A Declaration of the Age or Period, Being also Published as a "Third Communication."
J.T. Smith & Co., Commercial and General Printers Chiristchurch Hereford-St.1885
A Declaration of the Age or Period, Being also Published as a "Third Communication."
"For like as a young child may not bring forth the things that belong to the aged, even so have I disposed the world which I created."—2 Esdras, chap. 5 verse 49.
The Prophet Daniel, who was taken to Babylon among the first of the captives B.C. 606, and lived there throughout the 70 years' captivity, explained Nebuchadnezzar's dream in the third year of the captivity, and prophesied : "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."—Daniel, chap. 2 verse 44.
Ezekiel, who afterwards followed Daniel into captivity, B.C. 504, describes the measures of this great kingdom as a holy oblation (chap. 48 v. 20), and the measures may be recognised as the measures of all the earth; and the borders of the land in the original language express protecting and sanctifying qualities or virtues like the leaves of the tree of life described by Saint John in Revelation, chapter 22, and were for the healing of the nations.page 4
Jeremiah, who was also in Jerusalem at the time it was taken by the King of Babylon, when Daniel was carried to Babylon, had prophesied shortly before the city was taken of the 70 years' captivity, which was ended after Babylon was taken by Cyrus and Darius, B.C. 537, as related in the book of Daniel, chapter 5.
Jeremiah was taken to Egypt by the Jews who had rebelled, B.C. 587, and the following year the city was re-taken, after the conquest of Egypt, by the King of Babylon, who then destroyed Solomon's Temple and carried away other Jews into captivity.
As this "Communication" is concerned in times (or periods) and measures of extent, I will introduce here what I take from Dr. Keith's book, "Evidence of the truth of the Christian Religion," printed in 1838, who states that the following observations of Dr. Samuel Clarke, partly communicated to him, as he acknowledges, by Sir Isaac Newton, elucidate this prophecy so clearly (referring to the sub-divisions of time as compared with the history of the Jews and the narrative of the New Testament), and adds that every reader will forgive (him) their insertion:—"When the angel says to Daniel, seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, &c. (chapter 9 verse 24), was this written after the event ? or can it reasonably be ascribed to chance, that from the seventh year of Artaxerxes, the king (when Ezra went up from Babylon unto Jerusalem with a commission to restore the government to the Jews), to the death of Christ, should be precisely 490 (seventy weeks of) years? When the angel tells Daniel that in three score and two weeks the street (of Jerusalem) should be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times; was this written after the event? Or can it reasonably be ascribed to chance, that from the 28th year of Artaxerxes, when the walls were finished, to the birth of Christ, should be precisely 434 (sixty-two weeks of) years ? When Daniel farther says, ' And he shall confirm (or nevertheless he shall confirm) the covenant with many for one week; was this written after the event ? Or can it reasonably be ascribed to chance, that from the death of Christ (A.D. 33) to the command given first to Peter to preach to Cornelius and the Gentiles (A.D. 40) should be exactly seven (one week of) years ?"
"For by joining the accomplishment of the vision with the expiation of sins, the 490 years are ended with the death of Christ. Now the dispersed Jews became a people and city, when they first returned into a polity or body politick; and this was in the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, when Ezra returned with a body of Jews from captivity, and revived the Jewish worship, and, by the King's commission, created magistrates in all the land to judge and govern the people according to the laws of God and of the King.—Ezra vii. 26. From this year to the death of Christ was just 490 years."—Sir Isaac Newton.
I will add to the foregoing extracts a remark Dr Keith makes in his book—" Computation by weeks of years was common among the Jews;" and "The plainest inference may be drawn from these prophecies. . . while they were unquestionably delivered and publicly known for ages previous to the time to which they referred. . . . While they refer to different contingent and unconnected events accord in perfect unison to a single precise period where all their different lines terminate at once—the very fulness of time when Jesus appeared."
It may be observed here in passing, to assist any one who reads this, who has not considered the prophecies, that the last of the four successive great kingdoms who held in succession dominion over Judea—the Roman—was first of all Heathen (a term symbolized in Scripture by the Dragon or Devil), then Christian under the Emperors, and afterwards it was the seat of that great united ecclesiastical and temporal government that claimed universal dominion,
It may also be observed here that the visible church is symbolized as "Heaven" in the Revelation of Saint John the Divine.
The year A.D. 1866 was a memorable one in our own times, when the King of Italy assumed dominion over the States of the Church except the City of Rome itself, which fell to him in the memorable year A.D. 1870.
