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which freedom gives that I now respond the report which accompanies this to the affectionate intelligence which letter. And I can assure you that the marks the communication of our bro- grounds of consolation and encouragether, the Rev. Joseph Ashby. ment you suggest come to us as "good words" and "comfortable words;" for however deficient we have been in " aggressive zeal," we have endeavoured "to pursue the even tenor of our way" as an orderly New Church Society.
For the third time the annual letter from the General Conference, with the valuable gift of twenty-five copies of the Minutes of its proceedings, reached us by the November mail. The address was read from the desk after the last morning service of the year by our venerable friend Mr. W. Holden, who noticed in reading it that the writer had attached a significance he did not intend to the two lay readers" whose assistance I have in the performance of the “ministerial functions," for neither are preparing themselves for those 66 greater uses "of the ministry which will have to be provided for at no distant date, inasmuch as the present incumbent is fast nearing the Psalmist's first life's limit of "threescore years and ten." It may therefore be well to state that one of the two "lay readers referred to in our last address was the writer of it, and he is my senior in years as well as an older member of the Society, having been one of its original members, and was from the first the active assistant of Mr. Jacob Pitman, the founder and leader of the Society for fourteen years, during which time he mostly preached once a month, and he has continued to do so for the whole term of my leadership, now over twenty years, and has also during that period in addition read prayers morning and evening every Sunday, although he has been assisted in this labour for several years by that other "lay reader" officiating in the desk on alternate Sunday evenings only, and in doing this he is not preparing himself for any higher "ministerial use." You will pardon this correction and explanation, as it is not desirable that our friends at home should think the Adelaide Society richer in labourers than it really is.
Still, as the principal use of these annual addresses is to receive and reciprocate the truths in love that may be seen to bear upon our duties and our dangers, it is well that we should “talk with our past hours and ask what messages they bore to heaven." We are instructed by Emanuel Swedenborg that the Divine "auspices of the Lord are continually over His Church;" but we know that He is constantly making use of human instrumentality, and that every individual that has, in the course of the Lord's Divine Providence, been made a recipient of the New Church doctrines has been also made a channel for its diffusion to others, and therefore the fact of our reception of the truth imposes the obligation to communicate it to others as well as to show its orderly influence upon our own lives and conduct. While, then, we feel much cheered in reading of the great efforts that our brethren in England and America have been making to promote a knowledge of the truth during the past year, especially do we rejoice in that "new channel" which the reception of the teaching of Swedenborg by the "Hindu gentleman " has really opened in India. Indeed, it seems like an orderly sequence that, having so recently supplied India with natural food, we should have the opportunity afforded us of furnishing that country with "spiritual food" in the "truths and goods" of the New Dispensation, and thus teaching them most emphatically that "man does not live by bread alone."
Permit me now to assure you that it is a source of much pleasure and ground of congratulation to find that the seventy-second General Conference has been the largest, and in many respects more satisfactory, than any previous one; and although it is not much that this Society adds to the spread of the new truths in the world, we have not, perhaps, altogether lived in vain during the past year, as you will perceive from
It has also been with much pleasure that we have seen in some of the literary articles of the Fortnightly Review evidence of the influence of that truth to which the "Symposium on Inspiration" stitched within the covers of the January number furnishes the clue.
Yet while rejoicing in these evidences of the reception of the truth in society, and in the activities of our brethren bv which the impetus was first given, we
feel rebuked that we have done so little in this direction. Still we know that the real progress of the Church is to be looked for more in the orderly lives of its members than in the external success of its propaganda; and though as a Society we cannot claim any special credit in this particular, we are too often reminded in the doctrines of the New Church of the necessity for the cultivation of good as the ground for the insemination of truth to plead ignorance of the fact, or to forget that, knowing these things, our only safety is in doing them.
But with the facilities you possess for getting access to receptive minds, you can hardly realize the barrier which indifference to the truth raises against its communication in this very religious and church-going community, where there is a wonderful unanimity in agreeing to differ on religious questions generally, and in agreeing particularly not to listen to the teaching of the New Church. "In this respect," as one of our daily journals recently remarked in relation to another subject, "Adelaide is far behind the age, and this simply because of the absence of enterprize shown by the inhabitants.
