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Bristol Society £1 0 0
The Operatives in the employ
of Messrs. Hodson and Son,
London (2nd don.) 0 10 0
Mr. Kay, Manchester ....... 10 0
Snodland Society 1 4 0
Mr. Harvey and others, Wi
venhoe (5th don.) 0 5 0
A Friend in the Distressed
District 10 0
Derby Society 2 0 0
From Cabmen's gratuities, per
Mr. Gillaird, Liverpool.... 0 5 0 "Monadelphia," Limerick —
(3rd don.) 0 5 0
,650 17 0
Also from the London Committee, per Mr. Pitman, for the redemption of pawned and the purchase of new clothing £10 0 0
Cash received for Work done
by Sewing Classes 0 14 1J
sent to me by Samuel Dean, Esq., of London, for distribution amongst the operatives whom I know to be in distress.
As the account of the flow of New Church benevolence into Blackburn would be incomplete without this announcement, I need make no apology for troubling you with it.
Part of the gift was, without delay, made use of in ministering to the wants of some of our sick distressed New Church people whose requirements our relief committee's resources and operations (generous and effective as they have been) could not so promptly or so fully meet.
I have considered it best to reserve the remainder for any similar cases which may present themselves.—I am, dear Sir, yours very truly,
J. Myers. Blackburn, 13th January, 1863.
A package of clothing has been received from the London Committee.
A continuation of our report of expenditure will be sent for your next.
I have again to express the gratitude of our committee for this very kind help; and I may further state that although work is being resumed by a few of our poor people, the demands on our charity are in no ways diminished.
The difficulty in working the kind of cotton now obtainable into Blackburn quality of cloth, makes it impossible for the operatives to earn sufficient for the purchase of the necessaries of life; hence our committee, whilst encouraging them to take the first chance of work, are desirous to assist them until their earnings are increased. The great bulk of them are still unable to get employment. All circumstances considered, I may safely say that further aid is as much needed by the Blackburn New Church poor as it has been at any previous time during this severe trial.—I am, dear Sir, yours very truly,
Thos. Pemberton, Treasurer. Darwen-street, Blackburn, 13th January, 1803.
To the Editor.
Dear Sir,—Allow me to acknowledge in the pages of the Intellectual Repository the receipt of .£5., which has been
The Relioious AsrECT Of The
We were all startled when, some years since, we heard that those who had risen against the Tartar dynasty and government in China made profession of the Christian faith, and hailed the English and other Christians as brethren. Little was however known respecting either the origin or the character of the Christianity which the rebellious party had adopted as their faith, and used as a mark of distinction and instrument of opposition to the state religion. This want has now been supplied. Commander Lindsay Brine, R. N., in a work published last year, entitled " The Rise and Progress of the Taeping Rebellion," gives an account of the reception of Christianity by the chief of this movement, which threatens the overthrow of the Chinese government. This work was reviewed in the October No. of the Quarterly Review; and from that work we propose to glean such particulars as miy enable our readers, who have not consulted the work or the review themselves, to form some correct idea of the religious aspect of this formidable rebellion. To arrive at this it will be necessary, first, to give some account of the conversion of the chief of the rebel movement.
Hung-siu-tsuen, the rebel chief, is the son of a poor but upright man, who was headman or elder of a village about
thirty miles from Canton. The boy early evinced more than average abilities, and made rapid progress in his studies. All his efforts, however, failed to obtain for him his bachelor's degree. This was,however,partly owing to the poverty of Lis parents, which prevented him from devoting himself to his studies under proper instructors. It was on the occasion of his last unsuccessful attempt to obtain his degree that an incident took place that led to his adopting Christianity; and we may give the particulars in Commander Brine's own words:—
"About the year 1833, he visited Canton, in order to be present at the public competition trial. Here he met with a man who, from the description, must have been a Frotestant missionary. On the following day he met two meD, one of whom had in his possession a parcel of books, the whole of which he gave to Hung-siu-tsuen. The work consisted of nine small volumes, and was intitled 'Good Words Exhorting the Age.' The donor proved to be a native convert, who was employed in distributing tracts. The author of these was a man named Leang-Afah, a convert of Dr. Milne's, at the college of Malacca. Leang subsequently returned to China, (his native country), and there Dr. Morrison, finding that he was anxious to become a distributor of the Gospel, ordained him for that purpose. Dr. Morrison states that in 1832 LeangAfah had printed nine tracts, of about fifty pages each, composed by himself, and interspersed with passages of Sacred Scripture. The title of the whole was 'Good Words,' &c. These books contain a good number of whole chapters of the Bible, according to the translation of Dr. Morrison; many essays on important subjects from single texts; and sundry miscellaneous sfatonents,founded on Scripture."
It appears that Dr. Morrison's translation of the Bible, though most creditable to him at the time it was executed, has been found by modern scholars to abound in grave errors, and that the author of "Good Words" was very incompetent as a commentator. These were the materials from which the future leader of the Chinese rebellion acquired his knowledge of Christianity. "Hung-siu-tsuen on his return home took these tracts with him, and
not deeming them of much importance, he simply, as he has since asserted, glanced at their contents, and put them aside. It is plain, however, that he had done something more. In 1837 he again went up for examination at Canton, and again failed. Broken down in health and spirits, he returned home to his village, and was through illness confined for some time to his bed. At this time he was 23 years of age. Strange visions appear to have now filled his mind." "In one of his visions,"says Commander Brine," he imagined himself to becarried away in a sedan-chair by a number of men playing on musical instruments, and after visiting bright and luminous places, and having all his impurities washed away, he entered, in company with a number of virtuous, aged, and venerable men, into a large hall, the beauty and splendour of which were beyond description. A man, venerable from his years, and dressed in a black robe, was sitting in an imposing attitude in the highest place. As soon as he observed Siu-tsuen he began to shed tears, and said—'All human beings in this world are produced and sustained by me; they eat my food and wear my clothing, but not a single one among them has a heart to remember and venerate me; what is, however, still worse, they take my gifts and therewith worship demons.' Thereupon he gave Siu-tsuen a sword, commanding him to exterminate the demons, but to spare his brothers and sisters; a seal, by which he would overcome evil spirits; and a yellow fruit, which Siu-tsuen found sweet to the taste. He then gives him a charge to do the work of bringing round the perverse; and, taking him out, told him to look and behold the perverseness of the people upon earth. The sickness and visions of Siu-tsuen continued about forty days, and in these visions he often saw a man of middle age, whom he called his Elder Brother, who instructed him how to act, accompanied him in bis wanderings to the uttermost regions in search of evil spirits, and assisted him in slaying and exterminating them."
After his recovery, he returned to the occupation of schoolmaster, in which he had been engaged before his illness. "One day the bundle of tracts which he had brought from Canton excited the attention of a brother schoolmaster,
named Li, who, after perusing them, told him they were extraordinary writings, and differed considerably from the Chinese books. Hung-siu-tsuen, for the first time, carefully read them, and was astonished to find that they supplied a key to his own visions." The venerable old man whom he had seen seated on high, he understood to be God, the Heavenly Father, and the middle-aged man, whom he called his Elder Brother, and who had assisted him to exterminate the demons, he understood to be Jesus, the Saviour of the world. Learning from the books the necessity of being baptized, Li and he administered the rite to each other. After this they discarded their idols, and removed the tablet of Confucius that was placed in the schoolroom. For this act Siu-tsuen lost his place as a teacher. He, in company with a few converts, went to the neighbouring province of Kwang-si, where the party remained some months, and made above a hundred converts. The number was greatly increased by the labours of one who remained behind; and the converts soon began to meet for worshipping, and became known as " the congregation of the worshippers of God."
Some time after his return home, Siu-tsuen repaired to Canton to seek instruction in the Christian religion from the American Baptist Missionary, the Rev. Mr. Roberts. He remained at the Mission-house about two months, "during which time," according to Mr. Roberts, "he studied the Scriptures and received instruction, whilst he maintained a blameless deportment. He requested to be baptized, but he left Kwang-si before we were fully satisfied of his fitness."
When he quitted Canton, he joined the society of God - worshippers, who adopted him as their leader; and their numbers rapidly increased. Their forms of worship were vague. Above all things they insisted on the destruction of idols. When they met for worship it was customary to praise God by the singing of a hymn; an address was delivered either on the mercy of God or the merits of Christ, and the people were exhorted to repent of their sins, to abstain from idolatry, and to serve God with sincerity of heart. When converts were baptized, they were required to promise 'not to worship evil spirits, nor to practise evil things, but to keep the heavenly com
mandments.' After this confession and promise they knelt down, and from a large basin of clear water, a cupful was poured over the head of every one, with the words—"Purification from all former sins, putting off the old, and regeneration." Several singular rites followed, and appear to have entered into their forms of worship, among which was the sacrifice of animals at festivals, marriages, burials, and at the new year.
The God-worshippers, from destroying their own idols, began to interfere with the worship of their neighbours, but seem to have been restrained by the authorities, which led to Siu-tsuen returning and remaining some time at home. During his absence, the congregation ran into some religious extravagances, some of them having had ecstatic fits, in which they professed to have revelations. Soon after Siutsuen joined them, he became austere and severe in his manners, strict in his moral behaviour, and severe upon the shortcomings of his followers, who submitted implicitly to his dictates, although he had been absent when the society of God-worshippers was formed, and also when the extasies or revivals first took place among them.
"Up to this point," says the reviewer, "however we may lament the ignorance and mistakes of these people, the general tendency of the movement seems to have been good, and the objects of Hung-siu-tsuen laudable. To awaken the people from the miserable torpid idolatry of Buddhism, and to show to them even a glimpse of the Divine nature and of Christian morality, was surely a great and noble design, however blind the leader may have been to the cardinal truths of Christianity which he had desired, but was never permitted to know. But the God-worshippers, as we have seen, soon became suspected by the authorities, and in the end became identified with local parties. It may almost be said the 'rebellion lay in their way, and they found it.'"
It is not our purpose to follow these God-worshippers through their career of revolutionary warfare, and can only notice it so far as is necessary to trace the religious element. The war is considered to have grown out of their operations as religious reformers. "The immediate cause of the outhreak is stated in several different ways. It is
said that a young believer and iconoclast, being thrown into prison at the instance of a certain graduate, who was a determined enemy of the God-worshippers, perished through want and evil treatment. Some disturbances having arisen, the magistrates attempted to seize Hung - siu - tsuen and another of the leaders. Their own people came to their rescue, and the rebellion commenced. He summoned the God - worshippers, now increased by the wholesale conversion of the Puntis, to unite together. They had begun to convert their property into money, and to deliver the proceeds into the common treasury, whence the wants of all were supplied, a principle which has been adhered to throughout. Old and young, rich and poor, all the members of the congregation came with their families to join his banner, which soon attracted to it, in addition, such people as those who were fain of old to resort to the cave of Adullam." The rebellion, which commenced about the end of 1850, has gone on increasing until the present time. In November, 1851, the new potentate, who had already assumed the title of Heavenly King, and was proclaimed the first emperor of the new dynasty of Taeping, or Great Peace, issued a proclamation in which he required all his officers and soldiers to follow his doctrine, which he proceeds to lay down:—" Our Heavenly Father, the Great God and Supreme Lord, is one True Spirit (God): besides our Heavenly Father, the Great God and Supreme Lord, there is no Spirit (God). The Great God, our Heavenly Father and Supreme Lord, is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent—the Supreme over all. There is not an individual who is not produced and nourished by Him. He is Shang (Supreme); He is the Te (Ruler). Besides the Great God, our Heavenly Father and Supreme Lord, there is no one who can be called Shang, and no one who can be called Te.
"Therefore, from henceforth all you soldiers and officers may designate us as your lord, and that is all. You must not call me supreme, lest you should encroach upon the designation of our Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father is our Holy Father, and our Celestial Elder Brother is our Holy Lord, the Saviour of the World. Hence, our Heavenly Father and Celestial Elder Brother alone are holy; and from hence
forth all you soldiers and officers may designate us as your lord, and that is all. But you must not call me holy, lest you encroach upon the designation of our Heavenly Father and Celestial Elder Brother."
The Taepings, during the progress of the rebellion, have proceeded steadily northward; and their track has been marked by fearful carnage, and sometimes by utter exterminations ; and they remind us of the Jews, in their wars with the nations of Canaan. Horrible as this mode of warfare is, we must yet remember that they are Chinese, and that— according to the testimony of Mr. Forest, a gentleman belonging to our consular establishment—"on the score of cruelty, the case must be about even between the two contending parties, inclining to the imperial side, if we may judge on the principle that the more cowardly the more cruel."
The reviewer concludes his account by saying—" We have now endeavoured to give our readers a notion of what the Taepings really are; and, situated as we are, it becomes necessary to dismiss on the one hand the fancy that they are Christians, and, on the other hand, to recognise the fact that they and the Imperialists are equally cruel." On the first of these points, we may observe, that although the conduct of the rebels, in the war, is as remote as can well be conceived from the principles and precepts of pure Christianity, yet we are to reflect that they belong to a nation that has very little regard for human life, and that the little knowledge they possess of Christianity, has been derived from books which are acknowledged to contain many grave errors, even by those who profess a faith far removed from that revealed in the Gospels. We axe inclined to think it is possible that the seed, not very good in itself, and received into not very good ground, may contain germs that may survive the present time, and rise out of the corruption which surrounds it, and, like the mustard seed, grow up and become a goodly tree. The Taepings are said to maintain an army of 400,000 men, and to have dominion over an area of 30,000 square miles. It is at least devoutly to be wished that Providence may bring some ultimate spiritual good out of this singular religious, as well as political, warfare.
ffiittuarr.. There was little apprehension last month, when I sent the notices of removals into eternity of the several friends at Dalton, that the church here would have this month to record another in the person of Mr. Thomas Brook, aged 73. A man of singular ingenuity, uprightness, and Christian simplicity of character,—beloved by all his extensive acquaintance, his removal was marked hy all that ought to distinguish the aged Christian—namely, patience, resignation, and peace. He was as remarkable for his skill in designing as for his unobtrusive virtues. He was for upwards of forty years in the employment of the Messrs. G. and J. Seniors, and the gentlemen who succeeded them. He saw the beginning and rise of the New Church in this neighbourhood, and was one of our oldest members. It was delightful to hear his last employer say, after knowing him forty years, that he had not to die to earn a good name. The large attendance at his funeral, on one of the most boisterous winter days we have experienced this season, proved how much our departed friend was beloved, as well as testifies to the value of our holy principles,so little understood by a benighted world. He has left a widow behind him, who was born within about a fortnight of her departed husband. He had long suffered from attacks of bronchitis, and his removal at last was more sudden than .was expected. T. L. M.
Departed this life, on the 26th of November last, irf her 36th year, Miss Mary Ravensworth, daughter of Mr. Richard Ravensworth, of Rhodes. For upwards of two years, she has been afflicted with heart disease, attended with its most painful symptoms; but she endured her severe sufferings with exemplary patience and resignation. She had been connected with the society from her earliest years. As a scholar, she was attentive and obedient; as a teacher, gentle and earnest; as a member, loving ami faithful. The excellent qualities which she so fully manifested in her religious society, she carried into her domestio circle, where she seemed to hold the relation of a mother to her sisters, while she was all that could be
expected from an affectionately dutiful daughter to her parents. For many months previous to her death, she had given up all hopes of recovery, and awaited her removal with calm composure, cheering her long and dreary nights by repeating psalms and hymns, meditating on the beatitudes of heaven, and endeavouring to calm the natural feelings of her family, comforting them with the assurance that she should be nearer to them, and probably do them more good, than would be possible here. "This was the music of her last farewell:— Weep not, my brethren! though you see me led By short and weary stages- day by day, With motion almost imperceptible, Into the silent grave. God's will be done!" A funeral discourse was delivered at Rhodes, to an overflowing audience, on the occasion of her death, by the Rev. J. B. Kennerley, from Luke x. 41, 42, which was strikingly appropriate to the very letter. This esteemed minister had frequently visited the deceased during her illness, and, from his close observation, had been enabled to acquire such a familiarity with her disposition that he was peculiarly fitted to discourse upon her virtues to the advantage of her bereaved companions. In the course of the sermon, he intimated that it is out of the province of a minister to eulogise the dead, inasmuch as the inner motives of the soul, which are known only to God, are the criteria for correct judgment, no matter how brilliant Christian virtues, as manifested in the outward conduct, may seem; so it should be foreign to the purposes of a panegyrist to exonerate the culpable or laud the undeserving; and we have given the above simple statements as the result of our impartial estimation of the character of our departed sister, and feel assured that her life has been such as should give comfort to the mourners, and enable them to believe that she is now realising the prayer which she uttered in the evening of her last Sabbath in this world, viz.:—
"0 may I find a home
Where joys serenely grow,
Where tears shall never flow I
Where angels sit, and tell
S. P., Rhodes.
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