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Esq.; Drs. Harris, Waughan, Halley, Rev. E. T. Prust, &c., &c. After the healths of the Queen, Prince Albert, and the Royal Family, and the singing of the National Anthem, Dr. Halley proposed the sentiment,< “The Congregational Union of Scotland,” which was excellently responded to by our friends of the Scottish Deputation, the Rev. W. Swan, and the Rev. J. D. Cullen, brethren whose praise is in all the churches north and south of the Tweed. J. R. Mills, Esq., proposed, “The Trade and Town of Bradford,” which was responded to by R. Milligan, Esq., M.P., for the Borough. Samuel Morley, Esq., proposed “The Congregational Ministers of Yorkshire,” which was interestingly acknowledged by the Rev. J. Pridie. THURSDAY, Oct. 21. The Rev. Thomas Scales opened the third sitting of the Union with prayer, when the Secretary introduced to the assembly Pastor Giraud, from the south of France, an exile from his native country, for his attachment to liberty. He was received with cordial affection. Immediately after this, the Sub-Committee, appointed the preceding day, brought up the Memorial on the Crystal Palace which they had prepared in accordance with the terms of the resolution agreed to by the assembly; when the Rev. J. A. James moved, and Edward Baines, Esq., seconded the adoption of the Memorial, which was carried. Scottish Deputation. The Rev. W. Swan, a Deputation from the Congregational Union of Scotland, was then introduced by the President, and was favourably greeted by the assembly. His sketch of Congregationalism in Scotland was vivid and telling; and his reference to English affairs, and to our English periodical literature, was in the best possible taste and good feeling. Dr. Campbell, in his own best way, then moved the following resolution, which was seconded by the Rev. J. Glyde, and carried by the assembly:— “That this assembly hails with satisfaction the presence of the Rev. W. Swan as a delegate from the Congregational Union of Scotland; has heard with much pleasure his interesting statement respecting the condition of the Congregational churches in Scotland, and begs to assure them, through him, of its sincere Christian sympathy and affection, with an earnest desire for their continued and increasing prosperity.” A very well digested scheme for Chapel extension, consisting of sixteen excellent rules, was then laid before the assembly, by the Rev. G. Smith, and by him was ably expounded and commented upon; when John Remington Mills, Esq., moved a Committee WOL. XXX.
for carrying its details into effect. The Rev. B. Brown seconded the proposition. Messrs. R. Fletcher, Walter Scott, R. Slate, J. G. Miall, J. Glyde, and A. Reed spoke on the question. The SECRETARY then brought up a Report on the Dissenters' Marriage Law ; when, on the motion of the Rev. G. A. Rogers, seconded by J. Glyde, the following resolution was submitted, - but the Report was ultimately referred back to the Committee — “That the Report of the Committee on the Marriage Law be received and adopted, and that the alterations and amendments proposed by them in the existing law be referred to the Committee for further consideration and correspondence, previous to their being embodied in a Memorial to Her Majesty's Government, with a respectful but earnest request that they may be considered by the law officers of the Crown, with a view to the removal of those grievances from the Protestant Dissenters of England and Ireland ; and that a copy of the Memorial be sent to the Right Hon. Lord John Russell.” American Slavery. Upon the motion of the Rev. S. M*All, seconded by the Rev. J. L. Thompson, from New York, the following resolution was passed :— “That the Congregational Union of England and Wales has frequently uttered its protest against slavery, as a fearful evil, debasing to those who uphold it, and ruinous to those who are subjected to its woes and wrongs. That observing, with painful emotion, its continuance in a portion of the otherwise free and noble country of the United States, with all the aggravations resulting from the operation of the Fugitive Slave Law, this Assembly feels bound to reiterate its deep and unalterable conviction, that to maintain, amidst the light of this Christian age, the system of slavery in any form, to claim property in man created in ‘the image of God,' and make merchandise of our equals and our brethren, is an enormity which can plead no shadow of Scriptural sanction, and which no laws or usages ought to protect from utter and universal condemnation ; and, therefore, this assembly, in the name of justice, humanity, and religion, would once more earnestly entreat the Christian Churches of the American Union to rid themselves of any appearance of giving sanction or tolerance to an evil so extreme.” Lectures to Working Men. Dr. Massie moved, and Dr. Halley seconded, the following resolution, which was carried by acclamation :“That the best thanks of this Assembly are hereby presented to the Rev. A. Reed, and to the Rev. Brewin Grant, for their ap3 C
