« PreviousContinue »
ber of representatives as it may deem other. From these narratives a connecessary.” This may possibly be an densed report is drawn up and sent evil, and you may find it necessary in forth with our printed minutes to the some way to limit the representation churches, which is followed with beof County and District Associations. neficial effects. It presents the inThough you do not in any case crease of piety in one section and the sume legislative authority, or become decline of it in another, and leads to a court of appeal,” still many impor- an investigation of the probable causes tant subjects may come up for discus- of each, and the adoption of measures sion, and important questions for deci- to remedy evils where they exist. sion, on which there may be a diver. The cause of truth and evangelical sity of opinion, and which may affect religion has been rising ever since the interests of the whole denomina- we have combined our influence and tion.
counsels by general association. Be“ The plan we have adopted is this, fore, we operated as so many indivithat each Association shall be repre- dual corps-since, as a united and sented in the general and annual meet- marshalled host, against error, uning by two delegates. Two others godliness, and vice. All this, and still are appointed as their substitutes, who more, we anticipate from your conare to attend on the failure of the pri- templated union, and hope soon to maries, so that we can generally cal- hear of the most pleasing and animatculate upon a full representation. ing results of the measures you are This prevents the body from becom- adopting, especially the abundant ining too unwieldy for the dispatch of crease of evangelical religion, and the business, and also a disproportionate enlargement of the civil rights of Prorepresentation when our meetings are testant Dissenters. holden in the midst of a dense popu- Perhaps, in the sequel, I may state lation. These remarks I should facts with which you are already well not have made, but in compliance acquainted; still I will not forbear. with your request; and such may be The state of Massachusetts spreads the difference between your circum- over a territory about 150 miles by stances and ours, that they may be 60 as its mean width. This territory wholly unnecessary.
is divided into 14 counties and 300 “I am persuaded that the general towns. The whole of these towns union you contemplate, will contri- embrace about 750 religious societies, bute largely to your strength, peace, many of which are exceedingly small and enjoyment. Such has been the some but just exist in name, without case with the union of the Evangelical much religious instruction. Congregational Ministers in Massa- “Of these 750 societies of all denomichusetts. It has increased our ac- nations, 406 are Congregational; leavquaintance with each other and our ing of all other denominations 344; 185 brotherly love, harmonized our views Baptists—60 Methodists – 36 Univerand measures, given us a more cor- salists—31 Episcopalians-17 Friends rect knowledge of the state of the -8 Presbyterians —4 Roman Cathochurches ; while it has contributed in lics-2 Shakers –21 Swedenborgians. no inconsiderable degree to the re- The 406 Congregational Societies are vival of true religion in various parts again divided into two sects, Orthodox of the State, and increased and invigo- and Unitarian-350 Orthodox, and rated our
measure of reform and the rest 56 Unitarian. Of the 350 plans of general benevolence. One Orthodox churches and pastors, 276 considerable portion of time during are represented by delegates in our each meeting is occupied in giving an general Association-about 60 of the account of the state of religion within remainder are feeble churches, most our limits,-its declensions and re- of them without pastors and teachers. vivals--the trials and prospects of the A few settled ministers, for various churches. We find that this is hap- reasons, have not associated with their pily calculated to excite the sympa- brethren. The churches whose pasthies of the ministers and churches for tors are associated in the general meeteach other on the one hand, and to en- ing contain about 40,000 members ;courage and animate them on the 5 or 6,000 of these are the fruits of
the very extensive revival of religion come forward with one accord to avow during the past year. Most of the them to the world ; and to exhibit, acUnitarian churches and societies in cording to the phrase of our American America are in this State-i. e. Mas friend, “ a united and marshalled host sachusetts. Harvard College, at against error, ungodliness, and vice.” Cambridge, the earliest public literary 1. Moved by the Rev. J. A. James; institution in our country, and the seconded by the Rev. John Burnet, only one till 1700, is the support, life, and resolved unanimously, and bulwark of Unitarianism in this “That the Report of the Provisional country. It is wholly under Unita- Committee, now read, be approved.” rian influence, instruction, and ma- 11. Moved by J. B. Brown, Esq. nagement-completely sectarian in its LL.D.; seconded by John Brown, character. Its popularity, however, Esq. and resolved unanimously, is evidently on the wane, judging from " That in conformity with the folthe decreasing number of young men lowing resolutions of the General who repair to it for an education. Meeting held in this Library, in May, Most of these are from Boston and 1831, for the purpose of considering the vicinity--from Unitarian fami- the propriety of forming a General lies. A great majority of Unitarian Union of Congregational Churches churches and ministers are to be found and Ministers throughout England at no great remove from the college. and Wales,-THE UNION But notwithstanding all the obstacles FORMED." lying in the way, the cause of evange- I. That it is highly desirable and lical truth and piety has made great important to establish a Union of Conadvances in Boston and the vicinity of gregational Churches and Ministers the college in the course of ten or throughout England and Wales, fifteen years past, and is still in a state founded on a full recognition of their of successful progress.
While Har- own distinctive principles, namely, the vard University, once the hope of the scriptural right of every separate American churches, has received none church to maintain perfect indepenof the refreshing dews of grace, wbich dence in the government and admihave watered the various portions of nistration of its own particular affairs ; the vineyard, still the other colleges and therefore, that the Union shall not of the State, Amherst, and William, in any case assume legislative authorihave been the subject of rich spiritual ty, or become a court of appeal. blessings, and are furnishing many (The constitution and objects of the valuable ministers for our own churches Union, and the machinery by which it and missionaries of the cross, to our was proposed to work it, were then new settlements and heathen nations. stated from the document issued last
“And now, dear brethren, pray for year.] our peace and prosperity, and may II. That such Union consist of Counthe God of peace be with you and ty and District Associations, together give you enlargement, with all joy with any Ministers and Churches of and peace in believing.
the Congregational order recognized “I am, dear Sirs, your friend and by an Association. fellow servant, in the gospel of Christ, III. That the following be the ob
THOMAS Snell. jects contemplated in its formation : The Rev. Messrs. Arthur Tidman, 1. To promote evangelical religion
Joseph Turnbull, and Joshua Wil- in connexion with the Congregational son, Esq.”
Denomination. In conclusion, the Provisional Com- 2. To cultivate brotherly affection mittee beg to state, that the more the and sincere co-operation in every subject has been considered by them in thing relating to the interests of the its relation to the interests of the Congre Associated Churches. gational body, and, through our deno- 3. To establish fraternal corresponmination, in its bearing on the cause of dence with Congregational churches, truth in the world, the deeper is their and other bodies of Christians throughimpression that the time is fully come out the world. when all who profess Congregational 4. To address an annual or occaprinciples, and feel their worth, should sional letter to the associated churches, accompanied with such information as Thomas Wilson, Esq.; Dr. J. B. may be deemed necessary.
Brown; Mr. Challis ; Mr. Coombs; 5. To obtain accurate statistical in- Mr. Morley ; Mr. Coles ; Mr. Jackformation relative to the Congrega- son; Mr. W. C. Wright: and that the tional churches, throughout the king- following gentlemen be the officers of dom and the world at large.
the Union for the year ensuing,--Mr. 6. To inquire into the present me- Benjamin Hanbury, Treasurer; the thods of collecting funds for the erec- Rev. Arthur Tidman; the Rev. Jotion of places of Worship, and to con- seph Turnbull, A.B.; and Joshua sider the practicability of introducing Wilson, Esq., Secretaries. any improved plan.
The Rev. J. A. James then intro7. To assist in maintaining and en- duced a paper, containing a declaralarging the civil rights of Protestant tion of the principles of faith and order Dissenters.
of the Congregational Body, drawn up IV. To promote the accomplish- by an individual at the request of ment of these objects, and the general several brethren in town and country, interests of the Union, that an Annual and which he proposed to read to the Meeting shall be held, consisting, if meeting, which having been assented practicable, of an equal number of to, the declaration was read at length ministers and laymen, and that each by Mr. James, and the business of the Association may appoint such a num- Union was adjourned until Friday ber of representatives as it may deem morning, the ilth of May, at nine necessary; that the Annual Meeting o'clock. be held in London, or such other The Rev. Dr. Bennett concluded town or city as may from time to time with prayer and thanksgiving. be appointed ; and that at the Annual Meeting of Delegates, every minister and officer connected with any Asso- Adjourned Meeting, Friday Morning. ciation united in the general body shall
The Rev. Thomas Palmer Bull in the be eligible to attend and vote.
