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On the other hand, when an appeal was made to the heart of the true mother, it was proved that her maternal affection was paramount to every other consideration, for she at once offered to concede every thing rather than witness the destruction of her child. “Her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said-Oh, my Lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it:" verse 26. In the judgment of Solomon, this was the best possible proof she could give, both of her right and of her fitness to govern the child, and he accordingly directed it to be delivered into her hands. Fifty-two official members of the Liverpool society have determined to appeal to the heart of the Conference in the same way, and in the confident hope of similar success. “We will with hold our contributions, say they, from the Missionary, Contingent, Chapel, and all other funds under the control of Conference, and it is expected that the “bowels ” of the priests will “ yearn” over these institutions, and they will be compelled to concede every thing, and even to give up their darling power, for the sake of preserving these members of the Wesleyan family. This display of an overwhelming affection towards the institutions of Methodism is to be considered as a clear proof that they are not now, and never were, fit persons to be entrusted with its government, and they are accordingly to be dismissed in disgrace. Solomon, on the other hand, would consider such love as decisive evidence of their being the true parents of the connection, and as constituting a solid reason why it ought to remain in their hands. But slight differences between Solomon and the Association are not new: as one of his proverbs says, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him ;" and they have a knack of giving a verdict before hearing the evidence. A party of these men, some time ago, secretly conspired and then expelled the superintendent of the Liverpool North Circuit from the chair, and then went and told the world they were enduring dreadful oppression---so much so, that their case was " without a parallel even in the annals of Methodistic despotisın.” The “ineffable hypocrisy " which could perform such an exploit as that, and then go and whine about oppression, is un. doubtedly capable of great things.
As some people endeavour to be pathetic by proclaiming “more last words," so they have published another “case without a parallel.” Mr. Whittingham now complains of dreadful oppression, in being compelled to become in name and profession what he has long been in heart and affection-a member of the Association. In declining to give any thing towards the yearly collection, at the March visitation, he deemed it his duty to make some lengthened observations, the general import of which was—that the conduct of the preacher before him was cruel and tyrannical—that the . character of the preachers generally was so dubious that money could not be considered safe in passing through their hands--and that the speaker felt great sympathy with the * brethren" who had given it as their decided opinion, that “no honest and upright man" could remain connected with the Conference. At the close of these remarks, he expected to receive, as a matter of course, a society ticket, as the token of continued Christian fellowship between himself and the men of whom he had given such a flaming character. The preacher thinking that, whether this speech was true' or false, it was clear there was no Christian fellowship between the parties, hesitated about giving a ticket as the token of what had no existence, and which must therefore be a practical falsehood; and even went so far as to say that he would rather go without his quarterage than be concerned with such a piece of hypocrisy. Mr. W. adds“ I took up my money, and after making a few remarks on the present unaccountable conduct of the preachers, I sat down." Yet, according to the Lantern, the preacher who refused the money which was actually laid on the table, has acted on the principle of “no penny no Paternoster;" Mr. W. kept his money, gave the preacher a good lecture, and had the last word in the dispute-and yet he is an oppressed man. He did not think his place in Methodism worth an appeal to the leaders' meeting : though the class was told, again and again, that any member, feeling himself aggrieved, was entitled to that privilege ; yet he is an oppressed man.
He has now joined the Association, directed his name to be inserted in that “list of worthies," and says, “it is a good cause—the cause of liberty; and I have no doubt of its ultimate success ;" and we would fain hope his oppressions are at an end.
But the worst is, that the preacher has showed such “indifference," "apathy," and “unconcern.” Perhaps, the reason was, that, having been expelled himself and found it a great deliverance, and having heard a member of the Association say that he was very happy after his expulsion, and being fully satisfied that, under all the circumstances of the case, a separation is best for all parties, he thought that to go into hysterics on the occasion would savour too much of that “ineffable hypocrisy" with which he wishes to have nothing to do.
