« VorigeDoorgaan »
Popular Education. A Prize Essay on “ The Influence of the Education of the People on the Welfare and happiness of Nations." By the Rev. E. S. Pryce, A.B. 12mo. London: Ball, Arnold, and Co.
Baptism, the Import of BANTIZA. By the Rev. E. Beecher, President of Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois. Reprinted from the American Biblical Repository, January and April, 1840. 8vo. London: John Gladding.
Ward's Standard Divinity. The Calvinistic and Socinian Systems examined and compared, as to their Moral Tendency. By the Rev. A. Fuller. 8vo. London: Ward and Co.
Ward's Standard Divinity. Notes on Joshua and Judges. By George Bush, Professor of Hebrew and Oriental Literature, New York City University. 8vo. London: Ward and Co.
Slavery in India. The present State of East India Slavery, chiefly extracted from the Parliamentary Papers on the subject. By James Peggs, late Missionary in Orissa. Third Edition. 8vo. London: G. Wightman.
The Christian kept in perfect Peace. A Sermon, occasioned by the Death of the Rev. T. Morell, late Divinity Tutor of Coward College, London, and preached in the Weigh-house Chapel on Sunday Morning, March 8, 1840. By T. Binney. 8vo. London: Jackson and Walford.
Cardinal Bellarmine's Notes of the Church examined and confuted. Part V. Reply to Bellarmine's Fourteenth and Fifteenth Notes. By Bp. Stratford and Bp. Grove. 8vo. London: J. Holdsworth.
An Examination of the Scheme of Church Power laid down in the Codex Juris Ecclesiastici Anglicani, &c. By Sir Michael Foster, Knt. Reprinted from the third edition. 1736. 12mo. London: Effingham Wilson,
The religious Objection to Teetotalism. By Archdeacon Jeffreys. 8vo. London: J. Snow. No. 1. The Religious Question of Teetotalism. 12mo. London : John Snow.
The Truth of the Bible and the Divinity of Christ Demonstrated, and Strictures on Infidelity and Socinianism. By Edward Usher. 12mo. London:
An Account of the Trial on 14th June, 1703, before the Court of Queen's Bench, Dublin, of the Rev. Thomas Emlyn, for a Publication against the Doctrine of the Trinity, with a Sketch of his Associates, Predecessors, and Successors. By George Mathews, Esq. 8vo. Dublin : John Robertson.
The Union Harmonist, a Selection of Sacred Music. Arranged by Mr. J. Clark, Canterbury. London: Sunday School Union, 60, Paternoster Row.
The Life of J. B. Taylor, B.A., of Middle Haddam, Connecticut, North America, 18mo. London: Religious Tract Society.
Sabbaths in Seclusion, or Hints to those who are detained from Public Worship on the Lord's-day. 18mo. London: Religious Tract Society.
Conformity or Nonconformity; a Review of Publications connected with the Oxford Tract Controversy. Reprinted from the Congregational Magazine for April and May, 1840.
The Rev. Dr. Trail, Rector of Schull, Ireland, has published, gratuitously, à prospectus of a new and illustrated Translation of the genuine Works of Flavius Josephus, which promises to supply a desideratum in ecclesiastical and general Literature.
TRANSACTIONS OF THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES,
AT HOME AND ABROAD.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE TENTH ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CONGRE
GATIONAL UNION OF ENGLAND AND WALES.
It is with gratitude to the Head and Lord of the churches, the author and giver of all unity, peace, and love, that we now record the proceedings of the tenth annual meeting of this Association. The attendance was so large, that the Congregational Library was densely and oppressively crowded, and we believe that many went away unable to gain admittance. The business about to be discussed was felt to be highly important to the best interests of our churches and of our countrymen, and all the proceedings were distinguished by a spirit of love and zeal truly gratifying and encouraging. The question of Home Missions required a preliminary meeting, which was held, in accordance with the appointment of the meeting at Birmingham, on Monday afternoon, May 11th. As many of our readers will take a deep interest in the conversations which took place upon that subject, we present them with the following Report of its leading features, though it may compel us to defer our report of the closing business of the Assembly till our next number.
