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cause of those differences ? He would endeavour to point it out and to suggest a cure. The cause was that instead of taking their doctrines from the Bible as a whole, they selected different truths, or rather appearances of truth, and elevated those into their creed, to the exclusion of others. Thus Tripersonalists laid hold of those passages appearing to favour their views, whilst another party, looking only to the declarations concerning the oneness of God, styled themselves Unitarians. A third—the Calvinists—thought they found in the New Testament confirmation of their views as to predestination, election, and free
grace; whilst a fourth set their chief trust in the baptism of adults. A fifth so carnalized and literalized those passages relating to the end of the world and the second coming of our Lord that they looked forward to a huge convulsion of nature, the sun, moon, and stars were to disappear, whilst the small minority of believers were to fly they knew not where. The Roman Catholic section of the Church so perverted the truths of the Bible as to Peter, that they believed the keys of heaven to be placed in the hands of a frail and erring mortal
. Could profanation be more complete than this. How true it was that the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. He might mention other sections, but these divisions were caused by human conceptions merely. They could not ever have been intended by Him who said, “ Be ye one, even as I and My Father are one." Sooner or later these distinctions must disappear, and harmony take their place. But how was this to be accomplished ? Not by refusing the right of Christian burial to unbaptized infants ; not by raising walls between Churchmen and Dissenters in their churchyards; not by suspending ministers who could not accept the ordinary doctrines taught about hell-fire; not by forcibly closing the chapels and seizing the little property of those who claimed the right to worship God according to their conscience. No, union was not effected by deeds of harshness, cruelty, and wrong, but by Christian love and charity. The cure must be made by an interpretation of Scripture which must be spiritual and at the same time rational, and capable of satisfying the aspirations of every believer in revealed religion. Was there such a thing under the sun? He believed the antidote might be found in the writings of Swedenborg, by which the cardinal doctrines of Christianity were rescued from mere literalism. Mr. Jobson wished the Swedenborg Society every success in its labours, for he thought they might look forward to the diffusion of those writings, as calculated to effect the restoration of our Lord as the Prince of Peace, under whose sway religious strifes and animosities should yet be made to disappear, when peace should reign within her walls and prosperity within her palaces.
The resolution was put to the meeting and passed unanimously,
The Scrutineers having presented their report, the SECRETARY read the list of the gentlemen elected to form the Committee of the Society during the ensuing year. They were the Rev. Dr. Bayley, Rev. W. Bruce, Rev. J. Presland, Dr. Stocker, Rev. Dr. Tafel, and Messrs. Bateman, Elliott, Gunton, Jobson, Thexton, Watson, and H. R. Williams.
Rev. Dr. Bayley said they had now completed the ordinary business of the meeting, but that he should like to propose a hearty vote of thanks to their esteemed Secretary for the admirable work he had done in connection with the Society. His tact and talent had made him even more than a secretary and a half, and really he was so unexceptionally and so lovingly active that he might say he had never seen his equal in such a post.
The Rev. W. BRUCE seconded the resolution, and said he would merely observe that Dr. Bayley might have said not only that Mr. Elliott was more than a secretary and a half, but that he was also half the Committee.
The resolution was carried by acclamation, and Mr. ELLIOTT expressed his extreme obligation for the kind manner in which the Society had received his efforts. He had now had the honour of being their Secretary for seven years, which he believed constituted a term of apprenticeship, and that he was now entitled to rank as a journey
If they would accept him in that capacity he should be happy to act as Secretary for another year.
Mr. John Smith proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman. He said they must all feel it had been good for them to be there, at so pleasant a meeting. He was especially pleased to see so large a number of ladies present. While our mothers and wives and sisters took so deep an interest in the Church, there was no possible fear for its stability. Their Chairman was always earnestly and zealously labouring, and whilst they had such a man among them, they must all feel that the Church could not suffer any harm.
The CHAIRMAN having briefly responded, the benediction was pronounced, and one of the most successful anniversaries the Swedenborg Society has ever celebrated was brought to a conclusion.
Revie w s. THE CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE: BEING A PROPHECY NOW FUL
INTERPRETED IN THE WRITINGS OF EMANUEL SWEDENBORG. With a Preface. London: Longmans, Green,
& Co. This volume of 140 pages consists of Swedenborg's exposition of the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew, with an introductory preface by the Rev. Augustus Clissold. With the exposition our readers generally are well acquainted, but the preface, which occupies 60 pages, will be quite fresh to them. In this preface the writer deals with the question, “Is it possible that the Primitive and Apostolic Church can fall
away, and again be restored ; or, in other words, can it be subject to a state of decline, and of renovation?” As in his other works, so in this, Mr. Clissold draws his answer to this inquiry from the writers of the Christian Church itself. We understand that Mr. Clissold's
object in preparing this small book was to have a brief statement, in Swedenborg's own words, of what is meant by the Second Coming of the Lord, which could be put into the hands of inquirers who might not be disposed to read a large volume. Such is the use to which it may be extensively and usefully applied.
