Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

nominal leader, got the chief credit. He was, however, but a vain empty-headed man, seldom to be found when he was wanted. Sixty thousand human beings fell in this mad crime of ambition on behalf of the French, and of traitorous imbecility on behalf of the Spanish Government, which had corrupted and ruined their own country and then betrayed it.

The town I next visited was Pampeluna, or, as the Spaniards call it, Pamplona. It is the old capital of Navarre, the chief city of the plains. It is a clean, well-built town of 15,000 inhabitants. It is walled, and has a strong citadel. Near this place Wellington inflicted the last defeat on Marshal Soult before entering France. On the parapet of the bridge of Sorauren, a village in sight almost from the city, the Duke wrote a few orders in pencil as he came amongst the troops in the nick of time from a distance. The soldiers saw their commander and set up a triumphant cheer, which startled Marshal Soult and led him to defer the attack to the next day. This gave time for another portion of the army to reach the field, and the French were driven headlong into their own country, which they ought never on the business of invasion to have left. Pamplona has a large square, many good streets, and is a very fair town. Excursions into France, and to picturesque parts of the Pyrenees, are easy from Pamplona. It was at the siege of this city that Ignatius Loyola, who was a soldier, had his leg broken, and in the pains and sorrows of sickness determined to devote himself ad majorem gloriam Dei-the greater glory of God-which led to the founding of the order of the Jesuits. There is a small murky chapel, said to be built on the spot where he was wounded. After this he began to see visions and to project a society modelled on the pattern of an army.

I have said before, and further reflection has strengthened the conclusion, that the Roman Catholic religion as it now is can only be considered an outbirth of Spanish thought, not of the New Testament. Jesuitism has overspread the Romish Church, and Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, was a Spaniard. Dominic Gusman, the founder of the Inquisition and of the Dominican order, was a Spaniard. Mariolatry, or Mary-worship, was a Spanish superstition intense and universal in Spain long before it was much thought of elsewhere. Many of the most bigoted, vile, and sensual of the popes, including the worst of them all, Alexander VI., was a Spaniard, a Borgia. The Romish religion is not the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, but the superstition of Spain.

There are three rivers which join near Pamplona and then flow

into the Ebro. There is a distich in the country which struck me as worthy of notice in two or three respects.

[merged small][ocr errors]

It is

Arga, Ega, y Arragon
Hacen al Ebro un baron;"

"Arga, Ega, and Arragon

Make the Ebro a baron."

Baron is in old Spanish A MAN. Barons therefore were originally those who were considered true men, special noble men; as our name of Queen is from the Norwegian Quenna, woman, the woman par excellence.

When I left Pamplona for Alsasua, on my return to Biarritz in France, I had to pass through the country where the Carlists had broken into and burnt many stations. Four years after, the people were making a beginning to put them up again. Such, with a thousand excellences, is poor, slow, old Spain.

TESTIMONY TO ANOTHER WORLD TRUTH.

BY THE LATE J. W. BARNES, BATH.

SOME years since I was called in my vocation as a surgeon to see a poor boy just taken out of the water, and whose life, even when resuscitated, seemed in great danger. I went in obedience to the call and found the lad stretched on a bed. He was very pale, and his nervous system had received a severe shock, but I at once saw that the probability of his recovery was greater than that of his death. The mother was very anxious, and to her question, "Do you think my dear boy will recover?" I replied, "There is every probability." She said he was her only child living, and that she should die if he did. I used the best means to soothe her, and told her that if it should please the Lord that he should die as to time, he would be sure to

died in infancy or child

become an angel in heaven, for that all who hood entered there. Her answer was, "I am certain of that, sir." There was such a force and emphasis on the word certain that I was induced to ask her what made her so confident of this fact. "I will tell you, sir, if you please, but perhaps you will laugh at me." I said, "No, my good woman, I never laugh at any recorded and serious fact, come from where it may. Speak on and tell me all without reservation." Then said she, "I buried some three months since a daughter, to my

mind as pretty a girl as I ever beheld. This boy and she were the only children I ever had. My grief was at the time, and continued to be for many weeks after her death, severe indeed. I could find no rest or peace till what I am going to tell you took place, which was this. A week or two ago, as I sat on that bed in a perfectly wakeful state in the middle of the day, thinking deeply of my dear child, my eyes were directed to that door you see, when it suddenly opened, and in walked three children most beautifully dressed in the purest white, decorated with sashes, and sandals on their feet; the centre one was tallest and seemed led in by the other two. They stood before me about a yard off, but neither of them spoke. I looked at them hard, and as my eyes fell on the one in the centre I at once found that it was my daughter, my own dear child, in the face much improved in beauty, but on looking at her dress I felt sadly shocked." "And why?" I asked. "Because, sir, though her frock had a white ground, it was daubed all over as though with ink. I was induced to speak to them, and directing my eyes to one of the leaders of my child, said, 'How is this that you and the other little girl are so beautifully dressed, your frocks so white without a stain, and my dear daughter's is so spotted with ink?' Immediately one of them answered, 'Don't fret, good woman, the stains you now see on her frock will shortly all be taken away.' In an instant," she continued, "they all disappeared from my sight."

