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and New Jerusalem Magazine and the succeeded.
She has been more suc. Juvenile Magazine, though increasing, cessful, however, in producing infidelity is far below what we might reasonably than Protestant aspirations—aspirations hope. We cannot but think that a towards intellectual freedom and Chrislittle effort on the part of our readers tian faith and love. Nothing can be might considerably increase the number more disheartening, says
correspon. of our subscribers; and as the Confer- dent of one of our leading journals, ence and Sunday School Union, of than the religious question in Spain :which these magazines are the organs, “ Ask any man you meet whether he have always manifested a disposition to is a Catholic; his answer is, 'I am a apply any increased funds to their im- Spaniard.' The religion, the abuse of provement, this extension of their sale which has been the ruin of his country, would be certainly followed by an im. is with him, if a believer, a subject of provement in their appearance and national pride ; if a sceptic or arrant quality. With the present volume we infidel, a kind of irresistible fatality. enter
upon some new arrangements, I am a Spaniard'—that is, a being from which the conductors hope to reap doomed to be a Catholic or nothing. advantages to the work itself, and we * For other people there may be, on may, therefore, confidently appeal to religious subjects, inquiry, intellectual our readers to help us in the work in development, rational emancipation ; which we are engaged.
for us, in Spain, there is no mid-way
between the sheer unbelief which befits SPAIN.
a man and the grovelling superstition
which is good for a woman.' Strange One of the most marked political enough, the priests are aware of, and events is the revolution in Spain. thoroughly acquiesce in this arrangeThe utter depravity of the Queen, ment. Tell a priest boldly in his face combined with the tyranny of her you are an infidel, and he has done Government, has at length so com
As he can no longer burn pletely outraged the people, that they you, he rather looks upon you as an have risen against her authority, and auxiliary; for, he reasons, 'if all relibanished her from her throne and gions are the same to you, perhaps you country. A transitional Government will have no objection to your wife folhas been formed, and, at the time we lowing her religion rather than any write, the future is involved in no other. Perhaps you will find one small obscurity. Meantime there are religion in Spain a lesser evil than that certain features in this movement which confusion of creeds reigning in Eng. it may be interesting and useful for land.' Be it borne in mind that it is members of the New Church to care- unbelief, and not belief, that stands in fully note.
the way of religious freedom in Spain. Spain has been pre-eminently distin- Could you abstract professed or secret guished for its attachment to the deists and atheists, could you freely Romish Church. It has been the address yourself to the mass of churchstronghold of the Papacy. Its catholic goers, to the frequenters of the confesunity, secured by the terrible persecu. sional, to those who are most assiduous tions of the Inquisition and the fearful in their observance of the precepts of the tyrannies of the secular Government, Church, you would only be astonished has been its glory and its boast. Here, at the narrow limits within which the if anywhere, we may look, therefore, belief of these people reduces itself. for the natural fruits of this system of Ask any of the ladies who have signed priestly assumption and ecclesiastical the Madrid, Seville, or Valladolid peti. ascendency Here it has had uninter- tion what are her particular objections rupted sway. Italy has rebelled ; Spain to Protestantism. * Call you that a has been quiet. Italy has allowed religion ?' she will answer. the introduction of the Bible and the their priests marry, and have children open teaching of Protestant pastors ; like other men,' and she will giggle at Spain has set her face as flint against the notion. What else does she know every movement which could disturb about other people's religion or her her quiet or infringe her catholic unity. own ? Roman Catholicism south of the With all her efforts, she has not entirely Alps or the Pyrenees is a thoroughly
• Why, dumb show; it never argues or dis- torn to pieces the other day at Carthacusses; it never addresses the under
gena, for ridiculing the Immaculate standing; never countenances inquiry Conception, he expounded, in words or controversy.'
that proved his perfect knowledge of Such is the fearful night of mental the Spanish language, from the text, and religious darkness to which this Simon Peter, lovest thou Me. Feed system of priestcraft has reduced the My lambs.' He announced that Father national mind.
Ruet, an ex-catholic priest, would offici. “ The influence of the clergy,” says ate occasionally, but that he would go the same writer, “is to loosen all moral to preach the pure faith in the provinces. restraint. The charity they inculcate The committee intend to build a Prois encouragement to idleness. Their testant church without delay. А aspirations to a future life resolve them- London committee has also taken in selves into a disregard of the duties of hand the building of a Protestant the present. Their own example sup- church. A Spanish Protestant journal plies the best apology for idleness and has been started, the prospectus of indulgence.
which announces that the editor, No power of external authority can Cordova y Lopez, and other democrats, permanently bind the minds of the accept and proclaim the Reformation people. Liberty of thought is secured of Martin Luther.” by a higher influence than earth. All As was to be expected, the British the agencies of Divine providence are and Foreign Bible Society are availing active to secure the regeneration of themselves of the opening thus made nations, the setting up of a purer wor- to introduce the Word in the Spanish ship, and the promulgation of a truer language in large numbers. The way faith. Protestantism in many of its is thus opened for the promulgation of features is not in harmony with the truth. Much that passes under this wants of the present or the hopes of the name may not be in harmony with the future. Nevertheless, its mental free- teachings of the New Church. It is dom and open promulgation of the immeasurably superior, however, to the word of God, present to the nation the degrading superstition and scarcely conmeans of progress and of religious cealed atheism so extensively prevalent. enlightenment. and these agencies So far also as it opens the mind, and are already at work. Public Protestant gives increased activity to thought, it worship has been organized in Madrid is preparing the way of the Lord, and by a congregation of French, Swiss, hastening the progress of the latter-day English, and German Protestants, the glory of the Church. latter of whom are very numerous. The correspondent of the Post thus
PUBLIC MEETINGS OF THE SO. describes the opening Protestant ser
CIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISvice :
TIAN KNOWLEDGE. “Don Antonio Carrasso, who shared the dungeon and the dungeon food So many and so varied are the eviwith the Spanish Protestant martyr, dences of improved feeling and senSeñor Matamoros, performed the Pro- timent among intelligent Christians, testant service in the Spanish language that we are sometimes led to supbefore a numerous congregation, who pose that a more rapid progress has expressed the utmost astonishment that been effected than has really taken Protestants believed in the principles place. This feeling is often interrupted, of Christianity-for Spanish Catholics however, by some outbreak of the old are taught from their childhood the spirit of narrow exclusiveness, which most monstrous of fables concerning reminds us that old things have not the creed of those whom they are taught entirely passed away. Some church to loathe as heretics.
meetings which have been recently preached a very judicious sermon, held have manifested some of the worst perfectly adapted to his auditory of features of clerical intolerance.
At a imaginative children of the south. In- meeting of the Society for the Diffusion stead of fiercely denouncing Roman of Christian Knowledge, held on the Catholic dogmas, like that indiscreet 6th of October, on the motion of Mr. enthusiast who narrowly escaped being E. A. Fitzroy, a motion was carried,
granting the sum of £2000 to the Dean of Pieter Maritzburg and the Church Committee in the diocese of Natal. This resolution set aside the Bishop (Dr. Colenso), and recognised a rival and hostile establishment. The friends of the motion, however, were in the ascendant, and all opposition was put down by the most disorderly and violent means. A writer in the Spectator, who had attended a meeting of trades unions in Leeds, where some two or three thousand working-men were present, says, “I am obliged to confess, with shame and regret, that their sense of order, their manliness and gentlemanliness of feeling, were miles above anything that I could find in the clergy and excited young laymen who flocked to Lincoln's Inn Fields this afternoon. Interruptions, shouts, a clamorous refusal to listen to any one on the other side, the most entire absence of any recognition of the ordinary rules of a public meeting, broken windows, and vehement gesticulations, -these were the features of the venerable society. It was simply a tumult like that at Ephesus; and there was no town clerk' in the chair, with power to appease' and courage to 'dismiss' the assembly.” A clergyman writing to the same paper gives a similar account of this turbulent and disorderly assembly, citing some special examples of unfeeling and unchristian conduct. The purpose, however, of the promoters of the resolution was accomplished, but followed by notice of motion to repeal the resolution at a subsequent meeting This meeting was held on the 8th of December at the Freemason's Tavern. This large room was quite inadequate to accommodate the excited crowd of members who flocked to the meeting. All the avenues of approach were blocked up, and the room so crowded that it was found necessary to close the doors, and thus forcibly prevent any further admissions. The remarks of the public press on the disorders, the partizan zeal, and the intolerance of the former meeting, it was reasonably supposed would exercise some restraint on this assembly. The Archbishop of York, who was in the chair, appealed to the meeting as
an assembly consisting so largely of men who, like himself, were ministers of the gospel of our blessed Lord, to conduct its business in a spirit of charity
and fairness, and with a desire to do justice to all.” The appeal was in vain. The same turbulence as at the former meeting seems to have prevailed. Clergymen of high standing were refused a hearing. Others spoke amid the most unseemly interruptions, and the business of the meeting was transacted in the midst of angry altercation, confusion, and uproar. In the end a resolution affirming the grant of £2000 for the promotion of Christian knowledge in the colony of Natal, but leaving its expenditure in the hands of the Committee, was carried by a majority of 91. It is painful to witness proceedings so utterly at variance with the commonest elements of Christian decorum, and which manifest such a total disregard of the commonest teachings of Christian truth. It is important, however, to note such conduct and if possible to discover its cause.
