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gether with the general want of acquaintance with Free Church principles which prevailed when the deputations began to visit the south, the committee feel that the sum now reported is highly creditable to the liberality of the English churches.
“ But there is a second result, which cannot be represented by arithmetic,—we mean the union that has been so largely promoted among different portions of the church of Christ; and never perhaps was the principle of true catholicity more fully and practically brought out, than by your deputations. Evangelical Christians of every name found a common point around which they could gather, or a common object which they could co-operate in promoting. They did so, and thus they both conferred and received a blessing. They came to the help of a suffering sister; at the sight of her trials, their differences were forgotten, in ministering to ber relief; and thus, by ways that we did not know, those were united in Christian bonds, who before bad stood aloof in coldness, if not in deadly hostility. The enemies of our cause thought that when the disruption took place, the Free Church would just add another to the sects that already exist in this country; but instead of that, she has been employed, at least for a season, as a bond of union among them; and the committee are sure that your venerable court will see in this a result produced by your deputations which it is impossible to over-value. Instead of increasing sectarianism, it bas tended to diminish or discountenance it; and thus the wrath of man has been made to praise God.
“ In connection with this, the committee would observe, that not the least interesting of the proceedings of the deputations to England were those connected with the visits to the ancient Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. The evangelical Dissenting ministers, without an exception, and the most influential persons connected with their congregations, bailed the arrival of the members of the deputations, opened their pulpits to their pleadings, and cordially recommended their cause to the notice of the public. Large numbers of the members and of the undergraduates of Cambridge attended the meetings which were held, especially two lectures expository of our whole church question, by Dr Candlish. Owing to the university orders and arrangements at Oxford, the number of gownsmen who attended the addresses of our ministers and elders was very limited. Even there, however, by the reports of newspapers, the conversation of the public, the distribution of pamphlets, and the publication of a sermon in behalf of the Free Church by Dr Wilson, considerable attention was excited to our principles and proceedings. “ I find," says one of the members of the University, - that there is a greater desire for information about the Free Church among my young friends here than I had anticipated.” And the committee would add, that from facts that have recently come to their knowledge, that interest continues undiminished.
“ In drawing this report to a close, it would be injustice to neglect to mention, that the efforts of the deputations were greatly aided by the presence and co-operation of elders and other lay friends of the Church, who visited England at different times along with the ministers. P. M. Stewart, Esq., M.P., presided over the large and influential meeting held in Exeter Hall in the month of November, and aave eated the cause with the zeal of one wbo could fully appreciate the importance of our principles, and the momentous nature of our struggle. To Sir James Forrest and Sir Andrew Agnew, Barts., -to Alexander Thomson, Esq. of Banchory, W. H. Crautard, Esq. of Craufurdland Castle, J. M. Hogg, Esq. of Newliston, George Lyon, Esq. of Glengogle, D. M. M. Crichton, Esq., James Bridges, Esq. W.S., and other lay friends, the cause is under deep obligations for their advocacy, as well as to Archibald Gardner, Esq., Paisley, for the labour he bestowed in arranging for the visits of the deputation to Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.
" Finally, your committee are aware that it is their province only to report, not to speculate, perhaps not even to suggest. Yet, cherishing the hope that a closer union may soon be formed between Christians in England and Scotland, the committee would respectfully but earnestly draw the attention of the Assembly to that subject. There are symptoms, indeed, of appearing jealousy and suspicion regard. ing us, but these, it is hoped, are not general-nay, the committee believe they are opposed to the mind of many English Christians; and the committee venture to
think, that the position which the Free Church occupies may be blessed by the Spirit of all grace to promote a catholic union among all that bold the Head, such as the glory of Christ and the conversion of the world, more important than their denominational distinctions. Considerable progress, the committee think, bas al. ready been made in tbat direction; and what they would, in conclusion, venture to press on the Assembly, would be the adopting of measures to perpetuate and strengthen the union which exists between the Free Church and other evangelical churches. Whether that should be done by correspondence with different bodies, by deputations sent to them, as is the case with the Irish and the English Presbyterian Synods, or whether the Free Church should propose some measure of a more general and comprehensive nature, it is not for your committee to decide. they convinced, by the experience of the past twelve months in England, that were some such measure proposed, it would be responded to by not a few in England, as tending to bring in the day when Ephraim shall no longer vex Judah, nor Judah envy Ephraim,—when the prayer of the Redeemer shall be answered, and the world sball know that God has sent him. The change already wrought in Scot. land by the planting of the Free Church is marvellous in our eyes; and without any effort or any design to proselytize, the committee confidently believe that the great principle of spiritual independence, properly carried out, would form a basis broad enough,—or a meeting place wide enough, for the co-operation of all, both in Scotland and England, who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity and truth.
