The Story of Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland and of the New Gospel of Interpretation. Edward Maitland. 3rd. Edition, edited by Samuel H. Hart. Ruskin Press, Birmingham, 1905. 204 pp.


Information: The book is written in seven chapters. First Edition: Christmas, 1893; 2nd. Edition: Christmas, 1894; 3rd. Edition: Christmas, 1905. The 3rd. Edition was edited by Samuel Hopgood Hart. The passage below, from one of the biographical prefaces written by Samuel H. Hart [Long preface in: Addresses and Essays on Vegetarianism. Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland (pp 1-60). Book edited by Samuel Hopgood Hart. John M. Watkins, London, 1912. 227 pp.]. It offers a general view and compares the present biography with the other bigger one, both written by Edward Maitland:


“My material, as will be seen from the references, has been drawn almost entirely from The Life of Anna Kingsford, which was written by Edward Maitland, and which was published in 1896. This book gives a very full and interesting account of Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland and their work. (…) I refer those who would know more of these two great teachers and reformers – those who would know the whole story of Anna Kingsford as a medical student, and of Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland as humanitarians – to the above-mentioned biography. There is, also, another biography. In 1893, while writing and in anticipation of the publication of The Life of Anna Kingsford, Edward Maitland wrote The Story of the New Gospel of Interpretation, in which he gave a short account of Anna Kingsford and himself and their work. In 1905, a third and enlarged edition of this book was published under the title of The Story of Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland, and of the New Gospel of Interpretation.”


We hope to add in the future the translation of the book into Portuguese.

Below you have the links to the chapters of the complete Html text of the book, and in continuation, in this same file, you have the initial pages, the Table of Contents, the Prefaces, and the Introduction:





Initial Pages, Table of Contents, Prefaces, and Introduction (i-xix)


Chapter I – The Vocation (1-36)

Chapter II – The Initiation (37-70)

Chapter III – The Communication (71-108)

Chapter IV – The Antagonisation (109-141)

Chapter V – The Recapitulation (142-162)

Chapter VI – The Exemplification (163-183)

Chapter VII – The Promulgation and Recognition (184-204)



(Initial pages)













“The days of the Covenant of Manifestation are passing away; the Gospel of Interpretation cometh.”

“There shall nothing new be told; but that which is ancient
shall be interpreted.”

* * * * * * *

“Now is the Gospel of Interpretation come, and the kingdom
of the Mother of the Mother of God.”

(Clothed with the Sun, Part I, No. ii (part 2) 10, 11; and Part II, No. xiii, 31)











A.K., for Anna Kingsford.

B.O.A.I., for The Bible’s Own Account of Itself, by E.M.; second edition, 1905.

C.W.S., for Clothed with the Sun, being the book of the Illuminations of A.K.; edited by E.M., 1889.

D. and D.-S., for Dreams and Dream-Stories, by A.K., edited by E.M., second edition, 1888.

E.C.U., for “The Esoteric Christian Union,” founded by E.M. in 1891.

E. and I., for England and Islam; or the Counsel of Caiaphas, by E.M., 1877.

E.M., for Edward Maitland.

Life A.K., for The Life of Anna Kingsford, by E.M., 1896.

P.W., for The Perfect Way; or, The Finding of Christ, by A.K. and E.M.; third edition, revised, 1890.

Statement, E.C.U., for The New Gospel of Interpretation; being an Abstract of the Doctrine and Statement of the Objects of the Esoteric Christian Union, by E.M.; revised and enlarged edition, 1892.





Preface to the First and Second Editions (v)

Preface to the Third Edition (vii-xiii)

Introduction (xv-xix)




The Instruments – Their early lives – Their consciousness of a special mission, and intimations of a call – Their training in respect of circumstance, character, and faculty, until brought together for their Joint work.




A baptism of the Spirit – “At last I have found a man through whom I can speak!” – Intimation of the nature and aim of their work – The Doomed Train, “No one on the engine!” – Instantaneous transfer of inspiration – “Woman, what have I to do with thee?” – The recovery of a Gospel scene, and its import – “The woman taken in adultery” – Vision of Adonai – Source of the opening sentences in St. John’s Gospel – Chapter from the recovered Gnosis – The Generation of the Word.




