« ElőzőTovább »
THE NONCONFORMIST CONFERENCE
AT NORWICH. We were able to be present at this meeting, in the character of a spectator or hearer merely, and taking no part whatever in the proceedings. The meeting was conducted in an excellent spirit, though we must think it every way unlikely to produce any perceptible impression on the workings of Nonconformity. We were disappointed in the ability with which its objects were advocated, and in the curtailment of the subjects submitted for discussion. Instead of taking into consideration the great subjects proposed in the first advertisement, namely, whether any platform of church government was laid down in the New Testament, and if so, what it was; also any other subjects arising at the Conference; all discussion, on the contrary, was limited to three resolutions of quite subordinate importance, and to one of a practical kind. The three resolutions affirmed, Ist, the duty of christian churches to develop the gifts of their members, meaning thereby the gift of public teaching; 2nd, the necessity of all contributions being strictly voluntary ; 3rd, the duty of avoiding lines of demarcation between the rich and the poor in the house of God;-these resolutions were commented on, to a large extent quite truthfully, as at variance with the practice of many of our churches. Of course no Dissenter- hardly, indeed, any christian of any denomination would deny them; all would think their respective denominations did carry them out to a large extent, as far as the state of christianity, in their judgment, permitted. The fourth resolution, though kindly expressed, we thought likely to do great mischief, if any churches tolerated its being carried out. It recommended members in each church to make these resolutions the basis of a kindly tut earnest and repeated discussion in their respective churches. It needs but a very moderate acquaintance with our churches to feel assured that the persons most likely, in most places, to raise such discussions, are just the persons whom their fellow-members generally would hear with impatience, and whose exhortations would be pronounced an intolerable bore; who might, perhaps, succeed in driving away quiet-loving christians by loquacity and pertinacity, but whose habits of life and devotion, whose self-conceit and ignorance, had not made a favourable impression previously, either on the church or on the world. We think that any number of christians bave, of course, a right to meet and confer on topics relating to the welfare or the constitution of the churches; but we certainly think it rather assuming for any such Conference to set members to work to introduce their resolutions into their respective churches as the basis of discussions. “ Quo warranto ?" (“By what authority doest thou this thing ?") might certainly be
said to a self-called Conference, addressing itself to individuals in their capacity of members of organized bodies denominated churches. Those members, in their capacity of members, owe allegiance to the churches they belong to; but, certainly, for them to recognize the resolutions of a body, which was nothing more than a friendly religious party, possessing not a single claim to interfere with the churches as such, would be, in our judgment, to make themselves parties to compromising the independence of those churches. The Conference should have simply published their resolutions, and debates, too, if they pleased, and circulated them widely, leaving them to produce their own impression. What we object to, is the using, as it were, “another man's servants" to accomplish their own purposes; and we certainly think every church ought to refuse admittance to the Conference resolutions as such. On the other hand, if members wish, without reference to any foreign authority, to discuss the state of their churches in any respect, such a course is consistently open to them. The Conference has no proper relation to the churches. It has no claim to be heard as a Conference by them as churches. It was not, on the one hand, called into existence by them as a meeting of their authorized delegates; nor was it, on the other hand, a body like municipal or parliamentary electors from whom the churches sprung. All bodies of men are bound to hearken to delegates whom they themselves have chosen. On the other hand, all delegates, of any kind, are bound to listen to the resolutions and memorials of the electors who chose them. The recent Conference is in neither one position nor the other; and their last resolution we therefore regard as informal, as well as impolitic. And however true the averments of their resolutions, it would be equally uindignified and inconsistent with our independence to admit them as the “ basis of discussion." We make these free remarks in the kindest spirit, and fully and heartily acknowledging the high motives in which the conference originated. We purpose next year to discuss the topics of the resolutions separately. CHIPPING-SODBURY, GLOUCESTERSHIRE.
