College Letters

Seal of the "College of the Academy of the New Church"

College Letter No. II
June 8th, 1886

Index of College Letters

For private use of Members of the Academy. Please read carefully, and return to the undersigned after the 19th.

No. __ Philadelphia, June 8th, 1886.

DEAR FRIEND:—A "Badge Meeting" of the Academy, attended by about thirty-five members, was held on the evening of February 19th, at the house of Mr. A. J. Tafel, Collegiate, the occasion being the admission of several new members—Mrs. Susan J. M. Dick, of Brooklyn; Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. Smith, and Mr. Sobieskie C. Smith, Jr., of Philadelphia. The ceremony was as usual, with slight variations, among them being the reading by the Chancellor of Divine Providence (n. 124). The presenters of the candidates were Mr. George G. Starkey and Mr. John A. Wells.

In his address, the Chancellor, as usual, stated in a general way the objects of the Academy: That it was established for the same purpose for which the Church is established: the preservation of a Church, by means of which the human race on earth may be in conjunction with the human race in heaven. "For the purpose of establishing the Church, the LORD revealed His Coming in Books, and ordained that the Doctrine concerning His Coming be published and received. But this work cannot be continued without men who receive and acknowledge the Doctrine, and teach and disseminate it. For this reason the first use of the Academy is the training of young men for that distinctive work. The men of the Church, and particularly the men of the Academy, should give all their ability to the establishment of the Church. The acknowledgment of the Doctrine of the LORD is in this of supreme necessity, and it must continue to be taught, so that the Truth in the Doctrine may be founded in those who are capable of receiving it. The LORD is present in it, and rules all and everything where it is received." The Chancellor here referred to the Doctrine he had read as part of the Ceremony of Inauguration: "'That the LORD never acts upon any particular man separately, but upon all together;’ and that He 'acts from the inmost and from the ultimate at the same time.' That for this reason He comes into the world in ultimates, in order that from First Principles he may therein be perpetually present. To this he added by reading from the Divine Providence (n. 293), in which the Doctrine is presented that there is not a brain of his own will and of his own prudence with any man, but that the LORD is all in all, and men and angels nothing at all. That to think and will from one's self really is of the Divine Itself. Man can think and love out of himself, but not from himself. This is the Doctrine of the Academy. We must do and think from the LORD out of ourselves.

"On the principle on which the LORD formed the heavens, a united body is to be formed, and this body must keep the Truth before men so that it will not be necessary for men to wait until their entrance into the other world to be confirmed in it. This body, like the heavens, is to lie in a human form, and this is essentially human: 'to think and will from God.' To learn, therefore, what this body is and is to be we must look to the teaching concerning man.

"In the Academy the Council is the head: the College, the trunk: and the Associate members, the extremities by which the body moves forward, gains its nourishment, and adds to its strength. It is the function of the Council to teach the Doctrines and principles of the Academy and to govern it. The functions of the College are to assist the Council by doing what is necessary for the provision of means to carry into effect the objects of the body. And the functions of the Associate members are to aid by sustaining the College in the performance of its uses, and thereby the Council.

"The creation of uses for the Academy is analogous to the creation of man. After man was created, the LORD instructed him, and as soon as men capable of doing the work entered the other world, the LORD gave them the use of instructing their fellow-men on earth. When men placed themselves out of the reach of the LORD's direct teaching, He mercifully provided a written Word by which His instruction should continue. And thus has it continued through the ages. The first use of the Church is manifestly, then, to take care of children and educate them. This use the Academy is endeavoring to perform; in a feeble way, it is true, but with a perfect trust in the Providence of the LORD that it will be brought to a successful issue. The acknowledgment of the LORD in it all is its sincerest purpose.

"In the human body all the parts are so related one to another as to sustain and complement each other. Every member is necessary for the well-being of the whole. So every member of the Academy should consider himself necessary for the performance of the uses of the whole body. Without the particular use the universal cannot exist. It is the duty and the use of every single member of the Academy to study the Word of the LORD as He has revealed it to us and to reflect upon what has been studied, so as to have formed in the mind planes for the influx of love and wisdom from the LORD. This is the use of the body as a whole, and therefore is it the use of every member in particular. He must study the Divine Truth and reflect on it, so that it becomes the very blood of his life, the very fibre of his thought, opening his mind to the influx of the LORD and to the influx of His heaven. When every member acts according to this principle, then will the body grow in force and in lower to do the work which the LORD has given it to do; then will it see the LORD more clearly and more fully, and seeing Him will acknowledge Him to be the all in all; and this acknowledgment will bring with it that worship of Him which consists in the further acknowledgment of our nothingness and His Allness.

