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it may be, from this common faith, by our departure from the universal practice of the Church, not only in primitive times, but before the Nicene and Athanasian creeds prepared the way for Popery and the dark ages, to worship God incarnate, the Father in the Son, Jesus Christ, in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead,' Father, Son, and Spirit, bodily.' The Church at the beginning did not separate the Trinity from Jesus Christ, nor pray to one person of the Trinity apart from the others, nor to the Father, for the sake of Jesus the Son. Nothing in the New Testament makes the unity of God a mystery as these prayers necessarily do. No writer of the New Testament ever speaks even of the Trinity as a mystery, or seems conscious that in asserting, as they all do, the divinity and divine humanity of Jesus, he is saying anything that either is, or will appear to others to be, irreconcilable, or the least at variance with the fundamental truth of God's unity, on which all religion rests. To them the mystery of godliness' was not the Trinity, but the Incarnation, 'God manifest in the flesh.' But the Incarnation was not the obscuration of the glory or of the unity of God, but the brightest revelation or manifestation of both to the world in the humanity of Jesus Christ. -I am, &c.-A Member of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
There is a cry everywhere for union. A writer in the English Independent urges the amalgamation of the Free Wesleyan Churches with the Congregational Independents. The two bodies are in most particulars agreed. "The only difference between their (the Free Methodists') Independency and ours is a difference of detail and not of principle. Their churches do not stand, as ours do, in a position of isolation. They have erected upon their Independency a voluntary Connectionalism." In the Irish Conference of the Wesleyan body, a committee was appointed to negotiate a union of the Church Methodists (from six to eight thousand strong) with the Wesleyan Connection. Their ministers, who are few, are said to have been offered orders by the Archbishop of Dublin.
On Tuesday evening, June 1, 1869, a very remarkable gathering (says_the Pall Mall Gazette) was held in Freemasons' Hall, which was densely crowded by what was evidently a highly intellectual assembly, most of the persons present belonging to the upper middle classes. It was a public devotional service in connection with a newly formed "Free Christian Union,' the design of which is to illustrate the spirit of unsectarian Christianity, to furnish the means of undogmatic religious instruction, and to incorporate the discoveries of learning and science in the religious view of the world. At half-past seven o'clock, the time appointed for the commencement of proceedings, four gentlemen, all habited in black robes, mounted the platform: -They were the Rev. Athanase Coquerel, pastor of the French Protestant Church; the Rev. James Martineau, Unitarian minister of Little Portland Street Chapel; the Rev. W. Miall, Baptist minister of Queen's Road Chapel, Dalston; and the Rev. C. Kegan Paul, M. A., of Exeter College, Oxford, vicar of Sturminster Marshall. In the devotional services conducted at this meeting all reference to the Trinity or to any doctrinal sentiment likely to produce diversity of thought was carefully omitted. Two sermons were delivered, one in French by Rev. A. Coquerel, and the other in English by Rev. C. K. Paul. From the latter we give the following extract, which offers, we think, very slight grounds of unity to those who "call upon the name of the Lord." A much truer ground will be found in the last paragraph of our preceding article. "The Dicta Extra ecclesiam nulla salus,' and 'The Bible and the Bible alone is the religion of Protestants,' were no longer applicable to the advancing state of knowledge. Those who had joined the new Society read the Scriptures under an entirely different light from that which the Church supplied, and it was sometimes asked how it was that they could consistently hold their positions in that Church, instead of going out boldly into the pure Theism which Christ taught. It was because they believed that Christ was a symbolical name for collective humanity, which they understood to be God."
THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE CHURCH.
The forthcoming Council of the Vatican is said to excite greater attention in Germany than in any other part of Europe. The German writers seem to apprehend that, if the gathering of prelates really takes place, and the programme already decided upon be carried out, the inevitable consequence must be a collision between the Holy See and every Catholic Government in Europe.
The Augsburg Gazette says that Cardinal Antonelli lately replied to the ambassador of a Cismontane Government, in answer to a question put to him on the matter, that the intention did exist of proclaiming the infallibility of the Pope as a dogma of the Church at the next Council, that this doctrine had long been believed by all good Catholics, and therefore that "
no difficulty stood in the way of its reception.' As the proclamation of Papal infallibility means that all nations are in a condition of permanent rebellion against the divinely-instituted authority of the Pope, the German Catholics think there will be a good deal of difficulty about the matter." This sentiment of Cardinal Antonelli is repeated in the Tablet, from which paper the following extract is given in the Guardian:-"The Times is quite right in saying, 'the Council will be Pius IX., and Pius IX. will be virtually declared infallible.' More than this, we hope, with Catholics in every part of the world, that the Pope will be decreed by a dogmatic canon to be absolutely infallible when speaking ex cathedra on faith or morals."
REV. E. KEYES. -The Liverpool Daily Post of July 6 contains the following"The Rev. E. R. Keyes, a prominent minister of the New York Methodist Conference, having renounced the doctrines of that church, addressed an immense audience in the Swedenborgian Church, in Poughkeepsee, on the 19th ultimo, explaining the cause of his conversion to the latter Church. His course has created a profound sensation." In the narrative of the proceedings of the General Convention given in the Messenger, June 23, we are told that Mr. Keyes was fully admitted into the
New Church by baptism, and that he had resolved to devote himself to the preaching of its doctrines. The Messenger of June 30 gives a still more extended account of Mr. Keyes' proceedings in connection with the Church. In a letter which appeared in the New York and Poughkeepsee papers, Mr. Keyes says, For many years past, especially during the last five or six years, my views have been undergoing a radical change upon some of the fundamental questions of theology. I have found myself compelled to diverge more and more from the system of faith given in the doctrinal standards of Methodism, until I have at last reached a position of irreconcilable antagonism to them on some cardinal points. An open avowal of my present views would subject me to trial and expulsion in any annual conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. I. feel, therefore, that common honesty and honour as well a due regard to my own highest interests require me to stand forth in my true character. I cannot endure the humiliation of smothering my highest convictions of truth and of walking with an ecclesiastical halter dangling over my head. I must be honest and I must be free. I have, therefore, for warded to Bishop Jones my ordination parchments, and dissolved my connection with the Methodist Episcopal Church . . I do not sever the ties that bind me to the past in any spirit of bitterness and enmity. I shall still cherish, if I am permitted to do so, the friends of former years, and shall ever preserve a grateful sense of their kindness to myself and family. But my convictions of truth, my loyalty to God, my peace of mind, my self-respect, all unite to confirm me in my purpose to go forth from the ecclesiastical and doctrinal fellowhip of the Methodist Episcopal Church. To find new associations that will be altogether congenial may be impossible; but it is none the less my duty to renounce the old."
From the Messenger of July 7, we learn that "Mr. Keyes has been employed to preach for Mr. Hayden during the summer. He entered upon his duties last Sunday, and we learn from one of the members of the Society, that he made a good impression upon the New Churchmen who heard him.
Several families of his old congregation in the Methodist Church have taken seats in the New Church house of worship, and there is a prospect that they will follow him in accepting the new doctrines. An extract given by the Messenger from a Portland paper, gives an account of this first service, and of the reasons offered by the preacher for his change of faith. Mr. Keyes," says the writer of this notice, "is a good speaker, and reads the church service in excellent style."
The same number of the Messenger contains an extract from the letter of another Wesleyan to his brother, in which the writer says:-"Last Monday evening I made an appointment with our minister for the purpose of tendering my resignation, and confess myself to him without reserve a New Churchman. This, I can assure you, was no easy matter, and yet as unpleasant as the business seemed to be, I realized that it had become a duty and must be done. He, of course, was much astonished, and yet acted the part of a Christian gentleman, he is a very liberal man indeed. He thought as I did, that with my present sentiments I could not be a leader any longer, and yet urged me to remain a member of the Church, since there was no Society of New Churchmen here. He spoke very highly of the character of Swedenborg, and made this remarkable statement, that 'If his church over which he was pas tor were as thoroughly Swedenborgian as they are Methodist, so far as his personal feelings are concerned, he could work among them just as well as he can
NEW YORK INDEPENDENT.-We received some time ago from a friend a copy of the New York Independent of March 18th, and have been prevented by press of other matter from giving earlier insertion to the following particulars. The Independent is the organ of the Congregationalists in the United States, and is said to circulate 70,000 copies weekly. It is one of the most influential organs of the body to which it belongs, and is frequently cited by the English Independent and kindred publications in this country. The copy sent us contains a very commendatory notice of the new American edition of Swedenborg's True Christian Religion.
Notices of this article have appeared in the American New Church publications. We add one or two extracts. After reciting some of the vague notions which prevail respecting the teachings of the New Church, the writer remarks:-"So far from being amenable to the charge of immorality, the theology of Swedenborgianism insists with great strenuousness on interior purity of heart. So far from being Unitarian, it recognises in Jesus the only one living and true God, the infinite and Divine Spirit, not united with a human nature, but simpyl tabernacled in a human body. So far from being infidel,' the Swedenborgians pay to the written Word a reverence only less than that paid by the ancient Jew to his sacred scriptures.
To a careless reader of ecclesiastical statistics, the Swedenborgian Church would seem to be one of the least of the great household of faith. To the careful student of religious thought it appears to be among the most important. It has made very few converts from the faith of orthodoxy; but it has materially modified that faith. Under the combined influence of Swedenborgianism and Rationalism we have reluctantly come to the conclusion that by searching we cannot find out God; and while the Church holds to the doctrine of the Trinity as tenaciously as ever, it no longer adheres to the mathematical statements with which in the days of Athanasius it at once provoked and defied intellectual rebellion. It retains as reverently as ever its trust in the atoning sacrifice of Christ; but it no longer berates good works, and it insists far more earnestly than formerly upon what is good Swedenborgian doctrinethat without holiness no man can see the Lord. It retains its old affection for the Bible; but it no longer sanctions the use that was made of it in the days when the followers of Cromwell cited the extermination of the Canaanites as an apology for the massacres in Ireland. It holds fast to the solemn truth, which none has ever taught more vividly than Christ Himself, that after death is the judgment, and after judgment heaven and hell; but it has accepted unconsciously from Swedenborg his teaching that every man carries heaven or hell in his own bosom, and remits to the past the fearful pictures of Edwards and his contemporaries, of
This article, we learn from the Messenger of April 21st, is written by Dr. Haven, and has created quite an excitement in the evangelical papers. In the review Dr. H. had not sufficiently distinguished between a merely external and selfish morality and a genuine morality. This distinction he gives in a subsequent number of the Independent, in which he says:-"There is a spiritual constitution, a real substantial character, belonging to every human being. And that substantial manhood is either right or wrong; either 'born again,' born from above, aroused into the truly manly and spiritual life or not. If it is thus aroused and regenerated God knows it; often man does not, often the very subject of this higher and truly manly life does not know it." The strongest external evidence we have of this Christian character is not profession of belief in doctrinal statements, but a life like Christ's habitually and steadily devoted to doing good. To judge by this test is true liberality, and "this true liberality is growing, for the world is growing wiser and better. We scarcely need to advocate it, for it is sweeping on like a torrent. Those who are attempting to rebuild miniature edifices on the plan of the great Church of the middle ages, are regarded by the great mass of intelligent people as grown up children amusing themselves with baby-houses. They are not doing the work of these days."
INDEPENDENCY IN ENGLAND.-The friend to whom we are indebted for the copy of the Independent, cited in the preceding article, also forwards us the outline of one of the ordinary sermons of an eminent minister of the Congregational body in England. The text was Luke xiii. 11 to 13. In the course of the sermon the preacher said:-"The Saviour's aim was through His miracles to teach that He came to heal and save the souls of men; for the body is merely the dress of the soul and the dress is sometimes so very transparent that the
soul appears through it. Swedenborg says that those who have lived a swinish or sensual life in the spiritual world appear in the form of swine, and we would do well to take heed to what he says rather than treat it with contempt." The preacher then spoke of malignant diseases prevalent in climates not so temperate as ours, and said that Eastern and heathen nations have a belief that such diseases are under the power and influence of evil spirits. "It is not well," he said, "to ignore this belief altogether, for do we not daily find that most (I will not say all) our pains and sicknessess are the results of the evil spirits of gluttony, drunkenness, ambition, or some kind of selfish indulgence which violates the laws of temperance and of truth. We know very little of the sources that lie behind the effects that we see; and notwithstanding the advance of scientific knowledge one of the most eminent medical men of Europe declared the other day that although we may arrive at a very correct knowledge of the character of any disease, yet we are ignorant of its source. The infirmity spoken of in the text was an infirmity of the spirit, and is peculiarly applicable to our case not only as individuals but as a nation. As a Christian nation we are what the Word of God has made us. We can, even in spiritual things mount up to the third heaven, but by infirmity of will to put into practice what we know, we are bowed down to the earth, and 'our soul cleaveth unto the dust.' Our widespread social evils of various kinds testify to this. We have spent our living on many physicians and are not healed. The only remedy is to touch Him who is 'the Life,' and say with the Psalmist all my springs are in Thee.'
SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION.-The annual meeting of this union was held at Wigan, June 21st. It was attended by five ministers and thirty-one other members. The Rev. R. Storry_was appointed President, and Mr. Potts was re-appointed Secretary. Nearly all the schools reported an increase in their numbers. The Committee's report stated that ten thousand copies of the new hymn book prepared by Mr. John Bragg and the Rev. Mr. Hyde, had been printed, and the work was now being
gradually introduced into the schools. A suggestion was also offered for the preparation of a suitable tune book. In the sale of books there had been a slight decline, and attention was called to the appointment of suitable persons as book-stewards, and to the more frequent report of their work to the local committees. Efforts are being made for the increase of the building fund, the progress of which is unfortunately slow. There are few greater means of use than is furnished by this fund, and it is much to be desired that a more general attention could be directed to it, and a more generous support afforded it. Properly supported, it would afford the means of helping our societies to improve and extend their school buildings, to adapt them to the improvements going on in the work of education, and to render our schools more efficient and useful. The business of the meeting was of the usual routine character. A number of books, chiefly connected with the true Christian religion, and including that work, were strongly recommended for adoption in the schools, andseveral useful discussions took place on questions connected with the conducting and progress of the schools. In the evening a public teaparty was held in the room, after which addresses on the required character of members of the New Church, and the importance and value of our Sunday schools, were delivered by such of the ministers and other members of the Union as were able to remain into the evening. The proceedings of the day were of a kind to yield enjoyment to those who took part in them, and to inspire hope in the continued usefulness and prosperity of the schools.
MANCHESTER AND SALFORD MISSIONARY SOCIETY.-The annual meeting of this institution was held at Salford, June 22. A few of the friends of the society met in the Temple in the afternoon to consider the report and discuss the best means of giving increased efficiency to the society's operations. The meeting in the evening was numerously attended, and considerable interest was manifested in the proceedings. The chair was occupied by the Rev. Mr. Hyde, who introduced the business of the evening with an eloquent address on the importance of
missionary labours, and the value of colportage as an auxiliary to these labours. The adoption of the report ⚫ was moved and seconded by Revs. W. Woodman and E. D. Rendell, in able and instructive addresses.
The Rev. R. Storry moved the following resolution: -- "That in the opinion of this meeting it is desirable that a system of colportage should be at once established in Lancashire, and that the Committee of this Society be and are hereby requested to give practical effect to this resolution, by endeavouring to obtain adequate funds, by subscriptions and otherwise, so as to engage the services of a zealous and efficient colporteur as early as possible, and this meeting pledges itself to subscribe liberally to the funds required for the purpose." This resolution was supported by all the speakers who subsequently addressed the meeting, and unanimously adopted. The subject of colportage has since, we are informed, engaged the attention of the committee. Revs. J. Hyde and R. Storry are appointed to visit societies, and where arrangements can be made, to hold public meetings on the subject. We may reasonably hope, therefore, that such a measure of success will accompany these efforts as will enable the committee to carry out this useful project.
MEETING OF THE MINISTERS OF THE NEW CHURCH IN LANCASHIRE.-The quarterly meeting of the ministers in Lancashire was held July 7, at the house of the Rev. R. Storry, Heywood. All the ministers and leaders, with two exceptions, were present. The day was spent in useful and instructive conversation on matters relating to the Church, its life and progress. One of the questions which has occupied the attention of the ministers during the year has been the question of missionary work in their locality. A considerable amount of missionary labour has been accomplished during the year, and the report of this labour, prepared by the president, was laid before the meeting and adopted, preparatory to its presentation to the Conference. One object of the ministers in seeking this relation to missionary work was the desire to aid in maturing improved modes of missionary labour. In this respect