chair. III. Moved by the Rev. T. P. Bull; seconded by James James, Esq. and After
prayer offered up by the Rev. resolved unanimously,
Archibald Douglas, of Reading, the “ That for the purpose of defraying minutes of the former meeting were the necessary expenses of printing, read; upon which the Rev. J. A. James postage, committee meetings, &c. con- was requested to read the preliminary nected with the business of the Union, notes of the declaration, which had been it is recommended that the churches read at the conclusion of the former united should severally send an annual meeting. After lengthened conversacontribution, to be transmitted on or tion on the subject, it was, before the first day of May, in every v. Moved by the Rev. H. F. Burder, year, to the official persons connected D.D. ; seconded by the Rev. Thomas with their respective Associations, and James, and resolved unanimously, by them remitted, before every general That this meeting respectfully meeting in every year, to the Treasurer invite the opinion of the Associated of the Union.”
Ministers and Churches on the followIV. Moved by the Rev. Samuel ing questions:Hillyard ; seconded by the Rev. James
Whether, in accordance with the Brown, and resolved unanimously, example of our Nonconformist an
“ That the Committee for the fol- cestors, it be desirable to present to lowing year consist of the Treasurers the public a declaration of the leading and Secretaries of all the united Asso- articles of our faith and discipline; ciations, (being members of churches, and whether, if it be deemed desirable, together with the following gentlemen, that declaration should be made by resident in London, with power to such a statement as the following, * add to their number, viz. the Rev. which has been read, but not disDr. Bennett; the Rev. Dr. H. F. Burder; the Rev. Dr. Fletcher; the * The declaration being of some length Rev. John Clayton, M.A.; the Rev.
we are obliged to defer the insertion of John Burnet; the Rev. W.S. Palmer; it until our next number.--Editors.
cussed in the meeting of the Union, inform his beloved brethren, how subject to such modifications as may happy we shall always be to receive be suggested, and generally agreed on delegates from their body at our sesat the next annual meeting ?”
sions." vi. Moved by Dr. J. B. Brown; One of the Secretaries having read seconded by the Rev. Dr. Bennett, and a letter from the Rev. John Watson, resolved unanimously,
of Musselburgh, Secretary to the “ That the Committee be instructed Congregational Union of Scotland, to prepare a letter to accompany the containing the following resolution proposed declaration, carefully stating passed at Edinburgh on the 3d inits object to be, the communicating of stant : viz. information to the public, on the doc- “ That this meeting, sensible of the trines generally held and maintained importance of union, in devising by the Congregational denomination, means for the extension of the Reat a period when so much ignorance deemer's kingdom, without pledging and misrepresentation prevail upon themselves to all the details, express those subjects.”
their happiness at the proposals now vii. Moved by the Rev. J. Burnet; making for the formation of a General seconded by J. Brown, Esq. of Ware
the Congregational ham :
Churches in England.” “ That this meeting deems it highly x. It was then moved by the Rev. expedient, that a sum not less than John Blackburn ; seconded by the £10,000 be collected for the erection Rev. George Redford, and resolved of such a building in London as the unanimously, Congregational Union may consider “ That the resolution passed by the necessary for the permanency and Congregational Union of Scotland at efficiency of their operations, and the their last annual meeting, held on the promotion of the general interests of the 3d instant, has given us great satisfacdenomination ; and that application be tion; and that our Secretaries be remade to the members and friends of quested to communicate to that body the Union in London and in the coun- the expression of our respect and fra. try, for their co-operation in the con- ternal regard, soliciting correspontribution of funds for this purpose.”
dence from time to time on the subjects VIII. Moved by the Rev. Dr. Fletcher; of the Congregational Union in both seconded by the Rev. G. Redford, and
countries." resolved unanimously,
XI. Moved by the Rev. Archibald “ That the Committee of the Union Douglas ; seconded by the Rev. T. be requested to confer with the Com- Timpson, and resolved unanimously, mittee of the Congregational Library, "That the Congregational Union on the subject of the previous resolu- now formed, authorize their Secretation, and to adopt such measures as ries to write to those associated ministhey may think proper for carrying it ters and churches in England and into effect."
