« PreviousContinue »
welcome guest. That all, however cultivated in the knowledge of truth, who consulted you on points of difficulty, were sure to have assistance afforded them
In many early instances, societies bave had to regret the pernicious effects, either of a misguided zeal, unattempered by knowledge and prudence, or of hasty, but well intended efforts, unsupported by the earnestness and endurance so necessary to the accomplishment of their object.
In you, Sir, the qualities called for in a minister have been so happily blended and attempered, that if we have not risen in numbers so rapidly as might appear to sanguine minds desirable, our progress has yet been steady, and freed from the mischiefs usually attendanl upon overstrained or premature exertions.
If this address should be by some deemed to speak more than the language of truth and soberness, we appeal to our assembled friends-we appeal to all who have the pleasure to know you-we appeal to your whole life and conversation for an answer :-we feel, Sir, one and all, that we have yet but faintly and imperfectly given expression to our sentiments.
If it be urged that the value of our offerings bear no proportion to the services performed, or the terms in which we have endeavoured to express our obligations ;-if it be suggested that either the one or the other have been delayed too long :-to all this we must plead guilty. But, Sir, we know you will not estimate these tokens by the scale and balance, but by the affection aud gratitude which suggested them. Nor are we in any danger of being mistaken in the language of this address :--the public services of every sincere man are seldom over-rated, and the least reward he can expect is the acknowledgment of public gratitude; and we deem it as criminal to withhold the acknowledgment of an obligation, as to withhold from our neighbour the courtesies of civilizcd society, or his just and legal claims upon our property.
If the protraction of so clear an act of justice has, in this case, left at any time a doubt on your mind, Sir, of our sense of obligation for your services; if it should at any time have lessened the pleasure of your labours,—we may yet rely on your attributing it to any cause but the want of inclination.
Accept then, Dear Sir, these testimonies as remembrances of our affection, esteem, and gratitude; and may the assurance of our attachment cbeer and animate your futnre labours amongst us!
May the bonds of union betwixt you and this society become daily strengthened by the participation of those blessings which are the fruits of sincere worship! May we individually strive more and more to realize in ourselves, and in all the relations of life, those bigh privileges which such an union is so eminently calculated to confer! May you, Sir, enjoy an increase of every present aud future good! and may your health and use. fulness be spared to us for many, many years.
REPLY. [Mr. Jones
his reply to the above address, gave an interesting narrative of the manner in which he became first acquainted with the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem; and, of various circumstances relating to the formation of a New Church Society in Manchester, and subsequently the building and government of the Church in Peter Street; and then proceeded as follows:]
MY DEAR FRIENDS,—It bas, you are all aware, been a long establised maxim, that the connexion between labour and its reward, is so intimate, that it cannot be broken. The truth of this maxim I willingly admit, and therefore I have constantly been supported by an assurance of ultimate reward. But, my Christian brethren, the reward which I bave been so solicitous to obtain, which I long bave had, and still have constantly in view, is that described by our Blessed Lord, where he says, “Do good and lend hoping for nothing again, and your reward shall be great." The reward which I look for, is, the delight and blessedness which always accompany the exercises of charity, and which the Lord out of pure mercy gives to those that believe on Him, and who love and obey Him. This explana
tion will enable you to see, that your kindness has brought upon me, no small degree of embarrassment, for I scarcely know how to act, and yet I experienced, I must confess, much satisfaction on finding that my labours had received your approbation, and that you thought me worthy of such distinguished honour. However, I trust, through the Divine mercy, that instead of being elated, I shall be humbled in my own estimation; instead of being exalted,,I shall feel myself abased with a deep sense of my own unworthiness; and, that through Divine assistance, I shall be able to renounce in my own spirit, every tendency to claim any degree of merit to myself, on account of any good I may have done; and, to ascribe it solely to Him to whom all merit belongs.
In consequence of having been for so long a time intimately connected with this society, I have considered myself as identified with it, and have regarded it as my neighbour ; on which account I have felt real pleasure in serving it, and I believe I may truly say that the idea of receiving any recompenee from you has not at all entered my thoughts. It seems, bowever, that of late an opinion has begun to prevail amongst you, that on account of my long services, I had become entitled to some mark of your esteem and approbation. If by giving you the opportunity of conferring this upon me, I open a way for the out-flow of your kind and benevolent feelings, it is perhaps my duty to yield to your wishes. But when I was waited upon by a deputation from your committee, announcing to me what you intended to do, I expressed my reluctance, and consented to the proposal made, chiefly because I feared that by withholding my consent, I might occasion some degree of pain and disappointment to their generous feeling ; but I do assure you that had I known in sufficient time what was intended to be done, I would have done all in my power to have prevented it. For, you all well know, it is one of the leading doctrines of our Church, that man, in doing good to his neighbour, should do so, not from himself, but as of himself, from the Lord. It may perhaps seem strange to some, but true it is, that instead of supposing that you were indebted to me for what has been done, I have experienced in my own mind a feeling of obligation towards“ you, for having thought me worthy of becoming your instructor and guide ; and, I am sure there is not an individual now before me, who, if he knew the pleasure it affords me, to communicate to him the knowledge of spiritual truths from the Word of the Lord, would, at any time absent himself from public worship, except on occasion of indispensable necessity.
