College Letter No. V
March 12th, 1887
For Private use of Members of the Academy. Please read carefully, and, when read, return immediately to the undersigned.
No. V __ Philadelphia, March 12th, 1887=117.
DEAR FRIEND:—As you have seen in New Church Life for February, the Schools of the Academy closed for the Christmas holidays on December 21st. The very interesting ceremony of accepting a portrait of the Chancellor, which marks an event in the history of the Academy worth recording, was made the more impressive by the remarks of Professor Pendleton, which, as relating more to the private life of our body, have been omitted in the published account, and are given herewith:
"On the part of the Girls' Department of the Academy's Schools I receive this portrait, to be placed in their sitting-room, always to remain present in this School, to remind all, young and old, of him whose face it represents: to remind you and your children and your children's children of him and the work which he has done. You may not realize now what he has done. But as you learn to realize more and more what the LORD is doing, you will appreciate the instruments through whom He does His will, and thus him who has been our teacher and leader in the work of education. As you grow older, you will see more and more what a privilege it is to receive the instruction you are getting. We hope and expect that the Chancellor will be here with us a long time. But the LORD knows when he will be called away. When he is gone, this picture will remain, as memorial of him and of what he has done. When he is gone, there will be felt a want, not only in our hearts and thoughts, but more ultimately."
In conclusion, Professor Pendleton thanked the artist, one of the girls
of the School.
The Chancellor said that, as the picture was received, he had nothing more to say. "I thank you most heartily, and reciprocate what is in your hearts and has thus come out."
While we are speaking of the schools, we wish to call attention to the inadvertent omission in our last Letter from the list of teachers of the names of Mrs. Mary A. Burnham and Miss Evelyn E. Plummer.
THE Council has decided to inform the members of the Academy in this Letter of the restoration of the name of the Rev. Robert J. Tilson to the list of Collegiates, as his resignation, which was never accepted by the Council, has been withdrawn by him.
A GENERAL Meeting of the Academy was held at the house of Mr. John Pitcairn, Councillor, on the evening of February 22d, 1887=117, attended by forty members, among them being the Rev. Edward C. Bostock, of Chicago, and Mr. S. H. Hicks, of Watsontown, Pa.
After the members had seated themselves in due order, and the Chancellor had opened the Word, Associates Wm. B. Aitken and John A. Wells conducted Mrs. Mary Glenn, Miss Electa Grant, and Miss Susie G. Aitken, candidates for membership, into the midst of the Assembly, being followed by Councillors Louis H. Tafel and George R. Starkey, who likewise conducted Collegiates Edward C. Bostock and Robert M. Glenn, candidates for admission into the Council.
The Assembly knelt and offered up the LORD's PRAYER.
The candidates for membership, with their presenters, advanced into the presence of the Council, and the inauguration service was proceeded with, the selections from the Letter of the Word being Psalms cii, cxxxviii, xcvii, and those from the Writings True Christian Religion (n. 187).
The Chancellor delivered the following address:
"This first general meeting of the Academy in the New Year, following upon the year of our Decennial Celebration, renews our pleasure in the reception of new members into our body, and marks an era in its movement by the installation in the Council of two new Councillors of about the same age in years as were three of the Councillors who inaugurated the Academy. These facts tell us of the growth of our Body, and of those constant renewals of life, strength, and vigor, without which no human body can keep its grasp on existence, either in the spiritual or in the natural world. A human body, if it live at all, lives in both worlds, and in a larger or aggregate form, such a body, if it be in the acknowledgment of the LORD, and in a life of use to the neighbor, gains alike by the removal of members into the other world, as by the addition of members in this world. Such removals equally with such additions are necessary to the spiritual and natural growth of the body; they are the LORD's good Providence, every operation of which is for the increase of life, for the development of force, and for the coming forth of the Divine Will into the power of ultimate acts for eternal good. When members of the Church, who have received from the LORD a love to Him and to the neighbor, go into the other world, they renew their youth and enter by degrees into the full vigor of their life; and these, their youth and their life, enter into the body and life of the whole Church in the Heavens and on the earth, and especially into the body and life of that part or member of the Heavens and the Church, with which they make one in love and faith. When new members are added to the Church in this world they extend the basis and strengthen the foundations of the Church and the Heavens, and so far as they take what is given them from Heaven, and respond in affection, thought, and act to the inflowing life and light of the LORD, so far do the Heavens and the Church increase in power to ' tell the glory of God,' and 'the expanse' in brightness 'to show His handiwork.'
