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that he had taken a list of the minis- | Wednesday, Nov. 9; and that the ters present, and he hoped every ministers at Loughborough and Leione, whether called on or not, would cester be a Committee to make the feel himself at full liberty to give ut necessary arrangements Mr. Winks terance to his sentiments. After a to be the convener ; who having asfew general observations, in which certained the views of the Loughbohe alluded to the disappointment he rough ministers, called the committee felt that our aged and venerable bro- together at the College, Oct. 14th, ther, Rev. J. G. Pike, had been when four of the six Leicester minisunable to prepare a paper for this ters (the others being engaged) were meeting, or even to attend it, he call- ) present. Brother Wallis acted as ed upon the convener to read a brief chairman, and the plan published in report of the steps which the com- the Repository for the present month mittee, appointed at the Hugglescote was adopted. The Committee furConference, had taken with regard ther agreed to request brother Pike, to the proceedings at this Convention. senr., of Derby, to write the paper on Brother Winks then read the follow- " the causes for humiliation and speing paper.
cial prayer in relation to the present
depressed state of religion,” but on “To the Revival Convention at
corresponding with his father, broLoughborough.
ther Carey Pike reported that he “Perhaps it may be expedient for assigned several reasons why he me to state that at the last Associa- could not comply. Brother Carey tion, a case was presented from one Pike also intimated that in conseof the churches to the following ef- quence of this, and as the writer was fect:
conversant with the state of religion "Is it not desirable that some at- in general, and of our churches in tempt should be made to revive and particular, he might prepare the paextend vital religion in our churches per, with which suggestion brother and-congregations ? and as the time Wallis concurred; but the writer felt at this Association, and at the Con- that he dare not undertake to preferences, is usually fully filled up pare a document of such importance; with their ordinary business, would and after much consideration he conit not be expedient to recommend cluded that perhaps upon the whole it the various Conferences to advise the would be better to leave the quesministers of each district to meet for tion of the causes of depression to be humiliation before God, and prayer stated by the brethren now assemto him that he would graciously di- bled, who might relate what they rect to the adoption of such measures had observed to have this tendency as shall result in his glory, and the in their various stations and positions salvation of the souls of men.'
of observation. And again it was “Whereupon it was resolved, conceived that this mode would pre
66. That we recommend the various vent mere discussion on any partiConferences to advise the ministers cular points which might be set in their districts to arrange for such forth in a written document, espemeetings and services as shall con- cially if that document were not preduce to the revival of religion in our pared by one whose ripened experichurches and congregations.'
ence and long standing amongst us “At the September Conference, were such as to entitle his opinions held at Hugglescote, it was agreed to unquestionable and general conthat the Convention for the Midland fidence. The writer of this brief *district be held at Loughborough, on report therefore hopes that you will kindly excuse him in not making the as the excellent of the earth. Then attempt. And he has only further to there were low views of the mediastate, that all the brethren who were tion of Christ, now exalted at the requested to deliver addresses at right hand of the Father, ever living the meeting to be held in Baxter there, all fulness dwelling in him, Gate chapel this evening, have ex- and shedding down blessings on his pressed their willingness to undertake humble followers. He would only the service assigned to them.
add that many seemed to forget that “In concluding this brief report, it there were glorious promises yet to is respectfully suggested that it will be fulfilled. The truth was yet in be desirable at this meeting to avoid the word of God, but faith in it what might appear as if we were seemed to be dead in some hearts. presuming to act in the name of the We ought to cherish the cheering churches, or as if we had any au conviction that God would fulfil his thority, or wished to have any-own word in the spread of the kinghence all resolutions of a business- dom of his Son in the earth. like character might be well avoided, “Great God thy sovereign power impart," and the conversation take a free
was then sung; after which course, avoiding also all controversy,
Brother Jones of March being callintermixed occasionally with fer- ed upon, said, he was often ashamed vent prayer by the brethren for the of his own timidity, but was encouDivine Spirit to guide our delibera- raged by the order and spirit of the tions, and bless our souls with his
meeting. And yet when he looked presence. J. F. WINKS, Sec."
