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moters may have been to blame, the principles of the cause are, nevertheless, based on truth, and commend themselves to the adoption of every Christian man.
The necessity for some bold and energetic effort for reclaiming the six hundred thousand drunkards who are crowded in every part of our country, and for checking the progress of myriads of the rising generation, who are rushing towards the whirlpool of intemperance, is solemnly called for. The testimony of the Judges of our land presents a fearful picture of the evils resulting from the use of strong drinks; and, at the same time, shows the magic change which would necessarily result from a total disuse of them.
Mrs. Carlile (companion, for many years, of the celebrated Elizabeth Fry, in her prison visitation) says: "I have conversed with some thousands of poor prostitutes, as well as prisoners and convicts, and have almost invariably found the same testimony-'I was led astray through drink.""
The Christian church universally seems to be mourning over the apathetic state of its members; and notwithstanding the numerous agencies which are employed in promoting the spread of religion amongst a population which is increasing by 400,000 annually, yet how slight is the numerical increase of church members! -nay, in some of the largest denominations, there is an actual retrograde movement.
It is believed that a large proportion of the withdrawals from church membership results from secret or open intemperance. In addition to which, their families (to whom the church had looked for future members) are frequently led, and in some cases compelled, to forsake their accustomed place of worship; and thus the cause of Christ sustains a double loss.
During the past year the York City Missionary has met with a fearful array of drunkards of both sexes; and it is a lamentable truth, that the majority of them have proved to be fallen professors of religion-a fact which solemnly calls for the serious consideration of the Christian church.
From the deep interest you have so zealously evinced in the education of the young, your attention is also solicited to the barriers which the drinking customs of workshops, manufactories, &c., present to the efficiency of our sabbath and week-day schools. The pious labours of the sabbath-school teacher are, in thousands of cases, completely frustrated by the intoxicating cup. Many cases which have come under observation in this city could be given, but the following may suffice. A teacher recently visited the Castle; and in one of the wards were fourteen young men, most of them under sentence of transportation. On conversing with them, he found that not fewer than thirteen of them had been Sunday scholars, and ten of them declared that it was under the influence of liquor that they had been led to commit the crimes which had brought them there.
The withering influence which has attended the introduction of alcoholic drinks into many of the Mission stations, and the blessed results which have followed the formation of Temperance Societies among them, have been so powerfully portrayed by your own immortal Williams and others as not to need comment.
From a review of these facts, we are naturally led to inquire-are these liquors, which are thus productive of such fearful evils, at all necessary? This inquiry has recently been made to the medical men of this country, and nearly two thousand of them, including the physicians to the Royal Family, and the leading men of the faculty, have declared as follows:
"WE ARE OF OPINION
"I. That a very large proportion of human misery, including poverty, disease, and crime, is induced by the use of alcoholic or fermented liquors as beverages.
"II. That the most perfect health is compatible with total abstinence from all such intoxicating beverages, whether in the form of ardent spirits, or as wine, beer, ale, porter, cider, &c.
"III. That persons accustomed to such drinks may, with perfect safety, discontinue them entirely, either at once, or gradually after a short time.
"IV. That total and universal abstinence from alcoholic liquors and intoxicating beverages of all sorts, would greatly contribute to the health, the prosperity, the morality, and the happiness of the human race."
The Committee rejoice that the principles of total abstinence are spreading; and that wherever Christian men have come forward to give them a right direction, they have already, under the blessing of God, led to the most happy results. During the past year, the success which has attended the operations of the Society in this city has been encouraging in the extreme. At a meeting recently held, which was addressed by a large number of reclaimed ones, it was found, on investigation, that, with but one exception, they had all, since signing the pledge, become members of Christian churches.
Conference of Ministers.
The Committee look forward with interest to
the result of the proposed Conference of Temperance Ministers at Manchester, and the contemplated movement amongst the young; and they trust that both these efforts will receive your united and individual support.
Prayer for Direction, &c.
