Edward Maitland.

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"The days of the Covenant of Manifestation are passing away;
The Gospel of Interpretation cometh."

"There shall nothing new be told; but that which is ancient
shall be interpreted."

* * * * *

"Now is the Gospel of Interpretation come, and the kingdom
of the Mother of God." - _C.W.S._, Part I. No. ii. (part 2) 10. 11.
and Part II. No. xiii. 31.




_1st Edition ... Christmas, 1893._
_2nd Edition ... Christmas, 1894._
_3rd Edition ... Christmas, 1905._



This book is designed (1) in satisfaction of the widely-expressed desire
for a more particular account than has yet been rendered concerning the
genesis of the writings claiming to constitute a "New Gospel of
Interpretation"; and (2) in fulfilment of the duty incumbent on me as
the survivor of the two recipients of such Gospel to spare no means
which may minister to its recognition and acceptance by the world, for
whose benefit it has been vouchsafed.

Although largely biographical in character, this book is not a history
of individuals, but of a Work, and involves only such personal
references as are necessary to such history. It is not, however, a full
or a final account that is contained in it. Such an account can be given
only in the form of the regular biography which is in course of
preparation. This book is an instalment only of that biography, being
put forth in advance of it, partly, as said above, to meet a present
need, and partly, to prevent a total loss of the record in the event of
my failure to complete it - a contingency of which, in view of the
magnitude of the task and my advanced age, I am bound to take account.




Since the publication in 1893 of this book which, as stated in Chapter
VII., was "intended but as an epitome and instalment" of a far larger
book then in course of preparation, the full and final account of the
"New Gospel of Interpretation" has been given to the world. In 1896
Edward Maitland published his _magnum opus_, "The Life of Anna
Kingsford," in two large volumes of 420 pages, "illustrated with
portraits, views, and facsimiles." This is, and will always be, the
biography _par excellence_ of Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland, and it
is absolutely indispensable for those who would know all that there is
to be known of them and their work and of the "New Gospel of
Interpretation." As that book, however, on account of its great length,
must always be a costly book, and therefore beyond the means of many who
would like to have some reliable information concerning Anna Kingsford
and Edward Maitland and their work, and as there are many who, on
account of their time for reading being limited or their inclination to
read being little, require information within the compass of a small
book or go without it altogether, there will, notwithstanding the
publication of the "Life of Anna Kingsford," be a demand for this
shorter "Story," which is so admirably suited to meet the needs or
requirements of these classes of persons; for, be it noted, the
publication of "The Life of Anna Kingsford" has not in any way
depreciated the value of this book in this sense that, having been
written by one of the two recipients of the "New Gospel of
Interpretation," it is a first authority second to none for the
statements therein contained.

