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the funds. This relative change takes place, not on account of the theology administered in the Orthodox church, which is sometimes a very liberal one, but because every one who is drawn into its sphere feels at once, that the life and energy of a large working body is pulsing through it. The little Orthodox church, which began with three members and a prayer-meeting, belongs to a Local Conference which embraces perhaps half the towns of a county, and meets twice a year. Into the ear of this Local Conference comes the report of all the wants, the trials, the successes, the revivals of religion, the accessions to the church in every society, great or small, - all of which are present by delegates. The larger churches are thus brought in direct contact with the smaller ones. They help them on, wipe out their debts, send their best men there with an earnest word, and hold them in the fellowship of Christ. No wonder the weak society grows strong. The Local Conference in which it is included belongs to a State Conference, and this again to a general one; so that the whole body, like the human system, is always sending life-blood into the smallest member and bringing it back. Hence their perfect system of contributions and charities, and the energy with which they give themselves now to the education of the freedmen and the evangelization of the waste places. how this matter stands, and why those one hundred and thirty-seven Unitarian societies, half the churches of the denomination, be left out in the cold, are small and weak, and how they became so. That little Trinitarian church on the opposite side of the way has the whole Congregational Orthodox body massed behind it. The Unitarian church near by stands alone, representing nothing but its own solitary individuality. It is the Napoleonic strategy introduced into ecclesiastical matters, - massing the solid columns against vulnerable points, and thus cutting off all the details.
• Plainly, two things are needed, if we are to be a denomination wielding its scattered forces, to do our part in the advancement of society and the renovation of the world. First, to affirm our prime article of faith, — discipleship of our Lord Jesus Christ, on which the New-York Convention stood so nobly and firmly, acknowledging him as the Head of the Church, the medium of its strength, its light and love, always walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks. This should be done, not as a timid concession to pantheists and neologists; but it should be the solid foundation of the liberal churches, against which the gates of hell can never prevail. Then on this foundation, as upon a rock, begin at the base and organize upward. Begin by forming Local
VOL. LXXX. - NEW SERIES, VOL. II. NO. III.
Conferences, where the strong churches and the weak ones shall be brought together in the fellowship of Christ, and to do Christian work together hand in hand. This forthwith would bring every feeble church into a larger communion, and send the life-blood of the denomination beating through all the veins and fibrils. What on earth does the American Unitarian Association exist for, with its board of officers, but to promote this very work, which it ought to have done years ago ? Churches which had lived next door to each other, as strangers and foreigners, would thus have all the barriers of ice broken down and melted away. The Local Conferences, not the separate churches, would be represented in the larger and national ones; and they would not come together to glorify themselves, but for the very practical work of educating and evangelizing the country. The National Conference, instead of floating off out of sight and out of reach, would stand on a broad and sure foundation, with the whole country for its base.
« « The time is close at hand when these truths must say themselves, and press with tenfold urgency through those churches which have something more than a name to live. But it is plain as day to me, that, till such a work is done as I have sketched, nothing is done which is not spasmodic and transitory."
It was apparent to the Convention, that the only way to hoop in to any common fellowship and mutual support the whole body of outlying churches was to enclose each in some Local Conference; where, learning the advantages of counsel and co-operation in smaller spheres, they might acquire faith and power for wider co-operation. The suggestion of admitting in the National Conference a representation only of Local Conferences, and not of churches, was not generally approved. It is obviously within the power of feeble churches to represent themselves by the delegates of the Local Conference. But the disposition of the majority of churches is evidently for direct representation. Such was the zeal of the delegates, and such their manifest sense of the importance of frequent sessions, that it was with difficulty they were persuaded to make the meetings of the Conference biennial instead of annual. Had the measure been advocated by any but wellknown and assured friends of the National Conference, the change could not have been carried. It was, however, in our udgment very wisely adopted. It leaves the Local Confer
ences more time to organize, and bring forth their fruits; it disabuses those who dreaded centralization, and leaves the real power where it belongs, - in the independent churches; and the labor where it can best be done,- at home.
