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TRANSACTIONS OF THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES
AT HOME AND ABROAD.
THE ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL LECTURE. The success of this judicious effort to increase a taste for biblical learning and sound theology amongst the members of our denomination, has exceeded the expectations of its most sanguine friends, and must be highly gratifying to the distinguished individual who projected it.
We are happy in announcing the interesting subject of the fifth series, and the name of the lecturer, to feel assured that the interest of the one, and the ability of the other, will fully sustain the reputation which the preceding courses have won, not only for the ministers who delivered them, but also for the denomination to which they belong.
The subject of the next series, which will commence on the 4th of April, is The Divine Authority of the Bible, confirmed by an appeal to facts of Science, History, and human consciousness. The lecturer is the Rev. George Redford, L.L.D., of Worcester,
SUCCESS OF THE CONGREGATIONAL HYMN BOOK. We are happy to state that this important publication of The Congregational Union of England and Wales has met with unusual success. More than twentytwo thousand copies have been already sold, and orders are continually received from our churches in all parts of the empire.
The intimate connexion we are known to have with that work, has led us to refrain for a season from any critical notice of it: we are, however, happy to publish the opinion of one of our most influential churches on its merits. **
At the church meeting of the people under the pastoral care of the Rev. J. A. James, Carr's Lane, Birmingham, held on Friday evening, Feb. 3, the following resolution was unanimously adopted : “ That we feel it to be an act of justice to the committee of the Congregational Union for England and Wales, to express our sense of obligation for the truly excellent collection of Hymns which has been published under their direction, comprehending, as in our opinion it does, a due regard to sound Christian doctrine, the varied religious services of the independent denomination, devotional feeling and poetic taste, by the introduction of which to our social and public worship, we are free to admit, without intending to disparage or to disuse the Psalms and Hymns of Dr. Watts, an enlivening freshness has been imparted to our Psalmody, and a new impulse given to our praise."
In communicating this resolution, Mr. James remarks :-" We do not by the above resolution pledge ourselves to an unqualified approbation of every new hymn, or every alteration of an old one; nor an unmingled admiration of the arrangement, but simply to express our great satisfaction with the selection as a whole, and I cannot conclude without expressing a hope that it will be generally used in our congregations."
METROPOLIS CHAPEL FUND ASSOCIATION. We are happy to present our readers with the following important address and resolutions which have been just issued from the press, by the Committee of the above newly formed Association, and most warmly to commend the effort to the liberal patronage of the Christian public,
ADDRESS. The object of this Association is to supply with Christian ordinances the destitute districts of London and its vicinity. It is proposed to erect, in as economical manner as will be consistent with durability and convenient accommodation, several places of Worship, in which the gospel may be faithfully preached, and Christian societies gathered from the world. To such societies, when duly organized, will be entrusted the choice of their own ministers; and for their use will be secured, on such terms as shall be in accordance with the printed regula.
tions of the Association, the property in the chapels which may be erected. Such, in a few words, is the object of this Association, the plan and regulations of which are appended to this address.
That the claims of London upon Christians of all denominations are painfully urgent, must be acknowledged by every considerate and serious observer. The supply of evangelical services is, in many districts, lamentably deficient. In such localities the habit of attending public worship is confined to a small minority, while the greater pumber of the inhabitants spend the Sabbath as a day of business or of pleasure. In London generally, but particularly in the districts in which places of evangelical worship are inadequately provided, a fearfully large proportion of even the middling classes is in ostensible connection with no religious denomination. The pernicious influence of such an example upon the poor and working classes is incalculable, especially where it is not counteracted by the vigorous and persevering efforts of Christian societies.
An appeal on behalf of the metropolis derives additional force from a view of its rapidly increasing population. In the last twenty years the increase has been more than forty per cent. On this account, the proportion of places of worship to the amount of the population in London, is very much less than that in the country generally. Of the chapels belonging to the Congregational denomination, about one-fourteenth are appropriated to one-seventh of the people of England clustered around the metropolis. The disproportion is nearly the same among other denominations; yet upon the character and example of the capital depend, in a great degree, the religious interests of the empire.
