Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

66

any breach of any law, save of that one name which come from men regardless law of inertia which at every instant is of His precepts. .

It were vain to broken by created things without any pray for help in an act of wrong-doing, disturbance being introduced into the and equally vain to pray for relief from serene march of nature's laws. The consequences of our own neglect or descientific revelation is reconciled with fiance of such rules of the government the written revelation when it is shown of nature as we have learned, or as with that neither necessarily implies the due diligence we might have learned. falsity of the other.”

No man so acting can presume to think

that he may ask in Christ's name for PRAYER IN THE NAME OF CHRIST.

succour.” In addition to the subject of Miracles,

PURPOSE OF LIFE. Mr. Kinnear also introduces that of Prayer. On this, as on the subject of The question of human life, its purMiracles, the writer shows that the pose and its value, has of late occupied granting our petitions, even in regard a good deal of attention. The question, to temporal blessings, as restoration to What is life ? has for the moment given health, etc., violates no law. “But place to a more sensational inquiry, Is the subject,” he says, must not be dis- life worth living ? Science, to use the missed without reference to the spiritual worils of Professor Bush, “has spectalaws, which we are bound to regard in cled her microscopic eyes” to discover praying for ought we may desire. These what life is and what is its origin; and are expressed and summed in the com- is at length beginning to confess the mand, 'Ask in My name.' There is a hopelessness of the effort to solve the prevalent misunderstanding of these mystery of life from the side of scienwords, arising out of the theological tific investigation. dogma which interprets them as if they But it is a more popular aspect of life were written, ' For my sake.' ... When to which attention is now directed. This we desire another person to ask any, is its active manifestation in the varied thing from a superior in our name, we experiences of human beings. Of life mean to ask as if we asked. It must in this condition all can take note, and be something, then, which we should in its results all are interested. It is ask for personally. Therefore Christ, here also that life allies itself with desiring us to ask in His name, limits religion and with civil and moral laws. us to ask those things which we can It thus opens a wide field of inquiry presume He would ask for us.

and investigation, and furnishes the “It is obvious,” continues Mr. Kin- ground of much diversity of opinion. near, “how this interpretation defines Life is not a continuous sunshine. the range of petition. It must be con- Dark clouds obscure its brightness, and fined to what He, all-knowing, knows fearful tempests disturb its peace. Pasto be for our good. It must be, in our sion and sense, ignorance and vice, ignorance, subject to the condition that assert their presence, and manifest their He should see it best for us. It utterly hostility to virtue, morality, and truth. excludes all seeking for worldly advan- The presence of evil, however, it may tage, for which He would never bid us be defined, is a factor in human life pray. It equally excludes all spiritual which cannot be ignored.

How are we benefits which are not those of a godly, to account for its presence? How shall humble spirit. Above all, it excludes we accomplish its eradication ? The all things which would be suggested by former of these questions is often overSatan as a tempting of the Lord our looked, the latter not always wisely God. To ask, as some scientific men discussed. Some time since Mr. Mallock would have us do, for something to see discussed in the pages of the Nineteenth if God would grant it, would be an ex- Century the question of “Modern periment which, applied to an earthly Atheism in Relation to Morality.” This superior, would be an insult—to God is naturally led to conduct in life and impiety. To such prayers as these there reference to the question, “Is life worth is no promise made, for they cannot be living ?” which he has since treated in Christ's name.

at length in a recently published volume. “Neither can those prayers be in His To his essay Miss L. S. Bevington has replied in two papers from the which discredits its value and dispenses atheist's point of view. It is not a with its necessity. But is not the adpleasant sign of the times to find an mitted uses of religion an evidence of educated woman taking up her pen in its truth? It is not a system of utter defence of morality apart from faith, falsehood which can comfort the afflicted and scarcely concealing her distrust in and inspire the mind with undying hope even the existence of God; but it is in the most painful afflictions. The abundantly evident that many of her circumstances, moreover, in which its sentiments are of Christian and not use is admitted are not exceptional but secularist origin. The aim of her first general. The most prosperous life is paper was “to show the lifewardness of not exempt from trouble. Sickness and right-doing; and how in the evolutional death are the inheritance of all men ; view of man's social condition we seem and clinging to life, and looking forward to have a firm basis for a clear theory of to the abiding fellowship of the wise and morals, quite independent of the com- good, are among the purest aspirations ings and goings of religious creeds." of the nature of man. The authoress's The second paper is a continuation of statement of the aims and uses of relithe first, and is an elaborate endeavour gion is feeble and imperfect. Unfortuto show that the evolutionist's code of nately it receives too much countenance morals "6

