« PreviousContinue »
was drawn by the company of many old At Paisley, on May 13, Mrs. James friends. He rejoiced in the truth, and S. M'Gallan, of a son.
the truth had made him free. He
passed away peacefully and hopefully as Obituary.
à child on the breast of its mother. Mr. C. W. Smith, of 40 Penn Road George March, of Brightlingsea, passed Villas, Holloway, London, departed this away from earth, on the 18th May, in life, May 15th, aged 66, after a few the 78th year of his age. He had been weeks of severe illness, borne with forti- connected with the Society for upwards tude and Christian patience. For fifteen of fifty years, during which time he was years he had attended the church in a useful and consistent member of the Argyle Square, and filled many of its New Church. For some time past his most important offices, having several health had been very precarious, but times represented it in Conference. He his long and intimate acquaintance was greatly interested in the Cromer with the Word and the Writings Street New Jerusalem Day-schools, of enabled him to look forward without which he was Treasurer up to the time of anxiety to the great change that should his decease. Mr. Smith was first im- enable him to participate in the depressed favourably by the New Church, lights and employments of the kingdom at the discussions carried on at the of heaven. His end was extremely Mutual Improvement Society's meetings, peaceful. He had in life gained the to which he had been invited by a friend. victory over death; and the congregation The young men at that period debated a assembled in the church on the Sunday wide range of questions, literary, politi. after his removal felt that there was a cal and religious. Mr. Smith remarked delightful appropriateness in singing the their freedom of thought and speech, and hymn commencingat the same time their entire kindness
" Blest is the man who dies in peace,
And gently yields his soul to rest; of feeling and constant courtesy. He
Who gains from earth the kind release, thought that the church which produced
Leaning upon his Saviour's breast." such young people, and inculcated in
On May 26th, Alfred J. Gardiner, tegrity, truthfulness, and a noble life, eldest son of the Leader of the St. must have a great amount of good about Osyth Society, after a long and painful it, and though its regard for Swe, affliction, was released from his sufferdenborg's spiritual experience, and ings at the age of twenty-one. He died the spiritual sense of the Bible, in the assurance of an immediate and must be looked upon
weak joyful resurrection to eternal life, where points, as he then thought, yet they they that wait on the Lord shall reshould be borne with for the sake of the new their strength.” rest. He had not, however, attended the public service long before he became Frederic Salter, aged 84 years.
At Winchester, 29th May, Mr. Thos.
The fully convinced of the truth of the deceased was the son of one of the Science of Correspondence, and of the earliest metropolitan receivers of our entire New Church views, and thence. doctrines, but, at the wish of his mother, forward rendered every service he could, was educated according to the principles and his consistentlife made him esteemed of the Church of England. On the deand loved by a wide circle of New mise of his father, however, he inherited Church friends. He had a severe blow a copy of "The True Christian Relito his affections in the sudden bereave
gion, ment two years ago by the loss of his the 'Trinity convinced him that the beloved wife. On one Sunday forenoon, views presented therein were so immeaduring his absence at divine service, she surably superior to anything which he was fatally taken ill and expired. He had before heard, that he determined to never was quite well after it. It seemed ascertain where these beautiful doctrines as if part of his being was rent away. were publicly taught. He accordingly, He has gone to rejoin her, and his in 1827, went to Hanover Street, where mourning family and friends find com- the Rev. S. Noble announced that on fort in their conviction of the higher the following Sunday the church, Cross happiness now enjoyed by those whom Street, Hatton Garden, would be rethey have not lost, but who have only opened for New Church worship. From gone before. Latterly, Mr. Smith had that period he took an active in. worshipped at Kensington, to which he terest in all the affairs of the Society,
