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School. The efficiency and finish dis- Commandments and Christ's summary played excited general admiration. That the concert was an attraction and highly appreciated was evident from the large audience, who, even at a late hour, were slow to depart. A pleasing feature of the evening was the presentation of an elegant writing-desk to Mr. Spencer. In presenting it on behalf of the pupils, Mr. D. Moss expressed their appreciation of the great interest and patience displayed by him in conducting the class. Mr. Spencer in a few words feelingly expressed the pleasure he had in knowing that the little services he had performed were so highly appreciated. Mr. Goldsack, president for the evening, expressed the great pleasure it gave him and all around to be present at so happy a gathering, and hoped that such reunions may be frequent. He urged upon all the necessity of working for the Sunday School, as the good resulting from such was incalculable.
LONDON-Kensington Palace Gardens Church.—The Kensington News of April 4th contains a report of a visit to this church, from which we make the following extract :-" Emerson, in his Representative Men,' takes Swedenborg as his embodiment of the mystic; and if we accept the impersonation, the New Jerusalem Church is the shrine and focus of modern mysticism. Under such an aspect, and not without reference to the present rather prominent claims of occult science to be heard in our midst, I determined to pay a visit last Sunday morning to the handsome chapel formerly occupied by Mr. Offord, and recently handed over to Dr. Bayley, who removed hither from the New Jerusalem Church in Argyle Square, King's Cross. The Mall Chapel is a handsome and commodious building, and its fittings rich in the extreme. A finely draped altar bore, as is the custom in Swedenborgian places of worship, an open Bible, and was adorned with an exceedingly rich frontal, with the sacred monogram bordered with lilies of exquisite workmanship. Two pulpits stood within the chancel rails flanking the altar; and in one of these a young man was reading the service. The other was occupied by Dr. Bayley himself, who took a large share of the prayers too. Each was habited in surplice and bands. A font stood in front of the altar rail; while over the Holy Table were the Ten
of Duty to God and Man. There was nothing in any of the arrangements to show that one was not in an orthodox' church of somewhat rich and complete adornments. The choir was a mixed one, and rendered the musical portions of the service effectively to the accompaniment of an excellent organ well manipulated. The service, which was one of a varied series of set forms arranged for the different Sundays of the month, opened with a prayer, culminating as it were in the Lord's Prayer. The Psalms were divided into portions for the year, and each bore above it Swedenborg's Internal Sense.' Two lessons were separated by an anthemElvey's Arise, shine,' and succeeded by the Commandments with Kyrie. Another prayer followed; and then, after giving notice of Good Friday and Easter Sunday services, Dr. Bayley preached a sermon." The sermon is reported at length; after which the writer proceeds, "Prefixed to the Service Book is a brief summary of the faith of the New Jerusalem Church, which is worth transcribing, as the principles of this religious body are little understood, and consequently often misrepresented.' This is followed by the publication of the Creed prefixed to the Argyle Square Liturgy, which is also used at this church.
MANCHESTER-Peter Street.-A plea sant social meeting was held in this society on the evening of Tuesday, March 24th. The Rev. J. Hyde introduced the evening's proceedings with a short address, in which he briefly alluded to two circumstances which had quite recently appeared in the local prints. The first of these was the public discussion of the subject of
Cremation." He had himself no special interest in this subject, but he was glad to find that it was occupying the attention of the learned and thoughtful, as it will draw attention to the natural body, and must lead to the discussion of the doctrine of the resurrection. The Bishop of Manchester, who had spoken on the subject, had not shaken off the idea of the resurrection of the natural body, but concluded that God, who had all power, could as well raise the body from its ashes as from the decay of the tomb. A second circumstance was the discourse of the Bishop, in which he had announced his conviction that men are
not responsible for their beliefs but for watching eagerly for its advent. The their conduct. He had learned the meeting was then addressed by Mr. great truth that men will be judged not Whyte, who spoke on the fallaciousby their faith but their lives. He (the ness of a mere increase of numbers, as speaker) was glad that so able a preacher an evidence of New Church growth; had reached so great a truth, and that so by Mr. Johnson, who spoke on the great a truth has found so able a preacher to propound it.
