Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

places before them, and the execution admirably and perfectly corresponds to the promise. We append the list of subjects.

“The Most Ancient, or Divine language. Low ideas of the Divine Word, its hidden light seeking

to penetrate through the cloud of darkness. Exhortation of a Puritan Divine. Three reasons why the Scriptures could not have been written in the style of the modern vernacular : 1st. Man could not create a language. 2d. Therefore the primitive language must have been divinely taught. 3d. That language has long since, by the fall of man, been adulterated, and its original meaning lost. Style of the first language symbolical. Paine's argument. Illustrations of the symbolic law: Light, Darkness, Fire, Heat, Cold, Sun, Moon, &c.; Mountains, Valleys, Rock, Stone ; Heart, Lungs, Brain, Nerves, &c. Serpent. Hieroglyphics. Israelitish Church ; Loss of Ancient Records during past ages, discovery amid the ruins. Testimony of the Essenes, Philo, Josephus, &c. The Macrocosm and the Microcosm ; Plutarch ; Egyptian Mythology ; Pegasus and the Musæ. Two-fold meaning of Scripture. Mosheim, Plato, Origen. The body and soul of Scripture—illustrations : Marriage at Cana and Joseph's death; Eusebius; Archbishop Wake; Clemens Alexandrinus ; St. Barnabas; Hellenistical Jews; Therapeutæ ; Jewish sect in Poland retaining spiritual sense of Scriptures. Robinson, Pascal. The Word of God must contain the wisdom of God : the key of knowledge ; Christianity and Paganism. Mrs. Child and Dr. Middleton on conversion of heathen gods to Christian saints. Lost Books. The Divine Word first written in the heavens : Mythology; Spiritual Egyptians. The names of God-Yah, Yes, &c. Prometheus ; Prophetic Advent; the Great Hero. Virgin and Child; Mary; Venus ; Miriam ; Adonis ; the Sun and Signs of the Zodiac; Christmas Day; the birth of Sol; the Star of the Virgin ; Heavenly Symbols ; twelve Signs; the number Twelve and its constituents Three and Four. The Pyramids ; decline and loss of symbolic language, or of correspondences—its restoration ; application to the Scriptures in revealing their long lost Divine Wisdom. Illustration–The Sun, the Moon, the Stars ; Clouds and Darkness ; the Mental Earth ; Intellectual Light; Holy Mountain. Heaven.”

This very extensive range of subjects is only that of the first lecture, and there are twelve lectures, equally rich in the results of patient research, stated in masterly and brilliant language. The records of India and of Egypt, of Assyria and of Babylon, have been unfolded, and are presented to our consideration by Mr. Field in a clear, connected and scholarly manner. The teaching of Swedenborg on the first eleven chapters of Genesis, and the successions of changes in the early millenniums of human history are elucidated and surrounded by evidence of the most convincing character, while throughout the work the tone is that of a truly Christian scholar. In lectures ten and eleven, Mr. Field treats of the scriptural account of the Flood, and he does so most exhaustively. He shows how utterly inadequate all methods of literal interpretation are to reconcile the narrative, if understood of a gigantic flood of earthly waters, to reason and common sense ; while, on the other hand, understanding the account as a spiritual history delivered in the language of allegory, all is lucid, wise, and edifying. Every particular has due weight allotted to it, and is shown to be fraught with instruction, and the whole is reverently treated, as becomes an exponent of the Word of God. The limits of our work for reviews prevent our dwelling longer on this admirable addition to our literature. We commend our readers to the work itself. It will enrich every library that possesses it

, From the difficulties arising from the exchange between paper money and gold, affecting America and Europe, the price, nine shillings, is rather high, but we hope it will be extensively circulated. Every New Church library, every New Church student, and every thoughtful man in the community of the empire ought to read this noble work, The Two GREAT Books of NATURE AND REVELATION.

J. B.




A VARIETY of circumstances are giving at present an increased interest to these important institutions. The working of the Government measure providing for the extension of our day-school system is exciting, by the encouragement and aid it affords to the schools of the Established Church, an opposition on the part of our leading Dissenters which threatens to banish all teaching of religious truth from our day-schools, and thus to render the Sunday-school more than ever necessary for the religious instruction of the rising generation. At a large public meeting at Birmingham, the following resolution was passed unani. mously: “That this meeting, representing Nonconformists of all denominations, in the Borough of Birmingham, strongly protests against the bye-laws recently passed by the School Board, providing for the payment of the fees of indigent children attending denominational schools, regarding the proposal for subsidizing denominational schools out of the rates as a gross and flagrant violation of the rights of conscience, and as a revival of the principle of Church-rates."

