Images de page
PDF
ePub

out the lofty system they compose.

well the internal sense of those passages What you wrote to me about the por- which it had never before been given tions of the New Testament, belonging me well to comprehend, notwithstandproperly to the Divine Word, naturally ing my long meditations and the aid of put me upon a more diligent and ac- learned commentaries. At this mocurate examination of it. On making ment there came into my mind an the examination, I became satisfied inexpressible joy, such as I had never that the fact is really such. The four experienced in all my life, and, thereevangelists, like the Apocalypse, Gen. upon, persuaded that the Lord had esis, and the prophetical books, are given me a new understanding, with a written in the parabolical and figurative heart full of gratitude I set about seekstyle, with representatives and figura- ing in the Divine Word all the other tives, by correspondence, which it has prophecies of His Second Coming, and now been given me from heaven to of the spiritual renovation of the world. understand. This is not the case with I compared, therefore, the above menall the other apostolic documents, as tioned chapters of Luke with the 13th can be seen from the nature of their of Mark and the 24th of Matthew, and style, which is narrative, academical, then read the Apocalypse. How is it and purely epistolary. These docu- possible to doubt that the events forements, moreover, bear the stamp not told by the Lord eighteen centuries only of the character, but of the phil. since, are at this period fully accomosophy peculiar to each of their authors. plished? The different states of preBeing evidently intended for various varication and apostasy, into which the special purposes, being directed at one first Church founded by Him would time to give arrangement and organiza- fall, are too plainly described there. tion to the churches by means of pre- Any one who knows the history of cepts and exhortations; at another, to Christianity is compelled to exclaim, combat the sinister influences of the old Everything was foreseen !” Jewish Church ; at another still, to He proceeds to show that the underrefute the pernicious doctrines spring standing of the Word was to be given ing from the Gnostic philosophy, by at the consummation of the Church. polemical discussions, they have none After some very just reflections upon of the essential and proper characters of the causes of the slow progress hitherto divine revelation.

made by the New Church, which may “When I had confirmed myself in be expected to give way before the these persuasions my spirit fell into a influx of heaven, he adds, state of unspeakable dejection and an- “ The doctrines of our Church once guish. This state was the more pain- known, no obstacle can withstand its ful, that I could find no reason for it; progress, because they are pure and real suspecting, however, that it might pro. truths, in perfect harmony with science ceed from the reflections I had been and reason, and any one examining making on the works of Swedenborg, I himself, can find in his own organism kept thinking within myself whether I physical and spiritual, and the loves ought not to suspend or entirely give that govern it, the most splendid proofs up the reading of them.

After a day in their favour.” of uneasiness, and a sleepless night, Finally he adds, I gave myself up on the following day “As I advance in the study of Swe

prayer, asking of the Lord assistance, denborg's works I feel in myself an light, and strength. At 3 o'clock in irresistible impulse that calls me to the afternoon, there came spontaneously propagate these divine truths among into my mind, the thought that I would my fellow countrymen, and to conread some portion of the Word to see secrate the rest of the days which the whether it might be given me to under- Lord may grant me upon earth to this stand the spiritual sense. Opening divine and lofty mission.” my Bible at a venture, my eye fell on And asks, the 16th chapter of Luke. I read on “Could you provide the pecuniary attentively and slowly up to the 18th means necessary for undertaking the chapter, and as it proceeded my mind good work of propagating the New was filled with wonder and astonish- Church in Italy among Italians ? Which ment to find that I understood very of the works of Swedenborg ought, in

to

your opinion, to be first translated, and if I should undertake the translation, could you find the means of printing it?”

As regards the latter of these questions, it was in my power to say to him, on the authority of a letter I had not long before received from the Rev. Mr. Bruce, that the Swedenborg Society would probably undertake the expense of publishing an edition of Heaven and Hell, if a translator could be found. As for the other, I could only assure him of my belief, that the liberality of New Churchmen in America and England would not be wanting to him at the right juncture, advising him, however, for the present to devote himself rather to translating than preaching

I have not yet made the personal acquaintance of Signor Scocia, and I know nothing of him from any other source than his own letters, and the journals already mentioned. But how much these speak for him both in point of character and intelligence, it is superfluous to say. A. E. FORD.

ST. THOMAS, W. I. — The following letter addressed to the General Conference, and received after the close of its session, has been placed in our hands, and we publish it nearly entire. We have not seen the illustrations mentioned by the writer, and are not, therefore, in a position to speak of their suitableness to promote the object he has in view.

