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THE NOTTINGHAMSHIRE AssociATION.—The usual meeting of the ministers and delegates for the churches, was held in the foreuoon of Wednesday, March 17th, wben, inter alia, it was resolved, that the Congregational Union of England and Wales be requested to hold their autumnal meeting in Nottingham, in 1842.
The Rev. Joseph Gilbert having been visited with severe and alarming illness, Dr. Alliott and the Rev. R. Weaver, of Mansfield, were appointed to visit that valued minister, and to express to him the affection and sympathy of his brethren, and their anxious hopes and prayers that he may be speedily restored to full health and useful. ness. In the evening of the same day a public meeting was held, Rev. Dr. Alliott in the chair, when Mr. Arthur Wells read the report, from which we glean the following facts. That there are fifteen Congregational churches in the county, consisting of 1,154 church members, of whom 132 individuals were added last year, which presents an average of seventy-seven members in each church, and an increase of nearly nine members to each during the last year. Their chapels will accommodate 8,198 persons, or an average congregation of about 550 persons to each.
The associated churches appear to be in a peaceful and healthy state. The Home Missionary operations of the association are promising. At Tuxford, a missionary is stationed, who has gathered a fair congregation, for whom a chapel is now in progress. A spirit of hearing pervades the district, throughout which five or six preaching stations have been opened. About £400 have been collected during the past year towards the erection of his chapel, and another at Sutton-on-Trent.
DURHAM AND NORTHUMBERLAND ASSOCIATION.—The nineteenth anniversary of this association took place in Newcastle, on Monday the 12th, and Tuesday the 13th, of April. On Monday afternoon, a preparatory meeting was held in the Postern Chapel, at which four of the home missionaries, labouring in connexion with the association, gave accounts of their stations; a special prayer was offered for the Divine blessing. On Monday evening, the annual sermon was preached in the same chapel, by the Rev. A. Jack, of North Shields, after which, the ordinance of the Lord's supper was celebrated. The addresses were delivered by the Rev. J. Harrison, of Barnard Castle, and the Rev. J. W. Richardson, of Sunderland. Various ministers assisted in the devotional exercises. On Tuesday morning, the meeting for business was held, when ministers and delegates from nearly all the churches in the two counties attended, and many matters of great importance came under consideration. The public meeting was held in St. James's Chapel, in the evening ; J. C. Lamb, Esq., in the chair. From the report, which was read by the secretary, the Rev. A. Reid, of Newcastle, it appears, that home missionary operations are carried on by various missionaries at Bishop Auckland, Hartlepool, Easington-Lane, Richmond, Ryton, HaydonBridge, and Rothbury, and that the association is aided in these efforts by the Home Missionary Society. The resolutions were moved, seconded, and supported, by the Rev. Messrs. J. Harrison, R. E. Forsaith, G. Clarkson, W. Froggatt, R. Pritchett, R. Drummond, J. Anderson, J. W. Richardson, R. Thompson, J. Ward, S. Davies, R. Caldwell, S. Watkinson, N. Campbell, and A. Reid. The whole of the services were well attended, and much interest was excited by them.
WILTS AND East SOMERSET CONGREGATIONAL UNION.—The half-yearly meeting of the associated pastors and churches in Wilts and East Somerset, was held at Chippenham, on Tuesday, April the 13th, when the Rev. Wm. Fernie, of Frome, preached in the morning, and the Rev. G. Pillgrem, of Swindon, in the evening. The meeting for business was held in the afternoon, Mr. G. Haden, of Trowbridge, in the chair; when the resolution to join the Congregational Union was confirmed. A new organization of the association, under the name of the Wilts and East Somerset Congregational Union was adopted; the Rev. Richard Elliott, of Devizes, was appointed treasurer, and the Rev. Thomas Mann, of Trowbridge, secretary, in connexion with Mr. Elliott.
ORDINATION. On Tuesday, 6th April, 1841, the Rev. E. C. Cooke, late of Airedale College, was publicly ordained by prayer and imposition of hands in the Independent Chapel, Bautry, Yorkshire. The introductory discourse was delivered by the Rev. Y. E. Millson, Pontefract; the questions were asked, and the ordination prayer offered by the Rev. Benj. Ash, of Laxton. An affectionate, encouraging, and impressive charge was given from 1 Peter v. 4, by the Rev. Thomas Smith, A.M., Sheffield, and classical tutor, Rotterham College. The sermon in the evening, to the church and congregation, was preached by the Rev. Samuel M'All, Doncaster. The services of the day were of a highly interesting character. This is the first ordination service that has occurred in the town, and it is hoped that good will result, from the firm and clear statements of our principles, and from the fervent appeals which were made to the intellect and the heart. The great Head of the church has blessed, and is now blessing this people, who only need the liberal sympathy of their more wealthy brethren to aid their etforts to liquidate the debt which has so long and heavily pressed on them, to attain to much prosperity and comfort.
