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by the rev. SAMUEL NOBLE,

Late Minister of the New Jerusalem Church, Cross Street, Hatton Garden, London.

" For we have not followed cunningly devised fables."—2 Peter i. 16.

"Beware, therefore, lest that come upon you which is spoken of in the prophets : Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you."—Acts xiii. 40, 41; Hab. i. 5.



Published for the Missionary and Tract Society of the New Church




This edition of the "Appeal" has been printed at the express wish of numerous members of the New Church, as a memento of the Author and a testimony of their estimate of its excellence; and they have by their subscriptions enabled the Committee of the Cross Street Society to stereotype the work and issue it to the public at the present nominal price.

A brief Memoir of the Author, written by the Rev. William Bruce, has been prefixed to the work.

Memoir Of The Rev. Samuel Noble

Samuel Noble was born in London on the 4th day of March, 1779. His father, who was a bookseller, and the author of a work of great merit on the "Elements of Linear Perspective," died when the son was five years old. His mother, on whom the entire charge of a young family now devolved, united great prudence and tenderness in the management of her children. The son has dwelt feelingly on the admirable manner in which she discharged her maternal duties; and to her excellent instruction and training he attributes the happiest experience of his after-life. After receiving a good education, including a sound knowledge of the Latin language, he was apprenticed to an engraver. He subsequently attained to eminence in his art, and was engaged on many of the principal architectural works of his time. His tastes and talents were, however, still more literary than artistic; and some of his early productions do honour both to his head and his heart. He was, moreover, influenced by a strict religious principle, which rendered him exemplary in his conduct, and gained him the affection and confidence of those connected with him. It was while he was yet a young man that a circumstance occurred, which, though not very extraordinary in itself, had a powerful effect upon his mind; and which, no doubt, prepared the way for the great change which shortly afterwards took place in his religious views, and led him eventually to devote his talents, and indeed his whole life, to the service of the Lord and his neighbour, as a religious teacher and writer. He has himself recorded this circumstance and its results; and his statement is so interesting and instructive, and gives so clear an insight into the state and character of his mind, that it is here given in his own words.

"When I was about the age of sixteen," he writes, "I was present in a large company, composed chiefly of my relations, in which Paine's 'Age of Reason,' then lately published, was made a subject of conversation, and in which the book was produced, and portions of it were read; I am sorry to say to the great amusement, and apparent enjoyment of most of the assembly. The style of that extraordinary combination of arrogance and ignorance (for such it really is) is well calculated to make a strong impression on the young and uninformed; I can compare the effect of what I heard upon me, to nothing less than the striking of a dagger into my vitals. The agonising thoughts that took possession of my mind, and kept darting to and fro within me day and night, for the space of three weeks, are indescribable. The most distressing suggestion that was made to me, I well remember, was, that there was no such Being, and never had been, as the Lord Jesus Christ; under which idea I felt, even at that time, though I had never reflected much about Him, as if I could not bear to exist: a more direful sensation accompanied the thought than would be experienced by the untutored savage, to whom the world is everything, should he awake in darkness with the horrible conviction that the sun had been blotted out of the firmament. I had no one to whom I felt at liberty to speak of what I suffered; and the mere effect of time, and of my own rebellions, was to increase, and not to allay, the, perturbation of my mind. At length, on awaking one morning lo the load of anxiety, which always seemed to fall upon me as soon as I returned to consciousness, this inquiry darted into my thoughts :— 'What is the reason that so many are possessed by such a hatred to the Bible?' And the answer occurred as instantaneously:—'They wish to get rid of the belief of Revelation, that they may be free from its restraint: they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.' The characters of all those of my acquaintance who were most violent in their hostility to the Word of God in a moment passed before me; and I saw but too plainly the flaw in them all that they were anxious to conceal, by renouncing the authority that would condemn it. Never since have I seen more clearly the truth of that statement so often made in the doctrines of the New Church,—that evil is the prime root and origin of all false persuasions respecting religion, and especially of all positive enmity against the Word, of God. All my anxiety vanished in an instant, and was succeeded by confidence and peace. Not a shadow of doubt respecting the authority of the Scriptures, as being a Revelation from God, ever afterwards entered my mind; and I hope I shall ever be thankful to Divine mercy for thus awakening me to the importance of the subject, and so completely settling my convictions respecting it. After I had thus become so fully impressed with the truth and importance of the Word of God, I began to grow solicitous about its genuine doctrines, and desirous to acquire some positive assurance respecting the means of salvation which it offers. I began to be dissatisfied with the discourses on common morality, without touching upon any vital principle, or presenting anything either to affect the heart or to enlighten the understanding, which I was accustomed to hear. I betook myself, therefore, to the diligent reading of the Scriptures; and for about two years I never was without a small Bible or Testament in my pocket, which I read as I walked along the streets, and at every other opportunity; and this, I have often thought, laid the foundation, from which I was brought to the assurance I so much desired, as to what the real doctrines of the Scriptures are.

