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increase with which we have been favoured prompt us to cleave to Him with unwaverin more than half the Districts ; but, ing confidence and with humble love. when we announce that the complete re- The chastisements of churches, no less turns show a decrease of thirty-six mem- than those of believers, are permitted for bers on the year, you will share with us in wise and beneficent purposes.
To the most unfeigned sorrow. We may take angel of the church at Laodicea the Saup the prayer of the Psalmist,“O remem- viour says, “ As many as I love, I rebuke ber not against us former iniquities : let and chasten : be zealous therefore, and Thy tender mercies speedily prevent us : repent." If the languor and depression, for we are brought very low.” At a time which have overtaken some of our Sociewhen unbroken peace abounds in our bor- ties, should lead us to abase our spirits ders, when Chapel-extension is carried on before the Lord, to cultivate more intiwith unprecedented vigour, when the mate communion with Him, and to conaggregate of our Ministry is greater than secrate ourselves with a more entire deat any former period of our history, when votedness to His service, we shall soon Educational operations are conducted on be gladdened by renewed tokens of His 80 wide a basis, and with unwearied favour, and by enlarged communications energy-the necessity of reporting a
of His grace.
" Wilt Thou be angry diminution in our Society is one which with us for ever? wilt Thou draw out may well send us to our knees, and com Thine anger to all generations ? Wilt pel us to search into our hearts. It is Thou not revive us again : that Thy peono alleviation of our grief to know that ple may rejoice in Thee? Show us Thy sister churches are contending with simi- mercy, O Lord, and grant u: Thy salvalar discouragements ; on the contrary, we tion." “ Make us glad according to the are all the more solicitous to ascertain the days wherein Thou hast afflicted us, and cause of the common adversity. “Will the years wherein we have seen evil. Let the Lord cast off for ever ? and will He Thy work appear unto shy servants, and be favourable no more ? Is His mercy Thy glory unto their children. And let clean gone for ever? doth His promise the beauty of the Lord our God be upon fail for evermore ? Hath God forgotten us : and establish Thou the work of our to be gracious ? hath He in anger shut hands upon us ; yea, the work of our up His tender mercies? And I said, hands establish Thou it.” This is my infirmity : but I will remem In order that these prayers may be ber the years of the right hand of the answered, and these hopes realized, Most High.” Is our worship too formal “ suffer the word of exhortation,” We and indevout,-captivating to the senses, have nothing new to recommend. Novel rather than quickening to the soul ? Is expedients for the revival and spread of our spirit too cold and worldly,un becoming religion are too often the resources of those who confess themselves “strangers impatience, or even the fruit of unbelief. and pilgrims in the earth ?” Are we You will bear with us, however, when too careless and unconcerned about the we urge you, knowing “whereto ye have outlying masses, surrounding our sanctu attained,” to “walk by the same rule," aries, and claiming our pity ? Are we too and to “mind the same thing.” The prone to rest in means, and to glory in men, means which, under God's blessing, forgetting that all spiritual power is from originated Methodism, are
the only on high and of God? Are we too seldom means which, under the same blessing, in our closets, and too hurried in our pray- will perpetuate Methodism. Let us reers? Are we too unmindful of the pres- mind you of a primary and general prinence and glory of God the Holy Ghost ? ciple,—that not only the prosperity of the Whatever may be our " infirmity,” it be- church, but even its very existence dehoves us to find it out, to confess it, to pends on the personal godliness of its seek forgiveness for it, and evermore to members. No aggregation of unconeschew it
