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this Church was the child of comproTHE TWO RELIGIONS.
mise, that various and often conflicting The extreme diversity of opinion in elements exist in her formularies, that the Established Church has led a writer her liturgy was not framed upon any in the Contemporary Review for March consistent and logical system of thought to discuss its internal condition under or theology, and that, consequently, the above title. Dismissing the Broad schools of the most direct antagonism Church, which “ rules over very small can find in her services grounds for numbers in the nation, thougħ filled justifying their co-existence within the with men of superior ability, high cul- same communion.” In an age of inture, and expansive charity,” he dwells difference, when all faith and earnestparticularly on the two most numerous ness was banished from the Church, this and most influential parties into which state of contradiction did not manifest the Church is at present divided. These itself. The whole Church was at rest, are the “ High Church” and the “Low but it was the quietude of spiritual Church.” They are so unlike in doc- death. The clergy, occupied only by trine and theory, that they may be the things of the world, the pleasures of designated two distinct religions. “No- sense, or the dreams of ambition, cared minally, they are two varieties of for none of these things. The state in Christianity ; but Christianity is con- which the Church now finds herself, is ceived by each under an aspect so radi- the result of the increased mental accally different, the cast of religious tivity of the age on which we have thought, the temper of the religious entered ; and is, to some, bright with spirit, are so mutually contradictory, hope, and, to others, dark with threatthat the belief and the religious obser- ened danger. vances of each, in a most real sense, “The tendency of the age to push constitute, specifically a distinct reli- principles to extremes aggravates the gion.” One is described as the religion evil. Men refuse to acquiesce in an of the Bible, the other as the religion illogical and unsymmetrical body of of the church. Both, indeed, acknow- opinion, even though viewing it as a ledge the authority of the Bible, and practical society, the existence of diverse both believe in the Divine institution elements in the Church offers great of the Church. But with the one the advantages for its covering the whole Bible is supreme, and as an authority in people. There is an immense earnestthe formation of opinion, absolute ; ness of intellectual life now at work in with the other, the appeal is made to the world ; we sincerely believe, also, catholic teaching and the authority of that the same may be asserted of rethe Church; and this authority is not
ligious life.” unfrequently appealed to quite apart With this earnestness of life there from the teaching of the Bible, which arises controversy, mental heat, exis supposed, however, to be the ground ploration of first principles, efforts to on which it rests.
reject what is irreconcilable with the The conflicting opinions of these side espoused.” And the effect of all schools expose the Church to manifest this on the people is becoming apparent, danger. “A large part of this danger "The nation is becoming puzzled, and consists in the feeling produced on the people are asking what the Church of public mind by the sight of the confu- England really is, not only in respect of sion, the collisions, the seething and its constitution, but in the much more fermenting state of this ancient body. important matter of the religion which
Contradictory systems of theo- it professes.” The Church of Scotland, logy are struggling for pre-eminence in this respect, has a marked advantage within her bosom. Each party de- over the Church of England. There are nounces the other in the fiercest lan- numerous sects, and intense religious guage of the odium theologicum. A activity ; but, omitting small fractions series of events has practically brought of the population, the religion of Scothome to the minds of the clergy that land is essentially one.
