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Oft a gentle, loving mother,
From all earthly dross refined,
Watching its expanding mind.
When a thorough saint is dying,
Teavs are shed by many a friend,
For delights which ne'er shall end;
Sinks in death the worn-out clay,—
"Sister spirit, come away!"
Wouldst thou have good spirits near thee?
Wouldst thou have them guide thy ways?
With Divine and heavenly rays ?—
Sets thy ransomed spirit free,
Wouldst thou have them welcome thee ?—•
Wouldst thou? Search thy soul's recesses,
See there lurk no evils there,
Luring thee from Use and Prayer;
In thy pure, unselfish breast,
Make true faith thy constant guest.
In retirement, humbly kneeling,
Seek conjunction with the Lord,
With His holy will accord;
Mingling in earth's toil and strife,
Thou shalt here commence heaven's life
March, 1863. J. T.
GENERAL CHURCH INTELLIGENCE.
Ensuing General Conference. To the Editor. .
Dear Sir,—I beg the opportunity of saying to the ministers, members, and friends of the church, that any information which it may be desired to have noticed in the Secretary's Report to Conference, should be forwarded to me by or befure 1st August next.—I am, &c. Fred. Pitman, Sec. Gen. Conference. 30, Paternoster-row, London, E.G. June 15th, 1863.
The annual meeting of this Society was held in the church in Argyle-square, on Tuesday, the ICth June.
A number of the members of the Society and of the Church took tea in the school-room under the church. The interest of this social gathering was enhanced by the presence of two friends from abroad—Dr. Dyer, from Cnicago, in America, who was on his way to Sierra Leone, as an agent from the American Government to aid in the suppression of the slave trade; and Mr. Chassel, from the Mauritius, where the church has been for some years established.
The business meeting commenced at seven o'clock. Dr. Spurgin, the president of the society, occupied the chair. A letter was read from Dr. Bayley, expressing his regret at being prevented by indisposition from attending the meeting.
After a few words from the chairman, the new rules were read and confirmed, as were also the minutes of the last annnal meeting. The Secretary then read his report. It stated that the past year had been one of unusual aotivity. By the reduction of the price of the Arcana, above 600 copies of that great work had found their way into the homes of the less affluent members of the church in this country; while a considerable increase in the sale of all the other works had taken place. This large sale had necessitated the re-printing of eleven of the twelve Tolumes of the Arcana, four of which are completed, and seven are in the press. Several of
the other works have also been printed; and others, with Rich's "Index," will require to be printed during the ensuing year. The great increase in the amount of printing during the past year has compelled the Committee to defer publishing pocket editions of the works; and also to depart from the design of placing the works in ships' libraries, as recommended by the last annual meeting. Complete sets of the writings have been presented to the Mc. Gill College. Montreal, Canada, and to the New Church Society, St. Ives; and portions of the works to numerous societies and individuals. The sales and donations amount to above 0,000 volumes. Had the agent been able to execute all the orders, the sales actually effected would have been much larger, for the whole .number of the Arcana ordered at the reduced price amounted to upwards of 9,000 volumes. During the past year a union has been effected between the Sweclenborg Society and the Swedenborg Association; and the stock of Philosophical works which belonged to the Association, consisting of upwards of 3,000 volumes, has been added to that of the Society. It is now within the province of the Society to publish both the Theological and Philosophical works. The price of the Phi osophical works has, to encourage their circulation, been reduced to about a third of their original price.
The report alludes to the labours of Dr. Tafel, in continuing to reprint corrected editions of the Latin works, besides translations of them in German; and urges on the church the importance of aiding that indefatigable labourer in his great work while he is able and here to perform it. It also mentions the useful labours of M. Le Boys des Guays. Another new labourer in the same field has lately appeared in the person of Captain Boyesen, who has resigned his commission in the Norwegian army, with the intention of devoting his life to the translation of the writings into the language of his country. To all these the Printing Society has given aid,—to the two first, by purchasing portions of their published works; and to the last by the grant of a small sum of money.
A tribute of respect is paid to the memory of the Rev. W. Mason, who has so recently taken his leave of the world, where he had done so much useful work. Mr. Mason was one of the earlier members of the Printing Society, who had filled the office of secretary for many years.
The report concluded by saying— "The rapidly extended spirit of inquiry incident to the light of the new age and the New Dispensation is shaking men's belief in former things, and fast producing that breaking-up of religious systems which our blessed Lord foretold, under the symbol of earthquakes, in divers places. It is a period of great distress and unquiet to many minds, hut is full of hope and promise to the church. The breaking up and dispersion of the old is the very process preparatory for the new. A great and increasing number of minds, thus relieved from the shackles of a former faith, are looking anxiously and eagerly around for some secure place where they may rationally and confidently rest their belief. It is when we are thus mentally unsettled, anxious, and distressed— when the ploughshare of truth is breaking up the fallow ground in the mind— that the Divine seed more readily falls in, takes root, and grows. It is the duty of this society, as a humble instrument in the Divine hands, widely to scatter the truth, to make it everywhere accessible to the minds of men. For this work let us gird up our loins anew. 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
The Treasurer's report was then read. From this report it appeared that the income during the year, arising from the sale of books, and donations and subscriptions, was JE790., and the expenditure £ 937.