. The words addressed to the verted men can ever constitute a true ancient church are singularly applicable church. Vital union with the Head is to us : " And thou shalt remember all the essential to organic growth in the memway which the Lord thy God led thee bers. Our fathers, while they welcomed these forty years in the wilderness, to all to their fellowship who had a sincere humble thee, and to prove thee, to know desire to flee from the wrath to come, what was in thine heart, whether thou were never satisfied unless the people of wouldest keep His commandments, or no.” their charge were living in the enjoyment Our experience of the mercy and faithful of the witness of the Spirit, and were ness of God, in the midst of various trials panting after the maturity of Christian and conflicts in the past, should rebuke love. We must be careful that these all impatience and faintheartedness, and glorious truths do not pass away from
the sphere of experience, only to be found ing consolation amid the infirmities of in that of mere orthodoxy. The great declining years and the nearing lights of want of the day is an intelligent, eternity. In these times, when so much ardent, uniform, and practical godliness dishonour is done to “the oracles of in all the members of the church; a God” by an irreverent criticism and a godliness which is nourished by devout remorseless scepticism, we are persuaded and habitual fellowship with God, which of you, dear brethren, that you will shall shed a radiance of sanctity and be evince your confidence in them, and sinignity around the domestic circle, which tachment to them, by studying more earby an unswerving integrity and unaffecte nestly their holy lessons, and by praced simplicity shall command the respect tising more diligently their Divine preand the confidence of the world, and cepts. As an inestimable help to stead. which, by embodying itself in some spe- fastness and advancement in Christian eific form of religious activity, shall be holiness, we earnestly exhort you to prize felt as a silent, pervasive, and irresistible and use the Class-meeting. This instipower for good.
tution is no longer an experiment with If you would cultivate and exemplify us : it has become an integral part of our eminent godliness, you must pay a scru- ecclesiastical economy; and it cannot be pulous and diligent regard to the duties neglected without endangering the existof private devotion. “ But thou, when ence of true Methodism. To a host of thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and, boly men and women, who, as Leaders, when thou hast shut thy door, pray to are our fellow-helpers in this department thy Father which is in secret ; and thy of Christ's service, we look for the mainFather, which seeth in secret, shall re tenance of this means of Christian comward thee openly." The claims of the munion in its primitive simplicity and world, of the family, or even of the spirituality; and on our beloved people church, must not be allowed to interfere we rely, to encourage both their ministers with the claims of the closet. Solitude, and their Leaders by the punctuality and when ballowed by filial and fervent com- constancy of their attendance, by the munion with God, is promotive of a growth of their piety, by the consistency thoughtful and practical piety. Men of of their walk, and by their zealous laprayer are men of power. Emulate the bours and extending usefulness. Be holy examples sketched by inspired bio- tenderly concerned on behalf of those graphy. Avail yourselves of your ex who were formerly associated with you alted privilege, and abound in secret in- in Christian fellowship, but who, from tercession. By this means you will not various causes, have forfeited their metonly advance the life of God in your own bership, and, in tou many instances, bare souls, but you will become the instru- lost their religion. In most of our coments of much good to others. Couple gregations there are to be found some of with the duty of closet prayer the devout this class. No state is more pitiable, as and systematic reading of the word of none is more perilous, than that of backGod. “ Search the Scriptures.” “ Let sliders. “ Brethren, if any of you do ert the word of Christ dwell in you richly in from the truth, and one convert hins ; let all wisdom.” “ Ye are built upon the him know, that he which converteth the foundation of the apostles and prophets, sinner from the error of his way sa Jesus Christ Himself being the chief save a soul from death, and shall hide a Corner-Stone.” “As new-born babes, multitude of sins." desire the sincere milk of the word, that There is another topic, on which we ye may grow thereby : if so be ye have have frequently and earnestly addressed