and was greatly respected for his quiet Amongst other strong sayings, he ex. and consistent demeanour by the large claimed—“had it not been for this book circle of friends in London and the pro- falling into my hands, I should have vinces with whom he was acquainted. died a fool." About a fortnight before On the decease of Mr. Thomas Jones his death he expressed his gratitude to he was appointed Treasurer of Confer. the writer for causing the lecturers to ence, and on his retirement, in 1851, come to Barnsley; and to Mr. Gunton, after twenty years' service, a special a week before his death, he said, “ I am vote of that body testified to the kind- sure I shall go to heaven, and shall meet ness and care with which he had dis- you there." He and Mrs. Ogley met charged his onerous duties. He was with us regularly at our Sunday afteralso one of the Trustees of Conference noon meetings, and we miss him muth, South of Trent. Our brother resided in but trust he is employed in a much Aldgate Within for nearly half a century, higher sphere. He ordered volume after and in various ways made himself useful volume of “The Arcana” to the fourth as a citizen. A portion of the period he or fifth volume, which he studied very was one of the City common council, closely, and which he appeared to receire and there, as elsewhere, his modest, intuitively. At the particular desire of gentle mannere and unwavering fidelity his bereaved partner, the beautiful Burial to principle were generally recognized Service of the New Church was read at and appreciated. After retiring from the Cemetery Chapel by Capt. Busham. business, and temporarily living in the The people listened with the
profoundest south of London, he finally settled at attention. This is the first time the Winchester, but was denied the privi. New Church service has been used at lege of joining the little band of receivers any funeral in Barnsley. there owing to the feeble state of his health. His departure to the spiritual
A Devonshire newspaper gives the world at a ripe old age is acutely felt following notice of the departure of our by those who knew him best, but they friend, Mr. Joseph Berry. In addition are comforted by the conviction that he to what is bere stated, we may add that was evidently prepared for the solemn he was also an occasional contributor to change. He joined the Camberwell our Magazine :-"Bideford has lost an Society a few years ago, and only twelve old and much respected inhabitant of the days before his death derived great con. town in the person of Mr. Joseph Berry. solation from the administration of the He was well known, not only in the town Holy Supper at the hands of Mr. E. of Bideford, but over a very large disAustin, who happened to be in the trict, as he combined with his shop. neighbourhood.
keeping the subsidiary occupation of
newspaper correspondent, with the occaDeparted this life, on the 31st of May, sional additional task of poetry writing, aged 56, Mr. Thomas Ogley, of Barnsley, He found time to produce a number of after an illness of ten weeks. The poems which have been read with plea. deceased first went, without serious in- sure by a wide circle. He was unique tention, to hear Dr. Bayley's lectures in in ope respect in the district-1.6., his Barnsley in 1868. The appearance of religion ; having for many years been a the lecturer so affected him, that he staunch advocate of the revelations and listened with the greatest attention, and doctrines given to The New Jerusalem never afterwards neglected hearing the Church' by its founder, Swedenborg. Doctor on his visits to Barnsley. The Mr. Berry was completely isolated in popular religious teaching had involved this respect in the district ; but though him in perplexity, in which he continued he made no converts to his faith, yet until November 1873, when Mr. Gunton neither did he make any enemies. In came to Barnsley, and gave a course of character he was highly esteemed by all lectures and two Sunday services. Mr. classes. He was a great reader, a deep Gunton brought some books for sale. thinker, and a skilful debater. He was Our friend purchased the first volume of the local correspondent of the Exeter "The Arcana Cælestia,” and per. paper, the Western Times, for many ceiving he had got the very thing that years, and most efficiently performed would open the treasures contained in the duties. He was in the 71st year of the Word, he went home rejoicing. his age when he expired. He had only It is impossible to describe the joy he taken to his bed on the previous Fri. manifested on reading this book. day."
The world in which we live invites to an investigation of causes, and the rational nature which we possess cannot rest satisfied without a perception of them. We are liable, however, to confine our investigations to too low a sphere. We can trace natural effects to natural causes, and hence are disposed to rest in the conclusion that everything in nature can be accounted for on natural principles. But no man can come to this conclusion, to the denial of a Great First Cause, who has not first said in his heart, There is no God. This is the secret source of atheism; and when a man sets out with such a negation in his mind, it is not difficult for him to confirm it to his own satisfaction. Although matter implies the existence of a cause, it does not discover, nor afford the means of discovering, what that cause is.
