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We gladly embrace the opportunity now afforded us of approaching the Throne for the purpose of renewing to Your Majesty our earnest profession of affectionate and loyal attachment to Your Majesty's royal person, and to the Constitution and Government of the United Kingdom. In accordance with this profession, we cannot but regard with mingled grief and indignation the wicked attempts which have recently been made to sow the seeds of disaffection among certain classes of Your Majesty's subjects; and particularly to disseminate in one part of Your Majesty's dominions the principles of open and avowed rebellion. Against all sympathy with such proceedings, as well as against the mischiefs to which they necessarily tend, we have, in conformity with the precepts of holy Scripture, and the example of our venerated Founder, made it our strenuous endeavour to guard all those whom the providence of God has placed under our pastoral care ; enjoining it upon them on all occasions, as a sacred duty, to be subject to lawful authority, “not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake.”
We trust, that by the divine blessing on the vigorous and active measures taken by Your Majesty's Government, all efforts to create revolutionary agitation and disturbance may be speedily repressed ; and that, by the re-establishment of the public quiet in those places where it has lately been interrupted, Your Majesty will have the satisfaction of again receiving the allegiance of a united and dutiful people.
May the King of Kings continue to surround Your Majesty's person and family with the shield of his ever-watchful and gracious protection! May He increase and multiply upon you and them the blessings both of providence and grace! May Your Majesty's throne be established in righteousness; and, finally, after having been spared for many years as the beloved Sovereign of a prosperous and devoted people, may you receive the higher honours and rewards of a blissful immortality! Signed on behalf and by order of the Conference,
ROBERT Newton, D.D., President,
JOSEPH FOWLER, Secretary. Kingston-upon-Hull, July 26th, 1848.
From the Right Hon. Sir George Grey, Bart., M.P., Secretary of State
for the Home Department.
“ Whitehall, August 16th, 1848. “SIR,—I have had the honour to lay before the Queen the loyal and dutiful Address of the Ministers of the Gospel in the Connexion established by the late Rev. John Wesley, A.M., in their Annual Conference assem. bled,' on the occasion of the birth of another Princess; and expressing their attachment to Her Majesty's person and the Constitution, and their regret at the attempts which have been lately made to disturb the public peace, and tendering their best influence with all those whom the providence of God has placed under their pastoral care.
“And I have the satisfaction to inform you, that Her Majesty was pleased to receive in the most gracious manner the expressions of loyalty and attachment conveyed by this Address.
“I have the honour to be, Sir,
“G. GREY. “ The Rev. Robert Newton, D.D., President, Hull.”
I.-THE IRISA CONFERENCE, 1848. The Annual Conference of the Wesleyan Ministers in Ireland was held this year in Dublin, and commenced its sittings on Friday, July 23d, under the Presidency of the Rev. Samuel Jackson, President of the British Conference. The usual preparatory Committees had previously met, and to their Reports, as well as to the other matters of business connected with the Irish branch of the widely-spread Wesleyan family, the assembled Ministers devoted their careful attention. Their “Minutes," since published, though containing little beyond the customary statements and decisions, plainly exhibit the unremitting, and even anxious, care, which the Irish brethren feel for every part of the work to which they are called, and in which they have often to engage in very painful circumstances, circumstances which might well even dishearten any who did not really place their whole trust in God. To witness such a body of men, noiselessly, but with true power, pressing onward on the path of duty, undeterred by the ignorance, error, superstition, and in too many instances the malignity and savagism, with which they have to contend, is to gaze on a spectacle of moral heroism which, though it may be overlooked by the wisdom of this world, is as sublime as it is exemplary and animating. The great work of the Irish Ministers is to uphold and declare those grand truths of the Gospel of Christ which constitute a truly enlightened and spiritual Protestantism, and furnish the only hope of recovery from its load of evils to a country whose large capacities seem hitherto only to have been filled up with wretchedness. And in this work they engage in the midst of a dark, ness which seems in some respects to be deepening, and in the face of perils which would appal any but those who count not their lives dear to them, that they may finish their course with joy. Some notion of the melancholy position in which they are placed may be gathered from a circumstance which occurred during the sittings of the British Conference, and which we mention here by way of anticipation. One morning, in the early part of the Conference, when the President had taken the chair, and the business of the day was about to commence, the Irish Representatives, the Rev. Messrs. T. Waugh, J. F. Mathews, and J. Greer, announced that they had just heard, (from a communication in the public papers by means of the Electric Telegraph,) that rebellion had broken out in Ireland, that in some places the troops had been defeated, and in others refused to act, and that the places where their own families resided were then in a state of the most violent commotion. They in consequence requested permission to leave the Conference, and return home. They were commended to God in earnest prayer, and forth with left Hull for Liverpool and Ireland. They soon learned, indeed, that the report was a false one; but, during the hours in which they had reason to believe that it was correct, their distress must have been agonizing.
It is, indeed, a high example of devotion to duty which the proceedings of the Irish, Wesleyan Ministers furnish. They have little that is visible to encourage them, except the unabated affection of the people of their charge ; but their motives are supplied by that true faith in Invisible Realities which evidently governs them. Such are their circumstances, that the actual success with which their ministerial devotedness is crowned, furnishes no visible result in their annual statistical Reports. The decrease VOL. IV.-FOURTH SERIES.
in the number of members in the societies under the care of the Irish Conference is this year larger than usual, amounting to 1,491 ; but this will occasion no surprise when it is added, that the emigrations this year from the Irish Wesleyan society have been not fewer than 1,063. Thus, upwards of a thousand persons, the fruit of faithful and persevering ministerial labour, whose continuance in their own land might have been a rich blessing to it, (for they who thus emigrate are precisely the persons likely to be most valuable and useful at home,) have been compelled, by the miserable condition of the country, to seek in distant regions for the security, quiet, and prosperity, which the crimes and agitations of their fatherland forbid them there to hope for.
That the Wesleyan Ministers in Ireland have neither departed from their long-established character for genuine loyalty, nor forgotten the principles on which it is based, their Address to the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Clarendon, sufficiently demonstrates. Among other things, they say, “ During more than a century, the body of Ministers to which we belong have been ceaselessly engaged in inculcating these scriptural truths. We feel it imperative, in the present circumstances of this country, to follow with increasing zeal the example of our fathers in disseminating truth throughout our native land; and our daily supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, shall be made for Kings, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.'” In the official reply to this Address we are glad to find the following passage :—“During the century that has elapsed since the establishment of your community as a distinct body by the Rev. John Wesley, all the Statesmen who have had a share in the administration of the British empire have uniformly found that body distinguished by the steadiness of its loyalty, and for its unvarying maintenance of the principles of constitutional law and social order.”
We have on former occasions earnestly commended the Wesleyan Ministers in Ireland, both to the Christian sympathies of our readers, and to their fervent prayers. Their claim on these sympathies and their need of these prayers, in the present circumstances of Ireland, are stronger than ever. Ireland can only be effectually and permanently delivered from the wretchedness in which it has so long been plunged, by the spread, amongst the bulk of its population, of that heavenly truth which disenthralls and elevates, which purifies in their source all the activities of human nature, rightly directs their employment, and secures for them a prosperous issue. Far be it from us to say that the Wesleyan Ministers in Ireland are the only persons who properly understand the real wants of their country, and seek in the wisest manner to supply them ; but of this we are sure, that in that enlightened, laborious, and self-denying zeal, which alone constitutes a genuine and practically-useful patriotism, the patriotism of deeds and truth, not of a swelling verbiage and a debasing falsehood, they are surpassed by none. Their primary objects, indeed, do not regard the merely secular well-being of their country ; they seek, in all their labours, the glory of God in the salvation of souls : but it is only through the attainment of these higher objects, that those which are subordinate and dependent can be secured. May the blessing of the most high God be upon his servants, that they may persevere in their labour, and that their labour may not be in vain in the Lord !
II.-THE WESLEYAN-METHODIST CONFERENCE,
HULL, 1848. The hundred and fifth Annual Conference of the Wesleyan Ministers in Great Britain was held this year at Hull, and commenced its sittings in Great Thornton-street Chapel there, on the 26th of July. The usual Committees had been sitting for nearly a fortnight previously, for the purpose of preparing their several Reports, and completing that orderly arrangement of the public business of the Connexion, without which it would not be possible to give to it, in the time limited by the Deed which constitutes the legal foundation of the Conference itself, the attention which it necessarily requires, and which its increasing importance demands. We may take the opportunity of remarking, that it is in these Committees that the peculiar ecclesiastical constitution of this extensive section of the visible church of our Lord Jesus Christ, becomes most strikingly apparent. The Conference, indeed, is composed only of the Ministers of the Body, under whose direction all its spiritual affairs are conducted ; and superficial observers have hence represented them as possessing undivided and unchecked power. Throughout the whole year, in all the meetings in which the affairs of the respective Circuits are transacted, a large amount of lay-agency is continually employed, not casually and uncertainly, but according to the regular discipline of the now thoroughly established system. But this is never so generally obvious as in those preparatory assemblies to which we are now referring, through which the decisions and reports which embrace all the temporal concerns of Wesleyan Methodism pass for final arrangement, and presentation to the Conference. Perhaps in no portion of the church has the difficult problem of the co-operation of these respective powers been more decisively and satisfactorily solved. And this adjustment has not been the result of abstract and speculative opinions, but has gradually issued from practical experience, exhibiting from time to time, under, we believe, the guidance and blessing of the heavenly Ruler of his church, the best methods of applying the grand principles of ecclesiastical polity laid down in the New Testament, and which may be recognised sincerely, and developed effectually, under a variety of forms. The Wesleyans condemn not those who make a different application, which may, perhaps, be better suited to the circumstances of those for whom it is designed; but they are thankful for that which exists among themselves, and only regret the necessity, occasionally arising, of defending their own institutions from charges which too often proceed from incorrect and one-sided views of them.
