Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

is only exceeded by her cruelties to its possessors. In her skirts are still found the blood of the innocent. Deeply do we sympathize with our persecuted brother, and sincerely do we hope to hear of his deliverance from the hands of the spoilers, and of his engagement in some of the many uses of the Church:

New Jerusalem Church acknowledges this ; for the Lord's hand has guided us through the valley of death, and enabled us to see the light. May our feeble efforts guide us to that land of peace and happiness which we can only realize by uniting the good and the true! May we so use the knowledge imparted to us that it may centre in love and use, and compose those most adverse to our belief to say, “See how these men love one another!"

JAMES M. LACROIX.

Letter from James M. Lacroix to Mr. F. Pitman, for the General Conference. --Dear Brethren,-At a meeting of the Trinidad New Jerusalem Society held yesterday, the following resolution was issued, “That the President be requested to write to the General Conference in England, and to enclose a copy of Dr. de Bigo's letter to Mr James M. Lacroix, in which the Doctor states that he will be obliged to leave Para, and wishes to know whether the Society in Trinidad are willing to receive him." You are already aware that the New Jerusalem Society here met for the first time in December 1867, for the purpose of raising a fund to obtain the services of a minister. We have had monthly ineetings, but the money raised is as yet insufficient. It is the opinion of all, that on the arrival of Dr. de Bigo many who have not come forward, or joined the Society, will readily subscribe. Dr. de Bigo has been obliged to sell a portion of his library to support himself; and he will be compelled to dispose of the remainder to enable him to come here : his case is peculiar, interesting, and heartrending, and it appears to me to concern not only our Society, but the Church at large. I need not say that we will receive him with open arms; but our funds are not sufficient at present to support him in this country. Is there no fund that you could fall upon to aid him for a few months? From the letters we have received from his friends in America he is evidently in delicate health and cannot live in a cold climate ; Trinidad is a lapted to his disease, and we hope soon to be able to support him ourselves. In a letter written last month to the American Convention we proprosed an idea, namely, to ask the ministers of the different churches to make a collection once a year for Missionary libours. May we venture to hope that you will consider this practicable in England ? Marvellous are the ways of Providence ! Every believer in the

Extract from a letter of S. S. Seward, Esq.-Last fall there arrived in this country from Para, Brazil, a young Catholic priest, regularly educated and ordained at Rome, who had left the Church because he could not stand the corruption of the priesthood. He had accidentally found some of Sweden. borg's original editions (3 vols.) among some old papers in Para, and so knew something of the doctrines. He knew nothing however of the external Church, but soon met with some New Church men who directed him to the Theologi. cal School at Waltham, Mass., where I met him. He was immediately baptized at his own request, and commenced studying the doctrines systematically, but the climate was too severe for him, and just before I wrote to you I heard that he had had an attack of bleeding at the lungs, and was going to return to Brazil. Not knowing what his plans were, fearing he would be at the mercy of the Catholics, and without means, I remembered your communication in the Messenger last year, hunted it up, and wrote to you hoping that your reply might elicit some information that would be valuable to him. I received it on the occasion of a visit to New York, where I went to meet him, and see him off for South America. He told me he hoped through a high official of the Brazilian Government, who knew of his views, and in some degree sympathized with them, to get an appointment which would pay his board in Brazil, and then if the Church would let him, he would go to work translating, and prepare himself at the same time for preaching. I told him then for the first time of the Society in Trinidad, and suggested that in case he met with any trouble it might be well to inake his escape thither. I gave

a

.

him your letter as a memorandum to guide him. The Society there might desire to put themselves in communication with the young pioneer of the New Church in Brazil. If so, his address is Rev. Dr. C. J. B. De Bigo, Para, Brazil. He is as pure-minded as a girl, and as trustful as a child. If he had the least share of worldly wisdom or prudence perhaps he never would have left the Old Church, or have become the grateful and apparently defenceless champion of the New.

