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were removed” (Ibid, p. 157). Let us charitably hope that the writer of these lines was not aware of all that is involved in the fact of asking assent to a rash statement made on the bare word of a weak and fallible creature in opposition to the truth of God's Eternal Word. Similar instances might be given to show that in disparagement of Holy Scripture the Roman Catholic and Rationalistic Schools are at one. Quite recently, however, a letter appeared in the Guardian newspaper (Feb. 10, p. 156), which so strikingly corroborates this opinion that it merits a brief notice in this connexion. The letter is somewhat significantly headed, “ An Instructive Quarrel.” Its opening portion runs thus :—“A very pretty quarrel is now going on between two Romanist serials, the Dublin Review and the Month, as to the amount of ignorance which may be attributed to the Apostles. The Month having declared that 'the Church does not assume, and never has assumed, any power to discern and proclaim truths altogether unknown to the Church of the Apostles,' the Dublin severely reprobates the expression as 'not only false, but most unsound and mischievous.”” The bearing of such a controversy as this on theories of development, and on the extravagant pretensions of the Ultramontane party in the matter of the Pope's personal infallibility, is obvious. The writer of the letter concludes by saying that he thinks “this controversy is instructive in two ways. 1. As a specimen of the shifts to which a writer trained in the Romanist school naturally and unblushingly resorts. 2. As showing the complete identity, as to their views of Scripture, of the Ultramontane Romanist and Dr. Colenso and his school.”
The coincidence of opinion and sentiment here brought to view between schools of theological thought apparently so diverse is indeed remarkable and instructive. It is, moreover, capable of much additional illustration. Thus extremes meet. How striking is the contrast between such language as applied to Holy Scripture, and that of our Lord Himself. “ It is easier for heaven and earth to pass than one tittle of the law to fail !” (St. Luke xvi. 17.) In accordance with the Divine truth involved in these words, the author of Transition says :“If the Word created all things, and the new creation at the introduction of Christianity was the Church, then the Church was created by the Word ; and as the Church was created by the Word, so it is governed by the Word, and all the Divine dispensations toward the Church proceed from the Word, and have relation to the Word ” (pp. 82, 83).
On this principle the religious consciousness of the Church from the first to the last of the Divine dispensations is traced out in this work. It is divided into seven principal sections, a brief summary of which may serve to bring before the reader the leading facts and arguments of which it mainly consists, and serve in some degree to indicate the grave character of the questions which it undertakes to discuss.
1. After a few introductory remarks, the first division treats of the first age of the World, the nature of the primeval human consciousness as founded on the Law of Correspondence, and also the relation between this Consciousness and the first chapter of Genesis.
2. The second age of the world being a continuation of the first age by means of a remnant. The rise of outward from inward speechcollectors of such things as pertained to doctrine—the origin of Mythology and Idolatry—and the institution of Ritual.
3. The third age of the world, exhibiting a still further decline from the state of primitive perfection; the establishment of a systematic ritual by Heber, by which means the continuity of Divine Truth was once more preserved by a remnant : also the worship of statues, the origin of gods, the previous existence of Jewish ritual, the call of Abram, and the still unbroken continuity of the Church.
Thus is brought to the view of the reader, “under an historical form, what in modern language has been called the original psychological condition of humanity; the connection of mankind and of the whole creation with the Creator ; establishing on this subject those primeval truths from which the transition of ages is to be traced ; and in relation to which the present condition of the human mind is to be judged ; if it be true that—in order to know what man is, we must first know what man has heen.” (Vide p. 64.)
The author then proceeds to contrast the survey thus far taken of the order of the Ages with that which has been so confidently propounded by the Modern Philosophy of Science known by the name of Positivism, and which is maintained by its advocates with a certain kind of plausibility to be founded upon the fundamental law of the evolution of humanity ? In the language of one of the most enthusiastic and uncompromising expositors of this system, the reader is made acquainted with the well known hypothetical “ three stages ” of human progress—the Theological, the Metaphysical, and the Positive.
(To be continued.)
AMERICA—Boston.—The Society of the New Church in this city, which has long been distinguished for the number and intelligence of its members, and the eminent uses it has rendered to the Church in America, was instituted August 15, 1818. Last year, therefore, it had existed fifty years, and the mem bers determined to hold a semi-centennial celebration. The particulars of this celebration are before us in a pamphlet of 86 pages. It is full of pleasant reminiscences of the past and cheerful hopes for the future. It abounds also with instructive narratives of personal experiences connected with the history and progress of the Church.
