and inserted in the "Leeds Mercury" of Oct. 7, 1815; of which the following is a copy:


"To the Publishers of a Pamphlet lately printed, entitled, 'The Sole Divinity of Jesus Christ proved, in a Work extracted from the Rev. John Wesley's Arminian Magazine, vol. xv.; by which it appears, that the Sentiments of Baron Swedenborg, and Mr. Wesley, were in exact Agreement on that important Subject."


"The theological sentiments of the late Rev. John Wesley were so far from being 'in exact agreement' with those of the late truly enthusiastic Baron Swedenborg, that they were altogether as different from them as sound divinity is from nonsense; and they were every way as superior to them as truth is to the whims and imaginations of a distracted fanatic. Hence I infer, that by uniting the name of the celebrated WESLEY with BARON SWEDENBORG, you will ultimately ruin the cause which you intended to support, and will induce the sensible part of your readers strongly to suspect, that you are far from being the 'Society of Gentlemen' you have given yourselves out to be.

                     "Yours, &c.

                                   "A WESLEYAN FOLLOWER."
Skipton, Oct. 5, 1815."

To this wild philippic the following temperate and most satisfactory answer appears in the same paper for Nov. 4, 1815.


"An advertisement having appeared in the Leeds Mercury, of the 7th Oct., addressed to the publishers of a pamphlet, entitled, 'The Sole Divinity of Jesus Christ proved, in a Work extracted from the Rev. John Wesley's Arminian Magazine, vol. xv.; by which it appears, that the Sentiments of Baron Swedenborg and Mr. Wesley are in exact Agreement on THAT important Subject;' and it being therein stated by the writer, who styles himself A Wesleyan Follower, that the theological sentiments of the late Mr. Wesley were far from being 'in exact agreement' with those of Baron Swedenborg, although, from a comparison of the extracts taken from the said Magazine with the doctrines maintained by the Baron, it would be difficult for any one to point out their disagreement; the publishers of the pamphlet in question beg leave to communicate to the public at large, through the same channel as that which conveyed to them a charge of disingenuity and unfair conduct, the reasons which induced them to hope, that Mr. Wesley, previous to his death, had acknowledged the Sole Divinity of our blessed Lord, and that he was desirous of recommending to his followers a doctrine, which is plainly taught in the Sacred Scriptures, and which constitutes the very life and soul of the true Christian religion.

"A short time before the decease of the late Mr. William Illingworth, of Keighley, who for many years had been a class-leader and steward among the people called Methodists, but who afterwards embraced, and died in the full acknowledgment of, the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, it was his earnest desire, that the members of the society to which he formerly belonged, and for whom he always expressed the most sincere affection, should be undeceived with respect to the character and doctrines of the late Baron Swedenborg, against whom the voice of prejudice, misrepresentation, and calumny, had been so unjustly raised, and so industriously kept alive.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 233 He had read, in the Arminian Magazine, a Treatise concerning the Godhead of Jesus Christ, translated from the French; and it appeared to him, that the sentiments there inculcated were so much in agreement with the doctrines taught by Baron Swedenborg, but above all, so perfectly consistent with the Holy Word of the Lord, that he was anxious to see both the one and the other published in a small and cheap form, for the benefit of the people among whom he had received his first impressions of religion. For this end he applied to the 'Society of Gentlemen,' in Manchester, who have long felt it their duty to print, and circulate in the world, the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem; and, after stating to them the probable benefits likely to accrue to society at large from the publication of the French Treatise, as given in the Arminian Magazine, he requested, almost with his dying breath, that this small pamphlet, containing the most undeniable proofs of the Supreme Divinity of Jesus Christ, both from Baron Swedenborg and from Mr. Wesley's Magazine, might be immediately put into general circulation.

"In consequence of this strong recommendation, the 'Society of Gentlemen,' engaged in the publication of Baron Swedenborg's Works, procured that volume of Mr. Wesley's Arminian Magazine, which contains the French Treatise alluded to. And it was not without considerable surprise, as knowing that Mr. Wesley's former sentiments on the Divinity of Jesus Christ were by no means in agreement with the French author, that they found the work introduced to the reader's attention by the following remarkable notice, given by the Editors of the Arminian Magazine: It was the PARTICULAR DESIRE of Mr. Wesley, a few months before his death, that this Treatise should be inserted in the Arminian Magazine'

"What now are the public to understand by this distinct and emphatic notification? And what could be the design of the Editors of the Magazine in giving it, as a preparative to the reader's entering upon the subject? What, but to assure him, that the sentiments of the French author on the Supreme Divinity of Jesus Christ, and the sentiments of Mr. Wesley on the same subject, were in perfect agreement with each other? But the sentiments of the French author are evidently the same as those of Baron Swedenborg. It follows, therefore, incontestibly, if we give credit to the representations of the Editors of the Arminian Magazine, of the truth of which there can be no doubt, that the doctrine maintained by Baron Swedenborg, and the doctrine recommended, and of course believed, by Mr. Wesley in his last hours, are 'in exact agreement, on this important subject' of our Lord's Divinity. And let it be remembered, that it was on this point, and this alone, that the similarity or agreement of sentiment between Baron Swedenborg and Mr. Wesley was announced in the title-page of the pamphlet complained of.

