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sists in the substitution of the following paragraphs, marked 2 and 4 respectively, for those bearing the same numbers in the original constitution:
2. This Union shall consist of Associations of Congregational churches, and of individual churches severally adhering to the Union. The qualification of a church for membership in this Union shall be connection with an Association; or where no Association is accessible, recommendation by the three ministers already in the Union residing nearest to the applicant church. Every church connected with this Union shall make an annual contribution to its funds, neglect of which for two successive years shall forfeit membership. The Tutors of the Theological Colleges of the Independents, and the officers of their general public societies, being members of Congregational churches; also ministers and deacons in fellowship with churches eligible for connection with the Union, may become personal members of the Union by payment of an annual subscription of not less than five shillings.
4. To promote the accomplishment of these objects, and the general interests of the Union, an Annual Meeting shall be held, and such adjournments of the same as may from time to time be deemed expedient, in London, or some other principal city or town; and these Assemblies of the Union shall consist of the pastors of churches connected therewith, of delegates deputed by those churches, of whom each church may depute two; and each church consisting of more than one hundred members, three; or one additional delegate for every additional hundred of members; and of personal members of the Union. No persons not belonging to one of these three classes have right to vote in the Assemblies of this Union.
Charles Burls, Jun., Esq., Secretary of the Christian Mutual Provident Society, read a memorial and statement on the affairs and progress of that Society, whereon it was moved by the Rev. John Kelly, of Liverpool; seconded by the Rev. Archibald Jack, of North Shields, and adopted:
That in the judgment of this Assembly the objects aimed at by the Christian Mutual Provident Society are of unspeakable importance, and the plans of that Society are admirably adapted to secure those objects: the Assembly has therefore received the encouraging Report of its Directors with high satisfaction, and recommends to every pastor and intelligent member of the Congregational churches vigorous efforts to make it fully known, to form branch associations in connection with it, and to induce the greatest possible number of suitable persons to avail themselves of its beneficial and secure provisions.
Third Session, Morning of Saturday, May 15, 1847. The chair having been resumed by the Rev. Dr. Hamilton, the Third Annual Report (for the year 1846) of the Congregational Board of Education was read by the Rev. R. Ainslie, and the statement of the cash account by S. Morley, Esq., Treasurer: upon which the Rev. Dr. Massie, of Manchester, moved, and the Rev.
S. Curwen, of Reading, seconded, the following resolution, which was unanimously agreed to: That the report now read be adopted." Samuel Morley, Esq., of London, moved, and the Rev. John Ely, of Leeds, seconded the following resolution, which was adopted:
"That whereas the recent Parliamentary grant in aid of popular Education, made in accordance with the minutes of the Committee of Privy Council for distribution thereof, bearing date August and December, 1846, is to be applied in support of strictly religious teaching in schools, by the catechetical and other forms of various bodies of Christians without distinction-and whereas on no solid ground of principle can State support of religion in churches be resisted by those who acquiesce in its introduction into schools-and whereas it is believed that Congregationalists are unanimous and resolved in conscientious opposition to State support of religion in any and every form-and whereas their testimony on this great principle is felt to rest on sacred allegiance to Christ, and to be of the utmost moment to the purity and advancement of his heavenly kingdom among men-and whereas, finally, the moral power of the Congregational body is believed to consist chiefly in consistent, unwavering maintenance of principle; and that this power is very great, and will ever grow while so maintained, but will at once be destroyed by abandonment of principle, or feebleness or hesitation in adhering to principle: therefore this assembly most earnestly conjures Congregationalists universally and with one consent to preserve themselves clear of the least sanction of the grant thus offered by Government in support of schools, by refusing to receive the smallest sum for any school which is entirely their own, and by distinct protest against any participation therein in schools in the maintenance of which they are associated with Christians of other denominations."
The Rev. John Sibree, of Coventry, moved; and the Rev. John Hill, of Stafford, seconded the following resolution, unanimously agreed to:
"That the following gentlemen be elected pro tempore to conduct the affairs of the Congregational Board of Education; and that they be instructed specially to watch over any events that may place the subject of voluntary and unfettered education in a new aspect in relation to this Board; and that they have power specially to convene the constituency of the Board for deliberation and action under such circumstances.
