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MOTHER'S BEDSIDE HYMN.
FATHER! send my darling boy
In soul and body strong for Thee ;
Let him grow a gracious flower,
Be his sky or dark or bright,
Yet, O Father, deign that he
Joyous service sure is best;
More rich for blessing who more blest.
Be his sunshine from above,
Filling his soul with light and love:
Light, to see the thing to do;
Love, strong to endure and triumph too.
Strong in faith, yet to the weak
And unbelieving tender; meek
Maligned, or wronged, or scorned of men.
Hush! enough. Who mother's love
MARY C. HUME ROTHERY.
APPROXIMATIONS TO NEW CHURCH
Readers of Swedenborg are often surprised and encouraged to find some of his most striking teachings presented in our popular literature. Nor are these presentments confined to published books or exclusively literary publications. The daily and weekly newspapers devote a certain portion of their space to literary articles, and often discuss moral and religious questions. Under the title of Rays of Sunshine, a writer in the Bury Times, who takes the signature of "Lux," has given expression to many beautiful New Church thoughts. The following, somewhat abridged, are examples :
"RAYS OF SUNSHINE. - Our thoughts are rays of sunshine. Every thought is a ray of light from the great sun of thought, the sun of righteousness.' If no cloud of evil arise from the earth of our heart to dim the sunlight, the thought will be pure and clear and bright. Evil thoughts and false thoughts are distortions of the sunshine in the soul, arising from selfishness, passion, and lust. 'Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,' &c. 'The pure in heart shall see God' is a saying of deeper meaning than at first strikes the mind. The saying of Diogenes to Alexander the Great, who visited the philosopher in his tub, has a great significance for us all. Being asked by Alexander if he could do anything to oblige him, Diogenes replied, 'Get out of my sunshine.' So when any imperial lust approaches the soul and solicits friendship, let us with Diogenes exclaim, 'Get out of my sunshine.'
the advice, Pray that your flight (from this world) be not in the winter.' A man's head or intellect may, like the snow-capped mountain, reach up into the clearest light of heaven, but his head is frozen if his heart be not warmed with the fire of charity. When we meet with such men they seem to resemble snow-men rolled and built up by boys in winter. In this age of light and intelligence, we too much ignore the heat and life-giving principle of true Christian charity. By their fruits ye shall know them."
"The Sun is the Great Photographer. With his pencil of rays he paints our landscapes and our portraits with more perfect accuracy than our forefathers could have dreamed. He does this instantaneously-at a moment's sitting. In like manner, thought imprints every occurrence of life upon the plates of memory. Memory is man's book of life. But the impressions photographed on the memory are eternal, and can never be effaced. In this world the impressions are dim, having to pass through a material brain. Nevertheless every incident of every day and hour of our life is recorded on the plates of memory. They only need developing. Sit down, and with a strong effort of will you may call up incidents five, ten, twenty, fifty years old. house or room you lived in, some person you have known, some sin, some good deed you have performed, and thought you had forgotten. It is all there! You can never escape from it to all eternity! The light of heaven has photographed your whole life upon your soul. Your body is entirely changed once every seven years, but your spirit remains. Take care what sort of pictures your thoughts and actions are photographing every day and hour you live. You are now forming a photographic gallery for eternity. It must be filled either with pictures all beautiful or all hideous. You must hereafter live in that gallery, in the enjoyment of happiness, or stung with the vipers of remorse as you gaze upon them. 'There is nothing secret that shall not be revealed.' 'There is nothing hidden that shall not be known.'
Rays of sunshine are a two-edged sword. They fall upon a stagnant pool, and forthwith all manner of poisonous vegetation springs into growth. The same rays, falling upon a spring or rivulet, are germinant with laughing health, bloom, and fertility. Rays of truth falling into a stagnant, selfish mind never become fruitful; the sluggish soul turns all it learns to bitterness and poison, and becomes a pestilence to society. The same truths falling into an earnest soul begin to sparkle and ripple, and flow with real active life. flowers of intelligence blossom on its borders, and the surrounding soil brings forth abundant fruit. In the one case the rays of sunshine become the sword of a destroying angel: in the other it is a sword transformed into a ploughshare.
