Images de page

Mr. Macdonald, whose aid in this department promises to be very effective; and who also kindly consented to visit Ipswich occasionally in the character of Missionary. Mr. Rous on several occasions during the course, added a few appropriate remarks. Many questions were asked and answered. Thus terminated the opening campaign at Yarmouth. On Friday the 12th, I lecture at Ipswich, preach there on Sunday the 14th, and lecture on Tuesday the 16th. R. GUNTON.


SHEFFIELD. The society in this town was visited in the second week in February by the Rev. R. Storry. Mr. Storry has for many years past made an annual missionary visit to Sheffield. Advantage is taken of this visit to administer the sacraments, to hold a social meeting of the members and friends, and to call public attention to the doctrines by public discourses. the present visit three evening lectures were given to attentive and interested, though not very numerous audiences. The subjects discussed in these lectures were, "The Church-the Rock on which it is built; The Keys-to whom are they committed?" "The Wordthe Text-Book of the Church, and the Fountain of Wisdom to Angels and Men." And, "The Second Comingthe Time and Manner of the Lord's appearing." In addition to these services, Mr. Storry preached on the Sunday morning and administered the Sacrament to over twenty communicants. An infant was baptized, and a pleasant social meeting of nearly thirty of the members was held at the house of our esteemed friend, Mr. H. Gibbins. The evening was spent in pleasant and instructive conversation, and furnished evidence of the truth so beautifully expressed by the Psalmist, "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.' During the past year the society has removed from the Council Hall to a room in Division Street. The room is large and not unsuited to their wants, but has the disadvantage of being at. the head of a long flight of stairs. They have, however, the entire use of it, and can thus make better provision for social and week-night meetings than formerly. Some meetings got up by the younger members of the society, of

[ocr errors]

the nature of public readings and concerts of music have been well attended. Others of the same kind are still to follow. The change of room, however, has involved the society in considerable expense. All the furniture required has been to purchase. This, though plain, is very substantial and well suited to their wants. The purchase has involved them in a small debt, which they hope in a short time to liquidate.

SWANSEA. The Rev. Dr. Bayley delivered three lectures in the Music Hall, Swansea, on the 2d, 3d, and 4th February 1869. The subjects of the lectures were

1st, Jesus and Him glorified. The Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the Saviour. Do you pray to


2d, The spiritual sense of the Bible, the glory of the Word of God.

3d, Where are the dead men's souls? The true nature and time of man's resurrection.

He was favoured with good audiences, which became larger during the last evenings, especially the last, when probably the number was 1500. The lectures were listened to with deep attention and great interest. The answers, which the Rev. Dr. Bayley gave in his usual graceful way to the questions and objections, elicited loud applause, to the annoyance of one or more who manifested their opposition. The Brighton Lectures and the tracts were all taken with great eagerness. Fifty copies of the Brighton Lectures were sold the first evening.

WIGAN. Last year the friends at this town erected a neat and commodious school-room, in which to conduct a Sunday school and to hold the religious services of the Society. To add to its usefulness it was determined during the winter months to obtain the delivery of a course of lectures by the several New Church ministers resident in the neighbourhood. Such a course was, therefore, arranged for the months of December and January. Three lectures were given in each month. Those in December were by Revs. E. D. Rendell, W. Woodman, and W. Westall. Those in January were by Rev. R. Storry, Mr. Deans,

and Rev. Mr. Hyde. The subjects discussed in these lectures were "The Human Soul," "The Second Coming," "The Divine Providence vindicated in the Forty-two Children torn by the she-bears for mocking Elijah, "The Nature and Inspiration of the Bible,' "The Atonement," and "The Life after Death." The lectures were well advertised, and every effort made to give publicity to their delivery. Notwithstanding these efforts, however, the attendance, except at the last, by Rev. Mr. Hyde, on "The Life after Death," was only thin. The weather was on some of the evenings inclement; but doubtless the real reason of this small attendance is the want of sufficient interest in spiritual things. The ministers of the New Church must be content to often minister to small audiences. They must labour amid discouragements with patience and perseverance; and may rejoice to believe that, if not permitted to witness any marked success, yet other men will enter into their labours. They are scattering the precious seeds of truth which are destined to yield a harvest of good that will multiply and increase its store of spiritual nourishment and blessing to the generations yet to come. It is hoped that in a short time the friends in Wigan will be able to complete an arrangement with the second master of the Salford Day School, an earnest and excellent teacher, an acceptable preacher, and a most worthy young man, so as to commence a day school, and avail themselves of his assistance in conducting their Sabbath services.