“NOT AT PRESENT, SIR!!” The time for the quarterly visitation of the society for the renewal of the tickets being come, and also for receiving contributions to the yearly collection (one of the funds proscribed by the Association), I felt some degree of curiosity to know to what extent our people had suffered themselves to be influenced in this matter, and was not a little grieved to learn, from good authority, that great unmbers had withheld their usual support; and when the question was put by the preacher-"Do you intend to give to the yearly collection ?”—the pitiful answer of the objectors has invariably been, “Not at present !" There can be no doubt, therefore, from the universality of its use, that this is the catchword of the Association, and many who had not even been suspected of being members of the confederacy, have now laid themselves open to detection. “Not at present !”—and what talismanic influence are these big words, so fraught with import, to exert ? Unparalleled absurdity! To intimidate the Conference into submission! “Not at present,” sullenly muttered by those who, for many years, have been members of that body, which they now so strenuously endeavour to disorganise. “ Not at present!” whined out by mere children, girls in their teens, and beardless boys-true as parrots to their teachers. O ye blind leaders of the blind, how tremendous your responsibility, and how heavy the punishment that awaits you for thus misleading the young of Christ's flock, many of whom will retain the bias thus wickedly given to their tender minds to the end of their existence? “Not at present !" When, then? Never; no, never- if not till the ends you propose be accomplished. Never again will you have the opportunity of relieving distressed chapels, and of extending the means of salvation to those obscure parts of your own country that are comparatively destitute! Never again will you co-operate to throw the light of divine truth upon the countless myriads of the earth, who still sit in darkness and the shadow of death! Never again shall you help to support the drooping widow and fatherless children of those holy and indefatigable men who have died in your service ! Never again shall you minister to the wants of those aged and infirm ministers, the sole business of whose life has been to pluck men as brands from the burning, and to whose instrumentality many of you owe your religious good! These are the high privileges from which you exclude yourselves; and that which is of the greatest moment, you thereby deprive yourselves of those rich spiritual blessings which result from their excrcise. In drying up the fountains of your charity, you render your own souls leau and sterile ; for it is written, “the liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” “Not at present !” These words, though little and insignificant in themselves, contain an awfully momentous signification to you; and, if acted upon, will exert an important bearing upon your future destiny-you, and those whom you bring under your influence, will be the only sufferers, and to what extent, eternity alone can unfold. We confess we know not which is the greater, the folly or the wickedness which has originated this new fangled, unprincipled scheme of stopping the supplies, for the purpose of forcing men into compliance with your sinister designs. Stop the supplies! As well might you attempt to mop up the Atlantic ocean as to hinder the progress of Methodism, or so to lessen our funds as to limit God's work. I would apply to you the quaint but good caution of Bishop Hackett “ Beware of novel doctrines, and observe it when you will, if they do not beget new vices ; as a mill-stone new peck'd fills the meal, it grinds with more gravel than one that is smooth within ;" also Bishop Hall's advice to his brother" Let me advise you to walk ever in the beaten road of the church; not to run out into single paradoxes. And if you meet at any time with private conceits that seeme more probable, suspect them and yourselfe; and if they can win you to assent, yet smother them in your breast, and doe not dare to vent them out, either by your hands or tongue, to trouble the common peace. It is a miserable praise to be a wily disturber.” For your own sakes, therefore, I would beseech you to listen to the above advice, and abstain from the profitless attempt to introduce innovations into the church. You will best promote its interests by
cultivating religion in your own hearts. Let it be your sole business to work out your own salvation, and no longer sympathise with that restless spirit of change which is now causing so much movement and agitation in the church and the world, when
“High and low
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
.“ Father forgive them," is the feeling which will be produced in the breast of every right-hearted Methodist by the result of the recent t:ials in the Court of Chancery, Warren v. Burton, &c. Here is Dr. Warren, who having published a digest of the rules of Methodism, and also a pamphlet on the special subjéct of district meetings, has come to a conclusion which is not only opposed to the general opinion of the preachers, but has now been pronounced a mistake by the solemn judgment of both the courts of equity. We would that this were nothing worse than a sin of ignorance, and that it may be said of the Doctor and his friends, « They know not what they do." In the mean time, this mistake has been pregnant with an immensity of mischief. Attention has been averted from higher and holier objects, and engrossed with matters of strife and debate: the general work of God seriously obstructed: while numbers have stumbled and fallen-probably to their final undoing. In the mean time, the meeting of delegates, who are to represent cotton-spinner Smith's forty thousand is announced to be held in Manchester, in the course of the next month. As the old constitution of Methodism has been found to be such a knotty affair, report says, attempts will be made to manufacture a new one. It is hoped no principle of coercion will emanate from such a source of freedom ; should any man, therefore, after seeing the new constitution, say, “the old is better," he will probably be indulged in his whim. If forty or fifty thousand people choose to adopt the new-fangled constitution, it will verify Master Smith's affidavit, show the world how “ singularly" the dear Doctor and his friends are “ fitted for great actions," and place all the parties in a more enviable position than they occupy just at present. In case any of our readers happen to possess a copy of a pamphlet, published by Mark Robinson, containing “ the constitution" which he invented some years ago, it might be well to make a present of it to one or other of the delegates (!) for as the Society and Conference for which that constitution was made never yet existed, the thing is still as good as new; and it is a pity that the labours of such a man should be thrown away! It is said the principle of lay delegation is to be introduced into our body, as there are several would be demagogues in the country who are anxious for employment; of which truth we think the fact of two meetings of delegates and constitution-makers being held in Manchester in the space of one short year is a tolerable proof!
