Series: (Series N2009- 3, Koreshan Unity; Papers, ca. 1887-1990.)
Page 5 of 7
Master’s lecture at Hickory Island Dec 25th 1894
The Society Arch Triumphant met on Tuesday evening Dec: 25th 1894 on the West beach of Hickory Island in the Gulf of Mexico and about midway of its length; a little island entirely uninhabited at present, but destined to become part of the Koreshan Kingdom.
We left Estero on Tuesday morning to spend the day on the beach by invitation of Victoria Gratia; a picnic designed for the sisters pleasure, and intended to be at home again in the evening, but wind and tide were fairly against us, so it was at last decided to accept the hospitality of Capt. Faber and make ourselves comfortable for the night, and naturally having the Master, or President and so many members present, we could have our Society meeting- Victoria Gratia presided. The secretary not having the roll with her, by suggestion of the President, the roll was called by each one announcing his or her name.
A great camp fire had been built, and all gathered round, sitting on the sand while the Master addressed us. The scene was indescribably beautiful, the white hard beach, some three miles in length; the great Gulf rolling its waves within a few feet of us as we sat about the fire. The “Ada” off shore looking like a dark phantom on the water. The moon did not shine, but the sky was sparkling with myriad stars, all these combined to form a wild and weird picture, one never to be forgotten by those so fortunate as to be part of this wonderful Xmas night-the last Xmas of the old dispensation, for we had decided not to keep the 25th of Dec. as a holyday, but act in accord with our belief in the presence of the Messiah with us.
The roll-call exhibited all the sisters present except sister Vera, detained at home by the needs of her work. Of the brothers-seven-Enoch, Allen, Joe, Will, George, Charlie and Capt. Faber, making 21 in all.
After singing “Lift up the Standard,” the Master addressed us as follows, and while he did so, the Society sat around the camp fire in a circle, Victoria on a camp chair, the tent at her back. Mary Mills, Elizabeth, Esther, Annis and some others sat on a shell bank, perhaps two feet above the beach, but as the tide was out, the beach was about 50 feet wide, and hard as a boulevard. The Master had on his light corduroy trousers and brown cotton jumper (from Economy) and his linen hat, but he took off his jumper and put on his black dress coat, with his badge of Red, Green and Gold (surmounted with the Eagle, and as the fire-light played on his face, it was a beautiful picture, he looked so lovely, so good, so pure!We all wore our badges that sister Alice Miller had made us, and as we sat there, and the splashing of the waves constantly was heard, while the light shone as a star from the Sanibel Lighthouse in the distance, and the Gulf spread out as far as the eye could see, it was a sacred time.
The Master commenced by saying:- The question had been asked what Swedenborg meant by a white people in the center of Africa. It was claimed by Emmanuel Swedenborg that in the midst of Africa, in Ethiopea [sic] in the midst of the black race there lived a white people who possessed the original Word. Swedenborg had peculiar experiences, yet with all his experiences he was unable to give the scientific interpretation of them. John the Revelator, who was also the same as Swedenborg, taught of the Lord, could not interpret what he saw. The language of symbolism is the highest known to the angels. John stood on the sands of the sea, as we stand on the banks of the Gulf of Mexico, on the Isle of Patmos, which means Father-Mother, and as he looked out on the surface of the waters, John, as a special Ser had a vision, which he was not able to interpret, but he saw the human race which appeared as a body of water. He was instructed by the angel that it was peoples, nations and tongues, he was not able to interpret for himself, he was illumined in a special sense, and was able to see the vision. Swedenborg was more greatly illuminated, but not more greatly inspired, he also had visions which he could not interpret, he saw in Africa a while people who possessed the original Word; he visited the different planets, seven, he visited all, and if there had been more than seven he would have visited them; but he makes mention of the spirits of these planets, not of the earths, that is the spiritual world of the planets. The planet Venus which he describes, is the Venus people seen there in a group though widely separated in space here, so also with the Jupiter people, and Mars, and the others. Swedenborg when not in a state of illumination, believed in the ideas extant concerning the convex theory, but he describes the inside theory when he says “I was in illustration and I saw the Earth with her bars around me, ie- he describes the plates of the Earth’s shell. So when in illustration he saw this white people who possessed the original Word, when in the natural he would think that it was the Bible, as that is called the Word he would try to explain. But he saw what was to come to pass. He saw this people-you. When in illumination he saw the nucleas [sic], the English people, the planetary people, and around them, the next sphere, the Germans. The first he called Israel, the first Gentile people. He saw surrounding this people was Ethiopea [sic]. What did he see? He saw Koreshanity; and the first outside of Koreshanity to receive the New Gospel was the black race, who by receiving the new circumcision will be the new race. The fact that you are the first to receive ought to so impress your minds, especially on this day, the Christ day that you will determine today more than ever to eradicate every evil thought, every tendency of the flesh, and make a practical application from this time. Show forth, as you are separated from the world and church, related in communism as were the early Christians; that being the kind of life planted in Florida for the purposes of establishing a maritime center. You are the sands of the sea, and you are looking out over the waters, emblematic of the New City that will govern Lee Co. Florida, and ultimately the whole world.
We are the children of Joseph, we received the blessing of Jacob on Joseph, and now we are blest with the resurrection of Joseph, wearing the colors, and the blessing of Joseph we contain in the coat of many colors. Let us be faithful guardians to one another; have mutual charity and love; be one in heart and body and above all keep pure, remembering “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
Exalt yourselves to your standard, and when you sing the “Red, Green and Gold” remember they are Joseph’s colors. And you would not change your condition with all its hardships, and what might be termed sacrifices. You would rather be doorkeepers in the house of the Lord than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. We have great reason for joy, that we are in Lee Co. Florida, (even with mosquitoes and fleas) for all will be eliminated in time, when there shall be a day of rest, and we come into our inheritance, if we are pure in heart we shall see God, and if we are peace-makers we shall be called the children of God, for as many as believe in His Name gives He power to become the Sons of God. Do you realized what that means?That the Almighty God who created the Universe is a man, that all that was, was made by Jesus who was the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father. That man was our Father and our Mother, and He gave His Life that all might come into the New Life, that all may sing the New Song that no one can sing but the redeemed among men. To think that we are those who are to stand on Mount Zion, and are to sing that song!It seems to me you could almost starve, make any sacrifice for this hope that is within us that we shall be conquerors and rulers over the grave. We have everything to comfort us, nothing to discomfort, if we will but remember this: Then let us be faithful, and by and by we will awake the children of the resurrection!
The Society closed by singing the “Red, Green and Gold.”