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Mr. Garth's after the meeting, and expressed himself in nearly the following terms: "That he was much obliged to me for the discourse; that he had never heard the doctrines of the New Church clearly defined before; that he found they were calculated to make good men, good fathers, mothers, and children, good husbands and wives; and to make all useful in a more eminent degree, than any thing he had ever heard before." Mr. Garth and wife are intelligent, affectionate receivers of the new doctrines; and I believe their lives accord with their profession.
The next day I returned to Addingham. Notice was given, that I should preach there on Sunday: yet I had but a small assembly to address. The weather was very cold and tempestuous, which might have prevented some from attending; but it did not prevent Mr. Garth coming the distance of six miles.
After taking tea at Addingham, I proceeded to Kighley, where I preached in the evening to about ninety hearers. I understand the Society in this place has long been in a divided state, on account of some non-essential differences of opinion. I saw nothing, however, during my short visit, to disapprove of among them; but I think, that in all cases of disagreement in sentiment, a mutual spirit of charity and accommodation to each other is the most effectual means of restoring to a Society order, harmony, and peace.
On Monday the 16th of December, I took the coach for Manchester, and after a rough passage completed my journey, thankful to the Lord for his divine providence, in thus far enabling me to answer the end for which I was sent. I have travelled four hundred and forty-eight miles, and was six weeks and three days from home. The account of the latter part of my journey may not appear so pleasing as that of the former; but which will be most useful, is not for us perhaps to determine precisely. It sometimes happens, that when we are weak, then we are strong; and that when we have done little in our own estimation,. God may do much by our means; and when we have apparently done much, the product of genuine fruit may not be very abundant. When we have done all we are able to do, according to the authority of our Lord, we are but unprofitable servants. We may sow and water, but God must give the increase: there is no profit without increase, and that is only from him. If the doctrines of the New Church are the doctrines of eternal truth, and if they
give the genuine meaning of the Holy Word, and next to that are the greatest blessing that man can receive, and if in the divine providence human means are to be made use of to make them known to our fellow-creatures; then, when we have done our utmost we ought to leave the rest to the operations of our divine Lord. And although we cannot but rejoice, when we see mankind give a hearty reception to heavenly truth, yet we may confidently believe, that the Word of the Lord will answer the end for which it is sent, even if to us its effects are not always visible.
Sixth Missionary Journey, performed by Mr. Bradley.
The committee having requested Mr. Bradley to undertake another journey into Yorkshire, the following is the Report made by him, of his proceedings and observations, as extracted from the different letters, which he had occasion to write.
I have visited (says he) the societies in my route, and made such arrangements with them, as the circumstances would permit. The badness of the times, connected with a political interest, damps religious ardour in the minds of many, with whom the goods of the present world appear to be of more importance than the invisible realities of the future. The obstacle to extensive usefulness, which I have hitherto laboured under at Sheffield and Leeds, has been the want of public places in which to meet. The room I preached in at Sheffield, on my former visit, we can have only for the Sunday evening. The other parts of the day are consequently lost, so far as it regards strangers. The friends at Sheffield hope to be able to get a place shortly, which they can have the whole of Sunday. The evening I preached there, (January 26, 1817-61,) I had about a hundred hearers, though very little notice was given of the meeting. Mr. Hawkins preached in the same room, when he was at Sheffield, and about three hundred came to hear him. He also visited Barnsley and Darnall.
At Darnall, a difficulty has arisen in obtaining the use of the room, which I before preached in: therefore we can only have Mr. Winn's house for that purpose. A Calvinist preacher in the neighbourhood has warned his hearers respecting the doctrines of
the New Church; and as several of them are concerned in the school, he insisted they should not lend it for the purpose of preaching such doctrines in it any more, otherwise he would leave them. Mr. Winn has not therefore applied for it since. He is desirous of giving no unnecessary offence, and disposed to bring people into the doctrines, if possible, by accommodated means. His house was pretty well filled, and the people apparently paid great attention. What is singular, they are all Calvinists, except Mr. Winn's family. It appears, that a neighbouring Methodist preacher, like the above-mentioned Calvinist preacher, had cautioned his hearers too against the new doctrines. The Methodists have obeyed their teachers in this respect; but the Calvinists for the most part felt a degree of indignation at the presumption of their minister, and declared they would judge for themselves whom they would hear. According to Mr. Winn's account, they are a people of great simplicity, and think every thing good that comes from the mouth of a preacher. They revere the Word, and are desirous of making it the rule of their life.