We are amused at the tergiversation of our bewildered contemporary, the Lantern, in the Birmingham affair. It is sufficient for us to state, that Mr. Hickling, whose house was Dr. Clarke's home in that town for the last twenty years, and where the expression complained of was uttered (so choice a morsel of slander as to be repeated not less than three times in the above-named publication), positively denies the truth of the statement. To escape the charge of falsehood the Editor very advisedly pretends that the Doctor may have given utterance to the expression elsewhere; and very politely invites us to a visit at the Music Hall. We have more respect for the well known probity of Mr. Hickling, than to offer such an insult to his character, by accepting the invitation. By the bye, as so much stress is laid upon the opinion of Dr. A. Clarke, did our Editors and their worthy associates never read his comment on Psalm 132–6, &c. We think not; it is as follows:-“To the captives in Babylon the prophet Jeremiah had given this charge: 'And seek the peace of the city whether I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray unto the Lord for it: in the peace thereof ye shall have peace.' Was this a duty for the captives? Yes. And is it the duty of every man for his own country? God, nature, common sense, and self-interest say--YES. And what must we think of the wretches, who not only do not thus pray, but labour to destroy the PUBLIC PEACE, subvert the government of their country, raise seditions, and destroy all its civil and RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS ? Think of them! Why that hemp would be disgraced by hanging them."
Important communications have been received from “Epsilon,"_"A Lover of Methodism," 6: Crito,"_“J. H.,"_“J. S.,"—and “ Mentor."
We regret that “Polycarp," and "An Observer," are again unavoidably postponed until our next number.
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PRINCIPLES ELUCIDATED BY THE JUDGMENTS OF THE COURTS
OF CHANCERY. We scarcely know whether to consider the late appeal to the courts of law, on the part of Dr. Warren and the Association, as a good or an evil. That it has turned to the advantage and honour of the Wesleyan Connexion, and the entire discomfiture of the factious party, we are thankful to admit. But the reckless malice, the frantic folly, and the religious obliquity, which could drag the disputes and discipline of the connexion before the tribunals of the country, is matter of deep regret and sorrow. Although the friends we love have come out of this trial with unsullied Christian honour; the cause we love more, has gained strength and stability, and Methodism has procured an advantageous notoriety ; yet still, we confess that to us it is an odious sight to see “ brethren going to law with brethren;" and trust it may be long before there is a repetition of this scene.