"Every member of the Academy is to exercise prudence in regard to the things of its order and work. He is to keep private the things pertaining to its interior life and order, as he keeps his family affairs private. In this he will copy the Divine Example. The LORD reserves many things internally in the Church. lie does not reveal all to men, nor does He reveal to some what He does to others.

"In doing particularly what the whole body does in general, the members of the Academy should devote especial attention to the culture of their minds—pre-eminently to the acquisition of a more and more perfect knowledge of the Truth, but secondarily also to the culture of the sciences, of everything that will round out and develop the natural mind in fit correspondence with the development of the spiritual mind. They should cultivate all their faculties, not for the purpose of self-gain and attainment, but for the purpose of doing the LORD's Will more and more perfectly and thoroughly. Thus must every individual do what the universal does. The one is just as important as the other. Each one must labor for the whole and the whole for each; then will the body grow.

"It is especially necessary now that this should be done, inasmuch as the peculiar use for which the Academy was established, it is now called upon to perform more than ever before: to spread the Doctrine concerning the Second Coming of the LORD is now more necessary than it was six or seven years ago. In the New Church at large there is a persistent assault on the Doctrine of the Authority, which makes one with the Doctrine of the Second Coming—an attack which is more dangerous than before. Formerly it was open, but now it is more insidious; it lies concealed and covered over in utterances of good-will and favor to all, and spreads its virus unseen through the Church. Hence the danger. We must know and ever bear in mind the use given us: To maintain the Infallibility of the Writings; that there is only One Word, and that the Writings are the Internal Sense of that Word.

"And in going forth, under the banner of the Infallibility, into the combat with the Dragon, we must do so as the LORD's children, ever bearing uppermost in our minds that man is nothing and the LORD All."

After the Inauguration the following toasts were drunk:

"The Church."

"The Academy."

"The new Associate Members."

"The Decennial of the Academy."

"To the helpful and genuine increase of the Academy. Our children : the Academy needs them, they need the Academy."

The occasion of the last toast was the large number of children born in this Decennial year. Counting the number of children born between the 19th day of June, 1885, and the date of this letter, there have been eleven. Besides those born in 1885, and recorded on the published register, there have been as many as eight this year, namely:

Winifred Boericke, Chicago, Ill., January 5th.

——— Roschmann, Berlin, Canada, January 24th.

Randolph Childs, San Francisco, Cal., February 1st.

Elise Jungé, Boston, Mass., February 3d.

Hubert Nelson Hicks, Chicago, Ill., February 4th.

Victoria Gertrude Bellais, Rambouillet, France, April 16th.

Walter Childs Pitcairn, Philadelphia, April 22d.* *Since passed into the Spiritual World.

Mildred Glenn, Philadelphia. May.

ON Thursday evening, March 18th, the evening preceding the meeting of the General Church of Pennsylvania, a "Badge Meeting" of the Academy was held at the house of Mr. A. J. Tafel, Collegiate, the occasion being the admission of several new members from Brooklyn, N. Y.—Mr. and Mrs. F. Muhlert, Mr. and Mrs. John Czerny, and Mr. and Mrs. A. Klein—and the installation into the College of the Rev. A. Czerny, Associate Member of Pittsburgh.

The presentees of the candidates for admission were Mr. John A. Wells and Mr. William Cowley, Associate Members.

The presentees of the candidates for installation were the Rev. John Whitehead, of Pittsburgh, and the Rev. Eugene J. E. Schreck, of Philadelphia, both Collegiates.

In the opening ceremony the Chancellor read from Divine Providence (n. 187-189).

In his address to the candidates for admission, the Chancellor said:

"The Academy exists of the Divine Providence. As we have heard, there is nothing that does not so exist. After anything has come into existence, we can see that it is of the Divine Providence from its ends, purposes, and principles, and not from mere appearances. The Academy is an appearance of Divine Truth, accommodated to the understanding of men, and given a human form by those who accept that Truth. If we look at it in the light of heaven, we shall see in it conformity with the Divine Will, Purpose, Law, and Order. We do verity believe that it is of the Divine Providence that this body has come into existence, to the end that there might be established among men a church which shall maintain and defend the Divine Doctrine concerning the LORD's Second Coming; and the doctrine of the Word as given to the understandings of men thus, His New Church for the bringing of men into genuine charity through faith in the LORD JESUS CHRIST. This is the one object of the Academy; it is to establish and confirm the fundamental Doctrine of the Church concerning the Second Coming.

