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a year of


THE IRISH CONFERENCE, DUBLIN, 1876. Each Irish Conference has, no Educational interests afford very doubt, presented

features satisfactory evidence of progress. peculiar to itself, if not sufficiently The Methi list College, Belfast, is distinctive to form a new era in steadily ga ning ground, in usefulthe history of Irish Methodism.

ness and public esteem, whilst the But if ever a Conference might older institution in Dublin has be said to mark “ a new departure,” | been favoured with the one recently held in Dublin unparalleled success, auguring well may be entitled to that distinction. for its increasing prosperity as Several questions of a very impor- as the new buildings shall tant nature were harmoniously dis- have been erected. Our Day-school cussed and settled, but the prominent work is prosecuted under great subject of Lay Representation, both difficulties, yet, in most items, in popular interest and in probable the report presented a gratifying results, cast everything else into advance; while our Sunday-schools

; the shade.

ar; being carried on with unabated The Committees of Review were, vigour. In fact, a great impulse perhaps, scarcely so we'l attended has been given to this department as in some former years, possibly during the last few years. The disowing to the fact that the laymen cussion on the report presented by expected an early admission to the the Rev. R. C. Johnson, in the Conference itself. Still a goodly Committee of Review, was hearty number of the leading laymen were and suggestive, and both ministers present, and evinced a hearty and and laymen seemed impressed with intelligent interest in the proceed- the need of giving greater attention ings, as the various Connexional to this vital branch of our work. interests were brought under review. A very interesting Convention of

The attendance at the Conference Sunday-school Workers was held itself was almost unprecedentedly during the Conference, at which large, amounting to more than a papers on various topics connected hundred ministers. It was cha- with the work were read and disracterised throughout by the truest cussed. It was one of the best harmony and brotherly love, yet at meetings of the kind ever held in the same time by the most free connection with the assembling of and earnest discussion of the various the Conference. questions which came before it. The Chapel department presented The distinguished ability of the a very healthy state of things, the President, whose genial rule scarcely income being larger than that of made itself felt, contributed not a the previous year, and a considerlittle to this result, and the counsels able amount of debt having been of the Ex-President and his com

paid off.

Amongst the chapels panions upon several critical matters opened during the year, special were very valuable.

mention must be made of the handThough the past year has been some Gothic building in Belfast,

of great commercial depres- known as the “ Carlisle Memorial sion, yet the various funds of the Church," erected by James CarConnexion have been advancing. lisle, Esq., J.P., at a cost of £25,000,



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and presented by him to the Con- had the advantage of a university nexion. This structure is certainly training ; indeed this is the case the finest church in Irish with a considerable proportion of the British Methodism.

young men offering, from year to The interest of Irish Methodists year. Above all, however, they give in Missionary affairs is in no way evidence of ability to preach the abated. The report of the Mis- glorious Gospel. Four young men sionary Committee referred to the were ordained to the full werk of valuable services rendered by the the ministry; and the Preside it's deputation from England, and stated Charge, combining valuable and that the income-exclusive of many weighty counsels for their work, sums sent directly to London--was with a spirited and able defence of about the same as last year.

the validity of their “orders,” will The income of the Home-Mission not soon be forgotten. and Contingent Fund has advanced, Two important subjects occupied but the necessities of the poorer a large share of the attention of the Circuits and the additional openings Conference : union with the Primifor evangelistic and aggressive tive Wesleyans, and Lay Represenagency have of course increased the tation. The first was very carefully expenditure. The Rev. Wallace and searchingly discussed, but the M Mullen retired from the special difficulties - chiefly financial -are work in relation to this Fund in still so great that no further action which he has been for four years could be taken than to re-appoint the engaged. His mission has borne Committee, with the hope that some good fruit, not the least of which is definite conclusion may be arrived the fact that even when the resources

at next year.

On Lay Representaof the Fund have not been directly tion, there was a remarkable unanimaugmented, a great improvement ity.' The Committee in charge of has taken place in Circuit finances. the subject had secured legal opinion The thanks of the Conference pré- during the year, and had prepared sented to him were well merited ; no a plan for the representation of the man has rendered greater service to

laity and order and form of this Fund now the financial main- business” for the Conference so constay of Irish Methodism.

stituted. The order and form of The Fund inaugurated two years business is somewhat similar to that ago, chiefly through the instrumen- for the District Meetings.

