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and divine subjects. Were we sensible of the Divine operations before they reach the ultimate in effects, we should be deprived of our liberty and rationality, which are the transcendent prerogatives of a human creature.
From our most internal part, where our Maker has His highest mansion, we derive, as primary manifest effects, this spiritual liberty of will, and this spiritual rationality of understanding. These are the primary derivatives of our internal human principle, wherein we are capable of exercising ourselves; and in the exercise of these faculties, as if from ourselves, we are in the enjoyment of the highest delights which we can know and feel, as human creatures. It is a law of Divine order, and of the Divine providence, that no one should be compelled, as to bis spirit, but that he should be left perfectly free, to will and to think, since the human principle cannot present itself to manifest perception and sensation, except in this liberty and rationality of spirit. From our liberty of will is derived to us the power and faculty of choosing good or evil; and from our rationality of spirit, the power or faculty of imbibing truth or falsity. This is equally the case now as at first creation. The human race stands on the same ground now as in the most ancient times, and will so do throughout all their generations, world without end. This we may learn from the teaching of the Divine Word, in both Testaments.
The liberty of the human will, together with the rationality of the human understanding, evidently appear from the book of creation to be the grand, essential, and proper characteristics of human nature. They are referred to and evidently discernible throughout all the law and the prophets; they are palpably visible in the doctrine and parables of Him who spake as never man spake; and are distinctly presented before us at the close of the divine volume of inspiration. In the last chapter of the Bible, verse 17, the divine proclamation is made—“And the spirit and the bride say, Come; and let him that heareth say, Come; and let him that is athirst, come; and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” And because man does possess these faculties of liberty and rationality, therefore are immediately added the following admonitory declarations—“If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book; and if any man shall take away from the words of this prophecy, God shall take
away his part out of the book of life.” But man possesses human powers and principles still more outward than these of liberty and rationality, and which, according to the order of influx and of life, are formed from them. For, according to the
universal Divine arrangement, the Divine Essence flows out and forms the external an image of the internal.
From the freedom of the will and rationality of the understanding are born loves and perceptions, delights and desires, which could not in any wise be the case if the inflowing life from the Lord passed through us and operated upon us entirely without the consciousness or sensation of something as if our own. We say, as if our own, because, absolutely considered, there is nothing of the divine influx our own; for all we possess, in every form and degree, as human beings, is of and from our Creator. Still it is granted us, that life flowing in from Him may appear our own, agreeably to the formal constitution of our nature, that we may consciously enjoy the delights of His life, and feel His desires gratified in us, as if they were our own, and thereby appropriate the good things of His divine love, and the true things of His divine wisdom, to an endless eternity; and which will be our felicitous portion while, in this our time of probation below, we labour to become animated with the loves and affections, with the same ideas and thoughts, as possess the blessed who have died in the Lord, and are in our Father's heavenly kingdom above. From the love, affection, and delight of the will,-from the wisdom, intelligence, and desires of the understanding, we possess a middle part or principle between our internal and our external degree, which may be called our spirit.
This middle principle, or human spirit, occupies a place between our internal and external man, and is a power and faculty of action derived from the will, its loves, affections, and delights, and is a power and faculty of speech derived from the understanding, its perceptions, thoughts, and desires. To this latter faculty pertain our exterior thought and memory. That these powers and faculties of action and of speech are constituent parts of our humanity, must be so self-evident to every man, whenever he moves a member of his body, or uses his organs of speech, that to prove it would be a waste of time. Had not man the power so to act and speak, it would be in vain that the muscles of the body or the organs of speech were disposably formed to produce their effective operations; but, having this spirit within us, we are capable of putting forth into act by the body what we have made choice of from our freedom of will; and to utter our thoughts by speech, according to the perception of wisdom and intelligence which rationally illuminates our minds.
This brings us to the consideration of our more external part or degree, which is a copy or type of our internal, and so formed by creation that our internal man can perform its uses--put all its delights and desires into practice, in the very ultimate ground. Hence is the origin
of the sensations of hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, and feeling. Their sensories also, in reality, pertain to the spiritual body, and none whatever to the earthly, which is laid aside at death, never more to be re-assumed. That these sensories pertain to our spiritual body, which proximately encompasses our soul, and is within our natural body, even within every member and every part of it, may be rationally demonstrated from the circumstance, that the body laid down at death is dispossessed of all these sensories : the eyes then no longer see, the ears hear, the nostrils smell, the mouth taste, the nerves feel; the whole of every sense is gone, with erery other part of the human principle; nothing is left but what will soon return to the earthly and material elements from which it originated.