The walls of Jerusalem were finished B.C. 434; add to this A.D. 1866, and we have 2300.
"And he said unto me unto 2300 days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."—Daniel, chap. 8 verse 14.
"For like as all that is made in the world hath a beginning and an end, and the end is manifest."—2nd Esdras, chap. 9 verse 5.
"Even so the times also of the Highest have plain beginnings in wonders and powerful works, and endings in effects and signs."—2nd Esdras, chap. 9 verse 6.
The year A.D. 606 was a notable one in church history as having a seal to date the commencement of the universal Bishopric of Church and State; 1260 years added to which would also bring us to A.D. 1866.
"Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river,"—Daniel, chap. 12 verse 5.
"And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river—' How long shall it be to the end of these wonders ?'" Daniel, chap. 12 verse G.
"And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swear by Him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished."—Daniel, chap. 12 verse 7.
It may be remarked here that a day in prophecy is sometimes expressed to mean a year, and a time or year 360 days or years; times, to twice 360 days or years; and a half time, half of 360 years; and a month to mean 30 days or years. Thus other two of the Prophet Daniel's periods are found as ending harmoniously, and the Revelation of Saint John the Divine will be found in explanatory and lucid harmony.
"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months."—Revelation, chap. 13 verse 5. Thus were the disciplined proselytes led to blaspheme by associating ethical state precepts and the precepts of ethnicks with the narrative of the life and words of Christ.page 6
Even at this day there may be some true disciples of Christ who will not be content to worship any other similitude and embody in their faith any other precepts than those taught by Him. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."—Matthew, chap. 5 verse 8. The solitary or individual saint values his liberty as much as any who are joined to any organization.
Saint John mentions no period of continuation for the second beast, but Daniel tells of blessings 75 years after the end of the time, times, and an half.—Daniel, chap. 12 verse 12. And the manifestation of the mystery will be perfect in its time, and written in events upon the page of history.
It has been shown that the 2300 days or years and the 1260 years terminate together; the first period being computed from the finishing of the walls of Jerusalem (434 years before the birth of Christ), and the second from a date (606 years after) marked in history as the recognised commencement of the great Universal Bishopric of Church and State. But clerical lecturers on the subject, who would at one time have been called "Dissenters," seem for many years to have had a great objection to accept the period named for the commencement of the days of the beast; and it is not likely to be regarded more favourably by clergymen of the Church of England. "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon."—Matthew, chap. 6 verse 24.
The ten horns to Daniel's 4th beast and to the beast in the Revelation of Saint John, we are informed by both these Prophets, represent ten kings or kingdoms; we are also informed by both that the saints of the Most High shall obtain the victory and bear rule.
Some interpreters individualize these ten kingdoms and name them; others consider it as a representative number to include the whole, because of the changes continually taking place in the world.
For general expressions on the prophecies, the enquirer could obtain books on the subject, and his own heart would, in his choice or rejection of writers or authorities, either aid or pervert his judgment.
When I first entered upon the subject of the application of prophecy—as will be presently related,—I had with me a small authorised version of the Bible, Dr Keith's work (before referred to), and Bishop "Newton's Dissertatibns on the Prophecies." The last work I found very useful, as it contains a good deal of historical information, and many edifying quotations. But in how many was the spirit like the spirit of the Prophef Daniel when he made this answer to the king?—"Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another."—Daniel, chap. 5 verse 17.
I have since obtained a copy of the "Douay Bible' which contains some very short notes—but worth reading.
And I should not omit to say that there are excellent notes and information in Alexander "Cruden's Concordance."
Having thus far explained my subject, I will continue it, in the first place, by giving extracts from a pamphlet printed and published at Auckland, 9th November, 1852, with some "Remarks" left for publication with a printer and newspaper proprietor (a Methodist) just two page 7 years before. My pamphlet was headed "A Communication," and my remarks were signed "A Man;" "the number of a man" having been brought to my strong notice on two separate occasions by associating it in my mind and memory with the number 600 and the number 6. The incident is mentioned in my pamphlet, and the date of the second reflection of the number, in my pamphlet also, which told in anything hut an exaggerated manner the result of ecclesiastical and political teaching; and, as stated in "A Second Communication" (published also at Auckland, on 5th September, 1862), "my suggestions were influenced with a desire to advocate integrity in the purpose and practice of Government"
From the times that the number of "a man" was brought to my strong notice, I began to think with a strong bias whether we were in "New Jerusalem;" and afterwards, when convenient and at leisure, I read the Bible through, and felt an interest in reading it, and I was enabled to read it.
