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my happiest, and oldest, and most tender asse cannot but recollect that we are assembled ir and the centre of very important operation
ove political, the temporal and the spiritual in
Bat (Hear.) Far be it from me to make, any subject that by any possibility
tlethrow a discordant note across
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with such institutions, Mr. Chairman, I am that shall give
said, I am becoming old; but bear with me ode Congregatio
-0 I cannot express - the feelings of my heart at this shall refler
ich I am conscious, while I feel myself surrounded with membran
uve, and by whom I am vain enough to think, Sir, I am very clo'
ainly, if it be so, that I am approaching the twilight of my
eer, the meeting that has been held on this occasion will to me, 1907 star of my evening. May God bless us, and whether we meet in
fer sam, in Liverpool, or in London, may we all meet at length in a better o nan they all, where we shall meet, not you merely, Sir, though so glad
to see you and to meet you here, my beloved and valued friend, but meet Master whom we all serve and may we hear Him say, "Well done good and faithful servants; enter into the joy of your Lord.'”
The Chairman having vacated the chair, it was taken by the Rev. Dr. Redford, when T The Rev. T. East rose, and spoke as follows;-My christian brethren, I have now a motion to make which I have not the least doubt will be passed with universal acclamation
“That this assembly is most deeply indebted to their honoured President for the ability, courtesy, and firmness displayed by him in conducting its proceedings; and offers to Dr. RAFFLES the most cordial assurances of the gratitude and affection it cherishes towards him." · Now in this resolution, continued the Rev. Gentleman, I have no doubt we shall all most cordially concur. Without presuming to occupy more than a small portion of your time, for I am not possessed of that happy knack of hitting off the strong feelings of the heart which some other of my brethren possess, yet still cherishing the same ardour and intensity of feeling, I can most readily, and do most certainly say, that I never yet sat under the presidency of a human being, with so much delight as I have experienced in sitting under Dr. Raffles. (Cheers.) I think I never felt the full amount of pure mental satisfaction to the extent which I have felt since my esteemed friend Dr. Rafies has presided amongst us. I did not, brethren, anticipate one hundredth part of that satisfaction when it was first known that you were to meet here. It is now, however, my sellled conviction, that we have taken a most important step, and the step which we have taken, has committed us to one uniform, unde viating course of practical consistency, unless we are disposed to make a sacrifice of our honour, as men, as dissenters, but especially as Christians. (Loud cheers.) I assure you that I come into the Union with a heart glowing with an intense desire to see its prosperity. I am thankful, too, that the little adjustments which were required have been made without any compromise of
feeling or without the slightest expression of temper; and I do look on this one circumstance, apart from excitement, for on excitement I place very little dependance.-I do look on this one circumstance, that there has been a full exhibition of mental freedom in perfect alliance with christian forbearance and temper, as the finest demonstration that God our Saviour has been with us, that we could hope for or could possibly receive. (Cheers.)
The Rev. J. BLACKBURN, in seconding the resolution, said Mr. Chairman, If I have shared, in a very humble degree, the cares of office with my beloved colleague on whose shoulders so great a weight has this morning rested, at least I am privileged to share in its pleasures when rising to second the motion which has been proposed by Mr. East. I could not allow this privilege to pass from my own hands, because I do feel, perhaps as deeply as any gentleman present, the vast obligations which we are under to our dear and honoured friend, who has not only presided on this interesting occasion, but also at the annual meeing in May last, with a suavity which marked at once the Christian, and the gentleman, and with that firmness and despatch which so eminently characterize the man of business. (Cheers.) Allow me, Sir, for one moment, to refer, (for this seems to be a day of reminiscences) to by-gone years. Pardon me, Sir, for speaking of myself; but when a mere youth I founded a Sabbath school in the midst of a neglected population in the neighbourhood where I was brought up, and I was compelled to seek for some popular preacher to advocate its claims on public support, which my private ineans were not adequate to sustain. I waited upon Mr. Raffles, of Hammersmith, then a rising young minister, just ascending in the horizon of popular influence. He received me, though little more than a boy, with a warmth and kindness which I can never forget; he took me by the hand, encouraged me in the work, pleaded for the school, and from that day, Sir, well nigh thirty years ago, I have been privileged to call him my friend. I am sure, Sir, you and this meeting will understand why I feel peculiar pleasure in seconding this motion, which I trust will be carried by an expression of feeling that our beloved brother cannot misunderstand. (Loud cheers.)
The Chairman trusted the meeting would testify their approval of this resolution in a manner the most distinguished. If they could add to those already given, any further marks of their brotherly love to their esteemed and senior friend who had filled the chair, he was sure they would all give those marks in the most emphatic manner. He would propose, with the permission of the meeting, that they should all stand up as the signification of their love and esteem for Dr. Raffles. The meeting simultaneously rose with loud cheers.