Married, at the house of the bride's father, Dr. J. F. Gottlob Tafel, in Stuttgart, Germany, by the Rev. S. M. Warren, of Roxburg, Massachussets, on March 9, 1860, Prof. Rudolph L. Tafel, of St. Louis to Miss Emilia Tafel.


January 12, 1869, aged 34, Sarah, the beloved wife of John Hardy, chapel

keeper of the New Church College. She had borne a long and painful complaint with great Christian meekness and fortitude, and departed with humble confidence in the mercy of her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

At Heywood, January 5, Mr. Walter Whitworth, aged 46 years. The deceased had been for many years connected with the Society at this place and interested in its progress. Some years ago he held the office of Superintendent of the Sunday School, the success of which always afforded him satisfaction and delight.

At the same place, February 11, Thomas Radcliffe, Esq., aged 51 years. The deceased had raised himself from an humble position in life by great energy of character, and had on several occasions aided the external progress of the Church.

On the 3d of March 1869, William Johnson, the youngest son of Mrs Trimen of Kentish Town, was removed to the spiritual world at the early age of 16. In character and disposition he was ever earnest and thoughtful, and for one so young manifested in a surprising degree, a desire to act from principle rather than mere impulse.

In the occupation in which he had been engaged for a year or two preceding his departure, he had given the greatest satisfaction to his employer, who, in a letter written a few days after, says, "His behaviour with me was always of the most highly satisfactory nature, always doing his best and that most cheerfully." He was an active member of the Cross Street Junior Members' Society, and a con stant attendant at the Sunday Classes, -being one of those who had faithfully followed Mr. Hiller's rule to read ten verses from the Word every morning. This he had done regularly for several years, and the circumstance was a source of great comfort to him during his short but painful illness. He was perfectly sensible to his last moment, and passed away in the happy consciousness that he was leaving behind him a world of pain and care, and entering upon a state of ever-increasing joy and happiness.

[blocks in formation]


HOWEVER interesting to others may be the subject of the various readings of ancient manuscripts of the Scriptures, it is of pre-eminent importance to New Churchmen. Even those who do not believe in the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, who view them solely with the same sort of literary interest as that with which they regard any other venerable and remarkable series of documents, may well afford to feel as solicitous to obtain the exact text of an Evangelist, as to settle the text of a Greek philosopher or a Roman poet. Those who hold that the inspiration of the writers of Scripture was no more than a general preservation from dogmatic error,-inspiration, that is, as to the matter rather than as to the style, as to the doctrines rather than as to the arguments, as to the facts of sacred history, and not as to any allusions to profane history,—may still feel desirous to secure, as far as possible, the original phrases which the writers employed to communicate the ideas they were commissioned to express. As believers in the plenary and even verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, who properly describe these documents as "the Word of God," New Churchmen must feel an intense anxiety to obtain ipsissima verba, the very words in which the sacred oracles were given by God. What is of deep interest to others is necessarily of paramount importance to them.

