« PreviousContinue »
instruction out of school hours, and by other persons than the ordinary teachers, the Conference would, he believed, secure a more systematic teaching of the doctrines of the New Church.
Mr. Ward (Derby) suggested some standard of excellence by which to regulate the grants.
Mr. Geo. Benson expressed his entire dissent from the action of the Committee in inviting the large schools, which were well able to support themselves, to apply for a grant from the Education Fund.
Mr. J. W. Tonks (Birmingham) said there had been a desirable change in the policy of Nonconformists on the education question. It was not the policy of the schoolmaster to have more to do with religion than he was compelled to have. Though not entirely agreeing with the action of the Birmingham School Board, he thought their plan of setting apart certain afternoons for religious instruction afforded a fair solution of the difficulty.
Rev. Dr. Bayley held that the religious difficulty existed more in imagination than in reality; if the teachers of the schools wished, they could give efficient religious instruction under existing Government regulations. He was sorry that managers and teachers had glided into the notion that they were under no moral responsibility to teach New Church doctrine if they did not receive the Annual Conference Grant. Why were the schools built? Not simply to teach the three R's, but to instruct children how rightly to fulfil the duties of life. He could understand members of the Old Church feeling a difficulty in teaching their creed, because it was behind the age. New Churchmen should feel no such difficulty. We need more energy.
Rev. J. Deans supported the sentiments of Dr. Bayley.
Mr. Howe (London) while admitting the existence of difficulties in the matter of religious teaching in Day Schools, objected to altering the rule of the fund simply for an experiment.
Mr. Rhodes (Deptford) deeply regretted that, though the funds had been left and the schools built for a specific purpose, there had been a disposition on the part of schoolmasters to throw off the trammels of Conference. Speaking from his experience as a member of one of the divisional Committees of the
London School Board, he knew that the religious difficulty was a bogus difficulty
not one felt by the parents. He believed that the proposal to detain the scholars after the ordinary school hours was unreasonable and unpractical.
Mr. Kay (Clayton) speaking as a schoolmaster, having, few children of New Church parents under his care, felt that the cramming of the Catechism down the throats of the scholars would break up such schools.
Mr. Broadfield having replied on the debate, the resolutions were amended by altering the 2nd resolution to read as follows:-"That it be recommended that where religious instruction cannot be given during the school hours, the systematic teaching of the New Church doctrines be undertaken at other specified times." With this alteration the resolutions proposed by the Committee were unanimously adopted.
On the consideration of the President's Report, it was resolved to print large type editions of the New Liturgy for use in the pulpit, and for the convenience of the aged; also to request the President of Conference to confer with the Day School managers on the practicability of publishing their statistics, etc., in one report of a size uniform with the Minutes of Conference.
Rev. Dr. Bayley then moved, "That in the judgment of the Conference, every member of the New Church ought several times in the year to partake of the Holy Supper, as a privilege and a duty; and would earnestly impress upon Societies the great importance of faithfully obeying the command of the Lord in this respect.' The resolution was adopted unanimously, and the part of the President's Report referring to the matter was ordered to be printed in the Magazine.
Mr. G. H. Johnstone moved the
following resolution:- "That a Committee be appointed to consider the propriety of preparing a Conference Hymn-Book, embodying hymns selected from the present Hymn-Book and Supplement, with such others as may be deemed advisable." As the matter is of considerable importance to the Church, we give the speech of the mover in extenso. Mr. Johnstone said-In moving the resolution of which I have previously given notice, I shall first call attention to the fact that the present
Mr. T. Wild (Heywood) did not object to the principle of the motion, but urged that the recent changes in Liturgy and Psalms rendered it advisable to postpone action in the matter, until the Societies had been consulted.
Mr. J. R. Rendell believed that there was a clear and nearly a unanimous feeling in the Church that the present Hymn-Book is not satisfactory.
Mr. E. M. Sheldon (Liverpool), on
Mr. Johnstone accepted this suggestion.
