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both in and out of the House, who regard the Anti-state-church movement as too feeble to be taken under their patronage. But the number present, however gratifying, was not the most significant fact in connexion with this Conference. Most of the large towns in England and Wales were represented on the occasion. From some of these the number of delegates was unusually large. Leicester sent a band of 17; Norwich, 13; Bradford, 8; Northampton, Bristol, and Ipswich, 7 each; and Leeds, 6. The delegates also, in most cases, represented far more numerous constituencies than at the first or the second Conference. Thus, it was stated, that, whereas the delegates from Bristol formerly represented but one or two hundred of the inhabitants of that city, in this instance they were appointed by several public meetings, one of them numbering 2,000 persons, and that convened for the purpose, and sustained entirely by local resources. The Manchester delegates also were nominated by a meeting of 5,000 persons; and those from Birmingham by one nearly as numerous. Scarcely less satisfactory is it to know that many of the smaller places were represented by individuals from the spot, instead of, as heretofore, by friends resident in the metropolis. For the information of those who look less to the muster-roll than to the balance-sheet for the criteria of success, we may add, that the amount required to defray the expenses of the Conference, about £360,* was raised before its sittings had closed.
Equally favourable and emphatic is the testimony to be borne to the spirit which animated the entire proceedings of the Conference. Conferences are liable to peculiar perils. An assembly of 500 men, with their varied idiosyncrasies, for the most part strangers to each other, and assembled under exciting circumstances, may be pardoned individual displays of rashness, loquacity, or undue warmth. But the Conference on which we are now remarking stands in need of no such apology, inasmuch as it was marked by the entire absence of these undesirable characteristics. We doubt, indeed, whether any similar body has ever exhibited, in a greater degree, strength of conviction combined with dignified circumspection, enthusiasm tempered by gravity, and manly decision blended with generous and genial feeling. They who looked forward to a display of (spleen, malice, rage, misapprehension, perversion, misrepresentation, misquotation--everything but downright falsehood' +-as a seasonable addition to their literary capital, were altogether at fault in their uncharitable reckoning. The Executive Committee wisely abstained from all reference to what had already received undue notice out of doors; and the Conference appeared to be no less resolved that the moral influence of its acts should be impaired by no manifestations of mere personal hostility. * There is,' said the Rey, Andrew Reed, in the admirable and stirring speech with which he proposed the adoption of the Report, ' a noble passage that cannot be too frequently quoted among us
* This includes the cost of subsequently publishing and circulating the Report of the Proceedings, and the various papers read at the Confer
† British Banner, April 24.
“ The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." If it be asked, what is our answer to rumour, and clamour, and objection? I presume our best answer is that of Nehemiah, “We are doing a great work, and cannot be hindered." **
Largely composed of men of business, the Conference proceeded to its allotted work in a business-like spirit, and with a commendable desire to discuss broad principles, rather than consume valuable time in dwelling on minute details. Mention should also be made of the wisdom displayed in the selection of chairmen, in the persons of Dr. Acworth, Mr. Burnet, and Mr. Samuel Courtauld, under whose judicious presidency the proceedings were conducted with unbroken regularity and with singular unanimity from the commencement to the close. With respect to the proceedings themselves, we must content
We'must not allow this reference to Mr. Reed to pass without adverting to his letters, and those of Dr. Campbell in reply, which were published in the • Patriot,' of May 16th and 20th. We should be sorry to say all we think of the latter. Rather than have penned the closing sentences of Dr. Campbell's first letter, we would have suffered the loss of a right hand. The English language does not contain anything in worse taste or more abhorrent to the Christian temper, and we regret that Mr. Reed did not permit his indignation fitting utterance in reply. It is as though the writer were concerned to give The Congregational Union still
ill more conclusive evidence of the folly of committing its interests to his temper and judgment. Mr. Reed, in his first letter, challenges the report of the Congregational Union, furnished by the Patriot, as “unfair and one-sided, and specifies several instances in support of his allegation. Dr. Campbell meets this with a flat contradiction,' and indulges in sweeping charges, which he fails to prove. We have taken some pains to ascertain from other and perfectly independent sources the truth of the matter, and have no hesitation in saying that it lies wholly with Mr. Reed. We do not speak unadvisedly, but have good authority for saying that Mr. Reed's letter' is everywhere thoroughly trustworthy, without quibble or suppression. The reply can only be intended to impose on persons not present. It is Jesuitical and tortuous. Its whole course is along the margin of the false, and sometimes within it,
It should be borne in mind, that the Patrior and the Banner belong to the same proprietary, are under the control of the same Business Committee, and are issued by the same publisher. The only distinction with which we are acquainted, is that of a separate editorship. These facts will enable the public to estimate the testimony borne by one of these journals to the other.
