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Lord he has been the means of preparing the soil in the minds of man for the reception of the heavenly doctrines. The social tea-meeting was a very pleasant finish up to Mr. Gunton's hard work in our midst. There are various large and important towns and districts in Scotland waiting our united action,-so we trust our English brethren will continue to keep Scotland more before them in future.
Man." On Friday evening, the 19th, in the Waverley Hall, a more public place, he lectured on "The Second Coming of the Lord, and the Descent of the New Jerusalem.' On Sabbath, November 21, he again officiated at our own place, taking for his subjectsmorning, "The Holiness of the Sabbath Day;" evening, "The Nature and Uses of Prayer." On the following Monday evening, 22nd, at the Town Hall, Portobello, an adjoining little town, termed “the Brighton of Scotland," he lectured on The Life of Man after Death in the Spiritual November:-"A course of three lectures, World," and on the Tuesday evening, in the Temperance Institute here, by R. 23rd, at same place, on "The Scriptu- Gunton, Esq., of London, explanatory ral way of Salvation. Is the Doctrine of the doctrines and teachings of the of Substitution Scriptural?" On Wed- New Jerusalem Church (Swedenbornesday evening, 24th, again at Waverley gianism), were concluded on Thursday Hall, Edinburgh, he lectured on "The evening, before a large and appreciative Scriptural Way of Salvation," and on audience. The first lecture was given Thursday evening, 25th, at our own on Sunday evening, 31st Oct., to an asplace there was a social tea-meeting, at sembly of about 200 persons, the subject which Mr. Gunton presided as chairman. of the discourse being, The Spiritual The weather during these services was World: What it is, Where it is, and wet and cold, so that only those well When man enters it.' To the various and in earnest ventured forth. The num- questions the lecturer gave clear and bers attending the lectures, services, decided answers. The Spiritual World, and social meeting, at our own place of he contended, was a real world, quite as worship, were from fifty to sixty, a fair substantial (although not material) and proportion being strangers; the numbers much more glorious than the present. at the Waverley Hall were from 130 to It did not occupy space, but was every200, and at Portobello 130 to 150. where present an inner world as the We have no doubt that had the weather human soul is within the body, and all been more favourable the attendance men were hastening to it, and death was at all the meetings would have been the period of resurrection into it of both doubled. Mr. Gunton treated all his the good and evil. The second lecture subjects in a comprehensive and at same was on Thursday evening, 4th Nov., time clear and simple manner. At the subject: The Progressive Nature of close of each lecture there were genc- Man as a Sensuous, Rational, and Spirirally several questions asked by stran- tual Being, with remarks on human gers, and these were always very ably liberty and responsibility.' At this replied to. Each lecture was listened lecture there was about 150 present. As to with marked attention, and so far as on the former occasion, the lecture was we could judge, gave satisfaction to the lucid and forcible, Mr. Gunton showing majority of those present. At the close himself perfectly familiar with the more of each meeting the "Silent Mission- subtle characteristics of man's being, aries" were offered, and during his visit which he traced from earliest infancy up here, upwards of 300 were disposed of, to the highest regenerate state. Human making, we understand, a total of up- freedom he contended for on the ground wards of 1000 during his stay in Scot- that only as man is free can he be reland. We must remark the questions sponsible, and rather a severe rebuke was put to Mr. Gunton displayed a frightful given to the Calvinism that represents amount of ignorance and of silly con- the Divine Being, who was shown to be ceits, and showed no perception of the justice itself, commanding impossibiliDivine laws with which we are continu- ties. Considerable discussion followed, ally surrounded. Mr. Gunton is an questions on any subject bearing on the eminent pioneer of the New Jerusalem, doctrines of the Church represented being and we are sure that in the hands of the requested. Several gentlemen present
Greenock. The following account of Mr. Gunton's lectures at this place appeared in the Greenock Herald of 13th
availed themselves of the opportunity afforded, and questioned the New Church's denial of the doctrine of substitution. Mr. Gunton was happy in his replies, especially to those who sympathise with his views. He asked an explanation of the words used by the questioners, and insisted upon knowing whether it was material flesh and blood that was meant of which unless a man eat and drink he must perish, explaining that if material it was not now to be had, and if spiritual it could not be the flesh. crucified and blood shed on the natural cross eighteen centuries ago. About 50 books, got up in a very handsome style, and treating on New Church doctrine, were sold at the close. The last lecture of the course was delivered on Thursday evening, Nov. 11th, the subject-'Genesis and Geology in Harmony; the True Nature of the Divine Record Explained.' Genesis, the lecturer contended, would not bear a literal interpretation; it was not, and never had been intended to be understood as a scientific account of natural creation. If the Word of God at all, it must have a spiritual significance. This significance was brought out by a knowledge of the doctrine of correspondence, which has been so clearly demonstrated by Swedenborg. That correspondence between natural and spiritual things was a reality, Mr. Gunton showed by numerous Scripture illustrations of the doctrine, and was apparently successful in proving that only as the Word of God is understood to treat of spiritual subjects is its statements capable of explanation and of use to man in his progress in the regenerate life. No discussion followed this lecture, but a number of books were sold, bringing the total up to 115. Mr. Gunton's lectures seem to have created a most favourable impression, both of himself as an able missionary and of the doctrines enunciated. Judging from the manner in which the lectures have been received, and the number of books sold, which is something extraordinary, considerable inquiry must be on foot as to the teachings of the New Jerusalem Church."
World." A week-night meeting is also established for reading and conversation, the reading of essays prepared by the minister and some of the leading members of the Society, and for the holding of social meetings. In relation to all these the Society is much encouraged in its work. At the celebration of the Lord's Supper thirty were present, a number which shows how earnest the friends are. The congregations keep up exceedingly well, being larger in the evening than in the morning. On Sunday evening the little church is quite filled. The New Liturgy is used, and all the responses are sung. On one occasion the thanksgiving service was used and was greatly enjoyed.
BRISTOL. The anniversary of this Society was held at the Oddfellows' Hall, Rupert Street, on Friday, November 12, when about seventy sat down to tea. The room was decorated for the occasion with evergreens, flowers, and appropriate mottoes, which gave it a pleasing appearance. After tea the chair was taken by Mr. Edgar Waller, the leader, who, in his address, referred to the interest that had been manifested by the members for the welfare of the Church, Sunday school, and Mutual Improvement Class, all of which he was pleased to say were progressing very favourably. The meeting was addressed by Messrs. Chalklen, Lee, Palmer, and Hart, also by Messrs. Waller and Green, of Bath, the latter gentleman having read a very interesting paper entitled the "New Athanasius," showing what alterations were needed to make the creed commonly taught more Scriptural and rational. The company were interested during the evening by a lengthy musical programme from the members, in consequence of which the speeches were necessarily brief. The evening's enjoyment was brought to a close about 9.45 with the benediction.
KERSLEY-Closing Services in the Old Church.-On Sunday, Sept. 26th, three services were held in the New Church, Kersley, those in the morning and afternoon being conducted by the Rev. W. O'Mant of Leeds, and that in the evening by the Rev. P. Ramage, the resident minister. Of the three services, perhaps the one in the evening was the most interesting, from the fact that it was the
last that will ever be held in that church,
during his life it was enlarged to its present dimensions. When Mr. Woodman began his pastorate in this church it is not too much to say that the truth it was his mission to preach was despised, rejected, condemned, and its professors persecuted. By his energy and persever ance he lived to see the church he loved so well recognized as a respectable Christian body. No higher, no more favourable testimony can be adduced to the worth of his labours. All honour, then, to those men of moral might who pioneered their way through difficulties of which we know nothing, who overcame obstacles beneath which I fear many of us would succumb. If Mr. Woodman's voice could be heard to-night it would be a voice of joy and hope. I have been wondering what he would say. He would say, "Be united, give to the minister who conducts the worship in this place, whoever he may be, all the moral sympathy and support in your power; give him all the support you gave me. And if it is vouchsafed to him to learn what has been done here, he would rejoice with us to-night as we leave this building to enter on a larger sphere of usefulness. The rev. gentleman then entered upon a review of the progress of Christian doctrine, calling special attention to the fact that doctrines which were once peculiar to the New Church are now fast becoming the common heritage of the Christian world. The little leaven is leavening the whole lump.
A collection was then made, and after a hymn had been sung, which was sung at the opening of the church in 1836, the Rev. P. Ramage announced that the total collections for the day amounted It is intended to devote half of that sum to the building fund, and the remainder to the school fund. On and after Sunday, and probably for the next two years, the services will be held in the new schools. The designs for the new church have been approved. It will be built of stone, and will be an ornament to the neighbourhood. The cost is estimated at £7000, a large portion of which has yet to be raised.