List of names read:
Samuel Morley, Esq., Treasurer; Rev. Robert Ainslie, Secretary; William Rutt, Cash Secretary; Revs. Dr. Alliott, Thomas Aveling, John Blackburn, Dr. Campbell, John Curwen, Thomas James, William Stern Palmer, Dr. Reed, Henry Richard, George Rose, George Smith, John Stoughton, Arthur Tidman, Josiah Viney, Algernon Wells; and W. D. Alexander, Alderman Challis, Josiah Conder, T. M. Coombs, George Knox, George Marshall, T. E. Parson, Henry Rutt, James Spicer, Edward Swaine, Hull Terrell, Joshua Wilson, George Wilson, D. W. Wire, Esqrs.
Theology and Biblical Ellustration.
THOUGHTS ON THE WAR OF MESSIAH.
THAT We live in very important and eventful times will not be questioned by the serious and discerning. If we look into the political and religious worlds, we see that both are agitated from centre to circumference. Light is contending with darkness, truth with error, virtue with vice. This conflict has long been going on: it was commenced when the gracious promise of redemption was first made to man; it has been perpetuated through all succeeding ages. Doubtless, however, towards the last, the contest will be severe and deadly; nevertheless the victory is not doubtful, but certain, and shall be ascribed to Him "who came from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah; who is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength; who speaketh in righteousness, and is mighty to save." 'He must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet." Yes, and most assuredly this will be done; hence the following words of holy inspiration: "I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear." The battle, then, we say, has long since been begun, and is now carried on. But where is the field? "The field is the world." Upon this immense and spacious plain the contending armies have marshalled their forces. The army of Satan is large, and by far the largest; their instruments of war are ignorance, superstition, error, vice, in their various and almost numberless forms. The army of Immanuel is small, and by far the smallest; but their instruments of war are of celestial origin and temper, "not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." In this great spiritual contest all the servants of the Most High are called upon to engage. The energies of all are required. The most vigorous and well-directed efforts of all must be put forth. There must be united combinations of power: this is indispensable to present success, also to future final conquest. We are aware that the great Captain of salvation could effect all the purposes of his sovereign will, independent of any human agency whatsoever. Within the vast dominions of his empire he has immense resources of power that await his fiat, and are ever ready to move in accordance with his will. At any moment he has at his command "more than twelve legions of angels." By the agency of these he might accomplish his victorious designs; yes, or without them: for were he to arise in the omnipotence of his strength, and make bare his mighty arm, terror would soon be spread through opposing ranks, and all his enemies would fall prostrate in submission at his feet. But God works by other means. In carrying out and bringing to a successful issue his wondrous plans of mercy and grace, he deigns to make use of human agency. To the members of the militant church, in their individual and collective capacity, is committed the mighty task of converting our sinful world; of subjugating its rebellious inhabitants to the supreme authority and rightful sway of the true Messiah and Prince of peace.
This is a great work indeed; great in the object it contemplates, nor less great when viewed in connection with its glorious results. It is a work in which all the men of Israel, without any exception, are called upon to help; by their influence, their property, their prayers, their talents, their time: in short, by all the consecrated ransomed powers of their bodies and spirits. Nor is it a matter of choice on their part to engage in this work or refuse. The obligation is binding-the duty imperative.
