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out the lofty system they compose.
well the internal sense of those passages What you wrote to me about the por- which it had never before been given tions of the New Testament, belonging me well to comprehend, notwithstandproperly to the Divine Word, naturally ing my long meditations and the aid of put me upon a more diligent and ac- learned commentaries. At this mocurate examination of it. On making ment there came into my mind an the examination, I became satisfied inexpressible joy, such as I had never that the fact is really such. The four experienced in all my life, and, thereevangelists, like the Apocalypse, Gen- upon, persuaded that the Lord had esis, and the prophetical books, are given me a new understanding, with a written in the parabolical and figurative heart full of gratitude I set about seekstyle, with representatives and figura- ing in the Divine Word all the other tives, by correspondence, which it has prophecies of His Second Coming, and now been given me from heaven to of the spiritual renovation of the world. understand. This is not the case with I compared, therefore, the above menall the other apostolic documents, as tioned chapters of Luke with the 13th can be seen from the nature of their of Mark and the 24th of Matthew, and style, which is narrative, academical, then read the Apocalypse. How is it and purely epistolary. These docu. possible to doubt that the events forements, moreover, bear the stamp not told by the Lord eighteen centuries only of the character, but of the phil- since, are at this period fully accomosophy peculiar to each of their authors. plished? The different states of preBeing evidently intended for various varication and apostasy, into which the special purposes, being directed at one first Church founded by Him would time to give arrangement and organiza- fall, are too plainly described there. tion to the churches by means of pre- Anyone who knows the history of cepts and exhortations; at another, to Christianity is compelled to exclaim, combat the sinister influences of the old Everything was foreseen!” Jewish Church ; at another still, to He proceeds to show that the underrefute the pernicious doctrines spring- standing of the Word was to be given ing from the Gnostic philosophy, by at the consummation of the Church. polemical discussions, they have none After some very just reflections upon of the essential and proper characters of the causes of the slow progress hitherto divine revelation.
made by the New Church, which may “When I had confirmed myself in be expected to give way before the these persuasions my spirit fell into a influx of heaven, he adds, state of unspeakable dejection and an- “ The doctrines of our Church once guish. This state was the more pain. known, no obstacle can withstand its ful, that I could find no reason for it; progress, because they are pure and real suspecting, however, that it might pro. truths, in perfect harmony with science ceed from the reflections I had been and reason, and any one examining making on the works of Swedenborg, I himself, can find in his own organism kept thinking within myself whether I physical and spiritual, and the loves ought not to suspend or entirely give that govern it, the most splendid proofs up the reading of them. After a day in their favour.” of uneasiness, and a sleepless night, Finally he adds, I gave myself up on the following day “As I advance in the study of Sweto prayer, asking of the Lord assistance, denborg's works I feel in myself an light, and strength. At 3 o'clock in irresistible impulse that calls me to the afternoon, there came spontaneously propagate these divine truths among into my mind, the thought that I would my fellow countrymen, and to conread some portion of the Word to see secrate the rest of the days which the whether it might be given me to under- Lord may grant me upon earth to this stand the spiritual sense. Opening divine and lofty mission.” my Bible at a venture, my eye fell on
And asks, the 16th chapter of Luke. I read on “Could you provide the pecuniary attentively and slowly up to the 18th means necessary for undertaking the
hapter, and it proceeded my mind god work of propagating the New was filled with wonder and astonish- Church in Italy among Italians ? Which ment to find that I understood very of the works of Swedenborg ought, in your opinion, to be first translated, and which few could or would enter into, if I should undertake the translation, not to mention the difficulties and could you find the means of printing obstacles of the spiritual things, which it?”