from the greater completeness of the this power. She disdains to reason, Reformation in Scotland, and the in- and proudly insists upon her own suptenser Protestantism of both the clergy remacy as the authorized interpreter of and people. In the Church of England, Scripture." “ The Tractarians had a on the contrary, “from its very origin, theology, a body of ably reasoned and the seeds of prodigious diversities of argumentative divinity; the modern opinion and practice were implanted in High Churchmen have none. Their its essence; and as time rolled on they followers are satisfied with the bare shot up into very substantive divergen- assertion of their clergy, and the clergy cies of religious feeling. Large and feel supreme contempt for criticism and powerful elements of the old religion argument.” Nor is the Low Church were left to acquire fresh vitality in the better prepared to meet the enemy at lapse of ages ; whilst the absence of a her gates. She relies upon the Bible, fixed and unchangeable standard fur- but interprets it by narrow and decay. nished an open field, which has been ing systems of religious belief. She largely occupied by numerous varieties neglects also the scholarship which is of the Broad Church type.” Hence it essential to a correct interpretation of follows that “the present condition of the the letter, and thus loses her hold on Church of England is the direct result the minds of cultured intelligence. of the great primitive act of the Refor- “ The advantage they thus give their mation. Such as institutions are at opponents is incredible ; for at a period their origin, such are they in their sub- when intellectual life is so powerful, to sequent development. This is true of alienate the sympathy of the general scientific systems, and it is equally true body of thinking and educated men is of social, and, most of all, religious in- to thrust one's self into the background, stitutions. The Church of England is and to lose the lead in the world. Such a composite body, because diverse, and a position is full of danger to religion on some fundamental points, discordant itself; for what can be more disastrous principles were inserted into its very than to create an impression that Chrisessence,
tianity is at variance with knowledge, The Church is thus a house divided and thought, and intellect?” against itself. The bond which keeps together these discordant elements is
CONVOCATION. their connection with the State. This is merely external, and neither manifests The meetings of Convocation of the spirit nor secures the ends of a re- the two provinces of Canterbury and ligious institution. The true unity of York have been held, as usual, on the the Church is a oneness of love, and an assembling of the new Parliament. essential agreement in doctrine. Of These assemblies of the bishops and this we have no example in the present clergy have no legislative power, but condition of religious thought in the the opportunities they afford for the Establishment, and not much prospect popular discussion of ecclesiastical subin the future. Each party has its strong jects, furnish an indication of what is and its weak points, and the present passing in the mind of the Church. tendency rather to magnify the points Quite a number of subjects are introof diversity than of agreement. And, duced for discussion, and notwithstandin the meantime, there is growing up a ing the several schools into which the power in their midst with which neither clergy are divided, most of the discusof these great parties are prepared to sions manifest growing attention to the contend.
The progress of biblical criti- spiritual wants of the people. There is cism and inquiry has of late years been far upon some subjects, particularly those more successful in raising difficulties than relating to the social position and in supplying expositions of the Bible. worldly circumstances of the bishops, Objections have been raised against the a sensitiveness which shows how unvery root of the matter, and have assailed willingly the holders of episcopal posithe Bible itself as the inspired word of tions will consent to any change in God. The High Church, occupied with their worldly position. The condition the most trivial matters of external of several of the dioceses which are ceremony and outward adornment, nearly, if not entirely, deprived of offers the feeblest possible resistance to episcopal superintendence by advanced age and other bodily infirmities, has quiries instituted, all indicate an eager compelled attention to the best means desire to adapt the Church to the of supplying this lack of service. For changes that are going on in society. some time the principal portions of the These questions include the improvesouth and west of England have been ment of the condition of the clergy, the without the active superintendence of retirement of incapacitated ministers, bishops. The means of remedying this the establishment of diocesan synods, state of things led to lengthened de- a larger introduction of the lay element bates, but to no practical result. The into the ordinary workingof the Church, only approach to such a result was the the reform of cathedral establishments, passing of a resolution, in accordance and many other subjects. with the recommendations of the Cathe- The Convocation of the province of dral Commission of 1854, “That in York last year passed a resolution excase of the bishop's inability to dis- pressing the feeling that “this Convocharge the duties of his office, from age cation would cordially welcome any or continued bodily infirmity, he may, practical attempt to effect a brotherly subject to the approval of the arch- reconciliation between the Wesleyan bishop, pray Her Majesty to appoint a body and the Church of England.” coadjutor, cum jure successionis, with This resolution was coldly received by such proportion of the income of the the Wesleyans in this country, and led see, and in such manner as may be to no practical results. In America, hereafter determined.'