Extracts from "A Communication," printed and published 9th November, 1852:—
"The commandment to govern the land of Israel, given in the 47th and 43th chapters of the book of the Prophet Ezekiel, assumes anew order of things, which may be discovered in its careful consideration.
"The grave consideration of the application of prophecy originated in the writer's mind closely coincidental with a singular circumstance. A day or two previous to the 1st of June, 1844, the eye of the writer accidentally fell on the last verse of the 13th chapter of the book of Revelation; he then read the chapter, but without any gratification. Very shortly afterwards, under a remarkable influence, he recognised the Providence of the Almighty in events which had suggested to his mind—fatality,—and which his infirmities and reasoning were alike unable to explain. He was astonished at the number of coincidences on which his memory rested, and his mind seemed to anticipate a kind of suggestive application, which the reading of the Holy Scriptures and the acquisition of facts some time afterwards seemed almost to approve : these feelings were associated with a great feeling of helplessness, and a total subjugation to the Providence of God. While under these feelings, in the latter end of 1844, he was led a second time into the interior of New Zealand."
After this follow in my pamphlet the "Remarks" before referred to, and which was acknowledged on the 9th November, 1850, in the New Zealander, a newspaper, in these terms:—"We thank 'A Man' for his communication; there are just now, however, many urgent demands upon our space." It was not published or returned. The last sentence in the "Eemarks" is written thus :—
"The period of the world is very remarkable—the boundaries of land and water seem but just revealed; and at the last a nation is added to Christendom, having the name of Salvation written on their foreheads. Think you whether they will be continued or exterminated ? I can believe that Christians will yet start at the enquiry, that the daily sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving will yet be offered in Jerusalem.page 8
That those to whom, in part, blindness has happened, will yet lie down in the fold of the Good Shepherd; and that the people on whose foreheads are written the blessed name of Salvation, will remain a living declaration of God's providence and election.—A Man.
"When the foregoing was written, the writer was not aware that circumcision is practised by some of the Islanders of the Pacific, whose language is most distinctly the same as that of the New Zealanders—a fact (the agreement of language) he has since had an opportunity of observing, where there has been a difference in the application of letters to the language. In the New Zealanders' alphabet there are only thirteen single letters allowed, but the sounds of some of the omitted letters are, I think, very intelligible. ... In the Tahitiau Bible, ivi is written for a 'bone, the same word with the New Zealanders, iwi, means a family or tribe. (I am told it represents a bone also in some places in New Zealand.) And the word which in the Tahitian Bible represents sinew, seems to be the same as the bone with us. Thus much to refer to the 37th chapter of the book of Ezekiel, where the dry bones are said to be the whole house of Israel. (The writer, shortly before coming to New Zealand, was living for a time at a table where there were some persons apparently of partially Jewish descent; and a rather spare man, who it seemed to be assumed was a ' bone,' it was suggested that he should sit on the side of the denominators. A circumstance the writer recollected when reading in this colony the 39th Ezekiel; he might have been a member of a society with a secret.)
"It may be mentioned here that the New Zealanders allege that a woman under certain circumstances, at a certain period, will certainly conceive—an enquiry not fitting to be prosecuted by a believer in the true God; but it is mentioned here, because it had suggested to the wind of the writer an application as to the tree of life, which yielded its fruit every month."
I purpose concluding my extracts from "A Communication" with two or three lines towards the end of it:—
"And now, whether the fourth trumpet is past or not, I believe there is that which is capable of application, and that which deserves consideration,"
From a "Second Communication," already referred to, I will extract only two paragraphs:—
"In 'A Communication' I related the providence of God. I will explain that alluded to on board the John Wesley to England. It happened that on an evening in a part of the ocean where we did not sight a vessel every day—a grown youth, a passenger, a son of a missionary clergyman, came to me to ask me (whether with or without concurrence of clergymen on board I know not) whether it was right to pray for a fair wind. All went to the cabin to prayers—a qualified prayer; next morning, a direct prayer for a fair wind. In the evening before going to prayers, the youth gloried—we had a fair wind. Prayers over, we returned to our places. I immediately got into my bed. The mate, whose cabin was opposite mine, got into his. (I recollect, too, there was some trifling, something thrown in upon my bed, and my page 9 saying, 'You will choose next the point of the compass.') Directly there was a cry on deck, 'helm hard up.' Mate got up—seamen ran up—a vessel passed close to ours—the pumps were heard on board her. The night was dark and drizzly."
