« PreviousContinue »
On the 23rd of April last, at StoneOn the 16th April, at Wallasey Church, clough, near Manchester, Mr. Nathan Cheshire, by the rector, Rev. T. E. Espin, Wardle passed into the spiritual world, B.D., Andrew Pixton, Esq., second son aged 65. He had for many years been of George Pixton, Esq., Liverpool, to a reader and receiver of the doctrines of Annie Eliza, only daughter of The late the New Church, and took an active part Thomas Manders, Esq., of that town.
in the erection of the Kersley Church. On the 14th May, at the New Jeru His decease was caused by cancer in the salem Church, Accrington, by Mr. E. J. tongue and throat, from which he Broadfield, B.A., Mr. Joseph Whitehead, suffered for several months, and which, of Manchester, to Susan Ann, younger although often attended with great pain, daughter of the late Mr. Christopher he bore with remarkable patience and Whitaker, of Accrington.
resignation. He felt the great value of ERRATUM. - The name of Mr. C. the truths he had embraced in sustaining Tarelli was by mistake printed Farelli his spirit; and, let us hope, is now in our marriage notice of last month. realizing the blessings they are calculated
On the 29th of April, at Stoodley Lodge, Obituary.
near Todmorden, Miss Grace Hinchcliffe, Died at Accrington April 2nd, after a second daughter of George Hinchcliffe, short illness, in the 75th year of his age, Esq., J.P., in the 34th year of her age. Nicholas Waddington. When very young The deceased had been from early life he was connected with the Established initiated into the doctrines of the New Church, having been carefully trained by Church, to which, as her life advanced, his pious mother who continued her con- she became more and more warmly nection with the old path to the end of attached. Her life was distinguished by her days. During the time of Mr. George cheerful obedience and active usefulness; Haworth's leadership of the society, he and her long illness was sustained with became acquainted with the New Church meekness and patience. Her acute sufdoctrines, and he was always delighted ferings appeared only to perfect her pato talk about the early days of his ac- tient submission to the Divine will, and quaintance with the new views he ac- to deepen her love and widen its sphere cepted. Mr. Waddington was one of the of affectionate solicitude for others and .eighteen members who were first enrolled sympathy with the wise and good. Her in the Accrington society, but three of departure was in peace, and in hope of whom survive. Before this time he had an immediate resurrection to eternal collected and read many of the New life. Church works. He was a humble and On May 9th, departed this life Mrs. reverent student of the Word of God and Mary Elizabeth Stanley, aged 68 years. of the writings of Swedenborg. For more She had been a highly-esteemed member
Sunday-school, very frequently an active formation, having previously been many member of the society's committee, and years associated with the church at Lislefor some years its treasurer. According street, and then at Waterloo-road. She to his means he was a liberal contributor cultivated the quiet virtues and loving to the funds of the church, and was more activities of true religion. She was than willing to do what he could for its patient and gentle at all times. No dis, welfare. Gentle and unobtrusive in his cord was suffered to ruffle her temper, demeanour, he was never unwilling to nor any unkind expressions to escape converse about the truths of the New dis- her lips. She was uniformly the gentle, pensation, his perception of which was affectionate, loving mother, friend, and calm and clear. During the alterations Christian. She had been one of the in the church here last year, no member committee of the Benevolent Society for took a keener interest in their progress, many years, and she signalized her innor was his interest limited to the pro- terest in its aim to succour the aged poor gress of the society to which he belonged, by a bequest of £10. She had suffered he was always exceedingly pleased to from asthma, more or less, for some hear of the progress of all our institutions winters, but having felt a strong desire to and the spread of New Church views. go and visit her aged father on the com
pletion of his 100th year on Good Friday Himself one who had truly learned to last, she found on her return she was love and serve Him; and in the church much worse for the exertion. Her illness below her labours will be much missed. increased with alternations for a month, Few are better acquainted with the and then she passed quietly as she had glorious writings of Swedenborg than lived to her eternal home. She had no was Mrs. Sheldon; it may justly be said fears nor anxieties: she waited patiently she had taken them to heart, and made until it pleased the Lord to remove her, their teachings the basis of all her actions. and evidently felt she was going to rejoin The “Conjugial Love” was her favourite the worthy objects of her love who had subject, and so convinced was she that gone before her in a land of love and the union of herself and husband was light.