That “perfect love which casteth out fear,” in the presence of celestial visitants – A parable of the Intuition – “The Wonderful Spectacles” – The Greek element in the work – Hermes and John the Baptist – The “heresy of Prometheus” – The Fig-tree, a symbol of the inward understanding; the time come for it to bear fruit – The Seeress’s faculty – Her relation with Hermes – “Thou art the Rock” addressed to Hermes – The parable of the Fig-tree – The Mystic Woman of Holy Writ – “Go thy way, Daniel. Thou shall rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days” – The prophecy of the book of Esther – The Angel Genius, his account of himself and his office – Divine revelation the supreme common sense – The source and method of the New Revelation – Its chief recipient “not a medium or a seer, but a prophet” – An instruction and a caution concerning the survival of tendencies encouraged in past lives – Communion with souls of the departed – The conditions of such intercourse – An instruction concerning Inspiration and Prophesying – The prophecy of “the kingdom of the Mother of God.”




“Ye are not yet perfected” – Our respective Auras – An exhortation – The Seven spirits of God, their co-operation necessary for a perfect work – “You belong to us now, to do our work and not your own” – Enforced silence – “The Powers of the Air;” their mode of attack – A strange visitant and his communication – A strained situation – Visions of guidance – The “refractory team,” and the “Two Stars” – The promised land reached only through the wilderness – “The Word a Word of mystery, and they who guard it Seven” – “One Neophyte  could not save himself” – A Horoscope – A descent into hell – Counsels of Perfection – A “Merry Christmas” – A timely arrival – Neoplatonic recognition of Hermes – The one truth, never without a witness in the world – The key of knowledge restored – Problems solved – The mystic “Woman” of Holy Writ.




The key to the mystery of the Bible; the “Veil of Moses” withdrawn – The secret laid bare of the world’s sacrificial system, and the feud between priest and prophet – The Memory of the Soul – The Standpoint of the Bible – All that is true is Spiritual – The revelation of “that wicked one” – The seals broken and the books opened – The New Gospel of Interpretation – Sacerdotalism the “Jerusalem which killed the prophets” – The suppressed doctrines – Reincarnation the corollary and condition of Regeneration and implicit in the Bible – “Ye must be born again of Virgin Mary and Holy Ghost” – The doctrines of the Trinity and Divine Incarnation as now interpreted, necessary and self-evident truths – Evolution the manifestation of a divine inherency; accomplished only by the realisation of Divinity – The process of regeneration, and therein of salvation, interior to the individual – Adam and Christ the initial and final stages in the spiritual evolution of every man – The “Christ within” of St Paul – The Credo an epitome of the spiritual history of the Sons of God.




Spontaneity of the Seeress’s faculty – Specific illuminations, in illustration, chiefly, of the process of Regeneration; concerning (1) Holy Writ; (2) Redemption; (3) Sin and death; (4) The Twelve Gates of Regeneration; (5) The Passage of the Soul; (6) The Mystic Exodus; (7) The Spiritual Phoibos and the order of the Christs; (8) The Previous Lives of Jesus, and Reincarnation; (9) The Work of Power; the land and tongue of the New Revelation, why ours.




Accordance of all the dates with those prophesied – Other coincidences – Why our work has remained so long unknown to the generality – Notable recognitions, by representative Kabalists, Mystics, Occultists and Divines, Catholic, Anglican, and others – Spiritualism, Theosophy, and the New Gospel of Interpretation as fellow-agents in the unfoldment of the world’s spiritual consciousness, and the unsealing of the world’s Bibles, prophesied to take place at this epoch – “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” the Hebrew equivalents for Brahma, Isis, and Iacchos, to denote the mysteries of India, Egypt, and Greece, the Spirit, the Soul, and the Body, and therein the Gnosis of which the Christ is the fulfilment and personal demonstration, and the restoration of which was prophesied by Jesus as to mean the Regeneration of the Church and the establishment of the divine kingdom on earth – Mysticism and Occultism, the distinction between them, and the necessity of both physical and spiritual science to a perfect system of thought and rule of life – Conclusion.



(p. v)

PREFACE (To the First and Second Editions)


This book is designed:

(1)                            In satisfaction of the widely-expressed desire for a more particular account than has yet been rendered concerning the genesis of the writings claiming to constitute a “New Gospel of Interpretation”; and

(2)                            In fulfilment of the duty incumbent on me as the survivor of the two recipients of such Gospel to spare no means which may minister to its recognition and acceptance by the world, for whose benefit it has been vouchsafed.

Although largely biographical in character, this book is not a history of individuals, but of a Work, and involves only such personal references as are necessary to such history. It is not, however, a full or a final account that is contained in it. Such an account can be given only in the form of a regular biography which is in course of preparation. This book is an instalment only of that biography, being put forth in advance of it, partly, as said above, to meet a present need, and partly, to prevent a total loss of the record in the event of my failure to complete it – a contingency of which, in view of the magnitude of the task and my advanced age, I am bound to take account.

