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32, St. Paul exhorts us “to be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." So it runs in our translation; and on this, probably, as their foundation in express Scriptural authority, most of these forms of prayer rest. Is it "a somewhat shadowy distinction," or mere difference in words, to find, when we turn to the original text of the apostle, "forgiving one another, even as God in Christ, not for the sake of Christ ('O Oeos èv Xplory), hath forgiven you?" (So in 2 Cor. v. 19—“God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing," &c. Our translators have not ventured here to change the apostle's teaching.) Will Dr. Crawford, or any of the Committee on Aids to Devotion, maintain that our translators were justified in this version of the passage, or that "God in Christ,” either here or elsewhere, is synonymous with "God for the sake of Christ," or can by itself, or without reference to a particular theory of forgiveness, have such a meaning? If he does, it seems to me that even the two verses that follow will decide what was the apostle's meaning, as they stand in the original text, and determine the controversy by an authority to which both Dr. Crawford and I will willingly bow. (Eph. v. 1, 2.)
But is there, sir, any doubt or uncertainty about the meaning of Scripture in commanding us to bow the knee in the name of Jesus (Philip. ii. 10), especially when compared with Isaiah xlv. 21-23, from which the words seem to be a quotation, and to pray to God, or the father, in the name of Jesus? Does St. Paul mean to teach the Church of Philippi that all in heaven and earth bow the knee to some one else for the sake of Jesus, and not plainly and undeniably that all in heaven and earth worship Jesus immediately and directly by bowing to Him the knee, and so give to Him, as God incarnate, the glory that is due to God, and in Him worship and glorify the Father? So in innumerable passages where the expression "in the name of Jesus," or "in my name," occurs. John xiv. 13, 14, our blessed Lord says, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name that will I do, that the Father
may be glorified in the Son." If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If we ask anything in His name, as He twice testifies here, it is He that gives it to us, in answer to our prayer. Surely then the prayer thus answered by Him must have been addressed to Him, and not to another for his sake. So in Acts iv. 10, 12, "Be it known unto you all that in the name of Jesus Christ even in Him, or by Him, doth this man stand here before you whole," "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other rame under heaven given among men whereby, or in which, we must be saved." Jesus, who had healed the impotent man, is, in these words of Peter, proclaimed surely to be the only giver or source of salvation, not one for whose sake another gives man salvation. So Matt. vii. 22, which speaks for itself; so Luke xxiv. 47. These are but a few specimens. When we do whatsoever we do (Col. iii. 17), in word or deed, in the name of the Lord Jesus,' does this mean that we are to do all for Christ's sake, and not most plainly that we are to do all in the character of Christ's servants, and as unto the Lord, whose we are? But if so, is it not, as my letter maintained, equally plain, on all just principles of interpretation, that when we present our prayers in the name of Jesus, as we are commanded, we are commanded to come to Him in prayer, in the character of his worshippers, and to receive from Him, and not merely for His sake, all that we ask or need, for it is He, as it is said, Acts v. 31, that grants, or bestows, even such divine gifts as 66 repentance and forgiveness of sins. He is our "Life." In Him we live, "not we, but He in us.' "In Him we have eternal life" 1 John v. 11).
In his letter to-day Dr Crawford himself admits, not only that Jesus Christ ought to be worshipped, as all Christians perhaps admit, but that it is proper worship Him, otherwise than is ever done in the "Aids to Devotion," at least in their original form, by direct invocation in prayer to Him immediately addressed. Coming from the Convener of the Committee on Aids to Devotion, in which there are no such prayers, this, it seems to me, is a great concession, and shows the Christian candour of Dr Crawford's spirit. But, he says, He is to be thus worshipped "occasionally" only, and intimates, or insists, that the other forms of worship ought to be the usual or standard forms. On what occasions,
then, is it proper thus to worship Jesus directly, as Stephen did, when he saw His glory, in the moment of his martyrdom, and on what improper, or less proper? Surely this should be declared, especially to those who believe that, as there is but one God, there can be but one object of worship to a Christian. When we worship otherwise, in other forms of words, do we worship another God, or another Being than Jesus? Is it not the God whom we then worship in Jesus, and Jesus in Him! Must not those other forms of worship be synonymous with this in meaning, if our worship of the One God is to be uniform or consistent, and not contradictory? If a book is published, to aid members of the Church in their devotions, in which is to be found no direct invocation of Jesus, in prayer to Him addressed immediately and by name, should it not, to say the least, be put beyond all doubt, or possibility of question, that it contains nothing that is at variance with this direct prayer, nothing that will lead the worshipper to feel or suppose that he is drawing near to another person or being than Jesus? But can this be his feeling or his faith if he is pleading with that Being, in all his prayers, for the sake of Jesus, and speaking to Him of Jesus, and His merits, and satisfaction for sin, and reconciliation of God to man by His atonement, as if Jesus were a third party, quite apart from the One whom he is addressing!
