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TUS CLISSOLD, M.A. noster Row.
London: Longmans, Green & Co., Pater
THE subject of this work formed the first resolution of the Annual Meeting of the Swedenborg Society, held in June, and was proposed by the author, the substance of whose speech was given last month in our report of the proceedings. The work is written without any refer ence to Swedenborg or the New Church. We trust it will be extensively read, as it cannot fail to be of great service in these times when church union is so much talked of, and efforts are being made by some of the ecclesiastical bodies to combine. The Roman Catholic Church desires and proposes union by absorbing all other religious bodies into itself, and placing them under the care and authority of His Holiness the Pope. Our author shows the Churches a more excellent way,—the way of charity,-which out of many churches makes one, and without which there is no real unity. We need not say that the work is deeply interesting and instructive.
THE SEAT OF THE SOUL AND ITS IMMORTALITY. BY JAMES GILLINGHAM.
THIS tract is an attempt to show, from the cases of person who have
"Where there is no devotional feeling there is of course no devotional taste, and in such a state we can easily persuade ourselves that our devotional exercises are of but little importance either to ourselves or to others. But it is at that very time, when our feelings are cold, when our spiritual aspirations are low, when our spiritual conceptions are languid and dull, that we stand in most need of the holy and inspiring sphere of the sanctuary. Let us not exchange that for the cold and lifeless devotion of the world. We may persuade ourselves that we are discharging every duty of life with the utmost faithfulness and punctuality; we may acquire a prominent and honourable reputation in the church; we may even suppose that we are influenced by a more than ordinary feeling of charity in all our actions; but if we are strangers to the quickening influences of a social and Divine worship -if we have no taste for these-then may we justly fear that we have no true regard for the highest and holiest obligations of religion.
A. J. C.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
THIS Society entered during its recent anniversary on its new building, and is now worthily housed. The old premises were taken down to make way for the new street from the Mansion House to Blackfriars, and the sum received for compensation, aided by donations and subscriptions, has enabled the Committee to rear the noble pile on which they have now entered. "It has ccst, including the value of the site, £36,500, the whole of which sum, with the exception of only £500, has been subscribed. The building is a handsome piece of architecture, substantial, roomy, elegant, and every way suitable to the magnitude and dignity of the work which is to be carried on within its walls. The Italian style has been adopted, and the building covers a quadrangle, having a frontage of 115 feet, and a depth of 70 feet, with a height of five stories."
"On Monday afternoon, May 3, the opening of the above premises was celebrated by a special service in St. Paul's Cathedral, under the shadow of which they may almost be said to be situated. There was a very large attendance, the friends of the society mustering in force. The great interest of the occasion was the gathering together of so many leading men of different religious communions in the Metropolitan Cathedral to commemorate the completion of a vast Bible house for the world. The Nonconformists entered very fully into the spirit of the occasion. The Rev. T. Binney, Dr. Stoughton, and a few others of their order, occupied stalls, while in the reserved seats and other places there appeared many more. The Archbishop of Canterbury was the preacher, and discoursed with much emphasis about the Bible, though he said but little about the Bible Society.'
The annual meeting was held in Exeter Hall, on Wednesday, May 5, and, as usual, attracted a large audience. From the report we learn that "the circulation during the year has amounted to 133,077 copies. In Belgium 6750 copies have been circulated by colpor
teurs, and 6031 copies through other channels. In Holland the issues for the year have been 24,741, of which 14,358 have been sold by colporteurs. In Germany, the largest sphere of the society's operations, the circulation has amounted to more than 300,000 copies. After some encouraging statements from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Russia, the report alluded to the new opening presented in Spain, and the efforts the society had made to circulate copies of the Scriptures among the Spanish people. Great difficulties, it was stated, have been experienced in this work, arising from fiscal rather than from religious considerations, the Spanish law forbidding the introduction of books printed abroad. New editions have been accordingly printed, or are in preparation, in Madrid. One of these is an edition of a million Gospels, for which a special fund has been raised. A network of depôts has been established throughout the country, and in some of them the supply has been already exhausted. The amount of subscriptions for Spain has reached £4500, the liabilities being £5,965. The receipts from ordinary sources for the year ending March 31, 1869, have reached the sum of £176,489. To this must be added £1500 received for the China F £3645 for the Special Fund for Spain; and £6317 further contributions to the Building Fund; making a grand total of £18,795. The ordinary payments have amounted to £173,542; and adding the sum paid on account of the Jubilee, China, and Spain Funds, the total has reached £178,139. The society is under engagements to the extent of £98,651. The issues of the society are as follows:-From the depôt at home, 1,129,618; from depôts abroad, 1,011,002-2,140,620 copies. The total issues of the society now amount to 57,210,485 copies.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.
One of the acts of this Assembly was the authoritative sanction of a book of devotion entitled "Aids to Devotion," which was brought forward by Dr.