E. M.



(p. vii)

PREFACE (To the Third Edition)


            SINCE the publication in 1893 of this book which, as stated in Chapter VII., was “intended but as an epitome and instalment” of a far larger book then in course of preparation, the full and final account of the “New Gospel of Interpretation” has been given to the world. In 1896 Edward Maitland published his magnum opus, The Life of Anna Kingsford, in two large volumes of 420 pages, “illustrated with portraits, views, and fac-similes.” This is, and will always be, the biography par excellence of Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland, and it is absolutely indispensable for those who would know all that there is to be known of them and their work and of the “New Gospel of Interpretation.” As that book, however, on account of its great length, must always be a costly book, and therefore beyond the means of many who would like to have some reliable information concerning Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland and their work, and as there are many who, on account of their time for reading being limited or their inclination to read being little, require information within the compass of a small book or go without it altogether, there will, notwithstanding the publication of The Life of Anna Kingsford, be a demand for this shorter “Story,” which is so admirably suited to meet the

(p. viii)

needs or requirements of these classes of persons; for, be it noted, the publication of The Life of Anna Kingsford has not in any way depreciated the value of this book in this sense that, having been written by one of the two recipients of the “New Gospel of Interpretation,” it is a first authority second to none for the statements therein contained.

            The change in the title of the book from “The Story of the New Gospel of Interpretation” to the present title calls for some explanation and justification, because the former title was an excellent one in many respects, and the book has become known to many by that title. The “Gospel of Interpretation” is the name or description which was given by its Divine Inspirers, the Hierarchy of the Spheres Celestial, to the work of which this book tells the story, in token of its relation to the previous “Gospel of Manifestation.” The former title implied, as the Author pointed out in his preface, that that which this book propounded was “not really a new Gospel, but one of Interpretation only”; and this is not really new, but, as the Author has also pointed out, “so old as to have become forgotten and lost, being the purely spiritual sense, as discerned from the purely spiritual standpoint originally intended and insisted on by Scripture itself as its true sense and standpoint, and those which alone render Scripture intelligible”. (1) But notwithstanding this, and notwithstanding that on the front page it was expressly stated that “There shall nothing new be told; but that which is ancient shall be interpreted,”

(p. ix)

the former title failed to convey to the minds of some the meaning that it was intended to convey, and it gave no indication of the biographical nature of the work. Many who otherwise would have read the book refrained from doing so because they thought that a new Gospel, inconsistent with and perhaps opposed to if not intended to supersede the old Gospel, was propounded. It is necessary, therefore, for me to state, if possible more explicitly than it was stated in the previous editions of this book, that this is not an attempt to create a new Gospel differing from that of Jesus Christ. (1)

            Anna Kingsford’s and Edward Maitland’s mission and aim was to interpret the Christ, not to rival or supersede Him. The “New Gospel” is, first and foremost, interpretative, and is destructive only in the sense of reconstructive. “It tells nothing new; it simply restores and reinforces the old, even the Gnosis, which, as the doctrine of the Church unfallen, is that also of the Church fallen, though the latter has lost the key to its interpretation”. (2) Nor is the teaching represented by this book opposed to the existence of an objective Church. Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland fully recognised the necessity of such an organisation for the formulation, propagation, and exposition of religion. Their opposition was “only to the recognition by the Church of the objective, historical, and materialistic aspect of religion, to the exclusion of that which

(p. x)

really constitutes religion, namely, its subjective, spiritual, and substantial aspect, wherein alone it appeals to the mind and soul, and is efficacious for redemption.”

            The aim of the New Gospel “is defined exactly,” said Edward Maitland: –


“in the following citation from St. Dionysius the Areopagite ‘not to destroy, but to construct; or, rather, to destroy by construction; to conquer error by the full presentment of truth.’ As will be obvious, such a design does not necessarily involve the destruction of anything that exists whether of symbol or ritual, or ecclesiastical organisation, but only their regeneration by means of their translation into their spiritual and divinely intended sense. And it is precisely because that sense has been lost – as declared in Scripture it had long been, and would yet long be, lost – that a new “Gospel of Interpretation” has been vouchsafed in fulfilment of the promises in Scripture to that effect; and this from the source of the original Divine revelation, namely, the Church Celestial, and by the method which always was that of such revelation, namely, the intuition operating under special illumination. (…) Even the priest, though hitherto deservedly regarded as the ‘enemy of man,’ will not be destroyed under the new régime whose inauguration we are witnessing. For in becoming interpreter as well as administrator, he will be prophet as well as priest, and speak out the things of God and the soul instead of concealing them under a veil. So will the ‘veil be taken away,’ and Cain, the priest, instead of killing Abel, the prophet, as hitherto, will unite with him, becoming prophet and priest in one. And instead of any longer corrupting the ‘woman’ Intuition,