If there are none of these "occasional" prayers to Jesus in "Aids to Devotion," and so many of such prayers in the Book of Hymns," which we are to use in another part of our worship, that they may be said to form its staple in many parts, will it not be felt that we are addressing our prayers to one Being, and our praise to another, while we profess in both to be worshipping one and the same God? For the command, "Worship God" is as peremptory (Rev. xiv. 10) in the New Testament as in the Old. Men and angels are to worship none but God. Multitudes of most excellent men, I am well aware, besides Dr Crawford and the members of this committee, offer up prayer in the forms to which I have taken exception on these grounds, and many, as those who use the English Liturgy, have done so all their lives, and will refuse to do otherwise, or listen for a moment, except contemptuously, to anything that is urged on the other side. They, of course, are quite persuaded that, in reviving in these prayers the forms derived from the Nicene and Athanasian creeds, the Church is teaching men to pray as they ought, in a form of sound and orthodox words, which is scriptural and unobjectionable. And they have on their side the immense majority. But, whatever ministers may think, there are thousands and tens of thousands of our people, and these among the pious, and earnest, and intelligent, to whom these prayers will be a stumbling-block, as they will be to the millions and hundreds of millions of heathen in India, China, Africa, and other foreign lands, among whom they may circulate, and present one of the most insuperable of all barriers against the reception of Christianity by Mahommedans, Hindoos, and all who, without revelation, have not quenched the light and testimony of conscience that is God's witness in every man to his unity. This is no theory. It is a sad and sober fact. It has been published to the world in royal proclamations, and such authoritative documents or testimonies. They say, who would adopt the religion of these Christians who pray to three gods, or more gods than one, if he has not renounced his reason? Missionaries can testify in Mahommedan lands, and other regions of the globe. But at home how can we reconcile these with our hymns? What true or spiritual idea can men have of God if they pray to One Person of the Trinity for the sake of another, that He would bestow upon them the gift of the third, while they acknowledge all the three to be distinct and divine Beings, all infinite, eternal, and omnipotent? Yet, surely if there be anything certain in religion it is this, that according to our idea of God as it is true and scriptural, or the contrary--our idea of His name, His glory, His personality, His trinity, His unity, as all are revealed harmoniously in Jesus Christ, must be the character both of our faith and of our love or charity; must be our personal character or righteousness, and the quality of our inmost life before God; must be our present possession of eternal life, and our capacity for the future possession of it in its fulness and blessedness; must be our communion with God in spirit, here whether in prayer or praise. Darkness, confusion, self-contradiction
is a return to darkness and chaos everywhere, such as was before the day
spring from on high visited our world-renders worship in spirit and in truth in all cases hard, and in some all but impossible—and makes the Scripture, which is the Word of God, and the Revelation of God, as He is in His glory and unity, a sealed book, all a mystery, the New Testament conflicting with the Old; one part of the new, in the highest of all its revelations, and that which lies at the root of all religion, at variance, irreconcilable with another. Not so, as my letter said, in the Christian Church at the beginning, nor until the Nicene creed and controversy, and still more the Athanasian creed, departing entirely from the Apostles' Creed, and from the idea of God which lies at its root, eclipsed the light of Christ in Christendom, and so prepared the way not only for the dense darkness of Popery, but for the endless divisions, disruptions, and unbrotherly feuds and sects that have made Protestantism in so many lands, and Presbyterianism in our own, stink in men's nostrils throughout the bounds of Christendom, and far beyond these, not only defacing the unity of Christ's body, but banishing from the minds of men the idea of "one body in one spirit.”