can justify its demands in from the mistaken teachings of many cases where the lostier religious morali- professedly Christian writers. Religious ties have held their own, that it can truth is intended for all, and written still help the moral helpers of men down to the mental condition and without adding to the weakness of the spiritual requirements of all. To the morally helpless." Unbelief is, there. natural man, whose thought of God is fore, in the estimation of this writer, of that He is altogether such an one as equal value with belief in the doctrines himself, the Lord speaks in the language of religion. The well-to-do need neither of threatened punishmentor joyous hope. the promises nor threatenings of reli- But beneath the threatenings and the gion. They are content with the enjoy- promises of Scripture is the deeper rements of this life, regardless of a future velation of an infinite benevolence and in which they have no faith, and for a wide and endless human culture. The which they cherish no desire. True, secularists' Utopia, in which however, to the evolutionist's creed, the world would cease at any rate to be 'a writer admits that religious belief has vale of tears,'" is founded upon so many exercised a salutary influence in a less assumptions that its attainment in the perfect condition of society. “It is present life seems impossible. Here are quite certain,” writes the authoress, some of the requirements to secure " that an unsuccessful, unhealthy, or negative happiness—"every one's proany way valueless and hopeless earthly genitors temperate, chaste, and selflife is made more bearable by a belief in controlled ; every man's neighbours unfailing love, which mysteriously per- sincere, honest, and just; every man's mits the misery, and in unfailing power, children filial, grateful, and kind.” And which will eventually remove it, and to secure positive happiness, "every by the convinced hope of another man's own self, his disposition and chance' after death. No less certain is tastes, such as to make him take sponit that it must be some check upon a taneous delight in the exercise of beneselfish libertine, a brutal tyrant, or a ficence, temperance, purity, and sinsneaking knave, to be possessed by a con- cerity. viction that a strong Deity minutely The strong point in Miss Bevington's sees, and is personally offended at, his paper arises from the imperfect presentevil life, and is able to make such ment of Christian doctrine by Christian worldly courses productive of hideous writers. All moralities,” she says, personal woe to the offender.”

have been alike religious. Who then, on There is a growing disposition to treat religious grounds, can declare to us that religion as a natural development of this or that morality is perfect, comthe human mind, to study its various plete, final, supreme?" No well-inchanges and diversities of opinion as a structed believer contends that this or matter of scientific inquiry, and to find that morality is perfect. Moral truth it a place in the new system of thought in its highest form is Divine, and there

[ocr errors]

to

ness.

fore perfect. As received by man and last year to hold a united service on the embodied in human conduct it is Christmas Day morning, to have a relative, and manifests the infirmity general exchange of pulpits on the and feebleness of imperfect human second Sunday morning in January, and characters. But the advantage of a united Sacramental service at the close Christianity is the presentment of a of the evening services of the same day. perfect example in God-Man, the interior This year the members of the New opening of the laws of wisdom, as man Church are invited to join this service, by regeneration is prepared to see the and their minister, the Rev. R. Storry, light and to walk in the light, and thus to exchange pulpits with the minister the prospect and hope of an endless pro- of the Wesleyan Free Church. As the gress in wisdom and goodness.

Lord was known of His disciples in the breaking of bread, may we not reasonably

hope that His disciples in all Christian RECOGNITION OF THE NEW CHURCH BY OTHER CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES.

communities will come to deeper know

ledge of Him and a more interior reThe extensive diffusion of New Church ception of His life when they unitedly literature, combined with the greater join in the Sacrament of His Holy liberty of thought which distinguishes Supper ? the present times, has led of late years

an increasing acknowledgment of the Christian character of New Church

AMERICA. teaching by the members of orthodox An unexpected explosion of religious Churches, and to a willingness to unite intolerance has taken place in the city with New Church people in the per- of Philadelphia in the United States formance of works of Christian useful- of America. The particulars of this

