صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

It delighted his heart to find that the Church mutual Christian sympathy the interests of
kept its hold, and resolved to keep its hold of both were promoted. He trusted that the
the whole country. It was therefore still a blessing of God would rest on the Presby-
National Church. It sought to preach the terianism of the three kingdoms. He had no
word, and dispense ordinances, not only to its sectarian views in the matter, but he looked
adherents, but through the whole extent of the upon it as a scriptural and valuable organiza-
country. In this respect it differed from all tion for advancing the kingdom of Christ.
the Dissenting Churches to be found in all the The Rev. ALEXANDER BEITH felt great
three kingdoms, with the exception, perhaps, of pleasure in meeting such a body of men
the Presbyterian Church of Ireland. In the embarked in the same cause with their
present circumstances of the English Presby- brethren in Scotland. They must be satisfied
terian Church, it was too feeble to make that a great era was fast approaching. The
such an attempt in connexion with this, enemy was coming in like a flood, and it
the larger portion of the island. He rejoiced him to know that the Spirit of the
trusted the day was coming, when they Lord was lifting up a standard against it.
would embrace the whole kingdom. Another What was the present condition of the country?
inquiry which he put to himself was, How had its rulers been left to themselves
"How will the ministers be supported? in their conduct with reference to religion!
Will they depend on the individual congre- When the now Free Church of Scotland
gations whom they instruct, or will there be a applied to the State, praying that it would
general fund?" He was not one of those who exercise its jurisdiction only in the secular
blamed the Voluntary principle as a principle affairs of the Church, the practical answer was,
of Christian charity. He blamed not the "If the State supports religion, that religion
Voluntary for saying that he had such con- must obey the State." The consequence was,
fidence in that love which faith inspires as to that they sacrificed their temporal things that
be satisfied it would provide the necessary they might be faithful in spiritual things. But
means. He (Dr. W.) thought, that Chris- look at the same Government now, agreeing
tianity was adequate to the enterprize of to endow Popery, and at the same time
converting the world. He held that religion declining to interfere with it in spiritual
ought to be applied to politics, and every matters. (Hear.) They had refused to change
concern of man, private or public; that kings one jot or one tittle of the law when it
and nations should "kiss the Son lest he be interfered with the Church of Scotland in
angry, and they perish from the way;" and, carrying out her discipline and government
hence, he was no Voluntary. He saw, how- according to God's word, although forewarned
ever, that many disadvantages would accrue that a refusal would produce a disruption of the
from ministers depending entirely on their Church; but when the interests of gamblers
own congregations. What was seen in hea- and Socinians were at all interfered with, forth-
then lands might be exemplified even here. with the law was set aside or modified to their
At points where at first there were no adhe- particular exigencies. (Hear, hear.) In the
rents, or very few, it might be necessary to providence of God, however, the day of the
maintain a ministry, and hence he rejoiced to disruption was a blessed day for Scotland.
see the Church had determined to act on this They were free to preach the Gospel through-
principle, and to give the most destitute dis-out the whole country, and to employ every
tricts the highest class of agency. He was
happy to see that their Dissenting brethren on
both sides of the Tweed were ready to admire
the profound wisdom of Dr. Chalmers in
laying the foundation of our national system
so broad and deep; and that, even an influen-
tial Independent, who had shown himself
jealous of our success, had approved it. Ano-
ther matter of inquiry with him was, "How will
the Church deport itself as to the maintenance
of the principles of the connexion between Go-
'vernment and religion?" He rejoiced that the
principle was recognised, for as a missionary
he deemed it of great importance. They
ought to look, not on their own things only,
but on those of others also. It should be remem-
bered that no nation was more secure than
when guided by the word of God. He thought
many interests had suffered by overlooking
this principle. He found the greatest atrocities
practised in connexion with the eastern
Churches, and he called on some of their own
authorities to exercise their influence; he
besought them, by reasons of humanity to
interfere, and by their religious convictions to
exercise their authority. A Voluntary might
interfere on grounds of humanity, but could
not on grounds of religion. It was a principle
which the common sense of mankind admitted.
He was also somewhat anxious as to the
efforts the Free Church would make in main-
taining the character and professional education
of her ministers. On all these points he had
been highly satisfied when he came home.
He was delighted to observe the spirit of de-
votedness among her ministers, who, taken as
a body, were men of faith, and prayer, and
great devotedness. He rejoiced to think that
the English Presbyterian Church was affiliated
with them, and through the influence of

exertion for the advancement of the kingdom
of Christ; and he trusted while they were free
they would also be found faithful. His friend
who had preceded him had referred to those
men who had left the English Presbyterian
Church for the vacant charges in Scotland, and
their departure might be explained on natural
principles. Nature abhorred a vacuum, and
whenever the pulpits of Scotland became
vacant by the secessions, away flew the light
and airy particles from amongst them, and
left the valuable portion behind. Those who
were left were tried men, and the Free Church
of Scotland, therefore, held out to them the
right hand of fellowship. Their principles
had taken effect in India and in America, and
produced similar results even there. He had
no doubt that the Churches of Christendom
would be tested and tried. A separating pro-
cess was going on in France and in Germany,
and he was satisfied that a testifying body would
everywhere be found to lift up a standard for
God. In approaching the borders of England,
on the preceding day, he noticed among the
mountains, posts painted partly white and
partly black. He was told that they were
of great value, not at the present moment,
but during snow storms, when nature put on
her winding-sheet. Then they directed the
traveller on his way when every other land-
mark was lost. So with the principles of the
Free Church. The sole Headship of Christ,
as King of saints, and King of nations, the
spiritual independence of the Church, and the
liberty of the people,-those grand principles
of Protestantism, they seemed given in charge
to her ministers, and they would ever be their
guides, how few their numbers compared to
the world. The Rev. Gentleman concluded by
adverting to the revival of religion; and the

[ocr errors]

awakening still going on in the Highlands, and particularly in N. Knapdale, and pressed on the consideration of the Synod the subject of Sabbath sanctification.