“ Wm. K. TWEEDIE, Convener." “ The Committee relative to Supplies for Congregations in England adhering to the
Free Church, beg to report to the General Assembly as follows :“The effects of the disruption upon Scottish Churches in England were somewhat similar to those produced in Scotland. From various causes, a number of Churches immediately became vacant there, and these nearly all applied for ministers or preachers of the Free Church to be settled over them. But amid the urgent demand that prevailed for the preaching of the gospel at home, it was felt to be im. possible to gratify these desires to the extent that could have been wished. Somewhere about twenty ministers bave been in London, Manchester, Newcastle, and elsewhere, in addition to the deputations, to supply the congregations there for two or three weeks at a time, and this is the amount of aid which those churches have received from the Free Church. Four or five Free Church ministers have been called to England, but owing to various bindrances, the committee know of only one who has been translated, viz. Rev. D. Ferguson, of Dunichen, to Liverpool. The desire, however, for Free Church ministers continues unabated ; and in consideration of the importance of nearly all the places now requiring them, in London at least three, Manchester one, and other places a considerable number, the committee would earnestly recommend to the General Assembly to endeavour to devise measures by which the friends in England, so steadfast, yet so greatly tried, may be freed from their present difficulties. It is believed that one congregation in London -that which worships in London Wall—has agreed to call at least four Free Church ministers in succession since the disruption ; and at this moment they seem as far as ever from obtaining the object of their wishes. In these circunstances, the committee leave this matter in the hands of the Assembly, to be dealt with as to their wisdom shall seem best. Only farther intimating their conviction, that till the projected Presbyterian College in England sball raise up a race of ministers for that country, it appears both the interest and the duty of the Free Church to consider as largely as possible the spiritual wants of her sons and her daughters in England.
“ Wm. K. TWEEDIE, Convener."
The MODERATOR then addressed Mr Tweedie and other gentlemen of the deputation to England as follows:- It is my pleasing office to return you, Sir, the thanks of the Assembly for the valuable services you have rendered us in respect of that important part of our arrangements-the deputation to England. It was no easy matter to select and secure the messengers to be sent, to give them their commission,
and to assign to each the route he should take, and the places and districts he should visit. Much thought and care it required on the part of your Committee, and es. pecially on its Convener ; and a heavy load of correspondence it imposed, often en. croaching on the midnight and the morning hours. And when anything went wrong or failed, as of necessity sometimes happened, it fell to you to correct the error, and supply the deficiency: Your former residence in London gave you advantages for the task, in an acquaintance with persons and places, and we are satisfied your arrangements were judiciously made as well as most effectively prosecuted. And, besides directing the labours of others, you yourself took part in them, and joined the company of itinerants you sent out. To them, and to you, in this capacity, I gladly offer the thanks of the Assembly. Many of you, I know, were unwilling to leave your flocks at a time when they so much needed your guidance, and when there were so many calls for labourers at home. But few, I am persuaded, or rather none of you, have regretted your missionary excursions. I speak as one who partially shared in them. How delightful to meet with kindred Christian hearts in strange places to find ourselves among brethren, pursuing essentially the same ends, and deriving strength and happiness from the same sources. A little friendly commudion has often dispelled misconceptions, and brought out a true unity where, before, a difference or even hostility of opinion was apprehended. I cannot think but with pleasure of the friendly intercourse I had with good men of various denominations. Such intercourse serves not a mere temporary purpose; it will, I hope, prove the foundation of permanent friendship and frequent intercommunication. If it has served to instruct them in our controversy, it has also enlarged our minds in reference to our brethren. The result, I hope, will be a spirit of true catholicism, embracing all who hold the head, and love our Lord Jesus in sincerity.” It is time the followers of Christ should unite in supporting the cause of true, spiritual, undefiled religion, when there are so many adversaries, not only in the circles of a careless world, but within the precincts of an external church of wide extent and various name, where formality on the one hand, and superstition on the other, seem to have swallowed up all that is vital and spiritual in religion. We feel a union of heart, unfelt before, with our brethren, having one faith, one hope, one God and Father, and would willingly convey to them our warmest gratitude for their sympathy and help. I concur in the acknowledgement of obligation to those gentlemen connected with Scotland, who gave us their patronage and support by presiding or speaking at our meetings and in many ways advancing our cause. And we owe much to our lay messengers who were entrusted with the arrangements we were to carry out. Their cares and labours were unceasing, and often of no easy or grateful kind. They went as pioneers preceding us in our way, and many were the calls and applications they made to those of influence and authority, whether known to be friendly or not; and amid occasional disappointments they often overcame difficulties by prudence and perseverance. To their active exertions in giving publicity to our intended proceedings, by advertisements and intimations of all sorts, by securing chairmen and friends to introduce and second us, by holding preparatory meetings, and countless other methods, they did much to secure our success; while they often gave effective help at our public meetings, by telling what they had seen and heard, by vigorous argument and interesting anecdote. To them I offer a distinct and cordial expression of thanks.