In accordance with the previous arrangements of the Committee, this preliminary meeting assembled at 4 o'clock, when the Rev. JAMES BENNEIT, D.D. took the chair.
The Chairman observed - The present is a friendly meeting, preparatory to the Annual Assembly to-morrow morning, and we hope that by a free colversation we may be better prepared for the business that is then to come under discussion. Our brother, Mr. Blackburn, will give a short sketch of that part of the business which is to be considered to-morrow.
The Rev. J. BLACKBURN then stated, that the meeting that evening was held in order to fulfil, as far as practicable, the appointment that was made at Birmingham, in October, to devote that evening to the consideration of the home missionary question. “You are all aware, I presume," said the reverend gentleman, “that we meet under altered circumstances, Very soon after the meeting at Birmingham, your Committee found themselves placed in such new and anxious circumstances, that they were compelled again to entertain the question of the possibility of a union with the Home Missionary Society. As I stated at Birmingham, it had always been my opinion that we had better secure that connection, if practicable. But I yielded my own judgment to the decision of my brethren. When, however, letters appeared in the public journals, and were also privately addressed to the Committee, deprecating the formation of a second society, and representing a union to be most expedient and practicable, we then felt that it was high time that we should take some steps in accordance with the minds of our brethren. A private, unofficial interview with the Secretary of the Home Missionary Society was obtained, and our sentiments upon the subject were communicated to him. That interview was introductory to a series of private and confidential communications, which took place before the matter was formally introduced to the Committee of either institution. After this, we came to a thorough understanding with each other about our mutual wishes, and the business was formally taken up by each Committee, the revised constitution was prepared, and a circular letter was addressed by post and through the Magazines to our brethren, requesting that they would state their opinion upon the matter. In reply to that circular, my friend, Mr. Wells, received nineteen communications from different county or district associations, besides many private letters. There was a very happy accordance of judgment and feeling
in reference to the expediency of the proposed step, which is open for the consideration of this meeting.”
The Rev. Dr. BURDER, of Hackney, enquired if any communications had been received against the proposal. Mr. BLACKBURN replied that he believed there bad not.
The Rev. Dr. BURDER wished to make one or two remarks. He had not been able to attend the meetings of the Committee, having recently recovered from a very severe illness, or he would not have troubled the meeting. He would just state, that the impression on his own mind, from reading the report of the meeting at Birmingham, and, he believed, on the minds of many of his brethren who attended, was one of great delight and hope. It was the result of a very ample discussion, that there should not be a union with the Home Missionary Society; but that they should endeavour to do the greatest good in their power, upon principles and plans growing out of their own institution. (Hear.) Then, after the details of that meeting and the conclusion to which it had come, had been given to the public, he (Dr. Burder) imagined that, for the sake of peace, and unanimity, and even justice, it would devolve upon the Comniittee, or their official organs, to give a very explicit and full statement of the views which led to such a speedy, sudden, and entire revolution of opinion, as to set aside the results of that great meeting at Birmingham, and to propose now, what did not appear eligible then, a union with the Home Missionary Society. (Hear.) He mentioned this, because that was the impression made on his mind; he certainly had been very much surprised to hear of the step which had been taken. Having been prevented by the state of his health from obtaining information in Committee, it produced in him more than ordinary surprise when the result of so great and interesting a meeting appeared on a prima facie view, to be set aside, without having the views and considerations which led to that revolution, distinctly brought before them as a body. As that meeting seemed to be intended to remove any difficulties and perplexities which might have occurred to the minds of the brethren, it would be satisfactory, he thought, if the reasons were given which led to this entire change of opinion.
The CHAIRMAN observed, that Mr. Blackburn had given several reasons. (Hear.)
The Rev. Dr. BURDER thought they had not been sufficiently put in possession of the reasons for so sudden and entire a variation of opinion.