The Rev. JAMES MACBETH congratulated the Synod on the display of intellectual power which he had witnessed in their proceedings, and on the free, bold, and uncompromising manner in which the members expressed their opinions, while a happy spirit of brotherhood pervaded the debates. He believed an important work was before them in extending the future triumphs of the Presbyterian cause in England. Its popular character, the important place assigned in it to the body of the people, was fitted widely to recommend it. The want of this he thought was the main defect of the Wesleyan Methodists. On the other hand it possessed a power of centralization, the importance of which was acknowledged in the writings of some leading Independents. There was great want too in England of a strong protest against the sensuousness of the religion that prevailed in the Establishment, which, addressing the mind through pictures and decorations, and magnificent buildings, produced insensibly an unfavourable influence on the mind. True religion was not of the eye, to be addressed through sumptuous edifices; nor of the ear, to be addressed to the fine tones of a voluptuous and elaborate music. Its seat was in the intellect enlightened from on high, and in a heart converted by grace. Such a protest the Presbyterian Church lifted up, going back as it did to first principles, basing its decisions on an appeal to the true fathers of the Church, the apostles, and leading the mind from a sensuous to a simple, intelligent, and scriptural religion. He trusted a great and wholesome effect would be exercised on the English mind in this respect; and he concluded by illustrating the important result that must follow from a clear exposition of Presbyterian principles, of earnest, determined Scriptural truth.

On the motion of the Rev. J. HAMILTON, the Moderator tendered the grateful thanks of the Synod to those members of the Free Church who had thus cheered them with their presence.


The Moderator introduced the Rev. Dr. Brown, Moderator of the Irish Presbyterian Church, who delivered an interesting and affectionate address. The Rev. Doctor congratulated the members on the position which they occupied as an independent Church. He regarded the establishment of a Divinity College as a mighty step in improvement, and a token that they were identifying themselves with the soil, and destined yet to enter in and take possession of the land. He viewed the present as a time specially demanding an exhibition of the pure and spiritual truths of God's Word, when so many doctrines of Rome were being extensively taught in the Church of England, and he could not but think that they had been shut up to an independent organization, that they might occupy a more important part in resisting the system of masked Popery that threatened to prevail. He concluded by assuring the Synod of the prayers, the sympathy, and cordial co-operation of the Presbyterians of Ulster.

On the motion of Mr. WALLACE the thanks of the Synod were tendered to Dr. Brown for his visit and his excellent address.

[blocks in formation]

of Synod meeting at breakfast on the 17th April, when the Moderator presided. Grace was said by the Rev. Josias Wilson, of London, and at the conclusion of the repast, thanks having been returned by the Rev. James Macbeth, of Glasgow, The MODERATOR rose, and expressed the great gratification he experienced in presiding over that assembly, which was considerably increased by the presence of one who, although not a member of their Church, was nevertheless deeply interested in the objects for which they were assembled. He meant the Rev. John Angell James. (Applause.) The Moderator concluded by calling upon

The Rev. Dr. WILSON, of Bombay, who said, he would take this opportunity of mentioning a few circumstances in connexion with the Christian Church which had very strongly impressed themselves upon his mind during his journey to this country. After leaving the empire of Heathenism, and passing through the empire of Mahomedanism, from the Straits of Babelmandel to the Carpathian Mountains, he was very anxious to notice the spirit prevailing in the Christian Church. When he arrived in the Holy Land, he found matters in a very peculiar state. He saw the Greek and the Roman priests at Jerusalem combined in resisting the erection of an Episcopal Church on Mount Zion. The instrument of their opposition was the Turkish power. The erection of that church commenced in the view of the Turkish authorities, and yet they took no steps to prevent it till the agents of the Russian Government and the members of the Greek Church put forth their energies, and used their influence with the Turkish authorities to prevent the erection of that fabric. Here were the Greek and Romish Churches combining with Mahomedans to prevent the erection of a Protestant Church at Jerusalem. Here was sympathy among those degraded forms of religion! Now, in passing through the country, he had found a very general impression upon the minds of the laity connected with the different forms of Christianity in the Holy Land, that the Scriptures of truth ought to be received as the only rule of faith. Whatever might be the sentiments of the priests, that was the almost unanimous sentiment of the people. He happened to have a large collection of Scriptures in the Arabic language with him on that occasion, and made a most extensive distribution of them among the professors of the Greek form of faith, and among the Armenians and Roman Catholics. At a town named Hasbeiya, near the source of the Jordan, containing about 5,000 inhabitants, of whom 2,000 were Christians, he made an extensive distribution of the Scriptures in Arabic; and when the Greek priests saw them in the hands of the people, they became quite infuriated, and sent an agent to him, begging him to order them to be returned. He, (Dr. Wilson,) however, told the people that as a friend of religious liberty, peaceable discussion, and prayerful inquiry, he left the matters entirely in their own hands. They declared that they would keep what they had received at all hazards, and they heard the threats of the agents of the priests without being at all moved by them. Mr. Smith, a fellow-traveller from Bombay, and who also took a deep interest in these matters, informed him that before they left Hasbeiya, a chief told him he was certain, if they could afford protection to persons becoming Protestants, that one hundred families in that town would instantly espouse the Protestant faith. By a letter from Mr. Graham, of Damascus, he learnt that on the 7th of May last, 150 members