At Radcliffe the Rev. Mr. Boys, movement, so different to what we are the esteemed pastor of the Society of led to expect of American Churches and the New Church, has been for many institutions, will be gleaned from the years the local secretary of the British following, extracts from Philadelphia and Foreign Bible Society, an office papers, kindly sent us by a which brings him into friendly connec- spondent:tion with the ministers of other deno- “ The Rev. Chauncey Giles, pastor minations in his neighbourhood. At of the Church of the New Jerusalem,' the last anniversary of the Society at or Swedenborgian Church, at Broad Radcliffe the Rev. I. Tansley was and Brandywine Streets, was to have among the speakers, and in the course delivered a sermon at the Hall of the of his address said, he was pleased Young Men's Christian Association on to be on the platform, because he found the subject, The Dissolution of the both those of Church Establishment Material Body a Provision of the Divine and Dissenting bodies met together for Love and Wisdom for the Increase and one great object. In the course of a Perfection of Human Happiness. This very animated speech Mr. Tansley very was to have been the first of a series on ably refuted some of the arguments · Natural and Spiritual Death and Resurwhich are generally put forward by the rection and the Life after Death.' When would-be philosophers of the present Mr. Giles touched on these subjects on regarding the relation of the Jews to previous occasions the church edifice, the Old Testament.

which seats only about four hundred At the opening of a bazaar at Derby worshippers, has been uncomfortably connected with one of the orthodox full, and hence the desire to obtain Churches the minister, the Rev. W. Wil- more ample accommodation at the kinson, made “honourable mention” Young Men's Christian Association of the New Church in Babington Lane Hall. The sermon, however, was not as having generously assisted them; and delivered at the hall, but at the church, among those who spoke in connection and the why and wherefore of the with the opening was the Rev. J. Ashby, change has caused considerable excitethe minister of the New Church in Derby. ment among the members of the denom

At Heywood the ministers of the ination. several Wesleyan, the Congregational, " When the church committee-inand Baptist communities determined cluding such well-known individuals as

correterm.

George Burnham of the Baldwin Loco- and privileges. This statement is conmotive Works; Counsellor W. M'George; trasted with their present action. T. S. Arthur, the temperance writer ; “Rev. Chauncey Giles, against whom J. Shoemaker of Lippincott & Co.; and the edict was directed, is recognised as A. Lewis of Caldwell & Co., the one of the most eloquent and scholarly jewellers-planned the sermon, they preachers. He is also an author of no had no idea that any difficulty lay in mean repute. His connection with the the way of their so doing, as once before church at Broad and Brandywine dates the hall had been granted to them for a from last fall. Previous to that he was lecture by Mr. Giles on 'Hell.' The located in New York, where members duty of engaging the building was of all denominations flocked on Sunday assigned to Mr. Lewis. This gentle. after Sunday to listen to his discourses. man was informed by the secretary of Some of the New York dailies made an the Young Men's Christian Association habitual practice of reporting his serthat it was doubtful whether the request mons verbatim. On one occasion he would be granted, on the ground that expounded his views in James Freeman the Swedenborgians were not ‘Evan- Clarke's Boston church. The denomigelical Christians' in the Young Men's nation has three churches in this city.” Christian Association's definition of the In these circumstances, Dr. Magoon,

Subsequently Mr. Lewis was the minister of a Baptist church, wrote asked to withdraw the request, but to Mr. Giles and offered him the use of instead of doing so he put it on paper his church for the delivery of his lecture. and sent it to Mr. Seal, the secretary. The following is a report of the service :The result was a communication to the “Probably few, if any, places of woreffect that the room committee of Asso- ship in this city contained last night such ciation Hall • did not deem it expedient a vast throng as was packed into the to grant the request.'

Broad Street Baptist Church, where Dr. This decision has given rise to some Magoon gave up his pulpit to the Rev. strong comments from the outlawed Chauncey Giles, the Swedenborgian congregation. They hold that they are preacher. This had grown out of the as much entitled to hold their own refusal of the Young Men's Christian views and be considered as Christians Association to permit the Swedenborgas any other denomination; and they ian preacher to lecture in Association point to the fact that only a few weeks Hall, because he was not evangelical.' ago their preacher, at the request of the “Crowds began to assemble in front of Faculty, expounded his faith before the the edifice as early as six o'clock, and students of Cornell University. Regard- an hour later every seat was occupied. ing their spiritual views they quote the Still the people continued to come in, doctrines of the Church, to which every until aisles, galleries, organ loft, gallery member must subscribe.

stairs, the pulpit stairs in the rear, and “A member of Mr. Giles' church the outside corridors were one dense mass expressed the opinion last evening that of human beings. At half-past seven the refusal of the building was due to the crush was so great that the officials the fact that some of the members of of the church were compelled to close the Young Men's Christian Association the doors, much to the chagrin of hunwho were present at the lecture on dreds of would-be worshippers who sub* Hell' had since been induced to study sequently put in an appearance. Mr. Swedenborg's theory with some degree Giles was escorted to the rostrum by