Rays of sunshine are very microscopic. We can never know too much of ourselves, though self-knowledge is often very disagreeable. We prefer to know ourselves only in generalities and not in particulars. Apply the microscope to our motives, our secret inpulses, our more hidden thoughts, and we should soon blush to find what deformities we are. But we don't like to face ourselves. If we did, should we not find many a lie covered up in the roundabout language we use to our neighbours-many a theft in keeping back what was another's due-many a slander or false witness in our fairseeming speech about a friend-many a murder covered up in the revengeful threatenings we have uttered-much idolatry in our praise of our own acts and deeds- much atheism, constant atheism, in claiming merit for our own benevolence. Only turn the micro3cope, with the light of truth, in upon the dirty little cavern of your own heart and you will see such a sight as must sicken you. All the monsters that crawled this earth, to which geologists give the names of troglodytes, megalosauri, and ichthyosauri, &c. &c., would be beautiful in comparison with your own collection of live evils; and the sooner you exterminate them the better. "They hate the light,' and they will soon perish if you pour in upon them clear rays of sunshine, concentrated by the burning lens of sincere repentance and reformation."
LABOUR.-It is a teaching of Swedenborg that the doctrine of charity, or the love of the neighbour, is best exemplified in the upright discharge of the common duties of life. Labour is therefore a providential appointment intended to aid in the formation of a truly human character. Its purpose is to form a plane in natural usefulness, into which can flow the spirit of a living charity and genuine brotherly kindness. The labours of earth thus become preparatory to the uses of heaven; and the training of the mind and life to habits of steady application and usefulness is of the utmost importance to both the present and future well-being of every individual. The value of labour as a means of moral discipline is instructively treated by Lord Stanley in his inaugural address as Rector of the Glasgow University. No better advice could be given to young men preparing for the active duties of life than is contained in the following extracts:
"There is no greater blessing for a man than to have acquired that healthy and happy instinct which leads him to take delight in his work for the work's sake; not slurring it over, not thinking how soon it will be done and got rid of, not troubling himself greatly about what men will say of it when it is done (I suspect the best kind of workers think as little of that as Newton did when he hesitated whether to publish his discoveries or not), but putting his whole heart and mind into it, feeling that he is master of it, feeling that the thing which he has turned out, be it a legal argument, or a book, or a picture, or anything else, is conscientiously and honestly perfected to the best of his power. Look at the matter only from the point of view of a man's personal happiness and welfare. What is the secret of the low amusements, the pleasure that is not pleasure, with which so many unhappy men contrive at once to waste and shorten their lives? Why, these things are, in 99 cases out of 100, merely the resources which they adopt to fill up vacant hours to get rid of the intolerable weariness of unemployed existence-to kill the sense of apathy and ennui which is killing them. I do not
believe that an unemployed man, however amiable and otherwise irreproachable, ever was, or ever can be, really
happy. Our work is our life; show me what you can do, and I will show you what you are.
I have spoken of love of one's work as being the best preventive of merely low and vicious tastes. I will go further, and say I believe it is the best preservative against petty anxieties and the annoyances which arise out of indulged self-love. Men have thought before now that they could take refuge from trouble and vexation by sheltering themselves as it were in a world of their
The experiment has often been tried and always with one result. You cannot escape from anxiety and labour -it is the destiny of humanity. You may avoid taking part in the struggle of life but, by what seems to me a just and wholesome retribution, those who shrink from facing trouble find that trouble comes to them. The indolent may contrive that he shall have less than his share of the world's work to do, but Nature, proportioning the instrument to the work, contrives that that little shall be much and hard to him. The man who has only himself to please, finds, soon or late, and probably sooner rather than later, that he has got a very hard master, and the more excusable weakness which shrinks from responsibility has its own punishment too; for where great interests are excluded little matters become great, and the same wear and tear of mind that might have been at least usefully and healthfully expended on the real business of life is often wasted on petty and imaginary vexations such as breed and multiply in the unoccupied brain.
The Church in America seems for some time past to be giving a good deal of attention to missionary operations. Extended courses of services in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, and other States, are reported in the columns of the American New Church periodicals. These all seem to be more or less successful. The missionaries seem to experience no difficulty in obtaining attentive and usually interested audiences. Not unfrequently ministers of other Christian bodies are present, friendly discussions succeed the lectures, and on more than one occasion lectures in opposition have
been delivered. These appear, however, only to have increased the interest excited, and furthered the work they were intended to stop. The success of Mr. Brickman's labours at Allentown, Pennsylvania, is very remarkable. We give some of the particulars of this successful mission in his own words :About twelve months ago," says Mr. Brickman, “missionary work was commenced at Allentown, Pa., and the favourable report which appeared in the Messenger was so encouraging that all who read it must have felt sure of some good result in the future. I was invited to come and renew the good impression made, and to extend more specific instruction on the heavenly doctrines. I arrived at Allentown on the 23d of January, where the people waited with much anxiety for my arrival. Everybody met me with a cheerful face and wishes of success. Some opposition of the clergy had manifested itself after my departure last year, but it amounted to so little in the end that those who attempted it gave it up and became silent." Mr. Brickman continues his narrative by stating that the large court-house, capable of seating between six and seven hundred people, was secured for the services. "The opening discourse was given on Sunday, January 24th, before a full house, and from then till the last public discourse was delivered, on Sunday evening, the 21st of February, the number of hearers was never less, but sometimes many more; and sometimes, especially on the Sunday evenings, it was so crowded that a great many could not be accommodated, at least not comfortably." Twenty-one lectures and sermons were delivered.
