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script, then proceeded with his address. He said, as before, that he did not come there to attack, or speak about persons, but about principles, and as a brother who had himself had doubts, endeavouring to rescue those willing to be rescued from doubts upon the subjects he had brought before them. The subject of his lecture that evening was 'Scepticism and God.' He mentioned on a previous occasion the necessary difficulty there must be in any thought about God. The very endeavour of the mind to encounter this great conception had in itself a tendency, as it were, to overwhelm them; the mind could not reach up to the vastness of it. Had they,
attended the schools. This to a certain extent was true, but from his long experience he could testify that it was neither the texture of the jacket nor the pecuniary character of the home of the boy that aided in his school success. The great body of his pupils was and always had been children of the poor labouring class, and the greatest successes of his school had been achieved by the poorest of his pupils. The plans of instruction in the school well worked out had wrought the success of the school, and wherever these plans had been so worked success had been the result. Wigan, Oldham, and Middleton were proof of this, for the masters of these schools had been reared from therefore, no conception of God? He childhood in our school. He was thankful to them for this handsome and beautiful recognition of his humble services. These things for his services were the farthest thought in his head. He hoped, if he understood himself at all, that he worked from a pure and earnest love of education. It never was a thought with him, What can a child pay? but, What can he do? This he must learn to do even if the child could not pay a penny for it. He had always had a good committee who had always paid him well. Therefore this present was no make-up for wages that should have been paid, but he doubted not that it was a real and an affectionate souvenir, and as such he accepted it with deep gratitude, and with all his heart.
BATH.-The Rev. T. Child has recently given a course of three lectures, on Scepticism and Belief, in the Guildhall of that city. The subjects discussed were, Scepticism and the Popular Theology," "Scepticism and the Bible," and "Scepticism and God." The lectures were distinguished by marked ability, and excited considerable interest. Mr. Isaac Pitman, who presided, introduced the lecturer and the several subjects with appropriate remarks, lengthened reports appeared in the local papers, and Mr. Pitman has since published these reports in tract form at the small charge of 3d. per dozen. The spirit in which the lectures were conceived, and which was well sustained in their delivery, appears in the opening of the third lecture, from which we give the following extracts: "The rev. lecturer, who, as is his custom, spoke without the use of manu
thought they had, as He should strive to show. But if any one for one moment thought that because he (the lecturer) had granted the difficulty in the conception of God, he had conceded anything like insuperableness in this difficulty, he thought such a one would possibly find himself very much mistaken. He believed that the person who was best able to speak of ultimate things, and of the highest things, was he who felt them most. It was impossible for any man to think about God and not in some measure to realize the vastness of the problem; inherent difficulties were in the very nature of the case. would quote to them the words of Mr. W. R. Greg, 'The difficulty of conceiving the eternal pre-existence of a personal Creator I perceive to be immense; the difficulty of conceiving the origin and evolution of the actual universe, independently of such personal Creator, I should characterize as insuperable.' And that, he (the rev. speaker) thought, was precisely how the case stands; it might be difficult to conceive of God, but it was simply insuperable to think of this world as it is without some agent, some intelligent pre-existent Mind which brought it to what it is." In treating his subject Mr. Child took both sides of the question. The side of the sceptic was given in the words of those whose names and writings are at present most prominently before the public. "The first point," said the lecturer, "that occurred to him was the denial by the sceptic of any intuition in him of a God or of any conception in him of such a Being. Let them look at the point, and he would again read them
a sentence showing how the matter arguments upon the one side or the stands; he was reading from 'The Free- other. As Wordsworth says, 'The wish Thinkers' Text-Book :' The atheist is father to the thought,' and lest any says, 'I know not what you mean by sceptic should think he (the lecturer) God; I am without idea of God; the dealt unfairly with him by saying that word "God" is to me a sound conveying his (the sceptic's) wish was that there no clear or distinct affirmation. I do should be no God, he would speak on not deny God, because I cannot deny the other side, and be honest and say that of which I have no conception, and that he as a theist had a decided wish the conception of which, by its affirmer, that there should be a God, and his is so imperfect that he is unable to define thought about God precisely came out it to me.' Here, then, was the sceptical of his wish, and, whether he knew it or position: he not only says he has no not, the sceptic's thought that there intuition of God, but no conception of was none, precisely came out of his wish God. First of all, in regard to an also. Our thought must be the product intuition of God, let him ask