The address was followed by a selection of classical music and recitations, and concluded by lighter amusements. There was a large attendance, and the evening passed pleasantly away.
infallible certainty with which, in one form or another, success ultimately rewards the efforts of every thoughtful and earnest sower of spiritual seed; by Mr. J. D. Bielby, who glanced, only too rapidly, at the past history and at the future prospects of the Church in Nottingham; by Mr. William Clarke, jun., who warned his minister and his fellow members to beware of an error into which they seemed likely to fall, the error of regarding an occasional conspicuous decrease in the size of the Sabbath congregations as an effect of waning interest in the principles or the persons of the Society, or as an effect of
MIDDLESBOROUGH.-The members and friends of the above church met in their mission-room, Newport-road, to bid farewell to their leader, Mr. G. H. Smith, on his removal to Bolton, to minister to the church in that town, and to show their esteem and appreciation of his past services by presenting him with a purse of gold. An excellent anything, but a combination of social tea was provided by the ladies of the congregation, and after tea a meeting was held for the purpose of thanking Mr. G. H. Smith and making the presentation, which was cheerfully done, and very feelingly acknowledged by the recipient. During the evening several speeches were made relative to the presentation and also to some of the doctrines of the Church.
circumstances over which absentees had sometimes little, and frequently no control; by Mr. James Chester, the secretary, on the unparalleled power of the New Church to answer those great questions which so many minds are so earnestly asking, and which so many masters are repelling as unanswerable; and by the chairman, who acknowledged that he did not, in the least, believe in the trustworthiness of an increase of numbers as an evidence of New Church growth, and declared that he did not expect, and did not even desire, any sudden and large influx of strangers; but insisted, none the less, but all the more, on the absolute necessity of instant and constant and self-denying earnestness, both in attendance upon the services of the Church, and in Church activity of every kind,--on the part of every man and woman who had sought and obtained the privilege of membership in the New Church; and concluded by assuring his friends that he would never dream of retaining the pastorate of any Church unless perpetually supported by the fervent and unfailing co-operation of "Hail to the brightness its members. The addresses, which
NOTTINGHAM.-The anniversary services of this Society were held on Easter Sunday. The Rev. Charles H. Wilkins preached, in the morning; on "The morning of the resurrection; Mary, Peter, and John, early at the sepulchre" (John xx. 1, 2); and, in the evening, on "The evening of the resurrection ;-Jesus in the midst of His disciples" (John xx. 19). The congregations were quite ordinary ones, being neither better nor worse than usual. On Easter Monday the anniversary meeting was held. After an excellent tea, given by the ladies of the Church, the chair was taken by the minister, who opened the proceedings by calling upon the choir, who very sweetly and effectively sang of Zion's glad morning." The chairman were listened to with close and then spoke briefly of the New Church sympathetic attention, were pleasantly, as being, in very deed, the glad morning of Humanity; and concluded his opening remarks by reminding his hearers that, like every natural morning, this spiritual morning finds the many still soundly slumbering, and only the few
and not unprofitably, interspersed with chaste and wholesome musical selections, skilfully and feelingly rendered. Soon after ten the meeting quietly closed with the Lord's Prayer and the Benediction. The attendance at both the tea
and the meeting was smaller than the forted with the reflection that the Lord present writer remembers having seen is a husband to the widow, and a father at any Nottingham anniversary. Yet to the fatherless. on all hands it was freely confessed that the meeting had been one of the most successful ever held by the Society. The air was full of New Church thoughts and sentiments, of New Church hopes and aims. And the proceedings generally, from first to last, were altogether more prophetic of a bright future for the true New Church in Nottingham, than any meeting that has been held by the Society during the present pastorate.
C. H. W.
At the New Jersusalem Church, Drewton Street, Bradford, on the 24th December 1873, by the Rev. D. G. Goyder, Mr. Samuel Wigglesworth, to Miss Elizabeth Sharman; both of Bradford. No cards. A Bible containing the following inscription was presented to the married couple :-"This Bible is presented to Samuel and Elizabeth Wigglesworth, by the Rev. David George Goyder, officiating minister, and the members of the Church, as a token of their love, and for a memorial of their marriage, being the first marriage solemnized in the New Jerusalem Church, Drewton Street, Bradford. December 24th, 1873."