the natural Church finds beyond its As regards the latter of these ques- conception. I finally, in the year 1860, tions, it was in my power to say to began in the United States with giving him, on the authority of a letter I had verbal illustrations, which being all not long before received from the Rev. extempore from the Word, met with a Mr. Bruce, that the Swedenborg So- very favourable reception in the different ciety would probably undertake the sects, as all seem delighted to hear the expense of publishing an edition of spiritual sense of the Word opened in a Heaven and Hell, if a translator could way which they conceived plainly; and be found. As for the other, I could among the many churches of divers only assure him of my belief, that creeds, I never heard one find any the liberality of New Churchmen in objections or express any doubts, while America and England would not be much inquiry arose whence came this wanting to him at the right juncture, information thus as it were spontaneadvising him, however, for the present ously. But the clergy, jealous that it to devote himself rather to translating
thus should be out of their own power than preaching
to satisfy their hearers in the same easy I have not yet made the personal way, soon displayed the prophecy in acquaintance of Signor Scocia, and I Matt. xxiii., and I found opposition in know nothing of him from any other various forms. I then concluded to source than his own letters, and the give my illustrations in writing, which journals already mentioned. But how I commenced with, but did not continue much these speak for him both in point until my return here. Since my comof character and intelligence, it is mencement here I find that all, both superfluous to say. A. E. FORD. Protestant and Catholics, desire to get
them, and I distribute them free of ST. THOMAS, W. I.—The following charge in these Colonies, where every letter addressed to the General Con- one seems open and willing to read ference, and received after the close them. But as here is but an isolated, of its session, has been placed in confined spot, I have thought to intrude our hands, and we publish it nearly them to places where there may be entire. We have not seen the illustra- numbers benefited by them, and in tions mentioned by the writer, and are England, I am impressed, they may be not, therefore, in a position to speak of found acceptable to many. their suitableness to promote the object “ The illustration being nothing but he has in view.
the word, suits every Church member “With this mail I have taken the or Christian. It is as different from liberty to send you two numbers of my our modern sermons as is the Pool of illustrations, which I hope will reach Bethesda from the five porches. The you. These illustrations are written descent of our Lord will only come by a specially with a view to circulate gradual progress of illumination of the amongst the old churches. My fifty literal sense of the Word, for the sign years' experience has taught me how and the coming of the Lord shall be little Church element there is, and how when He is seen in the clouds of heamany would delight in possessing the ven in His glory and great power. heavenly truths kept hidden through • Behold He cometh in the clouds, and prejudice and a perverted clergy. I every eye shall see Him, and also they therefore, forty-nine years ago, eagerly which pierced Him. His coming must began to disseminate the New Church be when the seventh angel shall begin teachings, and many embraced them, to sound, for then shall the myswho never would have regarded the old tery of God be finished (Rev. x. 7), Church teachings. And after various and the mystery shall be finished when and many years' trials, by distributing the internal sense is perceived and the the doctrines and writings of Sweden- internal truth shines forth. borg, I found that this much failed, for “When the Word, and nothing but there was too much brilliancy which the Word is correctly and spiritually bewildered, and too deep thought, proclaimed, then the internal sense
thereof will be known as the light shining from the east even to the west. The hour is now at hand.
I have considered it my duty in my humble efforts to promote the Lord's kingdom, to address you and all who I think will sustain the means to attain the end ; and I have endeavoured by my humble assistance to forward it as the divine providence has directed. If you can do anything to promote this object, that it may reach the millions who now die for want of the living bread, and you should think my illustrations worth your attention, I will beg you to inform me in a few lines. I will furnish the illustrations in MSS., and take a portion, say two to four hundred copies, at such price as you shall find yourself able to deliver me them at; and in the hope of hearing your answer, I remain, sincerely, your brother, V. KIERULFF.”
MISSIONARY VISIT TO THE EASTERN COUNTIES. — To the Secretary of the National Missionary Institution—My dear Sir, I have just concluded a course of missionary labour in the eastern counties, and hasten to report the particulars.
My first service was at Ipswich. The Society here is small, but its members are active in their efforts to make known the doctrines. They possess a chapel, but, in their estimation, too small for special services. On this occasion, therefore, they rented the Temperance Hall, a public room capable of accommodating a large audi
Over two hundred people attended the services which extended over two week-day evenings (Nov. 26 and 27), and one Sabbath (Nov. 29). The persons present manifested a deep interest in the subjects discussed, and seemed to be favourably impressed with what they heard. The subjects of my lectures on the week-nights were the teachings of the New Church respecting heaven and hell. In the discussion of these subjects, I endeavoured to impress on my audiences the reality of the existence of these worlds, their nearness to us during our present life, the laws to which they are subject, and by which they are governed, and some of the great truths and impressive facts which the experience of our great author has made known respecting them. On the Sabbath, I preached
twice in the same room to most attentive and evidently interested audiences. My subject in the morning was the supreme deity of the Christian Saviour; in the evening, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. From this latter subject, I was able to offer an exposition of the nature of the Lord's humanity, of His work of redemption and atonement, and of regeneration. The impression left on my mind by the manifest acceptance of these great truths was, that the field at Ipswich is white for the harvest, and I could not but pray that the Lord of the harvest would send forth labourers into His harvest. An earnest and able preacher, I feel certain, would soon find himself surrounded by a willing and a working congregation—by a people who would help him to diffuse the light of truth, and to make the Church a medium of saving health to the people.