ourselves with remarking that the programme was varied and comprehensive, and embraced several topics of great practical interest at the present period. The schism in the Establishment, occasioned by the Gorham case, was referred to as an incentive to vigilance, activity, and unabated exertion,' as developing the purpose of a great proportion of the Anglican clergy to transfer the ecclesiastical property vested in the State to the exclusive possession of a clerical party, in defiance of the rights, the political interests, and the religious sentiments of the people at large.' The same topic, with other ecclesiastical events of recent occurrence, was also the subject of a forcible appeal to conscientious members of the Church of England. The co-operation of the Wesleyan Methodists of Great Britain and Ireland' was similarly invoked in an address, proceeding, as we learn, from a Wesleyan pen, in the discussion on which we were gratified to find the Rev. Mr. Griffith, and other active members of the Reform party in the Wesleyan body, taking a decided part. A paper on the Provincial Press, in relation to the Anti-state-church Movement,' supplied much suggestive information, which we commend to the special attention of those friends of the Association who are resident in populous localities. In prospect of Mr. Roebuck's motion in the House of Commons, the Irish Church was the subject of an elaborate and valuable resolution, containing an epitome of the facts and arguments to be urged against the continued existence of that most oppressive and corrupt institution. Other resolutions, insisting on the importance of checking the growth of State-churchism in the colonies; calling public attention to the clergy-compensating clauses of the Interments Bill;" and resolving on a renewed protest against the continuance of the Regium Donum; give proof of the watchfulness of the Anti-statechurch party, and the possibility of combining a resistance to •
That the subsequent activity of the Executive Committee to this Bill has not been without effect, is evidenced by the amendment of the compensation clauses. On this subject, a well-known and able writer in the Standard of Freedom,' under the signature of John Pym," says :"The Anti-state-church Association, although it has an aggressive title, is really a defensive society. It is the State-pay principle which is daily trying to extend itself in the legislation of the country. One day it establishes the payment for the education of the Irish priesthood ; another, it endows Colonial bishoprics; on a third, it arranges to pay the schoolmasters of all sects; and on a fourth, it demands of all men a perpetuity of funereal sinecures, with the alternatives of delivering up the money, or delivering up their health. Had there been no Anti-state-church Association, long ere now the Irish priesthood would have been completely endowed. It is now the only organization to confront this new and unparalleled iniquity. Men who oppose it practically, help the erection of new Establishments, and the infliction of burial robberies. Never mind the words of any man-read his acts. The tendencies of his deeds are his tendencies.'
'practical grievances' with the systematic assertion of abstract principles.*
In looking at the elements of which the Conference was composed, we were much struck with the amount of available strength which it had no occasion to employ. Men whom even Dr. Campbell deigns to consider influential,' were at the service of the Conference, but their active help was not needed. There was enough and to spare.
The Triennial Report of the Executive Committee is an admirable document, deserving of much notice, as affording a comprehensive view of the efforts put forth by the Association, and the means of estimating its actual progress. We shall not, therefore, be presuming too much on the patience of our readers, if, passing by that part of the Report which has reference to what may be termed the working of the machinery of the Organization, we quote some portions which relate to the measures adopted in pursuance of its object.