Wales, who have not yet concurred in The Rev. Noble Shepperd, of New- the measure, respectfully inviting ry, then addressed the meeting on them to join us in affectionate cobehalf of the Congregational Union of operation.” Ireland, and one of the Secretaries XII. Moved by the Rev. Dr. Benread a letter from the Rev. James nett; seconded by the Rev. Geo. RedCarlisle, of Belfast, Secretary to the ford, and resolved unanimously, Irish Union, expressing their cordial " That the cordial thanks of this concurrence in the Union for England meeting be presented to the Treasurer and Wales; when it was
and Committee of the Congregational ix. Moved by the Rev. J. Black Library, for the use of the Library burn, seconded by Dr. Fletcher, on the present occasion, with the best
“ That this meeting has heard with wishes for the prosperity of that Inmuch pleasure the expressions of fra- stitution.' ternal regard now made by the Rev. XII. Moved by the Rev. Joseph Noble Shepperd, of Newry, on be- Turnbull; seconded by Dr. J. B. half of the Congregational Union of Brown, and resolved unanimously, Ireland, and that he be requested to " That at the Annual Meetings of
the Union, there shall be a public re- 1832. Acceptable and appropriate ligious service connected with its spi- sermons were preached by the Rev. 'T. ritual interests."
Cousins, of Portsea, and the Rev. J. XIV. Moved by Dr. J. B. Brown; Chapman, of Billingshurst. The atseconded by the Rev. R. Ashton, and tendance and collections were encou. resolved unanimously,
raging. Ministers, and other agents " That the next general meeting of connected with the Western Committee this Congregational Union be held, regularly preach the gospel in eleven (D.V.) in the Congregational Library, villages. Sixteen Sabbath schools on Tuesday the 9th of May, 1833, at stand connected with the Western Di. ten o'clock, A.M.”
vision of the County Society. During The thanks of the meeting were then the past year, two small chapels have offered to the Chairman, who con- been generously built by two indivicluded the whole business of the meet- duals in this part of Sussex. Reings with prayer.
viewing the past year, the Committee thank God and take courage.
Much ARTHUR TIDMAN,
land, however, yet remains to be posJoseph TURNBULL, Secretaries.
sessed ; and our cry to our Christian Joshua Wilson,
brethren is that of the Macedonian to
Paul and his companions—“ Come ESSEX COUNTY ASSOCIATION.
over and help us !” At a Meeting of the Associated
R. CHAMBERLAIN, Secretary. Congregational Ministers of the County of Essex, held at Witham, (Rev. R. Robinson's,) on May 2d, 1832. It was resolved nem. con.
On Thursday, April 5th, the “That the Members of this Associa
Rev. Joseph Sortain, of Trinity tion, earnestly desirous that the Holy
College, Dublin, was ordained to Scriptures should receive the widest circulation, decidedly approve
the pastoral charge of the church and the
congregation assembling at the late plan of education for Ireland proposed Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel, by His Majesty's Ministers, being
Brighton. The Rev. James Trego, of fully persuaded that this important
London-road Chapel, commenced the object will be more effectually pro
service by reading the Scriptures and moted by such plan than by any other hitherto adopted.
prayer. The Rev. William Hodson,
of Zion Chapel, London, delivered a “That a copy of the above resolution
succinct and scriptural introductory should be forwarded to one of the Mem
discourse, and asked the usual quesbers of His Majesty's government. tions; which, on behalf of the peo“ That this Association is prepared to
ple, were answered by Henry Brooker, concur with other County Associations,
Esq. The Rev. John Finley, of Tunto establish a general Congregational bridge Wells, offered the the ordinaUnion, upon the plan described in the
tion prayer. The charge was given Congregational Magazine, and ap
by the Rev. James Sherman, of Reapoint the Rev. Messrs. Craig and
ding, in a manner the most impresWells, together with Messrs. Robt.
sive and affectionate, from 1 Tim. Dixon, Wickham, and Stephen Un
iv. 16; and the Rev. J. N. Goulty, win, Coggesball, to attend the meet
of Union Chapel, concluded. In the ing of Delegates in Loudon, on the
evening, after a prayer by the Rev. 8th instant."
John Edwards, of Hanover Chapel, Signed on behalf of the Meeting,
a very forcible and appropriate serStephen Morell, Chairman.
mon to the church and congregation JOSEPH GRAY, Secretary. was preached by the Rev. G. Clayton,
of Walworth, from Deut. i. 30, and Sussex CONGREGATIONAL SOCIETY.
the Rev. John Harris, of Epsom, The half-yearly Meeting of the Sus- closed the solemn and ever memosex Congregational Society, was held rable services of the day. We unat the Rev. W. Malden's Chapel, derstand, that agreeably with the urChichester, on Thursday, May 3d, gent request of the minister and con