The Rev. R. BURLs, of Maldon, said, the previous wish of all the brethren had been to unite with the Home Missionary Society, if possible. But at the Birmingham meeting, the difficulties seemed insuperable. Since that meeting, those difficulties had melted away, and the original wish that there should be a union returned to all, and was now likely to be carried into effect. That was the way he (Mr. Burls) understood the matter.
The Rev. ALGERNON Wells rose and said, I believe, Sir, the brethren amongst us know, as well as myself, the great facts of the case. My friend, Mr. Burls, is quite correct in saying, that the original intention was to obtain a union with the Home Missionary Society for this object; and before the meeting at Birmingbam took place, we waited upon the brethren at Chatham Place, to propose this union, which they declined in such a manner as not to give any bope of success in renewing the proposal. When the meeting at Birmingham was actually agreed upon and appointed, we invited them to go with us down to Birmingham, or to send their delegates or officers to take part in our councils. Therefore, Mr. Burls is quite correct in saying that all the original proceedings were carried on with a view to co-operation with the Home Missionary Society; but all our efforts failed at that time. I may also say,--and I am speaking in the presence of gentlemen who were present at that meeting, and iherefore know the facts as well as myself, that, after the discussion concerning that paper which set out the principles to be acted upon by us in regard to Home Missionary labour, it was still a question with our brethren, whether or not they would undertake the union, or set up a separate society; and brethren may have in their recollection that my own opinion was in favour of taking the matter into our own hands. I at that time, and long after, entertained a judgment that the Union could do it and would do it, and do it more advantage. ously in respect of great principles, though I never thought it would do it so effectually in regard to the range of operation, yet I did think that so far as respects the bringing out of great principles, the doing of it by the Congregational Union, though on a smaller scale, would be in the long run more advantageous and beneficial; and my brethren in London know very well that I retained that opinion after it had been abandoned by all my colleagues, and that I was extremely reluctant to enter into any union with the brethren at Chatham Place. But many considerations pressed upon us. Just at that time the funds of the Colonial Mission were at a very low ebb, and filled us all with anxiety. We had involved ourselves in debt, and were not so well aware then as we now are bow cordially our brethren through the country would sustain us, and we felt ourselves so depressed by the consideration that the Independent denomination would not come out to assist their own principles; that the idea of the Union undertaking a second difficult work, it must be owned, did influence our minds in coming to a decision. And then personal considerations influenced us. I could not but feel, with my brethren, that there would, in the event of our forming a new Society, be a very considerable increase of our responsibility: having the Colonial Mission already on our hands, we did not feel justified in adrocating the formation of another Society to increase our responsibility. All these things weighed with us in town. Then almost every post brought letters from the country, begging us, by all means, to compass a union, if it were possible that it could be done. Things being in this position, a negociation was commenced, through which we succeeded in effecting our object, and we now firmly believe that all the purposes contemplated at the Birmingham meeting, of spreading the Gospel in England in connexion with Independent principles, will be accomplished by the plan now upon trial. (Hear.) If we do not think so, then, of course, we could not conscientiously advise its adoption, but we do think that this end will be effectually secured. (Cheers.) That is a very plain statement of the facts of the case. I must just add, that we had ascertained that there was a difference of opinion as to the propriety of a new Society amongst the churches of our most influential brethren in London, and though they might have carried the point, and obtained the funds for it, yet it might possibly have given rise to some dissatisfaction. This also weighed with our minds, that we could not have secured a unanimous movement in our favour. On the other hand, let me state, that the plan which has been agreed to by both Committees has received unanimous approval, with only one exception. Our friend, Mr. Dunn, at the Home Mission House, has also received a long list of approvals. Those who have sent printed letters into the country are aware how few answers are usually obtained, and they will think, therefore, it a wonderful proof of unanmity of feeling on this point when I state, that more than 100 brethren have written answers of cordial concurrence.
The Rev. A. Wells then read the amended laws of the Home Missionary Society, as they have been already submitted to our readers in the April Magazine.*
A conversation ensued, and, amongst other topics which came under notice, was the character of the agency which is in future to be employed.