THE SECOND COMING OF
ITS CAUSES, SIGNS, AND EFFECTS. By the Rev. CHAUNCEY GILES. London : Lippincott & Co. 1879.
It is almost needless to say that a work by Chauncey Giles must be both interesting and instructive. Rich in ideas, clear and flowing in style, this book is admirably adapted to convey, pleasingly and effectively, an accurate and comprehensive view of the important subject of which it treats. The publishers' reputation for excellent work is a sufficient guarantee for the appearance of the volume, which, in respect to paper and print, is all that could be desired. It deserves a wide circulation.
SWEDENBORG AND CHANNING. Showing many and remarkable Agreements in the Belief and Teaching of these Writers.
By B. F. BARRETT. Philadelphia: Clayton & Co. 1879. THE enlightened and spiritually-minded Unitarian, Dr. Channing, has been long known to the members of the New Church, and justly admired by them as a religious teacher. Mr. Barrett, once himself a Unitarian, has performed a good work in collecting from his writings numerous passages of great beauty and value, and showing their harmony with the teaching of Swedenborg, or with the doctrines and views of the New Church. Dr. Channing's views are, in one respect, to us more valuable from the fact that he not only never adopted the teaching of the great Swede, but knew little if anything of his writings. His views are the more valuable, as showing that the doctrines of the New Church are the doctrines of the Bible, and lending confirmation to their truth, as well as verifying one
of the statements of Swedenborg, that those who think from the Word and not from doctrine are enabled to see the truth more or less clearly, according to the purity of their minds. Those who wish to see on how many points Dr. Channing approximated to the views of the New Church, not only in his practical teaching, but on all subjects of life and immortality, will find themselves greatly aided by Mr. Barrett's book. His work is no doubt intended partly, perhaps principally, for Unitarians themselves, and we hope it may be the means of leading many of that intelligent body to examine the Writings of Swedenborg, which are more in harmony with Channing's views, even respecting the Lord, than most of the orthodox teachings of our day.
UNITED PRESBYTERIAN SYNOD. — Declaratory Statement: "That, in reThe proceedings of this assembly have gard to the ultimate penalty of sin, the been diversified by a case of “heresy Church does not bind herself to the hunting” which has attracted attention Westminster interpretation of what the beyond its own borders, and is not un- Scriptures say on this subject.” This likely to attract still further attention proposed addition was introduced in a before it is brought to a conclusion. speech which seems to have exceedThe report of the committee on the ingly disturbed and irritated the Synod. “Declaratory Statement”- -a statement The speaker gave at great length dedrawn up to relieve the rigour of scriptions by orthodox divines of the ministerial subscription to the West- torments of the lost, and in his reminster Confession of Faith-presented marks exposed himself to the charge of seven propositions, in which the severity rejecting the teaching of the Standards of the older Calvinistic interpretation is of the Church. This led to judicial relaxed. The introduction to these action on the part of the Synod, which propositions, without perhaps intend- has ended in the suspension of Mr. ing it, really weakens the force of the Macrae from his ministry. The disStandards. “Whereas these Standards," cussion which took place made manifest it says, “being of human composition, that no one now holds, as was once held, are necessarily imperfect, and the Church the doctrine of the Westminster Conhas already taken exception to their fession on the punishments of the wicked; teaching, or supposed teaching, on one or if any one still holds this doctrine important subject (the interpretation of he was careful not to speak in its de. the six days of creation]: And whereas fence. Dr. Marshall explained that the there are other subjects in regard to committee shied from beginning to end which it has been found desirable to set the attempt that was made to get them forth more truly and fully the view fixed down to those talismanic words of which the Synod takes of the teaching the Confession, as Mr. Macrae thought of Holy Scripture: Therefore,” etc. them, for his purpose-“everlasting Next follows the general statement, of and unspeakable torment for soul and which the following may be taken as a body in hell-fire.” For himself, he specimen : “2. That the doctrine of the might say that he did not admit that Divine decrees, including the doctrine the word fire in the Confession of eternal life, is held in connection and meant eternal fire, any more than he harmony with the truth that God is not admitted that the expression from which willing that any should perish, but the Confession took the word meant that all should come to repentance, and literal fire. Dr. Andrew Thomson of that He has provided a salvation Edinburgh gives a curious reason for sufficient for all, adapted to all, and rejecting the doctrine of literal burning, offered to all in the Gospel, and also and expresses a feeling which must have the responsibility of every man for his often oppressed cultured Christian minds : dealing with the free and unrestricted “He wished to