James Negus, of Lynn, near Walsall,
He was taken seriously ill about five weeks' previous to his removal. His indisposition was of such a nature, as to prevent him from entering into much conversation, but when he was at one time reminded of the comfort and blessreligion at the closing period of his ing he enjoyed in not having to seek earthly existence, he answered, "Oh, yes! and I am more convinced than ever of the utter fallacy of a death-bed repentance; when the body and mind are exhausted by illness, then is the comfort of having found the Lord!"
March 18th, James Yelverton Swift, Departed for his heavenly home, aged 34, one of the most earnest and indefatigable members of the Bedford Street New Church Society, Liverpool. Possessed of an average knowledge of the heavenly doctrines, which were his solace and delight, his chief joy for many years was in working to promote the interests of the Church, both in the Society and in the Sunday-school, there by acquiring the meetness for the performance of higher duties in the Jerusalem which is above.
THE question of Church progress exhibits two aspects, an internal and an external. An internal, characterized by a passage from an unregenerate to a regenerate state, from selfishness to a love of the Lord, and from a love of the world to a love of others: it exhibits a purification of the mind from false thoughts, and an elevation of the understanding to true intelligence; it effects a positive change of the heart or will from a state of death in evil love, to the living activity of warm, benevolent and kindly affections towards others. External progress, on the other hand, implies an advancement from obscurity to prominence, from weakness of numbers to strength, and from imperfect means of worship towards an orderly and beautified ritual.
It is easy to conceive of great external progress, with very deficient and imperfect internal advancement. Worldly motives may induce a congregation, carried away by the apparent truthfulness and brightness of their views, and animated by a desire to proselytize, to strain every nerve to surround themselves with forms and materials of worship which may impress others with their superiority, and thereby advance them to a seeming prosperity, but in all this there may be nothing of the true vitality afforded alone by a thorough change of heart, to constitute an internal living soul to such an effort, and without that the external prosperity is merely a hollow snare which sooner or later will be stripped of what are really borrowed coverings, when it will perish
and decay. True external progress is only possible when the internal is influenced by the light of new truths directing goodness into action.
The measure of the progress of our Societies therefore must always be in proportion to the advancement they make in spiritual life. A purified intellect and a good heart, conscious that the life of this world must be made subordinate to eternal ends, receives an influx of power and strength from the Divine, because it is in accordance with His desires and intentions. This influx carries with it an impulse to external progress-while at the same time it unites, adorns, and beautifies the humbled and most unaffected worship in a manner which the most solemn and magnificent temples must fail to attain without it. The truest text which we could select to illustrate this subject is furnished in the words "As thy day is, so shall thy strength be," for it furnishes not only a measure by which we can test the quality of our own states, but when the measure is determined it enables us to estimate the progress we are likely to effect. Our day as individuals means the state of our own hearts and minds. Thus, our views of truth may be obscure and dim; our minds may be in a sort of twilight, having little power to define our position in relation to God, and the nature of our duties towards men :-and the degree of the heat of our affection for the truth may be only lukewarm or cold-the extent of our strength therefore will be in exact proportion to our twilight state, and little progress will be effected. But our day may be one of a very different sort; it may be one of exceeding brightness, one attained by great study, application, and thought; our minds may be illuminated by the brilliant crystalline light of truth, heightened and reflected from the knowledge we possess of things around us, whether of a social, civil, or political character-we may perceive the correct relation and bearing of the things we contemplate, and discourse upon them with apparent profit and advantage to others. But of what profit to ourselves that is the question. To us this day may be only a brilliant winter day, dazzling with a sunlight reflected from a snow-covered earth, and utterly devoid of a single beam of heart love or affectionthere is nothing in it to cheer us, to warm us, to give us vital animation, to infuse into us activity and vigour. It is only the whiteness of death. Such is the day of truth separated from the heat of love, in it there is no strength or progress, because the true animating principle of life is absent. Glorious as are the truths of the New Dispensation, they are as powerless for good as the worst errors of the old church if separated from goodness of heart.