The change in the title of the book from "The Story of the New Gospel of
Interpretation" to the present title calls for some explanation and
justification, because the former title was an excellent one in many
respects, and the book has become known to many by that title. The
"Gospel of Interpretation" is the name or description which was given by
its Divine Inspirers, the Hierarchy of the Spheres Celestial, to the
work of which this book tells the story, in token of its relation to the
previous "Gospel of Manifestation." The former title implied, as the
Author pointed out in his preface, that that which this book propounded
was "not really a new Gospel, but one of Interpretation only"; and this
is not really new, but, as the Author has also pointed out, "so old as
to have become forgotten and lost, being the purely spiritual sense, as
discerned from the purely spiritual standpoint originally intended and
insisted on by Scripture itself as its true sense and standpoint, and
those which alone render Scripture intelligible"[1]. But notwithstanding
this, and notwithstanding that on the front page it was expressly stated
that "There shall nothing new be told; but that which is ancient shall
be interpreted," the former title failed to convey to the minds of some
the meaning that it was intended to convey, and it gave no indication of
the biographical nature of the work. Many who otherwise would have read
the book refrained from doing so because they thought that a new Gospel,
inconsistent with and perhaps opposed to if not intended to supersede
the old Gospel, was propounded. It is necessary, therefore, for me to
state, if possible more explicitly than it was stated in the previous
editions of this book, that this is not an attempt to create a new
Gospel differing from that of Jesus Christ[2]. Anna Kingsford's and
Edward Maitland's mission and aim was to interpret the Christ, not to
rival or supersede Him. The "New Gospel" is, first and foremost,
_interpretative_, and is destructive only in the sense of
reconstructive. "It tells nothing new; it simply restores and reinforces
the old, even the Gnosis, which, as the doctrine of the Church unfallen,
is that also of the Church fallen, though the latter has lost the key to
its interpretation"[3]. Nor is the teaching represented by this book
opposed to the existence of an objective Church. Anna Kingsford and
Edward Maitland fully recognised the necessity of such an organisation
for the formulation, propagation, and exposition of religion. Their
opposition was "only to the recognition by the Church of the objective,
historical, and materialistic aspect of religion, _to the exclusion_ of
that which really constitutes religion, namely, its subjective,
spiritual, and substantial aspect, wherein alone it appeals to the mind
and soul, and is efficacious for redemption." The aim of the New Gospel
"is defined exactly," said Edward Maitland, "in the following citation
from St. Dionysius the Areopagite 'not to destroy, but to construct; or,
rather, to destroy by construction; to conquer error by the full
presentment of truth.' As will be obvious, such a design does not
necessarily involve the destruction of anything that exists whether of
symbol or ritual, or ecclesiastical organisation, but only their
regeneration by means of their translation into their spiritual and
divinely intended sense. And it is precisely because that sense has been
lost - as declared in Scripture it had long been, and would yet long be,
lost - that a new 'Gospel of Interpretation' has been vouchsafed in
fulfilment of the promises in Scripture to that effect; and this from
the source of the original Divine revelation, namely, the Church
Celestial, and by the method which always was that of such revelation,
namely, the intuition operating under special illumination.... Even the
priest, though hitherto deservedly regarded as the 'enemy of man,' will
not be destroyed under the new _régime_ whose inauguration we are
witnessing. For in becoming interpreter as well as administrator, he
will be prophet as well as priest, and speak out the things of God and
the soul instead of concealing them under a veil. So will the 'veil be
taken away,' and Cain, the priest, instead of killing Abel, the prophet,
as hitherto, will unite with him, becoming prophet and priest in one.
And instead of any longer corrupting the 'woman' Intuition, and
suppressing the 'man' Intellect, he will purify and exalt her, and
enable her to fulfil her proper function as 'the Mother of God' in man,
and will recognise the intellect, when duly conjoined with her, as the
heir of all things. Thus, becoming interpreter as well as administrator,
prophet as well as priest, and recognising interpretation as the
corollary of the understanding, the prophet-priest of the regeneration
will give to men freely of the waters of life, that only true bread of
Heaven, which is the food of the understanding, instead of the
indigestible 'stones' and poisonous 'serpents' of doctrines, the
profession of which, by divorcing assent from conviction, involves that
moral and intellectual suicide, to induce others to join him in
committing which Cardinal Newman wrote his 'Grammar of Assent,' True it
is 'faith that saves,' but the faith that is without understanding is
not faith, but credulity"[4]. It is for the above-mentioned reasons that
the title of this book has been changed. The title must be subservient
to the book, and it is hoped that, the change having been made, there
will not be any further misunderstanding - even on the part of those who
are most superficial - as to the nature and object of "The Story of the
New Gospel of Interpretation."

