Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

School. The efficiency and finish dis. Commandments and Christ's summary played excited general admiration. That of Duty to God and Man. There was the concert was an attraction and highly nothing in any of the arrangements to appreciated was evident from the large show that one was not in an orthodox audience, who, even at a late hour, were church of somewhat rich and complete slow to depart. A pleasing feature of ailornments. The choir was a mixed the evening was the presentation of an one, and rendered the musical portions elegant writing-desk to Mr. Spencer of the service effectively to the accomIn presenting it on behalf of the pupils, paninient of an excellent organ well Mr. D. Moss expressed their apprecia- manipulated. The service, which was tion of the great interest and patience one of a varied series of set forms ardisplayed by him in conducting the ranged for the different Sundays of the class. Mr. Spencer in a few words month, opened with a prayer, culminfeelingly expressed the pleasure he had ating as it were in the Lord's Prayer. in knowing that the little services he The Psalms were divided into portions had performed were so highly appreci. for the year, and each bore above it ated. Mr. Goldsack, president for the Swedenborg's Internal Sense.' Two evening, expressed the great pleasure it lessons were separated by an anthemgave him and all around to be present Elvey's Arise, shine,' and succeeded by at so happy a gathering, and hoped that the Commandments with Kyrie. Ansuch reunions may be frequent. He other prayer followed ; and then, after urged upon all the necessity of working giving notice of Good Friday and Easter for the Sunday School, as the good re- Sunday services, Dr. Bayley preached a sulting from such was incalculable. sermon.” The sermon is reported at

length ; after which the writer proceeds, LONDON—Kensington Palace Gardens “ Prefixed to the Service Book is a Church. The Kensington Neues of April brief summary of the faith of the New 4th contains a report of a visit to this Jerusalem Church, which is worth church, from which we make the fol- transcribing, as the principles of this lowing extract :-" Emerson, in his religious body are little understood, and * Representative Men,' takes Sweden- consequently often misrepresented." borg as his embodiment of the mystic; This is followed by the publication of the and if we accept the impersonation, the Creed prefixed to the Argyle Square Lit. New Jerusalem Church is the shrine urgy, which is also used at this church. and focus of modern mysticism. Under such an aspect, and not without refer- MANCHESTER-Peter Street.- A pleaence to the present rather prominent sant social meeting was held in this claims of occult science to be heard in society on the evening of Tuesday, our midst, I determined to pay a vis:t March 24th. The Rev. J. Hyde inlast Sunday morning to the handsome troduced the evening's proceedings with chapel formerly occupied by Mr. Offord, a short address, in which he briefly and recently handed over to Dr. Bayley, alluded to two circumstances which had who removed hither from the New quite recently appeared in the local Jerusalem Church in Argyle Square, prints. The first of these was the King's Cross. The Mall Chapel is a public discussion of the subject of handsome and commodious building, * Cremation." He had himself no and its fittings rich in the extreme. A special interest in this subject, but he finely draped altar bore, as is the custom was glad to find that it was occupying the in Swedenborgian places of worship, an attention of the learned and thoughtful, open Bible, and was adorned with an as it will draw attention to the natural exceedingly rich frontal, with the sacred boly, and must lead to the discussion of monogram bordered with lilies of ex- the doctrine of the resurrection. The qnisite workmanship. Two pulpits stood Bishop of Manchester, who had spoken within the chancel rails flanking the on the subject, had not shaken off the altar; and in one of these a young man idea of the resurrection of the natural was reading the service. The other was body, but concluded that God, who had occupied by Dr. Bayley himself, who all power, could as well raise the body took a large share of the prayers too. from its ashes as from the decay of the Each was habited in surplice and bands. tomb. A second circumstance was the A font stood in front of the altar rail; discourse of the Bishop, in which he had while over the Holy Table were the Ten announced his conviction that men are

not responsible for their beliefs but for watching eagerly for its advent. The their conduct. He had learned the meeting was then addressed by Mr. great truth that men will be judged not Whyte, who spoke on the fallaciousby their faith but their lives. He (the ness of a mere increase of numbers, as speaker) was glad that so able a preacher an evidence of New Church growth ; had reached so great a truth, and that so by Mr. Johnson, who spoke on the great a truth has found so able a preacher infallible certainty with which, in one to propound it.

form or another, success ultimately reThe address was followed by a selection wards the efforts of every thoughtful of classical music and recitations, and and earnest sower of spiritual seed; by concluded by lighter amusements. There Mr. J. D. Bielby, who glanced, only was a large attendance, and the evening too rapidly, at the past history and at passed pleasantly away.

