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with directly propagating our own views; we should avail ourselves of indirect methods of propagating our principles. We should aid in every endeavour which our minds and hearts can approve as calculated to establish the kingdom of the Lord on earth. And that kingdom has its foundation in everything that is just and true in any department of human life. In this way we should also show the practical nature of our principles, at once exemplifying and enforcing their beneficent character.
ENCOURAGEMENT. The author of the Book of Proverbs, whom it is customary to designate as the Wise Man, has declared that wisdom's “ ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace;" while experience teaches that the effort to reach the height where those ways, strictly speaking, begin is beset with impediments and attended by disquietude. But possibly there is a prevalent disposition to exaggerate the difficulties and overlook the encouragements which are presented. Progress may be slow, but such as is actual is valuable, however little. It is certainly not much to attain a conviction that we are inclined to particular evils which it behoves us to repent of and forsake. Yet, when it is remembered how many weekly repeat the confession : “Our wills are defiled with evil inclinations ; . . . and too often have we run into the practice of sin, and the actual transgression of Thy holy laws,” and for how long a time, without becoming conscious of any distinctive evils in themselves, it is clearly not only something but something of importance. It is that first step without which no second can be taken ; and, further, it implies that the inner man has already risen, in some small degree, above the propensities of the outer mind, or he could not recognise them as evil. There is, also, a measure of peace consequent simply upon the desire and intention to subdue them. Self-gratulations do, indeed, gather around unrealized good resolutions ; but apart from these, the desire and intention afford a plane for the reception of heavenly influences, which fall upon the soul as soft preluding strains of the joyful angelic chant over the sinner that repents.
Then, again, when not only the first step—the discovery of an evil, and the second—the resolution by divine aid to overcome it, have been taken, but an advance made to the third—to that which gives validity to the former two, and transfers them from the sphere of the ideal and theoretical to that of the real and practical, by resisting an evil when its allurements are present; this actual repentance is found easier than was expected. Each successive combat with an individual enemy is, likewise, easier than the previous one, and occurs at a longer interval, till, at last, the conflict ceases and the reward of victory begins. As it is only evil that separates us from the Lord, its removal brings us nearer to Him, and we become receptive of more light and more love; whence proceed clearer perceptions, purer thoughts and motives, and a more interior happiness. Then, gradually, an experimental conviction is attained,
“ That it is not so difficult to live the life that leads to heaven as is commonly supposed."
Reviews. THE FINAL VICTORY. A Sermon, preached in St. Thomas's Church,
Berea, and in St. Paul's Church, Durban, on the third Sunday in Advent (December 11, 1870), on the occasion of the death of Mr Joseph E. Fradd. By the Rev. John REYNOLDS, minister of St.
Thomas's Church, Berea, Natal. This excellent sermon has been sent to us, by its auther, from the Cape of Good Hope. It says nothing of Mr. Fradd, whose decease was the occasion of its preparation. Its main object is to present an encouraging exposition of the text, “He will swallow up death in victory," Isa. xxv. 8. The preacher's diocesan is the celebrated Dr Colenso. Our object in noticing this sermon is to express the pleasure which we experienced in recognizing the influence which a knowledge of the doctrine of the New Church had in its production, and, at the same time, to present our readers with an extract or two indicating some striking thoughts. The following have interested us :
“The prophet appears to give us here, as in a figure, his poetic conception of the grand and glorious destiny of all the human race when the purposes of God's grace and righteousness are fulfilled. By a great and all-comprehensive salvation, sin and suffer, ing are to have an end in the universe. Humanity shall at length be completely redeemed from the desolating dominion of moral evil, and, no more enthralled by death, shall be perfectly triumphant over it for ever. Hitherto, indeed, death and moral evil have seemed to be the mightier, all-absorbing, dominant powers in our world, to which all past generations have inevitably succumbed. But there is yet a mightier power in the universe than DEATH. The LIVING God, the Lord of LIFE, eternal, omnipotent, reigneth over it, and will utterly annihilate it. Although it is evident that the distorted truth and life of our prevailing Christianity encourage us to entertain no immediate hope of the universal consummation of the prophet's ideal triumph over death,' yet we seem to be advancing steadily towards it. The world is gradually emerging from deadly ignorance. The days of old institutes of religious delusion are numbered. Light is shining upon the people who have been long sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death. There are signs of life even in the greatest strongholds of superstition : its votaries, trembling for their ancient faiths, are roused to antagonism against those who have disturbed their slumbers in the name of the living God. The warfare between truth and falsehood is proceeding with vigour; and it is felt to be essentially a conflict between life and death, in which blind prejudices are assailed, errors exposed, enmity excited. But the issue is not doubtful. We esteem all ameliorating agencies, resulting from physical inquiry, and all patient honest search for truth, together with every new discovery in medical knowledge for the cure of diseases, for alleviating pain and suffering, and for prolonging human life, as co-working with Christianity, not as hostile, but as integral elements