TESTIMONIALS TO MINISTERS. The Rev. GEORGE BROWNE, for many years pastor of the Independent chapel at Clapham, and one of the Secretaries of the British and Foreign Bible Society, having been led to resign his pastoral charge, received, on Thursday evening, Nov. 26, substantial proofs of the sympathy and love of his wealthy friends, who presented him with a purse of six hundred and twenty sovereigns, as a testimonial of their unabated and affectionate esteem. Sixty of the poorer members offered for his acceptance, at the same time, a handsome silver salver, bearing the following inscription
“ To the Rev. GEORGE BROWNE,
This farewell offering
By the Poor of his Flock,
For him as their Pastor.
Clapham, November 26, 1840.” On Christmas-Day, 1840, three hundred friends of the Rev. T. R. Gawthorne, Independent minister, Belper, Derbyshire, took tea with him in the chapel, on the 50th anniversary of his ministry. A very interesting and affecting public religious service then took place, when two hundred and thirty sovereigns were presented to the venerable and beloved minister by one of the deacons. This free-will offering (which was contained in a handsome rosewood box, enclosing an elegant purse, both the gift of a pious lady belonging to the established church) was contributed by the churches and congregations at Belper and Hedge, (the latter, until the last year, being a branch of the former,) by some of the wealthiest and most respectable of Mr. Gawthorne's townsmen, and by Christian friends residing in various parts of the country. The meeting consisted of about 800 persons, and was addressed by Rev. Messrs. Pottinger, J. Gawthorne, and F. B. Broadbent, co-pastor with the venerable minister.
The addresses of the several ministers, and the grateful and affectionate reply of the aged pastor, were all calculated to make the service not only deeply interesting, but also lastingly profitable.
The Rev. William Brown, of Mayo, Ireland, having been the pastor of the congregagational church in that town for forty years, has been compelled, by age and infirmities, to resign his pastoral charge. His friends united to purchase for him a piece of plate, which should be a testimonial of the veneration and gratitude with which they regarded him. On the 11th of December last it was presented to him, accompanied by an affectionate letter, to which our venerable brother returned a suit. able reply.
BRIEF NOTES ON PASSING EVENTS. The retrospect of the past month must be, upon the whole, satisfactory to the friends of humanity and peace. The news from China, indeed, has brought accounts of the attack made by the British armament upon the Bogue Forts, and of their complete destruction, with the loss of 700 Chinese. These transactions induced Keshan, the Imperial High Commissioner, to send a flag of truce, and to open negociations with her Majesty's plenipotentiary. The basis of a final adjustment was laid --in the secession of the island and harbour of Hong-Kong to the British crown-an indemnity to the British government-direct official intercourse upon an equal footing-and trade to be opened in February. These terms are severely reprobated by the India newspapers, whose editors seem to regret that a wholesale massacre was not perpetrated. e sincerely hope that peace will be established, and that these events may be for the furtherance of the Gospel amongst that wide-spread people.
The tone of the public mind in the UNITED STATES has obviously changed with the change of government; and the new President, General Harrison, although a soldier by profession, is said to have expressed himself in such terms to the British minister, as not only to insure the safety of Mr. M'Leod, but also the continuance of peace between the two countries. But, alas, how uncertain are the affairs of men ! News has just arrived, announcing the melancholy death of the President, after an illness of only a few days. What effect this may have upon the relations of the two countries, time must declare.
We grieve to perceive, that our national character has been again dishonoured at MADRAS, by the native officers of the collector presenting to an idol, at a recent festival, offerings of flowers, cloth, and gold, in the name of the government ! How long will the home authorities tolerate the continuance of these abominations, in spite of the oft-repeated condemnation of the parliament and the country?
At Home, the Easter recess has given to the members of parliament, and to the people, some little repose from the irksome and incessant strife of party. “The Jews' Declaration Bill," a virtual emancipation act, has passed the House of Commons by 108 votes to 31, which gives the hope that it may also obtain the concurrence of the upper house. Its rejection would indeed prove, that the Lords have not kept progress with the times, for in 1753 a bill for the naturalization of the Jews passed through parliament, but popular clamour, excited by the clergy of London, lest the prophecies against the Jews should not be fulfilled, compelled the government to repeal it the next session. The present act passes without exciting more public discussion than some private act, and popular prejudices having been subdued, we may hope that senatorial wisdom has not retrograded.
We are glad that Lord Normanby has appointed a select committee on Sunday traffic on the canals, which, we trust, will lead to the suppression of a practice which frustrates, if it does not prevent, the means that are employed for the moral and religious improvement of a most debased and desperate class of the community.
The disgusting state of the churchyards in the metropolis has been referred to in parliament, and the Bishop of London, admitting the fact, sounded the house upon a general cemetry bill for the metropolis, "without injuring the pecuniary interests of the clergy." “ There was one cemetary," (Abney Park,) his lordship said, " that had not been consecrated. Such an evil, however, would be avoided by a general bill." Most earnestly do we wish that all the parish and private burial grounds within the walls and out-parishes of the city were closed, and enlightened dissenters would gladly acquiesce in such a sanatory arrangement. But his lordship must not imagine, that they will submit to be deprived of the right of interring their dead in unconsecrated grounds, seeing that the services of their own ministers are denied them in those cemetries that have been consecrated by bishops.