Until within a very recent Dr. Magoon, who, introducing him, date, he added, the books of the Sweden- said :borgian Church were excluded from the “I have invited my friend to this Young Men's Christian Association pulpit this evening for two reasons. library. Other members commented First, while I do not expect that he on the fact that when the Young Men's will announce or advocate any principles Christian Association was claiming non- in conflict with what has often been liability for taxation last spring, one of heard from this pulpit, yet I am perthe strongest arguments urged in their fectly satisfied that he is much more behalf was that the Association was competent to discuss this subject (spiritnon-sectarian, and that members of all ual death ; its nature, origin, delights, denominations were open to its rights and torments) than I am. Secondly, I have been familiar with the printed On the second occasion of Mr. Giles thoughts of my friend for years, but I occupying the pulpit of the Broad was a stranger to him until Tuesday Street Baptist Church, Dr. Magoon, the last, and I much desired the privilege of minister, prefaced the service by the listening to one from whose pen I have following liberal and interesting statereceived so much instruction.'

of care.

ment: • After the usual devotional ex“Mr. Giles then proceeded with his ercises, Dr. Magoon advanced to the sermon, the delivery of which occupied desk and said: I have requested our over an hour. It was an exhibit of the brother, Mr. Giles, to omit the reading Swedenborgian theory of spiritual of the Scriptures this evening for an death,' and was listened to with rapt especial purpose, which I will explain to attention.

you. This evening I was standing on “When he had concluded, Dr. Magoon the other side of Broad Street before again stepped forward and said, 'He the doors of the church were opened, who has taught us so well to-night is looking at the gathering of this vast welcome to preach under this roof congregation. While standing there two whenever he likes. As often as he may or three little boys approached me and please to come, he and his shall find à said, “Mr. Magoon, is that man what hearty welcoine."

preached last Sunday going to preach In connection with the general sub- again to-night?” I replied, “ Yes," and ject, Mr. Giles has indited the sub- one spoke out, “Why, he don't believe joined communication :

in the Bible !” Brethren and sisters,

this shows how easily a man may be “Editor of the Record,

You need not misinterpreted, and how assertions may be afraid to assert in the strongest be made in regard to him which are manner that the doctrines held by the very far from the truth.

I can say Swedenborgians are evangelical in the from my own study and knowledge and sense of affirming and teaching the a long acquaintance with the greatest of supreme and sole Divinity of Jesus the Swedenborgian faith, that there are Christ and the absolute dependence two points upon which they are remark. of every one upon Him for salvation ; ably strict, namely, the Divinity of in the absolute necessity of faith in Him Christ as God and the authenticity of as the Redeemer, Regenerator, and Sav- the Scriptures as a Divine revelation. iour of men; and in the verbal and They believe in these two points most plenary inspiration of the Sacred Scrip- distinctly and unreservedly, and so do

Indeed, we are probably the l. You will find, if you investigate the only Christians who do believe in this subject, that all of their great ministers doctrine without any exception or are exact upon these cardinal points of mental reservation. Consequently we doctrine. In the ablest of their author's believe that they are the only source productions, strenuously insisted upon of true doctrine concerning religion, and at every point, are these two things ; the only absolute rule of faith and and I know of my own knowledge, that practice.

their reverence for the Holy Scripture We acknowledge that the members is exceptional, as can be seen by a visit of the Young Men's Christian Associa- to their churches. I once went into tion have the right to control their own one in the city of New York, and I was property. We do not care so much impressed as I never was before with about their refusal to let us occupy the veneration displayed for the Bible, their hall as about the ground on which was placed on the centre of the which their refusal was made. The chancel near the minister, so as to indireasons given for their refusal place uscate that all inspirations came from the in a false position before the community, sacred volume. I desire to add my and tend to bring our doctrines into testimony to the firm belief of the disrepute among good Christian men; denomination in the Divinity of our Lord for we are evangelical' if evangelicity and perpetual reverence for the Bible. consists in a full belief in the doctrines In reference to the occupation of my of religion taught by our Lord and pulpit this evening, I would say that Saviour Jesus Christ in the four Gospels. the friends of Mr. Giles endeavoured to - Very truly yours,

get a hall of sufficient capacity for this "CHAUNCEY GILES." evening, but they failed, although they

tures.

« ForrigeFortsæt »