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PUBLIC MEETINGS DURING THE
A series of resolutions were therefore proposed, having for their object the appointment of a committee to obtain subscriptions in aid of this important labour. Mr. E. J. Broadfield, by whom the subject was introduced, was appointed the Secretary, and Rev. J. Hyde the Treasurer of the Committee which was appointed. Many of the members of Conference, of the visitors who were present, and of the members of the Derby Society, liberally responded to this appeal, and before the close of the Conference upwards of £200 was subscribed. It remains for other members of the Church to continue and complete this good work.
One of the most difficult of the questions submitted to the Conference is the question of change in any of its books of worship. A growing desire to see a revised edition of the Hymn Book and Liturgy has for some time existed with many influential members of the Church. A committee appointed by Conference has prepared hymns for a supplement, but after considering the whole subject, reported in favour of an insertion of new hymns in the Hymn Book, and the omission of some of those already published in that compilation. To this course strong objections were felt, and it was resolved to refer the entire subject to the several societies, who are desired to express their opinion respecting it.
The only other subject on which we need offer any remark is the funds of the Conference. All these seem to be in a healthy state, except the General Fund which is totally inadequate to the wants of the Conference. It was proposed to charge a percentage on all the funds left to the Conference for the support of this fund, but was in the end resolved to appeal to the several societies and institutions benefited by the Conference trusts. It is manifest that unless the General Fund be supported by the Church, the Conference can neither pay its officers, provide for the printing of its minutes, or efficiently discharge the many other duties required of it. The attention of the societies, therefore, to this subject is most important.
The minutes, if not already, will in a very short time be issued, so that the information they contain will be soon placed within the reach of our readers.
Tuesday. The first of these assemblies was the public religious service on Tuesday evening. The annual sermon to the Conference was preached by the Rev. R. Storry to a
numerous and attentive audience. This discourse will be published in a future number of the Magazine. At the close of this service, the Sacrament of the Holy Supper was administered by the President and Vice-President to ninety communicants. The offertory at this service is dovoted to the “Pension Fund."
Wednesday-Melbourne. ---As usual, on the holding of the Conference at Derby, the members received a pressing invitation to pay a visit to the neighbouring society at Melbourne. The afternoon and evening of Wednesday was devoted to this purpose. To enable the members to remain for an evening meeting, covered vans were engaged for their conveyance. Nearly all the members accepted the invitation so kindly given, and attended in company with many of the friends from Derby. Tea was provided in a large public hall, which was completely filled. In the evening the party assembled in the elegant church erected in this town for the use of the society. The chair was occupied by the Rev. E. Madeley, whose long connection with the society enabled him to speak on its early history and associations. A subject intended to guide the thoughts of the various speakers was proposed and led to a number of pleasant and instructive addresses by the several ministers who were in attendance. These all related to the advantages and privileges of the Church, and were calculated to encourage and strengthen the band of worshippers in their work of establishing the Church and extending its usefulness. Few of the members of Conference had previously visited the society, and all were charmed with the beautiful church pos. sessed by the society, and with the manifest zeal and affection of its members. The visit seemed to be very warmly appreciated, and we hope will strengthen the church in Melbourne in their work in this town.
Thursday—Conferenee Tea Party. A public tea-meeting was held in
the Lecture Hall, which was attended care.