"My desire, at last, to obtain certain knowledge of the truth, and to be fully satisfied respecting the right way of salvation, grew so intense, as to fill me with constant anxiety. In seeking relief also from above, I began to be much disturbed with doubts as to the proper Object to whom prayer should be directed. I became conscious that my mind wandered from one Divine Being to another, and I sometimes felt exceedingly distressed with the apprehension, that, while I was looking to one, another might take umbrage; so that I well know by experience what the effect is, upon truly serious minds, of entertaining an idea of more Divine Persons than one; and that, call them as they may, a plurality of persons cannot, be distinguished in the mind from a plurality of gods. In this state of perplexity it was, that the doctrines of the New Church were sent to my relief. In a remarkable manner, some of the works containing them were brought to my hands; but I had heard some of the common calumnious reports, and began to read with much distrust and prejudice. The first book that I opened was the 'Treatise on Heaven and Hell.' I read some pages near the middle; but meeting with some things that greatly contradicted my prejudiced notions, I soon began to treat it with derision, and, at length, threw it down with contempt. Getting hold, however, of some of the doctrinal works, I speedily became very much interested. I saw, from the beginning, that every doctrine advanced must be the truth; but 1 had imbibed so much of the common erroneous sentiments, as to dread the thought of embracing now ones, lest, erring from the faith, the consequences should be fatal. At length, I heard that there was a place where these doctrines were preached, and I went to hear. Whether what I then heard was more suited to my state of apprehension than what I had read, or whether it be that truth spoken by the living voice has a more powerful influence than truth read in a book, I cannot say; but I went away with a full assurance, that the doctrines advanced as those of the New Jerusalem must be those of the New Jerusalem indeed. I felt perfectly convinced that there could be no danger in venturing my salvation on their truth. I solemnly and devotedly resolved to do so. I dismissed all my former obscure notions of three Divine Persons, and the doctrines which require three distinct divinities for their support, to the winds. I cast my idols to the moles and to the bats : arm all my anxieties and fears went with them. If I was convinced on the former occasion, that the Scriptures are assuredly the Word of God, I was now made as thoroughly certain that the doctrines of the New Jerusalem are the genuine doctrines of the Scriptures: and never since, from that hour to this, has a doubt upon that subject been able to intrude itself upon my mind."

No one can read this graphic account of his experience without being impressed with the depth of religious feeling in one so young. Yet he betrays no signs of religious enthusiasm. His distress arose, in the first instance, from the threatened negation of his simple, but sincere, belief in the divinity of the Scriptures and of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and, in the second instance, from the want which his reassurance created for a solid foundation of religious truth on which to rest his hope of salvation. His long-continued but unsuccessful efforts to obtain what he so much desired, either from the accredited teachers of religion, or immediately from the Scriptures themselves, show the very reverse of a heated imagination—they evince indeed a heart deeply anxious and distressed, but seeking relief by the patient exercise of the understanding. Full conviction and comfort seem to have come at once; but what was effected by the "living voice" of the preacher was no more than a happy confirmation of religious views and principles which he had slowly and cautiously received as the truth, but which his very fear of being deceived prevented him from embracing with all his heart.