This is declared by Revelation alone. In the Divine Volume we are furnished with information calculated to relieve us from all perplexity and error on this important point; we acquire from its sacred pages the knowledge of the self-existent and infinite Being who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and to whom we and all other beings owe our existence. The same Book of Inspiration declares that the Divine Hand is still extended to uphold and to regulate the Divine work, and that even the most minute of man's states and concerns are matters of this paternal circumspection of Him who inhabiteth eternity. While to Revelation alone belongs the discovery of these great
truths, nature affords abundant means of confirmation. This is all that nature is capable of doing.
Spiritual and Divine truths are beyond the sphere of nature, and consequently can never be discovered by any evidence that originates within it. Yet natural truth, being from the same source, cannot but harmonize with all truths of a higher kind; and therefore must be confirmatory of them, although it never can be sufficient without them-never sufficient to give man a knowledge of the cause itself which produced nature.
But even those who, from Revelation, acknowledge the Divine origin of the natural world, do not generally recognise the existence of any intermediate or instrumental spiritual causes employed by the Divine Being in creating and sustaining it. Some Christian authors indeed have given their opinion in favour of the idea that there is a gradation in the scale of moral being, as there is in that of natural existence ;—that as there is a regular succession of links in the chain of creation, from the highest subjects of the animal kingdom down to the lowest of the mineral, so is it probable that man is but the lowest link in the chain of rational existence which depends immediately from the Deity? But few perhaps will be found inclined to admit that the spiritual world, as a part of the creation of God, was the instrumental cause of the existence of the natural world, and is the instrumental cause also of its subsistence.
The prevalent obscure, and in some respects erroneous, notions concerning the spiritual world, and respecting the natural world, as regards its creation, are unfavourable to such an opinion. The spiritual world is almost universally conceived of as a mere expanse, of which nothing like form or substantiality is predicable. This idea of the spiritual world appears to have been derived from the common fallacy of supposing everything unsubstantial which is not perceivable by the bodily senses. A similar idea is also perhaps impressed on the minds of the most simple respecting some of the most powerful agents in nature; but those of deeper research know that the invisible powers of nature are not the less entitled to the name of substances than the gross matter which we tread upon. In Scripture heaven is described in language equally expressive of substantiality with the natural, but the descriptions are generally regarded as figurative. Nothing possible is believed to be deducible from Scripture on the subject; and we can only therefore hope to make an impression on the mind by reason and analogy. Reason is undoubtedly in favour of the idea that the world, which is highest in the scale of creation, should be the most perfect ;
and that, as it was created to be the abode of human beings in a higher stage of existence, it should be in its nature as much more perfect than the natural world, as the human soul is more perfect than the human body, or as spiritual beings are more perfect than material.
But another obstacle to the admission of the idea that the natural world is but an effect from the spiritual world, is the notion that the world was created out of nothing by the mere fiat of the Almighty. This opinion has not been derived from the Word; but has been adopted in opposition to the doctrine of atheism,—that the world always existed, or was formed by chance out of pre-existing matter. In order to escape the Scylla of one error the Church has rushed into the Charybdis of another. Every one who thinks from reason can see that the universe was not created out of nothing, because he can see that out of nothing nothing can come ; for nothing is nothing, and to make anything out of nothing is a contradiction, and a contradiction is contrary to the light of truth which is from the Divine Wisdom; and whatever is from the Divine Wisdom exists in and by the Divine omnipotence. It may be asked, then, from what was the universe produced? We may answer in the words of the Apostle—“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God : so that things that are seen were not made of things which do appear." In these words the Apostle, while he states that the world was not made out of any pre-existing natural substances, such as those which the earth is seen to be composed of, yet does not by any means say that the world was made out of nothing. On the contrary, he leaves it to be inferred that the worlds were made out of things which do not appear. And what are those things but such as are spiritual, which do not appear to the natural eye? To say that natural substances were formed from spiritual substances will no doubt in some minds excite surprise. But it is to be considered that it is not contrary to our ideas of the order of creation, even as we see it manifested in natural things, that one thing should be produced from another, as an effect from its efficient cause. That things in themselves spiritual should be the means whereby the Almighty gave existence to things natural, and thus that the spiritual world was the proximate cause of the natural, is agreeable to the order of the Divine operation. From God himself all things that exist must have proceeded-first, spiritual things, and by these natural things. “Every one who thinks from clear reason must see that all things were created out of a substance which is substance in itself ; for this is the real principle of being