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children, principally by a former marriage, two only were permitted to remain; and if they were present in this assembly, I should not shrink from the duty of reminding them, that they had both been to him a cause of long and anxious solicitude. He experienced trials among those he numbered as his friends; trials in the societies where he has laboured; trials from bodily afflictions; for, owing to a constitutional disorder, which for many years attacked him with frequency and violence, "wearisome nights were appointed unto him." But we have every reason to believe that, ere this, he is proclaimed as the faithful minister come out of great tribulation, purified and prepared for a triumphant entrance into angelic felicity.
Never, O never, shall I forget the earnestness, with which, a few weeks previous to his removal, he exhorted me to be faithful to the great trust committed to my care. He took my hands and placed them between his own, weak and trembling as they were; and while the tears glistened in his aged eye, he said, "Ah, my young friend, your toils are just commencing, mine are about to close: be faithful: dignify your office by your conduct: and may the divine blessing sanctify your labours, and render them abundantly useful." I felt his benediction; I had a presentment it would be the last he would bestow: I was unable to reply. He appeared absorbed in meditation; and I silently added, "Gracious God, hear his prayer, and when thou tak est him to thyself, as thine upright servant, let, his mantle' be my inheritance, and let a double portion of his spirit be upon me.'”
The serenity and confidence with which he contemplated his latter end were truly remarkable: they shew the steady reliance with which he depended upon the truths of the New Jerusalem Church, and the great degree of his preparation for the heavenly inheritance. He has been instrumentally employed in "turning many to righteousness ;" and he is gone, where he "will shine as the stars for ever." His private virtues endeared him to his relatives and friends as a man and a Christian; and if any thing gave him painful sensations in his latest moments, it was the reflection, that he was about to leave a long-afflicted and beloved wife, who would, by his bereave ment, be subjected to the severest trials.
His departure was rather sudden, occasioned by a severe attack of the complaint before alluded to. On the Sabbath morning previous to his bodily decease, he was more than usually lively, and, had his strength permitted, felt more than usually desirous of meeting us again in solemn worship; for many months had passed since he had been capable of staying with us through a Sabbath morning's service. In the evening of the same day he was taken ill and on the Thursday morning following, the 3rd of August, 1826, he resigned his spirit into the hands of his Maker, at the advanced age of eighty-two years.
"BLACK is the sign of mourning," says Rabelais, " because it is the colour of darkness, which is melancholy, and the opposite to white, which is the colour of light, of joy, and happiness."
The early poets asserted that souls, after death, went into a dark and gloomy empire. Probably it is in consonance with this idea that they imagined black was the most congenial colour for mourning. The Chinese and the Siamese choose white, conceiving that the dead become beneficent genii.
In Turkey, mourning is composed of blue or violet: in Ethiopia of gray; and at the time of the invasion of Peru by the Spaniards, the inhabitants of that country wore it of mouse colour. Amongst
the Japanese, white is the sign of mourning, and black of rejoicing. In Castile, mourning vestments were formerly of white serge. The Persians clothed themselves in brown, and they, their whole family, and all their animals, were shaved. In Lycia, the men wore female habiliments during the whole time of their mourning.
At Argos people dressed themselves in white, and prepared large feasts and entertainments. At Delos they cut off their hair, which was deposited upon the sepulchre of the dead. The Egyptians tore their bosoms, and covered their faces with mud, wearing clothing of the colour of yellow, or of dead leaves.
Amongst the Romans, the wives were obliged to weep the death of their husbands, and children that of their father, during a whole year. Husbands did not mourn for their wives, nor fathers for their children unless they were upwards of three years old.
The full mourning of the Jews continues for a year, and takes place upon the death of parents. The children do not put on black, but are obliged to wear, during the whole year, the clothes which they had on at the death of their father, without being allowed to change them, let them be ever so tattered. They fast on the anniversary of his death, every year. Second mourning lasts a month, and takes place on the demise of children, uncles, and aunts. During that period they dare neither wash themselves, shave nor perfume themselves, nor even cut their nails. They do not eat in common in the family, and the husband and wife live separately. Slight mourning continues only for a week, and is worn on the decease of a husband or of a wife. On returning from the funeral obsequies, the husband, wearing his mourning habits, washes his hands, uncovers his feet, and seats himself on the ground, remains in the same posture, and continues to groan and weep, without paying attention to any occupation, until the seventh day.