of the Gospel of Christ. Accordingly, as ministers of the Gospel, we desire the cordial union of and co-operation with us of all learning and talents devoted to the search for truth. We value whatever ministers to the well-being of the body, and tends to the improvement of the mind. We ejoice at every effort of philaithropy which seeks to remove vice and misery and poverty, whatever contributes, in any degree, to the practical subjugation of the devastating moral evils which offend and destroy men's souls, in helping to conquer the powers of death and render the powers of life victorious. Faith is the Divine wisdom ; faith is the benevolent purposes of all God's laws ; faith, persuaded of the truth that the principles of life and love are divine, supreme, the strongest in the universe, yea, are the powers of God Himself, intended. to prevail universally, and conquer for ever all that is comprehended in the metaphorical term “ Death '—'this is the victory that overcometh, even our faith;' and nothing so called has any life but ‘faith which worketh by love.' We must, therefore, protest against the infidelity of those who denounce the restless spirit of our age, and call it ‘unbelieving.' We need not be alarmed that some of the leading men of science in our day are constrained to question the assumed infallibility of those dogmas of our Churches which are irreconcilably opposed to the demonstrated facts of modern knowledge. Ever since the time of GALILEO, the claims of the Church to infallibility have been justly disregarded. What is true Christianity, but the life and health and healing of the nations, that there may be no more curse? It is God's remedy for the sickness and sorrows and sins of the world. It is the establishment of God's kingdom of truth and righteousness upon earth ; a state of universal holiness and consequent happiness; obedience to His loving will as in heaven ; happiness as a 'feast' of universal joy, fellowship, brotherly love, and goodwill outspread freely for the people. The Gospel of Christ is the proclamation to the world that “God is love.' Christ Himself announces to all mankind this royal truth of Divine revelation ; for (it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.' He came to‘shew us of the FATHER. This,' said he, “is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.' In the Person of our Saviour, the antagonist powers of Life and Death tried their strength in a decisive battle ; and Christ, our Life, the representative of humanity, bravely fonght it and conquered. He took the poisoned cup of death for us, and drank it off triumphantly, and thus Himself hath swallowed up death in victory."
Preaching of this character cannot but stir the hearts and minds of those who hear it, and lead them more directly to those sources which so abundantly provide the cheerful light.
A COURSE OF THEOLOGICAL LECTURES. By Thomas Wilson. (Thomson, Glasgow).—This is a second edition of lectures, in which the Divinity of the Word and the truth of its leading doctrines are explained and vindicated against infidel objections, on New Church principles. The lecturer having himself been rescued from infidelity by means of these principles, felt a strong desire to deliver others from its dominion. He engaged in public discussion with the leading Secularists of his day, especially the notorious Carlile ; but was not one who enjoyed polemics for their own sake. He seems to have done good service to the cause of truth in his time, and may still do good through these published discourses. Those who do not require confirmation themselves may
find the book useful to put into the hands of those who do.
Deus Homo. (Spiers, London).—This is a reprint of the American edition of this excellent work by Professor Theophilus Parsons. The work was noticed and recommended in the Repository at the time of
But the name of the author is sufficient to secure for it a wide and cordial reception.
its first appearance.
the resolution which I propose is utterly REVISION OF THE SCRIPTURES.
inconsistent with that which your
· Lord This great' work has passed through ships adopted yesterday. It is to my a scene of contention in the two Houses own mind perfectly clear that the two of Convocation, which has placed its resolutions proceed on directly opposite accomplishment in considerable jeo- principles. The principle of the resolupardy. The election of the Rev. Vance tion of yesterday was that the true Smith, an eminent Unitarian minister, bond of union amongst persons engaged has created great dissatisfaction in many in such an undertaking was a perfect quarters in the Established Church, and agreement in religious doctrines. I his reception of the sacrament of the wish it to be clearly understood that I Holy Supper with the other members mean my resolution to be the expresof the Committee of Revision in West- sion of a totally different principle, minster Abbey, has been regarded as a that I mean to deny that which is in
scandal,” and commonly spoken of volved and expressed in the resolution as “the Westminster scandal.” The passed yesterday. While I fully admit question of this appointment was that agreement in doctrine is for many brought before the Upper House of Con- purposes, and those the highest of all, vocation by the Bishop of Winchester, the most important bond of union, I who moved a resolution declaring that say that for the special purpose of the “it is not expedient that any person revision of the translation of the Scripwho denies the Godhead of our Lord tures, it is not the true bond of union ; Jesus Christ should be invited to assist but that the true bond of union is a in the revision of the Scriptures, and common purpose amongst those who that ... any such one now in either are engaged in the work of setting to it company should cease to act therewith. with a single eye to the accuracy and This resolution, after lengthened debates, adequacy of the translation.” was adopted, by a majority of ten against Both the resolutions thus adopted four. Its adoption led however to un- were transmitted to the Lower House of expected complications. The Bishop Convocation. The former rescinding of St. David's, in a speech of remarkable the appointment of Mr. Vance Smith, calmness and power, explained to their led to long and animated debates. The Lordships that their resolution con- opposition to the resolution was led by strained him to resign his place on the the Dean of Westminster, who mainrevision Committee ; and he concluded tained with great firmness the position by moving the following resolution, which had been taken by the Comwhich was unanimously adopted, mittee, and resisted with intense energy
