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any breach of any law, save of that one law of inertia which at every instant is broken by created things without any disturbance being introduced into the serene march of nature's laws. The scientific revelation is reconciled with the written revelation when it is shown that neither necessarily implies the falsity of the other."
PRAYER IN THE NAME OF CHRIST.
In addition to the subject of Miracles, Mr. Kinnear also introduces that of Prayer. On this, as on the subject of Miracles, the writer shows that the granting our petitions, even in regard to temporal blessings, as restoration to health, etc., violates no law. "But the subject," he says, "must not be dismissed without reference to the spiritual laws, which we are bound to regard in praying for ought we may desire. These are expressed and summed in the command, Ask in My name.' There is a prevalent misunderstanding of these words, arising out of the theological dogma which interprets them as if they were written,' For my sake. When we desire another person to ask anything from a superior in our name, we mean to ask as if we asked. It must be something, then, which we should ask for personally. Therefore Christ, desiring us to ask in His name, limits us to ask those things which we can presume He would ask for us.
"It is obvious," continues Mr. Kinnear, "how this interpretation defines the range of petition. It must be confined to what He, all-knowing, knows to be for our good. It must be, in our ignorance, subject to the condition that He should see it best for us. It utterly excludes all seeking for worldly advantage, for which He would never bid us pray. It equally excludes all spiritual benefits which are not those of a godly, humble spirit. Above all, it excludes all things which would be suggested by Satan as a tempting of the Lord our God. To ask, as some scientific men would have us do, for something to see if God would grant it, would be an experiment which, applied to an earthly superior, would be an insult-to God is impiety. To such prayers as these there is no promise made, for they cannot be in Christ's name. “Neither can those prayers be in His
PURPOSE OF LIFE.
The question of human life, its purpose and its value, has of late occupied a good deal of attention. The question, What is life? has for the moment given place to a more sensational inquiry, Is life worth living? Science, to use the words of Professor Bush, "has spectacled her microscopic eyes" to discover what life is and what is its origin; and is at length beginning to confess the hopelessness of the effort to solve the mystery of life from the side of scientific investigation.
But it is a more popular aspect of life to which attention is now directed. This is its active manifestation in the varied experiences of human beings. Of life in this condition all can take note, and in its results all are interested. It is here also that life allies itself with religion and with civil and moral laws. It thus opens a wide field of inquiry and investigation, and furnishes the ground of much diversity of opinion. Life is not a continuous sunshine. Dark clouds obscure its brightness, and fearful tempests disturb its peace. Passion and sense, ignorance and vice, assert their presence, and manifest their hostility to virtue, morality, and truth. The presence of evil, however, it may be defined, is a factor in human life which cannot be ignored. How are we to account for its presence? How shall we accomplish its eradication? The former of these questions is often overlooked, the latter not always wisely discussed. Some time since Mr. Mallock discussed in the pages of the Nineteenth Century the question of "Modern Atheism in Relation to Morality." This naturally led to conduct in life and reference to the question, "Is life worth living?" which he has since treated at length in a recently published volume. To his essay Miss L. S. Bevington has
replied in two papers from the atheist's point of view. It is not a pleasant sign of the times to find an educated woman taking up her pen in defence of morality apart from faith, and scarcely concealing her distrust in even the existence of God; but it is abundantly evident that many of her sentiments are of Christian and not secularist origin. The aim of her first paper was "to show the lifewardness of right-doing; and how in the evolutional view of man's social condition we seem to have a firm basis for a clear theory of morals, quite independent of the comings and goings of religious creeds." The second paper is a continuation of the first, and is an elaborate endeavour to show that the evolutionist's code of morals can justify its demands in cases where the loftier religious moralities have held their own, that it can still help the moral helpers of men without adding to the weakness of the morally helpless." Unbelief is, therefore, in the estimation of this writer, of equal value with belief in the doctrines of religion. The well-to-do need neither the promises nor threatenings of religion. They are content with the enjoyments of this life, regardless of a future in which they have no faith, and for which they cherish no desire. True, however, to the evolutionist's creed, the writer admits that religious belief has exercised a salutary influence in a less perfect condition of society. "It is quite certain," writes the authoress, that an unsuccessful, unhealthy, or any way valueless and hopeless earthly life is made more bearable by a belief in unfailing love, which mysteriously permits the misery, and in unfailing power, which will eventually remove it, and by the convinced hope of another chance' after death. No less certain is it that it must be some check upon a selfish libertine, a brutal tyrant, or a sneaking knave, to be possessed by a conviction that a strong Deity minutely sees, and is personally offended at, his evil life, and is able to make such worldly courses productive of hideous personal woe to the offender."