There are, no doubt, many minds that do not believe the popular doctrines taught in the creeds of the day, and many more who have very little regard for Scripture authority. But all these attend church or chapel, and exercise themselves in the external uses of their respective congregations; but they manifest no desire to know what is the truth in relation to the various doctrinal claims set up by the denominational Churches. It is assumed that this is a matter of little consequence, conceiving that their teachers must settle these matters themselves, and all these for the most part prefer quietly to ignore Swedenborg and the New Church. Although some fifty ministers from eight different denominations accepted the offer of the gift of the "True Christian Religion" made by a Victorian friend through our Society some three years since, yet only three made any acknowledgment of receipt or approval of its contents. Happily for the growth of the New Church this "colonial indifference" has some exceptions both here and elsewhere; and it is a matter for congratulation that there occasionally appear in our standard literature
recognitions of Swedenborg with an estimate as high as that expressed by Emerson when he called him a Mastodon in literature. One of these may be noticed as appearing in the June issue of the University (Dublin) Magazine, in which, while paying well-deserved honour to the able translator of Swedenborg's scientific works, through twenty pages the writer seems to regard Swedenborg's ideas as likely to influence modern thought to a very great extent. Indeed, literature is now very largely permeated by ideas upon moral and religious subjects, which follow so closely upon the truths extant in the writings of Swedenborg as to give rise to the impression that the respective writers have, unconsciously it may be, imbibed their ideas from Swedenborg's writings, or from that class of New Church literature that is now becoming quite extensive.
To any one who, like myself, has had an experience of fifty years' acquaintance with the history of the New Church and her efforts to give evidence of her existence in the world, the growth of the past few years has been almost marvellous, especially in that of the quality and extent of her literature.
The stone has been cut out of the mountain, and it must grow. Let each and all of us be "strong and work. Signed on behalf of the Adelaide Society of the New Church, E. G. DAY, LUTON COTTAGE, BROWN STREET, ADELAIDE, S.A.
Countersigned, F. W. BOTTING, Secretary, A.S.N.C. GROTO STREET, ADELAIDE, S.A.
Read and adopted at the annual general meeting of the Adelaide Society of the New Church on Monday evening, January 26, 1880.
From the General Conference of the New
Church in England to the Society of the New Church in Adelaide, South Australia.
DEAR BRETHREN,-Your address to the General Conference of the New Church in Great Britain, dated January 26, 1880, is to hand, and our esteemed President, the Rev. Dr. Bayley, has kindly asked me to write in reply.
It is not the first time I have discharged this very agreeable duty, and a
being held all over the land, and considerable attention is being given to their origin. In the New Church we know that Sabbath schools are regarded as a mark of a new age, as an evidence that the Lord is now making His Second Advent by giving a second and fuller outpouring of His Divine Spirit into the minds of men. Before Sunday schools began how greatly was the culture of the young neglected, and how much that neglect contributed to Sabbath desecration and to a brutalizing life! But when Sunday schools commenced the children were drawn in ever-increasing numbers from these debasing pursuits, and a mighty change was soon wrought in their condition. At first the chief aim was to give the children the merest rudiments of knowledge, but a vast moral and Christian
I was glad to receive with your address the report of your Society. I read it with real satisfaction, for it shows steady work and considerable promise. An average of twenty-one culture grew up with it. In the Sunday communicants at a monthly administra- school children were taught to sing and tion of the sacrament is an exceedingly to pray, and piety was greatly promoted gratifying state of things, and one which thereby. Teachers were trained to we hope you will continue to experience. habits of self-sacrifice and self-denial, The acquisition of a new organ and the and we are indebted to that training for other improvements which you name many of the benevolent institutions and are evidences of devoted and very per- other works that now exist around us. severing labour. "Let us not be weary Night-schools and day-schools sprang in well-doing for in due season we out of them; music classes and choral shall reap, if we faint not.' societies were offshoots from them; and Bible Societies and Young Men's Christian Associations had a like origin. Many of the most useful and eminent of our benevolent associations can be traced to men whose first religious impressions were received in the Sunday schools. Rapidly, indeed, did the Sunday school become the great nursery for the Church, and a means for quickening spiritual life among many of her members. It has been there where the young had been stimulated to habits of Christian inquiry and usefulness, and the power of love has shown few greater triumphs than in the establishment, government, and management of Sunday schools. These are but a few of the works in which we can trace the progress of the New Jerusalem, and the advance made is as unmistakable as is the progress of New Church thought and teaching seen in the current literature of our day.