In supporting this resolution, one of the speakers is reported to have said, "he should feel so indignant at any one coming to him for any rate to support the shadow of a shade of any religious dogma, that they might seize his goods before he would submit.” And, failing other means to obtain an alteration in the law, the English Independent of June 8 assures its readers that this course will be adopted by the Independents of Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, and other large towns. Nor is this hostility to the denominational schools confined to dogma. Mr Rutherford, another of the speakers, strongly objected to the teaching of the Bible, and contended for the maintenance of schools in which secular instruction only was given. In this view, however, the meeting was not unani.

Alderman Manton, in proposing that the secretaries be requested to arrange for a public meeting in the Town Hall, said, “he should feel that he was a coward if he did not at once declare that he never would consent to the exclusion of the Bible from schools, and he believed that if the working men of England were polled, not one in a hundred would vote in favour of such a proposition."

In support of this, we think, wiser course of retaining in our day-schools, subject to a conscience clause, the teaching of the Bible, we give the following extract from a speech of the Rev. R. H. Story, of Roseneath, delivered in the Assembly of the Established Church of Scotland: “It would be observed that in the schools of this country there was always an increasing infusion of the scientific element in the instruction of the young. Professor Huxley and his friends told the public it was their design ultimately to supersede the old system by a new system, and to substitute for the religion of faith the religion of science. If that were so, it would be well for the Church to endeavour, in the interests of the national character, at least to avert that substitution for a time. He confessed he should look with great apprehension on the development of national character which might be evolved under a purely secular and scientific system. He would say with all earnestness, ‘God help the unfortunate child in whose education the records of the chalk or the annals of the slime should take the place of the Songs of Zion and the Parables of Galilee.' He would teach what amount of science he could, but while he had the control of children in the school he would keep their hearts pure by higher thoughts, and their young minds open to considerations nobler than any that science could teach them. Give them as much geography, or natural history, or botany, as was possible, but along with that give them the plain Saxon of the Bible, which addressed all men as spiritual creatures, girt with mystery, heirs of eternal kingdoms, subjects of a moral discipline, children of one Father, creatures made in their Creator's divine and eternal image. Later in life, if they could digest the theory and accept the evidence, let them come to believe in the ancestral ape, who lived up a tree and wore out his tail by sedentary habits ; but while they were young, while they were still wandering through the wonderland of boyhood and girlhood, leave them the belief in the earth as the work of


[ocr errors]

the Creator, and in all they saw around them as the expression of the goodness and bounty of God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.”

These controversies, whatever may be their termination, necessitate increased attention to our Sunday schools. They give also a sufficiently clear intimation of what will be imperatively required of them. The time for secular instruction on the Sunday is passing away ; and the Sunday school must become in the future a distinct seminary of religious instruction. The teachers must seek a higher religious culture, and must labour with increased diligence to interest the children in the studies of religious truth suited to their years. Teach a child, it has been said, the objects of his own country ; talk to him of its trees and shrubs, its flowers and fruits, and not of the objects of a country so far removed, and in which he has so little interest, as the land of Canaan. We also say, teach a child as extensively as you are able a knowledge of the objects and institutions of his country, interest him in these objects, and train him to a familiarity with its scenery and its history ; but do not neglect to also instruct him that he is created for another

, a higher, and a more enduring country, of which the land of Canaan is the divinelyappointed type and shadow. And, in the study of this latter country, teach him to trace the correspondence of its cities and habitations, its mountains and valleys, its rivers and streams, and all its varied productions and manifold institutions, to the diversified elements of spiritual beauty and enduring joy which belong to his everlasting home.

The members of the New Church have always been distinguished for the interest they have taken in this question of Sunday schools. No sooner have a few receivers our heavenly doctrines associated themselves together than they have turned their attention to the religious instruction of their children, and the institution of a Sunday school. And in Lancashire, by this agency alone, the Church has obtained a firm hold upon the public mind of many growing communities. Large numbers who do not attend our worship, or connect themselves with any of our church uses, entertain towards us feelings of respect, on the ground of the uses we have rendered to the community at large in the teaching and train. ing of the young. There are also occasions on which this interest in the rising generation is conspicuously manifested. Two of these we may briefly notice.