The Chinese, when they are in mourning, wear coarse white cloth, and weep three years for the loss of the departed. The magistrate no longer exercises his functions, the councellor suspends his suits, and husbands and wives, as with the Jews, live apart from each other. Young people live in seclusion, and cannot marry till the end of the three years.
The mourning of the Caribbees consists in cutting off their hair, and in fasting rigorously until the body putrify; after which they indulge in debauches, to drive all sadness away from their minds.
Among certain nations in America, the nature of the mourning depended upon the age of the deceased. At the death of children the relations were inconsolable; while scarcely a tear was given to the aged. Mourning for children, in addition to its longer duration, was common, and they were regretted by the whole town in which they drew their first breath. On the day of their demise, persons dared not approach their parents, who made a frightful noise in their house, yielded to the most violent fits of despair, howled like demons, tore their hair, bit themselves, and scratched
themselves over the whole body. The following day they threw themselves upon a bed, which they watered with their tears. The third day they commenced their groaning for the loss of their child this lasted a whole year, during which neither father nor mother ever washed themselves. The rest of the inhabitants of the place, in order to evince their sympathy for the affliction of the parents, wept three times a day until the body was borne to the grave.
MANCHESTER MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
THE Tenth Report of the Manchester and Salford Missionary Society has been recently published, with the general contents of which we have been much delighted, especially with that part of it which states, that "several new Societies have been formed within the space of the last year, which will probably in a short time become a glory in the earth." The report contains fifteen sections, which are made up of extracts from letters received by the Missionary Committee from gentlemen engaged in promoting the spread of the heavenly doctrines by Missionary labours. The Report gives an account of the services of the following Ministers and Leaders, who have been engaged in the pleasing work of declaring the great truths of the New Jerusalem, viz. the Rev. J. Pownall, Rev. T. Pilkington, Rev. D. G. Goyder. Messrs. John Wild, Edward Lowe, R. G. Sheldon, and John Pickup. The exertions of these gentlemen cannot fail of being useful, and we trust that the divine blessing will accompany them in all their labours. It appears by the Cash Account, that there is a balance in the hands of the treasurer of £123. 8s. 3 d. The Report closes with the following very interesting
Ar the particular request of several Members of the New Church, resident in the country, and with the consent of the people assembled at the Annual Meeting of the Subscribers to the Missionary Society, the Committee have appended the following particulars of the Annual meeting of the Members of the various Societies of the New Church in Manchester and its vicinity, held on Whit-friday the 19th of May, 1826, for the purpose of mutual instruction and edification, and of becoming as a Christian community more closely united in brotherly affection.
Present at the Meeting: the Rev. Richard Jones, and the Rev. David Howarth; Messieurs Richard Boardman, Thomas Gee, Thomas Ogden, William Cordin, John Barlow, Ralph Harrison, and Edward Lowe, Missionary Ministers, and Leaders; and also Members from the Societies of Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Heywood, Radcliffe, Middleton, Ringley, Wigan, Ramsbottom, &c.
The assembly having unanimously called The Rev. DAVID HOWARTH to the Chair; the Meeting was opened in the usual manner, and the 60th chapter of Isaiah's prophecy was read; after which, Messieurs Richard Boardman, Thomas Rosthorn, Thomas Gee, Ralph Harrison, Thomas Ogden, Edward Lowe, and the Rev. Richard Jones, addressed the meeting on ths contents of the chapter, with considerable animation and effect.
Before the meeting was concluded, the Secretary of the Missionary Committee called the attention of those present to the fact, that although similar meetings had been held for about sixteen years, yet no minutes or records of the transactions relating to them had been kept. In order, therefore, that the recognition of such meetings should no longer be delayed, the following resolutions were put, and carried unanimously:
I. That the proceedings of this and all subsequent meetings be regu larly recorded in a book provided for the purpose.
II. That a Secretary be now appointed.
III.-That Mr. John Atkinson be requested to accept the office of Sccretary.
IV. That the Secretary be desired to ascertain, if possible, where and when the first and all succeeding meetings were held, up to the present year; and to insert the particulars thereof in the book of proceedings.
The Secretary will feel obliged to any person who will communicate to him any particulars relating to the preceding resolution.