“ apostate

worst of the ecclesiastics, He received bribes in abundance from all who would bestow them, and of course I was the suffering victim of such corruption. However, when all other sources failed, I wrote to the Emperor, and fortunately, obtained from him the privilege of being tried by a secular and civil jury. This was indeed a great privilege, and a privilege that saved me from falling into the arms of death. Of course before such jury, where I was eximined, there would be nothing proved against me, except that I was an and “heretic.” The offence of apostatizing is as yet punishable by civil law in this country, but I being an American subject, and having apostatized in America, there was no statute in the Imperial laws to punish foreign apostates, so that I was at last set free to the great disgust and disappointment of my enemies ; so in my daily work of writing and promulgating the heaverly doctrines the New Jerusalem, I meet them face to face a free man. I have had two public oral controversies, which caused no little disappointment to the devotees of the Romish doctrines; as for writing for the press it

appears to be not allowable. I suppose you are acquainted with the abuse and glander that I have suffered and do suffer daily from the press, as the organ of civilization ; but it is by no means civilized in my behalf, and hence is the most uncivilized weapon that could be put in the hands of Brazilians. I will not try your patience any longer with this subject, for I take it almost for a certainty that my name is, I grieve to think, sufficiently known to you all without enlarging its circulation myself—not known, I thank the Lord, as the name of an evil-doer, but as the name of one suffering for the truth and the dictates of conscience. Nevertheless the majority of Brazilians are accustomed to execrate me in no measured terms, always with the title of " apostate and “heretic.” I was not a little amused on the morning of the 1st inst. to see a very large portion of the ecclesiastical part of the community, remarkable for their immorality anil ignorance, so stupid and intolerant as to have me burnt in effigy before my face. The cause of this nonsensical overflow of vengeance was that the Governmental organ of this city de

Letter from Dr. C. J. B. De Bigo to J. M. Lacroix, Esq. Para, Brazil, May 6, 1869.-Dear Sir,-You will, no doubt, be somewhat surprised to receive a letter from one who is wholly unkuown to you. However, I will not say wholly unknown, because I suppose you have already heard of and read about me in the English and American journals. Besides, the Rev. C. Giles, pastor of the New York Society, wrote me that he desired a Mr. Voce (who is, if I am not mistaken, a friend of yours) to inform you of my being in Brazil, and of the persecutions I have been subject to, with a view that I might be obliged to leave here, and that Trinidad would be the nearest and safest harbour. I have no doubt but that you are already aware of what I have undergone in this country without recording it here: I am still undergoing worse if worse could be possible. I have spent a long and painful month in a dark and suffocating dungeon of an ecclesiastical prison in this city, where day and night were equal, without refreshment or even permission to see a friend. dungeon the bishop was kind enough to visit me, and use all his persuasive. powers to get me to retract all I had written and go back again to the Church and that all would be forgiven me. But such proposals were more disgusting to me than gall and vinegar could be to an invalid. During the month that I have been in prison, the greatest and most terror-striking charges and accusations were made against me, so that I had anticipated nothing less than death, and that the most painful one, from my enemies. Being an American citizen, had recourse for safety under the eagle's wings, but the American Consul was and is as corrupt as the

[ocr errors]

In my

clared me the day before to be innocent of all accusations brought against me, and that thenceforward I should be treated as any other citizen. Prior to this declaration, the clergy imagined that they would succeed to have me burned in reality ; failing in their project, they resorted to the above-named manner of discharging an overwhelming load of revenge and hatred of their hearts. The wooden image was robed in what I once used when a Roman envoy in this city. The remains of this wooden envoy were offered to the Virgin Mary, asking her forgiveness, when they could not succeed in offering the original. Thus ended the pleasant yet painful morning of the 1st of May. The people, indeed, seem to think that I am the forerunner of some great calamity or other, and would willingly repeat the process of the 1st inst., with the slight yet important alteration of inserting my real person instead of the mock one. The Government officials stigmatize me in language that would only he applicable to the inventor and introducer into this country of the “ vomito ”

or some other deadly epidemic, and are always so condescending as to forward me a copy of their proceedings. The pulpits that were for many years dumb now thunder against me, and seem to have not the slightest hesitation of making me the subject of a special diatribe.

In a word, my own conscience is the only one that has not raised upon me the cruellest reproaches, the vilest accusations. I dwell on this subject for the purpose of informing you how I am situated, and to elicit from your Society a fervent prayer for the conversion, and I may add the civilization of Brazil. As for my own safety I care but little ; I should willingly shed my blood in defence of our glorious and heavenly Church if it were necessary. My sufferings are great, both physical and mental, arising from the fact that although I endure great persecutions, yet I do not succeed in turning many from their evil doings ; however, I am not dismayed. I am obliged

to leave here for a few years, until the excitement be somewhat abated; therefore, dear sir, let me know as soon as possible if I can be of any service to your Society or to any other in the British Islands. The reason that I am obliged to leave is that I have no means of support. Heretofore I have had a position as a “Member of the Latin Academy,” but being now put down as a “heretic,” I could be no longer al. lowed a position in an

“ orthodox' community. My only means support now is what I may occasionally receieve from the Reveu do Grampora, for which I write a few articles. I have been obliged to sell a great portion of my library in order to support myself, and will, I suppose, be obliged to sell all in order to be able to leave this country.

