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Letter from N.D. Pendleton to Bishop William F. Pendleton, 1908-07-17

Identifier: RG.004.01

Scope and Contents

Handwritten letter from N.D. Pendleton to Bishop William F. Pendleton. Pendleton discusses the Kramph Will case, and the possibility of appealing Judge Smith’s decision. He worries that an unsuccessful appeal may bring more negative attention on the Church. He writes, “I am not unmindful of the fact that Judge Smith decided the case on the ground that the will itself was void because its devise was to a body teaching the doctrines as laid down in the Writings of the Honorable Emanuel Swedenborg, which doctrines were immoral. According to this decision ever charter in the land of every New Church body, which does not repudiate the teachings of Pellicacy & Concubinage, will be so much worthless paper. However, I am not sure but that Judge Smith was influenced in giving this surprising decision by the scandalous atmosphere generated during the trial, to which may be added our own aggressive attitude on the subject, which may have produced on his mind the impression that the Academy in its conflict with Convention took as its war cry ‘the right of man to commit fornication and practice concubinage (legal adultery) under certain situations(?).’” He continues, “The Church is according to its understanding of the Word, and the quality of every New Church organization is to be determined according to its interpretation of the Writings. . .Any man of religious mind would condemn us if the teachings concerning pellicacy & concubinage are not seen in their bearing upon love truly conjugial, which love alone is orderly pure and clean is free from evil.” Pendleton concludes with the idea that the Church must be fairly and accurately represented in court if they are to make an appeal. He states, “I am willing that we should become a proscribed people, living outside of the law, if such a fate comes upon us because we hold to the integrity of our Revelation. But before this beconcomes necessary we should insist on a fair & square ruling on our case as a whole.” Names mentioned: (Frederick J.) Kramph, Judge Smith, Emanuel Swedenborg


  • 1908-07-17


From the Collection: 368.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials