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latterly even the British Wesleyans added their exertions to those of their American brethren.
Valuable as have been these exertions, a lamentable state of things was allowed to prevail. In the formation and government of the Canadian churches the authority and institutions of Christ were disregarded-churches, clergymen, and ecclesiastical courts obtained the allegiance due to Him only. The natural consequences of this oversight were then developed,—the christian people became depressed and deprived of influence, ministers acquired a corrupting amount of power, men “ set their threshhold by God's threshhold, and their posts by his posts,” and a wide door was left open by which numerous heresies obtained entrance.
At length, British Congregationalists felt themselves called upon to aid in supplying their destitute emigrant countrymen with a Gospel ministry and Scriptural ordinances, and missions to the Province were undertaken by “ the Colonial Missionary Society in connection with the Congregational Union of England and Wales.” In doing this they were hailed by many friends of spiritual religion in the Colony, who in the character of the English Independents saw a guarantee for the combination of intelligence with religious fervour and activity, for simplicity in worship and ministerial pretensions, for the exclusion of unauthorized influence from churches, and for an adherence to the scriptural mode of supporting the ministry.
Amongst other stations selected by the Society was Toronto, the capital of the Province—where it was hoped that a Church would be raised that should promote the introduction of ministers to other places, diffuse and sustain a right spirit, and furnish pecuniary assistance. This hope has been hitherto realized,
- the numbers, activity, and liberality of the people having been most satisfactory to the friends of the mission. The meetings have been held in a forsaken Methodist chapel in a remote part of the city. At length it has become evident that the cause is stable and needs more extensive as well as better selected premises. It also seems desirable to show that the movement is intended for permanence. Therefore, unfavourable as is the time, the erection of a building to belong to the Congregational body has been undertaken- and at the request of friends in England as well as in different parts of this country, it has been resolved to make it substantial and handsome. This last measure involves an expenditure for the credit and influence of the denomination through the country
an expenditure that the people are unable, without assistance, to meet. The estimated cost of the building is £1,500, of which £1,000 has been raised in Toronto—and as no aid can be expected from other parts of the Province (where seven Chapels are in the course of erection) an application to English friends is inevitable. I can confidently assert that the people have done to the utmost of their ability, and that I never knew a subscription more liberal in comparison with the ability of a congregation. In a poor country like this money cannot be borrowed for any duration without ruinous interest-and as the deficient £500, in the present case, has to be raised by the expiration of the current year, I hope to be excused for urging our friends at home" to extend to us a prompt and liberal assistance. With so much to do in the Province at large, the congregation should not be neglected; and I have no hesitation in saying that but few such opportunities as this are presented to British Christians for doing good by easy means on a wide scale and for future generations. Toronto, 28th September, 1839.
RESOLUTIONS OF THE IRISH CONGREGATIONAL UNION ON HOME
MISSIONS. At a meeting of the Committee of the Irish Congregational Union, held in Dublin, on Wednesday October 30th, it was unanimously resolved,
" That this Committee have learned with much satisfaction the proceedings of the late meeting of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, held in Birmingham, at which it was resolved to commence Home Missionary operations in connexion with the Congregational body; assured that the circumstances of the times render such a measure highly important to the welfare of our churches and the general interests of christian truth."
“ That our Secretaries forward a copy of the above resolution to the Committee of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, with expressions of our cordial fraternal regards, and of our earnest hope that the plans now adopted by our churches throughout the United Kingdom, will greatly promote their strength, co-operation, and efficiency."
W. H. COOPER, Secretarios. WILLIAM URWICK,
MONMOUTHSHIRE ENGLISH INDEPENDENT ASSOCIATION.
Hope Chapel, Newport, 25th September, 1839. 1. That this Meeting is thankful for the progress of English Congregationalism within the sphere of the Association since its formation, and desires its wider extension; prays for the prosperity of the associated churches, and for their growing usefulness in advancing our denominational interests, and in furthering the ultimate triumphs of Christianity.
2. That notwithstanding some serious defects of which we have cause for complaint in the Marriage and Registration Acts, their working, during the short period of their existence, shows that considerable advantages have resulted; that while this Meeting regrets that so many chapels are yet unregistered, the fact of upwards of 4000 dissenting marriages contracted during the past year, calls for gratulation ; and this meeting unseignedly laments that any “who profess and call themselves" dissenters, instead of exulting in their newlyachieved freedom, should subject themselves in the affair of marriage to the ancient bondage.
3. That the Dissenters' Fire and Life Assurance Company commends itself to this Meeting on the grounds of its ample capital; the undoubted responsibility and integrity of its Trustees and Directors, its encouraging progress, and the pledged appropriation of a portion of its profits to aged and indigent ministers and their families.
4. That this Meeting regards with high gratification the spirit of harmony and energy which characterises the proceedings of the Congregational Union; desires the wide circulation of its publications, and the success of its other objects; and implores the richest blessings of heaven to attend its approaching convocation on the momentous subjects of Home Missions and Lay Agency; the greatly increased extension of the one, and the zealous employment of the other being urgently required by the peculiar exigencies of the times, and the claims of a yet but partially subjugated world.
