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On giving Publicity to the Principles of the Association. 205
rations, as an analogism of vast and telling importance to the eternal interests of mankind—provided the Association prove faithful to the important trust committed to its conservation.
The secession of the Association has been one of the most important, both as it regards members and influence, which future historians will have to record; and its position towards and influence on the Methodistic, and other churches, for good or evil, are of vast importance in the view of every Christian philanthropist. In after time, the question will naturally and generally be mooted, has the Association abided by, and does it continue to carry out its original principles; and are its usages, and practices, as well as its doctrines, nearer in assimilation to those of the primitive church, than those of other churches? or has it at all diverged from its first professed principles, oris there an incipient tendency toward seeking "that honour which cometh of men?" Are its ministers and people more than any other closely united, and faithfully endeavouring to obey Christ's command, going every where preaching his Word?
In the short period in which the liberal principles of church government and church representation, adopted by the Association have been in operation, making due allowances for the retarding influences that have been in operation against its progression, and the enlargement of its coast,—its successful efforts, under God, have been great, very great. The immense sums which have been expended in various parts of the kingdom, in the course of about five years, in raising temples, wherein its members now can take refuge, bear ample testimony to the fact. Yet the question still arises, has its progression been equal to the rational anticipation of its zealous—its best friends? I for one, cannot reply in the affirmative, and I may add, that I know there are others who unite in this opinion, who are second to none in their strong attachment to our body, and to our starting principles; who yet have their doubts as to the subsequent extension of Association principles. The fact I believe to be this, that through the fears of many of our excellent friends, we have neglected as a body, continually and extensively to make known our case, our principles, and our soul-seeking objects, as we should do. We have shunned to declare them broadly and openly,—orally and by the pen and press, to the world at large; through a foolish, squeamish fear of offending the parties or their partizans, who have been the unhappy instruments or agents in driving numbers of us so unrighteously from our father's house. This is not as it should be. If we were ashamed to declare our principles, that would be something in the shape of a right course—but we, on the contrary, should glory in them, and make them as extensively known as they are deserving of being made known, and repudiate the idea of setting them down as of little value. They are all important and should be faithfully and fully exhibited in the face of our enemies. We have as individuals, either been driven or seceded from the Conference body for conscience' sake, or we have not—why then hesitate as individuals, or as an associated body to declare truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? As soon as we as a body cease to be Methodistic Protestants, the glory of the Association is gone, and its tendencies will be to settle down into a criminal quietism, similar to some who may have started well—but * * * Such a course was not that of the great Protestant Reformer; no, on the contrary, as soon as his eyes were opened on the real anti-christian pretensions,—assumptions, pretensions, practices, and power of the Vatican church—it was in vain that the head and chiefs thereof, the Pope and his Cardinals,—combined to threaten and proscribe. He braved with equal courage their vengeance—their united power—resting on the truths of the Divine Book—he denounced, and continued " to denounce, with an unsparing hand, the prevalence of corruption." He was too resolute to be deterred from his purpose by a pusillanimous yielding to neutralizing influences. The improvement, the salvation, of his fellow men, was the object which with him superseded every other consideration. And I would now ask, has the Association followed out a similar course? Has there not been too much of a settling down on our Frincifles without a due exhibition of them, and of the practices, which occasioned the secession of so many thousand members from the Methodist conference? As yet, after a lapse of several years, it has not put forth any authoritative document in justification of its proceedings, since the publication of its able protest agreed to by the Assembly of Delegates at Sheffield in 1835,—save, that my mind has this day been cheered into a hope of a change for the better, in connexion with the points to which I have referred. I have just now put my hand on a copy of "Connexional Regulations of the Wesleyan Methodist Association," which affords at least an instalment of "good to come," and which I doubt not will be hailed by every genuine Wesleyan Reformer, as calculated to encourage our people to rest on that pedestal on which they at first rested their Protest. The preamble is suitable, and goes on to describe the circumstances which led to the formation of the Wesleyan Methodist Association, stating, that "its rise was occasioned by the assumption and exercise of undue authority on the part of the Methodist Conference, composed exclusively of itinerant preachers. The Conference claiming and exercising sole legislative authority in the connexion; from time to time, enacting laws, which are made obligatory upon all the local officers and other members of the societies composing the body, without allowing them, by any system of representation, to participate in making the laws by which they have to be governed." The succeeding sentence, I hail with an especial feeling of gratification.