After some routine business, the Rev. A. Clissold rose to propose the first resolution:—
"That this meeting cannot but recognise in the agitation which now so deeply affects the Christian world, on the subject of the real character of The Word Op God, and the true method of its interpretation, a Providential opening, making a way for the especial work of this Society, which was founded for the very purpose of disclosing those openings of Divine WUdom whioh the Lord has made through the instrumentality of His servant Emanuel Swedenborg."
As we hope, by the permission of Mr. Clissold, to print his speech entire in our next number, we will do no more here than allude to the subject on which the speaker dwelt at considerable length, and with his accustomed force and clearness. He alluded to the prevalent agitations respecting the inspiration and integrity of the Word, where the foundation of the literal sense was being undermined and destroyed; and the necessity and importance of the doctrine of inspiration and interpretation delivered in the Writings of the New Church, for the security of the church and religion. And as a consequence, he considered that the labours of this Society for publishing and circulating the Works of Swedenborg, by whose instrumentality'.the Scriptures could alone be recognised as the Word of God, were most important. The resolution was briefly seconded by Mr. Gunton.
The second resolution was proposed by the Rev. 0. P. Hiller—
"That this meeting would again recommend to the attention of the Committee the project of issuing pocket editions of the smaller works, and also that of furnishing the libraries of packet ships, where they will be accepted, as soon as possible with the invaluable volumes of which the society is the depository."
This was a repetition of the resolution adopted at the former annual meeting, and was dwelt on at some length by Mr. Bateman, by whom it was seconded, and by Mr. Williams, by whom it was supported.
The two friends from abroad gratified the meeting by addressing a few words, in which they expressed their satisfaction at being present, and their concurrence in the objects proposed.
A proposal to advertise extensively the first volume of the Arcana for one shilling, in order to induce a large sale of an exposition of the first chapter of Genesis, as the best and indeed the only answer to objections and difficulties on this subject, was withdrawn.
MISSIONARY AND TRACT SOCIETY.
We have received the Forty-second Reportof the proceedings of this Society, the annual meeting of which was reported in the last number. The Society's operations have been chiefly confined to the useful work of assisting the smaller
societies of the church, to which they have rendered much good service.
"Brightlingsea.—The society here has been encouraged by the delivery of two discourses by Dr. Bayley; who also administered the Holy Supper to fortyfour persons, and attended meetings at the houses of the members. Dr. Bayley availed himself of the opportunity of visiting St. Osyth. Arrangements have been made for a monthly visit to Brightlingsea, by Mr. Potts, who, accordingly, preached there on five Sunda\s, the attendance having been in some cases above 20U."
"Bristol and Twerton have been visited by Dr. Goyder, who delivered two lectures in Bristol, and administered the Holy Supper to eight communicants. Dr. Goyder likewise preached two sermons on the occasion of the Sixteenth Anniversary of the New Church at Twerton, and baptized one infant. The attendance at the morning service was estimated at 80; in the afternoon about the same number assembled,and partook of tea; and in the evening the church, which will hold about 120 persons, was quite filled.
"Chatteris and St. Ives.—Your Committee have continued to assist the societies in these towns, Mr. Gunton having, delivered in the former place three sermons and two lectures; and on the occasion of the sudden removal into the spiritual world of a son of Mr. Tall, the leader of the society at St. Ives, Mr. Gunton visited that town, conducted the funeral service (which was attended by about BOO persons), and in the evening preached a sermon to a full congregation, who manifested considerable interest, and who, from sympathising with the bereaved parents, were probably in an unusually favourable state for the consideration of the doctrines.'' Of a visit to Chatteris and St. Ives, the Rev. J. B. Kennerley writes—
"The little band of receivers has increased much since my last visit to this society in 1855; and the cause of truth still appears to be advancing. In the evening I had the pleasure of delivering a lecture in their new place of worship, upon a subject which they had selected, viz.,' The Compatibility of the Origin of Evil, and the existence of Hell and Misery, with the Love and Goodness of God.' The church was crowded, many standing in the aisles and at the
doors, and the most earnest attention was accorded me. Questions were permitted to be put after the lecture, and the answers appeared to give satisfaction. I hope, under Divine Providence, some use has been performed. On the following evening, March ID, I lectured in St. Ives. Here a marked improvement has taken place during the last eight years. The society now possesses a very neat stone-built place of worship, the architecture of which is an ornament to the town, instead of worshipping, as they once did. in a very humble structure. The church was filled; the attention faultless. Our friends stated that they had never before seen so many persons in the church on a weeknight. Both the societies were very anxious that the visit should shortly be repeated."