propriate Lectures addressed, at the request of the Congregational Union, to the working men of Bradford; and is much gratified to know that this endeavour to benefit this important class of the community was, to a good extent, appreciated, as was indicated by their attendance, attention, and the earnest expression of their approbation of the truth delivered to them.” Sympathy with Foreign Christians. The Rev. E. J. Prust moved, the Rev. E. Davies seconded, and the assembly adopted the following resolution:— “That this Assembly, enjoying as it does all the happy results of religious liberty, cannot forbear to express its sympathy with the Protestant churches of the Continent of Europe less favourably situated, and especially with those victims of Papal tyranny, Francesco and Rosa Madiai, who have been condemned and imprisoned for reading the Bible, and, as a consequence, leaving the Romish Church; and would commend to the Congregational churches of this country the duty of fervent supplication on behalf of these patient sufferers, that they may be preserved faithful, and through the goodness of Providence, speedily be delivered from their present cruel and unjust bondage.” Here a beautiful letter was read from Pasteur Monod, regretting his absence from the assembly through illness, and asking the sympathy for Evangelical Protestantism in France of his English brethren. The cordial thanks of the assembly, upon the motion of the Rev. D. E. Ford, seconded by the Rev. J. Gawthorn, was then tendered to Dr. Harris, for the kind and able manner in which he had fulfilled the duties of his office; who responded with much simplicity and affection.
The Rev. Walter Scott presided. The Rev. G. Smith proposed, the Rev. R. Arthur seconded, and the assembly heartily adopted the following resolution:—
“That this assembly cannot separate at the end of a series of services and sittings of unusual interest and extent in the town of Bradford, without tendering its warm and affectionate thanks to the pastors, deacons, and members of the Congregational churches of this town for the reception and comfort of the pastors and delegates here assembled; and would express the conviction, that the visitors at this Autumnal Meeting will long retain a grateful recollection of the hallowed fellowship they have enjoyed in the public services of the sanctuary, and in the social intercourse of the Christian families of this and other denominations to whom they have been introduced; and would fervently pray that upon the churches and colleges of Brad. ford our gracious Saviour would continue to
shed the dew of his refreshing blessing, and thus promote their increasing prosperity.” Milton Club. Henry Bateman, Esq., made some pertinent remarks on this popular measure. A resolution was moved by the Rev. R. Ashton, seconded by Josiah Conder, Esq., and adopted by the meeting:— “That the assembly has heard with much pleasure and satisfaction the address of Pastor Giraud, the delegate from the pastors of Poitou, and also receives with fraternal sympathy and respect the letter forwarded by their delegate to this Union. This assembly remits the letter to the committee, to consider the same, and to forward a reply at the earliest opportunity.” On the evening of Thursday, the Rev. John Angell James delivered an eloquent and impressive sermon on the Christian ministry, in Horton-lane Chapel, to a crowded audience. At the same time, Dr. Halley preached to a full house, at Salem Chapel; text, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Noble and animating meetings were held on Tuesday evening in support of Congregational principles. R. Milligan, Esq., M.P., in the chair. The speakers were, the Rev. G. Smith, the Rev. D. Vaughan, Josiah Conder, Esq., the Rev. J. G. Rogers, George Hadfield, Esq., M.P.; the Rev. J. B. Thompson, of New York; the Rev. J. Sibree, and the Rev. Dr. Campbell. On Wednesday evening, for British Missions, in Salem Chapel; Frank Crossley, Esq., in the chair. The speakers were, the Rev. Thomas James, the Rev. J. G. Gallaway, the Rev. J. W. Richardson, the Rev. R. Baldwin Brown, the Rev. S. M“All, the Rev. A. C. Geikie, and the Rev. Dr. Massie. On Friday morning there was a public breakfast, for the Congregational Board of Education, Titus Salt, Esq., in the chair. The speakers were, Samuel Morley, Esq.; the Rev. G. Smith, the Rev. James Parsons, F. Crossley, Esq., M.P.; R. Milligan, Esq., M.P.; J. Pilkington, Esq., M.P.; the Rev. Dr. Halley, John Crossley, Esq.; James Carter, Esq.; Edward Baines, Esq.; the Rev. Dr. Campbell, the Rev. B. Parsons, and Josiah Conder, Esq. In review of these meetings we would thank God, and take courage. CELEBRATION OF THE REv. THOMAs CRAIG's JUBILEE, AT BOCKING, Essex, 12th octoBER, 1852. THE unconstrained homage tendered by virtuous minds to distinguished worth, is a lesson, in this frail world of ours, in the highest degree instructive to mankind. And never, perhaps, is this lesson more instructive, or more influential for good, than when we are privileged to see the veteran-pastor of fifty years, receiving at the hands of his attached flock costly and heart-felt tokens of their unabated esteem and regard. Such a spectacle proclaims the value of character, the reciprocal affections connected with the