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THE EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE AND THE SLAVERY
It is now about twelve months since we directed the attention of our readers to the constitution and principles of this much-talked-of society. We then took the liberty of stating, freely and without reserve, our objeetions to its sectarian character. Since that time, the “ Alliance” has been gradually developing itself, and certain movements have taken place in its ranks which may be interesting for our readers to observe. On the 19th of August last, the Aggregate London Meeting began its sittings, in Exeter Hall, for the purpose of settling, finally, the form and constitution of the association. The Conference was attended by delegates from the Free Church of Scotland, the Wesleyan Methodist Connexion, Presbyterians of almost every shade and description, and a few from the Established Church of England. In addition to these, individuals were present from France, Italy, Germany, and America. The Wesleyan Methodists and Free Church folks were the most numerous. No sooner had they assembled than they resolved to conduct their deliberations with closed doors, and a proposition for the admission of reporters was negatived by a large majority. The following motion was adopted in reference to this point:—" That, in the judgment of this Conference, it is extremely undesirable for any report of their proceedings to be given to the public, except under their own direction ; and they express their confidence that none of their own members will furnish materials for such a purpose to any newspaper whatever.” It must be admitted, that here was a very bad, suspicious beginning, and we regret that the proceedings, generally, were in perfect keeping with it. Into this Alliance, only those persons are admitted who hold what are generally understood to be Evangelical or Orthodox views; but strange to say, these are not to be regarded in any strict sense as a creed or confession, nor is the “ Alliance” to be considered an alliance of denominations, but of individual Christians, each acting on his own responsibility. The Alliance hypocritically declare that the adoption of their nine articles of belief is not an “assumption of the right authoritatively to define the limits of Christian brotherhood." Indeed! And for what conceivable object or purpose, then, did these men sit down to manufacture another human creed? Did it not occur to them that there was a sufficient number of such things already in existence, and that the New Testament was the best, and the only proper standard by which to “define the limits of Christian brotherhood.” The Conference, by way of illustrating, practically, their pretended moderation and humility, refused to receive, as a member, Johannes Czerski, formerly a Roman Catholic Priest, because, although differing in opinion with Ronge, the great German Reformer, he had laboured, hand in hand with him, for the overthrow of human authority in religious matters. Czerski,” says the Morning Advertiser, “has been suffered to walk the streets of London without recognition. The Evangelical Alliance had no welcome to offer him. But for the friendly offices of the Rev. Mr. Herschell, a converted Jew, who statedly preaches in the Edgeware Road, this eminent individual would have left our land, and returned to his country a broken-hearted man.”
But perhaps the worst illustration of the spirit by which the Alliance is actuated, may be found in its conduct respecting the subject of slavery. This great and important question was regularly introduced in connexion with that of Church-membership, and it threatens, eventually, to break up the Evangelical Alliance altogether. On the motion, " That the Alliance shall consist of those persons, in all parts of the world, who shall concur in the principles and objects adopted by the Conference,” it was proposed to insert the words, “not being slave-holders.” On this there arose a warm discussion. Dr. Wardlaw of Glasgow suggested a compromise, expressing “abhorrence of the system,” but not making it “a test of admission.” The debate was adjourned for a time; and in the interval the American slaveholding delegates retired to pray for more enlightenment (although they had already determined how to act), and the other members of Conference withdrew to enjoy the pleasures of the dinner-table.
Afterwards, when the excitement occasioned by this debate on the slavery question became so great, and when both parties had evidently made up their minds not to yield, the amendment was withdrawn, and a committee was appointed, consisting of American, English, and European delegates, to frame a resolution which might meet the difficulties of the case. This was rather a puzzling task, and one in which, as might be expected, they have signally failed. The resolution, which was introduced and carried against a decided opposition, expressed their “confidence, that no branch will admit to membership slaveholders, who, by their own fault, continue in that position, retaining their fellow-men in slavery from regard to their own interests.” This degrading compromise of the question is naturally distasteful to those who looked to the Alliance for an honest and unequivocal condemnation of the sin of slave-holding; and it is far from meeting the difficulty in the society itself. The American delegates would not accept the resolution, even although qualified by the words, "by their own fault.” The discussion, therefore, was re-commenced, and the "supposed happy settlement, or rather evasion of the difficulty, which (in the words of the Nonconformist) was regarded as the triumph of sagacity and a special answer to the prayer for divine direction,” was thrown to the winds! The whole affair was then referred once more to a large committee, and, on their recommendation, the clause that had reference to slavery was rescinded! Thus the matter ended, and the subject of the admission of members now stands over to a future meeting of the Alliance, each branch in the meantime being permitted to admit or exclude slave-holders, as they may think proper, equally with duellists, drunkards, &c. &c. against whom no exception had been attempted.
