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We write our book for “the wide, wide world.” Not that we expect to have the world for readers, but that we do humbly hope to gain some audience with the Church Universal. Long and drearily have we heard of the “ Eclipse of Faith," and sadly have we contemplated the chaotic state of the Christian Church. If this book will do any thing to remove the shade which gathers so heavily around many souls, to inform the understanding, and to pour sunlight upon eyes so darkened, our labors will be more than amply rewarded. We have written in the love of it. We have not sought merely to add another book to the many now in the world: this work is the fruit of more than twenty years' professional thought and reading, and labor and observation among men, and we have honestly felt that it is now called for. We think we have heard the Lord's voice, and that we understand something of his Providence. We do not, of course, claim that every idea in it is exactly correct, and we shall be more desirous than any one else to unlearn our
One word more for the Church. While we hold ourself in strong sympathy with the Church UNIVERSAL, we believe also that God is at this day forming,
out of the good of all the various sects, a New Church answering to John's description of the “ New Jerusalem." We would not therefore be understood as writing for any sect, or organization, or particular body of
We are heart-sick of sectarianism in all its forms. We hope we shall not be caught with the least remnant of it upon our garments.
But it will be seen that we have made much use of a favorite and highly illumined author; that author is Swedenborg. And although we do not accept him, or any other man, as an infallible teacher, and believe that he saw only in part, yet we do believe that he was the great providential man of the Church, raised up and qualified in a time of great darkness, and that he was the first, in an eminent manner, to begin the “ New Jerusalem,” or a true and more spiritual church upon this earth.
We have quoted from him liberally. But with all our partiality, we know, better than any one can tell us, that we are not in slavery to him, and do not blindly follow him.
Again we say, we write for “ the wide, wide world.” We have endeavored to popularize certain truths, to clear up certain spiritual, philosophical, and theolog. ical problems, and to present the great theme of the Divine Providence in an attracting and profitable form. How well we have succeeded, futurity will most assur
So saying, we have not another anxious thought about it; it goes from our hands most freely; and with feelings deep and indescribable, it is now humbly and trustfully committed to the care of the Divine Providence.
W. M. F. Boston, Mass., Sept. 1859.
Truth Calvinism. — New Faith in the Divine Decrees. — Destiny of
Spirit and Matter. — Creation of the Universe from two Suns.- Contin.
uous and Discrete Degrees. — Deliverance from Pantheism. - The
Reconciliation of two Views. — Providence Manifest. — The Infinite and
the Eternal. — Divine Foresight. — Timely Providence. — Proportions