From the time that Mr. Noble became fully convinced of the truth of the doctrines of the New Church, he became a delighted attendant on the ministry of the Rev. J. Proud, the eloquent preacher by whom his faith had been sealed; and cast his lot amongst the little band who formed the visible church of the New Jerusalem at that period in this country. His excellent qualities soon brought him into favourable notice among the members of the church, and his abilities enabled him to become highly useful. Among many other services rendered to the cause which he so heartily espoused, he assisted in establishing, in 1810, the society now existing in London, for printing and publishing the writings of Swedenborg; and, in 1812, the present periodical of the church, "The Intellectual Repository." His active zeal and useful labours materially contributed to the success of both. Of the magazine he was principal editor for twenty-eight years, and during all that period was by far the largest contributor to its pages. It is however, as a minister, and as the author of those works which have been published under his name, that he is best known.

An appreciation of his worth and talents had led to his being early pressed to render occasional service in the pulpit; and on the death of Dr. Hodson, which occurred in 1812, he preached a sermon on the occasion, which was so much approved, that it was printed, and formed the first of his published discourses. So early as 1801, three years after his entrance into the church, Mr. Proud warmly encouraged him to come forward as a preacher, with the view of his devoting himself to the service of the church, expressing his conviction that Providence designed him for the ministry, and declaring his belief that his "dear young friend" would yet become eminent in the church. Four years after, he was pressingly invited to become the staled minister of the congregation meeting for worship in Cross Street, the pulpit of which had become vacant, but he declined it on the ground of being too young; a determination which his maturer judgment entirely approved. At length, in 1819, when the same congregation, then meeting in Lisle Street, was deprived of the services of Dr. Churchill, whose delicate health compelled him to retire from the active duties of the ministry, he was unanimously invited to fill the vacant office. Mr. Noble was at this time successfully engaged in his secular profession, which yielded him a much larger income than he had any expectation of ever deriving from the work in which he was invited to engage. He, however, after mature deliberation, consented to leave all, and obediently follow where the Lord appeared so evidently to lead. On Whit-Sunday of the following year, he was ordained a minister of the New Church, and then commenced that career of usefulness as a religious teacher and writer which he so long and successfully pursued. The beneficial effects of his labours in his own congregation soon became manifest; and a few years afterwards, it had become so prosperous as to be able to purchase the church in Cross Street, the pulpit of which he occupied till the infirmity fell upon him which deprived the society of his services.

Not long after he had engaged in the ministry, his talents as a preacher became more extensively known in the church by means of a discourse he delivered at Dover, which was deservedly regarded as the production of a man to whom the church had reason to look forward with hope. The first part of that discourse, greatly enriched by copious notes, was subsequently published as a tract, and, under the title of "The True Object of Worship," has passed through many editions. The hopes which had been raised in the church by this lecture were more than realised by his subsequent performances; some of which are now to be noticed.

In the year 1824, Mr. Noble was engaged by the London New Church Missionary Society, to deliver a course of six lectures in vindication of the Scriptures from infidel objections. This object he sought to effect by showing, from internal evidence, that the sacred Scriptures are a Divine Revelation, Other Christian advocates have attempted, not without partial success, to prove the truth of the Scriptures from internal evidence. But the ground assumed by the lecturer was entirely new. He showed that the Scriptures, as being a revelation from God, must be an expression of His Divine Love and Wisdom; and that such a revelation, although uttered in natural language in the world, and accommodated to the apprehension and states of imperfect and fallen man, must contain within its rude and simple exterior stores of wisdom purely spiritual and Divine. As revelation and creation have the same Divine origin, and express and manifest the same infinite Love and Wisdom in different but kindred ways, there must be a perfect analogy or correspondence between them, and the works of God must be a means of illustrating His Word. The law of Analogy is, therefore, a law established by creation between spiritual and natural things; so that the natural or literal sense of the Word, which is taken from nature, answers by analogy to its spiritual sense, which is derived from God out of Heaven, and which, in descending into the world, assumed the literal sense as its necessary and appropriate covering. By the application of this law, the lecturer showed how all the obscurities, inconsistencies, and Contradictions in the literal sense, may be removed, and a sense clear, harmonious, and instructive, obtained. These, lectures were favourably received by a large audience; and, in compliance with urgent requests, the lecturer consented to their publication. But, in proceeding to prepare them for the press, the matter increased to three times its original amount. Yet, in the course of twelve months, appeared a work of extraordinary value ("The Plenary Inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures asserted") as a demonstration of the real divinity of the Scriptures, for its luminous expositions of numerous portions of their contents, and for the harmony and beauty in which it exhibits the whole of that Divine revelation which a perfect God has given to imperfect man.

