« PreviousContinue »
other and to the world outside them. ministers and 9,249 members. Now In all but Western Polynesia the Gospel they reported, owing to the success has swept this heathenism away. ... realised by those new circuits, 93 minisBeautiful as were these lands by nature, ters and 10,521 members, being an culture has rendered them more lovely increase of 1,272 members. To sustain still. Everywhere the white chapel and and extend the missionary work under school have taken the places of the the care of the General Missionary heathen marai. The trim cottage which Committee, the total sum during the Christianity gave them peeps everywhere year which had been realised was from its nook of leaves. Land and £11,034., including Conference grants; people are Christian now. The victories and the balance of £2,820., made a total of peace have taken the place of war. of £13,854. The expenditure was Resources have multiplied, wealth has £12,313., leaving a balance of £1,541. begun to accumulate. Books, know- CONGREGATIONAL UNION.—The Conledge, order, and law rule these com- gregational body is professedly indepenmunities. Large churches have been dent of any general action on the part gathered, schools flourish, good men of the entire community, their theory and women are numerous.
of church government being that of the WESLEYAN MISSIONARY SOCIETY.-The entire independency of each congregareport of this society, the annual meeting tion. This theory is one incapable of of which was held on the 3rd of May, in perfect accomplishment. Small societies Exeter Hall, states that the Irish mission naturally look to larger ones for assisemployed 28 missionaries, and numbered tance. Ministers of commanding talents 2137 members. In the French mission exercise a large influence over extensive there were 29 ministers, and 1899 mem- districts, and the entire body has found bers. In Germany the society had 11 it desirable to institute a general assembly ministers and 1784 members. In Italy in which to deliberate on matters pertwo English ministers and one Italian, taining to the order, progress, and pros18 preaching places, 23 day-school perity of their societies, or, as they prefer teachers, 643 scholars, and 596 members. to designate them, churches. This asIn Ceylon and continental India the sembly meets twice in each year. The society employed 32 European mission- first meeting was this year held at the aries, 32 native, and 31 catechists, and Weigh-house Chapel, London, and comsupported 183 day-schools, attended by menced its session on the 12th of May. It 8025 scholars. In China the missionaries is the custom of the Union to elect the occupied two of the most important posi- chairman before-hand, and the proceedtions in the south and in the centre of the ings are invariably opened by an address empire. The missions in South Africa of usually considerable length and great occupied a vast country, extending from ability from the chair. This year the the Cape to Port Natal. The total chairman, Rev. Dr. Raleigh, selected as home and foreign receipts amounted to the subject of his address, “ Christianity £149,371. The income of the year and modern progress.” “We cannot covered the expenditure, and left a bal- fail,” he said, “to be aware—every ance of £4738. towards the reduction of educated person knows—that the present the excess of expenditure over receipts relations between things spiritual and of former years.
natural are, to say the least, uneasy ; PRIMITIVE METHODIST Missions.- that the mutual attitude is apprehensive This connexion, which was missionary in and distrustful ; that the notes of war origin, aim, and labours at home, in the even are heard,—words of warning, colonies, and abroad, had now 155,247 anger, pity, passing from camp to camp; souls within her pale, being an increase of the theologian ready enough, perhaps, to 844 members during the past year. The insinuate the charge of ungodliness total number of mission stations at pre- against the scientific or political fellowsent was 113; missionaries, 181; mem- labourer, in a case where a clear bers, 14,117. The general missionary argument addressed simply to the reason committee was organised in 1843, and of man for God and His truth would be during twenty years the total number of much more apposite and effectual; the circuits it had made in missions at home man of science ready enough on his part and in the colonies was 45, with 73 to put his theological brother, with his terms, distinctions, doctrines, up among benevolence.” In discussing the power the fossils, as a man who really has of these evidences, he combats the statenothing to say to the culture and pro- ment of Buckle, “ that the world is ingress, the hunger and thirst of a living debted solely to the intellectual, and not age." Dr. Raleigh seeks to offer, there at all to the moral principle in man, for fore, terms of conciliation and mutual all the progress it has hitherto made.” agreement between the conflicting And in the second part he gives an parties. These he seeks in the first eloquent description of some of the place by the mutual acceptance of the benevolent movements of the age, and acknowledged facts of science and of of the influence of Christianity on religion, the interpretation of these facts modern progress. being, to a large extent, left to the This address, expressed throughout individual judgment. The facts of in vigorous and eloquent language, was science are to be accepted by the teachers received on its delivery as an oracle, of religion, the facts of revelation by the and spoken of in the most laudatory teachers of science. Doubt