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MISSIONARY INSTITUTIONS. THE month of May is distinguished by the holding of the public anniversaries of the great Missionary Institutions, and of the various philanthropic and Christian associations of the country. Day after day the large halls of the me tropolis are thronged by the friends of these institutions. Their reports furnish evidence of Christian liberality and zeal, the addresses of the several speakers manifest increased Christian culture, while the conducting of their regular business indicate the dawn of more prudent management than has obtained in former years. We give a few particulars from the reports of three of the leading Missionary Societies.
Church MISSIONARY SOCIETY.-The report stated that the income of the year from all sources had amounted to £157,330, lls. 6d. There were 156 stations in connection with the Society, and 320 clergymen-namely, 202 European and 118 native and country born. The number of laity employed, consist. ing of European laymen, native and country horn catechists and teachers of all classes not sent from home was 1,955.
WESLEYAN MISSIONARY SOCIETY..The report of this society stated that the total receipts for the year were £146,249, 78. 8d.; expenditure, £146,071, 13s. 2d. ; leaving a small balance towards the liquidation of the accumulated deficiences of former years, which remain a burden on the Society to the amount of £19,000. It is the peculiarity of the Wesleyan Missionary Society, said the report, to embrace within its operations diverse fields of labour, which in other churches are usually carried on by separate societies. It is an Irish Society, having missions in the sister island. It is a Continenal Society, with missions in France, switzerland, Germany, Italy, and Spain. It is a Colonial Missionary Society, largely engaged in missionary labours among British colonists. It sends missionaries to India, Ceylon, China, Western and Southern Africa, the West Indies, the North American Indians,
and the natives of Polynesia. The report gives details of the labours in these several missionary fields, and of the missionaries employed in them. In addition to the agents sent from England, many native teachers and preachers are becoming extensively employed in the work.
THE LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY. –The number of chief stations occupied by this Society is 130. The native churches are 150 ; they contain 35,400 members : in a community of nominal Christians, young and old, amounting to 191,700 persons. Of these, nearly 13,000 are in Polynesia ; nearly 5,000 in the West Indies ; over 4,000 in South Afriea ; and 3,400 in India. The converts under the Society's care speak altogether twenty-six languages. The native agency employed by the Society has for several years been growing large. The Society has fifteen institutions for training these agents, which now contain 170 students. The total number of native assistants is above 1,200, of whom 81 are ordained pastors and missionaries. The English missionaries of the Society are now 156 in number. And the directors have during the year accepted no less than 18. Amongst them are two of the missionaries' sons. The total number of missionary students in the Society is now 42.
AMERICA. The periodicals of the church in America give pleasing evidence of the zeal of our brethren. Their missionary operations are extended through several of the States, and their missionaries meet at most places with willing hearers. A feature of these services which we scarcely ever witness in England, is the frequent occupancy of the churches of other denominations for New Church lectures. The lectures are followed by the distribution of tracts and the sale of pamphlets and books. By this means the interest excited is continued, and in many of the places visited small societies are gradually rising.
Another feature of the missionary operations of our brethren, is the effort to extend the influences of the church to the neglected portions of society. In this work they are adopting the plan of mission schools. This is unquestion ably the best mode of reaching those who are dwelling in the dark shadows of ignorance and the gloom of spiritual death. It is not by public preaching, but by patient and persevering instruction that the light of truth must be brought to illumine these dark places of the earth. The effort of our brethren, confined at first to individual endeavour, is being taken up by one at least of their associations. At the annual meeting of the New York Association, “a resolution was unanimously adopted, to the effect that in the opinion of the meeting, the time had arrived for New Churchmen and New Church organizations to pay more attention to bringing the influences of the Church to bear on the poor and neglected classes of society, and commending the efforts now making to establish New Church Mission Sunday Schools." We hope the time is not distant when a similar movement will take place in the New Church in England.