But although the slavery question has been thus shamefully evaded by the Alliance, it has been taken up with great energy and spirit, since that time, by the Anti-Slavery League. This latter Association have unanimously recorded the following resolution :-" That the conduct of the Evangelical Alliance, recently held in this city,-first, in adopting a declaration that persons may be slave-holders without any fault of their own, and from disinterested motives, and thus be entitled to Christian fellowship and membership in their body; and finally, to propitiate the pro-slavery spirit of American delegates, in erasing from their proceedings all reference to the subject of slavery, in order to prevent an open rupture,—deserves the condemnation of every uncompromising friend of the rights of humanity, as an abandonment of the cause of the slave, and a virtual approval of the acts of his oppressor."
During the course of the evening, On Wednesday evening the 25th ult. the premiums were distributed which the Rev. Hugh Moore, Newtownards, had been awarded to the children for the teachers of his Sunday school, and the regularity of their attendance, and a few of the members of the congrega- their exemplary diligence during the tion, entertained the children of the half-year ending the 1st of November. Sunday school at a tea-party in the The choir of the congregation conmeeting-house. Though the invita- tributed very much to the enjoyment tions were confined to those who had of all who were present, by singing a been most regular in their attendance few of the newest and most popular for the preceding six months, yet hymns and anthems, which they exenearly two hundred children were in cuted with great taste and judgment. attendance, and conducted themselves A very beautiful and appropriate adthroughout the evening with the great- dress was delivered to the children by est propriety.
Mr. Joseph Nelson, a student in the After tea, the doors of the meeting. Royal Belfast Academical Institution, house were opened to the parents of and formerly a teacher in the Sunday the children, the members of the con- school. Altogether, the proceedings gregation, and all who were desirous of the evening were very interesting of being present, when the proceed to the members of the congregation, ings of the evening were commenced and the friends from other congregaby the children singing a few of the tions who were kind enough to athymns with which they were in the tend; and are not likely to be soon habit of closing the services of the forgotten either by the teachers or school every Sunday morning.
gations of the poorer classes of our A deputation from the First Pres. fellow-worshippers, whose salaries are byterian Congregation of Larne waited not merely inadequate to their merits, on their Minister, the Rev. Classon but even to meet the common wants of Porter, not long since, and presented life ;-in the second place, to assist him with an excellent pair of farm those where the attendants on their horses, in appropriate harness. Mr, ministry are few; and though the Porter has lately got possession of the subscribers may pay what they confarm which formerly belonged to the sider liberal, yet may be unable to Rev. Mr. Sinclair, one of his prede- place their pastors in that station in cessors in the pastoral charge of the society to which they are entitled, by First Congregation, Larne; and the their talents and education, and in gift of his people, on this occasion, which all well-wishers to our holy and was, therefore, judiciously selected. righteous cause desire to see them ;-in The terms of the address which ac- the third place, to apply the fund, as companied this present, were strongly it increases, to other congregations : expressive of the esteem and affec- thus, if a church raise £100 a-year by tion with which the liberal Pres- subscriptions, to add to it 100 shillings byterians of Larne deservedly regard a-year; and in thi manner to contitheir excellent pastor. Mr. Porter nue to augment the stipends as the made a suitable reply.
fund enlarges. And, fourthly, with
every hundred pounds paid, to pur
JOIN chase £100 stock, in the 3 per cents. MʻCAW OF RAVARA, NEAR SAINT- immediately." Such is an outline of
this gentleman's benevolent object. On 29th Nov. last, the Remonstrant We wish him great success; and we (Unitarian) Congregation of Ravara are glad to see, from the Inquirer, (aided by a few friends) presented that a few anonymous friends to this their pastor, the Rev. John M Caw, project have already offered their subwith an address, and a horse, jaunt- scriptions of one hundred pounds each. ing-car, and harness--an exceedingly neat “turn out"-as a mark of their attachment to him, and of their regard for his many estimable qualities. The We rejoice that this important subaddress was read by the secretary to ject seems to occupy, at present, a the congregation, Alex. Bradley, Esq. large and influential portion of the of Saintfield. Mr. M.Caw's reply was public mind in England. Almost very beantiful and appropriate, and every newspaper brings us intelligence waś listened to by the congregation, of crowded meetings of those who, most of the members being present on from conviction, oppose the infliction the interesting occasion, with profound of death, as a punishment. We trust attention. It must be very gratifying that the enthusiasm with which this to Mr. M.Caw, to find that his exer- subject is taken up in England, may tions (which have been so successful extend to Ireland and Scotland; and in establishing and extending his con- that numerous petitions may be forgregation in the face of much opposi- warded to the legislature from every tion) are so well appreciated by his part of the empire. flock.