tasted that the Lord is gracious.” To you before, but on which, as it is vitaly the young we would affectionately appeal. connected with the prosperity and exter While your memories are able quickly sion of the church of Christ, it is in on to seize, and firmly to hold, what you hearts yet again to address you We commit to their custody, endeavour to refer to the religious claims of the young. enrich them with ample resources of There is no subject which can be justly biblical knowledge. This will prove a regarded, in view of the aspects and tensafeguard in the hour of temptation, and dencies of the present times, as of greater a solace in the day of trouble ; it will utility and importance than the gudir give freshness to your experience, and training of our youth. Nor must parend copiousness to your prayers ; it will attempt to delegate their duties. We direct your zeal, and sustain your faith, rejoice in the vigorous working of in the various enterprises of charity and Day-schools,-in the growing strength piety; and, if you be spared to old age, our Sabbath-schools, and in the activity it will prove a source of rich and unfail- and efficiency of our Academics and Ceile
leges : but home lessons possess a charm the exercises of the family altar, and the and a power altogether their own; and, enjoyment of reasonable opportunities of while they are the earliest and most attending Divine worship on Sabbaths gentle in their influence, are often the and on week-days, direct conversation most salutary and lasting in their results. with them on religious subjects could Our hearts yearn over Christ's “ lambs” pot fail, by God's blessing, to produce with a tenderness not to be expressed. most beneficial effects; and it would cerWe have dedicated them, by our office tainly contribute to elevate a class who and ministry, in the sacrament of Bap are essential to the comfort of our homes, tism, to the God of their fathers; and we but whose spiritual interests are somcare authorized to expect on their behalf times lamentably neglected. Many of all the purchased blessings of the evan- you, as employers, have been placed by gelical covenant. The promise made to the providence of God in responsible Abraham was not exhausted in his case: relationships to large numbers of your " And I will establish my covenant be fellow-men. Those relationships involve tween me and thee, and thy seed after more than mere questions of labour and thee in their generations, for an everlast wages; they give you an advantage ing covenant, to be a God unto thee, and which few can command of promoting to thy seed after thee.” And most as the moral and eternal good of your emsuring are the words of the Lord by the ployés and of their families ; and, if you mouth of Isaiah :-“ For I will pour use those advantages with prudent zeal water op him that is thirsty, and floods and generous solicitude, you will reap a upon the dry ground: I will pour my harvest of rich and enduring results. Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon In all your business and mercantile thine offspring : and they shall spring transactions, avoid with unswerving conup as among the grass, as willows by the scientiousness everything dubious and water-courses. One shall say, I am the dishonourable, and study to be influenLord's; and another shall call himself tial examples of integrity and unselfish. by the name of Jacob; and another shall
Watch against that ominous subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, eagerness for affluence which is now and surname himself by the name of alarmingly prevalent, and which is unIsrael.” We cannot recall the memories friendly alike to your temporal and of Pentecost without perceiving that our eternal interests. “ They that will be youth have a glorious heritage in these rich fall into temptation and a snare, and inspired declarations. “The promise,” into many foolish and hurtful lusts, said St. Peter, " is unto you, and to your which drown men in destruction and perchildren."
Be satisfied with nothing dition. For the love of money is the less than their early conversion. Let all root of all evil : which while some covetyour purposes, plans, and efforts have a ed after, they have erred from the faith, direct reference to this. As soon as they and pierced themselves through with attain responsibility, they are capable many sorrows." If resources of wealth of being saved or lost.