From Ipswich, I proceeded to Norwich.
The present condition of this Society is not so prosperous as we could desire. Various circumstances seem to have thinned the attendance at their public worship, and to have discouraged their leader, Mr. Rogers, who had tendered his resignation ; and the position of the Church had hence become a source of anxiety to its friends. On the Monday evening, I attended a meeting of the Society in company with Mr Gunton, who had preached on the Sunday. A lengthened conversation took place on the best means of providing for its growth and well-being. It was resolved to continue the public services in their present place of worship, and Mr. Harcourt and Mr. Colbourne were chosen joint leaders. On the Tuesday evening (Dec. 1), I gave a lecture on the Second Coming, in the Church in Queen Street, which was about two-thirds filled.
The Society at Norwich is an example of the extreme difficulty of providing for the continuous and effective uses of the Church without a settled ministry and other organized means of useful.
Possessed at one time of a respectable congregation, at another of a promising Sunday school, they are now a small body, whose activities are confined within a narrow circle. This has not arisen from want of affection the Church or of willingness to serve it, but from the impossibility of com
bining the necessary labours of active life with the many and important duties required to build up the Church as a centre of beauty and usefulness in the world. Whatever view we take of our position and our duties as a Christian community, we must feel the importance of sustaining the Church in the midst of large and populous towns like Norwich. It is from these as centres that we must hope to diffuse the light of truth to those around them. We labour, we must expect to labour, amid many difficulties and discouragements. The sanguine expectations of the pioneers in our work have not been fulfilled, and our occasional failures may have suggested doubts as to the efficiency of the means we have adopted for the accomplishment of our purpose ; but of the prudence of our endeavours to establish and build up the Church in the midst of large and flourishing communities we can have no doubt. To societies circumstanced like those of Ipswich and Norwich, our missionary communities must continue to give a thoughtful and earnest attention. They must know no discouragements, and acknowledge no defeats. Let us improve, if needful, our means of operation ; but “ let us not be weary in well-doing, for we shall reap in due time if we faint not."
From Norwich I proceed to St. Ives, in Huntingdonshire—the scene of the labours of our zealous and esteemed brother, the Rev. W. Tall. Here is a small but neat church, capable of seating over 150 persons. The receivers of the doctrines are few in number, but warmly attached to the cause. Their public worship is sustained by the reading of sermons on the Sabbath by two of the members. The attendance at these services is small, and the Society labours under great discouragements. Occasional missionary visits instruct and encourage the “little flock” which weekly assembles here, and afford them an opportunity of calling the attention of their neighbours to the great truths it is their privilege to possess and their duty and desire to make known to others. Advantage was taken of my visit to announce two lectures, the same I had delivered at Ipswich, on the evenings of Thursday and Friday (Dec. 3 and 4). The attendance was very encouraging.
The Church was
filled at both services. Many respectable inhabitants of the town were present, and we may reasonably hope that some useful results may follow.
Permit me, in conclusion, to express a thought which this visit has strongly impressed upon my mind. It is not by fitful and long distant visits that we can reasonably hope to build up the Church, but by patient and continuous labour. The great want of the New Church in the eastern counties is an intelligent, pious, and earnest missionary preacher, who would give his undivided attention to this part of the country. There are difficulties in the way of such an appointment, but I do not think they are insurmountable. I believe the principal difficulty is the right man to occupy the place, and to give himself whole-heartedly to the work. If the man combining the moral and intellectual qualifications for this office were found, I feel certain that the Great Head of the Church would stir up the hearts of the people to support him is his work. -1 am, in the cause of the New Church, very sincerely yours,
NEW CHURCH LECTURES. - It is common in many of the Societies of the New Church to devote the Sabbath evenings during the winter months to the delivery of lectures on popular, instructive, and interesting religious subjects. The public attention is usually called to these services by printed bills, cards, or advertisements in the local papers.
