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fore I discerned the way of faith so clearly as to avail myself of it, and often did I wish that some more definite and tangible condition had been prescribed, and then I could at once have given to the winds my doubts and fears; for there is no possible privation, or pain, or toil that could have been mentioned as the price of a certain sal.. vation from which I should have shrunk a moment. I remained in this state for fourteen months. During this time, I was sometiines in an agony of desire, and sometimes languid and carelesssometimes blessed with hope, almost amounting to the confidence of faith, and sometimes nearly overwhelmed with despair. I failed to obtain the blessing in the public ordinances of the sanctuary, because I could not, as my feelings disposed me to do, break out in agonizing cries; and in private it was suggested that salvation must needs be nearer when pleaded for by men who had power with God. At length came the time of deliverance, and then I was astonished I could have been wandering so long and so near to the place of rest without finding it. It was not in any public means of grace not under any peculiarly exciting or melting influencembut at the close of one of the most comfortless days I ever spent. I was alone one evening musing upon my wretchedness, when I was enabled as in a moment to believe in Christ as having died for me. The change which resulted was glorious indeed. Ignorance, hardness, unbelief were gone. I could now weep; my very soul was melted into tenderness before the Lord; and to this hour the remembrance of that season begets stronger emotions in my heart than the recollection of any other event of my life. When I awoke the following morning, released from that bondage under which I had so long and so grievously mourned, my first sensations were those of pleasurable surprise. I asked myself what had transpired to create this change. It was not the recollection of the event that produced the joy, but it was the feeling of joy that recalled to my mind the event. My evidence since that time has not been always elear, nor has my joy been without interruption ; but I have not remained long in gloom and despondency. At present, I have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and am resolved to spend my all in that work of the Christian ministry to which I am fully persuaded the great Head of the Church has called me, that I can at all times look up to him for the fulfilment of that promisem“Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”
On WEDNESDAY evening, the Carver-street chapel was again crowded to excess at an early hour. At six o'clock the PRESIDENT opened the services with the hymn,
“Give me the faith which can remove, &c." and called upon two of the senior preachers to engage in prayer. Having then read the list of those preachers who were to be admitted into full connexion, tea proceeded to make a series of weighty and impressive observations on the Divine origin of the Christian ministry—on the great characters which it has produced on the necessity of being prepared for this ministry by a “birth from above"--and on its great design.He expressed the great satisfaction which he had derived from the previous examination of the candidates, and which, he doubted not, would now be shared by the congregation.
The PRESIDENT then proceeded to ask the usual ordination questions, to every one of which the candidates severally responded in a satisfactory manner. This part of the business having been gone through,
The Rev. RICHARD TREFFRY, being called upon by the President rose and said :Mr. President, I have had the pleasure of knowing several of these young men, to whom you have been addressing yourself, for some years; and I also had an opportunity of being present when you examined them in private, in reference to their personal experience—their knowledge of our doctrines and their call to the Christian ministry. I have every reason to believe that they possess genuine piety, that they have been savingly and soundly converted to God. You know, sir, and this Confe. rence knows, that we deem this the first qualification for a Christian minister; that whatever other endowments he may possess, if he do not enjoy the grace of God, and. • taste the powers of the world to come,” he will be totally incompetent for the office he assumes. I believe these young men are truly converted to God, regenerated, “ born again” of the “incorruptible seed” of that “word of God which liveth and abideth for ever.” I am glad to find that many of them have been converted from their early youth, and that several of them under God, owe that change to the influence of Christian parents. I have remarked, indeed, that the greater part of them were brought to God by means of this instrumentality. Not fewer than four of them are children of Methodist preachers. I am gratified to find that our children are rising up “instead of their fathers ;” that they came in at the right door, and are determined to walk in the right way. And I also believe that they have a correct knowledge of the great and peculiar doctrines of Christianity. You have carefully examined them on this important subject. Personal piety is not the only qualification for a minister of the gospel : he should likewise be well acquainted with Christian doctrines, and to know the great truths of our holy religion which he is called to preach. I further believe that they are called of God to preach the gospel ; and that God himself has successfully employed them in the administration of Christian truth. For these reasons, I feel very great pleasure in moving that these young men be received into full connexion with the Conference.