SWEDENBORG SOCIETY. The Anniversary Meeting of the Swedenborg Society was held in the Swedenborg Society's house, Bloomsbury Street, on Tuesday evening, the 15th June. The Rev. Augustus Clissold, M.A., occupied the Chair. The room was crowded, and the proceedings were of a most interesting nature. The Secretary read the Annual Report of the Society. Mr. Jobson moved the adoption of the Society's Report, which was seconded by Major Powys, and passed unanimously. The Treasurer read the audited cash account, and stated that the balance in hand on the Latin Manuscripts by Printing account was £66, Os. 8d., and that on the Swedish Society's Printing account, £25. Mr. Watson was re-elected Treasurer. The Chairman moved the first resolution,-" That this meeting desires to receive the Papal Letter addressed to all Protestints and other non-Catholics, with every due mark of respect, and to record its conviction, that it is not the person, but the confession of Peter that is the Rock upon which the Church is built ; that the source of true faith is not authority, but charity ; that with
out love toward the neighbour, the presence of the Lord in the Christian Church is impossible ; and that any Church which is founded upon authority as a first principle of unity, or on the person and power of any created being, especially to the exclusion of liberty of conscience and the right of private judgment, contains within itself the elements of its own dissolution." He addressed the meeting at considerable length. We do not give even an outline of the Chairman's speech, as the whole of its substance will be found in Mr. Clissold's new publication, entitled “The centre of Unity; What is it? Charity or Authority,” which will shortly be issued by Messrs. Longmans and Co., in a pamphlet, price 2s.
The Rev. H. M. Gorman seconded the resolution, remarking that he felt some difficulty in doing so, both from the importance of the subject, and through following their Chairman's able address. The Society which met in that room was one which had a peculiar mission, being meant to enlighten the Roman Catholic Church, the Protestant Churches of all kinds, of all names and forms, and sectarists of all sorts ; it had the grand and sacred office of making known to the world a perfect theology in this day of theological chaos. The Society was established only a few years before the battle of Waterloo : the battle of Waterloo reminded them of the French Revolution, and the French Revolution would remind them of 1757, the year of the last judgment; so that they could closely connect their operations with what is known to be the second advent of the Lord Jesus Christ in the spirit and power of His word. That was the great truth which they had to teach the nations ; humble as the Society was, that was the great work that lay before it. As part of their work it became their duty to answer this Papal letter. Any one at all conversant with Roman Catholic polemics was well aware of the subtilty with which Roman Catholics could argue; and although they themselves, firmly fixed in clear demonstrated spiritual truth, might be inclined to over look the hundreds and thousands and millions of Christians who have not yet received that blessing, it appeared to him clearly to be their duty to take every means in their power to make known the truth
in every way. If those truths were to advance, it must be by that medium which Swedenborg had himself adopted, viz., the press. He believed it to be their peculiar duty to make use of that greatest of all instrumentalities in modern times, the press, which was the grand conduit for the dissemination of Divine truth throughout the nations. They need not fear as to the future of that Society, provided they were perfectly sincere and earnest in their convictions as to the sacred nature of the trust which was committed to them under the Divine Providence. The question before them had two special aspects : the politico-religious, and the theological. The speaker here instanced the state of religion in Italy, in Austria, in Spain, and in France, referring to the characteristics of the Papacy as evincing the inordinate love of rule; referring them to the Church of Eng. land, the Church to which be belonged, and saying that that Church by her formularies, if fairly and honestly interpreted, based her teachings upon the theory that Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation. He rejoiced in the privilege of attending that meeting ; for who was it that could explain scripture without making one place or part repugnant to another ? It was those who read Swedenborg, and those who knew his writings best. Therefore, although the Church of Eng. land was a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ, it was the readers of Swedenborg who possessed a perfect set of doctrines, and a clear spiritual understand ing of the Holy Word. With reference to the Papacy, Swedenburg's own answer was the most perfect and absolute, as would be seen on referring to the Apocalypse Revealed, Nos. 243, 717, 718, 723, 725, 729, 733, 738, 740, 741, 742, 745, 746, 749, 751, 753, 759, 768, 784, 786, 787, 790, 795, 796, 798, and 802.
The resolution was then put, and passed unanimously.
