« السابقةمتابعة »
high, in organizing some system whereby they | may be instrumental in furthering the Lord's work in the land. And they take leave to suggest two ways in which a work of excavation may be commenced and carried on among the heathen of our large towns. Your Committee believe that there would be little difficulty in securing, for five months, the assistance of some of the theological students in attendance on the Free Church halls, many of whom have drunk deeply of the living Spirit, who might labour in fixed localities, under the eye of the Presbyteries of the Church, organizing prayer-meetings and Sabbathschools, and, generally, seeking to awaken a spirit of religious inquiry in the district.
Such labours could scarcely fail to be beneficial in a variety of ways-tending, with God's blessing, to strengthen the Church by the infusion of a spirit of greater liveliness in the districts which were thus visited, and awakening in the minds of these young men sentiments of affection towards English Presbyterian congregations, which might assist in securing to our Church their regular ministrations at a subsequent period.
But there is another scheme which your Committee would strongly urge the Synod to attempt, for the purpose of confirming the Churches already planted, and establishing new stations.
Were the plan adopted by this Synod, which has been successfully pursued by the Free Church of Scotland, of sending ministers to itinerate throughout the countryand especially to visit those localities wherein the suggestion previously offered may have been attempted,-who can calculate the amount of good that might be accomplished by the simple preaching of the Gospel in many a desolate locality? Your Committee feel convinced that many congregations, and Presbyteries even, would be greatly strengthened and refreshed by such periodical visits from brethren appointed to this duty by the Synod.
Dr. PATERSON, Sunderland.
G. J. DUNCAN, North Shields.
JAMES ANDERSON, Morpeth.
J. M'LYMONT, Birdhope Craig. J. BLYTHE, Branton.
3 16 3
1 10 0 200 17 0
0 17 7
1 5 10
0 15 6
11 12 2 100
Balance in the hands of the Treasurer
EXPENDITURE. Towards the Expenses of Ministers supplying the following Congregations while vacant, and also including grants to Bolton and Wigan :
Paid to Wigan
£323 3 8
47 10 0 15 0 0 10 0 0 10 0
10 0 0 40 0 0
30 0 0
ALEX. MURDOCH, Berwick-upon-Tweed.
In closing this their first Report, your Committee, while lamenting that they have St. Peter's Church, Manchester.. £64 14 3 been able to do so little, are yet glad that a little has been accomplished; and they are cheered by the prospects that the future presents. They believe that the cause of Presbyterianism has not stood so high in England Isle of Man.............. .. .. .. for the last two centuries; and that with more men and more money, our congregations could be almost indefinitely increased.
The harvest truly is plenteous, and the labourers are few. Oh, what need of prayer, that God would send forth more labourers to his harvest, and that he would grant a spirit of greater fidelity and diligence to the reapers already in the harvest-field!
It betokens days of coming blessing, that liveliness seems growing in the Church. Your Committee have reason to believe that there is a spirit of more ardent and enlarged prayer descending alike on ministers and congregations, and that there are more Israels wrestling with God upon the high mountains of the Church, than in the days bygone. Let praying souls grow in their importunity, pleading for a blessing to Zion, that her ministers may all be honoured to become spiritual fathers in Israel, that her sanctuaries may be signalized as the birth-places of many souls, and that on her the days may come speedily, when the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
Ye, therefore, that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give God no rest, until he come for a revival, mightier far than
6 1 8 11 10 0 4 15 1
4 0 0
2 0 0
2 16 6
1 0 0
10 0 0
Stationery, including 6,000 copies of Address
Examined and found correct,
Birmingham, April 17, 1845.
FREE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.
BELIEVING that, ere this number of the Messenger" can reach its readers, most of them may have seen, in Scotch or other newspapers, accounts of the proceedings of the Free Church Assembly, subsequent to those reported in our last publication, we think it unnecessary to occupy our columns now with a repetition of intelligence which our friends have already received-making one exception, however, to which we are induced by a desire, that the "Messenger" should be a record of whatever interests or concerns the Presbyterian Church in England. We therefore give here the addresses delivered on the 29th May, by the members of the deputation from our Synod to the Free Church Assembly, with the remarks of some of the members of that body, and its deliverance in reply, and the report of its Committee on Deputations to England.
