« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
THE DALKEITII HERESY CASE.
countless multitudes of the heathen We gave in our last a notice of this world will crowd into the Kingdom of case under the heading of “The Spirits Heaven, while the Scribes and Pharisees in Prison.” The further proceedings of Christendom will be cast out. Many are not less interesting than those to churches, so called, have professed to which we then alluded. The delibera- believe that the majority of mankind tions of the Presbytery ended in the are going down every moment into hell ; adoption of a very lenient resolution. while they have been sedulously study. A minority were satisfied with the ex- ing their own comfort, clothed in purple planations given; a majority considered and fine linen and faring sumptuously that their duty to the Confession, which every day, flattering themselves with declares that “men not professing the the hope of heaven, and soothing their Christian religion cannot be saved, be consciences by casting a few crumbs to they ever so diligent to frame their lives the dism wretches at their gates. according to the light of nature, Alas ! alas! there will be a day of terquired thein to put on record that Mr rible confusion for all this—a day when Ferguson was without warrant in our human theologies that have strangled preaching the sentiments reported, and souls, and our ecclesiastical dignities that he should be cautioned not to that have despised the poor, will go speculate on such subjects. Instead of surging swiftly down into an abyss of humility and promise of amendment, retribution.” He must either, he conMr Ferguson read a carefully-prepared tinued, “ draw up a libel against all the MS., which Mr Gilfillan has described writers of the Bible in order to protect as “marking an era in the ecclesiastical the compilers of the Confession, to seal history of Scotland.” This paper was a up especially the New Testament idea direct assault upon the strongholds of of Christianity, to declare the original orthodoxy: “Calvinism,” he said, “ at idea of the pulpit a solecism in relation its best, is but a part of the truth. to modern society, and to enjoin all There are countless facts both in the preachers to maunder on, with due obBible and the world which will not be sequiousness, from one inanity to pressed within the rigid Calvinistic rule. another; or, on the other hand, recogChristianity is a reasonable word. It nise the fact that we are assuredly means light, thought, intelligence. It adrift upon a period of boundless tranis the irreconcilable foe of all darkness sition, that the sooner we get clear of and stupidity ; and it points out the dogmatic icebergs the better, and that devil, in the end of his career, to be the nothing can save us but the possession supreme ass. A little fermentation of of living ideas, a more generous apprethought, then, seems a very hopeful sign, ciation of the providence of God, and a and something the Presbytery ought to fuller embrace of the Gospel of Christ encourage.” And in regard to the par- in its glorious freeness, amplitude, and ticular charge on which he was arraigned impartiality. he is equally bold and uncompromising. “ In the very next column to the re
* The statement,” he says, "that there port of the Dalkeith Heresy Case,” is nothing in Scripture to support the writes the editor of The English Indeidea that an exhibition of Divine mercy pendent, “is the report of the 'Dunse will be made in another state to those Heresy Case,' in which a minister of who never heard the voice of mercy here the Kirk was charged with offending in is one to which I could not subscribe. an exactly opposite direction. He was It implies that we have so thoroughly supposed to have been preaching conexplored the Bible, and so thoroughly fession and absolution at the hands of fathomed and comprehended the whole ordained minister'— rank High counsel of infinite love and wisdom Churchism, in fact. Thus the new therein disclosed, as to feel quite sure wine is bursting the old bottles. The that the only restoration possible in a stir of men's minds on the highest of all future state is a restoration of dead subjects—a blessed sign of the times,
It is my impression that though accompanied with some incon
EDUCATIONAL BOARDS. Since our last publication several of the chief cities and large towns of the country have been occupied in the election of boards, to carry into effect the Educational Bill of last session of Parliament. All parties have accepted the bill, and sought to carry out its requirements. The Church has urged in many places an extension of the voluntary efforts hitherto made; and put forth her utmost efforts to retain in her own hands the education supplied in the small parishes. Wherever school boards, however, have been adopted they have been cheerfully accepted by members of the Church, who have thrown themselves heartily into the movement. In most, if not in all places, they have secured a majority of members on the boards which have been elected. At the elections there has been littleexcitement, and many of the persons entitled to vote have declined or neglected to do so. The cumulative vote, which enables each voter to give the entire number of his votes to one candidate, has led to some curious results. In Manchester the Roman Catholic candidates headed the poll by a majority of many thousands; the members of the Church of England were next; and the friends of unsectarian education lowest. In most, if not in all places, the elections are in favour of religious education, the majority of the persons elected being members of the Church of England. It is interesting also to note that men of position and ability have been put forward and elected to this responsible duty. In the metropolitan districts there are five members of parliament, four prin. cipals of colleges, one professor, and one peer, elected. The other members also seem to be men of good position in the district. The country is now, therefore, fairly committed to a vigorous
effort to promote the education of the entire population. In the success of this movement all are interested. It is by education the mind is to develop its powers and to become fitted for the higher culture of spiritual truth and heavenly wisdom. The New Church has always acknowledged the importance of the work on which the country has now entered, and to the extent of her ability has diligently laboured in its promotion; and whatever may be the effect of the new arrangements that may follow the appointment of school boards upon our day-schools, she will be among the first to rejoice in the extension of the blessings of education to the hitherto neglected portions of the community.