"Why then has the gentleman, who subscribes himself a Wesleyan Follower, been so unkind, so uncivil, in his animadversions on the conduct of men, who have no other aim, no other object in view, by the publication of Baron Swedenborg's Writings, than to promote the knowledge, the love, and the worship, of the One true God, Jesus Christ; and, as the certain consequence of this, the final happiness of their fellow-creatures? We will not, we dare not, retort upon an adversary the terms of reproach, with which he thinks proper to assail so venerable a character, as that of Baron Swedenborg. We only lament, that men, professors of the meek religion of Jesus, are still to be found, who do not think it beneath them to run down the aged, the pious, and the wise, with the illiberal cry of 'enthusiast,' 'distracted fanatic,' &c. &c., as though they had forgotten, that similar aspersions, with similar impotence of effect, were applied by the Jews of old, even to the Saviour of the world himself. For while 'many said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil: can a devil open the eyes of the blind?' John x. 20, 21.

"The readers of the Leeds Mercury, and the public in general, will therefore, we trust, exculpate us from the charge of misrepresenting the last best sentiments of Mr. Wesley, when they consider that it was his 'particular desire' to circulate among his people that same doctrine of the Supreme Divinity of Jesus Christ, which the Writings of Baron Swedenborg, from first to last, are so uniform in maintaining. And if in this respect we have been inadvertently led into any error, we appeal for justification to the Editors of the Arminian Magazine themselves, who by their preliminary declaration had given us distinctly to understand, that Mr. Wesley approved of the sentiments contained in the French Treatise.

                            "A SOCIETY OF GENTLEMEN."


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 234

"Manchester, October 23, 1815."

Whatever may have been Mr. Wesley's real sentiments on the person and character of the Lord Jesus Christ, a short time previous to his death, this is certain, from the whole tenour of his writings, doctrines, and discourses, as published by himself that, during the long course of his public Ministry, he regarded him not as the Sole or Supreme God, to whom all adoration is due, but as a Being of inferior order, for whose sake the Great Object of worship ought to be addressed. In one of his discourses, delivered in the City Road Chapel, London, on the subject of prayer to Jesus Christ, I heard him express himself in nearly the following terms: "During my experience (said he) for more than forty years, I have uniformly observed, that when a sinner is first convinced of the error of his ways, and begins with a penitent heart to seek the salvation of his soul, he directs his prayer and supplication immediately to Jesus Christ; and after a time, when he has been better instructed in the true doctrines of Christianity, he makes his direct approach to the Father himself. But (continued he) I make this further observation, That they who pray to Jesus Christ are but shallow in religion (his very words). I advise, therefore, that you come along with me to God the Father, leaving Jesus Christ behind: for this is the very essence of Christianity, and the point to which it leads, as the perfection of all worship."

I own I was much surprised to hear such language from the lips of one, who was reputed by many to be a strenuous advocate for the Divinity of Jesus Christ, in opposition to the doctrines of Arianism and Socinianism. And yet it would be difficult to point out the difference between the advice given by Mr. Wesley, and that which might be expected from the professor of Unitarianism. For if it be a proof of "shallowness in religion" to pray to the Saviour himself, and of the "perfection of all worship" to address the Father alone, then the Unitarians, including both Arians and Socinians, are still in the truth, notwithstanding the outcry that has been raised against them by the Trinitarians of all ages. But the fact is, as truly stated by Emanuel Swedenborg, in his True Christian Religion, n. 380, "That every faith, which departs from the one only true faith, and teaches men to climb up some other way, than by him who is the Door of the sheepfold, is no better than that of 'a thief and a robber,' John x. 1, 9. Such spurious, illegitimate, and adulterous faith can only abide with those who regard the Lord, not as God, but only as a Man. This (continues he) is evident from the two wicked heresies of Arius and Socinus, which were anathematized in the Christian Church, and excommunicated from it, in consequence of denying the Divinity of the Lord, and climbing up some other way. But (he adds) I am afraid that those abominations still lie concealed in the hearts of the generality of Church-members." The reader will do well to consult the whole passage, and then form his own opinion of the Antichristian sentiments here condemned.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 235


