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attractive, so irresistible as love. “I, if I be lifted up," said the Lord, “will draw all men unto Me."
Rev. Dr. HIBBARD, of Chicago, next addressed the meeting, selecting as his subject the Lord Jesus Christ as the universal King of the universal Church. The prophecy and the promise concerning the New Church is, that “In that day the Lord shall be King over all the earth ; in that day there shall be one Lord and His name one. This prophecy of Zechariah has begun to be fulfilled. That day points to this day. Assembled from the four quarters of the earth in this metropolis of the world, we meet together on this basis - That the Lord Jesus Christ is the only God of heaven and earth. The declaration of the inscription placed over the head of the Saviour on the cross is what has brought us here. This title, written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin–the three crystallised languages in which the revelations of divine truth have been made to the Church-is claiming fulfilment in this day, when the Lord has again come and again been crucified in that great city which is Sodom and Egypt. When the Lord came and was rejected, then was set up the inscription, “Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews.” It is the accusation of His death. Death means resurrection, and these words signify to all hereafter ages that He is the everlasting and risen King of the Church. The Old Testament in Hebrew, the New Testament in Greek, and their unfolding in Latin, all testify that He is King of the Jews. not Jews, however, who are called Jews, but he is a Jew who is one inwardly in the spirit. The inscription has in it therefore, more than we suppose. It has in it a prophecy of the Church of all the future ages--a New Jerusalem which is coming
down from God out of heaven, of which we all here are witnesses. This is to bind men in one universal Church of which the acknowledgment of the Lord, the holiness of the Word, and the life of charity, are the distinguishing features. To cheer each other onward in the dissemination and the life of these three great central doctrines are we assembled. Our work is one, as the Church for which we labour, and the Lord in whose) vineyard we are employed are ole. Why are we all here so much at
home ? Why do I a stranger, one thousand miles away from the eastern coast of my own country, feel so completely at home? It is because the doctrines of the New Church, have come down from God out of heaven to me, and they have also come down froin God out of heaven to you. Whether I preach on the prairies of America, or our brother in Scandinavia, or Senor Scocia in the sunny plains of Italy, or you in England, we are engaged in one work, and are the servants of one Master, who is God over all. The Lord Jesus is our King, His country is our country, His subjects are our fellow-citizens, brethren of the same family and heirs of the same inheritance:
Mr. GUNTON was next introduced to the meeting, and in a short address described the circumstances under which the Church had been presented to the Conference, and dwelt upon the importance and value of external things to promote the growth of things internal. Difficulties were foreseen and anticipated, but did not produce discouragement. The hope of those who had taken part in the purchase was to make it centre of usefulness and blessing
At a few minutes after nine the meeting was closed by the Chairman with the usual benediction.
MISSIONARY AND TRACT SOCIETY.The following interesting items of intelligence were communicated to the Committee at their last meeting. A correspondent from Wilton writes, “ The Rev. Mr. H. took the precaution a few Sundays since to warn his hearers with tears against the New Church as being a set of heretics denying a Trinity, Atonement, Resurrection, &c. One of his parishioners wrote him a letter showing how he had misrepresented our views, and desiring him to correct his statements. Mr. H. had the manly courage to do so, and announced in his Church that he had spoken without knowing what our doctrines were, a notice which will do us no harm. It is also intended to discuss the claims of Swedenborg as a religious teacher at the Baptist Church, and one of their leading members is to introduce the subject.
Another correspondent writing from Shields says, “I have found the doctrines of the New Church to be much more widely diffused than I at first supposed. For instance, a reformed French priest writing in the True Catholic, a Low Church periodical, states that a great many Romish priests in France secretly hold and teach the doctrines of Swedenborg. Again, in a small volume of poems lately issued by a well known publishing firm, and edited and written by an eminent Low Churchman, I met with several papers touching on the nature of Christ, the doctrines of the Trinity, and future rewards and punishments, which agree entirely with the doctrines of the New Church."
