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large a proportion of the payments are for preliminary expenses, such as are not likely to be again incurred, we may regard our financial position as satisfactory. It is an encouraging evidence of our stability, that a Building Fund has been established. Several friends were moved to this by an earnest desire to build a House to the Lord, and thus place the society on a material basis. This fund has been increased by anonymous contributions to the box, and by a small sum for interest on the deposit account, to £117. 6s. lid. From the promises of annual subscriptions received since the audit, there is reason to hope that ere long the society may be enabled to purchase a site for carrying out the object of the fund."
Votes of confidence and approval were passed, the officers for the ensuing year appointed, and a resolution agreed to to render all possible support to the Building Fund.
Easter In Lancashire.—The societies of the New Church in Lancashire avail themselves of the general holiday at this season of the year to hold a number of interesting and instructive social meetings. The first of these is instituted by the Sunday-school Union, and is held on Good Friday. This meeting was held this year at Rarnsbottom, and notwithstanding the wetness of the day, nearly two hundred friends from various parts of the country were present. At this meeting it is the custom to read an essay which has been pre-. pared by some gentleman appointed at some previous meeting of the Union. This year the essay was read by the Rev. E. D. Rendell, of Preston, who had selected as his subject—"The Education of the Church." This subject the essayist treated with his usual ability. He pointed out the distinction between the education of the church and of the world; showing that the education of the world, or a merely secular education, however extensive and however perfect, could not accomplish for us the end contemplated by the education of the mind in the knowledge and practice of spiritual truth. The distinction also between instruction and education was clearly pointed out and luminously treated. Instruction is to impart to the mind the knowledge of truth, education to draw out this knowAddresses corroborative and ex
pansive of the general sentiments of the essay were delivered by Messrs. Mackereth, Westal, S. Smith, E. J. Broadfield, and other speakers who took part in the proceedings. Tea was provided in a public room in the village, after which the friends again assembled in the chapel, the subject of conversation being the proper observance of the Sabbath. This subject was introduced by the secretary of the Union, Mr. Potts. Addresses tending to show that in the New Church the Sabbath should be observed in a strict and earnestly religious, but not Pharisaic spirit and manner, were delivered by a number of the friends present. All who had the privilege of attending this meeting seemed to enjoy the sphere of mutual affection by which it was pervaded.
Another meeting held by the friends of the church at this season is what is called the "Annual Meeting." This assembly was long held in Whit-week, but being found to interfere with the Sunday-school anniversaries, which are held at this season, it has of late years been appointed for Easter Monday. The meeting this year was held at Kersley, Mr. Woodman presiding. The custom is to read a portion of the Word, which forms the subject of conversation. The 61st chapter of Isaiah was read this year, and addresses explanatory of its spiritual sense delivered by the chairman, the Revs. J. Boys, J. B. Kennerley, R. Storry, and Messrs. Mackereth, Fox, Westal, Seddon, and others. Tea was provided in the spacious and beautiful school-room adjoining the church; after which a more popular meeting was held in the same room. At this meeting the Yorkshire Colporteur, who was in the neighbourhood attending one of the public fairs, gave an account of the working of that institution, and sought to interest the friends in its behalf. The Rev. R. Storry followed in an address on the relation of the New Church to the world outside of us. Other speakers kept up the attention of the friends and the interest of the meeting, until the time arrived for departure to their several homes. The attendance was not large, rather less than a hundred in the afternoon—somewhat more than this number in the evening; all present felt, however, the beauty of brethren dwelling together in unity, and the eminent tendency of these annual assemblies to unite the
members of the church in the bonds of faith and the brotherhood of mutual love. The church in this part of the kingdom has done much, and is doing much, for the instruction of its members and the dissemination of the truth, but it has much more to do in the future than has been yet attempted, and meetings of this kind will help to prepare the way for the doing of it. They knit the members of the several societies together as one man, and give greater harmony of feeling and unity of action. They afford the opportunity also to the distant members of meeting with the earnest labourers in the church who have given the strength and energy of their manhood to this great cause, and who hold to it with the ripened experience of advancing age. Some of these noble men, of whom it is sufficient to mention the names' of Mr. Moss and Mr. Broadfield, are always present to add to the enjoyment of these occasions. The very presence and manifest happiness of these fathers in the church is a speaking lesson to the younger members. It teaches them to plant their feet early within the walls of Jerusalem; to walk about Zion and go round about her; to tell the towers thereof, to mark well her bulwarks, and consider her palaces, that they may tell it to the generation following.
effect to the experience and states of his hearers. A few friends from distant parts of the county were present, and greatly enjoyed the rich spiritual repast provided by our esteemed and talented friend, Mr. Jas. Spilling.