If it be indeed true, as Mr. Wesley states, that converts to religion do at first very generally address their prayers to the Saviour himself, and not to either of the other supposed Persons in the Godhead, it may be considered as a proof, that their minds are at that time more open to heavenly influences, than afterwards, when they begin to think and reason from the false doctrines, which are continually instilled into them from the pulpit. A sense of their own unworthiness, and of the guilt they have contracted from a life of evil, joined to the desire of shunning for the future those sins which they are conscious of having committed, may no doubt form within them the groundwork and beginning of true religion. This state of mind in the new converts immediately begets a degree of conjunction with the Saviour himself as the true God of heaven, by whom the spirit of humility, and the desire of repentance, have been inspired; in consequence of which they are providentially led to think of, and pray to, Him alone, who has been standing at the door of their hearts, and knocking for admission, and who now presents himself before them as their adorable Redeemer and Deliverer, the sole Fountain and Giver of eternal life. Thus from the very circumstance, regarded by Mr. Wesley as a proof of shallowness in religion, in mistaking the true Object of worship, namely, that of converted sinners at first addressing their prayers to Jesus Christ alone, instead of the Father, may be justly inferred the more safe conclusion, that they have then found the Object of their first love, from which they should never afterwards depart, and that they are fully justified in exclaiming with Thomas in the Gospel, "My Lord, and my God!" John xx. 28.

But let us view the subject a little closer, and put Mr. Wesley's doctrine into another form. When the Saviour of the world says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest," Matt. xi. 28; the Reverend John Wesley, Master of Arts, and late Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, says "No; come along with me to God the Father, and leave Jesus Christ to preach to those who are only 'shallow in religion.'" When again the Saviour says, "Abide in me, and I in you; for without me ye can do nothing: if ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you," John xv. 4, 5, 7; the Reverend John Wesley, Master of Arts, and late Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, says, "Oh, no; we can do better than abide in Jesus Christ; we can go beyond him to a superior Being, the Fountain of all power, and the Source of all protection." And lastly, when the Divine Saviour Jesus Christ assures us, that "he that seeth him seeth the Father," John xiv. 9; that "all things that the Father hath, are his," John xvi. 15; nay, that he and the Father are One," John x. 30; and consequently that from him, when glorified, proceeds "the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, and the Comforter of his people," John xiv. 16 to 18, 26; chap. xv. 26; chap. xvi. 7, 13 to 15; the same Reverend John Wesley is virtually heard to say, "How can that be?


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 236 Is not the Father greater than the Son? And is it not the privilege of believers to go immediately to their God and Father who is at the same time the God and Father of Jesus Christ?' How then can the Christian's worship be complete, or how can the perfection of religion be realized, in any other way, than by the direct worship of the Father, that thus God (not Jesus Christ) may be all in all?"

Such is the kind of language, which must spring from the heart of all those, who either divide the Godhead into Three Persons, or else deny the supreme and exclusive Divinity of the Saviour. They must eventually, if they persevere in their errors, extracting from the Scriptures certain expressions, ill understood, which seem to countenance their respective hypotheses, and overlooking others which are a key to the rest, of necessity look up to some other Being for final happiness, than to Him, who expressly invites men to "come unto him," Matt. xi. 28; John vii. 37; and who adds, that every true worshiper actually "doth come unto him," John vi. 45; who likewise solemnly declares, that he possesses "all power in heaven and in earth," Matt. xxviii. 18; that he is the "Fountain Head and Giver of eternal life'" John v. 26, 40; chap. vi. 35; chap. x. 28; chap. xi. 25; chap. xiv. 6; that he is "Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, Who Is, Who Was, and Who Is To Come, the Almighty," Rev. i. 8, 11, 17; chap. xxii. 13.

After all that has been said, it is fervently hoped, that Mr. Wesley in his latter days had seen reason to change his opinions concerning the person and character of the Lord; and that, having well considered the contents of the French Treatise, which had providentially fallen into his hands, he found himself impressed with the conviction, that the doctrines heretofore taught by him, and generally received by his people, were not such as he could wish to recommend with his dying breath, because not in agreement with the divine testimony of the Holy Word. It is therefore possible, and by no means improbable, that the sincerity of his heart, and an earnest desire to know the truth, especially on such an all-important subject as that of the Sole and Exclusive Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, may have laid the foundation of a more enlightened understanding, and a more sound judgment in spiritual things. Under these circumstances, let us charitably hope, that Mr. Wesley did really and truly, towards the close of his life, acknowledge this fundamental doctrine of the true Christian Church; and that, being anxious to communicate to the people with whom he was connected, his full conviction of its agreement with the genuine sense of Divine Revelation, he made it his particular request to the Editors of the Arminian Magazine, that they would insert in their monthly publication an exact copy of the French Treatise, which had yielded so much satisfaction to his own mind, and which might perhaps be equally well received by many of the professors of Methodism.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 237 He is, however, now gone to his final account; and, as before observed, it is to be hoped, that his last best thoughts and affections have been the means of introducing him into the society of those angels and blessed spirits, who continually surround the throne of heaven, and with a loud voice proclaim their adorable God and Saviour, saying, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain (heretofore denied in the Church,) to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing," Rev. v. 12. May those, who describe themselves as "his followers," imitate the bright example of their leader; and then with him they will be prepared to join the happy, glorious throng above, and from the fulness of their hearts to say, "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever," Rev. v. 13; that is, unto the Divinity and the Divine Humanity united in the One Glorified Person of the Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