ministerial office, and the compliance of Christian churches with that apostolic precept, too often neglected, “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.” The events which took place at Bocking, on the 12th October, the Jubilee-day of the Rev. Thomas Craig's ordination in that town, were eminently creditable to all parties concerned. Such a day will be remembered for good beyond the immediate circle of the grateful commemoration. Other communities will follow the example set by the venerable church at Bocking; and other pastors will be made glad by the unequivocal tokens of their people's love: “not because they desire a gift; but because they desire fruit that may abound to their people's account." Every thing connected with this Bocking testimonial is gratesul to the best feelings of sanctified humanity. In looking forward to the completion of Mr. Craig's Jubilee-year, his friends began to muse on the best method of testifying their sense of such distinguished excellence, extending over so lengthened a period of human probation. Delicately, and in the best possible taste, they sought to draw from Mr. Craig himself some idea of what would be most acceptable to his own feelings. With a dignity and generosity of mind worthy of his own manly character, he indicated a wish that a new school-room, for the accommodation of their educational institutions, might become the memorial of his fifty years' toil. He had taken great interest in unsectarian Christian education, and, if his friends wished to do him honour, he felt that it would be best done by promoting the favourite object of his public life, long before education had become the popular theme of the day. No sooner was the pastor's wish known than it was sought, with the utmost vigour, to be carried into effect. The sum required was a thousand pounds; and within a comparatively brief period, with a few donations from other quarters, the amount was secured, the school-rooms were erected, and preparations were made for the celebration of the Jubilee, on Tuesday, the 12th of October. The day was very brilliant, and multitudes thronged, from all quarters, to do honour to the character of a man who had so nobly sustained, for fifty years, the credit of the Christian pastorate, in one of the most numerous congregations out of the metropolis. The service was announced for eleven o'clock, and before that hour the large chapel in which Mr. Craig officiates was crowded in every part. A more animating sight has rarely been be
The REv. John CARTER, of Braintree, Mr. Craig's nearest ministerial neighbour, then read suitable portions of Scripture, and offered up fervent prayer for a blessing to rest on the gathering, and on “the brother whose praise is in all the churches.” The chairman who presided on the occasion was MR. Richard BAYNES, who addressed the assembly in a very feeling and appropriate manner, though frequently overcome by his feelings. He stated that of all the ministers who attended Mr. Craig's ordination, but only one survived; and that not more than ten or twelve, who were present at that solemnity, were spared to join in the Jubilee commemoration. But two members of the church from which Mr. Craig received his call are now alive; “the others,” said he, “are gone to their rest, and, I trust, to glory." Of the few spared he was himself one. “I was here,” he added, “at the ordination, and God has in great mercy spared my life to see this interesting sight. Nearly forty years have I been in inimate connection with our pastor as one of the flock; and I stand here to testify to the utmost to the integrity and piety of his character." The chairman then introduced MR. SHEARCROFT to the assembly, as appointed, by the church and congregation, to address Mr. Craig on occasion of his Jubilee celebration. We deeply regret that our limited space will only allow us to make a few extracts from this admirable address, imbued alike with the spirit of wisdom and piety:— “Reverend and dear Sir-The church and congregation over which you have so long and happily presided, desire most affectionately to congratulate you this day on the completion of your pastoral Jubilee. That Divine power by whose sovereign good pleasure the union between this church and yourself was effected on the 12th October, 1802, has graciously maintained the relationship up to this hour, amidst an assemblage of circumstances which call for devout acknowledgment and grateful praise. No one who has attentively read the history of your fifty years' pastorate, and who has familiarized himself with the manner of your coming in and going out among the people, will refuse to glorify God in you. They will adore the grace that committed the treasure of the gospel to your trust—that has enabled you inviolably to maintain the faith which was once delivered to the saints—that has supported you amidst the arduous labours of so lengthened a ministry—that has given so many attestations and seals to the successfulness of your evangelical efforts—and that even now, at the celebration of your Jubilee, is affording us encouragement to hope that the Lord Jesus Christ will continue to hold you as a star in his right hand, and make you the minister of mercy, life, and salvation to many more immortal spirits. If the Israelites were under obligations to look back on all the way by which the Lord their God had led them, it must be right for us, both pastor and people, on this memorable day, to survey the ground over which we have traversed, that together we may trace the footsteps of Him who has said, ‘Lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end.’ Your call to the pastoral office amongst us was perfectly unanimous: a type and emblem of the unanimity and harmony which have illumined and graced your course up to the present period, a period of longer duration, by several years, than was granted to either of your revered predecessors. The first dissenting minister of whom there is any record, as having preached in this immediate vicinity, is the Rev. S. Bantoft, D.D., who was ejected from the village of Stebbing by the Act of Uniformity, in 1662, and who, it appears, was driven from his ministry here also by the same unrighteous power. In 1700 there was a small congre. gation of dissenters, who assembled in a barn near the White Hart Inn, and who invited a young clergyman, named Shepherd, who lately, from conscientious motives, relinquished his benefice, to be their pastor. Soon after the settlement of Mr. Shepherd, the place where they worshipped was found inadequate to the accommodation of the auditory, and the original foundation of this present house was laid in the year 1707. He was a man of ardent zeal, and held his pastorate for thirty-nine years. From his tomb-stone, near the vestry door, we are informed that he was owned of God in the conversion of many souls. He was succeeded in his office by Mr. Joseph Pitts, who, after retaining it for three or four years, resigned his charge in 1741, and removed to London. The minister next in succession was the Rev. Thomas Davidson, who had been recommended to the church by the celebrated Mr. Whitfield. Mr. Davidson had seceded from the Church of Scotland, and was held in high reputation as an eloquent preacher. He joined the church triumphant
in the forty-sixth year of his ministry here. On his tablet, in the adjoining yard, are inscribed the following lines:— “‘In yonder sacred house I spent my breath; Now silent, senseless here I lie in death; These lips again shall wake, and yet declare A dread Amen to truths they published there." “During the last twelve years, the Rev. John Thorowgood was associated with him as assistant, or co-pastor, and his pastorate extended thirteen years beyond the time of Mr. Davidson's decease. Mr. Thorowgood was a man of great piety and extensive learning. The late Rev. S. Newton, of Witham, who was himself an excellent scholar, said of him, that he knew no subject with which he was not familiarly acquainted. When his ability for preaching had ceased, he continued to attend the meetings of the church whose public services he had so long conducted. He took leave of his flock, and of the social worship of this state, under circumstances peculiarly affecting. When unable not merely to conduct, but even to attend the ordinary services of the Lord's-day, he came at the close of the sermon, and, in a sitting posture, administered the Lord's Supper. His death occurred on the 12th November, 1801. But though ministers continue not by reason of death, the Great Head of the church ever lives, and possessing all power in heaven and earth, he raises up and qualifies an unbroken succession of faithful men, whom he ordains in their several localities to accomplish the purposes of his eternal mercy. Hence, dear sir, your introduction into the pastoral office over this church. We trace your settlement amongst us to the highest source of ecclesiastical power and authority; and to the same source we ascribe all the success of your ininistry, and the general prosperity which has been enjoyed during its continuance for the last half-century. We are persuaded that in the bosom of no one present do these sentiments find a more cordial response than your own. As in the ceaseless changes, surprising developments, and beautiful unfoldings of nature, the devout philosopher recognizes and adores the wonder-working, though invisible, hand of Deity; so the Christian loves to mark the goings of God in the sanctuary, and to watch the onward progress of events in connection with the spread of the Redeemer's kingdom in the world, and in his own immediate locality. Although proofs were not wanting, honoured sir, on your coming amongst us, that the Divine presence was in the midst of his people, yet it must be acknowledged that efforts to render the places round about our Zion a blessing—a fruitful field—the garden of the Lord, were languid, few, and feebie. The only public institution in connection with this church, at that time, was a day-school for the education of twenty boys and ten girls in the simplest rudiments of learning; for the greater part of the last fifty years about three hundred children have been daily receiving instruction, first on the Lancasterian and since on the British and Foreign school system; many highly gratifying proofs have been afforded of the