necessitates terms. Its publication exposed it to inquiry and investigation, and cannot closer criticism, and its concessions and remain "honest doubt” where this is statements were not permitted to pass neglected. Another point of contact unchallenged. In a review in the “Engand ground of agreement is found in the lish Independent,” the reviewer objected “ abstract realm of law.” “Revealed to the statement that there are mistakes religion and natural knowledge meet in and errors in the Bible, and still more continuous agreement along the whole emphatically to the subordinating of the line of law. Modern science is a system apostolic epistles to the Gospel. of law. So is evangelical religion. The To these criticisms Dr. Raleigh thought invariabilities of nature are matched by it necessary to reply; and in a letter to the regularities of grace.” In the dis- the editor of the English Independent” cussion of this part of his address, the he says, in reference to his statements speaker insists on the action of fixed laws respecting the Bible—“I have come to in the incipiency, dawn, and progress of think that I might have said something the regenerate life. “Metaphysically like this. When speaking of the agency considered, there must be, in each case, of “fallible men,' I might have said a turning point, a moment of decision, and perhaps, all things considered, I known or unknown to the person. But ought to have said—that, despite the it still is true that the beginnings of all errors and mistakes' which are natural, life are hidden from us. We know not and, without continual miracle, inevithe way of the spirit. What we observe table, there is yet an infallible, or at any is this, that life-even spiritual life in rate a certain and sufficient communicasuch cases—comes by law.” And he tion to the world of the mind and will concludes this section in these words :- of God.” But the reviewer's gravest “My brethren, I am increasingly per- objection related to doctrine, and to this suaded that the dispensation of the Dr. Raleigh devotes the principal portion Gospel is not a system of excitements of his letter :--"My reviewer,” he says, and surprises, and mysterious prefer- “takes ground which I cannot take, ences, and selections of some who are which I regard, in fact, as logically taken from others who are left; but destructive alike of Protestant liberty that,' as a system as a rational and and rational faith. He says I have spiritual system of truth and influence- ‘made a somewhat vain expenditure of it is the meet instrument of Him who needless concessions, in order to win is no respecter of persons,' who men who ought to be encountered with desireth not the death of any sinner,' the demand for submission to Divine
who will have all men to be saved, and authority.' I can only stand in astonishto come to the knowledge of the truth."" ment on reading such a sentence. What
Other grounds of agreement are found is the Divine authority here, and where in “ the whole realm of natural ethics, does it lie? In the Book ? or in one's full of powers, instincts, sensibilities, own particular interpretation of the which are all operating in the direction Book? I may be wrong, but the writer of human advancement,” and in “the really seems to say the latter, at least region of social sympathy and practical by implication ; for suppose some of the men thus challenged should say to him, Nothing remains, therefore, but the con• We take the Book, but we give it our trary rule: which is, that the temporal own interpretation, which differs consi- power be subservient to the spiritual : derably from yours: are we submissive just as the body is to the soul. It is to Divine authority?' As I understand, necessary, therefore, that he who poshe would answer—No, you must take sesses sovereign power to govern temcertain explanations along with the facts; porally should be directed by the Roman you must take the Epistle to the Romans Pontiff, who is placed by God at the head and Galatians in a certain sense, on of the church, and appointed supreme peril of perdition.' . . . As a matter of master and guardian of the truth, and of fact, we all know that such demands are the immutable rules of justice.” The made on every side, and, so far as I see, article goes on to declare, once more, no good comes of them. I am very sure that the Roman Pontiffs have pronounced they are utterly inexpedient in the case "all liberty of public worship, liberty of in hand. Is not this the very tone that the press,” to be “madness, poison, pesis so justly offensive to men of culture ? tilence;" that nothing of the kind could What can we do, after all, but set forth exist which was not in itself "an imthe truth as we understand it, with all moderate, pernicious, and deadly thing." confidence as those who have unwavering Such is still, then, the spirit of the faith in it?” And he concludes his Papacy. That it is losing its hold on letter in these words—" If it is meant the minds of culture and progress, in the that the Puritan standpoint is to be ours, nations which have been long subject to without variation or adaptation to living its sway, is becoming more and more men and present needs, I can only say manifest. The following remarks, on that I believe this would be on our part this subject, occur in the report of the tantamount to giving up the England of EVANGELICAL CONTINENTAL SOCIETY. the future, in which, if we are wise and. Ten years ago the brethren in France ready, we may play so great a part.” were greatly hindered in their work by
