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"The Church of the New Jerusalem finds its 
teachings in the Theological Works of Emanuel 
Swedenborg (1688-1772). The formulation of 
these teachings from the Word was a Divine com- 
mission to him as 'Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ' 
in His Second Coming. That coming is made in 
the Word through the disclosure of its spiritual 
meaning. The Church therefore stands eminently 
for the conviction that the Lord has come again 
in accordance with John's vision of the New Jeru- 
salem (Revelation XXI 12) to renew His King- 
dom on earth. " New-Church Messenger. 

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, 
coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as 
a bride adorned for her husband." 


In this study of the New Church in America I have not 
attempted to write a history of the organization for New 
Church people. That task I have left for some future New 
Church historian. I have no doubt omitted the names of 
many who contributed much to the upbuilding of the church 
in various parts of the country, and have failed to trace the 
development of many important local Societies. For this 
reason the book will seem inadequate to the members of the 
New Church. My purpose has been rather to write for the 
genera] public a description of an almost unknown religious 
body, an answer to the puzzled question, "What is the New 
Church?' 5 For it has seemed to me that, though numerically 
speaking this body stands close to the bottom of the list of 
American churches, judged qualitatively it deserves a far 
higher rating. When I undertook this project I knew prac- 
tically nothing about the New Church, and very little about 
Swedenborg, but what little I did know had piqued my in- 
terest* The promise of adventure which lures all explorers, 
"Something hidden, go and find it," has in this case been 
amply fulfilled. For not only has a study of the writings 
of Swedenborg revealed enough of deep interest and value 
to keep a student of religion happily at work for many a 
long month, but the New Church itself has proved a rich 
field for study along the lines of historical and social research. 
This book is an attempt to sketch the more colorful aspects 
of its history, and to show its relation to the social and cul- 
tural environment in which it has had its growth, 

I have endeavored to combine a sympathetic attitude with 
complete objectivity, so far as that is possible. The objec- 
tivity, however, has been more difficult than the sympathy. 
For everywhere in the New Church I have encountered noth- 



ing but unfailing kindness and cooperation, the warmest of 
hospitality. I have been graciously received at business 
meetings and social functions, and allowed free access to 
libraries and to documentary material. Even the "skeleton 
in the closet" has not been withheld. Both at Bryn Athyn 
and at Urbana I have been given every opportunity to get 
first-hand knowledge of the theory and practice of "New 
Church education." If I have failed to understand what I 
have seen it is not the fault of the New Church. There are, 
however, many things which an outsider can never under- 
stand, and for such errors of misinterpretation I can only 
offer my profound regrets. If I have seemed to dwell too 
much on negative aspects of controversy it is only because to 
an historian such aspects are the most interesting, revealing 
as they do the clash of conflicting ideas and principles which 
characterizes human thought. Also the New Church is par- 
ticularly interesting in this respect as a perfect example in 
miniature of what seems to be the normal course of develop- 
ment of any new religion. The psychological conflicts of 
adolescence are common to human institutions as well as to 
human individuals, and it is only a very old religion that has 
ceased to argue. The first hundred years are always the 

It is quite impossible to name all those who have helped 
to make this work possible, but to all my friends in the New 
Church I would convey, as far as words are adequate, my 
deep sense of obligation. I have found among them so 
genuine a "sphere of love toward the neighbor" that I can 
only regret that this book may seem to them but a poor re- 
turn for so much friendliness. Especially I would like to 
thank those scholars of the New Church who have freely 
given their time to answering questions and criticizing manu- 
script, the Rev. Messrs. Paul Sperry, William F, Wunsch, 
E. M. Lawrence Gould, Frederic R. Crownfield, Franklin 
H. Blackmer, Alfred Acton, Homer Synnestvedt, Reginald 
W. Brown, and Dr. Clarence P, Hotson. (However, it is 
only fair to these gentlemen to state that they arc in no way 
responsible for anything in the book, much of which they 


could not possibly agree with.) To the Swedenborg Foun- 
dation, the New-Church Board of Publication, the New- 
Church Theological School, and the Academy of the New 
Church, I owe a debt of gratitude for the use o their libra- 
ries and publications, without which this work would scarcely 
have been possible. But most of all I would express to Pro- 
fessor Herbert W. Schneider, of Columbia University, my 
sincere appreciation of his kindly criticism and help over the 
rough places. 

M. B. B. 


ciurxrR PAGE 









CHURCH AMONG THE "iSMS" . . . .130 




SCHISM OF 1890 . ... 205 




BRYN ATHYN ... . . 




PECTS ... . . 390 


NOTES 405 


INDEX . ... 451 



Emanuel Swedenborg was born in the city of Stockholm, 
on January 29th, 1688. His father, Jesper Swedberg, an 
eminent Lutheran minister, was professor of theology at 
Upsala University, and later Bishop of Skara. As royal 
chaplain at the court of Charles XI he was noted for extreme 
courage and frankness, and was greatly respected by the 
royal family. In 1719 his family was ennobled by Queen 
Ulrica Eleanora, under the name of Swedenborg. 1 Sarah 
Behm, Swedenborg's mother, who died when he was eight, 
was the daughter of Albert Behm, Assessor in the College 
of Mines. On both sides his family were connected with 
the mining industry, and were people of affluence and cul- 
ture. Emanuel was the third in a family of eight children, 
all of whom were "called such names as will awaken in and 
remind them of the fear of God, and of everything that is 
orderly and righteous," to quote the good Bishop. "The 
name of my son Emanuel signifies *God with us'j that he 
may always remember God's presence, and that intimate, 
holy, and mysterious conjunction with our good and gra- 
cious God, into which we are brought by faith, by which we 
are conjoined with Him and are in Him." * 

Very little is known of EmanuePs childhood, except that 
he was especially devoted to his elder sister Anna, who was 
a second mother to him. At the age of seventeen she mar- 
ried Dr. Eric Benzelius, professor of theology at Upsala, 
later Archbishop of Upsala, and one of the most learned 
men in Sweden. The boy loved and admired this brother- 
in-law above all others, and turned to him for help and ad- 
vice in all his youthful difficulties, 8 Of his childhood Swe- 
denborg wrote thus: "From my fourth to my tenth year I 
was constantly engaged in thought about God, salvation, and 


the spiritual diseases of men, and several times I revealed 
things at which my father and mother wondered, saying that 
angels must be speaking through me. From my sixth to my 
twelfth year I used to delight in conversing with clergymen 
about faith, saying that the life of faith is love, and that the 
love which imparts life is love to the neighbor, also that God 
gives faith to every one, but that those only receive it who 
practice that love. I knew of no other faith at that time 
than that God was the Creator and Preserver of nature; that 
He imparts understanding and a good disposition to men, 
and several other things that follow thence. I knew nothing 
at that time of that learned faith which teaches that God the 
Father imputes the righteousness of His Son to whomsoever, 
and at such times as, He chooses, even to those who have 
not repented, and have not reformed their lives: and had I 
heard of such a faith, it would have been then, as it is now, 
beyond my comprehension." * Not only was the little boy 
a budding theologian at this tender age, but he also began 
to show signs of that strange psychic power which later so 
astonished his friends. He says that even in his infancy he 
became accustomed to what he called "internal respiration," 
by means of which he had contact with the spiritual world, 
usually while saying his prayers. The boy came naturally 
enough by these practices, for it is recorded that his father 
conversed with angels, heard voices, and practiced hypnotic 
healing, 5 

His early education was received at home from a tutor, 
by whom he was prepared for the University. About this 
time his father received his appointment as Bishop of Skani, 
and Emanuel remained at Upsala, living with his sister, 
Anna Benzelius, while a student at the University. In 1 709 
he defended a classical thesis, and left the University. The 
major interest of his life, the natural sciences, had developed 
early, and he now began to make plans for foreign travel 
and study. In the meantime he published several volumes 
of poetry in Swedish and in Latin which, though highly 
creditable for a student, proved that he was not destined for 
greatness as a poet* 


In the year 1710, at the age of twenty-two, Swedenborg 
set sail from Gothenburg to London to continue his studies 
in mathematics, physics, astronomy, and natural history. 7 
His letters to Benzelius are full of interest, and give an ex- 
cellent picture of his character. "I study Newton daily," he 
writes, "and am very anxious to see him. . . . Whatever is 
worthy of being seen in the town, I have already examined. 
... I also turn my lodgings to some use, and change them 
of ten 5 at first I was at a watchmaker's, afterwards at a 
cabinet maker's, and now I am at a mathematical instrument 
maker's } from them I steal their trades, which some day 
will be of use to me. ... I have provided myself with a 
small stock of books for the study of mathematics, and also 
with a certain number of instruments, which are both a help 
and an ornament in the study of science." 8 During his two 
years in London he studied astronomy with Flamsteed, the 
leading astronomer of the day, and began to give signs of 
his latent genius by making several discoveries, among which 
were new methods for observing the moon, stars, and 
planets, and a method for finding the terrestrial longitude 
by means of the moon. 9 

The next three years were spent in Holland and Paris 
where he made excellent progress in his studies, and made 
the acquaintance of many eminent scientists. In Leyden he 
learned how to grind lenses for scientific instruments, and 
also studied the art of engraving. In a letter dated 1714 he 
lists fourteen inventions for which he has drawn up plans. 
Among these are: "A ship which with its men was to go 
under the surface of the sea, wherever it chooses, and do 
great damage to the fleet of the enemy"} a machine which 
from its description sounds remarkably like a steam engine, 
"the wheel will nevertheless revolve by means of the fire, 
which will put the water in motion 5 a magazine air gun to 
discharge sixty or more shots in succession without reload- 
ing} -and a flying machine." 10 

After his return to Sweden he went through a period of 
discouragement, during which he was unable to find any 
proper employment for his talents. The country at this time 


was very backward in science, and there were few opportuni- 
ties open to the young scientist. He was now twenty-eight, 
and without an income. There seems to have been a certain 
lack o sympathy between himself and his father, and he 
would not ask him for money. He suggested the establish- 
ment of an observatory and a chair of mechanics at the Uni- 
versity of Upsala, but without any success, and at last under- 
took the publication of a scientific journal, the first in 
Sweden, which he called Daedalus Hyperboreus. This he 
dedicated to the King, who granted him some financial assist- 
ance in its publication, and an appointment as Extraordinary 
Assessor of the Council of Mines, a splendid outlet for his 
energies/ 1 He was now associated as assistant engineer with 
Sweden's greatest scientist, Christopher Polhem, "the Swed- 
ish Archimedes." Under Polhem's direction he accom- 
plished the remarkable feat of transporting two galleys, five 
large boats, and a sloop, fourteen miles over mountains and 
valleys, thus enabling the King to reduce the almost im- 
pregnable Danish fortress of FriedrikshalL The King was 
delighted with this achievement and suggested to Polhem 
that he give his eldest daughter in marriage to Swedenborg. 
After a short engagement it was discovered that the girl had 
given her heart elsewhere, and Swedenborg released her. 
This was not wholly an altruistic act, for he had in the mean- 
time formed a warm attachment to the younger sister, Emer- 
entia, a girl of fifteen or sixteen. The story is that since 
she was too young for a formal betrothal Polhem obligingly 
gave Swedenborg a written contract by which he might claim 
her hand later. The poor girl was so unhappy over this ar- 
rangement that her brother was obliged to plead with Swed- 
enborg for her release. The young scientist magnanimously 
tore up the contract and departed, vowing never again to 
become engaged/* 

There now followed another painful period of dejection, 
which was intensified by strained family relations. A new 
brother-in-law had succeeded in estranging him from the 
entire family with the exception of Anna and Eric Benzelius* 
Also his scientific work was not appreciated, and he began to 


realize that his only hope of making a place for himself in 
the world of science was to leave Sweden. He therefore 
asked for a leave of absence, and in 1721 he went abroad for 
the purpose of studying the mining and manufacturing 
methods of other lands. During this journey he published 
six scientific works on chemistry, metallurgy, astronomical 
methods, dock embankments, and navigation, the expenses 
being defrayed by a new patron, the Duke of Brunswick. 13 
At the end of the year he returned home full of new ideas 
for increasing the yield of copper ore, for improvements in 
the manufacture of steel, and other economic measures. The 
next ten years of his life were spent in active service in the 
mining districts, and in Stockholm in the House of Nobles. 
The papers read by him in the Swedish Parliament show 
his wide range of interests, and his intensely practical turn 
of mind. Their subjects include the reform of the currency, 
the adoption of the decimal system, the establishment of 
rolling mills, the balance of trade, and the regulation of the 
sale of liquor. In his leisure hours he worked continuously 
on his first great work, the Of era Philosophica et Mineralia, 
which appeared in three large volumes, beginning in 1734. 
The first volume, the famous Principia; or, the first princi- 
ples of Natural things, being new attempts toward, a 'philo- 
sophical explanation of the elementary world) contains the 
remarkable system of cosmology which underlies his later 
theological work. The other two volumes deal with tech- 
nical matters in the science of metallurgy. This tremendous 
work, published in Leipzig and Dresden, brought him to the 
notice of the scientific world, and won for him at the age of 
forty-six the friendship of scientists and philosophers all over 
Europe. 1 * 

His next scientific venture was in an entirely new field, 
that of anatomy and physiology, its purpose being to dis- 
cover by scientific means that elusive substance, the human 
soul. After another period of active service in his official 
position in Sweden, he again secured a leave of absence dur- 
ing which he traveled extensively in Germany, France and 
Italy, studying with the leading anatomists of his day, and 


working in the medical libraries of the various universities. 
The result of his studies was the publication in 1740-1741 
of The Economy of the Animal Kingdom, and in 1744-1745 
of a sequel to it called simply The Animal Kingdom. An- 
other work, The Soul, or Rational Psychology, was also writ- 
ten in this period, though not published until after his death. 
These three books prove Swedenborg to have been in the 
front rank of the science of his time, and a forerunner of 
modern psychology. The last work of this period of his life, 
The Worship and Love of God, was a little excursion into 
the realm of philosophy, in which he had always been deeply 
interested. The philosophers for whom he had the greatest 
admiration were Aristotle, Bacon, Locke, and Christian 
Wolff, a somewhat prosaic though varied group. 15 But 
strangely enough, The Worshvp and Love of God is very 
far from prosaic, suggesting somewhat a Platonic creation 
myth. This charmingly fanciful little book proves that the 
youthful poet of the Latin verses still lurks under the dis- 
guise of the middle-aged scientist. And it marked the end 
of his career as a scientist and philosopher. 

Swedenborg at this time was fifty-seven years old, at the 
height of his eminence both as a scientist and as a statesman, 
and in the pink of his physical prime. His scientific achieve- 
ments had been remarkable, both for their variety and their 
originality. As a pioneer in the field of geology he ranks 
with Linnzfcus and Torbern Bergman, and in paleontology 
he was the predecessor of all the Scandinavian geologists* 
He arrived at the nebular hypothesis before Kant and La- 
place, and anticipated many of the cosmological views of 
Buffon, G. H. Darwin, Wright and Lambert. His most 
remarkable anticipations of the theories of modern science 
were with regard to the brain and the nervous system, in- 
cluding the localization of the motor centers in the cortex 
one hundred and fifty years before any other scientist. 
Anders Retzius, the great anatomist and anthropologist, said 
that The Animal Kingdom is a "wonder book" in which arc 
found "ideas belonging to the most recent times, a compass, 


induction and tendency, which can only be compared to that 
of Aristotle." 10 

What was the personality of this "mastodon of literature," 
as Emerson calls him? The answer to this question is to 
be found in a great mass of excellent documentary material: 
his own diaries, his letters and the letters of his friends; 
and the testimony of his contemporaries. There is probably 
no better documented personality in all history than Emanuel 
Swedenborg, From various portraits and descriptions we 
know that he was a handsome man, slender in build, and ex- 
tremely agile, with an expression of contemplative, slightly 
detached benevolence. Pastor Collin, of the Swedes' 
Church in Philadelphia, who had visited him, when a stu- 
dent at Upsala, says: "Being very old when I saw him [78], 
he was thin and pale, but still retained traces of beauty, and 
something very pleasing in his physiognomy, and a dignity 
in his tall erect stature." He was noted for affability, a$d 
gracious simplicity in social intercourse, and was a highly 
valued dinner guest. There was nothing of the uncouth and 
unkempt recluse about him. He was meticulous in his dress, 
usually appearing at social functions in black velvet, fine 
lace, jeweled sword and buckles, a typical eighteenth cen- 
tury aristocrat. But aside from dressing in a costume suit- 
able to his high rank, he lived in the utmost simplicity. His 
home in Stockholm was unpretentious, though surrounded 
by a handsome Dutch garden of which he was extremely 
proud, with a labyrinth of clipped box. His only servants 
were an old couple, the gardener and his wife, who spent 
their lives in his service. When away from home he lived 
in cheap lodgings, usually in the homes of humble trades- 
people, who were always exceedingly fond of him. He was 
also a great favorite with their children for whom he kept 
supplies of chocolates in his rooms. Like the greatest of 
twentieth century scientists, he had the naive simplicity 
and gentleness of a child. 17 

From his letters and travel diaries we learn that he was 
an indefatigable sightseer, methodically recording all he saw 
in museums, churches, and public institutions. He was full 


of awe for the wonders of nature, but had little interest in 
the plastic arts, though very fond of music and the theater. 
He had an intense interest in religion, conversing at length 
with priests and theologians of all denominations. His own 
religion at this time, though always internally very real, was 
externally a rather perfunctory Lutheranism, though dur- 
ing his residence in London he attended the Moravian 
Chapel in Fetter Lane. In his diary in 1744 he writes: "By 
various circumstances I was led into the church belonging to 
the Moravian Brethren, who maintain that they are the 
true Lutherans, and that they feel the influx of the Holy 
Spirit, as they tell each other; further that they have re- 
spect only to God's grace, to Christ's blood and merit, and 
that they go about in simplicity. On this subject I shall 
speak more fully some other timej for as yet I am not 
allowed to join their brotherhood. ... I am with them 
and yet not accepted by them." Later, however, he criti- 
cized them severely for their doctrinal errors, as well as for 
their exclusiveness and lack of charity. 18 

The change from scientist to theologian was not a sudden 
one. He had undertaken his exhaustive studies in anatomy 
and physiology with the avowed purpose of finding the 
human soul, and demonstrating its existence by the scientific 
method. In the prologue to The Animal Kingdom he wrote: 
"These pages of mine are written with a view to those only 
who never believe anything but what they can receive with 
the intellect} consequently who boldly invalidate, and arc 
fain to deny, the existence of all supereminent things, 
sublimer than themselves, as the soul itself, and what fol- 
lows therefrom, its life, immortality, heaven, etc." This 
then was the purpose of all the years of hard study, to 
combat by scientific and rationalistic methods the scientific 
and rationalistic materialism of his day* It was science with 
an ulterior motive. The little boy who had discussed theol- 
ogy at the age of six, was only temporarily submerged in the 
great scientist. His own religious faith had never wavered. 
He had felt no conflict between faith and reason, and there- 
fore it seemed to him a simple, albeit tremendous, task to 


reunite science and religion in an indissoluble bond for all 
the world. And he had entered upon this vast project with 
serene and quiet confidence in its success. But somewhere 
in the going he had struck a snag. Suddenly the affair had 
become not so simple as he had anticipated. He became dis- 
satisfied with the results of his scientific researches, the 
truth was still eluding him. He began a new Animal King- 
dom to remedy the deficiencies of the first, but it was never 
finished. Emanuel Swedenborg had come to the end of his 
scientific work. In 1749 there was published in London 
anonymously the first volume of an extraordinary work 
called the Arcana Coelestia in the introduction to which the 
author says: "It has been granted me now for several years 
to be constantly and uninterruptedly in company with spirits 
and angels, hearing them converse with each other, and con- 
versing with them. Hence it has been permitted me to hear 
and see things in another life which are astonishing, and 
which have never before come to the knowledge of any man, 
nor entered into his imagination." 10 

The story of the experiences which had thus drastically 
transformed his life is told in the diary he kept from March 
to October of the year 1744. The experiences came mostly 
at night, and during the day he went about his business as 
usual, no one noticing any change in him. A list of his 
dreams during the preceding December indicate how pro- 
found was the psychological disturbance. He began to have 
a deep conviction of sin, especially the sins of intellectual 
pride and impurity of thought. Along with this intense 
reeling of unworthiness there was a strong conviction that he 
was about to be called to some sort of spiritual work. He 
dimly felt that this required the giving up of his scientific 
career, a sacrifice he was loath to make. His mental suffer- 
ing was undoubtedly very severe. He fasted and prayed, 
had strange dreams and phantasies, tremors, prostrations, 
trances, sweatings, and swoonings. He alternated between 
moods of deepest gloom and states of ecstatic joy. And all 
the while he watched himself with a coldly scientific eye, 
kept a careful record of his experiences, and often wondered 


whether it were not "all mere phantasy." He was extremely 
puzzled by the whole affair. It was indeed a cataclysmic 
experience for a staid scientific gentleman in his fifty-sixth 
year! This strange condition continued for several months, 
until one night in April, there appeared to him in his room 
a man, who said that "He was the Lord God, the Creator o 
the world, and the Redeemer, and that He had chosen me 
to explain to men the spiritual sense of the Scripture, and 
that He Himself would explain to me what I should write 
on this subject 5 that same night also were opened to me, so 
that I became thoroughly convinced of their reality, the 
world of spirits, heaven and hell, and I recognized there 
many acquaintances of every condition of life. From that 
day I gave up the study of all worldly science, and laboured 
in spiritual things, according as the Lord had commanded 
me to write. Afterwards the Lord opened, daily very often, 
the eyes of my spirit, so that in the middle of the day I 
could see into the other world, and in a state of perfect 
wakefulness converse with angels and spirits." 80 

It is thoroughly characteristic of Swedenborg that he did 
not rely simply on divine guidance in his new task, but went 
to work in his scholarly way to make himself master of his 
new field of Biblical studies, just as he had made himself 
master of the various branches of physical science. Latin 
and Greek were already, of course, part of his intellectual 
equipment, but now he had to go to work and learn the 
Hebrew language as well. For two years he studied the 
Scripture, making copious notes, which fill the nine large 
volumes of the Adversaria, During these years he kept a 
Spritual Diary in which he recorded his experiences in the 
spiritual world with the same dry, scientific precision with 
which he had recorded his earthly travels. He was all the 
time carrying on his arduous duties on the Royal Board of 
Mines, and in the House of Nobles, and now it became ap- 
parent to him that this new mission would require all his 
time and strength* His decision to resign from his official 
position was probably hastened by the fact that in 1747 he 
was offered a promotion to the position of Councilor of 


Mines involving higher honors and duties. This he refused, 
"lest my heart should be inspired with pride," as he stated 
his reason. He then sent the following petition to the King: 
"I would most humbly ask Your Royal Majesty to select 
another in my place in this position, and most graciously 
release me from office, . . . but without bestowing upon me 
any higher rank; which I most earnestly beseach you not to 
do. I further pray that I may receive half of my salary, and 
that you will graciously grant me leave to go abroad, to 
some place where I may finish the important work on which 
I am now engaged." This request was granted, and with 
it ended Swedenborg's long years of public service. 21 

The following year a dignified old gentleman took lodg- 
fings in an unfashionable quarter of London for the modest 
'sum of six shillings a week, and settled down to his great 
Task of revealing to the world the "inner sense of the Word," 
ks it had been revealed to him. In the beginning of the 
'Arcana he says: "It will be seen that the first chapter of 
Genesis, in its internal sense, treats of the New Creation of 
man, of his Regeneration, in general, and specifically of the 
most ancient church j and this in such a manner that there 
is not a single syllable which does not represent, signify, and 
involve something spiritual." 22 The book was written in his 
usual scientific Latin, and only four copies of it were sold 
in the first two months* He had chosen England, and later 
Holland, for the publication of his theological works because 
only in those two countries could such unorthodox writings 
have been printed at that time. Besides, ever since his stu- 
dent days he had had a special fondness for the English. 
He says that in the other world "the better among the Eng- 
lish" are in the center of all the Christians. 28 It is therefore 
not unfitting that England should have been the birthplace 
of the New Church. But he spent most of the last twenty- 
five years of his life, during which he wrote the great bulk 
of his theological works, in his home in Stockholm, making 
occasional trips to London or Amsterdam with the precious 
manuscript when it was ready for the printer. 

During these years he was by no means a recluse, but went 


about among his noble friends as usual. He continued to 
take an active part in the political life of his country, and 
was seldom absent from his seat in the House of Nobles. 
The Prime Minister, Count Hopken, who was one of his 
closest friends, said: "The most solid and best written me- 
morials at the Diet of 1761 on matters of finance were pre- 
sented by Swedenborg." These related to the decay of com- 
merce due to the war, and advocated the establishment of 
rolling mills for which he presented drawings of the neces- 
sary machinery. He also wrote a paper for the Royal 
Academy of Science of which he was an honored member, 
having been presented for membership by his friend Lin- 
naeus, many years before, and republished one of his early 
astronomical works. But all the while he was working day 
and night on the eight volumes of the Arcana, and other 
theological works. By 1760 it had become known that he 
was the author of these strange new heretical writings, and 
indeed he had never at any time denied his authorship. 
Naturally this caused a furor among his friends, as well as 
in ecclesiastical circles. Jung-Stilling says: "Unexpectedly 
to everybody this intelligent, learned, and pious man began 
to have intercourse with spirits. He made no secret of this, 
but frequently at table, even in large companies, and in the 
midst of the most rational and scientific conversations, would 
say, 'On this point I conversed not long ago with the Apostle 
Paul, with Luther, or some other deceased person.' " No 
one doubted his veracity, though many thought him self- 
deceived. His friend, Count Hopken, remonstrated with 
him for publishing his visions along with his theology, as 
they exposed him to doubt and ridicule, but Swedenborg re- 
plied: "I was commanded by the Lord to publish them. Do 
not suppose that without such a positive order I should have 
thought of publishing things which I well knew many would 
regard as falsehoods, and which would brine; ridicule upon 
myself." 24 

It was Swedenborg's idea that the new teachings would be 
accepted first by the intelligentsia, and later filter down to 
the masses in a simplified form suited to their degree of in- 


telligence. To this end he continued to write in Latin, and 
to disseminate his works at his own expense where he 
thought they would be understood, that is, among scientists, 
scholars, the nobility, and the higher clergy of the Protestant 
countries. To a friend he wrote: "The universities in Chris- 
tendom are now first being instructed, whence will come 
new ministers." And it was in the universities, among the 
higher clergy, and the educated aristocracy, that he found 
his first followers. But along with the growing interest in 
the new theological system came an equally growing hostility 
in the high places of the orthodox religion. The first in- 
stance of persecution was in Germany in 1766. A book by 
Prelate F. C. Oetinger called The Earthly and Heavenly 
Philosophy of Swedenborg and Others was confiscated by 
the government of Wiirttemberg as heretical, and the author 
reprimanded after a public defense before the Duke. The 
first book published by Swedenborg under his own name in 
his new religious series, The Delights of Wisdom Concern- 
ing Conjugial Love, was not allowed by the Lutheran Con- 
sistory to enter Sweden, fifty copies imported by Swedenborg 
himself from Amsterdam being held up at the custom house 
by order of Bishop Filenius. The Consistory had by this 
time begun to examine his works, "whether there be any real 
evil in them." The first victims of persecution in Sweden 
were Dr. Gabriel Beyer, Professor of Greek at Gothenburg, 
and his colleague, Dr. Johan Rosen, Professor of Eloquence 
and Poetry, who were tried by the Consistory, and forbidden 
to teach theology in the college on account of their bold 
defense of Swedenborg's doctrines. The Consistory now 
succeeded in obtaining a royal resolution forbidding the 
teaching of Swedenborg's doctrines, and an order for the 
confiscation of his books. Swedenborg sent a memorial to 
the King protesting against this persecution of his followers 
and his writings, but by this time he had too many enemies 
in the State Church to rely on royal favor. It was only the 
fact of his high social and political standing, his reputation as 
a scientist, and his influential friends and relatives that pro- 
tected him from persecution. In 1769, however, his enemies 


had the boldness to concoct a plot to have him tried for in- 
sanity. It was discovered by one of his friends who rushed 
to inform him of it and advise him to flee the country. 
Though deeply disturbed the old man staunchly held his 
ground, relying on the Lord's protection, and the plot did 
not materialize. 28 

In July, 1770, at the age of eighty-two, Swedenborg left 
his native land for the last time. He told his friends that 
if they did not meet again on earth they would certainly 
meet in the other world. He went first to Amsterdam to 
arrange for the publication of his latest work, The True 
Christian Religion, containing the complete theology for 
the New Church. He said that "after this book was finished 
the Lord had called together his twelve disciples, who had 
followed Him in the world j and the next day He sent them 
all forth into the universal spiritual world, to preach the 
gospel that the Lord Jesus Christ reigneth, whose kingdom 
shall be for ages and ages, . . . This took place on the 
nineteenth of June, in the year 1770. ... After the ap- 
pearance of this book the Lord will operate both mediately 
and immediately towards the establishment throughout the 
whole of Christendom, of the New Church based upon this 
Theology." 20 His last work, the Coroms, concerning the 
consummation of the age, written in 1771, was not published 
until after his death. 

In September, 1771, Swedenborg reached London, where 
he spent the last six months of his life, looking forward to 
the happy event which he knew was not far off, "Believe 
me," he said to a friend, "if I knew that the Lord would 
call me to Himself to-morrow, I would summon the musi- 
cians to-day in order to be once more really gay in this 
world." He lived very quietly in the house of Robert 
Shearsmith, a perukernaker, working as usual day and night 
on his writings. He never had kept regular hours, but 
worked until he was tired, slept until he was rested, and ate 
whenever he happened to feel hungry, In spite of this pe- 
culiar regime he enjoyed excellent health all his Jife. He 
seldom went to church in his later years, because the sermons 


annoyed him, and worked on Sundays just as he did on other 
days. A short time before his death he wrote to John Wes- 
ley to whom he had sent some of his theological works, as 
follows: "Sir, I have been informed in the world of spirits 
that you have a desire to converse with mej I shall be happy 
to see you if you will favour me with a visit." Wesley was 
greatly surprised, and admitted that it was true, he had 
desired to talk with the author of the astonishing books. 
But he replied that he was about to go on a month's journey, 
and would call upon his return. To this Swedenborg an- 
swered that a month would be too late, as he expected to 
go to the spiritual world forever on the twenty-ninth of the 
following month, which, as a matter of fact, was the exact 
date of his death. 27 

In December he had had a severe paralytic stroke, and 
had lain unconscious for about three weeks, but he recovered 
somewhat from its effects. This was followed for about 
ten days by an "infestation" from evil spirits of the worst 
sort, who tormented him day and night. Finally they de- 
parted and his good spirit companions returned to be with 
him until the end. His friend, the Rev, Arvid Ferelius, 
former pastor of the Swedish Church, was with him a great 
deal during his illness. It was he who administered the last 
sacrament, since Swedenborg refused to receive it from the 
hands of the Rev. Aaron Mathesius, who was the pastor at 
that time and a violent enemy of the new doctrines. Shortly 
before he died Ferelius asked him solemnly if he wished to 
retract any of the things he had written. Swedenborg raised 
himself, laid his hand upon his heart and said: "As true as 
you see me before your eyes, so true is everything that I 
have written, and I could have said more had it been per- 
mitted. When you enter eternity you will see everything, 
and then you and I shall have muclrto talk about." When 
the Shearsmiths came in to inquire how he was he asked the 
time, and they replied that it was nearly five. He answered: 
"That is good. Thank you, God bless you." He then 
bade them farewell, and passed away quietly a few minutes 
later,* 8 


He was buried quite simply in the small Swedish Church 
near the Tower of London, unknown among strangers. It 
was not for more than a hundred years that Sweden began 
to realize that Emanuel Swedenborg was one of her greatest 
sons, and desire to do him proper homage. With the con- 
sent of the British government his remains were disinterred 
on April 7th, 1908, and conveyed on the frigate Fylgia with 
royal pomp to his native land. There he was interred in 
the Cathedral of Upsala, his childhood home, where he now 
lies in a handsome sarcophagus which was unveiled in the 
presence of King Gustav V, on November I9th, I9io. 20 


In his introduction to A Brief Exposition of the Doctrine 
of the New Church, published in Amsterdam in 1769, Swe- 
denborg says: "Several works and tracts having been pub- 
lished by me, during some years past, concerning the New 
Jerusalem, by which is meant the New Church about to be 
established by the Lord 5 and the Apocalypse having been 
revealed, I have come to a determination to bring to light 
the entire doctrine of that church in its fullness. But, as 
this is a work of some years, I have thought it advisable to 
draw up some sketch thereof, in order that a general idea 
may first be formed of that church and its doctrine." * This 
work of which he speaks, The True Christian Religion, con- 
twwng the Whole Theology of the New Church, was pub- 
lished two years later. In A Brief Exposition Swedenborg 
gives an outline of the proposed work, which may serve the 
student as a framework for a study of the doctrines. It is 
called "A Sketch of the Doctrinals of the New Church," 
and begins with this statement: "This doctrine, which is not 
only a doctrine of faith, but also of life, will be divided in 
the work itself into three parts, 

The First Part will treat: 

I. Of the Lord God the Saviour, and of the Divine 
Trinity in Him. 

II. Of the Sacred Scripture, and its Two Senses, the Nat- 
ural and the Spiritual, and of its Holiness thence 

III. Of Love to God, and Love towards our Neighbor, 

and of their Agreement 

IV. Of Faith, and its Conjunction with those Two Loves. 



V. Of the Doctrine of Life from the Commandments of 

the Decalogue. 

VI. Of Reformation and Regeneration. 
VII. Of Free-Will, and Man's Co-operation with the 

Lord thereby. 
VIII. Of Baptism. 
IX. Of the Holy Supper. 
X. Of Heaven and Hell. 

XI. Of Man's Conjunction therewith, and of the State 
of Man's Life after Death according to that Con- 
XII. Of Eternal Life. 

The Second Part will treat: 
I. Of the Consummation of the Age, or End of the 

present Church. 
II. Of the Coming of the Lord. 

III. Of the Last Judgment. 

IV. Of the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem. 

The Third Part will point out the Disagreements be- 
tween the dogmas of the present church, and those of the 
New Church." 2 

As a matter of fact all these topics had already been dealt 
with by Swedenborg in the various theological works which 
he had published in the preceding twenty years, and it only 
remained for him to gather together the vastly complicated 
mass of material into a closely-knit, logical system o 
thought. And this he accomplished ably in The True Chris- 
tian Religion. But in order to understand the development 
of 'this system it is necessary to go back to the beginning. 
In 1745 Swedenborg had given up the study of "worldly 
science," and turned his mind and energies to the study o 
the Bible. The result of this preliminary study was a series 
of notebooks containing a commentary on the Old Testa- 
ment from Genesis to Jeremiah, which when published 
filled nine octavo volumes. It is called the Adversaria, 
These notes were obviously not intended for publication, but 
are an invaluable record of his methods of study. They 


begin with a treatise called "The History of Creation, as 
related by Moses," which is the first fruit of his spiritual 
insight after his illumination. It deals with the literal sense 
of the text, as he had not yet begun to perceive the hidden 
spiritual meanings. Another treatise, "Explanation of the 
historical Word of the Old Testament," finished the fol- 
lowing year, marks the second step, the discovery of an in- 
terior sense, which he describes as follows: "That in the 
Mosaic account of creation there is everywhere a double 
meaning of the words, viz., a spiritual as well as a natural, 
appears clearly to the apprehension of every man from the 
tree of life and the tree of knowledge in the midst of the 
garden: for life and knowledge are spiritual, and yet are 
attributed to a tree, for this reason, that whatever originates 
in the ultimate parts of nature, on account of deriving its 
origin from heaven, involves something celestial in what is 
terrestrial, or something spiritual in what is natural} and it 
does so on this ground, that .everything that is represented in 
the Divine mind, cannot but be carried out in reality in the 
ultimate parts of nature, and be formed there according to 
the idea of heaven. There results thence a correspondence 
of all things, which, with Divine permission, we shall fol- 
low out in its proper series." (Adversaria, I, no. 23.) It is 
only the first degree of the interior sense, however, which 
is revealed in the Adversaria, that is, the Spiritual-natural, 
or interior historical sense of the Word, in which, by the in- 
dividual persons mentioned in the Word, is understood the 
Church or the Kingdom of God as it exists among mankind 
at large. 3 This interior historical sense was later worked 
out fully in the Arcana Coelestia. 

During this period Swedenborg also prepared a Biblical 
concordance for his own use, kter published under the titlfe 
Indtix to the Aistorwal booh of the Old Testament. Thk 
index was, kter esrtm<ted to feelu$e several of the Prophets, 

qqrrespQq.dence$ as well, 
in the spiriti&l 

i IJH9! frw& *748> called the Mem'ora- 
i A* ,M* intimate knfcwledgfe of this 


new realm of being increased, his perceptions deepened until 
he was able to penetrate into the next degree of the interior 
sense of the Word, that is, the true internal, or spiritual sense. 
In his notes on Genesis and Exodus, written on the margin 
of his Latin Bible, he reveals this inner sense as a psycho- 
logical record of the development of the Lord's Kingdom 
in individual human minds. Of Genesis he says: "Chapter 
i treats of the creation of human minds, or of what is usually 
called the regeneration of men 5 for human minds are equal 
to nothing during infancy, and when they are born are sim- 
ply conceived, or in a state of potency." * But now the in- 
most, or celestial, degree of his mind was opened, enabling 
him to acquire a deeper knowledge of correspondences. For 
this purpose he began again a detaiJed study of the Prophets, 
making the following preliminary statement: "In Isaiah, 
from beginning to end, occur double expressions, viz., such 
as have respect to celestial, and others that have respect to 
spiritual things; these are expressed in a particular, a gen- 
eral, and a universal sense in such a manner that everywhere 
therein the celestial marriage is represented. For in their 
interiors these expressions have reference to God-Messiah 
and to the Church, so that everywhere, in each single part, 
the kingdom of God-Messiah is represented as in an image; 
and, indeed, not only in the whole series of each verse, and 
in the phrases of which it consists, but also in each word; 
from which the Divine nature of this prophecy is made suffi- 
ciently evident. w * This "celestial marriage" of which he 
speaks is the marriage of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom 
which union is the very essence of God, and which by cor- 
respondence exists in varying degrees throughout the entire 
universe. "From Divine Love and from Divine Wisdom, 
which make the very essence that is God, all affections and 
thoughts with man have their rise, affections from Divine 
Love, and thoughts from Divine Wisdom; and each and 
all things of man are nothing but affection and thought; 
these two are like fountains of all things of man's life/' * 
It is these two essentials of the divine nature which appear 
in the internal senses of the Word, Divine Love in the 


inmost, or celestial sense, and Divine Wisdom in the spiritual 

By 1747 Swedenborg had begun his magwum opus, the 
Arcana Coelestia, though he was also still at work on a com- 
prehensive index of the Old and, later, the New Testament. 
The text he used was the Schmidius Latin translation, made 
by Sebastian Schmidt, a Lutheran theologian of the seven- 
teenth century, the reason for his choice being that Schmidt 
had adhered more closely to the actual words of the original 
than other translators. Naturally this verbal exactness was 
of the utmost importance for the working out of correspond- 
ences. But Swedenborg also used the Greek and Hebrew 
texts, and made his own translations, revising the Schmidius 
text whenever he found it necessary. The Arcana was pub- 
lished anonymously in London between the years 1749 
and 1756 in a Latin edition of eight volumes. The first five 
volumes contain an explanation of the internal sense of 
Genesis, and the last three that of Exodus. The Arcma also 
contains an account of "the wonderful things which have 
been seen in the world of spirits and in the heaven of 
angels," T This tremendous work, which in the English 
translation in twelve volumes fills eight thousand pages, 
contains the outline of his entire theological and philosoph- 
ical system and furnishes much of the material so fully elab- 
orated in the later theological writings. The Rev. Wil- 
liam R Wunsch, in his handbook to the Arcana, The World 
Within the Bible, says that if all the theological, cosmologi- 
cal and eschatological material were removed, the central 
core of the Arcana could be put into a volume of three hun- 
dred pages. 8 The principal criticism made of Swedenborg^s 
method is that it is merely another allegorical interpretation 
similar to those of Philo, Origen, etc., which of course were 
purely human speculations* But the disciples of Sweden- 
borg have taken special pains to prove that this is a fallacy. 
Dr. James Moffat, in a review of Mr. Wunsch's book, ad- 
mits that he has demonstrated satisfactorily that the "inner 
sense" is not allegorical. 9 "The Arcana," says Mr. Wunsch, 
"is not attempting an allegorical interpretation of the letter. 


It is not at war with the historical and grammatical interpre- 
tation of the first meaning of Scripture. There is such a first 
meaning, or, in the Arcana's phrase, sense of the letter. It 
is to be studied and expounded by its own exegesis. The 
Arcma goes past that meaning altogether to a distinct body 
of truth beyond." 10 

Swedenborg is very explicit in his statement of the divine 
nature of his revelation. "When I think of what I am about 
to write, and while I am in the act of writing, I enjoy a per- 
fect inspiration, for otherwise it would be my ownj but now 
I know for certain that what I write is the living truth of 
God." " It was for the purpose of revealing to the world 
the "Heavenly Doctrines," the theology of the new, and the 
true Christianity, that he had been prepared by the Lord 
through a long lifetime of painstaking scientific and philo- 
sophical studies, and had been "intromitted" into the world 
of spirits and allowed to experience in full consciousness the 
hidden, interior life of the human spirit. For this purpose 
was the inner sense of the Word revealed to him. In the 
Arcana he says: "The inner sense of the Word has been dic- 
tated to me out of Heaven." 12 This doctrine is therefore 
the cornerstone of his theology. "It is on everyone's lips 
that the Word is from God, is divinely inspired, and is there- 
fore holyj and yet it has not been known heretofore where 
in the Word its Divinity resides. For in its letter the Word 
appears like ordinary writing, foreign in. style, neither lofty 
nor brilliant as the writings of the present time are in appear- 
ance. For this reason the man who worships nature instead 
of God or more than God, and whose thought therefore is 
from himself and his selfhood and not from the Lord out 
of heaven, may easily fall into error respecting the Word, 
and into contempt for it, and when reading it may say to 
himself, What does this and that mean? Is this Divine? 
Can God whose wisdom is infinite speak thus? . , Any 
man who does not know that there is a certain spiritual sense 
contained in the Word, like a soul in its body, must needs 
judge of it from the sense of its letter $ when yet this sense 
is like an envelope enclosing precious things, which are its 


spiritual sense . . . The Word in its bosom is spiritual, 
because it is descended from Jehovah the Lord, and passed 
through the angelic heavens; and in its descent the Divine 
itself, which in itself is ineffable and unperceivable, became 
adapted to the perception of the angels, and finally to the 
perception of men. . . . There is also a third, or inmost 
sense, called the celestial sense, which is perceived only by 
the angels of the celestial heaven. . . . The Word in its 
inmost depths, because of its celestial sense, is like a gentle 
flame that enkindles, and in its intermediate depths, because 
of its spiritual sense, is like a light that enlightens, so in its 
outmost, because of its natural sense, it is like a transparent 
object receiving both the flame and the light." 18 

The knowledge of correspondences, which Swedenborg 
says was revealed to him in order that he might discover and 
give to the world these hidden mysteries, is by no means an 
"open sesame" by means of which any one by using a dic- 
tionary of correspondences can reach the holy of holies. He 
says: "Henceforth the spiritual sense of the Word will be 
given only to such as are in genuine truths from the Lord, 
... for the spiritual sense of the Word treats of the Lord 
alone, and His kingdom. . . , That truth man can do vio- 
lence to when he possesses a knowledge of correspondences, 
and by means of it seeks to explore the spiritual sense of the 
Word from his own intelligence j since by a few correspond- 
ences known to him he is able to confirm even what is 
false, . . , Therefore if any one seeks to open that sense, 
not from the Lord but from himself, heaven is closed; and 
when heaven is closed man either sees nothing of truth or is 
spiritually insane." w This is in accordance with Sweden- 
borg's teaching that spiritual truths can never be discerned 
merely by the use of the human intellect, but must come as 
an influx into the interiors of the mind from the heavens. 
Therefore if a man is seeking spiritual truth for selfish rea- 
sons he automatically doses the channel through which the 
spiritual influx must come, his own spiritual nature which is 
the very antithesis of "self." " 

With regard to doctrine, Swedenborg says that it "should 


be drawn from the letter of the Word and confirmed by it. 
This is because the Lord is present, and teaches and en- 
lightens} for the Lord never operates except in fullness, and 
in the sense of the letter of the Word is its fullness. . . . 
It may be supposed that the doctrine of genuine truth can 
be acquired by means of the spiritual sense of the Word, 
which is given through a knowledge of correspondences} 
but doctrine is not acquired by means of that sense, but only 
illustrated and corroborated. . . . Genuine Truth, of which 
doctrine must consist, can be seen in the sense of the letter 
of the Word only by those who are in enlightenment from 
the Lord. . . . There is conjunction with the Lord by 
means of the Word because He is the Word, that is, the 
essential Divine truth and good therein. This conjunction 
is effected by means of the sense of the letter, because the 
Word in that sense is in its fullness, in its holiness, and in 
its power." 10 It is clear from these quotations that Sweden- 
borg in no way minimizes the literal sense of the Scripture 
nor exalts the esoteric above the exoteric meaning. This is 
consistent with his teaching that throughout the universe the 
Divine is to be found, not apart from the natural, but t oAMn 
the very "ultimates" of the natural world, for the ultimate is 
the Basis, the Containant, and the Support of the first, or 
e $se~ "Every Divine work is complete and perfect in its ulti- 
mate." xr 

But not all the books of the Bible contain an inner sense, 
Swedenborg says: "The Books of the Word are all those 
that have an internal sense, and those which have no internal 
sense are not the Word. The books of the Word in the Old 
Testament are the five books of Moses, the book of Joshua, 
the book of Judges, the two books of Samuel, the two books 
of the Kings, the Psalms of David, the Prophets Isaiah, Jere- 
miah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, 
Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, 
Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachij and in the New Testa- 
ment, the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and Johnj 
and the Revelation." l8 This apparently arbitrary division 
of the Scripture into two parts, the inspired and the unm- 


spired, seems to have been arrived at by Swedenborg after 
long years of study, he does not say that it was by revela- 
tion. Mr. Wunsch says: "He did not conceive it arbitrarily. 
In unpublished Bible studies he had felt out the internal 
sense in this book of Scripture, and that. As his method of 
exposition became precise, one book yielded a deeper sense, 
and another did not. Job yielded such a sense only here and 
there, and not a connected one, and so does not appear in the 
list finally. On Habakkuk he left a note putting to himself 
the question whether it belonged in his list. . . . He says 
of the Epistles: 'They are doctrinal writings, and conse- 
quently not written in the style of the Word. . . . They 
were so written by the Apostles that the new Christian 
Church might be commenced through them. Matters of 
doctrine could not be written in the style of the Word, but 
had to be expressed in a manner to be understood more 
clearly and intimately. 7 " 10 

Swedenborg begins the Arcana with an explanation of the 
inner sense of Genesis as treating of the spiritual history of 
man. "The six days, or periods, which are so many succes- 
sive states of the regeneration of man, are in general as fol- 
lows: The first state is that which precedes, including both 
the state from infancy, and that immediately before regen- 
eration. This is called a Void/ 'emptiness,' and 'thick dark- 
ness.' And the first motion, which is the Lord's mercy, is 
'the Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters.' The 
second state is when a distinction, is made between those 
things which are of the Lord, and those which are proper 
to man. The things which are of the Lord are called in the 
Word 'remains,' and here are especially knowledges of faith, 
which have been learned from infancy, and which are stored 
up, and are not manifested until a man comes into this 
state. . . . The third state is that of repentance, in which 
the man, from his internal man, speaks piously and devoutly, 
and brings forth goods, like works of charity, but which 
nevertheless are inanimate, because he thinks they are from 
himself. These goods are called the 'tender grass,' and also 
the 'herb yielding seed,' and afterwards the 'tree bearing 


fruit.' The fourth state is when the man becomes affected 
with love, and illuminated by faith, . . . wherefore faith 
and charity are now enkindled in his internal man, and are 
called two 'luminaries 5 . . . . The fifth state is when the 
man discourses from faith, and thereby confirms himself in 
truth and good: the things then produced by him are ani- 
mate, and are called the c fish of the sea,' and the 'birds of 
the Heavens.' The sixth state is when, from faith, and 
thence from love, he speaks what is true, and does what is 
good: the things which he then brings forth are called the 
'living sou? and the 'beast.' And as he then begins to act 
at once and together from both faith and love, he becomes 
a spiritual man, who is called an 'image.' " 20 

Swedenborg also expounds in the Arcana the Spiritual- 
natural, or interior historical, sense, that is, the spiritual de- 
velopment of the race itself. "By 'man' is here meant the 
spiritual man who is called Israel} by 'ancient times,' the 
Most Ancient Church; by 'beginnings,' the Ancient Church 
after the flood." The Most- Ancient Church was a celestial 
church, the celestial man being the "seventh day" of crea- 
tion, on which the Lord rested. This celestial race "per- 
ceived states of love and faith by states of respiration, which 
were successively changed in their posterity. Of this respi- 
ration nothing can as yet be said, because at this day such 
things are altogether unknown." This celestial race lived in 
the "Garden of Eden," by which is signified "the intelligence 
of the celestial man, which flows in from the Lord through 
love." They perceived the inner sense of the Word, but 
this inner sense was lost among their posterity, and could 
never be restored except by revelation. "Adam" is the 
generic name for this first race, and "Noah" is the name of 
the Church as it existed among their descendants. "There 
are in the Word, in general, four different styles. The first 
of these is that of the Most Ancient Church. Their mode 
D expression was such that when they mentioned terrestrial 
uid worldly things they thought of the spiritual and celestial 
things which these represented. They therefore not only 
expressed themselves by representatives, but also formed 


these into a kind of historical series, in order to give them 
more life, and this was delightful to them in the very high- 
est degree." The "Perception" by which these celestial men 
understood the inner sense of the Word is signified by the 
word "tree." The "tree of lives," love and faith thence 
derived, and the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil," 
faith derived from what is sensuous, that is, from mere 
memory-knowledge (scientia). This perception is a "cer- 
tain internal sensation, from the Lord alone, as to whether 
a thing is true and good . . . The spiritual man has no 
perception, but has conscience." The angels have percep- 
tion to a high degree. 21 

The men of the Most Ancient Church were contented to 
"be alone," which signifies to be led by the Lord, but their 
posterity desired independence and self-guidance, that is, 
they "inclined to their Own (proprium)." So the Lord 
took from them a "rib," which signifies man's Own, and 
breathed life into it, and built it into a "woman." "The 
Own of man, when viewed from heaven, appears like a 
something that is wholly bony, inanimate, and very ugly, 
consequently as being in itself dead, but when vivified by 
the Lord it looks like flesh," The angels know that they 
have no life from themselves, it is only man who imagines 
that his life is his own. "By the 'serpent' is here meant the 
sensuous part of man in which he trusts," that is, sense im- 
pressions, by which he was beguiled through his selfhood, the 
only part of him capable of being deceived, into examining 
the things of faith from sense-knowledge. ". . . This was 
the fourth posterity of the Most Ancient Church who suf- 
fered themselves to be seduced by self-love and were unwill- 
ing to believe what was revealed, unless they saw it con- 
firmed by the things of sense and of memory-knowledge." 22 
Thus in the inner sense of the Word the Fall of Man is re- 
vealed as, not a sin of the flesh, but what is a far more serious 
matter, the sin of intellectual pride, "The evil of the Most 
Ancient Church which existed before the flood, as well as 
that of the Ancient Church after the flood, and also that of 
the Jewish Church, and subsequently the evil of the new 


church, or church o the Gentiles, after the coming of the 
Lord, and also that of the church of the present day, was 
and is that they do not believe the Lord or the Word, but 
themselves and their own senses." 28 

The "flood" by which the Most Ancient Church was de- 
stroyed was a "flood or inundation of falsities" resulting 
from this misuse of the reason. "Noah" represents the rem- 
nant of the posterity of the Most Ancient Church who could 
be endowed with charity, or were capable of regeneration. 
"Noah begat three sons" signifies that three kinds of doctrine 
thence arose. By "Shem" is meant internal worship} by 
"Japheth," corresponding external worship; by "Ham," 
faith separated from charity. Noah and his sons indicate the 
spiritual church which succeeded the celestia] church. This 
second church, called the Noetic, or Ancient Church, was "of 
a different character from the Most Ancient Church; that is 
to say, it was spiritual, the characteristic of which is that man 
is born again by means of doctrinal matters of faith, after 
the implantation of which a conscience is insinuated into him, 
lest he should act against the truth and good of faith; and in 
this way he is endowed with charity, which governs the con- 
science from which he is thus beginning to act, . . . He 
could no longer be informed and enlightened in the same 
way as the most ancient man; for his internals were closed, 
so that he no longer had communication with heaven, except 
such as was unconscious. Nor could he be instructed except 
as before said, by the external way of the senses." a4 This 
second church met the same fate as the first, and was over- 
whelmed by evil, but because it was an external church, the 
evils were external, and resulted in the captivity of the chil- 
dren of Israel in Egypt. 

Besides the internal sense of Genesis and Exodus the 
Arcana contains a great mass of material which Swedenborg 
later published in separate volumes. Five treatises, Heaven 
amd Hell) The White Horse mentioned in the Revelation^ 
The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine^ Earths in 
the Universe, and The Last Judgment (from the Memora- 
bilia) were published in London two years after the last 


volume of the Arcana. Heaven and Hell, or Heaven and 
its wonders, and Hell: from things heard and seen, to use 
its full title, is, after the Arcana, the most unique of Sweden- 
borg's writings, and the most basic to an understanding of 
his theological system, for it contains a detailed description 
of that other realm of being which forms the living core of 
the material universe, and is the world of causes of which 
material phenomena are merely effects. Upon this basic 
conception of a dualistic universe of inner and outer rests 
his entire philosophic structure. The main point to be 
grasped is that in He&uen and Hell Swedenborg is not de- 
scribing merely the "future life," or "life after death," but 
the spiritual life which every one, "dead or alive," is living 
every moment. "As to his spirit every human being is in 
some society with spirits, even while living in the body, al- 
though he is quite unaware of the fact." 25 The book can be 
studied therefore from two points of view, of eschatology, 
or of psychology, the former being the more usual interpre- 
tation. The second important point is that for a correct un- 
derstanding of this spiritual world the ordinary concepts of 
time and space must be eliminated. In place of them there 
are states, and changes of state only. Swedenborg says: "In 
this way I have been taken by the Lord into the heavens and 
also to the earths in the uni verse j and it was my spirit that 
so journeyed, while my body remained in the same place." 2fl 
Heaven, therefore, is not a ^lace. "The angels taken 
collectively are called heaven, for they constitute heaven j 
and yet that which makes heaven in general and in particular 
is the Divine that goes forth from the Lord and flows into 
the angels and is received by them. . . . The Divine in 
heaven which makes heaven is love, because love is spiritual 
conjunction* It conjoins angels to the Lord and conjoins 
them to one another, so conjoining them that in the Lord's 
sight they are all as one." 27 Heaven is divided into two 
kingdoms, the Celestial and the Spiritual Kingdoms, the 
Celestial angels being those that receive the Lord more in- 
teriorly* They are called higher angels, and the heavens that 
they constitute are called the interior, or higher, heavens. 


"Their love is to the Lord, which is called Celestial love. 
They far exceed in wisdom and glory the angels of the spir- 
itual kingdom. The spiritual angels have love to the neigh* 
bor as their ruling love. They receive the Divine truths 
first in memory and thought, and not at once into their life, 
as the Celestial angels do. These two kingdoms have no 
intercourse with each other, but communicate only through 
intermediate angelic societies, which are called celestial-spir- 
itual, and through these the celestial influx flows into the 
spiritual kingdom." 28 The relation of the heavens to each 
other can only be understood by a knowledge of degrees. 
"Degrees are of two kinds, those that are continuous and 
those that are not. Continuous degrees are related like the 
degrees of the waning of a light from its bright blaze to 
darkness, . . . these degrees are determined by distance. 
On the other hand, degrees that are not continuous, but dis- 
crete, are distinguished like prior and posterior, like cause 
and effect. . . . Sensual men do not apprehend these dif- 
ferences; for they make increase and decrease even accord- 
ing to these degrees, to be continuous, and are therefore un- 
able to conceive of what is spiritual otherwise than as a purer 
natural." 20 

"The angels of each heaven are not together in one place, 
but are divided into larger and smaller societies in accord- 
ance with the differences of good of love and of faith in 
which they are, those who differ much being far apart, and 
those who differ but little being but little apart, , . . All 
the societies of heaven have communication with one another, 
though not by open intercourse; for few go out of their own 
society into another, since going out from their own society 
is like going away from themselves or from their own 
life. ... All heaven in the aggregate reflects a single man. 
It is called the Greatest Man (Maximus Homo), and the , 
Divine Man, because it is the Divine of the Lord that makes 
heaven* ... In general, the highest or third heaven forms 
the head down to the neck; the middle or second heaven 
forms the breast down to the loins and knees j the lowest 
or first heaven forms the feet down to the soles, and also 


the arms down to the fingers." so . . . Each society is also 
in the form of a single man, and every angel also is in a 
complete human form. All this is from the form of the 
Divine Human. But the Lord does not appear in heaven in 
His human form, but as a sun from which the Divine truth 
goes forth as light, and the Divine love as heat, by means of 
which all spiritual things have their existence, just as on 
earth all physical life is dependent on the sun. 31 

There are three hells corresponding to the three heavens, 
and hell, like heaven, is divided into societies, as many as 
there are in the heavens, "for every society in heaven has a 
society opposite to it in hell, and this for the sake of equi- 
librium. ... In general the hells are ruled by a general 
outflow from the heavens of Divine good and Divine truth 
whereby the general endeavor flowing forth from the hells 
is checked and restrained, . . . they are ruled in particular 
by angels who restrain insanities and disturbances by their 
presence." But those in the hells are ruled by their fears, 
for the more wicked hold the rest in subjection and servitude 
by means of punishments. This is the only way in which 
their violence and fury can be restrained. There is no one 
Devil or Satan who rules over hell ? all the devils [like 
the angels] were once human beings, and the stronger rule 
over the weaker as they did on earth. No one is cast into 
hell by the Lord, for He is good itself and mercy itself, and 
incapable of doing evil to any one. The wicked cast them- 
selves into hell, because they love evil and are happier in 
evil society. They choose the society of hell after death, 
just as they chose evil associations on earth, of their own free 
will. The ruling loves of the hells are love of self and love 
of the world, and the infernal fires are the fires of lust and 
hate in which the evil are always burning, both here and 
hereafter. 82 

Between heaven and hell there is an intermediate space 
known as the spiritual world, into which place, or rather, 
state, man comes immediately after death, and where he re- 
mains until his true internal nature is revealed. As we have 
man, even while in the body, is a member of the spir- 


itual world where a perfect equilibrium exists between the 
influx from heaven and the influx from hell by means of 
which his free-will is preserved so that he can choose con- 
junction with either at will. Into this state he comes to be 
explored and prepared for his future state. The period of 
stay in the world of spirits is not fixed, varying from a few 
weeks to thirty years, depending upon the degree of cor- 
respondence between a man's interior life and his exterior. 
There he finds the friends and members of his family who 
have preceded him, and there take place those reunions of 
which the Scripture speaks. After the permanent abode has 
been reached such relationships cease, and true spiritual affin- 
ities take their place. A man has no further freedom of 
choice after death, for his internal state has become fixed 
by his earthly choices and decisions, and now it only remains 
for it to be freed from its outer covering. There are no re- 
strictions whatever in the spiritual world, and a man's true 
desires and motives become clearly apparent. When the 
exteriors of his mind are wholly sloughed off he behaves ac- 
cording to his true interior nature. The evil then depart 
for hell of their own accord, but the good remain for a 
further period of instruction before they are ready for 
heaven. 88 

Thus we see that man is not changed by death. "It is man's 
ruling love that awaits him after death, and this is in no way 
changed to eternity. . . . The delights of every one's life 
are changed after death into things that correspond. . . . 
Those that have loved knowledges and have thereby culti- 
vated their rational faculty and acquired intelligence, and 
at the same time have acknowledged the Divine these in 
the other life have their pleasure in knowledges, and their 
rational delight changed into spiritual delight, which is de- 
light in knowing good and truth. They dwell in gardens 
where flower beds and grass plots are seen beautifully ar- 
ranged, with rows of trees -round about, and arbors and 
walks, the trees and flowers changing from day to day* * . . 
These delights are such because gardens, flower beds, grass 
plots, and trees correspond to sciences, knowledges, and the 


resulting intelligence. ... In the heavens as on the earth 
there are many forms of service, for there are ecclesiastical 
affairs, there are civil affairs, and there are domestic af- 
fairs." 3 * The various societies all have their own uses, some 
teach and care for the children who have died at an early 
age, some teach Christian truths to the simple, or to the 
heathen, others assist those still in the world of spirits, and 
still others help keep order in the hells. There is employ- 
ment for all according to various aptitudes and tastes, but no 
one works from necessity, for all the necessities of life are 
supplied gratuitously, but merely for the delight of the 
work itself and the love of use. "Those that are in heaven 
are continually advancing towards the spring of life," and 
all become more and more beautiful as their charity and faith 
increase. Angels are of both sexes, and marriages exist in 
heaven, but they differ from marriages on earth by being a 
"conjunction of two into one mind, ... the husband acts 
the part called the understanding, and the wife acts the part 
called the will. When this conjunction, which belongs to 
man's interiors, descends into the lower parts pertaining to 
the body, it is perceived and felt as love, and this love is 
marriage love. . . . This in heaven is called cohabitation j 
and the two are not called two but one. So in heaven a mar- 
ried pair is spoken of, not as two, but as one angel." 8B This 
corresponds to the conjunction of good and truth, or of Di- 
vine Love and Wisdom which in heaven is called a marriage, 
and to the relation of the Lord as Bridegroom to His Church 
as the Bride. 

It is this teaching concerning the life of man after death 
which has made the greatest number of converts to the New 
Church, and Heaven and Hell has always been considered 
the most successful book for missionary work. This is, of 
course, perfectly natural, for up to comparatively recent 
times religious thought has been obsessed with salvation and 
damnation. But whereas hell has been most adequately de- 
picted and in the greatest detail, heaven has always been a 
nebulous sort of affair, quite unappealing to the average 
imagination. Swedenborg, however, presents a picture so 


detailed, so rational, and so matter-of-fact, in other words, 
so human, that thousands have found in it the deepest con- 
solation and satisfaction. To those who have suffered be- 
reavement the news that their loved ones are not sleeping 
in the grave until some far-off Day of Judgment, but are 
merely continuing their lives in happier surroundings, is as 
the first breath of spring! The remarkable success of spir- 
itualism proves that, even to-day, the conditions of life in 
the Beyond are of the greatest interest to many. In the last 
century, too, many who were revolted by the orthodox teach- 
ing concerning hell and eternal damnation found in Sweden- 
borg a doctrine far more in accord with a belief in a merciful 
and loving God, and infinitely more satisfying to man's in- 
herent sense of justice. 

Not only did Swedenborg describe the life of the spiritual 
world, but also the life of other planets. From the Arcana 
he extracted the material for a treatise called The Earths m 
our solar system which are catted $lanets> and the earths m 
the st&rry heavens; their inhabitants, and also the sprits and 
angels there; jrom things heard emd seen in which he de- 
scribes the strange types of human beings he found on these 
remote planets. He gives us a picture of a universe literally 
teeming with life, very different from our own but still es- 
sentially human, a universe created for the one great end 
of producing a human race, and an angelic heaven from it. 
Swedenborg was enough of an astronomer to realize the ridi- 
cule which such statements were certain to bring upon him, 
but nevertheless he proceeded calmly to recount his "things 
heard and seen," quite indifferent to criticism. From his 
experiences in the spiritual world recorded in the Memora- 
bilia comes the treatise on The Last Judgment and the De~ 
strttction of Babylon, showing that what was foretold in tlie 
Book of Revelation has been fulfilled in the present day : from 
things heard and seen, which contains one of the funda- 
mental doctrines of the New Church. He says: "This last 
judgment took place in the spiritual world in the year 1757, 
To all this I can testify, because I saw it with my own eyes 
in a state of full wakefulness." * Also, "It has been granted 


me to see with my own eyes that the Last Judgment is now 
accomplished; that the evil are now cast into the hells, and 
the good elevated into heaven, and thus that all things are 
reduced into order, the spiritual equilibrium between good 
and evil, or between heaven and hell, being thence restored. 
. . . The judgment was accomplished not only upon all 
the men of the Christian Church, but also upon all the Gen- 
tiles in the whole world." The "first heaven" was also de- 
stroyed, this being merely a likeness of heaven made by 
spirits from the Christian, Mohammedan, and Gentile re- 
ligions who had lived in the world in external and not in 
internal holiness. These were judged according to their true 
internal state and sent to their appointed places in the new 
heaven, or in hell, as the case might be. 87 The reason for 
this drastic action was that the middle region, or spiritual 
world, had become so over-crowded with spirits who had not 
yet found their permanent place in heaven or hell, that the 
influx from the heavens was cut off from the earth making 
it more and more difficult for men to live a spiritual life. 

Due to this condition of disorder in the spiritual world, 
as well as to the natural hereditary drag to which the human 
race is subject, the condition of the Christian Church had 
become hopeless. Like the preceding churches it had out- 
lived its usefulness, and was spiritually dead. "There have 
been several churches on this earth, and in the course of time 
they have all been consummated, and after their consumma- 
tion new churches have arisen, and so on to the present time. 
The Consummation of the church takes place when there is 
no Divine truth left except what has been falsified or set 
aside. . . . The chief cause of the consummation of truth 
and of good along with it, is the two natural loves that are 
diametrically opposed to the two spiritual loves, and that are 
called love of self and love of the world. . . . The present 
is the last time of the Christian Church, which was foretold 
and described by the Lord in the Gospels and in the Apoca- 
lypse, 'the abomination of desolation.' The first, or Most 
Ancient Church, was consummated or destroyed by the flood; 
the second, or Ancient Church, which existed in Asia and 


Africa, was consummated and destroyed by idolatries; the 
third, or Israelitish Church, began with the promulgation 
of the Decalogue, and was consummated by the profanation 
of the Word, which was complete at the time of the Lord's 
coming, and resulted in the crucifixion of Him who was the 
Word; the fourth, or Christian Church, was established by 
the Lord through the apostles. Of this church there have 
been two epochs, one extending down to the Council of Nice, 
and the other to the present day.' 7 3S Now therefore it was 
time for a new church to be founded upon the earth, and 
for this purpose it was necessary for the Lord Himself to 
make his Second Coming to the sons of men. 

"The night is followed by a morning which is the coming 
of the Lord. . . . The prevailing opinion in the churches 
at the present day is, that when the Lord shall come for the 
last judgment, He will appear in the clouds of heaven with 
angels and the sound of trumpets, etc,, 80 but this opinion 
is erroneous. The Second Coming of the Lord is not a com- 
ing in person, but in spirit and in the Word, which is from 
Him, and is Himself. . . . Heretofore it has not been 
known that 'the clouds of heaven' mean the Word in the 
sense of the letter, and that the c glory and power' in which 
He is then to come, mean the spiritual sense of the Word, 
because no one as yet has had the least conjecture that there 
is a spiritual sense in the Word, such as this sense is in itself. 
But as the Lord has now opened to me the spiritual sense of 
the Word, and has granted me to be associated with angels 
and spirits in their world as one of them, it is now disclosed. 
. . . This Second Coming of the Lord is effected by means 
of a man to whom the Lord has manifested Himself in Per- 
son, and whom He has filled with His Spirit, that he may 
teach the doctrines of the New Church from the Lord by 
means of the Word. . . , That the Lord manifested Him- 
self before me, His servant, and sent me to this office, , . . 
I affirm in truth," * But before this New Church could be 
established on the earth it must first be established in the 
spiritual world, after its descent from heaven, "made ready 
as a bride adorned for her husband." This event took place 


in the spiritual world on the nineteenth of June, 1770, the 
day on which Swedenborg completed his first draft of The 
True Christian Religion. "After this work was finished the 
Lord called together His twelve disciples who followed Him 
in the world, and the next day He sent them all forth 
throughout the whole spiritual world to preach the Gospel 
that THE LORD JESUS CHRIST reigns, whose kingdom shall 
be for ages and ages." 41 Swedenborg relates a vision which 
he had of this New Church in the spiritual world. "One day 
there appeared to me a magnificent temple, square in form, 
the roof of which was crown-shaped, arched above and raised 
round about} its walls were continuous windows of crystal; 
its door was of a pearly substance. . . . When I drew 
nearer, I saw this inscription above the door, Nwc Licet 
It is now 'permitted which signifies that it is now permitted 
to enter understandingly into the mysteries of faith." 42 

Swedenborg knew that the establishment of the New 
Church on earth would be slow. He says: "It is in accord- 
ance with Divine order that a new heaven should be formed 
before a new church is established on earth, for the church 
is both internal and external, and the internal church makes 
one with the church in heaven, thus with heaven itself; and 
what is internal must be formed before its external, what 
is external being formed afterwards by means of its in- 
ternal. . . . Just so far as this new heaven, which consti- 
tutes the internal of the church with man, increases, does 
the New Jerusalem, that is, the New Church, descend from 
it; consequently this cannot take place in a moment, but it 
takes place to the extent that the falsities of the former 
church are set aside. . . . This New Church is the crown 
of all the churches that have hitherto existed on the earth, 
because it is to worship one visible God in whom is the in- 
visible like the soul in the body. Thus, and not otherwise, 
is a conjunction of God with man possible because man is nat- 
ural, and therefore thinks naturally, and conjunction must 
exist in his thought, and thus in his love's affection, and this 
is the case when he thinks of God as a Man. Conjunction 
with an invisible God is like a conjunction of the eye's vision 


with the expanse of the universe, the limits of which are in- 
visible j it is also like vision in mid-ocean, which reaches out 
into the air and upon the sea, and is lost. Conjunction with 
a visible God, on the other hand, is like beholding a man in 
the air or on the sea spreading forth his hands and inviting 
to his arms." * 8 

This "Doctrine of the Lord" is, therefore, the very key- 
stone of the arch, without it the whole structure would 
logically collapse into a sort of mystical pantheism. It pre- 
serves the essential dualism which separates the Creator from 
the Creation. Since the nature of God is essentially human, 
the purpose of creation is the fulfillment of a human need, 
Love. "It is the essence of Love to love others outside of 
oneself, to desire to be one with them, and to render them 
blessed from oneself. . . . These essentials of the Divine 
Love were the cause of the creation of the universe, and are 
the causes of its preservation. . . . From these things when 
rightly understood it can be seen that the universe is a co- 
herent work from first things to last, because it is a work that 
includes ends, causes, and effects in an indissoluble connec- 
tion. And because in every love there is an end, in all wis- 
dom there is a promotion of an end by means of mediate 
causes, and through these causes effects, which are uses, are 
attained, it follows that the universe is a work that includes 
Divine love, Divine wisdom, and uses, and is thus in every 
respect a work coherent from things first to last. . . . The 
object of creation was an angelic heaven from the human 
racej in other words, mankind, in whom God might be able 
to dwell as in His residence. For this reason man was cre- 
ated a form of Divine order. God is in him, and so far as he 
lives according to Divine order, fully SO} but if he does not 
live according to Divine order, still God is in him, but in 
his highest parts, endowing him with the ability to under- 
stand truth and to will what is good. But as far as man lives 
contrary to order, so far he shuts up the lower parts o his 
mind or spirit, and prevents God from descending and filling 
them with His presence."* 4 This defeats the purpose of 
creation, the conjunction of God with man. 


"God is one in essence and in person." Swedenborg is 
emphatic in his denial of the orthodox idea of "Three Per- 
sons in One God." He says that a Trinity of Persons was 
unknown in the Apostolic church, but was "hatched" by the 
Nicene Council, and perverted the whole of the Christian 
Church. He says: "From a Trinity of Persons, each of 
whom singly is God, according to the Athanasian Creed, 
many discordant and heterogeneous ideas respecting God 
have arisen, which are phantasies and abortions." There is, 
however, a Divine Trinity, "These three, Father, Son, and 
Holy Spirit, are the three essentials of one God, and they 
make one as soul, body, and operation make one in man. 
Before the world was created this Trinity was not; but after 
creation, when God became incarnate, it was provided and 
brought about; and then in the Lord God the Redeemer and 
Saviour Jesus Christ." * 6 God the Father, or Jehovah, is 
the Divine Esse, the Invisible God, the Creator. God the 
Son is the Divine Human, that is, the Divine Truth or Word 
of God, in whom the Divine Esse exists as the soul in the 
body. Thus it was Jehovah God Himself who became 
incarnate in human form to save mankind. By the incarna- 
tion God became man, and by the glorification of His Hu- 
man, man became God. "In the Lord, God and Man are 
not two but one Person, yes, altogether one, as soul and body 
are." M The Holy Spirit is the Divine Energy and Opera- 
tion proceeding from the Lord, by which are meant refor- 
mation and regeneration, that is, the new birth from the 
Spirit/ 7 This beautifully simple explanation of the Trinity 
has appealed to many who found the tri-personal God of 
the orthodox creeds too abstruse a metaphysical conception 
to be religiously helpful, and especially to those who found 
its corollary, the doctrine of the vicarious atonement, impos- 
sible. With the rise of Unitarianism the orthodox view 
became less and less tenable, and the idea of a Divine Son 
atoning to an angry Father for the sins of the world more 
and more repulsive. For many who still clung to the Di- 
vinity of Christ, and were unwilling to go to the extreme of 
Unitarianism, Swedenborg's solution of the problem was a 


happy release from distressing doubts, and there is no doubt 
that the Doctrine of the Lord has been one of the most pow- 
erful and appealing of New Church beliefs. 

Swedenborg's doctrine of the Redemption was quite dif- 
ferent from the orthodox one, and omitted all idea of a 
vicarious atonement for human sin. He disapproved en- 
tirely of passages in the Formula Concordia relating to orig- 
inal sin, and maintained stoutly that man has complete free- 
dom of choice in spiritual matters, and is not damned by 
hereditary evil. "Without freedom of choice in spiritual 
things, there would be nothing in man whereby he could in 
turn conjoin himself with the Lord; consequently there 
would be no imputation, but mere predestination, which is 
detestable. . . . What more pernicious thing could have 
been devised, or could anything more cruel be believed of 
God, than that some of the human race are damned by pre- 
destination?" 48 God did not create evil, but in giving man 
complete freedom of choice, he gave him the potentiality of 
evil, that is, the power to turn good into evil for his own 
selfish ends. The pra^num, or self, was created by God, 
and is not evil, but like all good things, is capable of misuse, 
Evil therefore was introduced into the world by man him- 
self. God merely permits evil to exist in order that man 
may have spiritual freedom, and not be a mere automaton. 
Man is of course subject to the downward drag of hereditary 
evil, but is damned by it only in so far as he deliberately 
makes it his own by his own free will. The origin of man's 
freedom is in the spiritual world, where his mind is kept by 
the Lord. "Man's mind is his spirit, which lives after 
death j and his spirit is constantly in company with its like 
in the spiritual world, and at the same time by means of the 
material body with which it is enveloped, it is with men in 
the natural world. . . . Into this interspace [the World of 
Spirits], evil exhales from hell in all abundance j while from 
heaven, on the other hand, good flows into it, also in all 
abundance," * 9 Man is free to draw his spiritual sustenance 
from either, that is free-will. Regeneration is effected 
entirely by the Lord through Divine influx, but is dependent 


on man's cooperation. He can be saved only in so far as 
he chooses the good, and struggles actively, with the Lord's 
help, against temptations. 50 

Why then was the incarnation of the Lord in human form 
necessary for the salvation of man? Swedenborg's answer 
is that it was necessary to preserve the equilibrium between 
good and evil without which free-will for man was impos- 
sible. "For before the Lord's coming hell had reached up 
so far as even to infest the angels of heaven, and also, by 
interposing itself between heaven and the world, to inter- 
cept the Lord's communication with men and earth, so that 
no Divine truth and good could pass from the Lord to men. 
Consequently a total damnation threatened the whole hu- 
man race, and the angels of heaven could not have long con- 
tinued to exist in their integrity." fil It was therefore neces- 
sary for the Lord to submit Himself to all the temptations 
possible to man, and to subjugate the hells by resisting them. 
Since God in His infinite essence could not approach the 
hells without utterly destroying them. He was obliged to 
assume a Human nature in order merely to subdue and re- 
duce them to order. This He accomplished by His entire 
lifetime of spiritual combat with temptation. The passion 
of the cross was the last temptation, "and was the means 
whereby His Human was glorified and united with the Di- 
vine of the Father; but it was not redemption." B2 Man's 
cooperation with the redemptive work of the Lord must 
begin with repentance. "No man can be regenerated until 
the most grievous evils, which render him detestable in the 
sight of God, are put away, and this is done by means of re- 
pentance. . . . There are many means by which man, as he 
progresses in his early years, is prepared for the church and 
introduced into itj but the means by which the church is 
established in man are acts of repentance. ... In the Re- 
formed Christian world a certain kind of anxiety, grief, and 
terror are spoken of, which they call contrition, which pre- 
cedes faith in those who are about to be regenerated, and 
which is followed by the consolation of the Gospel. . . . 
But respecting this contrition the following questions are to 


be considered: i. Is it repentance? 2. Is it of any conse- 
quence? 3* Is there such a thing?" Swedenborg's answer 
is wholly negative. It is merely a freak of the imagina- 
tion, an emotional disturbance based on fear, "Actual re- 
pentance is examining oneself, recognizing and acknowledg- 
ing one's sins, praying to the Lord, and beginning a new 
life." The two primary roots of all evil in man are "the 
love of ruling over all, and the love of possessing the goods 
of all." M All actions and motives must be examined in the 
light of knowledge of these basic evils. "To do reyentmce 
is to desist from sins after one has thus confessed them." M 
Regeneration, which follows repentance, is not an in- 
stantaneous change, but a gradual process, like any other 
kind of growth. "Regeneration is effected in a manner 
analogous to that in which man is conceived, carried in the 
womb, born and educated." For this reason it is called being 
"born again." "Moreover, there is a correspondence of 
man's regeneration with all things in the vegetable king- 
dom; therefore in the Word man is also pictured by a tree, 
his truth by its seed and his good by its fruit." M The proc- 
ess of regeneration must begin in this life. "The man who 
while in the world has entered into the first state [repent- 
ance] after death can be introduced into the second; but he 
who has not entered into the first state while in the world, 
cannot after death be introduced into the second, thus can- 
not be regenerated." Regeneration is a psychological proc- 
ess. "When this latter state begins and is progressing, a 
change takes place in the mind; the mind undergoes a re- 
versal, the love of the will then flowing into the understand- 
ing, acting upon it and leading it to think in accord and 
agreement with its love." The man thus becomes spiritual, 
and is truly "a new creature." w The prime essential of the 
regenerating life is to shun evils as sins against God, and to 
do good. It is therefore a life in accordance with the Ten 
Commandments. "The commandments of the Decalogue 
were the first-fruits of the church about to be established 
with the IsraeHtish nation, and as they were in a brief sum- 
mary the complex of all things of religion, whereby there 


is conjunction of God with man and of man with God, they 
were so holy that nothing could be holier." 57 The Ten 
Commandments contain all things pertaining to love of God 
and love of the neighbor, but they are stated in negative 
terms because man from birth inclines to evil, and it is only 
by definitely refraining from evil that he can come into good. 
"Good and evil cannot exist together, and so far as evil is 
put away good is regarded and felt as good, for the reason 
that there exhales from every one in the spiritual world a 
sphere of his loves which spreads itself round about and 
affects, and causes sympathies and antipathies. By these 
spheres the good are separated from the evil." 58 According 
to Swedenborg's teaching, evil is not merely "an absence of 
good," or "missing the mark," but a definite thing, a true 
opposite, like a disease which must be cured before one can 
attain to health, or a foul miasma which must be cleared 
away before the mind can be opened to spiritual influx. For 
this reason the "Thou shalt not" is of primary importance 
for the life of religion. 

But the positive commands are also contained in the Deca- 
logue, the first table containing in a summary all things per- 
taining to the love of God, and the second, all things per- 
taining to love of the neighbor, which two loves are the 
whole of the Word. Swedenborg is emphatic in his denial 
of the doctrine of salvation by faith alone. "The Lord, 
charity, and faith, make one, like life, will, and understand- 
ing in man 5 and if they are divided, each perishes like a 
pearl reduced to powder." He speaks of the controversies 
concerning the priority of faith as follows: "Those who so 
comprehended this subject, supposed that the truth of faith 
was the firstborn, and that the good of charity was born 
afterwards 5 for which reason they gave to faith the eminence 
and prerogative of primogeniture. But those who so rea- 
soned overwhelmed their own understandings with such a 
multitude of arguments in favor of faith, as not to see that 
faith is not faith unless it is conjoined with charity." M "The 
only faith that endures with man springs from heavenly 
love. Those without love have knowledge merely, or per- 


suasion. Just to believe in truth and in the Word is not 
faith. Faith is to love truth, and to will and do it from in- 
ward affection for it." flo 

It is the life of charity which is the truly religious, or 
regenerative life, and this is the life dominated by the two 
essential loves, love of God, and love of the neighbor. Man 
was created to be an organ or receptacle of the Divine life, 
and as the essence of God is love, it follows that "the very 
life of man is his love, and as his love is, such is his life, such 
even is the whole man; but it is the dominant or ruling love 
that makes the man. . . . That which man loves above all 
things is constantly present in his thought, because it is in 
his will and constitutes his veriest life." 61 When the love 
of self and the love of the world, which are universal and 
essential to man's self-preservation, are rightly subordinated 
to the two higher loves, love of God and of the neighbor, 
they are not incompatible with the life of charity, but per- 
fect man, and serve him in the performance of natural uses 
in the world. Charity, or heavenly love, is the love of uses 
for the sake of the uses, or goods for the sake of the goods, 
and a heartfelt delight in promoting them. It is the love of 
service, instead of the love of dominion. It has its origin in 
good-will and its seat in the internal man, and its outward 
expression is well-doing. 62 "Charity is an inward affection, 
moving man to do what is good, and this without recom- 
pense, So to act is his life's delight. . . . The life of char- 
ity is to will well and to do well by the neighbor j in all 
work, and in every employment, acting out of regard for 
what is just and equitable, good and true. In a word, the 
life of charity consists in the performance of uses." 8 The 
term neighbor means something more than the individual 
man, it means also the collective man, that is, the com- 
munity itself, "When the Lord and the angels from Him 
look down upon the earth, they see an entire community just 
like a single man, with a form according to the qualities of 
those in it. It has been granted to me to see a certain com- 
munity in heaven precisely as a single man, in stature like 
that o a man in the world* . . * One's country is more a 


neighbor than a single community, because it consists of 
many communities, and consequently love towards the coun- 
try is a broader and higher love. . . . That one's country 
should be loved, not as one loves himself, but much more 
than himself, is a law inscribed on the human heart; from 
which has come the well-known principle, which every true 
man endorses, that if the country is threatened with ruin 
from an enemy, or any other source, it is noble to die for it, 
and glorious for a soldier to shed his blood for it. ... The 
church is the neighbor that is to be loved in a higher degree, 
thus even above one's country, . . . and the Lord's king- 
dom is the neighbor that is to be loved in the highest degree, 
because the Lord's kingdom means the church throughout 
the world, which is called the communion of saints j also 
heaven is meant by it." M 

Thus we see that in order to "be saved" it is not necessary 
to "renounce the world, the flesh, and the devil," but merely 
to keep them in their proper order. Love of the world is 
useful in so far as it contributes to a faithful performance 
of one's duties according to one's position in the world, 
one cannot subdue the world by running away from it. Love 
of the flesh is also legitimate in so far as it contributes to 
health and efficiency. Swedenborg was emphatic in his con- 
demnation of asceticism, the body is not to be neglected or 
abused. Even "the devil," or evil, is not to be wholly elim- 
inated, for it has its own distinct uses. He tells us that the 
highest angels still retain their evil propensities (or fro- 
pritMn), and are subject to a spiritual relapse if they forget 
that it is only by the Divine influx that they are restrained, 
having no good of themselves. Thus evil serves to keep 
both men and angels in a state of true humility, and a sincere 
recognition of their absolute dependence upon God. Swe- 
denborg says that it is not so difficult to "get to heaven" as 
men have imagined, and requires no great renunciations or 
heroisms. It depends rather upon the somewhat prosaic 
day-by-day fidelity to duties and responsibilities, along with 
definite shunning of evils as sins against God. 65 This com- 
mon-sense way of salvation has naturally been a great com- 


fort to many an average man who has found in his own ex- 
perience neither opportunity nor inclination for martyrdom. 
The high path of heroism and the low path of self-abnega- 
tion are only for the few. Swedenborg offers a broad high- 
way of simple usefulness, a middle path for the great ma- 
jority of "average" human beings. Regeneration as a grad- 
ual process of lifelong earnest endeavor is more conceivable, 
and more in accord with human experience, than some in- 
stantaneous magic transformation of character. In his treat- 
ment of the sacraments Swedenborg is consistently opposed 
to the "magical" interpretation. Baptism has in itself no 
efficacy whatever for salvation, it is merely a symbol of a 
regeneration yet to come. 66 The two sacraments, Baptism 
and the Holy Supper, are "like two gates to eternal life," 
for through them man is conjoined to the heavens, and thus 
with the Lord, In the spiritual sense "flesh" means the 
good of charity, and "blood" the truth of faith, hence, Di- 
vine love and Divine wisdom, or the Lord Himself, who is 
fully present in the sacrament. 67 Therefore, though they 
are instruments and means of salvation (i.e., conjunction 
with the Lord), the sacraments are not "necessary for sal- 
vation," nor are they necessarily means of salvation. Sacra- 
mentalism, in the orthodox sense, has no place in the the- 
ology of Swedenborg, for whom motives, and not acts, the 
internal and not the external, are the sine qua non of salva- 

But though Swedenborg eliminates the magic of sacra- 
mental acts from his "True Christian Religion," he more 
than compensates for its loss by his insistence on the "magic 
of the word." In fact probably no other religion has ever 
elevated its Scriptures to a higher pedestal, for according to 
Swedenborg, the Word of God is God, that is, the Lord in 
His Second Coming. It is therefore to a Bible-loving people 
that the New Church has made its great appeal. Many an 
earnest soul who had never doubted the divine inspiration 
of the Bible no doubt often wondered, wading through many 
a dreary stretch, wherein the inspiration lay. And here was 
a key to the mystery, a key to unlock the casket and dis~ 


close the gems, & never-failing source of interest and joy 
for many to whom daily Bible rpading was a lifelong habit. 
Swedenborg carried his explanation of the inner sense of the 
Word through Genesis and Exodus, the Psalms, the Proph- 
ets, and the Book of Revelation, as well as many passages 
from other books, scattered here and there in his writings, 
but he left a great deal undone, a vast field for investiga- 
tion. There is, therefore, practically no end to the possibili- 
ties of Biblical interpretation according to the science of 
correspondences. For the New Church the Bible is an in- 
exhaustible mine of spiritual treasure still unearthed. 

One of the most remarkable features of Swedenborg's 
teaching is his attitude on one of life's most difficult prob- 
lems, that of sex. He goes counter to Catholic doctrine in 
making marriage a higher spiritual state than celibacy, and 
glorifies the normal course of human love in its painful 
progress from mere physical passion to a truly spiritual love. 
In Part I of his great work, The Delights of Wisdom per- 
taining to Conjugial Love, he expounds his doctrine of sex 
as a spiritual, as well as a physical, fact persisting to all 
eternity. He describes marriage as he was allowed to see it 
in the life after death. He says that in the world of spirits 
married partners meet and live together, but if they find, 
as their interior natures are revealed, that they are not spir- 
itually united, they separate and seek their spiritual mates 
elsewhere. Conjugial love, (which he differentiates from 
mere conjugal love), is spiritual love, and is so rare as to 
be practically unknown on earth. It can exist only with 
those who are in union with the Lord, and are becoming 
spiritually regenerated, it is chaste. So closely united are 
conjugial pairs in the spiritual world that they appear at a 
distance as one angel. In heaven conjugial love has no nat- 
ural offspring, but goods and truths are its offspring. 68 

In Part II he treats of "The Pleasures of Insanity as to 
Scortatory Love," which is the exact opposite of conjugial 
love. Its sphere comes up out of hell, while the sphere of 
conjugial love comes down from heaveri. Scortatory love 
begins in the flesh, conjugial love in the spirit 69 The sec- 


tions on "permissions," concerning fornication and concubi- 
nage (numbers 444-476), have been a storm center in the 
New Church for over a century and a half. Swedenborg 
makes the distinction between fornication and adultery, the 
latter being a far more serious sin. He says that with some 
men "the love of sex cannot without harm be totally with- 
held from going forth into fornication," and that for such 
men it is possible that "the conjugial (which is the pre- 
cious treasure of human life, and the repository of the Chris- 
tian religion) may still be preserved if the wandering love 
of the sex be confined to one mistress," provided, of course, 
that the sin of adultery is not involved. "The sphere of the 
lust of fornicating, as it is in its beginning, is intermediate 
between the sphere of scortatory love and the sphere of 
conjugial love and makes the equilibrium, . . , It is light 
in so far as it looks to conjugial love, and prefers it, but is 
grievous in the degree that it looks to adultery." 70 For a 
married man who is living with his wife to have a "concu- 
bine" is wholly unlawful, for it is adultery, but for a man 
who is living apart from his wife, even though she be under 
the same roof, to have a concubine is not unlawful, provided 
the separation is "for legitimate, just and truly weighty 
causes," and provided that he is the kind of man mentioned 
above with whom "the love of the sex cannot without harm 
be totally withheld from going forth into fornication." In 
such a case a man and his concubine "may at the same time 
be in conjugial love." In other words, "Not from the ap- 
pearances of marriages, nor from the appearances of scorta- 
tions, is it to be determined respecting any one, whether he 
is in conjugial love or not* Wherefore, < Judge not, that ye 
may not be condemned.' " T1 

It is clear that in this work Swedenborg is writing for the 
' society of his own day in which marriage was largely a mat- 
ter of convenience, and divorce almost unknown, but never- 
theless it contains much of value for any age, even the pres- 
ent one. It is characteristic of Swedenborg that, even in sex 
morality, he dares to make inner motive and not outer act 
the criterion of judgment. Quite naturally the book has 


brought calumny upon Swedenborg and his followers, whose 
enemies have been quick to seize upon various passages, sepa- 
rate them from their context, and distort their meaning. 
Also the New Church itself is divided in its feelings regard- 
ing it. Some have thought of it as a "skeleton in the closet" 
which might better have never been written, while others 
have staunchly defended it as divine revelation. Unfor- 
tunately it presents a morality too advanced for the mid- 
Victorian mind which still controls much of our sex think- 
ing, and a spirituality in sex relations too high for the 
so-called "advanced thinkers" of the present day. 

These teachings, which Swedenborg gave to the world in 
some forty odd volumes of theological writings, were, ac- 
cording to his statement, derived from the letter of the 
Word in the light of its inner meaning, and corroborated by 
his experiences in the spiritual world. In his own words the 
statement is: "I testify in truth, likewise, that from the first 
day of that call I have not received anything that pertains 
to the Doctrines of the New Church from any angel, but 
from the Lord alone, while I read the Word." 72 


After the death of Swedenborg his followers among the 
Swedish clergy continued to be persecuted by the Consistory. 
The first real martyr of the new religion was the Rev. Sven 
Schmidt of Skara, who was tried for heresy in 1771, refused 
to recant and was suspended. He was later imprisoned for 
two years, after which he was removed to an insane asylum 
where he died twenty years afterwards. 1 Though the per- 
secution soon abated, the ban against the publication of the 
writings remained until liberty of the press was restored to 
Sweden on 1809, but the law still forbade the establishment 
of a new sect, and in 1827 the state of the New Church was 
described as "a mournful calm." 2 But among the nobility 
there was a great deal of interest, especially among those 
who had known Swedenborg personally. In 1784 Augustus 
Nordenskjold, an eminent chemist and mining engineer, and 
J, G. Halldin, the court poet, began the publication of a 
weekly paper, called Ajtonbladet, in which they openly 
avowed the new doctrines, but which had only a brief career 
of eight months before it was killed by clerical opposition. 
Two years later Charles Frederick Nordensfcjold and 
Charles B. Wadstrom organized the Exegetic-Philanthropic 
Society for the purpose of publishing the writings of Swe- 
denborg in Swedish, Latin, French, and other languages. 
Among its members were many of the nobility, Count Hop- 
ken, Baron Liliencrantz, Count Ekebald, and Baron Leonard 
Gyllenhall, and even the Crown Prince, later King Gustavus 
III, attended one of its meetings. 8 Under his rule a certain 
type of mysticism was in vogue in the court which was a 
combination of Swedenborgianism and spiritualism, the first 
instance of an alliance destined to cause much trouble in the 
history of the New Church. In 1787 the Soclatv. 


the height of its power, with a hundred and fifty distin- 
guished members, began the publication of the first distinc- 
tively New Church journal in the world, the Samlingar for 

The next venture of the Exegetic-Philanthropic Society 
was an investigation of the phenomena of animal magnetism, 
which at the time was creating a perfect furor all over Eu- 
rope. At the time of Swedenborg's death Friedrich Mes- 
mer was working on his researches, and shortly afterwards 
Paris was thrown into a state of great excitement by his 
demonstrations and cures. In a short time interest had 
spread to scientific circles and groups were being organized 
to study the strange new phenomena, 5 In 1788 the Ex- 
egetic-Philanthropic Society began a correspondence with 
the Societe des Amis Reunis of Strassburg, offering a spir- 
itualistic interpretation of the phenomena on Swedenborgian 
lines. In a "Lettre sur la seule explication satisfaisante des 
phenomenes du Magnetisme Animal et du sonnambulisme 
d6duite des vrais principes fondes dans les connaissances du 
Creatur de Phomme et de la nature, et confirmee par Pex- 
perience" there occurs one of the earliest detailed accounts 
on record of trance experiments. 6 The Strassburg Society, 
which had been founded by the Marquis de Puysegur, the 
most distinguished of Mesmer's disciples, insisted on a nat- 
uralistic interpretation "of the phenomena, and ridiculed the 
Stockholm Society's spiritualistic theories. 7 So also did the 
learned journals of the German universities heap ridicule 
upon them, until a combination of outside attacks and in- 
ternal dissensions resulted in the complete collapse of the 
Society in 1791. A complaint to the King from the Con- 
sistory had already put a stop to their publications. Five 
years later some of its former members organized a secret 
society called "Pro Fide et Charitate" for the purpose of 
continuing the publication of Swedenborg's works in Swed- 
ish, Communication was kept up between its members for 
nearly twenty years by means of a manuscript journal. Poli- 
tics and animal magnetism were strictly tabu in the new 
society. 8 


But by far the most interesting development among the 
followers of Swedenborg in his own country was the anti- 
slave-trade movement. In 1779 Charles B. Wadstrom had 
organized a society of readers of Swedenborg for the pur- 
pose of agitating against the African slave trade. This pre- 
ceded all other efforts in this direction and gives to the New 
Church the credit for originating this mighty crusade. Wad- 
strom's account of the venture reads as follows: "In the year 
1779 a society of affectionate admirers of the writings of that 
extraordinary man, Emanuel Swedenborg, assembled at 
Norkj oping in Sweden, in consequence of reflecting on the 
favorable account this eminent author gives, both in his 
printed works and manuscripts, of the African nations. The 
principal business of this Conference was to consult and de- 
vise the most practical means of forming an unanimous as- 
sociation, whose wishes and endeavours might center on one 
subject, that of forming a settlement among those nations, 
where a certain prospect seemed to open of establishing 
peaceably, and without opposition their new system, which 
might serve as a basis for a new and complete community. 
The more this subject came to be considered, the more these 
gentlemen were persuaded that the coast of Africa would 
scarcely admit of being peopled by a body of true and sincere 
Christians, unless the home trade, so firmly rooted, and the 
only object of commerce in those fruitful regions, could be 
abolished." 10 For eight years Wadstrom and his followers 
agitated their project until at length, in 1787, he was actually 
sent by the King at the head of a scientific expedition to ex- 
plore the west coast of Africa for a suitable location for a 
Swedish colony to operate against the slave trade. He re- 
turned the following year, and was sent to England to inter- 
est the British government and capitalists in the plan. In 
1789 he and Augustus NordenskjSld, who was associated 
with him, published in London a Plan -for a Free Com- 
munity wpon the Western Coast of Africa, followed five 
years later by An Essay on Colonization in Sierra Leone and 
Boulama, both published by Robert Hindmarsh, the leading 
disciple of Swedenborg in England." 


This little colony, composed of Swedish and English 
settlers, was destroyed in 1795 by French privateers, most 
of the colonists being killed, Wadstrom went to Paris to 
demand reparation from the French government, which was 
refused. He however was offered the position of chief di- 
rector of the Agricultural Bank of Paris, and lived in Paris 
until his death in 1799 in high favor with the Directory and 
Napoleon. But though the colony in Sierra Leone met with 
a tragic fate, Wadstrom's efforts for the abolition of the slave 
trade were by no means a failure. During the years he spent 
in England he wrote voluminously on the subject, and 
worked with Henry Gandy of Bristol, Thomas Clarkson, 
and Granville Sharp to arouse public opinion against the 
evil. Sharp had begun his agitation against slavery in 1765, 
and in 1777 had secured a court decree making it unlawful 
to own a slave in England, but no organized attack was made 
against the slave trade itself until 1787, eight years after 
the formation of Wadstrom's Swedish organization. In 
1788 a private committee was formed, of which Clarkson 
and Wilberforce were members, and in 1791 Wilberforce 
made his move in Parliament for leave to bring in the bill. 12 
There is no doubt that Wadstrom's efforts, backed as they 
were by the Swedish government itself, were an important 
factor in this great achievement. It is an interesting fact, 
that though Swedenborg said nothing against the institution 
of slavery in his writings, his early followers found in them 
the inspiration for their attack upon it. This was due to two 
factors: first, his statements with regard to the high spiritual 
status of the African race in the other world, and second, 
his great emphasis on freedom in general as necessary to 
the regeneration of man. 

Because of the power of the firmly entrenched state Luth- 
eranism of Sweden there was little chance for the New 
Church as an organization, and even to this day there are but 
few in its membership in the land of its founder's birth. But 
his doctrines permeated the established church to a certain 
degree, many of its ministers being converted in secret, 
though unable to preach them openly, and found a fertile 


soil in the hearts and minds of many of the cultured aristoc- 
racy, some of whose descendants in America are loyal mem- 
bers of the New Church. 

In Germany the situation was similar to that of Sweden, 
with Lutheranism firmly established as the state religion. 
After the persecution of Prelate Oetinger few of the clergy 
dared evince any interest in Swedenborg, though there was 
considerable interest in the universities. Immanuel Kant 
heard of Swedenborg's remarkable faculty of clairvoyance, 
and went to a good deal of trouble to verify the truth of 
some of the stories. He was thoroughly disgusted by the 
Arcma Coelestia, and wrote an attack on Swedenborg called 
Traume eines Geisters&hers^ erlautert dwch Trawme der 
Metaphysic. 1 * In 1782 Abbe Pernety, Court Librarian to 
Frederick III of Prussia, became a convert, and began to 
publish French translations of some of the writings. The 
university journals of Weimar and Jena attacked the publi- 
cations of the Exegetic-Philanthropic Society over the ques- 
tion of animal magnetism. Altogether the prospects for the 
New Church in Germany were hardly bright at the end of 
the eighteenth century. But in 1813 a convert was made in 
the person of Immanuel Tafel, a student at the University 
at Tubingen, who became a whole host in himself. He made 
the decision to translate some of the theological works into 
German, a project in which he received financial aid from a 
wealthy English disciple, John Augustus Tulk. Tafel in- 
curred opposition from the university authorities, but per- 
sisted in his work until in 1825 he was offered a professor- 
ship in theology on condition of giving up his translation. 
This condition he reluctantly accepted, but after four years 
petitioned the King of Wiirttemberg to either rescind the 
condition or accept his resignation. The King decided on 
the latter course, but appointed him Librarian to the Uni- 
versity as compensation, with permission to publish his trans- 
lations. In a letter written in 1831 Tafel describes the for- 
mation of several societies for the study of the doctrines, and 
a visit from the great theologian, Schleiermacher, who ex- 


pressed "in mild and condescending terms" his regret that 
Tafel should continue in his misguided activities. 14 

Not only did he continue his publications, but also, in 
1833, began to preach the doctrines openly, making many 
converts. A letter from Germany in 1835 reports: "New 
Church doctrines are spreading extremely fast in Swabia and 
the Southern parts of Germany, chiefly among the poorer 
classes of the population, who find among the external pres- 
sures of the times and the government their peace and hap- 
piness in them." 15 This is the first record of any interest 
among the lowly in the teachings of Swedenborg. But now 
trouble arose between Tafel and his publisher, Ludwig Hof- 
aker, who in 1837 published a translation of a French work, 
G. Oegger's Rapports inattendues entre le monde materiel 
et le monde sprituel, a series of revelations secured through 
mediums, and began the publication of a monthly periodical 
devoted to spiritualistic propaganda. He gathered around 
him a group of female seers who prophesied in the streets 
and brought great scandal on the new religion. Hofaker 
died insane in 1846, having done a great deal of injury to 
the New Church in Germany. 18 This connection between 
Swedenborgianism and spiritualism, which appeared so early 
in its history, was inevitable. Though Swedenborg warned 
his followers against the dangers of intercourse with spirits, 
there were many too bold to be deterred by admonitions, and 
naturally enough felt impelled to experiment for them- 
selves* Spiritualism claims Swedenborg as its first great ex- 
ponent. Podmore calls him "the "first Spiritualist, the first 
to have communications with departed souls, all previous 
communications were with demons, sylphs, etc. non-hu- 
man spirits. His philosophy is part of the great mystical 
tradition which forms the basis of the spiritualistic creed." 
And Conan Doyle begins his History of Spiritualism with a 
chapter on Swedenborg. "When the first rays of the rising 
sun of spiritual knowledge fell upon the earth they illumi- 
nated the greatest and highest human mind before they shed 
their light on lesser men. That mountain peak of mentality 
was this greatest religious reformer and clairvoyant medium, 


as little understood by his own followers as ever the Christ 
has been." 1T However that may be, this connection with 
Spiritualism has been from the beginning a thorn in the 
flesh for the New Church. 

At last in 1848 religious liberty was granted by the Na- 
tional Congress at Frankfort, and the same year the First 
General Conference of the New Church in Germany was 
held at Canstadt, about a hundred receivers of the doctrines 
being present. The proceedings were reported to have been 
mostly of an intellectual character. Immanuel Tafel was 
elected president of the Conference, an honor well deserved, 
for not only was he practically the founder of the New 
Church in Germany, but her outstanding scholar. Besides 
his translations of the works of Swedenborg, another great 
contribution was his collection of documents relating to his 
life and work, published in 1839, a r * c h m ^ ne * material 
which forms the basis for all future biographies. After the 
Revolution of 1848 religious liberty was again lost, and an- 
other era of persecution set in from which the German New 
Church never fully recovered, 18 

In France it was Catholicism with which the new religion 
had to contend, and the results were somewhat different. 
The early converts here too, however, were from the intel- 
lectual aristocracy, among whom was Baron Breteuil, min- 
ister to Louis XV, who had been a personal friend of Swe- 
denborg when living in Stockholm as ambassador to Sweden. 
There were also the Marquis de Thom6, M. Moet, Royal 
Librarian at Versailles who translated some of the writings 
into French, and Frederic Oberlin, the famous philanthro- 
pist. 19 The most interesting development was in connection 
with a Masonic Lodge at Avignon, which had been estab- 
lished in 1760 by Abbe Pernety and Count Grabianka, a 
Polish nobleman. In 1768 one of its members, Benedict 
Chastanier, a physician, discovered the writings of Sweden- 
borg, and in 1783 the Marquis de Thome, introduced a re- 
formed system called "the Rite of Swedenborg." Another 
Masonic Lodge, in Paris, called Les Amis R6unis, also 
adopted Swedenborgianism about this time. The Avignon 


Lodge was reorganized in 1786 by Abbe Pernety as the 
Academic des Illumines Philosophes, and the same year thej 
published their Observations SWT les Franc-maqoimeriesy le 
Visions de Swedenborg,, etc., the earliest documentary evi- 
dence of this connection between Swedenborgianism anc 
French Free Masonry. The tenets of the Avignon Societj 
were a strange mixture of Masonry, Spiritualism, Jesuitism 
Swedenborgianism and the teachings of Saint-Martin, anc 
their practices were described as "mystico-cabalistic Mag- 
netical." They were active propagandists, sending out emis- 
saries to various countries to try to link up the followers oJ 
Swedenborg with Free Masonry. Benedict Chastanier in- 
troduced their teachings in England, and joined the Londor 
New Church Society. Count Grabianka followed in 1785, 
and introduced animal magnetism and spiritualism among 
the members of the New Church, causing much excitement 
and dissension. But in 1791 the Avignon Society fell out 
with the teachings of Swedenborg over Conjugiol Love^ 
which they condemned as a "damnable book." Their Lon- 
don member, Chastanier, who by this time had become one 
of the leaders in the New Church, repudiated his connection 
with them in a book called: A Word of Advice to a Benighted 
World; or some of Benedict Chastanier*s Spiritual Expe- 
riences, relative to the Lord's Second Advent, His New, 
Church and its Antitype, the Avignon Society 

The first true apostle of the New Church in France, how- 
ever, was Captain Jean- Jacques Bernard, a member of the 
Legion of Honor. He spread the doctrines among his fel- 
low officers wherever he went, and also introduced them to 
the mystic-philosopher, Saint-Martin. His first convert was 
M. Oegger, First Vicar of the Cathedral of Paris, and con- 
fessor to the Queen, who resigned his post and gave up all 
connection with the Catholic Church. He was strongly in- 
clined to spiritualistic practices, and in 1832 published the 
book called Rapports inattendues entre le monde materiel 
et le monde spirituel; ouma Transition a la Nowvelle Eglise, 
et les Circonstawces swnatttrelles qui ont accompagne cette 
e?* which, as we have seen, caused so much excite- 


merit in Germany. Another cleric, Abbe Frangois Ledru, a 
parish priest near Chartres, was converted in 1830, and 
promptly dismissed by his bishop. His parishioners pleaded 
in vain for his reinstatement, and the Abbe opened a new 
place of worship which he called the French Catholic 
Church. When the incensed bishop sent troops to arrest 
him, the villagers rose to arms in his defense, and the soldiers 
refused to fire on them. At last he was brought to trial by 
an ecclesiastical tribunal, and strangely enough, completely 
exonerated j but after his death in 1837 the movement went 
to pieces. 22 

The growth of the New Church was exceedingly slow in 
France. In 1826 fourteen members were reported in Paris, 
and only sixty-six in all of France. A new center of activity 
sprung up in 1837 in Sainte-Amand, under the leadership 
of an indefatigable evangelist, M. Le Boys des Guays, with 
a membership of a hundred and twenty. He began the pub- 
lication of a monthly magazine, La Nomelle Jerusalem, 
which carried on a heated controversy with the Papal organ, 
UEcho du Vatican. He also organized a Tract Society, and 
published a French translation of the Arcana. But the 
movement which had begun so well, in time dwindled, and 
in 1848, the Rev. T. O. Prescott of America found only 
about fifty members in Paris meeting in a private house, a 
small circle at Versailles under M. Oegger, and about twen- 
ty-five of the original hundred and twenty at Sainte-Amand. 28 
The New Church had met with two formidable foes in 
France, Catholicism among the people, and Positivism 
among the intellectuals. 