There is a growing disposition to treat religion as a natural development of the human mind, to study its various changes and diversities of opinion as a matter of scientific inquiry, and to find it a place in the new system of thought
which discredits its value and dispenses with its necessity. But is not the admitted uses of religion an evidence of its truth? It is not a system of utter falsehood which can comfort the afflicted and inspire the mind with undying hope in the most painful afflictions. The circumstances, moreover, in which its use is admitted are not exceptional but general. The most prosperous life is not exempt from trouble. Sickness and death are the inheritance of all men; and clinging to life, and looking forward to the abiding fellowship of the wise and good, are among the purest aspirations of the nature of man. The authoress's statement of the aims and uses of religion is feeble and imperfect. Unfortunately it receives too much countenance from the mistaken teachings of many professedly Christian writers. Religious truth is intended for all, and written down to the mental condition and spiritual requirements of all. To the natural man, whose thought of God is that He is altogether such an one as himself, the Lord speaks in the language of threatened punishment or joyous hope. But beneath the threatenings and the promises of Scripture is the deeper revelation of an infinite benevolence and a wide and endless human culture. The secularists' Utopia, in which the world would cease at any rate to be ‘a vale of tears,' "" is founded upon so many assumptions that its attainment in the present life seems impossible. Here are some of the requirements to secure negative happiness-" every one's progenitors temperate, chaste, and selfcontrolled; every man's neighbours sincere, honest, and just; every man's children filial, grateful, and kind." And to secure positive happiness, "every man's own self, his disposition and tastes, such as to make him take spontaneous delight in the exercise of beneficence, temperance, purity, and sincerity.
The strong point in Miss Bevington's paper arises from the imperfect presentment of Christian doctrine by Christian writers. "All moralities," she says, "have been alike religious. Who then, on religious grounds, can declare to us that this or that morality is perfect, complete, final, supreme?" No well-instructed believer contends that this or that morality is perfect. Moral truth in its highest form is Divine, and there
fore perfect. As received by man and embodied in human conduct it is relative, and manifests the infirmity and feebleness of imperfect human characters. But the advantage of Christianity is the presentment of a perfect example in God-Man, the interior opening of the laws of wisdom, as man by regeneration is prepared to see the light and to walk in the light, and thus the prospect and hope of an endless progress in wisdom and goodness.
RECOGNITION OF THE NEW CHURCH BY OTHER CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES.
The extensive diffusion of New Church literature, combined with the greater liberty of thought which distinguishes the present times, has led of late years to an increasing acknowledgment of the Christian character of New Church teaching by the members of orthodox Churches, and to a willingness to unite with New Church people in the performance of works of Christian usefulness. At Radcliffe the Rev. Mr. Boys, the esteemed pastor of the Society of the New Church, has been for many years the local secretary of the British and Foreign Bible Society, an office which brings him into friendly connection with the ministers of other denominations in his neighbourhood. At the last anniversary of the Society at Radcliffe the Rev. I. Tansley was among the speakers, and in the course of his address said, he was pleased to be on the platform, because he found both those of Church Establishment and Dissenting bodies met together for one great object. In the course of a very animated speech Mr. Tansley very ably refuted some of the arguments which are generally put forward by the would-be philosophers of the present regarding the relation of the Jews to the Old Testament.
At the opening of a bazaar at Derby connected with one of the orthodox Churches the minister, the Rev. W. Wilkinson, made "honourable mention of the New Church in Babington Lane as having generously assisted them; and among those who spoke in connection with the opening was the Rev. J. Ashby, the minister of the New Church in Derby.
