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of the New Church to the consideration the interdict to the lessee of the Music of those who, by virtue of their studies Hall, did it in the most peremptory manand their future destinies in life, ought to ner. On its being stated that the lecfeel the deepest interest in the cause of tures were decidedly of a religious chagenuine truth. Swedenborg, we know, racter, and that the one to be delivered sent all his theological works, as they that evening was on the Sole Divinity of appeared, to the principal universities, Jesus Christ, proving that he is the one colleges, and libraries of Europe *; and only God, and that in his glorious perthe principal object of the mission to son is concentrated the Divine Trinity, or Oxford is to awaken the minds of all, if “the fullness of the Godhead bodily," possible, to a sense of the amazing im. he exclaimed, “ It is blasphemy; and as portance of the doctrines of Christianity the Music Hall is chiefly supported by developed from the Word in the writings members of the university, it shall no of Swedenborg, and especially to excite a longer be used for that purpose." In spirit of inquiry respecting the spiritual my opening address to the audience at sense of the Scriptures, and the science the theatre I mentioned this fact, and of correspondences, by which, through solemnly inquired of them whether they the Divine mercy and guidance, the spi. thought that the endeavour to prove the ritual sense is explained. In our former sole and supreme divinity of the Lord number we inserted a communication Jesus Christ were blasphemy or not from Mr. Smithson, in which we found Upon which a strong and indignant sen. him in the midst of his labours, having sation was manifest that I should have at that time given three of the lectures met with such treatment, and that the intended. He had been turned out of holy subject I was about to advocate the Music Hall, after the delivery of the should be called “ blasphemy." The second lecture, by the vice-chancellor audience, on this occasion, was greater and others, and was put to much incon. than I had reason to expect : several venience and trouble in procuring ano. persons had kindly offered to stand at ther place where to continue his lectures. the doors of the Music Hall, and to tell The theatre was the only place he could the people, as they arrived, where the obtain, where, without any further in- remaining lectures would be given. terference or molestation, he was able to Throughout the lecture the greatest atcontinue his lectures to increasing au- tention and silence prevailed, and at the diences, the interest in the lectures ap- conclusion the tracts we had to distri. pearing to increase, until at the last lec- bute on this subject were eagerly sought, ture the pit, boxes, and gallery, as well and, I trust, as eagerly read. The as the avenues to the different parts of fourth lecture on the Atonement, Interthe theatre, were entirely crowded. We cession, and Mediation of Jesus Christ, will, however, insert the second letter of &c., was delivered on the following Mr. Smithson to the secretary of the Tuesday, when a much greater audience committee.
had assembled. I should however ob-Oxford, Feb. 26, 1842. serve, that in the mean time I had a My dear Sir, In my former letter I thousand more bills printed, announcing gave an account of my mission up to the the change of place where the lectures third lecture. I told you what efforts would in future be given. I engaged had been successfully made to prevent persons to distribute these bills well my lecturing any longer in the Music throughout the town. At this lecture, Hall engaged for the purpose. The on the Atonement, &c., I was interclergyman who was deputed to convey rupted by two persons, who appeared to * See Documents, &c., concerning
be well known in Oxford; the first stated E. Swedenborg, lately published by the that I was preaching Socinianism. This Manchester Printing Society, pp. 37—
charge appeared very extraordinary and 41; p. 165, 180.