In Russia there was some interest among the nobility in 
the writings of Swedenborg, though as an organization the 
New Church has never had any foothold there. One of the 
most important of these members of the nobility was Gen- 
eral Alexander Mouravieff, one of the pioneers in the move- 
ment for the abolition of serfdom. He spread the works 
of Swedenborg far and wide among his friends, and made 
some converts. It is interesting to find here again a disciple 


of Swedenborg among the outstanding pioneers in the cause 
of human freedom. 24 

It was in England, the home of religious toleration, that 
the New Church was born, and it was this English New 
Church which became the mother of practically all the 
branches of the New Church now existing in the world. 
Swedenborg himself, as we have seen, made no effort what- 
ever toward the founding of a church. He expected his 
doctrines to permeate gradually the old churches until a 
state of spiritual regeneration should be reached, which 
would be the New Jerusalem. Toward this end he pre- 
sented his theological works to all the bishops of the Church 
of England, and to all the Protestant members of the House 
of Lords. But the growth of the New Church came through 
other channels, and led to an entirely unforeseen develop- 
ment, a new ecclesiastical body. The attention of the read- 
ing public was first called to the new teachings by John 
Lewis, Swedenborg's publisher, who in 1794 advertised the 
first volume of the Arcana Coelestia in several London 
papers. The first response was from Stephen Penny, a 
prominent citizen of Dartmouth, who, after reading the 
book, wrote an appreciative letter to Lewis, which was pub- 
lished in the London Daily Advertiser on Christmas Day. 
In 1750 Lewis published an English translation of this 
volume, made by John Marchant at Swedenborg's expense, 
an indication that he considered England good soil for his 
message. Ten years later, Penny succeeded in converting 
his friend Thomas Cookworthy, a well-to-do Quaker chem- 
ist of Plymouth, who in turn converted the Rev. Thomas 
Hartley of the Established Church. In 1769 Cookworthy 
and Hartley paid a visit to Swedenborg, who was now known 
in London as "the New Jerusalem gentleman," and offered 
him their services in the cause of the new truth. After his 
return to Sweden a correspondence on theological matters 
was kept up with Hartley, and in 1770 Cookworthy and 
Hartley began their joint work of translating the Treatise 
on Influx, and the Doctrine of Life for the New Jerusalem, 
two of the smaller theological works. These were published 


at Cookworthy's expense. The first collateral work in Eng- 
lish was written by Stephen Penny, called Letters on the 
Fall md Restoration of Mankind addressed to all the serious 
part of every denomination 

The year 1773 marks the conversion of a very influential 
person, the Rev. John Clowes, M.A., of Manchester, who in 
1778 established the first New Church Society among his 
parishioners in Whitefield, near Manchester. Clowes and 
his followers, however, remained members of the Estab- 
lished Church. 20 The first connecting link with America was 
the conversion at this time of the Rev. Jacob Duche, an Epis- 
copal clergyman of Philadelphia, a political exile. Duche 
had been chaplain to the First Continental Congress, but 
when the break with England came, he remained a Loyalist, 
and had been obliged to flee for his life. He was now en- 
gaged as chaplain to an orphan asylum in St. George's 
Field. 27 

By far the most important conversion, however, was that 
of Robert Hindmarsh, a young man, only nineteen, a printer 
by trade, and the son of a Methodist minister. In 1782 a 
Quaker friend had lent him a copy of Heaven and Hell, and 
that had been sufficient. He set about to form a reading 
circle, a little group of four serious thinkers, including be- 
sides himself, Peter Provo, a surgeon and apothecary, Wil- 
liam Bonington, a clockcase maker, and the Hon. John 
Augustus Tulk, a gentleman of leisure. They decided to 
advertise a public meeting of all the readers of Swedenborg 
in London to be held at a coffee house on Ludgate Hill. 
This historic gathering, the first public meeting of receivers 
of the doctrines in the world, occurred at the Queen's Arms 
on December 5th, 1783, and consisted of the original four 
and one other, William Spence, a surgeon. Nothing daunted 
by this somewhat slim response, they hired a room in the 
Inner Temple and called a second meeting for December 
1 2th. At this meeting there appeared an important new ac- 
quisition, James Glen, a prosperous plantation owner from 
Demerara (now British Guiana), in South America. He 
had been converted on shipboard in 1781 by the captain's 


Latin copy of Heaven cmd Hell, and had chanced to see the 
notice of the meeting. 28 Since he is destined to play so im- 
portant a role in the evangelization of America, it may be 
well to see what manner of man was James Glen. He was 
a native of Glasgow, and had received an excellent educa- 
tion at the University, specializing in Greek, Latin and He- 
brew. Later in life he added Arabic, French, Dutch, and 
German to his linguistic attainments. When about twenty 
he had made a trip to South America as mate on a merchant 
ship, and had fallen in love with the beauty of the country. 
Some years later he returned, secured a large grant of land 
from the governor, and was soon the owner of many slaves 
and a prosperous plantation. 29 

At the second meeting it was decided to engage permanent 
quarters at the New Court, Middle Temple, and an organi- 
zation was formed called "The Theosophical Society, insti- 
tuted for the purpose of promoting the Heavenly Doctrines 
of the New Jerusalem, by translating and publishing the 
Theological Writings of the Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg." 
(This was not the first venture of this sort, however, for the 
year before some of the members of the Manchester group 
had founded the Manchester Printing Society for the same 
purpose.) The new Society at once launched its program 
of propaganda by regular weekly meetings, and by issuing 
an Address to the Christian World at Large, but especially 
to the Clergy, calling attention to the doctrines. Its mem- 
bers attended church on Sundays at Mr. Duche's orphan 
asylum, where he was preaching the "Heavenly Doctrines," 
and on Sunday evening met informally at his house for dis- 
cussion and social amenities. The name chosen, "Theo- 
sophical" Society, was doubtless derived from Swedenborg's 
use of the word, as in A Theosophical Lucubration on the 
Nature of Influx, but was changed in 1785 to The British 
Society for the Propagation of the Doctrines of the New 
Church, with an annual fee of six pounds, a fairly large sum 
for those days. Another method of spreading the doctrines, 
open-air preaching, was undertaken by Joseph Salmon and 
Ralph Mather, near London, Salisbury, and Bristol, and re- 


suited in the formation of small societies of readers. Many 
of the new converts were Methodists and Baptists who 
brought with them their evangelical viewpoint and methods, 
and materially affected the form the new religion was des- 
tined to take. 80 

The first systematic attack on the doctrines of the New 
Church in England was made by the Rev. Cornelius Bayley, 
of St. James, Manchester, being provoked no doubt by the 
Rev. John Clowes' recently published Affectionate Address 
to the clergy of the United Kingdom on the Theological 
Writings of Emaimel Swedenborg. But the most serious 
trouble came from the Methodists. Wesley had apparently, 
from statements in his journal, been favorably impressed 
with Swedenborg's writings at first, but had later come to 
believe the story circulated by the Rev. Aaron Mathesius to 
the effect that Swedenborg was insane. Also he had become 
distinctly annoyed by the conversion of six of his own min- 
isters to the new doctrines, one of these being the Rev. James 
Hindmarsh (father of the zealous young Robert), who in- 
troduced them to his colleague, the Rev. Isaac Hawkins. 
When the latter began to hold meetings in his house for 
the study of Swedenborg he was promptly expelled by Wes- 
ley. Shortly thereafter there appeared in the Arminian 
Magazine in 1781, a series of stories purporting to be anec- 
dotes of Swedenborg's life which proved him to have been 
insane. The chief source of information was Mathesius, who 
stated on the evidence of Swedenborg's former landlord, 
Brockmer, that in 1744. he had had a violent attack of in- 
sanity during which he had removed his clothing and rolled 
in the mud of the street. This absurd story was thoroughly 
investigated in 1791 by Robert Beatson, and the evidence 
of its complete falsity published, but for ten years it had en- 
joyed a wide circulation, especially among the Methodists, 
and indeed, its ghost has never been entirely laid.* 1 

In 1787 there arose the first serious issue among the dis- 
ciples of Swedenborg, that of separation from the "old 
churches." Some of the members of the London Society 
began to discuss plans for securing a place of worship, and 


the Rev. John Clowes came down from Manchester to dis- 
suade them from this rash act. From that time on the con- 
troversy between the Separatists and the Non-Separatists 
raged for many years. Clowes maintained that the New 
Church was to come as a rebirth of spirituality in the old 
churches as a result of the new doctrines. For sixty-two 
years this remarkable man, whom DeQuincey called "the 
holiest of men whom it has been my lot to meet," preached 
the doctrines of Swedenborg from the pulpit of St. John's, 
Manchester. When accused of heresy he was defended by 
his bishop, Dr. Beilby Porteus, a man of unusually liberal 
views. Not only did he preach New Church doctrines, but 
also was active in organizing societies for their study all over 
his large parish. The Whitefield Society established in 1 784 
the first Sunday School teaching the new doctrines. His 
most important work was the translation of the greater part 
of the theological writings, eighteen years being spent on 
the Arcma alone, and the writing of a large number of col- 
lateral works which have been of great influence in molding 
the theological thought of the New Church. He refused a 
bishopric offered him by William Pitt in order to devote all 
his time to his work for the New Church. 82 

The leader of the Separatists was young Robert Hind- 
marsh, who was already showing his ability as a leader. 
Though only twenty-five he was the owner of a successful 
printing business, and had been honored by an appointment 
as Printer Extraordinary to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. 
He took a distinctly separatist view of the nature and func- 
tion of the New Church, and in 1787 his Society declared in 
its constitution that "introduction into the New Church is 
solely through the spiritual correspondent, Baptism, per- 
formed in that church,*' and that "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 correspondent." The 
first meeting held for worship was at the house of Thomas 
Wright, 6 Poultry Road, on July 3ist. James Hindmarsh 
was chosen by lot to officiate, and administered the sacrament 


to seven, and baptized five into the New Church, his son 
being the first. (The communion cup used on this historic 
occasion is still in use by the Argyle Square Society.) On 
the same day a Dissenter's License was procured, the die 
was now cast, and the New Jerusalem, whether for better 
or for worse, appeared upon the earth in the form of a dis- 
senting sect. 83 

In November the new church body took possession of a 
rented chapel in Great East Cheap, a small building at the 
end of a narrow court which bore on its front the motto: 
"Now it is allowable" (the rest of the quotation being, "to 
enter by reason into the mysteries of faith"). A liturgy was 
devised and printed by Hindmarsh, called, The Order of 
Worship -for the New Church) signified by the New Jeru- 
salem m the Revelation, being a simplified and suitably 
adapted form based on that of the Established Church. The 
opening service took place on January iyth of the following 
year, the sermon being preached by James Hindmarsh. The 
need for an ordained ministry was now obvious, and in June 
the first ordination service was held. Twelve members were 
chosen by lot to lay their hands upon the candidates, James 
Hindmarsh and Samuel Smith, both former Methodist min- 
isters. (All subsequent ordinations in the English New 
Church have been derived through James Hindmarsh.) M 

Naturally these proceedings aroused a strong protest from 
the non-separatists. A formal letter of remonstrance from 
Clowes and his associates was answered by Hindmarsh in a 
letter signed by seventy-four members of the Society and 
later published as Reasons for Separating -from the Old 
Church. (Among the signatures appear the names of 
Charles B. Wadstrom and Benedict Chastanier.) The two 
controversial issues, Separatism, and its corollary, Re-Bap- 
tism, were now discussed continuously in the Magazine of 
Knowledge, and the New Jerusalem Journal, the first two 
English New Church periodicals. 35 It is clear that though 
the non-separatists had the logic of the Doctrines on their 
side, the separatists had a more potent ally in the logic of 
events. For not only were the majority of the new con- 


verts "come-outers" by temperament, being members of the 
dissenting sects, but also by necessity. The Methodists and 
Baptists were not strong enough to risk the attitude of in- 
different toleration which the Established Church could well 
afford to indulge in, and their heretical members met with 
short shrift. The ministers of these denominations who pro- 
fessed a belief in the teachings of Swedenborg were not so 
fortunate as the Rev. John Clowes, but faced the inevitable 
loss of their means of livelihood. It is no wonder that hav- 
ing sacrificed so much for the new faith, their fervor should 
have taken the form of a narrow and intense sectarianism. 
If the majority of the first converts had been members of 
the Church of England, there is no doubt that the history 
of the New Church would have assumed a very different 

By 1789 the New Church had grown sufficiently to hold 
a General Conference with about eighty members present 
from various places in England and Sweden, and even from 
as far as Jamaica. This Conference was held in the Great 
East Cheap Chapel from April I3th to I7th. Thirty resolu- 
tions setting forth the beliefs of the New Church were drawn 
up and signed by all present, and a committee was appointed 
to prepare a catechism for the instruction of children. At 
the Second General Conference, the following year, this cat- 
echism, prepared by Hindmarsh, and a book of Hymns and 
Spiritual Songs -for the use of the Lord's New Church, by the 
Rev. Joseph Proud, a newly converted Baptist minister, were 
accepted. An affirmative vote was given on the desirability 
of a fixed form of prayer, there being still a strong Anglican 
sentiment in the group, and the Order of Worship was re- 
vised. Two new ministers were ordained, the Rev. Francis 
Leicester, a convert from the Established Church, and Mr. 
Robert Jackson of Jamaica. The Third General Confer- 
ence voted favorably on the question of the use of ecclesiasti- 
cal vestments, and adopted a form of consecration for tem- 
ples. An extremely important decision was made that the 
clergy and the laity should have equal voting power in the 
Conference. 86 


In the meantime an unfortunate disturbance had arisen in 
the Great East Cheap Society, the records of which were torn 
bodily out of the minute book, but fortunately an account of 
the matter has been preserved elsewhere. The Rev. Ma- 
noah Sibley said in an address in 1839: "I am here under the 
necessity of stating, however reluctantly, that in the year 
1789 a very sorrowful occurrence befell the infant New 
Church, whereby the floodgates of immorality were in dan- 
ger of being thrown open, to her inevitable destruction. The 
Church held many solemn meetings on the occasion, which 
ended in her withdrawing herself from six of her members." 
(Among whom were Henry Servante, founder of the first 
New Jerusalem Magazine, Charles B. Wadstrom, Augustus 
Nordenskjold, and Robert Hindmarsh, the founder of the 
Society himself! Their suspension was only temporary how- 
ever.) The mystery is elucidated by another member of the 
Society, who wrote many years afterwards: "It was a per- 
verted view of Swedenborg's doctrine of concubinage in his 
work on Conjugial Love, then just published j whereby some 
held that if a husband and wife did not agree, they might 
separate, and the man take a concubine j I forget whether 
or not the wife was to have the same privilege. ... I do 
not recollect any case where the notion was acted on. Mr. 
Hindmarsh certainly did not; nor do I believe that either of 
the other five persons you name did." A further elucidation 
of this strange affair appeared in a book called The Form of 
Organization m the New Jerusalem, by Augustus Norden- 
skjold, a little work written in Swedish and published in 
Copenhagen. It contains the provision that the members of 
the New Church are to be permitted to have mistresses and 
concubines in accordance with the conditions mentioned in the 
second part of Confagial Love, but strictly according to 
order: "No one is permitted to live thus in our Church who 
does not report it to the Bishop or the Marriage Priest. 
These are to examine according to Swedenborg's rules, De 
Fornicatione et Concubinatu, if his case is truly such as he 
presents it. After this he is to receive their written permis- 
sion, in which the conditions are to be carefully stated, and 


he may then live with his mistress or concubine." 37 This 
was a bit too advanced for British "middle class morality," 
as it has proved to be many times since. 

A serious difficulty had also arisen in the- Manchester So- 
ciety, which resulted in schism. In 1791 some of the mem- 
bers of Clowes' congregation, in spite of his earnest plead- 
ings, decided to separate from the Established Church and 
build their own house of worship. The prime mover in this 
enterprise was the Rev. William Cowherd, Clowes' own 
curate, who developed a peculiar type of Swedenborgianism 
of his own, including vegetarianism and total abstinence, 
These he enforced with great strictness, to the injury of the 
health of his flock (according to Robert Hindmarsh). This 
heretical sect called themselves Bible Christians, and ulti- 
mately severed all connection with the New Church. Cow- 
herd "suffered the full penalty of his delusion in the fifty- 
fourth year of his age," and his tomb bears the following 
pathetic inscription, written by himself: "All feared, none 
loved, and few understood." His followers, however, car- 
ried on enthusiastically. They published a defense of theii 
teachings in which they quoted Shearsmith, Swedenborg'j 
last landlord, as saying that the Seer was a total abstainei 
from animal food and alcoholic beverages. Hindmarsh in- 
vestigated this statement and found that what Shearsmitf 
had really said was that Swedenborg suffered from a weak 
stomach in his last years, ate meat seldom, and never dranfe 
more than two glasses of wine. 88 

At the Fourth General Conference, in 1792, there was 2 
sharp reaction against the democratic spirit of the year before 
which had given the laity equal power with the clergy, anc 
a minority group, led by Hindmarsh, brought in a proposa 
for an episcopal form of government. This was forcibly 
voted down, and the minority withdrew from the Confer 
ence. Soon afterwards the Great East Cheap Society spli 
on the same issue, the majority seceded and formed a ne^ 
society under the Rev. Manoah Sibley, leaving Hindmarsl 
with six faithful friends to carry on alone. By the following 
year the schism was complete, and two Fifth General Con 


ferences were held, one in Birmingham, composed by the 
majority, or democratic group, and the other in Great East 
Cheap. The Birmingham Conference reaffirmed their be- 
lief in the principle of democracy, and declared re-baptism 
to be unnecessary, while the other group stood just as firmly 
on their belief in an episcopal form. This was the end of 
peace and unity in the English New Church for many years, 
and no more Conferences were held until 1 807. The Rev. 
John Clowes described its desolate state thus: "For a time at 
least, the dissemination of the Doctrines is suspended." 
Even the chapel in Great East Cheap, which has been justly 
called "the mother of churches in the New Jerusalem," had 
to be given up, the slim remains of the brave little Society 
continuing to meet at each other's homes until 1796, when 
the group dissolved altogether. 80 

Other causes of dissension had also arisen, animal mag- 
netism and spiritualism. As early as 1784 John Augustus 
Tulfc, in a letter to James Glen, mentions the fact that "sev- 
eral persons in Manchester are having open communication 
with the spiritual world and receive ocular and auricular 
proofs of the statements of Swedenborg." Count Grabianfca 
had evidently succeeded in arousing a good deal of interest 
in magnetism in the London group, for the periodicals of this 
time contain numerous articles on the subject. A Handbook 
of Mesmerism, for the Guidance and Instruction of all 'per- 
sons who desire to 'produce Mesmerism for the Cure of Dis- 
ease, was published by a member of the Argyle Square So- 
ciety. But Manchester seems to have been the center of the 
interest in spiritualism. The Rev. John Clowes himself, in 
spite of Swedenborg's warnings, cultivated the society of 
angels, by whom he said some of his works were dictated. 
He had been led to the writings of Swedenborg in the begin- 
ning by a vision in which the words "Divinum Humanum" 
had appeared to him in letters of light. In 18x7 James 
Johnston, an ignorant workingman, member of the Salford 
Society, near Manchester, began to have remarkable visions, 
and received a divine commission to establish some sort of 
new order in the Church. He even succeeded in winning a 


few disciples. His Diary Spiritual and Earthly, reveals the 
amazing workings of a diseased imagination. An anonymous 
publication, Letters to a Friend in reply to observations re- 
specting the possibility of man having intercourse or com- 
munication with angels and spirits, by a Layman, appeared 
in Manchester in 1829, a further testimony to this interest 
among New Churchmen at this early date. 40 

The Manchester New Churchmen were not only radical 
in practices, but also in beliefs. In 1799 the Manchester 
Society denied the divine authority of the writings of Swe- 
denborg, thereby starting a controversy which has never 
ceased to the present day. The Rev. Francis Leicester, in a 
new periodical, the Aurora, or Dawn of Genuine Truth, de- 
fended the orthodox belief: "We receive his Writings upon 
no other ground than his being instructed to write them by 
the Lord Himself." The Aurora also took the "distinctive 
New Church view" of education, strenuously preaching the 
necessity for New Church schools for the purpose of pro- 
tecting the children from the evils of "old church" influ- 
ences. This propaganda finally resulted in the establishment 
of several New Church day schools. An article on External 
Worship and the Priesthood of the New Church^ adum- 
brated issues which later became crucial. Behind this move- 
ment toward greater distinctiveness, both in doctrine and 
practice, stood Hindmarsh and his followers, while at the 
opposite extreme of non-sectarianism and catholicity, stood 
the Manchester liberals. Thus we find these two great di- 
visions, which were carried over into the American New 
Church, clearly outlined in the first decade of the Church. 
In 1807 the schism was healed, and a General Conference 
met in the York St. Chapel, in St. James's Square. The prin- 
ciples of New Church baptism, New Church education, and 
separation from the old church were strongly affirmed, but 
resolutions were adopted the following year pleading for 
friendly relations and cooperation with the non-separatists 
and for a time the spirit of charity prevailed. 41 

It only remains now to speak of the missionary activities 
of the English New Church, by means of which the New 


Church in America was brought into existence. From the 
first the Great East Cheap Society showed a zealous mission- 
ary spirit. The societies at Salisbury, Bristol, Derby, Bir- 
mingham, and other places, were the immediate results. 
When Benedict Chastanier returned to his native land he 
became an active missionary in the French New Church, But 
it is the work in the New World which is our present inter- 
est. At the Second General Conference in 1790 Robert 
Jackson was ordained, after which he returned to his home 
in Jamaica with high hopes of converting the negro slaves. 
But in a letter to Hindmarsh the following year he expresses 
his deep disappointment in the lack of receptivity of the 
Africans, and his strong feeling that any immediate emanci- 
pation would be a mistake. That same year another mem- 
ber, Dr. Joseph Russell, moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and 
soon reported the establishment of a New Church Society, 
separated from the Church of England, and using the Lon- 
don Liturgy/ 2 But the first missionary venture, both in 
point of time and importance, was that of James Glen to the 
United States in 1784, of which we shall hear considerably 
more later. The New Church in England has continued to 
grow more or less continuously until it numbers at the pres- 
ent time about the same as its daughter church in America. 



The beginning of the New Church in the New World was 
the arrival of James Glen in Philadelphia in the early sum- 
mer of 1784. He came a self-appointed apostle of the new 
religion, filled with the missionary fervor of the Great East 
Cheap Society of which he was a pioneer member. He 
would doubtless have been surprised to know that he was 
traversing territory over which Swedenborg's father had 
presided as non-resident bishop over the Swedish settlers of 
Pennsylvania. Had he visited the Old Swedes' Church in 
Wilmington, Delaware, he would have found there pastoral 
letters from Bishop Swedberg. 1 He probably knew nothing 
of the people to whom he was bringing the new gospel, 
and certainly could have had no conception of the difficulties 
it was destined to encounter. But conditions were not en- 
tirely unfavorable to his mission. The pioneer spirit which 
had brought its settlers to the New World entered also into 
their religious life. Far less bound by traditions of ortho- 
doxy than the people of the Old World, they were open to 
all sorts of new ideas, and the religious history of America 
has, in consequence, been a strange welter of strange faiths. 
In comparison with many of these cults and sects the doc- 
trines of the New Church seem ultra-conservative, though 
to the members of the well-established older churches no 
doubt they seemed radical enough. 

The method of propaganda chosen by James Glen was 
typical of the intellectual character of the new religion, and 
one calculated to attract only the educated classes. He in- 
serted in the Pennsylvania Gazette of June 2, 1784, the fol- 
lowing remarkable advertisement: 




"A Discourse on the extraordinary SCIENCE of Ce- 
lestial and Terrestrial Connections and Correspond- 
ences, recently revived by the late honorable and 
learned Emanuel Swedenborg, will be delivered by 
Mr. James Glen, an humble Pupil and Follower of 
the said Swedenborg's, at 8 o'clock on the evening of 
Saturday the 5th of June 1784, at Sell's Book-Store, 
near St. Paul's Church, in Third St. Philadelphia." 2 

Among those attracted by this notice were Francis Bailey, 
John Young, and James Vickroy, all of whom became im- 
portant leaders in the new religion. Glen delivered another 
lecture, and then departed for Boston, where he lectured at 
the Green Dragon Tavern. Here he made two converts of 
whom we shall hear later. 8 After a brief tour through parts 
of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky, Glen returned to 
his home in Demerara.* Here he organized a small society 
among the neighboring planters which was in existence up to 
1 840. The New Church is now represented in Glen's home- 
land only by a mission founded in 1900 by a colored min- 
ister sent out by the American New Church, a return for 
that "bread of life" which he had so generously cast upon 
the waters of the New World. The latter days of "the 
Torchbearer of the New Church to the New World" were 
sad indeed. It is recorded that "the charity which existed 
in his heart did not allow him to treat the poor slaves as 
other men did," and his once prosperous estate went to ruin. 
He died in poverty in a native hut on the plantation of one 
of his neighbors. 5 


After the departure of James Glen a box of books, sent by 
Robert Hindmarsh from London, arrived in Philadelphia. 
These books, English editions of some of the works of Swe- 
denborg, were sold at auction, and soon a reading circle of 


enthusiastic converts was meeting regularly at the home of 
Francis Bailey. 6 This little group became the center from 
which the new religion spread far and wide, southward into 
Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia, and westward beyond 
the Alleghenies. The leader was Francis Bailey, the most 
active of Swedenborg's first American disciples in the spread 
of the doctrines. Bailey was of French and Irish descent, 
his grandfather being a Huguenot who took refuge in Ireland 
after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The family 
later emigrated to Lancaster, Pa., where Bailey grew up on 
the family farm. He learned printing from Peter Miller, 
owner of the famous Ephrata Press on which the Declaration 
of Independence and the Continental money were printed. 7 
At the time of Glen's mission Bailey was about forty years 
of age, an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and a successful 
man of affairs. He was Printer to the State of Pennsylvania, 
editor and publisher of the Freeman's Journal, and a close 
friend of his fellow-printer, Benjamin Franklin, on whose 
will his name appears as a witness. From the diary of 
George Washington we learn that he made an invention to 
prevent the counterfeiting of bills and notes. 8 In 1787 
Bailey undertook the ambitious project of publishing the 
works of Swedenborg as the best method of spreading the 
doctrines, beginning with John Clowes' A Summary View 
of the Heavenly Doctrines distributed gratuitously as a sort 
of introduction. Two years later, with a subscription list 
of fifty, among whom were Benjamin FrankHn and Robert 
Morris, he brought out the first volume of The True Chris- 
tian Religion. As the subscriptions were not enough to cover 
the cost of the edition, Bailey assumed the entire deficit, and 
issued the thousand volumes at his own expense. 9 In a letter 
to his friend Robert Carter Bailey says that his enthusiasm 
for the new religion resulted in the loss of many of his 
friends, and in 1800 he gave up his once prosperous business 
and retired to his farm in Lancaster. 10 

The second important convert, John Young, was a young 
lawyer of twenty-two, just beginning to show the ability 
which won for him a successful career as Presiding Judge of 


Western Pennsylvania for many years. He was born in 
Glasgow, but had studied law in Edinburgh with the father 
of Sir Walter Scott. He was one of five children, "all sedu- 
lously and precisely instructed in the Solifidian dogmas of 
the antiburgher school," after which stern training the 
teachings of Swedenborg no doubt seemed "Heavenly Doc- 
trine" indeed. In 1790 he moved to Greensburg where 
he lived the rest of his life, and became very active in the 
dissemination of the doctrines west of the Alleghenies. 
Later he became the hero of the first New Church romance, 
the heroine being Maria Barclay, an orphan living under 
Francis Bailey's hospitable roof. As there was no ordained 
New Church ministry as yet, the young couple were mar- 
ried by the Rev. Nicholas Collin of the Old Swedes' Church, 
who had known Swedenborg when a student at the Univer- 
sity of Upsala. The bride's sister, Hetty Barclay, has the 
distinction of being the first real New Churchwoman in the 
world. She was one of the first subscribers to Robert Hind- 
marsh's new Magassfa* of Knowledge in 1790, and was the 
founder of the reading circle in Bedford, Pa., which became 
the first Society beyond the Alleghenies. The third con- 
vert, Thomas Vickroy, was sent in 1790 to survey the site 
of the present city of Pittsburgh, and he too was active in 
propaganda in the western part of the state. 11 

Probably the first volume of Swedenborg to come to the 
New World was a copy of one of the Amsterdam editions 
brought over in 1746 by "Old Parson Schlatter" (the Rev. 
Michael Schlatter), a Swiss Presbyterian sent out by the 
Dutch Synods to organize the German Reformed Churches 
of Pennsylvania. This must have been one of the scientific 
works, as Swedenborg did not publish his first theological 
work until 1749. I' was use d by the Parson as a text-book 
for teaching his boys Latin. 12 Half a century later William 
Schlatter, a grandson of Parson Schlatter, became one of the 
pillars of the New Church in Philadelphia. 

By 1808 Bailey's group had increased to about twenty, 
and was holding regular meetings in the schoolroom of 
Johnston Taylor. 18 Among them were two Germans, Dan- 


iel Thuun and Bailey's son-in-law, Frederick Eckstein, a 
sculptor, son of the court sculptor of Frederick the Great. 
(Eckstein later became the teacher of Hiram Powers, him- 
self a New Churchman.) 14 But the majority of the group 
were of Huguenot descent. Among these was Philip 
Freneau, one of our earliest poets, well-known for his stir- 
ring Revolutionary ballads. An edition of his poems was 
published in 1786 by Francis Bailey with whom he was asso- 
ciated in the United States Magazine of which he was editor 
and Bailey publisher. Later Freneau served as a translator 
in the State Department under Jefferson, and became the 
editor of the National Gazette. Daniel Lammot, another 
member of the group, was the grandson of Jean Henri de la 
Motte, and the father of Margaretta Lammot DuPont, 
whose husband, Alfred, was the son of Irenee DuPont, mem- 
ber of the National Guard and friend of Lafayette. A por- 
trait painted by Sully shows Daniel Lammot as a young 
man, dark and handsome. Later in life he moved to Wil- 
mington, Delaware, and became the founder of the New 
Church there. 16 Other prominent Huguenots in the group 
were Jonathan Condy, of the famous house of Conde, an 
eminent lawyer who had served as Clerk of the House of 
Representatives during and after the Revolution, and his 
nephew, Condy Raguet, later member of the State Legis- 
lature, Charge d' Affaires in Brazil, president of the Atlantic 
Insurance Co. and the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, 
and editor of several journals. 17 

By 1 8 1 6 the society had grown into a church, and on June 
the sixth of that year they laid the cornerstone of their new 
Temple, the entire cost of which was defrayed by William 
Schlatter, 18 grandson of the "Old Parson." This William 
Schlatter was one of the most interesting personalities in 
the early New Church, and he has left us much valuable 
information in his "letter-book" in which he kept copies of 
all his correspondence relating to the New Church from 
1814 to 1825. He writes of himself thus: "All the kings 
and presidents may enjoy their dignities for me, if I can only 
be the Lord's merchant. If I have found the pearls of 


great price and am now trading in them, what cause of joy 
to myself and friends." He established a small book store 
for the double purpose of dispensing the works of Sweden- 
borg and of giving his friend Daniel Thuun a job. He con- 
ceived the brilliant idea of sending out books gratis in bales 
of cloth to his customers all over the country, and even to 
India, and to the Emperor of Hayti. But "the Lord's mer- 
chant," like his predecessor, Francis Bailey, fell upon evil 
days. In a letter to the Rev. John Clowes of Manchester, 
England, dated January, 1819, he tells of how he had pub- 
lished about seven thousand books and sermons, most of 
which he had distributed gratis, but that "owing to the late 
war with Great Britain and my particular branch of business 
(cloth merchant), my affairs became embarrassed." His 
creditors allowed him the time to meet his debts and wind 
up his business honorably, but he was never able to restore 
his fallen fortunes. He says that in 1814 he had been 
worth $200,000, but that he feels compensated for the loss 
of his money by the thought of the New Church literature 
he has circulated. In 1824 he spent five months in Wash- 
ington on government business concerning the ever-trouble- 
some tariff, and shortly afterwards retired to his farm near 
Philadelphia to end his days. 19 

While the New Church was developing in Philadelphia 
it was also taking root in other parts of the state. In 1786 
the doctrines were introduced among the Germans of Lan- 
caster by William Reichenbach of Saxony. He came to 
Lancaster as professor of mathematics and German liter- 
ature in Franklin College, and became a person of consider- 
able influence among the educated Germans of that section. 
After 1790 a number of Philadelphia New Church families 
moved to Lancaster, including the Baileys, the Barbers, and 
the Ecksteins, and from 1796 to 1799 Baron Heinrich von 
Bttlow, brother of General von Billow, and an ardent New 
Churchman resided there and was active in spreading the 
doctrines. In 1836 a small chapel was built, the congrega- 
tion being composed of former Lutherans and Catholics. 80 
There was also a small society at Germantown, founded by 


the Rev. Ralph Mather of Liverpool in I792. 21 A group of 
Free-will Baptists with their minister came over into the 
New Church in 1820, and formed what is now the Frank- 
ford Society. They were allowed to retain their form of 
baptism by immersion. 22 

The New Church in Philadelphia was considerably an- 
noyed by the arrival in 1817 of a group of forty-one "Bible 
Christians" from Salford, near Manchester, under the lead- 
ership of the Rev. William Metcalfe, successor to the Rev. 
William Cowherd, the Rev. John Clowes' heretical curate. 
Cowherd, as we have seen, had added vegetarianism and 
total abstinence to the teachings of Swedenborg, and had 
been the cause of the first schism in the English New 
Church. After his death in 1816, his followers determined 
to emigrate to America. 23 The attitude of the Philadelphia 
Society toward these unorthodox newcomers is expressed by 
William Schlatter: "We totally disapprove of his notion of 
abstaining from meat and wines as having anything to do 
with the doctrines or religion of the New Church." 2 * But 
the new sect prospered even without the approval of the 
orthodox. By 1823 they had built a church. They be- 
lieved that the Bible contained hidden truths still undis- 
covered, and by no means confined themselves to the inter- 
pretations of Swedenborg, though they accepted his teaching 
concerning the Lord, Divine Providence, Freedom of Will, 
and the Future Life. Mr. Metcalfe earned his living by 
teaching school, and devoted his spare time to journalism. 
In 1820 he began to publish a series of tracts called Letters 
on Religious Subjects, most of them written by Mr. Cow- 
herd, to expound his special doctrines of vegetarianism and 
total abstinence. Among these was one called, The Duty of 
Abstinence from all Intoxicating Drinks (according to the 
Bible Christians, the first of its kind in America), and an- 
other, Abstinence from the Flesh of Animals, in 1821. He 
also began an active propaganda in the Saturday Evening 
Post, The Philadelphia Gazette, The American Sentinel, 
the United States Gazette, and other papers. For ten years 
he labored with no apparent results, but in 1830 he was 


joined by Dr. Sylvester Graham, a temperance lecturer, and 
later by Dr. William A. Alcott, editor of the Moral Re- 
former, and the Library of Health. One of Metcalf e's ser- 
mons, Bible Testimony on Abstinence from the Flesh of 
Animals, was published and had a wide circulation. In 1832 
he gave up teaching for journalism. His weekly newspaper, 
the Independent Democrat, was largely political, but later 
he also published the Temperance Advocate. He then took 
up the study of medicine, graduating as a homeopathic phy- 
sician in 1852. In 1850 the American Vegetarian Conven- 
tion was founded, with Metcalf e as president, and in 1851 
he became editor of the American Vegetarian and Health 
Jownd?* The Bible Christians also were active propa- 
gandists for the abolishment of war, capital punishment, and 
slavery. In the history of Swedenborgianism it has gen- 
erally been the less orthodox and more radical followers 
that have had an intense interest in social reform. 

In 1822 a young Episcopalian minister, the Rev. Man- 
ning B. Roche, abandoned his own church for the new doc- 
trines. The scene of his farewell to his congregation is a 
dramatic one. "There was a general consternation. The 
whole congregation, by whom he is greatly beloved, melted 
into tears. 'Painful indeed it is for me thus to speak,' he 
said, 'painful, not to leave a corrupt church, but to leave 
you, to whom I have been, and still am, united in a most 
sincere affection. Never, may I say, did I feel a deeper sor- 
row, than I feel this day. Never did I come to make a 
greater sacrifice. All my former labors of body or of mind 
were nothing to this ! But it is unavoidable. I cannot preach 
contrary to my conscience! I go then, and I know not 
where! I go to endure the frowns of men, and perhaps 
poverty and distress. I go, but I trust, yea, I know, Jesus 
will go with me, and will open to me some door of useful 
labour.' " 20 This must have been the state of mind of many 
clergymen of other denominations who gave up assured in- 
comes and social position for the Weakly uncertain prospects 
of the struggling little new sect, Mr. Roche at once went 
to work to found a new Society in the Southwark section 


with a hundred and fifty members, and known as the Sec- 
ond New Jerusalem Church of Philadelphia. 27 

There was considerable connection between the Quakers 
and the Swedenborgians in Philadelphia, and many Quakers 
in time became members of the New Church. Schlatter 
wrote in 1817: "There has been a celebrated Quaker 
preacher of the name of Elias Hicks preaching in our city 
within the last ten days and created great interest among 
all classes of religious persons. He preached the doctrines 
of the New Church, particularly on the doctrines of the 
Lord, and Love and Charity. He denied the resurrection 
of the natural body and hooted at the idea of predestination 
and universal restoration. Thus you see we are getting 
help from without the camp." He also writes in 1824: "I 
note what you say about Mr. Roche and the New Light 
Quaker woman who preaches for him and he for them. 
It is true, I am sorry to say, and he thinks now there is no 
use reading Emanuel Swedenborg, and that the influx, or 
some sort of light, will come to those who preach without 
searching. This is real Quakerism and so let them go to- 
gether." 28 The Rev. Mr. Roche developed other radical 
tendencies, and became a disciple of Robert Owen, the Eng- 
lish Socialist. Schlatter informs us that "Mr. Roche you 
know likes something new. He is all alive to Mr. Owen's 
plan for a community composed of New Church people. 
He has almost persuaded nearly all his congregation to go, 
and many of the Frankford Society. They are all to work 
hard and live in common, and I fear it will be common 
enough. It sounds well on paper, but I doubt much if the 
members of the New Church are prepared for the state of 
things." And in another letter: "New Churchmen are not 
fully regenerated, neither are they mules. . . . We may be 
much reduced, but we are Americans and not prepared 
to herd together like the poor manufacturers of England 
and Scotland, and I for one, will take my chance to bustle 
with the world to get a living, and think I can perform more 
uses in that situation than by secluding myself. . . . We 
must mix with the world, how else can the Lord regenerate 


us? We must come into states of trial and temptation." 20 
There is no record of Mr. Roche's venture in the list of 
Owenite communities, so it is a fair inference that the project 
fell through. Mr. Roche, after twenty years of successful 
ministry in the Southwark Society, became a dipsomaniac, and 
fell into a serious illness. When he recovered he had for- 
gotten everything concerning the New Church, had no 
further interest in religion, and became a physician. 80 

By 1824 the First Society was in a state of complete col- 
lapse, due to the financial troubles of its principal members 
in the period of depression following the War of 1 8 1 2. The 
fine new Temple built by William Schlatter only eight 
years before had to be given up. In 1826, however, the 
little group was strengthened by the conversion of a prom- 
inent Quaker physician, Dr. Edwin Atlee, who preached 
the doctrines of the New Church in the City Commissioner's 
Hall, and made a few converts. The following year the 
Society began to hold regular services again in the school- 
room of their leader, the Rev. Maskell Carll, and the faith- 
ful remnant of six or seven was soon increased to sixty or 
seventy. 81 Though the Philadelphia Society never wholly 
recovered its position of leadership in the American New 
Church it is one of the strongest single societies in the Church 


The story of the New Church in the South is a story of 
individuals rather than of groups, due to the great distances 
existing between plantations and towns. There is some 
doubt as to who was actually the first reader of Swedenborg 
among the landed aristocracy of Virginia, but perhaps that 
is a question of minor importance. It is an important fact, 
however, that there were readers of Swedenborg in Virginia 
some years before James Glen delivered his memorable lec- 
tures in Philadelphia. The libraries on the great planta- 
tions were made up of books imported from Europe, and it 
is not altogether surprising that a copy or two of Sweden- 
borg's Latin editions were found among them. It is stated 


that Robert Carter's library at Nomony Hall contained over 
fourteen hundred and fifty volumes of French and English 
classics. 32 At any rate it is known that Lord Thomas Fair- 
fax, Baron of Cameron, who had come to America in 1746 
to take charge of the five-million-acre estate left him by his 
grandfather, Lord Culpeper, owned a copy of Sweden- 
berg's Principa, and some of the theological works in the 
original Latin editions. He continued to attend the Epis- 
copal Church, however, and raised his children in it, but 
his son, the second Thomas Fairfax, was a devout Sweden- 
borgian. He freed his slaves, after having them trained to 
earn their living in various trades. Another son, the Rev. 
Bryan Fairfax of Christ Church, Alexandria, though an 
Episcopal minister, was deeply interested in Swedenborg. 
His sons, Thomas and Ferdinand, were both New Church- 
men, the latter being the founder of the Society in Wash- 
ington, D. C 88 Other early New Churchmen in Virginia 
were Arthur and William Campbell, of Abingdon. Col. 
Arthur Campbell is said to have been introduced to the doc- 
trines by a British officer during the Revolution, though 
there is another story to the effect that he received them in 
a bale of goods from William Schlatter. 8 * There was also 
Dr. John Cabell of Lynchburg, who is described as "a man 
of considerable property and standing in society, and very 
zealous in the cause." 85 The Rev. Hugh White, M.A., a 
minister of the Church of Scotland in Charlottesville was 
converted to the doctrines, and in 1817 published a religio- 
philosophical tract of great interest, called, Cosmogenia, con- 
taining an Illustration that Gravitation and Projectile Force, 
considered as abstract Powers, are insufficient to preserve 
Solor Systems in Existence; that this world was not made 
out of nothmgy ivor of the Eternal and Imaginary atoms of 
Epicurus; that Nature or Matter originated of Spirit, etc. 
This was the first attempt to apply New Church principles 
to scientific subjects. 88 

But the most interesting of these early Virginia New 
Churchmen was Col. Robert Carter, of Nomony Hall, or 
Councillor Carter, as he is called in the documents of the time. 


He had inherited from his grandfather, the famous "King" 
Carter, an estate of sixty thousand acres, and six hundred 
slaves. Up to the age of forty-nine Robert Carter, like 
Thomas Jefferson, John Randolph, and so many of the Vir- 
ginia gentry, was a Deist. William and Mary College at 
Williamsburg where Carter had his "town house," was the 
center from which free-thinking pervaded the aristocracy. 
But during the evangelical activities of the "Great Awaken- 
ing" he came under the spell of a Baptist preacher, Lewis 
Lunsford, and was baptized by him on September 6th, 1778. 
At this time the Baptists were a persecuted sect in Virginia, 
but Carter built them a chapel, later called the Morattico 
Church, of which he was an active member for many years, 
and made his home a rendezvous for Baptist evangelists. 
But the extraordinary thing about Carter's conversion is his 
own account of it in his journal, dated September 6th, 1778. 
It is written, as was his custom, in the third person: "He, 
Robert Carter, believeth that Jesus Christ, in his State of 
Humiliation possessed a full and perfect righteousness; that 
if the Lord had not assumed human nature that a total 
Damnation was, at that time, at hand, and threatened every 
Creature, but now it is not so, f or the Lord came into the 
World, to subdue the Hells that are in us, and to glorify 
his manhood." This is neither the theology nor the phrase- 
ology of the Great Awakening, it is almost a paraphrase 
of Swedenborg's exact words in the True Christian Religion. 
These words were written by Carter before there was any 
English translation of this book, and only seven years after 
the publication of the Latin edition. There is, of course, a 
possibility that he had come across a copy of the first edition 
while on a visit to England, during which his portrait was 
painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds. As Reynolds' sight began 
to fail in 1789, Carter must have been in England at least 
'before that date. There is nothing inconsistent in his join- 
ing the Baptist Church, for there was at the time no New 
Church in the world, and he probably saw in the evangelistic 

r\( thp Or^flt Awflkpnino- an 


itually regenerated Christianity which Swedenborg called 
the New Jerusalem. 87 

In 1790 a neighbor lent Carter a copy of the Treatise on 
Influx which had been sent to him by a New Church friend 
in Baltimore. Now for the first time Carter learned of the 
existence of the New Church. He wrote at once to Francis 
Bailey, to order his edition of the True Christian Religion, 
and a friendly correspondence sprung up between the two 
enthusiasts. He then got in touch with the members of the 
Baltimore Society which was just being established in 1791, 
and ordered for them through Bailey fifty copies of the 
new English Liturgy just published the year before by 
Hindmarsh. He mentioned in a letter his plan of having 
it reprinted in America for the use of the new Society. In 
1792 he wrote to the Rev. James Wilmer, leader of the 
Baltimore group, "I hope that I feel thankful that there is 
a way opened, and not very remote of this place, that in a 
public way I may co-operate in endeavours of promoting 
the welfare and prosperity of the New Jerusalem Church." 88 
He seems at the same time, however, to have kept up his 
Baptist affiliations in Virginia. 

The second unusual feature of Col. Carter's conversion is 
the fact that under the stimulus of his new religion he began 
to free his slaves and sell his estates. In John Rippon's Bap- 
tist Annual Register, "American Letters," mention is made 
in 1791 of four hundred and forty-two slaves freed by Car- 
ter. The Baptists still considered him one of their fold. 
The entry in his own diary reads: cc On ist August, 1791, 
Robert Carter had 455 slaves, whom he emancipated, 15 
each year of those under 45, and all under 1 8 of female, and 
21 of male, when they arrived at those ages." And in a 
letter to Hargrove in 1801, he describes the matter more 
fully. "The few hints lately mentioned to you concerning 
my former meditations to propagate the theological Writings 
of Baron Emanuel Swedenborg in the County of Westmore- 
land in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a plan that at that 
time was in my power, but now not so, having dispossessed 
myself of the following property, namely, several planta- 


tions, well stocked with different animals, also sundry slaves, 
labourers, and mechanics, et cetera. When in the posses- 
sion of the property mentioned above I found liberty to 
hazard an attempt to introduce the Writings, but at present 
I have neither funds, nor strength of body to co-operate in 
the measure proposed in yours of yesterday." 39 There is 
a pathetic note of disillusionment in this letter, the cause of 
which will appear later. In the absence of any direct state- 
ment on his part as to the motive for this tremendous act 
of self-sacrifice, it is unsafe to be dogmatic, but it is never- 
theless significant that it took place thirteen years after his 
Baptist conversion, and just at the time when he was actively 
and publicly allying himself with the New Church. Since, 
however, abolition was one of the important features of the 
revivalism of this period, it may have been the Baptists who 
sowed the seed which blossomed later under the inspiration 
of Swedenborg's teaching concerning the African race, which, 
as we have seen, produced so powerful an effect on Wad- 
strom and others. And however disillusioned Carter may 
have become with the New Church, he remained a staunch 
abolitionist to the end, and was an active member of the Bal- 
timore Abolition Society. 

The early receivers in the South were mostly people of 
large estates, and a number of New Church families built 
their own chapels for family worship, but due to the isolated 
conditions, groups were slow in forming. The first Society 
was at Abingdon, founded by the Rev. Holland Weeks on 
a missionary tour in 1822. He baptized fifty or sixty per- 
sons at Abingdon alone. An account of conditions in Amer- 
ica in the New Church Repository in 1818 says: "The intel- 
ligence from the north, east, and west, is cheering beyond 
former example. Why does the South keep back?" * And 
indeed the doctrines of the New Church have never secured 
much foothold south of the Mason and Dixon Line. This 
is due very largely to the great strength of the evangelical 
churches. By 1844 there were small circles of receivers in 
Frankfort and Louisville, Ky., Nashville and Knoxville, 
Tenn-, Natchez, Miss., Charleston, S. C,, and Savannah, 


Ga./ 1 but these were sporadic efforts which soon expired. 
At the present time there are only four Societies south of 
Maryland represented in the General Convention, the work 
elsewhere being conducted by two missionary ministers. 
The South is still one of the most difficult mission fields. 


Although it was in Philadelphia that the first group of 
readers of Swedenborg was formed, it was in Baltimore that 
the first actual New Church Society in America was organ- 
ized. Their leader, the Rev. James Wilmer, a former Epis- 
copal minister, and a graduate of Christ Church College, 
Oxford, preached the first New Church sermon in the New 
World in 1792. Christian Kramer, one of the founders of 
the Society, writes to Robert Hindmarsh: "We are twenty- 
two in number, and are formed into a Society professing the 
doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church j but none of the 
rich, the great, or the noble, are amongst us. ... Our 
worst enemies 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." 42 The group decided that com- 
plete separation from the old church was necessary, and 
rented an old theater for three months in which to hold 
meetings. The following year they boldly presented a copy 
of The True Christim Religion to President Washington 
on the occasion of his visit to Baltimore. To this gift the 
President responded graciously.* 8 The Baltimore Society 
differed from the Philadelphia Society in being composed of 
people of rather moderate means, many of them being Ger- 
mans. When the question came up of a suitable liturgy for 
their services they were glad to accept Robert Carter's gen- 
erous offer to have the English Liturgy reprinted for them 
at his own expense. This first American Liturgy was 
printed by Samuel and John Adams of Baltimore at a cost 
of $600.00. It contained no changes from the English edi- 
tion, except the substitution of a prayer for the President for 


that for the King, and a special prayer "for the establishment 
of the New Church in these United States." This book be- 
came the basis of the present ritual of the Church. They also 
used the Hymn Book written by Joseph Proud for the Great 
East Cheap Society. 44 

But in spite of this propitious beginning it was not alto- 
gether plain sailing for the Baltimore Society. In a few 
years the Rev. James Wilmer, discouraged by its slow 
growth, gave up his connection with the New Church, and 
the group was left without a minister. After Robert Carter 
had impoverished himself by freeing his slaves and dispos- 
ing of his estates, he came to Baltimore to live in 1794. 
He found the little Society in a forlorn state, and undertook 
to keep the group together. He held meetings at his home, 
and administered the sacraments, but there was a great deal 
of disharmony among the members. Carter wrote to his 
friend, Arthur Campbell, that "Differences occurred, some 
members recommending animal magnetism; Baptizing In- 
fants, when neither Parents nor Persons offering the Chil- 
dren had submitted to the ordinance themselves j and the 
doctrine of universal Redemption, etc. Other members ap- 
prehend that if the notions mentioned before be counte- 
nanced, powerful reasoning would burst forth to discounte- 
nance a Separation from the Old Church." * 5 These seem 
troubles enough to wreck any society. In Carter's letters we 
have the first mention of animal magnetism in the annals of 
the New Church in America. In a letter dated July 7, 1 794, 
he says: "Your thoughts on animal magnetism forbid the 
practice of the science under a belief that magnetisers are 
not receptive of the heavenly doctrines; if they in exchange 
are aided so as to foretell future events, and do effect a 
transient removal of distresses, that their cures are not per- 
manent. . . . When animal magnetism was under consider- 
ation an operator, one of our society here, admitted that the 
power of magnetism was common to mankind; that he ap- 
prehended the wicked magnetisers would apply the science 
unprofitably, as patients were entirely divested during the 
crisis of liberty or rationality* having resigned them both to 


the operator ? y There is also a letter from one of the mag- 
netizers, Robert Holston, to Carter: "Dear Sir: I firmly be- 
lieve that sincere love to Jesus and love to one another will 
be the cord that will bind the members of the New Church 
together. ... As I would not, if I knew it, have offended 
one of the followers of the Lord, as I firmly believe you are, 
although you have said that animal electricity and mag- 
netism is of the devil, and you can have no fellowship with 
those that practice that science, and as I am of the opinion 
the discourse was directed to the import that you can have 
no fellowship with me. I love that science for the good 
that is in it, not for profit. . . . Sir, I think if you under- 
stood the good that will be produced by the science you 
would change your mind. May that love which is from 
above direct us all." 4S Thus we see that animal magnetism 
was one of the rocks upon which the Baltimore Society was 
split. Part of the members remained with Carter, and the 
rest rallied around other leaders. 

Carter now undertook to organize his remnant of nine 
members on a new and original basis, distinctly anti-clerical 
in spirit. When Robert Hindmarsh began to advocate an 
episcopacy in the English New Church Carter wrote in dis- 
gust: "Because of his advocacy of episcopacy, I have declined 
to correspond with Mr. Robert Hindmarsh, and to wait the 
Pleasure of the Lord."* 7 He had in 1790 drawn up a 
"Plan to Unite an Independent Congregation," and it was 
according to this strange document that in 1797 he organized 
his little band. It reads as follows: "We ye subscribers are 
of the opinion that ye particular Heresies countenanced by 
all ye different sects were introduced and continued by ye 
Clergy." (Therefore they would have no clergy.) <c The 
Board (of Elders) shall choose a male Subscriber, he to be 
called President of ye incorporated Congregation. . . . The 
intention of ye Subscribers is to revive ye Apostolic Plan of 
Church Government, and if we fail therein, it is intended 
that all errors may be amended in future. ... Ye Society 
propose to employ a Schoolmaster, a Musician and a Doctor 
of Physic," who was to attend the members free of charge. 


The officers were all to be paid regular salaries. Stock was 
to be sold at $100.00 a share, two shares to give one vote, 
and so on up to six votes. The Society was to deal commer- 
cially in the sale of cotton, flax and hemp. This ambitious 
project unfortunately lasted only a year, and then dropped 
to pieces leaving Robert Carter a disillusioned old man. 48 

The development of the New Church now centers around 
the person of the Rev. John Hargrove, who had been or- 
dained by Francis Asbury of the Methodist Church. He 
and his colleague, the Rev. Adam Fonerden, 49 accepted the 
new doctrines, and in 1798 published a document which 
caused considerable sensation in the stronghold of Method- 
ism. It was called: A Valedictory Address to the people 
called Methodists, and begins: "Respected and Dear Breth- 
ren: As a very important change has taken place in our senti- 
ments, respecting an article of the Christian religion, which, 
in our view, is one of the most essential, and which, if erro- 
neous, of course must have its influence upon all other doc- 
trines 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, un- 
faithfulness 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 con- 
clusion: That it is best for us peaceably and quietly to 
withdraw ourselves, and resign our membership in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. . . . 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 yott, is the doc- 
trine of the Trinity." After a long doctrinal discussion of 
the difference between Swedenborg's teaching on this sub- 
ject and that of the old church, the Valedictory ends: "Could 
we have thought it possible to have enjoyed our present 


sentiments amongst you in a latitude swtable to our stations, 
we should not thus withdraw ourselves; but as we have no 
doubt such indulgence would, on your $art y be deemed 
wholly inadmissible, 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 will be 
possible." 60 This letter is an excellent answer to the ques- 
tion of why the New Church was obliged to become a sepa- 
rate ecclesiastical institution. 

Fonerden became discouraged and relapsed into Method- 
ism, but Hargrove was made of sterner stuff. In spite of 
having eight children to support, after being thrown out of 
his teaching position by the Methodists, as well as losing 
his clerical salary, he stuck doggedly to the New Church, 
and became in time its highly honored patriarch. A new 
Society was now formed of the dissatisfied group from Car- 
ter's Society under the joint ministry of Hargrove and 
Mather. The ceremony by which they were invested was 
the first ordination in America, and from them have de- 
scended the entire line of American New Church ministers 
in a direct line of "apostolic succession." The ceremony 
was performed "by the same mode as the first ordination in 
the New Church in London was performed, namely, by the 
laying on of the hands of all the few male members or re- 
ceivers of the New Jerusalem doctrines then in Baltimore 
and present, with solemn prayer accompanying the said act," 
according to Mr. Hargrove's own statement. The minutes 
of the meeting say, "ten elders or representatives chosen." 
In the course of the year disagreements arose between the 
two pastors, and Mather returned to Europe, leaving Har- 
grove sole pastor. On January 5th, 1800, their new temple 
was dedicated, the first in the New World. 51 

From now on things went splendidly, forty families join- 
ing the church in a year. In 1801 Hargrove undertook the 
publication at his own expense of the first New Church peri- 
odical in America, a fortnightly called The Temple of 
Truth, and founded for the express purpose of refuting the 


Philadelphia Deist publication, The Temple of Reason. 
One of Hargrove's subscribers was John Carroll, the Roman 
Catholic Bishop of Baltimore, who was also one of his close 
friends. After only thirteen numbers the brave little ven- 
ture went down for lack of support, but it went down with 
flying colors in a "Valedictory" to its antagonists: "The seri- 
ous truths that have occupied the chief department of the 
Temple are too rational for a mere fanatic [probably refer- 
ring to the Methodists], and too spiritual for a mere deist j 
and hence these formidable opponents, though naturally at 
variance one with the other, have cordially harmonized like 
Herod and Pontius Pilate of old to condemn Jesus (or 
genuine truth)." 52 

When Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated in 1801 the 
Baltimore New Church sent him a copy of The True Chris- 
tian Religion. In his reply to John Hargrove's letter ac- 
companying the gift, Jefferson wrote: "The Philanthropy 
which breathes through the several expressions of your let- 
ter is a pledge that you will endeavour to diffuse the senti- 
ments of benevolence among our fellow men, and to incul- 
cate the important truth that they promote their own happi- 
ness by nourishing kind and friendly dispositions toward 
others. Commending your endeavours to the Being in 
whose hands we are, I beg you to accept assurances of my 
perfect consideration and respect." Hargrove wrote jubi- 
lantly to Hindmarsh: "It is said that Mr. Jefferson (the 
new President) is a Deist: be it so (though it was never 
yet proved) I would hope for a better state for the Lord's 
New Church under an enlightened, calm, bland Deist, than 
under a contracted bigot of any sect in Christendom." His 
confidence in Jefferson's broad-mindedness was fully justi- 
fied, for the following year he received an invitation to 
preach in the Rotunda of the Capitol before the President 
and Congress. This was indeed a proud day for the New 
Church! The sermon, which was on "The Leading Doc- 
trines of the New Jerusalem Church," must have made a 
good impression, for two years later the invitation was re- 
peated/ 8 


The Baltimore Society throve under Hargrove's intelli- 
gent leadership. For twenty-four years he held the post of 
City Registrar, for the New Church in those early days was 
not able to support its ministers, and was greatly beloved in 
Baltimore for his honesty, courage, and benevolence. His 
position in the New Church was not altogether an easy one, 
for his Society was really composed of two elements who 
had little in common except their religion, the Germans and 
the English. Many of the Germans did not even speak 
English, and in time they separated from the parent Society, 
forming a group of their own under the leadership of a 
newly converted young Lutheran minister, the Rev. Arthur 
O. Brickman. In 1 857 they dedicated the first German New 
Church Temple in the world. They also published a Ger- 
man periodical, Der Bote der Neuen Kirche** 


The first New Churchman in New York City was Dr. 
Joseph Russell of the Great East Cheap Society, who had 
gone out to Nova Scotia in 1791 and founded a Society in 
Halifax. The following year he moved to New York and 
by 1793 had gathered together several newly arrived New 
Church families from England. Among these were the 
Motts and the Braggs from Birmingham, and the Banks 
family from Norwich, In 1796 this group went to pieces, 
due to the death of Mr. Mott and Mr. Bragg from yellow 
fever, and the return of their families to England." Mr. 
Mott's son remained, however, and appears later in another 
group. In 1795 another Englishman, the Rev. William 
Hill, who had been ordained in the Church of England 
under the influence of John Clowes, and was a non-separatist, 
arrived in New York after a year of preaching New Church 
doctrines in Old Church pulpits in and around Boston. He 
settled in what he called "the neat Dutch village of Flat 
Bush," and began an active campaign of newspaper adver- 
tising the works of Swedenborg, and free gifts of books to 
public institutions. 58 (One of these eifts was a COPV of 


Bailey's Philadelphia edition of The True Christian Religion 
to King's College,) He wrote to Adam Fonerden that 
New York was not in a favorable state for the Heavenly 
Doctrines, for the rage for politics was "an impediment to 
the admission of subjects of a higher nature," but that 
"nevertheless the Writings are making considerable stir for 
the college and city libraries, and I have good reason to ex- 
pect some conversions among prominent characters, with 
whom I have become acquainted, that will have a consider- 
able influence." He objected seriously to certain publicity 
methods of the day, such as publishing excerpts from the 
Writings in the public press. Of one of these zealous propa- 
gandists he writes: "This gentleman is certainly a zealous 
friend of the same cause, but I cannot say I am perfectly at 
one with him in the mode he has heretofore adopted of 
parcelling out the sublime and holy doctrines of the New 
Jerusalem through the impure channel of a newspaper. 
However these things must be left to the Lord, who doubt- 
less inspires every good motive. I cannot entertain very 
sanguine hopes of much real good being done as yet in this 
country by the external preaching of the new doctrines, the 
general state being so much opposed to the purificatory proc- 
ess necessary for the reception of them." OT By this Hill is 
referring to Swedenborg's teachings that the will must be 
purified and regenerated by "the shunning of evils as sins 
against the Lord" before the mind can be opened interiorly 
to the influx of new spiritual truths. He evidently consid- 
ered America hopelessly unregenerate! 

In 1796 Hill, who had returned to England, refused a 
call to the new Baltimore Society, saying: "Did I feel my- 
self prepared for the high and holy office, which you and 
other friends would call me to, I am more confirmed in the 
desire of rather attempting something in one of the estab- 
lishments already existing* Swedenborg remained in his 
own church, and says expressly that the New Jerusalem is 
to tarry a while among those of the Old Church. Neverthe- 
less, my friend, I would not strain these things too far; the 
state of things may now be somewhat different, especially 


in America where there is no establishment, and there as in 
England, I am free to join with and profit by, and accord- 
ing to my little ability, strengthen the good that remain, 
whether in what is called the old church or the new, among 
separatists or non-separatists." 58 The following year Hill 
returned to America, and was married in Philadelphia to 
Esther Duche, the daughter of the Rev. Jacob Duche, by 
whom he had been converted to the doctrines of Swedenborg 
in England. He bought a farm near Philadelphia, and 
there he remained until his death in 1804 working on his 
translations of some of the writings of Swedenborg. It is an 
interesting fact that William Hill was ordained into the 
ministry of the Church of England a]ter his conversion to 
the doctrines of Swedenborg, and though an active propa- 
gandist of New Church teaching, like his two teachers of 
theology, Duche and Clowes, remained a non-separatist. 59 

In 1805 Edward Riley, another newly arrived English 
New Churchman, began to hold services at his home. The 
minutes of a meeting held on December 22, 1805, show it 
to have been something of a family affair: "At a meeting of 
the following friends of the New Church to worship the 
Lord after the manner and form of our friends at Friars 
Street Chapel, Black Friars, London, was read the ser- 
mon on the 'Fulness and Perfection of the Lord's Prayer,' 
preached by Mr. Sibley, March 15, 1803 Present Mr. 
William Mott, Mrs. Mary Mott, Edward Riley, Elizabeth 
Riley, Eleanor Riley, and my children, Elizabeth Riley, 
Edward Riley, Henry Riley, and Frederick Riley, at No. 
1 6 Chambers St., New York." By 1811 this group had 
grown into a Society which held meetings in a schoolhouse 
on James St. 60 One of the members of this Society, Samuel 
Woodworth, author of The Old Oaken Bucket, and other 
poems, commenced an important undertaking, the publica- 
tion of the Halcyon Luminary, the first American New 
Church monthly magazine. In its first year it rose to a sub- 
scription list of over three thousand, and became an impor- 
tant organ of propaganda, but this success was shortlived, 
and the magazine failed after two years, probably due to the 


War of 1812 with its economic disturbances. In the intro- 
duction to the first volume appears the following quaint 
statement: "With respect to the choice of a title we were 
governed wholly by the character and temper which this 
Magazine is intended to adopt and ever to wear: 

"In all our strictures placid we will be 
As Halcyons brooding on a summer sea." 

Though the leading articles were devoted, of course, to New 
Church doctrine and the affairs of the Church, there were 
also articles on the greatest variety of subjects, as the fol- 
lowing titles from Volume One will show: "Anecdotes of 
American Painters," "Progress of the Arts," "Animal found 
alive in the lungs of a Negro Boy," "Astrological Predic- 
tions," "Cure for the Asthma," "Barrows, description of 
those found in America," "On rocking Children to sleep," 
"Account of the Execution of Mme. Desmaulins," "Nat- 
ural History of the Elephant," "Requisites for a Lady's 
Toilet," "Punishment of Criminals," "Zoroaster's Defini- 
tion of the Supreme Being," "Reflection on the size of our 
Globe," "Recipe to destroy bed bugs," "On the Vulgar No- 
tion of the Resurrection," "Invention for spinning wool," 
"Thoughts on Matrimony," "Painting on Velvet," "Peri- 
odical Affections of Maniacs," "Anecdote of Leonardo da 
Vinci." 01 

In an article entitled "Correspondences of Volcanos, with 
their natural causes," it is explained that their cause is a 
mineral substance called ^yntes y composed mostly of sul- 
phur and iron, "which lie very quietly together in the earth, 
till water finds its way to them, which though strange to 
tell, cause those matters that before lay quiescent, to burst 
out into flame, . . , producing earthquakes, and all the 
different tremendous et-ceteras of volcanic phenomena, . . . 
When, the above is viewed in a spritud point of view, what 
a striking correspondency appears! It is in the earth (that 
is, the church), never in a valley, always on the top of a 
mountain (the summit of pride), iron (natural truth), and 
sulphur (the evil of self-love), abide very quietly together, 


till water (heavenly truth, or truth from a celestial origin) 
flows in, and then the collision begins, and earthquakes 
(change of state) and fire (the false principle derived from 
the evil of self-love) ensues, with all its various attendants." 
According to the "Vulgar Notion of the Resurrection," "all 
mankind who have existed from Adam till now (near six 
thousand years) are still in some kind of existence, without 
form or substance j waiting (and doubtless impatiently wait- 
ing) for the destruction of the world, the resurrection of 
their bodies, and a complete state of existence. But what 
an unpleasing, what a melancholy view is this! ... Is it 
not wonderful that the blessed God should suffer his serv- 
ants and children to remain so many ages in such an un- 
comfortable state? And is it not equally strange, that the 
happiness of immortal souls rational, intelligent beings, 
should depend upon the raising again those innumerable 
particles of mere dust and dirt, which have mixed with their 
mother earth fifty or sixty centuries? . . . Surely, sirs, we 
have received these notions by tradition; and have not closely 
reasoned upon them, that we might see their absurdity." e2 
In 1816 the "Association of the City of New York for 
the Dissemination of the Doctrines of the New Jerusalem 
Church" was founded with Nathaniel Holley, a school- 
master, president, Samuel Woodworth, Vice-president, 
James Chesterman, treasurer, and Charles Doughty, secre- 
tary. The real leader of the group was Mr. Doughty, a 
successful lawyer of Quaker stock, who preached to the So- 
ciety on Sunday, and in 1 8 1 8 was ordained to the ministry. 
By 1821 a new Temple had been built on Pearl St. and was 
consecrated with elaborate ceremonies. The preacher, the 
Rev. Mr. Carll of the Philadelphia Society, was robed in 
white linen to represent Divine Truth, and Mr. Doughty, 
who read the prayers, was in black to represent Contrition 
and Humiliation. 88 But the new Temple soon fell on evil 
days. Mr. Doughty became "infected" with the "conjugial 
heresy," of which we shall hear more later, and this caused 
dissensions in the church. William Schlatter, our never- 
failing: source of information, writes in 1822: "There are 


already two parties in New York, and it will certainly split 
the church asunder. 5 ' The next year he writes: "The So- 
ciety in New York is in danger of being broken up. My 
last letter from there states that five heads of families have 
ceased to go to hear Mr. Doughty preach. They cannot 
comprehend his new notions, and are much dissatisfied with 
his conduct. They go to other churches." About this time 
Mrs. Caroline Matilda Thayer, the superintendent of the 
Female Department of the Wesleyan Seminary of New 
York, was converted to New Church doctrines. She wrote 
an open letter to the Methodists stating her convictions, and 
was promptly dismissed from her position. But the "con- 
jugial party" now began to persecute her because she would 
not join them, and she threatened to withdraw from the 
Church. William Schlatter wrote to dissuade her from this 
step. "Nothing would give them greater pleasure," he 
writes, "than for you to withdraw from the Society. That 
would be just what I have no doubt they wish from what 
I saw in New York, and as Mrs, G. says, 'Your sphere in- 
fests her.' " But in spite of this appeal the strong-minded 
Mrs. Thayer returned to the Methodist fold. 64 Things 
went from bad to worse in the New York Society, until in 
1837 it was reported to be in "an unhappy and unhealthy 
condition," and the following year Mr. Doughty was re- 
moved by a tribunal of ordaining ministers, and a number 
of the members went with him. The remaining members 
were not strong enough to keep up the new Temple, and 
were forced to give it up. They continued to hold services, 
however, in a hall on Broadway with Mr. E. C. Riley as 
leader. Later the Society was reorganized by Mr. Thomas 
Worcester of Boston, but a "Charitable Association" was 
formed among the members to tell each other their faults 
as an aid to a more rapid regeneration. The results of this 
were not altogether what had been hoped for, and further 
dissensions ensued. In the meantime Mr. Doughty had 
moved to Riverhead, Long Island, and the schismatic group 
disbanded. 65 
The next unfortunate event in the New York Society was 


an attack of spiritualism called the New Era Movement in 
1844. It was instituted by Silas Jones, who gained inter- 
course with spirits through a Brooklyn astrologer. Its ad- 
herents met privately for worship and spiritualistic practices. 
The Rev. Samuel Worcester, formerly of Boston, became an 
adherent and claimed ordination as high priest by the spirit 
of Swedenborg. He instituted a new priesthood, beginning 
with his son, Samuel H. Worcester, whose ordination was 
repudiated by the Massachusetts Association. The Worces- 
ters later renounced spiritualism and the Rev. Richard 
DeCharms of Philadelphia came up to New York to re- 
claim the lost sheep by means of a course of sermons on the 
evils of "Pseudo-Spiritualism." At last these various diffi- 
culties disappeared and the New York Society settled down 
to a peaceful existence. In 1854 Mr. Chesterman be- 
queathed to the New York Society the 35th Street property, 
and in 1858 the cornerstone of the present church edifice was 
laid. 60 

The first New Church Society on Long Island was at 
Baiting Hollow. In Nathaniel S. Prime's History of Long 
Island it is stated that "in 1813 or 1814 a Mr. Horton (a 
member of the Congregational Church in Baiting Hollow) 
embraced the doctrines of Emanuel Swedenborg and early 
in 1825 withdrew from the Congregational Church and set 
up a separate place of worship. In 1831 a New Jerusalem 
Church was organized, consisting of thirteen members. In 
1839 a house of worship, twenty-four by thirty-six feet, was 
erected. Mr. Horton conducted services until 1844 when 
Rev. M. M. Carll was employed here a part of the time." 
This little Society continued for many years, but in 1881 it 
was reported "in a state of suspended animation," and later 
passed out altogether. Its remaining members joined the 
Riverhead Society, which was founded by Mr. Doughty in 

J839- 67 
There were also a few early Societies "up State." In 

1812 Dr. Louis Beers, a Universalist minister in Danby, 
N. Y., happened upon a copy of the Halcyon Luminary and 
was converted. Many of his congregation remained loyal 


when he announced his change of doctrine, and in 1817 a 
Society of twelve members was formed. He also organized 
another Society in Spencer, a nearby town. The same year 
a Society was formed in Platikill, near Newburgh, where 
considerable stir was caused by the publication of An Inter- 
esting Correspondence between the Rev. John Johnson, 
Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Newburgh, and 
Miss Elizabeth Jones, relative to the Change in her Opin- 
ions which occasioned her Dismissal from his Church. This 
pamphlet, together with a small work, Religion and Philos- 
ophy United, by a Boston lady, proved that in America, at 
least, women were more than merely "vessels of affection," 
and drew forth from the Manchester Printing Society this 
eulogy: "The Almighty has still in his Church a Jael and a 
Judith, and has again sold Sisera and Holophernes into the 
hands of a woman." 6S 


Boston, which later became the real center of the New 
Church, was slow to accept the Heavenly Doctrine. James 
Glen's lectures netted only two converts, James Roby, a 
bookseller, and Major Joseph Hiller, first collector of rev- 
enues at Salem under the new Federal Constitution. Major 
Hiller and his wife were devout Episcopalians, but had suf- 
fered from doubts, especially with regard to the doctrine of 
the Trinity. After reading Heaven and Hell they accepted 
the new faith with enthusiasm, and sent to London for the 
rest of the Writings. 09 But it was the Rev. William Hill, 
the non-separatist, who aroused the first vital interest. In 
1794 he came out from Liverpool and settled in the vicinity 
of Boston, preaching the doctrines of the New Church in Epis- 
copal churches in and around Boston. Being a gentleman of 
means he was able to publish at his own expense a number 
of New Church works, including the first American edition 
of Divine Love and Wisdom, The Nature of Influx, and 
part of the Arcana Coelestia. He also translated The 
Apocalypse Explained, published in London by Hind- 


marsh. 70 Among his converts were Dr. Samuel Brown, Dr. 
James Mann, Mr. Andrew Craigie, and Miss Margaret 
Gary, aunt of Elizabeth Cabot Gary, who became the wife 
of Professor Louis Agassiz and first President of Radcliffe 
College. It was at a ball at the famous Craigie House in 
Cambridge that Margaret Gary met William Hill, and she 
was greatly astonished to see a clergyman dance. Born on 
a sugar plantation in the British West Indies, Margaret Gary 
had been sent to England for her education. Later her 
father met with reverses, and the family returned to his 
mother's estate of three hundred and sixty acres in Chelsea, 
Mass. There she joined the Congregational Church at the 
age of eighteen, though brought up in the Church of Eng- 
land. A friend had lent her one of Swedenborg's works, 
which she had been reading for a year before her encounter 
with William Hill. 71 

But the New Church did not come into existence in Boston 
until 1 8 1 6, and it began with the Worcester family. Noah 
Worcester, D.D., its head, was a Congregational minister, 
and one of a family of ministers. He had created a great 
stir in his native New Hampshire by rejecting the Calvinis- 
tic view of the Trinity. His book, Bible News of the Father y 
Son, and Holy Gho$t> was condemned by the orthodox, and 
praised by men like Channing, Tuckerman, and Ware. He 
was also the author of A Solemn Review of the Custom of 
War> which led to the establishment of the Massachusetts 
Peace Society. It was from such a father that the Worcesters 
inherited their independence of thought. The elder brother, 
Samuel, received the doctrines in 1815 from a friend of 
William Hill's, and heard about the set of the Arcana 
Coelestia which Hill had presented to Harvard College. 
He told his younger brother, Thomas, then a student at 
Harvard, about these books and fired him with curiosity to 
see them. After his return to college in the fall Thomas 
Worcester began to search for the precious volumes. He 
searched the library shelves in vain, but finally discovered 
them covered with dust and rubbish in a small room called 
the "Museum" filled with stuffed crocodiles and other dis- 


carded curiosities. How sad a sequel to Swedenborg's dream 
of his works respectfully enshrined in all the learned li- 
braries of Christendom! 72 Filled with enthusiasm for his 
"find," Thomas Worcester gathered around him a small 
group of students willing to wind their way through this 
"mystic maze" of scholastic Latin. Among these brave 
young adventurers were Warren Goddard, J. H. Wilkins, 
T. B. Hayward, Theophilus Parsons, Nathaniel Hobart, 
Caleb and Sampson Reed, members of the class of 1818 and 
neighboring classes. Worcester wrote later of their treat- 
ment by the College: "Our position was well understood 
by the professors 5 and we expressed our views with the ut- 
most freedom. We were active in bringing the doctrines 
to the attention of all who were ready to listen to them, and 
in corresponding with our friends at a distance on the sub- 
ject. We were treated with great kindness by the govern- 
ment of the college, receiving as much as others from funds 
that could be applied to the payment of our expenses." 
(Worcester was working his way through college* by waiting 
on tables and teaching during vacations.) This speaks well 
for Harvard's religious toleration. Worcester was later 
elected an Overseer, in 1854, and an honorary D.D, was 
conferred upon him by his Alma Mater in i856. 78 

In 1818 a Society of twelve members was organized by 
Samuel Worcester, consisting of a group who had been meet- 
ing for about a year at the home of Mrs. 'Margaret Hiller 
Prescott, the daughter of Major Hiller of Salem. It was 
Mrs. Prescott who was the author of Religion and Philos- 
ophy United, published in 1 8 17, one of the first New Church 
collateral works in America. This little treatise had been 
written in a time of great mental distress, for her husband, 
a prosperous merchant, like William Schlatter of Philadel- 
phia, had been financially ruined by the war and embargo 
of i8ra. r4 There was another literary lady in the group, 
Mrs. Thomazine Minott, later, Mrs. Wilkins, who some 
years later, in 1837, published A Little Book of Lessons for 
Children. These intellectual activities on the part of the 
ladies did not escape criticism, though Mrs. Prescott mod- 


estly apologized for presuming, mere woman as she was, to 
enter upon a philosophical discussion: "In mankind the par- 
ticular receptacle for the light of divine truth is the under- 
standing, and that for the heat of divine love is the will} 
so the male is formed to excel his partner in the depth of 
understanding, and consequent reception of divine wisdom j 
and the female to be distinguished by the predominance of 
the love of wisdom as existing in the male. Thus, if the 
writer has herein given but an obscure and very imperfect 
sketch of the philosophical principles which form the basis 
of a glorious system of divine truth, it is, that its heavenly 
image has been received in the warmth of the heart rather 
than in the light of the understanding." 75 When Mrs. Wil- 
kins' little book appeared, "some who took a superficial view 
of the subject thought in writing such a book she had gone 
outside the proper sphere of woman, saying that a woman 
should not 'make books,' that that work belonged only to 
men. Some things in the Writings, half understood, ap- 
peared to a few to justify such thoughts, but the more in- 
telligent and wiser justified her effort to 'instruct the little 
ones by giving them in a little book what she had already 
given them in lessons.' " 76 

The Society was formally established in 1818, the Rev. 
Mr. Carll of Philadelphia officiating. The scene is de- 
scribed by T. B. Hay ward as follows: "The ceremony was 
very simple. We stood in a circle around the room, Mr. 
Carll read some suitable forms, including some passages 
from the Word, we kneeled, and united in repeating the 
Lord's Prayer; the proper questions were asked and an- 
swered. Mr. Carll then declared us to be a duly instituted 
church and we all signed our names to a Creed which 
had been previously agreed upon." TT Thomas Worcester 
describes the occasion somewhat more grandiloquently: 
"Twelve persons, men and women, were instituted a church, 
not as a sect among the sects, but as the New Jerusalem fore- 
told in the Apocalypse, which was to succeed the Christian 
dispensation." The personnel of this group is interesting. 
Besides Mrs. Prescott, Mrs. Minott, and Miss Gary, there 


were two other women, Abigail and Eliza Cowell. The men 
were James Roby (Glen's original convert), Dr. James 
Mann (a former Deist converted by William Hill), Nathan- 
iel Balch (a printer and grandson of an eminent Baptist 
clergyman), David A. Davies (a Jewish mechanic), Samuel 
and Thomas Worcester, and T. B. Hayward (one of the 
Harvard group). The ladies were not allowed to vote in 
the meetings, which was "a great relief" to Miss Gary, It 
is not recorded how the intellectual Mrs. Prescott and Mrs. 
Minott felt about it. The new Society chose young Thomas 
Worcester, now a student at the Harvard Divinity School, 
to be its leader. 78 

There is some very interesting material concerning the 
early days of the Church in Boston. The conversion of one 
of its members, Warren Goddard, is described as follows: 
"He would go to bed at night and lie awake, and there 
would come before his vision a picture of the three Gods, 
the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and 
when that came to his mind he was distressed beyond meas- 
ure 5 he did not know why. By and by, as he looked at the 
picture in his distress, two of the figures would fade away, 
leaving the Lord Jesus. Then he was happy, he did not 
know why." In his fevered condition the young theological 
student finally consulted one of the older students, Samp- 
son Reed, and was told to read Swedenborg. The Rev. H. 
Clinton Hay, present pastor of the Society, says that the 
early preaching was mostly exposition of the Scriptures and 
a contrasting of Old and New Church doctrines, but that 
a new generation soon arose who had been raised in the 
New Church and had no interest in Old Church errors. 
They cared very little for a methodical exposition of the 
Scripture, but wanted a broader application of the doctrines 
to life itself. 70 

The Boston Society grew very slowly, and after ten years 
had increased to only sixty-three members, but they were 
quite complacent about their numerical weakness. Sampson 
Reed wrote: "Swedenborg and Wesley were contemporaries. 
Methodism began with many, increased rapidly, and has 


overrun a large part of the Christian world. The New 
Church began with few, has increased very slowly, but has 
moved the Christian world from its very foundation, whilst 
they know it not." 80 Their delegates to the Convention in 
1834 reported: "This Society has never taken any special 
pains to swell the number of nominal receivers, nor to at- 
tract public attention to the doctrines by means of evening 
lectures, or discourses addressed particularly to those unac- 
quainted with them." 81 This lack of missionary zeal dis- 
tressed their Philadelphia brethren. From Schlatter's letters 
may be gleaned a number of unfavorable comments. "It 
appears they live only for themselves," he writes, "They do 
not appear to make any converts or care about it. ... Mr. 
Wilkins had the effrontery to tell us to our own faces that 
we in Philadelphia had for our sole end the spreading of the 
doctrines, or making converts to the New Church, but they 
in Boston had their own regeneration as the end. . . . They 
have no zeal and are as cold as frogs. I never saw anything 
like piety about them, and their sphere is chilling. They 
only preach once on the Lord's Day, and that in the after- 

noon." 82 

But what the Boston Society lacked in missionary expan- 
sion they made up for in intensive cultivation, and much 
of their exclusiveness was probably the result of a hostile 
environment. Thomas Worcester said that in the early days 
of his ministry hardly a respectable minister dared even to 
speak to him, and that the day school founded by them in 
1836 was mainly for the purpose of protecting their chil- 
dren. The group of Harvard Theological students who 
had come under Worcester's influence, faced a difficult sit- 
uation when they graduated. The pulpits of the orthodox 
churches were closed against them, and their only other pro- 
fession, teaching, was almost as hopeless, due to the intense 
prejudice against the new doctrines. Sampson Reed, one 
of the most brilliant philosophical minds in the group, gave 
up his theological ambitions to become a druggist J. H. 
Wilkins became a successful banker and state senator, and 


Theophilus Parsons a lawyer, and later Dean of the Har- 
vard Law School. 83 

Young Thomas Worcester solved the financial problem 
differently. At this time New Church ministers received 
no pay but earned their living in various professions, mostly 
as school-teachers. Worcester, however, "had a perception" 
that he should devote his entire time to the ministry. To 
quote William Schlatter: "It appears they think themselves 
in a celestial state and have perceptions of things just as the 
celestial angels have. . . . One of these perceptions is that 
Mr, Thomas Worcester must be their spiritual guide or 
preacher, and he had a perception that the lady he married 
was his conjugial partner the first time he ever saw her. 
They then perceived they must be married before he could 
be ordained, and next that he must be maintained and pursue 
no occupation but to preach." Philadelphia disapproved of 
paying ministers. Schlatter writes: "It does not appear in 
the present state of the church that any society is permitted 
to entirely maintain a minister without his exertions, and 
perhaps it is for the best or it would not be so, and one great 
cause of it may be to keep down the selfhood and pride of 
dominion in our clergymen which at present cannot have 
much root. And there is another good that will result from 
it, which is that no man will take up the ministry merely 
for the sake of a living." 8 * This latter accusation could 
hardly have been made against Thomas Worcester, however, 
for the most the little Society was able to pay him was five 
hundred dollars a year. This meager income was eked out 
by taking boarders. A large house was secured for the bride 
and groom in Louisburg Square, and the parlors used for 
meetings. The boarders were members of the Society, and 
Worcester writes: "By living together we became intimately 
acquainted and interiorly associated." so 

In 1822 the Boston Society established the custom of pay- 
ing tithes, which resulted greatly to the material advantage 
of the organization and laid the foundations of their future 
prosperity. The Philadelphians disapproved of this also. 
The individualistic Mr. Schlatter writes like a modern op- 


ponent of the income tax: "What man of sense is going to 
expose his worldly situation even to New Churchmen, and 
if he makes a true report, see the consequence, every man, 
woman and child in the Society must or can know his exact 
means. Is this prudent, is this in order in this world or the 
natural state, are we sufficiently advanced to bear this? I 
say not. Some would perhaps pay more than they could 
aff ord to for fear of exposing their poverty, and others . . . 
would even deny the full extent of their income. And the 
next thing we would have would be censors appointed to 
examine our books!" 86 

But the most remarkable innovation of that remarkable 
young man, Thomas Worcester, was his theory of the rela- 
tion of a pastor to his church. This theory later achieved 
considerable notoriety in the New Church as the "conjugial 
heresy," or the "Boston principle." It first appears in a 
letter dated June, 1820, while he was still a student at Har- 
vard, in which he states that "ordination corresponds to the 
marriage ceremony," that "the union should be strictly 
monogamous," and that "dismission corresponds to divorce." 
Or, stated in Swedenborgian language, the minister re- 
ceives truth only in the degree of his own progress in regen- 
eration, and must preach only such truth as he has lived. 
This truth is "the truth of his good," and the society, when 
living according to it, becomes "the good of his truth," just 
as "the husband is the truth of good, and the wife the good 
of that truth," which makes the marriage relation a symbol 
of the heavenly union of the Divine Love and the Divine 
Wisdom. Our level-headed William Schlatter at once saw 
the fatal flaw in the theory. "Unfortunately the young 
members there," he writes, "have taken up a most erroneous 
and foolish idea that the minister of a congregation is the 
husband of the church, and that he must not preach to any 
other society or else he will commit spiritual adultery. Was 
there ever anything so absurd, and how contrary to the true 
spirit of the New Church doctrines, in fact if fully practised 
it would cut off all missionary services and forever prevent 
the spreading of truths." 87 Thomas Worcester himself 


twenty-five years later admitted that he no longer held this 
theory, for permanence is possible to angelic societies, but 
not on earth where men's characters are changing so rapidly. 
He said that his aim had been to "prevent ministers from 
comparing themselves with others, and from endeavouring 
to excel each other, and thus give them a single eye," and 
also to "prevent people from comparing their own ministers 
with others," in other words to cultivate between a minister 
and his congregation an attitude of mutual forbearance and 
loyalty, "the same as the conjugial relationship." 88 

The young members of the Boston Society had a great 
deal to say on the subject of "spiritual perceptions" with re- 
gard to marital relationships, and developed some remark- 
able theories. We learn that "Mr. Carll has received a long 
communication from Mr. and Mrs. Prescott in which they 
disclose such obscene iniquity as would utterly astonish you, 
Mr. Thurston and Mrs. Minott are the principal actors. 
They have expelled Mrs. Prescott from their society. They 
have asserted that she is living in adultery because her hus- 
band is not a member of the New Church." On the subject 
of remarriage of the widowed they were equally uncompro- 
mising. J. H. Wilkins writes: "Whoever would reiterate 
marriage is restrained from actual polygamy by nothing but 
popular sentiment and civil law," but, strange to relate, 
in 1826, only a few years later, this stern young gentleman 
married the widowed Mrs. Minott! "To show you how 
far this Boston notion can be carried, and the end it would 
lead to," writes the indignant Schlatter, "I will relate what 
I heard a gentleman say who was defending it. He said if 
he were to know or at any time have found out or perceived 
that he had not got his conjugial partner, he would think it 
his duty to say, 'My dear, I will maintain you but I can- 
not live with you as my wife.' When I heard this I was 
shocked beyond everything and observed to him the evil 
consequences of such a false principle. His answer was real 
Bogton, *We are not to mind consequences.' " 89 So much 
for the "flaming youth" of Boston. 

Perhaps it would be just as well to discount a good deal 


of this criticism which emanated from a hostile quarter, and 
regard instead some of the Boston Society's very real 
achievements. In 1827 the little group of only fifty mem- 
bers undertook the publication of the New Jerusalem Mag- 
azwe, edited by Thomas Worcester with the assistance of 
others of his old Harvard group. The publishing business 
of John Allen was bought in 1833 by Otis Clapp for the 
purpose of publishing New Church literature, one of the 
first ventures being a new translation of (appropriately 
enough) Conjugial Love. The following year the Boston 
New Church Printing Society was founded for the purpose 
of bringing out a cheap edition of Swedenborg. In 1837 
this concern published the first American edition of the Arcana 
Coele$tia y a revision of the latest English edition. It was 
not long before Boston was the rival of Philadelphia as a 
center for New Church publication. 90 

Another valuable accomplishment of the Boston Society 
was in the field of church music. Thomas Worcester writes: 
"From nearly the beginning of our society we have been 
in the practice of singing the words of Scripture, and of sing- 
ing nothing else. The reason of this practice has been the 
instructions which we have received concerning the nature 
of the Word in the doctrines of the New Church. We thus 
learn that by the literal sense of the Word man has conjunc- 
tion with the Lord and consociation with the angels. . . . 
The choir was trained to understand and appreciate the 
meaning of the words which were sung and to become im- 
bued with their spirit. . . ." They chanted, "but slowly, 
giving each word its full value, no rushing together 
or slurring, for that is irreverent to the Word." 01 In the 
beginning the chants were arranged by T. B. Hayward, but 
later a highly trained musician, George James Webb, an 
Englishman, joined the Society. Webb and his nephew, 
William Mason, a pupil of Liszt, were the founders of the 
Boston Academy of Music. He evolved a special kind of 
chant for the New Church which is still much used, and 
organized the Boston New Church Harmonic Society of 
fifty members who gave public concerts. The music in the 


church was considered especially fine, and many visitors 
came to hear it. There was a double choir on opposite sides 
of the gallery singing antiphonally. In the New Jerusalem 
Magazine we read: "Music has begun to receive much at- 
tention in the New Church, Its correspondence, use, and 
influence are subjects of frequent consideration. . . . The 
physical use of vocal music, or its salutary influence on the 
bodily health, seems to rest on lungs and heart, also it 
reaches the heart and lungs of the soul, and influences the 
health of the soul correspondingly." 82 

For a number of years the Boston Society lived a nomadic 
existence, holding its meetings in various halls, Boylston 
Hall, Pantheon Hall, the Atheneum Lecture Hall, and 
finally its own hall in Phillips' Place built for its use by 
T. H. Carter. But at last, in 1844, they built their own 
church in Bowdoin St., a handsome edifice costing $60,000 
and seating a thousand people. It was dedicated in 1 845 at 
the annual meeting of the General Convention, 93 

In the meantime the New Church was also spreading in 
other parts of New England. As early as 1792 the doctrines 
had been introduced in Bath, Maine, by a Baptist minister, 
Dr. Cummings, and in 1796 Mr. Joseph Leigh of Ports- 
mouth, N. H., began to write about them in the secular 
papers. In 1805 he began the publication of the New 
Hampshire New Jerusalem Magazine, a short-lived effort. 
By 1820 there were "small but highly respectable societies" 
in Bath and Gardiner, Me. An exciting event of the year 
was the trial of the Rev. Holland Weeks, a popular minister 
of Abington, Mass. When he began to preach New Church 
doctrines openly he was tried for heresy and put out of his 
church. As a result of the interest aroused by the trial sev- 
eral societies were formed, in Abington, Bridgewater, 
North Bridgewater (now the Brocton Society), and Elm- 
wood. In 1824 societies were also founded in Yarmouth 
and Portland. 9 * 

In 1 8 1 8 the Rev. Mr. Carll of Philadelphia spoke in the 
Town Hall at Providence, Rhode Island, before an audi- 
ence of nearly a thousand, among whom were the student 


body of Brown University and the clergy of the town. He 
was highly gratified by the enthusiastic response, and wrote 
to Robert Hindmarsh: "From the observations which I have 
been able to make, I am fully convinced that the people of 
this section of our beloved country are in a very favorable 
state for the reception of the heavenly doctrines of the New 
Jerusalem. Their independence of mind, the state of re- 
ligious inquiry, and their respect for religious institutions, 
together with the unsatisfactory nature of the doctrines which 
have so long prevailed, are circumstances certainly favorable 
to the reception of a system that courts investigation, and 
which addresses itself at once to the understanding and the 
heart of man." 95 And Mr. Carll has proved a true prophet, 
for New England soon became, and has remained, the chief 
stronghold of the New Church in America. 


When the New Church began its westward march over 
the Alleghenies it encountered a new and very different set 
of problems from those in the East. James Glen and Wil- 
liam Hill had brought their gospel into prosperous and cul- 
tured communities. We have seen the rich and colorful 
picture presented by the New Church in its early days among 
the descendants of Huguenot nobility and English gentry. 
From the luxurious libraries of Virginia slave holders and 
the elegant parlors of rich Philadelphia merchants, to the 
dignified homes of Beacon Hill, the scene presented every- 
where was one of cultivated leisure. The personnel of the 
early societies was composed mainly of the professional 
classes, ministers, doctors, lawyers, schoolmasters, and lit- 
erary persons. The religious appeal had been to the liberals 
of the various denominations, who were dissatisfied with the 
hard and fast theology of the day. Swedenborg, with his 
philosophical language, his illustrations drawn from a life- 
time of scientific studies, and his humane and rational the- 
ology, had appeared to them as the herald of a new and 
more enlightened age. Also he had come with the best of 
social credentials, a member of the Swedish House of 
Nobles, the friend of many a glowing title. All this was 
appealing in those circles of society in the new republic who 
referred to the President's wife as Lady Washington, and 
still dung fondly to their own armorial bearings. Democ- 
racy was still only "skin deep" in the world's first republic. 
The methods of propaganda had been distinctly "high- 
brow" in character: reading circles, study classes, lectures, 
magazine articles in solemn language, and new translations 
of the Writings themselves in verbose, Latinized English. 

But now, w.est of the mountains, the "Heavenly Doc- 



trines" were confronted with a very different scene, iso- 
lated pioneer cabins, like little islands in a vast sea of for- 
ests, crude frontier towns on the edge of the wilderness, 
and everywhere great distances and many hardships. What 
were the chances for the Lord's New Church in this strange 
new milieu? Swedenborg himself would certainly have 
wondered! But those in the East who felt the responsi- 
bility for the spread of the church thought them exceed- 
ingly good. William Schlatter, who by 1817 had distrib- 
uted over three thousand books in bales of merchandise, 
mostly in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and Mis- 
souri, writes: "I look for a great harvest from that quarter. 
We may reasonably expect, whenever they do get into an 
enquiring state, that our doctrines will suit them better than 
the Old Church, for they are independent, free-minded 
people, and not disposed to be shackled in religion or poli- 
tics." * It was reported in England that prospects in Amer- 
ica were encouraging, especially in the West, and there was 
much interest among the other denominations, notably the 
Friends and the Methodists. The English New Church- 
men were also much interested in the enterprising methods 
of propaganda evolved by their American brethren. A 
gentleman in Washington, it seems, had several hundred 
copies of Clowes' Sermon on the Trinity printed, and gave 
them to the National Intelligencer, a paper with a very wide 
circulation, to be used as an envelope for the paper. As a 
result of this the sermon was reprinted in many local news- 
papers. 2 

The Philadelphia Society was the center from which the 
first missionary work emanated. In 1789 Miss Hetty Bar- 
clay went to live with her brother in Bedford, Pa., where 
"by her intellectual and spiritual conversations, and a vari- 
ety of Swedenborg's works that she took with her, she laid 
the foundations of a New Church Society which, so long as 
it existed, had reason to bless her memory." This Bedford 
Society, organized in 1794, was the first beyond the moun- 
tains. 8 The first New Church Society in Ohio was founded 
in 1795 in Steubenville, by William Grant, another of 


Francis Bailey's converts. The second, the Cincinnati So- 
ciety, was founded in 1811 by Adam Hurdus, from Man- 
chester, England, a most interesting character indeed. He 
had served in the British navy, spent years in a military 
prison in France, and become a successful merchant. He 
was led to Swedenborg by reading the slanderous articles in 
the Arminim Magazine^ and soon became one of the leaders 
among the separatists. Hurdus arrived in Cincinnati in 
1806, and two years later began to hold services in his home 
to which he attracted numbers of Indians as well as settlers 
by means of an organ which he built with his own hands. 
The Third Ohio Society was founded in Lebanon in 1812 
by Thomas Newport, a former member of the Steubenville 
group. 4 

In 1817 the Philadelphia Society sent their minister, the 
Rev. Maskell Carll, and Jonathan Condy on a missionary 
journey through Maryland, Pennsylvania, western Virginia, 
and Ohio. They were gone thirty-nine days, covering eight 
hundred miles, and baptized thirty-seven persons. This was 
the first venture of its kind, and created much interest both 
in England and America. The following year David Powell 
and Thomas Newport went on a similar tour in Ohio. They 
preached to large audiences in eighteen places, including 
Cleveland, and covered seven hundred miles in six weeks. 
They reported that the people were "filled with consterna- 
tion" by the Heavenly Doctrines, but offered no opposition. 
That same year Thomas Newport organized the Western 
Association of the New Jerusalem Church, which held its 
first meeting at Lebanon. This meeting he describes in 
glowing terms in a letter to Hindmarsh: "At our Association 
harmony prevailed. . . . The meeting was large and re- 
spectable, and held in a handsome grove on my own land. 
Between two and three hundred persons attended. More 
interest I never saw, nor better behaviour. The bread and 
wine were administered to nine persons. The sphere of 
love was ecstatic, not only with the communicants, but gen- 
erally with the people. . . . The people are like the ripe 
harvest. 7 ' 5 Some years later, in 1822, the Rev. Holland 


Weeks settled near Lake Ontario and held evangelistic 
meetings with congregations of twelve to fifteen hundred, 
and that year societies sprung up in Jefferson, Ind., St. 
Charles, Mo., Knoxville, Tenn., and Louisville, Ky. 
Other evangelistic journeys followed rapidly, one by the 
Rev. Manning Roche of Philadelphia through Pennsylvania 
and Ohio in 1829, and another by Mr. Carll through west- 
ern Pennsylvania, western Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky, in 
1 83 1. 6 It is clear that in meeting new conditions the New 
Church had had to develop a new technique. The most 
successful religion in this frontier area was the Methodist, 
and the New Church wisely adopted some of their meth- 
ods, the long missionary journeys on horseback through 
the wilderness, and the camp meeting. Under the stimulus 
of competition with the evangelical sects the New Church in 
the Middle West took on a wholly new emotional and 
evangelistic aspect, better suited to the high-strung pioneer 
temperament than the intellectualism which prevailed in the 
Eastern Societies. 

But the most picturesque of all these missionary ventures 
was a wholly unofficial one, that of the famous "Johnny 
Appleseed" to whom the Middle West is indebted for thou- 
sands of fruit trees. He is a well-known figure in the his- 
tory of American horticulture, but perhaps it is not so well 
known that he was, as Miss Silver aptly puts it, "the pic- 
turesque sower of two-fold seed." This strange character 
was born in Boston in 1775 and christened by the respectable 
name of Jonathan Chapman. Early in life he was attracted 
by the wild, free life of the wilderness, and for forty years 
plied his strange trade of itinerant nurseryman over thou- 
sands of miles of territory from the Ohio River to the Great 
Lakes, and westward from the Alleghenies to Indiana. It 
is said that the first orchard he planted was on the farm o 
Isaac Stadden in Licking County, Ohio. He got his seeds 
from the cider presses of western Pennsylvania, selected fer- 
tile places to plant them, and built a fence around to protect 
the young seedlings. Later he transferred the small trees 
from these primitive nurseries to the farms of the settlers, 


giving them to those who were not able to pay for them. 
In spite of this generosity he did a good business, and always 
had money to give to those in need. Another of his bene- 
factions was the rescuing of broken-down horses abandoned 
by the pioneers in their desperate struggles westward. He 
gathered them into corrals near the poorer settlements, and 
paid the settlers to care for them in his absence. Sometimes 
he traveled by canoe, sometimes on horseback, but more 
often on foot, carrying his seeds in a leather bag. The 
settlers thought him half-witted, the children adored him, 
and the Indians held him in veneration as a mighty medicine 
man. Like St. Francis he loved all living creatures, and 
would not injure even a wasp or a snake, in fact, he never 
carried a rifle. His diet was strictly vegetarian. His ap- 
pearance is described as "eccentric in the extreme. As an 
unconscious devotee of c Lady Poverty 5 he lacked completely 
any feeling of sartorial fitness, and was often seen clad sim- 
ply in an old coffee sack, barefoot, and with a tin pot for 
headgear." 7 

It is said that he was converted to the New Church by 
Judge Young of Greensburg, Pa., who kept him supplied 
with books for his missionary activities. These he separated 
into chapters which he fastened together in the form of 
pamphlets. With these in his bag of seeds he traversed the 
wilderness, a human circulating library, leaving a chapter or 
two in each cabin, and on his return trip collecting them for 
redistribution in reverse order. It must have been a some- 
what garbled version of the doctrines which the pioneers re- 
ceived. Not only did he distribute literature, but also 
preached and read to fascinated groups around blazing 
hearthfires. It is a little difficult to estimate the results of 
this eccentric evangelism, but it is a fact that by means of it 
the writings of Swedenborg were widely disseminated on 
the outskirts of civilization, and many isolated families ac- 
cepted New Church teaching before they came in contact 
with the organized church. As Ohio became more thickly 
settled Johnny Appleseed pressed on into Indiana, always 
keeping ahead of the settlements, and there he died, all alone 


outside a frontier cabin near Fort Wayne, at the age of sev- 
enty-two. Bayley ends his account of him in New Church 
Worthies: "Now no man knoweth of his sepulchre, but his 
deeds will live forever in the fragrance of the appleblossoms 
he loved so well." As a matter of fact, his grave has since 
been discovered and marked with a monument for the edify- 
ing of future generations. Vachel Lindsay pays his tribute 
thus: "He was the New England kind of saint, much like a 
Hindu saint, akin to Thoreau and Emerson who came after 
him. . . . He preached Swedenborg to the Indian witch 
doctors in his youth, and in his old age to the Disciple 
preachers, and other stubborn souls on the frontier. . . . 
And he kept moving for a lifetime toward the sunset, on 
what we would call 'The Mystical Johnny Appleseed High- 
way,' leaving in his wake orchards bursting and foaming with 
rich fruit, gifts for mankind to find long after." 8 

There were other picturesque developments in connection 
with the New Church in the Middle West. In 1824 a 
colony of several hundred Swiss immigrants was established 
on a tract of several thousand acres in Athens County, Ohio, 
by Baron Steiger, the son of Napoleon's General of that 
name. While in Philadelphia making arrangements for his 
new colony, the Baron became acquainted with some of the 
New Churchmen there, and was converted. Later he wrote 
to ask for a New Church chaplain. "I have formed a new 
settlement of Swiss emigrants," he writes, "and I shall ad- 
mit no other than sober, orderly and well-disposed people. 
All these I intend to introduce to the New Jerusalem. For 
this purpose I have concluded to erect a place of worship on 
my ground." With the letter came a declaration of belief 
in the doctrines of the New Church signed by twenty-one of 
the colonists. Daniel Thuun of the Philadelphia Society 
accepted the Baron's invitation, and went out to "Steiger's 
Rest" as chaplain. After the Baron's death at a ripe old 
age, the colonists dispersed. 9 

Cincinnati soon became the center for New Church activi- 
ties in the Middle West. The society, organized in 1 8 1 1 
with seventeen or eighteen members, grew rapidly. The 


"Rules for the Government of the Society" required re- 
baptism for membership, but this was later amended "if 
requested by the applicant. 35 In 1816 Adam Hurdus, its 
founder, went to Baltimore to be ordained by John Har- 
grove. A strange custom developed of holding three serv- 
ices on Sunday, each in charge of a different preacher. Mr, 
Hurdus was the only ordained minister, the other two being 
lay preachers. 10 All went smoothly for a number of years, 
but in 1822 a strong anti-clerical sentiment began to develop 
among some of the younger members. This group of recal- 
citrant young men objected to the authority of the priesthood 
in general and to that of Mr. Hurdus in particular. Our 
never-failing source of "inside information," William Schlat- 
ter, writes concerning this painful turn of events: "I am sorry 
to inform you an evil has also shown itself in the Cincinnati 
Society. . . . Mr. Roe and they (the five Smith brothers) say 
that ordination is not necessary; . . . that baptism is useless 
and our Lord did not enjoin it; . . . that no one ought to be 
called Reverend. . , . One of the Mr. Smiths was lately 
married by Mr. Roe in his capacity as a magistrate, when there 
was a regular ordained New Church clergyman to marry 
them, showing evidently that they looked on marriage as a 
civil contract Mr. Hurdus preached about marriage by a 
magistrate; this gave Mr. Roe and the Messrs. Smith 
offence. They called a meeting to pass a by-law appointing 
Mr. Roe their preacher in place of Mr. Hurdus. Thus they 
are setting up a sect and going contrary to all New Church 
societies in the United States. . . . How distressing it is to 
think that heresy and schism should so soon creep into the 
Lord's own New Jerusalem, How weak and frail we mor- 
tally are," " The West had already begun to sow its wild 

However the Cincinnati Society seems to have weathered 
this little tempest successfully, for Mr. Hurdus remained at 
his post, and things went on as before. But now Mr. Daniel 
Roe went from anti-clericalism into socialism, taking a num- 
ber of the other members with him. When Robert Owen 
came to America in 1824 for the purpose of establishing so- 


cialistic communities one of the first friends he made was 
Daniel Roe. He lectured in Cincinnati and made the ac- 
quaintance of the New Church people there in whom he 
found congenial spirits. "The Society was composed of a 
very superior class of people. They were intelligent, liberal, 
generous, cultivated men and women, many of them 
wealthy and highly educated. They were apparently the 
best possible material to organize and sustain a Community 
such as Owen proposed. Mr. Roe and many of his congre- 
gation soon became fascinated with Owen and his Commu- 
nism, and together with others in the city and elsewhere 
organized a Community and furnished the means for pur- 
chasing an appropriate site for its location." The site se- 
lected was a place called Yellow Springs, about seventy-five 
miles from Cincinnati, the present site of Antioch College. 
The community consisted of seventy-five to a hundred fam- 
ilies, and included professional men, teachers, merchants, 
mechanics, farmers, and a few common laborers. "Men who 
seldom or never before labored with their hands, devoted 
themselves to agriculture and the mechanical arts with a 
zeal which was at least commendable, though not always 
according to knowledge. Ministers of the Gospel guided 
the plough, called the swine to their corn instead of sinners 
to repentance, and let patience have her perfect work over an 
unruly pair of oxen. Merchants exchanged the yard stick 
for the rake or pitchfork, and all appeared to labor cheer- 
fully for the common weal. Among the women there was 
even more apparent self-sacrifice. Ladies who had seldom 
seen the inside of their own kitchens, went into that of the 
common eating house, formerly a hotel, and made them- 
selves useful among pots and kettles} and refined young 
ladies, who had all their lives been waited upon, took their 
turns in waiting upon others at table. And several times a 
week, all parties who chose, mingled in the social dance in 
the great dining hall." But, alas, self-love soon entered 
in, individualism reappeared, and the absolute democracy 
which prevailed became irksome to some of those of the 
upper class, especially the ladies. Daniel Roe was the last 


to give up. But in less than a year all had returned to their 
homes and professions, sadder and wiser no doubt. After 
the failure at Yellow Springs Roe went to New Harmony, 
saw that that too was not a success, and returned home. 12 
Noyes, in his History of American Socialisms, remarks on 
the fact that "the beginning of the Owenite movement in 
this country was signalized by a conjunction with Sweden- 
borgianism," 18 and it is undoubtedly true that a considerable 
number of New Churchmen were deeply interested in it. 

