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DO YOUR UTMOST FOR THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL IN IRELAND." And MAY GOD BLESS YOUR DOING,
“Finally, brethren, PRAY FOR US, that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified, even as it is with you."
If I have erred in prolixity, urgency, or any other respect, I hope to be forgiven. At all events, my dear brother, give me an opportunity for public trial, by inserting this in your forthcoming number. I will not soon offend in the same way again.-May the coming year be one of “great grace" to us all.
Most truly your's,
WILLIAM URWICK, Dublin, Dec. 13th, 1839.
DESIGN OF COMPILING AND PUBLISHING A TUNE-BOOK BY THE
COMMITTEE OF THE CONGREGATIONAL UNION. Proposals for the publication of a tune-book for the use of the Congregational churches, have been repeatedly brought under the notice of the Committee of the Union. It has been represented that musical taste, in its adaptation to promote holy feeling and pleasure in the public praises of God, has not yet been made subordinate to that sacred purpose, in an equal degree with poetic genius. We are more rich in noble hymns, than in tunes of corresponding merit. Then selection is greatly needed. Our better, and really beautifully tunes, are found thinly scattered in various collections amongst vast numbers quite unfit for use; and, in fact, but rarely sung, and then only to more holy sentiments, and sweet poetry, and devout affections. There is also a pressing need felt of tunes adapted to many of the peculiar measures employed both by Watts and by various writers, whose productions are contained in the Congregational Hymn Book. It is, besides, known that several gentlemen of acknowledged taste and skill have of late employed their leisure hours in the pleasing and elegant pursuit of composition in sacred music. Many of these recent productions are of a high order and value, but the entire books in which they are contained, have not obtained, and are not likely to obtain, very wide circulation and use in our congregations, for this reason chiefly, that it is both very expensive and very inconvenient to multiply the numbers of tune-books used in our worshipping assemblies. But from these sources a new collection might be greatly enriched. Neither must it be overlooked, that most of the music-books now in use among us are got up in a very inferior manner in respect of form, materials, and execution; and are, besides, sold at unreasonably high prices. While, as to the general object, there can be but one opinion, that it will be a work of most eminent usefulness to contribute to the diffusion of correct taste and feeling in music, as the handmaid of devotion ; to bring our people generally to discern and relish these simple and solemn melodies, those high and moving harmonies which will adapt themselves to the entire range and variety of subjects embodied by our modern sacred poets, in the productions of devout and consecrated genius. It must not be forgotten that our rich and varied hymnology is the production of the century which has elapsed from the period when Watts first marked out the path, since trod with such distinguished success by many gifted and sainted men, of adapting poetry to sacred themes, and public worship. The resources and advantages of the churches of our day, in this respect, above their predecessors, are but too little regarded and acknowledged. If we could bring our sacred music to equal excellence with our sacred poetry, and our public singing to a standard worthy of both, then indeed would our holy songs often be a sweet foretaste of heaven, while poetry and music should still be surpassed by holy affections, and be but the vehicles and handmaids of divine truths, adoring sentiments, and gracious feelings. A noble hymn, well read from the pulpit, and well sung by the people, is true responsive worship, combining every advantage of poetry, eloquence, and inusic in aid of derotion. The true taste designed to be displayed and promoted in this undertaking, is the just adaptation of the music to the poetry, and of both to the worship of God; avoiding equally the extremes of a noisy, Aighty vulgarity, and a heavy dulness on the one hand, and of an excessive, affected refinement on the other. If the object thus imperfectly explained, can be, by this attempt, accomplished in any considerable degree, it will be felt by all the intelligent members of the Congregational body, that a most important benefit has been conferred on our churches. The Committee of the Union are confident that their undertaking will meet with general approbation, and with the assistance of all their brethren competent to render aid.
The following extract from the minutes of the Annual Assembly of the Union for the year 1837, will show that this proceeding has been long in contemplation, and though from time to time delayed by various causes, it has never been abandoned, or wholly lost sight of; and having been of late pressed on the attention of the Committee by several respected correspondents, it has been resolved at once to commence measures for carrying the proposal into effect.
