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GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE NEW The number so signing, including several CHURCH.
The Seventy - second Session names added during the following two of this general assembly of the New days, was ninety-four, viz. twenty-two Church was
this year held in the ministers and seventy-two representatives. Palace Gardens Church, Kensington. This task having been finished, the Rev. R. It is the first time the Conference has Storry rose and informed the assembly held its session in this large and well- that their venerable President had on that appointed church; and many members very day attained the age of eighty years. resident in the country were glad of the In a short address he expressed his indebtopportunity of assembling in a place edness to his venerable friend for many which recalls to pleasant remembrance the years of cordial friendship and helpful generous actiou of one of the benefactors assistance, and his confidence that every of Conference and of the Church. Mr. one present would esteem it a privilege Finnie, whose benevolent zeal has aided and à delight to have the opportunity many other uses promoted by the Con- of congratulating the President on the ference, not only himself paid the purchase occasion. The Rev. John Presland, in money of the church, but also the entire equally feeling and felicitous terms, cost of its restoration and improvement, seconded the motion, which was carried and in addition provided an ample endow- with acclamation. The Rev. W. Bruce ment whereby the celebration of public cordially responded, after which the retirworship and the preaching of the doctrines ing Vice-President, the Rev. R. Storry, are secured. The few members resident closed the proceedings with the usual dein the neighbourhood who formed the votional service. beginning of the Society were fortunate The Conference assembled on the followin obtaining the services of Dr. Bayley, ing morning at ten o'clock. The Rev. R. whose distinguished ability, energy of Storry proposed, and Mr. Gunton seconded, character, and unflagging industry have a resolution that the Rev. Dr. Bayley bé secured the assembly of a large and the President of this session, which was influential congregation. Rarely has carried unanimously. The President on wealth attempted in the New Church a taking the chair briefly expressed his sense nobler work, and rarely has the work been of the kindness and confidence of his more successfully accomplished.
friends as manifested in this, which was The Conference assembled, as usual, on his sixth appointment to this office. It the evening of Monday, August 11th. was a happy circumstance to go through This early meeting of the members is of life retaining old friendships and making an informal kind. Friends who have been new ones. In reflecting on the appointseparated during the year meet for friendly ment and on the purpose of the Conferrecognition. The members of the Confer- ence, his mind had rested on Swedenborg's ence are introduced to the friends who, description in the “ Apocalypse Revealed," often with no small effort, have arranged No. 161, of the glorious things to which to provide for their comfort during the the truth conducteil us, and the great privisession. Between five and seven o'clock lege and immense value of disseminating tea is served to the arriving ministers truth. That which brought this descripand representatives on this occasion by tion home to his tenderest feelings was the some of the young ladies of the con- author's inquiry, But who cares for these gregation, who, in a picturesque costume, things?" A great number have left their officiated in that capacity on this and homes and are present in this conthe other evenings of the session, and ference who do care for these things. To vied with each other in their kind and preside over those who care for truth is unwearied attention to their guests. At a great honour, and he thanked them for seven o'clock the chair was taken by the this honour. Rev. W. Bruce, the retiring President, and Rev. W. Bruce was elected Vice-Prethe gathering thus reduced to the semblance sident, and Rev. Eli Whitehead Secretary. of order.
But throughout the evening a Rev. R. Storry, with Messrs. Broadfield continual buzz of conversation pervaded and T. Willson, were elected a Committee the building, and all but overpowered the to select the Ordinary Committees to report
of the Secretary. The retiring to the present session. Certificates of President having read a portion of the the ordination of Revs. J. R. Rendell, J. Word and offered prayer, the Declaration Martin, T. Mackereth, H. Cameron, and of Faith was read, and the ministers and T. Child were read, and each of those representatives present signed the Roll. gentlemen received from the President an
illuminated certificate, accompanied by a The Conference sermon was preached by hearty shake of the hand and a few words the Rev. R. R. Rodgers of Birmingham. of congratulation and sympathy.