This earthly elemental body, as compassing our spiritual, is useful to accomplish the purpose of our creation, in first giving us a fixity of existence, and, as long as we are continued in our probationary day, in serving us to perform its necessary uses and functions, and which could not be performed by our spirit, except we were clothed with natural and material elements. But when we shall have done with this natural world, and entered upon a world altogether of a spiritual nature, we want the natural and material body no more. And the spirituallyminded Christian, whose affections are above, when first delivered from this clog of sin and mortality, will feel himself loosened from the shackles which so often led him to confess before his God, in accents of sorrow and contrition—“My soul cleaveth to the dust;" and to make the humble and fervent supplication,—“Quicken thou me, according to thy word.”
Thus have we endeavoured, in a very brief manner, to trace somewhat of our human-creaturely nature and constitution, as an answer to the question—“ What is man?” We might further prosecute the inquiry, by considering man as a vessel,--as a recipient form ; as containing in himself three degrees, answering to the three heavens; and many other important subjects of investigation; but we forbear.
May a due consideration of these things lead us to reflect upon and adore the wisdom, power, and goodness by which we have been so fearfully and wonderfully made, to acknowledge, love, and magnify our Creator, as the Fountain of every gift, of every talent, ability, and faculty which we possess! Let us strenuously use them in glorifying Him, in our day here below, and thereby become prepared to enjoy the felicities of His heavenly kingdom, agreeably to the Divine will towards us in our creation, and in all His other operations as our Heavenly Father.
MISCELLANEOUS. MEETING OF THE GENERAL Friends who seldom, perhaps never, CONFERENCE,
meet but on these annual occasions, In the Church in Argyle-square, London, greet each other with the warmth of
from Tuesday the 12th to Tuesday deepening affection; and friends who the 19th of August.
have never met before come to recog. When the Conference was appointed nise each other in the new and endearto be held this year in London, it was, ing relations of brethren in the Lord. no doubt, under the conviction that the We cannot introduce the reader to every great International Exhibition, forming friend individually who is present at as it would a centre of attraction for this meeting. Most of the ministers people from all parts of the civilised and of the leaders and other represen. world, would be the means of bringing tatives who are to form the Conference together a larger number of the members are there. Several eminent brethren and friends of the church, both at home from abroad who were expected to be and abroad, than could be expected to present, have not yet reached our shores; assemble in any other place. So far as one brother from America, and another respects the transaction of the actual from Australia, are with us; and all business of the Conference, no material these, with a goodly number of our advantages may, perhaps, have been London friends, form a company who gained by this arrangement. But this evidently enjoy some of the bighest and annual assembly of the church is in- purest delights of social intercourse. At tended to have social as well as ecclesi- eight o'clock, Dr. Bayley intimated that astical uses, and it is well that any op- the time for terminating the meeting portunity that presents itself should be had now arrived. He announced the taken of enabling the members of the various meetings, religious services, and church to enjoy, in the widest possible public lectures that had been appointed extent, those feasts of charity which have for the time; and, expressing a hope of been revived in the New Jerusalem, to seeing most of them next morning at subserve in a still higher degree the the Conference, declared the meeting to spiritual uses of mutual sympathy, con- be closed. gratulation, and encouragement, which they were the common means of promot- PROCEEDINGS OF CONFERENCE. ing among the early Christians. Arrange- The Conference assembled on Tues. ments had accordingly been made to day morning at nine. As usual, the combine as much as possible of the President of the last Conference took social element with the business pro- the chair till the President of the preceedings of the Conference. It has been sent one should be elected. But before a general practice for some years, and his election can take place, there must has now acquired almost the authority be a Conference to elect him, wbich is of a custom, for a meeting to be held on not actually the case till those who are to the evening preceding the day on which compose it have signed the Declaration the Conference commences, the purpose of Faith contained in the Conference of which is to introduce the ministers roll. The Chairman, therefore, calls and representatives to each other, and upon the ministers individually, to the friends amongst whom they are ing to their place on the list, to come come to sojourn for a season.
