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effect. It would lead them to think that others, perhaps, equally required revision and change, so that he felt quite satisfied that the more Scripture was understood, the more Scripture was compared with physical facts, the more strikingly and strongly the discrepancy of certain portions of the present translation of Scripture with fact would be presented to the world.
They might, therefore, congratulate themselves that that seventieth anniversary of the Swedenborg Society was coincident with the revision of the English Bible. They might see in the circumstance an encouragement to them to persevere in the good work of teaching the teachers, of giving to the future ministers of the Church the light which might enable them to become beacons of the true light, instead of mere ignes fatui exhibiting that which might lead their hearers into error instead of truth. It was the duty and privilege of the Swedenborg Society and other New Church institutions to labour in this direction. Their having in a corporate capacity attained to the hale age of seventy years should certainly be no reason for complacently dwelling on the vitality of the present or the achievements of the past. It ought to make them regard their position as a stepping-stone towards a still more vigorous, a still more useful, a still more fruitful future, distributing the writings of the New Church not only in Athens, but in every great centre of thought, even in the Vatican itself.
Mr. GUNTON said he had been asked to second the resolution which had been submitted to them by the Rev. John Presland. It was a somewhat lengthy one, and it was unnecessary to read it again. He would not occupy many minutes of their time, because there were friends, Dr. Wilkinson, for example, who could do so with greater advantage. So far as the resolution was concerned he would simply endorse all that Mr. Presland had said. He would say something in regard to the future. He had been thinking while they had been sitting there that sometimes they were too fond of complaining, and at others of congratulating themselves. Neither was a very desirable position of the mind. He preferred to think of what they could do next, and how they could do it. And there was such a large field open before them.
There were millions of people who had never heard of the name of Swedenborg, and therefore the question came, How could they best reach them ? So far as that Society was concerned, he thought they should now think seriously of establishing branch depôts for the sale of their books. Let them think about it at once, and see if they could not establish within the next twelve months one such depôt at least somewhere in the great metropolis. It might seem difficult at first, but there was no difficulty about it. His notion was that if the Society could assist some suitable person who was fond of selling books, by paying a portion of the rent of his house, and then supplying him with books, to which might be added the publications of the Missionary and Tract Society, he would be able to dispose of a great many. The central depôt would do just as much business, and all in harmony, and all helpful. It was just one of the simplest things in the world. Some doubtless would say it could not be done. Too many people started with the notion that it could not be done. Some people said it was impossible to keep the commandments, but that was not the best way to keep them. If they started with the other idea that it could be done, there would be no difficulty at all about it. Their worthy T surer had told them that the income of the Society was exceedingly small. He thought the Committee should at once appeal to every large, to every considerable Society of the New Church, and make them do something. They had the assistance of several gentlemen as collectors, but he thought they wanted stirring up. The great work was for them all to see what more there was to be done, and to do it as earnestly as it was possible for them to do it.
The resolution was submitted to the meeting and carried unanimously.
In reply to a question by Mr. C. HIGHAM, the SECRETARY stated that it was intended to forward a copy to the Revision Committees.
The Rev. Dr. TAFEL then proposed, “That in past ages and under former dispensations the Lord provided for the best interests of His human family by giving them a knowledge of the truth adapted to their states and capacities, and that in these last days, to meet the requirements of an advanced intelligence, He has given, under His dispensation, the New Jerusalem, a high development of revealed truth, by disclosing the internal sense of His Holy Word, which supplies the human mind with the means of attaining a faith resting on the harmonious testimony of Scripture, consonant with sound reason, and supported by all true science.' He said :
In all ages the Lord, in His infinite mercy, according to the terms of the resolution in my hand, “provided for the best interests of His human family by giving them a knowledge of the truth adapted to their states and capacities.” But from the Lord is not only “the knowledge of truth," but also "the capacity" which enables the human family in freedom according to their reason to receive this knowledge of Divine truth.
