Images de page

the same among all people, in every clime, and under every condition of human society. The Church declines when men depart from the principles which constitute its secret life, and give themselves up to merely external ceremonies and outward observances; but it never perishes. Its darkest night is but the prelude to a brighter day, when, under the quickening beams of the Sun of Righteousness, the Church arises in new splendour, adorned with the beauty of holiness, and filled with the fruitfulness of genuine good works. The principles which constitute the Church are the same as constitute the minds of the angels, and form the ground of all their felicity and joy. The Church is thus the pathway to heaven. Its principles form the angelic life in the souls of its members, and issue in the endless felicity of the angelic kingdom. -The services were well attended, appropriate hymns, chants, and anthems were rendered in a superior manner by an efficient choir, and the collections amounted to £30, 10s.

On Saturday evening, April 3, a pleasant meeting was held in the school-room for the opening of a new harmonium. The following notice of this meeting is from the report of the Bury Times:-"A musical and elocutionary entertainment was given in the New Jerusalem Sunday-school on Saturday evening, the occasion being the opening of a new harmonium, which has been presented by Mr. Isherwood and Mr. Albert Mills, members of the church. It is a handsome instrument, of good tone and ample power, the cost, we understand, being 35 guineas. The audience was very large. The Rev. R. Storry occupied the chair, and explained that as the occasion was the formal opening of a new harmonium, it was thought desirable to invite the friends of the school to participate in an evening's pleasant enjoyment, and also by their admission fees to raise a fund for purposes connected with the Sundayschool. The society, ever since he knew it, had always had among its members some very generous, openhearted, and open-handed peoplepeople who were ready, when anything was wanted, to put their hands very deeply into their pockets, and to contribute liberally to the support of the church and of the schools. They had

had an example of this kind in the presentation of the harmonium, whose tunes they were about to hear." The programme included a choice selection of music given by the choir, assisted by Miss Harlowe ; and the recitation of attractive pieces by teachers of the Sunday school, very efficiently aided by Mr. Morris and Mr. Warner of Manchester.

LEEDS. On Wednesday evening, March 24th, the second annual meeting of the Albion Literary and Recreation Society was held in Willow Grove Hall, which was attended by about 70 members and friends. The meeting was of a purely social character, and lasted nearly five hours, and was eminently distinguished by a spirit of genuine cordiality and delight, which has done much to consolidate the society in the work of usefulness which two years ago it first entered upon. Although this society is formed to be an auxiliary of the New Church Society, it is yet built upon a distinct basis, and is intended to provide a sphere of action for the members of the Church by bringing them into communion with the public on common and secular grounds. At present it numbers 43 members. Its meetings are held each alternate Wednesday evening from eight to half past nine o'clock during the winter season, when lectures, essays, readings, and occasional musical entertainments are given, and which have had an average attendance of about 25. The society has hitherto worked most successfully, and promises to realize the highest expectations which were originally formed by its promoters.

The annual meeting of the New Church Society was held on Good Friday, when about 50 sat down to tea, after which a very pleasant and profitable evening was spent in the church. The esteemed leader, Mr. Mawson, being obliged through indisposition to retire immediately after tea, at his request the chair was occupied by Mr. W. Bates, the Yorkshire missionary and colporteur, who gave an interesting address on the nature and prospects of the New Church with some account of his experience amongst the receivers of the doctrines; and set forth the responsibility which rests upon the members of the New Church to promulgate a knowledge of the doctrines to the

world. Mr. Snowball next addressed the meeting on the claims which the Sunday school has upon the Society, and the necessity of giving it a liberal and hearty support. He was followed by Mr. Alfred Backhouse, who congratulated the Society on its present tranquil state, as contrasted with its past history. He then spoke of the grandeur of the New Church doctrines, and of their unquestionable power to effect that complete social revolution which they are destined to accomplish. His speech was characterized by clearness and energy, and calculated to eminently benefit the Society by giving an impetus to its latent as well as active capabilities for promoting whatever is good and true.