The Rev. THEOPHILUS LESSEY, on being desired by the President to second the resolution, spoke as follows :-I rise, Mr. President, at your call, with considerable emotion, to second the resolution which has just been proposed to you. The present must be acknowledged to be one of the most solemn occasions on which we could assemble. Our hearts are deeply engaged. I am very thankful to be able to concur, most entirely and cordially, in the views which my esteemed friend, Mr. Treffry, has given of the personal piety of these young men, into whose hands we are going to put the pastoral crook. I am thoroughly satisfied that they love our Lord Jesus Christ. This I feel to be the first great paramount principle in the formation of the character of Christians and of Christian Ministers. Other attainments are necessary; but this is the prime and indispensible eleinent of the whole. “Lovest thou me pas said our Lord to Peter. He thrice propounded the question, and thrice gave the momentous injunction, “ Feed my sheep; feed my lambs. It is with the utmost satisfaction that we send men into the pasturage, where the sheep of Christ are fed, who are full of that love which animated the Redeemer himself, which produced these sheep, and which glowed in the hearts of ihe Apostles, I rejoice to know that these young men have already been approved. Some of them, in remote and distant parts of the world, have been gathering holy offerings to the Lord. They have been eminently successful in “ winning souls” to Christ: and their “record is on high.” We gladly receive those whom the great Head of the Church has already so abundantly honoured in turning pagans to the knowledge of himself. The rest have laboured at home, and have not laboured in vain. They have had seals to their ministry, which we gratefully regard as a pledge and assurance that the Lord will still bless them. I rejoice to feel the fullest confidence in the future fidelity of our brethren. To them I'most solemnly say, that the vows of God are upon them. In common with my brethren in the ministry, and with this large congregation, I have listened with delight to the account which they have given of the manner in which they have taken upon them the solemn work of the ministry. They are no longer their own. They are engaged persons. I hope they will never, in an hour of temptation, betray the trust which is confided to them. We may trust them among the sheep. We may trust them with the exercise of that important discipline which has already preserved our body, and which will preserve it until our present light shall mingle with the splendours of meridian day. O that they may continue stedfast! God grant that they may never depart from their honoured relation to Christ! May they adhere to him—" preach him to all, and cry in death, Behold, Behold the Lamb." I view them as a pledge and promise that the great Head of the Church will perpetuate the ministry among us. Christ has set apart a peculiar order of men for the Christian ministry ; and I consider the young preachers before us, and others of similar character and vocation, as able, pious,* faithful men, who will occupy our places when we are no more. I cannot but advert to the vacancies which death has made in our ranks. “Our fathers, where are they ? and the prophets, do they live for ever ?” He who walks in the midst of the golden candlesticks, holds the stars of the church in his own right hand. They shine while he pleases, and, when he pleases they are removed, and placed in an orb near his throne, there to shine for ever and ever. Many of our fathers are removed who were our glory and joy. They are removed at whose feet we have sæt. We have held communion with their spirits. We feel it at this moment, and we mourn for their loss; but we bow in submission, and say, “The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away ; blessed be the name of the Lord.” I only pray that these our brethren may be as our fathers were, and even much more useful--that the sacred deposit may be securely handed down to future generations. I feel this subject most sensibly; but I will forbear. Often havo I thought of one venerable minister whom I have seen in his place among our fathers, but who has for many years been passed away. He cared for me; nursed the tender plant; and to him, under God, I owe the blessings which I possess. I entered alone into his dying chamber when he exclaimed, “ O my dear boy, preach Christ, preach him in life, preach him in a dying hour." He collected all his energies to utter these words; and in a few moments passed away into the eternal world. I would say to all, * Preach Christ!” I entreat the prayers of this congregation on behalf of these young men. I pray that the anointing of the Holy Ghost may fall upon them; that they may shine in the church with increasing effulgence, and may “turn many to righteousness,” till they pass into that world where they shall “shine as the stars for ever and ever.”