essential benefit that individuals, who are now moving in very respectable spheres in society, have derived from this institution. At the period referred to there was no Sunday-school in this neighbourhood. The Rev. B. Scale, the late vicar of Braintree, was the first to establish one in this locality. In 1806 or 1807, two valued friends connected with this congregation, one of whom is still living, commenced the undertaking of uprearing one of these most important auxiliaries to the advancement of knowledge, morality, and religion; their success exceeded their anticipations, and rendered necessary the erection of a new schoolroom. Large as in those days it was thought to be, it was soon found that it was too limited to accommodate the number of children who were anxious to avail themselves of its advantages. Another room, nearly opposite the meeting-house, was therefore erected for the instruction of girls. Both places, however, failing to receive all who were waiting to enter them, they were subsequently enlarged, and in that state they have been in use up to the present time; several other rooms having been employed, in which separate classes have assembled. In July, last year, a tea meeting was held in the Corn Exchange, consisting of the old scholars and teachers, and also of the teachers who are now engaged in the work, including six hundred persons, some of whom came a distance of ten, twelve, fifteen, and twenty miles. The evening was spent in the most gratifying manner. Our aged friends, who were once our youthful scholars, became our tutors. One after another rose, and gave utterance to sentiments and feelings which delighted the assembled multitude, eliciting tears of joy from many eyes, and prayers for heavenly benediction from many hearts. Associations in connection with Foreign, British, and Home Missions have been in operation for many years amongst us. A society, likewise, for visiting and relieving the sick and necessitous poor, as also a Christian Instruction Society, by means of which one thousand six hundred families are constantly supplied with publications issued by the Religious Tract Society. Preaching stations in the adjoining villages, to some of which schools are attached, are visited and supported by this congregation. In the year 1818, our place of worship was enlarged and partly rebuilt, at an expense of £2500, the whole of which was raised by the congregation, with
out any public collection, except one in the ordinary course of the Lord's-day services. The number of persons admitted into the church during your pastorate is deserving of notice. There are only two individuals in communion with us now who belonged to the church at the time of your ordination. Three times more members have been received into our fellowship during your presidency, than were admitted in the course of the forty-five years' ministry of the Rev. Mr. Davidson, although he was assisted the last twelve years of his life by your immediate excellent predecessor. And now, dear sir, the building is erected—the topstone is laid —the doors are open—and all things are ready to carry into full effect your Christian and catholic desire. From this platform the notice is sent forth to all parents whose children are not in connection with any school, that they will be received, on their making application to the proper parties, and that we are willing to labour for their good, during the whole seven days of the week, to the utmost extent of our ability. We wish it to be distinctly observed, that in the day-schools no denominational principles are taught; the scholars are left at entire liberty to attend at the Sunday-schools and the places of worship which their parents prefer. May the smile of Heaven, beloved friend and pastor, in all its benign and cheering influence, shine upon you! May Almighty love enrich, console, and comfort you! May the arms of your hands be made strong by the mighty God of Jacob! May your life—health—labours— and usefulness be long perpetuated! May the power of Zion's King uphold you to the end! and when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, may you not only receive the crown of glory from his gracious hands, but be surrounded by a multitude whom you were instrumental in turning from darkness to light, who shall share with you the eternal felicities of the celestial state.” MR. CRA1G replied, and at intervals was much affected; he said, “With feelings of the warmest gratitude for all the kind congratulations and earnest prayers contained in the most affectionate address which has been read, allow me in reply to say, ‘having obtained help of God, I continue to this day.' Knowing no words better adapted to my present position, or more expressive of my feelings, I adopt them on this deeply interesting occasion with profound humility and lively gratitude to the God of all grace. Often, very often, have I felt greatly depressed that more good has not been effected, yet have I been upheld to a period far beyond what I had ever anticipated, and honoured with a measure of usefulness for which I ought to have felt more thankful. That usefulness I do not estimate merely by the numbers it