The object the Committee seek to gain, is the total eradication of intemperance from our land, and the removal of one of the greatest barriers which Satan and men conjoined have raised against the spread of Christianity. In prosecuting this object, they are deeply convinced of the importance of securing ministers of the gospel to be pledged with them. For want of this, their hands have frequently hung down.
The Committee respectfully and affectionately lay these matters before you, praying that a Divine influence may attend your discussion of their claims; and that you may be led by the Divine Spirit to adopt the temperance pledgea step which they believe would soon be followed by large accessions to the Christian church. Signed, on behalf of the Committee,
EVAN LLOYD, Chairman. T. B. SMITHIES, Secretary. York, Oct. 12th, 1847.
SIXTY MILLIONS!-HOW TO SAVE IT.
WHILE listening to the sad accounts given at the meetings of the Congregational Union at York, of the low state of the funds of the British Missions and the extreme difficulty of raising the few thousands which are required for their effectual working, I thought of the great things which could be done with the sixty millions which this country annually expends in strong drink-and I made this calculation
The money thus expended in a single year would provide :
BEARINGS OF CONFERENCE METHODISM ON BRITISH NONCONFORMITY.
"The subject (of Church and State) is one that is fairly open to discussion. It bears, directly and indirectly, on the whole scope and spirit of religion-on the power, as well as on the form of godliness-on the most important principles of moral science-on the whole structure and administration of civil government; in fact, on all the higher and on all the lower interests of human beings; and it ought to be examined with fearless impartiality. Our religious liberties are worth nothing if a matter in which the very vitals of religion are so deeply concerned is to be shrunk from with apprehension.-Ballantyne.
200 Hospitals at £20,000 each
200 Public Parks at 5,000 "1
give 400,000 poor Families £10 each, and present a new Bible to every man, woman and child in Great Britain.
FATHERS AND BRETHREN,-I beseech you to ponder the motto prefixed to this letter, from the pen of a writer now no more, who brought to the discussion of the sub
Essays, Extracts, and Correspondence.
it would supply every human being on the globe with a Bible,
It would every year support
200,000 Missionaries (which would be about one to every 3,000 adult heathen) at £200 each 2,000 Superannuated labourers at 100,000 Schoolmasters Build 2,000 Chapels 2,000 Schools
2,000 500 Give to 50,000 Widows 58. a week Issue 50,000 Bibles every day 18. 6d. and 100,000 Tracts every day 4s. per 100 and present to 192,815 poor families £10 on Christmas Day.
So that the money spent in Great Britain alone, for strong drink, would, as far as outward ministry be concerned, evangelize the worldbesides providing largely for temporal distress.
Or,-looking only to the church members of our own denomination there are 1700 churches in union allowing only fifty members to each, gives a total of 85,000.
Suppose, that, on an average, each of these spends 5s. a year in spirits, beer, wine, &c.which is less than three-halfpence a week-and suppose that by the practising total abstinence, the amount saved were given to British missions, we should have at once an additional revenue of upwards of £20,000. N.
ject of Church and State alliance a mind of such grasp, and a pen of such power, as have been exceeded by none of his fellow-labourers in the same field. In his opinion, after the subject of redemption, it was the greatest that can occupy the mind of man; but if we are to judge according to appearances, it forms one of the least of little things in the estimation of the rulers of your Conference. It may be affirmed with truth that there is no subject with which, as a denomination, you are so little acquainted, and that in this respect you admit of advantageous comparison with no other community in these realms. This is a very serious, not to say an awful consideration. Among you, then, a large and vital portion of Divine truth is wholly overlooked; and,
in consequence, as a people, you are neglecting a most important part of Christian duty. You are, on system, keeping aloof from a struggle which involves the highest interests of the British Isles, and the sovereign glory of the Son of God! The Nonconformists are contending for the establishment of perfect liberty of conscience, for entire religious equality to every portion of the church of Christ, and complete civil freedom to the whole human family; but in this Divine contest you, as a body, take no share. It were well, indeed, if the influence of your community were only negative; but it is positive, and zealous in upholding that system of mischief which true Nonconformists strain every nerve to abolish. Will it be said that this is a very serious charge? We readily confess it; but unhappily its validity admits of proof altogether irrefragable; and this proof we shall now adduce, by directly appealing to the Minutes of Conference. It consists in the following resolution, adopted a few years back, when, referring to certain addresses of one of their number, famous for public spirit and popular oratory, they resolved,
"That the above-mentioned speeches of Brother S (the avowed object of which is the separation of Church and State) are directly at variance with the general sentiments of Mr. Wesley and the Conference, and are distinguished by a spirit highly unbecoming a Wesleyan minister, and inconsistent with those sentiments of respect and affection towards the Church of England which our Connexion has, from the beginning, openly professed and honourably maintained. That, as far as his influence extends, Brother S- has committed the character of the Connexion on a question involving its public credit, as well as its internal tranquillity."