Whitsuntide is observed as a general holiday, and advantage is taken of this holiday to provide for the festivity and enjoyments of the children of the Sunday schools. A short time ago it was unblushingly asserted by one of the leading apostles of infidelity, that those who rejected Christianity had been the chief promoters of the education of the people. The people who head these processions of school children, and who spend days and nights in anxious thought and earnest toil to render their annual pastime joyous and happy, are not those who have lost faith in religion, but those who are sustained by its power, and guided by its light. Faith in the unseen world is at the root of all earnest and continuous labour to improve and elevate men in the present world. The man or woman who is not sustained by this faith soon grows weary of the self-denial which is involved in all Christian effort to bless and benefit the world.

From the local newspapers, and from some private communications kindly sent us, we are able to give some particulars respecting this festival as observed by the New Church schools in Lancashire.

At Manchester, on May 31st, the scholars, teachers, and friends, walked in procession from the school to Alexandria Park, whence, after a couple of hours' play, they returned to the school-room to tea, a short address from the urinister, and a iniscellaneous concert interspersed with recitations, half an hour's play, and several dances. June 1st, the scholars were taken in waggons to Booth's Town, near Worsley, where a field was provided to play in, and for pleasant rambles, tea at an inn, and returned to the school. June 2d, a larger party of elder scholars, teachers, and friends, had an excursion to Skipton and Bolton Abbey ; tea was provided at Skipton.

At Salford, on the Wednesday in Whit-week, the scholars and friends of the school, to the number of 200, went in waggons to Heaton Park, the seat of the Earl of Wilton, where they had the opportunity of out door amusements, and were also plentifully regaled with buns and milk. On Thursday, an excursion was provided to Matlock Baths, in Derbyshire, where a very pleasant day was spent. On Friday, the children spent the day in school and the grounds adjoining, being well provided with shuttlecocks, skipping-ropes, bats and balls, and skittles, all of which were thoroughly well used and enjoyed. Tea was provided in the school-room, where again the scholars and friends mustered to the number of about 200.

At Radcliffe, 422 scholars and teachers walked in procession on Whit-Friday, along the principal streets of Radcliffe and Whitefield. On returning to the school the children were supplied with tea, subsequently proceeding to a field near, kindly lent by the occupier, various games peculiar to Whit-Tide were indulged in, dancing forming a prominent feature. The following day (Saturday) the teachers and elder scholars, to the number of 60, proceeded to Buxton ; the romantic scenery of that neighbourhood affording abundant sources of enjoyment. A few of the teachers also accompanied the Independents in their excursion to Scarborough.

At Heywood, 480 children and friends of the school had a procession through the principal portions of the town, returning to tea in the schoolroom, and spending the rest of the day in outdoor amusements in an adjoining field. On the Saturday several spent the day in Liverpool, an excursion being provided for that purpose. The latter days of the week were similarly spent by the schools at Kersley, Bolton, Rhodes, Ramsbottom, and probably nearly all the schools in this part of the kingdom. At Kersley, Radcliffe, Heywood, and some of the other schools, the proceedings were enlivened by bands of music; and everywhere the utmost efforts were made to promote the thorough enjoyment of the children.

Another occasion on which is manifested the interest of the members of the church in their Sunday schools, is at the annual sermons and collections on their behalf. At the small Society at Burnley, consisting almost exclusively of a few working men, the collections amounted to £6. At Oswaldtwistle the collections were £9; at Clayton-le-Moors, £30; at Besses-o-th’-Barn, £14; at Haslingden, £16; at Rhodes, £18 ; at Blackburn, £19; at Bolton, £29; at Salford, £26; at Kersley, £49; and at Radcliffe, £89. These sums sufficiently attest the interest felt by the members of the Church in the support of their Šunday schools, and also of their several churches, as the means of sustaining these schools and perpetuating their usefulness. In the school is found a field of usefulness for the members of the Church, and especially for the younger members, who continue their religious education in their efforts to teach others. A correspondent who visited the school at Besses, writes us: “I was extremely pleased to see the school so well filled. To see so many scholars assenabled to be instructed by a staff of teachers consisting almost entirely of young men, all working together so cheerfully and energetically, was really delightful." Long, indeed, may this great work continue to interest the Church, and be, as at present, the means of strengthening her charity, extending her borders, and increasing her usefulness in the world.