It was before stated, that the establishment of a Missionary Ministry had long been regarded by the members of the New Church generally, as a most desirable object; and that the Conference held at Manchester, in the year 1815, passed various Resolutions expressive of its sense of the great importance of such an institution, which, under the divine blessing, cannot fail to be productive of much good. By sending out properly qualified Ministers to different parts of the kingdom, especially to those populous towns and villages, where as yet the doctrines are in a great measure unknown, and by repeating those visits as frequently as possible, and at the same time distributing catalogues and small introductory tracts at the conclusion of each discourse, no doubt can be entertained but the seeds of divine truth, thus scattered upon every kind of ground, will in many cases meet with a due reception, and in process of time bring forth fruit, "some an hundred-fold, some sixty-fold, and some thirty-fold." For although the country in which we live, may bear the name of Christian, and be actually in the possession of a Divine Revelation, yet how little of the true spirit of that Revelation is still known! How ignorant are the inhabitants in general of the TRUE GOD, his nature, attributes, and person! And how essential is it, that the mists of spiritual darkness, which have so long interrupted the beams of heavenly light proceeding from the Sun of Righteousness, should be dispersed, in order that the glorious truths of the new dispensation may be seen and acknowledged, and that the kingdom of peace and love may be universally established in heart and in life!


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 238 The New Church must not be confined to a corner of our land; the talents of her Ministers must not be buried in the earth; and her lamp must not be suffered to burn under a bushel or a bed: but a holy zeal, united with wisdom and sound judgment, ought henceforth to actuate both Ministers and people, societies and individuals, while each one, casting his mite into the treasury of the temple, using the means providentially put into his power, earnestly endeavours to promote the true spiritual welfare of his neighbour, and thus to prepare him for a joyful entrance into "that holy city, the New Jerusalem, now descending from God out of heaven."

In consequence of these considerations, and the Resolutions passed by Conference, the two adjoining Societies of Manchester and Salford associated together, for the purpose of giving effect to the measures which had been thus recommended. And in the month of October of the same year they issued a circular, to which were annexed Resolutions detailing the plan which they were about to adopt for themselves, of collecting weekly, monthly, and quarterly subscriptions. These Resolutions and Circular were as follows:

"Missionary Ministry, for the propagating the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem through the United Kingdom.

"It having been recommended by a late General Conference of the Ministers and other members of the New Church, to the different Societies in the kingdom, to establish a Missionary Ministry, for the purpose of spreading through the country at large the knowledge of the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, and to raise a fund, by small weekly contributions, for the support of the same; the Society belonging to the Church in Peter Street, Manchester, and that belonging to the Temple in Bolton Street, Salford, met together this day in the first-mentioned place, to take into serious consideration the said recommendation of the General Conference (Mr. Robert Hindmarsh in the chair); when it was Resolved Unanimously,

"1. That it is the opinion of this Meeting, that the establishment of such a Missionary Ministry, to consist of persons properly qualified to preach and propagate the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, is an object that merits the support of every member of the New Church.

"2. That contributions of One Penny per week, or more, be solicited not only from the members of each Society, according to their several abilities, (and without detriment to their other subscriptions in support of their respective places of worship,) but also from such other persons as may be thought friendly to the object in view, and desirous of aiding the proposed fund, either by weekly or other occasional donations.

"3. That for this purpose each of the Societies now present take the earliest opportunity of appointing from among themselves twelve persons to be Collectors of the said contributions; that such twelve persons, when appointed, arrange their respective Societies into twelve portions and classes, according to local or other circumstances; and that they regularly collect the weekly, monthly, or quarterly contributions, and pay the same at the end of each quarter into the hands of a Treasurer to be appointed by themselves, who shall then pay the whole quarterly amount into the hands of Mr. William Lockett, Deansgate, Manchester, the Treasurer appointed by the General Conference.

"4. That a General Committee, consisting of seven persons, not Ministers, (any three of whom shall be competent to act,) be now appointed, who shall have the management and application of the fund to be raised as above, until the next General Conference, which will be held in London, on the 16th of July, 1816=60.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 239

"5. That the said General Committee consist of the following persons, viz:

Mr. JOSEPH LOCKETT,              Mr. R. P. LIVINGSTON,


Mr. JOHN BARGE,                     and

Mr. FRANCIS DAVIS,              Mr. JOHN PRINCE.

"6. That these Resolutions be printed, and sent to the different
Societies in the United Kingdom, accompanied with a recommendation to adopt similar Resolutions, if approved of by them.

                            "ROBERT HINDMARSH, Chairman."

"Manchester, Oct. 18, 1815=59."


"The Members of the New Church in Manchester and Salford, conceiving it their duty to promote, according to their power, the measure proposed and recommended by the last General Conference, viz., the establishment of a Missionary Ministry, for the purpose of proclaiming to the inhabitants of this kingdom the everlasting gospel of the sole and exclusive Divinity of our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, and the necessity of living in obedience to his commandments, have this day united together to give effect to the said recommendation, which has not failed to excite among them an interest dear to their hearts. On giving the subject a deliberate and full consideration, it has appeared to them, that, were the different societies in the kingdom generally to unite in the same cause, and to promote among themselves small weekly, monthly, or quarterly donations, a fund might soon be raised, sufficient to enable at first one Minister to go forth, as a Missionary or Ambassador in the name of his DIVINE MASTER, and in process of time, as the fund increased, two, three, or more Ministers, who might all be most usefully employed in different parts of the same new vineyard.

"It is with a view to this end, and to the future prosperity of the New Church at large, that the two Societies of Manchester and Salford have met together as above stated, and entered into such Resolutions as they conceived most proper to be adopted on the occasion. These Resolutions they are also desirous of communicating to their brethren of the New Church, wherever situated: and though they wish not to dictate to others any particular course of proceeding, they yet humbly hope they may express their conviction, that the measures, which are likely to prove effectual in one place, will be found equally beneficial in another.

"So far, therefore, as the annexed Resolutions may appear calculated to promote the real interest and welfare of the New Jerusalem, they are earnestly recommended to the different Societies, to be either adopted or modified by them, according to their own judgment, and the circumstances in which they may find themselves placed. And while all are thus actively engaged in co-operating with the divine mercy and providence, each one to the best of his ability, and with a sincere desire to do good for the sake of good, and to spread truth for the sake of truth, who can doubt, that the SAVIOUR of the world will be a second time 'born in the city of David,' in the hearts of his people; and that 'a multitude of the heavenly host' will again shout, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men!' Luke ii. 11, 13, 14.

"Signed in behalf, and at the request, of the two Societies of Manchester and Salford,

                                   "ROBERT HINDMARSH."

"Manchester, Oct. 18, 1815=59."

No sooner were these proceedings made generally known throughout the country, than letters were immediately received by the Treasurer from numerous Societies and individuals, all expressive (with scarce any exception) of the highest satisfaction on the adoption of a measure so long and so ardently wished for, and promising to support the same in the way proposed, according to the utmost of their ability. Such indeed was the spirit manifested on the occasion, that several of the friends made no hesitation in putting down their names for considerable sums of money, in the way of a loan or advance on the credit of the future subscriptions, which they clearly perceived would be amply sufficient to defray all the charges likely to attend the first Missionary efforts of the Church.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 240

The Committee being thus encouraged, and desirous of bringing into immediate action the talents and zeal of that venerable and worthy Minister, the Rev. Joseph Proud, who had already offered his services in the Missionary department, lost no time therefore, in communicating to him the hope which had been raised in the minds of the people, and the anxiety with which he was expected by all the country Societies.


The war arising out of the French Revolution, in which most, if not all, of the nations of Europe had for so many years been engaged, having lately been brought to a successful termination, it appears, that the Emperor of Russia conceived the design of uniting all the great Powers in a solemn League, called the Holy Alliance, whereby they should bind themselves to act upon true Christian principles, in order to prevent in future those destructive wars, which had so often desolated the face of the earth; and to maintain for ever that peace, which the success of the Allied Armies had providentially established. To this League the Emperor of Austria, the King of Prussia, and the Emperor of Russia, became active parties, as before observed in this History p. 227, &c.; and having published a copy of such Treaty, which seemed to promise the realization of blessings never before enjoyed by the Christian world at large, an intense interest was excited, on the occasion, among all nations. Not only did the aspect of political affairs assume an entirely novel character, but the sudden and unexpected avowal of religious principles never yet acted upon by the Christian Powers, gave the most flattering promise, that a new Era was about to commence, in which the old Ecclesiastical dogmas would speedily shrink into insignificance, while the doctrines of the New and True Christian Church, explicitly recommended by the three Sovereigns above named, in their solemn Treaty, called the Holy League, would hereafter be regarded as the only authorized rule of faith and practice, particularly in regard to the supreme Divinity of the Lord, and a life according to his commandments. Under this impression, it was considered a duty incumbent on the members of the New Jerusalem Church, who warmly participated in all the sentiments thus announced to the world, to congratulate the Authors of the new Treaty on their extraordinary and unexpected Act of Royalty. I was accordingly solicited by some of the most respectable members of the Society, of which I was then the Minister, to address a Letter to each of the three distinguished Sovereigns, whose names had given sanction to the said Treaty, humbly expressing the high satisfaction which the step taken by their Majesties had given to the professors of the True Christian Religion in this country.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 241