“ Train up a
should be placed at your disposal by the child in the way he should go ; and favouring providence of God, remember when he is old, he will not depart from that you are but stewards for Him, and it.” The perils of the age menace the endeavour to consecrate a fair proportion well-being of our children on every hand. of it to the claims of humanity and the If we would command their respect and advancement of religion. If as citizens affection, and secure for them and our you should be called upon to exercise selves the favour and blessing of God, your franchise in the choice of fit and the discipline of the family must be proper men to represent you in Parliakindly but firmly maintained. Guard ment, remember that our national greatthem, as far as possible, from the temp ness reposes on the basis of our Protestations of gaiety, of doubtful companion tant institutions, and flourishes under the ships, of questionable recreations, of per- benign influence of the holy Sabbath ; nicious reading, and of vain speculations; and hesitate to support any candidate for and endeavour to surround them with your suffrages who would spurn the those higher influences which are calcu- legacy of our martyred Reformers, or lated to give a right development to their sacrifice the rest of the Lord's-day at the character, and a hopeful prospect to their shrine of pleasure or of mammon. The destiny. As heads of households, let wise and weighty words of our venerated not the welfare of your servants be over- Founder are worthy of his noble patriotlooked. In addition to the privilege of ism, and will commend themselves to joining with you morning and evening in your thoughtful consideration at the pre
sent crisis :-“ Let others do as they cended and enthroned Saviour, whose will, what is that to you ? Act you as prerogative it is to give “pastors and an honest man, a loyal subject, a true teachers to His Church, for a suciesEnglishman ;......in one word, á Chris- sion of “faithful men-able to teach," tian: one that fears nothing but sin, whom He graciously vouchsafes to us; that seeks nothing but heaven, and that and let us evermore cherish a grateful desires nothing but God; nothing but remembrance of those quickening and glory to God in the highest, and on hallowed visitations of Divine influence earth peace, good-will toward men.” which signalized the public and solemu
You will readily believe us, dear separation of the young Ministers to brethren, when we assure you that we their holy and blessed calling. Most of have been no unconcerned observers of us felt re-commissioned by our adorable those daring assaults which have been Master, and re-baptized for our glorious recently made on the foundation-princi- service. ples of our “most holy faith.” Al We cannot close this address without though we have resolved not to be be- asking you to join with us in humble trayed by the spirit of controversy into and devout thanksgiving to Almighty forgetfulness of our paramount mission God, for His providential mercy and to preach the Gospel, and “by all means goodness vouchsafed to our President
save some,” we deem it right, as the during his recent mission of peace and successors of the “ man of one book," to love to our brethren in various parts of
our unshaken confidence in the North America. Let us still pray that Bible as the Divinely-inspired word of the terrible war which desolates the God; our trust in that á full, perfecthomes and decimates the churches of the and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and United States may speedily be ended; satisfaction for the sins of the whole and that this dreadful and prolonged conworld," which Christ by His death made Alict may issue in the universal emancipaupon the cross ; and our solemn determi- tion of the slave, and the wider reign of nation to preach constantly “ all those the great Prince of Peace. leading and vital doctrines of the Gospel " Finally, brethren, pray for us." which peculiarly distinguished the ori. The great want of the church is power. ginal Methodist preachers, whose labours The very multiplicity of instrumentaliwere so signally blessed by the Lord, and ties, and the very completeness of esto preach them in our primitive method, ganizations, will operate as the greatest evangelically, experimentally, zealously, hindrances to our progress, unless they and with great plainness and simplicity, be pervaded, directed, and hallowed by giving to them a decided prominence in the unction of the Holy Ghost. This, every sermon, and labouring to apply then, is the power which we must seek, them, closely, affectionately, energetically, and which we may have. Why should to the consciences of the different classes Pentecost be an event of the past, and not of our hearers.” As for you, we are per a perpetual fact ? Did not Christ prosuaded that you will “ be no more chile mise that the Comforter should abide dren, tossed to and fro, and carried about with His church for ever? “Is the with every wind of doctrine, by the Spirit of the Lord straitened ?" Let us, sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, dear brethren, unite in contrite, importawhereby they lie in wait to deceive; nate, and believing prayer for the enlarged but, speaking the truth in love, will and permanent outpouring of the Holy grow up into Him in all things, which is Ghost. More particularly, let us affesthe Head, even Christ.”
tionately exhort you to observe with During the year our ranks have been especial solemnity and earnestness the broken by the removal of thirty-three Quarterly Fasts. Some of the most fathers and brethren to their endless rest.. memorable revivals that have marked the Some of them were young in years, and history of Methodism had their origin rich in promise; others were venerable amid the services of those days of huin age, and full of honours. These af- miliation and intercession. Let us * de fecting instances of mortality admonish the first works,” and we shall recover us to “do with our might whatsoever first love." "Turn us again, O our hand findeth to do." The vacancies Lord God of Hosts ; cause Thy face to thus created have been filled up by fifty- shine, and we shall be saved." ' * So ve nine probationers, who, after their usual Thy people, and sheep of Thy pastore, examinations, have been ordained to the will give Thee thanks for ever : we will work and office of the Christian ministry show forth Thy praise to all genera among us, Let us again adore our aso tions,"
* Now the God of peace, that brought Jesus Christ ; to whom be glory for ever
OBITUARY OF WESLEYAN MINISTERS.