to memory

of the Greek Church had become Protestants; they had written to the British Consul, at Damascus, praying to be taken under the protection of England, and he (Dr. W.) was happy to say that the French Consul was in favour of those Protestants receiving the same toleration as the Greek Church. In consesequence of the solicitation of the authorities in the Holy Land, and in consequence of the able and anxious manner in which these solicitations were seconded by Sir Stratford Canning, at Constantinople, the Turkish Governor informed those people that they might return to the town of Hasbeiya, from whence they had been driven, and that if they paid the taxes they might remain in Protestantism. As soon as Russia saw this, it advised, it is said, the 2,000 inhabitants who professed the Greek faith, to leave the place; and for what object was this advice given? That the case might be again brought before the Turkish Governor; and when the inhabitants returned to Hasbeiya, they found the remainder of the population moving off, and from the latest accounts, he (Dr. Wilson) should infer that some disturbance had occurred in Usbia, and that some violence had been offered to the Protestants. Eighteen families had been driven from their homes, but, notwithstanding those evils, and even greater, which might yet arise, he thought it probable that the principle of the toleration and recognition of Protestantism would be established in that part of the world. It was an interesting fact to know that the children of those poor people were committing "The Shorter Catechism." The Greek Church was the largest Church in the Holy land, but besides that Church there were other ancient Churches, and the next in importance to the Greek Church was the Armenian Church. In creed it was similar to the Greek Church, but it had this advantage which the Greek Church had not, namely, that it had not rejected the doctrines of the Reformation. Those who had studied the history of the Reformation must be aware that the Reformers of Germany set forth the Divine authority of the Scriptures, the doctrine of justification by faith, and the sanctification of the soul through the word, and not through the sacraments. The Armenian Church, however, had not rejected the doctrines of the Reformation, and it appeared to him that the Lord was about to gather to himself out of that Church a great people. When he was in Egypt, the Armenian Bishop said, if they all could agree in acknowledging the Scriptures, they would soon see unanimity among them. When he arrived at Smyrna, he found many of the Armenians of the place anxious to have scriptural knowledge afforded them, and the Armenian missionaries were ready to certify to the very deep impression which had been made on the people as to the truth of Evangelical religion. At Constantinople, matters were in a better state still, and he had letters from the American missionaries which represented that great numbers in the Armenian Church had arrived at pure Evangelical religion, and were preaching the doctrine of justification by faith in Asia Minor and in Armenia. The first Christian country of Europe which he (Dr. W.) visited on his way home was Hungary, and he was considerably interested in the state of that country. There was a time when many of the inhabitants of Hungary were Protestants, and when, in fact, the great body of the people adopted Protestantism. Since the union of the kingdom with Austria, or rather of the crown, Protestantism had declined. Laws were passed about one hundred years ago, according to which no individual was allowed to pass from the Romish Church to the

Protestant except by submitting to the most degrading system of religious tuition. This he could illustrate by a conversation he had there with a noble personage. She said she was a Protestant, but she could not get out of the Romish Church; and in reply to questions which he put to her, she further said, she neither approved of its principles nor conformed to its requirements, but that she could not escape from it without subjecting herself to six months' tuition by the Roman Catholic priests; and it was not till they, according to their own discretion, had reported the case as hopeless, that she would be allowed to pass from the one Church to the other. In the course of his journey he arrived at Presburg, where the Diet of Hungary was sitting, and one gentleman in the Diet rose and proposed that those laws should be repealed. The motion was seconded by a Roman Catholic layman, and all the bishops were instantly on their feet; notwithstanding which a majority of those present were in favour of toleration, and a vote was given in favour of a repeal of those laws by the two Tables of the Diet, and it had obtained the Imperial sanction; one priest had already left the Romish Church; many families had done the same, and many others were about to do so. A friend had given him some volumes to convey to a small body of Christians, numbering about sixty or seventy, who assembled together in a city through which he was about to pass. She said she was always willing to assist them by all means in her power, but as their meetings were not legal she was unable to do much for them. When he came to them he found he seldom had seen such warm-hearted Christians. He had first sent Dhanjebhai to find them out, and he seeing pictures on the walls of their place of meeting, was afraid they had still some respect for the Roman Catholic religion; but when he came to look at them, to his great gratification, he observed that they were pictures of Martin Luther, John Huss, and Jerome of Prague. These pictures he did not think would do them any great harm. Altogether, he must say, he was exceedingly gratified by the spirit which they displayed. They were decided Protestants, although they were recorded in the books of the Government as Roman Catholics. They had abandoned all the distinguishing principles of the Romish Church, and they were one in Christ Jesus. It was an encouragement that, while the enemy was becoming stronger and stronger in appearance, and more desperate in his efforts, God himself was calling up his forces for the battle, and causing a revival of religion in the different countries of the world that would effect the downfall of Popery. In passing through Germany he found the greatest sympathy prevailing among the various Protestant Churches, in respect to the Presbyterian Church." Do you belong," said they, "to the Ecclesia subjecta or to the Ecclesia libera?" And when he informed them that he belonged to the Ecclesia libera, he always met with the most hearty congratulations and sympathy. He really did believe that the clergy of Germany understood their position better than the Church of England did; and he had even found that such men as the tailors of Stutdgart were acquainted with all that had occurred in this country. They knew something about Dr. Chalmers, and he had received very particular information from those people which he should scarcely have thought they could have been acquainted with. It was certainly a matter of congratulation that attention had been so extensively directed to those principles of the liberty of the Christian Church; and if this revival of true Evangelical Protestant