"Deptford.— The society here has been frequently supplied with missionaries; and the attendance at the services continues good.
"Derby.—A grant of £5. has been made towards the delivery, in Derby, by the Rev. J. Hyde, of a course of four lectures on Bishop Colenso's Objections. The lectures were delivered in the hall of the Mechanics' Institute, and the audiences numbered from 200 to 400."
"Northampton.—Several missionary visits to this town have been sanctioned, with a view of strengthening the society there, and affording members opportunity for receiving the Lord's Supper. There was, indeed, a somewhat pressing call for assistance, Mr. Berry (the leader) having temporarily left the town, and the only other friend qualified to fill his place being in ill health."
"North Shields.—This society has been visited by the Rev. E. D. Rendell and Mr. Porteous, and is now in a satisfactory condition."
Besides these labours in the country, courses of lectures have been delivered in several parts of London.
The income from subscriptions, donations, sales, &c. was £226., and the expenditure £280.
New Jerusalem Church Tract Society, Manchester.
We give the following extracts from the Twenty-sixth Report:—
"Amid surroundings of commercial gloom, and unparalleled distress in local industrial circles, our little and unpre
tending speck of effort, lost in the whirlpool of converging and circumambient rival panicea for human frailty and imbecility, has been mercifully and wonderfully sustained. Not only have we maintained our past successes, but, thanks to our Father in heaven, even the Lord Jesus, we have added to our usefulness. No longer can it be affirmed, with any basis of veracity, that our efforts and appliances are not sufficiently various to meet the several degrees of human necessity ever obtaining. Dootrinal subjects, tersely reasoned, blended with moral themes, spiritual disquisitions, and sententious appeals, commending themselves to almost every grade of adult requirement, are to be seen in your Society's programme of religious instruction, with pleasing narratives and attractive stories for those of tender years. Young and old have with jealous eye been cared for. Need we wonder, then, at the Lord's blessing upon our combined efforts?"
"During their year of office, your Committee have circulated 89,644 tracts, making 20,046 more than in any previous year. The following tables exhibit the courses through which the various styles of literature, with the number of each kind, have passed; together with the grand total of issue during the Society's operations:—
Issue from May, 1862, to May, 1863.
Grants to Subscribers and others 70,900
Sunday-school Union 12
89,687 Total of issues in previous years 856,139
Issue since the commencement
of the Society in 1837 945,826
Of these there were—
Manchester Tracts 46,729
Minor Works 1,128
Pithy Tracts 33,879
Tracts on the Lord's Prayer .... 5,767 Juvenile and other Tracts 2,194
public lecturer in the church, operating in their immediate circle of action, with such selections of tracts as were deemed most adapted to the work in hand. The use of this action of the Society needs only to be referred to in order to be at once admitted. The dividends of the Crompton Legacy and of the Tideswell Bequest have enabled your Committee to take action in this direction upon a far more liberal scale than in previous years. They have, likewise, almost exhausted the unclaimed fund of tracts, - so that their successors will not be enabled to carry out to a similar extent like uses in this direction during the forthcoming year, unless the subscribers increase, either in amount of contributions or in numbers."
"There has been a larger number of the Minor Works of Swedenborg circulated this year than during the year 1861-2. These very excellent epitomes of the fundamental doctrines of the church, from the pen of the illuminated Swedenborg, cannot be too highly appreciated, or too deeply studied."
"The call for Pithy Tracts, and the short tracts on the Lord's Prayer, is on the increase; while the Juvenile Tracts, 'Stories for my Young Friends,' from the pen of T. S. Arthur, and an admirable series of sweet stories, entitled 'Steps to Heaven,' have been sought with avidity; as likewise have the Rev. J. Clowes's little manuals on ' Science,' 'Pjre Evangelical Religion,' 'Christian Temper,' and 'The Two Worlds;' besides which the Society has circulated a number of copies of the new edition, by the Manchester Printing Society, of a charming book for the instruction of youth, entitled ' Sunday Lessons.' This book should he in the hands of every child in the church; classes of both the Day and Sunday Schools should be liberally supplied, as it contains a fund of information upon the science of Correspondences especially adapted to youthful minds. Your Committee hope that the subscribers and Sunday-school conductors, as well as Day-school teachers, will endeavour, during the ensuing year, to increase the circulation of this useful disseminator of the truth. An excellent work from the pen of the Rev. Augustus Clissold, M.A., entitled 'The New Church Porch,' may also be had from the storekeeper by the subscribers.