That, notwithstanding the restriction the effort to narrow the application of introduced into the fifth resolution, this the fifth resolution adopted on the House does not intend to give the appointment of the Committee, which slightest sanction or countenance to declared that the Committee “shall be the opinion that the members of the at liberty to invite the co-operation of revision companies ought to be guided any eminent for scholarship, to whatby any other principle than the desire ever nation or religious body they may to bring the translation as near as they belong.” In the course of his address can to the sense of the original texts ; he closely criticized the terms of the but, on the contrary, regard it as their Bishop of Winchester's resolution, and duty to keep themselves as much as contended that “by taking this one possible on their guard against any bias particular subject, and saying it was of preconceived opinions or theological necessary to exclude all who did not tenets in the work of revision.” This believe in the Godhead of our Lord, resolution raised a distinct issue which and not to make any assertion as to the the mover was careful to point out. “I Godhead of the other two Persons in the do not affect,” he said, “to disguise from Trinity, was of itself a heresy of the myself, nor do I wish to conceal from
Under this resolution your Lordships, that in my judgment there was only one sect in England en
mittee of revision singular judgment, sagacity, and modesty."
titled to sit on the Committee, and that the Swedenborgians, who believed the whole of the Godhead is concentrated in the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” The debates in the Lower House ended in the adoption of a resolution,—“That their Lordships of the Upper House be respectfully requested to allow the Lower House to postpone giving its opinion on the resolution of the Upper House until the Committee appointed in May 1870, to report to Convocation on a scheme of revision shall have made its report.' As “a scheme of revision” has been ruled to mean the revision itself, this resolution disposes of the objection to the appointment, and the work, we are told, is again in progress with Mr. Vance Smith as one of the New Testament company.
The discussion has given prominence, however, to features of theological opinion and conditions of theological bitterness, which make painfully manifest the vast remains of the old leaven of the consummated Church. The tritheism doctrine which occupies the minds of the public teachers of the Church is expressed with a nakedness we should scarcely have expected. It is heresy to question any statement of the Nicene Creed, or to refuse to admit the separate Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. These several Godheads are spoken of with an ease and frequency which show a total unconsciousness of the great scriptural teaching of the absolute and personal oneness of God. It is not the Bible, it is the Creeds of the Church that fashions the thoughts and inspires the words of her teachers. Thus both the priest and the prophet "err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” And the natural result of this deplorable perversion of doctrine is seen in the contempt and bitterness mani. fested towards those who differ from them. The members of the New Church have little doctrinal agreement with Unitarianism, but they have no sympathy with the narrowness which seeks to exclude from this important work any who are fitted by sound scholarship to aid in its accomplishment, and still less with the expression of unchristian and uncharitable feelings towards a man of whom his opponents are constrained to
say, “we have evidence that he showed in the progress of that Com
The Judicial Committee, the final court of appeal for the Established Church, is at present dealing hard measure to the extreme parties in the Establishment. In our last number we noticed the judgment in the case of Mr. Voysey, which affects the members of the Broad Church. The judgment recently given in the case of Mr. Purchas condemns the practice of the Ritualists, and painfully affects the members of the High Church. By this judgment “the chasuble, alb, and tunicle' are declared to be illegal ; but the cope is to be worn in ministering the Holy Communion on high feast days in cathedrals and collegiate churches.' In ‘all other ministrations,' the only legal vestment is the surplice. But the peculiar sort of cap called a biretta, cannot, it seems, be confidently pronounced to be unlawful when carried in the hand.” The judgment enters into other particulars, as the mixing of water with the sacramental wine, wafer bread, the place of the celebrant at the communion table, in all which the practices of Mr. Purchas is condemned as having departed both in the spirit and the letter from the rubrics.
This judgment curtails the liberty of the ministers of the Church both in the use of vestments and the manner of administering the sacrament of the Holy Supper. In the case of vestments it seems to condemn the black gown of the Evangelical as well as the gorgeous apparel of the Ritualist. But in the case of the latter a doctrinal significance is attached to these vestments and ceremonies, and with them, therefore, it will be harder to submit. Notes of rebellion have been sounded, and ministers who do not belong to the extreme party express themselves as deeply aggrieved. The Evangelical or Low Church party is jubilant, but the judgment seems not unlikely to accel. erate tendencies and to hasten events, against which they have thus far been the niost earnest to contend. Some of these are intimated by Canon Liddon in a letter to the Guardian, of which the following are the concluding sentences :-"Infidelity menaces us with intellectual forces greater than at any