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siderably disturbed ; and they applied to the British Conference for preachers, which were immediately supplied. This laid the foundation of much correspondence and negotiation between the two bodies. It was, however, conducted in an excellent spirit, all parties seeming determined not to con tend, nor suffer their feelings to be agitated, or their friendly relations to be broken up. In the year 1820 the General Conference appointed Mr. John Emory a delegate to the British Conference, and adopted an address to that body, proposing a division of territory as the best method of bringing the question of difference to a settlement. The proposition was duly considered, and acceded to, by which Lower Canada became connected with the English Conference, and Upper Canada retained its former connection with us; each body withdrawing all its preachers from the other's ground, and agreeing in no way to interfere therewith ; an example of urbanity and prudent management seldom if ever set before by two great denominations of Christians We mention this to show how our church became disconnected with a portion of territory upon which she bestowed early attention, and in which she achieved magnificent results; and will only add, that there has been no revival of the difficulty since.
IMPROVEMENTS, DEFECTIONS, AND SUCCESSES IN THE METH
ODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, PRIOR TO 1840.
As our Hymn Book has undergone several thorough revisions, it may be interesting to the reader to refer to its former history. The first collection in use in this country was prepared and printed by Mr. Wesley, and was entitled, 6 A collection of Psalms and Hymns for the Lord's day.” It was printed in 1784. We are not informed whether it underwent any essential change till the time of which we are speaking, but presume it did not, as there was little enterprise in the Book Concern in those days. But the General Conference of 1820 adopted a revision made by the Book Committee, and ordered it to be printed. That edition was afterwards altered by affixing the names of the tunes to the hymns, and in 1836 a supplement was added. Thus it remained till superseded by another revision, ordered by the General Conference of 1848.
The General Conference of 1820 also provided for the publication of a tune book adapted to our wants. This continued in use till 1832, when it was revised and republished. Four years after, arrangements were made for an improved edition, which was in use for several years, when others were issued, of which we need not speak.
Up to this time, most of our houses of worship were free. The difficulty of erecting churches on this y rinciple, how.
ever, had become quite obvious to many minds, and some nad adopted the pew system. This gave considerable alarm, and the General Conference took decided ground on the subject. But its action had little effect. The people in certain sections found free houses utterly impracticable without encumbering themselves with unmanageabie lebts. and therefore, took the responsibility of erecting pewed houses, as their English brethren did before Mr. Wesley's death, and have ever done since. [See Dr. Dixon's remarks before the General Conference of 1848.] This has always been a little afflictive to the South and West, but they have endured it as a less evil than no churches at all, which was the other alternative in many places. Had there been no restriction of this kind, it is believed we should have had more and better churches, with less debts, than we now enjoy; but perhaps not. So far as our free churches are concerned, we doubt if they can be legally altered without permission from the courts, however desirable, and we think it should not be attempted to make a division among brethren. But if enough desire a pewed house, in any portion of the country, to build one and maintain public worship therein in a peaceable and brotherly way, we think that they will be treated in a kind and conciliatory spirit by any
Conference in the connection, however strongly biased in favor of free churches. In essential things, Methodists gc for unity; in non-essentials for liberty; and in all things for harity. If some are Methodists in every thing except in relation to free houses, they should not abandon us, though denied the blessing of a good pew; but if they are willing to pay for such a pew, and wil go with us in every thing else, we should not abandon them. The matter is too unimportant to contend about, and cannot separate brethren of different views without disgracing all parties. The truth is,
in our circumstances we need both pewed and free houses, and must have them if we will not miss our aim.
There was some complaint about this time among the local preachers, because they were amenable to the Quarterly Conferences They claimed the right of being tried by their peers. To quiet any uneasiness from this source, the General Conference provided for “ District Conferences,” to be composed of all the local preachers in any one l're. siding Elder's district who had been licensed two years. The Elder of the district was to preside, or, in his absence, the Conference might elect one of its own body to take his place. This new judicatory was empowered to grant and renew licenses to preach, to recommend candidates to the Annual Conferences for admission on trial, and for orders ; and to try, suspend, expel, or acquit, such local preachers as might be accused; but they could license no one to preach unless he was recommended for that office by the Quarterly Conference of his circuit. But this innovation upon Methodist usage did not work as was hoped. Many of the most useful of the local preachers disapproved of it, and would not take the trouble to attend the Conferences; while those who needed restraint, rather than more liberty, made these meetings the occasion of considerable mischief. The result was, their powers were restricted from time to time, and restored to the Quarterly Conference; and in 1836 the District Conferences were disbanded; since which the Quarterly Conferences have exercised their former prerogatives.
During the four years following the General Conference of 1820 there was much peace and prosperity. In some parts revivals were numerous and powerful. The net increase to the church was sixty-eight thousand, six hundred and thirty-three members, and three hundred and seventy
six travelling preachers ; making the total membership of the church three hundred and twenty-nine thousand, seven hundred and ninety-five.
The General Conference of 1824 was distinguished in several respects. It was honored with the presence of Rev, Richard Reece, as a representative from the British Con ference, and Rev. John Hannah, as his travelling companion. This was the first time the church had received the Christian salutations of that body by an official representative, and this occurred in reciprocation of the regard the Conference manifested for our honored matron four years before, in sending Mr. Emory representative to her annual assembly. The intercourse was both pleasant and profitable, and has since been kept up, to the credit of all parties and Methodist unity. Our church has since been represented among them by Wm. Capers, Bishop Soule, Dr. Fisk, Dr. Olin, Bishops Simpson and Ames; and theirs has been represented in our General Conference by Rev. W. Lord, Drs. Newton, Dixon, Hannah, Thornton, and Wiseman. We hope the day is far distant when any thing shall occur to disturb the fraternity of these grand divisions of the Wesleyan family. The difference between us is not essential ; nothing, indeed, but what either of us could cheerfully adopt in an exchange of position. If the question should be started as to which is the most thoroughly Wesleyan, we, of course, would contend earnestly. In regard to free seats, organs, and some other minor matters, neither will be likely to covet investigation but we can plead against the charge of innovation, even here, that our rules remain as they were, and that these innovations are the work of individuals, whereas their rulemaking body has sanctioned them. As to our episcopacy and ordinations, we are just what Mr. Wesley meant we should be, all but the name bishop. That, for prudential