The Rev. Dr. Bayley moved the next Resolution, -" That the doctrine of charity unfolded in the writings of Swedenborg is calculated to unite all Churclies and all classes of men into one grand brotherhood, in which each member will cherish kindly feelings towards every other, and all will acknowledge the sovereignty of the Creator and Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, in
whom they will recognise the fulfilment of the prophecy of Zechariah (xiv. 9), The Lord "shalt be king over all the earth, in that day there shall be one Lord, and His name one.” He said the resolution was a declaration of what was self evident, viz., that charity alone can unite men, churches, and nations. It seemed so simple a thing, so easy for every one to understand, that he had ventured to say that the principle was self-evident. In relation to all our unions in daily life, we all know that it is only the loving person with whom others can unite ; the despotic, selfwilled character, one who is impatient with others, ready to insult those who differ from him—with such a person none could unite. They would probably remember the anecdote recorded concerning such a character in the life of Cromwell. In his camp one of the marked personages was Col. John Lillburne, and this Col. Lillburne was of so unmanageable a spirit that he was constantly in hot water with every one, no matter whether it was a common soldier, or a fellow-officer, or the commanderin-chief; and respecting this man Cromwell had one day been provoked to remark that, so imperious and so selfwilled was Col. John Lillburne that he believed that if all the rest of the world were annihilated, instantly John would divide from Lillburne, and Lillburne would attack John. This was really the experience of the world with regard to despotic, authoritative, self-willed, dictatorial spirits ; they never could unite, but always would divide; while on the contrary a kindly, loving, gentle individual would always find a good point with others somewhere, and although he could not approve of everything belonging to any other person, he yet would seek for some little bit, some corner, in which he could, as it were, join hands with the other in a loving, agreeable, gentle spirit; in that spirit which was like the golden hooks which we read of in connexion with the curtains made for the tabernacle in the wilderness. These little golden hooks represented the uniting quality of lovingkindness. Where there is something that causes the heart-felt smile, the touch of friendship, the kindly, useful, loving act, there were the little golden hooks that unite soul to soul, society to society, and man to man, all the world over. We did not need to seek for evidences all over the world to teach us what it is that unites persons; every person knows what it is that unites him to his wife, and his wife to him self, that unites parent to child, children to parents, family to family, and friend to friend ; and it is this very spirit which forms the essence of all New Church doctrines, viz., the spirit of charity to man derived from love to the Lord. He considered that the numerous pamphlets and documents that had appeared in late times crying out for charity and unity, all these were in the first place a proof that neither the charity nor the unity exists. The cry was likewise a proof that there was a yearning that such a unity should exist. It became New Churchmen as far as possible to show to such persons how very easy a thing it is to arrive at this desired unity if only the right course be adopted, viz., coming into a state of charity, doing away with all those ponderous anathemas in connection with certain creeds, articles, and declarations ; let them remove all this, confess that the Lord himself, the God of love, is the God of all men all over the world ; confess that charity itself is the very centre and soul of all true religion, and this would pave the way for the realisation of the happy state in which there should be one fold under one Shepherd. In nature was found an admirable illustration of the power that unites. If it were desired, say, to unite two pieces of iron, they might be pressed with the highest hydraulic power, but they would still remain separate, although in very close contiguity ; but bring heat to bear upon them, and then the two would fuse and become absolutely one. Exactly so in all spiritual things should there be the holy fire of love, which alone could blend heart with heart and hand with hand. With one other thought he would conclude his remarks. Every loving heart, animated by real love to the Lord, and seeking to depress in himself every inferior and selfish and despotic feeling, is in union with all good hearts all over the world; he is already united with all good men, and he lets it be known that whether it be Jew, or Pagan, or Mohammedan, or whatever else, he is only seeking their general welfare and blessing. Such a one will point all men to that glorious
Lord who is King over all the earth ; he will do nothing but good, spread nothing but blessing, and will walk in the path of peace and justice to all men, and this is the universal balm, uniting principle and blessing both for earth and for heaven.