It was found, however, that unby the members of Conference and endowed societies became more prosby a large number of the members perous, and got far ahead of endowed of the church in Derby, Melbourne and churches. We have now, said the Dr., other places—the large hall being nearly disendowed all the churches that were filled with an intelligent and deeply endowed, and have greater hopes of interested audience. The chair was real usefulness from one hearty and occupied by the President of the Con- earnest New Churchman than from a ference, who introduced the proceed- body of members who are dependent ings by stating the object of the meet- upon an endowed church. ing, and dwelling upon the exalted Mr Hancock of Canada said he wished character of the New Church, and the to express that he cordially reciproduty of earnest and faithful labour on cated the warm affections with which the part of every sincere receiver of her he had been received by the New doctrines. On the platform were Dr. Church friends in England. Although Towle of Washington in the United he had been absent from England for States, Mr Hancock of Toronto in fourteen years, the best part of him was Canada, and many of the ministers and here yet. The pleasure he felt in being influential laymen of the Church. In- with them was tinged with melancholy, teresting and instructive addresses were as there was not a few whom he would delivered at this meeting by Revs. E. no more see in the flesh, as they had D. Rendell, E. Madeley, W. Woodman, passed into the spiritual world. He Dr. Bayley, J. Hyde, by Messrs Bate- then related his experience in connecman, Goldsack, Broadfield, T. Madeley, tion with the New Church in Canada, and by Dr. Towle and Mr Hancock. which, he said, did not prosper in that The proceedings were also enlivened by part of the British dominions as he some pleasing selections of music, which could wish, but where, said he, does it were executed in a very superior style. so prosper? We all wish to see great We give very brief abstracts of the things done, but perhaps it would be speeches of our brethren from the other better for us not to be over-sanguine. side the Atlantic.
When he arrived in Canada he went to Dr. Towle of Washington, after relat- Waterbrook to see the condition of the ing some of his experiences in connec- societies there. He found a prosperous tion with the New Church in the United society, consisting chiefly of Germans. States, and stating some of the reasons There were other societies farther west, why the New Church made greater all working very hard for the great progress in America than in any other cause which we have so much at heart. part of the globe ; went on to say that A short time after he had taken
his since the new doctrine took root in the residence in that part of Canada they soil of America many wonderful dis- formed an association of the New coveries had been made, and many use- Church societies, in which work he was ful inventions had come into use. A chiefly instrumental. That organizashort time ago it took three months to tion has continued to the present time. get a communication from America, With respect to the New Church in instead of receiving one as we do now Canada he only spoke generally. The in a single hour. Such improvements Church is making progress, and its mem. as this are evidence of the influence for bers are zealous and increasing. The good which are at work in the spiritual fact appeared to him that the strong world ; for all progress has its origin elements in the New Church the there. The Dr. went on to say that German element. In comparison with the New Church in America has under- other denominations the receivers of the gone some experiences which would be heavenly doctrines were very few. But useful to the Church in England. he was accustomed to the day of small When he first became a New Church. things, and had great faith in the divine mam, about thirty years ago, there promise, that where two or three gatherwere but three or four churches in ed together in the name of Jesus Christ America. About a dozen years since His blessing would rest upon them. they had a good many endowed
Friday.--Ordination of Mr. John churches, which were nursed by those Presland into the Ministry of the New who had the charge of them with great Church.-Mr. Presland, who has for