With respect to these splendid presents which are now before me, I wish it to be distinctly understood, that I lay no claim to them, neither do I accept them on account of my own personal merit ; but if you will permit me to consider them as tokens of your high veneration for the ministerial office itself; and, will further permit me to regard them as a free-will-offering, which you desire to make, as a testimony of your warm attachment to the heavenly doctrine of the New Jerusalem ; and also, with a further view, to testify your gratitude to our only Lord, for the blessings you enjoy under this New Dispensation ; on these conditions I hasten to accept them, with cordiality and thankfulness; and I trust as often as I see them, benceforward, they will be the means of exciting in my mind a more ardent desire to serve yon, and to do you good, according to the utmost of my ability. I now beg leave to conclude, by expressing my fervent hope, that both you and I may henceforth continuc firm in our attachment to the truth, and in our joint endeavours to reduce it to practice ; for then, the Lord will love us, and manifest Jimself to us, and finally receive us into His kingdom, and give us the felicities of eternal life.
HUDDERSFIELD. The New Jerusalem Temple at Dalton, near Huddersfield, continues to be well attended, every sitting being let. · It might naturally be imagined that this success would excite the opposition of those who do not believe that the New Jerusalem is now descending from God out of heaven. To remove the prejudice which mere calumny has excited, Mr. George Senior has, in conjunction with the Manchester New Jerusalem Printing Society, printed the Letter prefixed to the English translation of the Universal Theology of the New Church, written by the late Rev. Thomas Hartley, M. A. Rector of Winwick, Northamptonshire, and addressed to the Rev. John Clowes, M. A. Rector of St. John's, Manchester, on the CHARACTER and WRITINGS of Emanuel Swedenborg: to which is added the Letter of E. S. in reply to Mr. Hartley's request to know something of his family and connexions. To those of our readers who have not seen a copy of Mr. H.'s Letter, the following extracts will no doubt afford pleasure, as they were written by a clergyman of the Church of England, who was personally intimate with the Hon. E. Swedenborg
“The great Swedenborg was a man of uncommon humility, and so far from aflecting to be the head of a sect, that his voluminous writings in Di. vinity continued almost to the end of his life to be annonymous publications ; and I have some reason to think that it was owing to my remonstrance to him on tbis subject, that he was induced to prefix his name to this his following last work: He was of a Catholic spirit, and loved all good men in every Church, making at the same time all candid allowance for the innocency of involuntary error; but as he found bimself obliged to point out the false doctrines in the several churches with an impartial freedom, it must be expected that his writings will meet with opposition from bigots in all churches.
"Our Author ever kept the Holy Scriptures in his view, they were his Light and Guide, his Shield and Buckler on all occasions; his reasonings are grounded on their authority, and he is abundantly copious in the proofs he draws from them in support of whatever Doctrine be advances: On this foundation he builds, and a surer can no one lay; he expounds the lively oracles by the harmonizing sense of their different parts, and opens their spiritual meaning, like the Scribe instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, and of this he has in particular given us satisfying evidence in his exposition of the Apocalyse : And yet let it be remarked here, that bowever high he stands in the character of the enlightened Divine, however zealous he appeared for Truth and the instruction of his brethren ; and lastly, however self-denying in bis own particular, as to gratifications and indulgences, even within the bounds of moderation, yet nothing severe, nothing of the precisiau appeared in him; but on the contrary, an inward serenity and complacency of mind were manifest in the sweetness of his looks and outward demeanour; and so far is he in his writings from affecting any stoical stiffness or severity, that in several parts of them be allows to Chris. tian liberty its fall scope, and no where censures social entertainments and amusements properly conducted.
“ It may reasonably be supposed that I have weighed the character of our illustrious author in the scale of my best judgment, from the personal knowledge I had of him, from the best information I could procure concerning him, and from a diligent perusal of his writings; and according thereto I have found him to be the sound divine, the good man, the deep philosopber, tho universal scholar, and the polite gentleman; and I farther believe that he had an high degree of illumination from the Spirit of God, was commissioned by Him as an extraordinary messenger to the world, and had communication with Angels, and the spiritual worlds, beyond any since the time of the Apostles ; and as such I ofter his character to the public, solemnly declaring that to the best of my knowledge, I am not herein led by any partiality, or private views whatever, being much dead to every worldly interest, and accounting of myself as unworthy of any higher character than that of a penitent sinner.”