It is now under the consideration of the Committee to have a course of lectures delivered by Dr. Bayley at the Church at the Mall, Kensington, in reply to those delivered by Mr. Voysey at St. George's Hall, on the character of our Lord, and the inspiration of the Bible.
DEPTFORD— Opening and Consecration of the New Church.—After a severe and protracted struggle, the Deptford Society has at length realised the object of its wishes, in having obtained its inuch needed new place of worship, a short description of which appeared in our June number; to which we will only add that now, the church is finished it has elicited the admiration of all who have seen it, and is declared to be an ornament to the neighbourhood and a credit to Mr. Gosling the architect. The consecration and opening took place on Sunday, Aug. 13, when Dr. Bayley read the dedication service and the Rev. John Hyde preached in the morning from the significative words in John xvi, 12 and 25. In the evening the Rev. R. Storry preached from Rev. xxi. 9 to 11. Both discourses were well suited to the occasion, were ably delivered, gave great satisfaction to the members and friends of the Church, and made a very favourable impression upon the strangers present. The congregations were very good, especially in the morning, when many of the London friends, together with some visitors to Conference staying in London, were present. The collections amounted to £13, 4s. 4d. Mr. Gunton also received during Conference from several friends £13, 11s., making a total of £26 15s. 4d. There still remains a large amount to be made up;
and unless an additional £100 can be realised by subscription the Society will be compelled to borrow a larger sum than is thought advisable if it can be avoided. Subscriptions, therefore, however small, are earnestly solicited to be forwarded either to Mr. Rhodes, leader of the Deptford Society, or to Mr. Gun. ton, Treasurer of Conference.
Births. On the 23d July, at the residence of her mother, 35 Penton Place, Mrs. Milton Smith of a female child stillborn.
On the 5th of August, at 98 Offord Road, Barnsbury, London, the wife of Mr. W. Spear of a son.
Marriages. On June 29th, at the New Jerusalem Church, Accrington, by Mr. E. J. Broadfield, B. A., Henry Gibson, second son of Mr. Henry Cunliffe, to Alice Ann, elder daughter of Mr. Nicholas Waddington.
At Embsay, on Monday, Aug. 14th, by Mr. R. B. Swinburue, Mr. John Davy to Miss Sarah Ann Mason.
At the New Jerusalem Church, Old Lane, Worsley, by Mr. T. Mackereth, Mr. J. Newton to Miss Ann Hall, both of Worsley. This being the first marriage at the Church, and both being members of the Society, the bride and bridegroom were presented with a handsome family Bible and New Church Services.
Obituary. Mrs. Pilkington, on the 5th of May, at the residence of her daughter Mrs. Sowey, of Brooke's Bar, near Manchester, in the 78th year of her age, Mary Pilkington, widow of the late Rev. Thomas Pilkington, of Hasling, den, passed peacefully into the eternal world. Her remains were interred at Haslingen. For many years, in the early existence of the Haslingden Society, Mrs. Pilkington received and entertained nearly all the preachers who came, and her wise interest in all that was good and true, and cheerful encouragement to every effort for the advance of the Lord's Church, impressed those who had the advantage of her acquaintance that she was a true mother in Israel. Her children revered and loved her, and her memory to them will be for ever surrounded with a halo of all the virtues which constitute the character of a true Christian mother.
A SERMON PREACHED IN THE NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH, CROSS STREET, LONDON,
BEFORE THE GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE NEW CHURCH, APRIL 8, 1871.1
The Apocalypse is a prophecy respecting the last times of the Church and the second advent of the Lord. All its mystic wonders treat, in their internal sense, of the varied afflictions of the Church when it approaches its end, and of the glories of the new dispensation by which it will be succeeded.
The coming of the Lord involves two providential events: the predicted judgment, and the establishment of a new Church-a Church in harmony with the new arrangements of angelic society, which would follow the accomplished judgment.