At the close the Holy Supper was adminA pleasant commencement of the business istered to 189 communicants, the service of the Conference has lately been the intro- being conducted by the President and Rev. duction of representatives of the American R. Storry. The offertory, amounting to £12, Convention. This year four members of was appropriated to the Pension Fund. this large and influential assembly of the On Wednesday morning the first busiChurch, the Revs. Chauncey Giles, W. H. ness after the reading of the Minutes was Benade, John Goddard, and F. H. Hem- the selection of a place of meeting for next perley, were present at the Conference. year, and it was decided to accept the The usual resolution of cordial and kindly invitation of the Liverpool friends. It welcome was moved by Dr. Tafel, and was stated that £66 had been added to seconded in an appropriate address by the the Conference Building Fund during the Vice-President. In reply to this invitation, year, although only fourteen Societies had Mr. Giles addressed the Conference in a adopted the suggested collection in its speech distinguished by the cultured in- behalf. The Committee appointed last telligence and ripened Christian feeling year to sell the church at St. Osyth having which distinguishes all his utterances. He failed to find a purchaser, much converexpressed the pleasure he had at their Con- sation ensued, in the course of which Mr. vention of welcoming, for the first time, a Dicks in an able speech called attention to minister of the New Church from England. the state of the New Church in the eastern It was felt to be a more intimate recog- counties, and urged the importance of nition of the fact that we are brethren- increased attention to this part of the that we have one duty and one hope, and kingdom. The Society at Norwich, which that we are all making for the same end. had been fostered by the labours of some It is difficult for us to see or to conceive of our ablest ministers, had been perniitted the work in which we are engaged. We to die out, and others were in a languishing fail to see the effect of seminal truths. condition. Instead of an effort to sell the Our work seems of little importance ; but property, he moved a resolution, which if we have the seeds and hold the mighty was adopted, recommending the subject to power of new spiritual truths we are doing the London Missionary and Tract Society. the greatest work on earth. We are sur- In support of this action the President rounded by social movements and new gave an animated address. The little social institutions ; but in disseminating chapel was situated in a district overand carrying into effect the truths we shadowed by the authority of the parson possess, we are doing the greatest thing and the squire. He recoinmended never that is done either in London or elsewhere. to surrender, but to keep our flag flying It is hence of the greatest importance that in the most discouraging circumstances. we should help one another. Americans Some of the young persons of the neighare strengthened by knowing that there bouring Society of Brightlingsea might are in England those who are engaged in probably be induced to distribute tracts in the same work. We are taught by Sweden- the neighbourhood, and they should leave borg that we cannot stand alone. The one at the house of the squire. more, therefore, we can unite our hearts, The report of the Committee on Colonial the more effectually can we work for the and Foreign Missions stated that in Lord.
Sweden the Church seems to be in a Revs. John Goddard and F. H. Hem perley flourishing condition. Mr. Boyesen writes also briefly responded. Rev. W. H. Benade that the Society in Stockholm now numwas not present, though he, together with bers 173 members; they having added Mr. Hemperley, was a frequent visitor at eighteen new members during the last year. the subsequent sittings of the Conference. In his address to Conference he says that Rev. J. F. Potts at this point spoke warmly the many ties with which the State of the great satisfaction and pleasure which Church in Sweden binds people act as a he had experienced from his recent visit to great hindrance to wealthier people joining America as, jointly with Mr. Willson, the their Society. The result of this being representative of the Conference at the that the members of their Society consist General Convention. The Rev. Chauncey almost altogether of the working and tradGiles having handed to the President the ing classes, who while they are more indeaddress from the Convention to the Con- pendent in their religious persuasions yet ference, written by Rev. W. B. Hayden, are unable to contribute much towards it was read, and the President was ap- sustaining the great work of the Scandinapointed to reply. On the completion of the vian Mission. Still, although far from formal business proper to the first day's being well off, they sustain a monthly proceedings, the Committees commenced Church periodical ; and during the last to meet in various parts of the building. year have published a Liturgy and a HymnBook, and a Larger Catechism, written and the cause of religious tolerance, more compiled by their minister, Mr. Boyesen. especially as by it the disabilities of other Twice during the year Mr. Boyesen under- religious Societies which had suffered took larger missionary journeys, where he similar confiscation have been removed. visited and preached in four new places. The Hynın-Book Committee reported that In Sala, one of the great mining towns of it had completed its first revision of the Sweden, he says the beginning was very Conference Hymn-Book and its several encouraging; the number of his hearers Supplements; that it had selected the desirbeing upwards of four hundred, among able hymns contained in several popular whomwere very manyof the most prominent hymn-books, and provisionally accepted citizens of the town, and several teachers an aggregate of 542 hymns. A motion of the public schools. Your Committee proposed by Mr. John Bragg, which emhave been so much impressed by the good powered the Committee to print and pubwork accomplished by Mr. Boyesen that lish before next Conference, was met by they assisted him during the year to the an amendment to first submit the work to amount of £20.