whether it of our wish. Let atheists take this to be quite true that a man-even a sceptic heart." With equal clearness and point -could divest himself of such intuition? Mr. Child discusses a number of imporBy 'intuition' was meant 'an hereditary tant particulars connected with his aptitude of the mind,' and whatever general subject, sustaining his argument direction it took this definition would fol- by the admissions of those who were low it. They might define intuition, there- not contending for the great truth he fore, to be, as he had said, 'the hereditary was seeking to establish. The lectures aptitude of the mind.' Now sometimes were well suited to the requirements of it happened that a man inadvertently the times, and could not fail to leave a spoke out from this intuition without salutary impression on the minds of knowing he was doing so; in the force and those who heard them. hurry of his argument he would bring out something which inevitably pointed to a deeper fact than he would acknowledge. He thought he had a case in point. The book he was now going to quote from was by Mrs. Besant, and was entitled 'My Path to Atheism.' She writes, "A command to persecute must be either right or wrong: if right, it is the duty of Christians to obey it, and to raise once more the stakes of Smithfield for heretics and unbelievers; if wrong, it can never have come from God at all, and must be blasphemously attributed to him.' He wanted to know how Mrs. Besant knew that. If she knows, thinks, or believes there is no God, how does she know what is blasphemy in regard to God? How can she take upon herself to say, this, that, or the other thing is blasphemy when she tells us just before that she has no conception of God at all, and knows nothing of the matter? How, then, does the atheist get out of this difficulty-that he or she is here speaking out of that very instinct or intuition which they in other words deny. The statement that it would be blasphemous to say so and so about God was a judgment concerning God. They knew very well that if they wished a thing to be true or untrue they could soon find
DERBY.-The anniversary services in connection with this place of worship were held on Sunday, December 8th. The Rev. J. Ashby, the resident minister, was the preacher on the occasion. There was a good attendance both morning and evening. In the evening the minister chose for his subject "The Life-giving Waters which issued from under the Threshold of the Sanctuary" (Ezek. xlvii. 1). In his opening remarks he observed that God's revelation to mankind assumed many forms; now it took the form of history and narrative, then of prophecy and psalm, and again of dreams and visions, all these methods being necessary to give fulness and completeness to the unfolding of Divine truth. The writings of the Prophet Ezekiel had been supposed by some to be the least interesting and instructive of the Old Testament records. But this vision of the holy waters, at all events, must be regarded as both interesting and instructive. To the prophet's mind, doubtless, this vision would image the abundant blessing which might yet be realized by the faithful Jews who were then in captivity. The stream ran from the temple, because every Israelite knew that if faithful to the rites of the temple all
would be well with him. From the collections of the day amounted to temple flowed, like these waters in £10, 16s. 9d. Ezekiel's vision, the stream of com- On Christmas Day service was held mercial prosperity, of agricultural fruit- in the church, which was tastefully fulness, and of domestic, social, and decorated for the occasion. According national wellbeing. But the Divine to a resolution passed by the Committee, teaching involved in this vision was the Christmas tea and social meeting grander and more universal than this. was held on Thursday evening, DecemIt was for those who "were not Jews ber 26th. The arrangements, decoraaccording to the flesh, but according to tions, etc., were intrusted to the young the spirit, whose praise is not of men, people of the Society, and were of an enbut of God." The waters issuing from tirely successful character. A capital the holy place denoted that the princi- programme was provided, and it was ples of love and wisdom descended from gone through to the satisfaction of the Lord, who filled the heavens with all present. The Christmas meeting light and glory, and the Church on of 1878 will be one long remembered earth with life and fertility. The vision for its cordiality, genuine good feeling, was further prophetic of the progress of and real enjoyment. Many generous Divine truth among men. The waters friends gave trays for the tea, which, were said to proceed from the house, or with the sums realized at the tables the temple, because this was representa- and the entertainment, amounted to tive of the real dwelling-place of the nearly £11. The Committee has deterLord, which was the Church, being com- mined to place offertory boxes at the posed of all those who acknowledge the entrance doors of the church, so as to Word, and sought to obey the Lord in afford all the members of the congrega all things. The forefront of the tion the opportunity of making weekly house toward the east" signified that contributions for the support of the the true Church looked continually to- Society. ward the Lord, who is "the dayspring," or the east. The threshold" of the KEARSLEY. -The members of the door of the house typified the lowest church, in consideration of the prevailmeans provided for the admission of ing distress in Kearsley and the neighmankind into the Lord's Church, even bourhood, arranged to give a free tea to the human nature which Jehovah as- poor children and others in