Mr. Hannah gave a humorous recitation, and the choir performed at intervals some select pieces of sacred music, which were highly appreciated. The meeting, which was one of the pleasantest the Society has ever held, left upon the minds of all present an encouraging hope of future prosperity in the church. As a means of promoting this prosperity, Mr. A. Backhouse, who at present so ably fills their pulpit on three Sabbaths of each month, has announced a course of Sabbath evening lectures, which will be advertised in one of the most widely circulated local papers. Mr. Bates, who preaches to the Society on the Sunday not ocoupied by Mr. Backhouse, will doubtless sustain the interest thus excited, and the Society be benefited by their conjoined labours. The members of the Society enjoy peace among themselves, and feel deeply grateful to the good Providence which has raised up in their midst a young man so exemplary in his conduct, and so able to preach the doctrines, as Mr. Backhouse.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

castle Society seems to think there is beauty and use in variety." They had (at considerable cost) a visit from the Rev. Dr. Bayley at Christmas, and at Easter just past the Rev. J. F. Potts, B.A., was invited from Glasgow to preach the anniversary sermons, and attend the annual tea meeting. These services he performed to the delight and edification of all who heard him. The sermon in the evening, on "Jonah and the Fish," was a beautiful development of that singular history; the

closeness of thought demanded in following the evolvement of the spiritual sense of almost every word, held the hearer almost breathless, and sent him away rejoicing. The tea meeting, held on the evening of Easter Monday, was a happy gathering, and gave the Rev. Mr. Potts an impression of quiet, inner progress, and much missionary power in speakers.' The Rev. Mr. Ray, too, just arrived in time, from a visit to York, where interesting services had also been experienced.

[ocr errors]

The "Missionary ability," however of the Newcastle friends, has but small fruits to shew; their efforts at Carlisle and at North Shields having been crowned by the collapse of both these Societies. The National Missionary Society has nobly co-operated with those efforts, but money and occasional labours could not keep them up; still let us hope that "our labour has not been in vain in the Lord." It is thought-now that we have a vigorous national missionary in the person of Mr. R. Gunton, that if he were to visit the above-named places, and devote a short time to the reorganisation of the Societies, he might lead the way to renewed efforts (coming after a period of spiritual dearth, which one would think, the members must have experienced), the Rev. Mr. Ray and his staff still being very willing to do their best. There is an immense population in small towns adjacent to Newcastle, besides the large one of Sunderland, where the trumpet of the second advent has scarcely yet sounded. Suppose our friends give attention to some of those. There is confessedly the difficulty of permitting two or three active members of a small society to be absent from their own Sabbath services, which the Newcastle friends urge; otherwise they would have attempted separate stations in their own town. Let ussay they be more anxious about the inner growth of the Church, its outward spread will come as fast as we are prepared to live it-an objection to earnestness and zeal which receives its answer in the teaching of the Lord, "These things ought ye to do and not to leave the other undone."

NOTTINGHAM.-On Sunday, April 4, the Society in this town was visited by "The National Missionary," Mr. R.

Gunton, who preached two most excellent sermons in his usual impressive ⚫style. Mr. Gunton's visits here are always looked forward to with great delight, and we may say that on no occasion previously was his visit and kind services more valuable to the Society. Mr. Gunton remained four days; preaching, visiting, presiding at a literary gathering, addressing the friends at the tea meeting, and expounding at the weekly meeting of the Society. He has been designated by one of our members, "The Angel of Peace! The following extract from the Nottingham Daily Express, will be found to be interesing:

Bluecoat Street Church.-On Tuesday evening the members and friends in connection with this church assembled to tea in the school-room. After the repast a meeting was held, and Mr.. Thos. Moss, B.A., elected to the chair. The choir (under the able direction of Mr. R. Hogg) having sung an anthem, the Chairman made a few suitable remarks upon the signs of progress that were evident in the society, and expressed the pleasure which had hitherto attended his ministrations. The Secretary (Mr. W. Clarke, jun.) then introduced the most interesting feature on this occasion, which was the presentation to Mr. W. Pegg, the former leader of the society, of a handsome purse, containing the sum of £20, accompanied by a suitable address, chastely framed and elegantly illuminated. The secretary's remarks were followed by those of Mr. R. Gunton, of London, who took this opportunity of congratulating the society upon the discretion they had exercised in the choice of a minister, and also expressed the hope that Mr. Moss would long remain amongst them, a remark which elicited strong manifestations of a reciprocal feeling on the part of the meeting. The Chairman, then made the presentation, remarking upon the long service of his venerable friend, which had extended over a period of thirty years. Mr. Pegg acknowledged the gift in a few feeling and appropriate remarks, principally in reference to the experiences of the society. Addresses were also presented to Mr. J. D. Bielby and Mr. Thomas Stevenson, acknowledging the services which those gentlemen had rendered to the cause in this town for many years past. After a few

remarks from these gentlemen, the happy proceedings of the evening were suitably terminated by the able rendering of the chorus, "Now pray we for our country."


Since the beginning of

this year, some of the members of the above society, who were anxious to improve the mnsical portion of our service, have been actively engaged in raising a fund for the purchase of an excellent organ, which had been offered to them at a greatly reduced price. Their efforts were so successful, that the instrument was obtained, and the opening services were held on Sunday, 21st February 1869, when two sermons were preached to crowded congregations by the Rev. W. Westall of Salford. The choir, kindly assisted by friends from Heywood and Rochdale, sang a selection of anthems, services, etc., ably accompanied on the organ by Mr. J. C. Whittington of Salford.

The expenses incurred for fitting up, etc., and the price of the organ, made the amount required £48, 13s 2d., towards which donations were received amounting to £34, 6s. 6d., and the collections at the opening were £12, 18s. 10d., thus leaving only a very small deficiency. The Society gladly take this opportunity of tendering their warmest thanks to all those who so liberally and cheerfully responded to their appeal.

[ocr errors]

YORK.-The Rev. Dr. Bayley visited this ancient city in December last, and delivered on the 8th, and two following evenings, a course of three lectures on the Doctrines of the New Jerusalem. The subjects were :-"Jesus in His Glorified State-the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Do you pray to Him?" 'Regeneration not Ritualism the Way to Heaven;" and, "Where are the Dead Men's Souls? Resurrection Immediate." The whole of the lectures were well attended, and listened to with deep attention. After the first and second, several questions were put to Dr. Bayley, which were satisfactorily answered. The lectures seemed to give satisfaction to all present. At Easter, the Society was visited by the Rev. Mr. Ray, of Newcastle-on-Tyne. On Good Friday, the annual meeting was held, at which Mr. Ray presided. About

fifty sat down to tea, and others attended afterwards. Mr. Ray opened the meeting by a beautiful explanation of the descent of the New Jerusalem as described in Rev. xxi. After the chairman's address several speeches were delivered on various subjects respecting the doctrines of the Church, interspersed with the singing of hymns, and forming a very pleasant and harmonious meeting. On Easter Sunday, the Rev. W. Ray preached two excellent sermons to large and attentive audiences-in the morning, "The salt that purifies the Soul;" evening, "Our Heavenly Home." The York friends have been cheered and strengthened by these services, and are grateful to Dr. Bayley and Mr. Ray for the able manner in which they presented the Heavenly Doctrines to a York audience.

MISSIONARY AND TRACT SOCIETY OF THE NEW CHURCH.-The forty-eighth Anniversary Meeting of this Society is appointed to be held in the College Chapel, Devonshire Street, Islington, London, on Wednesday the 12th May next. The meeting will commence at seven o'clock; Mr. Pickstone in the chair. It is hoped that the friends of this old and valuable institution will, by their presence on this occasion, encourage and animate the officers in their labours of love.


On the 6th ultimo, at St. Mary's Church, Horncastle, by the Rev. Robert Giles, vicar, Edmund John Moore, of Horncastle, surveyor of taxes, to Fanny Anne, younger daughter of Mr. Richard Allenby, of the same place.