"I may here mention that while 'A Communication' was in the hands of the printer, an old settler, she is since deceased (with whom my eldest son* was then living at Onehunga), showed me an old uncompleted covenant for land at Waipa, 15 miles square, being in acres the noticeable number of 144,000."
"And the Temple of God was opened in heaven (This appears to refer to the invisible powers of God, ever operating on visible things), and there was seen in His Temple the Ark of His Testament."—Revelation, chap. 11 verse 19.
"And it has been so throughout all ages of the Church, for faith is manifested and doctrine is revealed. And the two witnesses (the two covenants) will prophesy, though the waters (people or nations) be turned to blood, and the earth smitten with plagues."—Kevelation, chap. 11 verses 3 to 6.
"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord."—Isaiah, chap. 54 verse 17.
"My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass."—Psalm 102, verse 11.
"But Thou, O Lord, shalt endure for ever: and Thy remembrance unto all generations."—Psalm 102, verse 12.
"Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion; for the time to favour her, yea the set time is come."—Psalm 102,'verse 13.
It has been written of some men of poetry and letters that they have been affected at times with paralysis in speech or action, and we may urely believe what is said by the prophets—
"And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a improver: for they are a rebellious house."—Ezekiel, chap. 3 verse 26.
"But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them: Thus saith the Lord God; he that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear; for they are a rebellious house."—Ezekiel, chap. 3 verse 27.
"And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear (for they are a rebellious house), yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them."—Ezekiel, chap. 2 verse 5.page 10
Before many days have passed away, the period will manifest itself again on the page of history, as it did in Europe nearly twenty years ago, for the day is fast unfolding itself, and the womb of time disclosing that which it can hold no longer; for the time is at hand when it shall be no longer said by true members of the Church of Christ that the luminous prophetic revelation contains as many mysteries as words: and, as at the-material creation, God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night; so may it be in the temporal regeneration, when the whole earth is bound to confess the second Adam as a quickening spirit.
"And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying: Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever,"—Rev., chap. 5 verse 13.
Men of science may also join in the harmonious chaunt of the whole creation, and lawgivers and legislators recollect how God fed the people in the wilderness. But we must each and all perform the part assigned to us, and good luck to those who do their best to keep on the right side of the road described for them.
"This book is presented to the Church Club, to be placed in the reading-room, and the notes written at the beginning and end of the book are intended as a free gift to all the people."
The notes which I made at the end of the book I will give first, briefly remarking that the reports of clergymen attached in past time to the missionary institutions or churches will, I doubt not, illustrate the truth and consistency of the Word of God; with this additional remark, that that which the Authorized Version gives as "four beasts" in the book of Eevelation, is rendered by some translators as "four living creatures."
In the reference to Greenwich as having been agreed upon by the nations as the world's meridian for longitude, it is for correction and edification that I venture (not presumptuously) to say that, for the interpretation of prophecy, the claim of Borne would stand unchanged.
The following are the notes referred to :—
Isaiah, chap. 6 verses 1, 2, and 3.
Verse 1—" I saw the Lord sitting" upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple."page 11
Verse 2—"Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings : with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet,. and with twain he did fly."
Verse 3—" And one cried unto another, and said : Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts : the whole earth is full of His glory."
Note.—The seraphims (love, i.e., holy love) have each one, two more wings than the "living creatures" described by Ezekiel, called "Cherubims" (knowledge), and whose spirit soared a little higher, resembling the four beasts in Revelation, chap. 4 verse 7.
The writings of Ezekiel about them seem to me as translated written almost in the vernacular, as some have said those of Daniel the Prophet were, to the minds of the people of the successive great empires—round about 2000 years ago; but if the probationary period has begun, it is not yet finished. "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1335-days."—Daniel, chap. 12 verse 12.
Revelation, chapter 21 verse 16—" And the city lieth four square, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with a reed 12,000 furlongs (1500 miles)."
Note.—This extent will include the whole present dominion of New Zealand (including Norfolk Island and the Chatham Islands), where the recognition by aboriginal language translated and other of God's glorious providences may be seen.—Read Ezekiel, chap. 37.
Nota Bene.—The same word which represents a "bone" in Maori and cognate languages, represents also variously a "bone," "family," "tribe," or "nation." And I may also mention here that the same word "Ihu," which in Maori represents the "nose," is also rendered into Maori for Jesus.