The celebration was preceded by preliminary exercises in the church. “At the close of these exercises, the company repaired to the vestry below, which presented a very pleasant appearance. Tables had been set running the whole length of the room from south to north, with a smaller table at the southern end at right angles with the former. At this smaller table sat the pastor, with most of the church committee and the speakers of the evening. After a blessing pronounced by the pastor, the company partook of a plain bat substantial repast, which was served by young ladies and gentlemen selected chiefly from the Sunday school.” This repast was followed by a number of addresses by aged and distinguished members of the church, by letters from absent members, and by songs specially composed for and suited to the occasion. The early period of the Society's history is thus sketched by the Rev. T. B. Hayward :-“As you have just been informed by your pastor, I am the only person present who took part in the institution of this Church or Society fifty years ago. There were twelve of us, three of whom are still living. The other two are Miss Cary, now at the advanced age of ninety-three, and the Rev. Thomas Worcester, D.D., who has been your pastor during almost the whole history of the Society. As nearly as I can recollect, there were at that time about fifteen receivers residing in Boston, and about ten or twelve more
in the neighbouring towns; and it is doubtful if there were a half dozen other persons in Massachusetts who were at all interested in the doctrines. Some of these had received them in the latter part of the previous century, and some at later and different periods. Two of them, Dr. Worcester and myself, were members of the Harvard University.
“The reception of the doctrines at that early period was a very different thing from what it is now. The opposition that we experienced, whether openly expressed, manifested in manner and deportment, or unconsciously exerted by spiritual sphere, cannot at the present day be conceived or imagined. We experienced a general sphere of oppression from the world at large that cannot be described. Those who received the doctrines in those early times had to give up everything else for them. This was strictly true with the most, and mainly so with all. We were regarded as insane, madly insane, to imagine that we had come into possession of a new religion, which was really a new dispensation. . . . . . Then, again, all the ties of affection, relationship, social position ; all the motives of ambition, respectability, personal interest; and everything else but the conviction and love of the truth were arrayed against us. Few, very few, could receive the doctrines under such influences, and none except such as were lifted up and carried forward by the stronger internal influence of the Lord. They felt that the doctrines opened in them a new world, a spiritual worlda world within, which their opposing friends knew nothing of, and, therefore, could not assail; and the conscious experience of this alone sustained them. Tle few receivers in Boston and the vicinity had held meetings, sometimes every week, and sometimes once in two weeks, on Saturday afternoon for more than a year ; and at length they began to consider the question of coming out,' as they called it. But they found they were not unanimous on this point. Those who favoured it thought it would give us a position, and would materially qualify and go far to remove ciety, passed to the spiritual world about three weeks after the festival-on the 7th day of December. The Boston New Jerusalem Magazine for May gives the following extract from her will :“I take this last solemn opportunity to declare my entire belief in the mission of Emanuel Swedenborg, and my reliance on the truths of the New Jerusalem Dispensation, on which I rest my hopes of future happiness through the infinite mercy of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in whom is the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Miss Cary, we are also told, gave one thousand dollars to the New Church Institute of Education at Waltham.
the constrained relations of things which have just been alluded to. Besides it was our imperative duty to set up the standard of the Lord's New Church before the world, and it was none too soon to begin. But some of our most valued friends could not see the matter in this light, and when it was resolved to become a church openly, they remained behind.
“Information had been received that the Rev. Maskell M. Carl, the minister of the New Jerusalem Church in Philadelphia, would be in New York at a certain time, and it was determined to request him to extend his journey to Boston and form us into a church. He came, and on Saturday afternoon, August 15, 1818, twelve of us met at the house of Dr. Mann, corner of Washington Street and Newbury Place, and were instituted into a Church, by name the ‘Boston Society of the New Jerusalem.' The ceremony was very simple. We stood in a circle round the room ; Mr. Carl read some suitable forms, including some passages from the Word; we kneeled and united in repeating the Lord's Prayer ; the proper questions were asked and answered. Mr. Carl then declared us to be a duly instituted Church, and we all signed our names to a creed which had been previously agreed upon.”
On the following day (Sunday), Mr. Carl preached morning and evening in Boylston Hall. Notice of the services had been given in the public papers. The hall was densely filled by a highly respectable and intelligent audience, who listened to the services with great attention. The sacrament of the Holy Supper was administered after the morning service. “From that day the Society held public worship regularly on the Sabbath. On the second Sunday the audiences were nearly as large as on the first. They soon diminished, however, and in three months we had but few hearers beyond our own numbers. Yet now and then an individual became interested in the doctrines and joined with us.” At the end of the first ten years, we are informed by a subsequent speaker, the whole number of members was only sixtythree, of whom, at the time of holding the meeting, twenty-four were living.