The "Appeal" originated in a course of lectures delivered at Norwich, with the immediate view of answering objections and correcting misrepresentations which had been made respecting the church and her principles, by a dissenting minister of that place. These lectures were also deemed so excellent, that it was resolved to give them a wider circulation through the press. And here, again, the fertility of the author's mind, and the facility of his pen, were manifested ; for the work expanded under his hand as he prepared it for the press. When published, it exhibited, however, no marks of haste, but had all the qualities of a treatise on which years of labour had been bestowed. No vindication of the doctrines of the New Church could be more complete, It would be. a mistake, however, to suppose, from the occasion in which this work originated, that it is purely polemical. It is rather a Body of Divinity than a work of controversy; for while it removes difficulties and objections which may present themselves even to ingenuous minds on their entering on the study of the writings of the New Church, it gives a luminous exposition of the whole doctrines of Christianity. These two works may be regarded as the result, and almost as the history, of the author's experience. In them we have his mind, now enriched with knowledge and matured by experience, on those very subjects which in early life had so engaged his thoughts and distressed his heart. His luminous treatment of them, while it contrasts strongly with his former obscurity, is well calculated to convey to other minds, similarly conditioned, the blessings of light and consolation.

Two other works succeeded these. In 1846, a volume of "Lectures on Important Doctrines of the Christian Religion," was printed by the request, and at the expense, of the Manchester Printing Society; and, in 1848, the "Noble Society" published a volume of Sermons, in which the Divine Law of the Ten Commandments is explained, according to both its literal and its spiritual sense. In the first of these works, the author, with his characteristic force and clearness, explains the leading doctrines of the Christian religion. After having established from Scripture and reason the absolute unity of God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, he proceeds to show the true nature of the other doctrines of religion as resting upon, and existing in harmony with, that greatest truth of Revelation. As this work is designed to explain in its largest sense the doctrine of the Scriptures concerning the Lord, that on the Commandments is intended to explain their doctrine concerning the Christian life; and seven discourses are added to explain some passages of the Word that present some difficulties to the declaration of the Lord, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandments."

In the preface to this volume, the author says, "Whether it shall be followed by any others, may depend upon whether the Author shall be restored, through Divine mercy, from a visitation which threatens him with the total loss of sight." His fading sight proceeded from that disease of the eyes known by the name of cataract. For the removal he underwent several operations, but with no ultimately beneficial result. By this severe visitation, Mr. Noble was shut out from the two primary sources of usefulness and delight—his pulpit and his books. His library was still his daily resort, but there he sat in darkness, unable longer to hold intercourse with the great and good, through their works, except when his friends, several of whom regularly attended him, supplied, as far as they could, the sense he had lost. Yet even this was not a period of inactivity. It was during this time that he revised his translation of Swedenborg's work on Heaven and Hell, which he necessarily performed by the aid of his friendly amanuenses.

Amongst those who engaged in this labour of love were several ladies, who were members of his congregation, and who, with the characteristic warmth and tenderness of the female heart, ministered to their aged and helpless pastor, whom they loved and venerated as a father; and their attentions were the more necessary, as Mr. Noble had outlived his relations, and, from his retired habits, was averse to receiving the services of strangers. During the progress of the work on which he was engaged, they sat, like the daughters of Milton, writing to the dictation of their blind parent, and one of them at least reading to him Greek and Latin, which she did not understand. But he for whom they laboured had none of the severity of temper which the great poet is said to have manifested. It was always pleasant as well as profitable to be in his service, as it was to be in his company. Nor can that which his friends and casual visitors felt be called a melancholy pleasure. Sometimes, indeed, on first entering his apartment, a feeling of sadness fell upon the heart. But a few moments were sufficient to dispel the gloom. When conversation had fairly commenced, the idea of his condition passed almost entirely away. The serenity of his mind, the vigour of his understanding, and the playfulness of his fancy, made it evident that there was more occasion to envy than to pity him. Some of his periodical visitors and oldest friends have remarked, that they have often been deeply impressed with a feeling of something more than earthly in his presence, in witnessing his sweet tranquillity of spirit, after he had passed through weeks of intense suffering, arising from acute and severe inflammation which followed some of the repeated operations he underwent for the recovery of his sight. And yet the sight for which he endured so much he never recovered. But even when hope was gone, and his health was greatly impaired by the long confinement which the surgical treatment to which he had so repeatedly submitted rendered necessary, he exhibited the same calm fortitude in resignation that he previously manifested in endurance.