Hoping, dear sir, that you will over. look the self hood of this letter, as well as the numerous mistakes, having but little practice in the English language, I have the honour to remain, your humble servant in Christ,

C. J. B. DE Bigo.

Obituary. Departed this life, at Gateshead on 9th June last, aged 56, William Rich. ardson, formerly for many years Master of the New Church Day-School at Newcastle-on-Tyne. He was well read in the doctrines of the Church, and conversationally able in their defence; he made them known wherever opportunity offered, and through his instrumentality many members have—in bis time-been added to the Newcastle Society.

On the 1st of July last, at Newcastleon-Tyne, aged 49, Mrs. Ellenor Jewett, known to New Church friends as Miss Elliott. A short sentence is only needed to describe her walk through this life. As daughter, sister, and as wife, she was worthy to be named, one of the best of women. She left somewhat suddenly, but “she had oil in her lamp.'

ERRATUM.

Read Ereaux instead of Eredux, in the Obituary notices in our last Number.

[blocks in formation]

THE TRUE CHURCH A SCENE OF SPIRITUAL GLADNESS

AND INTELLECTUAL BEAUTY.

A SERMON PREACHED AT DERBY, August 10, BEFORE THE GENERAL CONFERENCE.

BY THE REV. R. STORRY.

“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, 0 Jerusalem. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together.”—Psalm cxxii. 1-3.

The Psalm before us is a prophetic intimation of the strength and beauty, the peace, prosperity, and glory of Jerusalem. Literally, Jerusalem was the metropolis of the land of Canaan, the principal city of the Jews. Here was not only the seat of their secular government, but the scene of their highest religious exercises. Here the temple reared its head in surpassing splendour, the daily sacrifices were offered, and the national festivals periodically observed. To this city three times in the year the entire male population directed their footsteps, that they might offer their oblations and pour out their hearts before the King of Kings. The palace of this Great King was the temple, and His throne the mercy-seat. He sat between the cherubim, and gave His commands through the high priest, who was His chief minister.

This earthly Jerusalem is a type of the heavenly, which is the Lord's Church and kingdom in the world. This is very evident from the features we have indicated, and from the many allusions to Jerusalem in the Word of God. Many of these are of a kind which cannot possibly be applied to any earthly city. “ Look upon Zion,” says the inspired prophet, "the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither

a

[ocr errors]

shall any

of the cords thereof be broken." In the letter this text has received at best a very limited fulfilment. In the spirit, as the final issue of the peaceful establishment of the Church in the love and worship of the Lord, it receives a fulfilment in every regenerated spirit; and is destined to receive an ever-increasing accomplishment in the unfolding glories and peaceful enjoyments of the Church of God. And, again, in manifest allusion to the Lord Jesus Christ and His redemption, Jehovah by the prophet proclaims, “Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.” These words are succeeded by the well-known prophecy respecting John the Baptist, as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness," and the exhortation to Zion and Jerusalem—“O Zion, that bringest good tid. ings, get thee up into the high mountain ; 0 Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid, say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God.” The comfort and the warfare, and the manifestation of God in the flesh, were blessings realized only by the spiritual Israel. The warfare in which the natural Israel engaged after this advent ended in the destruction of their city and the dispersion of their people. The warfare in which the Church, the spiritual Israel, was interested, was one in which the Captain of her salvation 66 fought alone, and of the people there was none with Him,” in which He overthrew for her all the hosts of darkness, and delivered her from the captivity of Satan and the danger of everlasting death. The good tidings were the tidings of salvation ; the Jerusalem that was comforted was “ the city of God;" the habitation He had made for Himself to dwell in. Other passages involve the same meaning. Thus, in the fifty-second chapter, ver. 9, Jehovah says, “Break forth into joy, sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem : for Jehovah hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem.” And in the sixtysecond chapter, ver. 1, “For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace,

and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.” The redemption, the righteousness, and the salvation here promised to Jerusalem are the inheritance of the Church. They are her redemption from the powers of darkness, her salvation from the secret defilements of sinful passions, her inward endowment with the graces and virtues of His regenerate children, and her everlasting establishment in righteousness and truth.

« VorigeDoorgaan »