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This arrangement could only exist while the number of members was comparatively small; yet it had an excellent effect. “ The fact that they were drawn together, not merely in public acts of worship, but in their social relations, seems to me,” says Mr. Reid, “to have contributed very largely to the degree of prosperity which the Society has enjoyed. Those who came into it seemed to come not with their bodies only, but with their souls as well, and to feel that there was an interior bond of union. Every new-comer was hailed with delight, and joyfully received into the little band, with no thought or inquiry as to his position in life.” The Boston Society “was the first to see the importance and propriety of providing amusements for the young under its own auspices and direction. It was seen that playfulness so natural to childhood and youth, with its pleasures, should not be suppressed, but regulated and governed ; and that it was the office of the Church, like a good mother, to do this work; and that if it were done rightly, their amusements and recreations would not be antagonistic but healthful to a religious life.”

Dr. Worcester was the son of a clergyman, and became acquainted with the writings of Swedenborg when he was a student at Harvard College; he was then nineteen. He became so much interested in these works that for the last two years, to use his own words, “my principal employment was in reading the ‘Heavenly Doctrines,' and in communicating a knowledge of them to my fellow-students, and I attended to my college duties no more than I was obliged to.” This continued to be one of his principal employments. “There appears to have been nothing for which Mr. Worcester was more remarkable from the start, and during his whole life, than his daily reading of Swedenborg, his thorough understanding of his teaching, and his .strict adherence to them in all his ministrations." The Boston Society was instituted in 1818, and Mr. Worcester was one of the members. The estimation in which he was held by his associates appears from the fact that he was at once chosen as their leader. In 1821 he was invited to become the pastor of the Society, and he was ordained in 1828. In 1854 he was elected an overseer of Harvard College ; and in 1856 Harvard University conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. He had been fifty years minister of the Boston Society, and nearly forty years President of the American Convention. He died in 1879 at the age of eighty-four.

The handsome volume, besides the biography of Dr. Worcester, gives some account of the first twelve members of the Boston Society, among whom we find Theophilus Parsons. It contains a portrait of Dr. Worcester, which strikes us as indicating a strong resemblance between him and our venerable friend Mr. Clissold at the same age.

The Lost TRUTHS OF CHRISTIANITY. Philadelphia : Lippincott & Co.

London : 16 Southampton Street, Covent Garden. 1880. This work is evidently written by a New Churchman, although he neither mentions the New Church nor Swedenborg, and only speaks

of Swedenborgians as one of the religious sects of the world. “The polytheist, the Buddhist, the Mahometan, the Jew, the Catholic, the Protestant, the Unitarian, the Swedenborgian, the deist, the scientist, have all different conceptions of the character of God and His relations to the soul; and any who are nearest the Divine truth will obtain the greatest illumination of mind, and may exhibit most clearly in the life the operations of the Divine Spirit.” If this list marks a natural gradation—for it does not mark an historical one—we “Swedenborgians” occupy a strange place, with doubtful means of forming conceptions of God that come nearest to the Divine truth. How those who reject revelation can attain higher conceptions of the Divine character than those who accept it, is difficult to imagine. But with all this, we can recommend the work as an excellent one, which is calculated to do much good.


the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. By EDMUND SWIFT, jun.

London: James Speirs. This little volume, issued by the Missionary Society, contains a statement of the whole theology of the New Church, and an account of all the theological works of Swedenborg. It is intelligently written and clearly expressed ; and is well adapted to a relatively large class of inquirers, who either have not the time or the inclination to read larger volumes.


TURNING back, turning back, leaves of memories' book,
Unturned for years, how strange and weird they look !
Some records seem smitten with mildew, decay;
Some bright and clear, as written yesterday;
And some, like far-off dreams, pale pencilled lines,
As though some stranger's hand a page had traced
With outlined pictures, that so well defines
Repented acts that may not be erased.