feeling still continued to increase, as he had no doubt it would, he should not despair of the ultimate establishment and universal acknowledgment of the true faith.

The Rev. J. A. JAMES, in obedience to a call from the chair, addressed the company. He had gladly accepted the invitation to be present, which the kindness and courtesy of the exModerator had given him. He felt grateful for the manner in which he had been introduced: but he did not deserve any commendation. He was of a catholic spirit. His own denomination was not large enough to contain his heart. Nay, he trusted the Holy Catholic Church was the only amplitude in which he could find room to move. He deeply regretted that such information as Dr. Wilson had just given to the meeting should be confined within so narrow a circle; but the unfortunate coincidence of meetings prevented the attendance of many brethren. Apart from the interest he took in the general body, there was one single member of the Presbyterian Church in England present, who would have drawn him to any part of Birmingham to spend an hour, a day, or any longer period, in his company, -a gentleman, Christian, minister, with whom it had been his felicity to be associated in a public manifestation of Christian union, from whose works he could truly say, the "Dew of Hermon" had fallen, whom he held in as much affection for his lovely spirit, as he did in admiration for his brilliant genius. Mr James then went on to express his interest in the Presbyterian Church. He had watched with interest all its struggles for the achievement of its liberty; and he would now rejoice with them in their victory, and look up with pride to the standard inscribed"Ecclesia Libera." He knew he differed from them in some minor points-he did call them minor points in comparison with those greater ones which united them; for on all the great fundamental principles of the Gospel they were one; and surely in these they could find sufficient scope for their sympathies, and sufficient bond for their union, without allow ing presbyteries or congregations to raise up a single barrier against the most unrestricted freedom of fraternal intercourse. He did not mean to compromise the principles of the Congregationalists-nor, he was sure, did they mean to compromise their principles as Presbyters. There was no need of compromise. The system of Christian union they all sought was union without compromise; for that union which was based on a destruction of principle was not that which could meet the approbation of heaven; nor could it be of any great use, ultimately, to those who had entered into it. He was informed by a friend at the bottom of the table, and he rejoiced in the information, that they (the Scotch Church) were coming with still greater power south of the Tweed. Well, there was room enough for them all, for in all large towns the population had run so much ahead of all means hitherto provided for their instruction, that there was enough for them all to do, and, he was afraid, more than they would be able to do. Why, he could just as well suppose that two ships in the British Channel could not sail without running foul of each other, as to imagine that the Presbyterian Free Church, Congregationalists, and other isms, could not find room enough in this country to do God's work. It seems, said Mr James, that you are to occupy a middle place--between Episcopacy on the one hand, and Independency on the other; and if, by your logic and your rhetoric, warmed with Christian love, urged by Christian zeal, and guided by Christian prudence, you can bring down Episcopacy to the level of Presbytery,

and raise Independence up to its level, well
and good;—all fair, perfectly fair. But take
care you are not between two millstones
to be ground to powder. These were not the
times for Protestants to stand aloof and apart
from one another. They must draw closer.
He had been accustomed to watch the move-
ments of Providence, and he saw with admi-
ration and gratitude that they had just achieved
their freedom at a time when a spirit, born of
the Mother of Harlots, though disavowing her
maternity, had risen up in this country, and
was spreading its delusions over it, and seeking
to enslave the Church of God to human autho-
rity, and to other powers than those of the
sacred Scriptures. But just at this time
a spirit of freedom had burst forth north of the
Tweed, and accomplished so extraordinary a
victory as it had done; and this, among other
signs of the times, was an indication, that God
did not mean, after all, to leave his Church
to the tender mercies of either Popery or
Puseyism. He had lately received a letter
from an individual, one of their own body, on
the north of the Tweed, who, by his purse and
otherwise, was doing the cause good service;
and he informed him that there might yet be
a meeting-and he was anxious to promote
it somewhere in the country,-which should
give facilities to the friends of Protestantism
on the north of the Tweed, and those in the
south, to assemble as a grand Protestant
Conference for the whole world-not simply
for the recognition of Protestant principles,
but for Protestant co-operation. It did appear
to him (Mr James) that there was something
feasible in the idea, and he was quite sure
there was some common ground, or, by the
grace of God, they would find some, on which
the whole Protestant body might be thus
associated. He looked forward to this with
much interest, because, if properly carried out
in the right spirit, much good could not fail
to be the result. With these remarks, he bid
them welcome from the bottom of his heart,
and the top of his voice, and rejoiced in having
been among them that morning. Ninety-nine
parts out of a hundred of him were theirs
already; and the remainder should not for
a moment alienate him from them.