the future prospects of the Church in

Nottingham ; by Mr. William Clarke, MIDDLESBOROUGH.-The members and jun., who warned his minister and his friends of the above church met in their fellow members to beware of an error mission-room, Newport-road, to bid into which they seemed likely to fall, farewell to their leader, Mr. G. H. the error of regarding an occasional Smith, on his removal to Bolton, to conspicuous decrease in the size of the minister to the church in that town, Sabbath congregations as an effect of and to show their esteem and apprecia- waning interest in the principles or the tion of his past services by presenting persons of the Society, or as an effect of him with a purse of gold. An excellent anything, but a combination of social tea was provided by the ladies of the circumstances over which absentees had congregation, and after tea a meeting sometimes little, and frequently no was held for the purpose of thanking control; by Mr. James Chester, the Mr. G. H. Smith and making the pre- secretary, on the unparalleled power sentation, which was cheerfully done, of the New Church to answer those and very feelingly acknowledged by the great questions which so many minds recipient. During the evening several are so earnestly asking, and which so speeches were made relative to the pre- many masters are repelling as unanswersentation and also to some of the able ; and by the chairman, who acdoctrines of the Church.

knowledged that he did not, in the

least, believe in the trustworthiness of NOTTINGHAM.—The anniversary ser- an increase of numbers as an evidence of vices of this Society were held on New Church growth, and declared that Easter Sunday. The Rev. Charles H. he did not expect, and did not even Wilkins preached, in the morning ; on desire, any sudden and large influx of

The morning of the resurrection ;- strangers ; but insisted, none the less, Mary, Peter, and John, early at the but all the more, on the absolute sepulchre” (John xx. 1, 2); and, in the necessity of instant and constant and evening, on “ The evening of the re- self-denying earnestness,—both in atsurrection :-Jesus in the midst of His tendance upon the services of the disciples" ' (John xx. 19). The con. Church, and in Church activity of every gregations were quite ordinary ones, be- kind,-on the part of every man and ing neither better nor worse than usual. woman who had sought and obtainel Ou Easter Monday the anniversary the privilege of membership in the New meeting was held. After an excellent Church ; and concluded by assuring his tea, given by the ladies of the Church, friends that he would never dream of the chair was taken by the minister, retaining the pastorate of any Church who opened the proceedings by calling unless perpetually supported by the upon the choir, who very sweetly and fervent and unfailing co-operation of effectively sang “Hail to the brightness its members. The addresses, which of Zion's glad morning." The chairman were listened to with close and Then spoke briefly of the New Church sympathetic attention, were pleasantly, $ being, in very deed, the glad morning and not unprofitably, interspersed with

humanity ; and concluded his open chaste and wholesome musical selec& remarks by reminding his hearers tions, skilfully and feelingly rendered. at, like every natural morning, this Soon after ten the meeting quietly closed ritual morning finds the many still with the Lord's Prayer and the Benedicindly slumbering, and only the few tion. The attendance at both the tea

OF

SOV

and the meeting was smaller than the forted with the reflection that the Lord present writer remembers having seen is a husband to the widow, and a father at any Nottingham anniversary. Yet to the fatherless. on all hands it was freely confessed that On Saturday, March 14th, 1874, the meeting had been one of the most James Negus. of Lynn, near Walsall, 13

ciety: was removed from the natural into the The air was full of New Church

rch spiritual world in the 74th year of his thoughts and sentiments, of New Church

age. He first met with a New Church hopes and aims. And the proceedings

ngs tract at the house of a friend on whom generally, from first to last, were al- he called one Sunday evening upwards together more prophetic of a bright of th

of thirty years ago. The subject of it future for the true New Church in

in was “The Lord Jesus Christ the only Nottingham, than any meeting that has trune Ohjeet of Chri

as true Object of Christian worship." He been held by the Society during the read it with the greatest interest, and present pastorate.

C. H. W.

having no connection with any religious

body, he had no preconceived prejudices Marriage.

to overcome. He was so struck with At the New Jersusalem Church, Drew- its unbroken consistency, scriptural ton Street, Bradford, on the 24th Decem- evidence, and practical tendency, that ber 1873, by the Rev. D. G. Goyder, on the following Sunday (having heard Mr. Samuel Wigglesworth, to Miss that there was a place of worship in Elizabeth Sharman; both of Bradford. Birmingham where the heavenly docNo cards. A Bible containing the trines of the New Jerusalem were following inscription was presented to taught) he attempted to find it out, but the married couple :-“This Bible is arrived too late for the service. In the presented to Samuel and Elizabeth following week he and his wife called Wigglesworth, by the Rev. David upon the minister, the Rev. E. Madeley. George Goyder, officiating minister, and This interview ripened into a warm and the members of the Church, as a token sincere friendship, which remained unof their love, and for a memorial of broken to the end of his life. their marriage, being the first marriage He was taken seriously ill about five solemnized in the New Jerusalem weeks' previous to his removal. His Church, Drewton Street, Bradford. indisposition was of such a nature, as to December 24th, 1873."

