L. P. (Lewis Pyle) Mercer.

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The World's Religious Congresses
OF 1893.

Edited by Rev. L. P. Mercer.




To F. S.

These things are yonrs and mine forever more: —
The broad, white yision on the western plain,
(How doth it like a midday moon remain)

Of twined frnit and wings; of things that soar;

Of lifted trnmpets 'mid the lions' roar;
Of sinless colonades without a stain
Of anarchy, or war, or tears, or pain,

Where Beanty lies in sunshine at the door;

Of those who walked therein and were our friends,

Tnrbaned in love and clad in suns and moons,
Symbols of things too mighty to reyeal.
And we two on the curved bridge lean and feel

The warm, still charm of lantern-lit lagoons: —

These things are yonrs and mine until life ends.

— Alice Archer Sewall.



The Colnmbian Exposition ix

The f abi,iament of 11ei;IQion


I. The Genesis of the Religious Congresses of 1893, by
C. C. Bonney, President of the World's Congress

A.uxiliary, 3

II. A Narrative and Critical Account of the Parliament

of Religions, by the Rev. Frank Sewall; ... 29
III. Papers Presented by New-Churohmen in the Parlia-
ment, 71

1. The Soul and its Future Life, by Rev. S. M.,

Warren, 74

2. The Divine Basis of Co-operation between Men

and Women, by Lydia Fuller Dickinson, 82

3. The Character and Degree of the Inspiration

of the Christian Scriptures, by the Kev.
Frank Sewall, 90

4. The Incarnation of God in Christ, by Rev.

Julian K. Smyth, 99

5. Reconciliation Vital, not Vicarious, by Rev.

T. F. Wright, Ph. D., 110

6. Swedenborg and the Harmony of Religions,

by Rev. L. P. Mercer, 115



I. Preparation and Presentation, 127

1. Address of Welcome, by 0. C. Bonney, . 130

2. WeloomeandDeolaration,byRev.L. P. Mercer, 133
8. Addressof Welcome from Miss A. E, Scammon, 137

> ; V



II. The Origin and Natnre of the New Church.

1. One Lord, One Church, with its Sucoessive

Ages, by the Rev. Frank Sewall, . . ■ 1*1

2. The Church before Christianity, by the Est.

G.N.Smith, 150

8. The Chnrch of the First Advent, by the Bev.

James Eeed, 1^"

4. The Chnrch of the Second Advent, by the Rev.

Louis H. Tafel, 167

6. The Catholic Spirit of the New Church, by

Rev. Thomas A. King, 173

III. Its Doctrines the True Basis of a Universal Faith and

1. The Doctrines of the Lord, by Rev. John

Goddard 181

2. The Doctrine of Redemption, by Rev. John

Presland, London, 190

3. The Doctrine of Salvation, by Rev. S. S.

Seward 198

i. Doctrine of the Future Life, by Rev. Howard

C. Dunham, 205

5. The Science of Correspondence and the Word

of God, by Rev. John Worcester, . . 216

6. The Internal Word in its Relation to the

Religious of the World, by Rev. Adolph
Boeder, 226

•IV. The Planting of the New Church.

1. Swedenborg's Writings and His Disposition

of Them, by Bev. C. J. N. Manby, Gotten-
burg 241

2. The Planting of the New Church in England,

by James Speirs, London, 256

3. The New Church on the Continent of Europe,

by Bev. Fedor Gorwitz, Switzerland, . . 267
i. The New Church in America, by the Rev. W.