where there are three millions of EpisThe question which most seriously copal Methodists, it seems to have been occupies the attention of the clergy at more cordially welcomed, and some the present time, is the proposal to action taken towards union. This endisestablish the Irish branch of the
couraged the leader of this movement Established Church. This question was to again introduce the subject by prointroduced, and determined the elec
posing a resolution to send to these tions of many of the proctors to the bodies in America a copy of this resoluconvocations. Men of ability, like Dr. tion. The experience of the past disVaughan, Mr. Bramston, and others, inclined the heads of the Convocation were set aside, on the ground of their to undertake this correspondence, and sympathy with the Government mea- the conversation ended by simply resure, and efforts were made, in the
affirming the resolution of last year. Lower House of the province of Can- A more difficult question in this proterbury, to import into the address to
vince is the question of heresy. The the Queen a prayer that Her Majesty Rev. Charles Voysey, a beneficed clergywould not assent to any measure which man in the diocese of York, has given would disestablish the Irish Church, or expression to sentiments, in a publicaalienate to secular purposes any portion tion entitled The Sling and the Stone, of the property or revenues which have which are generally acknowledged to been dedicated to the maintenance of have exceeded the bounds the Church the worship of Almighty God, and the
can possibly tolerate. The Archbishop support of His ministers. This prayer stated that he had used and exhausted was too strong for the bishops, who the means of private expostulation, and, constitute the Upper House. The
though most reluctantly, had instituted Bishop of Oxford regarded it as legal proceedings. The question will, constitutional," and a modified and
therefore, come before the Church triinilder resolution was in the end agreed bunals, and add another to the perupon by both Houses.
plexities arising out of her doctrinal Change is at present the law of all diversities. public institutions. The changes in
AMERICA, progress are, in the majority of cases, undoubted improvements. But whether The Boston New Jerusalem Magazine evidences of progress or decline, there for March has an article on “ Practical is everywhere movement. The most writing and teaching in the New conservative institutions cannot stand Church,” in which the writer indicates still. The petitions presented to the some of the changes which have taken Convocation of Canterbury, and the place, or are in progress, in the external various subjects introduced and in- and social relations of the New Church
in America. The Church has had a dren, we must first seek to know the period of intellectual growth, which truth ourselves
and to clothe it has been of the greatest importance in in such simple forms of language and establishing the heavenly doctrines in expression as the
simple-minded, the minds of men.
" Those of us,
whether young or old, can understand. says this writer, “who, as children, It is the duty of every one who becomes were brought up under its influence a member of the Church to try to de. must carry with us through our lives a velop in himself a true kuowledge of recollection of its delightful effect upon its doctrines, based upon his own efforts all social relations. And it was strength- to live a good life, and then to 'give ened by the feeling of our proscription to every one that asketh' what he askby those to whom the New Church ap- eth, and in such a way that he can repeared an outburst of falsity and error, ceive it. There are many asking, --a feeling which was then so strong as though their appeals may not be audible to turn us in upon one another for that to the ear of the natural man." sympathy which, under such circum- The New Church is the Church of the stances, was so strongly developed.” future, and to fulfil its mission must
The Church has now entered on a adapt itself to the religious requirements new phase of her existence, and this
of the present.
“Can it be thought," condition of things has become exten- says this writer in conclusion, that sively altered. “All, or nearly all, these doctrines which appeal so strongly who then became members of the Church to the rational mind of man are not for were constant readers and students of that very reason the better adapted to its doctrines. But within my own the needs of those whose understandings short existence, says this writer, are but little developed ? I feel sure “there has been a great change. A that they are ; and I think that one very large number of those who now who could hope that he might fill such come into it have but little behind a a place in the service of the Lord, as general knowledge of the leading points there is now an earnest call for men to of difference between the New Church fill, should be glad to give up every and the Old ; and some faint, glimmer- other hope, and enter upon this work ing ideas of the necessity of a better joyfully. No higher use could be de. life. Our young people, educated in sired by the heart of man.” the Church, either do not become mem- Dedication of a New House of Worbers, or do so from the force of example ship at Brooklyn.- We extract the fol. or home influence, with but little per- lowilig account of this dedication from sonal love for the life of religion. And the New Jerusalem Messenger of Feb. this is where our religious instruction 24 :—“The new house of worship of has failed to do its work. There has the Brooklyn New Church Society was been a great fear of impairing freedom dedicated on Sunday afternoon last. through the leading of natural affec- The house was crowded to its utmost tions; and almost all teaching in the capacity, a large number of friends Sabbath school has been doctrinal, and from New York, and other places in in as nearly the original language of the vicinity, being present. The serSwedenborg as was possible. This vices were conducted by the Rev. Mr. suited our fathers and mothers, and Ager, pastor of the Society, assisted by why not their children? But they were the Rev, Mr. Giles, pastor of the New prepared for it by an already acquired York Society. At a little after halflove for a religious life, and consequently past three the two ministers passed up a strong desire and longing for religious the centre aisle to the chancel, Mr. truth.