[ocr errors]

The CHAIRMAN then observed, that among the many attractions of the Free Church of Scotland none more powerfully secured his affection to it than the labours of its missionaries abroad, who, at the first struggle for spiritual freedom, to a man sent in their adherence to the Free Church. The Report about to be presented would show that the labours of their missionaries at once obtained success among men and the blessing of God. (Hear, hear.)

The Rev. W. CHALMERS, at the request of the Hon. Chairman, then read the Report of the Missions of the Free Church of Scotland to the Jews and Heathens during the last year. It said that that Church had been encouraged greatly by its aids, and enabled to sustain its officers in all their efficiency, extended, at the same time, over a large field, notwithstanding enormous demands upon its funds. The stations in the East-Bombay, Poonah, Madras, and Bengal, had been added to by that of Nagpore, in Central India, where Mr. Hislop had recently entered upon his labours. In South Africa, at an expense of 1,200., they had been enabled to occupy a station in Caffre Land, where at Lovedale the Rev. Wm. Govan and the Rev. James Laing were missionaries. Burnshill and Pirie were also African stations, with missionaries dispensing the word of God among the Heathen. Among the Jews, they now had stations at Berlin, Pesth, Jassy, Constantinople, and Damascus, which were daily becoming more comprehensively operative. At the same time, the Jews in Leghorn, Hamburgh, Adrianople, Aleppo, Aden, Bombay, Malta, Madeira, and Gibraltar, were in course of being provided with the means of understanding the truth of Christianity, and taught to enter the house of God. At Pesth, forty persons were baptized, and in that city a small comnfunity of Jewish believers had been already formed. Of that community it had been remarked by Protestant establishments there, that such a perfect copy of the Primitive Church never existed. At Jassy, nine applicants for baptism presented themselves. At Damascus their missionaries were still engaged in acquiring the language, and had scarcely begun their work of converThe Rev. Dr. HUTCHINSON, of Warrenford, sion. So successful had been their operations followed, with some interesting and important in other parts, that the Presbyterian Ladies' Soremarks on unfulfilled prophecy, which in-ciety in London had determined on sending a dicated his having made it the subject of Mission to the Jews of Corfu. From Calcutta, much study. very unexpected intelligence had arrived, in the conversion there of five adult Jews, two females, and three males. In Bombay and Bengal, a number of Jews, called the BeniIsrael, believing themselves to be a portion of the lost tribes, still exist. In the educational institutions there were 200 pupils, and upwards of 1,000 children, male and female, whose moral and intellectual condition were represented to be in a most satisfactory condition. Their principal Indian stations were those of THE friends of the Indian and Jewish Bombay, Madras, and Bengal. With regard Missions of the Free Church of Scotland held to the first of these, Dr. Wilson was in this a meeting at Exeter Hall, on Monday evening, country, ably forwarding its interests at home. the 12th instant, to receive the Report of the (Cheers.) Dr. Wilson, who, it would be Committee of the proceedings of the mission-remembered, was accompanied to Scotland by aries during the past year. The large room a Parsee convert named Danjhebhai, now was quite filled. turned a Christian minister, brought about his conversion in his classes. At Poonah, and its branch at Indapour, 500 natives had been converted to Christianity. Three Mahratta magazines, published in the presidency of Bombay, under the influence of the Brahmins, showed the extent and depth of the feeling engendered by the progress of Christianity, which was apparent in the vehement expressions they employed in denouncing it as a blow struck at the very roots of their religion. The conversion of a native named Schripert, had

The Rev. JAMES HAMILTON being called for, made a few observations, and prayer having been offered by the Rev. Mr. JAMES, the meeting adjourned for the transaction of the business of the Synod.


Mr. P. M. STEWART, M.P. (in the unavoidable absence of the Marquis of Breadalbane), was called to the chair.

The CHAIRMAN said, that the Noble Marquis was confined to his house by a severe cold. He saw him yesterday, and if the Noble Marquis should not attend in the course of the evening, he had a substantial excuse for his absence. (Hear, hear.)