An opportunity offering itself, by the captain of a vessel about to sail from Hull to Hamburgh, St. Petersburg, and other parts of the Continent, of putting this design into execution, I was emboldened to write a Letter to each of the Crowned Heads above-mentioned, on the part they had jointly and respectively taken in the late memorable transactions, which settled the peace of Europe, and seemed to promise a lasting state of prosperity and happiness. These Letters, accompanied with my "Remarks on the Holy League," and two or three other books containing the heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem, I have reason to believe, were punctually delivered into the hands of the Royal Personages, to whom they were addressed. Copies of the three Letters now follow, together with the Answer with which I was honoured by one of them, namely, by the King of Prussia, signed with his own hand.

                            LETTER I.

              To His Majesty the Emperor of Austria.

May it please your Imperial Majesty,

Permit me, as Minister of the New Jerusalem Temple in Salford, Manchester, to present to Your Majesty a small pamphlet, entitled, Remarks on the Holy League, lately entered into by Their Majesties the Emperor of Austria, the King of Prussia, and the Emperor of Russia; wherein they openly proclaim and recommend to their own Subjects, and to the Christian World at large, the Two Essential and Distinguishing Articles of the New Church, called the New Jerusalem.

The brilliant example of true Christian virtue and wisdom, which Your Majesty, in conjunction with your August Allies the Sovereigns of Russia and Prussia, holds up to the view of all nations, in the Treaty above alluded to, is alone sufficient to immortalize Your Majesty's name, and to render it dear to those who have hearts and understandings capable of estimating the importance of Your Majesty's views.

Sharing in the public joy so extensively diffused by the spirit and tenour of the new Imperial and Royal Covenant, but incapable of giving full expression to those sentiments of admiration, with which it has impressed my mind, I can only intreat Your Majesty's goodness to pardon this presumptive intrusion, and to consider me among the number of,


                     May it please Your Imperial Majesty,

                            Your Majesty's

                     Most obedient, humble, and devoted Servant,
Salford, Manchester, May 20, 1816.              ROBERT HINDMARSH.

                            LETTER II.

              To His Majesty the King of Prussia.

May it please Your Majesty,

As Minister of the New Jerusalem Temple in Salford, Manchester, permit me to express to Your Majesty the high opinion, which the members of this Church entertain of Your Majesty's unwearied attention to the interests of true religion, not in Prussia only, but in all the branches of the great Christian family of Europe. This paternal regard, in the first place, for the spiritual welfare of Your Majesty's own subjects, discloses itself in that memorable Invitation, by Royal Authority, issued at Berlin on the 17th of September, 1814, wherein the various Ministers of religion are requested to offer Proposals for a Reform in Public Worship; and in the next place, for the general happiness and peace of mankind, is most strikingly exemplified in the Treaty of Alliance entered into at Paris on the 26th of September, 1815, by Your Majesty, in concert with their Majesties the Emperors of Austria and Russia.

From a full conviction, therefore, that some great work of Divine Mercy towards the inhabitants of the earth, is already begun in our day and that the Sovereign Disposer of all events has committed into the hands of the Three Illustrious Princes above-named, as a most sacred and solemn charge, the execution of the high purposes of his will, for the general amelioration of the state of Christian society, I have presumed to offer to Your Majesty's deliberate and serious consideration, a few cursory thoughts on this most important subject, under the title of Remarks on the Holy League, lately entered into by Their Majesties the Emperor of Austria, the King of Prussia, and the Emperor of Russia; wherein they openly proclaim and recommend to their own Subjects, and to the Christian World at large, the Two Essential and Distinguishing Articles of the New church, called the New Jerusalem.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 242

That the blessing of Heaven may accompany all Your Majesty's exertions in the cause of virtue and true religion; and that the crown of peace in this life, and of a glorious immortality in the next, may be the happy portion of Your Majesty, is the sincere and earnest prayer of,

              May it please Your Majesty

                     Your Majesty's

              Most obedient, humble, and devoted Servant,
Salford, Manchester, May 20, 1816.              ROBERT HINDMARSH.

                            LETTER III.

To His Majesty the Emperor of Russia.

May it please your Imperial Majesty,

The Members of the New Jerusalem Church in Salford, Manchester, of whom by the Divine Providence I am appointed the Minister, having seen a copy of the Holy Treaty lately entered into by Your Majesty, by the Emperor of Austria, and by the King of Prussia; and having well considered the spirit that must have dictated its most important contents, as well as the wisdom that framed it, and the great end to which it leads, namely, the welfare and happiness of the many millions of human beings, who make a profession of the Christian name; have requested me to lay before Your Majesty the few imperfect Remarks, accompanying this Letter, which have been suggested on reading the said Document, and which have been published in this kingdom, for the sole purpose of giving additional effect to the enlightened views and benevolent disposition of Your Majesty and Your Majesty's Illustrious Allies.

