Billeder på siden

spiritual consolation, and her heart bore trines of the Church when residing at
up bravely under her earthly trials, Shrewsbury in Shropshire about twenty-
sustained by Him whose tender mercies five years ago, being at that time in the
are ever experienced by the widow and faith of the followers of Wesley. An
the fatherless who trust in Him. Kind old gentleman, named Addison, lent him
friends were raised up in Australia. a few New Church tracts, which he care-
Her children became more and more fully read, but no impression was made;
her helpers and comforters, and she was then Noble's “ Appeal” and the work
not forgotten in England. Her eldest on “Heaven and Hell” were recom-
son speedily obtained, by the Divine mended to him, still his mind abode in
blessing on his industry, talents, and obscurity. After this the “True Chris-
good conduct, a remunerative Govern- tian Religion " was put into his hand,
ment appointment at Sydney, and for and on reading this the light broke forth
his sake as well as that of her younger with such brilliance as to be almost over-
children, Mrs. Biden sold her property powering, and he has been often heard
near Singleton and purchased a house to say, “I could not sit still and read,
in the suburb of Sydney which is called but was compelled to rise and pace the
Paddington, to which she removed with room, shouting Hallelujah, praise the
her family. She had now an opportunity Lord !” From that period he became
of again associating herself with a New an earnest and devout reader of the other
Church Society, and her eldest son be- writings of the Church as he could pro-
came the secretary of the little church cure them-at this time he gave 14s. for
at Sydney. A prospect of greater a copy of the “True Christian Religion.”
worldly happiness was also now opening On retirement from his occupation he
to her, as every year advanced her came to reside in Derby in order that he
children towards maturity and increased might be able to unite with others in
the number of those who were becoming the public worship of the Lord Jesus
bread-winners in the family. But her Christ. Our friend was a worthy and
home was not to be in this world. A consistent member of the Society, regular
brighter mansion was prepared for her, in his attendance at the services and
even a heavenly, and her eight children, sacraments of the Church, and according
of whom the eldest is not yet twenty- to his ability a warm and generous sup-
three years old, are left to mourn ss. porter of the cause.
She has, however, sown good seed during
her brave and loving life, and they will

Departed this life, at Shepherd's Bush, not be left alone. The Lord of all March the 11th, in the seventy-eighth power and might will be with them, year of his age, Mr. Sydney Pearson, and bless them, and keep them, if they who for many years practised as solicitor lovingly and faithfully live for His at Dawlish, South Devon, and was well

known and much respected there. For glory and do His commandments.

The Singleton Argus of April 3rd many years he cherished a firm faith in published

the doctrines and teachings of the New editorial a respectful notice of my dear daughter, fluenee by every means within his power,

Church, aiding and extending their inin which the writer says, and virtues that adorned the life and and adorning them by a singularly upcharacter, and made beautiful the home right and blameless life. of the deceased lady, form too sacred a At Bolton, on May 14th, Mrs. Mary subject for the columns of a newspaper.” Ann Lowe, aged fifty-five years, the

HENRY BATEMAN. beloved wife of the late Mr. Isaac Lowe, 13 CANONBURY LANE, LONDON.

entered the spiritual world. She bore her

sufferings for several months with exAt Derby, April 25, in his seventy- emplary fortitude. Her simplicity of fourth year, Thomas Robinson. The character endeared her to all who knew deceased was for several years one of her. And this simplicity seemed to the deacons of the Derby Society. He culminate in perfect peace as she passed first became acquainted with the doc- away to her eternal home.

[ocr errors]




[blocks in formation]

THERE is an analogy between the physical and the moral world, or between the world of matter and the world of mind. Attraction is that which makes our world at once a planet and a globe. The earth is preserved in its orbit by being attracted to the sun as the centre of the system of which it is a part; and it is preserved as a globe by its parts being attracted to its own centre. Attraction thus acts upon it in two different ways, or from two different centres. This, however, does not include the whole system of attraction. Not only does the sun attract the planets, but the planets attract the sun. But as the sun is the origin as well as the centre of attraction, the attraction of the planet upon the sun is only the reaction of the sun's action—the reflex action of the planet upon the sun, which makes their action mutual, mutuality being a necessary condition of all conjunction. There is still another bond of attraction in our solar system and in the entire system of the universe. There is a mutual attraction between all the bodies that form our solar system, and between all the solar systems that make up the entire physical universe, or the whole astral heaven, every star in which is a sun and the centre of a system. Attraction is therefore that power or force by which the parts, general and particular, of the physical universe are held together, and form one grand whole, endowed with life, and moving in one sublime harmony.