In 1825 some of the members of the Cindnnati New 
Church founded a Theosophic Society for the purpose of 
studying the doctrines and other subjects of interest from 
a New Church point of view. The membership was limited 
to twelve. They met once a week for eight or ten years, 
and exerted a great influence on the church in that section. 
In time however they "departed materially from the first 
rules or landmarks," became mainly social, and finally dis- 
banded in 1849. A. Printing Society was formed in 1828, 
which began its useful career with the publication of Robert 
Hindmarsh's Compendium of the True Christian Religion. 
There were also six periodicals published in Cincinnati be- 
tween the years 1825 and 1860: The Herald of Truth, 
edited by the Rev. Nathaniel Holley, 1825-1826, which 
failed after fourteen months 5 the Precursor, edited by Rich- 
ard DeCharms from 1836 to 1842; The Retina, with W. C. 
Howells (father of William D. Howells the author), as 
editor j the Mirror of Truth, edited by Adam Hawarthj the 
New Church Messenger, edited by David Powell and J. P. 
Stuart from 1 853-1 854j and the New Chwch Herald, by 
the Rev. Sabin Hough." It would be hard to say why all 
these literary ventures which were begun with so much en- 
thusiasm came to such sudden ends. Education was also a 
matter of great interest to the Cincinnati Society. In 1832 
the first New Church Sunday School in America was opened 
there by Milo G. Williams. At first there was much oppo- 
sition on the ground that it would "interfere with the spir- 
itual freedom of the children." In 1840 Mr. Williams 
added a New Church Day School in a building next to the 


Temple. This was in successful operation for four years. 16 
Another violent anti-clerical movement now arose under 
the leadership of Alexander Kinmont, who in 1836 founded 
a Second Society which met in his schoolhouse until his death 
in 1838. It is stated that the meetings were "attended with 
increasing interest especially by young men, whose affections 
were expanding with the sweet charities of the Christian 
religion, while their judgments were repulsed by the dogmas 
of sectarian votaries." 1T Kinmont was undoubtedly an un- 
usual man. He had studied theology at the University of 
Edinburgh, but had come out after three years a complete 
skeptic instead of a Presbyterian. He came to America in 
1823 as principal of the Academy at Bedford, Pa. There 
he was converted to the New Church, married a daughter of 
Francis Bailey, and went to Cincinhati to establish a school 
according to his own theories of education. He was opposed 
to the wholesale method then in vogue and believed that 
each student should be treated as a unit. He was also author 
of a book, Twelve Lectures on the Natural History of Man, 
and the Rise and Progress of Philosophy. The first volume 
of the Precursor contains a series of articles by him against 
the rule of the church by the clergy. "It may be said the 
clergy have the most wisdom. They have the most oral 
wisdom, but have they always the most 'perceptive wisdom?" 
he pertinently asks. 18 

The second important New Church center in the Middle 
West was Chicago. In 1835 a young Maine farmer, edu- 
cated in the law, by the name of Jonathan Young Scammon, 
arrived in the raw frontier town which was the Chicago of 
a hundred years ago. He secured a position as assistant to 
the clerk of the courts of Cook County, and in time became 
one of the most prominent builders of the new metropolis. 
He practiced law until 1847, and then became identified 
with large business interests. As president of the Chicago 
Marine and Fire Insurance Co. and of the Marine Bank, 
as member of the state legislature, as one of the organizers 
of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, the Historical Society, 
and the University of Chicago, he helped to build not only 


the material prosperity, but also the cultural life of the 
city. He was also a noted philanthropist. He gave the 
property for the Hahnemann Hospital, and $30,000 for the 
Dearborn Observatory. But at fifty-nine, in the hightide 
of his prosperity, he was ruined by the fires of 1 8 7 1 and 1 8 74 
and the intervening panic, and died a poor man. But not the 
least of his achievements was the founding of the Chicago 
New Church. His first convert was Vincent Lovell, a young 
leather merchant, who together with Scammon and his wife 
constituted a society of three members in 1843. By 1849 
the group had increased sufficiently to organize as a church 
body, with twenty-two members. 19 

John Randolph Hibbard, who was the first minister of the 
new Society, while working as a missionary for the United 
Brethren in Ohio, had coftie across a copy of the True Chris- 
tian Religion in a pioneer's cabin (perhaps one of Johnny 
Appleseed's), and was forthwith converted. He remained 
in the Chicago Church twenty-eight years, and much of its 
early history is told in his Reminiscences of a Pioneer, pub- 
lished from time to time in the New Jerusalem Messenger. 
The Chicago Society was characterized by progressiveness 
and independence. In the fifties some of its women mem- 
bers adopted the bloomer fad, and a carefully prepared de- 
bate on "Bloomer Costume versus Draggled Skirts" resulted 
in a vote in favor of the new attire. We learn with regret, 
however, that most of the ladies lost their nerve when it 
came to the point of action. Dancing parties were popular 
in the New Church in the fifties, to "afford for the young 
an opportunity for social intercourse under the protection 
and sphere of the Church." On Wednesday evenings there 
was a short service followed by dancing. A Baptist revival- 
ist nearby said that those who attended were on the road to 
hell, but nevertheless, a number of Baptist young men per- 
sisted in attending. The Society continued to grow and 
prosper, and in 1861 they had one hundred and twenty-nine 
members and a new Temple. 20 

The new doctrines spread also in other parts of the state, 
and in 1839 an Illinois Association of the New Church was 


organized. A great deal of missionary work was done by 
Hibbard on horseback tours through the state. Springfield 
also had a number of New Church families from early days. 
I. S. Britton, State Superintendent of Schools, was a New 
Churchman, and a close friend of Abraham Lincoln to whom 
he introduced the writings of Swedenborg in 1842. Vachel 
Lindsay, a native of Springfield, speaks of how strong an 
influence what he calls "the exquisite sharp-edged Sweden- 
borgian culture" has had on the intellectual life of the Mid- 
dle West. He says that "Springfield, without knowing it, 
was 'brought up a Swedenborgian.' " 31 

The most interesting account of the growth of the New 
Church in this section of the country is found in the Rev. 
George Field's Memoirs, Incidents, and Reminiscences of 
the Early History of the New Church in Michigan, Indiana, 
Illinois, and Adjacent States and Canada, a highly-colored 
record of life in a strange epoch. Field, who had been a lay 
reader in the English New Church, moved to Detroit in 
1838, and opened a school, teaching being his profession. 
There were at that time about six "receivers" of the doctrines 
in the state of Michigan. Field began at once to lecture on 
Swedenborg in his school, and succeeded in organizing a 
Society of seven members. This increased rapidly to the 
number of forty-seven, and then evaporated to nothing by 
1840, due to the fact that they had all moved away. Such 
was life in those fluid days. Nothing daunted, Field again 
"took the stump." He conducted a six evening debate at 
Battle Creek against two Methodist ministers, a doctor, a 
judge, and a justice of the peace, on the subject: "Do the 
first chapters of Genesis treat of the creation of the physical 
earth?" Fired with missionary zeal he gave up his school 
and went on a lecture tour to find whatever New Church 
people there might be scattered over the state of Michigan, 
supporting himself en route by giving lessons in shorthand 
and penmanship. Debates were at that time the "favorite 
indoor sport," and Field tells of one he held with a Presby- 
terian minister which lasted from 9 A.M. on Tuesday to 9 
P.M. Wednesday, before an audience of from three to five 


hundred. And the very next evening he gave a three hour 
lecture on the credibility of Swedenborg to an audience of 
five hundred. This was at Goshen, Mich., in 1 842. The 
following year he traveled as far south as St. Louis, where 
he formed a society of eight members, not New Church peo- 
ple, who organized a circulating library for the study of 
Swedenborg, and met once a week for discussion. 22 

Field then accepted a call from the Michigan and North- 
ern Indiana Association as missionary minister, with a terri- 
tory extending three hundred miles from east to west, and 
went to Cincinnati for ordination. But the following year 
he was obliged to give up for lack of adequate support, and 
reopen his school in Detroit, where he lectured and con- 
ducted Sunday services. In 1844 he gave the following re- 
markable course of lectures in the U. S. Court Room: 

"Lecture first: Primeval language. The nature and laws 
of the God-given tongue. Tacit, vocal, and written 

Lecture second: Origin of Mythology, Astrology, and the 
signs in the heavens 3 and the symbolic style prior to 
the days of Abraham. 

Lecture third: Proofs, rational and inductive, and philo- 
sophical, that the first chapters of Genesis do not and 
are not intended to treat of the Creation and destruc- 
tion of the material earth. 

Lecture fourth: On the Creation of the Universe} more 
particularly of our Earth, and the Solar System. 

Lecture fifth: The true meaning o the first chapter of 

Lecture sixth: The laws of Creation, and Spiritual influx. 
Primeval formations in the Vegetable and Animal 
Kingdoms. The -first man. 

Lecture seventh: The second chapter of Genesis. What it 
does not mean, and what it does. The Garden of 
Eden, Rivers, Trees, Serpent, Adam, Eve, etc. 

Lecture eighth: The Flood, Proof absolute that no such 
Flood as is recorded in Genesis, ever literally oc~ 


curred on the earth, or could have occurred, ex- 
amined on its own authority 5 rationally, philosophi- 
cally, and geologically. 

Lecture ninth: What is the meaning of the inundation of 
the earth, on the accepted canon of the Scriptures 
being their own interpreter. 

Lecture tenth: The standing still of the Sun and Moon, 
at the command of Joshua. 

Lecture eleventh: On Miracles, Magic, Incantation, 
Sorcery, Witchcraft, and Animal Magnetism. 

Lecture twelfth: On the Miracles of Egypt, and why the 
Egyptians could not turn the dust into lice, when 
yet they performed all the preceding miracles of 
Moses and Aaron." 23 

It is small wonder that the orthodox ministers now rose 
in wrath against the new heterodoxy. Also the New Church 
had by now become sufficiently successful to arouse jealousy. 
In 1847 Field was elected chaplain to the State Senate, a 
highly coveted honor. By this time there were so many 
prominent New Churchmen in Michigan, that Swedenborg- 
ianism was often spoken of as "the state religion." Among 
these were, the Rev. H. N. Strong, chaplain of the State 
Penitentiary; E. D. Ladd, head of the only telegraph line; 
R. H. Murray and Hans Thillson, head civil engineers of 
the Michigan Central, and the Hon. Lucius Lyon, Assistant 
Surveyor General of the United States in charge of the 
Northwest. The most important, however, was Judge Abiel 
Silver, Registrar of the Land Office, who was the moving 
spirit in the organization of the Michigan and Northern 
Indiana Association in 1843. Judge Silver, originally an 
Episcopalian, had been converted by the amputation of an 
arm. The fact that he continued to feel the presence of 
the arm convinced him of the reality of the spiritual body of 
which Swedenborg speaks. He visited hospitals and talked 
with maimed war veterans on the subject, and wrote a Tract 
for the Soldiers, 5,000 copies of which were distributed in 
Canada after the Indian uprising of 1886. At the age of 


fifty-two he was ordained into the ministry of the New 
Church. 24 

There now began a series of virulent attacks upon the New 
Church by ministers of other denominations. The Rev. 
H. L. Hammond of the Congregational Church of Detroit 
discovered Conjugial Love. "As I turned over the polluted 
pages," he writes, "I was often reminded of the words of 
another j I have touched pitch and am defiled! The moral 
influence of these treatises cannot but be mischievous in the 
extreme." Field also had trouble with the Methodists "who 
used every possible means to prevent their members from at- 
tending [his lectures], . . . one of their ministers and some 
of their leading members, male and female, as I was credibly 
informed, standing in the street, within a few rods of the 
school house where I lectured, to arrest any of their flock 
should they be bold enough to go and hear me." In those 
days it was religious conflict which was serious enough to 
produce "picketing." On a lecture tour in Illinois he came 
into conflict with the intelligentsia. He writes of it to the 
New Jerusalem Magazine: "I should say that Jacksonville 
is considered as a decidedly religious place, as also of literary 
reputation. For a population of little more than two thou- 
sand, there are two Presbyterian churches, a Congrega- 
tional, a Methodist, Episcopalian, Baptist, Campbellite, etc." 
In this pious town he was attacked by the Professor of 
Rhetoric and Belles Lettres at Illinois College, who gave 
two lectures, referring to Swedenborgianism as "a subversion 
of everything decent and sensible, a grotesque and upheav- 
ing system which brings fires of desolation, and exterminates 
the idea of God's omnipotence," and to Swedenborg him- 
self as "a learned fool, an amiable and devout religious 
maniac." The dauntless Field rose like a hero to the chal- 
lenge. "I resolved with the Lord for my helper to meet 
this haughty philistine, and with a smooth stone from the 
brook to smite him on the forehead. I accordingly gave 
notice that I would give two lectures in the Court House in 
reply to those of Professor Turner. The house every eve- 
ning was densely crowded, and Mr. Turner was universally 


'allowed' to be, in Western phraseology *a used up man.' 
He never spake again, but was as a dead man." Concerning 
this orthodox opposition, Field remarks, "There is one thing 
that is a matter of some astonishment to us, and that is, that 
the preachers of the Gospel and the believers in the Mosaic 
account of the creation, in this vicinity, should take alarm at 
the promulgation of these views. . . . Does the evidence of 
the truth of that account rest upon such a doubtful basis, that 
it will not stand the test of human scrutiny? Do those gen- 
tlemen in their fanaticism and tyranny intend to gag this com- 
munity and smother investigation? ... It is a poor compli- 
ment upon their creeds and systems of religion that they fear 
to have them examined and compared with any other sys- 
tem." 25 

Besides attacks from without, the Michigan Association 
had its share of troubles within the fold. At the 1 849 meet- 
ing party feeling began to develop, the report of the Com- 
mittee on Licenses and Lectures being the bone of conten- 
tion. The majority of the committee were strongly anti- 
clerical, and completely opposed to an ordained clergy. 
Field presented a minority report. At this critical juncture 
a novel resolution was offered, namely, that the ladies be 
allowed to vote on the issue. This was not customary, but 
there was nothing against it in the constitution so the ladies 
voted. The report was referred back to the committee for 
further consideration, but was passed unanimously the fol- 
lowing year. Michigan had gone anti-clerical. 26 Another 
difficulty now arose in the form of spiritualism. The Rev. 
Henry Weller, pastor of the Grand Rapids Society, claimed 
to be in personal communication with Swedenborg, and 
began to call himself the Lord's High Priest, He gathered 
a small group of followers and introduced "the spiritual wife 
system" among them. He and his followers sought inter- 
course with spirits. The Michigan Association repudiated 
this movement and dismissed its leader. Weller then moved 
to La Porte, Ind., and founded another Society. He also 
began the publication of a Swedenborgian-Spiritualistic mag- 
azine, The Crisis, "edited by Henry Weller, President of 


the Society of the Lord's Church, La Porte, Ind. Devoted 
to the inner life of the New Church." The first number 
commences with this statement: "The events of the past two 
years have indeed brought a crisis upon the whole religious 
community. . . . We hold it an established fact that this 
world is now subject to continual, direct, open visitations from 
the Spiritual World. . . . Moreover we assume the fact also, 
that these manifestations have been instrumental in bringing a 
crisis on the Church, .. . . breaking up all the theologies of 
the day, . . . and threatening the destruction of all Church 
organizations. ... In the last month of the past year com- 
menced upon ourselves a series of spiritual visions of a most 
extraordinary character. etc." Later in his life Mr. Weller 
renounced spiritualism, and his flock came into the orthodox 
New Church fold in i859. 27 

In 1849 Field accepted a call from the Illinois Association 
as a missionary pastor. He reported 124 lectures in 17 
places in his first eight months, and told a harrowing story 
of his dangers and hardships. "Twice I had to get other 
horses to haul my buggy from bottomless mud holes j once 
nearly drowned in fording the rapid and deep Vermilion, 
swollen by heavy rains $ once to pass through a wide lagoon 
of water four feet deep, and cross a bridge under it, some- 
times drenched through with rain, and no help for it 5 at 
other times frozen with a bitter northwest wind, blowing 
like a hurricane over a prairie where for miles, neither house, 
fence, or tree could be seenj crossing rivers when only half 
frozen, between great holes in the ice, and riding after dark 
in the open prairie, and guessing at the road in the depth of 
winter." It is a melancholy comment on the Christian char- 
ity of the Illinois Association that they refused to reimburse 
Field for an extra hundred dollars of his own money which 
he had been obliged to spend in addition to his munificent 
salary of three hundred a year, most of which had gone for 
the support of his family. They voted instead to send the 
hundred dollars to Germany and France for the dissemina- 
tion of the Heavenly Doctrines. Stung by this ingratitude, 


Field resigned, and returned to the pastorate of the Detroit 
Society. 28 

Thanks to all this self-sacrificing and earnest effort on the 
part of its early missionaries, the Middle West is one of the 
strongest centers of the New Church, ranking second only to 
New England. 


The relation of the new religion to the intellectual en- 
vironment in which it found itself is one of special interest. 
A letter from an English New Churchman on a visit to 
America in 1843 describes the special characteristics of the 
American Church thus: "One is, that its members have gen- 
erally adopted the temperance plan of abstaining from al- 
coholic drinks. Another is that the Homeopathic System 
of Medicine is much in favor amongst them, and is adopted 
to a great extent. Another, that they cherish, as a religious 
denomination, a more exclusive spirit, or, as they themselves 
would perhaps term it, assume a greater distinctiveness, than 
is done by their brethren in Britain. Again, their ministers 
or pastors have more external authority than ministers have 
in England, while the laity are in a more passive state." * 
Accepting this as probably a fair picture of the New Church 
in the forties, let us now see what were its reactions to the 
movements and tendencies in the world around it, and what 
was its influence upon these movements. It was a strange 
world, America in the forties, full of new ideas and enthu- 
siasms. As Emerson wrote to Carlyle: "We are all a little 
wild here, with numberless projects of social reform. Not a 
reading man but has a draft of a new community in his waist- 
coat pocket.' 1 2 What was the attitude of the New Church 
toward these "projects," shall we find it radical or con- 
servative? The connection between such diverse movements 
as Homeopathy and Fourierism may seem to us a trifle re- 
mote, but in the Harbinger, the Brook Farm periodical, we 
find them linked thus strangely: "As regards Homeopathy, 
Magnetism, the Phalanstery, Jacotism, Phrenology, all frag- 
ments of the same whole, off-sets of the same idea, man 
would see the fruitful unity from which they flow." 8 Just 



what was the relation of this "fruitful unity" to Sweden- 
borgianism we shall attempt to discover. 

The first of these "isms" to become connected with the 
New Church was Magnetism, or Mesmerism, along with 
its companion and successor, Spiritualism. We have already 
seen how the Exegetic-Philanthropic Society of Stockholm 
was wrecked by its interest in the phenomena of magnetism j 
how the New Church in Germany was injured by the spir- 
itualistic experiments of Hofaker and his followers j and how 
these dangerous practices were introduced to English New 
Churchmen by Count Grabianka of the Avignon Academic 
des Illumines. We have also seen how the practice of mag- 
netism caused dissension in Robert Carter's Baltimore So- 
ciety, and how disastrous the "New Era Movement" had 
proved to the New York Society. But these developments 
were only a beginning, and the end was far off. Podmore 
says: "Animal magnetism became the fertile matrix from 
which sprung all the shadowy brood of latter-day mysti- 
cisms, Spiritualism, Theosophy, the New Thought, culmi- 
nating in the Christian Science of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy." * 
In 1833 the New Jerusalem Magazine published an article 
on "Somnambulism and Animal Magnetism," in which they 
were described as being of particular interest to receivers of 
New Church doctrine. "We do not mean by this remark 
to express our approbation of the practice of the magnetizers, 
and much less to intimate that there is any connection be- 
tween these practices and the doctrines and truths of the 
New Church." 6 But nevertheless the connection did exist 
in the minds of many New Church people. Mrs. Ogden, 
in her Reasons for Joining the New Church, states that 
experience and study of Mesmerism led to her conversion 
to the New Church. In 1 839 she was mesmerized by a rela- 
tive, after which she went to public demonstrations, and ex- 
perimented herself on a younger sister. When she found 
an explanation of such states in Swedenborg she accepted his 
doctrines readily. 6 Mrs. Anna Cora Mowatt, a well-known 
actress, and author of Fashion, a famous early American 
comedy, wrote of her friend, Professor George Bush, "Our 


household chanced to be equally interested in the discovery 
of magnetism, and I think it was through this gate that he 
entered (as we did) into the 'City of the New Jerusalem. 3 " 7 
And the Hon. Lucius Lyon, United States Senator from 
Michigan, wrote to Bush: "In looking back on my own state 
of mind five years ago, I do not see how I could ever have 
been brought to recognize and acknowledge the psychological 
truths given to the world by Swedenborg, but for the con- 
firmation afforded by the phenomenon of Mesmerism; and 
of the fifty or sixty persons with whom I have been person- 
ally acquainted, in this and other States of the Union who 
have since that period embraced the heavenly doctrines, 
there is not one who has not been more or less aided in the 
same way. I speak of facts within my knowledge." 8 It is 
of the Middle West of which Lyon speaks, and we have also 
evidence of difficulty met with by the Rev. George Field 
in his missionary tours in that section in attempting to com- 
pete with the popular lecturers on Mesmerism. Altogether 
there is little doubt that Mesmerism contributed greatly to 
the growth of the New Church at that time, and the connec- 
tion between the two, denied by the New Jerusalem Magah 
zine, was affirmed by the Harbmger with equal definiteness: 
"We now meet with a very significant fact, and one which 
has a direct relation with the mystic revelations of Sweden- 
borg. If man is not alone material he must have some means 
of placing himself in relation with that more noble part of 
himself which escapes the conditions of our order of things. 
It is precisely this which takes place in the practice of Animal 
Magnetism." 9 

The history of Spiritualism in America is generally as- 
sumed to have begun with "Rochester rappings" in 1848, 
but spiritualistic phenomena are mentioned in New Church 
writings much earlier. In 1818 William Schlatter replied 
to a letter from John Burt thus: "I can safely say I was de- 
lighted and astonished at the contents. I never knew any 
person but Emanuel Swedenborg who had their spiritual eyes 
opened in the manner you relate, but I can believe it. ... 
Do if possible obtain from his own notes the particulars and 


send them to me. . . . Do lend him the book on Heaven and 
Hell. He is in a fit state to read it and it may confirm him 
in the doctrine of the New Church." 10 As early as 1845 
the New Jerusalem Magazine printed a series of articles on 
"Open Intercourse with the Spiritual World," its dangers 
and the precautions which they naturally suggest, by the 
Rev. B. F. Barrett, 11 from which it is a fairly easy inference 
that Spiritualism was not altogether unknown in New Church 
circles at that time. When the Rochester rappings caused 
such a furor, the Medium y a Michigan New Church peri- 
odical, said: "They must come from the Spiritual world, 
and it seems to us they must come from evil spirits. At least 
the suggestion of the New York Tribune, that it is very 
stupid business for spirits to be engaged in, is worthy of con- 
sideration." 12 In 1851 the Medium makes the statement 
that the great majority of the New Church fully acknowl- 
edge their belief in spiritualistic manifestations. 13 But 
though this was probably true, it does not mean that they 
were actively engaged in spiritualistic practices, in fact,, 
quite the contrary, the majority of New Churchmen have 
always heeded Swedenborg's warnings concerning the dan- 
gers of intercourse with spirits, and the Church has officially 
kept coldly aloof from Spiritualism. 

But the Spiritualists' side of the story is a very different 
one. They claim Swedenborg as the first Spiritualist, that 
is, the first to have communications with departed souls, 1 * 
and much of their belief concerning the kind of future life 
to look forward to after death comes directly from Heaven 
and Hell. A number of the early Spiritualists claimed to 
have communications from Swedenborg, an amusing instance 
being that of Dr. Edward Dexter, who on April 4, 1853, 
received a message beginning: "In the name of God, I am 
Swedenborg" 15 (proving perhaps that spelling is a lost 
art in the spiritual world). But the two most important 
links between Swedenborgianism and Spiritualism were An- 
drew Jackson Davis, the Poughkeepsie cobbler, and Thomas 
Lake Harris, founder of the Brotherhood of the New Life. 

The connection between Davis and the Swedenborgians 


seems to have come about through the instrumentality of 
Professor George Bush, professor of Hebrew at New York 
University, and later leader of the New York Society of the 
New Church. It was his interest in Mesmerism, as we have 
seen, which brought Bush into the New Church, and now 
he thought he saw in Davis's hypnotic states a confirmation 
of his theories. In his Memoirs Professor Bush says: "And 
here I am constrained by fealty to truth, to acknowledge that 
the circumstances of my being brought, about that time, into 
contact with the phenomena of Mesmerism had a most de- 
cided bearing upon the progress of my convictions, nor do I 
scruple to say that in all probability I should never have come 
to the position I now occupy had it not been for the over- 
whelming evidence of truth derived from this source. . . . 
The laws which Swedenborg lays down in regard to mental 
intercourse between spirits, are precisely the laws which are 
developed in the mesmeric manifestation." 16 In 1 847 Bush 
brought out his book, Mesmer and Swedenborg, his object 
being "to elevate the phenomena of Mesmerism to a higher 
plane than that on which they had been wont to be con- 
templated" 1T In the Preface he states that "the funda- 
mental ground assumed is, that the most important facts 
disclosed in the Mesmeric state are of a spiritual nature, and 
can only receive an adequate solution by being viewed in 
connection with the state of disembodied spirits and the laws 
of their intercourse with each other. Swedenborg says that 
man in this world is a spirit clothed with a body, that in 
his interior principles he is so constituted as to be even now 
a denizen of the spiritual world and constantly associated 
with kindred spirits." He goes on to say that "many or 
most of the phenomena of Mesmerism may be resolved into 
the constitution of the nervous system," and that "the physi- 
cal manifestations depend on physical laws." Swedenborg 
has shown the true relation between the spiritual and the 
physical, and Mesmerism is a complete proof of the truth 
of his experiences in the spiritual world. But Swedenborg 
was not a "self -mesmerized clairvoyant," as he has been 
called to undermine his authority, for he was never uncon- 


-scious, but in a state of external and internal consciousness 
at the same time. In the Arcana CoelesUa, (nos. 1882-1885) 
he describes the two kinds of visions 5 the first, being taken 
out of the body which is left in a state of trance, which he 
experienced only three or four times, and the second, seeing 
into the spiritual world while in a state of complete external 

consciousness. 18 

In Appendix A of this book Bush deals with "The Revela- 
tions of Andrew Jackson Davis." He seems to be thor- 
oughly convinced of that young man's entire genuineness. 
He says that he is a shoemaker's apprentice, about twenty 
years of age, "guileless and unsophisticated," who never had 
more than five months' schooling in his life. He received a 
communication from Swedenborg, of whom at the time he 
had never even heard, which prompted him to give a course 
of lectures on scientific subjects, about which he knew noth- 
ing, Cosmology, Ethnology, Astronomy, Geology, and Phys- 
ics. These lectures were given in a mesmerized state, under 
the control apparently of learned spirits on the other side. 19 
Davis's own description of this occurrence is illuminating. 
He states that it happened aper a visit from Professor Bush 
in New York. (Was he then entirely ignorant of such a 
person as Swedenborg? It seems unlikely after a visit from 
so well-known and enthusiastic a Swedenborgian.) At any 
rate, soon afterwards he received this message: "Seek-the 
mountains. A-person-desires-thy presence-there. Do-not 
delay." So he crossed the river at Poughkeepsie to the moun- 
tain retreat which he used for a spirit rendezvous. There the 
"person" (presumably Swedenborg) met him, requested 
him to write to Professor Bush, and dictated to him the 
letters A.C. and some numbers. All of this happened while 
Davis was in a trance, and when he came to himself he was 
completely puzzled by what he had written. However he 
did write to Bush of the occurrence, enclosing the paper, 20 
which Bush recognized as references to passages in the 
Arcma Coelestia. He was completely convinced of the 
genuineness of Davis's mediumship, though somewhat doubt- 
ful of the actual identity of the spirit whom Davis thought 


was Swedenborg. He did admit, however, that Davis's 
claims rested entirely on his veracity, as there was no way of 
proving whether or not he had ever seen the Arcana 
Coelestia. 21 But Bush testified emphatically that while in a 
trance Davis was able to quote pages of Swedenborg almost 
verbatim, as well as Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, of which 
he was actually entirely ignorant. He also used technical 
scientific terms correctly, which in his normal state he could 
not even pronounce. "I can moreover testify that in these 
Lectures he has discussed, with the most signal ability, the 
profoundest questions of History, and Biblical Archeology, 
of Mythology, of the Origin and Affinities of Language, of 
the Progress of Civilization among the different nations of 
the globe. He could not have acquired so much information 
in a whole life of study, much less in the two years since he 
left the shoemaker's bench." 22 

In 1847 Davis published his book, The Principles of Na- 
ture, Her Divine Revelations, and a Voice to Mankind, 
which was accepted as genuine largely on the strength of 
Bush's testimony concerning its author. The book contains 
the doctrine of the Grand Man, the Science of Correspond- 
ences, and the relation between the World of Spirit and the 
World of Matter in strictly Swedenborgian terms, Bush 
says of it: "The coincidences with the Arcana Coelestia are 
all but absolutely verbal." 28 But unfortunately for Bush, 
the theology of the book was Swedenborgian only in spots, 
the rest of it was extremely unorthodox. The Professor now 
had to c *back water." He wrote to a friend thus: "Davis's 
book has just appeared and the world is calling for it with 
a rush. In point of talent and scientific mind it far transcends 
my most sanguine expectations, but in the theological de- 
partment it is absolutely destructive. It turns the Ark and 
the Cherubim out of the sanctuary by denying the divinity 
and true inspiration of the Word, and by representing Christ 
as merely a great Social Reformer, though the most perfect 
type of humanity. This work is calculated to do mischief to 
certain minds, but I am greatly reconciled to its appearance 
from the fact that it involves a psychological problem which 


nothing but Swedenborg's disclosures can solve. I take the 
ground that if Davis's book is genuine it claims justly all the 
notice and notoriety I have given it as a psychological marvel 
calculated, and in Providence probably designed to explode 
the prevailing notions respecting the necessarily truthful 
character of everything emanating from the spiritual 
world." 24 

The New Jerusalem Magazine, however, was not able to 
view the affair so philosophically. "The contents of Davis's 
book affect us painfully, and fully justify the deep regret 
we felt, that through the writings of Professor Bush, so 
much currency has been given to the opinion, that these lec- 
tures of Davis had some important connection with the writ- 
ings of Swedenborg. . . . The miraculous conception a 
fable, sin merely a misdirection of man's powers, miracles 
derided, etc. These things and things like these, some of 
them of the most gross and blasphemous character, meet one 
on looking through the volume, and render it impossible for 
receivers of the Heavenly Doctrines to regard it with any 
kind of toleration." 2S The unfortunate Professor now at- 
tempted to reinstate himself in the good graces of the Church 
by writing, in collaboration with Barrett, an avowed enemy 
of Spiritualism, Davis's Revelations Revealed in which he 
admitted that in Davis he had warmed a viper. "We feel 
gratified," comments the New Jerusalem Magazine, "that 
Professor Bush has not only opened his eyes to the monstrous 
errors of Davis, but also that he does not hesitate to declare 
that book to be wholly unworthy of any confidence what- 
ever. Swedenborg has unfolded the true nature of Davis's 
delusions. The author must have been, some of the time at 
least, under the influence of spirits from beneath." 26 

The next unfortunate connection with Spiritualism came 
through Thomas Lake Harris. This strange man first 
appears in 1844 as the pastor of the Fourth Universalist 
Church in New York City, from which he separated in 1848 
to form the Independent Christian Congregation. He was 
deeply impressed with the writings of Andrew Jackson 
Davis, though he perceived their inconsistencies, and deeply 


regretted his lack o "the reception of revelation and a per- 
sonal God." Through them he became interested in Swe- 
denborg, and later developed a keen enthusiasm for the 
economic teachings of Robert Owen and Charles Fourier. 27 
In 1850 he united with the Rev. James Scott in an attempt 
to found a spiritualistic community on the newly-discovered 
site of the Garden of Eden at Mountain Cove, Va. The 
two leaders soon quarreled, and Harris returned to New 
York where he became the leader of the "Christian Spir- 
itualists." 28 The Church of the Good Shepherd, of which 
he was pastor, had no connection whatever with the official 
New Church, though its theology was based on Sweden- 
borg, with spiritualistic variations. Harris now began to 
write voluminously of his spiritualistic experiences. In The 
Wisdom of the Ages he tells of seeing Socrates and Sweden- 
borg in heaven, and in The Lyric of the Morning Land he 
introduces his doctrine of "counterparts," which seems to be 
a variation of Swedenborg's "conjugial pairs." In Harris's 
theory, however, the spiritual counterpart is not another 
human soul on earth, but the female half of divinity itself 
with whom the human soul becomes united, or, as he ex- 
presses it: "Two-in-one-ness between wifehood (Lily 
Queen) in heaven and husbandhood on earth." His doc- 
trine of "internal respiration" was certainly derived from 
Swedenborg. "I inhale with equal ease," he modestly 
admits, "the atmosphere of either of the three heavens." 29 
Harris and his church considered themselves Sweden- 
borgians, though the New Church had no contacts with them. 
They took the non-sectarian view of the New Church, as ex- 
pressed on the cover of their periodical, The Herald of 
Light; "The New Church is the body of Christ, including 
within itself the good of every sect and persuasion through- 
out the world, excluding none." 80 This magazine was pub- 
lished by a "New Church Publishing Association" of the 
existence of which the Messenger in 1858 denies all knowl- 
edge. 81 In a review of Harris's magazine the Messenger 
says: "Many leading Spiritualists are acquainted with the 
writings of Swedenborg} and the editor of this work has evi- 


dently read some of them with attention and made himself 
familiar, by this means, with the laws of the spiritual world. 
He also, apparently, accepts them to a certain extent. We 
say c to a certain extent,' because he evidently does not accept 
what Swedenborg has said against being taught by spirits, 
and concerning the great danger and destructiveness of open 
intercourse with the spiritual world, especially when it is 
sought after. . . . We have thought it proper to speak at 
some length of the periodical whose title stands at the head of 
these remarks, because it has an adjunct to its name that is 
calculated to mislead persons at a distance, and indeed all 
who judge of a work by the title alone." S2 

Harris, in retaliation for this contemptuous attitude, ex- 
pressed his opinion of the New Church thus: "Striving ear- 
nestly for a better order of things, devout and charitable men, 
receivers of the truths of the New Church through the writ- 
ings of Swedenborg, have found a nucleus of a system which 
they fondly hope will become universal, but divisions have 
crept into it, and sore dissensions. We have the sad spectacle 
of a divided body, and the history of the Old Church is 
substantially repeated already. Excommunications on ac- 
count of supposed heresies, revolts against usurping hier- 
archy, jarring and conflicting interests and divided coun- 
cils, . . . there, if we mistake not, are the sure precursors 
of institutional decay. . . . Struggling for the mastery 
among the receivers of the New Dispensation are two con- 
flicting elements, a party of liberty and a party of author- 
ity are marshalled in the same external organism. We might 
divide them as Swedenborgians proper, and New Church- 
men proper. When with interior vision we contemplate 
those whom we call the party of authority, they appear to 
us to be in intellectual slavery to the man Swedenborg. 
Rather than concede the point that their darling idol could 
be mistaken, they are willing to distrust the evidence of their 
own senses, both spiritual and natural. ... It is enough for 
them that they have a 'thus saith Swedenborg' for any doc- 
trine." M But his admiration for Swedenborg himself was 
unqualified. "He was a forerunner. He stands before the 


world as the first specimen of the mankind of the New 
Age. . . . Exhausting all mere natural science, he rose above 
it into the realm of pure causation." ** And again: "Modern 
Spiritualism, so obscure in its origin, so diffusive in its influ- 
ence, so tremendous in its psychical and social power, finds in 
Swedenborg at once a vindication of its excellencies and a 
refutation of its perversions. Himself a medium, transcend- 
ing in the varied gifts which belong to the Oracle, or Seer 
of Spirits, he throws an ample light upon this most mysteri- 
ous of enigmas. Mediums find their own states described at 
once with a simplicity and perspicuity which reveals a thor- 
ough mastery of this field of operation. . . . He masters the 
dialect of Spirits} he walks among them not as a subject, 
but as a messenger of God." 85 

The Herald of Light was bad enough from the orthodox 
New Church point of view, but Harris's next publication, 
The Arcana of Christianity) the first volume of which was 
published in 1857, was even worse. For in this book Harris 
goes Swedenborg one better by revealing the celestial, or 
inmost sense of the Scriptures. This had been too sacred 
for Swedenborg to reveal who said that it was open only 
to the perceptions of the celestial angels. Harris states his 
divine commission thus: "It was my privilege to behold the 
Lord, whom I saw in his divine appearing, and who laid 
upon me the charge of receiving and unfolding such of those 
arcana of the celestial sense as are contained within this 
volume." 86 No doubt it was a great relief to the New 
Church when Harris gave up his New York church and 
departed to England in 1859, where his reputation had pre- 
ceded him. There he preached his own distinctive brand 
of Swedenborgianism with great success even among mem- 
bers of the New Church. He was received with open arms 
by Dr. James John Garth Wilkinson, one of the most im- 
portant Swedenborgians of England, and author of a Life 
of Swedenborg and other important works. Wilkinson was 
a non-separatist, and had never given up his membership in 
the Established Church. He was intensely interested in 
Spiritualism, and at one time had edited the Spritualist 


Heraldy but had become convinced of the harmfulness of 
seances. He entertained Harris in his home, and it was 
there Harris met Lawrence Oliphant who played so great 
a part in his next venture, the Brotherhood of the New 

Life ' 87 . 

During his stay abroad Harris acquired more esoteric 

ideas, which were developed later in connection with his 
community at Brocton, Salem-on-Erie, N. Y. The f ound- 
ing of this colony is described by one of his disciples as fol- 
lows: "In the year 1861 Mr. Harris was called in God to 
commence the organization of this social drcle, and to which 
was given this only name and designation, The Use." 88 
Here again we find the distinctively Swedenborgian "doc- 
trine of use" made the basis of his system. Other ideas from 
Swedenborg appear in the esoteric teachings. As might be 
expected of a man of Harris's peculiar temperament he out- 
wardly set great emphasis on "purity," and a great deal of 
effort apparently was expended in the attainment of this 
ideal, "for all had one great and terrible enemy in them- 
selves to conquer, and this is that old enemy in the flesh of 
man, Scortation, the inverted and debased sexual sense and 
passion. . . . And it is this that also constitutes the basis or 
root of that 'proprium' or debased selfhood." SB Oliver Dyer, 
who was sent out by Dana to write up the Harris colony for 
the New York Bim says: "We will first state, generally, that 
Swedenborg furnishes the original doctrinal and philosophi- 
cal basis of the whole fabric, to which Mr. Harris, as he con- 
ceives, has been led by Providence to add other and vital 
matters, which were unknown until they were revealed 
through him." 40 

After this Harris ceased to trouble the New Church ex- 
cept indirectly, but his influence had produced some strange 
results even among New Church people. A group of thirty 
people in New Orleans were organized in 1854 by Harris 
"under Interior Instruction" as the Christian Church of the 
New Jerusalem. Their leader, Mr. S. E. Reynolds, was 
ordained by Harris. They met in an old school-house, with 
about fifty in attendance/ 1 The description of these meet- 


ings is indeed interesting. "Speeches are given by influx. 
To those whose interiors are quickened, this influx is both 
visible and sensible. When intelligence and faith are treated 
of, it is through the left temple. When love to the Lord 
and His Kingdom, through the top of the head and extend- 
ing to the heart and lungs. When the Word is illuminated 
the influx is through the forehead. Those who are in self- 
love will soon be pervaded by an influx from the hells, pass- 
ing in at the back of the head and neck, opening interior 
sight and pervading the entire back. These will soon deny 
the Lord, or imagine that they are filled with the Holy 
Ghost." The author of this letter goes on to state: "For my 
part I think that but the few will attain unto inspiration, 
while the great mass of mankind who have spiritual manifes- 
tations, will receive them from spirits in self-love, filling the 
world with a literature vastly inferior to that of the ordinary 
schools of the day." * 2 Naturally this Society was not recog- 
nized by the official body of the Church. 

It is obvious that there has been considerable give-and- 
take between the New Church and Spiritualism. If, as we 
have seen, the phenomena of Mesmerism and Spiritualism 
have brought converts into the New Church, it is also true 
that the New Church has made great contributions to the 
theology of Spiritualism. In his tract, The New Church and, 
Spiritism, the Rev. Chauncey Giles states the relation of the 
two thus: "The New Church is often identified with Spirit- 
ism, and the common opinion probably is that there is but 
little difference between them. There is certainly one point 
of agreement. The Spiritualists believe in the substantial 
existence of the spiritual world, and of man as a spiritual 
being. So do the members of the New Church. The spir- 
itual world is the real world. All the objects in it are tangi- 
ble to the spiritual senses. . . . But the points of difference 
are numerous and fundamental. . . . We believe that con- 
scious intercourse with spirits is not useful or right j that it 
is fraught with the greatest danger to man's spiritual life, and 
ought never to besought by any one. ... It may be thought 
that we violate our own principles when we make Swedenborg 


an exception to this law; but we do not. He never sought 
open intercourse with spirits and angels. The power to con- 
verse with them was given to him without any effort or seek- 
ing of his own, and there is conclusive evidence that he was 
especially prepared for it, for a special purpose 5 the opening 
of the spiritual sense of the Word and the revelation of a true 
doctrine derived from the Word, concerning God, and man, 
and the true nature of the spiritual world. This object he 
fully accomplished, and there is no necessity for supplement- 
ing it. He has disclosed doors of access to it, ... there is 
nothing wanting." * 8 

The relation of Swedenborgianism to American Philos- 
ophy is a subject upon which there has been considerable dis- 
cussion. The New Church has been so preoccupied with the 
theology of Swedenborg, that until recent years little at- 
tempt has been made to present his philosophical system to 
the intellectual world. The first attempt of this sort was 
the Rev. Hugh White's Cosmogema, published in 1813,** 
and the second, Mrs. Margaret Hiller Prescott's Religion 
and Philosophy ', in 1817. In this little book the author un- 
dertakes to prove three propositions: "Proposition First. 
That all true principles, springing from the one only Eternal 
Source, must be found to harmonize with the observations 
and experience of the wisest among mankind in all ages. 
Proposition Second. Whenever, therefore, the ardent in- 
tellect of industrious man discovers principles apparently 
new, they may be fairly tried by an appeal to the enlightened 
understanding of his fellow-men, and will deservedly stand 
or fall by the decision consequent on such an appeal. Propo- 
sition Third. That there are apparently new principles un- 
folded by Emanuel Swedenborg, which are at the present 
period of the world, offered to this ordeal. This book is an 
attempt to separate the philosophical principles from the 
religious doctrines, for the sake of an impartial judgment." 45 
This attitude, so free from dogmatism and sectarianism, does 
not appear again in the writings of the New Church for many 
a long year. It is as divine revelation that the writings of 


Swedenborg have been presented to the world, to be accepted 
or rejected on that basis alone, and it is perhaps due largely 
to this fact that they are so little known outside the Church. 

It was Emerson who, though distinctly not a Sweden- 
borgian, accepted the task of bringing Swedenborg to that 
"ordeal" of which Mrs. Prescott speaks, "an appeal to the 
enlightened understanding of his fellow-men," for it was 
Emerson who introduced Swedenborg to the intellectual 
world. It was through Sampson Reed, a fellow-student at 
the Harvard Divinity School, that he first became acquainted 
with the writings of Swedenborg. Reed was the son of the 
minister of the First Church (Unitarian) in West Bridgewater, 
and had come to Harvard with the intention of becoming a 
minister himself, but had become converted to Swedenborg- 
ianism by Thomas Worcester. This closed to him the chosen 
career, and he became a druggist instead. His intellectual 
gifts were not wasted, however, for he devoted many years 
to writing for the New Jerusalem Magazine, and editing the 
New Church Magazine for Children. Although Reed grad- 
uated the end of Emerson's freshman year, the friendship 
which had formed between them was a lasting one, in spite 
of serious philosophical and theological difficulties. 46 Dr. 
Clarence Hotson, in his dissertation, "Emerson and Sweden- 
borg" (Harvard, 1929) makes the statement that Sweden- 
borg had more influence on Emerson than any other single 
individual, 47 and Professor Hite of the New Church The- 
ological School says that Emerson did more than any other 
to present Swedenborg to literary circles, 48 so whatever debt 
there was was amply paid. 

It is obvious that Emerson was fascinated by Swedenborg 
from the start. Besides the essay on Swedenborg^ or the 
Mystic, there are over eighty references to him in his writ- 
ings, forty of these being in the Journal** He made a list 
of the men who had undermined the traditional religion of 
New England, they are the Arminians, the English the- 
ologians, followers of Locke in Philosophy, Hartley, Priest- 
ley, and Belsham, Swedenborg, and Dr. Channing. 50 He 
places him with the world's greatest, Plato, Goethe, Shake- 


speare, and Napoleon. 51 But nevertheless there was some- 
thing about Swedenborg which irritated and baffled him. 
He writes in Swedenborg: "The entire want of poetry in so 
transcendent a mind betokens the disease [mysticism, similar 
to insanity], and like a hoarse voice in a beautiful person, is 
a kind of warning. I think sometimes he will not be read 
longer." 52 Again he complains of Swedenborg's lack of 
poetry. "This man, who, by his perception of symbols, saw 
the poetic construction of things . . . remained entirely de- 
void of the whole apparatus of poetic expression." 53 His 
judgments of Swedenborg are full of inconsistencies. The 
reason for this, is, undoubtedly, that Emerson found him- 
self in a dilemma with regard to Swedenborg. The charac- 
ter of the man, his comprehensive scientific knowledge, and 
his idealistic philosophy, appealed to Emerson strongly, 
but the theology of Swedenborg repelled him. The problem 
therefore, was, how logically to accept him as a philosopher 
and scientist, but reject him as the prophet of a new religion. 
There were at that time, before the advent of modern ab- 
normal psychology, only two possible ways of regarding 
Swedenborg 5 that of his disciples, who accepted his revela- 
tions as divinely inspired} and that of his enemies, who in- 
sisted that he was insane. Emerson rejected both interpre- 
tations, and created a third, he called Swedenborg a mys- 
tic. "He found in him the same type of mystical ideology 
to which he had become accustomed in the Eastern Scrip- 
tures," says Carpenter in Emerson and Asw y and "lik- 
ens him to a Hindu soul, seeking the unity of the law of 
right, in the variety of existence." 5 * It is possible to pay 
transcendental respect and reverence to a mystic without 
understanding his doctrines. This was how Emerson, the 
romantic idealist, dealt with Swedenborg, the author of the 
True Christian Religion. James Truslow Adams, in Emer- 
son Reread, says: "It is illuminating that the one he dwells 
on with the greatest admiration is Swedenborg [a slight ex- 
aggeration! ] . This fact is significant^ w He projected his 
own mysticism upon Swedenborg, who is very far from being 
a mystic in the usual sense, though much of his teaching fol- 


lows the mystical tradition. There is, perhaps, a tragically 
prophetic note in Emerson's distrust of mysticism. He be- 
lieved that it was always accompanied by disease, "some- 
thing morbid mingled, in spite of the unquestionable increase 
of mental power." 66 And yet Swedenborg, Emerson's 
"Mystic," died at eighty-four, in full possession of all his 
faculties, having accomplished the great bulk of his writings 
after the age of sixty. 

Not only was Emerson deeply interested in Swedenborg, 
but also in his followers. In a letter to Carlyle he says, 
cc They are to me, however, deeply interesting as a sect which 
I think must contribute more than all other sects to the new 
faith which must rise out of all." 5T In 1 826 his friend Reed 
had published a little book called Observations on the 
Growth of Mind, based on the teachings of Swedenborg, 
which impressed Emerson greatly. He sent a copy to Car- 
lyle, who wrote concerning it: "He is a faithful thinker, that 
Swedenborgian druggist of yours, with a really deep idea, 
who makes me pause and think, were it only to consider 
what manner of man he must be, and what manner of thing, 
after all Swedenborgians must be." 58 The friendship be- 
tween Emerson and Reed was subjected to considerable 
strain by their opposite views concerning Swedenborg. Em- 
erson understood him as writing in parables, whereas Reed 
took him literally. Emerson confides to his Jowrnd: "In 
town I also talked with Sampson Reed and the rest. 'It is 
not so in your experience, but it is so in the other world.' 
c Other world?' I reply, 'There is no other world, here or 
nowhere is the whole fact.' " Here we see Emerson's em- 
piricism in sharp conflict with the basic ideas of Sweden- 
borg. 58 Dr. Hotson states that Emerson censured the the- 
ology of Swedenborg because he was afraid of being con- 
sidered a disciple. "Any self-contradiction, ingratitude, or 
malice was preferable to such a fate." eo But such a conclu- 
sion seems hardly necessary to explain Emerson's hostility 
to New Church theology. It is easier to believe that it was 
sincere, for he was by temperament opposed to all dogma- 
tism, and his philosophy was drawn from no one source, 


but was a synthesis of many elements. Obviously such a 
volatile mind could not cramp itself into the hard and fast 
confines of Swedenborgian theology. 

It was inevitable that Emerson should have come in con- 
flict with the New Church. When his Nature was published 
anonymously in 1836, it was mistaken by many for a New 
Church work, especially in England where it was hailed with 
delight. It was highly commended by the Intellectual Re- 
pository, and republished by a New Church minister in Glas- 
gow. This mistake was due to the use of such distinctively 
Swedenborgian words as "influx" and "ultimate," and to the 
fact that its leading idea of Nature as a symbol of the soul is 
so similar to the doctrine of correspondences. But the New 
Jerusalem Magazine protested against this mistaken appro- 
bation, and found severe fault with the book. "Here then 
we find the glorification of the Lord's Humanity spoken of 
simply as 'an example of the action of man upon nature, with 
his entire force/ the Word included in the same category 
with the traditions of antiquity, and the miracles of Shakers j 
as being the product of David, Isaiah, Jesus, equally men, 
and much of it drawn by them from the pomp and riches of 
nature j and that the teachings of Swedenborg are of the same 
relative value as thys philosophical speculations of the Egyp- 
tians, Brahmins, etc. And these principles pervade the work. 
We find nowhere any reference to the Lord, by whom all 
things were made. . . . We find the name of the Saviour 
used without reverence." In a lecture before the Phi Beta 
Kappa Society in 1837 Emerson referred to Swedenborg as 
one who had "endeavoured to engraft a purely Philosophi- 
cal Ethics on the popular Christianity of his time." 61 This 
brought forth these caustic remarks: "Those can have but a 
poor idea, even of his literary character, who have not studied 
his writings too well to speak of his having attempted to en- 
graft anything *on the popular Christianity of his time.' We 
have no doubt but Mr. Emerson intended to speak respect- 
fully and truly of Swedenborg- But his remarks show that 
he has read him little; or rather, to little purpose. ... It 
[this subject] derives some importance from the fact that 


many seem to suppose that Mr. Emerson's general views are 
nearly allied to those of the New Church." 62 

But it was his lecture on "Swedenborg, or the Mystic," 
delivered at the Odeon in 1 845, which produced the most 
violent reactions. Professor Bush replied to it in a lecture 
in the same place a few weeks afterwards, in which he said 
that "Christians can feel the touch of his [Emerson's] 
poetry, they can heed the sayings of philosophy, but they 
cannot repel the chill which ices their hearts when celestial 
sanctities are outraged, be the diction ever so silvered or 
the figures gathered from the gardens of Paradise it- 
self. . . . While he pronounces him [Swedenborg] a Mas- 
todon or Missourium of literature, not to be measured by a 
whole population of ordinary minds, he still presents him, 
in connection with his religious mission, in a light which 
goes exceedingly to detract from the estimate that would 
otherwise be formed of his powers and labors. . . . He 
thinks nothing of the Scriptures as divine, and therefore 
nothing of Swedenborg as a further revealer of its divine 
meaning. . . . Mr. Emerson does not believe in a Last 
Judgment. He says no degree of debasement stands in the 
way of man's advance toward perfection. 'With him the 
tendency is always upward, whether found in brothels, in 
prisons, or on the gallows.' I quote his own words, though 
with a sense of horror. . . . He clearly accords to Sweden- 
borg the credit of having read in all the visual forms of the 
material universe a symbolic language, and having been the 
first to embody in scientific form the principles of correspond- 
ence which dimly floated through the minds of Plato, Bacon, 
and all the great lights of the ages. He has redeemed from 
poetry and fixed in the domain of reason and science, the 
superb doctrine, 'that the natural is merely the transparent 
veil of the spiritual.' If it is true in philosophy, is it false 
in its theological applications? Yet it is the assertion of this 
very principle which, in the world's repute, has branded 
Swedenborg with the name of mystic and visionary. ... Is 
this impartial justice?" w 

Another New Church critic of this lecture of Emerson's 


makes the charge of superficiality very pointedly: "It is 
marvellous how he should have taken upon himself, in this 
lecture, to represent Swedenborg's teaching on the subject of 
evil, when to all appearance he had such a very slight ac- 
quaintance with it." 64 In respect to this charge of super- 
ficiality, Dr. Hotson claims that his researches show that 
Emerson got his knowledge of Swedenborg mainly at second 
hand, through translations, articles in the New Jerusalem 
Magazine, sermons, and conversations with Sampson Reed, 
in short, that he was never a real student of Swedenborg 
at all. 65 Dr. Hotson also claims that a great many of the 
misconceptions regarding Swedenborg and the New Church 
can be traced back directly to Emerson's misleading state- 
ments, and that while it is true that he brought Swedenborg 
to the attention of the intellectuals of New England, his in- 
fluence on the whole has been harmful to the New Church. 66 
The relation between the Swedenborgians and the Trans- 
cendentalists of Brook Farm appears in many articles in the 
Harbinger and the New Jerusalem Magazine. The latter 
speaks of Transcendentalism thus: "It is often compared to 
Swedenborgianismj it is commonly thought to be near of 
kin with it, and almost the same thing. And there are re- 
spects in which they are much alike. Both proclaim the 
utter degeneracy of the church and the world: both declare 
that all man's life needs to be purified, renewed, lifted from 
the ground: both declare that infinite measures of truth lie 
within our reach: both profess to teach how new life, re- 
ligious, moral, intellectual, civil and social, may be poured 
forth upon the world, to vivify and re-create it. But here 
the analogy stops j here the likeness gives place to contrast 
and opposition, for when they both seek for the instruction 
which they profess to give, the one turns toward light and 
source of light, the other towards thick darkness." 6T (The 
Harbinger probably would have agreed to this statement, 
but "with a difference.") The Transcendentalists, however 
much respect they had for Swedenborg, certainly felt no 
enthusiasm for the New Church. John S. Dwight writes of 
it: "The Swedenborgians seldom look out of their own 


church for movement. As a sect, in this country, and espe- 
cially in Boston, they are quietists and exclusivists. They 
are not active reformers, but accepting literally the revela- 
tions of their master they cling to their small community of 
a New Church, few in number as they are, as the nucleus of 
all that there is good and permanent and tending to the true 
estate of Man." As for the New Jerusalem Magazine, "It 
is almost altogether theological and simplistic-spiritual, al- 
though it has much to say of the doctrine of uses. But these 
are rather in the common details of individual private lifej 
and as to society, it seems to believe that there is and can 
be no society out of the communion of the New Church. It 
is incredulous to any scheme for the political and social re- 
generation of the race, except the theological scheme." 
However he does pay tribute to the members of the Church 
themselves: "They live a life apparently of cheerful charity 
and piety within their own communion, and are distinguished 
by mild courtesy to all men j but they seem to dread the con- 
tamination of the world, and to avoid mixing themselves 
in any general movements." 68 

When Fourierism swept the country in the early forties 
there were many who saw a resemblance between its social 
philosophy and the doctrines of Swedenborg, and a serious 
attempt was made to bring the New Church into the move- 
ment. Both Greeley and Brisbane, the originators of the 
Fourier propaganda in the New York Tribune, had con- 
nections with the Swedenborgians in England and America. 
Dr. Wilkinson, the English correspondent of the Tribune, 
as well as of the New Jerusalem Magazine, added an eager 
interest in Fourierism to his above-mentioned interest in 
Spiritualism. He attended a meeting in Paris with Brisbane, 
Dana, and Robert Owen, then a very old man, to discuss the 
future of the movement in America. Wilkinson thought 
it would "catch on there, for the whole thing is jolly hu- 
man." But he thought it had best be kept separate from 
Swedenborgianism, since Fourier's advocacy of free love 
would hardly fit in with Swedenborg's theories of mar- 
riage. e& He wrote to the New Jerusalem Magazine in 1 843 : 


"The doctrines of Transmigration of Souls, Transmutation 
of Sex, the conscious Life of the Planets, Suns, and Material 
Universes, generally, will not be readily acceptable to the 
New Church." 70 But already an interest in the new philos- 
ophy had appeared in New Church circles. As early as 1842 
a subscriber writes to the Magazine asking for information 
regarding the teachings of Fourier and their connection with 
the New Church: "I have seen in the New Jerusalem Magar- 
zine, some time back, a short notice of his system, with, if I 
remember right, a respectful notice of it, and also an address 
by Caleb Reed." 71 

But when Brisbane returned to America in 1840, after 
two years of study in Paris with Charles Fourier himself, 
and published his book, The Social Destiny of Man, and 
Greeley began the propaganda in the Tribune, the thing 
went like wildfire. By 1843 there were nineteen Fourier 
"Phalanxes" organized, and the following year thirteen 
more appeared, but by 1 846 the movement began to die out 
rapidly. 72 When the Brook Farm Transcendentalists ac- 
cepted Fourierism, and turned their community into a 
Phalanx, a number of their members were Swedenborgians, 
and the connection between the two groups was at that time 
very close. George Ripley, in an article called Association 
Not Sectarian, says of its members: "We find among them 
at present men who incline to Calvinistic doctrines, with 
others of a more heretical character; the devoted receivers 
of the illustrious Swedenborg, and the bold inquirers who 
question all the teachings of a traditional theology. . . . 
We study him [Swedenborg] continually for the light he 
sheds on many problems of human destiny, and more espe- 
cially for the remarkable correspondence, as of inner with 
outer, which his revelations present with the discourses of 
Fourier concerning Social organization, or the outward forms 
of life. The one is the great poet and high-priest, the other 
the great 'economist, as it were, of the Harmonic Order, 
which all things are preparing." 7S So close was the connec- 
tion that the Harbinger felt obliged to deny any actual rela- 
tion to the New Church: "We have somewhere seen it said, 


either directly or indirectly, that the Harbinger has a tend- 
ency to this theology, or that those engaged in the Associa- 
tive movement in this country are favorable to it. As to the 
latter point we admit that we regard it with profound re- 
spect, and that there are some, whom we are proud to call 
our brethren and fellow labourers, who receive entirely its 
most important features. But there are others of us who 
are of very different persuasions; and indeed in admitting 
that Swedenborg was a Heaven-sent teacher of Humanity, 
we are far from pledging the members of the Associative 
School to his doctrines, or the so-called New Church as a 
special body. In fact we do not think that the New Church 
has yet fully comprehended these doctrines which in our 
opinion can be understood only by the help of Fourier's 
theory of General Destinies." 74 In an attempt to assist the 
New Church to a more adequate understanding of its own 
doctrines, the Harbinger says: "We hope that the relation we 
have pointed out between Swedenborg and Fourier will lead 
disciples of the latter to study the doctrines of the former. 
We should be very happy on the other hand, if we could 
attract the attention of members of the New Church to this 
magnificent system, which gives in the language of earth, 
the most beautiful translation of their mystic hopes." TB 

Meanwhile there was considerable discussion of the sub- 
ject pro and con, in the New Church periodicals. One con- 
tributor objected strongly to Fourier's teachings as "pure 
Epicureanism," allowing the passions to have full sway. 
He said that the philosophical aspect of Fourierism in its re- 
lation to the New Church was analogous to that of Neo- 
Platonism to the Primitive Church. 76 But an article in the 
New Churchman, a Philadelphia publication, took the other 
side of the matter. "Industry in the Phalanx is organized 
into series, which are composed of groups and sub-groups. 
The series, as may be seen in the Heavenly Arcana, is the 
law of universal divine order. ... I intend to show at full 
length the perfect identity which exists between the social 
doctrine of Fourier and the fundamental principles of Swe- 
denborg's revelation, and I have no doubt that to all think- 


ing members of the New Church the 'Association 5 of 
Fourier will appear that organization of the New Church 
which will unite all its elements into one beautiful and glori- 
ous harmony." 7T 

But the members of the New Church were hardly the type 
to rush hastily into socialistic ventures. In 1843 some mem- 
bers of the Boston Society made an effort to establish an 
"Association," but failed. The chief objection appears in an 
article by Otis Clapp called "The Family Sphere," and con- 
taining excerpts from a paper read at one of their meetings. 
He concludes: "We are, therefore, Fourierists, so far as we 
can find materials in his system adapted to our wants j and we 
consider ourselves responsible for those parts of his system 
only which we after careful examination find it to our ad- 
vantage to adopt. . . . Objections are often made to Asso- 
ciation on the ground that the family sphere will be de- 
stroyed. Swedenborg says, 'All things relating to mutual 
love are in the heavens as consanguinities or relationships, 
consequently as families.' I hold therefore most unquali- 
fiedly to the inviolability of the domestic or family sphere." T8 
Thus we see that sex radicalism was the rock on which the 
hopes of Fourierism were wrecked in the New Church. 

But there were two Phalanxes actually formed of New 
Church people, one in Leraysville, Pa., and the other in 
Canton, 111. The Leraysville Phalanx, founded in 1844, 
by the Rev. L. C. Belding, lasted only eight months. It 
started under happy auspices with forty members and fifteen 
hundred acres of land, and the reasons for its failure were 
probably the usual ones. The Rev. Solyman Brown, a well- 
known New Churchman, served as preacher, teacher, and 
dentist for the community while it lasted. 79 The other ven- 
ture, the Canton Phalanx, was founded the next year by 
John F. Randolph, president of the Illinois Association of 
the New Church, who had converted Belding and Brown 
to Fourierism. He gave his own farm of three or four hun- 
dred acres as a site for the Phalanx. On it there were several 
log cabins, and a large log mill, besides the dwelling house 
of the Randolphs. The mill was moved to a better site, and 


a shed added for a kitchen and washroom, making a common 
dining hall, in the attic of which the young men slept 
Board shanties were built adjoining it, one or two for each 
family. Because of its peculiar structure and appearance it 
was familiarly known as "The Bird." In the spring twelve 
or fifteen of the most prominent families in Canton moved 
out to occupy this architectural marvel. One "series" at- 
tended to the farm, and another made bricks for a "phalan- 
sterie." The children were kept busy with schooling and 
the cultivation of flowers. Unfortunately Mr. Randolph 
died suddenly in the fall, and the group was left without a 
leader. The bricks were sold to pay back the non-resident 
stockholders, the loose property was divided and the farm 
returned to the Randolph family. " The Bird' folded its 
wings and disappeared." The Canton Society never recov- 
ered from the blow. They were both financially crippled, 
and humiliated in the eyes of their neighbors. 80 

In spite of these discouraging events, however, the en- 
thusiasts in the movement continued their propaganda. As 
late as 1848 an ambitious work appeared anonymously en- 
titled The True Organization of the New Church. The 
book opens thus: "I dedicate this work to the adherents of 
Fourier and Swedenborg. The doctrines of these two men 
cannot remain separate. Their union constitutes the union 
of Science and Religion." The author goes on to say that 
"the followers of Fourier indulge too much in the pride of 
Science to make their doctrines acceptable to Christian think- 
ers, . . . but on the other hand, the members of the New 
Church are too full of the <pride of faith, too contemptuous 
of whatever does not chime in with their man-worship of 
Swedenborg. . . . They have contented themselves with 
purifying, each in his own way, the interiors of their 
minds, . . . but they have lost sight of the scientific uni- 
versality of their doctrine, and the necessity of reconstruct- 
ing the External Man by means of the scientific, that is, col- 
lective or universal application to life of the principles of 
Swedenborg. . . . Swedenborg designates the spiritual 
heavens by the term Grand Man. The Grand Man is an 


organization of the heavenly inhabitants into Series of 
Groups, or in the language of Swedenborg, into consociations 
of all the determinations of their affections united into a 
One, by the inflowing Divine principle. . , . But Sweden- 
borg leaves his disciples ignorant of the particular nature of 
Divine Order, or that Orderly Arrangement which exists 
from the Lord, in the Natural Man, and which must be 
realized first, in order that the conjunction of the External 
and the Internal Man may be effected. It is this Orderly 
Arrangement which Fourier has discovered, and which the 
disciples of Swedenborg require to know to organize their 
Church." 81 The author then identifies the "Passional Prin- 
ciple" of Fourier with Swedenborg's "Conjugial Love": 
"The Passional Principle is not only capable of Order, but 
the laws of Harmony can be applied to it. Fourier calls it 
Passional Harmony, and Swedenborg, Conjugial Lave. . . . 
Man's freedom and happiness increase in proportion as he 
succeeds in realizing an orderly but spontaneous develop- 
ment of his passions, or his inborn, genuine tendencies to ac- 
tion. . . . This orderly freedom does certainly not mean 
anarchy} it precludes the idea of licentiousness j it is order 
itself. . . . According to both Swedenborg and Fourier the 
passions are the essences, the life of the human soul; without 
the passions the human soul would be a nonentity. . . . 
Swedenborg says (Conjugial Love, 461), 'The inhibition 
and retraction of our delights is what is called the torments 
of Hell!'" 82 

This book brought forth a torrent of indignation from the 
anti-Fourierist element in the Church. The New Jerusalem 
Magazine spoke scathingly of those who were attempting 
to unite the New Church with Fourierism. "In general they 
speak very highly of Swedenborg, but they give a new inter- 
pretation to his writings. This they do under the assump- 
tion that these writings have not heretofore been correctly 
apprehended by those who have professed to receive them. 
Indeed they suppose that Swedenborg has been peculiarly 
unfortunate in the character of his followers, who have been 
almost wholly confined to a narrow and bigoted class, en- 


tirely incompetent to grasp his true meaning. . . . The 
author of this book has not the remotest idea of the existence 
of a regenerate or spiritual man, of whom alone the heavenly 
marriage described by Swedenborg is predicable. Fourier 
says, 'Self love, in the Phalanx, is the pivotal or fundamental 
Love of every individual man.' Swedenborg says, 'When 
the love of the neighbor makes the head, and the two re- 
maining loves (of the world and of the self) make in order 
the body and the feet, that man appears from heaven of an 
angelic face. 5 . . . The horrible falsity which underlies the 
whole book, and which is constantly exhaling its sickening 
and blasphemous effluvia to poison and paralyze the reader's 
perceptions, we refer to the doctrine of necessity in its full- 
est sense, a sense which absolves the guilty from all blame, 
and makes God the only author of evil, to the utter con- 
founding of heaven and hell and of all opposites." 8S 

The Rev. B. F. Barrett also criticized the book as full of 
falsehoods, and perversions of Swedenborg's doctrines. 
Among these false statements he quotes: "Christ and the 
Devil are the fundamental constituents of the Divine Prin- 
ciple, and will ultimately coalesce into One Compound 
Unit." "Regeneration is social and not individual. It im- 
plies a radical change or remodelling of the Social Man, 
a reorganization upon the principles of Charles Fourier." 
"We are collectively (not individually) responsible for the 
evil which each of us commits. Civilization is accountable 
for all the crimes that men commit." "It is time that the 
real friends of Humanity shall unite to lay low the insidious 
falsity, and the hidden selfishness of the isolated family, 
which has for thousands of years been enveloped with the 
drapery of sanctity, goodness and love." 8 * Quite naturally 
the book was abhorrent to the New Church. 

The most serious consequence of the connection between 
the New Church and Fourierism, though wholly unofficial, 
as we have seen, was the share of criticism which it was 
obliged to bear in the general wave of reaction against 
Fourier's anti-marriage teachings. An article from the New 
York Daily Times, entitled "Origin, Progress, and Position 


of the Anti-Marriage Movement," and quoted in the New 
Jerusalem Magazine, speaks of a "plan to subvert the pres- 
ent organization of society. ... It is to Fourierism, there- 
fore, and its introduction and promulgation, that we attrib- 
ute the disgusting and detestable free love system which is 
openly advocated throughout the country. Among the pro- 
mulgators of this doctrine is Dr. Lazarus, a gentleman of 
Hebrew birth. . . . We have mentioned Swedenborg as 
one of the authors quoted and commented on by Dr. Lazarus 
in support of his views. Although there is nothing in the 
writings of Swedenborg on which a vindication of such a sys- 
tem as that we are discussing could be based, there is no 
doubt that very many of its advocates make effective use of 
them. . . . Although his doctrine of conjugial love implies 
the eternal spiritual affinity of a single pair, and would nat- 
urally bind his disciples to an indissoluble monogamy, use is 
made of it to inculcate the propriety and duty of dissolving 
all false and merely legal relations, and many Swedenbor- 
gians make it a matter of conscience to repudiate all such rela- 
tions and form new ones, with a view to more perfect, and 
therefore permanent, connections." Here we see the New 
Church, through Fourierism, brought into very bad com- 
pany indeed. Also Henry James, Sr., who, though not a 
member of the New Church, was well known as a Sweden- 
borgian, had made matters worse by defending "Sweden- 
borgian, or spiritual marriage of the affinities" in the New 
York Observer, and had spoken disrespectfully of the legal 
tie as a "handcuffing of the police." The situation was now 
felt to be serious, and the Rev. Thomas Worcester under- 
took to reply in the Boston Daily Advertiser to the accusa- 
tions in the article from the Times: "I confess with sorrow," 
he writes, "that some Swedenborgians have left Swedenborg 
and gone to Fourier, and to what is called Spiritualism. 
Since then I have no doubt they have advocated the senti- 
ments of their new associates, and in doing this, they may 
have perverted, and profaned the principles of the New 
Church. ... I have been a member of the New Church for 
nearly forty years j I have been a teacher of its doctrines in 


this city for thirty-seven years 5 and during this time I have 
been extensively acquainted with my spiritual brethren in 
all parts of this country, and with many in Europe. And 
yet I have never known or heard of any one in the Church 
who looked upon the anti-marriage sentiments referred to 
with any favor." 85 

In summing up the relation between the New Church and 
Fourierism, it is only fair to say that the New Church was 
"more sinned against than sinning." The advances seem to 
have come from the Fourierists themselves, who thought 
they saw in the followers of Swedenborg a likely field for 
propaganda. To this, as we have seen, many responded, but 
the great majority in the New Church were wholly unim- 
pressed, if not actively scandalized, by the extraordinary 
teachings of Fourier. The relation of Swedenborgianism to 
Transcendentalism, however, is not so simple a matter. 
There is no doubt of its influence on Emerson, but aside 
from him there is very little clear evidence. Bronson Al- 
cott presents, perhaps, the next best case. He and Emerson 
discussed Swedenborg frequently, and Alcott had a great 
deal of knowledge of his writings. He found help in them 
in understanding his own mystical states of illumination. 
He said the philosophers with whom he felt most in accord 
were Pythagoras, Plato, lamblichus, Plotinus, Porphyry, 
Proclus, Boehme, and Swedenborg. In one of his states 
of illumination he saw the entire world as one vast spinal 
column which corresponded to the "gifts" in his Pantheon 
of the Mind, a sort of ascending or descending scale from 
the Divine Spirit to matter. His biographer, Sanborn, says, 
"I therefore conceive this insight into the symbolic signifi- 
cance of the spine to be directly connected with his studies 
in Swedenborg." 86 Charles A. Dana spent five years at 
Brook Farm as a very young man, and there he came under 
the influence of Swedenborg's writings, an influence which 
persisted throughout his life. For many years he was a reg- 
ular attendant at the New York Swedenborgian church, al- 
though he never became a member. 87 It is certainly a fact 
that a "Swedenborgian wave" passed over New England in 


the forties, and left its mark upon the thought of the period 
to a certain extent. Men like Edward Everett Hale, Theo- 
dore Parker, William H. Channing, and James Freeman 
Clarke referred in lectures, books, and personal letters to 
Swedenborg in terms of highest praise. In his book on Self 
Culture, Clarke puts Swedenborg with Voltaire, Wesley, and 
Franklin, as the four men who have had the most marked 
influence on the age. Of Swedenborg he says: "His thought, 
so subtle and so deep, is gradually conquering the material- 
ism of philosophy and theology and so bringing down what 
he called the New Jerusalem, or the sight of divine truth 
incarnate in all actual facts and laws." 8S Julia Ward Howe 
wrote to a friend: "We were a month at sea, and after the 
first day of discomfort, I managed to fill the hours of the 
long summer days with systematic occupation. In the morn- 
ing I perused Swedenborg's Divine Love and Wisdom" 8fl 
The New Church Evidence Society has made a detailed 
study of this period, and reports some interesting findings. 
"For more than three decades Swedenborg was much read, 
and he was the subject of long and able special articles in 
the New England magazines of the period by the leading 
minds and the best writers of the community, such names 
as F. H. Hedge, of the Harvard Divinity School, G. E. 
Ellis, Edward Purkett, E. H. Sears, and others, in the 
Christian Examiner from 1833 to i86oj Sidney Willard, in 
the American Monthly Review, 18325 J. H. Barrett and 
J. B. Throll, in the New Englander; Dr. W. S. Plumer and 
L. H. Atwater, in the Princeton Review, and an important 
unsigned article in the Massachusetts Quarterly Review, 
June, 1848 [by Henry James, Sr.]. We have here a body 
of the most earnest study and the most intelligent criticism 
that has been given popular form from the outside point of 
view to Swedenborg's character and mission." 90 

But this "Swedenborgian wave" soon passed, and interest 
in his teachings among the intellectuals became more and 
more rare. Whatever influence Swedenborg has had on 
American philosophy, except in the cases of Emerson and 
Alcott, is certainly of an indirect nature. Woodbridge Riley 


mentions Job Durfee's Pan-idea; or, An Omnipresent Rea- 
son Considered as the Creative and Sustaining Logos (Prov- 
idence, 184.9,) 3 s an early instance of Swedenborgian influ- 
ence. He also calls Swedenborg the source of the mysticism 
of William James, and considers the chapter on Fechner in 
A Pluralistic Universe especially Swedenborgian. 91 Emile 
Boutroux also finds James "thoroughly imbued with the 
Swedenborgian spirit." 92 In this connection however it is 
perhaps significant that the New Church students of philos- 
ophy, in their criticisms of the writings of James, find little 
affinity between his philosophy and the teachings of Sweden- 
borg. Professor Hite of the New Church Theological 
School writes: "Professor James 3 attitude toward idealism, 
and toward absolutism in general, is partly temperamental 
and partly intellectual. He is thoroughly infected with 
hereditary opposition to all forms of the static, the conven- 
tionalized, and the institutionalized." 9S 

The relation between the teachings of Swedenborg and 
the theory and practice of medicine is a study in itself. It 
has been noted that an unusually large proportion of his 
early disciples were doctors or pharmacists, both in England, 
and in America. 94 Many of them no doubt were familiar 
with his works in anatomy and physiology, and were nat- 
urally led to an interest in his theology. Also the theological 
works abound in examples and illustrations drawn from his 
knowledge of science, which made them doubly convincing 
to men of science. And although Swedenborg states clearly 
that the causes of disease are spiritual, he was far too much 
of a scientist to deny its physical reality, or the propriety of 
treating it by material means. The first system of healing 
to appear which seemed to be in harmony with this theory 
of spiritual causation was Mesmerism, or animal magnetism. 
We have seen how intense was the interest of New Church 
people in these phenomena. In the New Jerusalem Maga- 
zine in the early thirties there were a number of articles on 
this subject. In 1 832 an article called "The Healing of Dis- 
eases by Faith" appeared which contended that whereas the 
unregenerate man must rely on medicine, the regenerating 


man need not do so. It told the incident of Swedenborg's 
toothache, which he said was not caused by a diseased nerve, 
but by "the influx from hell from hypocrites" and which he 
said he knew would soon leave him. 96 The following year 
an article on "Somnambulism and Animal Magnetism" admits 
the cures made by the magnetizers, but does not recommend 
the practice, on account of the danger of getting in contact 
with evil spirits. The article states however that "disease 
always implies a conflict between the internal and the ex- 
ternal," and is therefore subject to spiritual treatment. 96 
Another article, "The Present State of the Science of Medi- 
cine," in 1835, says: "But of all the present imperfections in 
the science of medicine, that which may be said to compre- 
hend the whole, is ignorance of the true nature of dis- 
ease, . . . the disease itself is overlooked, and the term is 
applied to the wholesome efforts of the constitution to re- 
move it. ... There is reason to hope and confidently ex- 
pect that the heat and light descending from the New 
Church, will soon reach and reanimate the science of medi- 
cine." 97 

As Mesmerism by degrees fell into disrepute, a new sys- 
tem of healing, Homeopathy, came into vogue. Its earliest 
connection with the New Church was through Dr. Hans B. 
Gram, who located in New York City in 1825, and became 
a member of the New York Society. Dr. Gram, who had 
studied in Germany with Hahnemann himself, and had suf- 
fered considerable persecution in his attempt to introduce the 
new methods in Copenhagen, was the first Homeopathic 
physician in America. Not only was he successful in con- 
verting a number of prominent New York physicians to the 
new doctrines, but also in introducing them to the members 
of the New Church. He translated Hahnemann's essay, 
The Spirit of Homoeopathy in i826. 98 Homeopathy went 
like wild-fire through the New Church. Its periodicals are 
full of discussions of its relation to the teachings of Sweden- 
borg, and a large proportion of its membership embraced it. 
Two of the largest firms of Homeopathic pharmacists in 
America, Boericke and Tafel, of Philadelphia, and Otis 


Clapp, of Boston, were founded by New Churchmen. These 
men also were active in the publication of Homeopathic 
literature, Mr. Boericke owning the controlling interest in 
the Hahnemann Publishing House." There was soon a 
large number of Homeopathic physicians also on the rolls 
of the New Church, several of whom later became ordained 
ministers. 100 

The reasons for this connection between the two doctrines 
have been set forth at great length in New Church publica- 
tions. There seems to have been no direct influence how- 
ever on Hahnemann himself of the writings of Swedenborg, 
though it is probable that he was familiar with some of the 
anatomical works of his earlier years. 101 The chief connect- 
ing link between them seems to be Paracelsus of whom both 
he and Swedenborg were deep students, and whose doctrine 
of "signatures" is accountable for much of the resemblance 
between their theories. For Hahnemann, as well as Swe- 
denborg, disease was a matter of the spirit, or as Hahnemann 
phrases it: "Dynamic aberrations of our spirit, like life, 
manifested by sensations and actions," The "psora," which 
caused chronic diseases, was a miasm, or evil spirit, which 
pervaded the body, and finally manifested itself as an irrup- 
tion. 102 Regarding the relation between the two Doctrines, 
Dr. William E. Payne, of Bath, Me., wrote as follows: "By 
this attempt to present the science of medicine in its orderly 
connection with the doctrines of the Church, I have entered, 
I am aware, upon a plane of boundless extent. . . . All 
spiritual diseases, as we shall endeavor to show in the course 
of our remarks, have a counterpart in the diseases of the 
natural bodyj or otherwise, all diseases of the natural body 
are ultimates of spiritual disorders, or evil affections of the 
mind. And while the province of the spiritual physician is 
confined to the spiritual plane, by ministering specifically 
to diseases of the mind, so likewise, is the province of the 
natural physician confined to the natural plane, by adminis- 
tering specifically to diseases of the natural body. . . . The 
skepticism existing within the pale of the church, and in the 
minds of those who are without, may be seen represented 


in the growing unbelief in the utility of all medicines, in 
the minds of both professional and non-professional men. 
As in the one case false principles are used for the suppres- 
sion of moral depravity, so in the other, medicines are used 
for the suppression of bodily disease, or else the effects of 
disease are removed for disease itself, as in cases of the re- 
moval of tumours by the knife, to make the exterior of the 
body appear healthy and fair, while the same interior cause 
remains, still flowing into the external, manifesting itself 
perhaps in a more loathsome form than before." 108 

The article continues: "Two new methods for the treat- 
ment of diseases have recently recommended themselves to 
New Churchmen. The one, Hydropathy, or as it is some- 
times called, the cold water system of curej and the other 
Homeopathy, or that system of medicine which recognizes 
the use of specific remedies. The former is of very recent 
origin, and has recommended itself to New Churchmen for 
the general correspondence of water. About half a century 
has elapsed since the principles of the latter, were first made 
known to the world, in the form of science, and recom- 
mended itself to Newchurchmen, as it is now seen, princi- 
pally from this, that it refers the origin of all diseases to 
immaterial spiritual causes. . . . Swedenborg says, 'Dis- 
eases correspond with the lusts and passions of the mind 5 
these therefore are the origins of diseases; for the origins 
of diseases, in common, are intemperances, luxuries of vari- 
ous kinds, pleasures merely corporeal, also envyings, hatreds, 
revenges, lasdviousnesses and the like, which destroy the 
interiors of man, and when these are destroyed the exteriors 
suffer, and draw men into disease, and thereby into death.' 
... If the influx into the natural world of the life of 
wild and ferocious beasts and poisonous vegetables and min- 
erals, is free and unobstructed, natural disease will not occur j 
for this life flows freely through the mind, tending to its 
own ultimate form, either in the animal, vegetable, or min- 
eral degree, which form can alone receive it without that 
violence which would be offered to it by a life differing essen- 
tially from its own proper life. 'Thus we see, [quoting 


Swedenborg] that all objects and things o the natural 
world serve as a kind of safety valves, if the expression may 
be allowed, for the protection of man's natural life; without 
these he could not exist a moment.' . . . When a disease has 
manifested itself c it now becomes necessary, in order that the 
natural body should be restored to a reception of its proper 
life, to a state of health, that this obstruction should be 
overcome, that this affection which is arrested, and is flow- 
ing into the natural body as its ultimate recipient, should 
again flow downward into its own proper recipient, and 
leave the natural body, a recipient only of its own appropri- 
ate life. That this may be effected, the ultimate of the dis- 
ease, or the evil affections, which is operating in the body to 
form a receptacle, must be introduced upon the same plane 
to receive the disorderly life.' Mercury prpduces the same 
evil effects as syphilis, like cures like, hence mercury 
cures syphilis." 10i 

In an article called "Have the Principles of Homoeopathy 
an Affinity with the Doctrines of the New Church?" the Rev. 
Richard DeCharms expounds his theories of the connection. 
"It is not true that one disease is cast out by another similar 
disease. As we have shown this is not the theory of homoeo- 
pathic cure. The theory is, that the evil spirits of hell, who 
are exciting disease in the human economy, by flowing into 
human poisons corresponding to them which sin has gen- 
erated therein, are derived, drawn down, from that economy, 
by presenting to them a more grateful field for their infernal 
activity, namely, those similar poisons, which correspond to 
the hells of those spirits in the animal, vegetable, or mineral 
kingdoms, which lie beneath man. Into these lower poisons 
or their effects, the infernal spirits go -freely and by divine 
permission, not constraint, because they feel greater delight 
in a more ultimate ground of their activity." 105 This ex- 
traordinary theory was sharply criticized by several New 
Church physicians, both homeopathic and allopathic. Dr. 
William H. Holcombe, an allopathic physician who was 
later converted to Homeopathy, wrote, "When a person 
swallows arsenic, the spirits do not rush into the molecules 


of the arsenic, display their malignant activity and then pass 
out of the body in the arsenic. They only seize upon the 
arsenic as an ultimate agent by which they may work that 
destruction in his body which they would wreak upon his 
soul. A chemical antidote by changing the form of the sub- 
stance prevents the infernal influx. . . . The entrance of 
the devils into the swine is a stereotyped illustration with 
Homoeopathic New Churchmen, but the two most essential 
points are overlooked. The devils left the two men with 
great reluctance, prefacing their request to go into the swine, 
with the deprecating words, c lf thou cast us out.' The 
sphere of Divine Love tormented them so that they became 
willing to abandon their higher sphere of operation, for an 
inferior and (contrary to Mr. DeCharms' hypothesis) a less 
agreeable one." loe Another dissenting opinion came from 
Dr. William M. Murdoch, another allopathic New Church 
physician. "I assert in all truth, that I am not able to find a 
single principle, and scarcely a single expression, in the works 
of Swedenborg that can be construed into the support of the 
notion that Like Cures Like, c similia similibus curantur,' in- 
deed, this seems to me, to be the very principle which our 
Lord repudiated, when he taught that it was impossible to 
cast out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils. . . . 
Moreover I do not think that a religious journal is a proper 
medium for carrying on controversies concerning medical 
theories. . . . Physicians consider the opinions of clergy- 
men, on medical matters, entirely worthless." 10T 

Dr. Charles S. Mack, professor in the Homoeopathic Medi- 
cal College of the University of Michigan, and later a New 
Church minister, in his book, Philosophy m Homoeopathy > 
devotes several pages to the relation of Homeopathy to 
Swedenborgian philosophy. His belief is that "the theory 
of homeopathy seems entirely agreeable to the belief that 
we are recipients of life from the Prime Source of life, and, 
if cure occurs, recipients of the health which replaces dis- 
ease. 5 ' 108 

The subject of spiritual healing has been of interest to 
some in the New Church since as early as the forties, though 


the consensus of opinion has always been against it. An 
article in the Newchurchman gives a suggestion for a method 
which is a remarkable foreshadowing of the "psychoanalytic 
transference." "The spiritual physician assumes, mentally, 
in relation to the patient, only his ultimate state, which state 
is the evil affection j . . . and by this he descends to his 
state, for this evil affection or desire represents the state of 
the patient, and himself (the physician) represents truth to 
which the patient is to be elevated. Now the spiritual physi- 
cian, by manifesting himself thus to the patient, in his charac- 
ter of truth, or by instructing the spiritually diseased patient 
relative to his own state, a way is pointed out, or opened, by 
which the patient may be spiritually healed." 109 This psy- 
chological approach also appears in a book by Dr. Walter 
Kidder in 1849, A General Deduction "from the Psychologi- 
cal System of Medicine, with an especial Illustration upon 
Typhus and Typhoid, a scientific treatise based on New 
Church principles. 110 But another approach to spiritual heal- 
ing was suggested in an article in the New Church Reposi- 
tory in 1850: "The breaking up of old things and the evolu- 
tion of new, so strikingly characteristic of the age, do not 
promise support to Homoeopathy, or any kindred, incomplete 
and unscientific system of medicine, but rather foretell the 
development of a spiritual medicine, which will be the ana- 
logue or corresponding form of Allopathy, in a higher 
sphere. . . . Mesmerism, Clairvoyance, and all other forms 
of spiritual manifestation must be taken out of the hands of 
itinerant charlatans, and submitted to the analytic powers 
of the candid, laborious, disinterested and capable philoso- 
phers. From the heterogeneous mass will be probably de- 
veloped a science which will supersede even the vast, mature 
and venerable system of medicine which is now shedding its 
incalculable blessings on the human race." m In view of 
the work of Janet and Freud, beginning with hypnotism 
and ending with analytical psychology, these words have a 
strangely prophetic ring. 

The first attempt in America to evolve a scientific method 
of healing from the Phenomena of Mesmerism was that of 


Phineas P. Quimby, whose system became the basis of both 
Mrs. Eddy's Christian Science and the New Thought Move- 
ment. The question of Quimby's relation to Swedenborg 
is one of interest to the New Church. His son, George 
Quimby, is quoted as saying in a letter dated June 20, 
1907: "Father was at one time interested in Swedenborg's 
ideas." 112 But Horatio Dresser, in The Quimby Manu~ 
scripts, says that Quimby was not a reader of philosophy or 
theology, and did not borrow his ideas from Berkeley or 
Swedenborg. His only reference to Swedenborg is that he 
thought Mahomet and Swedenborg had "self-induced inner 
states." Mr. Dresser says elsewhere: "Some have supposed 
that Mr. Quimby derived his teachings in part from Swe- 
denborg, but there is no direct proof of this assumption. 
Mr. Quimby may have discussed the teachings of Sweden- 
borg with the New Church minister in Portland j but there 
is no indication of any influence coming from that quarter 
in Quimby's writings. The most we can say is that Quimby 
belonged to the New Age whose coming Swedenborg fore- 
told. Quimby's teaching coincided with Swedenborg's at 
certain points, but it remained for Mr. Evans to detect the 
resemblance, and to look to Swedenborg's writings for the 
fundamental basis for Quimby's theory of spiritual heal- 
ing." 118 So it was the Rev. Warren R Evans, pastor of 
the New Church in Portland, who formed the connecting 
link. He went to Quimby for treatment in 1863, and be- 
came one of his most noted disciples. Evans had become 
converted to Berkeley's idealism, and confused Swedenborg 
with the Idealists. "All the objects of nature are phenom- 
ena, or appearances, as Hegel, Fichte, Berkeley, Sweden- 
borg, and all idealists, affirm," he writes in The Divine Law 
of Cwre (p. I52). 114 Evans not only formulated a meta- 
physical basis for Quimby's system of mind cure, but pro- 
ceeded to put it into practice. From 1867 to 1886 he ran 
a Mind Cure Sanitarium, and together with Mr. and Mrs. 
Julius Dresser, also patients of Quimby's, founded the Meta- 
physical Club in Boston which developed later into the New 
Thought movement. He wrote a number of books ex- 


pounding his theories, in which he adapted Swedenborg's 
psychology to Quimby's methods. He makes frequent use 
of Swedenborg's terms, influx, correspondences, and spir- 
itual causality. He stated the cause of disease as a discord 
between the will and the understanding, a spiritual dis- 
order, and not a mental error. In this he departed from 
Quimby, while Mrs. Eddy followed him exactly. The 
normal state of health is maintained by the divine influx, 
but this is cut off by two evils, those of selfishness and sex- 
disorders. Through Evans' books the teachings of Swe- 
denborg have influenced the New Thought movement con- 
siderably, but the leaders who followed him went back to 
Quimby's idea of disease as mental error, and the Sweden- 
borgian influence became weaker. 115 

The next attempt on the part of a New Churchman to 
formulate a system of spiritual healing based on the teach- 
ings of Swedenborg was that of the Rev. Charles H. Mann, 
in a little book called Psychiasis. The author begins, "I be- 
lieve in the healing of the body through the soul. I be- 
lieve in the descent of the divine life with health-giving 
power, not only into the celestial and spiritual planes of 
man's life, but even onto the plane of his physical existence. 
This is absolutely non-miraculous, simply a method for 
opening the fountain of life more copiously. . . . Every 
disease corresponds to its own evil, . . . lusts and passions 
of the mind, hatreds, jealousies, etc. The removal of 
spiritual causes is the true means of healing, but a kind 
of therapeutic method is needed, the clearing of the mind 
of all obstructions." 116 Thus we find New Church thinkers 
continually approaching a psychological technique, but never 
quite achieving it. Dr. Horatio W. Dresser, who has been 
successively both a leader in the New Thought movement 
and a New Church minister, in his Spiritual Healing -from a 
New Church Viewpoint, says that the problem of disease 
and the problem of sin are the same, and that it is wrong 
to take away the disease without removing its spiritual cause. 
Swedenborg says (D.P.28a): "To heal the understanding 
alone, is to heal from without, . . . and therefore the heal- 


ing of the understanding would be like a palliative heal- 
ing. ... It is the will itself which must be healed." 
Therefore the New Church should not practice mental heal- 
ing. 117 

At a Round Table Discussion in 1900 the question was 
asked: "Why has the New Church no cases of spiritual heal- 
ing of the body to show?" 118 There are a number of pos- 
sible answers to that question. The first is Homeopathy. 
As we have seen, the early interest of New Church physi- 
cians in the spiritual causation of disease, was led aside into 
Homeopathy by the resemblance between the theories of 
Hahnemann and those of Swedenborg. The second is 
Christian Science, which brought the whole subject of spir- 
itual healing into disrepute with the New Church. Not 
only is the absolute idealism of Mrs. Eddy's metaphysics 
completely opposed to the dualism of Swedenborg, for whom 
both the world of spirit and the world of matter are equally 
real, but her claims to divine inspiration are naturally repel- 
lent to a church which has its own divinely inspired founder. 
But the fact remains that in the teachings of Swedenborg 
is to be found the basis for a new and thoroughly scientific 
method of spiritual healing. 


The ecclesiastical history of the New Church is the history 
of "Convention," as it is familiarly known, or, the General 
Convention of the New Jerusalem in the United States of 
America. In 1817 a call was sent out by the Philadelphia 
Society to all "receivers of the doctrines of the New Jeru- 
salem Church" to meet together "for the purpose of con- 
sulting upon the general concerns of the Church." This 
historic body met in the new Temple of the Philadelphia 
Society on Thursday, the fifteenth of May, being Ascension 
Day. The attendance was small, with only about twenty 
present from outside of Philadelphia. 1 Reports were given 
by representatives of the various societies, so that a fair pic- 
ture of the state of the Church just thirty-three years after 
the coming of James Glen can be obtained. The figures are 
as follows: 

Baltimore 60 to 70 members 

Philadelphia 60 " 

New York City 45 " 

Cincinnati 45 " 

Boston 20 " 

Steubenville, 20 " 

Lebanon, O. 20 " 

Wheeling and West Liberty . 15 to 20 " 

Danby, N. Y 14 " 

Spencer, N. Y n " 

Platikill, N. Y 10 " 

Brownsville, Pa 10 " 

Bedford, Pa 8 

Abingdon, Va. . 7 " 



Charleston, S. C. . . 5 or 6 members 

Lancaster, Pa a few " 

Madison Town, Ind. . . . several " 2 

Thus it will be seen that the New Church now has seven- 
teen societies or churches with a total membership of ap- 
proximately three hundred and sixty, and spread over nine 
states. Besides these members of societies there were many 
scattered "receivers" on the plantations of the South, the 
farms of New England, and the frontier settlements of the 
Middle West, as well as interested readers and hearers in 
many places. This rather slow growth was due to the nature 
of the doctrines themselves, which required a fairly high 
degree of education and intelligence for their comprehen- 
sion, as well as considerable leisure for their perusal. It is 
not surprising that so fine a flower of eighteenth century 
European culture should have been slow in taking root in 
the rocky soil of a pioneer civilization. There was up to this 
time no revivalistic appeal to religious emotions, all the 
propaganda being of a literary nature. Except for the mis- 
sionary activities of "Johnny Appleseed," there was no at- 
tempt to reach the uneducated. In the Convention Journal 
the case of the conversion of a German woman is recounted 
as an "interesting and remarkable case of the reception of the 
Heavenly Doctrines by the simple." 8 

The Rev. John Hargrove of Baltimore was elected Presi- 
dent of the Convention, and Mr. Condy Raguet of Phila- 
delphia, Secretary.* This was an eminently suitable choice, 
Mr. Hargrove being the first ordained minister of the Amer- 
ican New Church, and Mr. Raguet one of its most able and 
prominent laymen. 5 It was decided to hold conventions an- 
nually, thus laying the foundations of a permanent organi- 
zation and centralized control over the far-flung groups 
comprising the New Jerusalem. The first question of im- 
portance was the necessity for regulating ordinations, and a 
committee of clergy was appointed to look into the matter 
and report at the next convention. The second question, 
that of raising funds for the support of a "missionary min- 


ister," was also postponed, but it is significant that from the 
beginning the Convention has regarded missionary work as 
one of its important functions. The third matter to come 
up was that of a sect called Halcyonists, or Halcyonites, and 
their relation to the New Church. This sect had been started 
by a Mr. Sergeant, who was familiar with some of the writ- 
ings of Swedenborg, but had no connection whatever with 
the New Church, Along with a garbled Swedenborgianism 
he taught the dangerous doctrine that "Since it has been 
openly declared and made known to the Church, by Christ 
himself, that all power in heaven and in the earth (that is, 
all authority in Church and State) is given into his hands, 
it is unlawful, in the sight of God, for the Saint to acknowl- 
edge any other visible political Head." All connection with 
this radical sect was formally repudiated by the Conven- 
tion. 6 

The Second Convention was held in Baltimore the fol- 
lowing year, the same officers being reflected. Concerning 
the matter of ordinations it was decided to require the joint 
sanction of the Philadelphia and Baltimore Societies. The 
Committee cautioned against allowing the laity to preach 
and administer the sacraments. Another committee was 
appointed to draw up a catechism for the instruction of chil- 
dren. 7 There was no Convention held in 1819 due to an 
epidemic of yellow fever in Baltimore and New York, 8 but 
the Third Convention met in Philadelphia in 1820. The 
statistics for this year give twelve societies, eight ordained 
ministers, and about two hundred and thirty members. 9 
Whether this indicates an actual decline since 1817, or 
merely a more accurate reckoning, it is impossible to say. 
The Convention Journal states: "The apparent means of 
propagating the Doctrines have been straitened by the dif- 
ficulties of the times," 10 referring either to the yellow fever 
or the financial depression, or both. From this time on, 
however, almost to the end of the century, the growth of 
the New Church was steady. The geographical spread is 
shown in the list of societies entitled to representation in the 
Convention. In 1833 these 


Maine: Bath, Gardiner, Portland. 

Massachusetts: Boston, Bridgewater, East, North, and 
West Bridgewater, Abington. 

New York: New York City, Riverhead, L. I., Danby, 

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia First and Second Societies, 
Frankf ord, Lancaster, Bedford, Leraysville, and Dela- 
ware County. 

Maryland: Baltimore, and Abingdon, Va. 

Ohio: Cincinnati, Steubenville, Dayton, Lebanon, Bain- 
bridge. 11 

The growth of the New Church by decades appears in the 
following table: 12 

Societies Ordained ministers 


1820. . . 

. 12 



1830 .. 

.. 28 



1840 . . 

. 26 



1850 . 

- 54 




.. 64 



1870. . . 

.. 90 

68 ' 


1880. . . 








By 1830 there was an intense and active interest in mis- 
sionary work, especially in the Middle West where the New 
Church took on a more evangelical character than in the 
East. The New Jerusalem Missionary Society, organized 
this year, led two years later to a meeting in Cincinnati of 
the "First General Convention of the Receivers of the Doc- 
trines of the New Jerusalem West of the Allegheny Moun- 
tains," or more simply, the "Western Convention." 1S The 
formation of such a "district convention" had been recom- 
mended to the western brethren by the General Convention 
in 1822, because of the difficulties of sending delegates so 
far. 14 It was intended that the district conventions should 
deal with matters of merely local importance and send dele- 
gates to the General Convention. In 1835 the Massa- 


chusetts Association was founded in accordance with this 
plan, and the Maine Association the following year. 15 The 
interest in missionary work culminated in 1833 in the elec- 
tion of a Missionary and Tract Board of twelve members, 
which undertook the support of first one, and then two, 
traveling missionary ministers. This marks the beginning 
of the Convention's policy of employing a regular staff of 
workers in the home mission field. 16 The appointment in 
1839 of a Committee on Foreign Correspondence is the first 
expression of the interest in the New Church in Europe 
which later developed into foreign missionary work. 17 

As we have seen, the principal medium of propaganda of 
the New Church has always been the printed word, and in 
1853 the General Convention voted to buy the New Jeru- 
salem Magazine for an official organ. The same editorial 
staff, consisting of Caleb Reed, Theophilus Parsons, and 
Sampson Reed, continued in office, and the place of publi- 
cation remained as before, the Bookstore of Otis Clapp, 18 in 
Boston. By this time the center of power in the Convention 
had shifted from Philadelphia to Boston, and the New Eng- 
land group were formulating all its policies. Two years 
later a Board of Publication was appointed, and a weekly 
newspaper, the New Jerusalem Messenger, issued its first 
number with the appropriate caption: "Behold, I bring you 
tidings of great joy." 19 There was also a Children's New 
Church Magazine, founded by Sampson Reed in 1843, an d 
now under the control of the Convention. These three 
periodicals, in 1860, reported large subscription lists, but 
an annual deficit of $1,200.00. This same year the Conven- 
tion also assisted the new German Society, of Baltimore, the 
first in the country, organized in 1855, in the publication 
of a German liturgy and hymnal. 20 Besides these publish- 
ing activities on the part of the Convention itself, there were 
also private ventures. The American Swedenborg Printing 
and Publishing Society was founded in New York in 1850 
to publish and distribute the works of Swedenborg; 21 the 
American Tract Society, founded in 1868, and later under 
control of the Convention; * 2 and the lungerich Fund, estab- 


lished in 1873 ^ or ^ e purpose of disseminating the Writings 
among the Protestant clergy, 23 these three distributed an- 
nually thousands of volumes. In 1880 the lungerich Fund 
reported a distribution of 32,000 volumes in seven years, 
the American Tract Society 21,000 volumes and 45,000 
sermons in twelve years, and the American Swedenborg 
Printing and Publishing Society 2,000 volumes in a year. 
These amazing figures show how greatly the New Church 
put its trust in the power of the printing press. 

In 1860 the Convention extended a cordial invitation "to 
all receivers on the continent of America" to enter into affili- 
ation with it, 24 and in 1871 the Canada Association, consist- 
ing of seventy-eight members, joined. The little society 
founded in Halifax in 1791 by Dr. Russell had but a brief 
career, and the next venture was in the vicinity of Toronto. 
Here John Harbin in 1830 established New Church worship 
in a log cabin. But the most thriving society was in Berlin, 
Ontario, which dedicated its own church in 1842. This 
society was founded by Christian Enslin, who came across 
one of the Tafel German translations of Swedenborg by 
chance, and was forthwith converted. The Montreal So- 
ciety was founded in 1861, and the Canada Association the 
following year. Because of the impossible distances lying 
between them and the English New Church these societies 
had never had any connection with the British Conference, 
and were glad therefore to affiliate with their American 
brethren. Since 1871 they have formed part of the General 
Convention. 25 

At the commencement of the Civil War the New Church 
was in a prosperous condition. The treasurer reported in 
1860 a total of almost four thousand dollars received for 
the use of the Convention, and almost twenty-five hundred 
additional for the Board of Publication. Over four hun- 
dred of this was spent on missionary and colportage uses. 26 
The general depression after the Civil War apparently did 
not affect the New Church greatly, as its members were 
very largely well-to-do people, but they were, nevertheless, 
deeply concerned over the conditions, to which they applied 


Swedenborg's doctrine of spiritual causation. J. Y. Scam- 
mon, the patriarch of the Chicago Society, writes to the Con- 
vention in 1875: "The present deranged condition of busi- 
ness, the multitudes of able and willing hands in all our 
cities seeking remunerative employment for the support of 
themselves and families without success, are all indi- 
cations of such disorderly spiritual surroundings as should 
powerfully impress us all with the necessity of looking more 
steadily and acknowledgingly to the World of Causes, and 
endeavouring more earnestly and sincerely to prepare the 
way of the Lord in our lives as individuals, associations, and 
communities." 2T 

The first money for foreign missionary work voted by the 
Convention was the sum of two hundred dollars to aid the 
British Conference in its missions in Italy and Scandinavia. 28 
This support has been continuous down to the present day. 
In 1880 the Board of Missions reported work in eight states: 
Georgia, Connecticut, Iowa, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, 
Illinois, and Virginia, at the moderate cost of $1,568.60, 
augmented by collections received by the missionaries. The 
German Missionary Union reported the sale of almost a 
thousand dollars' worth of German books, and the partial 
support of traveling missionaries to isolated German re- 
ceivers. 29 The South still continued to be a difficult mission 
field, though a number of prominent men became receivers, 
such as Herschel V. Johnson, twice Governor of Georgia, 80 
and Dr. Thomas Holley Chivers of Washington, Ga., well 
known in both America and England as a physician, and a 
lyric poet. 81 One of the leaders of the New Church in New 
Orleans was Glendy Burke, President of the Canal Bank, 
organizer of the public school system, and one of the found- 
ers of the University of Louisiana. As a member of the 
state legislature he was active in the cause of education for 
many years. 82 During the Civil War he was arrested by 
General Butler for holding New Church meetings, on the 
ground that he was teaching without having taken the oath 
of allegiance. 88 

The relation between the New Church in America' and the 


mother church in England has always been friendly. In 
1824 the Convention resolved to transmit "a respectful and 
affectionate address" to the English Conference, 34 a cus- 
tom which has continued to the present day. Even the War 
of 1812 produced no ill-feeling, as may be seen in the fol- 
lowing letter from John Hargrove in 1814: "Dearly Be- 
loved, 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 
to your country on mercantile pursuits), of remitting you a 
few lines." 85 These cordial relations had been cemented 
further in 1823 by a visit to England made by Mr. Carll, 
who preached to the Societies in Liverpool, Manchester, 
Derby, Birmingham, and London, and had been received 
with great enthusiasm. 86 The English Conference also sent 
an annual address across the seas. In 1833 they describe the 
condition of the world thus: "Self-love and the love of the 
world, licentiousness and infidelity, are seen to extend a bale- 
ful influence among all nations and all classes of society, and 
this to such a degree, as in the apprehension of even well- 
disposed minds, to threaten the extinction of all religious in- 
fluence upon the human race. . . . We see men, escaped 
from the thralldom of superstition, exploring with deeper 
skill, and more profound research, the operations of God, 
and the workmanship of his hands 5 . . . antiquated forms 
are beginning to lose their hold on the framework of society. 
Men seem to be awakening from the slumber of agesj as a 
consequence new energies are being unfolded: and there are 
not a few, who are carrying a system of rigid research into 
all the affairs of life, moral, civil, and political." 87 

The subject of education was one which greatly concerned 
the New Church in its formative period. It was felt that 
some new and distinctive form of education was necessary for 
the children of the New Church. As we have seen, this 
movement began in England with Robert Hindmarsh and 
his followers, and was much discussed from 1812 to 1830. 


The following decade shows the same development in Amer- 
ica, 88 beginning with the establishment of the first Sunday 
School in Cincinnati in 1832. The Convention of 1835 ap- 
pointed a committee to prepare suitable books of instruction 
for children, which later became a Standing Committee on 
Education. Its first work was a book of Sunday School les- 
sons, and its first report makes a strong plea for both Sunday 
Schools and day schools. 89 The New England societies were 
deeply interested in the subject of education. Three articles 
appeared in the New Jerusalem Magazine in 1 83 1 by Samuel 
Worcester containing a very careful study of the question, 
and in 1833 letters from J. H. Wilkins were published de- 
scribing his visit to the New Church schools in England. 40 
The first venture was a girls' school in Boston, which later 
became co-educational. It opened in 1836 and continued 
more or less successfully until 1843. Heaven and Hell and 
Earths in the Universe were used as text-books, somewhat 
strong meat for babes.* 1 This was followed by others, in 
Bath, Portland, Bridgewater, Yarmouth, Providence, and 
Abington.* 2 The famous "Report of the Committee on a 
High School," presented by Benjamin Hobart at a meeting 
of the Massachusetts Association in 1838 laid the foundations 
for a complete system of New Church education.* 3 But this 
enthusiasm in New England was short-lived. When public 
schools came into being they were supported from patriotic 
motives, and church education came to be regarded as narrow 
and undemocratic.** Also a difference of opinion arose con- 
cerning the admission of "old church" children, some believ- 
ing the practice to be dangerous, since "children who hear 
one kind of instruction on weekdays, and another on Sun- 
days, are apt to subject both to scrutiny." * 5 By degrees the 
interest in New Church education dwindled until there were 
no schools in operation in New England from 1843 to 
i860.* 6 

In the Middle West, however, interest was at its height 
during this period. In 1840 a day school was opened in 
Cincinnati by Milo G. Williams, president of the Western 
Convention, and a pioneer in New Church education.* 7 The 


Committee on Education reported as follows: "Your com- 
mittee has no hesitation in recognizing as the first and most 
important object of this Western Convention, the making of 
provision for the education of our children distinctively on 
the principles of our church," * 8 The question of higher 
education now began to be discussed, Milo Williams, the 
Rev. J. P. Stuart, and the Rev. Richard DeCharms being 
the prime movers. The first bequest received by the Con- 
vention was the sum of $800.00 in 1836 for the purpose of 
furnishing Swedenborg's works to schools, colleges and liter- 
ary societies, and a few years later $200.00 was given for 
the education of the clergy. 49 But in 1849 Col. John H. 
James of Urbana made higher education a reality by offering 
to Convention ten acres of land valued at $1,000.00 on con- 
dition that $2,000.00 be raised to put up a building. 50 

This was speedily accomplished, and the new Urbana Uni- 
versity was opened in 1853 ^tf 1 Milo Williams as acting 
president, a faculty of four, and ninety-eight students, 51 of 
both sexes, Urbana being probably the second co-educational 
college in the country, seventeen years later than Oberlin. 52 
The tuition was thirty dollars a year, and room, board, fuel, 
light, and washing, could be secured in nearby homes for 
the modest sum of two dollars and a half a week. 58 Col. 
James made the statement: "We have thought that the 
crowding of many boys into one great building, of the cotton 
factory type, living in commons, as it is called, and quar- 
tered in separate rooms, is at once unfavorable to their 
morals and destructive to their manners. We have rather 
sought to unite them into families of limited numbers, and 
to draw around them the amenities of home, and to keep 
them under the chastening care of matronly superintendence. 
This we propose to accomplish by the erection of separate 
Boarding Houses on the grounds of the College5 to be the 
property of the University, and under the direct supervision 
of the faculty." S4e At the first commencement of the new 
college a two-day educational convention was held to discuss 
the aims and methods of New Church education." At the 
second commencement the Rev. Chauncey Giles stated these 


aims thus: "First, To withdraw the youth of the Church 
from all influences and associations adverse to their respect 
and love for the Church, and to bring them as far as pos- 
sible under the sphere of her doctrine and life. Second, To 
teach them Languages, Science, and Philosophy, in the new 
and clear light of her truths: that the sensual and natural 
scientifics may be conducive not only to natural and worldly 
uses, but to intellectual discipline and culture. Third, That 
the knowledges they acquire may become vessels receptive 
of spiritual truth, instruments in their regeneration, and 
in the development of a new life, in order and proportion 
after the original and perfect pattern of man." 56 

In the beginning Urbana was a great success. In three 
years it reached its highest peak of a hundred and twenty- 
eight students, but the fourth year showed a sharp decline. 
Fifty pupils did not return, and the new accessions brought 
the numbers up to only a hundred and two. The reasons 
for this decline are not far to seek. A faculty of four, later 
increased to six or eight, was carrying the entire curriculum 
from the primary grades through the college. An over- 
worked faculty and dissatisfied students were the inevitable 
results, but without an endowment the case was hopeless. 
At the fourth commencement there were no seniors to grad- 
uate, and only a third of the three-year class remained. 
From then on the decline was rapid, to eighty-six, seventy, 
sixty students, until the Civil War paralyzed it altogether. 
"Truly pathetic, even tragic, is this story of high resolve, 
lofty ideals, abounding enthusiasm, brighter and brighter 
promises, then insurmountable obstacles, disappointment, 
dissatisfactions, discouragement, and finally the grim specter 
of failure." 5T After the War Urbana was again revived. 
In 1871 an endowment of $50,000.00 was raised, a college- 
bred faculty secured, and the number of students brought up 
to eighty-three/ 8 The subsequent history of the college 
will be told later. 