In this case, we have additional proof of the tendency of excited feeling to produce indiscretion of conduct. Did any one, who, in these times of ferment, esteemed his sobriety of mind, entertain a doubt, for a single moment, respecting the final issue? It is said, and we have good reason to know the statement to be correct, that the Manchester Trustees belonging to the Association, were a full week in beating their opinions into the head of Dr. Warren, and in persuading him to become their tool in the suit. Poor Doctor, how low art thou fallen! We can honestly say, that our sorrow over this prostrate man is unfeigned! We respect him on account of his general character-his long standing in the society
-his attainments and learning-and his past adherence to the great principles of Methodism. In an evil hour, he yielded himself to the intoxicating notion-most likely suggested by others—that he was called to head an opposition in the body; and this one false step has led to all the rest. Had his present position been predicted to him, only twelve months ago, we are persuaded, he would have exclaimed with Hazael —"Is thy servant a dog that he should do this thing ?" It is perilous for some men to be placed on an eminence; and no sooner did the Doctor find himself
in his new character than he immediately began to plunge, first into one and then into another quagmire, till, at length, he finds himself virtually out of the Connexion discomfited and indignantly-rebuked suitor in the courts of law, and the poor and pitiful tool of headstrong folly. From the grave and sober divine, he is reduced to the vulgar demagogue; from the preacher of peace and righteousness, to an agitator and divider of the church; from the companion of the pious and intelligent portions of the Connexion, to the fraternity and communion of the Association; and from the dignified state of a free and voluntary agent, to the most degrading of all slavery—the puppet of a mob! He may think he is great-tens of thousands think he is little and low; he may, in the excitement of his feelings, imagine he is leading and heading this movement-we are certain, he is as much led by it as a monkey is led by its keeper to dance for the amusement of children; and he may dream that these new friends will be true to his interests, establish his fame, and promote his happiness; we tell him, they will be as false to him as they have been to their former profes. sions, and as soon as the fever subsides, or Doctor Warren ceases to be useful to them, they will abandon him to his own reflections and sorrow. We wonder, by the bye, how it came into the head of the Doctor, that he is the man to suit the taste of a noisy, ranting multitude. His talents are quite of another description. The elegance and politeness he has cultivatechis study of Belles Lettres, and the arts of good speakinghis learning and erudition--and withål, his want of an energetic, flowing, ready, impassioned, and boisterous eloquence, will quite disqualify him from long enjoying the smiles of his new adınirers. He is not of the school of O'Connell; and we opine that he will break down under his new occupation, whilst others, of much less intelligence, but much more vulgar oratory, will outstrip the poor Doctor in noise and public favour. In the Lantern report of the Hull meeting, the Doctor was made to cut but a sorry figure-whilst David Rowland shines forth as the great man; and if we are not much mistaken in the character of the two men, the Liverpool demagogue will far outstrip the Manchester in their railway motion of ambition and agitation.
But we turn from the chief actor; in these trials, to the trials themselves. They must be considered of immense importance to both parties. Indeed, they are of mucb more consequence than any thing connected with Methodism since the foundation of its polity, by Mr. Wesley. Without vouching for the accuracy of every sentiment advanced, or claiming the privilege of authoritative interpreters, we shall simply state that which strikes us as obviously arising out of these proceedings.
It has long been held by the agitators, and doubted by others--that the Poll Deed appointing the Conference, was invalid in law, and if ever it came before the Courts, would be found nothing better than a piece of waste paper. This question is now settled. It is true, the inooted point was not the validity of this instrument. This was not formally debated and affirmed; but, that which is of equal consequence as a proof of its being good in law took place, for both courts proceeded to adjudicate on the provisions of that deed. This assumes, and also establishes, the legality of this instrument. Both the Vice-Chancellor and the Lord Chancellor had this document before them; and, of course, must enter into an examination, not only of its provisions, but also of the manner of its execution; and if they had found that in this latter particular it was unsound, they would not have proceeded to exercise jurisdietion on its provisions. They would have told the parties on both sides, that the Deed itself being informal and illegal, they could not proceed to any judgment. But, instead of this, wo do not hear a syllable against the legality of this instrument; but, on the other hand, the Vice-Chancellor expressly affirms the right of the court to exercise its juris. diction in respect of the deed; and consequently that it is good and valid in law.This has always been assumed by the Conference itself; but, never having been tried before the courts, it was doubted by some whether it would stand such an ordeal. The question is now placed beyond doubt; and it follows, that the Conference is a legal establishment, This fact settles many very important points respecting the position in which the Connexion stands.
The question of lay delegates being admitted, to form an integral part of this body is decided. The provision is, that it shall consist of Ministers only; and this provision is unalterable, even by its own act. It may commit suicide ard destroy itself; but it cannot, cither by its own vote, or a new compact with the people, destroy its own identity. The preachers composing it have no more choice in the matter than