What attraction is to the physical world love is to the moral world. Love is the attractive power by which its unity is preserved, and, by its unity, its order, harmony, and utility-nay, its very being and existence are dependent upon the attractive power of love, for there could be no life without unity, order, harmony, and use. As attraction, although the same force, acts on the physical world in two different ways, from the sun and from its own centre, so does love act in two distinct ways upon the moral world. The Lord, as the Sun of heaven, is the great centre of attraction, by which all souls and all communities of souls, in all worlds celestial and terrestrial, are preserved in connection with Him as their great First Cause, in whom they live and move and have their being. Love is the Divine attractive power. By love through wisdom God created the universe, by love through wisdom He sustained it, and by love through wisdom He guides it to its destined end, which is use, and therefore happiness to those for whose sake it exists. As the Lord by the attractive power of love holds all souls in connection with Himself, so by the attractive power of love all souls and all communities are held in connection with each other. There is thus an attractive force which connects us with the Lord and an attractive force which connects us with each other. These two forces, which are the same force acting in two different ways or from two different centres, are expressed in the two universal laws of love to God and love to the neighbour. We have already considered the first of these two loves, love to God; we are now to consider the second, which is love to the neighbour. Love to God is not only the primary love, it is also the origin of the secondary love. Unless God were Love we could neither love God nor our neighbour. His love is that which inspires us with love both to Him and to each other. We shall endeavour to show how His love acts upon us, so as to produce in us love to one another, and through love to one another practical love to Him, for love to each other, though second in its origin and in its importance, is first in regard to time; for how can we love God whom we have not seen, if we do not love our brother whom we have seen? As in all other cases, too, love to each other follows the law of order --first that which is natural and afterwards that which is spiritual Natural love first, spiritual love afterwards.

The family is the beginning and the foundation of all the social unity and order that exists among men. In the family is cultivated, in its first and highest state, the social or brotherly affection which pervades the various and widening circles of the great family of

mankind—-families, houses, tribes, peoples, nations. The relation and the love that exist among the members of the family are the same in kind as those which exist among the members of any community, and only differ in degree according to their nearness or remoteness to this inner circle. In the physical world the force of attraction is greater the nearer an object is to the centre of attraction. So it is in the moral world. The force of love is greater in the family than in any of the circles that extend beyond it, yet it may be sufficiently powerful to preserve the unity necessary to the orderly existence and the happiness of their members.

But while family love is the beginning and the model of all societary love, whether of house or tribe or nation, it is not the origin of that love. It is the first circle, but not the centre. The central love of all finite loves for finite objects is conjugal love. This is the origin and centre of all mutual love in every circle that surrounds the first and inmost unity, which is that of husband and wife. Conjugal love is mutual or neighbourly love in its inmost, purest, and intensest degree. It is the highest inspiration and the most perfect image of God's love. For God's love is not the love of Himself, but the love of others, with the desire to join them to Himself and make them happy. And in order to make them happy He inspires them with His love, and with the desire to make others happy, which indeed that love includes. If God requires His creatures to love Him with the highest and most devoted affection, it is only because He requires of them a love that is conducive to their own highest welfare; for the love of Him is the love of essential Goodness and Truth. And He desires thus to be loved, that love to Him, as essential Goodness and Truth, may be the inspiring motive and guiding principle of all other loves, which are derived from it. Conjugal love is the highest form of mutual human love, because the masculine and feminine souls are essentially different in their character, and are formed not only for social connection but for personal union. They are not copies of each other, like two atoms of the same substance or two flowers upon the same stem. They are the two elements of which every atom consists, the two sexes by the union of which the flowers upon the same stem are produced. They are not likenesses, but parts, of each other. One is not as the other, but each one answers to the other. Each has what the other wants; and their sense of want is the beginning of that craving for each other which is inherent in their nature, since God has made them twain that they may become one. This craving, in its first state, is not, strictly speaking, conjugal, but sexual love. It is that conjunctive love which is common to all creatures, and belongs to the animal rather than to the moral or spiritual nature of man. This is the natural love which precedes the spiritual. Conjugal love, which is spiritual, is not developed or evolved from sexual love, which is natural; but the spiritual love is within the natural, as the soul is within its body, although the powers of the soul cannot be developed except as the body attains maturity. Regarding this love in its first and natural state, and, as such, common to man and to animals, it is marvellous as an effect of God's attractive love. The sexes are drawn to each other by a love implanted in their nature, altogether independent of their own will. Like the action of the heart the activity of this love is involuntary, no doubt because the species could no more continue to exist without the involuntary activity of this love than the individual could continue to exist without the involuntary action of the heart. Can we fail to see in this an evidence of the Creator's wisdom as well as the presence of His love, which is His creative energy continuing through the creature His creative work, since, as we have remarked, preservation is perpetual creation? Although this love is involuntary, so that we can neither create nor eradicate it, we can control and regulate it by means of wisdom. Sexual love continues God's creative work by being procreative; and we see it in its second stage in the love of offspring, which is one of the marvels of creation, and which, to a rational and devout mind, speaks unmistakably of the love, wisdom, and beneficence of the Creator. Much has been said and written on the beauty and devotedness of this love, and it needs no effort of ours to establish its claim to admiration. But there is one difference that may be noticed between the merely animal and the human love of offspring, because this has a bearing on the law of love to the neighbour. Not only is the human love deeper, but it is more enduring, than the animal love of offspring. In this, as in every other arrangement in creation, we perceive that the principle of utility gives determination. Animal parental love, with the support and protection it supplies, continues only so long as the young require the parents' help, or a new brood comes to demand the whole affection. The human love of offspring is of necessity more enduring, for the young are more helpless and much longer dependent on the care of the parent; and if the same law of love were followed by both the man and the brute, the far greater part of the human race would perish in childhood. But human parental love continues through

« ForrigeFortsæt »