The congregation are now worshipping in their large and noble school, and we are glad to learn that the attendance continues to increase. On Sunday evenings, during the months of November and December, a course of eight lectures has
The Rev. P. Ramage took for his text the first verse of the 52nd chapter of Isaiah, and after expatiating for some time upon it in a highly interesting and eloquent manner, he made allusion to that last service in the following manner :-We are gathered together to-night to bid farewell to this building, wherein you have worshipped so long, and around which there must cluster so many tender memories. Many of you have been baptized here, many of you have been married here, and from this house also many have seen carried all that was mortal of those that were very near and dear to them. It is well, then, that you cast a loving glance at the house where you were first taught the way of life, but it is also well to remember that this event marks an onward and progressive step. It is not my purpose to give you an extended history of this Society-a history which is much better known to you than to me; but I cannot help going back in imagination to that humble room in the neighbourhood of Ringley, where a few earnest men met, and were visited regularly by the Rector of St. John's Church in Manchester. That little earnest band grew in numbers and strength, and appointed as their leader Mr. Thomas Seddon.
I find that the first registered baptism to the handsome sum of £105.
was performed by him on the 25th September 1808. I doubt not it might interest you to know this little baby's name. It is the name of Sally, the daughter of John and Peggy Gee. She was the first child registered in our book, so far back as 1808. Mr. Thomas Gee followed Mr. Seddon as leader, and in 1830 I find Ringley is officially recognized in the New Church Conference. Towards the end of 1830 the Society removed to Stonehill, where they continued to have pleasant gatherings. A more central position was considered desirable, and in 1836 this building was erected, the Rev. Woodville Woodman becoming its esteemed and respected pastor, and
been delivered by the minister-the gregation. The impressive manner of Rev. P. Ramage-which have drawn to- the Rev. Dr. is well known, and in this gether unusually large congregations. instance he made no exception. The The subjects have been of a varied charac- candidate was no less impressive in his ter, comprising prominent points in the replies to the many questions, which early chapters of Genesis, the hardening were given in a clear and earnest tone. of Pharaoh's heart, and the plagues of The ceremonial portion concluded, Dr. Egypt. In Kersley and neighbourhood, Bayley ascended the pulpit, and in an during the severe weather, there has been appropriate address pointed out to the an increased mortality among children. newly-ordained minister some of the This suggested to Mr. Ramage the de- solemn duties attached to his office, and livery of a sermon on "Our children in to the congregation their privileges Heaven.' The discourse-which was and duty as members of the Lord's New given on the morning of Sunday, Dec. Church. The following evening, Thurs12-was listened to with eager attention day, a tea-meeting was held in the by a congregation which filled every schoolroom, to celebrate the previous seat. There were many bereaved parents evening's event, to welcome the minister present, who were deeply affected, and in his new capacity, and offer a greeting we trust comforted by the consoling to Dr. Bayley. Those two gentlemen truths revealed to us in the New Church. and several members of the Society afterwards addressed the meeting, all sounding the one keynote of love and harmony, which was echoed by the whole assembly, and at the close of the meeting many were the mutual expressions of pleasure and happiness experienced on the occasion.
LEEDS. The members of a Church, calling themselves "Catholic Apostolic," have lately been giving a course of lectures on the Second Coming of the Lord. Their views do not differ much from those usually entertained by the Churches in general. It was thought desirable that the opportunity of making known the true doctrine on that important subject should be embraced, as the minds of the people were directed to it. Our minister, the Rev. W. O'Mant, therefore delivered, during the month of November, four lectures explanatory of our views. The attendance was not so good as we could desire, partly on account of the lectures by the above named people being continued on the same evenings, and partly through the very inclement weather on some of the evenings. Nevertheless, judging from the interest manifested by those who were present, we believe good was done. Among the audience were some who are engaged in preaching in the communities to which they belong, and we may therefore hope that what was set forth would be propagated, so far as it was received, and bear fruit accordingly.