In conclusion, let me say in a single sentence, in reference to the conclusion of Dr Crawford's letter, that the forms which he defends there of prayer to God through Jesus Christ are, as I understand the words, entirely different from those to which I have objected, and which he hardly ventures to defend in earnest, if I read his letter aright, except from authority, of prayers to God for the sake of Christ, and are synonymous, I believe, if properly understood, with prayer to God in Christ, or to God Incarnate, the Father in the Son, the Divinity in Humanity, or, which is the same to me, the Divine Humanity of Jesus Christ. John xiv. 6, x. 9; Ephes. ii. 18.
I am fully aware, sir, of the difficulties which encompass this vast subject in all its manifold ramifications, of the many questions that may be asked, and which it may be beyond my power to answer, in regard to some of the views here presented, of the modesty, therefore, or humility, as well as reverence, with which any one who knows himself must feel that it should be approached, and of the imperfect and cursory way in which it is presented in such a hasty letter If I have spoken strongly, it is because I speak from deep conviction and long consideration, not from overweening confidence in myself, especially where I stand opposed to so many Christians and able ministers, not only of our own Church, but of others. My end is gained if the Church is awakened to the necessity of maintaining unimpaired and undimmed her perpetual testimony from generation to generation to the unity and to the personality of God, of whom we can have no true or spiritual idea, and on whom we cannot therefore fix our affections so as to love Him, as He demands of every man, “with all our heart and soul," till we see Him, as He is, in the face of Jesus Christ, and learn what it is in His name to bow the knee." 'He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." "I am in the Father, and the Father in Me.” Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." "I and the Father are one. Add to these 1st John v. 20, 21.-I am, as before, A MEMBER OF THE LATE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.
The sixty-second session of the General Conference was this year held at Derby. It commenced its session on Tuesday, the 10th of August, and concluded its business on the Saturday following. Twelve ministers were present and forty-four representatives.
Twenty-eight societies were represented. The Rev. R. Storry was elected President, and Mr. John Presland, Secretary. Mr. F. Pitman, who has for many years held the office of secretary, this year declined re-election, and the Conference expressed its appreciation of his valuable services in a special minute.
The usual business of the Conference
was transacted with good feeling, and a manifest desire to adopt the best means of promoting the prosperity of the Church. The reports presented to the Conference showed a large amount of labour in the cause of truth and goodness. The several day-schools are actively pursuing their works of Christian usefulness. They are providing for the education and training of a large number of children, and aiding in surrounding our societies with a considerable number of young persons, who are the hope of the Church. Their reports and minute-books, which give the particulars of the visitation of the Committees appointed by the Conference to superintend the religious instruction of the children, were carefully examined and reported on by a committee selected for this purpose, and the funds at the disposal of the Conference for educational purposes equally divided among the several schools.
At the head of the educational institutions of the Church should be placed the New Church College. A committee appointed by the last Conference to investigate the whole question of the education of young men for our ministry, and of the facilities offered by the College for this purpose, presented a report and a series of resolutions which were adopted by the Conference. That the College has not yet succeeded in providing for the education of young men is painfully felt both by the governors and the Conference. There have been from the beginning great difficulties to overcome. The governors have also had before them two quite distinct objects. They have desired to provide a first class education of the most comprehensive kind for the rising youth of the Church, and to train for the ministry those among their pupils who showed an aptitude and manifested an inclination for this sacred office. Hitherto they have not fully succeeded in either of these objects. Their present arrangements are best suited to the requirements of a good collegiate school. To afford the governors the opportunity of extending and maturing this department of their work, and not to distract their attention by imposing on them other duties for which their arrangements were not at present adapted, the Conference resolved to place candidates for the minis
try in the houses of ministers or other judicious New Church friends, and supply them with the instruction offered by the educational establishments best suited to their wants. In the adoption of this resolution the Conference had no purpose of ignoring the College, but of affording the governors the opportunity of giving an undivided attention to one portion of their work, and to secure its thorough efficiency and complete establishment before they entered upon another. They have now secured the services of a tutor who has had considerable experience in teaching, and hopes are entertained that during the year a good collegiate school will be successfully established.
The question of students for our ministry is one in which the Conference has long manifested considerable interest, and in which some progress has been made. During the past year, however, no young men have been training for the ministry, nor is the Conference in a position to offer all the advantages which are desirable for those who seek to prepare themselves for it. One of the questions before the Conference is the field from which our candidates are to be drawn. Manifestly a single school, however excellent may be its intellectual training and its moral and religious associations, is too limited to supply ministers to the Church. The only successful ministers are those into whose hearts the Great Head of the Church has put the desire to enter His vineyard, and to give themselves unreservedly to this service. Young men of this kind will be found scattered throughout our several societies, working in our Sunday schools, improving the piety of our families, and elevating their moral and spiritual tone, and it is to this class that the Conference specially desires to turn the attention of the Church. resolution was therefore passed inviting attention to the subject, and desiring that young men of this character might be sought out and encouraged to undertake the work.
The missionary operations under the immediate control of the Conference are those undertaken by the National Missionary Institution. These are printed in a separate report, which is annually presented to the Conference. This report is also printed in the ap
pendix to the minutes. During the year missionary labours have been undertaken by Revs. Dr. Bayley, Dr. Goyder, W. C. Barlow, J. Hyde, W. O'Mant, W. Ray, R. Storry, and W. Woodman; and by Messrs. Gosling, Jepson, Presland, Pulsford, and Rhodes. These services have extended to many parts of the kingdom, and reports of them have from time to time appeared in the pages of the Magazine. The principal labours, however, have been by Mr. Gunton, who has been engaged as the agent of the Society, and steadily employed during the whole year. following summary of his labours appears in the report:-"Thus terminates the Conference year of my services. During that period I have preached at Hockley twice, Deptford seven times, Brightlingsea five, Bury twice, Ramsbottom twice, Argyle Square four times, St. Ives eight, Wivenhoe six, St. Osyth twice, Ipswich six, Hull eight, Norwich twice, Jersey fourteen, South London once, Yarmouth six times, Nottingham twice, Rhodes twice, Islington once, Chatteris twice, Cross Street twice; thus in all 85 times. I have also delivered twenty-seven lectures, attended twelve business meetings of the several Societies, addressed Sunday schools, and on various occasions administered the sacraments of baptism and the Holy Supper; besides embracing a number of opportunities of introducing the doctrines to clergymen, ministers, and others. I have reason to conclude that my services, to a considerable extent, have been acceptable, and therefore useful. For this reason I shall be perfectly willing to continue them."
Hitherto the missions of the New Church have been confined to our own country. The chief means whereby the knowledge of the doctrines has thus far been extended in other countries has been by emigration or the agency of the press; and a feeling seems to prevail that our foreign missions will be mainly promoted by these means. The Conference cannot fail, however, to interest itself deeply in whatever relates to the extension of the doctrines in any portion of the globe. India has on more than one occasion engaged the attention of the Church. The Conference has also at various times learned with extreme satisfaction of the introduction of the
doctrines into several of the Colonies; and this year an interesting letter, which we publish in another portion of our miscellany, opens the prospect of missionary operations in Italy. This large and newly formed kingdom which has succeeded in throwing off the fetters of the papacy, seems to enjoy full liberty of the press, and the ever-watchful providence which is over the Church has raised up an instrument to provide the means of publishing the doctrines of the Lord's second coming. Signor Scotia, of whom our readers have already heard, has already published "The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrines" in the language of his countrymen, and is proceeding with the "Heaven and Hell." The letter which we publish seeks to interest the Conference, and through the Conference the Church in this country in the work in which he is engaged. To aid in this work the Conference appointed its Treasurer to receive subscriptions for this object, the disposal of which is left in the hands of the President and Vice-President of the Conference. earnest and benevolent member of the Church, Miss Russel of Leicester, has forwarded to the treasurer a contribution of £150, the interest of one-third of which is to be devoted to missions in India or elsewhere. The interest arising from this gift was voted this year to Italy, and we sincerely hope that many of our readers will lend assistance in this hopeful and important labour.
Another example of missionary effort abroad is afforded by the painful narrative of Dr. C. J. B. De Bigo, which we publish in the letter from Trinidad. This narrative discloses a case deserving the warmest sympathy and assistance of the Church. In this place we can only ask the attention of our readers to the communication which they will find on a subsequent page.
Another question which engaged the thoughtful attention of the Conference was the efforts making by Dr. Rudolf Tafel for the collection and publication of Swedenborg's manuscripts, and the further and more complete elucidation of his life. In this work considerable progress has been made, and many important discoveries secured. The work, however, is of necessity costly, and there is danger of ultimate failure unless timely assistance be afforded.