5. That this Meeting renews the expression of its attachment to the Londen Missionary Society; and regards with admiration the able management and promising prospects of the Colonial Mission; and recommends to the associated churches, if at all practicable, to give an annual or biennial collection to the latter without diminishing the amount contributed to the former.
B. BYRON, Newport, Secrelary. DAY OF GENREAL HUMILIATION AND PRAYER IN OUR CHIRCHES.
We beg to remind our brethren that the observance of a day of general humiliation and prayer has been agreed upon by Churches of Christ in England, Scotland, and America, under the following deeply interesting circumstances.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United States, at its meeting in the City of Philadelphia, resolved,
" 1st. That it be earnestly recommended to all the churches under the care of the General Assembly to observe, in connexion with other bodies of Christians, the first Monday in January next (6th Pror.) as a day of kumiliation and prayer for the revival of vital and practical religion throughout Christendom, and for the conversion of the world.
“2. That each minister within our bounds be requested, on the Sabbath previous, to preach on some subjects, having a direct reference to the conversion of the world.
“3. That all evangelical Christians throughout the world be invited to unite with us in this concert."
These resolutions were brought before the Assembly of the Congregational Union of England and Wales in May last by the Rev. Dr. Patten, one of the messengers from the Presbyterian Church to that body-upon which it was moved by Rev. Richard Robinson, of Witham, Essex, and seconded by Malachi Fisher, Esq. of Blandford, and agreed,
“That this Assembly has heard from their beloved brethren, the delegates from the Presbyterian Church of America, that the first Monday in January has been observed with great advantage by the churches of that country, as a day of special humiliation and prayer for the conversion of the world ; and we therefore propose to set apart for the same object the first Monday of 1840, and would affectionately invite all the churches of this land to join with our beloved American brethren in this solemn fellowship of prayer.”
Pursuant to this vote, the Rev. J. Blackburn, one of the Secretaries of the Union, being present at the meeting of the United Associate Synod of Scotland, at its session in Edinburgh in June last, invited the attention of the Synod to this arrangement, upon which it was agreed" That, as the Churches of America have resolved to devote the first Monday of the year 1840 to united prayer for the extension and success of the gospel; and as the Congregational Union of England and Wales have adopted the same resolution, the Synod recommend that the example of these churches be followed by the congregations of the United Secession Church ; and that on the first Monday of the ensuing year they assemble for this purpose.”- United Secession Magazine, July, p. 362.
That there exists on both sides of the Atlantic occasion for deep humiliation and fervent prayer cannot be questioned.
Our American brethren have still that accursed thing, domestic slavery, amongst them- an unchristian prejudice against brethren in Christ of the coloured races infects many of their churches; and the spirit of political partizanship and commercial cupidity has weakened the power of godliness in many minds while the energies of their churches of the leading minds in them especially -- are so engrossed with matters of controversy, as to be withdrawn in a measure from the higher spiritual interests of religion. The Lord seems to have a controversy with them, and the calamities of unusual sickness, commercial failures, numerous and vast destructive fires, and of border violence and murderous war, have distressed their states.
Nor are we in Britain exempted from causes of humiliation and devout solicitude. That extensive organization of infatuated and ignorant men, which has led to deeds of outrage and bloodshed, not only in our crowded and corrupt cities, but even in the once tranquil and highly virtuous villages of Scotland and of Wales, may well fill us with alarm, especially as the recklessness of party violence leads many in the opposite extreme of political opinions to avow sentiments that are dangerous to good government and threatening to the throne itself.
Then we have cause of humiliation that the atheistical and licentious opinions of Robert Owen are taught by the lips and pens of many in all our crowded communities, who blaspheme their God and their King, and openly avow their design to subvert the foundation principles of Society.
The aggressive movements of the Romish Church in this country should also awaken our solicitude, not indeed because great numbers who have already apostatized to that antichristian communion, but on account of the obvious sympathy which is manifested for its most subtle and mischievous dogmas amongst those who once called themselves Protestants, but are now ready to renounce that venerated name. N. S. VOL. III,
Nor can we regard the alienated state of feeling amongst evangelical Christians on the one hand, and the manner in which commercial affairs and general business are transacted on the other, without fearing that God may be avenged on such a nation as this.
Still there are grounds for encouragement- the success of the gospel in India, and other heathen lands—the progress of the Bible cause amongst the nations of Europe - the remarkable revivals of religion in Scotlandthe spirit of seal and liberality that is displayed by all denominations, although mixed witb much infirmity-the growing conviction that the revival of religion in the hearts of individuals and churches must precede the extension of the gospel in the world
the acknowledgment of our dependence upon the Spirit of God for these results, and, above all the promises of His Holy Covenant and the intercession of His beloved Son, the Apostle and High Priest of our profession-all unite to encourage us to come, as one man, to the throne of the Heavenly grace, “that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
During the past three years our Evangelical brethren of the Church of England have engaged in special prayer on the new year's day for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and we find, from a paper issued by the Rev. James Haldane Stewart, of Liverpool, that this exercise is to be repeated by them on the first day of 1840. Sincerely do we wish that the same day were observed by both parties. Doubtless, each will remember the other. Assuredly our prayers shall not be wanting that God may bless and prosper the faithful preaching of the great doctrines of the gospel in their communion.