around him he was affected by the The Chairman then called on consideration that since he was last brother Wallis to address the meet- in that place many of the then senior ing, who observed, that christians ministers had passed away, and he were, or ought to be, witnesses perhaps was now the senior of the for God in the world. He would |, ministers present. The last time he mention a few of the things which was in that place was at the ordinaoperated to retard the spread of reli- tion of brother Lacey, and now he gion. Low views of the power of too was gone! He hoped he might prayer. Prayer was not merely a exhort the younger ministers and developement of the state of our own students to work while it was day, hearts, or in its influence beneficial for he was often humbled when he to ourselves only. There was an thought how little he had done for appointed power in prayer which, his Lord and Saviour. With regard rightly used, would bring down bless- to the causes of depression, he feared ings on others. “ Ask and ye shall that in the town where he ministered receive." “ The effectual fervent mistaken views of Divine Sovereignty prayer of a righteous man availeth had done much harm. But the God much." “For all these things will of providence was the God of grace, I be inquired of by the house of Is- and there was a perfect analogy in rael, to do them for them.” Our all his proceedings with men. He prayers must not be preaching pray- who will not sow must not expect to ers, but short and fervent. Then
We must labour in both there was a low appreciation of the cases, and in both cases God will privileges of christian fellowship. A bless us with increase. The fault low view of prayer will separate us with us is not the want of places of from God; and a low view of fel- worship, for we have ample accomlowship will separate us from the modation for all the population ; but saints, whom we should ever esteem | rather to what some call hyper-calvinism, or a sort of theological fatal- | worship; would it not be well to ism, which pervades the minds of notice them more-take them by the many, and bars the entrance of gos- hand and encourage them ? We pel truths.
But we must continue to must not only treat them with cold call upon men to “Repent and be civility but warm affection. lieve the gospel," that they may be The Chairman here stated that saved, even if mistaken men should when he and brother Burns were in call us "legal." But we are not Boston, United States, they heard “legal.” We depend upon Divine that the prayer-meetings of the Uniaid as much as they do. He con- tarians were attended by some of the cluded by saying he thought the leading merchants of that city, who present meeting exceedingly appro- engaged in the devotional exercises priate to the times, and prayed the with great fervour and animation. Divine blessing might rest on our He mentioned this just here, that deliberations.
some of our busy merchants and Brother Preston of Ashby offered manufacturers and tradesmen might an earnest and appropriate prayer. hear of it, and not allow themselves,
Brother E. Stevenson of Loughbo- as evangelical christians, to be exrough said the conversation was go- ceeded by Unitarians in willingness ing on in the right direction. He to devote their time and talents to would mention a few matters which the service of their God and Saviour. he had thought of. He thought there Brother Winks observed, that alshould be a more direct recognition though he had not prepared a paper of religion in our family circles. on the causes of hindrance, he had Divine worship there should never made note of several, which he would be neglected or thrust aside. If all mention now, and as briefly as possithe talk there is about the passing ble, as they might be suggestive, and trifles of the day our children and draw forth remarks from others. domestics will not be likely to re- With regard to the general question, ceive
We must not those of us who remember the great only take religion home from public French war would recollect how the worship, but we ought to take it expectation of an invasion operated from home to public worship. Our on the minds of multitudes in awasocial prayer meetings should be well kening a vivid apprehension of etersupported. He had no reason to com- nal realities. Peace quieted our fears, plain: the prayer meetings at Bax- and feeling secure, we turned from ter Gate were well attended; but it arms to arts, and from bulletins to was remarkable that they were com- books. Since then Mechanics' Inposed of young people chiefly. This stitutes, with Libraries and Lectures, ought not to be. The elder were were formed; and lately, those everdirected to go before the younger, and lasting Concerts were drawing away lead them on, but here the young numbers of the young. were the leaders in this particular railway revolution, and its excursion
Then there were some in easy trains and facilities for travel or conor respectable circumstances, who veyance produced a great change in either did not attend at all, or but the habits of the people. Manufacseldom. Neither ought this so to be; tures were improved and increased, for they could better secure and give free trade was opened, gold flowed the time required. He thought, too, in, and business with its bustle and that there was not sufficient attention its dangerous competition, claimed paid by the members of churches to attention and energy. Prosperity those who joined with us in public followed, and with it refinements,
amusements, and indulgences, not sin- we were dissenters, or more, why we ful, perhaps, but questionable. The were General Baptists. Our fathers love of many waxed cold. Spi- were careful in this matter ; but it is ritual exercises were not relished. not so now, or the sale of brother The world was uppermost. Genteel Wood's History of the General Bapschools for children were sought, and tists would not have been limited to mixed marriages often broke up re- one-third of the edition. Some, too, in ligious connections. Enlargement of our large towns are very loose in their political liberty and municipal hon attachment to us; a better opening for ours had, in some cases, operated un- their business, or more fashionable favourably. The advocacy and sup company, will draw them away to port of societies, of themselves virtu- places where the death of Christ for ous and praiseworthy, like the Tem- all men, and the profession of faith perance cause, had, it was to be in him by baptism are not preached. feared, drawn off the energies of Again, if there should be a want of some from the higher objects of the due care in admitting members, we Gospel. Then, with regard to our may be hindered rather than adown Connexion : the statistics in our vanced. We must be more wakeful