H. Hinkley, 278

5. The New Church in Australia, by the Rev. J.

J. Thornton, ... 285

6. The Planting of the New Church in Africa, by

the Rev. E. D. Daniels, 296



7. The Silent Missionaries, by the Rev. G.

Laurence Allbutt 301

T. The Future of the New Church.

1. The Mission of the New Church to the Gentiles,

by Eev. Albinus F. Frost, 307

2. The Duty of the New Church to the African

Race, by Ellen Spencer Mussey, . . . 313

3. Mission of the New Church to the Christian

Denominations, by Rev. Julian K. Smyth, 317

4. The Mission of the New Church to Biblical

Criticism, by Rev. John C. Ager, . . . 331

5. The Mission of the New Church to Philosophy,

by Rev. S. C. Eby 340

6. The Mission of the New Church to the Histo-

rian, by the Rev. Philip B. Cabell, . . 350

7. The Mission of the New Church to Literature,

by Rev. T. F. Wright, Ph. D., . . . . 360

8. The Mission of the New Church to Art, by

Signer Loreto Scocia, 371

9. The Mission of the New Church to Sociology

and Government, by Rev. C. H. Mann, . 385

VI. Woman in the New Church.

1. The True Relation of Woman's Work to

Man's, by Mrs. J. R. Hibbard 398

2. Woman in the Christian World, by Miss Carrie

E. Rowe, London, 403

3. Woman in the New Church, by Miss Mary L.

Barton, 408

4. Woman as Wife and Mother, by Mrs. S. S.

Seward, 416

5. Education for Wife and Mother, by Mrs. J. R. .

Putnam, 423

6. The Position and Influence of Woman in the

Religious World, by Mrs. T. P. Houts, . 429

7. The Womanly Nature, by Miss Selma Ware

Paine 438

8. The Ministry of Gentleness, by Miss Ednah

C. Silver 445

9. The Feminine in the Church, by Miss Mary

A. Lathbury, 451


The Columbian Exposition was itself a manifestation of
the New Age. Divine purposes work long unseen, and divine
principles are embodied often long before their source and
portent are acknowledged.

It is explained in this volume that by the New Jerusalem is
meant a new dispensation of the Church and of Beligion, which
shall be truly Christian ; in which it shaU be allowable to enter
inteUectuaUy into the things of faith, and be possible to
develop a fuller spiritual and rational life; that this dispensa-
tion of the Church is inaugurated by new revelation from the
Lord opening the spiritual sense and divine meaning of the
Sacred Scriptures; and that it was preceded by a last judgment
in the world of spirits from which results a new freedom of
willing and thinking among men; and that in it is to be ful-
filled the divine promise, "Behold, I make all things new." This
new dispensation is the re-establishment and crowning of the
Christian Church in that fullness of revelation foretold by all the
prophets and promised by the Lord.

But before truth, rational and luminous, attesting its Divine
origin and power, could descend from heaven to set up the
tabernacle of God with men, order and obedience had to be
founded, rationality established and freedom constituted. In
the 144,000 and in the great multitude picked out of every nation
and kindred and tongue, John saw the first fruits of the Lord's
redemption; but for the establishment of the self -perpetuating
kingdom of Divine truth upon earth, the nations of the earth
had to be educated.

It has been a principle of Divine Providence from of old to
break the lust of universal dominion by rivalry of selfishness.
The evils of personal dominion are mitigated by the struggles of
persons for mastery. We may see thus the hand of God in the
overthrow of the Koman empire and the rise of feudalism. It
brought the hand of authority nearer to the people and trained
them in obedience and self-interest. The Church entered into
the struggle with its witness to divine authority and opened to
the masses the thought of the King of Kings. It demanded
obedience from the lords of the obedient, and lent its authority



to whomsoeTer would serve it. A larger order succeeded. The
king subdued the lords, and monarchy succeeded feudalism. It
founded and endowed uniTcrsities and encouraged commerce.
It conceded no political privileges to the people, but prepared
its subjects to demand them.