Though the interest in New Church schools had waned 
in the east, educational work took another form, that of 
literary activity. The Committee on Moral and Religious 


Instruction sponsored the publication of several works includ- 
ing Rhymes for Children of the New Church in 1 840," and 
Clara, A Story for Children, by a Lady of the New Church, 
in which the doctrine of regeneration is inculcated in the in- 
fant mind thus: "I must be very wicked indeed," says Clara, 
"if I am not willing to act well through one day. And then 
if I do well one day, I shall find it more easy to do well 
the next, and still more so the next, and so on." 60 An excerpt 
from the New Church Magazine for Children shows the sci- 
ence of correspondences "in words of one syllable." " c One 
of you asked me to tell a story,' said Miss Leslie, 'but I do 
not think of any that will interest you just now, and besides 
I should love to talk with you about the correspondences of 
these beautiful flowers.' c That will be better than a story,' 
exclaimed Lucy, C I often wish that I knew the correspond- 
ences of the different flowers, so that I might write them in 
my herbarium.' " 61 This little magazine was published in 
Boston until 1869, when it was transferred to New York. 
In 1880 it was resumed again in Boston. Another similar 
venture, the Boys' and Girls' Magazine, was started in New 
York by Mrs. Samuel Colman, but enjoyed only a brief 

In the fifties the question of New Church schools was re- 
vived in Boston. An article in the New Jerusalem Magazine 
makes the following appeal: "Our Children: can they be 
educated out of the Church for the Church? . . . The 
Church, of whose doctrines we profess to be receivers, is a 
New Church j its religion is a new religion j and under its 
influence, if we really receive it into our lives, old things 
are passing away, and all things are becoming new." 62 And 
the Council of Ministers of the Massachusetts Association 
reported in 1 853 : cc To our children principally must we look 
for the continuation even of our existence as societies. Col- 
lateral accessions to the Church are comparatively few. . . . 
Our chief hope should be in our own children. Let them 
be so provided for as that this hope shall not be disap- 
pointed." 68 This revival of interest resulted in the incor- 
poration of the Waltham New Church Institute of Education 


in 1857, an d ^ e opening in 1860 of the Waltham School. 
This school was at first co-educational, 64 but later became a 
school for girls only, in which capacity it is still in operation. 
Among the many problems which concerned the members 
of the New Church was that of social life. In some places 
social ostracism had been the price paid for the Heavenly 
Doctrines, so that the receivers were thrown very closely 
together. A spirit of exclusiveness seems to have been the 
result. "The New Churchman," says the Messenger, "when 
he cannot see a use to be performed to Old Churchmen, will 
not seek their society j for he knows he cannot associate with 
them without being affected by their sphere, to some extent, 
in such a way as to weaken his faith, and cause anxiety. . . . 
As salt loses its savor by exposure to foreign influences, so 
do New Churchmen lose something of their spiritual vitality 
by association with those whose sphere is foreign to their 
own." 65 But great emphasis was put upon social life among 
themselves. In an Address on the Subject of Public Festi- 
vals, Social Entertainments, Receptions, and Amusements, 
delivered in Bath, Me., in 1836, the Rev. Henry Worcester 
says: "As a consequential effect of the descent of the New 
Church, we see that a change is already beginning to take 
place: that more freedom is beginning to be felt, more liberal 
and enlightened views are beginning to prevail than have 
prevailed in times past. ... It remains for the New Church 
... to separate the use from the abuse of things. Instead 
of sitting in judgment and condemning as sinful and wicked 
[as the Old Churches do] free social intercourse, occasional 
festivities, recreations and amusements, it is the duty of the 
Church to renovate and establish them, ... to allow all 
these natural affections, moral and social sympathies of our 
nature to flow forth freely, and take their corresponding ex- 
ternal forms of delight." 8e The Boston Society considered 
"social uses" highly important, and scandalized their Puritan 
neighbors by giving dancing parties at which all the members 
over fourteen were present. As some of their members had 
been brought up "orthodox" and had never learned to dance, 
a dancing school was started. 67 Their family life was de- 


scribed as "order itself." The day began with family 
prayers at six, or six-thirty, the mornings were spent in use- 
ful occupations, and the afternoons given to riding, driving, 
walking in the park, or some other form of genteel recrea- 
tion. 68 

At the Convention of 1 846 it was resolved "That a Com- 
mittee of three persons be appointed to take into considera- 
tion the propriety of observing in the New Church the day 
called Christmas, and to report thereon at the next Conven- 
tion." 69 It was felt by some that it was improper for the 
New Church to observe a festival so intimately a part of the 
tradition of the Old Church, but the Committee very sensibly 
decided in favor of the observance. "It is proper that days 
appointed for religious observance by the civil authorities 
should be observed in such way as recommended by said 
authorities. . . . Whether December 25th is an accurate 
date or not is of no real consequence. The Church needs a 
religious festival, the children love it, and there is no need 
to deny them the joy of it. ... Besides, there is no need 
to be peculiar** 70 It was suggested that it would be better 
to celebrate the Lord's birthday on the Lord's own day, 
Sunday, for though some people "look upon it as a day in 
which all joy, all thanksgiving, and all cheerfulness is out 
of place," 71 such an idea is erroneous. The New Church 
did not keep a "Puritan Sabbath." 

The problem of liturgy came up very soon and presented 
many difficulties. It was felt that uniformity of usage would 
be desirable, but with such diversity of religious bads-grounds 
among its members the ideal was hard to achieve. In Eng- 
land the same problem had arisen, and was solved by allow- 
ing complete freedom to the individual societies. Some used 
the simplest form of service similar to the Dissenter chapels, 
and others an elaborate form modeled on the liturgy of the 
Established Church. 72 In 1788 the General Conference had 
published its first Liturgy, which followed more or less that 
of the Church of England, but with appropriate changes and 
omissions. The third edition of this book, published in 1790, 
was the model for the first American New Church liturgy, 


published in Baltimore in 1792. In the Preface it was stated 
that "the Essentials of the Old Church, three persons in 
the Godhead and Justification by faith alone, enter into 
every Particular of the Old Church, as the very Life and 
Soul thereof, by Idea, both in Doctrine and in Worship being 
constantly influenced thereby," and therefore a new form 
was necessary for the New Church. "It is not, however, ex- 
pected that this Form of Prayer should be considered as per- 
fect or complete, much less is it intended as the only one 
proper for the New Church, it being only adapted to the 
present Infant State of that Church. . . . There will, no 
doubt, be a Variety of Forms of Worship in the New Church 
according to the different States and Complexions of Man- 
kind; and this Variety, so far from being any Evil, will 
rather tend to the Harmony and Perfection of the Whole." 
The doctrinal position was stated thus: "The Promoters of 
this Edition were induced thereto on a Belief that the Lord 
Jesus Christ is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that on the 
Consummation of the Old Church, He departed from it, and 
takes up His Abode in the New Church. ... On this con- 
sideration do we most earnestly recommend the Theological 
Works of Baron Emanuel Swedenborg, believing that he 
was divinely inspred to write for the Use of the New Jeru- 
salem Church." There are a number of changes from the 
orthodox form, as in the case of the Ten Commandments, 
which are given in Swedenborg's translation and division 
(that of the Lutheran Church), in which commandments 
one and two are combined as number one, and command- 
ment ten is divided into two, numbers nine and ten. The 
Gloria is also revised from the Trinitarian form to the fol- 
lowing: "To Jesus Christ be Glory, and Dominion for ever 
and ever. For He is Jehovah of Hosts, and in Him alone 
dwelleth all the Fulness of the Godhead bodily." A prayer 
for the President is substituted for that for the King in the 
English edition, and a special prayer is added "for the Estab- 
lishment of the New Church in these United States." r8 

In 1822 the Philadelphia Society published the first dis- 
tinctively American New Church Liturgy, called The Lit- 


urgy of the New Jerusalem Church, respect-fully recom- 
mended to the use of the Societies of the New Church in the 
United States. Together with Hymns for the use of the 
New Church^ composed mainly by Jonathan Condy. The 
same year the Convention brought out a liturgy of it own, 
modeled on the Baltimore Liturgy, and designed for gen- 
eral use. Most of the Societies, however, continued to use 
their own forms of worship. The Boston Society in 1829 
made a radical departure in its new Book of Public Worship, 
by T. B. Hayward, by abolishing all hymns, rites and sacra- 
ments, except baptism, and substituting the Scriptural chants 
and choruses for which its highly trained choir was famous. 74 
In 1834 the Western Convention appealed to the General 
Convention to publish a new hymnal, complaining of the 
unsuitability of the old church hymns then in use. "Many 
of them are striking and beautiful in point of poetry, but 
few of them, on close analyzation, are found to be free from 
the taint of some of the perverted doctrines of that church." 75 
The Committee on Chants and Hymns reported to the Con- 
vention that the New England societies had discarded hymns 
altogether, and were using the Boston Book of Worship, that 
the middle states were using the Philadelphia collection of 
hymns, and that the Cincinnati Society had published its own. 
The Committee recommended a collection of scriptural cho- 
ruses, and a hundred of the best hymns from the various 
collections. They criticized the hymns then in use as too 
dogmatic. Singing should be "an expression of affection." 
Swedenborg says the Word itself has divine power, and 
therefore it is better to use it, instead of human paraphrases. 76 
This preference for the Scripture itself was now a definitely 
established principle in New Church worship. 

The Convention in 1 836 brought out a new Book of Wor- 
ship in a stereotyped edition of 750 copies at a cost of over 
a thousand dollars. It followed the 1 822 Liturgy in general 
form, but incorporated some of the Boston features, such as 
thirty Scriptural choruses called Glorifications, and over 
three hundred selections from the Word adapted to chants." 
The New England element were now in the majority in the 


Convention, and able to impose their ideas on the rest. This 
liturgy is a strange combination of Puritanical severity in the 
verbal portions, and rich Anglican formalism in the chants, 
the latter being due to the fact that George Webb, their com- 
poser, had been trained as a Church of England organist. 
There were no hymns in the new liturgy, a departure which 
caused much dissatisfaction in the smaller societies whose 
choirs were unequal to the advanced musical demands of the 
chants, and especially in the Middle West, where more 
evangelical forms of worship prevailed. 78 Commenting on 
the austere character of New Church music, Thomas Lake 
Harris writes: "The first receivers of the truth of the New 
Church were English Episcopalians. I would not for a 
moment disparage those excellent men; but had the same 
numbers of Wesleyans or Moravians of the best type been 
providentially made at the outset acquainted with the New 
Church theology, they would have made the world ring 
with it ere now." 79 The dissatisfaction with the 1834 Lit- 
urgy continued to increase until in 1850 a new committee 
was appointed to revise it. In a vain attempt to satisfy all 
parties they sent out a circular letter to find out what was 
really wanted, which proved to be more responsive services 
in which every one could take part. The members of the 
New Church were not content to be mere "hearers of the 
Word," even when chanted by the best of choirs. The re- 
vised edition came out in 1854, but also proved unsatisfac- 
tory, and a further revision, made in 1857, remained in use 
for half a century. 80 

One of the first controversial issues to arise in the New 
Church was that of rebaptism, that is, whether or not bap- 
tism by a New Church minister should be required for mem- 
bership. In the beginning each Society decided this question 
for itself. In Baltimore rebaptism was obligatory, in Phila- 
delphia optional, and in New York and Boston wholly re- 
jected. 81 In a letter to Jonathan Condy of Philadelphia, 
Samuel Worcester of Boston wrote: "As to the plan adopted 
by your church respecting rebaptism I am perfectly satisfied. 
I love the liberality, but it appears to me that you give too 


much authority to private judgment, and too little to truth 
and law." 82 In England the question had been bound up 
with the general issue of non-separatism versus separatism, 
but in America there was very little talk o non-separatism. 
As there was no established church, and sectarianism was ram- 
pant, the formation of a new sect was a simple matter. Many 
of the early receivers were forced out of their own churches 
by heresy trials and public disapproval, so that a separate or- 
ganization had been the only possible solution. The re- 
baptism controversy in America, therefore, was based on the 
conception of the relation of the New Church to the "Old." 
The literalists argued thus: "If the Old Church is then en- 
tirely vastated, and all its ordinances and sacraments corrupt, 
its offices and administrations having no spiritual life, how 
can the sacrament of Baptism performed by its functionaries 
be efficacious New Church baptism? . . . How can it give 
insertion into the New Heaven to which it is not co- 
joined?"** To which the more liberal-minded replied: 
"Now is this the doctrine taught by our illumined scribe? 
Are all who compose our New Church organization 'purely 
good, 5 and all who belong to the so-called Old Church or- 
ganizations 'entirely evil'? Is the influx from the New 
Heavens entirely into these New Church organizations? 
And is there not one speck of genuine good and truth to be 
found elsewhere? The idea is preposterous. . . . Sweden- 
borg says, 'But as for the state of the church this it is which 
will be dissimilar hereafterj it will be similar indeed in the 
outward form, but dissimilar m the inward? . . . Baptism 
is only a symbol of regeneration, it gives no salvation, 
introduces no one into the church or into heaven, it is only 
a symbol of introduction." ** 

In the beginning the Convention had recognized as mem- 
bers of the Societies composing it those who had signed the 
articles of faith, 85 but by the adoption of the Rules of Order 
in 1 838 baptism into the New Church was made obligatory. 86 
The following year the Ordaining Ministers presented a re- 
port, drawn up by the President of Convention, Thomas 


Worcester, which stated that the authority of the Old Church 
to baptize rested on the Lord's promise to be with them 
"until the consummation o the age," but that now that this 
has come to pass, as Swedenborg teaches in his doctrine of 
the Last Judgment, He is no longer with the Old Church. 
Therefore only New Church baptism is valid The report 
recommended the omission of the words "into the New 
Church" from the Rules of Order, because "when we speak 
of baptism, we wish to be understood as referring to real 
baptism; and we regard baptism into the New Church (by 
the hand of a professed New Church Minister) as the only 
real baptism." 8r This narrow attitude was combated vigor- 
ously by the liberals until in 184.9 they had won a somewhat 
grudging victory: "Resolved, That though this Convention 
recommends rebaptism, it wishes to leave the ministers and 
societies of the New Church free in regard to this subject." 8S 
But in 1853 there was a reactionary measure passed making 
rebaptism necessary for ministers. The minority on the com- 
mittee brought in a protest declaring "such a provision in the 
Constitution for this body to be, in their judgment, contrary 
to the liberty which this Convention has hitherto allowed, 
totally unauthorized by the Writings of the New Church, 
and a mournful and ominous departure from the spirit and 
genius of the New Dispensation, and they respectfully ask 
that this protest be printed with the Journal of the Proceed- 
ings." 89 The Rev. Mr. Ford, who had been ordained into 
the first degree of the ministry under the old ruling, was re- 
fused the second degree until he should be rebaptized. His 
letter of resignation from the Convention reads : "This illiber- 
ality is presenting the New Church to those who are without 
in the repulsive features of sectarianism, just when sectarian- 
ism is being discarded where it has been most in vogue. . . . 
I feel a repugnance to the rulings of Convention on this sub- 
ject. It shuts up the New Church, which by it is made to 
advance an arrogant claim to be the sole channel of Divine 
grace, and is thereby brought into an ominous resemblance 
to the Episcopal church." 90 
The rebaptism controversy continued for many years in 


the various societies, especially in the Middle West. The 
Rev. G. M. Field tells of the many difficulties he encoun- 
tered in his ministry on account of it. In 1858 the Michigan 
Association for whom he was working as a missionary min- 
ister, made it optional and Field, who was an extreme con- 
servative, felt obliged to resign. He was then engaged by 
the Detroit Society as pastor, but with the express provision 
that he was not to preach on this subject without stating that 
his views were not those of his congregation. Field stated 
his views thus: "If the New Church was a sect of the old, 
having a faith in common therewith, then no new Baptism 
could be necessary because there would be no new faith to 
confirm and testify to. But the New Church is not a sect 
of the old} nor has it a faith in common therewith/' 91 The 
disagreement between Field and his Society became more 
acute, until their relations were finally severed. 

As we have seen, there were intense differences of opinion 
in the New Church from its earliest days. There was a 
strong movement toward centralization of power in the Con- 
vention, and an equally strong opposition to this, especially 
in the Western societies. There were ritualists and anti- 
ritualists, liberals and authoritarians. And there were also 
sectional rivalries, and temperamental antipathies. The first 
three Conventions had been admirably united and har- 
monious in thought and feeling, but there soon appeared a 
rift within the lute, a bitter, and long-drawn-out contro- 
versy between the Philadelphia and Boston societies. The 
ostensible bone of contention was the "Boston principle" or 
"conjugial heresy," but there were also deep-seated differ- 
ences on the more fundamental issues of church government 
and doctrine. Besides these genuine issues there was also 
sectional jealousy. The Philadelphia group, which had been 
the cradle of the New Church in the new world, and the 
controlling element in the early Conventions, was gradually 
declining in numbers and power, while the New England 
group, under the leadership of Boston, was waxing ever 
stronger. Other societies became involved in the conflict, 


New York on the side of Boston, and Baltimore on the side 
of Philadelphia. 

At the Fourth General Convention, held in New York in 
1821, the Rev. Lewis Beers of Danby, N. Y., was elected 
president, and Mr. Samuel Woodworth of New York City, 
secretary. Philadelphia had already lost the ascendancy, 
though her views were still dominant. A resolution was 
passed that ministers should not be obliged to withdraw from 
their secular occupations, such uses being necessary for their 
personal regeneration. This was somewhat of a slap at Bos- 
ton whose minister had no secular occupation. Each society 
was allowed to make its own rules and regulations freely, 
though the Boston group wanted a central authority. 92 Wil- 
liam Schlatter of Philadelphia writes of them, "They called 
loudly for church government and regulations. On this 
subject we also differed from them and left every society to 
govern and regulate themselves. 'The Lord has made you 
free, why will ye have bonds?' " 9S But it was over the "con- 
jugial heresy" that the bitterest battles were fought. This 
extraordinary idea, which the Boston Society had evolved 
under the leadership of young Thomas Worcester, who was 
at the time still a student at the Harvard Divinity School, 
was that the relation between a pastor and his church was 
analogous to the marriage relation, the necessary corollaries 
of this theory being that it was an indissoluble relationship, 
and that a pastor could minister to none but his own congre- 
gation without committing spiritual adultery. 

The Philadelphia Society was unanimously opposed to 
such a theory, and began a correspondence with the leaders 
of the English Church to find out their opinions. Robert 
Hindmarsh replied: "The subject on which you request to 
have my opinion is not a new one in this country: a few in- 
dividuals here and there have entertained an idea that it is 
an act of spiritual adultery for a minister to preach to more 
congregations than one, or for two ministers to officiate al- 
ternately in the presence of one congregation. But in general 
this opinion has been regarded as a proof of eccentricity of 
character, rather than of liberal and enlightened understand- 


ing." Letters of condemnation were also received from Mr. 
Arbouin and Mr. Clowes, two of the English patriarchs, and 
duly forwarded to the Boston Society. The result was not 
however what was expected. Mr. Wilkins referred to them 
somewhat disrespectfully as the "ipse dixit of Mr. Clowes 
and the rant of Mr. Arbouin," and other members were 
heard to say that "good Mr. Clowes and Mr. Hindmarsh 
are nothing extraordinary." 9 * Naturally when the Conven- 
tion met the following year the "sphere" was not altogether 
"heavenly." The Newchurchman-Extra^ a Philadelphia 
periodical, laments: "There were no difficulties before the 
notion of a conjugial relation between a pastor and his society 
was broached. But from that moment discord and division 
commenced." And all the trouble had "sprung from pride 
of intellect and a conceit of celestial perceptions." 95 By this 
time the Boston group had become distinctly annoyed by so 
much criticism, and began to retaliate. Mr. Wilkins wrote 
to Mr. Condy: "That we have ceased to mind, as we have 
long ceased, that the Societies of New York, Philadelphia, 
and Baltimore do not receive the principles which we main- 
tain, implies that we are sensible of evils existing there which 
must incapacitate them for seeing the truth. . . . The first 
evil is a dangerous susceptibility of physical influx." 96 

But a much more serious issue now arose, that of the 
authority of the writings of Swedenborg, an issue which 
has never yet been satisfactorily settled. The Boston group 
took a somewhat casual attitude toward authority in general. 
Samuel Worcester wrote to Daniel Lammot: "When Paul 
tried to show that celibacy was a more holy state than mar- 
riage he somewhat transcends the limits of his commission, 
which required him to preach the gospel." And in another 
letter he makes the shocking statement with regard to the 
writings of Swedenborg: "We read them for instruction, and 
not for authority His mission should be inferred from 
perceiving that he wrote the truth, and not vice versa." 
Thomas Worcester states: "As to the authority by which I 
speak and act, I ask none, but the Lord in his Word." 
On, this statement the Newchurchmaw-Extra comments: 


"The authority of Swedenborg to teach truth out of the 
Word, as the doctrine of the Church from the Lord, is at 
least seemingly slighted, and there is a going by the doctrine 
as taught by Swedenborg from the Lord, and a drawing of 
the doctrine from the Lord in the Word immediately." A 
sermon of Thomas Worcester's is criticized thus: "Is Swe- 
denborg quoted in a single instance? Is the doctrine of his 
writings professedly taught?" 97 All this was grievous in- 
deed to the Philadelphia conservatives. Schlatter writes in 
righteous indignation: "They even go so far as to state in 
their letter that they read Swedenborg for information and 
not for authority, and assert that there are many contradic- 
tions in his writings. Now this is a sufficient proof that they 
do not fully believe in his divine revelation or commission. 
For my part I believe he was as much inspired to write what 
he did as ever Moses or the Apostles were." 98 The issue 
could hardly be stated piore clearly. 

And so the controversy raged, though little of it appears in 
the Convention journals. Only in the periodicals and in 
private correspondence can the story of it be read. Schlatter 
writes: "I presume you will be surprised when I inform you 
that Mr. Thomas Worcester, Mr. Wilkins, and Miss Carey 
attended our [!] Convention and Mr. Worcester applied 
for ordination. . . . They communed with us, they preached 
for us, and Mr. Worcester was rebaptised, notwithstand- 
ing all this they say their theory is correct and they only 
waive their practice for the present. We of course could not 
ordain them on those terms. They pressed very hard, and 
so did the Rev. Mr. Doughty of New York, who I regret 
to say is completely in their absurd notions." The Boston 
group added to their unpopularity in Philadelphia by calling 
twice upon the Rev. Mr. Metcalfe, the "non-meateater," 
pastor of the despised Bible Christian Church. In 1823 
Worcester was again refused ordination by the Convention, 
and feeling ran high. The deeply harassed William Schlat- 
ter wrote: "I have just returned from the Convention held at 
Baltimore and have been infested so awfully with the poison 
sphere of Thomas Worcester and his deluded followers that 


I am scarcely clear of it yet." " And indeed so wrought-up 
was this worthy man that he felt impelled to circularize at 
his own expense all the societies and members who had not 
been present at the Convention. In this circular he openly 
advocated a schism. "Myself for one will do all in my power 
to produce a separation from the Boston Society and leave 
them to 'work out their own salvation in their own way.' " 
So disturbed was the state of the Church that it was decided 
to postpone the next Convention for two years. 100 

The Boston Society now began to use other, and more 
conciliatory tactics. They ceased to press their peculiar views 
openly, and "seemed wholly reclaimed." Thomas Worces- 
ter, many years afterwards in a virtual recantation, said that 
they had become silent because there was too much opposi- 
tion in the Church for further argument to be of any use. 
Then, too, they had begun to see some of the practical diffi- 
culties involved in such a theory. 101 But as a matter of fact, 
the Boston Society seems never to have abandoned it in prac- 
tice, at least, for up to the present day they have never "di- 
vorced" a pastor. In the one hundred and twelve years of 
their history they have had only three ministers, a truly 
"conjugial" record. Finally, in 1827, by means of concilia- 
tory methods and increasing numerical superiority, Boston 
won her point, and succeeded in getting Thomas Worcester 
ordained by the Convention. The "conjugial heresy" was 
still rife in the New York Society until 1839, an d in the 
Philadelphia Second Society until 1840, as well as in other 
smaller groups, but nothing more was heard of it until Rich- 
ard DeCharms and Benjamin F. Barrett took up the warfare 
against it in the forties. 102 

With the growing power of the New England group came 
an effort toward a more complete and definite form of church 
organization. In 182,3 the recommendation that "each so- 
ciety should be represented by a number of delegates, not 
exceeding three? 108 was adopted, making the Convention a 
representative body. Hitherto all the members in attendance 
had voted simply as individuals which put the controlling 
power in the hands of the groups in or near the place where 


the Convention happened to be meeting. The 1826 Con- 
vention appointed a committee to consider "the organization 
of Convention, and the churches and societies composing it, 
into some sort of Ecclesiastical Government." This Conven- 
tion also took over the ordaining power which had hitherto 
been held by the individual societies. A report was pre- 
sented on "Doctrinal, Scriptural and Rational Reasons for a 
distinctive priesthood and for a trine of degrees." Thus did 
the Convention make long strides toward centralization of 
power, but not without a protest It was felt by many that 
.the five ministers and seventeen delegates who composed this 
unusually small meeting had taken a great deal upon them- 
selves in thus altering so radically the entire form and spirit 
of the Convention. But at the time there was actually a 
"trine" existing in the New Church ministry, consisting of 
six "ordaining ministers," seven "priests, or teaching min- 
isters," and eleven "licentiates" awaiting ordination. 10 * In 
1833 a list of accredited societies was drawn up, and it was 
recommended that only societies having a regular form of 
organization be admitted in future. A body of "Standing 
Rules" was adopted, 105 which served with changes from time 
to time, until the adoption of a regular Constitution. 

These simple measures aroused an almost incompreheni- 
sible furor of opposition, and a definitely anti-ecclesiastical 
and anti-clerical sentiment began to appear, especially in the 
Middle West In 1823 the Convention had received a com- 
munication from Daniel Roe, of the Cincinnati Society, deny- 
ing the necessity for an ordained ministry. This was a straw 
indicating the/ direction of the storm which was brewing, and 
in 1834 another harbinger of unrest arrived, in the shape of 
a communication from the Western Convention: "We how- 
ever feel ourselves called upon further to say, it is thought 
here that no Convention ought to have or exercise ex cathedra 
authority in the Church. . . . We believe that forms of 
faith and rules of practice are to be derived solely from the 
Lord in his Word, . . . and each individual receiver of the 
New Jerusalem verities is accountable directly to the Lord, 
and to him solelv for his belief and conduct exceot so far a<? 


he, acting in freedom according to reason, intentionally binds 
himself by the decisions of any collective body which he helps 
to constitute, and even these decisions he is not bound to 
abide by, if in his conscience he solemnly believes they are 
contrary to the Lord's will, ... for the Lord flows into 
him immediately, as well as mediately through heaven and 
the church as a collective body," Here speaks the free, un- 
trammeled spirit of the Western pioneer, the very essence 
of Protestantism. They objected further that Convention 
had become a representative body. "General Convention 
has ceased to be general because it has changed its construc- 
tion. It was originally a convention of Receivers, but now it 
is a convention of twenty-seven Societies. This leaves out 
the unorganized Receivers, who are the majority in the 
West." loe But the Convention heeded not the thunder in 
the West, and proceeded calmly with its task of centralization 
of power. 

The Western Convention, in 1836, began the publication 
of a monthly magazine called the Precursor, "devoted to 
teaching, illustrating, and enforcing the Doctrines of the 
New Jerusalem," edited by Richard DeCharms, then pastor 
of the Cincinnati First Society. The name, Precursor, seems 
to have been prophetic, for DeCharms was destined to be 
himself the forerunner of a movement which, sixty years 
later, split the church. He was one of the outstanding fig- 
ures in the early history of the New Church. Born in Phila- 
delphia, of Huguenot and Welsh-Irish stock, he was the son 
of a well-known surgeon. His "first and strongest religious 
impressions," he tells us, were received in the Episcopal 
Sunday School which he attended as a child, a fact which 
is significant in the light of his later theological position. 
While still a student he heard a New Church sermon by 
Samuel Woodworth of the New York Society, and was 
deeply impressed. Later he studied New Church theology 
with Jonathan Condy, who, though not a minister, was one 
of the most scholarly of the early theologians. Feeling the 
need of more education he went to Yale, where he graduated 
in 1826. Two years later he was called to the pastorate of 


the Bedford Society, now being an ordained minister. After 
two years at Bedford he went to London to continue his 
theological studies with the Rev. Samuel Noble, who imbued 
him with the distinctive views of Robert Hindmarsh and his 
group. During his stay in London he supported himself by 
work in a printing office. He returned to America in 1832, 
finally accepting the call to the Cincinnati Society. There 
he found the democratic and anti-clerical attitude against 
which he made a lifelong struggle. 107 

Both in the pulpit and in the columns of the Precursor he 
began to preach the doctrines which later, as the so-called 
"Academy principles," played so fatal a part in the history 
of the Church. A series of articles in Volume I. of the Pre- 
cursor set forth these views under the following titles: "The 
Authority of the Doctrines," "On the Priesthood of the New 
Church," c The Necessity of Order," "The State of the Chris- 
tian World, and the Distinctiveness of the New Church," 
"The Need for New Church Education," and "The Impor- 
tance of Hebrew." 1(>8 His career in the West was brilliant, 
but brief, and in 1837 he was forced to resign from his pas- 
torate because of his refusal to share his pulpit with lay preach- 
ers according to the Cincinnati custom. This brought him 
under suspicion of being infected with the"conjugial heresy," 
which by that time had penetrated into the West. A small 
society of his adherents was organized under the name of the 
Cincinnati Third Society, but was not financially strong 
enough to support him adequately, so in 1839 he accepted 
a call to the Philadelphia First Society, and returned to his 
native city. 109 

Meanwhile the Convention was advancing rapidly toward 
"autocracy and ecclesiasticism." In 1837 the Committee of 
Ordaining Ministers presented a report containing a pro- 
posed constitution providing for a complete Episcopal form 
of government, with Bishops, Pastors, Ministers, and a Pre- 
siding Bishop chosen for life. DeCharms, a delegate from 
the Western Convention, protested that such a constitution 
would exclude the Western societies altogether. 110 So much 
opposition developed that the report was referred back to 


the committee for reconsideration. The following year, 
however, it was adopted in a modified form, with the more 
objectionable features, such as the word "bishop" removed. 111 
The New Jerusalem Magazine referred to the matter thus: 
"There is a fear lest the ministry should obtain too much 
power, or be vested with too much official dignity. This 
feeling now seems to be constitutional and hereditary in the 
American character. . . . A title frightens us, for the simple 
yet appropriate and expressive name of Bishop . . . raised 
up a host of objectors." 112 The Convention also accepted a 
report on the Holy Supper which recommended its celebra- 
tion in a private room, in accordance with the custom of the 
New York Society, who celebrated it in the pastor's home at 
four in the afternoon, regarding it as a "social institution." 113 
But the most drastic action of the 1838 Convention was the 
adoption of the so-called "squeezing rule," which required 
that all societies must become organized according to the new 
Rules of Order by the following year, or be dropped from 
the rolls of the Convention. 114 The opponents of Boston 
felt that this was a high-handed measure designed to force 
a "modified episcopacy" upon an unwilling church. 

It is difficult to understand the furor which this simple re- 
quirement was the occasion of. Only the minimum of or- 
ganization, a leader and a secretary, and some sort of formal 
enrollment of members was required, a simple necessity 
now that the Convention was a representative body, but the 
anti-New England element saw in it the fastening upon the 
entire church body of the Boston Society's Calvinistic con- 
ception of ecclesiastical authority and exaltation of the min- 
istry, and the results were nothing short of disastrous. There 
were schisms in the New York and Cincinnati Societies. The 
Western Convention seceded, declaring itself coordinate 
with, and not subordinate to, the General Convention. The 
Philadelphia First Society, founder of the Convention, also 
seceded, and did not return until the end of the century. 
But the hardest blow was yet to come. In 1840 the Phila- 
delphia Society, now under the leadership of Richard De- 
Charms, called a preparatory meeting for the purpose of 


founding a Central Convention to be coordinate with the 
General Convention and wholly independent of it. There 
were sixty-four present, mainly from New York, Maryland, 
and Pennsylvania. 115 The debacle was now complete, the 
Church of the New Jerusalem was "divisa in Cartes tres"! 
The reasons for the founding of the Central Convention 
seem to have been a strange blend of worthy and unworthy 
motives on the part of the Philadelphia group. Undoubt- 
edly jealousy of the growing power of Boston, and personal 
ill-feeling toward Thomas Worcester played a large part. 
By 1 840 the Boston Society had evolved another idea which 
proved almost as unpopular in the church at large as the 
"conjugial heresy." This was a theory that the Convention, 
representing the Church as a whole, was a "spiritual mother" 
to whom all societies and all individuals owed complete 
obedience in action and doctrine. It appears first in an article 
by Thomas Worcester and Warren Goddard, stated some- 
what abstrusely as follows: "When the truths contained in 
these writings are received, and enter into the life of men, 
and so far as they are received, the men by whom they are 
thus received constitute the mother on earth. . . . From the 
Lord as the Father, and His Divine Truth thus brought 
down as a Mother, are all they born, who are born not of 
blood, nor of the will of the Flesh, nor of the will of man, 
but of God. . . . And the precepts of this Father and 
Mother are to be applied to its life by the general church 
of the country." 116 This theory might be metaphysically 
pleasing, but when in actual practice it meant that these di- 
vine precepts were to be determined by a Convention nu- 
merically controlled by the New England group who were 
completely under the domination of Thomas Worcester, the 
whole affair savored too strongly of popery. The idea of 
implicit obedience to ex cathedra utterances from a Vatican 
on Beacon Hill seemed to Philadelphia entirely too much. 
In the Central Convention absolute freedom for societies and 
individuals was insisted upon. Its Constitution states that 
"This Convention most explicitly and expressly disclaims *iy 
right whatever to exercise control or dominion over the mem- 


bers of the New Church in their individual or collective ca- 
pacity. . . . All its measures are recommendatory only." lir 

But aside from the personal issues, there was also an im- 
portant doctrinal difference involved. The Philadelphia 
group, as we have seen, held the extreme authoritarian point 
of view with regard to the writings of Swedenborg. In 
1822 Daniel Lammot wrote to Samuel Worcester: "For my 
own part I consider the theological works of Swedenborg as 
the only authority of the new dispensation, and that they do 
not contain one contradiction or untruth. To believe other- 
wise is to deny that he was divinely commissioned; and to 
deny this is to place his claims to credibility on a footing with 
those of Joanna Southcote or Jemima Wilkinson/ 5 11S At 
the second preparatory meeting of the Central Convention it 
was decided to publish an official organ, the Newchurchman, 
in which to promulgate their distinctive beliefs. Richard 
DeCharms was chosen to be its editor. The subject of New 
Church education was also one of great interest to them, and 
in the Ninth Journal the following resolution appears: "Re- 
solved, That this body thinks the establishment of a complete 
New Church seminary, to be under the control and support 
of this general body, and to be devoted to the education of 
our children, on the spiritual principles of the New Jeru- 
salem, is a vastly important desideratum." 119 

DeCharms soon became the moving spirit of the new body, 
and went about organizing new societies, and bringing the 
secessionists into the new fold. He carried the war into the 
enemy's own territory, organizing a new society in Bridge- 
water, Mass., and causing great scandal in New England by 
:elebrating the Holy Supper publicly in Providence. He 
dso organized societies in Washington, D. C, Charleston, 
S. C., and Pittsburgh. The Rev. Charles Doughty, former 
pastor of the New York Society, but removed by Thomas 
Worcester, was now president of the Central Convention, 
ind he organized a Second New York Society in affiliation 
writh the new Convention. 120 The Lancaster Society wrote 
n their minutes in 1840, "The subject of the Middle (Cen- 
xal) Convention has increased in favor with our society, and 


we should be desirous of becoming members of that body 
if the constitution about to be adopted will leave them in 
that necessary freedom which in the General Convention we 
did not enjoy." But with characteristic "Pennsylvania 
Dutch" caution, they waited another five years before actu- 
ally joining. 121 A great deal of confusion was caused by the 
existence of three conventions. The Baltimore Society was 
a member of both the Central and the General (now called 
the Eastern Convention by the others), and many individuals 
were likewise members of both, until the Central Conven- 
tion made a ruling against it. The newly-formed Illinois 
Association diplomatically recognized and sent reports to 
all three. 122 

Thanks to the missionary activity of its leaders, the Cen- 
tral Convention Record of 1842 shows a membership of one 
hundred and thirty-two, located mainly in Pennsylvania, 
Maryland, New York, and New England. 123 But there was 
another and less pleasing result, a rapidly-growing per- 
sonal animosity between the two leaders, Thomas Worcester 
and Richard DeCharms. This came to a head in 1 842 when 
Worcester wrote to the Baltimore Society that it was "dis- 
orderly" for them to invite DeCharms to preach to them, on 
account of his hostility to the General Convention. In the 
letter he states: "He has published things which are not true} 
he has attributed to them [the Convention leaders] some 
opinions and sentiments which they do not hold; he has 
endeavoured to take away from them others which they .do 
holdj he has misrepresented things which they have done, 
and charged them with doing things which they have not 
done." The Baltimore Society sent this letter to the Phila- 
delphia Society, who demanded proofs of these charges 
against their pastor. Condy Raguet wrote to Worcester thus : 
"The charges against Mr. DeCharms, contained in the fore- 
going extract from a letter written and signed by you, in 
your official capacity as President of the General Convention, 
arraigning as they do his moral and religious character, you 
must be aware, are of a highly seriou3 nature. If substanti- 
ated they ought to exclude him from his pastoral charge." 


To this Worcester replied: "In my letter to the Baltimore 
Society, I did not, and I do not now, charge Mr. DeCharms 
with publishing or uttering things which he knew to be not 
true. ... I am aware that Mr. DeCharms is not well ac- 
quainted with the history of the General Convention j and 
that he has attended but few of its meetings, and that he is 
consequently liable to have very incorrect views of the things 
which have been done and said." 124 The Philadelphia So- 
ciety saw fit to accept this somewhat lame explanation, and 
the matter would have ended there except for the fact that 
the General Convention voted to publish the correspondence, 
alleging as a reason that "the peace of Jerusalem has been 
grievously disturbed 5 and the golden streets of the Holy 
City have been defiled with blood." 126 ^ 

One of the causes of this dissension was the ghost of the 
"conjugial heresy," which still stalked through the halls of 
Convention. When DeCharms came to Philadelphia in 
1839 he found many of his own Society, and all of the Sec- 
ond Society, "infected" with the heresy, besides those in 
power in Baltimore and New York. He at once began the 
attack, and made his first important convert in Mr. Doughty, 
pastor of the New York Society. The Central Convention, 
under Doughty and DeCharms, began an active campaign 
against it in the Newchurchman-Extra, in i843. 126 An- 
other doughty champion arose, the Rev. B. F. Barrett, who 
was rapidly becoming one of the leaders of the liberal party 
in the Convention. By 1 845 the opponents of the "conjugial 
heresy" had won Convention over, and in the address to the 
English Conference, written by Barrett, the whole idea was 
completely repudiated. "Most distinctly, most unequivo- 
cally and most decidedly, no such relation has any existences 
. in other words, there is not any conjugial relation whatever 
between a pastor and his flock or church, any more than there 
is between any one member of the Church and all the rest." 12T 
Thus ended the "conjugial heresy"! 

With this bone of contention removed the Convention 
began a rapid recovery of power and prestige. The Conven- 
tion of 1845, held in Boston, was more numerously attended 


than any previous meeting, and boasted of from five to six 
hundred visitors. 128 Under the leadership of men like Bar- 
rett greater freedom was accorded to all, and an important 
change was made in the Rules of Order. "Rules which con- 
cern societies and associations are hereafter to be printed 
merely as recommendations. This change originated in the 
deep and universal conviction of our body that we cannot too 
scrupulously respect or too religiously guard the freedom of 
societies and individuals." 129 Such a change of heart re- 
sulted in winning back many of the members who had se- 
ceded in 1839, and a great deal of the hostility toward the 
Convention faded away. In 1 849 new Rules of Order were 
adopted, which abolished the third degree in the ministry 
in accordance with the general disapproval of the trine in 
the ministry. The principle of closed communion was also 
repudiated, along with the "conjugial heresy" with which it 
was connected, and the Holy Supper was declared open to 
all baptized persons who are "under the influence of faith 
towards the Lord, and of charity towards their neighbor." 
All assumption of spiritual authority on the part of the Con- 
vention was also renounced. The basis of representation was 
changed, each society now being entitled to two delegates, 
with an additional one for every fifty members, up to seven. 
This gave the larger societies the balance of power over the 
smaller, and was considered a fairer and more truly repre- 
sentative basis. 180 The Constitution which superseded these 
Rules of Order in 1853 was an even greater advance toward 
local freedom and autonomy. The unit of representation 
was changed from the Society to the Association, a group of 
all the Societies in one state, or several adjoining states. The 
ordination of ministers, and the institutions of new Societies, 
were delegated to the Associations, acting under the authority . 
of the Convention. 181 

In the meantime the Central Convention which had started 
so bravely on its career had begun to lose its motive power. 
In 1848 DeCharms brought in his famous Report on the 
Trine, a mighty document of over seven hundred pages, on 
the doctrine of the priesthood of the New Church as derived 


from the writings of Swedenborg. 132 But this was practically 
the last gasp of the Central Convention. Its principle of co- 
hesiveness had been principally indignation toward the high- 
handed measures of the General Convention, now that this 
casus belli was removed there was little to hold it together. 
At its Ninth Meeting, in 1849, there were only three min- 
isters and thirty-two laymen present. It was voted to meet 
as usual the following year, but no further meetings were 
held until 1852, when the Central Convention was formally 
dissolved. 133 It is important chiefly as a forerunner of future 
tendencies a proof of the old saying that "coming events 
cast their shadows before. " When the General Convention 
met in Philadelphia in 1849, Richard DeCharms and Wil- 
liam H. Benade, pastor of the Philadelphia First Society, 
were invited to take their seats as ministers of Convention, 
and the members of their congregation were invited to join 
the members of the General Convention in the Holy Com- 
munion. 134 Thus the breach was healed at last. 

The Western Convention too was having its troubles. 
The anti-clerical spirit was rampant. At its fourth meeting 
the following resolution was offered: "Resolved, That, as 
the universal end of the Lord's New Church is use, and the 
practice of appending the titles of reverend and holiness to 
the names of ministers of the Word originates in the love of 
self and of the world, not in the meekness of wisdom, conse- 
quently is useless, to say the least of it, therefore this Con- 
vention will discontinue the practice in their records and pub- 
lications." 185 This, however, was too drastic, and the West- 
ern ministers continued to rejoice in their tide of "Rev." A 
small periodical called the Errand Boy > published in Chilli- 
cothe by a group of rabid anti-clericals, stirred up a world 
of dissension. There were also heresy trials in plenty. The 
most amusing of these was that of the Rev. Mr. Burnham, 
who was accused of saying that only a few would be saved 
out of the Old Church. This made New Church children 
feel superior to their Old Church parents, and caused family 
troubles. In 1848 Barrett the conciliator, accepted a call to 
the Cincinnati Society, and soon became the leading spirit in 


the Western Convention. That very year he induced them 
to change their name to the Ohio Association and apply to the 
General Convention for membership. 186 After a two-year 
discussion of the regulation of the ministry, and other matters 
of church government in which they disagreed with their 
Eastern brethren, they at last consented to accept the Con- 
vention regulations, and were admitted into full membership 
in r850. 1ST The dove had returned with the olive branch 
and the Ark rested again upon solid ground, the General 
Convention once more reigned supreme. 



By far the most important development of the second half 
of the nineteenth century was the Academy Movement, 
which finally resulted in the schism of 1890. As we have 
seen, its underlying principles had been foreshadowed in the 
Central Convention, and especially in the ideas o Richard 
DeCharms himself. These principles rested upon what 
might be called the infallibility of Swedenborg, and involved 
not only the acceptance of every word of the theological 
writings as divine revelation, but also the conception of the 
New Church as a distinctive ecclesiastical body having no 
relation whatever to the "vastated Old Church." These are 
the two fundamental Academy Doctrines, the necessary 
corollaries to which are a divinely instituted priesthood, an 
exclusive social life, and a "distinctive New Church" educa- 
tion. After the collapse of the Central Convention De- 
Charms found himself in a difficult position, and without 
visible means of support. His extreme ideas and forceful 
personality had made too many enemies, and there was no 
place for him in the New Church. His famous sermon on 
Freedom cmd Slavery, preached in Washington in 1849, had 
placed him in the ranks of the abolitionists, 1 and a series of 
sermons on "pseudo-spiritualism," delivered to the New 
York Society in 1852, had antagonized a large element in 
the Church who were interested in spiritualistic experimenta- 
tion. The declining years of his life present a tragic spec- 
tacle. Repudiated by the Church to which he had given the 
best years of his life, this truly brilliant man was forced to 
earn a precarious living as proofreader and compositor in 
Philadelphia printing establishments. 2 But the torch which 
he had lighted was not extinguished. It burned with an even 



brighter flame in the hands of his successor, William H. 
Benade, the founder of "the Academy." 

It was in 1844 that DeCharms met young Benade, the 
son of the Moravian Bishop of Pennsylvania, who had be- 
come interested in New Church doctrine. DeCharms com- 
pleted a conversion already begun, taught him his own dis- 
tinctive theological views, and ordained him into the min- 
istry of the New Church the following year. He then in- 
stalled him as pastor of the Philadelphia First Society, the 
position from which he himself had just resigned. 3 All went 
well for a while, but the Quaker element was beginning to be 
predominant in the Society, and Benade's views on ecclesiasti- 
cal matters savored too much of ritualism and priestcraft. 
This disharmony came to a crisis over the seemingly trivial 
question of where the cornerstone of the new temple was to 
be placed, but which involved the whole question of sym- 
bolism in worship. 4 The New Jerusalem Messenger, the 
Convention's new weekly newspaper, in its first number com- 
ments on his resignation sermon. "The point that led to the 
separation seems to have been the use of representatives in 
worship. The building, the arrangement of its several parts, 
the position of the altar, the dress of the priest, and other 
things connected with the worship should (according to 
Benade) conform to the laws of symbolism made known in 
the Writings, and which were in use in the Ancient Church. 
The Messenger sympathizes with the importance of outward 
forms, but thinks Mr. Benade was wrong in wanting to make 
them binding. They are not the prime essentials of religion, 
and should be a matter of taste, rather than of precept." 5 
The comment of the New Jerusalem Magazine is more caus- 
tic. "Mr. Benade has, in more than one instance, given the 
authority of law to the mere incidental mention of things by 
Swedenborg. This is not only unsafe, but utterly inadmis- 
sible. By this means we could prove almost anything, 
even the greatest absurdities." e It was this literalness- of 
interpretation of Swedenborg which now became the burning 
issue in the Church. 

About this time the Convention began to lose its en- 


thusiasm for "New Church education." In his presidential 
address in 1855 Thomas Worcester said: "The object [edu- 
cation] is undoubtedly a good one, but I conceive that it is 
not one of the proper objects of the Convention." He went 
on to recommend that the Committee on Education be abol- 
ished, as secular education was properly a "use" of the state 
and not of the Church. 7 Benade, on the contrary, had been 
imbued by DeCharms with a great enthusiasm for the cause. 
Also he had taught in the Moravian Nazareth Academy for 
six years, teaching being considered a necessary part of prepa- 
ration for the ministry by the Moravians. When he left the 
Philadelphia First Society a number of his admirers went 
with him, and founded another Society with a church on 
Cherry St. The new Society definitely accepted education 
as a function of the Church, and erected a fine school build- 
ing in connection with the church. The Cherry St. School 
was in operation from 1856 to 1861 with an average of 
thirty pupils, but was discontinued mainly on account of the 
Civil War. Benade had been offered the general agency 
for the new university at Urbana, a position which involved 
the raising of funds, but had refused on the ground that a 
New Church School should be under the control of the min- 
istry, and not of a mixed board including laymen, as was 
Urbana. When his friend, the Rev. J. P. Stuart, professor 
of philosophy at Urbana, wrote to him for advice on suitable 
text-books, his reply was characteristic: "There are none. 
You must make themj for it is clear that the Old Church 
cannot furnish even scientific text-books for our children." 8 
Stuart had gone to Urbana to live in 1849, an< ^ ^ VMS his 
influence, together with that of DeCharms, which had been 
largely instrumental in inducing Col. James to give the land 
for a New Church college, and when the college was opened 
he struggled valiantly, but in vain, to make it "distinctively 
New Church." The policy from the beginning was to admit 
students from other churches, and to make the study of doc- 
trine optional. In 1865 h* s department of philosophy, the 
only distinctively New Church department, was "dispensed 
with, 1 ' and he was made general agent for the institution. 


In 1859 he recorded his disappointment in his diary: "It is 
now ten years since I came to Urbana and set on foot this 
movement, and I then determined to give ten years of my 
life to this cause. The ten years are passed and the result is 
before us: i. A New Church College is demanded} the time 
has come. 2. Students are ready. 3. Money is ready to give 
an endowment. 4. We have neither students nor money, 
. . . because we are unworthy of both. We have begun 
wrong." Thereupon he resigned. 9 

In 1855 Benade and the Rev. N. C. Burnham made an 
unsuccessful attempt to revive the Central Convention, but 
its former members were now split into two camps, Benade's 
followers, and their opponents, the anti-ecclesiastical Quaker 
element, and nothing came of it. 10 Also by this time Rich- 
ard DeCharms had become convinced that affiliation with the 
General Convention was advisable, and so in 1857 the 
Cherry St. Society was received by the General Convention 
at Benade's own request. 11 The following year they joined 
the Pennsylvania Association, which had been founded in 
1845 in opposition to the Central Convention by those so- 
cieties still loyal to the General Convention. It was not 
long before the influence of Benade began to be felt in the 
Association. In 1861 they accepted a Report on the Nature 
of Swedenborg's Illumination which declared for full Reve- 
lation. This was the first official recognition of the Academy 
doctrine of the infallibility of the Writings. The following 
year they adopted a constitution providing for a trine in the 
ministry as laid down in the teachings of Swedenborg. This 
was of course contrary to the policy of the Convention, which 
had abolished the third degree in the ministry in 1849. The 
Philadelphia Second Society were dissatisfied with the new 
constitution, and withdrew in 1864. They were received 
into the Convention as an isolated Society, which was re- 
garded by the Pennsylvania Association as an act of condem- 
nation upon them. They maintained that "the action of the 
General Convention in relation to this affair was altogether 
disorderly, a direct violation of its own Constitution, and of 
the law of charity given by the Lord for the general gov- 


eminent of His Church, and was both unjust and discourte- 
ous to the Pennsylvania Association." Meanwhile the con- 
stituency of the Association was gradually changing. Both 
the Philadelphia Second and Third Societies had dropped 
out, as well as the Frankford Society, but the Allentown, 
Erie, and Philadelphia German Societies had come in. And 
all the while Benade's influence was steadily increasing. 12 

The first use of the word "Academy" appears in a letter 
from Stuart to Benade in 1859. "You are right about the 
Academy and you may consider me with you. You will 
please say to the others associated with you that I accept the 
plan as a principle, and tend to them my sincere thanks for 
the trust imposed in me." The plan referred to was the 
establishment of an Academy in the form of an inner circle 
of scholars devoted to the study of Swedenborgfs writings, 
the propagation of their belief in their divine origin, and the 
training of young men for the priesthood. Benade had sug- 
gested the making of a digest of the Writings, and Stuart 
added "a system of mental and spiritual training; the trans- 
lation of the Word and the Writings; plans for temples and 
tabernacles; an organ of science; a system of propaganda and 
catholic basis for the Church" as proper uses for the Acad- 
emy. The original group consisted of Benade and Stuart, 
N. C. Burnham, Thomas Wilkes, J. R. Hibbard and R. L. 
Tafel, who were joined later by Frank Sewall, J. C. Ager, 
and Samuel H. Warren (the last three, though sympa- 
thetic to the Academy, remained loyal to the Convention). 
They also called themselves the "Harmony." In 1864 
Benade moved to Pittsburgh to take the pastorate there, and 
Stuart, who since his resignation from Urbana had held the 
position of editor of the Messenger^ was transferred to the 
mission field. But R. L. Tafel carried out the Academy idea 
by producing a book on Swedenborg, the Philosopher anil 
Man of Science, a collection of testimonies by well-known 
people to his eminence in various fields of scholarship. 18 Of 
this Benade wrote enthusiastically: "The Academy fives it 
is it exists, . . . is he not an Academician? The Academy 
must sustain him." He then proposed raising funds in the 


Convention for sending Tafel to Sweden to copy the Swe- 
denborg manuscripts. "This is work for the Academy 
preparatory and formative work, and will most certainly lead 
to the College for Priests." 14 This intense interest in schol- 
arship, theological, philosophical, and scientific, was char- 
acteristic of the Academy from the start, and has produced a 
kind of New Church Scholasticism. 

The Convention also was beginning to feel the need of 
some systematic training for the ministry, and in 1865 a 
Committee was appointed to consider the matter, with Stuart 
as chairman. In a letter to Benade he says: "I proposed a 
college for the education of priests located near New York, 
with Mr. Benade at the head of it. This was a bold push and 
was received with seeming favor, but nothing definite." The 
favor was evidently only "seeming" after all, for two years 
later a Theological School was established at Waltham under 
the protecting guidance of the New England group, 15 but as 
an attempt at a compromise, four of the Academy group 
were included in the faculty. The course was only eight 
weeks, and there were fourteen lecturers to cover such sub- 
jects as "The Ancient Church," "Degrees and Correspond- 
ences," "History of Doctrine," "Philology," as well as the 
inevitable Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. The compromise was 
not a success, and it was evident that the two conflicting 
schools of theology represented by the Boston group and 
the "Academy" could not exist together in one institution. 
Therefore when the first session was over the members of 
the "Harmony" were not asked to repeat their courses. The 
school was reorganized with a small faculty under the presi- 
dency of Thomas Worcester. Once more Boston had tri- 
umphed over Philadelphia. 16 

The question of the priesthood was much discussed in the 
early seventies. Thomas Worcester, in a report to the Con- 
vention, writes: "There were two parties in the Old Church, 
those for and those against priests. These two parties were 
our ancestors, and we inherit their prejudices. Most of us, 
however, are descended from that party which was opposed 
to the Priesthood, the Priests, and the grades in the Priest- 


hood 5 and the prejudices which we inherit from them are 
what most demand our present attention. We believed in 
ministers, but not in a priesthood, regarding it as filled with 
pride and pomp and love of domineering. But when we 
began to read the Heavenly Doctrines, we found that they 
spoke of the Priesthood, with its different grades, and of 
Priests to occupy them, as of Divine Order, and as means 
appointed to the salvation of men." And this was indeed 
the crux of the difficulty. Swedenborg had used terms which 
were painful to the Protestant prejudices of the New Church 
in America. Only in Pennsylvania, where the background 
had been largely Episcopalian, Huguenot, or Lutheran, was 
the idea of a priesthood acceptable, and even here there was 
protest from the Quaker element. It is little wonder that 
the annals of the New Church are filled with controversy. 
In 1875 the Committee on Ecclesiastical Affairs brought in 
a report written by Benade, which was accepted, but never 
acted upon. It recommended a trine, with a third, or gov- 
ernmental office to be called an episcopal office. The Con- 
vention was to be governed by a presiding Bishop and an 
Ecclesiastical Council composed only of Bishops and Pastors, 
the laity being completely deprived of power. The report 
states: "The New Church is an internal spiritual Church, of 
which Israel was the external representative. It is not, how- 
ever, an internal Church without an external} but an internal 
Church in its own corresponding external} a full, complete 
and true Church, in which the internal appears in the ex- 
ternal, and is represented therein. ... In the passage from 
the True Christian Religion under consideration, it is said 
that the Lord abrogated the representatives which were all 
external. This may sound like a contradiction, but that can- 
not be. It means that some were abrogated, the entirely ex- 
ternal rites and ceremonies." 1T 

This point of view was greatly emphasized by Benade and 
his followers. "The officers of the Academy are governors 
priests we must insist on the priestly government of the 
Church," he writes. Stuart sees the "Harmony" as an inner 
circle, "the heart and lungs" of the larger body. "From the 


beginning of the Harmony," he writes, "I have felt the 
want of a body that every one can see, as well as the heart 
and lungs that they cannot see." Here begins to appear that 
esoteric quality which soon made the Academy an object of 
suspicion to less mystically minded New Churchmen. The 
idea of going to the Convention for financial backing seemed 
dangerous to Mr. Hibbard. "I am not so hopeful as you 
seem to be about our being able to keep the matter under 
our control. The Convention, you say, must be our *base 
of supplies/ and as a necessary consequence you throw the 
control of the matter into the hands of the Convention." 
Mr. Ager's opinion was much the same. "I think you un- 
derrate the faith which many of the best men in the Church 
have in the Convention. . . . There is a strong desire to 
have all the uses of the Church placed under the control of 
the Convention. Would you organize the Academy and 
make it known to the Church as an instrument for perform- 
ing these uses? Then the question will arise, Why do you 
not work in and through the Convention? And will not the 
plain truthful answer to this mark the beginning of antago- 
nism between the two bodies? Shall we say what is the 
truth that we are trying the experiment of working outside 
the Convention because we find we cannot work efficiently 
in it? I do not see how the Academy can be c a separate 
though related body' because it proposes to undertake a fart 
at least of the work which the Convention proposes to do. In 
fact, if the Academy undertakes to do all that it may in its 
complete organization, what will be left to the Convention? 
If it should regulate the organization of the ministry, why 
not ordain? If it should educate priests why not set them 
at work? If it would teach principles of Church order which 
the Convention will not sanction, will it not have to publish 
for itself?" 18 One, at least, saw clearly what must be the 
inevitable result of the Academy movement. 

In his Pittsburgh pastorate Benade succeeded in building 
up a strong following among the young laymen of his con- 
gregation, and inspiring them with his own enthusiasm for 
the cause. In 1874 a sum of money was contributed to the 


still non-existent "Academy," and the following year, at a 
preliminary meeting in New York City, the name, "Acad- 
emy of the New Church," was adopted. Those present were 
Benade, Burnham, Stuart, Hibbard, and Warren, represent- 
ing the clergy, and John Pitcairn and Walter C. Childs, of 
Pittsburgh, representing the laity. The purpose of the new 
organization was openly declared to be instruction within 
the New Church, and a sum of $200.00 appropriated to en- 
able a certain student at Urbana who did not want to go to 
Waltham for his theological training, to come to Mr. Benade 
and Mr. Burnham instead. This was the beginning of the 
Academy's long-desired "college of priests." By 1 876 there 
were two young men in Philadelphia, three in New York, 
and one in Chicago, studying under members of the Acad- 
emy. Appropriations were made to pay for their tuition, 
and living expenses when necessary. Mr. Stuart wrote in 
1877: "We have now in the Academy nine theological stu- 
dents, more than Waltham ever had." Naturally these de- 
velopments caused a stir in the Church. "It became known 
during the ministers' conference," writes Hibbard, "that 
there was in Pennsylvania an institution for educating young 
men for the ministry. I was asked, How is it that our un- 
known company of gentlemen in Pennsylvania had more 
students than Waltham and Urbana combined?" Dr. Hib- 
bard, who was a trustee of Urbana, and also a member of 
the Waltham board, was forced to reply in somewhat uncom- 
plimentary terms regarding these two institutions, and sug- 
gested that some sort of cooperation and exchange of teach- 
ers be worked out between the three schools. 19 

The meeting at which the Academy of the New Church 
was at last formally founded took place in Philadelphia on 
the nineteenth of June, 1876, with twelve men present. 
Concerning its purpose Bishop William F. Pendleton writes: 
"We were convinced that we had a mission to perform and 
a message to give, a message which we believed the ma- 
jority of New Churchmen would receive when rationally 
presented. We had come to see something new in the Writ- 
ings but little realized before, a glad message which would 


be gladly received There was a sincere belief that members 
of the New Church in America, in England, and in the world 
at large, would be able to see what we saw in the Writings, 
namely, that the Lord Himself appears in them in His Sec- 
ond Coming, speaking to the New Church and teaching that 
those Writings are the very Divine Truth itself, the very 
Word of God} and in addition that the men of these bodies 
would see dearly with us what revelation teaches concern- 
ing the vastated state of the Christian world that few of a 
mature adult age will ever be willing to see the light of the 
new truth now given to mankind; that His new light will 
be received, and can be received only by the young or those 
as yet in the spring of early manhood, before the formative 
period of life is passed. For the Doctrine teaches and expe- 
rience has shown that few in ripe adult age will receive the 
truths now revealed from heaven. Therefore we must look 
elsewhere for a spiritual supply. It was therefore decided 
to address the Church on these two fundamentals of Reve- 
lation, involving many important particulars; and so an in- 
ternal propaganda was determined upon and announced by 
the Chancellor [Benade] as the policy of the Academy a 
phrase frequently used at that time by him in addresses, and 
in the inauguration of new members into the body, and ac- 
cepted by all its members with enthusiasm, as expressive of 
the hope of a unified upbuilding of the New Church on 
earth. 5520 

The methods of this "internal propaganda 55 were to be 
the publication of a serial called Words for the 'New Cbwch y 
the establishment of a Theological School, and of day schools 
for children. Like the Swedenborg Printing and Publishing 
Society of New York, organized some years previously, the 
Academy was entirely independent of the Convention. In 
fact, until its application for a state charter in 1877, its ex- 
istence was practically unknown to the Church in general. 
There was, -however, in the minds of its founders no idea 
or intention of a complete separation from the main body of 
the Church, though this was the inevitable result. Friction 


soon began to develop. The Rev. William F. Pendleton 
was forced to resign from his pastorate in the Philadelphia 
First Society on account of Academy teaching, and many of 
his followers went over to Mr. TafePs German Society, 
This was now reorganized as the Society of the Advent, and 
began to hold its meetings in the old Cherry St. School. 21 
Pendleton accepted a call to the West Side Society in Chi- 
cago, and began an active Academy propaganda, including a 
class of young people for the study of Hebrew, and Con- 
jugial Love, and a day school for New Church children. In 
1880 a visit from Benade strengthened the group in their 
Academy principles, and brought about a rupture with the 
other Chicago New Churchmen. 22 

In the meantime the Academy had gathered together its 
scattered theological students in the basement of the Cherry 
St. School, a building dedicated thirty-one years before to 
the cause of New Church education by Benade himself. The 
faculty consisted of Chancellor Benade, Vice-Chancellor 
Stuart, and Professors Burnham and Tafel. At the formal 
opening in 1 877 the Rev. Frank Sewall, president of Urbana, 
was the guest of honor. There were eight students in resi- 
dence the first year. It soon became apparent that the stu- 
dents were deficient in general education, and so the follow- 
ing year they were all demoted into college work to make 
up their missing subjects before being allowed to go on with 
the theological course. Great stress was laid on the study 
of Hebrew, and singing in Hebrew became an important 
feature of the curriculum. The Chancellor had secured 
some Hebrew music books in Paris, and the Vice-Chancellor 
writes: "Our students went into the Hebrew singing with 
such a hearty good will that we were all amazed. There 
must indeed be an influx from these divine forms which we 
cannot transfer into English." At the second commence- 
ment, in 1 879, two A.B. degrees were bestowed, and the fol- 
lowing year the degree of Bachelor of Theology was con- 
ferred on the Rev. R. J. Tilson of London who had sub- 
mitted his scholastic records, and sermons to the faculty. 


This caused a furor in the English New Church and much 
unfavorable comment in their periodical, Morning Light> 
as well as in the Messenger 

There now occurred in the Convention a series of events 
destined to have far-reaching consequences. The reaction 
against the domination of the New England group had 
taken the form of a demand for greater freedom for the 
individual Associations to regulate their own affairs, a sort 
of "states rights" movement. In 1882 a new ruling was 
passed allowing the separate Associations "to make such spe- 
cific rules under the general rules for the regulation of the 
ministry as they may consider necessary or desirable." 24 
This opened the way for the episcopal form of government 
which Benade's followers considered necessary, and they 
were quick to seize the opportunity. The following year 
a resolution was passed in the Convention which, despite its 
innocuous appearance, was destined to lead to revolutionary 
results. "Whereas, the New Church claims to be a spiritual 
Church, and ought to regard all questions relating to the or- 
ganization of the Church from a spiritual point of view, and 
all the relations of individuals to Societies, and of Societies 
to Associations as essentially spiritual 5 and . . Whereas, 
the laws of charity also demand that Societies of the New 
Church should be left in entire freedom to choose their 
immediate social and spiritual relationships as may be most 
congenial to themselves therefore Resolved, That while for 
convenience, or other external reasons, it is expedient, and 
perhaps necessary, that an Association of the Church should 
have certain geographical metes and bounds, which ought in 
general to be observed, yet the rule of geographical bound- 
ary should not be so rigidly applied as to interfere with the 
freedom of any Society to choose, from doctrinal, or other 
internal considerations, to affiliate itself with any Association 
with which it can act." 25 This extraordinary provision was 
the result of disagreements, mainly in the Middle West, on 
the subject of rebaptism and other doctrinal issues, between 
various Societies and their state Associations, and was a des- 
perate effort to secure peace at any price. It was impossible 


for any one to foresee how great a price would have to be 

Meanwhile the Pennsylvania Association was not having 
altogether smooth sailing. Its president, the Rev. Thomas 
Wilkes, pastor of the Delaware County Society, had become 
"infected with spiritualism" in the sixties, and a great deal 
of dissatisfaction had ensued. As there was no provision in 
the constitution for getting rid of a president, and as the 
unruly Mr. Wilkes refused to resign, drastic steps were nec- 
essary. In 1871 the Association was formally dissolved 
and reorganized as a new body, with the Rev. N. C.' Burn- 
ham as president. 26 It is interesting to note that exactly the 
same procedure was again resorted to many years later in 
the case of the beloved founder of the Academy, Bishop 
Benade himself. 

In 1883 the Pennsylvania Association was reorganized as 
the General Church of Pennsylvania, with Benade as Bishop, 
or General Pastor, and in affiliation with the General Con- 
vention. It consisted of seven Societies, with a total mem- 
bership of three hundred and ninety-six. Its Instrument of 
Organization contains the following declarations of belief: 
"This New Church is the Crown of all the Churches which 
have hitherto been on the orb of the earth, because it will 
worship one visible God, in whom is the invisible God as 
the soul is in the body. The Revelation of truths from His 
own mouth or from His Word, by which the Lord derives 
and produces the New Church on the earth, is the immediate 
Revelation made through His servant Emanuel Swedenborg, 
before whom He manifested Himself in Person, and whom 
He filled with His Spirit to teach from Him the Doctrines 
of the New Church by the Word." 2T This is distinctive 
Academy doctrine, as well as the following: "The Priest- 
hood is a representative of the Lord in His work of salva- 
tion in successive order. . . . The Third or highest office 
of the Priesthood in this Church, represented by the High 
Priest of Aaron, is the. office of General Pastor or Bishop of 
this General Church. . . . The second or middle office of 
the Priesthood, represented by the Priesthood of the sons 


o Aaron, is the office of pastor of one or more particular 
Churches. . . . The first or lowest office of the Priesthood, 
represented by the Priesthood of the Levites, is the one of 
Priest or Minister." [The priestly hierarchy so long 
dreamed of by the Harmony was now a reality.] . . 
"This Church, constituting a part of the Most General Body 
of the New Church in America, styled the General Conven- 
tion of the New Jerusalem in America, shall consist of all 
members of the New Church who acknowledge and receive 
the Doctrine and Order above declared, and who desire to 
unite with other persons of a like mind in the General 
Church for the promotion of the ends or uses of its establish- 
ment." 28 

The newly constituted body grew rapidly. In 1 885 three 
Societies, a cirde in Concordia, Kansas, the First German 
Society of Brooklyn, and the Immanuel Church of Chicago, 
took advantage of the geographical freedom now granted 
by the Convention, and forsook their own state Associations 
to join the General Church of Pennsylvania. 29 It was the 
beginning of the end. Convention now began to regard with 
a suspicious eye this new body which had set itself up as a 
church within a church, and friction between the two, now 
rival, organizations increased by leaps and bounds. 

The first serious bone of contention was Confagial Love, 
which has always been the cause of dissensions within and 
attacks from without. In England the first attack was made 
in 1813 by a clergyman of the appropriate name of Grundy, 
and another clerical gentleman referred to it as "probably 
one of the most obscene and impure books in the English 
language." A minister in Bath, Maine, launched the first 
American attack in 1820, referring to it as "a book fit for 
no society but that of prostitutes, for no place but that house 
which is the way to Hell, going down to the chambers of 
death." 80 And there were other attacks in various parts of 
the country, which could not be altogether ignored by the 
Church. In 1846 the Convention passed the following reso- 
lution: "Whereas the manner in which the treatise on Con- 
jugial Love has for some years past been treated by persons 


who are either unacquainted with or opposed to the doctrines 
of the New Church has been such as to mislead the mind of 
the religious public in relation to that work, Resolved, that 
a committee of three be appointed by this Convention to 
prepare and publish, in a cheap pamphlet form, an answer 
to the objections brought against the writings of Sweden- 
borg grounded upon certain passages in the treatise on Con- 
jugial Love." 31 All this hostile public opinion could hardly 
fail to have some effect on New Churchmen themselves, 
and many began to doubt the book's divine origin. Dr. Hoi- 
combe undoubtedly expresses the attitude of many when he 
writes: "This is the skeleton in the New Church closet, which 
all of us are afraid of, and which all of us wish had never 
been created. The Old Church people and other people 
have found it out and parade it against the general truth and 
purity of Swedenborg's teachings. . . . Independent think- 
ers who take the good and throw the bad away, in Sweden- 
borg and everywhere else, have no special difficulty about 
this matter. This man, they say, is here false to himself 
and the supernal loveliness of his teaching everywhere 
else." sa 

But the book had never lacked able defenders. When it 
was attacked by the Rev. Jackson Kemper of Philadelphia 
in 1822, the level-headed William Schlatter wrote: "Mr. 
Kemper wished to induce our fellow Christians to believe 
that our doctrines encouraged licentiousness and were dan- 
gerous and immoral. As well might he condemn the justice 
of the Judge and jury for discriminating between murder in 
the first degree and manslaughter. Just so does Emamiel 
Swedenborg discriminate between one degree of vice and 
another." S8 William White, in his first biography of Swe- 
denborg, wrote in 1856: "This portion of the treatise has 
subjected Swedenborg to some gross calumny, which, if sin- 
cere, could only have arisen from a very superficial acquaint- 
ance with the principles of its author} and yet it is hardly 
possible for a man to write on such subjects, without provok- 
ing the censure of the sickly virtuous and the hypocritically 
pure. Religious people too often treat the dire sensual evils 


which infest and corrupt society with silence and aversion, 
passing them by as the priest and the Levite did the wounded 
traveller." 8 * And now the Academy rose to its defense. 
From their point of view the idea of there being any "bad" 
in the divinely inspired writings of Swedenborg was nothing 
short of blasphemy. They therefore felt it their bounden 
duty to defend this portion of the doctrine which was under 
attack, and thereby brought upon themselves a storm of 
abuse. They were accused of dwelling on the "doctrine of 
permissions" to excuse their own immoral practices, and a 
great deal of scandal was "discovered" concerning them by 
distracted members of the Convention. 85 

In a letter written in 1889 Benade says: "You do not 
state, and I cannot imagine, from what source your friend 
has derived his knowledge of the views of the Academy. If 
a leading member of this body, when in England, 'recom- 
mended scortatory loves to a young minister of the Church 
whose wife was at that time in a state of ill health,' he must 
have done so on his own responsibility and could not have 
said or intimated that the Academy taught c the necessity of 
scortatory loves.' . . . The Academy of the New Church 
teaches only what the Lord has revealed for the use of the 
Church through His servant Emanuel Swedenborg, nothing 
more and nothing less. . . . In this work, as throughout the 
Writings, scortatory Love is declared to be from Hell, 
whether such love be active without or within the bounds of 
legal or ceremonial marriage j that such love is from Hell 
because it is essentially adultery, ... it is the lust of the 
heart which constitutes adultery, and therefore if a man 
cohabits with a woman from mere lust, whether that woman 
be his married partner or not, his act is internally and essen- 
tially adultery, and his love is scortatoryj that, just as ex- 
ternal marriages, formed under the principles of natural 
loves, are permitted at the present day, and exist of common 
occurrence in the New Church, as means by which man, if 
possible, may be led from a natural to a spiritual state of 
life, so under certain circumstances and in certain conditions 
clearly noted and well defined, it is declared in the work on 


Conjugial Love to be 'allowable, 3 c not hurtful/ and 'not 
injurious to the conscience 7 for a man and a woman to be in 
a concubinical relation, and this for the sake of the preserva- 
tion of the conjugial principle, which principle is preserved 
in those who are regenerating, or who can be regenerated, 
and who entering heaven, can become angels. . . . Unfor- 
tunately for the men of the New Church, the work which 
treats of Conjugial Love which is the very foundation of 
the life of the Church and of Heaven, is less known and 
studied than any other work of the Church. By a large 
number of persons it is 'tabooed 5 and sedulously kept out of 
the hands of young persons, and withheld from new re- 
ceivers of our doctrine. This is worse than an error of judg- 
ment j it is actually wrong and evil, and if the attack now 
made upon us ... shall lead to a more extended and care- 
ful study of the same, we shall be altogether content." 3e 
Thus did the Academy courageously take the bull by the 

An attack on this view was made in the Convention, and 
resulted in the adoption of a report which attempted a com- 
promise between the two attitudes. "Many good people 
have never thought it right to attend to the subj ect at all, much 
less to consider it in the light of reason and Christian truth. 
They have condemned all lustf ulness indiscriminately, and 
considered any one as already polluted who ventures to point 
out that there are degrees in that evil, some of which may be 
pardonable. . . . But does Swedenborg teach that among 
the 'extra-conjugial loves' there are any so mild as to be of 
the Divine Order? or does he teach that they are all to be 
shunned, as he says the angels shun them as the loss of the 
soul and the lakes of hell?" 37 This compromise accom- 
plished only a temporary truce, and the conflict was renewed 
in 1888 with increased violence. This WES due to a series 
of articles in the New Chwrch Life, a periodical of the Acad- 
emy founded in 1 88 1, in which questions submitted by read- 
ers were answered with a distinctly un-Victorian frankness. 
One called The Womarts Side of the Question deals with 
these pertinent questions: "Should the concubine be received 


by New Church wives and mothers into the bosom of their 
families to be their friend and the companion of their daugh- 
ters?" and "Has a wife the same right of taking another 
man?" The answers are even more surprising in a religious 
magazine of the eighties. "The sole fact that a lady is a 
mistress or concubine ought not to exclude her from New 
Church Society, for such a person is not necessarily more evil 
than a married woman." The answer to the second question is 
also amazingly broad-minded. "A woman who has separated 
from her husband from lawful causes, is not in the liberty 
of choosing another man in his place, although, if the separa- 
tion be a total one, and if it become necessary for her, it 
would seem that she would be at liberty to enter into such a 
relation if she be addressed on the subject." "It may be nec- 
essary for a true Christian to keep a concubine, and herein do 
we see the maxim exemplified that God looks not on acts 
but at ends. . . . That such concubinage can be carried on 
without doing wrong to a woman is evident from the facts 
that the Divine Writings make it allowable." 38 Also there 
was nothing to prevent the concubine from entering into a 
New Church marriage later. 89 These laws apply to the 
clergy in the same way as to the laity. "Keeping a concubine 
is not necessarily a sign that a man is immoral, and is no 
reason why a minister should resign his office." 40 

Naturally enough this sort of thing brought forth much 
protest and vituperation both in England and America. An 
editorial in the New Church Life in 1890 which stated that 
while marriage is not allowable between persons of different 
religions, "there is no reason why $ellicacy which 'makes a 
distinction between the souls of two, and conjoins only the 
sensuals of the body' should not be carried on with one out- 
side the Church" was violently attacked in the English Con- 
ference. 41 A group of seventeen of the English clergy held 
a meeting for the purpose of repudiating Conjugial Love, 
and demanded that it be removed from the canon of theo- 
logical writings as immoral. The New Church Life com- 
mented blandly on this occurrence: "It is greatly to be feared 
that this condemnation like many others, arises from the 


false, hypocritical prudery which infests a great part of the 
New Church through a blind love for the communion with 
the adulterous, devastated Church which forbids a considera- 
tion of the rides mercifully revealed by the Lord for the 
preservation of the conjugial in this corrupt age, steeped as 
it is in the very worst forms of adultery." * 2 

The members of the General Church bore all the con- 
tumely which their unconventional doctrines brought upon 
them with amazing loyalty and fortitude. "If there were 
heroes in those days, there were heroines also. The assault 
that was made upon the Academy fell more hardly upon 
the women than upon the men in certain vital aspects j and 
the way in which those women sustained that assault, and 
stood by the men, causes them to be an object of reverence 
to us to-day." 4 * This tribute from Bishop N. D. Pendleton 
is doubtless well-deserved. The ordeal must have been a 
trying one, and especially so for the women. 

Another serious matter of disagreement between the Acad- 
emy and the Convention was "the Wine Question," which 
agitated the New Church in the eighties. The Temperance 
movement had begun in the English New Church as early 
as 1837, and continued to be much discussed almost to the 
end of the century, but in America it appeared much later. 
Its chief advocate was John Ellis of New York, the son of a 
temperance advocate, and himself a total abstainer from the 
age of eighteen. He believed that alcohol is an "evil use 
from Hell," and demanded the use of unfermented grape 
juice in the Holy Supper. He began his crusade in 1879 
with a pamphlet called The Two Wine Theory, the gist 
of which was that in the Scripture there are two kinds of 
wine mentioned, the "good wine," which is unfermented, 
and the evil, which is fermented, and "leadeth to destruc- 
tion." There was considerable correspondence between Ellis 
and his opponents published in the Messenger, which cul- 
minated in a "Symposium on the Wine Question" in i88o. 44 
Though many New Church people were total abstainers in 
practice, no general theory on the subject had been drawn 
from the teachings of Swedenborg, who was himself not a 


total abstainer. It is true, as we have seen, that the Bible 
Christians, the heretical sect of Manchester Swedenborgians 
who had come to Philadelphia in 1817, had originally based 
their temperance views as well as their vegetarianism on 
Swedenborg, and were among the earliest temperance propa- 
gandists in America. But they, of course, had no connection 
with the New Church/ 5 

In 1882 Ellis brought out another pamphlet, The Wine 
Question in the Light of the New Dispensation, and in 
1887 a large book, The New Christianity, which was the 
climax of his campaign. The Church as a whole did not ac- 
cept his views, though many individuals in the Convention 
did. 46 His most active opponents, however, were the Acad- 
emy leaders, and many articles on the subject appeared in 
their periodicals, based primarily on Swedenborg's ipse dixit. 
"Swedenborg says that distillation is the separation of finer 
elements from the coarser, and their arrangement as the su- 
perficies of spherides, the cavities of which are occupied by 
ether. This new formation, alcohol, is less compounded, 
more perfect and more universal than coarser bodies. It 
therefore belongs to etherial forms, which are on the plane 
of the purer portions of the human body." Also, ^Alco- 
holic preparations, varying in the kind, speedily reach the 
brains and impress the wonderful little glands, whose func- 
tions are the production of emotions and thoughts. Ideas 
flow more freely, the senses are more acute. As the am- 
brosial odor of the wine greets the nostrils, the affections are 
vivified, and thus form a social sphere which transforms a 
listless company into a chatty, brilliant, and entertaining 
party. . . . Swedenborg says that to imprison man's pas- 
sions and appetites in the chains of enforced obedience is but 
to let his evils smoulder, which will burst forth in more irre- 
pressible and direful forms when opportunity is offered." 4T 
Here it seems that Swedenborg anticipates the theories of 
Sigmund Freud. 

In this case the Academy was as broad in practice as in 
theory, to the great scandal of the Puritan element in the 
Convention* In the Journal of 1886 we read: "During the 


adjournment the members of the General Church and vis- 
itors partook of a collation furnished by the Society. Wine 3 
both red and white, was provided by the hosts, and a toast 
was drunk to the success of the General Church." * 8 And in 
fact so strong was the feeling against Abstinence, especially 
in the case of the use of sacramental wine, that it was formu- 
lated into a doctrinal principle in 1899 in the following offi- 
cial statement by Bishop Pendleton: "The Holy Supper is 
the most holy act of worship and is purely representative. 
Since it has been openly asserted and taught that the wine of 
the Holy Supper is not the fermented juice of the grape, it 
became necessary for the Academy to take a firm stand in 
favor of the administration of the genuine wine of the Holy 
Supper, the wine that is taught in Scripture, confirmed in 
history, approved by reason and common sense." * 9 This 
sentiment in favor of the "use," but not the "abuse," of al- 
coholic beverages is still strong among the members of the 
General Church, who for the most part are opposed to Prohi- 
bition on principle. 

It was already dear to some that a schism between the 
two bodies was only a question of time. In 1888 the Rev. 
J. R. Hibbard wrote: "For a time longer those who consti- 
tute the General Convention may continue in a loose way to 
work together and perform uses. But the time must come 
when what may be cdled for distinction's sake, the Episcopal 
element and the Congregational element, will organize sep- 
arately, and work each in its own direction, fraternizing with 
each other not in forms, modes, or specific uses, but on the 
general ground of acknowledged orthodoxy as to the essen- 
tials of the Church. And were I to venture an opinion I 
would say the sooner this is done in the true spirit of a 
genuine charity the better for the freedom of all and the 
best interests of the Church. There might be then less temp- 
tation to endeavor to keep others in order, leaving each one 
more time to watch over himself." 50 Unf ortunately this ex- 
cellent counsel went unheeded, and the feeling grew more 
and more intense. The Academy had many grievances 
against the Convention, foremost among which was the Con- 


vention Theological School and its teaching. They said the 
School had been moved from Waltham to Cambridge, the 
hotbed of Unitarianism, with the deliberate intention of i 
dose association with Harvard. "They teach that illumina- 
tion is dependent on regeneration, and that Swedenborg was 
no exception. . . . All regenerated men may become illum- 
inated." w Not only this, but the Convention ignored the 
very existence of the Academy Theological School. The> 
objected also to the Messenger's policy of "accommodating, 3 ' 
or "adapting" the doctrines of the Church to make them 
more palatable to modern ways of thinking. And most of 
all they objected to the New Jerusalem Magazine's continu- 
ous attacks upon Academy doctrine, and to the slanderous 
stories which were being circulated concerning their private 
lives. Another serious ground for complaint arose in 1889, 
when the Convention was held in Washington in a Universal- 
ist Church, the New Church there having been recently 
burned down. "The offense against Order, of deliberating 
for the good of the New Jerusalem in a temple of the Talse 
Prophet/ culminated in the Sunday worship, when the 
greater part of those attending Convention joined with the 
Unitarians in worship," the Delegates from the General 
Church held their own service in a hotel parlor. 52 

But the final crisis came over a matter of church govern- 
ment. The Rev. L. H. Taf el, pastor of the Church of the 
Advent, began to be restive under Bishop Benade's auto- 
cratic rule, and resigned from the Academy with the follow- 
ing statement: "My experience in the last year has convinced 
me that the concentration of power as taught and practiced 
in our body is not conducive to good effects." He also said 
that the Academy was "an instrument for the enslavement 
of the Church." His specific complaint was that it was an 
undue concentration of power for Benade to be both Chancel- 
lor of the Academy and Superintendent of the Academy 
Schools, as well as Bishop of the General Church. The dis- 
agreement between Taf el and the Bishop had arisen over a 
case of discipline in the Boys' School. The parents of two 

whn fiarl Kppn whmnprJ nrnfpcfpH onrl Ta-P*1 


parents. He even went so far as to send his own children 
to the Quaker school. For this act of insubordination he 
was removed by the Bishop from his pastorate, and enjoined 
from preaching in any church under the jurisdiction of the 
General Church. Sixty-three of his parishioners presented 
a petition at the Convention of 1889 complaining that he had 
been removed without the consent of the Society, and asking 
for a reversal of the Bishop's decree. Benade said his action 
had been taken under the freedom guaranteed by the Consti- 
tution to the Associations, and was not subject to revision by 
the Convention. 53 The dispute was referred to the Council 
of Ministers, who decided that an investigation would be 
unwise, but that the Bishop's act in no way affected Taf el's 
position as a minister of the Convention. "Whereas no rea- 
sons are given for this action, wherefore injustice may be 
unwittingly done to our brother, Rev. L. H. Taf el, in the 
minds of those unacquainted with the real causes of differ- 
ence between him and his Bishop, therefore, Resolved, That 
this Convention, for the purpose of preventing any miscon- 
struction of these circumstances, emphatically declares, and 
places on record the statement, that nothing in the differences 
above referred to affects in the slightest degree the standing 
of our brother, Rev. L. H. Taf el, as a minister, or diminishes 
the love and respect in which he is held by his brethren." 
The General Church was infuriated by this direct slap in the 
face. Moreover an amendment was offered to the Constitu- 
tion which would give a suspended minister the right of 
appeal to a tribunal of General Pastors whose decision would 
be final, thus seriously curtailing the freedom of the Asso- 
ciations. 54 

And the Tafel case was only half of the trouble, there 
was also the Pendleton case. The Council of Ministers were 
requested "to consider what action should be taken with re- 
spect to the induction of the Rev. W. H. Pendleton into the 
third degree of the ministry by the Rev. W. H. Benade, on 
the ninth day of May, 1888, and his [Mr. Benade's] decla- 
ration that with him [Mr. Pendleton] should be established 
a priesthood that shall be the Priesthood of the Academy." M 


This was construed by the Convention as the deliberate set- 
ting up of an independent priesthood responsible to the Acad- 
emy instead of to the Convention, and was viewed with con- 
siderable alarm. The Council of Ministers reported: "The 
investiture of Mr. Pendleton with the office of Bishop^ 
though performed by a General Pastor of the Convention, 
was not done c by the request of an Association,' nor 'with the 
sanction of the General Convention' [as required by the Con- 
stitution], but under the rules of a body [the Academy] 
which is not a component part of the Convention. It is thus 
intended as the establishment of a priesthood or ministry not 
recognized by the Convention, nor responsible to the Con- 
vention, and for which the Convention is in no way 
responsible. While it appears to the Council that this act 
is not loyal to the spirit at least of the Convention under 
which Mr. Benade holds the office of General Pastor, 
nor consistent with the unity of the ministry of the Church, 
we do not recommend any judicial action in regard to it, 
deeming it sufficient to present it in the lights of the facts 
of the case." 56 

At the November meeting of the General Church feeling 
ran high, and the question was asked by members of the laity 
why they should remain in the Convention at all. Many 
wild statements were made. The Convention was likened to 
Noah drunk and derided by his sons, with only the General 
Church loyally trying to cover its nakedness! The Conven- 
tion was like the Israelites in disorder, with the General 
Church, like Moses, trying to reduce them to order. Mr. 
Schreck agreed with Mr. Whitehead that it would not do 
to "desert the flag," but maintained that "it will not be 
deserting the flag to leave the Convention. We shall carry 
the flag and the citadel with us." After a long discussion it 
was resolved "That the acts of the General Convention, enu- 
merated above, merit and receive our condemnation j and 
that we deplore the lack of charity, of common justice, and 
of equity, manifested by the majority in Convention." 57 
This resolution, included in the Report of the General 
Church to the next Convention, resulted in the return of the 


Report by the General Council with a reprimand. "Whereas, 
the General Church of Pennsylvania, in its annual report to 
the Convention, has made statements respecting the relations 
of that body to the Convention, and the action of the Con- 
vention toward it, which are wanting in a proper degree of 
respect for the Convention j therefore, Resolved, That the 
said report be referred back to that body, that it may omit 
from it all those portions which contain charges against the 
Convention of 'unkind, unbrotherly, and disorderly action/ 
of 'manifest animosity toward the General Church of Penn- 
sylvania,' etc. ... At the same time we do not hereby deny 
to the General Church of Pennsylvania the right of appeal 
to the Convention in any matter of justice or charity, when 
couched in proper language." There was also sharp criticism 
on the floor of Convention of certain statements in the report 
with regard to the use of alcoholic beverages at their social 
meetings. The following motion was made, but laid on the 
table: "Resolved that the General Convention learns with 
regret from the Report of the General Church of Pennsyl- 
vania, that in the social meetings of the Societies belonging 
to that body, they are in the habit of using alcoholic wine and 
recommend the use of the same, resolved, that this Conven- 
tion desires the world to understand that this is not the prac- 
tice of the Church in general, and believes that it ought not 
to be." 58 

In November, 1890, the General Church made the final 
break with Convention. They said that for thirteen years 
they had tried in vain to cooperate, but that now Convention 
had broken its compact by interference in their internal 
affairs. However the grounds of difference were more seri- 
ous than mere matters of administration, being in brief, "the 
Divinity of the Writings," and "the true Order of the Priest- 
hood." "Many sermons have been published by Convention 
ministers, but in none have I seen a simple answer to the 
question, *What constitutes the Second Coming of the 
Lord?' " remarked one member. "It is said to be evidenced 
in sewing machines, the steam engine, and the telephone and 
such things, but outside of the General Church of Pennsyl- 


vania I never heard it said that it was in those Books." 59 
After much discussion the following resolution was passed: 
"Whereas, It has become evident that the General Conven- 
tion of the New Jerusalem in the United States of America 
is not in internal accord with the General Church of Pennsyl- 
vania, and that the external bond existing under and by 
virtue of a compromise compact, has been rent asunder by the 
General Convention, both by the acts of its duly constituted 
officers and also by the acts of a majority of its members in 
solemn convention assembled, Therefore be it resolved, 
That the clause reading 'constituting a part of the Most Gen- 
eral Body of the New Church in America, etc.' be hereby 
expunged from Part 1.88 on Organization of the Constitu- 
tion." This resolution was passed by a three-fourths vote, 
and marks the completion of the schism which still divides 
the New Church. 60 

The secession was taken for the most part philosophically 
by the members of the Convention. The Messenger ex- 
pressed annoyance at the wide publicity given to the affair 
by the secular press because it gave the impression that the 
New Church had been rent in twain, whereas the seceding 
body, as a matter of fact, was less than one seventeenth of its 
membership, and their loss had already been made good by 
the addition of the Jacksonville Society and the Pacific Coast 
Association. In an editorial on the causes of the split all the 
blame was laid on the General Church's "assumption of in- 
fallibility." Instead of admitting that there should be vari- 
eties of usages and beliefs in the New Church, and being con- 
tented with a Convention broad enough to hold them all, 
they had attempted to make their uses and beliefs a standard 
for all, and continually referred to Convention's "denial of 
the Writings as the Divine Human." The General Church 
had assumed in the New Church the position of the Catholic 
Church in the Christian world. "This resemblance is shown 
in a literalism of interpreting doctrine, in an assumption of 
the supremacy of the Church as the authorized interpreter 
of doctrine, in the conception of the naturd and order of the 
priesthood and of its function in the Church, and also in its 


declarations against the ecclesiastical legitimacy of those whc 
do not agree with it. ... And we doubt not that the Gen- 
eral Church of Pennsylvania, like its prototype, has a mission 
of usefulness to those who are best served by what seems tc 
us the peculiarly literal and rigid interpretations which it 
gives to the doctrines of the New Church. Some minds are 
best reached by that sort of conception of the truth. And to 
what good this body can do in ministering to such, we are 
sure there will be no feeling of opposition in the hearts of 
any of the members of the General Convention." 61 

Not all in the Convention were able to take the matter 
so calmly, many were deeply distressed, and sincerely 
mourned the loss of their brethren. The Rev. Frank Sewall 
was one of these, and made repeated attempts to bring the 
lost sheep back into the fold. "That our brethren have tem- 
porarily and in outward form left the Convention is, I be- 
lieve, a step weakening and retarding to our growth into a 
united Church." 62 For many years, in spite of a sinister 
undercurrent of suspicion produced by the Conjugial Love 
controversy, relations between the Convention and the Gen- 
eral Church were outwardly friendly. Visitors from the 
General Church were cordially received at Convention, and 
vice versa. In 1896 the Rev. C. Th. Odhner and Carl Hj. 
Asphlundh of the Academy addressed the Convention on the 
subject of assisting in their project of photolithing the Swe- 
denborg manuscripts in Stockholm, and the Convention was 
gratified at an opportunity to cooperate with the Academy. 68 
And so things went on peacefully until the next cataclysm. 

If the break between the Convention and the Academy 
had been a clean one, based entirely on doctrinal issues, the 
attitude taken toward the writings of Swedenborg, and the 
nature and function of the New Church and its priesthood, 
things would have been simpler. Many others would prob- 
ably have gone with the seceding three hundred and forty- 
seven, and Convention would have been left free to develop 
along more liberal and less "distinctive" lines. But unfor- 
tunately there was no such clear-cut division. There were 
too many personal factors. The distinctly autocratic tern- 


perament revealed by Bishop Benade was sufficient to keep 
the democratically-minded in the Convention, and the great 
emphasis on ecclesiastical formalism in the General Church 
was contrary to the Protestant tastes of the majority. And 
besides, another issue, that of "Conjugial Love," had been 
"dragged like a herring across the trail." Many who would 
otherwise have agreed with the Academy's stand on the di- 
vine authority of the Writings could not accept their extreme 
attitude on this question, and were repelled by their defense 
of the "doctrine of permissions." Also many undoubtedly 
believed in all sincerity that the Academy practiced what 
they preached. For these, and other reasons therefore, not 
all the "Fundamentalists" went with the Academy, some 
remained to form the nucleus of the group now engaged in a 
life-and-death struggle with the "Modernists" in the Con- 



After its separation from the Convention the General 
Church entered upon a period of intensive development 
along its own distinctive lines. "Authority" was the rock 
upon which it was built, the authority of the Writings, and 
the authority of the Church and the Priesthood. "The prin- 
ciple of authority," writes R. L. Tafel, "is a heavenly and 
Divine Principle, and is inherent in the very order according 
to which the universe has been created; and upon this prin- 
ciple the welfare of the Church upon earth, and notably the 
welfare of the Lord's New Church upon earth depends." * 
With regard to the Writings Bishop Pendleton says: "The 
Lord has made His Second Coming in the Writings of the 
New Church, revealing Himself therein, in His own Divine 
Human, as the only God of Heaven and earth. In those 
Writings, therefore, is contained the very essential Word, 
which is the Lord. From them the Lord speaks to His 
Church, and the Church acknowledges no other Authority, 
and no other Law." 2 The control of religious matters was 
completely in the hands of the Priesthood. "There is a 
heavenly vitality in an order of the New Church that begins 
in the acknowledgment of the Lord's Office of the Priesthood 
as the ruling office," said Bishop Benade. 3 

The General Church differed from the General Conven- 
tion in several important features of church government. Its 
Assembly was not a representative body but comprised all 
the members of the various Societies who were able to be 
present. From the start an ideal of unanimity of action was 
aimed at as the proper form of church polity. "Let us do 
away with the ride of mere majorities," said the Bishop. 
"This we have been advocating all along; we have been striv- 



ing for unanimity of action. If after discussion we find that 
we are not near unanimity, let the subject be dropped for 
the time. 35 * This interesting form of polity had first been 
tried in the Western Convention. In a quotation from the 
Retina, an early New Church periodical published in Ohio 
by the father of William Dean Howells, it is described thus: 
"The unanimous system supposes brethren to be one, as the 
societies of heaven are. ... It promotes investigation, in- 
quiry, and free discussion. These presuppose no opposing 
or antagonistic parties." * This principle of unanimity is still 
in use in the General Church. 

In 1891 the geographical limitation implied in the name, 
General Church of Pennsylvania, was removed by changing 
it to The General Church of the Advent of the Lord. 6 At 
first it was thought that there was no need for a constitution, 
as the Writings themselves are a sufficient basis of agree- 
ment, 7 but in 1892 a constitution was adopted. 8 Before this 
time there was a tendency to divide into two Churches, the 
General Church, and the Church of the Academy, with dis- 
tinct priesthoods and ritual, and there was considerable con- 
fusion of thought as to the relation of the two bodies. The- 
oretically it was that of "internal to external." "The Acad- 
emy of the New Church has constituted itself a body of the 
internal Church to perform the use of internal Evangeliza- 
tion j and it would follow from this that the General Church, 
in order to be distinct and to thoroughly differentiate its uses 
from those of the Academy, should constitute itself a body 
of the external Church, to perform the use of external evan- 
gelization." As a matter of fact, however, this differentia- 
tion was practically impossible, due to the fact that Bishop 
Benade was head of both bodies, but all the activity was in 
the Academy. During this period two Canadian Societies, 
the one in Berlin, Ontario, and the other in Toronto, affiliated 
themselves with the General Church, as well as two in Eng- 
land, in London and Colchester. 9 

The minutes of the early meetings of the General Church 
reveal some interesting points of view. It was decided in 
1891 that the field of missionary work should be among 


"the simple, uneducated, or peasant class," as the learned 
constitute an unprofitable field. To this end domestics 
should be brought into the Church. "There is a true dignity 
in the use of service, and all need instruction about it." 10 
This evangelization of the "simple" seems to have been 
somewhat of a failure, for seven years later in a discussion 
of the matter it was said: "We have been preaching the intel- 
lectual reformation of the understanding first, and repent- 
ance from evil afterwards. It may have been for the best 
that we have done so, since we have now in the New Church 
mostly intellectual people. But the simple must be reached 
differently. The Methodists and the Salvation Army have 
the right method, but unfortunately the New Church has no 
trained revivalists. . . . We will have to go on with our 
evangelization along the same old lines on which we have 
been jogging along for a century or so, preaching to the in- 
tellectual class, and if on occasion one of the simple should 
come in, let us hope that he, too, will become 'intellectual* " 
(laughter). "The fact is that the New Church has been 
distressingly 'intellectual,' and with this result, that it has 
served to a very large degree to develop the conceit of men, 
and has caused the frequent observation that New Church- 
men are the greatest lot of cranks on earth." n In the New 
Chwch Life appears the sad story of an old lady who de- 
serted the New Church, and "made up her mind to go to 
heaven the Methodist way because the New Church way to 
heaven was so difficult, and took so long, and you had to 
read so much!" 12 By 1900 proselytism among both the 
simple and the intellectual, was regarded as practically hope- 
less. The hope of increase "will be in the Church itself > 
from within outward, not from without inward, from off- 
spring in the Church, and not from proselytism out of the 
New Church. The latter mode of increase is hardly suffi- 
cient to enable the Church to hold its own in point of num- 
bers." 18 

This frankly recognized necessity for training children 
for the perpetuation of the New Church on earth led to the 
formulation of definite teaching on the subject of marriage. 


Conjugial Love, on which the New Church bases its doc- 
trines of marriage, is entirely different from ordinary "con- 
jugal love," which, as Swedenborg says, "with some is noth- 
ing but limited love of the sex." It is so rare that its nature 
and even its existence is almost unknown in the world. It is 
a love which can only reside with one who worships the Lord 
and shuns evils as sins against Him. It is a union made in 
heaven and not on earth, in the spiritual mind of man and 
hence in his natural or external mind, and not the reverse. 
"The conjugial is with those who are similar and monoga- 
mous. It is provided on earth for those who from their 
youth have loved, have wished, and have asked from the 
Lord a legitimate and lovely companionship with one, and 
scorned and hated wandering lusts." " It cannot exist be- 
tween those of different faiths, "such marriages are deemed 
heinous in Heaven." 15 Marriage once contracted must be 
for life,, and divorce is permissible only on the ground of 
adultery. Separations, however, are allowed for many 
causes, and may be either open or secret as is most conven- 
ient. "Marriage in the Church is essential to the conjugial, 
and vital to the existence of the Church; without it the 
Church could not be established and preserved. For the 
conjugial life is the home life, and if the Church is not in 
the home it is not anywhere. The conjugial in the home is 
the pillar upon which the Church rests and by which it is sup- 
ported 5 take away this pillar, and the edifice is in ruins." le 
This true and happy marriage is an achievement, not an acci- 
dent. It is "a blessing not born ready-made, nor de- 
scending ready-made from heaven into the hearts and 
minds of the betrothed or wedded pairj it is only in 
its beginning with them. It will, it must, grow, if it con- 
tinue to exist. It will, it must, contend with evils, which 
unopposed would destroy it. ... It is true that we do 
not know internal states; it is true that we cannot dog- 
matically say that any pair, however happily they may ap- 
pear to be united on earth, will be united in heaven." 17 
Even the most successful earthly marriage cannot guarantee 
its own permanence beyond the grave. 


Bishop W. K Pendleton says: "In respect to the relation 
of the sexes the Doctrines of the New Church recognize three 
degrees of the same. First, marriage in time and for eter- 
nity. Second, marriage in time for time. Third, a relation 
that is analogous to marriage. Marriage for eternity is for 
youth and early manhood and womanhood, and no other 
marriage or relation of the sexes is recognized in the Doc- 
trines of the New Church as legitimate and according to 
order for young men, except as noted in the doctrine given 
above, the doctrine of permissions, and none whatever for 
young women or virgins. Marriage in time for time, or 
marriage to continue only during life in the world, is for 
widowers and widows, and for unmarried men and women 
who have reached or passed the period of middle age. Mar- 
riage for eternity is however not excluded from this period. 
The relation that is analogous to marriage has been presented 
in full in the foregoing summary of doctrine [i.e., the doc- 
trine of permissions]. It is not to be entered into with any 
woman except one who has been led astray from the paths 
of virtue; and during the continuance of this relation such 
women should not have dealings with other men. . . . 
Among the uses of this doctrine are the cure of physical dis- 
ease 5 the healing or prevention of insanity; the restoration 
of conjugial love, thereby bringing back the hope and prom- 
ise of salvation and eternal life; the lessening of the dangers 
of seduction and adultery; the diminishing of brothels, and 
the vile diseases incident to them; and it presents what is 
perhaps the only hope for the reformation of fallen women; 
to say nothing of the prevention of certain nameless evils. 
From the summary of the Doctrine herein given, and the 
brief considerations presented, it will be seen, therefore, that 
if there is immorality anywhere it is in the doctrine itself, 
for which revelation is responsible. But the General Church 
of the New Jerusalem rejects this conclusion as enormous, 
and holds that the doctrine is not immoral, but eminently 
moral, and is a part of the Heavenly Doctrine, which has 
been given in mercy to mitigate and heal the miseries of man- 
kind' 5 18 


The question of birth control is not left to the individual 
in the General Church. "Marriage is the seminary of the 
human race; in it is fulfilled the end of the creation of the 
universe, which is the angelic heaven. . . . Anything that 
operates against the end of creation is a sin against God, 
against heaven, and against society upon the earth. Such a 
sin is the prevention of birth in marriage." 19 "Conjugial 
love \^ithout its companion love [of oflFspring], its consort 
love, cannot grow and flourish, cannot live; it is a vain and 
empty delusion; it becomes like that love in animals or 
worse: for we read that as the love of adultery increases, the 
love of offspring grows less and finally disappears. So the 
love of offspring without conjugial love becomes merely a 
natural thing, becomes a mere animal love, a love which 
man has in common with the beasts of the field, nothing 
in it to elevate it and make it spiritual. When they are sep- 
arated both loves perish together." 20 "In nothing is the 
utter vastation of the Christian world so plainly to be seen 
as in the destruction of conjugial love; and in nothing is 
the destruction of conjugial love so manifest as in the well- 
nigh universal crime of Prevention of Offspring. ... It 
makes a profanation of marriage itself, using it for the satis- 
faction of the lusts of the flesh and the defeat of the Divine 
End in creating a heaven from the human race. . . . There 
is but one remedy, and that is to regard the prevention of 
conception as a deadly sin against God and a destruction of 
the loves of heaven." 21 Here we see the New Church 
ranged with the oldest of the Old Churches, the Church 
of Rome, in its attitude toward one of the most crucial ques- 
tions of the day. 

In the nineties the question of woman's place in the 
Church came up for discussion. When the constitution was 
adopted in 1892 it was felt by some that the women should 
be allowed some part in^the proceedings. One of the laymen 
said: "It is a well recognized principle with us that the hus- 
band is the representative of the wife on such occasions as 
these, but still, when we come to states so distinctly new, it 
is proper that there be mention of the wives individu- 


ally. ... I think it would be well if all, including the 
ladies, who are in favor of the new order should rise and 
unite in saying that we heartily accept the new order of gov- 
ernment which is contained in the Journal before us." This 
radical proposal met with the disapproval of the Bishop. 
"The chair does not feel/ 5 he said, "that it would be orderly 
now to entertain the proposal that the ladies give their assent 
by speaking in this matter: but would suggest that there is a 
mode by which they may be permitted to express their senti- 
ments. I mean such of them as are not represented by their 
husbands or have husbands. The suggestion of the Secre- 
tary of the Council of the Laity that we have a song pe- 
culiarly adapted to express affection of the Church fits in in 
this place. The women, who are themselves forms of affec- 
tion, may make use of this song as a means of voicing in an 
orderly way their acceptance of this order." When Mr. 
John Pitcairn asked the doctrinal reasons why the women 
might not speak, he received this reply: "This is a general 
and public meeting, partaking somewhat of the nature of a 
public assembly, in which, to a large degree the forensic 
enters, and the sphere of woman is not in the perception of 
things forensic. . . . The idea of women speaking in pub- 
lic is spoken of in the Writings as not being good." Some- 
one then suggested that the women be allowed to rise, but 
remain silent while the men in chorus expressed their assent. 
There was much discussion pro and con, and it was finally de- 
cided that the assent was a ceremony and not a vote. This 
made it "orderly 5 ' for the women to say "we do" in chorus 
with the men. 22 Some years later Bishop Pendleton, with 
true Southern chivalry, somewhat relaxed these restrictions, 
and decreed that "ladies may properly join in a rising vote, 
or whenever there is a strong affection involved," as in the 
choice of a pastor, or of a name for the Church. 28 But on the 
whole women still play a much more subordinate part in the 
General Church than in the Convention. ' , 

The General Church now faced a real crisis. After the 
schism there had come, with the new freedom from the 
hampering restrictions of Convention, "a. period of exag- 


gerated ritualism, of man-worship, and autocracy." The 
Academy was glorified at the expense of the Church. "Ed- 
ucation was put above ecclesiastical and pastoral uses, and 
considered an internal and celestial use." This unfortunate 
development centered around "Father Benade," as he was 
affectionately called. But in 1889, while on a visit to Lon- 
don, he had suffered a stroke of apoplexy, after which he 
was never quite the same. He recovered sufficiently to re- 
turn to his duties in 1 891, but from that time on the naturally 
autocratic spirit of the old man developed by leaps and 
bounds. He began to limit freedom of discussion to such an 
extent that the Pittsburgh Society, one of the strongest 
groups, seceded. 24 The Rev. John Whitehead, one of the 
New Church's able thinkers, returned to Convention with 
the following statement: "Further developments have con- 
vinced me that a true general body of the Church cannot 
be formed where variety of thought and freedom of speech 
are restricted to mere acquiescence in the opinions of the rul- 
ing powers." 25 In 1893 Benade offered his resignation at a 
meeting of the clergy, but later withdrew it. He returned 
to London where he remained two years. There he presided 
over a meeting of "Priests of the Academy," eight from 
America and five from England, at which he demanded that 
the Church be governed by a single High Priest responsible 
to the Lord alone, from whose decisions there could be no 
appeal. He then formally dismissed the Council of the 
Academy. "But so intense was the spirit of loyalty and 
gratitude to the c grand old man' who had founded the Acad- 
emy and crystallized its principles, that no steps of a revolu- 
tionary tendency were ever taken by any of the leaders or 
members of the Church." 2e 

The Bishop returned to America in 1895 and presided 
over the last meeting of the Church of the Advent. He 
prohibited all discussion, and dismissed the Council of the 
Laity. At a meeting of the clergy held the following year 
he insisted on the right to name his own successor. To the 
priesthood he granted the right to accept, but not to reject, 
his nomination! Even yet there wSs no attempt to remove 


him from his two offices. The members of the Church of 
the Academy and the General Church in 1897 simply sent 
him their individual resignations, and the two Churches 
automatically went out of existence. This was exactly the 
same procedure by which the Pennsylvania Association had 
divested itself of its recalcitrant president in 1871. It was 
also in accordance with the Bishop's own suggestion. At the 
famous meeting in London when he was asked how a church 
should deal with its undeposable head, he had answered: 
"Let the members of the Church follow their own convic- 
tions and relieve themselves of their connection with the 
priest (if he goes utterly wrong), that is, depart from 
him." And so the General Church "departed from" Bishop 
Benade. Naturally this drastic action was not resorted to 
without a great deal of internal conflict and worry, and dur- 
ing the period of disruption the Academy Schools were closed 
and the pupils sent home. But in spite of all the trouble 
the loyalty and affection of the General Church for their 
old leader never diminished, all the vagaries of his later 
years being laid to conditions of disease for which he was 
not to blame. The spell of his compelling personality, and 
admiration for his magnificent mind, still cast a halo around 
the memory of "Father Benade." 2T 

The reorganization took place almost immediately. On 
February sixth five of the Academy priests, Enoch S. Price, 
C. Th. Odhner, N. D. Pendleton, Homer Synnestvedt, and 
Charles F. Doering, went to the Vice-Chancellor, Bishop 
William F. Pendleton, for admission into a new ecclesiastical 
body, the General Church of the New Jerusalem. These 
five, with later additions, constituted the Council of Clergy 
under which the new body was to be operated. 28 Bishop 
Pendleton, the head of the new church, was a very different 
type from the founder. His father, Major Philip Coleman 
Pendleton of Georgia, had been converted to the doctrines 
of Swedenborg during the Civil War by Elias Yulee, brother 
of David Levy Yulee, United States Senator from Florida, 
and had imparted them to his nine children. 29 The new 
Bishop now found himself faced with a difficult task, for 


the fear of episcopal autocracy was strong in the breasts of 
many. But he soon put all doubts to rest by laying down 
the principle of "freedom according to reason" for the new 
organization, and due largely to his wise policies and con- 
ciliatory temper the General Church has suffered no more 
violent disruptions, but has progressed steadily and peace- 
fully for the last thirty years. 30 

And now a most important decision was made, that is, to 
move the Academy Schools out to Huntingdon Valley, a 
beautiful spot on the outskirts of the city. The spot se- 
lected was Alnwick Grove, near the Pennypack Creek, and a 
large tract of land was purchased. The Collegiate School 
moved first, opening in February, 1897, ^th n ^ ne students 
under Professor Price. The three theological students came 
next, abandoning Bishop Benade for Bishop Pendleton. 31 
There now began to grow up a settlement of New Church 
families in Huntingdon Valley around the Schools as a 
nucleus. By the end of the year all the Schools had moved 
out from Philadelphia, and the new community now became 
the headquarters for the General Church, and the seat of the 
bishopric. At the first General Assembly, in June, 1897, a 
hundred and fifty-two members were present. 82 The Bishop 
suggested that no action be taken for the present on matters 
of government, so it was decided that the Council of Clergy 
and the Executive Committee of Laymen carry on until the 
next Assembly. 38 "One thing which the Academy may be 
said to have definitely settled, is, that the spirit of the entire 
movement is for freedom, freedom for all." M The some- 
what ticklish question of how to get rid of a governing bishop 
was discussed at length. Bishop Pendleton thought that the 
Church should be able to both choose and remove its head, 
as the method of separating from him by a complete reor- 
ganization was "very indirect and unfortunate." Objection 
was made to the term "High Priest." "Do not suppose 
you are going in for three degrees when you are really going 
in for four," remarked a member. "If you want a Pope, 
have him and try himj but do it with your eyes open." 