Nay more, the Lord has not only given to the human family the capacity of receiving in freedom the knowledge of the Divine truth, but He has also enabled it to distinguish between the Divine truth and between the figments of human reason; and He has fortified it with the power of resisting the dictates of man's own reason, and of declaring unequivocally in favour of the Lord's truth.
The Lord, therefore, from the very moment of man's first creation, has . laid in him the rudiments of a new will which is opposed to the impulses of his old will, and He has also furnished him with a spiritual eye capable of descrying the beauties of spiritual revealed truth while with his natural eye he is able to take in and to compass the natural phenomena presented by his existence in the natural world.
There is an intimate connection between truth revealed from the Lord and the rudiments of the new will which the Lord has planted
in the souls of all human beings, and which consist of what in the language of the New Church are called the remains of goodness. And a similar intimate relation exists between the phenomena of the natural world and the information derived thence, and between the loves of our natural man, which are the loves of our old will.
In order, therefore, freely to receive the knowledge of Divine truth revealed by the Lord to man, there is not only required an advanced intelligence in all matters pertaining to our existence in the natural world, but there is also required a love for spiritual things—for what we love, that we think and see ; and therefore according to our love, either the natural or the spiritual eye, the natural or the spiritual understanding, will be opened within us.
And again, “the higher the development of the revealed truth vouchsafed by the Lord to His human family, the higher and the more noble must be the moral qualities of the heart of humanity, in order to enable it adequately to receive, to see, and to understand this ' higher development of Divine truth.”
While therefore acknowledging that “to meet the requirements of an advanced intelligence, the Lord has given, under His dispensation, the New Jerusalem, a high development of revealed truth,” we are also mindful that in order adequately to receive, and in order to see and understand clearly this higher development of Divine truth, there is required on our part a high-toned morality, a brotherly forbearing spirit the very reverse of intolerance, and a sincere desire of showing in our lives that we are the disciples of a New Dispensation of Christianity.
Only in proportion, therefore, in which we identify ourselves with the new, and not with the old will of humanity, will our spiritual eyes be opened, and shall we be able to realize the fact that “by disclosing the internal sense of His Holy Word, the Lord has supplied the human mind with the means of attaining a faith which rests on the harmonious testimony of Scripture, and which is consonant with sound reason, and supported by all true science.”
The Rev. W. C. BARLOW said they had already twice heard the words of the resolution, and he had been about to make that an excuse for passing over its reading. It was, however, of sufficient importance to be read yet once again, as doubtless they would be able to do in the printed Reports, and he hoped that they would re-read it and re-read it again. The resolution informed them that in those last ages there existed a more exalted character and degree of human intelligence than heretofore. It was easy for them to contrast the development of that exalted intelligence that for the last hundred years had made the world wonder at itself.
The working of the Divine Providence in ages of comparative ignorance had always been directed to the development of greater thoughtfulness, the creation of greater earnestness, and the strengthening of all human efforts, thoughtfully, earnestly, to work for good, and the result was the exaltation of the powers of the faculties of the mind.