The Rev. Mr. NICHOLSON having offered up a prayer,

given rise to a diversity of opinion among the Brahmins, which was expected to lead to the most important results. Some argued that by his frequent and inordinate conversation with Europeans, the Hindoo institution declared him unfit for the fellowship of his countrymen. Others argued differently, and in spite of an oppressive persecution, Schripert maintained his new religion with the utmost warmth. (Cheers.) Their establishment at Poonah had been reinforced by a female teacher, a Miss Shaw, who had been sent out by the Ladies' Association for promoting female education in India. At Madras, with its branch schools of Conieveram, Chingleput, and Triplicane, the number of pupils was 800 (including 170 females), all of whom were learning English. The Brahmins no longer treated the efforts of the missionaries with contempt, but had felt it necessary to enter into the field of controversy with them. The Free Church, in consequence of its separation from the Establishment, had, within these last two years, to build no less than 600 churches in Scotland, and to provide means for supporting 700 ministers and preachers. An appeal was made to the people of Scotland and England, and the result had been that they had completely accomplished their task. When the missionaries of Madras heard of this appeal, they all, having adhered to their Church and separated from the Establishment, immediately made a similar appeal to the Christians of that presidency, and so warmly was it responded to, that in a brief space 28,000 rupees were placed at the disposal of the missionaries, being quite enough to maintain the whole of the schools and the missionaries themselves during the year ending December, 1844. (Applause.) That showed how highly their efforts were appreciated by the people. Their great object was, to raise up a devoted ministry from the people, and everything tended to prove their success. In the course of the year, their progress was marked by the conversion of Ramanoojooboo, after an apostacy of two years. There was also another convert, named Arjaloo. At the Bengal station, at the head of which was that most excellent and apostolic man, Dr. Duff, in consequence of the secession from the Established Church in Scotland, the missionaries had been deprived of all their buildings, their library, and their philosophical and scientific apparatus; but all these had since been supplied by the liberal contributions of Christians in that presidency. They had new and more commodious buildings, they had a larger and a better chosen library, and their philosophical and scientific apparatus were of the most improved description. In Calcutta alone, 5,000l. had been subscribed for the support of the Free Church of Scotland there. (Cheers.) The Committee could not, however, refrain from calling the attention of the meeting to the humiliating fact, that the Christian missionaries in India had not only to contend with the power of Heathenism and idolatry, but they felt themselves persecuted by the hostile decisions of the legal British tribunals in that country. It had long been settled in England that in case of a Heathen father separating from a Christian mother, the custody of the children should be exclusively and absolutely given to the father; but, strange to say, in India it had been declared that in the case of a Christian father separating from a Heathen mother, the custody of the children must be given up to her and to her friends. (Hear, hear.) It was easy to see how prejudicially such a decision as this must operate. But the Commitee were glad to state, that an

ordinance had recently been issued by the Governor-General of India on the subject of education, which was of a more favourable tendency. By that ordinance, in all future selections of candidates for public employments, a preference, it was declared, should be given to the best qualified person, intellectually and morally, among those who presented themselves, wherever they might have been educated, without distinguishing of schools, colleges, classes, castes, or religions. (Hear, hear.) It was impossible to overrate the importance of this determination, or to trace out the glorious results which must follow in the end from such a line of policy. It would give a great impetus to native talent, and would stimulate the youth of India to attain acquirements that might qualify them for filling public offices. Already the result had been obvious by the attendance of no less than 1,200 persons at the last examination of the school at Calcutta. The Report concluded with an extract from a Calcutta journal, the Hurkaru," highly commending the ordinance of the Governor-General, and observing that that ordinance, together with the gradual development of the effect of missionary operations upon the rising generation of educated natives, would exercise so powerful an influence over the well-being of India as would at once demonstrate the wisdom of the course which Dr. Duff and his colleagues had pursued. Such was the Report before them, and if they thought the number of conversions was rather small, they should remember that one soul was precious. The present state of their Mission was most flattering, and if they sought the blessing of the Almighty upon the labours of his servants, Heaven, in its good time, would make manifest the results. ("Hear, hear," and applause.)



The Rev. P. LATROBE, Secretary to the Moravian Missionary Society, said, the feeble Church which he represented had been called into the same field of missionary labour as this Society at an early period, and therefore could not but sympathize with it and wish it good luck in the name of the Lord." The 12th of May was a memorable day in the history of his little Church, and he was glad to meet them on that day to bid them go forward and prosper. He expressed his ardent wishes that the blessing of God would rest on their labours, and that their Church which had made such sacrifices as had won the admiration of Christians at home and abroad, might yet be able to achieve more and greater things to the edifying of the body of Christ. He concluded by moving, "That the Report now read be adopted, and that the meeting, in reviewing the missionary operations of the Free Church of Scotland during the past year, feels grateful to Almighty God for the many tokens of his favour and blessing that have been vouchsafed."

The Rev. J. SHERMAN, in seconding the motion, said, he had an engagement, the charms of which would have kept him at home, but freedom was most attractive, and he loved liberty, and those who supported it. (Applause.) He thought that the country had lost nothing, and the Church of Christ had lost nothing, by the establishment of the Free Church and the liberty they had determined to gain. He used, when a boy, to sing :"O Liberty, the prisoner's pleasing dream; The poet's muse, his passion and his theme, Place me in climes where breathes the fiercest air,

And I will sing if Liberty be there;

And I will sing at Liberty's dear feet, In Afric's torrid zone, or India's fiercest heat." (Cheers.) Who could listen unmoved to the details of that beautiful, but, as it appeared to


him, from symptoms among the audience, a little too long, Report? ("Hear," and laughter.) His Scotch friends might beat them in many things; still, they might learn from their Wesleyan friends, who, though they took the world for their Missions, confined their Reports to the limits of half an hour. Who could listen to that Report, without exclaiming, "What hath God wrought for us!" It was miraculous to look at the results of the labours of this infant Free Church. It was scarcely in existence two years ago, and now it had raised 600 churches, and had obtained funds to support 700 pastors, and almost all the churches were out of debt, besides numerous missionaries successfully labouring among the Heathens and Jews in foreign lands. This was a thing which had scarcely transpired since the days of the apostles. (Hear, hear.) When he heard of the movement in Scotland, he sent out his servant Faith to tell him what was going on.

