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BRITISH SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL AMONG THE JEWS.
Valedictory Service on Mr. Manning's Departure to Palestine.
THE first agent that has been sent from this country by the British Society to the Jews in Palestine was solemnly designated to his office on Friday, Oct. 1st. Mr. Manning goes to Jaffa as a spiritual teacher, carrying out at the same time our enterprise (in which he is supported by friends distinct from the Society) of kindness to the Jewish pilgrims who land at that place, the principal port where his embarkation takes place, wending their way to Jerusalem, to visit the place where their holy and beautiful house once stood. Dr. Bennett in his address to Mr. Manning touchingly alluded to the call once made to the great Apostle Paul, "Depart, for I will send thee far hence to the Gentiles," but said the meeting then assembled was to uplift the voice, and say, "Depart, and go far hence to the Jews." Would that it were oftener heard, and oftener answered too!
The Jews, once the depositaries of the words of life, and once enjoying the light of truth, having given us the blessings of Salvation, and proved themselves the riches of the world, are now entangled with superstitions of man's choice and enthralled with the bondage of Talmudic writings. They are truly sitting in darkness and the shadow of death! The effort now undertaken in sending Mr. Manning forth is to give back again the blessings conveyed to usto bind up the weeping, bleeding heart-"to preach the acceptable year of the Lord," that the Jews may be "fellow heirs" with us, may "be grafted in" again into their own "olive-tree," and reinstated in the favour of God.
The gracious declarations given in the inspired volume that God has not cast away his people" Israel-that they have not "stumbled that they should fall"-that "if they abide not in unbelief they shall be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again"-that "blindness in part" (only) "is happened unto Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, and so all Israel shall be saved"-that "if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much
more their fulness" ought to be regarded as 80 many urgent motives which should induce the church of Christ to press forward with a holier zeal and livelier energy to advance the work of the Lord amongst Christ's own brethren after the flesh.
The services of this special engagement were held in Union Chapel, Islington, and were assigned to the Rev. Thomas Lewis, who commenced with reading the Scriptures and prayer; the Rev. H. Allon, who pointed out the duties to be undertaken by Mr. Manning, and commended the British Society to the cordial support of the assembly; Dr. Henderson, who offered the commendatory prayer; Dr. Bennett, who addressed the departing missionary; the Rev. R. H. Herschell, who gave an outline of the scene of Mr. Manning's labours with which his personal inspection had made him well acquainted; Revs. J. A. Miller and H. Allon, who sustained the other devotional parts of the exercise.
Sincerely do we trust that British Christians will lay it upon their consciences to help the salvation of the Jews,-that Christian ministers will open their chapels and school rooms for the deputations of the Society, and be anxious to entertain the subject, that it will be felt, that although the claims made upon the liberality of the churches are numerous and heavy, the claims of a nation in number more than many others to whom we send the gospel by our Missionary Societies, and all speaking one language amongst themselves, and speaking also nearly all the languages of the world, should not be entirely overlooked. The enterprise is a generous oneone that ought not to have been so long overlooked. Let the churches of Christ do their duty by the British Society, and sustain it adequately, giving it their counsel, their money, and their prayers.
RESOLUTION PASSED BY THE CUMBERLAND ASSOCIATION OF CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES, MET AT CARLISLE, ON TUESDAY, 5TH OCTOBER, 1847. LEARNING, with much regret, that the Rev. Robert Wilson has seen it right to resign his pastoral charge at Cockermouth, we cannot allow this meeting of the Cumberland Associa tion of Congregational Churches to close without giving expression to our views and feelings respecting him. We are unanimously and cordially of opinion that, during the five years he has been settled at Cockermouth, he has laboured with becoming devotedness, has adorned in his person the doctrine of God our Saviour, and has there seals of his ministry from the Lord that will be his joy and crown upon a future day. His removal, we believe, gives satisfaction to none, but causes sorrow to all the members of the flock which he leaves behind. We are, moreover, under peculiar obligations thus to speak of him, when we reflect on the ability and assiduity he has displayed as one of the Secretaries of this Association. Wherever he goes our prayers will accompany him, and to
any particular church of God we shall be happy to recommend him.
JAMES MACFARLANE, Secretary.
RE-OPENING OF ORANGE-STREET
THIS place of worship has long been endeared to Protestant Christians by its interesting associations. It was originally built for the Refugees from France. On the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in 1685, several thousands of these persecuted strangers came to London, and a large colony of them was located at Charingcross, then situated in open fields. Government assisted them in building Orange-street Chapel, and the Congregation continued large for some years. During this period the most distinguished Protestant Preachers from the Continent occupied the pulpit,-and from 1700 to 1705, the eloquent Saurin was a frequent supply.