Looking onward to the future, the distance the New Church has yet to travel is immense, and seems indeed greater now than when she began her march; but turning our view backward
repetition of the service draws me more closely to you in spirit. I feel to be addressing a familiar Society and a familiar friend, and sending in my own name, as well as in the name of the Conference, in whose behalf I write this annual tribute of sympathy and goodwill.
We learn with pleasure of the ordination of Mr. Day, and congratulate you upon your improved status, and the Society upon the introduction of an ordained ministry into the New Church in Adelaide. We believe it will be found to be useful, and you have our heartiest sympathy and good wishes in the change which has been made.
New channels are continually opening up for the propagation of New Church truth, and the literature of our day gives abundant evidences of the rapid diffusion of New Church thought. India and the whole of our colonial empire constitute a vast field for the operations of a Christian mission; and as England has given to India a superior government, it should be her aim to give to it a superior faith, and in this blessed work the New Church should avail herself of every opportunity of extending to the people of that vast empire the light of the New Jerusalem.
It is true that one of the great hindrances to our prosperity is indifference among ourselves. There is a great deal of apathy to overcome, but let us work on, remembering that "they that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."
The year 1880 is memorable as the centenary of the establishment of Sunday schools, celebrations of which are
upon the past, the progress she has made has been great, and the landmarks from which she has journeyed have already receded into the dim past. Let us dwell with joy upon these triumphs of the Lord, and sing with the angelic hosts, "Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints, and to Him be ascribed all glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
On behalf of the General Conference, and in the spirit of love and Christian brotherhood, believe me, sincerely yours, WM. WESTALL.
Address from the New Jerusalem Church Society in Mauritius to the General Conference of that Church in Great Britain.
BELOVED BRETHREN, -We received in September last your instructive and affectionate address for the year 1879, signed by Samuel Pilkington, and with it six copies of the Minutes of your proceedings for the last-mentioned year, for which we tender you our best thanks. The president of our Society, Mr. Lesage, has requested me, as its vicesecretary, to reply to your kind communication, and I do so with pleasure.
It gives us sincere satisfaction to learn that the noble character of our late president, Mr. Edmond de Chazal, was duly appreciated by the members of the Church in Great Britain. For ourselves, although as time passes on our natural regret for him diminishes, still in one sense we constantly miss him and feel how much we have lost by his removal from us as regards the material sphere of our actions, while we nevertheless feel assured that spiritually we are gainers by the dispensation that has taken him from us. During the year that has elapsed since last we addressed you one member has joined our Society, we have celebrated one marriage and performed seven baptisms, of which one was an adult and the others infants.
The attendance at public worship has varied but little from what it was when I last addressed you. On one occasion, however, it rose to eighty, but the average may be put down as forty. At the lectures we give every Saturday the attendances have diminished, as it seldom exceeds ten.
We have succeeded in entirely clearing off the debt which existed on our place of worship, a result for which we feel called upon to be especially thankful to the Lord, for certainly when we acquired the property we did not expect we would so soon be able to complete its payment.
In your address you specially allude to the fact that we did not in our communication sent last year refer to the administration of the sacrament of the Holy Supper. We did not think it necessary to mention this in our last, because we had done so in one of our previous communications, but we take this opportunity of stating that we celebrate this rite twice a year, viz. at Christmas and Easter, the number of communicants varying from twenty to thirty-two.
The above are the main facts connected with the history of our Society for the current year which we have to bring to your notice; we wish they were more encouraging, but with us at present it is certainly "the day of small things."