ment, and have warded off the stroke with which she was threatened by a combination of parties hostile to her very existence? The Wesleyans, as a body, occupy a kind of intermediate position between the Church and Dissent; and while, by the purity of their principles, and their zeal for the truth, they repel the meditated aggressions of a Popish and Infidel confederacy, they occupy a ground too elevated to admit of any injurious advances from the better intentioned, but equally adverse portion of the Dissenting community. We agree, then, in a declaration made not long ago, in the House of Commons, that the Wesleyans are the best friends of the Establishment;' and as such we wish them to continue," p. 5.
"They (the Methodists) have never, as a body, formally declared themselves to be Dissenters; and, consequently, they have never officially and connexionally LEFT the Church. But they have done more, much more, than merely refrain from any such public renunciation: for is it not well known that they have actually served as a mighty and impregnable bulwark to the Establish
Mr. Beckwith, towards the close of his pamphlet, returns to this subject, and expresses himself as follows:
"As they do not, in any way, act in opposition to the Church, and, in fact, PROHIBIT ANY HOSTILE INTERFERENCE ON THE PART OF THEIR MINISTERS, they certainly cannot, with any kind We of consistency, be denominated Dissenters. contend, then, in unison with the logical declaration of Jesus Christ, that as they "are not against" the Church, they "are with" it. We consider Wesleyanism, then, as being just such an auxiliary as the Church needed, and such as the Church herself might have appointed, to extend, and render more permanent and efficient, the moral and saving influence of the great and glorious doctrines of the Reformation. The Church is, consequently, much stronger and far safer with such a body as the Wesleyans intervening between her and Dissent, than she would have been without such an intervention," p. 11.
Men and Brethren, the text of the Conference is now before you, and we doubt not the Divan will abide by every word of the commentary. Your position, therefore, is divested of all ambiguity. The Methodist community is merely a limb of the Anglican Church, itself the largest limb of the Romish Antichrist. This is the system which your Conference holds itself bound, pledged, sworn to uphold! It is the avowed object of their "respect and affection." The "public credit, as well as internal tranquillity" of your "Connexion," they state, is involved in its honour and maintenance! Now there ought surely to be some worth where there is so much attachment. It is, therefore, needful to look a little more closely at the matter; and, that the question may be brought before you in the most unexceptionable manner, I shall call in the aid of this selfsame commentator, the Rev. James Beckwith, who, in 1833, published "Church Reform," a very earnest and vigorous production, addressed to the then celebrated Earl of Durham, marked throughout by enlightened views, and breathing the spirit of a generous reformer. In that publication, among "very great and oppressive public
evils, to which it was hoped the pruningknife of Parliamentary Reform would be unsparingly applied," he classed the Church. Hear him :
"Among those evils which still exist, and press with accumulated weight upon the public in general, I know of none of greater or more mischievous magnitude than our national Establishment-an evil which, unless entirely removed, or greatly diminished, will go far to excite the public discontent and disaffection to a much higher degree than any other grievance to which they are subject.
"Connected with this topic there are two prominent particulars to which I beg to direct your Lordship's attention: the first is, that a national religious Establishment is unscriptural and unnecessary; and secondly, that if we must have an Establishment, it ought to be freed from those blemishes and defects with which the present is encumbered.
"On the first of these heads it is possible I may go much farther than your Lordship will approve," &c., pp. 6, 7.
Mr. Beckwith, after completely demolishing the argument for Establishments derived from the Old Testament dispensation, proceeds :
"Let us turn our attention to the New Testament Scriptures, and try if we can find any passage which can be fairly adduced in support of such an Establishment. And I must confess to your Lordship, that, after having carefully and studiously read the New Testament more than either once or twice, I do not recollect a single passage to the purpose; nor have I been able to draw a single inference from the preaching, and travels, and conduct of the apostles, which can in any way be construed in favour of such a system.
"Were the first Christian churches established under the protection and by the authority of the civil power? Did the apostles receive their appointment to any particular church from the existing authorities of the land? and were their several stipends secured to them by legal enactment and legal compulsion?
"Had they wished for a union between the Church and State, there is no doubt but by a little policy and deceit they might have done a great deal towards its accomplishment," pp. 10, 11.
In speaking of the union of a temporal and spiritual economy, he adds :
"In fact, my Lord, the two are as diverse in their nature as darkness and light, life and death,' and as utterly incapable of union as Christ and Belial.'
"How monstrous, then, is it to attempt that which is absolutely impracticable, and which very attempt is calculated to corrupt and debase the one without any improvement or advantage to the other!" p. 12.
As to the non-necessity of a State Establishment of religion, the following quotations will suffice:
"If it be stated that a national church is
necessary in order to preserve the purity of the faith, then I ask, In what way is it calculated to secure this? If it be by compulsion, then, admitting that the church itself were scriptural, the means employed to support it are unscriptural: for it was never intended that the religion of Jesus Christ should be propagated and defended by the sword.
"On the supposition, then, that the faith of a national church is a pure faith, yet a compulsory adherence to that faith is contrary to the genius and spirit of the gospel, and consequently ought not to be tolerated by the legislature of a Christian nation.
"But, my Lord, it would be an easy matter to show, beyond all successful contradiction, that the faith of a National Church is not likely to be the most pure. The very blending of temporal with spiritual things is itself a dangerous and direful corruption; and in a Church so constituted a variety of circumstances will combine to render it advantageous in a temporal point of view to alter and soften down the doctrines of the gospel to suit the purposes of interested individuals.
"If it be said that a State religion is necessary in order to check vice and promote morality and virtue, then I reply, that, unless the Church can secure to us pious ministers, and devout and holy members, the morals of the nation will not be much improved by all the pomp, and magnificence, and parade of a National Establishment," pp. 13-15.
The comparative claims of the compulthus sory and voluntary systems are stated:
"Allow me to ask, my Lord, what would have been the state of public morals at the present day had the religious instruction of the people been left exclusively to the National Clergy? And what would the Clergy themselves have been but for the piety and labours of those who, because they were not of their community, were treated by them as the very 'filth and offscouring of all things?' Careless, and indolent, and immoral as some of the Clergy are still said to be, what would they have been had not the pious, faithful, and indefatigable conduct of DISSENTERS shamed many of them out of their sins, and by an indirect, but salutary influence, roused them in some measure to a sense of their duty. DISSENTERS, supported by the voluntary contributions of the public, have done more towards raising the standard of public morals, and in promoting the establishment and propagation of vital Christianity, than has been achieved by the combined efforts of the whole national Hierarchy, with the whole compulsory revenue of the Church at their command,” p. 15.
The general result is given in the following emphatic and explicit words :
"For all the purposes, then, of Christian faith and Christian instruction, a National Church is not only unnecessary and uncalled for, but it is absolutely, in many instances, injurious and improper, being principally calculated to bring within her pale men of sordid and mercenary minds, who will naturally employ the influence with which they are invested, as an engine for political intrigue and worldly aggrandizement. If the faith of the gospel cannot be defended and
propagated without the strong arm of civil power, I would say, let it fall to the ground and 'become a reproach among men,'" p. 16.