At Heywood the ministers of the several Wesleyan, the Congregational, and Baptist communities determined
last year to hold a united service on the Christmas Day morning, to have a general exchange of pulpits on the second Sunday morning in January, and a united Sacramental service at the close of the evening services of the same day. This year the members of the New Church are invited to join this service, and their minister, the Rev. R. Storry, to exchange pulpits with the minister of the Wesleyan Free Church. As the Lord was known of His disciples in the breaking of bread, may we not reasonably hope that His disciples in all Christian communities will come to deeper knowledge of Him and a more interior reception of His life when they unitedly join in the Sacrament of His Holy Supper?
An unexpected explosion of religious intolerance has taken place in the city of Philadelphia in the United States of America. The particulars of this movement, so different to what we are led to expect of American Churches and institutions, will be gleaned from the following extracts from Philadelphia papers, kindly sent us by a correspondent:
"The Rev. Chauncey Giles, pastor of the 'Church of the New Jerusalem,' or Swedenborgian Church, at Broad and Brandywine Streets, was to have delivered a sermon at the Hall of the Young Men's Christian Association on the subject, The Dissolution of the Material Body a Provision of the Divine Love and Wisdom for the Increase and Perfection of Human Happiness.' This was to have been the first of a series on Natural and Spiritual Death and Resurrection and the Life after Death.' When Mr. Giles touched on these subjects on previous occasions the church edifice, which seats only about four hundred worshippers, has been uncomfortably full, and hence the desire to obtain more ample accommodation at the Young Men's Christian Association Hall. The sermon, however, was not delivered at the hall, but at the church, and the why and wherefore of the change has caused considerable excitement among the members of the denomination.
"When the church committee-including such well-known individuals as
George Burnham of the Baldwin Locomotive Works; Counsellor W. M'George; T. S. Arthur, the temperance writer; J. Shoemaker of Lippincott & Co.; and A. Lewis of Caldwell & Co., the jewellers-planned the sermon, they had no idea that any difficulty lay in the way of their so doing, as once before the hall had been granted to them for a lecture by Mr. Giles on 'Hell.' The duty of engaging the building was assigned to Mr. Lewis. This gentleman was informed by the secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association that it was doubtful whether the request would be granted, on the ground that the Swedenborgians were not Evangelical Christians' in the Young Men's Christian Association's definition of the term. Subsequently Mr. Lewis was asked to withdraw the request, but instead of doing so he put it on paper and sent it to Mr. Seal, the secretary. The result was a communication to the effect that the room committee of Association Hall did not deem it expedient to grant the request.'
This decision has given rise to some strong comments from the outlawed congregation. They hold that they are as much entitled to hold their own views and be considered as Christians as any other denomination; and they point to the fact that only a few weeks ago their preacher, at the request of the Faculty, expounded his faith before the students of Cornell University. Regarding their spiritual views they quote the doctrines of the Church, to which every
member must subscribe.
"A member of Mr. Giles' church expressed the opinion last evening that the refusal of the building was due to the fact that some of the members of the Young Men's Christian Association who were present at the lecture on 'Hell' had since been induced to study Swedenborg's theory with some degree of care. Until within a very recent date, he added, the books of the Swedenborgian Church were excluded from the Young Men's Christian Association library. Other members commented on the fact that when the Young Men's Christian Association was claiming nonliability for taxation last spring, one of the strongest arguments urged in their behalf was that the Association was non-sectarian, and that members of all denominations were open to its rights
and privileges. This statement is contrasted with their present action.
"Rev. Chauncey Giles, against whom the edict was directed, is recognised as one of the most eloquent and scholarly preachers. He is also an author of no mean repute. His connection with the church at Broad and Brandywine dates from last fall. Previous to that he was located in New York, where members of all denominations flocked on Sunday after Sunday to listen to his discourses. Some of the New York dailies made an habitual practice of reporting his sermons verbatim. On one occasion he expounded his views in James Freeman Clarke's Boston church. The denomination has three churches in this city."
In these circumstances, Dr. Magoon, the minister of a Baptist church, wrote to Mr. Giles and offered him the use of his church for the delivery of his lecture. The following is a report of the service :
"Probably few, if any, places of worship in this city contained last night such a vast throng as was packed into the Broad Street Baptist Church, where Dr. Magoon gave up his pulpit to the Rev. Chauncey Giles, the Swedenborgian preacher. This had grown out of the refusal of the Young Men's Christian Association to permit the Swedenborgian preacher to lecture in Association Hall, because he was not evangelical.'
