Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Clissold, Augustus

CLISSOLD, AUGUSTUS (1797?–1882), Swedenborgian, born in or about 1797, the son of Augustus Clissold of Stonehouse, near Stroud, Gloucestershire, was matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, on 6 Dec. 1814, the same day as his elder brother, Henry Clissold (Exeter College Admission Book). He took the ordinary B.A. degree on 19 Nov. 1818, proceeding M.A. on 13 June 1821. In the last-named year he was ordained deacon, and in 1823 was admitted to priest's orders by the Bishop of Salisbury (Dr. Thomas Burgess [q. v.]). He held for some time the curacies of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and St. Mary, Stoke Newington, but having become an enthusiastic student of the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, he withdrew from the ministry about 1840, although he remained nominally connected with the church of England to the end of his life. He continued to reside at Stoke Newington, with occasional migrations to his country house, 4 Broadwater Down, Tunbridge Wells, and he died at the latter place on 30 Oct. 1882, in the eighty-sixth year of his age. Clissold translated and printed at his own expense Swedenborg's ‘Principia Rerum Naturalium,’ 2 vols. 8vo, London, 1845–6, and ‘Œconomia Regni Animalis’ (edited by J. J. Garth Wilkinson), 2 vols. 8vo, London, 1846, both of which he presented to the Swedenborg Association, started in 1845 for the publication of Swedenborg's scientific works, and merged, after its task had been accomplished in a great measure, in the larger Swedenborg Society. Of this association Clissold was chosen president. In 1838 Clissold joined the Swedenborg Society as a life member, and in the same year he was placed on the committee. In 1840 he was elected chairman of the annual meeting. In 1854 he purchased for the use of the society a seventy years' lease of the house, 36 Bloomsbury Street, which has since become the depôt of ‘New Church’ literature. During the stormy time through which the Swedenborg Society passed in 1859 and 1860 Clissold assisted it liberally with money, and by his will he bequeathed to it the sum of 4,000l. In 1870 he busied himself in forwarding the publication of the work known as ‘Documents concerning the Life and Character of Emanuel Swedenborg, collected, translated, and annotated by R. L. Tafel,’ 2 vols. 1875–7, and during the last two years of his life he assisted largely the publication of Swedenborg's posthumous work on ‘The Brain,’ 1882, &c., forming a portion of the ‘Regnum Animale perlustratum’ (Tafel, Memorial Sermon). Besides a sermon preached upon the decease of the Rev. G. Gaskin, 8vo, London, 1829, Clissold was the author of: 1. ‘The Practical Nature of the Doctrines and alleged Revelations contained in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg … in a Letter to the Archbishop of Dublin’ (R. Whately), 8vo, London, 1838 (2nd ed. as ‘The Practical Nature of the Theological Writings,’ &c., 8vo, London, 1860 [1859]). 2. ‘Illustrations of the End of the Church, as predicted in Matthew, chap. xxiv.’ 8vo, London, 1841. 3. ‘A Letter to the Rev. J. Bonwell of Preston, upon the Subject of his Sermon on the Perishing in the Gainsaying of Core,’ 8vo, London, 1843. 4. ‘The New Church … addressed to the inhabitants of Preston,’ 8vo, London, 1843. 5. ‘A Review of the Principles of Apocalyptical Interpretation,’ 3 vols. 8vo, London, 1845. 6. ‘A Reply to the Remarks emanating from St. Mary's College, Oscot, on Noble's Appeal in behalf of the Doctrines of Swedenborg,’ 8vo, [London], 1849. 7. ‘The Spiritual Exposition of the Apocalypse,’ 4 vols. 8vo, London, 1851. 8. ‘A Letter to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford on the Present State of Theology in the Universities and the Church of England,’ &c., 8vo, London, 1856. 9. ‘Swedenborg's Writings and Catholic Teaching,’ &c. (in answer to the Rev. W. J. E. Bennett, by A. Clissold), 8vo, London, 1858 (3rd ed. 8vo, London, 1881). 10. ‘Inspiration and Interpretation: being a review of seven sermons … by J. W. Burgon, … with some remarks upon “The Beginning of the Book of Genesis,” by I. Williams,’ 7 parts, 12mo, Oxford, London [printed], 1861–4. 11. ‘The Reunion of Christendom,’ 8vo, London, 1866. 12. ‘Swedenborg and his modern Critics,’ 8vo, London, 1866. 13. ‘The Literal and Spiritual Senses of Scripture in their relations to each other and to the Reformation of the Church,’ 8vo, London, 1867. 14. ‘Transition; or, the Passing away of Ages or Dispensations, Modes of Biblical Interpretation, and Churches; being an Illustration of the Doctrine of Development,’ 8vo, London, 1868. 15. ‘The Centre of Unity; What is it? Charity or Authority?’ 8vo, London, 1869. 16. ‘The Prophetic Spirit in its relation to Wisdom and Madness,’ 8vo, London, 1870. 17. ‘The Present State of Christendom in its relation to the Second Coming of the Lord,’ &c., 8vo, London, 1871. 18. ‘The Creeds of Athanasius, Sabellius, and Swedenborg, examined and compared with each other,’ 8vo, London, 1873 (2nd ed. in the same year). 19. ‘Paul and David’ (by A. Clissold), 12mo, London, 1873. 20. ‘Sancta Cœna; or the Holy Supper, explained on the principles taught by Emanuel Swedenborg,’ 8vo, London, 1874. 21. ‘The Divine Order of the Universe as interpreted by Emanuel Swedenborg, with especial relation to modern Astronomy,’ 8vo, London, 1877. 22. ‘The Consummation of the Age: being a Prophecy now fulfilled and interpreted in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg’ (extracted from Swedenborg's ‘Arcana Cœlestia,’ with a preface by A. Clissold), 8vo, London, 1879.

[Oxford Graduates; Crockford's Clerical Directory; Men of the Time, 10th ed.; Times, 2 Nov. 1882, p. 6, col. 3; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

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