Mr. Beckwith thus describes a Dissenter, and thus asserts his claims :
"A Dissenter is one who either views the whole system of the Establishment as unscriptural, or else considers it to be so defective in certain important particulars that he cannot consistently worship at her altars.
"No human authority has a right to compel a man to be religious against his will; much less to compel a religious man to support a Church which in his heart he believes to be no better than 'Antichrist,'" p. 21.
Such is the clear and unexaggerated view of Mr. Beckwith on this all-important subject,-a view in which he is sustained by the bulk of Britain's best and greatest men of all communions. Mr. Beckwith, having most successfully exposed the injustice, the iniquity, and the deadly workings of the Church of England, and shown cause for its separation from the State, proceeds to argue, that, if it must exist for a season, then it ought to be immediately reformed; and for that end he lays down a rational and comprehensive plan, by which he sweeps the Bishops from the House of Lords, reduces their revenues-the Archbishop to £2000, and the Bishops to £1000extinguishes pluralities, abolishes patronage, and gives to every parish the choice of its own parson, appropriating the tithes "to their primary objects, viz., to support the Clergy, repair the Churches, and keep the Poor," doing away with Churchrates, Poor-rates, Small Tithe," &c., and exempting "all Dissenters from contributing to the support of the Church." This admirable publication thus closes :—
"To suppose that things can remain much longer in their present state, would be a reflection upon the judgment and feelings of the British Public; for with the liberty of the Press and the general diffusion of useful knowledge, the mists of ignorance and superstition have been driven away from our horizon; and, with a voice unanimous and loud, we will never cease to utter our complaints, and to call in the ears of the British Parliament for a great and radical reform in our National Church, until it shall be echoed back in sounds softer and sweeter than the music of the spheres,' BABYLON THE GREAT IS FALLEN, IS FALLEN !'"
practices with his earlier doctrines, is not our business. We are entirely convinced of the truth of his representations in both matters, and we inquire no farther. We have to do with him solely as a witness, not as a litigant: in that respect we leave him in the master hands of the Rev. J. P. Mursell, whose admirable pamphlet, "Methodism and Dissent," being strictures on Mr. Beckwith, lies before us in the fourth edition, and well merits general perusal.
Thus far Mr. Beckwith, who, in 1833, fully and clearly developed the true character of the Church of England; and who, in 1847, as fully and clearly sets forth the anti-liberal spirit, and StateChurch predilections of Conference Methodism. To reconcile Mr. Beckwith's views with each other, or his present
Fathers and Brethren, the subject now assumes a very solemn character. This is the system, I repeat, which your Conference holds itself bound, pledged, sworn, to defend and uphold! This is the system of which Methodism has been the mighty and impregnable bulwark" -the system of which "the Wesleyans are the best friends"—the system against which Conference " hostile prohibits any interference on the part of their ministers," and for which it promptly expels them the system to which it is the pride of Conference to be an "auxiliary"-the system which Methodism has rendered "much stronger, and far safer." We speak as unto wise men; judge ye what we say. The "character" of your "Connexion is committed" to the Church of England AS IT IS! With that church, imbedded in its all but boundless and fathomless mire of corruption, your Conference identifies itself, thus sharing its political guilt, moral mischief, and spiritual iniquity! What must be the social effects of this unprincipled and unholy fellowship? Can they be those of harmony, confidence, and love, between you and Dissenting communities? Can the spirit of Conference Methodism and the spirit of Scriptural Nonconformity sustain, mutually, to each other any relation other than that of an intense and endless hostility? How is it possible, in the way of truth and freedom, to distinguish Methodism from Churchism? As the ally of the latter, is not the former a legitimate object of assault to the advocates of Nonconformity? Under these circumstances, is it not a bitter mockery of reason to talk of Evangelical Alliances, and projects of spurious catholicity, which necessarily involve a cessation of hostilities against unscriptural systems? To make peace or truce with Methodism As IT IS, were to prove false to truth. The existence of such a system alone in the land, without the intolerable grievance of an Establishment to which it was proving a bulwark, would be a sore evil,