6 With this mail I have taken the liberty to send you two numbers of my illustrations, which I hope will reach you. These illustrations are written specially with a view to circulate amongst the old churches. My fifty years' experience has taught me how little Church element there is, and how many would delight in possessing the heavenly truths kept hidden through prejudice and a perverted clergy. I therefore, forty-nine years ago, eagerly began to disseminate the New Church teachings, and many embraced them, who never would have regarded the old Church teachings. And after various and many years' trials, by distributing the doctrines and writings of Swedenborg, I found that this much failed, for there was too much brilliancy which bewildered, and too deep thought,

which few could or would enter into, not to mention the difficulties and obstacles of the spiritual things, which the natural Church finds beyond its conception. I finally, in the year 1860, began in the United States with giving verbal illustrations, which being all extempore from the Word, met with a very favourable reception in the different sects, as all seem delighted to hear the spiritual sense of the Word opened in a way which they conceived plainly ; and among the many churches of divers creeds, I never heard one find any objections or express any doubts, while much inquiry arose whence came this information thus as it were spontaneously. But the clergy, jealous that it thus should be out of their own power to satisfy their hearers in the same easy way, soon displayed the prophecy in Matt. xxiii., and I found opposition in various forms. I then concluded to give my illustrations in writing, which I commenced with, but did not continue until my return here. Since my commencement here I find that all, both Protestant and Catholics, desire to get them, and I distribute them free of charge in these Colonies, where every one seems open and willing to read them. But as here is but an isolated, confined spot, I have thought to intrude them to places where there may be numbers benefited by them, and in England, I am impressed, they may be found acceptable to many.

“ The illustration being nothing but the word, suits every Church member or Christian. It is as different from our modern sermons as is the Pool of Bethesda from the five porches. The descent of our Lord will only come by a gradual progress of illumination of the literal sense of the Word, for the sign and the coming of the Lord shall be when He is seen in the clouds of heaven in His glory and great power, • Behold He cometh in the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and also they which pierced Him.' His coming must be when the seventh angel shall begin to sound, for then shall the mystery of God be finished (Rev. x. 7), and the mystery shall be finished when the internal sense is perceived and the internal truth shines forth.

“When the Word, and nothing but the Word is correctly and spiritually proclaimed, then the internal

sense ness.

thereof will be known as the light twice in the same room to most attenshining from the east even to the west. tive and evidently interested audiences. The hour is now at hand. I have con- My subject in the morning was the sidered it my duty in my humble supreme deity of the Christian Saviour ; efforts to promote the Lord's kingdom, in the evening, the Lamb of God which to address you and all who I think will taketh away the sin of the world. From sustain the means to attain the end ; this latter subject, I was able to offer and I have endeavoured by my humble an exposition of the nature of the Lord's assistance to forward it as the divine humanity, of His work of redemption providence has directed. If you can and atonement, and of regeneration. do anything to promote this object, The impression left on my mind by the that it may reach the millions who now manifest acceptance of these great die for want of the living bread, and truths was, that the field at Ipswich is you should think

my

illustrations worth white for the harvest, and I could not your attention, I will beg you to inform but pray that the Lord of the harvest me in a few lines. I will furnish the would send forth labourers into His illustrations in MSS., and take a por

harvest. An earnest and able preacher, tion, say two to four hundred copies, at I feel certain, would soon find himself such price as you shall find yourself surrounded by a willing and a working able to deliver me them at; and in the congregation--by a people who would hope of hearing your answer, I remain, help him to diffuse the light of truth, sincerely, your brother, V. KIERULFF." and to make the Church a medium of

saving health to the people. MISSIONARY VISIT TO THE EASTERN From Ipswich, I proceeded to NorCOUNTIES.To the Secretary of the wich. The present condition of this National Missionary Institution-My Society is not so prosperous as we could dear Sir, I have just concluded a course

desire. Various circumstances seem to of missionary labour in the eastern have thinned the attendance at their counties, and hasten to report the par- public worship, and to have discouraged ticulars.