Then came the revival of learning. No further step towards
the manhood of men could be taken without the enfranchise-
ment of the intellect. The longing of the universities and of
the learned for the treasures of ancient wisdom, "hidden and
yet insecure in monastic cells and libraries," drew down those
currents of inspiration that waited to direct the invention of the
printing press. With its advent was shown the Divine hand
which had been over-ruling in the civil and social revolutions of
Europe. "Its first service was to the people; its first fruits the
printed Bible." The story of the revival of learning we need
not repeat. It constituted the second step in the preparation of
mankind for manhood; first, social order and obedience; second,
the enfranchisement of the intellect. But until this last shall
become common, and the masses of men rational in their power
to think for themselves and with each other, there can be no
self-government. Nor was this possible under the despotic hand
of custom and privilege entrenched in the monarchies of
Europe. Humanity must burst forth at the sides into a new and
boundless theater of ambition and enterprise in order to learn
its powers of thinking and its capacities for individual charac-
ter and self-control. Colnmbus was in training and America
was found. How that event opened a new theater for the experi-
ment of civil and religious liberty, and changed the face of
every European institution as certainly as it founded the most
prosperous people and most beneficent civil government in the
world, is familiar history. Without that opening of providence,
the progress of science, the growth of humanities, the populariz-
ation of education and participation in natural plenty had not
been possible.

What concerns us now to note is, that the discovery and
colonization of America, together with the new reformation in
Europe, made possible the final step in the natural man's devel-
opment, — that of self-government. The fermentations of the
old world had prepared the founders of the colonies to believe
that "liberty consists in taking on law;" that obedience to God's
law is the highest liberty to which man may attain; and that
man can be a man by self- compelled obedience to the truth.


As this truth has been wrought out in human experience and
demonstrated in human suooesses, Boience has advanced, inven-
tions multiplied, the conquest of human nature to human uses
has progressed, the education and culture of the masses succeeded,
and the possibilities of mankind developed. There has never
been a state of society in which the natural man has been so
strong, BO intelligent, so well poised, and so marvelously equipped
for indefinite advancement, as is witnessed to-day.

The Columbian Exposition was a marvelous exhibition of
all this progress in natural freedom and power to will and to
think and to achieve. The contrast between the past and the
present, the supremacy of mind over matter, the dominanoy of
law in mind and matter, and the aU-pervading purpose of law in
use, was exhibited and emphasized in the entire arrangement of
the wonderful White City for the display of the world's wonders.
The motto over the Peristyle, — " Ye shall know the Truth, and
the Truth shall make you free, "^Divine in its origin and
promise, new in its significance and interpretation, embodied the
idea of the Exposition, as it proclaimed the purpose of Provi-
dence in all that history which has made a new earth as a founda-
tion for the new faith and life which God would open from heaven.

Keeping in view the mission of this book, to set forth the
abundance of spiritual truths which the Lord has opened from
His revelation, luminous, self-attesting, rational, and witnessing
to their Divine origin, — the object here is to point out that the
purpose of Providence in what we call the progress of the world
has been to prepare in the natural man, over the widest possible
base of humanity, an intelligence and self-control capable of
understanding and obeying the spiritual truths which reign as
the common law of spiritual life; to prepare in society a com-
munity of interests and uses which will make the earth a possible
home for mature spiritual men and women, and society a fit
theatre for the doing of God's will on earth as it is done in
heaven ; in a word, the enf ranchisment of freedom and rationality
and the constitution of co-operation for the ends of universal
use, or the common good.

The truths which constitute and are to establish a new
dispensation of the Church and of religion are internal and
spiritual. It is as it should be that they operate as an inspiring
and modifying influence upon thought, even when unrecognized.
They have been scattered by the printing press far and wide.
They have entered into minds that have become centers of


intellectual currents in science and art and industry, as well as
in religion. And thus it is that their permeating and modifying
influence is seen not only in the Parliament of Religions, but in
the Exposition of the world's progress.

Director of works Daniel Hudson Burnham, who will be
known to the New-Ohurch reader as a grandson of the ReT.
Holland Weeks, whose ideals in art and utility are derived not
merely from the general spirit of inquiry and experiment, but
from the great spiritual principles of truth to which we testify,
has given an account of the building of the Exposition itself, in
which he pays tribute to the practical wisdom of the men who
raised fabulous sums of money for the building of the " White
City," in that they " freed the arm of the allied arts which until
now had been bound since Columbus' day." " The Directory
realized," he says, "that all successful enterprises have been
organized and conducted by men specially trained for the work.
The result was an advanced human organization, bringing
together the men of material facts and those who dwell in the
imaginary realm of art. For the first time we were united in
healthy, sane collaboration. They felt that all years have led up
to this and that the best results are not in the palaces around us,
but in the altitude of the workers who designed them, the altitude
in which the individual has become subordinate and lives only as
a willing contributor to a general result."

This spirit of co-operation in subordination to the common
end, the realization of beauty and use, which resulted so nobly,
to the surprise and admiration of the world, was only an
ultimate manifestation of that which prevailed in the Religious

As all men form one Greatest Man; as all times and con-
ditions and modes of life are parts of the growth and experience
of universal man; as the advancement of the whole depends
upon universal respect for every part, and the good of each
subsists in subordination, not to prejudice and tradition, but to
the highest good of the whole; it was, therefore, of all things fit
that the Exposition should show the result, not of the rivalry
and competition, but of the co-operation and combination of
the best results of ages and nations, as the Parliament of
Religions was to be a friendly conference of the lovers of right-
eousness, bringing out of their treasure " things new and old,"
not for controversy, but for comparison; not to establish the old,
but to make way for the new.





C. C. Bonney, president of "The World's Congress
Auxiliary," has prepared, at the request of the editors of
The Neto-Church Review, on account of the doctrinal
basis in his own mind, the practical inception, and the
organization and conduct of the Eeligious Congresses,
which, as the whole movement under Divine Providence,
originated with him, and grew out of his conception of
the New Jerusalem, belongs here. He has revised that
account for this publication, making some changes and
additions, the better to adapt it to the present purpose.
Speaking as to friends, he writes in the first person of
the preparation which his life experience had furnished
for the conception and direction of the Congresses, and
especially of Eeligious Congresses which were central in
his concern. After referring to his early interest in the
study of comparative religions, he says:

This first stage of preparation was followed by
another of still higher significance, under the influence
of the Church of the Holy City, New Jerusalem. At the
age of nineteen I removed to Peoria, 111., and there, for
the first time, saw a New-Church congregation and heard a
New-Church sermon. My previous information of the
system of Swedenborg had given me the impression that it
was a religion for literary and scientific persons, and I was
therefore surprised to find that this congregation had no
member eminent in scholastic attainments, excepting the
pastor. I soon began to read the Church writings and
collateral books, and to attend, occasionally, the Sunday


services and social meetings. In the course of a few
years I became satisfied that the New-Church does
indeed teach "the True Christian Eeligion "— " the
Keligion of Common Sense."— and avowed myself "a
receiver of the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusa-
lem." I had become convinced that this Church would
finally prove the reconciliation and the crown of all the
Eeligions of the world. Acting " in freedom and accord-
ing to reason," I had accepted its matchless creed of
" The Divinity of the Lord, the Holiness of the Word,
and the Life that is called Charity."

Here I was ^taught the fandamental truths which
made a World's Parliament of Eeligions possible; upon
which rested the whole plan of the Eeligions Congresses
of 1893, and which guided the execution of that plan to
a success so great and far reaching that only the coming
generations can fully comprehend and estimate its
infiuence. Among those truths are these:

There is a universal influx from God into the sonls of men,
teaching them that there is a God, and that He is one. (T. C. R. 8.)

It is of the Lord's Divine Providence that every nation has
some Religion, and the foundation of all religion is an acknowl-
edgment 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. (D. P. 322.)

It is of the Divine Providence that every man is capable of
being saved, and that those are saved who acknowledge God, and
lead a good life. (D. P. 325.)

These are the common essentials of all religions, by which
every one may be saved; to acknowledge a God, and not to do
evil because it is against God. These are the two things by
virtue of which religion is religion. (D. P. 326.)

It is provided by the Lord that every one who acknowledges
a God, and abstains from evil because it is against God, has a
place in heaven; for heaven in the complex resembles one man
whose life or soul is the Lord. {Ibid.)