LIVERPOOL.-The omission sooner to send a brief report of Mr. Goldsack's ordination was through a misunderstanding by the writer. The ceremony took place on Wednesday evening, 15th September, in the church, Bedford Street, Liverpool, and was conducted by the Rev. Dr. Bayley, in the presence of a numerous and deeply attentive con
LONDON (Argyle Square).—The Manual of this Society for December last gives the following account of the success of their offertory, which has now been tried for twelve months. We commend the statement to the attention of other New Church Societies. One of the pressing wants of the Church is a wellregulated system of church finance, and a diligent attention to the subject
The practice of collecting the freewill offerings of the congregation at each service in Argyle Square Church, having commenced on the evening of the second Sunday in November 1874, the offertory completed its first year on the morning of the 14th of November 1875. We therefore submit the following statement of the proceeds during the twelve months or fifty-three Sundays in which this new system of providing for the necessary expenses of our church has now been in operation. The total for the year has been £161, 18s. 34d., which, dividing by fifty-three, gives £3, 1s. 1d. as the average weekly amount of the offertory. "These results cannot but be considered most satisfactory. During the three years preceding the adoption of the offertory, the total proceeds of the quarterly collections only amounted to £122, 14s. 10d., or an annual average of £40, 18s.
3d.; the new method thus proving itself nearly four times as productive as the plan it has superseded-and this with no falling off in the receipts for seatrents, and no diminution in the ordinary congregations. Yet, who has felt his contributions a burden? Rather, may we not confidently assert, that the general, we dare almost say, the unvarying experience has been that the frequent gift of small amounts has proved itself as much more convenient and agreeable to the donors, as it has certainly been more advantageous to the Church.
Sunday evenings of the year 1875 with a course of lectures on the correspondences of the Word of God, the Rev. John Presland proposes to commence the new year with a series of a somewhat different character, embracing those social and practical topics which are never more appropriate than during the Christmas season. As at present contemplated, the course will be entitled, "The Message of the New Church,' and will comprise special appeals to the various classes in society, to whose circumstances and requirements the doctrines of the New Dispensation apply with such helpful and enlightening power. The specific 'messages' will probably be addressed'To all, on the commencement of a New Year;' 'To Young Men and Maidens ;' 'To Husbands and Wives;' To Fathers and Mothers;' "To the Bereaved ;' 'To Thinkers;' 'To Doubters;' 'To Workers;' 'To our own Members.'
LONDON (Camden Road).-The minis
"We trust, therefore, that the offertory has passed its experimental stage, and may henceforth rank as one of our recognized and most valued institutions. And we would make its success thus far a plea for yet more liberal support in the future. Gratifying as are the results, they have not yet proved sufficient to place in the hands of our treasurer a standing balance to meet the incessant current expenses; still less to enable the committee to undertake many desirable ter of this church, Rev. Dr. Tafel, has works in the way of cleansing the church recently given a course of Sabbath evenwithin and without, repairing its struc- ing lectures on the "Philosophy of ture, improving the organ and musical Swedenborg." Short notices of these arrangements generally, and providing in lectures have appeared in the North a perfectly satisfactory manner for the Metropolitan Press. From these notices comfort and convenience of strangers we give the account of the lecture on visiting our services. We earnestly "Faith and Reason :"trust, therefore, that the success of the "The second lecture of the course on offertory hitherto will encourage us all the Philosophy of Swedenborg was to strive after far greater triumphs in delivered by the Rev. Professor Tafel at the future. Having learned the power the New Jerusalem Church, Camden which lies in the massing together of Road, last Sunday evening. Faith, he gifts so small individually as to be said, was generally regarded as a belief scarcely felt by their contributors, let in things not understood, and was thereus endeavour, by an occasional and not fore associated with blindness; and infrequent increase in our offerings, to reason on the other hand with underenlarge yet further the capacity for standing and sight. They were held so doing good which our Society possesses, thoroughly to exclude one another that and which is capable of an almost in- a reconciliation between the two was definite expansion. Such a tribute was considered an impossibility. Reason was always associated with the Jewish wor- held to rest on science, but science has the ship. "They shall not appear before same attitude to religion that Thomas had the Lord empty: every man shall give to the risen Saviour-unless it sees, it will as he is able, according to the blessing not believe. But an appeal in things of the Lord thy God, which He hath spiritual to the senses of the body degiven thee' (Deut. xvi. 16, 17). There- stroys both reason and faith, for the fore, encouraged by the assurance that senses can only communicate facts, and 'God loveth a cheerful giver' (2 Cor. ix. facts of this world, which may or may 7), 'bring an offering, and come into not be fallacious. It is reason which His courts' (Ps. xcvi. 8)." must be brought to draw conclusions from them and to separate the genuine from the apparent truth. But reason is not identical with the body; it is above
The following notice of Sunday evening lectures is also given in this Manual:
"Having occupied the concluding it and deals with causes, the senses only