It was clear that the General Church had had enough of 

After this meeting an article appeared in the Messenger 
by the Rev. Frank Sewall, congratulating the General 
Church on its new freedom, and urging them to return to 
the bosom of Convention now that they had become so sim- 
ilar in spirit. But the Rev. C. Th. Odhner replied that the 
Academy's conception of the Priesthood made such a return 
impossible. The real difference lay in the relation of the 
clergy to the governing body: in Convention the clergy are 
under the laity, whereas in the Academy they are independ- 
ent and self -perpetuating. 86 But the relations between the 
General Church and the Convention continued to be ami- 
cable. The Third Assembly sent kindly and fraternal greet- 
ings to the Convention: "We should not be so forgetful as 
to lose sight of the ties which bind us together as one Church, 
nor do we wish to do aught that should weaken those ties." 
To this the Convention replied: "We are not becoming more 
estranged, but are interiorly drawing nearer together, as on 
both sides the love of the proper uses of the Church grows 
stronger and wiser." 3T In 1901 a visitor from the General 
Church addressed the Convention, "expressing his rejoicing 
at the feeling of kindliness which had been exhibited to him- 
self and others of the General Church who were present, 
which he realized was not for himself alone but was shared 
by the organization to which he belonged." 88 And the fol- 
lowing year there were twelve guests from the General 
Church at the Convention, 89 but these were the last. An- 
other storm was already brewing. 

At the Third Assembly, held in Berlin, Ontario, in 1899, 
Bishop Pendleton read a statement of Principles of the Acad- 
emy in which he reiterated the doctrines concerning Co#- 
jugial Love. "The work on Conjugial Love is a Divine 
Revelation, given for the use of the New Church. All the 
truths in this work, from beginning to end, whether concern- 
ing marriage, its opposite, or the things intermediate, are 
laws of Divine Wisdom, given of Divine Mercy to heal 
and restorej to bring back and establish conjugial love, as 


the fundamental of the life of heaven in the Church. To 
deny the Divinity of any part of the work on Conjugial 
Love, is a denial of the Lord Himself in His Second Com- 
ing." 40 And again Convention was scandalized. A certain 
Boston lady undertook a crusade against the Academy, which 
resulted in a very interesting correspondence between her 
pastor, the Rev. James Reed, and Bishop Pendleton. "The 
laws of permission are laws of Divine Order," writes the 
Bishop. "I hold, therefore, that all the laws which govern 
hell, among them the laws of the permission of evil, are 
laws of order. These laws are all Divine, since it is the Lord 
Himself who governs hell. ... I cannot therefore see my 
way clear to modify or qualify the language to which you 
refer, namely, that the laws in Conjugial Love, 444-476, are 
laws of order, given for the freedom and preservation of the 
conjugial. ... I will state my view of the matter without 
attempting to establish it here, that limited fornication and 
concubinage of the kind spoken of in Conjugial Love, 444- 
476, come under those things which are of leave; that while 
it is evil, it is not the evil of sin like adultery and whoredom, 
but that it is intermediate between conjugial and scortatory 
lovej and that where the end of the conjugial is present, it 
becomes a means of leading away from that which is of hell 
to that which is of heaven. ... It seems to me most impor- 
tant that this question should be considered fairly and 
squarely, that a just view should be taken of it by the mem- 
bers of the New Church, uninfluenced by Puritan standards 
of life; for much more is involved in it than the mere leave 
given to certain men to do certain things; for that which is 
involved is the very freedom of the conjugial itself, and 
thus the existence of the conjugial in the New Church; and 
this even though but few avail themselves of the leave that 
is given. Those few must be protected and not classed as 
sinful and vile, worse than other men, unfit for human So- 
ciety and the Church. I believe that such a state of accusa- 
tion is far worse than the state condemned." 4X 

Decoy letters were sent to Bishop Pendleton by certain 
members of the Convention to draw from him damaging ex- 


pressions of opinion which were used to secure signatures to 
a "Woman's Petition" asking the Convention to sever all 
fraternal relations with the General Church, and to formu- 
late its own teaching on the subject of Conjugial Love. 
This petition was never read in the Convention, but was dis- 
cussed privately by the Council of Ministers, and a com- 
mittee appointed to report at the next Convention. In 1903 
the following "Resolution and Report" was adopted: "We 
do hereby declare our acceptance of the interpretation of 
the passages in question which Swedenborg himself gives in 
the work entitled The True Christian Religion, 313, and 
The "Doctrine of Life for the New Jerusalem, 74, in expla- 
nation of the commandment, 'Thou shalt not commit adul- 
tery,' and that we further declare wilful indulgence by a 
Christian in all practices of impurity, including fornication 
and concubinage, a transgression of that commandment, and 
to be regarded as sinful in the sight of God." " A copy of 
this resolution was sent to Bishop Pendleton with a request 
that he make a further statement of his meaning in order 
to clear up the misunderstanding. This the Bishop refused 
to do, on the ground that he had already made his meaning 
perfectly dear. The Rev. S. S. Seward now came into the 
controversy with this contribution: "The essential teaching 
of the Report is that none of the permissions of evil spoken 
of in the Second Part of Conjugial Love are necessary or 
even allowable to those who believe in the saving power of 
the Lord." 4S Bishop Pendleton commented on a letter from 
Mr. Seward thus: "It may be shocking to him, but the mem- 
bers of this Church do hold that it is 'the duty' of every man, 
whose circumstances come within the lines laid down in these 
passages (Conjugial Love, 444-476) to make use of concu- 
binage in order to preserve the conjugial. . . . Why is Di- 
vine Revelation given if not to be practiced and obeyed? . . . 
And if a man is so situated, by external circumstances over 
which he has no control, that he cannot preserve the con- 
jugial within him, except by availing himself of the allow- 
ances which the Lord holds out to him, is it not his duty 
to accept the only means of rescue that exists for him? 


Were we to utter in tones of thunder the qualifying clause, 
c whose circumstances come within the lines laid down in these 
passages, 3 were we to insert this in letters of fire between 
every line we write, some . . . are sure neither to hear 
nor see it, but will immediately accuse us of encouraging free 
love." 44 

In 1904 Mr. Odhner wrote a small work called Laws of 
Order for the Preservation of the Conjugial with an intro- 
duction by the Bishop in which it is stated that the love of 
sex is at first intermediate, neither good nor evil, but that 
it becomes good or evil in the degree to which it is deter- 
mined to one partner, or becomes roaming lust. If it is 
ultimated to one only, even though outside the marriage 
relation, it remains intermediate, and may serve to preserve 
the conjugial. Fornication, therefore, is an intermediate, 
neither good nor evil, for either conjugial love or scorta- 
tory love may be derived through it, not from it. "These 
are the teachings of Divine Revelation, and for them we 
make no apology, nor do we wish to explain them away." 45 
As might be expected this merely added fuel to the flames. 
The Convention replied with a pamphlet by Mr. Seward en- 
titled: The Saving Power of the Lord in Relation to Purity 
of Life, and one by the Rev. William Worcester, called Swe- 
denborg on Marriage, which took a somewhat intermediate 
point of view. "Many persons doubtless wish," writes Mr. 
Worcester, "that he had stopped with presenting this true 
ideal of marriage; and we may believe that he, most of all, 
would have been glad to leave the subject there. . . . But 
duty required an examination of the abuses and opposites. 
Granting that an understanding of external evils is necessary 
to one who would deal as a specialist with this disorder, . . . 
many will prefer to leave the knowledge to the expert, and 
will only ask whether Swedenborg supports the highest 
standard of morality. . . . When Swedenborg speaks len- 
iently of some evils he expressly and repeatedly states that 
he is then speaking of the spiritual state of the one who com- 
mits the wrong, and of the act as viewed from its interior 
motive. . . . We do not believe with some that Sweden- 


borg's treatment of this evil is out of date, intended only to 
meet the disorderly conditions of Sweden in his time. If 
Swedenborg were writing now, he might conceivably il- 
lustrate by forms of the sexual evil more familiar to the pres- 
ent day, but his principles would be the same." * 6 

All this disagreement would probably have worked itself 
out as a mere tempest in a teapot except for a most unfor- 
tunate occurrence which dragged the whole matter into the 
law courts of the state of Pennsylvania. The history of 
this unhappy affair begins back in the early nineteenth cen- 
tury when a tailor from Heidelberg, Germany, F. J. Kramph 
by name, settled in Lancaster, Pa. While still in Germany 
he had come across a favorable reference to Swedenborg in 
a book of Jung-Stilling's, and now he came in contact with 
the German Swedenborgians around Lancaster, joining 
the Lancaster Society in 1836. In time he became one 
of the most prosperous and respected citizens in the town. 
Shortly after Kramph joined, the Lancaster Society left 
the Convention, in 1839, on account of the "Squeezing 
Rule," and in 1845 joined the Central Convention. It 
was not until 1865, seven years after Kramph's death, 
that the Society returned to the General Convention. It 
is therefore quite clear that his affiliations and sympathies 
were with the Pennsylvania group who later became the 
founders of the Academy movement. These facts are im- 
portant in the light of future developments. Kramph was 
tremendously interested in New Church education, and when 
Benade opened his Cherry St. School, wrote to him en- 
thusiastically: "I feel as if it was quite a new era in the New 
Church of this country to have a Society with a school 
founded on correct New Church principles j this Society has, 
I hope, laid with the cornerstone also the seed for a New 
Church university, or seminary for learning." * T (As indeed 
it had.) It is not surprising therefore to find, when Mr. 
Kramph died in 1858, that his will, dated 1854, bequeathed 
the residuary estate to certain Trustees "for the purpose of 
endowing a university of the New Jerusalem, to be founded 
in the consolidated City of Philadelphia for universal New 


Church education," together with a provision that in case 
such a university was in existence at the time of the settle- 
ment of the estate, the residuary fund should be paid by 
the Executors directly to the Trustees appointed in and by 
the Charter of that University. The original Trustees named 
in a codicil were Messrs. Benade, Burnham, Carpenter, 
lungerich, Rathvon, Officer, and R. L. Tafel, all of whom, 
except Tafel, had been members of the Central Convention, 
and none of whom, except Officer, were members of the 
General Convention. Benade, Burnham, and Tafel, as we 
have seen, later became charter members of the Academy, 
and the others were all Academy sympathizers. 48 There 
seems to be little doubt where the donor would have wished 
his money to go in 1902. It is also significant that he did 
not leave his bequest to the University under the control of 
the Convention, Urbana, opened the year before he made his 
will, and five years before his death. 

Though Kramph died in 1858, he left a young wife who 
survived him for over forty years. This postponed the set- 
tlement of the estate until 1902. In the meantime the per- 
sonnel of the Trustees had changed completely. In 1893 
William McGeorge, Jr., John Pitcairn, and George Rathvon 
are referred to in a letter of Mrs. Kramph's as having suc- 
ceeded Messrs. Burnham, Rathvon, and Carpenter, though 
there were no recorded minutes to show these appointments. 
At this time only two of the original Trustees were living, 
Benade and Officer. In 1897 the Rev. W. L. Worcester 
was appointed in the place of Mr. Tafel, and in 1899 and 
1907, the Rev. Frank Sewall and the Rev. S. S. Seward, to 
fill the places of Messrs. Officer and Benade, who had died 
in 1905. What had happened was that Mrs. Kramph, who 
had the supervision of the appointments, had become disaf- 
fected toward Benade and the Academy group, and was com- 
ing more and more under the influence of certain members 
of the Convention. McGeorge, Worcester, and Seward had 
been appointed without Bishop Benade's approval, and were 
well known as opposed to the Academy. Thus by the time 
the estate was settled all the Trustees except Pitcairn, were 


members of the Convention. Several attempts were made 
at a settlement. In 1903 John Pitcairn, the Rev. C. E. 
Doering, treasurer of the Academy, and W. U. Hensel, of 
Lancaster, counsel for the Estate, met and decided that the 
property be sold, and a new Board of Trustees, selected by 
the Academy, be appointed by the Orphan's Court of Lan- 
caster. Pitcairn called a meeting of the old Trustees to 
ratify this decision. Sewall and McGeorge were unable to 
attend, but expressed their opinion in writing that the Acad- 
emy was entitled to the money. Worcester alone attended, 
and said that his only doubt was based on the fact that the 
Academy was not actually in Philadelphia, as the terms of 
the will specified. 49 

When the property was sold in 1 907, the residuary estate 
amounted to over $37,000. But now came a serious hitch, 
Mr. McGeorge had changed his mind since 1903 and de- 
cided to contest the Academy's claim. "The Academy of the 
New Church is not the legal beneficiary under this will," he 
writes, "and has no more claim in law or equity on the fund 
than the Catholic College of St. Charles Borromeo at Over- 
brook. ... In my judgment the Academy is not and never 
was a New Church body at all, but in its essence is opposed 
to all the distinctive principles of the Lord's New Church." 
And in a letter to Mr. Pitcairn: "Moreover, the education 
provided by the Academy, if their official organs are to be 
believed, instead of being universal is intensely specific, . . . 
and so opposed to the moral sense of the vast majority of 
New Churchmen, that a graduate grounded in these teach- 
ings could find no employment. 5 ' And Worcester wrote to 
Pitcairn the following year: "If the court decides that dis- 
cretion rests with the Trustees, I can say for a majority at 
least of the Board, that we would promptly and cheerfully 
award the money to the Academy, but for one reason, the 
position that we understand the Academy to take upon the 
so-called 'permissions' in Conjugial Love* . . . We also 
feel assured that Mr. Kramph would not have sympathized 
with the position of the Academy on this subject, and would 
not have left his money to sustain it." B0 Again Conjugial 


Love is the issue, or at least, the alleged issue. What 
other motives may have been the underlying causes of this 
strange conflict it is impossible to say. Certainly a mere 
sum of $37,000 is scarcely justification for dragging the 
name of Swedenborg, and the most intimate teachings of the 
Church, through the ordeal of a public trial, and into the 
limelight of the press. 

When the case came up in the Orphans' Court of Lan- 
caster, Pa., in July, 1908, the Academy claimed that it ful- 
filled the requirements of the will, as its business office was 
in Philadelphia, though the school itself was outside the city 
limits. The Trustees contended that the Academy was not 
in Philadelphia, and that it did not teach the doctrines of 
the New Church, the said doctrines being those of the Con- 
vention, and the Academy being a schismatic body. The 
question of who is the official interpreter of Swedenborg's 
teachings was quickly disposed of, there is no such doc- 
trinal authority, as there is no general governing body. The 
English Conference, the General Convention, and the Gen- 
eral Church, are perfectly independent organizations, with 
their own rules of government, and their own doctrines. 
The question of location was also easily settled, the Court 
deciding that its location fifteen miles outside the city was 
within the manifest intent of the will. A decision in favor 
of the Academy was now practically a foregone conclusion, 
but at this point the Counsel for the Trustees introduced the 
charge of immoral teaching. This fatal act resulted in put- 
ting in jeopardy the legal status of the entire church, and 
placed it in the eyes of the world in the unenviable position 
of a moral pariah. 51 

The Rev. S. S. Seward, President of the General Conven- 
tion, testified that at the time he wrote his pamphlet on the 
subject he had supposed that the members of the Academy 
did not practice the views which they taught, "but I have 
since been forced to believe that they do." When asked if 
he knew this from personal knowledge, he was obliged to 
admit that he knew it only "from information," and the 
testimony was stricken out by order of the Court. Steno- 


graphic notes were offered by the Academy to prove that the 
Convention had formerly taught these "permissions" in the 
Theological School. These notes, taken on a lecture by 
Professor Worcester, ran as follows: "He went wild after 
all sorts of women. Now if I could have got hold of him, 
I would have limited him to one, if I possibly could, and 
provided that that one be as suitable as possible." 52 

The first decision, handed down on July I3th, admitted 
that the Academy fulfilled all the requirement of the will, 
but declared the devise illegal because the teachings of the 
New Church are contrary to the laws of the State of Penn- 
sylvania, and awarded the estate to the heirs. The Trustees 
found that they had themselves fallen into the trap so skill- 
fully set for the Academy. The entire New Church had 
been "stigmatized as a Church so immoral that it was unable 
to receive a testamentary gift," and an appeal from the de- 
cision was absolutely necessary. The money had become 
a secondary consideration, for Swedenborg himself was now 
on trial! Mr. Hensel, counsel for the Academy, complains 
because the great mass of Swedenborg's wonderful writings 
have been outlawed by the decision: "All are swept away at 
one fell swoop. Why? Because somewhere on some page, 
of some chapter of one of the one hundred and forty-nine 
books written by Swedenborg, is found what your Honor de- 
clares to be a principle and doctrine repugnant to the laws of 
the land, the statutes of Pennsylvania, and inconsistent with 
the conventions of society. Such judicial criticism would 
obliterate nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thou- 
sand of the classical works of literature, and would decimate 
every art gallery in the world." It was asked, "What par- 
ticular sacredness attaches to the statute law on the subject of 
sexual relations? Who shall say that fornication is a more 
grievous sin than drunkenness ; that adultery is more heinous 
than larceny?" It was further pointed out that under such a 
decision "universities teaching that tariff is immoral, societies 
opposing vivisection, vaccination, etc. could not receive be- 
quests." "The law is concerned only with acts, not beliefs, 

and freedom of conscience is guaranteed under the Constitu- 
tion^ fi3 

After such noble pleading the second decision, on March 
4, 1909, must have come as somewhat of a shock. Judge 
Smith had evidently given much time and effort to the case. 
He had studied the Academy's "Rules of Order," Mr. 
Seward's pamphlet, and Conjugid Love itself, most care- 
fully, and quoted Mr. McGeorge's brief to the effect "that 
if a man evinces a disposition to utterly extinguish it [con- 
jugial love] the Lord will try to preserve a spark alive, 
even if it becomes necessary to cover it with the ashes result- 
ing from the fires of impure loves." "Undoubtedly," adds 
Judge Smith, "this is 'beyond man's understanding.' He 
quoted learned authorities such as Krafft-Ebing on the sub- 
ject of Swedenborg's psychological abnormalities, and cited 
Kant's statement that the Arcana Coelestia is "eight quarto 
folios of pure nonsense," and its author "the worst of all vis- 
ionaries." He ended with a slur on the New Church. "Its 
name, New Church, is an appropriate one. It is newer than 
our laws and is founded on different principles. . . . The 
Swedenborgian doctrine of fornication and concubinage 
. . , attacks the main foundation of our national existence, it 
undermines that upon which the Republic rests, it defies the 
very laws which courts are called upon to protect, it takes 
from us the most precious inheritance which has made courts 
of justice not only possible but rational." ** 

The case was then appealed to the Supreme Court of 
Pennsylvania. The Brief for the Academy stated that jus- 
tice to the author of the previous decisions "may require that 
what is most odious and extreme in the work the Court con- 
demns, should be fairly presented} but justice to the Church 
attacked by the Court, and to its members, as well as to its 
pureminded and illustrious founder, also demands that no 
detached paragraphs, or even isolated chapter, shall be 
wrenched from its context in the great body of his doctrines 
and writings, and set out in naked relief, with either the pur- 
pose or the result of misrepresenting his doctrines, and giv- 
ing to certain words undue emphasis and false or forced 


significance. . . . The sole purpose, intention, and end of 
the work on Conjugial Love, is to teach the holiness of Con- 
jugial Love and the sacredness of marriage. What conceiv- 
able motive, then, can be assigned for thus zealously build- 
ing up with one hand, and ruthlessly demolishing with the 
other? Was Swedenborg so little of a philosopher or logi- 
cian that he was unable to see that all his exhortations that 
men lead holier lives would be utterly nullified if he added, 
as the auditing judge claims, a grave license to give rein to 
the promptings of unbridled lust? . . . Swedenborg teaches 
that fornication and adultery are evils. Swedenborg further 
teaches that there are degrees of evil; and sexual evil is of 
greater or less degree, in proportion to the extent that in- 
dulgence in evil operates against the preservation of Con- 
jugial Love in man. . . . Swedenborg teaches that his writ- 
ings, based as he tells us on revelation, concern the spiritual 
laws, and not the relation of men to the civil law. . . , He 
held that motive, rather than externals, determine the quality 
of an act." " 

Moreover the New Church is not the only one which has 
teachings "in conflict with public policy/' the Quakers* 
teachings "derogate those statutes which impose upon the 
citizen the duty of military service; Christian Science is con- 
stantly open to the charge of malpractice; the Mormons still 
believe in Polygamy, and teach it, though not allowed by the 
law to practice it, but all these are allowed to receive be- 
quests. This is therefore an act of discrimination and re- 
ligious persecution. . . . The question now is not one of 
money but of religious freedom." Mr. Burnham's Brief 
asks, "Is not the question now before the Court practically 
the matter of the difference of opinion as to the manner of 
treating the social evil, which is an ever-prevailing problem 
which from its very nature can be but little affected, con- 
trolled, or repressed by civil law, and which will be effec- 
tively reached only through the enlightened teachings of re- 
ligion and morality? The New Church has existed in Eng- 
land and America for over a hundred years, and its members 
have a high reputation for purity of life. No acts have been 


charged in this case, only opinions." To the Brief for the 
Trustees was appended Marriage and its Perversions, a 
Statement of the Doctrines of Swedenborg and the New 
CJwrch, prepared and respectfully submitted by a Committee 
of the General Council of the General Convention. 56 

The Supreme Court gave its decision on June 22nd, as 
follows: "The Judges who heard this case are unanimously 
of the opinion that the decree must be reversed; it cannot 
be sustained on any ground whatever. But we are not en- 
tirely agreed as to which of the parties claiming as legatees 
come most nearly within the expressed intent of the testator." 
The case was therefore reargued on October 25th before 
the Supreme Court at Pittsburgh, with the Trustees and 
the Academy as the contestants, the heirs having been elimi- 
nated by the decision. The final decision was a triumph for 
the New Church in general and for the Academy in particu- 
lar. It reads: "It does not appear that such writings [those 
condemned by Judge Smith] constitute any part of the re- 
ligious doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church, at least not 
with that interpretation put on them which would make 
them offensive. Upon this branch of the case we need not 
enlarge further. . . . The Academy of the General Church, 
with its university buildings at Bryn Athyn exactly meets the 
requirements imposed by the testator upon the beneficiary in- 
tended by him. . . . We are not called upon to decide, as 
between a General Convention and a General Church, which 
one the more intelligently interprets and understands the 
teachings and doctrines of Swedenborg." 5T 

Naturally such a case had not escaped the notice of the 
press. During the hearing in Lancaster several Philadelphia 
papers had begun a sensational exploitation of it, and after 
the first decision the publicity spread all over the United 
States, and even to several European countries. The New 
Church had indeed cast its pearls before the swine. An in- 
terview with Mr. McGeorge was printed under the heading, 
"Moral Code of Girls' School Repudiated. Leading Swe- 
denborgian Condemns Teachings at New Academy." M This 
sort of publicity did the Church a great deal of harm, and 


was the cause of deep distress to its members. The Academy 
took the whole miserable affair calmly, as they felt they had 
nothing to fear. But the Convention seems to have been in a 
state of panic bordering on hysteria. The Messenger, after 
the first decision, demanded an official statement from the 
Convention on the Second Part of Conjugial Love, and the 
Philadelphia Society and the Massachusetts Association made 
solemn declarations that all extra-marital sex intercourse is 
adultery. The Brocton Society asked permission to withdraw 
their invitation to the Convention for its 1909 meeting, for 
fear of more publicity, but the Convention promised there 
would be no open discussion of the question, so the invitation 
was allowed to stand. 69 Therefore the famous resolution 
passed at this Convention, without discussion, is called the 
"Brocton Declaration." It reads as follows: 

"The necessity has arisen for the New Church to make clear 
its stand for the sanctity of marriage and purity of life at 
this time, because of the teaching put forth in the name of the 
New Church by the body commonly known as the 'Acad- 
emy,' with headquarters at Bryn Athyn, Pa., that under cer- 
tain conditions sexual relations outside of marriage are not 
evil, nor a violation of the commandment, 'Thou shalt not 
commit adultery. 3 The body holding these views has or- 
ganized under the name, c The General Church of the New 
Jerusalem, 3 which so resembles the name, 'The General 
Convention of the New Jerusalem in the United States of 
America,' that the unadvised may mistake one for the other. 
They have also insisted before the public and in a court o 
law, and in their periodical and other writings, that their 
teaching is the teaching of Swedenborg, and is the doctrine of 
the New Church. 

"The General Convention of the New Jerusalem in the 
United States of America, assembled in its eighty-ninth An- 
nual Session, being its first session since the hearing in the 
Court of Law, above referred to, hereby denies and repudi- 
ates this teaching} and affirms that the Writings of Sweden- 
borg condemn as evil all sexual relations outside of marriage, 
as well as all conduct, thought or intention that does not ac- 


cord therewith, in letter and in spirit, and further that the 
only law of purity for all men is that declared by our Lord 
Jesus Christ in Matt, v: 28, 'But I say unto you, That who- 
soever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed 
adultery with her already in his heart.' 

"The revelations made by the Lord through the instru- 
mentality of Emanuel Swedenborg, for the establishment of 
the New Church spoken of in Rev. xxi : 2, contain many new 
and wonderful statements regarding the Divine origin, the 
holiness, the purity and the spiritual use of marriage. They 
teach that marriage is the highest, the holiest, the most inti- 
mate, and the most enduring relation into which finite beings 
can enter; that it derives its origin from the Lord, not only 
because He instituted it in the beginning, but because it is 
from Him, being derived from the union or marriage of love 
and wisdom in Him; and that it also represents the union of 
the Lord and the church, the Lord being called in Scripture 
the husband, and the church the bride or wife. The sacred 
use of marriage is also shown not only in the continuance and 
increase of the human race, but also in the salvation of human 
souls and the perfecting of character; for the true husband no 
longer loves himself for his own sake, but for the sake of his 
wife; and the wife no longer loves her womanly qualities and 
abilities for her own sake, but for the sake of her husband, 
the power of self-love being thereby broken, so that a pure 
and unselfish love can take its place." 60 

The Brocton Declaration was considered by the Academy 
as a deadly insult and still stands as an insurmountable bar- 
rier between the two organizations. It also aroused consider- 
able protest in the Convention itself. Even before the trial 
there were some who regretted the gossip and ill-feeling and 
expressed sympathy for the Academy. In 1905 William 
Hyde Alden resigned his position with the Philadelphia 
Book Room, a Convention concern, with the following state- 
ment: "Somewhat more than two years ago I became con- 
vinced that the belief, held by many members of the Con- 
vention, that some of the teachings of the Academy tended 
to immorality and that, as a result of such teaching, immoral 

practices existed among the members of the General Church 
of the New Jerusalem, had no foundation in fact. In this 
conviction it seemed right to me to express to the brethren 
of the General Church at Bryn Athyn my regret that I had 
misjudged them, and to offer friendly relations with them. 
My offer was cordially accepted. A friendship has followed 
which has been to me an increasing satisfaction. ... I have 
found their teaching respecting marriage and the relation 
of the sexes to be such as inculcates clean thought and life 
from childhood up, and eventuates in pure homes and happy 
families. It seems to me that this life, which is open to any 
one, who will, to know about, is sufficient answer to unfor- 
tunate interpretations which have been made of certain publi- 
cations of the Academy." 61 And the Rev. 0. L. Barter is- 
sued a booklet on his eighty-third birthday, in which he 
states: "We all make mistakes. . . . That was a regrettable 
mistake, the Brocton Declaration! Mistaken leaders 
among us appropriated to themselves powers that belonged 
to the Council of Ministers, they overruled the Convention 
itself even, and committed that well-disposed body to an 
aggressive warfare of hostility against a sister organization, 
whose loyalty to the Divine Revelation, given through Swe- 
denborg, is proverbial; whose purity of life is well known, 
and whose happy homes of large families are beyond com- 
pare." 62 This brought a severe reprimand from the Coun- 
cil of Ministers: cc We regard it as disloyalty to the Conven- 
tion and entirely inconsistent with your position as a minister 
of that body." 6S Another dissenter, the Rev. Eugene J. E. 
Schreck, was also accused of disloyalty and brought to trial 
by the Council of Ministers. When the Schreck case came 
up in Chicago at the Convention in 1910 the newspapers 
were eagerly awaiting the scandal, and once more the subject 
of Conjugial Love was aired for the edification of all Chris- 
tian people. 6 * 

The periodicals of the Church also kept the controversy 
alive. No one was allowed to forget it. The Messenger, in 
an editorial review of the published Declaration^ attacked 
the Academy thus: "The Academy's arguments in this be- 


half, though suggested in the pamphlet as modestly as pos- 
sible, are too disgusting and obscene to appear in a family 
paper. But it was necessary to go to the bottom of the case 
that the church might know the utter abandonment to which 
the 'Academy' teachings lead in claiming finally that it is the 
duty of one to avail himself of abhorrent license. The 
Academy's defiant violation of the law in teaching practices 
foreign to Christianity and alike to our nation is shown in 
the citations to his writings to be the opposite of what Swe- 
denborg teaches, namely, that the love of country necessi- 
tates obedience to its laws." 65 The Academy replied to 
these attacks in an article in the New Chwch Life called 
"Thou shalt not bear false witness." ee 

In 1910 the Academy published a history of the affair 
called The Kramph Will Case, which was reviewed by the 
New Chwch Review, a Convention periodical, "more in sor- 
row than in anger." "No one who sincerely loves the New 
Church, can read the volume entitled The Kramph Will 
Case y without the deepest pain and sense of humiliation. If 
the writers of it feel the loyalty to the Lord in His Second 
Coming, as revealed in the writings of Emanuel Sweden- 
borg, which they profess, they must have written it in the 
blood of their own hearts j for it brings deep shame upon the 
professing disciples of the New Jerusalem to have had such 
a controversy as the book describes. We need not doubt the 
honesty of intention to do the thing justly and accurately, nor 
the sincerity of the words in the prefatory note, but we 
may differ with them in judgment as to the wisdom of per- 
petuating the record of this disgrace, and of burdening pos- 
terity with it. Moreover, every wise man knows that his- 
tory cannot be written while events are taking place, and 
especially that the history of a controversy cannot be fairly 
written by a zealous participant in it. Hence we find before 
us not a history, but an instance of special pleading, a protest 
from the Academy that it has been wronged and martyred 
for defending the doctrines of the Church." The same 
criticism was applied to the Rev. S. S. Seward's book, The 
Academy Doctrine Examined and Condemned. "This book, 


written by the President of the Convention, but not in his 
official capacity, is a valuable contribution to the history of 
the controversy referred to in our last editorial, although, 
like the subject of that editorial, it cannot be regarded as the 
history itself. It represents the opposite extreme of the 
matter. Its avowed purpose, as indicated by the tide, is to 
examine and condemn the Academy Doctrine." 6T 

There is nothing more to be said about the Conjugial Love 
controversy, perhaps it is still too soon for its true history 
to be written. Too many of its leading figures are still alive, 
and the memory of the others is still too fresh in the hearts 
of friends and families, to probe very deeply into the strange 
network of motives and actions, of sincere principles and 
personal animosities, which produced such disastrous results 
for the Church they all loved so dearly. 



The story o the development of the New Church com- 
munity at Bryn Athyn is essentially the story of the General 
Church itself, that is, the community is the doctrine of the 
Church "ultimated" in daily life. The theory underlying 
it is the belief that the New Church can grow only in com- 
plete isolation from the influences of the "Old Church." 
We find this theory expressed in many different ways: "Our 
task, and it is a desperate one, is to deliver a remnant 
who have not yet lost their faith, and to keep them and their 
posterity from being swept away by this rising tide of skep- 
ticism, with its wreckage of undermined churches. . . . The 
Academy believes that we must obey the Divine injunction 
to 'come out of her, my people, lest ye be partakers in her 
iniquity.' " * A new Church community is "necessary for 
the preservation of the New Church which is in an infant 
state and needs protection. It cannot be exposed to the world 
as the Spartans exposed their infants. ... In addition to 
the school and worship, we live together for the sake of our 
families and our homes. The quality and nature of the life 
we live in our homes is of an importance quite as great as 
the quality and nature df the instruction in the school. A 
group of homes associated together creates a social 
sphere. . . . Community life, therefore, implies three ma- 
jor estates: Organized worship, organized social life, and 
organized education." 2 "A man may adopt principles of 
exclusiveness from various motives. The New Churchman 
can have but one. His exclusiveness must spring from a 
desire to shun his evils as sins. If he find himself seeking 
social life outside the sphere of the New Church, he will find 
at the same time that he cannot be in active antagonism to 



his own evils, and a retrograde movement in his regenera- 
tion must ensue. . . . There must be a complete separation 
from the Old Church both internally and externally." 3 

It was natural that holding such beliefs, the members of 
the General Church living in Philadelphia should have felt 
that a move to the country was desirable. As early as 1889 
there were a few New Church families living in Hunting- 
don Valley, about fifteen miles from Philadelphia, at the 
spot now otlled Bryn Athyn, and the Philadelphia members 
often came out for picnics. Fortunately there had arisen 
in the General Church a philanthropist, John Pitcairn of 
Pittsburgh, whose heart and soul had been in the Academy 
from its earliest days, and through his generosity the present 
community was made possible. r In 1893 several tracts of 
farm land were purchased, a few houses were built, hedges 
and avenues of trees were planted, and one of the old farm- 
houses was converted into a clubhouse. The new community 
grew rapidly and in 1895 a frame building was constructed 
for use as a chapel. The Schools moved out in 1897, bring- 
ing their faculties with their families. The old clubhouse 
was used for the schools until a new building, the present 
Inn, could be completed. From time to time, as the com- 
munity grew, new land was added, and new homes built. In 
1899 Mr. Pitcairn gave $400,000.00 to the Academy for 
the construction of the present handsome stone buildings. 
The plant now includes a large central building, Benade 
Hall, which houses the offices, the chapel, the Academy 
Book Room, the Girls' Seminary, the Boys' Academy, and 
the science and physical education departments j DeCharms 
Hall, the Elementary School building, and the Library, 
which houses the Theological School and the Museum as 
well. There is also -a girls' dormitory, a boys' dormitory, 
a common dining hall, and a community house with a large 
stage and auditorium, also a fully equipped gymnasium. 
The name of the community, Bryn Athyn, signifying "Hill 
of Cohesion," expresses beautifully both the ideal and the 
reality. 4 

Since its separation from the Convention in 1890 the Gen- 


eral Church has grown remarkably. At that time it con- 
sisted of seven societies: the Church of the Advent in Phila- 
delphia, the Pittsburgh Society, the Greenford, Ohio, Bethel, 
Allentown, and Renovo Societies, the Immanuel Church of 
Chicago, and circles in Brooklyn, N. Y., and Erie, Pa. Its 
total membership was three hundred and forty-seven. 5 In 
the next decade two Societies in Canada, the Berlin and 
Toronto Societies, and two in England, the London and 
Colchester Societies, were added, the General Church now 
being regarded as international. These accessions from 
abroad, as well as internal growth, brought the total mem- 
bership up to five hundred and sixty in 1900.* During the 
next ten years the growth was rapid, the 1910 figures show- 
ing a total of nine hundred and forty-one, an increase of 
68 per cent. 7 Since then the growth has been slower. In 
1920 the total had reached i,435, 8 and in 1930 it was 2,012. 
Of these 1,112 were in the United States, and 733 of these 
in Bryn Athyn. The geographical distribution shows con- 
siderable missionary activity, the twenty societies being lo- 
cated as follows: Pennsylvania, sixj Georgia, onej Mary- 
land, onej Illinois, twoj Ohio, threej Colorado, onej New 
York, one; Washington, D. C, one5 Canada, twoj and Eng- 
land, two. The foreign membership includes 293 in Canada, 
116 in Great Britain, 79 in South America, 197 in Europe, 
60 in South Africa, and 20 in Australia. Besides these there 
are 771 native members in the missions in Basutoland. 
There were in 1930 fifty-six clergy, eleven of these being 
native Africans. The enthusiasm for education has resulted 
in a total of 427 pupils in the seven day schools located re- 
spectively at Bryn Athyn, Pa., Glenview, ILL, Pittsburgh, 
Pa., Toronto and Kitchener, in Canada, Alpha, Orange Free 
State, Colchester, England, besides the Basuto mission 
schools with their 177 pupils. 9 

^ Due to many Isurge gif ts, mainly from members of the 
Pitcairn family, the financial status of the General Church 
is excellent. Its income in contributions in 1930 was $13,- 
134.19, and the Academy's income was $166,996.09. The 
assets of the Academy, including equipment and endowment, 


amount to $2,87O,i09. 10 The treasurer however in his re- 
port makes the statement that, in spite of long continued 
efforts on the part of himself and his predecessors, financial 
support has never been given to the General Church by more 
than half its members. This is due partly to the fact that 
there is a general misapprehension regarding the need for 
small contributions, and partly to the fact that the local so- 
cieties carry schools of their own as well as churches and feel 
unable to contribute very much to the work of the General 
Church. 11 

In 1904 District Assemblies were formed in Bryn Athyn, 
Pittsburgh, Chicago, Ontario, and London, which meet an- 
nually, and make it unnecessary for the General Assembly 
to meet oftener than every three years. 12 As these Assem- 
blies are able to handle administrative problems locally, the 
General Assembly has been left free from too much detail, 
and has become very largely social and inspirational in char- 
acter. The meetings are always held in June to include the 
celebration of the Nineteenth of June, the General Church's 
most important festival. The celebration of this date has 
always been a distinctive feature of the Academy. It is to 
commemorate the nineteenth of June 1770, when Sweden- 
borg said the Lord sent out his apostles into the universal 
spiritual world to spread the new gospel, the descent of 
the New Jerusalem foretold in the Apocalypse. Also it was 
on this same date, in the year 1876, that the twelve original 
members of the Academy held their organization meeting, 
thus making the date doubly precious to the General 
Church. 18 When the Assemblies are held at Bryn Athyn 
it has been possible for the Academy Schools to contribute 
to the occasion a dramatic performance, a play or pageant 
given out-of-doors in a beautiful natural setting. 1 * Great 
emphasis is put on the "social sphere" of the Assembly, a 
banquet with toasts and speeches, and entertainment at the 
beautiful Pitcairn estate of "Cairnwood," forming an impor- 
tant feature of the whole. The Assemblies are well at- 
tended. In 1910 there were three hundred and eighteen 
members and a hundred and eight visitors present. 15 


The Eighth General Assembly was held in 1913 at Glen- 
view, 111., a suburb of Chicago, a New Church Community 
modeled on Bryn Athyn. The community was founded by 
the members of the Immanuel Church, who after their 
affiliation with the General Church of Pennsylvania in 1883, 
found themselves without a church. The building which 
they had been using was owned by the other Chicago Society 
who now demanded that they give it up. A few of the mem- 
bers had moved out to Glenview, and now others began to 
follow. They purchased a park of about forty acres and 
built homes, a church and a school in it. By 1913 the com- 
munity consisted of seventy-four adults and sixty-seven 
young people, a third of whom were of Scandinavian de- 
scent. 16 Most of the Glenview children are sent to Bryn 
Athyn to complete their education. The Twelfth Assembly 
was held at Kitchener, Ontario, and the Thirteenth in Lon- 
don, showing the international character of the General 
Church. 17 This effort toward an international organization 
began in real earnest in 1919 with a gift from the Pitcairns 
of nearly twenty thousand dollars to the Extension Com- 
mittee. Out of this support was given to pastors in Brussels, 
Stockholm, Lausanne, and Paris. 18 But the most active seat 
of missionary activities is in Basutoland, where the work has 
been so successful that in 1929 it was possible to hold a South 
African Native Assembly. There are now 771 native mem- 
bers, as we have seen, and eleven native ministers. 19 

Publication has been an important function of the Acad- 
emy. The New Church Life, its official organ, was changed 
in form in 1900 from a paper to a magazine. 20 In 1904 it 
was reported that there were two hundred members of the 
General Convention on the subscription list, showing that 
the Academy viewpoint is not altogether abhorrent to a cer- 
tain proportion of that body. 21 Another periodical, the Jow- 
nal of Education, was founded in 1900, having grown out 
of the publication of the reports of the Annual Teachers' 
Meetings of the Academy Schools. It has developed into a 
very comprehensive treatment of Academy theory and prac- 
tice in education, from the kindergarten to the theological 


school, and is particularly interesting for its development o 
a unique educational psychology based upon Swedenborg's 
psychological theories. A third periodical, a pamphlet 
called New Church Sermons, appears monthly from Octo- 
ber to June for use in worship. The Academy Book Room 
also publishes a number of books yearly, including transla- 
tions of Swedenborg, collateral works, and text-books for the 
schools. 22 

Since 1890 there has been a development and clarification 
of doctrine, but no radical change. 23 Bishop Pendleton 
writes: "The Academy and the General Church have been 
defined as an attitude, a state of mind, with reference to 
the Revelations, a humble acquiescence with regard to the 
precise doctrinal definitions found in the Writings, because 
of faith that the word of this doctrine is the voice of the 
Lord for the New Church. The Academy, however, is 
more than this attitude of loyalty and obedience j it is a de- 
rived body of perceptive teachings, interpretive doctrines, 
which characterize all its life and doings. It is fundamen- 
tally an attitude, a vowing of the mind. . . . The inspira- 
tion of Academy thought is not primarily a devotion to dog- 
matic phrases, not a binding literalism. For we know that 
in the parsing of phrases the truth may be sidetracked} in 
giving a disproportionate weight to words the idea may suf- 
fer. No one saw this danger more dearly than Father 
Benade." 24 Thus we see that Academy teaching is not so 
much a literal interpretation of the words of Swedenborg 
as a "derived body of perceptive teachings," and it is this 
which has always disturbed the opponents of the Academy, 
this tendency to derive and perceive. A visitor to the As- 
sembly in 1898 made this shrewd observation: "The only 
fear, to speak with candor and frankness, is that you may 
add something to the Writings, that you may draw from 
them what you may think are legitimate deductions from 
them, and then raise them up into the position of a Divine 
Revelation. That is the danger as I see it." 25 And this is 
still a basic question. In 1922 the Academy brought out a 
little book called Swedenborg Testimony Concerning his 


Writings which met with severe criticism both in the Con- 
vention and the English Conference^ One of the British 
ministers calls it "a strange commingling of truth and error 
which leads the non-critical reader to a conclusion utterly un- 
warranted by the facts. Quotations, not always accurate, al- 
ways sundered from their context, and often used in direct 
violation of the sense which that text indicates, eta" 26 The 
book seems to prove conclusively by direct quotations that 
Swedenborg himself said that his writings were divine reve- 
lation, but the doubt still remains as to precisely what he 
meant by this. That is, the doubt remains in the minds of 
many outside the Academy. 

The present A.cademy doctrine that the writings of Swe- 
denborg are a third canon of the Word has been arrived at 
gradually. "Bishop Benade, in his first formulations, con- 
tented himself with saying that they were a spiritual-natural 
revelation, and that the Second Coming of the Lord in the 
Word was effected 'not by the provision of a new Word in 
a literal form, ... but by the opening of the Word,' and 
that c this opening, this revelation, this unfolding, is given in 
the Doctrines of the New Church, which are the spiritual 
sense of the Word,' and that these doctrines 'must be the 
Divine and infallible Word of the Lord.' " 27 The natural 
inference that if the Writings are the Word they must con- 
tain an internal sense had already appeared in the English 
New Church at an early date, but the early leaders of the 
Academy did not make a distinction between letter and spirit 
in the Writings. They believed that the internal sense in 
them is not hidden, as in the Word of the Bible, but is "com- 
paratively on the surface, that is, sufficiently so to enable 
those who rightly approach them to draw from the store 
which is infinitely therein. . . . The Writings are the spir- 
itual sense of the Word and also contain the celestial sense. 
The limitation against any one perceiving it lies only in the 
individual. The different degrees of truth in the Writings 
are not discrete, as in the Bible, but continuous, and require 
no further revelation." 28 

This theory of an internal sense in the Writings appeared 


also in the Convention during the Conjugial Love contro- 
versy, an attempt being made by William McGeorge to 
prove that this much discussed book was not meant to be 
taken literally, but had an inner meaning hidden in the sym- 
bolic use of capital letters. This great discovery is described 
by the late Mr. Roeder in his own inimitable way. "He 
found a large number of words in a certain book printed 
with initial capital letters. He grew so deeply interested 
that he spent endless time, much money, and terrific study 
on it. ... But the theory that because of these capital let- 
ters the words thus beginning have special values, while 
interesting, had in my mind to meet the fact that the printers 
of old were limited in 'sorts/ and when out of 'lower case* 
type put in 'upper case. 3 I have seen many words such as 
these: 'VeruLaM IsaAks VerHinderTes opFerIX/ which 
took that shape simply because the printer was 'out o 
sorts.' " ** There were few converts to this theory of an 
esoteric meaning in Conjugial Love in Convention circles, 
and certainly none in the Academy! As a matter of fact, 
however, Mr. McGeorge's method was not quite so naive 
as to be based wholly on the use of capital letters, though 
this was, as he thought, the clew for unraveling the hidden 
meanings. His method was the use of Potts' Swedenborg 
Concordance for finding out what the capitalized words 
meant to Swedenborg^ a problem in philology. But as all 
words to Swedenborg had a correspondential as well as a 
literal sense, Mr. McGeorge's theory amounts simply to the 
application of the science of correspondences to the writings 
of Swedenborg as well as to the Scriptures. 30 

The leaders of the Academy, while recognizing that the 
letter of the Writings "serves as a protecting veil which pre- 
vents those who are in immature or unworthy states from 
entering into the spiritual light which the Doctrines freely 
yield to the earnest reader," have nevertheless rejected the 
idea that the doctrine derived from them is "an internal sense 
drawn by correspondences." In fact, to quote Mr. Odhner, 
they "have always viewed with concern the effort to exalt 
the science of correspondences above doctrine, or the effort 


to make doctrine by correspondences. Correspondences only 
corroborate and illustrate doctrine, and can be turned to 
confirm, almost any doctrine." This issue of an internal 
sense in the Writings to be discovered by means of the science 
of correspondences has reappeared in De Hemelsche Leer> 
a Dutch periodical in the sphere of the General Church pub- 
lished at the Hague. Its editor, the Rev. Ernst Pf eiffer, 
maintains that the science of correspondences is "indispensa- 
ble for the interior understanding of the Writings," and that 
because this has not been granted in the General Church it 
has been kept in a "purely natural state." In reply to this 
contention the Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner writes: "But to New 
Churchmen whose comfort it has been to feel that this sur- 
passing Revelation has disclosed the spiritual sense, and 
ended the age of mystery and uncertainty, there comes a 
decided disturbance of mind when it is suggested that the 
Writings are, perhaps, only another sealed letter, whose 
treasury of hidden truths has to be drawn out by some special 
process or translated into spiritual doctrine by especially en- 
lightened prophets yet to come!" 31 Thus we see that doc- 
trinal questions are live issues in the General Church as well 
as in the General Convention. 

It has already been shown how important a part education 
played in the aims of the Academy from its beginning. 
After the Theological School and College had been estab- 
lished in the seventies Bishop Benade turned his energies 
toward elementary and high schools. In 1881 he wrote: 
"My mind is setting ever more strongly in the direction of 
elementary schools, and we must have teachers for them 
brought up with us in the sphere of the Church. We might 
start a school for boys now, if we had the teaching force." 
The Boys' School was actually opened that September with 
a faculty supplemented by the Theological students. It 
occupied the old Cherry St. School building, and the Col- 
lege and Theological School were transferred to Benade's 
former home nearby on Friedlander St. The following 
year a kindergarten was opened by Miss Malvina Boericke, 


but was given up later on account of her ill health. In 
1 884 Benade began his "Conversations on Education," classes 
intended primarily for those preparing to become New 
Church ministers and teachers, but open to the public. These 
continued for two years with great success, and the notes 
taken on these discourses have helped mold the Academy 
system of education to this day. This year also saw the 
establishment of a Girls' School under Mrs. Hibbard. The 
next year all the schools, except the Boys', were brought to- 
gether under one roof on Summer St. and two years later 
they were all united in a group of new buildings on Wallace 
and North Streets. 82 

By 1889 there were also Academy elementary schools in 
Pittsburgh and Chicago, and that year a joint faculty meet- 
ing of the three was held in Philadelphia. In the report of 
this meeting the principle is laid down that "Religious in- 
struction is the first essential, and must be in the hands of 
the Priesthood. Hebrew is the second essential." "Education 
is a training for heaven, and the use of the teacher is the use 
of the Priesthood. Teachers are not the hired servants of 
parents, but the use of teacher is superior to the use of par- 
ent." 8S At the second meeting, held in Allegheny City the 
following year, the principle of New Church baptism as a 
necessity for admission was laid down. Also it was decided 
that the Word was to be kept in the schoolroom in a special 
repository, to be opened and closed with ceremony at the 
beginning and end of the day, so that the classes should be 
conducted in the Lord's presence. If there should be any 
disorder the Word would be closed as a sign of reproof. 
For the study of Hebrew no text except the Word was neces- 
sary. "The beginning ought to be by being inducted into 
the most general affection of the language, and this is per- 
ceived by hearing the sound of the language, rather than by 
seeing its forms. . . . The use of the Word is not for the 
learning of languages but for the storing of remains. . . . 
For this purpose the Word ought to be read in unison in the 
class, and some knowledge of the language would thus be 
unconsciously gathered. But if grammar, etc., is introduced 


at that time it will disturb the influx of the angels who do 
not care to have much to do with grammars." "There would 
be immense power in the learning of the Hebrew from the 
Word, for the Lord glorified his Human even down to the 
flesh and bones. The Word is Divine as to every jot and 
tittle. Therefore the learning of Hebrew is an act of wor- 
ship." 34 At the third meeting, held in Pittsburgh in 1892, 
it was decided to publish the records as the beginning of a 
scientific journal on education. The question of a musical 
score for the Hebrew chants came up, and Benade said the 
music must be printed backwards to conform to the order of 
the Hebrew. The music teachers objected that music is a 
language too, and can no more be read backwards than Eng- 
lish. Benade's reply was characteristic: "It is a very useful 
thing to accommodate things to the Word. Professional 
men especially need to give up the dominion of the forms of 
technicalities which they are accustomed to and which have 
been known to interfere with progress in spiritual matters. 
I see no ^reason why these arbitrary musical notes cannot be 
accommodated to the Word." It was pointed out that a 
new reader was needed, the old ones being totally unfit, deal- 
ing as they do with dogs and cats and other things of evil 
correspondence. It was decided in the meantime to use 
T&nglewood Tales y and other stories from mythology. The 
question of discipline was discussed also. It was decided 
to be unwise ever to acknowledge to a child that a punish- 
ment had been unjust, for it might lead to his questioning 
the justice of his parents. Sometimes the Lord seems unjust 
to us, but we trust him anyhow. Red and white badges were 
to be given for reward and taken away for punishment. The 
disgrace would be sufficient to ensure good conduct in the 
future. 85 

We see here the commencement of a consistent attempt to 
think out a plan of education, wholly new, because wholly 
based on the teachings of Swedenborg. Everything con- 
nected with classroom procedure had a doctrinal basis. Even 
the order of instruction was prescribed, "religion first, then 
the ultimate sciences, intermediate subjects, and last He- 


brew, . . . according to the order of Influx, which proceeds 
from inmost to ultimates, and by these forms the intermedi- 
ates." 86 In 1929, when the subject of mission schools for 
Old Church children was broached, the principle of distinc- 
tiveness was firmly reiterated. "The world is a spiritual 
Flood. It is false charity to open the doors of the Ark, and 
destroy or endanger those who have taken refuge within." 8T 

After Mr. Pitcairn's munificent gift of $400,000 in 1899 
the Schools developed rapidly. By a system of reduced tui- 
tions and working scholarships their advantages were made 
available to all within the Church. In 1900 there were only 
six teachers and seven students in the College and Intermedi- 
ate Departments, with an entire student body of twenty- 
one, 88 but by 1910 the total had increased to eighty-one. 
That year Mr. Pitcairn gave another hundred thousand to 
the endowment and an equal amount for a pension fund. 89 
In 1904 a Normal School was added to meet the very crucial 
need for teachers trained in Academy methods. 40 In 1918 
the Academy received $91,000 in gifts and bequests and 
$4,000 in contributions towards running expenses, and the 
salaries were raised from ten to fifteen per cent. The num- 
ber of students had risen to two hundred the following year, 
but there was only one student in the Theological School. 
a This naturally causes a feeling of concern and apprehen- 
sion," states the report, "that we have a completely equipped 
school, and yet so little response from our own young 
men." 41 The total number of pupils in the Schools in 1930 
was 302." 

The thing that strikes the visitor to the Academy Schools 
is the fact that nothing, apparently, is done, or left undone, 
without a doctrinal reason. Nothing seems to be haphazard, 
or merely a matter of course, but everything is for the sake 
of a "use." A typical example of this is a notice of the bul- 
letin board headed "College Dances" which reads: "In the 
New Church it is recognized that social life is a use and a 
diversion of charity. The College, therefore, has always en- 
couraged as much social activity as is consistent with good 
College work, and provided for the students more social ad- 


vantages and privileges than other upper class Colleges offer. 
Social life is based on cooperation in this world and in the 
other world." But there is nothing morbid about this pre- 
occupation with doctrinal sanctions. The atmosphere is per- 
fectly normal and wholesome. The boys and girls live in 
separate dormitories, but eat together, and except for the 
high school years the schools are coeducational. 

The educational psychology is founded upon the teach- 
ings of Swedenborg, who anticipated some of our most mod- 
ern psychological theories. His basic postulate is that "Love 
is the Life of man," that every thought as well as every 
action springs from some underlying "affection," or desire. 
Therefore the stimulation of an affection, or interest in 
knowledge, is the first essential of the educative process. 
Another feature of his psychology which has a direct bearing 
upon education is his concept of an "internal memory," sim- 
ilar to the "unconscious" of the new analytical psychology. 
Nothing enters this memory except by means of an affection, 
good or bad, that is some strong emotional impulse, but 
whatever does enter is stored up as "remains" which may 
affect future actions. Obviously the storing of the right sort 
of "remains" must play an important part in New Church 
education, especially in the lower grades. 43 The curriculum 
is carefully worked out to fit this system of psychology, from 
the kindergarten to the college. 

"The kindergarten is an extension of the nursery beyond 
the immediate sphere of the home. ... It is intended to 
lead gently out of infancy toward the more self-reliant state 
of childhood. The first care of the teacher is to protect the 
native innocence of the children, and in it to store up first 
remains of love to the Lord and Charity toward the neigh- 
bor." ... To the second grade child the whole world is 
a fairy land, replete in wonderful and beautiful things. For 
at this age he is very much in the state of the Ancient Church 
as described in the Writings. Everything is "symbolical and 
representative." . . . By the fifth grade the child has begun 
to have the power of generalization and "can be brought to 
ee things as larger units, made up of innumerable parts. 


The center of this generalizing, and organizing power, is the 
Lord as a divine Man. For it is because all things bear rela- 
tion to Him that they bear relation to one another and so 
produce in the complex a unit. . . . The family is a unit 
composed of many persons, etc. Yet each of these is in the 
human form, may be spoken of as a single man y is often so 
pictured in this world, and so appears very frequently in the 
other world. . . . The seventh grade ushers in a period of 
development of the utmost importance to the child. . . . 
There is a gradual budding of youth, with its self assurance, 
its wilfulness, its <wildass > rational. [Swedenborg says the 
rational mind in its early stages corresponds to the wild ass 
wandering in the wilderness.] Perhaps the most striking 
mental characteristic from the standpoint of the educational- 
ist is the love of jwtice" It often takes the form of 
imagined personal injuries, but it is always a sure ground of 
appeal. At this stage it is well to separate the boys from the 
girls in the classroom, and to separate the whole group from 
the social life of the lower grades in order to develop their 
own social life free from self -consciousness. ... By the 
ninth grade "a longing for a use y with some realization that 
this alone gives a man a place, and a reason for being in 
human society begins to be the prime factor in the psycho- 
logical development. ... At the same time there must 
begin to be a direct preparation for the opening of the spir- 
itual mind. The generals of philosophy should be firmly 
planted at this age." 4 * 

Religion is the cornerstone of the entire system, and enters 
into every department, but religious instruction is also a spe- 
cial course in the curriculum. "The truth revealed in the 
Writings of the New Church as to the character of the spir- 
itual world, and the nature of man's existence beyond the 
grave leads to the conviction that *in the life of the body, 
the end of all human thought, and of all human action ought 
to be for the sake of the life after death. 5 For a man is not 
changed by death, but continues his life c such as it had been 
in the world. 3 The religion which is to be the ruling love 
of a man's life, here and hereafter, must be inculcated in 


childhood, and is something which can be definitely taught. 
All the truths of religion are clearly set forth in the Scrip- 
tures, and can be studied and learned like anything else, 
religion does not lie in the realm of the unknowable. True 
religion cannot be attained by a mere emotional appeal, but 
must be achieved by a painstaking process of learning. 55 45 
The two things on which religion depends, the understand- 
ing and the will, both require training. One of the most sig- 
nificant features of this training is the study of Hebrew, be- 
cause it is the original language of the Old Testament, and 
because Swedenborg says it is nearest to angelic speech, and 
affords a basis for influx from heaven which no other lan- 
guage can give. Hebrew is begun in the kindergarten with 
the recitation of a few lines from the Psalms, and continued, 
mainly by rote, up to the seventh grade. Here a systematic 
study is begun based on Dr. Alfred Acton's Introduction to 
the Study of the Hebrew Word> a textbook prepared espe- 
cially for the Academy Schools. It is a three-year course 
comprising the simple points in grammar, and enough vo- 
cabulary to read the first chapters of Genesis, the Ten Com- 
mandments, and the selections from the Psalms used in 
worship. 46 

The religious instruction through the grades follows a 
plan based on the development of the idea of the Lord in the 
Scriptures. In the kindergarten and first grade the idea is 
that of the Heavenly Father, as most suitable to a child's 
helpless and dependent state. In the second grade the Lord 
is studied as the Creator and Preserver of His people; in 
the third grade as the Redeemer and Saviour of the Exodus j 
in the fourth grade as a Hero of War, leader of the armies 
of Israel; and in the fifth grade as King, in relation to the 
concept of the divine origin of law and government. With 
the sixth grade comes the problem of evil, the decline and 
fall of Israel, and the captivity. The Lord is seen govern- 
ing the evil, and through it chastening and restoring His peo- 
ple. In the seventh and eighth grades the life of the Lord 
as a Man on earth is studied, and in the high school a survey 


of the history of the Christian Church, the life of Sweden- 
borg, and the history of the New Church. 47 

The most interesting feature of the Academy Schools is 
the thoroughgoing application of New Church principles 
to the entire field of education. Because of the "falsities of 
the Old Church" which permeate the whole life of the 
world, including education, the Academy has tried to start 
with a clean slate, and as far as possible to "make all things 
new." An attitude of aloofness and criticism toward the 
findings of human knowledge appears, especially in the early 
days. In 1900 it was reported that Mr. Odhner had con- 
ducted a class in the history of philosophy at the Theological 
School, and that highly beneficial results had come from 
"this study of the interior history of human error"! 48 The 
same applies to the attitude toward science. In the Journal 
of Education for 1914-1915 it is stated that the science of 
Swedenborg must be taught primarily, and that impartiality 
is impossible, there must be a prejudice in favor of the ex- 
istence of God. "Beware of too much natural science, put 
religion first, philosophy second, and science last." 49 But 
ten years later the Journal shows a broader point of view, 
especially in the articles by members of the science depart- 
ment itself. It is stated that the department is anxious to 
bring its standard up to that of the world so that its students 
may not be handicapped in preparing for professional train- 
ing elsewhere. 80 In an article called The Academy's Adapta- 
tion to Science in 1927 Professor Pendleton says: "For a 
time our organization may go on without such adaptations, 
but sooner or later they must be made} or otherwise the 
Academy will fade away. We cannot change the facts of 
observation." 61 

The department of mathematics is under the charge of a 
Platonist whose mathematical theory combines the teachings 
of Swedenborg with those of his great forerunner in the 
science of "correspondences." Professor Doering says of 
the ancients: "They studied number to grasp the idea that 
order and harmony of relation is the regulating principle 
of the universe, and they studied geometry to comprehend 


the Infinite and His laws. Plato says, 'The study of the one 
has the power of drawing and converting the mind to the 
contemplation of true being.' To the attainment of pure 
truth the whole study of arithmetic tended, if it was studied, 
as he said, 'in the spirit of a philosopher and not of a shop- 
keeper. 5 Does this not suggest to us the attitude of mind 
that should direct our teaching of number? . . . Mathemat- 
ics may serve to form vessels in the minds of students which 
will contain what is Divine. It may serve the use with our 
children and youths that in Divine Providence it has been 
to the human race. ... A child is delighted with instruc- 
tion in correspondences, not with the didactic teaching of 
correspondences, but by insinuation of the spiritual sense of 
the Word, or of the numbers in a concrete way, as, that 
one is the Lord's number and that all other numbers arise 
from this one, that two is man's number, etc. Now why is 
there such great delight with the child when he hears this? 
Because with the teaching that one is the Lord's number 
and that all other numbers arise from it, there is in the 
mind of the teacher and in the minds of the angels who are 
present with the child the idea that everything is from the 
Lord 5 and so the truth coming to the child through its hear- 
ing is harmonious to the influx of truth in his soul. And 
being harmonious he is affected with delight, and there is 
formed in him a plane to receive this vital truth that all 
good and truth is from the Lord." 62 

This method of linking mathematics with "correspond- 
ences" begins in the kindergarten with regard to geometric 
forms. "The most perfect geometric figure is the sphere. 
The sun is a ball. The Lord lives in the Sun of Heaven. 
A ball then suggests the idea of the sun, the idea of the Lord, 
who is thought of as the Heavenly Father. . . . The Lord 
dwells in the sun. But man dwells in a house. Here is the 
cube, the most perfect of rectilinear figures, imbued with a 
living symbolism that is nonetheless concrete. All forms 
are made up of curved lines derived from the ball and 
straight lines derived from the cube, expressing the con- 
junction of the Lord and Man, love and faith, good and 


truth. This will not be seen, but it will be insinuated^ if 
the cube stands for the house in which man dwells and the 
ball for the sun in which the Lord dwells." 58 In the fourth 
grade mathematics is taught in relation to character. "The 
real correspondence of number and form can well be il- 
lustrated in ways within the grasp of the children. That 
abstract qualities are instinctively represented in mathemati- 
cal terms is evident from many accustomed modes of speech. 
That a straight line represents truth, honesty, fair dealing, 
appears in the expression, a man is 'straight.' One lacking 
these qualities is said to be 'crooked.' The same ideas ap- 
pear in the expressions, 'square' and 'foursquare.' Also the 
expressions level, smooth, solid, upright, etc., which have 
been borrowed from mathematics because of their internal 
meaning. Here many mathematical expressions from the 
Word may be cited. Most of the forms connected with 
the tabernacle were square or rectangular} the holy of holies 
was a cube; the holy city was foursquare, etc. The connec- 
tion of these expressions with human character can be im- 
pressed upon the children and illustrated in their work." M 
This linking of mathematics with ethics is in accordance with 
the principles laid down by Bishop Benade, who taught that 
"the spiritual world cannot be separated from the natural in 
fact, and should therefore not be separated in instruction and 
education, but should be kept in intimate association." M 
There could, therefore, be no such thing as "pure science" 
without a bearing upon ethics or theology, not even the 
science of mathematics. 

The teaching of history is also related to doctrine, being 
based on Swedenborg's revelations concerning the five 
"Churches," or epochs of human history. 56 Upon this 
framework the history curriculum is planned, beginning in 
the first grade where the Most Ancient Church is studied 
in the Bible stories, and from our own primitives, the Amer- 
ican Indians, as well. In the second grade begins the study 
of the Second, or Ancient Church, that is, the civilizations 
of Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria, as correlated with the Old 
Testament narrative. In the third grade history is separated 


from religion, the former taking up the classic myths and 
hero tales of Greece and Rome, with those of our own Norse 
and Teutonic ancestors, while the latter pursues its way 
through Exodus and Deuteronomy." This teaching of Swe- 
denborg's regarding the ancient churches has produced some 
very interesting results, among these being a couple of text- 
books by Mr. Carl Theophilus Odhner, The Mythology of 
the Greeks and Romans, and The Golden Age, in which the 
ancient legends are elucidated by correspondences in a most 
fascinating way. 58 And another important result has been 
the establishment of a valuable Museum of antiquities. The 
first collections were made by Bishop Benade himself, who 
had made a deep study of ancient civilizations, and inspired 
Mr. John Pitcairn with the same enthusiasm. In 1878 Mr. 
Pitcairn bought the Lanzone collection of Egyptian antiqui- 
ties, consisting of thirteen hundred pieces. To this was 
added a fine collection of antique vases. In recent years 
there have been many valuable accessions, including a group 
of Gothic sculptures from Mr. Raymond Pitcairn, and a 
fine collection of Assyrian, Egyptian, Chinese, and Japanese 
objects from the Rev. Theodore Pitcairn. There is also 
considerable modern primitive material from the American 
Indians, the Alaskans, and the Basutos. These collections 
are used extensively in the teaching of history and religion. 
The Museum is housed on the top floor of the Library, 
which contains other treasures besides; an original edition 
room containing first editions of all Swedenborg's works, in- 
cluding his own copy of Vera Christiana Religio; the "Star 
Collection," 2,250 volumes, including one copy of every edi- 
tion of Swedenborg's works j and the "Swedenborg Library," 
which contains copies of all the volumes known to have been 
in his own collection, besides all the numerous worts referred 
to by him. 59 The Library now contains in all forty-six thou- 
sand volumes. 

The English curriculum in the Elementary School follows 
the same plan as the history. In the second grade, stories 
from folk-lore are usedj in the third, mythology j and in the 
fourth grade, hero tales from the Middle Ages. This idea 


of hero-worship as the typical fourth-grade psychology is 
carried over into the religious instruction in the study of the 
Lord as a hero of war. Great emphasis is put on the high 
function of language, which is "to impart, preserve, and 
communicate the Word of the Lord. Written language be- 
longs especially to this earth, and the art of printing was de- 
veloped here for the sake of the Word. . . . For this reason 
children should be led to think of the Word of God, whence 
Divine love and wisdom proceed to men, as the center of 
all literature. They should see that from this center proceed 
descending grades of use, through the exalted philosophy of 
the deepest thinkers, the writings of great patriots and lead- 
ers in the practical affairs of men, the records of facts and 
discoveries by which civilization is developed, to those pro- 
ductions designed primarily to amuse and entertain." 60 
With regard to composition it is taught that "Since an affec- 
tion clothes itself in its own proper truths, it follows that 
one cannot adequately write or talk about that of which he 
knows nothing, or that for which he has no affection, either 
good or bad, that is, either favorable or unfavorable. There- 
fore students should not write about subjects that appeal to 
them only superficially, before they have given considerable 
attention to them. ... A New Churchman's point of view 
should be determined by the love of truth and doctrinal un- 
derstanding he possesses. One should not write about sub- 
jects contrary to his or her doctrinal point of view." 61 

Geography also is taught from the basis of theology. 
"The Earth is the natural home of mankind. It is marvel- 
lously created to provide for the needs of human life. Espe- 
cially is it designed in the Divine economy to meet the spir- 
itual requirements of the race. The indefinite variety of ob- 
jects which the earth provides, and out of which is formed 
in ever-changing combinations the material environment of 
man, becomes the basis of all ideas of thought, of every 
human conception of delight and undelight. On this foun- 
dation rests the whole kingdom of heaven, as the Lord Him- 
self intimates in Isaiah: Thus saith the Lord, the heaven is 
my throne, and the earth is my footstool. 5 "... The study 


of geography begins in the third grade with "geographic 
conditions that can be illustrated in the home, with its known 
environment, becoming the center of attention, and from this 
there is developed a broadening conception of the world." 
The Law of Labor is taught by showing that "what is pro- 
vided by the Lord from the ground is only raw material. It 
must be made by men into food, clothing and shelter, and 
this requires work. The Lord gives material in abundance, 
but He requires labor of men. This is the law of man's rela- 
tion to the earth. The idea that in this labor there is happi- 
ness, and without it there is unhappiness, is given as the rea- 
son why men are called upon to work that their life may be 
sustained, and it is illustrated in simple ways apparent to 
children." In the fourth grade they learn about nations and 
their uses. "The course seeks to perfect the idea of the 
world-whole, giving ground and basis for some conception 
of the relation of different countries to each other." In 
the fifth grade the use of the native country is taught. "The 
child is at an age when patriotism begins to have a real mean- 
ing, and this highest of natural loves is stirred by emphasis 
upon our national ideals of life and government." This 
work correlates with the history, which is now dealing with 
the age of discovery and the settlement of the New World. 62 
This method of approach is especially applicable to the 
study of Nature, which Swedenborg calls "a theatre repre- 
sentative of the Kingdom of Heaven." ea "To see the Lord 
and His Kingdom in the forms of creation, is the inner pur- 
pose of nature study. All the forces of Nature are but the 
Divine Life inflowing and operating. By them the Lord is 
constantly working before our eyes. Here, through His 
works, children can be taught to know and love Him." The 
first five years are spent in learning about the beginnings of 
life in plants, animals, and manj the laws of life for both 
kingdoms, the animal and the vegetable, and the need for 
protection of lower forms of life by man. The center of 
interest is the home, with its baby brothers and sisters, pets, 
and plants, to be loved and tended. The uses to man of the 
things of nature, and his responsibility for their preservation 


are stressed, and also the joy resulting from the beauty of 
the natural world. But with the sixth year comes the ques- 
tioning attitude, the discovery of evil in the world. The 
child's ideals suffer a shock, and sometimes his confidence 
in the Lord is destroyed. Therefore the course now deals 
with the use of evil forms. "He can slowly be brought to 
see that while man has, by his sin, introduced evil into the 
world, the Lord is continually laboring to turn that evil into 
good, to make it of use to the eventual betterment of human 
conditions. Death is the means of resurrection into the spir- 
itual world. It has become painful and difficult through dis- 
ease j but even physical suffering is used by the Lord to break 
down resistance to Him, and impart a truer happiness. Evil 
animals, poisonous insects, and plants and other effects in 
nature of man's fall, are turned by the Lord to good uses, 
particularly as medicines. All evils come from breaking the 
laws of life." This leads naturally to the study of hygiene, 
and in the seventh and eighth grades, to anatomy. "The 
survey of the kingdoms of nature, at all points viewed in 
relation to mankind, for the sake of whom they have been 
created, culminates in a more particular study of man him- 
self as the crowning work of Divine Creation. The study 
of the human body is of vital importance to a later under- 
standing of the Divine Human of the Lord, and the Grand 
Man of the Universe." M Thus we see the work of the 
elementary school leading up by simple logical progression 
toward those cosmic conceptions which play so large a part 
in the philosophy of Swedenborg. It may seem to be an 
anthropocentric universe which is envisaged in the system 
we have been perusing, but the apropos which forms its 
center is not the petty human of earth, but the Divine 
Human, the Platonic "form" to which the entire physical 
universe corresponds in every slightest detail. 

In spite of these unique theories and methods of education 
the Academy Schools -enjoy a high academic rating. The 
Boys' Academy and the Girls' Seminary are accredited first 
class high schools according to the Department of Education 
of the State of Pennsylvania, and the Academy is a member 


of the Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges. The 
College, however, is not formally accredited, being too small 
to fulfill the numerical requirements. 65 Progressive meth- 
ods, especially the Dalton plan of assignments, are used with 
great success, and many of the faculty have been trained in 
the modern educational methods at Teachers' College, Co- 
lumbia University, and elsewhere. 

The General Church puts its greatest emphasis on worship 
as the central purpose of religion, and therefore the central 
feature of family and community life. The center of family 
worship is the Word itself which is kept in a special reposi- 
tory in a bookcase or on a stand, resting on a piece of blue 
or gold velvet, and makes of every home a holy temple in 
which the Lord resides. The custom of family prayers was 
much stressed in the beginning, and a calendar with suitable 
selections was prepared for this use. These selections were 
to be read in unison by all the families in the Church at 
morning and evening in order to form "choirs," an idea 
derived from Swedenborg's statement that the heavenly so- 
cieties are organized into groups, or "choirs," composed of 
like-minded spirits who feel and act together as a spiritual 
unit. At a meeting in 1888 the selections for morning wor- 
ship were criticized as being too long, by a member who 
found it difficult to get through the entire passage. He asked 
if it would not do to leave some of the reading for the eve- 
ning. "Attention has been called," he said, "to the use of 
reading in concert, to read with the idea of forming choirs, 
all getting into the same channel of thought, and into the 
same spirit. Does time make any difference? Time is not 
in the Spiritual World, there it is state. But is not the 
use of a choir attained without the necessity of our reading 
at the same time?" This met with a cool response from the 
Bishop. "We learn from the Doctrine of the Church that 
in the heavens all the angels are in choirs. No one who 
leaves the earth can come into this angelic society, until he 
has been trained in a choir. . . . We are told that some are 
kept in this training for years, because they are so peculiar 
in disposition that they cannot easily be brought to act to- 


gether. . . . We gain something of this by reading the 
Lord's Word together." 68 Obviously the only solution f 01 
those who found the selections too long was to get up earlier 

In the school too daily worship plays an important part 
All the classes except the kindergarten unite in a fifteen 
minute devotional service each morning, in which the singing 
of Hebrew chants forms an unusual feature. The kinder- 
garten has its "morning circle," a charming little ceremonj 
in which the Word is opened and candles lighted on an im- 
provised altar. This is followed by a few simple prayers 
a story from the Word told by the teacher, and a hymn 01 
chant. Sometimes a line or two is recited in unison in He- 
brew. Every class in religious instruction begins with th 
formal opening of the Word, and passages from the Scrip- 
ture, which achieves an atmosphere of reverence and sets th. 
study of religion apart from secular studies. For the uppei 
departments this effect is heightened by the use of a special 
room appropriately arranged for the purpose. But the most 
important feature of the children's worship is a special serv- 
ice in the Cathedral on Sunday morning, which takes the 
place of a Sunday School. Here they receive their training 
in ritual and music, and a brief doctrinal instruction. 67 

But the center of all the worship, and the real heart oi 
the community life is the Cathedral itself. One of the early 
Academy leaders wrote over fifty years ago: "Our temples 
ought to be gems of art, and our Ritual so charming and 
faultless that any may enter into it, rendering it with the 
spirit and the understanding also." es If the writer of these 
words could see a service in the Cathedral to-day he would 
be satisfied, for that ideal has been achieved. Here, in the 
most beautiful Gothic building in America, has been de- 
veloped a form of ritual wholly worthy of it, combining 
dignity, simplicity and beauty into a truly impressive whole. 
The building is the gift of Mr. John Pitcairn, who in 1912 
engaged the firm of Cram and Ferguson to build a temple 
worthy of the New Jerusalem. After Mr. Pitcairn's death 
the connection with Cram and Ferguson was severed, and 
the work was taken over by his son, Mr. Raymond Pitcairn, 


being completed in 1919. Adjoining the Cathedral, which 
is fourteenth century Gothic in style, are a Choir Building 
and a Council Building, both in twelfth century Romanesque, 
forming a charming combination. The buildings stand on 
a low hill which slopes away toward the west down to the 
Pennypack Creek across a broad valley, and rises gently 
toward the east providing a background of trees for the 
lovely towers. It would be hard to imagine a more perfect 

The story of the building of the Cathedral is a fascinating 
one, and may best be told in Mr. Cram's own words. He 
describes the donor, Mr. Pitcairn, as "an old gentleman of 
small stature, grave, courtly, keenly intelligent, vigorous 
beyond his years, an acute business man, and withal possessed 
of imagination and intense idealism," whose powerful per- 
sonality dominated the whole project. Of the unique 
method of building he says: "It was intended to be in a sense, 
a protest against the general fashion of contemporary build- 
ing and a return in spirit and in method to an earlier age. 
For my part I always thought of it as possessing its greatest 
value in those elements which connected it with the economic 
and industrial aspects of human activity, not in those which 
are essentially aesthetic. . . . The type of Swedenborgian- 
ism in vogue at Bryn Athyn is even more mystical than that 
of the parent sect from which it is an offshoot, and expresses 
itself in a polity and a ceremonial constantly tending towards 
that o the Episcopal Church, or perhaps the 'Irvingite' or 
'Catholic Apostolic Church.' The soil was unusual and from 
the first fertile and receptive. By insensible degrees, and in 
a short space of time, the idea of a sort of co-operative, neo- 
mediseval organization of the building of the church grew 
into dominance, . . . until at last, by the time the walls 
began to rise above the ground, the system had reached a 
point of development never achieved in any place since the 
close of the Middle Ages. A quarry was opened on the 
estate, woods ransacked for timber, workshops built, and 
forges. Full scale models were made, and glass shops built. 
More than a hundred men were constantly employed, and 


given the widest leeway in original work, and public recog- 
nition. The foreman and the architects formed a party of 
inspection by which all new work was examined and criti- 
cised. From time to time all came together, the Pitcairn 
family, the church and college dignitaries and the workmen, 
for a luncheon and talk, like a big family, or guild. All idea 
of cost was put aside from the start, and all idea of hurry." 69 

This idyllic state of affairs did not continue long, however. 
When Mr. Pitcairn died in 1916, his son, Raymond, who 
had become imbued with enthusiasm for the project, took 
charge. According to Mr. Cram, democracy now ran riot. 
"The idea of co-operation, begun with such enthusiasm, grew 
to a point where a suggestion from any source, draughts- 
man, visitor, clerical assistant, workman, meant a fair trial 
in the shape of sketches, details, scale and full-size models, 
all perhaps to be rejected, with a return to the first or second 
scheme. The architects were finally reduced to equality 
with a dozen others. In the end the authority of the archi- 
tect was merged in the consultive function of the critic, and 
increasingly his initiative in design became submerged under 
the equal initiative of owner and draughtsmen." This ex- 
traordinary state of affairs produced a break, Mr. Cram 
withdrew, and Mr. Pitcairn continued alone. Mr. Cram 
admits, however, that the effects of this remarkably demo- 
cratic organization were amazing. "The results at Bryn 
Athyn were a revelation of the latent enthusiasm and cre- 
ative power hidden in the most average workmen gathered 
from miscellaneous sources. The actual results were equally 
a revelation of craftsmanship quite comparable with much 
of that of the Middle Ages." 70 

It may seem strange that the New Church chose the Gothic 
style, which is so distinctly a product of the "Old Church," 
instead of developing a new style of its own, and indeed such 
had been the original idea. But tremendous difficulties were 
involved in such a project, and in selecting Mr. Cram as 
chief architect, Mr. Pitcairn had either wittingly or unwit- 
tingly chosen the Gothic along with its most famous ex- 
ponent. It only remained to rationalize the choice. Just as 


the early Christians had taken over and adapted to their own 
uses the Roman basilica, the temples of the old paganism, 
so the New Christians were obliged to take over the Gothic 
of the Old Christianity. The symbolism however is dis- 
tinctly new, being based on the "Science of Correspond- 
ences." "The Church building as a whole is symbolic of 
the Lord Jesus Christ even as was the Temple at Jeru- 
salem, of which it is written, . . . 'Destroy this Temple, 
and in three days I will raise it up.' . . . The Church build- 
ing represents more especially the inward human form, the 
mini of man, rather than the external shape of the body. 
Its major divisions are symbolic of the degrees of life in 
man, the inmost mind being represented by the Sanctuary, 
the internal mind by the Chancel, and the external mind by 
the Nave. . . . Access to the tower is afforded by a spiral 
stairway through a monel metal door opening from the vesti- 
bule of the choir rooms. The spiral is symbolic of the proc- 
ess of regeneration. As far as the chancel-aisle roof it turns 
from left to right, while above it turns from right to left. 
The former represents progress during the process of regen- 
eration from truth to good, while the latter is significant of 
progress ^f rom good to truth after regeneration. . . . The 
chancel is divided into three parts, each division being 
marked by an elevation of three steps. . . . These divisions 
are representative of the three degrees of the internal mind, 
and also of the three heavens. This representation is re- 
flected also in the uses to which each division is put, the 
outer chancel being for the reading of the Word and preach- 
ing, the inner chancel for the administration of the sacra- 
ments, and the sanctuary as a repository for the Word." 71 

As the central point of focus in the sanctuary there stands, 
not the conventional oblong altar for the celebration of the 
eucharist with its cross and candelabra, but a small cubical 
altar on^ which rests the Bible alone, with seven tall golden 
candlesticks arranged about it, and over it a golden light 
streaming down from a golden crown. The entire chancel 
is flooded with a soft violet light from the red and blue 
glass of the tall windows, creating an etherial effect of in- 


tense power and beauty. "The general representation of the 
sanctuary is that of the Son of Man in the midst of the seven 
golden candlesticks. All the symbolism here is drawn from 
the Apocalypse, which contains a prophecy of the New 
Church, and describes the Lord as He is to be worshipped 
in His Second Advent. The Lord Himself is represented 
by the Word, the throne by the altar, and the sea of glass 
by the floor which eventually will be of glass mosaic design 
in gold." 72 

The Council Building, adjoining the Church, is twelfth 
century Romanesque, and has an exceptionally beautiful 
tower, somewhat lower than that of the Church. The sym- 
bolism here is of a more secular nature. A series of heads 
beneath the cornice represents the various races of mankind, 
and on the south wall are the seals of the Academy and the 
General Church. The former is a quartered shield repre- 
senting the New Church with a crest consisting of a lion to 
represent the Lord's Divine Human, a crown symbolizing 
His Government, and a key symbolizing the opening of the 
internal sense of the Word. The latter represents the seven 
candlesticks and the seven stars of Revelation. In the Coun- 
cil Hall the corbels are portrait heads of Church dignitaries, 
such as Robert Hindmarsh, Richard DeCharms, William H. 
Benade, William F. Pendleton, John Pitcairn, and Walter 
C. Childs. In the East Window is a full-length portrait of 
Emanuel Swedenborg, surrounded by female figures repre- 
senting Chemistry, Cosmology, Philosophy, Anatomy, Psy- 
chology, and Theology. All the details of the buildings 
are exquisite in design and workmanship, no two of anything 
being exactly alike. The metal work, made of an alloy of 
copper and nickel, is especially noteworthy, even the plates 
for the electric light wall buttons being each an original de- 
sign. The stained glass is at present in a transitional state, 
the windows of the nave being of Grisaille which will ulti- 
mately be replaced by colored glass. All the glass has been 
made in the shops nearby, under the direction of some of the 
greatest experts in the country, and with some very fine 
thirteenth century glass belonging to Mr. Pitcairn as model 

288 '1HJL UJLJN^KALr C Jtl U K. ^ 1 

and inspiration. The permanent windows are remarkably 
close to medieval glass in richness of color and beauty of 
design. 73 

The liturgy which has been developed by the General 
Church is also very beautiful. From the first great attention 
has been paid to forms of worship, and especially to the use 
of the Word. The early Academy leaders were not satisfied 
with the translations then in use, on account of their inac- 
curacies. In 1877 L. H. Tafel wrote: "Any violence done 
to the Word is therefore a violence done to the Lordj any 
word omitted from it is, as it were, a fibre torn out of the 
Divine Human on earth, and every false translation is as a 
bruise inflicted on it. ... The Lord as the Word has been 
crucified anew. His vesture is dipped in blood." 7 * They 
were also dissatisfied with the Convention liturgies, and set 
to work to develop one of their own. A need for new rites 
and ceremonies was felt, and the Council of Clergy in 1887 
recommended three: one to signalize arrival at adulthood, 
another to celebrate the introduction into a particular society 
or Church, and a third to consist of a public confession of 
faith. 75 At this time there was a period of exaggerated 
ritualism, which was followed by a reaction toward sim- 
plicity. The present ritual is a rare blend of richness of 
esthetic appeal with an almost austere simplicity, a pleas- 
ing contrast to the overloaded ritual of Catholicism. The 
New Church does not use the term "mystical," and yet there 
seems to be no other word which adequately describes to 
those outside the sense of unseen power and deep spiritual 
reality which pervades the services at Bryn Athyn. The un- 
derlying symbolism of their forms of worship is explained 
as follows: "The ritual of the Old Church makes the cruci- 
fied human the center, while the ritual of the New Church 
points to the Lord in His glorified Human. The one sees 
Him as He hung upon the cross j the other beholds Him 
exalted as the^ only God of heaven and earth. The New 
Church from its inception, has given the same significance 
and reverence to the opening of the Word as the Catholic 
Church gives to the elevation of the Host. This simple act 


of opening the Word, which is a new thing in Christian wor- 
ship, was the beginning of New Church ritual. And as this 
new thing, so all things in our ritual are distinctly new. The 
objects presented, the signs made, the actions performed, 
and the words spoken, have a different signification. To us 3 
the white robes of the priest signify the reception of Divine 
Truth and protection against falsities, not the white garment 
wherewith Herod in mockery clothed the Lord. In the 
colors red and blue, we see the love of good and the love of 
truth, not martyrdom and penance. Lights in the chancel 
represent to us Divine Wisdom, truth, and faith, descending 
by correspondence in sunlight, electric light, and candle- 
light, which have their source in the three kinds of natural 
fire. In short, all things of ritual in the New Church are 
intended to represent that which is spiritual, not to signify 
things which in themselves are merely representatives." re 

The present Liturgy, published in 1921, is the result of 
many years of study and experiment. In 1907 Bishop W. F. 
Pendleton, a master of the art of ritual, said, regarding the 
edition then being prepared, that it could not be claimed to 
be anywhere near perfection. "Liturgical work is necessarily 
progressive. We acquire experience in the use of it; so that 
it cannot be expected that any Liturgy which could now be 
prepared would be of use for all time to come." He said 
that in its preparation there had been "a very thorough 
gleaning from the hymnological literature of the English 
speaking world," that he himself had gone over three or 
four thousand hymns, and was fully convinced that the 
cream of hymnology had been selected. Furthermore the 
selection had been made on a basis of the highest standard 
of poetry as well as religious truth. 77 Thus we see the 
New Church "progressing backwards" toward the forms of 
religious expression of the Old, and along with Gothic archi- 
tecture appropriating the best in "Old Church" liturgy. 78 
The result of this very sensible practice is a liturgy entirely 
appropriate to its setting, and one in which any Anglican 
churchman would feel at home. But this is not to say that 
it is in any way an imitation of the Anglican form, for it is, 


in a very real sense, original. Instead of one form f 03 
Morning, and another for Evening Prayer, there are eighi 
General Offices from which a choice may be made, thus 
avoiding monotony. These Offices have special themes, suet 
as "The Lord," "The Word," "The Church," "Faith," anc 
"Repentance" which are developed antiphonally by readings 
and chants from the words of Scripture. These are f ollowec 
by twenty Antiphons, or responsive services, based on such 
themes as "Advent of the Lord," "Evangelization," "Hu- 
miliation of the Lord," "Conjunction with the Human 
Race," "Divine Providence," etc. Then comes the Psalter, 
containing seventy-five selections from the Psalms and the 
Prophets 5 the Law, selections from the Old Testament} and 
the Gospel, selections from the New. There is no set creed; 
but in its place are fourteen General Confessions of Faith 
from which a choice may be made. The following is an 
especially beautiful example: "The Lord our Saviour Jesus 
Christ is Love itself and Mercy itself j He has all wisdom 
and all knowledge, and is everywhere present. He alone 
has power to save. Conjunction with Him is eternal life; 
and they are conjoined with Him who believe in Him and 
keep His Commandments," 70 

Under the heading General Doctrine, come twenty-two 
selections from the writings of Swedenborg, corresponding 
in theme to the Antiphons, and at the end about two hundred 
short prayers. Except where the Scripture itself is used, the 
language of the Liturgy is modern, simple, and wholly free 
from theological pedantry, and yet rhythmical and full of 
liturgical value. The following prayer is a good example: 
"Most merciful Lord God, our Saviour and Deliverer, lead 
us forth, we pray Thee, from the bondage of our evils, and 
from the dominion of the lusts of the flesh, into the freedom 
of Thy heavenly kingdom; help us to be worthy of Thy 
Divine guidance and blessing, that in a life of devotion and 
service we may give glory to Thy holy name forever." 80 
Under the Sacraments and Rites, besides the usual ones of 
Baptism, the Holy Supper, Confirmation, Marriage, Ordina- 
tion, and Burial of the Dead, there is a Rite of Betrothal, 


in which this quotation from Swedenborg occurs: "The ends 
and uses of betrothals are, that the souls of the two may in- 
cline toward each other j that the universal love of the sex 
may be determined to one of the sex 5 that the interior affec- 
tions may be mutually known, and by application conjoined 
in the internal joyousness of lovej that the spirits of both 
may enter into marriage, and be more and more consociated, 
that conjugial love may thus advance regularly from its 
first warmth even to the nuptial flame 5 and finally that con- 
jugial love may grow up in just order from its spiritual 
origin." The burial service also contains passages from 
Swedenborg, such as: "Every man is created to live to eter- 
nity in a happy state 5 for He that wills that every man 
should live to eternity, wills also that he should live in a 
happy state. What would eternal life be without it? This 
state of man, indeed, is the end of creation. From these 
things it is manifest, that eternal life is also eternal happi- 
ness." 81 

The most striking difference between this Liturgy and 
those of other churches is its lack of emphasis on the sequence 
of events in the earthly life of the Lord as found in the 
Church Calendar. In a criticism in the New Church Review 
this is considered a weakness, this "building the devotional 
life of the Church, as it were, upon a strictly doctrinal or 
intellectual scaffold, like a study of The True Christian Re- 
ligion in the order of its chapters, rather than in following 
the dramatic and personal representation of the redemption 
as given in the life of Our Lord in the Word, and as ren- 
dered objective in the Christian Year! ... It is upon this 
basis of personal and objective regard that the Christian 
Year's observance rests its claim to a peculiar spiritual power 
in preserving what is divine among the people.' The an- 
alytic apportionment of our worship according to an intel- 
lectual and logical order of abstract theological themes may 
present a kind of theoretic order suitable to a psychological 
or theological semmar, but it does not accord with human 
experience, either as regards the successive religious states 
of the individual, or the combined states of the congrega- 


tion." 82 The only answer to such a criticism is that, after 
all, these things are largely a matter of taste, and that lifting 
the emotional levels of devotion to an abstractly philosophi- 
cal plane might conceivably produce a higher spiritual effect 
than the morbid dwelling upon the painful aspects of the 
Lord's last days found in Catholicism. The complete ab- 
sence of such emotional appeals as the Crucifix, the Pieta, 
and the Stations of the Cross, and the emphasis upon a glori- 
fied Lord victorious over human vicissitudes, instead of upon 
a suffering and dying God, produces a positive atmosphere 
of hopefulness and well-being almost as strong as that of 
Christian Science. The effect of a service based upon such 
doctrinal motives is one of serene and joyous beatification, 
a cheerful acceptance of life, and a grateful reception of the 
divine influx. 

A great deal of importance is given to music at Bryn 
Athyn, due perhaps to Swedenborg's statements with regard 
to the singing of the Word as a method of conjoining the 
human group with the choirs of heaven. The music of the 
services is of an elaborate nature, consisting of chants and 
anthems which require considerable skill for an adequate 
rendering. It was composed especially for the General 
Church by an English member, Mr. Charles James Whit- 
tington, a member of the London Stock Exchange for over 
fifty years. This financier made the composition of church 
music his avocation. 88 His settings for the psalms fall half- 
way between the anthem form and the liturgical style. It 
is perhaps impossible to give a fair judgment on these com- 
positions from the present somewhat inadequate rendering, 
as they are too difficult and too high pitched for the congre- 
gation to sing easily. There are many features about the 
service which are particularly impressive, especially the ab- 
solute quiet and reverent attention of the congregation. 
There is no offertory to break the devotional atmosphere 
with its painful opening of pocket-books and clinking of 
change. The collection plate stands at the door, and offer- 
ings are quietly deposited there. Before the service opens, 
and at its close, two girls in white appear and move softly 


about in the lambent violet light of the sanctuary, lighting 
and extinguishing the tall candles with rhythmical motions. 
The play of light upon the exquisitely simple white vest- 
ments of the clergy is a source of deep esthetic delight, espe- 
cially in the communion service where the celebrant in his 
crimson chasuble adds a marvelous strong note of color, 
clear as a trumpet call. 

The sermons are long, and strictly doctrinal. The follow- 
ing brief summary of a sermon on the "Odor of Rest," may 
suffice to give a general impression of the type of preaching. 
"The record of the salvation of Noah has been preserved, 
that in it we might see a universal law of progress, inescap- 
able now to all human souls who would be saved from hell. 
The altar at which Noah gave sacrifice represents charity and 
spiritual peace, from which alone can an c odor of rest' go 
up to the Lord. The regeneration of the man of the spir- 
itual church cannot take place by a development of his native 
faculties. The man must be reborn. This is done first by 
the separation of the salvable things of his understanding 
from his old will, which is doomed to be flooded with evil. 
The timbers of the Ark represent these salvable things, these 
general truths of the understanding, which are taken over 
from the old world and act as a seed for the new world, 
that is, for the new man. . . . These singulars of truths act 
as vessels which the Lord infills with charity, from which is 
a new will in the man. . . . Then it is that the sphere of 
charity from the man is perceived by the Lord. The Lord 
then 'smells an odor of rest,' or, as it is actually said in the 
Word, He 'breathed the breath of rest. 3 Yet here a pro- 
found law is involved. The odor of rest must come from 
the altars of charity that are erected in the ultimate degree 
of the mind. The spiritual heaven is founded only in the 
natural. This law is what is involved in the Coming of the 
Lord on earth to save men by the assumption of the Human. 
From the Altar of His ultimate Human came the 'odor of 
rest' as the rising response of earth to heaven." 8 * 

Perhaps this text will serve as well as any for a descrip- 
tion of the "sphere" of the community at Bryn Athyn. It 


seems to be itself a living "Altar of charity" from which an 
"odor of rest" rises perceptibly above the green hills of 
Pennsylvania. There is a truly charming spirit of fellow- 
ship and democracy, in spite of great differences of material 
wealth. This expresses itself in many ways, among which 
is the custom of Friday evening suppers at which all the 
adult members of the community meet together. This cus- 
tom dates back to the early days in Philadelphia when the 
small group of Bishop Benade's followers gathered on Fri- 
day evenings for doctrinal instruction and an informal re- 
past As the community now numbers more than seven hun- 
dred, the supper is now quite an occasion, but the same in- 
formality exists. After supper a hymn is sung and a short 
lecture is given by one of the clergy. Sometimes this takes 
the form of a course of lectures on psychology, or some other 
subject of general interest. Another expression of this fra- 
ternal spirit is the holding of picnics in June, also a relic of 
former times, when the members of the Philadelphia church 
came out to picnic in Alnwick Grove. In spite of perfectly 
paved roads, of handsome cars, and beautiful homes, Bryn 
Athyn has managed to preserve an atmosphere of patri- 
archal simplicity, along with a high degree of education and 
culture. Altogether this "Hill of Cohesion" presents an 
unusually fine example of secular life built upon a doctrinal 
foundation, and the fact that it is thus permeated by theology 
gives to its religion, not the conventional status found in so 
many of the "old" churches, but a vitality which creates 
visible and beautiful forms for a genuinely unified life. 


The development of liberalism in the Convention against 
which the Academy movement was a protest had really com- 
menced as far back as the forties, and manifested itself in 
various ways. One of these was a reaction against the ex- 
treme exclusiveness and sectarianism of the early Church. 
A contributor to the Messenger in 1855 expresses the new 
attitude thus: "The New Church should, least of all, be 
sectarian in spirit, for its doctrines are most catholic and 
comprehensive, teaching that there are infinite varieties of 
good and grades of truth, which are by no means confined 
to particular societies, churches, kingdoms or nations, but 
that each has a species of good and a perception of truth in 
some respects peculiar to itself." * These two opposite view- 
points form the warp and woof of New Church thought in 
all its many colored patterns, the underlying fabric upon 
which is embroidered the intricate design of many a quaint 
controversy. In this respect the New Church is no whit 
different from all the "old churches," though the issues are 
couched in terms peculiar to its own world of thought. 

The growth of this new liberalism centers around a few 
strong personalities, the first of these being the Rev. Ben- 
jamin F. Barrett, a former Unitarian minister, who came 
into the New Church in 1 84.0. His first activity was a series 
of lectures on New Church doctrine at the Lyceum of Nat- 
ural History in New York City. These lectures caused a 
perfect furor and thousands flocked to hear them. The New 
York Herald printed them verbatim, and the "Old Church" 
ministers attacked them violently. From a publicity stand- 
point nothing could have been better, but it is reported that 
they netted very few converts. Barrett was ordained shortly 
after by Thomas Worcester, and became the pastor of the 


New York Society. He soon became one of the leading 
liberals in the Church, and took an active part in the rebap- 
tism controversy. 2 

In 1858 Barrett became the editor of a new periodical, the 
Swedenborgian, the policy of which was openly avowed op- 
position to what it calls the "High Church or Sectarian Party 
in Convention, which aims at uniformity when variety and 
freedom should be the aim." "We are decidedly opposed 
to the idea that the New Church is to be a single great ecclesi- 
astical organization like the Church of Rome. We shall 
assert without qualification, the complete independence of 
individual congregations in the regulation of their own pri- 
vate affairs; and therefore shall strenuously resist every at- 
tempt to establish the subordination of such congregations 
or their ministers to the control of any extraneous human 
authority whatever." 8 Naturally such sentiments did not 
endear the Rev. Mr. Barrett to his brethren of the Conven- 
tion, and indeed, even before the publication of the Sweden- 
borgian he had already been dropped from the roll of Con- 
vention ministers. 4 In the Journal of 1 8 66 we read: "He has 
pursued the Convention with great pertinacity and vindictive- 
ness for nearly twenty years; he has charged it, either di- 
rectly or by implication, with the most base and wicked 
motives, and the most heinous crimes. . . . He says it is a 
hierarchy second only to the Romish Church." 5 

Another great enemy of ecclesiasticism in the New Church 
was Professor George Bush, a well-known philologist and 
teacher of Oriental Languages in New York University. 
He was also superintendent of the press of the American 
Bible Society, publisher of the Hierofhant, a periodical de- 
voted to the study of prophetic symbolism, and author of 
several books. Among these were a Life of Mohammed, 
and Awastasis, or the Doctrine of the Resurrection of the 
Body Rationally and Spritually Considered, a book which 
aroused strong opposition among the orthodox. He had 
been ordained into the Presbyterian ministry in 1825, but 
was dismissed a few years later because of his disbelief in the 
Scriptural authority for the Presbyterian form of church 


government. 6 In 1 845 he first became interested in Sweden- 
Dorg, and that winter he gave a series of lectures at the 
Ddeon in New York City on the character and claims of 
Swedenborg to audiences of eighteen hundred persons/ By 
1848 he had become wholly converted to the teachings of 
:he New Church, and accepted the leadership of the New 
York Society, which was then without a minister. In his 
VLemoirs he says that he found in Swedenborg a complete 
Dhilosophy of nature, and the relation between Revelation 
md Reason. He was not at all impressed with Heaven and 
Hell, as it did not conform to his ideas of the hereafter. "I 
:ould not help distrusting," he says, "the clearness of his 
Derceptions. I was continually haunted by the suspicion that 
lis preformed ideas on the subject had both shaped and 
:olored his visions." 8 His chief stumbling block, however, 
aras the inner sense of the Word. As a deep student of the 
Bible in its original languages for many years, he found 
jreat difficulty in accepting Swedenborg's teaching on this 
score. But at length he was convinced, and succeeded in 
xmvincing his friend, John Bigelow, editor of the New York 
Evening Post y who had discovered Swedenborg while in the 
West Indies in 1 854, and was in the process of conversion. 9 

But Professor Bush was a radical anti-clerical, and became 
mother uncompromising enemy of Convention's growing 
:laims to authority. He refused to submit to rebaptism, 
md never became an authorized minister of Convention. 
The only ordination he would accept was an informal one 
it the hands of a fellow minister. "I must confess to a 
leep-rooted aversion to the very name of 'priest' and c priest- 
iood,' " he writes. "I look upon the very institution, as 
For ages existing and acting as the bane of the church, and 
:he chief est enginery of the pit against its true interests. . . . 
\s to ecclesiastical authority, I know nothing of it." 10 In 
1857 he published a small work under the nom-de-plume of 
'Campaginator," entitled Priesthood and Clergy unknown 
to Christianity. Or the Church a Community of Co-equal 
Hrethren y in which he maintains that the prerogatives of the 
Driesthood are common to all Christians, and that all be- 


lievers are ordained by the Holy Spirit. He quotes Martin 
Luther's letter to the Bohemian brethren: "I should like to 
know whether Christ, the first priest of the New Testament, 
stood in need of all the mummeries of episcopal ordination? 
or whether his apostles and disciples thought these things 
requisite? All Christians are priests 5 all may teach the word 
of God, administer baptism, consecrate bread and wine, for 
Christ has said, 'Do ye this in memory of me.' " u 

When he accepted the leadership of the Brooklyn Society 
in 1 852, "in so doing his view was not to engage among them 
as a pastor or minister in the ordinary acceptation of the 
term, but rather as a brother upon a par with all the rest. 
. . . Having been a long time satisfied that the ordinary 
distinction between clergy and laity was unfounded, he was 
desirous of uniting with a little band, however small, whose 
sentiments were kindred to his own in regard to the true 
order of the church, and thus to reduce theory to practice." 
The practice was not successful for long, however, for the 
cc brother" proved too broad-minded for his society. He 
committed the fatal act of marrying a divorced man whose 
wife was in an insane asylum, and several leading families 
withdrew from the Society. Regarding this he wrote: "They 
hold that there is no possible or conceivable ground of di- 
vorce but adultery} and as that is not charged, I had no right 
to marry the parties, and fatally committed the New Church 
when I did so. The plea is supremely ridiculous, but it 
shows what narrow minds there are in the world." 12 

As editor of the New Church Repository, a new periodical 
founded in 1848, he waged an energetic warfare on the 
"hierarchical tendencies of the General Convention." A 
Western contributor who signs himself "A Voice from Ohio" 
pleads for the reform of Convention. What is needed is a 
conference, not a governing body. The Convention is more- 
over inefficient; its committees do nothing, and all the mis- 
sionary work is done by outside bodies. When the Tract 
Board was taken over by the Convention "did it receive a 
new impulse, and wax stronger and more vigorous under her 
fostering care? On the contrary, it began from that moment 


to droop, and languish and pine away. . . . The cause im- 
mediately began to wither, as if touched by some cold and 
icy hand." 13 The New Jerusalem Magazine took up the 
challenge: "To say that a General Convention may be dis- 
pensed with (for this is often said) is to say that there are 
no uses common to the Societies of the New Church, that 
there is no public good pertaining to them. . . To argue 
against general church government because oppressive des- 
potisms have existed under the pretence of church govern- 
ment, is to argue against an important use solely on the 
ground of its abuse. . . . Individualism, so prevalent at the 
present day, continually tempts men to recognize no su- 
perior, to deny the authority of government, as if it were 
a mere human invention." 14 

Besides these attacks on ecclesiasticism within the Church 
there were also attacks from without by those who called 
themselves Swedenborgians, but would not become members 
of the New Church. The most important of these was 
Henry James, Senior, who though deeply devoted to the 
teachings of Swedenborg was strongly anti-ecclesiastical in 
feeling. His parents were staunch Presbyterians, and sent 
him to Princeton to be educated for the ministry, but he soon 
became dissatisfied with the orthodox theology, and left 
after two years in the Theological School. After this he 
went through a long period of intense spiritual unrest which 
ended in the discovery of the writings of Swedenborg, in 
which he found the answer to many of his problems. His 
one great lifelong quest was, "given the Creator to find the 
creation. God isj of His being there is no doubt; but who 
and what are we?" His son, William James, the philosopher, 
writes: "He was a religious prophet and genius, if ever 
prophet and genius there were. He published an intensely 
positive, radical, and fresh conception of God, and an in- 
tensely vital view of our connection with him," but "he never 
achieved a truly philosophical formulation of his religious 
position." His friend, William Dean Howells (himself 
raised a Swedenborgian, though he later departed from the 
Church), complained that James had written a book about 


The Secret of Swedenborg y and had kep it! 15 This book, 
which treats the writings of Swedenborg as a philosophical 
system, received unfavorable notice from the ever-watchful 
New Jerusalem Magazine: cc The object of the book seems to 
be to prove Swedenborg a greater philosopher than Hegel. 
But Swedenborg is not a metaphysician at all. Up to his 
revelations he was a scientist, and afterwards a religious 
teacher, merely relating his revelations. The religious idea 
must be paramount in the mind o him who would justly 
appreciate Swedenborg. The love and the life of good 
should guide his inquiry who would seek to know the Secret 
of Swedenborg. Sin, to him, must be the most terrible of 
all things; the love of knowing of secondary account, . . . 
and then it will be found to be not a philosophical doctrine, 
but grander far, a religious life." 16 

But the quarrel between Henry James and the New 
Church was far from a merely literary one. In 1847 he 
took the offensive in a Brook Farm publication called Tracts 
for the New Times > No. i. A Letter to a Swedenborgian 
regarding which the New Jerusalem Magazine expressed 
its outraged feelings thus: "It is not difficult to see that the 
author belongs to the class of destructives who imagine that 
every positive institution is simply an impediment in the 
great path of modern progress. We have observed that it 
has been favorably noticed in some of the newspapers of the 
day, especially in the Boston Liberator. This was to have 
been expected." " This was followed some years laler by 
another pamphlet, even more drastic, called The Church of 
Christ not an Ecdesiasticism, A Letter of Remonstrance to 
a Member of the soir-disawt New Church, in which he refers 
scathingly to 'the New Church's "pernicious identification of 
itself with the New Jerusalem, or the new church of the 
Apocalypse." He says that Swedenborg's own writings are 
an antidote to sectarianism. "How much wider the sym- 
pathies of this great man were than they are represented to 
have been by those who make use of his name to originate 
a new ecdesiasticism!" He is bitterly opposed to ecclesias- 
ticism in any form. "The churchfes of the existing sort have 


only dwindled ever since the stately days of Moses and 
Aaron. Starting from that gorgeous prime, they have de- 
scended through the diminished pomp of the Romish ritual, 
and the Anglican attenuation of that, until the acme of 
desquamation seems at length attained in the pinched and 
wintry ceremonial of our own Congregationalism. ... I 
cannot, indeed, understand how any one who holds to the 
ecclesiastical conception of the church, can for an instant deny 
the paramount claims of the Romish hierarchy upon his al- 
legiance." His own position he states thus: "I believe very 
fully in the interior truths of the Scriptures as they are un- 
folded by Swedenborg, and I instruct my family in the 
knowledge of these truths, so far as their tender under- 
standings are capable of receiving them." But his contempt 
for the New Church was unqualified. "I know of no sect so 
young that gives such unequivocal proofs of senility as your 
ownj I know no sect so inconsiderable in point of numbers, 
which has already bred so many c doting questions and strifes 
of words.' " 18 

In a letter to the editor of the Messenger he is even more 
wittily caustic. "The old sects are notoriously bad enough, 
but your sect compares with these very much as a heap of 
dried cod on Long Wharf in Boston compares with the same 
fish while enjoying the freedom of the Atlantic Ocean. . . . 
Why don't you cut the whole concern at once, as a rank 
offence to every human hope and aspiration? The inter- 
course I had some years since with the leaders of the sect 
on a visit to Boston, made me fully aware of their deplorable 
want of manhood; but judging from your paper, the whole 
sect seems spiritually benumbed. Your mature men have 
an air of childishness and your young men have the aspect 
of old women. I find it hard above all to imagine the ex- 
istence of a living woman in the bounds of your sect, whose 
breasts flow with milk instead of hardening with pedan- 
try. ... I really know of nothing so sad and spectral in 
the shape of literature [as the Messenger}. It seems com- 
posed by skeletons and intended for readers who are content 
to disown their good flesh and blood, and be moved by some 


ghastly mechanism. It cannot but prove very unwholesome 
to you spiritually, to be so nearly connected with all that 
sadness and silence where nothing more musical is heard than 
the occasional jostling of bone by bone." 19 This entertain- 
ing invective need not be taken too seriously. Henry James 
would have felt the same about any church and its literature, 
and the abused Messenger, as a matter of fact, was no worse 
than other religious periodicals of its day. He was the 
enemy of all sectarianism, which at the time was so narrow 
and bigoted, and his special bitterness against the New 
Church was merely the result of his disappointment that 
the followers of Swedenborg had not transcended this 

But Henry James was not altogether a "destructive." 
Along with his hatred of sectarianism there went a very 
definite conception of a spiritual church. "We are to look," 
he says, "for a spiritual church, which being identical with 
the broadest charity in the life of man, must always refuse 
to become identified with particular persons, particular places, 
or particular rituals of worship. Heaven is not more distant 
from earth than is sectarianism, or the desire to separate one- 
self from others, distant from the mind of the true church- 
man. . . . The only legitimate newness of the Christian 
church consists in a newness of spirit among its members, not 
a newness of letter. . . . Swedenborg says, 'The Church 
must needs vary as to doctrine, one society or one man pre- 
ferring one opinion, and another another. But as long as 
each lives in charity he is in the Church as to life, whether 
he be as to doctrine or not, and consequently, the Lord's 
Church or kingdom is in him.' (Arcana Coelestia, 3451) 
We may all feel therefore, how merited a scorn shall one 
day betide any communion which excludes such a man from 
it in the Lord's name. ... No one can say of it [the New 
Jerusalem] lo here! or lo there! any more than he can limit 
the path of the lightning. . . . The vis formativa in the 
church, the foundation stone of all religion, is a certain senti- 
ment in the breast of man of disproportion or disunion be- 
tween him and God, between him and the Infinite. This 


sentiment underlies every church in history, underlies the 
whole religious life of the world. . . . Religion is the af- 
firmation of a higher life for man than that derived from 
nature, a life of growing conformity to infinite goodness 
and truth. . . . The most vernacular and intelligible ex- 
pression for God's own perfection is use y and the divinest 
form of man is consequently that which he derives . . . 
from his own frank and cordial and complete adjustment of 
himself to the various uses, domestic, civil, and religious, 
which society devolves upon him." 20 

There is no doubt that Henry James has had considerable 
influence in molding the ideas of the later liberals, many of 
whom have read his works with enthusiasm. At the time 
of his death in 1883 the Messenger paid him the following 
tribute: "There is a large number in our body who will grate- 
fully remember Henry James as one who has given them 
valued ideas, and has suggested to them aspects of truth 
which they have cherished with gratitude through life. . . . 
Not believing in ecclesiastical organization, Mr. James was 
unpleasantly affected toward our New Church body, and 
permitted himself to use at times bitter and contemptuous 
expressions about us. ... But these are matters which will 
soon be forgotten, and as the years roll on we doubt not the 
contribution which Henry James has made to the compre- 
hension of the philosophy of the New Church will take its 
true place in the history of its growth, and will be found to 
have been an efficient influence in helping on to the true 
comprehension of our heavenly teachings." 21 

As a matter of fact, the author of the above editorial, the 
Rev. Charles H. Mann, was the next prominent New Church- 
man to develop anti-ecclesiastical tendencies. In 1897 ^ e 
wrote a couple of editorials called A Nonr-Ecdesiastical 
Ecclesiastidsm which received a great deal of criticism. 22 In 
these he stated that the only excuse for a church is use. The 
influence of Henry James is quite apparent in these utter- 
ances. Repeated statements of his attitude brought him into 
conflict with the Convention, and at last, in 1902, he was 
removed from his position as editor of the Messenger, which 


he had filled ably for a quarter of a century. 23 He later 
resigned from his pastorate of the Orange Society, and 
moved to Elkhart, Ind., where he began an entirely new 
venture, which is described thus: "A new and unique re- 
ligious sect or society is being formed in Elkhart, Ind., the 
leaders of the movement being prominent socially. The 
original tenet of the new cult is that Divine worship should 
never be conducted in a Church, but in the home, the work- 
shop, or the business office. The society will be known as 
the New Church." 24 Mr. Mann's slogan was "Religion in 
the Workshop," and his purpose was to embody Sweden- 
berg's teaching that "the life of religion is to do good." He 
began the publication of a new periodical, The Secular 
Church: the Divine in Business, in which he characterized 
the acts of formal worship by means of ritual as %ut the 
play of religion." 28 In an article in the Messenger he de- 
veloped this idea more fully, bringing upon himself much 
criticism. "Is it not a rational supposition that Christianity 
is approaching its puberty," writes Mr. Mannj "that there- 
fore its votaries are beginning to tire of the plays which 
were once the chief expressions of religious emotions 5 that 
the worship of God in ritual is, therefore, relegated with the 
spiritually minded man or woman to its place as a recreative 
and spontaneous expression only, to be used for purposes 
of religious refreshment and rest; and that it has been suc- 
ceeded by a more substantial real expression in the life of 
justice and charity?" 26 Although Mr. Mann's official con- 
nection with the General Convention was never resumed, 
he remained for many years a brilliant writer and lecturer 
on the teachings of the New Church. 