Ipswich.—On Sunday, April 9th, Mr. Spilling, of Norwich, paid his customary visit to this society, and preached morning and evening,—visited the Sundayschool in the afternoon, and examined and addressed the children. The subject of the morning's discourse was "The hidden manna and the white stone;" (Rev. ii. 17.) in the evening, "Aaron burning incense on the golden altar." (Exodus xo. 7, 8.) Mr. Spilling, referring to the practice adopted by a certain portion of the Church of England of burning incense as an act of worship, and which is now rife in the city of Norwich, showed its heathen origin, and that God had not ordained it, but had simply permitted it because of the external state of the Jews, who were not able to receive or understand anything better or more spiritual, and at the same time had given laws to regulate and restrain it. He then showed the beautiful spiritual teachings involved in the observance commanded in the text, and applied it with considerable
Nottingham. — The Hedderly-street society has posted on forty public advertising boards in and about Nottingham, for a term of three months, a large placard, which, after stating the place and times of worship, gives the following summary of the New Church faith:—
"1st. That the Lord Jesus Christ is God of Heaven and Earth, in whom is centred the Divine Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and 'in whom dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.' He is therefore the only true Object of Christian Worship.
"2nd. That the Sacred Scripture is His Inspired Word. That the literal sense contains the Truths of Faith essential to Salvation. That there is also in its interior sense an infinite depth of Divine Wisdom accommodated to the spiritual perceptions of men and of angels.
"3rd. That Regeneration is a gradual work, effected by co-operation with the Lord, through a loving obedience to His Divine Commandments, in the uses of a godly and self-denying life.
"4th. That the Lord's Church consists of The Good of every sect throughout the world. It is written—' The hour cometh when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth.' Jesus says—' I am the Way, the Truth, and the life.' (John iv. 23, 26.)
"Strangers provided with seats and books."
In deciding upon such a course, the committee considered that a plain and simple declaration of the doctrines would be calculated to awaken attention, and probably lead to inquiry. This was the main object. Here, as in other places, there exists much misconception and misrepresentation respecting New Church doctrines, and are we not justified in removing these barriers to the reception of the heavenly truths to the utmost of our ability? Since the placards have been issued, several strangers have attended the services and appear to be interested.
Since the last Conference, several members of the church and congregation have emigrated, or otherwise left Not
tingham; but we are still persevering and hopeful. At the last quarterly meeting, held on the 9th instant, five members were received, and seven probationers proposed for membership. Amongst the latter is a respectable tradesman who for years has been more or less associated with the secularists in this town. He and his wife and family have been regular in attendance upon worship during the last nine months, and he takes an active part in our fortnightly "Penny Readings." Holyoake has just paid Nottingham a visit, and delivered three lectures on " The effect of reading the Bible a second time;" but I am happy to say, although the town had been placarded very extensively, the attendance on each evening was very scanty, the room being scarcely one-third filled. Some of our friends attended and distributed the four-page tracts as the audience retired. Secularism seems to be on the wane in Nottingham at least.
On Sunday, April 16th, we had a kindly visit from our friends of Shakespere-street Society. Mr. Pegg, the much-respected leader, preached for us in the morning, and Mr. J. D. Beilby in the evening,— being sermons for the benefit of the Sunday- school fund. The attendance on both occasions, and the collections, were very satisfactory. Mr. D. W. Heath addressed the children and friends in the afternoon.
Quarterly Meeting Op The LancaShire Ministers.—The second quarterly meeting of the ministers in this part of the kingdom was held at Kersley, on the 6th of March last, at which, the Revds. R. Stony of Heywood, W. Woodman of Kersley, J. Boys of Standlane, J. B. Kennerley of Salford, and Or. C. Macpherson of Bedford-street, Liverpool, and Messrs. Westall of Bolton, and E. J. Broadfield of Accrington, were present. Letters were received from the Revds. E. D. Rendell of Preston, and T. L. Marsden of Dalton, explaining that unavoidable circumstances prevented their attendance. The meeting was felt to be a highly useful one, and the deliberations on the subjects brought under consideration, were characterized by both cordiality and unanimity. The next meeting is to take place at Liverpool, on the second Tuesday in June.