• As the most effectual means of attracting public attention to the magnitude and importance of the society's object, they (the Committee) endeavoured to make a more extensive use of the platform, by the multiplication of public meetings and lectures. Such a course, it is evident, involved greatly increased labour and expense, numerous difficulties, and, in some instances, considerable risk of failure. In many of the towns the society had previously made no effort, and the proposal to broach the question of the separation of Church and State before a public audience was regarded even by friends as a bold and somewhat hazardous experiment. But calculating fully on popular sympathy, and encouraged by a succession of ecclesiastical occurrences singularly cal. culated to give effect to their appeals, they resolved that in every district of the country which they might select as a field of operation, they would pass by no town in which it was possible to make an entrance and to collect a public audience.
• The extent to which they have been able to realize this design is a source of devout thankfulness and joy. Notwithstanding every obstacle in their path, they are able to report that between five and six hundred meetings, of various kinds, have been held in connexion with the Association during the past three years, being nearly three times the number previously held. The majority of these have been attended by efficient deputations appointed by the Committee, or by the society's lecturer, and some thousands of miles have thus been travelled in fulfilment of engagements which have, in almost every instance, been punctually observed.
* The connexion of the late treasurer of the Association with this journal, would, under ordinary circumstances, prevent our quoting the resolution passed respecting him. Those circumstances, however, must plead our excuse—if such be needed-for placing on permanent record the following vote, which was prepared without the slightest cognizance of Dr. Price :
That this Conference has heard with unaffected concern that Dr. Price is precluded, by the state of his health, accepting a renewed appointment as Treasurer to the Association. That it desires to express its deep sense of the value of his services, rendered not only in discharge of his official duties, but in his hearty participation in the difficulties and responsibilities attendant on the formation of the society, and his subsequent devotion to the furtherance of its interests. That it now, on his retirement, records its unabated confidence in, and esteem for, his high character, and indulges the earnest hope that his life may be long spared, and that he may yet be permitted to render assistance to the society as a member of its Executive Committee.'
* Nearly all the English counties have been thus gone over. The first-class towns have been visited by deputations at least once a year, and some of them with greater frequency. A series of very successful meetings has also been held in the principal cities of Scotland. The towns in South Wales have been twice visited. To these labours of the Executive Committee must be added those of the Local Committees, who, in several instances, have followed them up by numerous lectures and public meetings entirely sustained by local resources.'
Those only who have had experience of the labour and difficulties attendant on popular agitations, can fully appreciate the toil and anxiety which must have been undergone during such a campaign as that here described. It is evident that the society's resources, both personal and pecuniary, must have been taxed to the utmost, and with respect to the latter, it is matter of wonder how means so small have been found adequate for operations so extensive.
• The meetings have not only been numerous, but in the majority of cases have been highly effective. The largest public buildings in the kingdom--not excepting even the Free-trade Hall, Manchester, and the Town-hall, Birmingham, have been the scene of these gatherings, and though the doors have been thrown open for the admission of all, and, on some occasions, a strenuous opposition has not been wanting, in no one case have the majority of the audience given a hostile verdict. These meetings have also usually been conducted with a degree of decorum which has reassured the timid and the hesitating, while it has greatly served to promote the object for which they were convened. They have been characterised by other features equally gratifying and important. Members of the Establishment, whose attendance has, in all cases, been especially invited, have largely availed themselves of the opportunity of viewing in the light of sound principles the perplex. ing events occurring within its pale; and Dissenting ministers and laymen, whose co-operation must be regarded as a gain, have frankly acknowledged a change of views in relation to the movement, and expressed a hearty desire to give it their support.'
We are aware that it has been sought to depreciate the value of these popular gatherings, by asserting that they neither prove anything, nor have effected anything; to which has been added, the very suspicious objection that the energy and money expended on them had far better have been employed in seeking a revival