About two years after the completion of his translation, age and infirmity brought his days on earth to a close. After a period of rapidly increasing debility, and a short time of acute suffering, he gently breathed his last on the 27th of August, 1853.

Mr. Noble's reputation as a writer on the highest subjects that can engage the attention of man, has been sufficiently established by the popularity of the present work, which has obtained a wider circulation than any of his others, only because it supplies a want which is more generally felt.

The strong conviction in the church of its power of extensive usefulness is evinced by the circumstances which gave rise to the present edition. Highly esteemed as this work deservedly is, it is not improbable that some of his posthumous writings may find a still warmer reception—at least amongst the members of the church. His expository are perhaps still more excellent than his dogmatic writings; for he possessed an extraordinary faculty of opening up the spiritual sense of the Word. He has left a large number of manuscripts chiefly of this character; and it is much to be desired that they should, with as little delay as possible, be committed to the press.

As a man, Mr. Noble was highly esteemed without as well as within the church. His private life, according to the testimony of those who knew him longest and best, was that of a true Christian. His public life is before the church and the world, and may be read of all men. Amongst other traits of true excellence, he manifested in an eminent degree those characteristics of a great mind—a humble estimate of his own abilities and services, and a high appreciation of worth and talent in others. Of this we have instances in his excellent sermons on the death of two of his distinguished contemporaries and fellow-labourers. The first of these was the Rev. John Clowes, the. venerable Rector of St. John's Church, Manchester, who did so much, by his translations of the works of Swedenborg, by his own writings, and by his preaching, to disseminate the truths of the New Church, and whose saintly life was a beautiful commentary on the pure principles of Christianity he had adopted and so long consistently maintained. The second was the Rev. Robert Hindmarsh, the ardent and talented advocate of the Heavenly Doctrines; author of the Letters addressed to Dr. Priestly, the philosopher and Unitarian, in answer to his strictures on the New Church, and which effectually silenced that powerful polemic; and the originator of the first organisation having for its object the existence of the New Church as a separate religious body, an object which he lived to see realised beyond his most sanguine expectations. In speaking of these two eminent and excellent men, Mr. Noble pays them a tribute of high and just admiration, ascribing to them the merit of having been the devoted foster-fathers of the infant church, to whom future ages will look back as the human instruments of a singular Providence, operating for the establishment on earth of the promised Church of the New Jerusalem. Although in these discourses the author seems unconscious of having the slightest claim to rank with these great worthies of the church, his name is and will be associated with theirs, as the earliest and most successful promoters of the cause of that pure Christianity, which is identical with the spiritual coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven,—a coming, not in person, but in spirit and in power,—to commence a New Church, in which the Tabernacle of God shall be with men, and they shall be His people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

As a pastor, Mr. Noble was greatly beloved by his congregation, who testified their affection for him by special acts, on several occasions, while he was yet amongst them; and, after his removal, by erecting over his remains, in the Highgate Cemetery, a marble monument, in the form of a Greek tomb, bearing the following inscription :—














died august 27th, 1853, in the 75th year of his age and the


On the other side of the monument is inscribed the epitaph in Latin, and on the end the citations from the Word and from the writings of Swedenborg.

God is not the God of the dead but of the living.—Matt. xxii. 32.

The spirit of man, (after death) appears in the other life in a human form altogether as in the world, ... he is a man in every respect except that he is not encompassed with that gross body which he had in the world ; this he leaves when he dies,—nor does he ever resume it. This continuation of life is meant by the Resurrection.—SWEDENBORG. Of the New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine, No. 225.

Preface To The Second Edition.

the occasion and design of the following work are sufficiently explained in the Introductory Section; it is therefore unnecessary to say anything on those subjects here.