(p. xi)

and suppressing the ‘man’ Intellect, he will purify and exalt her, and enable her to fulfil her proper function as ‘the Mother of God’ in man, and will recognise the intellect, when dully conjoined with her, as the heir of all things. Thus, becoming interpreter as well as administrator, prophet as well as priest, and recognising interpretation as the corollary of the understanding, the prophet-priest of the regeneration will give to men freely of the waters of life, that only true bread of Heaven, which is the food of the understanding, instead of the indigestible ‘stones’ and poisonous ‘serpents’ of doctrines, the profession of which, by divorcing assent from conviction, involves that moral and intellectual suicide, to induce others to join him in committing which Cardinal Newman wrote his Grammar of Assent. True it is ‘faith that saves,’ but the faith that is without understanding is not faith, but credulity.” (1)


            It is for the above-mentioned reasons that the title of this book has been changed. The title must be subservient to the book, and it is hoped that, the change having been made, there will not be any further misunderstanding – even on the part of those who are most superficial – as to the nature and object of “The Story of the New Gospel of Interpretation.”

            Edward Maitland did not long survive the completion of the great task that he undertook when he set himself to write a full account of his life and that of his colleague. He retained his full mental vigour until the publication of The Life of Anna Kingsford; but after that he rapidly declined,

(p. xii)

and on the 2nd October, 1897, at the close of his seventy-third year, a little over nine years after the death of Anna Kingsford, (1) he passed away peacefully at “The Warders” at Tonbridge, the home (at that time) of his friends Colonel and Mrs. Currie, with whom, and under whose loving care, he spent the last few months of his life – a life concerning which, as also that of Anna Kingsford, I will not say anything here, for this book will testify. Blessed are the souls whom the just commemorate before God.

            Many who read these pages will not rest until they know more of those great prophets the story of whose lives is here told, and of the Divine Gnosis that it was their high mission to proclaim. I have indicated whence they can obtain this information. This “Story,” interesting as it is and much as there is in it, is little more than an indication of some of the facts that are fully stated and dealt with in The Life of Anna Kingsford, and there is much of importance that (as it could not possibly receive proper treatment in a book of this size) was passed over here to be related in the larger biography. I have not thought if expedient to alter the character of or to add much to this book, but I have enlarged it by incorporating therein, from The Life of Anna Kingsford, some matter which is of interest, and which should add to the value of the book. The most important additions are the account of Anna Kingsford’s vision of “The Doomed Train,” on pp. 43-47; the account of Anna Kingsford’s vision

(p xiii)

of Adonai, on pp. 64-68; the “Exhortation of Hermes to his Neophytes,” on pp. 110-112; the verses “Concerning the Passage of the Soul,” on pp. 169-170; and the illumination of Anna Kingsford concerning the “Work of Power,” on pp. 180-181. I have also amplified the text in some places when, on comparing it with corresponding passages in The Life of Anna Kingsford, I found that I could do so with advantage. These amplifications are not otherwise noted. Finally, I have added some notes where I thought that further explanation was desirable or would prove acceptable.


Croydon, December, 1905.




(viii:1) E.M. Letter in Light of 29th August, 1891.

(ix:1) See further as to this, an article by A.K. and E.M. in Light of 23rd September, 1882, reprinted in Life A.K. Vol. II. p. 77.

(ix:2) E.M. Letter in Light of 22nd July, 1893.

(xi:1) E.M. Letter in Light of 17th December, 1892.

(xii:1) A.K. died on the 22nd of February, 1888.



(p. xv)



            THERE are certain introductory remarks which, in view of the prevailing tendency to reject prior to examination whatever conflicts with strongly cherished preconceptions – as anything purporting to be a “new Gospel” is undoubtedly calculated to do – may be made with advantage. Those remarks are as follows: –

            1) As its title implies, (1) that which is propounded is not really a new Gospel, but one of Interpretation only, which is precisely what is admitted by all serious and thoughtful persons to be the supreme need of the times. It was said, for instance, by late Matthew Arnold, “At the present moment there are two things about the Christian religion which must be obvious to every percipient person: one, that men cannot do without it; the other, that they cannot do with it as it is.”