It is also provided that all who have lived well and acknowl-
edge a God, should be instructed after death by the angels; and
then those who have been in these two essentials of religion in
this world, accept the truths of the Church, such as they are in
the Word, and acknowledge the Lord as the God of heaven and
the Church. (D. P. 328.)

It is alleged that those who are out of the Church are not
baptized; but baptism does not save any except those who are
spiritually washed, that is regeneratid, for baptism is a sign and
memorial thereof. It is also alleged that the Lord is not known
to them, and that without the Lord there is no salvation; yet no
one has salvation merely by the Lord being known to him, but
by living according to His precepts. (D. P. 330.)

The Mahometan Religion was permitted by the Divine
Providence of the Lord for the extirpation of idolatries in
countries where Christianity would not be received. In that
religion there is something out of both the Testaments of the
Word; teaching that the Lord came into the world; that he was
the greatest prophet, the wisest of all, and the Son of God.
(D. P. 255.)

Every one in the Churches where faith alone is received, is
taught that evils are to be shunned as sins. (D. P. 258.)

It is provided that every one, in whatever heresy he may be
as to his understanding, may still be reformed and saved, pro-
vided he shuns evils as sins, and does not confirm heretical
falsities in himself; for by shunning evils as sins the will is
reformed, and by the will the understanding, which then first
emerges out of darkness into light. (D. P. 259.)

Every infant, wheresoever born, whether within the Church
or oat of it, whether of pious parents or impious, when it dies is
received by the Lord, and is educated in heaven, and according
to Divine order is taught and imbued with the affections of good,
and by them with the knowledges of truth; and afterwards as
perfected in intelligence and wisdom is introduced into heaven
and becomes an angel. (H. H. 329.)

Turning to the Holy Word and the Apostolic Writ-
ings, I found abundant confirmatiori of these teach-
ings of the Church. A few of the passages which were
found most useful and encouraging in connection with
the World's Religious Congresses, are given here:


What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to do
justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
(MiOAH vi. 8.)

All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you,
do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.
(Matt. vii. 12.)

Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father, is to
visit the widows and fatherless in their affliction, and to keep
unspotted from the world. (James i. 27.)

That is the True Light which lighteth every man that oometh
into the world. (John i. 9.)

And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house,
behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him
and His disciples.

And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples,
Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

But when Jesus heard that. He said unto them, they that be
whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

But go ye and learn what this meaneth: I will have mercy
and not sacrifice; for I am not come to call the righteous, but
sinners to repentance. (Matt. ix. 10-13.)

Unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the
Jews; to them that are under the law, as [myself] under the
law that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that
are without the law as [myself] without the law (being not
without law to God, but under the law to Christ), that I might
gain them that are without law; to the weak became I as weak,
that I might gain the weak; I am made all things to aU men,
that I might by all means save some. (1 CoE. ix. 20, 22.)

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: Of a truth I per-
ceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation
he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is accepted with
Him. (Acts oe the Apostles x. 34, 35.)

Then Paul stood in the midst of Maxs Hill, and said:

Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too
superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions,
I found an altar with this inscription. To the Unknown God.
Whom, therefore, ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you!
(Aotb xvii. 23.)

God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on
all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before


appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they shonld
seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him,
though He be not far from every one of os. (Acts xvii. 26, 27.)

One other course of preparation remains to be
noticed. For many years before the World's Columbian
Exposition was proposed, I enjoyed the inestimable
henefits of an intimate and cordial association with
members and ministers of many different denominations,
and made public addresses on "Law and Order" and
" Moral and Social Reforms," in many different churches.
Thus I came to know the distinguishing characteristics
of various religious organizations; to respect their
sincerity and zeal; 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. Thus I came into a state of charity,
not only toward the various religious denominations of

Online LibraryL. P. (Lewis Pyle) MercerThe New Jerusalem in the world's religious congresses of 1893 → online text (page 1 of 35)