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question are “ developments” of a period long subsequent to the Apostolic age. Therefore, in insisting upon them, he is earnestly contending for a faith which never was delivered unto the saints.
It is creditable to the author that he sees so clearly the intimate connection between the doctrine of the Atonement and the doctrine of the Trinity. The fact that “the development of the doctrine of the Trinity has been practically arrested for thirteen or fourteen hundred years,” suggests matter for grave reflection, especially when it is considered that “until the doctrine of the Trinity has received a much richer and fuller development, there are questions relating to the theory of the Atonement to which we can give no reply. We commend to Mr. Dale's attention the early portions of the True Christian Religion, where he will find not only the much richer and fuller development” which he desiderates, but also a flood of light bearing upon all the dark questions on the Atonement to which he can give no reply:
The question of the inspiration of Scripture is incidentally touched upon in the fourth lecture, and our author makes a confession which cannot be regarded otherwise than humiliating, coming as it does from a “master in Israel." He says that “in our times the doctrine of inspiration is in a very unsettled and even chaotic condition, and many devout men are unable to determine to what extent the supernatural illumination of the Holy Ghost protected the Apostles from religious error.” This means, in plain English, that there are grave doubts prevalent among devout Christians as to what amount of authority is due to Holy Scripture. How inconsistent men are! The moment any one ventures to impugn the authority of Scripture, as Dr. Colenso did a few years ago, a wild cry of horror is raised among the devout ones, who are confessedly unable to determine the point in question.
A more serious matter, however, remains. In the sentence next to the one quoted in the last paragraph, Mr. Dale goes on to affirm that “the inquiry has considerable speculative interest, but the solution of it is practically unimportant in relation to the chief articles of the Christian faith." What shall we hear next, when we are told by a champion of orthodoxy that the question of inspiration has considerable speculative interest, but is practically unimportant in relation to the chief articles of the Christian faith ? If this is belief, what is doubt? Where shall we look for heterodoxy ?
Returning to the subject of the Atonement, Mr. Dale makes admissions which a few years ago would have brought upon himself the charge of unsoundness. He says, p. 112, “A penitent heart may rely on Him for forgiveness and for restoration to holiness and to God, without apprehending the relation of His death to human redemption.” Again, p. 314, we find the following :-“The faith which is the condition, on our side, of receiving redemption through His blood, is trust in Christ Himself as the Son of God and the Saviour of men; not the acceptance of any doctrine which explains how it is that salvation comes to us through Him. For this trust, it is not necessary that men should acknowledge even the FACT that the death of Christ is the propitiation for the sin of the world ; much less is it necessary that they should receive from others, or elaborate for themselves, a THEORY of propitiation.' After this admission, the controversy is practically at an end. The old theology, after all, has only a speculative interest.
Englishmen, when they try a principle at all, generally do so by following it out to its practical results. Some shrink from the trial ; but there are manymore, we are persuaded, than Mr. Dale is aware—who do not hesitate to carry out the popular doctrine of the Atonement to its logical consequences, and openly teach that conduct has no necessary connection with salvation. Not long ago, a person declared to the present writer that he could commit sin without suffering harm thereby. The interest which he had secured in the blood of Jesus was such as to cover all sins, past, present, and to come. The man was logical and consistent; Mr. Dale, however, objects to this kind of thing, but he does not furnish us with an argument on the point; he leaves us with the mere statement of his views. The passage, which is a remarkable one, runs thus—“Especially should we learn from St. James that one of our chief duties is to insist that obedience to the law of God is inseparable from real faith in His love. In our own times, in.
deed, and in this country, the practical heresies which, from the days of the Apostles, have always arisen wherever the Apostolic theology has been vigorously and earnestly preached, have no considerable strength. They may be found in obscure places, but they shun the light. They often, I fear, exist in a vague form, in the minds of those who have received, without much reflection, the traditional evangelical creed, but they are rarely expressed. Wherever they exist, in however indefinite a shape, they poison the air, they corrupt Christian morality, they enfeeble the fibre and muscle of the Christian life. They must receive no toleration, but must be driven away and smitten down with a relentless hand.” How is it that these heresies have always arisen wherever the current theology has been vigorously and earnestly preached? “A tree is known by its fruits, we are told on Divine authority, and Mr. Dale unconsciously bears witness to the truth of our Lord's saying. And if this be so, what results may we not look for after the recent revival, which has consisted almost entirely of the loud and unmistakeable assertion of what our author calls “practical heresies.”