As the exertions of all Christians are demanded in order to overtake the wants of an increasing population, the object is proposed in no narrow or sectarian spirit. Rejoicing in the zealous exertions of other denominations, the members of this society desire, though not with a feeling of unhallowed rivalry, to take their share in the service of disseminating the gospel, in such a manner as they conscientiously believe to be most in accordance with Holy Scripture. If they shrink from the labour, protestant nonconformity cannot retain its past and honourable distinction, of having been among the most effective instruments employed by divine Providence to promote the religious and moral welfare of the British nation. Where a million and a half of immortal beings are collected, and accommodation is afforded in all the places of worship for less than one-third of that vast multitude, no member of any denomination can justify himself in neglecting to sustain and extend the means of religious instruction
The building of chapels must involve a very considerable expenditure, but there is no other method of insuring to a destitute neighbourhood a permanent and effectual administration of divine ordinances. Domiciliary visits, private prayer meetings, the circulation of tracts, and similiar expedients, are invaluable as preparatory movements; but to sustain their influence, and render it permanently beneficial, Christian chorches must be organized in convenient buildings, in which zealous and devoted preachers may dispense the gospel of Christ.
To accomplish this object, much exertion and liberal contributions are indispensable. Let each person to whom this appeal is addressed reflect upon the magnitude and importance of the proposal- let him consider that his donation may determine the amount of many others, or that his refusal may influence others to neglect a plan of operation second in importance to none which can be presented to the Christian public let him remember that his aid is entreated in enlarging the basis on which our Home and Foreign Missionary operations eventually rest--and that, he has thus an opportunity of acting immediately for London, indirectly for the country, and ultimately for the whole world. At a Meeting of the Provisional Committee and Friends of the METROPOLIS
CHAPEL FUND ASSOCIATION, held at the Congregational Library, on the 16th day of January, 1837, THOMAS Wilson, Esq. in the Chair - the Meeting having been opened by prayer, and the Regulations for the METROPOLIS CHAPEL FUND ASSOCIATION, as prepared by the Provisional Committee, having been brought forward, it was Resolved unanimously,—That in accordance with the spirit of the Report of the Committee of the Congregational Union, adopted at their annual meeting in May, 1835, respecting the erection of places of Worship, an Association be now formed to carry that object into effect, so far as regards London and its vicinity, and that the following Regulations constitute the basis of such Association :
1. That the name shall be “ THE METROPOLIS CHAPEL FUND ASSOCIATION."
2. That the Association have for its object the erection of places for worship, in the more destitute parts of London and its vicinity ; in all which places evangelical doctrines shall be preached, and the ministers shall be chosen by the people.
3. That the funds be raised by donations, payable at once or by instalments, and by subscriptions and congregational collections.
4. That the business of the Society shall be managed by a Committee of twenty-four Gentlemen, together wlth the Treasurer, Secretaries, and Trustees ; such Treasurer, Secretaries, and Trustees, to be ex officio Members of the Committee, five of whom shall form a quorum.
5. That the property of the Society shall be vested in five Trustees, who shall hold the same subject to the vote of a majority of the whole Committee for the time being, which shall be specially summoned for its appropriation; and the disposal of any portion of propery shall be signified by resolutions, signed by the Chairman and one of the Secretaries.
6. That a meeting of the contributors shall be convened annually, at such time and place as the Committee shall, by public advertisement, appoint to receive the Report of the proceedings of the past year, and for the choice of the Committee, Treasurer, and Secretaries for the year ensuing, and for supplying vacancies in the office of Trustees, if necessary.
7. That donations, or loans without interest, may be made to local Committees engaged in the erection of new chapels, on such terms as the Committee of this Society may approve.
8. That in every Chapel to be built or purchased by this Society, adequate provision shall be made for the free accommodation of the poor.
9. That pecuniary assistance may, at the discretion of the Commitee, be afforded in aid of the current expenses of such Chapels as shall be in possession of this Society, until they be conveyed from the Trustees of this Society.
10. That when one-half of the sittings appropriated to the subscribers shall be occupied, and a church formed, the Committee may direet a conveyance of the Chapel to Trustees elected by the church, upon such terms as shall be approved by the Committee.
