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persons, the death of one of these Divine persons to appease the wrath of another. Happily, about this time he had made the aquaintance of Mr. Le Cras, a stationer in Salisbury, and to him young Rendell unbosomed his difficulties. Mr. Le Cras was already a reader of Swedenborg, and, sympathizing with the young man's state, gave him the needful explanations, and enabled him to see the truth.
Young Rendell saw and believed, and soon became ardent to gather together others who were like-minded with himself, that they might worship according to their own convictions. After three years spent in reading and maturing his mind, he began to feel an inclination for the ministry. He wished to tell others what seemed so clear and so important to him.
In 1826 he heard that the annual Conference of New Church friends was to be held in Manchester. He was elected to be representative for Salisbury, and on his way visited Bristol and Birmingham. At Bristol he preached, having done so already on two occasions at Salisbury. He was cheered by the sight of other friends, and edified by his conversation with those who were more advanced than himself. He heard that Newcastle-on-Tyne was without a minister, and a correspondence was opened which led to an invitation to go there three months on trial, and subsequently to his leading the Society in that town for eighteen years.
He was ordained three years afterwards, when he was twenty-seven years of age, by Mr. Noble at Manchester, and made an ordaining minister in the same town in 1857. He published his first work in Newcastle, in 1841. It was entitled, “The Deity of Jesus Christ asserted." The same year he was elected President of Conference, being then thirty-eight years of age.
He manifested great capacities for business in the presidential chair, and the wish was felt by some friends that he could be made President year after year. On the whole, indeed, it has been felt that such a course would not be desirable, for reasons not difficult to find. Mr. Rendell was, however, chosen President SEVEN times, and rendered valuable services in that important office. His love of order and his knowledge of affairs contributed much to the despatch of business, while his constant courtesy avoided interruptions of the course of proceedings, which lead to loss of time.
When Mr. Becconsal had completed the church in Preston, he invited Mr. Rendell to take charge of it; and after due consultation with his friends in Newcastle, he accepted the invitation and removed to Preston in 1844.
That important town gave ample scope for all the energies of Mr. Rendell. He gave popular expositions of the doctrines. He gathered a circle about him, and the Society was established. He ministered to its wants for thirty-two years. He had his labours and his trials. The church was there, but the income for many years was very small. The congregation was not trained to give of their own means, but to be provided for by Mr. Becconsal. Mr. Rendell continued to sow good seed, but we have reason to know that he occasionally felt discouraged at the little scope afforded for generous impulses among the members themselves.
It is well for societies to have assistance in their early days, but if this assistance, be it by endowment or by the over-liberality of one or a few individuals, prevents others from taking their fair proportion in giving, it is a serious loss to all the rest of those loving graces which spring from true and exalted charity, and give to kind hearts the blessed luxury of doing good. Anything that leads men to be niggardly withers their noblest states. Let each do something; let all do what they can, do their best, and individual happiness and general good will prosper. The events of religious and scientific thought not only gave direction from time to time to Mr. Rendell's efforts in the pulpit, but drew forth his literary ability.
Geology excited the religious world by its continued disclosures of facts touching the antiquity of the world, and their bearing on the early chapters of Genesis. From the preparation the Lord had beforehand made, by means of Swedenborg, for a true exposition of these chapters, Mr. Rendell saw he might confer a benefit upon mankind by introducing the truths thus disclosed to a wide circle, and he published, in 1850, the work entitled “The Antediluvian History.”
This work not only exhibited a command of the spiritual lessons intended to be conveyed in the Word, but extensive reading and research. It had a second edition in England, was republished in America, and was translated by M. Le Boys des Guays and published in French.
He followed this up by the publication, in 1855, of the “Postdiluvian History," a work that has not had so extensive a circulation as its predecessor, but which we believe the author regarded with especial favour as the best effort of his pen.
The disturbance of belief in the Bible which had become manifest from various causes to be increasing in extent, led Mr. Rendell to issue another work, calculated to bring its divine and special excellences to view. This was in 1853, and the work was entitled, “The Peculiarities of the Bible ;” and in 1867 he published his latest work, "The Last Judgment.” This was a prize essay, and, like the rest of his works, not only gave evidence of original thought and profound study, but of an extensive acquaintance with current literature, a power of apt illustration, and a capacity for adapting his intellectual acquirements to the great objects he had in view. These varied and excellent treatises, combined with his editorship of the Juvenile Magazine for seventeen years, reveal an earnest and diligent mind.
But Mr. Rendell's character was many-sided. He never laid his pencil and paint-brush quite aside. His taste and artistic execution were very respectable indeed. He painted and ornamented the communion of his church with his own hand ; and he has left many specimens of his art, which are no mean specimens of talent and ability. He was fond of photography, he studied chemistry, and acquired a printing press and some skill in printing. For some years the bills and documents connected with the church came from his own hands and his private press. Thus his life was a life of uses, and these uses were the Lord's means of preparing him for heaven.