ROMAN CATHOLICISM.—The predomi- the opposition of government officials ; nant feature of the Papacy is the love of last year they enjoyed full liberty to dominion by the things of the church. make known the gospel within the That this spirit continues to live in her is inclosure of the Universal Exhibition, sometimes made strikingly evident. The and in the presence of the highest correspondent of the London “Guardian” authorities of the government they were furnishes an evidence of it, in an account enabled to carry on various evangelistic of a remarkable article in the “ Civilta labours. In addition to the good accomCattolica,” which may be regarded as plished, they found substantial guaranthe official doctrinal organ of the Papacy. tees for the liberty they now enjoy, and " A temporal prince,” says this authority, a good hope of increased liberty in the “may be sovereign, in a certain sense; future. Ten years ago religious liberty but it by no means follows from thence was very imperfectly understood in that his sovereignty is not subordinate to Continental Piedmont, and now it is the an authority of a higher order, such as right of all Italian citizens, Romans the spiritual power. Non est potestas excepted. The events of last year have nisi à Deo. (Rom. xiii. 1.) Gallicans clearly defined the rights of Protestants, and Royalists pervert the sense of this and the impartial administration of text, and apply it to the independence of justice in the case of the Barletta rioters the civil power. But such an error is has made it manifest that, so far as the refuted by the words that follow :-Que government and the legal authorities are · sunt potestates, à Deo ordinatæ sunt, and concerned, the statute which guarantees which the doctors of the church and the the rights of conscience will not remain greatest theologians have interpreted in a dead letter, and that the priests will the sense that there must be two powers, not be allowed with impunity to wage the civil and ecclesiastic, and that there war against those who accept the gospel must be relations between these powers. message and quit the Church of Rome. But it would be absurd to suppose that ... In Austria the power of the the ecclesiastical power should be sub- priest has been limited by constitutional servient to the civil, because that would government, and the declaration of one be to reverse the natural order of things. of the ministers of state, that all citizens are entitled to liberty in religious matters, service, and great interest is felt in the encourages the hope that the Protestants same by the teachers and pupils. We of that empire will speedily regain their have also a library of 360 volumes, for vigour, and shine as lights upon all the purpose of loaning books to inquirers, around them.
which is doing much good. A complete
set of Swedenborg's works in Latin and SAN FRANCISCO.—We have received a English was kindly presented by the communication from the secretary of the London Swedenborg Printing and Pubsociety of the New Church in the above lishing Society, through the instrumencity, from which we learn that Mr. John tality of Mr. Francis Hobler. There is Doughty, “a son of the late Rev. Charles also a small library connected with the Doughty, the first regular minister of Sabbath School, which we are enlarging the New York society, and who continued as fast as our means will permit. An actively engaged in the duties of the arrangement has been made with a ministry for twenty-six years, and until leading book establishment to keep a full the time of his decease,” had been supply of New Church works for sale. elected their minister, and ordained by Our church is capable of seating 300 them to the office of the ministry, apart persons, which, together with the ground, from the instructions or coöperation of cost 12,000 dollars, all paid for. It may the General Convention. An accom- be interesting to add that two of our panying document gives at length the most active male members commenced reasons for this action on the part of the their education at the New Church society; these reasons relating partly School, in Charles-street, Westminsterto the local circumstances of the society, road, when it was first started under as their distance from other societies and the superintendence of Mr. Granger, ministers of the New Church, and partly and one of our female members attended from peculiar views of church discipline the New Church at Shoemakers'-row, and the most appropriate modes of intro- then under the charge of the Rev. Mr. duction into the office of the ministry. Sibley. Into these particulars it is not necessary SWEDENBORG SOCIETY.—We have rethat we should enter in the pages of this ceived an interesting report of the magazine. The members of the New annual meeting of this society, which Church in England will always respect the crowded state of our columns comthe liberty of their brethren in America, pels us to postpone until next month. and will cheerfully leave to them the SCOTLAND.— VISIT OF REV.J.F.POTTS, adoption of such modes of ecclesiastical B.A., TO COATBRIDGE.