Principles will always sooner or later work out their effects. What is in the mind of man is certain, at some time or other, and in some form or other, to be manifested in his words and actions. The cause of these disorders is to be found in the false position of those who have taken part in them. The gratuitous assump: tion of their own superiority, combined with a mistaken life's training of uncontradicted ascendency in their parishes, renders the bulk of our parochial clergy impatient of contradiction, fills their minds with the pride of spiritual despotism, and renders them oblivious of what is due to the feelings and sentiments of others. The great want of the church is a higher and truer Christian dogma, and a more cordial blending of all her members, both lay and clerical, in the ordinary business of their several congregations. The assumed superiority of the clergy, and their exclusive management of every; thing belonging to the worship and services of their churches, tend more to the development of the natural selfwill than to the maturing of brotherly kindness and Christian charity. Until the Church is delivered, however, from its narrowing doctrine of faith only, and possesses a genuine doctrine of charity, and realizes its vital importance in the formation of Christian character, it is hopeless to expect anything like a general and real manifestation of Christian courtesy and love.
ITALY.—A correspondent of the London Guardian of November 18th writes :
Italy is in every sense a new country now to one who remembers it before Majenta and Solferino, when Italy was, as Prince Metternich used to say, only 'a geographical expression.' not only that the demarcations of the map are effaced, the petty sovereignty of grand dukes and titular princes abolished, and Florence itself, as the capital of Italy, no longer an inexpensive residence for our countrymen. The change of political relations affects the national life in its every aspect.
Instead of the swarms of friars and monks which the traveller met everywhere, it is a rare thing now to see the picturesque garb of the monastic orders. What would Torquemada and his myrmidons think of a book-stall in the great piazza at Milan, close to the very walls of “Il Duomo,' with New Testaments in the vernacular freely displayed for sale to the passers-by ?”
Into the quickened life of this great nation, awaking from the slumbers of ages, and slowly shaking itself free from the nightmare of the papacy, the merciful Providence which is over all the nations of the earth is preparing to insert the glorious and soul-reviving truths of His second advent. The following letter of the Rev. Mr. Ford, the minister of a small society of the New Church at Florence, is extracted from the Messenger of November 11th, and will be read with interest. We offer no apology for its insertion at length.
FLORENCE, Oct. 15, 1868. While I was passing the hot season at the Baths of Recoaro, in the Italian Tyrol, I received a letter dated Lau. sanne, August 4, 1868, and signed “Loreto Scocia, Minister of the Italian Evangelical Church,” in which the writer stated that he had been for some time desirous of learning something about the doctrines of the New Church, but had only the previous day heard of the existence of a New Church at Florence from an English gentleman, who gave him my address. He therefore applied to me to know how he should obtain the information he desired. To this I replied by giving him a list of some of Swedenborg's works, beginning with H. & H. and D. P., to be ordered from Paris. I said, among
other things, that I wrote a little in the dark, not knowing whether he was moved to investigate the doctrines of the New Church by mere theological curiosity, or whether, having conceived à favourable impression of them, he wished to know more about them, “ seeking the truth for the truth's sake, and conscious of a purpose to leave all in order to acquire it and profess it.
To this Signor Scocia replied in a letter dated Lausanne, September 1st, 1868, from which I make the following extracts :
“ These words of yours (referring to those just given), my dear sir, make it my duty to give you some explanations. Have the kindness, then, to pardon me if I shall speak a little about myself. My first profession was not that of theology, but of law, in which I have received the degree of doctor. In 1860, being then in France, I was converted from Roman Catholicism to Wesleyan Methodism, through the instrumentality of men who deserved and still deserve my esteem and affection. Believing that I had found the truth, I gave up everything to profess it, and for seven years I devoted myself to it entirely.
