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Miracles no Mystery, 189
Papers read before the Swedenborg
Reading Society, Session 1879-80, 594
Scotch Sermons, 401

Sermonic Fancywork on the Figures of
our First Acquaintance in Literature,


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Italy, Letter to the Editor of the Intel- Preachers and Hearers, 242
lectual Repository, 367
Kearsley, 419

Kings of Israel, The First Three, 289
Lectures, The Hibbert, 241
Letter from the Melbourne Society of the
New Church, Victoria, Australia, to
the Seventy-Third General Confer-
ence, 1880, 552


Liverpool, 98

London Association of the New Church,

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Ramsbottom, 100, 299, 600

Letter to the Editor of the Intellectual
Repository (Italy), 367

Lincolnshire New Church Association, Recognition of the New Church by other

Christian Communities, 40

Rev. T. Colley, 94

Rhodes, 299

Ritualism, 243

Sabbath, The, 597

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Camden Road, 46




New Church Doctrine, 150

Dalston, 99

Second Coming, The, 361

Deptford, 47, 201

Kensington, 203

Services in New Church Societies, 44,

96, 152, 201, 365

Southport, 251, 420

Months, 560

Missionary and Tract Society, Special Services during the Winter
43, 362
Longton (Staffordshire), 247
Manchester and Salford Missionary So-
ciety, 43, 147, 196, 363

Day Schools, Peter Street,


Swedenborg Society, 95, 294

Sydney, 511

Testimonial to the Rev. W. Westall,


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Meeting of Hymn-Book

Committee, 244

Peter Street, 99
Printing and Tract Society,


Sale of New Church Works,

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son, 564

Boyle, Mr. J. R., to Miss Amelia Whyte,

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A CHILD being told in answer to a question that Christmas was Jesus Christ's birthday, inquired with great earnestness, "Do you give Jesus a birthday present?" "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast ordained strength !" Their simple ideas underlie great truths. They even involve them; for their angels, who always behold the face of our Father in the heavens, speak through these innocents to us, who, if the heaven of our infancy still lies about us, have drawn still more closely around ourselves a thick cloud of earthly notions and worldly interests, that deaden the influence and obscure the light of the angelic sphere of love and truth. But times and seasons help to recall our wandering thoughts and quicken our deadened impulses, directing them to higher objects and nobler ends. The birth of the Lord into the world is one of those times and occasions, and the greatest of them, and is well adapted to call up our best thoughts and excite our best affections. But it should do something more than this. It should induce us to open our treasures and present our Saviour with our most precious gifts, as offerings of our love. Epiphany is the day early appointed by the Church for celebrating the showing forth of Christ to the Gentiles, as represented by the wise men who had seen His star in the east, and were led by it, first to Jerusalem and then to Bethlehem, where they worshipped the infant King of the Jews, and presented unto Him gifts, gold and


frankincense and myrrh. These may be regarded as birthday presents, although not presented to Jesus on the day of His birth, nor on that of His circumcision, which, according to the ecclesiastical calendar, answer to the first day of the year, but on the twelfth day from the time of His nativity.

These would be but trivial circumstances to mention, were they not intended to introduce and form a basis to some reflections suitable to

the beginning of a new year. Times and seasons should suggest to us some spiritual reflections. Our natural life is measured by the circle of the suns. Every completed passage of the sun through the ecliptic adds a period to the duration of our temporal life. We have grown a year older. We may have become richer or poorer, stronger or feebler; our circle may have been enlarged by birth or narrowed by death, and under any circumstances some new experience in the affairs of life has been acquired. Yet with all or any of these circumstances we may not have grown richer in knowledge and stronger in faith, no new and heavenly affection may have been born, no old earthly affection may have died, within us. We may have listened at the season to the song of the angels, and rejoiced with the shepherds in hearing their announcement of the Saviour's birth, as "Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will towards men;" but it may have been that only unto us, not in us, is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord. It may have been a time without being also a state of good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people-to all people beyond us, but not to all perceptions and affections within us. We may have heard of the great event by the hearing of the ear, but our eye may not have seen it. Have we gone, like the shepherds, to Bethlehem to see this great sight? Or, like the wise men in the east, followed the celestial guide, and presented to the Lord of life and salvation the gifts of love, faith, and obedience? The whole of worship is founded on the principle of offering gifts to the Object of our worship. And yet we give and can give only of what we have received. And never do we or can we return to the Lord all that He has bestowed upon us. That which is represented by a gift is sometimes spoken of as a debt. is expressed by a sum immensely greater than we have it in our power to pay. Although we can only return to God that which we have received from Him, we can only offer Him as a gift that which we have made our own. We make the gifts of the Divine bounty our own when we receive or elevate them into the heart,

And then the amount

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