Ager bearing a copy of the Word, which The altered condition of things neces- he deposited in the repository provided sitates change in the modes of popular for it. Then, turning to the congregainstruction. The Church must adapt tion, he briefly explained the reason hersell to the wants of her members, why New Chureh societies give this and of those outside her pale which she prominence to the sacred volume in desires to influence for good. “If we their places of Worship, and recited tho wish to do good to our children, and to formula of dedication as follows, the the mass of mankind, who as regards people standing knowledge of the truth are but as chil- “We now set apart and consecrate
pulpit, both of very elaborately carved wood. On the pulpit is the inscription Nunc Licet, with a crown. Under the auditorum is a large, high, and well lighted basement, containing a large Sunday schoolroom, two other large rooms, and other conveniences. On the whole, the Brooklyn Society thus feel that they have a very complete, beautiful, and convenient place of worship.
SABBATH EVENING LECTURES.
this house to the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only God of heaven and earth; to the administration of His divinely ordained sacraments ; to instruction from His holy Word, according to the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem, as made known in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg ; and to all heavenly and spiritual uses and offices and duties. And may it henceforth be set apart and kept free from all secular and worldly uses, from all false teaching and all unholy practices ; and may it ever be to us truly a house of God, in which our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shall be truly and manifestly present with His people. The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make His face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up His countenance upon us and give us peace. Amen.”
Then followed singing, a response service, and a lesson from the Word, after which Mr. Ager read a brief statement by the trustees, showing that the total outlay had been 46,500 dollars, of which 29,000 had been paid, and 17,000 remains as a debt to be provided for. The Rev. Mr. Giles then preached a discourse, showing that the New Church worshipped one God, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that the unity of His Church was to be built upon this cardinal doctrine. The singing of an anthem concluded the service.
The building, which was purchased of the Universalists, is of brown stone, in somewhat of the Gothic style of architecture. Inside it has a nave and side aisles, separated from the nave by quatrefoil pillars, and the roof is formed of groined arches, with clerestory. The dimensions of the auditorum are 55 feet in width, by 65 feet in length, and it seats 400 comfortably. At the western end, over the vestibule, is an organ gallery, in which is a fine organ, of · ample power for the church. Since the purchase, the church has been thoroughly repaired and renovated. The most important change has been in the easternor chancel end. This was formerly occupied by an immense pulpit, which has been removed, and in its place a very rich and tasteful repository for the Word has been erected. In front of the repository stands the desk from which the lessons from the Word are read. To the left is the prayer-desk, and to the right is the
The winter lectures to which we alluded in our January number have been continued in several of our societies up to the present time, in most cases with marked success.
Particulars of some of these courses have reached us and will doubtless interest our readers.
Heywood. - The subjects discussed by the minister in this society have been a continuation of those previously introduced, but have dwelt more fully on the relation of the New Church to other Christian communities, on the distinctions and diversities of Christian doctrine, and on the duties of members of the New Church in their relation to the age and to the changes of religious thought and feeling at present manifesting themselves in other Christian communities. The attendance at these lectures has been good, though not marked by any large influx of strangers. The society itself has attained a good position and somewhat settled character, and its neat and commodious church is usually well-attended.
Preston.--At this town a course of six lectures, extending from November 29 to February 15, were announced by Rev. Mr. Rendell. The subjects of these lectures embraced, Conscience, its true nature, and how is acquired, “The Ark of the Covenant, and why miracles were performed by its presence," “ The Mystery of Godliness; God manifest in the flesh,” “The Ladder of which Jacob dreamed, and the phenomena which appeared upon it," “ The Holy Spirit, and its operations in promoting the regeneration of mankind,” “ The digging of wells by the patriarchs, and its spiritual teaching." The ability of the lecturer is sufficient security for the interest which would attach to the discussion of these important subjects. We regret, however, to learn that the delivery of