Dr PATTERSON of Glasgow then rose. He said— In rising to move the adoption of this Report, which has not yet been formally, though it has been virtually done by the Assembly, sanctioning you, Sir, returning thanks to Mr Tweedie, I do so under great embarrassment, because I feel that the lateness of the hour is somewhat unsuited to the importance of the subject. I do regret this when I think of the great number of our English brethren who have so deeply sympathized with us, and come forward so warmly with a helping hand in the time of our need. And I feel, from the lateness of the hour, that we will not be able adequately to evolve the vast interest of the subject, or to express with sufficient fulness our cordial thanks to our generous English friends. I feel constrained, therefore,
to quell the feelings in my bosom--for I have had large experience in travelling over England, from its northern to its southern counties, indeed, till I was only interrupted by the sea; and I can state that, with the exception of the Puseyites, and Papists, from whom we expected no help, there was only one feeling of cordial sympathy and affection among all classes of the population, only one feeling, to aid us--among all professors of evangelical religion." (Applause.) í speak not only from my own experience, but from those who have gone into the same field, and who have met with the same results; and I can sincerely call for your faith in and acceptance of the Report which has now been read. It speaks for itself,-it needs little support or seconding; and, besides thinking well of the Report, we must also think as well of the reporter. I think the Assembly has been most fortunate in getting him to take charge of this matter. I will give one instance of the kindness of manner, and at the same time the great firmness, which he has displayed in the discharge of his duty. I had been over a large extent of the north of England, and was called on by the Assembly to undertake a mission to the farthest south. I begged and pleaded to be relieved ; and I felt that little short of the terror of rebellion against Church authority could induce me to go. I pleaded all the arguments in my power; but the excellent manager of this Committee (Mr Tweedie) not only soothed my feelings, but cordially engaged my services. He conducted the business so well, that though many of our brethren were averse to leave their families and tlocks,-for they had too much to do at home, more work, indeed, upon their hands than at any time since the Reformation,--your excellent convener not only engaged their affections, but compelled them to give their services. I may say, that there never was a time when the Church of Scotland was so severely tried, or was in such difficulty; and to some it might appear extreme absurdity to send us to foreign lands, when there was such a scarcity of servants at home. But there never was such a thing known in Christendom as having 600 churches to build in one year. There never was a case in which so small a territory required to erect so many as 600 churches in one year; and if its ministers were called on to leave their flocks and go abroad to advocate their cause, never was there a cause so good. We could hold up our faces as honest men,-we could put on the force of every Christian argument, just because we were going among a people, not to seek our bread, but to ask assistance in an emergency which the Church of Christ has never witnessed the like of from the beginning of the world to this day,—to ask our Christian brethren to assist their fathers and brethren in the Free Church of Scotland, some of the ministers and members of which were worshipping all winter under the open sky, in the bigh-roads of the country, or amidst the spray of the sea-shore; and I venture to say, that since the day when 2500 were driven forth by the force of persecution in England, never did our English brethren hear such a tale as that which we carried to their ears. And it is delightful to bear testimony, not only to the magnificent result wbich is stated in the Report, and for which we owe great thanks to our brethren in the south, but to a higher object concerned, namely, the sympathy everywhere felt for our principles. (Cheers.) Everywhere among all denominations, save and except the two I have already mentioned--Puseyites and Papists—(laughter) only one sentiment in that respect prevailed ; and out of twenty-two meetings in the south, and about fifteen in the north, which I attended —and that without one exception—they not merely gave what they had to give, and allowed us to return thanks, but they even thanked us for going amongst them; and for this reason, they said, that we bad expounded principles not merely necessary to the Church of Scotland, but essential to every country in which the Church of Christ is planted. And I may just notice, that there was not only one voice with respect to our cause, but a recognition of our principles even among some churches whose constitutions were opposed to them. For instance in one meeting where there were a number of Wesleyans, who you are aware labour under this difficulty, that they think the pastoral tie can hardly be formed, for it is scarcely formed till it is broken,—one member of that body moved a vote of thanks. to us, saying—" These are principles essential to the Church of Christ in every