The discovery of a MS. which may justly claim to be a more ancient and more accurate, or a more authoritative copy of the original

* The New Testament: the Authorised English Version; with Introduction, and various readings from the three most celebrated Manuscripts of the Original Greek Text. By Constantine Tischendorf. (Tauchnitz Edition, vol. 1000.) London: Sampson, Low, & Co.


text, is consequently a matter of no small concern to all who accept Swedenborg's definition of inspiration, and who believe that the Bible is truly interpreted by the Science of Correspondences alone. While they may justly feel to possess an important addition to textual data in the translation into the Latin, which Swedenborg has made of so large a portion of the Scriptures, and which is contained in his various works, yet it seems clear that he could have used only such versions of the originals as were within his reach at the time he wrote. We know that Schmidius' Hebrew Bible was his favourite among the four Hebrew Bibles that he possessed; but I am not aware that it is known what version of the Greek Testament he used, or even whether he employed any other than one of the Latin versions. I do not remember

that he anywhere claims to have had, as a part of his great mission, the immense duty of verifying the letter of all the Word. I do not know that any one among the intelligent receivers of his teachings would advance such a claim in his behalf. The translation which he has made of different portions of the Scriptures forms a most interesting study to trace the versions of the New Testament of which he was aware, or which he employed; to observe how far his renderings are justified, or borne out, by the most reliable MSS., and to see how far he has invariably translated the same passage by the same Latin words. To do this, however, is not my present purpose. The project has been repeatedly broached, of extracting and compiling from Swedenborg's writings a version of the Word; but before such a project is carried out, it will be necessary to settle the previous questions—of the extent to which his translation is to be regarded as final or authoritative; as to how far his translation of the Gospels and the Revelation agrees with the best codices; and as to why it differs, whenever it does not agree with them. Prior to such a settlement being possible, the question of versions, the relative authority and value of MSS., and some other matters, need to be determined. It must be admitted that the whole group of subjects eminently deserves the most earnest consideration of New Churchmen. In the course of Divine Providence, it is growing to be very clear that the consideration of these subjects cannot long be delayed.

It is most remarkable that there is a mass of evidence for, and a multitude of MSS. copies of, the books of the Old and New Testaments, such as exists for no other works of similar antiquity. Pious men have laboured with devout pains, and scrupulous care, in copying the Scriptures, and although the "various readings" are numerous, one is

astonished that they are so few in number, and, generally speaking, of such comparative unimportance. The perpetuated and multiplied blunders of eighteen centuries, it might reasonably have been expected, would have resulted in a far greater confusion than now exists as to the New Testament Scriptures. Greek copies in uncial letters, i. e., capitals not connected with each other, of the earlier centuries, and copies in cursive letters, i. e., letters joined together, with no capitals except as initial letters, which began to be used, says Montfaucon, in sacred documents in the tenth century, with all the varieties of arrangement of books, of titles to the books, or to portions of the books, of interpunction, or the want of it, of stichometry (arrangement as to lines) or the lack of it, of dividing the text into sections, parts, or, as we now style them, chapters, with or without what are termed Ammonian sections, &c. &c., have come down to us, preserving the text, and witnessing to the piety of many generations. Copies, both whole and fragmentary, of translations of the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testaments, into the Æthiopic, Arabic, Armenian, three dialects of the Egyptian, the Gothic, Latin, Slavonic, and Syriac languages, have likewise come down to us, supplying new materials, of varying value, for textual criticism. Another circumstance presses just now, with new and greatly increased force, upon believers in the New Testament for a thorough revision of the text. The book now lying before me will do much to spread this conviction among all classes and all denominations of Christians.

Dr. Tischendorf, a name justly grown famous in the department of textual criticism, has succeeded in discovering a venerable MS. in the Monastery of St. Katharine, on Mount Sinai. He was so fortunate as

to induce its possessors to transfer its custody to the Emperor of Russia, who has had fac-simile copies made of it, and in other ways submitted it to the inspection of the learned. It is now at St. Petersburg. This MS. contains the Old and New Testaments. The New Testament is perfect, not having been deprived of a single leaf. It also contains a part of the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Epistle of Barnabas, which books, even at the beginning of the fourth century, were esteemed by many to be a part of Scripture. Internal evidences, such as the style of letter (uncial), the method of writing, the mode of indicating divisions, the titles of the different books, and other palæographic data, warrant the belief that this codex was written about the middle of the fourth century. It is now called, from the place where it was found, the Sinaitic Codex. It is not impossible, says Dr. Tischendorf, that it "formed one of the fifty copies

« PrécédentContinuer »