"Crowds began to assemble in front of the edifice as early as six o'clock, and an hour later every seat was occupied. Still the people continued to come in, until aisles, galleries, organ loft, gallery stairs, the pulpit stairs in the rear, and the outside corridors were one dense mass of human beings. At half-past seven the crush was so great that the officials of the church were compelled to close the doors, much to the chagrin of hundreds of would-be worshippers who subsequently put in an appearance. Mr. Giles was escorted to the rostrum by Dr. Magoon, who, introducing him, said :—
"I have invited my friend to this pulpit this evening for two reasons. First, while I do not expect that he will announce or advocate any principles in conflict with what has often been heard from this pulpit, yet I am perfectly satisfied that he is much more competent to discuss this subject (spiritual death; its nature, origin, delights, and torments) than I am. Secondly, I
have been familiar with the printed thoughts of my friend for years, but I was a stranger to him until Tuesday last, and I much desired the privilege of listening to one from whose pen I have received so much instruction.'
"Mr. Giles then proceeded with his sermon, the delivery of which occupied over an hour. It was an exhibit of the Swedenborgian theory of 'spiritual death,' and was listened to with rapt
"When he had concluded, Dr. Magoon again stepped forward and said, 'He who has taught us so well to-night is welcome to preach under this roof whenever he likes. As often as he may please to come, he and his shall find a hearty welcome.""
In connection with the general subject, Mr. Giles has indited the subjoined communication :
"Editor of the Record,-You need not be afraid to assert in the strongest manner that the doctrines held by the Swedenborgians are evangelical in the sense of affirming and teaching the supreme and sole Divinity of Jesus Christ and the absolute dependence of every one upon Him for salvation; in the absolute necessity of faith in Him as the Redeemer, Regenerator, and Saviour of men; and in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures. Indeed, we are probably the only Christians who do believe in this doctrine without any exception or mental reservation. Consequently we believe that they are the only source of true doctrine concerning religion, and the only absolute rule of faith and practice.
On the second occasion of Mr. Giles occupying the pulpit of the Broad Street Baptist Church, Dr. Magoon, the minister, prefaced the service by the following liberal and interesting statement: "After the usual devotional exercises, Dr. Magoon advanced to the desk and said: I have requested our brother, Mr. Giles, to omit the reading of the Scriptures this evening for an especial purpose, which I will explain to you. This evening I was standing on the other side of Broad Street before the doors of the church were opened, looking at the gathering of this vast congregation. While standing there two or three little boys approached me and said, "Mr. Magoon, is that man what preached last Sunday going to preach again to-night?" I replied, "Yes," and one spoke out, 'Why, he don't believe in the Bible!" Brethren and sisters, this shows how easily a man may be misinterpreted, and how assertions may be made in regard to him which are very far from the truth. I can say from my own study and knowledge and a long acquaintance with the greatest of the Swedenborgian faith, that there are two points upon which they are remarkably strict, namely, the Divinity of Christ as God and the authenticity of the Scriptures as a Divine revelation. They believe in these two points most distinctly and unreservedly, and so do I. You will find, if you investigate the subject, that all of their great ministers are exact upon these cardinal points of doctrine. In the ablest of their author's productions, strenuously insisted upon at every point, are these two things; and I know of my own knowledge, that their reverence for the Holy Scripture is exceptional, as can be seen by a visit to their churches. I once went into one in the city of New York, and I was impressed as I never was before with the veneration displayed for the Bible, which was placed on the centre of the chancel near the minister, so as to indicate that all inspirations came from the sacred volume. I desire to add my testimony to the firm belief of the denomination in the Divinity of our Lord and perpetual reverence for the Bible. In reference to the occupation of my pulpit this evening, I would say that the friends of Mr. Giles endeavoured to get a hall of sufficient capacity for this evening, but they failed, although they
"We acknowledge that the members of the Young Men's Christian Association have the right to control their own property. We do not care so much about their refusal to let us occupy their hall as about the ground on which their refusal was made. The reasons given for their refusal place us in a false position before the community, and tend to bring our doctrines into disrepute among good Christian men; for we are evangelical' if evangelicity consists in a full belief in the doctrines of religion taught by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the four Gospels. -Very truly yours,