unjust to the majority of the audience,
who had heard the previous lecture on with objections grounded on the Hebrew the Supreme Divinity of the Lord. As and the Greek text of Scripture ; I laid some degree of excitement arose from the my Greek Testament on the table, and sudden interruption of this objector, and corroborated several of my positions by his charge of Socinianism, I requested a philological exposition of the texts I the audience to allow the gentleman to advanced in support of the doctrines. state his objections, and I would reply No one, however, thought proper to assail to them either in the course of the lec- me on this ground, or to advance any ture, or at the conclusion. Many voices objections against what I had stated. were heard to say, “ You shall not be in. Some individual, however, at the concluterrupted." I then proceeded to ask the sion of the lecture, stated objections audience whether that could be Socinian. against the idea, that a truly Christian ism which asserts and proves, that the Lord saving life, consists in keeping the divine Jesus Christ is the one only God? The commandments, as a means “ of entering absurdity of the objection was, at once, ob- into life." He observed, that it must vious; and the objector became silent on be impossible for a person to insist upon that point. He, however, began another the necessity of keeping the divine comattack, by alleging, that we believed, mandments, in order “ to enter into life," like the heretics in the days of the apos- or to be saved, without arrogating to himtles, that the resurreetion was past al- self merit in the endeavour to keep the ready, and that the judgment was also divine commandments, with a view to past. But as these erroneous assertions salvation. This objection I answered, had no reference to the subject of the by stating that such a doctrine of life tecture, the audience would not allow was not only commanded by the Lord, him to proceed. I assured the audience but also perfectly consistent with his own that they were equally as groundless and divine declaration, that “ without him false as the charge of Socinianism. Ano. we can do nothing;' and that, consether person of much milder deportment quently, there can be no merit in doing than the former, also interrupted me in that which we are commanded to do, as a this lecture, much, apparently, to the an- means of salvation ; and, moreover, in noyance of the audience; his object, doing it not from our own power, but however, was to ask certain questions, from the power of him who says, that which I answered at the conclusion of the "without him we can do nothing," and lecture. This individual seemed so far in the words of the apostle, “ I can do satisfied as to wish to converse with me all things through Christ who strengtheneth in private, and to read what tracts we me” (Phil. 4, ver. 13). I begged him had to give upon the subject; I accord to consider, whether the supposition that ingly invited him to spend an bour or he had the true saving faith, was not as two with me on the following day. He liable to the charge of self-merit, as the came, and I found his mind in an en- humble endeavour to keep the divine quiring state, evidently not satisfied with commandments with a view to salvation ; the religious opinions he had bitherto held. and whether the supposed faith without He told me that he had a brother a works of love and charity, as the Apostle clergyman in Lancashire, and that he James says, is not dead? When I had would certainly read the writings of the stated this, a lady about the centre of the New Church. The next lecture I de- pit, rose up, and said, with a firm tone livered, was on the Truly Christian Life, of voice, that she was amazed any person &c. The attendance on this occasion could object to the statements in the was more numerous than at any former lecture, since they all appeared to be so lecture; indeed, the theatre was quite strongly confirmed by Scripture, and so filled. There were also several collegians well supported by every rational consi.. present on this occasion. As I had heard deration of the subject. I then waited that Mr. Howarth had been assailed to see whether any further objections would be advanced against the statements resurrection, for I have heard you say, in the lecture, but the audience began to when preaching on this subject, that if separate by eagerly receiving the tract on one arm were in America, and the other Repentance, &c., which was distributed in Britain, they would both be brought on this occasion, as the one on the Truly together again at the day of resurrection. Christian Life, &c., being out of print, This view, I admit, they do deny; but could not be distributed after this lecture. they do not deny the Scripture doctrine I will here mention in reference to the of the resurrection.' The minister then tract on the Truly Christian Life, &c., left him, informing him, that they should which I condensed and prepared for the in a few days, have a church meeting, Manchester Tract Society, from Sweden- when his conduct would be taken into borg's little work on “ The Doctrine of consideration. Life for the New Jerusalem," that a The last lecture, on the Nature of the few weeks previous to my mission to Life after Death, &c., was delivered on Oxford, a person who had attended the the Friday evening. On this occasion lectures of the Rev. D. Howarth, became the theatre was crowded ; and even the much delighted with the new doctrines, avenues leading to the different parts