The pamphlet from which we have copied the above extracts
: Mr. Senior has taken 300 copies, and the gentlemen of the Manchester New Jerusalem Printing Society, 700 copies; the whole are intended for gratuitous distribution, and we are confident that the candid reader will feel obliged to these gentlemen for this liberal and meritorious attempt to make known the genuine character of the illustrious Swedenborg. PROPOSALS FOR PUBLISHING A “NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH
SELECTION OF SACRED Music." We cannot question the pious nature and spiritual usefulness of sacred music in divine worship; it seems to be sanctioned by the practice of all ages. In the Lord's true church this practice should neither be discontinued nor injudiciously or indiscreetly performed. As we have now a standard selection of Hymns, it is desirable that we should have an appropriate Selection of Sacred Music, properly adapted to the Hymn Book. There are, undoubtedly, many valuable Tunes scattered abroad, of established worth, from amongst which an appropriate Selection might be formed, aided by many sound compositions that have not yet been in print; the whole to contain a sufficient variety of all kinds of metres, answering to those in the General Conference Hymn Book, to constitute a common standard musical treasury for the use of the whole church. The accomplishment of such an object as the above, has been some time in contemplation; considerable arrangements have been made, many tunes are in hand, both original and selected, and the choir of singers at the New Jerusalem Chapel, Accrington, Lancashire, are appropriating the best of them, in the first place, for their own practical use in public worship, and in the second, as materials for an anticipated work of the above nature. At next General Conference it is intended to lay the prepared Selection before that body, with proposals that a committee may be appointed by them to forward the work, and carry its publication into effect, upon a principle similar to that of the late Hymn Book Committee. In order that the above object, if possible, may in the most acceptable way be carried into effect, the friends of the church, choirs of singers, and societies throughout the kingdom, who may be in possession of sacred music of the above character, original or selected, are informed, that if careful
opies of such compositions, with names of composers, (when known) metres, with catch words here and there, when from the nature of the music they may be necessary, &c. be transmitted to the above choir, or to their secretaries, Mr. T. Pilkington, Church Street, Haslingden, or Mr. John Pickup, Accrington, free of expense, they will meet with due consideration, and if approved, will be placed among the materials for the contemplated “New Jerusalem Church Selection of Sacred Music."*
PLENARY INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES. The Editor of a highly respectable periodical publication intitled • We are requested to state that any communications relative to the above Work, made to the Rev. S, Noble, 15, Cross Street Hatton Garden ; to the Rev. T. Goyder, 11, Dartmouth also to Mr.J. Atkinson, secretary to the Manchester and Salford Missionary Institution ; and to Mr. J. Birchwood, 9, Bridgewater Street, Manchester, will be duly forwarded.
Street, Westminster, London, to the Rev. R. Jones, and Rer. D. Howarth, Manchester
“The Imperial Magazine,” in the Number for November last, reviewed the above Work, from which we make the following extract:
“ The Work, nevertheless, is written in an amiable spirit, and for the purity of his motive we give him the fullest edit. It is a work of much labour, and the writer has evinced powerful talents, great activity, and unwearied perseverance in prosecuting his researches. By his appeals to Scripture, to the testimony of early writers, and to arguments, he has satisfactorily proved, that many portions of Scripture contain both a literal and a hidden meaning, and that this belief was generally cherished in the primitive ages of the Christian Church.”
GLASGOW. By a private letter from Glasgow dated 13th December, 1825, which we have had an opportunity of seeing; we learn that the Sermons delivered by the Rev. D. G. Goyder, in October last, have been productive of much good, and that the Society are now enabled to raise between £60. and £70. per annum, which will be given to any person of acknowledged character and ability, who is willing to become their Minister.
FRENCH VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY. In pursuance of the orders of Louis the 18th, the Coquille sloop of war, was equipped at Toulon, in the beginning of the year 1822, for a Voyage of Discovery, having for its principal object the improvement of geography, and of the physical and natural sciences. The command of her was confided to Lieutenant Duperrey, who had accompanied Captain Freycinet's expedition. The Coquille sailed on the 11th of August, 1822. After having visited the coasts of Chili and Peru; the dangerous Archipelago, and various other groups of Islands in the vast extent of the Pacific Ocean; New Ireland, the Moluccas, New Holland, and New Zealand; the Archipelago of the Carolines, Java, and the Isles of France and Bourbon; the Coquille effected her return to France, and anchored in Marseilles Roads; having performed a voyage of circumnavigation, which lasted thirty-one months and three days, and during which she ran above twenty-five thousand leagues. The Captain and the officers of the Coquille manifested the greatest zeal in their researches. A number of maps and charts were drawn with the greatest care and fidelity; and various collections, in the three kingdoms of nature, as interesting for their novelty as for their bulk, have been sent to add to the riches of the Jardin du Roi. A commission having been appointed by the Royal Academy of Sciences, to examine and pronounce on the result of the voyage, Messrs. Baron Cuvier and Arago, the organs of the Commission, made a most favourable report of the benefits which science had derived from it, and bestowed the highest praises on the captain and his officers; all of whom have been promoted by his Majesty. It is very remarkable, that during this voyage of above three years in duration, the Coquille returned to port without the loss of a single man.