Note.—The measures of length for the city described by Saint John may be applied, in miles, to the larger city described by Ezekiel, which also lieth four square (and in the original no descriptive measures are given by Ezekiel), and it would include, I think, all the Maori speaking islands, and, applying the same rule to all the holy oblation, would, I think, show the grand desideratum.—Ezekiel, chap 48 verse 20.
The oblation to be offered to the Lord of 25,000 by 10,000 seems to me intended to represent the sum of the offering for the priests and Levites, and would not be very far off the relative proportions of water and land on the whole earth. Or it may be intended otherwise, but there seem to be repetitions, which may have been made in the copying. The language of the prophet is to a certain extent figurative, but if Ezekiel's city is the same as that inner city described by Saint John, and referred to by Isaiah, what objection can be made to the length, north and south, being taken to mean geographical miles, and overlook variations in (measures of) breadth, or longitude, the same being caused by the figure or shape of the earth.page 12
Nota Bene.—In the 18th verse, length is described as eastward and westward, but in the 8th and 10th, breadth is described as eastward and westward.
The figures or numbers throughout appearing consistent (I allude to figures only), any alteration in the translation of the verses 15 to 20 of chapter 47, describing sides or aspects, to render the reading consistent also, will doubtless appear in good time (if) as well as in other verses of chapter 48, describing the apportionment of the whole holy oblation.
The meaning or signification of the words in the original languages, used as proper names in the Old and New Testament, as in describing the borders of the land—Ezekiel, chap. 47 verses 15 to 20, and chap. 48 verse 1—might be found in a Table or Vocabulary thereof.
When the contributor of these notes, a very few months ago, read from a telegram that the nations had agreed upon Greenwich being fixed as the world's meridian for longitude, it read in his ears something like the sounding of the fourth trumpet. And whether England's place would be with the 10,000 in breadth for the priests toward the west, or with the 10,000 toward the east (verse 10), the residue of 5000 would be found to be left in the place assigned for it.
Visions, or dreams, have sometimes been understood only faintly at first, the plain interpretation being only clearly given afterwards, as in the case of Cornelius and Peter (Acts of the Apostles, chap. 10), when Peter said: "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons."—Verse 34.
The explanation of some of these mysteries and apparent difficulties in translation or interpretation, perhaps may be easily found in the joining of the two sticks of Judah and Joseph.—Ezekiel, chap. 37. This being done, the city and suburbs, or the fifth part of the length of the whole holy oblation which is to be offered, also four square (Ezekiel, chap. 48 verse 20), being found, when attempted to include all the people of the recognised language, "The name of the city from that day shall (surely) be the Lord is there."—Chap. 4S verse 35.
The following are the rest of the note6 previously referred to:—
Revelation, Chapter 9.
Verse 1—" And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth : and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit."
Note (as a hopeful comment) Peter's fall.—Luke, 22, verses 56 and 57—" But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said: This man was also with him. And he denied, saying: Woman, I know him not,"
Verses 5 and 10—" And their power was to hurt men five months."
Note.—Locusts live in warmer countries about five months, and die they do no good, and do hurt all their lives.
Verse 11—"And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the-bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
Note.—Its equivalent in English is the Destroyer, or Exterminator.
Read Ezekiel, chapter 39.—Gog, Magog, and Hamon Gog—
Means the multitude of the wicked, heathen or unbelievers,. witches, men of secret societies, societies with secrets, &c., and are equivalent to their similitudes in Revelation, especially and including the locusts.—Revelation, chap. 9.
Notes on Ezekiel, chapter 39. Chap. 39.
Verses 2 and 4—Mountains of Israel—
Means, I think, The Law of God, The Word or the Church of God.
Verse 5—Open field—
It may mean, perhaps, secular legislation.
Verse 11—Hast of the Sea—
Means sun rising, or clearness and light.
Verse 12—Seven Months—
It may mean the time, however long, from the promulgation/ to the general acceptance and acknowledgment of the application of the prophecies of Ezekiel and Saint John.
Verse 15—A Man's Bone—
Do not mistake this bone for the "dry bones" mentioned in the 37th chapter, which are to live and to breathe, and be covered; the others, as worse than worthless, are to be buried out of sight.
Verse 15—A Sign—
It surely means a sign of cleansing or being cleansed, and not one of uncleanness.
Chap 40. Chapter 40.
Verse 2—Frame of a City—
The New Jerusalem.