and read very diligently the tracts and were thronged. Great interest appeared other publications elucidating and con- to be felt in the subject of the lecture firming these doctrines. This person throughout; and great attention was paid fell sick, and on his death-bed, not many to the arguments in support of the New hours prior to his departure, when a New Church doctrines of the resurrection, Church friend visited him, held this tract which, in one division of the lecture, at in his hand, and, asserted that it had the request of several strangers, who had afforded him the greatest consolation, and heard the previous lectures, I specifically that he only regretted he had not become explained and discussed. More students acquainted with the truly Christian prin. were present on this occasion, and a ciples of life and salvation it inculcates, greater number of tracts were distributed, in the earlier years of his life. After than at any previous lecture. At the this lecture, two persons visited me at my conclusion, several persons came around lodgings, who desired to have some con- me, and expressed their desire that I versation with me on the subject of the should give some more lectures. I obNew Church Doctrines. I could plainly served that my engagement was comsee that their minds were much concerned pleted, and that a depot of tracts and about the truth; one had entirely em- books had been established in Oxford, so braced the leading doctrines of the New that every opportunity would be afforded Christian Church. He had been a regu- for considering the important subjects lar member of a dissenting place of wor- which had been brought under their notice. ship in Oxford, and, if I mistake not, Some individuals intimated to me, that had been a deacon, and one of the right before my departure, it would be agreehand men of the minister. The minister, able to those who firmly believed in the he told me had lately visited him, and essential doctrines of the New Church, had stated to him, that if he continued to meet together to pray to the Lord for to read the tracts and doctrines of the support and guidance, and to take the New Church, he could not again offer to Holy Supper, as a divine means of strengthhim the right-hand of fellowship. The ening them in their acknowledgment and minister also stated, that the Sweden - worship of the Lord, and in the resoluborgians, as he called us, denied the tion to love him, by keeping his divine resurrection ; upon which the other re. commandments, as well as to commejoined, saying, 'no, sir, I am certain they morate the commencement of the New do not deny the resurrection, for I have Christian Church in Oxford. We aclately read something concerning their cordingly assembled at my lodgings. Two view of this subject; they do deny, I females, who would gladly have joined admit, your view and doctrine of the us, were prevented by the extreme wetness of the evening. This, sir, is an ac- I am, with kindest regards to the count of my mission to Oxford: and may committee, yours most sincerely, the Lord in his infinite mercy, bless
J. H. SMITHSON. every feeble effort to spread a knowledge P.S. I cannot conclude this report of the genuine doctrines of the holy Word; without expressing my sincere gratitude and may his new kingdom of love, wis- to the Tract Society, both of London and dom, and peace, come speedily amongst Manchester, for the liberal grant of tracts men!
to aid the mission in Oxford.
MANCHESTER AND SALFORD NEW CHURCH
As missionary labours are so eminently useful in spreading a knowledge of the truth, we particularly invite the attention of our friends to the following Address: “As the period when the annual meeting of this society is drawing nigh, and its committee are desirous of then entering into arrangements more commensurate with the great importance of the institution, they would direct the earnest attention of the church generally to the circu. lar issued by them in October last, and also inserted in the Intellectual Repository.
“ They have great pleasure in thus acknowledging the receipt of a few replies to their circular, accompanied, in some instances, with remittances, but regret to add, that the sums thus sent were small, being, in almost all cases, from parties who were poor in this world's goods; but from the ardent wishes expressed there.
their ability to do more, evi. dently abounding in “true riches.'
“The arrangements the committee pur. pose forming will necessarily be very in. effective without considerable pecuniary aid from the church at large; they trust, therefore, that each member thereof will consider what aid he or she can render in proclaiming to their fellow-creatures, those heavenly truths with which the Lord has blessed them, and which, when conjoined with charity, as they will necessarily be in each true receiver, will
produce those "fruits of the kingdom of God,' so indispensable in the present instance.
“They would especially address themselves to those to whom the Lord hath
given many talents,' for means to enable the committee more fully to carry out the glorious objects of the New Church missionary labours, which are becoming daily more necessary by the important spirit of inquiry now so active among mankind, as to what is truth ;' relying on their early and available response to this renewed appeal on behalf of the spiritual wants of their fellow-men, and in their thus becoming “faithful and wise stewards,' to whom the Lord shall say,
inasmuch as ye did it unto one of those, ye did it unto me.'