the judgment of the Church by the issue In the conversation which arose on the of a provisional edition. A long and reception of this report much interesting interesting debate ensued, in which many information was given as to the Church members of Conference and several memin Vienna, of which the Rev. H. Peisker, bers of the Hymn-Book Committee took who was ordained by the English Con- part. In the end an amendment was proference, is the minister. It was stated posed by the Rev. R. Storry, and accepted that in consequence of the Vienna Society by the proposer and seconder of the first having been forbidden to meet by the amendment, and also by the mover and municipal authorities, a special Committee seconder of the original motion, and unhad been appointed by the last Confer- animously adopted by the Conference. ence to take steps in the matter. The The proposition thus carried authorized secretary of this Committee, the Rev. Dr. the Committee to publish an experimental Bayley, had waited upon the Austrian edition for the use of members of the Comambassador, and had been most cour- mittee in their final revision, and to cirteously and kindly received. The am- culate copies amongst the members of New bassador had expressed his opinion that Church Societies, such copies to be rethe action of the Vienna municipality must turned to the Committee within a month, have been founded upon a mistake, as so as to enable them, if possible, to comliberty as to religion and worship existed plete the work before next Conference. in Austria the same as in England, and he The Committee appointed to report upon promised duly to attend to any memorial the proposed “Order of Contirmation" forwarded to him through the English stated its opinion to be that the Church Foreign Office. Such a memorial was had not yet shown sufficient desire for accordingly forwarded to the Marquis of such a service, and therefore proposed the Salisbury; but in the meantime the Vienna continued postponement of the question. friends had obtained redress from the This conclusion was received with expresSupreme Court of Vienna, and the matter sions of regret and disappointment It was was thus satisfactorily settled without evident that while many members objected need for further intervention. From further to the title “Confirmation,” as associated remarks by the Rev. R. L. Tafel, the in their judgment with mistaken sentisecretary of the Foreign and Colonial ments, no objection was felt to a service Missions Committee, it appeared that two for the introduction of young persons into New Church Societies existed in Vienna, connection with the Church. A lengthened one of a public character, giving lectures conversation was closed by a motion by in a public hall, and another of a more the Rev. R. Storry to commit the work of private and devotional character. The completing the preparation of such a serproceedings complained of were taken vice and laying it before the next session, against the former, and were authorized by to the ministers of the New Church resithe Chief of Police at the instigation of dent in Lancashire. his brother, who is a Jesuit, and has re- A resolution expressive of a deep sense cently been elected Archbishop of Vienna. of the respect felt by the Conference for The decision of the Supreme Court, which the late Mr. Joseph Grimshaw, and its reinstates the Society in the enjoyment of gratitude for his services as Trustee, was their right of meeting, and into the posses- passed by a rising vote, and also a motion sion of their property, characterizes the of condolence with Mrs. Grimshaw in her conduct in this matter of the Chief of the bereavement, to be forwarded by the PresiPolice as a violation of the Austrian Con- dent. Mr. James Fletcher of Kearsley stitution. The case has created great in- was elected a Trustee in the place of Mr. terest in the press of Vienna, and its Grimshaw. A letter from Dr. Bateman decision has been hailed as a great gain to was read expressing his desire to retire from the trusteeship, but he was requested The Council to which the subject was to reconsider the matter, and in the mean. referred requested the appointment of a time a hearty vote of sympathy with him Committee to report during the session, in his present ill-health was passed. On and the report of this Committee recomthe motion of Mr. Broadfield, and after mended the reserving of a portion of cach much discussion, it was resolved that the week to the reading of papers and conCouncil meet this year in London, and versation on theological and religious subthe following gentlemen were then elected jects. Wednesday morning, and if desired to compose the Council, viz. : Revs. Dr. evening also, was suggested for this purBayley, J. Deans, J. Presland, and R. L. pose, and various suggestions were offered Tafel, and Messrs. G. Benson, Manchester, to provide time for the purpose. The H. W. Brown, R. Gunton, W. Milner, adoption of the report was moved by the H. R. Williams, and T. Willson, Birming- Rev. Mr. Presland in a speech in which he ham.