their leader, Mr. Rogers, who had My first service was at Ipswich. tendered his resignation ; and the posiThe Society here is small, but its tion of the Church had hence become a members are active in their efforts to source of anxiety to its friends. On make known the doctrines. They pos- the Monday evening, I attended a meetsess a chapel, but, in their estimation, ing of the Society in company with too small for special services. On this Mr Gunton, who had preached on the occasion, therefore, they rented the Sunday. A lengthened conversation Temperance Hall, a public room cap- took place on the best means of providable of accommodating a large audi- ing for its growth and well-being. It

Over two hundred people was resolved to continue the public attended the services which extended services in their present place of worover two week-day evenings (Nov. 26 ship, and Mr. Harcourt and Mr. Coland 27), and one Sabbath (Nov. 29). bourne were chosen joint leaders. On The persons present manifested a deep the Tuesday evening (Dec. 1), I gave a interest in the subjects discussed, and lecture on the Second Coming, in the seemed to be favourably impressed Church in Queen Street, which was with what they heard. The subjects about two-thirds filled. of my lectures on the week-nights were The Society at Norwich is an example the teachings of the New Church of the extreme difficulty of providing respecting heaven and hell. In the for the continuous and effective uses of discussion of these subjects, I endeav- the Church without a settled ministry oured to impress on my audiences the and other organized means of useful. reality of the existence of these worlds,

Possessed at one time of a their nearness to us during our present respectable congregation, at another of life, the laws to which they are subject, a promising Sunday school, they are and by which they are governed, and now a small body, whose activities are some of the great truths and impressive confined within a narrow circle. This facts which the experience of our great has not arisen from want of affection to author has made known respecting the Church or of willingness to serve them. On the Sabbath, I preached it, but from the impossibility of com

ence.

bining the necessary labours of active life with the many and important duties required to build up the Church as a centre of beauty and usefulness in the world. Whatever view we take of our position and our duties as a Christian community, we must feel the importance of sustaining the Church in the midst of large and populous towns like Norwich. It is from these as centres that we must hope to diffuse the light of truth to those around them. We labour, we must expect to labour, amid many difficulties and discouragements. The sanguine expectations of the pioneers in our work have not been fulfilled, and our occasional failures may have suggested doubts as to the efficiency of the means we have adopted for the accomplishment of our purpose; but of the prudence of our endeavours to establish and build up the Church in the midst of large and flourishing communities we can have no doubt. To societies circumstanced like those of Ipswich and Norwich, our missionary communities must continue to give a thoughtful and earnest attention. They must know no discouragements, and acknowledge no defeats. Let us improve, if needful, our means of operation ; but “let us not be weary in well-doing, for we shall reap in due time if we faint not."

From Norwich I proceed to St. Ives, in Huntingdonshire—the scene of the labours of our zealous and esteemed brother, the Rev. W. Tall. Here is a small but neat church, capable of seating over 150 persons.

The receivers of the doctrines are few in number, but warmly attached to the cause. Their public worship is sustained by the reading of sermons on the Sabbath by two of the members. The attendance at these services is small, and the Society labours under great discouragements. Occasional missionary visits instruct and encourage the "little flock” which weekly assembles here, and afford them an opportunity of calling the attention of their neighbours to the great truths it is their privilege to possess and their duty and desire to make known to others. Advantage was taken of my visit to announce two lectures, the same I had delivered at Ipswich, on the evenings of Thursday and Friday (Dec. 3 and 4). The attendance was very encouraging.

The Church was

filled at both services. Many respectable inhabitants of the town were present, and we may reasonably hope that some useful results may follow.

Permit me, in conclusion, to express a thought which this visit has strongly impressed upon my mind. It is not by fitful and long distant visits that we can reasonably hope to build up the Church, but by patient and continuous labour. The great want of the New Church in the eastern counties is an intelligent, pious, and earnest missionary preacher, who would give his undivided attention to this part of the country. There are difficulties in the way of such an appointment, but I do not think they are insurmountable. I believe the principal difficulty right man to occupy the place, and to give himself whole-heartedly to the work. If the man combining the moral and intellectual qualifications for this office were found, I feel certain that the Great Head of the Church would stir up the hearts of the people to support him is his work. -I am, in the cause of the New Church, very sincerely yours,

RICHARD STORRY.
Heywood, Dec. 15, 1868.

the

NEW CHURCH LECTURES.—It is common in many of the Societies of the New Church to devote the Sabbath evenings during the winter months to the delivery of lectures on popular, instructive, and interesting religious subjects. The public attention is usually called to these services by printed bills, cards, or advertisements in the local papers.