"The Academy is a body of the LORD's New Church. It is a spiritual Church, deriving existence from the acknowledgment of the LORD in His Second Coming into the world, in all the Divine fullness of that Coming, and ascribing to Him in His Coming and in the manner of it ' all power in Heaven and on earth.' This spiritual Church, like the Church in the Heavens, seeks its life and finds its real worship in the doing of the spiritual uses of charity to the neighbor. All its external worship, instruction, and learning, the Academy regards as means provided for it by the LORD for the doing of the weightier things of the Divine Law of Love. A spiritual Church exists on earth, from the LORD in the Heavens, from His Divine truth which forms the Heavens. It is, therefore, an ultimate body of the LORD's life, in connection with the Heavens as the grand internal body of the LORD's life, proceeding from His Divine Human, and recreating its willing recipients into images, which are according to the likeness of the One Infinite Divine Man. The true Church of the LORD on earth, like the Church of the LORD in the Heavens, is in the human form, and the order of the Church in Heaven and on earth is the order of a man, created and formed by the LORD. Such a man lives in the spiritual world and in the natural world; and his life in the spiritual world is according to the spirit and life of his words and acts in the natural world, for they are the end and cause of these words and acts in which, as in their own effects, they have fullness and power. Between the spiritual and natural parts of a true Church, as between the spiritual and natural minds of a true man, there is correspondence in the order and subordination of form and in the harmony and unanimity of spirit.
"As you are aware, the organization of the Academy is an adaptation of the organization of man, to the end that this body may be a man according to the order of Heaven. In this body the Council is as the head, the College as the trunk, containing the heart and lungs, and the Associate membership as the enclosing parts and extremities. The several uses of these divisions of the Academy correspond to the several uses of the larger divisions of the human body that have been named.
"On the intelligent and willing performance of uses by the associate members, on their affectionate acceptance of the principles of the Church's life and order, on their rational support of those principles, and on their practical consent and co-operation in the accomplishment of the ends and purposes of our body, depend the strength and stability as well as vigorous growth and development of the Academy. To the College we look for the aids and means that shall enable the body to go forward in the movement on which it has entered.
"In assisting to provide pecuniary means for the carrying on of our uses, in furnishing active workers in our educational and literary enterprises, in serving as the medium of inter-communication between the various parts of the body, and in taking particular charge of the orphans committed to our care, the College, resting on the associate membership, gives indispensable aid to the Council, and constitutes a channel through which the decisions and conclusions of the Council can be carried to fruitful ultimation. And now that the time has arrived when it is made manifest that the work of the Academy cannot be carried on without the fully recognized assistance of the women of the Academy, in consequence of which the wives of our Collegiates have been asked to give their help, we may well look for a fuller and more perfect development of the special functions of the College.
"Based on these supports of College and Associate Members, the Council has enlarged liberty and increased means of intelligence in the formation of its judgments, for the direction of the activities of the body, for the more interior considerations of principles, and for the gradual and judicious perfection of the order and form of the Academy.
"Without dwelling, at this time, on the truths so well known as the very foundation of our body, or on the various uses of charity undertaken by the same, which are no less well known, I may state that the deliberations of the Council on the subject of the government of the body have led to the adoption of certain measures of protection against possible disturbances arising from the sphere of the world, which may at the same time serve to establish the Body more firmly on the ground of its civil or 'chartered' existence. The laws of the country, whether we adjudge them to be wise or not, are to be observed, because they are laws of the country. It was thought best to conform to these laws by formulating in writing our practice in the matter of the selection of Councillors and officers of the Academy. Our rules of procedure, heretofore unwritten, will now become, when sanctioned by the Body, the written laws of our order.