upwards of two years held the office of leader to the Derby Society, was presented to the Conference for ordination. His ability as a preacher of the heavenly doctrines, combined with the excellency of his moral and religious character, and the esteem in which he is held as an exemplary Christian minister, led to a unanimous compliance with the application for his ordination. The Society at Derby were desirous that the rite should be administered during the sitting of the Conference, and Friday evening was set apart for this service. At the time appointed Mr. Presland, accompanied by four of the members of the Society, was presented to the ordaining ministers, Revs. J. Bayley and E. Madeley, who officiated on the occasion. At the close of the service a sermon was delivered by Dr. Bayley from Isa. lii. 7, 8. In the introduction to his sermon the preacher described the order and preliminary steps adopted for the selection and admission of suitable persons into the ministry of the New Church. Referring to the newly-ordained minister, he spoke in high terms of his gifts for the office into which he had been introduced, and of the excellency of his character as exemplary son and grandson of esteemed New Church parents. In the exposition of his text the preacher gave an eloquent description of the coming of the Lord for the redemption and salvation of His children, and presented Him as the model minister. The Lord still comes to the Church. He comes with an innumerable company of angels, and in the ministry which is sent to publish good tidings and to publish peace. He appears on the mountains of His love, and all His ministers are to be actuated by the motives which spring from love to Him and to the souls of His children. The peace which they are to publish is the result of spiritual conflict, and is the only way in which all the faculties can enjoy peace. They are to publish good tidings of good, for goodness is the embodiment of love, and in goodness is all sweetness, all happiness, and heaven. They are to publish salvation. Every soul has a dark chamber, and there is neither peace nor goodness while evil is within. The people are to be taught not to rest satisfied with knowledge, or with anything but good
The following is a list of the subscriptions obtained during the sitting of Conference, for the above praiseworthy and most desirable object :Mr. Broadfield,
£25 0 Speirs,
25 0 Meek,
25 0 0 Grimshaw,
25 0 0 E. J. Broadfield, 10 0 John Bragg,
10 0 R. Gunton,
5 0 Rev. E. Madeley,
1 0 W. Woodman,
1 0 E. D. Rendell,
0 0 W. Bruce,
1 1 John Presland,
1 0 0 T. L. Marsden,
1 0 0 John Hyde,
5 0 0 Mr. F. Pitman,
25 0 0 Isherwood,
10 0 Bateman,
5 0 0 Capt. Buffham,
5 0 Mr. Butter,
5 0 Mrs. Wilkinson,
5 Mr. John Smith, John Barton,
1 0 0 Atkinson (Leeds), 1 0 0 Benton,
2 0 0 Thos. Madeley
1 0 0 John Deans
1 0 0 Thomas Stevenson,
5 0 0 Appelbee,
1 0 0 Holme,
2 0 Clemson,
1 0 0
ITALY. - To the following letter, ad- an equality before the law, is to say, dressed to the President of the Confer- in effect, that they have ruined it. ence, we have already referred to in our In fact, in the conditions in which, notice of the Conference proceedings.
for the first time in the whole course of We insert it in the hope of interesting its history Italy now finds itself, before our readers on the subject to which it that free development of intelligence refers :
and instruction which is spreading on
every hand, the perverted, dark, absurd Lausanne, Switzerland, June 1869.
system of Catholicism could not posSir, —As a disciple of the Lord's sibly maintain itself. In fact, it has New Church I deem it my duty to send found itself exposed to an ever-increasyou some brief hints on the new state ing desertion of its adherents. Any of things now existing in Italy with one who took the trouble of considering regard to the religious question. You, how many of those he is acquainted my dear sir, will judge whether what I with in Italy are really, and not in am about to say will or will not be in- name only, Catholics, is forced to conteresting to the disciples of the New clude either that Catholicism has almost Jerusalem.
died out among cultivated classes, or If this communication may serve to else that those for whom it still lives awaken among the brethren who shall are induced, by the general feeling assemble in the approaching Conference against it, to dissemble their faith. If some little sympathy for my native we leave out of view a few cases, some land, I do not doubt that you will have of which constitute honourable excepit read in one of your sittings.
tions, Catholicism has no longer any The Italian nation consists, on a fair adherents except among this less inestimate, of about thirty millions of formed portion of the people, where souls. The political convulsions of the sway of ignorance is unbroken, 1859 and 1860 have had the effect of there only its faith is intact, and the uniting, thus far, twenty-six millions priest reigns. Habit, no doubt, asserts of those in a single constitutional king- its power even against a certain degree dom, endowed with all the franchises of cultivation, and maintains even in and liberties that could be reasonably cities some appearances which might wished for by my countrymen. It is lead one to suppose that the case was true that the first article of the consti- otherwise ; but, under material and extution declares Roman Catholicism the ternal practices, there seldom lives that religion of the state ; but the explana- efficacious faith which serves as a guide tion officially given to it by the King's to action. Whence, on the whole, ministers interprets it as meaning only there presents itself, in my native land, that the Government is to make use, this undeniable fact, that Catholicism in all public solemnities, of the Roman is disappearing before the advance of Catholic ritual.