Extract from the Minutes of the Annual Assembly for 1837:
“ On the subject of the Tune-book, and the Catechisms, submitted, in the Report of the Committee to the consideration of the meeting, it was agreed, 6. That the consideration of the desirableness of publishing at this time a Tunebook adapted to the Congregational Hymn-Book, and of a series of catechisms, be referred back to the general Committee."
Feeling sanctioned and authorized in the proceeding by this veto of the Annual Assembly, the Committee respectfully indicate the plan on which they would proceed in the execution of their design.
1. The Committee request such friends as may feel interested in this work, and approve of it; and who are qualified to render assistance in its execution, to communicate for the use of the Committee.
I. Proposals of plans in relation to the work generally, or to any particular branch of it.
II. Original compositions in general, but especially such as are adapted to the various peculiar measures to be found in Watts, and in the Congregational Ilymn Book,
III. Lists of such tunes already extant as would appear to the friends communicating the lists suitable to be included in the proposed collection.
Note. It is particularly requested, that with every tune its correct name, and the name of its real author, may be communicated, unless it be an original, intended to be anonymous.
2. When materials and suggestions have been thus obtained, it is proposed to appoint a sub-committee, to examine the plans and contributions; and, having decided on the course to be adopted, to superintend the compilation of the book, assisted by competent professional gentlemen, whose services the Committee will engage.
N.B. It is requested that the contributions thus solicited may be addressed to the Secretary, the Rev. A. Wells, at the Congregational Library, Blomfield Street, Finsbury, London. And where any document or book is sent by way of loan, great care will be taken to secure its safe return, uninjured, to the lender.
By direction of the Committee,
ALGERNON Wells, Secretary,
PROCEEDINGS OP TIE NORTHAMPTONSHIRE ASSOCIATION.
The Autumnal Meeting of the Northamptonshire Association of Independent Ministers, was held at the chapel of the Rev. D. Griffiths, Long Buckley.
In the morning the Rev. J. Davies, of Daventry, preached from 1 Cor. vii. 31.
In the evening the Rev. T. Milner, A.M. of Northampton, delivered an address to the hearers of the gospel, and the Rev. B. Hobson, of Welford, addressed the undecided, The Rev. J. Islep, of Stamford, and T. Galsworthy, of Rothwell, and other ministers, engaged in the devotional parts of the services.
At the meeting for business the following resolutions were adopted :
It having pleased Divine Providence to deprive the Northamptonshire Association of Independent Ministers of the services of the Rev. James Robertson, by personal affiction, its members desire reverently to acknowledge the authority of the Head of the Church, as having their times in his hand, and also gratefully to acknowledge the attention paid to their interests by Mr. Robertson, during the period of his connection with them as their Secretary.
That a copy of this resolution be forwarded to Mrs. Robertson, with an expression of the sympathy of this meeting with her, under the painful dispensation with which she is exercised.
That the Rev. B. Hobson be respectfully requested to take the office of permanent Secretary to this Association.
That this Association, convinced that the present times require a close and cordial co-operation of the ministers and churches of the Independent denomination, rejoices in the formation and permanence of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, and unites itself with that body.
That this Association deems it peculiarly incumbent upon the churches connected with it, to endeavour to meet the demands which the spiritual destitution of our home population make upon its sympathy.
DAY FOR HUMILIATION AND PRAYER. At the monthly meeting of the Congregational Board, held Dec. 10, at the Congregational Library, Blomfield Street, the Rev. John Burnet in the chair, it was resolved " That the Members of this Board be requested to recommend to the churches and congregations under their pastoral oversight, to appropriate Monday, the 6th of January, as a day for special humiliation and prayer, in union with their christian breihren in Scotland and America."