CONTAGIOUS DISEASES ACTS. We have received a number of communications on this subject from our correspondents, all strongly objecting to the Government measure. So long as men commence their moral and spiritual progress in the lowest elements of their nature—the carnal and sensual—so long will there be danger that in the best regulated State, and among the most virtuously educated people, some will fall into sexual irregularities. The way to deal with these evils is at present, and will long remain, one of the most perplexing problems of the statesman. The evil cannot be let alone. Society can no more tolerate unchecked' licen. tiousness than unchecked theft or covetousness, or any other crime. The great objection to the way in which it is now being dealt with, is that the measures adopted tend not to the restraint or the correction of the evil, but to its encouragement.
In dealing with infectious diseases the aim of legislation should be to remove the causes of their prevalence, and thereby to restrain their virulence and check their extension. In the case of cholera or fever sanitary legislation never proposes to itself to palliate the evil and render it safe for persons to live in the scenes of disorder, negligence and dirt which produce and foster these diseases. And in like manner, in deal. ing with the fearful diseases springing from the indulgence of unrestrained lust, the aim of legislation should be to render this indulgence difficult, to restrain its prevalence, and to offer
every possible inducement to a wiser by moral and religious instruction and and more orderly life. Much of the industrial training that they may be disorder which both the moralist and prepared to relinquish a life of crime the religious teacher deplores, has its and to provide by industry and usefulbeginning in the difficulties which men ness for their worldly necessities. find in securing a worldly position in which they can prudently marry. And LONDON.— When the account under many of these difficulties arise from the this head, which appeared in our January intense selfishness which is at the root number was written, the National Misof our social arrangements and institu- sionary was at Horncastle, and some tions. No effort will correct these evils further particulars of his labours can which does not sap the foundations of now be furnished. He lectured there this selfishness, and elevate the more twice, preached twice on the Sunday, well-to-do portion of society into a more and administered the Sacrament, at a generous sympathy and kindly effort to special service for the purpose, in the assist the down-trodden and the indi- afternoon. The lectures were satisfacgent. The great desideratum is to offer torily attended. The Sunday evening facilities for marriage and present im- service—the subject being prayer in pediments in the way of fornication- general and the Lord's Prayer in par. to render the one easy and safe, the ticular-was attended by about 150 other difficult and dangerous.