His servant went to the door of the Great Hall of the General Assembly of Scotland, and saw 500 ministers come forth with their Bibles in their hands, and God for their friend, saying, that they thought their Master had been dishonoured, and they were willing to sacrifice all for his sake. (Applause.) His servant Faith next reported that there was a sound of abundance of rain; and so there was, for all the missionaries abroad joined the Free Church too. (Applause.) The Scottish ministers and people had acted nobly. When he heard of the Hon. Mrs. Frazer giving 500l. to the cause, he felt, and he said so to his wife, a wish that the old exhortation was acted upon-"Greet ye one another with a holy kiss." (Laughter, and applause.) When in Yorkshire, not long ago, his attention was directed to the ruins of a mill which had been destroyed by fire. His lamentations over the catastrophe, however, were interrupted by his friend saying it was a good thing. "Indeed!" he replied, "is that the way you treat these things in Yorkshire?" "Oh," said his friend, "that was an old mill with old machinery, and now there will be erected instead a new mill with new machinery." (Laughter, and applause.) The application of this anecdote was obvious.

The Rev. J. HAMILTON spoke briefly in support of the motion, and alluded to the numerous attendance at that meeting as an encouraging fact; as was also the presence of ministers and laymen of different denominations. The Rev. Dr. Bunting would have been there, but the fatigues of the season had incapacitated him. From the Wesleyan body, the Free Church had received proofs of the greatest generosity, particularly from the Treasurer of the Wesleyan Missionary Society. It might not be wonderful that a man should give 1,000l. to one Missionary Society in the morning, and 5007. to another in the evening of the same day, but it was wonderful that God should put it into the heart of a man to do it. (“Hear, hear," and applause.) He defended the length of the Report on the ground of the importance of the subject.

The motion was unanimously adopted. The Rev. JAMES ARTHUR then moved the second resolution,-"That this meeting recognise the special claim of British India upon the sympathy and aid of Christians in these lands, and rejoice in the holy wisdom, power, devotedness, perseverance, and zeal, with which the Free Church Missions in India are conducted, and the great object steadily pursued of raising up a native agency, which may yet, through the blessing of God, spread over that vast continent the peaceful triumphs of the cross." British India had strong claims


the support of Protestant Christians. | Nevertheless, in spite of all its claims, he was sure that no adequate idea of the extent and moral condition of the population of British India prevailed, even in the highest classes in this country. On that point a circumstance occurred to him, which had happened that time twelvemonths, when, on the occasion of his mentioning, at three distinct meetings, what the entire population of British India was, a gentleman who had heard him, stated at another meeting, that he had heard the population of British India amounted to a number differing from that he had named only by fifty millions. (Laughter.) At Cheylore, in the centre of the Mysore, the missionaries found the natives on one occasion engaged intensely in the study of their own religious books, under the guidance of the "pundit." Vain at first were attempts to claim attention; they were always politely frustrated. At length they ventured a most unmannerly and abrupt course, viz., declaring those works to be false and delusive. Never did they observe such a play of human passion, and such deep workings of the countenance. There were sorrow, fear, and indignation alternately displayed; and on all sides they were met with wild exclamations. Eventually, however, their passions calmed, and they listened attentively to what was said to them. Exhausted by the fatigue they had undergone, they could only address them for ten minutes at a time; but having concluded with making their "salam," praying of God to bless them, they all separated in a most Christian spirit, the natives declaring that at last the Brahmin's mouth was closed. If it were considered that stations were established at various places, separated by wide seas, or standing only at remote extremities, from whence they might look down on vast continents covered with an idolatrous population, he could not conceive that another argument was necessary, to make them coincide with him in the necessity of furthering this cause. The South Sea Mission had had its day; Africa had had its day. He ventured to say that the most popular of all missionary arguments, success, would be very shortly placed in the hands of the advocates of Indian Missions; in efficiency and extent they would be far more remarkable, and exciting, and dignified, than in any instance which had yet been set before the Christian Church. (Hear, hear.) The Free Church had realized the phenomenon which was thought would never be witnessed, that of putting an old head upon young shoulders. (Laughter.) The shoulders were unyoked, unshackled, and presented all the appearance of a strong and stalwart youth; while the success of the operations of the Free Church proved the wisdom of the head. (Hear, hear.) The Rev. Gentleman concluded with an eloquent appeal in favour of union and liberality.

[ocr errors]

The Rev. Dr. ALLIOTT, as a representative of another section of the Christian Church, congratulated the Members of the Free Church on their maintenance of the principle which led them to separate themselves from the Scottish Establishment, and upon the marked prosperity which had attended its course. He saw that their missionary object was twofold; they wished to send the Gospel to the Heathen and to the Jew. The description given of the Heathen in the language of Scripture, was one calculated to awaken the deepest sympathy in the Christian breast; but the command of our Lord," Preach the Gospel to every creature," had been, and still was, sorely neglected. (Hear.) And as to the Jews, if we were disposed to pity an❘

individual in distress the more because he had seen better days, how ought we to feel for the Jew? (Hear.) But, independent of its object, he loved this Society, and all like it, because they were so many bonds of union and rallyingpoints, around which" all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity" gathered, and strengthened each other's hands in their labours for the promotion of his glory. (Applause.)