3. The next point made in the Conference was the immediate response of the delegates to the plea made with such directness, simplicity, and eloquence by its representatives, for the Meadville Theological School. Nothing could exceed the force of Mr. Huidekoper's statements in regard to the claims of the school, except the testimony which trembled in the voices, moistened the eyes, and shook the frames of the sons of Meadville, who, one after another, as they rose and reminded us by their mere presence of what we owed that school of the prophets, showed, in the fewest and most affecting words, how worthy their theological alma mater was of the love they poured into her bosom. The response to this combined appeal seemed spontaneous. A contagion of beneficence ran through the assembly. The delegates were emboldened to assume the responsibility of speaking for their respective churches, and thirty thousand dollars were pledged in less than an hour to the Meadville Endowment Fund. The President's unequalled tact and promptness very much facilitated this result. But never were men under a high excitement acting upon better premises or with a cooler judgment. The money was raised because the Conference felt it was due to Meadville to raise it, and that the churches at home would not have forgiven them, if they had withheld it. We cannot doubt, that, when our churches fully understand the advantages of this method of collecting money, not only such special sums, but perhaps all the money required for the general purposes of the denomination will be raised in this way. A previous budget having been presented say three months in advance of the meeting — by the Council, the churches might act upon it, and instruct their delegates what sums to give to general and to specific objects.
Other lesser ends were accomplished by the Conference; but we confine ourselves to these three, which seem to us to represent and include the best interests and the brightest
prospects of the denomination. In re-affirming the fundamental Christian faith of the body, we have cast anchor, and taught thousands of inquiring souls where to find us; while, in the fine spirit and gentle temper of the very opposition raised, our most rationalistic factor is shown to be Christian in spirit, pure in heart, and justly precious to the Unitarian communion. In the plan of local organization we have laid the first stones of a large, liberal, Christian Church, in which, at last, all the warmth, zeal, and co-operation, which hitherto have been confined to narrower communions, may be enjoyed in our own open and generous fold. In the prompt and beneficent contribution to Meadville, we have illustrated the practical wisdom and self-sacrificing spirit of our churches, and taken the best measures for supplying our greatest apparent deficiency,- the lack of ministers.
The National Conference dispersed from its second session, with unbounded joy and gratitude and with earnest hopefulness. Syracuse and its living church of which the noble. hearted May is the Christian Soul, had shown us what Unitarianism had done, was doing, and was to do at the very centre of the Empire State, for the cause of Liberal Christianity. We could not have had a more favorable place for our meeting, a more generous welcome or a better position from which to republish our Manifesto of Faith. And the Unitarian Denomination never had so important a gathering, and never was as strong and as promising as it is to-day.
ART. VII. -" DIFFERENCES OF ADMINISTRATION," OR
ONE CABINET UNDER TWO CHIEFS.
No man will ever be able to render the late President and his policy so solid a service as his successor has already done. We have only to contrast their temperaments, styles of manhood, habits of thought, notions of the Presidential prerogative,
and views of the wants of the country, to see that whatever seemed doubtful in wisdom, slow in conduct, or deficient in dignity in Mr. Lincoln, has wholly disappeared in the presence of the alarming qualities displayed by the present head of this nation. We often charged Mr. Lincoln in his lifetime, in thought, if not in words, with painful procrastination in the formation and utterance of his policy, with irresolution of purpose and feebleness in action. The proclamation of Emancipation stammered on his tongue, until many who had long watched his half-open lips, with strained and tearful eyes, thought him dumb. The negro's musket hung fire still longer under his timid hesitancy to call it into the field. He bore with McClellan's trenching and burrowing, until the more earnest and forward friends of the cause lost all patience, and could almost gladly have seen the capital and the administration captured by the enemy, as the only hope of arousing the country, and getting rid of over-cautious and self-saving leaders. He kept a cabinet about him, against half of whose members the more enthusiastic patriots were incensed for their seeming apathy and inefficiency; while the leading newspapers clamored for their removal. The constant cry was for more energy, more promptitude, more leadership. When he quashed Fremont's proclamation in Missouri, and disowned Cameron's letter, and countermanded Hunter's order in South Carolina, and Phelps's in Louisiana, the radical Republicans felt that they had a tortoise instead of a hare to follow, and would have risked any rashness in their bannerbearer rather than put up longer with such perilous prudence. When blood was running in rivers, and gloom shrouded all hearts, we heard, with constant concern and dissatisfaction, of his inconvenient jesting and undignified storytelling, and, when the eyes of all nations were upon us and him, of his awkward manners and negligent costume, bis disregard of official etiquette, and want of diplomatic reserve; and sometimes rued the folly which had allowed a rail-splitter and flat-boatman, however honest and intelligent, to sit in the chair of Washington and Adams. Never, however, did any doubts of Abraham Lincoln's purity of purpose, of his supe