The French congregation having subsequently declined, the friends of the Rev. Augustus Toplady arranged with the Trustees for the use of the Chapel on Lord's-day evening and Wednes. day evening. The place was licensed by Dr. Jerrick, then Bishop of London; and Mr. Toplady regularly officiated from April, 1776, to his death, the French congregation still meeting on the Sabbath morning. Mr Toplady was seized with his last illness in the pulpit, and was carried from thence to his house, where his valuable ministry soon terminated.
On the decease of Mr. Toplady the Chapel was occupied for some time by the Rev. Richard Cecil, and the Rev. J. Foster, of the Established Church; and on their removal the congregation finding some difficulties in their attempt to have a pious clergyman, the Rev. Mr. De Coetlogon settled over them. In consequence of the interference of the Vicar of the parish, they determined to open the chapel under the provisions of the Toleration Act. On the 25th of March, 1787, it was accordingly re-opened as a Dissenting place of worship, the service of the Church of England being retained; and for many years it was supplied by a succession of the most eminent Dissenting ministers of different denominations, until the year 1830, when the Rev. J. P. Dobson became the settled minister of the Chapel, and under his pastorate a regular Congregational Church was formed.
A variety of circumstances and changes had, however, recently occurred to depress the congregation, and as the lease was about to expire, it was feared that this important place of worship would pass away from the Congregational Denomination. The friends connected with the place have, however, been encouraged to undertake a new lease, the Liturgical service of the Church of England has been discontinued, and the Chapel has undergone substantial repairs and improvements, the total cost of which has been about £800. Of this sum, the congregation, assisted by friends connected with other churches, have raised £750, leaving only the small balance of £50. To this must be added a previous debt of £170; and it is intended to make an immediate effort to raise this amount, in order that the present attempt to revive and perpetuate the congregation may be unencumbered by any pecuniary difficulties.
The opening services took place on Thursday, Sept. 23d, when the Rev. Dr. Hamilton, of Leeds, preached to large congregations in the
morning and evening; and the Revs. Dr. Morison, Dr. Jenkyn, S. Martin, and O. Clarke, engaged in the devotional parts of the service. Nearly forty ministers were present; a large number of whom, with the deacons and officers of the Church and congregation, dined together in the interval.
The opening services were continued on Sabbath-day, Sept. 26th, when the Rev. Samuel Luke, (late of Chester,) minister of the Chapel, preached in the morning, and the Rev. George Clayton, of Walworth, preached in the evening. The chapel was filled on each occasion; the services awakened the deepest interest: and there is every reason to hope that the cause of Christ in this place will experience a season of revival and prosperity under the ministry of Mr. Luke, who has now entered upon his stated labours as pastor of the church and congregation.
CONGREGATIONAL CHAPEL, MIDDLETON-ROAD, DALSTON, NEAR LONDON. THIS edifice is the result of the labours of the Rev. Clement Dukes, A.M., and the congregation he had gathered in Philipps-street, Kingsland-road. Circumstances had rendered it imperative to secure another place of worship; and as an entirely new and very extensive town had been recently built within a few minutes' walk of Philipps-street, it was considered desirable, if possible, to settle there. An eligible plot of ground was offered for ninety years, at a small ground-rent. Upon this spot a beautiful structure, of the middle-pointed style of English architecture, has been erected. Its dimensions, including the two school-rooms, are 102 feet by 44. The chapel will seat nearly 1000 persons, and the school-rooms are arranged for upwards of 300 children; the cost, including all fittings, and law expenses, being about £3,300. The foundation-stone was laid on the 2nd February, 1847, by John Remington Mills, Esq.; and the edifice was opened by the Rev. James Parsons, of York. On the following sabbath, the Rev. Algernon Wells, of Clapton, preached in the morning; the Rev. George Wilkins, of Broadstreet, City, in the afternoon; and the pastor of the church in the evening. The collections at the opening, including the Lord's-day, amounted to £250. The sum already raised for this important object is nearly £1,900, a large proportion of which has been contributed by the neighbouring churches in the way of public or private collections-thus exhibiting a beautiful specimen of the results of Christian union, and the vitality and efficacy of the voluntary principle.
The conduct of Mr. Dukes, in this very important matter, entitles him to very high praise. He found the church a ruin, a fragment, and, but for him, in all probability, it had long since become extinct. Hardly at his prime, and laying aside all idea of a more productive sphere, and mainly supporting himself and family from his own resources, he generously and devotedly threw himself into this noble enterprise. Men approved; God gave his blessing; the handful became a multitude; they prayed, they laboured, and held up the hands of their excellent pastor; and now behold the result! All honour to the minister; cordial congratulation to the people! The Lord send them now prosperity!