I do therefore must humbly solicit Your Majesty's permission to present the same to Your Majesty, as a token of the high sense I entertain of the many virtues, which so eminently distinguish and adorn Your Majesty's public as well as private life.

In the midst of such a profusion of plaudits and acclamations, as must incessantly reach Your Majesty's ear, from those of every nation who best know how to appreciate the part Your Majesty has taken in all the late glorious transactions, but especially in that which is so justly denominated the Holy Treaty of Alliance, it is too much to expect, that my feeble voice can be heard. Yet, participating as I do in the general impulse, which Your Imperial Majesty, in concert with two other Illustrious Sovereigns, has communicated to the Christian world at large, I cannot refrain from claiming the high privilege of indulging in those sentiments of admiration and esteem, which Your Majesty's exalted character has awakened in the breast of,

                     May it please Your Imperial Majesty,

                            Your Majesty's

                     Most obedient, humble, and devoted Servant,
Salford, Manchester, May 20, 1816.              ROBERT HINDMARSH

To these Letters I received only one Answer, and that was the following from His Majesty the King of Prussia, dated Carlsbad, Aug. 14, 1816, and signed with His Majesty's own hand. The Letter came through the General Post-office, and having the Royal Seal of Prussia on the envelope, excited no little surprise among the gentleman connected with that department in Manchester.

Answer of His Majesty the King of Prussia to Mr. Hindmarsh.

I have received, with your letter of the 20th of May last, the work published by you on the Holy Alliance, and herewith send you my thanks for the transmission of it, at the same time that I acknowledge the justice of the sentiments you have expressed.

Carlsbad, Aug. 14, 1816.              FREDERICK WILLIAM.
To the Reverend Mr. Hindmarsh, Salford, Manchester.

As no Answer was returned by the other two Sovereigns, to whom I had written, I can only say, that it is probable my feeble efforts to make known the truth to such high and distinguished Personages were altogether unavailing, and perhaps deemed unworthy of notice.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 243 There is reason, however, to believe that the doctrines of the New Church are well known in Prussia, and favourably received by many of the inhabitants of that country. For an English soldier, after his return from the Continent to his home at Manchester, informed me, that when he and some others were quartered upon a farm-house there, the farmer, understanding that he came from Manchester, inquired of him if he knew such a person as me, saying, that I lived at Manchester, and that my name was well known in his neighbourhood as an advocate of Swedenborg's Writings. To this question he replied, that he did not know me: for it appears, that he had quitted his native place to join the army, before I had taken up my residence in that town. But on his return home he was surprised to find me there, agreeably to the information he had received in Prussia. By what means the natives of that part of the Continent had obtained their knowledge, either of the Writings of Swedenborg, or of the persons who embraced them in England, is not known with certainty. But it is possible, if not probable, that the correspondence opened with the Clergy appointed by the King of Prussia to revise and amend the Liturgy of their Church, as before described, may have been published in that country, for the purpose of collecting the sentiments of such of the Ministers and others as might feel themselves interested in the proposed improvement of their public worship. It is, however, of little consequence in what manner, or by whose agency, the new doctrines are spread in the world: it is sufficient if they find their way to the hearts of all true recipients; and then, whether they be princes or peasants, clergymen or laymen, high or low, rich or poor, each one will be enabled to perform the duties of that station to which the Divine Providence has seen good to appoint him.


       CHAP. XII.

ACCORDING to appointment, the Ninth General Conference was held in the New Jerusalem Chapel, Friars Street, London, on Tuesday the 16th, and continued till Thursday the 18th of July, 1816=60; when the Rev. MANOAH SIBLY, of London, was unanimously elected President, and Mr. SAMUEL NOBLE, of London, Secretary. Four Ministers, and nine Delegates or Representatives from different Societies, besides many other members of the Church in London and its neighbourhood, were present on the occasion.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 244

Various letters were read, giving an account of the number of individuals composing the respective Societies in different parts of the kingdom, the manner of conducting their meetings, both for worship and reading, together with such information as was deemed interesting to the Church at large. Reports were also made of the formation of new Societies, and of the increased number of readers since the last Conference.

In a letter from the Rev. J. Hargrove, of Baltimore, in America, to the Rev. M. Sibly, the former states his approbation of the plan for arranging the Ministry, as agreed upon at the last Conference, and communicates the intelligence of the welfare and gradual increase of the Society to which he belongs. An advertisement in The Columbian New York paper of January 27, 1816, was also read, announcing the formation of a New Church Society in that city, and their wish to correspond with other Societies and individuals, both in Europe and America.