Miss Cary, one of the three survivors of the twelve who first entered the So
SWEDENBORG SOCIETY.—The fiftyninth anniversary is appointed to be held at the Society's House, Bloomsbury Street, on Tuesday evening, June 15th, the chair to be taken at seven o'clock precisely, by the Rev. A. Clissold. The reports of the retiring committee, treasurer, and auditors will be read, and new officers elected. It will be recollected that portions of the Chairman's address of last year were given in several numbers of the Repository, and afterwards published, in an enlarged form, under the title-Transition; or the passing away of Ages or Dispensations, Modes of Biblical Interpretation, and Churches. An equally important address may be looked for on this occasion, the critical state of the religious world at the present time demanding our attention. Favourable opportunities for placing the works in public libraries have arisen, and have been promptly met by the committee. It is earnestly hoped that the members and friends of the Institution will attend the meeting in such strength as to encourage the new committee to enter upon their duties with increased energy. The subscriptions are due at the anniversary ; any arrears should be previously paid to the treasurer, Mr. Thos. Watson, 19 Highbury Crescent, N.
Mr. James Spiers, late of Glasgow, has succeeded Mr. Alvey as agent. All orders for books should be sent to him. Communications for the committee to be addressed to the secretary, Mr. Butter, 249 Camden Road, N.
MissiONARY AND TRACT SOCIETY OF THE NEW CHURCH.—The forty-eighth
anniversary of this institution was held its missionary and other labours, and at the chapel of the College, Devon trusts that the friends of the New shire Street, Islington, on the evening Church in the United Kingdom will of Wednesday, the 12th of May 1869, by their liberality enable the Society to Wm. Pickstone, Esq., presiding. Dr. make greater efforts, and perform inBayley opened the meeting with prayer. creased uses through the coming year.” After some appropriate remarks from This it will be seen is an inexhaustible the chairman, the minutes of the last thenie, and one of its features is an anniversary, the committee's report, appeal for additional subscriptions. and the treasurer's accounts were read. During the evening the meeting was From these it appeared that the Society addressed by Dr. Bayley, Rev. W. Bruce, continued to perform a variety of most Messrs. Bateman, Dibley, Elliott, Moss, important uses, by the abundant cir Smith, and the Treasurer. Very sanculation of tracts, the regular supply of guine expressions of possibilities were missionary aid to several societies need uttered. No doubt that in the good ing such assistance, and keeping for providence of the Lord, this Society sale the cheap edition of "Noble's will continue to be, as it has for so Appeal,” “Antediluvian History," many years been, one of the most use“The Future Life," and several minor ful of our institutions. The names of works. It is worthy of note also, al the new committee were announced, though known to many readers of the the chairman made some additional obMagazine, that during the past year a servations, a verse was sung, the benecheap edition (3000) of the “Brighton diction pronounced, and the meeting Lectures,” at 6d. per copy, has been terminated. printed, and the greater portion of them sold.
MANCHESTER TRACT Society.—The These lectures were delivered by Dr. annual meeting of this society was held Bayley at Brighton some years ago, the in the Peter Street school-room, on the questions and answers which followed evening of May 11. The Rev. Mr. the lectures being added. The first Hyde was in the chair, and introduced edition was sold at 2s. per copy.. the business of the meeting by remarkThey were regarded by the committee ing on the agency of the press in its reas very excellent, and as calculated, in lation to the new dispensation. Other a cheap form, to serve an important churches had been raised by preaching, missionary use. Dr. Bayley having the New Church chiefly by the press. generously given to the committee the Swedenborg did not teach by word of copyright, the edition spoken of was mouth, but by the publication of his printed, the price however, 6d. per writings. As members of the Church, copy, does not quite cover the cost. we should not neglect the zealous emThe meeting, though not large, was ployment of both these means of dissemone of considerable interest. The funds inating the truth, but we should not be are in a sound state-extended uses true to the character of the Church and however could be performed if more requirements of the age if we neglected ample supplies were furnished. Out of the employment of the press. the 100 copies of Noble's Appeal, gen- The report of the society was of a erously given by Mr. Finnie, 92 have cheerful and hopeful character. A been applied for and furnished to minis number of new tracts have been pubters. Perhaps some other generous lished, and six thousand copies of tracts friend will follow this excellent example, published by others purchased. The and authorize the committee to give number of subscribers have also inout if applied for, 25, 50, or 100 ad- creased, and the society is in a healthy ditional copies. It cannot fail to be condition, and pursuing a course of useful to circulate such a work amongst vigorous usefulness. The reading of ministers who desire to read it.
the report was followed by a series of The essential resolution of the even resolutions, the moving and seconding ing was “ That the Society, believing of which gave rise to many instructive that the New Church possesses spiritual and interesting remarks. In addition treasures, the dissemination of which to those of a formal kind, one of these will greatly benefit the world, deter resolutions affirmed, “ that the various mines that it will zealously prosecute circumstances now affecting the re