Dr. WILSON, of Bombay, one of the representatives of the Free Church at the late meeting of the English Synod, introduced to the Assembly the deputation from the Presbyterian Church in England, consisting of the Rev. Hugh Campbell of Manchester, Moderator of the Synod, the Rev. Mr. Chalmers of London, and the Rev. Mr. Munro.
The Rev. HUGH CAMPBELL came forward and said,-Moderator, it affords me very great pleasure to appear in this Assembly as a representative of the Presbyterian Church in England. There are very many reasons why you and we ought 27 4 2 to love and support one another. Our
Churches are not of yesterday, nor is our exertions, while it sustains her under trials. alliance the fruit of a random compact. You (Cheers.) Moderator, I will be excused for look upon yourselves, and justly, as the heirs thus lingering with fondest affection over the and representatives of Knox, and Melville, history of the past. Nations and families, and Henderson, and Rutherford-(hear, yes, and Churches as well as individuals, hear) while, as I said in the Assembly of are indulged in lingering over the past 1842, the last free and constitutional As- greatness of their race. Nor is this feeling of sembly of the Established Church of Scotland, ancestral self-respect necessarily a weakness, -we as truly and as justly regard ourselves or a proper subject of ridicule; it becomes as the heirs and representatives of the contemptible only when it is unaccompanied Cartwrights, and Reynolds, and Calamys, and with any personal excellence, or when it is Baxters, and the English Puritan worthies of substituted for individual endowments. On other days. (Hear, hear.) From the Re- the other hand, it becomes worthy of all formation downwards, our Churches were praise, when it prompts to emulate those closely allied. When Elizabeth persecuted virtues which raised our ancestors to fame; our ancestors, your fathers memorialized and and the English Presbyterian Church, I take remonstrated with her; and when your the liberty of saying, does not rest its claims ancestors suffered in the fire of Popish to regard merely on its ancestral glories. We persecution, and from the rapacity and are at present engaged in a course of exerfanaticism of a foreign mercenary soldiery tions, of which, perhaps, some of my brethren under Mary of Guise and her infatuated may speak more in detail, but of which I at daughter, our fathers in the council and present content myself with saying, that camp of Elizabeth came to your assistance, should God bless and prosper them, the results and enabled you to establish your Church on cannot be but momentous. We are increasthe scriptural and apostolic basis on which, ing our churches in a ratio which, I believe, by the blessing of God, it still continues to no Church in the world at present parallels; rest. The alliance thus originating in an and we only want men at this moment to identity of faith and a community of interests, plant Presbyterian Churches throughout the continued unshaken throughout the stormy length and breadth of England. You will periods that succeeded, until, in the West- forgive me, Moderator, and my fathers and minster Assembly, our fathers met and brethren in this Assembly will also forgive embraced, if not as members of the same me, if (for it lies very near my heart, and National Establishment, yet as brethren in engages my thoughts and my prayers by night the Lord,-members of sister Churches, and by day) I press this matter upon your bound by the same covenant engagements, more serious consideration. (Hear, hear.) -prosecuting the same common objects,- You are aware that several of our ministers linked together in a league offensive and left us to fill up the vacancies your removal defensive, and pledged by their sacramental had occasioned in the parishes of the Estaballiance to have the same enemies and friends, lishment (although, since I have alluded to and to stand or fall together. And stand and the subject, I must add,-for it has been fall together they did, and rose again, and are exaggerated and distorted to our prejudice, destined to rise still higher than even their that the proportion of those who thus left us fathers did. (Hear, hear.) You will have was not greater than that of your own noticed, Moderator, I desire to be recognised evangelical friends of other days, whom you in this house distinctively as an English left behind you). We have found the very Presbyterian, a descendant and representative utmost difficulty in filling up the vacancies of the English Puritan divines. Scotchman that have thus occurred; and if our Irish though I be by what has been termed the Sister, to whom we never can adequately accident of birth,-attached though I am to repay the tenderness, had not stepped in to my native land with all the enthusiastic our assistance, many of our churches and our affection of a Scottish Highlander, yet, as an congregations must have been inevitably and ecclesiastic, I am in heart and soul, with all irretrievably lost to us. (Hear, hear.) You, the warmth and devotion