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If we are troubled by the
his life dear that he might honour Christ. enmity of the world, let us think of Him who said, "When men shall persecute you and revile you, and speak all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake, rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." When tempted by weariness and disappointment, let these words rouse us like the sound of a trumpet in battle, "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." "And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." For so to overcome doubt as ever to trust sweetly in God, so to overcome self as to love the Lord and his Christ with supreme devotion, is even here to come off more than conqueror through him that loved us. But the fulness of the conquest is never apparent until it is final. In death the last battle is fought, and the immortal victory won.. In the saintly peace, in the spiritual glory, in the rejoicing hope, in the trustful tenderness of the dying Christian, there is victory, for death cannot part the soul from its Beloved, nor can anything else; "for I am persuaded that neither death nor life; nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers; nor things present, nor things to come; nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Let us, then, "endure hardness as good soldiers."
Miscellaneous Articles, Anecdotes, &c.
A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF
LONDON, after being all astir, and
Prussia certainly look somewhat ominous. A European war—and if France and Prussia were to commence, who can tell where it might end?-would be a terrible calamity. May Heaven in mercy avert it!
THE WESLEYAN CONFERENCE. -The Conference of our elder brethren, the Wesleyans, met at Bristol on the 25th ult., and is still in session. The preliminary committees met, as usual, some days previously. These committees are now a power in the Wesleyan body. They are in character departmental, they are composed of ministers and laymen, and they review the proceedings in each branch of affairs during the year, with a view to the recommendation of such measures to the Conference as in each case may seem
advisable. The plan is a very judicious one, and is proving of preeminent advantage to the Connexion. In this matter the Conference has manifested its wisdom, and evinced a becoming deference to the spirit and requirements of the times. Of the present Conference the Rev. John Bedford is the President, and the Rev. J. Farrar the Secretary. In referring to the election of Mr. Bedford as President, the Methodist Recorder observes:-"Never has a minister more fairly and thoroughly earned this high distinction. Never have high intelligence, penetrating judgment, unflagging perseverance, unquestioned fidelity, and unselfish devotion to the interests of Methodism, received a more appropriate mark of honour. Never was a President elected with a more general concurrence both of judgment and of feeling." In his address the President avowed his conviction that the Connexion was destined "to take a prominent part in the great struggle for evangelical truth which was rapidly approaching." We are glad to say that the Wesleyan community appears to be in a prosperous condition. The report of the Chapel Committee stated that the total number of erections and enlargements completed during the year had been 259, the total expenditure £254,074, and the amount of debt £46,994. In addition to the above, the Committee has sanctioned during the year 298 further erections or enlargements, involving a cost of £180,969. total reduction of debts on Connexional Trust property in thirteen years has been £608,487. The Rev. W. M. Punshon, M.A., has more than completed his engagement, made five years ago, to raise £10,000 for the erection of chapels in "watering places." In the report presented by him, he stated that the sum of
£10,590 8s. had been realized; for which he received, as he ought, a very cordial and earnest vote of thanks. The Missionary and College reports were full of interest. In the various mission fields-Home, Colonial, and Foreign-the blessing of Jehovah has been graciously vouchsafed, and the funds have been sustained with commendable liberality, The venerable Dr. Hannah, amid regrets on all sides, retires from the position he has so long and honourably sustained in connection with the Theological Institution. For a quarter of a century he has occupied the theological chair at Didsbury, in addition to some eight years of service previously at Hoxton; and now he retires full of years, and not less full of honours, esteemed and loved by all. The services held on “Conference Sunday" were largely attended, and are described as seasons of great refreshing. Indeed, this may be said of the religious services generally held in connection with the Conference. There has been, during the year, a good increase in the membership of the body, as may be seen by referring to our last month's article; and a large number of candidates were recommended for the ministry.