In consequence of a recommendation and request, on the part of the Conference at their last annual meeting, that the Rev. J. Proud would undertake the duties of a Missionary Minister as soon as convenient, that gentleman reported, that he had performed two journeys, in conformity with his appointment; that he had visited Derby, Manchester, Radcliffe, Worsley, Heywood, Bolton, Huddersfield, Cooper's Bridge, Middleton, Holcomb Brook, Haslingden, Accrington, Bury, and Keighley; and that in all these places his labours were received with gratitude and affection by the members of the Church, and with evident satisfaction by the numerous strangers who flocked to hear him. The reading of this Report occasioned the most lively feelings of delight in all present, and it was Resolved unanimously,

       "That the great success which has attended this first effort to promote the growth of the New Church by the establishment of a Missionary Ministry, is regarded by this Conference as affording the most urgent stimulus to perseverance in that measure. They therefore deem it their duty most earnestly to recommend to all the Societies which have contributed to the formation of a fund for this purpose, a continuance of their exertions, and to press upon the attention of those who may not yet have joined their aid in support of this great undertaking, the consideration of the important use which they will thus strengthen and promote. For it must be obvious, that the uses, which are found to result from the partial institution of Missionary exertions, must be greatly increased, and may be carried to even an incalculable extent, if those exertions can be rendered permanent, and kept in constant activity; and this might easily be effected, if subscriptions to the fund, though small in individual amount, could be made universal."

       Some other resolutions and regulations for the support of the Missionary Institution were passed; after which the Conference proceeded to take into consideration the necessity of keeping and preserving with care, Registers of all persons baptized in the New Church; on which subject the following Resolution was adopted,-


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 245


"It having sometimes been found, that persons favourably disposed towards the principles of the New Church are yet fearful of having their children baptized therein, partly from the apprehension that the Register might not be carefully preserved, and partly from the unfounded notion that such Register would not be admitted, according to the law of the land, as sufficient evidence of the age of the child so baptized, whereby his temporal welfare might be injured, it was Resolved unanimously, That it be strongly recommended to the Minister or Leader of every Society Of the New Church, to keep with regularity, and preserve with care, a Register of all persons baptized, distinguishing between adults and infants, and mentioning the date of the baptism, and, in the case of infants, the time of their birth, with the name, place of abode, and occupation, of the parents: and also to endeavour to remove the misapprehension, which is found to exist in the minds of some persons in regard to the legality of such Register, by informing them, that it is admitted in the Courts of Law to be equally valid, as evidence for determining legal questions, as Registry in the Established Church of England."

       The business which presented itself for consideration having been concluded, and the Conference having been led to give its most earnest attention to the means of affording stability and extension to the plan for propagating the doctrines and life of the New Church, by the institution of a Missionary Ministry, it was further Resolved unanimously,

"That while the Conference feel it incumbent on them to urge their brethren to assist in extending the knowledge of the means of salvation, as unfolded in the doctrines of the New Jerusalem, by supporting the Missionary fund, they at the same time feel it their duty to remind them, that the Church within us requires as much care to build it up and extend it, as the Church without us, and that the only way effectually to accomplish the latter object is, to conjoin it with an earnest endeavour to advance the former, by losing no time in elevating the truths which we have received in the memory into the life, and by convincing our less enlightened brother of the inestimable value of the principles which we would press upon his attention, by suffering them to operate, with all their purifying efficacy, upon ourselves. A desire to bring our neighbour to the same opinion, in regard to religious matters, with ourselves, may have place in connection with selfish and worldly loves; but we should never forget, that a zeal thus founded, though it may be of avail as it regards others and the world, will be of no avail as it regards ourselves and heaven: but, on the other hand, if we are zealous against evils and falses, and desirous to remove them, not only in others, but also in ourselves, and are thus careful to cast the beam out of our own eye that we may see clearly to cast the mote out of our brother's eye, our zeal in this case will promote our own happiness, while it communicates the principles of happiness to others; till at length we shall find all motives connected with the proprium lose their influence over us, and shall come continually more and more into that spiritual and celestial love of uses and of doing uses, into which there is infused, through heaven from the Lord, an inexpressible blessedness and delight, with which no pleasure of a selfish and worldly nature, however prized by the merely natural man, can be compared. Thus will the New Jerusalem descend from heaven indeed, and the tabernacle of God find a real abiding place with men."

The Meeting being thus closed, the next General Conference was appointed to be held in Full Street, Derby, on the second Tuesday in August, 1817=61.

A letter from an English gentleman settled in Holland, addressed to the President of the Conference, did not come to hand till the Conference was ended. It was, however, received in time to be read at a public meeting, before the brethren from the country had left town. Being very interesting, as coming from a country with which the New Church in Great Britain had hitherto had no communication, the most important parts of it are here given.


Rise and Progress OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH p. 246

"Dear Brethren,                     Rotterdam, July 8, 1816=60.

"A number of years has elapsed since our illuminated Seer published the glorious annunciation of our Lord's second advent in this cou