—On Thursday order as may, in their judgment, be evening, May 14th, I visited Coatbridge, most conducive to their prosperity and delivered a lecture in the Temperance From the letter of the secretary we Hall,on “Swedenborg and his Doctrines.” learn that “Mr. Doughty commenced his This was the first of a short course of ministerial duties in January, 1867. lectures the National Missionary Society During the first year of his officiating, had arranged to be delivered there. The fifteen new members were added to the above title was the general name for the society, making its present membership course; the special subject on this fifty-four. Our usual attendance at occasion being * Jesus, the All in All." morning service, when he commenced, Coatbridge is an important and rising was from thirty to thirty-five ; it has town about ten miles from Glasgow, and now increased to from ninety to one on the line of the Caledonian Railway hundred and twenty-five, with every from Carlisle to Glasgow. Travellers indication of our eventually establishing from the south must well remember the a large and prosperous society. In striking spectacle of the rows of immense October and November last he delivered blast furnaces, which represent the manua course of Sunday evening lectures facture to which Coatbridge owes its rise. They were all well attended, and did Coatbridge is, in fact, the Wolverhampton much to build up our society. Our usual of Scotland, and those who are familiar attendance during those lectures was with the aspect of the "black country" from 175 to 250. We have a Sabbath of Staffordshire will easily form a very School of 42 scholars, which meets true conception of the character of this directly after the close of the morning new field of missionary operation. The
lecture had been well advertised in the acceptance. Earnest wishes were exlocal papers and by means of small pressed to me to go again in the autumn. posters, and the attendance was en- I much regretted that the effort could couraging if not numerous. Close at- not be at once followed up, and the iron tention was paid to the arguments hammered whilst hot; but it appears advanced, and after the lecture several that it is now too late, as the summer questions were asked in reference to festivities have already commenced. passages of Scripture which did not ap- However, it is to be hoped that the pear to harmonise with the New Church supply of tracts which are now doing doctrine of the Lord. I replied to these their quiet work in the town, will keep all at once, and made my reply final, lest the interest alive until one of our I should be drawn into a useless dis- missionary societies again can see its putation. On leaving home I had made way for further operations. up a parcel of books, besides the usual ST. HELIERS, JERSEY. — A course of supply of tracts. These were arranged Biblical lectures and discourses has been on a table near the door, and taken delivered at St. Heliers by Mr. Gunton, charge of by one of our friends, being extending from May 24th to June 9th. offered at trade prices. There were sold The course included six discourses on by this means—two copies of Noble's the three Sundays, and five week-day “Appeal,” one of Giles “Nature of evening lectures. The attendance at Spirit," and one “Gems from Sweden- these services was from 60 to 100. The borg.” The tracts were all gladly taken, “Jersey Express” gave four notices of and more could have been usefully given the lectures, all commendatory, and away if I had had them.
strongly recommending them to the I visited Coatbridge for the second public attention. The following, which time on Tuesday, May 19th, and gave a appeared the day preceding the comlecture on the subject, “Scripture in mencement of the course, could only Relation to Science.” On my way from proceed from a very friendly writer :Glasgow I stayed at Gartcosh, and re- ^ The importance of the questions to be mained there during the afternoon at the discussed in the course laid down in the house of Mr. Elvin, a New Churchman, programme-some of them being closely who is the manager of an iron and steel connected with those now shaking the rolling mill at that place. Gartcosh is existing Christian church in its very situated in the middle of that bare and foundations-should induce all thoughtundulating country on the east of ful persons, earnest in the pursuit of Glasgow, which is so rich in its sub- truth, and ready to accept it from whatterranean products, and the place con- ever quarter it may come, to attend this sists merely of the mill and those course of lectures and discourses, from connected with it. It was pleasant to which they cannot fail to derive new and find an intelligent New Churchman unexpected light on the momentous substationed at this quiet spot in a position jects to be treated, even if they cannot of so much influence, and evidently fall in with all the lecturer's conclusions." making the principles of the New Church The following notice appeared of the of practical value in their applications to first week's services, and was followed an important manufacture.
by similar notices of the succeeding disIn the evening I proceeded to Coat courses :-" The subject of the morning's bridge, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. discourse, Sunday, May 23rd, was "The Elvin and their eldest son, and found all Birth of the Lord Jesus. The disin readiness for the lecture. A good course was intended to show the personal audience assembled, which was a decided identity of Jesus with the Everlasting improvement upon the previous one; Father," (Isa. ix. 6.) and the true nature close and intelligent, and even kind of his work, which was, the lecturer attention was paid to the lecture, and at contended, to save his people, 'not from its close a few questions were easily the wrath of another Divine Person, but replied to. I was told by our friends from their sins. The subject which resident there, that the presentation of had been selected for the evening's disour cardinal doctrine on my previous course awas ! The parable of the Sheep visit to Coatbridge had excited much and the Goats.' (Matt. xxv. 21, to the inquiry, and had found a good deal of end.) The profound attention paid to