This anti-ecclesiasticism was, however, only one phase of 
the rising tide of liberalism in the Convention. The ques- 
tion of the relation of the New Church to other churches 
became a burning issue. In 1880 Barrett had read a paper 
before the Conference of Ministers in which he made the 
revolutionary statement that the New Church is not essen- 
tially distinct from the old, but "a homogeneous continua- 
tion of it." This was naturally hotly contested by the Acad- 


emy leaders in particular. 27 But the most important move 
in this direction was a Memorial presented to the Convention 
in 1880 by Otis Clapp of Boston, and ninety-three others. 
"We desire especially that the attitude of the organized New 
Church may no longer continue to be one of seeming an- 
tagonism or conscious superiority to other religious bodies, 
but rather one of modest self -appreciation, and kindly fra- 
ternal recognition of other Christians. . . . There is little 
danger, we think, of becoming too broad in our sympathies, 
too catholic in our feelings, or too conciliatory in our disposi- 
tion and attitude toward others. The danger, we submit, 
lies wholly in the opposite direction. We believe there never 
has been and never can be more than one Church, in the 
large and comprehensive sense of the term, at any given 
time, though this like the human body, may consist of a 
great variety of parts. We believe that since the time of the 
Last Judgment (1757), the New Church, signified by the 
New Jerusalem, has been and continues to be the only 
Church on earth. We believe that this Church is much 
larger and more inclusive than any sect} that it is distin- 
guished less by its beliefs or doctrines than by righteousness 
of ltfe y love to the Lord and the neighbor being its great 
fundamental. . . . We believe, therefore, that members of 
the New Church are to be found in all existing religious 
bodies, and some, doubtless, outside of allj for we cannot 
doubt that there are, both within and without such bodies, 
some who truly love the Lord and the neighbor j while some 
who accept the doctrines of this Church, and join the organi- 
zation bearing its name, may be quite destitute of its heavenly 
spirit, and in reality constitute no part of it." 2S 

"We believe that, since the time, and in consequence of 
the Last Judgment, there has been and continues to be a 
freer, more interior and more universal influx of spiritual 
good and truth into all humble, earnest and truth-seeking 
minds, giving them more enlightenment on subjects of 
transcendental interest. . . . Believing thus, and finding for 
our belief the amplest justification in the teachings here re- 
ferred to, as well as in reason and the written Word, we are 


anxious that the body which assumes the name and stand: 
as the most conspicuous representative of the New Church a 
this time, should by its declared policy and its attitude towarc 
Christians, exemplify the grand catholicity of this Church 
We do not deprecate a separate organization based upon th( 
New Doctrines j this perhaps, was unavoidable, and ha* 
doubtless been useful. We would not lessen but gladly in- 
crease its efficiency and usefulness. . . . We desire espe- 
cially that the Convention cease to claim for itself any special 
prerogatives, any special right to the Christian name 01 
ordinances or any special efficacy in the latter when admin- 
istered by its own officials 5 that it frankly admit (and have 
its admission promptly recorded) that these ordinances are 
equally valid, efficacious and significant, when reverently ad- 
ministered by Christians of whatever name or creed. . . . 
[By this action] you will remove all just grounds for the 
charge or even suspicion of narrowness and illiberality. You 
will regain the affection and confidence of brethren who 
have been alienated by what (to them) has seemed like a 
sectarian exclusiveness. You will, we doubt not, open new 
channels of usefulness and new avenues for the descent of 
the Divine Spirit, and many souls will be thereby blessed." 29 
This remarkable document, penned by one of the Church's 
greatest laymen, may well be called the Magna Charta of 
New Church liberalism. The committee to which it was 
submitted reported the following year as follows: "It gives 
us great pleasure to say that we fully agree with many of the 
sentiments contained in the memorial, and that we heartily 
sympathize with the purpose of the memorialists, even while 
compelled to differ with them in regard to the wisest means 
of accomplishing that purpose. . . . We have no evidence 
that there is any religious body that would accept our fra- 
ternal advances, and co-operate with us in what we regard as 
the special work committed to our hands. What religious 
body, even the most liberal, would assist us in propagating 
the doctrine of the New Church? There is not one. , . . 
The New Church cannot hope for any sympathy or encour- 
agement from the prevalent religious bodies of the world. 


It must stand alone, and do its work with such means and 
wisdom as lie in its hands." 80 But in spite of rebuffs the 
spirit of liberalism continued to grow. 

One of the most prominent liberals of this time was the 
Rev. Chauncey Giles, president of the Convention. In 1 884 
at the Centennial Anniversary of the New Church in Amer- 
ica he addressed the Convention thus: "By the New Church, 
in its origin and seminal principles, we understand a new dis- 
closure of Divine and consequently of universal truth, which 
will constitute a New Age. Regarded abstractly from per- 
sons or places, it is a new and more powerful influx of Divine 
Truth into every degree of creation, and into every created 
being and thing. Such a force must be universal in its opera- 
tion. It must affect all churches and classes of men, the 
svil as well as the good, the false as well as the true. It 
must draw the lines more distinctly between truth and error, 
between good and evil. ... It is a new point of view; it is 
a, distinct step from lower to higher planes of thought; from 
nature to spirit; from the special to the universal, from 
human opinion to immutable laws. Its point of view is the 
divine humanity of the Lord." 31 This definition of the 
New Church as a spiritual dispensation, rather than as an 
institution, has continued steadily to win its way against the 
Did narrow sectarianism of the early Church. 

Along with a more liberal attitude in the affairs of the 
Church, there also came, in the forties, a newly awakened 
interest in sdence, and somewhat less preoccupation with the 
problems of theology. This interest centered naturally 
wound Swedenborg's scientific works and their relation to 
&e science of the world. In England the Swedenborg Asso- 
:iation was formed under the leadership of such men as 
Dr. James John Garth Wilkinson for the purpose of trans- 
lating and publishing these practically unknown works of 
Swedenborg. Dr. Wilkinson may well be called the first 
Swedenborgian scientist in England, for he not only trans- 
lated the Regnwn Awmde, and other works of Swedenborg, 
DUt also wrote several highly original works of his own, such 
is The Phvsics of Human Nature* and The Human 


in which he treats the science of anatomy and physiology 
in relation to Revelation in a thoroughly Swedenborgian 
way. For years he was dissatisfied with the orthodox medi- 
cal theory in which he had been educated, and finally adopted 
the new theories of Homeopathy. He wrote a Life of Swe- 
denborg in which he takes a decidedly liberal view of the 
great Seer's life and teachings. This made him unpopular 
with the English New Church, of which he was not a mem- 
ber, being on prindple a non-separatist. He was the only 
Swedenborgian of his day in England of high standing in 
the scientific and literary world5 and had many connections 
and close personal friendships among the literary leaders of 
America, such as Emerson, James, Greeley, Brisbane, and 
Dana. 82 

In America this interest in the scientific works of Sweden- 
borg first appeared in Bath, Maine, where a small group 
under the leadership of Zina Hyde cooperated with Otis 
Clapp of Boston in the publication of some of these works. 
Unfortunately they were unable to get any support from the 
Convention, and the project was abandoned. 83 The next 
group to take up the scientific works was the Academy group, 
who from the start took a somewhat high-handed attitude 
toward the science of the day. They were inclined toward a 
belief in Swedenborg's infallibility as a scientist as well as 
a theologian. This attitude is expressed in an article, in 
Words for the New Church in 1879, called "Science in the 
Light of the New Church": "The New Church has no conflict 
with true Science but is in full harmony with it and rests 
upon it. Much of the Science of the present day, however, 
is so filled with Naturalism that it does not acknowledge 
Divine Revelation and comes into direct conflict with it. We 
must therefore distinguish between true Science and that 
which is false. Physiology stumbles at the very initiament 
of fecundation and Botany introduces the fallacy that plants 
are male and female, possessing organs, which are compared 
to the generative parts of animals of both sexes. Sweden- 
borg, presenting us with the true state of things, teaches that 
plants are all male, the earth only, being female." 8 * The 


same point of view is reiterated in the New Church Life al- 
most twenty years later: "Modern Science not only does not 
begin with the Lord, nor seek to confirm the celestial and 
spiritual things of the Church, but questions whether there 
be such things. Swedenborg says that through scientifics 
man can be wise or insane. He is wise through scientifics 
when by them he confirms the truths and goods of the 
Church, and he is insane by scientifics when by them he 
weakens or refutes the truths of the Church." 85 

The question of the infallibility of Swedenborg's "scien- 
tifics" became a sharp issue in the Academy. When the 
question arose in the Assembly in 1899 it was decided that 
he was not infallible in the beginning, before his revelations 
began, that his science was the science of his day and there- 
fore faulty, and that he had grown in illumination. 36 But 
the opposite attitude was taken by a group called the Prin- 
cipia Club, under the leadership of an extraordinary woman, 
Miss Lillian Beekman, a recent convert and teacher in the 
department of science. They found that the scientific works 
of Swedenborg were infallible, but that their truth could 
only be discovered by a process of "interior thought." Miss 
Beekman wrote some very interesting books, among them, 
The Kingdom of the Divine Proceeding, and The Kingdom 
of the Divine Returning, which were used as text books in 
the Academy Schools. A controversy on the subject between 
the Principia Club and the Academy liberals appeared in the 
New Church Life in 1903. Prominent among the liberals 
was Alfred H. Stroh, a graduate of the Academy, who was 
sent to Sweden in 1902 in connection with the project of 
phototyping the Swedenborg manuscripts, translating and 
publishing the scientific works, and research work in the 
documents relating to his life and writings. On his return 
in 1903 Mr. Stroh taught for two years in the schools. His 
researches in Sweden had convinced him that the extreme 
position held by the Principia Club was untenable, that 
Swedenborg's thought showed a perfectly normal develop- 
ment, and that his science and philosophy showed unmistak- 
ably the influence of Descartes, Newton, Locke, Leibnitz, 


Wolff, and Aristotle. In other words, his science and philos- 
ophy were perfectly normal products of the human mind 3 
and not a divine revelation. 87 

The liberal view was also held by most of the members of 
the Swedenborg Scientific Association, which was founded 
in 1898 "to preserve, translate, publish, and distribute the 
scientific and philosophical works of Emanuel Swedenborg; 
and to promote the principles taught in these works having 
in view likewise their relation to the science and the philos- 
ophy of the present day." 88 This organization, composed of 
members of both the General Convention and the General 
Church, published a magazine, the New Philosophy > devoted 
to these purposes. Among its most active members were the 
Rev. Lewis F. Hite, professor of philosophy at the Conven- 
tion Theological School, the Rev. Frank Sewall, pastor of 
the Washington Society, the two Tafels, scholars of the 
Academy, and Dr. Wilkinson of London. These men ear- 
nestly combated the point of view of the Principia Club for 
many years, until finally a reaction took place in the Acad- 
emy itself in favor of a more rational and less esoteric atti- 
tude. Miss Beekman herself deserted the New Church com- 
pletely, and went into a Roman Catholic convent, and the 
Principia Club was broken up. 89 In a letter to Bishop N. D. 
Pendleton from Upsala in 1918, Mr. Stroh refers to the 
change in the Academy thus: "My well known standpoint 
in favor of a free critical research in this field brought me 
into conflict with the dogmatic authority standpoint which 
the leaders, influenced by Miss Beekman, began to apply 
also to Swedenborg's early works, leading to the great con- 
troversy and to a reaction on the part of Mr. John Pitcairn 
and other clear-sighted men who perceived the danger, espe- 
cially after Mr. Pitcairn's attempt to 'convert' me. You also 
after 1913 had a change of heart and view, which every- 
one believes has led to greater freedom in the Academy, 
for the previous Bishops resolutely refused to depart from 
the extreme authority position, avoiding all discussion of 
critical difficulties in Swedenborg's works, while you have 
been perfectly fair in your treatment of all parties." * 


If Swedenborg had confined his "scientifics" to his earlier 
works in that field, the problem would have been a simple 
one* It would have been easy to admit that before his il- 
lumination he was simply an eighteenth century scientist, 
though a remarkably advanced one, and liable to the errors 
of his day. But unfortunately when he undertook his great 
work in theology he continued to use scientific facts to il- 
lustrate his points, and some of those "facts" are no longer 
acceptable in the light of modern science. The most serious 
of these discrepancies are his theories with regard to the sex 
of plants, the spontaneous generation of insects, and the crea- 
tion of man. These questions began to agitate both the 
Academy and the Convention at the beginning of the cen- 
tury, and the periodicals are full of discussions between the 
liberals and the authoritarians in both bodies. With regard 
to the sex of plants, Professor Frank Very, chief astronomer 
of the Westwood Observatory, who made a lifelong study of 
the science of Swedenborg which appeared after his death 
in two large volumes, An Eptome of Swedenborgs Science, 
stated quite frankly in 1915 that Swedenborg was wrong, 
the sex of plants having been demonstrated by science beyond 
the shadow of a doubt. 41 But the next year an article in the 
New Church Life still clings to the orthodox belief. "The 
marvellous structural resemblance between the animal sper- 
matozoon and the vegetable antherozoid, and between the 
animal egg and the vegetable oosphere, together with the 
apparently analogous phenomena of animal and vegetable 
hybridization, has led scientists to ascribe bi-sexuality to 
plants, and nothing but Divine Revelation can show the 
fallacy of this ascription." * 2 In the New Chwch Review 
the following simple explanation of the error appears: "By 
the time the doctrine of the sex of plants was scientifically 
established, Swedenborg was dead. He was already an old 
man, and immersed in theology, when his friend Linnaeus 
won a prize in 1760 for his Dissertation on the subject. . . . 
Swedenborg was simply wrong, just as he was in accepting 
Aristotle's theory of the generation of insects from putre- 
faction, and the origin of soul and body. He simply made 


a wrong analogy of seeds, he thought them male semen 
(confusion of Latin words) as the true functions of the 
pollen and the ova were not yet understood." 4 * 

But the problem of the origin of man is a more acute 
one. The Rev. John Worcester, of the New England 
school of theology, was the first to accept the hypothesis of 
evolution. He evolved a theory of a "hominine animal," 
which started at the bottom of the ladder, like the other 
forms of life, but because it held within it the intrinsic man 
nature, outstripped the others and developed its latent hu- 
manity into actuality. Thus, though man evolved through 
the various animal forms, he was never merely an animal, 
but always man, at least in posse. 44 This was criticized by 
the Rev. C. Th. Odhner of the Academy, who held to an 
immediate creation of all the animal and human forms in a 
moment. A third theory, the "arboreal theory," was held 
by some. This extraordinary idea was derived from The 
Worship and Love of God, y a fanciful and poetical little 
work written in the transitional period of Swedenborg's life, 
between his scientific and theological works. The book is a 
charming allegory, or Platonic myth, and it seems inconceiv- 
able that any one should take it literally as a scientific account 
of the creation, yet such is the case. The theory is, briefly, 
that animal and human forms of life were created as seeds 
produced by a special tree. These seeds were gently de- 
posited by the tree on the earth where they were hatched out 
by the warm sunshine. They were suckled by the tree itself 
until they were able to care for themselves. 45 

Other attempts have been made besides the "hominine 
animal" theory to formulate a scientific New Church hy- 
pothesis of evolution. The Rev. Emanuel Goerwitz, a Con- 
vention minister in the Swiss New Church, writes: "In the 
recognition of both continuous and discrete degrees, and of 
the interactions of both in the process of Evolution, New 
Church philosophy must ever differ from atheistic repre- 
sentatives of evolution. Science knows only continuous de- 
grees, and thereby loses the dear and abiding lines of de- 
marcation between plant and animal, and animal and man, 


and man and God. Each opening of a discrete degree is an 
act of creation by the Lord. And in the changes wrought 
by continuous degrees, the Lord equally is the moving 
power." 4B And the Rev. H. Clinton Hay, pastor of the 
Boston Society, states the matter thus: "In 1763 Emanuel 
Swedenborg published a work entitled Angelic Wisdom con- 
cerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, which 
gives the New Church philosophy <of creation. The three 
kingdoms of nature, minferal, vegetable, and animal, are 
regarded as forms of use ascending to man in orderly and 
progressive series of unfolding and development. Here we 
have anticipated by nearly a century the true essence of the 
theory of evolution. . . . The underlying 'Conatus, 5 or en- 
deavor, in all matter is of spiritual origin." 4T The Academy 
too has its evolutionists. Professor Charles R. Pendleton, 
head of the department of science in the Academy, in an 
article on The Academy's Adaptation to Science, says: cc We 
cannot change the facts of observation. . . . The Philos- 
ophy of science is an intermediate plane, and that is where 
adaptation can take place. Certain teachings of Swedenborg 
seem opposed to science, especially spontaneous generation 
and the sexes in plants. Spontaneous generation was an idea 
of Aristotle held down to the nineteenth century until Pas- 
teur destroyed it. ... But the most serious problem is the 
origin of man. The chief difficulty is animal ancestry in 
favor of which we have overwhelming evidence from sci- 
ence. . . . Geology, Embryology, and Morphology are all 
against the fiat and the arboreal theories." He then goes on 
to promulgate what he calls the "microcosmic theory," which 
is "that there have been three lines of development from 
the start, the plant, the animal, and the human, each from 
its own 'seeds.' What in the Grand Man corresponds to 
the prenatal stage in the individual, in which there is a hu- 
man soul, but not an immortal soul, is a kind of human 
animal with only the possibility of immortality. There is 
a chain of successive forms, human and animal forms, which 
precede the true human being. It starts with a single cell, 
progresses up through stages similar to certain animals, as 


does the human embryo, and somewhere along the way it 
achieves a human mind, and becomes truly human. . . . 
This theory has only a few differences from the modern 
scientific theory of evolution." 48 

Thus we find the scholars of the New Church faced with 
the problem of correlating the theology of Swedenborg with 
the science and philosophy of the present day. To quote 
Professor Pendleton again, "New Church theology, like 
Athena, was born full-grown. Its philosophy is being corre- 
lated with its Theology almost completely, but the corre- 
lation with science is almost non-existent. It can never be 
done once for all, because science is changing, therefore 
every generation must make its own new adaptation. . . . 
Trained scholars and scientists are needed, and it must be 
laboratory, and not book training." * 9 With respect to this 
"new Scholasticism," the Rev. Charles W. Harvey, of the 
Convention, writes: "What we need is to do for ourselves 
just what Swedenborg and all the Scholastics did for them- 
selves, to apply not merely to Swedenborg's own terms, but 
to the things of our faith and hope, to which he tries to in- 
troduce us, the severest dialectic, to find out just what we 
mean when we are dealing with them; what is the specific 
field of our experience to-day which they are especially in- 
tended to light; how far they illuminate the knowledge we 
have of that experience; where they show the knowledge of 
its actuality ends, and the vision of its possibility begins. We 
need instead of reiterating the usages of Swedenborg, to 
apply to his terms just the methods we have seen Aquinas 
applying to such terms as happiness, final end, faith, love, 
and the like." * With regard to the New Church and the 
world of modern thought, Dr. John R. Swanton, of the 
Smithsonian Institution, and one of the most active of the 
Convention liberals says that the New Church needs to keep 
more abreast of the times. Swedenborg himself suggested 
concepts in science and in Biblical research that were revolu- 
tionary in his day, and for a time the New Church was a 
truly progressive body, but now that much of Swedenborg's 
science is discredited, the members of the Church are acting 


just like members of all the other churches. Some oppose 
science altogether, and others try to reconcile the differences, 
whereas the only science which the New Church needs to 
concern itself with is the science of correspondences, the re- 
lation of inner to outer, which requires "no defense mechan- 
ism against natural truth, and no mental inhibitions." 51 

As we have seen the periodicals of the New Church have 
served as a forum in which all the controversial questions 
have been discussed. This is especially true of the Messen- 
ger, which almost from its birth has been a storm center. 
Its first editor, the Rev. William B. Hayden, of Portland, 
Maine, remained in his position from 1855 to 1862, but the 
next incumbent, the Rev. J. P. Stuart, came into conflict with 
the Boston group on account of his Academy doctrines, and 
was removed after only three years. The third editor, the 
Rev. Chauncey Giles, was one of the Convention's most be- 
loved figures, but even so conciliatory a nature as Mr. Giles 7 
was sorely tried. He wrote in 1870: "Great fault is found 
with the Messenger because it is not ecclesiastical enough, 
and does not teach as fully as it should the doctrines of the 
Church as revealed truth, and does not refer enough to Swe- 
denborg as 'authority.' " 52 (Sixty years later a parallel in- 
stance occurred, when the following resolution was offered 
at an annual meeting of the New York Association: "Re- 
solved, that this meeting of the New York Association de- 
plores the lack of definite New Church teachings that 
characterizes the New Church Messenger and calls upon 
Convention to do all in its power to remedy this defect in 
its official organ." BS ) Mr. Giles was succeeded by the Rev. 
Charles H. Mann, who remained in office in spite of ever- 
increasing friction and criticism for about twenty-five years. 
In 1895 the Messenger was criticized as being "too technical, 
philosophical, and metaphysical for the average man," for 
"treating petty questions and leaving out important ones," 
and for being c *too conservative"! ** By 1902 this last criti- 
cism would hardly have been made, for the editor had de- 
veloped an interest in spiritual healing, an attitude of warm 
support toward the woman movement, socialistic tendencies, 


and finally a strong anti-ecclesiastical sentiment! The Con- 
vention of that year devoted most of its time to discussion 
of the Messenger, the result being that it was voted to elect 
the editor directly from the floor of the Convention, instead 
of allowing the Board to appoint him, and the Rev. Mr. 
Mann was removed from office. 55 He was succeeded by Mr. 
Eby, who resigned after three years. The next incumbent, 
the Rev. John S. Saul, belonged to the conservative party, 
and received his share of abuse from their opponents, but 
carried on bravely for sixteen years in the face of increasing 
financial difficulties. For the Convention has never given 
the Messenger more than a half-hearted support. The re- 
ports of the editors from year to year prove this fact, and 
also how impossible it has been for any one, no matter how 
able or how tactful, to satisfy both sides. 

In 1921 the Rev. E. M. Lawrence Gould was elected to 
succeed Mr. Saul, and since then there has been little com- 
plaint of the Messenger as "too conservative." The follow- 
ing year a lively discussion of liberal issues was carried on, 
and the character of the magazine considerably altered. In 
1923 this alteration in character became an issue in the Coun- 
cil of Ministers. An objection was made to the new sub- 
title, "A Weekly Journal of the New Christianity," to which 
the reply was made that the Messengers intention was to be 
a missionary journal to the world, and not a mere "Conven- 
tion round-robin." 56 But the first gun was fired in the 
present "Fundamentalist-Modernist" controversy in 1924 in 
an editorial entitled: "The Messenger Takes Sides." This 
article states that it was inevitable that the Fundamentalist- 
Modernist issue should appear in the New Church since 
it is not one merely of dogmas, but of principles, of two 
irreconcilable positions. Swedenborg himself made the 
choice for the New Church, it is of necessity a progressive 
church with spiritual freedom as its essential. "But there 
are those in this body who dispute this, who would shift 
that infallible authority which Luther transferred from the 
Pope to the Bible onto the capacious shoulders of Emanuel 
Swedenborg. New Church liberals do not question the Di- 


vine origin of the teachings of Swedenborg, nor the Virgin 
Birth, but the issue is the use to be made of the teachings. 
Must they be laid on the shelf, or can they be studied in the 
light of all the new knowledge of the world, and will they 
stand the test? The Messenger out of loyalty to the new 
spirit, declares itself modernist, but promises to give the 
other side all the chance it wants for a free discussion." 5T 
This brought on a severe attack in the next Convention, on 
the ground that the Messenger represents the Convention, 
and should be non-partisan. Also, "it should be representa- 
tive of the New Church, not a forum for the discussion of 
economics or psychology or Bolshevism." 68 There are, 
therefore, two issues in the present controversy, the issue of 
Swedenborg's infallibility, and the issue of the relation of 
the New Church to all the problems of our present day 

The first issue was taken up by the Messenger in a series 
of articles on Constructive Liberalism, by the Rev. William 
F. Wunsch, professor of theology at the Theological School, 
who states it as follows: "To the New Church Modernist the 
Second Coming is a process of Divine opening of the human 
mindj a process which was inaugurated by the opening of the 
mind of Emanuel Swedenborg, but which continues after 
him and, so far as conscious influence is concerned, apart 
from him. The New Church Fundamentalist regards the 
Second Coming as consisting m the opening of Swedenborg's 
mind and in the effects of that opening on the minds of those 
who know and accept his teachings. The one regards all the 
new knowledge which has come into the world since the Last 
Judgment as part of and contributory to the Second Coming, 
whereas the other holds that all the truth we need or ever 
will need is to be found in the doctrines." He further 
declares that the Convention expressed itself definitely on 
this issue when it repudiated the Academy authoritarian 
viewpoint, and the Fundamentalists are out of line with that 
decision. 69 

In 1902 a special committee brought in a report to the 
Convention which attempted to answer the questions, 


"whether the Lord wrote Swedenborg's theological books 
through Swedenborg, or whether Swedenborg wrote them of 
himself from the Lord," and "whether or not the books are 
the Word," or in other words, the nature and extent of 
Swedenborg's illumination. There was of course no differ- 
ence of opinion possible on the fact of their being Divine 
revelation of some sort, for Swedenborg had stated in all 
humility that they were not the products of his own mind, 
but truly Divine revelation. The things revealed are^ the 
doctrines of the New Church which Swedenborg received 
through the Word by means of the science of correspondence, 
and by direct revelation from the Lord in the spiritual world. 
His writings are not a new Word, but a revelation of doc- 
trines hitherto hidden in the Word and disclosed through a 
human instrument, Swedenborg. The revelation came to 
him while reading the Word by an opening of his mind to 
a perception of hidden truths. He received it into his un- 
derstanding, and gave it the best verbal expression he could. 
There was no oral or verbal dictation, the thoughts were 
the Lord's but the words were Swedenborg's. His manu- 
scripts are full of erasures and corrections, showing that he 
tried several ways of expression before he was satisfied. He 
says the prophets in the Scriptures wrote directly from dic- 
tation, their utterances were the Word of God, but not his. 
He was subject to human limitations, and could only reveal 
as much as he was able to put into human words, therefore 
he does not give the inner sense completely or continuously, 
but only enough to derive the doctrines from for the New 
Church. 60 

Now and then there is a glimmer of lightness and humor 
in the periodicals of the New Church. The following de- 
lightful discussion of this solemn subject of Swedenborg's 
revelation comes from the pen of the late Rev. Adolph 
Roeder who combined a Franciscan quality of childlike sim- 
plicity and brightness with an intellectual keenness worthy 
of a Jesuit. The article is called Relays. "Now when any 
reader of Swedenborg is told by some one in whom he has 
faith that Swedenborg 'received the Doctrines of the New 


Church by direct revelation from the Lord, 3 he takes that 
statement for granted, and it takes shape in his mind as a 
matter of Verbal inspiration.' And this he holds on to more 
or less grimly, according to the amount of power of innate 
mental inertia that is his. But as he becomes mentally adult, 
he inclines to see certain quite definite 'relays' along the 
road from Swedenborg's 'subconscious mind 7 downward and 
outward to print and paper. I have always admitted to my- 
self that Swedenborg received an absolutely perfect 'Divine 
Revelation' in his subconscious mind, but that it suffered 
quite a few modifying changes as it passed through several 
'relays.' The first of these was the matter of handwriting, 
and in this matter I have always had in mind four particu- 
larly horrible examples: Horace Greeley, Frank Sewall, 
Constantine Hering, and Emanuel Swedenborg. . . . Much 
of his Spiritual Diary , especially portions which he did not 
expect to use for publication, is most abominably illegible. I 
speak from trying experiences, since I rarely speak (or write) 
in public without testing each statement with the utmost care, 
involving, in many instances, close and careful reference to 
his original manuscripts as covered for us in the Photolitho- 
graph. This has given me considerable skill in such de- 
cipherment, and has left a very decided impression on my 
mind that the deciphering is largely guesswork. So I have 
in my own mind and for private use, as the first relay be- 
tween the reader and Swedenborg's actual message as it 
reached his subconscious mind, the group of earnest, loyal, 
and faithful men who tried to read his manuscript and 
largely guessed their way through his chirography. . . . 
The handwriting of the Seer must be reckoned with. And 
after we have passed this first line of resistances we come to 
the second, the printer. . . . He had few types $ his facili- 
ties were 1 of the crudest} he probably printed books on an 
elbow or knuckle joint press it is a marvel that he got any- 
thing straight. . . . When Johann Friedrich Emanuel Taf el 
of Tuebingen began his editorial work, he revised much of 
the earlier printing. . . . And so the 'literal dictation' 
theory must once more adjust itself to the fact that a printer 


is not inerrant, though the original Message may be. ... 
Another relay must be allowed for, and that is the coinage 
of new words called for by the Message. There were about 
eighteen new words that Swedenborg had to coin, and thirty- 
odd that he had to reconstruct as to the meaning they were 
to convey. Here was concentrated trouble for the trans- 
lator. . . . Consider the disturbed imaginations, when the 
Taf els found they had to make a new word, liebthatigkeit, 
for the concept of Charitas, which was absent from the Ger- 
man, . . . All of these 'relays' or 'wrappings' must be al- 
lowed for in getting at the real meaning of Swedenborg's 
message. Otherwise what value would there be to the sen- 
tence: 'Now it is permitted (permissible) to enter intellectu- 
ally into the mysteries of faith'?" 61 

Not only are the writings of Swedenborg a subject of 
controversy between the Modernists and the Fundamen- 
talists, but so also is the Scripture itself. In the beginning 
the New Church took a complacent attitude toward the 
"Higher Criticism," thinking that it had nothing to fear. 
Swedenborg himself had been decidedly radical in his treat- 
ment of Genesis. So for many years the New Church was 
ahead of the others in its rejection of literalism. An article 
in the New Jerusalem Magazine in 1840 regarding some 
researches of the French Academy of Science in the chronol- 
ogy of the Bible shows this early complacency. "For our- 
selves, we have no fear lest the calculations of M. Thirolier 
shall be fully confirmed by the Academy. Such discoveries 
are on the contrary very interesting to us who know that the 
Lord permits them at the present day, after having revealed 
to the world in his new dispensation by means of Sweden- 
borg, that the book of his Writings, Genesis, which he dic- 
tated to Moses does not contain a chronology, but that it has 
an internal spiritual sense, in which years and numbers do not 
signify years and numbers, but spiritual states, their progres- 
sions and their qualities." 62 But as Biblical critiasm de- 
veloped it soon became apparent that it was going far beyond 
bwedenborg in the work of demolition, and instead of con- 
tinuing in the van, the New Church found itself in the rear 


along with the "old churches." This painful situation pro- 
duced the usual "defense mechanism," and an antagonistic 
attitude toward modern scholarship. An article dramatically 
named The Old Testament in the Critic's Den states that 
"the negative 'Higher Critics' are a host of infidels attack- 
ing the citadel of our faith, in short, our very foundations." 6S 
Elsewhere it is stated that they "divide up the Book of 
Genesis into three older documents, the 'Yahwistic,' the 
'Elohistic,' and the Triestly.' By plausible 'conjectures,' by 
inferences, and by generalizations based upon isolated state- 
ments, they give an air of historicity to their fictions." 6 * 

The Rev. Everett King Bray, chairman of the Committee 
on Biblical Criticism and professor of theology at the Theo- 
logical School, states the conservative position as follows: 
"If we have seemed to dwell on the negative effect of 
Biblical criticism it is not that we mean to discredit or mini- 
mize the existence of positive effects. Of these there are 
enough amply to justify the science as a science, destined to 
be overwhelmingly affirmative of the spiritual truth that the 
Bible, in its specially inspired Books, is the Word of the 
Lord. The science of criticism will testify to this not only 
because of the conspicuous failure of those materialists who 
have pursued the study with the utmost will to discredit the 
Bible as Revelation. We know, in the New Church that the 
holiness and accuracy of the Word comes from the operation 
of the Spirit of the Lord, selecting from the minds of those 
who wrote (even often unconsciously to themselves) exactly 
such words as most exactly express, by correspondence and 
representative, the Divine and spiritual purposes and truth 
which it is of the Divine Will and Wisdom for man to have, 
and which by that correspondence shall serve as a medium of 
communication between the Lord and man and angels, and 
between the heavens and man. Having this knowledge by 
special revelation, we may well trust that textual and his- 
torical criticism, with the progress of archeological penetra- 
tion into the ancient past, and with the increase of enlighten- 
ment which grows in proportion as the 'self-conceits' natural 
to all mental research are replaced by the pure passion for 


truth itself, must eventually demonstrate the integrity of 
the Word, even to its letter as the divinely given bodying- 
forth of the Divine truth." 65 

The Modernists, on the other hand, of whom Mr. Wunsch 
is the leader, are inclined to accept the findings of the Higher 
Criticism as valid. For more than fifteen years Mr. Wunsch 
held the chair of theology in the Theological School, now 
occupied by Mr. Bray, during which time criticism of his 
Modernist teaching has been steadily increasing, until the 
crisis was reached at the 1930 Convention. Some time be- 
fore the Convention an unofficial conference was held to 
consider the question, and a circular containing frank and 
open statements of both sides was prepared and sent out to 
all members of the Convention. "If the Church can meet 
this and similar situations in the spirit of charity and har- 
mony, no harm will be done by open and frank discussion." 
It is stated (possibly in a "spirit of charity") that during 
the twenty years Mr. Wunsch has been on the faculty of the 
School there has been a noticeable decline in the entire or- 
ganization, "which some think has been due in part to his 
influence." The next accusation is a more serious one. "Of 
course, loyal New Churchmen must believe that Sweden- 
borg^s exposition of the internal sense of Scripture, resting 
as it does upon the letter of Scripture as contained in the 
Textvs Rec&ptus used by Swedenborg, practically validates 
that text, and justifies his assertion that the Word of the 
Lord has been preserved unmutilated. through the ages. 
Whoever among New Churchmen questions that belief on 
the grounds of the disputed claims of some modern scholars 
in the field of Biblical studies certainly lays himself open 
to the suspicion of disloyalty and of unscholarliness. Cer- 
tainly we should expect a truly scholarly and wholly loyal 
New Churchman to be the last person to yield uncritical 
assent to the destructive assertions of the 'Higher Criti- 
cism.' M . . . Furthermore, not only in the field of the 
'Higher Criticism/ but also in that of religious literature in 
general, Mr. Wunsch has a very high respect and admiration 
for the popularizers of modern thought, such men as 


Walter Rauschenbusch and especially Harry Emerson Fos- 
dick, the trend of whose influence is decidedly toward Uni- 
tarianism. Their lines of thought permeate his own mind, 
and produce a condition unfavorable to wholly affirmative 
consideration of what Swedenborg sets forth in his Writ- 
ings." Also, "Mr. Wunsch has a domineering, arrogant, 
and intolerant personality. Those pupils who venture to 
question his views are likely to meet with rude and unsym- 
pathetic treatment. 67 ... In conclusion, and on the basis of 
the evidence set forth above, 68 we re-affirm our contention 
that from the standpoint of the New Church Mr. Wunsch 
is lacking (a) in loyalty, (b) in scholarship, and (c) in per- 
sonality, and that his influence at our theological School 
should come to an end as soon as practicable." 69 

These accusations are taken up one by one and ably an- 
swered by Mr. Wunsch's adherents, with copious testimonials 
from both within and without the Church as to his high 
scholarship, and warm tributes from former pupils as to the 
inspirational quality of his teaching, "his sympathy for the 
earnest student, his fairness in judgment, his heartfelt sym- 
pathies," in short, his personality. 70 But the best refutation 
was that made by Mr. Wunsch himself on the floor of the 
Convention, when, along with a touchingly sincere admission 
of personal shortcomings, he gave a straight-forward and 
manly defense of his educational aims and ideals. 71 The 
test vote came immediately afterwards in the election of 
four members of the Board of Managers of the Theological 
School to take the place of those whose terms had expired. 
The Convention registered its decision by voting down the 
two candidates who stood openly opposed to Mr. Wunsch, 
and the matter was considered closed. The Modernists had 
won a close, but clear-cut victory. Therefore imagine the 
surprise of all when it was revealed that the new Board at 
its first meeting, immediately after the Convention, had 
removed Mr. Wunsch from the chair of theology, and re- 
placed him with a well-known Fundamentalist! The Rev. 
Frederic R. Crownfield, one of Mr. Wunsch's staunchest 
young adherents, was also removed from his position as in- 


structor in church history. The protests were immediate and 
violent, and an explanation demanded from the Board of 
Managers. In his explanation the Rev. Arthur Wilde, 
chairman of the Board, stated that the action had been unani- 
mous, and had been taken as a necessary compromise for 
the peace of the Church. Mr. Wunsch was offered the posi- 
tion of professor of sacred languages, Bible introduction, and 
church history, which he accepted on condition that Mr. 
Crownfield also be retained. 72 

The same issue was involved in the reelection of the Rev. 
Paul Sperry as President of the Convention, and Mr. Gould 
as editor of the Messenger, who together with Mr. Wunsch 
are the leaders of the Modernist movement. There was 
little opposition to Mr. Sperry, his genial personality win- 
ning over all opposition, and he was reflected by an almost 
unanimous vote. The opposition was concentrated on the 
other two, Mr. Gould winning by a small majority of 
twenty-five votes* 78 An interesting and significant feature of 
the elections was an attempt on the part of the young peo- 
ple's League to influence the voting. The League was in 
session at the same time as the Convention, and deeply in- 
terested in the crisis which the Church was facing. They 
therefore passed the following resolution: "Whereas it is the 
opinion of those delegates present and voting that Mr. 
Worcester, Mr. Sperry, Mr. Gould, and Mr. Wunsch are 
the leaders of the Convention who best express the ideals 
and aspirations of the young people and are therefore the 
men to whom the young people look for leadership} and 
Whereas, the young people are the New Churchmen of the 
future 5 and Whereas, they feel confidence in these men and 
believe they should continue in their present positions, Be 
it Resolved, that The American New Church League, in 
Conference assembled, respectfully petitions the General 
Convention to retain Mr. Sperry as President of the Con- 
vention, Mr. Gould as Editor of the Messenger, and Mr. 
Wunsch as Professor of Theology at the Theological School! 
And be it further Resolved, that a copy of this resolution be 
placed in the hands of an officer of the General Convention 


to be read to the delegates to Convention before the election 
takes place." This resolution was passed with only two dis- 
senting votes, 74 showing that the New Churchmen of the 
future (in the Convention at least) are overwhelmingly 
Modernist. The resolution was not read to the Convention, 
however, until after the election, but there was little doubt 
in the minds of the delegates as to the wishes of the young 

Another question which came up in connection with the 
1930 Convention was that of the propriety of "instructed 
delegates." At the annual meeting of the New York Asso- 
ciation in February, a resolution was offered by the Brooklyn 
Society to the effect that, since there is "a definite effort 
under way to replace these men with others on the ground 
that they are not doctrinally sound, we ask the Association 
to instruct its delegates to the forthcoming Convention to 
be held in Boston next Spring, to vote as a unit and in a 
manner so as to retain Messrs. Sperry, Wunsch and Gould 
in the offices they now hold." 75 This resolution was passed, 
in a slightly amended form, after a bitter struggle. Since 
then there has been a great deal of discussion of instructed 
delegates. Mr. Robert Alfred Shaw, of the Brooklyn So- 
ciety, the framer of the measure, said in its defense: "It has 
been assumed that in some manner this was an infringement 
upon the freedom of the delegates 5 that there had been a 
loss of prestige and of the feeling of responsibility attaching 
to the office j and some little resentment has been ex- 
pressed. . . . After all, what object is there in calling to- 
gether once each year the qualified representatives of every 
Association? Is it not to obtain an average point of view 
from the entire church membership? The delegates go to 
represent, not their individual opinions, nor those of any 
one faction, but they are to speak for the Association as a 
whole. This can only be accomplished by a definite decision 
made by the Association on all important issues by which the 
delegates must abide." TG There is, however, another side 
to the question. The objection has been made that such a 
plan leaves the minorities in the various Associations wholly 


unrepresented in the Convention. Also it would preclude 
any possibility of that change and interchange of opinion, 
that modifying of a preconceived viewpoint in the face of 
new evidence, and that spirit of generous compromise and 
mutual give-and-take which one would prefer to see in a 
church body. 

After the Convention of 1930 the controversy was con- 
tinued, the Conservatives taking the defensive through the 
medium of the New Church Visitor, the official organ of the 
Illinois Association. In an article entitled "A Call to Arms" 
the gauntlet is thrown down: "Our organization is in danger 
of being usurped by intruders who have unceremoniously 
crept in. They have already gained control of some of our 
societies, they have tried to gain control of our Theological 
School, and they have gained control of our important maga- 
zines. Those who remain loyal must gather their forces in 
battle array, choosing leaders of marked ability to defend 
their church homes from the intruder." To this attack the 
Messenger replied in an editorial, f< The Meaning of Nunc 
Licet*' setting forth once more the belief that the Liberal 
point of view is true to the spirit of Swedenborg, and to the 
best traditions of the New Church. This point of view is 
defined as "willingness to recognize in any phase of the 
developing natural and spiritual life of the age we live in, 
the presence and activity of the Lord Jesus Christ in His 
Second Coming," and "unwillingness to limit the real and 
spiritual New Church or Church of the New Jerusalem to 
the membership of any humanly organized religious body. 
Such bodies are necessary, and even essential, at once to the 
Lord and to man, but should be regarded as societies for the 
promotion of the New Church rather than as the New 
Church itself." 77 

It was feared that the controversial spirit of the Boston 
Convention would be repeated at Cincinnati in 1931, and 
that^there might even be danger of a schism. Mr. Freeman, 
in his "Call to Arms," had said that such diametrically op- 
posed groups could not remain under the same roof in har- 
mony much longer. "Which group is to be forced out of 


the General Convention and start a separate organization?" 
he asks. 78 In his call to the Convention President Paul 
Sperry made an appeal to the spirit of charity as the only 
hope in such a crisis. "All are agreed that charity is the first 
essential, that without it there is no living Church in us. ... 
Let us act in faithful accordance with this conviction, and we 
may hope that what seems like an hour of temptation in the 
spiritual life of our Church will become a means of spiritual 
betterment through which our Lord of Love may give us 
new privileges in His earthly kingdom." 79 The Vice-Presi- 
dent, Mr. Ezra Hyde Alden, made a similar appeal: "Is it 
too much to hope that our ministers and delegates may come 
together in Cincinnati this year in a spirit of real brotherli- 
ness? ... If every one of us, ministers and laymen, would 
come to our Convention in the spirit of charity, seeking with 
the Lord's help to understand his brother's point of view 
rather than to make good his own, however sincere it may be, 
there would be laid a new foundation of mutual good will 
upon which we could build our New-Church organization 
into a stronger and more effective means of spreading abroad 
the true Christian Religion." 80 

Fortunately for the New Church this pious hope "for the 
peace of Jerusalem" was in great measure justified, the 
"sphere" of the Cincinnati Convention being more friendly 
and conciliatory than was to have been expected. The Middle 
West being the center of the Conservative school of thought 
it was inevitable that the contest should be a close one. Mr. 
Wunsch having been removed last year from his position as 
Professor of Theology was no longer a bone of contention. 
Therefore the battle was concentrated around the office of 
editor of the Messenger. The Conservatives put up the 
Rev. Dirk Diephuis of St. Louis, editor of the New Church 
Visitor, in opposition to Mr. Gould. In a paper read at the 
public session of the Council of Ministers Mr. Diephuis set 
forth his conception of what a New Church periodical should 
be. "Every article, every editorial in it should proclaim the 
doctrines, ... a New Church periodical should proclaim 
the distinctive doctrines of the Church virtually on every 


page, . . . and keep away from all attempts, in any form, 
to dilute these doctrines in order to make them more pala- 
table and more acceptable to a superficial and materialistic 
world, or from any attempt to make them agree with a Uni- 
tarian-minded form of theology, or to interpret them in any 
'humanistic' or 'modernistic' fashion." This paper naturally 
provoked a sharp discussion. Mr. Gould thought that such 
an attitude of isolation was a denial of the fundamental 
teachings of the Church. 81 When the vote was taken a few 
days later Mr. Gould was reelected by a vote of seventy-five 
to. sixty-five. The Liberals are therefore still in the ma- 
jority, a fact which was corroborated still further by the elec- 
tion of two men of liberal tendencies to fill vacancies in the 
Board of Managers of the Theological Seminary. The 
future, however, is always problematical. 



The attitude of the New Church toward social reform is 
especially interesting. In 1794 William Hill had written 
to Robert Carter: "If the friends at Baltimore knew the dis- 
tractions into which the New Jerusalem has frequently fallen 
in England through the agitation of Questions relating to 
modes of government, both ecclesiastical and civil, I think 
they would profit from their experience and see it their great 
privilege in quietness and simplicity to feed upon the 
heavenly Manna, in the principles of universal love and 
charity." * And, indeed, this has been the point of view of 
the majority of New Churchmen. In 1855 ^ e Messeng&r 
states emphatically that reform is not the business of the 
Church, its duties are those of internal reformation. "Ac- 
cording to the law of discrete degrees, the Church operates 
legitimately upon the two lower degrees of society, the de- 
grees of civil and social life, not by continuity but by cor- 
respondence. ... By entering the field of social and politi- 
cal reform, the Church would destroy its own influence, and 
lose sight of its proper work." 2 There were, however, as 
we have seen, a few bolder spirits who were not content to 
cc feed upon the heavenly Manna" in serene seclusion, but 
burned to make the New Jerusalem a reality upon the earth. 
We have seen their early communistic experiments in con- 
nection with the Owenite and Fourier movements. But on 
the whole the New Church held aloof from projects for 
social betterment. We have seen this aloofness exemplified 
in regard to the temperance movement, in which case it was 
not only the result of indifference, but of active opposition 
an the part of many. 



But the most remarkable instance was that of the slavery 
question. In spite of all that Swedenborg has to say of the 
high spiritual capacities of the African race, and of the fact 
that men of the early New Church like Wadstrom and 
Mouravieff found in his teachings the inspiration for their 
heroic struggles against human bondage, the New Church 
took no positive stand on the question of abolition. In fact 
many members of the Church in the North were not aboli- 
tionists. It is recorded that Emerson was deeply disap- 
pointed in his friend, Sampson Reed, for not being opposed 
to slavery. 8 The Rev. Chauncey Giles also was not an aboli- 
tionist, and thought the South should be allowed to secede. 
He did not vote for Lincoln, and kept up friendly relations 
with his New Orleans New Church friends throughout the 
War. 4 The following justification of slavery appears in a 
pamphlet by a New Church man: "By African slavery the 
sensual-corporeal principle of the African is brought into 
obedience and subjection to the natural or scientific plane 
of the white man's life. The white man wills and thinks 
for him, determines his outgoings and incomings, his food, 
clothing, sleep, work, etc. What is the result? His sensual- 
corporeal ^is adjusted as a servant to the regenerate natural 
of the white man and receives influx through it. His heredi- 
tary is dissipatedj the sphere of order, justice, and active 
use into ^ which he is inserted is repugnant to his attendant 
evil spirits and they measurably leave him. He is passing 
through ^the process which Almighty God has provided and 
which will eventuate in his true liberty." 5 He criticizes the 
abolitionists sharply: "The Abolition spirit is the subtlest 
demonism of the age. It is attempting to thwart the plans 
of ^Providence. . . . The Negro is a child, organically and 
spiritually a child. He is not to be made a man of our sort 
by any amount of political or scientific culture." 6 

But there were also active abolitionists in the Church, 
among whom were Thomas Worcester and Richard De- 
Charms^ The Chicago Society had among its members sev- 
eral active workers in the "underground railway," Dr. 
Charles Volney Dyer, Dr. Alvan Small, and Dr. George F. 


Root, author of the words of The Battle Cry of Freedom, 
Tramf) Tramf*, Tramp, and Just Before the Battle, Mother, 
popular Civil War ballads. 7 

The first periodical to broach the question was Professor 
Bush's New Church Repository, which in 1852 began a series 
of Aphorisms on Abolition and Slavery. It was done with 
no intention of hurting the Southern brethren, but merely 
with a desire to discuss reasonably an evil of so great a mag- 
nitude. There was an immediate protest from the Southern 
brethren, to the effect that, since Swedenborg had said noth- 
ing against the institution of slavery he had no right to call 
his statements "Aphorisms." Bush replied that it is the duty 
of the Church to fight evils wherever it finds them, but that 
the solution was not immediate emancipation, but a change 
of heart on the part of the slaveowners, and a gradual train- 
ing of the slaves for freedom. 8 The first mention of the 
subject in the Messenger was in 1858 in a reply to a letter 
which had appeared in the New York Tribune criticizing 
Mr. Giles for not mentioning slavery in a sermon "in which 
occur many fine practical suggestions in relation to the pres- 
ent pecuniary crisis, and just and true principles of conduct 
are laid down, and the duty of men in relation to existing 
evils pointed out, except, ah, yes, except Slavery! the 
reader would infer either that slavery did not exist in this 
country, or that Mr. Giles must be very oblivious in the 
matter, or, what we fear, he did not care to say anything 
about it. We want the ministers and periodicals of the New 
Church to speak a certain sound. 'If the Lord be God, serve 
Him, but if Baal, then serve him.' " To this the Messenger 
replied that "not only is it the mission of the New Church 
to teach spiritual truths, but to teach and to practice spiritual 
freedom, freedom not only in spiritual, but in social, moral, 

and political matters The Messenger has abstained 

from discussing the question of Slavery, because, being a 
political question, it has been aware that no such discussion 
could be carried on in its columns, without infringing the 
freedom, both political and moral, of many upright and 
sincere minds. . . . There are certain plain violations of 


the Divine commandments which are so destructive to a spir- 
itual life as to destroy the conscience of him who is willing 
to connive at or to justify them. But no rational man, who 
is not governed by his passions, needs to be told that 
the abstract question of American slavery is not one of 

In 1865 the Messenger finally gave an official answer to 
the so often asked question: "What are the teachings of the 
New Church with regard to slavery?" "It is not for us, 
as members of the New Church, to say what shall be done 
in relation to it. . . . These things belong rather to the civil 
government to decide. . . . Let us also set aside for the 
time the abuses connected with slavery, of which we have 
heard so much, for there is nothing that is not liable to abuse, 
and let us address ourselves solely to the inquiry whether 
involuntary servitude is according to Divine Order 5 whether 
it is of Providence or of Permission. . . . Swedenborg says 
that freedom is essential to the appropriation of any spiritual 
good to man. . , . Slavery was permitted, even commanded 
to the Jews by the Lord. But under the Christian dispensa- 
tion service must be from love, for the Son of Man came to 
minister." 10 With this somewhat mild condemnation the 
subject of slavery was closed. 

The next important social issue to claim the attention of 
New Churchmen was the Woman's Rights Movement, the 
first serious discussion of which appears in the New Church 
Repository of 1853. This periodical, edited by the liberal- 
minded Mr. Barrett, was on the whole sympathetic to the 
movement, but presented both sides with admirable impar- 
tiality. 11 The New Jerusalem Magazine , on the other hand, 
as usual represented the conservative point of view, as may 
be seen from the following lines from a poem entitled 
"Woman's Rights." 

"Hers to make home a shadowing forth of heavenj 

To sit, home's angel, in the hearth flame's glowj 
To make man better by her loving presence, 
And faith's calm beauties in her own life show." 13 


By the sixties the question of woman's rights had become 
an intensely practical one centering around her place in the 
affairs and the government of the Church. The New Jervr- 
salem Magazine attempted to crush the serpent in its in- 
fancy. "In order that those who are interested in the 
Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem may not be led 
astray by one of those active falsities with which public opin- 
ion of the present day is threatened, it seems Well to make 
known the following minute, or record, made in Sweden- 
borg's Spiritual Diary [no. 5936] 'Women who think like 
men concerning religious things, and speak much concerning 
them, and still more if they preach in assemblies, destroy 
the womanly nature, which is of affection, from which they 
should be with husbands, and become material, so that affec- 
tion perishes and the interiors are closed. They begin even 
to be delirious as to their thought. ... In a word they 
become sensual to the last degree.' " 1S Faced with such a 
dire fate it is remarkable that any New Church woman 
should have dared to lift her voice "concerning religious 
things," and in fact very few did. But in 1869 ^ e Maine 
and New Hampshire Association listened to a report on 
"Woman's Work in the Church," and the same year an 
article in the Messenger -sounded a prophetic note. "The 
time may possibly come, somewhere in the future, when our 
delegations to Associations and Conventions will be partly 
filled by women, they being present in our deliberative bodies 
to feel, will, and suggest, while acting perhaps in some cases 
as secretaries, and receiving appointments on appropriate 
committees, without engaging in public speaking or taking a 
prominent part in intellectual debate." This advanced gen- 
tleman goes on to state that women are better suited to ex- 
ecutive work than men, and that the church needs them. 1 * 

A few years later Harriet Clisby, M.D., of Boston, ad- 
dressed the following epistle to the Convention: "TheArcma 
Coelestia, or the Secrets of Heaven, teem with an effulgent 
glory borrowed from no diamond literature decanted of 
earth. ... A woman seeing this, beholding the glories of 
this sacred descent, and feeling it within her soul, is she not 


God-ordained, and called to be as much a minister and dis- 
seminator of this new gospel as any man? ... So far the 
habits of women have been fashioned by the interests of 
others: those others men. They, as a body, have never 
thought for themselves 5 and just as long as men place them 
in this position, just so long shall we have our thinking done 
by men, and the system be incomplete thereby. . . . The 
world needs women, their thought, their ministry, their ac- 
tive co-operation in the performance of uses." 15 This is the 
first appearance of militant feminism in the ranks of the 
New Church. In 1874 the New York Association admitted 
two women delegates from the Orange Society to their an- 
nual meeting. 16 Women were slowly winning their way 
into the councils of the Church in spite even of Swedenborg! 
The first attempt to get a woman delegate into the Con- 
vention was made in 1887, when the Society of Topeka, 
Kansas, presented the name of Mrs. F. L. Higgins to the 
Committee on Credentials. The Committee quietly omitted 
her name from their list of accredited delegates, the Topeka 
delegation inquired the reason, and the fight was on. It was 
asked why, if the women of Kansas voted in the affairs of 
the state, should they not vote in the affairs of the Church 
also, and how could a society composed entirely of women, 
if such should ever be, be represented in Convention. Mr. 
Mann said that since there was nothing in the constitution 
against women delegates, there was no alternative but to 
receive her. Mr. Benade said that according to Swedenborg 
men are forensic and women domestic, and therefore the 
whole question was disorderly. A vote was taken, thirty- 
seven to twenty-nine in favor of the lady. 17 Apparently the 
ordeal had been too painful, for no woman delegate ap- 
peared the following year, and in 1889 it was proposed to 
amend the constitution by putting the word "male" in front 
of the word "delegate" wherever it occurs. This was not 
passed however. A lady was allowed the floor, and said: 
"The New Church on earth, if it means anything at all on 
earth, means freedom and equality among men and women," 
In reply a gentleman said that it would never do to have 


women delegates, because the brethren would be over- 
whelmed by the eloquence of their sisters, the profound 
reverence of men for women would upset men's freedom 
when engaged in counsel with them, and her affectional 
sphere would influence him more than the strength of her 
position. 18 But in spite of all this gallantry no more women 
delegates ventured to appear until 1893. 

The first strong impetus was given to the woman move- 
ment in the New Church by the World Congresses held in 
connection with the Chicago Exposition in 1893. The previ- 
ous year a circular letter had been sent out appealing to all 
the women of the Church to attend the Congresses. "The 
Woman Question will be under practical as well as theoreti- 
cal demonstration. By every means in their power women 
will be pleading their right to be heard, seen, and felt in the 
world. They will be taking part in all things, presenting the 
great problem of the age for solution. . . . We, as New 
Church women, have the definite duty to perform of giving 
by precept and example the answer of the New Church to 
this great question, its clear and unhesitating message upon 
the subject, its moderating and guiding influence in all the 
powerful movements of the day, especially the Woman 
Movement." 19 This letter created a great stir in the Church 
and started discussion of the question in many societies. 

At the World's Congress of Religion some of the most 
interesting papers read at the New Church session were by 
women. Lydia Fuller Dickinson expresses her idea of the 
matter thus: "This, as I see it, is the inmost secret of the 
Woman Movement, a movement that includes both men 
and women, as partakers alike of the woman principle. We 
are indeed all feminine to the divine, all receptive to the 
new impulse toward, the new belief in, the brotherhood of 
man. And this is why I welcome the struggle for personal 
freedom on the part of women, including her right to citizen- 
ship." 20 In an article in the Messenger she developed this 
Swedenborgian conception of feminism still further: "The 
woman movement is the Church movement. It is the de- 
scent of the holy city. It is 'the wife making herself ready.' 


It is therefore in no sense a movement of women apart from 
men, but is, on the contrary, a movement of the woman in 
both men and women. Both are equally feminine to the 
Divine because, whether considered in their individual or 
their united relation to the Lord, they are equally the 
Church of which the Lord alone is husband or Head. Says 
Swedenborg, c The Church from the Lord is formed in the 
husband, and through the husband in the wife, and when it 
is formed in each it is a full Church.' God is the only Man, 
the only source of life. We are men, male and female 
forms receptive of Divine life, receptacles of truth as mas- 
culine and of love as feminine. . . . What then, shall we 
say to our question? I answer most emphatically: the New 
Church woman should lead the movement, or rather, New 
Church man and woman should lead it, because no one else 
knows the truth that has originated the movement and to 
which the movement will lead." 21 

In the New York Association in 1893 the question of 
woman's position in the Church became the main topic for 
discussion, and resulted in the passing of resolutions author- 
izing the Board of Directors to employ as missionaries, 
teachers, visitors, etc., "such persons as can best accomplish 
the work, whether they be men or women," and to appoint 
women delegates to Convention whenever they are nomi- 
nated by the societies composing the Association. This vic- 
tory was won in a meeting consisting of sixteen women and 
seventy men, which shows the progressive spirit of the men 
of the New York Association. 22 But as a matter of fact no 
women delegates were nominated for another three years. 
The Orange Society, under the leadership of Mr. Mann, 
were the prime movers in the cause, having in its member- 
ship several very strong-minded women. As early as 1877 
they had sent a delegation of five women and two men to 
the Association meeting. 28 

The report of the Committee on this question of woman's 
place in the church is an interesting treatment of the subject 
from the doctrinal point of view. There was undoubtedly 
much in Swedenborg's sayings about women which required 


a reinterpretation before their greater freedom could be jus- 
tified. The report states: cc 'There are duties proper to the 
husband, and others proper to the wife, and the wife cannot 
enter into the duties proper to the husband, nor the husband 
into the duties proper to the wife, so as to perform them 
aright, . . . because they differ like wisdom and the love 
thereof. . . . Many believe that women can perform the 
duties of men if they are initiated therein at an early age as 
boys are. They may indeed be initiated into the practice of 
such duties, but not into the judgment on which the propriety 
of duties interiorly depends.' (Conjugial Love, 174-5.) 
But this refers especially to the relation of the sexes in mar- 
riage, and does not cover the whole of life. The inmost of 
the masculine is love, and its covering is wisdom; or what is 
the same, the masculine principle is love covered (or veiled) 
by wisdom 5 \but the inmost of the feminine is wisdom . . . 
and its covering is love.' (Conjugial Love, 32.) Thus men 
and women are the reverse of each other, and comple- 
mentary. Swedenborg described the state of things in his 
own day, and did not prophesy for the future, nor lay down 
laws. 'The knowledge of things to come belongs to the 
Lord alone, the angels do not know of the state of the 
future church. 3 (Last Judgment, 74.) 24 

"Women must be allowed the chance for regeneration 
which lies in a life of charity to the neighbor in the broadest 
sense, and use in the broadest sense. ... As the Church 
progresses in regeneration the sexes develop their interior 
principles (not their exterior), woman wisdom, and man 
affection. A sign of the new age is woman's changing func- 
tions. . . . The doctrines must not be made an obstacle to 
progress. Swedenborg insisted on 'freedom according to 
reason.' He certainly cannot be interpreted contrary to the 
logic of events, woman is in the life of the world, rapidly 
entering new fields, and becoming a new creature. She can 
never be unsexed because sex is too intrinsic. More mar- 
riages are not the solution, for Swedenborg says the con- 
jugial is not in natural marriage; quality, not quantity of 
marriage is the aim, and the ideal can best be preserved by 


some not marrying. . . . We must give woman freedom 
as a simple act of justice, and trust her to find the right use 
for her abilities." A minority report, presented by the "die- 
hards," insisted that marriage is the only proper relation 
of the sexes, . . . that woman cannot do man's work with- 
out danger to her womanly nature, . . . and that her en- 
trance into the economic world is a disorder resulting from 
the general vastation, and not a sign of the new age. 25 

The Massachusetts women were not so fortunate as their 
New York and Western sisters, to whom a voice in the 
Church had come as a matter of course along with the suf- 
frage. In 1875 a committee reported as follows: "Women 
are members, and have a right to any appointment, but are 
not suitable for all, such as delegates, etc. They ought to 
vote in meetings of societies on matters concerning all, such 
as the choice of a minister. But they should not act as repre- 
sentatives for others, for that requires wisdom" 26 And it 
was not until 1906 that the Massachusetts Association sent 
women delegates to Convention. 27 But they too felt the new 
urge for activity and self-expression, and in 1894 the women 
of the Boston Society began a series of discussions on such 
matters as "The spiritual life as expressed in Dress, Food, 
Hospitality, etc." They decided that clothing should allow 
room for proper breathing, as breath has a very high spiritual 
significance according to the Writings, 28 but it is not recorded 
how many were brave enough to flout fashion and discard 
the wasp-waist for the sake of Swedenborg. 

In 1893 the first woman delegate appeared in the Conven- 
tion since the Topeka lady had braved the masculine protest 
in 1887. This was Mrs. lone A. Sawyer of the Connecticut 
Association, 29 who was followed the next year by Mrs. 

C. G. R. Vinal of Middletown. 80 In 1895 Washington, 

D. C., and Louisville, Ky., sent a woman each. Notice was 
given of a proposed amendment to the constitution to put 
a stop to this "disorder," 81 but it was never passed. In 1897 
there were five women present. A resolution that only male 
delegates be recognized was laid on the table, and the 
battle was won. 82 From that time the number of women 


delegates has steadily increased, until in 1914 there were 
actually forty-three women and only thirty-one men lay 
delegates. 33 But it was not until 1921 that they began to be 
elected to the various Boards and Standing Committees 
which really control the affairs of the Church. That year 
one woman was elected to the Board of Publication, one to 
the Board of Missions, two to the Board of Managers of the 
Theological School, and two to the General Council. 84 But 
even yet the New Church is very far from any danger of 
"petticoat rule." 

With the passage of the national Suffrage Amendment in 
1917 the "woman question" was closed, the Nm> Church 
Review giving the parting thrust: "Shall the New Church 
regard the victory so hardly won as one of the steps of prog- 
ress resulting from the Second Coming of the Lord, or as 
a part of the unrest and great upheaval of disorders of the 
Last Judgment occasioned by it? The friends of the cause 
within the Church take the former view, while some take 
the latter. Perhaps the truth lies, as is so often the case, 
in the golden mean. . . . This will be the test of this vic- 
tory of woman suffrage: Will it contribute to the success of 
marriage? Will it make women better wives and mothers 
in time and in eternity? Will it help men to be better hus- 
bands now and forever? Husbands and wives are certainly 
equals in marriage, and in all things of life, but they are 
not alike in their functions of mind and body. ... If this 
new kind of c equal rights' of woman develops her unlike- 
ness to man, and perfects it by making her more and more 
unlike him, more and more a woman, we shall know that it 
is, indeed, a victory for womanhood." 35 

The sex questions, marriage, divorce, and birth control, 
have been of great interest to the followers of Swedenborg, 
who himself braved the prudery of his day by handling these 
difficult matters "with gloves off." The problem of sex edu- 
cation was faced fairly and squarely by the New Church 
before most churches had dreamed of removing the Vic- 
torian tabu from the dangerous subject. Almost half a cen- 


tury ago the Rev, Charles H. Mann plead for co-education as 
essential to a right relation between the sexes. "Young peo- 
ple should see each other in their working costumes, and as- 
sociate in the ordinary departments o their life's efforts and 
culture," and not meet merely at parties, "dressed-up" and 
artificially stimulated and excited. 36 He also treated the 
matter of sex very frankly in a little book called: What God 
hath cleansed, of The Semal Organs, Their Order and 
Quality m the Body; and their Spiritual Significance, in 
which he concludes "both from the ground of their nature, 
their quality, and their order in the body, and also from the 
ground of their spiritual correspondence in the organization 
of the heavens, that the sexual organs are the highest, the 
purest, and the most holy of all the external parts of the 
body. While the abuse of what is highest is most degrading 
and leads to the deepest hell, its right use leads to a cor- 
respondingly higher heaven." 8T 

The New Church felt that in the teachings of Swedenborg 
regarding sex they had a real contribution to make to the 
world, and a Sex Education League was founded in 1909 for 
the purpose of disseminating these teachings. When the 
publicity attendant upon the Kramph Will Case made it 
necessary for the Church to state its belief in unalloyed 
monogamy clearly before the world, such a statement was 
prepared by the Council of Ministers, and given to the 
press. 88 The following year, 1912, a petition was presented 
at the Convention signed by about two hundred members re- 
questing Convention to publish an authorized abridged edi- 
tion of Conjugial Love. This suggestion to expurgate the 
"Heavenly Doctrine" met with a great deal of opposition. 89 
The Committee to which the matter was referred reported its 
unwillingness to comply with the request, because "it ignores 
the hand of Providence in giving the book to the world in 
its present form, and would do no good anyway, but would 
merely^call attention to the deleted passages." * However 
a compilation of Swedenborg's teaching regarding marriage 
has been made to meet the requirements of an "expurgated 
edition." Commenting on this collection of excerpts from 


the Writings, Wainwright Evans, co-author with Judge Ben 
Lindsey of The Companionate Marriage, says: "It is an 
astonishing book} the more astonishing when one considers 
how long ago it was written, how long, that is, before 
modern science was to come along and vouch for the funda- 
mental validity of Swedenborg's notion of human na- 
ture. . . . There is hardly a thing in the philosophical and 
psychological aspects of this book with which modern thought 
could fail to agree. It out-Freuds Freud in the thorough- 
ness and scientific detachment with which it probes into the 
subjective life of man 5 and it approaches the problems of 
human conduct, particularly sex conduct, with a mingling of 
practical common sense and real religion which should put 
to shame those of our professional theologians who mistake 
their own gross superstitions for mysticism, and have suc- 
ceeded in creating a mountain of human misery in conse- 
quence. . . . Swedenborg makes a plea for tolerance and 
forbearance in marriage which for 'broadmindedness' will 
stand comparison with the opinions of any of the radical 
social thinkers of our day." 41 

But however "broadminded" Swedenborg may have been, 
his followers have been extremely conservative in their ideas 
concerning marriage. A series of sermons by the Rev. Mr. 
Mann in 1881 expresses the typical viewpoint. "The first 
misapprehension concerning the nature of marriage is evinced 
by the nearly universal idea that personal happiness is the 
supreme end for which this relation should be entered 
into. . . . The present personal comfort and happiness of 
those that enter into it are among the least of its purposes." 
And he speaks further on of the selfishness of so many 
"happy" marriages. "No devotion between married part- 
ners, however faithful, is a true devotion which cultivates in 
each other an inconsiderateness for the world in general." 42 
The Rev. E. J. E. Schreck, in a series of articles in the Young 
People's department of the Messenger takes a purely Pauline 
view of woman's position in the marriage relationship. " c To 
the man shall be thine obedience, and he shall rule over 
thee.' This was reaffirmed in the early Christian Church. 


The head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman 
is the man. 'Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, 
as unto the Lord!' " 4S Naturally this sort of thing would 
not appeal to twentieth century young people, even in the 
New Church, and Mr. Schreck received a sharp rejoinder 
from a feminine young person: "Was Mr. SchrecFs pen 
dipped in the ink used in the middle ages when he wrote 
those statements concerning woman's relation to man? In 
the past history of the race, the half-truth that woman was 
made for man was all that was comprehended. In these 
latter days when c all things are becoming new,' the other 
half of the truth shines out, namely, that man was made 
also for woman." 44 The question of marriage within the 
New Church was discussed at length in the Young People's 
department of the Messenger in 1901 and 1902. "Within 
what limits, if any, should New Church young people culti- 
vate intimate friendships and marry outside the Church?" 45 
was the question asked. The replies were mainly of a liberal 
nature. "The New Church Ecclesiasticism is not the New 
Church 5 in the old-church ecclesiasticism there may at heart 
be the faith of the New Church. It may happen, and I 
cannot doubt has often happened, that a New Churchman 
marrying one not of the nominal New Church has found 
one who could be and has been united with him in true 
faith." 4e This "attack on New Church marriage" was se- 
verely criticized by the Academy who made it compulsory. 47 
Because of the exceedingly high ideal of marriage found 
in the Writings, the New Church has in general regarded 
it as practically indissoluble, admitting nothing but adultery 
as a ground for divorce. Swedenborg's own humane teach- 
ing regarding separation was hardly countenanced by the 
purists among his followers. In an article on Divorce from 
the Celestial Standpoint Dr. W. H. Holcombe writes: "Our 
personal feelings and interests, which all arise from the 
fro^rmn^ have nothing to do either before or after marriage 
with the sanctity and perpetuity of its external forms which 
God has established as the orderly organic basis for the per- 
petuation of the race, the preservation of society, and the 


regeneration of the individual. . . , The position of the 
unhappy wife simply opens a field, or presents opportunities, 
for her higher spiritual development. Under such condi- 
tions she is placed, within the protective influence of God's 
external law, in a position to combat and conquer the deepest 
hells. During this terrible ordeal of self-sacrifice and mar- 
tyrdom, she not only develops the celestial life in herself, 
but renders the salvation of the recreant husband more and 
more probable and possible, and stands as a mighty barrier 
against the influx of the adulterous hells into general so- 
ciety." This is heroic teaching, worthy of a Papal encyclical ! 
The Messenger comments on it approvingly: "We believe 
these to be the true New Church principles, and hence can 
only desire that they may obtain a strong position in the laws 
of our civil organization." 4S But a distinctly more modern 
attitude was taken by others. Jane Dearborn Mills in her 
book on Marriage claims that "spiritual adultery is the union 
of two mismated persons, and should be ground for di- 
vorce," 49 and many believed that though divorce is un- 
doubtedly an evil, yet it is permitted by Providence until 
man becomes more regenerate, and should be countenanced 
by the New Church. 50 

The question of birth control came up as early as 1894 in 
an article on The Malthusian Theory -from the New Church 
Viewpoint, in which the author, H. C. Ager, claims that "the 
great function of marriage is to propagate goods and truths. 
Is it desirable to propagate the human race to the point of 
poverty? Men should have children for use, and not carry 
it beyond usefulness." This provoked a heated attack on 
the grounds that "limiting children for fear of poverty is a 
disbelief in the Lord." The controversy became so heated 
that the editor felt obliged to put an end to it, on the ground 
that it was displeasing to many of the readers. 61 The radical 
sex'theories of the present day are regarded with remarkable 
tolerance by some as part of the process of regeneration of 
the race. "Men like Bertrand Russell come along teaching 
our young people that an occasional extra-marital sex episode 
is quite harmless j in fact it is to be expected and condoned. 


Another of his like teaches that monogamy is 'suffocating 
to man's erotic life/ etc. . . . Can Noah's dove find dry 
ground in such a flood of immoral teaching? Is there any 
room for the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the followers of 
such a philosophy? Yes, it is possible that all this is the 
work of the Holy Spirit. Swedenborg tells us of laws of 
'permission.' He does not mean that the laws of Providence 
are condoning such thoughts and acts as we have been de- 
scribing but it tolerates them for this reason: All the rotten- 
ness that is in the human heart must come out into the open 
before it can be eradicated. And the Holy Spirit is busily, 
unceasingly operating to bring this hidden evil out into clear 
daylight so that it may be seen in all its ugliness. . . . Peo- 
ple are beginning to govern themselves by their immediate 
desires rather than by traditions or old conventions. Men 
and women are beginning to be bound by self -compulsion 
rather than by external restraint. On the whole we can see 
that this new freedom must lead to a higher type of hu- 
manity." 52 

The entire question of the relation of the Church to social 
and economic problems began to be greatly discussed in the 
nineties. A severe criticism of its traditional attitude of 
aloofness from crucial issues appeared in the Messenger in 
1894. cc lt would hardly be possible for the doctrinal teach- 
ings of any Church to give more encouragement to progress 
than those of the New Church. For example, they tell us 
that we go on progressing to all eternity. Nevertheless, the 
effect of the doctrines on individuals, and even on the ex- 
ternal Church as a body, may be, and it is to be feared some- 
times is, to retard progress. For instance, while the New 
Church undoubtedly contributed its full quota of early aboli- 
tionists, it is certainly true that a very large proportion of 
its members were rather favorable to slavery even down to 
the time of the War. . . . There are two reasons for this, 
we are brought up to think the Church settles all problems, 
and there is no need to think, also we care little for -what 
outsiders say or think. Progress takes place by gradual 
change of mass opinion and knowledge, and the New Church 


tends to cut off its members from this progressive influ- 
ence. . . . Arguments of twenty years ago are frequently 
heard in New Church discussion." 5S 

The theories of Henry George presented themselves in a 
favorable light to many members of the New Church. In 
1 8 89 a New Churchmen's Single Tax League was established 
in Brooklyn, with the following statement of principles: 
"Whereas a number of the receivers of the doctrines of the 
New Church believe that the principles underlying the sys- 
tem of political economy set forth in the writings of Henry 
George, are in harmony with the spirit of the new age, that 
their presentation at the present time is one of the effects 
of the descent of the truths of the new dispensation, and that 
an intelligent understanding of their intrinsic justice and 
equity and the consequent embodiment of them in the civil 
code of the nation is the only effective remedy for much of 
the injustice and many of the gross evils that afflict society, 
etc. . . . Asa distinct use and function of this organization, 
we purpose to address ourselves especially to receivers of the 
truths of the New Church, endeavoring to show them the 
relations which must exist between the standards of natural 
justice and morality, and the spiritual truths of the Church 
in any age or community." 54 The new League undertook 
the publication of a magazine, The New Earthy edited by 
Mr. John Filmer. 55 Henry George himself was acquainted 
with many New Church people, and his son became a Swe- 
denborgian, though not a member of the Church. George 
was impressed with the fact that more of his followers in 
proportion belonged to the New Church than to any other 
sect. They said it was because they found in his teaching a 
sound economic basis for Swedenborg's Maximus Homo, the 
greater social Man. 56 Besides the Brooklyn group there 
were enthusiastic Single Taxers in the Orange Society also, 57 
and the leading exponent of the Single Tax, after Henry 
George, Louis F. Post, editor of the Public^ and Assistant 
Secretary of Labor under President Wilson, was a member 
of the New Church. 88 Among the New Churchmen of the 
Middle West there was a good deal of interest in the Single 


Tax, and Vachel Lindsay, who was intimate with the Swe- 
denborgians of Springfield, 111., in his youth, writes, "These 
two men [Henry George and Swedenborg] seem to go to- 
gether in the minds of many more Americans than our great 
universities realize. They furnish more austerity, fire, 
vision, and relentless life-time resolution to those who would 
make over our cities, than the heathen have ever dreamed. 
Thousands of folks of our purest, most valuable, oldest 
stock, go to the Swedenborgian church on Sunday and work 
steadily and silently for the Single Tax all the week." 59 

Socialism too has its active advocates in the New Church, 
the doctrines of which, according to some, "are supremely 
socialistic. Heaven is revealed in them as one vast commune, 
to whose wealth each contributes of his labor, and from 
whose resources each is supplied according to his needs. . . . 
Under these circumstances the socialistic movements of the 
present day can but command the intense interest, and when 
embodied in wisely conceived propositions, the co-operation 
of the modern New Churchman." fl In the nineties the 
labor problem began to appear in the periodicals of the 
Church. In 1894 a series of articles on "The Lesson of the 
Strikes," in the Messenger show a deep humanitarian inter- 
est in the cause of the worker. "When a man turns out his 
faithful horse that has served him and made money for him, 
to starve to death, because he can make no more money for 
him, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 
takes him severely in hand. But these are not horses. They 
are only starving men and women and children. They are 
no concern to him, though they have made his millions." 6l 
A series of lectures on this subject delivered by the Rev. 
Chauncey Giles in Philadelphia attracted large audiences. 
Swedenborg^s doctrine of use was applied to industrial prob- 
lems thus: "The essence of Swedenborg's Doctrine of Use 
is that a man realizes the central purpose of good human 
life by ^ the faithful performance of the duties of his office, 
profession, calling, or occupation. According to this doctrine 
every one ought to have some useful employment, ought to 
Hr> <?nmp fcinH nf wnrir which benefits the community and 


which is his chosen way of doing good to others. . . . Under 
the existing conditions of social and industrial organization, 
the principle of use must be applied collectively as well as 
individually, and often it must be applied collectively before 
it is possible to apply it individually. Under these condi- 
tions, the principle of use requires that the whole body of 
profit sharers, or employers on the one hand, and the whole 
body of wage earners, or the employed, on the other, should 
each put use, the service of the public, in the first place, and 
regard the profits and the wages as the means whereby both 
parties can combine in the one purpose of serving the pub- 
lic." 62 

As the socialistic propaganda became more intense the con- 
servative element became alarmed, and the New Church Re- 
view in 1907 makes the following complaint: "A strong and 
increasing pressure is brought to bear upon the periodicals 
of the Church to lend themselves to the cause of socialism. 
The reason is that quite a number of our ministers and lay- 
men have become socialists. It will be remembered that 
the Church passed through a similar experience a number 
of years ago, when a New Churchmen's Single Tax League 
was organized and a periodical published, because the Church 
as a whole declined to commit itself and its periodicals to 
that movement for political reform. There is no objection 
to a New Churchman's espousal of any reform cause that 
appeals to him, social, industrial, or political; indeed it is an 
indication that he is putting his religion into practice as a 
citizen by seeking his country's welfare; but when he begins 
to feel that some of his brethren are not as good New 
Churchmen as he because they do not think as he does about 
this particular theory of social progress; or when he begins 
to condemn the Church organization as a whole because it 
does not work for the cause he has adopted, and give its en- 
dorsement to it, he needs to study afresh the nature and 
functions of the Church and of the State. When a Church 
assumes the functions of the State and begins to endorse and 
advocate, sanction, and authorize, this or that political or 
industrial, or social measure or reform, it is time for every 


patriot to take alarm, and array himself against that particu- 
lar form of Church organization as a menace to his civil 
liberty. Too many hard-fought battles have already been 
required to throw off just such encroachment of ecclesiasti- 
cism. . . . From this point of view, doubtless, the Cam- 
bridge Society, at its last annual meeting, expressed grave ap- 
prehensions of the harm that may come from what has been 
called the Swedenborg Number of the Christian Socialist^ a 
periodical published in Chicago. This number was devoted 
to showing that the Writings of Swedenborg, and other New 
Church sources, teach socialism, so-called 5 and the implica- 
tion therefore is, that the Church of the New Jerusalem is, 
or consistently should be, politically socialistic. If the 
Christian Socialist had gotten out its Swedenborg Number 
independently, there would be less occasion perhaps to take 
notice of it, but it was composed chiefly of contributions from 
New Church ministers and laymen, with mention of their 
official positions in the Church. This gave the appearance 
of social sanction from the Church itself." 68 The authors 
of the articles referred to were Alfred J. Johnson of Lon- 
don, the Rev. A. B. Francisco, pastor of the Humboldt Park 
Church in Chicago, the Rev. Arthur Mercer, pastor of the 
Brooklyn Society, the Rev. Herbert C. Small, pastor of the 
Indianapolis Society, and the Rev. Hiram Vrooman, of the 
Society in Providence, R, I. 6 * 

The plea for a Social Gospel in the New Church was being 
made more and more frequently. The poet Edwin Mark- 
ham in an address in Boston said: "If Swedenborg had never 
expressed another idea than his immortal saying, 'All re- 
ligion has relation to life, and the life of religion is to do 
good/ he would have given the world enough to inspire a 
hundred seers. I never speak his name without emotion. 
He lifted me out of a quagmire of theology. He lifted me 
up to see the stars." 65 And Helen Keller, a devout Sweden- 
borgian, in an address on "A Vision of Service" at the 1928 
Convention at which she was the guest of honor, asked the 
following disturbing questions: "Is the New Church really 
any different from the Old?" It takes no stand on social 


matters, war, capitalism, etc. "What is the cause of this 
ever increasing darkness in the tabernacles of God? Why 
is humanity losing its faith in the liveableness of Christian- 
ity? While seeking the answer to these questions I opened 
Swedenborg's True Christian Religion, and there I found 
the answer: * Where there is no good of life, there is no 
longer a church. 3 Where people cease to apply their beliefs 
to practical living there is no faith. Is not that what has 
happened to the Christian Church? . . . My friends, we 
have wandered very far from the teachings of our Lord. 
We have lost our way in the maze of an evil system which 
makes a lie of Christianity." 66 

The issue has reappeared with the present economic crisis. 
An editorial in the Messenger, called "The New Church 
Tradition" says: "Every one seems agreed that the Church 
cannot properly, or even safely, ignore such a crisis in the 
common life as the present economic situation. To take 
such an attitude would be substantially to divorce religion 
from life altogether, and that Certainly no New Churchman 
could consider. When, however, we come to the question of 
what the Church actually ought to do in a crisis such as that 
through which we are now passing, one finds a considerable 
variation of opinion. For example in last week's and this 
week's issues of the Messenger, four quite different view- 
points are expressed or implied. . . . First, that the 
Church's function is simply to set forth as clearly as pos- 
sible . . . the spiritual principles and laws which underlie 
the situation. Second, that the Church should perhaps give 
its official backing to such projects as seem to be soundest, 
and most surely in line with its spiritual purpose. Third, 
that the Church should recognize the existence of the evil 
institutions of its time, and encourage its children to examine 
them in the light of their faith and judge them accordingly. 
Fourth, that all our economic ills are due to the institution 
of private property} that this is clearly contrary to the teach- 
ing of Christianity and the New Church; and that only sel- 
fishness and cowardice have kept the Church from recogniz- 
ing that fact, and that we should avert inevitable revolution 


by starting a movement for Christian communism. . . . 
There is much to be said for and against each of these posi- 
tions, though it is the first which beyond all doubt embodies 
the tradition of the organized New Church. Students of our 
history have remarked on the curious detachment which the 
Church has shown regarding movements for social reform, 
and have drawn unflattering conclusions. That detachment 
can, however, be defended as the outgrowth of an honest 
effort to keep personal opinion distinct from revealed 
truth." 67 

With the decline of exclusiveness came a new interest in 
social service work, both within the Church, and in coopera- 
tion with outside agencies. In 1913 a Social Service Com- 
mission was appointed by the Convention to correlate these 
activities. Among them were the settlement houses in New 
York City and Lynn, Mass., Institutional Sunday Schools in 
Virginia, and other ventures. 68 In its report in 1920 the 
Commission asks: "Has the Church of the New Jerusalem 
any vital interest in Social Service?' 7 , and in reply quotes sev- 
eral New Church writers. "Swedenborg was a practical leg- 
islator," says one, "all the time, and his energetic efforts to 
benefit his countrymen by better laws may put to shame the 
attitude of some who honor him as a theologian." Also: 
"The larger, social Christianity is right 5 it is the great in- 
terest of the hourj it is the hope for the future peace and 
progress of the world j but the larger Christianity must have 
strength and substance from the personal units of Christians 
of which it is composed." 69 The 1929 report shows a 
greatly increased activity in this direction. One of the pio- 
neers was the late Rev. Adolph Roeder, who during his 
pastorate in Vineland, N. J., from 1880 to 1895 played an 
active part in the life of the < community. Later, in his 
Orange, N. J., pastorate, he 'had organized the "Civics 
Movement," the influence of which had spread throughout 
the whole state resulting in improved conditions in many 
state institutions. An even earlier pioneer was the Rev. 
Charles H. Mann, Mr. Roeder's predecessor in the Orange 
Society, who left his impress on the educational institutions 


in that region. After his move to Elkhart, Ind., he became 
the center for the study of sociological, political, and eco- 
nomic questions in the light of New Church teaching. New 
Church Forums have been organized in Vineland, N. J., 
Akron, Ohio, Lancaster, Pa., Baltimore, Brooklyn, and other 
places. 70 

The most interesting recent development is the work of a 
Committee on the Cause of the Mentally Sick appointed in 
1928 with the Rev. Louis G. Hoeck as chairman. The work 
of this committee is the establishing of contacts with state 
institutions for the insane, and attempting to ameliorate the 
condition of the inmates. The first work was done by Mr. 
and Mrs. Hoeck in Ohio. Mr. Hoeck's pamphlet, A 
Neglected Peo^ple y was sent to the entire Convention mem- 
bership in the hope of stimulating other societies to take up 
this much-needed work. A number of New Church people, 
becoming interested in work with the insane, have taken up 
occupational therapy as a profession. The report says: "New 
Church people should make the most efficient workers in this 
field because of their knowledge of the soul as the mm 
regardless of how the body behaves, therefore bringing to 
their work a balance of intelligent sympathy which in itself 
is a vital contribution to the healing process." 71 The New 
Church feels that in the philosophy and psychology of 
Swedenborg there are principles particularly applicable to 
the treatment of mental disorders. As early as 1857 Dr. 
Garth Wilkinson made an interesting observation that the 
phenomena of Spiritualism, then so much in vogue, automatic 
writing and drawing in particular, might be of use in the 
treatment of the insane. "Let involuntary drawing be intro- 
duced then as a normal employment into asylums, and let 
the class of patients upon whom the Spirit-cure is to be tried 
be those who are only functionally deranged, and especially 
those who are suffering from disappointed affections, and in 
general mental and affectional causes. . . . Let each draw- 
ing be kept, dated and numbered, as marking a progress of 
state. Writing, composition, especially poetry, will flow by 
the same involuntary gift. ... By this means the inward 


experiences and trouble of the whole of the patient will be 
brought to the surface. ... By the most ordinary law of 
transference the internal malady will be drained away, and 
the whole mind will stream outward instead of brooding 
inwards. The phrase has often been used, Spirit-Drawing^ 
and it will be said, How call you it Spirit-Drawing when it 
is only imagination? I call it Spirit, because that is drawn 
through man's hands and poured through his mind which is 
not consciously in him before. ... If you choose to say it 
is your own spirit I have no objections} but can only aver that 
it is a new and unused faculty or power of faculty. And so, 
without fixing whose Spirit it is, I call it Spirit." 72 This re- 
markable foreshadowing of the psychoanalytic theory and 
method shows what might have been the result if more New 
Churchmen had concentrated on science instead of theology. 

This interest in the "cause of the mentally sick" has finally 
resulted in a campaign to raise the necessary funds for a New 
Church Psychiatric Institute, where the mentally sick can be 
treated at a moderate cost, and receive the benefits of re- 
ligious ministrations according to New Church theory. The 
opinion of four eminent New York psychiatrists have been 
secured as to the feasibility of such a project, and plans are 
under way. 78 

The attitude of the New Church in regard to war forms 
an interesting study along the lines of the Social Gospel. 
The first official mention of war as an evil appears in an 
address from the Western to the General Convention at the 
time of the War with Mexico. "We cannot close this com- 
munication, dear brethren, without expressing our deep sor- 
row that our beloved country should think herself obliged to 
vindicate her rights by a resort to arms. Let us hope that 
heavenly laws will soon so far prevail, as to make such kinds 
of resort unnecessary to secure the progress of right." M This 
attitude of detachment from the immediate issues appears 
even in the hectic days of 1860. An article, entitled 
"Thoughts on Present Day Discontents," states that the causes 
of the trouble are spiritual, and are to be found in North 
and South alike, "In the meantime how earnestly should 


we cherish in our hearts that spirit of patriotism, that love for 
the Union which alone can reunite us! How carefully should 
we abstain, not only from scornful words, but from that spirit 
of contempt and accusation which has resulted in such bitter 
fruit! How diligently should we strive to pluck the beam 
from our own eye, before seeking to cast the mote from our 
brother's eye!" And on April 27, 1861, the Messenger 
announces that the dreaded Civil War has actually come, 
"But the New Church, as a Church, can never cease to in- 
culcate the duties of forbearance and forgiveness of injuries, 
and to frown upon the spirit of revenge and retaliation 
wherever it may appear." 7S At the Convention of 1863 the 
following resolution with regard to the War was laid on the 
table. "Whereas, the political sins of our nation have at 
length culminated in a fearful and destructive civil war, be 
it resolved, That it is a belief of this body, that the great 
national prosperity of our nation has been allowed to seduce 
the hearts of her people from the love and the knowledge of 
God, and therefore of all spiritual things, and so to cover the 
mind of the nation with the gross darkness of materialism." 
But an address to the British Conference the same year makes 
practically the same statement of causes: "Slavery has often 
been set down as the cause of our troubles j the seeming 
favors this, for the rebellion is chiefly in the slave states, and 
the rebels are mostly slaveholders. But even slavery is only 
a concomitant effect of a deeper cause," i.e., the above-men- 
tioned "gross darkness of materialism." 76 It was not until 
1865 that any animosity toward the South appeared in the 
Convention. That year the meeting was held in Chicago, a 
hot-bed of New Church abolitionists, and several resolutions 
were passed which alienated the Southern New Churchmen 
from their Northern brethren. 77 

At the time of the War with Spain, instead of righteous 
indignation there was a questioning attitude toward our own 
noble motives, which in the light of our present imperialism 
sounds almost prophetic. "Swedenborg says that war is 
caused by the two master passions of the race, love of power 
and love of possession. . . . These two loves cannot be kept 


bound, since it is according to Divine Providence for every 
one to be allowed to act from freedom according to reason, 
and without permissions man cannot be led from evil by the 
Lord, and so cannot be reformed and saved. If the United 
States is not animated by these two motives in the present war 
with Spain, but by love to the neighbor, Cuba, then the war is 
right, otherwise, let us not be blind to the truth." 78 When 
President McKinley was assassinated the Messenger said: 
"Our own unregenerate hearts are filled with all manner of 
evils from which we are only kept by the mercy of the Lord. 
. . . Let none of us imagine, because the evil in our own 
lives does not take the form of the assassin's blow, that its 
influence is any less subversive of the principles upon which 
every government must rest if it is destined long to endure. 
Anarchy, disrespect of law, etc., are crimes of us all." 79 This 
idea of the psychological solidarity of the race, and of group, 
as well as individual guilt, is a corollary of the doctrine of 
the Grand Man, and has been in the New Church an effective 
antidote to jingoism and hysteria in national crises, as well as 
to the "holier than thou" attitude in daily life. 

In 1914 the New Church Review expressed its neutrality 
thus: "In the degree that one studies into the world situation 
culminating in this dreadful conflict, the easier it will be for 
him to come into a sincerely neutral state of mind, for he 
will see that hidden forces of evil have hurried these nations 
on into this frightful struggle quite against their wills." 
There is desire for power in both England and Germany, and 
Austria is guilty of wanting to punish Serbia. The war will 
teach us the solidarity of the race, the maximus homo, for 
even the neutrals will suffer. 80 Belgium too is suffering for 
her crimes in Africa, as well as for her luxury and vice. 81 
This strict neutrality brought criticism from New Church- 
men overseas. The English periodical, Morning Light, 
complained that they had looked in vain for "some really 
kind words of encouragement in their national trial." The 
Convention tried to meet this criticism in its annual address 
to the English Conference, by reminding the English 
Drethren that their neutrality in 1861 had been eauallv hard 


to bear. The Messenger also received letters from German 
sympathizers criticizing the New Church for not laying the 
blame for the war on England. 82 

By 1916 a few pacifistic communications had been pub- 
lished, and refuted, in the Messenger. "No man can be a 
conscientious pacifist unless he is consistent, and would adopt 
a policy of non-resistance, with regard to his own home and 
family, would he kill to defend his family?" 83 And in- 
deed, there is no basis for pacifism in the teachings of 
Swedenborg, who states unequivocally that wars which have 
for an end the protection of one's country are not opposed 
to charity. 84 In 1 9 1 6 the following resolution offered by the 
pacifists was tabled: "Resolved, That the members of the 
New Jerusalem in Convention assembled hold war in utter 
detestation and abhorrence as international murder and rob- 
bery, and as forbidden by the Divine Commandments." 85 
And in 1917 the Centennial Convention pledged its loyalty 
to the government in its war policies, for Swedenborg had 
declared, "That one's country should be loved, not as one 
loves oneself, but much more than himself, is a law inscribed 
on the human heart, . . . and that it is noble to die for it, 
and glorious for a soldier to shed his blood for it." 8e 




The General Convention of the New Jerusalem reached 
its highest point, numerically speaking, in the last decade oi 
the nineteenth century. During the succeeding years the 
decline has been more or less steady, as the following figures 

No. of No. of No. of 

Societies Ministers Members 

1890 187 in 5272 

1900 113 105 6926 

1910 100 101 6430 

1920 101 100 6582 

1930 83 107 5805 (?)' 

These figures, taken from the Convention Journals give 
only the regularly reported membership of the various So- 
cieties affiliated with the Convention, and do not include the 
isolated receivers. As a matter of fact the United States 
Census gives the New Church in some instances a much 
larger membership than the above, in 1 890 for instance, 7095 
members. 2 Carroll, in his Religious Forces of the United 
States, gives the General Convention 8,500 members in 
19 ro. 8 These discrepancies arise from the fact that there are 
hundreds of members of the New Church who, for one 
reason or another, are not affiliated with any Society, and 
whose names therefore do not appear in the Convention 

This decline is a matter of deep concern to the New 
Church, and its causes are frequently discussed. At a meet- 
ing of the Massachusetts Association in 1929 it was re- 
ported that the membership had increased in the years from 



1883 to 1898 from 1,486 to 1,817, or 22 P er cent j but that 
since 1898 the decrease had been alarming. Societies had 
been discontinued in Lancaster, Salem, Springfield, Fall 
River, and Fitchburg, and this in the section which for over 
a hundred years had been the very center of the New 
Church's strength. The report states that the Church is 
"suffering from spiritual atrophy" due to various causes, 
such as "worldliness, death and removals, the discourage- 
ment of small numbers, lack of faith, lack of understanding, 
appreciation and effective teaching of the doctrines." * 

To offset the discouragement caused by this decline, the 
more philosophical fall back on the "permeation theory" for 
comfort. This theory, briefly, is that since the Last Judg- 
ment and the Descent of the New Jerusalem, the whole 
world is being gradually permeated by the new truths, and 
the new spiritual power. Though the world has not ac- 
cepted the Writings of Swedenborg nevertheless his teach- 
ings have influenced its thought far more than it is aware. 
This optimistic point of view has been subjected to consid- 
erable criticism by the members of the General Church who 
consider the world hopelessly "vastated," and lost beyond 
any hope of redemption. 5 

On the other hand a good deal of interesting data has been 
collected by the "permeationists" to prove their contention. 
From the New York Independent as far back as 1869 comes 
this cheering tribute: "To a careless reader of ecclesiastical 
statistics, the Swedenborgian Church would seem to be one 
of the least of the great household of faith. To the careful 
student of religious thought it appears to be among the more 
important. It has made very few converts from the faith of 
orthodoxy; but it has materially modified that faith. . . . 
Whoever, therefore, desires to understand modern theology, 
and the elements which have contributed to its formation, has 
need to study the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg." fl And 
a similar testimonial comes from an article by the Rev. 
Heber Newton of the Episcopal Church: "Swedenborg's 
thought has been slowly leavening the great churches of 
Christianity in the Western worldj and under its influence, 


the traditional conception of immortality has been uncon- 
sciously changing. . . . The first really new conception of 
the character of immortality given to the world for eighteen 
centuries came through the great savant and philosopher and 
theologian of Sweden, Emanuel Swedenborg. . . . What- 
ever the nature and sources of this thought, its character was 
revolutionary, he reconstructed the whole idea of the here- 
after. For the first time in eighteen centuries, one might 
almost say for the first time in the history of humanity, it 
took on sane and sensible forms, and became rational and 
conceivable, natural and necessary." 7 A Methodist Bishop, 
John H. Vincent, adds his testimony: "In my earlier min- 
istry I devoted much time to the study of Swedenborg's 
works. His teachings have accomplished much towards 
spiritualizing the religious thought of Christendom." 8 In 
The Crime of Credulity, Herbert N. Casson states that 
"Swedenborg's ideas gradually permeated orthodoxy, and to 
a greater extent than has ever been acknowledged." * But 
the Evidence Society is obliged to admit this discouraging 
fact, "When we look for evidences of New Church influence 
upon the religious world, we meet the startling fact that the 
drift of religious opinion and conviction is unmistakably away 
from the two most vital and fundamental doctrines of the 
New Church, namely, the doctrine of the Lord, and the 
doctrine of the Sacred Scripture, in other words, the Divine 
Humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the plenary inspira- 
tion of the Bible." 10 

There is also a negative side to the permeation theory, and 
Canon Barry in an article in the Atlantic Monthly (1913) 
gives the permeationists a little more than they bargained 
for. He calls Swedenborg "the father of Mormons, Spiritu- 
alists, Second Adventistsj the direct guide of Thomas Lake 
Harris j the ancestor, several times removed, of Mrs. Eddy 
and her Christian Science. Swedenborg occupies in the de- 
velopment of these modern religions a place corresponding 
to that of Bacon as regards the Inductive Method. He is at 
once popular and scientific in appearance. . , . He whispers 
to each new Adam and Eve the secret loner aero consigned to 


Platonic Dialogues which only scholars read, of 'heavenly 
counterparts,' or marriages made in heaven. I am not speak- 
ing figuratively} you may trace the amazing doctrine and 
its consequences along the path of Latter Day Saints, in the 
life and writings of Harris or Lawrence Oliphant, etc." all 
the way, straight to Reno! u This is considerably more 
permeation than the New Church has ever laid daim to! 

The New Church Evidence Society was founded in 1895 
"to take note of and make generally known such evidences of 
the New Church as may be found in literature or gathered 
from current talk} to correct misconceptions and misstate- 
mentS} to provide ways of further conveying a knowledge of 
the New Church to the world, through the agency of com- 
mittees suited to the circumstances of each locality." 12 The 
following year they reported that a careful investigation had 
showed that all the misconceptions and misstatements re- 
garding Swedenborg might be traced back to the bodies of 
opinion regarding him centering around Blake, Kant, Emer- 
son, and the Brockmer insanity story circulated by Wesley, 13 
After five years more of investigation they reported, "On 
the basis of our records, we can not only say, in general, that 
the influence of Swedenborg's teachings and New Church 
thought pervade the religious, philosophical, literary, and 
social life of our times, but we can give decisive instances and 
authoritative statements to show such influence. In science 
we have the case of the nebular hypothesis, while in the spe- 
cial branches of chemistry, physics, and physiology, we have 
evidence that Swedenborg anticipated, if he did not directly 
influence, the most recent methods and results. The same 
can be said of his relation to the doctrine of evolution. But 
aside from details, the largeness of view and correctness of 
perspective with which Swedenborg surveyed the field of 
science, gave a character to his influence which has made it 
potent not merely \yithin the field of science itself, but in the 
wider and higher realm of philosophy. Recent studies point 
to the fact that Swedenborg's influence is the decisive ele- 
ment in modern philosophy. We have found that his doc- 
trines of the spiritual world, of degrees, and of space and 


time, as given in the Arcana Coelestia influenced Kant, and 
probably determined the form and substance of his philos- 
ophy." " 

The former secretary of the Evidence Society, the Rev. 
Lewis F. Kite, professor of philosophy at the New Church 
Theological School, has made a number of interesting studies 
of the writings of Royce, James, and Miinsterberg in their 
relation to the philosophy of Swedenborg, which have ap- 
peared from time to time in the New Church Review. He 
states that Royce's World and the Individual is the best 
exposition extant, indirectly, of Swedenborg's doctrine of 
Love, and that Miinsterberg's Eternal Values is the same for 
Swedenborg's doctrine of the will. They are complementary 
to each other, as Love and Wisdom. "Students of Sweden- 
borg's philosophy will be constantly reminded of points of 
contact. The thesis that the will is self-assertion and the 
whole exposition of the nature of self-assertion, must suggest 
Swedenborg's doctrine of the proprium, and will help ma- 
terially in expounding that doctrine." 1B 

Other examples of Swedenborg's influence on modern 
thought are reported: "The growing popularity of Sweden- 
borg's doctrines is strikingly exhibited by the frequent and 
copious references in what we may call magazines of eccentric 
thought In this list we place such as we find in Spiritualistic, 
Theosophic, and Christian Science circles, and in the various 
recrudescences of Orientalism. . . * They attract crude but 
eager minds, which would be greatly helped by sober and 
thoughtful presentations of Swedenborg's doctrines." 16 
There is also a new interest in Swedenborg as a psychologist. 
Reuen Thomas in Leaders of Thought m the Modern 
Church writes: "They (the many who have made themselves 
familiar with his works) admit him to be one of the greatest 
of great psychologists, and if in this chorus of voices my own 
whisper could be heard, I should be inclined to say that it 
is this wondrous psychological ability that distinguishes 
Swedenborg above all modern men." And Julius Nelson 
writes in the American Journal of Psychology (February, 
1890) "Swedenborg's work on The Soid, or Rational Psy- 


chology y though only relatively modern, is chosen for its 
representative character. It is probably the ablest exposition 
from a transcendental standpoint we have." 1T The permea- 
tion theory is not, therefore, altogether an example of "wish- 
ful thinking." 