The PRESIDENT, addressing himself to the Conference, then called upon those who were in favour of the resolution to signify their approbation by rising from their seats. The resolution was carried unanimously; and the President, while the Conference continued standing, turned to the candidates, and read the following form :
“My dear brethren, the Conference authorises me to say, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that you are now received into full connexion with this body. And may the Head of the Church set his seal to the compact!”
After singing the hymn on the 414 page of the Wesleyan Hymn Book, com mencing
« Thou, Jesus, thou their breasts inspire,
“And touch their lips with hallow'd fire," the Rev. Jos. TAYLOR, Ex-President, delivered a very impressive charge, in which he enforced on the candidates the necessity of an entire consecration of all their powers to the great work to which they had solemnly pledged themselves. As it is expected that the Ex-President may be prevailed upon to publish this charge, we refrain from further comment upon it. After the charge, part of the 704 hymn was sung, and the Rev. Jos. BEAUMONT concluded the service with prayer.
On no former similar occasion was there a greater interest excited. Many persons were unable to obtain admittance into the chapel, and had to return to their homes in disappointment. A gracious influence prevailed every successive evening, and deep sympathy for the candidates was manifested by the congregation. They will repair to their various providential spheres of hallowed labour, followed by the prayers and best wishes of hundreds who listened to the renewal of their solemn vows.
Wesleyan Conference, Sheffield, August 7th, 1835. The Conference now assembled being well aware of the friendly anxiety which prevails among the members of the Methodist societies respecting the present circumstances of the connexion, deem it due to those whom they regard with the most unfeigned pastoral affection, to publish without delay, for their information and satisfaction, the following Documents.
The first is the Answer UNANIMOUSLY adopted by the Conference, after solemn and careful deliberation, to an Address received from certain parties connected with the “Grand Central Association.”
The seconit is a DecLA RÀTION, voluntarily prepared, signed, and transmitted to the Conference, by a large number of the most respectable laymen of our Connexion, who, at the request of the late President, met in Sheffield on Friday, July 24th, in order to afford him the information which he had solicited as to the general views and feelings of the large and sound majority of our people, on the subject of the late agitions, and of the measures most fit to be adopted at the present period.
These Documents are submitted to the consideration of our friends, with the addition only of one observation. The Conference have the unspeakable satisfaction of assuring their beloved societies--and they state the fact with the deepest feelings of gratitude to God—that during their present assembly an unexampled and most delightful unity, both of judgment and affection, has prevailed among the preachers on every subject that has yet come before them. This, and other circumstances, the Conference consider to be “tokens for good.” They devoutly “thank God, and take courage.”The best of all is, God is WITA vs. "The things which happened" shall fall out “rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.”
Reserving other communications for the Annual Pastoral Address to the Societies, which will be prepared as usual at the close of their Sittings, the Conference now earnestly commend themselves to the continued prayers of their people, to whom may all “mercy, and peace, and love be multiplied." Signed, on behalf and by order of the Conference,
RICHARD Reece, President."
Robert Newton, Secretary. 1. THE ANSWER OF THE CONFERENCE TO AN ADDRESS RECEIVED AUG. Ist, 1835.