of my nature, a too, have given us a few, a very few member of the English Presbyterian Church. ministers, but they would have been an And whether I look at the past, or the present, ornament to any Church in existence. Two or the future, I see enough to warrant my of them are at present beside me, and I must preference, and intensate my predilections. not, therefore, speak in their praise. But (Hear, hear.) I belong to a Church which, there are two of them of whom I must speak in its palmy days, was as rich in all the graces --Mr Anderson of Morpeth, formerly of St. of God's Spirit, as endowed with all the Fergus,-who has devoted his sound judgmoral and intellectual gifts of His providence, ment, matured experience, and Christian zeal -as prolific of saints and martyrs, and as to the advancement of our cause in the north rife in the beauties of holiness, as any Church of England, with an assiduity and success on which the Sun of Righteousness has ever which will hand down his name in the annals shone in his circuit over the Churches of this of that part of the kingdom to the hallowed earth. And though she fell, and for a season gratitude of posterity; and my own tried and forgot her first love, where is the Church trusty friend, my bosom companjon, the that has not? Assuredly not the Church of confidant of my inmost thoughts, Donald Scotland. God has not forsaken her; our Fergusson, formerly of Dunnichen, now of God has not forgotten her. Our fathers' Liverpool, who, with the self-devotion of his prayers have not been unheard; their tears ardent heart, has abounded above measure in and blood have not sunk in the earth all the enterprises in which our Church is unnoticed and unknown. And what though engaged, and who, though he has not forshe now be small amid the thousands of gotten, for which of her sons can ever forget, Judah, what though many of her tabernacles-the Scottish Church ?-yet now that, like are now in the hands of the aliens, who deny her faith and blaspheme her God, yet there are hallowed associations that breathe around her walls, there is a heart conscious of great purposes that throbs in her bosom, there is a hope, prophetic of glorious destinies, that animates her every act, and a remembrance of ancestral greatness that stimulates her to
myself, he feels that he is an English Presbyterian, is thoroughly resolved to spend, and be spent, in the service of a Church whose name he has assumed, whose name he has adopted, and with whose interests he is identified. But, moreover, the very excellency of these men whom you have given us, only increases our desire to have more of
them. Our people cannot comprehend, and I must confess I am very much in the same condition myself, why you should have turned so deaf an ear to our piercing cries for help. We do not at all overlook your necessities at home. We estimate them at the full amount of their urgency. But we cannot conceive how a Church, which, in the mortal throes of her strugglings into existence, not only entertained, but, to a great extent, accomplished the magnificent conception of sending her ministers to the most remote districts of Scotland, of scattering her missionaries throughout India and Europe, and circumnavigating the globe with her deputations, should refuse to send half-a-dozen ministers into the crowded cities of England, where Scotchmen and Englishmen, ready to welcome them, are perishing in millions for lack of the bread of life,—I say half-a-dozen ministers, because, since the disruption, you have given us just five; while we, in return, have given you two others, leaving in your favour a balance of three; and that is just all the ministers you have given us. Why, even the Scottish Establishment has sent as many to her miserable_fragments of congregations in the south. I am perfectly aware I tread upon delicate ground, and that, perhaps, I may not be able to carry the sympathies of this house with me. But I am so perfectly convinced that I plead not only for the English Presbyterian Church, but also for the Church of Christ, yea, even for the interests of the Free Church herself, that I cannot but press this matter upon your most serious attention. (Hear, hear.) If you desire sphere of labour, we offer you the finest field on which the sun ever shone, a field ripe indeed with the harvest, but in which the labourers are miserably too few. If you want a base of operations,—a fulcrum on which to rest a lever which can move the whole earth, -we offer you the vantage-ground of England, with all its incalculable riches,-all its unbounded liberality, all its enormous political power,-England, the home of all the generous emotions,-England, the native soil of all the social affections,-England, the asylum of liberty, justice, and truth. If you ever desire to advance the cause of the Free Church, I am persuaded that a few of your leading ministers stationed in our large towns will do more to promote your interests than were they kept at home." Presbyterianism has been too much regarded as a mere Scottish or Irish institution; and