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insane man should be flogged to death.” | their deliverance from Egypt, so, we In these sentiments, we believe, the doubt not, that all who have been prenation very generally concurs. It is sent at this meeting, will remember it consolatory to reflect, however, that with sentiments of deepest gratitude and under the wise and beneficent provi-joy ; and will command their children dence of the Almighty, evil is seldom after them to commemorate it as a new wholly unproductive of good. It has not era in the church of God. No meeting been so in the present case. The atten- of a similar character has been held for tion of Parliament has been eagerly called centuries, probably not since the days of to the subject, and though an attempt the apostles. Its effects are likely to be to get flogging immediately and entirely of the most beneficial character, upon abolished by law did not succeed, yet the both the church and the world, for if manifestation of public feeling which the spirit which has been already diftook place, has materially accomplished fused among the members, and so imthe object. The Duke of Wellington, as pressively manifested in the meetings commander in chief, while he pleaded which have already been held, be susfor the necessity of flogging as a means tained when they are separated from one of maintaining the discipline of the army, another, and be as strongly manifested issued an order that the highest number when they return to their respective of lashes which it should be lawful to stations in the church, the doom of inflict should be fifty instead of 200, as sectarianism and bigotry is sealed, and heretofore ; and he declared in parlia- the intercourse of Christians will be ment, that he hoped to live to see the something very different from what it time when such a punishment might with has been in the days that are past. We safety be entirely dispensed with. The speak strongly, and to those who have humanity of the age will clearly not not been witnesses of the proceedings, permit it to be continued. A vast and who have not felt the spirit which amelioration has already, within a short has been created, we may seem to speak time, taken place. The number of lashes extravagantly. But we are not so. We was reduced to 200, whereas, formerly hesitate not to affirm, that the 19th of men were sometimes sentenced to 2000. August 1846, will be regarded as the So late as eight years ago, one in every beginning of a Pentecostal time. It 108 privates was every year flogged; has been repeatedly declared to be so since that time the average has been by members who have spoken, and many reduced to one in every 189. We trust more have felt that it is. We are, howthe entire abolition of flogging, which is ever, extremely sorry to state that we at hand, will tend greatly to the hu- are, at present, precluded from giving manizing of our soldiery, and will lead any report of the proceedings which to a variety of improvements in the have already taken place. One of the army, favourable to intellectual and first acts of the Alliance after its formamoral cultivation, so as to render it tion, was to decide that no reporters quite practicable to maintain the neces- from the press were to be admitted, and sary discipline, without so cruel and that no one present was to furnish any degrading a punishment.
materials to any periodical for publishing such a report, till the whole business of the body was concluded, when an autho
rised report will be published. We had THE EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE. made provision for a full report of the
proceedings of the first two days, but (From a Member.)
this decision has shut us up to a few THE Evangelical Alliance has com- general remarks. There are upwards of menced its sittings ! The sublime and one thousand tickets disposed of to memholy spectacle of christian men of almost bers. The meetings are held in Freeevery evangelical denomination, and masons' Hall, Great Queen Street. The from many countries both in the old room is capable of containing between world and the new, and of many lan- seven and eight hundred persons. It is guages, agreeing to forget their differ quite filled during the meetings; none ences, and uniting as one man to declare but members are allowed to enter, so their union with the Saviour, and with that the number in attendance must be one another in him, has, at length, been at least seven hundred. There are men realized in the metropolis of the British from many lands, and there are the leadEmpire. As the children of Israel were ing Christians of their respective councommanded to remember the day of tries. It will be interesting to many of
our readers to learn the names of some there, and praise in all directions, I inof them. There is Tholuck from Hallé, voluntarily exclaimed, Is this not the with the same mild and contemplative coming of the millenium.” countenance that the prints of him in A number of resolutions have been this country represent him to possess. moved. Free discussion has been perThere is Adolphus Monod from Montau- mitted on them all. There have been bon, a man of dark sallow complexion, amendments made on some of them. whó told us last night, that his hard and The discussion, in some instances, has wicked heart had been completely sub- been warm, but in no instance has there dued since he came to the Alliance. been the slightest approach to bitterness. There is La Harpe from Geneva. We have Almost every resolution has been carried one, also, of the demissionary ministers unanimously, any contrary motion made from the Canton de Vaud. Sweden has having, after discussion, been generally its representative; so