| The tality of Mr. Alderman McArthur, Conference accepted the work of the M.P., with the view of meeting the Committee and formally carried their just claims of ministers retiring from recommendations, which are to take the active work, is steadily progres- effect at once; so that the Conference sing. The subscriptions now amount of 1877, to be held in Cork, will witto £15,787 ; but £20,000 must be ness the admission of the laity. reached, in order to increase the We cannot omit to notice the allowances made to "Worn-out Min-interesting and profitable character isters” and widows.

of the public Services of the ConThe supply of Candidates for the ference : the pulpit ministrations

of ministry is at present equal to the Dr. Punshon, Dr. James, J. W.

as the state of our funds Greeves and others; the open sesdoes not warrant any considerable sion, with its able speeches from increase to our ministerial staff. Of Messrs. Greeves, Kilner, and the the candidates received, several have “old man eloquent”-Dr. Ryerson;



the Conference Lovefeast and good to be there; these, and other Prayer-Meeting with their hallowed services, are all memories “ of grace tides of devotional feeling; the and sweet delight.” meeting for the promotion of “Scrip

J. T. tural holiness," when many felt it



NOTTINGHAM, 1876. The first Nottingham Conference is the results of the conjoint deliberaan epoch-marking event. It will tions of ministers and laymen. A be memorable in history for the strong fraternal sentiment, beautiful extension of the area of the Confer- as strong, has naturally, and graence, so as to include an important ciously, grown up around the Lay-element in the consideration annual assembly of the Presbytery, and control of Connexional eco- separated by a broad line of demarnomics and finance. It was not to cation from the preliminary gathbe expected that an alteration of erings of ministers and laymen. the very structure of the Confer- Long usage had seemed to make ence should be effected without the words

purely ministerial part of lengthened, anxious, and sometimes the very definition of Conference. impassioned, discussion. Though the Conference has been a kind of change is in no wise a change of trysting-time of the brotherhood of principle: the Scriptural rights of Methodist pastors. What wonder the pastorate being most sensitively then that some, even of the very and strictly guarded; indeed re- finest, the most venerable, the most asserted with the clearest and richly endowed with intellectual and firmest articulation, and with the spiritual gifts, the most trusted and emphasis of resolved conviction; looked-up to leaders of the Body, receiving a documentary embodi- should manifest a strong repagment which has all the force of nance to an alteration so large a definitive declaration of Church- and so important. “No man also principles; yet it undeniably in- having drunk old wine straightway volves a significant and signal desireth new: for he saith, The old change in the composition of the is better.” Hence there was much Supreme Court of Methodist ad- to be aid, and perhaps ministration, introducing an element be felt, in favour of letting well which, though familiar to our lower alone. But seeing that the quescourts, and truly time-honoured tion is decided, it will be admitted, there, as being time-tested and time- we think, that it was better that sanctioned, is yet quite new to the such a surrender of prestige and highest council of our Church. The privilege (though not of principle) by Methodist Conference will be no the Presbytery to the people, should longer an exclusively ministerial have been made by a very large, conclave. The very title-page of rather than by a very small, majority

, its authoritative annual record must of votes.

This gives an air of be altered. It will not henceforth heartiness and handsomeness to the be simply “Minutes of Several Con- concession, very potent in the versations between the Methodist interest of peace and love. All Ministers," but will also comprise honour will be rendered to the


more to

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prowess of the minority in contend- a riot. So he took me by the arm, and ing earnestly for their convictions, led me through the streets, the mob and to their fraternal loyalty and

accompanying us with curses and huzzas. meekness in frankly acquiescing in

God gave me, as we went, to speak very

plain to the constable and to all that that which, after all, has in it much were near me; till one cried out, ' Don't of the heroism and the saintliness carry him to the Mayor, for he is a friend of a Self-denying Ordinance. The

to the Methodists, but to Alderman

Upon this he turned and led me to the profound, solemn, and most “ex- Alderman's. When we were brought in pressive silence” with which the he said, 'Sir, I have brought you another announcement of the voting was

Methodist preacher.' He asked my name, received after such a lengthened

and then said, I wonder you cannot

stay at home; you see the mob won't period of solicitous excitement, was suffer you to preach in this town. I very striking and impressive, one said, 'I did not know this town was might almost say, sublime. A hal- governed by the mob; most towns are lowed hush pervaded the Assembly.

governed by the magistrates, Not a murmur of satisfaction or dis- The present Mayor is a worthy appointment escaped the lips of a successor to that early “friend to solitary brother. Every one seemed the Methodists,” a hundred and awed as in the presence of a great thirty years ago; and more than one event. A dignity and a devoutness, Alderman of Nottingham felt it an worthy of such a Body of ministers honour and a privilege to receive at such a crisis, held the whole Methodist preachers as his guests; Conference under absolute control. and the worthy Methodist AlderWhat a contrast to the celebrated man who introduced the ministers