while so regarded, it never can command the respect of the empire. To assume a proper position, it must be strongly represented in England. If the Church of Scotland had but done her duty by her English sister, she would not to-day have been torn asunder. And even as matters were, we commanded more votes in your favour in the House of Commons than you sent from all Scotland yourselves. But the battle has only commenced,—the battle of spiritual truth and liberty, a battle, withal, that must be fought in England; and, if taught by past experience, you would preoccupy the strong positions of the field of conflict, then, again, I say, send some men to England. Let your ministers, in the sight of God, consider whether it be not their duty to join us; and let not your Presbyteries throw obstacles in the way of translations. (Hear, hear.) Moderator, I hope this house will bear with me. I am conscious I plead your cause as well as our own. I believe the one of us cannot suffer without injury to the other. I trust you will be animated with the spirit that characterized your ancestors of glorious memory. When, two centuries ago, your
fathers and ours, suffering a common calamity, entered into a solemn league and covenant to live or die,-to conquer or perish together, they set us an example which I only wish we had wisdom to imitate. Let us, too, enter into a solemn league and covenant. Our mutual safety demands it. The interests of truth, threatened now, as of old, by the same parties, demand it; and who can tell but that the God who smiled upon our fathers' efforts will now also bless ours? (Cheers.)
Mr. CHALMERS of London said-Moderator, I shall occupy the attention of the house for as brief a space as possible, and without indulging in many general remarks, I shall speak mainly to two or three points of a practical kind. My friend and brother, Mr. Campbell, has addressed you on the position and claims of the Presbyterian Church in England in the spirit, and with the tone, of one who has never known any other than his present ecclesiastical relation,-in such a way as might have been expected from one of her genuine and proper-not one of her adopted, sons. My circumstances differ widely from his. And hence, if I shall say less than he of the independent position, and separate jurisdiction, and ancestral glories of the English Presbyterian Church, it will not necessarily follow that I am indifferent to her prosperity, or less prepared than he to spend, and be spent, in her service. There will be apology enough for me in the simple fact, that I have been so recently severed from the parent stock, that my wound, if not bleeding, still is green, and that sufficient time has not elapsed for my affections to strike their roots so deeply into the soil to which I have been transferred. And especially in revisiting these walls, with their solemn and stirring recollections, walls which, till the other day, I had not entered since the memorable week of the disruption,-I shall be pardoned for betraying some unwillingness to forego the proud satisfaction of being still regarded as one of this band of brothers. I shall be forgiven if there are symptoms of a strong desire on my part, having been an humble sharer in the arduous struggle, costly sacrifices, and painful trials of the Free Church of Scotland, to be associated with her name, and her fame, and her fortunes, till my right hand forgets its cunning, and my tongue cleaves to the roof of my mouth. I need hardly say how warmly I unite in the congratulations which have been tendered to you, in the name of our Church, by Mr. Campbell, on the large measure of success with which God continues to bless your works of faith and labours of love. We rejoice that the number of your congregations is steadily increasing,-that you are adding fresh names to those already on the roll of your ministers, and that your Presbyteries are rapidly filling up, and taking possession of all the ground which they occupied before the disruption. We hail with gladness, as an encouraging token that the Lord is with you, the wisdom and vigour with which your various missionary schemes are conducted, and the large Christian liberality with which your people have sustained these efforts. And, above all, we rejoice in the anxiety so widely prevalent, and so earnestly expressed, that your new machinery, your recovered organization, may ever be regarded and employed by you as means to an end, and that, the great end of reviving the work of the Lord in the midst of the years, and building up in this land, as of lively stones, a spiritual house, an habitation of God by the Spirit. For, Moderator, it must be plain to every reflecting mind, that it is mainly on the success with which this great