The resolution was seconded by Henry Bateman, Esq., who said he had thoroughly enjoyed the speech of his excellent friend Dr. Bayley. It always did good when a man spoke from the heart to the heart, as Dr. Bayley did. He knew of nothing more delightful to contemplate than the changes which were taking place in regard to the dissemination of the principles of the New Church, not merely in their own separate societies, but throughout the whole world. Swedenborg had taught in his work on the “ Last Judgment” that the changes that would take place in the natural world after the last judgment were of such a kind as were compatible with external things going on much the same as they had done before, with Churches retaining their old forms, and various matters of that kind ; but that there would be an internal principle acting from the heavens above on the minds of men, which would make men think, and speak, and act from freedom, from love according to liberty. That was the work which was going on. Swedenborg in his great work, the “ True Christian Religion," adverting to the importance of charity, had pointed out that if you separate charity from faith and good works, it was like bruising a pearl to powder, breaking it up and destroying all its beauty and all its value. As had been well remarked, the whole of the New Church writings are really the unfolding of this great doctrine of charity. When men took the Word in its mere letter they saw in it things apparently inconsistent with true love and charity. What the New Church was doing was to tell men that where, for instance, anger is predicated of God, it was not anger in God, it was love assuming the form of zeal, love manifesting itself to man in his low state, so that it appeared as anger, and thus when the grand truth of the Word was laid bare, by means of correspondence, right doctrines were deduced and true views were perceived. Then it was known that the Lord is love and
love only. In the present state of the world without doubt it was right that there should be various doctrines preached, some internal and some external, so that all men might be reached and all states affected, and the drunkard who could not be reached by the preaching of the love of God, might possibly be affected by the vehement language of a more external preacher, who would address him thus, “If you don't leave off drinking, you will go to hell, and you will burn for ever.” He believed, therefore, that it was for the good of mankind that there should be a diversity of sects in this country, and that there was more true religion in England than there would be if we had one religious denomination established as the religion of all. Seeing that Mr. Hyde was present, he would content himself with these few remarks, simply expressing the delight he felt at being present at the meeting, and his conviction that the resolution he had seconded deserved to be placed among the records of the Society.
The Rev. John Hyde said his being called upon to address them was a pleasure, but it certainly was an unexpected pleasure to him. It sometimes seemed to a man who was commencing to examine into the doctrines of the New Church, and whose state might be expressed as one of affirniative doubt, to be a very illogical position, which many New Churchmen assumed in regard to the relation of Swedenborg to the whole of the Christian Church in the world. Some of the remarks which had been made might possibly induce an earnest and thoughtful person to ask himself this question : If a good Roman Catholic were a dear child of God, if an earnest member of the Greek Church were a dear child of God, if a sincere member of the Anglican Church were a dear child of God, if a good Methodist or a member of any other denomination—if snch were dear children of God, then where was the use of the New Church or of the Swedenborg Society endeavouring to disturb men's thoughts, and endeavouring to communicate new ideas concerning religion? If wrong ideas concerning Divine things would not, and did not, prevent men from being the "other sheep" of the Lord's fold, where was the use of trying to inseminate into people's minds earnest doubts,
and of causing them to pass through very serious states ; where was the logical consistency of this? The remarks of Mr. Bateman might possibly, to some minds, suggest such a difficulty. An approximate answer was easily to be found. There were certain persons in the world whose states of religious want were best met by something other than the doctrines of Swedenborg. There could be no question that to dispute this would be to impugn the wisdom and goodness of Divine Providence. There were, then, some persons in the world for whose religious states the highest and the best thing is Mohammedanism. Low as Hindooism is in its present state ; grotesque, disgusting, dreadful, in some respects abominable, as are the rites of that heathenism, yet it is the highest and the best thing that the states of the people will permit of. So again, if we looked at Christendom, it must be admitted that the highest and best form of religious thought that is adapted to the states of a very large proportion of the Christian world, is Roman Catholicism. Otherwise there is no Providence in the world ; otherwise the Divine Being has made a mistake in His operations; for it must be held to be essentially true that the Lord will ever do the very best for men in regard to religious instruction and religious things that the states of men will admit of. There was, however, no fixity in human states. If there were fixity in human states ; if the second generation could never advance to the realization of new wants, and if the third generation could never attain to such a condition as to begin to question where their fathers were content to believe, and to begin to desire to believe where their fathers felt altogether ignorant or altogether indifferent ; if there were fixity in human states, then there was no necessity at all for the New Church. He spoke of the New Church, it should be observed, in a large sense, and, as he believed, in the true sense, viz., as the Divine dispensation of goodness and truth which the Lord had communicated to man through Swedenborg. Any careful and attentive observer of the progress of the world in religious and in philosophical things, especially of the progress of the world during the last century, must have been struck with the fact that there is now