After hearing all she had to say, on the impulse of the moment I exclaimed, "I would not have missed hearing what you have related for £500." She seemed quite astonished at this remark. I then asked her if she had ever heard of the New Church, or had had any conversation with people called Swedenborgians, or had ever in her life read a book called "Heaven and Hell." She assured me she never had, and that she only went once in a way to the Church of England. Why do I then relate this fact? I will answer. In a little monthly volume published then by the Rev. Thomas Goyder, now I believe to be procured, will be found an extract from, I think, Emanuel Sweden. borg's Diary, in which he (speaking of hereditary evil) remarks that on a time, as he was walking in the company of an angel in the heavens, a number of young girls came in view dressed in the exact way of the daughter of the poor woman above named, their garments being white but covered with spots of black. Emanuel Swedenborg asked his guide what these spots meant, when he replied, “They are the outbirths of hereditary evil as existing for a long time in the disposition of most children coming first into the spiritual world. But," said the angel, "they will all in time and from angelic instruction totally disappear." The narration of the poor uneducated woman

being so direct a proof of the veracity of Emanuel Swedenborg's declaration was, I can truly say, the most convincing confirmation of his mission I ever had the privilege to hear. I can truly say it elevated my then only small hill of faith into a mountain whose top can never be reached to eternity.

THE SWEDENBORG SOCIETY.

BRITISH AND FOREIGN.

THE sixty-ninth annual general meeting of this institution was held at the Society's Rooms, 36 Bloomsbury Street, London, on Tuesday the 17th June. The chair was taken at seven o'clock by the Rev. Dr. TAFEL. There was a very large attendance, attracted no doubt by the fact that in addition to the matters usually placed before the members of the Society on this occasion, it had been arranged that the bust of Swedenborg, presented by the Rev. AUGUSTUS CLISSOLD, M.A., and Miss CLISSOLD, should be unveiled.

The Rev. Dr. BAYLEY offered up prayer. Messrs. E. HEWSON and S. L. TEED were appointed Scrutineers of the balloting lists for the new Committee.

The CHAIRMAN said :

Dear friends and members of the Swedenborg Society. Under the divine auspices of the Lord we meet to-day to celebrate the sixtyninth anniversary of this Society. Sixty-nine years is more than the average length of a human life, and although societies whose object it is to contribute to the establishment of the Lord's kingdom on earth never grow old, still it ever behoves such societies occasionally to stop in their onward career of usefulness in order to consider whence they have sprung, and what is the object of their existence. Societies, like individuals, are wont in time to take their own existence for granted, and by the power of precedents behind them to move in a series of interminable ruts.

Yet you may ask, What is the use of our looking back? The object of this Society is plain, it consists in the printing and diffusion of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg; and this it is what the Society has striven to do, to the utmost of its power, ever since its foundation in 1810.

And yet we are taught in these very Writings that a use or a good work is the result of a man's love, which is the end of the work, and of a man's wisdom, which is the cause of the work; and common

sense tells us that an effect or a work is just according to the power and the efficiency of the end and the cause, of the love and the wisdom, which are operating within the effect and produce it.

It is therefore well worth our attention as a Society occasionally tổ pause, and by a process of introspection and retrospection to take a good and fresh look at the end for which our Society has been established, and at the causes by which it seeks to carry out this end.

And what better opportunity is there, at which we may distinctly place before us the end and object of this Society, than at an anniversary at which there will be unveiled in imperishable marble the features of that man whose name this Society bears, and for the publication of whose Writings it is established?

He was a wonderful, a monumental man. The Spirit of God came upon him in his cradle; for has he not told to us who believe in his testimony, that from his earliest youth the Lord had prepared him for that work to which He called him in his ripe and mature age?

The world is not able to see that work; for the world believes only what it can see with the senses, and what is based on ideas which are drawn in by the senses, and thus which are founded on space and time.

A materialistic age cannot appreciate, because it is unable to see, the claims which a man like Swedenborg has upon its consideration. And why is it unable to see and understand his claims? Because it is unwilling to see them; for it is the will which is the sovereign of the understanding, and when the will says, Thou shalt not see and understand this! the understanding, like a docile horse, yields a tacit obedience.

And yet man is not so thoroughly worldly and materialistic by birth, that he is unwilling, and hence unable, to raise his thoughts to things which are above space and time, and hence which are perfect and lasting. The child never questions our teachings on supernatural subjects; to hear us speak to him about the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven, and about our life hereafter, seems as natural to him as to hear his teacher by-and-by descant to him on the beauties and the wonders of nature.

Is it that children are more superstitious than adult people that enables them to see and understand things in their early age which they afterwards, when they grow up into a state of manhood, reject? No, children are nearer heaven than adults; there are still active in them those blessed states of innocence and heavenly peace which are implanted in their souls by our all-loving Father in heaven; and these heavenly feelings which actuate their wills impart an affirmative

« ForrigeFortsæt »