THE UNITED METHODIST FREE CHURCHES. THE ANNUAL ASSEMBLY.-The annual assembly of our esteemed brethren of the United Methodist Free Churches commenced its sittings in Lever Street Chapel, Manchester, on Wednesday morning. July 31. The Rev. R. Chew, of Newcastle -on-Tyne, was elected President, and the Rev. J. Myers, of Harrogate, Secretary, very suitable men for these important offices. The assembly, when formed, was found to number about 200 members. The President, on taking the chair, delivered a good address, in which
he expressed his warm attachment to Free Methodism, and his desire that the sittings of the assembly might be attended with a Divine influence, and that all might be done in a right spirit-sentiments which met with a very hearty response. The proceedings have so far been characterized by ability and Christian temper; and the services of last Sabbath, in Manchester and the surrounding district, were excellent, both as to attendance, the quality of the preaching, and the feeling produced. We rejoice to know that there is a considerable increase in the body, as the following statistics will show :Ministers, 288, increase, 5; supernumeraries, 11; local preachers, 3,388, increase, 107; leaders, 4,420, increase, 273; members, 67,478, increase, 1,721; on trial, 5,962, increase, 717; removals, &c., 3,715; increase, 354; deaths, 1,128, increase, 139; chapels, 1,173, increase, 33; other preaching rooms, 398; Sunday-schools, 1,121, increase, 46; chapels on model deed, 332, increase, 40. On the reading of this result, the assembly adopted a resolution of thanks to God for his blessing upon them during the year, and further resolved to recommend the Church to set apart some day soon for the same purpose. We sincerely and fervently wish for our brethren still more abundant prosperity. From the Manchester Examiner and Times we learn that a communication was read from the Rev. J. Taylor, our President, relating to the question of amalgamation, which stated that a series of resolutions had passed the Conference, which were ordered to be laid before the circuits, to report thereon at the Conference of 1868. Similar resolutions were also read from a meeting which had been held at Liverpool, consisting of both the Free and the New Connexion
Churches. After some discussion, the following resolution was passed by a large majority:-"That this assembly hereby expresses its approval of the action of the Connexional Committee on the subject of Christian union, and believes that a cordial amalgamation of such of the Methodist communities as have numerous and important points of identity and resemblance in their laws and usages, would be mutually beneficial, as well as promotive of evangelical religion. This assembly again remits the matter to the careful consideration of the said committee, with a view to ascertain what modification, if any, in our Connexional principles it may be needful and prudent to make for the accomplishment of Christian union; and the said committee to report the result to the next assembly in 1868." Let us fervently pray for increasing love and ultimate union.
THE BIBLE CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE. The sittings of the fortyninth Annual Conference of this devoted and laborious denomination were commenced in Zion Chapel, St. Austell, Cornwall, simultaneously with those of the Annual Assembly of the United Methodist Free Churches-viz., on the 31st of July. The Conference of the Bible Christians is composed of ministers and lay representatives sent by the churches. Mr. F. W. Bourne was chosen to fill the office of President, and Mr. T. P. Oliver to be principal Secretary. In the case of Mr. Oliver, it was a re-election. Mr. W. S. Pascoe was appointed journal secretary; Mr. W. Rowe, duplicate secretary; Mr. Blackmore, corresponding secretary; and Messrs. J. Thorne, W. Lee, J. Kenner, and W. E. Moyses to prepare a report of the proceedings for publication. We regret that we are not in a position to
supply the statistics of this useful body of Christians. The blessing of the Most High has not, however, been withheld during the year, and we rejoice in their success.
THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY.— We have been favoured with a copy of the last annual report of this timehonoured association. It was founded by Mr. Wesley nearly a century ago, and has been the means of accomplishing, in a very unostentatious way, a large amount of good. Till within the last eighteen years, the society was in close connection with the Wesleyan body; but since that period it has held a position entirely unsectarian in its character. We believe, however, that at the present time a not inconsiderable proportion of its most devoted and zealous members are identified with the various branches of the Methodist family. Of this fact we have no need to be ashamed. These good men, influenced by an earnest desire for the salvation of their fellows and the glory of God, perform a large amount of gratuitous labour among a class of the population that has hitherto been too little cared for by the churches generally. Workhouses, female refuges, lodginghouses, &c., are visited; free teameetings for the very poor, and sometimes for fallen women, are held; and the commendable practice of holding open-air services is extensively resorted to. The expenses incurred are met by donations, subscriptions, &c. These might, however, be increased with great advantage to the society. Numerous remarkable instances of good effected, in the reclamation and conversion of the most unlikely characters, are given in the "Report" sent us, as having occurred during the last year-instances of good which must have greatly encouraged and rejoiced the hearts of the worthy men engaged
in the work of the society. In the course of the year, 6,558 services were held, 7,524 addresses were given, and 224,716 tracts were distributed. It is estimated that nearly 300,000 persons were present at the services. The oldest member of the "Community" now living is, we believe, our respected book-room clerk, Mr. Webber. He lately preached the funeral sermon of Mr. M. Davies, whose name had stood at the top of the list as the oldest member for many years, and who had also long been a highly acceptable local preacher in the Wesleyan body. Mr. Webber's name stood next; he is, therefore, now the senior member of the society. He has been connected with it almost half a century, and was in his younger days acquainted with some who had been identified with it from its commencement.