Strange chronicle, whatever page I trace,
A lurid light or shade sweeps o'er thy face,
And other mem'ries, other lives infill
The part they played to thine, for good or ill;
Time's dust may cover memory's old archives,
And overlay the records written there,
But retrospection's wing fans o'er the leaves,
And all the jots and tittles reappear,

Mysterious tome, art thou that Book of Life ?
In which we daily pen our mortal strife,
With all that evil, vile, false, poor, and mean,
Or how we've nobly fought with foes unseen,
To win the battle, for the good and true,
With trembling hearts, lest our weak footsteps yield
And all the bitter strife begins anew,
To win but little on temptation's field.

Yes, each day's life's another page turned o'er,
Another step toward that curtained door,
Through which we pass to reap what we have sown,
To live the life we've loved and made our own :
There's nothing hidden, all must meet the light,
Resurgam underlies each line we trace,
Our actions are the pens with which we write,
They rise again to meet us face to face.

And when the last leaf's filled, what will it be?
Our own self-register : that none can see
But the Almighty Judge, He'll break the seals,
And read our life from what our book reveals

is ;
Oh! will it joy or grieve our Father's heart?
Will angels smile, or sadly fold their hands ?
As from His loving presence we depart,
Or join the throng of His angelic bands.

J. P.

There is one dower, God-bestowed, that must surely carry with it the heaviest responsibility that it is possible for a human being to possess, and it is this—the subtle power of influencing others. Consciously at times, unconsciously at others, this strange electric force exerts an irresistible power upon those with whom such a nature comes in contact; as the character deepens from the experience of suffering and the discipline of life, this power, intensified by the greater capacity for sympathy with others, gathers force and strength, and when life is ended, when the “spirit hath returned to God who gave it," the trace of that influence yet remains, lingering, like the sunset light of an evening sky, in the hearts and lives of others.-MRS. LEITH ADAMS.



succeed in the hands of M. Renan. To

a fulness of knowledge is united an The excitement and political conflict eloquence and charm of descriptive of the elections has not prevented a statement rarely equalled. The occamarked interest and crowded attendance sions of the growth of Christianity in at these lectures, which have been this the Roman Empire have seldom, if ever, year delivered by M. Renan, the dis- been so attractively presented. But tinguished French academician. The M. Renan mistakes the occasions of subject of the lectures was the Influ- growth for the cause of Christianity, and ence of the Institutions, Thought, and fails to recognise the secret power Culture of Rome on Christianity and the whereby it is sustained. An age of Development of the Catholic Church. utter confusion and corruptness could The lectures were introduced by the not originate the sublime conception of following reference to the foundation of the Christian faith, nor provide an these lectures and the value of a free adequate power to uproot the selfishness investigation of all truth : “More than and crime so fearfully prevalent at the thirty years ago the venerable Robert time of Messiah's Advent. The followHibbert left a legacy which was designed ing as a statement of the origin of to promote the progress of enlightened Christianity is utterly inadequate to Christianity, inseparable, in his view, the requirement of the case : - The from the progress of science and reason. origin of Christianity,” he said, was the Wisely interpreted, the foundation most heroic episode in the history of would be, in the hands of skilful humanity; and the world has never administrators, a point of departure for seen more devotedness, more love of the many 'conferences' on all the great ideal, than were exhibited in the hundred chapters of the religious history of and fifty years from the time of the humanity. For why,

said the pro- sweet vision of Galilee under Tiberius moters of the movement, “should intel- to the death of Marcus Aurelius. It lectual culture, which is good in every was from the bosom of Judaism that other department of thought, not be this extraordinary movement, to which good also in the domain of religion ? no other is comparable, went forth. Why should the pursuit of truth for But Judaism pure and simple could not its own sake, and without regard to have conquered the world ; some youthconsequences, be dangerous in theology ful and bold school sprung from its when it is commended in social and bosom was needed, having audacity natural science ? Truth needs no obse- enough to give up the greater part of quious, complaisant flattery; the only the Mosaic ritual and to extend itself true homage to be paid to it is to follow amongst the Greeks and Romans until it with a firm resolution to sacrifice the barbarians should be ready for it.” everything to its behests."

