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the morning was “The Pool of Bethesda,” John v. 8, 9; in the evening, “Valiant for the Truth upon the Earth,” Jer. ix. 3. The services were well attended, and all were highly delighted with their clear elucidation of the doctrines of the New Church, and with the zeal and energy with which they were delivered.
On Tuesday evening, a lecture was delivered in the Sailor's Institute, to upwards of 250 persons, on the subject, “Will this Beautiful World ever be Destroved ?” All who were present appeared to be highly delighted with the manner and spirit in which the subject was treated, and the clear Scriptural truth that this world was not created for destruction, but to be a seminary for heaven.
On Wednesday, April 28, the anniversary tea-meeting was held, when 90 persons sat down to tea. The leader of the society, Mr. Best, presided over the meeting, and addresses were delivered by Messrs. Henshall, Hersberg of Grimsby, Needler, Potchett, and Presland. Mr. Henshall, from being a local preacher among the Wesleyans, had been driven by the irrational doctrines of popular Christianity into the ranks of the secularists. The reading of Swedenborg's “Heaven and Hell” led him to see that there was a future state, and after some inquiry he was induced to read Swedenborg's “True Christian Religion and Divine Providence," which ended in his reception of the doctrines of the New Church. He made a very interesting address, showing the beauty of the doctrines as a bed on which a man can stretch himself, and a covering in which he can wrap himself. He was especially interested in the “Science of Correspondence,” by which a man can dig and find hidden treasures in the Word of God. Mr. Hersberg remarked on the slow but sure progress of the Church at Grimsby; after which, Mr. Presland gave an interesting address. During the evening several pieces of music were sung by the choir, which greatly enlivened the meeting.
Islington.—The annual meeting of the Devonshire Street Society was held on the 18th May. From the report of the year's proceedings which, was laid before the members, we extract the fol. lowing itens of intelligence. The increased accommodation afforded by the
new chapel, while it had not been taken advantage of to the extent anticipated, was satisfactory in that it was in advance of the former building. Five new members have been added, and six children and one adult baptized. During the year, in addition to Dr. Goyder and Mr. Bateman, the Society has had the pleasure of hearing sermons from the Rev. 0. P. Hiller, Dr. R. Tafel, and Messrs. Gunton, Goldsack, Moss, Presland, and Reed, to its great advantage. Dr. Goyder in the early part of the year delivered a course of interesting lectures upon “The Spiritual Creation of Man.” Lectures upon week evenings have been delivered by Mr. D. J. Smithson: subject, “The Eminent Characters of the Eighteenth Century;" Mr. Taylor, “Heads and Faces,” “The Science of Pictures and Art,” and “The Manifestation of the Lord in all Ages ;"' and Mr. H. N. Barnes, “The Mission of Swedenborg.” The junior members have held their quarterly social meetings. The reading meetings have failed to attract an average attendance as compared with the previous year. A singing class, established in February, has hitherto proved very successful, and a performance of a considerable portion of Handel's “Messiah,” in aid of the Benevolent Fund, on May 31, was marked with an efficiency which promises well for future efforts.
SOUTHPORT.-On Monday evening, the 24th of May, the first tea meeting in connection with this Society took place in the small meeting-room, in Chapel Street, in commemoration of the commencement of this Society and the opening of the room for public worship, which took place on the 17th of May 1868. Tea was served to fortythree persons, the number being afterwards increased to fifty. The Rev. W. Woodman was called to the chair. The report for the year, which was read by tie sec: e'ary, Mr. J. Smith, showed the Society to be in a prosperous condition. The financial part of the report is not less cheering. After the report the chairman addressed the meeting, impressing on his hearers that to become a useful society we must be a united band of workers, and then with the Lord's help we should build up the church in ourselves, and also become a blessing to those around us. The meeting was also addressed by Mr. R.
Goldsack, of Liverpool, and Mr. Adam Haworth, of Manchester. The choir rendered a selection of music during the evening in a very satisfactory manner.