THE LATE CELEBRATION AT ROME. The recent Popish show at Rome was undeniably a most gorgeous and imposing affair. No doubt it was intended to be a grand demonstration, and in its way it was a great success. There were 600 bishops, 40 cardinals, 25,000 priests, monks, and friars, and probably 100,000 miscellaneous visitors. There were bishops from every land between Cape Comorin and the Pentland Frith. The Oriental bishops, with the archbishops, primates, and patriarchs, in the splendours of the East. Their mitres were embroidered with gold, and flashed back the light from rich jewellery. They wore diadems, also, which took the shape of imperial crowns, and flamed with precious stones. The three Scotch bishops, we venture to say, were in sober black, and the musings going on in their long heads might be to the effect that there was more of show than substance in this Oriental mag
nificence. The procession, however, of Corpus Domini must have been very imposing in more senses than one. Black-bearded pioneers came first, beating drums. White-robed orphan boys followed. Then marched or straggled an interminable line of friars, bearded, beardless, shod and unshod, in black, brown, maroon, and white habits, with straps and hempen or woollen ropes round the waist. After the friars stepped the monks, and then, in long succession, priests, canons, fellows of colleges, &c. To close the whole, a long line of richly-embroidered red velvet, tent-like canopies, with the insignia of the respective basilicas which they were intended to indicate carried before them, the most magnificent being those of St. Peter and St. John Lateran, each canopy being followed by the chapters and canons of the respective basilicas, wound along. The ecclesiastical dignitaries brought not only their enthusiasm and their homage; they also laid at the feet of the Pontiff the offerings of the faithful in the countries from
which they came. Their donations in money alone were estimated at £300,000. The Archbishop of Mexico sent 80,000 crowns, and an English bishop is said to have presented His Holiness with £100,000. The other gifts were of great value, and some of them of an interesting character. Cardinal Mathieu, Archbishop of Besançon, offered an ostensoir several feet high, its massive gold disc enriched with diamonds and rubies of rare brilliancy. The bishops of Canada displayed some ingenuity in their present. It was a silver shipthe ship of St. Peter, the mystical emblem of the Church-rigged out and finished to the last detail. ship was ballasted with gold nuggets, and each of the cabins contained a heap of gold money from a different
country. The masts and cordage were dressed with bank-notes of every colour, and from every country of the world. One very old bishop, leaning on a large, thick staff, sought an audience of the Pontiff. The master of the ceremonies told him that he must first lay aside his staff, as the etiquette of the court did not permit of his carrying it into the Pope's presence. The bishop claimed exception from the rule, and the Pope, hearing the dispute, decided it in his favour. He entered, rendered his homage, and said that his diocese was so poor that it could send no more to the Holy Father than the staff on which he leaned. Would he deign to accept it? The Pope took it in his hand, found it very heavy, looked at it more closely, and saw that it was solid gold. No doubt all this would be exceedingly gratifying to His Holiness, and the gifts particularly acceptable. But all the other spleadours and solemnities of the occasion paled before those of the canonization itself, with its accompaniments of music and worship. There were twenty-five martyrs to be inscribed upon the roll of the saints, and the august ceremony was performed in St. Peter's Cathedral. All had doubtless been arranged beforehand with the utmost exactness and nicety; all were prepared to act their part; and the performance, as a performance, was perfect. All was done with a view to theatrical effect, and it must be confessed that it was, at least, done very cleverly. The music was grand and thrilling beyond description, and every part of the imposing ceremony was gone through in a manner highly calculated to impress and lead captive the senses. After all, the whole thing was a mere flourish. It was a mere appeal to the imagination and the senses.