civilization, while it finds its account Italy therefore enjoys, at the present in ignorance, and flourishes only under moment, the inestimable advantage of its protection. a complete liberty of conscience, sup- The political events of our epoch ported by the most important civil certainly have contributed not a little reforms—such as the suppression of the to hasten in Italy the ruin of Catholimonastic corporations, the abolition of cism. As the Catholic Church rose all the immunities and exemptions against the whole nation, opposing in which the Catholic priests inherited, all possible ways its most righteous and to the misfortune of the country, from heartfelt desire of achieving the in. past ages, the institution of civil mar- dependence and liberty of the land, it riage, and the confiscation of the eccle- is not to be wondered at that the siastical property, which last measure Italians should have confounded it has had the effect of taking immense with their enemies. From the time wealth out of the hands of the that Rome cursed Italy because it had clergy.
resolved to put an end to its calamity, These necessary and timely reforms the Italian people involved in the same have shaken the authority and weak- sentence the Catholic Church and the ened the influence of Catholicism in Austrians, both of whom it saw united Italy. To say that they have put it on in the same plot against its interests,
and the aversion to the Church of Rome increased in the same degree as she showed herself unworthy of veneration by sacrificing her proper functions to the interests of her domination. The natural course of civilization which one day or other would have brought us to the same point, was therefore hastened in its results by her imprudence.
We have therefore in Italy more than a schism ; we have a religion which is disappearing, leaving behind it indifference. But while Catholicism disappears before civilization, civilization itself advances slowly and with difficulty, because the support and vigour of a true faith is wanting to it. The strongest spring of action in the soul thus failing, there has resulted a void, an apathy, a discouragement, that impairs and exhausts all activity, and unnerves and dissolves all efficient and persevering effort. Hence a confusion of principles, a hesitation of purpose, a debility, a languor, which come out in the actions of practical and daily life, together with the irresistible domination of everything material and palpable over the more noble and elevated ideas of the moral nature.
There exists therefore at this time in Italy a real and urgent need of religion.
The political changes of 1860 appeared so favourable to a serious move. ment of religious reform among the Italians, that some persons did not hesitate to predict it. Nor, in truth, were there wanting favourable prognostics of the desired change. There was, in the first place, the general predisposition in its favour, next the activity and zeal of various Protestant associations in establishing in every considerable city a missionary centre, and then again the constant appearance of new journals of religious controversy, the success of books that at any other time could have found but few readers, and finally the sale of several millions of Bibles in the cities, as also in the villages and the country. But a few years of sterile agitation, in which I myself took a very active part, have sufficed to force on us the conviction that Protestantism, like Catholicism, is an anachronism, impossible in the order of the Divine Providence, and therefore incapable of reviving the re
ligious sentiment of the nineteenth century.
The Italians long for a religion based on good sense and morality, one that should minister food at once to the understanding and the heart, a religion that shall be a feeling and a science, a feeling to strengthen the hopes of the heart, and a science to prove the truth of those hopes. They desire, in fine, a religion in harmony with the new state of society, and one that shall. work hand and hand with reason and with science instead of excluding them from its domain. This is what the Italians are looking for ; this is their most urgent need.
When I knew and received with joy the theological and philosophical doctrines of Swedenborg, my heart was filled with admiration and gratitude to the Lord, as I observed how the Divine Providence, at every great epoch of moral regeneration, dispenses to humanity a higher degree of light, according to the necessities and the culture of the times. The doctrines of the New Jerusalem bear in themselves the proof of their heavenly origin, inasmuch as they open to the human mind a new, a marvellous and immense horizon. These, then, are the only doctrines which can satisfy the reasonable requirements of my countrymen, and heal in Italy the greatest sore in the social body.
Firm in this conviction, 1 deeply desire to devote my feeble efforts to the work of diffusing them. And nothing but the want of the necessary means has hitherto prevented me from setting about it. Now, however, I cherish the hope that, by means of the aid and contributions of the body over which you, my dear sir, preside, the heavenly doctrines of the Lord's Second Coming will be speedily published in Italy.
With the most profound respect, I remain, &c., LORETO SCOCIA.
TRINIDAD. The following painfully interesting letters, sent to the General Conference, are forwarded us for publication. The benign spirit of Christian charity which is slowly making itself felt in most Christian communities, finds little place where the papacy has uncontrolled dominion. Her hostility to religious freedom and to liberty of thought is still the same. Her hatred of the truth