The Rev. D. Griffiths, late of Zean, has removed to Wade-street Chapel, Lichfield.
The Rev. Samuel C. Kent, of Collumpton, East Devon, has removed to Braunton, North Devon.
Mr. Samuel Shaw, Student of the Lancashire
CHRONICLE OF THE CONGREGATIONAL UNION OF ENGLAND AND WALES: OF THE BOARD FOR GENERAL EDUCATION: AND OF THE THREE SOCIETIES FOR BRITISH MISSIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE UNION.
CONFERENCE ON THE EDUCATION QUESTION.
THE Autumnal Assembly of the Union at York, unable to command sufficient time for determining with due consideration what practical course the Union should adopt relative to General Education, in the present position of that vital interest of our country, directed that a conference should be forthwith convened, in which the subject may be calmly and deliberately discussed.
It is therefore proposed to hold such conference at Derby in the second week of December. The meeting will be open only to members of the assemblies of the Union, and to subscribers to the Educational Fund of the Union commenced in 1843. Membership, or right of speech and suffrage, in the assemblies of the Union, belongs to the pastors and delegates of all contributing churches, and to all personal members of the Union subscribing five shillings a year under the regulations of the revised rules of the Union adopted at the last Annual Assembly. A numerous attendance of the brethren, thus entitled to be present and interested in the great subject to be considered, is earnestly desired and cordially invited.
Independent College, has received and accepted a unanimous invitation from the church assembling in Providence Chapel, Ovenden, near Halifax, to become their pastor.
The former conference for this great object, which assembled in London now just four years ago, was a memorable proceeding in the history of the Union. The numbers convened, the resolutions adopted, the purposes formed, the contributions promised,-all marked its proceedings as worthy of the occasion, and of the men. The results thus far have hardly been answerable to the resolves then taken, and to the hopes then raised. The grand subject to which they referred has been ever since, and still is, an affair of controversy and of struggle. The work of education is also a department of labour necessarily more adapted to local than to central action. Hence the issues of the proceedings of the Union in 1843 must be sought rather in their influence on the state of opinion among Independents respecting the true principles by which general education should be regulated, and in their local efforts in the work, than in the power and performances of their central organization in this department; though, indeed, these have not been few or feeble, only
The church of Christ meeting in Orchardstreet Chapel, Stockport, have unanimously invited Mr. Absalom Clark, Student of the Lancashire Independent College, to take the oversight of them. He has acceded to their request.
they are lost sight of amidst the vastness of the work to be performed, and the struggles in which all parties engaged for its promotion have been involved. Still it would be delusion and flattering to speak of our course to the present time, or of our position now, as satisfactory.
The circumstances under which the conference will meet at Derby in 1847, will be found widely different from those prevailing when the former was held in London in 1843. Then the Government had withdrawn very much from the field, and left it open to voluntary enterprise; now it has resolutely pushed its way into the work with plausible schemes and intended impartiality. Then, though Congregationalists might not all be of one mind on Government interference in the work of popular education, differences among them on this vital question had not been so decidedly expressed as of late they have been. Events and inquiries have developed opinions among them very decidedly, as could not but be the case with respect to an interest found to stand in such inseparable connection with liberty, intelligence, and religion. It is probable that the prevailing and growing judgment among Independents is now adverse to the action of the State in general education. On the other hand, some brethren have become more favourable to that interference than in earlier stages of this interesting controversy. These differences cannot now be concealed, or compromised, or adjusted. It is, perhaps, as little desirable as it is possible, that they should be so. One of these classes of sentiment may, indeed, grow and prevail over the other by the light which future events and discussions will pour on the great interest in question, and great would be the increase of power with which the denomination could then speak and act in reference to it; but so long as the differences prevail as they now do, they cannot but form an important consideration in influencing the course to be adopted by the Union in its future educational movements.
With regard to its own immediate interest in the question under present circumstances, the Union cannot put out of view care for its own harmony and integrity. The differences of opinion on Government interference in education prevailing among its members, complicate and render difficult the course to be pursued. This difficulty cannot but be seen, and made an element in considering the position of the Union, and the duty and course wisdom will point out as right under all present circumstances.
With regard to the work of education, the
questions for consideration at Derby would seem to be practical rather than controversial. What can be done for voluntary education? Shall the friends of this great principle and cause act denominationally, or on broader grounds of fellowship and co-operation? What can be forthwith effected in training teachers on voluntary principles? What course shall be pursued relative to the present Board of Education?
Fortunately, there can be no need to depart from or modify the conclusions already arrived at by the Union, and publicly announced. From its first utterance to its last on the grave question of receiving Government aid for schools, its testimony has uniformly been," Congregational schools must be religious, and as such cannot receive public money for their support."
There will, doubtless, be need of manly, outspoken candour, and of mutual forbearance in such discussions as await the conference at Derby. But there are virtues which those who will assemble there have not now for the first time to learn and to exercise; and the proceedings may be anticipated with confident hope of useful results.
MANUAL, OR HAND-BOOK FOR CANDIDATES FOR THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY.-The Committee of the Union is not yet prepared to set out its proposals for obtaining this desired work by a call for public competition. It is hoped this may be effected in the next number of the WITNESS. By that time the Year-book for 1847 will be published, containing the paper read at York, in which the grounds and nature of the proposal for this essay are set out at large; and until that document is before the public, the means will be wanting for a clear and full understanding of the necessarily briefer announcements in which the proposal when advertised will be set forth.
HOME MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
THE Journals of the agents continue to exhibit, in the most striking manner, the necessity and importance of the Society. The deplorable ignorance and prevailing vices which characterise a large proportion of the people of England are most deeply affecting. That in Britain, in which every parish has its church and its minister, whose duty it is to instruct the ignorant and them that are out of the way, and that, in the nineteenth century of the Christian era, such multitudes should be found who are as totally unacquainted with the very first principles of religion, might well excite the astonishment of all who are concerned for the present and eternal welfare of their fellow-creatures. What, in many instances, it may be asked, has the "poor man's Church" effected for the improvement of the people? With feelings of the deepest sorrow, it must be answered-nothing whatever! This is the expression not of mere hostility to the religious Establishment of the country, but of a sad and mournful conviction, produced by the actual state of hundreds of parishes in every part of the country. Had the contrary been the casehad the people been well instructed in the great truths of the gospel-had there been universally displayed an intelligent piety, instead of that brutish ignorance so much to be deplored-none would have rejoiced more than the Directors of the Home Missionary Society, on whom it de
volves to administer the affairs of the Institution confided to their care. The following extract from the Journal of one of the agents may serve to illustrate these remarks. Many such could be given, if necessary :
"In my visits to the sick I frequently find cases of extreme and deplorable ignorance. One poor man I am now visiting is as ignorant of even the first principles of religion as a heathen, and, added to this, he is altogether careless and indifferent. He is seventy-three years of age, and has never been seen in a church or chapel for the purpose of worship in his life. In the village in which he lives there is the parish church, and there has also been a Wesleyan chapel for nearly a century, and yet, in the whole course of his long life, he has not thought it his duty to enter either of them. He does not appear to understand the simplest things in connection with religion, and almost every word has to be explained. When I asked him if I should pray with him, he seemed at a loss to know my meaning, and I was obliged to explain what prayer was before I engaged in the exercise. Yet he is careless, awfully careless and unconcerned: nothing appears to impress him, but he seems as if left to the badness of his heart-an awful proof of the sin and danger of delay and neglect. He must die: in a few days, perhaps hours, he must be in eternity; and yet, although warned and encouraged to seek God, he remains in the same state of indifference. This is not a solitary case. Many similar your agents meet with-of men who have lived in the neglect of the means of grace, grown up in ignorance and hardness of heart, and who are unconcerned as to their future state. Oh! that British churches felt more the necessity and duty of sending the gospel among those who in Britain are perishing in all the darkness and ignorance of heathenism! Had this poor man been instructed in his early life in the first principles of the gospel, there would not have been that extreme ignorance to contend with, nor that awful indifference he now manifests."
If this demonstrate the necessity for the efforts of the Society, the Directors have great satisfaction in assuring its friends and supporters, that they have the most gratifying evidences that its labours have not been in vain. They may venture to say that the Society was never, in this respect, in a more promising condition. Most of the agents write encouragingly concerning their stations. Some of them are favoured with enlarged success, and, encouraged by this, are devoting themselves with unremitting assiduity to their work. Let the following extracts be considered as the evidence by which this opinion is sustained. Very many such might be given ::
"This Journal completes the report of my labours for six years at. Before the next sabbath, I shall have entered on my seventh year. To myself this season of the year (during harvest) is one of comparative repose. I preach but four times in a week, because I cannot get hearers. Men, women, and children, are too busy even to read tracts; so I lend none. Being thus a time of rest, it becomes one of
reflection and anticipation: the past is reviewed, the future anticipated. Looking over the record I keep, I find that I have officiated, occasionally or statedly, in thirty-nine places, within twelve miles of -; that I have preached 1988 times, walking, in the discharge of preaching engagements, 12,480 miles. In connection with preaching, there has been an extensive distribution of tracts, the organization of three Sundayschools and a day-school; through the greater part of the time, the superintendence of two Sunday-schools, and the care of providing them with teachers, which has frequently required many miles' walking; I have sold 568 Bibles or Testaments, 1056 copies of religious periodicals. These labours, we hope, have not been altogether in vain, as we have been blessed by the addition of twenty-two to our church communion. In eleven or twelve cases I hope I have been useful to the sick or dying. Saying nothing of efforts that have failed, two sabbathschools and a day-school now exist, where six years ago there was no idea of such a thing. In one Sunday and day-school we have all the children within reach of the school-room; in the other, as many as are free from the control of the Church authority. Whether we survey the actual result attained, or the means of future blessings called into operation, we feel constrained to be thankful."