The first of the course was delivered on February 5th, by Mr. E. Seddon, of Middleton, subject: "Jesus Christ being the only God, why did he pray to the Father?" (John xi. 41-2.) the second, on February 12th, by Mr. F. Smith, of Manchester, subject: "Why and how was Jesus tempted of the devil?" (Matt. xxvii. 46.) the third, on Feb. 19th, by Mr. S. Smith, of Manchester, subject; "Sin—what is original sin ?—what is the sin which can be forgiven ?—what is the sin which cannot be forgiven?" (Luke xii. 10.) and the last, on Feb. 27th, by Mr. R. Adcock, of Manchester, subject: "The true meaning of the Cross of Christ." (Gal. vi. 14.) Much solid instruction was presented in these lectures; they were well attended, and were listened to with marked attention. The results were very satisfactory.
The First Protestant Church m Southern Italy.—The interesting circumstance of the consecration of a Protestant church in Naples has just taken place,—a practical protest against the recent letter of the Pope, and a trophy of religious liberty. The site of this church was given by Garibaldi in 1860, when he was Dictator. Some English residents petitioned him for permission to purchase a site for a place of worship, and he answered the petition by presenting them with the site they had desired, as "a very trifling acknowledgment of so many benefits received from the English in favour of the Italian cause."
Ramsbottom.—A course of Sunday evening lectures has been delivered here.
ffllu'tuarn. Removed into the spiritual world, at Colchester, Illinois, on the 7th February last, Stephen Fletcher, aged 25. The deceased was a member of the Kersley Society, having been brought up in the Sunday-school connected with that body. He was highly esteemed for his steady, industrious, and sober habits, and especially for his uniform kindness to a widowed mother, who was mainly dependent on him for support; he was also equally land in assisting those of the family who needed his aid. In consequence of the cotton famine arising out of the unfortunate war in America, and the consequent depression of the spindle manufacturing trade, which led to the complete cessation of work in the shop where he had been employed, a long period of forced idleness exhausted
the little board he had saved, and finally led to his emigrating with his aged mother to America. He had in the mean time contracted the seeds of consumption, to which there was an hereditary tendency in the family, and in a few months was removed to another and a better world. He, however, lived sufficiently long in his new home to win the esteem of those among whom he sojourned, as was evidenced by the respect they showed at his funeral. The absence of the consolations of the New Church ministrations were felt by him as a great privation; some Wesleyans, however, kindly attended him in his last illness, and offered such support as they were able; and if he could not accept all their views, their kindness and sympathy were refreshing to him. There is every reason to hope that he has passed into his rest. W. W.
Eemoved to the spiritual world, March 25th, 1865, Mr. Robert Rushton, of Bolton, in the 80th year of his ago.
His connection with the New Church extends over a period of sixty-seven years. When he was about twelve years of age, he lived near to Mr. S. Dawson; a man who sustained the office of leader of the Bolton society for a period of thirty years. Mrs. Dawson, his wife, frequently asked our friend (then a boy) to go and read for her. She generally gave him the "Heaven and Hell;" and he had read this book for her so often, that he ultimately took great interest in it himself. From this time, he has had a constantly increasing delight in reading the works of the New Churoh. In these early years, he first began to attend the Sunday-school and the services of the Church, then held in Bullock-street. As he grew up (being fond of mnsic), he became one of the pupils, and was afterwards a member of the choir presided over by the late Samuel Crompton, Esq., inventor of the spinning mule. After Mr. Crompton's death, the choir found a leader in our friend's brother, Mr. John Rushton. He ultimately becoming a salaried singer in the Parish Church of this town, the duty of presiding over the music of Church and Sunday-school, then devolved upon our deceased member. This office he held until old age prevented his continuing it any longer. He was also superintendent of the Sun