reviewed the whole subject. The Rev. The success of the Church, both in the Mr. Potts, ip supporting the proposals of instruction and edification of its members, the Committee, stated some of his exand in extending the knowledge of the periences at the American Convention. truth, will ever be largely influenced by Nothing had surprised him more than the the intelligence, piety, and zeal of its min- endeavour to push the business into the istry. The ministry in England is not smallest possible corner. The Ministers' wanting in these most essential qualities, Congress, held the week before the Conbut it is deficient in numbers, needs á vention, was wholly occupied with subjects warmer appreciation and sympathy, and a of the kind contemplated. Independently more adequate temporal support. The of this, and of their daily service and serExamining Boards, North and South, re- mon, there were constant conferences on ported that they had received applications religious subjects in Convention week, and from six young men for adoption as they were constantly wanting more. It is students; but from various causes--not the encouraging that the business of this Conleast being the unsatisfactory condition of ference is likely to conclude early, and the Students' Aid Fund--only two of these could have been concluded earlier, but we would be adopted this year. The applica- had time, and we talked accordingly. The tion of the Society at Embsay, in York- proposal of the Connittee was adopted shire, for the ordination of Mr. Edward and the Council instructed to arrange a Jones was commended by Mr. Broadfield, meeting during the next Conference. Two Mr. Fairbrother, and Rev. R. Storry, and notices of motion by Mr. Willson as to the unanimously granted. The application of administration of the Augmentation Fund the Edinburgh Society, indorsed by the were then considered, and after thorough Camberwell Society, for the ordination discussion passed. Another, introduced into the ministry of the New Church of by Dr. Goyder on behalf of Mr. Isherwood, the Rev. W. C. Barlow, M.A., Edinburgh, addressed to the subject of grouping small was also granted. The application of the Societies, separately unable to support a Lowestoft Society for the introduction minister, was referred to the Committee into the ministry of the New Church of of Lancashire ministers. The Rev. John the Rev. W. O'Mant was also granted. Li- Presland then moved, and the Rev. H. cences were authorized for Messrs. M‘Lach- Cameron seconded, a vote of respectful lan of Alloa, Moore of Bristol, Tilson of sympathy to Mr. William Dean, the only Liverpool, Berry of Northampton, W. A. survivor of the seven ministers and twentyBates of Southport, and Wilson of Oldham. one representatives who, on the 16th of Mr. C. Griffiths was readopted as a student, August 1821, affixed their signatures to and Messrs. J. F. Buss and T. F. Robinson the Conference Deed. The President havwere adopted, and the Council of the New ing added his hearty testimony to the Church College requested to undertake Christian excellence of Mr. Dean's chartheir education.
acter, the motion was carried. The actual One of the questions which has of late business of the session being now finished, occupied the attention of many earnest there only remained the usual, yet none the and exemplary members of the New less hearty, votes of thanks to the Society Church has been a desire to introduce into which entertained the Conference, and to the proceedings of the Conference more of the President for his conduct in the chair. an instructional and devotional character. These two propositions were gracefully It is felt that too much time is occupied made and cordially accepted. In acknowby formal, and what may be regarded as ledging the votes the President said that the merely secular business of the Church. this Conference of 1879 would be disLast year a meeting of the kind contem- tinguished above its predecessors not only plated vas held on the Monday evening by the number of its members, but by the following the Conference, and this year it graceful manner in which the members was proposed to continue the practice. from the North had consented to the
Council being for a time transferred to young ladies, coyly attired in waitresses' Lonlon; while the North had, on the caps and aprons, took evident pleasure in other hand, contributed members to the attending to the wants of the company, Committee of the National Missionary In- So great was the crush of visitors that stitution. He also acknowledged the kind from half-past five till seven o'clock the assistance rendered to the Kensington influx and efflux was maintained.” The friends by members of other London New public ing in the church commenced Church Societies.