TO MR. GEORGE COOKMAN. Sir,--The “ Address to the Methodist Conference assembled in Sheffield,” dated August 1st, 1835, professing to proceed from “a numerous meeting of Wesleyan Delegates," and signed, “ George Cookman, Chairman, Ralf Grindrod, Secretary,” has been read to the Conference; who have directed me, as their President, to return the following answer :
I.-It is with the greatest surprise that the Conference bave listened to a statement in the Address, that the persons described are “ Wesleyan Delegates," and are commissioned by a vast number, comprising tens of thousands of Members of the Societies.” This surprise is founded on the fact, that no information has yet reached the Conference from any quarter, to justify the belief that any considerable number of our Societies have either wished for, or concurred in, the appointment of Delegates to any such Meeting. Indeed, not a single Circuit, or Society, nor even any one collective body of Trustees, in the whole kingdom, has announced to the Conference its mission of any individual or individuals for purposes so irregular and unconstitutional : so that the Delegation, or Commission, if it have really taken place to any thing like the extent asserted in the Address (which is a matter quite unproved), must, at all events, be allowed to have been accomplished by means the reverse of those which are fair, open, and manly, and to come before the Conference and the Connexion in a singularly unauthenticated and equivocal manner.
II.- But even if this weighty objection to the statement of the “Address” as to “ Wesleyan Delegates” could be removed, there is another, which the Conference considers to be altogether insurmountable. It is founded on the broad and obvious principle of Methodism, and, indeed, of society in general, whether civil or religious. that such a plan of confederated delegations as that to which this Address appears to refer, designed to interrupt, or sepersede, or intimidate the regular jurisdictions of our community, is calculated to subserve the purposes of agitation and faction, but can never consist with the maintenance of Christian order, edification, and peace.
III.-The Conference are constrained, on a calm review of various circumstances. to entertain the conviction, that the Meeting from which the Address has emanated instead of being, as it is delusively termed, a Meeting of Wesleyan Delegates, is in reality an Adjourned Meeting of the body of persons calling themselves - The Grand Central Association," of which a “ Provisional Meeting” was held in Manchester in the month of April last. This conviction is strengthened by the notorious facts, that the Manchester Meeting in April formally resolved and agreed that an Adjourned Meeting of Delegates, connected with it, should be procured and assembled in Sheffield at this very period; and that, of the placards, and other advertisements, published on this occasion, some expressly speak of an “Adjourned Meeting” of the said Association, and others, though professing to call an “Adjourned Meeting of Wesleyan Delegates," are as expressly stated to have been issued by “ The Central Committee of the Association.” The last mentioned advertisements were signed by “William Smith” and “ William Wood,” the Chairman and Seeretary of the Association's Committee; and the very Address now under consideration bears the signatures of the Chairman and Secretary of the Provisional Meeting of the Association, held in Manchester. It is. therefore, clear to the Conference, that this Address is in truth a communication, however disguised, from the “Grand Central Association” itself, or from persons who, by attending its meetings, and other unequivocaltokens of sympathy and encouragementare virtually identified with, and responsible for, the projects and proceedings of that Association.
ív. Taking this view of the origin and character of the present address, the Conference deems it due, in Christian simplicity and candour, to announce at once its deliberate and unalterable resolution, not to hold any intercourse with the said “Grand Central Association," or with any other meeting, however denominated, into which persons who continue to be leading and active members of that confederacy shall be notoriously admitted, and receive approbation and sanction.