prevent him from entering into much

conversation, but when he was at one Obituary.

time reminded of the comfort and bless

ing he enjoyed in not having to seek At Wigan, September 1, 1873, aged te forty-nine years, Mr. Joseph Shaw. He

religion at the closing period of his

earthly existence, he answered, “Oh, had been a member of the New Church

yes! and I am more convinced than about twelve months, and received from its doctrines much consolation. He

ever of the utter fallacy of a death-bed was an affectionate husband and a kind

repentance; when the body and mind

are exhausted by illness, then is the father.

comfort of having found the Lord!" Annie Large departed this life at Departed for his heavenly home, Wigan, January 10th, aged 15 years. March 18th, James Yelverton Swift, She was very fondly attached to the Sunday-school, which she loved

aged 34, one of the most earnest and to

indefatigable members of the Bedford attend.

Street New Church Society, Liverpool. Mr. Thomas Pennington, of Wigan, Possessed of an average knowledge of aged fifty-three years, departed into the the heavenly doctrines, which were his spiritual world on the 15th February. solace and delight, his chief joy for He had been for some time in indifferent many years was in working to promote health, yet his death came suddenly. the interests of the Church, both in the He had been connected with the New Society and in the Sunday-school, there Church from early life, and took a deep by acquiring the meetness for the perinterest in its welfare. He leaves a formance of higher duties in the Jeru. widow and a large family, who are com- salem which is above.

E. S.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

CHURCH PROGRESS. The question of Church progress exhibits two aspects, an internal and an external. An internal, characterized by a passage from an unregenerate to a regenerate state, from selfishness to a love of the Lord, and from a love of the world to a love of others : it exhibits a purification of the mind from false thoughts, and an elevation of the understanding to true intelligence; it effects a positive change of the heart or will from a state of death in evil love, to the living activity of warm, benevolent and kindly affections towards others. External progress, on the other hand, implies an advancement from obscurity to prominence, from weakness of numbers to strength, and from imperfect means of worship towards an orderly and beautified ritual.

It is easy to conceive of great external progress, with very deficient and imperfect internal advancement. Worldly motives may induce a congregation, carried away by the apparent truthfulness and brightness of their views, and animated by a desire to proselytize, to strain every nerve to surround themselves with forms and materials of worship which may impress others with their superiority, and thereby advance them to a seeming prosperity, but in all this there may be nothing of the true vitality afforded alone by a thorough change of heart, to constitute an internal living soul to such an effort, and without that the external prosperity is merely a hollow snare which sooner or later will be stripped of what are really borrowed coverings, when it will perish

and decay. True external progress is only possible when the internal is influenced by the light of new truths directing goodness into action.

The measure of the progress of our Societies therefore must always be in proportion to the advancement they make in spiritual life. A purified intellect and a good heart, conscious that the life of this world must be made subordinate to eternal ends, receives an influx of power and strength from the Divine, because it is in accordance with His desires and intentions. This influx carries with it an impulse to external progress—while at the same time it unites, adorns, and beautifies the humbled and most unaffected worship in a manner which the most solemn and magnificent temples must fail to attain without it. The truest text which we could select to illustrate this subject is furnished in the words “As thy day is, so shall thy strength be,” for it furnishes not only a measure by which we can test the quality of our own states, but when the measure is determined it enables us to estimate the progress we are likely to effect. Our day as individuals means the state of our own hearts and minds. Thus, our views of truth may be obscure and dim; our minds may be in a sort of twilight, having little power to define our position in relation to God, and the nature of our duties towards men and the degree of the heat of our affection for the truth may be only lukewarm or cold—the extent of our strength therefore will be in exact proportion to our twilight state, and little progress will be effected. But our day may be one of a very different sort; it may be one of exceeding brightness, one attained by great study, application, and thought; our minds may be illuminated by the brilliant crystalline light of truth, heightened and reflected from the knowledge we possess of things around us, whether of a social, civil, or political character-we may perceive the correct relation and bearing of the things we contemplate, and discourse upon them with apparent profit and advantage to others. But of what profit to ourselves that is the question. To us this day may be only a brilliant winter day, dazzling with a sunlight reflected from a snow-covered earth, and utterly devoid of a single beam of heart love or affectionthere is nothing in it to cheer us, to warm us, to give us vital animation, to infuse into us activity and vigour. It is only the whiteness of death. Such is the day of truth separated from the heat of love, in it there is no strength or progress, because the true animating principle of life is absent. Glorious as are the truths of the New Dispensation, they are as powerless for good as the worst errors of the old church if separated from goodness of heart.

« AnteriorContinuar »