say that, along with Dr. offer of eternal life.” The high Calvinism Marshall, he did not think they were of former days is thus disappearing closed in to the belief that the word from the active thought and public 'fire,' as used in the Confession, meant teaching of this large and influential material fire. How, for example, could body. But its Declaratory Statement they hold that in the period between did not embrace one of the most disputed death and the judgment there was en. topics of modern religious teaching dured torment from fire, seeing that and controversy—the doctrine of ever- then there were only disembodied lasting torment. The Rev. Mr. Macrae, spirits. In like manner they did not who has been long distinguished for understand the word 'worm' in its his outspoken condemnation of the literal sense. He had himself, he was teaching of the Confession on this sub- free to confess before the Synod, again ject, moved as an addition to the and again felt his heart rebelling against
the doctrine as it seemed to be taught any one who could not believe it to disby Scripture. He had often wished believe it. Why then, he asked, could that he could understand the Bible she not grant the same liberty on this differently, as an honest student of the point of everlasting punishment, which Divine Word. But he could not get involved no greater diversity of view ?” over the difficulty as an honest inter- Whatever may be the ruling of the preter of Scripture, and because the Synod, it is evident that the feeling doctrine was there, God's doctrine-for among the laity, and the leading sentithey all held that the Bible was the ment of the public press, is on the side only book of faith and manners-he was of Mr. Macrae. The galleries are open closed in to the belief that, as it was a to the public, and we read in the public divinely appointed punishment, it must prints that Mr. Macrae was received with be a just and adequate one. Though “loud applause," and some who were his soul had sometimes risen up in re- opposed to him with “hisses. “Drs. bellion against it, he was coinpelled to Calderwood, Ker, and Thomson,” says the bow before it as an awful truth.” Scotsman, “may be perfectly right in their After these and similar uncontradicted contention that the notion of unspeakstatements by leading members of the able and everlasting bodily torment is Synod, it is difficult to conceive that no part of the genuine Westminster the following appeal should be rejected : doctrine; only if they are, it should be “ If this Confessional dogma no longer remarked that our forefathers, for a represented the real sense in which their century or two back, must have been Church understood the Scripture, it uncommonly ill-used men. It is simple seemed to him (Mr. Macrae) that instead matter of history that their preachers of suspending any man who stated that often frightened them nearly out of fact, the Church was bound either to their senses with this same doctrine, state what she did believe to be the and that the influence of it has entered sense of Scripture, which had not yet deeply into the religious life of the been done, or else to grant the liberty country. Every one will recall Burns's which he had been contending for, to description of the typical preacher of discard the Westminster view. He this school, whose thought liberty the wise view, because he did not believe the Church was ready
“Talk o hell, where devils dwell,
Our vera sauls does harrow to formulate a new dogma on this point Wi' fright that day. which should harmonize all that the A vast, unbottomed, boundless pit,
Filled fou o' lowin' brunstane, Scripture said on this subject. He de
Wha's ragin' flame and scorchin' heat sired no expression from the Synod that
Wad melt the hardest whunstane. would bind any man.
If there were The half-asleep start up in fear, brethren who could hold the West- And think they hear it roarin'!” minster view and yet believe in the Fatherhood of God, and preach the MAY MEETINGS.-In our last number glorious gospel of Christ, let them hold we gave a brief account of some of these it. What he had pleaded for was that meetings, and we return to the subject liberty should be given in the Church to notice the proceedings of the annifor those who, just because they believed versaries of two of the largest and most in the Fatherhood of God, and because influential of missionary societies. they desired to preach the gospel in all its faithfulness, found that they could not London Missionary Society.
The believe this dogma of everlasting and report of this Society states that, “owing unspeakable torment. The Church had to the disastrous condition of commerce, already granted it on kindred points by the ordinary subscriptions and donations the Declaratory Act adopted the previous (£55,295) have fallen short of the averday. Members were by it allowed to age for the past three years by £3320. hold the dogma of infant damnation if The whole receipts for general purposes they could, but the Church now ex- were £92,933; for special objects, plicitly granted liberty to those who £8167; total, £101,100. The balance could not hold it to set it aside. She from last year, proceeds of stock, and allowed any one in the Church to believe, balance of Indian Famine Fund, inif he could believe it, that there was nó creased the total to £117,813, as against hope for the heathen, but she allowed a total expenditure of £123,058, show