Crawford. An apparent irregularity in the proceedings of the Assembly brought up the subject earlier than was expected, and led one of the members to express in the Edinburgh Evening Courant of June 21, the sentiments he would otherwise have spoken in the Assembly. This circumstance we cannot but regard as advantageous to the cause of truth. It has led to the publication of two letters admirably adapted to impress the public mind with the importance of addressing all Christian prayers to the Christian Saviour. give extracts from the first of these letters, and hope in a future number to give the second and longer letter at greater length:
"Who is the object of worship that should be present to the worshipper's eye? Is it to God in Christ-God incarnate--or is it to God, for the sake of Christ, that we ought to pray? Is Jesus-God incarnate, one with the Father, and Himself Jehovah -the object of worship? Should Christians now, as at the beginning, be called Christians because they call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,' or, which is the same thing, because they bow the knee to Jesus as the object of worship, and present their prayers and praise to Him, and in His name, in the same sense in which they present their bodies to Him, a living sacrifice in all their services, when 'they do whatsoever they do in His name?' In these prayers, as they were originally published by Dr. Crawford, when they first received the sanction of this Assembly ten or twelve years ago, there was, so far as I could discover, no prayer or petition addressed directly to Jesus, many, or several, indeed most, to God, for the sake of Jesus. Those who offered up these prayers, it seemed to me, I confess, and it still appears, could not be called, as all Christians were at the beginning (Acts ix. 14, 21; 1 Cor. i. 2), men who called upon the name of the Lord Jesus, for to call upon His name is to give to Him, in our worship or prayers, the place and glory which Israel in all their generations gave to Jehovah, and which we are, as they were, forbidden to give to any other than Jehovah.
"But observe, sir, the form in which this great question comes before us today demands of us a peremptory and
authoritative decision or deliverance, once for all, for our people's sake. On Saturday, at the close of the business, in a very thin house, the General Assembly resolved to send down to Presbyteries for their consideration a volume of hymns, 200 in number, of which the worship of Jesus by prayer to Him immediately and consciously form so prominent and essential a part, that it seems to me pre-essentially its peculiar characteristic. In dozens of them, both prayer and praise are addressed formally and directly to Jesus who is called 'our God,' 'Jehovah,' and so on. How can men take such hymns into their hands, far less make them the expression of their inmost hearts and most sacred feelings of devotion before God, whose prayers are all presented to another than Jesus directly, in whose worship Jesus is not directly approached as the immediate object of prayer or worship, our Lord and our God,' in the spirit of Stephen, Paul, Thomas, and the other apostles, before whom, therefore, in all their prayers, till the concluding sentence, Jesus is not immediately present to the eye?
"Whatever these prayers be in themselves, worthy or unworthy-of our Church, as compared with other prayer books, or with the English Liturgy, this is a circumstance of fundamental and paramount importance, in which we are departing, not only from the English Liturgy, a large part of which, as in the Litany, and the best and oldest prayers, as in Chrysostom's, are addressed immediately to Jesus Christ, but from the worship of Christendom, and I may say of this universal Church. For all in heaven and earth worship Jesus; and bow the knee, not at, but in His name, worship not merely the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity, as moderns speak; but Jesus, who has sat down in glorified human form at the right hand of the Father, and in Him worship the Father.
it may be, from this common faith, by our departure from the universal practice of the Church, not only in primitive times, but before the Nicene and Athanasian creeds prepared the way for Popery and the dark ages, to worship God incarnate, the Father in the Son, Jesus Christ, in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead,' Father, Son, and Spirit, bodily.' The Church at the beginning did not separate the Trinity from Jesus Christ, nor pray to one person of the Trinity apart from the others, nor to the Father, for the sake of Jesus the Son. Nothing in the New Testament makes the unity of God a mystery as these prayers necessarily do. No writer of the New Testament ever speaks even of the Trinity as a mystery, or seems conscious that in asserting, as they all do, the divinity and divine humanity of Jesus, he is saying anything that either is, or will appear to others to be, irreconcilable, or the least at variance with the fundamental truth of God's unity, on which all religion rests. To them the mystery of godliness' was not the Trinity, but the Incarnation, 'God manifest in the flesh.' But the Incarnation was not the obscuration of the glory or of the unity of God, but the brightest revelation or manifestation of both to the world in the humanity of Jesus Christ. -I am, &c.-A Member of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
There is a cry everywhere for union. A writer in the English Independent urges the amalgamation of the Free Wesleyan Churches with the Congregational Independents. The two bodies are in most particulars agreed. "The only
difference between their (the Free Methodists') Independency and ours is a difference of detail and not of principle. Their churches do not stand, as ours do, in a position of isolation. They have erected upon their Independency a voluntary Connectionalism." In the Irish Conference of the Wesleyan body, a committee was appointed to negotiate a union of the Church Methodists (from six to eight thousand strong) with the Wesleyan Connection. Their ministers, who are few, are said to have been offered orders by the Archbishop of Dublin.