" etc.*

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scene, depicted by Lord Macaulay, to the Mayor, Mayoress, and Sheriff,

of the division on the second reading might have said some hundreds of the Reform Bill !

of times, “Sir, I have brought Nowhere has the Conference been you another Methodist preacher." welcomed with such enthusiastic, Assuredly, Nottingham is no longer yet withal considerate homage, as “governed by the mob !” at Nottingham. The Mayor and Every minister who was billeted Sheriff received the Wesleyan min- in Nottingham, will endorse the isters as distinguished visitants, opinion of the Founder himself : whose presence was an honour tó

“There is something in the people of this the town. The entertainment-con- town which I cannot but much approve of; versazione at the Mechanics' Hall,

there is generally an uncommon gentle. to which, not only the ministers,

ness and sweetness in their temper, and

something of elegance in their behaviour, but their hosts and friends were

which, when added to solid, vital religion, invited, was on a scale, and in a make them an ornament to their prostyle, quite as sumptuous as a fession.”+ “I love this people : there is Methodist could wish. Nothing

something wonderfully pleasing both in could be more genuine or genial

their spirit and their behaviour." than the hospitality of the civic What a change hath God wrought authorities. What a contrast this in Nottingham since Wesley first to the experience of John Nelson preached in the market-place is at Nottingham, recorded in a letter to Wesley, under date of April 22nd, * Wesley's Journal, Vol. II. Pp. 12, 13. 1746 !

8vo. Edition. For a more detailed account

see “Nelson's Journal.” Pp. 206—209. As soon as we had done meeting, the † Journal. Vol. IV. P. 102. constable came and seized me, and said I Ibid. Vol. IV. P. 341. must go before the Mayor for making

Ibid. Vol. I. P. 315.



The Christian ministers of Not-, hour, when North and South wind tingham vied with its civic repre- blew at once upon the garden of sentatives in cordiality of greet- the Lord, and “the spices thereof” ing; and members of the various flowed out. denominations threw


their The Preparatory Committees were homes to members of the Confer- scarcely so largely attended as on

The visit of the deputation previous years, and there was about of Nonconformist ministers to the them at times a certain air of exConference was a most pleasing pected absorption, as if they felt and edifying episode. The foremost themselves to be preparatory in a Churchman of the place, the large- double sense : as if, having honourhearted, public-spirited, philan- ably and serviceably accomplished thropic Canon Morse, an able their day, they were earnestly depreacher, a vigorous, popular, racy, siring the shadow. Assuredly, they earnest writer, and a great favourite have done good work for Methodin the town, did what the restricism, and, as Dr. Osborn showed, tions of his ecclesiastical position have originated almost every happy would allow him to do-received and successful Connexional moveas his guests two Methodist min- ment for the last twenty years. isters, sent an affectionate and re- The new régime at Kingswood and spectful invitation to all the min- Woodhouse Grove was felt to be isters attending Conference to join too new to be fairly ripe for a just him in a fraternal service in his estimation of its merits. parish church, and to take tea with Perhaps the most interesting and him at the Vicarage. The invitation animated debate of all was that was frankly and heartily received, at the General Education Comas it was frankly and heartily given. mittee. Mr. Olver conclusively The service was delightful; the showed that the only way of anghymns judiciously selected from the menting or retaining our influence compositions of the Wesleys; the on the general education of the sermon manly, straightforward and

country is, not to abandon the field in perfect taste, as remote from a to other denominations, but to outpatronising condescendingness on vie them in activity and zeal. It is the one hand as from obsequious very remarkable that, notwithstandcomplimenting on the other, as- ing the closing and merging of suming an absolute equality of An- schools which was to be expected, glicans and Wesleyans as ministers the decrease of scholars in our dayof Christ. The spectacle was charm- schools amounts to no more than ing to a Christian's eye, arresting and three hundred and ninety. A most convincing to the unbeliever and cheering fact is the large increase the worldly, and rebuking to nar- in the number of Sunday-school rowness and bigotry, of whatever teachers and scholars who have bedenomination and in whatever dis- come members of our Societies. It is guise, Some two hundred ministers earnestly to be hoped that the appeal accompanied the catholic-spirited on behalf of the Sunday School Canon to his house, and partook of Union will be liberally responded his hospitality and enjoyed Christian to.

As Mr. T. Pocock showed, fellowship with him and with each the pecuniary difficulties of the other. Strong man as he is, he was Union must have been almost fatal moved even to tears by the strange “had it not been that they could happiness of such an auspicious fall back upon the Book-Room.”

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