At Barnsley I find that in the minds of some a considerable prejudice is excited against the New Church. The doctrine of the trinity principally affects them. Several have said, if they shall not see three divine persons in heaven, they shall see two, Jesus Christ and his Father. They seem to give up the idea of the Holy Ghost being a person. I expect more fruit to the New Church from their being affected with the difference between the doctrines, than I do from those who are indifferent to such things. However I may be much mistaken, and I am very content to wait the issues of Providence. I have preached twice at Mr. Cawley's: and though the meetings have not been so numerously attended as at my first visit, yet there is no reason to complain, considering the situation of Mr. Cawley's house, and the miserable state of the inhabitants who live near him, from want of employment, and the necessaries of life. The Society at Barnsley commenced, on Wednesday the 12th of February, a weekly subscription of a penny each for the Missionary fund.
At Leeds they had not obtained a place suitable for public worship, and they were not able to procure one for last Sunday, the 2d of February, 1817-61. I met the friends at Mr. Blackburn's, and they wished to get a proper place, before any publicity should be given of my being in Leeds, it being then known.
only to a few. Last Wednesday, the day I came away, they were about taking a place in Meadow Lane, ten yards by six; and I expect it will be ready to open on Sunday the 16th of February. It is the intention of the friends at Leeds to have a circulating library of the works of our author, and such as have proceeded from them; and they are in great hopes, that henceforth their meetings will be fixed on a public, and permanent basis. They have ordered forty hymn books, twelve catechisms, and five liturgies, such as are used in the Temple at Salford.
The friends both at Leeds and Sheffield think, that a form of worship is not so suitable in the beginning of societies. As they expect but little attention to their preaching from any but Dissenters, who look upon a form as rather disgraceful, they think it will be better to have extempore worship.
I understand there are a few readers at Wakefield: but as yet I cannot learn their names, or get any clue by which to find them.
I have been to Rotherham, but could not meet with any who had ever heard of the New Jerusalem Church, or the name of Swedenborg. I inquired if there was any place to let for public lectures, and I could learn only of two, the town-hall and another large room. I went with a person to seek the proprietor of the latter, but could not find him. However I mean to go again, and if I can give a public lecture on the doctrines, with some Catalogues, probably the seed may find some good ground.
On Sunday the 16th of February, public worship commenced at Leeds, in the room which had been procured for the purpose. We were much better attended than we expected, little or no exertions having been as yet used to make the circumstance known. But on the Saturday following, an advertisement was inserted in the Leeds Mercury, apprizing the inhabitants of Leeds that a place of worship was now opened among them, where the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem would be preached in future. The next day the room was well attended, and the audience respectable. The mode of conducting the worship is as follows. After singing a hymn, we read the Decalogue, with those passages from the Word annexed to it, as contained in Mr. Hindmarsh's Liturgy. A lesson from the Old or New Testament is then read, and commented upon: then another hymn, and an ex& g
tempore prayer. The sermon follows, and after that a third hymn, concluding with a short prayer and benediction.
There is every reason to believe, that the cause will flourish in Leeds. One of our friends preached in the Society's room on Sunday the 30th of January, both morning and evening, to considerable congregations. In the evening the place was full, and I understand his sermons gave great satisfaction. The friends here being desirous of forming themselves into a regular Society, united together upon the principles of the New Church, have drawn up articles of doctrine and life, and entered them into their church book, for the purpose of having them subscribed by every member on his admission. Their temporal concerns are to be managed by a Committee of twelve members, whose business it will be to see that order be preserved in the place of worship, to appoint and manage the collections and contributions, and to watch over the external interests of the Society in every respect.
I preached at Mr. Guilderdale's, Stanley Lane End, on Tuesday evening the 11th of March, to about sixty persons. They paid great attention, and many of them expressed their desire that I would visit them again. I had with me a few Catalogues, and two or three of Mr. Clowes's Sermon on the Trinity, which I distributed among them.
It was before stated, that the friends in Sheffield were in expectation of procuring a suitable place for them to meet in. A large room has been engaged. It is eligibly situated in Watson's Walk, in the centre of the town, and is sixteen yards in length by nine in breadth. It is furnished with seats, and a good pulpit. By taking this place, the Society has to contend with prejudices, which were not at first excited against the New Church, but which will probably for a time operate against its interest. The more respectable and serious part of the community will perhaps be shy for a season, till by the report of those who may attend, the justness, soundness, purity, sublimity, and grandeur of the new doctrines will appear, and sufficiently distinguish themselves from the silly notions, which have been propagated by some late enthusiasts. Notice was given of the opening of this place on Sunday the 16th of March, by bills posted up in the streets, the advertisement being nearly the same as that made