Minutes ” for several years past and vigilant. The influence of the shewed but little increase, and many Establishment is increasing—not the reports were desponding. It was old orthodoxy or modern puseyism, true that emigration had drained for they will both die out, but the many churches, and the renewed and influence of the Evangelical party. increasing influence of the Establish- Many respectable people loved to go ed Church had been felt, especially to “church,” and come away again in some of the villages, but yet he quietly. Such a system suited their believed no ministers preached the taste better than our system. But Gospel more plainly, faithfully, and we must not flinch from our princiscripturally than ours did; and ge- ples to please men. Our independent nerally our people fill up their places self-government sometimes takes a on the Sabbath-day. How was it, wrong course, resulting in divisions then, we did not prosper as we did which are injurious to our reputation, some years ago? Some of the gene- though overruled for good. In large ral causes he had mentioned had towns where are several churches, hindered us as well as others. The there might be seen sometimes a fact is, we want more spirituality of kind of “shopkeeping” rivalry which heart and mind. Each must culti- was unseemly. It was not so in this vate personal spirituality, and take it town. Here, a few sabbaths ago, to the social prayer-meeting, each the members of both churches met bringing his own lighted brand to under this roof to break bread in feed the flame. Revivals will begin peace and love. But he had spoken in the prayer-meetings. But they too long. He would only add, that should be well conducted. Some whatever the state of things around pray too long, and about anything us might be, Eternal Realities rethey can think of. This should not mained the same. We must preach
Five minutes is enough for Christ's Gospel to sinful dying men, each, with two verses between. This depending on the Holy Spirit to morning, in about half an hour, five bless all our efforts for the glory of of our young friends so opened this God and the good of men. meeting He would mention ano- Brother Hunter of Nottingham obther matter. Many of our young served that he had not been long in people did not seem to know why the meeting before he felt the happy
influence which pervaded it. He among the Wesleyans have done our thought, however, that there had people no good. Surely we are debeen something of timidity manifest- mocratic enough, when a boy or girl ed. We ought to speak out, firmly of fifteen has an equal vote with a yet kindly. The things referred to man or woman of threescore. There by brother Winks might have had ought to be more honour given by an external influence upon us as the young to the aged, with more upon others, but he thought the deference to their opinions. It is main obstacles were internal and always a bad sign when the aged are amongst ourselves. He feared there not respected. He would only add, was a growing spirit of worldliness that he agreed with the last speaker, among some of our members, among that we must continue to preach whom social meetings were not of a Christ's Gospel faithfully and fearreligious character. He had been lessly. He would ; and without present at a social party of christian apology to any man.
He rejoiced professors, where several ministers that this meeting had been conwere present, but we all separated vened, and he prayed that God without prayer; and on his inquiring would bless it to all our souls. why, he was told that it would have Brother Staddon of Quorndon sugbeen regarded as rudeness to propose gested that perhaps some of the deait. He made no apology for express- cons or elder brethren present would ing his conviction that the standard offer a few remarks. He thought it of christian perfection, as found desirable. But as none responded, amongst us, stood low in some cases. Brother Kenney, of Burton-uponPiety ought not only to be found in Trent, stated how much he sympathe house of God, but in the parlour, thized with all that had been said, and in the counting-house, and in especially with some of the remarks the market-place. Ten thousand of Brother Hunter. We ought to blessings would follow in the train of speak the truth in love. He very deep vital piety. We should seek to much feared that religion had lost its be fully conformed to the image of hold on many minds. If it were Christ our Lord and Master. We asked why we are not as we once should not be content with less than were, it might be replied, “The being “ filled with all the fulness fault is with ourselves. We have of God.” This was our calling and been too worldly, or too remiss.” privilege. Yet how many were con- He had no cause to complain. He tent with but a small degree of com- had the happiness to be with a peomunion with God! He was quite ple who prized the prayer meetings; aware how far he came short, yet he and yet there were a few whom he no followed after; and he hoped all our more expected to see there than the ministers, elders, deacons, and mem- most unlikely characters. But why bers would aim at a higher standard should not our meetings for prayer of christian attainment. Petty am- be attended by as many as attend on bition and a paltry love of power was public worship? Nay, would it not also manifest in some places ;—a be a better test of the life of religion spirit directly opposed to the plainest among a people? He feared, with directions of holy writ. And what Brother Wallis, that many formed a do such gain by pushing themselves low estimate of the power and efficaforward ? Nothing that is worth cy of prayer, making it only a sehaving; and the injury such conduct condary thing, to be attended to by inflicts on the cause of Christ is some of the members, and the inincalculable. The recent disputes quirers only. These notions ought