Next they were reminded that the supply for the knowledge of the powers of the human mind was marvellously found to be contained in the same documents, in the same workings, in the same Word which had been the supply of the human mind for ages past. They knew that long long ago their fathers were called to recognise the sun as their life-bestower, their side-warmer, their grain-ripener, and little more than that did they find in the sun. But as their activities were multiplied they found still that the same sun was the teacher of all earth's chemistry, and the prophet of the glories of the heavenly kingdom. And so it was with regard to the Divine Word. The Word that once taught man dictates that must be done under the authority of a Divine bidder, because the bidder was so mighty, came to them now a teacher of intelligent increased faculty, and the old means was made a centre and source of new glories, as it seemed to them, by the development of that last crowning revelation of the internal Word. Why was that so grand and profitable a thing, and why was it so consistent with all other Divine dealings that they could rely that all its teachings would be at once consistent with human reason and in accordance with true science? They need none of them be reminded that one word pointed to the solution of that enigma-correspondence. That it was which gave to that Word a new strength and a new power, which afforded a new development of truth to be identified with the discovery, the uncovering by the Lord, the Maker of the earth, that every stone had in it a relationship not merely by gravitation, to all the remotest parts of the universe, to all the needs and faculties, experiences and hopes, wisdom and aspirations of the human mind. In those last days the unseen sense of the Divine Word was opened to them in the opening up of the internal sense of every Divine work. He who had spoken, and it should stand fast for ever, had created, and in His creation had embodied the thoughts and purposes which He had written at length in His true work. They went a great deal farther than that. They found that the more a man looked into the Word of God the more he was astonished to find, like that good clergyman whose letter had been read to them, that the new things taught to them were the old things that they knew. It was true, they knew how true it was, that when a statement of the newly-presented truths was made to a candid thoughtful mind prepared by moral fitness, that as sentence after sentence was apprehended, it was seen to be in accordance with all that had before been known. Sound reason was the recognition of the internal sense of a man, it was a recognition of that spiritual power which was now to be read in their marble, and in the sunlight, and in the life of a man, and in no age had it been given to them to see in noonday clearness that wherever they could find a Divine word, or work, or image, they had the right to say, Behold, here may be written what has been written in the other world, Hic liber est adventus Domini. He who learned to know himself, to know the simplest and most general utterances of the Divine Word, and was willing still to learn, would find that the Divine advent was a coming which was and had been. So was every one that was born of the Spirit.
The resolution was put to the meeting and passed unanimously.
The Scrutineers having presented their Report, the Secretary read the list of the gentlemen elected to form the Committee of the Society during the ensuing year. They were the Rev. Dr. Bayley, Rev. W. Bruce, Rev. J. Presland, Rev. Dr. Tafel, Dr. Stocker, Dr. Collingwood, and Messrs. Elliott, Jobson, Gunton, Williams, Spalding, and Thexton.
Mr. CHARLES HIGHAM said he had very much pleasure in moving a vote of thanks to Dr. Stocker for his able conduct in the chair. His first service to them that evening was his reference to the revision of the Bible, which had been many years in process. In so doing Dr. Stocker had given a tone to the meeting which was a pre-eminently practical one, as showing a practical work to be done by that Society in the future. The literal sense of the Word was a very important matter for the consideration of all of them. There were very many quotations from it in the writings published by that Society, and he apprehended that whenever that new translation was published it would be employed so far as it did not bring forward any false doctrine. It certainly occurred to him that it was their duty to take some steps in order to express to the translators the opinions of the New Church. He was not quite clear whether that was the province of the Swedenborg Society, but it was not very far from it. Returning to the subject of his resolution, he would merely ask the friends present to unite with him in thanking Dr. Stocker for his conduct in the chair, which had greatly conduced to the quietude and pleasantness of the meeting. The resolution was seconded by Mr. Gunton and carried with acclamation.
Dr. STOCKER said he heartily thanked them for their kindness. It was always a pleasure to him to be associated with New Churchmen, and the present meeting had been no exception.
The benediction having been pronounced, a very successful meeting was brought to a conclusion.
Review. FRIENDS AND FOES IN THE TRANSKEI. An English woman's Experience
during the late Frontier War of 1877-78. By HELEN M. PRICHARD.
London : Sampson Low & Co. 1880. THE Transkei is a large district contiguous to Natal, bounded on the south by the great Kei river and on the north by the Umtata ; it is not to be confounded with the Transvaal, which is an inland territory, many
hundred miles away: Mr. Prichard, who is a civil engineer in the Government service, at this time held the appointment of Inspector of Roads for this district.
Mrs. Prichard, who will be better known to our readers as a daughter of Mr. Bateman’s, accompanied her husband to the scene of his labours, where she experienced the alarms, the privations, and even the