forward and sign; and when all present
have attached their names, the repreA RECEPTION MEETING
sentatives are required to make the Took place on Monday evening the llth, same written declaration. Having anin the large room under the Argyle- nounced who are the members of the square church, where tea was provided present Conference, consisting of twelve by the ladies of the society, who perso- ministers and thirty-seven representa. nally attended to the comfort of their tives, the retiring President proceeds guests. The meeting was a pleasant to open the Conference by reading & one, as any meeting must be where so portion of the Word (on this occasion many friends from so may quarters, the 60th chapter of Isaiah) and offering and especially New Church friends, find up the Lord's Prayer. The first business themselves in each oher's company. is the choice of a President; and it was
proposed and resolved unanimously members of the church throughout the
That the Rev. J. Bayley be the Presi- United Kingdom, and those which have dent of this Conference.'
been sent to and received from the On taking the chair, the President branches of the church in other lands. addressed the Conference in a brief but A fourth group contains applications to appropriate and excellent speech. He the Conference from various societies congratulated the members on their and individuals for licensing of leaders, assembling together for the purpose of for continuance of assistance from the performing the important uses which Pension Fund, for the office of agent such a body as the Conference is adapted for the Conference publications. And to effect in promoting the improvement lastly are laid upon the table, the and extension of the Lord's new and registers, minute books, and reports of blessed dispensation, and affectionately the several educational committees; the exhorted them to conduct their delibera- reports and memorials of the several tions with as great a regard to brevity as day schools which receive and ask for the efficient transaction of the business grants from the funds for educational would admit, but above all, with that purposes; and the reports of the Mancharitable feeling, calm temper, and chester Printing Society, the Manchester happy moderation which should charac- and Salford and the London Missionary terise the members of the Lord's true and Tract Societies, the New Church church. He then intimated that they Tract Society, tbe Sunday-school Union. had now to elect a Vice-President. Since The reception of all these documents, the office was instituted, a few years ago, many of which are read at length, the choice of this officer has been made occupies the greater part of the first day. chiefly with the view of his becoming the As we intend to attempt no more than President of the next Conference. As to give a brief outline of the proceedings there was a motion to be brought forward of Conference, noting only those which for abolishing the office altogether, it relate to matters of general interest, it was considered better not to make the is not necessary to record them in the election with a prospective view; it was order in which they took place. therefore agreed that the ex-President, Besides directing an address to be the Rev. J. B. Kennerley, should act as sent, our American brethren had com. Vice-President for the present year. Mr. missioned a member of their church Pitman was reëlected Secretary.
on a visit to this country to act in Being now organised, the Conference the capacity of a messenger from the proceeded to the business which was to Convention to the Conference. When occupy them during the session. The introduced to the Conference, he was first day of the Conference is chiefly heartily received ; and his letter of occupied, however, rather in preparing appointment being read, a resolution for the business to be done than in was adopted, expressing how gladly the actually transacting it,--in collecting the Conference welcomed a messenger from materials relating to the subjects and the brethren in America, and affectionmatters upon which action is to be taken. ately invited Mr. Westall to take his seat
A number of documents are brough as a member. up and read. One class of these con- A similar invitation was given to sists of reports of committees appointed Messrs. Holden and Goldsark, of Adeby the last Conference, as, of the laide, Australia; also to Dr. Tafel, from National Missionary Institution, the Germany, and to M. Le Boys des Guays Students and Ministers' Aid Fund, the and M. Harlé, from France. On these Crompton Bequest, the President's and gentlemen entering the Conference, the Secretary's circulars. A second class they were invited by the President to includes the reports of the President, approach. A feeling of affectionate Secretary, and Treasurer,-of the Trus- respect for these three devoted and distees south and north of Trent,—of the tinguished labourers on behalf of the Editor of the Magazine, and of the Lord's New Church, caused the memStorekeeper. Then comes a third group, bers of the Conference to rise simultaconsisting of addresses prepared by neously, and to remain standing while direction of the last Conference, and of the President extended to them the addresses received by this Conference. right hand of fellowship, and assured These include the address to the them how heartily they were welcomed