Edward Maitland did not long survive the completion of the great task
that he undertook when he set himself to write a full account of his
life and that of his colleague. He retained his full mental vigour until
the publication of "The Life of Anna Kingsford"; but after that he
rapidly declined, and on the 2nd October, 1897, at the close of his
seventy-third year, a little over nine years after the death of Anna
Kingsford[5], he passed away peacefully at "The Warders" at Tonbridge,
the home (at that time) of his friends Colonel and Mrs. Currie, with
whom, and under whose loving care, he spent the last few months of his
life - a life concerning which, as also that of Anna Kingsford, I will
not say anything here, for this book will testify. Blessed are the souls
whom the just commemorate before God.

* * * * *

Many who read these pages will not rest until they know more of those
great prophets the story of whose lives is here told, and of the Divine
Gnosis that it was their high mission to proclaim. I have indicated
whence they can obtain this information. This "Story," interesting as it
is and much as there is in it, is little more than an indication of some
of the facts that are fully stated and dealt with in "The Life of Anna
Kingsford," and there is much of importance that (as it could not
possibly receive proper treatment in a book of this size) was passed
over here to be related in the larger biography. I have not thought it
expedient to alter the character of or to add much to this book, but I
have enlarged it by incorporating therein, from "The Life of Anna
Kingsford," some additional matter which is of interest, and which
should add to the value of the book. The most important additions are
the account of Anna Kingsford's vision of "The Doomed Train," on p.p.
43-47; the account of Anna Kingsford's vision of Adonai, on pp. 64-68;
the "Exhortation of Hermes to his Neophytes," on pp. 110-112; the verses
"Concerning the Passage of the Soul," on pp. 169-170; and the
illumination of Anna Kingsford concerning the "Work of Power," on
pp. 180-181. I have also amplified the text in some places when, on
comparing it with corresponding passages in "The Life of Anna
Kingsford," I found that I could do so with advantage. These
amplifications are not otherwise noted. Finally, I have added some notes
where I thought that further explanation was desirable or would prove


Croydon, December, 1905.


[1] E.M. Letter in "Light" of 29th August, 1891.

[2] See further as to this, an article by A.K. and E.M. in "Light" of
23rd September, 1882, reprinted in Life A.K. Vol. II. p. 77.

[3] E.M. Letter in "Light" of 22nd July, 1893.

[4] E.M. Letter in "Light" of 17th December, 1892.

[5] A.K. died on the 22nd February, 1888


There are certain introductory remarks which, in view of the prevailing
tendency to reject prior to examination whatever conflicts with strongly
cherished preconceptions - as anything purporting to be a "new Gospel" is
undoubtedly calculated to do - may be made with advantage. Those remarks
are as follows: -

(1) As its title implies[6], that which is propounded is not really a
new Gospel, but one of Interpretation only, which is precisely what is
admitted by all serious and thoughtful persons to be the supreme need of
the times. It was said, for instance, by the late Matthew Arnold, "At
the present moment there are two things about the Christian religion
which must be obvious to every percipient person: one, that men cannot
do without it; the other, that they cannot do with it as it is."

(2) As also its title implies[6] nothing new is told in it, but that
only which is old is interpreted; and the appeal on its behalf is not to
authority, whether of Book, Tradition, or Institution, but to the
Understanding - a quality which accords not only with the spirit of the
times, but also - as shewn herein - with that of religion itself, properly
so called.

(3) Scripture manifestly comprises two conflicting systems of doctrine
and practice, having for their representatives respectively the priest
and the prophet, one only of which systems, and this the system
reprobated in Scripture itself, has hitherto obtained recognition from
Christendom. It is the purpose of the New Gospel of Interpretation to
expound the system represented by the prophet and approved in Scripture,
with a view to replacing the other.

(4) For those who attach value to the prophecies contained in the Bible,
so far from there being an _a priori_ improbability against the delivery
of a new revelation in interpretation, confirmation, or completion of
the former revelation, and in correction of the false presentment of it,
the probability ought to be all in favour of such an event. This is
because Scripture abounds in predictions of a restoration both of
faculty and of knowledge, as to take place at the present time and under
the existing conditions of Church and World; and this of such kind as
shall constitute a second and spiritual manifestation of the Christ in
rectification of the perversion of the import of His first and personal
manifestation, and in arrest of the great Apostacy, not only from the
true faith of Christ but from religion itself, of which that perversion
has been the cause.