design of the Christian Church and ministry | in all the borders of England; and unless you is prosecuted,--that it is mainly on the extent aid us here, these new stations and congreto which you are made the instruments of gations, that would rapidly become strong, advancing vital godliness in the hearts of the will look to us in vain. This is a demand people, that the Free Church must, under which our Irish brethren cannot meet. It is God, depend for her future progress and per- ministers of the Free Church of Scotland petuity. The impulse given to your move- that they desire. And the aid, to be seasonments by the stirring scenes through which able, must be immediate. The prestige in we and our countrymen have recently passed, favour of the Free Church cannot always last; may suffice to carry matters onwards and and if we disappoint their expectations, and upwards to a certain point; but is an in- do not satisfy the confidence they repose in fluence that cannot always last and in the us, our cause in England will suffer very absence of a divinely implanted principle, materially indeed. On the other hand, my the life and power of religion in the souls of own short experience satisfies me that nothing your people, they will weary of their sacri- but the want of men hinders us from having fices, they will flag in their exertions. What flourishing congregations in all the important though the ball may issue from the cannon's towns of England. But the other day an mouth with a speed which no eye can follow, aged minister, who is the proprietor of a very and with a momentum that seems to laugh handsome Independent chapel in one of the every obstacle to scorn, and to spurn the most important parts of London,-I mean attempt to set limit to its onward range, from Ranelagh Chapel in Pimlico, and who has the first instant an invisible influence has been long faithfully laboured in it, offered it to us at work to check its progress. There is a for a mere trifle,—the debt upon it,—on the gravitation downwards, that will speedily condition that it should be supplied by a bring even the swift and deadly messenger to minister of the Free Church. (Hear, hear.) rest, and ere long leave it an inert and harm- This done, he said he could die in peace, less mass of dull iron on the sand. Not so assured that the Gospel would be preached with the grains of wheat cast forth by the within its walls. That chapel is now in our sower's hand! They contain a principle of possession. It is in the most influential disvitality. God has endued them with a repro- trict in London; and I think we may fairly ductive energy. There is in each the germ demand a minister for it at your hands. I not of one harvest, but of many. Oh, may might remind you of the case of the chapel this Church, dear fathers and brethren, be at Brighton, and urge it as one having special more and more quickened from on high, and claims upon the Free Church, from the cirnot depending on temporary excitement, but cumstances in which you became connected animated by the life which her head imparts, with it; but I believe you are fully alive to may she day by day reproduce herself! And the importance of having it speedily and perwhat though now she is but an handful of manently supplied. We have an important corn in the earth, on the top of the moun- station, too, in the city of Westminster,-a tains, may she yet clothe valley after valley name fitted to stir the best feelings of a truewith verdure, and cause the little hills to hearted Presbyterian. Hitherto it has been rejoice on every side, till the fruit thereof impossible to procure a site for the erection of shall shake like Lebanon. I can hardly say, a place of worship. The property is all in Moderator, that we are altogether disin- the hands of the Dean and Chapter of the terested in this wish, because we feel assured, Cathedral; and while it abounds with the -on the principle so finely enunciated by haunts of vice and profligacy, not a spot of M. D'Aubigné last night, as to vitality being ground can any religious body procure for the at the root of all Christian unity, that the erection of a church, and least of all, the more of life there is in the Free Church, the English Presbyterian Church. It is undermore also will she be disposed to sympathize stood that a street will ere long be formed, with us in our position in England, and to leading from the Palace to the New Houses lend us a helping hand in the difficulties in of Parliament. Ground may then be prowhich we are placed. These difficulties, I can cured, and we intend to make an appeal to assure you, are very great. They arise, first, the Presbyterians of the three kingdoms,-it from the fact, that a large number of our may be of America too, that we may erect pulpits were deserted at the period of the on it a building worthy of the name and the disruption, and then, from the many demands recollections of Westminster, in which, we made upon us, for the supply of new congre- trust, you will plant a minister, who shall be gations that have been formed; while we are a fitting representative of our ecclesiastical farther under the necessity of making pro- system. And as we are becoming ambitious, vision for training up in our college a native why may we not look forward to the time, ministry. With the aid of our Irish brethren, when Westminster, now the seat of the civil most of