When an individual enlists himself into the army of an earthly king, he engages that his best services shall be performed whenever they may be required; hence, however much he might wish for exemption from duty, he has it not; and were he to refuse to take the field, and charge the enemy, when the word of command is given, he would be regarded as a traitor to his king and country. So it is, considered in a spiritual sense, in reference to the Christian. When he enlists under the banner of Jesu's cross, he swears allegiance to the "King of glory," solemnly engages to "fight the battles of the Lord," to "wrestle against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." If, therefore, when summoned to action, he refuse to take the field, he ought to be regarded and reproached as a deserter to his Saviour's cause, and even a traitor to his God! But further, in the matter in question there is no neutrality. In "the battle of the warrior, which is with confused noise and garments rolled in blood," there may be neutrality. If a soldier under an earthly monarchy will not take the field against his enemies, he may refuse to exert any influence that would give them the least advantage, and thus, by not assisting either party, occupy a neutral position. Not so, however, in the army of our spiritual Israel. Those who refuse to march and contend in valiant combat against the common foe, actually increase the power of the enemy, and turn their own arms against their friends and companions in the fight who are still faithful in their Master's righteous cause. Yes, every soldier of the cross who is not unitedly engaged in a determined, persevering war against the opposing powers of darkness, is contributing an influence which tends to consolidate the interests, perpetuate the reign, and extend the empire of Satan. He who fights not against the devil fights against God. He who joins not in close and vigorous contest against the emissaries of hell, is engaged in fearful though mistaken conflict against the royal armies of heaven. Hence the words of our Lord, "He that is not with me is against me." Another important point in the subject before us is, the peril and punishment of those who stand aloof in the great spiritual conflict, and "come not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty." Their criminal indifference does not pass unnoticed. No, it is especially seen by Him that sitteth in the heavens, and is marked by certain, though perhaps unknown righteous displeasure and just indignation. The lamentable case of the unfaithful, disobedient inhabitants of Meroz ought to serve as a beacon to warn such persons of their imminent danger, and assure them that their dishonourable conduct, if not repented of, will not pass with impunity, but be followed, sooner or later, by richly-deserved punishment. And although it may not be inflicted by the denunciation of a positive curse, proceeding from the mouth of "the angel of the Lord," nor carried into effect during the vicissitudes of time, yet it will be in the great day of eternity; that day in which, amid the terrific lightning's flash, and the awful thunder's roar, the Judge of mankind "shall come and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that served God and him that served him not." We may now institute several important inquiries:
First, What, at the present juncture, is the state of the conflict of which we have spoken? The voice of full triumph has not as yet been heard, because the battle is not yet won. It is true that the engagement has become general, fierce, and determined; several of the enemy's forts have been stormed and taken; but yet the "prince of the power of the air" maintains his sway over many millions of subjects in his usurped dominions: "The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty." Vice, in its complicated and hideous forms, abounds on every hand. Iniquity runs through our land as with the fearful impetuosity of a mighty desolating torrent. The daring
impious arm of mutiny and rebellion is high and lifted up; the vast majority of our apostate race boldly reject the authority of the Almighty, and challenge his omnipotent power. In short, the most malignant, inveterate powers of earth and hell are engaged and sworn to resist to the uttermost the claims and rights of the King immortal; and if they could they would destroy every vestige of Christianity, assail even the citadel of heaven itself, and, were it possible, shake and beat down the very pillars that support the everlasting throne! Hence we perceive that a great work yet remains to be done. Many parts in the territories of Satan's kingdom are still to be taken and possessed. Before the armies of the cross can mingle in the full chorus of triumph, they must go on from strength to strength, till at length they shall "come off more than conquerors through Him that hath loved them." When, indeed, the conquest shall be complete and universal, it were difficult-in fact, under existing circumstances, impossible-to determine. It however may be affirmed, that if the work goes on only at the ratio that it has done during the last ten years, it will be lamentably long before it will be said, "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our God and his Christ."
It may be inquired in the next place, What is the conduct of the servants of Christ who are now in the field of conflict? Are all of them uniformly courageous and valiant? We fear not. A few of them, it is true, are distinguishing themselves in the high places of the field, as mighty champions for the Lord of Hosts; but some, alas! have grown faint in the day of battle, laid down the weapons of warfare, and are running, as it were, from the scene of action. Others are almost quarrelling with their comrades concerning the armour they shall wear, the instruments they shall use, and by what names the different regiments in the camp of Israel shall be called. And So, instead of being firmly combined in mighty phalanx, and marching forth "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners," in order to attack and vanquish their numerous enemies, they are granting them a respite, a reprieve, and actually furnishing them with means whereby they may recruit their forces and perpetuate their power! The sacramental host of God's elect are not sufficiently zealous in his cause, nor true to their sovereign Lord. The various sections of the Redeemer's church do not prosecute their holy enterprise with becoming ardour, fidelity, or perseverance ; and it will be well if the great Head of the church does not give the honours and award the palms of final conquest to another people who shall be chosen, true and faithful.