A. TIDMAN, Secretary, NEW ROAD CHAPEL, BURY, LANCASHIRE, This chapel was re-opened for divine worship, September 29th, 1839, after having been thoroughly repaired, improved in its appearance, and enlarged. Two spacious school-rooms and a vestry have also been added. The rooms are devoted to the religious instruction of the young on the Sabbath-day, and one of them is employed as an infant's school on the week-day. The expenses are estimated at £600, nearly half of which have already been raised. More than £500 of old debts have also been paid. This is the second increase of accommodation for the rising generation which has taken place within a few years. The following brief particulars connected with the above place of worship may not be uninteresting. It was built in the year 1793, and the church was formed August 14th, of the same year. Since the erection, the church and congregation have had six pastors, whose names are here recorded. The Rev. S. Laycock, the Rev. J. Lewis, the Rev. C. Ely, the Rev. – May, the Rev. G. Harris, and the present pastor, the Rev. J. Kennedy. A part of these “ remain unto this present time, but some are fallen asleep." Since the first establishment of the church it has sent out five individuals into the ministry, and one missionary. One of these was the late Rev. Thomas Hill, who passed through Rotherham College with great reputation, and, on the recommendation of the worthy Dr. Williams, became the Theological Tutor of Homerton College. He was early removed to his rest. The Missionary is Mr. Edwards, now in Africa, under the auspices of the London Missionary Society.
In 1804, a few friends determined on establishing a second interest in the town. This is now flourishing under the pastoral care of the Rev. J. Sunderland. Since the year 1837, a third interest has been formed. It may be proper for the religious public to know that this interest has not been sanctioned by the two pastors and the two churches in the town belonging to the same denomination. The schools, and church, and congregation connected with New Road Chapel still continue to exhibit pleasing proofs of steady and growing prosperity. The prayer ascends from many a heart, “ Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces."
HARLEY STREET CHAPEL, BOW, LONDON. The church and congregation worshipping in the above place, after being several months without a settled minister, and after much trouble and deep distress, are at length comforted and encouraged by the ministry of the Rev. 0. T. Dobbin, B.A, late of Arundel, who has accepted the unanimous invitation of the church to become its pastor, and commenced his duties on the second Sabbath in December, 1839.
This infant cause is affectionately recommended to the sympathy and prayers of all the surrounding churches.
ORDINATIONS, SETTLEMENTS, &c. On Wednesday, Dec 4th, the Rev. Henry March, late of Colchester, was publicly recognised as the pastor of the Congregational church at Newbury. The service commenced with singing, when the Rev. J. Pike, Baptist minister, read the Scriptures, and offered a suitable introductory prayer. The usual questions were asked by the Rev. W. Legge, of Reading, accompanied by some pertinent and encouraging remarks. The Rev. R. Elliott, of Devizes, offered special prayer for blessing on the minister and people; to whom was then addressed an affectionate and impressive sermon by the Rev. Dr. Pye Smith, of Homerton College, from 2 Thess. ii. 15–17. The Rev. Mr. Frost, of Hungerford, gave out the hymns, and the service was concluded by the cordial and affecting supplications of the Rev. W. Dryland, the foriner pastor of the church.
In the evening, after prayer by Dr. Smith, Mr. Elliott preached a judicious and solemn sermon from Psalm lxxiv. 22, which was felt to be an edifying and refreshing conclusion to the delightful services of the day.
On Wednesday, October 9, the Rev. Joseph Waddington, late astudent in Airedale College, was ordained at Bradford to the work of a missionary in Berbice, South America. The Rev. Joseph Stringer, of Jale, Mr. W.'s pastor, introduced the service by reading the Scriptures and prayer, The Rev. W. Eccles, of Hopton, delivered a comprehensive and excellent introductory discourse from Luke x. 20, in which he explained what ought to be the character and qualifications of a minister, according to the standard of the scriptures of truth, and exposed the irrationality of those who claim to have an exclusive right to the office, through some imaginary virtue transmitted through episcopal channels from the hands of the apostles.