The Rev. Dr. RAFFLES thus returned thanks :- Beloved and honoured brethren, said he, If I were an Irishman, which I am not, though next door to one, living as I do in Liverpool, I would begin by saying that your kindness is absolutely unkind; it has completely not only overwhelmed, but prostrated me, and taken away from me any power of utterance, which I might have had ; and now, doubtless, you expect me to give expression to feelings which stir within my bosom, and which I am utterly unable to express. (Cheers.) If I have in any measure been able to secure to myself your approval and regard by my own conduct in the important station which you have honoured me by calling me to fill, it is a most ample recompense, and far more than I had the vanity and confidence to anticipate. I fear that for some things which I have said I have occasion to claim the kindness and candour of the brethren; (No, no,) for once or twice I did speak too sharply. But I felt, brethren, that the time of the meeting was sacred, and that, as the Chairman, I was bound to husband it with a miser's care. (Hear.) I exceedingly thank you, beloved and honoured brethren, for your kind construction of my very imperfect services. In my sincere desire to serve you, I can truly say that I know of no recompense, next to the favour of the Master whom I serve, and the testimony of my own conscience, that I seek so earnestly to secure to myself, as the love and esteem of my brethren. (Cheers.) I love them with a most fervent at
tachment; the longer I live, the more I become acquainted with them, the stronger is the bond of attachment that binds me to them; not only on their own account, but on account also of the common principles which bind us to each other, to the common cause, and to our common Lord. If ever I esteemed the principles upon which, as Congregational churehes, we are established in any rate after the measure that those principles deserve to be esteemed, I have been enabled to do it since I met you in this place in a far more correct and due proportion ; for I never saw those principles carried out into such full, and ample, and practical bearing, as I have seen them on this occasion. We have felt that the strongest bond that can bind brethren together is the bond of christian principle and brotherly love; and you shall go, if you please, to the convocations of the clergy, to the general assemblies of the Presbyterian Church, to the conference of the Methodist brethren, you shall go where you will, up and down the wide world, and you shall not find a better sample of brotherly love and christian affection than you have witnessed here. (Cheers.) And, yet, was there, I ask, in a single instance, any thing which had even the appearance of compromise? (Hear, hear.) Did not every brother give expression to the views of his mind and the feelings of his heart? Is there any one at this moment who is not conscious that the union which binds him to the rest of his brethren, and birds him to the great principles on which we have established this new, and what, I trust, will prove most noble and efficient institution, I say, is there one at this moment who does not feel that tbose principles are dearer to him than his own existence; for they are essentially connected with all that is hallowed and sacred in christian friendship, with all that is useful and efficient in the christian ministry, with all that is sublime and glorious in the Redeemer's cause, and I will say, with all that is rapturous and triumphant in the felicities of the redeemed in heaven. O brethren, I wish that I may only live and die under the hallowed and hallowing influence of these priociples, bound by thein to you, as by them we are all bound to him who loved us, and gave himself for us, that our hallowed associations here on earth may be but introductory to more hallowed associations in a brighter and better world! The Rev. Gentleman sat down amid the loud cheers of the meeting and then resumed the chair.
The Rev. J. A. JAMES then said, Mr. Chairman, It has been said that if men will find work, God will find agents to do it; and we rarely set up any institution but there is raised up, by the providence of God, some individual who combines in himself all that is requisite for carrying on the work with piety, intelligence, and zeal. Sir, we have such an individual connected with the Congregational Union. (Cheers.) Not only on this, but equally on many other occasions, have we seen how well that time is occupied which he devotes to this association. (Hear, hear.) It is not merely the intellect; no, but it is the heart associated with that intellect; it is not the light merely, but it is the warmth it diffuses, which makes the individual so dear to us as I am sure we all feel him. (Hear.) I need not mention the name of Algernon Wells. I have heard a whisper, that we are about to lose him. (A voice, “ No.") ! hope not. God forbid that any pastoral occupation, either in London or in the country, should take him from the Congregational Union, Why, Sir, he is connected with all the congregations in the kingdom: (Hear, hear,) we all feel that we have a share of him, and I hope and trust that nothing will arise to take him from us. (Cheers.) Well, I am afraid I am injuring the delicacy of his feelings, and I therefore beg at once to move:
“That this assembly offers to the Rev. Algernon Wells, Secretary of the Union, the expression of cordial thanks for his services in preparing for, and assisting to conduct the proceedings of the present most important meeting."
The Rev. T. East. I beg leave to second the resolution that has been moved, and in every expression that has fallen from the lips of my esteemed brother, Mr. James, I most cordially concur.
The resolution was passed with great enthusiasm, the meeting standing up, as in the case of Dr. Raffles.