Conference Hymn-Book was compiled acceptable it has been to the Church in as far back as 1822; and, although it the numbers that have been sold, and I contains a great number of beautiful venture to hope that such a hymn-book hymns, yet there are many which I will be compiled as shall be acceptable venture to assert are seldom or never to the whole Church. The resolution used for singing; hymns, I mean, of a was seconded by Mr. Gunton. mere doctrinal character, and which, as. stated in the preface," are not intended for public use, but which, it is hoped, will frequently cheer and delight the serious hours of retirement." I could, if necessary, quote some of these hymns, but the fact of the Supplement having been compiled and printed, proves to some extent the necessity for a change; but to my mind it does not go far enough, and there are so many beautiful hymns which are used in other the contrary, believed that the Church denominations, and are such general generally was very well satisfied with favourites, that I cannot understand the existing Hymn-Book; constant why when the Supplement was being changes were very undesirable. compiled, they were not included, except Mr. Rhodes would commit the Conit be for the reason that the Supplement ference to the preparation of a New was only temporary, until a proper and Hymn-Book, and suggested the omiswell-selected new hymn-book should be sion of the words, "Consider the printed. The Birmingham and Manches- propriety." ter Societies have printed an addition to the Supplement of about twenty of the hymns which are well-known favourites, but there are so many good hymns which have been written during the last twenty or thirty years, that we might the collections of other bodies. Many get an edition of some 600 or 800 hymns of our hymns were crystalized rather with very little difficulty. To my mind than vitalized New Church sentiment. we want more hymns that will appeal rather to the heart than to the intellect, and I am quite prepared to admit that the Supplement is a step in the right direction; but it is very faulty as it stands, and calls for a new edition, or, as I should wish, a new hymn-book entirely, that should last a many years. Leaving out the fact of the Suppleinent being faulty, it does not go far enough. I could give you a list of a hundred hymns that we might use for a new edition without the slighest alteration, while there are a great many others we could use with only slight alterations. What we want in our hymns is poetry, not simply rhyme-religious sentiment rather than mere statements of doctrine. Music appeals to the emotions, and has the power to awaken the heart to receive more warmly the Divine truth. The work has become a necessity by the advanced thought in the Church. You have introduced a New Liturgy in accordance with the change in men's opinions, you have seen how
Rev. W. O'Mant was not satisfied with our present selection of hymns, which were in many respects inferior to
Rev. R. Goldsack supported the motion.
Rev. J. Deans objected to the resolution as entirely unnecessary, and alluded to the little use of the Supplement, Societies generally preferring the old book, which for fifty years had ministered to the spiritual wants of the Church, and was so greatly endeared to the hearts of the members. The question was not merely a pocket question. They could not afford to lose it, because of its intrinsic worth and valued associations. The question was not to be decided merely as a literary one; he greatly preferred the robust spirit of our old hymus. Even though some half-dozen of them were somewhat unsingable, they were greatly superior to the vague sentimentalism of the modern style of hymns. He urged that the old Hymn-Book was, if not perfect, the best in existence.
Mr. H. Cameron (Blackburn) contended that there was no force in the arguments of the preceding speaker
which might be used against all their pastor by the death of the Rev. E. progress. D. Rendell, and the appointment of his successor, involving the fulfilment of the conditions of the trust-deed, engaged the patient and thoughtful attention of a large Committee. The following resolutions, recommended by this Committee, were unanimously adopted by the Conference :-" That as it appears that the requirements of the trustdeed relating to the Preston Church are not fully complied with, this Conference requests the Trustees North of Trent to make temporary arrangements with the Preston Society relative to the supply of the pulpit.
Mr. Rodgers contended for progress. We cannot progress without change. The old Hymn-Book contains many beauties. But there are beauties and beauties. This Hymn-Book contains doctrinal beauties, literary beauties, and other beauties, but it is lacking in poetical beauties. The New Church has not yet produced a great poet, because the New Church has not yet attained to a large amount of love. Poetry is the language of love. At present we are doctrinal, and have not attained the degree of love necessary to the poetic genius; but as soon as the Church attains that degree, then will arise a great New Church poet.
That a Committee be appointed to confer with the Preston Society-said Committee to consist of Rev. R. Storry, and Messrs. Broadfield, E. J. Broadfield, and Durham."
A proposal of the Committee on the Rules of Conference, to adopt a series of new rules for the Pension Fund as regulative resolutions, was earnestly debated, and ultimately it was agreed to draw the attention of the Church to the matter by printing them in the Appendix, and postponing their discussion until the next Session.
Rev. J. P. Potts, referring to a remark made by a previous speaker, believed that we cannot have hymns without doctrine.
Mr. E. J. Broadfield, while prepared to vote for a Committee of enquiry, could not consent to commit Conference to the provision of a New Hymn-Book; there is so much difference in taste, that great caution would be required in dealing with the subject.