MEMBERS OF THE NEW CHURCH. Under the title of “The Life and Times of the Rev. John Wesley, M. A.," there has recently issued from the press a work in three good-sized volumes, written by the Rev. L. Tyerman, a leading minister of the Wesleyan body. The work is a lengthened and somewhat prolix statement of the rise and progress of the remarkable religious movement of Wesleyan Methodism during the life of its founder. The writer has endeavoured to write impartially, and in

doing so has narrated many particulars which show the infirmities of his hero, and the worse than infirmities of many of his disciples.

In the course of such a work, it was impossible to avoid all allusion to Swedenborg and to some of the earlier members of the New Church. Readers of Swedenborg may be interested to know the present opinion of intelligent Wesleyans respecting our great author, and if Mr. Tyerman may be supposed to represent this class of his brethren, they will be surprised and pained to


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

“ Wesley,

find how little progress has been made several of whom find a place in these by them in a correct appreciation of his volumes, are concerned. character, or a right estimate of the One of the early receivers named is nature and purpose of his writings. the Rev. Mr. Hartley, the Rector of The author's own statements are con- Winwick, to whom the author devotes tained in two short notices in the third over six pages. * Mr. Hartley," he volume of his work. In the first of says, was a friend of the Countess of these he says : Baron Emanuel Huntingdon, and of the Shirley family. Swedenborg, after rendering great ser- He was a man of learning, and of strong, vice to science, and thereby winning the cultivated mind. He was an earnest, esteem of Charles XII., and having his devout, energetic Christian ; an able, name deservedly enrolled among those liberal, unbigoted minister; and an of the members of the academies of author whose style is clear and forcible, Upsal, Stockholm, and Petersburg, and sometimes eloquent, and whose came to London in 1743, attended the valuable works are still worth reading. Moravian Chapel in Fetter Lane, went Mr. Hartley, however was a Millennarian mad, and began to write and publish and a mystic. And here is the ground the visionary books containing the creed of the attention given to this estimable of the Swedenborgians” (vol. iii. p. 58). man and able writer. Wesley disapOn a subsequent page (407) the author proved of his mystic tendencies, though again writes : “The Baron, a little himself under unquestionable obligabefore he died, presented Wesley with tion to the writings of Mr. Law for the his last and largest theological work, early awakening of his mind to a sense of * True Christian Religion ;' but he spiritual things. He was at one with failed to make a convert of him. Wes- him, however, in his speculations reley believed him to be insane, and specting the millennium. traced his insanity to a fever which he like his father before him, was a millenhad in London, when he ran into the narian, a believer in the second advent of street stark naked, proclaimed himself Christ, to reign on earth, visibly and the Messiah, and rolled himself in the gloriously, for a thousand years." mire.' He was a 'fine genius, -majes- Another early member of the New tic though in ruins.””

Thus the lapse Church is J. W. Salmon, Esq., whose of time and the progress of increased memory is treated with scant courtesy, knowledge respecting Swedenborg and and his efforts to do good with mani. his writings seem to have produced no fest injustice. He is described as effect whatever on minds of the order eccentric Christian gentleman,” who of the Rev. L. Tyerman. With a mul- was probably the Mr. Salmon who titude of examples before him of the was to have gone with the Wesleyans gross injustice done to the early Metho- to Georgia, but who was forcibly dedists by the cruel slanders of their op- tained in his Cheshire home by his ponents, and with the admission of the father and mother, who were distracted occasional want of candour and accurate at the thought of their son leaving statement respecting his opponents by them.” He had a good heart, but a Mr. Wesley himself, this writer repeats muddy head;" and " it is scarcely too and gives increased circulation to a much to say, that the weak mind of most wicked slander respecting one of this well-meaning man henceforth lost the most excellent of men ; giving as his its balance, and that mystic pride and sole authority a reference to the stale cacoethes scribendi were the chief feaand often-refuted statements of the tures that distinguished the close of a Arminian Magazine. Men have learned lengthened but lustreless life.” Com. to estinate at their proper value the ment on this is totally unnecessary. slanders respecting Wesley and the hos- “ His wife and several of the Misses tility against the noble work in which Salmon,” we are told, “were intelligent he was engaged ; and those who suffered and earnest Methodists ;” and it can adfrom this hostility, or are called to nar- mit of little doubt, that had Mr. Salrate its history, might reasonably be mon remained in fellowship with his expected to rise above the spirit they early religious associates, we should condemn. There is no evidence, how- have received a very different account ever, in these volumes of such elevation, of his character and mental abilities. so far, at least, as Swedenborg and the Those who are best entitled to speak of early members of the New Church, him describe him as a pious and intel


[ocr errors]
« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »