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and New Jerusalem Magazine and the succeeded.
She has been more sucJuvenile Magazine, though increasing, cessful, however, in producing infidelity is far below what we might reasonably than Protestant aspirations—aspirations hope. We cannot but think that a towards intellectual freedom and Chrislittle effort on the part of our readers tian faith and love. Nothing can be might considerably increase the number more disheartening, says the correspon. of our subscribers; and as the Confer. dent of one of our leading journals, ence and Sunday School Union, of than the religious question in Spain : which these magazines are the organs, “Ask any man you meet whether he have always manifested a disposition to is a Catholic; his answer is, 'I am a apply any increased funds to their im- Spaniard.' The religion, the abuse of provement, this extension of their sale which has been the ruin of his country, would be certainly followed by an im. is with him, if a believer, a subject of provement in their appearance and national pride ; if a sceptic or arrant quality. With the present volume we infidel, a kind of irresistible fatality. enter upon some new arrangements, 'I am a Spaniard'—that is, a being from which the conductors hope to reap doomed to be a Catholic or nothing. advantages to the work itself, and we For other people there may be, on may, therefore, confidently appeal to religious subjects, inquiry, intellectual our readers to help us in the work in development, rational emancipation ; which we are engaged.
for us, in Spain, there is no mid-way
between the sheer unbelief which befits SPAIN.
a man and the grovelling superstition
which is good for a woman.' Strange One of the most marked political enough, the priests are aware of, and events is the revolution in Spain. thoroughly acquiesce in this arrangeThe utter depravity of the Queen, ment. Tell a priest boldly in his face combined with the tyranny of her you are an infidel, and he has done Government, has at length so with you. As he can no longer burn pletely outraged the people, that they you, he rather looks upon you as an have risen against her authority, and auxiliary; for, he reasons, 'if all relibanished her from her throne and gions are the same to you, perhaps you country. A transitional Government will have no objection to your wife folhas been formed, and, at the time we lowing her religion rather than any write, the future is involved in no other. Perhaps you will find one small obscurity. Meantime there are religion in Spain a lesser evil than that certain features in this movement which confusion of creeds reigning in Eng. it may be interesting and useful for land.' Be it borne in mind that it is members of the New Church to care- unbelief, and not belief, that stands in fully note.
the way of religious freedom in Spain. Spain has been pre-eminently distin- Could you abstract professed or secret guished for its attachment to the deists and atheists, could you freely Romish Church. It has been the address yourself to the mass of churchstronghold of the Papacy. Its catholic goers, to the frequenters of the confesunity, secured by the terrible persecu. sional, to those who are most assiduous tions of the Inquisition and the fearful in their observance of the precepts of the tyrannies of the secular Government, Church, you would only be astonished has been its glory and its boast. Here, at the narrow limits within which the if anywhere, we may look, therefore, belief of these people reduces itself. for the natural fruits of this system of Ask any of the ladies who have signed priestly assumption and ecclesiastical the Madrid, Seville, or Valladolid petiascendency. Here it has had uninter- tion what are her particular objections rupted sway. Italy has rebelled ; Spain to Protestantism. • Call you that a has been quiet. Italy has allowed religion ?' she will answer. Why, the introduction of the Bible and the their priests marry, and have children open teaching of Protestant pastors ; like other men,' and she will giggle at Spain has set her face as flint against the notion. What else does she know every movement which could disturb about other people's religion or her her quiet or infringe her catholic unity. own? Roman Catholicism south of the With all her efforts, she has not entirely Alps or the Pyrenees is a thoroughly
dumb show; it never argues or discusses; it never addresses the understanding ; never countenances inquiry or controversy."
Such is the fearful night of mental and religious darkness to which this system of priestcraft has reduced the national mind.
“ The influence of the clergy,” says the same writer, “is to loosen all moral restraint. The charity they inculcate is encouragement to idleness. Their aspirations to a future life resolve themselves into a disregard of the duties of the present. Their own example supplies the best apology for idleness and indulgence.
No power of external authority can permanently bind the minds of the people. Liberty of thought is secured by a higher influence than earth. All the agencies of Divine providence are active to secure the regeneration of nations, the setting up of a purer worship, and the promulgation of a truer faith. Protestantism in many of its features is not in harmony with the wants of the present or the hopes of the future. Nevertheless, its mental freedom and open promulgation of the word of God, present to the nation the means of progress and of religious enlightenment. And these agencies are already at work. Public Protestant worship has been organized in Madrid by a congregation of French, Swiss, English, and German Protestants, the latter of whom are very numerous. The correspondent of the Post thus describes the opening Protestant service :
“Don Antonio Carrasso, who shared the dungeon and the dungeon food with the Spanish Protestant martyr, Señor Matamoros, performed the Protestant service in the Spanish language before a numerous congregation, who expressed the utmost astonishment that Protestants believed in the principles of Christianity-for Spanish Catholics are taught from their childhood the most monstrous of fables concerning the creed of those whom they are taught to loathe as heretics.
The pastor' preached a very judicious sermon, perfectly adapted to his auditory of imaginative children of the south. `Instead of fiercely denouncing Roman Catholic dogmas, like that indiscreet enthusiast who narrowly escaped being
torn to pieces the other day at Carthagena, for ridiculing the Immaculate Conception, he expounded, in words that proved his perfect knowledge of the Spanish language, from the text, Simon Peter, lovest thou Me. Feed My lambs.' He announced that Father Ruet, an ex-catholic priest, would offici. ate occasionally, but that he would go to preach the pure faith in the provinces. The committee intend to build a Protestant church without delay. A London committee has also taken in hand the building of a Protestant church. A Spanish Protestant journal has been started, the prospectus of which
that the editor, Cordova y Lopez, and other democrats, accept and proclaim the Reformation of Martin Luther."
As was to be expected, the British and Foreign Bible Society are availing themselves of the opening thus made to introduce the Word in the Spanish language in large numbers. The way is thus opened for the promulgation of truth. Much that passes under this name may not be in harmony with the teachings of the New Church. It is immeasurably superior, however, to the degrading superstition and scarcely concealed atheism so extensively prevalent. So far also as it opens the mind, and gives increased activity to thought, it is preparing the way of the Lord, and hastening the progress of the latter-day glory of the Church.
PUBLIC MEETINGS OF THE SO.
CIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRIS.
So many and so varied are the evidences of improved feeling and sentiment among intelligent Christians, that we are sometimes led to suppose that a more rapid progress has been effected than has really taken place. This feeling is often interrupted, however, by some outbreak of the old spirit of narrow exclusiveness, which reminds us that old things have not entirely passed away. Some church meetings which have been recently held have manifested some of the worst features of clerical intolerance. At a meeting of the
Society for the Diffusion of Christian Knowledge, held on the 6th of October, on the motion of Mr. E. A. Fitzroy, a motion was carried,
granting the sum of £2000 to the Dean and fairness, and with a desire to do of Pieter Maritzburg and the Church justice to all.” The appeal was in vain. Committee in the diocese of Natal. The same turbulence as at the former This resolution set aside the Bishop meeting seems to have prevailed. (Dr. Colenso), and recognised a rival Clergymen of high standing were reand hostile establishment. The friends fused a hearing. Others spoke amid of the motion, however, were in the the most unseemly interruptions, and ascendant, and all opposition was put the business of the meeting was transdown by the most disorderly and vio- acted in the midst of angry altercation, lent means. A writer in the Spec- confusion, and uproar. In the end a retator, who had attended a meeting of solution affirming the grant of £2000 for trades unions in Leeds, where some two the promotion of Christian knowledge or three thousand working-men were in the colony of Natal, but leaving its present, says, “I am obliged to con- expenditure in the hands of the Comfess, with shame and regret, that their mittee, was carried by a majority of 91. sense of order, their manliness and It is painful to witness proceedings so gentlemanliness of feeling, were miles utterly at variance with the commonest above anything that I could find in the elements of Christian decorum, and clergy and excited young laymen who which manifest such a total disregard flocked to Lincoln's Inn Fields this of the commonest teachings of Christian afternoon. Interruptions, shouts, a truth. It is important, however, to clamorous refusal to listen to any one note such conduct and if possible to on the other side, the most entire discover its cause.