Q. What Ministers have died since able mental power, and were enriched the last Conference ?
with varied and useful illustrations. His A. I. In Great Britain, the twenty- delivery was calm, his manner easy, his four following:
style chaste; and his ministry proved 1. JAMES CATTON, of the Grantham attractive, earnest, spiritual, and soulCircuit ; who was born at Nottingham, saving. His love for little children was in 1796. Although his early life was unusual; and never did he experience unstained by the grosser vices, he lived purer happiness than when he had them in the neglect of personal religion until grouped around him, and listening as he the twenty-fourth year of his age. About spoke of the love of Christ. In pastoral this time, under the energetic and soul tact and attention he was an example saving ministry of the late Rev. John unto many. His gentle manners, devout Smith, he was convinced of sin. He spirit, and loving words, always made earnestly sought the Lord, and was made him a welcome visiter in sick chambers ; happy in the enjoyment of God's favour. and many are the sainted ones whom he No sooner had he experienced this great helped to comfort in their passage through change himself, than he began to evince the Jordan. His conversation was in an earnest desire to be useful to others. heaven. Death had no sting for him, and His name was placed on the Local Preach- life no attractions longer than he could ers' Plan of the Nottingham Circuit; and, live for some good purpose. The guilein 1823, he was accepted by the Confer- less purity of his heart, the meek simence as a candidate for the ministry. In plicity of his life, his love and pity for the Circuits in which he laboured he was the destitute and the sick, his deadness to diligent and successful. His piety was the world, and his uninterrupted comof a cheerful character. His intellect was munion with God, presented a beautiful above the common order, being marked specimen of Christian holiness. An hour by great originality and power. His at before he died, he said, “Let us sing the tainments were highly respectable; and Doxology;" and the last utterance of his his ministrations, both in the pulpit and lips was the word “ Praise.” During on the platform, effective. As a Pastor the brief illness which terminated in his he was sympathizing, as a colleague affec- death, his mind was kept in perfect peace. tionate, and as a Minister faithful. When He fell asleep in Jesus, at Wavertree, contending with the disease which at August 28th, 1863. length terminated his life, he persevered 3. JAMES ALLEN, 1st; born at in going to his appointments. In the Burslein, September 28th, 1787. Delast public service which he conducted, he scended from godly parents, he was led read in the lesson the words, “I have by their counsels and prayers, while yet fought a good fight, I have finished my a youth, to religious decision and union course, I have kept the faith ;” and gave with the church of Christ. His sorrow out the lines, "We know, by faith we for sin was extreme, until, while he know,” &c.; after which his strength wrestled with God in private prayer, completely failed. He was obliged to agonizing distress was displaced by the desist, and was led home, where, after a joys of pardon. The reality of that immonth's suffering, he fell asleep in Jesus, portant change was never doubted, and on the 20th of August, 1863, in the sixty was abundantly sustained by a holy life. seventh year of his age, having fulfilled a Having been made a class-leader in early ministry of forty years.
life, and being remarkable for gravity of 2. JOHN SPENCER JONES, son of deportment and fervent zeal, he rendered the late Rev. Lewis Jones, was born at services efficient and successful. Shortly Llangollen, February 5th, 1819. Of a afterwards he began to call sinners to singularly modest, gentle, diffident, and repentance; and, in the year 1806, before loving spirit, he was beloved by all who he had completed his nineteenth year, he knew him. His sermons, which were became a probationer for the Christian prayerfully prepared, manifested consider- ministry. “In several Circuits he wit