Ultimately the resolution was passed in its original form.
On the Treasurer's Report, it appeared generally that the various funds of the Conference were in a healthy state.
A Committee, appointed at last Session to consider the relations between the Conference and the College Council, gave the gratifying information that the long standing questions of difference and difficulty had been satisfactorily settled.
The Report of the Statistical Committee showed the following position of Societies connected with Conference :Members. 4685 Sunday Scholars 5872 Day Scholars 6015
On the Report of the Committee on Applications, the Society at Alloa was recognized by Conference. The ordination of Mr. G. H. Smith of Bolton was moved by Mr. E. J. Broadfield in warm terms, and heartily supported by Revs. R. Storry and J. Deans.
Mr. W. Alfred Bates was adopted as a student, and licences were issued to the leaders at Bath, Blackburn, Brisbane, Hull, Islington, and Preston.
The Society at Preston have during the year been deprived of the services of
The Committee, appointed at a previous Session to prepare a service for the introduction of a rite analagous to Confirmation, having reported that they had completed their work, it was proposed to adopt it, and print it at once. On this motion, Mr. Tonks proposed to call it a Service for the Admission of Junior Members. In the course of the discussion which ensued, Mr. G. H. Smith and others expressed a desire to see it before it was finally adopted. Rev. P. Ramage moved, and Rev. R. R. Rodgers seconded, an amendment, that copies be printed and circulated amongst the ministers and representatives prior to its final adoption. The amendment was by general consent adopted.
The proceedings of the Conference were marked throughout by a spirit of brotherly kindness and earnest desire to promote the prosperity of the Church. This was very manifest on the discussions which arose on the proposal to increase the incomes of ministers labouring in small Societies. The necessity for endeavour was expressed with warm feeling, and responded to, as our separate mention of the subject shows, with marked liberality.
SUSTENTATION FUND.-As intimated in our brief report of the proceedings of the Conference, this subject occupied a large amount of the attention of the last session. For some years past the Conference has had a Students' and Ministers' Aid Fund, which it has been felt was inadequate to the two purposes it was instituted to subserve. The requirement of the students alone nearly exhausted the Fund, leaving little at the disposal of the Conference to supplemen's the salaries of ministers who were insufficiently provided for by small and poor Societies. The feeling which has been for some time growing, that more attention should be given to the aid of ministers, found expression in very earnest tones at the Con- "Minute 166. Resolved, That the ference. The question was warmly Conference strongly recommends the debated by the principal lay members Church to aim at raising the income of the Conference, and on the motion of all unmarried ministers, who are of Mr. Craigie, an influential Committee exclusively employed in the work of was appointed to consider the question. the Church, to the sum of at least £100 This Committee, after a patient and per annum, and that of all married laborious investigation, presented the ministers, who are so employed, to an following report, which, except the amount not less than £120 per annum. resolutions, which were somewhat modified by the Conference, we present entire :
"Minute 167. Resolved, That two subscription lists be opened by the Treasurer, the first to form a capitalized Permanent Sustentation Fund, and the second to provide, by means of yearly subscriptions, for the increase of small stipends.
"The Committee appointed by Minute 46, and to consider Resolution. That a Committee of thirteen be appointed to consider the best mode of fostering Societies whose numbers are small, and whose pecuniary resources are insufficient properly to support ministers, or to maintain efficiently the operation of the Church, to report to this Session; and that such Committee consist of Rev. W. C. Barlow, R. R. Rogers, R. Storry, and Messrs. E. H. Bayley, Best, Broadfield, Collinge, Craigie, Gunton, Isherwood, Paterson, W. H. Pilkington, and Ward; Mr. Craigie, Secretary.
"Your Committee, in furtherance of this Resolution, having met, find, That the importance of the course suggested is enchanced by the amount of information submitted to them.
"The various modes suggested for the attainment of the object, plainly point to the need of a permanent sustentation fund, while the amount needed debars them from more than aiming at such.
"The very limited time at the command of your Committee precludes their fully considering any of the many
schemes submitted to them, so as to mature a plan of operations of so permanent a character as would be acceptable to either the Conference or the Church at large.
"In conclusion, your Committee would invite the serious consideration of Conference, and particularly the Committees concerned to the scheme of a Permanent Sustentation Fund, fully.confident that the more it is so considered its feasibility and efficiency will present itself, and its very early success be attained.