The utmost attention was The natural man can only be governed given. A commercial traveller, a young by fear, but the recent measures by mak- Scotchman, attended the first lecture, ing sinful indulgence safe, remove the purchased a copy of the Brighton principal ground of fear, and open the Lectures at the close, and expressed prospect of safety in the practice of vice. himself well satisfied with what he had By whatever means accomplished all le- heard. 24 copies of the Little Hymn gislation on the subject should involve Book were sold. An announcement two principles : the restraint of the evil; that tracts would be given to those who and, as far as possible, consistently would come up to the table for them, with the freedom of the subject, its brought quite a stream of applicants, correction. The first of these principles so that the stock was not equal to the is involved in all criminal legislation. demand. On the Monday evening, beWe cannot extinguish theft, but we fore the lecture, the friends, to the can keep it within reasonable bounds. number of about 30, met for tea, and Neither can we extinguish fornication, social converse. 73 attended the lecture, but we may and ought to adopt mea- several being Wesleyans, subject “the sures to make manifest its iniquity, and Atonement. A number of extracts to restrain its practice. We cannot were given, from some discourses by the make men virtuous by Act of Parlia- Rev. T. W. Matthews, of Boston, in ment, but we ought to adopt such mea- which that gentleman most emphatisures as may bring the fallen, in their cally ignores the doctrine of substituseasons of sorrow and compunction, tion. The Heywood Society has kindly under the moral and spiritual influences consented for Mr. Storry to take the most likely to promote their improve- next visit to Horncastle. The mission. ment and correction. We cannot deny ary visit to Salisbury was next underto the diseased the benefits of the hos- taken, and the most complete success pital. To do so would be to utterly re- attended it. Mr. Whitehorn, the owner ject the great lesson involved in the of the rooms, had caused announceparable of the good Samaritan. But ments of the lectures and services to be our hospital should be so conducted as so thoroughly circulated, that the atto promote the moral and spiritual as tendance surpassed expectation. Atthe well as the physical health of the fallen. lectures, four in number, there were The continental practice of requiring present from 130 to 150 persons. At these women to return, as “a sow to the Sunday morning service about 100, her vomit,” to their former life, is an and at the Sunday evening service about outrage on all Christian principle and 300, the place being quite filled. The on every precept of “the glorious gos- lecturer had with him a small supply of pel of the blessed God.” Rather should “ The Future Life" and the “Brighton their returning health be accompanied Lectures,” and on giving a somewhat
extended account of the nature of these books at the close of the first lecture, all he had were sold. The next morning others were telegraphed for, and were there time for the lecture in the evening. These were all sold, and more were written for and sent, and all were sold, about 30 copies of the Brighton Lectures, and 40 of the Future Life. One gentleman, who preaches occasion. ally amongst the Baptists, purchased a copy of the Brighton Lectures; and on a subsequent evening, said privately to the lecturer, that if the lecture he had been reading was right, he had been thus far all wrong. He was invited to Mr. Whitehorn's, where a long conversation ensued, and he accepted a copy of the Appeal, expressing a determination to know, if possible, the truth. On the last evening after the lecture, in a little knot of attendants, the conversation turned upon the angels, and the observation was made to one young man, “I suppose you conclude that angels have mouths ;" he replied he did not know, when one of his own friends, calling him by name, said, “O yes, they must have mouths, or they could not sing.” These lectures and services were altogether of a most satisfactory nature, and the effort is to be continued in April next. The lecturer enjoyed the company of the Rev. D. T. Dyke for the first time, at the house of Mr. Whitehorn, who, for his liberality, hospitality, and earnestness, is entitled to the best thanks of all who take an interest in the promulgation of the Doctrines of the New Church. It deserves mention that this gentleman gave the use of the rooms, paid all the expenses of advertising, entertained the lecturer, and was present on every occasion to give a cheerful welcome to all who came to listen.
The National Missionary next visited Northampton, and preached there twice on Sunday the 1st of January : in the morning there were present 30, and in the evening, when the death of Abraham was discoursed upon, in consequence of the departure of one of our friends into the spiritual world, there were present above 100. On the Monday a kind of soiree was held, 58 took tea, and the numbers afterwards reached nearly 100. After the tea, Mr. Berry, the zealous and worthy leader of the society, took the chair, and addressed the meeting,
being followed by several other friends. One convert of recent date delivered a most enthusiastic speech of about thirty minutes' duration, expressing his own delight and his determination to make known these new truths, which gave him so much joy. The society is progressing in a very satisfactory manner, and is worthy the constant care of the Missionary Society. Many other pleasing incidents connected with this visit could be named, did space permit. On January 8, Mr. Gunton attended a business meeting of the Deptford Society, when the plans for their proposed new place of worship underwent some modification. The friends wisely determined not to embarrass themselves with a heavy debt. They therefore on this occasion resolved to reduce the height of their building, and to dispense for the present with the vestry and schoolroom. Some few friends have promised aid liberally, but the number is not what was hoped for. Should this form of appeal bring additional contributions, the vestry and the school can be replaced in the plans, if not, they must be without them. Names will be gratefully received by Mr. Rhodes, who gives his services, as leader of the society, gratuitously, and whose address is 13 Seymour Street, St. John's Road, Deptford. On the evening of the same day, Mr. Gunton gave a lecture “On the New Heaven, the New Earth, and the New Jerusalem,” to an unusually large audience. This lecture is to be followed by one from Mr. Austin and one by Mr. Rhodes.