We learn from the Minutes of your proceedings and other publications connected with the New Church that during the past some progress has been made in spreading the truths of the New Dispensation; and although our share in that progress has been very small, yet this does not prevent our appreciating any success that may be achieved elsewhere, and especially are we glad to learn of the activity that prevails in Great Britain and America. As to this colony, we wish we could see any very apparent symptoms of desire to accept the new truths in the understanding and will, but we cannot; some little interest exists with respect to them, but it is not strong or general; however, our duty is plain, it is to study the heavenly doctrines with diligence and care, and then with the Divine help, which never fails to those who sincerely seek it, we must carry them out in all the actions of our daily life.
With our affectionate wishes for the success of your efforts, we beg to enclose this address.
Signed on behalf of the New Jerusalem Church Society of Mauritius,
J. H. ACKROYD, Vice-Secretary. N. LESAGE, President.
1st May 1880.
From the General Conference of the New Church in Great Britain to the Society of the New Church in the island of Mauritius.
DEAR BRETHREN,-Your address to the General Conference dated 1st May 1880 has safely come to hand, and the President has intrusted to me the pleasant duty of replying to it.
We note with unfeigned interest your simple record of progress from year to year, and deeply sympathize with you in your aspirations after growth and usefulness. It is most becoming in you so to do. Our heavenly Father has implanted in our minds these desires, and it is well for us to cultivate them wisely. And we may thankfully regard them as evidences that we have indeed, in some measure, become partakers of the heavenly gift of Christian discipleship when we experience a growing interest in the spread of our Redeemer's kingdom, not only generally in the world, but particularly in our own midst. The true Christian is not content to eat his morsel alone and look indifferently upon the thousands around him less happily circumstanced. He, like his God and Saviour, would have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." Experiencing what he does of the comforts of fellowship with the Lord in obedience to the truth, he prays and labours for the coming of the glorious time when the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
Brethren, accept the word of encouragement. If you are in the place to which a gracious Providence has assigned you; if you are doing the work of the day, the work that comes nearest to hand; if you are seeking with a single eye to glorify the Lord in all things, then be of good cheer. You will not labour in vain, nor spend your strength for nought. You are co-workers with the Lord, and must prosper. Through you the loving Father above is reaching down to His needy children, and leading them, unseen by you and by them, in the way they best need to go.
We are telling you nothing more than we have occasion to repeat to ourselves a thousand times. As we look abroad in the great world, and see so much that needs to be done, and, as we think, done at once, we are apt to grow impatient or
sink into despondency. And the outlook is not at times assuring; truth baffled by falsity; goodness overborne by evil; faith beset with doubt; and charity simulated by selfishness. And things might be so greatly improved, and soon too, if men were wise and willing.
But let us remember the Lord sees all. And He is fain to work and wait. And so must we. And though our ardency is enkindled at a Divine Source, let us not forget that success can come only in orderly ways and by measured "At steps. Final victory is assured. the name of Jesus every knee shall bow." "In that day there shall be One Lord, and His name One." But between then and now very much has to be done, and we cannot precipitate events. We must go on ploddingly, patiently, and unweariedly in well-doing.
Little as it may seem to you, you have already done a great work in your island home measured by the standard of the sanctuary. Your ability to carry on regular meetings for worship; the occasions afforded you for calling public attention to the treasure of good things you hold in trust; your late successful effort to clear your church from the incubus of debt, are all tangible evidences of success for which you do well to be thankful to the Giver of all mercies. While every mind brought to the acknowledgment of the sole Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all that that involves in the way of doctrine and life, is a trophy of inestimable value, a result compensatory of all the time and pains it cost to achieve.
Continue then, dear friends, in your path of holy privilege and pious duty. Cultivate communion with the Lord in reading and meditating on His Holy Word in the light of the heavenly doctrines. Live lives of charity and faith. And be ye "faithful unto death," and the Lord will give you each "a crown of life."
On behalf of the General Conference, I am, yours faithfully,
GEO. H. SMITH.
SYDNEY.-The following notice, which may interest your readers, consists of extracts from the recent letters of the secretary of the Society at Sydney, New South Wales, to a relation in England :"Our Society is getting on very well We have four gentlemen taking