"ROB. R. RODGERS, Chairman. "A. B. CRAIGIE, Secretary." The following are the Minutes passed by the Conference:
Minute 168. Resolved, That the Committee appointed to solicit contributions and arrange public meetings on behalf of the National Missionary Institution and Students' and Ministers' Aid Fund, together with the Rev. W. O'Mant, and Messrs. E. H. Bayley, Best, Craigie, Eadie, Gilbey, Hutchinson, Johnstone, G. Pilkington, Rendell, Robinson, and Saul, take up and carry out the work referred to in Minutes 166 and 167; to report to the next Session.
"Minute 169. Resolved, That the members be requested kindly to further the object contemplated in Minutes 166, 167, and 168, by holding meetings and collecting subscriptions in their respective Societies, to report to the Secretary of the Committee appointed by Minute 47 in time for him to embody the information thus supplied in the Committee's Report to the Conference.
"Minute 170. Resolved, That the Committee, appointed by Minute 47, act separately in the following districts, viz., London, Midland Counties, Lan
cashire and Yorkshire, and in Scotland; and that the following be the local Secretaries -For London, Mr. E. H. Bayley; for the Midland Counties, Mr. Tonks; for Lancashire and Yorkshire, the Rev. R. Storry; and for Scotland, Mr. Paterson.
The earnestness with which the subject was taken up by the Conference was best evinced by the liberal subscriptions which were at once cheerfully presented. These during the sitting of Conference amounted to nearly two thousand pounds.
CONFERENCE MEETINGS.-Tuesday. -On Tuesday evening a large congregation attended to hear the Conference Sermon, which was preached by the Rev. Dr. Bayley, whose long and able services as minister of the Accrington Society are evidently still remembered by the friends in that neighbourhood with gratitude and pleasure. After a short preliminary service, the preacher selected for his text the words of Rev. xxi. 24, "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it." As the sermon will appear in extenso in the pages of this Magazine, it will not be necessary to say more in this place than that it was listened to with rapt attention and evident delight. At the conclusion of this service, the ordinance of the Holy Supper was administered by the Preacher and the President. The collection on behalf of the Pension Fund amounted to £12, 9s.
of the Committee for the occasion. The gathering was of a brilliant and pleasing character. At the conclusion Mr. T. Watson and Mr. Broadfield, on behalf of the members of Conference, thanked the Accrington friends for their hospitable reception.
Thursday. On this evening a meeting open to the public was held in the Chapel, and was very largely attended. The subject which the Accrington Society had selected for the speakers was The Second Advent of our Lord and its Manifestations," " which was spoken to by six members of Conference. The President (the Rev. J. Presland), after briefly referring to the gathering of the previous night, said— The Second Advent was a very proper subject to bring before them, for it was a theme pre-eminently regarding what the New Church had specific and most essential doctrine to communicate to the world. They knew that the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ had ever since His First Advent been a subject of supreme interest in the eyes of the Christian Church. From the day the Lord ascended in the sight of His disciples, Christendom had been looking forward to His Second Coming in the clouds with power and great glory. Every now and then the walls were placarded with "Christ is Coming.' They went further than those who issued such notices. They believed that the Lord had already come in accordance with the terms of prophecy, and that the world was already basking in the new and brighter age which His Second Advent was inaugurating. It came not with outward observation, for as Christ said, "The kingdom of God is within you. The Lord always acted on man by influencing man's own reason, and secondly, He acted on man by the revelation of His Divine truth. Hence the Lord's Second Coming was a manifestation of truth whereby He was able to cause man to co-operate with his Maker in the accomplishment of the great ends of amelioration and blessing which the Great Giver of all good was continually seeking to accomplish. They read that the Lord came in the clouds, but not in the clouds of the eastern or western sky, but in the clouds referred to by the Psalmist when he said, "Thy truth reacheth unto the
Wednesday.-A Social Soiree was held on this evening in the Peel Institute. The arrangements were made by the Church at Accrington, and they were of a very satisfactory character. The number present was about 800. Friends were present from Heywood, Bury, Ramsbottom, Blackburn, Manchester, and other places. A choice programme of English music had been arranged, consisting of songs, part-songs, and pianoforte solos, interspersed with occasional readings and brief addresses. Dr. Bayley spoke some very kind words in expressing the great pleasure which a visit to Accrington always gave him. Choice refreshments were set out in the newsroom, which had been placed at the disposal