At a large meeting, assembled in
Finsbury chapel, not long since, Henry FUND FOR THE BETTER SUPPORT OF Vincent, Esq. concluded a long and
most interesting speech, in the followWe are gratified to perceive, among ing terms :-“Ile was convinced, that the wealthier members of our commu- upon the highest Christian ground, nion in England, a growing anxiety Government could not possess the to promote the comfort and respecta- right of taking away human life. He bility of their pastors. A plan for this was deeply conscious of the fact, that purpose has been suggested, and, we the glorious doctrine of human brobelieve, commenced, by W. H. Cotton, therhood would never be a practical Esq. of Upper Clapton. “My scheme and living thing in the world till the is," says he, "to raise a sum for the sanctity of human life was the recogfurther support of our ministers ;-in nised philosophy of all the nations of the first place, those in the country the earth. The law was not the docwho have the care of large congre- trine of human brotherhood—the scaf
ABOLITION OF THE PUNISHMENT OF
UNITARIAN MINISTERS IN ENGLAND.
fold was not the emblem of this bean- the attendance of persons who had tiful principle; it was the emblem of never previously listened to Christian that spirit which had so long substi- Unitarian worship and preaching, was tuted revenge for love-it was the much more numerous than had been emblem of that spirit which had in anticipated. Nearly three hundred all ages marred the peace of the world, people assembled, and, at the close of which had been at the very foundation the service, copies of the Unitarian's of all human despotism and outrage; Appeal, Questions to Trinitarians, and it would require this doctrine of One Hundred Scriptural Arguments, life's sanctity to be taught, before the were distributed at the doors. The world could have a safe and secure services will be continued, on Sunday progress towards that higher destiny, afternoons, by Mr. Harris, in addition in which it can be realized. He in- to those morning and evening, at voked all present to free their minds Hanover Square, Newcastle. from the idea that the scaffold could invest human life with sanctity, and LONDON DOMESTIC MISSION SOCIETY. to rally round the standard of that The annual evening meeting of the beautiful religion which taught them friends and members of this Society to love their enemies, and to regard took place on Tuesday evening, the the meanest part of God's creation as 17th ult. at the Mission Chapel. W. a brother in that great brotherhood Wansey, Esq. took the chair, and the which their own Parent had created.” meeting was addressed in appropriate
speeches by the Rev. Dr. Hutton, GATESHEAD.-GROSVENOR ST. CHAPEL. Messrs. Taggart, R. K. Philp, and
This convenient, excellently arranged Vidler, and also by Mr. R. Martiand eligible place of worship (formerly neau, Mr. Surridge, Mr. H. C. Roa Primitive Methodist Chapel) was binson, Mr. C. Williams, &c. &c. opened on Sunday afternoon, Novem- The Chairman took occasion to read ber 22, by the Rev. George Harris. a list of subscriptions, and stated that A considerable number of the mem- they had reached £400. He also stated bers of the Newcastle congregation that he had received letters from Dr. gave their sanction to this effort by Bowring, M.P. and Dr. Bateman, retheir presence on the occasion ; and gretting their inability to attend.
OBITUARY. DIED—At Lambeg, October 12, 1846, of his friends and fellow-citizens with aged 20 years, JANE, third daughter an unusual freshness. She whom of Mr. John GRAHAM. This young God hath now gathered to Him self, person possessed singular outward as a ripe sheaf in due season, was a attractions ; but, great as these were, help meet for Mr. M. The warmth of they were far surpassed by the gentle- her attections, the gentleness of her ness of her disposition, the kindness of disposition, the holiness of her life, her heart, the retiring modesty of her the meekness of her patience under demeanour, and the unspotted purity long suffering, the unreservedness of of her life. The very charity and hó- her trust in God, and calm reliance, liness of her own nature led her to for re-union with those she loved, on adopt cheering views of God's Dis- the promises of the Gospel, marked pensations, and of the future condition her as one who felt the power and of man.
She saw, in God, the Father reality of religion. She was, from of all, and, in Jesus Christ, the Sa- conviction, attached to Unitarianism; viour of all. She therefore lived in and nothing seemed more incomprepurity, and died in peace.
hensible to her than the terms in Died - On the 1st ult. at Trevor which that faith is sometimes spoken Hill, Newry, Mrs. Melling, relict of of, having herself felt its sustaining the late John MELLING, Esq. a man power in the trials of life, and in the who seems still to live in remembrance view of death.
NOTICE TO CORRESPONDENTS.
We have been obliged to postpone some valuable papers which we would have gladly published in the present number, had it been possible. We beg to decline the lines entitled “ Inspiration."
It is requested, that all communications intended for insertion in the Irish Unitarian Mogazine, will be forwarded, not later than the 10th of the preceding month (if by post, prepaid), to the Rer. George Hill, Crumlin, County Antrim ; and books, &c. for review, to 28, Rosemary Street, Belfust.