day-school for a long course of years; and there has been no office in connection with Church or Sunday-school, which he has not held at one time or another. Indeed, the society has been mainly indebted to him for its existence, and for the means of usefulness which it at this time enjoys. The correctness of his memory, and his extensive information, have made him a little authority among his neighbours. When Mr. G. F. French entered upon the commendable work of becoming the biographer of S. Crompton, Esq., inventor of the spinning mule, he came to our friend, and derived from him much of the information he gives concerning his religious, musical, and private life. Thus, both he and the reading world are largely indebted to our friend, for rescuing from oblivion much of the life and character of a man through whose ingenuity the world has been so richly blest. He was greatly beloved by every member of our Church—highly esteemed by all who knew him— and has passed into the other world, without leaving an enemy behind. Though not possessed of a strong constitution, yet, by watching his health with great care, he has had (for his long life) comparatively little sickness; and at last has worn away from sheer old age. He has truly devoted his life for the good of the Church, and was ever pleased to hear and|read of its progress. Since feebleness has kept him to his room, the Bible and the "Arcana Ccelestia," have been the books of his daily reading. He was especially delighted with the 23rd and 27th Psalms, and took great pleasure in conversing upon the spiritual wisdom they contain. A few days before his removal, he desired me to read for him, "Swedenborg's experience of the resuscitation of the dead." He ever spoke of death as going home. He said, God had been very good to him, had blessed him with many comforts, good friends, and kind attendance ; but where he was going he had a many more friends, and still richer blessings in store for him. But there was one friend, the prospect of meeting with whom gave him greater delight than all others; and that was his wife, after a separation of more than twenty-six years. It was this which made him desire that his only daughter should be with him in his room, and be the last upon whom he should fix his
eyes in this world, that he might pass from her, and lift up the eyes of his spirit upon her mother, in the next. In this state, and with this wish, he was gathered to his fathers in peace; and both naturally and spiritually was buried in a good old age. W. W.
On the 29th of March, 1865, passed into the spiritual world, after a three months' sickness, Mr. Enoch Dance, of Bolton, aged 32.
It is now only twelve months since he became a member of our Church, and was made a teacher in our Sunday-school some six or eight months earlier. His acquaintance with the writings of the New Church, however, dates about seven years back. He was then engaged as a teacher in a Wesleyan Sunday-school, in the suburbs of Birmingham ; and accidently meeting with a New Church tract on the subject of the Trinity, it was this which first awakened his attention to the verities of the New Jerusalem. He read with great delight, "Swedenborg's Divine Love and Wisdom;" a work which he believed laid down all Swedenborg's theological teachings. These principles, he truly believed, were, by Swedenborg, applied in his "Arcana Coelestia," "Apocalypse Explained," and Apocalypse Revealed," in opening up the spiritual sense of the Word; in his " Heaven and Hell," in setting forth the nature of the
spiritual world; in his " True Christian Religion," in showing forth the great doctrines of the Christian Church; and in his "Divine Providence," in unfolding the nature of the Lord's providence. During his short stay in Birmingham, after becoming convinced of the truths of the New Church, he mainly attended to the ministrations of Mr. G. Dawson. But, when business brought him to Bolton, he became an occasional attender at the services of the New Church here, until the time when the society determined upon having a regular minister or leader, when he became a very active, and has sinced proved, a most useful member. He was distinguished by great energy and determination of character— faithful to the letter in the execution of his duties—and very liberal with his purse, and attentive to the services of the Church. He had little regard for religious teaching, only so far as it pointed to the life; believing most fully in the truth of Swedenborg, that "all religion has relation to life, and the life of religion is to do good." He passed into the other life with a firm faith in these teachings; and leaving a wife and five small children to mourn his loss, he encouraged her to look upon him not as dead, but as living; not to think of him as far away from her, but as about her and with her; and the Lord would sustain her in her arduous and difficult task. W. W.
TO READERS AND CORRESPONDENTS.
All communications to be sent to the Editor, the Rev. W. Bruce, 43, Kensington Gardens Square, London, W. To ensure insertion in the forthcoming Number, communications must be received not later than the 15th of the month, except recent intelligence, which will be received till the 18th.
The Committee of the National Missionary Institution, and the Students and Ministers' Aid Fund, meet on the fourth Monday of the month, in the Swedenborg House, Bloomsbury-street, at 6-30.
The Twenty-eighth Annual Meeting of the subscribers and friends of the Manchester and Salford New Church Tract Society, will be held in the school-room, Peter-street, on Monday evening, May 22nd, 1865. Tea on the table at six o'clock. President, Mr. Broadfield. The meeting will be addressed by the Rev. John Hyde and several other ministers. Societies are requested to send representatives.
Cave And Sever, Printers by Steam Power, Hunt's Bank, Manchester.