On Tuesday evening, June 1, 1869, a very remarkable gathering (says the Pall Mall Gazette) was held in Freemasons' Hall, which was densely crowded by what was evidently a highly intellectual assembly, most of the persons present belonging to the upper middle classes. It was a public devotional service in connection with a newly formed "Free Christian Union," the design of which is to illustrate the spirit of unsectarian Christianity, to furnish the means of undogmatic religious instruction, and to incorporate the discoveries of learning and science in the religious view of the world. half-past seven o'clock, the time appointed for the commencement of proceedings, four gentlemen, all habited in black robes, mounted the platform: -They were the Rev. Athanase Coquerel, pastor of the French Protestant Church; the Rev. James Martineau, Unitarian minister of Little Portland Street Chapel; the Rev. W. Miall, Baptist minister of Queen's Road Chapel, Dalston; and the Rev. C. Kegan Paul, M.A., of Exeter College, Oxford, vicar of Sturminster Marshall. In the devotional services conducted at this meeting all reference to the Trinity or to any doctrinal sentiment likely to produce diversity of thought was carefully omitted. Two sermons were delivered, one in French by Rev. A. Coquerel, and the other in English by Rev. C. K. Paul. From the latter we give the following extract, which offers, we think, very slight grounds of unity to those who "call upon the name of the Lord. A much truer ground will be found in the last paragraph of our preceding article. "The Dicta 'Extra ecclesiam nulla salus,' and 'The Bible and the Bible alone is the religion of Protestants,' were no longer applicable to the advancing state of knowledge. Those who had joined the new Society read the Scriptures under an entirely different light from that which the Church supplied, and it was sometimes asked how it was that they could consistently hold their positions in that Church, instead of going out boldly into the pure Theism which Christ taught. It was because they believed that Christ was a symbolical name for collective humanity, which they understood to be God."
THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE CHURCH.
The forthcoming Council of the Vatican is said to excite greater attention in Germany than in any other part of Europe. The German writers seem to apprehend that, if the gathering of prelates really takes place, and the programme already decided upon be carried out, the inevitable consequence must be a collision between the Holy See and every Catholic Government in Europe. The Augsburg Gazette says that Cardinal Antonelli lately replied to the ambassador of a Cismontane Government, in answer to a question put to him on the matter, that the intention did exist of proclaiming the infallibility of the Pope as a dogma of the Church at the next Council, that this doctrine had long been believed by all good Catholics, and therefore that " no difficulty stood in the way of its reception. As the proclamation of Papal infallibility means that all nations are in a condition of permanent rebellion against the divinely-instituted authority of the Pope, the German Catholics think there will be a good deal of difficulty about the matter." This sentiment of Cardinal Antonelli is repeated in the Tablet, from which paper the following extract is given in the Guardian:-"The Times is quite right in saying, the Council will be Pius IX., and Pius IX. will be virtually declared infallible.' More than this, we hope, with Catholics in every part of the world, that the Pope will be decreed by a dogmatic canon to be absolutely infallible when speaking ex cathedra on faith or morals."
REV.E. KEYES. -The Liverpool Daily Post of July 6 contains the following"The Rev. E. R. Keyes, a prominent minister of the New York Methodist Conference, having renounced the doctrines of that church, addressed an immense audience in the Swedenborgian Church, in Poughkeepsee, on the 19th ultimo, explaining the cause of his conversion to the latter Church. His course has created a profound sensation." In the narrative of the proceedings of the General Convention given in the Messenger, June 23, we are told that Mr. Keyes was fully admitted into the
New Church by baptism, and that he had resolved to devote himself to the preaching of its doctrines. The Messenger of June 30 gives a still more extended account of Mr. Keyes' proceedings in connection with the Church. In a letter which appeared in the New York and Poughkeepsee papers, Mr. Keyes says, "For many years past, especially during the last five or six years, my views have been undergoing a radical change upon some of the fundamental questions of theology. I have found myself compelled to diverge more and more from the system of faith given in the doctrinal standards of Methodism, until I have at last reached a position of irreconcilable antagonism to them on some cardinal points. An open avowal of my present views would subject me to trial and expulsion in any annual conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. I feel, therefore, that common honesty and honour as well a due regard to my own highest interests require me to stand forth in my true character. I cannot endure the humiliation of smothering my highest convictions of truth and of walking with an ecclesiastical halter dangling over my head. I must be honest and I must be free. I have, therefore, forwarded to Bishop Jones my ordination parchments, and dissolved my connection with the Methodist Episcopal Church . . I do not sever the ties that bind me to the past in any spirit of bitterness and enmity. I shall still cherish, if I am permitted to do so, the friends of former years, and shall ever preserve a grateful sense of their kindness to myself and family. But my convictions of truth, my loyalty to God, my peace of mind, my self-respect, all unite to confirm me in my purpose to go forth from the ecclesiastical and doctrinal fellowhip of the Methodist Episcopal Church. To find new associations that will be altogether congenial may be impossible; but it is none the less my duty to renounce the old."
From the Messenger of July 7, we learn that "Mr. Keyes has been employed to preach for Mr. Hayden during the summer. He entered upon his duties last Sunday, and we learn from one of the members of the Society, he made a good impression upon the New Churchmen who heard him.