These lectures have had the authority of ministers of the greatest eminence in the Church, and have been of undoubted use in promoting her progress.

During the present winter, lectures have been delivered in several of our Churches by their respectivė ministers. The Rev. Mr. Marsden has followed up the publication of his correspondence with the Vicar of Snodland, by a course of special sermons during the months of November and December, which have been well attended. The subjects discussed in this course of services are extremely diversified. They include the crucifixion and transfiguration of the Lord ; the doctrine of repentance, and the exposition of difficult passages of Scriptures, selected from various

portions of the Word. The Rev. Mr. scarcely standing room. The collecHyde has given a course in Manchester tions amounted to rather more than under the general heading of “The £68. The estimated cost of the buildspiritual side of nature, as illustrated ing was £600, and this has not been by the Word of God.” In this course,

exceeded. It is heated by hot water, the preacher discusses the sun, moon, and lighted by beautiful gas pendants, and stars ; mountains, plains, and kindly presented by the manufacturer, valleys; the sea, rivers, and fountains; Mr. F. Hargreaves of Accrington. A fields, gardens, and groves ; times and debt of £100 is all that remains on the seasons; beasts, birds, and fishes; the building. There are in the Sunday course concluding with “Man's rela- School 100 scholars and 14 teachers. tion to the universe, as a physical, A field of usefulness is thus opened intellectual, and spiritual creature ; before our zealous friends, who have and “God's Works and the Word of exerted then selves in the erection of God illustrative and confirmatory of this commodious room, which we hope each other.” At Salford, Rev. Mr. they will go up and possess.

They Westal has given lectures on subjects have adopted a right course by laying connected with the invisible world and deep the foundations of the Church in man's relation to it, and on the resur- the religious education and moral culrection and judgment. At Heywood, ture of the young; and we hope that Mr. Storry has given a course of ser- they may be permitted to see the rearmons under the general title of “Ser- ing of its walls and the bringing forth mons for the Times." These discourses its topstone of glory in the growing have dwelt upon the Scriptural meaning excellences and developed perfection of the Church-the Rock on which it is of the Society to be collected within its built, the power of the Keys, absolution walls. and remission of sins, the unity of the

SOUTH LONDON.-The first annual Church, and other kindred subjects.

festival of the Mutual Improvement Similar services have, we understand,

Society, in connection with the South been instituted by other ministers, but

London Church, was held on 10th no particulars have reached us. These

December in an elegant and commowe have noticed have been interesting to the congregations who have listened

dious building, known as the Gresham

Institute, Brixton. to them, and we doubt not will issue in

Mr. E. Austin, the president, opened some useful result.

the proceedings at seven o'clock with a OPENING OF A NEW CHURCH SCHOOL brief address ; after which a number of AND MEETING ROOM AT CLAYTON-LE- songs and glees were beautifully sung Moors, NEAR ACCRINGTON.--In our by Miss Fosbroke, Mrs. Lindley, Misses July number of last year we gave an Barth, Mr. Fairweather, and Mr. Elli. account of the laying of the foundation son and party. Short speeches also stone of this building which has now were made, on appropriate themes, by been completed. The building is in Messrs. J. Williams, A. C. Moore, s. the early Gothic style, symmetrical in R. Dicks, and C. Higland; and humits arrangements, and admirably adapted orous readings given with considerfor the purposes of its erection. The able elocutionary skill, by Messrs. E. interior dimensions of the building are Margetson and C. H. Moore. At 72 feet by 27 feet, and 23 feet to the intervals during the evening, an oppormiddle of the ceiling. The opening tunity was afforded visitors of inspectservices took place on Sunday, Novem- ing numerous objects of interest and ber 8. Rev. Dr. Bayley preached in amusement, which had been kindly lent the morning and evening, and Mr. E. for the occasion. J. Broadfield, B.A., in the afternoon. Upwards of 250 persons were present, All the services were well attended. many of whom were connected with In the evening, the room was crowded other London Societies; and the assemto excess, hundreds of people being bly terminated at half-past ten, after unable to gain admission. Not fewer awarding a hearty vote of thanks to the than 700 persons are said to have been various ladies and gentlemen who had crowded or packed within the building. generously assisted in rendering this The vestry, platform, and every part delightful New Church reunion a comwas crowded, until Dr. Bayley had plete success.

« PrécédentContinuer »