Notwithstanding the admissions quoted above, we find Mr. Dale still entangled in the mazes of some imaginary law. He cannot see how, justice can be satisfied with less than “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” or even with so much. In his ninth lecture he maintains that God is not, cannot, and ought not to be satisfied with the infliction of just so much suffering as will deter the offender from repeating his offence and bring him to a sense of his sin. That, he says, is only discipline. He contends that punishment only begins where discipline ends, and that punishment must go on, even after reclamation is effected, and to an extent equal to the offence; otherwise the "eternal law of righteousness is not satisfied.” According to this principle, law was not made for the guidance of man; but man was made for the purpose of satisfying a law. It appears, moreover, to be a matter of no consequence who endures the suffering for any specific sin. The essential point is that it shall be endured by somebody. The following passage embodies both points :-“If the punishment of sin is a Divine act, an act in which the identity between the will of God and the eternal law of righteousness is asserted and expressed, it would appear that if in any case the penalties of sin are remitted, some other Divine act, of at least equal intensity, and in which the ill desert of sin is expressed with at least equal energy, must take its place.”
This book is the latest deliverance on the cardinal point of the Christian faith, Amongst Nonconformists it will, no doubt, be read with attention. It contains no new argument in support of the old theology. As a confession of the weakness of the popular doctrine, it will give expression and definiteness to a sense of want which many must have experienced already, without, perhaps, having confessed so much even to themselves. This quickened sense of want will, in due time, prepare the way for the introduction of truths of a higher order. So long as men are satisfied with the old, they will not desire the new. Although avowedly written in the interest of the commonly received creed, we cannot see how the perusal of the work can leave the orthodox reader satisfied with the state of the defences, The possibility of salvation without a belief in the death of Christ as a propitiation for sin is conceded. The doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture is declared to be in an unsettled and even chaotic condition. More light is declared to be needed respecting the doctrine of the Trinity. Surely all this will lead some to be willing to accept the required light; and in this connection we hail the recent extensivė distribution of the True Christian Religion as most opportune, and as discharging one of the highest duties of our time.
GENERAL CONFERENCE. — Address not to receive the Lord's Supper, when, from the Society of the New Jerusalem nevertheless, they were in a fit state for Church in Mauritius to the General its reception; and, on the other hand, Confcrence of that Church in England. - others might be led to think that after Dear Brethren,-We received, a short being confirmed they were in a condition time ago, the address sent to us from of mind fitting them for this holy rite, you, and signed by the Rev. William irrespective of their state of mind viewed Westall on your behalf. On receipt of spiritually. The danger of formalism this document the principal question is so great, and the human mind so apt which our last address discussed, namely, to cling to it, that our strongest efforts the baptism into the New Church of should be used to put it from us as far those who wish to act as their ministers, as possible. As to the necessity that may was again considered, and we see no be supposed to exist for a ceremony to reason to modify the opinion we then accompany the admission to full Church recorded.
membership, we fail to see it, for no We are ready to admit with you that other doors of entry into the Church are à certain latitude should be left to indi. required than those two plainly set forth vidual freedom, and therefore, we re. in No. 721 of the True Christian Recognise the right of the Conference to ligion, viz., Baptism and the Lord's leave this question to the conscience of Supper, and we beg respectfully to subeach ; still we cannot help expressing mit that the New Church should con. a hope that different views on this fine itself to these. matter will soon prevail throughout the With regard to our own progress Church. However this may be, we during the last year we have little to wish at the same time to assure you report. Our numbers have remained that our feelings of charity and good- almost stationary, and one of our oldest will towards our brethren in England and most devoted members has been are not in any way affected by a decision removed to the spiritual world. He which, although on an important point, remained firm in the faith to the last, does not touch the fundamental doc- expressing almost with his dying breath trines of the Church.