"In arriving at this conclusion, we have been struck with the fact that our principle of unanimity in council and determination has given us a position of strength on the external plane that almost, if not entirely, removes the necessity of conformity to the literal law of the land. We conform, not because we must, but because it is right to conform, and conformity takes away the appearance of want of legality and relieves from any possible requirement of explanations. This fact, in respect to the effect of our principle of unanimity, only renders that principle more precious in our eyes. At first a theory, derived from the laws of the heavenly life, unanimity of judgment and of action have by practice become more and more vital to the movement of the Academy. Instead of proving a hindrance and obstruction, it has been a mighty aid in advancing that movement. Unanimous as we are in our central convictions, such as concerning the LORD's Advent, the authority of the Writings, the Priesthood, the distinctive character of the New Church, the state of the Christian World, the life of charity in use, etc., we have been led, day by day, into more harmonious ways of deliberation, and thence into a most decided and rational preference for unanimity of conclusion and action. From this united centre and central action has come, in the LORD's Providence, the Academy's chief power of resistance to the infesting spheres of the Old Church, operating through the consenting spheres of the external New Church, so far as this has been seduced into a state of conformity with the Old Church. And we need to hold firmly to this central connection of thought and act in order to be well guarded against the insidious, plausible, and seductive efforts at this day made to lead the men of the New Church to join in the cry of 'Peace!' 'Peace!' when there is no peace, and to lure them into the house of the neighbor, according to the flesh, that they may consort with him there as if he were a neighbor indeed, and not a deadly foe in spirit and life. We need to 'watch and pray' lest we fall in this temptation. The Divine vigilance for man is present in the Truth. This is a lamp to our feet, shining in the way of our natural life, if we will take it and make it our thought. And the way on which it shines leads into the fold of the true Church, in which are gathered the brethren who acknowledge the LORD and who look to Him for light to know His Will, and for power to do His Will. We can, in reality, have one mind only with those who are of one mind in the LORD and from the LORD.
"This is not a question of self-elevation over others, of the conceit of self-intelligence, or of the conceit of charity; it is a question of the oneness and the otherness of Divine Order and Arrangement. The LORD in His Infinite Wisdom arranges all according to spiritual consanguinities, which in this world are determined by common beliefs of truth and by common ends of good and use. And central in these beliefs and ends, as in the whole life of Heaven and the Church, is the belief in the conjugial relation and the love of conjugial love. This is the heart of all unanimity, the very core of all perfect oneness from the LORD, in Whom Love and Wisdom are One. And in the New Church alone does the conjugial exist; and there is it given to those who are one in faith in the LORD, and one in the love of the LORD and the Neighbor. As there cannot be a conjugial between those who are of opposite faiths, and as unions between such are heinous in the sight of the angels, so can there not be any true and heavenly relation springing from the conjugial between those who are of opposite faiths. Whatever the external seeming, at heart there is no unanimity.
"Let us, therefore, guard with jealous care this precious jewel of the Academy's order. On it, as the essential principle of heaven's life, rests the Church's existence, and, therefore, also the existence of all human society. As a means of guarding this order, let us be prudent in respect to our own private affairs, and cautious in preserving them from violation by our own yielding to appearances of charity and goodness. We are in the midst of a sphere of draconic influences. These should not be suffered to force themselves into the private life of the Church as the LORD's Body. They can enter only to injure and destroy.
"It is for us of the Academy to remember in all things the end for which this Body has come into existence—the end of maintaining before men the Divine Doctrine of the LORD's Second Coming and Presence in the Books written by Him through His servant, Swedenborg, and by the preaching of this Doctrine the establishing of the New and Crowning Church of the LORD on the Earth."
Upon the conclusion of his Address the Chancellor completed the ceremony of inauguration in the usual manner, by receiving the candidates' acceptance of the Council's selection, giving them the right hand of fellowship, and placing upon them the badge of Associate Membership.
The new members having taken seats in the Assembly, the Councillors-selected advanced with their presenters. After the introductory part of the installation service, the Chancellor said:
"I may perhaps be pardoned for expressing a certain peculiar pleasure, which I doubt not the rest of the Council share with me, in having these brethren introduced into the Council—the one to fill a priestly position, the other to fill an important civil position.
"The one has been student, graduate, and minister of our Theological School, one of the first-fruits of our work. We know him well, and rejoice that at this early day we can place him in a position of responsibility, the selection to which on the part of the Council has been unanimous. He is with us in regard to the principles and methods of our work. He stands firmly on the ground on which he has been placed, ready to do his duty before the LORD, as he has in the past done his duty as a faithful minister of the Church and of the Academy.
"Of our other brother we can say almost the same, perhaps more. Almost from early youth has he been trained for his present position. He is one of two, the only members that are among us now, who attended the former school established on Cherry Street. There he began his religious instruction, and on the lines there laid down he has gone forward, tending, in the past to this, preparing for this that has come.
"The two are thus our own boys, brought up in our own family, under our own eyes, prepared to take the place of some of us who soon will have to leave their work on earth. We feel confident that they will do their duty after we have passed away and that they will carry on our work. They give promise of doing their work far better than it has been done in the past.
"I wish to impress upon them the responsibility of their position, a responsibility which increases day by day. There is constantly more for us to do, and more to ask wisdom for from the LORD, that we may know how to act.
"The position of the Academy is not becoming easier, but more difficult. There will be in the future greater need of interior discernment, judgment, and wisdom than in the past. As the Church goes forward, the infestations and temptations through which she will have to pass will be more interior, more direful, more bitter, more difficult to meet and cope with. There is need of more love, intelligence, and wisdom, of more devotion to goods and uses, of a more patient spirit in trials and troubles. There is especial need of trust and patience. These will grow with age and experience. They come in the form of love, and then of wisdom from the experiences of life. When man learns to see himself as others see him, he learns to give his patience also to others.
"The infestations and temptations will be harder hereafter. As you and our other young members come forward, prepare your minds by looking to the LORD and praying for help; and when the necessity for action comes, do the truth because it is truth, the good because it is good. Suffer no consideration of external wisdom to carry you out of the line of Providence. Follow that line, whatever sacrifices of natural favor and honor among men you may have to make, and you will go after the LORD as He has gone before in His glorification. Thus you will do your duty in the Council, and the body will grow from your intelligence, your wisdom, and your love, as manifested in the Council. First strive for unanimity with your fellow-Councillors, that unanimity may be introduced into the body, and all may act as one man, and be received as one man by the LORD."
In concluding the ceremony the Chancellor asked the Councillors-selected whether they accepted the Council's selection, and, having heard their response, he installed them into the full brotherhood of the Academy by giving them the right hand of fellowship and placing on them the badge of the Council.
After the benediction, and while the members were standing, the Chancellor gave the right hand to the wife of Mr. Glenn, receiving her " as the wife of a Councillor, who will have the benefit of your affections and thus added strength to perform his duty."
And to the wife of the Rev. Louis H. Tafel, who, on this occasion, attended a general meeting of the Academy for the first time, the Chancellor likewise turned, and giving her the right hand of fellowship, spoke words of welcome as to a good and wise help of a fellow-Councillor.
After some time had been spent in congratulations and in social converse, the Assembly adjourned to the dining-room. Upon the table stood a magnificent cut-glass punch bowl, whose brilliancy was reflected from a mirror upon which it was set.
The toast to the Academy, to which reply was made by singing ''Vive l' Académie," was followed by toasts to the new Councillors and the new Associates.
The last College Letter was then read, with the exception of reports of Philadelphia meetings, and the letter from the Brooklyn friends led the Rev. W. F. Pendleton, who sees them at stated times when he preaches to the Brooklyn, E. D., Society, to remark that it was a true expression of the humility, loyalty, and unanimity which characterized them. "Their sphere is delightful; it is refreshing to the minister who visits them, and he feels encouraged at this beginning of the Academy in the metropolis, for Brooklyn is practically part of New York City. It is a beginning that will grow and increase. Indeed, the increase has begun. To our dear brother Czerny and his wife, twins [Doretha Rosalia and Clara Augusta] were born on the 9th day of January, a Sunday when I was in Brooklyn. The delight of all our Brooklyn friends at this occurrence was very great. This is the second time that twins were born in the Academy. I propose the toast: 'The Academy in Brooklyn and its Increase.'"
After the enthusiasm provoked by this toast had somewhat subsided, Royden Smith, another Academy infant, born, since the last badge meeting, to Mr. and Mrs. Sobieski C. Smith, Jr. (December 23rd, 1886), was toasted.
Mr. Pitcairn proposed a toast to the Rev. Robert J. Tilson, of England, on his having resumed his position as a Collegiate, and gave the history of his connection with the Academy. Mr. Tilson being dissatisfied with the management of Academy affairs in England,and being under a misapprehension respecting the general government of the Body, tendered his resignation at the same time he held to the fundamental principles of the Academy and maintained them. The Council, believing that in heart he was with us, did not accept his resignation but held it under advisement. Not long after his letter of withdrawal he regretted the action he had taken and desired to renew his relations with our body, especially when he became aware that his views in relation to the general government of the Academy were not correct. He is now in hearty sympathy with us.
The conversation then turned upon the letters published in Morning Light in criticism of New Church Life and of the "Letter from England."
The "Loving-Cup" of the Academy top
Click on image for a larger version.
Before the members departed Mr. Pitcairn stated that on the third day of October last was the seventieth anniversary of the Chancellor's birthday, and on the day following it was celebrated by a supper given in honor of the occasion, to which the hosts would gladly have invited the whole Academy, but were by force of circumstances constrained to limit the number of guests. At the Decennial we had experienced a serious want in not having a cup large enough to pass from hand to hand of the entire number of Academicians (see end of T. C. R. 433). Accordingly, a Loving-Cup was procured by Messrs. Pitcairn and Childs, which was presented to the Academy and formally dedicated on the occasion of celebrating the Chancellor's seventieth birthday.
Mr. Pitcairn held up to view a package of photographs of the Cup, which the Treasurer, Mr. Robert M. Glenn, has on sale for twenty-five cents apiece. The accompanying illustration is on a reduced scale.
The Cup is to be used at our June 19th and Decennial Celebrations, and also at other important feasts of charity, such as was the occasion when it was presented. It is of solid silver, five inches and one-quarter high, and the diameter at the brim is four inches and one-quarter. It holds a bottle and a-half of wine. On one side of the Cup are the Academy arms, and on the other side:
"Our own Academy,
We pledge our faith to thee,
And o'er and o'er,
Our love, our loyalty."
The spaces formed by the rays around the sun in which are the arms of the Academy, are to be used for inscribing the dates and places of Decennial Celebrations, and the last of these spaces will be filled by the inscription of the twenty-fifth Decennial, thus two hundred and fifty years from the establish ment of the Academy. The spaces on the other side of the Cup are to be filled with similar inscriptions, commemorating the other occasions on which the Cup is used. Below the brim, and encircling the Cup, is the inscription: " This Loving-Cup was first used at the celebration of the seventieth anniversary of the birth of our first and beloved Chancellor, William H. Benade, October 3d, 1886."
The Cup was dedicated in this manner: Mr. Pitcairn, having given the history of the events which led to procuring it, presented it to the Chancellor, who filled it with the most generous Rhine wine, "Steinberger Cabinet," and proposing the toast, " The Academy," drank from the Cup, and handed it to his right-hand neighbor, who likewise drank from it, and passed it to her right-hand neighbor, and so the Cup went around the table—while the company maintained a respectful silence—until it reached the wife of the Chancellor, who sat at his left, and who completed the circle. The toast was then responded to by the song "'Vive l' Académie," and by an address by the Chancellor. The second toast was, "The Day we celebrate: The seventieth Anniversary of the Birth of our Beloved Chancellor," and was responded to by the song, "Oh! never by thee." Then followed "The Chancellor's March," (a new song, the words of which were composed for the occasion), the reading of a poem likewise composed for the occasion, and a speech by the Rev. W. F. Pendleton.
AT the general meeting just described the College distributed their circular concerning the Orphanage, a copy of which is inclosed herewith. It will be seen from this that two additional Collectors have been appointed, Mr. John H. Gillespy, of California, and Mr. William H. Jungé, of Massachusetts.
But the activity of our beloved Academical Body is not restricted to Philadelphia. The life current goes forth to other places, which throb in sympathy with the organic centre. Thus, in a letter to the College, our Chicago friends say:
"We take this occasion to send to you Academy greetings, and to express our warm appreciation of the Letters which you have sent to us from time to time. The last one is especially full of interesting instruction and information, and gives occasion for much profitable thought and conversation. Such letters, and the reciprocal communication which must arise in all parts of the Academy as an effect, cannot fail to conjoin the parts of the Body into a more harmonious whole, and enable us to act together with greater power in the performance of the uses for which we are organized.
"On Wednesday evening, January 12th, the members of the Academy met at the house of Hugh L. Burnham, Esq., to consider the last College Letter. Some time was spent in discussing the question as to whether the Academy is a 'Body in a perfectly healthy state?' an expression used in the Letter. Various ways of looking at the subject were presented. After this we talked of the dedication of homes. It was held by some that while rented houses might be dedicated, the ceremony might be somewhat different from that used at the dedication of a home owned by the occupant. It was contended that there was a difference in the feeling and state when a man built and owned a home with the intention of occupying it during his natural life, and perhaps of having his children do so after him. The idea was also presented that when a man rented a house it was his for the time, and that if a home needed to be dedicated at all, that of such as are compelled to rent all their lives needed it just as much as any other.
"After the discussion was ended, we adjourned and enjoyed refreshments and a social time."
The Collegiates of Chicago have committed the conduct of the social part of the general meetings into the hands of the host and hostess of whatever house they meet in.
FROM accross the sea, also, come tidings of the renewed life which seems to mark the second Decade of the Academy's existence. An Academy meeting, attended by all the members in England, save one young lady who was absent from London, was held at the residence of Mr. Gibbs, on Monday evening, February 28th. The meeting was in charge of the Rev. R. J. Tilson, Collegiate, at whose request the Rev. R. L. Tafel conducted the opening exercises by reading a selection and offering prayer. General principles underlying the government of the Academy were discussed. It was agreed to meet every two months, the next time at the residence of Mr. C. J. Whittington, on Monday, April 15th. At the close of the meeting supper was provided by the host and hostess and greatly enjoyed.
The pleasure which this news and the prospects of future regular meetings in England give, is heightened by the further intelligence that a daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Ottley on March 3d.
THE Decennial Chronicle has at last been completed, and the Council has decided to publish fifty copies of it, elegantly printed and bound, in quarto. It will be sent out similarly to the College Letters, to be read by all the members of the Academy and then to be returned to the Council for preservation.
THE Secretary of the Council, the Rev. W. F. Pendleton, desires to call attention to the following changes in the Manual of Addresses in addition to the one reported in the last College Letter: The names of Messrs. Bostock and Glenn are transferred from the list of Collegiates to that of Councillors. To the list of Collegiates is added the name of the "Rev. Robert J. Tilson, 'Oakley,' County Grove, Camberwell, London, S. E., England." To the list of Associates are added the names of "Mrs. Mary Glenn, 806 North Seventeenth Street, Philadelphia, Pa.;" "Miss Electa Grant, 1642 Green Street, Philadelphia, Pa.;" "Miss Susie G. Aitken, 1805 Wylie Street, Philadelphia, Pa." The address of Mr. William H. Jungé is changed to "Suite 3, Hotel Bowdoin, Mount Bowdoin, Mass." The address of the Rev. Alfred Bellais should read "Dep't de Saône et Loire," instead of "Dep't Soire et Saône." The address of Monsieur P. A. Vaissière is changed to "Maison Peltier & Louvet-Renaux, Rouen, France (à faire suivre)." The address of Mr. John H. Gillespy is changed to "123 California Street, San Francisco, Cal."
SINCE the general meeting was held, another Academy infant has been born. Constance, the seventh daughter, was born to the Rev. and Mrs. W. F. Pendleton on March 5th.
THE inclosed anthems are offered for sale to members, with the distinct understanding that the shorter one, "Shaaloo Shelom" (mwlv wl[v,)[in the original publication the Hebrew charcters for "sh'lw shlwm" are included] which was composed and printed for the use of the Academy, is not to be shown to others than members, nor to be sung in the presence of others than members. The price of the longer anthem is five cents, that of the shorter one three cents. If you do not wish to buy either, please return them. It seems that the language in the last College Letter was misunderstood. When a publication—like the Calendar—is inclosed in the Letter and offered for sale, it is expected that either the price or the publication will be returned.
Eugene J. E. Schreck