at 7.30. During the assembling of the
friends a voluntary was played on the organ SOCIAL MEETINGS.—A social meeting by Mr Cliffe. Rev. Dr. Bayley occupied was given by the Camden Road Society on the chair, and was supported by Revs. c. the Wednesday evening, to which all the H. Wilkins, W. Westall, John Presland, members of the Conference were invited. F. H. Hemperley, and other ministers. The gathering was a very great success, Proceedings commenced with the hymn, the Society's rooms being filled with guests, “Come ye that know Immanuel's name, and a very delightful evening was spent, and prayer was offered by Dr. Bayley, Dr. and Mrs. Tafel acting as host and The subject of the evening was announced hostess, assisted by Mr. and Mrs. C. A. What determines a Man's State and Faraday and other friends.
Condition in the Eternal World ?” In his A choice selection of music was ren introductory address the chairinan adverted dered by members of the remarkably fine to the happiness there was in meeting choir which conducts the musical services together to congratulate each other on the at this church, and a short address given blessings they experienced in common, and by the President of the Conference, in to feel that they were one and all striving which he expressed the thanks of the to spread these blessings the wide world Kensington Society for the ready assistance over. The scene they had just experienced received from the Societies of Camden at the Vestry Hall, although it led to Town and Argyle Square. Refreshments some discomfort, was in some respects were served in the library, which was encouraging. It was certainly better to tastefully ornamented with flowers, and the have a crowded meeting than to lament a meeting continued to nearly eleven o'clock. thin one, and he thought that the happy
On the same evening a social meeting faces of the guests wonld amply atone for was held in connection with the Brixton any shortcomings in other ways.
As he Association of the New Church. The looked around him his mind travelled chair was occupied by Alfred Braby, Esq., back to other gatherings. He went back the President of the Association, who gave seventy years, at which time the Church a hearty welcome to the members of Con- was not strong enough to have an annual ference present. Speeches were given by Conference. In 1809 there was no ConferRevs. E. Whitehead, W. O’Mant, J. R. ence, though in 1808 an attempt had been Rendell, and Messrs. Austin, Parkinson, made to hold one, when five ministers and Bates, Jones, and Tilson. Songs were the representatives of seven congregations sung by Miss Collins, Miss Gunton, and were assembled. They had this year very Mr. J. Barber; and refreshments provided few short of one hundred ministers and by the ladies of the Association. “A plea- representatives. Looking at it in this way sant and happy evening was spent, the only they might congratulate themselves proceedings closing a little after ten. that the cause in which they were en
On Thursday evening the Conference gaged was advancing. But he believed tea-meeting was held in the Kensington that the number of persons who sympaVestry Hall, kindly granted for the occa- thized with them, but had not yet been sion. The hall, a spacious one (and situ- able to organize themselves, were as many ated at but a short distance from the as those who had fully adopted the princichurch), proved quite unequal to the large ples of the New Church. They might rest gathering that besieged it as the appointed assured that the future of the world was hour approached. However, the difliculty the future of the New Church, and that was overcome by the patience and good- whatever disappointments they might exnature of the friends, and it is computed perience they could feel certain of ultithat about 350 were accommodated. mate success. local print thus describes the scene: “On this occasion the usual aspect of the hall “ It's coming yet for a' that, was entirely changed, the horse-shoe tables
That man to man the warld o'er
Shall brothers be for a' that. (around which vestrymen are wont to assemble discussing parish affairs) being Coming to the subject of the evening' covered with diaper (?) cloths and decked Dr. Bayley remarked it was important to with rare plants, at which a select com- let the world know what they, as New pany was seatel regaling themselves with Churchmen, considered as essential in a variety of confects; while a bevy of matters of religion ; and it was, he sup