These lectures have had the authority of ministers of the greatest eminence in the Church, and have been of undoubted use in promoting her progress. During the present winter, lectures have been delivered in several of our Churches by their respective ministers. The Rev. Mr. Marsden has followed up the publication of his correspondence with the Vicar of Snodland, by a course of special sermons during the months of November and December, which have been well attended. The subjects discussed in this course of services are extremely diversified. They include the crucifixion and transfiguration of the Lord ; the doctrine of repentance, and the exposition of difficult passages of Scriptures, selected from various
portions of the Word. The Rev. Mr. scarcely standing room. The collecHyde has given a course in Manchester tions amounted to rather more than under the general heading of “The £68. The estimated cost of the buildspiritual side of nature, as illustrated ing was £600, and this has not been by the Word of God.” In this course, exceeded. It is heated by hot water, the preacher discusses the sun, moon, and lighted by beautiful gas pendants, and stars ; mountains, plains, and kindly presented by the manufacturer, valleys; the sea, rivers, and fountains; Mr. F. Hargreaves of Accrington. A fields, gardens, and groves ; times and debt of £100 is all that remains on the seasons; beasts, birds, and fishes; the building. There are in the Sunday course concluding with “Man's rela- School 100 scholars and 14 teachers. tion to the universe, as a physical, A field of usefulness is thus opened intellectual, and spiritual creature ;” before our zealous friends, who have and “God's Works and the Word of exerted theniselves in the erection of God illustrative and confirmatory of this commodious room, which we hope each other.' At Salford, Rev. Mr. they will go up and possess. They Westal has given lectures on subjects have adopted a right course by laying connected with the invisible world and deep the foundations of the Church in man's relation to it, and on the resur- the religious education and moral culrection and judgment. At Heywood, ture of the young; and we hope that Mr. Storry has given a course of ser- they may be permitted to see the rearmons under the general title of “Ser. ing of its walls and the bringing forth mons for the Times." These discourses its topstone of glory in the growing have dwelt upon the Scriptural meaning excellences and developed perfection of the Church-the Rock on which it is of the Society to be collected within its built, the power of the Keys, absolution walls. and remission of sins, the unity of the
SOUTH LONDON.-The first annual Church, and other kindred subjects.
festival of the Mutual Improvement Similar services have, we understand,
Society, in connection with the South been instituted by other ministers, but
London Church, was held on 10th no particulars have reached us. These
December in an elegant and commowe have noticed have been interesting dious building, known as the Gresham to the congregations who have listened
Institute, Brixton. to them, and we doubt not will issue in
Mr. E. Austin, the president, opened some useful result.
the proceedings at seven o'clock with a OPENING OF A NEW CHURCH SCHOOL. brief address ; after which a number of AND MEETING ROOM AT CLAYTON-LE- songs and glees were beautifully sung MOORS, NEAR ACCRINGTON.--In our by Miss Fosbroke, Mrs. Lindley, Misses July number of last year we gave an Barth, Mr. Fairweather, and Mr. Elli. account of the laying of the foundation son and party. Short speeches also stone of this building which has now were made, on appropriate themes, by been completed. The building is in Messrs. J. Williams, A. C. Moore, s. the early Gothic style, symmetrical in R. Dicks, and C. Higland; and humits arrangements, and admirably adapted orous readings given with consider. for the purposes of its erection. The able elocutionary skill, by Messrs. E. interior dimensions of the building are Margetson and C. H. Moore. At 72 feet by 27 feet, and 23 feet to the intervals during the evening, an oppor. middle of the ceiling. The opening tunity was afforded visitors of inspect, services took place on Sunday, Novem- ing numerous objects of interest and ber 8. Rev. Dr. Bayley preached in amusement, which had been kindly lent the morning and evening, and Mr. E. for the occasion. J. Broadfield, B. A., in the afternoon. Upwards of 250 persons were present, All the services were well attended. many of whom were connected with In the evening, the room was crowded other London Societies; and the assemito excess, hundreds of people being bly terminated at half-past ten, after unable to gain admission. Not fewer awarding a hearty vote of thanks to the than 700 persons are said to have been various ladies and gentlemen who had crowded or packed within the building. generously assisted in rendering this The vestry, platform, and every part delightful New Church reunion a comwas crowded, until Dr. Bayley had plete success.