the pulpits that had been vacated have Government of this country, shall be the seat been supplied; and we are under great obli- of the supreme ecclesiastical judicature of gations to that sister Church. But the interest these lands? (Hear, hear.) There are many which recent movements in Scotland have other important openings presenting themexcited, the very general attention which selves, which we regret that it is impossible has been turned by the noble sacrifices of the for us to occupy, unless we can procure from Free Church to her ancient ecclesiastical sys- you larger assistance than we have yet retem, has led to a strong desire on the part of ceived. With regard to our College-Messrs. very many of other communions to share in Campbell and Lorimer have been appointed the blessings of your ministry, and has dis- to the Chairs of Church History and Biblical posed not a few in all parts of England to Criticism; but you are aware that it still join themselves to the Presbyterian Church. remains unsupplied with a Professor of SysOld associations, long dormant, have been tematic Theology. We failed in a former revived in the breasts of many of our long- application made for one of your distinguished neglected countrymen in England; and hence ministers; and being hopeless of securing from all quarters they stretch out to us their permanently the services of a suitable inhands. And in meeting their demands, we dividual, we are commissioned to implore the must mainly look to you. We know your aid of two of your ministers for a period of difficulties in procuring supply for yourselves, six weeks or two months each in the ensuing but our case is greatly worse. We have not session-the one to deliver so many lectures at this moment a single licentiate or preacher on the evidences of Christianity, and the
other on certain points in doctrinal Theology. | this little "Messenger." The extent to which
but I am satisfied that many more would
Mr. FERGUSSON then briefly addressed the
Mr. Fox MAULE said he was sorry to be compelled to bear his testimony to what had fallen from Mr. Chalmers and his colleagues in reference to the destitution of ministers which existed in England, and particularly in London. But at the same time he was sure the members of the Presbyterian Church in England would not blame the Free Church, if they said they felt themselves incapacitated from giving them any material support. When he considered how incumbent it was for them to supply their own people with that spiritual aid of which they stood in so great need, he could not see any way of arriving at the object which their English friends had in view, of sending labourers to help them. There were many stations which it was desirable should be permanently supplied, and none where an able and excellent minister could work for the benefit of true religion more than at Westminster, (Hear.) He
could corroborate the statements made, that while every species of vice found refuge under the eye of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, every kind of Evangelical religion was studiously debarred. (Hear, hear.) He trusted, however, that the improvements about to take place in that district would have the effect first of eradicating those evils, and then a locus standi be given for the erection not only of places of worship in connexion with the Free Church, but with every description of the Evangelical body, so that this ground, so overgrown with noxious weeds, might be turned into a fruitful field. The deputation, however, had omitted to point out what the Free Church had already done in supplying the vacant charges in England. Who could have heard Mr. Chalmers without feeling that they had in him lost an able labourer (hear), besides many other cases? The Presbyterian Church of England was, however, united to the Free Church by the ties not only of brother and sister, but of man and wife; and, therefore, he held it incumbent on the Free Church to make extraordinary exertions to supply the want of a Professor to the College of that Church. They were called upon to do it not as a duty solely, but from regard to their own interests. Why, might not this College, a few years hence, be the means of enabling their English brethren to give back, in the shape of other individuals, the services of such men as they had got or might yet obtain from the Free Church? (Hear.)
Dr. BROWN, of Langton, and Dr. BROWN, of Aberdeen, addressed the house, speaking in the warmest terms of affectionate regard towards the Presbyterian Church in England, and expressed their conviction that she was destined yet to occupy one of the most important positions in the empire.
Dr. CANDLISH then moved that an answer as follows should be returned by the Assembly to the Deputation from the English Presbyterian Church, which included, he said, Mr. Grey's previous motion verbatim, but, in addition to it, a more explicit reply to that Church's request for assistance in the service of her Theological College during the next session, and to this the Assembly unanimously agreed.