Here another important question presents itself, and it is this: What are we doing to serve the common cause, and hasten the universal triumphs of the cross? Servants of him who is King in Zion, how does this question affect you? If you are in the field, how are you engaged? Are you joining in the great fight against the King's enemies? Possibly you have merely taken up your position in some elevated part of the field, where you can behold the evolutions of both the contending armies; and it may be that, as you gaze upon the grand and awful scene, you are ready to say within yourselves, "The noble army of our Immanuel is sure to win the day without any effort at all on our part; therefore it is not necessary that we should expose our persons, or peril our lives, since it is quite evident that the warfare can be prosecuted and accomplished altogether without us." Ah! if it is thus you are speaking and acting, depend upon it you are neglecting imperative duty, and incurring a serious amount of guilt. Remember the case of the inhabitants of Meroz. It is very likely that they also made similar excuses; but this did not prevent the malediction of Jehovah from coming on them, neither can such a vain excuse prevent the curse of the Almighty from falling upon you. God can and may curse you in your person or your families, your
circumstances or business, in your life and death, in time and in eternity. Oh! take timely warning. Arouse yourselves to activity and diligence. Endeavour to ascertain, not whether your services are required, or can be dispensed with; not whether you can do anything, and if anything, how little; but rather strive to find out how much you can do, also in what way you may most effectually do it. Put away everything like apathy, all undue earthly care and indulgence. Gird yourselves with power divine, and in the field of conflict "watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." Oh! that all the servants of the Most High were thus engaged; for then the contest would speedily terminate, and victory would be gained. The joyful acclaim of triumph would soon resound through the whole universe itself. The dwellers upon earth and the inhabitants of heaven would mingle in sweet harmonious concert; and the burden of their rapturous song would be, “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." Serious reader, the question we have now to propose, and urge, and press upon your conscience, is this: Are you for us or for our enemies-for God or Satan-for heaven or hell? Perchance you are undecided; if you are, we address you in the words of the prophet, "How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." "Choose you this day whom ye will serve.' Neutral, as we have shown, you cannot be; the thought is absurd, the thing impossible. Hence, if you are not in the camp of our spiritual Israel, you are regarded as being in the ranks of the King's enemies, found contending against the Lord of earth and sky. Awful, indeed, and perilous is your condition; for "Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker!" When he bends his bow, makes ready his arrows, and prepares the instruments of death, when his hand takes hold on judgment, and he speaks in vengeance, his foes shall flee before him, and all "his enemies shall lick the dust." If, then, you would be saved from shame, from defeat, from utter destruction, from everlasting death, cast down at once the weapons of your rebellion, sue for reconciliation and peace with your offended God, by faith in the atoning death of his Son. Join the noble army of the cross, and under the glorious banner of the great Captain of salvation "fight the good fight of faith." On the field of conflict engage in untired, vigorous, persevering combat against the common foes of God and man; and then, most assuredly, when the battle shall terminate, and all warfare is past, you shall receive the victor's crown, and wear it as your due.
THE GREAT BUSINESS OF HUMAN LIFE.
BY A LONDON PASTOR.
"Give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."-2 Pet. i. 10, 11.
To whom is the apostle speaking? "To them that have obtained precious faith through the righteousness of God." For them he prays that their " grace and peace may be multiplied." They are enriched by Divine power, which hath given them all things that pertain to life and godliness, and called them to glory and virtue. It hath also given to them exceeding great and precious promises, that by these they might be partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the
corruption that is in the world through lust. What blessings! And yet these are only the beginning of mercies. This is but the basis on which the saint is called to erect a pyramid of moral excellence. We are to notice;
I. THE THINGS TO BE Done. The number of these things is seven, as will be seen in the foregoing verses. But none of these is the foundation; that is laid already by the Spirit of God. It is faith; "add to your faith." As