"That this Doctrine may be established it is needful that it be received, not only in the understanding, but also into every form of word and deed with men. It is to be published to the world, founded and grounded in facts of those uses of charity in which the Divine Life rests firmly in its fullness, and in which the Church lives and exists.

"The Church having Doctrine, desires order. It comes into this movement from principle, and by this movement it comes into act. In man everything has its beginning in the brain. The activities of love and affection go through the heart and lungs into the hands and feet, and from these again through mediates in the body they return to the brain. This is the Divine order, illustrated in the human form and its operations. This circulation must be from centres to circumferences, and back again to centres.

"The centre of the Academy is love to the LORD and charity toward the neighbor. The LORD teaches Love to the LORD and charity to the neighbor in all His Word; and the Doctrine concerning these two great loves is the whole Doctrine of the New Jerusalem. But that both may exist, uniting forms of affection and thought, of act and intention, are ever necessary. Such a doing of the Divine Will must ever produce a correspondence between life and its recipients, and by this will life return to the Giver.

"In the Academy, as far as our feeble efforts could reach, we have tried to introduce a truly human order, embodying things of love to the LORD and love to the neighbor in forms of act. We have taken our order from the LORD's Doctrine, which is contained in His own presentation of Himself in the Books of the New Church. We go to them to hear Him speak to us. "This is the way in which we are to walk. There is no other source of knowledge but the LORD, and the Revelation which the LORD has given.

"The laws of the Academy, which are those of Divine Providence, have produced a human order in the human form. In the organic form of the Academy, the Council is the head, in which is the brain. The ends and activities of the body are under the direct control of the Council. The College is as the heart and lungs, and assists the Council. The body of associate members are absolutely necessary for the existence of the heart and lungs and for the continued activity of the brain. The associate members serve the body as hands and feet. It has been suggested that thus they are inferior. This is a great error. The body and its extremities are as necessary to the brain and to the heart and lungs as these are to the body. The brain could not exist in the head nor the heart and lungs in the trunk, except by means of the nourishment received by the externals of the body. The hand gathers the food and puts it into the mouth; the mouth begins to prepare it for appropriation, and the digestive organs perfect this preparation. Each member is necessary to the existence of the whole. The use of the body is of such importance, that if it were not performed the Council could not exist.

"Let not any one ask, Am I in my place on this lower plane? But this let him ask: Am I where the Divine Providence put me, and do I fill the place? He who is in the effort to fill his place, whatever it may be, looks at the LORD's Providence from heaven, and not from the world. But he who has regard to the position of his use or work, looks from beneath, or from the world at the LORD's Providence. Position should be placed beneath, not above. The LORD came into the world to minister unto men, and not to be ministered unto.

"We desire to perfect the uses of the Church that have been committed to us. Of these uses, the first is instruction in Divine Truth as now presented in spiritual form from the opened WORD and confirmed by the letter. This is the particular work of the ministry, who are to search ever more deeply into the hidden things of the Word for the profounder wisdom that is needed in their work. By their preparation for the office, and by their inauguration into the office, they are enabled to enter more interiorly into the Doctrines of the Church. This wisdom they are to give freely to all, not as their own, but as the LORD's. Such is the sacred duty of the ministry of that Church which believes that the LORD alone is Truth, and the source of all Truth and Good. They are to remove all of self from their work, doing not their own will, but the LORD's will. He does not need them, but they need the work. Let us seek to know and realize this.

"If we look back upon our life in the Academy we can see how from the beginning it has been slowly creeping forward, until now it can perform some use; how it has grown to he somewhat human in form and in work.

"We know nothing of the future, but can learn much from the past, and the past teaches this, that those who go forward doing what is just and right, without regard to the opinions of the world, are taken care of by the Divine Providence of the LORD; for He takes charge of every one who obeys Him; and the gates of hell can never prevail against work done in this way from the LORD.

"Our next use is to educate and instruct children as the LORD instructs them; not from the world, from nature, from science; but from the LORD, from heaven, from revelation, whereby there is given to instruction, concerning nature and science, a vitality from the LORD, from the light and brilliancy that surrounds Him. This work is in a feeble state, in its mere beginning, but it is animated by the desire to teach from the LORD, from heaven, out of the Word, and to teach of the LORD and heaven. All other teaching is naught in comparison, but it needs to be added to confirm this teaching, and to enable children as they grow up, to work in the world.