The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant (Psalm 25, verse 14), and the alms of the heart He promises to bless (Matthew, chapter 6 verse 4).
How completely opposite the secret of God to the secret and hidden covenants of men.page 14
As for me, I will say with Jacob: "O, my soul, come not thou into their secret: unto their assembly, mine honour be not thou united" (Genesis, chap. 40 verse 6). And with David, "Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity" (Psalm 64, verse 2). "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all."—1st John, chap. 1 verse 5.
"And say to Archippas : Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord that thou fulfil it." "Paul and Timotheus to the faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse."—Chap. 4 verse 17.
The Bible in which the preceding notes were written was left at the club house first of all on the first date named, 19th February, to be re-bound, the cover being broken. Two days after, in the Press, Christ-church, newspaper of the 21st February, the following notice appeared, dated Invercargill, 20th February, 1885:—"The funerals of Messrs Rowlands and Dun, drowned on Saturday, took place to-day, and were the most numerously attended for years past, Rowlands being a prominent Freemason and Oddfellow. Rowlands had in his pocket when drowned a copy of Masonic Funeral Service which he had procured from Dunedin as Secretary of Lodge, so as to be prepared in the event of death of a member of the order. This was printed and used to-day for his own burial service."
The Bible was given back to me repaired on the 27th of the same month, and I finally returned it to the club house on the succeeding Wednesday.
On the subject of Masonic funerals, in which professing Christians are concerned, I introduce here an enquiry I made in a letter addressed to the Very Rev. H. Jacobs, Dean of Christchurch, on 11th September, 1884;—"Dear Sir,—I have a question to ask you, which I have desired to ask during the last two months, and its answer will afford me information which, in a crude and hesitating way, I have long desired to have. . . . . . . . About two months ago I read in the newspaper an account of the funeral of the late Dr. Donald: that his coffin was attended to the grave by ' His Lordship the Bishop, the Very Reverend the Dean, and clergy:' that at the grave the choir of Holy Trinity Church sang two hymns, and after his Lordship the Primate had concluded the service at the grave, the Masonic burial service was read, and 'the responses were taken up by the Church of England Choir, accompanied by the organ belonging to the Lodge of Unanimity,' My question is simply this: Did the Bishop and clergy remain at the grave during the Masonic service thereat ?"
What follows is the reply of the Rev. Henry Jacobs, dated 12th September, 1884:—"I am glad to be able to give a distinct answer to your question. The Bishop and the officiating clergy did not remain at the grave during the Masonic service at the funeral of the late Dr Donald. They left directly after the conclusion of the burial service-of the Church/' This last letter was addressed to Mr. Thos. Perry, Upper Merivale.page 15
The Invercargill priest of heathenism was buried, as related, while my Bible with the notes written in it was being re-bound at the club house. In the same newspaper, the Press, of 21st February, 1885, there is a most corrupting notice of a Masonic sermon by a clergyman of the Church of England.
What can be the symbols of men, the corner-stone of whose temple is secrecy, to true ministers of the Church of Christ? Do you seek to change times and laws, or is the world turned into another meaning ? The people of Athens who worshipped The Unknown God in the days of St. Paul (Acts, chapter 17 verse 23) were innocence when compared with such dissimulation.
The sympathies of men extend themselves, and bonds to secrecy tend to destroy the integrity of the soul, to make and harden liars, and to strengthen the hands of wicked men; and the teaching of Christ is perverted when lectured on by the chaplains of such an institution. The plague is not peculiar to the Church of England, and there is in the neighbourhood a Presbyterian minister who has, as a champion, troubled the faith.
What answer did our Lord Jesus Christ give to the tempter ?
"Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.
The Lord thy God, O Sion, shall be King for evermore: and throughout all generations.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen !
St. Albans, New Zealand,
19th October, 1885.
J. T. Smith & Co., Printers, &c., Hereford-Street, Christchurch.
* Tho "eldest son" at the time referred to was about six years old. The first lamb that I ever had in my life had been dropped at one of his earlier anniversaries. About three and a half years ago. I heard that he had become quite insane. (I had feared it for years.) I went down to Southland for him and brought him up here. Six months afterwards I saw him lying dead, with a great mark over his stomach. It was evidenced by whom the blow was given, but not how. The witness to the affair saw him lying down about ten minutes; he gave in the interval about six hard gasps, and then a long gasp and died. Poor fellow, he was at his birth very long before he could get his breath.—October, 1885.