These providential events are presented in the Apocalypse in a series of wonders. In its pages are displayed thrones of judgment, the opening of the books of the interior life; the uprooting of mountains of self-love, contention, and strife, the overthrow of the Babel of confusion and insane love of dominion by the things of the Church, the reaping of the harvest, the gathering of the vintage, and the treading of
1 “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him ; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." —Rev. xiv. 6, 7.
the wine-press, in which is explored and made manifest the secret quality of the consummated Church. And in this Apocalypse also is the promise of His coming and the glad alleluias of the angelic host, because the Lord has taken to Him His great power and commenced His everlasting reign : the whole prophecy ending in a vision of glory and an assurant hope of endless progress to the Church on earth.
So long as men interpret these prophecies literally, they expect a natural coming and an earthly judgment.
In this expectation they overlook the fact that all the great epochs of providential mercy have been attended by the execution of judgment upon the wicked and the revelation of light and truth to the righteous, or to those who are to become the subjects of the new condition of the Church and recipients of its opening intelligence and spiritual life. The earliest ages of the Church bear witness to this fact. The Flood was the judgment of the consummated Church of the period to which it refers. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah were similar events in a later period of the Church's history. But the most striking manifestation of this great truth is presented in the fulfilment of the prophecies which related to the first advent of our Divine Redeemer. These prophecies are expressed in the language, and abound in the imagery, which are employed in the announcement of His second coming The heavens and the earth are to depart, the throne of judgment is fixed, the Son of Man is brought near the Ancient of Days, the powers of darkness are overthrown, and a kingdom of righteousness established, which is given to the saints and which is to abide for ever. Nor is the fulfilment of these prophecies matter of obscurity and doubt. “For judgment,” says the Saviour, am I come into the world." “Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out." The judgment thus executed constituted one of the leading features of the Lord's redemption, which consisted in the condemnation and overthrow of the powers of darkness, and the deliverance of the Church from their fearful captivity. This deliverance from hell was effected by judgment—executed in the spiritual world, and was followed by a new revelation of truth from heaven, and by the setting up of a new Church which was the Christian Church. A similar divine work attends the second coming of the Saviour, which is predicted to take place at a time when “iniquity shall abound, and the love of many shall wax cold.” A time, therefore, when the Church, so far as relates to its internal life of faith and love, has come to an end. That which brings the Church to its end is the prevalent
influences of wicked spirits secretly and subtily operating upon the minds of men on earth, poisoning their thoughts by seductive falses, and infecting their lives with deadly evils. The removal of these fearful influences is necessary before light and truth can be efficaciously revealed to the Church. And this removal is effected by the judgment predicted to accompany His advent. By this judgment, the wicked in the spiritual world are condemned to their own abodes of darkness, and the minds of men on earth delivered from the poisonous influences of their fearful infestations. The place of judgment is, therefore, the inner world, where the spirits of the departed are assembled ; and its accomplishment is to prepare the way for new arrangements of angelio society, and the new outpouring of truth and righteousness from the Lord through the angelic heavens to the Church on earth. This new arrangement of angelic society, constituting the first-fruits of the harvest of regenerated humanity under the Christian dispensation, is presented in all the grandeur of its accomplished glory, in the commencement of the chapter from which our text is taken. The Lamb, the title of the Lord in His Divine humanity, stands on Mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father's name written in their forehead, i.e. having His wisdom and love inscribed in their hearts and lives.
The formation of this heaven is a source of universal angelic joy. The consentaneous voice of the whole angelic host is represented as to its spiritual element by the voice of many waters, as to its celestial power and penetration by the voice of a great thunder, and as to the harmony of the spiritual confession of the Lord in the inferior heavens by " the voice of harpers harping with their harps.” And while the Lord thus speaks through the heavens, and excites, by His nearer presence and the accomplishment of His Divine purposes of judgment and mercy, ,
the fervid affections and thoughts, and the glad confessions of His ransomed children, those who have experienced their deliverance, and are collected into their new and abiding habitations in His kingdom of glory, "sing a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no one could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, that were redeemed from the earth.” The new song is the song of their deliverance and the glorification of their divine deliverer :
“Him they proclaim through realms of rest,
God over all, for ever blest."