"The uses of the Academy extend themselves to the establishment of a fully equipped library, in which above all, original editions of the Word and the Writings may be preserved; to the publication or co-operation in the production of correct translations of the Writings, or parts of them, and to the study and presentation in print of the more interior Doctrines of the Church.

"The Academy is not a merely external organization. It is a Church of the LORD, organized on the acknowledgment of the Divine in its appearing among men. The Church lives in charity when it is charity in act. This is true of the New Church above all. He who represented the good of life (John) was chosen by the LORD as the revelator of the prophecy concerning the descent of the New Jerusalem. All those who are represented by John can and will receive the Heavenly Doctrines. These Doctrines are being opened in greater fullness, because the understandings of men are opened more fully to their reception, and as the understandings are prepared more and more, the Doctrines can be more fully opened to them. It is the LORD who prepares the minds of men for this. We as men do not make this preparation: the LORD provides states to receive Him, and He comes that He may be received."

The Chancellor then admitted the candidates, giving them the right hand of fellowship, and completing the ceremony by placing upon them the Badge of Associate Membership,

The candidate for installation advanced with his presenters. The Chancellor declared the uses performed by the College substantially as explained in our letter of March 30th.

In particularizing the uses, he stated that one of the principal uses of the College is to assist the Council in the choice of members, " It is necessary that the body should increase numerically, and as the body is founded on certain fundamental principles, it is necessary to know that candidates for membership are grounded therein—not only as to the understanding, but, so far as we can judge, also as to life. Members of the Academy must not only acknowledge these principles, they must also have the force and strength to maintain and hold them firmly. They must be rational men and women: from conviction grounded in the principle concerning the Authority of the Writings, concerning Order, concerning the Priesthood, concerning the whole Doctrine of Conjugial Love, recognizing fully the discrimination made in this Doctrine concerning Conjugial Love and its opposite.

"To ascertain whether candidates for admission have these requisites is a use of members of the College. Collegiates must be judicious, prudent, and careful, especially in speaking of things and in not speaking of them. As the world now is, it is a matter of great consequence that Collegiates have the ability to maintain silence on what relates to their function—not as to heaven, but as to the world. The LORD knows all: the world cannot know all. And the LORD does not reveal His Truth to all, and to some He reveals more than to others.

"The College also assists in providing the financial support of the work of the Academy. The uses of the body are expensive and are growing more so. The College, as time goes on, will have much to do in giving needful help to the Council in all the things that concern the support of the body.

"Another use of the College is to carry on communication between members residing in Philadelphia and in the various centres and places outside of it.

"Finally, the College has charge of orphan children. This is a great and important use. They of the clergy in the College must look after the spiritual, mental, and moral welfare of the charges, and they of the laity must look after their external maintenance and the things necessary for their instruction. Members of the College should take all the uses into prayerful consideration, and then devote themselves actively to their performance.

"Associate members have sometimes complained that there is nothing for them to do. The very fact of their existence shows the groundlessness of their complaint. If they were really doing nothing they would not exist. Let them wait. We can see Providence only in the back parts. Who knows beforehand what the LORD had in store for him to perform? Let every one prepare himself by study and reflection, and thus be ready to do when the word is given. There is no power so great as the power of waiting on the LORD. There is in it trust, confidence, faith, love. He who waits on the LORD will have an abundance to do when his time comes. In the meanwhile, by letting his sympathy, his love, his thought, go out to the work of the Academy and to those that are doing the work, he will act with them and strengthen them. And all, acting together, will thus be conjoined, and appear finally in the presence of the LORD as one man, doing one use in the name of the LORD."

As this will probably be the last letter before the Academy celebration, we take occasion to refer members to the Doctrine contained in the Arcana (n. 6338), on the importance of all members and every member being at the common gathering. By having a full and complete meeting the influx from the LORD will be received more fully, and will he enabled to act powerfully to bring the Academy into more complete order. The Associate members come into a more complete external organic form by meeting together.

The opposition to the Academy is gathering renewed force, and we must use every means appointed by the LORD to do the work He has given us to do: to maintain the Authority of the Writings, and all that this involves.

Eugene J. E. Schreck
Corresponding Secretary

Go to: Index of College Letters