(5) So far from the idea of a new revelation which shall have for its
end the disclosure, as the true sense of Scripture and Dogma, of a
sense differing so widely from that hitherto accepted as to be virtually
destructive of it, - so far from this idea being universally repugnant to
orthodox ecclesiastics, it has found warm recognition from one of the
foremost of modern churchmen. This is the late Cardinal Newman.

Said Dr Newman in his _Apologia pro vitâ suâ_, speaking of his earlier
days, "The broad philosophy of Clement and Origen carried me away; the
philosophy, not the theological doctrine.... Some portions of their
teaching, magnificent in themselves, came like music to my inward ear,
as if the response to ideas, which, with little external to encourage
them, I had cherished so long. These were based on the mystical or
sacramental principle, and spoke of the various Economies or
Dispensations of the Eternal. I understood these passages to mean that
the exterior world, physical and historical, was but the manifestation
to our senses of realities greater than itself. Nature was a parable:
Scripture was an allegory:.... The process of change had been slow; it
had been done not rashly, but by rule and measure, 'at sundry times and
in divers manners,' first one disclosure and then another, till the
whole evangelical doctrine was brought into full manifestation. And thus
room was made for the anticipation of further and deeper disclosures of
truths still under the veil of the letter, and in their season to be
revealed. The visible world still remains without its divine
interpretation: Holy Church in her sacraments and her hierarchical
appointments, will remain, even to the end of the world, after all but a
symbol of those heavenly facts which fill eternity. Her mysteries are
but the expressions, in human language, of truths to which the human
mind is unequal"[7].

Dr Newman is credited also with the remark, made on visiting Rome for
his investiture, that he saw no hope for religion save in a new

These are utterances the value of which is in no way diminished by the
fact that their utterer failed to bring his own life into accordance
with them. He could write, indeed, the hymn "Lead, kindly light"; but
when the "kindly light" was vouchsafed him of those suggestions of a
system of thought concealed within the Christian Symbology, "magnificent
in themselves" and making "music to his inward ear," which he found in
the patristic writings; instead of following that lead, and striving to
exhume the treasures of divine truth thus buried and hidden from sight,
for the salvation of a world perishing for want of them, - he turned his
back upon it, and - entering the Church of Rome - wrote his "Grammar of
Assent," calling upon others to follow him in committing the suicide,
intellectual and moral, of renouncing the understanding and divorcing
profession from conviction.

This was a catastrophe the explanation of which is not far to seek. Dr
Newman had in him the elements which go to make both priest and prophet.
But the former proved the stronger; and the Cain, the priest in him,
suppressed the Abel, the prophet in him. Thus was he a type of the
Church as hitherto she has been. But, happily, not as henceforth she
will be. For "now is the Gospel of Interpretation come, and the kingdom
of the Mother of God," even the "Woman," Intuition, - the mind's feminine
mode, wherein it represents the perceptions and recollections of the
Soul - who is ever "Mother of God" in man, and whose sons the prophets
ever are, the greatest of them being called emphatically, for the
fulness and purity of his intuition, the "Son of the Woman" and she a



[6] The original title of this book was "The Story of the New Gospel of
Interpretation." See preface to the present edition. S.H.H.