GENERAL CONFERENCE.- The Derby friends solicit from the Secretaries of the New Church Societies as early information as possible respecting the number and names of the representatives appointed to attend the ensuing Conference. A programme of the proposed arrangements will appear in our next number. Communications should be addressed to Mr. Ward, South Hill Villa, Derby.
(Harriages. May 27.- At the New Jerusalem Church, Heywood, by the Rev. R. Storry, Mr. Joseph Berry to Miss Eleanor Cresswell Smith, eldest daughter of Mr. Elijah Smith, all of Oldham.
At the New Jerusalem Temple, Bol. ton Street, Salford, June 16, by Mr. Thomas Mackereth, F.R.A.S., Mr. Alfred Brammall, of Hadfield, near Glossop, to Emma, youngest daughter of John Monks, Esq., of Temple Lodge, Swinton, near Manchester.
Obituary. On the 8th of May, at St. Heliers, Jersey, Abraham Jones le Cras, Esq., in the 71st year of his age. Mr. le Cras has been a receiver of the heavenly doctrines upwards of forty-five years. His attention was first directed to them by Captain Gomm, who introduced the doctrines into the island. Though holding opinions regarded by the members of the New Church generally as peculiar, he never separated himself from the Church, but laboured with zeal to promote its establishment. He was a man of superior intelligence and literary habits. He was an occasional contributor to the Magazine and other New Church periodicals, and, whenever his services were required, he cheerfully aided in conducting the public worship of the Church. His life was largely devoted to the improvement of the social and political condition of the island on which he resided. His political opponents admit that in the reform he sought to accomplish he was influenced by the most upright motives, and that sume of the changes he initiated are measures of public utility, by which he acquired indefeasible claims
on public gratitude. In the course of his life he has published several works, chiefly bearing on the laws and institu tions of the island. He has also compiled a large amount of manuscripts, both of a secular and religious character. He was a diligent and devout student of the Holy Word, devoting in the summer months two or three hours every morning to this favourite study. In private life. he was affectionate. cheerful, and hospitable. He had experienced severe domestic afflictions. His children were removed to the spiri. tual world in early life, and his amiable and excellent wife preceded him to this final home. On the tomb which en. closed the earthly remains of these loved ones he placed an inscription calling attention to the writings of Swe. denborg as the great teacher whose expositions of the Word had afforded assurance and hope to the departed— thus making the tomb the means of directing attention to the messenger of the Second Advent. Mr. le Cras has suffered for several months from severe attacks of bronchitis, by which he has now been removed to his final home.
On the 10th of May, at Lewisham, Kent, Mr. Mabbott, after a rather long and painful illness, was removed to the spiritual world, in the 61st year of his age. Though he had been ill so long he did not expect his departure was so near at hand, for on the Wednesday previous he expressed his intention of going to church on the Sunday evening, weather permitting. The weather not being favourable, his non-appearance created no surprise. He was taken somewhat worse during Sunday night, and on Monday at 10 A.M. took his de parture for that land where there is w no more death,” saying, “Let me go, the day is breaking,” being the first line of a poem entitled, “ The Dying Christian's Adieu," and which he was very fond of singing. Mr. Mabbott was, as far as we know, the first receiver of the New Church doctrines in Deptford.
May 17, 1869, of disease of the heart (from which he had been suffering for the last two years), Edward Jones, aged 55. He had been an active member of the Birmingham (Summer Lane) Society for nearly thirty years, and was both a teacher and superintendent of the boys' Sunday school for a number of years during the early portion of his connection with the Society.
A DISCOURSE, DELIVEREY ON THE OCCASION OF THE REMOVAL TO A HIGHER
WORLD OF EMILY PICKERING, OF BOLTON, AGED FOURTEEN. BY MR.
JOSEPH DEANS. “Now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”—2 SAMUEL xii. 23.
It is recorded in the chapter from whence our text is taken, that during the time that the child of David was ill, David's anguish was so excessive, and the expression of his grief so very violent, that when the child died his servants were afraid to inform him of the fact. “The servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead : for they said, behold, while the the child was yet alive we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice : how will he then vex himself if we tell him that the child is dead. But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead : therefore, David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord and worshipped ; then he came into his own house, and when he required they set bread before him, and he did eat. Then said his servants unto him, What is this that thou hast done, thou didst fast and weep for the child while it was yet alive; but when the child was dead thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive I fasted and wept; for I said, who can tell whether God will be gracious unto me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Samuel xii. 18-23.)
There are many among us, who, like the servants of David, cannot see the source whence the pain of parting from beloved children can be assuaged, because we fail to come to the house of God to worship, receiving in that act the fulness of consolation which the Lord is able to give to every sorrowing soul. I “shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” These words at once indicate the reason of our grief and point us to the great comfort which springs from a knowledge of the existence of a future state of happiness.
We may look at death from two standpoints : that of the world, and that of heaven. If we look at it simply as material beings and dwellers on earth, it is full of gloom and sorrow. We see the cold inanimate face and the wasted form—we behold the coffin, the shroud and the grave—we view the streaming eyes of friends and the sable suits of woe-we know that the loved one who has mingled among us and has cheered us by her lovely smile and her sweet voice will be no more a dweller upon earth-we know that the smile is gone from her countenance and her voice is hushed for ever. It is indeed a gloomy prospect that we behold; we feel conscious of a great void, and are cast down by the course of an overwhelming sorrow. “The silver cord is loosed, and the golden bowl is broken” (Eccl. xi. 6), and with the prophet of old we feel that “the joy of our heart is ceased ; our dance is turned into mourning” (Lament. v. 15). In the bitterness of our grief we feel that life has become burdensome to us, and we long to be at rest.
For a while perhaps we refuse to be comforted. But what a relief comes to our troubled hearts, when amid our tears the glad thought comes from heaven, that death has another and a brighter side. That it is not only a parting but a meeting ; not only a burial but a resurrection; that it is in reality the gate of life, life in its highest and happiest form in a bright and joyous world, among loving and tender friends. Then sweet thoughts about heaven recur to us, and and we begin to feel that it would be wrong to sorrow as those who have no hope, for, if she cannot return to us on earth, we may go to her in heaven. Oh it is pleasant to treasure a train of thought like this, until we are finally enabled to say (it may be in a voice choking with sobs, but still earnestly and reverently) “the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job i. 21). “Now she is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring her back again? I shall go to her, but she shall not return to me.”
Let us for a few moments strive to catch a few glimpses of the bright side of the death of young children.
We believe that they were all created for the purpose of enjoying an eternity of happiness in heaven, and that parents receive them as a precious trust belonging to the Lord. They were made for heaven, and their whole training should be such as to fit them for the world of light. “It is not the will of our Father in heaven that one of these little ones should perish” (Matt. xviii. 14). They are given into our hands to be tenderly cared for, and if we perform our duty aright they serve to draw us towards the love of those high virtues which constitute the life of heaven. While under our care, every day's communion entwines them more firmly around our hearts—we love to have them with us, that we may see them and hear them and help them. What, then, is the meaning of the death of the young ? It is that the Lord has taken them to Himself, to tend and to instruct under the charge of the most perfect among his creatures—those angels who “always behold the face of the Father who is in heaven" (Matt. xviii. 10). The Good Shepherd has gathered them as lambs to His fold, where they can live in the enjoyment of eternal peace, secure from every influence which might tend to draw them toward evil. Death has no gloomy side to them—they are translated at once to a bright sphere of life, where everything is blessed and joyous and gladsome.
Believe me, the death of a dear child is a great blessing to it. The summons which calls it away is a summons of mercy. And though its relatives and friends may feel ready to sink beneath the stroke which severs the child from earth, it is a stroke dealt by the arm of eternal and unchanging Love.
Reflect but for one moment. Try to call to your remembrance any loving parent, who believed in the promises of God, who when the first stroke of anguish was over would have willingly called back the departed one to a life amid the many cares and trials which all must encounter on earth! You cannot remember one. No! when a child has been called away, all doubt as to her welfare has been for ever removed. She is safe in heaven, with angels and with Jesus the loving Saviour of all. It may be hard, more especially at the first, but what father can long repine that the little one of his household has risen to the eternal mansions in the house of the great Father