While cheerfully recognising the The value of truth is unquestionable; skill and ability with which M. Renan and of all truth, religious truth is the has handled his theme, and also the highest and most important. No sincere relation of much in the social condition friend of religion will deprecate the of Rome to the external progress of the most fearless investigation of its autho- Gospel, Christian writers are bound to sity and teaching. Every order of truth, reject the presentment of these facts as however, has its own peculiar evidence an adequate cause for Christianity. and rests upon its own basis of clearly. Thus the writer of a leading article ascertained and well-established facts. in the Guardian says: “M. Renan's The basis of Christianity is neither ex- task is to make the purely human cited imagination nor natural reason, but origin of Christianity, its origin in the Divine Revelation. The effort to account circumstances, the beliefs, the ideas, for its origin from the growth of society, and the moral and political conditions or the surroundings of its early history, of the first centuries, seem to can only end in failure. If it were possible natural—as natural as the growth and for such an effort to succeed it would fall of the Roman Empire, or as the


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Reformation, or the French Revolution.

PREACHERS AND HEARERS. He is well qualified to sound the depths of his undertaking and to meet its "A collection of the books written heavy exigencies. With a fuller know- with the object of instructing ministers ledge of books and a closer familiarity how to preach would fill a library. The than most men with the thoughts waste-paper basket of the editor of a and the events of the early ages, with a religious journal almost as often as not serious value for the idea of religion as contains a manuscript article on this such, and certainly with no feeble theme, rejected because the subject is powers of recalling the past and invest- overwritten.” These are the opening ing it with colour and life, he has to words of an article in the Freeman, show how these things can be—how a “Anent Good Hearing.” Everybody religion with such attributes as he thinks himself able to give advice to the freely ascribes to the Gospel, so grand, preachers. Few attend to the imporso pure, so lasting, can have sprung up tant point “that, after all, good preachnot merely in but from a most corrupt ing is very much dependent on good and immoral time, and have its root in hearing. The writer thinks that we the most portentous and impossible really need a good series of lectures on of falsehoods. The Roman organ- the best method of listening to sermons. ization was an admirable vehicle for “ It is noteworthy,” he writes, “that Christianity ; but the vehicle does not whilst our Lord gives few directions make that which it carries, or account about preaching, His first parable gives for it. M. Renan's picture of the very implicit instructions about hearing. Empire abounds with all those pic. Possibly the more important precept for turesque details which he knows so the Church to-day is not Take heed well where to find, and knows so well, how you preach,' but Take heed how too, how to place in an interesting you hear.” There certainly have been light. There were then, of course, con attempts enough of late to repair and ditions of the time more favourable to beautify the pulpit ; let a little atten. the Christian Church than would have tion be directed to the pew.” been the conditions of other times. To supply somewhat this want of the There was a certain increased liberty of Churches this writer proceeds to sug. thought, though there were also some gest some prominent features of needed pretty strong obstacles to it. . .. To instruction which should be elaborated tell us the conditions under which in his supposed course of lectures. One Christianity occurred is not to tell us of the first wants of the hearer in order the cause of it. We follow with inter- to profitable hearing is Preparation. est the sketches which M. Renan gives “The finer expositions of truth are seeds: of these conditions, though it must be a heart absorbed with worldly things is said that his generalizations are often like the ground of a wayside, un preextravagantly loose and misleading pared to admit them to sufficient depth We do indeed want to know more of for growth, or else allowing their vitalthose wonderful but hidden days which ity to be trampled out. If the hearer intervene between the great Advent, has not taken any trouble to lay aside with its subsequent apostolic age, and his business and worldly cares before the days when the Church appears going to the sanctuary; if his mind's fully constituted and recognised. Ger- eye is filled with the ledger as he opens man research and French intelligence and his hymn-book; if points are continualconstructiveness have done something ly open by which the train of his to help us, but not much. But at the thoughts are shnnted into sidings—how end of all such inquiries appears the can he possibly gain the terminus of question of questions, What was the some fine argument? Said a gentleman, beginning and root of it all ? Christians 'Last Sunday morning my minister have a reasonable answer to it. There said that believers were the subjects of is none, there is not really the sugges. Divine election. No sooner did I hear tion of one, in M. Renan's account of the word election than my thoughts the connection of Christianity with the were off, and I planned an excellent Roman world.”

sketch of a speech for a political meet

With minds so prone to earthly thoughts, in vain does a preacher present


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