[7] Apologia pro vitâ suâ, by J. H. Newman. New edition of 1893, pp. 26,


_Born, Sep. 16th, 1846; Died, Feb. 22nd, 1888._

_Born, Oct. 27th, 1824; Died, Oct, 2nd, 1897._










The Instruments - Their early lives - Their consciousness of a special
mission, and intimations of a call - Their training in respect of
circumstance, character, and faculty, until brought together
for their Joint work. 1-36



A baptism of the Spirit - "At last I have found a man through whom
I can speak!" - Intimation of the nature and aim of their work - The
Doomed train, "No one on the engine!" - Instantaneous
transfer of inspiration - "Woman, what have I to do with
thee?" - The recovery of a Gospel scene, and its import - "The
woman taken in adultery" - Vision of Adonai - Source of the
opening sentences in St. John's Gospel - Chapter from the recovered
Gnosis - The Generation of the Word. 37-70



The perfect love that casts out fear." In the presence of celestial
visitants - A parable of the Intuition - "The Wonderful
Spectacles" - The Greek element in the work - Hermes and John the
Baptist - The "heresy of Prometheus" - The Fig-tree, a symbol of the
inward understanding; the time come for it to bear fruit - The
Seeress's faculty - Her relations with Hermes - "Thou art the
Rock" addressed to Hermes - The parable of the Fig-tree - The
Mystic Woman of Holy Writ - "Go thy way, Daniel....
Thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days" - The
prophecy of the book of Esther - The Angel Genius, his account
of himself and his office - Divine revelation the supreme common
sense - The source and method of the New Revelation - Its chief
recipient "not a medium or a seer, but a prophet" - An instruction
and a caution concerning the survival of tendencies encouraged
in past lives - Communion with souls of the departed - The
conditions of such intercourse - An instruction concerning
Inspiration and Prophesying - The prophecy of "the kingdom of
the Mother of God." 71-108



"Ye are not yet perfected" - Our respective _Auras_ - An
exhortation - The Seven Spirits of God, their co-operation
necessary for a perfect work - "You belong to us now, to do our
work and not your own" - Enforced silence - "The Powers of the Air;"
their mode of attack - A strange visitant and his communication - A
strained situation - Visions of guidance - The "refractory team,"
and the "Two Stars" - The promised land reached only through
the wilderness - "The Word a Word of mystery, and they who
guard it Seven" - "One Neophyte could not save himself" - A
Horoscope - A descent into hell - Counsels of Perfection - A
"Merry Christmas" - A timely arrival - Neoplatonic recognition
of Hermes - The one Truth, never without a witness in the
world - The key of knowledge restored - Problems solved - The mystic
"Woman" of Holy Writ. 109-141



The key to the mystery of the Bible; the "Veil of Moses"
withdrawn - The secret laid bare of the world's sacrificial system,
and the feud between priest and prophet - The Memory of the
Soul - The Standpoint of the Bible - All that is true is
Spiritual - The revelation of "that wicked one" - The seals broken
and the books opened - The New Gospel of
Interpretation - Sacerdotalism the "Jerusalem which killed the
prophets" - The suppressed doctrines - Reincarnation the corollary
and condition of Regeneration and implicit in the
Bible - "Ye _must_ be born again of Virgin Mary and Holy
Ghost" - The doctrines of the Trinity and Divine Incarnation as now
interpreted, necessary and self-evident truths - Evolution the
manifestation of a divine inherency; accomplished only by the
realisation of Divinity - The process of regeneration, and therein
of salvation, interior to the individual - Adam and Christ the
initial and final stages in the spiritual evolution of every
man - The "Christ within" of St Paul - The _Credo_ an epitome of the
spiritual history of the Sons of God. 142-162



Spontaneity of the Seeress's faculty - Specific illuminations, in
illustration, chiefly, of the process of Regeneration; concerning
(1) Holy Writ; (2) Redemption; (3) Sin and death; (4) The Twelve
Gates of Regeneration; (5) The Passage of the Soul; (6) The
Mystic Exodus; (7) The Spiritual Phoibos and the order of the
Christs; (8) The Previous Lives of Jesus, and Reincarnation;
(9) The Work of Power; the land and tongue of the New
Revelation, why ours. 163-183

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Online LibraryEdward MaitlandThe Story of Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland and of the new Gospel of Interpretation → online text (page 1 of 16)