The Rev. Dr. MORISON, of Brompton, said, that his voice was somewhat out of tune by reason of a severe cold, which might make it fall harshly on the ears of the Right Hon. Member for Edinburgh, were he present. (A laugh.) But his heart was not out of tune in regard to the great work before them. (Applause.) When he looked at the great fact that the Free Church retained all those noble missionaries in its bosom, and when he considered the character, the conduct, the ardent zeal and devotion, and the successes of those men, he must say, that he believed the blessing of God had descended upon the Free Church of Scotland. (Hear, hear.) And there was another ground for his belief as well as for his expectation that God's blessing would still descend upon it; namely, that from the first it had directed its Christian attention to the case of God's ancient people, the Jews. (Hear, hear.) Moreover, if the Free Church would pursue the course it had commenced, they would secure and gather around them the sympathy of every true Christian, to whatever denomination he might belong. (Hear.) He wished there was less sectarianism in his own community ("hear, hear," and laughter); aye, and in all communities. (Hear.) He had more points of harmony and union with a truly godly man than with a man who would say, "Shibboleth," to everything but to the mind that was in Christ. (“Hear, hear," and applause.) He trusted that they would all learn to strengthen, not weaken, each other's hands in the work of evangelizing the human race, and that in their several missionary labours, they would go forth in the spirit of their Master to the conquest of the world. (Applause.) He concluded by moving the third resolution,— "That this meeting has, with great satisfaction, seen the increased interest which the spiritual condition of Abraham's seed is now exciting throughout the Christian Church, and believing that, at the present time also, there is a remnant according to the election of grace, it feels the obligation under which Christians lie to make greater exertions than ever in behalf of Israel, while it regards the signal success which has attended the Free Church Missions to that people, as another proof of God's faithfulness to his ancient promise I will bless them that bless thee."


in a

before. (Laughter.) After speaking in high terms of the Marquis of Breadalbane, the Rev. Gentleman proceeded to dilate upon the reflex influence of Missionary Societies upon the Churches at home, and took an opportunity of contradicting a statement Protestant London journal, that a Missionary Church was a retrograding Church, as was exemplified in the north of Ireland. Nothing could be more untrue, for in that quarter he could state, with respect to the Church to which he belonged, that within the last ten years it had increased more than in 100 years before; upwards of 100 congregations had been added, and more than 10,000 children admitted to instruction in the schools. (Applause.) He concluded by seconding the resolution, which was unanimously adopted. The Rev. W. CHALMERS moved the fourth resolution,-"That the new life and energy which the various forms of Antichristian error, and especially that of the Church of Rome, seem to have recently acquired, and are now putting forth in aggressive movements in all parts of the world, should be regarded as an urgent call on all who hold the truth as it is in Jesus, to closer union against the common foe at home, to redoubled exertions in the missionary cause abroad, and to fervent, persevering prayer for the direction and aid of the Almighty Spirit of the Lord, who, when the enemy cometh in like a flood, shall lift up a standard against him." To confirm the statement in the resolution, we need only look at home to see the influence Popery had acquired in the senate, and the complete revolution there was in that line of policy pursued towards Rome since the Reformation; and when we look abroad we saw Popery struggling for ascendancy with. untiring activity. Dr. Duff, writing from Calcutta on this subject, says:-"Popery is every year, in spite of all efforts to the contrary, making bolder and more rapid advances amongst us. Whereas some years ago it seemed to be dead or dying, it has now suddenly sprung up with something like the life and energy of a resurrection from the grave." He might remind the meeting of Tahiti. (Hear, hear.) In that very hall, on that very platform, was one of the fruits of Dr. Kalley's ministry in Madeira, an individual in humble life, who, having embraced the faith we love, had to be hidden by his friends for nearly two years, and was only the other day smuggled on board ship, and thus escaped persecutionit might be to the very death. (Hear.) He was a proof of the unchanged spirit of Popery. (Hear.) "Speak lightly of our sister's fall," indeed! ("Hear," and laughter.) Why Rome was Rome still; the same as of old when she put her foot on the necks of kings, and shed the blood of the saints of God.

[ocr errors]

The Rev. JOSIAS WILSON said, that as the ("Hear, hear," and cheers.) At the very meeting had been treated with a great deal of moment a professedly Protestant Government union and love, he would now give them was about to endow a College for Rome in a little fighting, and it was well known Ireland, what was she doing? The other day that Irishmen were never backwards there. she opened a Missionary College for training (Laughter.) He did not, however, mean to 200 priests. (Hear, hear.) No Church could quarrel either with the meeting or the chairman, point to any Institution of the kind equal to but with one of Esop's fables. He alluded that of Allhallows, at Drumcondragh. (Hear, to the fable of the lark and her young ones; hear.) They had heard much of the poverty the moral of which inferred that if they of Ireland, but that Church had resources wanted their work well done, they should do enough independent of any assistance from it themselves. He did not believe it; for ably the Government. From an article in the last as the representatives of the Free Church had number of the "North British Review,” a advocated their cause, he did not think it publication which was not the representative could have rested in better hands than in of Young England, but of Young Scotland, those of the English gentlemen who had there was an article showing that by means of addressed the Meeting, and who had, at the the Jesuits France was extending its influence least, done their work as well as the great into the very heart of the British possessions. Scotch Doctors. (Laughter, and cheering.) This should awaken our patriotism. (Hear.) Well, he had never gained such a victory | M. Lenormant, in urging arguments in sup

« السابقةمتابعة »