his fullest conviction of the truths of We notice in the Minute, No. 185, of the doctrines he had received, the proceedings of the Conference for A providential circumstance has 1873, that you intend to consider the brought the truths of the New Church desirableness of introducing into the somewhat prominently into notice New Church a rite analogous to that of here, and we think it is as well to Confirmation. We beg to express our mention it. A Jesuit priest at the hope that the proposal in favour of such end of last year wrote to our President, a rite will not be accepted. The old expressing certain New Year's wishes Church to a large extent gave itself up on his behalf, which, in substance, far too much to rites and ceremonies, amounted to a hope that our President and we should be very careful to avoid would return to the Roman Catholic in the New Church any approach to the Communion. A correspondence ensued,
We consider that the which was published and attracted con. greatest liberty should be left to youthsiderable attention, and we believe that to choose their own time for coming on the whole the impression produced into full membership with the Church has been favourable to our cause. There Confirmation is generally considered in seems to be a somewhat increased in. the Anglican Church as preceding the terest taken in our doctrines, and some reception of the Lord's Supper, and as a little inquiry respecting them. With sort of entry into full Church member. us, indeed, it is “the day of small ship. If, then, Confirmation or some things," and therefore we are glad to see such rite were brought into the New any sign of a change for the better, howChurch, it might be believed by some ever slight. that, not being confirmed, they ought We are happy to see from the report
sent us, and from the publications of make the light of the Church known as the American Conference, that there is well as to make its influence felt. progress in the New Church in all direc. We are happy to have observed, what tions, and although that progress is the you state in your letter, that you have reverse of rapid, yet it is enough to been doing something to make the prinprevent our being discouraged, and to ciples of the New Church better known induce us all to work both with our wills among those around you.
We cannot, and understandings in the great duty of of course, rejoice in the circumstances building up the glorious fabric of the that gave occasion to your effort; but New Dispensation in ourselves and in we can approve of your making so society at large.
gratuitous an attack the opportunity Signed on behalf of the New Jeru. of showing the truths of our doctrine, salem Church Society in Mauritius, and admire the Christian spirit in which
EDMUND DE ČHAZAL, President. you treated the official arrogance and
insulting conduct of your priestly as. Port Louis, Mauritius, 21st July 1874. sailant.
We trust, beloved brethren, you will From the General Conference to the continue to pursue with enlightened Society of the Vew Church in the Mar. zeal the course of Christian charity and ritius. - Beloved Brethren,- The saluta- truth, of which you have given so comtions of peace and messages of love mendable an instance, and in due time which come to us across the wide ocean the Lord will crown your labour with from our dear friends on the vast abundant success. We are in some continents of America and Africa, and measure aware of the difficulties under in the isles afar off, are among the most which you have to labour, and the uncheering, encouraging, and hopeful of preparedness of the soil on which you the communications that are laid before have to cast the seed. But all that the us, when we assemble annually in our Lord requires of you is to labour faithisland home, to cultivate the union fully in the sphere of usefulness in which in which there is strength, and to de. His Providence has placed you.
Few liberate on the best means of consolidat. may be able to see the truth, but all can ing and extending the Church.
feel the influence of disinterested love These letters remind us that if the and the power of well directed goodness. glad tidings of the Lord's Second Advent “Therefore, beloved brethren, be ye have spread more slowly than those of stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding His First, they have already extended in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye over a far wider area than the early know that your labour is not in vain in Church ever knew. And the Divine pro- the Lord.” “Finally, brethren, farcmise that the knowledge of the Lord shall well. Be perfect, be of good comfort, cover the earth as the waters cover the be of one mind, live in peace, and the sea ; that nations shall come to the God of love and peace shall be with light of the New Church, and kings to you.” On behalf of the Conference, the brightness of her rising, is already
W. BRUCE. receiving its fulfilment. This is a con. summation for which we should all New CHURCH COLLEGE.-The Winter earnestly work, as well as devoutly pray. Course of Popular Lectures was como And although questions such as those menced on 13th October by Rev. Dr. which you notice in your address deserve Bayley. The subject of the lecture was their due share of attention, yet the "The corroboration which the advances great question of all questions is, How of Literature and Science, since the can we help forward that cause which is decease of Sweden borg, has furnished to to make all men brothers, and all nations the doctrines taught in his Writings.” kindred, not in name only, but in deed Contrasting with admirable effect some and in truth? Everyone can contribute of the views which had been held in the something to this end by the purity and last century as the essentials of the usefulness of his own life, and without Christian religion with those now exthis no true advance in the state of the tensively maintained, even out of our world can be made. But there are col- own pale, he showed the general advance lective as well as individual uses; and as in light and knowledge. Pointing out fellow-workers we should so act as to some errors of translation in the Autho.
rized Version of the Bible which had stand the particulars of New Church lent a sanction to the old doctrines, he doctrine, will do well to go there. demonstrated that the true rendering, as given by modern scholars, expressed the ORDINATIONS.-At the recent session doctrines of the New Jerusalem. He of the General Conference, resolutions thus showed that the progress of learn- were passed approving of the introducing was altogether to our advantage. tion of five candidates by ordination
Dr. Bayley was, as usual, very happy into the ministry of the New Church. in his allusions to the great help which The services connected with these the progress of geology has afforded to the ordinations have now been held, and, reception of the New Church doctrines by the favour of correspondents, we are of the Word. Opposing itself to all the able to give our readers the following Old Church notions of chronology, it notice of each :demonstrates that the first chapters of Mr. Isaiah Tansley.-The service Genesis cannot be literally interpreted, connected with Mr. Tansley's ordinaand thus prepares for the reception of tion was held on the evening of Sunday, Swedenborg's teaching, that this part of October 24, in the Chapel school-room the Word contains only spiritual truths of Clayton-le-Moors, Dear Accrington. in historical forms.
The officiating minister was the Rev. R. Egyptian mummy cases and Egyptian Storry. The candidate was presented tombs were next referred to in illustration for ordination by Dr. Pilkington and of the doctrines of the New Church on the Mr. Joseph Ridings. The congregation Resurrection, the Judgment, and the Fu- assembled to witness the ceremony and ture State, as well as in confirmation of the take part in the service was unusually doctrine of correspondence. Dr. Bayley large, the spacious room being comalso pointed out that the knowledge of pletely filled. Nothing could exceed Egyptian hieroglyphics and the ac- the order and attention with which the quaintance with Egyptian monuments service was witnessed. Every one and remains, which makes this branch present seemed interested, and many of science worthy of the name of expressed their sympathy with the Egyptology, are the result of - modern young minister. The choir had been research. All these confirmations of occupied for some time previously in the statements of Swedenborg have training the children of the Sunday been providentially furnished since his school for a “Service of Song,” which decease. Thus it can never be truly was held in the afternoon of the same said that the theology of the New day and yielded great pleasure to a Church is an adaptation to modern numerous audience. The preparation science, for it was promulgated before of this service precluded any additional science came into existence.
music in the service of ordination. On 16th October the Rev. Dr. Tafel The service of praise and song was the gave the first of a Course of Lectures usual ordination hymns and psalm, on the Science of Correspondences, which which were chanted. These were well is, D.V., to be continued on the second rendered by the choir and heartily joined and fourth Thursdays of every month in by the congregation. The service until the end of July next. The lec- was throughout of the heartiest kind, tures commence at 7.30 and terminate and will be long remembered by those at 9.30, thus lasting two hours.
who took part in it. The lecture was enriched by copious Mr. Robert Richard Rodgers.— On appropriate extracts from the Writings Wednesday evening, Novemher 10, this of Swedenborg, connected by statements ordination took place in the church, of what they were cited to prove, and Summer Lane, Birmingham, in the illustrated by comments. It demanded presence of a very numerous congregaincessant thought and attention, and tion. The Rev. Dr. Bayley and the was calculated to strengthen every Rev. R. Storry had accepted the Sobrain potent enough to bear it. No one ciety's invitation to conduct the ser. who wants to wile away a weary hour vice, and were welcomed by a large by a little light amusement would find party to tea in the Girl's school-room, himself at home with Professor Tafel's prior to the servier, The Rev. E. Theological Class; but every one of Madeley had also been invited, but sound mind, who desires to fully under replied in kind terms, regretting his