This question of permeation leads naturally to a study of 
the methods of propaganda by which the doctrines are spread. 
In 1906 Clarence W. Barron, the great financial journalist, 
founder of the Wall Street Journal, who was one of the most 
zealous members of the Boston Society, undertook an investi- 
gation of the effectiveness of the methods in use. For this 
purpose he made a canvas of the membership of the entire 
New Church to find out how the majority had been con- 
verted. Out of 800 replies to his questionnaire, only 200 
were brought up in the church, which proves that it is not, 
within itself, a growing body, that is, it is not keeping its 
own children. This being the case, the question is, what are 
the most effective ways of bringing in outsiders? The replies 
to the questionnaire were tabulated as follows: 

By the conversation of a friend 

By an address by a minister . 5 

By an address by a missionary ... 2 " 

By reading Swedenborg . . . 19 " 

By reading New Church literature . 19 " 

By reading other literature ..... 6 " 

The power of the press is here proved beyond a doubt, 
45 per cent of the conversions having resulted from the 
printed word. The second largest figure shows the strong 
appeal of personal evangelism, whereas the clergy make a 
rather poor showing. 18 Mr. Barron felt that this thoroughly 
corroborated Swedenborg's statement that the printing press 
was the true organ of the new gospel, and in 1927 he gave 
$70,000 to the New Church for publicity and publication. 19 

And indeed the New Church has always pinned its faith to 
the power of the printed word. In 1858 Barrett wrote: 
"The great body of New Church literature, apart from the 


writings of Swedenborg himself, is highly respectable, but, 
with one or two exceptions, we cannot say that it is either re- 
markable or brilliant. . . . But there is something more re- 
markable in the quantity than in the quality. . . . Perhaps 
in no other instance could we find a society of individuals, 
operating with a numerical force so weak and limited, and 
yet producing so great an amount of substantial and efficient 
labor." 20 And the same statement might be made of the 
great quantity of literature produced since then. The New 
Church believes that "the kingdom of heaven cometh not by 
observation," but by reading! Between the years 1801 and 
1881 there were more than thirty New Church periodicals 
founded, though many of them had only a brief span of life. 

In 1921 all the book concerns connected with the Con- 
vention were united to promote better cooperation and co- 
ordination of work. The extent of these publishing activities, 
as shown in their annual reports, is astonishing. In 1930 
the lungerich Fund, established in 1873 for the free dis- 
tribution of the works of Swedenborg to the Protestant 
clergy, reported a grand total of 110,782 volumes since its 
foundation, and invested funds amounting to over $60,000. 
The Rotch Trustees, publishers of the Rotch Edition of 
Swedenborg, reported a fund of almost $20,000 on hand for 
publication uses, and the New Church Board of Publication, 
which publishes the New Church Messenger and consid- 
erable collateral literature, reports total assets of $111,- 
623.36, and an annual expenditure of $I2,359.62. 21 The 
Swedenborg Foundation, an organization entirely independ- 
ent of the General Convention, but affiliated with it, reported 
total investments of $510,144.72. They also reported for 
the year 14,588 books sold, and 28,278 donated. Since its 
incorporation in 1850 this organization has donated to libra- 
ries and other institutions, ministers, theological students, and 
Dther individuals a total of 872,432 volumes. 22 

Besides these publishing activities there are various other 
methods of propaganda. The Lecture and Publicity Bureau, 
resides publishing and distributing thousands of leaflets an- 
lually, finances lectures, both platform and radio. Broad- 


casting is now a regular feature of New Church publicity, 
being carried on from several centers, Los Angeles, Chicago, 
Cincinnati, Portland, Ore., Philadelphia, Boston, and New 
York. In connection with the broadcasting a great deal of 
follow-up work is done, including a correspondence course, 
and distribution of free literature, with highly gratifying re- 
sults reported. The Chicago radio talks have resulted in the 
sale of almost 1,500 books. The Rev. John W. Stockwell 
of Philadelphia conducts the First Undenominational Radio 
Church, in which the teachings of Swedenborg are applied 
to social problems from a non-sectarian viewpoint, whereas 
the radio talks of the Rev. Arthur Wilde of New York, 
under the auspices of the Swedenborg Foundation, are clear- 
cut expositions of "distinctive New Church teaching." 28 
One cannot help but think how happy Swedenborg would be 
to have his doctrines disseminated by this most etherial of 
mediums by which time and space are all but eliminated, as 
he says they are in the spiritual world. 

Closely allied to propaganda is missionary work. The 
New Church Review states that "in the broad sense the New 
Church has never been a missionary church," and that its 
interest in foreign missions is new. There are several reasons 
for this, first, lack of funds in the early days of the church, 
and second, lack of necessity. According to Swedenborg the 
heathen have just as good a chance of ultimate salvation as 
Christians provided they live up to their own beliefs sin- 
cerely, and therefore there is no urgent need to save them 
from eternal damnation. 24 Contrary to the practice of the 
other churches, the New Church has not sent missionaries 
into foreign lands, but has waited to give assistance until a 
call has come from the field itself. For many years mis- 
sionary work was confined to the home field, and consisted of 
the employment by the Convention of missionary ministers to 
cover certain territory, lecturing, preaching, baptizing, and 
distributing literature. Colportage has always been an im- 
portant feature of the missionary work. Since the Civil 
War the growth of home missionary work has been rapid. 
In 1860 the amount spent for this purpose was only $419.03, 


but by 1880 this had increased to $1,568.33, and included 
work in Georgia, Connecticut, Iowa, Tennessee, Missouri, 
Kansas, Illinois, and Virginia. By 1900 the amount had 
doubled, and in 1930 over $32,000 was spent on missionary 
work (including also the foreign field). There are now 
several fields, with local headquarters in Seattle, Herbert, 
Saskatchewan, Minneapolis, Bellaire, Texas, Savannah, Ga., 
and Tampa, Fla. Seven hundred and twenty scattered re- 
ceivers are reported in the South. 25 

A special feature is the work among the colored people. 
The first colored mission was founded in Washington, D. C,, 
in 1885, by P. C. Louis, a former slave, who had been in- 
structed in New Church doctrines by Mrs. Mary W. Clarke 
in 1871. This struggling little mission was taken up by the 
Maryland Association, and an earnest appeal made to the 
Convention for assistance, by Mrs. Ellen Spencer Mussey. 
In a paper read at the Congress of Religions in Chicago in 
1893 on "The Duty of the New Church to the African 
Race," Mrs. Mussey said: "After a hundred years of the 
New Church we have not yet done anything for them. Yet 
Swedenborg wrote, *In heaven the Africans are the most 
loved of all the Gentiles: they receive the goods and truths of 
heaven more easily than the rest} they wish to be called the 
obedient, not the faithful.' . . . And nearly every other de- 
nomination has funds for colored work." 26 For a number 
of years missionary work among the colored people of Ala- 
bama was carried on by the Rev. George Gay Daniel, a 
colored teacher engaged in farm demonstration work under 
the State College of Agriculture. In a letter to the Conven- 
tion he describes himself as not denominational, but like 
Paul, all things to all men. "I may be distinctly a New 
Churchman, but I am not 'distinctive,' as I understand this 
too technical a term for my missionary make-up." 2T The 
Rev. Mr. Daniel was for a time Convention missionary in 
James Glen's old home, British Guiana. There are now 
successful Societies of colored people in New York City, 
Cambridge, Mass., and Chicago. 

The foreign missionary work began in cooperation with 


the British Conference in the Scandinavian countries and 
Italy. Since the first wave of interest in the writings of 
Swedenborg among the scholars and nobility of Sweden, 
Germany, and France died out in the early nineteenth cen- 
tury, the New Church in Europe has languished, and its 
present feeble existence on the continent is due mainly to 
missionary activity from England and the United States. 
It is one of the ironies of history that Swedenborgfs native 
land should be a "foreign mission field" for his own re- 
ligion! Truly a prophet is not without honor save in his 
own country. In 1880 the Convention voted $150 to the 
work being financed by the British Conference in Sweden 
and Denmark and an equal amount for Italy. Since then 
the interest in foreign missions has grown slowly. In 1890 
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were added to the mission 
field, and by 1900, Germany and Switzerland. This could 
hardly have been very extensive work, however, for the total 
amount subscribed that year was only $725. In 1910 the 
amount was even less. It is obvious therefore that the real 
interest which now exists is the product of the last twenty 
years. By 1920 the change was marked, the amount spent 
being over $5,000, 60 per cent of the amount for the home 
field. In 1930 the situation shows a remarkable advance, the 
amount spent abroad being $14,830.74, and the field now in- 
cluding British Guiana, Dutch Guiana, Japan, the Philip- 
pines, Burma, Latvia, Austria, France, and Czecho-Slovakia. 
The Convention now gives partial or entire support to 
twenty-one ministers in fourteen countries. 28 

The foreign mission policy of the New Church is as dis- 
tinctive as its theology. It works on the principle that the 
interest must be spontaneous and indigenous. When such 
an interest arises, usually due to the discovery of Sweden- 
borg's writings by some educated native who starts a reading 
circle, and an appeal for help is received, it is answered first 
by gifts of literature in the language of the country, or 
financial aid in its publication. The next step is the educa- 
tion, either at the Theological School in Cambridge, or the 
London New Church Theological School, of a suitable young 


native and his ordination into the ministry. Eleven of these 
foreign students have been trained at Cambridge, seven of 
whom are now missionaries in their own countries. There is 
not one American in the foreign work of the New Church, this 
policy o developing native leadership having been followed 
consistently. The only exception to this rule was the send- 
ing of an American to the Philippines to organize the work 
and train native leaders, but this was only a temporary expe- 
dient. The feeling underlying this policy is that the Lord's 
New Church belongs to the world, and should take root in 
the racial and cultural background of every people accord- 
ing to their own particular genius. 29 It is clear that the type 
of New Church developed in the United States would not be 
the proper sort of New Church for Burma or British Guiana, 
they must grow their own type of organization. Thus the 
New Church has avoided many pitfalls, such as foisting an 
alien culture along with an alien religion. Due to this en- 
lightened policy there have been some interesting and un- 
usual developments in connection with the New Church in 
foreign lands, such as a School of Music in Tokyo which 
started with a hundred and ninety-two pupils, and defeated 
the Government Music School in a contest. 80 The New 
Church is in a peculiarly favorable position for missionary 
work, doctrinally speaking, for Swedenborg saw in every 
heathen religion some "remains" of the Ancient Church pre- 
served at its core to blossom forth in time into the New 
Christianity. Therefore it is more possible for the New 
Church to take a positive attitude toward the old faiths, and 
to build upon them as a foundation, without the painful 
necessity of uprooting them altogether. 

The attitude of the New Church toward other denomi- 
nations has been generally, as we have seen, one of extreme 
"separatism" and exclusiveness, but in 1893 an event oc- 
curred which brought it for the first time into close contact 
with other religions, not only of America but of the entire 
world. The periodical literature since then shows how broad- 
ening an experience this was. The event was the World's 
Parliament of Religions, held in connection with the Chi- 


cago Exposition. The originator o the idea of such a Parlia- 
ment was Charles Carroll Bonney, a prominent Chicago New 
Churchman. He had joined the New Church at the age of 
nineteen in Peoria, N. Y. "Here," says Mr. Bonney, "I 
was taught the fundamental truths which made a World 
Parliament of Religions possible; upon which rested the 
whole plan of the Religious Congresses of 1893. c lt is of 
the Lord's Divine Providence that every nation has some 
religion, and the foundation of all religion is an acknowledg- 
ment that there is a God; otherwise it is not called a religion; 
and every nation which lives according to its religion, that is, 
which refrains from evil because it is against its God, receives 
something spiritual into its natural principle.' (Divine Prov- 
idence, 322.) *There is a Universal influx from God, into 
the souls of men, teaching them that there is a God, and that 
He is one.' (True Christian Religion, 8.) For many years 
before the World's Columbian Exposition was proposed, I 
enjoyed the inestimable benefits of an intimate and cordial 
association with members and ministers of many different 
denominations, and made public addresses on c Law and 
Order,' and 'Moral and Social Reforms' in many different 
churches. Thus I came to know the distinguishing charac- 
teristics of various religious organizations, to respect them 
sincerely, and yearn to understand the reasons for their 
peculiar views; to learn that all creeds have meanings which 
only those who profess them can explain; that the Church 
essentially consists in certain Divine things, and not in the 
ever varying views of men respecting the eternal verities. 81 
"While thinking about the nature and proper characteris- 
tics of this great undertaking [the Exposition], there came 
into my mind the idea of a comprehensive and well-organ- 
ized Intellectual and Moral Exposition of the progress of 
mankind to be held in connection with the proposed display 
of material forms. ... I commenced to discuss it with inti- 
mate friends, and among them spoke of it to Mr. Walter 
Thomas Mills, then editor of the Statesman magazine." M 
An article on the subject in the Statesman, September 20, 
1889, was received with favor, and on October I5th a Gen- 


eral Committee of Organization was appointed with Mr. 
Bonney chairman. This tremendous project of Mr. Bon- 
ney's included separate congresses on Art, Agriculture, Com- 
merce and Finance, Education, Engineering, Government, 
Literature, Labor, Medicine, Moral and Social Reform, 
Music, the Public Press, Religion, Temperance, Science, and 
Philosophy. There was also a Woman's Branch, of which 
Mrs. Potter Palmer was President. Not only was a New 
Churchman -the inaugurator and President of this great or- 
ganization, but another New Churchman, Daniel H. Burn- 
ham, the chief architect of the Exposition, was chairman of 
the Architecture division. 88 

"When it pleased God to give me the idea of the World's 
Congresses of 1893," said Mr. Bonney in his opening ad- 
dress, "there came with that idea a profound conviction that 
their crowning glory should be a fraternal conference of the 
world's religions." To this end he had appointed a commit- 
tee of the leading clergymen of Chicago, with the Rev. John 
Henry Barrows, D.D., of the First Presbyterian Church, as 
chairman. Among the purposes of the Congress, as stated 
by the Committee in their prospectus, was the following: 
"To secure from leading scholars full and accurate state- 
ments of the spiritual and other effects of the religions which 
they hold upon the literature, art, commerce, government, 
domestic and social life of the peoples among whom these 
f aiths have prevailed." In this way the Religious Congress 
was to be linked up with the general cultural purposes of all 
the others. "The realization of a Religious Parliament was 
mainly due to Mr. Bonney's tact, to his impartiality toward 
all, his reconciliatory spirit in the clash of opposed interests, 
his conservatism and circumspection." u 

The Congress was opened by President Bonney with the 
following words: "Worshippers of God and Lovers of Man: 
Let us rejoice that we have lived to see this glorious day. 
... In this Congress the word Religion means the love and 
worship of God, and the love and service of man. . . . We 
seek to unite all Religion against irreligionj to make the 
Golden Rule the basis of this union j and to present to the 


world the substantial unity of many Religions in the good 
deeds of the Religious life. . . . We meet on the mountain 
height of absolute respect for the religious convictions of 
each other." 85 This opening scene is described thus: "In the 
midst of this impressive and august body, with cardinals, 
archbishops, bishops, priests, and scholars of all the Faiths of 
mankind on his right and left, sat as president, organizer, and 
director of the whole, a New Churchman, our zealous and 
beloved brother, Charles C. Bonney, Esq. . . . Later, in 
the wonderful closing scenes of the Parliament, the night of 
the parting, he was hailed and cheered by the vast audience 
rising to their feet and waving their handkerchiefs, so that 
it was long before he could utter his words of humble and 
sincere acknowledgment and gratitude." 86 Before the 
Parliament closed a movement was on foot for its extension, 
and a Committee appointed with Mr. Frank M. Bristol of 
the Methodist Church of Evanston, chairman, and Dr. Paul 
Carus, editor of the Mowst, secretary. Dr. Carus had taken 
a great deal of interest in the Parliament, and had presented 
a paper on "Science and Religious Revelation" at one of the 
sessions. He now became one of the prime movers in the 
effort to make the work of the Parliament permanent. 87 

Since the Congress of Religion the New Church has shown 
a spirit of greater friendliness and cooperation toward the "old 
churches." In 1917 the question of the advisability of join- 
ing the Federal Council of Churches came up, and an article 
on the subject in the New Church Review reveals this new 
attitude. "No New Churchman can consider the things we 
have been presenting without some feeling of conviction that 
the Lord is revitalizing the Old Churches, and infilling them 
with the spirit of the New. ... It is vastly important for 
the New Church to consider its relation to other churches." 
That year the Convention voted to accept the invitation from 
the Federal Council, and the following year the President 
of Convention commented on this improved attitude: "We 
seem to be less self -centered j and the spirit is one that asks 
humbly but earnestly for a share in the work of serving the 
Lord and our fellow men in this time of stress and strife." 88 


The World's Congresses also gave a great impetus to New 
Church women by their discussions of the relation of the 
New Church to the Woman Movement, and to the general 
question of woman's place and function in the world. Since 
the nineties New Church women have played an increas- 
ingly important part in the affairs of the Church. When the 
church in Washington, D. C., burned in 1889, it was felt 
that the Convention should assist the Washington Society to 
replace it with a National House of Worship adequate to its 
location in the national Capital, and the women of the church 
were active in raising the necessary funds. In fact, over half 
the amount of almost $106,000 came from three women, 
Mrs. Margaretta DuPont of Wilmington, Mrs. Nancy Scud- 
der of Washington, and Mrs. Melissa Hotchkiss of Middle- 
town, Conn. 89 

The National Alliance of New Church Women was 
founded in 1904 when eighty delegates from the various 
societies held a preliminary meeting in Washington to draw 
up by-laws for the new organization. Its first regular meet- 
ing was held in Boston the following year. A questionnaire 
was sent to the different societies to find out what were their 
principal fields of work within the church, whether they 
undertook any activities outside the church, what new plans 
had been tried during the year, and what were their most 
perplexing problems. During its twenty-five years of life 
the Alliance has contributed heavily in money and effort to 
the upbuilding of the church. In 1 9 15 it contributed toward 
the payment of the debt on the new parish house in Wash- 
ington, and to Urbana University. In 1916 it was reported 
at the Convention that the women had come to the rescue of 
the Pension Fund Committee in its almost hopeless struggle 
against a dead weight of indifference toward this most neces- 
sary work of charity. Through their efforts the annual sub- 
scriptions to the Fund had been raised from $667 to $2,827, 
In 1917 the Alliance sent over $1,500 and many cases of 
clothing to England for war relief. In 1930 a paying 
membership of $1,150 was reported, and total receipts for 
the year of $1,075.37. Of this $500 was given to the Mis- 


sion Board, $100 to Urbana, and $125 for other purposes. 40 
Since 1918 there has been a special number of the Mes- 
senger every year devoted to articles by members of the 
Alliance, which are interesting testimony to the varied in- 
terests of New Church women. There are also papers read 
at the monthly meetings on either doctrinal subjects, or ques- 
tions of the day from the New Church point of view. Many 
of these papers show careful preparation, and an unusual de- 
gree of hard thinking. The function of the Alliance in the 
Church has been described by one of its members as follows: 
"As the Church, in the higher sense, is the mother of the 
community, so the women within its organization quite 
naturally assume responsibilities befitting a spiritual woman- 
hood operating on both the Mary and Martha planes. As 
in the home, also, a mother's duty reaches from the most 
menial task to the higher education of her children, so the 
women of the Church sew and cook and clean house } also 
they study the writings, and discuss their application to the 
problems at hand. . . . Diverse as are the needs in different 
communities or in their local societies, no less diverse are 
the activities of women in their several centers. Yet with 
all this diversity there is a common background. The pat- 
tern and the web may differ, but the woof is the same, love 
of service." 41 

One of the most difficult problems which the New Church, 
like all the others, has to deal with is that of keeping its 
young people, and this problem begins to be felt acutely even 
in the Sunday School. In 1924 the report of the Sunday 
School Association contains the following resolution: "That 
we deplore the decrease in membership in New Church Sun- 
day Schools at a time when Sunday Schools of other denomi- 
nations are increasing} That we attribute this decrease mainly 
to the mistaken attitude of our Church workers in not making 
a strong enough appeal to the children's emotions, and we 
urge upon all to take a most earnest attitude of love first and 
instruction second." With regard to the use of the Inter- 
national Course of Lessons there had been considerable dis- 
cussion. "Some felt that the outside helps are not only a 


step backward, but a real danger. Others felt that they are 
the only really good helps for children. The International 
Course is written by experts and appeals to children as noth- 
ing yet produced by the New Church has." 42 A little 
weekly magazine called Sunday Afternoons, containing les- 
son material, is published by the New Church, but some of 
the more progressive Sunday Schools prefer the International 
Course. A questionnaire sent out by the Sunday School Asso- 
ciation netted the following discouraging figures: 

1 901 Enrollment 3978 Average attendance 2471 
1929 " 3055 " " 1782 

The reasons for this ominous decline are given as lack of 
up-to-date methods, of adjustment to changing communi- 
ties, and of modern-minded, trained teachers. An even more 
alarming decline was reported in October, 1930: six less Sun- 
day Schools, and five hundred less pupils than in 1929, a 
startling loss for one year. It has been estimated by a 
statistician that if the New Church had kept her children 
from the beginning there would now be a church membership 
of over six hundred thousand! 4S 

From the Sunday School the young people graduate nor- 
mally into the New Church League, a small but lively or- 
ganization. The League was founded in Boston in 1875, 
six years before the Christian Endeavor, under the name of 
the Young People's Association, the Rev. H. Clinton Hay 
being one of the founders. The plan was followed by sev- 
eral other Societies, and about ten years later the local Asso- 
ciations were united as the National American New Church 
League. The new organization grew steadily up to 1917 
when a membership of about 1,500 was reported, but since 
then there has been a sharp decline, until in 1925 it reached 
a low ebb of only 700. Since then, however, there has been 
a marked increase in interest and membership, there now 
being thirty-one Senior and ten Junior Leagues. 44 The New 
Church League Journal, a monthly magazine, founded in 
1900, proves that the young people are 1 following New 


Church tradition with regard to a fondness for literary activi- 
ties. And not only does the League publish its own maga- 
zine, but also produces special League numbers of the Mes- 
senger. The League Journal reveals the varied interests of 
the young people, such as the relation of Christianity to the 
race problem, business and industry, student problems, inter- 
national relations, sex education, and recreation. There is a 
marked tendency in the League toward a vital interest in the 
Social Gospel. The discussion group method is used at 
League meetings with great success. A criticism of certain 
types of discussion appears in this refreshing communication 
from a dissenter. "Dear Editor: Since when have our Young 
People's League discussion groups partaken of the nature 
of an 'Affairs of the Heart' column in the daily newspaper? 
One cannot help wondering this after reading in the January 
Journal suggested questions for discussion such as the fol- 
lowing: Is kissing wise before an engagement? How young 
is it wise to marry? Should people who are not sure of 
financial security start a family, etc. ... I do not want to 
come right out and say that I think such questions foolish, 
but I should like to ask if any one really considers the dis- 
cussion of such topics useful? ... It is safe to say that if 
John wants to kiss Mary, albeit they are not engaged, John 
will kiss Mary, providing she is equally willing, although 
all the Leagues in the country combine in saying it shouldn't 
be done. Therefore why talk about it? " * 5 

The young people are also severe critics of the Church. 
Their Ritual Committee recommends the introduction of 
hymns with distinctly New Church ideas, and expresses its 
disapproval of the Liturgy as "a perversion of the Anglican," 
and a desire for "a distinctly New Church service." Same of 
the young people do not care for the preaching. <c The typical 
New Church sermon," writes one discontented youth, "ap- 
parently does not reach me to any appreciable degree what- 
soever. I cannot understand 'Swedenborgese,' nor can I in- 
terpret it in the everyday language that I know. Other 
young people with whom I have talked have the same diffi- 
culty. What do such things as 'Divine Love and Wisdom,' 


or c Divine light and power' mean? On the other hand, when 
I listen to ministers from other churches who preach in the 
college chapel, I not only can understand their points quite 
readily, but I have the feeling that my background of New 
Church principles gives me a deeper insight than I should 
otherwise have. It is all very confusing. I have been told 
that as I get older I shall get more out of New Church ser- 
mons, and no doubt I shall. But this would only seem to 
indicate that the New Church is only for those of consider- 
able experience and religious training, which excludes the 
younger members of society at the outset. . . . Hence I 
conclude that young people in general cannot and will not 
<be bothered 3 to stay in the Church." 46 This criticism is of 
course extreme, but the problem, so clearly stated, is for the 
New Church a life and death matter. 

Another feature of the New Church which is of particular 
interest to the young people is the three Summer Schools, or 
Assemblies, one at Almont, near LaPorte, Ind., another at 
Fryeburg, Maine, and a third in California. The Almont 
Assembly began in 1887 at a New Church summer resort 
called Weller's Grove, conducted by the family of the Rev. 
Henry Weller, founder of the LaPorte Society. There were 
morning prayers, and meetings for discussion of the doc- 
trines. It was hoped that it would grow into a sort of New 
Church Chautauqua. In the nineties the instruction feature 
was developed by the late Rev. E. J. E. Schreck, and in 1920 
the first regular two weeks' Summer School session was held. 
In 1930 there was an average weekday attendance of eighty, 
with double the number over the week-ends. There were 
lectures, discussion groups, a question box, and the usual 
recreational activities.* 7 The Fryeburg Assembly, an under- 
taking inspired by the success of the Almont Assembly, held 
its first session in 1921, and by 1929 had a total registration 
of 148. A special feature of this Assembly is an organization 
of young people who call themselves "the Fryeburg 
Flames," who carry on discussion groups under their own 
leadership. This "flaming youth" of Fryeburg has met with 
some rather drastic criticism from its elders. In an article 


in the Review these young people are told that they have 
been weighed and found wanting because their attitude 
echoed "the naturalistic and individualistic radicalism of the 
day." The Messenger, always the friend of the young peo- 
ple, rose to their defense, saying that the most important 
thing, their serious interest in Social Christianity, has ap- 
parently not been taken seriously enough by their critics. 
The following questions taken from the blackboard during 
their discussions reveal this interest: "What should be our 
attitude toward authority? toward classes, rich and poor? 
toward colored people? Is it ever right to tell a white lie? 
to kill, in war or any other time?" They also discuss the 
relation of New Church teaching to birth control, suicide, 
capital punishment, child labor, prohibition, vivisection, men- 
tal healing, spiritualism, non-resistance, church unity, petting, 
monogamy, trial and companionate marriage. The Mes- 
senger goes on to say: "They are not particularly attracted 
by compromise. . . . They refuse to listen to our lullabies. 
. . . Therefore we shall have to enter into their problems 
or see the best of them go, if they have not gone already. 
Which shall it be?" 48 

"New Church Education," once so vital an interest in the 
Convention, has dwindled to a place of comparative unim- 
portance, the Theological School at Cambridge, and the Uni- 
versity (now a Junior College) at Urbana, being the only 
educational institutions under the control of the Convention. 
There is a New Church Boarding School for Girls at Wai- 
tham, but that is a private concern. The Theological School 
has had its "ups and downs." 1908 seems to have been the 
lowest point, with a student body of two, a faculty of four, 
and an annual running expense of almost $9,000! In 1910 
four resident students were reported, and several taking a 
correspondence course. By this time the endowment fund 
had reached the sum of $266,825.74, and the annual ex- 
penditures over $16,000, an impressive outlay for four 
students. 1920 showed an even more unsatisfactory situa- 
tion, five students and a deficit of $3,000. This dearth of 
candidates for the ministry presented a serious problem, and 


the requirement of a college education for entrance has 
never been very rigidly enforced. Its opponents point to the 
incontestable fact that some of the ablest ministers the Church 
has produced have not been college men. In 1924 a survey 
of theological schools in America was made by the Institute 
of Social and Religious Research which was favorable in 
some respects to the New Church School and unfavorable in 
others. The 1930 report of the School shows a decided im- 
provement, with ten students, two of whom are also working 
for a Harvard degree. The correspondence course had 
twenty-five students, several being in foreign lands. The 
annual expenditure of $27,503.02 was more than met by the 
annual income of $56,53y.88. 49 

The story of Urbana has been an even more checkered 
one. Its complete collapse during the Civil War was, as we 
have seen, followed by a brief renaissance in the seventies, 
until the resignation in 1886 of its President, the Rev. Frank 
Sewall, after fifteen years of struggle with an inadequate en- 
dowment and teaching staff. The curriculum was at this time 
wholly unbalanced, with ninety-four hours a week devoted 
to languages, eleven to English, seven to the sciences, and 
only twenty-two for all the rest. Outside of mathematics 
and the classics the course was entirely inadequate. There 
were no graduates from 1881 to 1885, and the college de- 
partment fell from seventeen to five. In 1888 the total en- 
rollment was only twenty-nine, and forty years later, in 
1928, thirty-one, a most discouraging lack of growth. Of 
these only three were New Church children, and there was 
only one New Church instructor, a telling commentary on 
the Church's attitude toward its own school. 50 In 1920 a 
gift of $160,000 was made to the endowment fund by the 
college's most celebrated alumnus, General T. Coleman Du- 
Pont, and an equal amount raised by the Convention. A 
letter to the Messenger stating that New Church people con- 
tributed to the fund out of sheer loyalty, but that they do not 
send their children there because they do not believe in 
sectarian education, brought in a flood of replies on both 
sides of the question." In 1923 Urbana was reorganized as 


a Junior College with a two-year course of college grade, the 
last two years of college being dropped from the curriculum* 
It was reported in 1927 that Urbana met nearly all the re- 
quirements for Junior Colleges made by the North Central 
Association, the deficiency being mainly in number of pupils. 
In 1930 the student body was seventy-five (more than the 
required sixty), and the endowment was half a million. The 
faculty consists of seven men and two women, one Ph.D., 
five M.A.'s, a M.S., a B.S., and an art teacher trained in 
Europe. It seems that at last Urbana is permanently on the 
up-grade. 52 

Urbana has never been a "distinctively New Church" school 
in the same sense as the Academy Schools. From the begin- 
ning "old church" children have been admitted, and doc- 
trinal courses have been optional. In his commencement ad- 
dress in 1903 Professor Hite said: "It takes its place in the 
community, not as a sectarian school, but as a school for 
humanity. It imposes its theological and religious tenets 
upon no one, although k provides ample opportunity for 
all its students to learn and appreciate its distinctive prin- 
ciples. Its ideal is to make its academic instruction as broad 
and as deep as the scholarship of the world, but it proposes to 
crown its science and philosophy with religious conceptions 
which will lift the minds of students into a higher realm and 
enable them to live happier, fuller, and more truly human 
lives than the world has yet known. . . . To secure the com- 
plete harmony and union of these two aspects of our educa- 
tional system, the academic and the religious, we propose that 
the instruction in each of the academic departments include 
the relation of the subject to our specific doctrines. ... In 
each department the instruction is to be thorough and com- 
prehensive, embracing (i) the science at its most advanced 
stage, (2) a survey of its history, and (3) SwedeAborg's re- 
lation to the science and his position in the history. The 
whole organization of the academic faculty and the entire 
instruction of the curriculum would thus be concentrated 
upon the study of Swedenborg and would be engaged in 
working over, ever afresh, his historical and academic rela- 


tions." 53 This ideal is very far from being achieved, how- 
ever, due to the fact that, besides the President, only two 
members of the faculty are members of the New Church. 
Education at Urbana is "vocational" in a Swedenborgian 
sense. "The principle we proclaim is the 'prwcfyle of use, 
and it may be stated concretely as follows: the right purpose 
and true end of human life is the man's greatest use to the 
community. This use centers in the employment he selects 
as his life's work. A man's first duty, then, is to do his work 
for the sake of its use to others, and not for the sake of its 
advantages to self. . . . Our educational ideal is the fitting 
of man to his sphere, but we recognize new powers to be 
brought into exercise, and new elements to be appropriated, 
as well as new interests to be served, in his special sphere. 
One's vocation then, is the basis, support, and foundation of 
the superstructure of the higher life. In it and by means of 
it the higher life is embodied and expressed." 54 

President Franklin H. Blackmer describes the aims of the 
College as follows: "For years Urbana has sought to lead 
youth into the habit of regarding the spiritual plane of life 
as prior in reality and importance to the social and physical. 
It has sought to have young people realize that the natural 
life and the spiritual life are discrete degrees, and that a life 
devoted to natural and worldly things is in danger of leaving 
the spiritual degree closed. . . . Urbana is supremely a place 
where the spiritual world and revelation are taken for 
granted. Love, as embodied in the Lord, in mankind, and 
in individuals, is recognized as the impelling force, the very 
life, it is not under suspicion as a mere abstraction, nor is it 
confused with sentiment. This view of love has far-reach- 
ing implications in the psychology of education. 'Use' is not 
merely a convenient description of observed relationships and 
'service.' Hardly less important is the view of causation and 
correspondences as it affects matters of science." 55 The sci- 
ences are taught at Urbana according to the current theories, 
but Always in the light of Swedenborg's teaching that the 
spiritual world is the world of causes, and the natural, the 
world of effects. Evolution is taught as "the only philo?- 


ophy which holds any reasonable hope for the future," and 
"as the best incentive to the younger generation to improve." 
The aim of study is "to unite the two hitherto separated and 
irreconcilable factors (of science and theology) into a sublime 
unity, order and beauty in which they stand revealed in the 
light of the science of Correspondences and of the spiritual 
sense of the Scripture." B6 

A unique pedagogical chart based on the teachings of 
Swedenborg is used in the courses in Interpretation of Civil- 
ization, by which all the aspects of civilization are correlated. 
"It will be seen that the first half is historical and the last 
half resultant from that history. It is divided into brief 
easily scanned sections titled according to the primal, suc- 
ceeding, present and future connections between the human 
race and its Origin. The statements for these sections are 
concentrated synopses from the Writings of Emanuel Swe- 
denborg. . . . Almost every phase of the study of Civiliza- 
tion is directly connected with some reaction of nations and 
peoples to the pressure of spheres from the Spiritual World. 
(Sections: Heaven, World of Spirits, and Hell.) It will be 
seen that languages, in their adoptions or discardings of the 
vestiges of Correspondence, in the preponderance or lack of 
labial, dental, guttural, consonantal or vowel sounds (Sec- 
tion: Man in Order) ; also that Biology, Botany, Zoology and 
Physiology, Geology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, 
in their different degrees of condensation of spiritual sub- 
stance into material recipients or conduits of life (Section: 
Substantiality of Spirit) ; that Philosophy in its efforts to re- 
store a lost mental order (Section: Disorder), Psychology in 
its premonitions of extra-mundane causes; the Social Sciences 
in their researches into heredity and the innate craving of 
man for freedom in all personal relations; the technique of 
the Arts in their necessary sensitizing of the hand and eye 
and ear to the ideas; and that Physical Education in its pre- 
dominant urge for the effectiveness of the body as an instru- 
ment of the Will and the Understanding all these can find, 
if they wish, their kernel of solution in some department of 
this chart." 87 


The methods in use at Urbana are distinctly progressive, 
the emphasis being placed on individual work, and the de- 
velopment of individual initiative. There is a delightful 
atmosphere of freedom and spontaneity in the classrooms 
and laboratories, and the relation between the faculty and the 
students seems to be one of greater and more constructive 
intimacy than is possible in a larger college. Though the 
teaching at Urbana is not "distinctively New Church," and 
only a very small proportion of the students come from New 
Church homes, there is nevertheless a distinctly "New 
Church sphere" of calm and cheerful devotion to "uses," as 
well as a fine spirit of progressive idealism. 

In the field of adult education some interesting work is 
being done by the New Church in its Group Study Bureau 
under the direction of the Rev. John W. Stockwell and 
Dr. John R. Swanton. This work was put on a Convention 
basis in 1924. There were at that time five Groups at work 
on the following subjects: (i) Swedenborg and Natural Sci- 
ence} (2) The New Church and the Science of Music; (3) 
The New Church and Evolution; (4) Character-Building; 
(5) The New Psychology of Childhood. The following 
year there were some interesting developments in Philadel- 
phia, including a group of people, not members of the 
Church, studying the New Psychology in its relation to the 
psychology of Swedenborg under Mr. Stockwell. Special 
attention had been paid to correlating the modern view of 
the instincts with Swedenborg's teaching about the sense life. 
The following year the Science Group sponsored the publica- 
tion, by the Four Seas Company, of An Epitome of Sweden- 
borg*s Science, a monumental work by the late Frank Wash- 
ington Very, the astro-physicist. In 1929 the Bureau re- 
ported another field of activity, the issuing of bulletins con- 
taining new scientific data of interest in relation to the teach- 
ings of Swedenborg. These bulletins are especially intended 
for the use of the clergy. They are also making a permanent 
collection of such data, as well as charts, diagrams, etc., 
illustrating it. All this valuable research work in science is 
done under the leadership of Dr. John R. Swanton, a well- 


known ethnologist of the Smithsonian Institution. The 1930 
report shows some interesting additions: a Committee on 
Swedenborg Terms under Dr. Clarence Hotson, a study 
which has been too much neglected 5 and a Committee on 
Spiritual Health under Mrs. Latilla Levis Homiller, de- 
signed to meet the needs of a large number of New Church 
people who feel that the time is opportune for a study of the 
question of spiritual healing in relation to the teachings of 
Swedenborg. The Committee on Psychology reports that 
the coordination of modern psychology with Swedenborg has 
reached the point of the set-up of a new system of psychology 
which they have named "Neo-Behaviorism." 58 

It has been seen in an earlier chapter that the problem of 
worship has always been a difficult one for the New Church. 
"What is to be the source and character of the public and 
private worship of the New Church? Is it to be absolutely 
c new j in form, or is it to recognize and appropriate to its use 
some of the venerable customs and observances of the Early 
Christian Church? Our Church occupies a unique position, 
historically, among the churches of Christendom. It is not 
an offshoot of the Lutheran or Protestant movement, nor is 
it an outgrowth of the Catholic Church." 50 This may be 
true, and yet the New Church is most definitely Protestant 
in the form and spirit of its services, due naturally enough 
to the Protestant background of its converts. Only at Bryn 
Athyn is there a faint breath of the spirit of Catholicism. 
This Protestant atmosphere is especially apparent in the 
architecture of its churches, in which, with one or two excep- 
tions, there has been no attempt at any new forms. Both in 
architecture and in Liturgy the effect is similar to that of 
"low church" Episcopalianism. 

The Liturgy of 1857, produced after so many years of 
earnest effort, did not give satisfaction for long, and was 
never used by all the Societies. Fortunately a genuine stu- 
dent of liturgy now appeared, the Rev. Frank Sewall, who 
had made a thorough study of all the historical forms. He 
published in 1867 for the use of his own congregation in 
Glendale, Ohio, a New Clwrchman's Prayer Book and 


Hymnal^ approaching the Anglican form more closely than 
any of the Convention liturgies. It follows the conventional 
Christian Year, with tables of lessons for the church season, 
and contains a reformed Doxology, Te Deum, and Litany, 
modeled after the Book of Common Prayer. It even uses 
the typically "high church" terms of "compline, lauds, and 
matins." This book has had a profound effect on the Con- 
vention liturgy. More and more the need has been felt to 
get away from the extreme Protestant heredity, and evolve 
a ritual making use of the warm emotional and esthetic 
appeal of the Anglican forms. A committee was appointed 
in 1892 to revise the liturgy, and two tentative forms were 
produced in 1907 and 1910. Mr. Sewall was chairman of 
this committee, and many of his ideas are reflected in the 
final edition of 191 3- 60 

In the Preface to the Book of Worship the aim is stated 
thus: "Recognizing the desirability of uniformity, as promo- 
tive of familiarity and a home-feeling in the coming together 
in worship of those widely separated, provision for such 
uniform use is made by the introduction of a fixed Order of 
'Morning and Evening Services 7 with the option, however, 
of omissions and variations as indicated in the rubrics. At 
the same time the liberal collection of Introductory Sen- 
tences, of Prayers and Thanksgivings, for optional use both 
as to materials and order, as well as the provision of the 
entire Book of Psalms arranged for Reading or Chanting, in 
course or in selections, allows for elasticity in the use of the 
book requisite for the freedom and pleasure of worship in 
a body composed, as the New Church must continue to be 
for many generations, of those of widely varying antecedents 
and preferences in their devotional forms." It is notice- 
able that the Authorized Version is used, being altered only 
''where greater fidelity to the original text demanded it," 
instead of Swedenborg's own translation. 61 This concession 
to "old church" use was doubtless due to the liturgical su- 
periority of the Authorized Version to any of the more ac- 
curate translations. Some of the liturgical forms are espe- 
cially impressive. Instead of the conventional Doxologies 


with their Trinitarian theology, the New Church has evolved 
a beautiful one of its own: 

"To Jesus Christ the Lord be glory and dominion: for- 
ever and ever. Amen. He is 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." 

Among the more original and "distinctively New Church" 
prayers is the following: 

"O Lord, who at thy First Coming as the Word made 
Flesh, didst open the understanding of thy disciples that 
they might know the Scriptures and behold Thee therein 5 
and who hast in these latter days by opening the inner mean- 
ing of thy^Word fulfilled thy promise and come again to 
mankind in a new and fuller revelation of Thyself j grant 
us, we beseech Thee, with grateful hearts and devoted lives, 
truly to acknowledge Thee in this the Second Coming, to 
worship Thee in spirit and in truth and to proclaim thy right- 
ful Kingdom, who, as the only God of heaven and earth, 
reignest in thy Divine Humanity forever, Jesus Christ our 
Lord. Amen." 6a 

Swedenborg says: "Let it be known that all true worship 
consists in adoration of the Lord, adoration of the Lord 
in humiliation, and humiliation in one's acknowledgement 
that in himself there is nothing living, and nothing good, but 
that all within him is dead, yea, as a lifeless body, and in the 
acknowledgement that everything living and everything good 
is from the Lord." (Arcana Coelesua, U53-) "It is with 
such passages as this in mind that the order of worship was 
arranged to begin with penitence and prayers, and proceed 
through praise to instruction, first from the Word, then from 
the Church through its ministers." 68 But in spite of all this 
careful thinking and sincere striving after the essentials of 
worship the service seems to lack the devotional warmth of 
the Anglican form. The reason for this is difficult to an- 
alyze, but it lies probably in the great preponderance of 
responsive reading and chanting over prayer. The actual 
periods of prayer when the congregation are on their knees 
are too short to permit continuity of worship. That mood 


of "adoration of the Lord in humiliation" of which Sweden- 
borg speaks so understandingly is not achieved in a mo- 
ment, time is required to induce a true attitude of medita- 
tion. This lack of devotional atmosphere is also due in part 
to an uninspiring architectural setting in Convention 
churches. Like the Puritans and the Quakers, the New 
Church has seemed afraid of visual beauty in religion. 

Auditory appeal, on the other hand, plays an important 
part in a New Church service, so much of the liturgy being 
in the form of chants from the Psalter. The Magnificat, 
the Convention Hymnal, published in 1910, contains all but 
thirty of the hymns in the earlier collection, and sixty new 
hymns in addition. In the Preface it is stated that "Some 
of the most modern and popular of the songs used in the 
large 'revival' and missionary meetings have been obtained, 
at considerable copyright expense," the reason for this de- 
parture being "that they seem to be the utterance of a new 
affection in the religious world directed to the Lord Jesus in 
Person, in recognition of his Divinity, of his redeeming love, 
and of his constant presence as Saviour and Comforter. It 
has been the careful endeavor of the committee to eliminate 
from these and from all the hymns introduced every expres- 
sion of false doctrine or unworthy sentiment." In the list 
of authors the names which appear the most often are Charles 
and John Wesley, Isaac Watts, Bishop Heber, John Keble, 
John Mason Neale, Joseph Proud, Frank Sewall, and Cath- 
erine Winkworth. 64 These two books, the Magnificat and 
the Book of Worship, represent a hundred years of earnest 
and intelligent effort to embody the teachings of the New 
Church in a satisfactory form, and the result is, generally 
speaking, commensurate with the effort. 

Perhaps nowhere can the New Church be studied to better 
advantage than at an annual Convention, for here its many- 
sided external aspects as well as its inner nature are revealed. 
The General Convention is both an administrative and an 
ecclesiastical body. Its Council of Ministers considers all 
mooted questions of doctrine, and reports on them to the 
general body, which either directly or indirectly settles all 


disputes. The Convention passes on candidates for the min- 
istry, after their names have been presented by their local 
Associations and approved by the Council of Ministers. As 
the majority of the voting members of the Convention are 
lay delegates, the New Church may be said to be, in theory 
at least, under the control of the laity. It will be remem- 
bered that this was one of the Academy's bitterest com- 
plaints, this "subjection" of the priesthood to the laity. 
But though the laymen have the numerical advantage in the 
Convention (107 lay delegates to 58 ministers in 1930), a 
careful study of the membership of the important boards 
and standing committees which carry on the affairs of the 
Church throughout the year will prove that it is the clergy 
who are really "in the saddle." 65 Also the ministers are the 
most in evidence in the Convention, only about a dozen lay- 
men being noticeably active. Although there were fifty 
women among the lay delegates in 1930, almost half the 
number, except for their voting power, their influence 
seemed negligible. With a few minor exceptions they did 
not enter into the discussions on the floor, probably due to a 
lingering prejudice against women's speaking in church. In 
short, the New Church, like most of the Id, is still "a man's 
world," and also like most of the Qld y is largely dominated 
by its clergy. 

The Convention of 1930, which was held in the Boston 
Church from June 2ist to June 24th, was especially well 
attended, New England being still the center of the Church. 
There were present 58 ministers, 107 delegates, and several 
hundred visitors. The Associations represented were Cali- 
fornia, Canada, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massa- 
chusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and the 
Connecticut, Portland, Ore., and St. Paul Societies. The 
Church across the seas was represented by the Rev. Albert 
E. Edge, former president of the British Conference, and 
the Rev. Adolf L. Goerwitz, of Zurich, head of the 
Schweizersicher Bund der Neuen Kirche. The names of 
the delegates, as well as their faces, showed a solid eighty- 
five per cent of Anglo-Saxon lineage, the other fifteen per 


cent being mainly Teutonic and Scandinavian. A more per- 
fectly "Nordic" gathering would be hard to find. The^ list 
of Associations represented show the geographical distribu- 
tion of the New Church: the Atlantic Seaboard from 
Maine to Maryland, four Middle Western states, one on the 
Pacific Coast, and none south of Mason and Dixon. 66 An- 
other significant fact was the age of the delegates. Down- 
stairs in the Sunday School room the Young People's League 
was holding its annual meeting, but upstairs in the Conven- 
tion gray heads and bald heads were emphatically predomi- 
nant. The Convention is a gathering of middle-aged peo- 
ple, which accounts for much of its conservatism. The more 
progressive age, from twenty to forty, seems to be largely 
missing, due no doubt to the more exacting family duties of 
young married people. 

The general inspirational subject chosen for the Conven- 
tion was "Power from on High," on some aspect of which 
the various addresses were based. "The nineteen hundredth 
anniversary of Pentecost is engaging new Christian interest 
in the descent of the Holy Spirit. The beginning of the first 
Christian Church has historic importance. . . . Power from 
on High is Divine Truth entering the comprehension of men 
and working in their lives. Reception of it is limited only by 
proper use of it. The effect of it is regenerating humanity. 
c The Holy Spirit is the Divine Truth and also the Divine 
virtue and operation, proceeding from the one only God, 
in whom there is a Divine Trinity, proceeding from the Lord 
God, the Saviour.' (True Christie^ Religion, 138.) " or 

The Treasurer's Report, which is printed in the form of 
a twenty-page leaflet, and distributed at the opening of the 
Convention, gives an excellent picture of the financial status 
of the Church as a whole. The general income and expense 
account for 1930 shows an amount of $78,013.06. Besides 
this there are special funds, the Bissell Estate, the Orphan- 
age Fund, the Washington Sunday School Building Expense, 
and the Childs Memorial Fund, representing another total 
of over $30,000 on hand. The Augmentation Fund reports 
total receipts since 1912 of $370,587-91, and an expenditure 


for the year 1930 of over thirty-two thousand dollars. The 
total investments of the Convention are reported at $1,588,- 
948.08. These are income bearing funds. 68 The U. S. 
Census of Religious Bodies of 1926 gives the total value of 
the property devoted to educational purposes as $889,808, 
and $600,000 invested in publication enterprises. Besides 
this there was at that time an investment of $3,196,000 in 
:hurch edifices, and a yearly chufch expenditure of $260,- 
373- 60 Luther C. Fry puts the General Convention highest 
Df all the denominations in the United States in his valuation 
Df church property in proportion to membership, his figure 
Deing $600.88 per adult member. The second highest is 
:he Unitarian Church with 4.67. 70 According to these vari- 
DUS sets of figures, therefore, the New Church is seen to be, 
n proportion to its membership, an exceedingly rich body, 
md presents the interesting spectacle of a small organization 
Df less than six thousand members in control of property 
ipproximating six million dollars. 

An interesting feature of the Convention, is the Forum, an 
Dpen discussion meeting held in the evening, and dealing 
;vith problems of immediate interest. The Forum began as 
he New Church Round Table, founded in 1893 by Miss 
\. E. Scammon at the time of the World's Congress of Re- 
igions, for the purpose of giving the men and women a 
ihance for free and informal discussion of vital problems, 
f as human souls, without thought of sex." It does not seem 
o have been a conspicuous success, however, for in 1902 the 
Committee advocated giving it up, since the women would 
lot speak when the men were present ! "Although the Com- 
nittee recognizes it is more normal for men and women to 
vork together than separately, the Church has apparently not 
cached the stage of development to make this practicable." T1 
3ut it was not given up, although the women still do not take 
i very active part in its discussions. 

There are also numerous social events during Convention, 
vhich are delightfully friendly and informal, closing with 
i banquet. An especially interesting feature of the Boston 
Convention was an excellent presentation of "Outward 


Bound" by the Newtonville Dramateurs. This is a play 
which is frequently given by New Church groups, due to its 
subject matter dealing with life after death. 

The 1930 Convention, as we have seen, was a particularly 
lively one in which matters of crucial interest were openly 
and frankly discussed. The impression which it created on 
its own members was naturally varied. One viewpoint was 
expressed as follows: "The recent meeting in Boston was the 
most unhappy Convention I have ever attended. The spirit 
of division, instead of the spirit of unity, in the Church of all 
places in the world, was most disturbing." But another says: 
"What stands out as most encouraging ... is the Forum 
meeting held at famous Ford Hall. That battleground of 
many an intellectual struggle became the scene for an ex- 
change of ideas, frank and sincere, such as I have not seen 
before at any of our church meetings." T2 

The 1931 Convention at Cincinnati was far more placid, 
on the surface at least, the majority of the delegates being 
happy to let controversial issues alone as far as possible. The 
theme of the Convention, "A Living Church," was worked 
out in various ways, and at some of the meetings a sense of 
true "livingness" was very apparent. In this respect the 
high spot of the Convention was the missionary meeting, 
which began appropriately with a paper on "Johnny Apple- 
seed," the pioneer missionary of Ohio. An account of New 
Church activities in Germany and Austria, presented by the 
Rev. Erich Reissner, gave a touching picture of a courageous 
little group struggling to build the New Church in the face 
of post-war poverty and discouragement. But the most in- 
spiring and heartening address was that of the Rev. Henry 
K. Peters of Kansas, knight-errant of the prairies, who 
carries the message of the New Church through heat and 
cold to remote villages, adapting the teachings of Sweden- 
borg to the needs of rural America. An interesting feature 
of Mr. Peters' missionary work is his use of a large and 
talented family who all play musical instruments and give 
concerts in schoolhouses and town halls to attract the crowds. 
His description of his "family band" was particularly en- 


livening, and produced an impression of true spiritual vital- 
ity as well as "Yankee resourcefulness." This type of New 
Churchman is an interesting contrast to the traditional type. 
Perhaps the New Church in America will ultimately be 
transformed from theologians into "troubadours of God"! 



"Behold, a sower went forth to sow; and when he 
had sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside, and the 
fowls came and devoured them up. Some fell upon 
stony places, where they had not much earth, and forth- 
with they sprung up, because they had no deepness of 
earth, and when the sun was up they were scorched, 
and because they had no root, they withered away. And 
some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up, 
and choked them. But others fell into good ground, 
and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some 
sixtyf old, some thirtyf old." 

In these words we have a brief epitome of the history of 
the New Church in the New World. We have seen what 
happened to the seed sowed by James Glen in the rocky soil 
of a pioneer civilization. We have studied its first hundred 
years of growth and its thirty years of decline, and striven to 
understand the reasons for both. In the New Church itself 
there are two opposite opinions concerning these points. One 
party believes that the decline dates from the commencement 
of the attempt to modernize and adapt the teachings of the 
Church to its intellectual environment, whereas the other 
believes just as sincerely that it is due to the Church's failure 
to adapt sufficiently. As a matter of fact the figures se&m 
to favor the former view, for the General Church, which 
has made distinctiveness and non-adaptation the very corner- 
stone of its foundations, has not declined. Its membership 
in the United States has more than tripled since the schism 
of 1890, and this not only by the normal method of raising 
and keeping its children, but also by accessions from outside. 



But it is dangerous to put too much dependence in figures 
where there are so many qualitative factors involved. There 
is no reason to believe that had the Convention "gone Acad- 
emy" in 1890 it would be in any stronger position to-day, 
for the phenomenon of Bryn Athyn is based on something 
more subtle than dogmatic fundamentalism merely. It can- 
not therefore be made the criterion of judgment in this issue. 

Where experts differ it is impossible for a casual observer 
really to form an opinion. Unless a questionnaire could be 
sent to all the members of the New Church who have 
dropped out in the past thirty or forty years to find out the 
real reasons for their defection (which would probably not 
appear in the questionnaire), it must remain a matter of mere 
conjecture colored by temperamental predilections. And 
after all, the one thing that really matters is the present situ- 
ation, how can the problems which confront the Church 
now best be met? What policies and methods will meet the 
needs of the present day? These are real issues, and neces- 
sarily controversial ones, for they involve two crucial ques- 
tions, first, exactly what is the contribution the New Church 
has to make to the religious life of the modern world, and, 
second, how can this contribution be made most effectively? 
Swedenborg's contribution to the theology of the eighteenth 
and nineteenth centuries was an invaluable one, liberation. 
It was a reaction against the worst features of the orthodox 
theology, and liberated his followers from the icy grip of 
many a doctrinal horror. But now that icy grip is broken for 
most of the Protestant churches.' Few wretched souls now 
lie groaning under the weight of "original sin," "predestina- 
tion," and "eternal damnation." What then is left for the 
New Church to do? What new emancipation has it to 
offer, or what improved technique for bringing down into 
human life* that greatly needed "power from on High"? 

There are many in the New Church who believe that the 
precious gift it has to offer is a new sodal philosophy based 
on Swedenborg's doctrine of the Grand Man. One of these 
says: "It is more than a little amazing that in the middle 
of the eighteenth century, before the development of mod- 


ern industrial machinery, of the factory ^system, of trusts 
and syndicates, o class and group and international con- 
sciousness, of the larger self-conscious societies in general 
which mark our civilization, Swedenborg should have appre- 
hended and outlined the Christian message in terms of larger 
neighbors, of Christian obligations owing between them, ^ of 
a social conscience. Here is one of the most truly distinctive 
aspects of his teaching. Here is one of the most startling 
evidences that he was called to speak the Christian message 
for a new day, or, as he said, 'f or a new church.' Here is 
one of the surest lines of demarcation between old and new: 
the individualistic Gospel is old} the Gospel which is indi- 
vidual and social is new. . . . The germ and outline of such 
a Gospel, and the impulse to it, have lain in the Theological 
Works, fairly unabsorbed by the mind of the New Church." * 
This emphasis on the Social Gospel naturally results in the 
breaking down of sectarianism and exclusiveness, and in some 
places to the development of the "community church" idea. 
The most important example of this tendency is the Brook- 
lyn Society, which has changed its name from the Church 
of the New Jerusalem to the Church of the Neighbor. Its 
"Neighborhood Club," founded eleven years ago, is "the 
evolved expression of a desire to be of some concrete service 
to the surrounding community." The Club is entirely non- 
sectarian, and self-governing, developing its own program 
entirely free from control by the Church. It has concen- 
trated on fostering the artistic life of the community through 
art exhibitions, concerts and recitals, and the presentation of 
plays. 2 

A certain note of impatience with the Church's absorption 
in doctrinal details appears in the writings of some of its 
most spiritually-minded leaders. The late Rev. Adolph 
Roeder writes scornfully of linguistic disputes: -"I seldom 
stop on such exceedingly minor points, for it does not really 
do us, in our present-day need, a particle of good to know 
whether the Jews pronounced certain letters hard or soft. 
In our effort to secure better service for the insane; to change 
our government back to the American (i.e., the unicameral) 


formj to stop the un-American practice of tipping; to create 
a committee on World Peace in both Houses, and to do a 
thousand and one other important things, does it really make 
the slightest difference whether a reader of the Hebrew puts 
a dot in a letter to make it hard or to make it soft? Tut, 
tut." 8 And the Rev. William R. Reece, one of the most 
inspiring of the younger ministers, says: "Do you know what 
I should like to see come about in the New Church? I 
should like to see the time come when we should pass beyond 
the conception that the New Church consists for the most 
part of a set of doctrines and beliefs. It is not that. If I 
understand him correctly, Swedenborg meant by the New 
Church a new life." Mr. Reece goes on to plead for a more 
living personal religious experience. "There is a proverb, 
common among Hindus, which runs something like this: 
*When the lotus blooms, the bees will gather.' When you 
have had the experience, you do not shout from the house- 
tops j there is some subtle attraction that draws people to 
you, . - . some subtle influence radiates and emanates from 
you, and leads to you other persons who feel that here is a 
source of strength." * This is the nearest approach we have 
found in the writings of the New Church to an expression 
of mystical religious experience. The New Church in gen- 
eral has ignored the mystical side of religion, though it is 
absolutely inherent in the doctrine of influx, the entrance 
of God into the individual soul, as well as in the doctrine 
of perception, or interior reception of spiritual truth* 5 
Whether or not Swedenborg himself was a mystic in the 
usual sense of the word need not be discussed, but the fact 
remains that in his doctrines lie the germs of a new type of 
mysticism, anchored firmly to life by the doctrine of use, 
and yet glowing with celestial light. Perhaps in the develop- 
ment of this new mysticism the New Church will perform 
its greatest servic^ to the New Age. 

There are others in the New Church who feel that the 
presentation of Swedenborg's teaching as a rational theology 
is the best way of reaching the rationalistic mind of America, 
and that his theology is eminently fitted to that mind, which 


demands logic and fact. Swedenborg is also racially fitted 
to be the prophet of the new race. "The essential basis of 
the racial background of America is really Scandinavian, the 
Teutonic, Danish, and Norse elements predominating in the 
English stock from which we sprang." Also America is 
nationally the product of the New Age. The Last Judg- 
ment in the spiritual world, which cleared the way for the 
new influx from the heavens, took place only a few years 
before our struggle for independence. The spirit of Amer- 
ica is the scientific, technical spirit, and Swedenborg was 
primarily a scientist and an engineer, his interest in machin- 
ery of all kinds was remarkable. Therefore he is eminently 
suited to be the prophet of the Machine Age. "The question 
of his inspiration is a difficult one for the agnostic modern 
mind, and that too must be dealt with rationally. It differed 
from the gleams of inspiration which all geniuses have only 
in degree, being, after his illumination, a steady light for 
twenty-five years, instead of a fitful gleam. In fact, it began 
with him in the usual way, as a fitful gleam, but was de- 
veloped by him scientifically and in accordance with his 
knowledge of psychological principles through the various 
stages of trance perceptions into the full consciousness of a 
waking vision. There is therefore nothing abnormal about 
these psychical experiences to repel a rational thinker." fl 

In contradistinction to this method of rationalizing Swe- 
denborg to the taste of the modern mind there is the point 
of view which demands the retention of all his distinctive- 
ness and uniqueness. One writer feels that all that is needed 
to "put across" New Church teaching is an improved tech- 
nique. "Our chief duty as a Church is to act the part of 
custodian in such a way as to cause our doctrines in their 
purity and according to their interrelations as a whole to 
stand out on the religious horizon of the world as a flame, 
from which the different distinctive doctrines will radiate as 
spiritual light for all who will receive any degree of enlight- 
enment from them. . . . We have for exploitation some- 
thing that is unique in value, and unique in its qualifications 
for serving the indispensable spiritual needs of men in this 


scientific age. Hence it is for us as a church to mark out 
our own course and then, with independence and originality 
in method, to assume the type of spiritual leadership which 
the great wealth of our spiritual possessions imposes upon 
us as a duty and responsibility and opportunity." 7 

The issue, then, is a clear-cut one, whether the New 
Church can best serve the world by ironing out its dis- 
tinctiveness, becoming like any other "community church," 
all things to all men, and thereby find its life by losing it, 
or whether the opposite course is not the better one, that of 
preserving its distinctiveness as a sacred trust, and enshrining 
its doctrines in all their integrity in the faith that future 
generations will some day find them acceptable. The first 
view has been held by many in the church, even in its early 
days. The Rev. James Reed, the second pastor of the Bos- 
ton Society, wrote in the Memorial History of Boston: 
"It will be evident from all these considerations that New 
Churchmen, or Swedenborgians, must needs take a broad 
view of the Church and its growth. How far the old Chris- 
tian sects will be dismembered, and the little body which 
includes the subject of this chapter be blessed with continu- 
ous life and become the acknowledged nucleus of the church 
of the future, is, a matter of comparative indifference to them. 
The great fact everywhere confronts them that the proph- 
ecies which they have been led to believe are receiving mani- 
fest fulfilment; that the establishment of a new church or 
dispensation is rapidly going on; that fresh light from 
heaven is descending, and new spiritual influences are busily 
at work; that liberty of thought is daily increasing, and that 
in the exercise of it each man sooner or later will find the 
place which belongs to him." 8 And indeed, for the first 
statement of the New Church as a spiritual manifestation 
and not an ecclesiastical body, one can go back to the oldest 
authority, Swedenborg himself. For in the Arcana Coelestia, 
he says: "Hence it is evident that the Lord's Church is not 
here or there, but everywhere, both with kingdoms where 
the Church is, and outside such kingdoms, wherever men are 
living in accord with the commandments of charity. Hence 


it is that the Lord's Church is scattered throughout the whole 
world, and yet is one." 9 

The real trouble seems to be that the New Church as an 
organization is now old, and like the other old churches, has 
an established body of traditions and dogmas with which it 
is loath to part. Whereas it was once ahead of orthodoxy 
in its scientific attitude and breadth of view, it is now exactly 
in the same place, and using exactly the same "defense 
mechanisms" to hold its firmly entrenched position. A large 
number in the New Church still seem, in spite of all that 
Swedenborg has said, to believe in "salvation by faith," and 
to feel that doctrinal "soundness" is the sine qua non of true 
religion, hence controversies, persecutions and accusations of 
heresy. A New Church writer eighty years ago describing 
the two parties existing in the "Old Churches," writes: "The 
one presses forward, towards change, freedom, enlargement, 
new statements, new forms, new views, latitude of construc- 
tion, and is a party of progress. The other holds on to things 
as they are, or bends backwards to things as they were} loves 
the old articles, forms, rituals, dogmatic statements, and is 
in all things a party of conservatism and rest. The one 
places its ideal in the future 5 the other contemplates it in the 
past. By the one party, all the particular badges which 
mark^the sect are, in general, lightly esteemed, and its dis- 
tinguishing garments sit loosely upon them. While by the 
other, the distinctive peculiarities of the doctrinal phraseol- 
ogy, of ritual, and of order are more apt to be regarded as 
inseparable from the essential attributes of Christianity it- 
self." 10 It is startling how accurate a description this is of 
the New Church to-day, such are the changes that have 
come to it in eighty years. 

B But the following interesting analysis of the present situa- 
tion puts the matter in a somewhat different light. "The 
whole thing is more confused than the liberals' would have 
it. They wish to tabulate and label, and see the issue accord- 
ing to traditional lines of past issues in our Church and 
others. This cannot be done, because the structure of the 
human mind is changing, everywhere, and this issue has 


never confronted the world before, and is not traditional. 
The human Will, as an instrument in man's life, is trying 
to get into its original chamber of control in the mind, that 
is to say, into the chamber of Love to the Lord. From the 
Fall of Man until now, except for a brief period in the First 
Christian Church, it has been an outcast from that cham- 
ber. . . . People want to act from love to the Lord, and 
don't know how. . . , Order beginning from within may, 
and must, result except in rare instances in temporary dis- 
order without} and during that period, the steady but elastic 
anchorage of principles and standards is the only security 
against self-destruction. The Writings are this anchorage, 
and the pull upon them is now from such deep, unconscious, 
spiritual inclinations this way and that, that any connection 
they may have with the outside movements of our scientific 
world is not yet visible. For this reason, I do not believe 
in these labels at all. They really have nothing to do with 
the case. 

"I have called the genuine movement of the 'Liberals' 
love to the neighbor, because I think that is what they wish 
to call it themselves. There are some among their critics 
who feel that it is more really a pulling away from Organi- 
zation} but I believe this to be a part of their program only 
because of what they feel to be in themselves a love of the 
neighbor that outbursts organization. ... As you will see, 
in the large there is little difference at all} because I believe 
equally that love to the neighbor is the genuine movement 
back of those whom they have called 'Conservatives.' But 
in particulars you will also see that this 'little' difference has 
resulted, as Swedenborg said little differences would result 
at the end, in diametrical oppositions between which there 
cannot possibly be any 'coming together.' 

"Those in the Church who style themselves 'Liberals' are 
so eager to serve the neighbor that they wish to be giving 
without waiting to get for the giving. They go on the prin- 
ciple that Influx is according to Efflux. Because of their 
eager hurry they are forced to give chiefly from their ex- 
ternal civic supplies of NATURAL good, because it takes time 


and introspection to connect with interior supplies of SPIR- 
ITUAL good. . . . Those in the Church whom they have 
styled Conservatives are so eager to keep the gate of Efflux 
open to the neighbor that they try to keep their eyes on the 
Lord in order that He may show them what evils obstruct. 
They know that they can no more give good than a pipe can 
give water unless it flows through from the source. , . . 
They believe that it has always proved impractical charity 
to go directly to the other person with the truth or good; 
that suggestion and indirection through inner and higher ap- 
peals are surer instruments; that the shortest distance be- 
tween two persons is through the Lord ... the Lord alone 
is the Giver, through the neighbor and through us. 

"There is a general breaking down of the old attention to 
the mere letter of the Writings and their dogmatic reiteration 
among all New Churchmen, even among doctrinarians. The 
so-called Liberals have been right in recognizing this libera- 
tion from externals and insisting upon it; but there are two 
ways of getting rid of the bondage of the letter. One way 
is toward the interiors, the other is toward a still further 
exterior. The new movement among the Conservatives has 
been, dimly and half-consciously, the first way. The so- 
called Liberals are taking boldly and without investigation 
the second way. ... I don't think we will separate on the 
lines now drawn* There are too many so-called Liberals 
who are overflowing with very evident genuine charity, but 
who are afraid of the scholasticism of the literal Writings, 
and many among the others who are clinging to the old over- 
bearing domination of the bare statements of Swedenborg, 
and are afraid of the new freedom within them. I think 
these are safer in the end than those who would be free of 
apparent scholasticism, because they will still have the Writ- 
ings. . . . Waiting on the Lord, bringing down spiritual 
substances of thought and feeling into deaned-out channels 
for thought and feeling, seems slow; and also seems turned 
away from that neighbor whom we all want to reach. But 
the Lord is the Neighbor most of all, and is most of all 
neglected and outside the door. He brings in the other." u 


It is certainly a fact that many of the finest and most spir- 
itually-minded members of the New Church are to be found 
on each side of the present division, and it is this fact which 
has so far prevented a break. There seems to be little doubt 
that the hard-and-fast Conservatives are a dwindling minor- 
ity in the Convention, little is to be either hoped or feared 
from them in the future. At most they will merely serve 
as brakes on too precipitate decisions. Is it then a foregone 
conclusion that the Liberal majority will hold undisputed 
sway? The answer to that question depends largely on 
themselves, on the ability and tact of their leaders. A re- 
actionary movement would not be at all impossible, for the 
great mass of New Churchmen are unwilling to see it dis- 
integrate into a nondescript institutional church. Therefore 
the hope for its preservation lies in loyalty to the spirit, if 
not the letter, of Swedenborg, a cultivation of his ideas, 
not a cult of his words. 

Robert Frost, in an interview some years ago, expressed 
something of the essential Swedenborgian attitude: "What's 
my philosophy? That's hard to say. I was brought up a 
Swedenborgian. I am not a Swedenborgian now. But 
there's a good deal of it that's left with me. I am a mystic. 
I believe in symbols." 12 Since the days of Pythagoras and 
Plato there has been a mystical tradition in Western thought 
carried on by those who have seen this material universe as a 
veil, or symbol, behind which and within which the spiritual 
universe resides. Emanuel Swedenborg belongs to this 
goodly company of seers who have seen reality through sym- 
bols, and he has left to the New Church in the "science of 
correspondences" a formula for the development of that 
method. And herein lies the New Church's unique contri- 
bution, a technique for discovering hidden meanings. In 
place of the literalism to which the other churches are bound 
in their attempts to find fresh interpretations of the Scrip- 
ture to present-day needs, the New Church offers an inner 
sense, a whole world of metaphysical truth awaiting inves- 
tigation. In place of the pietism and other-worldliness to 
which the more Catholic branches of the church are tending 


in their reaction to modern materialism, the New Church 
offers a far saner philosophy in its belief that the two worlds, 
though separate and distinct, are yet mutually interdepend- 
ent, and that the highest form of life on the material plane, 
the fullest and the richest, is at the same time the highest 
form of spiritual life. 

Perhaps after all the issue in the New Church is not the 
simple and obvious one between "Fundamentalism" and 
"Modernism," but the more ancient one between literalism 
and mysticism which has appeared in almost all the world's 
religions at various times. The literalists on the "Conserva- 
tive" side cling to the very letter of Swedenborg (a typically 
Protestant attitude), and in the General Church are tending 
to ritualism (the Catholic form of religious conservatism), 
whereas the literalists on the "Liberal" side are equally dog- 
matic in their rejection of authority, whether in the Writings 
or in the church organization itself. Like the modernistic 
literalists of all denominations they are in grave danger of 
'^throwing out the baby with the bath." The non-literalists, 
or symbolists, on both sides, on the other hand, are holding 
loyally to their belief in the divine authority of the revela- 
tion given to the world through Swedenborg, but feel that 
this revelation can be understood truly only by a new, and 
purely spiritual, form of interpretation. They admit quite 
honestly that in the Writings there are inconsistencies and 
irreconcilable differences with the findings of science and 
scholarship, but feel that with a deeper and more spiritual 
understanding of Swedenborg's thought) truth may be found 
even in apparent errors. For this reason they feel that, far 
from having exhausted the possibilities of doctrinal study, 

4.1. y*. AT^._- /"*1^,.^T_ j. 11 _ 1 ^ *_ ,. i i *% * 

af religion is to do good/ 
for that is only the half of it, the "Martha" half. It 
should never be forgotten that one who was a greater author- 
ity even than Swedenborg said: "But one thing is needful: 
and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be 
taken away from hen" 18 


What may be said of the New Church's great claim that 
it is "the Bride of the Lamb," the New Jerusalem foretold 
in the Book of Revelation? As a matter of fact it is only the 
General Church, and a minority in the General Convention, 
who still hold to this belief. The New Church Messenger, 
the official organ of the Convention, states officially that "Ac- 
knowledgment of the Divine of the Lord and of the holiness 
of His Word, and a life in His Spirit and according to His 
Commandments, are the three essentials of the Church," 
which includes by implication certainly many who are out- 
wardly members of the "Old Church." 14 And the New- 
Church League Journal, which voices the beliefs of the Con- 
vention's next generation, makes an even more explicit official 
statement: "The New-Church organization does not consider 
that it is this new Christian Church which is to come, and 
which may be seen coming now everywhere truth is and 
love is, but the organization exists for the sake of helping 
to bring the new Christian Church among men." " When 
the New Church came into being in 1787 it was under a 
Dissenters' License, a fact which stamped it, historically at 
least, as a sect of the old church, though its founders de- 
clared it to be the one and only true Christian Church, and 
(as it has been somewhat unsympathetically stated by an 
American Liberal) "thirteen fanatics excommunicated the 
whole of Christendom." 16 And indeed for many in the 
New Church it has been excommunicated ever since. But as 
we look back over its stormy history we cannot fail to remark 
that, in behavior at least, the New Church has resembled 
the "dissenting sect" rather more than "the Bride of the 

Would Swedenborg himself have acknowledged as "the 
crown of the churches" that small body so soon "by schisms 
rent asunder and heresies distressed"? In the Arcana 
Coelestia* he gives us his answer: "In the Christian world it is 
doctrinal matters that distinguish churches j and from them 
men call themselves Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Cal- 
vinists, or the Reformed and the Evangelical, and by other 
names. It is from what is doctrinal alone that they are so 


called} which would never be if they would make love to 
the Lord and charity toward the neighbor the principle of 
faith. Doctrinal matters would then be only varieties of 
opinion concerning the mysteries of faith, which truly Chris- 
tian men would leave to every one to hold in accordance with 
his conscience, and would say in their hearts that a man is 
truly a Christian when he lives as a Christian, that is, as the 
Lord teaches. Thus from all the differing churches there 
would be made one church j and all the dissensions that come 
forth from doctrine alone would vanish} yea, all hatreds of 
one against another would be dissipated in a moment, and 
the Lord's kingdom would come upon the earth." 1T But he 
said that this happy consummation, the establishment of the 
New Church on earth, would not "take place in a moment," 
and could take place at all only "to the extent that the falsi- 
ties of the former church are set aside," 1S including the 
falsity of making doctrinal matters the test of churchman- 
ship. Judged by this criterion the New Church can hardly 
be said to have "come out from the Old." It is also illumi- 
nating that Swedenborg did not think of the Church in terms 
of an organization, but in terms of the individual, for he 
tells us that "the church is within man, and not without him} 
and that every man is a church, in whom the Lord is present 
in the good of love and faith." 19 Perhaps that is the true 
answer to the question, "What is the New Church?" 
















Arcana Coelestia. 

Animal Kingdom. 

Brief Exposition of the Doctrines of the New Church, 

Conjugial Love. 

Doctrine Concerning the Holy Scripture. 

Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Concerning the Lord. 

Divine Love and Wisdom. 

Divine Providence. 

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine. 

Heaven and Hell. 

The Last Judgment. 

True Christian Religion. 

(In the case of Swedenborg's writings the numbers refer to paragraphs.) 


Annals. Carl Theophilus Odhner: Annals of the New 

Church, Vol. I, 1688-1850. 
Doc. Rudolph L. Tafel, Editor: Documents concerning 

the Life md Character of Emmuel Sweden- 

borg, 3 Vols. 
R. and P. Robert Hindmarsh: Rise and Progress of the New 

Jerusalem Church. 
Schlatter. Letterbook of Wai. Schlatter of Philadelphia, 


Con. Jour. Journals of the General Convention^ 1817-1930, 

Jout.Gen.Ch. Journals of the General Church of Pennsylvania, 

Journals of the General Church of the Advent 

of the Lord, 1891-1892. 
Journals of the General Assembly of the General 

Church of the New Jerusalem, 1897-1930. 



In. Ref. Intellectual Repository y London. 

Mess. New Jerusalem Messenger, (now New-Church 


Mess. (Old) New Church Messenger^ Cincinnati^ 1853-1854. 

N. C. Ref. New Church Repository. 

N. C. Rev. New Church Review. 

N. C. Life New Church Life. 

N.J.Mag. New Jerusalem Magazine, 1827-1872. 

N. J. Mag. (n.s.) " " " (new series, 1875- 

Words Words for the New Church. 



1. Annals, p. 5; Doc., I, pp. 96, 114, 127, 105. 

2. Doc., I, pp. 150-152, 195. 

3. /M, pp. 607-608. 

4. Doc., II, pp. 279-280. 

5. SJX, 3320, 3464; Z)o*,, I, pp. 145-150. 

6. Doc.) I, pp. 607, 200; Z>o*., II, pp. 884-885. 

7. Z)o*., II, p. 3. 

8. Z)0., I, pp. 207, 210, 211. 

9. Ibid., p. 217. 

10. Ibid., pp. 226-227, 230-231. 

H. Ibid., pp. 241, 254-255, 258, 293. 

12. Ibid., pp. 274, 554, 634-636. 

13. Ibid., pp. 304, 316, 407-413; DC; n, pp. 4-5- 

14. Doc., I, pp. xiv-xv; Doc., II, pp. 73, 908-912. 
15* Do*, II, pp. 915-9+1, 908, 947-950. 

1 6. Alfred H. Stroll, editor, The Swedenborg Archives, Vol. I, Part 2, 

EP- 3-5 28 > 45> 59-7i; Part I, pp. 1-4; Part 2, p. 46. These 
scientific theories and discoveries of Swedenborg's lay buried in a 
mass of unread Latin books and manuscripts until the end of the 
nineteenth century when they were discovered by a few scholars 
and scientists. In 1901 Professor Max Neuberger of Vienna 
appealed to the Royal Swedish Academy for a complete edition 
of the scientific works. This resulted in the appointment of a 
committee of the Academy under Dr. Gustaf Retzius. The tre- 
mendous task of transcribing and publishing the manuscripts was 
undertaken by the Academy in 1902 with the cooperation of 
American and English Swedenborgians who offered to share the 
expense. A brilliant young Swedenborgian scholar from Bryn 
Athyn, Pa., was entrusted with the editorial work, Alfred H. 
Stroh, whose indefatigable zeal resulted in his death from over- 
work, after sixteen years of Herculean labor, 

17. Doc., II, 4*3> 437-438, 560, 537> 544-546* 446-447> 407- 

18. /*&, pp. 75-130, 587, 196. 

19. 4X, Prologue; 4.C., 5. 

20. Doe., II, pp. 171, 59I-59 2 ? **> ^ P- 3$- 


406 NOTES 

21. Doc., II, pp. 261, 95-9595 Doc., I, pp. 7> 464-465* 

22. A.C., 4. 

23. T.C.R., 807. 

24. Z>0<?., II, pp. 408, 486; Doc., I, pp. 494, 66. 

25. <?., II, pp. 468, 532, 989, 260, 1027-1032, 306, 3 2 3-345 373- 

3775 Doc., I, p. 47- 

26. 0;., II,p. 383. 

27. Ibid., pp. 454, 549, 56S Doc., I, p. 36. 

28. Doc., II, pp. 557-558, 576, 549- 

29. Ibid., p. 5575 Stroh, pp. 39-41, 83-84, 


1. B.., Introduction. 

2. Ibid., Introduction. 

3. Doc., I, p. 365 H, pp. 950-95I- 

4. Z)o., II, pp. 954-960. 

5. Ibid., pp. 961-963. 

6. Z).L.PF., 33- 

7. D<?^, II, pp, 966-971. 

8. W. F. Wunsdi: The World WiMn the Bible, pp. 3-7. (By permis- 

sion of the New-Church Press.) 

9. Mess., Vol. 140, pp. 250-252 (1930). 
10* Wunsch, p. 31. 

n. Doc., II, pp. 404-405. 

12. A.C., 6597- 

13. T.C.R., 189-193, 212, 216. 

14. Ibid., 207-208. 

15. D.LW., 246, 247. 

1 6. T.C.R., 229-234. 

17. D.CJH.S., 27-28. 

18. -4.C., 10325. 

19. Wunsch, 23-25. 

20. A.C., 6-13. 

21. Ibid., 55, 84, 97, 98, 54, 64-66, 104. 

22. Ibid., 138, 147, 149, 155, 194, 204, 208. 

23. Ibid., 231. 

24. Ibid., 787, 610, 617, 975, 1024, 765, 609. 

25. H.H., 438. 

26. Ibid., 192. 

27. Ibid., 7, 14. The angels were all once human beings. 

NOTES 407 

28. Ibid.) 21-2 7. 

29. /3*V., 38. 

30. Ibid.) 41, 42, 49, 59, 65, 68, 

31. Ibid.) 73, 117. 

32. Ibid.) 541-548, 55 1> 570- 

33. /to., 421-422, 597, 426-437, 430, 499, 5". 

34. Ibid.) 477, 485, 489, 388. 

35. Ibid.) 391, 393, 414, 366, 367. 

36. T.C.R., 772, 

37. Z./., 45, 69. 

38. r.Cje., 753-754, 757, 760. 

39. Ibid.) 764, 768. 

40. /, 776, 779. 

41. /to., 791. 

42. /to., 508. 

43. Ibid., 784, 787- 

44. /#, 43, 46, 47, 66, 70. 

45. /W/., 163. 

46. ZXC.L., 60. 

47. r.cje., 138, 144- 

48. /to., 463-464, 485-486. 

49. /*., 489-490, 479, 475- 

50- Ibid.) 576. 

51. /Jtf.,579- 

52. 7itf., 124, 126. 

S3- /*-, 509, Sio, 5"-Si5, S^S, 532-533- 

54. H.D.) 203. 

55. r.cje., 583-584. 

56. ltU.,57*. 

57. lbid.)**<$. 

58. /to., 329, 331- 

59. /to., 287, 336. 

60. #.#.,482. 
6x. r.cjt., 399. 

62. /to., 394-400, 408, 410. 

63. H./>., 1 06, 124. 

64. r.C..,4i2-4i6. 

65. /to., 395, 406, 422-423, 430-43^ 4395 ##> J 58, 528. 

66. H.D.) 202-203. 

67. T.C.R., 721, 704-705? 

68. C.L.> 1-52, 142-146. 

408 NOTES 

69. ^.,423-443. 

70. 73*^,444. 

71. 7^,462,533. 

72. T.C.R., 779. 


1. Mess., Vol. 58, pp. 187, 59. 

2. R. and P., p. 2695 70. Ref., 183 1, p. 443. 

3. JV. 7. Mag. (London), 1790; Annals, pp. 124-129. 

4. ^*/.r, pp. 113, 133-134. 

5. Mesmer, in Encyclofadia Britannica (nth Edition), Vol. 18, pp. 


6. Frank Podmore: Modern Spiritualism (Methuen, 1902), p. 76. 

7. Frank Podmore: Mesmerism and Christian Science, pp. 197-198. 

8. Mess., Vol. 72, pp. 73, 91, 112; #. 7. Mag., Vol. 34, pp. 179-181. 

9. H.H., 326: "Among gentiles in heaven, the Africans are most be- 

loved, for they receive the goods and truths of heaven more easily 
than others. They wish especially to be called obedient, but not 

10. N. J. Mag., Vol. 39, p. 569. 

n. N. J. Mag. (London), Vol. i, pp. 70-73, 142. 

12. Doc., I, p. 6465 Mess., Vol. 63, pp. 107-108; N. J. Mag., Vol. 39, 

p. 569. 

13. Doc., II, pp. 252, 258, 620. 

14. Doc., I, p. 637; Doc., II, 1332-1333; Mess., Vol. 48, p. 40; Vol. 33, 

p. 303. Annals, pp. 140, 373. 

15. Con. Jour., 1833, p. 21 j 1835, p. 56. 

16. N. J. Mag., Vol. n, pp. 18-20; Vol. 28, p. 382; Journal of Central 

Convention, 1843, p. 14. 

17. Podmore: Sfiritualism, p. 15. From The History of Spiritualism, by 

Arthur Conan Doyle, p. 22. Copyright, 1926, by Arthur Conan 
Doyle and reprinted by permission from Doubleday, Doran & Com- 
pany, Inc., publishers, and Lady Conan Doyle. 

18. In. Ref., 1848, pp. 441-448; N. C. Rev., Vol. 37, p. 22. 

19. Doc., II, p. 1162; Doc., I, p. 637; R. and P., p. 181; N. J. Mag., 

Vol. 13, pp. 266-268. 

20. N. J. Mag. (London), Vol. I, p. 1755 Mag. of Knowledge, Vol. I, 

p. 406; N. C. Rev., Vol. 14, pp. 191-192, 201, 1845 Vol. 15, 
P- 44-6. 

21. N. J. Mag., Vol. 31, pp. 460-466. 

22. In. Ref., 1838, pp. 323-325. 

23. N. C. Rev., Vol. 37, p. 21; In. Ref., 1849, PP* 34"39^ 

NOTES 409 

24. Mess., Vol. 47, p. 373: In i8z6 General Mouravieff was exiled to 

Siberia for his outspoken advocacy of the abolition of serfdom, and 
after nine years of terrible suffering, was restored to royal favor 
in 1835. But in 1858 he had his reward, being appointed presi- 
dent of the Committee which drew up the act of emancipation. 
When this tremendous achievement was finally accomplished in 
1 86 1, it was Mouravieff who was proclaimed its originator and hero. 

25. S.D., 6iQi-,Doc., II, pp. 496-499> 974> 99^ 539> 7<>3> 500, *oio, 

1 1 66; Doc., I, p. 10. 

26. Theodore Compton: Life of John Clowes, p. 165 Aurora, Vol. I, 

pp. 317-320. 

27. N. J. Mag., Vol. 34, pp. 275-2775 R. and P., p. 40. 

28. R, and P., pp. 10-17, 28. 

29. N. C. Life, 1895, pp. 105, 120. 

30. R. and P., pp. 17, 7, 23-24, 40, 28, 65. 

31. R. and P., pp. 136, 59, 62-63, 262; Doc. } I, p. 701; Doc., II, pp. 

570-576, 581-5845 Lewis F. Kite: Swedenborgs Historical Posi- 
tion, pp. 129-132. 

32. R. and P., pp. 54, 555 In. Rep., 1871, p. 1605 1857, P- 3395 N- C. 

Rev., Vol. 37, pp. 23-245 William White: Life of Emanuel Swe- 
denborg, p. 5975 Compton: Life of John Clowes, p. 83. 

33. R. and P., pp. 108, 54-62. 

34. Ibid., pp. 60-61, 66, 70, 157. 

35. Ibid., pp. 66, 75, 78, 80, 1395 Compton, p. 48. 

36. Ibid., pp. 84-104. 

37. Carl Th. Odhner: Robert Hindmarsh, pp. 25-315 Kramfh Will 

Case, pp. 7-8. 

38. R. and P., pp. 194-195: Hindmarsh says that once when Cowherd 

asked a member of his flock whether she was abstaining from ani- 
mal food, she replied: "O yes, sir, I never taste it, but only now 
and then take a little mutton broth and a red herring." For this 
indulgence the lady was firmly excommunicated! 

39. R. and P., pp. 78, HO-I43> i$5-*57> 166. 

40. Ibid., p. 415 In. Ref*, 1832, p. 124; 1829, p. 694; N. C. Ref., 

18505 Magazine of Knowledge, Vol. I, pp. 123, 404; Richard 
DeCharms: Pseudo-Spiritualism, p. xi; Diary EarMy and Spir- 
itual of James Johnston* 

41. Aurora, Vol. 2, pp. 165, 209, 2495 Vo 1 * *> PP- 434 43> 3*9-3455 

R. and P., 188, 190, 237, 4755 Words, Vol. I, pp. 230-231. 

42. R. and P., pp. 78-805 N. J. Mag. (London), 1790, p. 308; 1791. 


410 NOTES 


1. Ednah C, Silver: Sketches of the New Church in America, pp. I, 2, 

6, 7. 

2. N. J. Mag., Vol. 44, pp. 175-176; Silver, p. 8: In 1917 a bronze 

tablet was set up to mark the former site of Bell's Book Store. 

3. N. J. Mag., Vol. n, 119; Boston Semicentennial Celebration, p. 10. 

4. Jonathan Bayley: New Church Worthies, p. in. 

5. N. C. Rev., Vol. 1 8, p. 571. 

6. N. J. Mag., Vol. 44, pp. 176-177. 

7. Mess., Vol. 47, p. 38. 

8. N. C. Uje, 1896, p. 85; N. J. Mag. (n.s.), Vol. 16, p. 290. 

9. Newchurchman, Vol. I, pp. 539-540. There is a copy of this edi- 

tion in the Library of Columbia University, the gift of William 
Hill to King's College. 

10. Mess., Vol. 47, pp. 38-39; N. J. Mag. (n.s.), Vol. 16, p. 290, 

11. Newc/wrchman, Vol. I, pp. 401-40^ 75-76; Vol. 3, p. 231. 

12. Mess., Vol. 62, p. 251. 

13. Ibid., Vol. 33, p. 195; Newchwrchman, Vol. I, pp. 164, 167. 

14. Silver, p. 22; Mess., Vol. 25, p. 67* 

15. N. J. Mag., Vol. 9, pp. 652-654. 

1 6. Ibid., Vol. 30, p. 157: In 1857 the Wilmington Society was for- 

mally organized with a membership of twenty-two, all descendants 
of Daniel Lammot. 

17. Mess., Vol. 32, p. 72; Newchurchman, Vol. 2, p. 264; Newchurch- 

man-Extra, pp. 110-118. 

18. Newchurchman, Vol. i, pp. 165-166. 

19. Schlatter, pp. 53, 44, 26, 52, 143-146, 4*8. 

20. Newchurchman, Vol. I, pp. 40-41. 

21. Mess., Vol. 44, p. 178; Newchurchman, Vol. I, pp. 399-402. 

22. Con. Jour., 1822. 

23. History of the Philadelphia Bible Christian Church, pp. 20-25. 

24. Schlatter, p. 161. 

25. Hist. Bible Christian, pp. 31-36. 

26. In. Rep., Vol. 6, pp. 416-419 (1823). 

27. Con. Jour., 1826, p. 15. 

28. Schlatter, pp. 85, 423. 

29. Ibid., pp. 434, 443. 

30. N. J. Mag. (n.s.), Vol. 8, p. 1425 Con. Jour., 1842, p. 4445 New- 

churchman, Vol. 2, p. 282. 

31. Con. Jour., 1826, p. 15; 1827, p. 195 NewcAurchman-Extra, p. 169. 

NOTES 411 

32. W. M. Gewehr: The Great Awakening in Virginia, p. 20. 

33. Mrs. Burton Harrison: Recollections Grave and Gay, pp. 16, 425 

Silver, pp. 290-294; Mess., Vol. 62, pp. 370, 275-276: A member 
of the Washington family informed the Rev. Philip Cabell that 
there were a number of Swedenborg's works in George Washing- 
ton's library, and often on his table, and that he had first come to 
know them through Lord Fairfax by whom he was employed in 
his youth as a surveyor. 

34. Mess., Vol. 73, pp. 352-353; Vol. 74, p. 293. 

35. Schlatter, p. 229. 

36. R. and. P., p. 220; N. J. Mag., Vol. 43, pp. 545, 550; Annals, p. 


37. Of en Court, Vol. 3, pp. 1837-1839; Mess., Vol. 112, pp. 27, 67; 

Encyclopedia Britannica (nth Edition), Vol. 23, p. 228. 

38. Mess., Vol. 60, p. 281; Photostat letter (New-Church Theological 

Library) . 

39. R. B. Semple: History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Vir- 

ginia, pp. 178-179; Mess., Vol. 63, p. 8; Photostat letters. 

40. R. and P., p. 302; Con. Jour., 1882, p. 7. 

41. Con. Jour., 1818, p. 403; 1820, p. 5; i** P- 8> 1844, P- 4345 

*930> PP- 19^-194, 60-6 1. 

42. R. and P., pp. 150-153. 

43. 2M.,p. 154. 

44. Mess., Vol. 62, p. 250; N. J. Mag., Vol. 44, p. 178. 

45. Mess., Vol. 63, p. 139; N. J. Mag., Vol. 43, pp. 476, 546. 

46. Robert Carter: Photostat letters. 

47. Mess., Vol. 63, p. 139. 

48. Ibid., p. 49; Vol. 62, pp. 403-404. This is the first appearance of 

anti-clericalism in the American New Church. 

49. Silver, pp. 40-41 : The Rev. Adam Fonerden was the father of Dr. 

John Fonerden, friend and physician to the great merchant, Johns 
Hopkins, and inspirer of the founding of the University and Hos- 
pital. Dr. Fonerden was a New Churchman. 

50. R. and P., pp. 176-177. 

51. N. J. Mag., Vol. 43, pp. 545, 547, 5535 Newcburchwan-Extra, pp. 


52. N. J. Mag., Vol. 14, p, 490; Vol. 44, pp. 500-5015 Silver, pp, 


53. R. and P., p. i8l; Mess., Vol. 27, p. 212. 

54. N. J. Mag., Vol. 14, p. 485; (n.s.), Vol. 17, p. i; Precursor, Vol. 

3> P- 43- 

412 NOTES 

55. R. and P., p. 139; Mess., Vol. 47, p. 144.. 

56. Mess., Vol. 24, p. 225; N. J. Mag. (n.s.), Vol. 16, p. 554; Nea 

churchman, Vol. I, p. 401. 

57. N. J. Mag., Vol 14, pp. 184, 224-225. 

58. Ibid., p. 223. 

59. Ibid., pp. 223, 296; Vol. 30, pp. 393-394- 

60. Mess., Vol. 21, p. 252; Vol. 47, p. 144. 

61. Annals, p. 230; Halcyon Luminary, Vol. I, p. 5; Index. 

62. Halcyon Luminary, Vol. i, pp. 335-336, 543, 

63. R. and P., pp. 273-274, 302-3035 Con. Jour., 1821, p. 6. 

64. Schlatter, pp. 291, 378, 282, 437. 

65. Con. Jour., 1837, p. 384; 1839, pp. 405-4063 Newchurchman, Vc 

2, pp. 684-687. 

66. Richard DeCJiarms: Introduction to Sermons against Pseudo-Sfirittta 

ism, pp. 38, 415 N. J. Mag., Vol. 19, p. 77; In. Rep., 1860, p 
215-216; Newchurchman-Extra, pp. 286-291. 

67. N. S. Prime: History of Long Island, p. 158; Con. Jour., 1821, p. : 

1 88 1, p. 82; N. C. Quarterly Review, Vol. I, p. 324. 

68. R. and P., pp. 221, 277-2785 Con. Jour., 1817, p. 142. 

69. M. H. Prescott: Religion and PMosofAy United, p. 12. 

70. N. C. Life, 1896, pp. 103-104; Newchwchman, Vol. I, p. 53$ 

Annals, pp. 177-178. 

71. N. J. Mag., Vol. 30, pp. 391-3945 Vol. 41, pp. 525-528; Sampsc 

Reed: A Biographical Sketch of Thomas Worcester, pp. 5-6, 2' 

72. Reed, pp. 7, 129, 155 N. J. Mag., Vol. n, pp. 120-122. Th 

first edition of the Arcana, with notes in Swedenborg's own ham 
is now in the Library of the New Church Theological School. 

73. Reed, pp. 15, 99, 16; N. J. Mag., Vol. 34, pp. 292-293. 

74. Reed, p. 1 6; Prescott, Preface, pp. 15-18. Samuel Prescott was tl 

nephew of Col. Win. Prescott of Bunker Hill fame, and cousi 
of Wm. H. Prescott, the historian. 

75. Prescott, pp. 4-5. 

76. Mess., Vol. 46, p. 207. 

77. Boston Bem-Cemtenmal Celebration (Pamphlet). 

78. Reed, pp. 16, 20, 21, 28. 

79. N. C. R&., Vol. 26, pp. 94, 95, 85. 

80. Mess., Vol. 139, p. 263; Reed, p. 53. 

8 1. Con. Jour., 1834, p. 134. 

82. Schlatter, pp. 249, 355, 385. 

83. Silver, pp. 72, 227, 228; Reed, pp. 43, 70-74. Mr. Wilkins becair 

NOTES 413 

president of the National Bank of Boston, and left a bequest of 
$60,000 to the New Church. 

84. Schlatter, pp. 233-234, 171. 

85. Reed, p. 8 1. 

86. Ibid., p. 773 Schlatter, p. 402. 

87. Schlatter, p. 225; Newchurchman, Vol. 4, pp. 20-1245 N. -Extra, 

Vol. i, p. 39. 

88. N. J. Mag., Vol. 19, pp. 173-* 79- 

89. Schlatter, pp. 256, 337; Newchurchman-Extra, Vol. I, p. 855 Silver, 

P- 97- 

90. N. J. Mag., Vol. 10, p. 54; Vol. 20, p. 420; Vol. 39, p. 624; Con. 

Jour., 1828, p. 6; N. C. Life, 1892, p. 27. 

91. Reed, pp. 93-95. 

92. Ibid., p. 96; N. /. Mag., Vol. 13, pp. 431, 30. 

93. N. C. Rev.) Vol. 26, p. 79; Con. Jour., 1845, p. 395- 

94. Mess., Vol. 52, p. 70; Vol. 3, p. 69; Vol. 47, p. 115; Vol. 64, p. 

no; N. J. Mag., Vol. 15, p. 100; Vol. 30, pp. 204, 206; Vol. 28, 
P- 3395 Co**. Jour., 1820, 1826, p. 13. 

95. R. and P., pp. 303-304. 


1. Schlatter, pp. 52, 108. 

2. R. and P., pp. 271-273. 

3. Ibid., p. 26. 

4. Mess., Vol. 55, p. 1385 N. J. Mag., Vol. 17, pp. 76-805 Precursor, 

Vol. I, p. 222. 

5. R. and P., pp. 279-281, 305-306. 

6. Ibid., pp. 295-296; Con. Jour., 1829, p. 165 N. J. Mag., Vol. 5, 

p. 64. 

7. Jonathan Bayley: New Church Worthies, pp. 123-1255 Con. Jour., 

1822, p. 8; Ednah C. Silver: Sketches of the New Church in 
America, pp. 47-51. (By permission of the Massachusetts New- 
Church Union.) 

8. Bayley, p. 1315 Mess., Vol. 141, pp. xo-135 Vachel Lindsay: The 

Litany of Washington St., pp. 75-76. (By permission of The 
Macmillan Company, publishers.) 

9. Con. Jour., 1826, p. 17; Mess., Vol. 30, p. 1775 Vol. 33, p. 3045 

Vol. 44, p. 208. 

10. Outline History of the New Jerusalem, Church of Cincinnati, p. 6j 
N. J. Mag., Vol. 43, p. 5505 Con. Jour., 1823, p. 12. 


11. Schlatter, pp. 292, 297. 

12. W. A. "Kinds: American Communities, pp. 146-149. (By permission 

of Charles H. Kerr & Company.) 

13. J. H. Noyes: A History of Am&ncan Socialisms, pp. 59-61. 

14. Outline Hist. Cincinnati, p. 7. 

15. Mess*) Vol. 47, p. 201. 

1 6. Outline Hist. Cincinnati, p. 155 Mess., Vol. 55, p, 3485 Vol. 44, 

p. 293. 

17. Precursor, Vol. 2, p. 174. 

1 8. Ibid., Vol. i, p. 87; M ess., Vol. 55, p. 1725 Silver, p. 23, 

19. The New Church and Chicago, pp. 10, 20, 27, 31, 48-50, 65-67. 

20. Ibid., pp. 74, 77, 97, 123, 135, 141-143- 

21. Ibid., p. 40; Mess., Vol. 46, p. 67; Vachel Lindsay: Collected Poems, 

pp. xxii-xxiii. (By permission of The Macmillan Company, pub- 

22. George M. Field: Early History of the Early Church m the Western 

States and Canada, pp. 3-6, IO-II, 14-16, 20-21, 57-61. 

23. Ibid., pp. 65, 71-73, 104, 107, 131. 

24. Mess., Vol. 46, p. 220; Silver, pp. 155-256, 171. 

25. Field, pp. 134, 146; N. J. Mag., Vol. 16, pp. 391-395- 

26. Field, pp. 191, 195-196, 204, 210. 

27. Ibid., p. 216; Crisis, Vol. I, p. 55 Mess., Vol. 18, p. II. 

28. Field, pp. 221, 228, 230-234. 


1. In. Ref., Vol. 4, p. 158. 

2. Correspondence of Carlyle and Emerson, Vol. I, p. 308. 

3. Harbinger, Vol. I, p. 370. 

4. Frank Podmore: Mesmerism and Christian Science, Preface, p. viii. 

(By permission of Methuen & Co., Ltd.) 

5. N. J. Mag., Vol. 7, p. 210. 

6. Louisa W. Ogden, Reasons for Joining the New Jerusalem Church, 

pp. 13-17- 

7. Memoirs and Reminiscences of the Late George Bush, p. 279. 

8. Ibid., p. 295, 

9. Harbinger, Vol. I, p. 369. 

10. Schlatter, p. 104. 

11. N. J. Mag., Vol. 19, pp. 13, 50, 89, 280, 364. 

12. Medium (1850), Vol. 2, p. 7. 

13. Ibid., Vol. 3, p. 122. 

NOTES 415 

14. Frank Podmore: Modern Spiritualism (Methuen, 1902), p. 15. 

15. Ibid.,^. 271. 

1 6. Bush (Memoirs), pp. 129-130, 

17. Ibid., p. 15. 

1 8. George Bush: Mesmer and Swedenborg, pp. 3-6, 23-26. 

19. lbid. 9 Appendix A, p. 170. 

20. Andrew Jackson Davis: The Magic Staff, pp. 316, 333-334. 

21. Bush: Mesmer and Swedenborg, p. 180. 

Podmore: Mesmerism and Christian Science, p. 228. "Davis claimed 
that he had read nothing but one novel, but an early friend, the 
Rev. A. Bartlett, said he had an enquiring mind, loved books, es- 
pecially religious books, which he borrowed and read." (By per- 
mission of Methuen & Co., Ltd.) 

22. Bush: Mesmer and Swedenborg, pp. 133, 171, 215. 

23. Podmore: Mesmerism and Christian Science, pp. 228-230; Bush. 

Memoirs, p. 1 8. 

24. Bush: Memoirs, pp. 18, 227-228. 

25. N. J. Mag., Vol. 20, p. 550. 

26. Ibid., Vol. 21, p. 109. 

27. Richard McCully: The Brotherhood of the New Life, pp. 3, II, 


28. Ibid., p. 175 Ray Strachey: Religious Fanaticism, pp. 119-120. 

29. McCully, pp. 17, 20, 8; T. L. Harris: A Lyric of the Morning 

Land, pp. 56-57, 141. The Arcana of Christianity, Vol. I, In- 
troduction, p. 9. 

30. Herald of Light, Vol. I (1857). 

31. Mess., Vol. 3, p. 122. 

32. Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 187. 

33. Herald of Light, Vol. i, pp. 168-169. 

34. Ibid., Vol. 2, pp. 150-153- 

35. Ibid., pp. 159-160. 

36. McCully, pp. 49-50, 55. 

37. C. J. Wilkinson: James John Garth Wilkinson, pp. 143, 76, 90, 102. 

38. A. A. Cuthbert: The Life and World-Work of Thomas Lake Har- 

ris, p. 27. 

39. IbU. 9 pp. 56-57; Strachey, p. 118. 

40. Mess., Vol. 1 6, pp. 282-283. 

41. Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 1 08. 

42. Ibid., Vol. I, pp. 349-350. 

43. Chauncey Giles: The New Church and Sfiritualim, pp. 6, 7, 9. 

44. Annals, p. 229. 

416 NOTES 

45. M. P. Killer: Religion and Philosophy United, pp. 29-33. 

46. New England Quarterly (1929), Vol. 2, pp. 249-50. 

47. Clarence Hotson: "Emerson and Swedenborg" (Dissertation, Har- 

vard, 1929). This seems to me an over-statement of the case. 
Plato should come first. 

48. L. F. Hite: Swedenborg's Historical Position, p. 1 58. 

49. Ibid., p. 1 60. 

50. H. C. Goddard: New England Transcendentalism, p. 104. 

51. R. W. Emerson: Representative Men. 

52. Ibid., p. 144. 

53. F. I. Carpenter: Emerson and Asia, p. 170. (By permission of the 

Harvard University Press.) 

54. Ibid., pp. 1 6, 1395 Mess., Vol. 140, p. 275: Dr. Hotson calls atten- 

tion to the fact that Emerson had probably seen an article in the 
Christian Examiner, Nov. 1883, by F. H. Hedge, in which Swe- 
denborg is called a mystic. 

55. Atlantic Monthly, Oct. 1930, pp. 4X4. ft. This statement is an 

exaggeration. (By permission of the Atlantic Monthly,) 

56. Goddard: Transcendentalism, p. 127. 

57. Correspondence of Carlyle and Emerson, \, pp. 32-33. (By permis- 

sion of Houghton Mifflin Company.) 

58. Ibtd., pp. 16-17. 

59. New England Quarterly, Vol. 2, p. 270. 

60. Mess., Vol. 140, p. 276. 

61. N. J. Mag., Vol. 15, pp. 48-51. 

62. Ibid., Vol. II, pp. 67, 72. 

63. George Bush: Reply to Emerson, pp. 1-14. 

64. W. J. Underwood: Emerson and Swedenborg, p. 22. 

65. New Eng. Quarterly, Vol. 2, pp. 274, 277. 

66. Mess., Vol. 140, p. 277. 

67. N. J. Mag., Vol. 14, p. 388. 

68. Harbinger, Vol. 2, p. 393. 

69. Wilkinson, pp. 55-57, 64. 

70. N. J. Mag., Vol. 17, p. 155. 

71. Ibid., Vol. 16, pp. 504-505- 

72. J. H. Noyes: History of American Socialisms, p. 14. 

73. Ibid., p. 5455 Harbinger, Vol. 2, pp. 92-94. 

74. Harbinger, Vol. I, p. 378. 

75. Ibid., p. 369. 

76. N. J. Mag., Vol. 17, p. 156. 

77. Newchwchman, Vol. i, pp. 367-368, 375, 

NOTES 417 

78. Harbinger, Vol. i, p, 70. 

79. N. C. Rev., Vol. 12, p. 2715 W. A. Hinds. American Communities, 

p. 250. 

80. Mess., Vol. 46, p. 8 1. 

81. C. J. Hempel: The True Organization of the New Church, pp. 12, 

13, 18, 28. 

82. Ibid., pp. 74-75, 80, 107-108. 

83. N. J. Mag., Vol. 21, pp. 298-301. 

84. N. C. Ref., Vol. i, pp. 539-542, 602-603. 

85. N. J. Mag., Vol. 28, pp. 236-242. 

86. Goddard: Transcendentalism, pp. 60, 129, 595 F. B. Sanborn and 

W. T. Harris: A. Bronson Alcott, pp. 556-558. (By permission of 
Little, Brown & Company.) 

87. J. H. Wilson: Life of Charles A. Dana, pp. 35, 45. 

88. Wm. J, Worcester, in Platner and Fenn: The Religious History of 

Naeo England, p. 343. (By permission of the Harvard University 

89. Con. Jour., 1900, p. 141. 

90. Mess., Vol. 62, p. 54. 

91. Woodbridge Riley: American Philosophy, p. 95 (footnote) j Ameri- 

can Thought, p. 29: This may be due rather to Fechner than to 
James. A review of his Little Book of Life after Death in the 
New Church Review (Vol. 12, p. 150), remarks: "As we read 
this little book we are impressed with the wonderful agreement of 
the general thought with that of Swedenborg, but we miss wholly 
the thought of the discrete degrees separating the creature for the 
Creator, the persistence of individual life, and the thought of the 
Divine Humanity." 

92. Mess., 1911, p. xoo. 

93. N. C. Rev., Vol. 17, p. 260. 

94. Ibid., Vol. 37, pp. 24-25. 

95. N. J. Mag., Vol. 5, p. 169 (1832). 

96. Ibid., Vol. 7, pp. 210, 228. 

97. Ibid., Vol. 9, pp. 160-163. 

98. Dr. Wm. H. Holcombe: The Truth about Homosofathy, pp. 8-95 

Mess., Vol. 39, p. 168. 

99. N. C. Rev., Vol. 36, p. 207$ N. C. Life, Vol. 22, pp. 113-115. 
too. Mess., Vol. 108, pp. 96, 175. 

101. N. C. Rev., Vol. 31, p. 290. 

102. Morris Fishbein: The Medical Follies, pp. 31-34. 

103. Newchwrchman, Vol. 2, pp. 509-5x3. 

418 NOTES 

104. Ibid., pp. 520, 532, 54I-542- 

105. N. C. Ref., Vol. 3, p. 506. 

106. Ibid., pp. 542-544. 

107. Mess. (Old), Vol. 2, p. 112. 

108. Dr. C. S. Mack: Philosophy in Homoeopathy, pp. 90-99. 

109. Newchurchman, Vol. 2, p. 547. 

1 10. Annals, p. 564. 

111. New Church Ref., Vol. 3, p. 545. 

112. John Whitehead: The Illusions of Christian Science, p. 224. 

113. The Quimby Manuscript, pp. 12, 50, 51. (By permission of 

Thomas Y. Crowell Company.) N. C. Rev., Vol. 27, p. no. 

114. Whitehead, pp. 224-225. 

115. N. C. Rev., Vol. 29, p. 126; Horatio Dresser: A History of the 

New Thought Movement, pp. 75-84. 

116. C. H. Mann: Psychiasis, pp. 7, 13, 15, 106, in, 125. (By per- 

mission of the Massachusetts New-Church Union.) 

117. Horatio Dresser: Spiritual Healing from a New Church Viewpoint, 

pp. 3, 9, 10. 

1 1 8. Con. Jour., 1900, p. 153. 


1. Con. Jour., 1817, pp. 2, 3. 

2. In. Ref., Vol. 3, pp. 511-512. 

3. Annals,?. 255. 

4. Ibid., p. 257. 

5. Ibid.,<). 

6. 7&V., p. 257; N. J. C. Ref., Vol. i, pp. 517-518. 

7. Ibid., pp. 301-302. 

8. Schlatter, p. 161. 

9. N. J. Mag. (n.s.), Vol. 6, p. 440. 

10. Con. Jour., 1820, p. 34. 

11. Ibid., 1833, p. 37. 

12. N. J. Mag. (n.s.), Vol. 6, p. 440; N. C. Rev., Vol. i, p. 276. 

13. Annals, pp. 365, 379. 

14. Con. Jour., 1822, p. 6l. 

1 5. Annals, pp. 402, 41 1. 

1 6. Ibid., pp. 396, 4035 Con. Jour., 1833, PP- 67-68. 

17. Con, Jour., 1839, p. 12, 

1 8. N. J. Mag., Vol. 27, pp. 1-3. 

19. Mess., Vol. i, p. I, 

NOTES 419 

20. Con. Jour., 1860, pp. 71, 23. 

21. Swedenborg Foundation, Annual Re forty 1929-1930, p. I. 

22. Con. Jour., 1868, p. 16. 

23. Ibid., 1880, pp. 24, 31. 

24. Ibid., 1860, pp. 8, 9. 

25. Afow., Vol. 47, pp. 101-103. 

26. Co#. ./oar., 1860, pp. 71, 23. 

27. C0#. Jour., 1875, p. 130. 

28. Ibid., pp. 70, 48. 

29. Ibid., 1873, p. 83; 1880, pp. 48, 74-75. 

30. Mess., Vol. 34, p. 163. 

31. Ibid., Vol. 125, p. 165. 

32. Ibid., Vol. 36, pp. 24-25. 

33. C. G. Carter, The Life of Chauncey Giles, p. 203. 

34. Annals, p. 312. 

35. Robert Hindmarsh, Rise and Progress of the New Jerusalem Church, 

p. 219. 

36. Annals, p. 303. 

37. Con. Jour., 1833, pp. 5*-53- 

38. N. C. Rev., Vol. 25, p. 115. 

39. Annals, pp. 379, 403, 4"- 

40. N. C. Rev., Vol. 27, p. 56. 

41. Annals, pp. 412, 438. 

42. AT. C. Rev., Vol. 25, p. 115. 

43. Ibid., Vol. 27, p. 56. 

44. Ibid., Vol. 25, p. Il8. 

45. N. J. Mag., Vol. 12, pp. 343-344- 

46. N. C. Rev., Vol. 25, pp. 115-118. 

47. Annals, p. 450. 

48. N. J. Mag., Vol. 1 1, p. 33. 

49. Annals, pp. 396, 439. 

50. N. /. Mag., Vol. 22, p. 251. 

51. Mess., Vol. 96, p. 219. 

52. Bulletin of Urbana University, Catalogue Number, 1929, -p. 6. 

53. Mess., Vol. 2, p. 185 (1854). 

54. Mess. (Old), Vol. I, pp. 181-182. 

55. Mess., Vol. 2, p, 105. 

56. Ibid., Vol. i, p. 17. 

57. /M&, Vol. 96, pp. 219-220. 

58. Ibid., p. 2205 2V. C. Rev., Vol. 25, pp. 119-122. 

59. N. J. Mag., Vol. 13, p. 414. 

420 NOTES 

60. Hid., Vol. 14, pp. 159-160. 

61. Ibid., Vol. 17, p. 197. 

62. Ibid., Vol. 26, p. 386. 

63. /*^., Vol. 26, p. 394- 

64. N. C. Rev., Vol. 25, p. 116. 
6$. Mess., Vol. 6, p. 90. 

66. Ibid., Vol. 10, p. 341- 

67. Ibid., Vol. 84, p. 310. 

68. Ibid., Vol. 46, p. 207. 

69. N. J. Mag., Vol. 19, p. 408. 

70. Ibid., Vol. 20, pp. 442-445. 

71. /&., Vol. 21, p. 340. 

72. .AT. C. /., Vol. 13, pp. 252-255. 

73. Liturgy oftheNew Church, Baltimore, 1792, pp. 1-4, 11-13, 33-36. 

74. Aimals, pp. 300-301; N. C. Rev., Vol. 36, p. 340. 

75. N. J. Mag., Vol. 8, p. 310. 

76. Con. Jour., 1835, pp. 121-124. 

77. Ibid., 1836, pp. 370-37I- 

78. Mess., Vol. 102, p. 7; N. C. Rev., Vol. 36, p. 341. 

79. Herald of Light, Vol. 2, p. 238. 

80. N. J. Mag., Vol. 25, pp. 256-257. 

8 1. Annals, Jp. 249. 

82. Newchwrchman-Extra, Vol. I, p. 31. 

83. N. C. Ref., Vol. i, p. 679. 
84- Ibid., Vol. i, pp. 743, 753. 

85. Con. Jour., 1833, p. 34. 

86. Ibid., 1838, pp. 41, 383. 

87. Ibid., 1839, pp. 18-23. 

88. Ibid., 1849, p. 12. 

89. AT. 7. JJf*., Vol. 26, p. 237. 

90. New Church Monthly, Vol. i, pp. 462-471, 

91. G. M. Field, Early History of the New Church in the Western 

States and Canada, pp. 241-245, 251, 257. 

92. Annals, pp. 287-288. 

93. ScHlatter, p. 225. 

94. Newchwrchman-Extra, Vol. i, pp. 62, 65, 84; Schlatter, p. 233, 

95. Ibid., pp. 20-21. 

96. Schlatter, p. 84. 

97. Newckurcbmon-Extra, Vol. I, pp. 112, 105, 42, 43, 56. 

98. Sctlatter, p. 256. 

99. Ibid., pp. 362, 363, 356, 360. 

NOTES 421 

100. Newchwrcfman-Extra, Vol. i, pp. 125-126. 

101. N. J. Mag., Vol. 19, p. 177; Newchurchman-Extra, Vol. i, pp. 


102. Newckurchman-Extra, Vol. i, pp. 129-131. 

103. Con. Jour., 1823, p. 79. 

104. Ibid., 1826. 

105- Con. Jour., 1833, pp. 37-38, 63-67. 

106. Ibid., 1823, pp. 87-88; 1834, pp. 103-103- 

107. N. C. Life, Vol. 22, pp. 2-9, 129. 

108. Precursor, Vol. i (1836). 

109. N. C. Life, pp. 135-136. 

1 10. Con. Jour., 1837, pp. 370-372. 

111. Ibid., 1838, p. 41. 

112. N. J. Mag., Vol. 15, p. 335. 

113. Con. Jour., 1837, P- 3^4- 

114. Ibid., 1838, pp. 367-368. 

115. 4#*r, pp. 429-430, 440-441, 452. 

116. N. J. Mag., Vol. 14, pp. 21-26. 

117. Journal of the Central Convention, 1840. 

1 1 8. KratnpA Will Case, p. 80. 

119. Ibid., pp. 83-84. 

120. Annals, pp. 453, 462-465. 

121. Kramfh Will Case, pp. 90-91. 

122. Annals, pp. 499, 502, 475, 

123. Journal of the Central Convention, 1842, pp. 16-18. 

124. N. J. Mag., Vol. 15, pp. 417, 419, 420. 

125. Annals, pp. 476-477- 

126. N. C. Life, Vol. 22, pp. 80-8 1. 

127. Con. Jour., 1846, p. 446. 

128. N. J. Mag., Vol. 1 8, p. 407. 

129. Con. Jour.y 1846, p. 445. 

130. Ibid., 1849, pp. 8, ii, 12, 14. 

131. Con. Jour., 1853, pp. 5 2 -S6- 

132. Newchurchman-Extra, Vols. 4-16 (1848). 

133. Annals, p. 556. 

134. Con. Jour., 1849, p. 8. 

135. N. J. Mag., Vol. 10, p. 174. 

136. Annals, pp. 440, 464* 545- 

137. Con. Jour., 1850, p. 237. 

422 NOTES 


1. N. C. Life, Vol. 22, p. 363. 

2. Ibid., pp. 595-596. 

3. Annal^ p. 512. 

4. N. C. Life, Vol. 22, pp. 359, 597- 

5. Mess., Vol. I, p. 2. 

6. N. J. Mag., Vol. 27, p. 539. 

7. Mess., Vol. i, p. 31. 

8. Academy of the New Church, pp. 17-18. (By permission of the 

Academy of the New Church.) 

9. Ibid., p. 20. 

10. Kramfh Will Case, pp. 84-85. 

11. Con. Jour., 1875, p. 8. 

12. N. C. Life, Vol. 24, pp. 405-409. 

13. Acad. of N. C., p. 20; R. L. Tafel: Swedenborg the Philosofher 

and Man of Science. 

14. Acad. of N. C., pp. 20-21. 

15. Ibid., pp. 21, 25. 

1 6. Con. Jour., 1873, p. 40. 

17. Ibid., 1875, pp. I5> 53-59- 

18. Acad. of N. C., pp. 23-24. 

19. Ibid., pp. 25-26, 29-30. 

20. Ibid., p. 13. 

21. Ibid., pp. 14-15, 30. 

22. S. G. Nelson: The Early Days of the Immanuel Church of the New 

Jerusalem, pp. 15-22. 

23. Acad. of N. C., pp. 30-31, 33, 37. 

24. Con. Jour., 1882, p. 25. 

25. Ibid., 1883, P- 8. 

26. N. C. Life, Vol. 24, p. 407. 

27. Jour. Gen. Ck., 1883, pp. 1-3, II. 

28. Ibid., pp. 13-14. 

29. N. C. Life, Vol. 24, p. 41 1. 

30. Kramfk, pp. 4, 6. 

31. N. J. Mag., Vol. 19, p. 413. 

32. W. H. Holcombe: Letters on Sfirtiual Subject*, p. 229, 

33. Schlatter, pp. 313-314. 

34. William White: Emanuel Swedenborg, p. 200. 

35. Kram$k,pp. 10-11. 

36. Ibid., pp. 13-14, 17. 


37. I bid., pp. 19-20. 

38. N. C. Life, Vol. 8, p. 190. 

39. Ibid., Vol. JO, p. no. 
4.0. Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 8 1. 

41. Kramfh, pp. 22-23. 

42. N. C. Life, Vol. 10, p. 150. 

43. Ibid., Vol. 46, p. 564, 

44. Mess., Vol. 71, p. 5125 Vol. 38, pp. 51-53- 

45. History of the Philadelphia Bible-Christian Church, pp. 36-44. 

46. Afw., Vol. 71, pp. 512-514. 

47. Words for the New Church, Vol. 2, pp. 422, 133-134- 

48. Jour. Gen. Ch., 1886, p. n. 

49. W. F. Pendleton: Principles of the Academy, p. 9. (By pcrmissic 

of the Academy of the New Church.) 

50. Con. Jour., 1888, pp. 89-90. 

51. Words for the New Church, Vol. i, pp. 576-577. 

52. Jour. Gen. Ch., 1889, pp. 16, 33, 36, 72-73. 

53. Ibid., 1888, pp. 63, 69, 77-80. 

54. Con. Jour., 1889, pp. 7-9, 15-17. 

55. Ibid., p. 19. 

56. Ibid., 1890, p. 46. 

57. Jour. Gen. Ch., 1889, pp. 16, 48-61. 

58. Con. Jour., 1890, pp. 11-12. 

59. Jour. Gen. Ch., 1890, pp. 14, 24-26. 
6q. Ibid., 1890, pp. 82, 92. 

6 1. Mess., Vol. 60, pp. 353, 2. 

62. Ibid., p. 1 66. 

63. Con. Jour., 1896, p. 16. 


1, Words, Vol. i, p. 69. 

2, Pendleton: Principles, p. 3. 

3, Jour. Gen. Ch., 1886, p. 53. 

4, Ibid., p. 15. 

5, N. J. Mag., Vol. 17, p. 312. 

6, Jour. Gen. Ch., 18919 p. 6. 

7, Ibid., p. 65- 

8, Ibid., 1892, p. 37. 

9, N. C. Life, Vol. 24, pp. 414-416. 
10. Jour. Gen. Ch., 1891, pp. I7> 12* 

4-24- NOTES 

18989 pp. 20-23. 

12. .ZV. C7. -,*/,*?, Vol. 28, p. 812. 

13. Ilt-itl.} Vol. 20, p- 364- 
14.. C7. jL., 4.9. 

15. -4. C., 8998. 

1 6. I* en diet on: Prd&&Gi'3>l&s 9 p. 9. 

17. .ZV. C7. JL*/s, Vol. 2-7, p, 135- 

18. Kr&m<t>& 9 pp. 4.74-4-76. 

19. Pendleton : Principles 9 p. 10. 

2,0- jrp>& o/ 1 J-tme Sot*&&wir) 1908, p. 13. 

a i. N. C. L*f&, Vol. 22, pp. a 94, 300. 

22.. Jow. G&n- C&. 9 1892, pp. 37-4.1, 56. 

23. 7^^., 1899, p. 4-7- 

24.. AT. C. Z,*/*?, Vol. 20, p. 4-14.. 

25. C7o*z. Jour-y 1893, p. 96. 

26. Jottr* G&?**> Cfr.y 1904., p. 4.15. 

27. jf^*^., pp. 4.16-4-17- 

28. /^*^., 1897, pp. 10-11. 

29. 2\T. C7. I*f&* Vol. 4.9, p. 293. 

30. Jo**r. G&-&. Cfr-y 1904-, pp. 4x8-4.19. 

31. 1&-1<1. 9 1897, p. 12. 

32. /^<2?-, p. 7. 

33. 12>*<l. y p. 139- 

34. JV. C. Llf^ Vol. *7, p. 43. 

35. 1Z>**1. 9 pp. 100-103. 

36. /**/., pp. 138-140. 

37. Jow. G&v*. C&. 9 1899, pp. 37-39- 
38- C r o. J&<u*r. 9 1901, p. 27. 

39. lBi^l. 9 1902, p. 20. 

40. iPendleton: Prv&G-i'pl&S} pp. IO II. 

41. J-r&n-<f>& 9 pp. 29-31. 

42. 7^"^., pp. 33-38, 75-76- 

43. Z^*^., pp. 39-40, 51. 

44. !&**., p. 463. 

45. /*V2?., pp. 459-462. 

46. &*<., pp. 56, 428-430. 

47. &<, pp. 86-92. 

48. ./*<s?., pp. 104-110. 

49. jf&**2. 9 pp. 105-113. 

50. uT3^4^., pp. 122, 128, 130. 

51. /A?*?., pp. 132, 143-144, 154, 239. 

NOTES 425 

52. Ibid., pp. 195,209. 

53. Ibid., pp. 235-250, 290-294. 

54. Ibid., pp. 301, 307-308. 

55. Ibid., pp. 309-319- 

56. Ibid., pp. 326-327, 335, 356. 

57. Ibid., pp. 39i>405-4i2. 

58. Ibid., pp. 415-417- 

59. Ibid., pp. 450-45 3. 

60. Con. Jour., 1909, pp. 13-14. 

61. Mess., Vol. 30, p. 437 (1905). 

62. igth of June Souvenir, 1910, pp. 9-1 1. 

63. C0#. Jour., 1910, pp. 61-62. 

64. N. C. Life, Vol. 30, p. 859 (1910). 

65. Mess., Vol. 97, p. 107. 

66. N. C. Life, Vol. 29, pp. 457-459 (1909)- 

67. N. C. Rev., Vol. 17, pp. 606, 628. 


1. N. C. Life, Vol. 40, p. 129. 

2. Ibid., Vol. 49, pp. 399-401. 

3. Ibid., Vol. 36, p. 137. 

4. T&? Academy of the New Church, p. 89; The Cathedral-Church 

of Bryn Athyn, p. 3; JW. Gen. Ch., 1899, p. 31, 

5. Ibid., 1890, p. 9. 

6. Ibid., 1900, in JV. C. Life, Vol. 20, p. 370. 

7. #. C. */<?, Vol. 30, p. 552- 

8. Ibid., Vol. 40, p. 492. 

9. Ibid., Vol. 50, pp. 482-489. (Figures for 1930.) 
10. Ibid., pp. 504-506. 

H. Ibid., pp. 549-551- 

12. /, Vol. 20, p. 398. 

13, Ibid., pp. 443, 447- 

15. Ibid., Vol. 30, p. 464- 

16. Ibid., Vol. 33, pp. 560, 561. 

17. Ibid., Vol. 46, Vol. 48. 

1 8. Ibid., Vol. 39, pp. 779, 789. 

19. Ibid., Vol. 50, pp. 488, 489. 

20. Ibid., Vol. 20> p. 381. 

21. /Jtf., Vol 27, p. 614- 

426 NOTES 

22. Ibid., Vol. 50, p. 511. 

23. Ibid., Vol. 30, p. 524: The Rev. C. Th. Odhner writes: "From the 

earliest days of the Christian Church, Heaven has been laboring 
to bring forth this Heavenly Doctrine. The record of her tra- 
vailing may be read in the story of Origen, of Erigena, of Michael 
Servetus, of Isaac Watts, and a hundred other spiritual reformers 
before Swedenborg, who out of the womb of the genuine sense of 
the letter of the Word, labored, but in vain, to bring forth the 
Doctrine of the Spiritual Sense." 

24. Ibid., Vol. 40, pp. 526, 529. 

25. Jour. Gen. Ck., 1898, p. 36. 

26. 2V. C. Rev., Vol. 29, p. 247. 

27. 2V. C. Life, Vol. 51, pp. 27-28. 

28. Ibid., pp. 28-30. 

29. Mess., Vol. 140, p. 241. 

30. William McGeorge, Jr.: How Long Halt Ye Between Two Opinions? 

31. 2V. C. Life, Vol. 51, pp. 27-37. 

32. Acad. of N. C., pp. 38-42. 

33. First Three General Meetings of Teachers connected with the 

Schools of the Academy of the New Church, pp. 3-8. 

34. Ibid., pp. 10-26. 

35. Ibid., pp. 29-49- 

36. Ibid., p. 12. 

37. JV. C. Life, Vol. 49, p. 298. 

38. Ibid., Vol. 20, pp. 367, 377, 393. 

39. Ibid., Vol. 30, pp. 485, 486. 

40. Ibid., Vol. 20, p. 401. 

41. Ibid., Vol. 39, pp. 807, 797. 

42. Ibid., Vol. 50, p. 489. 

43. Journal of Education, Vol. 23, pp. 188-197, 

44. Curriculum, Part I. Growth of Mental Faculties, pp. 2-13. 

45. Ibid., General Introduction, pp. 1-4. 

46. Ibid., Religion, pp. 2-3. 

47. Ibid., pp. 3-10. 

48. 2V. C. Life, Vol. 20, p. 374. 

49. Jour, of Ed., Vol. 14, pp. 173, 175, 185. 

50. Ibid., Vol. 22, p. 185. 

51. Ibid., Vol. 23, p. 204. 

52. Ibid., Vol. 23, pp. 71-80. 

53. Curriculum, VIII, Handwork, p. 4. 

54. Ibid., VI, Mathematics, p. 5. 

NOTES 427 

55. Jour of Ed., Vol. 23, p. 65. 

56. T.C.R., 760. 

57. Curriculum, II, History, pp. 3-4. 

58. C. Th. Odhner: The Golden Age, pp. 168-170: "From the Reve- 

lation given to the New Church it is known that 'the science of 
correspondences was cultivated in many kingdoms of Asia, and 
especially in the land of Canaan, Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Syria, 
Arabia, and in Tyre, Sidon, and Nineveh; also, that it was car- 
ried hence from the maritime districts into Greece; but there it 
was turned into fables, as is evident from the writings of the 
earliest authors there. ... Of Homer, the author of the Iliad 
and the Odyssey, we know that he composed his immortal epics in 
a correspondential or representative style, as is shown in the Arcana 
Coelestia, 2762, where the correspondence of the Trojan horse is 
given." In Hesiod's story of the birth of the Titans, " 'Chaos' is 
the mixed state of man before regeneration, before he has begun 
to discriminate between good and evil. 'Gloomy Tartarus' is the 
'abyss* of the Bible, . . . the lusts of the unregenerate man. 
'Love/ or 'Eros,' would seem to correspond to 'the Spirit of God 
moving upon the face of the waters,' " etc. (By permission of the 
Academy of the New Church.) 

59. Acad. of the N. C., pp. 82-86. 

60. Curriculum, 111, English, pp. 1-7. 

6 1. V. C. Odhner: Lecture Two. (Mimeographed notes.) 

62. Curriculum, IV, Geography, pp. 1-4. 

63. A.C., 3518. 

64* Curriculum, V, Nature, pp. 1-9. 

65. N. C. Life, Vol. 50, pp. 502-503. 

66. Jour, of Gen. Ch., 1888, pp. 16-23. 

67. Curriculum, I, Religion, p. 2. 

68. Words, Vol. I, pp. 218-219; Cathedral-Church^ pp. 2-5, 24. 

69. American Architect, May 29, 1918, pp. 709-710. (By permission of 

the American Architect.) 

70. Ibid., p. 711. 

71. Cathedral-Church, pp. 5-13. 

72. Ibid., pp. 14, 31-32: "The church at Bryn Athyn is the first in 

modern times, or in the last 400 years, to employ curves in plan 
in the alignment of the arcades of the nave. The existence of 
such curves in plan in mediaeval architecture was unknown until 
the demonstration offered by the Brooklyn museum photographs. 
Not only is this church the first in modern history to employ 

428 NOTES 

curves in plan, but also the first to employ bends in elevation 
of the horizontals, and bends in plan of the fagade." (87 permis- 
sion of the Brooklyn Museum Quarterly, April, 1916.) 

73. Ibid., pp. 24-29. 

74. Jour. Gen. Ch., 1887, p, 56. 

75. Ibid., p. 82. 

76. N. C. Ltfe, Vol. 40, p. 468. 

77. Ibid., Vol. 27, pp. 597-599- 

78. N. C. Rev., Vol. 17, p. 224: "We find a broad and catholic liberality 

pervading the work throughout, not only in the make-up of its 
contents but in the retention of the old liturgical terms for which 
modern terms have proved poor makeshifts. . . . Notwithstanding 
the Academy's old-time aversion to everything bearing the name 
and insignia of the *old church,' going so far as to insist, in days 
past, on having an entirely new version of the Scripture to sing 
from, we find here the old, authorized version of the Bible, 
a selection of hymns from all types of old church writers, Cal- 
vinist, Reformed, Roman, Greek, and Unitarian, all subjected, 
we have no doubt, to the only necessary criterion, namely, that 
they are good utterances in devotional form and spirit of themes 
that are true in doctrine, and in accord with the Divine Word." 

79. A Liturgy for the General Church of the New Jerusalem, p. 304. 

80. Ibid., p. 357. 

81. Ibid., p. 434. 

82. N. C. Rev., Vol. 17, pp. 231-232. 

83. N. C. Life, Vol. 48, p. 37. 

84. Bryn Athyn Post, November 5, 1930, p. 45. 


1, Mess., Vol. I, p. 19. 

2. Annals, pp. 449, 462, 464. 

3- The Swedenborgian, Vol. I, pp. 273-284. 

4. Con. Jour., 1856, p. 7. 

5. Ibid., 1866, p. 16. 

6. Bush: Memoirs, pp. 5-9, 256. 

7. N. J. Mag., Vol. 1 8, p. 202. 

8. Bush: Memoirs, pp. 131, 125. 

9. John Bigelow: The Bible that was Lost and is Found, p, 49. 

10. Bush: Memoirs, pp. 55-60. 

11. Bush: Priesthood and Clergy, p. 20. 

NOTES 429 

12. Bush: Memoirs, pp. 296, 286. 

13. N. C. Rep. Vol. 4, pp. 72-76. 

14. N. J. Mag., Vol. 24, pp. 32-35. 

15. Letters of William James, Vol. I, pp. 7, 11-13. (87 permission of 

the Atlantic Monthly.) 

1 6. N. J. Mag., Vol. 42, pp. 473-474- 

17. /&., Vol. 20, p. 419. 

1 8. Henry James: Church of Christ not an Ecclesiasticism, pp. 3-31. 

19. Letters, Vol. I, pp. 15-16. 

20. Church of Christ, pp. 10, 13, 18, 20, 34> 39* $&> 71. 

21. Mess., Vol. 44, p. 2. 

22. Ibid., Vol. 72, pp. 187, 208. 

23. Ibid., Vol. 82, p. 301; Con. Jour., 1902, p. 25. 

24. /W., Vol. 88, p. 23. 

25. Ibid., Vol. 94, p. 318. 

26. Ibid., Vol. 89, p. 153. 

27. Words, Vol. 2, pp. 70-71. 

28. Con. Jour., 1880, pp. 83-84. 

29. Ibid., pp. 84-85. 

30. Ibid., 1 88 1, pp. 88, 94. 

31. Mess., Vol. 46, p. 346* 

32. N. C. Life, Vol. 20, p. 57; C. J. Wilkinson: James John Garth 

Wilkinson, pp. 40, 66, 79, 82, 143, 162. 

33. N. C. Rev., Vol. 19, p. xox. 

34. Words, Vol. i, pp. 237, 249. 

35. N. C. Life, Vol. 17, p. 170. 

36. Jour. Gen. Ch., 1899, pp. 98, 103. 

37. N. C. Rev., Vol. 25, pp. 417-418. 

38. Con. Jour., 1900, p. 142; A. H. Stroh: Investigations in Sweden, 

P- 249- 

39. N. C. Rev., Vol. 25, p. 417. 

40. Stroh, p. 256. 

41. N. C. Rev., Vol. 22, p. 579. 

42. N. C. Life, Vol. 36, p. 118. 

43. N. C. Rev., Vol. 29, pp. 194-195. 

44. Ibid., Vol. n, pp. 263-265. 

45. Ibid., Vol. 25, pp. 424-427; Worship and Love of God, 25-28, 


46. Ibid., Vol. IX, p. 271. 

47. Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 483. 

48. Journal of Education, Vol. 23, pp. 204-216. 

430 NOTES 

49. Ibid., pp. 224-225. 

50. N. C. Rev., Vol. 1 6, p. 264. 

51. Mess., Vol. 139, p. 335* 

52. Ibid., Vol. 138, p. 67. 

53. Mess., Vol. 139, p. 322. 

54. Ibid., Vol. 68, p. 374- 

55. Con. Jour., 1902. 

56. Mess., Vol. 124, p. 351. 

57. Ibid., Vol. 126, pp. 67-68, 

58. Ibid., Vol. 127, p. 98. 

59. Ibid., Vol. 126, p. 117. 

60. Con. Jour., 1902, pp. 164-172. 

6 1. Mess., Vol. 140, pp. 239-241. 

62. N. J. Mag., Vol. 14, p. 218. 

63. N. C. Rev., Vol. 37, p. 164. 

64. Ibid., Vol. 36, p. 508. 

65. Mess., Vol. 139, p. 312, 

66. A Series of Statements Relative to the Character of the Teaching 

at the Theological School, pp. I, 4, 7. 

67. Ibid., pp. 9-10. 

68. This "evidence" consists of reports of remarks made by Mr. Wunsch 

in class, and of statements "copied verbatim from notes taken in 
class," and "therefore authoritative^ 

69. Ibid., p. 12. 

70. Ibid., pp. 16-19. 

71. Mess., Vol. 140, pp. 76-78. 

72. Ibid., pp. 102-4. 

73. Con. Jour., 1930, p. 8. 

74. Mess., Vol. 140, p. 158, 

75. Jour. N. Y. Assn., 1930, pp. ion; 193 I, pp. 5-6". 

76. Mess., Vol. 140, p. 105. 

77. Ibid., Vol. 140, pp. 294, 298-300, 295. 

78. New Church Visitor, April, 1931. 

79. Mess., pp. 140, 295. 

80. Ibid., p. 457. 

8 1. Ibid., pp. 461, 2. 


1. N. C. Rev., Vol. 5, p. 64. 

2. Mess., Vol. i, p. 30. 

NOTES 431 

3. New Eng. Quarterly, Vol. 2, p. 275 

4. C. G. Carter: Life of Chauncey Giles, pp. 179, 181, 206. 

5. W. H. Holcombe: Spiritual Philosophy of African Slavery, 

p. 7. 

6. Ibid., pp. 10-11. 

7. The New Church and Chicago, pp. 390, 394. 

8. N. C. Rep., Vol. 5, pp. 183, 266, 280, 390. 

9. Mess., Vol. 3, p. 162. 

10. Ibid., Vol. 37, pp. 472-480. 

n. N. C. Rep., 1853, Vol. 6. 

12. N. J. Mag., Vol. 42, p. 31. 

13. Ibid., p. 733. 

14. Mess., Vol. 17, pp. 191, 197. 

15. Con. Jour., 1872, pp. 77-78, 

16. Jour. New Yor& Assn., 1874, p. i. 

17. Mess., Vol. 52, p. 343. 

1 8. Ibid., Vol. 56, pp. 365-366. 

19. Ibid., Vol. 63, p. 394. 

20. J. H. Barrows: The World's Parliament of Religions, pp. 506-7. 
21., Mess.y Vol. 66, pp. 251-252. 

22. Jour. N. Y. Asm., 1893, pp. 250-252. 

23. Ibid., 1899, PP- 374> 3> I2 9- 

24. Ibid., pp. 267-269. 

25. Ibid., pp. 269-285. 

26. Mess,, Vol. 29, p. 107. 

27. Con. Jour., 1906, pp. 17-18. 

28. Mess., Vol. 66, pp. 57, 120. 

29. Con. Jour., 1893, p. 6. 

30. Ibid., 1894, p. 7. 

31. Ibid., 1895, pp. 6, 8, 23. 

32. Ibid., 1897, pp. 5, 6, it. 

33. Ibid., 1914, pp. 6, 7. 

34. /<, 1921, p. 8. 

35. N. C. Rev., Vol. 27, p. 479. 

36. Mess., Vol. 41, pp. 41-42. 

37. N. C. Rev., Vol. 21, p. 57. 

38. Con. Jour., 1911, pp. 39, 55- 

39. Ibid., 1912, pp. 41-42. 

40. Ibid., 1913, pp. 46-47- 

41. Mess., Vol. 140, pp- 269, 273. 

42. Ibid., Vol. 41, pp. 9, II, 14- 

432 NOTES 

43- Ibid., VOL 82, P. 194. 
44. Ibid., p. 295, 

45. /<, Vol. 8 1, p. 282. 

46. Ibid., Vol. 82, p. 55. 

47. AT. C. Life, Vol. 22, pp. 39, 85. 

48. Afro., Vol. 45, p. 212. 

49. Ibid., Vol. 89, p. 221. 

50. N. C. Rev., Vol. 26, p. 99. 

51. Jlff., Vol. 67, pp. 201, 233, 378. 

52. /itf., Vol. 139, p. 256. 

53. 73W., Vol. 66, p. 300. 

54. Ibid., Vol. 56, p. 88. 

55. Ibid., Vol. 57, p. 304. 

56. Ibid., Vol. 135, p. 381. 

57. Ibid., Vol. 101, p. 45. 

58. Ibid., Vol. 134, pp. 51, 129. 

59. Vachel Lindsay: Collected Poems, Preface, p. xxxviii. (By permis 

sion of The Macmillan Company, publishers.) 

60. Mess., Vol. 60, p. 97. 

61. Ibid., Vol. 67, p. 219. 

62. Ibid., Vol. 62, p. 132. 

63. N. C. Rev., Vol. 17, pp. 600-601. 

64. Christian Socialist (Chicago), March 15, 1910, pp. 1-8. 

65. Mess., Vol. H2, p. 175. 

66. Ibid., Vol. 134, pp. 445-446: At this Convention a gift of $i,oo< 

was made to Miss Keller in appreciation of her services to th< 
New Church in presenting to the world in her book, My Religion 
her beautiful testimonial to the teachings of Swedenborg. 

67. Ibid., Vol. 140, p. 1 1 8. 

68. Con. Jour., 19131 p. 18. 

69. Ibid., 1920, pp. 93-94. 

70. Ibid., 1929, pp. 128-133. 

71. Ibid., p. 131. 

72. Herald of Light, Vol. I, pp. 36-39. 

73. Con. Jour., 1930, pp. 105-106; Mess., Vol. 139, pp. 174-175. 

74. N. J. Mag., Vol, 20, p. 490. 

75. Mess., Vol. 6, pp. 106, 182. 

76. N. J. Mag., Vol. 36, pp. 14, 48. 

77. Ibid., VoL 37, p. 12. 

78. N. C. Rev., VoL 5, pp. 353-35$. 

NOTES 433 

79. Mess., Vol. 8 1, pp. 186-187. 

30. N. C. Re&.> Vol. 21, pp. 594, 598-599. 

3 1. MATT., Vol. 109, p. 3. 

32. MAT/., Vol. 108, pp. 82, 4.27, 181. 

33. Ibid., Vol. 109, p. 282. 

34. T.C.R., 408. 

35. Con. Jour., 1916, p. 6. 

36. T.C.R., 415. 


1. Con. Jour., 1890-1930. 

2. N. C. Rev., Vol. i, p. 276. 

3. H. K. Carroll: The Religious Forces of the United. States, p. 444. 

4. Jour. Moss. Assn., 1929, pp. 27-29. 

5. Pendleton: Principles, p. 3. 

6. N. J. Mag., Vol. 41, p. 797. 

7. Mind (N. Y.), August, 1900, p. 322. 

8. N. C. Rev., Vol. 24, p. 92. 

9. H. N. Casson: The Crime of Credulity, p. 84. (87 permission of 

Peter Eckler.) 

10. Con. Jour., 1904, p. 145. 

11. Atlantic Monthly, 1913, Vol. HI, pp. 470-471. (By permission of 

the Atlantic Monthly.) 

12. Con. Jour., 1895, p. 150. 

13. Ibid., 1896, p. 154. 

14. Ibid., 1901, p. 166. 

15. N. C. Rev., Vol. 17, p. 98. 

1 6. Con. Jour., 1903, pp. 141-142. 

17. Ibid., 1905, pp. 169-170. 

1 8. Mess., Vol. 90, pp. 234-235. 

19. Con, Jour., 1927, p. 130. Mr. Barron also believed in personal 

evangelism. In a letter to the author dated Houseboat Edna B., 
Long Key, Fla,, January 14, 1927, he says: 

"Very few people are able to read the Revelation of God 
through His Word and the Writings of Swedenborg, and most 
people ought not to read it, for he can be rightfully read and 
received with benefit only by those who are struggling to see the 
light for the purpose of following that light. ... I am asking 
my office to send you a few of my writings regarding the Reve- 

434 NOTES 

lation through Swedenborg, and also the three books of Sweden- 
borg, and perhaps sometime you will tell me how they impress 
you* . . . 

"Yours for the Truth, 


20. Swedenborgian, Vol. I, p. 34. 

21. Con. Jour.) 1926, p. 139; 1930, pp. 136-137, 129, 117, 121. 

22. Swedenborg Foundation, Bist Annual Report, pp. 2, 12, 1 8. 

23. Con. Jour., 1930, pp. 94-95? H> 975 Mess., Vol. 140, p. 32. 

24. N. C. Rev., Vol. 36, pp. 152, 154. 

25. N. J. Mag., Vol. 33, p. 235 Ibid, (n.s.), Vol. 6, p. 4405 Con. Jour., 

1900, p. 855 1930, pp. 86-87, 58-66; Mess., Vol. 140, p. 91. 

26. Con. Jour., 1893, p. 1095 L. P. Mercer: The New Jerusalem in the 

World?* ReUgious Congresses, p. 313. (By permission of the 
Western New-Church Union.) 

27. Con. Jour., 1926, pp. 175-1765 1930, pp. 58-66. 

28. Ibid., 1880, p. 48; 1890, p. 52; 1900, p. 85; 1910, pp. 86-905 

1920, pp. 59-635 1930, p. 86. 

29. Mess., Vol. 139, p. 374. 

30. N. C. Rev., Vol. 36, p. 1615 Con. Jour., 1930, p. 83. 

31. Mercer, pp. 3-4,7. 

32. Ibid., p. 8. 

33. World?* Congress Auxiliary, Deft, of Religion, Reports. 

34. J. H. Barrows: The World's Parliament of Religions, pp. 68, 6-8 ; 

Mercer, p. 105 Of en Court, Catalogue of Publications, p. 19. 

35. Mercer, p. 22. 

36. Frank Sewall: Narrative and Critical Account of the Parliament of 

Religions (in Mercer, p. 31). 

37. Mercer, pp. 152,978. 

38. N. C. Rev., Vol. 24, p. 1275 Con. Jour., 1917, p. 75 1918, p. 2. 

39. Conn Jour., 1894, pp. 120-1315 1916, p. 1035 Mess., Vol. 140, 

P- 39- 

40. Ibid., 1916, p. 1035 Mess., VoL 140, pp. 39-40, 132, 135. 

41. Moss., Vol. 140, pp. 1 33-* 34- 

42. Con. Jour., 1924, p. 1215 1925, p. 122. 

43. Mess., Vol. 140, pp. 140, 3015 Vol. 121, p. 239, 

44. New Church League Journal, Vol. 31, pp. 135-138 (1931). 

45. New Church League Journal, Vol. 30, p. 129. 

46. Ibid., p. 210. 

47. Mess., Vol. 67, p. 1045 Vol. 68, p. 3305 VoL 140, p. 258- 
N. C. Rev., Vol. 33, pp. 476-477. 

NOTES 435 

48. Mess., Vol. 14.0, p. 2575 Vol. 139, pp. 86-87 

49. Con. Jour., 1908, pp. 74-80; 1910, p. 73; 1920, pp. 37-395 1921, 

p. 153; 1925, p. 41; 1926, pp. 34-355 1930, pp. 46-49- 

50. Mess., Vol. 96, pp. 220-221; Vol. 55, p. 217; Vol. 134, p. 443. 

51. lbid. 9 Vol. 126, pp. 179-180; Con. Jour., 1920, p. 8. 

52. Ibid., Vol. 140, p. 354; Con. Jour., 1925, pp. 116-117; 1 9*7> 

P. 140; Bulletin of Urbana University, Catalogue, p. 3. 

53. Mess., Vol. 85, pp. 157-158. 

54. N. C. Rev., Vol. 10, p. 637. 

55. Mess., Vol. 139, p. 258. 

56. Ibid., Vol. 129, p. 593; Vol. 125, p. 114. 

57. Bulletin of Urbana University, May, 1930, pp. 7-8. 

58. Con. Jour., 1924, pp. 2, 224; 1925, pp. 112-113; 1928, p. 103; 

1929, pp. 146-147? *930> PP- 104-105. 

59. Mess., Vol. 83, p. 99. 

60. Ibid., Vol. 136, p. 341; N. C. Rev., Vol. 13, pp. 258-259; Vol. 23, 

pp. 528-529; Vol. 20, pp. 302-303. 

6x. Book of Worship, Preface, pp. iii, ir. (By permission of the New- 
Church Press.) 

62. Ibid., pp. 5, 404. 

63. N. C. Rev., Vol. 29, p. 88. 

64. Magnificat, Preface, Index. (By permission of the New-Church 


65. Con. Jour., 1930, pp. 200-209. 

66. Ibid., pp. 5-7. 

67. Convention Program, p. i. 

68. Con. Jour., 1930, pp. 21-39. 

69. Census of Religious Bodies, 1926, Church of the New Jerusalem, 

PP- *3> 5- 

70. Luther C, Fry; The United States Looks at its Churches, pp. 134, 


71. Con. Jour,, 1898, p. 25; 1902, p. 161. 

72. Mess., Vol. 140, pp. 126, 141, 82. 


1. N. C. Rev., Vol. 37, pp. 91-92. 

2. The Neighborhood Club Annual Award, 1931. 

3. Mess., Vol. 140, p. 240. 

4. Ibid., p. 94. 

5. Ibid., Vol. 132, pp. 381-383. 

436 NOTES 

6. ttU.> Vol. 140, pp. 224, 236-237. 

7. Ibid., pp. 393-395- 

8. James Reed: in Memorial History of Boston, Vol. 3, p. 513. 

9. A.C., 8152. 

10. N. J, Mag., Vol. 22, pp. 364-366 (1849). 

11. A. A. S. James; Ms. Letter, (In die possession of the author.) 

12. Vachel Lindsay: Collected Poems, Preface, p. xxii. (By permission 

of The Macmillan. Company, publishers.) 

13. Luke 10:42. 

14. Mess., Vol. 140, p. 164 (1931). 

15. League Journal, Vol. 31, 1931. Title page. 

1 6. B. F. Barrett, The New Church, p. 125. 

17. A.C., 1799- 

1 8. T.C.R., 784. 


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Allen, New York, 1847. 

JAMES, WILLIAM, The Letters of. Edited by his son Henry James. 2 
vols. Atlantic Monthly Press, Boston, 1920. 

The Secret of Swedenborg. Fields, Osgood and Co., Boston, 1869. 

JONES, SILAS, Eras of the New Jerusalem Church. Being a few Remarks 
on the present State of the Church, and showing the Necessity of 
Open Intercourse with Angels, for its future Advancement* New 
York, 1848. 

Journal of Education of the Academy of the New Church, 1901-1930. 
Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn, Pa. 

Journal of the Central Convention. 1840-1852. 

Journals of the General Assembly of the General Church of the New 
Jerusalem. 1897-1899. 

Journal of the General Church of the Advent of the Lord. 1891- 

Journal of the Massachusetts Association of the New Jerusalem Church. 
1 98th Meeting, 1929. 

Journals of the New York Association of the New Church. 1874-193 1. 
Journals of the General Chwch of Pennsylvania^ 1883-1890. 
Journals of the General Convention of the New Jerusalem in the C7. 5. A* 9 


KELLER, HELEN, My Religion. Doubleday, Doran, and Co., New York, 

KIDDER, DR. WALTER, A General Deduction from the Psychological Sys- 
tem of Medicine, with an especial Illustration ufon Typhus and 
Tyfhoid. Lowell, 1849. 

The Kramfh Will Case: The Controversy in regard to Swedenborg's Work 
on Conjugial Love. The Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn, 
Pa,, 1910. 

LINDSAY, VACHEL, Collected Poems, Revised Edition. Macmillan Co., 
New York, 1925. 

The Litany of Washington $*., Macmillan Co., New York, 1929. 

The Little Truth Teller, A New Church Magazine for Children, Edited 
by W. H. Benade and T. S. Arthur, Philadelphia, 1845. 

A Liturgy for the General Church of the New Jerusalem. Academy 
Book Room, Bryn Athyn, Pa., 1921. 

A Liturgy for the New Church. J. B. Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1876. 

The Liturgy of the New Church, also Hymns and Spiritual Bongs by 
Joseph Proud. Sam'l and Jno. Adams, Baltimore, 1792. 

The Liturgy of the New Jerusalem Church. Thomas Manning, Phila- 
delphia, 1828. 

MACK, CHARLES S., M.D.; Philosophy m Homoeopathy. Gross and Del- 
bridge, Chicago, 1890. 

Magazine of Knowledge, London, 1791. 

The Magnificat. Hymns with tunes compiled for the use of the New 
Church. New-Church Press, New York, 1910. 

MANN, CHARLES HOLBROOK, Five Sermons on Marriage. New-Church 
Board of Publication, New York, 1889. 

Psychiasis, Healing Through the Soul. Massachusetts New- 
Church Union, Boston, 1900. 

Spiritual Sex-Life. A Study in Swedenborg. James A. Bell Co., 

Elkhart, Ind., 1914. 

MARKHAM, EDWIN, Stoedenborg. Reprint from the New Church Review 
1925. Massachusetts New-Church Union. 

The Medium. 1848-1852. 

The Academy of the New Church. 1 876-1926. An Anniversary Record. 

Memoirs md Reminiscences of the Late George Bush. Edited by M, 
Fernald Wbodbury. Otis Clapp, Boston, 1860. 

The New Jerusalem to the Worlds Religious Congresses of 1803. Edited 
by L. P. Mercer. Western New Church Union, Chicago, 1894. 
Contains The Genesis of the Worlds Congress Auxiliary of 1803 
by Charles C. Bonney, and A Narrative and Critical Account of the 


Parliament of Religions, from Things Heard and Seen, by Frank 

Mesmer. Article in Encyclopedia Bntannica (nth Edition), Vol. 18, 
pp. 178-179. 

MOFFATT, JAMES, Swedenborg and Scripure. (New-Church Messenger, 
Vol. 140, pp. 250-252, 1930.) 

McCuLLY, RICHARD-, The brotherhood of the New Lije and Thomas 
Lake Hams. John Thomson, Glasgow, 1893. 

McGEORGE, WILLIAM, JR., How Long Halt Ye Between Two Opinions? 
Philadelphia, n.d. 

The Neighborhood Club Annual Award for Distinguished Service to the 
Cultural and Civil Life of Brooklyn, January I, 1931. (Pamphlet.) 

NELSON, JULIUS, Review of The Soul, or Rational Psychology, by 
Emanuel Swedenborg. (American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 3, 
pp. 112-114, 1890.) 

NELSON, SEYMOUR G., The Early Days of the Immanuel Church of the 
New Jerusalem. Glenview, 111., 1927. 

The New Church md Chicago, a History. W. B. Conkey Co., 1906. 

New-Church League Journal. Cambridge, Mass. 

New-Church Life, published by the Academy, Philadelphia. 

New-Church Messenger (Old), Cincinnati, 1853-1854. 

New-Church Messenger, published by the New Church Board of Publica- 
tion, Brooklyn. Official organ of the General Convention. 

The New Church Messenger, what Readers think of the New Departure. 
April 2, 1930. (A leaflet.) 

New Church Quarterly Review. London, 1849-1850. 

New Church Repository and Monthly Review, edited by George Bush. 
New York, 1849. 

New Church Monthly, edited by B. F. Barrett. Philadelphia, 1867. 

New Church Review, a Quarterly Journal of the Christian Thought and 
Life set forth from the Serif fures by Emanuel Swedenborg* Pub- 
lished by the Massachusetts New-Church Union, Boston. (Succeeded 
the New Jerusalem Magazine in 1894.) 

The Monthly Visitor, Monthly News Bulletin of the Illinois Association* 
St. Louis, Mo. 

The New Earth, edited by John Filmer, published by the New-church- 
man's Single Tax League, Brooklyn, 2889. 
New Jerusalem Church Repository. Philadelphia, 1817-1818. 
New Jerusalem Magazine. Boston, 1827-1893. 
New Jerusalem Magazine. London, 1790. 
New Philosophy, a Quarterly magazine devoted to the interests of the 


Swedenborg Scientific Association. Published at Bryn Athyn, Pa. 
The Newchurchman, published by the Central Convention. Philadelphia, 


TheNewchurchman-Extra. Philadelphia, 1841-1848. 
NEWTON, HEBER, The New Thought of Immortality. (Mind [New 

York], August, 1900, pp. 321-340.) 
x$th of June Souvenir, 1908, 1910. Academy of the New Church, Bryn 

Athyn, Pa. 
NOBLE, SAMUEL, An Appeal in Behalf of the Views of the Eternal World 

and State y and the Doctrines of Faith and Life, held by the body 

of Christians who beheve that a New Church is signified (in the 

Rev. Ch. XXI) by the New Jerusalem. London, 1826. 
NOYES, JOHN HUMPHREY, 4 History of American Socialisms. ]. B. Lip- 

pincott and Co., Philadelphia, 1870. 
ODHNER, CARL THEOPHILUS, Annals of the New Church) 1688-1850. 

Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn, Pa., 1904. 

The Golden Age. Academy Book Room, Bryn Athyn, Pa., 1913. 

Robert Hindmarsh, a Biography. Academy Book Room, Philadel- 
phia, 1895. 
ODHNER, HUGO L. J., Sermon, The Odor of Rest. Summary in the Bryn 

Alhyn Post, November 5, 1930. 
The Subconscious as a Factor in Education. (Journal of Education, 

Vol. 23, pp. 188-197, 1926-28.) 
ODHNER, V. C., Lecture Two, Composition. (Leaflet.) 
OGDEN, LOUISA W., Reasons for Joining the New Jerusalem Church. 

John Douglas, New York, 1845. 
Outline History of the New Jerusalem Church of Cincinnati^ x8 11-1903. 

Memorial Souvenir. Published by the Church Council, 1903, 
PENDLETON, CHARLES R., The Academy's Adaptation to Science. (Jour- 
nal of Education, Vol. 23, pp. 204-225, 1926-28.) 
PENDLETON, N. D., A Statement of the Order and Organization of the 

General Church of the New Jerusalem. Bryn Athyn, Pa., 1925. 
PKNDLETON, WILLIAM P., The Principles of the Academy. Academy 

Book Room, Bryn Athyn, 1909. 
PITCAIRN, RAYMOND, Church Art and Architecture. (New Church Life, 

Vol. 40, pp. 6n ff. 1920.) 

History of New England. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 

PODMORE, FRANK, Mesmerism and Christian Science. Methuen and Co., 

London, 1909. 


PODMORE, FRANK, Modern Spiritualism. Methuen and Co., London, 1902. 

POTTS, J. F., Swedenborg Concordance. 6 vols. Swedenborg Society, Lon- 
don, 1888-1902. 

The Precursory published by the Western Convention, 1837-1840. 

PRESCOTT, MARGARET HILLER, Religion and Philosophy United. Wm. 
White, London, 1856. 

PRIME, NATHANIEL S., History of Long Island from its first settlement 
by Europeans, to the year 1845^ with special reference to its ecclesi- 
astical concerns. R. Carter, New York, 1845. 

REECE, WILLIAM A., In the Heart of the Church. (New-Church Mes- 
senger, Vol. 140, pp. 93-94> I930-) 

REED, JAMES, in The Memorial History of Boston^ edited by Justin Win- 
sor. J. R. Osgood & Co., Boston, 1880-1881. 

REED, SAMPSON, A Biographical Sketch of Thomas Worcester^ D.D. 
Massachusetts New-Church Union, Boston, 1880. 

Observations on the Growth of Mind. Boston, 1826. 

The Retina. Edited by William C. Howells, Hamilton, O., 1843-44. 

RILEY, J. WOODBRIDGE, American PMosof&y, The Early Schools. 
Dodd, Mead and Co., New York, 1907. 

American Thought. Henry Holt and Co., New York, 1923. 

ROEDER, ADOLPH, Man's Two Memories* New-Church Press, New York, 

Symbol-Psychology. New-Church Press, n.d. 

SANBORN, F. B., and HARRIS, W. T., -4. Bronson Alcott, His Life and 
PMlosofhy. Roberts Brothers, Boston, 1893. 

SEMPLE, ROBERT B., History of the Rise and Progress of the Baftists in 
Virginia. Pitt and Dickinson, Richmond, Va., 1894. 

A Series of Statements Relative to the Character of the Teaching in the 
Theological School. May, 1930. (Leaflet.) 

SEWALL, FRANK, editor, The New Churchman's Prayer-book and Hymnal* 
J. B. Lippincott and Co., Philadelphia, 1884. 

Swedenborg and Modern Idealism. James Spiers, London, 1902* 

SILVER, EDNAH C., Sketches of the New ChurcA in America. Massa- 
chusetts New-Church Union, Boston, 1920. 

SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS. Article in Encyclopedia Britatmica (nth ed.), 
Vol. 23, p. 228. 

SMYTH, JULIAN K., and WUNSCH, WILLIAM F., compilers, The Gist of 

Swedenborg. J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, 1920* 
Some Letters of William Schlatter, 1814-1825. Typewritten copies of 
manuscript letter-book in the Library of the New Church Theologi- 
cal School, 


SPALDING, JOHN HOWARD, The Kingdom of Heaven as seen &y Sweden* 

borg. J. M. Dent and Sons, London. 
SPERRY, PAUL, Missionary Growth. (New-Church Messenger, Vol. 139, 

PP- 373-4> 1930.) 

STRACHEY, RAY, Religious Fanaticism, Extracts from the Pafers of Han- 
nah Whitall Smith. Faber and Gwyer, London, 1928. 

STROH, ALFRED H., editor, The Sweden&org Archives, Vol. I, Investiga- 
tions in Sweden, 1902-1918* Stockholm, 1918. 

Sunday Afternoons, weekly. Published by the Massachusetts New-Church 
Union, Boston. 

SWANTON, JOHN R., Emanuel Swedenborg, Profhet of the Higher Evolu- 
tion. New-Church Press, New York. No date. 

SWEDENBORG, EMANUEL, Animal Kingdom. First American edition, St. 
Clairsville, Ohio, 1850. 

Afocalyfse Revealed. 2 vols. American Swedenborg Printing and 

Publishing Society, New York, 1915. 

Arcana Coelestia. 12 vols. Swedenborg Foundation, New York, 


Delights of Wisdom pertaining to Conjugal Love, after which 

follow the Pleasures of Insanity pertaining to Scortatory Love, Swe- 
denborg Foundation, New York, 1928. 

Divine Love and Wisdom. American Swedenborg Printing and 

Publishing Co., 1918. 

Divine Providence. Swedenborg Foundation, New York, 1928. 

Earths in the Universe. Swedenborg Society, London, 1909. 

1 Economy of the Animal Kingdom. 2 vols. New-Church Press, 
New York. No date. 

(The) Four Doctrines, with the Nine Questions. Swedenborg 

Foundation, New York, 1928. 

Heaven and its Wonders and Hell. American Swedenborg Publish- 
ing and Printing Society, New York, 1908. 

Journal of Dreams, and Spiritual Experiences m the Hear 1744. 

Academy Book Room, Bryn Athyn, Pa., 1918. 

Miscellaneous Theological Works. Swedenborg Foundation, New 

York, 1913. 

On the Worship and Love of God. Kegan Paul, Trench and Co., 

London, 1885* 

Pfwctfiai or the First Principles of Natural Things. 2 vols. W. 

Ncwbcrry, London, 1845. 

The Soul, or Rational Psychology, New-Church Press, New York, 



SWEDENBORG, EMANUEL, The Spritual Diary. 5 vols. James Speirs, 
London, 1883. 

The True Christian Religion^ 2 vols. American Swedcnborg 

Printing and Publishing Society, New York, 1910. 

Swedenborg Foundation, Eighty-first Annual Report, 1929-1930. 

Swedenborg Number. (The Christian Socialist, Chicago, March 15, 

Swedenborg Student, the monthly bulletin of the Arcana Class, published 
by the Swedenborg Foundation, New York. 

Swedenborg' s Testimony Concerning his Writings, compiled by C. Th. 
Odhner. Academy Book Room, Bryn Athyn, 1902. 

The Swedenborgian, edited by B. F. Barrett. 1858. 

TAFEL, RUDOLPH L., Documents concerning the Life and Character of 
Emanuel Swedenborg. Swedcnborg Society, London, 1875. These 
documents were collected by Professor R. L. Tafel of Washington 
University, St. Louis, Mo., who in 1868 was sent to Sweden by the 
General Convention to secure photolithographic reproductions of the 
unpublished manuscripts of Swedenborg in the Library of the Acad- 
emy of Sciences at Stockholm. They include personal letters and 
other well-authenticated documents and form the most valuable 
source material in print for biographical study. 

Swedenborg, the Philosofher and Man of Science. E. B. Myers 

and Chandler, Chicago, 1867. 

The Temfle of Truth, edited by John Hargrove. Baltimore, 1801. 

THOMAS, REUEN, Leaders of Thought in the Modern Church. Boston, 

TROBRIDGE, GEORGE, Life of Emanuel Swedenborg. Swedenborg So- 
ciety, London, 1920. 

TURNER, LOUISA W., Pri/ndfal Points of Difference between the Old and 
New Christian Churches. Ticknor and Fields, Boston, 1856. j 

UNDERWOOD, W. J., Emerson and Swedenborg. James Spiers, London, 

VERY, FRANK W., An Efitome of Swedenborg 9 s Science. 2 vols. Four 
Seas Co., Boston, 1927. 

What his Students Say. Comments ufon the Class Work of Professor 
William F. Wunsch by Men who have Studied under him. Boston, 

WHITE, WILLIAM, Life of Emanuel Swedenborg. J. B. Lippincott and 
Co., Philadelphia, Pa. 

WHITEHBAD, JOHN, The Illusions of Christian Science, with an Appendix 
on Swedenborg and the Mental Healers. The Garden Press, Boston, 


WHITTEMORE, BENJAMIN A., The Old Testament tn the Critic's Den. 

(New Church Review, Vol. 37, pp. 14.3-169, 1930.) 
WILKINS, JOHN H., Letters on Subjects connected with the History and 

Transactions of the General Convention of the New Jerusalem in 

America. Otis Clapp, Boston, 1841. 
WILKINSON, CLEMENT JOHN, James John Garth Wilkinson. Kegan Paul, 

Trench, Trubner and Co., Ltd., London, 1911. 
WILKINSON, JAMES JOHN GARTH, Enianuel Swedenborg, a Biografhy. 

London, 1849. 
- A Popdar Study of Swedenborgs Philosophical Works, Tracts for 

the New Times, No. III. John Allen, New York, 1847. 
WILSON, JAMES HARRISON, The Life of Charles A. Dana. Harper and 

Brothers, New York, 1907. 
WORCESTER, BENJAMIN, The Life and Mission of Emanuel Swedenborg. 

J. B. Lippincott and Co., Philadelphia, 1883. 

Harbmger of the New Age of the Christian Church. 

J. B. Lippincott and Co., Philadelphia, 1913. 

WORCESTER, MARGARET, A Brief History of the Alliance during its 

Twenty-five Years, (New-Church Messenger > Vol. 140, pp. 39-4 2 > 


WORCESTER, SAMUEL H., A Letter to the Receivers of the Heavenly 

Doctrines of the New Jerusalem. Otis Clapp, Boston, 1845. 
WORCESTER, THOMAS, Presidential Address to the Convention, 185$. 

(New-Church Messenger, Vol. i, p. 31, 1855.) 
Words for the New Church. J, B. Lippincott and Co., Philadelphia, 

Work of the Open Court Publishing Co., 1887-1907. Chicago, 1908. 

An illustrated catalogue of its publications. 

The World?s Congress Auxiliary, Department of Religion, Reports, 1893. 
WRIGHT, JOHN, Early Prayer Books of America. St. Paul, 1896. 
WUNSCH, WILLIAM F., An Outline of New Chwch Teaching. New- 

Church Press, New York, 1926. 
compiler, Marriage^ Ideals and Realization. New-Church Press, 

New York, 1929. 
- The World Within the Bible, A Handbook to Swedenborg's 

Arcana Coelestia. New-Church Press, New York, 1929. 

(Most of the books and periodicals in this bibliography are to be found 
in the libraries of the Swedenborg Foundation, New York City; the 
New-Church Board of Publication, Brooklyn Heights j the New-Church 
Theological School, Cambridge, Mass. 5 or the Academy of the New 
Church, Bryn Athyn, Pa.) 


Abolition movement, America, 865 
England, 555 Russia, 605 see also 

Academic des Illumines Philosophes, 
595 see also Avignon Society 

Academy, the, 205, 209, 212 ff.j at- 
titude toward science, 210, 275, 
3o8ff.5 conflict with Convention, 
225 fF., 249x7.; founding 1 of, 213 

Academy principles, birth control, 
2385 conjugial love, 2435., 336$ 
marriage, 2375 priesthood, 217, 
229$ sacramental wine, 225; the 
world, 214, 26of.j the Writings, 
208, 2x4, 2x7, 229, 265 F. 

Academy Schools, buildings, 261$ 
curriculum, 269 ff., 273 iff. 5 edu- 
cational theory, 264 f., 269 ff., 
275 F. 5 endowment, 262 f., 2715 
history of, 207, 213, 215, 242, 
261, 262, 268 ff.j Museum of An- 
tiquities, 278 

Adam, 28 

Adams, James Truslow, 145 f. 

Adult education, see Group Study 

Adultery, 50, 220, 223, 236, 237, 

Adversaria, 12, 20, 21 

African race, 54, 55, 86, 364, 408 

Aftonbladet, 52 

Ager, J. C., 209, 212 

Alcott, Bronson, 158 

Alcott, Dr. William A., 80 

Alden, Ezra Hyde, 327 

AJden, William Hyde, 256 f. 

Almont Assembly, 374 

American Monthly Review, 159 

American Swedenborg Printing and 

Publishing Society, 174, 175 
American Tract Society, 174, 175 
American Vegetarian and Health 

Journal, 80 

American Vegetarian Convention, 80 

Ancient Church, 28, 29, 37, 277 

Angels, 31, 32, 35 

Animal Kingdom, The, 8, 10, n 

Animal Magnetism, see Mesmerism 

Anti-clericalism, Bush, 297 f.j Carter, 
89, 411, Kinmont, 1215 Michigan 
Association, 127$ Roe, 118, 1945 
Western Convention, 203 

Anti-ecclesiasticism, 208 5 Barrett, 
296$ James, 299 .5 Western Con- 
vention, 1 94 f . 

Anti-marriage movement, 15618:. 

Anti-slave trade movement, 54 f. 

Apocalypse Explained, xoo 

Arcana Coelestia, xx, 13, 14, 21, 
23 f., 27 ff., 36, 109, 135 j ex- 
cerpts from, 383, 395 f., 401 f., 
412; first American edition, loij 
first English editions, 61, 65 

Arcana of Christianity, The, 140 

Argyle Square Society, 66 

Aristotle, 8, 9, 310, 311, 313 

Arminian Magazine, 64, 114 

Assemblies, see Almont, Fryeburg 

"Association," see Fourierism 

Atlee, Dr. Edwin, 82 

Atwater, L. H., 159 

Aurora, 71 

Authority, of the Convention, 190, 
194, 198$ of the priesthood, 130, 
205, 2ii, 229, 233 j of the Writ- 
ings (Swedenborg), 71, 139, 
x 9 x f ., 19^, x 99 $ Academy on, 
205, 206, 208, 229, 230, 233$ Con- 
vention on, 3x6 ff. 

Avignon Society, 58, 59 


Bacon, Francis, 8, 358 
Bailey, Francis, 74, 75, 85 
Baltimore, Liturgy, x83 

Church in, 85, 87 fF. 
Banks family, 93 




Baptism, 48, 187 

Baptists, in America, 84 F., 122; in 
England, 64, 67 

Barler, Rev. L., 257 

Barclay, Hetty, 76, 1135 Maria, 76 

Barrett, J. H., 159 

Barrett, Rev. Benjamin, 133, 156, 
201, 203 f., 955 f., 304 

Barren, Clarence W., 361, 433 

Barrows, Rev. John Henry, 368 

Barry, Canon William, on Sweden- 
borg, 358 f. 

Bayley, Rev. Cornelius, 64 

Beekman, Lillian, 309 f. 

Beers, Dr. Louis, 99 f., 190 

Behm, Albert and Sarah, 3 

Benade, Bishop William H., 203, 
206 ff., 23,6 ff., 239 ff., 248$ on 
conjugial love, 220 ff., 2323 on 
education, 207, 268 ff., 277 

Benzelius, Anna, 3, 4, 6; Eric, 3, 6 

Bergman, Torbern, 8 

Bernard, Captain Jean- Jacques, 59 

Beyer, Dr. Gabriel, 15 

Bible, the, 48 f.j allegorical inter- 
pretation, 235 inspiration of, 321 

Bible Christians, 79 f., 192, 224 

Bigelow, John, 297 

Birth control, 238, 343 

Blackmer, Rev. Franklin H., 378 f. 

Bloomer fad, 122 

Boericke and Tafel, 161 f. 

Bonney, Charles Carroll, 367 ff. 

Book of Worsfaf, 382 ff. 

Book publishing, in America, 75, 78, 
100, 102 f., 109, 120, 174 f., 181, 
361 ff.j in England, 61 ff.j in 
Europe, 52, 53, 56, 57> * 

Boston, Academy of Music, 109$ 
Bowdoin St. Church, 1105 Liturgy, 
1855 New Church in, 74, too ff., 
189^5 New Church Printing So- 
ciety, 1095 Society established, 103 

"Boston Principle," see Conjugial 

BoU der Neuen Kirche, Der 9 93 

Boutroux, mile, 160 

Bragg family, 93 

Bray, Rev. E. K., on Biblical Criti- 
cism, 321 f. 

Breteuil, Baron, 58 

Brickman, Rev. Arthur, 93 

Brief Exposition of tfo Doctrine of 

the New Church, A 9 19 
Brisbane, Arthur, 150 f. 
Brockmer insanity story, 64, 359 
Brocton, Declaration, 2556.5 So- 
ciety, no, 255 

Brook Farm, 130, 149, 151, 158 
Brooklyn, Church of the Neighbor, 
392, Neighborhood Club, 392$ 
Single Tax League, 3455 Society, 

298? 3^5 

Brotherhood of the New Life, 153 

Brown, Rev. Solyman, 153 

Bryn Athyn, Cathedral, 283 ff,, 427$ 
Community, 260 f., 293 .5 Schools, 
see Academy Schools; social life, 
260 f., 263, 271, 294 

Buffon, 8 

Bulow, Baron Heinrich von, 78 

Burke, Glendy, 176 

Burnham, Daniel H., 368$ Rev. N. 
C., 203, 208, 209, 213, 215, 217 

Bush, Professor George, anti-ecclesi- 
asticism, 296 ff., conversion, 131 f., 
2975 Mesmer and Swedenborg, 
i34f., on Andrew Jackson Davis, 
135 ff. 5 on divorce, 2985 on Emer- 
son, 148$ on Mesmerism, 131 f. 

Cabell, Dr. John, 83 
Campbell, Arthur and William, 83 
Canada, Association, 1755 Berlin 
(Kitchener), 175, 2345 Halifax, 
725 Montreal, 1755 Toronto, 175, 


Carll, Rev. Maskell, 82, 97, 99, 103, 
ixo f.j missionary journeys, 1x4 f,, 
reception in England, 177 

Carlylc, 130, 14.6 

Carroll, Bishop John, 92 

Carpenter, F. L, on Emerson, 145 

Carter, Robert, and Baltimore So- 
ciety, 85, 87 f.} conversion, 83&J 
emancipation of slaves, 85 f. 

Gary, Margaret, 101, 104 

Carus, Dr. Paul, 369 

Catechisms, American, 172$ English, 



Catholicism, 58, 60, 381 

Celestial Church, 28 

Celestial heaven, 25 

Celestial Kingdom, 31 

Celestial love, 32 

Celestial marriage, 22 

Celestial sense of the Word, 25, 140 

Central Convention, 198 ff, 208 

Channing, William H., 159 

Charles XI of Sweden, 3 

Chapman, Jonathan, see "Johnny 

Charity, doctrine of, 45 f. 

Chastanier, Benedict, 58, 59, 66, 72 

Cheriy Street School, 207, 215, 247 

Cherry Street Society, 207 f. 

Chesterman, James, 97, 99 

Chicago, Exposition, 335, 3675., 
New Church in, 121 f., 215, 330, 
see Immanuel Church, Parliament 
of Religions, World's Congresses 

Childretfs New Church Magazine, 
144, 181 

Chiveis, Dr. Thomas Holley, 176 

Christian Church, 37, 38 

Christian Examiner -, 159 

Christian Science, 131, 169, 358, 360 

Christian Socialist, The, Swedenborg 
Number, 348 

"Christian Spiritualists," 138 

Christmas, observance of, 183 

Cincinnati, New Church in, 114, 
117 ff., 196 

Civil War, 175 f., 180 

Clapp, Otis, "Memorial," 305 f ., on 
Fourierism, 1535 publishing ac- 
tivities, 109, 174, 308 

Clarke, James Freeman, 159 

Clarkson, Thomas, 55 

Clisby, Harriet, M.D., 333 f. 
Clowes, Rev. John, A Summary View 
of t/te Heavenly Doctrines, 75 j 
Affectionate Address to the Clergy, 
64} and Separatism, 65 ff.j and 
Spiritualism, 703 conversion, 62, 

Collin, Rev. Nicholas, 9, 7$ 
Colored work, 364 
Colportage, 115, 176, 363 * 
Concubinage, Bcnade on, 22off.$ 

Convention report on, 245$ in 
Great East Cheap Society, 68 f.j 
Judge Smith on, 252, Pendleton 
on, 237 

Condy, Jonathan, 77, 114, 185, 195 

Conference, British, 67, 69, 177, 365 

"Conjugial heresy," 97, 1075 con- 
troversies over, 189 ff., 196, 201 f. 

Conjugial Love, 49, 109, i55> ^15 5 
abridged edition, 340 .5 attacks on, 
i5 5 1 ) 59> I2 ^> ai8 ff-5 contro- 
versy between Academy and Con- 
vention, 243 ff., 249 ff . ; resolu- 
tions on, 218 f., 245; Wainwright 
Evans on, 341 

Conjugial love, controversy over, 
68 f., 218 ff., 232, 243^.5 Doc- 
trine of, 49, 155, 157 

Conjunction, 26, 31, 39 f. 

Consistory, Swedish Lutheran, 15, 52, 


Consummation of the Churches, 37 

Conventions, Annual, 3 84 f . 5 Boston 
(1930), 322 ff., sSsff.j Cincin- 
nati (1931), 326 ff., 388ff.j see 
also General Convention 

Cookworthy, Thomas, 61 

Coronis, 16 

"Correspondences," 215 doctrine 
from, 267 f.j knowledge (science) 
of, 25 f., 74$ in mathematics, 
2755.5 in mythology, 426 f. 5 in 
nature, 96 f., 181, 340, 348 

Cowherd, Rev. William, 69, 79, 409 

Craigie, Andrew, 101 

Cram, Ralph Adams, on the Bryn 
Athyn Cathedral, 284 f . 

Creation of man, 40, 311, 312 ff. 

Crisis, The, 127 f. 

Damnation, 33, 42 
Dana, Charles A., 141, 150, 158 
Daniel, Rev. George Gay, 364 
Davis, Andrew Jackson, 133 ff., 4153 

Principles of Nature, 136 
Davit's Revelations Revealed, 137 
Dearborn Observatory, 122 
Decalogue, 38, 44> 45 
Daedalus Hyferboreus, 6 
DeCharms, Rev. Richard, "Academy 



principles," 196, 2055 Central 
Convention, 197$.} Homeopathy, 
1645 New Church education, 179, 
196, 2075 "Pseudo-Spiritualism," 
99, 205 j slavery, 2055 tne ? re - 
cursor ) 120, 195 ff. 

De HemelscJie Leer, 268 

Degrees, discrete and continuous, 32, 
312, 3295 in the ministry, see 

Deists, 84, 92, 104 

Demerara (British Guiana), 62, 74, 


De Quincey, 65 

Detroit, New Church in, 123, 126, 

Devils, 33 

Dexter, Dr. Edward, spiritualist, 133 

Dickinson, Lydia Fuller, 335 ff. 

Diephuis, Rev. Dirk, 327 f. 

Disease, causes of, x6off. 

Distinct! veness, 71, 130, 364, 394:?. 

Divine, the, 31 

Divine Esse, 41 

Divine Good, 33 

Divine Human, 33, 41, 281 

Divine Love, 22, 40 

Divine Man, 32 

Divine Operation (Proceeding), 41 

Divine Truth, 33, 41 

Divine Wisdom, 22, 40 

Divine Love and Wisdom, 159, 313 

Divine Providence, 367 

Divorce, 50, 236, 342 f- 

Doctrine of the Lord, 40, 358 

Doctrine of Life for the New Jeru- 
salem, 6x 

Doering, Rev. Charles, 241, 249, 275 

Doughty, Rev. Charles, 97 f., 192, 

Doyle, Conan, 57 

Dresser, Horatio, 167^.5 Mr* and 
Mrs. Julius, 167 

Duche, Esther, 955 Rev. Jacob, 62 

DuPont, Alfred, Irinee, 775 Mar- 
garetta Lammot, 77, 370; T. Cole- 
man, 376 

Durfee, Job, Pan-idea, 160 

Dwight, John S., 199 

Eart/is in the Universe, 30, 36 

Eckstein, Frederick, 77 

Economic problems, 176, 345 ff.j see 
also Founerism, Owenite move- 

Economy of the Animal Kingdom, 7 

Education, Committee on, 1785 "dis- 
tinctive New Church," 71, 177 ff., 
196, 205, 207; Hobart Report, 
1785 see also Schools 

Eddy, Mrs., 131, 168, 169, 358 

Edge, Rev. Albert, 385 

Elkhart, Ind., 304 

Ellis, G. E., 1595 John, 223 f. 

Emancipation of slaves, see Slavery 

Emerson, and Carlyle, 130, 146, and 
Sampson Reed, 144, 146, 330$ and 
Swedenborg, 143 ff,, 158, 359, 415, 
41 6 j and the New Church, 146 if. 5 
Nature, 1475 Swedenborg, or the 
Mystic, 144 f., 148 f, 

England, New Church in, 13, 61 ff. 

Ephrata Press, 75 

Episcopal form of government, 
America, 196, 211, 2x6, 2x7 f., 
243$ England, 69, 70, 89 

Episcopalians, 62, So, 83, 87, xoo, 
125, 2x1 

Errand Boy, The, 203 

Eschatology, 31 ff,, 357f. 

Established Church, 61, 62, 64, 67, 

Evans, Rev. Warren F., 167 f. 

Evidence Society, New Church, 159, 
358, 359 ff- 

Evil, 42, 44 f., 47 j permission of, 50, 
237, 244, 249, 251, 344 

Evolution, 378f.$ "arboreal theory," 
3125 "homininc animal," 3x2$ 
"microcosmic theory," 313 f. 

Exclusiveness, 182, 205, 260 f., 271, 
366$ decline of, 295, 330, 3<$9> 

Exegetic-Philanthropic Society, 52, 

53 5* 

Fairfax, Bryan, Ferdinand, Lord 

Thomas, Thomas (and), 83 
Faith, 28$ salvation by, 4, 45, 396 
Fall of Man, 29 



Fechner, 160, 4.17 

Federal Council of Churches, 369 

Feminism, see Women's rights 

Ferehus, Rev. Arvid, 17 

Field, Rev. George, 123*1"., i26f, 
128 f., 1895 Early History of the 
New Church, 123 

Filenius, Bishop, 15 

Flam&teed, 5 

Flood, the, 30 

Fonerden, Dr. John, 411; Rev. 
Adam, 90, 91 

Formula Concordia, 42 

Fornication, 50, 244, 245, 246, 253 

Foiums, New Church, 351, 387, 388} 
see also Round Table 

Fourier, Charles, 1385 Social Destiny 
of Man, 151 

Fourierism, 130, 150^,5 Canton 
Phalanx, 153 f ; Leraysville Pha- 
lanx, 1535 True Organization of 
the Neva Church, 154 ff. 

France, New Church in, 58 ff. 

Franklin, Benjamin, 75 

Fiec-love, 150 

Fiee Masonry, 58, 59 

Free-Will Baptists, 79 

Freedom, 42 

Freeman** Journal, The, 75 

Freneau, Philip, 77 

Freud, 166 

Frost, Robert, 399 

Fryeburg Assembly, 374 

Fundamentalist-Modernist contro- 
versy, 3 x 6 ff ., see also Liberalism 

Candy, Henry, 55 

Garden of Eden, 28, 138 

General Assembly, see General 

General Church, Assemblies, 242, 244, 
263, 2645 doctrines, see Academy 5 
finances, 262 f.$ liturgy, 288 ff,, 
4*7 f.$ membership, 233 f., 262$ 
missionary work, 234 f- 2645 of 
the Advent, 234, 2405 of Pennsyl- 
vania, 21 8 j of the New Jerusalem, 
241, 260$ publications, 264^5 
schools, see Academy Schools j wor- 
ship, 282 ff. 

General Conference, see Conference, 

Geneial Convention, Constitution, 
203 j decline, 356 f., 390 f. j 
finances, 175, 362 ff., 386 f., First 
Convention, 177*1".; organization 
of, 19417.; representation, 193, 
195, 202, Rules of Order, 187, 
202, statistics, lyoff., 231, 
3 5 6 f ., 3 6 1 5 see also Missionary 

Genesis, 13, 27, 320 

Gentiles, Church of the, 30 

George, Henry, 345 f . 

German Societies in America, Balti- 
more, 87, 93, 174} Brooklyn, 218 j 
Lancaster, 78, Philadelphia, 209, 

German Universities, 53, 56 

Germany, New Church in, 56 ff., 365 

Giles, Rev. Chauncey, Messenger, 
315, on labor, 346 f., on liberal- 
ism, 3075 on New Church educa- 
tion, 179 f.j on slavery, 330 5 on 
spiritualism, 142 

Glen, James, 62, 63, 72, 73, 74 

Glenview, 111., 264 

God, 41 

Goddard, Warren, 102, 104 

Goerwitz, Rev. Adolph L, 3853 Rev. 
Emanuel, 312 f 

Gould, Rev. E. M. L., 3x6 f , 324 ff. 

Grabianka, Count, 58, 59, 70 

Graham, Dr, Sylvester, 80 

Gram, Dr. Hans B., 161 

Grand Man, the, 32, 154 f., 281, 

3*3> 345> 354> 39* *- 
Grant, William, 113 
"Great Awakening," the, 84 
Great East Cheap Society, 66, 68, 70, 

7> 73 

Greatest Man, the, see Grand Man 
Greeley, Horace, 150, 151 
Group Study Bureau, 380 f. 
Gustav V of Sweden, 18 
Gustavus III of Sweden, 52 

Hahnemann, 161, 162; Hospital 
(Chicago), 122$ Publishing House 



(Philadelphia), 1625 Spirit of 
Homcefathy, 161 

Halcyon Luminary, 95 ff. 

Halcyomsts (Halcyonites) , 172 

Hale, Edward Everett, 159 

Hahfax, N. S., 72 

Halldin, J. G., 5* 

Harbinger, the, 130, on Swedenborg 1 , 
1325 on the New Church, 149 f., 
151 f. 

Hargrove, Rev. John, 9 off.; 17!) 

"Harmony," the, 209, 210, 211 f. 

Harris, Thomas, 137 ff., 3585 Broth- 
erhood of the New Life, 14 ij 
Mountain Cove Community, 138, 
on Swedenborg, 139 f.; on the 
New Church, 139, 1865 The Lyric 
of the Morning Lewd, 1385 The 
Wisdom of t/ie Ages, 138 

Hartley, Rev. Thomas, 61 

Harvard, College, 101 f., 144,$ Di- 
vinity School, 104, 105, 159 

Harvey, Rev. Charles, 314 

Hay, Rev. H. Clinton, 104, 313, 372 

Hayward, T. B., 102, 103, 109, 185 

Heaven, 32, 36 

Heaven and Hell, 30, 35, 62, 63 

Heavenly Doctrines, the, 24 

Hebrew, study of, 196, 215, 269, 

Hedge, F. H., 159 

Hells, the, 33 

Hensel, W. U., 249, 251 

Herald of Light, The, 138, 140 

Herald of Truth, TJte, 120 

Heresy trials, America, no, 2035 
France, 605 Germany, 155 Sweden, 

i5> 5* 

Hibbard, John Randolph, 122, 123, 
209, 212, 213, 225$ Reminiscences 
of a Pioneer, 122 

Hicks, Elias, 81 

Hier&phant, the, 296 

"High Priest," 240, 242 

"Higher Criticism," szoff. 

Hill, Rev. William, 93 ff., xoof., 
329, 410 

Hiller, Major Joseph, 1005 Mar- 
garet, see Prescott 

Hindmarsh, Rev. James, 64 65, 66; 

Robert, 54, 62, 65, 66, 68, 120, 

Kite, Rev. Lewis F., 144, 160, 310, 

360$ on Urbana, 377f. 
Hobart, Benjamin, 178$ Nathaniel, 

1025 Report, 178 
Hoeck, Rev. Louis G., 351 
Hofaker, Ludwig, 57 
Holcombe, Dr. William H., on Con- 

jugial Love, 2195 on divorce, 

342 f . j on Homeopathy, 1 64 f . j on 

slavery, 330 

Holley, Nathaniel, 97, 120 
Holy Supper, 48, 197, 199, 202 
Homeopathy, 80, 130, 161 ff., 169 
Hopken, Count Anders, 14, 52 
Hotson, Dr. Claience, "Emerson and 

Swedenborg," 144, 146, 149* 38*> 

415, 416 

House of Nobles, Swedish, 12, 14 
Howe, Julia Ward, 159 
Howells, W, C., 120; William Dean, 

120, 299 

Huguenots, 77, 211 
Huntingdon Valley, 242, 261 
Hurdus, Adam, 114, 118 
Hyde, Zina, 308 
Hydropathy, 163 
Hymnals, American, 174, 185, 292, 

3843 English, 67, 88, 292 

Illinois, Association, laaf., 128, 153, 

326; Canton, 15 3 f.; Chicago, 

121 f.j Springfield, 123 
Immanuel Church, Chicago, 218, 264 
Incarnation, the, 43 
Independent Democrat, 80 
Index to the Historical Books of t/ie 

Old Testament, 21 
Influx, 25, 32, 142, 163, *68$ Di- 

vine, 42, 47 

Insane, work for the, 351 f. 
Instructed delegates, 325 f. 
Intellectual Repository, 80, 130 
Internal memory, 272 
Internal respiration, 4, 28, 138 
Internal sense of the Word, 21, aa, 

24, 26, 8 f., 425 
Internal sense of the Writings, a66 ff. 



Israelitish Church, see Jewish Church 
lungerich Fund, 1741"., 362 

Jackson, Robert, 67, 72 

Jamaica, 67, 72 

James, Henry, Senior, 157, 299 ff 5 
John H., 179, William, A Plural- 
istic Universe, 160 

Janet, 166 

Jefferson, Thomas, 92 

Jewish (Israelitish) Church, 29, 38 

"Johnny Appleseed," 155 ff., 171 

Johnson, Herschel V., 176 

Johnston, James, 705 Diary Spiritual 
and Earthly, 71 

Jones, Elizabeth, An Interesting Cor- 
respondence, looj Silas, see New 
Era Movement 

Journal of Education, 264, 275 

Jung-Stilling, 14, 247 

Kant, 8, 5^ 5> 359 

Keller, Helen, 348 f., 432 

Kidder, Dr. Walter, Psychological 

System of Medicine, 166 
Kinmont, Alexander, 121 
Krafft-Ebing, 252 
Kramer, Christian, 87 
Kramph Will Case, 247 ff. 
Kramph Will Case, T/te, 258 

Lammot, Daniel, 77, 4105 Marga- 
rctta, see DuPont 

La Nouvelle Jerusalem, 60 

La Porte, Ind,, 127 

Last Judgment, The, 30, 36, 337 

Last Judgment, 3^ 37> 357> 394 

Le Boys dcs Quays, 60 

La Place, 8 

UEcho du Vatican, 60 

Lecture and Publicity Bureau, 362 f. 

Lcdru, Abbe*, 60 

Leicester, Rev. Francis, 71 

Lewis, John, 61 

Liberalism, 71, 139, 295, 396 &> 
Academy, 309 f., 313 f*; Barrett, 
295 .j Bush, 296 ff. 5 Clapp, 
305 ff. 5 Giles, 307, 315, Gould, 
316 f., 34> 35> 3*7 > James, 
Swanton, 3145 Sperry, 

3*4, 3*5> 3*7> Wunsch, 317, 

322 ff. 

"Like cures like," 164, 165 
Lincoln, Abraham, 123 
Lindsay, Vachel, 117, 123, 346 
Linnaeus, 8, 14, 311 
Literalism, 187, 206, 265, 400 
Liturgies, American, 87, 88, 174, 

1835., 288 ff., 38iff.$ English, 

66, 85, 87, t8 3 
London, New Church in, 62 ff. 5 

Swedenborg in, 5, 10, 13, i6ff. 
Lunsfoid, Lewis, 84 
Luther, Martin, 14 
Lutheran Church, 10, 55, 56, 211 
Lyon, Hon. Lucius, 125, 132 

McGeorge, William, Jr., 248, 249 f., 
252, 254, 267 

Mack, Dr. Charles H., Philosophy in 
Homeopathy, 165 

McKinley's Assassiation, 354 

Magazine of Knowledge (English), 
66, 76 

Magnetism, see Animal Magnetism 

Magnificat, The, 384 

Maine, and New Hampshire Associa- 
tion, 174, 3335 Bath, no, 308$ 
Gardiner, Portsmouth, Yarmouth, 

Manchester, England, 62, 795 Print- 
ing Society, 63$ schism, 695 spirit- 
ualism, 70 

Mann, Rev. Charles, anti-ecclesiasti- 
cism, 3 03 f ., 315$ Messenger, 
303 f., 315, 3165 on marriage, 
341$ sex education, 340; social 
service, 3501".$ spiritual healing, 
Psychiasis, 1683 women's rights, 


Marchant, John, 61 

Markham, Edwin, 348 

Marriage, discussions of, 108, 341; 
doctrines on, 49, 236 ff., 255 f.$ 
in Heaven, 35, 495 "New Church," 
108, 236, 34* 

Mason, William, 109 

Massachusetts, Abington, Bridge- 
water, 1105 Association, 1 7 3 ., 



225, 338> 356 f.j Boston, xoo fL, 


Massachusetts Quarterly Review, 159 
Mather, Ralph, 63, 79, 91 
Mathesius, Rev. Aaron, 16, 64 
Maximus Homo, see Grand Man 
Medicine, science of, 161, 166 
Medtum, The, 133 
Mediumship, 133 ff., 139 f. 
Memorabilia (Spiritual Diary) , 12, 

21, 30, 36 

Mental healing-, 167 ff. 
Mesmer, Friedrich, 53 
Mesmerism, in America, 88 f., 

130 fL, 134., i6of., x66f.j in 

England, 59, 705 in Europe, 53, 

5*> 59 

Messenger, The, 174, 362$ attacks 
on, 301 f , 315 ff., 327 f.$ editors, 
209, 3x5:?.; on Academy teach- 
ings, 25 7 f.$ on Benade, 206$ on 
exclusiveness, 182, 2955 on Gen- 
eral Church, 230 f .5 on Henry 
James, 303, on Herald of Light, 
1 3 8 f . ; on liberalism, 3 2 6 j on 
McKinley's assassination, 354; on 
marriage, 3421!.$ on modernism, 
316 .5 on slavery, 332; on social 
reform, 329, 33 if-, 344 f-> 34*> 
349 f.j on war, 353 f. 5 on women 
in the church, 3335 on Young 
People's League, 375 

Metcalfe, Rev. William, 79, 192 

Methodists, in America, 87, 90, 91, 
92, 98, 113, 115, 126, 3583 in 
England, 64, 66, 67 

Michigan and Northern Indiana As- 
sociation, 124, 125, 127 

Middle West, New Church in, 76, 
xi2iT.5 radicalism, 194 

Mills, Jane Dearborn, Marriage, 343 

Mines, College of Mines, Stockholm, 
3j Council of, 6$ Royal Board of, 


Ministry, the, in America, 91, 194$ 
in England, 66, 71$ training for, 
209, 2105 see also Ordination, 
Theologcial Schools, Trine 

Minott, Mrs. Thomazine, xoa, 103, 
104, 108 

Mirror of Truth (Ohio), 120 
Missionary work, 72 ff., 3635 for- 
eign, 174, 176, 3645.$ home, 86, 
113 ff, 1231!., 171 F., 234 f., 

363 f., 388 f. 

Modernism, see Fundamentalist-Mod- 
ernist Controversy 

Moet, M., 58 

Moffat, Dr James, on the inner 
sense, 23 

Monist, The, 369 

Morattico Church, 84 

Moravian Biethren, to, 206 

Moravian Chapel, xo 

Moravian Nazaieth Academy, 207 

Morning Light, 216, 354 

Most Ancient Church, 28, 29, 37, 

Mott family, 93 

Morris, Robert, 75 

MouravieflF, Alexander, 60, 408 f. 

Mowatt, Anna Cora, 131 f. 

Miinsterberg, Eternal Values, 360 

Murdoch, Dr. William M,, on 
Homeopathy, 165 

Music, 109 f., 1 8 6, 292 

Musscy, Ellen Spencer, 364 

Mysticism, 52, 145 f., 160, 288, 393, 

National Alliance of New Church 
Women, 370 f. 

National Gazette, 77 

National House of Worship, see 

Neighbor, love of the, 46, 47, 156 

Neighborhood Club, see Brooklyn 

Neuberger, Max, 405 

New Church, attacks on, 64, 126, 
3 oo ft. ; baptism, see Rebaptiamj 
Board of Publication, 362$ educa- 
tion, America, 1770. (Academy), 
206 ff., 268 ff. (Convention) , 
3751?.} England, 71$ see also 
Schools; establishment of, 391 61, 
655 in the Spiritual World, 39$ 
see also Evidence Society, Statistics 

New Church Herald, 120 

New Church League, 324 f., 372 ff., 
386$ see also League Journal 



New Church League Journal, 372, 

New Church Life, 221, 264; on 

concubinage, 221 f. 5 on science, 

3Q9> 3" 

New Church Messenger, see Messen- 

New Church Messenger (Old), 120 

New Church Monthly, 188 

New Church Repository, 298, 331, 
332$ on Convention, 298 f.j on 
science of medicine, 166 

New Church Review, 3605 on Fech- 
ner, 4175 on General Church 
Liturgy, 291, 427 f., on Kramph 
Will Case, 258 f. 5 on Old Church, 
369; on sex of plants, 311 ff.j on 
Socialism, 347 f.; on women's 
rights, 339} on World War, 354 

New Church Sermons, 265 

New Church Visitor, 326, 327 

New Earth, The, 345 

New England, New Church in, 
xxof.j Boston, looff. 

New Englander, The, 159 

New Era Movement, 99 

New H&ntyslwre New Jerusalem 
Magazine, no 

New Jerusalem and its Heavenly 
Doctrine, T/w, 30 

New Jerusalem Journal (English), 

New Jerusalem Magazine, 109, 149, 
150, x$x, 174, 178$ on Andrew 
Jackson Davis, 1375 on anti-eccle- 
siasticism, 299$ on Benade, 206} 
on Biblical criticism, 320} on 
Emerson, 147 f . j on Fourierism, 
155 ff.$ on Henry James, 300$ on 
Magnetism, 131$ on music, noj 
on New Church education, 181$ on 
spiritual healing, x 60 f.j on the 
Ministry, 197$ on Transcendental- 
ism, X49j on Women's Rights, 

33* & 
New Jerusalem Magazine (English), 


New Jerusalem Messenger, see Mes~ 

New Orleans, New Church in, 141 f., 


New Philosophy, 310 
New Thought, 131, 
New York, Association, 325, 334, 

336 F., City, 93ff.j Long Island, 

98, 995 State, 99 f. 
New York Tribune, 133, 150, 151, 


Newchurchman, T/ie, 199; on Fouri- 
erism, 1 52 f.j on spiritual healing, 
1 66; -Extra, 191 f., 201 

Newport, Thomas, 114 

Newton, Isaac, 5j Rev. Heber, 357 f. 

"Nineteenth of June," the, 263 

Noah, Church of, see Ancient Church 

Nomony Hall, 83 

Non-separatists, Clowes, 62, 65$ 
Duche, 62} Hill, 93 flF. 5 Wilkinson 
140, 307 f. 

Nordenskjold, Augustus, 52, 53, 685 
Charles Frederick, 52 

Nunc licet, 39, 326 

Oberlin, Frederic, 58 

Odhner, C. Th., 241, 243, 278, 312, 
425} Laws of Order, 2465 The 
Golden Age, 426 f.} Hugo Lj., 268 

Oegger, G., 59} Rapports inattendues 
entre le monde materiel et le monde 
spirituel, 57, 59 

Oetinger, Prelate, T/te Earthly and 
Heavenly Pb&osofhy of Sweden- 
borg and Others, 15 

Ogden, Louisa W., Reasons for Join- 
ing the New Church, 131 

Ohio, Association, 204} New Church 
in, 113 E. 

"Old Church," relation to, 187 f., 
205, 260, 95) 3<>4> 366, 3^9) 
402} Clapp Memorial, 305 ff. 

Oliphant, Laurence, 141, 359 

Of era Philosofhica et Minera&a, 7 

Orange Society, 334* 33 6 > 34-5 s Civ- 
ics Movement, 350 

Ordinations, America, 91, 171, 172, 
194, 196, 202; England, 66, 67 

Origen, 23, 425 

Owen, Robert, 81, 82, 1x8, 138, 150 

Owenite Movement, 8x, 82, 118 ff.j 



New Harmony Community, 1205 
Yellow Springs Community, 119 f. 

Pacifism, 355 

Paracelsus, doctrine of "signatures," 

Parker, Theodore, 159 

Parliament of Religions, Chicago 
(1893), 364, 366 ff. 

Parsons, Theophilus, 102, 106, 174 

Passional Harmony (Principle), 155 

Paul, Apostle, 14. 

Payne, Dr. William E., on Homeop- 
athy, 162 

Pellicacy, see Concubinage 

Pendleton, Bishop N. D , 223, 241, 
310, Bishop William H., 228, 
242$ on Conjugial Love, 243 ff.j 
on the Academy, 2335 on the 
Liturgy, 289$ on the Writings, 
281$ Professor Charles, on science, 

Pennsylvania, Allentown, 209; Asso- 
ciation, 208 f, 21 7 .5 Bedford, 
76, 113; Germantown, 78^5 
Greensburg, 765 Lancaster, 75, 78, 
199!, 247, Leraysvdle, 1535 
Philadelphia, 73 ff., 2555 Pitts- 
burgh, 76, 209, 212, 2x3, 240 
Penny, Stephen, 61, 62 

Pension Fund, 370 
"Perceptions," 29, 106, 108 

Periodicals, New Church (American), 
Baltimore, 91 f., 935 Middle West, 
120, 133, 195, 203, 234, 326$ 
New England, 109, no, 144, 181; 
New York, 95, 181, 2985 Pennsyl- 
vania, 199, 20 x, 214, 264, 3x0} 
(English), 66, 68, 71, 2165 (Eu- 
ropean), 52, 53, 60, 268 

Permeation theory, 357ff. 

"Permissions," doctrine of, see Evil 

Pernety, Abbe, 56 

Persecutions, America, 105 j France, 
605 Germany, 155 Sweden, 15, 52 

Peters, Rev. Henry K., 388 f. 

Pfeiffer, Rev, Ernst, 268 

"Phalanxes," see Fourierism 

Pharmacists, New Church, 6x f., 160, 

Philadelphia, 73 ff.j Bell's Book 
Store, 74, 410$ First Society, 77, 
82, 1975 Frankford Society, 8xj 
German Society (Advent), 209, 
215, 226; Second ( South wark) 
Society, 81, 208; see also Cherry 

Philo, 23 

Philosophy, Swedenborg's influence 
on, 158, 160, 359 f. 

Physicians, New Chuich, x6of. 

Pitcairn, John, 213, 248, 249, 261, 
271, 278, 283, 284, 3*0} Ray- 
mond, 278, 283, 285 

Plumer, Dr. W. S., 159 

Podmore, Frank, on Swedenborg, 57 

Poisonous plants and minerals, x 63 ff . 

Polhem, Christopher, Emcrentia, 6 

Porteus, Dr. Beilby, 65 

Post, Louis F., 345 

Powers, Hiram, 77 

Precursor, 120, 121, 195, 196 

Predestination, 42 

Prescott, Margaret Hiller, 102, 1045 
Religion and Philosophy United, 
xo2 ff., 143, 4x2 

Price, Rev. Enoch S., 241, 242 

Priesthood, see Authority, Ministry, 

Princeton Review, 159 

Principia, 7, 83 

Principia Club, 309 f. 

"Pro Fide et Charitate," 53 

Propaganda, methods of, 171, 
361 ff.; debates, 123 f.$ dissemina- 
tion of books, 15, 78, xx3} lec- 
tures, 73 f., no f., 123 ff., 126 f., 
295, 2975 newspapers, 93 f,j 
tracts, 125, 174, 175$ see also 
Book Publishing, Colportag-c, Mis-* 
sionary Work, Periodicals 

Profriuni) the, 29, 42, 141, 360 

Proud, Rev. Joseph, 67 

"Pseudo-Spiritualism," 99, 204 

Psychoanalysis, anticipations of, 162, 
165, x66, 168, 35 x f. 

Publishing Concerns, see Academy of 
the New Church, lungerich Fund, 
Massachusetts New Church Union, 
New-Church Book Association, 



New-Church Press, Rotch Trustees, 
Swedenborg Foundation, Western 
New-Chuich Union 

Purkett, Edward, 159 

Puysegur, Marquis de, 53 

Quakers, 61, 81, 97, 113, 208, 211 
Quimby, George, 167$ Phineas P., 
167, 168 

Radio broadcasting, 362 f. 

Raguet, Condy, 77, 171 

Randolph, John F., 153 f. 

Rebaptism controversy, 66, 70, 
186 ., 296 

Redemption, 42, 43 

Rcece, Rev. William R., 393 

Reed, Caleb, 102, 151, 174, Rev. 
James, 244, 395; Sampson, 102, 
104, 105, 1745 and Emerson, 144, 
146, 330; Observations on the 
Growth of Mind, 146 

Regeneration, 13, 27, 4> 4-3> 44> 4-8, 

Reichcnbach, William, 78 

Reissner, Rev. Erich, 388 

"Remains," 27, 272 

Repentance, 27, 44 

Retina, 120 

Rctzius, Anders, 8 5 Dr. Gustav, 405 

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 84 

Rilcy, Edward, 95 j E. C., 985 Wood- 
bridge, on Swedenborg, 159 f. 

Ripley, George, 151 

Rippon's Baptist Register, 8$ 

"Rite of Swedenborg," see Free Ma- 

Roby, James, 100, 104 

Roche, Rev. Manning B., 8 off., 115 

"Rochester Rappings," 132 

Roe, Daniel, 1x8 ff., 194 

Roeder, Rev. Adolph, on authority of 
Swedenborg, 318 ff.j on internal 
sense of the Writings, 267$ social 
service work, 350, 392 f. 

Root, Dr. George F., abolitionist, 331 

Rosen, Dr. Johan, 15 

Rotch Trustees, 362 

Round Table, New Church, 169, 387 

Royal Academy of Science, 14 

Royce, World and. the Individual, 360 
Russell, Dr. Joseph, 72, 93 
Russia, New Church in, 60 

Sacraments, the, see Baptism, Holy 

Saint-Martin, 59 

Sainte-Amand Society, 60 

Salford (England), 79 

Salvation, 47, 48 

Samlingar for PMlanfrofer, 53 

Satan, 33 

Scammon, Jonathan Young, 121, 176 

Schisms, America, 121, 197, 225 fF.j 
England, 68, 69 

Schlatter, "Old Parson," 76$ Wil- 
liam, 76, 77 f., on Boston Society, 
105, 106, 190, 192 f.j on Cincin- 
nati Society, 1185 on Conjugial 
Love, 2195 on the "conjugial 
heresy," 97 f., 107, 108 

Schleiermacher, 56 

Schmidt, Sebastian, 235 Rev. Sven, 52 

Schmidius Latin Translation of Bible, 

Schools and Colleges, Middle West, 
120 f., 178 ff. 5 New England, 178, 
181 f.; Philadelphia, 20 7 5 see 
Academy Schools, Theological 
Schools, Urbana, Waltham 

Schreck, Rev. E. J. E , 257, 341 f., 

Science, attitude toward, America, 83, 

210, 275, 308 fLj England, 37 * 
Scortatory Love (Scortation) , 49, 

141, 220 f., 243, 246 
Sears, E. H., 159 
Second Coming, The, 38 
Self-love, 46, 47, 156 
Separatist controversy, 64, 66, 94, 


Serfdom, abolition of, 60 
Sewall, Frank, 209, 215, 231, 243, 

248, 310, 3765 New Cburchmarfs 

Prayer Book and Hymnal, 381 f. 
Seward, Rev. S. S., 248, 250 f.j The 

Academy Doctrine Examined and 

Condemned, 258^5 The Saving 

Power of the Lord, 245 
Sex, doctrines concerning, 49$ educa- 



tion, 339 .5 Education League, 
3405 of plants, siif.j see also 
Birth control, Marriage 

Sharp, Granville, 55 

Shearsmith, Robert, 16, 69 

Sibley, Rev. Manoah, 68, 69 

Sierra Leone Colony, 55 

Silver, Abiel, 145 

Sin, 300, see also Evil 

Skara, 3, 4 

Single Tax, 345 ff. 

Slavery, attitude toward, 3 30$. 5 Bi- 
ble Christians, 80 j Carter, 85 .5 
DeCharms, 2055 Fairfax, 835 
Glen, 74$ see also Anti-slave trade 

Social life, iSaf., 387; dancing, 122, 
182$ see also Exclusiveness 

Social reforms, attitude toward, 130, 
*5o> 3*9) 34-4-j 349 f -> 39 2 5 Bible 
Christians, 80 j New Church 
League, 373, 375; see also Birth 
Control, Divorce, Marriage, Eco- 
nomic Problems, Fourierism, Owen- 
ite Movement, Single Tax, Social- 
ism, Slavery, Social Service, Total 
Abstinence, War, Women's Rights 

Social Service, ssofLj Commission, 

Socialism, 346fF.; Christian Socialist, 

Swedenborg Number, 348} see also 

Fourierism, Owenite Movement 
Societe des Amis Reams, see Strass- 

burg Society 
Societies, in Heaven, 33, 355 in Hell, 

Soul, or Rational Psychology, Tke, 8, 

South, New Church in the, 82 ff., 115, 


Sperry, Rev. Paul, 324, 325, 327 
"Sphere," 98, 122, 153, 192, 327 
Spiritual causation, itfofT., 175 ., 


Spiritual counterparts, 138, 358 f. 
Spiritual equilibrium, 34, 43 
Spiritual healing, 165 f., 168 f. 
Spiritual Kingdom, 31 
Spiritual sense, see Internal sense 
Spiritual world, 33 . 

Spiritual Diary (Memorabilia)^ 12, 

2t, 333 

Spiritualism, America, 99, i27f, 
132 jff, 141 f., 205, 217, 358} 
England, 70, 71, Europe, 52, 53, 

57> 59 

Spiritualist Herald^ 141 

Spontaneous Generation, 311, 3x3 

"Squeezing Rule," 197 

Statistics, General Church, 262; Gen- 
eral Convention, 173, *74f., 231, 
356 f., 385 

Steiger, Baron, 117 

Stockweil, Rev. John W., 363, 380 

Stroh, Alfred H , 309 f., 405 

Stuart, J, P., 120, 3155 and the 
Academy, 209, 211 ., 213, 2155 
and Urbana, 179, 207 f. 

Summer Schools, see Almotit, Frye- 

Sunday Afternoons, 372 

Sunday Schools, America, 120, 
371 ., England, 65 

Swanton, Dr. John R., 3i4f., 380 

Swedberg, Jesper, 3, 73 

Sweden, New Church in, 52 ff., 365 

Swedenborg Association (England), 

Swedenborg, Emanuel, Biblical inter- 
pretation, 23 ff.j birth, 3, burial, 
18} charges of insanity, 16, 64$ 
childhood, 3 f . ; death, 1 7 j early 
religion, 3 f ., 10, family, 35 in- 
spiration, 24, 3i8f., 3945 inven- 
tions, 55 mission, 10, 12, 24, 38, 
51, personality, 9f., psychic ex- 
periences, 4, i if., 14, 109} psy- 
chology, 8, 31, 44> 1 68, 380, 381, 
public life, 7, 14; scientific dis- 
coveries, 5, 8, 359} scientific theo- 
ries, 3iiff., travels, 5, 7, idj 
writings, 4) *> 7 *> "> *5) i<$, ax, 

Swedenborg Scientific Association, 

Swedenborgtan, Th^ 296 

Swedes* Church, London, i8j Phila- 
delphia, 9, 73 

Swedish nobility, 14, 52 

Symbolism, 145, 187, 206, 286 f. 



Tafel, Immanuel, 56, 57, 58, 319 f.j 
L. H., 226, 288, 310$ R. L., 233, 
248, 3x0; Swedenborg, the Philos- 
opher and Man of Science, 209 

Temperance Advocate, 80 

Temperance Movement, see Total 

Temple of Reason, The, 92 

T em-pie of Truth, The, 91, 92 

Ten Commandments, see Decalogue 

Textus Receftus, 322 

Thayer, Caroline Matilda, 98 

Theological Schools, Academy, 210, 
213, 215 f., 226, 24.2, 2715 Con- 
vention, 210, 213, 226, 251, 317, 
321, 322, 328, 375 f. 

Theology, Swedenborg's influence on, 
357 ff. 

Theosophic Society, Cincinnati, 120 

Theosophical Society, London, 63 

Theosophy, 131, 360 

Thomas, Rcuen, Leaders of Thought 
in tJie Modern Church, 360 

Thome, Marquis de, 58 

Thrall, J. B., 159 

Thuun, Daniel, 77, 117 

Tithing, xo6f. 

Topeka Society, 334, 

Total Abstinence, 69, 79, 223 ff. 

Transccndentalists, 149, 151, 158 

Translations of Swedenborg, Eng- 
lish, 61, 65, 95, French, 58, 60, 
German, 56, 58 

Treatise on Influx, 61, 85 

Trine, the (degrees in the ministry), 
194, 202, 208, 2x8$ Report on, 

Trinity, the, 41 

True CMstian Religion, The, x6, 

19 **> 39> 75> 84* 349) 3*7> 3*6 
Tulk, John Augustus, 56, 62 

Ulrica, Eleanora, Queen, 3 
Ultimates, 26 

Unanimity, principle of, 234 
"Underground railway," 3$of. 
United States Magazine, 77 
Unitarianism, 41, 323 
Universalista, 99 f., 137 

Upsala, Archbishop, 35 Cathedral, 3, 

18; University, 3, 4, 6 
Urbana University, aims, 180, 377 ff.j 

history of, 179 f., 207 f., 213, 375, 

3 76 f.j methods, 379 * 
Use, doctrine of, 141, 346f., 378 

Vegetarianism, 69, 79 
Veiy, Professor Frank, An Epitome 
of Swedenborg's Sctence, 311, 380 
Vickroy, James, 74, 76 
Vincent, Bishop John H., 358 
Virginia, New Church, 82 ff. 

Wadstrom, Charles B., 52, 53, 66, 

Waltham, School, 181 f., 375; Theo- 
logical School, 210 

War, attitude toward, 352 f.j Bible 
Christians, 80, Civil War, 352 f.j 
Mexican War, 352$ Spanish-Amer- 
ican War, 353 f., Swedenborg on, 
3555 War of 1812, 177; World 
War, 354 f. 

Warren, Samuel H., 209, 213 

Washington, D. C., National Church, 
3705 Society, 83 

Washington, George, 75, 87, 4x1 

Webb, George James, 109, 186 

Weeks, Rev. Holland, 86, no, 1x5 

Weller, Rev. Henry, 127 f.j Weller's 
Grove, 374 

Wesley, John, 17, 64, 104, 359 

Western, Association, 114; Conven- 
tion, 173, 179, 194 f-, i97> 303 * 

WMte Horse, The, 30 

White, Rev. Hugh, Cosmo genia, 83, 
1435 William, 2x9 

Whitefield, England, 62 

Whitehead, Rev. John, 240 

Whittington, Charles James, 292 

Wilberforce, 55 

Wilkes, Rev* Thomas, 209, 217 

Wilkins, J. H., 102, 105, 108, 191, 
4x2 f.j Mrs., see Minott 

Wilkinson, Dr. J. J. Garth, 140 f., 
150 f., 307!, 3x0, 351 f. 

Willard, Sidney, 159 

Williams, Milo G., 120, 178 f. 

Wilmer, Rev. James, 85, 88 



Wilmington, Bel., 77, 410 
Wine Quesion, see Total Abstinence 
Wolff, Christian, 8, 310 
Woman's Petition, 245 
Woman's Rights, Chicago Exposition, 
33S> 3?o> Convention, 33*5-5 
General Church, 2s8f.j Sweden- 
borg on women, 333, 336 f. 
Women delegates, 334 f., 338 f, 
Woodworth, Samuel, 95, 190 
Worcester, Rev, Henry, 182, Rev. 
John, 312, Rev. Noah, 1015 Rev. 
Samuel, 99, 101, 178, 1865 Rev. 
Thomas, 102 ff., 157, 192, 330; 
on baptism, 1885 on conjugial 
heresy, 107 f.j on New Church ed- 
ucation, 207; on priesthood, 
210 f.j versus DeCharms, 200 f. 5 
Rev. William L., 248, 249$ Swed- 
enborg on Marriage, 246 

Word, the, 26, 48, 213, 266 ff.; let- 
ter of, 23 ff., 322$ spiritual-natural 
sense, 285 see Internal sense 

Words for ifie New Church, 214, 

World's Columbian Exposition, see 
Chicago Exposition 5 World's Con- 
gresses, see Parliament of Re- 

Worship and Love of God, T/te, 8, 

Wunsch, Rev. William F., Modern- 
ism, 317, 322 ff., 430$ The World 
WiMn the Bible, 23 

Wiirttemberg, 15, 56 

Young, Judge John, 74, 75, 7$, 

Young People's League, see New 

Church League