"Since forwarding my last journal, we have held some deeply interesting services on the station. The chapel in this place has recently undergone some very considerable alterations and improvements. In effecting, however, what was so desirable, a considerable outlay has been involved. To help towards the removal of the debt incurred, we secured the valuable services of the Rev. Dr. --. The spirit-stirring appeal made by him to those who are accustomed to worship in our new beautiful temple,' met with a generous response. I believe it may be said with truthfulness, of those to whom that appeal was made, they did what they could.' The next service to which I would refer is our school anniversary at The Rev. kindly preached the sermon, and with the ministers in the neighbourhood, assisted us at the public meeting. The preparations for the public tea were on a very large scale; and every way worthy of the kind friends who generously gave the materials necessary, that all the proceeds might be handed to the treasurer of the school. The attendance was numerous, but so abundant was the supply of provisions, that we found it desirable to hold another meeting on the following day. The chapel was filled in every part at the public meeting, and I do trust the addresses then delivered will long be remembered, and prove of great value. It is little known in larger towns and cities, how much we have to contend against with reference to our schools, in small places. It will be pleasing for you to know, however, that our opponents have but little cause for boasting. Their enmity in some instances defeats its object. They have not sufficient policy to hide their hatred to the 'meetingers' as they opprobriously designate us; and the spirit they exhibit is so sadly bitter, as to show at once to the world that party purposes, and not the interests of truth, are sought to be advanced. Next to the promotion of the
truth as it in Jesus, nothing gives me more delight, than to see how the mighty power of a haughty, overbearing hierarchy is being shaken, for so it certainly is. The next service I have to mention is the anniversary of the London Missionary Society. I am rejoiced to mark amongst my people, an increasing anxiety to help this noble institution. The meetings of this anniversary have been well attended, and notwithstanding some of our people have suffered severely from the scarcity of provisions during the last winter, they have discovered nothing like backwardness in helping the cause of God in distant parts of the world.
"I am happy to inform you there are some who listen to the truth when proclaimed by your agent, who are feeling deep anxiety concerning salvation. Already the light has broken in upon their minds; and I am hoping and fully expecting the time is not far distant, when I shall have to inform you of their decision for God, and union with his people."
If the foregoing extracts show the value and importance of the Society, by which the directors are stimulated to put forth greater efforts for our beloved country, they are depressed to a most painful degree by the financial position of the institution. Their available stock is nearly exhausted; whilst their income for the past few years has fallen short of their expenditure to the extent of nearly 1000l. per annum. A very short time must therefore elapse when they will be compelled to abandon some of their stations, however promising, unless the churches aid them by enlarged contributions, so as to augment the permanent income of the Society to a degree commensurate with the necessity of the case. The Directors commend this statement to the serious and prayerful consideration of the churches of Britain, with their pastors, and would indulge the hope that this frank avowal of the position of the Society will not be made in vain.
IRISH EVANGELICAL SOCIETY.
THE Committee are exceedingly anxious to sustain their "Connaught Mission," not only because of its importance as it operates on the most necessitous of any of the provinces of Ireland, but, also, because of the great encouraging circumstances which are multiplying in many directions. There are now eleven agents in connection with the Society in that province, besides ministers and Scripture-readers who are employed by the Baptist Irish Society and the Connexion of the late Countess of Huntingdon. One feature of these operations the Committee regard with peculiar interest-the facilities afforded for communicating evangelical instruction through the medium of the native Irish language. A larger proportion of the inhabitants of Connaught speak the Celtic language than in any other part of the entire country. The following extract from the Journal of one of the agents will show the importance which is attached to this subject by those who are most competent to judge:
"Of the value of this language, as such a medium, I have given instances in all my reports. I wrote facts, and facts only. I now say, advisedly, that if in anything a native Irishman will withstand the ban of his priest, it will be in