“And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds,” by Louis A. Dole

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Fryeburg, Maine, January 30, 1927

“And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” – Mark 13:27

Readings

Joel 2 · Mark 13:1-27 · Psalm 147

Sermon

The chapter of the Gospel of Mark from which this text is taken is sometimes called the “little Apocalypse,” for it treats of the same subjects as the Book of Revelation. Our text, then, forms a part of the Lord’s description of His Second Advent. That Advent was to be the bright and happy culmination of a series of tremendous events and dire catastrophies. The whole earth is described as being in the throes of a great convulsive struggle, nations warring against each other, kingdoms fighting one another, earthquakes, famines, pestilences, people fleeing to the mountains for refuge, others praying upon their housetops. And then the sun goes out into blackness, the moon no longer shines, the stars fall from their high places, and the very heavens tremble and seem on the point of collapse. But all at once the scene brightens. The judgment struggle is over. The bruised earth lies helpless and still. And then in Divine radiance appears the figure of the Son of man “coming in the clouds with power and great glory.”

And our text states that with His Advent there is instantly a world-wide effort to gather together into a blessed company “the elect” who in this time of judgment have been scattered far and wide. To the uttermost parts of the earth, to the farthest boundaries of heaven angels are sent on their errands. East, west, north, and south they speed on their way, and presently they are seen returning, here with one, there with another, a chosen few brought together that they may form the nucleus of a new humanity – a new church.

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“For there shall be no night there,” by Louis A. Dole

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Maine Association Sermon
October 14, 1962

“For there shall be no night there.” – Revelation 21:25

Readings

Isaiah 62 · Revelation 21:1-3, 10-12, 22-27 · Psalm 122

Sermon

There is a state of unrest in the religious world today. It is not a state of conflict, in which the lines are definitely and distinctly formed, but rather it is a state of dissatisfaction with old views, a relaxing of old denominational ties, a lack of interest in religious dogmas, and increased interest in what are called practical good works. People of different religions never regarded each other with so charitable a spirit as they do today.

This is somewhat as it was when the Lord came on earth. At that time the Roman empire was dominant. It was supreme in government and in influence in Europe and in a considerable part of western Asia. It, too, was tolerant of opinion, provided the opinion did not interfere with the essentials of government. The Jews were tolerated, and enjoyed freedom of worship. The temple at Jerusalem was even rebuilt for them under a Roman governor. But the central government would not allow any authority to be set up that might be opposed to the governing body, and the Christians were persecuted because it was thought that in the worship of Christ they were setting up a kind of monarchy within the state.

A new era, however, had dawned upon the world, and Rome was unable to turn it back. Truth has the power to overcome difficulties and to prevail over error. The Apostles went forth to proclaim the truth by voice and by pen. Neither principalities nor powers could stop the advance of the new revelation, and in 325 A.D. the Roman emperor himself, Constantine, presided over the celebrated assembly of Christians at Nicea. The work of the early Christians was to make the Word of the Old and New Testaments the common possession of men.

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“Give ye them to eat,” by Louis A. Dole

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Graduation address at the New-Church Theological School
May 27, 1960 · Louis A. Dole

“Give ye them to eat.” – Luke 9:13

The story of the feeding of the five thousand is a familiar one. There was only a little food at hand, five loaves and two fishes, but the Lord commanded that it be brought to Him. He blessed it and gave it to His disciples to distribute, and lo, there was enough for all, and there remained left over twelve baskets full.

There is a lesson here for every minister starting out on his work. The loaves and fishes are the goodness and truth with which he begins. Under the Divine providence you who graduate today have been led to prepare yourselves to become ministers in the Lord’s New Church, the church of this new age. Your first duty is expressed in the words “Give ye them to eat,” and again, “Feed my sheep,” “Feed my lambs.”

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“Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11

Readings

Isaiah 43:1-13 · Luke 2:1-14 · Psalm 86

Sermon

Today we celebrate the Advent. The story is a familiar one and always inspiring. Each returning Christmas should bring a deeper appreciation and rejoicing. That Jesus Christ took upon Himself our nature and came upon earth to be our Redeemer and Savior is the vital doctrine of Christianity. The more we examine it the more wonderful it appears, and the more it reveals the love, wisdom, and mercy of our Heavenly Father and His special care for the happiness of every human being. Our text is a part of the angel’s message at the time of the Lord’s birth. It was the most important news that an angel could bring to men. It was tidings of great joy which should be to all people. It was the fulfillment of a prophecy made many centuries before.

The light which shone on the shepherds at Bethlehem and which guided the wise men on their way has increased during the years as the meaning of the Advent became more clearly known.