part of Cbristendom; and we hope that the day is not far distant when we will not only bave a voice in the calling of our ministers, but also in retaining them." That is one instance; and I may give you another, referring to the Congregationalists. They are numerous in such places as Bath, Bristol, Cheltenham, and Weymouth; and the case of one meeting, when I took up their argument against clerical domi. nation prevailing in our congregations, and said-bow can clerical domination pre. vail there, when the elders are almost ten to one against the ministers ?-one of tbem—the Independents-cried out, “ Hear, hear !" and one of their ministers who was sitting beside me, said to me—“Do you hear him? Why, they will all be turn. ing round immediately to your principles !" (Cheers and laughter.) So that we accomplish a great good by setting before them our principles; and I conceive-al. though I do not like to assume the gift of propbecy—that the time will soon arrive when we sball have to return to England, not for money, but for the sake of promoting union. (Hear, bear.) Puseyism is spreading rapidly throughout England, to the great alarm of all who hold evangelical principles ; and it is nothing but downright Popery; and you know that when that acquires the ascendancy, it usually betakes itself to the sword, and then there will be need of union. The days, I believe, are not far distant when we shall have to make less of those smaller points on which we differ, and more of the great points on which we are agreed. (Hear.) It is the part of our enemies to cry out“ Divide, and be overthrown;" let it be ours to unite and conquer. (Loud applause.) I will just conclude with one word as to another point I bave not yet referred to. It is well known that in England as in this country, a large portion of the public papers are opposed to us, and not sparing of their animadversions on our principles ; and it might be said it is vain for us to attempt to occupy the large field there while the press is opposed to us. But I will just state to you a fact. Before we went to Bristol, a paper in that city attacked us violently; and we went there under the impression that that article bad leavened the minds of the people with prejudice against us. But what is the fact ? We had a public meeting in one of the largest places in that city, which was filled to overflowing ; and we had a second, so full that some of the speakers had to be drafted into a supplementary meeting of about eight hundred people in another place. (Loud cheers.) We also preached to full audiences three times every Sabbath. I merely state these to show that it is not in the power of a few individuals, or in any Radi. cal press wbatever, to put down enlightened principles when addressed to enlightened Christian people. (Cheers.) We were every wbere received with the utmost kindness; everywhere they were ready to receive us; and though I take this public way of acknowledgment, I cannot fully express my feelings for the cordial friendship we met with from all classes, saving those I have already mentioned, the Puseyites and Papists. (Loud cheers.)
Sir James FORREST said, He could not resist bearing bis testimony to the manner in which bis reverend friends and associates in the deputation bad explained the principles and views, and advocated the claims of the Free Church of Scotland, and commended it to the sympathy and liberality of their friends in England. With such associates, it seemed unnecessary for the lay members of the deputation to say anything, lest they sbould weaken the impression their reverend friends had produced by their statements. It seemed to them, therefore, that their province was simply to assure their English friends that this was no question of the clergy, but a question dear to the hearts of the people of Scotland, whose cause it peculiarly was, as involving their rights and privileges, and as being connected with the interests of vital religion in the land. While they had some difficulties to overcome, they experienced very great delight from the kindness aud courtesy they everywhere received; and he could not help thinking that the good seed which had been sown would in due time bring forth abundant fruit. The deputation had also the practical tendency to draw closer the bonds of union and Christian affection among dif. ferent bodies of Christians who held the same great religious truths. In reference to the meeting in the metropolis, their friends there bad assured them,
that if they had done no more than call forth the noble effort of the Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel, their visit to London would not have been in vain. The Hon. Baronet, after