With much deference we would submit the following suggestions to the notice of our friends who may intend to blend their sympathies and prayers on the first Monday of January with the thousands of God's Israel in England, Scotland, and America.
Where it is practicable, an early prayer-meeting should be held, and the brethren of different churches in their respective localities unite in public intercession. Where this may not be possible, we would say, in the words of Dir. Stewart
“ 1st. Let Christians follow the example of our blessed Lord (Mark i. 25,) who rose up a great while before day for secret prayer. Let them thus secure the blessing of him, who says, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
“2nd. Let them call upon the Lord in their families, for his Spirit to be poured upon themselves and their households, their neighbours, their country, the ministers of the Lord, the churches of Christ, the remnant of seattered Judah and outcast Israel, and upon the Gentile world,
« 3rd. Let the ministers of the Lord afterwards privately meet with their brethren of their own communion, in earnest prayer for themselves, their flocks, the whole body of Christ, and the world at large; and then specially consult together upon the most effectual means for hastening the coming of the Lord's kingdom, and particularly for the continuance of such a general concert for prayer, that the year may proceed according to this devout commencement.
« 4th. Where circumstances will admit of a morning service, let the congregation be assembled, and in addition to the appointed prayers and a suitable sermon, let all who are devoutly disposed partake together of the supper of the Lord; or
« 5th. As may be more convenient, let the whole congregation meet in the evening for public worship, and let an appropriate discourse be preached."
We commend these considerations and suggestions to the candid judgment and devout attention of our readers.
ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SCOTTISH CONGREGATIONAL UNION. We are sorry that the insertion of this Report should have been delayed from our July Number, pp. 471-474, but the great pressure of matter, deeply
interesting to the English Churches, must be our apology. This meeting was held in Edinburgh, at the Chapel of the Rev. W. L. Alexander, Argyle Square, on Thursday evening, the 9th May. A few moments after six o'clock that large house was crowded to the doors.
On the motion of the Rev. Mr. Watson, of Musselburgh, Bailie Grieve was called to the chair, amidst great applause. A hymn was then sung, and a short prayer offered up by Mr. Francis Dick.
Rev. Mr. Watson, the Secretary, read the Report of the Committee. They reported, that since last Anniversary Meeting, they had distributed throughout the country the sum of £1408. Of this sum, £340 was in aid of twenty of the weaker churches of the Union in the Lowlands. The first part of the Report regarded the operations in the Lowlands, by their agents during the past year. These embraced almost every district in the west, south, and east of Scotland. Honourable mention was made of the western churches and of the Banffshire Itinerant Society. The prospects of the Committee in the Lowlands were very promising, and several additional churches in communion with their body had been formed. The great strength of the Institution is certainly put forth in the Highlands and Islands, as the more destitute portion of the country. In the last year, about one-half of the funds, or from £700 to £800, have been expended in this department; £180 of this sum were given by two Christian friends; and the same individuals have given for similar work during the present summer another £100, and £10 for Gaelic tracts. About fifty thousand of the Gaelic population of the Western Islands heard the gospel preached to them by the thirteen agents of the Society during the year, all of them being aided, and several of them entirely supported by the Union. In the Orkney and Shetland Islands, extensive operations had been carried on by our agents. The three stated ministers in the former of these islands have not confined their labours to their respective churches, but extended them regularly through various parts of the mainland, and among the smaller islands. The poverty of the people in the country parts was described as being very great, and it would not be possible to support the gospel without very considerable pecuniary assistance from their more wealthy friends in the South. The state of the Highlands, in a moral point of view, was most wretched, and showed the imperative necessity which existed of sending among them zealous and evangelical ministers to counteract the blightening influence of the dangerous, unsound doctrines taught in many districts of the country. It was further stated, that about twenty of the young men attending the Academy were engaged in preaching the greater part of the past summer, and most of them, for the principal part, on the funds of the Union. In adverting to the state of their funds, the Committee, with much gratitude, acknowledged another munificent gift of £1000 from William Dorward, Esq., of Montrose, “ to aid in itinerating in the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland"--and another £1000 from the same gentleman to the Theological Academy. Among the list of contributions were several from various Secession congregations, whose subscriptions, in aid of their funds, were received with great applause.
Bailie Grieve, the Chairman, introduced Mr. Ewing, of Glasgow, as the first and oldest of the Ministers of the Congregational churches in Scotland.
The Rev. Mr. Ewing, of Glasgow, moved the first resolution-" That the Report, an abstract of which has now been read, be adopted by this Meeting, and published as the Report of the Society for the past year; and that this Meeting acknowledge, with deep gratitude, the Divine favour which has accompanied the operations of this Institution, as manifested by the details in the Report, and the increased obligations thereby laid upon its supporters to cooperate for the furtherance of the objects it has in view."