Lord Cardigan has again distinguished himself, by having the sentence of a court martial executed upon a private of his regiment on the Lord's-day, in the very building where, half an hour before, he, and his soldiers, were engaged in public worship. His reproof from the Horse Guards, is but the echo of the censure which not only members in the House of Commons, but the country at large, have pronounced upon proceedings so indecent and profane.
There have been no lack of church questions before the public during the past month. The venerable Archbishop of York has held a visitation in his cathedral, respecting the alleged delinquencies of the dean, Dr. Cockburn. In the course of the proceedings, there have been most painful manifestations of party violence and strife. Had such a scene occurred at a church meeting of any dissenting congregation, it would have supplied abundant matter for abusing " our factious, demo. cratic government;" but outbreaks of passion, which the threat of commitment could scarcely restrain, are not thought extraordinary in the church court of an archbishop. The dean has been deposed for simony, a proceeding which may be quite according to law; but we cannot see very clearly, what moral distinction there is between the alleged crime of the dean, and the sale of advowsons, which we see openly advertized by the ecclesiastical commissioners and others.
No. 90 of “The Tracts of the Times," having been deemed too bad, the vicechancellor and heads of houses at Oxford have passed a mild resolution against the mode of interpreting the articles, suggested by Mr. Newman, in that tract; while the bishop of the diocese has expressed his opinion, that No. 90 is objectionable, and may tend to disturb the peace of the church;" and has also advised that the tracts “should be discontinued." Submission to episcopal authority, being a principle with the tracticians, they have promised to obey, and the series, we presume, has terminated; but, like true the disciples of Loyala, they have purchased The Oxford Herald, and through its columns, it is understood, they intend to advocate their opinions still.
A splendid meeting has been held at Willis's Rooms, the Archbishop of Canterbury in the chair, for the purpose of raising, by voluntary subscriptions, a fund for the endowment of additional colonial bishopricks. The primate's speech was in harmony with his gentle character. “It was not meant,” he said, “in sending bishops to the colonies, to make war npon the dissenters." We hope the bishops already in the colonies, will mark these words. He further said, “ They did not look for large incomes for the new bishops. They would be satisfied with such a competence as would enable them to live without the necessity of having to practise that distressing economy, which, though, in some cases, it might be a virtue, yet in theirs would be calculated to impair their efficiency. He wished they shonld be enabled to maintain a decent rank, have the means of defraying the expenses of journeys, and of exercising that moderate hospitality and charity which, in their station, could not be dispensed with.” We give his grace and his episcopal brethren full credit for seeking in this place the prosperity of their church rather than their own, as they are unquestionably establishing a precedent which may be one day quoted against them.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. Favours have been received from Rev. Drs. Davidson-Fletcher-HendersonAlliott-Matheson.
Rev. Messrs. A. Wells—T. Milner-0. T. Dobbin—A. J. Morris-T. W. JenkynJ. Robinson-E. C. Cooke-R. Knill—J. Knight-W. Harris–J. E. Richards—R. Chamberlain-J. C. Galloway-J. Carlisle-G. Rose-A. Reid-T. Mann-Richard Parry.
Messrs. S. Bagster-J. Mead-A. M'Creevy–J. Eives—J. E. Ryland.
We regret that we have again to trespass on the patience of esteemed correspondents ; but the crowded state of our pages compels us, most reluctantly, to defer the publication of several papers to the next.
THE APOSTLE JAMES ON JUSTIFICATION.
It is somewhat startling to meet with two such declarations as the following in the writings of men for whom inspiration is claimed : " Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law;" and, “Ye see then how by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” The supposed contradiction of these statements has led to many results by no means beneficial. Voltaire has had many followers in alleging it against the Bible ; Luther has not been alone in esteeming it injurious to the claims of James; many have adduced it in opposition to the common notions of inspiration ; while multitudes of simple Christians have been more or less puzzled and perplexed by it. It cannot, therefore, be a useless, uninteresting task, to endeavour to show, that the most perfect harmony exists between these apparently conflicting writers, and that but a moderate measure of care and candour are quite sufficient to discover it. We shall not say that there might be consistency, even though we should be unable to find it out—that, if both are inspired, there must be, whether or not we succeed in detecting it—or that there are several ways of interpreting them so as to preserve it, any one of which is infinitely better and wiser than the supposition that either is in error. We shall proceed at once to make a few remarks, which we consider altogether competent to prove, that Paul and James held and taught, upon the subject of justification, but “one faith.”
That a verbal contradiction exists, we are not disposed to deny, nor is it necessary. Nothing is more common, even where contradiction of sense is plainly out of the question. The same writer, if a man of genius, force, and imagination, will frequently say things conveying the appearance of inconsistency. He who gives strong expression to strong thoughts, who yields his whole soul to the particular theme that N. S. YOL. V.