Those who could recollect Mr. Rendell as a young man, and who had observed him as the autumn of life proceeded, could perceive a ripening for heaven. We are assured that infinite mercy adapts his methods in Providence to bring about the desired results. As years passed on the personal character of our beloved friend became softened, moderated, matured. They who can endure suffering come out of the furnace of affliction purified and refined. Tribulation induces humility, faith, and hope.
For several winters Mr. Rendell had painful experiences from bronchial attacks, probably from hereditary weakness in the chest. Spring and summer brought their alleviations, but for the last year and a half the disease gathered strength, and for fifteen months he was unable to leave his bed. Constant watchfulness on the part of those dear to him kept the tender thread of life from snapping, but could not always prevent weary nights and days, and agonizing pain. He looked often up to the Source of Comfort, the Lord whom he had trusted in happier days, and hoped the suffering would ere long end, and his faith supported him. But he never murmured. He became helpless as a babe, and sank at last as a babe sinks to rest. He passed away as described in the hymn
Blest is the man who dies in peace,
And gently yields his soul to rest;
Leaning upon his Saviour's breast.
SHIBBOLETH AND SIBBOLETH.
Is it difficult to enter the Church? Sometimes it is easy. The hosts of Israel had passed through the wilderness under the leadership of Moses, but Moses died, and the representation in which he had been prominent ceased. Then we see the people encamped close to the Dead Sea, under the command of Joshua, and though they are actually on the lowest spot of the earth's surface (1300 feet under the level of the sea), and though they represent a spiritual condition in which the soul confesses itself to have been reduced by sin to the very brink of hell, which is pictured by the gloomy sea of Sodom, they readily enter Canaan, for they follow the bidding of Joshua, who represents Jehovah-Jesus, the Divine Saviour. From a state of deep contrition, by the obedience of a true repentance, it is easy to enter upon the spiritual life of that church which is called Canaan.
Sometimes, however, and for some people it is difficult and even impossible to enter the church here or heaven hereafter. Forty-andtwo thousand Ephraimites were slain at the passages of Jordan. The history, of which the conclusion was so tragical, is part of the history of the subduing of Canaan by the Israelites. But it is at the same time a divine drama, in which sundry spiritual histories are marvellously represented.
Thus the land of the Canaanite, and of the Hittite, and of the Ammonite, and of the Hivite, and of the Jebusite, represented that region of heaven which, before the Lord's advent and the judgment which He effected, was occupied by the evil and the false. Before that advent, that region which then became the spiritual heaven was mainly occupied by evil genii and spirits who infested the good, and especially the spiritual, in the lower earth—the prisoners of hope, the spirits in prison. For there were not then three heavens, but one only, for there was no spiritual heaven. The Canaan of the future Israel was occupied by evil and false spirits who resembled the historic Israel, the occupants of the country, Canaan, in being able to be kept in some kind of good and truth by external influences, especially by such motives as appealed to their ambition. This is the state of things represented by Canaan as occupied by hostile tribes. At the end of the Jewish Church these enemies were cast down, not suddenly, but by degrees, "little by little." A history somewhat similar is described in the Apocalypse, as occurring in the last judgment of the Christian church,—“ There was war in heaven : Michael and his angels fought against the dragon ; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven” (Rev. xii. 7, 8).
The settling of Israel in Canaan represents this process of judgment, and this formation of a new heaven. But it describes at the same time the formation of a new heaven within an individual servant of God, and therefore also the development, establishment, and gradual victories of the church which our Lord established at His coming. These last facts are our justification in the endeavour to discover lessons of personal and ecclesiastical importance for us now.
Thus, then, the Book of Judges is a divine drama, following in order the books of Moses and Joshua. Every part of this book, though closely connected with the rest, has its special significance. All the lessons contained are true, divine, and practical, belonging to the life of goodness and truth.
To understand the particular act before us, we must know something of the scene and the persons engaged.
The scene is the Jordan, Canaan's boundary, flowing between the Land of Promise and those regions which were given to those who did not wish to dwell in the Holy Land, and yet were unwilling to be excluded from the blessedness of the sacred commonwealth. The river lay in a deep valley. Those who entered Palestine had to go down lower and lower, till in a deep ravine they stood on the brink of Jordan, and then they had its full-rushing flood before them. The Hebrew word for such a flood is Shibboleth. This Shibboleth had to be crossed, and any man thus crossing found himself immediately ascending steep hills towards the highlands of Canaan.
The very scene is a parable. There are still among us the tribes of Reuben and Gad, who with half the tribe of Manasseh wish to dwell on the worldly side of the church. These include Reubenites, who have an intelligent appreciation of the truths of the church, for which,