OLD SCHOLARS' MEETING. The Sabbath school connected with the Baptist chapel, Chipping-Sodbury, Gloucestershire, has been in existence upwards of forty years, and the number instructed in it since its formation has been about two thousand. At the last anniversary held in August it was resolved to hold a meeting of the old scholars, and to get as many of them as possible together at a gratuitous tea. The necessary arrangements having been completed, the meeting was held on Wednesday, October 20th, when nearly three hundred old scholara assembled at the Town-hall, and partook of a comfort
able tea. After the tables were cleared, 1 six inches, which can be lengthened to the engagements of the evening were sixty-three. There are also to be three opened by singing and prayer. Several class-rooms, a vestry, and chapel keeper's questions were then proposed to the as rooms. Mr. J. Green, jon., is the architect, sembly, and many pleasing facts elicited. Mr. Weather head the builder. Besides A goodly number were found to be mem Dr. Acworth, the Rev. Messrs. Pringle, bers of christian churches, and several Reid, Bell, Carrick, Stuart, and Dodds, and dated their first religious impressions to
Messrs. D. H. Goddard and James Wilson, the instructions they received in the school. took part in the proceedings connected with There were two persons present who were
the ceremony, or with the very interesting at the school on the first Sabbath it was tea-meeting which succeeded it. opened, more than forty years since, one of
OPENING OF THE NEW BAPTIST CHAPRL, whom produced a book which he had re
GRBAT GEORGB STREET, SALFORD. ceived as a reward (the first that was given); it was in good condition, and its possessor
On Thursday, October 21st, sermons were appeared to prize it highly. Many were in preached, morning and evening, by the the school thirty-five and thirty-eight years
Hon. and Rev. B. W. Noel, M.A., and on ago, and one woman repeated two hymns
the following Lord's-day, October 24th, by which she had learnt thirty-eight years
the Rev. J. Aldis, of London. On the folsince, and which were indelibly impressed
lowing Monday evening, an interesting tea on her memory. A pleasing incident was meeting was held; after which, Edwin related of a boy once in the school, who Waters, Esq., was called to the chair, and afterwards entered the army. About four addresses were delivered by the Revs. C.M. months ago a letter was received from him Birrell, J. Aldis, F. Tucker, R. Chenery, stating that upwards of seventy soldiers in D. M. Evans, J. Corbett, J. Harvey, and the regiment to which he belonged were H. Dunckley, pastor of the church. On pious persons, and that he himself had the following Thursday, the Rev. Hugh been baptized, and had joined a chri&tian Stowel Brown, of Liverpool, preached an church in India. It was ascertained that
excellent and practical sermon, concluding there were several parents and their chil. the interesting services, which realized £150. dren present who had been old scholars in The chapel is eligibly situated, easy of acthe same school. After the interrogations,
cess, and elegant in its appearance, capable addresses were delivered by the Rev. W.J. of accommodating comfortably upwards of Cross, of Clifton, the Rev. F. H. Roleston 700 persons. The school-room underneath, (minister of the place), the Rev. R. P.
which is lofty and commodious, will provide Thatcher (Independent, of Frampton Cot. for the reception of at least 500 children. terell), and Mr. Neale (deacon). The Rev. The length of the building, from the back W. J. Cross kindly engaged to give forty
of the entrance gallery to the end of the copies of Pike's Early Piety" to the recess behind the preacher, is 82 feet, the young persons present, to be distributed at width 45 feet. The total cost will be about the discretion of the minister. The dox. £2,300, towards which, including the col. ology was then sung, and the meeting lections at the opening services, £1,400 has closed with prayer. All appeared highly been raised, and steps are being taken to delighted, and it is hoped that the services adopt measures which, it is hoped, will will be productive of lasting good.
clear off the whole in a very few years.
The Baptist chapel here, having been
closed for alterations and repairs for several On Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 9th, in the Sabbaths, was re-opened on Sunday, Octopresence of a vast assemblage of persons, ber 24th, when three admirable sermons the foundation stone of the Baptist chapel were preached by the Rev. Thos. Thomas, in Bewick-street, now in the course of President of Pontypool College. The proerection for the Tuthill Stairs church and ceeds of collections, tea-meeting, and a congregation, was laid by the Rev. Dr. few subscriptions, amounted to £35. In Acworth, of Bradford. The total expense addition to repairs and alterations made to of the new chapel, including the cost of the the chapel, a commodious room has been site, is estimated at nearly £3,000. The built for Sabbath and day schools, which is subscriptions, either realized or promised, regularly appropriated to that purpose, and amount to about £1,250. A further sum free to any of the children of the town; will be realized by the sale of the old chapel, and, also, improvements have been made to and a hope is entertained that the remain the dwelling-house attached to and belonging sum, about £600, will be speedily raised, ing to the property. The whole amount of so that the chapel may be opened free from debt, including some previous liability, is debt. The new chapel, which will be an £250, to remove which, any subscriptions ornament to the town, is to be in the Italian would be gratefully received and acknowstyle of architecture, and built of stone. It ledged by Mr. J. H. Hall, the pastor, or by will be seventy-four feet six inches by forty the deacons. The town of Hay is situate feet inside, having three galleries, and sit near the division of England and Wales, so tings for eight hundred and ten persons. that the friends there are far removed from There will be a school-room under the the more numerous and wealthy of the chapel, forty-nine feet by thirty-eight feet denomination in England and Wales; but
their sympathy and aid they hope to share by this appeal.