Principles will absence of any recognition of the ordin- always sooner or later work out their ary rules of a public meeting, broken effects. What is in the mind of man windows, and vehement gesticulations, is certain, at some time or other, and —these were the features of the vener- in some form or other, to be manifested able society. It was simply a tumult in his words and actions. The cause of like that at Ephesus; and there was no these disorders is to be found in the • town clerk' in the chair, with power false position of those who have taken to 'appease' and courage to dismiss' part in them. The gratuitous assumpthe assembly.' A clergyman writing tion of their own superiority, combined to the same paper gives a similar ac- with a mistaken life's training of unconcount of this turbulent and disorderly tradicted ascendency in their parishes, assembly, citing some special examples renders the bulk of our parochial clergy of unfeeling and unchristian conduct. impatient of contradiction, fills their The purpose, however, of the promoters minds with the pride of spiritual des. of the resolution was accomplished, but potism, and renders them oblivious of followed by notice of motion to repeal what is due to the feelings and sentithe resolution at a subsequent meeting ments of others. The great want of This meeting was held on the 8th of the church is a higher and truer ChrisDecember at the Freemason's Tavern. tian dogma, and a more cordial blendThis large room was quite inadequate ing of all her members, both lay and to accommodate the excited crowd of clerical, in the ordinary business of members who flocked to the meeting. their several congregations.
The asAll the avenues of approach were blocked sumed superiority of the clergy, and up, and the room so crowded that it their exclusive management of every: was found necessary to close the doors, thing belonging to the worship and and thus forcibly prevent any further services of their churches, tend more admissions. The remarks of the public to the development of the natural selfpress on the disorders, the partizan zeal, will than to the maturing of brotherly and the intolerance of the former meet- kindness and Christian charity. Until ing, it was reasonably supposed would the Church is delivered, however, from exercise some restraint on this assembly. its narrowing doctrine of faith only, The Archbishop of York, who was in and possesses a genuine doctrine of the chair, appealed to the meeting as charity, and realizes its vital import
an assembly consisting so largely of ance in the formation of Christian men who, like himself, were ministers character, it is hopeless to expect any. of the gospel of our blessed Lord, to thing like a general and real manifestaconduct its business in a spirit of charity tion of Christian courtesy and love.
ITALY.—A correspondent of the London Guardian of November 18th writes :
-“ Italy is in every sense a new country now to one who remembers it before Majenta and Solferino, when Italy was, as Prince Metternich used to say, only 'a geographical expression.' It is not only that the demarcations of the map are effaced, the petty sovereignty of grand dukes and titular princes abolished, and Florence itself, as the capital of Italy, no longer an inexpensive residence for our countrymen.
The change of political relations affects the national life in its every aspect. Instead of the swarms of friars and monks which the traveller met everywhere, it is a rare thing now to see the picturesque garb of the monastic orders. What would Torquemada and his myrmidons think of a book-stall in the great piazza at Milan, close to the very walls of 'Il Duomo,' with New Testaments in the vernacular freely displayed for sale to the passers-by?”
Into the quickened life of this great nation, awaking from the slumbers of ages, and slowly shaking itself free from the nightmare of the papacy, the merciful Providence which is over all the nations of the earth is preparing to insert the glorious and soul-reviving truths of His second advent. The following letter of the Rev. Mr. Ford, the minister of a small society of the New Church at Florence, is extracted from the Messenger of November 11th, and will be read with interest. We offer no apology for its insertion at length.
FLORENCE, Oct. 15, 1868. While I was passing the hot season at the Baths of Recoaro, in the Italian Tyrol, I received a letter dated Lau. sanne, August 4, 1868, and signed "Loreto Scocia, Minister of the Italian Evangelical Church, in which the writer stated that he had been for some time desirous of learning something about the doctrines of the New Church, but had only the previous day heard of the existence of a New Church at Florence from an English gentleman, who gave him my address. He therefore applied to me to know how he should obtain the information he desired. To this I replied by giving him a list of some of Swedenborg's works, beginning with H. & H. and D. P., to be ordered from Paris. I said, among
other things, that I wrote a little in the dark, not knowing whether he was moved to investigate the doctrines of the New Church by mere theological curiosity, or whether, having conceived à favourable impression of them, he wished to know more about them, “ seeking the truth for the truth's sake, and conscious of a purpose to leave all in order to acquire it and profess it.'
To this Signor Scocia replied in a letter dated Lausanne, September 1st, 1868, from which I make the following extracts :
“ These words of yours (referring to those just given), my dear sir, make it my duty to give you some explanations. Have the kindness, then, to pardon me if I shall speak a little about myself. My first profession was not that of theology, but of law, in which I have received the degree of doctor. In 1860, being then in France, I was converted from Roman Catholicism to Wesleyan Methodism, through the instrumentality of men who deserved and still deserve my esteem and affection. Believing that I had found the truth, I gave up everything to profess it, and for seven years I devoted myself to it entirely.