“The committee will feel obliged by any suggestions their friends may have to make for the benefit of the institution, addressed to the secretary, Mr. James Fox, 90, Market street, Manchester. Remittances being made to the treasurer, Mr. John Broadfield, 10, Cateaton street, Manchester, for which purposes their contributors will find post-office orders available for sums however small, thus enabling many, like the poor widow, 'to cast in more than their all.'
"J. Fox, Secretary." "Manchester, March 1842."
THE REv. G. GIBBON, CURATE OF who has been so zealously occupied for RAMS BOTTOM, AND HIS ATTACKS UPON more than six months in lecturing every THE NEW CHURCH.—This gentleman, Wednesday evening against the New
Church, has ceased to pour forth his Mr. Smithson and others, which have calumnies and abuse from the pulpit. been so successful in shewing the peoHis persecuting and unchristian spirit ple of Ramsbottom that Mr. Gibbon's became at length so obvious to all, charges were entirely groundless and even to those who experienced a secret false, and which have contributed not a malignant pleasure in seeing the New little to Mr. Gibbon's unpopularity with Church assailed, that his place of wore the discerning inhabitants of Ramsbottom. ship, or rather the place in which he In this pamphlet Mr. G. does not ven-ought to have taught and led his hearers ture to touch a single doctrine of the to the humble worship of God, and the New Church, although he has had the love of their neighbour, but which he “ True Christian Religion" constantly converted into a den of profanation and before him. This is remarkable; and it abuse, has been entirely deserted, so shows how impregnable those doctrines that he has been compelled, from the are, on account of their being so well want of hearers, to cease from holding supported and furnished in every point his profane and malignant harangues. by Scripture, as well as by every rational The New Church society at Ramsbottom consideration of the human mind. If has, we are happy to state, sustained no there had been the least probability of injury from these long continued, most his assailing these doctrines with the unjust, and most virulent attacks, al- remotest chance of success, it is certain though the persecution has troubled and that a man actuated by such fiend-like infested them not a little ; and this must hostility as Mr. G., would have been deneeds be the case when the cause of lighted to have availed himself of it. truth, and the life of truth, are so bit. Mr. G. has therefore confined his attack terly assaulted. The sincere members of chiefly to the “ causes of separation" in the New Church at Ramsbottom now the “ Conjugial Love." These causes, richly experience the divine consolation in Mr. Smithson's third pamphlet, are contained in the words of him who says, proved to be the same as those stated by " Blessed are ye when men shall revile Paley in his Moral Philosophy (chap. 7). you, and persecute you, and say all man. The only difference is that Swedenborg ner of evil against you falsely for my is more particular in naming the causes; sake; rejoice and be exceeding glad, for whereas Paley, after mentioning a few of great is your reward in heaven ; for so them, such as “ cruelty, ill-usage, expersecuted they the prophets which were treme violence, or moroseness of temper," before you” (Matt. 5. ver. 11, 12). includes the other causes in the geThese divine words are peculiarly appli- neral assertion, “and other great and cable to the states of persecution through continued provocations." A great part which they have passed ; and we trust of Mr. Go's pamphlet is occupied with that they now experience the divine bless. a defence of Paley, and with shewing the ing so mercifully promised. The Sunday difference between Paley and Swedenschool belonging to the society is as borg, a difference which, we all know, numerous as it ever was, consisting of was very great. At the conclusion of rather more than 300 children, whilst the pamphlet Mr. G. has amused himthe Sunday school belonging to the self with picking out a number of exchurch of their opponent and persecutor tracts from the memorable relations, has dwindled down to an insignificant thinking that by this means he can exnumber indeed. Mr. Gibbon has be- cite ridicule and contempt against us. come so unpopular in the neighbourhood Mr. G., however, should remember that that he has given notice, we understand, on this principle the infidel makes the to leave the place early in May; but be- Bible appear to be the most ridiculous fore his departure he has resolved to and contemptible of books. This species make one more effort in print. He has of contempt is, as Seneca says, to be conpublished a small pamphlet, in which he temned: “ hic contemptus contemnendus endeavours to reply to the pamphlets of est.” Mr. Smithson, we understand,