“Having completed the studies preparatory to the ministry in France, I returned to Italy, and commenced my mission in Parma. In this city there gathered about me several · hundred persons, and in the short period of a year I had the satisfaction of seeing the establishment of a church of full five hundred members. I was then called to evangelize in other cities, Milan, Monza, Varese, Pavia, Savona, and in 1864, in Bergamo. This last is one of the strongholds of Popery, and had already, more than once, with resort to violence, driven off a Waldensian missionary and a Plymouthist. I send you by the same mail with this two numbers of the
Pungolo' of Milan. In that of the 13th of December 1864, an article marked on the first page will inform you of the serious danger to which I was exposed in Bergamo. In the other, of the 1st January, 1865, an article similarly marked will serve to show you the complete triumph gained by the evangelical truths in that city. I was subsequently recalled to the churches of Milan and Pavia, and finally sent to Vicenza, there to initiate a missionary movement.
“But at this period there was going on within me a complete spiritual revolution. Mon.
an excellent friend of mine, opened my eyes to the absurdities of the doctrines self-styled orthodox, based, almost all of them, on material and ignorant interpretations of the sacred Scriptures. In consequence, perceiving that I was in a Church which not only does not possess the truth, but what is worse, oppresses by its heavy organization, by its method. ism, all spirit, intelligence, and evangelical liberty, I could not hesitate, and at the first opportunity I offered my resignation to the Methodist Church.
"I came last May to Lausanne, where the relations of my wife reside, for the benefit of her suffering health, and am here seeking the truth, because I feel that I must not be wanting to my vocation, and desire with all my soul to return at the right time to preach the gospel in my dear native land.
"I had already some general ideas of the doctrines of the eminent philosopher Swedenborg, and was desirous of investigating the beliefs of the New Church which professes his doctrines; but up to the last month I never knew to whom to apply, when, as I wrote you the first time, Mr. Dixon, an English gentleman of my acquaintance, spoke to me about you, and gave me your address.
“I am expecting from Paris the works you have recommended to me. I shall study them seriously, and since you so kindly offer me your aid, I promise that I will have recourse to it frankly whenever I may need it, whether to overcome some difficulty or to clear up some doubtful point. Whatever may be the result of my investigations into the works of Swedenborg, I shall always be glad of having undertaken it, since it has put me in correspondence with you.
The next letter of Signor Scocia shows the impression made on him by his first acquaintance with Swedenborg :
" I am happy to inform you that I have read the work on Heaven and Hell, and that on the Divine Providence. What sublime philosophy, what deep knowledges, pyschological, physiologi. cal, anatomical, physical, and natural !
“I venture to send you a short summary of my reading, and of the deep impression it has made upon me,
with the hope of some suggestions from you in reply.
[Here follows an excellent summary of the doctrines of the New Church, which we omit for want of room. Eds. MESS.)
“ Thus you see, my dear sir, thanks to these writings, that my mind has entered upon a new horizon—a horizon immense and elevated. It is not, however, I will tell you frankly, one entirely pure and serene. Certain obscure and cloudy vapours prevent me from sending my sight abroad when it would fain contemplate the wonderful beauties of Swedenborg's doctrines.”
His difficulties have respect to justification by faith alone, and predestination, which he finds. as he supposes, explicitly taught in the writings of the Apostle Paul, and he cites several passages which seem to teach these doctrines. Perceiving in these doubts an illustration of what Swedenborg tells us, that truths ought not to be received all at once, and that therefore things which make against them are usually suggested, I contented myself, using very little argument against these dogmas, with saying that he would find occasion, in his further investigations, to see that the Epistles of the New Testament formed no part of the Divine Word. The following is his reply, being the last letter which I have received from him :
“LAUSANNE, Oct. 1, 1868. “You can well imagine, my dear brother, my happiness in being able to write you-as I can your satisfaction in learning it—the good news, that the Lord has wonderfully fulfilled my long cherished desires.
The happy prognostications expressed in your last letter have been completely realizedrealized even beyond all that could have been expected.
“ But to show this it is necessary that I should tell you of the wonderful success which I have received from the Divine Providence. First of all, however, I must premise that when your welcome letter reached me, I had just finished reading the precious book of Swedenborg, entitled the True Christian Religion, which gave me clear and precise ideas about the doctrines of the New Church, and of the logical and harmonious connection existing through.