At the last meeting of the Committee of the Swedenborg Society, the gifts of the Conference, consisting of photolithograph manuscripts and written documents, as described in Minute 116 of last Conference, were laid on the table, and letters were read from the Rev. C. Vosey, and the Rev. Fergus Ferguson acknowledging the acceptance of the books, sent them by the Society.
The Missionary and Tract Society's Committee have had much important business under consideration, some particulars of which may be given next month.
From another correspondent we have received the following statement of approaching services at Newcastle-onTyne and the North :—"The following programme concluded with Mr. Gunton,
the National Missionary,' exhibits pleasant gatherings of the Church in that gentleman's disposition to work. Hoxton. On Sunday, Jan. 8th, 1871, Hull, February 12th, 14th, 16th ; Mid- Dr. Bayley preached at the same place, dlesborough, 19th, 21st, 22d ; New- and in the course of the service bapcastle, 24th and 26th ; South Shields, tized six children, and administered 28th, March 2d, 5th, 7th ; Sunderland, the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper to March 9th, 12th, 14th ; Gateshead, thirty-five members and friends of the March 16th ; Newcastle, March 17th; Society: The Church is full every York, Sunday, March 19th. Mr. Gun- Sabbath evening, and Mr. Ramage's ton will (D. V.) lecture at all these services are much appreciated by the dates, preaching twice on Sundays. congregation, Letters to be addressed to 20 East Parade, Newcastle-on-Tyne, where also BATH.—The New Church Society tracts, books, &c., for distribution meeting in Henry Street, Bath, has may be forwarded.”
been much edified and encouraged by
the visit of Dr. Bayley to this city, North LONDON.-Buttesland Street. He delivered eight public discourses The first general meeting of this Society which were very numerously attended took place on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 1870*: . by audiences who evinced by their conat which, notwithstanding the incle- duct a sincere desire for information ment weather, nearly seventy friends concerning the doctrines of the New were present. After tea in the School- Church. room the meeting adjonrned to the These discourses had been advertised Church, and the proceedings were by means of the newspapers, posters, opened by a hymn, followed by prayer and hand-bills. The following brief by Mr. P. Ramage, the minister of the notice is from a communication of a Church. The secretary, Mr. W. Cull- correspondent to the Bath Journal :ing, then gave a short sketch of the "On Sunday morning the subject history of the Society, in the course of selected was, "Jesus giving to Peter which he stated that in fifteen months the keys of the kingdom of Heaven ;' the number of members had increased and in the evening, “On the blood of from seven to fifty-one, a result which the Lamb, with which the robes of the he considered as extremely gratifying blessed are made white.' On Tuesday and encouraging to the friends of the evening Dr. Bayley lectured on the folSociety. Mr. Noel the treasurer gave lowing subject :- Glimpses of Heaven. a favourable account of the state of the Where is Heaven ? What is Heaven? finances; after which the audience were And how are we to prepare for it?' and addressed by Dr. Bayley, Messrs. on Thursday evening, 'On death. Rhodes, Madeley, Smith, and several What is the spiritual body of which other gentlemen, all of whom con- the Apostle Paul speaks ? Shall we gratulated the members on the success need the earthly body any more after which had attended their efforts, and in- it is buried ?' The whole of the above cited them to fresh labour in the cause. services were very numerously attended,
In the course of the evening the many strangers being present, and the superintendent of the Sunday School attention of the congregation was comstated that the School, which had been pletely absorbed each evening from the in work about three months, had beginning to the end of the discourse, already sixty-two names on its books : The Rev. Dr. displayed extraordinary most of the children being residents in ability and eloquence in handling the the immediate neighbourhood of the all-important subjects mentioned above, Church, and thus being a fruitful field while his earnestness and honesty of for the sowing of the truths of the purpose are unimpeachable.” Church. Between the addresses several In addition to which I just add, that pieces were sung by the members of the Dr. Bayley attended the Anniversary choir, assisted by several friends who Meeting of our Church on Wednesday, had kindly volunteered to help them. Dec. 14th, and addressed the Society A most kindly feeling seemed to pre- upon several subjects of interest; and vail in the meeting, which separated as this Society has had the privilege of at a late hour. It is hoped that this receiving the ministration of the Rev. is but the first of a long series of James Keene for upwards of forty years