The birth of the Lord at Bethlehem was the first step toward the restoration of order in the spiritual world, and the first step, too, in the renewal of hope and progress in this world. History records no darker days than those that immediately preceded the birth of the Savior. Tradition has it that the whole world was at peace at the time of the Incarnation. But it was a peace that came not of virtue but of exhaustion.

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“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek,” by Louis A. Dole

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“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek.” – Isaiah 61:1

Readings

Isaiah 42:1-13 · Luke 1:1-17 · Psalm 145:8-21

Sermon

The season of Advent turns our thoughts toward Christmas and urges us to prepare for the contemplation of the most wonderful event of time or of eternity.

Christmas is properly a time of rejoicing. The announcement of the angel to the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night was, “I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.”

The coming of the Lord into the world is not an isolated event in the history of humanity. We celebrate Christmas in commemoration of an event which took place long ago, but our rejoicings at this season should be very personal. For this event of long ago has a very direct bearing on our own life.

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“We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks,” by Louis A. Dole

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“In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.” – Isaiah 26:1

Readings

Isaiah 26:1-11 · Revelation 21:10-27 · Psalm 48

Sermon

We are living in the day prophesied by our text. As we read this prophecy of Isaiah, we are impressed with his fearlessness, his confidence, and his hopefulness. He felt assured that God, though working secretly, could not be thwarted, and that, however clouded the present skies, the future was full of promise and of joy.

The Book of Revelation closes with the vision of the Holy City New Jerusalem descending from God out of heaven, in which men would dwell in light, safety, and peace. It is the picture of the establishment of the Lord’s kingdom on the earth, and the doing here of His will as it is done in heaven. It is needless to say that this state has not yet been reached. But we believe that the truths and instrumentalities and spiritual forces adequate to the task of effecting this vast revolution in human thought and life have been revealed to men and are now operating in human society. If we could know the future as we know the past, it would bring us confidence.

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The Mission of the Church, by Louis A. Dole

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“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” – Isaiah 2:2

Readings

Isaiah 2:1-17 · Matthew 7:13-29 · Psalm 50

Sermon

The Word of the Lord everywhere recognizes the necessity of associated effort for spiritual uses. The church is the means by which the Lord is conjoined to men and accomplishes His purposes in them, for the true church is the love and wisdom of God in the hearts and minds of men. Or, in other words, it is the goodness and truth of heaven believed in and practiced on earth. In the Word it is sometimes called the “Kingdom of God” and the “Kingdom of Heaven.”

The word church has various meanings, but we well know that any church is a true church only so far as its members worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” The church in its highest sense is a Divine institution, a system of life of inexpressible beauty. In its lower sense it is an association of persons who in their imperfect way are aiming at and seeking to live this life. Yet this latter is a Divine institution as well as the former. “Gather my saints together unto me,” says the Lord, and “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Thus the church as a congregation of people associated to learn and follow the Lord is an institution divinely ordained for the purpose of uniting and blessing mankind.

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“And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
“And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” – Daniel 12:8, 9

Readings

Daniel 12 · Mark 13:24-37 · Psalm 119:129-144

Sermon

January 29th of this week is the 271st anniversary of the birth of Emanuel Swedenborg. He is becoming recognized more and more as one of the greatest scientists of the age, yet his scientific achievements were merely part of his preparation for his call to be the instrument of the Lord’s Second Coming.

When the Lord first came, He was seen in outward human form. He lived a life as concrete and visible as that of any man. Many things that He said and did are recorded, and are a plain matter of history. He came as a man among men. But His Second Coming was not in person. It was a new revelation of Himself in His Word. It was a coming to the minds of men – not to their bodily senses. It was an opening of the Scriptures, and a bringing to view of truths hitherto unperceived and unknown. This body of new truths is meant by the New Jerusalem in Revelation descending from God out of heaven. Those who receive these truths constitute the Church of the New Jerusalem on earth, a new Christian Church, distinguished from the former Christian Church by its new teachings about the Lord and His Word based upon the new knowledge of the spiritual sense of the Word, and not merely on its letter.

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“The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men,” by Louis A. Dole

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“The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
“From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.” – Psalm 33:13-14

Readings

Joshua 1 · Luke 12:1-21 · Psalm 33

Sermon

Another year is at hand. Life is full of changes. It is the clear intent of the Creator that there should be changes, and that with these changes we should change for the better. The Psalm from which the text is taken tells of His continual providence over mankind. It tells us that trusting in ourselves will accomplish nothing of real value to us, and that if we look to the Lord, He will bring every possible blessing upon us.

One of the ancient philosophers said that change was the fundamental feature of the universe. And as we look back upon the history of the world, we see it as a succession of changes – of new eras.

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