Imágenes de páginas

ing, and are anxiously looking for the settlement amongst them of the Rev. T. Bradshaw.

The Report of the Treasurer of the Association is as fol. lows:1840–41.–Sept. 28.

Balance on hand, .

£7 4 7 Collection at Anniversary,

7 10 0 James Heywood, Esq. Manchester,

20 0 0 G. S. Kenrick, Esq. Varteg,

10 0 0 Rev. T. Madge, London,

2 0 0 Rev. James Martineau, Liverpool,

2 0 0 B. S. Jones, Esq. London,

2 0 0 Stirling,

0 5 0 Inverary,

0 10 0 Greenock,

0 10 0 Kirkintilloch,

1 15 0 Patna,

0 2 6 Carluke,

0 5 0 Lanark,

0 2 6 Edinburgh,

1 10 0 Haddington District,

0 10 0 Aberdeen,

0 10 0 Glasgow,

11 8 6 Girvan,

0 10 0 Dalry,

0 5 0 Falkirk,

1 0 0 Paisley,

0 11 4 Books and Tracts sold,

4 11 10

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

£75 1 3

1840-41.–Sept. 28.

Expenses of Anniversary, including loss on

£23 19 9 Missionary Expenses of Messrs. Cooper,

Hope, Maclellan, and Harris, including

Mr. Cooper's removal to Stockton, 13 15 0 Printing and Advertising,

9 11 6 1820 Books and Tracts,

29 1 Postages, Paper, &c.

1 6 8

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Receipts for 1840-41,

£77 13 0

75 1 3

Balance against Association,

£2 11 9 Examined, and found correct,

HARVEY HILLIARD. Glasgow, Sept. 16, 1841.


The ministerial changes which have occurred, during the past year, in the congregations in connection with the Association, the Committee cannot altogether pass in silence, though in great measure, the reasons for which will at once be perceived, necessarily precluded from noticing them so fully, as would naturally, in other circumstances, have been expected. Whilst regretting the loss of esteemed coadjutors in the work of Christian Reformation in Scotland, they indulge the hope that the exchange will tend to the furtherance of the same great work in other portions of the Lord's vineyard; they rejoice in the settlement of their young friend and brother, the Rev. J. H. Hope, at Aberdeen, and wish for his labours, in that important city, every blessing; and they hail with no common feelings of pleasure and satisfaction, the addition to their ranks of the Rev. John Taylor, as minister of the congregation of Glasgow, trusting that, both to people and pastor, the connection will prove instructive, useful, and happy, blessing and blessed.

In resigning their trust to their friends and brethren, and in recommending that the Committee of the Association for the ensuing year, should be chosen from the congregation in Edinburgh, the Committee may indulge, they trust, the hope, that during the period the affairs of the Institution have been intrusted to their keeping, the great purposes for which it was instituted, have not been neglected; they look forward with assured confidence to the still greater usefulness of the Association, as its merits are more clearly seen; its beneficial agency more carefully considered; and the utility of union and zeal in the diffusion of Christian truth, freedom, and righteousness, more generally acknowledged. In the growing conviction of the moral necessity of union and co-operation, for the promotion of peace on earth, and the practice of good-will to men, in order that all minds and hearts may ascribe glory to God in the highest,—they take courage, and hope for the future and still increasing prosperity of the Institution; and in the knowledge of the good which the Association has already effected for the promotion of religious fellowship, the diffusion of a spirit of candour and charity, the open and consistent avowal of individual convictions of truth and right, and the faithful, practical discharge of the duties, which Christian principles, in their purity and perfection, involve on the part of their believers, they thank God for the past.

The Report was welcomed by the repeated plaudits of the meeting. Mr. Christopher Dunlop of Paisley, then addressed the meeting, and concluded by moving the following resolution:

That the Members of the Association derive from the Report of the Committee, grounds for thankfulness to the Father of mercies, in the measure of success which has attended past efforts, for the diffusion of principles they esteem holy, just, and true; and of hope for the future, and still more extensive reception of those principles by their fellow-creatures; they approve and adopt the Report; and commend the guardianship of the great objects of the Institution for the ensuing year, to the following Committee of their brethren in Edinburgh:Mr. CHARLES BLYTH. Mr. JOHN HEDDERWICK. E. V. BLYTH.



Rev. GEORGE HARRIS, Treasurer and Secretary.
Mr. C. Dunlop introduced and supported the resolu-
tion, by the following remarks:-

I joy at finding myself one of so large and so respectable an assembly. My annual attendance here, is an important, a bright era in my existence, an era big with hopeful anticipations, and rich to overflowing, with ardent and glowing recollections. I feel grateful to a kind Providence, for being spared to unite with so many strangers, gathered from the four winds of heaven, banded together in so glorious a cause, and animated as with one soul, by all that is holy, pure, and lovely, of our basely defamed nature. And I am sure, that in giving utterance to my own feelings, I am speaking the language of your hearts. What lover of God, and lover of the Saviour, and lover of humanity, but must have felt the glow of the two disciples who were journeying to Emmaus, “ Did not our hearts burn within us," while he was listening to so interesting, so delightful a Report?