has Prussia. Ame-withdrawn, or the original resolution so rica has furnished a great number, and modified as to meet the views of all. , those the chief of her sons,--Drs Cox, Thursday Evening. In addition to the Paton, Reid, and a host of others, one remarks contained above, we have to of whóm said last night, that during the announce that the Alliance has been course of the day, he had frequently formally consummated. The prelimi. found himself asking the question, nary resolutions having been adopted, it " Where am I? Is this earth or heaven ?" was moved that “a confederation now and the reply his heart returned was, be entered into, to be designated · The “ This is the gate of heaven.” Scot- Evangelical Alliance.” After some land has sent forth a goodly number, discussion, the chairman, before putting and there is a fair representation of the vote, requested the members to the different denominations. We are stand up and engage a few minutes in happy to add, that the Secession Church silent prayer for the Divine blessing apon is numerously represented; and the the resolution which we were about to venerable Dr KIDSTON, the father, we adopt. A silence almost like that of the believe, of our church, is amongst them. grave ensued. Those who voted for the Our heart warmed when we saw his adoption of the motion were then asked countenance among the multitude beam to hold up their right hand. Seven ing with interest, and evidently deeply hundred hands were instantly uplifted, affected with the proceedings. We do amid a stillness which was awful. The not think that we can be charged with silence was broken by one giving out the any betrayal of confidence, or with first line of the Doxology, “ Praise God stating what is inconsistent with the from whom all blessings flow.” The decision of the meeting, when we add voice of melody was at first broken by that a large portion of the sederunt the struggling emotions of every heart, of yesterday was spent in devotional but became at length firmer and stronger, exercises ; and such devotions ! Every till it rolled along the roof of the large one said to himself, “ The Spirit of the hall, and floated up to heaven. This Lord is here. This is no ordinary exer- ended, every one stood gazing upward. cise ; this is no common scene.” Every Not a word was uttered; but almost one was melted; and the men who en- every face was bathed in tears. At gaged in guiding our devotions were | length, Dr Leifchild, at the top of his most manifestly “praying in the Spirit.” | voice, exclaimed, “Where are the So much was this felt that it was referred prognostications of the enemies who to afterwards again and again. The declared, we would never form an allimeeting adjourned at three o'clock; and ance ? Now, now we are brethren; let what was done? The German brethren all give to one another the right hand of retired to one room, the French to fellowship.” This dissolved the pent-up another, the American to a third--and feelings, and a scene ensued" which in all directions were heard the voice of baffles description. Each seemed more supplication and the melody of praise, disposed to throw himself into the arms in different languages, it is true; but all of his brother, and weep for very joy their hearts were one. A member, re- upon his neck, than merely take his ferring to this circumstance in the even- | hand. Such another scene we do not ing meeting said, “When I heard the expect to witness on this side the voice of prayer here, and of melody grave.
MURRAY AND GIBB, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH.
UNITED SECESSION MAGAZINE
FOR OCTOBER, 1846.
CHRISTIAN UNION.-EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE-UNION OF
RELIEF AND UNITED SECESSION CHURCHES.
The formation of the Evangelical Alliance, its magnificent meetings, and the interesting discussions and resolutions connected therewith, are now matters of history; and it is our purpose, in the following pages, to present our readers, first, with a rapid sketch of its proceedings; and, second, with some general observations on the whole. We enter upon our task with feelings of deep interest and diffidence. Having enjoyed the high privilege of being present at the greater number of its sessions, and drunk largely of the spirit which characterized them, we are anxious to impart, as far as possible, the same. spirit to our readers. But we feel, on the other hand, a deep conviction of our inability to convey, by mere description, any thing like a just representation of the procedure of this grand convention.
In the closing article of our last number, it was stated that the confederation was solemnly formed, and to be designated “ The Evangelical Alliance.” This important step being taken, the question to which the convention next directed its attention was, “ the principles which those forming the Alliance shall adopt as the basis of their union, and on which persons shall in future be admitted to its membership.” It will be remembered, that at the Liverpool meeting certain doctrinal statements were adopted, and that these were circulated throughout the churches of Britain, the Continent, and America, as forming the basis on which persons were invited to attend the general gathering to be held in London. They were not, however, intended to be regarded as authoritative, or as forming what-should the Alliance be formed-might be adopted as the permanent basis of union. The confederated body had the full power of altering or amending, of adding to or diminishing these articles, as it might see fit. Accordingly, when the aggregate committee met in London previously to the general meetings, it was found that not a fewespecially the American NO. X. VOL. III.