On the 9th of March, at Bingley, Yorkshire, in the 52d year of her age, Barbara, wife of Mr. John Hill. She very gradually received the doctrines of the New Church through her husband, and did not profess her unfaltering faith in them until about ten years ago, from which time she has in an unassuming manner adorned the precious knowledges which she meekly possessed. Being somewhat isolated from New Church people, it gave her great pleasure to have their company whenever she

could. She was especially kind and hospitable to the several Colporteurs who invariably made her house their home when they visited Bingley. Her illness was a long one, but borne very patiently. She was fully conscious of her approaching end in this life, but was full of a hope blooming with im mortality.

On the 4th of April, at Hope Farm, Baildon, Yorkshire, Mr. John Walker departed from this natural state of life to the spiritual in the 66th year of his age. He received the doctrines of the New Church about twenty years ago, since which time his life has been characterized by goodness and kindness which has won for him the highest respect of his numerous friends and neighbours. It was at his house that a general gathering of New Church receivers in Yorkshire was held, at which the formation of a Colportage Association was first proposed and determined upon, which gives both to him and the place an historic importance. He always spoke of the circumstance with extreme delight. His illness was long and severe, which he bore without the slightest murmur, and with profound humility.

On Monday, 5th April 1869 (at the residence of his youngest son, 37 Myddelton Square, Islington, London), James Shirley Hodson, in the 77th year of his age. He would be known throughout the Church as the printer and publisher of the majority of New Church works which have issued from the press during above thirty-five years, up to the year 1860. He was the son of the Rev. James Hodson, for some time minister to the congregation of the New Church meeting at Dudley Chapel, Dudley Court, St. Giles, London, and a predecessor of the late Rev. Samuel Noble. The subject of this notice was secretary to the New Church conference from the year 1824 to 1846, in which office he was remarkable for his scrupulous adherence to the rules, objecting to have them suspended or disregarded on any slight pretext: believing that a more especial Providence attends things which are done according to order than those things which require for their particular purpose an infringement of rules. He was also for some years secretary to the Society, over which the late Rev. Samuel Noble presided at

Lisle Street and Hanover Street, and when the freehold of the property in Cross Street (which had been given up for some years to the Caledonian Asylum) was for sale he was one of the parties who, in conjunction with the Rev. S. Noble, J. Grayson, and other members of the Hanover Street Society, made strenuous efforts to raise the necessary funds for the repurchase, which was happily completed on 6th September 1827, and the property has ever since remained in the occupation of a New Church congregation. The deceased was also a publisher of New Church literature at a time when no other reward could be reaped than that of gratifying the desire to spread the truth.

Noble's Appeal," first edition, was twenty years in repaying the outlay. "Noble's Plenary Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures Asserted," was also published by him, and the last work which issued from his establishment— "Hindmarsh's History of the New Jerusalem Church"--was produced at an outlay of £300, and which, like the first named, never repaid its cost. the Centenary Year, 1857, Mr. Hodson erected a monumental tablet (out of a fund anonymously bequeathed to him) to the memory of Emanuel Swedenborg in the Swedish Chapel, Prince's Square, Ratcliff Highway, London, where Swedenborg used to attend Divine Service


when in London, and where his mortal remains are interred. For the last nine years of his life he was a confirmed invalid, rarely leaving the house except on dry warm days on account of his complaint, which was pulmonary. He bore his sufferings with great patience and fortitude, supported by his firm reliance on the truths of the New Church-a belief in which, and a love of the truth itself, had become part of his nature. His years of comparative inactivity were, no doubt, times of preparation in which (as has been well remarked by one who appreciated him) "his character seemed to be ripening and mellowing" until all was complete for the great change which he has undergone. He passed away in the early dawn of a spring day, placid and peaceful, prepared to realize the happy eternity promised to those who "endure unto the end."

At her residence, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Elizabeth, the beloved wife of Joseph Wilkinson, aged 73. In the suddenness of her removal we have a powerful application of the Divine injunction,


Be ye also ready;" and in her peaceful depature we have a ground of confidence that she is now realizing the truth of the apostolic declaration; "The sufferings of the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory to be revealed."

« PrécédentContinuer »