            2) As also its title implies, (1) nothing new is told in it, but that only which is old is interpreted; and the appeal on its behalf is not to authority,

(p. xvi)

whether of Book, Tradition, or Institution, but to the Understanding – a quality which accords not only with the spirit of the times, but also – as shewn herein – with that of religion itself, properly so called.

            3) Scripture manifestly comprises two conflicting systems of doctrine and practice, having for their representatives respectively the priest and the prophet, one only of which systems, and this the system reprobated in Scripture itself, has hitherto obtained recognition from Christendom. It is the purpose of the New Gospel of Interpretation to expound the system represented by the prophet and approved in Scripture, with a view to replacing the other.

            4) For those who attach value to the prophecies contained in the Bible, so far from there being an a priori improbability against the delivery of a new revelation in interpretation, confirmation, or completion of the former revelation, and in correction of the false presentment of it, the probability ought to be all in favour of such an event. This is because Scripture abounds in predictions of a restoration both of faculty and of knowledge, as to take place at the present time and under the existing conditions of Church and World; and this of such kind as shall constitute a second and spiritual manifestation of the Christ in rectification of the perversion of the import of His first and personal manifestation, and in arrest of the great Apostacy, not only from the true faith of Christ but from religion itself, of which that perversion has been the cause.

            5) So far from the idea of a new revelation which shall have for its end the disclosure, as the

(p. xvii)

true sense of Scripture and Dogma, of a sense differing so widely from that hitherto accepted as to be virtually destructive of it, – so far from this idea being universally repugnant to orthodox ecclesiastics, it has found warm recognition from one of the foremost of modern churchmen. This is the late Cardinal Newman.

            Said Dr. Newman in his Apologia pro vita sua, speaking of his earlier days, “The broad philosophy of Clement and Origen carried me away; the philosophy, not the theological doctrine. (…) Some portions of their teaching, magnificent in themselves, came like music to my inward ear, as if the response to ideas, which, with little external to encourage them, I had cherished so long. These were based on the mystical or sacramental principle, and spoke of the various Economies or Dispensations of the Eternal. I understood these passages to mean that the exterior world, physical and historical, was but the manifestation to our senses of realities greater than itself. Nature was a parable: Scripture was an allegory: (…) The process of change had been slow; it had been done not rashly, but by rule and measure, ‘at sundry times and in divers manners,’ first one disclosure and then another, till the whole evangelical doctrine was brought into full manifestation. And thus room was made for the anticipation of further and deeper disclosures of truths still under the veil of the letter, and in their season to be revealed. The visible world still remains without its divine interpretation: Holy Church in her sacraments and her hierarchical appointments, will remain, even to the end of the world, after all but a symbol of those heavenly facts which fill eternity. Her

(p. xviii)

mysteries are but the expressions, in human language, of truths to which the human mind is unequal.” (1)

            Dr. Newman is credited also with the remark, made on visiting Rome for his investiture, that he saw no hope for religion save in a new revelation.

            These are utterances the value of which is in no way diminished by the fact that their utterer failed to bring his own life in accordance with them. He could write, indeed, the hymn “Lead, kindly light”; but when the “kindly light” was vouchsafed him of those suggestions of a system of thought concealed within the Christian Symbology, “magnificent in themselves” and “making music to his inward ear,” which he found in the patristic writings; instead of following that lead, and striving to exhume the treasures of divine truth thus buried and hidden from sight, for the salvation of a world perishing for want of them, – he turned his back upon it, and – entering the Church of Rome – wrote his Grammar of Assent, calling upon others to follow him in committing the suicide, intellectual and moral, of renouncing the understanding and divorcing profession from conviction.

            This was a catastrophe the explanation of which is not far to seek. Dr. Newman had in him the elements which go to make both priest and prophet. But the former proved the stronger; and the Cain, the priest in him, suppressed the Abel, the prophet in him. Thus was he a type of the Church as hitherto she has been. But, happily, not as henceforth

(p. xix)

she will be. For “now is the Gospel of Interpretation come, and the kingdom of the Mother of God,” even the “Women,” Intuition, – the mind’s feminine mode, wherein it represents the perceptions and recollections of the Soul – who is ever “Mother of God” in man, and whose sons the prophets ever are, the greatest of them being called emphatically, for the fullness and purity of his intuition, the “Son of the Woman” and she a “virgin.”





(xv:1) The original title of this book was “The Story of the New Gospel of Interpretation. See preface to the present edition. S.H.H.

(xviii:1) Apologia pro vita sua, by J.H. Newman. New edition of 1893, pp. 26, 27.



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