brethren- were dissatisfied with the basis as essentially defective; and they proposed to the committee, to be by them recommended to the general body, an article in the following terms :-" The immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body, the judgment of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, with the eternal blessedness of the righteous, and the eternal punishment of the wicked." This article was discussed in the committee on the Tuesday preceding the commencement of the meetings of the general body. The debate was warm and protracted, but conducted in an admirably christian spirit. Not one denied the scripturalness of any of the statements the article contained. But some were opposed to its admission, on the ground that it was adding too largely to the articles, and that it might exclude some who were conscientious Christians. It was, however, adopted by the committee, and they resolved to present it, along with the Liverpool articles, to the general meeting, as the basis of the confederation. The motion to this effect was proposed in the Alliance by Mr Bickersteth, and seconded by Dr Cox of America, in a speech of remarkable power and magnificence. It electrified the whole meeting. He said that the articles formed a constellation of glories which he was almost afraid to look at; that articles so important, drawn up in language so simple, so short, and so luminous, he had never beheld, nor hoped to see again ; that they would form a bond of union to all churches; and a light would emanate from them which would circulate round the globe. The proposing of the articles led to a long and warm discussion, which occupied five successive sederunts. A vast number of amendmentsmostly verbal-were made, the greater portion of which were rejected.
The article proposed by the American brethren was especially assailed, on nearly the same grounds as in the committee; while others as tenaciously argued for its retention. The effect of this discussion was to bring out most decidedly the fact, that whatever shades of difference of opinion, or modes of expression, might exist among the members of the Alliance, they were essentially one in their views of the fundamental doctrines of the gospel. This was a delightful discovery, and the feelings of the convention were frequently strongly expressed regarding it. Here were men of almost all countries—the representatives of about twenty different denominations, each individual holding and acting upon the right of private judgment in the interpretation of the Scriptures; the modes of thinking of each modified by difference of country, education, and local associations; yet these men, differing in so many respects, were found to be of one mind on the following points, which were finally adopted, nemine contradicente, in the same solemn and impressive manner as the Alliance had been formed.
1. The divine inspiration, authority, and sufficiency of the holy scriptures. 2. The right and duty of private judgment in the interpretation of the holy
scriptures. 3. The unity of the Godhead, and the trinity of persons therein. 4. The utter depravity of human nature in consequence of the fall. 5. The incarnation of the Son of God, his work of atonement for sinners of
mankind, and his mediatorial intercession, and reign. 6. The justification of the sinner by faith alone. 7. The work of the Holy Spirit in the conversion and sanctification of the
8. The immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body, the judgment of
the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, with the eternal blessedness of the
righteous, and the eternal punishment of the wicked. 9. The divine institution of the christian ministry, and the obligation and the
perpetuity of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper.
Such are the general principles adopted by the Alliance. The parties who now compose it hold what are understood to be evangelical views on these points, and all who shall afterwards be admitted, must declare their adherence to them. It is, however, distinctly understood and declared that this summary is not to be regarded, in any formal or ecclesiastical sense, as a confession or creed ; nor does the adoption of it in volve the assumption of the right authoritatively to define the limits of christian brotherhood; but simply as an indication of the class of persons whom it is desirable to embrace within the Alliance. The adoption of the basis of union was a scene of almost as deep solemnity and interest, as was displayed at the formation of the Alliance. The resolution was carried, all the members standing; and after a few moments of silent prayer, the chairman gave out the hymn, “ All hail, the great Emmanuel's name,” which was sung with feelings of the highest elevation. Thanks were then returned to God, and the Conference adjourned, each feeling that the Alliance was now really formed, and congratulating one another on the result. It is difficult to convey an idea of the speeches delivered during the discussion of the doctrinal articles. There was manifestly no concealment of his opinions by any individual. There was no giving up, by any one, of any truth he held. There was no wish to modify any essential principle of the gospel. There was often warm discussion, and more than once there seemed to be danger of permanent disagreement; but there was no irritation. There was no unbrotherly sentiment expressed ;* all was in accordance with the solemnity of the occasion. There was deep earnestness and anxious solicitude that, on the one hand, nothing should be admitted into the basis but what should be there; and, on the other, that there should be no compromise of any truth held to be fundamental.
The principles of the Alliance having been fixed, a number of important resolutions connected with these principles were next adopted. The chief of these were, that the Alliance is not an alliance of denominations, but of individuals-each acting on his own responsibilitythat no compromise of the views of any member, or sanction of those of others, on points whereon they differ, is either required or expected." That this Alliance does not assume, or aim at the character of a new ecclesiastical organization, claiming and exercising the functions of a christian church ; and that, as it is regarded as an important step towards the increase of christian union, the members of the Alliance affectionately recommend to each other, carefully to abstain from, and put away all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, with all malice ; and in all things in which they may yet differ from each other, to be kind, tender-hearted, forbearing one another in love, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's sake, hath
* To this a solitary exception occurred, and next morning a letter of apology was read by the chairman from the individual. This was the true christian spirit,