The following Rules and Regulations having been read to the meeting, and afterwards each separately read, moved and seconded; It was resolved unanimously, that the same be adopted as the Laws by which all future meetings shall be regulated.
1. That the members of the various Societies of the New Church in Lancashire and its neighbourhood shall assemble annually on Friday in Whitsun Week, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon in the place of worship belonging to one of the Societies; and that a majority of the members present, to be decided by a shew of hands, shall nominate the place where the succeeding meeting shall be held.
2. That a President for the following meeting shall be chosen annually, who shall select some particular portion of the WORD OF GOD to be read and taken into consideration, of which the Secretary shall give due notice to the various Societies.
3. That on the President's being called to the Chair, the Secretary, or some person for him, shall read over a summary of the proceedings of the former meeting; after which a hymn shall be sung and the Lord's prayer be repeated.
4. That the President shall then read the portion of the Holy Word previously selected, and invite the members present to make observations thereon, allowing not more than fifteen minutes to each speaker.
5. That the business of the meeting shall be concluded at half past one, or not later than two o'clock, by the singing of a hymn, and a benediction of the President.
6. That no alterations shall be made to these Laws, except with the consent of a majority of the members present at an annual meeting, notice whereof shall have been given at a former meeting.
The next annual meeting was resolved to be held at Middleton: and the Rev. John Pownall was appointed the President.
DAVID HOWARTH, Chairman.
THE New Jerusalem Temple now building in this Town is expected to be ready for opening about January next. The workmen are now engaged in putting on the roof. It will be a neat and handsome building, much wanted in so large and populous a town, as it is not reasonable to expect any increase of the Church while the Society are confined to their present obscure place of worship. The Rev. T. Goyder, has lately visited Leeds, and after the Evening Service on Sunday the 17th of September last a collection was made in aid of the building. Any person disposed to assist the friends in Leeds in this good undertaking, may transmit their donations to the Rev. J. Gilbert, or to Mr. Greenwood, Organ builder, York Street, Leeds.
DEATH OF THE REV JOSEPH PROUD.
As soon as the news of Mr. Proud's decease reached the Society in Hull, they determined to shew that respect to his memory
which a grateful recollection of his past services for them, and his labours in the Lord's New Church demanded. He had been the Minister elect for the Society, during the time in which the suit respecting the chapel was pending in the Court of Chancery; and would have been the officiating Minister after it was re-opened if his age, and other circumstances had not prevented it. To testify their esteem, they put the pulpit into mourning for him, and a Funeral Sermon was preached on the Evening of Sept 3rd to a numerous congregation, by the present Minister, T. Wallworth, from these words, "While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praise unto my God while I have any being." In speaking from the text, the preacher noticed the resolution of those who are made spiritually alive, which is to praise the Lord;-that_true praise consisted in an acknowledgment of, and faith in, the Lord Jesus Christ as the only true God and Eternal Life, which leads to a confession of Him in his exalted character; and that the spiritual affection, understood by singing, is continued to the end of our natural life, and hereafter in the spiritual world, where we begin to have real being. In conclusion he considered the above qualities to have been eminently conspicuous in the character of the Rev. Minister, Mr. Proud, especially in the abundant labour bestowed in his Hymns and other poetical productions; and contended that the same determination to praise the Lord would actuate his substantial spirit in the everlasting realms of bliss.
The Doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church were, for the first time, announced to be preached in this place on Sunday, the 9th July last, by Mr. R. G. Sheldon of Liverpool. He preached at a friend's house in the morning to a congregation of about 60 persons, from Rev. xxi. 2. A gentleman present who never heard of the doctrines before, generously lent a place to preach in for the afternoon and evening, when Mr. Sheldon again addressed the people from Zech. xiv. 9, and Rev. xix. 9. about 120 were assembled in the afternoon, and 160 in the evening, Most of the hearers expressed themselves in terms highly satisfactory. The following extract from a letter, dated "Barnton, July 15th 1826," and addressed to Mr. Sheldon will show the reception which the doctrines met with in this village.—
"We have much pleasure in being able to inform you, after having made a general enquiry how the doctrines of the New Church, which you preached were received, that as far as we can learn, a general satisfaction has prevailed. The people are eagerly enquiring when you will come again;-you have quite gained their affections."
(Signed) Josiah Boyer.