LEITH WALK, EDINBURGH. The recognition of the Rev. H. J. Betts, formerly of Westminster, as pastor of the church meeting in the Tabernacle, LeithWalk, Edinburgh, took place on Thursday, Oct. 28th. The introductory discourse was delivered by the Rev. T. Dawson, of Liverpool. The usual questions to the pastor were asked by the Rev. W. S. Eccles, of Belfast, who also offered the recognition prayer. The charge was given by the Rev. Dr. Innes, of Edinburgh, and a sermon to the church and congregation preached by his co-pastor, the Rev. J. Watson. On the following evening a public soirée was held, at which Dr. Alexander, of Edinburgh, presided. Addresses upon the necessity of the missionary spirit, the importance of Sabbath schools, the mutual duties of pastor and people, and the value of prayer, were delivered by the Rev. Messrs. Wight, Arthur, Dawson, and Thomas. Deep interest was felt in the different services; and the pastor enters upon his labours with encouraging prospects of success.
BAPTIST BUILDING FUND. At a meeting of the committee of the Baptist Building Fund, held at the Mission House, Moorgate Street, on Tuesday evening, Nov. 9, 1852, it was resolved, “That this committee record with unfeigned sorrow the decease of Joseph Fletcher, Esq., who for seventeen years zealously and faithfully discharged the duties of treasurer to the Baptist Building Fund, whose exertions to promote its objects, liberal subscriptions to its funds, punctual attendance at the meetings of the committee, sound judg. ment, and enlarged experience, materially contributed to its present prosperity. They would glorify the grace of God as mani. fested in the deportment of their departed friend, whose character combined the sternest integrity with firmness of purpose and tenderness of heart, and who, through his unusually long life, maintained an unswerving adherence to the principles he professed. The committee hope that their divine Master may, in his good provi. dence, direct them to a successor who shall fill the vacant office as worthily and effi. ciently as he whose death they now record. They desire most respectfully to express their sincere sympathy and condolence with the family of their late esteemed treasurer, and earnestly pray that God would bless and sanctify this bereavement to their present and eternal welfare."
ROMFORD, ESSEX. The Rev. E. Davis, of Romford, Essex. having resigned his pastoral charge, the church has given an united and cordial in. vitation to the Rev. S. Pearce, of Crew. kerne, Somersetsbire, after supplying the pulpit for three Sabbaths. This invitation Mr. Pearce has responded to, and commenced his stated labours at Romford, on Lord's-day, Nov. 14th,
BLACKBURN. The Rev. W. Barker, late of Burslem, Staffordshire, having accepted an unanimous invitation from the Baptist church meeting in Branch-Road Chapel, Blackburn, entered upon his labours there on the first Sabbath in October, with pleasing prospects of success.
MR. ROBERT BATEMAN. Died, at Little Addington, Northamptonshire, on the 28th of October, in the seventyeighth year of his age, Mr. Robt. Bateman, for many years a deacon of the church at Thrapston.
Brought up in connexion with the Established Church, of which his parents were members, he was in early life a frequent. hearer of Dr. Haweis, of Aldwinkle, whose evangelical preaching was at that time exciting great interest in the neighbourhood, and of whose faithful labours he was accustomed to speak with interest to the end of his life. Having become convinced that the teaching and practice of the Church of England, are, in many respects, at variance with the New Testament, Mr. Bateman left it, and in 1795, was baptized by the Rev. Reynold Hogg, of Thrapston. Two years afterwards he united with a few others in forming the Baptist church of which for so many years he was a consistent and useful member, and in 1807 was chosen a deacon of that church, an office he continued to fill until death. And although advancing age, added to other circumstances, prevented his taking that active part in the duties of his office which he bad formerly done, he never ceased to cherish a warm affection toward his fellow-members, and to manifest a lively interest in all that pertained to the welfare of the church.
His piety was ardent and cheerful, and his attachment to the house and ordinances of God evinced itself by the regularity of his attendance, notwithstanding his infirmities, and the distance at which, during the latter part of his life, he resided from Tbrapston. His firm adherence to principle, had, in a former part of his life, subjected him to persecution for righteousness' sake; but, undaunted by opposition, he continued to follow the Saviour, through evil report and good report, to the end of his course.
He realized much of the consolation of religion in his last illness, and his end was emphatically peace.
MRS. BLAKB, SEN. Mrs. Blake, a member of the church at Shouldham Street, and mother of the Rev. W. A. Blake and the Rev. J. H. Blake, of Sandhurst, Kent, fell asleep in Christ, the 25th of October, after a few hours' illness, aged sixty-two; and her death was improved by the Rev. G. Hall, of Ipswich, on Lord's day evening, Oct. 31st, to a crowded congregation, from Hebrews ix. 27, 28.
.. THE CHURCH.
“Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself
BENJAMIN L. GREEN.