J. B. according to its principles, that her last Exchanged worlds, June 8th, Sarah, words to him were, “Good-bye, I shall the beloved wife of Mr. E. M. Sheldon, look out for you," feeling sure she would surgeon, Liverpool. The circumstances meet him again in the land where parting attending her removal seem in a natural is unknown. About half an hour before point of view peculiarly distressing. her departure she gladly consented to About a week after a successful con- hear a psalm read and a prayer offered, so finement, she was attacked by fever of a that among the last sounds she heard typhoid nature, to which in a few days on earth were the words, “The Lord is her mortal frame succumbed. There my Shepherd, I shall not want,” while it remain to feel her loss a fond husband seemed less hard for her than for the and six children, the youngest but a husband and the sister, kneeling at the fortnight old. All who knew her feel, bedside, to acquiesce in the prayer, however, that the Lord has taken to “ Thy will be done !"
INSTITUTIONS OF THE CHURCH.
6-30 College, Devonshire-street, Islington.-Second Thursday ................ 8-0 National Missionary Institution, and Students and Ministers' Aid Fund, Swedenborg House, Bloomsbury-street.—Fourth Monday ............ 6-30
MANCHESTER. Tract Society, Schoolroom, Peter-street. Third Friday.................. 6-30 Missionary Society ditto
ditto .................. 7-0 Members of Conference are invited, when in London, to attend the National Missionary, and when in Manchester, to attend the Missionary and the Tract Societies.
TO READERS AND CORRESPONDENTS. Communications to be sent—for the Essay department, to the Editor, the Rev. W. BRUCE, 43, Kensington Gardens Square, London, W.; for the Miscellaneous department, to the Rev. R. Storey, Heywood Hall, Heywood. Those intended for insertion in the forthcoming number must be received not later than the 15th. ; except brief notices of recent meetings, &c., which may appear if not later than the 18th.
CAVE AND SEVER, Printers by Steam Power, Hunt's Bank, Manehester.
TRANSITION. II.—THIRD AND FOURTH AGES OF THE WORLD. THEORY OF POSITIVISM.
ENVELOPMENT AND DEVELOPMENT.
(Continued from July No.) It is in consequence of these lights of European progress being employed to throw the rays of Science upon Theology, that the doctrine of the Fall is either ignored or denied; or else is so interpreted as not to be a Fall, but to be a real step in the progress of humanity; and, moreover, the primitive age of the world being that of the supernatural, and hence regarded as only an age of ignorance and superstition, all traditions derived from this source are said to be fabulous, and consequently also the early history of Scripture.
Now, the supernatural is a nature above Nature, the heavenly nature above the earthly; but the supernatural being declared to be unknowable, and certainty to be attainable only in the natural, science alone is said to be capable of progress and development, theology and philosophy incapable of either; and thus, while science is said to pass on from one discovery to another, theology and philosophy pass only from one dispute to another. Thus the standard according to which the progress of the age is to be reckoned, is the standard of science, and not of theology. Science must increase : theology must decrease ; for the knowledge of God and of heavenly things being a knowledge of the supernatural, and that knowledge being said to be unattainable, the alternative is between superstition on one side and scientific Atheism on the other. Already has commenced, under the influence of this system, but unconsciously so in many cases, an open disbelief in the spiritual or supernatural, and a destructive criticism of the Bible as the Word of God—criticism guided by the discoveries of science, or by the lights of European progress.