In the former Edition, to save room, a large portion of the matter was thrown into the form of Notes; and a further portion was printed in very small type as an Appendix. Considerable inconvenience, however, resulted from this arrangement; and, when a new edition was called for, a very general wish was expressed that the Notes should be incorporated with the Text. This, therefore, with some exceptions, has now been done.

If, however, the arrangement adopted in the first Edition had its inconveniences, it perhaps had its conveniences also. As remarked in the Preface to that Edition, those who prefer small books to large, especially on theological subjects, might by that arrangement, gratify their taste, by confining their reading to the Text alone: if this should sufficiently interest them to raise a further appetite, they could then, if they pleased, read the Notes also. To retain, in the present Edition, an equivalent advantage, all the longer sections have been subdivided into distinct parts, each part discussing some principal branch of the general subject of the section. The whole work is thus divided into portions of moderate length, affording break at which the reader may conveniently pause. Readers, also, who would be alarmed at the idea of having to read so large a volume all through, may at first confine their perusal to those parts, in the subjects of which, as expressed by their titles, they feel most interest; and, if pleased with these, they can extend their reading further. But the Author hopes that none will conclude from the perusal of some parts alone, that he has failed to establish his points; since the subject and argument of each part of a section usually receives light and confirmation from the rest; and the sections themselves, also, are similarly connected with each other.

In the present Edition, as little as possible of the personal matter respecting the Rev. Mr. Beaumont, whose publication, intitled The Anti-Swedenborg, originally occasioned the composition of this work, has been retained. But the work being framed, as a principal object, to meet the common arguments and objections against the New Church, in the form in which those arguments and objections are stated in the Anti-Swedenborg, it was neither possible, nor desirable, to divest it of the form it had thus assumed, and its objections are therefore retained : but only as a convenient formulary for objectors and objections in general.

Beside the alteration of the form of this work in the present Edition by incorporating the Notes, large quantities of additional matter have been introduced. The Sections, in particular, on the Trinity, the Atonement, and the Christian Life, which, in the former Edition, to keep the whole within the prescribed limits, were greatly contracted, are now expanded to dimensions more in proportion to the other Sections, and less incommensurate with the importance of their subjects. Other large additions have also been interspersed throughout. By adopting a larger paper and a smaller type, nearly twice as much is contained in a page as in the text of the former edition; while the number of pages is nearly the same.

Of the appendix to the former Edition, there has only been retained the Article, No. I., Various particulars relating to a Mention of the Anti-Swedenborg Heaven and Hell, &c., Explained. The subjects of this Article are not sufficiently general to be introduced in the work itself; yet it will be found, on perusal, more completely to take away the ground of many common objections made against the writings of Swedenborg, and to evince that those writings contain no statements whatever which cannot be rationally vindicated. Most of the other portions of the former Appendix have been incorporated in the work itself. One additional Article has been introduced, on a charge often brought against the New Church,—that of Sabellianism. This would very properly have made a portion of the work itself but the part in which it might have come in was completed before its introduction was thought of. The subject being important, the reader is requested not to overlook it where it stands.

On the whole, this appeal, in this Edition, has, as stated in the Title, been entirely re-modelled, and greatly enlarged; it is hoped that it is proportionally improved. It has been brought out in compliance with a request of the Twenty-sixth General Conference of the New Church, a Resolution of which declares, "That this Conference is glad to have the opportunity afforded it of bearing testimony to the extensive uses that have been performed by the work in question, which has been fully proved, as stated at a former Conference, 'to afford valuable assistance to those who are desirous of vindicating their faith, and of opposing the influence of error and misrepresentation;' and is known to have been the means of introducing many to an acceptance of the doctrines of the New Church, and of settling the minds of others who were wavering as to their reception." The Author is truly thankful that his work has thus been owned of Him, from whom all pure Truth, and all that is really Good, proceeds ; and that it has also been so favourably accepted by his brethren. That the present Edition may be still further blessed in the same way,— may be instrumental in bringing many souls into, or of establishing them in, the true way of eternal life,—and that many may feel cause to be thankful in eternity that they had been led to peruse it; will be his continual prayer.


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