The Rev. J. Hill, of Gornal, wished to ask a question upon this vitally important subject. At Birmingham there was considerable discussion in reference to a missionary college. Now he desired to know whether, in the negociations which had taken place, there had been any thing said with reference to the future education of the agents preparatory to the work in which they are to be engaged !
The Rev. D. W. Aston, of Buckingham, thought that upon the subject of suitable qualifications there could be but one opinion amongst men of common sense. It was, doubtless, of the utmost importance to have men who were suitably qualified. But the thought had struck him, (Mr. Aston,) with regard to the words “ duly educated," as they occurred in the rules which had been read at the
meeting, whether they did not confine the idea to the means of acquiring those qualifications rather than the qualifications themselves, and whether, therefore, the word “ qualifications" would not comprehend all, and more than all, that was included in the word “ education.” They knew that there were some men who had such native energy, such vigour of mind, and such a habit of application, that they were raised by a kind of native buoyancy above the position of others who had much greater advantages as respects what was commonly called education. (Hear.)
The Chairman imagined that persons of that description would be pronounced self-educated. (Hear.) They would not consider them uneducated. (Hear.)
The Rev. A. WELLS stated that they had not felt themselves competent to decide on any subordinate points which must necessarily come under the consideration of a body of directors bereafter to be chosen, and which, indeed, are, after all, matters of detail. But as one who is anxious to give the brethren all information possible, I can, he said, only state, that, as far as I am acquainted with the opinions of the brethren who are engaged in this affair, it is considered to send four, five or six young men to a minister will be preferable to establishing an academy; that is, if, in three or four different and distinct districts of the county, so many ministers can be found to carry on the work of educating young men in that biblical and theological learning, without attempting to teach them the classics. They might, at the same time, perhaps, be employed in home missionary operations, and thus be receiving both their theoretical and practical education at once. There might be some in town doing the work of a town missionary, and some in villages doing the work of the rural district, at the same time that they were spending three or four hours a day under the superintendence of a wise minister. " I believe this is considered preferable to setting up an academy. After some other remarks, the Rev. Gentleman proceeded to state, that Dr. Matheson, of Wolverhampton, had been fixed upon by the two Committees to be proposed as acting Secretary to the Home Missionary Society, and that that gentleman had been prevailed upon to allow his name to be put in Domination. In proposing him, they were proposing a gentleman in whose firm Congregational principles no man could doubt, whose attention had been directed to home missionary efforts for many years, who was full of information on the subject, who had written a very sensible and useful manual for practical union in home missions, and who, besides all this, was recommended to them by the votes of two different county associations, and by letters from many brethren personally, and on their own account. Dr. Matheson had been applied to, to allow his name to be put in nomination at the annual meeting, to take place in Exeter Hall, and he had consented to that arrangement. He trusted that the nomination of Dr. Matheson would meet with the cordial concurrence of the brethren, and that they would all look with the more satisfaction on this business, because much of its management will be entrusted to his hands.
The Rev. J. BLACKBURN then introduced the subject of an autumnal meeting. It was considered by many of the brethren desirable to hold an autumnal meeting at Bristol, in the fall of the year. He (Mr. Blackburn) was sure that the agreeable recollection of the meeting at Birmingham would cause them all to covet another such meeting at Bristol, if it were acceptable to the brethren in that city
The Rev. A. WELLS stated, that having been at Bristol a few weeks before, where he saw Mr. Haines, Mr. Roper, and Mr. Wills and others; the only difficulty which occurred to those gentlemen was, that in all probability, the railroad would not be completed in time, and therefore that the facilities of travelling would not be near so great as they would have been in the event of its completion. The friends at Liverpool had invited them to meet there, but the burning down of Dr. Raffles' chapel seemed an insuperable impediment to such an arrangement.
The Rev. J. A. JAMES was certain that if the friends at Bristol, or Liverpool, or Manchester, could be made aware of the very grateful recollection with which the Birmingham friends associated the meeting held in that town, there would be N.S. VOL. IV.