"The General Assembly have heard with satisfaction and delight their brethren from the Synod of the Presbyterian Church in England, and reciprocate the feelings of Christian and brotherly affection which they have expressed. The Assembly rejoice to hear of the growing interest which is manifested in their Church on the part of the Scottish population in England, and the various tokens of Divine favour with which their exertions in the cause of Christ have been attended; while, at the same time, they desire to sympathize with their brethren in the difficulties which they have still to encounter, particularly in the want of labourers to fill the important stations which they are called to occupy. They rejoice in the measure of success which has attended the efforts of the Presbyterian Church of England in regard to a College for the training of students for the ministry, and trust that, in the good providence of God, they will soon have the satisfaction of seeing it established on a permanent basis. They enjoin such ministers as may be called upon by their brethren in England for special service in their Theological College for a few weeks, to comply with the call which may be given to them, instructing the Presbyteries to take steps for the due supply of their congregations; and in the event of a call to the Theological Chair being given to any
of the Ministers of this Church, authorize the Commission, at any of its stated diets, to consider and dispose finally of the case. And further, the Assembly, deeply impressed with the great importance of having the youth and others belonging to their congregations who proceed to England, placed under the charge of some one of their brethren in the Presbyterian Church there, resolve to recommend to all the ministers and Kirk-Sessions of this Church to give every facility to the carrying out of the measures which the Synod contemplates in regard to this matter.”
The MODERATOR then addressed the Deputation, expressing in his own name, and in the name of the Free Church, their high gratification at the position and prospects of the English Presbyterian Church-spoke with warm approbation of the act of the English Synod in 1844, by which the Church was declared independent of all other Churches; and promised that the Free Church would take great pleasure in doing all in her power to promote, extend, and consolidate the interests of her English sister. The Moderator concluded by tendering the thanks of the Assembly to the Deputation. The Rev. W. K. TWEEDIE laid on the table the following REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON DEPUTATIONS
"Immediately after the rising of last Assembly your Committee took measures for enabling them to carry out that portion of the Assembly's remit, which instructed them to complete the visitation of those parts of England which the deputations had not been able to overtake prior to last Assembly. These were Kent, Durham, some parts of Lancashire, North and South Wales, the Isle of Man, along with some other detached portions of the kingdom.
"After full consideration, it appeared to your Committee that it was not, on the whole, practicable to visit those districts, owing to the circumstances in which the Free Church was placed at the time. About one hundred of her ministers had previously been in England on the different deputations; and it was found difficult to obtain more, when we proposed to resume our visits to England. The demand for labour in the home-field was increasing. Many of the ministers were so occupied with these, that they could not be induced to leave, even for a time, the work which God had given them to do among their own people. At the same time, the deputations appointed to preach the Gospel through all the districts of Scotland were in course of preparation, and it was found that the two departments of work would so far interfere as to impede the arrangements and mar the success of both.
"But your Committee thus consented to abandon this department of labour with extreme regret, and they fondly hope that the time may not be far distant when the Christian brotherly intercourse between the evangelical Churches in England and the Free Church of Scotland shall be resumed. The kindliness which your ministers everywhere experienced, and the liberality with which their appeals were everywhere responded to, can never be forgotten, and are to be regarded as results of the one Spirit who animates Christ's body in every land. It was the feeling and conviction of all the members of the different deputations, that unspeakable advantage had resulted from the former visits to England, not merely in reference to the money realized, but yet more in the drawing of brethren in Christ more closely together, so
"Your Committee, therefore, hope that the General Assembly will, in the circumstances, approve of the course pursued by the Committee. Various sums have been reported as remitted from England in the course of the past year, but the sum of about £28,000, as intimated in last year's Report, has been the generous contribution from England on behalf of your Church Building Scheme.
"As to the second part of the remit to your Committee, which has reference to the providing of supplies for vacant charges in England, there are two remarks which we crave leave to make.