Well, then, is the progress of the age to be simply that of scientific discovery or of what is called the philosophy of science ? Is science alone to lay claim to development, and not theology ? or, if theology has its developments, are they such only as are borrowed from natural science ? Rather, our object will be to show, that theology has its developments as well as science; nay more, that developments, in the higher sense of the term, are proper to theology alone; that, in this sense, natural science, with all its discoveries, is incapable of development. For development is but the removal of envelopment. Development of ends and of causes is but the removal of their envelopment; for if causes and ends be hidden from us, it is in consequence of their being hidden by envelopments: the cause being the envelopment of the end; the effect, the envelopment of the cause. The natural world is in this respect a two-fold envelopment, which profoundly hides from us the knowledge of ends and causes. Being only a world of effects, it is, relatively to ends and causes, a world of envelopments :
developments in the higher sense of the term, but only a progress from one envelopment to another. Therefore, though we knew the laws of all natural phenomena, the primary constituents of all solar systems, the whole sequence of antecedents and consequents in the natural universe, let science make what developments she may, she could never help us out of the order of effects, and thus of envelopments; and as development is but the removal of envelopment, it is obvious that in claiming to be the source of all development, her claim is fallacious; for if ends or essences, and causes are hidden from her, as it is acknowledged, still they are hidden only by envelopments.
It is obvious, then, that the true principle of development must be sought in the doctrine that Creation is a series of envelopments, enfoldings, or involutions. This, however, is a scale of descent; to this corresponds a series of developments, unfoldings, or evolutions. This is a scale of ascent.
* According, then, to the Divine order of Creation, nothing in the natural world exists except from a spiritual cause; for no one thing can exist except from another, and thus finally from Him who is and exists
* This account is taken from the Apocalypse Explained, Vol. VI., art. 1206, et seq.
in Himself, viz., God; whence also God is called esse and existere ; JAH from esse, and JEHOVAH from esse and existere. Hence He is called The Highest, or The Most Highest ; that is, the Inmost; all creation being to Him relatively exterior or external, that is to say, relatively envelopments; whence the expression—"Verily, thou art a God that hidest thyself.” As the spiritual world is thus relatively external to the Deity, so * the natural world is relatively external to the spiritual; and as the natural world is and exists from the spiritual, so the spiritual world is the cause of the natural—a cause prior, superior, and interior ; whence every thing in the natural world is an effect from its corresponding
natural; and apart from the spiritual the natural is dead. Hence the observation, that Nature in itself is dead; being created that the spiritual principle may be clothed from it with forms, which may serve for use, and in which it may terminate.
The reason why the spiritual is to be conceived as clothed with the material is; because all things which exist in the world of Nature, whether belonging to the atmospheres, waters, or earth, or to all and each particular thereof, are effects produced from the spiritual as a cause; and the effects act as one with the cause, and are altogether concordant, according to this axiom, that nothing exists in the effect that is not in the cause. But the difference between the two is, that the cause is a living force, inasmuch as it is spiritual; but the effect thence derived is a dead force, inasmuch as it is natural. From this circumstance it is, that in the natural world are such things as altogether agree or correspond with those which are in the spiritual, and that they can be aptly conjoined. Such is the reason for which it is said, that Nature was created in order that by it spiritual essences might be clothed with forms which may serve for use.
The operation of the spiritual world into the natural is by influx. It is by influx that the connection between the two is established. Thus, in the case of vegetation, we see how vegetables † "successively grow in a regular process from their seed, even to the production of new seeds; just as if the earth knew how to dispose and accommodate her elements to the prolific principle of the seed; how from thence to bring forth a bud, to dilate the bud into a stem, and from the stem to emit branches, and clothe these with leaves, and afterwards adorn them with flowers to form the initiament of fruits; then to bring them to perfection, and by means of these, in order to continue the kind, to produce new seeds as a new offspring.”'
* Arcana Cælestia, art. 2576. + True Christian Religion, art. 695.