The Rev. T. Taylor, of Bradford, by whom Mr. W. was baptized in infancy, proposed the usual questions, and elicited from him a lucid and emphatic avowal of his principles, and of the steps by which he had been led, in the providence of God, to the work of the ministry His judicious allusions to the history of his family, and the expression of his affection for all its members, and of his regard for the inmates of the college, as also the statement of his purposes for the future, made a deep impression upon the audience, and excited a visible and universal manifestation of sympathy. The Rev. Walter Scott, President of Airedale College, offered the ordination prayer, which was one of peculiar copiousness, fervour, and unction, and was accompanied with iinposition of hands. The Rev. John Waddington, of this town, brother to the young mis. sionary, delivered a very able, suitable, and affectionate charge, in which appro. priate allusions were made in a manner which affected the hearts of all present, to the relation in which they stood to each other, and to the sacrifices which parental and fraternal affection had made in resigning the beloved youth who is to be separated from his brethren. The Rev. J. G. Miall delivered an impressive address to young people on the subject of missions, and the Rev. W. B. Clulow, Classical Tutor of Airedale College, closed the whole solemnities by prayer.
The service concluded a little after three o'clock, P.M., having continued nearly five hours; but no symptoms of weariness were exhibited, and the interest was sustaived and deepened to the last moment.
The beautiful and commodious chapel, recently erected, and which does great credit to its architect, Mr. Pritchett, of York, and to the friends by whose munificence it has been erected, was completely filled, and the whole service was one of the most pleasing and valuable ever held in Bradford.
Mr. Waddington expects to sail for Berbice, in company with other missionaries appointed to the same station, in December next. The Sabbath-school teachers and other friends of Orchard-street Chapel, of this town, have presented him with a copy of Bagster's Comprehensive Bible, as a token of their affectionate regard. We have copied the above particulars principally from the Bradford Observer. CONGREGATIONAL SETTLERS AT ENCOUNTER BAY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
Many of our readers are aware that our valued brother, the Rev. R. W. Newland, for many years pastor of the Congregational church at Hanley, Staffordshire, embarked with his family, and some attached christian friends, as settlers, for South Australia. We are happy to announce that the Charles Forbes, in which this band of Congregational brethren sailed, has safely arrived at Adelaide, and that they have purchased a number of land sections in the immediate locality of Encounter Bay, where they, about thirty in number, intend to settle ; an event which, if we may judge from the statements of the South Australian Gazette, is very grateful to other emigrants in that neighbourhood.
Encounter Bay is on the south side of Cape Jervis, where the waters of the Lake Alexandrina disembogue to the ocean. It is already the resort of the whalers of the settlement, and of other emigrants. We rejoice that a minister of Christ, who can till the soil with his hardy sons, is settled amongst them, and while he teaches them the things of heaven, can show them how to improve the earth, and thus lessen the natural and moral curse.
THE EVANGELICAL VOLUNTARY CHURCH ASSOCIATION. On Wednesday Evening, Dec. 4th, a public meeting was held at the London Tavern, Bishopsgate Street, to form this new Society; Sir Culling Eardley Smith, Bart. presided, and delivered a powerful and truly christian speech, which we have in type, but are compelled to defer till our next.
The following are the resolutions that were adopted by a crowded and respectable assembly:Moved by the Rev. Dr. Cox, seconded by the Rev. Dr. Leifchild, and sup,
ported by the Rev. J. Young :1. That the Divine Lawgiver of the Christian Church has, as we believe, expressly ordained voluntary exertions, individual and combined, to be the exclusive means for the maintenance and propagation of the Gospel ; that any departure from this scriptural ordinance appears to us to be a direct violation of the will of Christ, and consequently, a serious injury to the Church, necessarily destructive of her simplicity, spirituality, and independence, and as necessarily hostile to her complete efficiency; and that the removal of all the evils with which the Church of Christ is afflicted, and her final and universal triumph, cannot be rationally expected, except in connexion with an unreserved return to the original appointment of her King.
That while the complete emancipation of Christianity from all which either destroys its purity or hinders its efficiency, can result from the effusion of the promised Holy Spirit, and while such Divine influence can be obtained only in answer to fervent, united, persevering prayer; it is nevertheless the solemn duty of all who are convinced of the exclusively spiritual character of the kingdom of the Redeemer—as they would be faithful to their Lord, to the sacred cause which