Many persons were met and instructed by private lessons, and more than a thousand questions answered. "The ministers of various churches became alarmed, and the Presbyterian and the Episcopalian began their denunciations. against me, scolding the people for listening to me. The Presbyterian attacked Swedenborg from his pulpit, and then went to Ironton, eight miles from town, and there did the same. followed him to Ironton, and delivered two lectures on the life and character of Swedenborg, and on the four leading doctrines of the New Church. I took no notice of Mr Wood or his sect, but simply stated the truth, and left the
people to judge." The effect of this reply was good, and induced many to come into the New Church."
Mr. Brickman thus concludes his report:"It was now evident that the time had arrived for forming a Society. Some of the friends met, drew up a short constitution, incorporating in it the doctrines of the New Church, as printed in the Messenger, and called together the most reliable of the new receivers who had expressed the desire to form a Society. On Wednesday, the 17th of February, we met at Bohlen's Hall, when the meeting was called to order by Mr. Sweitzer. The object of the meeting being stated, a committee was appointed to report a constitution, when the document already drawn up was adopted, and the Society formed with twenty-six members, a number of whom had already been baptized by me. The Society, called "The First Society of the New Church of Allentown," then adjourned till Friday evening, when it met again at the same place. Sixteen new members joined, an address was delivered, and the Society solemnly instituted. The number had now increased to forty-two members, each of whom had solemnly promised to remain true to the Church to the end of his or her life. They adjourned to meet again Monday, the 22d of February, to listen to more instructions on the doctrines of the Church and the duties of its members, when again fifteen new members joined, and increased their number to fifty-seven nearly all of whom are married partners, and all in good moral standing in the community."
ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETIES OF THE NEW CHURCH IN LANCASHIRE.
The Societies in this part of the kingdom held an annual meeting at Easter. The meeting is arranged by the committee of the Manchester and Salford Missionary Society, and is usually attended by a number of the missionary preachers and other friends of the institution. The meeting assembles at 3 P. M., and occupies two hours in the discussion of some portion of the Word. Tea is provided at 5, and afterwards a more general conversation takes place. The meeting this year was held at Rhodes, near Manchester, and was attended by over eighty persons. The chair
was occupied in the afternoon by the Rev. R. Storry, in the evening by the Rev. Mr. Hyde. The subject discussed was the sending forth of the twelve disciples, as recorded in the tenth chapter of Matthew. The chairman briefly introduced the subject, by intimating what appeared to him a peculiar feature of the New Church-the marked interest in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures which induces her members to assemble from considerable distances to hear the opinions of her teachers on the subject selected, and inviting the remarks of the friends assembled. Addresses were delivered in succession by Mr. Larkin, Rev. J. Boys, Rev. W. Westall, Mr. Jon. Robinson, Mr. Wilson, and Rev. Mr. Hyde. It would exceed our limits to give anything like a descriptive account of the several speeches. One or two prominent features we may briefly intimate.
Mr. Larkin pointed attention to the distinction intimated in the first and second verses, between the titles of disciples and apostles. The Lord called unto Him His twelve disciples, but gives the names of the twelve apostles. They were disciples when called to the Lord to receive his instructions, and to be prepared for their great mission of evangelizing the world. They were apostles when they were sent forth on this mission. Rev. Mr. Boys dwelt on the fact that the Lord gave power to the twelve, and sent them forth to exercise the power they had from Him in preaching the kingdom of God, and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people. The Lord imparted this power, because He is the source of power, as to His humanity; into which, during his sojourn on earth, He took all goods and truths, and successively glorified and made it divine.
Rev. Mr. Westall introduced the miracles wrought by the apostles. These miracles, which were external, and objective, represented still greater miracles, which were internal and subjective. The miracles wrought by the apostles were seen by the eye of the body; the miracles wrought in the ministry of salvation were to be seen by the eye of the mind. They consisted in restoring the soul to spiritual health, and elevat. ing all its principles of faith and love to conjunction with the Lord in His humanity-the true and only fountain