That Association was ayowedly formed on principles which we deem to be subversive of the essential constitution of Wesleyan Methodism. It has, in the meeting at Manchester, and elsewhere, openly fraternized with various persons belonging to parties who have for a number of years ceased to have any connexion with our body, and are distinguished by the violence and injustice of their attacks on its members and its system. It has adopted a regular scheme and course of “ agitation,” in disgraceful imitation of certain political proceedings; tending, by public meetings and other means of disturbance, to the ultimate division of our societies, and to the great annoyance and discomfort of those of our flocks who are desirous to live in peace and godly quietness. It has most wickedly, though happily with little effect, endeavoured to injure the public funds of the connexion, and thus, by persuading those who hearken to its counsels to “stop the supplies,” has placed itself in practical hostility to those great Institutions of piety and mercy, both at home and abroad, to the promotion of which the funds in question are devoted. It has, by various publications, attacked, in the most unmeasured and bitter language, that system which alone can with any truth or honesty be designated as Wesleyan Methodism, and advocated the substitution for it of other and widely different plans of ecclesiastical government and discipline-plans which are subversive of the Scriptural rights of the Christian Ministry, and inconsistent with the pure and the following points, viz.-Tbat the Deed Poll is valid ; that the Conference is the supreme legislative and judicial body in our connexion, from which there is no appeal; and that the Wesleyan chapels are held for the benefit and promotion of Methodism, under the controul and direction of the Wesleyan Conference. If these points are settled, what do these men mean by their proceedings ? Are they weak enough to think that a few insignificant men in Dudley will be allowed to bully the Conference and the whole Wesleyan Connexion out of the chapels in that circuit? Do they think to beard the Conference and the Connexion with impunity? Poor deluded men! we pity them; but they will soon meet with a severe and merited punishment. We blame the preachers who have been in that circuit, and the sound official men, for their timidity and indecision. It is clear that no trustee, nor any body of trustees, has any right to prevent a preacher appointed by the Conference, or the delegate or substitute of such a preacher, from the exercise of his religious functions in the chapel. On the first interruption, therefore, of the public worship, the superintendeot preacher, and the sound trustees (if any sucb, and if not, then the preacher alone), should instantly have summoned the offending parties before the magistrate, whether they were Messrs. Gordon-father and son-or trustees of the chapel, or not; no party was privileged. In such a case of outrage, it is not necessary to give the party eo instanti, in charge to a constable : if a constable is not at hand, let the party aggrieved apply the next day to a magistrate, who shall speedily bind the refractory party to keep the peace, &c.; and if one magistrate refuse, let immediate application be made to another : but no magistrate in his senses will refuse the first application. We advise the newly appointed preachers to act thus promptly; and if any chapel is closed against him, let any one of the sound trustees, or his deputy in his presence, break open the chapel doors, and by this means get possession; and having possession, if any person attempt to prevent or molest the preacher in the quiet and peaceable discharge of his religious duties, let him resort to the magistrate at once. The travelling preachers appointed to the circuit are virtually the owners of the chapels, and have the undoubted right to officiate in them whenever they please. If there is no sound trustee, the travelling preacher himself, or his deputy in his presence, will be justified in breaking open the door. If an appeal to the local authorities is ineffectual (which we cannot believe), then let a bill be filed without delay against the trustees of one chapel, and an injunction prayed. This will soon be granted, and will insure the quiet enjoyment of the chapel until the suit is terminated. If the trustees of the other chapels are still refractory, let a bill be filed against each set of the refractory trustees for a similar purpose; and when they see the preachers and sound trustees acting in this prompt mapper, and themselves invariably saddled with costs, they must be little less than madmen to proceed any further with the suit; but should they proceed, the event of the suit, though it may be a little protracted, will enforce their future peaceable submission, and impose upon them a vast addition of expense. We understand that a sale has been made of one of these chapels, to the son-in-law of Mr. Gordon, sen. We have no doubt this sale will be set aside by the court of equity, on the intended application, as fraudulent and void, and the costs will fall on the trustees assuming the right to sell.-Watchman.
au TUTT NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
S: 1299 17. We had hoped that a continuation of the IUuminator would have been unnecessary after Conference, but such is the continued hostility of the “ Grand Central Association "-being determined to agitate the connexion to the utmost of their power-we are still called upon to “ expose its spirit and objects ; to exhibit the true principles of the Wesleyan Constitution; to vindicate its authorities; and guard the members against the attempts made to seduce them from the society." We shall endeavour to meet the wishes so frequently expressed by our numerous distant readers for an earlier supply of the Illuminator, by so arranging our days of publication, that they may better suit thcir convenience in future. The three first numbers are reprinting, and will be forwarded with our next; so that perfect sets can be made up and procured through any respectable bookseller. The quantity of matter contained in each number, and expense of carriage, induce us to raise the price to TWO-PENCE. 21
Our correspondents have our best thanks; their valuable communications shall have early attention. We earnestly solicit a continuance of their favours..
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