"In addition to this, the Conference, in the year 1835, made such alterations in the laws of the connexion, as gave the itinerant preachers ultimate sole-power, to exercise alt judicial and executive authority,—so that they may in such cases as they think proper, Exfel members from the society, against whom no charge has been proved to the satisfaction of any leaders' meeting; and even after the leaders' meeting has acquitted the accused from the alleged offence."
These unrighteous laws and proceedings I conceive cannot be too extensively made known throughout our reformed, and other non-reformed Methodist churches. The pamphlet to which I have been referring ought to be extensively circulated—the cost is so trifling, that I hope all our circuits will supply every member of their societies with a copy. I may have to trouble you further on the important subject matter of this letter.
April 7th, 1842. T. P. Rosevbar.
LONDON CIRCUIT. On the 18th of March was opened a new chapel, situate near the Caledonian Road, Pentonville, between Islington and King's Cross, formerly called Battle Bridge. The Rev. Dr. Campbell, author of "Jethro; Martyr of Erromanga," &c, preached in the afternoon; and the Rev. A, Fletcher, A.M., in the evening. The introductory services were conducted by Mr. R. Eckett. On the following Sabbath, sermons were preached by the Rev. J. Burns, the Rev. Dr. Henderson, and the Rev. Dr. Cox. The attendances
at all the services, and the collections, were quite equal to our expectations.
This chapel is forty-eight feet long, by forty-three feet wide, and is of sufficient height for galleries: underneath the chapel there are most excellent, light, lofty, dry and airy school-rooms, and visitors' and other rooms; surrounded with a spacious paved area.
On Whit-Tuesday we expect to open a new chapel at Bromley, in Kent. We are also rebuilding and enlarging our chapel at Willow Walk, near Shoreditch; which will make seven chapels erected in our Circuit
for the use of the Wesleyan Methodist Association. We have had, and still have difficulties of no ordinary character to contend with — our faith and patience have often been most severely tried, yet, upon the whole, we have much reason to be thankful for the measure of stability to which our Societies here have now attained. The difficulties with which the Association has to contend in London are, perhaps, more formidable than in any other place. Our expenses for places of worship and school-rooms, have been very heavy. To obtain the position in the metropolis, which it is most desirable the Association should possess, will require much labour, prudence and perseverance. We are, however, encouraged by our past success, and by our present prospects. R. E.
Through some misunderstanding the following account, which should have reached you in time for insertion in the last Magazine, has been delayed; we shall be obliged by its appearing next month.
Our Missionary Anniversary services commenced on Friday, February 18th, when an interesting sermon was delivered by the Rev. A. Keene, of Glasgow. On Sunday the 20th, Mr. D. Rowland, of Liverpool, preached in the morning and evening, and the Kev. A. Keene in the afternoon; the congregations were good, the sermons interesting and impressive, and a very gracious influence prevailed, especially in the evening, when the feeling was peculiarly deep and solemn.
The Public Meeting was held on Monday (the 21st): the chapel'was comfortably filled. After a hymn had been sung and prayer offered; Adam Black, Esq. one of the town counsellors was unanimously called to the chair, and opened the Meeting by a speech replete with kind and Christian sentiment. After the Report and Treasurer's account (from which it appears that the sum collected this year is about double that of any former one) was
read, the Meeting was addressed by the Rev. Andrew Thomson, (United Associate Synod) with great beauty of imagery, felicity of illustration, and truly touching pathos; also by Mr. G. Greig, of London, who gave many statistical accounts shewing the necessity of Home Missions; and by the Bev. W. L. Alexander, (Independent,) in a speech characterized by chastity of language, clearness and force of argument, and grace of delivery.
Mr. David Rowland then gave a rapid sketch of the rise and spread of the Associaton, and of the state of its Missions, together with the statistics of the body; this speech which was delivered with his usual animation, and interspersed with remarks which were by turns cheerful, without levity; and solemn without gloom; was listened to with the most fixed attention by all who heard him. The Meeting was then addressed on the importance of cultivating native agency abroad, and lay agency at home, by the Rev. H. Wight, (Independent), and on the necessity of exertion, by the Rev. A. Keene; the meeting was then concluded with prayer.
On Tuesday the 22nd, a Soiree was held in the Calton Convening Room, which was filled with an interesting and respectable company. According to previous announcement the chair was, after tea, taken by the Rev. T. A. Bayley; excellent addresses were delivered by the Rev. Messrs. A. Keene, and A. Mackay, and by Messrs. Rowland, Greig, Cochran, and Bladworth, interspersed with pieces sung by a good vocal band, under the direction of Mr. J. Hawks. This Meeting was, in many respects, a most delightful one, and it was closed under circumstances of peculiar solemnity which will not soon be forgotten. Mr. Rowland when concluding his address, which had been very impressive throughout, requested all who were determined to meet him in heaven to stand up, (it was an attempt which most persons acquainted with Scottish habits would have predicted would be a failure) when almost all present rose from their seats,—it was an impressive sight,—many were deeply affected :— after a few valedictory remarks, by Mr. R. the Meeting was concluded with prayer.
It remains only to say that the collections were quite equal to our expectations,—and that we trust the Meetings will be profitable to us in various other ways.
Thomas A. Bayley
On Good Friday we held our first Sunday School Anniversary at Flimby, a village about tea miles from Whitehaven, and two from Maryport. It was a most interesting occasion, and produced considerable excitement in the place. In the morning the children were publicly catechised. In the afternoon about eighty of them reassembled, and having formed themselves into a procession, headed by their teachers, paraded the village; they then returned to the chapel, and with a number of friends sat down to a comfortable tea, for which the scholars each paid 3d., and the others, Is. In the evening the Rev. J. Thompson preached an excellent and deeply impressive sermon from the following words, "And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
As a Society, we entered this village under circumstances somewhat peculiarand not the most promising. About three years since, a young man of an ardent temperament became truly converted to God, and joined our society at Maryport; he was so anxiously concerned for the salvation of souls, that, although he had most lamentably lived in utter ignorance of even the theory of religion, and although it was ten miles from Whitehaven, he resolved to endeavour to excite attention to divine things at Flimby, and proclaim to its dark and destitute people the word of life. A place was got, and a few people brought together; and he, assisted by two or three of the Maryport friends, and occasionally by a preacher from Whitehaven, continued to go there every Sabbath for some time. At length Flimby was put on the Preacher's Plan, and we now have there a small society consisting of seven or eight members. The Sunday School which is there conducted affords religious instruction to nearly 100 children. It has been liberally supported by numerous friends, but especially by a family belonging to the Society of Friends. May the great head of the Church sustain and bless his own cause, till the knowledge of Himself shall fill the whole earth. Beth.
WESLEYAN METHODIST ASSOCIATION
MEMOIR OF THE LATE MR. WILLIAM UTTLEY,
By Mr. John Wright.
William Uttley was a native of the West Riding of Yorkshire. He was born at Lee, in the parish of Longfield, on March 4th, 1767. Of his parents we have no information, and of his early history very little is known. It is evident, however, that daring the first thirtysix years of his life, he was living without God, and without hope in the world. Some time in the year 1803, he was requested by a friend to go to the Methodist Chapel, to hear a funeral sermon preached. To the very urgent requests of this individual he yielded. It was under that sermon a ray of heavenly light darted "athwart the gloom profound," and for the first time his mind was truly awakened to a sense of his awful state. He now saw clearly and felt acutely, how awfully he had sinned against God, by living in the total neglect of divine worship, and the salvation of his own soul. He went to the Lord's house that evening a careless sinner, but he returned a broken-hearted penitent seeker of salvation. From this time we behold him a decided follower of Jesus, the sinner's friend. He laid "aside every weight and the sin which had so easily beset him, and run with patience the race set before him, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." He offered himself to the Methodist Society as a candidate for church membership, and was received into the Society. A short time after he had identified himself with the followers of Christ, when he was at a prayer meeting 'in the neighbourhood, the Lord spoke peace to his soul. The Lord saw his distress and heard his earnest cry for mercy, and "passed by before him and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin." This delightful truth reached his heart, dried up his tears, consoled his mind, and he "rejoiced with joy unspeakable, and full of glory."