distress on sumed in the world. The Lord Him- Saturday last. During the week nearly self declared that He was the door by 700 free tickets had been distributed. which if any man entered he should be The large room was beautifully decosaved. Thus the waters coming from rated, all the windows being curtained, under the threshold were representative giving the appearance of a huge drawingof those lowest Divine truths which pro- room. Here 600 sat down to tea, while ceeded from the Lord, such as the com- in the adjoining infants' room about 160 mandments in the letter of the Word, of were accommodated, ladies of the conwhich it was said, "They are your life." gregation presiding at the various tables. As these waters caused "everything Teachers and Sunday scholars to the to live whithersoever they came," the number of 50 admirably performed the "living waters," so often spoken of in duty of waiters. The whole of the arthe Bible, were those truths which rangements reflected the highest credit flowed from the Lord through the Church upon the members of the New Church, into the world, and which preserved who originated and generously carried therein all that was truly living. The into act their charitable feelings. After truth existing in the minds of indivi- the tea a public meeting was held, at duals filled with spiritual life was the which it was estimated that not fewer great healer of the world's afflictions than 1000 people were present. The Rev. and sorrows. By the reception of these P. Rainage, the minister of the church, truths human society would be elevated occupied the chair. He was supported and quickened, and men would enjoy by the Rev. W. Hewgill, M. A., Rev. "the days of heaven upon the earth." J. F. Munro, and later in the evening The choir sang the anthem "Glorious the Rev. C. Lowe of Kearsley Moor. is Thy Name" in a most pleasing man- Mrs. Fletcher and Mrs. Grimshaw were ner at the evening service. The also accommodated with seats on the
platform. The proceedings were commenced by singing the hymn "There is a land of pure delight," the Rev. J. F. Munro leading in devotion.
The rev. chairman, as representing the donors of the free tea, gave a hearty welcome to all present, and trusted that they would spend a very pleasant evening together. The tickets had been distributed to people of all churches, and people of no church. It had been their special desire, however, to reach the latter class. They had also invited ministers of all denominations to meet them, and in this they had given an example of that broad charity which was a marked feature in the faith they professed. Their earnest desire was to see them all happy, but they knew that there could be no happiness without goodness, and no genuine goodness without communion with God, from whom all goodness came. They had heard a great deal about bad trade and consequent distress, and it was not uncommon to lay the blame of all this upon God. He would like to impress them with the higher and truer belief that "God was love," and that all the misery in the world was the outcome of sin. They had broken the great laws of moral and spiritual health, and they were suffering in consequence. If they wanted to enjoy physical health they must obey the laws of health; and so if they desired to attain spiritual health they must obey the laws which God had given them in His Holy Word. During the evening pleasant and appropriate addresses were given by the ministers present and some influential laymen. The speeches were interspersed with music by the choir, and the fragments remaining after the feast distributed to poor families in the neighbourhood.
KEIGHLEY.-This Society, one of the oldest in the Church, though but little known, has recently received a stimulus by the visit of the Rev. John Presland, who delivered two lectures in the hall of the Mechanics' Institution on the evenings of December 18th and 19th. The first of these was upon "Heaven, Hell, and the Intermediate State," the chair being occupied by Rev. J. R. Rendell of Bradford. The audience listened with earnest attention to the very able exposition of the doctrines on this subject, and at its close
some rather spirited questioning fol lowed. The lecturer replied in a highly satisfactory manner, and a vote of thanks to the chairman terminated the meeting. The second lecture was rendered more attractive to the general public on account of the Congregationalist minister, the Rev. A. B. Morris, having consented to preside. "The Second Coming of the Lord" was its theme, and a most eloquent elucidation of that subject was delivered. The chairman had intimated that he did not approve of discussing religious subjects on public platforms, and that questions would not be permitted. Although this might have displeased some who came to dispute, it did not hinder the audience from manifesting their ap preciation by hearty applause. A vote of thanks to the lecturer was passed by acclamation, replying to which the Rev. John Presland enlarged upon the kindly spirit manifested by the chairman in occupying that place, which proved that he recognised that Christian charity was broader than all the differences which might distinguish his denomination from ours, and concluded by moving a hearty vote of thanks. his response the chairman said he need not hesitate to admit that he had for several years past been a reader of Swedenborg, and that he had the greatest respect alike for the man and his writings, and he thought that if people would read him they would be greatly benefited. The effort was a most decided success, the numbers present being between 300 and 400, and proving conclusively that the town presents a good opportunity for increased activity among the friends.