“Having completed the studies preparatory to the ministry in France, I returned to Italy, and commenced my mission in Parma. In this city there gathered . about me several hundred persons, and in the short period of a year I had the satisfaction of seeing the establishment of a church of full five hundred members. I was then called to evangelize in other cities, Milan, Monza, Varese, Pavia, Savona, and in 1864, in Bergamo. This last is one of the strongholds of Popery, and had already, more than once, with resort to violence, driven off a Waldensian missionary and a Plymouthist. I send you by the same mail with this two numbers of the *Pungolo' of Milan. In that of the 13th of December 1864, an article marked on the first page will inform you of the serious danger to which I was exposed in Bergamo. In the other, of the 1st January, 1865, an article similarly marked will serve to show you the complete triumph gained by the evangelical truths in that city. I was subsequently recalled to the churches of Milan and Pavia, and finally sent to Vicenza, there to initiate a missionary movement.
“But at this period there was going with the hope of some suggestions from on within me a complete spiritual re- you in reply. volution. Mon.
[Here follows an excellent summary friend of mine, opened my eyes to the of the doctrines of the New Church, absurdities of the doctrines self-styled which we omit for want of room. Eds. orthodox, based, almost all of them, on MESS.) material and ignorant interpretations of “ Thus you see, my dear sir, thanks the sacred Scriptures. In consequence, to these writings, that my mind has perceiving that I was in a Church entered upon a new horizon--a horizon which not only does not possess the immense and elevated. It is not, howtruth, but what is worse, oppresses by ever, I will tell you frankly, one enits heavy organization, by its method
Certain obscure ism, all spirit, intelligence, and evan- and cloudy vapours prevent me from gelical liberty, I could not hesitate, and sending my sight abroad when it would at the first opportunity I offered my fain contemplate the wonderful beauties resignation to the Methodist Church. of Swedenborg's doctrines.”
“I came last May to Lausanne, His difficulties have respect to justi. where the relations of my wife reside, fication by faith alone, and predestinafor the benefit of her suffering health, tion, which he finds. as he supposes, and am here seeking the truth, because explicitly taught in the writings of the I feel that I must not be wanting to my Apostle Paul, and he cites several pasvocation, and desire with all my soul to sages which seem to teach these docreturn at the right time to preach the trines. Perceiving in these doubts an gospel in my dear native land.
illustration of what Swedenborg tells "I had already some general ideas of us, that truths ought not to be received the doctrines of the eminent philosopher all at once, and that therefore things Swedenborg, and was desirous of inves- which make against them are usually tigating the beliefs of the New Church suggested, I contented myself, using which professes his doctrines; but up very little argument against these dogto the last month I never knew to mas, with saying that he would find whom to apply, when, as I wrote you occasion, in his further investigations, the first time, Mr. Dixon, an English to see that the Epistles of the New gentleman of my acquaintance, spoke Testament formed no part of the Divine to me about you, and gave me your
Word. The following is his reply, address.
being the last letter which I have “I am expecting from Paris the received from him :works you have recommended to me. I shall study them seriously, and since
“ LAUSANNE, Oct. 1, 1868. you so kindly offer me your aid, I “You can well imagine, my dear promise that I will have recourse to brother, my happiness in being able to it frankly whenever I may need it, write you-as I can your satisfaction in whether to overcome some difficulty or learning it—the good news, that the to clear up some doubtful point. What- Lord has wonderfully fulfilled my long ever may be the result of my investiga- cherished desires.
The happy prog: tions into the works of Swedenborg, I nostications expressed in your last letshall always be glad of having under- ter have been completely realizedtaken it, since it has put me in cor- realized even beyond all that could have respondence with you.
been expected. The next letter of Signor Scocia shows
« But to show this it is necessary the impression made on him by his first that I should tell you of the wonderful acquaintance with Swedenborg :
success which I have received from the “ I am happy to inform you that I Divine Providence. First of all, howhave read the work on Heaven and Hell, ever, I must premise that when your and that on the Divine Providence. welcome letter reached me, I had just What sublime philosophy, what deep finished reading the precious book of knowledges, pyschological, physiologi. Swedenborg, entitled the True Chriscal, anatomical, physical, and natural! tian Religion, which gave me clear and
“I venture to send you a short precise ideas about the doctrines of the summary of my reading, and of the New Church, and of the logical and hardeep impression it has made upon me, monious connection existing through.