The Rev. ALGERNON WELLS briefly returned thanks. He said he experienced the highest satisfaction in receiving these tokens of the regard and affection of his brethren : he flattered himself that he was in some measure serving them and promoting their cause. With regard to what Mr. James has mentioned, he had indeed contemplated a pastoral relation; but not to relinquish his connection with the Union, for he thought visiting the county associations would be as effective a door of usefulness as could be opened to him. It was bis intention to do this, if his brethren would receive him amongst them, at their association meetings. He should not be able to appear much in the pulpit, nor to be much of a traveller, but such service as he could, it would be his happiness to render to the brethren as long as he lived. (Cheers.) Nothing could be more delightful to him than to find that this Union was being taken up and gaining general approbation, for he did think that in these times such an association to bind them together was indispensable. (Hear, hear.) In conclusion, he thanked the meeting most cordially for the kind and affectionate reception which his poor services had met with, and hoped, as regarded the Union, that all his brethren present perfectly understood all the business which had been transacted, and how they had reached their present position. That Union he trusted was now settled in perpetuity. (Cheers.)
The Rev. F. Watts, Tutor of Spring Hill College, then proposed,
“ That this assembly owes its best thanks to their dear brethren, the Rev. J. Leifchild, D.D., and the Rev. R. Halley, D.D., for the cheerfulness with which they complied with the request of the committee, to render their valued services, as preachers on this occasion, and devoutly hopes that the holy fellowship of ministers and people, in acts of public worship, may greatly increase the interest and usefulness of this delightful season."
The Rev. Dr. HALLEY returned thanks.
The Rev. J. BURDER, M.A. of Stroud, proposed, and THOMAS JAMES, Esq. seconded, " That Rev. R. Elliot, of Devizes, be admitted into the Union." Passed unanimously.
It was also proposed by Dr. REDFORD, seconded by Dr. FLETCHER, and carried unanimonsly, “ That Rev. James Gawihorne, of Derby, be admitted into the Union."
Mr. WELLS then read an affectionate letter, which he bad received from Dr. S. S. N. Beman, one of the American delegates to the last annual meeting, written immediately on his arrival at New York.
The draught of THE ADDRESS to the Pastors and Churches was then read and adopted.
The assembly then adjourned to Carr's Lane Chapel for public worship. Mr. Elliot, of Devizes, offered prayer; and Dr. Halley, of Manchester, preached a sermon of the deepest interest, from Luke iv. 23; the publication of which, we are sure, is earnestly desired by all who heard it.
The Rev. J. A. James closed these delightful services with prayer.
APPEAL FOR ASSISTANCE IN THE ERECTION OF A CONGREGATIONAL
CHAPEL IN TORONTO, UPPER CANADA. We are anxious to give the most extensive publicity to the subjoined appeal of our beloved brother, the Rev. J. Roaf of Toronto, for assistance in the erection of a respectable chapel for the use of his congregation in that city; and to urge as strongly as possible its claims on the generous liberality of British Christians. Toronto is the principal city of Upper Canada, and the seat of government for that province. It would be most undesirable to erect for the use of our body in that city, a mean building in an obscure corner. Mr. Roaf deserves all the countenance and aid his British brethren can afford him. He left, at the call of the Committee of the Colonial Society, a sphere of great usefulness and comfort in his native land to place himself amidst the spiritual desolations, and social disadvantages of Upper Canada. He entered upon, and has pursued his arduous enterprize with active and ardent consecration. Ile is prosecuting his great work amidst so many and such formidable difficulties as to give him a powerful claim on the sympathies of all his brethren in the father land. He is, amidst those difficulties, pursuing a course of so great prudence, courage, wisdom and activity as to deserve all the support his circumstances can require. His success is so encouraging as to prove that whatever assistance is given him will be well bestowed, and turn to good account. The engraving which accompanies this appeal will show what manner of structure it is intended to rear. This will speak for itself. The first stone was laid by Mr. Roaf on the eighth of August last, on which occasion he delivered an energetic address, which we may hereafter present to our readers. Mr. Roar's own statement of his case follows. It speaks equally to the understanding, and to the heart. It shows that his people have that confidence in appealing to others which arises from the consciousness of having done their utmost for themselves. Surely many British Christians will rejoice to cheer and animate this devoted brother by their liberal donations-particularly those many friends who knew, admired, and loved Mr. Roaf before he left his native land; and who will perceive that his claims on their regards, are now stronger than ever.
Mr. James Wickson, a son of one of the deacons of his church, is authorised by Mr. Roaf to solicit contributions, in this country; and the Rev. A. Wells, Secretary of the Colonial Missionary Society, will be most happy to receive donations, at the office of the Society, Congregational Library, Blomfield Street, Finsbury. These will be from time to time publicly acknowledged, and will be remitted entire to Mr. Roaf for appropriation to the object for which they are solicited.
CONGREGATIONAL CHAPEL, TORONTO, UPPER CANADA.
Upper Canada, from its earliest settlement, has been favoured with evangelical ministrations. Its first preacher is said to have been an American follower of the Rev. G. Whitfield. After him arrived Wesleyan Methodists from what are now the United States—who laboured abundantly amidst long-continued privations, and were eminently successful both in making proselytes to themselves and winning converts to God. Other denominations gradually followed; and