Those venerable Fathers of our Cause, who followed Jesus in the regeneration, and can remember the dawning of Unitarian Christianity in Scotland, must have been peculiarly grateful for the proud position she now comparatively holds in our northern region. I can ascend the stream of time for more than thirty years, to the period when there was not one temple dedicated to the worship of the One God, in all broad Scotland, nor one minister to advocate our holy, but hated

Recent converts would be deeply affected by the Report, although their feelings must have been far short of the stirring intensity of their elder brethren.

But to appreciate it fully, we have only to draw upon our imagination, and conjure from the tomb some holy father who has long been a tenant of the grave. If the disinter



ested, indefatigable, intrepid, noble defender of our faith, the venerable Christie of Montrose, had been with us yesterday, in the elegant and commodious edifice, sacred to the worship of the Father, to have beheld the multitude delighted by the bold truths, the persuasive arguments, and the fervid eloquence of the three ministers devoted to the advocacy of our cause; and if he could have been present with us to-night, the Report would have appeared to him like a glowing fiction of an eastern tale, and the present happy assemblage, like a glorious vision of yonder world. And his enraptured soul would have joined with ours, in a burst of ascriptive praise and thankfulness to the Father of mercies, for the success which has attended our humble efforts.

Past success must point to future promise. The light of experience must guide us on to enterprise. Concentration and unity of purpose is power. The efforts of congregations and individuals are comparatively impotent when isolated and localised. Associations better sustained and organised, will be the energetic means of accelerating the progress of our

All important reforms have sprung from the people. The Founder of Christianity was the son of an humble carpenter, and its propagators were obscure fishermen and taxgathers. At the Reformation, the people met in small groups, and read the Scriptures and prayed and praised. Our brethren of the Methodist denomination appreciate the efforts of laymen, and have employed them with great success. By the same means have the “ Christians” in America originated, and made such rapid progress. We, too, my brethren, must remember, that not many wise, not many mighty, not many noble are called. We ought to bear in mind the import of our Lord's prayer:-“I thank Thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” I fear me, my brethren, that as a body, we are too squeamish about lay preaching. That we attach too much importance to numbers in the formation of a church. That we are too prone to identify the planting of a church with the planting of a clergyman; and from these causes, that much effort is paralysed, and more prevented.

Look abroad on Scotland, and you will find that every congregation that has succeeded, has been planted by laymen; while churches planted by clergymen, have proved abortive. Don't mistake me, my friends; I do not assert that every church planted by laymen will succeed; what I assert, is, that many churches which have been planted by clergymen, would not have broken down if they had originated with laymen. And the reason is obvious. The premature settlement midst of you.'

of a minister can only be effected by great sacrifice on the part of the people, and far greater sacrifice on that of the pastor. Neither can continue those sacrifices. Both become dispirited, and the cause languishes. A lay church is cheaply conducted; no effort is required but what may be continued; and when once a sufficient flock is secured, then let a pastor be settled. I would hazard an opinion, that until the average attendance reaches about a hundred, it is unsafe to plant a minister, unless there be some propitious peculiarity attendant. I would say then to our country friends, don't wait on numbers, don't wait on a minister, but proceed to the great work.

I was rejoiced lately to meet with so large a congregation in the remote country village of Carluke, several of whom had walked two and a-half miles, and some of them five. And I was still more delighted by my visit to the Falkirk church, few but firm, scarcely reaching the apostolic number twelve. Thes are glorious examples, all conducted by themselves, and well worthy of imitation. Do

you wish to know how many it takes to form a Christian church? I refer you to the Saviour, “ Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the

Now, there are many places in our native land, where two or three could gather together in his name. They don't need a chapel, they could meet in each other's houses. If they are scattered, they could meet quarterly, monthly, and, as soon as possible, every Sabbath-day. The press teems with excellent sermons which they could deliver, or they could have prayer meetings, and sing Psalms, and read a portion of Scripture. I know there is a delicacy of feeling, that they are not good enough to take a lead, and this is an amiable weakness, as it springs from humility; but it is about as valid as to say, I won't go to school till I am a good reader. My country brethren, wait no longer for a convenient season. . Set about the work whenever you return to your homes. The times are propitious. There are mighty stirrings in the bosom of society. The endowed churches are feeling their degradation, and are struggling for independence. The Rev. Dr. Burns of Paisley,

assures us, that to his knowledge, there are many Unitarians in the Church, and even office-bearers. If Patronage is abolished, more orthodoxy and more sincerity will be infused into her pulpits; grim Calvinism will be more broadly preached; and the Church will become too hot for those liberal, masked trimmers. The large Dissenting bodies are grappling with innovation, especially on the universality of the atonement. Unbelievers are raging rampant over our land, tearing the

« AnteriorContinuar »