"First, Wide and effectual as has been the door opened by the Lord for the Free Church in Scotland, it is scarcely too much to say that one as wide, and as effectual, would have been opened for it in England, could the Free Church have supplied ministers adequate to the demand. The position which she occupied as a witnessing and protesting Church of Christ, had drawn the eyes of many upon her. Wherever her ministers went, they were listened to with avidity, and it is believed that some heard the Gospel at their lips who never heard it before. New congregations have sprung up in various places, the demand for labourers is great, and we might say, that in spite of much that might repress it, it is growing. At Brighton a Free Church was opened in October last, and has been, since that time, supplied by a succession of ministers of the Free Church of Scotland. In Manchester, two new Presbyterian congregations have been formed, both of which are at present supplied by ministers of our Church officiating there for a time. At Liverpool, the anxiety to obtain an additional labourer has been such as to occasion much pain to your Committee, because of their inability to respond in any adequate measure to calls so urgent; and all that your Committee could overtake, was to appoint, from time to time, often at long intervals, such ministers as could leave their own flocks for a few weeks to supply the spiritual wants of our countrymen in Liverpool. In addition to these, the towns of Newcastle, Berwick-onTweed, Sunderland, and other places, have urgently besought us to supply them with ministers-an entreaty to which it has been wholly out of our power to accede-strong as we felt the claims of the Presbyterian Church to be.
"But though your Committee could not meet the demand by stationing ministers at the different places, an attempt was made to compensate in some degree for that, by naming ministers to proceed to certain districts,-to make some provincial town their centre, and to preach in the other towns and villages as God gave opportunity. Through means of the Rev. Mr. Purvis of Jedburgh this was done to an extent very limited, considering the urgency of the demand and the wideness of the field, but yet in a way that encourages the hope that, by the blessing of God's free Spirit, souls have been won to Christ. Work of this nature is at present going on at Wolverhampton, and arrangements are in progress for continuing it, at the instigation of a largehearted friend of the Free Church and the Gospel, James Nisbet, Esq., of Berners-street, London.
"The second remark which your Committee
has to make, refers to the difficulty of obtaining ministers permanently for England. It was well known, that whoever visited the south to preach the Gospel, might receive a call to settle there; and the pressing demand for work at home made both ministers and Presbyteries reluctant to seek openings in England, when God had opened the hearts of so many in Scotland to wait on the preaching of the word, and of some to receive the truth as it is in Jesus. For this reason, many ministers declined to go to England, even for temporary supply, on account of the engrossments at home. The fact that so many of our people abandoned an Erastianized Establishment, and adhered to their ministers, formed a bond of union between them: it was like a second call, louder and less equivocal than that which at first invited them into the ministry, and which, in the great majority of cases, led to the opinion that ministers could take no step likely to end in a severing of that tie which the force of circumstances had made so close and binding. Hence many of the difficulties of your Committee in obtaining ministers for England, and hence many of the charges there continue vacant, in spite of all our efforts and correspondence with brethren in Scotland.
"In regard to Brighton, where a chapel was put at the service of your Committee for six months, by the Rev. James Edwards, a Congregational minister of that town, with the view of forming a Free Church congregation, it may be remarked, that the experiment has so far succeeded, that the congregation, a few weeks ago, intimated their anxiety to obtain a stated minister. Some of the friends of the Gospel in London are understood to be willing to become lessees of the chapel for a short period; and nothing is wanted but a minister to render that station prosperous as a Church. The Marquis of Breadalbane, and other friends of the Free Church who resort from time to time to Brighton, have written urgently regarding it ; and in terms of the arrangements proposed at the commencement of the negotiations relative to Brighton, your Committee now design to devolve the care of the station on the Presbytery of London, which is at present corresponding with the Rev. Mr. Edwards on the subject.
"Since last Assembly, it is well known that two ministers, formerly of the Free Church, have been translated to London-the Rev. Wm. Chalmers from Dailly, and Rev. Wm. Nicolson from Ferry-Port-on-Craig, proposals were made to call others, in the course of the past year. These ministers have been blessed, your Committee believe, to aid the revival of pure religion among our countrymen in London; and the hope is entertained that, by the blessing of God upon their labours, and the labours of other devoted men in England, the worldliness and the indifference to spiritual things, which characterize too many of our countrymen, may be counteracted.
"In thus reporting their proceedings for the past year, your Committee would only add that, amid all the difficulties which they have had to encounter, and all the demands for labourers, which they felt themselves utterly unable to meet, they cherish the hope that some good has notwithstanding been done. Christian intercourse and communion have been promoted; and though it has been all too surely the day of small things, He who chooses weak things to confound the mighty, and things that are not to bring to nought things that are, may make it plain at