11. That for the purpose of carrying into effect any matters of a subordinate character, which may be necessary in order to fulfil the objects of this Association, the Committee for the time being present at any meeting convened especially for that purpose, or a majority of such Commiuee so present, shall be at liberty to make such bye-laws as may be deemed expedient.
Resolved, “That the following Gentlemen be appointed Officers of the Society :
Treasurer,Thomas Wilson, Esq.
Trustees,—T. Challis, Esq., T. M. Coombs, Esq., Thomas Alers Hankey, Esq., J. R. Mills, Esq., Joshua Wilson, Esq.
Committee,-Rev. R. Ainslie, Rev. Dr. Bennett, Rev. J. Blackburn, Rev. Dr. Henderson, Rev. T. Jackson, Rev. T. Lewis, Rev. Dr. Morison, Rev. Caleb Morris, Rev. W. S. Palmer, Rev. Dr. Reed, Rev. A. Tidman, Rev. H. Townley, Roger Cunliffe, Esq., H. Dunn, Esq., D. Edwards, Esq., R. Fletcher, Esq. E. Gouldsmith, Esq., H. Parker, Esq., Edw. Smith, Esq., Henry Spicer, Esq., Edw. Swaine, Esq., T. H. Tooke, Esq., J. Trueman, Jun. Esq.
Bankers,— Messrs. Hankey, Fenchurch Street.
Secretaries,-Rev. Robert Halley, D.D. Highbury College; Rev. Thomas Morell, Coward College ; Mr. Hull Terrell, 30, Basinghall Street.
The Subscriptions already received exceed £3,000, and the Committee are taking measures for the immediate erection of a Chapel in Lambeth.
PRESENT STATE OF THE CONGREGATIONAL SCHOOL, LEWISHAM.
The Governors and Friends of this valuable Institution will be gratified with the following Report of the Examiners at the close of the last Session :
“ We, having conducted the Christmas examination of the boys in the Congregational School, have much pleasure in expressing our cordial satisfaction with the manner in which the classical and other studies have been prosecuted-the discipline and general state of the school, so far as they appeared in a prolonged and careful enquiry—the progress which many of the boys have made during the past half year--and the particular attention which is given to the scriptural and religious education of the pupils-- We congratulate the Managers and Patrons of this valuable Institution on account of its manifest improvement and advantages under the present arrangements. We think the School deserves the full confidence of the public, as it affords an excellent education with domestic comfort to the children under its patronage.
“ JAMES BENNETT.
OBITUARY NOTICES AND RECENT DEATHS. Died, on Thursday evening the 22d of December, 1836, in the forty-fifth year of his age, the Rev. JOSEPH GREENWOOD, Pastor of the Independent Church at Petersfield, Hants.
When he departed, the church of Christ lost one of its brightest ornaments : we speak not of his splendid talents, or of those dazzling and attractive qualities which command universal admiration, but of deep-toned piety, which found an appropriate manifestation in ardent love for man, fervent zeal for God, and exalted personal purity. Undeviating consistency marked his life, and he was distinguished for unobtrusiveness, fidelity, tenderness, and love.
As a minister of Christ he was ardently attached to his work, and his Master blessed him ; to the church over which he was immediately placed, his labours have been invaluable; to three villages he was the instrument of conveying the gospel, where there are now three chapels with interesting congregations; in others he frequently preached, and with success. For eighteen years he has appeared before his people with acceptance, and has left them in the enjoyment of harmony and peace.
As a private Christian few knew his worth-wise as a counsellor; judicious and faithful as a friend; full of benevolence; the poor have lost a benefactor, the distressed a sympathising heart.
As an instructor of youth he was eminently successful; conversion has in several cases followed his scholastic labours; to the families of his immediate friends the loss in this respect will be severely felt.
As a citizen he breathed a spirit of universal philanthropy; every liberal institution found in him a warm supporter; free from party violence, he watched the progress of the great questions of his day, and rejoiced, as from time to time he witnessed the triumphs of truth and freedom.
