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Foar Discourses

DELIVERED AT LONDON IN THE YEAR 1807.

ALSO

A DISCOURSE ADDRESSED TO

YOUNG PERSONS;

AND

A DISCOURSE DELIVERED ON THE DAY OF THE

WRITER'S ORDINATION.

BY THE LATE

REV. JAMES HODSON,

MINISTER OF DUDLEY CHAPEL, DENMARK STREET, SOHO.

TO WHICH IS PREFIXED

I Biographical Putice of the Author.

LONDON:

J. S. HODSON, 22, PORTUGAL STREET,

LINCOLN'S INN.

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BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE.

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The writer of these Discourses may scarcely have been heard of in the present generation; but there is reason to hope that the name will long continue in connexion with the New Church through the medium of his posterity, which extends to the fourth generation, now being brought up in these truths. He was ordained in 1805, and was minister to a Society of the Church, meeting for public worship in Dudley Court, Denmark Street, Soho, from the year 1805 to 1812. The members forming this Society had separated from one meeting at York Street, St. James' Square, under the ministry of the late Rev. J. Proud, and first held their meetings in Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, afterwards in Brownlow Street, Holborn, and eventually settled in Dudley Court.

During the time that he ministered to this Society, “He enjoyed,” says the Editors of the Intellectual Repository, "in the highest degree the affection and confidence of his flock.... His congregation being neither numerous nor rich, he received no salary; but he himself contributed liberally on every occasion to the exigencies of the church.”

His introduction to a knowledge of the Writings of Swedenborg is thus stated by Mr. Noble, (who was a member of his congregation,) in the Sermon which he delivered on the occasion of the writer's decease :-"He had been from early youth a diligent student of the Holy Word;” and “the consequences of such early study, and an attention to religious principle, were such as cannot but be regarded, in the present age of spiritual blindness, as very extraordinary. It was given him to see, from the Scriptures alone, the Sole Divinity of the Lord: and he had written a Treatise in defence of this essential New Church Doctrine, under the title of

Jesus Christ the True God, and Sole Object of Supreme Adoration, before he had seen any of the New Church Writings. Having issued, in 1786, proposals for the publication of this work, (which appeared in 1787,) copies fell into the hands of some of the members of the New Church Society then existing in London, and two gentlemen were deputed to wait upon him to inquire if he was acquainted with the Writings of Swedenborg? which he was not; but upon their being introduced to him, he received them gladly, and never afterwards doubted but that their Author was the messenger of the Lord's Second Advent.” Besides the work above mentioned, which passed into a second edition in 1799, he published a volume of Sermons on the Israelitish Bondage and Deliverance; a pamphlet entitled The Young Christian's Introduction to a Knowledge of his God and Saviour Jesus Christ; and several single Sermons. His great delight was to endeavour to instil the truth into the minds of young people and children; and one of his efforts in behalf of the latter, entitled Dame Partlett's Farm, written for and published by John Harris, St. Paul's Church Yard, may be deemed singularly successful, as it has passed through many editions, both in this country and in America ; and several hundred thousand copies of it have been sold. He also published two small volumes of Poetry, partly original, but principally selected; called The Bouquet.

He was one of the Editors, and a regular contributor, both of Prose and Poetry, to the New Church Periodical called The Aurora, commenced in 1779, and the following Poem extracted from it, is from his pen,

“JESUS WEPT."-John xi. 35.

“ Go tune your harps, and wake the sigh,
Which oft is breathed we know not why;
For 'tis not grief alone, or pain,
That causes this Æolian strain :
Unknown its source-yet all confess
'Tis something which we can't express.

6

To age or state 'tis not confined
The lofty or the humble mind;
For each will join in sad reply,
• All who have breath find cause to sigh!'

“The babe, just enter'd into life,
Sweet pledge of love, and void of strife;
This soother of its mother's care,
Source both of ecstacy and fear,
All playful at the breast will lie,
Then turn its face and heave a sigh!
The youth, when sports dispel all fear,
Will cease from play to cry, 'Oh dear!'
And when to riper years matured,
To pleasure or to toil inured,
Still do we hear the same sad moan,
In softer sigh or deeper groan!

“ But can that mind where Love divine
Has deign’d in radiant beams to shine;
Where Truth has spread her silver page,
And Goodness fix'd her golden age;
Where Peace, all-lovely, fills the soul,
And gently reigns with soft control :-
Say must this Christian mind still cry,
All who have breath find cause to sigh!

“ Alas! howe'er advanced in state,
To mind most humble-love most great;
Though Peace sits smiling on his brow,
And gently fans her olive bough;
Though Truth has waved her banner high,
And reach'd the portals of the sky;
Though Goodness, Mercy, Love inspire

His soul with pure celestial fire;-
Still this will be the Christian's daily cry,

When JESUS wept who shall forbear to sigh." In 1808 he was called upon to visit Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where the doctrines had become known, and those who professed them were desirous of forming themselves into a Society of the New Church. He preached there and in the neighbourhood several times; he organized the Society, administered the Sacraments, and ordained the person presented by the Society to be its future minister. Although the results which shortly after followed were

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