LONDON (Dalston).-The annual meeting of this Society was held in the Albion Hall on Monday, January 13th. Tea was provided, and largely attended, by the members and friends of the Society. The chair was taken at seven o'clock by Mr. S. B. Dicks, the leader of the Society. The reports of the Society's doings during the past year were very satisfactory. Fourteen new members have been added, and after deducting the names of those who, by removal or from other causes, do not now attend, a net increase of ten remains, the total number of members now being fifty-one, in addition to which a class
of eight junior members meets regularly friend. Loud and prolonged cheering under the tuition of Mr. Dicks. The followed when Mr. Jobson rose to thank treasurer's report was also very satis- the friends for their beautiful gift. He factory, as, notwithstanding the Society's assured them that he did not desire it largely increased expenditure in its new of them, neither did he consider himself place of worship, there remains a balance more worthy to be singled out for this in hand of nearly £6. The leader's honour than others who had worked report, and that of the superintendent perhaps harder than he had done. Still and treasurer of the Sunday-school, were he thanked them very heartily for their equally cheering, but perhaps the most kindness, and assured them that if anysatisfactory of all was that of the thing he could do would in any way librarian and book-steward, Mr. Pracy. help forward the good cause they all had Upwards of 2000 books, magazines, and at heart he should be delighted to do other New Church publications (tracts it. The meeting, which was of the most not included) have been sold by him in agreeable and harmonious character the Society during the past year, in throughout, was brought to a close about addition to which a large number of the 10 P.M. Silent Missionaries and other books were sold by him at the week-night lectures given under the auspices of the Missionary and Tract Society. It is hardly necessary to say that he was unanimously re-elected to the office for the ensuing year. The principal officers of the Society were re-elected, and the hope was cordially expressed that they might long be spared to continue their good and useful work on the Society's behalf. The pleasantest feature of the evening was the presentation to Robert Jobson, Esq., of a testimonial of the affectionate regard felt for him by every member of the Society. The gift consisted of a handsome walnut inkstand ornamented with bronze figures, silver-mounted ink-bottles, and a silvermounted pearl-handle penholder containing a gold pen. In the centre was a silver plate, on which was inscribed the following: "Presented to Robert Jobson, Esq., by the members and friends of the Dalston Society of the New Church, January 1879." In making the presentation on behalf of the Society Mr. Dicks alluded to the fact that from PAISLEY.-The annual soiree of the the time when at its first meeting in school connected with the church was 1870 Mr. Jobson took the chair, down held on the 26th of December. The to the time when they were now proceedings commenced at half-past five assembled with him again in their o'clock, when tea was served in the hall midst, Mr. Jobson had, through evil to one hundred and fifty children, and report and good report, in the face of between fifty and sixty visitors and difficulties that would have completely friends. After tea an adjournment was baffled a less noble heart, steadfastly made to the church, where after a hymn adhered to the pursuit of the end he had had been sung, "Let us with a gladin view, the establishment in that part some mind," etc., and an address had of London of a strong and useful Society been delivered by Mr. Allbutt on the of the Lord's New Church. Through- subject of "Christmas," the gas was out the whole of that time Mr. Jobson turned down, and a magic-lantern enterhad been their most genial counsellor, tainment commenced for the benefit of generous benefactor, and stanchest the young folks by Messrs. T. Downes
NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE. - The Nun Street New Church Society held its New Year's social meeting on the evening of the 2nd January in its room at 23 Nun Street, which has been recently renovated and decorated, the minister, Rev. W. Ray, presiding. After singing and prayer the opening address was given by the chairman, treating of his personal history and introduction to the New Church thirty-six years ago, besides information regarding the history of the Newcastle Society, chiefly extracted from minutes of the Conference 1806-1825, and many interesting particulars and arguments, encouraging the meeting to persevere in the work of building up and extending the Lord's New Church in this town. Very appropriate addresses also were given by Messrs. Lynn, Jewitt, Bowman, and Buss. At intervals pieces of instrumental and vocal music were excellently rendered, and a pleasant and instructive meeting closed with the benediction.