His illness and death caused an unusual excitement amongst all classes around him; no man despised him ; his funeral was attended by a great concourse of people; devout men bore his remains to the grave, and sincere lamentation was made for him
The funeral sermon was preached the following Sabbath, January 1st, by his attached friend the Rev. A. Jones, of Buckland, from Neh. vii. 2. The chapel was much crowded with more than six hundred hearers, who appeared to retire with the solemn impression, that they had indeed lost “ a faithful man, who feared God above many."
This faithful minister of Christ has left a widow and eight children to deplore his loss, the eldest of which is only sixteen years of age. The only provision for their support is an annuity to the widow of £30. We are happy to hear that a subscription is opened on their behalf, and any sums that may be left for them at our Publishers, we shall be happy to transmit.
Died, Oct. 14, 1836, aged 46, JAMES WYLD, Esq., Geographer to the King. From his earliest years our lamented friend was an enthusiastic student of the science of Geography, and by undivided attention to its principles and progress, he obtained a very high rank amongst geographers in Europe. His practical skill caused the papers of Mungo Park, Belzoni, and other travellers, to be submitted to him for arrangement, &c., and he contributed not a little to their accuracy. For twelve years he had an appointment at the Horse Guards, where his services were highly appreciated. The late Duke of York and the Lords of the Treasury honoured him with a pecuniary reward for some important improvements in the lithographic printing of military plans, &c. Mr. Wyld was distinguished for his ardent feelings of patriotism. To his untiring energy the inhabitants of London are mainly indebted for the repeal of that heavy impost, the House Tax; and he successfully opposed Church Rates in the parish of St. Martin's, where he was greatly respected. Ile for many years sustained the office of deacon of the church, at Paddington Chapel, under the pastoral care of the Rev. James Stratten, and was known and beloved by a wide circle of religious friends as the zealous and enlightened advocate of Sunday Schools, and every other effort to do good. The disease which removed him from his family, the church, and the world, in the midst of his days and of his influence, was an affection of the brain, induced by the ardour and intenseness of his application to scientific pursuits and public business. His principal works are, A Scripture Atlas, 8vo. Thompson's Edinburgh Atlas, folio. An Atlas of the World, folio. A smaller work, with Statistical Tables, besides a large quantity of district maps and charts. We hear that several of his unfinished works are likely to be edited by his son, who has been honoured with an appointment to succeed him as Geographer to the
On the 10th of January, aged 71, at Tyndale-place, Islington, Josepu Tarn, Esq., for nearly thirty-three years the effective and esteemed assistant secretary of the British and Foreign Bible Society. This gentleman through his long life has been closely connected with those great religious institutions which form the ornament of our times. He was appointed a member of the committee of the Religious Tract Society in 1800, and a Director of the Missionary Society in 1802, and he continued to serve those Societies by his counsels, till his own infirmities and relative afflictions compelled him to restrict his labours to the Bible Society alone. He was connected with Union Chapel, Islington, and was closely connected with his pastor, the Rev. Thomas Lewis, for many years. The Committee of the Bible Society have appointed Mr. William Hitchen, who had assisted Mr. Tarn for scveral years, to succeed him in the office of Assistant Secretary and Accountant.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS, &c. Favours have been received from the Rev. Drs.Henderson--Shoveller-Halley -Payne-Rev. Messrs. J. A. James, Joseph Morison-R. Ashton-Ed. Leighton-R. Knill – Thos. Atkins-G. B. Kidd--A. Tidman--W. Davis-J. B. Shenston.
Also from Messrs. Joshua Wilson-John Brown-Ed. Wallis-G. BlightJ. R. Bennett, M.D.-Papua- An Episcopalian.
The Editor regrets that the necessary length of the first article in the present number has compelled him to defer several important papers, which shall appear in the April Magazine.
Messrs. Blight and Wallis shall receive some private communications on the subject to which they refer.
"A Subscriber and Constant Reader" is requested to accept the Editor's best thanks for his interesting letter, and the important French work that accompanied it, of which he hopes to make a good use shortly. ERRATA..--P. 50, line 28, instead of eminent read current.
51, line 8, instead of for read aud. 51, line 9, insert who before are, and blot out only.