As this was the first time that the Conference held its sittings in Hull, it was natural to expect that public attention would be extensively awakened ; but the anticipation was far exceeded by the reality. Nearly four hundred Ministers were present, and never were they more kindly received, never entertained with more Christian hospitality. Year after year, the Wesleyan Ministers assembling in Conference are accustomed to receive from their friends, in the different places in which the Conference is held, an affectionate welcome, cheering always to their feelings, and by which they are stimulated to renewed zeal and activity in the labours to which they have to return : so that where all is kindness, comparison, even were it possible, would yet be invidious. But the circumstance, that this was the first Hull-Conference, allows us to say, what indeed the simple truth requires us to say, that Holl has not furnished the shadow of an exception to what has long been gratefully felt to be a general rule. And we have every reason
to believe that the gratification has been mutual. The Wesleyan Ministers stationed in Hull had evidently, in conjunction with their friends, (aided, also, in their work by the willing affection of Christians of other denominations,) laboured assiduously in the task of preparation; and the event proved that their labours were as successful as they had been assiduous. We did not hear of a single expression of disappointment on any side ; and though so large a number had to be accommodated, the accommodations were furnished to an extent scarcely to have been anticipated from a town so comparatively limited in its population.
The public religious services, always numerously attended during the sittings of the Conference, attracted this year larger congregations than ever. When some of them were about to be held, it seemed as if the surrounding country, by means of special trains on the railroads, as well as by the ordinary methods of conveyance, were pouring its crowds into the town; and on one or two occasions, other services had to be held at the same time in other places, to lessen the pressure of the congregation, and to prevent disappointment. And in all cases a feeling as powerful as it was hallowed appeared to pervade the vast assemblies. To those Ministers who had been selected to conduct the services on occasions of particular importance and responsibility, the Great Head of the church vouchsafed that especial assistance which they had evidently desired and sought, so that their labours were sources of holy delight to the congregations for the time committed to their charge, and spiritual pleasure and advantage were rendered commensurate. We do not remember any former occasion on which this was more decidedly the case, so that they whose privilege it was to be present could scarcely fail to be reminded of the language in which some of the services of the primitive church are described in the sacred record : “And with great power gave the Apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus ; and great grace was upon them all.” We cannot doubt but that, by the blessing of God the Spirit, to many individuals, and to many families, the Hull Conference in 1848 will ever be a memorable event. Both the public services, and the more private intercourse of the Ministers with the friends with whom they so pleasantly for a time resided, will, we are persuaded, be followed by a large amount of permanent spiritual good; and the first Hull Conference prove to be not only one of the best that ever was held, but also the commencement of a series in which such advantages shall always be found to be increasing.
On the assembling of the Conference, the Ministers entitled to vote in the election of a President manifested their unabated esteem and affection for their venerated father and beloved brother, the Rev, Robert Newton, D.D., and their sense of the value of his long-continued and faithful labours, by choosing him to fill the highest office which they have the power to confer, and placing him for the fourth time in the chair. The Rev. Joseph Fowler, Superintendent of the Hull West Circuit, was elected to the honourable post of Secretary to the Conference; and by the fidelity and judgment with which he discharged the important duties of his situation, so far as the actual sittings of the Conference are concerned, he proved himself to be not unworthy of the choice which his brethren had made.
For the subjects which occupied the careful attention of the Conference, and the results of their serious, and frequently anxious, deliberations, our readers are referred to the “ Annual Minutes," published at the same time with the present Number of the Magazine. Some of these “Minutes" we may probably insert in our own pages, on account of the importance of